WorldWideScience

Sample records for high alpine species

  1. High Resolution Habitat Suitability Modelling For Restricted-Range Hawaiian Alpine Arthropod Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephenson, N. M.

    2016-12-01

    Mapping potentially suitable habitat is critical for effective species conservation and management but can be challenging in areas exhibiting complex heterogeneity. An approach that combines non-intrusive spatial data collection techniques and field data can lead to a better understanding of landscapes and species distributions. Nysius wekiuicola, commonly known as the wēkiu bug, is the most studied arthropod species endemic to the Maunakea summit in Hawai`i, yet details about its geographic distribution and habitat use remain poorly understood. To predict the geographic distribution of N. wekiuicola, MaxEnt habitat suitability models were generated from a diverse set of input variables, including fifteen years of species occurrence data, high resolution digital elevation models, surface mineralogy maps derived from hyperspectral remote sensing, and climate data. Model results indicate that elevation (78.2 percent), and the presence of nanocrystalline hematite surface minerals (13.7 percent) had the highest influence, with lesser contributions from aspect, slope, and other surface mineral classes. Climatic variables were not included in the final analysis due to auto-correlation and coarse spatial resolution. Biotic factors relating to predation and competition also likely dictate wēkiu bug capture patterns and influence our results. The wēkiu bug range and habitat suitability models generated as a result of this study will be directly incorporated into management and restoration goals for the summit region and can also be adapted for other arthropod species present, leading to a more holistic understanding of metacommunity dynamics. Key words: Microhabitat, Structure from Motion, Lidar, MaxEnt, Habitat Suitability

  2. Effects of species-diverse high-alpine forage on in vitro ruminal fermentation when used as donor cow's feed or directly incubated.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khiaosa-Ard, R; Soliva, C R; Kreuzer, M; Leiber, F

    2012-11-01

    Alpine forages are assumed to have specific effects on ruminal digestion when fed to cattle. These effects were investigated in an experiment from two perspectives, either by using such forages as a substrate for incubation or as feed for a rumen fluid donor cow. In total, six 24-h in vitro batch culture runs were performed. Rumen fluid was collected from a non-lactating donor cow after having grazed pastures at ∼2000 m above sea level for 2, 6 and 10 weeks. These 'alpine runs' were compared with three lowland samplings from before and 2 and 6 weeks after the alpine grazing where a silage-concentrate mix was fed. In each run, nine replicates of four forages each were incubated. These forages differed in type and origin (alpine hay, lowland ryegrass hay, grass-maize silage mix, pure hemicellulose) as well as in the content of nutrients. Concentrations of phenolic compounds in the incubated forages were (g/kg dry matter (DM)): 20 (tannin proportion: 0.47), 8 (0.27), 15 (0.52) and 0 (0), respectively. Crude protein was highest in the silage mix and lowest with hemicellulose, whereas the opposite was the case for fiber. The total phenol contents (g/kg DM) for the high altitude and the lowland diet of the donor cow were 27 (tannins: 0.50 of phenols) and 12 (0.27), respectively. Independent of the origin of the rumen fluid, the incubation with alpine hay decreased (P fermentation gas amount, volatile fatty acid (VFA) production as well as ammonia and methane concentrations in fermentation gas (the latter two being not lower when compared with hemicellulose). Alpine grazing of the cow in turn increased (P feeding. Further, alpine grazing decreased protozoal count (P type incubated and feeding period of the donor cow in protozoal counts, acetate:propionate ratio, fermentation gas production and its content of methane, in vitro organic matter digestibility and metabolizable energy. Although increased phenolic compounds were the most consistent common property of the

  3. Alien Roadside Species More Easily Invade Alpine than Lowland Plant Communities in a Subarctic Mountain Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lembrechts, Jonas J.; Milbau, Ann; Nijs, Ivan

    2014-01-01

    Effects of roads on plant communities are not well known in cold-climate mountain ecosystems, where road building and development are expected to increase in future decades. Knowledge of the sensitivity of mountain plant communities to disturbance by roads is however important for future conservation purposes. We investigate the effects of roads on species richness and composition, including the plant strategies that are most affected, along three elevational gradients in a subarctic mountain ecosystem. We also examine whether mountain roads promote the introduction and invasion of alien plant species from the lowlands to the alpine zone. Observations of plant community composition were made together with abiotic, biotic and anthropogenic factors in 60 T-shaped transects. Alpine plant communities reacted differently to road disturbances than their lowland counterparts. On high elevations, the roadside species composition was more similar to that of the local natural communities. Less competitive and ruderal species were present at high compared with lower elevation roadsides. While the effects of roads thus seem to be mitigated in the alpine environment for plant species in general, mountain plant communities are more invasible than lowland communities. More precisely, relatively more alien species present in the roadside were found to invade into the surrounding natural community at high compared to low elevations. We conclude that effects of roads and introduction of alien species in lowlands cannot simply be extrapolated to the alpine and subarctic environment. PMID:24586947

  4. Modelling plant species distribution in alpine grasslands using airborne imaging spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pottier, Julien; Malenovský, Zbyněk; Psomas, Achilleas; Homolová, Lucie; Schaepman, Michael E; Choler, Philippe; Thuiller, Wilfried; Guisan, Antoine; Zimmermann, Niklaus E

    2014-07-01

    Remote sensing using airborne imaging spectroscopy (AIS) is known to retrieve fundamental optical properties of ecosystems. However, the value of these properties for predicting plant species distribution remains unclear. Here, we assess whether such data can add value to topographic variables for predicting plant distributions in French and Swiss alpine grasslands. We fitted statistical models with high spectral and spatial resolution reflectance data and tested four optical indices sensitive to leaf chlorophyll content, leaf water content and leaf area index. We found moderate added-value of AIS data for predicting alpine plant species distribution. Contrary to expectations, differences between species distribution models (SDMs) were not linked to their local abundance or phylogenetic/functional similarity. Moreover, spectral signatures of species were found to be partly site-specific. We discuss current limits of AIS-based SDMs, highlighting issues of scale and informational content of AIS data. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  5. 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.

  6. Photosynthesis and Photosynthetic Electron Flow in the Alpine Evergreen Species Quercus guyavifolia in Winter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Wei; Hu, Hong; Zhang, Shi-Bao

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27812359

  7. Early establishment of trees at the alpine treeline: idiosyncratic species responses to temperature-moisture interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loranger, Hannah; Zotz, Gerhard; Bader, Maaike Y

    2016-01-01

    On a global scale, temperature is the main determinant of arctic and alpine treeline position. However on a local scale, treeline form and position vary considerably due to other climatic factors, tree species ecology and life-stage-dependent responses. For treelines to advance poleward or uphill, the first steps are germination and seedling establishment. These earliest life stages may be major bottlenecks for treeline tree populations and will depend differently on climatic conditions than adult trees. We investigated the effect of soil temperature and moisture on germination and early seedling survival in a field experiment in the French Alps near the local treeline (2100 m a.s.l.) using passive temperature manipulations and two watering regimes. Five European treeline tree species were studied: Larix decidua, Picea abies, Pinus cembra, Pinus uncinata and Sorbus aucuparia In addition, we monitored the germination response of three of these species to low temperatures under controlled conditions in growth chambers. The early establishment of these trees at the alpine treeline was limited either by temperature or by moisture, the sensitivity to one factor often depending on the intensity of the other. The results showed that the relative importance of the two factors and the direction of the effects are highly species-specific, while both factors tend to have consistent effects on both germination and early seedling survival within each species. We show that temperature and water availability are both important contributors to establishment patterns of treeline trees and hence to species-specific forms and positions of alpine treelines. The observed idiosyncratic species responses highlight the need for studies including several species and life-stages to create predictive power concerning future treeline dynamics.

  8. Changes in chloroplast ultrastructure in some high-alpine plants: adaptation to metabolic demands and climate?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lütz, C; Engel, L

    2007-01-01

    The cytology of leaf cells from five different high-alpine plants was studied and compared with structures in chloroplasts from the typical high-alpine plant Ranunculus glacialis previously described as having frequent envelope plus stroma protrusions. The plants under investigation ranged from subalpine/alpine Geum montanum through alpine Geum reptans, Poa alpina var. vivipara, and Oxyria digyna to nival Cerastium uniflorum and R. glacialis. The general leaf structure (by light microscopy) and leaf mesophyll cell ultrastructure (by transmission electron microscopy [TEM]) did not show any specialized structures unique to these mountain species. However, chloroplast protrusion formation could be found in G. reptans and, to a greater extent, in O. digyna. The other species exhibited only a low percentage of such chloroplast structural changes. Occurrence of protrusions in samples of G. montanum and O. digyna growing in a mild climate at about 50 m above sea level was drastically reduced. Serial TEM sections of O. digyna cells showed that the protrusions can appear as rather broad and long appendices of plastids, often forming pocketlike structures where mitochondria and microbodies are in close vicinity to the plastid and to each other. It is suggested that some high-alpine plants may form such protrusions to facilitate fast exchange of molecules between cytoplasm and plastid as an adaptation to the short, often unfavorable vegetation period in the Alps, while other species may have developed different types of adaptation that are not expressed in ultrastructural changes of the plastids.

  9. Vertical distribution of the alpine lepidoptera in the Carpathians and in the Balkan peninsula in relation to the zonation of the vegetation

    OpenAIRE

    Varga, Z. S.; Varga-Sipos, J. I.

    2001-01-01

    The vertical distribution of arctic-alpine, alpine and Balkanic oreal species is discussed in connection with the vertical zonation of the vegetation, climatic conditions, substrate, type of alpine vegetation and co-occurrences of related species. Arctic-alpine species have mostly a Eurasian distribution and occur in the Arctic and in the alpine and subnival zones of the Central and Southern European high mountains with expressed glacial morphology and alpine vegetation. Alpine species are mo...

  10. Increasing alpine transit traffic through Switzerland will considerably enhance high altitude alpine pollutant levels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Prevot, A.S.H.; Dommen, J.; Furger, M.; Graber, W.K. [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland)

    1999-08-01

    Within the EU-Project VOTALP (Vertical Ozone Transports in the Alps), we have shown that deep alpine valleys like the Mesolcina Valley very efficiently transport air out of the polluted valley up to altitudes between 2000 and near 4000 m asl (above sea level). Pollutants emitted in these valleys are very efficiently transported up to high altitudes. (author) 2 figs., 1 tab., 2 refs.

  11. Consequences for selected high-elevation butterflies and moths from the spread of Pinus mugo into the alpine zone in the High Sudetes Mountains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bílá, Karolína; Šipoš, Jan; Kindlmann, Pavel; Kuras, Tomáš

    2016-01-01

    Due to changes in the global climate, isolated alpine sites have become one of the most vulnerable habitats worldwide. The indigenous fauna in these habitats is threatened by an invasive species, dwarf pine (Pinus mugo), which is highly competitive and could be important in determining the composition of the invertebrate community. In this study, the association of species richness and abundance of butterflies with the extent of Pinus mugo cover at individual alpine sites was determined. Butterflies at alpine sites in the High Sudetes Mountains (Mts.) were sampled using Moericke yellow water traps. The results of a Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) indicated that at a local scale the area of alpine habitats is the main limiting factor for native species of alpine butterflies. Butterfly assemblages are associated with distance to the tree-line with the optimum situated in the lower forest zone. In addition the CCA revealed that biotic factors (i.e. Pinus mugo and alpine tundra vegetation) accounted for a significant amount of the variability in species data. Regionally, the CCA identified that the species composition of butterflies and moths is associated with presence and origin of Pinus mugo. Our study provides evidence that the structure of the Lepidopteran fauna that formed during the postglacial period and also the present composition of species assemblages is associated with the presence of Pinus mugo. With global warming, Pinus mugo has the potential to spread further into alpine areas and negatively affect the local species communities.

  12. Consequences for selected high-elevation butterflies and moths from the spread of Pinus mugo into the alpine zone in the High Sudetes Mountains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karolína Bílá

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Due to changes in the global climate, isolated alpine sites have become one of the most vulnerable habitats worldwide. The indigenous fauna in these habitats is threatened by an invasive species, dwarf pine (Pinus mugo, which is highly competitive and could be important in determining the composition of the invertebrate community. In this study, the association of species richness and abundance of butterflies with the extent of Pinus mugo cover at individual alpine sites was determined. Butterflies at alpine sites in the High Sudetes Mountains (Mts. were sampled using Moericke yellow water traps. The results of a Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA indicated that at a local scale the area of alpine habitats is the main limiting factor for native species of alpine butterflies. Butterfly assemblages are associated with distance to the tree-line with the optimum situated in the lower forest zone. In addition the CCA revealed that biotic factors (i.e. Pinus mugo and alpine tundra vegetation accounted for a significant amount of the variability in species data. Regionally, the CCA identified that the species composition of butterflies and moths is associated with presence and origin of Pinus mugo. Our study provides evidence that the structure of the Lepidopteran fauna that formed during the postglacial period and also the present composition of species assemblages is associated with the presence of Pinus mugo. With global warming, Pinus mugo has the potential to spread further into alpine areas and negatively affect the local species communities.

  13. The alpine cushion plant Silene acaulis as foundation species: a bug's-eye view to facilitation and microclimate.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivia Molenda

    Full Text Available Alpine ecosystems are important globally with high levels of endemic and rare species. Given that they will be highly impacted by climate change, understanding biotic factors that maintain diversity is critical. Silene acaulis is a common alpine nurse plant shown to positively influence the diversity and abundance of organisms--predominantly other plant species. The hypothesis that cushion or nurse plants in general are important to multiple trophic levels has been proposed but rarely tested. Alpine arthropod diversity is also largely understudied worldwide, and the plant-arthropod interactions reported are mostly negative, that is,. herbivory. Plant and arthropod diversity and abundance were sampled on S. acaulis and at paired adjacent microsites with other non-cushion forming vegetation present on Whistler Mountain, B.C., Canada to examine the relative trophic effects of cushion plants. Plant species richness and abundance but not Simpson's diversity index was higher on cushion microsites relative to other vegetation. Arthropod richness, abundance, and diversity were all higher on cushion microsites relative to other vegetated sites. On a microclimatic scale, S. acaulis ameliorated stressful conditions for plants and invertebrates living inside it, but the highest levels of arthropod diversity were observed on cushions with tall plant growth. Hence, alpine cushion plants can be foundation species not only for other plant species but other trophic levels, and these impacts are expressed through both direct and indirect effects associated with altered environmental conditions and localized productivity. Whilst this case study tests a limited subset of the membership of alpine animal communities, it clearly demonstrates that cushion-forming plant species are an important consideration in understanding resilience to global changes for many organisms in addition to other plants.

  14. Soil warming increases plant species richness but decreases germination from the alpine soil seed bank.

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    Hoyle, Gemma L; Venn, Susanna E; Steadman, Kathryn J; Good, Roger B; McAuliffe, Edward J; Williams, Emlyn R; Nicotra, Adrienne B

    2013-05-01

    Global warming is occurring more rapidly above the treeline than at lower elevations and alpine areas are predicted to experience above average warming in the future. Temperature is a primary factor in stimulating seed germination and regulating changes in seed dormancy status. Thus, plant regeneration from seed will be crucial to the persistence, migration and post disturbance recruitment of alpine plants in future climates. Here, we present the first assessment of the impact of soil warming on germination from the persistent alpine soil seed bank. Contrary to expectations, soil warming lead to reduced overall germination from the soil seed bank. However, germination response to soil temperature was species specific such that total species richness actually increased by nine with soil warming. We further explored the system by assessing the prevalence of seed dormancy and germination response to soil disturbance, the frequency of which is predicted to increase under climate change. Seeds of a significant proportion of species demonstrated physiological dormancy mechanisms and germination of several species appeared to be intrinsically linked to soil disturbance. In addition, we found no evidence of subalpine species and little evidence of exotic weed species in the soil, suggesting that the soil seed bank will not facilitate their invasion of the alpine zone. In conclusion, changes in recruitment via the alpine soil seed bank can be expected under climate change, as a result of altered dormancy alleviation and germination cues. Furthermore, the alpine soil seed bank, and the species richness therein, has the potential to help maintain local species diversity, support species range shift and moderate species dominance. Implications for alpine management and areas for further study are also discussed.

  15. Consequences for selected high-elevation butterflies and moths from the spread of Pinus mugo into the alpine zone in the High Sudetes Mountains

    OpenAIRE

    Bílá, Karolína; Šipoš, Jan; Kindlmann, Pavel; Kuras, Tomáš

    2016-01-01

    Due to changes in the global climate, isolated alpine sites have become one of the most vulnerable habitats worldwide. The indigenous fauna in these habitats is threatened by an invasive species, dwarf pine (Pinus mugo), which is highly competitive and could be important in determining the composition of the invertebrate community. In this study, the association of species richness and abundance of butterflies with the extent of Pinus mugo cover at individual alpine sites was determined. Butt...

  16. Novel expressed sequence tags of an alpine-cold plant species,Gymnadenia conopsea (Orchidaceae)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    Gymnadenia conopsea,an alpine Orchidaceae plant,was one of the widely used Tibetan traditional medicines.In this study,we sequenced total 105 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from a full-length cDNA expression library constructed by the Oligo-capping technique.The further bioinformatic analyses suggested that the 65 represented unique sequences showed high homology to previously identified genes in other plants:30 sequences matched to other uncharacterized expressed sequence tags (ESTs),and 10 sequences showed no good matches to available sequences in DNA databases.Gene ontology annotation by InterProScan indicated that many of these cDNAs (7 percent) have no known molecular functions and may be unique to G.conopsea.Fifty-five ESTs with matched proteins were involved in a series of diverse functions,in which molecular function such as "binding" (42.9 percent) and "catalytic activity" (25.0 percent) were the most frequent functions of the cDNAs.This cDNA library provided a critical basis for further investigation of functional genes expression under cold stress in this alpine species.In addition,13 ESTs-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers were designed and can also be used for genotypic identification and for the genetic diversity analysis of G.conopsea and its closely related species.

  17. Distribution and diversity of Arctic-Alpine species in the Balkans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stevanovic, Vladimir; Vukojicic, Snezana; Sinzar-Sekulic, Jasmina

    2009-01-01

    The distributions of 77 Arctic-Alpine species in the Balkans are mapped and the centers of their richness and diversity presented. Within the Dinaric Alps these are Mts Vranica, Durmitor, and Prokletije; in the Scardo-Pindhic mountains, Šarplanina-Rudoka-Korab form a continuous chain; in the Rhod......The distributions of 77 Arctic-Alpine species in the Balkans are mapped and the centers of their richness and diversity presented. Within the Dinaric Alps these are Mts Vranica, Durmitor, and Prokletije; in the Scardo-Pindhic mountains, Šarplanina-Rudoka-Korab form a continuous chain...

  18. Changes in species composition in alpine snowbeds with climate change inferred from small-scale spatial patterns

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    C. Schöb

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Alpine snowbeds are characterised by a very short growing season. However, the length of the snow-free period is increasingly prolonged due to climate change, so that snowbeds become susceptible to invasions from neighbouring alpine meadow communities. We hypothesised that spatial distribution of species generated by plant interactions may indicate whether snowbed species will coexist with or will be out-competed by invading alpine species – spatial aggregation or segregation will point to coexistence or competitive exclusion, respectively. We tested this hypothesis in snowbeds of the Swiss Alps using the variance ratio statistics. We focused on the relationships between dominant snowbed species, subordinate snowbed species, and potentially invading alpine grassland species. Subordinate snowbed species were generally spatially aggregated with each other, but were segregated from alpine grassland species.

    Competition between alpine grassland and subordinate snowbed species may have caused this segregation. Segregation between these species groups increased with earlier snowmelt, suggesting an increasing importance of competition with climate change. Further, a dominant snowbed species (Alchemilla pentaphyllea was spatially aggregated with subordinate snowbed species, while two other dominants (Gnaphalium supinum and Salix herbacea showed aggregated patterns with alpine grassland species. These dominant species are known to show distinct microhabitat preferences suggesting the existence of hidden microhabitats with different susceptibility to invaders.

    These results allow us to suggest that alpine snowbed areas are likely to be reduced as a consequence of climate change and that invading species from nearby alpine grasslands could outcompete subordinate snowbed species. On the other hand, microhabitats dominated by Gnaphalium or Salix seem to be particularly prone to invasions by non

  19. Stress response of a boreo-alpine species of tardigrade, Borealibius zetlandicus (Eutardigrada, Hypsibiidae

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    Michele CESARI

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Invertebrates living in extreme environments as well as those living under unpredictable habitat conditions must be able to survive severe environmental stresses bound to their habitats. Tardigrades represent a good animal model to analyze responses evolved by organisms to overcome extreme environmental stresses or to colonize extreme environments because they respond to desiccation or freezing in their habitats by entering cryptobiosis. The responses to environmental stresses have been evaluated almost exclusively in terrestrial tardigrades, while very little is known about the ability of limnic species to tolerate those stresses. This study evaluates the responses of the limnic boreo-alpine species Borealibius zetlandicus, under lab conditions, to stresses imposed by desiccation and temperature variation (freezing and heating. Our results indicate that active specimens are able to freeze, confirming the cryobiotic ability of this species. There is a negative correlation between survival and cooling rates. In contrast, no specimens of B. zetlandicus are able to survive desiccation. With regard to thermal tolerance, the animals show a high ability to resist heat-shock (LT50 = 33.0 ± 0.5 °C for a short time. This wide tolerance to different environmental parameters could be the reason for the wide distribution of the species. Due to the disjunct distribution of the species and to the potential presence of cryptic tardigrade species that could have different ecological and physiological responses, we decided to characterize the population studied from a molecular point of view by investigating its COI mtDNA sequences.

  20. Multilocus Analyses Reveal Postglacial Demographic Shrinkage of Juniperus morrisonicola (Cupressaceae), a Dominant Alpine Species in Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Chi-Chun; Hsu, Tsai-Wen; Wang, Hao-Ven; Liu, Zin-Huang; Chen, Yi-Yen; Chiu, Chi-Te; Huang, Chao-Li; Hung, Kuo-Hsiang; Chiang, Tzen-Yuh

    2016-01-01

    Postglacial climate changes alter geographical distributions and diversity of species. Such ongoing changes often force species to migrate along the latitude/altitude. Altitudinal gradients represent assemblage of environmental, especially climatic, variable factors that influence the plant distributions. Global warming that triggered upward migrations has therefore impacted the alpine plants on an island. In this study, we examined the genetic structure of Juniperus morrisonicola, a dominant alpine species in Taiwan, and inferred historical, demographic dynamics based on multilocus analyses. Lower levels of genetic diversity in north indicated that populations at higher latitudes were vulnerable to climate change, possibly related to historical alpine glaciers. Neither organellar DNA nor nuclear genes displayed geographical subdivisions, indicating that populations were likely interconnected before migrating upward to isolated mountain peaks, providing low possibilities of seed/pollen dispersal across mountain ranges. Bayesian skyline plots suggested steady population growth of J. morrisonicola followed by recent demographic contraction. In contrast, most lower-elevation plants experienced recent demographic expansion as a result of global warming. The endemic alpine conifer may have experienced dramatic climate changes over the alternation of glacial and interglacial periods, as indicated by a trend showing decreasing genetic diversity with the altitudinal gradient, plus a fact of upward migration.

  1. Collared Pikas as a Model Species for Studying the Biological Impacts of Climate Change in Alpine Ecosystems

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    O'Donovan, K. S.; Hik, D.

    2007-12-01

    Climate models suggest that global temperatures could rise between 1.4° C and 5.8° C over the next 100 years, and that these effects will be most extreme in northern mountain regions. Pikas (Ochotona, Lagomorpha) are widespread small mammals in the alpine environments of Asia and North America. They are cold adapted and consequently sensitive to warming global temperatures. Considerable research has shown a poleward migration of many species as a result of rising temperatures, but high alpine dwelling species, like the pika, may already be trapped at the top of mountains. Little is known about the threshold values of environmental conditions under which pikas either persist or disappear. Collared pikas (Ochotona collaris) inhabit alpine meadows in the Kluane region of the southwest Yukon. Sites located along an environmental gradient from nunataks in the St Elias Icefields to the Ruby Range Mountains have experienced different climatic and glacial histories. Using baseline data from the long-term study in the Ruby Ranges, we report on differences in the ecological and climatic conditions of sites along this gradient and how this translates into differences in the behavioural and population ecology of the pikas living there. By looking at these differences we can infer the potential impacts of a warming climate, and the subsequent ecological changes on collared pika populations in order to clarify the causes of local extinction and allow us to develop models for predicting ecological responses as conditions change under future climate regimes.

  2. Melting Alpine glaciers enrich high-elevation lakes with reactive nitrogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saros, Jasmine E; Rose, Kevin C; Clow, David W; Stephens, Verlin C; Nurse, Andrea B; Arnett, Heather A; Stone, Jeffery R; Williamson, Craig E; Wolfe, Alexander P

    2010-07-01

    Alpine glaciers have receded substantially over the last century in many regions of the world. Resulting changes in glacial runoff not only affect the hydrological cycle, but can also alter the physical (i.e., turbidity from glacial flour) and biogeochemical properties of downstream ecosystems. Here we compare nutrient concentrations, transparency gradients, algal biomass, and fossil diatom species richness in two sets of high-elevation lakes: those fed by snowpack melt alone (SF lakes) and those fed by both glacial and snowpack meltwaters (GSF lakes). We found that nitrate (NO(3)(-)) concentrations in the GSF lakes were 1-2 orders of magnitude higher than in SF lakes. Although nitrogen (N) limitation is common in alpine lakes, algal biomass was lower in highly N-enriched GSF lakes than in the N-poor SF lakes. Contrary to expectations, GSF lakes were more transparent than SF lakes to ultraviolet and equally transparent to photosynthetically active radiation. Sediment diatom assemblages had lower taxonomic richness in the GSF lakes, a feature that has persisted over the last century. Our results demonstrate that the presence of glaciers on alpine watersheds more strongly influences NO(3)(-)concentrations in high-elevation lake ecosystems than any other geomorphic or biogeographic characteristic.

  3. Growth responses of low-alpine dwarf-shrub heath species to nitrogen deposition and management

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Britton, Andrea J. [Macaulay Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen AB15 8QH (United Kingdom)], E-mail: a.britton@macaulay.ac.uk; Fisher, Julia M. [Macaulay Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen AB15 8QH (United Kingdom)

    2008-06-15

    Nitrogen deposition is a continuing problem in European alpine regions. We hypothesised that, despite climatic limitations, low-alpine Calluna heathland would respond to nitrogen addition with increased shoot growth and flowering and that fire and grazing would modify responses. In a five-year study, 0-50 kg N ha{sup -1} y{sup -1} were added, combined with burning (+/-) and clipping (+/-). Calluna vulgaris responded with increased shoot extension, but effects on flowering were variable. Burning enhanced the positive effect of nitrogen addition and negative effects of clipping. Sub-dominant shrubs generally did not respond to nitrogen. C. vulgaris shoot extension was stimulated by nitrogen addition of 10 kg N ha{sup -1} y{sup -1} (above background) supporting suggestions that alpine heathlands are sensitive to low levels of nitrogen deposition. Increased C. vulgaris growth could negatively impact on important lichen components of this vegetation through increased shading and competition. Climatic factors constrain productivity in this community, but do not prevent rapid responses to nitrogen deposition by some species. - Low levels of N deposition increase productivity in alpine dwarf-shrub heath despite strong climatic constraints.

  4. Phylogeographic patterns in Leccinum sect. Scabra and the status of the arctic/alpine species L. rotundifoliae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, den H.C.; Zuccarello, G.C.; Kuyper, T.W.; Noordeloos, M.E.

    2007-01-01

    We investigated inter- and intraspecific phylogenetic relationships in the ectomycorrhizal fungal genus Leccinum section Scabra. Species of this section are exclusively associated with Betula and occur throughout the Northern Hemisphere. We compared the phylogenetic relationships of arctic, alpine,

  5. Species specific and environment induced variation of δ13C and δ15N in alpine plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang eYang

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope signals in plant tissues integrate plant-environment interactions over long periods. In this study, we hypothesized that humid alpine life conditions are narrowing the scope for significant deviations from common carbon, water and nitrogen relations as captured by stable isotope signals. We explored the variation in δ13C and δ15N in 32 plant species from tissue type to ecosystem scale across a suite of locations at c. 2500 m elevation in the Swiss Alps. Foliar δ13C and δ15N varied among species by about 3-4 ‰ and 7-8 ‰ respectively. However, there was no overall difference in means of δ13C and δ15N for species sampled in different plant communities or when bulk plant dry matter harvests of different plant communities were compared. δ13C was found to be highly species specific, so that the ranking among species was mostly maintained across 11 habitats. However, δ15N varied significantly from place to place in all species (a range of 2.7 ‰ except in Fabaceae (Trifolium alpinum and Juncaceae (Luzula lutea. There was also a substantial variation among individuals of the same species collected next to each other. No difference was found in foliar δ15N of non-legumes, which were either collected next to or away from the most common legume, T. alpinum. δ15N data place Cyperaceae and Juncaceae, just like Fabaceae, in a low discrimination category, well separated from other families. Soil δ15N was higher than in plants and increased with soil depth. The results indicate a high functional diversity in alpine plants that is similar to that reported for low elevation plants. We conclude that the surprisingly high variation in δ13C and δ15N signals in the studied high elevation plants is largely species specific (genetic and insensitive to obvious environmental cues.

  6. Growth responses of low-alpine dwarf-shrub heath species to nitrogen deposition and management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Britton, Andrea J; Fisher, Julia M

    2008-06-01

    Nitrogen deposition is a continuing problem in European alpine regions. We hypothesised that, despite climatic limitations, low-alpine Calluna heathland would respond to nitrogen addition with increased shoot growth and flowering and that fire and grazing would modify responses. In a five-year study, 0-50kgNha(-1)y(-1) were added, combined with burning (+/-) and clipping (+/-). Calluna vulgaris responded with increased shoot extension, but effects on flowering were variable. Burning enhanced the positive effect of nitrogen addition and negative effects of clipping. Sub-dominant shrubs generally did not respond to nitrogen. C. vulgaris shoot extension was stimulated by nitrogen addition of 10kgNha(-1)y(-1) (above background) supporting suggestions that alpine heathlands are sensitive to low levels of nitrogen deposition. Increased C. vulgaris growth could negatively impact on important lichen components of this vegetation through increased shading and competition. Climatic factors constrain productivity in this community, but do not prevent rapid responses to nitrogen deposition by some species.

  7. Karst morphology and groundwater vulnerability of high alpine karst plateaus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plan, Lukas; Decker, Kurt; Faber, Robert; Wagreich, Michael; Grasemann, Bernhard

    2009-07-01

    High alpine karst plateaus are recharge areas for major drinking water resources in the Alps and many other regions. Well-established methods for the vulnerability mapping of groundwater to contamination have not been applied to such areas yet. The paper characterises this karst type and shows that two common vulnerability assessment methods (COP and PI) classify most of the areas with high vulnerability classes. In the test site on the Hochschwab plateau (Northern Calcareous Alps, Austria), overlying layers are mostly absent, not protective or even enhance point recharge, where they have aquiclude character. The COP method classifies 82% of the area as highly or extremely vulnerable. The resulting maps are reasonable, but do not differentiate vulnerabilities to the extent that the results can be used for protective measures. An extension for the upper end of the vulnerability scale is presented that allows identifying ultra vulnerable areas. The proposed enhancement of the conventional approach points out that infiltration conditions are of key importance for vulnerability. The method accounts for karst genetical and hydrologic processes using qualitative and quantitative properties of karst depressions and sinking streams including parameters calculated from digital elevations models. The method is tested on the Hochschwab plateau where 1.7% of the area is delineated as ultra vulnerable. This differentiation could not be reached by the COP and PI methods. The resulting vulnerability map highlights spots of maximum vulnerability and the combination with a hazard map enables protective measures for a manageable area and number of sites.

  8. Effect of Snow-cover Duration on Plant Species Diversity of Alpine Meadows on the Eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    Although snow cover plays an important role in structuring plant diversity in the alpine zone, there are few studies on the relationship between snow cover and species diversity of alpine meadows on the eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. To assess the effect of snow cover on plant species diversity of alpine meadows, we used ten parallel transects of 60 m × 1 m for this study and described the changes in species diversity and composition associated with snow depth. With the division of snow depth into six classes, the highest species richness (S) and species diversity (H') occurred with an intermediate snow depth, i.e., class Ⅲ and class Ⅳ, showing a unimodal curve with the increase in snow depth. The relationship between snow depth and plant diversity (both richness and Shannon index) could be depicted by quadratic equations. There was no evident relationship between diversity (both S and H') and soil water content, which implied that other more important factors influenced species diversity. The patterns of diversity found in our study were largely attributed to freeze-thaw alteration, length of growing season and disturbances of livestock grazing. Furthermore, snow depth affected species composition, as evaluated by the Sorensen's index of similarity. In addition, almost all species limited to one snow depth class were found only in class Ⅲ and class Ⅳ, indicating that intermediate snow depth was suitable for the survival and growth of many alpine species.

  9. EXPLORING THE POTENTIAL OF AERIAL PHOTOGRAMMETRY FOR 3D MODELLING OF HIGH-ALPINE ENVIRONMENTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Legat

    2016-03-01

    Based on the very promising results, some general recommendations for aerial photogrammetry processing in high-alpine areas are made to achieve best possible accuracy of the final 3D-, 2.5D- and 2D products.

  10. SEED GERMINATION BEHAVIOUR OF THREE ALPINE SPECIES FROM ULUDAĞ MOUNT,TURKEY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    HülyaARSLAN

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available In this study, the germination requirements of three species from alpine belt of Uludağ Mount; Gypsophila olympica Boiss., Matthiola montana Boiss. and Silene rhynchocarpa Boiss. We tested thegermination under (20 °C dark, (20 °C continuous light, and photoperiod 20/10 °C (12/12h with distilled water. Different germination behaviour was found for these three species from closely related habitat conditions. G. olympica showed similar germination percentages in dark, light and photoperiod, and germinated faster in light (3.9 days. S. rhyncocarpa germinated 100 % at all the threeconditions but faster in dark with 2.0 days. M. montana seeds were found to require light for germination. The germination was 27.2 % at dark, whereas the seeds were germinated 90 % under photoperiod.The results can be useful for both in situ and ex situ conservation of these plant species.

  11. UV Screening in Native and Non-native Plant Species in the Tropical Alpine: Implications for Climate Change-Driven Migration of Species to Higher Elevations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul W. Barnes

    2017-08-01

    V. reticulatum. Results indicate that high levels of UV protection occur in both native and non-native species in this high UV-B tropical alpine environment, and that flexibility in UV screening is a mechanism employed by some, but not all species to cope with varying solar UV-B exposures along elevation gradients.

  12. The first lowland species of the Holarctic alpine ground spider genus Parasyrisca (Araneae, Gnaphosidae from Hungary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Csaba Szinetár

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available The first lowland species of the alpine genus Parasyrisca, Parasyrisca arrabonica Szinetár & Eichardt, sp. n., is described from the sandy grasslands of Hungary. The genus was hitherto known only from Western Europe (Pyrenees and Western Alps and Eastern Europe (Crimea, and although records from Slovenia and Romania were known, these are listed in check-lists in both cases as doubtful since no voucher specimens are available. Thus this species is not only the first representative of Parasyrisca in the Hungarian fauna and in the Pannonian region, but is the first verified record of the genus in Central Europe too. Parasyrisca arrabonica seems to belong to the speciose potanini group (of which this is the first European record and the westernmost occurrence to date, and is especially similar to P. turkenica Ovtsharenko, Platnick & Marusik, 1995 and P. songi Marusik & Fritzén, 2009. Detailed descriptions of the species’ ecological characteristics (habitat, co-occurring species are provided, as its habitat preference is unusual and unique within the genus. This species is quite rare: only eight specimens have been found among 20700 captured spiders. Adult specimens have been collected exclusively in late autumn and early spring (so practically outside the major collecting period, which might explain why this species was not discovered earlier.

  13. Personal UV exposure in high albedo alpine sites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. M. Siani

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Mountain sites experience enhanced UV radiation levels due to the concurrent effects of shorter radiation path-length, low aerosol load and high reflectivity of the snow surfaces. This study was encouraged by the possibility to collect original data of personal dose on a specific anatomical site (erythemally effective UV dose on the forehead of two groups of volunteers (ski instructors and skiers in the mountainous areas of Italy (the Alpine site of La Thuile-Les Suches in Valle d'Aosta region. Personal doses were assessed using polysulphone dosimetry. Exposure Ratio (ER, defined as the ratio between the personal dose and the corresponding ambient dose (i.e. erythemally weighted dose received by a horizontal surface during the same exposure period was taken into account. In addition measuring skin colours as biological markers of individual response to UV exposure, was also carried out on the forearm and cheek of each volunteer before and after exposure.

    The median ER, taking into account the whole sample, is 0.60 in winter, with a range of 0.29 to 1.46, and 1.02 in spring, ranging from 0.46 to 1.72. No differences in ERs were found between skiers and instructors in spring while in winter skiers experienced lower values.

    Regarding skin colorimetric parameters the main result was that both skiers and instructors had on average significantly lower values of luminance after exposure i.e.~they became darker. It was found that the use of sunscreen and individual skin photo-type did not produce significant variations in ER across instructor/skier group by day and by seasons (p>0.05. It seems that sunscreen use only at the beginning of the exposure or in a few cases a couple of times during exposure (at difference with the specific instructions sheets, was not sufficient to change significantly skin colorimetric parameters across participants.

    In conclusion UV personal doses on the ski-fields are often

  14. Methane-cycling microorganisms in soils of a high-alpine altitudinal gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, Katrin; Pauli, Harald; Praeg, Nadine; Wagner, Andreas O; Illmer, Paul

    2016-03-01

    Methanogens and methanotrophs play unique roles as producers and consumers of the greenhouse gas methane (CH4) in soils, respectively. Here, we aimed to reveal whether and to which extent methane-cyclers occur in high-alpine soils, and to assess their spatial distribution along an altitudinal gradient (2700-3500 m) in the Austrian Alps at sites located within the alpine (2700-2900 m), the alpine-nival (3000-3100 m) and the nival belts (3200-3500 m). Methanococcales and Methanocella spp. were most abundant among all quantified methanogenic guilds, whereas Methanosarcinales were not detected in the studied soil. The detected methanogens seem to be capable of persisting despite a highly oxic low-temperature environment. Methanogenic and methanotrophic activities and abundances of methanotrophs, Methanococcales and Methanocella spp. declined with altitude. Methanogenic and methanotrophic abundances were best explained by mean annual soil temperature and dissolved organic carbon, respectively. Alpine belt soils harbored significantly more methane-cyclers than those of the nival belt, indicating some influence of plant cover. Our results show that methanogens are capable of persisting in high-alpine cold soils and might help to understand future changes of these environments caused by climate warming.

  15. Investigation on the geographical distribution and life form of plant species in sub alpine zone Karsanak region, Shahrekord

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jahanbakhsh Pairanj

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available This study was carried out in rangelands of Karsanak, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province, which is regarded as one of the rich rangelands. Phytogeographically, this region is located in Irano-Turanian (zone of sub alpine. Endemic and rare plants were identified and geographical distribution and life form of identified plant species were investigated as well. Overall, 100 species from 17 families were identified from which 20 percent of identified species was endemic element of Irano-Turanian region. Results indicated that 75.7 percent of identified plants belonged to the Irano-Turanian and only 3 and 2 percent belonged to Euro-Siberian and Mediterranean regions respectively. The reason of high percentage of Irano-Turanian elements is probably the long distance of this region from other regions. Similarities of Irano-Turanian and Mediterranean were included 6.1 percent of identified plants and Irano-Turanian and Euro-Siberian included 2 percent. Results of life forms showed hemichryptophytes including 60 percent of life forms which indicate the cold and mountainous weather.

  16. Safe-site effects on rhizosphere bacterial communities in a high-altitude alpine environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciccazzo, Sonia; Esposito, Alfonso; Rolli, Eleonora; Zerbe, Stefan; Daffonchio, Daniele; Brusetti, Lorenzo

    2014-01-01

    The rhizosphere effect on bacterial communities associated with three floristic communities (RW, FI, and M sites) which differed for the developmental stages was studied in a high-altitude alpine ecosystem. RW site was an early developmental stage, FI was an intermediate stage, M was a later more matured stage. The N and C contents in the soils confirmed a different developmental stage with a kind of gradient from the unvegetated bare soil (BS) site through RW, FI up to M site. The floristic communities were composed of 21 pioneer plants belonging to 14 species. Automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis showed different bacterial genetic structures per each floristic consortium which differed also from the BS site. When plants of the same species occurred within the same site, almost all their bacterial communities clustered together exhibiting a plant species effect. Unifrac significance value (P < 0.05) on 16S rRNA gene diversity revealed significant differences (P < 0.05) between BS site and the vegetated sites with a weak similarity to the RW site. The intermediate plant colonization stage FI did not differ significantly from the RW and the M vegetated sites. These results pointed out the effect of different floristic communities rhizospheres on their soil bacterial communities.

  17. Safe-Site Effects on Rhizosphere Bacterial Communities in a High-Altitude Alpine Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonia Ciccazzo

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The rhizosphere effect on bacterial communities associated with three floristic communities (RW, FI, and M sites which differed for the developmental stages was studied in a high-altitude alpine ecosystem. RW site was an early developmental stage, FI was an intermediate stage, M was a later more matured stage. The N and C contents in the soils confirmed a different developmental stage with a kind of gradient from the unvegetated bare soil (BS site through RW, FI up to M site. The floristic communities were composed of 21 pioneer plants belonging to 14 species. Automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis showed different bacterial genetic structures per each floristic consortium which differed also from the BS site. When plants of the same species occurred within the same site, almost all their bacterial communities clustered together exhibiting a plant species effect. Unifrac significance value (P<0.05 on 16S rRNA gene diversity revealed significant differences (P<0.05 between BS site and the vegetated sites with a weak similarity to the RW site. The intermediate plant colonization stage FI did not differ significantly from the RW and the M vegetated sites. These results pointed out the effect of different floristic communities rhizospheres on their soil bacterial communities.

  18. Bacterial community in sclerotia of Cenococcum species and soil in sub-alpine forest, central Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nonoyama, Y.; Narisawa, K.; Ohta, H.; Watanabe, M.

    2009-04-01

    Species of Cenococcum, ectomycorrhizal fungi, may be particularly abundant in cold- or nutrient-stressed habitats. The fungus is easily recognized by its jet-black hyphae, and distinct compact masses of fungal mycelium called sclerotia. They are hard, black, comparatively smooth and mostly spherical. Sclerotia are formed in rhizosphere and can provide sufficient inoculums for several years. The purpose of this study is to investigate bacterial community inside sclerotia, with an interest on contribution of sclerotia to microbial diversity in rhizosphere. To investigate bacterial community inside of the fungal sclerotia by 16S rDNA gene clone library, several hundred of sclerotia (ca. 1g) were collected from sub-alpine forest soil in central Japan. Furthermore, three sclerotium grains were applied to investigate internal bacteria community by culture method. The isolated bacterial strains were then proceeded to determine their 16S rDNA partial sequences. The predominant group determined by clone library analysis of 16S ribosomal RNA genes with DNA from the sclerotia was Acidobacteria in both sclerotia and soil. Bacterial community of sclerotia showed higher diversity compared to soil. On the contrary, bacterial flora isolated from single sclerotium differed each other. Additionally, the bacterial community was composed by limited species of related genus.

  19. Investigating the Microscopic Location of Trace Elements in High-Alpine Glacier Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avak, Sven Erik; Birrer, Mario; Laurent, Oscar; Guillong, Marcel; Wälle, Markus; Jenk, Theo Manuel; Bartels-Rausch, Thorsten; Schwikowski, Margit; Eichler, Anja

    2017-04-01

    proxies in glaciers partially affected by melting. References Della Lunga, D., Müller, W., Rasmussen, S. O. & Svensson, A. 2014: Location of cation impurities in NGRIP deep ice revealed by cryo-cell UV-laser-ablation ICPMS, Journal of Glaciology, 60, 970-988. Eichler, A., Schwikowski, M., Gäggeler, H. W. 2001: Meltwater-induced relocation of chemical species in Alpine firn, Tellus B, 53, 192-203. Reinhardt, H., Kriews, M., Miller, H., Schrems, O., Lüdke, C., Hoffmann, E. & Skole, J. 2001: Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry: a new tool for trace element analysis in ice cores, Fresenius' Journal of Analytical Chemistry, 370, 629-636. Schwikowski, M., Barbante, C., Doering, T., Gäggeler, H. W., Boutron, C., Schotterer, U., Tobler, L., van de Velde, K., Ferrari, C., Cozzi, G., Rosman, K., Cescon, P. 2004: Post-17th-Century Changes of European Lead Emissions Recorded in High-Altitude Alpine Snow and Ice, Environmental Science & Technology, 38, 957-964. Sneed, S. B., Mayewski, P. A., Sayre, W. G., Handley, M. J., Kurbatov, A. V., Taylor, K. C., Bohleber, P., Wagenbach, D., Erhardt, T. & Spaulding, N. E. 2015: New LA-ICP-MS cryocell and calibration technique for sub-millimeter analysis of ice cores, Journal of Glaciology, 61, 233-242.

  20. Impact of γ-rays on seed germination/short-term storage in four native alpine species: Correlation with free radical and antioxidant profiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zani, Deborah; Dondi, Daniele; Araújo, Susana; Mondoni, Andrea; Balestrazzi, Alma

    2017-02-01

    In this study, the impact of gamma (γ) radiation on seeds was investigated in four native alpine species, Campanula barbata L., Cirsium spinosissinum (L.) Scop., Plantago alpina L., and Silene vulgaris (Moench) Garcke. Seeds were γ-irradiated with 100 and 200 Gy total doses delivered at a high dose rate of 2.7 Gy min-1. Irradiated and non-irradiated seeds were used immediately, and subsequently 7 and 14 days after drying (15% Relative Humidity, 15 °C) to assess their response to standard seed bank processing. Germination rates, seedling length and weight, antioxidant activity and phenolics content were measured, while free radical accumulation profiles were acquired by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR). Germination was only hampered in irradiated C. barbata seeds. C. barbata and C. spinosissinum seedlings obtained from irradiated seeds suffered a decrease in length and weight, while growth was not affected in P. alpina and S. vulgaris, when compared to non-irradiated control. Although profiles of seed antioxidant activity were not influenced immediately after γ-irradiation, subsequent drying under seed bank standards induced changes in seed antioxidant activity, depending on the species. According to EPR data, C. barbata and C. Spinosissinum seeds revealed high free radical levels in non-irradiated samples, which were further enhanced by γ-irradiation. An opposite behaviour was observed in P. alpina and S. vulgaris. The four alpine species showed different profiles of γ-ray sensitivity. The reported data encourage future research to test inter-specific variability in the plant response to γ-rays based on a multidisciplinary approach which integrates environmental data. Considering that seeds of alpine plants are short-lived in storage, γ-irradiation could emerge as a promissory priming tool for native endangered species.

  1. Assessing and comparing climatic control on distribution and reproduction of alpine and lowland species in the subalpine habitat of western Norway

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meineri, Eric

    2012-02-15

    study area and the study sites, and are representative of the alpine and lowland communities occurring at the studied sites. Results and discussion: The climatic control on flowering performances and seedling emergence did not reflect the climatic niches of three out of four species, suggesting ontogenetic niche shift. These mismatches challenge the predictive ability of both SDMs and empirical studies focusing on reproductive life-stages. Papers II and III highlight the complexity of climatic control on reproduction and show species-specific results. Flowering was both climate- and size-dependent for three species, but the way size-dependency was expressed differed between species. Seedling emergence was less species-specific although one species (Veronica officinalis) was found to be affected by the climate experienced by its source populations while the three other species were only responding to the climate of their sowing sites. This illustrates the importance of accounting for the complexity of reproduction to improve climate-change predictions on plant reproduction. Finally, Papers I and II suggest a high importance of biotic interactions from the lowland flora for the two alpine species, stressing the importance of understanding plant-plant interactions to forecast climate-change impacts. Further research and conclusions: Structured population models can resolve some of the problems reported in this synthesis but further methodological developments are necessary to integrate local adaptation patterns and to accurately project the outputs of such models in space. Dispersal has been largely ignored in climate-change studies. Further research should also aim to improve knowledge on dispersal because quantifying dispersal and recruitment rates is required to predict accurately climate-change impacts on plant populations and potential range displacements. Individualistic responses to climate suggest drastic changes in plant communities over the coming years. Given

  2. A deposition record of inorganic ions from a high-alpine glacier

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huber, T. [Bern Univ. (Switzerland); Bruetsch, S.; Gaeggeler, H.W.; Schotterer, U.; Schwikowski, M. [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland)

    1997-09-01

    The lowest five metres of an ice core from a high-alpine glacier (Colle Gnifetti, Monte Rosa massif, 4450m a.s.l., Switzerland) were analysed for ammonium, calcium, chloride, magnesium, nitrate, potassium, sodium, and sulphate by ion chromatography. (author) 1 fig., 3 refs.

  3. Exploring the Potential of Aerial Photogrammetry for 3d Modelling of High-Alpine Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legat, K.; Moe, K.; Poli, D.; Bollmannb, E.

    2016-03-01

    High-alpine areas are subject to rapid topographic changes, mainly caused by natural processes like glacial retreat and other geomorphological processes, and also due to anthropogenic interventions like construction of slopes and infrastructure in skiing resorts. Consequently, the demand for highly accurate digital terrain models (DTMs) in alpine environments has arisen. Public administrations often have dedicated resources for the regular monitoring of glaciers and natural hazard processes. In case of glaciers, traditional monitoring encompasses in-situ measurements of area and length and the estimation of volume and mass changes. Next to field measurements, data for such monitoring programs can be derived from DTMs and digital ortho photos (DOPs). Skiing resorts, on the other hand, require DTMs as input for planning and - more recently - for RTK-GNSS supported ski-slope grooming. Although different in scope, the demand of both user groups is similar: high-quality and up-to-date terrain data for extended areas often characterised by difficult accessibility and large elevation ranges. Over the last two decades, airborne laser scanning (ALS) has replaced photogrammetric approaches as state-of-the-art technology for the acquisition of high-resolution DTMs also in alpine environments. Reasons include the higher productivity compared to (manual) stereo-photogrammetric measurements, canopy-penetration capability, and limitations of photo measurements on sparsely textured surfaces like snow or ice. Nevertheless, the last few years have shown strong technological advances in the field of aerial camera technology, image processing and photogrammetric software which led to new possibilities for image-based DTM generation even in alpine terrain. At Vermessung AVT, an Austrian-based surveying company, and its subsidiary Terra Messflug, very promising results have been achieved for various projects in high-alpine environments, using images acquired by large-format digital

  4. Effects of warming and grazing on soil N availability, species composition, and ANPP in an alpine meadow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shiping; Duan, Jichuang; Xu, Guangping; Wang, Yanfen; Zhang, Zhenhua; Rui, Yichao; Luo, Caiyun; Xu, Burenbayin; Zhu, Xiaoxue; Chang, Xiaofeng; Cui, Xiaoyong; Niu, Haishan; Zhao, Xinquan; Wang, Wenying

    2012-11-01

    Uncertainty about the effects of warming and grazing on soil nitrogen (N) availability, species composition, and aboveground net primary production (ANPP) limits our ability to predict how global carbon sequestration will vary under future warming with grazing in alpine regions. Through a controlled asymmetrical warming (1.2/1.7 degrees C during daytime/nighttime) with a grazing experiment from 2006 to 2010 in an alpine meadow, we found that warming alone and moderate grazing did not significantly affect soil net N mineralization. Although plant species richness significantly decreased by 10% due to warming after 2008, we caution that this may be due to the transient occurrence or disappearance of some rare plant species in all treatments. Warming significantly increased graminoid cover, except in 2009, and legume cover after 2008, but reduced non-legume forb cover in the community. Grazing significantly decreased cover of graminoids and legumes before 2009 but increased forb cover in 2010. Warming significantly increased ANPP regardless of grazing, whereas grazing reduced the response of ANPP to warming. N addition did not affect ANPP in both warming and grazing treatments. Our findings suggest that soil N availability does not determine ANPP under simulated warming and that heavy grazing rather than warming causes degradation of the alpine meadows.

  5. Ecology and life history affect different aspects of the population structure of 27 high-alpine plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meirmans, Patrick G; Goudet, Jerome; Gaggiotti, Oscar E

    2011-08-01

    A plant species' genetic population structure is the result of a complex combination of its life history, ecological preferences, position in the ecosystem and historical factors. As a result, many different statistical methods exist that measure different aspects of species' genetic structure. However, little is known about how these methods are interrelated and how they are related to a species' ecology and life history. In this study, we used the IntraBioDiv amplified fragment length polymorphisms data set from 27 high-alpine species to calculate eight genetic summary statistics that we jointly correlate to a set of six ecological and life-history traits. We found that there is a large amount of redundancy among the calculated summary statistics and that there is a significant association with the matrix of species traits. In a multivariate analysis, two main aspects of population structure were visible among the 27 species. The first aspect is related to the species' dispersal capacities and the second is most likely related to the species' postglacial recolonization of the Alps. Furthermore, we found that some summary statistics, most importantly Mantel's r and Jost's D, show different behaviour than expected based on theory. We therefore advise caution in drawing too strong conclusions from these statistics.

  6. Upper mantle structure beneath the Alpine orogen from high-resolution teleseismic tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lippitsch, Regina; Kissling, Edi; Ansorge, JöRg

    2003-08-01

    To understand the evolution of the Alpine orogen, knowledge of the actual structure of the lithosphere-asthenosphere system is important. We perform high-resolution teleseismic tomography with manually picked P wave arrival times from seismograms recorded in the greater Alpine region. The resulting data set consists of 4199 relative P wave arrivals and 499 absolute P wave arrivals from 76 teleseismic events, corrected for the contribution of the Alpine crust to the travel times. The three-dimensional (3-D) crustal model established from controlled-source seismology data for that purpose represents the large-scale Alpine crustal structure. Absolute P wave arrival times are used to compute an initial reference model for the inversion. Tests with synthetic data document that the combination of nonlinear inversion, high-quality teleseismic data, and usage of an a priori 3-D crustal model allows a reliable resolution of cells at 50 km × 50 km × 30 km. Hence structures as small as two cells can be resolved in the upper mantle. Our tomographic images illuminate the structure of the uppermost mantle to depth of 400 km. Along strike of the Alps, the inversion reveals a high-velocity structure that dips toward the SE beneath the Adriatic microplate in the western and central Alps. In the eastern Alps we observe a northeastward dipping feature, subducting beneath the European plate. We interpret this feature in the western and central Alps as subducted, mainly continental European lower lithosphere. For the east, we propose that parts of the Vardar oceanic basin were subducted toward the NE, forcing continental Adriatic lower lithosphere to subduct northeastward beneath the European plate.

  7. A continuous high resolution water isotope dataset to constrain Alpine water balance estimates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michelon, Anthony; Ceperley, Natalie; Beria, Harsh; Larsen, Josh; Schaefli, Bettina

    2017-04-01

    Water delivered from Alpine environments is a crucial resource for many countries around the world. Precipitation accumulated during cold seasons as snowpack or glaciers is often an important source of water during warm (dry) season but also a dominant contributor to the annual water balance. In Switzerland, water from high Alpine, glacier-fed catchments provides a large portion of both the hydroelectric power and water supply. However, large uncertainties regarding changes in glacier volume and snow accumulation can have significant impacts on hydrologic, biologic, physical and economic understanding, modeling, and predictions. Accurately quantifying these water resources is therefore an on-going challenge. Given the well-known difficulty observing solid precipitation (snowfall), it can be assumed that most of the uncertainty in water balance estimates for snow-dominated environments is due to: 1) Poor measurement of winter precipitation and 2) A poor estimation of timing and amount of snow melt. It is noteworthy that the timing of melt plays a crucial role even for annual water balance estimates since it might significantly influence melt runoff flow paths and thereby groundwater recharge. We use continuous monitoring of water stable isotopes over the entire annual cycle in an Alpine catchment to shed light on how such observations can constrain water balance estimates. The selected catchment is the experimental Vallon de Nant catchment in the Vaud Alps of Switzerland, where detailed hydrologic observations have recently started in addition to the existing vegetation and soil investigations. The Vallon de Nant (14 km2, and an altitude ranging from 1200 to 3051 m) is a narrow valley that accumulates large amounts of snow during winter. In spring and summer, the river discharge is mainly supplied by snowmelt, with additional inputs from a small glacier and rainfall. Continuous monitoring of water stable isotopes (δO18 and δD) is combined with measurements of

  8. Plants in alpine environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Germino, Matthew J.

    2014-01-01

    Alpine and subalpine plant species are of special interest in ecology and ecophysiology because they represent life at the climate limit and changes in their relative abundances can be a bellwether for climate-change impacts. Perennial life forms dominate alpine plant communities, and their form and function reflect various avoidance, tolerance, or resistance strategies to interactions of cold temperature, radiation, wind, and desiccation stresses that prevail in the short growing seasons common (but not ubiquitous) in alpine areas. Plant microclimate is typically uncoupled from the harsh climate of the alpine, often leading to substantially warmer plant temperatures than air temperatures recorded by weather stations. Low atmospheric pressure is the most pervasive, fundamental, and unifying factor for alpine environments, but the resulting decrease in partial pressure of CO2 does not significantly limit carbon gain by alpine plants. Factors such as tree islands and topographic features create strong heterogeneous mosaics of microclimate and snow cover that are reflected in plant community composition. Factors affecting tree establishment and growth and formation of treeline are key to understanding alpine ecology. Carbohydrate and other carbon storage, rapid development in a short growing season, and physiological function at low temperature are prevailing attributes of alpine plants. A major contemporary research theme asks whether chilling at alpine-treeline affects the ability of trees to assimilate the growth resources and particularly carbon needed for growth or whether the growth itself is limited by the alpine environment. Alpine areas tend to be among the best conserved, globally, yet they are increasingly showing response to a range of anthropogenic impacts, such as atmospheric deposition.

  9. Substantial genetic substructuring in southeastern and alpine Australia revealed by molecular phylogeography of the Egernia whitii (Lacertilia: Scincidae) species group.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapple, David G; Keogh, J Scott; Hutchinson, Mark N

    2005-04-01

    Palaeoclimatic events and biogeographical processes since the mid-Tertiary are believed to have strongly influenced the evolution and distribution of the terrestrial vertebrate fauna of southeastern Australia. We examined the phylogeography of the temperate-adapted members of the Egernia whitii species group, a group of skinks that comprise both widespread low- to mid-elevation (E. whitii) and montane-restricted species (Egernia guthega, Egernia montana), in order to obtain important insights into the influence of past biogeographical processes on the herpetofauna of southeastern Australia. Sequence data were obtained from all six temperate-adapted species within the E. whitii species group, and specifically from across the distributional ranges of E. whitii, E. guthega and E. montana. We targeted a fragment of the ND4 mitochondrial gene (696 bp) and analysed the data using maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods. Our data reveal a deep phylogeographical break in the east Gippsland region of Victoria between 'northern' (Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory) and 'southern' (Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia) populations of E. whitii. This divergence appears to have occurred during the late Miocene-Pliocene, with the Gippsland basin possibly forming a geographical barrier to dispersal. Substantial structuring within both the 'northern' and the 'southern' clades is consistent with the effects of Plio-Pleistocene glacial-interglacial cycles. Pleistocene glacial cycles also appear to have shaped the phylogeographical patterns observed in the alpine species, E. guthega and E. montana. We used our results to examine the biogeographical process that led to the origin and subsequent diversification of the lowland and alpine herpetofauna of southeastern Australia.

  10. Changes in plant biomass and species composition of alpine Kobresia meadows along altitudinal gradient on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    Alpine Kobresia meadows are major vegetation types on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. There is growing concern over their relationships among biodiversity, productivity and environments. Despite the im-portance of species composition, species richness, the type of different growth forms, and plant bio-mass structure for Kobresia meadow ecosystems, few studies have been focused on the relationship between biomass and environmental gradient in the Kobresia meadow plant communities, particularly in relation to soil moisture and edaphic gradients. We measured the plant species composition, her-baceous litter, aboveground and belowground biomass in three Kobresia meadow plant communities in Haibei Alpine Meadow Ecosystem Research Station from 2001 to 2004. Community differences in plant species composition were reflected in biomass distribution. The total biomass showed a de-crease from 13196.96±719.69 g/m2 in the sedge-dominated K. tibetica swamp to 2869.58±147.52 g/m2 in the forb and sedge dominated K. pygmaea meadow, and to 2153.08±141.95 g/m2 in the forbs and grasses dominated K. humilis along with the increase of altitude. The vertical distribution of below-ground biomass is distinct in the three meadow communities, and the belowground biomass at the depth of 0-10 cm in K. tibetica swamp meadow was significantly higher than that in K. humilis and K. pygmaea meadows (P<0.01). The herbaceous litter in K. tibetica swamp was significantly higher than those in K. pygnaeca and K. humilis meadows. The effects of plant litter are enhanced when ground water and soil moisture levels are raised. The relative importance of litter and vegetation may vary with soil water availability. In the K. tibetica swamp, total biomass was negatively correlated to species richness (P<0.05); aboveground biomass was positively correlated to soil organic matter, soil moisture, and plant cover (P<0.05); belowground biomass was positively correlated with soil moisture (P<0.05). However, in the K

  11. Changes in plant biomass and species composition of alpine Kobresia meadows along altitudinal gradient on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    Alpine Kobresia meadows are major vegetation types on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. There is growing concern over their relationships among biodiversity, productivity and environments. Despite the importance of species composition, species richness, the type of different growth forms, and plant biomass structure for Kobresia meadow ecosystems, few studies have been focused on the relationship between biomass and environmental gradient in the Kobresia meadow plant communities, particularly in relation to soil moisture and edaphic gradients. We measured the plant species composition, herbaceous litter, aboveground and belowground biomass in three Kobresia meadow plant communities in Haibei Alpine Meadow Ecosystem Research Station from 2001 to 2004. Community differences in plant species composition were reflected in biomass distribution. The total biomass showed a decrease from 13196.96±719.69 g/m2 in the sedge-dominated K. tibetica swamp to 2869.58±147.52 g/m2 in the forb and sedge dominated K. pygmaea meadow, and to 2153.08±141.95 g/m2 in the forbs and grasses dominated K. humilis along with the increase of altitude. The vertical distribution of belowground biomass is distinct in the three meadow communities, and the belowground biomass at the depth of 0-10 cm in K. tibetica swamp meadow was significantly higher than that in K. humilis and K. pygmaea meadows (P<0.01). The herbaceous litter in K. tibetica swamp was significantly higher than those in K. pygnaeca and K. humilis meadows. The effects of plant litter are enhanced when ground water and soil moisture levels are raised. The relative importance of litter and vegetation may vary with soil water availability. In the K. tibetica swamp, total biomass was negatively correlated to species richness (P<0.05); aboveground biomass was positively correlated to soil organic matter, soil moisture, and plant cover (P<0.05); belowground biomass was positively correlated with soil moisture (P<0.05). However, in

  12. [Predicting the dispersal routes of alpine plant Pedicularis longiflora (Orobanchaceae) based on GIS and species distribution models].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Hai-In; Zhang, Yi-Li; Li, Shi-Cheng; Qi, Wei; Hu, Zhong-Jun

    2014-06-01

    Pedicularis longiflora experienced extensive populations' expansion in Quaternary, but the dispersal corridors were still unclear. According to the distribution patterns of haplotypes based on chloroplast DNA variation, the dispersal routes were predicted using species distribution models (MXENT) and the least-cost path method. Two possible dispersal routes from the southeastern part of Tibetan Plateau (TP) to interior were identified. The populations of East Himalayas-Hengduan Mountains region expanded to the western part of TP along with the Yarlung Zangbo River valley and the lower altitudes of the north slope of Himalayas. The expansion trend was also proved by SDMs based on two historical periods containing the Last Interglacial and the Last Glacial Maximum. In conclusion, identification of dispersal routes is significant to the evolutionary history of alpine plants and the protection of special species in TP.

  13. Unexpected response of high Alpine Lake waters to climate warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thies, Hansjörg; Nickus, Ulrike; Mair, Volkmar; Tessadri, Richard; Tait, Danilo; Thaler, Bertha; Psenner, Roland

    2007-11-01

    Over the past two decades, we have observed a substantial rise in solute concentration at two remote high mountain lakes in catchments of metamorphic rocks in the European Alps. At Rasass See, the electrical conductivity increased 18-fold. Unexpectedly high nickel concentrations at Rasass See, which exceeded the limit in drinking water by more than 1 order of magnitude, cannot be related to catchment geology. We attribute these changes in lake water quality to solute release from the ice of an active rock glacier in the catchment as a response to climate warming. Similar processes occurred at the higher elevation lake Schwarzsee ob Sölden, where electrical conductivity has risen 3-fold during the past two decades.

  14. Relationship between reproductive allocation and relative abundance among 32 species of a Tibetan alpine meadow: effects of fertilization and grazing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kechang Niu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Understanding the relationship between species traits and species abundance is an important goal in ecology and biodiversity science. Although theoretical studies predict that traits related to performance (e.g. reproductive allocation are most directly linked to species abundance within a community, empirical investigations have rarely been done. It also remains unclear how environmental factors such as grazing or fertilizer application affect the predicted relationship. METHODOLOGY: We conducted a 3-year field experiment in a Tibetan alpine meadow to assess the relationship between plant reproductive allocation (RA and species relative abundance (SRA on control, grazed and fertilized plots. Overall, the studied plant community contained 32 common species. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: At the treatment level, (i RA was negatively correlated with SRA on control plots and during the first year on fertilized plots. (ii No negative RA-SRA correlations were observed on grazed plots and during the second and third year on fertilized plots. (iii Seed size was positively correlated with SRA on control plots. At the plot level, the correlation between SRA and RA were not affected by treatment, year or species composition. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our study shows that the performance-related trait RA can negatively affect SRA within communities, which is possibly due to the tradeoffs between clonal growth (for space occupancy and sexual reproduction. We propose that if different species occupy different positions along these tradeoffs it will contribute to biodiversity maintenance in local communities or even at lager scale.

  15. Column Water Vapour using a PFR Radiometer at a High-Alpine Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyeki, S.; Vuilleumier, L.; Heimo, A.; Kämpfer, N.; Mätzler, C.; Vernez, A.; Viatte, P.

    2003-04-01

    The Swiss Atmospheric Radiation Monitoring program (CHARM) integrates a number of solar and atmospheric radiation monitoring tasks within the Swiss contribution to GAW (Global Atmosphere Watch) of the WMO. Columnar water vapor (CWV) is derived from sun photometers at four locations within the CHARM network. A four-year dataset of CWV measured at the Jungfraujoch high-alpine research station (3580 m asl, Switzerland) using a Precision Filter Radiometer (PFR) is reported. Observations indicated that CWV above station altitude varied between 1 and 4 (+/- 1) kg.m-2 in winter and summer, respectively, confirming an earlier 12-month study in 1999.

  16. Speciation in arctic and alpine diploid plants

    OpenAIRE

    Gustafsson, A Lovisa S

    2013-01-01

    The main objectives of this thesis are to study patterns and processes of plant speciation in arctic and alpine diploid plants. Cryptic species are here referred to as morphologically similar individuals belonging to the same taxonomic species but that are unable to produce fertile offspring (i.e. 'sibling' species). The arctic flora is considered as one of the most species-poor floras of the world, and the latitudinal gradient with decreasing diversity from low to high latitudes is likely...

  17. Cooccurrence patterns of plants and soil bacteria in the high-alpine subnival zone track environmental harshness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J. King

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Plants and soil microorganisms interact to play a central role in ecosystem functioning. To determine the potential importance of biotic interactions in shaping the distributions of these organisms in a high-alpine subnival landscape, we examine cooccurrence patterns between plant species and bulk-soil bacteria abundances. In this context, a cooccurrence relationship reflects a combination of several assembly processes: that both parties can disperse to the site, that they can survive the abiotic environmental conditions, and that interactions between the biota either facilitate survival or allow for coexistence. Across the entire landscape, 31% of the bacterial sequences in this dataset were significantly correlated to the abundance distribution of one or more plant species. These sequences fell into 14 clades, 6 of which are related to bacteria that are known to form symbioses with plants in other systems. Abundant plant species were more likely to have significant as well as stronger correlations with bacteria and these patterns were more prevalent in lower altitude sites. Conversely, correlations between plant species abundances and bacterial relative abundances were less frequent in sites near the snowline. Thus, plant-bacteria associations became more common as environmental conditions became less harsh and plants became more abundant. This pattern in cooccurrence strength and frequency across the subnival landscape suggests that plant-bacteria interactions are important for the success of life, both below- and above-ground, in an extreme environment.

  18. Leaf waxes of slow-growing alpine and fast-growing lowland Poa species: inherent differences and responses to UV-B radiation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pilon, J.; Lambers, H.; Baas, W.; Tosserams, M.; Rozema, J.J.; Atkin, O.K.

    1999-01-01

    We investigated whether alpine and lowland Poa species exhibit inherent differences in leaf cuticular waxes, leaf UV absorbing compounds and/or growth responses to UV-B treatment. All plants were grown hydroponically in a growth cabinet (constant 20°; 14 hr photoperiod; 520 mol photons m-2 s-1 PAR).

  19. Enhanced summer convective rainfall at Alpine high elevations in response to climate warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giorgi, Filippo; Torma, Csaba; Coppola, Erika; Ban, Nikolina; Schär, Christoph; Somot, Samuel

    2016-08-01

    Global climate projections consistently indicate a future decrease in summer precipitation over the European Alps. However, topography can substantially modulate precipitation change signals. For example, the shadowing effect by topographic barriers can modify winter precipitation change patterns, and orographic convection might also play an important role. Here we analyse summer precipitation over the Alpine region in an ensemble of twenty-first-century projections with high-resolution (~12 km) regional climate models driven by recent global climate model simulations. A broad-scale summer precipitation reduction is projected by both model ensembles. However, the regional models simulate an increase in precipitation over the high Alpine elevations that is not present in the global simulations. This is associated with increased convective rainfall due to enhanced potential instability by high-elevation surface heating and moistening. The robustness of this signal, which is found also for precipitation extremes, is supported by the consistency across models and future time slices, the identification of an underlying mechanism (enhanced convection), results from a convection-resolving simulation, the statistical significance of the signal and the consistency with some observed trends. Our results challenge the picture of a ubiquitous decrease of summer precipitation over the Alps found in coarse-scale projections.

  20. Frost resistance in alpine woody plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuner, Gilbert

    2014-01-01

    This report provides a brief review of key findings related to frost resistance in alpine woody plant species, summarizes data on their frost resistance, highlights the importance of freeze avoidance mechanisms, and indicates areas of future research. Freezing temperatures are possible throughout the whole growing period in the alpine life zone. Frost severity, comprised of both intensity and duration, becomes greater with increasing elevation and, there is also a greater probability, that small statured woody plants, may be insulated by snow cover. Several frost survival mechanisms have evolved in woody alpine plants in response to these environmental conditions. Examples of tolerance to extracellular freezing and freeze dehydration, life cycles that allow species to escape frost, and freeze avoidance mechanisms can all be found. Despite their specific adaption to the alpine environment, frost damage can occur in spring, while all alpine woody plants have a low risk of frost damage in winter. Experimental evidence indicates that premature deacclimation in Pinus cembra in the spring, and a limited ability of many species of alpine woody shrubs to rapidly reacclimate when they lose snow cover, resulting in reduced levels of frost resistance in the spring, may be particularly critical under the projected changes in climate. In this review, frost resistance and specific frost survival mechanisms of different organs (leaves, stems, vegetative and reproductive over-wintering buds, flowers, and fruits) and tissues are compared. The seasonal dynamics of frost resistance of leaves of trees, as opposed to woody shrubs, is also discussed. The ability of some tissues and organs to avoid freezing by supercooling, as visualized by high resolution infrared thermography, are also provided. Collectively, the report provides a review of the complex and diverse ways that woody plants survive in the frost dominated environment of the alpine life zone.

  1. Spatially continuous mapping of snow depth in high alpine catchments using digital photogrammetry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Bühler

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Information on snow depth and its spatial distribution is crucial for many applications in snow and avalanche research as well as in hydrology and ecology. Today snow depth distributions are usually estimated using point measurements performed by automated weather stations and observers in the field combined with interpolation algorithms. However, these methodologies are not able to capture the high spatial variability of the snow depth distribution present in alpine terrain. Continuous and accurate snow depth mapping has been done using laser scanning but this method can only cover limited areas and is expensive. We use the airborne ADS80 opto-electronic scanner with 0.25 m spatial resolution to derive digital surface models (DSMs of winter and summer terrains in the neighborhood of Davos, Switzerland. The DSMs are generated using photogrammetric image correlation techniques based on the multispectral nadir and backward looking sensor data. We compare these products with the following independent datasets acquired simultaneously: (a manually measured snow depth plots (b differential Global Navigation Satellite System (dGNSS points (c Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS and (d Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR datasets, to assess the accuracy of the photogrammetric products. The results of this investigation demonstrate the potential of optical scanners for wide-area, continuous and high spatial resolution snow-depth mapping over alpine catchments above tree line.

  2. Responses of alpine biodiversity to climate change

    OpenAIRE

    Yang Liu; Jian Zhang; Wanqin Yang

    2009-01-01

    The alpine belt is the temperature-driven treeless region between the timberline and the snowline. Alpine belts are ideal sites for monitoring climate change because species in mountain habitats are especially sensitive to climate change. Global warming is shifting the distribution of alpine biodiversity and is leading to glacial retreat, implying that alterations in alpine biodiversity are indicators of climate change. Therefore, more attention has been given to changes in species compositio...

  3. Extensive range persistence in peripheral and interior refugia characterizes Pleistocene range dynamics in a widespread Alpine plant species (Senecio carniolicus, Asteraceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escobar García, Pedro; Winkler, Manuela; Flatscher, Ruth; Sonnleitner, Michaela; Krejčíková, Jana; Suda, Jan; Hülber, Karl; Schneeweiss, Gerald M; Schönswetter, Peter

    2012-03-01

    Recent evidence suggests that survival of arctic-alpine organisms in peripheral or interior glacial refugia are not mutually exclusive and may both be involved in shaping an organism's Pleistocene history, yet potentially at different time levels. Here, we test this hypothesis in a high-mountain plant (diploid lineage of Senecio carniolicus, Asteraceae) from the Eastern European Alps, in which patterns of morphological variation and current habitat requirements suggest survival in both types of refugia. To this end, we used AFLPs, nuclear and plastid DNA sequences and analysed them, among others, within a graph theoretic framework and using novel Bayesian methods of phylogeographic inference. On the basis of patterns of genetic diversity, occurrence of rare markers, distribution of distinct genetic lineages and patterns of range connectivity both interior refugia in the formerly strongly glaciated central Alps and peripheral refugia along the southern margin of the Alps were identified. The presence of refugia congruently inferred by markers resolving at different time levels suggests that these refugia acted as such throughout several glacial cycles. The high degree of range persistence together with gradual range expansion, which contrasts with the extent of range shifts implied for other Alpine species, is likely responsible for incipient lineage differentiation evident from the genetic data. Replacing a simplistic peripheral vs. interior refugia dualism by more complex models involving both types of refugia and considering different time levels will help identifying common phylogeographic patterns with respect to, for instance, location of refugia and colonization routes and elucidating their underlying genetic and/or ecological causes. DNA sequences have been deposited in GenBank under accession nos. FR796701–FR797793 and nos. HE614296–HE614583.

  4. High abundance of genetic Bacteroidetes markers for total fecal pollution in pristine alpine soils suggests lack in specificity for feces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vierheilig, Julia; Farnleitner, Andreas H.; Kollanur, Denny; Blöschl, Günter; Reischer, Georg H.

    2012-01-01

    Two frequently applied genetic Bacteroidetes markers for total fecal pollution (AllBac and BacUni) were found in high numbers in pristine soil samples of two alpine catchment areas casting doubt on their value as fecal indicators. This finding underlines the necessity to evaluate assays locally and against non-intestinal samples before application. PMID:22285854

  5. Nitrogen:phosphorous supply ratio and allometry in five alpine plant species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Luo, Xi; Mazer, Susan J.; Guo, Hui;

    2016-01-01

    is highly plastic in response to variation in the N:P supply ratio. Studies of resource allocation of individual plants should focus on the effects of nutrient ratios as well as the availability of individual elements. The two forb species were more sensitive than grasses to unbalanced N:P supplies......In terrestrial ecosystems, atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition has greatly increased N availability relative to other elements, particularly phosphorus (P). Alterations in the availability of N relative to P can affect plant growth rate and functional traits, as well as resource allocation to above......- versus belowground biomass (MA and MB). Biomass allocation among individual plants is broadly size-dependent, and this can often be described as an allometric relationship between MA and MB, as represented by the equation MA=αMBβ, or log MA = logα + βlog MB. Here, we investigated whether the scaling...

  6. Effects of warming on chlorophyll degradation and carbohydrate accumulation of Alpine herbaceous species during plant senescence on the Tibetan Plateau.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Changguang Shi

    Full Text Available Plant senescence is a critical life history process accompanied by chlorophyll degradation and has large implications for nutrient resorption and carbohydrate storage. Although photoperiod governs much of seasonal leaf senescence in many plant species, temperature has also been shown to modulate this process. Therefore, we hypothesized that climate warming would significantly impact the length of the plant growing season and ultimate productivity. To test this assumption, we measured the effects of simulated autumn climate warming paradigms on four native herbaceous species that represent distinct life forms of alpine meadow plants on the Tibetan Plateau. Conditions were simulated in open-top chambers (OTCs and the effects on the degradation of chlorophyll, nitrogen (N concentration in leaves and culms, total non-structural carbohydrate (TNC in roots, growth and phenology were assessed during one year following treatment. The results showed that climate warming in autumn changed the senescence process only for perennials by slowing chlorophyll degradation at the beginning of senescence and accelerating it in the following phases. Warming also increased root TNC storage as a result of higher N concentrations retained in leaves; however, this effect was species dependent and did not alter the growing and flowering phenology in the following seasons. Our results indicated that autumn warming increases carbohydrate accumulation, not only by enhancing activities of photosynthetic enzymes (a mechanism proposed in previous studies, but also by affecting chlorophyll degradation and preferential allocation of resources to different plant compartments. The different responses to warming can be explained by inherently different growth and phenology patterns observed among the studied species. The results implied that warming leads to changes in the competitive balance among life forms, an effect that can subsequently shift vegetation distribution and

  7. Overlapping Leaves Covering Flowers in the Alpine Species Eriophyton wallichii (Lamiaceae): Key Driving Factors and Their Potential Impact on Pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, De-Li; Song, Bo; Yang, Yang; Niu, Yang; Sun, Hang

    2016-01-01

    Extrafloral structures are supposed to have evolved to protect flowers from harsh physical environments but might have effects on pollination. Overlapping leaves cover flowers in Eriophyton wallichii, an alpine perennial endemic to the Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains. In previous study, it has showed that these extrafloral leaves can protect interior flowers from temperature fluctuations caused by drastic solar radiation fluctuations, but these leaves may also protect interior flowers from rain wash and UVB damage, and we do not know which one is the main function. In this study, we investigated whether rain and UVB protection are the main functions of overlapping leaves covering flowers and their potential impact on pollination. We first measured the intensities of UVB radiation in open air, beneath leaves and corollas, and then examined pollen susceptibility to different intensities of UVB and rain in the laboratory to estimate whether corollas per se protect interior pollen from UVB and rain damage. We also carried out pollination treatments and observed pollinator visitation of flowers with and without leaves in the field to assess whether the overlapping leaves covering flowers impair pollinator attraction. Our results showed that (1) water and strong UVB significantly decreased pollen germinability, but corollas per se could protect pollen from UVB and rain damage; (2) no autonomous self-pollination and apomixis occurred, and pollinators were essential for the reproduction of E. wallichii; however, flower coverage by overlapping leaves did not limit pollination. We suggested that rain and UVB protection was not the main function of overlapping leaves covered flowers, given that this protection can be provided by corollas per se. Alternatively, this extrafloral structure in E. wallichii may have evolved in response to extreme high temperatures associated with the strong solar radiation fluctuations. This indicates that, even in alpine plants, extreme high

  8. [Spatial patterns of dominant tree species in sub-alpine Betula-Abies forest in West Sichuan of China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miao, Ning; Liu, Shi-Rong; Shi, Zuo-Min; Yu, Hong; Liu, Xing-Liang

    2009-06-01

    Based on the investigation in a 4 hm2 Betula-Abies forest plot in sub-alpine area in West Sichuan of China, and by using point pattern analysis method in terms of O-ring statistics, the spatial patterns of dominant species Betula albo-sinensis and Abies faxoniana in different age classes in study area were analyzed, and the intra- and inter-species associations between these age classes were studied. B. albo-sinensis had a unimodal distribution of its DBH frequency, indicating a declining population, while A. faxoniana had a reverse J-shaped pattern, showing an increasing population. All the big trees of B. albo-sinensis and A. faxoniana were spatially in random at all scales, while the medium age and small trees were spatially clumped at small scales and tended to be randomly or evenly distributed with increasing spatial scale. The maximum aggregation degree decreased with increasing age class. Spatial association mainly occurred at small scales. A. faxoniana generally showed positive intra-specific association, while B. albo-sinensis generally showed negative intra-specific association. For the two populations, big and small trees had no significant spatial association, but middle age trees had negative spatial association. Negative inter-specific associations of the two populations were commonly found in different age classes. The larger the difference of age class, the stronger the negative inter-specific association.

  9. Large-scale environmental controls on microbial biofilms in high-alpine streams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. J. Battin

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Glaciers are highly responsive to global warming and important agents of landscape heterogeneity. While it is well established that glacial ablation and snowmelt regulate stream discharge, linkage among streams and streamwater geochemistry, the controls of these factors on stream microbial biofilms remain insufficiently understood. We investigated glacial (metakryal, hypokryal, groundwater-fed (krenal and snow-fed (rhithral streams - all of them representative for alpine stream networks - and present evidence that these hydrologic and hydrogeochemical factors differentially affect sediment microbial biofilms. Average microbial biomass and bacterial carbon production were low in the glacial streams, whereas bacterial cell size, biomass, and carbon production were higher in the tributaries, most notably in the krenal stream. Whole-cell in situ fluorescence hybridization revealed reduced detection rates of the Eubacteria and higher abundance of α-Proteobacteria in the glacial stream, a pattern that most probably reflects the trophic status of this ecosystem. Our data suggest low flow during the onset of snowmelt and autumn as a short period (hot moment of favorable environmental conditions with pulsed inputs of allochthonous nitrate and dissolved organic carbon, and with disproportionately high microbial growth. Tributaries are relatively more constant and favorable environments than kryal streams, and serve as possible sources of microbes and organic matter to the main glacial channel during periods (e.g., snowmelt of elevated hydrologic linkage among streams. Ice and snow dynamics - and their impact on the amount and composition of dissolved organic matter - have a crucial impact on stream biofilms, and we thus need to consider microbes and critical hydrological episodes in future models of alpine stream communities.

  10. Rare species support vulnerable functions in high-diversity ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Mouillot

    Full Text Available Around the world, the human-induced collapses of populations and species have triggered a sixth mass extinction crisis, with rare species often being the first to disappear. Although the role of species diversity in the maintenance of ecosystem processes has been widely investigated, the role of rare species remains controversial. A critical issue is whether common species insure against the loss of functions supported by rare species. This issue is even more critical in species-rich ecosystems where high functional redundancy among species is likely and where it is thus often assumed that ecosystem functioning is buffered against species loss. Here, using extensive datasets of species occurrences and functional traits from three highly diverse ecosystems (846 coral reef fishes, 2,979 alpine plants, and 662 tropical trees, we demonstrate that the most distinct combinations of traits are supported predominantly by rare species both in terms of local abundance and regional occupancy. Moreover, species that have low functional redundancy and are likely to support the most vulnerable functions, with no other species carrying similar combinations of traits, are rarer than expected by chance in all three ecosystems. For instance, 63% and 98% of fish species that are likely to support highly vulnerable functions in coral reef ecosystems are locally and regionally rare, respectively. For alpine plants, 32% and 89% of such species are locally and regionally rare, respectively. Remarkably, 47% of fish species and 55% of tropical tree species that are likely to support highly vulnerable functions have only one individual per sample on average. Our results emphasize the importance of rare species conservation, even in highly diverse ecosystems, which are thought to exhibit high functional redundancy. Rare species offer more than aesthetic, cultural, or taxonomic diversity value; they disproportionately increase the potential breadth of functions provided by

  11. Rare species support vulnerable functions in high-diversity ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mouillot, David; Bellwood, David R; Baraloto, Christopher; Chave, Jerome; Galzin, Rene; Harmelin-Vivien, Mireille; Kulbicki, Michel; Lavergne, Sebastien; Lavorel, Sandra; Mouquet, Nicolas; Paine, C E Timothy; Renaud, Julien; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2013-01-01

    Around the world, the human-induced collapses of populations and species have triggered a sixth mass extinction crisis, with rare species often being the first to disappear. Although the role of species diversity in the maintenance of ecosystem processes has been widely investigated, the role of rare species remains controversial. A critical issue is whether common species insure against the loss of functions supported by rare species. This issue is even more critical in species-rich ecosystems where high functional redundancy among species is likely and where it is thus often assumed that ecosystem functioning is buffered against species loss. Here, using extensive datasets of species occurrences and functional traits from three highly diverse ecosystems (846 coral reef fishes, 2,979 alpine plants, and 662 tropical trees), we demonstrate that the most distinct combinations of traits are supported predominantly by rare species both in terms of local abundance and regional occupancy. Moreover, species that have low functional redundancy and are likely to support the most vulnerable functions, with no other species carrying similar combinations of traits, are rarer than expected by chance in all three ecosystems. For instance, 63% and 98% of fish species that are likely to support highly vulnerable functions in coral reef ecosystems are locally and regionally rare, respectively. For alpine plants, 32% and 89% of such species are locally and regionally rare, respectively. Remarkably, 47% of fish species and 55% of tropical tree species that are likely to support highly vulnerable functions have only one individual per sample on average. Our results emphasize the importance of rare species conservation, even in highly diverse ecosystems, which are thought to exhibit high functional redundancy. Rare species offer more than aesthetic, cultural, or taxonomic diversity value; they disproportionately increase the potential breadth of functions provided by ecosystems across

  12. Chemical Analysis of Pottery Demonstrates Prehistoric Origin for High-Altitude Alpine Dairying.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrer, Francesco; Colonese, André Carlo; Lucquin, Alexandre; Petersen Guedes, Eduardo; Thompson, Anu; Walsh, Kevin; Reitmaier, Thomas; Craig, Oliver E

    2016-01-01

    The European high Alps are internationally renowned for their dairy produce, which are of huge cultural and economic significance to the region. Although the recent history of alpine dairying has been well studied, virtually nothing is known regarding the origins of this practice. This is due to poor preservation of high altitude archaeological sites and the ephemeral nature of transhumance economic practices. Archaeologists have suggested that stone structures that appear around 3,000 years ago are associated with more intense seasonal occupation of the high Alps and perhaps the establishment of new economic strategies. Here, we report on organic residue analysis of small fragments of pottery sherds that are occasionally preserved both at these sites and earlier prehistoric rock-shelters. Based mainly on isotopic criteria, dairy lipids could only be identified on ceramics from the stone structures, which date to the Iron Age (ca. 3,000-2,500 BP), providing the earliest evidence of this practice in the high Alps. Dairy production in such a marginal environment implies a high degree of risk even by today's standards. We postulate that this practice was driven by population increase and climate deterioration that put pressure on lowland agropastoral systems and the establishment of more extensive trade networks, leading to greater demand for highly nutritious and transportable dairy products.

  13. Comparison of Stream Temperature Modeling Approaches: The Case of a High Alpine Watershed in the Context of Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallice, A.

    2015-12-01

    Stream temperature controls important aspects of the riverine habitat, such as the rate of spawning or death of many fish species, or the concentration of numerous dissolved substances. In the current context of accelerating climate change, the future evolution of stream temperature is regarded as uncertain, particularly in the Alps. This uncertainty fostered the development of many prediction models, which are usually classified in two categories: mechanistic models and statistical models. Based on the numerical resolution of physical conservation laws, mechanistic models are generally considered to provide more reliable long-term estimates than regression models. However, despite their physical basis, these models are observed to differ quite significantly in some aspects of their implementation, notably (1) the routing of water in the river channel and (2) the estimation of the temperature of groundwater discharging into the stream. For each one of these two aspects, we considered several of the standard modeling approaches reported in the literature and implemented them in a new modular framework. The latter is based on the spatially-distributed snow model Alpine3D, which is essentially used in the framework to compute the amount of water infiltrating in the upper soil layer. Starting from there, different methods can be selected for the computation of the water and energy fluxes in the hillslopes and in the river network. We relied on this framework to compare the various methodologies for river channel routing and groundwater temperature modeling. We notably assessed the impact of each these approaches on the long-term stream temperature predictions of the model under a typical climate change scenario. The case study was conducted over a high Alpine catchment in Switzerland, whose hydrological and thermal regimes are expected to be markedly affected by climate change. The results show that the various modeling approaches lead to significant differences in the

  14. Ontogenetic niche shifts in three Vaccinium species on a sub-alpine mountain side

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Auffret, Alistair G.; Meineri, Eric; Bruun, Hans Henrik

    2010-01-01

    . uliginosum and V. vitis-idaea on a mountain slope in northern Sweden in relation to current adult occurrence. Methods: We combined a seed-sowing experiment in seven community types with adult occurrence observations and species distribution mapping. Results: Emergence of V. myrtillus and V. vitis...

  15. Stable Water Use Efficiency under Climate Change of Three Sympatric Conifer Species at the Alpine Treeline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wieser, Gerhard; Oberhuber, Walter; Gruber, Andreas; Leo, Marco; Matyssek, Rainer; Grams, Thorsten Erhard Edgar

    2016-01-01

    The ability of treeline associated conifers in the Central Alps to cope with recent climate warming and increasing CO2 concentration is still poorly understood. We determined tree ring stable carbon and oxygen isotope ratios of Pinus cembra, Picea abies, and Larix decidua trees from 1975 to 2010. Stable isotope ratios were compared with leaf level gas exchange measurements carried out in situ between 1979 and 2007. Results indicate that tree ring derived intrinsic water-use efficiency (iWUE) of P. cembra, P. abies and L. decidua remained constant during the last 36 years despite climate warming and rising atmospheric CO2. Temporal patterns in Δ(13)C and Δ(18)O mirrored leaf level gas exchange assessments, suggesting parallel increases of CO2-fixation and stomatal conductance of treeline conifer species. As at the study site soil water availability was not a limiting factor iWUE remained largely stable throughout the study period. The stability in iWUE was accompanied by an increase in basal area increment (BAI) suggesting that treeline trees benefit from both recent climate warming and CO2 fertilization. Finally, our results suggest that iWUE may not change species composition at treeline in the Austrian Alps due to similar ecophysiological responses to climatic changes of the three sympatric study species.

  16. Stable water use efficiency under climate change of three sympatric conifer species at the Alpine treeline

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerhard eWieser

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The ability of treeline associated conifers in the Central Alps to cope with recent climate warming and increasing CO2 concentration is still poorly understood. We determined tree ring stable carbon and oxygen isotope ratios of Pinus cembra, Picea abies and Larix decidua trees from 1975-2010. Stable isotope ratios were compared with leaf level gas exchange measurements carried out in situ between 1979 and 2007. Results indicate that tree ring derived intrinsic water-use efficiency (iWUE of P. cembra, P. abies and L. decidua remained constant during the last 36 years despite climate warming and rising atmospheric CO2. Temporal patterns in Δ13C and Δ18O mirrored leaf level gas exchange assessments, suggesting parallel increases of CO2-fixation and stomatal conductance of treeline conifer species. As at the study site soil water availability was not a limiting factor iWUE remained largely stable throughout the study period. The stability in iWUE was accompanied by an increase in basal area increment (BAI suggesting that treeline trees benefit from both recent climate warming and CO2 fertilization. Finally, our results suggest that iWUE may not change species composition at treeline in the Austrian Alps due to similar ecophysiological responses to climatic changes of the three sympatric study species.

  17. Historic records of organic compounds from a high Alpine glacier: influences of biomass burning, anthropogenic emissions, and dust transport

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller-Tautges, C.; Eichler, A.; Schwikowski, M.; Pezzatti, G. B.; Conedera, M.; Hoffmann, T.

    2016-01-01

    Historic records of α-dicarbonyls (glyoxal, methylglyoxal), carboxylic acids (C6-C12 dicarboxylic acids, pinic acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, phthalic acid, 4-methylphthalic acid), and ions (oxalate, formate, calcium) were determined with annual resolution in an ice core from Grenzgletscher in the southern Swiss Alps, covering the time period from 1942 to 1993. Chemical analysis of the organic compounds was conducted using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) coupled to electrospray ionization high-resolution mass spectrometry (ESI-HRMS) for dicarbonyls and long-chain carboxylic acids and ion chromatography for short-chain carboxylates. Long-term records of the carboxylic acids and dicarbonyls, as well as their source apportionment, are reported for western Europe. This is the first study comprising long-term trends of dicarbonyls and long-chain dicarboxylic acids (C6-C12) in Alpine precipitation. Source assignment of the organic species present in the ice core was performed using principal component analysis. Our results suggest biomass burning, anthropogenic emissions, and transport of mineral dust to be the main parameters influencing the concentration of organic compounds. Ice core records of several highly correlated compounds (e.g., p-hydroxybenzoic acid, pinic acid, pimelic, and suberic acids) can be related to the forest fire history in southern Switzerland. P-hydroxybenzoic acid was found to be the best organic fire tracer in the study area, revealing the highest correlation with the burned area from fires. Historical records of methylglyoxal, phthalic acid, and dicarboxylic acids adipic acid, sebacic acid, and dodecanedioic acid are comparable with that of anthropogenic emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The small organic acids, oxalic acid and formic acid, are both highly correlated with calcium, suggesting their records to be affected by changing mineral dust transport to the drilling site.

  18. Changes in plant species composition and diversity of alpine Kobresia (Kobresia pygmaea) steppe meadow at different stages of desertification in the North Tibetan plateau

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    The impacts of desertification on the vegetation composition, structure, and species diversity of alpine Kobresia steppe meadow were evaluated in an area of severe desertification in Anduo County, Tibet Autonomous Region, northern China. We investigated and analyzed the floristic features of communities at four different stages of desertification (slight desertification [SLD], moderate desertification [MD], severe desertification [SD], and very severe desertification [VSD]). The composition and structure of the alpine Kobresia steppe meadow at the SLD site differed significantly from that at the MD, SD, and VSD sites. Species that were more drought resistant and inedible by livestock were the dominant species at the SD site. No plants were found in the shifting dunes of the VSD site. Species diversity also decreased with increasing desertification. The SLD site had the largest mean number of species and individuals and the largest richness index; the MD grassland had the largest Shannon-Wiener index and evenness index, but the smallest Simpson’s index. The vegetation cover declined from 91.8% to 34.8% as desertification increased from SLD to SD, and reached 0% in VSD areas with shifting dunes.

  19. Measured and modelled cloud condensation nuclei number concentration at the high alpine site Jungfraujoch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. Jurányi

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Atmospheric aerosol particles are able to act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN and are therefore important for the climate and the hydrological cycle, but their properties are not fully understood. Total CCN number concentrations at 10 different supersaturations in the range of SS=0.12–1.18% were measured in May 2008 at the remote high alpine research station, Jungfraujoch, Switzerland (3580 m a.s.l.. In this paper, we present a closure study between measured and predicted CCN number concentrations. CCN predictions were done using dry number size distribution (scanning particle mobility sizer, SMPS and bulk chemical composition data (aerosol mass spectrometer, AMS, and multi-angle absorption photometer, MAAP in a simplified Köhler theory. The predicted and the measured CCN number concentrations agree very well and are highly correlated. A sensitivity study showed that the temporal variability of the chemical composition at the Jungfraujoch can be neglected for a reliable CCN prediction, whereas it is important to know the mean chemical composition. The exact bias introduced by using a too low or too high hygroscopicity parameter for CCN prediction was further quantified and shown to be substantial for the lowest supersaturation.

    Despite the high average organic mass fraction (~45% in the fine mode, there was no indication that the surface tension was substantially reduced at the point of CCN activation. A comparison between hygroscopicity tandem differential mobility analyzer (HTDMA, AMS/MAAP, and CCN derived κ values showed that HTDMA measurements can be used to determine particle hygroscopicity required for CCN predictions if no suitable chemical composition data are available.

  20. Measured and modelled cloud condensation nuclei concentration at the high alpine site Jungfraujoch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jurányi, Z.; Gysel, M.; Weingartner, E.; Decarlo, P. F.; Kammermann, L.; Baltensperger, U.

    2010-04-01

    Atmospheric aerosol particles are able to act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and are therefore important for the climate and the hydrological cycle, but their properties are not fully understood. Total CCN number concentrations at 10 different supersaturations in the range of SS = 0.12-1.18% were measured in May 2008 at the remote high alpine research station, Jungfraujoch, Switzerland (3580 m asl.). In this paper, we present a closure study between measured and predicted CCN number concentrations. CCN predictions were done using number size distribution (scanning particle mobility sizer, SMPS) and bulk chemical composition data (aerosol mass spectrometer, AMS, and multi-angle absorption photometer, MAAP) in a simplified Köhler theory. The predicted and the measured CCN concentrations agree very well and are highly correlated. A sensitivity study showed that the temporal variability of the chemical composition at the Jungfraujoch can be neglected for a reliable CCN prediction, whereas it is important to know the mean chemical composition. The exact bias introduced by using a too low or too high hygroscopicity parameter for CCN prediction was further quantified and shown to be substantial for the lowest supersaturation. Despite the high average organic mass fraction (45%) during the measurement campaign, there was no indication that the surface tension was substantially reduced at the point of CCN activation. A comparison between hygroscopicity tandem differential mobility analyzer (HTDMA), AMS/MAAP, and CCN derived κ values showed that HTDMA measurements can be used as a chemical composition proxy for CCN predictions if no suitable chemical composition data are available.

  1. Measured and modelled cloud condensation nuclei concentration at the high alpine site Jungfraujoch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. Jurányi

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Atmospheric aerosol particles are able to act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN and are therefore important for the climate and the hydrological cycle, but their properties are not fully understood. Total CCN number concentrations at 10 different supersaturations in the range of SS = 0.12–1.18% were measured in May 2008 at the remote high alpine research station, Jungfraujoch, Switzerland (3580 m asl.. In this paper, we present a closure study between measured and predicted CCN number concentrations. CCN predictions were done using number size distribution (scanning particle mobility sizer, SMPS and bulk chemical composition data (aerosol mass spectrometer, AMS, and multi-angle absorption photometer, MAAP in a simplified Köhler theory. The predicted and the measured CCN concentrations agree very well and are highly correlated. A sensitivity study showed that the temporal variability of the chemical composition at the Jungfraujoch can be neglected for a reliable CCN prediction, whereas it is important to know the mean chemical composition. The exact bias introduced by using a too low or too high hygroscopicity parameter for CCN prediction was further quantified and shown to be substantial for the lowest supersaturation.

    Despite the high average organic mass fraction (45% during the measurement campaign, there was no indication that the surface tension was substantially reduced at the point of CCN activation. A comparison between hygroscopicity tandem differential mobility analyzer (HTDMA, AMS/MAAP, and CCN derived κ values showed that HTDMA measurements can be used as a chemical composition proxy for CCN predictions if no suitable chemical composition data are available.

  2. Measured and modelled cloud condensation nuclei number concentration at the high alpine site Jungfraujoch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jurányi, Z.; Gysel, M.; Weingartner, E.; Decarlo, P. F.; Kammermann, L.; Baltensperger, U.

    2010-08-01

    Atmospheric aerosol particles are able to act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and are therefore important for the climate and the hydrological cycle, but their properties are not fully understood. Total CCN number concentrations at 10 different supersaturations in the range of SS=0.12-1.18% were measured in May 2008 at the remote high alpine research station, Jungfraujoch, Switzerland (3580 m a.s.l.). In this paper, we present a closure study between measured and predicted CCN number concentrations. CCN predictions were done using dry number size distribution (scanning particle mobility sizer, SMPS) and bulk chemical composition data (aerosol mass spectrometer, AMS, and multi-angle absorption photometer, MAAP) in a simplified Köhler theory. The predicted and the measured CCN number concentrations agree very well and are highly correlated. A sensitivity study showed that the temporal variability of the chemical composition at the Jungfraujoch can be neglected for a reliable CCN prediction, whereas it is important to know the mean chemical composition. The exact bias introduced by using a too low or too high hygroscopicity parameter for CCN prediction was further quantified and shown to be substantial for the lowest supersaturation. Despite the high average organic mass fraction (~45%) in the fine mode, there was no indication that the surface tension was substantially reduced at the point of CCN activation. A comparison between hygroscopicity tandem differential mobility analyzer (HTDMA), AMS/MAAP, and CCN derived κ values showed that HTDMA measurements can be used to determine particle hygroscopicity required for CCN predictions if no suitable chemical composition data are available.

  3. Nocturnal activity of a "diurnal" species, the northern chamois, in a predator-free Alpine area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carnevali, Lucilla; Lovari, Sandro; Monaco, Andrea; Mori, Emiliano

    2016-05-01

    The reduction of predation risk is widely considered a major factor affecting the nocturnal activity of mammals. Furthermore, on precipitous mountain terrain, moving in very poor light conditions should be avoided by animals with no special eyesight adaptation to darkness. The Northern chamois Rupicapra rupicapra has been for long considered as a diurnal species, with occasional nocturnal movements. For the first time, we have quantified the nocturnal activity of 21 radiotagged female chamois from the Italian Eastern Alps (Paneveggio-Pale di San Martino Natural Park), continuously monitored for two years from sunset to sunrise, with 24h tracking sessions carried out for six months. Large predators were not present in the study site. Despite their mainly diurnal activity pattern, peaks of nocturnal movements were detected throughout the year. The least proportion of active night fixes occurred in January and in July, while the most were in April and in October. The greater nocturnal activity in the warm months compared to cold periods, was probably due to frozen snow cover reducing nocturnal movements. Movements were mainly concentrated in bright moonlight nights, possibly because of the absence of large predators, but more likely because of increased visibility. Changes in activity levels throughout the year may also reflect changes in energy requirements of Northern chamois.

  4. The origins of ice crystals measured in mixed phase clouds at High-Alpine site Jungfraujoch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Lloyd

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available During the winter of 2013 and 2014 measurements of cloud microphysical properties over a five week period at the high Alpine site Jungfraujoch, Switzerland were carried out as part of the Cloud Aerosol Characterisation Experiments (CLACE and the Ice Nucleation Process Investigation and Quantification project (INUPIAQ Measurements of aerosol properties at a second, lower site, Schilthorn, Switzerland, were used as input for a primary ice nucleation scheme to predict ice nuclei concentrations at Jungfraujoch Frequent, rapid transitions in the ice and liquid properties of the clouds at Jungfraujoch were identified that led to large fluctuations in ice mass fractions over temporal scales of seconds to hours. During the measurement period we observed high concentrations of ice particles that exceeded 1000 L−1 at temperatures around −15 °C, verified by multiple instruments These concentrations could not be explained using the usual primary ice nucleation schemes, which predicted ice nucleus concentrations several orders of magnitude smaller than the peak ice crystal number concentrations. Secondary ice production through the Hallet–Mossop process as a possible explanation was ruled out, as the cloud was rarely within the active temperature range for this process It is shown that other mechanisms of secondary ice particle production cannot explain the highest ice particle concentrations. We describe 4 possible mechanisms that could lead to high cloud ice concentrations generated from the snow covered surfaces surrounding the measurement site. Of these we show that hoar frost crystals generated at the cloud enveloped snow surface could be the most important source of cloud ice concentrations Blowing snow was also observed to make significant contributions at higher wind speeds when ice crystal concentrations were −1.

  5. Mapping the Structure of the Lithosphere-Asthenosphere System Under the Alpine Orogen with High-Resolution Teleseismic Tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lippitsch, R.; Kissling, E.; Ansorge, J.

    2001-12-01

    Understanding the evolution of the Alpine orogen and the interaction between different lithospheric blocks requires precise knowledge of the structure of the lithosphere-asthenosphere system. To assess the gross features of the uppermost mantel we perform high-resolution teleseismic tomography. The data base encompasses 5000 manually picked first P-arrivals from 220 teleseismic events with even azimuthal distribution recorded at permanent and temporary seismic networks in the greater Alpine area. The tomographic study consists of these components: (1) Corrections for the contribution of the Alpine crust to travel-times of incoming wave fields that may account for up to 50% of the observed travel-time residuals. The 3-D crustal model established from controlled-source seismology data represents the large-scale Alpine crustal structure which clearly reflects the effects of the African-European plate collision. (2) Tests with synthetic data document that the combination of non-linear inversions, high-quality teleseismic data, and usage of an a priori 3-D crustal model allows reliable resolution of cells at 50km*50km*30km with a velocity variation in the order of +/- 3% in the upper mantle. (3) Our tomographic images illuminate the structure of the uppermost mantle to depth of 400 km reflecting the complex processes that formed the Alpine orogen when three different plates were amalgamated (European, Adriatic, and Ligurian plates). In the western Alps, the inversion results show a steep W-E dipping high-velocity anomaly which we interpret as the subducting European plate. In the eastern Alps we find high-velocity anomalies in a depth range of 150 km to 300 km beneath the axis of the orogen. At present, the relation of this material with European or Adriatic lithosphere remains unclear. Our results are in general agreement with earlier lithospheric studies. However, the increase in resolution illuminates significantly more complex lithospheric slab geometries, which

  6. Chemical regulation of alpine headwater streams during a storm event (Bogong High Plains, Victoria, Australia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karis, Terry; Silvester, Ewen; Rees, Gavin

    2016-11-01

    The headwater streams originating in the Australian Alps are the highest water yielding landscape in South-Eastern Australia and are projected to be impacted by climate change through longer dry periods and more episodic rainfall. In this work we studied the major ion and DOC responses of three alpine peatlands (and the broader catchment containing these systems) to a high intensity (summer) storm event. Despite the high volume of rainfall, major ions in stream waters remained strongly chemostatic throughout the event. This was particularly the case for Ca2+ and Mg2+, as well as the alkalinity by association, and suggests that chemical regulation of these particular cations occurs through rapid equilibration processes. DOC concentrations increased during the storm pulse, leading to a shift in alkalinity partitioning from bicarbonate to organic anions and a decrease in pH, mediated by the CO2 saturation levels in the stream water. Our results suggest that alkalinity generation (Ca2+ and Mg2+ acquisition) and partitioning (DOC export) are decoupled processes that may respond differently to repeat storm events depending on the capacity of these systems to provide these constituents. Under extreme case scenarios depletion of DOC (at constant alkalinity) would lead to a smaller pH dip during a storm pulse, while depletion of alkalinity would lead to a larger pH dip, with buffering controlled by free acid. We have not identified the mechanism for the chemostasis of Ca2+ and Mg2+ (and therefore alkalinity) in this work, but this will be critical to understanding the capacity of these peatlands to respond to repeat and more intense storm events.

  7. Plant Functional Diversity Can Be Independent of Species Diversity: Observations Based on the Impact of 4-Yrs of Nitrogen and Phosphorus Additions in an Alpine Meadow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wei; Cheng, Ji-Min; Yu, Kai-Liang; Epstein, Howard E; Guo, Liang; Jing, Guang-Hua; Zhao, Jie; Du, Guo-Zhen

    2015-01-01

    Past studies have widely documented the decrease in species diversity in response to addition of nutrients, however functional diversity is often independent from species diversity. In this study, we conducted a field experiment to examine the effect of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization ((NH4)2 HPO4) at 0, 15, 30 and 60 g m-2 yr-1 (F0, F15, F30 and F60) after 4 years of continuous fertilization on functional diversity and species diversity, and its relationship with productivity in an alpine meadow community on the Tibetan Plateau. To this purpose, three community-weighted mean trait values (specific leaf area, SLA; mature plant height, MPH; and seed size, SS) for 30 common species in each fertilization level were determined; three components of functional diversity (functional richness, FRic; functional evenness, FEve; and Rao's index of quadratic entropy, FRao) were quantified. Our results showed that: (i) species diversity sharply decreased, but functional diversity remained stable with fertilization; (ii) community-weighted mean traits (SLA and MPH) had a significant increase along the fertilization level; (iii) aboveground biomass was not correlated with functional diversity, but it was significantly correlated with species diversity and MPH. Our results suggest that decreases in species diversity due to fertilization do not result in corresponding changes in functional diversity. Functional identity of species may be more important than functional diversity in influencing aboveground productivity in this alpine meadow community, and our results also support the mass ratio hypothesis; that is, the traits of the dominant species influenced the community biomass production.

  8. The Structure of The Lithosphere-asthenosphere System Beneath The Alpine Orogen Derived From High-resolution Teleseismic Tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lippitsch, R.; Kissling, E.; Ansorge, J.; Transalp Working Group

    In the tectonically complex Alpine region, three different plates (European, Adriatic, and Ligurian) amalgamated when the orogen was formed. To understand the evolution of this orogen and the interactions between the three lithospheric blocks, knowledge of the actual structure of the lithosphere-asthenosphere system is of great importance. To illuminate the structure of the uppermost mantle we perform high-resolution tele- seismic tomography. Our data set consists of 4200 manually picked first P-arrivals from 220 teleseismic events with even azimuthal distribution recorded at permanent and temporary seismic networks in the greater Alpine area. In the first step of this study corrections are calculated for the contribution of the Alpine crust to travel-times of incoming wave fields that may account for up to 50% of the observed travel-time residuals. The 3D crustal model established from controlled-source seismology data represents the large-scale shallow Alpine structure which clearly reflects the effects of the Africa Europe plate collision. Tests with synthetic data document that the combi- nation of non-linear inversion, high-quality teleseismic data, and usage of an a priori 3D crustal model allows a reliable resolution of cells at 50km*50km*30km with a velocity variation in the order of +/- 3% in the upper mantle. Our tomographic images illuminate the structure of the uppermost mantle to depth of 400 km and reflect the cur- rent status of the complex processes that formed the Alpine orogen. Along strike of the Alps, the inversion reveals a fast, slab-like body beneath the orogen. We interpret this feature as the subducted mainly oceanic lithosphere, which is in many places still attached to continental European lower lithosphere. Down to 250 km depths, this slab seems to be rather thin (less than 80 km) and steeply dipping. It significantly broad- ens at greater depth. Our results are in general agreement with earlier tomographic studies. However, the increase

  9. The importance of Anatolian mountains as the cradle of global diversity in Arabis alpina, a key arctic–alpine species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ansell, Stephen W.; Stenøien, Hans K.; Grundmann, Michael; Russell, Stephen J.; Koch, Marcus A.; Schneider, Harald; Vogel, Johannes C.

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims Anatolia is a biologically diverse, but phylogeographically under-explored region. It is described as either a centre of origin and long-term Pleistocene refugium, or as a centre for genetic amalgamation, fed from distinct neighbouring refugia. These contrasting hypotheses are tested through a global phylogeographic analysis of the arctic–alpine herb, Arabis alpina. Methods Herbarium and field collections were used to sample comprehensively the entire global range, with special focus on Anatolia and Levant. Sequence variation in the chloroplast DNA trnL-trnF region was examined in 483 accessions. A haplotype genealogy was constructed and phylogeographic methods, demographic analysis and divergence time estimations were used to identify the centres of diversity and to infer colonization history. Key Results Fifty-seven haplotypes were recovered, belonging to three haplogroups with non-overlapping distributions in (1) North America/Europe/northern Africa, (2) the Caucuses/Iranian Plateau/Arabian Peninsula and (3) Ethiopia–eastern Africa. All haplogroups occur within Anatolia, and all intermediate haplotypes linking the three haplogroups are endemic to central Anatolia and Levant, where haplotypic and nucleotide diversities exceeded all other regions. The local pattern of haplotype distribution strongly resembles the global pattern, and the haplotypes began to diverge approx. 2·7 Mya, coinciding with the climate cooling of the early Middle Pleistocene. Conclusions The phylogeographic structure of Arabis alpina is consistent with Anatolia being the cradle of origin for global genetic diversification. The highly structured landscape in combination with the Pleistocene climate fluctuations has created a network of mountain refugia and the accumulation of spatially arranged genotypes. This local Pleistocene population history has subsequently left a genetic imprint at the global scale, through four range expansions from the Anatolian diversity

  10. The importance of Anatolian mountains as the cradle of global diversity in Arabis alpina, a key arctic-alpine species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ansell, Stephen W; Stenøien, Hans K; Grundmann, Michael; Russell, Stephen J; Koch, Marcus A; Schneider, Harald; Vogel, Johannes C

    2011-08-01

    Anatolia is a biologically diverse, but phylogeographically under-explored region. It is described as either a centre of origin and long-term Pleistocene refugium, or as a centre for genetic amalgamation, fed from distinct neighbouring refugia. These contrasting hypotheses are tested through a global phylogeographic analysis of the arctic-alpine herb, Arabis alpina. Herbarium and field collections were used to sample comprehensively the entire global range, with special focus on Anatolia and Levant. Sequence variation in the chloroplast DNA trnL-trnF region was examined in 483 accessions. A haplotype genealogy was constructed and phylogeographic methods, demographic analysis and divergence time estimations were used to identify the centres of diversity and to infer colonization history. Fifty-seven haplotypes were recovered, belonging to three haplogroups with non-overlapping distributions in (1) North America/Europe/northern Africa, (2) the Caucuses/Iranian Plateau/Arabian Peninsula and (3) Ethiopia-eastern Africa. All haplogroups occur within Anatolia, and all intermediate haplotypes linking the three haplogroups are endemic to central Anatolia and Levant, where haplotypic and nucleotide diversities exceeded all other regions. The local pattern of haplotype distribution strongly resembles the global pattern, and the haplotypes began to diverge approx. 2·7 Mya, coinciding with the climate cooling of the early Middle Pleistocene. The phylogeographic structure of Arabis alpina is consistent with Anatolia being the cradle of origin for global genetic diversification. The highly structured landscape in combination with the Pleistocene climate fluctuations has created a network of mountain refugia and the accumulation of spatially arranged genotypes. This local Pleistocene population history has subsequently left a genetic imprint at the global scale, through four range expansions from the Anatolian diversity centre into Europe, the Near East, Arabia and Africa. Hence

  11. Monsoon Season Moisture Deficit Limits Growth in Co-Occurring Alpine Shrub (Cassiope fastigata) and Tree (Abies spectabilis) Species in the Central Himalayas, Nepal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rayback, S. A.; Shrestha, K. B.; Hofgaard, A.

    2015-12-01

    Recent evidence indicates changing climatological conditions in the Nepalese Himalayas including decreasing precipitation, a weakening Indian monsoon and rising temperatures. Trees and shrubs found at treeline are considered to be highly sensitive to climate, but the climatic effects on these ecotone species in the Himalayas are not well understood. Dendrochronological techniques applied to co-occurring shrubs and trees up-and down-slope of treeline extend our understanding of vegetation response at range margins and into tree-less environments. We developed tree-ring width and annual height increment chronologies for Abies spectabilis (Himalayan fir) and the first annual growth increment and annual production of leaves chronologies for Cassiope fastigata (Himalayan heather) at a high elevation site in central Nepal. C. fastigata chronologies showed moisture availability in late pre-monsoon and monsoon seasons of the previous year are critical to stem elongation and leaf production (AGI and previous May-August SPEI-12, r = 0.790; LEAF and previous June-September SPEI-12, r = 0.708) A. spectabilis chronologies were significantly and negatively correlated with monsoon season temperature during the current year (tree-ring width and June mean temperature, r = -0.677; height-increment and Sept maximum temperature, r = -0.605). In addition to both long-term and recent declines in moisture in the Himalayas, moisture deficit may be further exacerbated at high elevation sites via run-off and higher levels of evapotranspiration resulting in growth reductions, dieback and even death of these species. These results highlight that not all mid-latitude, high elevation treelines are limited by temperature as previously thought and that severe drought stress may initiate downslope treeline retraction. Understanding the response of co-occurring tree and shrub species to climate, now and in the future, may help to elucidate the physiological mechanisms controlling local and

  12. Snow depth mapping in high-alpine catchments using digital photogrammetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bühler, Y.; Marty, M.; Egli, L.; Veitinger, J.; Jonas, T.; Thee, P.; Ginzler, C.

    2015-02-01

    Information on snow depth and its spatial distribution is crucial for numerous applications in snow and avalanche research as well as in hydrology and ecology. Today, snow depth distributions are usually estimated using point measurements performed by automated weather stations and observers in the field combined with interpolation algorithms. However, these methodologies are not able to capture the high spatial variability of the snow depth distribution present in alpine terrain. Continuous and accurate snow depth mapping has been successfully performed using laser scanning but this method can only cover limited areas and is expensive. We use the airborne ADS80 optoelectronic scanner, acquiring stereo imagery with 0.25 m spatial resolution to derive digital surface models (DSMs) of winter and summer terrains in the neighborhood of Davos, Switzerland. The DSMs are generated using photogrammetric image correlation techniques based on the multispectral nadir and backward-looking sensor data. In order to assess the accuracy of the photogrammetric products, we compare these products with the following independent data sets acquired simultaneously: (a) manually measured snow depth plots; (b) differential Global Navigation Satellite System (dGNSS) points; (c) terrestrial laser scanning (TLS); and (d) ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data sets. We demonstrate that the method presented can be used to map snow depth at 2 m resolution with a vertical depth accuracy of ±30 cm (root mean square error) in the complex topography of the Alps. The snow depth maps presented have an average accuracy that is better than 15 % compared to the average snow depth of 2.2 m over the entire test site.

  13. THE ABUNDANCE, DIVERSITY AND METABOLIC FOOTPRINT OF SOIL NEMATODES IS HIGHEST IN HIGH ELEVATION ALPINE GRASSLANDS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan Kergunteuil

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Nematodes are key components of soil biodiversity and represent valuable bio-indicators of soil food webs. Numerous community indices have been developed in order to track variations in soil ecosystem processes, but their use is mainly restricted to anthropogenic stresses. In this study, we propose to expand the use of nematodes’ derived ecological indices in order to shed light on variations of soil food webs in natural systems distributed along elevation gradients. For this purpose, we aimed at determining how elevation affects the community structure and the trophic diversity by studying the abundance, the composition and the functional diversity of nematode communities. Nematode communities were sampled every 200 m across five transects that span about 2000 m in elevation in the Alps. To understand the underlying ecological parameters driving these patterns we studied both abiotic factors (soil properties and biotic factors (trophic links, relationships with plant diversity. We found that (1 nematode abundance increases with elevation of lowland forests and alpine meadows; (2 differences in nematodes communities rely on habitat-specific functional diversity (e.g. tolerance to harsh environments, colonizer/persister status while most trophic groups are ubiquitous; and (3 the metabolic footprint of the complete nematode community increases with elevation. We thus conclude that the contribution of soil dwelling nematodes to belowground ecosystem processes, including carbon and energy flow, is stronger at high elevation. The resulting cascading effects on the soil food web structure are discussed from an ecosystem functioning perspective. Overall, this study highlights the importance of nematodes in soil ecosystems and brings insights in their enhanced role along ecological gradients.

  14. Diversity of Piophilidae (Diptera) in northern Canada and description of a new Holarctic species of Parapiophila McAlpine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochefort, Sabrina; Wheeler, Terry A

    2015-02-27

    Piophilidae (Diptera) were inventoried at 12 sites in boreal and arctic Canada as part of the 1947-1962 Northern Insect Survey and 2010-2011 Northern Biodiversity Program. Seventeen species were identified, including a new Holarctic species: Parapiophila kugluktuk sp. n. which is widespread in North America and northern Sweden. Allopiophila calceata Duda is considered a junior synonym of Parapiophila atrifrons (Melander & Spuler) syn. n. based on morphological and molecular evidence. Parapiophila baechlii Merz, previously known from Switzerland, is newly recorded in the Nearctic region, as well as Sweden and northeastern Russia (Cherskiy). Parapiophila pectiniventris (Duda), previously known from the Palaearctic region and Greenland, is newly recorded from North America. Species richness was highest in mainland subarctic sites (16 species, 246 specimens). Five species (13 specimens) were collected in boreal sites, and five species (701 specimens) were collected on the high arctic island sites.

  15. Crossing historical and sedimentary archives to reconstruct an extreme flood event calendar in high alpine areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilhelm, B.; Giguet-Covex, C.; Arnaud, F.; Allignol, F.; Legaz, A.; Melo, A.

    2010-09-01

    Torrential flood hazard is expected to increase in the context of global warming. However, long time-series of climate and gauge data at high-elevation sites are too sparse to assess reliably recurrence times of such events in high mountain areas. Historical documents are an alternative which provide valuable information. However, historic archives are by nature subjective and variable in quality owing to hazard perception and vulnerability according to the banks land-use throughout time. To overcome these limits, natural archives may be used as complementary records. Among the various natural archives lake sediments have the advantage to be continuous records in which particular events are preserved such as earthquakes and especially flood events. Furthermore an objective magnitude of these events can be assessed from the thickness of noteworthy event-triggered deposits. However if the recognition of major event-triggered deposits can be simple, a high-resolution dating of these events is more difficult over the historical period due to a lack of chronological markers. In this paper, we present a sediment record study of a French high alpine lake where an important effort was undertaken to date precisely 56 flood events over the last three centuries from the use of historical archives. The caesium and the lead were measured to detect the fallouts of the Chernobyl accident (1986), the atmospheric nuclear weapons tests (1955-1963) and the use of leaded gasoline which culminated in the 70's. In parallel local and regional historical archives were going through in order to correlate the thickest sediment deposits triggered by major floods and earthquakes with their potential triggering historic events. Thus we were able to associate 12 historic flood and 4 earthquake dates to particular sediment deposits. The resulting flood calendar is very well-constrained thanks to 19 chronological marks over the last 270 years, i.e. one mark by 14 years. This method permitted so

  16. Model-Based Attribution of High-Resolution Streamflow Trends in Two Alpine Basins of Western Austria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph Kormann

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Several trend studies have shown that hydrological conditions are changing considerably in the Alpine region. However, the reasons for these changes are only partially understood and trend analyses alone are not able to shed much light. Hydrological modelling is one possible way to identify the trend drivers, i.e., to attribute the detected streamflow trends, given that the model captures all important processes causing the trends. We modelled the hydrological conditions for two alpine catchments in western Austria (a large, mostly lower-altitude catchment with wide valley plains and a nested high-altitude, glaciated headwater catchment with the distributed, physically-oriented WaSiM-ETH model, which includes a dynamical glacier module. The model was calibrated in a transient mode, i.e., not only on several standard goodness measures and glacier extents, but also in such a way that the simulated streamflow trends fit with the observed ones during the investigation period 1980 to 2007. With this approach, it was possible to separate streamflow components, identify the trends of flow components, and study their relation to trends in atmospheric variables. In addition to trends in annual averages, highly resolved trends for each Julian day were derived, since they proved powerful in an earlier, data-based attribution study. We were able to show that annual and highly resolved trends can be modelled sufficiently well. The results provide a holistic, year-round picture of the drivers of alpine streamflow changes: Higher-altitude catchments are strongly affected by earlier firn melt and snowmelt in spring and increased ice melt throughout the ablation season. Changes in lower-altitude areas are mostly caused by earlier and lower snowmelt volumes. All highly resolved trends in streamflow and its components show an explicit similarity to the local temperature trends. Finally, results indicate that evapotranspiration has been increasing in the lower

  17. Geometrical properties of a discontinuity network in gneissic rock, a case study in high alpine terrain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koppensteiner, Matthias; Zangerl, Christian

    2017-04-01

    For the purposes of estimating slope stability and investigating landslide formation processes, it is indispensable to obtain information about the discontinuity properties of the rock mass. These properties control failure processes, deformation behaviour and groundwater flow. Scanline measurements represent a systematic surveying method, however they make certain demands in case of natural outcorps in a high alpine terrain. The performance of the scanline method is tested and the thereby obtained and evaluated data is compared to findings from other studies. An area of a well exposed, fractured rock mass composed of granodioritic gneisses in the Oetztal-Stubai crytalline basement of the Alps (Austria) has been chosen to perform the investigations. Eight scanlines have been measured on a single hillside with varying lengths between 8 and 30 meters. The orientations of the scanlines have been varied in order to minimize the sampling bias associated with the angle between the scanlines and the intersected discontinuities. For every intersecting discontinuity at a certain tape length, the orientation, the trace length and the terminations of the trace have been recorded. Primarily, the discontinuity data from all scanlines have been analyzed with the software package Dips (Rocscience, 1989) in order to determine their allocation in sets. For the evaluation of the spacing and trace length properties, two scripts have been developed in the language Matlab (The MathWorks, 1984) to faciliate setwise processing of the entire dataset. Variation of the scanline directions and lengths returned homogeneous sample sizes for the individual discontinuity sets. Both, normal spacings and trace lengths show negative exponential distributions for all sets. A comparison of four different methods to estimate trace lengths show that the result is highly dependent on the chosen method itself. However, when the relation of the results for the respective sets within one of the methods is

  18. Ecological implications of reduced pollen supply in the alpine: a case study using a dominant cushion plant species [v2; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/3xc

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anya Reid

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The reproductive assurance hypothesis states that self-incompatible female plants must produce twice the number of seeds relative to their self-compatible hermaphroditic counterparts to persist in gynodioecious populations. This is a viable life-history strategy, provided that pollination rates are sufficiently high. However, reduced pollination rates in alpine plants are likely due to climate induced plant-pollinator mismatches and general declines in pollinators. Using a gynodioecious population of the dominant plant Silene acaulis (Caryophyllaceae, we tested the reproductive assurance hypothesis and also the stress gradient hypothesis with a series of pollinator exclusion trials and extensive measurements of subsequent reproductive output (gender ratio, plant size, percent fruit-set, fruit weight, seeds per fruit, total seeds, seed weight, and seed germination. The reproductive assurance hypothesis was supported with female plants being more sensitive to and less likely to be viable under reductions in pollination rates. These findings are the first to show that the stress gradient hypothesis is also supported under a gradient of pollen supply instead of environmental limitations. Beneficiary abundance was negatively correlated to percent fruit-set under current pollen supply, but became positive under reduced pollen supply suggesting that there are important plant-plant-pollinator interactions related to reproduction in these alpine plant species.

  19. Ecological implications of reduced pollen deposition in alpine plants: a case study using a dominant cushion plant species [v1; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/3mb

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anya Reid

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The reproductive assurance hypothesis states that self-incompatible female plants must produce twice the number of seeds relative to their self-compatible hermaphroditic counterparts to persist in gynodioecious populations. This is a viable life-history strategy, provided that pollination rates are sufficiently high. However, reduced pollination rates in alpine plants are likely due to climate induced plant-pollinator mismatches and general declines in pollinators. Using a gynodioecious population of the dominant plant Silene acaulis (Caryophyllaceae, we tested the reproductive assurance hypothesis and also the stress gradient hypothesis with a series of pollinator exclusion trials and extensive measurements of subsequent reproductive output (gender ratio, plant size, percent fruit-set, fruit weight, seeds per fruit, total seeds, seed weight, and seed germination. The reproductive assurance hypothesis was supported with female plants being more sensitive to and less likely to be viable under reductions in pollination rates. These findings are the first to show that the stress gradient hypothesis is also supported under a gradient of pollen supply instead of environmental limitations. Beneficiary abundance was negatively correlated to percent fruit-set under current pollen supply, but became positive under reduced pollen supply suggesting that there are important plant-plant-pollinator interactions related to reproduction in these alpine plant species.

  20. Identifying key conservation threats to Alpine birds through expert knowledge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamberlain, Dan E; Pedrini, Paolo; Brambilla, Mattia; Rolando, Antonio; Girardello, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Alpine biodiversity is subject to a range of increasing threats, but the scarcity of data for many taxa means that it is difficult to assess the level and likely future impact of a given threat. Expert opinion can be a useful tool to address knowledge gaps in the absence of adequate data. Experts with experience in Alpine ecology were approached to rank threat levels for 69 Alpine bird species over the next 50 years for the whole European Alps in relation to ten categories: land abandonment, climate change, renewable energy, fire, forestry practices, grazing practices, hunting, leisure, mining and urbanization. There was a high degree of concordance in ranking of perceived threats among experts for most threat categories. The major overall perceived threats to Alpine birds identified through expert knowledge were land abandonment, urbanization, leisure and forestry, although other perceived threats were ranked highly for particular species groups (renewable energy and hunting for raptors, hunting for gamebirds). For groups of species defined according to their breeding habitat, open habitat species and treeline species were perceived as the most threatened. A spatial risk assessment tool based on summed scores for the whole community showed threat levels were highest for bird communities of the northern and western Alps. Development of the approaches given in this paper, including addressing biases in the selection of experts and adopting a more detailed ranking procedure, could prove useful in the future in identifying future threats, and in carrying out risk assessments based on levels of threat to the whole bird community.

  1. High-resolution seismic analysis of the coastal Mecklenburg Bay (North German Basin): the pre-Alpine evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zöllner, H.; Reicherter, K.; Schikowsky, P.

    2008-09-01

    The pre-Alpine structural and geological evolution in the northern part of the North German Basin have been revealed on the basis of a very dense reflection seismic profile grid. The study area is situated in the coastal Mecklenburg Bay (Germany), part of the southwestern Baltic Sea. From the central part of the North German Basin to the northern basin margin in the Grimmen High area a series of high-resolution maps show the evolution from the base Zechstein to the Lower Jurassic. We present a map of basement faults affecting the pre-Zechstein. The pre-Alpine structural evolution of the region has been determined from digital mapping of post-Permian key horizons traced on the processed seismic time sections. The geological evolution of the North German Basin can be separated into four distinct periods in the Rerik study area. During Late Permian and Early Triassic evaporites and clastics were deposited. Salt movement was initiated after the deposition of the Middle Triassic Muschelkalk. Salt pillows, which were previously unmapped in the study area, are responsible for the creation of smaller subsidence centers and angular unconformities in the Late Triassic Keuper, especially in the vicinity of the fault-bounded Grimmen High. In this area, partly Lower Jurassic sediments overlie the Keuper unconformably. The change from extension to compression in the regional stress field remobilized the salt, leading to a major unconformity marked at the base of the Late Cretaceous.

  2. Response of Polygonum viviparum Species and Community Level to Long-term Livestock Grazing in Alpine Shrub Meadow in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhi-Hong Zhu; Jeremy Lundholm; Yingnian Li; Xiaoan Wang

    2008-01-01

    Grazing by domestic herbivores is generally recognized as a major ecological factor and an important evolutionary force in grasslands. Grazing has both extensive and profound effects on individual plants and communities. We investigated the response patterns of Polygonum viviparum species and the species diversity of an alpine shrub meadow in response to long-term livestock grazing by a field manipulative experiment controlling livestock numbers on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China. Here, we hypothesize that within a range of grazing pressure, grazing can alter relative allocation to different plant parts without changing total biomass for some plant species if there is life history trade-offs between plant traits. The same type of communities exposed to different grazing pressures may only alter relative species' abundances or species composition and not vary species diversity because plant species differ in resistant capability to herbivory. The results show that plant height and biomass of different organs differed among grazing treatments but total biomass remained constant. Biomass allocation and absolute investments to both reproduction and growth decreased and to belowground storage increased with increased grazing pressure, indicating the increasing in storage function was attained at a cost of reducing reproduction of bulbils and represented an optimal allocation and an adaptive response of the species to long-term aboveground damage. Moreover, our results showed multiform response types for either species groups or single species along the gradient of grazing Intensity. Heavy grazing caused a 13.2% increase in species richness. There was difference in species composition of about 18%--20% among grazing treatment. Shannon-Wiener (H') diversity index and species evenness (E) index did not differ among grazing treatments. These results support our hypothesis.

  3. Lack of photosynthetic or stomatal regulation after 9 years of elevated [CO2] and 4 years of soil warming in two conifer species at the alpine treeline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Streit, Kathrin; Siegwolf, Rolf T W; Hagedorn, Frank; Schaub, Marcus; Buchmann, Nina

    2014-02-01

    Alpine treelines are temperature-limited vegetation boundaries. Understanding the effects of elevated [CO2 ] and warming on CO2 and H2 O gas exchange may help predict responses of treelines to global change. We measured needle gas exchange of Larix decidua Mill. and Pinus mugo ssp. uncinata DC trees after 9 years of free air CO2 enrichment (575 µmol mol(-1) ) and 4 years of soil warming (+4 °C) and analysed δ(13) C and δ(18) O values of needles and tree rings. Tree needles under elevated [CO2 ] showed neither nitrogen limitation nor end-product inhibition, and no down-regulation of maximal photosynthetic rate (Amax ) was found. Both tree species showed increased net photosynthetic rates (An ) under elevated [CO2 ] (L. decidua: +39%; P. mugo: +35%). Stomatal conductance (gH2O ) was insensitive to changes in [CO2 ], thus transpiration rates remained unchanged and intrinsic water-use efficiency (iWUE) increased due to higher An . Soil warming affected neither An nor gH2O . Unresponsiveness of gH2O to [CO2 ] and warming was confirmed by δ(18) O needle and tree ring values. Consequently, under sufficient water supply, elevated [CO2 ] induced sustained enhancement in An and lead to increased C inputs into this ecosystem, while soil warming hardly affected gas exchange of L. decidua and P. mugo at the alpine treeline.

  4. Climate change and alpine stream biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hotaling, Scott; Finn, Debra S.; Joseph Giersch, J.

    2017-01-01

    In alpine regions worldwide, climate change is dramatically altering ecosystems and affecting biodiversity in many ways. For streams, receding alpine glaciers and snowfields, paired with altered precipitation regimes, are driving shifts in hydrology, species distributions, basal resources......, and threatening the very existence of some habitats and biota. Alpine streams harbour substantial species and genetic diversity due to significant habitat insularity and environmental heterogeneity. Climate change is expected to affect alpine stream biodiversity across many levels of biological resolution from...... micro- to macroscopic organisms and genes to communities. Herein, we describe the current state of alpine stream biology from an organism-focused perspective. We begin by reviewing seven standard and emerging approaches that combine to form the current state of the discipline. We follow with a call...

  5. Molecular genetics and diversity of primary biogenic aerosol particles in urban, rural, and high-alpine air

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Després

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available This study explores the applicability of molecular methods for the characterization of primary biogenic aerosol (PBA particles in the atmosphere. Samples of fine particulate matter (PM2.5 and total suspended particulates (TSP have been collected on different types of filter materials at urban, rural, and high-alpine locations along an altitude transect in the south of Germany (Munich, Hohenpeissenberg, Mt. Zugspitze.

    From filter aliquots loaded with about one milligram of air particulate matter, DNA could be extracted and DNA sequences could be determined for bacteria, fungi, plants and animals. Sequence analyses were used to determine the identity of biological organisms, and terminal restriction length polymorphism analyses (T-RFLP were applied to estimate diversities and relative abundances of bacteria. Investigations of blank and background samples showed that filter materials have to be decontaminated prior to use, and that the sampling and handling procedures have to be carefully controlled to avoid artifacts in the analyses.

    Mass fractions of DNA in PM2.5 were found to be around 0.05% in urban, rural, and high alpine aerosols. The average concentration of DNA determined for urban air was on the order of ~7 ng m−3, indicating that human adults may inhale about one microgram of DNA per day (corresponding to ~105 haploid human genomes.

    Most of the bacterial sequences found in PM2.5 were from Proteobacteria (42 and some from Actinobacteria (10 and Firmicutes (1. The fungal sequences were characteristic for Ascomycota (3 and Basidiomycetes (1, which are known to actively discharge spores into the atmosphere. The plant sequences could be attributed to green plants (2 and moss spores (2, while animal DNA was found only for one unicellular eukaryote (protist.

    Over 80% of the 53 bacterial sequences could be matched with about 40% of the 19 T-RF peaks (58

  6. Analysis of a high-resolution regional climate simulation for Alpine temperature. Validation and influence of the NAO

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Proemmel, K. [GKSS-Forschungszentrum Geesthacht GmbH (Germany). Inst. fuer Kuestenforschung

    2008-11-06

    To determine whether the increase in resolution of climate models improves the representation of climate is a crucial topic in regional climate modelling. An improvement over coarser-scale models is expected especially in areas with complex orography or along coastlines. However, some studies have shown no clear added value for regional climate models. In this study a high-resolution regional climate model simulation performed with REMO over the period 1958-1998 is analysed for 2m temperature over the orographically complex European Alps and their surroundings called the Greater Alpine Region (GAR). The model setup is in hindcast mode meaning that the simulation is driven with perfect boundary conditions by the ERA40 reanalysis through prescribing the values at the lateral boundaries and spectral nudging of the large-scale wind field inside the model domain. The added value is analysed between the regional climate simulation with a resolution of 1/6 and the driving reanalysis with a resolution of 1.125 . Before analysing the added value both the REMO simulation and the ERA40 reanalysis are validated against different station datasets of monthly and daily mean 2m temperature. The largest dataset is the dense, homogenised and quality controlled HISTALP dataset covering the whole GAR, which gave the opportunity for the validation undertaken in this study. The temporal variability of temperature, as quantified by correlation, is well represented by both REMO and ERA40. However, both show considerable biases. The REMO bias reaches 3 K in summer in regions known to experience a problem with summer drying in a number of regional models. In winter the bias is strongly influenced by the choice of the temperature lapse rate, which is applied to compare grid box and station data at different altitudes, and has the strongest influence on inner Alpine subregions where the altitude differences are largest. By applying a constant lapse rate the REMO bias in winter in the high

  7. Aerosol size distributions measured in urban, rural and high-alpine air with an electrical low pressure impactor (ELPI)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Held, A.; Zerrath, A.; McKeon, U.; Fehrenbach, T.; Niessner, R.; Plass-Dülmer, C.; Kaminski, U.; Berresheim, H.; Pöschl, U.

    An electrical low pressure impactor (ELPI) was used to study atmospheric aerosol particle number, surface, and mass concentrations and size distributions over a diameter range of 7 nm-10 μm at urban, rural and high-alpine locations along an alpine altitude transect across Southern Germany. The measurements were performed in the city of Munich and at the global atmosphere watch (GAW) stations Hohenpeißenberg and Zugspitze in the years 2001-2004. To minimize particle bounce effects and enable chemical analysis of the collected particles without disturbance by grease on the impaction substrates, the sample flow was conditioned to about 75% relative humidity. The performance of the ELPI instrument was evaluated by comparison with well-established aerosol measurement techniques including condensation particle counters, scanning and differential mobility particle sizers, filter sampling, and gravimetric determination of particulate mass. In general, particle number concentrations, size distributions, and PM2.5 concentrations determined with the ELPI were in good agreement with alternative techniques (rank correlation coefficients ρ = 0.70-0.95). The ELPI filter stage data for the particle diameter range of 7-30 nm, however, appeared to be strongly biased towards high values. Long-term measurements at the rural site (Hohenpeißenberg) revealed distinct seasonal patterns with the highest number concentrations in summer (median daily average: 3100 cm -3) and the highest mass concentrations in spring and fall (median daily average PM2.5 and PM10: 21-25 and 27-35 μg m -3, respectively). In spring and fall we also observed pronounced maxima of particle surface and mass concentration in the coarse mode (peak at ˜3 μm), which are most likely due to primary biological material. Relatively clean air (PM10 urban air from Munich (NE) clearly contributed to elevated particle mass loadings (PM10 > = 10 μg m -3).

  8. High-resolution dynamical downscaling of reanalysis data and coupling to a distributed hydrological model in high alpine terrain - a case study in the Berchtesgaden Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warscher, Michael; Wagner, Sven; Laux, Patrick; Smiatek, Gerhard; Kunstmann, Harald

    2017-04-01

    High-resolution dynamical downscaling of ERA-Interim reanalysis data is performed for the high alpine region of the Berchtesgaden Alps using the regional climate model (RCM) WRF. The spatial resolutions of the two nested RCM model domains are 15 km and 5 km respectively. The RCM data is subsequently coupled to the distributed hydrological model (HM) WaSiM using several bias correction methods. A gridded observation dataset (REGNIE, German Weather Service - DWD), meteorological data from a dense station network in the region, and runoff gauge data are used to validate the RCM and HM results. The RCM results of both model domains as well as the forcing data are compared to observations on an hourly, daily and monthly basis. The focus is on the variables necessary to force the HM, which are temperature, humidity, precipitation, wind speed and global radiation. The comparisons reveal that the high spatial resolution of 5 km is necessary to reproduce small scale spatial variations in the complex alpine terrain. The RCM simulations show an added value compared to the forcing atmospheric data by improving absolute values and temporal dynamics of the meteorological variables, especially for precipitation. However, it is shown that the spatial resolution is still not sufficient to cover and reproduce all spatial heterogeneities in the catchment, and that there are still biases in the RCM data. Therefore, several statistical bias correction methods are used to correct the RCM data for biases and elevation effects. The HM is subsequently forced using the corrected data, and model results are compared to runoff gauge data. The results show that regional dynamical downscaling in alpine regions has to be performed in very high spatial resolutions in order to reproduce small scale spatial variations and to reduce model biases. Despite these improvements, subsequent bias correction of the RCM data is still necessary to facilitate meaningful hydrological predictions.

  9. High T-P frictional strength and stability of exhumed fault core gouges, Alpine Fault, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boulton, C. J.; Moore, D. E.; Lockner, D. A.; Toy, V. G.; Townend, J.; Sutherland, R.

    2013-12-01

    Borehole temperature measurements acquired during the Deep Fault Drilling Project (DFDP-1) reveal a high geothermal gradient at shallow depths on the central Alpine Fault, New Zealand [62.6×2.1°C/km; Sutherland et al., 2012]. To investigate how an elevated geothermal gradient might affect fault strength and stability, eighteen hydrothermal shearing experiments have been performed using samples of two fault gouges recovered from depths of 90 m and 128 m. Using a triaxial deformation apparatus, ten experiments were conducted following a lithostatic pressure gradient (average crustal density, ρ, = 2650 kg/m3), hydrostatic pore fluid pressure (pore fluid factor, λ, = 0.40), and a 35°C/km geothermal gradient. Six experiments were conducted at equivalent effective normal stresses with elevated temperatures, and two experiments were conducted at room temperature, σn'=31.2 MPa. Sliding velocities varied between 0.01 μm/s and 3 μm/s. The coefficient of friction of montmorillonite-bearing DFDP-1B brown gouge was observed to increase markedly with temperature and pressure (T=70°C to 210°C, σn'=31.2 MPa to 93.6 MPa), from μ=0.49 to μ=0.74; it also underwent a stability transition from positive to negative rate dependence at 140°C, σn'=62.4 MPa. The chlorite/white mica-bearing DFDP-1A blue gouge was frictionally strong (μ=0.61-0.76) across a range of experimental conditions (T=70°C to 350°C, σn'=31.2 MPa to 156 MPa) and underwent a stability transition from positive to negative rate dependence at 210°C, σn'≥31.2 MPa. To investigate the conditions necessary for shear failure to occur on a fault plane composed of the 1A blue gouge, the experimentally determined coefficient of friction (μ=0.70 at T=210°C and σn'=62.4 MPa to 93.6 MPa) was used with the seismologically determined stress tensor [Boese et al., 2012] in a three-dimensional analysis following the method of Leclère and Fabbri [2013]. A low stress ratio, (σ2-σ3)/(σ1-σ3)≤0.30, and/or pore

  10. Genetic population structure of the alpine species Rhododendron pseudochrysanthum sensu lato (Ericaceae inferred from chloroplast and nuclear DNA

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    Wang Wei-Kuang

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A complex of incipient species with different degrees of morphological or ecological differentiation provides an ideal model for studying species divergence. We examined the phylogeography and the evolutionary history of the Rhododendron pseudochrysanthum s. l. Results Systematic inconsistency was detected between gene genealogies of the cpDNA and nrDNA. Rooted at R. hyperythrum and R. formosana, both trees lacked reciprocal monophyly for all members of the complex. For R. pseudochrysanthum s.l., the spatial distribution of the cpDNA had a noteworthy pattern showing high genetic differentiation (FST = 0.56-0.72 between populations in the Yushan Mountain Range and populations of the other mountain ranges. Conclusion Both incomplete lineage sorting and interspecific hybridization/introgression may have contributed to the lack of monophyly among R. hyperythrum, R. formosana and R. pseudochrysanthum s.l. Independent colonizations, plus low capabilities of seed dispersal in current environments, may have resulted in the genetic differentiation between populations of different mountain ranges. At the population level, the populations of Central, and Sheishan Mountains may have undergone postglacial demographic expansion, while populations of the Yushan Mountain Range are likely to have remained stable ever since the colonization. In contrast, the single population of the Alishan Mountain Range with a fixed cpDNA haplotype may have experienced bottleneck/founder's events.

  11. Alpine dams

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    Alain Marnezy

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Les barrages-réservoirs de montagne ont été réalisés initialement dans les Alpes pour répondre à la demande d’énergie en période hivernale. Une certaine diversification des usages de l’eau s’est ensuite progressivement développée, en relation avec le développement touristique des collectivités locales. Aujourd’hui, la participation des ouvrages d’Électricité De France à la production de neige de culture représente une nouvelle étape. Dans les régions où les aménagements hydroélectriques sont nombreux, les besoins en eau pour la production de neige peuvent être résolus par prélèvements à partir des adductions EDF. Les gestionnaires de stations échappent ainsi aux inconvénients liés à la construction et à la gestion des « retenues collinaires ». Cette évolution, qui concerne déjà quelques régions alpines comme la haute Maurienne ou le Beaufortin, apparaît comme une forme renouvelée d’intégration territoriale de la ressource en eau.Mountain reservoirs were initially built in the Alps to meet energy needs in the winter. A certain diversification in the uses of water then gradually developed, related to tourism development in the local communities. Today, the use of facilities belonging to EDF (French Electricity Authority to provide water for winter resorts to make artificial snow represents a new phase. By taking water from EDF resources to supply snow-making equipment, resort managers are thus able to avoid the problems related to the construction and management of small headwater dams. This new orientation in the use of mountain water resources already affects a number of alpine regions such as the Upper Maurienne valley and Beaufortain massif and represents a renewed form of the territorial integration of water resources.

  12. Seed germinating characteristics of 54 gramineous species in the alpine meadow on the eastern Qinghai-Tibet plateau

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    The germination experiment was started on March 3,2004,and seeds were collected from July to October in 2003.We analyzed the percentage of germination,days to first germination,germination period and days to 50% germination.Among the 54 examined species,26 species exceeded 80% germination,11 species exceeded 60%-80% germination,8 exceeded 40%-0%,5 exceeded20%-40%,and 4 showed less than 20%.A principalcomponent analysis revealed that the species were distributed along two statistically independent axes,the first primarily represented the germination rate and the second represented the time of germination process.Based on scores of germination characteristics,duster analysis of the 54 gramineous species could be divided into 4 distinct groups:rapid,slow,intermediate germinating (germination percentage> 50%),and low germinating (germination percentage< 50%).The meaning of different groups to the vegetation regeneration was discussed.

  13. Contrasting effects of winter and summer climate on alpine timberline evolution in monsoon-dominated East Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Ying; Liu, Hongyan; Wang, Hongya; Piao, Shilong; Yin, Yi; Ciais, Philippe; Wu, Xiuchen; Luo, Yao; Zhang, Caina; Song, Yaqiong; Gao, Yishen; Qiu, Anan

    2017-08-01

    Alpine timberline is particularly sensitive to global climate change, with the danger of losing essential ecosystem services in high elevational regions. Its evolution is generally linked to annual average thermal regimes, and is regarded as an indicator of climate warming. However, the effect of uneven seasonal climate change stressed by the Hijioka et al. (2014) on alpine timberline dynamics in terms of both position migration and species composition remains unclear. Here, we documented approximately 6000 years of postglacial alpine timberline evolution on Mt. Tabai in the monsoon-dominated East Asian subtropical-temperate transition. We analyzed three high-resolution lacustrine sediment sequences located below, within, and above the current alpine timberline, an ecotone between the forest line and treeline, respectively. The timberline position appears to have varied coincidently with the temperature effect of cold East Asian Winter Monsoon (EAWM), implying that enhanced EAWM shortened the duration of the growing season and reduced forest survival at the alpine timberline. Unlike position migration, however, timberline species composition depends on summer precipitation. We found that drought-tolerant herb and shrub species were much more sensitive to variations in the water-bearing East Asian Summer Monsoon (EASM) than mesophytic trees at the alpine timberline. Our results suggest that prediction of future timberline dynamics should consider uneven seasonal climate changes.

  14. Bacterial GDGTs in Holocene sediments and catchment soils of a high Alpine lake: application of the MBT/CBT-paleothermometer

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    H. Niemann

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available A novel proxy for continental mean annual air temperature (MAAT and soil pH, the MBT/CBT-paleothermometer, is based on the temperature (T and pH-dependent distribution of specific bacterial membrane lipids (branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers – GDGTs in soil organic matter. Here, we tested the applicability of the MBT/CBT-paleothermometer to sediments from Lake Cadagno, a high Alpine lake in southern Switzerland with a small catchment of 2.4 km2. We analysed the distribution of bacterial GDGTs in catchment soils and in a radiocarbon-dated sediment core from the centre of the lake, covering the past 11 000 yr. The distribution of bacterial GDGTs in the catchment soils is very similar to that in the lake's surface sediments, indicating a common origin of the lipids. Consequently, their transfer from the soils into the sediment record seems undisturbed, probably without any significant alteration of their distribution through in situ production in the lake itself or early diagenesis of branched GDGTs. The MBT/CBT-inferred MAAT estimates from soils and surface sediments are in good agreement with instrumental values for the Lake Cadagno region (~0.5 °C. Moreover, downcore MBT/CBT-derived MAAT estimates match in timing and magnitude other proxy-based T reconstructions from nearby locations for the last two millennia. Major climate anomalies recorded by the MBT/CBT-paleothermometer are, for instance, the Little Ice Age (~14th to 19th century and the Medieval Warm Period (MWP, ~9th to 14th century. Together, our observations indicate the quantitative applicability of the MBT/CBT-paleothermometer to Lake Cadagno sediments. In addition to the MWP, our lacustrine paleo T record indicates Holocene warm phases at about 3, 5, 7 and 11 kyr before present, which agrees in timing with other records from both the Alps and the sub-polar North-East Atlantic Ocean. The good temporal match of the warm periods determined

  15. Evaluating the Interacting Influences of Pollination, Seed Predation, Invasive Species and Isolation on Reproductive Success in a Threatened Alpine Plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krushelnycky, Paul D.

    2014-01-01

    Reproduction in rare plants may be influenced and limited by a complex combination of factors. External threats such as invasive species and landscape characteristics such as isolation may impinge on both pollination and seed predation dynamics, which in turn can strongly affect reproduction. I assessed how patterns in floral visitation, seed predation, invasive ant presence, and plant isolation influenced one another and ultimately affected viable seed production in Haleakalā silverswords (Argyroxiphium sandwicense subsp. macrocephalum) of Hawai’i. Floral visitation was dominated by endemic Hylaeus bees, and patterns of visitation were influenced by floral display size and number of plants clustered together, but not by floral herbivory or nearest flowering neighbor distance. There was also some indication that Argentine ant presence impacted floral visitation, but contradictory evidence and limitations of the study design make this result uncertain. Degree of seed predation was associated only with plant isolation, with the two main herbivores partitioning resources such that one preferentially attacked isolated plants while the other attacked clumped plants; total seed predation was greater in more isolated plants. Net viable seed production was highly variable among individuals (0–55% seed set), and was affected mainly by nearest neighbor distance, apparently owing to low cross-pollination among plants separated by even short distances (>10–20 m). This isolation effect dominated net seed set, with no apparent influence from floral visitation rates, percent seed predation, or invasive ant presence. The measured steep decline in seed set with isolation distance may not be typical of the entire silversword range, and may indicate that pollinators in addition to Hylaeus bees could be important for greater gene flow. Management aimed at maintaining or maximizing silversword reproduction should focus on the spatial context of field populations and outplanting

  16. Identifying key conservation threats to Alpine birds through expert knowledge

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    Dan E. Chamberlain

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Alpine biodiversity is subject to a range of increasing threats, but the scarcity of data for many taxa means that it is difficult to assess the level and likely future impact of a given threat. Expert opinion can be a useful tool to address knowledge gaps in the absence of adequate data. Experts with experience in Alpine ecology were approached to rank threat levels for 69 Alpine bird species over the next 50 years for the whole European Alps in relation to ten categories: land abandonment, climate change, renewable energy, fire, forestry practices, grazing practices, hunting, leisure, mining and urbanization. There was a high degree of concordance in ranking of perceived threats among experts for most threat categories. The major overall perceived threats to Alpine birds identified through expert knowledge were land abandonment, urbanization, leisure and forestry, although other perceived threats were ranked highly for particular species groups (renewable energy and hunting for raptors, hunting for gamebirds. For groups of species defined according to their breeding habitat, open habitat species and treeline species were perceived as the most threatened. A spatial risk assessment tool based on summed scores for the whole community showed threat levels were highest for bird communities of the northern and western Alps. Development of the approaches given in this paper, including addressing biases in the selection of experts and adopting a more detailed ranking procedure, could prove useful in the future in identifying future threats, and in carrying out risk assessments based on levels of threat to the whole bird community.

  17. The high alpine bee fauna (Hymenoptera: Apoidea of the Zillertal Alps, Austria

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    Silas Bossert

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Bees from the Zemmgrund area in the Zillertal Alps (Austria, Tyrol were collected and determined to investigate the species composition of the area. A total of 61 specimens were collected over a two year period; they represent 24 species from 8 genera. Building on these records, the first commented checklist for the area is presented, with notes on habitats and visited flowers.

  18. High-performance simulation-based algorithms for an alpine ski racer’s trajectory optimization in heterogeneous computer systems

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    Dębski Roman

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Effective, simulation-based trajectory optimization algorithms adapted to heterogeneous computers are studied with reference to the problem taken from alpine ski racing (the presented solution is probably the most general one published so far. The key idea behind these algorithms is to use a grid-based discretization scheme to transform the continuous optimization problem into a search problem over a specially constructed finite graph, and then to apply dynamic programming to find an approximation of the global solution. In the analyzed example it is the minimum-time ski line, represented as a piecewise-linear function (a method of elimination of unfeasible solutions is proposed. Serial and parallel versions of the basic optimization algorithm are presented in detail (pseudo-code, time and memory complexity. Possible extensions of the basic algorithm are also described. The implementation of these algorithms is based on OpenCL. The included experimental results show that contemporary heterogeneous computers can be treated as μ-HPC platforms-they offer high performance (the best speedup was equal to 128 while remaining energy and cost efficient (which is crucial in embedded systems, e.g., trajectory planners of autonomous robots. The presented algorithms can be applied to many trajectory optimization problems, including those having a black-box represented performance measure

  19. Mountain substitutability and peak load pricing of high alpine peaks as a management tool to reduce environmental damage: a contingent valuation study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loomis, John B; Keske, Catherine M

    2009-04-01

    High alpine peaks throughout the world are under increasing environmental pressure from hikers, trekkers, and climbers. Colorado's "Fourteeners", peaks with summits above 14,000 feet are no exception. Most of these peaks have no entrance fees, and reach ecological and social carrying capacity on weekends. This paper illustrates how a series of dichotomous choice contingent valuation questions can be used to evaluate substitutability between different alpine peaks and quantify the price responsiveness to an entrance fee. Using this approach, we find that peak load pricing would decrease use of popular Fourteeners in Colorado by 22%. This reduction is due almost entirely to substitution, rather than income effects. There is also price inelastic demand, as 60% of the hikers find no substitution for their specific Fourteener at the varying cost increases posed in the survey. The no substitute group has a mean net benefit of $294 per hiker, per trip, considerably higher than visitor net benefits in most recreational use studies.

  20. Island biogeography of tropical alpine floras

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sklenář, P.; Hedberg, I.; Cleef, A.

    2013-01-01

    Aim We analysed the effects of alpine area, geographical distance between mountains and isolation due to topography on mountain plant species richness, regional species turnover and patterns of species distribution. Location Equatorial mountains of East Africa, South America and New Guinea. Methods

  1. Introgression from domestic goat generated variation at the major histocompatibility complex of Alpine ibex.

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    Christine Grossen

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The major histocompatibility complex (MHC is a crucial component of the vertebrate immune system and shows extremely high levels of genetic polymorphism. The extraordinary genetic variation is thought to be ancient polymorphisms maintained by balancing selection. However, introgression from related species was recently proposed as an additional mechanism. Here we provide evidence for introgression at the MHC in Alpine ibex (Capra ibex ibex. At a usually very polymorphic MHC exon involved in pathogen recognition (DRB exon 2, Alpine ibex carried only two alleles. We found that one of these DRB alleles is identical to a DRB allele of domestic goats (Capra aegagrus hircus. We sequenced 2489 bp of the coding and non-coding regions of the DRB gene and found that Alpine ibex homozygous for the goat-type DRB exon 2 allele showed nearly identical sequences (99.8% to a breed of domestic goats. Using Sanger and RAD sequencing, microsatellite and SNP chip data, we show that the chromosomal region containing the goat-type DRB allele has a signature of recent introgression in Alpine ibex. A region of approximately 750 kb including the DRB locus showed high rates of heterozygosity in individuals carrying one copy of the goat-type DRB allele. These individuals shared SNP alleles both with domestic goats and other Alpine ibex. In a survey of four Alpine ibex populations, we found that the region surrounding the DRB allele shows strong linkage disequilibria, strong sequence clustering and low diversity among haplotypes carrying the goat-type allele. Introgression at the MHC is likely adaptive and introgression critically increased MHC DRB diversity in the genetically impoverished Alpine ibex. Our finding contradicts the long-standing view that genetic variability at the MHC is solely a consequence of ancient trans-species polymorphism. Introgression is likely an underappreciated source of genetic diversity at the MHC and other loci under balancing selection.

  2. Community Analyses Uncover High Diversity of Lichenicolous Fungi in Alpine Habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleischhacker, Antonia; Grube, Martin; Kopun, Theodora; Hafellner, Josef; Muggia, Lucia

    2015-08-01

    Lichens are frequently colonized by specialized, lichenicolous fungi. Symptomatic lichenicolous fungi usually display typical phenotypes and reproductive structures on the lichen hosts. The classification based on these structures revealed different host specificity patterns. Other fungi occur asymptomatically in the lichen thalli and are much less known. We aimed at studying the diversity of lichen-associated fungi in specific, lichen-rich communities on rocks in the Alps. We tested whether lichenicolous fungi developing symptomatically on their known hosts also occur asymptomatically in other thalli of the same or of different host species. We collected lichen thalli according to a uniform sampling design comprising individuals adjacent to thalli that showed symptoms of lichenicolous fungal infections. The total fungal communities in the selected lichen thalli were further studied by single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) fingerprinting analyses and sequencing of internal transcribed spacer (ITS) fragments. The systematic, stratified sampling strategy helped to recover 17 previously undocumented lichenicolous fungi and almost exhaustively the species diversity of symptomatic lichenicolous fungi in the studied region. The results from SSCP and the sequencing analyses did not reveal asymptomatic occurrence of normally symptomatic lichenicolous fungi in thalli of both the same and different lichen host species. The fungal diversity did not correlate with the species diversity of the symptomatic lichenicolous fungus-lichen host associations. The complex fingerprint patterns recovered here for fungal communities, in associations of well-delimited lichen thalli, suggest lichen symbiosis as suitable subjects for fungal metacommunity studies.

  3. Alpine Ecosystems of Northwest Yunnan, China: an Initial Assessment for Conservation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Implementing conservation actions on-the-ground is not a straightforward process,especially when faced with high scientific uncertainty due to limited available information. This is especially acute in regions of the world that harbor many unique species that have not been well studied, such as the alpine zone of the Hengduan Mountains of Northwest Yunnan (NWY), a global biodiversity hotspot and site of The Nature Conservancy's Yunnan Great Rivers Project. We conducted a quantitative, but rapid regional-level assessment of the alpine flora across NWY to provide a broad-based understanding of local and regional patterns of the alpine flora, the first large-scale analysis of alpine biodiversity patterns in this region. Multivariate analyses were used to classify the major plant community types and link community patterns to habitat variables. Our analysis indicated that most species had small distributions and/or small population sizes. Strong patterns emerged with higher diversity in the more northern mountains, but beta diversity was high, averaging only 10% among sites. The ordinations indicated that elevation and geographic location were the dominant environmental gradients underlying the differences in the species composition among communities. The high beta diversity across the alpine of these mountains implies that conservation strategies ultimately will require the protection of large numbers of species over a large geographical area. However, prioritization should be given to areas where potential payoffs are greatest. Sites with high species richness also have a greater number of endemic species, and, by focusing efforts on these sites, conservation investments would be maximized by protecting the greatest number of unique species.

  4. Observations of fluorescent aerosol-cloud interactions in the free troposphere at the Sphinx high Alpine research station, Jungfraujoch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, I.; Lloyd, G.; Bower, K. N.; Connolly, P. J.; Flynn, M. J.; Kaye, P. H.; Choularton, T. W.; Gallagher, M. W.

    2015-09-01

    The fluorescent nature of aerosol at a high Alpine site was studied using a wide-band integrated bioaerosol (WIBS-4) single particle multi-channel ultra violet-light induced fluorescence (UV-LIF) spectrometer. This was supported by comprehensive cloud microphysics and meteorological measurements with the aims of cataloguing concentrations of bio-fluorescent aerosols at this high altitude site and also investigating possible influences of UV-fluorescent particle types on cloud-aerosol processes. Analysis of background free tropospheric air masses, using a total aerosol inlet, showed there to be a minor but statistically insignificant increase in the fluorescent aerosol fraction during in-cloud cases compared to out of cloud cases. The size dependence of the fluorescent aerosol fraction showed the larger aerosol to be more likely to be fluorescent with 80 % of 10 μm particles being fluorescent. Whilst the fluorescent particles were in the minority (NFl/NAll = 0.27±0.19), a new hierarchical agglomerative cluster analysis approach, Crawford et al. (2015) revealed the majority of the fluorescent aerosol were likely to be representative of fluorescent mineral dust. A minor episodic contribution from a cluster likely to be representative of primary biological aerosol particles (PBAP) was also observed with a wintertime baseline concentration of 0.1±0.4 L-1. Given the low concentration of this cluster and the typically low ice active fraction of studied PBAP (e.g. pseudomonas syringae) we suggest that the contribution to the observed ice crystal concentration at this location is not significant during the wintertime.

  5. High resolution forecast of heavy precipitation with Lokal Modell: analysis of two case studies in the Alpine area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Elementi

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Northern Italy is frequently affected by severe precipitation conditions often inducing flood events with associated loss of properties, damages and casualties. The capability of correctly forecast these events, strongly required for an efficient support to civil protection actions, is still nowadays a challenge. This difficulty is also related with the complex structure of the precipitation field in the Alpine area and, more generally, over the Italian territory. Recently a new generation of non-hydrostatic meteorological models, suitable to be used at very high spatial resolution, has been developed. In this paper the performance of the non-hydrostatic Lokal Modell developed by the COSMO Consortium, is analysed with regard to a couple of intense precipitation events occurred in the Piemonte region in Northern Italy. These events were selected among the reference cases of the Hydroptimet/INTERREG IIIB project. LM run at the operational resolution of 7km provides a good forecast of the general rain structure, with an unsatisfactory representation of the precipitation distribution across the mountain ranges. It is shown that the inclusion of the new prognostic equations for cloud ice, rain and snow produces a remarkable improvement, reducing the precipitation in the upwind side and extending the intense rainfall area to the downwind side. The unrealistic maxima are decreased towards observed values. The use of very high horizontal resolution (2.8 km improves the general shape of the precipitation field in the flat area of the Piemonte region but, keeping active the moist convection scheme, sparse and more intense rainfall peaks are produced. When convective precipitation is not parametrised but explicitly represented by the model, this negative effect is removed.

  6. The relationship between soil physical properties and alpine plant diversity on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

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    Lin Tang

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Through a large-scale research, we examined the heterogeneity of soil properties and plant diversity, as well as their relationships across alpine grassland types on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The soil pH and EC value increased with the constant deepening of the soil in all the three alpine grassland types which in order of absolute value in every soil layer were alpine desert steppe, alpine steppe and alpine meadow. Among the three grassland types, the alpine meadow possessed the highest SM but the lowest SBD. For plant diversity, alpine meadow was the highest, alpine desert steppe ranked the second and alpine steppe was the last. SM and SBD were the highest influential soil physical properties to species richness, but with opposite effects.

  7. Estimation of background CO2 concentrations at the high alpine station Schneefernerhaus by atmospheric observations and inverse modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giemsa, Esther; Jacobeit, Jucundus; Ries, Ludwig; Frank, Gabriele; Hachinger, Stephan; Meyer-Arnek, Julian

    2016-04-01

    In order to estimate the influence of Central European CO2 emissions, a new method to retrieve background concentrations based on statistics of radon-222 and backward trajectories is developed and applied to the CO2 observations at the alpine high-altitude research station Schneefernerhaus (2670 m a.s.l.). The reliable identification of baseline conditions is important for perceiving changes in time as well as in the sources and sinks of greenhouse gases and thereby assessing the efficiency of existing mitigation strategies. In the particular case of Central Europe, the analysis of background concentrations could add further insights on the question why background CO2 concentrations increased in the last few decades, despite a significant decrease in the reported emissions. Ongoing effort to define the baseline conditions has led to a variety of data selection techniques. In this diversity of data filtering concepts, a relatively recent data selection method effectively appropriates observations of radon-222 to reliably and unambiguously identify baseline air masses. Owing to its relatively constant emission rate from the ice-free land surface and its half-life of 3.8 days that is solely achieved through radioactive decay, the tropospheric background concentration of the inert radioactive gas is low and temporal variations caused by changes in atmospheric transport are precisely detectable. For defining the baseline air masses reaching the high alpine research station Schneefernerhaus, an objective analysis approach is applied to the two-hourly radon records. The CO2 values of days by the radon method associated with prevailing atmospheric background conditions result in the CO2 concentrations representing the least land influenced air masses. Additionally, three-dimensional back-trajectories were retrieved using the Lagrangian Particle Dispersion Model (LPDM) FLEXPART driven by analysis fields of the Global Forecast System (GFS) produced by the National Centers

  8. The Alps 2: Controls on crustal subduction and (ultra)high-pressure rock exhumation in Alpine-type orogens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Jared P.; Beaumont, Christopher; Jamieson, Rebecca A.

    2014-07-01

    Building on our previous results, we use 2-D upper mantle-scale thermomechanical numerical models to explore key controls on the evolution of Alpine-type orogens and the Alps per se, focusing on (ultra)high-pressure ((U)HP) metamorphic rocks. The models show that UHP rocks form and exhume by burial and subsequent buoyant ascent of continental crust in the subduction conduit. Here we test the sensitivity of the models to surface erosion rate, crustal heat production, plate convergence/divergence rates, geometry of the subducting continental margin, and strength of the retrocontinent. Surface erosion affects crustal exhumation but not early buoyant exhumation. Metamorphic temperatures increase with crustal radioactive heat production. Maximum burial depth prior to exhumation increases with plate convergence rates, but exhumation rates are only weakly dependent on subduction rates. Onset of absolute plate divergence does not trigger exhumation in these models. We conclude that contrasting peak pressures, exhumation rates, and volumes of (U)HP crust exhumed in the Alps orogen primarily reflect along-strike contrasts in the geometry, thermal structure, and/or strength of the subducting microcontinent (Briançonnais) and continental (European margin) crust. The experiments also support the interpretation that the Western Alps (U)HP Internal Crystalline Massifs exhumed as composite, stacked plumes and that these plumes drove local crustal extension during orogen-scale shortening. For weak upper plate retrocrusts, postexhumation retrothrusting forms a retrowedge. Overall, these results are consistent with predictions using the exhumation number (ratio of buoyancy to side traction forces in the conduit), which expresses the combined parameter control of the depth/volume of crustal subduction and the transition to buoyant exhumation.

  9. Chemical composition of free tropospheric aerosol for PM1 and coarse mode at the high alpine site Jungfraujoch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Cozic

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The chemical composition of submicron (fine mode and supermicron (coarse mode aerosol particles has been investigated at the Jungfraujoch high alpine research station (3580 m a.s.l., Switzerland as part of the GAW aerosol monitoring program since 1999. A clear seasonality was observed for all major components throughout the period with low concentrations in winter (predominantly free tropospheric aerosol and higher concentrations in summer (enhanced vertical transport of boundary layer pollutants. In addition, mass closure was attempted during intensive campaigns in March 2004, February–March 2005 and August 2005. Ionic, carbonaceous and non-refractory components of the aerosol were quantified as well as the PM1 and coarse mode total aerosol mass concentrations. A relatively low conversion factor of 1.8 for organic carbon (OC to particulate organic matter (OM was found in winter (February–March 2005. Organics, sulfate, ammonium, and nitrate were the major components of the fine aerosol fraction that were identified, while calcium and nitrate were the only two measured components contributing to the coarse mode. The aerosol mass concentrations for fine and coarse mode aerosol measured during the intensive campaigns were not typical of the long-term seasonality due largely to dynamical differences. Average fine and coarse mode concentrations during the intensive field campaigns were 1.7 μg m−3 and 2.4 μg m−3 in winter and 2.5 μg m−3 and 2.0 μg m−3 in summer, respectively. The mass balance of aerosols showed higher contributions of calcium and nitrate in the coarse mode during Saharan dust events (SDE than without SDE.

  10. Chemical composition of free tropospheric aerosol for PM1 and coarse mode at the high alpine site Jungfraujoch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Cozic

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available The chemical composition of submicron (fine mode and supermicron (coarse mode aerosol particles has been investigated since 1999 within the GAW aerosol monitoring program at the high alpine research station Jungfraujoch (3580 m a.s.l., Switzerland. Clear seasonality was observed for all major components in the last 9 years with low concentrations in winter (predominantly free tropospheric aerosol and higher concentrations in summer (enhanced vertical transport of boundary layer pollutants. In addition, mass closure was attempted during intensive experiments in March 2004, February–March 2005 and August 2005. Ionic, carbonaceous and refractory components of the aerosol were quantified as well as the PM1 and coarse mode total aerosol mass concentrations. A relatively low conversion factor of 1.8 for organic carbon (OC to particulate organic matter (OM in winter (February–March 2005 was found. Organics, sulfate, ammonium, and nitrate were the major identified components of the fine aerosol fraction, while calcium and nitrate were the two major measured components in the coarse mode. The aerosol mass concentrations for fine and coarse mode aerosol during the intensive campaigns were not typical of the long term seasonality due largely to dynamical differences. Average fine and coarse mode concentrations during the intensive field campaigns were 1.7 μg m−3 and 2.4 μg m−3 in winter and 2.5 μg m−3 and 2.0 μg m−3 in summer, respectively. The mass balance of aerosols showed higher contributions of calcium and nitrate in the coarse mode during Saharan dust events (SDE than without SDE.

  11. Phylogenetic conservatism and climate factors shape flowering phenology in alpine meadows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Lanping; Li, Zhikuo; Cadotte, Marc W; Jia, Peng; Chen, Guanguang; Jin, Lanna S; Du, Guozhen

    2016-10-01

    The study of phylogenetic conservatism in alpine plant phenology is critical for predicting climate change impacts; currently we have a poor understanding of how phylogeny and climate factors interactively influence plant phenology. Therefore, we explored the influence of phylogeny and climate factors on flowering phenology in alpine meadows. For two different types of alpine plant communities, we recorded phenological data, including flowering peak, first flower budding, first flowering, first fruiting and the flowering end for 62 species over the course of 5 years (2008-2012). From sequences in two plastid regions, we constructed phylogenetic trees. We used Blomberg's K and Pagel's lambda to assess the phylogenetic signal in phenological traits and species' phenological responses to climate factors. We found a significant phylogenetic signal in the date of all reproductive phenological events and in species' phenological responses to weekly day length and temperature. The number of species in flower was strongly associated with the weekly day lengths and followed by the weekly temperature prior to phenological activity. Based on phylogenetic eigenvector regression (PVR) analysis, we found a highly shared influence of phylogeny and climate factors on alpine species flowering phenology. Our results suggest the phylogenetic conservatism in both flowering and fruiting phenology may depend on the similarity of responses to external environmental cues among close relatives.

  12. Ungulate herbivory on alpine willow in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeigenfuss, L.C.; Schoenecker, K.A.; Amburg, L.K.V.

    2011-01-01

    In many areas of the Rocky Mountains, elk (Cervus elaphus) migrate from low-elevation mountain valleys during spring to high-elevation subalpine and alpine areas for the summer. Research has focused on the impacts of elk herbivory on winter-range plant communities, particularly on woody species such as willow and aspen; however, little information is available on the effects of elk herbivory on alpine willows. In the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of south central Colorado, select alpine areas appear to receive high levels of summer elk herbivory, while other areas are nearly unbrowsed. In 2005 and 2008, we measured willow height, cover, and utilization on sites that appeared to be used heavily by elk, as well as on sites that appeared to be used lightly, to determine differences between these communities over time. We found less willow cover and shorter willows at sites that received higher levels of browsing compared to those that had lower levels of browsing. Human recreational use was greater at lightly browsed sites than at highly browsed sites. From 2005 to 2008, willow utilization declined, and willow cover and height increased at sites with heavy browsing, likely owing to ownership change of adjacent valley land which led to (1) removal of grazing competition from, cattle at valley locations and (2) increased human use in alpine areas, which displaced elk. We discuss the implications of increased human use and climate change on elk use of these alpine habitats. ?? 2011.

  13. Eight hundred years of environmental changes in a high Alpine lake (Gossenköllesee, Tyrol inferred from sediment records

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    Roland PSENNER

    2000-09-01

    Full Text Available Documentary and sediment records (diatoms, chrysophyte stomatocysts, plant pigments, carbon and nitrogen, metals and mineral magnetics were used to reconstruct environmental changes in the high alpine lake Gossenköllesee (Tyrol, Austria during the last 800 years. The records revealed complex interactions between human impact and climate. Gossenköllesee was predominantly influenced by land-use, which supplied nutrients to the lake. Documentary records report intensive sheep and cattle farming in the area around Gossenköllesee during medieval times. Pigments and chrysophyte stomatocysts indicated high nutrient concentrations prior to ca 1770 AD. First changes in land-use, however, were already detected ca 1670 AD. In 1675 AD the “Schwaighof” near Gossenköllesee, a perennial high altitude settlement, was sold to the Earl of Spaur, and farm management probably changed. After approx. 1770 AD in-lake production was reduced, indicating a decrease in land-use. According to historical records, the perennial settlement near Gossenköllesee was abandoned by at least 1890 AD. Gossenköllesee was also affected by fish stocking. Arctic charr (Salmo trutta morpha fario L. was introduced into the lake, most probably at the end of the 15th century. A decline in carbon, nitrogen and the pigments alloxanthin (cryptophytes and astaxanthin (grazers indicate a significant removal of grazers by fish. Superimposed on human activity, climate changes have also had a significant impact on Gossenköllesee. High productivity during the 12th century suggested by the plant pigment records might have been favoured by temperature increases, indicated by pronounced glacier retreats which began during the 10th/11th century. The “Schwaighof” near Gossenköllesee was sold to the Earl of Spaur when winter temperatures declined substantially in the 1670s. Changes in C/N ratio, iron, manganese and mineral magnetics indicated increased detrital input from the catchment

  14. Dominance hierarchies, diversity and species richness of vascular plants in an alpine meadow: contrasting short and medium term responses to simulated global change

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    Juha M. Alatalo

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available We studied the impact of simulated global change on a high alpine meadow plant community. Specifically, we examined whether short-term (5 years responses are good predictors for medium-term (7 years changes in the system by applying a factorial warming and nutrient manipulation to 20 plots in Latnjajaure, subarctic Sweden. Seven years of experimental warming and nutrient enhancement caused dramatic shifts in dominance hierarchies in response to the nutrient and the combined warming and nutrient enhancement treatments. Dominance hierarchies in the meadow moved from a community being dominated by cushion plants, deciduous, and evergreen shrubs to a community being dominated by grasses, sedges, and forbs. Short-term responses were shown to be inconsistent in their ability to predict medium-term responses for most functional groups, however, grasses showed a consistent and very substantial increase in response to nutrient addition over the seven years. The non-linear responses over time point out the importance of longer-term studies with repeated measurements to be able to better predict future changes. Forecasted changes to temperature and nutrient availability have implications for trophic interactions, and may ultimately influence the access to and palatability of the forage for grazers. Depending on what anthropogenic change will be most pronounced in the future (increase in nutrient deposits, warming, or a combination of them both, different shifts in community dominance hierarchies may occur. Generally, this study supports the productivity–diversity relationship found across arctic habitats, with community diversity peaking in mid-productivity systems and degrading as nutrient availability increases further. This is likely due the increasing competition in plant–plant interactions and the shifting dominance structure with grasses taking over the experimental plots, suggesting that global change could have high costs to biodiversity in the

  15. Hygroscopicity of the submicrometer aerosol at the high-alpine site Jungfraujoch, 3580 m a.s.l., Switzerland

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    S. Sjogren

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Data from measurements of hygroscopic growth of submicrometer aerosol with a hygroscopicity tandem differential mobility analyzer (HTDMA during four campaigns at the high alpine research station Jungfraujoch, Switzerland, are presented. The campaigns took place during the years 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2005, each lasting approximately one month. Hygroscopic growth factors (GF, i.e. the relative change in particle diameter from dry diameter, D0, to diameter measured at higher relative humidity, RH are presented for three distinct air mass types, namely for: 1 free tropospheric winter conditions, 2 planetary boundary layer influenced air masses (during a summer period and 3 Saharan dust events (SDE. The GF values at 85% RH (D0=100 nm were 1.40±0.11 and 1.29±0.08 for the first two situations while for SDE a bimodal GF distribution was often found. No phase changes were observed when the RH was varied between 10–90%, and the continuous water uptake could be well described with a single-parameter empirical model. The frequency distributions of the average hygroscopic growth factors and the width of the retrieved growth factor distributions (indicating whether the aerosol is internally or externally mixed are presented, which can be used for modeling purposes.

    Measurements of size resolved chemical composition were performed with an aerosol mass spectrometer in parallel to the GF measurements. This made it possible to estimate the apparent ensemble mean GF of the organics (GForg using inverse ZSR (Zdanovskii-Stokes-Robinson modeling. GForg was found to be ~1.20 at aw=0.85, which is at the upper end of previous laboratory and field data though still in agreement with the highly aged and oxidized nature of the Jungfraujoch aerosol.

  16. Causes and effects of long periods of ice cover on a remote high Alpine lake

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    Michael STURM

    2000-09-01

    Full Text Available The response of the physical and chemical limnology of Hagelseewli (2339 m a.s.l. to local meteorological forcing was investigated from 1996 to 1998 using an automatic weather station, thermistor chains, water samples and sediment traps. On-site meteorological measurements revealed the paramount importance of local topographic shading for the limnology of the lake. A high cliff to the south diminishes incident radiation by 15% to 90%, resulting in a long period of ice cover. Hence, the spring and summer seasons are extremely condensed, allowing only about 2 months per year for mixing, oxygen uptake, nutrient inflow, water exchange and phytoplankton growth. Regular measurements of water temperature, chemistry and diatom composition show that Hagelseewli responds very rapidly to changes in nutrient concentrations and light conditions. This response is restricted mainly to an extremely short productivity pulse, which takes place as soon as the lake is completely free of ice. Ice-free conditions are indicated by the occurrence of planktonic diatoms. In contrast to most low-altitude lakes, maximum productivity occurs in the middle of the water column (6-9 m, where first light, and then soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP, are the limiting factors. During the period of thawing, large amounts of ammonium enter the lake. Nevertheless, allochthonous nutrient input is not important because SRP, the limiting nutrient for algal growth, originates from the sediments. Water chemistry data and data from sediment traps show that, although autochthonous calcite precipitation does occur, the calcite crystals are redissolved completely in the bottom waters during the extended period of ice cover. Thus, the most important factor for changes in the nutrient budget, primary production and preservation of calcite is the bottom water oxygen status, which is governed by the occurrence of an ice-free period. We hypothesise that the duration of the ice-free period is of

  17. Distribution of VOCs between air and snow at the Jungfraujoch high alpine research station, Switzerland, during CLACE 5 (winter 2006

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    E. Starokozhev

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Volatile organic compounds (VOCs were analyzed in air and snow samples at the Jungfraujoch high alpine research station in Switzerland as part of CLACE 5 (CLoud and Aerosol Characterization Experiment during February/March 2006. The fluxes of individual compounds in ambient air were calculated from gas phase concentrations and wind speed. The highest concentrations and flux values were observed for the aromatic hydrocarbons benzene (14.3 μg.m−2 s−1, 1,3,5-trimethylbenzene (5.27 μg.m−2 s−1, toluene (4.40 μg.m−2 −1, and the aliphatic hydrocarbons i-butane (7.87 μg.m−2 s−1, i-pentane (3.61 μg.m−2 s−1 and n-butane (3.23 μg.m−2 s−1. The measured concentrations and fluxes were used to calculate the efficiency of removal of VOCs by snow, which is defined as difference between the initial and final concentration/flux values of compounds before and after wet deposition. The removal efficiency was calculated at −24°C (−13.7°C and ranged from 37% (35% for o-xylene to 93% (63% for i-pentane. The distribution coefficients of VOCs between the air and snow phases were derived from published poly-parameter linear free energy relationship (pp-LFER data, and compared with distribution coefficients obtained from the simultaneous measurements of VOC concentrations in air and snow at Jungfraujoch. The coefficients calculated from pp-LFER exceeded those values measured in the present study, which indicates more efficient snow scavenging of the VOCs investigated than suggested by theoretical predictions.

  18. Glacial refugia, recolonization patterns and diversification forces in Alpine-endemic Megabunus harvestmen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wachter, Gregor A; Papadopoulou, Anna; Muster, Christoph; Arthofer, Wolfgang; Knowles, L Lacey; Steiner, Florian M; Schlick-Steiner, Birgit C

    2016-06-01

    The Pleistocene climatic fluctuations had a huge impact on all life forms, and various hypotheses regarding the survival of organisms during glacial periods have been postulated. In the European Alps, evidence has been found in support of refugia outside the ice shield (massifs de refuge) acting as sources for postglacial recolonization of inner-Alpine areas. In contrast, evidence for survival on nunataks, ice-free areas above the glacier, remains scarce. Here, we combine multivariate genetic analyses with ecological niche models (ENMs) through multiple timescales to elucidate the history of Alpine Megabunus harvestmen throughout the ice ages, a genus that comprises eight high-altitude endemics. ENMs suggest two types of refugia throughout the last glacial maximum, inner-Alpine survival on nunataks for four species and peripheral refugia for further four species. In some geographic regions, the patterns of genetic variation are consistent with long-distance dispersal out of massifs de refuge, repeatedly coupled with geographic parthenogenesis. In other regions, long-term persistence in nunataks may dominate the patterns of genetic divergence. Overall, our results suggest that glacial cycles contributed to allopatric diversification in Alpine Megabunus, both within and at the margins of the ice shield. These findings exemplify the power of ENM projections coupled with genetic analyses to identify hypotheses about the position and the number of glacial refugia and thus to evaluate the role of Pleistocene glaciations in driving species-specific responses of recolonization or persistence that may have contributed to observed patterns of biodiversity.

  19. Effect of atmospheric CO 2 enrichment on rubisco content in herbaceous species from high and low altitude

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sage, Rowan F.; Schäppi, Bernd; Körner, Christian

    Atmospheric CO 2 enrichment reduces Rubisco content in many species grown in controlled environments; however, relatively few studies have examined CO 2 effects on Rubisco content of plants grown in their natural habitat. We examined the response of Rubisco content to atmospheric CO 2 enrichment (600-680 μmol mol -1 in place of ppm) in 5 herbaceous species growing in a low altitude grassland (550 m) near Basel, Switzerland, and 3 herbaceous species from Swiss alpine grassland at 2470 m. At low elevation, the dominant grass Bromus erectus and the subdominant dicot Sanquisorba minor exhibited 20% to 25% reduction of Rubisco content following high CO 2 exposure; no CO 2 effect was observed in the subdominants Carex flacca, Lotus corniculatus and Trifolium repens. At the Alpine site, the subdominant grass Poa alpina maintained 27% less Rubisco content when grown at high CO 2 while the co-dominant forb Leontodon helveticus had 19% less Rubisco in high CO 2. Rubisco content was unaffected in the tundra dominant Carex curvula. Because the degree of Rubisco modulation was similar between high and low elevation sites, it does not appear that differences in local partial pressure of CO 2 (altitude) or differences in stress in general induce different patterns of modulation of photosynthetic capacity in response to high CO 2. In addition, the degree of Rubisco reduction (<30%) was less than might be indicated by the low biomass response to CO 2 enrichment previously observed at these sites. Thus, plants in Swiss lowland and alpine grassland appear to maintain greater Rubisco concentration and photosynthetic capacity than whole plants can effectively exploit in terms of harvestable biomass.

  20. The Aiguille du Midi (Mont Blanc massif): a unique high-Alpine site to study bedrock permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deline, P.; Coviello, V.; Cremonese, E.; Gruber, S.; Krautblatter, M.; Malet, S. Jaillet (1), E.; Morra di Cella, U.; Noetzli, J.; Pogliotti, P.; Verleysdonk, S.

    2009-04-01

    Permafrost and its change in steep high-Alpine rock walls remain insufficiently understood because of the difficulties of in situ measurements. A large proportion of permafrost studies is mainly based on modelling, with a few existing instrumented sites and a resulting lack of process understanding. Yet, a number of rockfalls that occurred in the last decade in the Alps are likely related to climatically-driven permafrost degradation, as indicated by ice in starting zones, increased air temperature, and modelling studies. Starting off in the framework of the French-Italian PERMAdataROC project and presently under development within the EU co-funded project PermaNET (Permafrost long-term monitoring network: www.permanet-alpinespace.eu), our investigations at the Aiguille du Midi begin in 2005. The summit (3842 m a.s.l) is accessible from Chamonix by a cable car which was built at the end of the 1950s. Half a million tourists visit the site each year. Because of its elevation, geometry, and year-round accessibility to rock slopes of diverse aspects and to galleries, the site was chosen for: - Monitoring of the thermal regime in steep rock walls. Thermistors were installed at depths of 2, 10, 30 and 55 cm, at all aspects and with slope angles in the range 60-90° (determining e.g. the presence and influence of snow). - Measurements of high altitude climatic data (air temperature and humidity, incoming and outgoing solar radiation, wind speed and direction) perpendicular to the rockwall surface, by movable automatic weather stations. Together with the rock temperature measurements, these data (see Morra et al., poster in session CR4.1) can be used for physically-based model validation (see Pogliotti et al., oral presentation in session CR4.1) or statistical models construction of rock temperature distribution and variability in the rock walls. - Making a 3D-high-resolution DEM by long-range (rock walls) and short-range (galleries) terrestrial laser scanning

  1. 78 FR 52123 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-22

    ... Species; 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan; Amendment 7 AGENCY: National... 7 to the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP) to control... quota categories utilize quota. In this notice, NMFS announces the dates and logistics for 10...

  2. Stability of alpine meadow ecosystem on the Qinghai- Tibetan Plateau

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHOU Huakun; ZHOU Li; ZHAO Xinquan; LIU Wei; LI Yingnian; GU Song; ZHOU Xinmin

    2006-01-01

    The meadow ecosystem on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau is considered to be sensitive to climate change. An understanding of the alpine meadow ecosystem is therefore important for predicting the response of ecosystems to climate change. In this study, we use the coefficients of variation (Cv) and stability (E) obtained from the Haibei Alpine Meadow Ecosystem Research Station to characterize the ecosystem stability. The results suggest that the net primary production of the alpine meadow ecosystem was more stable (Cv = 13.18%) than annual precipitation (Cv = 16.55%) and annual mean air temperature (Cv = 28.82%). The net primary production was insensitive to either the precipitation (E = 0.0782) or air temperature (E = 0.1113). In summary, the alpine meadow ecosystem on the Qinghai- Tibetan Plateau is much stable. Comparison of alpine meadow ecosystem stability with other five natural grassland ecosystems in Israel and southern African indicates that the alpine meadow ecosystem on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau is the most stable ecosystem. The alpine meadow ecosystem with relatively simple structure has high stability, which indicates that community stability is not only correlated with biodiversity and community complicity but also with environmental stability. An average oscillation cycles of 3―4 years existed in annual precipitation, annual mean air temperature, net primary production and the population size of consumers at the Haibei natural ecosystem. The high stability of the alpine meadow ecosystem may be resulting also from the adaptation of the ecosystem to the alpine environment.

  3. [Effects of nitrogen and phosphorous fertilization on community structure and productivity of degraded alpine meadows in northern Tibet, China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zong, Ning; Shi, Pei-li; Niu, Ben; Jiang, Jing; Song, Ming-hua; Zhang, Xian-zhou; He, Yong-tao

    2014-12-01

    Abstract: Fertilization is an effective management measure for recovery of degraded grasslands. To better understand the effects of fertilization on community structure and productivity of lightly and severely degraded alpine meadows, we conducted a fertilization experiment in northern Tibet since 2008. The treatments were addition of nitrogen (N) alone (50 kg N x hm(-2) x a(-1), LN; 100 kg N x hm(-2) x a(-1), HN) or addition of both phosphorus (P) and N (50 kg N x hm(-2) x a(-1) +50 kg P x hm(-2) x a(-1), LN+P; 100 kg N x hm(-2) x a(-1) +50 kg P x hm(-2) x a(-1), HN+P) in each of the two types of degraded alpine meadows. N addition alone significantly affected plant community coverage or productivity in neither the slightly nor the severely degraded alpine meadow, while addition of both N and P significantly increased plant community coverage, aboveground and below- ground biomass of the alpine meadows. This suggested that productivity of this alpine meadow is co-limited by N and P. HN and HN+P significantly decreased species richness and evenness in the lightly degraded grassland, indicating that HN was not beneficial for the lightly degraded grassland to maintain species diversity and community stability. N addition significantly reduced the root to shoot ratio in the severely degraded meadow. In the lightly degraded meadow, N addition alone, especially with a high amount (HN) , enhanced the importance values (IV) and biomass of grasses, while fertilization with both N and P increased those of sedges. In the severely degraded meadow, fertilization had little effect on IV of grasses or sedges, but improved biomass of forbs. The results suggested that LN+P could be employed in recovery of lightly degraded alpine meadows, but other management measures such as fencing and reseeding may be needed for recovery of severely degraded alpine meadows.

  4. Tropical high-altitude Andean lakes located above the tree line attenuate UV-A radiation more strongly than typical temperate alpine lakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilera, Ximena; Lazzaro, Xavier; Coronel, Jorge S

    2013-09-01

    Tropical high-altitude Andean lakes are physically harsh ecosystems. Located above the treeline (≥4000 m a.s.l.), they share common features with temperate alpine lakes, which impose extreme conditions on their aquatic organisms: e.g., strong winds, broad diel variations in water temperature, and intense solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR). However, because of their latitude, they differ in two major ecological characteristics: they lack ice cover during the winter and they do not present summer water column stratification. We sampled 26 tropical high-altitude Andean lakes from three regions of the Bolivian Eastern Andes Cordillera during the wet period (austral summer). We performed an ordination to better describe the typology of Andean lakes in relation to the environmental variables, and we assessed the relationships among them, focussing on the UV-A transparency (360 nm) throughout the water column. We found a positive correlation between UV-A transparency calculated as Z(1%) (the depth which reaches 1% of the surface UV-A), the lake maximum depth and Secchi transparency (r = 0.61). Z(1%) of UV-A was smaller in shallow lakes than in deep lakes, indicating that shallow lakes are less transparent to UV-A than deep lakes. We hypothesize that, compared to shallow lakes, deep lakes (maximum depth > 10 m) may have lower dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations (that absorb UV radiation) due to lower temperature and reduced macrophyte cover. Based on our data, tropical high-altitude Andean lakes are less transparent to UV-A (K(d) range = 1.4-11.0 m(-1); Z(1%) depth range = 0.4-3.2 m) than typical temperate alpine lakes (1-6 m(-1), 3-45 m, respectively). Moreover, they differ in vertical profiles of UV-A, chlorophyll-a, and temperature, suggesting that they may have a distinct ecological functioning. Such peculiarities justify treating tropical high-altitude Andean lakes as a separate category of alpine lakes. Tropical high-altitude Andean lakes have been poorly

  5. Environmental and climatic conditions at a potential Glacial refugial site of tree species near the Southern Alpine glaciers. New insights from multiproxy sedimentary studies at Lago della Costa (Euganean Hills, Northeastern Italy)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaltenrieder, Petra; Belis, Claudio A.; Hofstetter, Simone; Ammann, Brigitta; Ravazzi, Cesare; Tinner, Willy

    2009-12-01

    It has been hypothesized that refugia of thermophilous tree species were located in Northern Italy very close to the Alps, though, this hypothesis has yet to be tested thoroughly. In contrast to Central and Southern Italy with its relative wealth of data, only a few fragmentary records are currently available from Northern Italy for the last Glacial (Würm, Weichselian). Our new study site Lago della Costa lies adjacent to the catchment of the megafans of the Alpine forelands and the braided rivers of the Northeastern Po Plain that have so far inhibited the recovery of continuous Glacial and Late-Glacial records. We analyze pollen, plant macrofossils, charcoal and ostracods to reconstruct the vegetation, fire and lake history for the period 33,000-16,000 cal. BP. We compare our data with Glacial records from Southern Europe to discuss similarities and dissimilarities between these potential refugial areas. A comparison with independent paleoclimatic proxies allows to assess potential linkages between environmental and climatic variability. New macrofossil and pollen data at Lago della Costa unambiguously document the local persistence of boreal tree taxa such as Larix decidua and Betula tree species around the study site during the last Glacial. The regular occurrence of pollen of temperate trees in the organic lake sediments (fine-detritus calcareous gyttja) suggests that temperate taxa such as Corylus avellana, Quercus deciduous, Tilia, Ulmus, Fraxinus excelsior, Carpinus, Abies alba and Fagus sylvatica, most likely survived the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) at favorable sites in the Euganean Hills. The percentage values of temperate trees are comparable with those from Southern Europe (e.g. Monticchio in Southern Italy). We conclude that the Euganean Hills were one of the northernmost refugial areas of temperate taxa in Europe. However, the relative and absolute abundances of pollen of temperate trees are highly variable. Pollen-inferred declines of temperate tree

  6. Aquatic beetles of the alpine lakes: diversity, ecology and small-scale population genetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Čiamporová-Zaovičová Z.

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we summarize water beetle fauna of the alpine lakes and ponds of the Tatra Mountains. The literature and recent data were used to assess species diversity. Out of around 95 studied alpine water bodies, beetles were found in 61. Altogether, 54 taxa from six families were identified. The different altitudinal zones and lake areas were compared with species richness and species incidence concerning the sites sampled. Besides faunistics, some ecological notes on Agabus bipustulatus are provided. The seasonal dynamics of this species is influenced by its life cycle. The larvae and adults comprised a regular part of the samples during the whole period of the study with a decrease in density from June to the late fall. During the summer and the early fall, fast growth of the larvae was observed. The adults reached their abundance peak in September–October. For the first time, analysis is provided of the genetic diversity of the macroinvertebrate species of the alpine lakes. We used a 345bp fragment of cytochrome b in two dytiscids, Agabus bipustulatus and A. guttatus. Seven and eight haplotypes were identified, respectively, with slightly different distribution patterns of genetic diversity across the study area in both species. A high proportion of the lakes was characterized by a single haplotype and the majority of the haplotypes were restricted to only one of the sampled valleys.

  7. Nitrogen deposition but not climate warming promotes Deyeuxia angustifolia encroachment in alpine tundra of the Changbai Mountains, Northeast China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zong, Shengwei; Jin, Yinghua; Xu, Jiawei; Wu, Zhengfang; He, Hongshi; Du, Haibo; Wang, Lei

    2016-02-15

    Vegetation in the alpine tundra area of the Changbai Mountains, one of two alpine tundra areas in China, has undergone great changes in recent decades. The aggressive herb species Deyeuxia angustifolia (Komarov) Y. L. Chang, a narrow-leaf small reed, was currently encroaching upon the alpine landscape and threatening tundra biota. The alpine tundra of the Changbai Mountains has been experiencing a warmer climate and receiving a high load of atmospheric nitrogen deposition. In this study, we aimed to assess the respective roles of climate warming and atmospheric nitrogen deposition in promoting the upward encroachment of D. angustifolia. We conducted experiments for three years to examine the response of D. angustifolia and a native alpine shrub, Rhododendron chrysanthum, to the conditions in which temperature and nitrogen were increased. Treatments consisting of temperature increase, nitrogen addition, temperature increase combined with nitrogen addition, and controls were conducted on the D. angustifolia communities with three encroachment levels (low, medium, and high levels). Results showed that 1) D. angustifolia grew in response to added nutrients but did not grow well when temperature increased. R. chrysanthum showed negligible responses to the simulated environmental changes. 2) Compared to R. chrysanthum, D. angustifolia could effectively occupy the above-ground space by increasing tillers and growing rapidly by efficiently using nitrogen. The difference in nitrogen uptake abilities between the two species contributed to expansion of D. angustifolia. 3) D. angustifolia encroachment could deeply change the biodiversity of tundra vegetation and may eventually result in the replacement of native biota, especially with nitrogen addition. Our research indicated that nutrient perturbation may be more important than temperature perturbation in promoting D. angustifolia encroachment upon the nutrient- and species-poor alpine tundra ecosystem in the Changbai

  8. Unusual phenolic compounds contribute to ecophysiological performance in the purple-colored green alga zygogonium ericetorum (zygnematophyceae, streptophyta) from a high-alpine habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aigner, Siegfried; Remias, Daniel; Karsten, Ulf; Holzinger, Andreas

    2013-08-01

    The filamentous green alga Zygogonium ericetorum (Zygnematophyceae, Streptophyta) was collected in a high-alpine rivulet in Tyrol, Austria. Two different morphotypes of this alga were found: a purple morph with a visible purple vacuolar content and a green morph lacking this coloration. These morphotypes were compared with respect to their secondary metabolites, ultrastructure, and ecophysiological properties. Colorimetric tests with aqueous extracts of the purple morph indicated the presence of soluble compounds such as phenolics and hydrolyzable tannins. High-performance liquid chromatography-screening showed that Z. ericetorum contained several large phenolic peaks with absorption maxima at ∼280 nm and sometimes with minor maxima at ∼380 nm. Such compounds are uncommon for freshwater green microalgae, and could contribute to protect the organism against increased UV and visible (VIS) irradiation. The purple Z. ericetorum contained larger amounts (per dry weight) of the putative phenolic substances than the green morph; exposure to irradiation may be a key factor for accumulation of these phenolic compounds. Transmission electron microscopy of the purple morph showed massive vacuolization with homogenous medium electron-dense content in the cell periphery, which possibly contains the secondary compounds. In contrast, the green morph had smaller, electron-translucent vacuoles. The ecophysiological data on photosynthesis and desiccation tolerance indicated that increasing photon fluence densities led to much higher relative electron transport rates (rETR) in the purple than in the green morph. These data suggest that the secondary metabolites in the purple morph are important for light acclimation in high-alpine habitats. However, the green morph recovered better after 4 d of rehydration following desiccation stress.

  9. Alpine biodiversity and assisted migration: The case of the American pika (Ochotona princeps)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkening, Jennifer L.; Ray, Chris; Ramsay, Nathan G.; Klingler, Kelly

    2015-01-01

    Alpine mammals are predicted to be among the species most threatened by climate change, due to the projected loss and further fragmentation of alpine habitats. As temperature or precipitation regimes change, alpine mammals may also be faced with insurmountable barriers to dispersal. The slow rate or inability to adjust to rapidly shifting environmental conditions may cause isolated alpine species to become locally extirpated, resulting in reduced biodiversity. One proposed method for mitigating the impacts of alpine species loss is assisted migration. This method, which involves translocating a species to an area with more favourable climate and habitat characteristics, has become the subject of debate and controversy in the conservation community. The uncertainty associated with climate change projections, coupled with the thermal sensitivity of many alpine mammals, makes it difficult to a priori assess the efficacy of this technique as a conservation management tool. Here we present the American pika (Ochotona princeps) as a case study. American pikas inhabit rocky areas throughout the western US, and populations in some mountainous areas have become locally extirpated in recent years. We review known climatic and habitat requirements for this species, and also propose protocols designed to reliably identify favourable relocation areas. We present data related to the physiological constraints of this species and outline specific requirements which must be addressed for translocation of viable populations, including wildlife disease and genetic considerations. Finally, we discuss potential impacts on other alpine species and alpine communities, and overall implications for conserving alpine biodiversity in a changing climate.

  10. Alpine Groundwater - Pristine Aquifers Under Threat?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, P.; Lange, A.

    2014-12-01

    Glacier and permafrost retreat are prominent climate change indicators. However, the characteristics of climate and hydrology in mountain areas remain poorly understood relative to lowland areas. Specifically, not much is known about alpine groundwater, its recharge and water quality variations, as these remote reservoirs are rarely monitored. As global temperatures rise, glaciers and permafrost will continue to retreat forming new sediment deposits and changing infiltration conditions in high alpine terrain. Climate change impacts the hydro-chemical composition of alpine waters, accelerates weathering processes, and potentially triggers mobilization of pollutants. Accordingly, we monitored groundwater quantity and quality parameters of an alpine porous aquifer near the Tiefenbach glacier in the Gotthard Massif in Switzerland. The goal of this research was to assess quality and seasonal storage dynamics of groundwater above the timberline (2000 m). To translate hydrological science into an ecosystem service context, we focused on four attributes: Water quantity: observations of groundwater level fluctuations combined with analysis of contributing water sources based on stable isotope analysis to give a quantitative understanding of origin and amount of water, Water quality: groundwater level, groundwater temperature and electrical conductivity were used as proxies for sampling of hydro-chemical parameters with automated water samplers during primary groundwater recharge periods (snowmelt and rainfall events), Location: Alpine terrain above the timberline, especially recharge into/out of an alpine porous aquifer at a pro-glacial floodplain and Date of annual melt (albedo effect) and timing of flow (snow- and icemelt from May to September) and groundwater recharge during the growing season. The study found that the summer groundwater temperatures depend on the date of annual melt and are more sensitive to climate forcing than lowland groundwater temperatures

  11. Preliminary results for potential climatic signals in dD of wood lignin methoxyl groups from high-elevation alpine larch trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichelmann, Dana F. C.; Greule, Markus; Esper, Jan; Keppler, Frank

    2016-04-01

    Tree-rings of high alpine larch trees (Larix decidua) were investigated using a recently established method that measures dD values of the wood lignin methoxyl groups (Greule et al. 2008). The resulting dD time series were tested for their potential to preserve climatic signals. 37 larch trees were sampled at the tree line near Simplon Village (Southern Switzerland). They were analysed for their tree-ring width (TRW), and from five individuals dD of the wood lignin methoxyl groups (dDmethoxyl) were measured at annual resolution from 1971-2009 and at pentadal resolution from 1781-2009. The inter-series correlation of the five annually resolved dDmethoxyl series is 0.53 (p Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 22(24): 3983-3988.

  12. Instability of a highly vulnerable high alpine rock ridge: the lower Arête des Cosmiques (Mont Blanc massif, France)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravanel, L.; Deline, P.; Lambiel, C.; Vincent, C.

    2012-04-01

    Glacier retreat and permafrost degradation are actually more and more thought to explain the increasing instability of rock slopes and rock ridges in high mountain environments. Hot summers with numerous rockfalls we experienced over the last two decades in the Alps have indeed contributed to test/strengthen the hypothesis of a strong correlation between rockfalls and global warming through these two cryospheric factors. Rockfalls from recently deglaciated and/or thawing areas may have very important economic and social implications for high mountain infrastructures and be a fatal hazard for mountaineers. At high mountain sites characterized by infrastructures that can be affected by rockfalls, the monitoring of rock slopes, permafrost and glaciers is thus an essential element for the sustainability of the infrastructure and for the knowledge/management of risks. Our study focuses on a particularly active area of the Mont Blanc massif (France), the lower Arête des Cosmiques, on which is located the very popular Refuge des Cosmiques (3613 m a.s.l.). Since 1998, when a rockfall threatened a part of the refuge and forced to major stabilizing works, observations allowed to identify 10 detachments (20 m3 to > 1000 m3), especially on the SE face of the ridge. Since 2009, this face is yearly surveyed by terrestrial laser scanning to obtain high-resolution 3D models. Their diachronic comparison gives precise measurements of the evolution of the rock slope. Eight rock detachments have thus been documented (0.7 m3 to 256.2 m3). Rock temperature measurements at the ridge and the close Aiguille du Midi (3842 m a.s.l.), and observations of the evolution of the underlying Glacier du Géant have enable to better understand the origin of the strong dynamics of this highly vulnerable area: (i) rock temperature data suggest the presence of warm permafrost (i.e. close to 0°C) from the first meters to depth in the SE face, and cold permafrost in the NW face; (ii) as suggested by the

  13. Impacts of twenty years of experimental warming on soil carbon, nitrogen, moisture and soil across alpine/subarctic tundra communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    M. Alatalo, Juha; K. Jägerbrand, Annika; Juhanson, Jaanis

    2017-01-01

    High-altitude and alpine areas are predicted to experience rapid and substantial increases in future temperature, which may have serious impacts on soil carbon, nutrient and soil fauna. Here we report the impact of 20 years of experimental warming on soil properties and soil mites in three...... contrasting plant communities in alpine/subarctic Sweden. Long-term warming decreased juvenile oribatid mite density, but had no effect on adult oribatids density, total mite density, any major mite group or the most common species. Long-term warming also caused loss of nitrogen, carbon and moisture from...... be important for buffering mites from global warming. The results indicated that juvenile mites may be more vulnerable to global warming than adult stages. Importantly, the results also indicated that global warming may cause carbon and nitrogen losses in alpine and tundra mineral soils and that its effects...

  14. Dendrochronological potential of the alpine shrub Rhododendron nivale on the south-eastern Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Eryuan; Eckstein, Dieter

    2009-09-01

    Shrubs and dwarf shrubs are wider spread on the Tibetan Plateau than trees and hence offer a unique opportunity to expand the present dendrochronological network into extreme environments beyond the survival limit of trees. Alpine shrublands on the Tibetan Plateau are characterized by rhododendron species. The dendrochronological potential of one alpine rhododendron species and its growth response to the extreme environment on the south-east Tibetan Plateau were investigated. Twenty stem discs of the alpine snowy rhododendron (Rhododendron nivale) were collected close to the tongue of the Zuoqiupu Glacier in south-east Tibet, China. The skeleton plot technique was used for inter-comparison between samples to detect the growth pattern of each stem section. The ring-width chronology was developed by fitting a negative exponential function or a straight line of any slope. Bootstrapping correlations were calculated between the standard chronology and monthly climate data. The wood of snowy rhododendron is diffuse-porous with evenly distributed small-diameter vessels. It has well-defined growth rings. Most stem sections can be visually and statistically cross-dated. The resulting 75-year-long standard ring-width chronology is highly correlated with a timberline fir chronology about 200 km apart, providing a high degree of confidence in the cross-dating. The climate/growth association of alpine snowy rhododendron and of this timberline fir is similar, reflecting an impact of monthly mean minimum temperatures in November of the previous year and in July during the year of ring formation. The alpine snowy rhododendron offers new research directions to investigate the environmental history of the Tibetan Plateau in those regions where up to now there was no chance of applying dendrochronology.

  15. Leaf and floral heating in cold climates: do sub-Antarctic megaherbs resemble tropical alpine giants?

    OpenAIRE

    Little, Lorna; Eidesen, Pernille Bronken; Müller, Eike; Katharine J M Dickinson; Janice M. Lord

    2016-01-01

    High latitude and altitude floras are characterized by low-statured, small, wind-pollinated plants, which mainly reproduce by self-pollination or asexual reproduction. However, at odds with this are some sub-Antarctic islands that have plant species with giant growth forms and large, brightly coloured flowers which require insect visitation for pollination. The size, colour and shape of the inflorescences and leaves of these megaherbs suggest thermal benefits similar to giant tropical alpine ...

  16. Anterior cruciate ligament injury/reinjury in alpine ski racing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jordan, Matthew J; Aagaard, Per; Herzog, Walter

    2017-01-01

    were searched for articles on ACL injury or knee injury in alpine ski racing. Studies were classified according to their relevance in relation to epidemiology, etiology, risk factors, and return to sport/reinjury prevention. Alpine ski racers (skiers) were found to be at high risk for knee injuries......The purpose of the present review was to: 1) provide an overview of the current understanding on the epidemiology, etiology, risk factors, and prevention methods for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in alpine ski racing; and 2) provide an overview of what is known pertaining to ACL reinjury...... and return to sport after ACL injury in alpine ski racing. Given that most of the scientific studies on ACL injuries in alpine ski racing have been descriptive, and that very few studies contributed higher level scientific evidence, a nonsystematic narrative review was employed. Three scholarly databases...

  17. Vascular plant flora of the alpine zone in the southern Rocky Mountains, U.S.A

    Science.gov (United States)

    James F. Fowler; B. E. Nelson; Ronald L. Hartman

    2014-01-01

    Field detection of changes in occurrence, distribution, or abundance of alpine plant species is predicated on knowledge of which species are in specific locations. The alpine zone of the Southern Rocky Mountain Region has been systematically inventoried by the staff and floristics graduate students from the Rocky Mountain Herbarium over the last 27 years. It is...

  18. Effects of climate change on three flow regime-related ecosystem services in a highly-regulated Alpine river

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carolli, Mauro; Zolezzi, Guido; Geneletti, Davide; Majone, Bruno; Bellin, Alberto

    2016-04-01

    River systems provide several flow regime-related ecosystem services (ES) to society. The flow regime of several Alpine rivers is often regulated by hydropower production, which represents one of the most relevant ES in the area. Climate change is expected to modify the flow regime of rivers, with possible relevant consequences on the suitability of related ES. In this work we applied an approach aimed at evaluating the variations of ES under different flow regime conditions and consequently, the possibility to quantify the effects of different climate change scenarios on river ecosystem services. The case-study is the Noce River, a gravel-bed river in the Italian Alps (Trentino, North East Italy) which hydrological regime is subject to daily alterations of flow regime (hydropeaking) induced by the management of large hydropower plants. Here we considered three ES indicators: habitat for adult marble trout as representative for habitat provisioning service, rafting for recreational services, and small hydropower production as provisioning service. In particular, we evaluated the daily variations of these indicators under three different operating scenarios: a reference scenarios (REF, from 1970 to 2000) and two future scenarios (from 2040 to 2070), with (FUT) and without (FUT CC) the inclusion of the required minimum environmental flow (minimum vital flow) recently implemented in the regional water resources policy. For each scenario, four climate models have been applied (see Majone et al., 2016). Future scenarios indicate a modification of the flow regime, with a direct effect on the suitability of related ES. The effects on ES differ according with climate models and management scenarios: as a general result and considering the comparison with respect to the reference period, the applied models predict a temporal shift from late to early summer in the rafting suitability, a decrease of the suitability for trout in spring months and an increase of the suitability

  19. How 'alpine' are nivicolous myxomycetes? A worldwide assessment of altitudinal distribution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronikier, A; Ronikier, M

    2009-01-01

    Nivicolous myxomycetes constitute an ecologically well defined group of organisms occurring at the edge of melting winter snow cover. They often are considered and described as alpine species, occurring exclusively or most frequently in the alpine belt. We reviewed and synthesized available published data on the altitudinal occurrences of nivicolous myxomycetes in 22 massifs worldwide and attributed the records to main altitudinal belts (montane/subalpine/alpine) defined for particular areas. Based on this comparative analysis we attempted to analyze and discuss general views on the altitudinal/biogeographical properties of nivicolous myxomycetes. Our study indicates that the altitudinal distribution of nivicolous mycomycetes extends over montane, subalpine and alpine belts. The most abundant records were found in the forest (montane) belt, while the alpine belt had the lowest number of occurrences. Although this picture might be biased to some extent by better average exploration of lower areas, it shows clearly that this ecological group-even though connected with mountainous habitats-does not form an alpine element. Therefore they should not be considered alpine species. Based on the available data it also could be hypothesized that nivicolous myxomycetes form a widely distributed biogeographical mountain element instead of an alpine or arctic-alpine element. Based on our conclusions we also emphasize the need for precise and cautious use of the notion of "alpines", which appears to be confusingly overused in the myxomycete studies.

  20. Integrating the EMPD with an Alpine altitudinal training set to reconstruct climate variables in Holocene pollen records from high-altitude peat bogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furlanetto, Giulia; Badino, Federica; Brunetti, Michele; Champvillair, Elena; De Amicis, Mattia; Maggi, Valter; Pini, Roberta; Ravazzi, Cesare; Vallé, Francesca

    2016-04-01

    Temperatures and precipitation are the main environmental factors influencing vegetation and pollen production. Knowing the modern climate optima and tolerances of those plants represented in fossil assemblages and assuming that the relationships between plants and climate in the past are not dissimilar from the modern ones, fossil pollen records offer many descriptors to reconstruct past climate variables. The aim of our work is to investigate the potential of high-altitude pollen records from an Alpine peat bog (TBValter, close to the Ruitor Glacier, Western Italian Alps) for quantitative paleoclimate estimates. The idea behind is that high-altitude ecosystems are more sensitive to climate changes, especially to changes in July temperatures that severely affect the timberline ecotone. Meantime, we met with difficulties when considering the factors involved in pollen dispersal over a complex altitudinal mountain pattern, such as the Alps. We used the EMPD-European Modern Pollen Database (Davis et al., 2013) as modern training set to be compared with our high-altitude fossil site. The EMPD dataset is valuable in that it provides a large geographic coverage of main ecological and climate gradients (at sub-continental scale) but lacks in sampling of altitudinal gradients and high-altitude sites in the Alps. We therefore designed an independent altitudinal training set for the alpine valley hosting our fossil site. 27 sampling plots were selected along a 1700m-elevational transect. In a first step, each plot was provided with (i) 3 moss polsters collected following the guidelines provided by Cañellas-Boltà et al. (2009) and analyzed separately to account for differences in pollen deposition at small scale, (ii) morphometrical parameters obtained through a high-resolution DEM, and (iii) temperature and precipitation were estimated by means of weighted linear regression of the meteorological variable versus elevation, locally evaluated for each site (Brunetti et al

  1. Historic records of organic aerosols from a high Alpine glacier: implications of biomass burning, anthropogenic emissions, and dust transport

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Müller-Tautges

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Historic records of α-dicarbonyls (glyoxal, methylglyoxal, carboxylic acids (C6–C12 dicarboxylic acids, pinic acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, phthalic acid, 4-methylphthalic acid, and major ions (oxalate, formate, calcium were determined with annual resolution in an ice core from Grenzgletscher in the southern Swiss Alps, covering the time period from 1942 to 1993. Measurements were conducted using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC coupled to electrospray ionization high resolution mass spectrometry (ESI-HRMS. For the first time, long-term records of the carboxylic acids and dicarbonyls as well as their source apportionment are reported for Western Europe. Source assignment of the organic species present in the ice core was performed using principal component analysis. Our results suggest biomass burning, anthropogenic emissions, and transport of mineral dust to be the main parameters influencing the concentration of organic compounds. Ice core records of several highly correlated compounds (e.g. p-hydroxybenzoic acid, pinic acid, C7 and C8 dicarboxylic acids can be related to the forest fire history in southern Switzerland. P-hydroxybenzoic acid was found to be the best organic fire tracer in the study area, revealing the highest correlation with the burned area from fires. Historical records of methylglyoxal, phthalic acid, and dicarboxylic acids C6, C10, and C12 are comparable with that of anthropogenic emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs. The small organic acids oxalic acid and formic acid are both highly correlated with calcium, suggesting their records to be affected by changing mineral dust transport to the drilling site.

  2. Population Trends of Central European Montane Birds Provide Evidence for Adverse Impacts of Climate Change on High-Altitude Species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiří Flousek

    Full Text Available Climate change is among the most important global threats to biodiversity and mountain areas are supposed to be under especially high pressure. Although recent modelling studies suggest considerable future range contractions of montane species accompanied with increased extinction risk, data allowing to test actual population consequences of the observed climate changes and identifying traits associated to their adverse impacts are very scarce. To fill this knowledge gap, we estimated long-term population trends of montane birds from 1984 to 2011 in a central European mountain range, the Giant Mountains (Krkonoše, where significant warming occurred over this period. We then related the population trends to several species' traits related to the climate change effects. We found that the species breeding in various habitats at higher altitudes had more negative trends than species breeding at lower altitudes. We also found that the species moved upwards as a response to warming climate, and these altitudinal range shifts were associated with more positive population trends at lower altitudes than at higher altitudes. Moreover, long-distance migrants declined more than residents or species migrating for shorter distances. Taken together, these results indicate that the climate change, besides other possible environmental changes, already influences populations of montane birds with particularly adverse impacts on high-altitude species such as water pipit (Anthus spinoletta. It is evident that the alpine species, predicted to undergo serious climatically induced range contractions due to warming climate in the future, already started moving along this trajectory.

  3. Population Trends of Central European Montane Birds Provide Evidence for Adverse Impacts of Climate Change on High-Altitude Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flousek, Jiří; Telenský, Tomáš; Hanzelka, Jan; Reif, Jiří

    2015-01-01

    Climate change is among the most important global threats to biodiversity and mountain areas are supposed to be under especially high pressure. Although recent modelling studies suggest considerable future range contractions of montane species accompanied with increased extinction risk, data allowing to test actual population consequences of the observed climate changes and identifying traits associated to their adverse impacts are very scarce. To fill this knowledge gap, we estimated long-term population trends of montane birds from 1984 to 2011 in a central European mountain range, the Giant Mountains (Krkonoše), where significant warming occurred over this period. We then related the population trends to several species' traits related to the climate change effects. We found that the species breeding in various habitats at higher altitudes had more negative trends than species breeding at lower altitudes. We also found that the species moved upwards as a response to warming climate, and these altitudinal range shifts were associated with more positive population trends at lower altitudes than at higher altitudes. Moreover, long-distance migrants declined more than residents or species migrating for shorter distances. Taken together, these results indicate that the climate change, besides other possible environmental changes, already influences populations of montane birds with particularly adverse impacts on high-altitude species such as water pipit (Anthus spinoletta). It is evident that the alpine species, predicted to undergo serious climatically induced range contractions due to warming climate in the future, already started moving along this trajectory.

  4. Post 17th-century changes of European PAH emissions recorded in high-altitude Alpine snow and ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabrieli, Jacopo; Vallelonga, Paul; Cozzi, Giulio; Gabrielli, Paolo; Gambaro, Andrea; Sigl, Michael; Decet, Fabio; Schwikowski, Margit; Gäggeler, Heinz; Boutron, Claude; Cescon, Paolo; Barbante, Carlo

    2010-05-01

    The occurrence of organic pollutants in European Alpine snow/ice has been reconstructed over the past three centuries using a new online extraction method for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) followed by liquid chromatographic determination. The meltwater flow from a continuous ice core melting system was split into two aliquots, with one aliquot directed to an inductively coupled plasma quadrupole mass spectrometer for continuous trace elements determinations and the second introduced into a solid phase C18 (SPE) cartridge for semicontinuous PAH extraction. The depth resolution for PAH extractions ranged from 40 to 70 cm, and corresponds to 0.7-5 years per sample. The concentrations of 11 PAH were determined in dated snow/ice samples to reconstruct the atmospheric concentration of these compounds in Europe for the last 300 years. The PAH pattern is dominated by phenanthrene (Phe), fluoranthene (Fla), and pyrene (Pyr), which represent 60-80% of the total PAH mass. Before 1875 the sum of PAH concentration (SigmaPAH) was very low with total mean concentrations less than 2 ng/kg and 0.08 ng/kg for the heavier compounds (SigmaPAH*, more than four aromatic rings). During the first phase of the industrial revolution (1770-1830) the PAH deposition showed a weak increase which became much greater from the start of the second phase of the industrial revolution at the end of 19th Century. In the 1920s, economic recession in Europe decreased PAH emissions until the 1930s when they increased again and reached a maximum concentration of 32 ng/kg from 1945 to 1955. From 1955 to 1975 the PAH concentrations decreased significantly, reflecting improvements in emission controls especially from major point sources, while from 1975 to 2003 they rose to levels equivalent to those in 1910. The Fla/(Fla+Pyr) ratio is often used for source assignment and here indicates an increase in the relative contribution of gasoline and diesel combustion with respect to coal and wood burning

  5. The Beetle (Coleoptera and True bug (Heteroptera species pool of the alpine “Pian di Gembro” wetland (Villa di Tirano, Italy and its conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matteo Montagna

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available he C oleoptera and Heteroptera species pool was investigated in the “Pian di Gembro” wetland (Villa di T irano, Sondrio, Italy. T he wetland consists of a bog and its surroundings, referred to as wetland components, that are both subjected to a diversified intermediate management regime (DIMR. T he application of the DIMR for plant species conservation resulted in the establishment of 11 wetland zones with a characteristic vegetation. In a three year sampling program, 997 C oleoptera and Heteroptera representing 141 species from 14 families were collected. Among these species, 64 species share both wetland components, 11 are restricted to the bog and 63 were found in the surroundings only. Among the species pool there were 23 tyrphophile taxa and only one tyrphobiont. With the exception of one zone, all zones are inhabited by zone-specific species. By taking into account both the general species pool and the pool of species of particular interest to conservationists, only one zone can be considered as redundant since it is inhabited by species that occur also in other zones. Hence, all the zones, with one exception, are effective for species pool conservation. The existing DIMR implemented for plant species conservation is also effective for conserving the species pool of C oleoptera and Heteroptera.

  6. Age and growth of the sand lizards (Lacerta agilis from a high Alpine population of north-western Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabio M. Guarino

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available We studied growth and longevity of Lacerta agilis from a sample (34 adults and 2 small-sized juveniles of a population living at high altitude in north-western Italy using skeletochronological method. Snout vent length (SVL mean of males did not significantly differ from that of females although the latter were in average bigger (SVL ± SD, males: 69.3 ± 7.1 mm, n = 11; females: 73.9 ± 9.7 mm, n = 22; Mann-Whitney U-test, U = 1.76, P = 0.077. Age ranged from 2 to 4 years (mean age ± SD = 2.3 ± 0.2 in males and from 2 to 3 years in females (mean age ± SD = 2.59 ± 0.5 years. Age mean did not significantly differ between the sexes (Mann-Whitney U-test, U = 1.35, P = 0.174. The two juveniles were 30 and 32 mm in SVL and both were 1-2 months old. In both sexes, a significant positive correlation between SVL and age was recorded although weakly significant for males (Spearman’s correlation coefficient, males: rs = 0.70, P = 0.05; females: rs = 0.75, P < 0.001. Von Bertalanffy growth curves well fitted to the relationships between age and SVL and showed a different profile between males (asymptotics size, SVLmax = 81.9 mm; growth coefficient, k = 0.63 and females (SVLmax = 100 mm; k = 0.40. Results indicate that individuals of L. agilis studied by us are short-living when compared with other populations of the same species.

  7. On the Importance of High-Resolution Time Series of Optical Imagery for Quantifying the Effects of Snow Cover Duration on Alpine Plant Habitat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Pierre Dedieu

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available We investigated snow cover dynamics using time series of moderate (MODIS to high (SPOT-4/5, Landsat-8 spatial resolution satellite imagery in a 3700 km2 region of the southwestern French Alps. Our study was carried out in the context of the SPOT (Take 5 Experiment initiated by the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES, with the aim of exploring the utility of high spatial and temporal resolution multispectral satellite imagery for snow cover mapping and applications in alpine ecology. Our three objectives were: (i to validate remote sensing observations of first snow free day derived from the Normalized Difference Snow Index (NDSI relative to ground-based measurements; (ii to generate regional-scale maps of first snow free day and peak standing biomass derived from the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI; and (iii to examine the usefulness of these maps for habitat mapping of herbaceous vegetation communities above the tree line. Imagery showed strong agreement with ground-based measurements of snow melt-out date, although R2 was higher for SPOT and Landsat time series (0.92 than for MODIS (0.79. Uncertainty surrounding estimates of first snow free day was lower in the case of MODIS, however (±3 days as compared to ±9 days for SPOT and Landsat, emphasizing the importance of high temporal as well as high spatial resolution for capturing local differences in snow cover duration. The main floristic differences between plant communities were clearly visible in a two-dimensional habitat template defined by the first snow free day and NDVI at peak standing biomass, and these differences were accentuated when axes were derived from high spatial resolution imagery. Our work demonstrates the enhanced potential of high spatial and temporal resolution multispectral imagery for quantifying snow cover duration and plant phenology in temperate mountain regions, and opens new avenues to examine to what extent plant community diversity and

  8. Sensitivity estimations for cloud droplet formation in the vicinity of the high alpine research station Jungfraujoch (3580 m a.s.l.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Hammer

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Aerosol radiative forcing estimates suffer from large uncertainties as a result of insufficient understanding of aerosol–cloud interactions. The main source of these uncertainties are dynamical processes such as turbulence and entrainment but also key aerosol parameters such as aerosol number concentration and size distribution, and to a much lesser extent, the composition. From June to August 2011 a Cloud and Aerosol Characterization Experiment (CLACE was performed at the high-alpine research station Jungfraujoch (Switzerland, 3580 m a.s.l. focusing on the activation of aerosol to form liquid-phase clouds (in the cloud base temperature range of −8 to 5 °C. With a box model the sensitivity of the effective peak supersaturation (SSpeak, an important parameter for cloud activation, to key aerosol and dynamical parameters was investigated. It was found that the updraft velocity, defining the cooling rate of an air parcel, is the parameter with the largest influence on SSpeak. Small-scale variations in the cooling rate with large amplitudes can significantly alter CCN activation. Thus, an accurate knowledge of the air parcel history is required to estimate SSpeak. The results show that the cloud base updraft velocities estimated from the horizontal wind measurements made at the Jungfraujoch can be divided by a factor of approximately 4 to get the updraft velocity required for the model to reproduce the observed SSpeak.

  9. Changes in the Alpine environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Schoeneich

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available L’évolution de l’environnement alpin au XXIe siècle sera conditionnée par le changement climatique. Celui-ci pourrait conduire à des climats inconnus à ce jour dans les Alpes, avec comme conséquence une crise environnementale majeure et durable. Face à ces défis, les financements de recherche restent insuffisants pour la recherche appliquée aux milieux de montagne. Les financements nationaux privilégient souvent la recherche polaire au détriment des hautes altitudes, alors que les financements de type Interreg prennent insuffisamment en compte les besoins de recherche fondamentale, préalable nécessaire à l’élaboration de scénarios. Une évolution se dessine depuis deux ou trois ans vers des projets en réseau à l’échelle alpine. Le présent article fait le point sur les principaux enjeux qui attendent la recherche environnementale alpine et sur la capacité des programmes de recherche à répondre aux besoins. La première partie sur les changements climatiques est fondée sur les rapports récents : rapport de synthèse IPCC 2007 (IPCC 2007, rapport IPCC sur l’Europe (Alcamo et al. 2007, rapport de synthèse du programme ClimChAlp (Prudent-Richard et al., 2008. On y trouvera des bibliographies complètes et circonstanciées. La deuxième partie se base sur une analyse des appels d’offres récents ou en cours, et des projets soumis et financés.The way the Alpine environment will evolve in the 21st century depends upon climate change. This could lead to climates never before seen in the Alps, resulting in a major and lasting environmental crisis. In the face of these challenges, funding is still insufficient for specialised research on mountain environments. State funding often prioritises polar research at the expense of high altitude areas, whereas funding schemes from bodies such as Interreg do not sufficiently address the need for fundamental research, which is nevertheless a necessary first step prior to

  10. A simple spatial model exploring positive feedbacks at tropical alpine treelines

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bader, M.; Rietkerk, M.; Bregt, A.K.

    2008-01-01

    Climate change could cause alpine treelines to shift in altitude or to change their spatial pattern, but little is known about the drivers of treeline dynamics and patterning. The position and patterns of tropical alpine treelines are generally attributed to land use, especially burning. Species int

  11. Two new Cystoderma species from high Andean Ecuador

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Saar, I.; Læssøe, Thomas

    2006-01-01

    ABSTRACT: Two new agaric species, Cystoderma andinum and C. papallactae are described from high Andean Ecuador.......ABSTRACT: Two new agaric species, Cystoderma andinum and C. papallactae are described from high Andean Ecuador....

  12. PHYLOGENETIC POSITION OF ZYGOGONIUM ERICETORUM (ZYGNEMATOPHYCEAE, CHAROPHYTA) FROM A HIGH ALPINE HABITAT AND ULTRASTRUCTURAL CHARACTERIZATION OF UNUSUAL APLANOSPORES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stancheva, Rosalina; Hall, John D.; Herburger, Klaus; Lewis, Louise A.; McCourt, Richard M.; Sheath, Robert G.; Holzinger, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Zygogonium ericetorum, the type species of the genus, was studied from a natural population collected in Mt. Schönwieskopf, Tyrol, Austria. Generic concepts of Zygogonium and Zygnema were tested with atpB, psbC, and rbcL gene sequence analysis, which showed a sister relationship between Z. ericetorum and Mesotaenium, in an early branching clade sister to a grouping of Zygnema and several other filamentous and unicellular zygnematalean taxa. A variety of light, confocal, transmission electron microscopy, and cytochemical techniques provided new data on the variable chloroplast shape of Z. ericetorum, and its aplanospore structure and development, which has been previously considered taxonomically important but has been ambiguously interpreted. Zygogonium can be distinguished from other zygnematophytes (particularly Zygnema), based on the combination of two characters: (i) irregular, compressed plate-like chloroplasts and (ii) residual cytoplasmic content left in sporangia outside of the fully developed aplanospores or zygospores. The presence of a sporangial wall that separates the spores from the parent cell should be excluded from the definition of Zygogonium, because it is also observed in Zygnema. Similarly, the ecological characterization of Zygogonium as acidophilic is not unique to the genus. The names of 18 species currently belonging to Zygogonium are here changed to Zygnema, because of incompatibility with this new proposed Zygogonium concept. In the species transferred to Zygnema, chloroplasts are typically stellate in three-dimensions, and the entire content of fertile cells is transformed into the spore, so there is no cytoplasmic residue. PMID:25810560

  13. Erosion by an Alpine glacier.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, Frédéric; Beyssac, Olivier; Brughelli, Mattia; Lane, Stuart N; Leprince, Sébastien; Adatte, Thierry; Lin, Jiao Y Y; Avouac, Jean-Philippe; Cox, Simon C

    2015-10-09

    Assessing the impact of glaciation on Earth's surface requires understanding glacial erosion processes. Developing erosion theories is challenging because of the complex nature of the erosion processes and the difficulty of examining the ice/bedrock interface of contemporary glaciers. We demonstrate that the glacial erosion rate is proportional to the ice-sliding velocity squared, by quantifying spatial variations in ice-sliding velocity and the erosion rate of a fast-flowing Alpine glacier. The nonlinear behavior implies a high erosion sensitivity to small variations in topographic slope and precipitation. A nonlinear rate law suggests that abrasion may dominate over other erosion processes in fast-flowing glaciers. It may also explain the wide range of observed glacial erosion rates and, in part, the impact of glaciation on mountainous landscapes during the past few million years. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  14. Preliminary data on nutritional value of abundant species in supraforestal Pyrenean pastures

    OpenAIRE

    Marinas, A.; García-González, Ricardo

    2006-01-01

    The alpine pastures of the Pyrenees have been used as summer ranges for centuries and continue to be an important forage resource for livestock husbandry to this day. Some studies attribute high nutritional values to alpine pastures, but recent surveys have revealed weight-loss in animals summering in Pyrenean pastures. There is virtually no information available with regard to the nutritional value of the species which constitute Pyrenean summer pastures. Twenty-three of the most common s...

  15. Aquatic molluscs in high mountain lakes of the Eastern Alps (Austria): Species-environment relationships and specific colonization behaviour

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    STURM Robert

    2012-01-01

    Mountain lakes represent essential stages for aquatic species on their way colonizing habitats of more elevated regions.Despite extensive biological and chemical study,only little has been reported about the species number and density of freshwater molluscs in these waters.The article presented here elucidates the dispersal of aquatic gastropods and bivalves in 12 mountain lakes that are commonly situated in the Eastern Alps,Austria.Molluscs were recorded at 120 sample points,where a total of 13 species (8 gastropods and 5 bivalves) could be determined.Species distribution data as well as results from contemporarily conducted physico-chemical factor recording were subject to weighted average analysis.In addition,a global marginality coefficient indicating the particularity of a habitat inhabited by a focal species as well as a global tolerance coefficient expressing the width of a niche occupied by this species were computed.Species-environment relationships exhibited that species number and specific density decrease with increasing geographic altitude,declining water temperature,and decreasing amount of submerged vegetation.Whilst waters of the montane altitude level are partly charcterized by high number of mollusc species (>10),lakes of the subalpine altitude level commonly bear 1 or 2 species with <<1 ind./m2.As proposed by the results of statistics,9 of the 13 mollusc species are characterized by a pronounced behaviour as specialists with respect to most environmental factors.The four remaining species,Pisidium casertanum,Galba truncatula,Radix labiata,and Radix balthica,act as generalists which increases their pioneering role in the long-term occupation of the Central-alpine region.

  16. The onset of alpine pastoral systems in the Eastern Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oeggl, Klaus; Festi, Daniela; Putzer, Andreas

    2015-04-01

    Since the discovery of the Neolithic glacier mummy "Ötzi" in the nival belt of the main Alpine ridge, the onset of alpine pasture is matter of a highly controversial debate both in archaeology and in palaeo-ecology of the Eastern Alps. The implication is that his sojourn in the high-altitudes of the Alps is considered to be connected with pastoral nomadism. Regrettably any archaeological evidence for the existence of such Neolithic alpine pastoral systems is missing up to now and the assumption is based on palynological data only. However, also the palynological record is ambiguous, because pasture indicators in the alpine regions react positive on grazing as well as on fertilization induced by a higher runoff of precipitation. Thus alpine pasture indicators reflect both grazing pressure and climatic change. Anyhow, alpine pastoral systems are a common practice in Alpine animal husbandry, but from an economic point of view such a seasonal vertical transhumance is costly. There are three main reasons for its practice: i) climatic, ii) economic (mainly in connection with population pressure or mining activities), and iii) cultural ideology. In this study we tested the above mentioned reasons in an interdisciplinary study on the beginning of pastoral activities in high altitudes in the central part of the Eastern Alps. This is conducted by palynological analyses of peat deposits situated in the vicinity of the timberline (1600 - 2400 m a.s.l.) combined with archaeological surveys. The investigated sites are located in traditional Alpine transhumance regions and aligned on a transect through the central part of the Eastern Alps. The studies reveal that grazing pressure is reflected since the Bronze Age, which is corroborated by archaeological findings in the vicinity of the investigated sites.

  17. Distribution of Prokaryotic Abundance and Microbial Nutrient Cycling Across a High-Alpine Altitudinal Gradient in the Austrian Central Alps is Affected by Vegetation, Temperature, and Soil Nutrients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, Katrin; Lamprecht, Andrea; Pauli, Harald; Illmer, Paul

    2016-10-01

    Studies of the altitudinal distributions of soil microorganisms are rare or have led to contradictory results. Therefore, we studied archaeal and bacterial abundance and microbial-mediated activities across an altitudinal gradient (2700 to 3500 m) on the southwestern slope of Mt. Schrankogel (Central Alps, Austria). Sampling sites distributed over the alpine (2700 to 2900 m), the alpine-nival (3000 to 3100 m), and the nival altitudinal belts (3200 to 3500 m), which are populated by characteristic plant assemblages. Bacterial and archaeal abundances were measured via quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR). Moreover, microbial biomass C, microbial activity (dehydrogenase), and enzymes involved in carbon (CM-cellulase), nitrogen (protease), phosphorus (alkaline phosphatase), and sulfur (arylsulfatase) cycling were determined. Abundances, microbial biomass C, and activities almost linearly decreased along the gradient. Archaeal abundance experienced a sharper decrease, thus pointing to pronounced sensitivity toward environmental harshness. Additionally, abundance and activities were significantly higher in soils of the alpine belt compared with those of the nival belt, whereas the alpine-nival ecotone represented a transitional area with intermediate values, thus highlighting the importance of vegetation. Archaeal abundance along the gradient was significantly related to soil temperature only, whereas bacterial abundance was significantly related to temperature and dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Soil carbon and nitrogen concentrations explained most of the variance in enzyme activities involved in the cycling of C, N, P, and S. Increasing temperature could therefore increase the abundances and activities of microorganisms either directly or indirectly via expansion of alpine vegetation to higher altitudes and increased plant cover.

  18. 1997–2007 CO trend at the high Alpine site Jungfraujoch: a comparison between NDIR surface in situ and FTIR remote sensing observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Dils

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Within the atmospheric research community, there is a strong interest in integrated datasets, combining data from several instrumentations. This integration is complicated by the different characteristics of the datasets, inherent to the measurement techniques. Here we have compared two carbon monoxide time series (1997 till 2007 acquired at the high-Alpine research station Jungfraujoch (3580 m above sea level, with two well-established measurement techniques, namely in situ surface concentration measurements using Non-Dispersive Infrared Absorption technology (NDIR, and ground-based remote sensing measurements using solar absorption Fourier Transform Infrared spectrometry (FTIR. The profile information available in the FTIR signal allowed us to extract an independent layer with a top height of 7.18 km above sea level, appropriate for comparison with our in situ measurements. We show that, even if both techniques are able to measure free troposphere CO concentrations, the datasets exhibit marked differences in their overall trends (−3.21 ± 0.03 ppb year−1 for NDIR vs. −0.8 ± 0.4 ppb year−1 for FTIR. Removing measurements that are polluted by uprising boundary layer air has a strong impact on the NDIR trend (now −2.62 ± 0.03 ppb year−1, but its difference with FTIR remains significant. Using the LAGRANTO trajectory model, we show that both measurement techniques are influenced by different source regions and therefore are likely subject to exhibit significant differences in their overall trend behaviour. However the observation that the NDIR-FTIR trend difference is as significant before as after 2001 is at odds with available emission databases which claim a significant Asian CO increase after 2001 only.

  19. Sensitivity estimations for cloud droplet formation in the vicinity of the high-alpine research station Jungfraujoch (3580 m a.s.l.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Hammer

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Aerosol radiative forcing estimates suffer from large uncertainties as a result of insufficient understanding of aerosol–cloud interactions. The main source of these uncertainties is dynamical processes such as turbulence and entrainment but also key aerosol parameters such as aerosol number concentration and size distribution, and to a much lesser extent, the composition. From June to August 2011 a Cloud and Aerosol Characterization Experiment (CLACE2011 was performed at the high-alpine research station Jungfraujoch (Switzerland, 3580 m a.s.l. focusing on the activation of aerosol to form liquid-phase clouds (in the cloud base temperature range of −8 to 5 °C. With a box model the sensitivity of the effective peak supersaturation (SSpeak, an important parameter for cloud activation, to key aerosol and dynamical parameters was investigated. The updraft velocity, which defines the cooling rate of an air parcel, was found to have the greatest influence on SSpeak. Small-scale variations in the cooling rate with large amplitudes can significantly alter CCN activation. Thus, an accurate knowledge of the air parcel history is required to estimate SSpeak. The results show that the cloud base updraft velocities estimated from the horizontal wind measurements made at the Jungfraujoch can be divided by a factor of approximately 4 to get the updraft velocity required for the model to reproduce the observed SSpeak. The aerosol number concentration and hygroscopic properties were found to be less important than the aerosol size in determining SSpeak. Furthermore turbulence is found to have a maximum influence when SSpeak is between approximately 0.2 and 0.4 %. Simulating the small-scale fluctuations with several amplitudes, frequencies and phases, revealed that independently of the amplitude, the effect of the frequency on SSpeak shows a maximum at 0.46 Hz (median over all phases and at higher frequencies, the maximum SSpeak decreases again.

  20. Alpine treeline and timberline dynamics during the Holocene in the Northern Romanian Carpathians

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    High altitude environments (treeline and alpine communities) are particularly sensitive to climate changes, disturbances and land-use changes due to their limited tolerance and adaptability range, habitat fragmentation and habitat restriction. The current and future climate warming is anticipated to shift the tree- and timberlines upwards thus affecting alpine plant communities and causing land-cover change and fragmentation of alpine habitats. An upslope movement of some trees, shrubs and co...

  1. Changes in species composition and diversity in the restoration process of sub-alpine dark brown coniferous forests in western Sichuan Province, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jiangming MA; Shirong LIU; Zuomin SHI; Yuandong ZHANG; Bing KANG; Baoyu CHEN

    2008-01-01

    By adopting the concept of space as a substi-tute for time, we analyzed the dynamics of species com-position and diversity of different restoration sequences (20, 30, 40, 50 years) in two secondary forest types in western Sichuan Province, distributed in a northerly or northwesterly direction. The analysis was based on the results of measurements of 50 plots located at elevations between 3100-3600 m. The forests originated from nat-ural regeneration in combination with reforestation of spruce when the old-growth bamboo-dark brown con-iferous forests and moss-dark brown coniferous old growth forests were harvested. Similar old-growth dark brown coniferous forests at ages ranging between 160 and 200 years were selected as the reference forests for comparisons. We recorded 167 species of vascular plants from 44 families and 117 genera. There was no significant difference in terms of the number of species among secondary forests. But the importance values of dominant species varied during the restoration pro-cesses. The dominant species in the secondary forests is Betula albo-sinensis, while Abiesfaxoniana is the dom-inant species in old-growth dark brown coniferous for-ests. Species richness increased significantly with restoration processes. It increased quickly in secondary forests during the period from 30 to 40 years, but decreased significantly in the old-growth dark brown coniferous forests. The species richness among growth forms decreased in the following order: herb layer> sh-rub layer > tree layer. The maximum value of the even-ness index occurred in secondary forests at age 40 and remained relatively stable in the bamboo-birch forests, but the evenness index tended to decrease in moss-birch forests and slightly increased in the old-growth moss-dark brown coniferous forests. There was a statistically significant difference in the evenness index between the tree and shrub layers as well as between the tree layer and the herb layer, but there was no

  2. Semenic Mountains’ alpine skiing area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petru BANIAȘ

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The present paper presents, after a short history of alpine skiing which describes apparition, necessity, utility and universality of skiing during time, a comparative study referring to the alpine skiing domain in the Semenic Mountains area. In the paper are also presented general notions about alpine skiing methodology together with an ample description of the plateau area form Semenic Mountains, describing localization and touristic potential. Based on the SWOT analysis made for each slope, was realized a complex analysis of the entire skiing domain, an analysis which includes technical, financial, climatic and environmental aspects, along with an analysis of the marketing policy applied for the specific zone.

  3. A New Time Measurement Method Using a High-End Global Navigation Satellite System to Analyze Alpine Skiing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Supej, Matej; Holmberg, Hans-Christer

    2011-01-01

    Accurate time measurement is essential to temporal analysis in sport. This study aimed to (a) develop a new method for time computation from surveyed trajectories using a high-end global navigation satellite system (GNSS), (b) validate its precision by comparing GNSS with photocells, and (c) examine whether gate-to-gate times can provide more…

  4. Dispersal limitation does not control high elevational distribution of alien plant species in the southern Sierra Nevada, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rundel, Philip W.; Keeley, Jon E.

    2016-01-01

    Patterns of elevational distribution of alien plant species in the southern Sierra Nevada of California were used to test the hypothesis that alien plant species invading high elevations around the world are typically climate generalists capable of growing across a wide elevational range. The Sierra Nevada has been heavily impacted for more than a century and a half, first by heavy grazing up into high elevation meadows, followed by major logging, and finally, by impacts associated with recreational use. The comparative elevational patterns of distribution and growth form were compared for native and alien plant species in the four families (Asteraceae, Brassicaceae, Fabaceae, and Poaceae) that contribute the majority of naturalized aliens in the study area. The distribution of realized climatic niche breadth, as measured by elevational range of occurrence, was virtually identical for alien and native species, with both groups showing a roughly Gaussian distribution peaking with species whose range covers a span of 1500–1999 m. In contrast to alien species, which only rarely occurred at higher elevations, native species showed a distribution of upper elevation limits peaking at 3000–3499 m, an elevation that corresponds to the zone of upper montane and subalpine forests. Consistent with a hypothesis of abiotic limitations, only a few alien species have been ecologically successful invaders at subalpine and alpine elevations above 2500 m. The low diversity of aliens able to become established in these habitats is unlikely due to dispersal limitations, given the long history of heavy grazing pressure at high elevations across this region. Instead, this low diversity is hypothesized to be a function of life history traits and multiple abiotic stresses that include extremes of cold air and soil temperature, heavy snowfall, short growing seasons, and low resource availability. These findings have significant implications for resource managers.

  5. Quantifying UV exposure, vitamin D status and their relationship in a group of high school students in an alpine environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gröbner, Matthias; Gröbner, Julian; Hülsen, Gregor

    2015-02-01

    The relationship between personal UV exposure and vitamin D status was studied among 7 high school students from Davos, Switzerland from March to August 2013. The personal UV exposure was monitored using electronic dosimeters, while blood samples were taken at monthly intervals to determine the serum concentration of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D3). During school days students were exposed to 1.7% of the ambient UV irradiance, while 85% of the cumulative UV dose was obtained on weekends and holidays. Insufficient vitamin D levels in March (9 ng ml(-1) 25(OH)D3) rose to 25(OH)D3 concentrations of over 40 ng ml(-1), meeting sufficient levels in August. The increase in vitamin D levels among 5 high school students correlated well (r = 0.89) with their measured personal UV exposure, yielding a mean increase in serum 25(OH)D3 concentration of 0.38 ± 0.22 ng ml(-1) per 100 J m(-2) of vitamin D-weighted UV exposure, a value consistent with other studies. During certain periods of the study, increases in vitamin D status and UV doses differed from the average of the whole study, implying that other factors must influence vitamin D metabolism.

  6. `Hearing' alpine plants growing after snowmelt: ultrasonic snow sensors provide long-term series of alpine plant phenology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitasse, Yann; Rebetez, Martine; Filippa, Gianluca; Cremonese, Edoardo; Klein, Geoffrey; Rixen, Christian

    2016-08-01

    In alpine environments, the growing season is severely constrained by low temperature and snow. Here, we aim at determining the climatic factors that best explain the interannual variation in spring growth onset of alpine plants, and at examining whether photoperiod might limit their phenological response during exceptionally warm springs and early snowmelts. We analysed 17 years of data (1998-2014) from 35 automatic weather stations located in subalpine and alpine zones ranging from 1560 to 2450 m asl in the Swiss Alps. These stations are equipped with ultrasonic sensors for snow depth measurements that are also able to detect plant growth in spring and summer, giving a unique opportunity to analyse snow and climate effects on alpine plant phenology. Our analysis showed high phenological variation among years, with one exceptionally early and late spring, namely 2011 and 2013. Overall, the timing of snowmelt and the beginning of plant growth were tightly linked irrespective of the elevation of the station. Snowmelt date was the best predictor of plant growth onset with air temperature after snowmelt modulating the plants' development rate. This multiple series of alpine plant phenology suggests that currently alpine plants are directly tracking climate change with no major photoperiod limitation.

  7. 'Hearing' alpine plants growing after snowmelt: ultrasonic snow sensors provide long-term series of alpine plant phenology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitasse, Yann; Rebetez, Martine; Filippa, Gianluca; Cremonese, Edoardo; Klein, Geoffrey; Rixen, Christian

    2017-02-01

    In alpine environments, the growing season is severely constrained by low temperature and snow. Here, we aim at determining the climatic factors that best explain the interannual variation in spring growth onset of alpine plants, and at examining whether photoperiod might limit their phenological response during exceptionally warm springs and early snowmelts. We analysed 17 years of data (1998-2014) from 35 automatic weather stations located in subalpine and alpine zones ranging from 1560 to 2450 m asl in the Swiss Alps. These stations are equipped with ultrasonic sensors for snow depth measurements that are also able to detect plant growth in spring and summer, giving a unique opportunity to analyse snow and climate effects on alpine plant phenology. Our analysis showed high phenological variation among years, with one exceptionally early and late spring, namely 2011 and 2013. Overall, the timing of snowmelt and the beginning of plant growth were tightly linked irrespective of the elevation of the station. Snowmelt date was the best predictor of plant growth onset with air temperature after snowmelt modulating the plants' development rate. This multiple series of alpine plant phenology suggests that currently alpine plants are directly tracking climate change with no major photoperiod limitation.

  8. `Hearing' alpine plants growing after snowmelt: ultrasonic snow sensors provide long-term series of alpine plant phenology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitasse, Yann; Rebetez, Martine; Filippa, Gianluca; Cremonese, Edoardo; Klein, Geoffrey; Rixen, Christian

    2017-02-01

    In alpine environments, the growing season is severely constrained by low temperature and snow. Here, we aim at determining the climatic factors that best explain the interannual variation in spring growth onset of alpine plants, and at examining whether photoperiod might limit their phenological response during exceptionally warm springs and early snowmelts. We analysed 17 years of data (1998-2014) from 35 automatic weather stations located in subalpine and alpine zones ranging from 1560 to 2450 m asl in the Swiss Alps. These stations are equipped with ultrasonic sensors for snow depth measurements that are also able to detect plant growth in spring and summer, giving a unique opportunity to analyse snow and climate effects on alpine plant phenology. Our analysis showed high phenological variation among years, with one exceptionally early and late spring, namely 2011 and 2013. Overall, the timing of snowmelt and the beginning of plant growth were tightly linked irrespective of the elevation of the station. Snowmelt date was the best predictor of plant growth onset with air temperature after snowmelt modulating the plants' development rate. This multiple series of alpine plant phenology suggests that currently alpine plants are directly tracking climate change with no major photoperiod limitation.

  9. Ancient versus modern mineral dust transported to high-altitude alpine glaciers evidences saharan sources and atmospheric circulation changes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Thevenon

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Mineral dust aerosols collected during the years 2008/09 at the high-altitude research station Jungfraujoch (46°33' N, 7°59' E; 3580 m a.s.l. were compared to windblown mineral dust deposited at the Colle Gnifetti glacier (45°55' N, 7°52' E, 4455 m a.s.l. over the last millennium. Insoluble dust has been characterized in terms of mineralogy, Sr and Nd isotopic ratios, and trace element composition. Results demonstrate that the Saharan origin of the airborne dust did not change significantly throughout the past. Backward trajectories analysis of modern analogs furthermore confirms that major dust sources are situated in the north-central to north-western part of the Saharan desert. By contrast, less radiogenic Sr isotopic compositions are associated with lower abundances of crustal elements during low rates of dust deposition, suggesting intercontinental transport of background dust rather than activation of a secondary source. Saharan dust mobilization and meridional advection of air masses were relatively reduced during the second part of the Little Ice Age (ca. 1690–1870, except within the greatest Saharan dust event deposited around 1780–1790. Higher dust deposition with larger mean grain size and Saharan fingerprint began ca. 20 years after the industrial revolution of 1850, suggesting that increased mineral dust transport over the Alps during the last century was primarily due to drier winters in North Africa and stronger spring/summer North Atlantic southwesterlies, rather than to direct anthropogenic sources. Meanwhile, increasing carbonaceous particle emissions from fossil fuels combustion combined to higher lead enrichment factor during the last century, point to concomitant anthropogenic sources of particulate pollutants reaching high-altitude European glaciers.

  10. Encounters between Alpine ibex, Alpine chamois and domestic sheep in the Swiss Alps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie-Pierre Ryser-Degiorgis

    2002-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Information regarding spatio-temporal relationships and encounters of sympatric domestic sheep, Alpine ibex (Capra ibex ibex and Alpine chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra rupicapra in the Swiss Alps were systematically registered to evaluate the possibility of an interspecific transmission of infectious agents on pastures. Observations were performed in alpine regions of four Swiss cantons during the 1997 and 1998 mountain summer grazing season. In the main study area, Val Chamuera (canton of Grisons, a consistent reduction in the number of ibexes was observed after the arrival of sheep on the pasture. Some ibexes remained for a longer time in the area, but in general, ibexes and sheep did not use the same compartments of the area simultaneously. However, a salt lick for sheep attracted the ibexes, and several encounters were recorded in the compartments close to this salt lick. Several encounters registered in other areas of the Swiss Alps also occurred in the neighbourhood of a salt lick; however, in other cases different species were attracted by rich pastures. The study indicates that encounters (0-50 m between free-ranging individuals of different Caprinae species, domestic and wild, are not uncommon events in the Alps. Therefore, encounters can be considered to be a predisposing factor for interspecific transmission of infectious agents such as Mycoplasma conjunctivae, causing keratoconjunctivitis in chamois, ibex, domestic sheep and goats.

  11. Identifying genetic signatures of selection in a non-model species, alpine gentian (Gentiana nivalis L.), using a landscape genetic approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bothwell, H.; Bisbing, S.; Therkildsen, Nina Overgaard

    2013-01-01

    environmental factors driving potentially adaptive genetic variation in G. nivalis. Techniques presented in this paper offer an efficient method for identifying potentially adaptive genetic variation and associated environmental forces of selection, providing an important step forward for the conservation......It is generally accepted that most plant populations are locally adapted. Yet, understanding how environmental forces give rise to adaptive genetic variation is a challenge in conservation genetics and crucial to the preservation of species under rapidly changing climatic conditions. Environmental...... variation, phylogeographic history, and population demographic processes all contribute to spatially structured genetic variation, however few current models attempt to separate these confounding effects. To illustrate the benefits of using a spatially-explicit model for identifying potentially adaptive...

  12. Radar facies and architecture of alluvial fans and related sediments in high-energy alpine environments, British Columbia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ekes, Csaba

    2000-08-01

    It is widely recognized that the dominant depositional processes on alluvial fans include rock falls, rock slides, rock avalanches, debris flows, sheetfloods and incised-channel floods. A fundamental question addressed in this thesis is: Can ground penetrating radar (GPR) differentiate between the sediments associated with these processes? Do these individual deposits have characteristic radar reflection signatures? The dissertation is divided into two parts. In part one, a calibration exercise conducted in southern British Columbia, it was demonstrated that GPR was able to obtain good penetration and resolution in rock fall, rock slide, fluvial and alluvial fan sediments, and that a characteristic radar reflection pattern (or radar facies) can be assigned to these deposits. Bedrock reflection pattern is characterised by a discontinuous radar signal and by stacked diffractions. The radar facies for rock slide and rock avalanche sediments, where boulders constitute the predominant clast size, is characterized by discontinuous, high amplitude, macro-scale, hyperbolic reflections that are different from diffractions generated by bedrock. Alluvial fans dominated by debris flow processes produce a chaotic and discontinuous radar pattern; diffractions in these patterns are attributed to boulders. Alluvial fans dominated by sheetflood processes are likely to produce surface-parallel, gently dipping, more or less continuous radar patterns. Large-scale meandering-river radar-patterns are characterized by high amplitude, continuous, dipping clinoforms. Braided-river radar facies, based on data collected on the Kicking Horse braidplain, are characterized by predominantly horizontally continuous reflections with few identifiable features. Based solely on GPR data, it was possible to distinguish between sediments of meandering and braided rivers. Analysis of over 95 km GPR data suggests that alluvial fan radar-reflection patterns are distinctly different from those observed in

  13. Metabolic Profiling of Alpine and Ecuadorian Lichens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Verena K. Mittermeier

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Non-targeted 1H-NMR methods were used to determine metabolite profiles from crude extracts of Alpine and Ecuadorian lichens collected from their natural habitats. In control experiments, the robustness of metabolite detection and quantification was estimated using replicate measurements of Stereocaulon alpinum extracts. The deviations in the overall metabolite fingerprints were low when analyzing S. alpinum collections from different locations or during different annual and seasonal periods. In contrast, metabolite profiles observed from extracts of different Alpine and Ecuadorian lichens clearly revealed genus- and species-specific profiles. The discriminating functions determining cluster formation in principle component analysis (PCA were due to differences in the amounts of genus-specific compounds such as sticticin from the Sticta species, but also in the amounts of ubiquitous metabolites, such as sugar alcohols or trehalose. However, varying concentrations of these metabolites from the same lichen species e.g., due to different environmental conditions appeared of minor relevance for the overall cluster formation in PCA. The metabolic clusters matched phylogenetic analyses using nuclear ribosomal DNA (nrDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS sequences of lichen mycobionts, as exemplified for the genus Sticta. It can be concluded that NMR-based non-targeted metabolic profiling is a useful tool in the chemo-taxonomy of lichens. The same approach could also facilitate the discovery of novel lichen metabolites on a rapid and systematical basis.

  14. Metabolic Profiling of Alpine and Ecuadorian Lichens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mittermeier, Verena K; Schmitt, Nicola; Volk, Lukas P M; Suárez, Juan Pablo; Beck, Andreas; Eisenreich, Wolfgang

    2015-10-01

    Non-targeted ¹H-NMR methods were used to determine metabolite profiles from crude extracts of Alpine and Ecuadorian lichens collected from their natural habitats. In control experiments, the robustness of metabolite detection and quantification was estimated using replicate measurements of Stereocaulon alpinum extracts. The deviations in the overall metabolite fingerprints were low when analyzing S. alpinum collections from different locations or during different annual and seasonal periods. In contrast, metabolite profiles observed from extracts of different Alpine and Ecuadorian lichens clearly revealed genus- and species-specific profiles. The discriminating functions determining cluster formation in principle component analysis (PCA) were due to differences in the amounts of genus-specific compounds such as sticticin from the Sticta species, but also in the amounts of ubiquitous metabolites, such as sugar alcohols or trehalose. However, varying concentrations of these metabolites from the same lichen species e.g., due to different environmental conditions appeared of minor relevance for the overall cluster formation in PCA. The metabolic clusters matched phylogenetic analyses using nuclear ribosomal DNA (nrDNA) internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences of lichen mycobionts, as exemplified for the genus Sticta. It can be concluded that NMR-based non-targeted metabolic profiling is a useful tool in the chemo-taxonomy of lichens. The same approach could also facilitate the discovery of novel lichen metabolites on a rapid and systematical basis.

  15. Linking two thousand years of European historical records with environmental change recorded in a high Alpine ice core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohleber, Pascal; Spaulding, Nicole; Mayewski, Paul; Kurbatov, Andrei; Hoffmann, Helene; Erhardt, Tobias; Fischer, Hubertus; More, Alexander; Loveluck, Christopher; Luongo, Matthew; Kabala, Jakub; McCormick, Michael

    2016-04-01

    resolution and allows detection of annual layers even in highly compressed old sections of CG ice cores: A breakthrough not only for extending the ice core dating over the last two millennia but also for bridging the gap in time scales to historical records. Here we present first results from our ongoing efforts in bringing together ice core time series with historical evidence, focusing on the time period from 1 to 1400 C.E. Based on a thorough consideration of the glaciological constraints at CG we explore various ice core proxy signals for their significance to correlate with events recorded in human writing, such as dust storms, volcanic events, climate-induced crop failures and starvation as well as metal production levels. Distinct dust layers are frequently found in CG ice cores, representative for meteorological conditions that transported sand from the Sahara to Europe. At the same time, Saharan dust events were also frequently recorded by ancient and medieval observers as "blood rain". Ultimately we work towards using past extreme climate events from medieval Europe recorded as written evidence to constrain the ice core age scale and, vice versa, to investigate the response of human societies to environmental change recorded in the CG glacier archive.

  16. Mapping Alpine Vegetation Location Properties by Dense Matching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niederheiser, Robert; Rutzinger, Martin; Lamprecht, Andrea; Steinbauer, Klaus; Winkler, Manuela; Pauli, Harald

    2016-06-01

    Highly accurate 3D micro topographic mapping in mountain research demands for light equipment and low cost solutions. Recent developments in structure from motion and dense matching techniques provide promising tools for such applications. In the following, the feasibility of terrestrial photogrammetry for mapping topographic location properties of sparsely vegetated areas in selected European mountain regions is investigated. Changes in species composition at alpine vegetation locations are indicators of climate change consequences, such as the pronounced rise of average temperatures in mountains compared to the global average. Better understanding of climate change effects on plants demand for investigations on a micro-topographic scale. We use professional and consumer grade digital single-lens reflex cameras mapping 288 plots each 3 x 3 m on 18 summits in the Alps and Mediterranean Mountains within the GLORIA (GLobal Observation Research Initiative in Alpine environments) network. Image matching tests result in accuracies that are in the order of millimetres in the XY-plane and below 0.5 mm in Z-direction at the second image pyramid level. Reconstructing vegetation proves to be a challenge due to its fine and small structured architecture and its permanent movement by wind during image acquisition, which is omnipresent on mountain summits. The produced 3D point clouds are gridded to 6 mm resolution from which topographic parameters such as slope, aspect and roughness are derived. At a later project stage these parameters will be statistically linked to botanical reference data in order to conclude on relations between specific location properties and species compositions.

  17. Climate-induced glacier and snow loss imperils alpine stream insects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giersch, J. Joseph; Hotaling, Scott; Kovach, Ryan; Jones, Leslie A.; Muhlfeld, Clint C.

    2017-01-01

    Climate warming is causing rapid loss of glaciers and snowpack in mountainous regions worldwide. These changes are predicted to negatively impact the habitats of many range-restricted species, particularly endemic, mountaintop species dependent on the unique thermal and hydrologic conditions found only in glacier-fed and snowmelt-driven alpine streams. Though progress has been made, existing understanding of the status, distribution, and ecology of alpine aquatic species, particularly in North America, is lacking, thereby hindering conservation and management programs. Two aquatic insects – the meltwater stonefly Lednia tumana and the glacier stonefly Zapada glacier – were recently proposed for listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act due to climate-change-induced habitat loss. Using a large dataset (272 streams, 482 total sites) with high-resolution climate and habitat information, we describe the distribution, status, and key environmental features that limit L. tumana and Z. glacier across the northern Rocky Mountains. Lednia tumana was detected in 113 streams (175 sites) within Glacier National Park (GNP) and surrounding areas. The probability of L. tumana occurrence increased with cold stream temperatures and close proximity to glaciers and permanent snowfields. Similarly, densities of L. tumana declined with increasing distance from stream source. Zapada glacier was only detected in 10 streams (20 sites), six in GNP and four in mountain ranges up to ~600 km southwest. Our results show that both L. tumana and Z. glacier inhabit an extremely narrow distribution, restricted to short sections of cold, alpine streams often below glaciers predicted to disappear over the next two decades. Climate warming-induced glacier and snow loss clearly imperils the persistence of L. tumana and Z. glacier throughout their ranges, highlighting the role of mountaintop aquatic invertebrates as sentinels of climate change in mid-latitude regions.

  18. Alpine radar conversion for LAWR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savina, M.; Burlando, P.

    2012-04-01

    The Local Area Weather Radar (LAWR) is a ship-born weather radar system operating in X-band developed by the DHI Group to detect precipitation in urban areas. To date more than thirty units are installed in different settings around the world. A LAWR was also deployed in the Alps, at 3883 m a.s.l. on the Kl. Matterhorn (Valais, Switzerland). This was the highest LAWR of the world and it led to the development of an Alpine LAWR system that, besides featuring important technological improvements needed to withstand the severe Alpine conditions, required the development of a new Alpine Radar COnversion Model (ARCOM), which is the main focus of this contribution. The LAWR system is equipped with the original FURUNO fan-beam slotted antenna and the original logarithmic receiver, which limits the radar observations to the video signal (L) withour providing the reflectivity (Z). The beam is 0.95 deg wide and 20 deg high. It can detect precipitation to a max range of 60 km. In order to account for the limited availability of raw signal and information and the specific mountain set-up, the conversion model had to be developed differently from the state-of-the-art radar conversion technique used for this class of radars. In particular, the ARCOM is based on a model used to simulate a spatial dependent factor, hereafter called ACF, which is in turn function of parameters that take in account climatological conditions, also used in other conversion methods, but additionally accounting for local radar beam features and for orographic forcings such as the effective sampling power (sP), which is modelled by means of antenna pattern, geometric ground clutter and their interaction. The result is a conversion factor formulated to account for a range correction that is based on the increase of the sampling volume, partial beam blocking and local climatological conditions. The importance of the latter in this study is double with respect to the standard conversion technique for this

  19. Seeds of alpine plants are short lived: implications for long-term conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondoni, Andrea; Probert, Robin J; Rossi, Graziano; Vegini, Emanuele; Hay, Fiona R

    2011-01-01

    Alpine plants are considered one of the groups of species most sensitive to the direct and indirect threats to ecosystems caused by land use and climate change. Collecting and banking seeds of plant species is recognized as an effective tool for providing propagating material to re-establish wild plant populations and for habitat repair. However, seeds from cold wet environments have been shown to be relatively short lived in storage, and therefore successful long-term seed conservation for alpine plants may be difficult. Here, the life spans of 69 seed lots representing 63 related species from alpine and lowland locations from northern Italy are compared. Seeds were placed into experimental storage at 45 °C and 60 % relative humidity (RH) and regularly sampled for germination. The time taken in storage for viability to fall to 50 % (p(50)) was determined using probit analysis and used as a measure of relative seed longevity between seed lots. Across species, p(50) at 45 °C and 60 % RH varied from 4·7 to 95·5 d. Seed lots from alpine populations/species had significantly lower p(50) values compared with those from lowland populations/species; the lowland seed lots showed a slower rate of loss of germinability, higher initial seed viability, or both. Seeds were progressively longer lived with increased temperature and decreased rainfall at the collecting site. Seeds of alpine plants are short lived in storage compared with those from lowland populations/related taxa. The lower resistance to ageing in seeds of alpine plants may arise from low selection pressure for seed resistance to ageing and/or damage incurred during seed development due to the cool wet conditions of the alpine climate. Long-term seed conservation of several alpine species using conventional seed banking methods will be problematic.

  20. Les barrages alpins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alain Marnezy

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Les barrages-réservoirs de montagne ont été réalisés initialement dans les Alpes pour répondre à la demande d’énergie en période hivernale. Une certaine diversification des usages de l’eau s’est ensuite progressivement développée, en relation avec le développement touristique des collectivités locales. Aujourd’hui, la participation des ouvrages d’Électricité De France à la production de neige de culture représente une nouvelle étape. Dans les régions où les aménagements hydroélectriques sont nombreux, les besoins en eau pour la production de neige peuvent être résolus par prélèvements à partir des adductions EDF. Les gestionnaires de stations échappent ainsi aux inconvénients liés à la construction et à la gestion des « retenues collinaires ». Cette évolution, qui concerne déjà quelques régions alpines comme la haute Maurienne ou le Beaufortin, apparaît comme une forme renouvelée d’intégration territoriale de la ressource en eau.Mountain reservoirs were initially built in the Alps to meet energy needs in the winter. A certain diversification in the uses of water then gradually developed, related to tourism development in the local communities. Today, the use of facilities belonging to EDF (French Electricity Authority to provide water for winter resorts to make artificial snow represents a new phase. By taking water from EDF resources to supply snow-making equipment, resort managers are thus able to avoid the problems related to the construction and management of small headwater dams. This new orientation in the use of mountain water resources already affects a number of alpine regions such as the Upper Maurienne valley and Beaufortain massif and represents a renewed form of the territorial integration of water resources.

  1. Design of alpine skis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nordt, Alison Audrey

    Models were developed to calculate the mechanical properties and the turning characteristics of alpine skis. The skis considered are constructed of layers of materials which may include wood, foam, metal, plastics, and fiber reinforced composites. The ski may be manufactured with or without camber and sidecut. The first model, and the corresponding SKI-MECH computer code, yields the mass, the bending and torsional stiffness distributions along the length, the flex, the twist, the natural frequencies, and the pressure distribution along the base of the ski. The second model, and the corresponding SKI-TURN code, simulates the motion of a skier of given height, weight, and skill level going down a smooth slope while executing a constant radius turn. The computer code provides the time it requires the skier to complete the turn. Both the SKI-MECH and SKI-TURN codes were verified by comparing the outputs of these codes to laboratory data and to data generated by skiers executing turns on a hill. The results of the model and the data are in good agreement lending confidence to the models and the computer codes. Numerical results are also presented which illustrate the usefulness of the computer codes for assessing the performance of skis and shed light on the role sidecut plays in affecting an efficient turn.

  2. Diverse microbial species survive high ammonia concentrations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Laura C.; Cockell, Charles S.; Summers, Stephen

    2012-04-01

    Planetary protection regulations are in place to control the contamination of planets and moons with terrestrial micro-organisms in order to avoid jeopardizing future scientific investigations relating to the search for life. One environmental chemical factor of relevance in extraterrestrial environments, specifically in the moons of the outer solar system, is ammonia (NH3). Ammonia is known to be highly toxic to micro-organisms and may disrupt proton motive force, interfere with cellular redox reactions or cause an increase of cell pH. To test the survival potential of terrestrial micro-organisms exposed to such cold, ammonia-rich environments, and to judge whether current planetary protection regulations are sufficient, soil samples were exposed to concentrations of NH3 from 5 to 35% (v/v) at -80°C and room temperature for periods up to 11 months. Following exposure to 35% NH3, diverse spore-forming taxa survived, including representatives of the Firmicutes (Bacillus, Sporosarcina, Viridibacillus, Paenibacillus, Staphylococcus and Brevibacillus) and Actinobacteria (Streptomyces). Non-spore forming organisms also survived, including Proteobacteria (Pseudomonas) and Actinobacteria (Arthrobacter) that are known to have environmentally resistant resting states. Clostridium spp. were isolated from the exposed soil under anaerobic culture. High NH3 was shown to cause a reduction in viability of spores over time, but spore morphology was not visibly altered. In addition to its implications for planetary protection, these data show that a large number of bacteria, potentially including spore-forming pathogens, but also environmentally resistant non-spore-formers, can survive high ammonia concentrations.

  3. Lake surface water temperatures of European Alpine lakes (1989–2013 based on the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR 1 km data set

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Riffler

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Lake water temperature (LWT is an important driver of lake ecosystems and it has been identified as an indicator of climate change. Thus, the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS lists LWT as an Essential Climate Variable (ECV. Although for some European lakes long in situ time series of LWT do exist, many lakes are not observed or only on a non-regular basis making these observations insufficient for climate monitoring. Satellite data can provide the information needed. However, only few satellite sensors offer the possibility to analyse time series which cover 25 years or more. The Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR is among these and has been flown as a heritage instrument for almost 35 years. It will be carried on for at least ten more years finally offering a unique opportunity for satellite-based climate studies. Herein we present a satellite-based lake surface water temperature (LSWT data set for European (pre-alpine water bodies based on the extensive AVHRR 1 km data record (1989–2013 of the Remote Sensing Research Group at the University of Bern. It has been compiled out of AVHRR/2 (NOAA-07, -09, -11, -14 and AVHRR/3 (NOAA-16, -17, -18, -19 and Metop-A data. The high accuracy needed for climate related studies requires careful pre-processing and consideration of the atmospheric state. Especially data from NOAA-16 and prior satellites were prone to noise, e.g., due to transmission errors or fluctuations in the instrument's thermal state. This has resulted in partly corrupted thermal calibration data and may cause errors of up to several Kelvin in the final resulting LSWT. Thus, a multi-stage correction scheme has been applied to the data to minimize these artefacts. The LSWT retrieval is based on a simulation-based scheme making use of the Radiative Transfer for TOVS (RTTOV Version 10 together with operational analysis and reanalysis data from the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts. The resulting LSWTs

  4. Impacts of permafrost changes on alpine ecosystem in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG; Genxu; LI; Yuanshou

    2006-01-01

    serious degradation. Furthermore, from the angles of grassland coverage and biological production the variation characteristics of high-cold ecosystems in different representative regions and different geomorphologic units under different climatic conditions were quantitatively assessed. In the future, adopting effective measures to protect permafrost is of vital importance to maintaining the stability of permafrost engineering and alpine cold ecosystems in the plateau.

  5. Spatial patterns of rockfall in recently deglaciated high-alpine rock faces: Analysing rockfall release zones and volumes based on a multiannual LiDAR time series, Kitzsteinhorn, Austria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartmeyer, Ingo; Keuschnig, Markus; Delleske, Robert; Wichmann, Volker; Hoffmann, Thomas; Schrott, Lothar

    2015-04-01

    Rock instabilities in high-alpine areas represent a considerable risk factor for man and infrastructure. In the Alps numerous, mainly visual, observations suggest an increasing occurrence of rockfall events potentially associated to climate warming. However, unbiased high-precision information on the location of rockfall release zones and the size of event volumes is scarce. Thus, frequency/magnitude patterns of high-alpine rockfall often remain elusive. The presented study addresses the need for systematically acquired, objective field data by presenting an extensive, multiannual LiDAR time series from a high-alpine (peri)glacial environment. The study area is located in the summit region of the Kitzsteinhorn (3.203 m), Hohe Tauern Range, Austria. The beginning of the terrestrial laserscanning (TLS) monitoring campaign dates back to July 2011. Since then six rock faces have been scanned repeatedly at an interval of 1-2 months during the snow-free summer season (June to October). The investigated rock faces predominantly consist of calcareous mica-schist and differ in terms of height, slope, aspect, and discontinuity orientation. The rock faces are partially underlain by permafrost, their combined surface area is approx. 1.3 km². They are located directly adjacent to the Schmiedingerkees cirque glacier, which has retreated and thinned significantly in recent decades (downwasting rate ~1.5 m/a). TLS data acquisition was performed using a Riegl LMS-Z620i. During data acquisition no permanently fixed installations and no artificial reflective markers were used. This is in line with the requirement to develop a quick, flexible methodology that can be applied not only at the Kitzsteinhorn, but also in other, similar environments. For data post-processing a new analysis procedure has been developed which allows (i) point cloud alignment by surface geometry matching, (ii) objective, automated discrimination between measurement errors und real surface changes, and (iii

  6. La recherche alpine aujourd’hui

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Jacques Brun

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Alpine research benefits from several international coordination networks, only one of which – ISCAR (the International Scientific Committee on Research in the Alps – works solely in the Alpine arc. The creation of ISCAR is a consequence of the input and involvement of various Alpine partners around the Alpine Convention. Alpine research now aims to promote an integrated vision of Alpine territories focusing on creating and maintaining spatial and temporal networks of sustainable relationships between humans and the other components of the ecosphere. It combines resource usage with conservation of the biological and cultural diversity that makes up the Alpine identity. This article aims to show: (1 how international Alpine research coordination is organised; (2 the role played by the Alpine Convention as a framework of reference for specifically Alpine research; and (3 the role that the ISCAR international commit-tee and the Interreg “Alpine Space” programmes play in uniting research around territorial challenges relating to biodiversity conservation and territorial development.La recherche sur les Alpes bénéficie de plusieurs réseaux de coordination internationaux dont un seul, le comité international recherche alpine (ISCAR, se consacre exclusivement à l’arc alpin. La création de l’ISCAR est une retombée de la mobilisation des divers partenaires alpins autour de la mise en place de la Convention alpine. Aujourd’hui, la recherche alpine vise à promouvoir une vision intégrée des territoires centrée sur la création et le maintien d’un réseau spatial et temporel de relations durables entre les hommes et les autres composantes de l’écosphère. Elle associe étroitement la mise en valeur des ressources et la conservation des diversités biologiques et culturelles qui constituent l’identité alpine. Cet article a pour ambition de montrer : (1 comment s’organise la coordination internationale des recherches sur les

  7. Influence of Bacterial Quantitiy in Mycorrhizosphere on Species Diversity of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi in an Alpine Grassland on the Tibetan Plateau%高寒草原菌根围细菌数量对丛枝茵根真菌物种多样性的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    蔡晓布; 彭岳林

    2011-01-01

    Based on spore identification, the influence of bacterial quantity in mycorrhizosphere of dominant grasses on species diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) was investigated in an alpine grassland on North Tibetan Plateau. The results indicated that: 1) When the bacterial number was in the range of 1.02×106 to 2.96 × 106 and 3.01 × 106 to 6.06 × 106 g-1, Glomus and Acaulospora were the dominant genera and Scutellospora was the common genera. The spore density, isolation frequency, relative abundance, importance value and species richness (SN, SR) of AMF showed the similar trend of Glomus > Acaulospora > Scutellospora. 2) When the bacterial number was below 3.0 × 106 g-1, spore density of each AMF genus and species richness (SR) were relatively high. The Shannon-Weiner index and species evenness index were 1.774 and 0.127, respectively. 3) The spore density of AMF declined slightly with the increase of bacterial number, whereas the root infection rate, infection intensity and arbuscule richness of AMF tended to increase. The effect was remarkable when the bacterial number was over 3.0 × 106 g-1.4) Regardless of bacterial number, the species of AMF was mainly composed of common species and dominant species (Glomus was the main genus), and rare species and unique species were less reported. Spore density, relative abundance and importance value differed greatly among different genera of AMF. Fig 6, Tab 3, Ref 25%基于从枝菌根真菌(Arbuscular mycorrhizas fungi,AMF)孢子形态学鉴定,研究了藏北高寒草原主要建群植物菌根围细菌数量对AMF物种多样性的影响.结果表明:1)细菌数量1.02×106~2.96×106、3.01×106~6.06×106个/g范围内,Glomus、Acaulospor均为优势属,Scutellospora则均为最常见属;AMF孢子密度、分离频度、相对多度、重要值和种的丰度(SN、SR)均呈Glomus>Acaulospora> Scutellospora属的趋势.2)细菌数量较低时(<3.0×106个/g),AMF各属孢子密度、种的丰

  8. Guided Waves within the Alpine Fault, central Westland, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eccles, J. D.; Gulley, A. K.; Boese, C. M.; Malin, P.; Townend, J.; Sutherland, R.

    2013-12-01

    Fault Zone Guided waves (FZGWs), seismic energy trapped within the low-velocity ';damage zone', have been observed for the first time within the Alpine Fault of New Zealand. This major transpressional fault accommodates up to 75% of relative motion between the Australian and Pacific plates. Two three-component, 2 Hz, borehole seismometers were installed as part of the first phase of the Deep Fault Drilling Project (DFDP-1) which drilled two shallow (101 m and 151 m) boreholes into the central Alpine Fault principal slip zone at Gaunt Creek, central Westland. These seismometers, part of the DFDP-1 borehole observatory, were installed within the mylonitic cataclasites of the hanging wall and the granitic cataclasite sequence of the footwall, within 20 m of what are thought to be the principal slip surfaces. Seismic data quality is high, revealing high rates of local microseismic activity with approximately fifty proximal events (P-S times array also reveals the strong structural control on incident seismic energy. Recent deployments of borehole and surface seismic networks to observe microseismic activity show somewhat diffuse patterns of seismicity and retain ambiguity as to the location and character of the Alpine Fault principal slip zone at depth. The locations of the events that generated FZGWs indicate the location and connectivity of the main Alpine Fault zone, which is segmented at a catchment scale at the surface. Initial modelling of the FZGWs also gives an estimate of fault zone properties at depth. Paleoseismic evidence indicates the Alpine Fault, capable of producing Mw > 8, is late in its seismic cycle and, despite previously appearing relatively aseismic on timescales of instrumentation, the observation of Fault Zone Guided Waves confirms that episodic, low magnitude seismic activity actually occurs on the main Alpine Fault zone (or strongly linked faults) both as single events and microseismic swarms.

  9. Alpine Skiing in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendez-Gimenez, Antonio; Fernandez-Rio, Javier

    2012-01-01

    Many students settle indoors in the winter. However, this does not mean that winter should be a period of time with no physical activity. Several snow activities could be practiced during those months, such as ice-skating, ice-hockey, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, alpine skiing, or snowboarding. In order to counteract the tendency for…

  10. Controls on Soil Respiration in a High Elevation Alpine System and the Implications For Soil Carbon Storage in a Changing Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schliemann, S. A.

    2015-12-01

    The alpine ecosystem is a dynamic network of heterogeneous soil and vegetation patches. Microsite characteristics are controlled by site geomorphology, underlying bedrock, and landscape position. These microsite characteristics create a complex mosaic of soil moisture and temperature regimes across the landscape. To investigate the relative influences of soil moisture and soil temperature on soil respiration in these varied microsites, 12 study sites were established in June of 2015 in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Sites were distributed across 3 plots with distinct vegetation and soil regimes: 1) Conifer forest at the upper limit of the tree line 2) Tundra characterized by shallow soil and minimal vegetation consisting of herbs and lichen 3) Tundra characterized by organic-rich, deep soil and abundant vegetation consisting of grasses and sedges. Soil respiration, soil temperature, and soil moisture were measured weekly throughout the snow-free period of 2015. Soil moisture was negatively correlated with soil respiration and soil temperature was positively correlated with soil respiration across the study sites (p <0.001). Soil respiration rates were significantly different from one another in all plots and were highest in the forest plot (maximum 9.6 μmol/ m2/sec) and much lower in the two tundra plots (< 4.5 μmol/ m2/sec) (p < 0.001). These data suggest that as the alpine climate warms, an increase in soil temperature and a longer snow-free period may result in an overall increase in the rate of soil respiration, which could alter the soil carbon pool. In addition, as temperatures rise, the tree line may migrate to a higher elevation. The results of this study suggest that with such a movement, the soil respiration rate will also increase. However the net change in soil organic matter in the newly established forest would not only depend on the soil respiration rate, but on the overall capacity of the new forest soil to retain carbon, especially

  11. A high-resolution 14C chronology from the Cormor alluvial megafan (Tagliamento glacier, NE Italy) for the reconstruction of Alpine glacier activity during 50-20 ka BP

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hippe, Kristina; Fontana, Alessandro; Hajdas, Irka; Ivy-Ochs, Susan

    2016-04-01

    During the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), the Cormor alluvial megafan was delivering large amounts of glacial sediment from the Alpine Tagliamento glacier onto the southern Alpine foreland basin. Rate and character of sedimentation were primarily controlled by the glacier activity and, thus, by variations in climate. To gain a better understanding of the late-Pleistocene sedimentary processes in the Alpine foreland alluvial megafans and their response to climate changes, we have performed high-resolution radiocarbon dating of a drilling core (PNC1, 65 m deep) located in the distal sector of the Cormor alluvial megafan, near the Marano Lagoon [1]. The stratigraphic sequence of the core is characterized by an alternation of silt and clay deposits with the intercalation of several peaty and humic horizons. These organic layers (5-40 cm thick) correspond to phases of locally inactive fluvioglacial sedimentation, allowing plant remains to be accumulated at the surface. A series of about 55 peat samples between 33 to 4 m of depth with sample distances of few cm-dm were dated with radiocarbon. Half of these samples were separated into various fractions in order to check for systematic age differences with regard to the size and/or type of the organic particles. Additionally, the influence of sample pre-treatment was evaluated by using the ABA treatment as well as two different ABOX treatment protocols for each sample fraction. While no systematic age differences with size and/or type of the organic particles was observed, some samples indicate a shift towards younger ages after ABOX treatment. Moreover, deposits containing old carbon (too old ages) were observed suggesting that a careful approach and high-resolution sampling is an imperative in obtaining accurate chronologies. Radiocarbon ages obtained for the PNC1 record range from ~50-20 cal ka BP and provide a detailed chronology of the pre-LGM and LGM fluvioglacial sequence. Due to the immediate connection of the Cormor

  12. Boechera species exhibit species-specific responses to combined heat and high light stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallas, Genna; Waters, Elizabeth R

    2015-01-01

    As sessile organisms, plants must be able to complete their life cycle in place and therefore tolerance to abiotic stress has had a major role in shaping biogeographical patterns. However, much of what we know about plant tolerance to abiotic stresses is based on studies of just a few plant species, most notably the model species Arabidopsis thaliana. In this study we examine natural variation in the stress responses of five diverse Boechera (Brassicaceae) species. Boechera plants were exposed to basal and acquired combined heat and high light stress. Plant response to these stresses was evaluated based on chlorophyll fluorescence measurements, induction of leaf chlorosis, and gene expression. Many of the Boechera species were more tolerant to heat and high light stress than A. thaliana. Gene expression data indicates that two important marker genes for stress responses: APX2 (Ascorbate peroxidase 2) and HsfA2 (Heat shock transcription factor A2) have distinct species-specific expression patterns. The findings of species-specific responses and tolerance to stress indicate that stress pathways are evolutionarily labile even among closely related species.

  13. 3D cartography of the Alpine Arc

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vouillamoz, N.; Sue, C.; Champagnac, J. D.; Calcagno, P.

    2012-04-01

    We present a 3D cartography of the alpine arc, a highly non-cylindrical mountain belt, built using the 3D GeoModeller of the BRGM (French geological survey). The model allows to handle the large-scale 3D structure of seventeen major crustal units of the belt (from the lower crust to the sedimentary cover nappes), and two main discontinuities (the Insubric line and the Crustal Penninic Front). It provides a unique document to better understand their structural relationships and to produce new sections. The study area comprises the western alpine arc, from the Jura to the Northwest, up to the Bergell granite intrusion and the Lepontine Dome to the East, and is limited to the South by the Ligurian basin. The model is limited vertically 10 km above sea level at the top, and the moho interface at the bottom. We discarded the structural relationships between the Alps sensus stricto and the surrounding geodynamic systems such as the Rhine graben or the connection with the Apennines. The 3D-model is based on the global integration of various data such as the DEM of the Alps, the moho isobaths, the simplified geological and tectonic maps of the belt, the crustal cross-sections ECORS-CROP and NFP-20, and complementary cross-sections specifically built to precise local complexities. The database has first been integrated in a GIS-project to prepare their implementation in the GeoModeller, by homogenizing the different spatial referencing systems. The global model is finally interpolated from all these data, using the potential field method. The final document is a new tri-dimentional cartography that would be used as input for further alpine studies.

  14. Characterizing streamflow generation in Alpine catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiogna, Gabriele; Cano Paoli, Karina; Bellin, Alberto

    2016-04-01

    Developing effective hydrological models for streamflow generation in Alpine catchments is challenging due to the inherent complexity of the intertwined processes controlling water transfer from hillslopes to streams and along the river network. With water discharge as the sole observational variable it is impossible to differentiate between different streamflow sources, and modelling activity is often limited to simplified phenomenological rainfall-runoff models. This study focuses on quantifying streamflow sources at different temporal scales and the associated uncertainty by using natural tracer data (electrical conductivity, oxygen and hydrogen stable isotopes ratios) as observational variables supplementing streamflow measurements. We determine the spatial and temporal hydrological behavior and the mean residence time of water in the Vermigliana catchment, North-Eastern Italy and we separate contributions to streamflow originating from Presena and Presanella glaciers, both exerting a strong control on the hydrologic budget of the study site. Furthermore, we identify a seasonal control on the effect of storm events. The catchment responded rapidly to precipitation events in early autumn, it was unaffected by precipitation events in early spring, while runoff generation was enhanced by snow melting in late autumn. Air temperature is identified as the main controlling parameter, in addition to precipitation. Two-component mixing analysis showed that the relative contribution of new water, which can contribute up to 75% of total streamflow, is very rapid. Only two hours time-lag was observed between the beginning of the precipitation event and the emergence of a significant contribution of new water. These results evidence the relevance of mixing between pre-event and event water in the Vermigliana catchment, and in similar high elevation Alpine catchments. This study provides new insights on the dynamics of streamflow generation in Alpine catchments and a

  15. Persistent history of the bird-dispersed arctic-alpine plant Vaccinium vitis-idaea L. (Ericaceae) in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikeda, Hajime; Yoneta, Yusuke; Higashi, Hiroyuki; Eidesen, Pernille Bronken; Barkalov, Viachenslav; Yakubov, Valentin; Brochmann, Christian; Setoguchi, Hiroaki

    2015-05-01

    Arctic-alpine plants have expanded and contracted their ranges in response to the Pleistocene climate oscillations. Today, many arctic-alpine plants have vast distributions in the circumarctic region as well as marginal, isolated occurrences in high mountains at lower latitudes. These marginal populations may represent relict, long-standing populations that have persisted for several cycles of cold and warm climate during the Pleistocene, or recent occurrences that either result from southward step-wise migration during the last glacial period or from recent long-distance dispersal. In light of these hypotheses, we investigated the biogeographic history of the marginal Japanese populations of the widespread arctic-alpine plant Vaccinium vitis-idaea (Ericaceae), which is bird-dispersed, potentially over long distances. We sequenced three nuclear loci and one plastid DNA region in 130 individuals from 65 localities covering its entire geographic range, with a focus on its marginal populations in Japan. We found a homogenous genetic pattern across its enormous range based on the loci analysed, in contrast to the geographically structured variation found in a previous study of amplified fragment length polymorphisms in this species. However, we found several unique haplotypes in the Japanese populations, excluding the possibility that these marginal populations result from recent southward migration. Thus, even though V. vitis-idaea is efficiently dispersed via berries, our study suggests that its isolated populations in Japan have persisted during several cycles of cold and warm climate during the Pleistocene.

  16. Pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica O:3 isolated from a hunted wild alpine ibex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joutsen, S; Sarno, E; Fredriksson-Ahomaa, M; Cernela, N; Stephan, R

    2013-03-01

    Occurrence of Yersinia spp. in wild ruminants was studied and the strains were characterized to get more information on the epidemiology of enteropathogenic Yersinia in the wildlife. In total, faecal samples of 77 red deer, 60 chamois, 55 roe deer and 27 alpine ibex were collected during 3 months of the hunting season in 2011. The most frequently identified species was Y. enterocolitica found in 13%, 10%, 4% and 2% of roe deer, red deer, alpine ibex and chamois, respectively. Interestingly, one Y. enterocolitica O:3 strain, isolated from an alpine ibex, carried the important virulence genes located on the virulence plasmid (yadA and virF) and in the chromosome (ail, hreP, myfA and ystA). Most of the Y. enterocolitica strains belonged to biotype 1A of which 14 were ystB positive. Further studies are needed to clarify the importance of alpine ibex as a reservoir of pathogenic Y. enterocolitica.

  17. Brucella melitensis in France: persistence in wildlife and probable spillover from Alpine ibex to domestic animals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginie Mick

    Full Text Available Bovine brucellosis is a major zoonosis, mainly caused by Brucella abortus, more rarely by Brucella melitensis. France has been bovine brucellosis officially-free since 2005 with no cases reported in domestic/wild ruminants since 2003. In 2012, bovine and autochthonous human cases due to B. melitensis biovar 3 (Bmel3 occurred in the French Alps. Epidemiological investigations implemented in wild and domestic ruminants evidenced a high seroprevalence (>45% in Alpine ibex (Capra ibex; no cases were disclosed in other domestic or wild ruminants, except for one isolated case in a chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra. These results raised the question of a possible persistence/emergence of Brucella in wildlife. The purpose of this study was to assess genetic relationships among the Bmel3 strains historically isolated in humans, domestic and wild ruminants in Southeastern France, over two decades, by the MLVA-panel2B assay, and to propose a possible explanation for the origin of the recent bovine and human infections. Indeed, this genotyping strategy proved to be efficient for this microepidemiological investigation using an interpretation cut-off established for a fine-scale setting. The isolates, from the 2012 domestic/human outbreak harbored an identical genotype, confirming a recent and direct contamination from cattle to human. Interestingly, they clustered not only with isolates from wildlife in 2012, but also with local historical domestic isolates, in particular with the 1999 last bovine case in the same massif. Altogether, our results suggest that the recent bovine outbreak could have originated from the Alpine ibex population. This is the first report of a B. melitensis spillover from wildlife to domestic ruminants and the sustainability of the infection in Alpine ibex. However, this wild population, reintroduced in the 1970s in an almost closed massif, might be considered as a semi-domestic free-ranging herd. Anthropogenic factors could therefore

  18. A thermomechanical model of exhumation of high pressure (HP) and ultra-high pressure (UHP) metamorphic rocks in Alpine-type collision belts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burov, E.; Jolivet, L.; Le Pourhiet, L.; Poliakov, A.

    2001-12-01

    Using a fully coupled numerical thermomechanical model handling strain localization, surface processes and ultra-high viscosity contrasts (11 orders of magnitude) we test a number of possible mechanisms of High Pressure (HP)-Low Temperature (LT)/High Temperature (HT) exhumation in continental collision zones. The model considers two end-member cases, low or high buoyancy of the downgoing crust. The first model case predicts three levels of exhumation in the same collisional context: the "classical" corner flow LP-LT (Low Pressure-Low Temperature) exhumation in the accretionary prism; deeper (70 km) HP-HT exhumation for the thickened subducting crustal-sedimentary wedge, and ultra HP-HT exhumation from the "lower" crustal chamber, forming at the depth of 100-120 km and separated from the upper one by a narrow crustal channel. The width of this channel can oscillate in the process of shortening, thus controlling the quantity of the crustal material exchanged between the crustal wedge and the lower crustal chamber. Although both zones of crustal accumulation and the narrow channel between them resemble a vortex-shaped nozzle, this "nozzle" appears to be too soft to produce any significant overpressures. From the upper crustal wedge, the material is exhumed following the ascending shear flow created by the overriding plate assisted by positive buoyancy of the heated crustal material. From the lower crustal chamber, the material is transported upward to the upper crustal wedge by a flow induced by the asthenospheric traction and a small-scale convective instability forming in the lower crustal chamber due to its heating by the overriding asthenosphere. In the second modelled case of high buoyancy, the latter mechanisms become dominant resulting in hyper fast exhumation of the crust to the surface, accelerated or slowed subduction in case of full or partial crustal decoupling, respectively, and upper plate extension.

  19. Sustainable use of alpine and pre-alpine grassland soils in a changing climate (SUSALPS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zistl-Schlingmann, Marcus; Beck, Robert; Brandhuber, Robert; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus; Garcia Franco, Noelia; von Gillhaußen, Phillip; Jentsch, Anke; Kiese, Ralf; Krämer, Alexander; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid; Köllner, Thomas; Poppenborg, Patrick; Schloter, Michael; Schulz, Stefanie; Wiesmeier, Martin; Wolf, Benjamin; Dannenmann, Michael

    2016-04-01

    The development of ecologically as well as economically sustainable management options for the carbon- and nitrogen rich alpine and pre-alpine grassland soils in a changing climate poses a grand scientific and socio- economical challenge. The transdisciplinary SUSALPS project starting in 2016 aims to essentially improve the knowledge on the functionality of alpine and pre-alpine grassland soils using both natural-scientific/ technical and socio economical approaches. The project is building on existing infrastructure of German grassland-ecosystem-research like the pre-alpine TERENO (Terrestrial ecosystem observation network observatory) observatory sites, the EVENT and SIGNAL sites as well as long term LfL (Bayerische Landesanstalt für Landwirtschaft) sites, plus a new additional high elevation (1400m a.s.l) site in the Bavarian Alps. The site setup along the elevational gradient on the edge of the Alps (1400 m to 300 m) is used for space-for-time climate change experiments which are combined with extensive and intensive management treatments. A key focus of SUSALPS will be the characterization of combined climate change/management effects on carbon and nitrogen biogeochemistry. Hence, we will evaluate the influence of different management options and current and future climate changes on the soil microbiome and associated biogeochemical processes in the plant-soil-system, on nitrogen use efficiency, on biosphere-atmosphere exchange of greenhouse gases as well as on leaching of environmentally relevant compounds. For this purpose, we simulate the predicted climate change in the region by translocation of large lysimeters (1m2, 1.4m depth; TERENO lysimeters, translocated in 2011) for measurements of biosphere-atmosphere hydrosphere exchange of environmentally relevant C and N compounds as well as by newly transferred smaller plant-soil-mesocosms used for destructive biogeochemical process studies. By closely linking this experimental work with biogeochemical and

  20. Hydrological significance of soil frost for pre-alpine areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stähli, Manfred

    2017-03-01

    Soil frost can have a substantial impact on water flows at the soil surface and-potentially-alter the dynamics of catchment runoff. While these findings are mainly based on studies from alpine and Northern-latitude areas (including permafrost areas), little is known about the significance of soil frost for hydrology in pre-alpine areas, i.e. the region at the transition from central European lowlands to high-alpine areas. Here I synthesize soil temperature data and soil frost observations from ten sites in Switzerland to assess the occurrence of soil frost and to determine its impact on catchment runoff. In addition, a well-established numerical model was used to reconstruct the presence of soil frost in two first-order catchments for single runoff events and winters. The data clearly demonstrates that shallow soil frost has formed regularly in this altitudinal range over the past decade. The presence of a frozen soil surface was found to be highly variable among the sites under study and did not significantly correlate with altitude or forest density. For the first-order catchments, it was not possible to relate important flood peaks or increased runoff coefficients to winter situations with substantial soil frost. Thus, the present analysis suggests that although soil frost is widespread and regularly occurring at this altitudinal range, it has no significant impact on winter runoff in pre-alpine watersheds.

  1. Relationships of Periglacial Processes to Habitat Quality and Thermal Environment of Pikas (Lagomorpha, Ochotona) in Alpine and High-Latitude Environments (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millar, C. I.; Smith, A. T.; Hik, D. S.

    2009-12-01

    Patterned-ground and related periglacial features such as rock-glaciers and fractured-rock talus are emblematic of cold and dry arctic environments. The freeze-thaw processes that cause these features were first systematically investigated in the pioneering work of Linc Washburn. Unusual internal and autonomous micro-climatic and hydrologic processes of these features, however, are only beginning to be understood. Such features occur also in temperate latitude mountains, often in surprising abundance in regions such as the Great Basin (NV, USA) and San Juan Mtns (CO, USA), where they occur as active as well as relict (neoglacial or Pleistocene) features. Rock-dwelling species of pikas (Ochotona) in temperate North American and Asian mountains and in North American high-latitudes have long been known for their preference for talus habitats. We are investigating geomorphic, climatic, and hydrologic attributes of these periglacial features for their role in habitat quality and thermal environment of pikas. PRISM-modeled and observed climatic conditions from a range of talus types for Ochotona princeps in California and the western Great Basin (USA) indicate that, 1) thermal conditions of intra-talus-matrix in summer are significantly colder than talus-surface temperatures and colder than adjacent slopes and forefield wetlands where pika forage; 2) near-talus-surface locations (where haypiles are situated) are warmer in winter than intra-talus-matrix temperatures; 3) high-quality wetland vegetation in talus forefields is promoted by year-round persistence of outlet springs, seeps, and streams characteristic of active taluses. The importance of snowpack to winter thermal conditions is highlighted from these observations, suggesting a greater sensitivity of habitat in dry temperate regions such as eastern California and Nevada USA to warming winter minimum temperatures than in regions or elevations where snowpacks are more persistent. In regions where warming air

  2. Tree Species Classification By Multiseasonal High Resolution Satellite Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elatawneh, Alata; Wallner, Adelheid; Straub, Christoph; Schneider, Thomas; Knoke, Thomas

    2013-12-01

    Accurate forest tree species mapping is a fundamental issue for sustainable forest management and planning. Forest tree species mapping with the means of remote sensing data is still a topic to be investigated. The Bavaria state institute of forestry is investigating the potential of using digital aerial images for forest management purposes. However, using aerial images is still cost- and time-consuming, in addition to their acquisition restrictions. The new space-born sensor generations such as, RapidEye, with a very high temporal resolution, offering multiseasonal data have the potential to improve the forest tree species mapping. In this study, we investigated the potential of multiseasonal RapidEye data for mapping tree species in a Mid European forest in Southern Germany. The RapidEye data of level A3 were collected on ten different dates in the years 2009, 2010 and 2011. For data analysis, a model was developed, which combines the Spectral Angle Mapper technique with a 10-fold- cross-validation. The analysis succeeded to differentiate four tree species; Norway spruce (Picea abies L.), Silver Fir (Abies alba Mill.), European beech (Fagus sylvatica) and Maple (Acer pseudoplatanus). The model success was evaluated using digital aerial images acquired in the year 2009 and inventory point records from 2008/09 inventory. Model results of the multiseasonal RapidEye data analysis achieved an overall accuracy of 76%. However, the success of the model was evaluated only for all the identified species and not for the individual.

  3. 77 FR 70551 - Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Shark Management Measures

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-26

    ... Part 635 Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Shark Management Measures; Proposed Rule #0;#0;Federal...; Atlantic Shark Management Measures AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and... shark stock assessments that were completed from 2009 to 2012. The assessments for Atlantic...

  4. Relation between extinction and assisted colonization of plants in the arctic-alpine and boreal regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pykälä, Juha

    2017-06-01

    Assisted colonization of vascular plants is considered by many ecologists an important tool to preserve biodiversity threatened by climate change. I argue that assisted colonization may have negative consequences in arctic-alpine and boreal regions. The observed slow movement of plants toward the north has been an argument for assisted colonization. However, these range shifts may be slow because for many plants microclimatic warming (ignored by advocates of assisted colonization) has been smaller than macroclimatic warming. Arctic-alpine and boreal plants may have limited possibilities to disperse farther north or to higher elevations. I suggest that arctic-alpine species are more likely to be driven to extinction because of competitive exclusion by southern species than by increasing temperatures. If so, the future existence of arctic-alpine and boreal flora may depend on delaying or preventing the migration of plants toward the north to allow northern species to evolve to survive in a warmer climate. In the arctic-alpine region, preventing the dispersal of trees and shrubs may be the most important method to mitigate the negative effects of climate change. The purported conservation benefits of assisted colonization should not be used to promote the migration of invasive species by forestry. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  5. Contrasting diversity patterns of crenarchaeal, bacterial and fungal soil communities in an alpine landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucie Zinger

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The advent of molecular techniques in microbial ecology has aroused interest in gaining an understanding about the spatial distribution of regional pools of soil microbes and the main drivers responsible of these spatial patterns. Here, we assessed the distribution of crenarcheal, bacterial and fungal communities in an alpine landscape displaying high turnover in plant species over short distances. Our aim is to determine the relative contribution of plant species composition, environmental conditions, and geographic isolation on microbial community distribution. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Eleven types of habitats that best represent the landscape heterogeneity were investigated. Crenarchaeal, bacterial and fungal communities were described by means of Single Strand Conformation Polymorphism. Relationships between microbial beta diversity patterns were examined by using Bray-Curtis dissimilarities and Principal Coordinate Analyses. Distance-based redundancy analyses and variation partitioning were used to estimate the relative contributions of different drivers on microbial beta diversity. Microbial communities tended to be habitat-specific and did not display significant spatial autocorrelation. Microbial beta diversity correlated with soil pH. Fungal beta-diversity was mainly related to soil organic matter. Though the effect of plant species composition was significant for all microbial groups, it was much stronger for Fungi. In contrast, geographic distances did not have any effect on microbial beta diversity. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Microbial communities exhibit non-random spatial patterns of diversity in alpine landscapes. Crenarcheal, bacterial and fungal community turnover is high and associated with plant species composition through different set of soil variables, but is not caused by geographical isolation.

  6. Distance and environmental difference in alpine plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malanson, George P.; Zimmerman, Dale L.; Fagre, Daniel B.

    2017-01-01

    Differences in plant communities are a response to the abiotic environment, species interactions, and dispersal. The role of geographic distance relative to the abiotic environment is explored for alpine tundra vegetation from 319 plots of four regions along the Rocky Mountain cordillera in the USA. The site by species data were ordinated using nonmetric multidimensional scaling to produce dependent variables for use in best-subsets regression. For independent variables, observations of local topography and microtopography were used as environmental indicators. Two methods of including distance in studies of vegetation and environment are used and contrasted. The relative importance of geographic distance in accounting for the pattern of alpine tundra similarity indicates that location is a factor in plant community composition. Mantel tests provide direct correlations between difference and distance but have known weaknesses. Moran spatial eigenvectors used in regression based approaches have greater geographic specificity, but require another step, ordination, in creating a vegetation variable. While the spatial eigenvectors are generally preferable, where species–environment relations are weak, as seems to be the case for the alpine sites studied here, the fewer abstractions of the Mantel test may be useful.

  7. Impact of climatic change on alpine ecosystems: inference and prediction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nigel G. Yoccoz

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Alpine ecosystems will be greatly impacted by climatic change, but other factors, such as land use and invasive species, are likely to play an important role too. Climate can influence ecosystems at several levels. We describe some of them, stressing methodological approaches and available data. Climate can modify species phenology, such as flowering date of plants and hatching date in insects. It can also change directly population demography (survival, reproduction, dispersal, and therefore species distribution. Finally it can effect interactions among species – snow cover for example can affect the success of some predators. One characteristic of alpine ecosystems is the presence of snow cover, but surprisingly the role played by snow is relatively poorly known, mainly for logistical reasons. Even if we have made important progress regarding the development of predictive models, particularly so for distribution of alpine plants, we still need to set up observational and experimental networks which properly take into account the variability of alpine ecosystems and of their interactions with climate.Les écosystèmes alpins vont être grandement influencés par les changements climatiques à venir, mais d’autres facteurs, tels que l’utilisation des terres ou les espèces invasives, pourront aussi jouer un rôle important. Le climat peut influencer les écosystèmes à différents niveaux, et nous en décrivons certains, en mettant l’accent sur les méthodes utilisées et les données disponibles. Le climat peut d’abord modifier la phénologie des espèces, comme la date de floraison des plantes ou la date d’éclosion des insectes. Il peut ensuite affecter directement la démographie des espèces (survie, reproduction, dispersion et donc à terme leur répartition. Il peut enfin agir sur les interactions entre espèces – le couvert neigeux par exemple modifie le succès de certains prédateurs. Une caractéristique des

  8. 77 FR 15701 - Highly Migratory Species; 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-16

    ...; shorter trips; limited profit margins; and high local consumption of catches. These differences can... information. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter ``N/A'' in the required fields if you wish to remain... Assessment (EA) for Amendment 4. After considering potential environmental effects of the measure...

  9. Immune responses to Mycoplasma conjunctivae in alpine ibex, alpine chamois, and domestic sheep in Switzerland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Degiorgis, M P; Abdo, E M; Nicolet, J; Frey, J; Mayer, D; Giacometti, M

    2000-04-01

    The humoral immune response of three alpine chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra rupicapra), two alpine ibex (Capra ibex ibex) and three domestic sheep naturally affected with infectious keratoconjunctivitis (IKC), and four ibex and two sheep experimentally infected with Mycoplasma conjunctivae was analysed. In addition, the local immune response to M. conjunctivae was analysed using conjunctival washes from chamois and sheep. Immunoblot analysis of sera using whole cell antigens of M. conjunctivae revealed the major immunogenic proteins which had molecular masses of 175, 83, 68, 60, 50, 42, 36, and 33 kDa. Major antigens were found at 83, 68, 60, and 42 kDa in both sera and conjunctival washes from naturally infected animals of all three Caprinae species. In experimentally infected animals, antibodies to the 68 and 60 kDa antigens were dominant. Naturally infected animals showed much stronger immune reactions than those experimentally infected, and specific antibodies appeared 2 to 4 wk after experimental infection. To evaluate possible cross-reactions, whole cell antigen of M. conjunctivae was analysed by immunoblot against hyperimmune sera of closely related Mycoplasma spp. Antibodies to the 175, 73, 68, 60, and 33 kDa antigens appeared to be specific to M. conjunctivae. Cross-reactions mainly with 83, 50, and 42 kDa antigens were detected, in particular with M. ovipneumoniae and M. bovoculi hyperimmune sera, but also with antisera against M. capricolum capricolum and M. putrefaciens.

  10. Fungal Biodiversity in the Alpine Tarfala Valley

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Coleine

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Biological soil crusts (BSCs are distributed worldwide in all semiarid and arid lands, where they play a determinant role in element cycling and soil development. Although much work has concentrated on BSC microbial communities, free-living fungi have been hitherto largely overlooked. The aim of this study was to examine the fungal biodiversity, by cultural-dependent and cultural-independent approaches, in thirteen samples of Arctic BSCs collected at different sites in the Alpine Tarfala Valley, located on the slopes of Kebnekaise, the highest mountain in northern Scandinavia. Isolated fungi were identified by both microscopic observation and molecular approaches. Data revealed that the fungal assemblage composition was homogeneous among the BSCs analyzed, with low biodiversity and the presence of a few dominant species; the majority of fungi isolated belonged to the Ascomycota, and Cryptococcus gilvescens and Pezoloma ericae were the most frequently-recorded species. Ecological considerations for the species involved and the implication of our findings for future fungal research in BSCs are put forward.

  11. Fungal Biodiversity in the Alpine Tarfala Valley.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coleine, Claudia; Selbmann, Laura; Ventura, Stefano; D'Acqui, Luigi Paolo; Onofri, Silvano; Zucconi, Laura

    2015-10-10

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are distributed worldwide in all semiarid and arid lands, where they play a determinant role in element cycling and soil development. Although much work has concentrated on BSC microbial communities, free-living fungi have been hitherto largely overlooked. The aim of this study was to examine the fungal biodiversity, by cultural-dependent and cultural-independent approaches, in thirteen samples of Arctic BSCs collected at different sites in the Alpine Tarfala Valley, located on the slopes of Kebnekaise, the highest mountain in northern Scandinavia. Isolated fungi were identified by both microscopic observation and molecular approaches. Data revealed that the fungal assemblage composition was homogeneous among the BSCs analyzed, with low biodiversity and the presence of a few dominant species; the majority of fungi isolated belonged to the Ascomycota, and Cryptococcus gilvescens and Pezoloma ericae were the most frequently-recorded species. Ecological considerations for the species involved and the implication of our findings for future fungal research in BSCs are put forward.

  12. Frost drought in conifers at the alpine timberline: xylem dysfunction and adaptations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayr, Stefan; Hacke, Uwe; Schmid, Peter; Schwienbacher, Franziska; Gruber, Andreas

    2006-12-01

    Drought stress can cause xylem embolism in trees when the water potential (psi) in the xylem falls below specific vulnerability thresholds. At the alpine timberline, frost drought is known to cause excessive winter embolism unless xylem vulnerability or transpiration is sufficiently reduced to avoid critical psi. We compared annual courses of psi and embolism in Picea abies, Pinus cembra, Pinus mugo, Larix decidua, and Juniperus communis growing at the timberline vs. low altitude. In addition, vulnerability properties and related anatomical parameters as well as wood density (D(t)) and wall reinforcement (wall thickness related to conduit diameter) were studied. This allowed an estimate of stress intensities as well as a detection of adaptations that reduce embolism formation. At the alpine timberline, psi was lowest during winter with corresponding embolism rates of up to 100% in three of the conifers studied. Only Pinus cembra and Larix decidua avoided winter embolism due to moderate psi. Minor embolism was observed at low altitude where the water potentials of all species remained within a narrow range throughout the year. Within species, differences in psi50 (psi at 50% loss of conductivity) at high vs. low altitude were less than 1 MPa. In Picea abies and Pinus cembra, psi50 was more negative at the timberline while, in the other conifer species, psi50 was more negative at low altitude. Juniperus communis exhibited the lowest (-6.4 +/- 0.04 MPa; mean +/- SE) and Pinus mugo the highest psi50 (-3.34 +/- 0.03 MPa). In some cases, D(t) and tracheid wall reinforcement were higher than in previously established relationships of these parameters with psi50, possibly because of mechanical demands associated with the specific growing conditions. Conifers growing at the alpine timberline were exposed to higher drought stress intensities than individuals at low altitude. Frost drought during winter caused high embolism rates which were probably amplified by freeze

  13. Is grazing exclusion effective in restoring vegetation in degraded alpine grasslands in Tibet, China?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Yan; Lu, Xuyang

    2015-01-01

    Overgrazing is considered one of the key disturbance factors that results in alpine grassland degradation in Tibet. Grazing exclusion by fencing has been widely used as an approach to restore degraded grasslands in Tibet since 2004. Is the grazing exclusion management strategy effective for the vegetation restoration of degraded alpine grasslands? Three alpine grassland types were selected in Tibet to investigate the effect of grazing exclusion on plant community structure and biomass. Our results showed that species biodiversity indicators, including the Pielou evenness index, the Shannon-Wiener diversity index, and the Simpson dominance index, did not significantly change under grazing exclusion conditions. In contrast, the total vegetation cover, the mean vegetation height of the community, and the aboveground biomass were significantly higher in the grazing exclusion grasslands than in the free grazed grasslands. These results indicated that grazing exclusion is an effective measure for maintaining community stability and improving aboveground vegetation growth in alpine grasslands. However, the statistical analysis showed that the growing season precipitation (GSP) plays a more important role than grazing exclusion in which influence on vegetation in alpine grasslands. In addition, because the results of the present study come from short term (6-8 years) grazing exclusion, it is still uncertain whether these improvements will be continuable if grazing exclusion is continuously implemented. Therefore, the assessments of the ecological effects of the grazing exclusion management strategy on degraded alpine grasslands in Tibet still need long term continued research.

  14. Is grazing exclusion effective in restoring vegetation in degraded alpine grasslands in Tibet, China?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Yan

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Overgrazing is considered one of the key disturbance factors that results in alpine grassland degradation in Tibet. Grazing exclusion by fencing has been widely used as an approach to restore degraded grasslands in Tibet since 2004. Is the grazing exclusion management strategy effective for the vegetation restoration of degraded alpine grasslands? Three alpine grassland types were selected in Tibet to investigate the effect of grazing exclusion on plant community structure and biomass. Our results showed that species biodiversity indicators, including the Pielou evenness index, the Shannon–Wiener diversity index, and the Simpson dominance index, did not significantly change under grazing exclusion conditions. In contrast, the total vegetation cover, the mean vegetation height of the community, and the aboveground biomass were significantly higher in the grazing exclusion grasslands than in the free grazed grasslands. These results indicated that grazing exclusion is an effective measure for maintaining community stability and improving aboveground vegetation growth in alpine grasslands. However, the statistical analysis showed that the growing season precipitation (GSP plays a more important role than grazing exclusion in which influence on vegetation in alpine grasslands. In addition, because the results of the present study come from short term (6–8 years grazing exclusion, it is still uncertain whether these improvements will be continuable if grazing exclusion is continuously implemented. Therefore, the assessments of the ecological effects of the grazing exclusion management strategy on degraded alpine grasslands in Tibet still need long term continued research.

  15. Changes in fungal community composition in response to experimental soil warming at the alpine treeline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solly, Emily; Lindahl, Bjorn; Dawes, Melissa; Peter, Martina; Souza, Romulo; Rixen, Christian; Hagedorn, Frank

    2017-04-01

    Increased CO2 emissions and global warming may alter the composition of fungal communities through the reduction of low temperature limitation in the plant-soil system, faster nitrogen cycling and changes in the carbon allocation of host plants to the rhizosphere. Shifts in fungal community composition due to global changes are likely to affect the routes of carbon and nitrogen flows in the plant-soil system and alter the rates at which organic matter is decomposed. The main aim of our study was to estimate the effects of multiple years of free air CO2 enrichment (ambient concentration +200 ppm) and soil warming (+ 4°C) on the fungal community structure and composition. At an alpine treeline in Switzerland featuring two key high-elevation tree species, Larix decidua and Pinus uncinata, fungal communities within different organic horizons were analysed by high-throughput 454-pyrosequencing of ITS2 amplicons. In addition, we assessed the ectomycorrhizal community composition on root tips and monitored changes in sporocarp productivity of fungal species during the course of the experiment. Three years of experimental warming at the alpine treeline altered the composition of the fungal community in the organic horizons, whereas nine years of CO2 enrichment had only weak effects. Tree species influenced the composition of the fungal community and the magnitude of the responses of fungal functional groups to soil warming differed between plots with Larix and those with Pinus. The abundance of ectomycorrhizal fungi was positively correlated with nitrogen availability, and ectomycorrhizal taxa specialized for conditions of high nitrogen availability proliferated with warming, corresponding to considerable increases in extractable inorganic nitrogen in warmed soils. Changes in productivity of specific fungal fruiting bodies in response to soil warming (e.g. more Lactarius rufus sporocarps and less Hygrophorus speciousus sporocarps) were consistent with the 454-sequencing

  16. Vertical distribution of the alpine lepidoptera in the Carpathians and in the Balkan peninsula in relation to the zonation of the vegetation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Varga, Z. S.

    2001-12-01

    Full Text Available The vertical distribution of arctic-alpine, alpine and Balkanic oreal species is discussed in connection with the vertical zonation of the vegetation, climatic conditions, substrate, type of alpine vegetation and co-occurrences of related species. Arctic-alpine species have mostly a Eurasian distribution and occur in the Arctic and in the alpine and subnival zones of the Central and Southern European high mountains with expressed glacial morphology and alpine vegetation. Alpine species are mostly European species and they are connected to the alpine and subnival zones of Central and South European high mountains. Balkanic oreal species are mostly southeast European species which in some cases occur locally in the southern parts of the Alps and Carpathians. Balkanic oreal species are most numerous at the timberline, preferred habitats being grasslands in the upper subalpine belts. The more diverse habitats of limestone mountains are usually home to a higher number of alpine (s. l. species than that of the mountains consisting of acidic rocks. The apparent petrophily of several alpine and tundro-alpine species correlates with their sheltering behaviour. The vertical distribution of butterflies is probably influenced also by the competition of closely related species. Closely related species often show some types of habitat partitioning. Data on species numbers and vertical distribution of species are presented in the tables 1-4.

    [de]
    Die vertikale Verbreitung der arktisch-alpinen, alpinen und balkanischen Orealarten wird hier im Zusammenhang mit den vertikalen Stufenfolgen der Vegetation, den klimatischen Verhdltnissen, den geologischen und geomorphologischen Bedingungen, den Vegetationstypen und dem Vorkommen der verwandten Arten behandelt. Die arktisch-alpinen Arten haben meist eine eurasiatische Verbreitung, und sie kommen sowohl in derArktis und in den alpinen-subnivalen Stufen der mittel- und südeuropaischen Hochgebirge vor. Die

  17. Alpine treeline and timberline dynamics during the Holocene in the Northern Romanian Carpathians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anca GEANTĂ

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available High altitude environments (treeline and alpine communities are particularly sensitive to climate changes, disturbances and land-use changes due to their limited tolerance and adaptability range, habitat fragmentation and habitat restriction. The current and future climate warming is anticipated to shift the tree- and timberlines upwards thus affecting alpine plant communities and causing land-cover change and fragmentation of alpine habitats. An upslope movement of some trees, shrubs and cold adapted alpine herbs as a response to the current climate warming has already been noted in many montane and subalpine regions.Four Holocene peat and lacustrine sediment sequences located between 1670 and 1918 m a.s.l. (Fig.1, in the Rodna Mountains (Northern Romania, Eastern Carpathians are used with the aim to determine: i the sensitivity of high mountain habitats to climate, fire and land use changes; ii tree- and timberline shifts: and iii the influence of landscape topography on trees and shrubs.

  18. Ecophysiological variation in two provenances of Pinus flexilis seedlings across an elevation gradient from forest to alpine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinhardt, Keith; Castanha, Cristina; Germino, Matthew J; Kueppers, Lara M

    2011-06-01

    Climate change is predicted to cause upward shifts in forest tree distributions, which will require seedling recruitment beyond current forest boundaries. However, predicting the likelihood of successful plant establishment beyond current species' ranges under changing climate is complicated by the interaction of genetic and environmental controls on seedling establishment. To determine how genetics and climate may interact to affect seedling establishment, we transplanted recently germinated seedlings from high- and low-elevation provenances (HI and LO, respectively) of Pinus flexilis in common gardens arrayed along an elevation and canopy gradient from subalpine forest into the alpine zone and examined differences in physiology and morphology between provenances and among sites. Plant dry mass, projected leaf area and shoot:root ratios were 12-40% greater in LO compared with HI seedlings at each elevation. There were no significant changes in these variables among sites except for decreased dry mass of LO seedlings in the alpine site. Photosynthesis, carbon balance (photosynthesis/respiration) and conductance increased >2× with elevation for both provenances, and were 35-77% greater in LO seedlings compared with HI seedlings. There were no differences in dark-adapted chlorophyll fluorescence (Fv/Fm) among sites or between provenances. Our results suggest that for P. flexilis seedlings, provenances selected for above-ground growth may outperform those selected for stress resistance in the absence of harsh climatic conditions, even well above the species' range limits in the alpine zone. This indicates that forest genetics may be important to understanding and managing species' range adjustments due to climate change.

  19. MIDDLE TRIASSIC SPIRIFEROID MENTZELIIDS (BRACHIOPODA FROM ALPINE AND MEDITERRANEAN AREAS

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    MAURIZIO GAETANI

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Ten species of mentzelioid spiriferids from several Middle Triassic localities of Alpine and Mediterranean areas are analysed both for external and internal characters. The genera Mentzelia, Paramentzelia, Koeveskallina, and the new genus Dagyssia are referred to the subfamily Mentzeliinae, whilst Tethyspira and the new genus Ptychomentzelia are referred to the subfamily Tethyspirinae. In addition, a new species (Ptychomentzelia ritensis is described. The superfamily Mentzelioidea Dagys, 1974 is retained as a viable container of the whole group here discussed, previously split in the second edition of the Treatise in two different superfamilies.

  20. Elevational sensitivity in an Asian ‘hotspot’: moth diversity across elevational gradients in tropical, sub-tropical and sub-alpine China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashton, L. A.; Nakamura, A.; Burwell, C. J.; Tang, Y.; Cao, M.; Whitaker, T.; Sun, Z.; Huang, H.; Kitching, R. L.

    2016-01-01

    South-western China is widely acknowledged as a biodiversity ‘hotspot’: there are high levels of diversity and endemism, and many environments are under significant anthropogenic threats not least climate warming. Here, we explore diversity and compare response patterns of moth assemblages among three elevational gradients established within different climatic bioregions - tropical rain forest, sub-tropical evergreen broad-leaved forest and sub-alpine coniferous forest in Yunnan Province, China. We hypothesised that tropical assemblages would be more elevationally stratified than temperate assemblages, and tropical species would be more elevationally restricted than those in the temperate zone. Contrary to our hypothesis, the moth fauna was more sensitive to elevational differences within the temperate transect, followed by sub-tropical and tropical transects. Moths in the cooler and more seasonal temperate sub-alpine gradient showed stronger elevation-decay beta diversity patterns, and more species were restricted to particular elevational ranges. Our study suggests that moth assemblages are under threat from future climate change and sub-alpine rather than tropical faunas may be the most sensitive to climate change. These results improve our understanding of China’s biodiversity and can be used to monitor future changes to herbivore assemblages in a ‘hotspot’ of biodiversity. PMID:27211989

  1. Impacts of twenty years of experimental warming on soil carbon, nitrogen, moisture and soil mites across alpine/subarctic tundra communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alatalo, Juha M.; Jägerbrand, Annika K.; Juhanson, Jaanis; Michelsen, Anders; Ľuptáčik, Peter

    2017-03-01

    High-altitude and alpine areas are predicted to experience rapid and substantial increases in future temperature, which may have serious impacts on soil carbon, nutrient and soil fauna. Here we report the impact of 20 years of experimental warming on soil properties and soil mites in three contrasting plant communities in alpine/subarctic Sweden. Long-term warming decreased juvenile oribatid mite density, but had no effect on adult oribatids density, total mite density, any major mite group or the most common species. Long-term warming also caused loss of nitrogen, carbon and moisture from the mineral soil layer in mesic meadow, but not in wet meadow or heath or from the organic soil layer. There was a significant site effect on the density of one mite species, Oppiella neerlandica, and all soil parameters. A significant plot-scale impact on mites suggests that small-scale heterogeneity may be important for buffering mites from global warming. The results indicated that juvenile mites may be more vulnerable to global warming than adult stages. Importantly, the results also indicated that global warming may cause carbon and nitrogen losses in alpine and tundra mineral soils and that its effects may differ at local scale.

  2. Field investigations of the interaction between debris flows and forest vegetation in two Alpine fans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michelini, Tamara; Bettella, Francesco; D'Agostino, Vincenzo

    2017-02-01

    A key objective in debris-flow hazard mitigation is the reduction of the potential depositional area in the fan. From this point of view, forested areas are able to provide a protective function hindering the flow motion and promoting the surge deposition. Despite extensive research on Alpine forests and their protective functions, relatively few studies in the literature have quantitatively focused on the relationship between debris-flow depositional features and vegetation. In light of the above, our research investigates how vegetation characteristics in the fan area interact with debris-flow deposition. Field investigations were carried out in two Alpine fans where debris-flow events occurred in the summer of 2012. By recording the characteristics of 1567 involved trees and the associated deposit thicknesses, this paper provides a data set that contributes to the improvement of the knowledge of these interaction processes. The integration of literature findings and the analysis of the collected dataset adds insights into the relationships between tree characteristics and the dynamics of debris flow during the runout path. The main results prove the capacity of the forest of uniformly promoting flow-energy dissipation, presence of high species diversity in debris-flow deposits when comparing disturbed and undisturbed forest stands, tree mortality largely affecting small diameters management of protection forests in alluvial fans are suggested.

  3. Leaf and floral heating in cold climates: do sub-Antarctic megaherbs resemble tropical alpine giants?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorna Little

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available High latitude and altitude floras are characterized by low-statured, small, wind-pollinated plants, which mainly reproduce by self-pollination or asexual reproduction. However, at odds with this are some sub-Antarctic islands that have plant species with giant growth forms and large, brightly coloured flowers which require insect visitation for pollination. The size, colour and shape of the inflorescences and leaves of these megaherbs suggest thermal benefits similar to giant tropical alpine plants of equatorial Africa, South America and Hawaii. We evaluated whether heating occurs in sub-Antarctic megaherbs, and to what extent it is related to environmental variables. We measured leaf and inflorescence temperature in six sub-Antarctic megaherb species on Campbell Island, latitude 52.3°S, New Zealand Biological Region. Using thermal imaging techniques, in combination with measurement of solar radiation, ambient air temperature, wind speed, wind chill and humidity, we assessed environmental influences on leaf and floral heating. We found that leaf and inflorescence temperatures of all megaherbs were higher than simultaneously measured ambient temperatures. Greatest heating was seen in Pleurophyllum speciosum, with observed leaves 9°C higher, and inflorescences nearly 11°C higher, than ambient temperature. Heating was highly correlated with brief, unpredictable periods of solar radiation, and occurred most rapidly in species with hairy, corrugated leaves and darkly pigmented, densely packed inflorescences. This is the first evidence that floral and leaf heating occurs in sub-Antarctic megaherbs, and suggests that leaf hairiness, flower colour and shape could provide thermal benefits like those seen in tropical alpine megaherbs.

  4. Diversity and distribution patterns of root-associated fungi on herbaceous plants in alpine meadows of southwestern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Qian; Yang, Zhu L

    2016-01-01

    The diversity of root-associated fungi associated with four ectomycorrhizal herbaceous species, Kobresia capillifolia, Carex parva, Polygonum macrophyllum and Potentilla fallens, collected in three sites of alpine meadows in southwestern China, was estimated based on internal transcribed spacer (ITS) rDNA sequence analysis of root tips. Three hundred seventy-seven fungal sequences sorted to 154 operational taxonomical units (sequence similarity of ≥ 97% across the ITS) were obtained from the four plant species across all three sites. Similar taxa (in GenBank with ≥ 97% similarity) were not found in GenBank and/or UNITE for most of the OTUs. Ectomycorrhiz a made up 64% of the fungi operational taxonomic units (OTUs), endophytes constituted 4% and the other 33% were unidentified root-associated fungi. Fungal OTUs were represented by 57% basidiomycetes and 43% ascomycetes. Inocybe, Tomentella/Thelophora, Sebacina, Hebeloma, Pezizomycotina, Cenococcum geophilum complex, Cortinarius, Lactarius and Helotiales were OTU-rich fungal lineages. Across the sites and host species the root-associated fungal communities generally exhibited low host and site specificity but high host and sampling site preference. Collectively our study revealed noteworthy diversity and endemism of root-associated fungi of alpine plants in this global biodiversity hotspot.

  5. Glucose homeostasis and cardiovascular disease biomarkers in older alpine skiers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dela, F; Niederseer, David; Patsch, Wolfgang

    2011-01-01

    Alpine skiing and ski training involves elements of static and dynamic training, and may therefore improve insulin sensitivity. Healthy men and women who where beginners/intermediate level of alpine skiing, were studied before (Pre) and immediately after (Post) 12 weeks of alpine ski training. Af......, and did not change. Alpine ski training improves glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity in healthy, elderly individuals....

  6. [Ecological distribution of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in alpine grasslands of Tibet Plateau].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Xiao-bu; Peng, Yue-lin; Gai, Jing-ping

    2010-10-01

    Seventy soil samples with the roots of 37 dominant or common plant species on the grasslands in south and north Tibet Plateau were collected to study the ecological distribution of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi in the investigation area. A total of 35 AM fungi species belonging to 5 genera were isolated, among which, 18 species belonged to Glomus, 9 species belonged to Acaulospora, 6 species belonged to Scutellospora, 1 species belonged to Entrophospora, and 1 species belonged to Paraglomus. There were 23 AM fungi species belonging to 4 genera isolated from south Tibet, and 22 species belonging to 4 genera from north Tibet. The Shannon diversity index of AM fungi in south and north Tibet Plateau was 2.31 and 2.75, respectively, and the spore density and species richness were significantly higher in north Tibet than in south Tibet. In different ecological zones, lesser AM fungi common species were found, species distribution was more site-specific, and different dominant species were observed. In alpine grassland, mountain meadow, and alpine meadow, the Shannon index of AM fungi was 1.91, 1.83, and 1.80, respectively; while in severely degraded temperate grassland, this index was only 1.64. The highest species richness of AM fungi occurred at the altitude of 4000-4600 m, but the highest Shannon index and species evenness occurred at the altitude of 4600-5220 m, with the values being 2.42 and 0.79, respectively. At all altitudes, Glomus was the dominant genus, and its relative abundance was higher when the altitude was below 4000 m. Acaulospora was mainly observed at the altitudes higher than 4000 m, Scutellospora was mainly distributed at the altitude 3500-5220 m, Paraglomus mainly occurred in the north alpine meadow with an altitude of 4000-5220 m and occasionally in the alpine steppe, whereas Entrophospora was only found in the south temperate grassland with an altitude of 3500-3700 m.

  7. Abiotic and biotic controls of spatial pattern at alpine treeline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malanson, George P.; Xiao, Ningchuan; Alftine, K.J.; Bekker, Mathew; Butler, David R.; Brown, Daniel G.; Cairns, David M.; Fagre, Daniel; Walsh, Stephen J.

    2000-01-01

    At alpine treeline, trees and krummholz forms affect the environment in ways that increase their growth and reproduction. We assess the way in which these positive feedbacks combine in spatial patterns to alter the environment in the neighborhood of existing plants. The research is significant because areas of alpine tundra are susceptible to encroachment by woody species as climate changes. Moreover, understanding the general processes of plant invasion is important. The importance of spatial pattern has been recognized, but the spatial pattern of positive feedbacks per se has not been explored in depth. We present a linked set of models of vegetation change at an alpine forest-tundra ecotone. Our aim is to create models that are as simple as possible in order to test specific hypotheses. We present results from a model of the resource averaging hypothesis and the positive feedback switch hypothesis of treelines. We compare the patterns generated by the models to patterns observed in fine scale remotely sensed data.

  8. High hydrostatic pressure tolerance of four different anhydrobiotic animal species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horikawa, Daiki D; Iwata, Ken-Ichi; Kawai, Kiyoshi; Koseki, Shigenobu; Okuda, Takashi; Yamamoto, Kazutaka

    2009-03-01

    High hydrostatic pressure (HHP) can induce physical changes in DNA, proteins, and lipids, causing lethal or sublethal damage to organisms. However, HHP tolerance of animals has not been studied sufficiently. In this study, HHP tolerance of four species of invertebrate anhydrobiotes (the tardigrade Milnesium tardigradum, a nematode species in the family Plectidae, larvae of Polypedilum vanderplanki, and cysts of Artemia franciscana), which have the potential to enter anhydrobiosis upon desiccation, were investigated by exposing them to 1.2 GPa for 20 minutes. This exposure killed the anhydrobiotes in their ordinary hydrated state, but did not affect their survival in the anhydrobiotic state. The results indicated that the hydrated anhydrobiotes were vulnerable to HHP, but that HHP of 1.2 GPa was not sufficient to kill them in anhyrdobiosis.

  9. Terricolous alpine lichens are sensitive to both load and concentration of applied nitrogen and have potential as bioindicators of nitrogen deposition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Britton, Andrea J., E-mail: a.britton@macaulay.ac.u [Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen AB15 8QH (United Kingdom); Fisher, Julia M. [Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen AB15 8QH (United Kingdom)

    2010-05-15

    The influence of applied nitrogen (N) concentration and load on thallus chemistry and growth of five terricolous alpine lichen species was investigated in a three-month N addition study. Thallus N content was influenced by both concentration and load; but the relative importance of these parameters varied between species. Growth was most affected by concentration. Thresholds for effects observed in this study support a low critical load for terricolous lichen communities (<7.5 kg N ha{sup -1} y{sup -1}) and suggest that concentrations of N currently encountered in UK cloudwater may have detrimental effects on the growth of sensitive species. The significance of N concentration effects on sensitive species also highlights the need to avoid artificially high concentrations when designing N addition experiments. Given the sensitivity of some species to extremely low loads and concentrations of N we suggest that terricolous lichens have potential as indicators of deposition and impact in northern and alpine ecosystems. - Terricolous lichen species' N content responds to both applied N concentration and load while applied N concentration has greatest effects on growth.

  10. Erratic pollination, high selfing levels and their correlates and consequences in an altitudinally widespread above-tree-line species in the high Andes of Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arroyo, Mary T. K.; Muñoz, María S.; Henríquez, Carolina; Till-Bottraud, Irène; Pérez, Fernánda

    2006-09-01

    Unfavorable temperatures and weather conditions for biotic pollination in above-tree-line alpine habitats predict self-compatibility, high levels of autogamy and small flower size ("autogamy reproductive assurance hypothesis"), or alternatively, compensatory measures such as greater flower longevity and larger display size so as to capture scarce visits and maintain outcrossing ("increased pollination probability hypothesis"). We assess these possibilities in a fine-tuned study of Chaetanthera euphrasioides (Asteraceae) populations located above-tree-line in the Andes of central Chile, where prior, independently obtained information on community flower visitation rates is available. Visitation by flies and Andrenid bees was highly erratic in all populations and among years, and the rates well below the community averages. We found evidence for high levels of self-compatibility, equally high autogamous potential, low genetic diversity and high and similar F IS in all populations studied, associated with no clear trends in floral morphology. Strong decoupling of C. euphrasioides reproductive biology with community-level pollinator availability in the alpine fails to support either of the above-mentioned hypotheses and suggests early acquisition of autogamy with present-day pollinator conditions being adequate to maintain low visitation rates at all elevations. Our study provides the only instance where alternative hypotheses on alpine breeding systems have been tested with prior access to independently quantified community-level flower visitation rates.

  11. Food Web Topology in High Mountain Lakes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Sánchez-Hernández

    Full Text Available Although diversity and limnology of alpine lake systems are well studied, their food web structure and properties have rarely been addressed. Here, the topological food webs of three high mountain lakes in Central Spain were examined. We first addressed the pelagic networks of the lakes, and then we explored how food web topology changed when benthic biota was included to establish complete trophic networks. We conducted a literature search to compare our alpine lacustrine food webs and their structural metrics with those of 18 published lentic webs using a meta-analytic approach. The comparison revealed that the food webs in alpine lakes are relatively simple, in terms of structural network properties (linkage density and connectance, in comparison with lowland lakes, but no great differences were found among pelagic networks. The studied high mountain food webs were dominated by a high proportion of omnivores and species at intermediate trophic levels. Omnivores can exploit resources at multiple trophic levels, and this characteristic might reduce competition among interacting species. Accordingly, the trophic overlap, measured as trophic similarity, was very low in all three systems. Thus, these alpine networks are characterized by many omnivorous consumers with numerous prey species and few consumers with a single or few prey and with low competitive interactions among species. The present study emphasizes the ecological significance of omnivores in high mountain lakes as promoters of network stability and as central players in energy flow pathways via food partitioning and enabling energy mobility among trophic levels.

  12. Importance of water quality on plant abundance and diversity in high-alpine meadows of the Yerba Loca Natural Sanctuary at the Andes of north-central Chile Importancia de la calidad del agua sobre la abundancia y diversidad vegetal en vegas altoandinas del Santuario Natural Yerba Loca en los Andes de Chile centro-norte

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ROSANNA GINOCCHIO

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Porphyry Cu-Mo deposits have influenced surface water quality in high-Andes of north-central Chile since the Miocene. Water anomalies may reduce species abundance and diversity in alpine meadows as acidic and metal-rich waters are highly toxic to plants The study assessed the importance of surface water quality on plant abundance and diversity in high-alpine meadows at the Yerba Loca Natural Santuary (YLNS, central Chile (33°15' S, 70°18' W. Hydrochemical and plant prospecting were carried out on Piedra Carvajal, Chorrillos del Plomo and La Lata meadows the growing seasons of 2006 and 2007. Direct gradient analysis was performed through canonical correspondence analysis (CCA to look for relationships among water chemistry and plant factors. High variability in water chemistry was found inside and among meadows, particularly for pH, sulphate, electric conductivity, hardness, and total dissolved Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb and Fe. Data on species abundance and water chemical factors suggests that pH and total dissolved Cu are very important factor determining changes in plant abundance and diversity in study meadows. For instance, Festuca purpurascens, Colobanthus quitensis, and Arenaria rivularis are abundant in habitals with Cu-rich waters while Festuca magellanica, Patosia clandestina, Plantago barbata, Werneria pygmea, and Erigeron andícola are abundant in habitals with dilute waters.Los megadepósitos de pórfidos de Cu-Mo han influido sobre la calidad de las aguas superficiales en las zonas altoandinas del centro-norte de Chile desde el Mioceno. Estas alteraciones en la calidad de las aguas podrían afectar negativamente a la vegetación presente en las vegas altoandinas, ya que las aguas acidas y ricas en metales son altamente tóxicas para las plantas. En este estudio se evaluó el efecto de la calidad de las aguas en la abundancia y diversidad florística de las vegas altoandinas del Santuario de la Naturaleza Yerba Loca (SNYL, en Chile central (33

  13. Changes in individual plant traits and biomass allocation in alpine meadow with elevation variation on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    Plant traits and individual plant biomass allocation of 57 perennial herbaceous species,belonging to three common functional groups (forbs,grasses and sedges) at subalpine (3700 m ASL),alpine (4300 m ASL) and subnival (≥5000 m ASL) sites were examined to test the hypothesis that at high altitudes,plants reduce the proportion of aboveground parts and allocate more biomass to belowground parts,especially storage organs,as altitude increases,so as to geminate and resist environmental stress.However,results indicate that some divergence in biomass allocation exists among organs.With increasing altitude,the mean fractions of total biomass allocated to aboveground parts decreased.The mean fractions of total biomass allocation to storage organs at the subalpine site (7%±2% S.E.) were distinct from those at the alpine (23%±6%) and subnival (21%±6%) sites,while the proportions of green leaves at all altitudes remained almost constant.At 4300 m and 5000 m,the mean fractions of flower stems decreased by 45% and 41%,respectively,while fine roots increased by 86% and 102%,respectively.Specific leaf areas and leaf areas of forbs and grasses deceased with rising elevation,while sedges showed opposite trends.For all three functional groups,leaf area ratio and leaf area root mass ratio decreased,while fine root biomass increased at higher altitudes.Biomass allocation patterns of alpine plants were characterized by a reduction in aboveground reproductive organs and enlargement of fine roots,while the proportion of leaves remained stable.It was beneficial for high altitude plants to compensate carbon gain and nutrient uptake under low temperature and limited nutrients by stabilizing biomass investment to photosynthetic structures and increasing the absorption surface area of fine roots.In contrast to forbs and grasses that had high mycorrhizal infection,sedges had higher single leaf area and more root fraction,especially fine roots.

  14. Changes in alpine plant growth under future climate conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Rammig

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Alpine shrub- and grasslands are shaped by extreme climatic conditions such as a long-lasting snow cover and a short vegetation period. Such ecosystems are expected to be highly sensitive to global environmental change. Prolonged growing seasons and shifts in temperature and precipitation are likely to affect plant phenology and growth. In a unique experiment, climatology and plant growth was monitored for almost a decade at 17 snow meteorological stations in different alpine regions along the Swiss Alps. Regression analyses revealed highly significant correlations between mean air temperature in May/June and snow melt out, onset of plant growth, and plant height. These correlations were used to project plant growth phenology for future climate conditions based on the gridded output of a set of regional climate models runs. Melt out and onset of growth were projected to occur on average 17 days earlier by the end of the century than in the control period from 1971–2000 under the future climate conditions of the low resolution climate model ensemble. Plant height and biomass production were expected to increase by 77% and 45%, respectively. The earlier melt out and onset of growth will probably cause a considerable shift towards higher growing plants and thus increased biomass. Our results represent the first quantitative and spatially explicit estimates of climate change impacts on future growing season length and the respective productivity of alpine plant communities in the Swiss Alps.

  15. Quantification of the removal of chemical species by snow

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schwikowski, M.; Baltensperger, U.; Bruetsch, S.; Keil, R.; Gaeggeler, H.W. [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland); Poulida, O. [Frederick Research Center, Nicosia (Cyprus)

    1997-09-01

    In order to quantify the scavenging of chemical species in mixed phase clouds, in-cloud field experiments were conducted in October and November 1993 at the high-alpine research station Jungfraujoch. On the average, air to snow transfer fractions were rather low with the highest value of 0.5 for nitrate, thus, most of the air borne chemical mass remained in the air parcel after precipitation. (author) 1 fig., 4 refs.

  16. From valley to marginal glaciation in alpine-type relief: Lateglacial glacier advances in the Pięć Stawów Polskich/Roztoka Valley, High Tatra Mountains, Poland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zasadni, Jerzy; Kłapyta, Piotr

    2016-01-01

    The Pięć Stawów Polskich-Roztoka Valley in the High Tatras (Western Carpathians) features typical alpine-type relief with a deeply incised glacial trough and large, compound trough head cirque. The prominent hypsographic maximum in the valley (1680-2000 m) along with a broad cirque bottom had provided a vast space for recording glacial and periglacial landforms, specifically the most recent Lateglacial advances. The valley has been intensively studied before in the context of glacial chronology. In this paper, we re-establish the post-Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) glacial chronology of the valley via detailed geomorphologic mapping, equilibrium line altitude (ELA) reconstruction, and Schmidt hammer (SH) dating, along with a critical review of previously published cosmogenic exposure age data (36Cl) and lacustrine sediment chronology. Our results indicate that the first four of the five distinguished Lateglacial stages (Roztoka I-III, Pusta I) occurred before the Bølling/Allerød (B/A) interstadial; thus, virtually the entire valley became deglaciated in course of the Oldest Dryas cold phase. A distinct reorganization of deglacial patterns from valley-type to marginal-type occurred before B/A warming when the ELA increased above the valley hypsographic maximum concentrated at the cirque bottom elevation. It shows that noticeable deglaciation step can be caused due to topographic reason with a minimal climate forcing. This points also to an important role of glaciated valley hypsography in regulating the distribution of moraines which is rarely taken into account in paleoglaciological reconstructions. We infer that glaciers vanished in the Tatra Mountains during the B/A interstadial. Later, a renewed advance during the Younger Dryas (Pusta II) formed a nearly continuous, festoon shaped pattern of moraines and rock glaciers in close distance to cirque backwalls. Furthermore, we discus some paleoenvironmental significance of the geomorphological record in the valley

  17. Molecular identification of blood source animals from black flies (Diptera: Simuliidae) collected in the alpine regions of Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imura, Takayuki; Sato, Yukita; Ejiri, Hiroko; Tamada, Asumi; Isawa, Haruhiko; Sawabe, Kyoko; Omori, Sumie; Murata, Koichi; Yukawa, Masayoshi

    2010-01-01

    One of vector-borne avian protozoa, Leucocytozoon lovati, has been found in the Japanese rock ptarmigans (Lagopus mutus japonicus), the endangered bird species distributed in the alpine regions in Japan. Vector arthropod species of L. lovati has also been estimated as Simuliidae black flies distributed in the same habitat of the host bird, however, possible blood meals of the black flies were not identified yet. To reveal host animals of black flies, we estimated the blood resources by using molecular techniques. Black flies were collected at Mt. Chogatake, one of the alpine regions of Japan in which Japanese rock ptarmigans live in June 2005. The analyzed 144 specimens were morphologically identified into five species including Simulium japonicum (n = 87), Prosimulium hirtipes (n = 48), Prosimulium yezoense (n = 3), Twinnia japonensis (n = 3), and Cnephia mutata (n = 3). Individually extracted DNA from the black flies was subjected to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification targeting the partial mitochondrial cytochrome b gene of birds or mammals to identify the blood meals. Of 144 black flies examined, 34 specimens were PCR positive for avian hosts (23.6%). No mammalian-derived bloods were detected from the samples studied through. Sequences amplified from 11 black flies consist of S. japonicum, P. hirtipes, and C. mutata showed high similarity to that of the Japanese rock ptarmigan. Therefore, present results conclusively suggest that these three species of black flies might suck the bloods of Japanese rock ptarmigans and could be the vector for L. lovati infection among this endangered bird species of Japan.

  18. 高山植物对全球气候变暖的响应研究进展%Advances in the Studies of Responses of Alpine Plants to Global Warming

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈建国; 杨扬; 孙航

    2011-01-01

    As one of the most sensitive regions to climatic changes, the face of alpine habitats is experiencing great changes during the past decades. In terms of alpine plant species, global warming would lead to their changes in many different aspects. This paper reviewed the studies of the responses of alpine and subalpine plants to global warming. In face of global warming, changes in plant individuals' physiology and morphology would firstly emerge, which further give rise to the changes in interactions among plant species. Progressively affected by cascade effects the whole ecosystem would change greatly in structure, vegetation distribution pattern, biomass productivity, plant biodiversity and so on. Following the increasing of air temperature, the positions of tieeline in both high latitudes and high elevations were commonly observed to advance. The general facilitations among alpine plant species would diminish as the ameliorating of environmental conditions in the past decades due to climate changes and human activities. Overall, the responses of alpine plant species were reflected in all aspects of survival, production and reproduction of plant life. On the other hand, the responses of plant assemblages such as species diversity in different regions were idiosyncratic which was dependent on abiotic and biotic factors in different plant communities. All those studies provided evidences that the impact of anthropogenically induced climate changes on alpine plant species would finally result in the changes in the structure and function of alpine ecosystem. In combination with domestic studies, at last several schemes of the studies in the field of alpine plants' responses to global warming are listed for the future work. Ref 147%高山地区被认为是对全球气候变化最敏感的区域之一,气候变暖导致高山生境内生物与非生物环境因子发生不同程度的改变,从而引起高山植物从不同层面作出不同的变化

  19. The effects of grassland degradation on plant diversity, primary productivity, and soil fertility in the alpine region of Asia's headwaters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xuexia; Dong, Shikui; Yang, Bing; Li, Yuanyuan; Su, Xukun

    2014-10-01

    A 3-year survey was conducted to explore the relationships among plant composition, productivity, and soil fertility characterizing four different degradation stages of an alpine meadow in the source region of the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, China. Results showed that plant species diversity, productivity, and soil fertility of the top 30-cm soil layer significantly declined with degradation stages of alpine meadow over the study period. The productivity of forbs significantly increased with degradation stages, and the soil potassium stock was not affected by grassland degradation. The vegetation composition gradually shifted from perennial graminoids (grasses and sedges) to annual forbs along the degradation gradient. The abrupt change of response in plant diversity, plant productivity, and soil nutrients was demonstrated after heavy grassland degradation. Moreover, degradation can indicate plant species diversity and productivity through changing soil fertility. However, the clear relationships are difficult to establish. In conclusion, degradation influenced ecosystem function and services, such as plant species diversity, productivity, and soil carbon and nitrogen stocks. Additionally, both plant species diversity and soil nutrients were important predictors in different degradation stages of alpine meadows. To this end, heavy degradation grade was shown to cause shift of plant community in alpine meadow, which provided an important basis for sustaining ecosystem function, manipulating the vegetation composition of the area and restoring the degraded alpine grassland.

  20. Fruitful factors: what limits seed production of flowering plants in the alpine?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Straka, Jason R; Starzomski, Brian M

    2015-05-01

    Predicting demographic consequences of climate change for plant communities requires understanding which factors influence seed set, and how climate change may alter those factors. To determine the effects of pollen availability, temperature, and pollinators on seed production in the alpine, we combined pollen-manipulation experiments with measurements of variation in temperature, and abundance and diversity of potential pollinators along a 400-m elevation gradient. We did this for seven dominant species of flowering plants in the Coast Range Mountains, British Columbia, Canada. The number of viable seeds set by plants was influenced by pollen limitation (quantity of pollen received), mate limitation (quality of pollen), temperature, abundance of potential pollinators, seed predation, and combinations of these factors. Early flowering species (n = 3) had higher seed set at high elevation and late-flowering species (n = 4) had higher seed set at low elevation. Degree-days >15 °C were good predictors of seed set, particularly in bee-pollinated species, but had inconsistent effects among species. Seed production in one species, Arnica latifolia, was negatively affected by seed-predators (Tephritidae) at mid elevation, where there were fewer frost-hours during the flowering season. Anemone occidentalis, a fly-pollinated, self-compatible species had high seed set at all elevations, likely due to abundant potential pollinators. Simultaneously measuring multiple factors affecting reproductive success of flowering plants helped identify which factors were most important, providing focus for future studies. Our work suggests that responses of plant communities to climate change may be mediated by flowering time, pollination syndrome, and susceptibility to seed predators.

  1. Habitat Range of two Alpine Medicinal Plants in a Trans-Himalayan Dry Valley, Central Nepal

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Bharat Babu SHRESTHA; Pramod Kumar JHA

    2009-01-01

    Understanding of the habitat range of threatened Himalayan medicinal plants which are declining in their abundance due to high anthropogenic disturbances is essential for developing conservation strategies and agro-technologies for cultivation. In this communication, we have discussed the habitat range of two alpine medicinal plants, Aconitum naviculare (Briihl) Stapf and Neopierorhiza scrophulariiflora (Pennel) Hong in a trans-Himalayan dry valley of central Nepal, Manang district. They are the most prioritized medicinal plants of the study area in terms of ethnomedicinal uses. A. naviculare occurs on warm and dry south facing slopes between 4090-4650 m asl along with sclerophyllous and thorny alpine scrubs, while N. serophulariiflora is exclusively found on cool and moist north facing slope between 4o0o and 4400 m asl where adequate water is available from snow melt to create a suitable habitat for this wetland dependent species. The soil in rooting zone of the two plants differs significantly in organic carbon (OC), organic matter (OM), total nitrogen (N) and carbon to nitrogen (C/N) ratio. Due to cool and moist condition of N. scrophulariiflora habitat, accumulation of soil OC is higher, but soil N content is lower probably due to slow release from litter, higher leaching loss and greater retention in perennial live biomass of the plant. The C/N ratio of soil is more suitable in A. navuculare habitat than that of N scrophulariiflora for N supply. Warm and sunny site with N rich soft can be suitable for cultivation of A. naviculare, while moist and cool site with organic soil for N. scrophulariiflora. The populations of both the plants are fragmented and small. Due to collection by human and trampling damage by livestock, the population of A. naviculare was found absent in open areas in five of the six sampling sites and it was confined only within the bushes of alpine scrubs. For N. serophulariiflora, high probability of complete receding of small glaciers may

  2. High Diversity and Novel Species of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Bacteriophages

    OpenAIRE

    Sepúlveda-Robles, Omar; Kameyama, Luis; Guarneros, Gabriel

    2012-01-01

    The diversity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteriophages was investigated using a collection of 68 phages isolated from Central Mexico. Most of the phages carried double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) genomes and were classified into 12 species. Comparison of the genomes of selected archetypal phages with extant sequences in GenBank resulted in the identification of six novel species. This finding increased the group diversity by ∼30%. The great diversity of phage species could be related to the ubiquito...

  3. Life on a Changing Edge: Arctic-Alpine Plants at the Edges of Permanent Snowfields that are Receding Due to Climate Change at Glacier National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apple, M. E.; Martin, A. C.; Moritz, D. J.

    2013-12-01

    Glaciers and snowfields are intrinsic parts of many alpine landscapes but they are retreating rapidly at Glacier National Park in Montana, USA. Plants that inhabit the edges of glaciers and snowfields are vulnerable to habitat changes wrought by the recession of these frozen bodies. Snowfields provide plants with frost protection in the winter and water in the form of melting snow during the summer. However, changes in snowfield and glacial edges may leave plants exposed to frost in the winter and subjected to water stress in the summer, which would likely have an impact on important processes, including emergence from the soil, leaf expansion, root growth, flowering, seed germination, seedling establishment, photosynthesis, and transpiration. Because these processes influence the survival of plants, responses of snowfield plants to changing edges will likely result in changes in species abundance, distribution and diversity, which will in turn influence community composition. In summer 2012, we initiated a study of Glacier National Park's snowfield plants by establishing 2m2 plots at geospatially referenced 50m transects extending outwards from the toe and perpendicularly outward from the lateral edges of currently permanent snowfields at Siyeh Pass, Piegan Pass, and Preston Park, with an additional 100m transect extending from an impermanent snowfield to treeline at Mt. Clements near Logan Pass. We constructed species lists and determined percent cover for each species in each 2m2 plot, and used high resolution photographs of each plot as records and for fine scale determinations of species presence and location. In addition, we searched for rare arctic-alpine plants which, due to their rarity, may be especially vulnerable to changes in snowfields and glaciers. Two species of rare arctic-alpine plants, Tofieldia pusilla and Pinguicula vulgaris, were found near snowmelt-fed springs, rivulets, and tarns but were not found adjacent to the snowfields. Thus, they may

  4. Aortic Dissection Type A in Alpine Skiers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schachner, Thomas; Fischler, Nikolaus; Dumfarth, Julia; Bonaros, Nikolaos; Krapf, Christoph; Schobersberger, Wolfgang; Grimm, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Patients and Methods. 140 patients with aortic dissection type A were admitted for cardiac surgery. Seventy-seven patients experienced their dissection in the winter season (from November to April). We analyzed cases of ascending aortic dissection associated with alpine skiing. Results. In 17 patients we found skiing-related aortic dissections. Skiers were taller (180 (172–200) cm versus 175 (157–191) cm, P = 0.008) and heavier (90 (68–125) kg versus 80 (45–110) kg, P = 0.002) than nonskiers. An extension of aortic dissection into the aortic arch, the descending thoracic aorta, and the abdominal aorta was found in 91%, 74%, and 69%, respectively, with no significant difference between skiers and nonskiers. Skiers experienced RCA ostium dissection requiring CABG in 17.6% while this was true for 5% of nonskiers (P = 0.086). Hospital mortality of skiers was 6% versus 13% in nonskiers (P = 0.399). The skiers live at an altitude of 170 (0–853) m.a.s.l. and experience their dissection at 1602 (1185–3105; P sport at unusual high altitude at cold temperatures. Postoperative outcome is good. PMID:23971024

  5. Response of rhizosphere soil microbial to Deyeuxia angustifolia encroaching in two different vegetation communities in alpine tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Lin; Xing, Ming; Lv, Jiangwei; Wang, Xiaolong; Chen, Xia

    2017-02-01

    Deyeuxia angustifolia (Komarov) Y. L Chang is an herb species originating from the birch forests in the Changbai Mountain. Recently, this species has been found encroaching into large areas in the western slopes of the alpine tundra in the Changbai Mountain, threatening the tundra ecosystem. In this study, we systematically assessed the response of the rhizosphere soil microbial to D. angustifolia encroaching in alpine tundra by conducting experiments for two vegetation types (shrubs and herbs) by real-time PCR and Illumina Miseq sequencing methods. The treatments consisted of D. angustifolia sites (DA), native sites (NS, NH) and encroaching sites (ES, EH). Our results show that (1) Rhizosphere soil properties of the alpine tundra were significantly impacted by D. angustifolia encroaching; microbial nutrient cycling and soil bacterial communities were shaped to be suitable for D. angustifolia growth; (2) The two vegetation community rhizosphere soils responded differently to D. angustifolia encroaching; (3) By encroaching into both vegetation communities, D. angustifolia could effectively replace the native species by establishing positive plant-soil feedback. The strong adaptation and assimilative capacity contributed to D. angustifolia encroaching in the alpine tundra. Our research indicates that D. angustifolia significantly impacts the rhizosphere soil microbial of the alpine tundra.

  6. Assessment of Hyperspectral Remote Sensing for Analyzing the Impact of Human Trampling on Alpine Swards

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marlena Kycko

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Tourist traffic has been observed to cause changes in vegetation cover, particularly in alpine areas. These changes can be monitored using remote-sensing methods. This paper presents an analysis of the condition of the dominant sward species surrounding the most frequented alpine tourist trails in the Tatra National Park, one of the most visited natural mountain parks in Poland and a UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserve. Hyperspectral measurements of interactions between the electromagnetic spectrum and the morphology and physiology of plants were presented. The spectral properties of plants and remote-sensing vegetation indices could be used at a later date for monitoring, for example from the air. The results identified the species' sensitivity and resistance to trampling and allowed an assessment of their physiological condition. Differences were observed in the conditions of trampled and control plants. The alpine swards in the Tatra National Park were assessed as being in good condition, with only small areas located close to the most popular trails showing damage. The proposed method for analyzing the condition of alpine swards could be a useful tool for the future management of protected areas.

  7. Seasonal dynamics and micro-climatic preference of two Alpine endemic hypogean beetles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano Mammola

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Hypogean beetles generally live in stable environments, characterized by constant temperature and high relative humidity. Changes in the underground microclimatic conditions generally induce local migrations of the beetles through the hypogean environment in search of suitable microhabitats. We studied the seasonal dynamics and the micro-climatic preference of two Alpine endemic hypogean beetles - Sphodropsis ghilianii (Coleoptera, Carabidae and Dellabeffaella roccae (Coleoptera, Cholevidae - in the hypogean complex of Pugnetto (Graian Alps, Italy. We surveyed the two species for one year, using baited pitfall traps and measuring temperature and humidity along the two main caves. We used logistic regression mixed models (GLMMs to relate the presence of the two species to several variables, namely microclimate (seasonality, temperature, and humidity, subjacency and cave length. In addition, we tested the attractive power of the bait on the two species. The thermic optimum for S. ghilianii was found to be around 7°C, with an increasing probability of finding the species in the vicinity of the cave entrance during summer, autumn and spring. The species migrates inside the cave in winter, in response to the drop in the mean daily temperature and in the relative humidity occurring in the outer parts of the cave. On the contrary, D. roccae showed a significant preference for the deeper sections of the cave, characterized by an almost constant temperature of 9°C in air saturated with water vapour. Males and females individuals of both species were found to be equally affected by the environmental variables included in the analysis. We also provided information on the life history of the two species and methodological insights about the use of the bait in the traps

  8. Influence of climate and regeneration microsites on Pinus contorta invasion into an alpine ecosystem in New Zealand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie A. Harsch

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available In many regions, alien conifers have spread widely at lower elevations and are increasingly found colonizing alpine areas. Although studies have addressed conifer invasions at low elevations, little is known about the rates and constraints on spread into higher elevations. Here, we assess the relative importance of climate and the availability of regeneration microsites on the establishment of the alien species Pinus contorta into a high elevation site in New Zealand. Spread has occurred from two stands planted at the elevation of the native treeline (1347–1388 masl in the 1960s. Most stems established between 1350 and 1450 masl and P. contorta individuals were found up to 270 m above the original plantings. Although the population has increased by 180% in the last 20 years, population growth rate has been declining. Furthermore, comparisons with studies from other mountain ranges around the world and at low elevations in New Zealand suggest this is a relatively limited spread. Our results suggest that climate variation did not have a significant effect on establishment patterns, as opposed to availability of regeneration microsites. Soil and alpine mat microsites favoured establishment of P. contorta and, although these microsites did not appear to be saturated, microsite availability may be an important limiting factor for the spread of P. contorta. Thus management strategies should focus on preventing spread in addition to removing already established stems.

  9. Large-scale European source and flow patterns retrieved from back-trajectory interpretations of CO2 at the high alpine research station Jungfraujoch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Brunner

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The University of Bern monitors carbon dioxide (CO2 and oxygen (O2 at the High Altitude Research Station Jungfraujoch since the year 2000 by means of flasks sampling and since 2005 using a continuous in situ measurement system. This study investigates the transport of CO2 and O2 towards Jungfraujoch using backward trajectories to classify the air masses with respect to their CO2 and O2 signatures. By investigating trajectories associated with distinct CO2 concentrations it is possible to decipher different source and sink areas over Europe. The highest CO2 concentrations, for example, were observed in winter during pollution episodes when air was transported from Northeastern Europe towards the Alps, or during south Foehn events with rapid uplift of polluted air from Northern Italy, as demonstrated in two case studies. To study the importance of air-sea exchange for variations in O2 concentrations at Jungfraujoch the correlation between CO2 and APO (Atmospheric Potential Oxygen deviations from a seasonally varying background was analyzed. Anomalously high APO concentrations were clearly associated with air masses originating from the Atlantic Ocean, whereas low APO concentrations were found in air masses advected either from the east from the Eurasian continent in summer, or from the Eastern Mediterranean in winter. Those air masses with low APO in summer were also strongly depleted in CO2 suggesting a combination of CO2 uptake by vegetation and O2 uptake by dry summer soils. Other clusters of points in the APO–CO2 scatter plot investigated with respect to air mass origin included CO2 and APO background values and points with regular APO but anomalous CO2 concentrations. Background values were associated with free tropospheric air masses with little contact with the boundary layer during the last few days, while high or low CO2 concentrations reflect the various levels of influence of anthropogenic emissions and the biosphere. The pronounced

  10. A nonlinear model coupling rockfall and rainfall intensity based ewline on a four year measurement in a high Alpine rock wall (Reintal, German Alps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Krautblatter

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available A total of more than 140 000 kg of small-magnitude rockfall deposits was measured in eight rockfall collectors of altogether 940 m2 in size between 1999–2003 below a 400–600 m high rock face in the Reintal, German Alps. Measurements were conducted with a temporal resolution up to single days to attribute rockfall intensity to observed triggering events. Precipitation was assessed by a rain gauge and high-resolution precipitation radar. Intense rainstorms triggered previously unreported rockfall intensities of up to 300 000 g/(m2h that we term "secondary rockfall event." In comparison to dry periods without frost (10−2g/(m2h, rockfall deposition increased by 2–218 times during wet freeze-thaw cycles and by 56-thousand to 40-million times during secondary rockfall events. We obtained three nonlinear logistic growth models that relate rockfall intensity [g/(m2h] to rainfall intensity [mm/h]. The models account for different rock wall intermediate storage volumes, triggering thresholds and storage depletion. They apply to all rockfall collector positions with correlations from R2=0.89 to 0.99. Thus, the timing of more than 90% of the encountered rockfall is explained by the triggering factor rainfall intensity. A combination of rockfall response models with radar-supported storm cell forecast could be used to anticipate hazardous rockfall events, and help to reduce the exposure of individuals and mobile structures (e.g. cable cars to the hazard. According to meteorological recordings, the frequency of these intense rockfall events is likely to increase in response to global warming.

  11. Late Cretaceous structural control and Alpine overprint of the high-sulfidation Cu-Au epithermal Chelopech deposit, Srednogorie belt, Bulgaria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambefort, Isabelle; Moritz, Robert

    2006-06-01

    The Chelopech epithermal high-sulfidation deposit is located in the Panagyurishte ore district in Bulgaria, which is defined by a NNW alignment of Upper Cretaceous porphyry-Cu and Cu-Au epithermal deposits, and forms part of the Eastern European Banat-Srednogorie belt. Detailed structural mapping and drillcore descriptions have been used to define the structural evolution of the Chelopech deposit from the Late Cretaceous to the present. The Chelopech deposit is characterized by three fault populations including ˜N55, ˜N110, and ˜N155-trending faults, which are also recognized in the entire Panagyurishte district. Mapping and 3-D modeling show that hydrothermal alteration and orebody geometry at Chelopech are controlled by the ˜N55-trending and ˜N110-trending faults. Moreover, the ˜N155-trending faults are parallel to the regional ore deposit alignment of the Panagyurishte ore district. It is concluded that the three fault populations are early features and Late Cretaceous in age, and that they were active during high-sulfidation ore formation at Chelopech. However, the relative fault chronology cannot be deduced anymore due to Late Cretaceous and Tertiary tectonic overprint. Structurally controlled ore formation was followed by Senonian sandstone, limestone, and flysch deposition. The entire Late Cretaceous magmatic and sedimentary rock succession underwent folding, which produced WNW-oriented folds throughout the Panagyurishte district. A subsequent tectonic stage resulted in overthrusting of older rock units along ˜NE-trending reverse faults on the Upper Cretaceous magmatic and sedimentary host rocks of the high-sulfidation epithermal deposit at Chelopech. The three fault populations contemporaneous with ore formation, i.e., the ˜N55-, ˜N110- and ˜N155-trending faults, were reactivated as thrusts or reverse faults, dextral strike-slip faults, and transfer faults, respectively, during this event. Previous studies indicate that the present-day setting is

  12. Variation in Phenology and Population Distribution Pattern of Three Alpine Species Along the Snowmelt Gradient%3种高山植物的物候和种群分布格局在融雪梯度上的变化

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈文年; 吴彦; 吴宁; 罗鹏

    2011-01-01

    在青藏高原东部的一个高山雪床,沿着融雪梯度分别设置早融、中间和晚融3个融雪部位,然后测定川西小黄菊(Pyrethrum tatsienense)、长叶火绒草(Leontopodium longifolium)和圆穗蓼(Polygonum macrophyllum)在3个融雪部位上的物候差异以及种群分布格局的变化.结果表明:从早融到晚融的梯度上,3个物种的物候期都不同程度地有所推迟.其中,开始生长的时间推迟12-14d,始花期推迟6-8d,盛花期推迟 6d左右,但同-种植物在不同的融雪部位上的衰老枯黄期趋于-致,这标志着在晚融部位同-植物的生长期要缩短.在种群层次上,长叶火绒草和圆穗蓼的分布格局随着融雪的推迟都发生了-定的变化,基本上表现为从早融部位的集群分布到中间或晚融部位的随机分布.川西小黄菊在各个融雪部位上都表现为集群分布,但集群的强度随融雪的推迟逐渐减弱.%In an alpine snowbed on the eastern Tibetan Plateau, three portions were established along snowmelt gradient. At each portion, the phenology and population distribution pattern of three alpine species (Pyrethrum tatsienense, Leontopodium longifolium and Polygonum macrophyllum) were tested. The results showed that from early-to late-melting portion, phenological phases of three species delayed to different extents. Plant emergence delayed 12 - 14 d, first flowering delayed 6 -8 d and peak flowering delayed nearly 6 d. For each species, however, consenescence at three portions did not differed significantly, indicating that growing season length of a species at late-melting portion shortened. At population level, the distribution pattern of Leontopodium longifolium and Polygonum macrophyllum varied as the snowmelt delayed, changing from cluster pattern at early-melting portion to random pattern at late-melting or medium portion. Pyrethrum tatsienense showed cluster pattern at three portions. However, its intensity of cluster weakened as the

  13. Simulated heat waves affected alpine grassland only in combination with drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Boeck, Hans J.; Bassin, Seraina; Verlinden, Maya; Zeiter, Michaela; Hiltbrunner, Erika

    2016-04-01

    The Alpine region is warming fast, leading to an increase in the frequency and intensity of climate extremes. Currently, it is unclear whether alpine ecosystems are sensitive or resistant to such extremes. In an experiment carried out in the Swiss Alps, we subjected Swiss alpine grassland communities to heat waves with varying intensity (5-10 °C warming) by transplanting monoliths to four different elevations (2440-660 m a.s.l.) for 17 days. Half of the monoliths were regularly irrigated while the other half were deprived of irrigation to additionally induce a drought at each site. We found that heat waves had no significant short-term impacts on fluorescence (Fv/Fm, a stress indicator), senescence and aboveground productivity if irrigation was provided. However, when heat waves coincided with drought, plants showed clear signs of stress, resulting in vegetation browning and reduced phytomass production. This likely resulted from direct drought effects, but also, as measurements of stomatal conductance and canopy temperatures suggest, from increased high-temperature stress as water scarcity decreased heat mitigation through transpiration. The immediate responses to heat waves (with or without droughts) recorded in these alpine grasslands were similar to those observed in the more extensively studied grasslands from temperate climates. Climate extreme impacts may differ in the longer run, however, because the short growing season in alpine environments likely constrains recovery.

  14. Holocene Paleoenvironmental reconstruction from laminated sediments of the high-alpine lake Anterne (Lake Anterne, 2063 m asl, NW French Alps)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giguet-Covex, C.; Arnaud, F.; Enters, D.; Poulenard, J.; Disnar, J.-R.; David, F.; Delhon, C.; Delannoy, J.-J.

    2009-04-01

    Lake Anterne detrital sediments are an archive of changes in the intensity of erosion processes at high altitude in the Alps. The formation of laminations is here mainly controlled by precipitations in summer/fall which trigger underflow deposits and by clay settling during the fall water overturn and/or under the ice cover in winter. Intercalated between laminated sediments are flood deposits reflecting extreme summer thunderstorms. High altitude sites are very sensitive to climate variations, but they are also affected by anthropogenic impacts such as grazing and associated deforestation. Fluctuations in detrital input at Lake Anterne were reconstructed from sedimentological and geochemical (mineral and organic) proxies over the last 10,500 years. They were compared with pollen studies from peat bogs close to the lake in order to differentiate climatic and anthropogenic forcing. From 9000-9500 cal BP to 7500 cal BP, the catchment is marked by the progressive settlement of woody vegetation (in particular Pinus cembra). Between 7500 and 6300 cal BP, the total organic carbon (TOC) reaches the highest values and the manganese quantity is almost zero suggesting a period of anoxia in the hypolimnion in response to the supply of terrestrial organic matter in the lake. Decreasing median grain size might reflect the stabilisation of soils through a dense vegetation cover. Then, the TOC decreases until 4800 cal BP. The strong decrease between 5000 and 4800 cal BP is accompanied by a shift in the silica signal towards an enriched Si pole. This is interpreted as an increase of the detrital supplies probably in relation with a change in vegetation cover. Since 4300 cal. BP, higher flood deposits frequency suggests a persistent destabilisation of surrounding soils in response to colder climatic conditions or intensified human impact. At the same time, pollen percentages of Pinus cembra significantly decrease indicating a drop in the timberline altitude and the settlement of

  15. Modelling photochemistry in alpine valleys

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Brulfert

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Road traffic is a serious problem in the Chamonix Valley, France: traffic, noise and above all air pollution worry the inhabitants. The big fire in the Mont-Blanc tunnel made it possible, in the framework of the POVA project (POllution in Alpine Valleys, to undertake measurement campaigns with and without heavy-vehicle traffic through the Chamonix and Maurienne valleys, towards Italy (before and after the tunnel re-opening. Modelling is one of the aspects of POVA and should make it possible to explain the processes leading to episodes of atmospheric pollution, both in summer and in winter. Atmospheric prediction model ARPS 4.5.2 (Advanced Regional Prediction System, developed at the CAPS (Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms of the University of Oklahoma, enables to resolve the dynamics above a complex terrain. This model is coupled to the TAPOM 1.5.2 atmospheric chemistry (Transport and Air POllution Model code developed at the Air and Soil Pollution Laboratory of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. The numerical codes MM5 and CHIMERE are used to compute large scale boundary forcing. This paper focuses on modelling Chamonix valley using 300-m grid cells to calculate the dynamics and the reactive chemistry which makes possible to accurately represent the dynamics in the Chamonix valley (slope and valley winds and to process chemistry at fine scale. The summer 2003 intensive campaign was used to validate the model and to study chemistry. NOy according to O3 reduction demonstrates a VOC controlled regime, different from the NOx controlled regime expected and observed in the nearby city of Grenoble.

  16. Modelling photochemistry in alpine valleys

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Brulfert

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available Road traffic is a serious problem in the Chamonix Valley, France: traffic, noise and above all air pollution worry the inhabitants. The big fire in the Mont-Blanc tunnel made it possible, in the framework of the POVA project (POllution in Alpine Valleys, to undertake measurement campaigns with and without heavy-vehicle traffic through the valley, towards Italy (before and after the tunnel re-opening. Modelling in POVA should make it possible to explain the processes leading to episodes of atmospheric pollution, both in summer and in winter.

    Atmospheric prediction model ARPS 4.5.2 (Advanced Regional Prediction System, developed at the CAPS (Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms of the University of Oklahoma, enables to resolve the dynamics above a complex terrain.

    This model is coupled to the TAPOM 1.5.2 atmospheric chemistry (Transport and Air POllution Model code developed at the Air and Soil Pollution Laboratory of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.

    The numerical codes MM5 and CHIMERE are used to compute large scale boundary forcing.

    Using 300-m grid cells to calculate the dynamics and the reactive chemistry makes possible to accurately represent the dynamics in the valley (slope and valley winds and to process chemistry at fine scale.

    Validation of campaign days allows to study chemistry indicators in the valley. NOy according to O3 reduction demonstrates a VOC controlled regime, different from the NOx controlled regime expected and observed in the nearby city of Grenoble.

  17. A Highly Arginolytic Streptococcus Species That Potently Antagonizes Streptococcus mutans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Xuelian; Palmer, Sara R; Ahn, Sang-Joon; Richards, Vincent P; Williams, Matthew L; Nascimento, Marcelle M; Burne, Robert A

    2016-01-29

    The ability of certain oral biofilm bacteria to moderate pH through arginine metabolism by the arginine deiminase system (ADS) is a deterrent to the development of dental caries. Here, we characterize a novel Streptococcus strain, designated strain A12, isolated from supragingival dental plaque of a caries-free individual. A12 not only expressed the ADS pathway at high levels under a variety of conditions but also effectively inhibited growth and two intercellular signaling pathways of the dental caries pathogen Streptococcus mutans. A12 produced copious amounts of H2O2 via the pyruvate oxidase enzyme that were sufficient to arrest the growth of S. mutans. A12 also produced a protease similar to challisin (Sgc) of Streptococcus gordonii that was able to block the competence-stimulating peptide (CSP)-ComDE signaling system, which is essential for bacteriocin production by S. mutans. Wild-type A12, but not an sgc mutant derivative, could protect the sensitive indicator strain Streptococcus sanguinis SK150 from killing by the bacteriocins of S. mutans. A12, but not S. gordonii, could also block the XIP (comX-inducing peptide) signaling pathway, which is the proximal regulator of genetic competence in S. mutans, but Sgc was not required for this activity. The complete genome sequence of A12 was determined, and phylogenomic analyses compared A12 to streptococcal reference genomes. A12 was most similar to Streptococcus australis and Streptococcus parasanguinis but sufficiently different that it may represent a new species. A12-like organisms may play crucial roles in the promotion of stable, health-associated oral biofilm communities by moderating plaque pH and interfering with the growth and virulence of caries pathogens.

  18. Seasonal dynamics of mobile carbohydrate pools in phloem and xylem of two alpine timberline conifers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruber, A; Pirkebner, D; Oberhuber, W

    2013-10-01

    Recent studies on non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) reserves in trees focused on xylem NSC reserves, while still little is known about changes in phloem carbohydrate pools, where NSC charging might be significantly different. To gain insight on NSC dynamics in xylem and phloem, we monitored NSC concentrations in stems and roots of Pinus cembra (L.) and Larix decidua (Mill.) growing at the alpine timberline throughout 2011. Species-specific differences affected tree phenology and carbon allocation during the course of the year. After a delayed start in spring, NSC concentrations in L. decidua were significantly higher in all sampled tissues from August until the end of growing season. In both species, NSC concentrations were five to seven times higher in phloem than that in xylem. However, significant correlations between xylem and phloem starch content found for both species indicate a close linkage between long-term carbon reserves in both tissues. In L. decidua also, free sugar concentrations in xylem and phloem were significantly correlated throughout the year, while a lack of correlation between xylem and phloem free sugar pools in P. cembra indicate a decline of phloem soluble carbohydrate pools during periods of high sink demand.

  19. Quantifying the contribution of the root system of alpine vegetation in the soil aggregate stability of moraine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Csilla Hudek

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available One fifth of the world's population is living in mountains or in their surrounding areas. This anthropogenic pressure continues to grow with the increasing number of settlements, especially in areas connected to touristic activities, such as the Italian Alps. The process of soil formation on high mountains is particularly slow and these soils are particularly vulnerable to soil degradation. In alpine regions, extreme meteorological events are increasingly frequent due to climate change, speeding up the process of soil degradation and increasing the number of severe erosion processes, shallow landslides and debris flows. Vegetation cover plays a crucial role in the stabilization of mountain soils thereby reducing the risk of natural hazards effecting downslope areas. Soil aggregate stability is one of the main soil properties that can be linked to soil loss processes. Soils developed on moraines in recently deglaciated areas typically have low levels of soil aggregation, and a limited or discontinuous vegetation cover making them more susceptible to degradation. However, soil structure can be influenced by the root system of the vegetation. Roots are actively involved in the formation of water-stable soil aggregation, increasing the stability of the soil and its nutrient content. In the present study, we aim to quantify the effect of the root system of alpine vegetation on the soil aggregate stability of the forefield of the Lys glacier, in the Aosta Valley (NW-Italy. This proglacial area provides the opportunity to study how the root system of ten pioneer alpine species from different successional stages can contribute to soil development and soil stabilization. To quantify the aggregate stability of root permeated soils, a modified wet sieving method was employed. The root length per soil volume of the different species was also determined and later correlated with the aggregate stability results. The results showed that soil aggregate

  20. Sediment connectivity in the high-alpine valley of Val Müschauns, Swiss National Park - linking geomorphic field mapping with geomorphometric modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messenzehl, Karoline; Hoffmann, Thomas; Dikau, Richard

    2014-09-01

    The efficiency of sediment routing through mountain sediment cascades is controlled by the connectivity of hillslopes to the main river system. A lack of connectivity may cause long-term sediment storage and exclude large fractions of a basin from the sediment routing for several thousand years. Here, we studied sediment dynamics in a small, formerly glaciated valley in the Swiss Alps. To characterise the sediment connectivity to the stream, we calculated a morphometric index using a GIS algorithm. The modelling results were tested against a field based geomorphic mapping of sediment storages, which were evaluated with respect to their state of (de)coupling. In accordance to the field diagnostics, the modelling results indicate very well that the present-day sediment flux is conditioned by the glacial valley morphometry inherited through Pleistocene glaciation. Especially in the upper hanging valleys, the connectivity index is reduced noticeably due to the glacial cirque morphology. Based on the field mapping, 30% of the hillslope sediment cascades are interrupted and 20% of the storage boundaries are currently affected by a lack of material transfer. As a consequence, ~ 29% of the basin surface is currently disconnected from the main river. Nevertheless, the GIS algorithm overestimates the connectivity within the basin, because it fails to calculate decoupling between neighbouring pixels in digital terrain models (DTMs). Around 35% of the basin surface, which has been mapped in the field as being decoupled, is related to relative high connectivity. Our study highlights the potential of morphometric GIS modelling for studying sediment connectivity, but additionally emphasises the indispensability of geomorphic field mapping for a holistic understanding of mountain cascading systems.

  1. Investigation of the effective peak supersaturation for liquid-phase clouds at the high-alpine site Jungfraujoch, Switzerland (3580 m a.s.l.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Hammer

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Aerosols influence the Earth's radiation budget directly through absorption and scattering of solar radiation in the atmosphere but also indirectly by modifying the properties of clouds. However, climate models still suffer from large uncertainties as a result of insufficient understanding of aerosol-cloud interactions. At the high altitude research station Jungfraujoch (JFJ; 3580 m a.s.l., Switzerland cloud condensation nuclei (CCN number concentrations at eight different supersaturations (SS from 0.24% to 1.18% were measured using a CCN counter during Summer 2011. Simultaneously, in-situ aerosol activation properties of the prevailing ambient clouds were investigated by measuring the total and interstitial (non-activated dry particle number size distributions behind two different inlet systems. Combining all experimental data, a new method was developed to retrieve the so-called effective peak supersaturation SSpeak, as a measure of the SS at which ambient clouds are formed. A 17-month CCN climatology was then used to retrieve the SSpeak values also for four earlier summer campaigns (2000, 2002, 2004 and 2010 where no direct CCN data were available. The SSpeak values varied between 0.01% and 2.0% during all campaigns. An overall median SSpeak of 0.35% and dry activation diameter of 87 nm was observed. It was found that the difference in topography between northwest and southeast plays an important role for the effective peak supersaturation in clouds formed in the vicinity of the JFJ, while differences in the number concentration of potential CCN only play a minor role. Results show that air masses coming from the southeast (with the slowly rising terrain of the Aletsch Glacier generally experience lower SSpeak values than air masses coming from the northwest (steep slope. The observed overall median values were 0.41% and 0.22% for northwest and southeast wind conditions, respectively, corresponding to literature values for cumulus clouds and

  2. High resolution analysis of fossil pigments, carbon, nitrogen and sulphur in the sediment of eight European Alpine lakes: the MOLAR project

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aldo MARCHETTO

    2000-09-01

    Full Text Available A palaeoenvironmental reconstruction for the past 2-3 centuries of eight remote sites from northern to southern Europe was based on a number of palaeolimnological proxies, especially fossil pigments. Most of the lakes studied are located above the timberline and a great effort centred on the creation and analysis of a data-sets of sedimentary records. A chronology for the last century was based on radiometric techniques (210Pb, 241Am 137Cs. The accumulation rate of recent sediment was found to vary from 0.041 cm y-1 (Lake Saanajärvi, Finland to 0.14 cm y-1 (Jezero v Ledvici, Slovenia. During the time-span represented by the cores were the major changes in organic carbon and nitrogen in Nižné Terianske Pleso (Slovakia, Redó (Spain and Gossenköllesee (Austria. Constant increase of these nutrients from AD 1900 onwards was shown in lakes Saanajärvi, Nižné Terianske Pleso and Hagelseewli (Switzerland. No common trends in sulphur concentrations was evident. There is evidence of an atmospheric input of sulphur in Hagelseewli. This lake shows the highest concentrations, 10 fold higher at surface than the other lakes (ca 6% d.m.. A decrease of S during very recent times is clearly shown by the cores from Redò and Hagelseewli: this might be related to the reduction in the atmospheric loading (the matching of the atmospheric and sedimentary sulphur trends favours this hypothesis. Concentrations of total pigments and HPLC single carotenoids and chlorophylls showed marked fluctuations throughout the cores of all lakes. High pre-AD 1800 pigment concentrations were detected in Nižné Terianske Pleso, Redó, Hagelseewli and Gossenköllesee. During the last ca 50 years an increase in productivity inferred from fossil pigments is shown by Øvre Neådalsvatn (Norway, Nižné Terianske Pleso, Saanajärvi and Jezero v Ledvici. Except Gossenköllesee (Kamenik et al. 2000, this issue. Significant catchment disturbances are absent in these remote environments

  3. An integrated geographic information system approach for modeling the suitability of conifer habitat in an alpine environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGregor, Stephen J.

    1998-01-01

    Alpine periglacial environments within the forest-alpine tundra ecotone (FATE) may be among the first to reflect changes in habitat characteristics as a consequence of climatic change. Previous FATE studies used Integrated Geographic Information System (IGIS) techniques to collect and model biophysical data but lacked the necessary detail to model the micro-scale patterns and compositions of habitat within alpine periglacial environments. This paper describes several promising data collection, integration, and cartographic modeling techniques used in an IGIS approach to model alpine periglacial environments in Glacier National Park (GNP), Montana, USA. High-resolution (I X I m) multi-spectral remote sensing data and differentially corrected Global Positioning System (DGPS) data were integrated with other biophysical data using a raster-based IGIS approach. Biophysical factors, hypothesized to influence the pattern and composition of the FATE and the alpine tundra ecosystem, were derived from the high-resolution remote sensing data, in-situ GPS data, high-resolution models of digital elevation, and other thematic data using image processing techniques and cartographic modeling. Suitability models of conifer habitat were created using indices generated from the IGIS database. This IGIS approach identified suitable conifer habitat within the FATE and permitted the modeling of micro-scale periglacial features and alpine tundra communities that are absent from traditional approaches of landscape-scale (30 X 30 m) modeling.

  4. Treeline proximity alters an alpine plant-herbivore interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Illerbrun, Kurt; Roland, Jens

    2011-05-01

    Rising treeline threatens the size and contiguity of alpine meadows worldwide. As trees encroach into previously open habitat, the movement and population dynamics of above-treeline alpine species may be disrupted. This process is well documented in studies of the Rocky Mountain apollo butterfly (Parnassius smintheus). However, subtler consequences of treeline rise remain poorly understood. In this study, we examine whether treeline proximity affects feeding behaviour of P. smintheus larvae, due to altered habitat affecting the distribution and availability of their host plant, lance-leaved stonecrop (Sedum lanceolatum). Understanding differential larval exploitation of food resources in relation to the treeline is an important step in predicting the consequences of continued treeline rise. Parnassius smintheus larvae feed more intensively on S. lanceolatum away from the treeline despite the relative paucity of hosts in these areas, and despite higher fitness penalties associated with the plant's herbivory-induced chemical defenses. Sedum lanceolatum growing near the treeline is less attractive, and therefore represents a less significant resource for P. smintheus larvae than its abundance might imply. If treeline rise continues, we suggest that this pattern of altered resource exploitation may represent a mechanism by which larvae are adversely affected even while adult movement among and within meadows appears sufficient for maintaining population health, and total host availability seems ample.

  5. A new species of Limnephilidae (Insecta: Trichoptera) from the Western Alps (Insecta: Trichoptera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graf, Wolfram; Vitecek, Simon

    2016-03-03

    A new species of the alpine caddisfly genus Consorophylax (Trichoptera, Limnephilidae, Stenophylacini) and the female of the recently described C. vinconi Graf & Malicky 2015 are described. The new species C. lepontiorumsp. nov. is a microendemic of the South-Western Alps and differs from its congeners in the shape of the superior and inferior appendages and the unique setation of the aedeagus, absent in all other Consorophylax species. The female of C. vinconi is characterized by the unique formation of the anal tube. Potential effects of alpine orogenesis, phenology and climatic oscillation on speciation of aquatic insects inhabiting high-altitude habitats are discussed. The description of C. lepontiorumsp. nov. accentuates the significance of the Western Alps as harbours of aquatic insect biodiversity, and demonstrates the necessity of faunal and taxonomic studies in Europe - a supposedly well-explored region.

  6. A new species of Limnephilidae (Insecta: Trichoptera) from the Western Alps (Insecta: Trichoptera)

    Science.gov (United States)

    GRAF, WOLFRAM; VITECEK, SIMON

    2016-01-01

    A new species of the alpine caddisfly genus Consorophylax (Trichoptera, Limnephilidae, Stenophylacini) and the female of the recently described C. vinconi Graf & Malicky 2015 are described. The new species C. lepontiorum sp. nov. is a microendemic of the South-Western Alps and differs from its congeners in the shape of the superior and inferior appendages and the unique setation of the aedeagus, absent in all other Consorophylax species. The female of C. vinconi is characterized by the unique formation of the anal tube. Potential effects of alpine orogenesis, phenology and climatic oscillation on speciation of aquatic insects inhabiting high-altitude habitats are discussed. The description of C. lepontiorum sp. nov. accentuates the significance of the Western Alps as harbours of aquatic insect biodiversity, and demonstrates the necessity of faunal and taxonomic studies in Europe – a supposedly well-explored region. PMID:27069351

  7. Alpine glacial topography and the rate of rock column uplift

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Vivi Kathrine; Egholm, D.L.; Nielsen, S.B.

    2010-01-01

    The present study investigates the influence of alpine glacial erosion on the morphology and relief distribution of mountain regions associated with varying rock column uplift rates. We take a global approach and analyse the surface area distribution of all mountain regions affected by glacial....... On the basis of this decay, the analysed mountain regions fall within three distinct groupsprimarily reflecting variations in average values of rock columnuplift rates.Mountain ranges affected by rapid rock column uplift display high above-snowline relief and large decay lengths, whereas inactive orogens have...

  8. The application of refraction seismics in alpine permafrost studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Draebing, Daniel

    2017-04-01

    Permafrost studies in alpine environments focus on landslides from permafrost-affected rockwalls, landslide deposits or periglacial sediment dynamics. Mechanical properties of soils or rocks are influenced by permafrost and changed strength properties affect these periglacial processes. To assess the effects of permafrost thaw and degradation, monitoring techniques for permafrost distribution and active-layer thaw are required. Seismic wave velocities are sensitive to freezing and, therefore, refraction seismics presents a valuable tool to investigate permafrost in alpine environments. In this study, (1) laboratory and field applications of refraction seismics in alpine environments are reviewed and (2) data are used to quantify effects of rock properties (e.g. lithology, porosity, anisotropy, saturation) on p-wave velocities. In the next step, (3) influence of environmental factors are evaluated and conclusions drawn on permafrost differentiation within alpine periglacial landforms. This study shows that p-wave velocity increase is susceptible to porosity which is pronounced in high-porosity rocks. In low-porosity rocks, p-wave velocity increase is controlled by anisotropy decrease due to ice pressure (Draebing and Krautblatter, 2012) which enables active-layer and permafrost differentiation at rockwall scale (Krautblatter and Draebing, 2014; Draebing et al., 2016). However, discontinuity distribution can result in high anisotropy effects on seismic velocities which can impede permafrost differentiation (Phillips et al., 2016). Due to production or deposition history, porosity can show large spatial differences in deposited landforms. Landforms with large boulders such as rock glaciers and moraines show highest p-wave velocity differences between active-layer and permafrost which facilitates differentiation (Draebing, 2016). Saturation with water is essential for the successful application of refraction seismics for permafrost detection and can be controlled at

  9. Transient thermal effects in Alpine permafrost

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Noetzli

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available In high mountain areas, permafrost is important because it influences the occurrence of natural hazards, because it has to be considered in construction practices, and because it is sensitive to climate change. The assessment of its distribution and evolution is challenging because of highly variable conditions at and below the surface, steep topography and varying climatic conditions. This paper presents a systematic investigation of effects of topography and climate variability that are important for subsurface temperatures in Alpine bedrock permafrost. We studied the effects of both, past and projected future ground surface temperature variations on the basis of numerical experimentation with simplified mountain topography in order to demonstrate the principal effects. The modeling approach applied combines a distributed surface energy balance model and a three-dimensional subsurface heat conduction scheme. Results show that the past climate variations that essentially influence present-day permafrost temperatures at depth of the idealized mountains are the last glacial period and the major fluctuations in the past millennium. Transient effects from projected future warming, however, are likely larger than those from past climate conditions because larger temperature changes at the surface occur in shorter time periods. We further demonstrate the accelerating influence of multi-lateral warming in steep and complex topography for a temperature signal entering the subsurface as compared to the situation in flat areas. The effects of varying and uncertain material properties (i.e., thermal properties, porosity, and freezing characteristics on the subsurface temperature field were examined in sensitivity studies. A considerable influence of latent heat due to water in low-porosity bedrock was only shown for simulations over time periods of decades to centuries. At the end, the model was applied to the topographic setting of the Matterhorn

  10. 77 FR 61727 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Vessel Monitoring Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-11

    ... rule (76 FR 75492) and type approval notice (76 FR 75523) updating VMS requirements in Atlantic HMS... possessed onboard, and location and timing of landing. These requirements were originally effective March 1... specifying target species, gear possessed onboard, and location and timing of landing. However, no...

  11. 76 FR 75492 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Vessel Monitoring Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-02

    ... for seafood products, and could provide owners with additional peace of mind. Comment 3: The proposed... accessible to members of the public, including fishermen, who are interested in the subject matter. Comments... would not directly affect fishing effort, quotas, fishing gear, authorized species, or interactions...

  12. The Alpine loop of the tethys zone

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bemmelen, R.W. van

    1969-01-01

    The Alpine loop in Europe results from semi-autochthonous crustal movements which are restricted to the mobile Tethys zone. Its evolution cannot be explained by a uniform northward drift and push of the African continent; it has to be sought, in the first place, in geodynamic processes occurring in

  13. Monitoring Alpine Transportation Infrastructures Using Space Techniues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strozzi, Tazio; Caduff, Rafael; Wegmuller, Urs; Brandstaetter, Michael; Kuhtreiber, Norbert

    2013-12-01

    Integration of satellite SAR interferometry, terrestrial radar interferometry and GPS is considered for the monitoring of ground motion along Alpine transportation infrastructures. We present results related to large-scale surveys in Switzerland along the Gotthard railway with satellite SAR interferometry and to a local monitoring of an active rockfall above the Pyhrn motorway in Austria using terrestrial radar interferometry and GPS.

  14. The Alpine loop of the tethys zone

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bemmelen, R.W. van

    1969-01-01

    The Alpine loop in Europe results from semi-autochthonous crustal movements which are restricted to the mobile Tethys zone. Its evolution cannot be explained by a uniform northward drift and push of the African continent; it has to be sought, in the first place, in geodynamic processes occurring in

  15. How old is the human footprint in the world's largest alpine ecosystem? A review of multiproxy records from the Tibetan Plateau from the ecologists' viewpoint

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miehe, Georg; Miehe, Sabine; Böhner, Jürgen; Kaiser, Knut; Hensen, Isabel; Madsen, David; Liu, JianQuan; Opgenoorth, Lars

    2014-02-01

    The age at which a human environment was made is strongly debated in Quaternary science. The perception of the human footprint requires an understanding of the contrast between the present cultural environment and the natural vegetation. This is especially true for high altitude ecosystems, such as the world's largest alpine ecosystem, the 450,000 km2 of golf-course-like pastures dominating the southeastern Tibetan Plateau. This ecosystem is widely considered to be natural, but only because of the unawareness of the effects of grazing management and the incorrect assessment of human signals in palaeo proxies. Here we posit the hypothesis that this ecosystem is a human-induced replacement. To test our hypothesis against defined a priori criteria, we 1) monitored vegetation in grazing exclosures; 2) produced floristically complete vegetation records; 3) compared the vegetation records with data of the nearest climate stations; 4) surveyed forest and experimental reforestation trials with endemic tree species; 5) analyzed pollen and re-evaluated published pollen diagrams; and 6) integrated these results with palaeopedological and anthracological results of previous studies. The results of long-term grazing exclosure experiments, the prevalence of grazing-adapted plant functional types, the occurrence of isolated vigorous forests in "alpine" pastures, and the successful reforestation trials in presently treeless pastures together suggest that dominant pastures replaced forests in the montane belt and tall grassland in the alpine belt. The spatial and temporal coincidence of palaeosols and archaeological sites with tree species charcoal, the decline in forest pollen during the mid-Holocene climatic optimum, and the first appearance of human indicator pollen are most parsimoniously explained by the early presence of foragers and pastoralists. The onset of pastoralism in the Tibetan Highlands is presumed to date from the 8th millennium BP.

  16. Discrimination between Ground Vegetation and Small Pioneer Trees in the Boreal-Alpine Ecotone Using Intensity Metrics Derived from Airborne Laser Scanner Data

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    Erik Næsset

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available It has been shown that height measurements obtained by airborne laser scanning (ALS with high point density (>7–8 m−2 can be used to detect small trees in the alpine tree line—an ecotone sensitive to climate change. Because the height measurements do not discriminate between trees and other convex structures with positive height values, this study aimed at assessing the contribution of ALS backscatter intensity to classification of trees and non-trees. The study took place in a boreal-alpine ecotone in southeastern Norway and was based on 500 precisely georeferenced small trees and non-tree objects for which ALS height and intensity were derived from four different ALS acquisitions, representing different sensors, pulse repetition frequencies (PRF, and flying altitudes. The sensors operated at 1064 nm. Based on logistic regression modeling, it was found that classification into three different tree species ((1 spruce; (2 pine; and (3 birch and two different non-tree object types (objects with: (1 vegetated surface; and (2 rock was significantly better (p < 0.001–0.05 than a classification based on models with trees and non-trees as binary response. The cause of the improved classification is mainly diverse reflectivity properties of non-tree objects. No effect of sensor, PRF, and flying altitude was found (p > 0.05. Finally, it was revealed that in a direct comparison of the contribution of intensity backscatter to improve classification models of trees and non-trees beyond what could be obtained by using the ALS height information only, the contribution of intensity turned out to be far from significant (p > 0.05. In conclusion, ALS backscatter intensity seems to be of little help in classification of small trees and non-trees in the boreal-alpine ecotone even when a more detailed discrimination on different species and different non-tree structures is applied.

  17. 高寒草甸植物群落中相似性、物种多样性与地上生物量的年际变异性%Similarity,Species Diversity,and Interannual Variability in Total Aboveground Biomass in Alpine Meadow Plant Community

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    覃光莲; 杜国祯

    2005-01-01

    The similarity hypothesis may explain how biodiversity loss influences variability in biomass of plant communities but remains untested.We collected data over a three-year period (1999~2001),at the end of July during the peak of plant growing season,from 74 permanent plots in a natural alpine meadow located in the eastern Qinghai Tibetan Plateau.The objective was to test how similarity in species composition can explain the effects of species diversity on interannual variability in total aboveground biomass.Variability in total aboveground biomass per plot,decreased as species richness increased,and it also showed an overall decline as evenness increased although it appeared to stay at about the same level over the intermediate range of evenness.Similarity in species composition explained most of the variability in total aboveground biomass,and increased similarity in species composition reduced interannual variation in total aboveground biomass.Species richness and evenness were unrelated to similarity in species composition.These results indicate that the causal relationship between similarity and variability in total aboveground biomass may be robust,although biodiversity loss may not necessarily lead to decreased similarity in species composition in species-rich communities such as the alpine meadows of the Eastern Tibetan Plateau.Therefore,understanding how similarity influences the effects of biodiversity on variability in ecosystem functioning would require directly manipulated experiments for similarity in species composition.%相似性假说通过物种构成的相似性来解释物种丧失是如何影响生物量的变异性的,但还没有得到检验.本研究通过设置在青藏高原东部地区的高寒草甸植物群落中的74个永久样方,采集3年(1999~2001)植物生长高峰期的群落数据,试图检验物种构成的相似性是如何解释物种多样性对地上生物量年际变异性的影响.结果表明:随着物种丰富度

  18. Nitrogen Critical Loads for an Alpine Meadow Ecosystem on the Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zong, Ning; Shi, Peili; Song, Minghua; Zhang, Xianzhou; Jiang, Jing; Chai, Xi

    2016-03-01

    Increasing atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition has the potential to alter plant diversity and thus the function and stability of terrestrial ecosystems. N-limited alpine ecosystems are expected to be particularly susceptible to increasing N deposition. However, little is known about the critical loads and saturation thresholds of ecosystem responses to increasing N deposition on the Tibetan Plateau, despite its importance to ecosystem management. To evaluate the N critical loads and N saturation thresholds in an alpine ecosystem, in 2010, we treated an alpine meadow with five levels of N addition (0, 10, 20, 40, and 80 kg N ha-1 year-1) and characterized plant and soil responses. The results showed that plant species richness and diversity index did not statistically vary with N addition treatments, but they both changed with years. N addition affected plant cover and aboveground productivity, especially for grasses, and soil chemical features. The N critical loads and saturation thresholds, in terms of plant cover and biomass change at the community level, were 8.8-12.7 and 50 kg N ha-1 year-1 (including the ambient N deposition rate), respectively. However, pronounced changes in soil inorganic N and net N mineralization occurred under the 20 and 40 kg N ha-1 year-1 treatments. Our results indicate that plant community cover and biomass are more sensitive than soil to increasing N inputs. The plant community composition in alpine ecosystems on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau may change under increasing N deposition in the future.

  19. Seasonal variations in carbon dioxide exchange in an alpine wetland meadow on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Zhao

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Alpine wetland meadow could functions as a carbon sink due to it high soil organic content and low decomposition. However, the magnitude and dynamics of carbon stock in alpine wetland ecosystems are not well quantified. Therefore, understanding how environmental variables affect the processes that regulate carbon fluxes in alpine wetland meadow on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau is critical. To address this issue, Gross Primary Production (GPP, Ecosystem Respiration (Reco, and Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE were examined in an alpine wetland meadow using the eddy covariance method from October 2003 to December 2006 at the Haibei Research Station of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Seasonal patterns of GPP and Reco were closely associated with leaf area index (LAI. The Reco showed a positive exponential to soil temperature and relatively low Reco occurred during the non-growing season after a rain event. This result is inconsistent with the result observed in alpine shrubland meadow. In total, annual GPP were estimated at 575.7, 682.9, and 630.97 g C m−2 in 2004, 2005, and 2006, respectively. Meanwhile, the Reco were equal to 676.8, 726.4, 808.2 g C m−2, and thus the NEE were 101.1, 44.0 and 173.2 g C m−2. These results indicated that the alpine wetland meadow was a moderately source of carbon dioxide (CO2. The observed carbon dioxide fluxes in the alpine wetland meadow were higher than other alpine meadow such as Kobresia humilis meadow and shrubland meadow.

  20. Protection of large alpine infrastructures against natural hazards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robl, Jörg; Scheikl, Manfred; Hergarten, Stefan

    2013-04-01

    Large infrastructures in alpine domains are threatened by a variety of natural hazards like debris flows, rock falls and snow avalanches. Especially linear infrastructure including roads, railway lines, pipe lines and power lines passes through the entire mountain range and the impact of natural hazards can be expected along a distance over hundreds of kilometers. New infrastructure projects like storage power plants or ski resorts including access roads are often located in remote alpine domains without any historical record of hazardous events. Mitigation strategies against natural hazards require a detailed analysis on the exposure of the infrastructure to natural hazards. Following conventional concepts extensive mapping and documentation of surface processes over hundreds to several thousand km² of steep alpine domain is essential but can be hardly performed. We present a case study from the Austrian Alps to demonstrate the ability of a multi-level concept to describe the impact of natural hazards on infrastructure by an iterative process. This includes new state of the art numerical models, modern field work and GIS-analysis with an increasing level of refinement at each stage. A set of new numerical models for rock falls, debris flows and snow avalanches was designed to operate with information from field in different qualities and spatial resolutions. Our analysis starts with simple and fast cellular automata for rockfalls and debrisflows to show the exposure of the infrastructure to natural hazards in huge domains and detects "high risk areas" that are investigated in more detail in field in the next refinement level. Finally, sophisticated 2D- depth averaged fluid dynamic models for all kinds of rapid mass movements are applied to support the development of protection structures.

  1. 3D cartographic modeling of the Alpine arc

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vouillamoz, Naomi; Sue, Christian; Champagnac, Jean-Daniel; Calcagno, Philippe

    2012-12-01

    We built a 3D cartography of the Alpine arc, a highly non-cylindrical mountain belt, using the 3D GeoModeller of the BRGM (French geological survey). The model allows to handle the large-scale 3D structure of seventeen major crustal units of the belt (from the lower crust to the sedimentary cover nappes), and two main discontinuities (the Insubric Line and the Crustal Penninic Front). It provides a unique document to better understand their structural relationships and to produce new sections. The study area comprises the western Alpine arc, from the Jura to the Northwest, up to the Bergell granite intrusion and the Lepontine Dome to the East, and is limited to the South by the Ligurian basin. The model is limited vertically 10 km above sea level at the top, and the moho interface at the bottom. We discarded the structural relationships between the Alps sensus stricto and the surrounding geodynamic systems such as the Rhine graben or the connection with the Apennines. The 3D-model is based on the global integration of various data such as the DEM of the Alps, the moho isobaths, the simplified geological and tectonic maps of the belt, the crustal cross-sections ECORS-CROP and NFP-20, and complementary cross-sections specifically built to precise local complexities. The database has first been integrated in a GIS-project to prepare their implementation in the GeoModeller, by homogenizing the different spatial referencing systems. The global model is finally interpolated from all these data, using the potential field method. The final document is a new tri-dimensional cartography that would be used as input for further alpine studies.

  2. A highly permeable species boundary between two anadromous fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coscia, I; Rountree, V; King, J J; Roche, W K; Mariani, S

    2010-10-01

    Meristic identification, mitochondrial DNA and a suite of microsatellite markers were employed to estimate the incidence of hybridization in wild populations of anadromous Allis shad Alosa alosa and twaite shad Alosa fallax in southern Irish riverine and estuarine waters. It was shown that 16% of the fishes examined were misclassified using meristic count of gill rakers. Next, a significant proportion of fishes that were robustly assigned to a species using nuclear markers were shown to possess the mtDNA of the other. The genomes of A. alosa and A. fallax in Ireland are extensively introgressed, which suggests a complex history of hybridization between these species, which can only partially be explained by recent man-made habitat changes.

  3. Facilitation among plants in alpine environments in the face of climate change

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    Fabien eAnthelme

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available While there is a large consensus that plant–plant interactions are a crucial component of the response of plant communities to the effects of climate change, available data remain scarce, particularly in alpine systems. This represents an important obstacle to making consistent predictions about the future of plant communities. Here, we review current knowledge on the effects of climate change on facilitation among alpine plant communities and propose directions for future research. In established alpine communities, while warming seemingly generates a net facilitation release, earlier snowmelt may increase facilitation. Some nurse plants are able to buffer microenvironmental changes in the long term and may ensure the persistence of other alpine plants through local migration events. For communities migrating to higher elevations, facilitation should play an important role in their reorganization because of the harsher environmental conditions. In particular, the absence of efficient nurse plants might slow down upward migration, possibly generating chains of extinction. Facilitation–climate change relationships are expected to shift along latitudinal gradients because (1 the magnitude of warming is predicted to vary along these gradients, and (2 alpine environments are significantly different at low vs. high latitudes. Data on these expected patterns are preliminary and thus need to be tested with further studies on facilitation among plants in alpine environments that have thus far not been considered. From a methodological standpoint, future studies will benefit from the spatial representation of the microclimatic environment of plants to predict their response to climate change. Moreover, the acquisition of long-term data on the dynamics of plant–plant interactions, either through permanent plots or chronosequences of glacial recession, may represent powerful approaches to clarify the relationship between plant interactions and

  4. Seedling establishment at the alpine tree line - Can there be too much winter protection?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lett, S.; Wardle, D.; Nilsson, M. C.; Dorrepaal, E.

    2014-12-01

    Alpine and arctic tree line expansion relies on tree seedling survival above the tree line, where the environment is harsh and protection by snow during winter is essential. Above the tree line, bryophytes are dominant; they may act as thermal insulators but their insulating ability differs between species. Apart from these positive effects, both snow and bryophytes may have negative effects on seedlings via shortening of the growing season or competition, respectively. Snow depth and duration are expected to change due to climate change, leading in some places to more snow and in others to less. What is the role of bryophytes insulating properties for seedling establishment under changing winter conditions at the alpine tree line? We hypothesized that protecting effects of snow and bryophytes would be more important for seedling survival in harsh climate (high elevation) than in milder climate (low elevation) (interactions: bryophyte*elevation and snow*elevation) and that negative effects of less snow would be ameliorated by well-insulating bryophytes (interaction: bryophyte*snow). To test this, we transplanted cores of three bryophyte species of differing insulation capacity and bare soil (control) from the subarctic tree line (~600m asl.) to 700 and 350 m asl. We transplanted 10 seedlings of two common tree line tree species (Betula pubescens and Pinus sylvestris) into each core in late summer. Cores were subjected to one of three snow treatments: autumn and spring snow removal or addition, or no manipulation. After the winter we scored seedling survival. The snow treatments had different effects at the two elevations (elevation* snow: Pbryophytes did not (elevation*bryophyte: n.s). In the harsh climate, snow addition generally enhanced seedling survival. In contrast, at the milder climate site, snow addition only increased survival in the bare soil treatment but decreased survival of seedlings in the bryophyte cores (bryophyte*snow: P=0.053). Our data show that

  5. Heterogeneity in Primary Productivity Influences Competitive Interactions between Red Deer and Alpine Chamois.

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    Pia Anderwald

    Full Text Available Habitat heterogeneity can promote coexistence between herbivores of different body size limited to different extents by resource quantity and quality. Red deer (Cervus elaphus are known as superior competitors to smaller species with similar diets. We compared competitive interactions and habitat use between red deer and Alpine chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra in two adjacent valleys in a strictly protected area in the Central Alps. Red deer density was higher in the valley with higher primary productivity. Only here was horn growth in kid and yearling chamois (as a measure for body condition negatively correlated with red deer population size, suggesting interspecific competition, and chamois selected meadows with steeper slopes and lower productivity than available on average. Conversely, red deer selected meadows of high productivity, particularly in the poorer area. As these were located mainly at lower elevations, this led to strong altitudinal segregation between the two species here. Local differences in interspecific competition thus coincided with differences in habitat preference and-segregation between areas. This suggests that spatial habitat and resource heterogeneity at the scale of adjacent valleys can provide competition refuges for competitively inferior mountain ungulates which differ from their superior competitor in their metabolic requirements.

  6. Isolation of novel Bacillus species showing high mosquitocidal activity against several mosquito species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Sabrina R; Hudon, Michael; Park, Hyun-Woo

    2011-05-01

    Two novel mosquitocidal bacteria, VB17 and VB24, identified as new Bacillus species were isolated from dead mosquito larvae obtained in Florida aquatic habitats. Gas chromatographic analysis of fatty acid methyl esters (GC-FAME) and 16S rRNA sequencing indicated that VB24 is closely related to Bacillus sphaericus whereas VB17 does not have a close relationship with either Bacillus thuringiensis or B. sphaericus. Both isolates were significantly more active than B. sphaericus 2362 against Aedes taeniorhynchus, Anopheles quadrimaculatus, Culex quinquefasciatus larvae, and as active as B. sphaericus 2362 against Anopheles gambiae. Interestingly, however, both were not active against Aedes aegypti larvae, indicating some level of insecticidal specificity. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Subglacial bedrock topography of an active mountain glacier in a high Alpine setting - insights from high resolution 3D cosmic-muon radiography of the Eiger glacier (Bern, Central Alps, Switzerland)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mair, David; Lechmann, Alessandro; Nishiyama, Ryuichi; Schlunegger, Fritz; Ariga, Akitaka; Ariga, Tomoko; Scampoli, Paola; Vladymyrov, Mykhailo; Ereditato, Antonio

    2016-04-01

    Bedrock topography and therefore the spatial-altitudinal distribution of ice thickness constrain the ice flow as well as the erosional mechanisms of glaciers. Although the processes by which glaciers have shaped modern and past landscapes have been well investigated, little information is still available about the shape of the bedrock beneath active glaciers in steep Alpine cirques. Here, we we apply the cosmic-muon radiography technology, which uses nuclear emulsion detectors for imaging the bedrock surface. This method should provide information on the bedrock topography beneath a glacier and related ice thicknesses and subglacial meltwater pathways. We apply this technology to the cirque of the Eiger glacier, situated on the western flank of Eiger mountain, Central Swiss Alps. The Eiger glacier originates on the western flank of the Eiger at 3700 m a.s.l., from where it stretches along 2.6 km to the current elevation at 2300 m a.s.l.. The glacier consists of a concave cirque bordered by >40° steep flanks, thereby utilizing weaknesses within the fabric of the bedrock such as folds, joints and foliations. The middle reach hosts a bedrock ridge where glacier diffluence occurs. The lower reaches of the glacier are characterized by several transverse crevasses, while the terminal lobe hosts multiple longitudinal crevasses. A basal till and lateral margins border the ice flow along the lowermost reach. While subglacial erosion in the cirque has probably been accomplished by plucking and abrasion where the glacier might be cold-based, sub glacial melt water might have contributed to bedrock sculpting farther downslope where the ice flow is constrained by bedrock. Overdeepening of some tens of meters is expected in the upper reach of the glacier, which is quite common in cirques (Cook & Swift, 2012). Contrariwise, we expect several tens of meters-deep bedrock excavations (characterized by concave curvatures of bedrock surface) at the site of ice diffluence. The next

  8. Winter streamflow analysis in frozen, alpine catchments to quantify groundwater contribution and properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoelzle, Michael; Weiler, Markus

    2016-04-01

    Alpine catchments are often considered as quickly responding systems where streamflow contributions from subsurface storages (groundwater) are mostly negligible due to the steep topography, low permeable bedrock and the absence of well-developed soils. Many studies in high altitude catchments have hence focused on water stored in snowpack and glaciers or on rainfall-runoff processes as the dominant streamflow contributions. Interestingly less effort has been devoted to winter streamflow analysis when melt- or rainfall-driven contributions are switched off due to the frozen state of the catchment. Considering projected changes in the alpine cryosphere (e.g. snow, glacier, permafrost) quantification of groundwater storage and contribution to streamflow is crucial to assess the social and ecological implications for downstream areas (e.g. water temperature, drought propagation). In this study we hypothesize that groundwater is the main streamflow contribution during winter and thus being responsible for the perennial regime of many alpine catchments. The hypothesis is investigated with well-known methods based on recession and breakpoint analysis of the streamflow regimes and temperature data to determine frozen periods. Analyzing nine catchments in Switzerland with mean elevation between 1000 and 2400 m asl, we found that above a mean elevation of 1800 m asl winter recessions are sufficient long and persistent enough to quantify groundwater contribution to streamflow and to characterize the properties of subsurface storage. The results show that groundwater in alpine catchment is the dominant streamflow contribution for nearly half a year and accountable for several hundred millimeter of annual streamflow. In sub-alpine catchments, driven by a mix of snowmelt and rainfall, a clear quantification of groundwater contributions is rather challenging due to discontinuous frozen periods in winter. We found that the inter-annual variability of different streamflow

  9. Les Nouvelles Traversées Alpines : la “cité-Europe” à l’épreuve de l’acceptabilité alpine ? The New alpine crossings : The “city-Europe” faces up to the alpine acceptability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin Sutton

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available La pensée des traversées alpines est indissociable de celle des réseaux urbains alpins et, au-delà, européens. La nouvelle phase de percée des tunnels de base le réaffirme : les “Nouvelles Traversées Alpines” se retrouvent au coeur de l’enjeu de connexion des réseaux ferroviaires européens à grande vitesse. L’invention de la “cité-Europe” passe ainsi par la réinvention d’un pacte alpin autour du dessein de franchissement entre les villes de piedmonts et les communautés montagnardes traversées. Ces dernières ont, en effet, la capacité de bloquer un projet par leur refus. L’exemple du projet Lyon-Turin l’illustre, en contre-point de la réussite du tunnel de base du Lötschberg. La réussite suisse semble tenir à la capacité de conjuguer les inventions technique et sociale du tunnel, ne niant pas la dimension territoriale de cet objet réticulaire.It is impossible to think about the alpine crossings without thinking about the alpine and European urban nets. The construction of the basis tunnels recalls it: the “New Alpine Crossings” are the kernel of the connection issue between the European high-speed railways nets. The invention of a “city-Europe” needs a reinvented pact, between the cities of the plains and the alpine communities, based on the reaffirmation of a common crossing destiny. The alpine communities can thwart the project by refusing it, as the example of the Lyon-Turin project shows, in contrast to the successful Lötschberg basis tunnel. The Swiss success seems to come from the capacity to mix technical and social inventions, replacing the territorial dimension in the reticular fundament.

  10. Seasonal dynamics of mobile carbohydrate pools in phloem and xylem of two alpine timberline conifers

    OpenAIRE

    Gruber, A.; PIRKEBNER, D.; Oberhuber, W.

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies on non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) reserves in trees focused on xylem NSC reserves, while still little is known about changes in phloem carbohydrate pools, where NSC charging might be significantly different. To gain insight on NSC dynamics in xylem and phloem, we monitored NSC concentrations in stems and roots of Pinus cembra and Larix decidua growing at the alpine timberline throughout 2011. Species-specific differences affected tree phenology and carbon allocation in the c...

  11. High-altitude multi-taskers: bumble bee food plant use broadens along an altitudinal productivity gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller-Struttmann, Nicole E; Galen, Candace

    2014-12-01

    We use an extensive historical data set on bumble bee host choice collected almost 50 years ago by L. W. Macior (Melanderia 15:1-59, 1974) to examine how resource partitioning by bumble bees varies over a 2,700-m altitudinal gradient at four hierarchical scales: individual, colony, species and community. Bumble bee behavior, resource overlap between castes, and plant-bumble bee networks change with altitude in accordance with tightening temporal constraints on flowering and colony growth in alpine habitats. Individual bees were more likely to collect pollen from multiple sources at high altitude. Between-caste foraging niche overlap increased with altitude. Similarly, alpine forager networks were more highly nested than either subalpine or montane networks due to increased asymmetric specialization. However, interspecific resource partitioning showed a more complex spatial pattern with low niche overlap at intermediate altitude (subalpine) compared to montane (disturbed) and alpine (unproductive) sites. Results suggest that spatial variation in interspecific resource partitioning is driven by a shift in the behavior of long-tongued bumble bees. Long-tongued bumble bees specialized in the subalpine but generalized in montane and alpine zones. Our reanalysis of Macior's data shows that bumble bee behavior varies substantially with altitude influencing plant-bumble bee interaction networks. Results imply that pollination services to alpine host plants will change dramatically as subalpine species with unique foraging strategies move upward under global warming.

  12. Molecular phylogeography of the Andean alpine plant, Gunnera magellanica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimizu, M.; Fujii, N.; Ito, M.; Asakawa, T.; Nishida, H.; Suyama, C.; Ueda, K.

    2015-12-01

    To clarify the evolutionary history of Gunnera magellanica (Gunneraceae), an alpine plant of the Andes mountains, we performed molecular phylogeographic analyses based on the sequences of an internal transcribed spacer (ITS) of nuclear ribosomal DNA and four non-coding regions (trnH-psbA, trnL-trnF, atpB-rbcL, rpl16 intron) of chloroplast DNA. We investigated 3, 4, 4 and 11 populations in, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile, respectively, and detected six ITS genotypes (Types A-F) in G. magellanica. Five genotypes (Types A-E) were observed in the northern Andes population (Ecuador and Bolivia); only one ITS genotype (Type F) was observed in the southern Andes population (Chile and Argentina). Phylogenetic analyses showed that the ITS genotypes of the northern and southern Andes populations form different clades with high bootstrap probability. Furthermore, network analysis, analysis of molecular variance, and spatial analysis of molecular variance showed that there were two major clusters (the northern and southern Andes populations) in this species. Furthermore, in chloroplast DNA analysis, three major clades (northern Andes, Chillan, and southern Andes) were inferred from phylogenetic analyses using four non-coding regions, a finding that was supported by the above three types of analysis. The Chillan clade is the northernmost population in the southern Andes populations. With the exception of the Chillan clade (Chillan population), results of nuclear DNA and chloroplast DNA analyses were consistent. Both markers showed that the northern and southern Andes populations of G. magellanica were genetically different from each other. This type of clear phylogeographical structure was supported by PERMUT analysis according to Pons & Petit (1995, 1996). Moreover, based on our preliminary estimation that is based on the ITS sequences, the northern and southern Andes clades diverged ~0.63-3 million years ago, during a period of upheaval in the Andes. This suggests

  13. Des broussailles dans les prairies alpines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivier Camacho

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Landscape closing due to the decline in agricultural activity is considered to be a major problem in the Alps. Abondance Valley provides a good example of this phenomenon and is also representative of a paradox commonly found in the Northern French Alps: the mountainsides and alpine pastures are still used, whereas they are becoming increasingly afforested. Environmental conditions play a major role in the localisation of agricultural land uses, but they are not sufficient to explain why pastures still in use are being invaded by shrub. Even if cutting makes it possible to effectively control the encroachment by woody species, this is not true for uncut pastures where grazing is not able to keep up with grass production. This situation is repeated every year and is the likely cause of the colonisation by woody species. To ensure their forage system and to simplify their work, farmers tend to establish grazing units that are oversized in relation to the needs of their animals. They implement compensatory practices that consist of mechanical maintenance as a complement to grazing to limit the dynamics of woody species. These labour-intensive practices are not used on all of the pastures. The analysis of farmers’ practices by agronomists is therefore a useful complement to studies of physical and socio-economic environments, at the level of the grazed field as well as at that of the valley as a whole.La dégradation des paysages par suite du recul de l’activité agricole est considérée comme un enjeu majeur dans les Alpes. La vallée d’Abondance illustre bien ce phénomène de fermeture de l’espace mais elle est en outre représentative d’un paradoxe assez répandu dans les Alpes du nord françaises : les versants et les alpages sont encore exploités et pourtant ils se boisent progressivement. Les conditions de milieux jouent un rôle majeur sur la localisation des usages agricoles de l'espace, mais elles ne peuvent pas suffire pour

  14. Wing pattern morphology of three closely related Melitaea (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae species reveals highly inaccurate external morphology-based species identification

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    Jure Jugovic

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Wing morphology of the three closely related species of Melitaea – M. athalia (Rottemburg, 1775, M. aurelia (Nickerl, 1850 and M. britomartis Assmann, 1847 – co-occurring in the Balkans (SE Europe was investigated in detail through visual inspection, morphometric analysis and multivariate statistical analysis. Results are compared to recent phylogenetic studies, searching for concordant patterns and discrepancies between the two approaches. The morphology of the genitalic structures is also compared with the results of the other two approaches. The main conclusions are as follows: (1 small albeit significant differences in wing morphology exist among the three species and (2 while the structure of male genitalia and phylogenetic position of the three species are concordant, they are (3 in discordance with the wing morphology. The present study represents another example where identification based on external morphology would lead to highly unreliable determinations, hence identification based on phylogenetic studies and/or genitalia is strongly recommended not only for the three studied species but also more broadly within the genus. Furthermore, we show that some of the characters generally used in the identification of these three Melitaea species should be avoided in future.

  15. Estimation of Alpine Skier Posture Using Machine Learning Techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bojan Nemec

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available High precision Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS measurements are becoming more and more popular in alpine skiing due to the relatively undemanding setup and excellent performance. However, GNSS provides only single-point measurements that are defined with the antenna placed typically behind the skier’s neck. A key issue is how to estimate other more relevant parameters of the skier’s body, like the center of mass (COM and ski trajectories. Previously, these parameters were estimated by modeling the skier’s body with an inverted-pendulum model that oversimplified the skier’s body. In this study, we propose two machine learning methods that overcome this shortcoming and estimate COM and skis trajectories based on a more faithful approximation of the skier’s body with nine degrees-of-freedom. The first method utilizes a well-established approach of artificial neural networks, while the second method is based on a state-of-the-art statistical generalization method. Both methods were evaluated using the reference measurements obtained on a typical giant slalom course and compared with the inverted-pendulum method. Our results outperform the results of commonly used inverted-pendulum methods and demonstrate the applicability of machine learning techniques in biomechanical measurements of alpine skiing.

  16. Electron-microprobe study of chromitites associated with alpine ultramafic complexes and some genetic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bird, M.L.

    1978-01-01

    Electron-microprobe and petrographic studies of alpine chromite deposits from around the world demonstrate that they are bimodal with respect to the chromic oxide content of their chromite. The two modes occur at 54 ? 4 and 37 ? 3 weight per cent chromic oxide corresponding to chromite designated as high-chromium and high-aluminum chromite respectively. The high-chromium chromite occurs exclusively with highly magnesian olivine (Fo92-97) and some interstitial diopside. The high-aluminum chromite is associated with more ferrous olivine (Fo88-92), diopside, enstatite, and feldspar. The plot of the mole ratios Cr/(Cr+Al+Fe3+) vs. Mg/(Mg+Fe2+) usually presented for alpine chromite is shown to have a high-chromium, high-iron to low-chromium, low-iron trend contrary to that shown by stratiform chromite. This trend is characteristic of alpine type chromite and is termed the alpine trend. However, a trend similar to that for startiform chromite is discernable on the graph for the high-chromium chromite data. This latter trend is well-developed at Red Mountain, Seldovia, Alaska. Analysis of the iron-magnesium distribution coefficient, Kd=(Fe/Mg)ol/(Fe/Mg)ch, between olivine and chromite shows that Kd for the high-chromium chromite from all ultramafic complexes has essentially the same constant value of .05 while the distribution coefficient for the high-aluminum chromite varies with composition of the chromite. These distribution coefficients are also characteristic of alpine-type chromites. The constant value for Kd for the high-chromium chromite and associated high-magnesium olivine in all alpine complexes suggests that they all crystallized under similar physico-chemical conditions. The two types of massive chromite and their associations of silicate minerals suggest the possibility of two populations with different origins. Recrystallization textures associated with the high-aluminum chromite together with field relationships between the gabbro and the chromite pods

  17. Identification of mammalian species using the short and highly variable regions of mitochondrial DNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Jianhui; Zhu, Wei; Zhou, Yueqin; Liu, Zhiping; Chen, Yang; Zhao, Ziqin

    2015-08-01

    The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) typing is useful for the species determination of degraded samples and the nucleotide diversity of target fragments across species is crucial for the discrimination. In this study, the short and highly polymorphic regions flanked by two conserved termini were sought by the sequence alignment of mtDNA across species and two target regions located at 12S rRNA gene were characterized. Two universal primer sets were developed that appear to be effective for a wide variety of mammalian species, even for domestic birds. The two target regions could be efficiently amplified using their universal primer sets on degraded samples and provide sufficient information for species determination. Therefore, the two short and highly variable target regions might provide a high discriminative capacity and should be suitable for the species determination of degraded samples.

  18. Dynamics of Chytridiomycosis during the Breeding Season in an Australian Alpine Amphibian.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brannelly, Laura A; Hunter, David A; Lenger, Daniel; Scheele, Ben C; Skerratt, Lee F; Berger, Lee

    2015-01-01

    Understanding disease dynamics during the breeding season of declining amphibian species will improve our understanding of how remnant populations persist with endemic infection, and will assist the development of management techniques to protect disease-threatened species from extinction. We monitored the endangered Litoria verreauxii alpina (alpine treefrog) during the breeding season through capture-mark-recapture (CMR) studies in which we investigated the dynamics of chytridiomycosis in relation to population size in two populations. We found that infection prevalence and intensity increased throughout the breeding season in both populations, but infection prevalence and intensity was higher (3.49 and 2.02 times higher prevalence and intensity, respectively) at the site that had a 90-fold higher population density. This suggests that Bd transmission is density-dependent. Weekly survival probability was related to disease state, with heavily infected animals having the lowest survival. There was low recovery from infection, especially when animals were heavily infected with Bd. Sympatric amphibian species are likely to be reservoir hosts for the disease and can play an important role in the disease ecology of Bd. Although we found 0% prevalence in crayfish (Cherax destructor), we found that a sympatric amphibian (Crinia signifera) maintained 100% infection prevalence at a high intensity throughout the season. Our results demonstrate the importance of including infection intensity into CMR disease analysis in order to fully understand the implications of disease on the amphibian community. We recommend a combined management approach to promote lower population densities and ensure consistent progeny survival. The most effective management strategy to safeguard the persistence of this susceptible species might be to increase habitat area while maintaining a similar sized suitable breeding zone and to increase water flow and area to reduce drought.

  19. Molecular bases for parallel evolution of translucent bracts in an alpine "glasshouse" plant Rheum alexandrae (Polygonaceae)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Bing-Bing LIU; Lars OPGENOORTH; Georg MIEHE; Dong-Yuan ZHANG; Dong-Shi WAN; Chang-Ming ZHAO; Dong-Rui JIA

    2013-01-01

    Parallel evolution provides an excellent framework to infer the genetic bases of adaptive traits and understand the importance of natural selection in shaping current biodiversity.The upper leaves of the "glasshouse plants" transform into translucent bracts that show numerous adaptions in alpine habitats.It remains unknown whether similar molecular changes occur under the parallel bract evolution of different "glasshouse" species.In this study,we compared the results on phenotypic and physiological differences and presented the results of cDNA-AFLP analyses of transcriptional changes between translucent bracts and normal leaves in Rheum alexandrae.We also examined the homologous candidate genes with the same expression changes between this species and another "glasshouse" species,R.nobile.We found that bracts ofR.alexandrae are similar to those ofR.nobile in anatomical features:chloroplasts have degenerated and chlorophyll contents are greatly reduced,which suggests that foliar photosynthetic functions in bracts of both species have been reduced or totally altered.Among the 6000 transcript-derived fragments (TDFs) in bracts and leaves of R.alexandrae,420 (7%) were differentially expressed (up-or downregulated) between bracts and normal leaves.There were a total of 13 homologous TDFs with the same expression changes between R.alexandrae and the previously studied R.nobile.Except for the two that were not functionally annotated,eight of the homologous TDFs were found to be involved in stress and defense responses whereas the other three were related to photosynthesis.The up-or downregulation of these candidate genes was highly congruent with anatomical characteristics and adaptive functions of the bracts found for "glasshouse" plants.These findings suggested that the "glasshouse" phenotypes may have common molecular bases underlying their parallel evolution of similar adaptive functions and highlighted the importance of the natural selection in producing such

  20. Dynamics of Chytridiomycosis during the Breeding Season in an Australian Alpine Amphibian.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura A Brannelly

    Full Text Available Understanding disease dynamics during the breeding season of declining amphibian species will improve our understanding of how remnant populations persist with endemic infection, and will assist the development of management techniques to protect disease-threatened species from extinction. We monitored the endangered Litoria verreauxii alpina (alpine treefrog during the breeding season through capture-mark-recapture (CMR studies in which we investigated the dynamics of chytridiomycosis in relation to population size in two populations. We found that infection prevalence and intensity increased throughout the breeding season in both populations, but infection prevalence and intensity was higher (3.49 and 2.02 times higher prevalence and intensity, respectively at the site that had a 90-fold higher population density. This suggests that Bd transmission is density-dependent. Weekly survival probability was related to disease state, with heavily infected animals having the lowest survival. There was low recovery from infection, especially when animals were heavily infected with Bd. Sympatric amphibian species are likely to be reservoir hosts for the disease and can play an important role in the disease ecology of Bd. Although we found 0% prevalence in crayfish (Cherax destructor, we found that a sympatric amphibian (Crinia signifera maintained 100% infection prevalence at a high intensity throughout the season. Our results demonstrate the importance of including infection intensity into CMR disease analysis in order to fully understand the implications of disease on the amphibian community. We recommend a combined management approach to promote lower population densities and ensure consistent progeny survival. The most effective management strategy to safeguard the persistence of this susceptible species might be to increase habitat area while maintaining a similar sized suitable breeding zone and to increase water flow and area to reduce drought.

  1. Permafrost aggradation in recently deglaciated alpine environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leopold, Matthias; Dusik, Jana; Stocker-Waldhuber, Martin; Völkel, Jörg; Becht, Michael

    2015-04-01

    Permafrost degradation is of major interest in the present discussion about alpine climate change and natural hazard prevention. Glacial retreat since the Little Ice Age (LIA) is followed by destabilisation of the surrounding mountains due to melting permafrost in bedrock and sediments. Glacial retreat also exposes huge areas of lateral and ground moraines. Areas of formerly temperate glaciers experience colder temperatures only since their ice cover has melted and basal meltwater no longer heats the ground. With a huge pore volume in the sediment body, water supply during the melt season and large daily temperature variations in high mountains, distinct freeze and thaw processes start and generate periglacial forms like patterned ground in the direct glacier forefield. Those geomorphic features are precursors for possible permafrost aggradation in proglacial areas. The work presented is part of the joint project PROSA (High-resolution measurements of morphodynamics in rapidly changing PROglacial Systems of the Alps) that aims in the quantification of a sediment budget for the upper Kaunertal valley, Austrian Central Alps. In this sense and to find out about erosion causing prerequisites and processes, permafrost and ground ice occurrence, as well as sediment thickness is measured by i.a. application of geophysical measurements, multitemporal airborne and terrestrial LiDAR, as well as aerial photographs. In this case study we examine the spatial and temporal settings for permafrost aggradation in a recently deglaciated cirque, belonging to the catchment area of the Gepatschferner glacier using electric resistivity tomography (ERT) and basal temperature of the winterly snowcover (BTS) measurements to detect the state of the permafrost, multitemporal aerial photographs dating back to 1953 to reproduce recent deglaciation of the cirque and multitemporal airborne LiDAR data to gain information about surface elevation changes. The northeast facing cirque is situated in

  2. Plants, Birds and Butterflies: Short-Term Responses of Species Communities to Climate Warming Vary by Taxon and with Altitude

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, Tobias; Plattner, Matthias; Amrhein, Valentin

    2014-01-01

    As a consequence of climate warming, species usually shift their distribution towards higher latitudes or altitudes. Yet, it is unclear how different taxonomic groups may respond to climate warming over larger altitudinal ranges. Here, we used data from the national biodiversity monitoring program of Switzerland, collected over an altitudinal range of 2500 m. Within the short period of eight years (2003–2010), we found significant shifts in communities of vascular plants, butterflies and birds. At low altitudes, communities of all species groups changed towards warm-dwelling species, corresponding to an average uphill shift of 8 m, 38 m and 42 m in plant, butterfly and bird communities, respectively. However, rates of community changes decreased with altitude in plants and butterflies, while bird communities changed towards warm-dwelling species at all altitudes. We found no decrease in community variation with respect to temperature niches of species, suggesting that climate warming has not led to more homogenous communities. The different community changes depending on altitude could not be explained by different changes of air temperatures, since during the 16 years between 1995 and 2010, summer temperatures in Switzerland rose by about 0.07°C per year at all altitudes. We discuss that land-use changes or increased disturbances may have prevented alpine plant and butterfly communities from changing towards warm-dwelling species. However, the findings are also consistent with the hypothesis that unlike birds, many alpine plant species in a warming climate could find suitable habitats within just a few metres, due to the highly varied surface of alpine landscapes. Our results may thus support the idea that for plants and butterflies and on a short temporal scale, alpine landscapes are safer places than lowlands in a warming world. PMID:24416144

  3. Plants, birds and butterflies: short-term responses of species communities to climate warming vary by taxon and with altitude.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias Roth

    Full Text Available As a consequence of climate warming, species usually shift their distribution towards higher latitudes or altitudes. Yet, it is unclear how different taxonomic groups may respond to climate warming over larger altitudinal ranges. Here, we used data from the national biodiversity monitoring program of Switzerland, collected over an altitudinal range of 2500 m. Within the short period of eight years (2003-2010, we found significant shifts in communities of vascular plants, butterflies and birds. At low altitudes, communities of all species groups changed towards warm-dwelling species, corresponding to an average uphill shift of 8 m, 38 m and 42 m in plant, butterfly and bird communities, respectively. However, rates of community changes decreased with altitude in plants and butterflies, while bird communities changed towards warm-dwelling species at all altitudes. We found no decrease in community variation with respect to temperature niches of species, suggesting that climate warming has not led to more homogenous communities. The different community changes depending on altitude could not be explained by different changes of air temperatures, since during the 16 years between 1995 and 2010, summer temperatures in Switzerland rose by about 0.07°C per year at all altitudes. We discuss that land-use changes or increased disturbances may have prevented alpine plant and butterfly communities from changing towards warm-dwelling species. However, the findings are also consistent with the hypothesis that unlike birds, many alpine plant species in a warming climate could find suitable habitats within just a few metres, due to the highly varied surface of alpine landscapes. Our results may thus support the idea that for plants and butterflies and on a short temporal scale, alpine landscapes are safer places than lowlands in a warming world.

  4. Plants, birds and butterflies: short-term responses of species communities to climate warming vary by taxon and with altitude.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, Tobias; Plattner, Matthias; Amrhein, Valentin

    2014-01-01

    As a consequence of climate warming, species usually shift their distribution towards higher latitudes or altitudes. Yet, it is unclear how different taxonomic groups may respond to climate warming over larger altitudinal ranges. Here, we used data from the national biodiversity monitoring program of Switzerland, collected over an altitudinal range of 2500 m. Within the short period of eight years (2003-2010), we found significant shifts in communities of vascular plants, butterflies and birds. At low altitudes, communities of all species groups changed towards warm-dwelling species, corresponding to an average uphill shift of 8 m, 38 m and 42 m in plant, butterfly and bird communities, respectively. However, rates of community changes decreased with altitude in plants and butterflies, while bird communities changed towards warm-dwelling species at all altitudes. We found no decrease in community variation with respect to temperature niches of species, suggesting that climate warming has not led to more homogenous communities. The different community changes depending on altitude could not be explained by different changes of air temperatures, since during the 16 years between 1995 and 2010, summer temperatures in Switzerland rose by about 0.07°C per year at all altitudes. We discuss that land-use changes or increased disturbances may have prevented alpine plant and butterfly communities from changing towards warm-dwelling species. However, the findings are also consistent with the hypothesis that unlike birds, many alpine plant species in a warming climate could find suitable habitats within just a few metres, due to the highly varied surface of alpine landscapes. Our results may thus support the idea that for plants and butterflies and on a short temporal scale, alpine landscapes are safer places than lowlands in a warming world.

  5. High frequency ultrasound imaging of a single-species biofilm

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Shemesh, H.; Goertz, D. E.; van der Sluis, L. W. M.; de Jong, N.; Wu, M. K.; Wesselink, P. R.

    2007-01-01

    Objective: This study evaluated the feasibility of a high frequency ultrasound scan to examine the 3D morphology of Streptococcus mutans biofilms grown in vitro. Methods: Six 2-day S. mutans biofilms and six 7-day biofilms were grown on tissue culture membranes and on bovine dentine discs. A sterile

  6. Soil Fauna Affects Dissolved Carbon and Nitrogen in Foliar Litter in Alpine Forest and Alpine Meadow.

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    Shu Liao

    Full Text Available Dissolved organic carbon (DOC and total dissolved nitrogen (TDN are generally considered important active biogeochemical pools of total carbon and nitrogen. Many studies have documented the contributions of soil fauna to litter decomposition, but the effects of the soil fauna on labile substances (i.e., DOC and TDN in litter during early decomposition are not completely clear. Therefore, a field litterbag experiment was carried out from 13th November 2013 to 23rd October 2014 in an alpine forest and an alpine meadow located on the eastern Tibetan Plateau. Litterbags with different mesh sizes were used to provide access to or prohibit the access of the soil fauna, and the concentrations of DOC and TDN in the foliar litter were measured during the winter (the onset of freezing, deep freezing and thawing stage and the growing season (early and late. After one year of field incubation, the concentration of DOC in the litter significantly decreased, whereas the TDN concentration in the litter increased. Similar dynamic patterns were detected under the effects of the soil fauna on both DOC and TDN in the litter between the alpine forest and the alpine meadow. The soil fauna showed greater positive effects on decreasing DOC concentration in the litter in the winter than in the growing season. In contrast, the dynamics of TND in the litter were related to seasonal changes in environmental factors, rather than the soil fauna. In addition, the soil fauna promoted a decrease in litter DOC/TDN ratio in both the alpine forest and the alpine meadow throughout the first year of decomposition, except for in the late growing season. These results suggest that the soil fauna can promote decreases in DOC and TDN concentrations in litter, contributing to early litter decomposition in these cold biomes.

  7. Microbial diversity in alpine tundra soils correlates with snow cover dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zinger, Lucie; Shahnavaz, Bahar; Baptist, Florence; Geremia, Roberto A; Choler, Philippe

    2009-07-01

    The temporal and spatial snow cover dynamics is the primary factor controlling the plant communities' composition and biogeochemical cycles in arctic and alpine tundra. However, the relationships between the distribution of snow and the diversity of soil microbial communities remain largely unexplored. Over a period of 2 years, we monitored soil microbial communities at three sites, including contiguous alpine meadows of late and early snowmelt locations (LSM and ESM, respectively). Bacterial and fungal communities were characterized by using molecular fingerprinting and cloning/sequencing of microbial ribosomal DNA extracted from the soil. Herein, we show that the spatial and temporal distribution of snow strongly correlates with microbial community composition. High seasonal contrast in ESM is associated with marked seasonal shifts for bacterial communities; whereas less contrasted seasons because of long-lasting snowpack in LSM is associated with increased fungal diversity. Finally, our results indicate that, similar to plant communities, microbial communities exhibit important shifts in composition at two extremes of the snow cover gradient. However, winter conditions lead to the convergence of microbial communities independently of snow cover presence. This study provides new insights into the distribution of microbial communities in alpine tundra in relation to snow cover dynamics, and may be helpful in predicting the future of microbial communities and biogeochemical cycles in arctic and alpine tundra in the context of a warmer climate.

  8. Hydrogeology of an alpine rockfall aquifer system and its role in flood attenuation and maintaining baseflow

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    U. Lauber

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The frequency and intensity of extreme hydrological events in alpine regions is projected to increase with climate change. The goal of this study was to better understand the functioning of aquifers composed of complex alluvial and rockfall deposits in alpine valleys and to quantify the role of these natural storage spaces in flood attenuation and baseflow maintenance. Geomorphological and hydrogeological mapping, tracer tests, and continuous flow measurements were conducted in the Reintal valley (German Alps, where runoff from a karst spring infiltrates into a series of postglacial alluvial/rockfall aquifers. During high-flow conditions, groundwater velocities of 30 m h−1 were determined along 500 m; hydrograph analyses revealed short lag times (5 h between discharge peaks upstream and downstream from the aquifer series; the maximum discharge ratio downstream (22 and the peak recession coefficient (0.196 d−1 are low compared with other alpine catchments. During low-flow conditions, the underground flow path length increased to 2 km and groundwater velocities decreased to 13 m h−1. Downstream hydrographs revealed a delayed discharge response after 101 h and peaks dampened by a factor of 1.5. These results indicate that alluvial/rockfall aquifers might play an important role in the flow regime and attenuation of floods in alpine regions.

  9. Evaluating the Contributions of Atmospheric Deposition of Carbon and Other Nutrients to Nitrification in Alpine Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldani, K. M.; Mladenov, N.; Williams, M. W.

    2013-12-01

    The Colorado Front Range of the Rocky Mountains contains undeveloped, barren soils, yet in this environment there is strong evidence for a microbial role in increased nitrogen (N) export. Barren soils in alpine environments are severely carbon-limited, which is the main energy source for microbial activity and sustenance of life. It has been shown that atmospheric deposition can contain high amounts of organic carbon (C). Atmospheric pollutants, dust events, and biological aerosols, such as bacteria, may be important contributors to the atmospheric organic C load. In this stage of the research we evaluated seasonal trends in the chemical composition and optical spectroscopic (fluorescence and UV-vis absorbance) signatures of snow, wet deposition, and dry deposition in an alpine environment at Niwot Ridge in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to obtain a better understanding of the sources and chemical character of atmospheric deposition. Our results reveal a positive trend between dissolved organic carbon concentrations and calcium, nitrate and sulfate concentrations in wet and dry deposition, which may be derived from such sources as dust and urban air pollution. We also observed the presence of seasonally-variable fluorescent components that may be attributed to fluorescent pigments in bacteria. These results are relevant because atmospheric inputs of carbon and other nutrients may influence nitrification in barren, alpine soils and, ultimately, the export of nitrate to alpine watersheds.

  10. Characterization of a highly repeated DNA sequence family in five species of the genus Eulemur.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ventura, M; Boniotto, M; Cardone, M F; Fulizio, L; Archidiacono, N; Rocchi, M; Crovella, S

    2001-09-19

    The karyotypes of Eulemur species exhibit a high degree of variation, as a consequence of the Robertsonian fusion and/or centromere fission. Centromeric and pericentromeric heterochromatin of eulemurs is constituted by highly repeated DNA sequences (including some telomeric TTAGGG repeats) which have so far been investigated and used for the study of the systematic relationships of the different species of the genus Eulemur. In our study, we have cloned a set of repetitive pericentromeric sequences of five Eulemur species: E. fulvus fulvus (EFU), E. mongoz (EMO), E. macaco (EMA), E. rubriventer (ERU), and E. coronatus (ECO). We have characterized these clones by sequence comparison and by comparative fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis in EMA and EFU. Our results showed a high degree of sequence similarity among Eulemur species, indicating a strong conservation, within the five species, of these pericentromeric highly repeated DNA sequences.

  11. Évolution de l’environnement alpin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Schoeneich

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available L’évolution de l’environnement alpin au XXIe siècle sera conditionnée par le changement climatique. Celui-ci pourrait conduire à des climats inconnus à ce jour dans les Alpes, avec comme conséquence une crise environnementale majeure et durable. Face à ces défis, les financements de recherche restent insuffisants pour la recherche appliquée aux milieux de montagne. Les financements nationaux privilégient souvent la recherche polaire au détriment des hautes altitudes, alors que les financements de type Interreg prennent insuffisamment en compte les besoins de recherche fondamentale, préalable nécessaire à l’élaboration de scénarios. Une évolution se dessine depuis deux ou trois ans vers des projets en réseau à l’échelle alpine. Le présent article fait le point sur les principaux enjeux qui attendent la recherche environnementale alpine et sur la capacité des programmes de recherche à répondre aux besoins. La première partie sur les changements climatiques est fondée sur les rapports récents : rapport de synthèse IPCC 2007 (IPCC 2007, rapport IPCC sur l’Europe (Alcamo et al. 2007, rapport de synthèse du programme ClimChAlp (Prudent-Richard et al., 2008. On y trouvera des bibliographies complètes et circonstanciées. La deuxième partie se base sur une analyse des appels d’offres récents ou en cours, et des projets soumis et financés.The way the Alpine environment will evolve in the 21st century depends upon climate change. This could lead to climates never before seen in the Alps, resulting in a major and lasting environmental crisis. In the face of these challenges, funding is still insufficient for specialised research on mountain environments. State funding often prioritises polar research at the expense of high altitude areas, whereas funding schemes from bodies such as Interreg do not sufficiently address the need for fundamental research, which is nevertheless a necessary first step prior to

  12. Relations of alpine plant communities across environmental gradients: Multilevel versus multiscale analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malanson, George P.; Zimmerman, Dale L.; Kinney, Mitch; Fagre, Daniel B.

    2017-01-01

    Alpine plant communities vary, and their environmental covariates could influence their response to climate change. A single multilevel model of how alpine plant community composition is determined by hierarchical relations is compared to a separate examination of those relations at different scales. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling of species cover for plots in four regions across the Rocky Mountains created dependent variables. Climate variables are derived for the four regions from interpolated data. Plot environmental variables are measured directly and the presence of thirty-seven site characteristics is recorded and used to create additional independent variables. Multilevel and best subsets regressions are used to determine the strength of the hypothesized relations. The ordinations indicate structure in the assembly of plant communities. The multilevel analyses, although revealing significant relations, provide little explanation; of the site variables, those related to site microclimate are most important. In multiscale analyses (whole and separate regions), different variables are better explanations within the different regions. This result indicates weak environmental niche control of community composition. The weak relations of the structure in the patterns of species association to the environment indicates that either alpine vegetation represents a case of the neutral theory of biogeography being a valid explanation or that it represents disequilibrium conditions. The implications of neutral theory and disequilibrium explanations are similar: Response to climate change will be difficult to quantify above equilibrium background turnover.

  13. Plant radiation history affects community assembly: evidence from the New Zealand alpine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, William G; Tanentzap, Andrew J; Heenan, Peter B

    2012-08-23

    The hypothesis that early plant radiations on islands dampen diversification and reduce habitat occupancy of later radiations via niche pre-emption has never, to our knowledge, been tested. We investigated clade-level dynamics in plant radiations in the alpine zone, New Zealand. Our aim was to determine whether radiations from older colonizations influenced diversification and community dominance of species from later colonizations within a common bioclimatic zone over the past ca 10 Myr. We used stem ages derived from the phylogenies of 17 genera represented in alpine plant communities in the Murchison Mountains, Fiordland, and assessed their presence and cover in 262 (5 × 5 m) vegetation plots. Our results show clear age-related community assembly effects, whereby congenerics from older colonizing genera co-occur more frequently and with greater cover per unit area than those from younger colonizing genera. However, we find no evidence of increased species richness with age of colonization in the alpine zone. The data support priority effects via niche pre-emption among plant radiations influencing community assembly.

  14. Molecular phylogeny and timing of diversification in Alpine Rhithrogena (Ephemeroptera: Heptageniidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vuataz, Laurent; Rutschmann, Sereina; Monaghan, Michael T; Sartori, Michel

    2016-09-21

    Larvae of the Holarctic mayfly genus Rhithrogena Eaton, 1881 (Ephemeroptera, Heptageniidae) are a diverse and abundant member of stream and river communities and are routinely used as bio-indicators of water quality. Rhithrogena is well diversified in the European Alps, with a number of locally endemic species, and several cryptic species have been recently detected. While several informal species groups are morphologically well defined, a lack of reliable characters for species identification considerably hampers their study. Their relationships, origin, timing of speciation and mechanisms promoting their diversification in the Alps are unknown. Here we present a species-level phylogeny of Rhithrogena in Europe using two mitochondrial and three nuclear gene regions. To improve sampling in a genus with many cryptic species, individuals were selected for analysis according to a recent DNA-based taxonomy rather than traditional nomenclature. A coalescent-based species tree and a reconstruction based on a supermatrix approach supported five of the species groups as monophyletic. A molecular clock, mapped on the most resolved phylogeny and calibrated using published mitochondrial evolution rates for insects, suggested an origin of Alpine Rhithrogena in the Oligocene/Miocene boundary. A diversification analysis that included simulation of missing species indicated a constant speciation rate over time, rather than any pronounced periods of rapid speciation. Ancestral state reconstructions provided evidence for downstream diversification in at least two species groups. Our species-level analyses of five gene regions provide clearer definitions of species groups within European Rhithrogena. A constant speciation rate over time suggests that the paleoclimatic fluctuations, including the Pleistocene glaciations, did not significantly influence the tempo of diversification of Alpine species. A downstream diversification trend in the hybrida and alpestris species groups

  15. Variable Wood Formation and Adaptation to the Alpine Environment of Ephedra pachyclada (Gnetales: Ephedraceae) in the Mustang District, Western Nepal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motomura, Hiroyuki; Noshiro, Shuichi; Mikage, Masayuki

    2007-01-01

    Background and Aims Plants of Ephedra normally have vessels, but are known to become nearly vessel-less in some alpine localities. Previous studies implied that wood formation in Ephedra differs fundamentally from that in dicotyledons in which vessel-bearing and vessel-less taxa are systematically distinct. Using E. pachyclada in the Mustang district of Nepal, growing in an altitudinal range of over 2000 m, variation in wood formation and adaptation to alpine environment was studied in this normally vessel-bearing species. Methods Variation in wood anatomy and wood formation was observed with conventional optical microscopy. The lengths of three kinds of tracheary elements were measured and statistically analysed against habitat altitude and plant size of the individuals studied. Key Results In E. pachyclada three kinds of tracheary elements, vessel elements, tracheids and fibre-tracheids, were nearly equal in length within individuals showing no elongation after differentiation from cambial initials. Tracheary element lengths among individuals had a negative correlation with altitude and a positive correlation with plant size. Multivariate analyses showed that altitude has a stronger correlation with tracheary element lengths than plant height or stem diameter. Moreover, several individuals from high elevations completely lacked vessels, and vessel formation fluctuated even in individuals from lower elevations. Conclusions Wood anatomical trends in E. pachyclada are considered as an adaptation to extremely dry conditions in high mountains. Fluctuation in vessel formation in individuals from low elevations indicated that vessels differentiate only when their lateral expansion is allowed. These results showed that E. pachyclada has a different system of wood formation from dicotyledons and supported the opinion that the wood structure of Gnetales is fundamentally different from that of angiosperms. PMID:17576659

  16. Crossing thresholds: Analysis of hazardous tipping points in alpine catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutzmann, Silke; Sass, Oliver

    2016-04-01

    Steep mountain channels or torrents in small alpine catchments are characterized by high geomorphic activity with sediment dynamics being inherently nonlinear and threshold-mediated. Localized, high intensity rainstorms can drive torrential systems past a tipping point resulting in a sudden onset of hazardous events like (flash-) flooding, heavy bedload transport or debris flows. Such responses exhibit an abrupt switch in the fluvial system's mode (e.g. transport / supply limited). Changes in functional connectivity may persist beyond the tipping point. Torrential hazards cause costly damage in the densely populated Alpine Region. Thus, there is a rising interest in potential effects of climate change on torrential sediment dynamics. Understanding critical conditions close to tipping points is important to reduce uncertainty in predicting sediment fluxes. In this study we aim at (i) establishing threshold precipitation characteristics for the Eastern Alps of Austria. Precipitation is hypothesized to be the main forcing factor of torrential events. (ii) How do thresholds vary in space and time? (iii) The effect of external triggers is strongly mediated by the internal disposition of catchments to respond. Which internal conditions are critical for susceptibility? (iv) Is there a change in magnitude or frequency in the recent past and what can be expected for the future? The 71 km2 catchment of the river Schöttlbach in the East Alpine Region of Styria (Austria) is monitored since a heavy precipitation event resulted in a catastrophic flood in July 2011. Sediment mobilization from slopes as well as within-channel storage and bedload transport are regularly measured using photogrammetric methods and sediment impact sensors. Thus, detailed knowledge exists on magnitude and spatial propagation of sediment waves through the catchment. The associated hydro-meteorological (pre-) conditions can be inferred from a dense station network. Changing bedload transport rates and

  17. Plant Species Diversity along an Altitudinal Gradient of Bhabha Valley in Western Himalaya

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Amit Chawla; S. Rajkumar; K.N. Singh; Brij Lal; R.D. Singh; A. K. Thukral

    2008-01-01

    The present study highlights the rich species diversity of higher plants in the Bhabha Valley of western Himalaya in India. The analysis of species diversity revealed that a total of 313 species of higher plants inhabit the valley with a charactersfic of moist alpine shrub vegetation. The herbaceous life forms dominate and increase with increasing altitude. The major representations are from the families Asteraceae, Rosaceae, Lamiaceae and Poaceae, suggesting thereby the alpine meadow nature of the study area. The effect of altitude on species diversity displays a hump-shaped curve which may be attributed to increase in habitat diversity at the median ranges and relatively less habitat diversity at higher altitudes. The anthropogenic pressure at lower altitudes results in low plant diversity towards the bottom of the valley with most of the species being exotic in nature. Though the plant diversity is less at higher altitudinal ranges, the uniqueness is relatively high with high species replacement rates. More than 90% of variability in the species diversity could be explained using appropriate quantitative and statistical analysis along the altitudinal gradient. The valley harbours 18 threatened and 41 endemic species, most of which occur at higher altitudinal gradients due to habitat specificity.

  18. 76 FR 65673 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Shark Management Measures; Correction

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-24

    ... Species; Atlantic Shark Management Measures; Correction AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... several Atlantic shark stocks and announced NMFS' intent to amend the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP) via the rulemaking process to rebuild these shark stocks...

  19. Expansion of invasive species on ombrotrophic bogs: desiccation or high N deposition?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tomassen, H.B.M.; Smolders, A.J.P.; Limpens, J.; Lamers, L.P.M.; Roelofs, J.G.M.

    2004-01-01

    1. In many ombrotrophic bog areas the invasion of grass (e.g. Molinia caerulea) and tree (e.g. Betula pubescens) species has become a major problem. We investigated whether the invasion of such species is due to high atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition by conducting a fertilization experiment. 2. Th

  20. ECOLOGICAL STATUS AND IMPACT OF DISTURBANCE IN AN ALPINE PASTURE OF GARHWAL HIMALAYA, INDIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MANOJ DHAULAKHANDI

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available The alpine area in Garhwal Himalaya is highly fragile and is known for its beautiful flora and fauna. The study area was located just below the Gangotri glacier which is the origin of Bhagirathi, a holy river of India. Pilgrimage, tourism, adventure activities and mules are the factors responsible for causing disturbance in this area. There is a remarkable variation in the values of diversity, species richness, dominance, density IVI and biomass production at Bhojbasa Protected (BP and Bhojbasa Disturbed (BD sites. The value of liveshoot biomass was highest in August (444 g m-2 on BP and 80 g m-2 on BD sites. Belowground biomass was also recorded highest for BP site and lowest for BD site. The ANP value at BP site was 363 g m-2 y-1 and 26 g m-2 y-1 at BD site.This area has shown decrease in diversity and productivity, and heavy soil erosion that indicate the consequence of increasing human activities due to pilgrimage, tourism and camping and frequent movement of mules carrying goods. Therefore, this area requires strict measures for biodiversity conservation and disaster mitigation.

  1. 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.

  2. Experimental study on soil CO2 emission in the alpine grassland ecosystem on Tibetan Plateau

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Xianzhou; SHI Peili; LIU Yunfen; OUYANG Hua

    2005-01-01

    The Tibetan Plateau, the Roof of the World, is the highest plateau with a mean elevation of 4000 m. It is characterized by high levels of solar radiation, low air temperature and low air pressure compared to other regions around the world. The alpine grassland, a typical ecosystem in the Tibetan Plateau, is distributed across regions over the elevation of 4500 m. Few studies for carbon flux in alpine grassland on the Tibetan Plateau were conducted due to rigorous natural conditions. A study of soil respiration under alpine grassland ecosystem on the Tibetan Plateau from October 1999 to October 2001 was conducted at Pangkog County, Tibetan Plateau (31.23°N, 90.01°E, elevation 4800 m). The measurements were taken using a static closed chamber technique, usually every two weeks during the summer and at other times at monthly intervals. The obvious diurnal variation of CO2 emissions from soil with higher emission during daytime and lower emission during nighttime was discovered. Diurnal CO2 flux fluctuated from minimum at 05:00 to maximum at 14:00 in local time. Seasonal CO2 fluxes increased in summer and decreased in winter, representing a great variation of seasonal soil respiration. The mean soil CO2 fluxes in the alpine grassland ecosystem were 21.39 mgCO2 · m-2 · h-1, with an average annual amount of soil respiration of 187.46 gCO2 · m-2 · a-1. Net ecosystem productivity is also estimated, which indicated that the alpine grassland ecosystem is a carbon sink.

  3. Deposition of Sulphate and Nitrogen in Alpine Precipitation of the Southern Canadian Rocky Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wasiuta, V. L.; Lafreniere, M. J.

    2011-12-01

    Atmospheric nitrogen (N) and sulphur (S) are the main contributors to acid precipitation which causes regionally persistent ecological problems. Enhanced deposition of reactive N, mainly as nitrate (NO3-) and ammonium (NH4+), also contributes to major ecological problems associated with ecosystem N saturation. Alpine ecosystems, which are generally nutrient poor and exist under extreme climatic conditions, are sensitive to environmental and climatic stressors. Studies in the USA Rocky Mountains and European Alps have shown alpine ecosystems have a particularly sensitivity to enhanced deposition of reactive N and can show ecologically destructive responses at relatively low levels of N deposition. However, evaluation of atmospheric sulphur and nitrogen deposition in mid latitude alpine Western Canada has been initiated only very recently and at only a few locations. There is little comprehension of current atmospheric flux to high altitudes or the importance of contributions from major emission sources This work quantifies the atmospheric deposition of SO42- NH4+ and NO3- to a remote alpine site in the Southern Canadian Rocky Mountains by characterizing alpine precipitation. The effect of elevation and aspect on deposition are assessed using sampling sites along elevational transects in the adjacent Haig and Robertson Valleys. Seasonal variations in deposition of SO42- NH4+ and NO3- are evaluated using the autumn, winter, and spring precipitation accumulated in the seasonal snowpack at glacial and fore glacial locations, along with collected bulk summer precipitation. Preliminary results show lower precipitation volumes, which are associated with higher SO42- and NH4+ loads, in the north west facing Robertson Valley than the south east facing Haig Glacier. However trends in deposition of SO42- NH4+ and NO3- with elevation and aspect are inconsistent over the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 snow accumulation seasons, and 2010 bulk summer precipitation seasons that were

  4. Levels of Germinable Seed in Topsoil and Yak Dung on an Alpine Meadow on the North-East Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YU Xiao-jun; XU Chang-lin; WANG Fang; SHANG Zhan-huan; LONG Rui-jun

    2013-01-01

    In order to clarify the interactive mechanism between grazing yak and alpine meadow on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, our study assessed seed density (by species) in the topsoil of alpine meadow with different grazing intensities in the Tianzhu area, north-eastern margins of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and their rates of occurrence in yak dung. Seed density in the topsoil of the lightly grazed, moderately grazed, heavily grazed and extremely grazed alpine meadows in November, 2010 were 1551, 1692, 2660 and 1830 grains m-2,while in the same meadows in April, 2011 densities were 1530, 2404, 2530 and 2692 grains m-2, respectively. In the cold season pasture, mean seed density in yak dung from November to April in the lightly grazed, moderately grazed, heavily grazed and extremely grazed sites were 121, 127, 187, and 120 grains kg-1 of dry yak dung. The proportion of total seed numbers in yak dung to soil seed bank in lightly grazed, moderately grazed, heavily grazed and extremely grazed alpine meadow was 1.40, 2.62, 0.69, and 0.90%. 12 species out of the 47 were not found in topsoil but were found in yak dung, 10 species out of 45 were not found in yak dung but were found in the topsoil. Endozoochorous dispersal by yaks is therefore very important for soil seed bank and plant biodiversity and population dynamics in alpine meadows.

  5. High spatial variation in terrestrial arthropod species diversity and composition near the Greenland ice cap

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Rikke Reisner; Hansen, Oskar Liset Pryds; Bowden, Joseph James;

    2016-01-01

    . The empirical basis for this assumption, however, is weak. We examine the degree of spatial variation in species diversity and assemblage structure among five habitat types at two sites of similar abiotic conditions and plant species composition in southwest Greenland, using standardized field collection...... drivers of local arthropod assemblages, we used a combination of ordination techniques and linear regression. Species richness and the species pool differed between sites, with the latter indicating high species turnover. Local-scale assemblage patterns were related to soil moisture and temperature. We......Arthropods form a major part of the terrestrial species diversity in the Arctic, and are particularly sensitive to temporal changes in the abiotic environment. It is assumed that most Arctic arthropods are habitat generalists and that their diversity patterns exhibit low spatial variation...

  6. Allostratigraphic approach on the Alpine Lateglacial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monegato, Giovanni; Reitner, Jürgen M.

    2017-04-01

    The reconstruction of the Alpine deglaciation after the Last Glacial Maximum is the one-of-a-kind chance of understanding glaciers dynamics in a period of climate warming. Long-lasting studies beginning in the 19th Century resulted in the definition of five major phases established on the base of Δ ELA values. However, they have been recently re-discussed on the base of dating results and field evidence. Field based reconstructions in some areas of the Alps (Tyrol, Julian Alps) utilizing allostratigraphy i.e. the use of unconformity-bounded units, provide pinpoint in total to a plausible tripartite subdivision of Lateglacial deposits (Colucci et al., 2014; Bichler et al., 2016; Reitner et al., 2016). From the chronological point no consensus on the start of the Alpine Lateglacial exists: The major Garda and Ticino glaciers persisted until about 17.5 ka (e.g. Ravazzi et al., 2014), whereas the tongue basins and, moreover, even major valleys inside the Alps where ice-free already around 18.5 ka (e.g., Schmidt et al., 2012). For the short phase of ice-decay, as the first expression of activity of rather small local glaciers in contact to dead ice, only luminescence datings are available so far centered around 19 ka. The Gschnitz stadial, at about 16-17 ka, and the Egesen stadial corresponding to the Younger Dryas, are the only two remarkable phases of advance of glacier tongues into the valleys, which stabilized for considerable time. The reconstructions suggest that more effort is needed, in term of sedimentological and (allo-)stratigraphic investigations together with geochronology to understand if this tripartite stratigraphic scheme can be exported in the whole Alpine area, or if stabilization of glacier fronts could have taken place somewhere also due to local mechanisms. References Bichler, M. G., Reindl, M., Reitner, J. M., Drescher-Schneider, R., Wirsig, C., Christl, M., Hajdas, I. & Ivy-Ochs, S., 2016: Landslide deposits as stratigraphical markers for a

  7. 川西北高寒草甸蚁丘植物群落演替:种类组成与物种多样性%Plant Community Succession on Ant-hills of a Sub-alpine Meadow in Northwestern Sichuan, China:Species Composition and Diversity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    蒙凤群; 高贤明; 孙书存

    2011-01-01

    Ants may increase habitat heterogeneity by means of building ant-hills, thereby changing community species composition and ecosystem structure and functioning.We investigated plant height, coverage and abundance for each species and calculated species richness and diversity for ant-hills of Camponotus herculeanus differing in size ( 309.45 cm2.948.45 cm2.2124.90 cmz for the small, intermediate and large ant-hills , reapectively).The dominant species was subsequently identified for the three size-classes of ant-hiUs and the mechanism underlying anthill community succession was derived.Our results showed that diumal temperature fluctuation was greater in ant-hills than the surrounding flat soil.where the temperature of the ant-hills was higher in daytime but lower at night relative to the counterpart.The soil maisture was lower in center than in edge of ant-hiLls whose moisture was lower than the flat soil.Plant species diversity and nchness were not significantly different among the three classes of ant-hills while the dominant species conspicuously changed.The importance value of the most dominant species, Kobresia uncinoides, increased significantly with increasing ant-hill size; the subdominant species was Galium aparine, Festuca ovina, Elymus nutans for the small, intermediate and large ant-hills, respectively.The dominance of grasses was significantly higher, but that of forbs was lower on ant-hills than in surrounding communities.The ant-hills were dominated by species from Cyperaceae and Gramineae while Compositae and Ranunculaceae dominated the surrounding communities.In addition, we discussed the poasible mechanisms driving ant-hill community succession and the potential significance of ant-hills to the whole community composition and dynamics in the alpine meadow.%蚂蚁通过构建蚁丘,提高了群落生境异质性,影响群落物种组成,甚至生态系统结构和功能.我们在川西北典型高寒草甸调查了平地(非蚁丘,即距离蚁丘4

  8. Ciliate community structure and interactions within the planktonic food web in two alpine lakes of contrasting transparency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kammerlander, Barbara; Koinig, Karin A; Rott, Eugen; Sommaruga, Ruben; Tartarotti, Barbara; Trattner, Florian; Sonntag, Bettina

    2016-11-01

    Climate warming is accelerating the retreat of glaciers and recently, many 'new' glacial turbid lakes have been created. In the course of time, the loss of the hydrological connectivity to a glacier causes, however, changes in their water turbidity and turns these ecosystems into clear ones.To understand potential differences in the food-web structure between glacier-fed turbid and clear alpine lakes, we sampled ciliates, phyto-, bacterio- and zooplankton in one clear and one glacial turbid alpine lake, and measured key physicochemical parameters. In particular, we focused on the ciliate community and the potential drivers for their abundance distribution.In both lakes, the zooplankton community was similar and dominated by the copepod Cyclops abyssorum tatricus and rotifers including Polyarthra dolichoptera, Keratella hiemalis, Keratella cochlearis and Notholca squamula. The phytoplankton community structure differed and it was dominated by the planktonic diatom Fragilaria tenera and the cryptophyte alga Plagioselmis nannoplanctica in the glacial turbid lake, while chrysophytes and dinoflagellates were predominant in the clear one.Ciliate abundance and richness were higher in the glacial turbid lake (∼4000-27 800 Ind L(-1), up to 29 species) than in the clear lake (∼570-7150 Ind L(-1), up to eight species). The dominant species were Balanion planctonicum, Askenasia cf. chlorelligera, Urotricha cf. furcata and Mesodinium cf. acarus. The same species dominated in both lakes, except for Mesodinium cf. acarus and some particle-associated ciliates, which occurred exclusively in the glacial turbid lake. The relative underwater solar irradiance (i.e. percentage of PAR and UVR at depth) significantly explained their abundance distribution pattern, especially in the clear water lake. In the glacial turbid lake, the abundance of the dominating ciliate taxa was mainly explained by the presence of predatory zooplankton.Our results revealed an unexpected high

  9. 76 FR 23962 - Fisheries Off West Coast States; Highly Migratory Species Fisheries; Annual Catch Limits and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-29

    ... States; Highly Migratory Species Fisheries; Annual Catch Limits and Accountability Measures AGENCY... annual catch limits (ACLs) and accountability measures (AMs). This proposed rule to implement Amendment 2... have any direct or indirect socioeconomic impacts, because harvest limits and management...

  10. 77 FR 38772 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Electronic Dealer Reporting System Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-29

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-BA75 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Electronic... Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of public workshops. SUMMARY: On June 28,...

  11. Rapid response of alpine timberline vegetation to the Younger Dryas climate oscillation in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reasoner, Mel A.; Jodry, Margret A.

    2000-01-01

    Paleobotanical records from two high-altitude (>3300 m) sites in Colorado show a clear and immediate response to the Younger Dryas climate oscillation. The Black Mountain Lake and Sky Pond records indicate that alpine timberline migrated upslope to near-modern elevations during the late Bølling-Allerød (13.6 12.9 ka). Subsequent declines in arboreal pollen percentages and accumulation rates during the Younger Dryas interval (12.9 11.7 ka) reflect a downslope displacement of the alpine timberline ecotone of 60 120 m in elevation. This change translates to a cooling of summer temperature by ˜0.4 0.9 °C and is consistent with proposed Younger Dryas advances of alpine glaciers in the Rocky Mountains to positions close to Little Ice Age maxima. Alpine timberline readvanced upslope to elevations above both sites between 11.7 and 11.4 ka. The concomitant response of temperature-sensitive alpine timberline vegetation in Colorado and late-glacial changes in North Atlantic thermohaline circulation implicates a rapid, widespread atmospheric transmission of the Younger Dryas climate oscillation.

  12. Ginger and the beetle: Evidence of primitive pollination system in a Himalayan endemic alpine ginger (Roscoea alpina, Zingiberaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paudel, Babu Ram; Shrestha, Mani; Dyer, Adrian G; Li, Qing-Jun

    2017-01-01

    The Himalayan endemic alpine genus Roscoea, like other members of ginger family, exhibits the combination of floral traits that would fit pollination by long distant foragers such as bees, birds or flies. We studied the pollination biology of Roscoea alpina, observed potential floral visitors and determined their foraging behaviour, visitation frequency and pollination efficiency, to seek evidence in support of the pollination syndrome hypothesis. We also measured the floral spectra of R. alpina flowers to evaluate if signals fit with the currently known framework for observed floral visitors. We found that R. alpina have autonomous selfing and pollinator-mediated crossing, but lack apomixis. We observed that a beetle (Mylabris sp.), and a moth (Macroglossum nycteris) visit the flowers of R. alpina for pollen and nectar feeding respectively. Our field observations, the stigmatic pollen count and fruit set data indicated that the visit by the beetle was legitimate, while that of the moth was illegitimate. Emasculated flowers visited by beetles set as many fruits and seeds/fruit as auto-selfed and naturally pollinated flowers, while emasculated flowers excluded from beetle visits did not set fruit and seed; indicating that a single visit of a beetle to the flowers of R. alpina can facilitate pollination. We found that flower spectral signal of R. alpina does not fit typical spectra previously reported for beetle or bee-visited flowers. Our results suggest that, to ensure reproductive success in alpine habitat, R. alpina has evolved autonomous selfing as a predominant mode of reproduction, while beetle pollination would promote genetic diversity of this plant species. The visitation of beetles to the flowers of R. alpina, despite floral signal mismatch with the classically associated beetle vision, suggests that a different visual processing may operate in this plant-pollinator interaction at high altitudes.

  13. Ginger and the beetle: Evidence of primitive pollination system in a Himalayan endemic alpine ginger (Roscoea alpina, Zingiberaceae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shrestha, Mani; Dyer, Adrian G.; Li, Qing-Jun

    2017-01-01

    The Himalayan endemic alpine genus Roscoea, like other members of ginger family, exhibits the combination of floral traits that would fit pollination by long distant foragers such as bees, birds or flies. We studied the pollination biology of Roscoea alpina, observed potential floral visitors and determined their foraging behaviour, visitation frequency and pollination efficiency, to seek evidence in support of the pollination syndrome hypothesis. We also measured the floral spectra of R. alpina flowers to evaluate if signals fit with the currently known framework for observed floral visitors. We found that R. alpina have autonomous selfing and pollinator-mediated crossing, but lack apomixis. We observed that a beetle (Mylabris sp.), and a moth (Macroglossum nycteris) visit the flowers of R. alpina for pollen and nectar feeding respectively. Our field observations, the stigmatic pollen count and fruit set data indicated that the visit by the beetle was legitimate, while that of the moth was illegitimate. Emasculated flowers visited by beetles set as many fruits and seeds/fruit as auto-selfed and naturally pollinated flowers, while emasculated flowers excluded from beetle visits did not set fruit and seed; indicating that a single visit of a beetle to the flowers of R. alpina can facilitate pollination. We found that flower spectral signal of R. alpina does not fit typical spectra previously reported for beetle or bee-visited flowers. Our results suggest that, to ensure reproductive success in alpine habitat, R. alpina has evolved autonomous selfing as a predominant mode of reproduction, while beetle pollination would promote genetic diversity of this plant species. The visitation of beetles to the flowers of R. alpina, despite floral signal mismatch with the classically associated beetle vision, suggests that a different visual processing may operate in this plant-pollinator interaction at high altitudes. PMID:28723912

  14. Decadal changes of weather types in the alpine region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stefanicki, G.; Talkner, P.; Weber, R.O. [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland)

    1997-06-01

    The annual occurrence of different weather types of Schuepp`s synoptic classification in the Alpine region has changed since the beginning of its recording 1945. The annual frequency (number of days) of convective types has increased and that of advective types has decreased. In parallel the number of long-lasting convective episodes rose and the number of long-lasting advective episodes lessened. Most of the change took place in winter. The frequencies of different weather types and the annual mean of certain meteorological parameters are significantly correlated. Moreover, there is a strong interdependence between the subclass of high pressure types and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index. (author) 3 figs., 3 refs.

  15. Biodiversity and γ-aminobutyric acid production by lactic acid bacteria isolated from traditional alpine raw cow's milk cheeses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franciosi, Elena; Carafa, Ilaria; Nardin, Tiziana; Schiavon, Silvia; Poznanski, Elisa; Cavazza, Agostino; Larcher, Roberto; Tuohy, Kieran M

    2015-01-01

    "Nostrano-cheeses" are traditional alpine cheeses made from raw cow's milk in Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy. This study identified lactic acid bacteria (LAB) developing during maturation of "Nostrano-cheeses" and evaluated their potential to produce γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an immunologically active compound and neurotransmitter. Cheese samples were collected on six cheese-making days, in three dairy factories located in different areas of Trentino and at different stages of cheese ripening (24 h, 15 days, and 1, 2, 3, 6, and 8 months). A total of 1,059 LAB isolates were screened using Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA-PCR (RAPD-PCR) and differentiated into 583 clusters. LAB strains from dominant clusters (n = 97) were genetically identified to species level by partial 16S rRNA gene sequencing. LAB species most frequently isolated were Lactobacillus paracasei, Streptococcus thermophilus, and Leuconostoc mesenteroides. The 97 dominant clusters were also characterized for their ability in producing GABA by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). About 71% of the dominant bacteria clusters evolving during cheeses ripening were able to produce GABA. Most GABA producers were Lactobacillus paracasei but other GABA producing species included Lactococcus lactis, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Pediococcus pentosaceus, and Streptococcus thermophilus. No Enterococcus faecalis or Sc. macedonicus isolates produced GABA. The isolate producing the highest amount of GABA (80.0±2.7 mg/kg) was a Sc. thermophilus.

  16. Responses Of Subalpine Conifer Seedling Germination And Survival To Soil Microclimate In The Alpine Treeline Warming Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castanha, C.; Moyes, A. B.; Torn, M. S.; Germino, M. J.; Kueppers, L. M.

    2011-12-01

    At Niwot Ridge, Colorado, we used common gardens and climate manipulations to investigate potential subalpine tree species range shifts due to climate change. In Fall 2009 we harvested seed from local populations of limber pine and Englemann spruce, which we sowed in 3 experimental sites spanning an elevation gradient from lower subalpine forest (3080m asl), to the upper subalpine treeline ecotone (3400m asl), to the alpine tundra (3550m asl). In October we turned on overhead infrared heaters designed to increase growing season surface soil temperature by 4-5°C, and following snowmelt in 2010 we crossed this heating treatment with manual watering, adding 3mm of water each week. Here we report on the species, site, and treatment effects on seedling emergence and survival as mediated by snowmelt date, soil temperature, and soil moisture. Depending on the site and plot, heating accelerated germination by 1 to 4 weeks. Germination degree days (heat accumulation required for seed germination) were greater for pine than for spruce and greater in drier plots. Seedling survival was explained by date of emergence, with older seedlings more likely to survive the season. Survival was also explained by drought degree days -- the number of days below critical soil moisture thresholds compounded by high temperature -- with lower thresholds for spruce than for pine. Our preliminary results indicate that a warmer environment will stimulate germination for both species, but that, survival - especially for spruce - will be critically modulated by summer soil moisture.

  17. The Balearic Islands in the Alpine Orogeny

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bourrouilh, R.

    2016-10-01

    The place of the Balearic Islands in the Alpine orogeny is examined using detailed sedimentology studies, stratigraphical studies from the Lower Devonian (Lochkovian) to modern times and a careful tectonic review of sedimentary formations from the Western Mediterranean. Despite being considered as the ultimate end of the north-eastern termination of the Betic Cordillera, the history of the Balearic archipelago seems to be closer to the tectonic opening of the Gulf of Valencia and to the Corsica-Sardinia rotation, and thus to the tectonic history of the Western Mediterranean Sea, than to the tectonics of the Betic Cordillera which appear as its symmetrical image with respect to this opening. (Author)

  18. Statistical Downscaling Of Local Climate In The Alpine Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaspar, Severin; Philipp, Andreas; Jacobeit, Jucundus

    2016-04-01

    The impact of climate change on the alpine region was disproportional strong in the past decades compared to the surrounding areas, which becomes manifest in a higher increase in surface air temperature. Beside the thermal changes also implications for the hydrological cycle may be expected, acting as a very important factor not only for the ecosystem but also for mankind, in the form of water security or considering economical aspects like winter tourism etc. Therefore, in climate impact studies, it is necessary to focus on variables with high influence on the hydrological cycle, for example temperature, precipitation, wind, humidity and radiation. The aim of this study is to build statistical downscaling models which are able to reproduce temperature and precipitation at the mountainous alpine weather stations Zugspitze and Sonnblick and to further project these models into the future to identify possible changes in the behavior of these climate variables and with that in the hydrological cycle. Beside facing a in general very complex terrain in this high elevated regions, we have the advantage of a more direct atmospheric influence on the meteorology of the exposed weather stations from the large scale circulation. Two nonlinear statistical methods are developed to model the station-data series on a daily basis: On the one hand a conditional classification approach was used and on the other hand a model based on artificial neural networks (ANNs) was built. The latter is in focus of this presentation. One of the important steps of developing a new model approach is to find a reliable predictor setup with e.g. informative predictor variables or adequate location and size of the spatial domain. The question is: Can we include synoptic background knowledge to identify an optimal domain for an ANN approach? The yet developed ANN setups and configurations show promising results in downscaling both, temperature (up to 80 % of explained variance) and precipitation (up

  19. Afro-alpine forest cover change on Mt. Guna (Ethiopia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birhanu, Adugnaw; Frankl, Amaury; Jacob, Miro; Lanckriet, Sil; Hendrickx, Hanne; Nyssen, Jan

    2016-04-01

    High mountain forests, such as the afro-alpine Erica arborea L. forests in Ethiopia, are very important for the livelihood of local communities, in relation to their impacts on the water balance of mountain ecosystems and surrounding agricultural areas. On volcanoes, the dominance of volcanic tuffs on the slopes, as well as that of gelifracts near the top further enhances infiltration, making it recharge areas. Earlier forest cover change studies in the Ethiopian highlands mainly deal with the lower vegetation belts. In this study, 3.37 km² on the western slopes of Mount Guna (one of the dozens of Miocene shield volcanoes that exist on top of the Ethiopian plateau) was mapped. The slope has an elevation between 3200 at its base and 4113 m a.s.l. at the peak. The present forest cover was recorded from high-resolution georeferenced satellite imagery from Google Maps and field data (2015), while historical forest cover was studied from georeferenced aerial photographs of 1982. In addition, key informant interviews were conducted to identify the trend of forest cover change and management practices. Whereas burning of the Erica forest for sake of land clearance (a typical practice on all Ethiopian mountains until the 1980s) most strikingly took place for three consecutive days in 1975, large-scale deforestation resulting from agricultural expansion and livestock pressure continued thereafter. However, between 2000 and 2014, due to active involvement of local and governmental institutions there was a slight regeneration of the vegetation and the Erica forest. Protection and regeneration of the forest was particularly efficient after it was given into custody of an orthodox church established in 1999 at the lower side of the forest. Overall, the study revealed that human and livestock pressures are the strongest drivers of deforestation. Furthermore, the study indicated that integrating the actions of local and governmental institutions is key for the protection of the

  20. Relationships between functional diversity and aboveground biomass production in the Northern Tibetan alpine grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Juntao; Jiang, Lin; Zhang, Yangjian

    2016-09-26

    Functional diversity, the extent of functional differences among species in a community, drives biodiversity-ecosystem function (BEF) relationships. Here, four species traits and aboveground biomass production (ABP) were considered. We used two community-wide measures of plant functional composition, (1) community weighted means of trait values (CWM) and (2) functional trait diversity based on Rao's quadratic diversity (FDQ) to evaluate the effects of functional diversity on the ABP in the Northern Tibetan alpine grasslands. Both species and functional diversity were positively related to the ABP. Functional trait composition had a larger predictive power for the ABP than species diversity and FDQ, indicating a primary dependence of ecosystem property on the identity of dominant species in our study system. Multivariate functional diversity was ineffective in predicting ecosystem function due to the trade-offs among different traits or traits selection criterions. Our study contributes to a better understanding of the mechanisms driving the BEF relationships in stressed ecosystems, and especially emphasizes that abiotic and biotic factors affect the BEF relationships in alpine grasslands.

  1. Topographic patterns of above- and below ground production and nitrogen cycling in alpine tundra

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fisk, M.C.; Schmidt, S.K.; Seastedt, T.R. [Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)

    1998-10-01

    Topography controls snowpack accumulation and hence growing-season length, soil water availability, and the distribution of plant communities in the Colorado Front Range alpine. Nutrient cycles in such an environment are likely to be regulated by interactions between topographically determined climate and plant species composition. The authors investigated variation in plant and soil components of internal N cycling across topographic gradients of dry, moist, and wet alpine tundra meadows at Niwot Ridge, Colorado. They expected that plant production and N cycling would increase from dry to wet alpine tundra meadows, but they hypothesized that variation in N turnover would span a proportionately greater range than productivity, because of feedbacks between plants and soil microbial processes that determine N availability. Plant production of foliage and roots increased over topographic sequences from 280 g{center_dot}m{sup {minus}2}{center_dot}yr{sup {minus}1} in dry meadows to 600 g{center_dot}m{sup {minus}2}{center_dot}yr{sup {minus}1} in wet meadows and was significantly correlated to soil moisture. Contrary to their expectation, plant N uptake for production increased to a lesser degree, from 3.9 g N{center_dot}m{sup {minus}2}{center_dot}yr{sup {minus}1} in dry meadows to 6.8 g N{center_dot}m{sup {minus}2}{center_dot}yr{sup {minus}1} in wet meadows. In all communities, the belowground component accounted for the majority of biomass, production, and N use for production.

  2. The diversity of soil culturable fungi in the three alpine shrub grasslands of Eastern Qilian Mountains

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Junzhong ZHANG; Baiying MAN; Benzhong FU; Li LIU; Changzhi HAN

    2013-01-01

    To understand the diversity of culturable fungi in soil at alpine sites,Rhododendron fruticosa shrubland,Salix cupularis fruticosa shrubland,and Dasiphoru fruticosa shrubland of the Eastern Qilian Mountains were selected to investigate.Three methods,including traditional culturing,rDNA intemal transcribed spacer (ITS)sequence analysis,and economical efficiency analysis,were carried out to estimate the diversity of soil culturable fungi of these three alpine shrublands.A total of 35 strains of culturable fungi were cultured by dilution plate technique and were analyzed by rDNA ITS sequence.The diversity indices such as species abundance (S),Shannon-Wiener index (H),Simpson dominance index (D),and Pielou evenness index (J) of Rhododendron fruticosa shrubland,Salix cupularis fruticosa shrubland,and Dasiphoru fruticosa shrubland were ranged between 16 and 17,2.66-2.71,0.92,0.95-0.97 respectively.The results showed that the diversity of soil fungi were abundant in these three types of alpine shrub grasslands,while further study should be done to explore their potential value.

  3. Lactobacillus species shift in distal esophagus of high-fatdiet-fed rats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xin Zhao; Xiao-Wei Liu; Ning Xie; Xue-Hong Wang; Yi Cui; Jun-Wen Yang; Lin-Lin Chen; Fang-Gen Lu

    2011-01-01

    AIM: To analyze the microbiota shift in the distal esophagus of Sprague-Dawley rats fed a high-fat diet. METHODS: Twenty Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into high-fat diet and normal control groups of 10 rats each. The composition of microbiota in the mucosa from the distal esophagus was analyzed based on selective culture. A variety of Lactobacillus species were identified by molecular biological techniques. Bacterial DNA from Lactobacillus colonies was extracted, and 16S rDNA was amplified by PCR using bacterial universal primers. The amplified 16S rDNA products were separated by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Every single band was purified from the gel and sent to be sequenced. RESULTS: Based on mucosal bacterial culturing in the distal esophagus, Staphylococcus aureus was absent, and total anaerobes and Lactobacillus species were decreased significantly in the high-fat diet group compared with the normal control group (P < 0.01). Detailed DGGE analysis on the composition of Lactobacillus species in the distal esophagus revealed that Lactobacillus crispatus , Lactobacillus gasseri (L. gasseri ) and Lactobacillus reuteri (L. reuteri ) comprised the Lactobacillus species in the high-fat diet group, while the composition of Lactobacillus species in the normal control group consisted of L. gasseri , Lactobacillus jensenii and L. reuteri . CONCLUSION: High-fat diet led to a mucosal microflora shift in the distal esophagus in rats, especially the composition of Lactobacillus species.

  4. The fluid budget of a continental plate boundary fault: Quantification from the Alpine Fault, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menzies, Catriona D.; Teagle, Damon A. H.; Niedermann, Samuel; Cox, Simon C.; Craw, Dave; Zimmer, Martin; Cooper, Matthew J.; Erzinger, Jörg

    2016-07-01

    Fluids play a key role in modifying the chemical and physical properties of fault zones, which may prime them for repeated rupture by the generation of high pore fluid pressures and precipitation of commonly weak, secondary minerals. Fluid flow paths, sources and fluxes, and the permeability evolution of fault zones throughout their seismic cycles remain poorly constrained, despite their importance to understanding fault zone behaviour. Here we use geochemical tracers of fluid-rock exchange to determine budgets for meteoric, metamorphic and mantle fluids on a major compressional tectonic plate boundary. The Alpine Fault marks the transpressional Pacific-Australian plate boundary through South Island, New Zealand and appears to fail in regular (329 ± 68 yrs) large earthquakes (Mw ∼ 8) with the most recent event in 1717 AD. Significant convergent motion has formed the Southern Alps and elevated geothermal gradients in the hangingwall, which drive crustal fluid flow. Along the Alpine Fault the Alpine Schist of the Pacific Plate is thrust over radiogenic metasedimentary rocks on the Australian plate. The absence of highly radiogenic (87Sr/86Sr > 0.7200) strontium isotope ratios of hangingwall hot springs and hydrothermal minerals formed at a range of depths in the Alpine Fault damage zone indicates that the fluid flow is restricted to the hangingwall by a cross-fault fluid flow barrier throughout the seismogenic crust. Helium isotope ratios measured in hot springs near to the Alpine Fault (0.15-0.81 RA) indicate the fault is a crustal-scale feature that acts as a conduit for fluids from the mantle. Rock-exchanged oxygen, but meteoric water-like hydrogen isotope signatures of hydrothermal veins indicate that partially rock-exchanged meteoric fluids dominate down to the top of the brittle to ductile transition zone at ∼6 km. Geochemical tracer transport modelling suggests only ∼0.02 to 0.05% of total rainfall west of the Main Divide penetrates to depth, yet this

  5. The relative age effect and the influence on performance in youth alpine ski racing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Lisa; Hildebrandt, Carolin; Raschner, Christian

    2015-03-01

    The relative age effect (RAE), which refers to an over representation of athletes born early in a selection year, recently was proven to be present in alpine skiing. However, it was not made apparent whether the RAE exists as early as at the youngest level of youth ski racing at national level, nor whether the relative age influences racing performance. As a consequence, the purpose of the present study was twofold: first, to examine the extent of the RAE and second, to assess the influence the relative age has on the overall performance at the youngest levels of youth ski racing. The study included the investigation of 1,438 participants of the Austrian Kids Cup and 1,004 participants of the Teenager Cup at the provincial level, as well as 250 finalists of the Kids Cup and 150 finalists of the Teenager Cup at the national level. Chi²-tests revealed a highly significant RAE already at the youngest level of youth ski racing (Kids Cup) at both the provincial and national levels. There are not again favorably selected the relatively older athletes from the first into the second level of youth ski racing (Teenager Cup). Among the athletes of the Kids Cup, the relative age quarter distribution differed highly significantly from the distribution of the total sample with an over representation of relatively older athletes by comparison taking the top three positions. The data revealed that relative age had a highly significant influence on performance. This study demonstrated that the RAE poses a problem as early as the youngest level of youth ski racing, thereby indicating that many young talented kids are discriminated against, diminishing any chance they might have of becoming elite athletes despite their talents and efforts. The RAE influences not only the participation rate in alpine skiing, but also the performances. As a result, changes in the talent development system are imperative. Key pointsThe relative age influences not only the participation in youth ski

  6. Subalpine Conifer Seedling Demographics: Species Responses to Climate Manipulations Across an Elevational Gradient at Niwot Ridge, Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castanha, C.; Germino, M. J.; Torn, M. S.; Ferrenberg, S.; Harte, J.; Kueppers, L. M.

    2010-12-01

    The effect of climate change on future ranges of treeline species is poorly understood. For example, it is not known whether trees will recruit into the alpine, above the current treeline, and whether population-level differences in trees will mediate range shifts. At Niwot Ridge, Colorado, we used common gardens and climate manipulations to test predictions that warming will lead to greater recruitment at and beyond the cold edge of these species ranges, and will reduce recruitment at the warm edge. Seed from local populations of limber pine and Englemann spruce was harvested and reciprocally planted in 3 experimental sites spanning an elevation gradient from lower subalpine forest (10,000’), to the upper subalpine treeline ecotone (11,000’), to the alpine tundra (11,300’). In Fall 2009 seeds were sown into 20 plots at each site. Overhead infrared heaters targeted increases in growing season surface soil temperature of 4-5°C. The heating treatment, which began in October 2009, was crossed with manual watering, which was initiated following snowmelt in 2010. Over the 2010 growing season, we surveyed seedling germination and mortality weekly. Germination began in early May at the forest site, in early June at the krummholz site, and in early July at the alpine site. Depending on the site and plot, heating accelerated germination by 1 to 4 weeks. Seed source elevation, species, and site all affected germination, with effects for the two species also depending on site. At all sites, lower elevation, warm-edge populations had higher germination rates than high-elevation, cool-edge populations, indicating a potential bottleneck for germination of the high elevation seed sources in the adjacent alpine tundra. At all sites, survival was generally higher for pine than for spruce. Watering tended to enhance pine germinant survival while heating tended to depress spruce germinant survival. Our results indicate that the alpine tundra, generally considered an

  7. Biodiversity of Klebsormidium (streptophyta) from alpine biological soil crusts (alps, tyrol, Austria, and Italy).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikhailyuk, Tatiana; Glaser, Karin; Holzinger, Andreas; Karsten, Ulf

    2015-08-01

    Forty Klebsormidium strains isolated from soil crusts of mountain regions (Alps, 600–3,000 m elevation) were analyzed. The molecular phylogeny (internal transcribed spacer rDNA sequences) showed that these strains belong to clades B/C, D, E, and F. Seven main (K. flaccidum, K. elegans, K. crenulatum, K. dissectum, K. nitens, K. subtile, and K. fluitans) and four transitional morphotypes (K. cf. flaccidum, K. cf. nitens, K. cf. subtile, and K. cf. fluitans) were identified. Most strains belong to clade E, which includes isolates that prefer humid conditions. One representative of the xerophytic lineage (clade F) as well as few isolates characteristic of temperate conditions (clades B/C, D) were found. Most strains of clade E were isolated from low/middle elevations (<1,800 m above sea level; a.s.l.) in the pine-forest zone. Strains of clades B/C, D, and F occurred sporadically at higher elevations (1,548–2,843 m a.s.l.), mostly under xerophytic conditions of alpine meadows. Comparison of the alpine Klebsormidium assemblage with data from other biogeographic regions indicated similarity with soil crusts/biofilms from terrestrial habitats in mixed forest in Western Europe, North America, and Asia, as well as walls of buildings in Western European cities. The alpine assemblage differed substantially from crusts from granite outcrops and sand dunes in Eastern Europe (Ukraine), and fundamentally from soil crusts in South African drylands. Epitypification of the known species K. flaccidum, K. crenulatum, K. subtile, K. nitens, K. dissectum, K. fluitans, K. mucosum, and K. elegans is proposed to establish taxonomic names and type material as an aid for practical studies on these algae, as well as for unambiguous identification of alpine strains. New combination Klebsormidium subtile (Kützing) Mikhailyuk, Glaser, Holzinger et Karsten comb. nov. is made.

  8. Assessment of wild boar rooting on ecological and pastoral values of alpine pyrenean grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bueno, C. G.

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Wild boar rooting is nowadays one of the main disturbances in Pyrenean alpine grasslands. Its consequences for the ecosystem are not perfectly understood yet despite alpine grasslands in the Pyrenees have an important economic role and a priority conservation interest. The ecosystem services of this habitat lay mainly on pastoral and ecological values that wild boar rooting seems to affect. In this study, we measured those ecological and pastoral values at different scales to improve our understanding of the reach of these disturbances in this sensitive ecosystem. At landscape and community scales we compare disturbed and undisturbed areas in pastoral, ecological and community maps of the study area by means of a geographic information system. At a local scale we compare ecological and pastoral values of different plant groups (based on species abundance, within and outside wild boar rootings. A preference for areas of high pastoral and intermediate ecological values was found for wild boar rooting at the landscape level. However at the community level, disturbances notably reduced pastoral and ecological values in all communities. At the local level, the ecological value of bulbs and the pastoral value of annual dicots increased within disturbances, suggesting that disturbances may favour functional group diversity. In sum, wild boar rooting affects Pyrenean alpine grasslands moderately, with higher affection to pastoral than ecological values at all levels, what should be considered for the management and preservation of these habitats since these disturbances are likely to increase.

    Las hozaduras de jabalí son una de las mayores perturbaciones actuales de los pastos supraforestales pirenaicos. Sus consecuencias para el ecosistema no están todavía perfectamente descritas, a pesar de ser uno de los hábitats de mayor interés de conservación y que juegan un importante papel en las economías locales. Los bienes y servicios que provee

  9. Is snow sublimation important in the alpine water balance?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    U. Strasser

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available In alpine terrain, snow sublimation as a component of the winter moisture budget represents a proportion of precipitation which does not contribute to melt. To quantify its amount we analyze the spatial pattern of snow sublimation at the ground, from a canopy and from turbulent suspension during wind-induced snow transport for a high alpine area in the Berchtesgaden National Park (Germany, and we discuss the efficiency of these processes with respect to seasonal snowfall. Therefore, we utilized hourly meteorological recordings from a network of automatic stations, and a distributed simulation framework comprising validated, physically based models. Meteorological data records were spatially distributed over the simulation domain by means of a quasi-physically based interpolation scheme that accounts for topographic influences on the distributed fields. The applied simulation tools were: a detailed model for shortwave and longwave radiative fluxes, a mass and energy balance model for the ground snow cover, a model for the microclimatic conditions within a forest canopy and related snow-vegetation interactions including snow sublimation from the surface of the trees, and a model for the simulation of wind-induced snow transport and related sublimation from suspended snow particles. For each of the sublimation processes, mass rates were quantified and aggregated over an entire winter season. Sublimation from the ground and from most canopy types are spatially relatively homogeneous and sum up to about 100 mm of snow water equivalent (SWE over the winter period. Accumulated seasonal sublimation due to turbulent suspension is small in the valley areas, but can locally, at very wind-exposed mountain ridges, add up to more than 1000 mm of SWE. The fraction of these sublimation losses of winter snowfall is between 10 and 90%.

  10. Uncertainty in alpine snow mass balance simulations due to snow model parameterisation and windflow representation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musselman, K. N.; Pomeroy, J. W.; Essery, R.; Leroux, N.

    2013-12-01

    Despite advances in alpine snow modelling there remain two fundamental areas of divergent scientific thought in estimating alpine snow mass balances: i) blowing snow sublimation losses, and ii) wind flow representation. Sublimation calculations have poorly understood humidity feedbacks that vary considerably and mathematical representations of alpine windflow vary in complexity - these differences introduce uncertainty. To better estimate and restrain this uncertainty, a variety of physically based, spatially distributed snowmelt models that consider the physics of wind redistribution and sublimation of blowing snow were evaluated for their ability to simulate seasonal snow distribution and melt patterns in a windy alpine environment in the Canadian Rockies. The primary difference in the snow models was their calculation of blowing snow sublimation losses which ranged from large to small estimates. To examine the uncertainty introduced by windflow calculations on the snow model simulations, each model was forced with output from windflow models of varying computational complexity and physical realism from a terrain-based empirical interpolation of station observations to a simple turbulence model to a computational fluid dynamics model that solves for the Navier-Stokes equations. The high-resolution snow simulations were run over a 1 km2 spatial extent centred on a ridgetop meteorological station within the Marmot Creek Research basin, Alberta, Canada. The three windflow simulations all produced reasonable results compared to wind speeds measured on two opposing slopes (bias better than ×0.3 m s-1; RMSE errors were greatest when forced with output from the empirical wind model and smallest using output from either of the two turbulence models. Simulations with higher blowing snow sublimation rates tended to better match measured SWE at multiple scales, confirming that alpine blowing snow sublimation is an important component of the snow mass balance in this region

  11. High-throughput sequencing offers insight into mechanisms of resource partitioning in cryptic bat species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Razgour, Orly; Clare, Elizabeth L.; Zeale, Matt R.K.

    2011-01-01

    cryptic bat species that are sympatric in southern England (Plecotus austriacus and P. auritus) (Fig. 1). Using Roche FLX 454 (Roche, Basel, CH) high-throughput sequencing (HTS) and uniquely tagged generic arthropod primers, we identified 142 prey Molecular Operational Taxonomic Units (MOTUs) in the diet...... of the cryptic bats, 60% of which were assigned to a likely species or genus. The findings from the molecular study supported the results of microscopic analyses in showing that the diets of both species were dominated by lepidopterans. However, HTS provided a sufficiently high resolution of prey identification...... to determine fine-scale differences in resource use. Although both bat species appeared to have a generalist diet, eared-moths from the family Noctuidae were the main prey consumed. Interspecific niche overlap was greater than expected by chance (O(jk) = 0.72, P

  12. C-H bond activation by metal-superoxo species: what drives high reactivity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ansari, Azaj; Jayapal, Prabha; Rajaraman, Gopalan

    2015-01-01

    Metal-superoxo species are ubiquitous in metalloenzymes and bioinorganic chemistry and are known for their high reactivity and their ability to activate inert C-H bonds. The comparative oxidative abilities of M-O2(.-) species (M = Cr(III), Mn(III), Fe(III), and Cu(II)) towards C-H bond activation reaction are presented. These superoxo species generated by oxygen activation are found to be aggressive oxidants compared to their high-valent metal-oxo counterparts generated by O⋅⋅⋅O bond cleavage. Our calculations illustrate the superior oxidative abilities of Fe(III)- and Mn(III)-superoxo species compared to the others and suggest that the reactivity may be correlated to the magnetic exchange parameter.

  13. Accuracy of the high-throughput amplicon sequencing to identify species within the genus Aspergillus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Seungeun; Yamamoto, Naomichi

    2015-12-01

    This study characterized the accuracy of high-throughput amplicon sequencing to identify species within the genus Aspergillus. To this end, we sequenced the internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1), β-tubulin (BenA), and calmodulin (CaM) gene encoding sequences as DNA markers from eight reference Aspergillus strains with known identities using 300-bp sequencing on the Illumina MiSeq platform, and compared them with the BLASTn outputs. The identifications with the sequences longer than 250 bp were accurate at the section rank, with some ambiguities observed at the species rank due to mostly cross detection of sibling species. Additionally, in silico analysis was performed to predict the identification accuracy for all species in the genus Aspergillus, where 107, 210, and 187 species were predicted to be identifiable down to the species rank based on ITS1, BenA, and CaM, respectively. Finally, air filter samples were analysed to quantify the relative abundances of Aspergillus species in outdoor air. The results were reproducible across biological duplicates both at the species and section ranks, but not strongly correlated between ITS1 and BenA, suggesting the Aspergillus detection can be taxonomically biased depending on the selection of the DNA markers and/or primers.

  14. Climatic significance of the stable carbon isotope composition of tree-ring cellulose:Comparison of Chinese hemlock (Tsuga chinensis Pritz) and alpine pine (Pinus densata Mast) in a temperate-moist region of China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    In the reconstruction of past climate using stable carbon isotope composition (δ13C) in tree ring,the responses of the stable carbon composition (δ13C) of multiple tree species to environmental factors must be known detailedly. This study presented two δ13C series in annual tree rings for Chinese hem-lock (Tsuga chinensis Pritz) and alpine pine (Pinus densata Mast),and investigated the relationships between climatic parameters and stable carbon discrimination (△13C) series,and evaluated the poten-tial of climatic reconstruction using △13C in both species,in a temperate-moist region of Chuanxi Pla-teau,China. The raw δ13C series of the two species was inconsistent,which may be a result of different responses caused by tree’s inherent physiological differences. After removing the low-frequency ef-fects of CO2 concentration,the high-frequency (year-to-year) inter-series correlation of △13C was strong,indicating that △13C of the two tree species were controlled by common environmental conditions. The △13C series of the species were most significantly correlated with temperature and moisture stress,but in different periods and intensity between the species. During the physiological year,the impacts of temperature and moisture stress on △13C occur earlier for Chinese hemlock (previous December to February for moisture stress and February to April for temperature,respectively) than for alpine pine (March to May for moisture stress and April to July for temperature,respectively). In addition,in temperate-moist regions,the control on △13C of single climatic parameter was not strongly dominant and the op-timal multiple regressions functions just explained the 38.5% variance of the total. Therefore,there is limited potential for using δ13C alone to identify clear,reliable climatic signals from two species.

  15. Simulating the influence of snow surface processes on soil moisture dynamics and streamflow generation in an alpine catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wever, Nander; Comola, Francesco; Bavay, Mathias; Lehning, Michael

    2017-08-01

    The assessment of flood risks in alpine, snow-covered catchments requires an understanding of the linkage between the snow cover, soil and discharge in the stream network. Here, we apply the comprehensive, distributed model Alpine3D to investigate the role of soil moisture in the predisposition of the Dischma catchment in Switzerland to high flows from rainfall and snowmelt. The recently updated soil module of the physics-based multilayer snow cover model SNOWPACK, which solves the surface energy and mass balance in Alpine3D, is verified against soil moisture measurements at seven sites and various depths inside and in close proximity to the Dischma catchment. Measurements and simulations in such terrain are difficult and consequently, soil moisture was simulated with varying degrees of success. Differences between simulated and measured soil moisture mainly arise from an overestimation of soil freezing and an absence of a groundwater description in the Alpine3D model. Both were found to have an influence in the soil moisture measurements. Using the Alpine3D simulation as the surface scheme for a spatially explicit hydrologic response model using a travel time distribution approach for interflow and baseflow, streamflow simulations were performed for the discharge from the catchment. The streamflow simulations provided a closer agreement with observed streamflow when driving the hydrologic response model with soil water fluxes at 30 cm depth in the Alpine3D model. Performance decreased when using the 2 cm soil water flux, thereby mostly ignoring soil processes. This illustrates that the role of soil moisture is important to take into account when understanding the relationship between both snowpack runoff and rainfall and catchment discharge in high alpine terrain. However, using the soil water flux at 60 cm depth to drive the hydrologic response model also decreased its performance, indicating that an optimal soil depth to include in surface simulations exists and

  16. High-throughput sequencing offers insight into mechanisms of resource partitioning in cryptic bat species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Razgour, Orly; Clare, Elizabeth L.; Zeale, Matt R. K.

    2011-01-01

    Sympatric cryptic species, characterized by low morphological differentiation, pose a challenge to understanding the role of interspecific competition in structuring ecological communities. We used traditional (morphological) and novel molecular methods of diet analysis to study the diet of two...... of the cryptic bats, 60% of which were assigned to a likely species or genus. The findings from the molecular study supported the results of microscopic analyses in showing that the diets of both species were dominated by lepidopterans. However, HTS provided a sufficiently high resolution of prey identification...

  17. Two New Species of Black Flies (Diptera: Simuliidae) from the High Andes of Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mantilla, Juan S; Moncada, Ligia I; Matta, Nubia E; Adler, Peter H

    2013-01-01

    The females, males, pupae, and larvae of two new species of Simulium are described and illustrated from a small stream 3950 m above sea level in the Lake Otún area of the Colombian Andes Mountains. Simulium (Pternaspatha) quimbayium n. sp. represents a 630-km northeastern extension of the distributional range of previously known members of the subgenus Pternaspatha, and Simulium (Psilopelmia) machetorum n. sp. represents the highest altitude recorded for a species of the subgenus Psilopelmia. These species illustrate the unique simuliid biodiversity in the páramo ecosystem of the high northern Andes.

  18. Evidence of gene orthology and trans-species polymorphism, but not of parallel evolution, despite high levels of concerted evolution in the major histocompatibility complex of flamingo species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillingham, M A F; Courtiol, A; Teixeira, M; Galan, M; Bechet, A; Cezilly, F

    2016-02-01

    The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is a cornerstone in the study of adaptive genetic diversity. Intriguingly, highly polymorphic MHC sequences are often not more similar within species than between closely related species. Divergent selection of gene duplicates, balancing selection maintaining trans-species polymorphism (TSP) that predate speciation and parallel evolution of species sharing similar selection pressures can all lead to higher sequence similarity between species. In contrast, high rates of concerted evolution increase sequence similarity of duplicated loci within species. Assessing these evolutionary models remains difficult as relatedness and ecological similarities are often confounded. As sympatric species of flamingos are more distantly related than allopatric species, flamingos represent an ideal model to disentangle these evolutionary models. We characterized MHC Class I exon 3, Class IIB exon 2 and exon 3 of the six extant flamingo species. We found up to six MHC Class I loci and two MHC Class IIB loci. As all six species shared the same number of MHC Class IIB loci, duplication appears to predate flamingo speciation. However, the high rate of concerted evolution has prevented the divergence of duplicated loci. We found high sequence similarity between all species regardless of codon position. The latter is consistent with balancing selection maintaining TSP, as under this mechanism amino acid sites under pathogen-mediated selection should be characterized by fewer synonymous codons (due to their common ancestry) than under parallel evolution. Overall, balancing selection maintaining TSP appears to result in high MHC similarity between species regardless of species relatedness and geographical distribution. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  19. Plant functional trait diversity regulates the nonlinear response of productivity to regional climate change in Tibetan alpine grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jianshuang; Wurst, Susanne; Zhang, Xianzhou

    2016-01-01

    The biodiversity-productivity relationship is still under debate for alpine grasslands on the Tibetan Plateau. We know little about direct and indirect effects of biotic and abiotic drivers on this relationship, especially in regard to plant functional trait diversity. Here, we examine how aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) and precipitation use efficiency (PUE) respond to climate, soil and community structure across alpine grasslands on the Northern Tibetan Plateau. We found that both ANPP and PUE showed nonlinear patterns along water availability and site altitude variation, which together accounted for 80.3% and 68.8% of variation in ANPP and PUE, respectively, by optimal generalized additive models. Functional trait divergence (FTD) and community weighted mean (CWM) of plant functional traits were as important as plant species diversity (PSD) for explaining the nonlinear productivity-climate relationship. These findings were confirmed by results from principal component analyses and structural equation models. We also found that FTD was negatively correlated with PSD across different alpine grasslands. Our results implicate: first, the combinatorial influences of temperature and precipitation gradients are important for predicting alpine grassland dynamics; second, the convergence and divergence of plant functional traits may have the potential to elucidate the effect of plant diversity on ecosystem functionality. PMID:27759112

  20. Plant functional trait diversity regulates the nonlinear response of productivity to regional climate change in Tibetan alpine grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jianshuang; Wurst, Susanne; Zhang, Xianzhou

    2016-10-19

    The biodiversity-productivity relationship is still under debate for alpine grasslands on the Tibetan Plateau. We know little about direct and indirect effects of biotic and abiotic drivers on this relationship, especially in regard to plant functional trait diversity. Here, we examine how aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) and precipitation use efficiency (PUE) respond to climate, soil and community structure across alpine grasslands on the Northern Tibetan Plateau. We found that both ANPP and PUE showed nonlinear patterns along water availability and site altitude variation, which together accounted for 80.3% and 68.8% of variation in ANPP and PUE, respectively, by optimal generalized additive models. Functional trait divergence (FTD) and community weighted mean (CWM) of plant functional traits were as important as plant species diversity (PSD) for explaining the nonlinear productivity-climate relationship. These findings were confirmed by results from principal component analyses and structural equation models. We also found that FTD was negatively correlated with PSD across different alpine grasslands. Our results implicate: first, the combinatorial influences of temperature and precipitation gradients are important for predicting alpine grassland dynamics; second, the convergence and divergence of plant functional traits may have the potential to elucidate the effect of plant diversity on ecosystem functionality.

  1. Plant functional trait diversity regulates the nonlinear response of productivity to regional climate change in Tibetan alpine grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jianshuang; Wurst, Susanne; Zhang, Xianzhou

    2016-10-01

    The biodiversity-productivity relationship is still under debate for alpine grasslands on the Tibetan Plateau. We know little about direct and indirect effects of biotic and abiotic drivers on this relationship, especially in regard to plant functional trait diversity. Here, we examine how aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) and precipitation use efficiency (PUE) respond to climate, soil and community structure across alpine grasslands on the Northern Tibetan Plateau. We found that both ANPP and PUE showed nonlinear patterns along water availability and site altitude variation, which together accounted for 80.3% and 68.8% of variation in ANPP and PUE, respectively, by optimal generalized additive models. Functional trait divergence (FTD) and community weighted mean (CWM) of plant functional traits were as important as plant species diversity (PSD) for explaining the nonlinear productivity-climate relationship. These findings were confirmed by results from principal component analyses and structural equation models. We also found that FTD was negatively correlated with PSD across different alpine grasslands. Our results implicate: first, the combinatorial influences of temperature and precipitation gradients are important for predicting alpine grassland dynamics; second, the convergence and divergence of plant functional traits may have the potential to elucidate the effect of plant diversity on ecosystem functionality.

  2. Roadheading tests in rock using an Alpine AM-75 miner

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morales, G.; Claveria, R.

    1988-02-01

    ENDESA, the National Electricity Company, concluded an agreement with Voest-Alpine to test, over a period of six months, an AM-75 Alpine miner for roadheading work, in rock, at Oportuna colliery in Andorra, Teruel. ENDESA received assistance from OCICARBON in carrying out this project and Geocontrol was the company responsible for monitoring the progress of the project. This article describes the features of the Voest-Alpine machine, the nature of the ground being excavated and operation monitoring. It then analyses the results obtained in the trials.

  3. Seed dispersal at alpine treeline: long distance dispersal maintains alpine treelines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, J. S.; Gaddis, K. D.; Cairns, D. M.; Krutovsky, K.

    2016-12-01

    Alpine treelines are expected to advance to higher elevations in conjunction with global warming. Nevertheless, the importance of reproductive method and seed dispersal distances at the alpine treeline ecotone remains unresolved. We address two research questions at mountain hemlock treelines on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska: (1) What is the primary mode of reproduction, and (2) are recruits derived from local treeline populations or are they arriving from more distant seed sources? We addressed our research questions by exhaustively sampling mountain hemlock individuals along a single mountain slope and then genotyped DNA single nucleotide polymorphisms using a genotyping by sequencing approach (ddRAD Seq). First we assessed mode of reproduction by determining the proportion of sampled individuals with identical multilocus genotypes that are the product of clonal reproduction. Second, we used a categorical allocation based parentage analysis to identify parent-offspring pairs, so that the proportion of treeline reproduction events could be quantified spatially and dispersal distance measured. We identified sexual reproduction as the primary mode of reproduction at our study site. Seedling establishment was characterized by extensive cryptic seed dispersal and gene flow into the ecotone. The average dispersal distance was 73 meters with long distance dispersal identified as dispersal occurring at distances greater than 450 meters. We show that production of seeds within the alpine treeline ecotone is not a necessary requirement for treelines to advance to higher elevations in response to climate change. The extensive cryptic seed dispersal and gene flow into the alpine treeline ecotone is likely sufficient to propel the ecotone higher under more favorable climate.

  4. Predicting spatial variations of tree species richness in tropical forests from high-resolution remote sensing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fricker, Geoffrey A; Wolf, Jeffrey A; Saatchi, Sassan S; Gillespie, Thomas W

    2015-10-01

    There is an increasing interest in identifying theories, empirical data sets, and remote-sensing metrics that can quantify tropical forest alpha diversity at a landscape scale. Quantifying patterns of tree species richness in the field is time consuming, especially in regions with over 100 tree species/ha. We examine species richness in a 50-ha plot in Barro Colorado Island in Panama and test if biophysical measurements of canopy reflectance from high-resolution satellite imagery and detailed vertical forest structure and topography from light detection and ranging (lidar) are associated with species richness across four tree size classes (>1, 1-10, >10, and >20 cm dbh) and three spatial scales (1, 0.25, and 0.04 ha). We use the 2010 tree inventory, including 204,757 individuals belonging to 301 species of freestanding woody plants or 166 ± 1.5 species/ha (mean ± SE), to compare with remote-sensing data. All remote-sensing metrics became less correlated with species richness as spatial resolution decreased from 1.0 ha to 0.04 ha and tree size increased from 1 cm to 20 cm dbh. When all stems with dbh > 1 cm in 1-ha plots were compared to remote-sensing metrics, standard deviation in canopy reflectance explained 13% of the variance in species richness. The standard deviations of canopy height and the topographic wetness index (TWI) derived from lidar were the best metrics to explain the spatial variance in species richness (15% and 24%, respectively). Using multiple regression models, we made predictions of species richness across Barro Colorado Island (BCI) at the 1-ha spatial scale for different tree size classes. We predicted variation in tree species richness among all plants (adjusted r² = 0.35) and trees with dbh > 10 cm (adjusted r² = 0.25). However, the best model results were for understory trees and shrubs (dbh 1-10 cm) (adjusted r² = 0.52) that comprise the majority of species richness in tropical forests. Our results indicate that high

  5. Anterior cruciate ligament injury/reinjury in alpine ski racing: a narrative review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordan MJ

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Matthew J Jordan,1 Per Aagaard,2 Walter Herzog1 1Human Performance Laboratory, The University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada; 2Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, SDU Muscle Research Cluster (SMRC, University of Southern Denmark, Odense M, Denmark Abstract: The purpose of the present review was to: 1 provide an overview of the current understanding on the epidemiology, etiology, risk factors, and prevention methods for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL injury in alpine ski racing; and 2 provide an overview of what is known pertaining to ACL reinjury and return to sport after ACL injury in alpine ski racing. Given that most of the scientific studies on ACL injuries in alpine ski racing have been descriptive, and that very few studies contributed higher level scientific evidence, a nonsystematic narrative review was employed. Three scholarly databases were searched for articles on ACL injury or knee injury in alpine ski racing. Studies were classified according to their relevance in relation to epidemiology, etiology, risk factors, and return to sport/reinjury prevention. Alpine ski racers (skiers were found to be at high risk for knee injuries, and ACL tears were the most frequent diagnosis. Three primary ACL injury mechanism were identified that involved tibial internal rotation and anteriorly directed shear forces from ski equipment and the environment. While trunk muscle strength imbalance and genetics were found to be predictive of ACL injuries in development-level skiers, there was limited scientific data on ACL injury risk factors among elite skiers. Based on expert opinion, research on injury risk factors should focus on equipment design, course settings/speed, and athlete factors (eg, fitness. While skiers seem to make a successful recovery following ACL injury, there may be persistent neuromuscular deficits. Future research efforts should be directed toward prospective studies on ACL injury/reinjury prevention in both

  6. Nitrogen transformation in alpine soils of the Northern Caucasus: effect of nitrogen source and low temperatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makarov, Mikhail; Ermak, Anton; Malysheva, Tatiana; Mulyukova, Olga

    2010-05-01

    different temperatures between +15 °C and -10 °C in presence of 15N labeled ammonium and glycine. The results indicated that low temperatures and drying-rewetting effected to N transformation by mobilization of additional element from soil organic matter, which became available for the following microbial immobilization. Results of our experiments can help with understanding of possible changes in a cycle of nitrogen which can occur in alpine ecosystems as a result of climatic changes in high-mountain regions.

  7. Single origin and subsequent diversification of central Andean endemic Umbilicaria species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hestmark, Geir; Miadlikowska, Jolanta; Kauff, Frank; Fraker, Emily; Molnar, Katalin; Lutzoni, François

    2011-01-01

    We studied an Andean endemic group of species of the lichen-forming fungal genus Umbilicaria from the subalpine and low-alpine zone, with their biogeographic center in Bolivia and Peru. A number of species and varieties have been described from this element, but apparent instability in several morphological traits has made it difficult to precisely delimit taxa. Based on DNA sequences of nuclear ITS, LSU and mitochondrial SSU from extensive collections from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, we present here a molecular phylogenetic analysis of this Andean endemic element within genus Umbilicaria. All analyses (MP, ML and Bayesian) support a single origin for the element and a division into two major groups characterized by different apothecium types: the Umbilicaria dichroa group and U. calvescens group. Taxa U. krempelhuberi, U. peruviana and U. subcalvescens are nested withinn U. calvescens and are treated as conspecific with the latter species. The endemic element shares a most recent common ancestor with the Umbilicaria vellea group, which has a worldwide distribution and contains several asexually reproducing (sorediate) species. Independent reversals to sexual reproduction might explain the evolution of two types of apothecia in this monophyletic endemic lineage. A number of cosmopolitan, mostly high-alpine, species of Umbilicaria also present in the central Andes are related only remotely to the endemic element and do not exhibit speciation into endemics. Because the An-dean element dominates the Umbilicaria habitats of the low- and subalpine zones we propose that the founder colonized the Andes at a time when the mountains had not yet reached their current elevation while the high-alpine species arrived more recently.

  8. PM10 source apportionment in a Swiss Alpine valley impacted by highway traffic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ducret-Stich, Regina E; Tsai, Ming-Yi; Thimmaiah, Devraj; Künzli, Nino; Hopke, Philip K; Phuleria, Harish C

    2013-09-01

    Although trans-Alpine highway traffic exhaust is one of the major sources of air pollution along the highway valleys of the Alpine regions, little is known about its contribution to residential exposure and impact on respiratory health. In this paper, source-specific contributions to particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter traffic-related: traffic exhaust, road dust, tire and brake wear, and road salt contributing 16 %, 8 %, 1 %, and 2 % to annual PM10 concentrations, respectively. They showed a clear dependence with distance to highway. Additional contributions were identified from secondary particles (27 %), biomass burning (18 %), railway (11 %), and mineral dust including a local construction site (13 %). Comparing these source contributions with known source-specific biomarkers (e.g., levoglucosan, nitro-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) showed high agreement with biomass burning, moderate with secondary particles (in winter), and lowest agreement with traffic exhaust.

  9. Seasonal 4-year investigation into the role of the alpine marmot (Marmota marmota) as a carrier of zoophilic dermatophytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallo, M G; Lanfranchi, P; Poglayen, G; Calderola, S; Menzano, A; Ferroglio, E; Peano, A

    2005-06-01

    Two hundred and six samples of alpine marmot (Mamota marmota) hair (148 from adults and 58 from young subjects), 102 soil samples from the entrances to the burrows of the above individuals and 20 control specimens (obtained from adjoining areas away from the burrow systems where the rodents are not usually present) were examined from May 1994 to September 1997. Seventy-five isolates belonging to six species of dermatophytes were found in 69 of the 206 hair samples examined (33.5%). Two species were zoophilic, Microsporum canis (7.8%) and Trichophyton mentagrophytes (11.2.%), and four geophilic, Microsporum cookei (2%), M. gypseum (5.8%), Trichophyton ajelloi (3.9%) and T. terrestre (5.8%). The prevalence of each species in the hair samples did not change significantly according to year, season (chi-squared test [limit significance: P 0.05] both in year and in season comparison) or age/sex (adult versus juvenile: P=0.1; male versus female: P=0.8) of the marmot. Twenty-three of the 102 soil samples (22.5%) were positive for dermatophytes found in the hair of marmots from the same burrow systems. Five of the 20 control soil samples (25%) were positive for dermatophytes. One isolate of M. gypseum, three of T. terrestre and one of T. mentagrophytes were obtained. Compared with other free-ranging rodent hosts studied in Europe, this mycoflora is characterized by the presence and relatively high prevalence of M. canis, frequently reported in symptomatic and asymptomatic cats, dogs and fur animals. M. canis has not been isolated in other rodents in the wild. However, it has recently been reported in asymptomatic foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from northern Italy. The close link between V vulpes and M. marmota, with the former representing the most important mammal predator of the latter in the Alps (only a fraction of the predator's attacks result in the death of the rodent) may have favoured the adaptation of M. canis to this rodent host. The stable character of the M. canis

  10. Trophic history of French sub-alpine lakes over the last ~150 years: phosphorus reconstruction and assessment of taphonomic biases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincent Berthon

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Like many lakes worldwide, French sub-alpine lakes (lakes Annecy, Bourget and Geneva have suffered from eutrophication in the mid-20th century. Although restoration measures have been undertaken and resulted in significant reductions in nutrient inputs and concentrations over the last 30 years in all three lakes, the limnological monitoring does not extend back far enough to establish the reference conditions, as defined by the European Water Framework Directive. The over-arching aim of this work was to reconstruct, using a paleolimnological approach, the pre-eutrophication levels and subsequent temporal changes in the lakes trophic status over the last century. The objectives were three-fold: i to test whether fossil diatoms archived in deep sediment cores adequately reflect past changes in the planktonic diatom communities for these deep sub-alpine lakes based on data from lake Geneva; ii to investigate changes in the diatom communities over the last 150 years in the three lakes; and iii to infer the past total phosphorus (TP concentrations of the lakes from a diatom based transfer function. Annual paleolimnological and limnological diatom countings for lake Geneva were strongly correlated over the last 30 years. Most notable differences essentially resulted from both taphonomic and depositional biases, as evidenced by the underestimation of thin skeleton species such as Asterionella formosa and Diatoma tenuis in the paleolimnological dataset and the presence of many benthic taxa.  The fossil diatom records revealed shifts in the communities in the three lakes over time, most of which were changes typically associated with nutrient enrichment. Indeed, in all three lakes, the proportion of Cyclotella spp. was very high before the 1950s, but these species were then replaced by more eutrophic taxa, such as Stephanodiscus spp, by the mid-20th century. From the 1980s, some but not all diatom species typical of re-oligotrophicated conditions (i

  11. Reactive electrophilic OI--species evidenced in high-performance Ir-oxohydroxide water oxidation electrocatalysts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massué, Cyriac; Pfeifer, Verena; Van Gastel, Maurice; Noack, Johannes; Algara-Siller, Gerardo; Cap, Sebastien; Schlögl, Robert

    2017-09-21

    Although quasi-amorphous Ir-oxohydroxides have repeatedly been identified as superior oxygen evolution reaction (OER) electrocatalysts, an exact description of the performance relevant species has so far remained a challenge. In this context, we report on the characterization of hydrothermally prepared IrIII/IV oxohydroxides exhibiting exceptional OER-performance. It was found that holes in the O2p states of IrIII/IV-oxohydroxides result in reactive OI--species identified by characteristic NEXAFS-features. A prototypical titration reaction based on CO as a probe molecule shows that these OI--species are highly susceptible to nucleophilic attack at room temperature. Similarly to pre-activated oxygen involved in the biological OER in Photosystem II, the electrophilic OI--species evidenced in IrIII/IV-oxohydroxides are suggested to be precursors to species involved in the O-O bond formation during electrocatalytic OER. CO-titration also highlights a link between OER-performance and the surface/sub-surface mobility of OI--species. The superior electrocatalytic properties of IrIII/IV-oxohydroxides are thus explained by their ability to accommodate pre-activated electrophilic OI--species able to migrate within the lattice. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  12. A multi-taxon approach reveals the effect of management intensity on biodiversity in Alpine larch grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nascimbene, Juri; Fontana, Veronika; Spitale, Daniel

    2014-07-15

    In the Alps, larch grasslands form one of the most pleasing aspects of the landscape. However, their effectiveness in contributing to biodiversity conservation may depend on the intensity of their management. We used a multi-taxon approach to evaluate the effects of the intensification of management practices and those of abandonment on the biodiversity of the main autotrophic organisms hosted in this habitat, including vascular plants, bryophytes, and lichens. The study was carried out in the eastern part of South Tyrol, in the Italian Alps, where the diversity patterns of these three organismal groups were compared among intensively managed, extensively managed, and abandoned stands. The management intensity was found to strongly influence the biodiversity of the organisms, with a general pattern indicating the best conditions in extensively managed stands. Both abandonment and management intensification were detrimental to biodiversity through different mechanisms that led to species loss or to major shifts in species composition. However, the most negative effects were related to management intensification, mainly due to the high nitrogen supply, providing evidence for the increasing impact of eutrophication on Alpine environments.

  13. Retrieval of HCHO from MAX-DOAS measurements at the high-altitude alpine station of Jungfraujoch (46.5°N, 8.0°E)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendrick, Francois; Fayt, Caroline; Franco, Bruno; Gielen, Clio; Hermans, Christian; Mahieu, Emmanuel; Müller, Jean-Francois; Pinardi, Gaia; Stavrakou, Trissevgeni; Van Roozendael, Michel

    2014-05-01

    Formaldehyde (HCHO) plays an important intermediate role in the atmospheric photo-oxidation pathways. It is produced during the oxidation of methane and many non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) which participate to the formation of tropospheric ozone and secondary organic aerosols. HCHO is also directly released by biomass burning and fossil fuel combustion and to a lesser extent by vegetation. Measuring this species is therefore of major importance for air quality and climate change monitoring. In this presentation, HCHO near-surface concentrations and vertical column densities are retrieved from MAX-DOAS measurements performed at the high-altitude station of Jungfraujoch (3580m asl) in the Swiss Alps from July 2010 till December 2012. Although being most of the time located in the free troposphere, this station can be temporarily affected by pollution events originating from the valley, leading to a local increase of air pollutant concentrations. The capability of the MAX-DOAS technique to retrieve HCHO in such high-altitude location is investigated. The spatial representativeness and the impact of cloud cover on the measurements is also discussed. For verification purpose, our retrievals are compared to collocated FTIR observations, taking into account the difference in vertical resolution between both techniques. Simulations from the 3D-CTM IMAGES are also used to further assess the observed seasonal and diurnal cycles of HCHO surface concentration and vertical column.

  14. Chloroplast movement behavior varies widely among species and does not correlate with high light stress tolerance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Königer, Martina; Bollinger, Nicole

    2012-08-01

    It is well known that chloroplasts move in response to changes in blue light intensity in order to optimize light interception, however, little is known about interspecific variation and the relative importance of this mechanism for the high light stress tolerance of plants. We characterized chloroplast movement behavior as changes in light transmission through a leaf in a variety of species ranging from ferns to monocots and eudicots and found a wide spectrum of responses. Most species exhibited a distinct accumulation response compared to the dark positioning, and all species showed a distinct avoidance response. The speed with which transmission values changed during the avoidance response was consistently faster than that during the accumulation response and speeds varied greatly between species. Plants thriving in higher growth light intensities showed greater degrees of accumulation responses and faster changes in transmission than those that prefer lower light intensities. In some species, the chloroplasts on both the adaxial and abaxial leaf surfaces changed their positioning in response to light, while in other species only the chloroplasts on one leaf side responded. No correlation was found between high light stress tolerance and the speed or degree of transmission changes, indicating that plants can compensate for slow and limited transmission changes using other photoprotective mechanisms.

  15. Highly dispersed iron species created on alkali-treated zeolite for ammonia SCR

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jing Ma; Duan Weng; Xiaodong Wu; Zhichun Si; Zhenwei Wu

    2013-01-01

    Alkaline treatment using sodium hydroxide was introduced to obtain a hierarchical pore structure in H-ZSM-5 zeolite. Fe-exchanged zeolite catalysts were prepared by impregnation on the original and alkali-treated zeolites, and were evaluated for NOx reduction by NH3, NO oxidation, and NH3 oxidation reactions. The highly dispersed iron species as active sites can be obtained by controlling the pore structure and particle size of zeolite. Therefore, the Fe/ZSM-5 catalyst treated mildly by sodium hydroxide before iron exchange, which contains amounts of highly dispersed Fe species, obtains over 80% NOx conversion at a wide temperature range of 250-500 1C.

  16. Climate change and probabilistic scenario of streamflow extremes in an alpine region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Tao; Wang, Xiaoyan; Yu, Zhongbo; Krysanova, Valentina; Chen, Xi; Schwartz, Franklin W.; Sudicky, Edward A.

    2014-07-01

    Future projections of streamflow extremes are of paramount significance in assessing the climate impacts on social and natural systems, particularly for the Himalayan alpine region in the Tibetan Plateau known as the Asian water tower. This study strives to quantify the uncertainties from different sources in simulating future extreme flows and seeks to construct reliable scenarios of future extreme flows for the headwater catchment of the Yellow River Basin in the 21st century. The results can be formulated as follows: (1) The revised snow model based on a daily active temperature method is superior to the commonly used degree-day method in simulating snowmelt processes. (2) In general, hydrological models contribute more uncertainties than the downscaling methods in high flow and low flow over the cryospheric alpine regions characterized by the snow-rainfall-induced runoff processes under most scenarios. Meanwhile, impacts to uncertainty vary with time. (3) The ultimate probability of high flow exhibits a downward trend in future by using an unconditional method, whereas positive changes in the probability of low flow are projected. The method in the work includes a variety of influence from different contributing factors (e.g., downscaling models, hydrological models, model parameters, and their simulation skills) on streamflow projection, therefore can offer more information (i.e., different percentiles of flow and uncertainty ranges) for future water resource planning compared with the purely deterministic approaches. Hence, the results are beneficial to boost our current methodologies of climate impact research in the Himalayan alpine zone.

  17. Climate change and probabilistic scenario of streamflow extremes in a cryospheric alpine region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Tao; Gao, Cheng

    2015-04-01

    Future projections of streamflow extremes are of paramount significance in assessing the climate impacts on social and natural systems, particularly for the Himalayan alpine region in the Tibetan Plateau known as the Asian Water Tower. This study strives to quantify the uncertainties from different sources in simulating future extreme flows and seeks to construct reliable scenarios of future extreme flows for the headwater catchment of the Yellow River Basin in the 21st century. The results can be formulated as follows: (1) The revised snow model based on a daily active temperature method is superior to the commonly used degree-day method in simulating snowmelt processes. (2) In general, hydrological models contribute more uncertainties than the downscaling methods in high flow and low flow over the cryospheric alpine regions characterized by the snow-rainfall induced runoff processes under most scenarios. Meanwhile, impacts to uncertainty vary with time. (3) The ultimate probability of high-flow exhibits a downward trend in future by using an unconditional method, whereas positive changes in probability of low-flow are projected. The method in the work includes a variety of influence from different contributing factors (e.g. downscaling models, hydrological models, model parameters, and their simulation skills) on streamflow projection, therefore can offer more information (i.e. different percentiles of flow and uncertainty ranges) for future water resources planning compared with the purely deterministic approaches. Hence, the results are beneficial to boost our current methodologies of climate impact research in the Himalayan alpine zone.

  18. Shape and origin of the East-Alpine slab constrained by the ALPASS teleseismic model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitterbauer, Ulrike; Behm, Michael; Brückl, Ewald; Lippitsch, Regina; Guterch, Alexander; Keller, G. Randy; Koslovskaya, Elena; Rumpfhuber, Eva-Maria; Šumanovac, Franjo

    2011-09-01

    During the last two decades teleseismic studies yielded valuable information on the structure of the upper mantle below the Alpine-Mediterranean area. Subducted oceanic lithosphere forms a broad anomaly resting on but not penetrating the 670 km discontinuity. More shallow slabs imaged below the Alpine arc are interpreted as subducted continental lower lithosphere. Substantial advances in our understanding of past and active tectonic processes have been achieved due to these results. However, important issues like the polarity of subduction under the Eastern Alps and the slab geometry at the transition to the Pannonian realm are still under debate. The ALPASS teleseismic experiment was designed to address these open questions. Teleseismic waveforms from 80 earthquakes recorded at 75 temporary and 79 permanent stations were collected during 2005 and 2006. From these data, a tomographic image of the upper mantle was generated between 60 km and 500 km depth. Crustal corrections, additional station terms, and ray bending caused by the velocity perturbations were considered. A steeply to vertically dipping "shallow slab" below the Eastern Alps is clearly resolved down to a depth of ~ 250 km. It is interpreted as European lower lithosphere detached from the crust and subducted during post-collision convergence between Adria and Europe. Below the Pannonian realm low velocities or high mantle temperatures prevail down to ~ 300 km depth, consistent with the concept of a Pannonian lithospheric fragment, which underwent strike-slip deformation relative to the European plate and extension during the post-collision phase of the Alpine orogeny. Between 350 km and 400 km depth, a "deep slab" extends from below the central Eastern Alps to under the Pannonian realm. It is interpreted as subducted lithosphere of the Alpine Tethys. At greater depth, there is a continuous transition to the high velocity anomaly above the 670 km discontinuity.

  19. Altitude-dependent influence of snow cover on alpine land surface phenology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Jing; Kneubühler, Mathias; Garonna, Irene; Notarnicola, Claudia; De Gregorio, Ludovica; De Jong, Rogier; Chimani, Barbara; Schaepman, Michael E.

    2017-05-01

    Snow cover impacts alpine land surface phenology in various ways, but our knowledge about the effect of snow cover on alpine land surface phenology is still limited. We studied this relationship in the European Alps using satellite-derived metrics of snow cover phenology (SCP), namely, first snow fall, last snow day, and snow cover duration (SCD), in combination with land surface phenology (LSP), namely, start of season (SOS), end of season, and length of season (LOS) for the period of 2003-2014. We tested the dependency of interannual differences (Δ) of SCP and LSP metrics with altitude (up to 3000 m above sea level) for seven natural vegetation types, four main climatic subregions, and four terrain expositions. We found that 25.3% of all pixels showed significant (p < 0.05) correlation between ΔSCD and ΔSOS and 15.3% between ΔSCD and ΔLOS across the entire study area. Correlations between ΔSCD and ΔSOS as well as ΔSCD and ΔLOS are more pronounced in the northern subregions of the Alps, at high altitudes, and on north and west facing terrain—or more generally, in regions with longer SCD. We conclude that snow cover has a greater effect on alpine phenology at higher than at lower altitudes, which may be attributed to the coupled influence of snow cover with underground conditions and air temperature. Alpine ecosystems may therefore be particularly sensitive to future change of snow cover at high altitudes under climate warming scenarios.

  20. Seedling Regeneration in the Alpine Treeline Ecotone: Comparison of Wood Microsites and Adjacent Soil Substrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adelaide Chapman Johnson

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Although climate warming is generally expected to facilitate upward advance of forests, conifer seedling regeneration and survival may be hindered by low substrate moisture, high radiation, and both low and high snow accumulation. To better understand substrate-related factors promoting regeneration in the alpine treeline ecotone, this study compared 2 substrates supporting conifer seedlings: rotten downed wood and adjacent soil. Study locations, each with 3 levels of incoming radiation, were randomly selected at forest line–alpine meadow borders in Pacific Northwest wilderness areas extending along an east–west precipitation gradient. Associations among substrate type, seedling density, radiation, site moisture, site temperature, plant water potential, and plant stomatal conductance were assessed. Wood microsites, flush with the ground and supporting Abies spp conifer seedlings, extended up to 20 m into alpine meadows from the forest line. Although wood microsites thawed later in the spring and froze earlier in the fall, they had warmer summer temperatures, greater volumetric water content, and more growing degree hours, and seedlings growing on wood had higher water potentials than seedlings growing on adjacent soil. At drier eastern sites, there was a positive relationship between seedling density and volumetric water content. Further, there was a positive relationship between seedling stomatal conductance and volumetric water content. Our study indicates that in the Pacific Northwest. and likely elsewhere, seedlings benefit from wood microsites, which provide greater water content. Given predictions of increased summer drought in some locations globally, wood microsites at forest line–alpine meadows and forest line–grasslands borders may become increasingly important for successful conifer regeneration.

  1. Synthesis and photoactivity of the highly efficient Ag species/TiO{sub 2} nanoflakes photocatalysts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu Yong [Key Laboratory of Catalysis and Materials Science of the State Ethnic Affairs Commission and Ministry of Education, South-Central University for Nationalities, Wuhan 430074 (China); Hu Juncheng, E-mail: junchenghuhu@hotmail.com [Key Laboratory of Catalysis and Materials Science of the State Ethnic Affairs Commission and Ministry of Education, South-Central University for Nationalities, Wuhan 430074 (China); Li Jinlin [Key Laboratory of Catalysis and Materials Science of the State Ethnic Affairs Commission and Ministry of Education, South-Central University for Nationalities, Wuhan 430074 (China)

    2011-04-21

    Research highlights: > Highly efficient Ag species-TiO{sub 2} nanoflakes catalyst was prepared. > The variety and relative amount of Ag species in TiO{sub 2} can be well tuned. > The enhanced photocatalytic activity can be attributed to the Ag species. - Abstract: Ag species/TiO{sub 2} nanoflakes photocatalysts with different relative contents (Ag{sup +}, Ag{sup 2+}, Ag{sup 0}) have been successfully synthesized by a simple template-free synthetic strategy. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectra indicated that the dopant ions (Ag{sup +} or Ag{sup 2+}) were partly incorporated into the titanium dioxide nanoflakes. Meanwhile, part of the silver ions migrated to the surface after the subsequent calcination and aggregated into ultra-small metallic Ag nanoclusters (NCs) (1-2 nm), which are well dispersed on the surface of TiO{sub 2} nanoflakes. The photocatalytic activities of the Ag species/TiO{sub 2} materials obtained were evaluated by testing the photodegradation of the azo dye reactive brilliant X-3B (X-3B) under near UV irradiation. Interestingly, it was found that the maximum photocatalytic efficiency was observed when Ag species coexisted in three valence states (Ag{sup +}, Ag{sup 2+}, Ag{sup 0} NCs), which was higher than that of Degussa P25. The high photocatalytic activity of the Ag species/TiO{sub 2} can be attributed to the synergy effect of the three Ag species.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esther R Frei

    Full Text Available 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.

  3. Alpine Skiing With total knee ArthroPlasty (ASWAP)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Narici, Marco; Conte, M; Salvioli, Stefano

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated features of skeletal muscle ageing in elderly individuals having previously undergone unilateral total knee arthroplasty (TKA) and whether markers of sarcopenia could be mitigated by a 12-week alpine skiing intervention. Novel biomarkers agrin, indicative of neuromuscular ...

  4. Modelling atmospheric circulations for the study of Alpine valleys pollution; Modelisation des circulations atmospheriques pour l'etude de la pollution des vallees alpines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brulfert, G.

    2004-11-15

    Local weather phenomena observed in alpine valleys frequently lead to the accumulation of emitted anthropogenic airborne species in the low layers of the atmosphere. The development of a numerical model allows reproducing the chemical evolution of air mass during POVA intensive period of observations. In Chamonix and Maurienne valley, computations of photochemical indicators (NO{sub y}, O{sub 3}/NO{sub z}, H{sub 2}O{sub 2}/HNO{sub 3}) prove the ozone regime to be control by volatile organic compounds. Moreover simulation highlighted that the major part of this secondary pollutant is regionally produced. The development of an indicator who localised ozone production sites can help to define abatement scenarios. The chemical mechanism RACM allows describing the evolution of many species. It is possible to conclude that in winter road traffic and heating are the main sources of volatile organic compounds. (author)

  5. Tomography images of the Alpine roots and surrounding upper mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plomerova, Jaroslava; Babuska, Vladislav

    2017-04-01

    Teleseismic body-wave tomography represents powerful tool to study regional velocity structure of the upper mantle and to image velocity anomalies, such as subducted lithosphere plates in collisional zones. In this contribution, we recapitulate 3D models of the upper mantle beneath the Alps, which developed at a collision zone of the Eurasian and African plates. Seismic tomography studies indicate a leading role of the rigid mantle lithosphere that functioned as a major stress guide during the plate collisions. Interactions of the European lithosphere with several micro-plates in the south resulted in an arcuate shape of this mountain range on the surface and in a complicated geometry of the Alpine subductions in the mantle. Early models with one bended lithosphere root have been replaced with more advanced models showing two separate lithosphere roots beneath the Western and Eastern Alps (Babuska et al., Tectonophysics 1990; Lippitsch et al., JGR 2003). The standard isotropic velocity tomography, based on pre-AlpArray data (the currently performed passive seismic experiment in the Alps and surroundings) images the south-eastward dipping curved slab of the Eurasian lithosphere in the Western Alps. On the contrary, beneath the Eastern Alps the results indicate a very steep northward dipping root that resulted from the collision of the European plate with the Adriatic microplate. Dando et al. (2011) interpret high-velocity heterogeneities at the bottom of their regional tomographic model as a graveyard of old subducted lithospheres. High density of stations, large amount of rays and dense ray-coverage of the volume studied are not the only essential pre-requisites for reliable tomography results. A compromise between the amount of pre-processed data and the high-quality of the tomography input (travel-time residuals) is of the high importance as well. For the first time, the existence of two separate roots beneath the Alps has been revealed from carefully pre

  6. A richer, greener and smaller alpine world: review and projection of warming-induced plant cover change in the Swedish Scandes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kullman, Leif

    2010-03-01

    Alpine plant life is proliferating, biodiversity is on the rise and the mountain world appears more productive and inviting than ever. Upper range margin rise of trees and low-altitude (boreal) plant species, expansion of alpine grasslands and dwarf-shrub heaths are the modal biotic adjustments during the past few decades, after a century of substantial climate warming in the Swedish Scandes. This course of biotic landscape evolution has reached historical dimensions and broken a multi-millennial trend of plant cover retrogression, alpine tundra expansion, floristic and faunal impoverishment, all imposed by progressive and deterministic neoglacial climate cooling. Continued modest warming over the present century will likely be beneficial to alpine biodiversity, geoecological stability, resilience, sustainable reindeer husbandry and aesthetic landscape qualities. These aspects are highlighted by an integrative review of results from long-term monitoring of subalpine/alpine vegetation in the Swedish Scandes. This forms the basis for some tentative projections of landscape transformations in a potentially warmer future. Notably, these results and projections are not necessarily valid in other regions and differ in some respects from model predictions. Continued monitoring is mandatory as a basis for generation of more realistic vegetation and ecosystem models.

  7. Grazing intensity on the plant diversity of alpine meadow in the eastern Tibetan plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wu Ning

    2004-04-01

    Full Text Available Because ofthe remoteness and harsh conditions of the high-altitude rangelands on the eastern Tibetan Plateau, the relationship between yak grazing and plant diversity has not been so clear although livestock increase was thought as the main issue leading to the degradation of rangeland. In the debate of rangeland degradation, biodiversity loss has been assumed as one of the indicators in the last two decades. In this paper authors measured the effects of different grazing intensities on the plant diversity and the structure of Kobresia pygmaea community in the case-study area, northwestern Sichuan. The results indicated that plant diversity of alpine meadow has different changing trends respectively with the change of grazing intensity and seasons. In June the highest plant diversity occurred in the intensively grazed (HG plots, but in July and September species biodiversity index of slightly grazed (LG plots is higher than other experimental treatments. In August the intermediate grazed (IG plots has the highest biodiversity index. Moreover, it was found that intensively grazing always leads to the increase of plant density, but meanwhile the decrease of community height, coverage and biomass. Over-grazing can change the community structure and lead to the succession from Kobresia pygmaea dominated community to Poa pratensis dominated. Analyzing results comprehensively, it can be suggested that the relationship between grazing intensity and plant diversity is not linear, i.e. diversity index is not as good as other characteristics of community structure to evaluate rangeland degradation on the high altitude situation. The change of biodiversity is so complicated that it can not be explained with the simple corresponding causality.

  8. Differences in photosynthetic responses of NADP-ME type C4 species to high light.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romanowska, Elżbieta; Buczyńska, Alicja; Wasilewska, Wioleta; Krupnik, Tomasz; Drożak, Anna; Rogowski, Paweł; Parys, Eugeniusz; Zienkiewicz, Maksymilian

    2017-03-01

    Three species chosen as representatives of NADP-ME C4 subtype exhibit different sensitivity toward photoinhibition, and great photochemical differences were found to exist between the species. These characteristics might be due to the imbalance in the excitation energy between the photosystems present in M and BS cells, and also due to that between species caused by the penetration of light inside the leaves. Such regulation in the distribution of light intensity between M and BS cells shows that co-operation between both the metabolic systems determines effective photosynthesis and reduces the harmful effects of high light on the degradation of PSII through the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). We have investigated several physiological parameters of NADP-ME-type C4 species (e.g., Zea mays, Echinochloa crus-galli, and Digitaria sanguinalis) grown under moderate light intensity (200 µmol photons m(-2) s(-1)) and, subsequently, exposed to excess light intensity (HL, 1600 µmol photons m(-2) s(-1)). Our main interest was to understand why these species, grown under identical conditions, differ in their responses toward high light, and what is the physiological significance of these differences. Among the investigated species, Echinochloa crus-galli is best adapted to HL treatment. High resistance of the photosynthetic apparatus of E. crus-galli to HL was accompanied by an elevated level of phosphorylation of PSII proteins, and higher values of photochemical quenching, ATP/ADP ratio, activity of PSI and PSII complexes, as well as integrity of the thylakoid membranes. It was also shown that the non-radiative dissipation of energy in the studied plants was not dependent on carotenoid contents and, thus, other photoprotective mechanisms might have been engaged under HL stress conditions. The activity of the enzymes superoxide dismutase and ascorbate peroxidase as well as the content of malondialdehyde and H2O2 suggests that antioxidant defense is not

  9. Alpine crustal shear zones and pre-Alpine basement terranes in the Romanian Carpathians and Apuseni Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panã, Dinu; Erdmer, Phillippe

    1994-09-01

    The Carpathian orocline formed by complex suturing of small continental fragments to the East European (and Moesian) plate. Remnants of continental fragments belong to three pre-Alpine lithotectonic assemblages: a "greenstone-granite" association and two gneissic assem blages. During Alpine collision, pieces of crust were repeatedly fragmented and welded to accommodate heterogeneous strain along the irregular East European plate boundary. Shallow structural levels of Alpine tectonic discontinuities in which the locus of most intense strain migrated over time are now exposed as wide retrograde greenschist grade belts. Repeated, mainly transpressive deformation resulted in early ductile fabrics being overprinted by local brittle shear strain. Igneous intrusion accompanied different phases of tectonic activity. The age of shearing initiation is probably late Paleozoic, and the configuration of the zones and their Alpine internal structures are consistent with the geometry of the Carpathian arc.

  10. Species delimitation and phylogeny of a New Zealand plant species radiation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meudt Heidi M

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Delimiting species boundaries and reconstructing the evolutionary relationships of late Tertiary and Quaternary species radiations is difficult. One recent approach emphasizes the use of genome-wide molecular markers, such as amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs, to identify distinct metapopulation lineages as taxonomic species. Here we investigate the properties of AFLP data, and the usefulness of tree-based and non-tree-based clustering methods to delimit species and reconstruct evolutionary relationships among high-elevation Ourisia species (Plantaginaceae in the New Zealand archipelago. Results New Zealand Ourisia are shown to comprise a geologically recent species radiation based on molecular dating analyses of ITS sequences (0.4–1.3 MY. Supernetwork analyses indicate that separate tree-based clustering analyses of four independent AFLP primer combinations and 193 individuals of Ourisia produced similar trees. When combined and analysed using tree building methods, 15 distinct metapopulations could be identified. These clusters corresponded very closely to species and subspecies identified on the basis of diagnostic morphological characters. In contrast, Structure and PCO-MC analyses of the same data identified a maximum of 12 and 8 metapopulations, respectively. All approaches resolved a large-leaved group and a small-leaved group, as well as a lineage of three alpine species within the small-leaved group. We were unable to further resolve relationships within these groups as corrected and uncorrected distances derived from AFLP profiles had limited tree-like properties. Conclusion Ourisia radiated into a range of alpine and subalpine habitats in New Zealand during the Pleistocene, resulting in 13 morphologically and ecologically distinct species, including one reinstated from subspecies rank. Analyses of AFLP identified distinct metapopulations consistent with

  11. Soil organic carbon storage and soil CO2 flux in the alpine meadow ecosystem

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    High-resolution sampling,measurements of organic carbon contents and 14C signatures of selected four soil profiles in the Haibei Station situated on the northeast Tibetan Plateau,and application of 14C tracing technology were conducted in an attempt to investigate the turnover times of soil organic car-bon and the soil-CO2 flux in the alpine meadow ecosystem. The results show that the organic carbon stored in the soils varies from 22.12×104 kg C hm-2 to 30.75×104 kg C hm-2 in the alpine meadow eco-systems,with an average of 26.86×104 kg C hm-2. Turnover times of organic carbon pools increase with depth from 45 a to 73 a in the surface soil horizon to hundreds of years or millennia or even longer at the deep soil horizons in the alpine meadow ecosystems. The soil-CO2 flux ranges from 103.24 g C m-2 a-1 to 254.93 gC m-2 a-1,with an average of 191.23 g C m-2 a-1. The CO2 efflux produced from microbial decomposition of organic matter varies from 73.3 g C m-2 a-1 to 181 g C m-2 a-1. More than 30% of total soil organic carbon resides in the active carbon pool and 72.8%―81.23% of total CO2 emitted from or-ganic matter decomposition results from the topsoil horizon (from 0 cm to 10 cm) for the Kobresia meadow. Responding to global warming,the storage,volume of flow and fate of the soil organic carbon in the alpine meadow ecosystem of the Tibetan Plateau will be changed,which needs further research.

  12. Soil organic carbon storage and soil CO2 flux in the alpine meadow ecosystem

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    TAO Zhen; SHEN ChengDe; GAO QuanZhou; SUN YanMin; YI WeiXi; LI YingNian

    2007-01-01

    High-resolution sampling, measurements of organic carbon contents and 14C signatures of selected four soil profiles in the Haibei Station situated on the northeast Tibetan Plateau, and application of 14C tracing technology were conducted in an attempt to investigate the turnover times of soil organic carbon and the soil-CO2 flux in the alpine meadow ecosystem. The results show that the organic carbon stored in the soils varies from 22.12(104 kg C hm-2 to 30.75(104 kg C hm-2 in the alpine meadow ecosystems, with an average of 26.86(104 kg C hm-2. Turnover times of organic carbon pools increase with depth from 45 a to 73 a in the surface soil horizon to hundreds of years or millennia or even longer at the deep soil horizons in the alpine meadow ecosystems. The soil-CO2 flux ranges from 103.24 g C m-2 a-1 to 254.93 gC m-2 a-1, with an average of 191.23 g C m-2 a-1. The CO2 efflux produced from microbial decomposition of organic matter varies from 73.3 g C m-2 a-1 to 181 g C m-2 a-1. More than 30% of total soil organic carbon resides in the active carbon pool and 72.8%-81.23% of total CO2 emitted from organic matter decomposition results from the topsoil horizon (from 0 cm to 10 cm) for the Kobresia meadow. Responding to global warming, the storage, volume of flow and fate of the soil organic carbon in the alpine meadow ecosystem of the Tibetan Plateau will be changed, which needs further research.

  13. Regional climate models downscaling in the Alpine area with Multimodel SuperEnsemble

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Cane

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The climatic scenarios show a strong signal of warming in the Alpine area already for the mid XXI century. The climate simulations, however, even when obtained with Regional Climate Models (RCMs, are affected by strong errors where compared with observations, due to their difficulties in representing the complex orography of the Alps and limitations in their physical parametrization.

    Therefore the aim of this work is reducing these model biases using a specific post processing statistic technique to obtain a more suitable projection of climate change scenarios in the Alpine area.

    For our purposes we use a selection of RCMs runs from the ENSEMBLES project, carefully chosen in order to maximise the variety of leading Global Climate Models and of the RCMs themselves, calculated on the SRES scenario A1B. The reference observation for the Greater Alpine Area are extracted from the European dataset E-OBS produced by the project ENSEMBLES with an available resolution of 25 km. For the study area of Piedmont daily temperature and precipitation observations (1957–present were carefully gridded on a 14-km grid over Piedmont Region with an Optimal Interpolation technique.

    Hence, we applied the Multimodel SuperEnsemble technique to temperature fields, reducing the high biases of RCMs temperature field compared to observations in the control period.

    We propose also the first application to RCMS of a brand new probabilistic Multimodel SuperEnsemble Dressing technique to estimate precipitation fields, already applied successfully to weather forecast models, with careful description of precipitation Probability Density Functions conditioned to the model outputs. This technique reduces the strong precipitation overestimation by RCMs over the alpine chain and reproduces well the monthly behaviour of precipitation in the control period.

  14. Regional climate models downscaling in the Alpine area with multimodel superensemble

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Cane

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The climatic scenarios show a strong signal of warming in the Alpine area already for the mid-XXI century. The climate simulations, however, even when obtained with regional climate models (RCMs, are affected by strong errors when compared with observations, due both to their difficulties in representing the complex orography of the Alps and to limitations in their physical parametrization. Therefore, the aim of this work is to reduce these model biases by using a specific post processing statistic technique, in order to obtain a more suitable projection of climate change scenarios in the Alpine area. For our purposes we used a selection of regional climate models (RCMs runs which were developed in the framework of the ENSEMBLES project. They were carefully chosen with the aim to maximise the variety of leading global climate models and of the RCMs themselves, calculated on the SRES scenario A1B. The reference observations for the greater Alpine area were extracted from the European dataset E-OBS (produced by the ENSEMBLES project, which have an available resolution of 25 km. For the study area of Piedmont daily temperature and precipitation observations (covering the period from 1957 to the present were carefully gridded on a 14 km grid over Piedmont region through the use of an optimal interpolation technique. Hence, we applied the multimodel superensemble technique to temperature fields, reducing the high biases of RCMs temperature field compared to observations in the control period. We also proposed the application of a brand new probabilistic multimodel superensemble dressing technique, already applied to weather forecast models successfully, to RCMS: the aim was to estimate precipitation fields, with careful description of precipitation probability density functions conditioned to the model outputs. This technique allowed for reducing the strong precipitation overestimation, arising from the use of RCMs, over the Alpine chain and to

  15. 77 FR 31562 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Shark Management Measures

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-29

    ... Species; Atlantic Shark Management Measures AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National... considering the inclusion of Gulf of Mexico blacktip sharks in an amendment to the 2006 Consolidated Highly..., sandbar, and blacknose sharks. A new stock assessment is ongoing for Gulf of Mexico blacktip sharks,...

  16. 76 FR 72383 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Shark Management Measures

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-23

    ... Administration 50 CFR Part 635 RIN 0648-BA17 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Shark Management...) and fishery management plan (FMP) amendment that would consider catch shares for the Atlantic shark... design elements for potential catch shares programs in the Atlantic shark fisheries. Additionally,...

  17. 78 FR 30773 - International Fisheries; Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-23

    ... jurisdiction of a single foreign nation, in that situation, the foreign nation might have its own observer... used for fishing for highly migratory species in the Convention Area in areas under the jurisdiction of... recognized by the United States. All dates used in this section are in Universal Coordinated Time, also...

  18. 76 FR 65155 - Fisheries Off West Coast States; Highly Migratory Species Fisheries; Swordfish Retention Limits

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-20

    ... States; Highly Migratory Species Fisheries; Swordfish Retention Limits AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries... and Management Act (MSA) to modify retention limits for swordfish, Xiphias gladius, harvested in the U... FMP regulations governing the possession and landing limits of swordfish captured in the DSLL...

  19. 77 FR 15973 - Fisheries Off West Coast States; Highly Migratory Species Fisheries; Swordfish Retention Limits

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-19

    ... States; Highly Migratory Species Fisheries; Swordfish Retention Limits AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries...) to modify retention limits for swordfish harvested in the U.S. West Coast-based deep-set tuna... limits of swordfish captured in the DSLL fishery as follows: if a vessel without an observer onboard...

  20. Rapid hydrogen and oxygen atom transfer by a high-valent nickel-oxygen species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Corona, Teresa; Draksharapu, Apparao; Padamati, Sandeep K; Gamba, Ilaria; Martin-Diaconescu, Vlad; Acuña-Parés, Ferran; Browne, Wesley R; Company, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Terminal high-valent metal-oxygen species are key reaction intermediates in the catalytic cycle of both enzymes (e.g., oxygenases) and synthetic oxidation catalysts. While tremendous efforts have been directed towards the characterization of the biologically relevant terminal manganese-oxygen and

  1. 77 FR 8759 - International Fisheries; Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-15

    ... contributes to illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities. The term transshipment, as... Convention Implementation Act (WCPFC Implementation Act) to implement requirements for U.S. fishing vessels used for commercial fishing that offload or receive transshipments of highly migratory species (HMS), U...

  2. Rapid hydrogen and oxygen atom transfer by a high-valent nickel-oxygen species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Corona, Teresa; Draksharapu, Apparao; Padamati, Sandeep K; Gamba, Ilaria; Martin-Diaconescu, Vlad; Acuña-Parés, Ferran; Browne, Wesley R; Company, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Terminal high-valent metal-oxygen species are key reaction intermediates in the catalytic cycle of both enzymes (e.g., oxygenases) and synthetic oxidation catalysts. While tremendous efforts have been directed towards the characterization of the biologically relevant terminal manganese-oxygen and ir

  3. High proportion of smaller ranged hummingbird species coincides with ecological specialization across the Americas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín González, Ana M.; Maruyama, Pietro K.; Sandel, Brody; Vizentin-Bugoni, Jeferson; Schleuning, Matthias; Abrahamczyk, Stefan; Alarcón, Ruben; Araujo, Andréa C.; Araújo, Francielle P.; Mendes de Azevedo, Severino; Baquero, Andrea C.; Cotton, Peter A.; Ingversen, Tanja Toftemark; Kohler, Glauco; Lara, Carlos; Guedes Las-Casas, Flor Maria; Machado, Adriana O.; Machado, Caio Graco; Maglianesi, María Alejandra; Moura, Alan Cerqueira; Nogués-Bravo, David; Oliveira, Genilda M.; Oliveira, Paulo E.; Ornelas, Juan Francisco; Rodrigues, Licléia da Cruz; Rosero-Lasprilla, Liliana; Rui, Ana Maria; Sazima, Marlies; Timmermann, Allan; Varassin, Isabela Galarda; Wang, Zhiheng; Watts, Stella; Fjeldså, Jon; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Rahbek, Carsten; Dalsgaard, Bo

    2016-01-01

    Ecological communities that experience stable climate conditions have been speculated to preserve more specialized interspecific associations and have higher proportions of smaller ranged species (SRS). Thus, areas with disproportionally large numbers of SRS are expected to coincide geographically with a high degree of community-level ecological specialization, but this suggestion remains poorly supported with empirical evidence. Here, we analysed data for hummingbird resource specialization, range size, contemporary climate, and Late Quaternary climate stability for 46 hummingbird–plant mutualistic networks distributed across the Americas, representing 130 hummingbird species (ca 40% of all hummingbird species). We demonstrate a positive relationship between the proportion of SRS of hummingbirds and community-level specialization, i.e. the division of the floral niche among coexisting hummingbird species. This relationship remained strong even when accounting for climate, furthermore, the effect of SRS on specialization was far stronger than the effect of specialization on SRS, suggesting that climate largely influences specialization through species' range-size dynamics. Irrespective of the exact mechanism involved, our results indicate that communities consisting of higher proportions of SRS may be vulnerable to disturbance not only because of their small geographical ranges, but also because of their high degree of specialization. PMID:26842573

  4. Impact of climate change on snow melt driven runoff timing over the Alpine region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coppola, Erika; Raffaele, Francesca; Giorgi, Filippo

    2016-08-01

    We investigate the climate change impact on snowmelt-driven runoff (SDR) over the Alpine region using the output from two Med-CORDEX and two EURO-CORDEX regional climate model projections (RCP8.5 scenario) at two resolutions (12, 50 km) driven by a sub-set of the CMIP5 GCMs. Comparison with the European Water Archive observed runoff dataset (242 stations) over the Alps shows a good performance by the higher resolution models in representing present day SDR, with the lower resolution simulations being less accurate in capturing the SDR timing. In the future projections all the models show a temperature increase of up to 4° by the end of the 21st century throughout the Alps and this leads to an anticipation of SDR timing throughout the year that can span from 1 to 3 months depending on the model horizontal resolution. These timing changes are associated with changes in snow cover modulated by the complex Alpine topography. In fact, model resolution plays a critical role in regulating the magnitude, timing and spatial distribution of the response of snow cover and SDR to warming. We find that the accurate simulation of changes in runoff timing requires a high resolution representation of the Alpine topography, and can be important for water storage regulations concerning energy production, agriculture and domestic use.

  5. Coherent features of the Alpine mantle slabs imaged by recent seismic tomography studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brueckl, E.; Brueckl, J.; Keller, G. R.; Dando, B.

    2012-04-01

    The bifurcation of the East Alpine mountain range into branches extending northeastward to the Carpathians and southeastward to the Dinarides represents a triple junction between the European platform (EU), the Adriatic micro-plate (AD), and the Pannonian fragment (PA). During the last decade, controlled source and passive source seismic data have provided a variety of detailed images of the lithosphere and upper mantle in this area. However, the geodynamic interpretation of lithospheric slabs under the Alpine - Adriatic collision zone is still under debate. So far, arguments have been based mainly on images provided by individual seismic tomography studies. In order to enhance robust features of the upper mantle structure, we have averaged four tomographic models, weighted according to their coverage by seismic stations and boundaries of high resolution. We achieved an image of the Alpine slab of unprecedented clarity. It extends coherently from the border between the Western Alps and the Apennines to the EU-AD-PA triple junction, dipping southeastward in the west and nearly vertically in the east. The whole slab can be connected to European mantle lithosphere and a flip of subduction polarity must not be induced. The geometry of the slab infers also additional constraints on the development of the triple junction during the post-collision phase of the Eastern Alps.

  6. Moisture and temperature controls on nitrification differ among ammonia oxidizer communities from three alpine soil habitats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Brooke B.OSBORNE; Jill S.BARON; Matthew D.WALLENSTEIN

    2016-01-01

    Climate change is altering the timing and magnitude of biogeochemical fluxes in many high-elevation ecosystems.The consequent changes in alpine nitrification rates have the potential to influence ecosystem scale responses.In order to better understand how changing temperature and moisture conditions may influence ammonia oxidizers and nitrification activity,we conducted laboratory incubations on soils collected in a Colorado watershed from three alpine habitats (glacial outwash,talus,and meadow).We found that bacteria,not archaea,dominated all ammonia oxidizer communities.Nitrification increased with moisture in all soils and under all temperature treatments.However,temperature was not correlated with nitrification rates in all soils.Site-specific temperature trends suggest the development of generalist ammonia oxidzer communities in soils with greater in situ temperature fluctuations and specialists in soils with more steady temperature regimes.Rapidly increasing temperatures and changing soil moisture conditions could explain recent observations of increased nitrate production in some alpine soils.

  7. Characterization of the shallow groundwater system in an alpine watershed: Handcart Gulch, Colorado, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahn, K.G.; Ge, S.; Caine, J.S.; Manning, A.

    2008-01-01

    Water-table elevation measurements and aquifer parameter estimates are rare in alpine settings because few wells exist in these environments. Alpine groundwater systems may be a primary source of recharge to regional groundwater flow systems. Handcart Gulch is an alpine watershed in Colorado, USA comprised of highly fractured Proterozoic metamorphic and igneous rocks with wells completed to various depths. Primary study objectives include determining hydrologic properties of shallow bedrock and surficial materials, developing a watershed water budget, and testing the consistency of measured hydrologic properties and water budget by constructing a simple model incorporating groundwater and surface water for water year 2005. Water enters the study area as precipitation and exits as discharge in the trunk stream or potential recharge for the deeper aquifer. Surficial infiltration rates ranged from 0.1-6.2??0-5 m/s. Discharge was estimated at 1.28??10-3 km3. Numerical modeling analysis of single-well aquifer tests predicted lower specific storage in crystalline bedrock than in ferricrete and colluvial material (6.7??10-5-2.10??0-3 l/m). Hydraulic conductivity in crystalline bedrock was significantly lower than in colluvial and alluvial material (4.3??10-9 -2.0??10-4 m/s). Water budget results suggest that during normal precipitation and temperatures water is available to recharge the deeper groundwater flow system. ?? Springer-Verlag 2007.

  8. Technical Note: Seasonality in alpine water resources management – a regional assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Rauch

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Alpine regions are particularly affected by seasonal variations in water demand and water availability. Especially the winter period is critical from an operational point of view, as being characterised by high water demands due to tourism and low water availability due to the temporal storage of precipitation as snow and ice. The clear definition of summer and winter periods is thus an essential prerequisite for water resource management in alpine regions. This paper presents a GIS-based multi criteria method to determine the winter season. A snow cover duration dataset serves as basis for this analysis. Different water demand stakeholders, the alpine hydrology and the present day water supply infrastructure are taken into account. Technical snow-making and (winter tourism were identified as the two major seasonal water demand stakeholders in the study area, which is the Kitzbueheler region in the Austrian Alps. Based upon different geographical datasets winter was defined as the period from December to March, and summer as the period from April to November. By determining potential regional water balance deficits or surpluses in the present day situation and in future, important management decisions such as water storage and allocation can be made and transposed to the local level.

  9. Rapid High-throughput Species Identification of Botanical Material Using Direct Analysis in Real Time High Resolution Mass Spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lesiak, Ashton D; Musah, Rabi A

    2016-10-02

    We demonstrate that direct analysis in real time-high resolution mass spectrometry can be used to produce mass spectral profiles of botanical material, and that these chemical fingerprints can be used for plant species identification. The mass spectral data can be acquired rapidly and in a high throughput manner without the need for sample extraction, derivatization or pH adjustment steps. The use of this technique bypasses challenges presented by more conventional techniques including lengthy chromatography analysis times and resource intensive methods. The high throughput capabilities of the direct analysis in real time-high resolution mass spectrometry protocol, coupled with multivariate statistical analysis processing of the data, provide not only class characterization of plants, but also yield species and varietal information. Here, the technique is demonstrated with two psychoactive plant products, Mitragyna speciosa (Kratom) and Datura (Jimsonweed), which were subjected to direct analysis in real time-high resolution mass spectrometry followed by statistical analysis processing of the mass spectral data. The application of these tools in tandem enabled the plant materials to be rapidly identified at the level of variety and species.

  10. Rapid High-throughput Species Identification of Botanical Material Using Direct Analysis in Real Time High Resolution Mass Spectrometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lesiak, Ashton D.; Musah, Rabi A.

    2016-01-01

    We demonstrate that direct analysis in real time-high resolution mass spectrometry can be used to produce mass spectral profiles of botanical material, and that these chemical fingerprints can be used for plant species identification. The mass spectral data can be acquired rapidly and in a high throughput manner without the need for sample extraction, derivatization or pH adjustment steps. The use of this technique bypasses challenges presented by more conventional techniques including lengthy chromatography analysis times and resource intensive methods. The high throughput capabilities of the direct analysis in real time-high resolution mass spectrometry protocol, coupled with multivariate statistical analysis processing of the data, provide not only class characterization of plants, but also yield species and varietal information. Here, the technique is demonstrated with two psychoactive plant products, Mitragyna speciosa (Kratom) and Datura (Jimsonweed), which were subjected to direct analysis in real time-high resolution mass spectrometry followed by statistical analysis processing of the mass spectral data. The application of these tools in tandem enabled the plant materials to be rapidly identified at the level of variety and species. PMID:27768072

  11. Current status of free radicals and electronically excited metastable spec