WorldWideScience

Sample records for grassland species electronic

  1. Ecological mechanisms underlying arthropod species diversity in grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joern, Anthony; Laws, Angela N

    2013-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Species interactions reverse grassland responses to changing climate.

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

    2007-02-02

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

  4. 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.

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

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, C; Blair, JM; Knapp, AK

    2003-01-01

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

  7. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danny J Gustafson

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

  9. 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,

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-11-01

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

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

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    Zhuwen Xu

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

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

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

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    Dauber, Jens; Bengtsson, Jan; Lenoir, Lisette

    2006-08-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amorim, P K; Batalha, M A

    2008-05-01

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

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

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    Dörte Bachmann

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

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

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  3. Linking root traits and competitive success in grassland species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

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

    2008-04-01

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

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

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    Wojciech Bąba

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-09-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jussi Lampinen

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David A.; Biggins, Dean E.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David A; Biggins, Dean E

    2015-08-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John M. Tomecek

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William L Harrower

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie Štýbnarová

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez, S. L.; Ghermandi, L.

    2012-09-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josef Raus

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Symstad, Amy J.; Jonas, Jayne L.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cai, Jiangping; Weiner, Jacob; Wang, Ruzhen

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holtgrewe-Stukenbrock, Eva; Rosendahl, Søren

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nico Eisenhauer

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engst, Karina; Baasch, Annett; Bruelheide, Helge

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Husáková, I.; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2014-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2005-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  18. 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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Novák, J.; Prach, Karel

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Halas, Petr

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Halas, Petr

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lengyel, Szabolcs; Déri, Eszter; Magura, Tibor

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szabolcs Lengyel

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calanca, P; Neftel, A; Fuhrer, J

    2001-11-30

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Calanca

    2001-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Linnen, C.

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming Zhao

    2018-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-10-01

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1996-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Grassland Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah U. Potter; Paulette L. Ford

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo R Mulieri

    2008-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias Ceulemans

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    David W. Peterson; Peter B. Reich

    2008-01-01

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

  2. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-08

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Plamen S. Stoyanov

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-17

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dad, J. M.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denise Adelaide Gomes Elejalde

    2012-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husáková, Iveta; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2014-01-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edgar Lehr

    2017-11-01

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

  3. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badi, M; Geraert, E

    2002-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter J Blank

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongxiang Zhang

    2015-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poon, Gary T; Maherali, Hafiz

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  12. Transport of secondary electrons and reactive species in ion tracks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Surdutovich, Eugene; Solov'yov, Andrey V.

    2015-08-01

    The transport of reactive species brought about by ions traversing tissue-like medium is analysed analytically. Secondary electrons ejected by ions are capable of ionizing other molecules; the transport of these generations of electrons is studied using the random walk approximation until these electrons remain ballistic. Then, the distribution of solvated electrons produced as a result of interaction of low-energy electrons with water molecules is obtained. The radial distribution of energy loss by ions and secondary electrons to the medium yields the initial radial dose distribution, which can be used as initial conditions for the predicted shock waves. The formation, diffusion, and chemical evolution of hydroxyl radicals in liquid water are studied as well. COST Action Nano-IBCT: Nano-scale Processes Behind Ion-Beam Cancer Therapy.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamada AbdElgawad

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-08-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tosserams, M.; Rozema, J.

    1995-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-10-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-08-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Husáková, Iveta; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2017-01-01

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

  9. The California Valley grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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

  12. 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....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jane Melville

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Multi electron species and shielding potentials in plasmas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khan, Arroj A.; Murtaza, G.; Rasheed, A.; Jamil, M.

    2012-01-01

    The phenomenon of Debye shielding is investigated in electron ion plasmas using the approach of two temperature electrons. We get different profiles of potential for different parameters and observe that the potentials fall very slowly than the standard Coulomb and Debye potentials. The importance of work is pointed out in the introduction.

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  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. 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...

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2005-03-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  5. Probing the electronic structure of redox species and direct determination of intrinsic reorganization energies of electron transfer reactions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Xue-Bin; Wang, Lai-Sheng

    2000-01-01

    An experimental technique capable of directly determining the intrinsic reorganization energies of bimolecular electron transfer reactions is described. Appropriate solution phase redox species are prepared in the gas phase using electrospray ionization and probed using photodetachment spectroscopy. Five metal complex anions involved in the Fe 2+ -Fe 3+ redox couple are investigated and the intramolecular reorganization energies are measured directly from spectral features due to removing the most loosely bound 3d electron from the Fe(II)-complexes. The photodetachment spectra also yield electronic structure information about the Fe 2+ -Fe 3+ redox couple and provide a common electronic structure origin for the reducing capability of the Fe(II)-complexes, the most common redox reagents. (c) 2000 American Institute of Physics

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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....

  12. 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 ...

  13. A technique for the measurement of electron attachment to short-lived excited species

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Christophorou, L.G.; Pinnaduwage, L.A.; Bitouni, A.P.

    1990-01-01

    A technique is described for the measurement of electron attachment to short-lived (approx-lt 10 -9 s) excited species. Preliminary results are presented for photoenhanced electron attachment to short-lived electronically-excited states of triethylamine molecules produced by laser two-photon excitation. The attachment cross sections for these excited states are estimated to be >10 -11 cm 2 and are ∼10 7 larger compared to those for the unexcited (ground-state) molecules. 8 refs., 4 figs

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Maria Jacobi

    2007-06-01

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

  15. Photosynthesis and photosynthetic electron flow in the alpine evergreen species Quercus guyavifolia in winter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Huang

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Alpine evergreen broadleaf tree species must regularly cope with low night temperatures in winter. However, the effects of low night temperatures on photosynthesis in alpine evergreen broadleaf tree species are unclear. We measured the diurnal photosynthetic parameters before and after cold snap for leaves of Quercus guyavifolia growing in its native habitat at 3290 m. On 11 and 12 December 2013 (before cold snap, stomatal and mesophyll conductances (gs and gm, CO2 assimilation rate (An, and total electron flow through PSII (JPSII at daytime were maintained at high levels. The major action of alternative electron flow was to provide extra ATP for primary metabolisms. On 20 December 2013 (after cold snap, the diurnal values of gs, gm, An and JPSII at daytime largely decreased, mainly due to the large decrease in night air temperature. Meanwhile, the ratio of photorespiration and alternative electron flow to JPSII largely increased on 20 December. Furthermore, the high levels of alternative electron flow were accompanied with low rates of extra ATP production. A quantitative limitation analysis reveals that the gm limitation increased on 20 December with decreased night air temperature. Therefore, the night air temperature was an important determinant of stomatal/mesophyll conductance and photosynthesis. When photosynthesis is inhibited following freezing night temperatures, photorespiration and alternative electron flow are important electron sinks, which support the role of photorespiration and alternative electron flow in photoportection for alpine plants under low temperatures.

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. [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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy for Studying the Generation and Scavenging of Reactive Oxygen Species by Nanomaterials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Jun-Jie; Zhao, Baozhong; Xia, Qingsu; Fu, Peter P.

    2013-09-01

    One fundamental mechanism widely described for nanotoxicity involves oxidative damage due to generation of free radicals and other reactive oxygen species. Indeed, the ability of nanoscale materials to facilitate the transfer of electrons, and thereby promote oxidative damage or in some instances provide antioxidant protection, may be a fundamental property of these materials. Any assessment of a nanoscale material's safety must therefore consider the potential for toxicity arising from oxidative damage. Therefore, rapid and predictive methods are needed to assess oxidative damage elicited by nanoscale materials. The use of electron spin resonance (ESR) to study free radical related bioactivity of nanomaterials has several advantages for free radical determination and identification. Specifically it can directly assess antioxidant quenching or prooxidant generation of relevant free radicals and reactive oxygen species. In this chapter, we have reported some nonclassical behaviors of the electron spin relaxation properties of unpaired electrons in different fullerenes and the investigation of anti/prooxidant activity by various types of nanomaterials using ESR. In addition, we have reviewed the mechanisms of free radical formation photosensitized by different nanomaterials. This chapter also included the use of spin labels, spin traps and ESR oximetry to systematically examine the enzymatic mimetic activities of nanomaterials.

  8. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  10. 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...

  11. Reactive Oxygen Species Production by Forward and Reverse Electron Fluxes in the Mitochondrial Respiratory Chain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selivanov, Vitaly A.; Votyakova, Tatyana V.; Pivtoraiko, Violetta N.; Zeak, Jennifer; Sukhomlin, Tatiana; Trucco, Massimo; Roca, Josep; Cascante, Marta

    2011-01-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced in the mitochondrial respiratory chain (RC) are primary signals that modulate cellular adaptation to environment, and are also destructive factors that damage cells under the conditions of hypoxia/reoxygenation relevant for various systemic diseases or transplantation. The important role of ROS in cell survival requires detailed investigation of mechanism and determinants of ROS production. To perform such an investigation we extended our rule-based model of complex III in order to account for electron transport in the whole RC coupled to proton translocation, transmembrane electrochemical potential generation, TCA cycle reactions, and substrate transport to mitochondria. It fits respiratory electron fluxes measured in rat brain mitochondria fueled by succinate or pyruvate and malate, and the dynamics of NAD+ reduction by reverse electron transport from succinate through complex I. The fitting of measured characteristics gave an insight into the mechanism of underlying processes governing the formation of free radicals that can transfer an unpaired electron to oxygen-producing superoxide and thus can initiate the generation of ROS. Our analysis revealed an association of ROS production with levels of specific radicals of individual electron transporters and their combinations in species of complexes I and III. It was found that the phenomenon of bistability, revealed previously as a property of complex III, remains valid for the whole RC. The conditions for switching to a state with a high content of free radicals in complex III were predicted based on theoretical analysis and were confirmed experimentally. These findings provide a new insight into the mechanisms of ROS production in RC. PMID:21483483

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adane, Zablon A.

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Israel Yerena Yamallel

    2014-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-31

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

  15. 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.

  16. [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.

  17. Identification of Four Wood Species by an Electronic Nose and by LIBS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliana R. Cordeiro

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents two complementary methods capable of identifying four wood species (Cedrela fissilis, Ocotea porosa, Hymenolobium petraeum, and Aspidosperma subincanum both by their volatile organic compounds and by the presence of 10 chemical elements: Al, B, Ca, Mg, Zn, Cu, Mn, Fe, Na, and Si. The volatile compounds were detected by an electronic nose formed by an array of three different conductive polymer gas sensors. The elemental determination was made by laser-induced breakdown spectrometry (LIBS. The emissions measured were treated by principal component analysis (PCA. Leave-one-out analysis showed a rate of hits of 100%.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-02-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-12-15

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

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  3. The electronic structure of vanadium monochloride cation (VCl+): Tackling the complexities of transition metal species

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeYonker, Nathan J.; Halfen, DeWayne T.; Allen, Wesley D.; Ziurys, Lucy M.

    2014-11-01

    Six electronic states (X 4Σ-, A 4Π, B 4Δ, 2Φ, 2Δ, 2Σ+) of the vanadium monochloride cation (VCl+) are described using large basis set coupled cluster theory. For the two lowest quartet states (X 4Σ- and A 4Π), a focal point analysis (FPA) approach was used that conjoined a correlation-consistent family of basis sets up to aug-cc-pwCV5Z-DK with high-order coupled cluster theory through pentuple (CCSDTQP) excitations. FPA adiabatic excitation energies (T0) and spectroscopic constants (re, r0, Be, B0, bar De, He, ωe, v0, αe, ωexe) were extrapolated to the valence complete basis set Douglas-Kroll (DK) aug-cc-pV∞Z-DK CCSDT level of theory, and additional treatments accounted for higher-order valence electron correlation, core correlation, and spin-orbit coupling. Due to the delicate interplay between dynamical and static electronic correlation, single reference coupled cluster theory is able to provide the correct ground electronic state (X 4Σ-), while multireference configuration interaction theory cannot. Perturbations from the first- and second-order spin orbit coupling of low-lying states with quartet spin multiplicity reveal an immensely complex rotational spectrum relative to the isovalent species VO, VS, and TiCl. Computational data on the doublet manifold suggest that the lowest-lying doublet state (2Γ) has a Te of ˜11 200 cm-1. Overall, this study shows that laboratory and theoretical rotational spectroscopists must work more closely in tandem to better understand the bonding and structure of molecules containing transition metals.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  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. 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.

  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. 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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, D.H.

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Effects of forest expansion on mountain grassland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guidi, Claudia; Magid, Jakob; Rodeghiero, Mirco

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-10-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  15. Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Measurements of Reactive Oxygen Species by Cyclic Hydroxylamine Spin Probes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dikalov, Sergey I; Polienko, Yuliya F; Kirilyuk, Igor

    2018-05-20

    Oxidative stress contributes to numerous pathophysiological conditions such as development of cancer, neurodegenerative, and cardiovascular diseases. A variety of measurements of oxidative stress markers in biological systems have been developed; however, many of these methods are not specific, can produce artifacts, and do not directly detect the free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that cause oxidative stress. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) is a unique tool that allows direct measurements of free radical species. Cyclic hydroxylamines are useful and convenient molecular probes that readily react with ROS to produce stable nitroxide radicals, which can be quantitatively measured by EPR. In this work, we critically review recent applications of various cyclic hydroxylamine spin probes in biology to study oxidative stress, their advantages, and the shortcomings. Recent Advances: In the past decade, a number of new cyclic hydroxylamine spin probes have been developed and their successful application for ROS measurement using EPR has been published. These new state-of-the-art methods provide improved selectivity and sensitivity for in vitro and in vivo studies. Although cyclic hydroxylamine spin probes EPR application has been previously described, there has been lack of translation of these new methods into biomedical research, limiting their widespread use. This work summarizes "best practice" in applications of cyclic hydroxylamine spin probes to assist with EPR studies of oxidative stress. Additional studies to advance hydroxylamine spin probes from the "basic science" to biomedical applications are needed and could lead to better understanding of pathological conditions associated with oxidative stress. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 28, 1433-1443.

  16. 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

  17. 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,

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karlík, Petr; Poschlod, Peter

    2014-07-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bosco Kidake Kisambo

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Wehn

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-06-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Menke, Sean B

    2003-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karmen KETIŠ

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaligarič Mitja

    2016-01-01

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

  12. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo Sierra-Corona

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

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

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    M. CUTINI

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. SPADA

    2010-04-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ishak Yassir

    2016-06-01

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

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

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    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

  20. Detection of reactive oxygen species in isolated, perfused lungs by electron spin resonance spectroscopy

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    Schudt Christian

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The sources and measurement of reactive oxygen species (ROS in intact organs are largely unresolved. This may be related to methodological problems associated with the techniques currently employed for ROS detection. Electron spin resonance (ESR with spin trapping is a specific method for ROS detection, and may address some these technical problems. Methods We have established a protocol for the measurement of intravascular ROS release from isolated buffer-perfused and ventilated rabbit and mouse lungs, combining lung perfusion with the spin probe l-hydroxy-3-carboxy-2,2,5,5-tetramethylpyrrolidine (CPH and ESR spectroscopy. We then employed this technique to characterize hypoxia-dependent ROS release, with specific attention paid to NADPH oxidase-dependent superoxide formation as a possible vasoconstrictor pathway. Results While perfusing lungs with CPH over a range of inspired oxygen concentrations (1–21 %, the rate of CP• formation exhibited an oxygen-dependence, with a minimum at 2.5 % O2. Addition of superoxide dismutase (SOD to the buffer fluid illustrated that a minor proportion of this intravascular ROS leak was attributable to superoxide. Stimulation of the lungs by injection of phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA into the pulmonary artery caused a rapid increase in CP• formation, concomitant with pulmonary vasoconstriction. Both the PMA-induced CPH oxidation and the vasoconstrictor response were largely suppressed by SOD. When the PMA challenge was performed at different oxygen concentrations, maximum superoxide liberation and pulmonary vasoconstriction occurred at 5 % O2. Using a NADPH oxidase inhibitor and NADPH-oxidase deficient mice, we illustrated that the PMA-induced superoxide release was attributable to the stimulation of NADPH oxidases. Conclusion The perfusion of isolated lungs with CPH is suitable for detection of intravascular ROS release by ESR spectroscopy. We employed this technique to

  1. 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.

  2. Plutonium in a grassland ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Little, C.A.

    1976-08-01

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

  3. Life-history strategies as a tool to identify conservation constraints: A case-study on ants in chalk grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noordwijk, C.G.E.; Boer, P.; Mabelis, A.A.; Verberk, W.C.E.P.; Siepel, H.

    2012-01-01

    Species’ life-history traits underlie species–environment relationships. Therefore, analysis of species traits, combined into life-history strategies, can be used to identify key factors shaping the local species composition. This is demonstrated in a case-study on ants in chalk grasslands. We

  4. Posterior spiracles of fourth instar larvae of four species of phlebotomine sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae under scanning electron microscopy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pessoa Felipe Arley Costa

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available In the present study, posterior spiracles of laboratory-reared fourth instar larvae of Lutzomyia longipalpis, L. migonei, L. lenti, and L. whitmani (Diptera: Psychodidae of the State of Ceará, Brazil, were examined under scanning electron microscopy. The number of papillae of spiracles examined varied according to the species examined, but no intraspecific differences were found. The importance of this structure to sand fly larva identification and phylogeny is commented.

  5. Scanning electron microscopy of male terminalia and its application to species recognition and phylogenetic reconstruction in the Drosophila saltans group.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Tiago Alves Jorge; Noll, Fernando Barbosa; Bicudo, Hermione Elly Melara de Campos; Madi-Ravazzi, Lilian

    2014-01-01

    The Drosophila saltans group consists of five subgroups and 21 species, most of which have been identified only by morphological aspects of the male terminalia revealed by drawings using a camera lucida and a bright-field microscope. However, several species in the group, mainly those included in the saltans subgroup, are difficult to differentiate using only these characteristics. In this study, we used scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to analyze 19 structures of the male terminalia in 10 species from the five saltans subgroups. Among these structures, nine could be identified only through SEM analysis. We aimed to find other characteristics useful for morphological recognition of these species and to use these characteristics for phylogenetic reconstruction. These morphological differences enabled us to effectively distinguish among sibling species. These findings confirmed the monophyly of this group as previously determined in evolutionary studies based on other markers. The single most parsimonious tree (CI = 87 and RI = 90) indicated that the cordata subgroup is the most basal lineage and the saltans subgroup is the most apical lineage, as shown in earlier studies based on morphological data. However, our findings differed somewhat from these studies with respect to the phylogenetic relationships of species in the saltans group indicating that this group is still a puzzle that remains to be deciphered.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. The Cumulative Effect of Manure on a Festuca Rubra Grasslands for 15 Years

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ioana VAIDA

    2017-11-01

    In this paper it was shown on which species the productivity of the grassland increased from the control variant to the fertilized variant with the maximum dose. Regarding the analysis of the phytodiversity, this tells us if the number of species is reduced in all the treatments, 10 t/ha of manure leads to an increase in phytocoenosis equivalence and implicitly to the Shannon index.

  11. Mapping Plant Functional Groups in Subalpine Grassland of the Greater Caucasus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anja Magiera

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Plant functional groups—in our case grass, herbs, and legumes—and their spatial distribution can provide information on key ecosystem functions such as species richness, nitrogen fixation, and erosion control. Knowledge about the spatial distribution of plant functional groups provides valuable information for grassland management. This study described and mapped the distribution of grass, herb, and legume coverage of the subalpine grassland in the high-mountain Kazbegi region, Greater Caucasus, Georgia. To test the applicability of new sensors, we compared the predictive power of simulated hyperspectral canopy reflectance, simulated multispectral reflectance, simulated vegetation indices, and topographic variables for modeling plant functional groups. The tested grassland showed characteristic differences in species richness; in grass, herb, and legume coverage; and in connected structural properties such as yield. Grass (Hordeum brevisubulatum was dominant in biomass-rich hay meadows. Herb-rich grassland featured the highest species richness and evenness, whereas legume-rich grassland was accompanied by a high coverage of open soil and showed dominance of a single species, Astragalus captiosus. The best model fits were achieved with a combination of reflectance, vegetation indices, and topographic variables as predictors. Random forest models for grass, herb, and legume coverage explained 36%, 25%, and 37% of the respective variance, and their root mean square errors varied between 12–15%. Hyperspectral and multispectral reflectance as predictors resulted in similar models. Because multispectral data are more easily available and often have a higher spatial resolution, we suggest using multispectral parameters enhanced by vegetation indices and topographic parameters for modeling grass, herb, and legume coverage. However, overall model fits were merely moderate, and further testing, including stronger gradients and the addition of

  12. Theory of electron degradation and yields of initial molecular species produced by ionizing radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Inokuti, M.; Dillon, M.A.; Kimura, M.

    1987-01-01

    Ionizing radiations generate in matter a large number of energetic electrons, which in turn collide with molecules in matter, produce ions and excited states, and thereby degrade in energy. The description of the consequences of many collision processes to the electrons and to matter is the goal of the electron degradation theory. They summarize the current understanding of this topic, which is important as a basis of radiation chemistry and biology. In addition, they present an initial report of their new work, namely, a generalization of the Spencer-Fano theory to time-dependent cases

  13. 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.

  14. [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.

  15. Reactive oxygen species' role in endothelial dysfunction by electron paramagnetic resonance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wassall, Cynthia D.

    The endothelium is a single layer of cells lining the arteries and is involved in many physiological reactions which are responsible for vascular tone. Free radicals are important participants in these chemical reactions in the endothelium. Here we quantify free radicals, ex vivo, in biological tissue with continuous wave electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR). In all of the experiments in this thesis, we use a novel EPR spin trapping technique that has been developed for tissue segments. EPR spin trapping is often considered the 'gold standard' in reactive oxygen species (ROS) detection because of its sensitivity and non-invasive nature. In all experiments, tissue was placed in physiological saline solution with 190-mM PBN (N-tert -butyl-α-phenylnitrone), 10% by volume dimethyl-sulphoxide (DMSO) for cryopreservation, and incubated in the dark for between 30 minutes up to 2 hours at 37°C while gently being stirred. Tissue and supernatant were then loaded into a syringe and frozen at -80°C until EPR analysis. In our experiments, the EPR spectra were normalized with respect to tissue volume. Conducting experiments at liquid nitrogen temperature leads to some experimental advantages. The freezing of the spin adducts renders them stable over a longer period, which allows ample time to analyze tissue samples for ROS. The dielectric constant of ice is greatly reduced over its liquid counterpart; this property of water enables larger sample volumes to be inserted into the EPR cavity without overloading it and leads to enhanced signal detection. Due to Maxwell-Boltzmann statistics, the population difference goes up as the temperature goes down, so this phenomenon enhances the signal intensity as well. With the 'gold standard' assertion in mind, we investigated whether slicing tissue to assay ROS that is commonly used in fluorescence experiments will show more free radical generation than tissue of a similar volume that remains unsliced. Sliced tissue exhibited a 76

  16. 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

  17. Primary processes of the electron-protic species coupling in pure aqueous phases: - femtosecond laser spectroscopy study; - quantum approach of the electron-water interaction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pommeret, Stanislas

    1991-01-01

    This thesis work deals with the coupling mechanisms between an electron, water molecules or protic species (hydronium ion, hydroxyl radical). Two complementary studies have been carry out in pure aqueous phases. The first one is concerned with the structural aspect of the hydrated electron which is studied via a semi-quantum approach Splitting Operator Method. The results indicates the importance of the second hydration shell in the localisation of an electron at 77 and 300 Kelvin. The second part of this work relates to the dynamic of the primary processes in light or heavy water at room temperature: the ion-molecule reaction, radical pair formation, geminate recombination of the hydrated electron with the hydronium ion and the hydroxyl radical. The dynamic of these reactions is studied by time resolved absorption spectroscopy from the near infrared to the near ultraviolet with a few tens femto-seconds temporal precision. The analysis of the primary processes takes into account the protic properties of water molecules. (author) [fr

  18. Shukla-Nambu-Salimullah potential with multi electron species in magnetoplasmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Arroj A.; Jamil, M.; Rasheed, A.; Murtaza, G.

    2013-02-01

    The phenomenon of shielding of test charge in the presence of an external magnetic field (Shukla-Nambu-Salimullah potential) is investigated in electron ion plasmas using the approach of two temperature electrons. The modified dispersion relations of ion acoustic waves under different conditions are derived. We get different profiles of potential for different parameters and observe that the potentials fall very slowly than the standard Shukla-Nambu-Salimullah potential given in the reference.

  19. Shukla-Nambu-Salimullah potential with multi electron species in magnetoplasmas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khan, Arroj A.; Murtaza, G.; Jamil, M.; Rasheed, A.

    2013-01-01

    The phenomenon of shielding of test charge in the presence of an external magnetic field (Shukla-Nambu-Salimullah potential) is investigated in electron ion plasmas using the approach of two temperature electrons. The modified dispersion relations of ion acoustic waves under different conditions are derived. We get different profiles of potential for different parameters and observe that the potentials fall very slowly than the standard Shukla-Nambu-Salimullah potential given in the reference.

  20. 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

  1. Electron collector and ion species experiments on the LION extractor ion diode

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rondeau, G.; Greenly, J.B.; Hammer, D.A.; Horioka, K.; Meyerhofer, D.D.

    1987-01-01

    Studies of the effects of an electron collector on the electron flow in an ion diode and on diode impedance history are being done with an extractor geometry ion diode (B/sub r/ magnetic insulation field) on the LION accelerator (1.5 MV, 4Ω, 40 ns). The collector is a flux-penetrable metal protrusion on the inner radius of the anode that collects electrons. This device increases the diode operating impedance particularly during the later part of the pulse when the diode impedance collapses without the collector. In the present set of experiments, several thin wires are inserted into the anode and allowed to protrude a few millimeters into the A-K gap. These wires are damaged by the electron flow during the pulse and by measuring the length of the remaining wire, the distance of the electron layer from the anode can be inferred. The ion current density is also measured in three radial locations across the diode, giving a measure, through the Child-Langmuir law, of the effective gap spacing between the anode and the electron sheath. A simple model is proposed to account for the scaling of ion current density with the diode voltage observed in the experiment

  2. 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.

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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

  5. Scanning electron microscopy description of a new species of Demodex canis spp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamura, Y; Kawamura, Y; Inoue, I; Ishino, S

    2001-10-01

    Between 1997 and 1999, the prevalence of Demodex canis mites was determined in 150 dogs. In two dogs, we found two different species of mites; Demodex canis and another, unidentified, Demodex mite. The unidentified Demodex mite species had several different morphological features. First, it had a short opisthosoma and an obtuse end. In addition, the fourth coxisternal plate was rectangular and there was a band-like segmental plate between the fourth coxisternal plate and opisthosoma. Although all of the morphology and the development of male mites could not be investigated in this study, the location of the opisthosoma and the genital pore clearly differed from Demodex canis, suggesting that this unidentified mite is a new species.

  6. 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...

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Neau, Jordan L.

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Multiple ion species fluid modeling of sprite halos and the role of electron detachment from O- in their dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, N.

    2011-12-01

    Sprite halos are brief descending glows appearing at the lower ionosphere boundary, which follow impulsive cloud-to-ground lightning discharges [e.g., Barrington-Leigh et al., JGR, 106, 1741, 2001, Wescott et al., JGR, 106, 10467, 2001; Pasko, JGR, 115, A00E35, 2010]. They last for a few milliseconds, with horizontal extension of tens of kilometers and vertical thickness of several kilometers. According to global survey of the occurrence of transient luminous events by the ISUAL instruments on the FORMOSAT-2 satellite, on average sprite halos occur once every minute on Earth [Chen et al., JGR, 113, A08306, 2008]. It has been established that sprite halos are caused by electron heating, and molecule excitation and ionization in the lower ionosphere due to lightning quasi-electrostatic field [e.g., Pasko et al., JGR, 102, 4529, 1997; Barrington-Leigh et al., 2001; Pasko, 2010]. Past modeling work on sprite halos was conducted using either a two dimensional (2D) model of at most three charged species or a zero dimensional model of multiple ion species. In this talk, we report a modeling study of sprite halos using a recently developed 2D fluid model of multiple charged species. The model charged species include the ion species set used in [Lehtinen and Inan, GRL, 34, L08804, 2007] to study the dynamics of ionization perturbations produced by gigantic jets in the middle and upper atmosphere. In addition, another charged species, O-, is added to this set, because electron detachment of O- can proceed very fast under moderate electric field [Rayment and Moruzzi, Int. J. Mass Spectrom., 26, 321, 1978], requiring a separate treatment from the other light negative ions. The modeling results of a sprite halo driven by positive cloud-to-ground lightning indicate that the halo can descend to lower altitude with much higher electron density behind its front when the O- detachment process is included. Electron density ahead of the halo front is not significantly reduced from the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haifa Debouk

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

  12. Seeding method influences warm-season grass abundance and distribution but not local diversity in grassland restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yurkonis, Kathryn A.; Wilsey, Brian J.; Moloney, Kirk A.; Drobney, Pauline; Larson, Diane L.

    2010-01-01

    Ecological theory predicts that the arrangement of seedlings in newly restored communities may influence future species diversity and composition. We test the prediction that smaller distances between neighboring seeds in drill seeded grassland plantings would result in lower species diversity, greater weed abundance, and larger conspecific patch sizes than otherwise similar broadcast seeded plantings. A diverse grassland seed mix was either drill seeded, which places seeds in equally spaced rows, or broadcast seeded, which spreads seeds across the ground surface, into 24 plots in each of three sites in 2005. In summer 2007, we measured species abundance in a 1 m2 quadrat in each plot and mapped common species within the quadrat by recording the most abundant species in each of 64 cells. Quadrat-scale diversity and weed abundance were similar between drilled and broadcast plots, suggesting that processes that limited establishment and controlled invasion were not affected by such fine-scale seed distribution. However, native warm-season (C4) grasses were more abundant and occurred in less compact patches in drilled plots. This difference in C4 grass abundance and distribution may result from increased germination or vegetative propagation of C4 grasses in drilled plots. Our findings suggest that local plant density may control fine-scale heterogeneity and species composition in restored grasslands, processes that need to be further investigated to determine whether seed distributions can be manipulated to increase diversity in restored grasslands.

  13. 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.

  14. An assessment of rehabilitation success in an African grassland using ants as bioindicators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samantha-Leigh Jamison

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Many studies that evaluate rehabilitation make use of invertebrate bioindicators. Invertebrates, especially ants, make useful indicators as they are sensitive to environmental change. We compared ant assemblages in rehabilitated and control sites in the Rietvlei Nature Reserve, a protected area important for grassland conservation in South Africa. Pitfall traps were used to sample ant assemblages at six control sites and six rehabilitated sites. In addition, environmental and vegetation surveys were conducted at each site. We found that the ant assemblages differed significantly between the control and rehabilitated sites, although there was considerable overlap; the control sites supported a greater species density and higher abundance of ants than the rehabilitated sites. In total, 36 ant species were collected (control sites: 34 species; rehabilitated sites: 26 species. The environmental survey revealed that percentages of bare ground and coarse sand, as well as soil pH, differed significantly between the control and rehabilitated sites. The control and rehabilitated sites also supported significantly different plant assemblages. Three indicator ant species were identified for the control sites: Crematogaster rectinota, Crematogaster amita and Monomorium fastidium. No indicator species were identified for the rehabilitated sites. These results suggest that recovery from the previous agricultural use of the area is still incomplete and highlights the lack of research examining the success of rehabilitation in the grassland biome. Conservation implications: The present study illustrates the need for further research on rehabilitation techniques utilised in the grassland biome. This is of value as the remainder of South African grasslands are considered critically endangered.

  15. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas O. Crist

    2014-07-01

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

  17. Estratégias anatômicas foliares de treze espécies de Orchidaceae ocorrentes em um campo de altitude no Parque Estadual da Serra do Brigadeiro (PESB: MG, Brasil Strategies anatomy from thirteen Orchidaceae species occurring in a "high altitude grasslands" in the State Park of Serra do Brigadeiro (PESB: Minas Gerais State, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivone Vieira da Silva

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available O estudo objetivou caracterizar, anatomicamente, as folhas de Orchidaceae ocorrentes em um campo de altitude (PESB, identificando caracteres anatômicos úteis na interpretação das estratégias adaptativas. As treze espécies estudadas vivem em condições ambientais extremas tendo sido estudados apenas indivíduos terrestres, exceto Pleurothallis teres Lindl. espécie exclusivamente rupícola. Avaliando os caracteres anatômicos adaptativos, dois grupos podem ser distinguidos, os das espécies perenes (Epidendrum secundum Jacq., Epidendrum xanthinum Lindl., Oncidium barbaceniae Lindl., Oncidium blancheti Rchb. F., Pleurothallis prolifera Lindl., Pleurothallis teres Lindl., Zygopetalum brackypetalum Lindl. e Zygopetalum mackaii Hook. e os das espécies com redução das partes aéreas no período seco (Cleistes gracilis Schdl., Habenaria hydrophila Barb. Rodr., Habenaria janeirensis Kraenzl, Habenaria macronectar Hoehne e Prescottia montana Barb. Rodr.. As espécies perenes apresentam caracteres xeromórficos: folhas coriáceas ou coriáceas suculentas, cutícula espessa e estriada, hipoderme, grupos de fibras esparsas no mesofilo homogêneo, parênquima aqüífero com espessamento em barras ou espiralados nas paredes, idioblastos de ráfides e feixes vasculares colaterais circundados e com calotas de fibras. Nas espécies com redução das partes aéreas ocorrem investimentos diferenciados e os caracteres xeromórficos não são acentuados. As folhas são delgadas, com células epidérmicas adaxiais altas sendo a cutícula delgada geralmente desprovida de estriamentos e a presença de idioblastos de ráfides freqüentes no mesofilo. Não ocorre hipoderme e os feixes vasculares são reduzidos e sem associações com fibras.The purpose of this work was to characterize the leaf anatomy of thirteen Orchidaceae species in a "high altitude grasslands", located at State Park of Serra do Brigadeiro, and identify anatomical characteristics helpful to

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. 77 FR 47303 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Electronic Dealer Reporting Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-08

    ... the burden-hour estimates or other aspects of the collection-of-information requirements contained in... proposed rule also included flexible reporting regimes, which would allow NMFS to collect more frequent.... NMFS began designing and building an electronic reporting system when NMFS began working on the...

  20. Positive effects of plant species diversity on productivity in the absence of legumes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruijven, van J.; Berendse, F.

    2003-01-01

    We investigated the effect of species richness on productivity in randomly assembled grassland communities without legumes. Aboveground biomass increased with increasing species richness and different measures of complementarity showed strong increases with plant species richness. Increasing

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Conservation Reserve Program mitigates grassland loss in the lesser prairie-chicken range of Kansas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haukos, David A.; Spencer, David; Hagen, Christian A.; Daniels, Melinda D.; Goodin, Doug

    2017-01-01

    increasing grassland quantity and connectivity throughout the lesser prairie-chicken range in Kansas, offsetting loss of grassland since the 1950s, abundance and occupied range of lesser prairie-chickens has declined since the 1980s, suggesting that habitat quality is the principal factor influencing population demography of the species. Although the CRP is contributing to conservation actions for lesser prairie-chickens, efforts to improve habitat quality throughout the range of the lesser prairie-chicken are likely necessary to meet management goals. Continuation of the CRP faces an uncertain future in the face of rising commodity prices, energy development, and reduction in program scope, leaving open the possibility that these areas that have created habitat for lesser prairie-chickens could be lost.

  4. Conservation Reserve Program mitigates grassland loss in the lesser prairie-chicken range of Kansas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Spencer

    2017-01-01

    in increasing grassland quantity and connectivity throughout the lesser prairie-chicken range in Kansas, offsetting loss of grassland since the 1950s, abundance and occupied range of lesser prairie-chickens has declined since the 1980s, suggesting that habitat quality is the principal factor influencing population demography of the species. Although the CRP is contributing to conservation actions for lesser prairie-chickens, efforts to improve habitat quality throughout the range of the lesser prairie-chicken are likely necessary to meet management goals. Continuation of the CRP faces an uncertain future in the face of rising commodity prices, energy development, and reduction in program scope, leaving open the possibility that these areas that have created habitat for lesser prairie-chickens could be lost.

  5. Greenhouse gas exchange in grasslands: impacts of climate, intensity of management and other factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, K. A.

    2003-04-01

    Grasslands occupy some 40% of the terrestrial land surface. They are generally categorised as natural (occurring mainly in those regions where the rainfall is too low to support forest ecosystems), semi-natural (where management, mainly by grazing, has changed the vegetation composition), and artificial (where forests have been cleared to create new pasture land). The soils of the natural and semi-natural grasslands constitute a large reservoir of carbon, and make a substantial contribution to the soil sink for atmospheric CH_4. The conversion of much of the natural temperate grassland to arable agriculture, e.g. in North America and Europe, resulted in a considerable decrease in soil organic carbon, and its release to the atmosphere as CO_2 has made a substantial contribution to the total atmospheric concentration of this gas. The associated increase in cycling of soil N (released from the organic matter) will have contributed to N_2O emissions, and land disturbance and fertilisation has resulted in a depletion of the soil CH_4 sink. Conversion of tropical forests to pastures has also been a major source of CO_2, and these pastures show elevated emissions of N_2O for some years after conversion. Seasonally flooded tropical grasslands are a significant source of CH_4 emissions. Consideration of grassland ecosystems in their entirety, in relation to GHG exchange, necessitates the inclusion of CH_4 production by fauna - domesticated livestock and wild herbivores, as well as some species of termites - in the overall assessment. Stocking rates on pasture land have increased, and the total CH_4 emissions likewise. The relationship between animal production and CH_4 emissions is dependent on the nutritional quality of the vegetation, as well as on animal numbers. In both temperate and tropical regions, increased N inputs as synthetic fertilisers and manures (and increased N deposition) are producing possibly a more-than-linear response in terms of emissions of N_2O. In

  6. Conservation reserve program: benefit for grassland birds in the northern plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, R.E.; Shaffer, T.L.; Sauer, J.R.; Peterjohn, B.G.

    1994-01-01

    During the past few decades numbers of some species of upland-nesting birds in North America have declined. Duck species such as mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), northern pintail (A. acuta) and blue-winged teal (A. discors) have declined since the early 1970s and have remained low since 1985 (Caithamer et al. 1993). Some grassland-dependent nonwaterfowl species also have declined since 1966, as indicated by the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) (Robbins et al. 1986). For prairie-nesting ducks, population declines can be attributed mostly to low recruitment, partially as a result of low nest success. Klett et al. (1988) concluded that nest success (probability of ≥1 egg of clutch hatches) in much of the U.S. Prairie Pothole Region was inadequate to maintain populations of the five most common upland-nesting duck species studied, and that predators were the most important cause of nest failure. Over the years, as grassland areas have been converted to cropland, ducks have concentrated their nesting in the remaining areas of available habitat, where predators such as red fox (Vulpes vulpes), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) and badger (Taxidea taxus) forage (Cowardin et al. 1983). The reasons for declining populations of grassland nonwaterfowl birds are not clear but the loss of suitable grassland-nesting habitat probably is an important factor. Currently, approximately 95 percent of the land in North Dakota is used for agricultural purposes, of which over 60 percent is used for annual crop production (Haugse 1990). Of the grassland that remains, 95 percent is used for livestock production. This probably had a severe impact on grassland bird species that seek idle grass cover for nesting. The 1985 and 1990 U.S. Farm Bills include provisions under the Food Security Act to fund a cropland-idling program called the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Over 36 million acres have been enrolled nationwide in the CRP since 1985 (Osborn 1993), and up to 25 percent of

  7. 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

  8. 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,...

  9. [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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana De Araújo Carrion

    2012-10-01

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

  11. Potential for carbon sequestration and mitigation of climate change by irrigation of grasslands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Olsson, Alexander; Campana, Pietro Elia; Lind, Mårten; Yan, Jinyue

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • A generic method for climate change mitigation feasibility of PVWPS is developed. • Restoration of degraded lands in China has large climate change mitigation potential. • PV produces excess electricity included in the mitigation potential of the system. • The benefit is higher than if the PV were to produce electricity for the grid only. - Abstract: The climate change mitigation potential of irrigation powered by a photovoltaic water pumping system (PVWPS) to restore degraded grasslands has been investigated using the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2006 Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories for Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use. The purpose of this study is to develop a generic and simple method to estimate the climate change mitigation benefit of a PVWPS. The possibility to develop carbon credits for the carbon offset markets has also been studied comparing carbon sequestration in grasslands to other carbon sequestration projects. The soil carbon sequestration following irrigation of the grassland is calculated as an annual increase in the soil organic carbon pool. The PVWPS can also generate an excess of electricity when irrigation is not needed and the emissions reductions due to substitution of grid electricity give additional climate change mitigation potential. The results from this study show that the carbon sequestration and emissions reductions benefits per land area using a PVWPS for irrigating grasslands are comparable to other carbon sequestration options such as switching to no-till practice. Soil carbon in irrigated grasslands is increased with over 60% relative to severely degraded grasslands and if nitrogen fixing species are introduced the increase in soil organic carbon can be almost 80%. Renewable electricity generation by the PVWPS will further increase the mitigation benefit of the system with 70–90%. When applying the methodology developed in this paper to a case in Qinghai, China

  12. Agricultural Set-aside Programs and Grassland Birds: Insights from Broad-scale Population Trends

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Riffell

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP is a voluntary set-aside program in the United States designed to amelioratesoil erosion, control crop overproduction, enhance water quality, and provide wildlife habitat by replacing crops with other forms of land cover. Because CRP includes primarily grass habitats, it has great potential to benefitdeclining North American grassland bird populations. We looked at the change in national and state population trends of grassland birds and related changes to cover-specific CRP variables (previous research grouped all CRP practices. Changes in national trends after the initiation of the CRP were inconclusive, but we observed signficant bird-CRP relations at the state level. Most bird-CRP relations were positive, except for some species associated with habitats that CRP replaced. Practice- and configuration-specific CRP variables were related to grassland bird trends, rather than a generic measure of all CRP types combined. Considering all CRP land as a single, distinct habitat type may obscure actual relations between birds and set-aside characteristics. Understanding and predictingthe effects of set-aside programs (like CRP or agri-environment schemes on grassland birds is complex and difficult. Because available broad-scale datasets are less than adequate, studies should be conducted at a variety of spatial and temporal scales.

  13. The roles of polycarboxylates in Cr(VI)/sulfite reaction system: Involvement of reactive oxygen species and intramolecular electron transfer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jiang, Bo, E-mail: bjiang86upc@163.com [State Key Laboratory of Heavy Oil Processing, China University of Petroleum, Qingdao 266580, Shandong (China); School of Environmental and Municipal Engineering, Qingdao University of Technology, Qingdao 266033 (China); Wang, Xianli; Liu, Yukun [State Key Laboratory of Heavy Oil Processing, China University of Petroleum, Qingdao 266580, Shandong (China); Wang, Zhaohui [College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620 (China); Southern Cross GeoScience, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW 2480 (Australia); Zheng, Jingtang, E-mail: jtzheng03@163.com [State Key Laboratory of Heavy Oil Processing, China University of Petroleum, Qingdao 266580, Shandong (China); Wu, Mingbo, E-mail: wumb@upc.edu.cn [State Key Laboratory of Heavy Oil Processing, China University of Petroleum, Qingdao 266580, Shandong (China)

    2016-03-05

    Highlights: • The formations of SO{sub 4}·{sup −} and OH·, involve in Cr(VI) reduction induced by S(IV). • Affinity of polycarboxylate to Cr(VI) accelerates Cr(VI) reduction rate. • Polycarboxylates can act as electron donors for Cr(VI) reduction retrenching S(IV). • Only oxalate can enhance the formations of SO{sub 4}·{sup −} and OH· in Cr(VI)/S(IV) system. - Abstract: In this study, the effects of polycarboxylates on both Cr(VI) reduction and S(IV) consumption in Cr(VI)/S(IV) system was investigated in acidic solution. Under aerobic condition, the productions of reactive oxygen species (ROS), i.e., SO{sub 4}·{sup −} and OH·, have been confirmed in S(IV) reducing Cr(VI) process by using electron spin resonance and fluorescence spectrum techniques, leading to the excess consumption of S(IV). However, when polycarboxylates (oxalic, citric, malic and tartaric acid) were present in Cr(VI)/S(IV) system, the affinity of polycarboxylates to CrSO{sub 6}{sup 2−} can greatly promote the reduction of Cr(VI) via expanding the coordination of Cr(VI) species from tetrahedron to hexahedron. Besides, as alternatives to S(IV), these polycarboxylates can also act as electron donors for Cr(VI) reduction via intramolecular electron transfer reaction, which is dependent on the energies of the highest occupied molecular orbital of these polycarboxylates. Notably, the variant electron donating capacity of these polycarboxylates resulted in different yield of ROS and therefore the oxidation efficiencies of other pollutants, e.g., rhodamine B and As(III). Generally, this study does not only shed light on the mechanism of S(IV) reducing Cr(VI) process mediated by polycarboxylates, but also provides an escalated, cost-effective and green strategy for the remediation of Cr(VI) using sulfite as a reductant.

  14. 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.

  15. Germination patterns of a suite of semiarid grassland forbs from central New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosemary L. Pendleton; Burton K. Pendleton

    2014-01-01

    We examined the germination response of 21 forb species collected from semiarid grasslands of central New Mexico. After-ripened seeds were subjected to 1 of 3 treatments: 1) no treatment; 2) a 3-wk stratification at 5 °C (cold-moist treatment); or 3) a 3-wk warm-moist treatment at 30 °C. All seeds were incubated under an alternating 10/20 °C temperature regime for 6 wk...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  17. Seedling responses to water pulses in shrubs with contrasting histories of grassland encroachment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven R Woods

    Full Text Available Woody plant encroachment into grasslands has occurred worldwide, but it is unclear why some tree and shrub species have been markedly more successful than others. For example, Prosopis velutina has proliferated in many grasslands of the Sonoran Desert in North America over the past century, while other shrub species with similar growth form and life history, such as Acacia greggii, have not. We conducted a glasshouse experiment to assess whether differences in early seedling development could help explain why one species and not the other came to dominate many Sonoran Desert grasslands. We established eight watering treatments mimicking a range of natural precipitation patterns and harvested seedlings 16 or 17 days after germination. A. greggii had nearly 7 times more seed mass than P. velutina, but P. velutina emerged earlier (by 3.0±0.3 d and grew faster (by 8.7±0.5 mg d⁻¹. Shoot mass at harvest was higher in A. greggii (99±6 mg seedling⁻¹ than in P. velutina (74±2 mg seedling⁻¹, but there was no significant difference in root mass (54±3 and 49±2 mg seedling⁻¹, respectively. Taproot elongation was differentially sensitive to water supply: under the highest initial watering pulse, taproots were 52±19 mm longer in P. velutina than in A. greggii. Enhanced taproot elongation under favorable rainfall conditions could give nascent P. velutina seedlings growth and survivorship advantages by helping reduce competition with grasses and maintain contact with soil water during drought. Conversely, A. greggii's greater investment in mass per seed appeared to provide little return in early seedling growth. We suggest that such differences in recruitment traits and their sensitivities to environmental conditions may help explain ecological differences between species that are highly similar as adults and help identify pivotal drivers of shrub encroachment into grasslands.

  18. Comment on "No evidence of displacement due to wind turbines in breeding grassland songbirds"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Douglas H.

    2016-01-01

    A recent article published in The Condor: Ornithological Applications by Hale et al. (2014) is entitled, “No evidence of displacement due to wind turbines in breeding grassland songbirds.” The conclusion stated in that title, unfortunately, is based on inappropriate statistical analysis of data collected by the authors. In fact, their data provide evidence of potential displacement by wind turbines in 2 of the 3 species considered.

  19. Migratory geese foraging on grassland:Case study in the region of Flanders (Belgium)

    OpenAIRE

    Van Gils, Bert; De Vliegher, Alex; Huysentruyt, Frank; Casaer, Jim; Devos, Koen

    2012-01-01

    Every winter nearly 100 000 migratory geese visit Northwestern Flanders (Belgium), including several protected species such as the pink-footed goose (Anser brachyrhynchus). The geese mainly forage on agricultural grassland, where they remove all the green parts and leave substantial amounts of droppings. In 2009 several farmers’ concerns about this phenomenon were thoroughly investigated. The main findings revealed that grass production on grazed parcels is reduced by 450 kg DM/ha on average ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  1. Nest Success and Cause-Specific Nest Failure of Grassland Passerines Breeding in Prairie Grazed by Livestock

    Science.gov (United States)

    This manuscript describes two years of field research on ground-nesting songbird species at Zumwalt Prairie Reserve, northeastern Oregon, USA. Cattle-grazing has long been suspected in declines of ground-nesting songbirds in grazed grassland, primarily due to increased trampling...

  2. Changes in nitrogen mineralization, tissue nutrient concentrations and biomass compartmentation after cessation of fertiliser application to mown grassland.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olff, H.; Berendse, F.; Visser, de W.

    1994-01-01

    1 Nitrogen mineralization was studied in four grasslands (fields A-D), which had not been fertilized for 2, 6, 19 and 45 years, respectively, thereby forming a chrono-sequence. Fertilizer application was stopped in these fields in order to restore former species-rich communities characteristic of

  3. Studying long-term, large-scale grassland restoration outcomes to improve seeding methods and reveal knowledge gaps

    Science.gov (United States)

    1) Considerable research is currently focused on restoring the World’s degraded grasslands by introducing species from seed. The research is continually providing valuable new insights into early seeded plant establishment, but more emphasis on longer, larger studies is needed to better quantify s...

  4. Spider fauna of semi-dry grasslands on a military training base in Northwest Germany (Münster

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Buchholz, Sascha

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available The spider fauna of semi-dry grasslands on the military training area of Dorbaum near Münster (North Rhine-Westphalia was investigated. From 2002 to 2003 a total of 11,194 mature spiders from 141 species and 20 families was caught by pitfall trapping and hand sampling. Among them are 18 species listed in the Red Data Book of North Rhine-Westphalia, four species are rare or previously rarely recorded. Most of the spiders are habitat generalists that extend their occurrence into all types of habitats, while the number of species which are stenotopic to sand habitats is noticeably low (n = 13. The spider data were analysed with Principal Component Analysis (PCA. It is possible to distinguish spider communities of neighbouring forested habitats from species groups of open habitats, but there is no uniform spider community which is characteristic for semi-dry grassland.

  5. Maximizing conservation benefit for grassland species with contrasting management requirements

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Teeffelen, van A.J.A.; Cabeza, M.; Poyry, J.; Raatikainen, K.; Kuussaari, M.

    2008-01-01

    Conservation management often encompasses multiple, alternative management actions on a given site, involving habitat restoration and maintenance for example. Which actions are preferable depends on the conservation goals, the expected outcomes of actions, and their associated costs. When actions

  6. Grassland degradation caused by tourism activities in Hulunbuir, Inner Mongolia, China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Le, C; Ikazaki, K; Siriguleng; Kosaki, T; Kadono, A

    2014-01-01

    The recent increase in the number of tourists has raised serious concerns about grassland degradation by tourism activities in Inner Mongolia. Thus, we evaluated the effects of tourism activities on the vegetation and soil in Hulunbuir grassland. We identified all the plant species, measured the number and height of plant and plant coverage rate, and calculated species diversity, estimated above-ground biomass in use plot and non-use plot. We also measured soil hardness, and collected soil samples for physical and chemical analysis in both plots. The obtained results were as follows: a) the height of the dominant plants, plant coverage rate, species diversity, and above-ground biomass were significantly lower in use plot than in non-use plot, b) Carex duriuscula C.A.Mey., indicator plant for soil degradation, was dominant in use plot, c) soil hardness was significantly higher in use plot than in non-use plot, and spatial dependence of soil hardness was only found in the use plot, d) CEC, TC, TN and pH in the topsoil were significantly lower in use plot than non-use plot. On the basis of the results, we concluded that the tourism activities can be another major cause of the grassland degradation in Inner Mongolia

  7. Grassland degradation caused by tourism activities in Hulunbuir, Inner Mongolia, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, C.; Ikazaki, K.; Siriguleng; Kadono, A.; Kosaki, T.

    2014-02-01

    The recent increase in the number of tourists has raised serious concerns about grassland degradation by tourism activities in Inner Mongolia. Thus, we evaluated the effects of tourism activities on the vegetation and soil in Hulunbuir grassland. We identified all the plant species, measured the number and height of plant and plant coverage rate, and calculated species diversity, estimated above-ground biomass in use plot and non-use plot. We also measured soil hardness, and collected soil samples for physical and chemical analysis in both plots. The obtained results were as follows: a) the height of the dominant plants, plant coverage rate, species diversity, and above-ground biomass were significantly lower in use plot than in non-use plot, b) Carex duriuscula C.A.Mey., indicator plant for soil degradation, was dominant in use plot, c) soil hardness was significantly higher in use plot than in non-use plot, and spatial dependence of soil hardness was only found in the use plot, d) CEC, TC, TN and pH in the topsoil were significantly lower in use plot than non-use plot. On the basis of the results, we concluded that the tourism activities can be another major cause of the grassland degradation in Inner Mongolia.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  9. Electron spin resonance study on γ-ray-induced radical species in ethylene hydrate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Takeya, Kei; Sugahara, Takeshi; Ohgaki, Kazunari; Tani, Atsushi

    2007-01-01

    Electron spin resonance (ESR) study on γ-irradiated synthetic ethylene hydrate was performed to investigate induced radicals and their thermal stability. ESR spectra of induced 3-butenyl radical (.CH 2 C 2 H 3 =CH 2 ,g=2.0039±0.0005,A α =2.2±0.1mTandA β =3.0±0.1mT) and induced ethyl radical (.C 2 H 5 , g=2.0044±0.0005, A α =2.2±0.1mT and A β =2.7±0.1mT) were observed in irradiated ethylene hydrate. The decay of the 3-butenyl radicals was observed above 200 K with the activation energy of 51.9±4.4kJ/mol. The obvious decay of ethyl radicals starts above 240 K that is close to the dissociation temperature of ethylene hydrate at atmospheric pressure. The activation energy of the ethyl radical decay is estimated as 63.4±8.2kJ/mol and nearly equal to the enthalpy change of ethylene hydrate into liquid water and gaseous ethylene. It is suggested that the decay of ethyl radicals would be caused by the hydrate dissociation and that ethylene hydrate dissociates into water (supercooled) and ethylene at 240-265 K.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jana Knappová

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Ward

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  13. Improved parameterization of managed grassland in a global process-based vegetation model using Bayesian statistics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolinski, S.; Müller, C.; Lotze-Campen, H.; Bondeau, A.

    2010-12-01

    More than a quarter of the Earth’s land surface is covered by grassland, which is also the major part (~ 70 %) of the agricultural area. Most of this area is used for livestock production in different degrees of intensity. The dynamic global vegetation model LPJmL (Sitch et al., Global Change Biology, 2003; Bondeau et al., Global Change Biology, 2007) is one of few process-based model that simulates biomass production on managed grasslands at the global scale. The implementation of managed grasslands and its evaluation has received little attention so far, as reference data on grassland productivity are scarce and the definition of grassland extent and usage are highly uncertain. However, grassland productivity is related to large areas, and strongly influences global estimates of carbon and water budgets and should thus be improved. Plants are implemented in LPJmL in an aggregated form as plant functional types assuming that processes concerning carbon and water fluxes are quite similar between species of the same type. Therefore, the parameterization of a functional type is possible with parameters in a physiologically meaningful range of values. The actual choice of the parameter values from the possible and reasonable phase space should satisfy the condition of the best fit of model results and measured data. In order to improve the parameterization of managed grass we follow a combined procedure using model output and measured data of carbon and water fluxes. By comparing carbon and water fluxes simultaneously, we expect well-balanced refinements and avoid over-tuning of the model in only one direction. The comparison of annual biomass from grassland to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) per country provide an overview about the order of magnitude and the identification of deviations. The comparison of daily net primary productivity, soil respiration and water fluxes at specific sites (FluxNet Data) provides

  14. Drought effect on selection of conservation reserve program grasslands by white-tailed deer on the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grovenburg, T.W.; Jacques, C.N.; Klaver, R.W.; Jenks, J.A.

    2011-01-01

    Limited information exists regarding summer resource selection of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in grassland regions of the Northern Great Plains. During summers 2005-2006, we analyzed habitat selection of adult female white-tailed deer in north-central South Dakota. We collected 1905 summer locations and used 21 and 30 home ranges during 2005 and 2006, respectively, to estimate habitat selection. Results indicated that selection occurred at the population (P rural development areas containing permanent water sources during extreme drought conditions during 2006. Deer likely selected for fields of CRP grasslands during early summer for cover and natural forages, such as clover (Trifolium sp.), prior to the period when agricultural crops become available. Drought conditions occurring in semiarid prairie grassland regions may reduce food and water availability and contribute to subsequent changes in deer habitat selection across the range of the species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez, Ana M.; Peco, Begoña

    2004-07-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruprecht, Eszter; Fenesi, Annamária; Nijs, Ivan

    2013-02-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. The impact of nitrogen deposition on acid grasslands in the Atlantic region of Europe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stevens, Carly J.; Dupre, Cecilia; Dorland, Edu; Gaudnik, Cassandre; Gowing, David J.G.; Bleeker, Albert; Diekmann, Martin; Alard, Didier; Bobbink, Roland; Fowler, David; Corcket, Emmanuel; Mountford, J. Owen; Vandvik, Vigdis

    2011-01-01

    A survey of 153 acid grasslands from the Atlantic biogeographic region of Europe indicates that chronic nitrogen deposition is changing plant species composition and soil and plant-tissue chemistry. Across the deposition gradient (2-44 kg N ha -1 yr -1 ) grass richness as a proportion of total species richness increased whereas forb richness decreased. Soil C:N ratio increased, but soil extractable nitrate and ammonium concentrations did not show any relationship with nitrogen deposition. The above-ground tissue nitrogen contents of three plant species were examined: Agrostis capillaris (grass), Galium saxatile (forb) and Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus (bryophyte). The tissue nitrogen content of neither vascular plant species showed any relationship with nitrogen deposition, but there was a weak positive relationship between R. squarrosus nitrogen content and nitrogen deposition. None of the species showed strong relationships between above-ground tissue N:P or C:N and nitrogen deposition, indicating that they are not good indicators of deposition rate. - Highlights: → N deposition is negatively correlated with forb richness as a proportion of species richness. → Soil C:N ratio increased with increasing N deposition. → Soil extractable nitrate and ammonium were not related to nitrogen deposition. → Plant-tissue N content was not a good indicator of N deposition. - Atmospheric nitrogen deposition affects soils, plant-tissue chemistry and plant species composition in acid grasslands in the Atlantic biogeographic region of Europe.

  20. The impact of nitrogen deposition on acid grasslands in the Atlantic region of Europe

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stevens, Carly J., E-mail: c.j.stevens@open.ac.uk [Department of Life Sciences, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom); Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ (United Kingdom); Dupre, Cecilia [Institute of Ecology, FB 2, University of Bremen, Leobener Str., DE-28359 Bremen (Germany); Dorland, Edu [Ecology and Biodiversity Group, Department of Biology, Institute of Environmental Biology, Utrecht University, PO Box 80.058, 3508 TB Utrecht (Netherlands); Gaudnik, Cassandre [University of Bordeaux 1, UMR INRA 1202 Biodiversity, Genes and Communities, Equipe Ecologie des Communautes, Batiment B8 - Avenue des Facultes, F-33405 Talence (France); Gowing, David J.G. [Department of Life Sciences, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom); Bleeker, Albert [Department of Air Quality and Climate Change, Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands, PO Box 1, 1755 ZG Petten (Netherlands); Diekmann, Martin [Institute of Ecology, FB 2, University of Bremen, Leobener Str., DE-28359 Bremen (Germany); Alard, Didier [University of Bordeaux 1, UMR INRA 1202 Biodiversity, Genes and Communities, Equipe Ecologie des Communautes, Batiment B8 - Avenue des Facultes, F-33405 Talence (France); Bobbink, Roland [B-WARE Research Centre, Radboud University, PO Box 9010, 6525 ED Nijmegen (Netherlands); Fowler, David [NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Bush Estate, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 0QB (United Kingdom); Corcket, Emmanuel [University of Bordeaux 1, UMR INRA 1202 Biodiversity, Genes and Communities, Equipe Ecologie des Communautes, Batiment B8 - Avenue des Facultes, F-33405 Talence (France); Mountford, J. Owen [NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, MacLean Building, Benson Lane, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxfordshire OX10 8BB (United Kingdom); Vandvik, Vigdis [Department of Biology, University of Bergen, Box 7800, N-5020 Bergen (Norway)

    2011-10-15

    A survey of 153 acid grasslands from the Atlantic biogeographic region of Europe indicates that chronic nitrogen deposition is changing plant species composition and soil and plant-tissue chemistry. Across the deposition gradient (2-44 kg N ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1}) grass richness as a proportion of total species richness increased whereas forb richness decreased. Soil C:N ratio increased, but soil extractable nitrate and ammonium concentrations did not show any relationship with nitrogen deposition. The above-ground tissue nitrogen contents of three plant species were examined: Agrostis capillaris (grass), Galium saxatile (forb) and Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus (bryophyte). The tissue nitrogen content of neither vascular plant species showed any relationship with nitrogen deposition, but there was a weak positive relationship between R. squarrosus nitrogen content and nitrogen deposition. None of the species showed strong relationships between above-ground tissue N:P or C:N and nitrogen deposition, indicating that they are not good indicators of deposition rate. - Highlights: > N deposition is negatively correlated with forb richness as a proportion of species richness. > Soil C:N ratio increased with increasing N deposition. > Soil extractable nitrate and ammonium were not related to nitrogen deposition. > Plant-tissue N content was not a good indicator of N deposition. - Atmospheric nitrogen deposition affects soils, plant-tissue chemistry and plant species composition in acid grasslands in the Atlantic biogeographic region of Europe.

  1. Comparative seed germination traits in alpine and subalpine grasslands: higher elevations are associated with warmer germination temperatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Pascual, E; Jiménez-Alfaro, B; Bueno, Á

    2017-01-01

    Seed germination traits in alpine grasslands are poorly understood, despite the sensitivity of these communities to climate change. We hypothesise that germination traits predict species occurrence along the alpine-subalpine elevation gradient. Phylogenetic comparative analyses were performed using fresh seeds of 22 species from alpine and subalpine grasslands (1600-2400 m) of the Cantabrian Mountains, Spain (43° N, 5° W). Laboratory experiments were conducted to characterise germinability, optimum germination temperature and effect of cold and warm stratification on dormancy breaking. Variability in these traits was reduced by phylogenetic principal component analysis (phyl.PCA). Phylogenetic generalised least squares regression (PGLS) was used to fit a model in which species average elevation was predicted from their position on the PCA axes. Most subalpine species germinated in snow-like conditions, whereas most alpine species needed accumulation of warm temperatures. Phylogenetic signal was low. PCA1 ordered species according to overall germinability, whilst PCA2 ordered them according to preference for warm or cold germination. PCA2 significantly predicted species occurrence in the alpine-subalpine gradient, as higher elevation species tended to have warmer germination preferences. Our results show that germination traits in high-mountain grasslands are closely linked to the alpine-subalpine gradient. Alpine species, especially those from stripped and wind-edge communities, prefer warmer germination niches, suggesting that summer emergence prevents frost damage during seedling establishment. In contrast, alpine snowfield and subalpine grassland plants have cold germination niches, indicating that winter emergence may occur under snow to avoid drought stress. © 2016 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  5. Elevated CO2 and water addition enhance nitrogen turnover in grassland plants with implications for temporal stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dijkstra, Feike A; Carrillo, Yolima; Blumenthal, Dana M; Mueller, Kevin E; LeCain, Dan R; Morgan, Jack A; Zelikova, Tamara J; Williams, David G; Follett, Ronald F; Pendall, Elise

    2018-05-01

    Temporal variation in soil nitrogen (N) availability affects growth of grassland communities that differ in their use and reuse of N. In a 7-year-long climate change experiment in a semi-arid grassland, the temporal stability of plant biomass production varied with plant N turnover (reliance on externally acquired N relative to internally recycled N). Species with high N turnover were less stable in time compared to species with low N turnover. In contrast, N turnover at the community level was positively associated with asynchrony in biomass production, which in turn increased community temporal stability. Elevated CO 2 and summer irrigation, but not warming, enhanced community N turnover and stability, possibly because treatments promoted greater abundance of species with high N turnover. Our study highlights the importance of plant N turnover for determining the temporal stability of individual species and plant communities affected by climate change. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magura, Tibor; Lövei, Gábor L

    2017-07-04

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-04-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. The Evaluation of Disturbed Grassland After the Ecological Restoration and Phytoremediation in the Low Tatras National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ján Novák

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available At present the grasslands in the conservation areas are often degraded folowing the abandonment of the pasture and it is necessary to restore them. The aim of this paper was to evaluate the grasslands after the ecological restoration and phytoremediation by different methods. In 2004 the experiment was established on degraded sites at locality Low Tatras National Park (1 126 m a.s.l. with three treatments (U – unmanaged control, C – managed by cutting, CS – managed by seeding and cutting. In 2013 on C treatment we noticed the increase of the number of species (threefold, the increase of the coverage of plants (twofold and also the significant increase of the species diversity in comparison with the year 2004. On CS treatment the species diversity has decreased slightly but the forage value has increased more than twofold since 2004. U treatment has remained without changes. The results show the method of seeding the autochthonous species is highly appropriate to increase the forage value of grassland. Spearman correlations between environmental factors (p ≤ 0.05 prove the effect of treatment on the amount of P-soil, P-fyt, K-soil and K-fyt, which show strong negative correlation with the time. On the other hand number of species and EGQ (The evaluation of the grassland qualitycorrelate with time positively (p ≤ 0.05. The restoration by the mowing is recommended on sites, where the increase of diversity is important. Legumes, C, grasses, K-soil, EGQ, number of species, P-soil, time, dry matter hit the variability of the species significantly (to 96.80% of the total variability. The strongest effect on the overall variability of species had legumes, which is 61% of the total variability. Cutting explain 26% of the variability. The soil in the Low Tatras National Park was recovered to the original state through the reduction of soil nutrient – phytoremediation.

  10. Nesting ecology of grassland birds following a wildfire in the southern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Anthony J.; Boal, Clint W.; Whitlaw, Heather A.

    2017-01-01

    We studied the response of nesting grassland birds occupying short-grass and mixed-grass prairie sites 2 and 3 y following two, large-scale wildfires that burned ≥360,000 ha in the Texas Panhandle in March 2006. Nest success was greater on burned plots compared to unburned plots, though this varied by species and year. Woody vegetation cover was greater around nests on unburned plots compared to burned plots for Cassin's sparrow (Peucaea cassinii) and lark sparrow (Chondestes grammacus). Cassin's sparrows and lark sparrows nested in more-woody vegetation than did grasshopper sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum), and woody vegetation was reduced following the wildfires. The wildfires appear to have had few if any negative influences on the avian community 3 years postfire. This may be due to grassland breeding birds being adapted to landscapes in which, historically, periodic disturbance (e.g., wildfire, intensive grazing by bison [Bison bison]) resulted in vegetation heterogeneity.

  11. The electronic structure of vanadium monochloride cation (VCl{sup +}): Tackling the complexities of transition metal species

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    DeYonker, Nathan J., E-mail: ndyonker@memphis.edu [Department of Chemistry, The University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee 38152 (United States); Halfen, DeWayne T.; Ziurys, Lucy M. [Department of Chemistry, Department of Astronomy, Arizona Radio Observatory, and Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721 (United States); Allen, Wesley D. [Department of Chemistry and Center for Computational Chemistry, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602 (United States)

    2014-11-28

    Six electronic states (X {sup 4}Σ{sup −}, A {sup 4}Π, B {sup 4}Δ, {sup 2}Φ, {sup 2}Δ, {sup 2}Σ{sup +}) of the vanadium monochloride cation (VCl{sup +}) are described using large basis set coupled cluster theory. For the two lowest quartet states (X {sup 4}Σ{sup −} and A {sup 4}Π), a focal point analysis (FPA) approach was used that conjoined a correlation-consistent family of basis sets up to aug-cc-pwCV5Z-DK with high-order coupled cluster theory through pentuple (CCSDTQP) excitations. FPA adiabatic excitation energies (T{sub 0}) and spectroscopic constants (r{sub e}, r{sub 0}, B{sub e}, B{sub 0}, D{sup ¯}{sub e}, H{sub e}, ω{sub e}, v{sub 0}, α{sub e}, ω{sub e}x{sub e}) were extrapolated to the valence complete basis set Douglas-Kroll (DK) aug-cc-pV∞Z-DK CCSDT level of theory, and additional treatments accounted for higher-order valence electron correlation, core correlation, and spin-orbit coupling. Due to the delicate interplay between dynamical and static electronic correlation, single reference coupled cluster theory is able to provide the correct ground electronic state (X {sup 4}Σ{sup −}), while multireference configuration interaction theory cannot. Perturbations from the first- and second-order spin orbit coupling of low-lying states with quartet spin multiplicity reveal an immensely complex rotational spectrum relative to the isovalent species VO, VS, and TiCl. Computational data on the doublet manifold suggest that the lowest-lying doublet state ({sup 2}Γ) has a T{sub e} of ∼11 200 cm{sup −1}. Overall, this study shows that laboratory and theoretical rotational spectroscopists must work more closely in tandem to better understand the bonding and structure of molecules containing transition metals.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  13. Analysis of vegetation in an Imperata grassland of Barak valley, Assam.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Astapati, Ashim Das; Das, Ashesh Kumar

    2012-09-01

    Imperata grassland at Dorgakona, Barak valley, North Eastern India was analyzed for species composition and diversity pattern in relation to traditional management practices. 19 families were in the burnt and unburnt plots of the study site with Poaceae as the most dominant one. 29 species occurred in the burnt plot and 28 in the unburnt plot. Most of the species were common in both the plots. The pattern of frequency diagrams indicated that the vegetation was homogeneous. Imperata cylindrica, a rhizomatous grass was the dominant species based on density (318.75 and 304.18 nos. m(-2)), basal cover (158.22 and 148.34 cm2 m(-2)) and Importance value index (IVI) (132.64 and 138.74) for the burnt and unburnt plots respectively. Borreria pusilla was the co-dominant species constituting Imperata-Borreria assemblage of the studied grassland. It was observed that B. pusilla (162.25 nos. m(-2) and 50.37 nos. m(-2), I. cylindrica (318.75 nos. m(-2) and 304.18 nos. m(-2)) and Setaria glauca (24.70 nos. m(-2) and 16.46 nos. m(-2) were benefited from burning as shown by the values sequentially placed for burnt and unburnt plots. Certain grasses like Chrysopogon aciculatus and Sacciolepis indica were restricted to burnt plot while Oxalis corniculata showed its presence to unburnt plot. Grasses dominated the grassland as revealed by their contribution to the mean percentage cover of 72% in burnt plot and 76% in umburnt plot. The dominance-diversity curves in the study site approaches a log normal series distribution suggesting that the resources are shared by the constituent species. Seasonal pattern in diversity index suggested definite influence of climatic seasonality on species diversity; rainy season was conducive for maximum diversity (1.40 and 1.38 in the burnt and unburnt plots, respectively). Dominance increased with concentration of fewer species (0.0021 in burnt plot and 0.0055 in unbumt plot) in summer and behaves inversely to index of diversity. This study showed

  14. Responses of nocturnal rodents to shrub encroachment in Banni grasslands, Gujarat, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayadevan, A.

    2016-12-01

    Shrub encroachment is one of the greatest threats to grasslands globally. These woodlands can strongly influence the behaviour of small mammals adapted to more open habitats, which rely on high visibility for early detection of predators. In semi-arid grasslands, rodents are considered keystone species. Although shrub encroachment is known to negatively affect rodent assemblages, its impact on the foraging behaviour of rodents, which is known to vary in response to risky situations, is unknown. Understanding whether shrub encroachment alters such antipredator behaviour is important as antipredator behaviour can alter the distribution, abundance and ultimately, survival of prey species. In this study, I explored the effects of shrub encroachment on the foraging behaviour of nocturnal rodent communities in the Banni grasslands, India. I examined foraging behaviour, quantified using the giving-up density (GUD) framework and the number of rodent crossings around food patches, in two habitats that differed in the extent of shrub encroachment. Under the GUD framework, the amount of food left behind by a forager in a food patch reflects the costs of feeding at the patch. Higher GUDs imply higher foraging costs. I also investigated how removal of an invasive woody plant, Prosopis juliflora would affect foraging behaviour of nocturnal rodents. High shrub encroachment was associated with higher foraging costs (higher GUDs) and lower activity than the sparsely wooded habitat, likely due to low visibility in the densely wooded habitat. The dense habitat also supported a higher richness and relative abundance of generalist rodents than the sparse habitat, likely due to the increased heterogeneity of the habitat. The tree removal experiment revealed that rodents had lower GUDs (i.e., low foraging costs) after the event of tree cutting. This may be due to the reduction of cover in the habitat, leading to higher visibility and lower predation risk. My results suggest that shrub

  15. An Innovative Approach to Effective Climate Science Application through Stakeholder Participation in Great Plains Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Athearn, N.; Broska, J.

    2015-12-01

    For natural resource managers and other Great Plains stakeholders, climate uncertainties further confound decision-making on a highly altered landscape. Partner organizations comprising the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GPLCC) acknowledge climate change as a high-priority threat to grasslands and associated habitats, affecting water availability, species composition, and other factors. Despite its importance, incorporation of climate change impacts into planning is hindered by high uncertainty and lack of translation to a tangible outcome: effects on species and their habitats. In 2014, the GPLCC initiated a Landscape Conservation Design (LCD) process to ultimately improve the size and connectivity of grasslands - informing land managers of the landscape-scale impacts of local decisions about where to restore, enhance, protect, and develop lands. Defining this goal helped stakeholders envision a tangible product. High resolution land cover data recently completed for Texas and Oklahoma represent current grassland locations. By focusing climate change models to project changes in these land cover datasets, resulting land cover projections can be directly incorporated into LCD-based models to focus restoration where future climates will support grasslands. Broad organizational cooperation has been critical for this USGS-led project, which uses downscaled climate data and other support from the South Central Climate Science Center Consortium and builds on existing work including LCD efforts of the Playa Lakes Joint Venture and the Bureau of Land Management's Southern Great Plains Rapid Ecological Assessment. Ongoing stakeholder guidance through an advisory team ensures effective application of a product that will be both relevant to and understood by decision makers, for whom the primary role of research is to reduce uncertainties and clear the path for more efficient decision-making in the face of climatic uncertainty.

  16. Effect of fertilizer application on Urtica dioica and its element concentrations in a cut grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müllerová, Vladimíra; Hejcman, Michal; Hejcmanová, Pavla; Pavlů, Vilém

    2014-08-01

    Little is known about the effects of nutrient availability in cut grasslands on growth characteristics of Urtica dioica and its aboveground chemical composition (N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn). The effects of N, P and K application on the growth of U. dioica were studied over five years in a Dactylis glomerata grassland cut twice per year under unfertilized control, P, N, NP and NPK treatments (300, 80 and 200 kg of N, P and K ha-1 per year). Nitrogen application in the form of NH4NO3 over five years decreased the soil pH, while P and K application increased P and K availability in the soil. Over five years, cover of U. dioica increased from 1% initially to 7, 9, 58, 83 and 99% in the control, P, N, NP and NPK treatments, respectively. Concentrations of N, P and Ca in the aboveground biomass of U. dioica were very high in comparison to other species and concentrations of Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn were comparable with other grassland species. N and P limitation of U. dioica growth was expected if concentrations of N and P in the aboveground biomass were lower than 25 g N kg-1 and 4 g P kg-1 in the phenological stage of flowering. We concluded that two cuts per year are not sufficient to suppress expansion of U. dioica under high N, P and K availability. This probably explains why U. dioica survive also in frequently cut intensive grasslands under adequately high nutrient supply.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo Fett Pinto

    2013-03-01

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

  18. Effects of wind-energy facilities on grassland bird distributions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaffer, Jill A.; Buhl, Deb

    2016-01-01

    The contribution of renewable energy to meet worldwide demand continues to grow. Wind energy is one of the fastest growing renewable sectors, but new wind facilities are often placed in prime wildlife habitat. Long-term studies that incorporate a rigorous statistical design to evaluate the effects of wind facilities on wildlife are rare. We conducted a before-after-control-impact (BACI) assessment to determine if wind facilities placed in native mixed-grass prairies displaced breeding grassland birds. During 2003–2012, we monitored changes in bird density in 3 study areas in North Dakota and South Dakota (U.S.A.). We examined whether displacement or attraction occurred 1 year after construction (immediate effect) and the average displacement or attraction 2–5 years after construction (delayed effect). We tested for these effects overall and within distance bands of 100, 200, 300, and >300 m from turbines. We observed displacement for 7 of 9 species. One species was unaffected by wind facilities and one species exhibited attraction. Displacement and attraction generally occurred within 100 m and often extended up to 300 m. In a few instances, displacement extended beyond 300 m. Displacement and attraction occurred 1 year after construction and persisted at least 5 years. Our research provides a framework for applying a BACI design to displacement studies and highlights the erroneous conclusions that can be made without the benefit of adopting such a design. More broadly, species-specific behaviors can be used to inform management decisions about turbine placement and the potential impact to individual species. Additionally, the avoidance distance metrics we estimated can facilitate future development of models evaluating impacts of wind facilities under differing land-use scenarios.

  19. Distinguishing Intensity Levels of Grassland Fertilization Using Vegetation Indices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jens L. Hollberg

    2017-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lalor, S.T.J.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael R. White

    2000-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  5. The nutritive value of Valjevac grassland - Zasavica reservation

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renhui Miao

    2016-06-01

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

  10. Temporal and spatial variations of canopy temperature over a C3C4 mixture grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimoda, S.; Oikawa, T.

    2006-10-01

    This study discusses the photosynthetic pathway types involved in canopy temperature measurements on a mixed grassland consisting of C3 and C4 plants (dominant species in biomass were Solidago altissima (C3), Miscanthus sinensis (C4), and Imperata cylindrica (C4)). In the wet conditions immediately after the rainy season, the mean canopy temperature for S. altissima was the lowest among the dominant species, mainly due to its leaf conductance being twice as large as the other two species. Despite using the same C4 photosynthetic pathway, M. sinensis had a lower apparent canopy temperature than I. cylindrica due to a smaller proportion of sunlit elements in the field of view. In the dry conditions during late July, the mean canopy temperatures of the three dominant species were within 0.3 °C of one another. These results can be explained by poor water conditions for C3 species (S. altissima). The simultaneous survey of vegetation and thermal imaging can help clarify characteristics of C3 and C4 canopy temperature over complicated grassland.

  11. Electron microscopy and three-dimensional reconstruction of native thin filaments reveal species-specific differences in regulatory strand densities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cammarato, Anthony, E-mail: acammara@burnham.org [Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Boston University School of Medicine, 72 East Concord Street, Boston, MA 02118 (United States); Craig, Roger [Department of Cell Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, MA 01655 (United States); Lehman, William [Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Boston University School of Medicine, 72 East Concord Street, Boston, MA 02118 (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Throughout the animal kingdom striated muscle contraction is regulated by the thin filament troponin-tropomyosin complex. Homologous regulatory components are shared among vertebrate and arthropod muscles; however, unique protein extensions and/or components characterize the latter. The Troponin T (TnT) isoforms of Drosophila indirect flight and tarantula femur muscle for example contain distinct C-terminal extensions and are {approx}20% larger overall than their vertebrate counterpart. Using electron microscopy and three-dimensional helical reconstruction of native Drosophila, tarantula and frog muscle thin filaments we have identified species-specific differences in tropomyosin regulatory strand densities. The strands on the arthropod thin filaments were significantly larger in diameter than those from vertebrates, although not significantly different from each other. These findings reflect differences in the regulatory troponin-tropomyosin complex, which are likely due to the larger TnT molecules aligning and extending along much of the tropomyosin strands' length. Such an arrangement potentially alters the physical properties of the regulatory strands and may help establish contractile characteristics unique to certain arthropod muscles.

  12. Electron microscopy and three-dimensional reconstruction of native thin filaments reveal species-specific differences in regulatory strand densities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cammarato, Anthony; Craig, Roger; Lehman, William

    2010-01-01

    Throughout the animal kingdom striated muscle contraction is regulated by the thin filament troponin-tropomyosin complex. Homologous regulatory components are shared among vertebrate and arthropod muscles; however, unique protein extensions and/or components characterize the latter. The Troponin T (TnT) isoforms of Drosophila indirect flight and tarantula femur muscle for example contain distinct C-terminal extensions and are ∼20% larger overall than their vertebrate counterpart. Using electron microscopy and three-dimensional helical reconstruction of native Drosophila, tarantula and frog muscle thin filaments we have identified species-specific differences in tropomyosin regulatory strand densities. The strands on the arthropod thin filaments were significantly larger in diameter than those from vertebrates, although not significantly different from each other. These findings reflect differences in the regulatory troponin-tropomyosin complex, which are likely due to the larger TnT molecules aligning and extending along much of the tropomyosin strands' length. Such an arrangement potentially alters the physical properties of the regulatory strands and may help establish contractile characteristics unique to certain arthropod muscles.

  13. A Quantitative Method to Monitor Reactive Oxygen Species Production by Electron Paramagnetic Resonance in Physiological and Pathological Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mrakic-Sposta, Simona; Gussoni, Maristella; Montorsi, Michela; Porcelli, Simone; Vezzoli, Alessandra

    2014-01-01

    The growing interest in the role of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and in the assessment of oxidative stress in health and disease clashes with the lack of consensus on reliable quantitative noninvasive methods applicable. The study aimed at demonstrating that a recently developed Electron Paramagnetic Resonance microinvasive method provides direct evidence of the “instantaneous” presence of ROS returning absolute concentration levels that correlate with “a posteriori” assays of ROS-induced damage by means of biomarkers. The reliability of the choice to measure ROS production rate in human capillary blood rather than in plasma was tested (step I). A significant (P < 0.01) linear relationship between EPR data collected on capillary blood versus venous blood (R 2 = 0.95), plasma (R 2 = 0.82), and erythrocytes (R 2 = 0.73) was found. Then (step II) ROS production changes of various subjects' categories, young versus old and healthy versus pathological at rest condition, were found significantly different (range 0.0001–0.05 P level). The comparison of the results with antioxidant capacity and oxidative damage biomarkers concentrations showed that all changes indicating increased oxidative stress are directly related to ROS production increase. Therefore, the adopted method may be an automated technique for a lot of routine in clinical trials. PMID:25374651

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Burkholderia megalochromosomata sp. nov., isolated from grassland soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baek, Inwoo; Seo, Boram; Lee, Imchang; Lee, Kihyun; Park, Sang-Cheol; Yi, Hana; Chun, Jongsik

    2015-03-01

    A Gram-stain negative, rod-shaped, non-spore-forming, obligate aerobic bacterial strain, JC2949(T), was isolated from grassland soil in Gwanak Mountain, Seoul, Republic of Korea. Phylogenetic analysis, based on 16S rRNA sequences, indicated that strain JC2949(T) belongs to the genus Burkholderia, showing highest sequence similarities with Burkholderia grimmiae R27(T) (98.8 %), Burkholderia cordobensis LMG 27620(T) (98.6 %), Burkholderia jiangsuensis MP-1T(T) (98.6 %), Burkholderia zhejiangensis OP-1(T) (98.5 %), Burkholderia humi LMG 22934(T) (97.5 %), Burkholderia terrestris LMG 22937(T) (97.3 %), Burkholderia telluris LMG 22936(T) (97.2 %) and Burkholderia glathei ATCC 29195(T) (97.0 %). The major fatty acids of strain JC2949(T) were C18 : 1ω7c, summed feature 3 (C16 : 1ω7c and/or C16 : 1ω6c) and C16 : 0. Its predominant polar lipids were phosphatidylethanolamine, diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylglycerol and an unknown amino phospholipid. The dominant isoprenoid quinone was ubiquinone Q-8. The pairwise average nucleotide identity values between strain JC2949(T) and the genomes of 30 other species of the genus Burkholderia ranged from 73.4-90.4 %, indicating that the isolate is a novel genomic species within this genus. Based on phenotypic and chemotaxonomic comparisons, it is clear that strain JC2949(T) represents a novel species of the genus Burkholderia. We propose the name for this novel species to be Burkholderia megalochromosomata sp. nov. The type strain is JC2949(T) ( = KACC 17925(T) = JCM 19905(T)). © 2015 IUMS.

  18. Development of an electron paramagnetic resonance methodology for studying the photo-generation of reactive species in semiconductor nano-particle assembled films

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twardoch, Marek; Messai, Youcef; Vileno, Bertrand; Hoarau, Yannick; Mekki, Djamel E.; Felix, Olivier; Turek, Philippe; Weiss, Jean; Decher, Gero; Martel, David

    2018-06-01

    An experimental approach involving electron paramagnetic resonance is proposed for studying photo-generated reactive species in semiconductor nano-particle-based films deposited on the internal wall of glass capillaries. This methodology is applied here to nano-TiO2 and allows a semi-quantitative analysis of the kinetic evolutions of radical production using a spin scavenger probe.

  19. Characteristics of an Electron Cyclotron Resonance Plasma Source for the Production of Active Nitrogen Species in III-V Nitride Epitaxy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyyappan, Meyya; Arnold, James O. (Technical Monitor)

    1997-01-01

    A simple analysis is provided to determine the characteristics of an electron cyclotron resonance (ECR) plasma source for the generation of active nitrogen species in the molecular beam epitaxy of III-V nitrides. The effects of reactor geometry, pressure, power, and flow rate on the dissociation efficiency and ion flux are presented. Pulsing the input power is proposed to reduce the ion flux.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  1. Mapping grasslands suitable for cellulosic biofuels in the Greater Platte River Basin, United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wylie, Bruce K.; Gu, Yingxin

    2012-01-01

    Biofuels are an important component in the development of alternative energy supplies, which is needed to achieve national energy independence and security in the United States. The most common biofuel product today in the United States is corn-based ethanol; however, its development is limited because of concerns about global food shortages, livestock and food price increases, and water demand increases for irrigation and ethanol production. Corn-based ethanol also potentially contributes to soil erosion, and pesticides and fertilizers affect water quality. Studies indicate that future potential production of cellulosic ethanol is likely to be much greater than grain- or starch-based ethanol. As a result, economics and policy incentives could, in the near future, encourage expansion of cellulosic biofuels production from grasses, forest woody biomass, and agricultural and municipal wastes. If production expands, cultivation of cellulosic feedstock crops, such as switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and miscanthus (Miscanthus species), is expected to increase dramatically. The main objective of this study is to identify grasslands in the Great Plains that are potentially suitable for cellulosic feedstock (such as switchgrass) production. Producing ethanol from noncropland holdings (such as grassland) will minimize the effects of biofuel developments on global food supplies. Our pilot study area is the Greater Platte River Basin, which includes a broad range of plant productivity from semiarid grasslands in the west to the fertile corn belt in the east. The Greater Platte River Basin was the subject of related U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) integrated research projects.

  2. Targeted grazing for the restoration of sub-alpine shrub-encroached grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Massimiliano Probo

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The decline of agro-pastoral activities has led to a widespread tree and shrub-encroachment of former semi-natural meso-eutrophic grasslands in many European mountain regions. Temporary night camp areas (TNCA and mineral mix supplements for targeted cattle were arranged over shrub-encroached areas to restore grassland vegetation within the Val Troncea Natural Park (Italy. From 2011 to 2015, their effects on vegetation structure and pastoral value of forage were assessed along permanent transects. Four years after treatments, both practices were effective in reducing the shrub cover and increasing the cover and average height of the herbaceous layer, but changes were more remarkable within TNCA. Moreover, the arrangement of TNCA decreased the cover of nanophanerophytes and increased the cover of graminoids and high quality species, as well as the overall forage pastoral value. In conclusion, TNCA were the most effective pastoral practice to contrast shrub-encroachment and increase herbage mass and forage quality of sub-alpine grasslands.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto Rodríguez-Maturino

    2017-10-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  9. Grassland bird productivity in warm season grass fields in southwest Wisconsin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byers, Carolyn M.; Ribic, Christine; Sample, David W.; Dadisman, John D.; Guttery, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Surrogate grasslands established through federal set-aside programs, such as U.S. Department of Agriculture's Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), provide important habitat for grassland birds. Warm season grass CRP fields as a group have the potential for providing a continuum of habitat structure for breeding birds, depending on how the fields are managed and their floristic composition. We studied the nesting activity of four obligate grassland bird species, Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus), Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna), Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), and Henslow's Sparrow (A. henslowii), in relation to vegetative composition and fire management in warm season CRP fields in southwest Wisconsin during 2009–2011. Intraspecific variation in apparent nest density was related to the number of years since the field was burned. Apparent Grasshopper Sparrow nest density was highest in the breeding season immediately following spring burns, apparent Henslow's Sparrow nest density was highest 1 y post burn, and apparent Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark nest densities were higher in post fire years one to three. Grasshopper Sparrow nest density was highest on sites with more diverse vegetation, specifically prairie forbs, and on sites with shorter less dense vegetation. Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark, and Henslow's Sparrow apparent nest densities were higher on sites with deeper litter; litter was the vegetative component that was most affected by spring burns. Overall nest success was 0.487 for Bobolink (22 d nesting period), 0.478 for Eastern Meadowlark (25 d nesting period), 0.507 for Grasshopper Sparrow (22 d nesting period), and 0.151 for Henslow's Sparrow (21 d nesting period). The major nest predators were grassland-associated species: thirteen-lined ground squirrel (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum), American badger (Taxidea taxus), and western fox snake (Elaphe vulpina). Overall

  10. The future demographic niche of a declining grassland bird fails to shift poleward in response to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCauley, Lisa A.; Ribic, Christine; Pomara, Lars Y.; Zuckerberg, Benjamin

    2017-01-01

    ContextTemperate grasslands and their dependent species are exposed to high variability in weather and climate due to the lack of natural buffers such as forests. Grassland birds are particularly vulnerable to this variability, yet have failed to shift poleward in response to recent climate change like other bird species in North America. However, there have been few studies examining the effect of weather on grassland bird demography and consequent influence of climate change on population persistence and distributional shifts.ObjectivesThe goal of this study was to estimate the vulnerability of Henslow’s Sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii), an obligate grassland bird that has been declining throughout much of its range, to past and future climatic variability.MethodsWe conducted a demographic meta-analysis from published studies and quantified the relationship between nest success rates and variability in breeding season climate. We projected the climate-demography relationships spatially, throughout the breeding range, and temporally, from 1981 to 2050. These projections were used to evaluate population dynamics by implementing a spatially explicit population model.ResultsWe uncovered a climate-demography linkage for Henslow’s Sparrow with summer precipitation, and to a lesser degree, temperature positively affecting nest success. We found that future climatic conditions—primarily changes in precipitation—will likely contribute to reduced population persistence and a southwestward range contraction.ConclusionsFuture distributional shifts in response to climate change may not always be poleward and assessing projected changes in precipitation is critical for grassland bird conservation and climate change adaptation.

  11. 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

  12. Scale and diversity following manipulation of productivity and disturbance in Californian coastal grasslands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandel, Brody Steven; Corbin, Jeff

    2012-01-01

    the responses of species–area relationships to experimental manipulations are more consistent than richness at any single scale. Location Northern Californian coastal grasslands. Methods We applied disturbance and productivity reduction treatments over 4 yr at two sites. We assessed changes in species richness...... known. We ask whether the response of species richness to experimental manipulation of productivity and disturbance varies across small spatial scales (0.016–4 m2). We show that species–area relationships are well suited to summarize cross-scale responses of species richness, and ask whether...... over five grain sizes, encompassing a 256-fold range of plot size. This allowed us to construct a species–area relationship for each experimental plot in each sampling year. We used the slope of the species–area relationship to summarize changes in species richness across multiple spatial scales...

  13. 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

  14. Effect of template-induced surface species on electronic structure and photocatalytic activity of g-C{sub 3}N{sub 4}

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shen, Yu; Guo, Xiaojuan; Bo, Xiangkun; Wang, Yongzheng [Key Lab of Mesoscopic Chemistry MOE, School of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023 (China); Guo, Xiangke [Key Lab of Mesoscopic Chemistry MOE, School of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023 (China); Hubei Key Laboratory for Processing and Application of Catalytic Materials, Huanggang Normal University, Huanggang 438000 (China); Xie, Mingjiang, E-mail: xiemingjiang@hotmail.com [Key Lab of Mesoscopic Chemistry MOE, School of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023 (China); Guo, Xuefeng, E-mail: guoxf@nju.edu.cn [Key Lab of Mesoscopic Chemistry MOE, School of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023 (China); Hubei Key Laboratory for Processing and Application of Catalytic Materials, Huanggang Normal University, Huanggang 438000 (China)

    2017-02-28

    Highlights: • The effect of template on the surface chemistry of g-C{sub 3}N{sub 4} were investigated. • Template induces more non-graphitic species (sp{sup 3}−C−C− and −NH{sub x}) on g-C{sub 3}N{sub 4}. • Non-graphitic species influence electronic structure and performance of g-C{sub 3}N{sub 4}. - Abstract: In view of the fact that the photocatalytic activity of graphitic carbon nitride (g-C{sub 3}N{sub 4}) is greatly influenced by its electronic structure, herein, effect of templates induced surface species variation on the electronic structure and photocatalytic activity of the templated g-C{sub 3}N{sub 4} was investigated. By mixing the precursor of cyanamide with different templates (SiO{sub 2}, Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} and template-free) in the preparation of graphitic carbon nitride (g-C{sub 3}N{sub 4}), carbon nitrides with different surface species were obtained. The obtained carbon nitride (g-C{sub 3}N{sub 4}-Si) templated by SiO{sub 2} nanoparticles exhibits enlarged band gap (3.26 eV) and enhanced photo-degradation ability towards Methyl Orange (MO) compared to that of bulk g-C{sub 3}N{sub 4} (2.67 eV) synthesized from direct condensation/carbonization of melamine and Al{sub 2}O{sub 3}-templated g-C{sub 3}N{sub 4}-Al (2.76 eV). Detailed characterizations confirm that the introduction of templates in the synthesis process resulted in more non-graphitic species (sp{sup 3}−C−C− and −NH{sub x}) on the surface of the derived carbon nitrides, exerting remarkable effect on the electronic structure and photocatalytic performance.

  15. Uptake and accumulation of 137Cs by upland grassland soil fungi: a potential pool of Cs immobilization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dighton, J.; Clint, G.M.; Poskitt, J.

    1991-01-01

    Reports of high concentrations of fallout radiocaesium in basidiomycete fruit bodies after the Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident and speculation that fungi could be long-term 137 Cs accumulators led us to ask if fungi could be long-term 137 Cs accumulators. We used six common upland grassland species to try to estimate their importance in the immobilization of 137 Cs. Uptake of Cs by these species ranged from 44 to 235 nmol Cs g − 1d.w. h − 1. Efflux studies indicate that more than 40% of the Cs taken up is bound within the hyphae. We estimate that the fungal component of the soil could immobilize the total radiocaesium fallout received in upland grasslands following the Chernobyl accident

  16. Study on Mo(V) species, location and adsorbates interactions in MoH-SAPO-34 by employing ESR and electron spin-echo modulation spectroscopies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Back, Gern Ho; Jang, Chang Ki; Ru, Chang Kuk; Cho, Young Hwan; So, Hyun Soo; Larry, Keven

    2002-01-01

    A solid-state reaction of MoO 3 with as-synthesized H-SAPO-34 generated paramagnetic Mo(V) species. The dehydration resulted in weak Mo(V) species, and subsequent activation resulted in the formation of Mo(V) species such as Mo(V) 5c and Mo(V) 6c that are characterized by ESR. The data of ESR and ESEM show the oxomolybdenum species, to be (MoO 2 ) + or (MoO) 3+ . The (MoO 2 ) + species seems to be more probable. Since H-SAPO-34 has a low framework negative charge, (MoO) 3+ with a high positive charge can not be easily stabilized. A solution reaction between the solution of silico-molybdic acid and calcined H-SAPO-34 resulted in only MoO + 2 species. A rhombic ESR signal is observed on adsorption of D 2 O, CD 3 OH, CH 3 CH 2 OD and ND 3 . The Location and coordination structure of Mo(V) species has been determined by three-pulse electron spin-echo modulation data and their simulations. After the adsorption of methanol, ethylene, ammonia, and water for MoH-SAPO-34, three molecules, one and one molecule, respectively, are directly coordinated to (MoO 2 ) +

  17. Flower production of Aster tripolium is affected by behavioral differences in livestock species and stocking densities : the role of activity and selectivity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nolte, Stefanie; Esselink, Peter; Bakker, Jan P.

    Semi-natural grasslands are an important habitat for endangered plant and animal species. In grasslands, low-intensity livestock grazing is frequently applied as a tool for nature conservation. We aim to investigate how different livestock species in various densities influence the state and flower

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro A. Bernardo Jr.

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helden Alvin J.

    2015-12-01

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

  20. Spectral diffusion and electron-phonon coupling of the B800 BChl a molecules in LH2 complexes from three different species of purple bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baier, J; Gabrielsen, M; Oellerich, S; Michel, H; van Heel, M; Cogdell, R J; Köhler, J

    2009-11-04

    We have investigated the spectral diffusion and the electron-phonon coupling of B800 bacteriochlorophyll a molecules in the peripheral light-harvesting complex LH2 for three different species of purple bacteria, Rhodobacter sphaeroides, Rhodospirillum molischianum, and Rhodopseudomonas acidophila. We come to the conclusion that B800 binding pockets for Rhodobacter sphaeroides and Rhodopseudomonas acidophila are rather similar with respect to the polarity of the protein environment but that the packaging of the alphabeta-polypeptides seems to be less tight in Rb. sphaeroides with respect to the other two species.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  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. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. Mapping anuran habitat suitability to estimate effects of grassland and wetland conservation programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Euliss, Ned H.; Stockwell, Craig A.

    2012-01-01

    The conversion of the Northern Great Plains of North America to a landscape favoring agricultural commodity production has negatively impacted wildlife habitats. To offset impacts, conservation programs have been implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other agencies to restore grassland and wetland habitat components. To evaluate effects of these efforts on anuran habitats, we used call survey data and environmental data in ecological niche factor analyses implemented through the program Biomapper to quantify habitat suitability for five anuran species within a 196 km2 study area. Our amphibian call surveys identified Northern Leopard Frogs (Lithobates pipiens), Wood Frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus), Boreal Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris maculata), Great Plains Toads (Anaxyrus cognatus), and Woodhouse’s Toads (Anaxyrus woodhousii) occurring within the study area. Habitat suitability maps developed for each species revealed differing patterns of suitable habitat among species. The most significant findings of our mapping effort were 1) the influence of deep-water overwintering wetlands on suitable habitat for all species encountered except the Boreal Chorus Frog; 2) the lack of overlap between areas of core habitat for both the Northern Leopard Frog and Wood Frog compared to the core habitat for both toad species; and 3) the importance of conservation programs in providing grassland components of Northern Leopard Frog and Wood Frog habitat. The differences in habitats suitable for the five species we studied in the Northern Great Plains, i.e., their ecological niches, highlight the importance of utilizing an ecosystem based approach that considers the varying needs of multiple species in the development of amphibian conservation and management plans.

  6. 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...

  7. External morphology of sensory structures of fourth instar larvae of neotropical species of phlebotomine sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae under scanning electron microscopy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pessoa Felipe Arley Costa

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available In the present study, some morphological structures of antennae, maxillary palps and caudal setae of fourth instar larvae of laboratory-reared phlebotomine sand flies (Lutzomyia longipalpis, L. migonei, L. evandroi, L. lenti, L. sericea, L. whitmani and L. intermedia of the State of Ceará, Brazil, were examined under scanning electron microscopy. The antennal structures exhibited considerable variation in the morphology and position. A prominent digitiform distal segment has been observed only on the antenna of species of the subgenus Nyssomyia. The taxonomic relevance of this and other antennal structure is discussed. The papiliform structures found in the maxillae and the porous structures of the caudal setae of all species examined may have chemosensory function. Further studies with transmission electron microscopy are needed to better understand the physiological function of these external structures.

  8. On a New Species of Hysterothylacium (Nematoda: Anisakidae from Cauque mauleanum (Pisces: Atherinidae by Brightfield and Scanning Electron Microscopy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Torres Patricio

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available Hysterothylacium geschei n. sp. (Nematoda, Anisakidae is described from the intestine of Cauque mauleanum (Steindachner (Pisces: Atherinidae from Lake Panguipulli (39º43'S; 72º13'W, Chile. Eleven (78.6% out of 14 fish were infected, with a mean intensity (range of 14.4 (1-55 worms. The new species can be differentiated from the two previously described species of freshwater fishes from South America by the presence of lateral alae, the number of caudal papillae, and the length of the spicules, oesophagus, intestinal caecum, distance vulva-anterior extremity and the length ratio intestinal caecum: ventricular appendix. From the fishes examined in Lake Panguipulli, including the introduced salmonid species Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum and the authochthonous species Basilichthys australis Eigenmann (Atherinidae and Percichthys trucha (Valenciennes (Percichthyidae, only one specimen of P. trucha was found parasitized by a third-stage larva of this species.

  9. Modeling the grazing effect on dry grassland carbon cycling with modified Biome-BGC grazing model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Geping; Han, Qifei; Li, Chaofan; Yang, Liao

    2014-05-01

    Identifying the factors that determine the carbon source/sink strength of ecosystems is important for reducing uncertainty in the global carbon cycle. Arid grassland ecosystems are a widely distributed biome type in Xinjiang, Northwest China, covering approximately one-fourth the country's land surface. These grasslands are the habitat for many endemic and rare plant and animal species and are also used as pastoral land for livestock. Using the modified Biome-BGC grazing model, we modeled carbon dynamics in Xinjiang for grasslands that varied in grazing intensity. In general, this regional simulation estimated that the grassland ecosystems in Xinjiang acted as a net carbon source, with a value of 0.38 Pg C over the period 1979-2007. There were significant effects of grazing on carbon dynamics. An over-compensatory effect in net primary productivity (NPP) and vegetation carbon (C) stock was observed when grazing intensity was lower than 0.40 head/ha. Grazing resulted in a net carbon source of 23.45 g C m-2 yr-1, which equaled 0.37 Pg in Xinjiang in the last 29 years. In general, grazing decreased vegetation C stock, while an increasing trend was observed with low grazing intensity. The soil C increased significantly (17%) with long-term grazing, while the soil C stock exhibited a steady trend without grazing. These findings have implications for grassland ecosystem management as it relates to carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation, e.g., removal of grazing should be considered in strategies that aim to increase terrestrial carbon sequestrations at local and regional scales. One of the greatest limitations in quantifying the effects of herbivores on carbon cycling is identifying the grazing systems and intensities within a given region. We hope our study emphasizes the need for large-scale assessments of how grazing impacts carbon cycling. Most terrestrial ecosystems in Xinjiang have been affected by disturbances to a greater or lesser extent in the past

  10. Studies on the aroma of different species and strains of Pleurotus measured by GC/MS, sensory analysis and electronic nose

    OpenAIRE

    Renata Zawirska-Wojtasiak; Marek Siwulski; Sylwia Mildner-Szkudlarz; Erwin Wąsowicz

    2009-01-01

    The aroma of several strains of Pleurotus ostreatus, Pleurotus citrinopileatus and Pleurotus djamor was studied by GC/MS. Three main mushrooms aroma constituents: 3-octanol, 3-octanone and 1-octen-3-ol were taken into account for quantitative measurements. The highest amount of 1-octen-3-ol was recorded in P. ostreatus, while considerably lower amounts in P. citrinopileatus. Sensory profile analysis as well as the electronic nose also varied between the three species of Pleurotus. Chiral gas ...

  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. Electron spin resonance and electron spin echo modulation spectroscopic studies on the structure and reactivity of Pd(I) species in SAPO-11 molecular sieves

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chul Wee Lee; Jong-Sung Yu; Kevan, L.

    1992-01-01

    This paper explores the possibility of using Pd ions in SAPO-11 by adding [Pd(NH 3 ) 4 ] 2+ during the synthesis of SAPO-11 to form PdSAPO-11, which is compared with solid-state ion exchange PdSAPO-11 and impregnation PdH-SAPO-11 in which palladium is in an extraframework position. Electron spin resonance and electron spin echo modulation spectroscopies are used to determine if the palladium position in PdSAPO-11 is located in a framework or extraframework

  13. Synergistic effect of single-electron-trapped oxygen vacancies and carbon species on the visible light photocatalytic activity of carbon-modified TiO2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Xiaodong; Xue, Xiaoxiao; Liu, Xiaogang; Xing, Xing; Li, Qiuye; Yang, Jianjun

    2015-01-01

    Carbon-modified TiO 2 (CT) nanoparticles were prepared via a two-step method of heat treatment without the resorcinol-formaldehyde (RF) polymer. As-prepared CT nanoparticles were characterized by means of X-ray diffraction (XRD), UV–Vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (UV–Vis/DRS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), N 2 adsorption–desorption isotherms, thermal analysis (TA), electron spin resonance (ESR), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The visible light photocatalytic activities were evaluated on the basis of the degradation of methyl orange (MO). The synergistic effect of single-electron-trapped oxygen vacancies (SETOVs) and the carbon species on the visible light photocatalytic activities of the CT nanoparticles were discussed. It was found that the crystalline phase, the morphology, and particle size of the CT nanoparticles depended on the second heat-treatment temperature instead of the first heat-treatment temperature. The visible light photocatalytic activities were attributed to the synergistic effect of SETOVs and the carbon species, and also depended on the specific surface area of the photocatalysts. - Highlights: • Carbon-modified TiO 2 particles have been prepared without RF polymer. • The visible light photocatalytic activities of the particles have been evaluated. • The band gap energy structure of the carbon-modified TiO 2 has been proposed. • Synergistic effect of SETOVs and carbon species has been discussed. • The activities also depend on the specific surface area of the catalysts

  14. [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.

  15. Non-market value of Estonian seminatural grasslands: a contingent valuation study. Eesti poolloodusliku rohumaa turuväline väärtus: tingliku hindamise uuring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helli Lepasaar

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Seminatural grasslands i.e. the floodplain meadows, seashore meadows, wooded meadows, dry meadows, wooded pastures are the very traditional part of Estonian landscapes, which play an important role in the appearance of the landscape in general and also serve as an important habitat for many plant and animal species. In order to preserve the seminatural grasslands continuous annual mowing and/or pasturing is needed. This activity is not economically profitable and needs subsidizing. The authors of the work raise a hypothesis that the Estonian seminatural grasslands could be viewed as a valuable non-market environmental good for which a significant public demand exists. In order to find out the non-market value of the seminatural grasslands a contingent valuation study was carried out among the Estonian working-age population (size of the sample 1061 individuals. The average individual willingness to pay was 11.3 euros. During the study, the authors constructed the total demand function and discovered that the total annual demand for seminatural grasslands was 17.9 million euros.

  16. Social and Ecological Factors Influencing Attitudes Toward the Application of High-Intensity Prescribed Burns to Restore Fire Adapted Grassland Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Toledo

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Fire suppression in grassland systems that are adapted to episodic fire has contributed to the recruitment of woody species in grasslands worldwide. Even though the ecology of restoring these fire prone systems back to grassland states is becoming clearer, a major hurdle to the reintroduction of historic fires at a landscape scale is its social acceptability. Despite the growing body of literature on the social aspects of fire, an understanding of the human dimensions of applying high-intensity prescribed burns in grassland and savanna systems is lacking. We used structural equation modeling to examine how landowners' attitudes toward high-intensity prescribed burns are affected by previous experience with burning, perceptions of brush encroachment, land condition, proximity constraints, risk orientation, fire management knowledge and skill, access to fire management equipment, and subjective norms. Our results suggest that experience, risk taking orientation, and especially social norms, i.e., perceived support from others, when implementing prescribed burns play an important role in determining the attitudes of landowners toward the use of high-intensity prescribed burns. Concern over lack of skill, knowledge, and insufficient resources have a moderately negative effect on these attitudes. Our results highlight the importance of targeted engagement strategies to address risk perceptions, subjective norms, and landowner's concerns. With these concerns allayed, it is possible to increase the adoption of high-intensity prescribed burns that lead to landscape-scale grassland restoration and conservation.

  17. Matrix matters: differences of grand skink metapopulation parameters in native tussock grasslands and exotic pasture grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Konstanze Gebauer

    Full Text Available Modelling metapopulation dynamics is a potentially very powerful tool for conservation biologists. In recent years, scientists have broadened the range of variables incorporated into metapopulation modelling from using almost exclusively habitat patch size and isolation, to the inclusion of attributes of the matrix and habitat patch quality. We investigated the influence of habitat patch and matrix characteristics on the metapopulation parameters of a highly endangered lizard species, the New Zealand endemic grand skink (Oligosoma grande taking into account incomplete detectability. The predictive ability of the developed zxmetapopulation model was assessed through cross-validation of the data and with an independent data-set. Grand skinks occur on scattered rock-outcrops surrounded by indigenous tussock (bunch and pasture grasslands therefore implying a metapopulation structure. We found that the type of matrix surrounding the habitat patch was equally as important as the size of habitat patch for estimating occupancy, colonisation and extinction probabilities. Additionally, the type of matrix was more important than the physical distance between habitat patches for colonisation probabilities. Detection probability differed between habitat patches in the two matrix types and between habitat patches with different attributes such as habitat patch composition and abundance of vegetation on the outcrop. The developed metapopulation models can now be used for management decisions on area protection, monitoring, and the selection of translocation sites for the grand skink. Our study showed that it is important to incorporate not only habitat patch size and distance between habitat patches, but also those matrix type and habitat patch attributes which are vital in the ecology of the target species.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Long-term grassland management effects on soil Phosphorus status on rewetted Histosols

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, Sebastian; Müller, Jürgen; Kayser, Manfred

    2017-04-01

    Since the Neolithic Period, the cultivation of wetlands has played a significant role for the settlement of Humans northwest Germany. A continuing drainage of the wetlands over the centuries and an intensified soil cultivation during the last decades has caused irreversible peat degradation and led to fundamental changes in the landscape. Nowadays, almost 70 % of the 4345 km2 peatland of Lower Saxony is altered by agriculture. For the revitalization of wetland ecosystems, permanent rewetting is an integral component to preserve the functions of organic soils and achieve resilient, speciesrich wetlands. However, permanent rewetting measures are not always feasible. In our study area at the Osterfeiner Moor, a fen located in the Dümmer lowlands near Osnabrück, intensive forage cropping areas were converted into extensive permanent grasslands accompanied by temporary rewetting during winter. This management practice combined with zero fertilization and a low mowing and grazing intensity aims at mitigating mineralisation of peat layers and creating a habitat for endangered meadow bird species. In this semi-natural ecosystem soil phosphorus (P) dynamics play a crucial role. However, longterm research results on P availability of degraded and rewetted fens are still lacking. Thus, we investigated the interaction of different grassland uses and P dynamics in the soil. We described P depletion of the topsoil over a time scale of 17 years after the implementation of restoration measures. Our study site comprises of 180 ha protected grassland divided into 52 management plots. According to the management system, we divided the plots into meadows, pastures and combinations of cutting and grazing. The soils in our study area can be characterised as drained organic soils, WRB: Rheic Sapric Histosols (Drainic), with drastic degradation properties through moorsh forming processes. Plant-available P (double lactate extraction method: PDL) was analysed from representative topsoil

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  3. Effects of wind energy development on nesting ecology of greater prairie-chickens in fragmented grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNew, Lance B; Hunt, Lyla M; Gregory, Andrew J; Wisely, Samantha M; Sandercock, Brett K

    2014-08-01

    Wind energy is targeted to meet 20% of U.S. energy needs by 2030, but new sites for development of renewable energy may overlap with important habitats of declining populations of grassland birds. Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido) are an obligate grassland bird species predicted to respond negatively to energy development. We used a modified before-after control-impact design to test for impacts of a wind energy development on the reproductive ecology of prairie-chickens in a 5-year study. We located 59 and 185 nests before and after development, respectively, of a 201 MW wind energy facility in Greater Prairie-Chicken nesting habitat and assessed nest site selection and nest survival relative to proximity to wind energy infrastructure and habitat conditions. Proximity to turbines did not negatively affect nest site selection (β = 0.03, 95% CI = -1.2-1.3) or nest survival (β = -0.3, 95% CI = -0.6-0.1). Instead, nest site selection and survival were strongly related to vegetative cover and other local conditions determined by management for cattle production. Integration of our project results with previous reports of behavioral avoidance of oil and gas facilities by other species of prairie grouse suggests new avenues for research to mitigate impacts of energy development. © 2014 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology.

  4. Woody encroachment in northern Great Plains grasslands: Perceptions, actions, and needs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Symstad, Amy J.; Leis, Sherry A.

    2017-01-01

    The United States Northern Great Plains (NGP) has a high potential for landscape-scale conservation, but this grassland landscape is threatened by encroachment of woody species. We surveyed NGP land managers to identify patterns in, and illustrate a broad range of, individual managers' perceptions on (1) the threat of woody encroachment to grasslands they manage, and (2) what management practices they use that may influence woody encroachment in this region. In the 34 surveys returned, which came from predominantly public lands in the study area, 79% of responses reported moderate or substantial woody encroachment. Eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana) and Rocky Mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum) were the most problematic encroachers. Thirty-one survey respondents said that prescribed fire was used on the lands they manage, and 64% of these responses reported that controlling woody encroachment was a fire management objective. However, only 18% of survey respondents using prescribed fire were achieving their desired fire return interval. Most respondents reported using mechanical and/or chemical methods to control woody species. In contrast to evidence from the central and southern Great Plains, few survey respondents viewed grazing as affecting encroachment. Although the NGP public land managers we surveyed clearly recognize woody encroachment as a problem and are taking steps to address it, many feel that the rate of their management is not keeping pace with the rate of encroachment. Developing strategies for effective woody plant control in a variety of NGP management contexts requires filling ecological science gaps and overcoming societal barriers to using prescribed fire.

  5. 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.

  6. Grassland songbirds in a dynamic management landscape: Behavioral responses and management strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perlut, N.G.; Strong, A.M.; Donovan, T.M.; Buckley, N.J.

    2006-01-01

    In recent decades, earlier and more frequent harvests of agricultural grasslands have been implicated as a major cause of population declines in grassland songbirds. From 2002 to 2005, in the Champlain Valley of Vermont and New York, USA, we studied the reproductive success of Savannah Sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis) and Bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) on four grassland treatments: (1) early-hayed fields cut before 11 June and again in early- to mid-July; (2) middle-hayed fields cut once between 21 June and 10 July; (3) late-hayed fields cut after 1 August; and (4) rotationally grazed pastures. Both the number of fledglings per female per year and nest success (logistic-exposure method) varied among treatments and between species. Although birds initiated nests earlier on early-hayed fields compared to others, haying caused 99% of active Savannah Sparrow and 100% of active Bobolink nests to fail. Both the initial cutting date and time between cuttings influenced renesting behavior. After haying, Savannah Sparrows generally remained on early-hayed fields and immediately renested (clutch completion 15.6 ?? 1.28 days post-haying; all values are reported as mean ?? SE), while Bobolinks abandoned the fields for at least two weeks (mean clutch completion 33 ?? 0.82 days post-haying). While female Savannah Sparrows fledged more offspring per year (1.28 ?? 0.16) than female Bobolinks (0.05 ?? 0.05), reproductive success on early-hayed fields was low. The number of fledglings per female per year was greater on middle-hayed fields (Savannah Sparrows, 3.47 ?? 0.42; Bobolinks, 2.22 ?? 0.26), and late-hayed fields (Savannah Sparrows, 3.29 ?? 0.30; Bobolinks, 2.79 ?? 0.18). Reproductive success was moderate on rotationally grazed pastures, where female Savannah Sparrows and female Bobolinks produced 2.32 ?? 0.25 and 1.79 ?? 0.33 fledgling per year, respectively. We simultaneously conducted cutting surveys throughout the Champlain Valley and found that 3-8% of hayfield

  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. Importance of doping, dopant distribution, and defects on electronic band structure alteration of metal oxide nanoparticles: Implications for reactive oxygen species

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saleh, Navid B.; Milliron, Delia J.; Aich, Nirupam; Katz, Lynn E.; Liljestrand, Howard M.; Kirisits, Mary Jo

    2016-01-01

    Metal oxide nanoparticles (MONPs) are considered to have the potency to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS), one of the key mechanisms underlying nanotoxicity. However, the nanotoxicology literature demonstrates a lack of consensus on the dominant toxicity mechanism(s) for a particular MONP. Moreover, recent literature has studied the correlation between band structure of pristine MONPs to their ability to introduce ROS and thus has downplayed the ROS-mediated toxicological relevance of a number of such materials. On the other hand, material science can control the band structure of these materials to engineer their electronic and optical properties and thereby is constantly modulating the pristine electronic structure. Since band structure is the fundamental material property that controls ROS-producing ability, band tuning via introduction of dopants and defects needs careful consideration in toxicity assessments. This commentary critically evaluates the existing material science and nanotoxicity literature and identifies the gap in our understanding of the role of important crystal structure features (i.e., dopants and defects) on MONPs' electronic structure alteration as well as their ROS-generation capability. Furthermore, this commentary provides suggestions on characterization techniques to evaluate dopants and defects on the crystal structure and identifies research needs for advanced theoretical predictions of their electronic band structures and ROS-generation abilities. Correlation of electronic band structure and ROS will not only aid in better mechanistic assessment of nanotoxicity but will be impactful in designing and developing ROS-based applications ranging from water disinfection to next-generation antibiotics and even cancer therapeutics. - Highlights: • Metal oxide nanoparticles (MONPs) produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) • Band structure of pristine MONPs is different than those with dopants/defects • Dopants/defects modulate

  9. Importance of doping, dopant distribution, and defects on electronic band structure alteration of metal oxide nanoparticles: Implications for reactive oxygen species

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Saleh, Navid B., E-mail: navid.saleh@utexas.edu [Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712 (United States); Milliron, Delia J. [McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712 (United States); Aich, Nirupam [Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, 14260 (United States); Katz, Lynn E.; Liljestrand, Howard M.; Kirisits, Mary Jo [Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712 (United States)

    2016-10-15

    Metal oxide nanoparticles (MONPs) are considered to have the potency to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS), one of the key mechanisms underlying nanotoxicity. However, the nanotoxicology literature demonstrates a lack of consensus on the dominant toxicity mechanism(s) for a particular MONP. Moreover, recent literature has studied the correlation between band structure of pristine MONPs to their ability to introduce ROS and thus has downplayed the ROS-mediated toxicological relevance of a number of such materials. On the other hand, material science can control the band structure of these materials to engineer their electronic and optical properties and thereby is constantly modulating the pristine electronic structure. Since band structure is the fundamental material property that controls ROS-producing ability, band tuning via introduction of dopants and defects needs careful consideration in toxicity assessments. This commentary critically evaluates the existing material science and nanotoxicity literature and identifies the gap in our understanding of the role of important crystal structure features (i.e., dopants and defects) on MONPs' electronic structure alteration as well as their ROS-generation capability. Furthermore, this commentary provides suggestions on characterization techniques to evaluate dopants and defects on the crystal structure and identifies research needs for advanced theoretical predictions of their electronic band structures and ROS-generation abilities. Correlation of electronic band structure and ROS will not only aid in better mechanistic assessment of nanotoxicity but will be impactful in designing and developing ROS-based applications ranging from water disinfection to next-generation antibiotics and even cancer therapeutics. - Highlights: • Metal oxide nanoparticles (MONPs) produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) • Band structure of pristine MONPs is different than those with dopants/defects • Dopants/defects modulate

  10. Deficit in community species richness as explained by area and isolation of sites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bruun, Hans Henrik

    2000-01-01

    The potential community species richness was predicted for 85 patches of seminatural grassland in an agricultural landscape in Denmark. The basis of the prediction was a very large dataset on the vegetation, soil pH and topography in Danish grasslands and related communities. Species were inserte......, community richness deficit, varied considerably among patches. Community richness deficit exhibited a negative relationship with patch area, and for small patches a positive relationship with patch isolation....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  12. Precipitation alters interactions in a grassland ecological community.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Soil-vegetation relationships in hyperseasonal cerrado, seasonal cerrado, and wet grassland in Emas National Park (central Brazil)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amorim, Priscilla Kobayashi; Batalha, Marco Antônio

    2007-11-01

    In South America, the largest savanna region is the Brazilian cerrado, in which there are few areas that become waterlogged in the rainy season. However, we found a small cerrado area in which the soil is poorly drained and becomes waterlogged at the end of the rainy season, allowing the appearance of a hyperseasonal cerrado. We investigated the soil-vegetation relationships in three vegetation forms: hyperseasonal cerrado, seasonal cerrado, and wet grassland. We collected vegetation and soil samples in these three vegetation forms and submitted obtained data to a canonical correspondence analysis. Our results showed a distinction among hyperseasonal cerrado, seasonal cerrado and wet grassland, which presented different floristic compositions and species abundances. The edaphic variables best related to the hyperseasonal and seasonal cerrados were sand, base saturation, pH, and magnesium. The wet grassland was related to higher concentrations of clay, organic matter, aluminium saturation, aluminium, phosphorus, and potassium. Although it is not possible to infer causal relationships based on our results, we hypothesize that the duration of waterlogging in the hyperseasonal cerrado may not be long enough to alter most of its soil characteristics, such as organic matter, phosphorus, and potassium, but may be long enough to alter some, such as pH and base saturation, as the soils under both cerrados were more similar to one another than to the soil under the wet grassland. Since waterlogging may alter soil characteristics and since these characteristics were enough to explain the plant community variation, we may conclude that water excess—permanent or seasonal—is one of the main factors to distinguish the three vegetation forms, which presented different floristic compositions and species abundances.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-05

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

  18. 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

  19. Using natural range of variation to set decision thresholds: a case study for great plains grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Symstad, Amy J.; Jonas, Jayne L.; Edited by Guntenspergen, Glenn R.

    2014-01-01

    Natural range of variation (NRV) may be used to establish decision thresholds or action assessment points when ecological thresholds are either unknown or do not exist for attributes of interest in a managed ecosystem. The process for estimating NRV involves identifying spatial and temporal scales that adequately capture the heterogeneity of the ecosystem; compiling data for the attributes of interest via study of historic records, analysis and interpretation of proxy records, modeling, space-for-time substitutions, or analysis of long-term monitoring data; and quantifying the NRV from those data. At least 19 National Park Service (NPS) units in North America’s Great Plains are monitoring plant species richness and evenness as indicators of vegetation integrity in native grasslands, but little information on natural, temporal variability of these indicators is available. In this case study, we use six long-term vegetation monitoring datasets to quantify the temporal variability of these attributes in reference conditions for a variety of Great Plains grassland types, and then illustrate the implications of using different NRVs based on these quantities for setting management decision thresholds. Temporal variability of richness (as measured by the coefficient of variation, CV) is fairly consistent across the wide variety of conditions occurring in Colorado shortgrass prairie to Minnesota tallgrass sand savanna (CV 0.20–0.45) and generally less than that of production at the same sites. Temporal variability of evenness spans a greater range of CV than richness, and it is greater than that of production in some sites but less in other sites. This natural temporal variability may mask undesirable changes in Great Plains grasslands vegetation. Consequently, we suggest that managers consider using a relatively narrow NRV (interquartile range of all richness or evenness values observed in reference conditions) for designating a surveillance threshold, at which

  20. Electron impact ionization technique on the study of terpenes and related species in French Guiana tropical forest

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lopes, Paula Regina Corain; Bustillos, Oscar W.V.; Guenther, Alex B.; Turnipseed, Andrew A.; Emmons, Louisa; Bonal, Damien; Burban, Benoit; Siebicke, Lukas; Serca, Dominique

    2013-01-01

    The electron impact ionization is, originally, a mass spectrometry ionization method and still the most widely used of all ionization methods.In this technique, a beam of electrons passes through the gas phase sample. An electron that collides with a neutral analyte molecule can knock off another electron, resulting in a positively charged ion. The fragmentation process dependent sup on many qualities including primary structure, electron energy and ion source temperature. This paper presents a study on the seasonal variation of isoprene and some other significant biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOC) such as α-pinene, β-pinene, limonene, e-βocimene and longifolene, measured at the Guyaflux Tower located in a wet tropical forest in French Guiana using the Relaxed Eddy Accumulation technique and analyzed by a mass spectrometer coupled to a gas chromatograph, a thermo desorption unit and a flame ionization detector (TD-GC-MS-FID). The results showed that isoprene was by far the biogenic volatile organic compound with the highest concentration and flux, followed by alpha-pinene. Previous limited studies in Amazonia and the Congo suggested that a higher concentration and flux rate of isoprene and alpha-pinene should be expected during the dry season with lower emissions during the wet season, which is in relative agreement with what was observed at this tropical forest site in French Guiana. The exceptions were observed in a long wet period in which the concentration of isoprene and alpha-pinene increased more than it was expected to, for this time of the year. (author)

  1. Electron impact ionization technique on the study of terpenes and related species in French Guiana tropical forest

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lopes, Paula Regina Corain; Bustillos, Oscar W.V., E-mail: paulinhacorain@usp.br, E-mail: ovega@ipen.br [Instituto de Pesquisa Energeticas e Nucleares (IPEN/CNEN-SP), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil); Guenther, Alex B.; Turnipseed, Andrew A.; Emmons, Louisa, E-mail: guenther@ucar.edu [Biosphere Atmosphere Interaction Group, Atmosphere Chemistry Division of National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, CO (United States); Bonal, Damien; Burban, Benoit; Siebicke, Lukas, E-mail: lukas.siebicke@ecofog.gf [Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA-UMR EEF), Nancy (France); Serca, Dominique, E-mail: dominique.serca@aero.obs-mip.fr [Universite Paul Sabatier (UPS), Toulouse (France). Laboratoire d' Aerologie

    2013-07-01

    The electron impact ionization is, originally, a mass spectrometry ionization method and still the most widely used of all ionization methods.In this technique, a beam of electrons passes through the gas phase sample. An electron that collides with a neutral analyte molecule can knock off another electron, resulting in a positively charged ion. The fragmentation process dependent sup on many qualities including primary structure, electron energy and ion source temperature. This paper presents a study on the seasonal variation of isoprene and some other significant biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOC) such as α-pinene, β-pinene, limonene, e-βocimene and longifolene, measured at the Guyaflux Tower located in a wet tropical forest in French Guiana using the Relaxed Eddy Accumulation technique and analyzed by a mass spectrometer coupled to a gas chromatograph, a thermo desorption unit and a flame ionization detector (TD-GC-MS-FID). The results showed that isoprene was by far the biogenic volatile organic compound with the highest concentration and flux, followed by alpha-pinene. Previous limited studies in Amazonia and the Congo suggested that a higher concentration and flux rate of isoprene and alpha-pinene should be expected during the dry season with lower emissions during the wet season, which is in relative agreement with what was observed at this tropical forest site in French Guiana. The exceptions were observed in a long wet period in which the concentration of isoprene and alpha-pinene increased more than it was expected to, for this time of the year. (author)

  2. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Troy I. Wellicome

    2014-06-01

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

  4. Egg numbers and fecundity traits in nine species of Mantella poison ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The body size and number of eggs in dissected females were analysed in nine species of the Malagasy frog genus Mantella basing upon preserved specimens. These species were distinguished in terms of habitat and grouped as 'grassland species' (included M. betsileo, M. expectata, M. viridis), and 'rainforest species' ...

  5. Commonness and Rarity: Theory and Application of a New Model to Mediterranean Montane Grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José M. Rey Benayas

    1999-06-01

    Full Text Available We examined patterns of commonness and rarity among plant species in montane wet grasslands of Iberia. This examination is set within two contexts. First, we expanded on an earlier scheme for classifying species as common or rare by adding a fourth criterion, the ability of that species to occupy a larger or smaller fraction of its potential suitable habitats, i.e., habitat occupancy. Second, we explicated two theories, the superior organism theory and the generalist/specialist trade-off theory. The data consisted of 232 species distributed among 92 plots. The species were measured for mean local abundance, size of environmental volume occupied, percentage of volume occupied, range within Iberia, and range in Europe and the Mediterranean basin. In general, all measures were positively correlated, in agreement with the superior organism theory. However, specialist species were also found. Thus, patterns of commonness and rarity may be due to a combination of mechanisms. Analyses such as ours can also be used as a first step in identifying habitats and species that may be endangered.

  6. High excitation of the species in nitrogen–aluminum plasma generated by electron cyclotron resonance microwave discharge of N2 gas and pulsed laser ablation of Al target

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liang, Peipei; Li, Yanli; Cai, Hua; You, Qinghu; Yang, Xu; Huang, Feiling; Sun, Jian; Xu, Ning; Wu, Jiada

    2014-01-01

    A reactive nitrogen–aluminum plasma generated by electron cyclotron resonance (ECR) microwave discharge of N 2 gas and pulsed laser ablation of an Al target is characterized spectroscopically by time-integrated and time-resolved optical emission spectroscopy (OES). The vibrational and rotational temperatures of N 2 species are determined by spectral simulation. The generated plasma strongly emits radiation from a variety of excited species including ambient nitrogen and ablated aluminum and exhibits unique features in optical emission and temperature evolution compared with the plasmas generated by a pure ECR discharge or by the expansion of the ablation plume. The working N 2 gas is first excited by ECR discharge and the excitation of nitrogen is further enhanced due to the fast expansion of the aluminum plume induced by target ablation, while the excitation of the ablated aluminum is prolonged during the plume expansion in the ECR nitrogen plasma, resulting in the formation of strongly reactive nitrogen–aluminum plasma which contains highly excited species with high vibrational and rotational temperatures. The enhanced intensities and the prolonged duration of the optical emissions of the combined plasma would provide an improved analytical capability for spectrochemical analysis. - Highlights: • ECR discharge and pulsed laser ablation generate highly excited ECR–PLA plasma. • The expansion of PLA plasma results in excitation enhancement of ECR plasma species. • The ECR plasma leads to excitation prolongation of PLA plasma species. • The ECR–PLA plasma emits strong emissions from a variety of excited species. • The ECR–PLA plasma maintains high vibrational–rotational temperatures for a long time

  7. Population ecology of rodents of maize fields and grassland in central Ethiopia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bekel'e, Afework; Leirs, Herwig

    1997-01-01

    We report on the presence of rodents in grassland and maize fields in central Ethiopia, during the course of a 21-month study by means of removal and capture-recapture trapping. In both habitats, the small mammal fauna consisted of the same species but in different relative proportions: Arvicanthis...... dembeensis, Mastomys erythroleucus, Tatera robusta, Rattus rattus, Mus mahomet and Crocidura olivieri. A. dembeensis and M. erythroleucus were the dominant species. Densities were generally low throughout the study period, but at the end of the breeding season in the second year of the study, the numbers...... dynamics in the study area are linked to rainfall patterns and this information can be used to develop forecasting models....

  8. Analytical solutions of the planar cyclic voltammetry process for two soluble species with equal diffusivities and fast electron transfer using the method of eigenfunction expansions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Samin, Adib; Lahti, Erik; Zhang, Jinsuo, E-mail: zhang.3558@osu.edu [Nuclear Engineering Program, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The Ohio State University, 201 W 19" t" h Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210 (United States)

    2015-08-15

    Cyclic voltammetry is a powerful tool that is used for characterizing electrochemical processes. Models of cyclic voltammetry take into account the mass transport of species and the kinetics at the electrode surface. Analytical solutions of these models are not well-known due to the complexity of the boundary conditions. In this study we present closed form analytical solutions of the planar voltammetry model for two soluble species with fast electron transfer and equal diffusivities using the eigenfunction expansion method. Our solution methodology does not incorporate Laplace transforms and yields good agreement with the numerical solution. This solution method can be extended to cases that are more general and may be useful for benchmarking purposes.

  9. Analytical solutions of the planar cyclic voltammetry process for two soluble species with equal diffusivities and fast electron transfer using the method of eigenfunction expansions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    th Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210 (United States))" data-affiliation=" (Nuclear Engineering Program, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The Ohio State University, 201 W 19th Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210 (United States))" >Samin, Adib; th Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210 (United States))" data-affiliation=" (Nuclear Engineering Program, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The Ohio State University, 201 W 19th Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210 (United States))" >Lahti, Erik; th Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210 (United States))" data-affiliation=" (Nuclear Engineering Program, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The Ohio State University, 201 W 19th Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210 (United States))" >Zhang, Jinsuo

    2015-01-01

    Cyclic voltammetry is a powerful tool that is used for characterizing electrochemical processes. Models of cyclic voltammetry take into account the mass transport of species and the kinetics at the electrode surface. Analytical solutions of these models are not well-known due to the complexity of the boundary conditions. In this study we present closed form analytical solutions of the planar voltammetry model for two soluble species with fast electron transfer and equal diffusivities using the eigenfunction expansion method. Our solution methodology does not incorporate Laplace transforms and yields good agreement with the numerical solution. This solution method can be extended to cases that are more general and may be useful for benchmarking purposes

  10. Functional and comparative study of lingual papillae in four species of bear (Ursidae) by scanning electron microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pastor, J F; Barbosa, M; de Paz, F J; García, M; Ferrero, E

    2011-10-01

    The eight current species of bear (Ursidae) are widely distributed throughout Europe, Asia, and America. They are mainly encountered in the northern hemisphere, except for the spectacled bear and the sun bear, which are also found in the south of the equator. Adaptations of the masticatory apparatus (teeth, tongue, and musculature) to diet are one of the factors that imply the greatest structural changes in the cranium. This diet may be carnivorous, herbivorous, melliferous, or insectivorous, with one type of food predominating according to the time of year. The way in which food is eaten determines the morphology of the lingual surface; generally speaking, all bears put their mouth to the food, which, initially, they lick or they let the food stick to their tongue, as occurs when insects are eaten. As in all mammals, a distinction can be made between mechanical and gustatory papillae and the development and distribution of which depend on the species and their eating habits. In this study of the complete tongues of four species of adult bears, we describe the morphology of the lingual surfaces, the different types of papillae, their characteristics, and topographic distribution. It was seen that there were five main types of lingual papillae: filiform, conical, fungiform, foliate, and vallate. Morphology of the microgrooves and pores was similar to that observed in other mammals. In general, there were no great differences among the four species of bears studied, perhaps due to the similarity in the kind of food they consume in captivity. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  11. Introduction of threatened species in a fragmented and deteriorated landscape

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vergeer, P.

    2005-01-01

    In The Netherlands, heathlands and species-rich grassland are strongly reduced in both area and habitat quality mainly due to fragmentation, eutrophication and acidification. As a result, many plant and animal species have become (locally) extinct, or are threatened by extinction as they are forced

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. Measurement of the radiative cooling rates for high-ionization species of krypton using an electron beam ion trap

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Radtke, R.; Biedermann, C.; Fuchs, T.; Fussmann, G.; Beiersdorfer, P.

    2000-01-01

    We describe a measurement of the radiative cooling rate for krypton made at the Berlin electron beam ion trap (EBIT). The EBIT was tuned to a charge-state distribution approaching the ionization balance of a plasma at a temperature of about 5 keV. To determine the cooling rate, we made use of EBIT's capabilities to sample a wide range of electron-beam energies and distinguish between different radiation channels. We have measured the x-ray emission from bremsstrahlung, radiative recombination, dielectronic recombination, and line radiation following electron-impact excitation. The dominant contribution to the cooling rate is made by the n=3-2, n=4-2,... x rays of the L-shell spectra of krypton, which produce more than 75% of the total radiation loss. A difference with theoretical calculations is noted for the measured total cooling rate. The predicted values are lower by a factor of 1.5-2, depending on the theoretical model. For our measurement of the cooling rate, we estimate an uncertainty interval of 22-30 %. (c) 2000 The American Physical Society

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra M. Rodriguez-Artigas

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firn, Jennifer

    2017-04-01

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

  20. Semi-arid grassland bird responses to patch-burn grazing and drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skagen, Susan K.; Augustine, David J.; Derner, Justin D.

    2018-01-01

    As grassland birds of central North America experience steep population declines with changes in land use, management of remaining tracts becomes increasingly important for population viability. The integrated use of fire and grazing may enhance vegetation heterogeneity and diversity in breeding birds, but the subsequent effects on reproduction are unknown. We examined the influence of patch-burn grazing management in shortgrass steppe in eastern Colorado on habitat use and reproductive success of 3 grassland bird species, horned lark (Eremophila alpestris), lark bunting (Calamospiza melanocorys), and McCown’s longspur (Rhynchophanes mccownii), at several spatial scales during 2011 and 2012. Although no simple direct relationship to patch-burn grazing treatment existed, habitat selection depended on precipitation- and management-induced vegetation conditions and spatial scale. All species selected taller-than-expected vegetation at the nest site, whereas at the territory scale, horned larks and McCown’s longspurs selected areas with low vegetation height and sparse cover of tall plants (taller than the dominant shortgrasses). Buntings nested primarily in unburned grassland under average rainfall. Larks and longspurs shifted activity from patch burns during average precipitation (2011) to unburned pastures during drought (2012). Daily survival rate (DSR) of nests varied with time in season, species, weather, and vegetation structure. Daily survival rate of McCown’s longspur nests did not vary with foliar cover of relatively tall vegetation at the nest under average precipitation but declined with increasing cover during drought. At the 200-m scale, increasing cover of shortgrasses, rather than taller plant species, improved DSR of larks and longspurs. These birds experience tradeoffs in the selection of habitat at different spatial scales: tall structure at nests may reduce visual detection by predators and provide protection from sun, wind, and rain, yet

  1. Distribution of Shrubland and Grassland Soil Erodibility on the Loess Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao Zhang

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Soil erosion is one of the most severe problems facing environments and has increased throughout the 20th century. Soil erodibility (K-factor is one of the important indicators of land degradation, and many models have been used to estimate K values. Although soil erodibility has been estimated, the comparison of different models and their usage at a regional scale and, in particular, for different land use types, need more research. Four of the most widely distributed land use types were selected to analyze, including introduced and natural grassland, as well as introduced and natural shrubland. Soil particle size, soil organic matter and other relevant soil properties were measured to estimate soil erodibility in the Loess Plateau. The results show that: (1 the erosion productivity impact calculator (EPIC model and SHIRAZI model are both suitable for the Loess Plateau, while the SHIRAZI model has the advantage of fewer parameters; (2 introduced grassland has better ability to protect both the 0–5 cm soils and 5–20 cm soils, while the differences between introduced and natural shrubland are not obvious at a catchment scale; (3 the K values of introduced grassland, natural grassland, introduced shrubland and natural shrubland in the 0–5 cm layer vary from 0.008 to 0.037, 0.031 to 0.046, 0.012 to 0.041 and 0.008 to 0.045 (t·hm2·h/(MJ·mm·hm2, while the values vary from 0.009 to 0.039, 0.032 to 0.046, 0.012 to 0.042 and 0.008 to 0.048 (t·hm2·h/(MJ·mm·hm2 in the 5–20 cm layer. The areas with a mean multiyear precipitation of 370–440 mm are the most important places for vegetation restoration construction management at a regional scale. A comprehensive balance between water conservation and soil conservation is needed and important when selecting the species used to vegetation restoration. This study provides suggestions for ecological restoration and provides a case study for the estimate of soil erodibility in arid and semiarid

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braschler, Brigitte; Baur, Bruno

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brigitte Braschler

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

  4. Ultrastructure analysis of the immature stages of Ravinia belforti (Diptera: Sarcophagidae), a species of medical-veterinary and forensic importance, by scanning electron microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da-Silva-Xavier, Alexandre; de Carvalho Queiroz, Margareth Maria

    2016-07-01

    The postmortem interval is related to the age of immature species of flies found on corpses and can be estimated using data available in the literature on the biology of the species. The flesh fly Ravinia belforti is a carrier of enteric pathogens that can affect human and animal health as well as being of forensic importance. As the morphology of many immature Sarcophagidae is unknown, these immature forms must be collected and characterized after the emergence of the adult male. Here we describe and analyze the morphological characteristics of the larvae stages L1, L2, L3 and the puparium of R. belforti by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Ten specimens of each stage were analyzed. Larvae of R. belforti follow the typical muscoid vermiform pattern with 12 segments. The anterior region is pointed, while the posterior region is thicker. The spines of the cephalic collar are flattened and with double, triple or quadruple points, different from the spines along the body that only have a single point. In L2, the anterior spiracle is present with a varying number of papillae (16-22), differing from other species. The posterior spiracles are located within the peritreme. The spiracular cavity is internalized in the posterior region, following the pattern that differs Sarcophagidae from other families. L3 features more visible and developed spines around the cephalic collar, getting thicker and denser near to the first thoracic segment. Puparium is similar to other species of Sarcophagidae. This paper presents important data on this family which has both health and forensic importance. Furthermore, R. belforti shows significant differences from other species of Sarcophagidae. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Silvertown, J

    1980-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. RUSINA

    2003-06-01

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

  8. Temporal profiles of vegetation indices for characterizing grazing intensity on natural grasslands in Pampa biome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda Heemann Junges

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The Pampa biome is an important ecosystem in Brazil that is highly relevant to livestock production. The objective of this study was to analyze the potential use of vegetation indices to discriminate grazing intensities on natural grasslands in the Pampa biome. Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI and Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI images from Jan to Dec, 2000 to 2013 series, were analyzed for natural grassland experimental units managed under high (forage allowance of 5 ± 2 % live weight – LW, moderate (13 ± 5 % LW and low grazing intensity (19 ± 7 % LW. Regardless of intensity, the temporal profiles showed lower NDVI and EVI during winter, increased values in spring because of summer species regrowth, slightly decreased values in summer, especially in years when there is a water deficit, and increased values in the fall associated with the beginning of winter forage development. The average temporal profiles of moderate grazing intensity exhibited greater vegetation index values compared with low and high grazing intensities. The temporal profiles of less vegetation index were associated with lower green biomass accumulation caused by the negative impact of stocking rates on the leaf area index under high grazing intensity and a floristic composition with a predominance of tussocks under low grazing intensity. Vegetation indices can be used for distinguishing moderate grazing intensity from low and high intensities. The average EVI values can discriminate moderate grazing intensity during any season, and the NDVI values can discriminate moderate grazing intensity during spring and winter.

  9. Grassland Fire and Cattle Grazing Regulate Reptile and Amphibian Assembly Among Patches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Danelle M.

    2014-12-01

    Fire and grazing are common management schemes of grasslands globally and are potential drivers of reptilian and amphibian (herpetofauna) metacommunity dynamics. Few studies have assessed the impacts of fire and cattle grazing on herpetofauna assemblages in grasslands. A patch-burn grazing study at Osage Prairie, MO, USA in 2011-2012 created landscape patches with treatments of grazing, fire, and such legacies. Response variables were measured before and after the application of treatments, and I used robust-design occupancy modeling to estimate patch occupancy and detection rate within patches, and recolonization and extinction (i.e., dispersal) across patches. I conducted redundancy analysis and a permuted multivariate analysis of variance to determine if patch type and the associated environmental factors explained herpetofauna assemblage. Estimates for reptiles indicate that occupancy was seasonally constant in Control patches ( ψ ~ 0.5), but declined to ψ ~ 0.15 in patches following the applications of fire and grazing. Local extinctions for reptiles were higher in patches with fire or light grazing ( ɛ ~ 0.7) compared to the controls. For the riparian herpetofaunal community, patch type and grass height were important predictors of abundance; further, the turtles, lizards, snakes, and adult amphibians used different patch types. The aquatic amphibian community was predicted by watershed and in-stream characteristics, irrespective of fire or grazing. The varying responses from taxonomic groups demonstrate habitat partitioning across multiple patch types undergoing fire, cattle grazing, and legacy effects. Prairies will need an array of patch types to accommodate multiple herpetofauna species.

  10. Structure and Processes in Temperate Grassland Vegetation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ejrnæs, R.

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

  11. High field electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy under ultrahigh vacuum conditions—A multipurpose machine to study paramagnetic species on well defined single crystal surfaces

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rocker, J.; Cornu, D.; Kieseritzky, E.; Hänsel-Ziegler, W.; Freund, H.-J. [Fritz-Haber-Institut der MPG, Faradayweg 4-6, 14195 Berlin (Germany); Seiler, A. [Fritz-Haber-Institut der MPG, Faradayweg 4-6, 14195 Berlin (Germany); Laboratorium für Applikationen der Synchrotronstrahlung, KIT Campus Süd, Kaiserstr. 12, 76131 Karlsruhe (Germany); Bondarchuk, O. [Fritz-Haber-Institut der MPG, Faradayweg 4-6, 14195 Berlin (Germany); CIC energiGUNE, Parque Tecnologico, C/Albert Einstein 48, CP 01510 Minano (Alava) (Spain); Risse, T., E-mail: risse@chemie.fu-berlin.de [Fritz-Haber-Institut der MPG, Faradayweg 4-6, 14195 Berlin (Germany); Institut für Chemie und Biochemie, Freie Universität Berlin, Takustr. 3, 14195 Berlin (Germany)

    2014-08-01

    A new ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectrometer operating at 94 GHz to investigate paramagnetic centers on single crystal surfaces is described. It is particularly designed to study paramagnetic centers on well-defined model catalysts using epitaxial thin oxide films grown on metal single crystals. The EPR setup is based on a commercial Bruker E600 spectrometer, which is adapted to ultrahigh vacuum conditions using a home made Fabry Perot resonator. The key idea of the resonator is to use the planar metal single crystal required to grow the single crystalline oxide films as one of the mirrors of the resonator. EPR spectroscopy is solely sensitive to paramagnetic species, which are typically minority species in such a system. Hence, additional experimental characterization tools are required to allow for a comprehensive investigation of the surface. The apparatus includes a preparation chamber hosting equipment, which is required to prepare supported model catalysts. In addition, surface characterization tools such as low energy electron diffraction (LEED)/Auger spectroscopy, temperature programmed desorption (TPD), and infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy (IRAS) are available to characterize the surfaces. A second chamber used to perform EPR spectroscopy at 94 GHz has a room temperature scanning tunneling microscope attached to it, which allows for real space structural characterization. The heart of the UHV adaptation of the EPR experiment is the sealing of the Fabry-Perot resonator against atmosphere. To this end it is possible to use a thin sapphire window glued to the backside of the coupling orifice of the Fabry Perot resonator. With the help of a variety of stabilization measures reducing vibrations as well as thermal drift it is possible to accumulate data for a time span, which is for low temperature measurements only limited by the amount of liquid helium. Test measurements show that the system can detect paramagnetic

  12. Assessing the Roles of Fire Frequency and Precipitation in Determining Woody Plant Expansion in Central U.S. Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunsell, N. A.; Van Vleck, E. S.; Nosshi, M.; Ratajczak, Z.; Nippert, J. B.

    2017-10-01

    Woody plant expansion into grasslands and savannas is occurring and accelerating worldwide and often impacts ecosystem processes. Understanding and predicting the environmental and ecological impacts of encroachment has led to a variety of methodologies for assessing its onset, transition, and stability, generally relying on dynamical systems approaches. Here we continue this general line of investigation to facilitate the understanding of the roles of precipitation frequency and intensity and fire frequency on the conversion of grasslands to woody-dominated systems focusing on the central United States. A low-dimensional model with stochastic precipitation and fire disturbance is introduced to examine the complex interactions between precipitation and fire as mechanisms that may suppress or facilitate increases in woody cover. By using Lyapunov exponents, we are able to ascertain the relative control exerted on woody encroachment through these mechanisms. Our results indicate that precipitation frequency is a more important control on woody encroachment than the intensity of individual precipitation events. Fire, however, exerts a much more dominant impact on the limitation of encroachment over the range of precipitation variability considered here. These results indicate that fire management may be an effective strategy to slow the onset of woody species into grasslands. While climate change might predict a reduced potential for woody encroachment in the near future, these results indicate a reduction in woody fraction may be unlikely when considering anthropogenic fire suppression.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jenny Yoo

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-04

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

  15. The Vegetation of North-Western Mongolia: Floristic Checklist and Conservation Status of Mongolian Grassland Flora

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katharina Lapin

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Mongolia´s grassland (steppe is reported to be vulnerable to climate change, degradation, and densifi cation. The traditional Mongolian pastoral herding system is currently transforming due to changes in market relations and economic developments, and this transformation has an impact on species composition and biodiversity. For this study, we observed the current situation of the fl ora in the north-western Mongolian territories to provide data on plant species occurrence in this remote area. A vegetation assessment was conducted for 15 locations in June and July 2016. Indicator plant species were determined to assess the level of grazing and degradation, as well as the respective steppe sub-type. The conservation status of all recorded plant species was assessed in accordance with the IUCN Red List. In total, 106 vascular plant species belonging to 73 genera and 26 families were recorded. Four endemic plant species were observed. All locations were classifi ed into three steppe sub-types: Desert-steppe, dry-steppe and mountain-steppe. A large number of degradation indicator plant species were observed in almost all locations. No endangered species in the Mongolian IUCN Red List were observed. The observation indicates that the vegetation in the north-western area of Mongolia is partly showing tendencies towards overgrazing and degradation. The conservation status of the most recorded species is currently unknown, and more studies on Mongolian vegetation will need to be conducted to assess these species’ status. We emphasize the urgent need for further studies on the vegetation and plant species composition, and indicators in north-western Mongolia, especially in context of the ongoing rapid economic, social, and ecological changes in the region

  16. Land management influences trade-offs and the total supply of ecosystem services in alpine grassland in Tibet, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Junxi; Zhao, Yan; Yu, Chengqun; Luo, Liming; Pan, Ying

    2017-05-15

    Developing sustainable use patterns for alpine grassland in Tibet is the primary challenge related to conserving these vulnerable ecosystems of the 'world's third pole' and guaranteeing the well-being of local inhabitants. This challenge requires researchers to think beyond the methods of most current studies that are limited to a single aspect of conservation or productivity, and focus on balancing various needs. An analysis of trade-offs involving ecosystem services provides a framework that can be used to quantify the type of balancing needed. In this study, we measured variations in four types of ecosystem services under five types of grassland management including grazing exclusion, sowing, combined plowing and grazing exclusion, combined plowing and sowing, and natural grassland, from 2013 to 2015. In addition, we accessed the existence and changing patterns of ecosystem service trade-offs using Spearman coefficients and a trade-off index. The results revealed the existence of trade-offs among provisioning and regulating services. Plowing and sowing could convert the trade-off relationships into synergies immediately. Grazing exclusion reduced the level of trade-offs gradually over time. Thus, the combined plowing and sowing treatment promoted the total supply of multiple ecosystem services when compared with natural grassland. We argue that the variations in dry matter allocation to above- and belowground serve as one cause of the variation in trade-off relationships. Another cause for variation in trade-offs is the varied species competition between selection effects and niche complementarity. Our study provides empirical evidence that the effects of trade-offs among ecosystem services could be reduced and even converted into synergies by optimizing management techniques. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  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. 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