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Sample records for high functional diversity

  1. Low functional β-diversity despite high taxonomic β-diversity among tropical estuarine fish communities.

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    Villéger, Sébastien; Ramos Miranda, Julia; Flores Hernandez, Domingo; Mouillot, David

    2012-01-01

    The concept of β-diversity, defined as dissimilarity among communities, has been widely used to investigate biodiversity patterns and community assembly rules. However, in ecosystems with high taxonomic β-diversity, due to marked environmental gradients, the level of functional β-diversity among communities is largely overlooked while it may reveal processes shaping community structure. Here, decomposing biodiversity indices into α (local) and γ (regional) components, we estimated taxonomic and functional β-diversity among tropical estuarine fish communities, through space and time. We found extremely low functional β-diversity values among fish communities (species composition and species dominance. Additionally, in contrast to the high α and γ taxonomic diversities, α and γ functional diversities were very close to the minimal value. These patterns were caused by two dominant functional groups which maintained a similar functional structure over space and time, despite the strong dissimilarity in taxonomic structure along environmental gradients. Our findings suggest that taxonomic and functional β-diversity deserve to be quantified simultaneously since these two facets can show contrasting patterns and the differences can in turn shed light on community assembly rules.

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

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    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

  3. High functional diversity stimulates diversification in experimental microbial communities

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    Jousset, Alexandre|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/370632656; Eisenhauer, Nico; Merker, Monika; Mouquet, Nicolas; Scheu, Stefan

    There is a growing awareness that biodiversity not only drives ecosystem services but also affects evolutionary dynamics. However, different theories predict contrasting outcomes on when do evolutionary processes occur within a context of competition. We tested whether functional diversity can

  4. Functional diversity and environmental services in landscapes in moor and high Andean forest Boyacá

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    Aracely Burgos

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Understanding how functional diversity operates to provide environmental services in the various landscapes ecosystem, is crucial to maintain the welfare of the people who depend on them. This review aims to address: 1. Overview of functional diversity and state of research in the páramo and forest altondino of Boyacá. 2. The loan provides environmental services functional diversity boyacense population, which has a high percentage rural (49% for both lives immersed in these landscapes, facing their importance in environmental and public policy decisions. 3. The description of the modeling of the landscape as a determinant, largely on the structure of ecological communities, functioning and ecosystem services. This is formulated with the aim of reversing the focus of research so far has been aimed at quantification studies of local diversity, to effects involving landscape modeling functional biodiversity, this approach to be critical for the development of joint solutions for the sake of the future of biodiversity and ecosystem services management

  5. Advancing biodiversity-ecosystem functioning science using high-density tree-based experiments over functional diversity gradients.

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    Tobner, Cornelia M; Paquette, Alain; Reich, Peter B; Gravel, Dominique; Messier, Christian

    2014-03-01

    Increasing concern about loss of biodiversity and its effects on ecosystem functioning has triggered a series of manipulative experiments worldwide, which have demonstrated a general trend for ecosystem functioning to increase with diversity. General mechanisms proposed to explain diversity effects include complementary resource use and invoke a key role for species' functional traits. The actual mechanisms by which complementary resource use occurs remain, however, poorly understood, as well as whether they apply to tree-dominated ecosystems. Here we present an experimental approach offering multiple innovative aspects to the field of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) research. The International Diversity Experiment Network with Trees (IDENT) allows research to be conducted at several hierarchical levels within individuals, neighborhoods, and communities. The network investigates questions related to intraspecific trait variation, complementarity, and environmental stress. The goal of IDENT is to identify some of the mechanisms through which individuals and species interact to promote coexistence and the complementary use of resources. IDENT includes several implemented and planned sites in North America and Europe, and uses a replicated design of high-density tree plots of fixed species-richness levels varying in functional diversity (FD). The design reduces the space and time needed for trees to interact allowing a thorough set of mixtures varying over different diversity gradients (specific, functional, phylogenetic) and environmental conditions (e.g., water stress) to be tested in the field. The intention of this paper is to share the experience in designing FD-focused BEF experiments with trees, to favor collaborations and expand the network to different conditions.

  6. Experimental evidence for strong stabilizing forces at high functional diversity of aquatic microbial communities.

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    Carrara, Francesco; Giometto, Andrea; Seymour, Mathew; Rinaldo, Andrea; Altermatt, Florian

    2015-05-01

    Unveiling the mechanisms that promote coexistence in biological communities is a fundamental problem in ecology. Stable coexistence of many species is commonly observed in natural communities. Most of these natural communities, however, are composed of species from multiple trophic and functional groups, while theory and experiments on coexistence have been focusing on functionally similar species. Here, we investigated how functional diversity affects the stability of species coexistence and productivity in multispecies communities by characterizing experimentally all pairwise species interactions in a pool of 11 species of eukaryotes (10 protists and one rotifer) belonging to three different functional groups. Species within the same functional group showed stronger competitive interactions compared to among-functional group interactions. This often led to competitive exclusion between species that had higher functional relatedness, but only at low levels of species richness. Communities with higher functional diversity resulted in increased species coexistence and community biomass production. Our experimental findings and the results of a stochastic model tailored to the experimental interaction matrix suggest the emergence of strong stabilizing forces when species from different functional groups interact in a homogeneous environment. By combining theoretical analysis with experiments we could also disentangle the relationship between species richness and functional diversity, showing that functional diversity per se is a crucial driver of productivity and stability in multispecies community.

  7. Coverage, diversity, and functionality of a high-latitude coral community (Tatsukushi, Shikoku Island, Japan.

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    Vianney Denis

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Seawater temperature is the main factor restricting shallow-water zooxanthellate coral reefs to low latitudes. As temperatures increase, coral species and perhaps reefs may move into higher-latitude waters, increasing the chances of coral reef ecosystems surviving despite global warming. However, there is a growing need to understand the structure of these high-latitude coral communities in order to analyze their future dynamics and to detect any potential changes. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The high-latitude (32.75°N community surveyed was located at Tatsukushi, Shikoku Island, Japan. Coral cover was 60±2% and was composed of 73 scleractinian species partitioned into 7 functional groups. Although only 6% of species belonged to the 'plate-like' functional group, it was the major contributor to species coverage. This was explained by the dominance of plate-like species such as Acropora hyacinthus and A. solitaryensis. Comparison with historical data suggests a relatively recent colonization/development of A. hyacinthus in this region and a potential increase in coral diversity over the last century. Low coverage of macroalgae (2% of the benthic cover contrasted with the low abundance of herbivorous fishes, but may be reasonably explained by the high density of sea urchins (12.9±3.3 individuals m⁻². CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The structure and composition of this benthic community are relatively remarkable for a site where winter temperature can durably fall below the accepted limit for coral reef development. Despite limited functionalities and functional redundancy, the current benthic structure might provide a base upon which a reef could eventually develop, as characterized by opportunistic and pioneer frame-building species. In addition to increasing seawater temperatures, on-going management actions and sea urchin density might also explain the observed state of this community. A focus on such 'marginal' communities

  8. Coral-associated viral communities show high levels of diversity and host auxiliary functions

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    Karen D. Weynberg

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Stony corals (Scleractinia are marine invertebrates that form the foundation and framework upon which tropical reefs are built. The coral animal associates with a diverse microbiome comprised of dinoflagellate algae and other protists, bacteria, archaea, fungi and viruses. Using a metagenomics approach, we analysed the DNA and RNA viral assemblages of seven coral species from the central Great Barrier Reef (GBR, demonstrating that tailed bacteriophages of the Caudovirales dominate across all species examined, and ssDNA viruses, notably the Microviridae, are also prevalent. Most sequences with matches to eukaryotic viruses were assigned to six viral families, including four Nucleocytoplasmic Large DNA Viruses (NCLDVs families: Iridoviridae, Phycodnaviridae, Mimiviridae, and Poxviridae, as well as Retroviridae and Polydnaviridae. Contrary to previous findings, Herpesvirales were rare in these GBR corals. Sequences of a ssRNA virus with similarities to the dinornavirus, Heterocapsa circularisquama ssRNA virus of the Alvernaviridae that infects free-living dinoflagellates, were observed in three coral species. We also detected viruses previously undescribed from the coral holobiont, including a virus that targets fungi associated with the coral species Acropora tenuis. Functional analysis of the assembled contigs indicated a high prevalence of latency-associated genes in the coral-associated viral assemblages, several host-derived auxiliary metabolic genes (AMGs for photosynthesis (psbA, psbD genes encoding the photosystem II D1 and D2 proteins respectively, as well as potential nematocyst toxins and antioxidants (genes encoding green fluorescent-like chromoprotein. This study expands the currently limited knowledge on coral-associated viruses by characterising viral composition and function across seven GBR coral species.

  9. Coral-associated viral communities show high levels of diversity and host auxiliary functions.

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    Weynberg, Karen D; Laffy, Patrick W; Wood-Charlson, Elisha M; Turaev, Dmitrij; Rattei, Thomas; Webster, Nicole S; van Oppen, Madeleine J H

    2017-01-01

    Stony corals (Scleractinia) are marine invertebrates that form the foundation and framework upon which tropical reefs are built. The coral animal associates with a diverse microbiome comprised of dinoflagellate algae and other protists, bacteria, archaea, fungi and viruses. Using a metagenomics approach, we analysed the DNA and RNA viral assemblages of seven coral species from the central Great Barrier Reef (GBR), demonstrating that tailed bacteriophages of the Caudovirales dominate across all species examined, and ssDNA viruses, notably the Microviridae, are also prevalent. Most sequences with matches to eukaryotic viruses were assigned to six viral families, including four Nucleocytoplasmic Large DNA Viruses (NCLDVs) families: Iridoviridae, Phycodnaviridae, Mimiviridae, and Poxviridae, as well as Retroviridae and Polydnaviridae. Contrary to previous findings, Herpesvirales were rare in these GBR corals. Sequences of a ssRNA virus with similarities to the dinornavirus, Heterocapsa circularisquama ssRNA virus of the Alvernaviridae that infects free-living dinoflagellates, were observed in three coral species. We also detected viruses previously undescribed from the coral holobiont, including a virus that targets fungi associated with the coral species Acropora tenuis. Functional analysis of the assembled contigs indicated a high prevalence of latency-associated genes in the coral-associated viral assemblages, several host-derived auxiliary metabolic genes (AMGs) for photosynthesis (psbA, psbD genes encoding the photosystem II D1 and D2 proteins respectively), as well as potential nematocyst toxins and antioxidants (genes encoding green fluorescent-like chromoprotein). This study expands the currently limited knowledge on coral-associated viruses by characterising viral composition and function across seven GBR coral species.

  10. High functional diversity in Mycobacterium tuberculosis driven by genetic drift and human demography.

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    Ruth Hershberg

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Mycobacterium tuberculosis infects one third of the human world population and kills someone every 15 seconds. For more than a century, scientists and clinicians have been distinguishing between the human- and animal-adapted members of the M. tuberculosis complex (MTBC. However, all human-adapted strains of MTBC have traditionally been considered to be essentially identical. We surveyed sequence diversity within a global collection of strains belonging to MTBC using seven megabase pairs of DNA sequence data. We show that the members of MTBC affecting humans are more genetically diverse than generally assumed, and that this diversity can be linked to human demographic and migratory events. We further demonstrate that these organisms are under extremely reduced purifying selection and that, as a result of increased genetic drift, much of this genetic diversity is likely to have functional consequences. Our findings suggest that the current increases in human population, urbanization, and global travel, combined with the population genetic characteristics of M. tuberculosis described here, could contribute to the emergence and spread of drug-resistant tuberculosis.

  11. Diversity and functions of bacterial community in drinking water biofilms revealed by high-throughput sequencing

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    Chao, Yuanqing; Mao, Yanping; Wang, Zhiping; Zhang, Tong

    2015-06-01

    The development of biofilms in drinking water (DW) systems may cause various problems to water quality. To investigate the community structure of biofilms on different pipe materials and the global/specific metabolic functions of DW biofilms, PCR-based 454 pyrosequencing data for 16S rRNA genes and Illumina metagenomic data were generated and analysed. Considerable differences in bacterial diversity and taxonomic structure were identified between biofilms formed on stainless steel and biofilms formed on plastics, indicating that the metallic materials facilitate the formation of higher diversity biofilms. Moreover, variations in several dominant genera were observed during biofilm formation. Based on PCA analysis, the global functions in the DW biofilms were similar to other DW metagenomes. Beyond the global functions, the occurrences and abundances of specific protective genes involved in the glutathione metabolism, the SoxRS system, the OxyR system, RpoS regulated genes, and the production/degradation of extracellular polymeric substances were also evaluated. A near-complete and low-contamination draft genome was constructed from the metagenome of the DW biofilm, based on the coverage and tetranucleotide frequencies, and identified as a Bradyrhizobiaceae-like bacterium according to a phylogenetic analysis. Our findings provide new insight into DW biofilms, especially in terms of their metabolic functions.

  12. Diversity-Oriented Enantioselective Synthesis of Highly Functionalized Cyclic and Bicyclic Alcohols

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    Mao, Bin; Fananas Mastral, Martin; Lutz, Martin; Feringa, Ben L.

    The copper-catalyzed hetero-allylic asymmetric alkylation (h-AAA) of functionalized Grignard reagents that contain alkene or alkyne moieties has been achieved with excellent regio-and enantioselectivity. The corresponding alkylation products were further transformed into a variety of highly

  13. High-throughput diversity and functionality analysis of the gastrointestinal tract microbiota

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    Zoetendal, E.G.; Rajilic-Stojanovic, M.; Vos, de W.M.

    2008-01-01

    The human gastrointestinal (GI) tract microbiota plays a pivotal role in our health. For more than a decade a major input for describing the diversity of the GI tract microbiota has been derived from the application of small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA)-based technologies. These not only

  14. The distribution, diversity and function of predominant Thermoproteales in high-temperature environments of Yellowstone National Park.

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    Jay, Zackary J; Beam, Jacob P; Kozubal, Mark A; Jennings, Ryan deM; Rusch, Douglas B; Inskeep, William P

    2016-12-01

    High-temperature environments (> 70°C) contain diverse and abundant members of the crenarchaeal order Thermoproteales. However, a comprehensive study of the distribution and function of diverse members of this group across different habitat types has not been conducted. Consequently, the goals of this study were to determine the distribution of different Thermoproteales genera across geochemically distinct geothermal habitats of Yellowstone National Park, and to identify key functional attributes of major genera that correlate with environmental parameters. Curated sequence assemblies belonging to five genera were characterized in replicate samples of 11 high-temperature communities ranging in pH from 3 to 9. Thermocladium, Vulcanisaeta and Caldivirga spp. were the primary Thermoproteales populations present in low pH (pH  6) sulfur sediments and/or filamentous 'streamer' communities. Metabolic reconstruction and comparative genomics among assemblies show that these populations are primarily chemoorganotrophs that utilize different electron acceptors depending on geochemical conditions. The presence of potential CO2 fixation pathways in some Thermoproteales populations appears to be linked with NiFe hydrogenases, which combined with high levels of H2 in many sulfidic systems, may provide the energy required to fix inorganic C. © 2016 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Community Structure and Function of High-temperature Chlorophototrophic Microbial Mats Inhabiting Diverse Geothermal Environments

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    William P. Inskeep

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Six phototrophic microbial mat communities from different geothermal springs (YNP were studied using metagenome sequencing and geochemical analyses. The primary goals of this work were to determine differences in community composition of high-temperature phototrophic mats distributed across the Yellowstone geothermal ecosystem, and to identify metabolic attributes of predominant organisms present in these communities that may correlate with environmental attributes important in niche differentiation. Random shotgun metagenome sequences from six phototrophic communities (average~ 53 Mbp/site were subjected to multiple taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional analyses. All methods, including G+C content distribution, MEGAN analyses and oligonucleotide frequency-based clustering, provided strong support for the dominant community members present in each site. Cyanobacteria were only observed in non-sulfidic sites; de novo assemblies were obtained for Synechococcus-like populations at Chocolate Pots (CP_7 and Fischerella-like populations at White Creek (WC_6. Chloroflexi-like sequences (esp. Roseiflexus and/or Chloroflexus spp. were observed in all six samples and contained genes involved in bacteriochlorophyll biosynthesis and the 3-hydroxypropionate carbon fixation pathway. Other major sequence assemblies were obtained for a Chlorobiales population from CP_7 (proposed family Thermochlorobacteriaceae, and an anoxygenic, sulfur-oxidizing Thermochromatium-like (Gamma-proteobacteria population from Bath Lake Vista Annex (BLVA_20. Additional sequence coverage is necessary to establish more complete assemblies of other novel bacteria in these sites (e.g., Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes; however, current assemblies suggested that several of these organisms play important roles in heterotrophic and fermentative metabolisms. Definitive linkages were established between several of the dominant phylotypes present in these habitats and important functional

  16. Community Structure and Function of High-Temperature Chlorophototrophic Microbial Mats Inhabiting Diverse Geothermal Environments

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    Klatt, Christian G.; Inskeep, William P.; Herrgard, Markus J.; Jay, Zackary J.; Rusch, Douglas B.;  Tringe, Susannah G.; Niki Parenteau, M.; Ward, David M.; Boomer, Sarah M.; Bryant, Donald A.;  Miller, Scott R.

    2013-01-01

    Six phototrophic microbial mat communities from different geothermal springs (YNP) were studied using metagenome sequencing and geochemical analyses. The primary goals of this work were to determine differences in community composition of high-temperature phototrophic mats distributed across the Yellowstone geothermal ecosystem, and to identify metabolic attributes of predominant organisms present in these communities that may correlate with environmental attributes important in niche differentiation. Random shotgun metagenome sequences from six phototrophic communities (average ∼53 Mbp/site) were subjected to multiple taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional analyses. All methods, including G + C content distribution, MEGAN analyses, and oligonucleotide frequency-based clustering, provided strong support for the dominant community members present in each site. Cyanobacteria were only observed in non-sulfidic sites; de novo assemblies were obtained for Synechococcus-like populations at Chocolate Pots (CP_7) and Fischerella-like populations at White Creek (WC_6). Chloroflexi-like sequences (esp. Roseiflexus and/or Chloroflexus spp.) were observed in all six samples and contained genes involved in bacteriochlorophyll biosynthesis and the 3-hydroxypropionate carbon fixation pathway. Other major sequence assemblies were obtained for a Chlorobiales population from CP_7 (proposed family Thermochlorobacteriaceae), and an anoxygenic, sulfur-oxidizing Thermochromatium-like (Gamma-proteobacteria) population from Bath Lake Vista Annex (BLVA_20). Additional sequence coverage is necessary to establish more complete assemblies of other novel bacteria in these sites (e.g., Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes); however, current assemblies suggested that several of these organisms play important roles in heterotrophic and fermentative metabolisms. Definitive linkages were established between several of the dominant phylotypes present in these habitats and important functional

  17. Functional diversity of aquatic ciliates.

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    Weisse, Thomas

    2017-10-01

    This paper first reviews the concept of functional diversity in general terms and then applies it to free-living aquatic ciliates. Ciliates are extremely versatile organisms and display an enormous functional diversity as key elements of pelagic food webs, acting as predators of bacteria, algae, other protists and even some metazoans. Planktonic ciliates are important food for zooplankton, and mixotrophic and functionally autotrophic species may significantly contribute to primary production in the ocean and in lakes. The co-occurrence of many ciliate species in seemingly homogenous environments indicates a wide range of their ecological niches. Variation in space and time may foster co-occurrence and prevent violating the competitive exclusion principle among ciliates using the same resources. Considering that many ciliates may be dormant and/or rare in many habitats, ciliate species diversity must be higher than can be deduced from simple sampling techniques; molecular methods of identification clearly point to this hidden diversity. From a functional point of view, the question is how much of this diversity represents redundancy. A key challenge for future research is to link the ecophysiological performance of naturally co-occurring ciliates to their functional genes. To this end, more experimental research is needed with with functionally different species. Copyright © 2017 The Author. Published by Elsevier GmbH.. All rights reserved.

  18. Community structure and function of high-temperature chlorophototrophic microbial mats inhabiting diverse geothermal environments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Klatt, Christian G.; Inskeep, William P.; Herrgard, Markus

    2013-01-01

    Six phototrophic microbial mat communities from different geothermal springs (YNP) were studied using metagenome sequencing and geochemical analyses. The primary goals of this work were to determine differences in community composition of high-temperature phototrophic mats distributed across...... the Yellowstone geothermal ecosystem, and to identify metabolic attributes of predominant organisms present in these communities that may correlate with environmental attributes important in niche differentiation. Random shotgun metagenome sequences from six phototrophic communities (average 53Mbp/site) were...

  19. Functional dominance rather than taxonomic diversity and functional diversity mainly affects community aboveground biomass in the Inner Mongolia grassland.

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    Zhang, Qing; Buyantuev, Alexander; Li, Frank Yonghong; Jiang, Lin; Niu, Jianming; Ding, Yong; Kang, Sarula; Ma, Wenjing

    2017-03-01

    The relationship between biodiversity and productivity has been a hot topic in ecology. However, the relative importance of taxonomic diversity and functional characteristics (including functional dominance and functional diversity) in maintaining community productivity and the underlying mechanisms (including selection and complementarity effects) of the relationship between diversity and community productivity have been widely controversial. In this study, 194 sites were surveyed in five grassland types along a precipitation gradient in the Inner Mongolia grassland of China. The relationships between taxonomic diversity (species richness and the Shannon-Weaver index), functional dominance (the community-weighted mean of four plant traits), functional diversity (Rao's quadratic entropy), and community aboveground biomass were analyzed. The results showed that (1) taxonomic diversity, functional dominance, functional diversity, and community aboveground biomass all increased from low to high precipitation grassland types; (2) there were significant positive linear relationships between taxonomic diversity, functional dominance, functional diversity, and community aboveground biomass; (3) the effect of functional characteristics on community aboveground biomass is greater than that of taxonomic diversity; and (4) community aboveground biomass depends on the community-weighted mean plant height, which explained 57.1% of the variation in the community aboveground biomass. Our results suggested that functional dominance rather than taxonomic diversity and functional diversity mainly determines community productivity and that the selection effect plays a dominant role in maintaining the relationship between biodiversity and community productivity in the Inner Mongolia grassland.

  20. Does the Cave Environment Reduce Functional Diversity?

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    Fernandes, Camile Sorbo; Batalha, Marco Antonio; Bichuette, Maria Elina

    2016-01-01

    Caves are not colonised by all taxa present in the surface species pool, due to absence of light and the tendency to food limitation when compared to surface communities. Under strong species sorting during colonisation and later by the restrictive environmental filter, traits that are not adaptive in subterranean habitats may be filtered out. We tested whether cave communities were assembled by the restrictive regime propitiated by permanent darkness or by competitive exclusion due to resource scarcity. When compared to surface communities, the restrictive subterranean regime would lead to lower functional diversity and phenotypic clustering inside the caves, and the opposite should be expected in the case of competitive exclusion. Using isopods (Oniscidea) as model taxa, we measured several niche descriptors of taxa from surface and cave habitats, used a multivariate measure of functional diversity, and compared their widths. We found phenotypic overdispersion and higher functional diversity in cave taxa when compared to surface taxa. On the one hand, the dry climate outside of caves hampered the survival of several taxa and their ecological strategies, not viable under severe desiccation risk, culminating in the clustering of functional traits. In contrast, this restriction does not occur inside of caves, where isopods find favourable conditions under lower predation pressures and more amenable environmental parameters that allow occupation and subsequent diversification. Our results showed that, at least for some taxa, caves may not be such a harsh environment as previously thought. The high functional diversity we found inside caves adds an additional reason for the conservation of these sensitive environments.

  1. Functional & phylogenetic diversity of copepod communities

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    Benedetti, F.; Ayata, S. D.; Blanco-Bercial, L.; Cornils, A.; Guilhaumon, F.

    2016-02-01

    The diversity of natural communities is classically estimated through species identification (taxonomic diversity) but can also be estimated from the ecological functions performed by the species (functional diversity), or from the phylogenetic relationships among them (phylogenetic diversity). Estimating functional diversity requires the definition of specific functional traits, i.e., phenotypic characteristics that impact fitness and are relevant to ecosystem functioning. Estimating phylogenetic diversity requires the description of phylogenetic relationships, for instance by using molecular tools. In the present study, we focused on the functional and phylogenetic diversity of copepod surface communities in the Mediterranean Sea. First, we implemented a specific trait database for the most commonly-sampled and abundant copepod species of the Mediterranean Sea. Our database includes 191 species, described by seven traits encompassing diverse ecological functions: minimal and maximal body length, trophic group, feeding type, spawning strategy, diel vertical migration and vertical habitat. Clustering analysis in the functional trait space revealed that Mediterranean copepods can be gathered into groups that have different ecological roles. Second, we reconstructed a phylogenetic tree using the available sequences of 18S rRNA. Our tree included 154 of the analyzed Mediterranean copepod species. We used these two datasets to describe the functional and phylogenetic diversity of copepod surface communities in the Mediterranean Sea. The replacement component (turn-over) and the species richness difference component (nestedness) of the beta diversity indices were identified. Finally, by comparing various and complementary aspects of plankton diversity (taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity) we were able to gain a better understanding of the relationships among the zooplankton community, biodiversity, ecosystem function, and environmental forcing.

  2. Microbial Functional Gene Diversity Predicts Groundwater Contamination and Ecosystem Functioning.

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    He, Zhili; Zhang, Ping; Wu, Linwei; Rocha, Andrea M; Tu, Qichao; Shi, Zhou; Wu, Bo; Qin, Yujia; Wang, Jianjun; Yan, Qingyun; Curtis, Daniel; Ning, Daliang; Van Nostrand, Joy D; Wu, Liyou; Yang, Yunfeng; Elias, Dwayne A; Watson, David B; Adams, Michael W W; Fields, Matthew W; Alm, Eric J; Hazen, Terry C; Adams, Paul D; Arkin, Adam P; Zhou, Jizhong

    2018-02-20

    Contamination from anthropogenic activities has significantly impacted Earth's biosphere. However, knowledge about how environmental contamination affects the biodiversity of groundwater microbiomes and ecosystem functioning remains very limited. Here, we used a comprehensive functional gene array to analyze groundwater microbiomes from 69 wells at the Oak Ridge Field Research Center (Oak Ridge, TN), representing a wide pH range and uranium, nitrate, and other contaminants. We hypothesized that the functional diversity of groundwater microbiomes would decrease as environmental contamination (e.g., uranium or nitrate) increased or at low or high pH, while some specific populations capable of utilizing or resistant to those contaminants would increase, and thus, such key microbial functional genes and/or populations could be used to predict groundwater contamination and ecosystem functioning. Our results indicated that functional richness/diversity decreased as uranium (but not nitrate) increased in groundwater. In addition, about 5.9% of specific key functional populations targeted by a comprehensive functional gene array (GeoChip 5) increased significantly ( P < 0.05) as uranium or nitrate increased, and their changes could be used to successfully predict uranium and nitrate contamination and ecosystem functioning. This study indicates great potential for using microbial functional genes to predict environmental contamination and ecosystem functioning. IMPORTANCE Disentangling the relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning is an important but poorly understood topic in ecology. Predicting ecosystem functioning on the basis of biodiversity is even more difficult, particularly with microbial biomarkers. As an exploratory effort, this study used key microbial functional genes as biomarkers to provide predictive understanding of environmental contamination and ecosystem functioning. The results indicated that the overall functional gene richness/diversity

  3. Tree species diversity promotes aboveground carbon storage through functional diversity and functional dominance.

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    Mensah, Sylvanus; Veldtman, Ruan; Assogbadjo, Achille E; Glèlè Kakaï, Romain; Seifert, Thomas

    2016-10-01

    The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function has increasingly been debated as the cornerstone of the processes behind ecosystem services delivery. Experimental and natural field-based studies have come up with nonconsistent patterns of biodiversity-ecosystem function, supporting either niche complementarity or selection effects hypothesis. Here, we used aboveground carbon (AGC) storage as proxy for ecosystem function in a South African mistbelt forest, and analyzed its relationship with species diversity, through functional diversity and functional dominance. We hypothesized that (1) diversity influences AGC through functional diversity and functional dominance effects; and (2) effects of diversity on AGC would be greater for functional dominance than for functional diversity. Community weight mean (CWM) of functional traits (wood density, specific leaf area, and maximum plant height) were calculated to assess functional dominance (selection effects). As for functional diversity (complementarity effects), multitrait functional diversity indices were computed. The first hypothesis was tested using structural equation modeling. For the second hypothesis, effects of environmental variables such as slope and altitude were tested first, and separate linear mixed-effects models were fitted afterward for functional diversity, functional dominance, and both. Results showed that AGC varied significantly along the slope gradient, with lower values at steeper sites. Species diversity (richness) had positive relationship with AGC, even when slope effects were considered. As predicted, diversity effects on AGC were mediated through functional diversity and functional dominance, suggesting that both the niche complementarity and the selection effects are not exclusively affecting carbon storage. However, the effects were greater for functional diversity than for functional dominance. Furthermore, functional dominance effects were strongly transmitted by CWM of

  4. HelioScan: a software framework for controlling in vivo microscopy setups with high hardware flexibility, functional diversity and extendibility.

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    Langer, Dominik; van 't Hoff, Marcel; Keller, Andreas J; Nagaraja, Chetan; Pfäffli, Oliver A; Göldi, Maurice; Kasper, Hansjörg; Helmchen, Fritjof

    2013-04-30

    Intravital microscopy such as in vivo imaging of brain dynamics is often performed with custom-built microscope setups controlled by custom-written software to meet specific requirements. Continuous technological advancement in the field has created a need for new control software that is flexible enough to support the biological researcher with innovative imaging techniques and provide the developer with a solid platform for quickly and easily implementing new extensions. Here, we introduce HelioScan, a software package written in LabVIEW, as a platform serving this dual role. HelioScan is designed as a collection of components that can be flexibly assembled into microscope control software tailored to the particular hardware and functionality requirements. Moreover, HelioScan provides a software framework, within which new functionality can be implemented in a quick and structured manner. A specific HelioScan application assembles at run-time from individual software components, based on user-definable configuration files. Due to its component-based architecture, HelioScan can exploit synergies of multiple developers working in parallel on different components in a community effort. We exemplify the capabilities and versatility of HelioScan by demonstrating several in vivo brain imaging modes, including camera-based intrinsic optical signal imaging for functional mapping of cortical areas, standard two-photon laser-scanning microscopy using galvanometric mirrors, and high-speed in vivo two-photon calcium imaging using either acousto-optic deflectors or a resonant scanner. We recommend HelioScan as a convenient software framework for the in vivo imaging community. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Phylogenetic and functional diversity in large carnivore assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalerum, F

    2013-06-07

    Large terrestrial carnivores are important ecological components and prominent flagship species, but are often extinction prone owing to a combination of biological traits and high levels of human persecution. This study combines phylogenetic and functional diversity evaluations of global and continental large carnivore assemblages to provide a framework for conservation prioritization both between and within assemblages. Species-rich assemblages of large carnivores simultaneously had high phylogenetic and functional diversity, but species contributions to phylogenetic and functional diversity components were not positively correlated. The results further provide ecological justification for the largest carnivore species as a focus for conservation action, and suggests that range contraction is a likely cause of diminishing carnivore ecosystem function. This study highlights that preserving species-rich carnivore assemblages will capture both high phylogenetic and functional diversity, but that prioritizing species within assemblages will involve trade-offs between optimizing contemporary ecosystem function versus the evolutionary potential for future ecosystem performance.

  6. Global functional diversity of freshwater fish is concentrated in the Neotropics while functional vulnerability is widespread.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toussaint, A; Charpin, N; Brosse, S; Villéger, S

    2016-03-16

    Worldwide biodiversity assessments have mainly focused on species richness but little is known about the diversity of species roles, i.e. functional diversity, while this is a key facet to understanding the consequences of global changes on the ecosystem services to human societies. Here, we report the world pattern of functional diversity of freshwater fish using a database encompassing morphological characteristics of more than 9,000 species. The Neotropical realm hosts more than 75% of global functional diversity while other realms each host less than 25%. This discrepancy is mediated by high functional uniqueness in some diversified Neotropical fish orders. Surprisingly, functional diversity patterns were weakly related to functional vulnerability. In the Neotropics the loss of threatened species will cause a limited loss of functional diversity (functional diversity will reach 43% and 33%, respectively, conferring a high functional vulnerability to these realms. Conservation of the Neotropical fish diversity is a key target to maintain world fish functional diversity, but this should not hide the pressing need to conserve the vulnerable fish faunas of the rest of the world, in which functional diversity is to a large extent supported by threatened species.

  7. Contrasting responses of functional diversity to major losses in taxonomic diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edie, Stewart M; Jablonski, David; Valentine, James W

    2018-01-23

    Taxonomic diversity of benthic marine invertebrate shelf species declines at present by nearly an order of magnitude from the tropics to the poles in each hemisphere along the latitudinal diversity gradient (LDG), most steeply along the western Pacific where shallow-sea diversity is at its tropical maximum. In the Bivalvia, a model system for macroevolution and macroecology, this taxonomic trend is accompanied by a decline in the number of functional groups and an increase in the evenness of taxa distributed among those groups, with maximum functional evenness (FE) in polar waters of both hemispheres. In contrast, analyses of this model system across the two era-defining events of the Phanerozoic, the Permian-Triassic and Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinctions, show only minor declines in functional richness despite high extinction intensities, resulting in a rise in FE owing to the persistence of functional groups. We hypothesize that the spatial decline of taxonomic diversity and increase in FE along the present-day LDG primarily reflect diversity-dependent factors, whereas retention of almost all functional groups through the two mass extinctions suggests the operation of diversity-independent factors. Comparative analyses of different aspects of biodiversity thus reveal strongly contrasting biological consequences of similarly severe declines in taxonomic diversity and can help predict the consequences for functional diversity among different drivers of past, present, and future biodiversity loss.

  8. Contrasting biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships in phylogenetic and functional diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steudel, Bastian; Hallmann, Christine; Lorenz, Maike; Abrahamczyk, Stefan; Prinz, Kathleen; Herrfurth, Cornelia; Feussner, Ivo; Martini, Johannes W R; Kessler, Michael

    2016-10-01

    It is well known that ecosystem functioning is positively influenced by biodiversity. Most biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiments have measured biodiversity based on species richness or phylogenetic relationships. However, theoretical and empirical evidence suggests that ecosystem functioning should be more closely related to functional diversity than to species richness. We applied different metrics of biodiversity in an artificial biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiment using 64 species of green microalgae in combinations of two to 16 species. We found that phylogenetic and functional diversity were positively correlated with biomass overyield, driven by their strong correlation with species richness. At low species richness, no significant correlation between overyield and functional and phylogenetic diversity was found. However, at high species richness (16 species), we found a positive relationship of overyield with functional diversity and a negative relationship with phylogenetic diversity. We show that negative phylogenetic diversity-ecosystem functioning relationships can result from interspecific growth inhibition. The opposing performances of facilitation (functional diversity) and inhibition (phylogenetic diversity) we observed at the 16 species level suggest that phylogenetic diversity is not always a good proxy for functional diversity and that results from experiments with low species numbers may underestimate negative species interactions. © 2016 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.

  9. Functional diversity changes during tropical forest succession.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lohbeck, M.W.M.; Poorter, L.; Paz, H.; Breugel, van M.; Martinez-Ramos, M.; Bongers, F.

    2012-01-01

    Functional diversity (FD) ‘those components of biodiversity that influence how an ecosystem operates or functions’ is a promising tool to assess the effect of biodiversity loss on ecosystem functioning. FD has received ample theoretical attention, but empirical studies are limited. We evaluate

  10. Decomposer diversity and identity influence plant diversity effects on ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenhauer, Nico; Reich, Peter B; Isbell, Forest

    2012-10-01

    Plant productivity and other ecosystem functions often increase with plant diversity at a local scale. Alongside various plant-centered explanations for this pattern, there is accumulating evidence that multi-trophic interactions shape this relationship. Here, we investigated for the first time if plant diversity effects on ecosystem functioning are mediated or driven by decomposer animal diversity and identity using a double-diversity microcosm experiment. We show that many ecosystem processes and ecosystem multifunctionality (herbaceous shoot biomass production, litter removal, and N uptake) were affected by both plant and decomposer diversity, with ecosystem process rates often being maximal at intermediate to high plant and decomposer diversity and minimal at both low plant and decomposer diversity. Decomposers relaxed interspecific plant competition by enlarging chemical (increased N uptake and surface-litter decomposition) and spatial (increasing deep-root biomass) habitat space and by promoting plant complementarity. Anecic earthworms and isopods functioned as key decomposers; although decomposer diversity effects did not solely rely on these two decomposer species, positive plant net biodiversity and complementarity effects only occurred in the absence of isopods and the presence of anecic earthworms. Using a structural equation model, we explained 76% of the variance in plant complementarity, identified direct and indirect effect paths, and showed that the presence of key decomposers accounted for approximately three-quarters of the explained variance. We conclude that decomposer animals have been underappreciated as contributing agents of plant diversity-ecosystem functioning relationships. Elevated decomposer performance at high plant diversity found in previous experiments likely positively feeds back to plant performance, thus contributing to the positive relationship between plant diversity and ecosystem functioning.

  11. Soil-borne microbiome: linking diversity to function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mendes, L.M.; Tsai, S.M.; Navarrete, Acácio A.; De Hollander, Mattias; Van Veen, J.A.; Kuramae, Eiko E.

    2015-01-01

    Soil microorganisms are sensitive to environment disturbances, and such alterations have consequences on microbial diversity and functions. Our hypothesis is that alpha diversity of microbial communities and functional diversity decrease from undisturbed to disturbed soils, with consequences for

  12. Stress, Social Support, and Psychosocial Functioning of Ethnically Diverse Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrell, Michelle; Langrehr, Kimberly J.

    2017-01-01

    This study examined the stress-buffering role of social support on indicators of psychosocial functioning among a combined and split sample of ethnically diverse college students. Although high social support significantly moderated 2 relationships in the combined sample, high and low levels of social support significantly reduced the effect of…

  13. Functional diversity of CTCFs is encoded in their binding motifs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Rongxin; Wang, Chengqi; Skogerbo, Geir; Zhang, Zhihua

    2015-08-28

    The CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) has diverse regulatory functions. However, the definitive characteristics of the CTCF binding motif required for its functional diversity still remains elusive. Here, we describe a new motif discovery workflow by which we have identified three CTCF binding motif variations with highly divergent functionalities. Supported by transcriptomic, epigenomic and chromatin-interactomic data, we show that the functional diversity of the CTCF binding motifs is strongly associated with their GC content, CpG dinucleotide coverage and relative DNA methylation level at the 12th position of the motifs. Further analysis suggested that the co-localization of cohesin, the key factor in cohesion of sister chromatids, is negatively correlated with the CpG coverage and the relative DNA methylation level at the 12th position. Finally, we present evidences for a hypothetical model in which chromatin interactions between promoters and distal regulatory regions are likely mediated by CTCFs binding to sequences with high CpG. These results demonstrate the existence of definitive CTCF binding motifs corresponding to CTCF's diverse functions, and that the functional diversity of the motifs is strongly associated with genetic and epigenetic features at the 12th position of the motifs.

  14. Structural and functional diversities in lepidopteran serine proteases

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Srinivasan, Ajay; Giri, Ashok P; Gupta, Vidya S

    2006-01-01

    .... Though the evolutionary significance of mutations that lead to structural diversity in serine proteases has been well characterized, detailing the resultant functional diversity has continually posed...

  15. Changes in bird functional diversity across multiple land uses: interpretations of functional redundancy depend on functional group identity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luck, Gary W; Carter, Andrew; Smallbone, Lisa

    2013-01-01

    Examinations of the impact of land-use change on functional diversity link changes in ecological community structure driven by land modification with the consequences for ecosystem function. Yet, most studies have been small-scale, experimental analyses and primarily focussed on plants. There is a lack of research on fauna communities and at large-scales across multiple land uses. We assessed changes in the functional diversity of bird communities across 24 land uses aligned along an intensification gradient. We tested the hypothesis that functional diversity is higher in less intensively used landscapes, documented changes in diversity using four diversity metrics, and examined how functional diversity varied with species richness to identify levels of functional redundancy. Functional diversity, measured using a dendogram-based metric, increased from high to low intensity land uses, but observed values did not differ significantly from randomly-generated expected values. Values for functional evenness and functional divergence did not vary consistently with land-use intensification, although higher than expected values were mostly recorded in high intensity land uses. A total of 16 land uses had lower than expected values for functional dispersion and these were mostly low intensity native vegetation sites. Relations between functional diversity and bird species richness yielded strikingly different patterns for the entire bird community vs. particular functional groups. For all birds and insectivores, functional evenness, divergence and dispersion showed a linear decline with increasing species richness suggesting substantial functional redundancy across communities. However, for nectarivores, frugivores and carnivores, there was a significant hump-shaped or non-significant positive linear relationship between these functional measures and species richness indicating less redundancy. Hump-shaped relationships signify that the most functionally diverse

  16. Changes in bird functional diversity across multiple land uses: interpretations of functional redundancy depend on functional group identity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gary W Luck

    Full Text Available Examinations of the impact of land-use change on functional diversity link changes in ecological community structure driven by land modification with the consequences for ecosystem function. Yet, most studies have been small-scale, experimental analyses and primarily focussed on plants. There is a lack of research on fauna communities and at large-scales across multiple land uses. We assessed changes in the functional diversity of bird communities across 24 land uses aligned along an intensification gradient. We tested the hypothesis that functional diversity is higher in less intensively used landscapes, documented changes in diversity using four diversity metrics, and examined how functional diversity varied with species richness to identify levels of functional redundancy. Functional diversity, measured using a dendogram-based metric, increased from high to low intensity land uses, but observed values did not differ significantly from randomly-generated expected values. Values for functional evenness and functional divergence did not vary consistently with land-use intensification, although higher than expected values were mostly recorded in high intensity land uses. A total of 16 land uses had lower than expected values for functional dispersion and these were mostly low intensity native vegetation sites. Relations between functional diversity and bird species richness yielded strikingly different patterns for the entire bird community vs. particular functional groups. For all birds and insectivores, functional evenness, divergence and dispersion showed a linear decline with increasing species richness suggesting substantial functional redundancy across communities. However, for nectarivores, frugivores and carnivores, there was a significant hump-shaped or non-significant positive linear relationship between these functional measures and species richness indicating less redundancy. Hump-shaped relationships signify that the most

  17. Functional diversity in resource use by fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGuire, Krista L; Bent, Elizabeth; Borneman, James; Majumder, Arundhati; Allison, Steven D; Tresederi, Kathleen K

    2010-08-01

    Fungi influence nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems, as they are major regulators of decomposition and soil respiration. However, little is known about the substrate preferences of individual fungal species outside of laboratory culture studies. If active fungi differ in their substrate preferences in situ, then changes in fungal diversity due to global change may dramatically influence nutrient cycling in ecosystems. To test the responses of individual fungal taxa to specific substrates, we used a nucleotide-analogue procedure in the boreal forest of Alaska (USA). Specifically, we added four organic N compounds commonly found in plant litter (arginine, glutamate, lignocellulose, and tannin-protein) to litterbags filled with decomposed leaf litter (black spruce and aspen) and assessed the responses of active fungal species using qPCR (quantitative polymerase chain reaction), oligonucleotide fingerprinting of rRNA genes, and sequencing. We also compared the sequences from our experiment with a concurrent warming experiment to see if active fungi that targeted more recalcitrant compounds would respond more positively to soil warming. We found that individual fungal taxa responded differently to substrate additions and that active fungal communities were different across litter types (spruce vs. aspen). Active fungi that targeted lignocellulose also responded positively to experimental warming. Additionally, resource-use patterns in different fungal taxa were genetically correlated, suggesting that it may be possible to predict the ecological function of active fungal communities based on genetic information. Together, these results imply that fungi are functionally diverse and that reductions in fungal diversity may have consequences for ecosystem functioning.

  18. Global Patterns of Guild Composition and Functional Diversity of Spiders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, Pedro; Pekár, Stano; Jocqué, Rudy; Coddington, Jonathan A.

    2011-01-01

    The objectives of this work are: (1) to define spider guilds for all extant families worldwide; (2) test if guilds defined at family level are good surrogates of species guilds; (3) compare the taxonomic and guild composition of spider assemblages from different parts of the world; (4) compare the taxonomic and functional diversity of spider assemblages and; (5) relate functional diversity with habitat structure. Data on foraging strategy, prey range, vertical stratification and circadian activity was collected for 108 families. Spider guilds were defined by hierarchical clustering. We searched for inconsistencies between family guild placement and the known guild of each species. Richness and abundance per guild before and after correcting guild placement were compared, as were the proportions of each guild and family between all possible pairs of sites. Functional diversity per site was calculated based on hierarchical clustering. Eight guilds were discriminated: (1) sensing, (2) sheet, (3) space, and (4) orb web weavers; (5) specialists; (6) ambush, (7) ground, and (8) other hunters. Sixteen percent of the species richness corresponding to 11% of all captured individuals was incorrectly attributed to a guild by family surrogacy; however, the correlation of uncorrected vs. corrected guilds was invariably high. The correlation of guild richness or abundances was generally higher than the correlation of family richness or abundances. Functional diversity was not always higher in the tropics than in temperate regions. Families may potentially serve as ecological surrogates for species. Different families may present similar roles in the ecosystems, with replacement of some taxa by other within the same guild. Spiders in tropical regions seem to have higher redundancy of functional roles and/or finer resource partitioning than in temperate regions. Although species and family diversity were higher in the tropics, functional diversity seems to be also influenced by

  19. Functional group diversity of bee pollinators increases crop yield.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoehn, Patrick; Tscharntke, Teja; Tylianakis, Jason M; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2008-10-07

    Niche complementarity is a commonly invoked mechanism underlying the positive relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, but little empirical evidence exists for complementarity among pollinator species. This study related differences in three functional traits of pollinating bees (flower height preference, daily time of flower visitation and within-flower behaviour) to the seed set of the obligate cross-pollinated pumpkin Cucurbita moschata Duch. ex Poir. across a land-use intensity gradient from tropical rainforest and agroforests to grassland in Indonesia. Bee richness and abundance changed with habitat variables and we used this natural variation to test whether complementary resource use by the diverse pollinator community enhanced final yield. We found that pollinator diversity, but not abundance, was positively related to seed set of pumpkins. Bees showed species-specific spatial and temporal variation in flower visitation traits and within-flower behaviour, allowing for classification into functional guilds. Diversity of functional groups explained even more of the variance in seed set (r2=45%) than did species richness (r2=32%) highlighting the role of functional complementarity. Even though we do not provide experimental, but rather correlative evidence, we can link spatial and temporal complementarity in highly diverse pollinator communities to pollination success in the field, leading to enhanced crop yield without any managed honeybees.

  20. Soil eukaryotic functional diversity, a metatranscriptomic approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailly, Julie; Fraissinet-Tachet, Laurence; Verner, Marie-Christine; Debaud, Jean-Claude; Lemaire, Marc; Wésolowski-Louvel, Micheline; Marmeisse, Roland

    2007-11-01

    To appreciate the functional diversity of communities of soil eukaryotic micro-organisms we evaluated an experimental approach based on the construction and screening of a cDNA library using polyadenylated mRNA extracted from a forest soil. Such a library contains genes that are expressed by each of the different organisms forming the community and represents its metatranscriptome. The diversity of the organisms that contributed to this library was evaluated by sequencing a portion of the 18S rDNA gene amplified from either soil DNA or reverse-transcribed RNA. More than 70% of the sequences were from fungi and unicellular eukaryotes (protists) while the other most represented group was the metazoa. Calculation of richness estimators suggested that more than 180 species could be present in the soil samples studied. Sequencing of 119 cDNA identified genes with no homologues in databases (32%) and genes coding proteins involved in different biochemical and cellular processes. Surprisingly, the taxonomic distribution of the cDNA and of the 18S rDNA genes did not coincide, with a marked under-representation of the protists among the cDNA. Specific genes from such an environmental cDNA library could be isolated by expression in a heterologous microbial host, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This is illustrated by the functional complementation of a histidine auxotrophic yeast mutant by two cDNA originating possibly from an ascomycete and a basidiomycete fungal species. Study of the metatranscriptome has the potential to uncover adaptations of whole microbial communities to local environmental conditions. It also gives access to an abundant source of genes of biotechnological interest.

  1. Testing the link between functional diversity and ecosystem functioning in a Minnesota grassland experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Christopher M; Flynn, Dan F B; Butterfield, Bradley J; Reich, Peter B

    2012-01-01

    The functional diversity of a community can influence ecosystem functioning and reflects assembly processes. The large number of disparate metrics used to quantify functional diversity reflects the range of attributes underlying this concept, generally summarized as functional richness, functional evenness, and functional divergence. However, in practice, we know very little about which attributes drive which ecosystem functions, due to a lack of field-based tests. Here we test the association between eight leading functional diversity metrics (Rao's Q, FD, FDis, FEve, FDiv, convex hull volume, and species and functional group richness) that emphasize different attributes of functional diversity, plus 11 extensions of these existing metrics that incorporate heterogeneous species abundances and trait variation. We assess the relationships among these metrics and compare their performances for predicting three key ecosystem functions (above- and belowground biomass and light capture) within a long-term grassland biodiversity experiment. Many metrics were highly correlated, although unique information was captured in FEve, FDiv, and dendrogram-based measures (FD) that were adjusted by abundance. FD adjusted by abundance outperformed all other metrics in predicting both above- and belowground biomass, although several others also performed well (e.g. Rao's Q, FDis, FDiv). More generally, trait-based richness metrics and hybrid metrics incorporating multiple diversity attributes outperformed evenness metrics and single-attribute metrics, results that were not changed when combinations of metrics were explored. For light capture, species richness alone was the best predictor, suggesting that traits for canopy architecture would be necessary to improve predictions. Our study provides a comprehensive test linking different attributes of functional diversity with ecosystem function for a grassland system.

  2. Testing the Link between Functional Diversity and Ecosystem Functioning in a Minnesota Grassland Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butterfield, Bradley J.; Reich, Peter B.

    2012-01-01

    The functional diversity of a community can influence ecosystem functioning and reflects assembly processes. The large number of disparate metrics used to quantify functional diversity reflects the range of attributes underlying this concept, generally summarized as functional richness, functional evenness, and functional divergence. However, in practice, we know very little about which attributes drive which ecosystem functions, due to a lack of field-based tests. Here we test the association between eight leading functional diversity metrics (Rao’s Q, FD, FDis, FEve, FDiv, convex hull volume, and species and functional group richness) that emphasize different attributes of functional diversity, plus 11 extensions of these existing metrics that incorporate heterogeneous species abundances and trait variation. We assess the relationships among these metrics and compare their performances for predicting three key ecosystem functions (above- and belowground biomass and light capture) within a long-term grassland biodiversity experiment. Many metrics were highly correlated, although unique information was captured in FEve, FDiv, and dendrogram-based measures (FD) that were adjusted by abundance. FD adjusted by abundance outperformed all other metrics in predicting both above- and belowground biomass, although several others also performed well (e.g. Rao’s Q, FDis, FDiv). More generally, trait-based richness metrics and hybrid metrics incorporating multiple diversity attributes outperformed evenness metrics and single-attribute metrics, results that were not changed when combinations of metrics were explored. For light capture, species richness alone was the best predictor, suggesting that traits for canopy architecture would be necessary to improve predictions. Our study provides a comprehensive test linking different attributes of functional diversity with ecosystem function for a grassland system. PMID:23300787

  3. Testing the link between functional diversity and ecosystem functioning in a Minnesota grassland experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher M Clark

    Full Text Available The functional diversity of a community can influence ecosystem functioning and reflects assembly processes. The large number of disparate metrics used to quantify functional diversity reflects the range of attributes underlying this concept, generally summarized as functional richness, functional evenness, and functional divergence. However, in practice, we know very little about which attributes drive which ecosystem functions, due to a lack of field-based tests. Here we test the association between eight leading functional diversity metrics (Rao's Q, FD, FDis, FEve, FDiv, convex hull volume, and species and functional group richness that emphasize different attributes of functional diversity, plus 11 extensions of these existing metrics that incorporate heterogeneous species abundances and trait variation. We assess the relationships among these metrics and compare their performances for predicting three key ecosystem functions (above- and belowground biomass and light capture within a long-term grassland biodiversity experiment. Many metrics were highly correlated, although unique information was captured in FEve, FDiv, and dendrogram-based measures (FD that were adjusted by abundance. FD adjusted by abundance outperformed all other metrics in predicting both above- and belowground biomass, although several others also performed well (e.g. Rao's Q, FDis, FDiv. More generally, trait-based richness metrics and hybrid metrics incorporating multiple diversity attributes outperformed evenness metrics and single-attribute metrics, results that were not changed when combinations of metrics were explored. For light capture, species richness alone was the best predictor, suggesting that traits for canopy architecture would be necessary to improve predictions. Our study provides a comprehensive test linking different attributes of functional diversity with ecosystem function for a grassland system.

  4. Probiotic Diversity Enhances Rhizosphere Microbiome Function and Plant Disease Suppression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Jie; Wei, Zhong; Friman, Ville-Petri; Gu, Shao-Hua; Wang, Xiao-Fang; Eisenhauer, Nico; Yang, Tian-Jie; Ma, Jing; Shen, Qi-Rong; Xu, Yang-Chun; Jousset, Alexandre

    2016-12-13

    Bacterial communities associated with plant roots play an important role in the suppression of soil-borne pathogens, and multispecies probiotic consortia may enhance disease suppression efficacy. Here we introduced defined Pseudomonas species consortia into naturally complex microbial communities and measured the importance of Pseudomonas community diversity for their survival and the suppression of the bacterial plant pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum in the tomato rhizosphere microbiome. The survival of introduced Pseudomonas consortia increased with increasing diversity. Further, high Pseudomonas diversity reduced pathogen density in the rhizosphere and decreased the disease incidence due to both intensified resource competition and interference with the pathogen. These results provide novel mechanistic insights into elevated pathogen suppression by diverse probiotic consortia in naturally diverse plant rhizospheres. Ecologically based community assembly rules could thus play a key role in engineering functionally reliable microbiome applications. The increasing demand for food supply requires more-efficient control of plant diseases. The use of probiotics, i.e., naturally occurring bacterial antagonists and competitors that suppress pathogens, has recently reemerged as a promising alternative to agrochemical use. It is, however, still unclear how many and which strains we should choose for constructing effective probiotic consortia. Here we present a general ecological framework for assembling effective probiotic communities based on in vitro characterization of community functioning. Specifically, we show that increasing the diversity of probiotic consortia enhances community survival in the naturally diverse rhizosphere microbiome, leading to increased pathogen suppression via intensified resource competition and interference with the pathogen. We propose that these ecological guidelines can be put to the test in microbiome engineering more widely in the future

  5. Functional diversity of Nocardia in metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Quan; Hiessl, Sebastian; Steinbüchel, Alexander

    2014-01-01

    Bacteria affiliated in the genus Nocardia are aerobic and Gram-positive actinomycetes that are widely found in aquatic and terrestrial habitats. As occasional pathogens, several of them cause infection diseases called 'nocardiosis' affecting lungs, central nervous system, cutaneous tissues and others. In addition, members of the genus Nocardia exhibit an enormous metabolic versatility. On one side, many secondary metabolites have been isolated from members of this genus that exhibit various biological activities such as antimicrobial, antitumor, antioxidative and immunosuppressive activities. On the other side, many species are capable of degrading or converting aliphatic and aromatic toxic hydrocarbons, natural or synthetic polymers, and other widespread environmental pollutants. Because of these valuable properties and the application potential, Nocardia species have attracted much interest in academia and industry in recent years. A solid basis of genetic tools including a set of shuttle vectors and an efficient electroporation method for further genetic and metabolic engineering studies has been established to conduct efficient research. Associated with the increasing data of nocardial genome sequences, the functional diversity of Nocardia will be much faster and better understood. © 2013 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Ortholog identification in genera of high genetic diversity and evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Jane Lind Nybo; Vesth, Tammi Camilla; Frisvad, Jens Christian

    In the era of high-throughput sequencing, comparative genomics is vastly used in the discovery of genetic diversity between species, but also in defining the core and pan genome of single species to whole genera. Current comparative approaches are implementing ortholog identification to establish...... genome annotations, gene or protein evolutions or defining functional features in individual species and groups....

  7. Functional diversity in plant communities: Theory and analysis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Plant functional diversity in community has become a key point in ecology studies recently. The development of species functional diversity was reviewed in the present work. Based on the former original research papers and reviews, we discussed the concept and connotation and put forward a new definition of functional ...

  8. Disturbance effects on species diversity and functional diversity in riparian and upland plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biswas, Shekhar R; Mallik, Azim U

    2010-01-01

    Understanding disturbance effects on species diversity and functional diversity is fundamental to conservation planning but remains elusive. We quantified species richness, diversity, and evenness and functional richness, diversity, and evenness of riparian and upland plants along 24 small streams subjected to a range of anthropogenic disturbances in the boreal forest of northwestern Ontario, Canada. We included a total of 36 functional traits related to productivity, competitive ability, reproduction, disturbance tolerance, life history, and tolerance to habitat instability. Using nested ANOVA, we examined the response of diversity indices to disturbance and whether it followed the intermediate disturbance hypothesis (IDH) and varied with habitat stability. We found that, like species richness and diversity, functional richness and diversity reached peaks at moderate disturbance intensity; functional diversity followed the predictions of the IDH. Second, disturbance-habitat-stability coupling has very little effect on overall species and functional diversity, but the effect on particular life forms and functions may be significant. Since species richness and diversity patterns are context and system dependent, our findings should be most applicable to similar temperate riparian systems.

  9. Functional diversity of terrestrial microbial decomposers and their substrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hättenschwiler, Stephan; Fromin, Nathalie; Barantal, Sandra

    2011-05-01

    The relationship between biodiversity and biogeochemical processes gained much interest in light of the rapidly decreasing biodiversity worldwide. In this article, we discuss the current status, challenges and prospects of functional concepts to plant litter diversity and microbial decomposer diversity. We also evaluate whether these concepts permit a better understanding of how biodiversity is linked to litter decomposition as a key ecosystem process influencing carbon and nutrient cycles. Based on a literature survey, we show that plant litter and microbial diversity matters for decomposition, but that considering numbers of taxonomic units appears overall as little relevant and less useful than functional diversity. However, despite easily available functional litter traits and the well-established theoretical framework for functional litter diversity, the impact of functional litter diversity on decomposition is not yet well enough explored. Defining functional diversity of microorganisms remains one of the biggest challenges for functional approaches to microbial diversity. Recent developments in microarray and metagenomics technology offer promising possibilities in the assessment of the functional structure of microbial communities. This might allow significant progress in measuring functional microbial diversity and ultimately in our ability to predict consequences of biodiversity loss in the decomposer system for biogeochemical processes. Copyright © 2011 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  10. Functional Molecular Diversity of Marine Dissolved Organic Matter Is Reduced during Degradation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Mentges

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Dissolved organic matter (DOM is a highly diverse mixture of compounds, accounting for one of the world's largest active carbon pools. The surprising recalcitrance of some DOM compounds to bacterial degradation has recently been associated with its diversity. However, little is known about large-scale patterns of marine DOM diversity and its change through degradation, in particular considering the functional diversity of DOM. Here, we analyze the development of marine DOM diversity during degradation in two data sets comprising DOM of very different ages: a three-year mesocosm experiment and highly-resolved field samples from the Atlantic and Southern Ocean. The DOM molecular composition was determined using ultra-high resolution mass spectrometry. We quantify DOM diversity using three conceptually different diversity measures, namely richness of molecular formulas, abundance-based diversity, and functional molecular diversity. Using these measures we find stable molecular richness of DOM with age >1 year, systematic changes in the molecules' abundance distribution with degradation state, and increasing homogeneity with respect to chemical properties for more degraded DOM. Coinciding with differences in sea water density, the spatial field data separated clearly into regions of high and low diversity. The joint application of different diversity measures yields a comprehensive overview on temporal and spatial patterns of molecular diversity, valuable for general conclusions on drivers and consequences of marine DOM diversity.

  11. Structure, Function and Diversity of the Healthy Human Microbiome

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-14

    REPORT Structure, function and diversity of the healthy human microbiome 14. ABSTRACT 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: Studies of the human microbiome ...Std. Z39.18 - Structure, function and diversity of the healthy human microbiome Report Title ABSTRACT Studies of the human microbiome have revealed...that even healthy individuals differ remarkably in the microbes that occupy habitats such as the gut , skin and vagina. Much of this diversity remains

  12. Diversity and functions of intestinal mononuclear phagocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Joeris, Thorsten; Müller-Luda, K; Agace, William Winston

    2017-01-01

    The intestinal lamina propria (LP) contains a diverse array of mononuclear phagocyte (MNP) subsets, including conventional dendritic cells (cDC), monocytes and tissue-resident macrophages (mφ) that collectively play an essential role in mucosal homeostasis, infection and inflammation. In the curr......The intestinal lamina propria (LP) contains a diverse array of mononuclear phagocyte (MNP) subsets, including conventional dendritic cells (cDC), monocytes and tissue-resident macrophages (mφ) that collectively play an essential role in mucosal homeostasis, infection and inflammation...... vaccine design....

  13. Fabrication of diverse pH-sensitive functional mesoporous silica for selective removal or depletion of highly abundant proteins from biological samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jiaojiao; Lan, Jingfeng; Li, Huihui; Liu, Xiaoyan; Zhang, Haixia

    2017-01-01

    In proteomic studies, poor detection of low abundant proteins is a major problem due to the presence of highly abundant proteins. Therefore, the specific removal or depletion of highly abundant proteins prior to analysis is necessary. In response to this problem, a series of pH-sensitive functional mesoporous silica materials composed of 2-(diethylamino)ethyl methacrylate and methacrylic acid units were designed and synthesized via atom transfer radical polymerization. These functional mesoporous silica materials were characterized and their ability for adsorption and separation of proteins was evaluated. Possessing a pH-sensitive feature, the synthesized functional materials showed selective adsorption of some proteins in aqueous or buffer solutions at certain pH values. The specific removal of a particular protein from a mixed protein solution was subsequently studied. The analytical results confirmed that all the target proteins (bovine serum albumin, ovalbumin, and lysozyme) can be removed by the proposed materials from a five-protein mixture in a single operation. Finally, the practical application of this approach was also evaluated by the selective removal of certain proteins from real biological samples. The results revealed that the maximum removal efficiencies of ovalbumin and lysozyme from egg white sample were obtained as 99% and 92%, respectively, while the maximum removal efficiency of human serum albumin from human serum sample was about 80% by the proposed method. It suggested that this treatment process reduced the complexity of real biological samples and facilitated the identification of hidden proteins in chromatograms. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Structural and functional diversity of the microbial kinome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natarajan Kannan

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available The eukaryotic protein kinase (ePK domain mediates the majority of signaling and coordination of complex events in eukaryotes. By contrast, most bacterial signaling is thought to occur through structurally unrelated histidine kinases, though some ePK-like kinases (ELKs and small molecule kinases are known in bacteria. Our analysis of the Global Ocean Sampling (GOS dataset reveals that ELKs are as prevalent as histidine kinases and may play an equally important role in prokaryotic behavior. By combining GOS and public databases, we show that the ePK is just one subset of a diverse superfamily of enzymes built on a common protein kinase-like (PKL fold. We explored this huge phylogenetic and functional space to cast light on the ancient evolution of this superfamily, its mechanistic core, and the structural basis for its observed diversity. We cataloged 27,677 ePKs and 18,699 ELKs, and classified them into 20 highly distinct families whose known members suggest regulatory functions. GOS data more than tripled the count of ELK sequences and enabled the discovery of novel families and classification and analysis of all ELKs. Comparison between and within families revealed ten key residues that are highly conserved across families. However, all but one of the ten residues has been eliminated in one family or another, indicating great functional plasticity. We show that loss of a catalytic lysine in two families is compensated by distinct mechanisms both involving other key motifs. This diverse superfamily serves as a model for further structural and functional analysis of enzyme evolution.

  15. Functional annotation of chemical libraries across diverse biological processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piotrowski, Jeff S; Li, Sheena C; Deshpande, Raamesh; Simpkins, Scott W; Nelson, Justin; Yashiroda, Yoko; Barber, Jacqueline M; Safizadeh, Hamid; Wilson, Erin; Okada, Hiroki; Gebre, Abraham A; Kubo, Karen; Torres, Nikko P; LeBlanc, Marissa A; Andrusiak, Kerry; Okamoto, Reika; Yoshimura, Mami; DeRango-Adem, Eva; van Leeuwen, Jolanda; Shirahige, Katsuhiko; Baryshnikova, Anastasia; Brown, Grant W; Hirano, Hiroyuki; Costanzo, Michael; Andrews, Brenda; Ohya, Yoshikazu; Osada, Hiroyuki; Yoshida, Minoru; Myers, Chad L; Boone, Charles

    2017-09-01

    Chemical-genetic approaches offer the potential for unbiased functional annotation of chemical libraries. Mutations can alter the response of cells in the presence of a compound, revealing chemical-genetic interactions that can elucidate a compound's mode of action. We developed a highly parallel, unbiased yeast chemical-genetic screening system involving three key components. First, in a drug-sensitive genetic background, we constructed an optimized diagnostic mutant collection that is predictive for all major yeast biological processes. Second, we implemented a multiplexed (768-plex) barcode-sequencing protocol, enabling the assembly of thousands of chemical-genetic profiles. Finally, based on comparison of the chemical-genetic profiles with a compendium of genome-wide genetic interaction profiles, we predicted compound functionality. Applying this high-throughput approach, we screened seven different compound libraries and annotated their functional diversity. We further validated biological process predictions, prioritized a diverse set of compounds, and identified compounds that appear to have dual modes of action.

  16. Diversity-dependent temporal divergence of ecosystem functioning in experimental ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrero-Ramírez, Nathaly R; Craven, Dylan; Reich, Peter B; Ewel, John J; Isbell, Forest; Koricheva, Julia; Parrotta, John A; Auge, Harald; Erickson, Heather E; Forrester, David I; Hector, Andy; Joshi, Jasmin; Montagnini, Florencia; Palmborg, Cecilia; Piotto, Daniel; Potvin, Catherine; Roscher, Christiane; van Ruijven, Jasper; Tilman, David; Wilsey, Brian; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2017-11-01

    The effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning generally increase over time, but the underlying processes remain unclear. Using 26 long-term grassland and forest experimental ecosystems, we demonstrate that biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships strengthen mainly by greater increases in functioning in high-diversity communities in grasslands and forests. In grasslands, biodiversity effects also strengthen due to decreases in functioning in low-diversity communities. Contrasting trends across grasslands are associated with differences in soil characteristics.

  17. Functional diversity: back to basics and looking forward.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petchey, Owen L; Gaston, Kevin J

    2006-06-01

    Functional diversity is a component of biodiversity that generally concerns the range of things that organisms do in communities and ecosystems. Here, we review how functional diversity can explain and predict the impact of organisms on ecosystems and thereby provide a mechanistic link between the two. Critical points in developing predictive measures of functional diversity are the choice of functional traits with which organisms are distinguished, how the diversity of that trait information is summarized into a measure of functional diversity, and that the measures of functional diversity are validated through quantitative analyses and experimental tests. There is a vast amount of trait information available for plant species and a substantial amount for animals. Choosing which traits to include in a particular measure of functional diversity will depend on the specific aims of a particular study. Quantitative methods for choosing traits and for assigning weighting to traits are being developed, but need much more work before we can be confident about trait choice. The number of ways of measuring functional diversity is growing rapidly. We divide them into four main groups. The first, the number of functional groups or types, has significant problems and researchers are more frequently using measures that do not require species to be grouped. Of these, some measure diversity by summarizing distances between species in trait space, some by estimating the size of the dendrogram required to describe the difference, and some include information about species' abundances. We show some new and important differences between these, as well as what they indicate about the responses of assemblages to loss of individuals. There is good experimental and analytical evidence that functional diversity can provide a link between organisms and ecosystems but greater validation of measures is required. We suggest that non-significant results have a range of alternate explanations

  18. Wide ranges of functional traits in the flora from the central region of Sonora: A diversity to be explored

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cesar Hinojo Hinojo; Alejandro E. Castellanos; Jose M. Llano. Sotelo

    2013-01-01

    Although the Sonoran Desert does not have the highest plant species richness, it has been documented with the highest growth form diversity from the North American deserts. It is not known if this high growth form diversity could also harbor a high functional diversity. In this study we characterize the ecophysiological functional traits of photosynthetic capacity,...

  19. Deforestation Impacts on Bat Functional Diversity in Tropical Landscapes

    OpenAIRE

    Garc?a-Morales, Rodrigo; Moreno, Claudia E.; Badano, Ernesto I.; Zuria, Iriana; Galindo-Gonz?lez, Jorge; Rojas-Mart?nez, Alberto E.; ?vila-G?mez, Eva S.

    2016-01-01

    Functional diversity is the variability in the functional roles carried out by species within ecosystems. Changes in the environment can affect this component of biodiversity and can, in turn, affect different processes, including some ecosystem services. This study aimed to determine the effect of forest loss on species richness, abundance and functional diversity of Neotropical bats. To this end, we identified six landscapes with increasing loss of forest cover in the Huasteca region of the...

  20. Metals affect soil bacterial and fungal functional diversity differently.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefanowicz, Anna M; Niklińska, Maria; Laskowski, Ryszard

    2008-03-01

    Heavy metals can cause a decrease in the taxonomic diversity of soil communities. Because of functional redundancy, it remains unclear to what extent different functions performed by the soil microbial communities may be affected by pollution. We studied the impact of metal contamination on soil bacterial and fungal functional diversity, active microbial biomass, and soil respiration rate. Soil samples were collected from 39 sites along three forest and five meadow pollution transects near an abandoned Pb/Zn smelter in Avonmouth (UK) and Ni smelter in Clydach (UK), in a Cu mining and smelting region near Glogów (Poland), and in a Zn/Pb mining and smelting region near Olkusz (Poland). Biolog GN2 and SFN2 plates were used to study the bacterial and fungal functional diversity, which subsequently was expressed as Shannon's diversity index (H'). The active microbial biomass was measured as substrate-induced respiration. We found that the bacterial functional diversity significantly decreased, whereas the fungal functional diversity slightly increased, with increasing metal concentration. We also observed a slight negative effect of metal pollution on the active microbial biomass. No relationship was found between metal contamination and total soil respiration rate. This suggests a higher sensitivity of bacterial functional diversity as an indicator for the effects of metal pollution compared with overall soil respiration. All microbial parameters were affected by nutrient concentrations and/or soil pH.

  1. Plant diversity and functional trait composition during mire development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.M. Laine

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available During succession, plant species composition undergoes changes that may have implications for ecosystem functions. Here we aimed to study changes in plant species diversity, functional diversity and functional traits associated with mire development. We sampled vegetation from 22 mires on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Bothnia (west coast of Finland that together represent seven different time steps along a mire chronosequence resulting from post-glacial rebound. This chronosequence spans a time period of almost 2500 years. Information about 15 traits of vascular plants and 17 traits of mosses was collected, mainly from two different databases. In addition to species richness and Shannon diversity index, we measured functional diversity and community weighted means of functional traits. We found that plant species diversity increased from the early succession stages towards the fen–bog transition. The latter stage also has the most diverse surface structure, consisting of pools and hummocks. Functional diversity increased linearly with species richness, suggesting a lack of functional redundancy during mire succession. On the other hand, Rao’s quadratic entropy, another index of functional diversity, remained rather constant throughout the succession. The changes in functional traits indicate a trade-off between acquisitive and conservative strategies. The functional redundancy, i.e. the lack of overlap between similarly functioning species, may indicate that the resistance to environmental disturbances such as drainage or climate change does not change during mire succession. However, the trait trade-off towards conservative strategy, together with the developing microtopography of hummocks and hollows with strongly differing vegetation composition, could increase resistance during mire succession.

  2. A highly conserved gene island of three genes on chromosome 3B of hexaploid wheat: diverse gene function and genomic structure maintained in a tightly linked block

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ma Wujun

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The complexity of the wheat genome has resulted from waves of retrotransposable element insertions. Gene deletions and disruptions generated by the fast replacement of repetitive elements in wheat have resulted in disruption of colinearity at a micro (sub-megabase level among the cereals. In view of genomic changes that are possible within a given time span, conservation of genes between species tends to imply an important functional or regional constraint that does not permit a change in genomic structure. The ctg1034 contig completed in this paper was initially studied because it was assigned to the Sr2 resistance locus region, but detailed mapping studies subsequently assigned it to the long arm of 3B and revealed its unusual features. Results BAC shotgun sequencing of the hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum cv. Chinese Spring genome has been used to assemble a group of 15 wheat BACs from the chromosome 3B physical map FPC contig ctg1034 into a 783,553 bp genomic sequence. This ctg1034 sequence was annotated for biological features such as genes and transposable elements. A three-gene island was identified among >80% repetitive DNA sequence. Using bioinformatics analysis there were no observable similarity in their gene functions. The ctg1034 gene island also displayed complete conservation of gene order and orientation with syntenic gene islands found in publicly available genome sequences of Brachypodium distachyon, Oryza sativa, Sorghum bicolor and Zea mays, even though the intergenic space and introns were divergent. Conclusion We propose that ctg1034 is located within the heterochromatic C-band region of deletion bin 3BL7 based on the identification of heterochromatic tandem repeats and presence of significant matches to chromodomain-containing gypsy LTR retrotransposable elements. We also speculate that this location, among other highly repetitive sequences, may account for the relative stability in gene order and

  3. Firm size diversity, functional richness, and resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garmestani, A.S.; Allen, Craig R.; Mittelstaedt, J.D.; Stow, C.A.; Ward, W.A.

    2006-01-01

    This paper applies recent advances in ecology to our understanding of firm development, sustainability, and economic development. The ecological literature indicates that the greater the functional richness of species in a system, the greater its resilience - that is, its ability to persist in the face of substantial changes in the environment. This paper focuses on the effects of functional richness across firm size on the ability of industries to survive in the face of economic change. Our results indicate that industries with a richness of industrial functions are more resilient to employment volatility. ?? 2006 Cambridge University Press.

  4. Conserving Phylogenetic Diversity Can Be a Poor Strategy for Conserving Functional Diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazel, Florent; Mooers, Arne O; Riva, Giulio Valentino Dalla; Pennell, Matthew W

    2017-11-01

    For decades, academic biologists have advocated for making conservation decisions in light of evolutionary history. Specifically, they suggest that policy makers should prioritize conserving phylogenetically diverse assemblages. The most prominent argument is that conserving phylogenetic diversity (PD) will also conserve diversity in traits and features (functional diversity [FD]), which may be valuable for a number of reasons. The claim that PD-maximized ("maxPD") sets of taxa will also have high FD is often taken at face value and in cases where researchers have actually tested it, they have done so by measuring the phylogenetic signal in ecologically important functional traits. The rationale is that if traits closely mirror phylogeny, then saving the maxPD set of taxa will tend to maximize FD and if traits do not have phylogenetic structure, then saving the maxPD set of taxa will be no better at capturing FD than criteria that ignore PD. Here, we suggest that measuring the phylogenetic signal in traits is uninformative for evaluating the effectiveness of using PD in conservation. We evolve traits under several different models and, for the first time, directly compare the FD of a set of taxa that maximize PD to the FD of a random set of the same size. Under many common models of trait evolution and tree shapes, conserving the maxPD set of taxa will conserve more FD than conserving a random set of the same size. However, this result cannot be generalized to other classes of models. We find that under biologically plausible scenarios, using PD to select species can actually lead to less FD compared with a random set. Critically, this can occur even when there is phylogenetic signal in the traits. Predicting exactly when we expect using PD to be a good strategy for conserving FD is challenging, as it depends on complex interactions between tree shape and the assumptions of the evolutionary model. Nonetheless, if our goal is to maintain trait diversity, the fact

  5. Structural and functional diversity in rangelands: integrating different ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Many rangelands exist as dynamic systems where structural and functional diversity of the community is a function of several interacting factors. Understanding the effects of these factors in rangelands requires an understanding of component functioning at different scales. Integrating the range of levels from ecophysiology ...

  6. Functional diversity in a fragmented landscape — Habitat alterations affect functional trait composition of frog assemblages in Madagascar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jana C. Riemann

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic habitat alterations cause biodiversity loss, which in turn negatively affects ecosystem functioning and services, and thus human well-being. To be able to consider ecosystem functioning in conservation actions, analyzing the effects of habitat alteration on functional diversity is essential. Some altered habitats can maintain a significant part of regional biodiversity, however, functional diversity information in altered habitats is so far mostly lacking. We compared functional richness and functional β-diversity based on resource-use traits of frogs between three land-use categories in a rainforest ecosystem in Madagascar. Land-use categories represent a habitat alteration gradient ranging from continuous forest over forest fragments to matrix habitats including different agricultures. Our study revealed distinct changes in resource-use trait composition and complex patterns in the relationship between species richness and functional richness. Thus, the functional structure of frog assemblages changed due to habitat alterations. However, altered habitats likely provide different, rather than fewer functions compared to intact forest. Streams in all land-use categories were the functionally richest habitats, and thus important for ecosystem functioning. Species richness was one, but not the only driver of functional richness in our system. Functional clustering, potentially due to environmental filters depending on resource availability, was caused by anthropogenic and natural drivers. Our study shows that, even in systems where fragmented landscapes still maintain high species diversity, functional diversity can be altered in human altered habitats, which may affect ecosystem processes like productivity, nutrient cycling, and energy flows.

  7. Soil-borne microbiome: linking diversity to function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendes, Lucas W; Tsai, Siu M; Navarrete, Acácio A; de Hollander, Mattias; van Veen, Johannes A; Kuramae, Eiko E

    2015-07-01

    Soil microorganisms are sensitive to environment disturbances, and such alterations have consequences on microbial diversity and functions. Our hypothesis is that alpha diversity of microbial communities and functional diversity decrease from undisturbed to disturbed soils, with consequences for functional redundancy in the soil ecosystem. To test this hypothesis, we used soil DNA shotgun metagenomics approach to assess the soil microbiome in a chronosequence of land-use from a native tropical forest, followed by deforestation and cultivation of soybean croplands and pasture in different seasons. Agriculture and pasture soils were among the most diverse and presented higher functional redundancy, which is important to maintain the ecosystem functioning after the forest conversion. On the other hand, the ecosystem equilibrium in forest is maintained based on a lower alpha diversity but higher abundance of microorganisms. Our results indicate that land-use change alters the structure and composition of microbial communities; however, ecosystem functionality is overcome by different strategies based on the abundance and diversity of the communities.

  8. [Soil microbial functional diversity of different altitude Pinus koraiensis forests].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Dong-xue; Wang, Ning; Wang, Nan-nan; Sun, Xue; Feng, Fu-juan

    2015-12-01

    In order to comprehensively understand the soil microbial carbon utilization characteristics of Pinus koraiensis forests, we took the topsoil (0-5 cm and 5-10 cm) along the 700-1100 m altitude in Changbai Mountains and analyzed the vertical distributed characteristics and variation of microbial functional diversity along the elevation gradient by Biolog microplate method. The results showed that there were significant differences in functional diversity of microbial communities at different elevations. AWCD increased with the extension of incubation time and AWCD at the same soil depth gradually decreased along with increasing altitude; Shannon, Simpson and McIntosh diversity index also showed the same trend with AWCD and three different diversity indices were significantly different along the elevation gradient; Species diversity and functional diversity showed the same variation. The utilization intensities of six categories carbon sources had differences while amino acids were constantly the most dominant carbon source. Principal component analysis (PCA) identified that soil microbial carbon utilization at different altitudes had obvious spatial differentiation, as reflected in the use of carbohydrates, amino acids and carboxylic acids. In addition, the cluster of the microbial diversity indexes and AWCD values of different altitudes showed that the composition of vegetation had a significant impact on soil microbial composition and functional activity.

  9. Toxins-antitoxins: diversity, evolution and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Finbarr; Van Melderen, Laurence

    2011-10-01

    Genes for toxin-antitoxin (TA) complexes are widespread in prokaryote genomes, and species frequently possess tens of plasmid and chromosomal TA loci. The complexes are categorized into three types based on genetic organization and mode of action. The toxins universally are proteins directed against specific intracellular targets, whereas the antitoxins are either proteins or small RNAs that neutralize the toxin or inhibit toxin synthesis. Within the three types of complex, there has been extensive evolutionary shuffling of toxin and antitoxin genes leading to considerable diversity in TA combinations. The intracellular targets of the protein toxins similarly are varied. Numerous toxins, many of which are sequence-specific endoribonucleases, dampen protein synthesis levels in response to a range of stress and nutritional stimuli. Key resources are conserved as a result ensuring the survival of individual cells and therefore the bacterial population. The toxin effects generally are transient and reversible permitting a set of dynamic, tunable responses that reflect environmental conditions. Moreover, by harboring multiple toxins that intercede in protein synthesis in response to different physiological cues, bacteria potentially sense an assortment of metabolic perturbations that are channeled through different TA complexes. Other toxins interfere with the action of topoisomersases, cell wall assembly, or cytoskeletal structures. TAs also play important roles in bacterial persistence, biofilm formation and multidrug tolerance, and have considerable potential both as new components of the genetic toolbox and as targets for novel antibacterial drugs.

  10. Testing the Link between Functional Diversity and Ecosystem Functioning in a Minnesota Grassland Experiment

    OpenAIRE

    Clark, Christopher M; Flynn, Dan F B; Butterfield, Bradley J; Reich, Peter B

    2012-01-01

    The functional diversity of a community can influence ecosystem functioning and reflects assembly processes. The large number of disparate metrics used to quantify functional diversity reflects the range of attributes underlying this concept, generally summarized as functional richness, functional evenness, and functional divergence. However, in practice, we know very little about which attributes drive which ecosystem functions, due to a lack of field-based tests. Here we test the associatio...

  11. Functional group diversity increases with modularity in complex food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montoya, D.; Yallop, M.L.; Memmott, J.

    2015-01-01

    Biodiversity increases the ability of ecosystems to provide multiple functions. Most studies report a positive relationship between species richness and the number of ecosystem functions. However, it is not known whether the number of functional groups is related to the structure of the underlying species interaction network. Here we present food web data from 115 salt marsh islands and show that network structure is associated with the number of functional groups present. Functional group diversity is heterogeneously distributed across spatial scales, with some islands hosting more functional groups than others. Functional groups form modules within the community so that food webs with more modular architectures have more functional group diversity. Further, in communities with different interaction types, modularity can be seen as the multifunctional equivalent of trophic complementarity. Collectively, these findings reveal spatial heterogeneity in the number of functional groups that emerges from patterns in the structure of the food web. PMID:26059871

  12. Functional group diversity increases with modularity in complex food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montoya, D; Yallop, M L; Memmott, J

    2015-06-10

    Biodiversity increases the ability of ecosystems to provide multiple functions. Most studies report a positive relationship between species richness and the number of ecosystem functions. However, it is not known whether the number of functional groups is related to the structure of the underlying species interaction network. Here we present food web data from 115 salt marsh islands and show that network structure is associated with the number of functional groups present. Functional group diversity is heterogeneously distributed across spatial scales, with some islands hosting more functional groups than others. Functional groups form modules within the community so that food webs with more modular architectures have more functional group diversity. Further, in communities with different interaction types, modularity can be seen as the multifunctional equivalent of trophic complementarity. Collectively, these findings reveal spatial heterogeneity in the number of functional groups that emerges from patterns in the structure of the food web.

  13. NAC transcription factors: structurally distinct, functionally diverse

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Addie Nina; Ernst, Heidi A; Leggio, Leila Lo

    2005-01-01

    NAC proteins constitute one of the largest families of plant-specific transcription factors, and the family is present in a wide range of land plants. Here, we summarize the biological and molecular functions of the NAC family, paying particular attention to the intricate regulation of NAC protei...

  14. On the Functional Diversity of Phonological Rules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brasington, R. W. P.

    1976-01-01

    Shows that a phonological description that recognizes the functional variety of phonological rules is more illuminating than one in which data are handled merely as the output of a set of completely undifferentiated processes. Emphasizes the value of distinguishing motivated and unmotivated processes in phonology. (Author/RM)

  15. Moderate land use changes plant functional composition without loss of functional diversity in India's Western Ghats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandle, Lisa; Ticktin, Tamara

    2015-09-01

    The fields of ecology and conservation science increasingly recognize the importance of managing for functional composition and functional diversity to maintain critical ecosystem processes and services. However, little is known about the degree to which widespread but moderate forms of land use that maintain overall vegetation structure are compatible with the conservation of functional diversity. We assessed differences in plani functional composition and functional diversity across savanna woodlands in the Western Ghats, India, managed with varying degrees of biomass extraction, livestock grazing, and ground fire. Across the gradient of moderate land uses, we found shifts in functional composition but no overall decline in functional diversity with land, use intensification. Biomass extraction was associated with changes in dispersal mode, reduced seed mass, and lower overstory functional diversity. Livestock grazing was associated with shorter overstory species, reduced seed mass, and increased understory functional diversity. Nonnative invasive species contributed to shifts in understory functional composition with livestock grazing and increased functional diversity with more intensive land use. Our study highlights both the utility and some limitations of assessing conservation value with functional diversity. These results suggest that moderate-intensity local land use can be compatible with maintenance of functional diversity in savanna woodlands of the Western Ghats, and further efforts to maximize this compatibility would benefit conservation in South India's extensive human-managed landscapes. However, using functional diversity as the sole metric by which to gauge conservation value can mask threats from invasive species and loss of diversity within categories of biotic dispersal. Therefore, functional diversity metrics are likely to provide a valuable complement to, but not replacement for, other management targets such as species composition.

  16. Opposing Responses of Bird Functional Diversity to Vegetation Structural Diversity in Wet and Dry Forest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holly Sitters

    Full Text Available Disturbance regimes are changing worldwide, and the consequences for ecosystem function and resilience are largely unknown. Functional diversity (FD provides a surrogate measure of ecosystem function by capturing the range, abundance and distribution of trait values in a community. Enhanced understanding of the responses of FD to measures of vegetation structure at landscape scales is needed to guide conservation management. To address this knowledge gap, we used a whole-of-landscape sampling approach to examine relationships between bird FD, vegetation diversity and time since fire. We surveyed birds and measured vegetation at 36 landscape sampling units in dry and wet forest in southeast Australia during 2010 and 2011. Four uncorrelated indices of bird FD (richness, evenness, divergence and dispersion were derived from six bird traits, and we investigated responses of these indices and species richness to both vertical and horizontal vegetation diversity using linear mixed models. We also considered the extent to which the mean and diversity of time since fire were related to vegetation diversity. Results showed opposing responses of FD to vegetation diversity in dry and wet forest. In dry forest, where fire is frequent, species richness and two FD indices (richness and dispersion were positively related to vertical vegetation diversity, consistent with theory relating to environmental variation and coexistence. However, in wet forest subject to infrequent fire, the same three response variables were negatively associated with vertical diversity. We suggest that competitive dominance by species results in lower FD as vegetation diversity increases in wet forest. The responses of functional evenness were opposite to those of species richness, functional richness and dispersion in both forest types, highlighting the value of examining multiple FD metrics at management-relevant scales. The mean and diversity of time since fire were uncorrelated

  17. Opposing Responses of Bird Functional Diversity to Vegetation Structural Diversity in Wet and Dry Forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitters, Holly; York, Alan; Swan, Matthew; Christie, Fiona; Di Stefano, Julian

    2016-01-01

    Disturbance regimes are changing worldwide, and the consequences for ecosystem function and resilience are largely unknown. Functional diversity (FD) provides a surrogate measure of ecosystem function by capturing the range, abundance and distribution of trait values in a community. Enhanced understanding of the responses of FD to measures of vegetation structure at landscape scales is needed to guide conservation management. To address this knowledge gap, we used a whole-of-landscape sampling approach to examine relationships between bird FD, vegetation diversity and time since fire. We surveyed birds and measured vegetation at 36 landscape sampling units in dry and wet forest in southeast Australia during 2010 and 2011. Four uncorrelated indices of bird FD (richness, evenness, divergence and dispersion) were derived from six bird traits, and we investigated responses of these indices and species richness to both vertical and horizontal vegetation diversity using linear mixed models. We also considered the extent to which the mean and diversity of time since fire were related to vegetation diversity. Results showed opposing responses of FD to vegetation diversity in dry and wet forest. In dry forest, where fire is frequent, species richness and two FD indices (richness and dispersion) were positively related to vertical vegetation diversity, consistent with theory relating to environmental variation and coexistence. However, in wet forest subject to infrequent fire, the same three response variables were negatively associated with vertical diversity. We suggest that competitive dominance by species results in lower FD as vegetation diversity increases in wet forest. The responses of functional evenness were opposite to those of species richness, functional richness and dispersion in both forest types, highlighting the value of examining multiple FD metrics at management-relevant scales. The mean and diversity of time since fire were uncorrelated with vegetation

  18. Predator diversity and abundance provide little support for the enemies hypothesis in forests of high tree diversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Schuldt

    Full Text Available Predatory arthropods can exert strong top-down control on ecosystem functions. However, despite extensive theory and experimental manipulations of predator diversity, our knowledge about relationships between plant and predator diversity--and thus information on the relevance of experimental findings--for species-rich, natural ecosystems is limited. We studied activity abundance and species richness of epigeic spiders in a highly diverse forest ecosystem in subtropical China across 27 forest stands which formed a gradient in tree diversity of 25-69 species per plot. The enemies hypothesis predicts higher predator abundance and diversity, and concomitantly more effective top-down control of food webs, with increasing plant diversity. However, in our study, activity abundance and observed species richness of spiders decreased with increasing tree species richness. There was only a weak, non-significant relationship with tree richness when spider richness was rarefied, i.e. corrected for different total abundances of spiders. Only foraging guild richness (i.e. the diversity of hunting modes of spiders was positively related to tree species richness. Plant species richness in the herb layer had no significant effects on spiders. Our results thus provide little support for the enemies hypothesis--derived from studies in less diverse ecosystems--of a positive relationship between predator and plant diversity. Our findings for an important group of generalist predators question whether stronger top-down control of food webs can be expected in the more plant diverse stands of our forest ecosystem. Biotic interactions could play important roles in mediating the observed relationships between spider and plant diversity, but further testing is required for a more detailed mechanistic understanding. Our findings have implications for evaluating the way in which theoretical predictions and experimental findings of functional predator effects apply to species

  19. Diverse gene functions in a soil mobilome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Luo, Wenting; Xu, Zhuofei; Riber, Leise

    2016-01-01

    sequenced. The soil mobilome represented a wide range of known bacterial gene functions and highlighted the enrichment of plasmids, transposable elements and phages when compared to a well-characterized soil metagenome that, on the other hand, was dominated by basic biosynthesis and metabolism functions...... fraction of the soil resistome is plasmid-encoded and potentially mobilizable. Additionally, we recovered more than half of all Pfam-listed plasmid replication protein families, of which the composition of both common and rare replication families was significantly different from a previously reported......Accessing bacterial mobilomes of any given environment enables the investigation of genetic traits encoded by circular genetic elements, and how their transfer drives the adaptation of microbial communities. Here we take advantage of Illumina HiSeq sequencing and report, for the first time...

  20. Adipose tissue: cell heterogeneity and functional diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esteve Ràfols, Montserrat

    2014-02-01

    There are two types of adipose tissue in the body whose function appears to be clearly differentiated. White adipose tissue stores energy reserves as fat, whereas the metabolic function of brown adipose tissue is lipid oxidation to produce heat. A good balance between them is important to maintain energy homeostasis. The concept of white adipose tissue has radically changed in the past decades, and is now considered as an endocrine organ that secretes many factors with autocrine, paracrine, and endocrine functions. In addition, we can no longer consider white adipose tissue as a single tissue, because it shows different metabolic profiles in its different locations, with also different implications. Although the characteristic cell of adipose tissue is the adipocyte, this is not the only cell type present in adipose tissue, neither the most abundant. Other cell types in adipose tissue described include stem cells, preadipocytes, macrophages, neutrophils, lymphocytes, and endothelial cells. The balance between these different cell types and their expression profile is closely related to maintenance of energy homeostasis. Increases in adipocyte size, number and type of lymphocytes, and infiltrated macrophages are closely related to the metabolic syndrome diseases. The study of regulation of proliferation and differentiation of preadipocytes and stem cells, and understanding of the interrelationship between the different cell types will provide new targets for action against these diseases. Copyright © 2012 SEEN. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. Sensitivity of functional diversity metrics to sampling intensity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Plas, Fons; van Klink, Roel; Manning, Pete; Olff, Han; Fischer, Andmarkus

    1. Functional diversity (FD) metrics are increasingly used in ecological research, particularly in the studies of community assembly and ecosystem functioning. However, studies using the FD metrics vary greatly in the intensity by which ecological communities were sampled and it is largely unknown

  3. Bird functional diversity decreases with time since disturbance: Does patchy prescribed fire enhance ecosystem function?.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitters, Holly; Di Stefano, Julian; Christie, Fiona; Swan, Matthew; York, Alan

    2016-01-01

    Animal species diversity is often associated with time since disturbance, but the effects of disturbances such as fire on functional diversity are unknown. Functional diversity measures the range, abundance, and distribution of trait values in a community, and links changes in species composition with the consequences for ecosystem function. Improved understanding of the relationship between time since fire (TSF) and functional diversity is critical given that the frequency of both prescribed fire and wildfire is expected to increase. To address this knowledge gap, we examined responses of avian functional diversity to TSF and two direct measures of environmental heterogeneity, plant diversity, and structural heterogeneity. We surveyed birds across a 70-year chronosequence spanning four vegetation types in southeast Australia. Six bird functional traits were used to derive four functional diversity indices (richness, evenness, divergence, and dispersion) and the effects of TSF, plant diversity and structural heterogeneity on species richness and the functional diversity indices were examined using mixed models. We used a regression tree method to identify traits associated with species more common in young vegetation. Functional richness and dispersion were negatively associated with TSF in all vegetation types, suggesting that recent prescribed fire generates heterogeneous vegetation and provides greater opportunities for resource partitioning. Species richness was not significantly associated with TSF, and is probably an unreliable surrogate for functional diversity in fire-prone systems. A positive, relationship between functional evenness and structural heterogeneity was comnon to all vegetation types, suggesting that fine-scale (tens of meters) structural variation can enhance ecosystem function. Species more common in young vegetation were primarily linked by their specialist diets, indicating that ecosystem services such as seed dispersal and insect control

  4. Predator Diversity and Abundance Provide Little Support for the Enemies Hypothesis in Forests of High Tree Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuldt, Andreas; Both, Sabine; Bruelheide, Helge; Härdtle, Werner; Schmid, Bernhard; Zhou, Hongzhang; Assmann, Thorsten

    2011-01-01

    Predatory arthropods can exert strong top-down control on ecosystem functions. However, despite extensive theory and experimental manipulations of predator diversity, our knowledge about relationships between plant and predator diversity—and thus information on the relevance of experimental findings—for species-rich, natural ecosystems is limited. We studied activity abundance and species richness of epigeic spiders in a highly diverse forest ecosystem in subtropical China across 27 forest stands which formed a gradient in tree diversity of 25–69 species per plot. The enemies hypothesis predicts higher predator abundance and diversity, and concomitantly more effective top-down control of food webs, with increasing plant diversity. However, in our study, activity abundance and observed species richness of spiders decreased with increasing tree species richness. There was only a weak, non-significant relationship with tree richness when spider richness was rarefied, i.e. corrected for different total abundances of spiders. Only foraging guild richness (i.e. the diversity of hunting modes) of spiders was positively related to tree species richness. Plant species richness in the herb layer had no significant effects on spiders. Our results thus provide little support for the enemies hypothesis—derived from studies in less diverse ecosystems—of a positive relationship between predator and plant diversity. Our findings for an important group of generalist predators question whether stronger top-down control of food webs can be expected in the more plant diverse stands of our forest ecosystem. Biotic interactions could play important roles in mediating the observed relationships between spider and plant diversity, but further testing is required for a more detailed mechanistic understanding. Our findings have implications for evaluating the way in which theoretical predictions and experimental findings of functional predator effects apply to species-rich forest

  5. Deforestation Impacts on Bat Functional Diversity in Tropical Landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Morales, Rodrigo; Moreno, Claudia E; Badano, Ernesto I; Zuria, Iriana; Galindo-González, Jorge; Rojas-Martínez, Alberto E; Ávila-Gómez, Eva S

    2016-01-01

    Functional diversity is the variability in the functional roles carried out by species within ecosystems. Changes in the environment can affect this component of biodiversity and can, in turn, affect different processes, including some ecosystem services. This study aimed to determine the effect of forest loss on species richness, abundance and functional diversity of Neotropical bats. To this end, we identified six landscapes with increasing loss of forest cover in the Huasteca region of the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. We captured bats in each landscape using mist nets, and calculated functional diversity indices (functional richness and functional evenness) along with species richness and abundance. We analyzed these measures in terms of percent forest cover. We captured 906 bats (Phyllostomidae and Mormoopidae), including 10 genera and 12 species. Species richness, abundance and functional richness per night are positively related with forest cover. Generalized linear models show that species richness, abundance and functional richness per night are significantly related with forest cover, while seasonality had an effect on abundance and functional richness. Neither forest cover nor season had a significant effect on functional evenness. All these findings were consistent across three spatial scales (1, 3 and 5 km radius around sampling sites). The decrease in species, abundance and functional richness of bats with forest loss may have implications for the ecological processes they carry out such as seed dispersal, pollination and insect predation, among others.

  6. Deforestation Impacts on Bat Functional Diversity in Tropical Landscapes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo García-Morales

    Full Text Available Functional diversity is the variability in the functional roles carried out by species within ecosystems. Changes in the environment can affect this component of biodiversity and can, in turn, affect different processes, including some ecosystem services. This study aimed to determine the effect of forest loss on species richness, abundance and functional diversity of Neotropical bats. To this end, we identified six landscapes with increasing loss of forest cover in the Huasteca region of the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. We captured bats in each landscape using mist nets, and calculated functional diversity indices (functional richness and functional evenness along with species richness and abundance. We analyzed these measures in terms of percent forest cover. We captured 906 bats (Phyllostomidae and Mormoopidae, including 10 genera and 12 species. Species richness, abundance and functional richness per night are positively related with forest cover. Generalized linear models show that species richness, abundance and functional richness per night are significantly related with forest cover, while seasonality had an effect on abundance and functional richness. Neither forest cover nor season had a significant effect on functional evenness. All these findings were consistent across three spatial scales (1, 3 and 5 km radius around sampling sites. The decrease in species, abundance and functional richness of bats with forest loss may have implications for the ecological processes they carry out such as seed dispersal, pollination and insect predation, among others.

  7. Algal MIPs, high diversity and conserved motifs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johanson Urban

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Major intrinsic proteins (MIPs also named aquaporins form channels facilitating the passive transport of water and other small polar molecules across membranes. MIPs are particularly abundant and diverse in terrestrial plants but little is known about their evolutionary history. In an attempt to investigate the origin of the plant MIP subfamilies, genomes of chlorophyte algae, the sister group of charophyte algae and land plants, were searched for MIP encoding genes. Results A total of 22 MIPs were identified in the nine analysed genomes and phylogenetic analyses classified them into seven subfamilies. Two of these, Plasma membrane Intrinsic Proteins (PIPs and GlpF-like Intrinsic Proteins (GIPs, are also present in land plants and divergence dating support a common origin of these algal and land plant MIPs, predating the evolution of terrestrial plants. The subfamilies unique to algae were named MIPA to MIPE to facilitate the use of a common nomenclature for plant MIPs reflecting phylogenetically stable groups. All of the investigated genomes contained at least one MIP gene but only a few species encoded MIPs belonging to more than one subfamily. Conclusions Our results suggest that at least two of the seven subfamilies found in land plants were present already in an algal ancestor. The total variation of MIPs and the number of different subfamilies in chlorophyte algae is likely to be even higher than that found in land plants. Our analyses indicate that genetic exchanges between several of the algal subfamilies have occurred. The PIP1 and PIP2 groups and the Ca2+ gating appear to be specific to land plants whereas the pH gating is a more ancient characteristic shared by all PIPs. Further studies are needed to discern the function of the algal specific subfamilies MIPA-E and to fully understand the evolutionary relationship of algal and terrestrial plant MIPs.

  8. Characterizing Extracellular Functions in Diverse N-fixing Cyanobacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuart, R.; Weyman, P.; Warshan, D.; Rasmussen, U.; Dupont, C. L.; Thelen, M. P.

    2016-12-01

    Cyanobacterial extracellular organic matter (EOM) is crucial to carbon cycling in many light-driven microbial communities, but the nature and bioavailability of this EOM is dependent on physiological function, which is often unknown. Some of the hypothesized physiological functions for EOM include C:N homeostasis, protection from stress, adhesion and promotion of interactions with other microbes. Additionally, cyanobacteria are capable of recycling organic matter from their own EOM, meaning EOM can be used for extracellular nutrient storage. To untangle some of these potential roles, we analysed exoproteomes in a diverse set of cyanobacteria. We have identified abundant extracellular proteins of unknown function, some of which are widely conserved throughout the phylum, whereas others appear specific to certain environments or strains. To further elucidate the function of these extracellular proteins, we used immunolocalization to localize a protein of interest within these communities, and high-resolution imaging mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS) to trace to trace the flow of elements, as well as and protein modelling to more accurately predict function. Our finding have implications for understanding the role these important primary producers hold in microbial community function and provide proteins that could be used as biomarkers for particular extracellular activities. This research was supported by the LLNL's Laboratory Directed Research and Development program and the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research Genomic Science program under FWP SCW1039. Work was performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344.

  9. Opposing Responses of Bird Functional Diversity to Vegetation Structural Diversity in Wet and Dry Forest

    OpenAIRE

    Sitters, Holly; York, Alan; Swan, Matthew; Christie, Fiona; Di Stefano, Julian

    2016-01-01

    Disturbance regimes are changing worldwide, and the consequences for ecosystem function and resilience are largely unknown. Functional diversity (FD) provides a surrogate measure of ecosystem function by capturing the range, abundance and distribution of trait values in a community. Enhanced understanding of the responses of FD to measures of vegetation structure at landscape scales is needed to guide conservation management. To address this knowledge gap, we used a whole-of-landscape samplin...

  10. Influence of persistent monodominance on functional diversity and functional community assembly in African tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kearsley, Elizabeth; Verbeeck, Hans; Hufkens, Koen; Beeckman, Hans; Steppe, Kathy; Boeckx, Pascal; Huygens, Dries

    2015-04-01

    Lowland tropical rainforest are taxonomically diverse and complex systems, although not all tropical communities are equally diverse. Naturally occuring monodominant patches of Gilbertiodendron dewevrei are commonly found across Central Africa alongside higher diversity forests. Nevertheless, a low taxonomical diversity does not necessarily indicate an equivalently low functional diverse system. We investigate the functional diversity and functional community assembly of mixed and monodominant tropical forests in a central region of the Congo Basin in D. R. Congo using 15 leaf and wood traits covering 95% of all species within each community. This unique dataset allows us to investigate differences in functional diversity and ecosystem functioning between mixed and monodominant forest types. Functional richness, functional divergence and functional evenness are three functional diversity measures providing different aspects of functional diversity. The largest difference between the two forest types was found for functional richness, with a lower functional richness in the monodominant forest indicating a higher amount of niche space filled in the mixed forest. The mixed forest also had a higher species richness and Simpson diversity index, indicating that the higher species richness increases the functional niche space. Subsequently, we identified whole community trait shifts within the monodominant forest compared to the mixed forest. The dominance of Gilbertiodendron dewevrei, for which a distinct niche is found for most traits, presented a significant influence on the entire (trait) community expressing fundamental differences in ecosystem functioning. More detailed investigation of species unique within the monodominant forest and species occurring in both forest types provide more insight into the influence of Gilbertiodendron dewevrei. Both the unique and the shared species showed significant shifts in leaf nutrients, specific leaf area and water use

  11. Symbiotic Dinoflagellate Functional Diversity Mediates Coral Survival under Ecological Crisis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suggett, David J; Warner, Mark E; Leggat, William

    2017-10-01

    Coral reefs have entered an era of 'ecological crisis' as climate change drives catastrophic reef loss worldwide. Coral growth and stress susceptibility are regulated by their endosymbiotic dinoflagellates (genus Symbiodinium). The phylogenetic diversity of Symbiodinium frequently corresponds to patterns of coral health and survival, but knowledge of functional diversity is ultimately necessary to reconcile broader ecological success over space and time. We explore here functional traits underpinning the complex biology of Symbiodinium that spans free-living algae to coral endosymbionts. In doing so we propose a mechanistic framework integrating the primary traits of resource acquisition and utilisation as a means to explain Symbiodinium functional diversity and to resolve the role of Symbiodinium in driving the stability of coral reefs under an uncertain future. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Phylogenetic diversity, functional trait diversity and extinction: avoiding tipping points and worst-case losses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faith, Daniel P

    2015-02-19

    The phylogenetic diversity measure, ('PD'), measures the relative feature diversity of different subsets of taxa from a phylogeny. At the level of feature diversity, PD supports the broad goal of biodiversity conservation to maintain living variation and option values. PD calculations at the level of lineages and features include those integrating probabilities of extinction, providing estimates of expected PD. This approach has known advantages over the evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered (EDGE) methods. Expected PD methods also have limitations. An alternative notion of expected diversity, expected functional trait diversity, relies on an alternative non-phylogenetic model and allows inferences of diversity at the level of functional traits. Expected PD also faces challenges in helping to address phylogenetic tipping points and worst-case PD losses. Expected PD may not choose conservation options that best avoid worst-case losses of long branches from the tree of life. We can expand the range of useful calculations based on expected PD, including methods for identifying phylogenetic key biodiversity areas. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  13. Patterns of species diversity in the deep sea as a function of sediment particle size diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etter, Ron J.; Grassle, J. Frederick

    1992-12-01

    UNDERSTANDING the processes that generate and maintain patterns of species diversity is a major focus of contemporary ecological and evolutionary research. In the deep sea, species diversity varies geographically and bathymetrically1-3, and may attain levels that rival tropical communities4. Many hypotheses have been proposed concerning the forces that shape patterns of species diversity in the deep sea5, but so far it has not been possible to relate these patterns to potential causes in a direct quantitative way. The nature of sediments should be important in structuring deep-sea communities because deposit feeders rely on the sediments for nutrition and comprise most of the organisms in the deep sea6. The composition of soft sediment communities is influenced by sediment particle size7,8. Shallow-water deposit feeders selectively ingest particular size fractions of the sediments9,10 and there are interspecific differences in particle size preference11-13. Partitioning of sediments with respect to size may be more likely in the deep sea if there is strong selection for macrophagy as a result of reduced food supply and digestive constraints imposed by feeding on deposits14; macrophagy would permit species to ingest selectively the more labile components of the sediments. If deposit feeders in the deep sea partition the sediments with respect to size, species diversity may in part be a function of sediment particle size diversity. Also, sediment particle size diversity may reflect habitat complexity because the organisms live on or within the sediments15-21. Here we show that species diversity is a significant positive function of sediment particle size diversity. The relationship seems to be scale-invariant, accounting for a similar proportion of the variance at inter-regional, regional and local scales. Bathymetric patterns of species diversity also appear to be largely attributable to changes in sediment characteristics with depth. These results suggest that

  14. Multitrophic functional diversity predicts ecosystem functioning in experimental assemblages of estuarine consumers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefcheck, Jonathan S; Duffy, J Emmett

    2015-11-01

    The use of functional traits to explain how biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning has attracted intense interest, yet few studies have a priori altered functional diversity, especially in multitrophic communities. Here, we manipulated multivariate functional diversity of estuarine grazers and predators within multiple levels of species richness to test how species richness and functional diversity predicted ecosystem functioning in a multitrophic food web. Community functional diversity was a better predictor than species richness for the majority of ecosystem properties, based on generalized linear mixed-effects models. Combining inferences from eight traits into a single multivariate index increased prediction accuracy of these models relative to any individual trait. Structural equation modeling revealed that functional diversity of both grazers and predators was important in driving final biomass within trophic levels, with stronger effects observed for predators. We also show that different species drove different ecosystem responses, with evidence for both sampling effects and complementarity. Our study extends experimental investigations of functional trait diversity to a multilevel food web, and demonstrates that functional diversity can be more accurate and effective than species richness in predicting community biomass in a food web context.

  15. Higher phylogenetic diversity prevents loss of functional diversity caused by successive drying and rewetting cycles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bononi, Laura; Taketani, Rodrigo Gouvêa; Souza, Danilo Tosta; Moitinho, Marta Alves; Kavamura, Vanessa Nessner; Melo, Itamar Soares

    2017-12-29

    Microbial communities regulate nutrient cycling in soil, thus the impact of climate change on the structure and function of these communities can cause an imbalance of nutrients in the environment. Structural and functional changes of soil bacterial communities in two contrasting biomes in Brazil, the Atlantic Forest and the Tropical Dry Forest (Caatinga), were studied by simulating, in microcosms, rainfall and drought events. Soil samples were collected in three Brazilian states: Bahia, Pernambuco and São Paulo, in a total of four sampling sites. Analysis of 16S rRNA amplicon libraries revealed changes in microbial communities after three drying-rewetting cycles (60-30% water holding capacity). Alpha diversity indexes were obtained for bacterial communities, as well as the functional diversity index (Shannon) based on the activity of the following enzymes: acid and alkaline phosphatase, arylsulfatase, dehydrogenase, cellulase, amylase, urease and phytase. In general, the soils of Caatinga showed a decrease in the diversity indexes studied, conversely, however, the soils of Atlantic Forest were found to be more resistant during the drying-rewetting cycles. Functional diversity was significantly different for the two biomes, with a decrease in Caatinga soils, while Atlantic Forest samples demonstrated a greater stability of enzymatic activity. Further, the Atlantic Forest samples showed more resistance when compared to samples from Caatinga. The results found in this study have confirmed the hypothesis that biomes, independent of climate, when subjected to successive events of drought and rewetting exhibit structural and metabolic changes.

  16. Functional equivalence of morphologies enables morphological and ecological diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Rebecca L; Haselkorn, Tamara S; Badyaev, Alexander V

    2007-11-01

    Diversity in organismal forms among taxa is thought to reflect distinct selection pressures across environments. The central assumption underlying this expectation is that taxa experiencing similar selection have similar response to that selection. However, because selection acts on trait function, taxa similarity in selection response depends crucially on the relationship between function and morphology. Further, when a trait consists of multiple parts, changes in function in response to selection can result from modification of different parts, and adaptation to the same environment might result in functional but not morphological similarity. Here, we address the extent to which functional and morphological diversity in masticatory apparatus of soricid shrews reflects a shared ecological characteristic of their diet type. We examine the factors limiting morphological variation across shrew species by assessing the relative contribution of trait function (biomechanics of the jaw), ecology, and phylogeny to species similarity in mandibular traits. We found that species that shared diet type were functionally but not morphologically similar. The presence of multiple semi-independently varying traits enabled functional equivalence of composite foraging morphologies and resulted in variable response to selection exerted by similar diet. We show that functional equivalence of multiple morphologies enabled persistence of differences in habitat use (e.g., habitat moisture and coverage) among species that specialize on the same diet. We discuss the importance of developmental and functional integration among traits for evolutionary diversification of morphological structures that generate equivalent functions.

  17. Functional roles affect diversity-succession relationships for boreal beetles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heloise Gibb

    Full Text Available Species diversity commonly increases with succession and this relationship is an important justification for conserving large areas of old-growth habitats. However, species with different ecological roles respond differently to succession. We examined the relationship between a range of diversity measures and time since disturbance for boreal forest beetles collected over a 285 year forest chronosequence. We compared responses of "functional" groups related to threat status, dependence on dead wood habitats, diet and the type of trap in which they were collected (indicative of the breadth of ecologies of species. We examined fits of commonly used rank-abundance models for each age class and traditional and derived diversity indices. Rank abundance distributions were closest to the Zipf-Mandelbrot distribution, suggesting little role for competition in structuring most assemblages. Diversity measures for most functional groups increased with succession, but differences in slopes were common. Evenness declined with succession; more so for red-listed species than common species. Saproxylic species increased in diversity with succession while non-saproxylic species did not. Slopes for fungivores were steeper than other diet groups, while detritivores were not strongly affected by succession. Species trapped using emergence traps (log specialists responded more weakly to succession than those trapped using flight intercept traps (representing a broader set of ecologies. Species associated with microhabitats that accumulate with succession (fungi and dead wood thus showed the strongest diversity responses to succession. These clear differences between functional group responses to forest succession should be considered in planning landscapes for optimum conservation value, particularly functional resilience.

  18. Does logging and forest conversion to oil palm agriculture alter functional diversity in a biodiversity hotspot?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, F A; Edwards, D P; Larsen, T H; Hsu, W W; Benedick, S; Chung, A; Vun Khen, C; Wilcove, D S; Hamer, K C

    2014-04-01

    Forests in Southeast Asia are rapidly being logged and converted to oil palm. These changes in land-use are known to affect species diversity but consequences for the functional diversity of species assemblages are poorly understood. Environmental filtering of species with similar traits could lead to disproportionate reductions in trait diversity in degraded habitats. Here, we focus on dung beetles, which play a key role in ecosystem processes such as nutrient recycling and seed dispersal. We use morphological and behavioural traits to calculate a variety of functional diversity measures across a gradient of disturbance from primary forest through intensively logged forest to oil palm. Logging caused significant shifts in community composition but had very little effect on functional diversity, even after a repeated timber harvest. These data provide evidence for functional redundancy of dung beetles within primary forest and emphasize the high value of logged forests as refugia for biodiversity. In contrast, conversion of forest to oil palm greatly reduced taxonomic and functional diversity, with a marked decrease in the abundance of nocturnal foragers, a higher proportion of species with small body sizes and the complete loss of telecoprid species (dung-rollers), all indicating a decrease in the functional capacity of dung beetles within plantations. These changes also highlight the vulnerability of community functioning within logged forests in the event of further environmental degradation.

  19. Functional diversity and functional traits of periphytic algae during a short-term successional process in a Neotropical floodplain lake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunck, B; Rodrigues, L; Bicudo, D C

    2015-08-01

    Due to the lack of knowledge in periphytic algae functional diversity patterns during successional processes in floodplains, the present study aimed to analyze the dynamics of the functional traits and functional diversity of periphytic species during a short-term successional process in a floodplain lake. The functional traits analyzed were size class, growth form, strength of attachment to the substratum, and functional strategies. We evaluated the dynamics of these traits, considering richness, density and biovolume during an 18-day colonization in two hydrological periods. The functional diversity was assessed using the mean pairwise distance index (MPD). Dominant functional traits during the colonization changed in association with the flood pulse. Under the pulse effect, higher development of C-S strategist, loosely attached, filamentous and nanoperiphytic species occurred. The highest values of functional diversity were associated with the algal biomass peak during the colonization and the high water hydrological period, possibly indicating greater efficiency in the ecosystem functioning. These findings show the importance of the functional traits approach in periphyton studies and that the selection of functional traits must be performed taking into account traits that represent the species niche.

  20. Functional diversity and functional traits of periphytic algae during a short-term successional process in a Neotropical floodplain lake

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B Dunck

    Full Text Available AbstractDue to the lack of knowledge in periphytic algae functional diversity patterns during successional processes in floodplains, the present study aimed to analyze the dynamics of the functional traits and functional diversity of periphytic species during a short-term successional process in a floodplain lake. The functional traits analyzed were size class, growth form, strength of attachment to the substratum, and functional strategies. We evaluated the dynamics of these traits, considering richness, density and biovolume during an 18-day colonization in two hydrological periods. The functional diversity was assessed using the mean pairwise distance index (MPD. Dominant functional traits during the colonization changed in association with the flood pulse. Under the pulse effect, higher development of C-S strategist, loosely attached, filamentous and nanoperiphytic species occurred. The highest values of functional diversity were associated with the algal biomass peak during the colonization and the high water hydrological period, possibly indicating greater efficiency in the ecosystem functioning. These findings show the importance of the functional traits approach in periphyton studies and that the selection of functional traits must be performed taking into account traits that represent the species niche.

  1. Functional diversity exhibits a diverse relationship with area, even a decreasing one

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karadimou, Elpida K.; Kallimanis, Athanasios S.; Tsiripidis, Ioannis; Dimopoulos, Panayotis

    2016-01-01

    The relationship between species richness and area is one of the few well-established laws in ecology, and one might expect a similar relationship with functional diversity (FD). However, only a few studies investigate the relationship between trait-based FD and area, the Functional Diversity - Area Relationship (FDAR). To examine FDAR, we constructed the species accumulation curve and the corresponding FD curve. We used plant diversity data from nested plots (1–128 m2), recorded on the Volcanic islands of Santorini Archipelagos, Greece. Six multidimensional FD indices were calculated using 26 traits. We identified a typology of FDARs depending on the facet of FD analyzed: (A) strongly positive for indices quantifying the range of functional traits in the community, (B) negative correlation for indices quantifying the evenness in the distribution of abundance in the trait space, (C) no clear pattern for indices reflecting the functional similarity of species and (D) idiosyncratic patterns with area for functional divergence. As area increases, the range of traits observed in the community increases, but the abundance of traits does not increase proportionally and some traits become dominant, implying a reliance on some functions that may be located in either the center or the periphery of the trait space. PMID:27752086

  2. Ectomycorrhizal symbiosis affects functional diversity of rhizosphere fluorescent pseudomonads

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Frey-Klett, P.; Chavatte, M.; Clausse, M.L.; Courrier, S.; Roux, Le C.; Raaijmakers, J.M.; Giovanna Martinotti, M.; Pierrat, J.C.; Garbaye, J.

    2005-01-01

    Here we characterized the effect of the ectomycorrhizal symbiosis on the genotypic and functional diversity of soil Pseudomonas fluorescens populations and analysed its possible consequences in terms of plant nutrition, development and health. ¿ Sixty strains of P. fluorescens were isolated from the

  3. Enzyme structure, enzyme function and allozyme diversity in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In estimates of population genetic diversity based on allozyme heterozygosity, some enzymes are regularly more variable than others. Evolutionary theory suggests that functionally less important molecules, or parts of molecules, evolve more rapidly than more important ones; the latter enzymes should then theoretically be ...

  4. FUNCTIONAL DIVERSITY AND OPTOGENETIC POTENTIALS OF MICROBIAL RHODOPSINS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mayanka Awasthi

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Microbial or type-1 rhodopsins are light sensitive proteins that utilize all-trans retinal as chromophore. Microbial rhodopsins are present in archaea, eubacteria and eukaryotes. Their broad and patchy distribution among the three domains of life is attributed to the lateral gene transfer mechanism of evolution. Microbial rhodopsins function as sensory rhodopsins, light-gated ion pumps and light-activated ion channels in nature. In this review, we present functional diversity and optogenetics applications of microbial rhodopsins.

  5. Plant litter functional diversity effects on litter mass loss depend on the macro-detritivore community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patoine, Guillaume; Thakur, Madhav P; Friese, Julia; Nock, Charles; Hönig, Lydia; Haase, Josephine; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2017-11-01

    A better understanding of the mechanisms driving litter diversity effects on decomposition is needed to predict how biodiversity losses affect this crucial ecosystem process. In a microcosm study, we investigated the effects of litter functional diversity and two major groups of soil macro-detritivores on the mass loss of tree leaf litter mixtures. Furthermore, we tested the effects of litter trait community means and dissimilarity on litter mass loss for seven traits relevant to decomposition. We expected macro-detritivore effects on litter mass loss to be most pronounced in litter mixtures of high functional diversity. We used 24 leaf mixtures differing in functional diversity, which were composed of litter from four species from a pool of 16 common European tree species. Earthworms, isopods, or a combination of both were added to each litter combination for two months. Litter mass loss was significantly higher in the presence of earthworms than in that of isopods, whereas no synergistic effects of macro-detritivore mixtures were found. The effect of functional diversity of the litter material was highest in the presence of both macro-detritivore groups, supporting the notion that litter diversity effects are most pronounced in the presence of different detritivore species. Species-specific litter mass loss was explained by nutrient content, secondary compound concentration, and structural components. Moreover, dissimilarity in N concentrations increased litter mass loss, probably because detritivores having access to nutritionally diverse food sources. Furthermore, strong competition between the two macro-detritivores for soil surface litter resulted in a decrease of survival of both macro-detritivores. These results show that the effects of litter functional diversity on decomposition are contingent upon the macro-detritivore community and composition. We conclude that the temporal dynamics of litter trait diversity effects and their interaction with

  6. New multidimensional functional diversity indices for a multifaceted framework in functional ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villéger, Sébastien; Mason, Norman W H; Mouillot, David

    2008-08-01

    Functional diversity is increasingly identified as an important driver of ecosystem functioning. Various indices have been proposed to measure the functional diversity of a community, but there is still no consensus on which are most suitable. Indeed, none of the existing indices meets all the criteria required for general use. The main criteria are that they must be designed to deal with several traits, take into account abundances, and measure all the facets of functional diversity. Here we propose three indices to quantify each facet of functional diversity for a community with species distributed in a multidimensional functional space: functional richness (volume of the functional space occupied by the community), functional evenness (regularity of the distribution of abundance in this volume), and functional divergence (divergence in the distribution of abundance in this volume). Functional richness is estimated using the existing convex hull volume index. The new functional evenness index is based on the minimum spanning tree which links all the species in the multidimensional functional space. Then this new index quantifies the regularity with which species abundances are distributed along the spanning tree. Functional divergence is measured using a novel index which quantifies how species diverge in their distances (weighted by their abundance) from the center of gravity in the functional space. We show that none of the indices meets all the criteria required for a functional diversity index, but instead we show that the set of three complementary indices meets these criteria. Through simulations of artificial data sets, we demonstrate that functional divergence and functional evenness are independent of species richness and that the three functional diversity indices are independent of each other. Overall, our study suggests that decomposition of functional diversity into its three primary components provides a meaningful framework for its quantification

  7. Function-specific response to depletion of microbial diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter, Hannes; Beier, Sara; Bertilsson, Stefan; Lindström, Eva S; Langenheder, Silke; Tranvik, Lars J

    2011-02-01

    Recent meta-analyses suggest that ecosystem functioning increases with biodiversity, but contradictory results have been presented for some microbial functions. Moreover, observations of only one function underestimate the functional role of diversity because of species-specific trade-offs in the ability to carry out different functions. We examined multiple functions in batch cultures of natural freshwater bacterial communities with different richness, achieved by a dilution-to-extinction approach. Community composition was assessed by molecular fingerprinting of 16S rRNA and chitinase genes, representing the total community and a trait characteristic for a functional group, respectively. Richness was positively related to abundance and biomass, negatively correlated to cell volumes and unrelated to maximum intrinsic growth rate. The response of chitin and cellulose degradation rates depended on the presence of a single phylotype. We suggest that species identity and community composition rather than richness matters for specific microbial processes.

  8. Intraspecific functional diversity of common species enhances community stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Connor M; McKinney, Shawn T; Loftin, Cynthia S

    2017-03-01

    Common species are fundamental to the structure and function of their communities and may enhance community stability through intraspecific functional diversity (iFD). We measured among-habitat and within-habitat iFD (i.e., among- and within-plant community types) of two common small mammal species using stable isotopes and functional trait dendrograms, determined whether iFD was related to short-term population stability and small mammal community stability, and tested whether spatially explicit trait filters helped explain observed patterns of iFD. Southern red-backed voles ( Myodes gapperi ) had greater iFD than deer mice ( Peromyscus maniculatus ), both among habitats, and within the plant community in which they were most abundant (their "primary habitat"). Peromyscus maniculatus populations across habitats differed significantly between years and declined 78% in deciduous forests, their primary habitat, as did the overall deciduous forest small mammal community. Myodes gapperi populations were stable across habitats and within coniferous forest, their primary habitat, as was the coniferous forest small mammal community. Generalized linear models representing internal trait filters (e.g., competition), which increase within-habitat type iFD, best explained variation in M. gapperi diet, while models representing internal filters and external filters (e.g., climate), which suppress within-habitat iFD, best explained P. maniculatus diet. This supports the finding that M. gapperi had higher iFD than P. maniculatus and is consistent with the theory that internal trait filters are associated with higher iFD than external filters. Common species with high iFD can impart a stabilizing influence on their communities, information that can be important for conserving biodiversity under environmental change.

  9. Intraspecific functional diversity of common species enhances community stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Connor M.; McKinney, Shawn T.; Loftin, Cynthia S.

    2017-01-01

    Common species are fundamental to the structure and function of their communities and may enhance community stability through intraspecific functional diversity (iFD). We measured among-habitat and within-habitat iFD (i.e., among- and within-plant community types) of two common small mammal species using stable isotopes and functional trait dendrograms, determined whether iFD was related to short-term population stability and small mammal community stability, and tested whether spatially explicit trait filters helped explain observed patterns of iFD. Southern red-backed voles (Myodes gapperi) had greater iFD than deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus), both among habitats, and within the plant community in which they were most abundant (their “primary habitat”). Peromyscus maniculatus populations across habitats differed significantly between years and declined 78% in deciduous forests, their primary habitat, as did the overall deciduous forest small mammal community. Myodes gapperi populations were stable across habitats and within coniferous forest, their primary habitat, as was the coniferous forest small mammal community. Generalized linear models representing internal trait filters (e.g., competition), which increase within-habitat type iFD, best explained variation in M. gapperidiet, while models representing internal filters and external filters (e.g., climate), which suppress within-habitat iFD, best explained P. maniculatus diet. This supports the finding that M. gapperi had higher iFD than P. maniculatus and is consistent with the theory that internal trait filters are associated with higher iFD than external filters. Common species with high iFD can impart a stabilizing influence on their communities, information that can be important for conserving biodiversity under environmental change.

  10. Versatile Loading of Diverse Cargo into Functional Polymer Capsules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Joseph J; Maina, James W; Ejima, Hirotaka; Hu, Ming; Guo, Junling; Choy, Mei Y; Gunawan, Sylvia T; Lybaert, Lien; Hagemeyer, Christoph E; De Geest, Bruno G; Caruso, Frank

    2015-02-01

    Polymer microcapsules are of particular interest for applications including self-healing coatings, catalysis, bioreactions, sensing, and drug delivery. The primary way that polymer capsules can exhibit functionality relevant to these diverse fields is through the incorporation of functional cargo in the capsule cavity or wall. Diverse functional and therapeutic cargo can be loaded into polymer capsules with ease using polymer-stabilized calcium carbonate (CaCO3) particles. A variety of examples are demonstrated, including 15 types of cargo, yielding a toolbox with effectively 500+ variations. This process uses no harsh reagents and can take less than 30 min to prepare, load, coat, and form the hollow capsules. For these reasons, it is expected that the technique will play a crucial role across scientific studies in numerous fields.

  11. Relating phylogenetic and functional diversity among denitrifiers and quantifying their capacity to predict community functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joana eFalcão Salles

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Genetic diversity of phylogenetic or functional markers is widely used as a proxy of microbial diversity. However, it remains unclear at what extent functional diversity, gene sequence diversity and community functioning are linked. We analysed, for a range of denitrifying bacteria, the relationships between (i the similarity of functional traits evaluated from metabolic profiles (BIOLOG plates or from N2O accumulation patterns on different C sources, and (ii the similarity of phylogenetic (16S rRNA gene or functional (nir gene markers. We also calculated different proxies for the diversity of denitrifier community based on taxa richness, phylogenetic or functional similarities, and evaluated their performance in inferring the functioning of assembled denitrifying communities. For individual strains, the variation in the 16S rRNA gene sequence explained only 10% of the variation in metabolic patterns and were not related to N2O accumulation. The latter was correlated with the similarity of nitrite reductase residues. When nir genes were analysed separately, the similarity in amino acids coded by the nirS genes accounted for 48% of the variance of the observed pattern of N2O accumulation, whereas nirK amino acid residues were unrelated to N2O accumulation. For bacterial assemblages, phylogenetic diversity and mean community dissimilarity, calculated using 16S rRNA gene sequences, and functional diversity measures associated with BIOLOG, predicted poorly the variation in the functioning of assembled communities (below 15%. In contrast, the proxies of functional diversity based on N2O accumulation patterns performed better and explained from 23 to 42% of the variation in community functioning. Amongst those, community niche was the best metric, indicating the importance of complementarity for carbon resources among taxa in the context of denitrification.

  12. The Functional Significance of Synaptotagmin Diversity in Neuroendocrine Secretion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paanteha K Moghadam

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Synaptotagmins (syts are abundant, evolutionarily-conserved integral membrane proteins that play essential roles in regulated exocytosis in nervous and endocrine systems. There are at least 17 syt isoforms in mammals, all with tandem C-terminal C2 domains with highly variable capacities for Ca2+ binding. Many syts play roles in neurotransmitter release or hormone secretion or both, and a growing body of work supports a role for some syts as Ca2+ sensors of exocytosis. Work in many types of endocrine cells has documented the presence of a number of syt isoforms on dense-core vesicles containing various hormones. Syts can influence the kinetics of exocytotic fusion pores and the choice of release mode between kiss-and-run and full-fusion. Vesicles harboring different syt isoforms can preferentially undergo distinct modes of exocytosis with different forms of stimulation. The diverse properties of syt isoforms enable these proteins to shape Ca2+ sensing in endocrine cells, thus contributing to the regulation of hormone release and the organization of complex endocrine functions.

  13. Plant functional diversity enhances associations of soil fungal diversity with vegetation and soil in the restoration of semiarid sandy grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuo, Xiaoan; Wang, Shaokun; Lv, Peng; Zhou, Xin; Zhao, Xueyong; Zhang, Tonghui; Zhang, Jing

    2016-01-01

    The trait-based approach shows that plant functional diversity strongly affects ecosystem properties. However, few empirical studies show the relationship between soil fungal diversity and plant functional diversity in natural ecosystems. We investigated soil fungal diversity along a restoration gradient of sandy grassland (mobile dune, semifixed dune, fixed dune, and grassland) in Horqin Sand Land, northern China, using the denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of 18S rRNA and gene sequencing. We also examined associations of soil fungal diversity with plant functional diversity reflected by the dominant species' traits in community (community-weighted mean, CWM) and the dispersion of functional trait values (FD is). We further used the structure equation model (SEM) to evaluate how plant richness, biomass, functional diversity, and soil properties affect soil fungal diversity in sandy grassland restoration. Soil fungal richness in mobile dune and semifixed dune was markedly lower than those of fixed dune and grassland (P functional diversity explained nearly 70% variances of soil fungal richness. Strong association of soil fungal richness with the dominant species in the community supported the mass ratio hypothesis. Our results clearly highlight the role of plant functional diversity in enhancing associations of soil fungal diversity with community structure and soil properties in sandy grassland ecosystems.

  14. Using a Multi-Trait Approach to Manipulate Plant Functional Diversity in a Biodiversity-Ecosystem Function Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schittko, Conrad; Hawa, Mahmoud; Wurst, Susanne

    2014-01-01

    A frequent pattern emerging from biodiversity-ecosystem function studies is that functional group richness enhances ecosystem functions such as primary productivity. However, the manipulation of functional group richness goes along with major disadvantages like the transformation of functional trait data into categories or the exclusion of functional differences between organisms in the same group. In a mesocosm study we manipulated plant functional diversity based on the multi-trait Functional Diversity (FD)-approach of Petchey and Gaston by using database data of seven functional traits and information on the origin of the species in terms of being native or exotic. Along a gradient ranging from low to high FD we planted 40 randomly selected eight-species mixtures under controlled conditions. We found a significant positive linear correlation of FD with aboveground productivity and a negative correlation with invasibility of the plant communities. Based on community-weighted mean calculations for each functional trait, we figured out that the traits N-fixation and species origin, i.e. being native or exotic, played the most important role for community productivity. Our results suggest that the identification of the impact of functional trait diversity and the relative contributions of relevant traits is essential for a mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity for ecosystem functions such as aboveground biomass production and resistance against invasion. PMID:24897501

  15. Leaf dry matter content predicts herbivore productivity, but its functional diversity is positively related to resilience in grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pakeman, Robin J

    2014-01-01

    This paper addresses whether the ecosystem service of animal production from grasslands depends upon plant functional identity, plant functional diversity or if the resilience of production is a function of this diversity. Using the results of nine grazing experiments the paper shows that productivity is highly dependent on one leaf trait, leaf dry matter content, as well as rainfall. Animal (secondary) productivity is not dependent on plant functional diversity, but the variability in productivity of grasslands is related to the functional diversity of leaf dry matter content. This and a range of independent studies have shown that functional diversity is reduced at high levels of grassland productivity, so it appears that there is a trade-off between productivity and the resilience of productivity in the face of environmental variation.

  16. Leaf dry matter content predicts herbivore productivity, but its functional diversity is positively related to resilience in grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robin J Pakeman

    Full Text Available This paper addresses whether the ecosystem service of animal production from grasslands depends upon plant functional identity, plant functional diversity or if the resilience of production is a function of this diversity. Using the results of nine grazing experiments the paper shows that productivity is highly dependent on one leaf trait, leaf dry matter content, as well as rainfall. Animal (secondary productivity is not dependent on plant functional diversity, but the variability in productivity of grasslands is related to the functional diversity of leaf dry matter content. This and a range of independent studies have shown that functional diversity is reduced at high levels of grassland productivity, so it appears that there is a trade-off between productivity and the resilience of productivity in the face of environmental variation.

  17. Functional diversity and community assembly of river invertebrates show globally consistent responses to decreasing glacier cover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Lee E; Khamis, Kieran; Wilkes, Martin; Blaen, Phillip; Brittain, John E; Carrivick, Jonathan L; Fell, Sarah; Friberg, Nikolai; Füreder, Leopold; Gislason, Gisli M; Hainie, Sarah; Hannah, David M; James, William H M; Lencioni, Valeria; Olafsson, Jon S; Robinson, Christopher T; Saltveit, Svein J; Thompson, Craig; Milner, Alexander M

    2018-02-01

    Global change threatens invertebrate biodiversity and its central role in numerous ecosystem functions and services. Functional trait analyses have been advocated to uncover global mechanisms behind biodiversity responses to environmental change, but the application of this approach for invertebrates is underdeveloped relative to other organism groups. From an evaluation of 363 records comprising >1.23 million invertebrates collected from rivers across nine biogeographic regions on three continents, consistent responses of community trait composition and diversity to replicated gradients of reduced glacier cover are demonstrated. After accounting for a systematic regional effect of latitude, the processes shaping river invertebrate functional diversity are globally consistent. Analyses nested within individual regions identified an increase in functional diversity as glacier cover decreases. Community assembly models demonstrated that dispersal limitation was the dominant process underlying these patterns, although environmental filtering was also evident in highly glacierized basins. These findings indicate that predictable mechanisms govern river invertebrate community responses to decreasing glacier cover globally.

  18. Functional diversity enhances the resistance of ecosystem multifunctionality to aridity in Mediterranean drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valencia-Gómez, Enrique; Maestre, Fernando T.; Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Yoann; Quero, José Luis; Tamme, Riin; Börger, Luca; García-Gómez, Miguel; Gross, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY We used a functional trait-based approach to assess the impacts of aridity and shrub encroachment on the functional structure of Mediterranean dryland communities (functional diversity and community-weighted mean trait values [CWM]), and to evaluate how these functional attributes ultimately affect multifunctionality (i.e., the provision of several ecosystem functions simultaneously). Shrub encroachment (the increase in the abundance/cover of shrubs) is a major land cover change that is taking place in grasslands worldwide. Studies conducted on drylands have reported positive or negative impacts of shrub encroachment depending on the functions and the traits of the sprouting or non-sprouting shrub species considered. Functional diversity and CWM were equally important as drivers of multifunctionality responses to both aridity and shrub encroachment. Size traits (e.g., vegetative height or lateral spread) and leaf traits (e.g., specific leaf area and leaf dry matter content) captured the effect of shrub encroachment on multifunctionality with a relative high accuracy (r2=0.63). Functional diversity also improved the resistance of multifunctionality along the aridity gradient studied. Maintaining and enhancing functional diversity in plant communities may help to buffer negative effects of ongoing global environmental change on dryland multifunctionality. PMID:25615801

  19. Amazonian functional diversity from forest canopy chemical assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asner, Gregory P; Martin, Roberta E; Tupayachi, Raul; Anderson, Christopher B; Sinca, Felipe; Carranza-Jiménez, Loreli; Martinez, Paola

    2014-04-15

    Patterns of tropical forest functional diversity express processes of ecological assembly at multiple geographic scales and aid in predicting ecological responses to environmental change. Tree canopy chemistry underpins forest functional diversity, but the interactive role of phylogeny and environment in determining the chemical traits of tropical trees is poorly known. Collecting and analyzing foliage in 2,420 canopy tree species across 19 forests in the western Amazon, we discovered (i) systematic, community-scale shifts in average canopy chemical traits along gradients of elevation and soil fertility; (ii) strong phylogenetic partitioning of structural and defense chemicals within communities independent of variation in environmental conditions; and (iii) strong environmental control on foliar phosphorus and calcium, the two rock-derived elements limiting CO2 uptake in tropical forests. These findings indicate that the chemical diversity of western Amazonian forests occurs in a regionally nested mosaic driven by long-term chemical trait adjustment of communities to large-scale environmental filters, particularly soils and climate, and is supported by phylogenetic divergence of traits essential to foliar survival under varying environmental conditions. Geographically nested patterns of forest canopy chemical traits will play a role in determining the response and functional rearrangement of western Amazonian ecosystems to changing land use and climate.

  20. Taxonomic and functional trait diversity of wild bees in different urban settings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buddle, Christopher M.; Fournier, Valérie

    2017-01-01

    Urbanization is one of the major anthropogenic processes contributing to local habitat loss and extirpation of numerous species, including wild bees, the most widespread pollinators. Little is known about the mechanisms through which urbanization impacts wild bee communities, or the types of urban green spaces that best promote their conservation in cities. The main objective of this study was to describe and compare wild bee community diversity, structure, and dynamics in two Canadian cities, Montreal and Quebec City. A second objective was to compare functional trait diversity among three habitat types (cemeteries, community gardens and urban parks) within each city. Bees were collected using pan traps and netting on the same 46 sites, multiple times, over the active season in 2012 and 2013. A total of 32,237 specimens were identified, representing 200 species and 6 families, including two new continental records, Hylaeus communis Nylander (1852) and Anthidium florentinum (Fabricius, 1775). Despite high community evenness, we found significant abundance of diverse species, including exotic ones. Spatio-temporal analysis showed higher stability in the most urbanized city (Montreal) but low nestedness of species assemblages among the three urban habitats in both cities. Our study demonstrates that cities are home to diverse communities of wild bees, but in turn affect bee community structure and dynamics. We also found that community gardens harbour high levels of functional trait diversity. Urban agriculture therefore contributes substantially to the provision of functionally diverse bee communities and possibly to urban pollination services. PMID:28286711

  1. Evolution of functional diversity in the cupin superfamily.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunwell, J M; Culham, A; Carter, C E; Sosa-Aguirre, C R; Goodenough, P W

    2001-12-01

    The cupin superfamily of proteins is among the most functionally diverse of any described to date. It was named on the basis of the conserved beta-barrel fold ('cupa' is the Latin term for a small barrel), and comprises both enzymatic and non-enzymatic members, which have either one or two cupin domains. Within the conserved tertiary structure, the variety of biochemical function is provided by minor variation of the residues in the active site and the identity of the bound metal ion. This review discusses the advantages of this particular scaffold and provides an evolutionary analysis of 18 different subclasses within the cupin superfamily.

  2. Challenging urban species diversity: contrasting phylogenetic patterns across plant functional groups in Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapp, Sonja; Kühn, Ingolf; Schweiger, Oliver; Klotz, Stefan

    2008-10-01

    Cities are hotspots of plant species richness, harboring more species than their rural surroundings, at least over large enough scales. However, species richness does not necessarily cover all aspects of biodiversity such as phylogenetic relationships. Ignoring these relationships, our understanding of how species assemblages develop and change in a changing environment remains incomplete. Given the high vascular plant species richness of urbanized areas in Germany, we asked whether these also have a higher phylogenetic diversity than rural areas, and whether phylogenetic diversity patterns differ systematically between species groups characterized by specific functional traits. Calculating the average phylogenetic distinctness of the total German flora and accounting for spatial autocorrelation, we show that phylogenetic diversity of urban areas does not reflect their high species richness. Hence, high urban species richness is mainly due to more closely related species that are functionally similar and able to deal with urbanization. This diminished phylogenetic information might decrease the flora's capacity to respond to environmental changes.

  3. Diversity and dispersal interactively affect predictability of ecosystem function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    France, Kristin E; Duffy, J Emmett

    2006-06-29

    Theory and small-scale experiments predict that biodiversity losses can decrease the magnitude and stability of ecosystem services such as production and nutrient cycling. Most of this research, however, has been isolated from the immigration and emigration (dispersal) processes that create and maintain diversity in nature. As common anthropogenic drivers of biodiversity change--such as habitat fragmentation, species introductions and climate change--are mediated by these understudied processes, it is unclear how environmental degradation will affect ecosystem services. Here we tested the interactive effects of mobile grazer diversity and dispersal on the magnitude and stability of ecosystem properties in experimental seagrass communities that were either isolated or connected by dispersal corridors. We show that, contrary to theoretical predictions, increasing the number of mobile grazer species in these metacommunities increased the spatial and temporal variability of primary and secondary production. Moreover, allowing grazers to move among and select patches reduced diversity effects on production. Finally, effects of diversity on stability differed qualitatively between patch and metacommunity scales. Our results indicate that declining biodiversity and habitat fragmentation synergistically influence the predictability of ecosystem functioning.

  4. Functional diversity and redundancy across fish gut, sediment and water bacterial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escalas, Arthur; Troussellier, Marc; Yuan, Tong; Bouvier, Thierry; Bouvier, Corinne; Mouchet, Maud A; Flores Hernandez, Domingo; Ramos Miranda, Julia; Zhou, Jizhong; Mouillot, David

    2017-08-01

    This article explores the functional diversity and redundancy in a bacterial metacommunity constituted of three habitats (sediment, water column and fish gut) in a coastal lagoon under anthropogenic pressure. Comprehensive functional gene arrays covering a wide range of ecological processes and stress resistance genes to estimate the functional potential of bacterial communities were used. Then, diversity partitioning was used to characterize functional diversity and redundancy within (α), between (β) and across (γ) habitats. It was showed that all local communities exhibit a highly diversified potential for the realization of key ecological processes and resistance to various environmental conditions, supporting the growing evidence that macro-organisms microbiomes harbour a high functional potential and are integral components of functional gene dynamics in aquatic bacterial metacommunities. Several levels of functional redundancy at different scales of the bacterial metacommunity were observed (within local communities, within habitats and at the metacommunity level). The results suggested a high potential for the realization of spatial ecological insurance within this ecosystem, that is, the functional compensation among microorganisms for the realization and maintenance of key ecological processes, within and across habitats. Finally, the role of macro-organisms as dispersal vectors of microbes and their potential influence on marine metacommunity dynamics were discussed. © 2017 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Functional diversity of soil invertebrates: a potential tool to explain N2O emission?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lubbers, Ingrid; De Deyn, Gerlinde; Drake, Harold; Hunger, Sindy; Oppermann, Timo; van Groenigen, Jan Willem

    2017-04-01

    Soil biota play a crucial role in the mineralization of nutrients from organic material. However, they can thereby increase emissions of the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O). Our current lack of understanding of the factors controlling N2O production and emission is impeding the development of effective mitigation strategies. It is the challenge to control N2O emissions from production systems without reducing crop yield, and diversity of soil fauna may play a key role. A high functional diversity of soil invertebrates is known to stimulate nitrogen mineralization and thereby plant growth, however, it is unknown whether a high functional diversity of soil invertebrates can concurrently diminish N2O emissions. We hypothesized that increased functional diversity of soil invertebrates reduces faunal-induced N2O emissions by facilitating more complete denitrification through (i) stimulating the activity of denitrifying microbes, and (ii) affecting the distribution of micro and macro pores, creating more anaerobic reaction sites. Using state-of-the-art X-ray tomography and next-generation sequencing, we studied effects of functional diversity on soil structural properties and the diversity of the microbial community (16S rRNA genes and 16S rRNA), and linked these to soil N2O emissions. In a 120-day study we found that the functional composition of the soil invertebrate community determined N2O emissions: earthworm activity was key to faunal-induced N2O emissions (a 32-fold increase after 120 days, Pfunctional diversity in explaining faunal-affected N2O emissions.

  6. Glowing Worms: Biological, Chemical, and Functional Diversity of Bioluminescent Annelids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verdes, Aida; Gruber, David F

    2017-07-01

    Bioluminescence, the ability to produce light by living organisms, has evolved independently in numerous lineages across the tree of life. Luminous forms are found in a wide range of taxonomic groups from bacteria to vertebrates, although the great majority of bioluminescent organisms are marine taxa. Within the phylum Annelida, bioluminescence is widespread, present in at least 98 terrestrial and marine species that represent 45 genera distributed in thirteen lineages of clitellates and polychaetes. The ecological diversity of luminous annelids is unparalleled, with species occupying a great variety of habitats including both terrestrial and marine ecosystems, from coastal waters to the deep-sea, in benthic and pelagic habitats from polar to tropical regions. This great taxonomic and ecological diversity is matched by the wide array of bioluminescent colors-including yellow light, which is very rare among marine taxa-different emission wavelengths even between species of the same genus, and varying patterns, chemical reactions and kinetics. This diversity of bioluminescence colors and patterns suggests that light production in annelids might be involved in a variety of different functions, including defensive mechanisms like sacrificial lures or aposematic signals, and intraspecific communication systems. In this review, we explore the world of luminous annelids, particularly focusing on the current knowledge regarding their taxonomic and ecological diversity and discussing the putative functions and chemistries of their bioluminescent systems. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology 2017. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  7. Analysis of the functional diversity of the microbial communities in a ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    No clear trends concerning the influence of maintenance shut-downs and cleaning of machines could be observed in the sessile phase, while a shift in the microbial community could be observed in the planktonic phase. Biodiversity indices indicated that a high functional diversity existed in both the planktonic and sessile ...

  8. Trade-off between taxon diversity and functional diversity in European lake ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossmann, Lars; Beisser, Daniela; Bock, Christina; Chatzinotas, Antonis; Jensen, Manfred; Preisfeld, Angelika; Psenner, Roland; Rahmann, Sven; Wodniok, Sabina; Boenigk, Jens

    2016-12-01

    Inferring ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services through inspections of the species inventory is a major aspect of ecological field studies. Ecosystem functions are often stable despite considerable species turnover. Using metatranscriptome analyses, we analyse a thus-far unparalleled freshwater data set which comprises 21 mainland European freshwater lakes from the Sierra Nevada (Spain) to the Carpathian Mountains (Romania) and from northern Germany to the Apennines (Italy) and covers an altitudinal range from 38 m above sea level (a.s.l) to 3110 m a.s.l. The dominant taxa were Chlorophyta and streptophytic algae, Ciliophora, Bacillariophyta and Chrysophyta. Metatranscriptomics provided insights into differences in community composition and into functional diversity via the relative share of taxa to the overall read abundance of distinct functional genes on the ecosystem level. The dominant metabolic pathways in terms of the fraction of expressed sequences in the cDNA libraries were affiliated with primary metabolism, specifically oxidative phosphorylation, photosynthesis and the TCA cycle. Our analyses indicate that community composition is a good first proxy for the analysis of ecosystem functions. However, differential gene regulation modifies the relative importance of taxa in distinct pathways. Whereas taxon composition varies considerably between lakes, the relative importance of distinct metabolic pathways is much more stable, indicating that ecosystem functioning is buffered against shifts in community composition through a functional redundancy of taxa. © 2016 The Authors. Molecular Ecology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Plant diversity and root traits benefit physical properties key to soil function in grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gould, Iain J; Quinton, John N; Weigelt, Alexandra; De Deyn, Gerlinde B; Bardgett, Richard D

    2016-09-01

    Plant diversity loss impairs ecosystem functioning, including important effects on soil. Most studies that have explored plant diversity effects belowground, however, have largely focused on biological processes. As such, our understanding of how plant diversity impacts the soil physical environment remains limited, despite the fundamental role soil physical structure plays in ensuring soil function and ecosystem service provision. Here, in both a glasshouse and a long-term field study, we show that high plant diversity in grassland systems increases soil aggregate stability, a vital structural property of soil, and that root traits play a major role in determining diversity effects. We also reveal that the presence of particular plant species within mixed communities affects an even wider range of soil physical processes, including hydrology and soil strength regimes. Our results indicate that alongside well-documented effects on ecosystem functioning, plant diversity and root traits also benefit essential soil physical properties. © 2016 The Authors Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Functional Diversity of AAA+ Protease Complexes in Bacillus subtilis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elsholz, Alexander K. W.; Birk, Marlene S.; Charpentier, Emmanuelle; Turgay, Kürşad

    2017-01-01

    Here, we review the diverse roles and functions of AAA+ protease complexes in protein homeostasis, control of stress response and cellular development pathways by regulatory and general proteolysis in the Gram-positive model organism Bacillus subtilis. We discuss in detail the intricate involvement of AAA+ protein complexes in controlling sporulation, the heat shock response and the role of adaptor proteins in these processes. The investigation of these protein complexes and their adaptor proteins has revealed their relevance for Gram-positive pathogens and their potential as targets for new antibiotics. PMID:28748186

  11. Defining conservation priorities for freshwater fishes according to taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strecker, Angela; Olden, Julian D.; Whittier, Joanna B.; Paukert, Craig P.

    2011-01-01

    To date, the predominant use of systematic conservation planning has been to evaluate and conserve areas of high terrestrial biodiversity. Although studies in freshwater ecosystems have received recent attention, research has rarely considered the potential trade-offs between protecting different dimensions of biodiversity and the ecological processes that maintain diversity. We provide the first systematic prioritization for freshwaters (focusing on the highly threatened and globally distinct fish fauna of the Lower Colorado River Basin, USA) simultaneously considering scenarios of: taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity; contemporary threats to biodiversity (including interactions with nonnative species); and future climate change and human population growth. There was 75% congruence between areas of highest conservation priority for different aspects of biodiversity, suggesting that conservation efforts can concurrently achieve strong complementarity among all types of diversity. However, sizable fractions of the landscape were incongruent across conservation priorities for different diversity scenarios, underscoring the importance of considering multiple dimensions of biodiversity and highlighting catchments that contribute disproportionately to taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity in the region. Regions of projected human population growth were not concordant with conservation priorities; however, higher human population abundance will likely have indirect effects on native biodiversity by increasing demand for water. This will come in direct conflict with projected reductions in precipitation and warmer temperatures, which have substantial overlap with regions of high contemporary diversity. Native and endemic fishes in arid ecosystems are critically endangered by both current and future threats, but our results highlight the use of systematic conservation planning for the optimal allocation of limited resources that incorporates

  12. Relative roles of local disturbance, current climate and paleoclimate in determining phylogenetic and functional diversity in Chinese forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, G.; Mi, X. C.; Bøcher, P. K.; Mao, L. F.; Sandel, B.; Cao, M.; Ye, W. H.; Hao, Z. Q.; Gong, H. D.; Zhang, Y. T.; Zhao, X. H.; Jin, G. Z.; Ma, K. P.; Svenning, J.-C.

    2014-03-01

    The main processes underlying the generation and maintenance of biodiversity include both local factors such as competition and abiotic filtering and regional forces such as paleoclimate, speciation and dispersal. While the effects of regional and local drivers on species diversity are increasingly studied, their relative importance for other aspects of diversity, notably phylogenetic and functional diversity is so far little studied. Here, we link data from large Chinese forest plots to data on current and Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) climate as well as local disturbance regimes to study their relative roles in determining woody plant phylogenetic and functional diversity in this important hotspot for woody plant diversity. Local disturbance was the best predictor of functional diversity as represented by maximum canopy height (Hmax), probably reflecting the dominant role of competition for light in determining the forest Hmax structure. In contrast, the LGM-present anomaly in temperature was the factor with the strongest explanatory power for phylogenetic diversity, with modern climate also important. Hence, local contemporary and regional historical factors have highly contrasting importance for the geographic patterns of the functional (as represented by variation in maximum canopy height) and phylogenetic aspects of Chinese forest's woody plant diversity. Importantly, contemporary factors are of overriding importance for functional diversity, while paleoclimate has left a strong signature in the phylogenetic diversity patterns.

  13. Relative roles of local disturbance, current climate and palaeoclimate in determining phylogenetic and functional diversity in Chinese forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, G.; Mi, X. C.; Bøcher, P. K.; Mao, L. F.; Sandel, B.; Cao, M.; Ye, W. H.; Hao, Z. Q.; Gong, H. D.; Zhang, Y. T.; Zhao, X. H.; Jin, G. Z.; Ma, K. P.; Svenning, J.-C.

    2013-09-01

    The main processes underlying the generation and maintenance of biodiversity include both local factors such as competition and abiotic filtering and regional forces such as palaeoclimate, speciation and dispersal. While the effects of regional and local drivers on species diversity are increasingly studied, their relative importance for other aspects of diversity, notably phylogenetic and functional diversity is so far little studied. Here, we link data from large Chinese forest plots to data on current and Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) climate as well as local disturbance regimes to study their relative roles in determining woody plant phylogenetic and functional diversity in this important hotspot for woody plant diversity. Local disturbance was the best predictor of functional diversity as represented by maximum canopy height (Hmax), probably reflecting the dominant role of competition for light in determining the forest Hmax structure. In contrast, the LGM-present anomaly in temperature was the factor with the strongest explanatory power for phylogenetic diversity, with modern climate also important. Hence, local contemporary and regional historical factors have highly contrasting importance for the geographic patterns of the functional and phylogenetic aspects of Chinese forest woody plant diversity. Importantly, contemporary factors are of overriding importance for functional diversity, while palaeoclimate has left a strong signature in the phylogenetic diversity patterns.

  14. Environmental Gradient Favours Functionally Diverse Macrobenthic Community in a Placer Rich Tropical Bay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. K. Sivadas

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The present paper examines the functional diversity-environment relation in a placer rich tropical bay. Understanding the environmental variables that determine the biodiversity pattern will help in the effective conservation plans of coastal habitat. However, few studies have been carried out on the biodiversity-environment relation from the diverse tropical coastal ecosystem. The geographic location of Kalbadevi Bay along the west coast of India provides an opportunity to study the functional diversity pattern of macrofauna along an environmental gradient. Additionally, the area is also a potential placer mining site. Seasonal sampling was carried out for macrofauna and environmental variables. Macrofaunal functional diversity showed significant temporal variation related to the environmental parameters. The most important environmental variables were organic matter and sediment texture. Filter feeders dominated during postmonsoon which is a period when the water column is enriched with sinking detritus. The deposit feeders which rapidly ingest the settled detritus and also transport it to deeper sediment for the subsurface deposit feeders dominated during premonsoon. Abundance of carnivores was high during premonsoon, a response to increase in food in terms of deposit feeders. The result thus indicates that the temporal environmental variation influenced the macrofaunal functional diversity pattern in the Kalbadevi Bay.

  15. Diverse Functions of Plasma PAF-AH in Tumorigenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stafforini, Diana M

    2015-01-01

    This chapter is focused on the role of the plasma form of platelet-activating factor-acetylhydrolase (PAF-AH), heretofore referred to as PAF-AH, in tumorigenic responses. Biochemical and other properties of this enzyme were discussed in detail in chapter "Plasma PAF-AH (PLA2G7): Biochemical Properties, Association with LDLs and HDLs, and Regulation of Expression" by Stafforini and in other chapters. Although phospholipases tend not to be drivers of tumorigenesis themselves, these enzymes and the lipid mediators whose levels they regulate interact with a variety of oncogenes and tumor suppressors [1]. Like other phospholipases, the functions of PAF-AH in cancer likely are related to its ability to regulate the levels of lipid mediators that participate in cellular processes related to initial tumorigenic events (e.g., proliferation, growth, inflammation) and/or spreading of the disease (e.g., matrix metalloproteinase secretion, actin cytoskeleton reorganization, migration, and angiogenesis) [1]. The importance of substrates and products of PAF-AH on key cellular functions has been evaluated in cell-based analyses which revealed that these metabolites can have pro- and antitumorigenic functions. Studies in genetically engineered mice lacking PAF-AH expression and genetic manipulation of PAF-AH levels in cancer cells demonstrated diverse functions of the protein in models of melanoma, prostate cancer, colon cancer, and others. The following sections highlight lessons learned from studies in cell lines and in mouse models regarding the diversity of functions of PAF-AH in cancer, and the potential of PAFAH transcripts, protein, and/or activity levels to become cancer biomarkers and therapeutic targets. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Dissecting spatiotemporal patterns of functional diversity through the lens of Darwin's naturalization conundrum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Sara E; Mandrak, Nicholas E

    2017-06-01

    Darwin's naturalization conundrum describes the paradigm that community assembly is regulated by two opposing processes, environmental filtering and competitive interactions, which predict both similarity and distinctiveness of species to be important for establishment. Our goal is to use long-term, large-scale, and high-resolution temporal data to examine diversity patterns over time and assess whether environmental filtering or competition plays a larger role in regulating community assembly processes. We evaluated Darwin's naturalization conundrum and how functional diversity has changed in the Laurentian Great Lakes fish community from 1870 to 2010, which has experienced frequent introductions of non-native species and extirpations of native species. We analyzed how functional diversity has changed over time by decade from 1870 to 2010 at three spatial scales (regional, lake, and habitat) to account for potential noninteractions between species at the regional and lake level. We also determined which process, environmental filtering or competitive interactions, is more important in regulating community assembly and maintenance by comparing observed patterns to what we would expect in the absence of an ecological mechanism. With the exception of one community, all analyses show that functional diversity and species richness has increased over time and that environmental filtering regulates community assembly at the regional level. When examining functional diversity at the lake and habitat level, the regulating processes become more context dependent. This study is the first to examine diversity patterns and Darwin's conundrum by integrating long-term, large-scale, and high-resolution temporal data at multiple spatial scales. Our results confirm that Darwin's conundrum is highly context dependent.

  17. Biophysical detection of diversity and bias in GPCR function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Werner eJaeger

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs function in complexes with a range of molecules and proteins including ligands, G proteins, arrestins, ubiquitin and other receptors. Elements of these complexes may interact constitutively or dynamically, dependent upon factors such as ligand binding, phosphorylation and dephosphorylation. They may also be allosterically modulated by other proteins in a manner that changes temporally and spatially within the cell. Elucidating how these complexes function has been greatly enhanced by biophysical technologies that are able to monitor proximity and/or binding, often in real-time and in live cells. These include resonance energy transfer approaches such as bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET. Furthermore, the use of fluorescent ligands has enabled novel insights into allosteric interactions between GPCRs. Consequently biophysical approaches are helping to unlock the amazing diversity and bias in G protein-coupled receptor signaling.

  18. Functional trait space and the latitudinal diversity gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamanna, Christine; Blonder, Benjamin; Violle, Cyrille; Kraft, Nathan J B; Sandel, Brody; Šímová, Irena; Donoghue, John C; Svenning, Jens-Christian; McGill, Brian J; Boyle, Brad; Buzzard, Vanessa; Dolins, Steven; Jørgensen, Peter M; Marcuse-Kubitza, Aaron; Morueta-Holme, Naia; Peet, Robert K; Piel, William H; Regetz, James; Schildhauer, Mark; Spencer, Nick; Thiers, Barbara; Wiser, Susan K; Enquist, Brian J

    2014-09-23

    The processes causing the latitudinal gradient in species richness remain elusive. Ecological theories for the origin of biodiversity gradients, such as competitive exclusion, neutral dynamics, and environmental filtering, make predictions for how functional diversity should vary at the alpha (within local assemblages), beta (among assemblages), and gamma (regional pool) scales. We test these predictions by quantifying hypervolumes constructed from functional traits representing major axes of plant strategy variation (specific leaf area, plant height, and seed mass) in tree assemblages spanning the temperate and tropical New World. Alpha-scale trait volume decreases with absolute latitude and is often lower than sampling expectation, consistent with environmental filtering theory. Beta-scale overlap decays with geographic distance fastest in the temperate zone, again consistent with environmental filtering theory. In contrast, gamma-scale trait space shows a hump-shaped relationship with absolute latitude, consistent with no theory. Furthermore, the overall temperate trait hypervolume was larger than the overall tropical hypervolume, indicating that the temperate zone permits a wider range of trait combinations or that niche packing is stronger in the tropical zone. Although there are limitations in the data, our analyses suggest that multiple processes have shaped trait diversity in trees, reflecting no consistent support for any one theory.

  19. Consumers control diversity and functioning of a natural marine ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew H Altieri

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Our understanding of the functional consequences of changes in biodiversity has been hampered by several limitations of previous work, including limited attention to trophic interactions, a focus on species richness rather than evenness, and the use of artificially assembled communities. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, we manipulated the density of an herbivorous snail in natural tide pools and allowed seaweed communities to assemble in an ecologically relevant and non-random manner. Seaweed species evenness and biomass-specific primary productivity (mg O(2 h(-1 g(-1 were higher in tide pools with snails because snails preferentially consumed an otherwise dominant seaweed species that can reduce biomass-specific productivity rates of algal assemblages. Although snails reduced overall seaweed biomass in tide pools, they did not affect gross primary productivity at the scale of tide pools (mg O(2 h(-1 pool(-1 or mg O(2 h(-1 m(-2 because of the enhanced biomass-specific productivity associated with grazer-mediated increases in algal evenness. SIGNIFICANCE: Our results suggest that increased attention to trophic interactions, diversity measures other than richness, and particularly the effects of consumers on evenness and primary productivity, will improve our understanding of the relationship between diversity and ecosystem functioning and allow more effective links between experimental results and real-world changes in biodiversity.

  20. Yeast diversity of sourdoughs and associated metabolic properties and functionalities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Vuyst, Luc; Harth, Henning; Van Kerrebroeck, Simon; Leroy, Frédéric

    2016-12-19

    Together with acidifying lactic acid bacteria, yeasts play a key role in the production process of sourdough, where they are either naturally present or added as a starter culture. Worldwide, a diversity of yeast species is encountered, with Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Candida humilis, Kazachstania exigua, Pichia kudriavzevii, Wickerhamomyces anomalus, and Torulaspora delbrueckii among the most common ones. Sourdough-adapted yeasts are able to withstand the stress conditions encountered during their growth, including nutrient starvation as well as the effects of acidic, oxidative, thermal, and osmotic stresses. From a technological point of view, their metabolism primarily contributes to the leavening and flavour of sourdough products. Besides ethanol and carbon dioxide, yeasts can produce metabolites that specifically affect flavour, such as organic acids, diacetyl, higher alcohols from branched-chain amino acids, and esters derived thereof. Additionally, several yeast strains possess functional properties that can potentially lead to nutritional and safety advantages. These properties encompass the production of vitamins, an improvement of the bioavailability of phenolic compounds, the dephosphorylation of phytic acid, the presence of probiotic potential, and the inhibition of fungi and their mycotoxin production. Strains of diverse species are new candidate functional starter cultures, offering opportunities beyond the conventional use of baker's yeast. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Reducing the impacts of Neotropical oil palm development on functional diversity

    OpenAIRE

    Prescott, Graham W.; Gilroy, James J.; Haugaasen, Torbjørn; Medina Uribe, Claudia A.; Foster, William A.; Edwards, David P.

    2016-01-01

    Large-scale conversion of natural habitats to agriculture reduces species richness and functional diversity, with important implications for the provision of many ecosystem services. We investigated possible solutions to minimise loss of functional diversity: retaining forest fragments to enhance functional diversity within agricultural lands, and restricting future expansion of tropical crops to degraded lands or low-productivity farmlands to conserve functional diversity at a landscape leve...

  2. Multiple metrics of diversity have different effects on temperate forest functioning over succession.

    OpenAIRE

    Yuan, Zuoqiang; Wang, Shaopeng; Gazol, Antonio; Mellard, Jarad Pope; Lin, Fei; Ye, Ji; Hao, Zhanqing; Wang, Xugao; Loreau, Michel

    2016-01-01

    Biodiversity can be measured by taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional diversity. How ecosystem functioning depends on these measures of diversity can vary from site to site and depends on successional stage. Here, we measured taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional diversity, and examined their relationship with biomass in two successional stages of the broad-leaved Korean pine forest in northeastern China. Functional diversity was calculated from six plant traits, and aboveground biomass (...

  3. Evaluation of nine distance-based measures of functional diversity applied to forest communities

    OpenAIRE

    Jin-Tun Zhang; Naiqi Song; Lihong Fan

    2013-01-01

    Several methods for the estimation of functional diversity are employed in plant communities. However, it is hard to select the most suitable measures in practice. This work presents comparisons of nine distance-based measures applied to functional diversity analysis in forest communities (36 plots) along an elevational gradient in the Pangquangou Reserve, China. The employed indices and methods were: functional attribute diversity (FAD), Raos functional diversity (Raos index), single linkage...

  4. Prey diversity effects on ecosystem functioning depend on consumer identity and prey composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wohlgemuth, Daniel; Filip, Joanna; Hillebrand, Helmut; Moorthi, Stefanie D

    2017-07-01

    Consumer diversity effects on ecosystem functioning are highly context dependent and are determined by consumer specialization and other consumer and prey specific traits such as growth and grazing rates. Despite complex reciprocal interactions between consumers and their prey, few experimental studies have focused on prey diversity effects on consumer dynamics and trophic transfer. In microbial microcosms, we investigated effects of algal prey diversity (one, two and four species) on the production, evenness and grazing rates of 4 ciliate consumers, differing in grazing preferences and rates. Prey diversity increased prey biovolume in the absence of consumers and had opposing effects on different consumers, depending on their specialization and their preferred prey. Consumers profited from prey mixtures compared to monocultures of non-preferred prey, but responded negatively if preferred prey species were offered together with other species. Prey diversity increased consumer evenness by preventing dominance of specific consumers, demonstrating that the loss of prey species may have cascading effects resulting in reduced consumer diversity. Our study emphasizes that not only the degree of specialization but also the selectivity for certain prey species within the dietary niche may alter the consequences of changing prey diversity in a food web context.

  5. Roles of mesophyll conductance and plant functional diversities in tropical photosynthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, L.

    2013-12-01

    Tropical photosynthesis dominates global terrestrial gross primary production (GPP) and will likely play a defining role in determining how global GPP will respond to climate change. Yet, our current understanding of biological, ecological, edaphic and environmental controls on tropical photosynthesis is poor. The overly simplistic schemes that current Earth System Models use to simulate tropical photosynthesis cannot capture the functional diversities associated with high species diversities in the tropics. New approaches that explicitly represent the functional diversities of tropical photosynthesis in Earth System Models are needed in order to realistically model responses of tropical photosynthesis to increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations and associated climate changes. To establish a basis for such approaches, we conducted intensive field measurements of leaf photosynthesis at three forest sites along a strong rainfall gradient in Panama in 2012-2013. The three sites are Parque Natural Metropolitano, Gamboa, and Parque Nacional San Lorenzo. The Parque Natural Metropolitano receives an annual precipitation of less than 1800mm and Parque Nacional San Lorenzo over 3300 mm with Gamboa in between. The three sites differ in species diversity with Parque Nacional San Lorenzo having the highest species diversity and Parque Nacional San Lorenzo the lowest. At the three contrasting sites, we measured A/Ci curves, leaf traits and leaf nutrient (N and P) contents of about 100 species. We determined mesophyll conductance with the LeafWeb approach. From these measurements, we developed practical but realistic parameterizations of functional diversities of tropical plant species at the three sites and implemented these parameterizations in the latest version of the Community Land Model. We found that mesophyll conductance is key to representing functional diversities of tropical forest species. Without it, responses of tropical photosynthesis to increased atmospheric CO2

  6. Functional biogeography of oceanic islands and the scaling of functional diversity in the Azores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whittaker, Robert J; Rigal, François; Borges, Paulo A V; Cardoso, Pedro; Terzopoulou, Sofia; Casanoves, Fernando; Pla, Laura; Guilhaumon, François; Ladle, Richard J; Triantis, Kostas A

    2014-09-23

    Analyses of species-diversity patterns of remote islands have been crucial to the development of biogeographic theory, yet little is known about corresponding patterns in functional traits on islands and how, for example, they may be affected by the introduction of exotic species. We collated trait data for spiders and beetles and used a functional diversity index (FRic) to test for nonrandomness in the contribution of endemic, other native (also combined as indigenous), and exotic species to functional-trait space across the nine islands of the Azores. In general, for both taxa and for each distributional category, functional diversity increases with species richness, which, in turn scales with island area. Null simulations support the hypothesis that each distributional group contributes to functional diversity in proportion to their species richness. Exotic spiders have added novel trait space to a greater degree than have exotic beetles, likely indicating greater impact of the reduction of immigration filters and/or differential historical losses of indigenous species. Analyses of species occurring in native-forest remnants provide limited indications of the operation of habitat filtering of exotics for three islands, but only for beetles. Although the general linear (not saturating) pattern of trait-space increase with richness of exotics suggests an ongoing process of functional enrichment and accommodation, further work is urgently needed to determine how estimates of extinction debt of indigenous species should be adjusted in the light of these findings.

  7. Functional diversity of plant-pollinator interaction webs enhances the persistence of plant communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colin Fontaine

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Pollination is exclusively or mainly animal mediated for 70% to 90% of angiosperm species. Thus, pollinators provide an essential ecosystem service to humankind. However, the impact of human-induced biodiversity loss on the functioning of plant-pollinator interactions has not been tested experimentally. To understand how plant communities respond to diversity changes in their pollinating fauna, we manipulated the functional diversity of both plants and pollinators under natural conditions. Increasing the functional diversity of both plants and pollinators led to the recruitment of more diverse plant communities. After two years the plant communities pollinated by the most functionally diverse pollinator assemblage contained about 50% more plant species than did plant communities pollinated by less-diverse pollinator assemblages. Moreover, the positive effect of functional diversity was explained by a complementarity between functional groups of pollinators and plants. Thus, the functional diversity of pollination networks may be critical to ecosystem sustainability.

  8. Functional Diversity of Plant-Pollinator Interaction Webs Enhances the Persistence of Plant Communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Pollination is exclusively or mainly animal mediated for 70% to 90% of angiosperm species. Thus, pollinators provide an essential ecosystem service to humankind. However, the impact of human-induced biodiversity loss on the functioning of plant-pollinator interactions has not been tested experimentally. To understand how plant communities respond to diversity changes in their pollinating fauna, we manipulated the functional diversity of both plants and pollinators under natural conditions. Increasing the functional diversity of both plants and pollinators led to the recruitment of more diverse plant communities. After two years the plant communities pollinated by the most functionally diverse pollinator assemblage contained about 50% more plant species than did plant communities pollinated by less-diverse pollinator assemblages. Moreover, the positive effect of functional diversity was explained by a complementarity between functional groups of pollinators and plants. Thus, the functional diversity of pollination networks may be critical to ecosystem sustainability.

  9. Avian Species and Functional Diversity in Agricultural Landscapes: Does Landscape Heterogeneity Matter?

    OpenAIRE

    Lee, Myung-Bok; Martin, James A.

    2017-01-01

    While the positive relationship between avian diversity and habitat heterogeneity is widely accepted, it is primarily based on observed species richness without accounting for imperfect detection. Other facets of diversity such as functional diversity are also rarely explored. We investigated the avian diversity-landscape heterogeneity relationship in agricultural landscapes by considering two aspects of diversity: taxonomic diversity (species richness) estimated from a multi-species dynamic ...

  10. Horizontal, but not vertical canopy structure is related to stand functional diversity in a subtropical slope forest

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lang, A.C.; Härdtle, W.; Bruelheide, H.; Kröber, W.; Schröter, M.; Wehrden, von H.; Oheimb, von G.

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to analyse the relation of horizontal and vertical canopy structure to tree functional diversity of a highly diverse subtropical broad-leaved slope forest, stratified for different successional stages. This is of particular interest because many key ecosystem processes and

  11. Integrating abundance and functional traits reveals new global hotspots of fish diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuart-Smith, Rick D; Bates, Amanda E; Lefcheck, Jonathan S; Duffy, J Emmett; Baker, Susan C; Thomson, Russell J; Stuart-Smith, Jemina F; Hill, Nicole A; Kininmonth, Stuart J; Airoldi, Laura; Becerro, Mikel A; Campbell, Stuart J; Dawson, Terence P; Navarrete, Sergio A; Soler, German A; Strain, Elisabeth M A; Willis, Trevor J; Edgar, Graham J

    2013-09-26

    Species richness has dominated our view of global biodiversity patterns for centuries. The dominance of this paradigm is reflected in the focus by ecologists and conservation managers on richness and associated occurrence-based measures for understanding drivers of broad-scale diversity patterns and as a biological basis for management. However, this is changing rapidly, as it is now recognized that not only the number of species but the species present, their phenotypes and the number of individuals of each species are critical in determining the nature and strength of the relationships between species diversity and a range of ecological functions (such as biomass production and nutrient cycling). Integrating these measures should provide a more relevant representation of global biodiversity patterns in terms of ecological functions than that provided by simple species counts. Here we provide comparisons of a traditional global biodiversity distribution measure based on richness with metrics that incorporate species abundances and functional traits. We use data from standardized quantitative surveys of 2,473 marine reef fish species at 1,844 sites, spanning 133 degrees of latitude from all ocean basins, to identify new diversity hotspots in some temperate regions and the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean. These relate to high diversity of functional traits amongst individuals in the community (calculated using Rao's Q), and differ from previously reported patterns in functional diversity and richness for terrestrial animals, which emphasize species-rich tropical regions only. There is a global trend for greater evenness in the number of individuals of each species, across the reef fish species observed at sites ('community evenness'), at higher latitudes. This contributes to the distribution of functional diversity hotspots and contrasts with well-known latitudinal gradients in richness. Our findings suggest that the contribution of species diversity to a range of

  12. The Novel Functions of High-Molecular-Mass Complexes Containing Insulin Receptor Substrates in Mediation and Modulation of Insulin-Like Activities: Emerging Concept of Diverse Functions by IRS-Associated Proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hakuno, Fumihiko; Fukushima, Toshiaki; Yoneyama, Yosuke; Kamei, Hiroyasu; Ozoe, Atsufumi; Yoshihara, Hidehito; Yamanaka, Daisuke; Shibano, Takashi; Sone-Yonezawa, Meri; Yu, Bu-Chin; Chida, Kazuhiro; Takahashi, Shin-Ichiro

    2015-01-01

    Insulin-like peptides, such as insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) and insulin, induce a variety of bioactivities, such as growth, differentiation, survival, increased anabolism, and decreased catabolism in many cell types and in vivo. In general, IGFs or insulin bind to IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR) or insulin receptor (IR), activating the receptor tyrosine kinase. Insulin receptor substrates (IRSs) are known to be major substrates of receptor kinases, mediating IGF/insulin signals to direct bioactivities. Recently, we discovered that IRSs form high-molecular-mass complexes (referred to here as IRSomes) even without IGF/insulin stimulation. These complexes contain proteins (referred to here as IRSAPs; IRS-associated proteins), which modulate tyrosine phosphorylation of IRSs by receptor kinases, control IRS stability, and determine intracellular localization of IRSs. In addition, in these complexes, we found not only proteins that are involved in RNA metabolism but also RNAs themselves. Thus, IRSAPs possibly contribute to modulation of IGF/insulin bioactivities. Since it is established that disorder of modulation of insulin-like activities causes various age-related diseases including cancer, we could propose that the IRSome is an important target for treatment of these diseases.

  13. The novel functions of high-molecular-mass complexes containing insulin receptor substrates in mediation and modulation of insulin-like activities: Emerging concept of diverse function by IRS-associated proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fumihiko eHakuno

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Insulin-like peptides, such as insulin and insulin-like growth factors (IGFs, induce a variety of bioactivities, such as growth, differentiation, survival, increased anabolism and decreased catabolism in many cell types and in vivo. In general, insulin or IGFs bind to insulin receptor (IR or IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR, activating the receptor tyrosine kinase. Insulin receptor substrates (IRSs are known to be major substrates of receptor kinases, mediating IGF/insulin signals to direct bioactivities. Recently, we discovered that IRSs form high-molecular-mass complexes (referred to here as IRSomes even without IGF/insulin stimulation. These complexes contain proteins (referred to here as IRSAP; IRS-associated protein, which modulate tyrosine phosphorylation of IRSs by receptor kinases, control IRS stability and determine intracellular localization of IRSs. In addition, in these complexes we found not only proteins that are involved in RNA metabolism but also RNAs themselves. Thus IRSAPs possibly contribute to modulation of IGF/insulin bioactivities. Since it is established that disorder of modulation of insulin-like activities causes various age-related diseases including cancer we could propose that the IRSome is an important target for treatment of these diseases.

  14. Limiting similarity and functional diversity along environmental gradients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwilk, D.W.; Ackerly, D.D.

    2005-01-01

    Recent developments in community models emphasize the importance of incorporating stochastic processes (e.g. ecological drift) in models of niche-structured community assembly. We constructed a finite, spatially explicit, lottery model to simulate the distribution of species in a one-dimensional landscape with an underlying gradient in environmental conditions. Our framework combines the potential for ecological drift with environmentally-mediated competition for space in a heterogeneous environment. We examined the influence of niche breadth, dispersal distances, community size (total number of individuals) and the breadth of the environmental gradient on levels of species and functional trait diversity (i.e. differences in niche optima). Three novel results emerge from this model: (1) niche differences between adjacent species (e.g. limiting similarity) increase in smaller communities, because of the interaction of competitive effects and finite population sizes; (2) immigration from a regional species pool, stochasticity and niche-assembly generate a bimodal distribution of species residence times ('transient' and 'resident') under a heterogeneous environment; and (3) the magnitude of environmental heterogeneity has a U-shaped effect on diversity, because of shifts in species richness of resident vs. transient species. These predictions illustrate the potential importance of stochastic (although not necessarily neutral) processes in community assembly. ??2005 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  15. Structural and functional diversity in Listeria cell wall teichoic acids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Yang; Boulos, Samy; Sumrall, Eric; Gerber, Benjamin; Julian-Rodero, Alicia; Eugster, Marcel R; Fieseler, Lars; Nyström, Laura; Ebert, Marc-Olivier; Loessner, Martin J

    2017-10-27

    Wall teichoic acids (WTAs) are the most abundant glycopolymers found on the cell wall of many Gram-positive bacteria, whose diverse surface structures play key roles in multiple biological processes. Despite recent technological advances in glycan analysis, structural elucidation of WTAs remains challenging due to their complex nature. Here, we employed a combination of ultra-performance liquid chromatography-coupled electrospray ionization tandem-MS/MS and NMR to determine the structural complexity of WTAs from Listeria species. We unveiled more than 10 different types of WTA polymers that vary in their linkage and repeating units. Disparity in GlcNAc to ribitol connectivity, as well as variable O-acetylation and glycosylation of GlcNAc contribute to the structural diversity of WTAs. Notably, SPR analysis indicated that constitution of WTA determines the recognition by bacteriophage endolysins. Collectively, these findings provide detailed insight into Listeria cell wall-associated carbohydrates, and will guide further studies on the structure-function relationship of WTAs. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  16. Genetic and Functional Diversity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Lipopolysaccharide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Joseph S.; Taylor, Véronique L.; Islam, Salim T.; Hao, Youai; Kocíncová, Dana

    2011-01-01

    Lipopolysccharide (LPS) is an integral component of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa cell envelope, occupying the outer leaflet of the outer membrane in this Gram-negative opportunistic pathogen. It is important for bacterium–host interactions and has been shown to be a major virulence factor for this organism. Structurally, P. aeruginosa LPS is composed of three domains, namely, lipid A, core oligosaccharide, and the distal O antigen (O-Ag). Most P. aeruginosa strains produce two distinct forms of O-Ag, one a homopolymer of D-rhamnose that is a common polysaccharide antigen (CPA, formerly termed A band), and the other a heteropolymer of three to five distinct (and often unique dideoxy) sugars in its repeat units, known as O-specific antigen (OSA, formerly termed B band). Compositional differences in the O units among the OSA from different strains form the basis of the International Antigenic Typing Scheme for classification via serotyping of different strains of P. aeruginosa. The focus of this review is to provide state-of-the-art knowledge on the genetic and resultant functional diversity of LPS produced by P. aeruginosa. The underlying factors contributing to this diversity will be thoroughly discussed and presented in the context of its contributions to host–pathogen interactions and the control/prevention of infection. PMID:21687428

  17. Junctional adhesion molecule-A: functional diversity through molecular promiscuity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinbacher, Tim; Kummer, Daniel; Ebnet, Klaus

    2017-12-14

    Cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) of the immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF) regulate important processes such as cell proliferation, differentiation and morphogenesis. This activity is primarily due to their ability to initiate intracellular signaling cascades at cell-cell contact sites. Junctional adhesion molecule-A (JAM-A) is an IgSF-CAM with a short cytoplasmic tail that has no catalytic activity. Nevertheless, JAM-A is involved in a variety of biological processes. The functional diversity of JAM-A resides to a large part in a C-terminal PDZ domain binding motif which directly interacts with nine different PDZ domain-containing proteins. The molecular promiscuity of its PDZ domain motif allows JAM-A to recruit protein scaffolds to specific sites of cell-cell adhesion and to assemble signaling complexes at those sites. Here, we review the molecular characteristics of JAM-A, including its dimerization, its interaction with scaffolding proteins, and the phosphorylation of its cytoplasmic domain, and we describe how these characteristics translate into diverse biological activities.

  18. Rare species, habitat diversity and functional redundancy in marine benthos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellingsen, Kari E.; Hewitt, Judi E.; Thrush, Simon F.

    2007-11-01

    Macro-ecological theories relating species richness, abundance, range size, biological traits and environmental tolerance have rarely been tested in marine soft-sediments, despite the spatial extent of these habitats and the inherent richness of resident communities. This study examines the contribution of rare species to marine soft-sediment communities from New Zealand, focussing on the relationships of range size with abundance, environment, habitat diversity and life history traits. 54% of the 351 species sampled exhibited restricted ranges (found at ≤ 2 sites). In contrast to many terrestrial systems, we observed only a weak positive relationship between abundance and frequency of occurrence. Restricted-range species were not randomly distributed, with their distribution related to habitat characteristics, suggesting an important link between habitat diversity and rarity. They exhibited a similar range of traits to the total observed species pool, suggesting that they are not only important to biodiversity but could play a role in stability. Restricted range species were generally not small and this, together with the number of different biological traits represented, suggests that rare species are important to the functioning of marine systems. Thus, our results highlight the importance of considering rare species in habitat-based approaches to conservation.

  19. Unexpectedly high beta-diversity of root-associated fungal communities in the Bolivian Andes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Barnes, Christopher James; Maldonado Goyzueta, Carla Brenda; Frøslev, Tobias Guldberg

    2016-01-01

    in microbial diversity. Here we assess the genetic, taxonomic and functional diversity of root-associated fungi surrounding Cinchona calisaya calisaya trees, a typical element of the intermediate altitudes of the Bolivian Yungas. We determine the relative effects of edaphic properties, climate, and geography...... in regulating fungal community assembly. We show that α-diversity for these fungal communities was similar to temperate and arid ecosystems, averaging 90.1 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) per sample, with reads predominantly assigned to the Ascomycota phylum and with a saprotrophic lifestyle. ß......-diversity was calculated as the distance-decay rate, and in contrast to α-diversity, was exceptionally high with a rate of -0.407. Soil properties (pH and P) principally regulated fungal community assembly in an analogous manner to temperate environments, with pH and phosphorus explaining 7.8 % and 7.2 % of community...

  20. Taxonomic and functional diversity of Streptomyces in a forest soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bontemps, Cyril; Toussaint, Maxime; Revol, Pierre-Vincent; Hotel, Laurence; Jeanbille, Mathilde; Uroz, Stéphane; Turpault, Marie-Pierre; Blaudez, Damien; Leblond, Pierre

    2013-05-01

    In this work we report the isolation and the characterization of 79 Streptomyces isolates from a French forest soil. The 16S rRNA gene phylogeny indicated that a great diversity of Streptomyces was present in this soil, with at least nine different and potentially new species. Growth plate assays showed that most Streptomyces lineages exhibit cellulolytic and hemicellulolytic capacities and potentially participate in wood decomposition. Molecular screening for a specific hydrogenase also indicated a widespread potential for atmospheric H2 uptake. Co-culture experiments with representative strains showed antagonistic effects between Streptomyces of the same population and between Streptomyces and various fungi. Interestingly, in certain conditions, growth promotion of some fungi also occurred. We conclude that in forest soil, Streptomyces populations exhibit many important functions involved in different biogeochemical cycles and also influence the structure of soil microbial communities. © 2013 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Selection of multiple umbrella species for functional and taxonomic diversity to represent urban biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sattler, T; Pezzatti, G B; Nobis, M P; Obrist, M K; Roth, T; Moretti, M

    2014-04-01

    Surrogates, such as umbrella species, are commonly used to reduce the complexity of quantifying biodiversity for conservation purposes. The presence of umbrella species is often indicative of high taxonomic diversity; however, functional diversity is now recognized as an important metric for biodiversity and thus should be considered when choosing umbrella species. We identified umbrella species associated with high taxonomic and functional biodiversity in urban areas in Switzerland. We analyzed 39,752 individuals of 574 animal species from 96 study plots and 1397 presences of 262 plant species from 58 plots. Thirty-one biodiversity measures of 7 taxonomic groups (plants, spiders, bees, ground beetles, lady bugs, weevils and birds) were included in within- and across-taxa analyses. Sixteen measures were taxonomical (species richness and species diversity), whereas 15 were functional (species traits including mobility, resource use, and reproduction). We used indicator value analysis to identify umbrella species associated with single or multiple biodiversity measures. Many umbrella species were indicators of high biodiversity within their own taxonomic group (from 33.3% in weevils to 93.8% in birds), to a lesser extent they were indicators across taxa. Principal component analysis revealed that umbrella species for multiple measures of biodiversity represented different aspects of biodiversity, especially with respect to measures of taxonomic and functional diversity. Thus, even umbrella species for multiple measures of biodiversity were complementary in the biodiversity aspects they represented. Thus, the choice of umbrella species based solely on taxonomic diversity is questionable and may not represent biodiversity comprehensively. Our results suggest that, depending on conservation priorities, managers should choose multiple and complementary umbrella species to assess the state of biodiversity. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  2. Phylogeny, Function and evolution of the cupins, a structurally conserved, functionally diverse superfamily of proteins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Khuri, S.; Bakker, F.T.; Dunwell, J.M.

    2001-01-01

    The cupin superfamily is a group of functionally diverse proteins that are found in all three kingdoms of life, Archaea, Eubacteria, and Eukaryota. These proteins have a characteristic signature domain comprising two histidine- containing motifs separated by an intermotif region of variable length.

  3. Low functional diversity promotes niche changes in natural island pollinator communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Functional diversity loss among pollinators has rapidly progressed across the globe and is expected to influence plant–pollinator interactions in natural communities. Although recent findings suggest that the disappearance of a certain pollinator functional group may cause niche expansions and/or shifts in other groups, no study has examined this prediction in natural communities with high plant and pollinator diversities. By comparing coastal pollination networks on continental and oceanic islands, we examined how community-level flower visit patterns are influenced by the relative biomass of long-tongued pollinators (RBLP). We found that RBLP significantly correlated with pollinator functional diversity and was lower in oceanic than in continental islands. Pollinator niches shifted with decreasing RBLP, such that diverse species with various proboscis lengths, especially short-tongued species, increasingly visited long-tubed flowers. However, we found no conspicuous negative impacts of low RBLP and the consequent niche shifts on pollinator visit frequencies to flowers in oceanic island communities. Notably, fruit set significantly decreased as RBLP decreased in a study plant species. These results suggest that niche shifts by other functional groups can generally compensate for a decline in long-tongued pollinators in natural communities, but there may be negative impacts on plant reproduction. PMID:28077773

  4. Diversity and functions of protein glycosylation in insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walski, Tomasz; De Schutter, Kristof; Van Damme, Els J M; Smagghe, Guy

    2017-04-01

    The majority of proteins is modified with carbohydrate structures. This modification, called glycosylation, was shown to be crucial for protein folding, stability and subcellular location, as well as protein-protein interactions, recognition and signaling. Protein glycosylation is involved in multiple physiological processes, including embryonic development, growth, circadian rhythms, cell attachment as well as maintenance of organ structure, immunity and fertility. Although the general principles of glycosylation are similar among eukaryotic organisms, insects synthesize a distinct repertoire of glycan structures compared to plants and vertebrates. Consequently, a number of unique insect glycans mediate functions specific to this class of invertebrates. For instance, the core α1,3-fucosylation of N-glycans is absent in vertebrates, while in insects this modification is crucial for the development of wings and the nervous system. At present, most of the data on insect glycobiology comes from research in Drosophila. Yet, progressively more information on the glycan structures and the importance of glycosylation in other insects like beetles, caterpillars, aphids and bees is becoming available. This review gives a summary of the current knowledge and recent progress related to glycan diversity and function(s) of protein glycosylation in insects. We focus on N- and O-glycosylation, their synthesis, physiological role(s), as well as the molecular and biochemical basis of these processes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Beyond water homeostasis: Diverse functional roles of mammalian aquaporins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitchen, Philip; Day, Rebecca E; Salman, Mootaz M; Conner, Matthew T; Bill, Roslyn M; Conner, Alex C

    2015-12-01

    Aquaporin (AQP) water channels are best known as passive transporters of water that are vital for water homeostasis. AQP knockout studies in whole animals and cultured cells, along with naturally occurring human mutations suggest that the transport of neutral solutes through AQPs has important physiological roles. Emerging biophysical evidence suggests that AQPs may also facilitate gas (CO2) and cation transport. AQPs may be involved in cell signalling for volume regulation and controlling the subcellular localization of other proteins by forming macromolecular complexes. This review examines the evidence for these diverse functions of AQPs as well their physiological relevance. As well as being crucial for water homeostasis, AQPs are involved in physiologically important transport of molecules other than water, regulation of surface expression of other membrane proteins, cell adhesion, and signalling in cell volume regulation. Elucidating the full range of functional roles of AQPs beyond the passive conduction of water will improve our understanding of mammalian physiology in health and disease. The functional variety of AQPs makes them an exciting drug target and could provide routes to a range of novel therapies. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Taxonomic and Functional Diversity of Soil and Hypolithic Microbial Communities in Miers Valley, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Sean T. S.; Lacap-Bugler, Donnabella C.; Lau, Maggie C. Y.; Caruso, Tancredi; Rao, Subramanya; de los Rios, Asunción; Archer, Stephen K.; Chiu, Jill M. Y.; Higgins, Colleen; Van Nostrand, Joy D.; Zhou, Jizhong; Hopkins, David W.; Pointing, Stephen B.

    2016-01-01

    The McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica are an extreme polar desert. Mineral soils support subsurface microbial communities and translucent rocks support development of hypolithic communities on ventral surfaces in soil contact. Despite significant research attention, relatively little is known about taxonomic and functional diversity or their inter-relationships. Here we report a combined diversity and functional interrogation for soil and hypoliths of the Miers Valley in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica. The study employed 16S rRNA fingerprinting and high throughput sequencing combined with the GeoChip functional microarray. The soil community was revealed as a highly diverse reservoir of bacterial diversity dominated by actinobacteria. Hypolithic communities were less diverse and dominated by cyanobacteria. Major differences in putative functionality were that soil communities displayed greater diversity in stress tolerance and recalcitrant substrate utilization pathways, whilst hypolithic communities supported greater diversity of nutrient limitation adaptation pathways. A relatively high level of functional redundancy in both soil and hypoliths may indicate adaptation of these communities to fluctuating environmental conditions. PMID:27812351

  7. Taxonomic and functional diversity of soil and hypolithic microbial communities in Miers Valley, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean Wei

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica are an extreme polar desert. Mineral soils support subsurface microbial communities and translucent rocks support development of hypolithic communities on ventral surfaces in soil contact. Despite significant research attention relatively little is known about taxonomic and functional diversity or their inter-relationships. Here we report a combined diversity and functional interrogation for soil and hypoliths of the Miers Valley in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica. The study employed 16S rRNA fingerprinting and high throughput sequencing combined with the GeoChip functional microarray. The soil community was revealed as a highly diverse reservoir of bacterial diversity dominated by actinobacteria. Hypolithic communities were less diverse and dominated by cyanobacteria. Major differences in putative functionality were that soil communities displayed greater diversity in stress tolerance and recalcitrant substrate utilization pathways, whilst hypolithic communities supported greater diversity of nutrient limitation adaptation pathways. A relatively high level of functional redundancy in both soil and hypoliths may indicate adaptation of these communities to fluctuating environmental conditions.

  8. Diverse phase relations among neuronal rhythms and their potential function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maris, E.G.G.; Fries, P.; Ede, F.L. van

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal oscillations at nearby sites in the brain often show phase relations that are consistent across time, yet diverse across space. We discuss recent demonstrations of this phase relation diversity, and show that, contrary to earlier beliefs, this diversity is a general property of oscillations

  9. Biodiversity for multifunctional grasslands: equal productivity in high-diversity low-input and low-diversity high-input systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Weigelt

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Modern grassland management seeks to provide many ecosystem services and experimental studies in resource-poor grasslands have shown a positive relationship between plant species richness and a variety of ecosystem functions. Thus, increasing species richness might help to enhance multifunctionality in managed grasslands if the relationship between species richness and ecosystem functioning is equally valid in high-input grassland systems.

    We tested the relative effects of low-input to high-input management intensities and low to high plant species richness. Using a combination of mowing frequencies (1, 2 or 4 cuts per season and fertilisation levels (0, 100 and 200 kg N ha−1 a−1, we studied the productivity of 78 experimental grassland communities of increasing plant species richness (1, 2, 4, 8 or 16 species with 1 to 4 functional groups in two successive years.

    Our results showed that in both years higher diversity was more effective in increasing productivity than higher management intensity: the 16-species mixtures had a surplus of 449 g m−2 y−1 in 2006 and 492 g m−2 y−1 in 2007 over the monoculture yields whereas the high-input management resulted in only 315 g m−2 y−1 higher productivity in 2006 and 440 g m−2 y−1 in 2007 than the low-input management. In addition, high-diversity low-input grassland communities had similar productivity as low-diversity high-input communities. The slopes of the biodiversity – productivity relationships significantly increased with increasing levels of management intensity in both years.

    We conclude that the biological mechanisms leading to enhanced biomass production in diverse grassland communities are as effective for productivity as a combination of several agricultural measures. Our results demonstrate that high-diversity low-input grassland

  10. Cohabitation promotes high diversity of clownfishes in the Coral Triangle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camp, Emma F; Hobbs, Jean-Paul A; De Brauwer, Maarten; Dumbrell, Alex J; Smith, David J

    2016-03-30

    Global marine biodiversity peaks within the Coral Triangle, and understanding how such high diversity is maintained is a central question in marine ecology. We investigated broad-scale patterns in the diversity of clownfishes and their host sea anemones by conducting 981 belt-transects at 20 locations throughout the Indo-Pacific. Of the 1508 clownfishes encountered, 377 fish occurred in interspecific cohabiting groups and cohabitation was almost entirely restricted to the Coral Triangle. Neither the diversity nor density of host anemone or clownfish species alone influenced rates of interspecific cohabitation. Rather cohabitation occurred in areas where the number of clownfish species exceeds the number of host anemone species. In the Coral Triangle, cohabiting individuals were observed to finely partition their host anemone, with the subordinate species inhabiting the periphery. Furthermore, aggression did not increase in interspecific cohabiting groups, instead dominant species were accepting of subordinate species. Various combinations of clownfish species were observed cohabiting (independent of body size, phylogenetic relatedness, evolutionary age, dentition, level of specialization) in a range of anemone species, thereby ensuring that each clownfish species had dominant reproductive individuals in some cohabiting groups. Clownfishes are obligate commensals, thus cohabitation is an important process in maintaining biodiversity in high diversity systems because it supports the persistence of many species when host availability is limiting. Cohabitation is a likely explanation for high species richness in other obligate commensals within the Coral Triangle, and highlights the importance of protecting these habitats in order to conserve unique marine biodiversity. © 2016 The Author(s).

  11. Phylogenetic and Functional Diversity of Fleshy-Fruited Plants Are Positively Associated with Seedling Diversity in a Tropical Montane Forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcia C. Muñoz

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Mutualistic interactions between plants and animals can affect both plant and animal communities, and potentially leave imprints on plant demography. Yet, no study has simultaneously tested how trait variation in plant resources shapes the diversity of animal consumers, and how these interactions influence seedling recruitment. Here, we analyzed whether (i phylogenetic diversity and functional diversity of fruiting plants were correlated with the corresponding diversity of frugivorous birds, and (ii whether phylogenetic diversity and functional identity of plant and bird communities influenced the corresponding diversity and identity of seedling communities. We recorded mutualistic interactions between fleshy-fruited plants and frugivorous birds and seedling communities in 10 plots along an elevational gradient in the Colombian Andes. We built a phylogeny for plants/seedlings and birds and measured relevant morphological plant and bird traits that influence plant-bird interactions and seedling recruitment. We found that phylogenetic diversity and functional diversity of frugivorous birds were positively associated with the corresponding diversities of fruiting plants, consistent with a bottom-up effect of plants on birds. Moreover, the phylogenetic diversity of seedlings was related to the phylogenetic diversity of plants, but was unrelated to the phylogenetic diversity of frugivorous birds, suggesting that top-down effects of animals on seedlings were weak. Mean seed mass of seedling communities was positively associated with the mean fruit mass of plants, but was not associated with the mean avian body mass in the frugivore communities. Our study shows that variation in the traits of fleshy-fruited plants was associated with the diversity of frugivorous birds and affected the future trajectory of seedling recruitment, whereas the morphological traits of animal seed dispersers were unrelated to the phylogenetic and functional structure of

  12. Shifts in taxonomic and functional microbial diversity with agriculture: How fragile is the Brazilian Cerrado?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Renata Carolini; Mendes, Iêda Carvalho; Reis-Junior, Fábio Bueno; Carvalho, Fabíola Marques; Nogueira, Marco Antonio; Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza Ribeiro; Vicente, Vânia Aparecida; Hungria, Mariangela

    2016-03-16

    The Cerrado--an edaphic type of savannah--comprises the second largest biome of the Brazilian territory and is the main area for grain production in the country, but information about the impact of land conversion to agriculture on microbial diversity is still scarce. We used a shotgun metagenomic approach to compare undisturbed (native) soil and soils cropped for 23 years with soybean/maize under conservation tillage--"no-till" (NT)--and conventional tillage (CT) systems in the Cerrado biome. Soil management and fertilizer inputs with the introduction of agriculture improved chemical properties, but decreased soil macroporosity and microbial biomass of carbon and nitrogen. Principal coordinates analyses confirmed different taxonomic and functional profiles for each treatment. There was predominance of the Bacteria domain, especially the phylum Proteobacteria, with higher numbers of sequences in the NT and CT treatments; Archaea and Viruses also had lower numbers of sequences in the undisturbed soil. Within the Alphaproteobacteria, there was dominance of Rhizobiales and of the genus Bradyrhizobium in the NT and CT systems, attributed to massive inoculation of soybean, and also of Burkholderiales. In contrast, Rhizobium, Azospirillum, Xanthomonas, Pseudomonas and Acidobacterium predominated in the native Cerrado. More Eukaryota, especially of the phylum Ascomycota were detected in the NT. The functional analysis revealed lower numbers of sequences in the five dominant categories for the CT system, whereas the undisturbed Cerrado presented higher abundance. High impact of agriculture in taxonomic and functional microbial diversity in the biome Cerrado was confirmed. Functional diversity was not necessarily associated with taxonomic diversity, as the less conservationist treatment (CT) presented increased taxonomic sequences and reduced functional profiles, indicating a strategy to try to maintain soil functioning by favoring taxa that are probably not the most

  13. Boronate Derivatives of Functionally Diverse Catechols: Stability Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamal Aziz Ketuly

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Benzeneboronate of catecholic carboxyl methyl esters, N-acetyldopamine, coumarin and catechol estrogens were prepared as crystalline derivatives in high yield. Related catechol compounds with extra polar functional group(s (OH, NH2 do not form or only partially form unstable cyclic boronate derivatives.

  14. Enhanced interannual precipitation variability increases plant functional diversity that in turn ameliorates negative impact on productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gherardi, Laureano A; Sala, Osvaldo E

    2015-12-01

    Although precipitation interannual variability is projected to increase due to climate change, effects of changes in precipitation variance have received considerable less attention than effects of changes in the mean state of climate. Interannual precipitation variability effects on functional diversity and its consequences for ecosystem functioning are assessed here using a 6-year rainfall manipulation experiment. Five precipitation treatments were switched annually resulting in increased levels of precipitation variability while maintaining average precipitation constant. Functional diversity showed a positive response to increased variability due to increased evenness. Dominant grasses decreased and rare plant functional types increased in abundance because grasses showed a hump-shaped response to precipitation with a maximum around modal precipitation, whereas rare species peaked at high precipitation values. Increased functional diversity ameliorated negative effects of precipitation variability on primary production. Rare species buffered the effect of precipitation variability on the variability in total productivity because their variance decreases with increasing precipitation variance. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  15. Evolutionary Algorithms for Boolean Functions in Diverse Domains of Cryptography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picek, Stjepan; Carlet, Claude; Guilley, Sylvain; Miller, Julian F; Jakobovic, Domagoj

    2016-01-01

    The role of Boolean functions is prominent in several areas including cryptography, sequences, and coding theory. Therefore, various methods for the construction of Boolean functions with desired properties are of direct interest. New motivations on the role of Boolean functions in cryptography with attendant new properties have emerged over the years. There are still many combinations of design criteria left unexplored and in this matter evolutionary computation can play a distinct role. This article concentrates on two scenarios for the use of Boolean functions in cryptography. The first uses Boolean functions as the source of the nonlinearity in filter and combiner generators. Although relatively well explored using evolutionary algorithms, it still presents an interesting goal in terms of the practical sizes of Boolean functions. The second scenario appeared rather recently where the objective is to find Boolean functions that have various orders of the correlation immunity and minimal Hamming weight. In both these scenarios we see that evolutionary algorithms are able to find high-quality solutions where genetic programming performs the best.

  16. Improving understanding of the functional diversity of fisheries by exploring the influence of global catch reconstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nash, Kirsty L; Watson, Reg A; Halpern, Benjamin S; Fulton, Elizabeth A; Blanchard, Julia L

    2017-09-06

    Functional diversity is thought to enhance ecosystem resilience, driving research focused on trends in the functional composition of fisheries, most recently with new reconstructions of global catch data. However, there is currently little understanding of how accounting for unreported catches (e.g. small-scale and illegal fisheries, bycatch and discards) influences functional diversity trends in global fisheries. We explored how diversity estimates varied among reported and unreported components of catch in 2010, and found these components had distinct functional fingerprints. Incorporating unreported catches had little impact on global-scale functional diversity patterns. However, at smaller, management-relevant scales, the effects of incorporating unreported catches were large (changes in functional diversity of up to 46%). Our results suggest there is greater uncertainty about the risks to ecosystem integrity and resilience from current fishing patterns than previously recognized. We provide recommendations and suggest a research agenda to improve future assessments of functional diversity of global fisheries.

  17. High genetic diversity of Jatropha curcas assessed by ISSR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz, B G; Argollo, D M; Franco, M C; Nucci, S M; Siqueira, W J; de Laat, D M; Colombo, C A

    2017-05-31

    Jatropha curcas L. is a highly promising oilseed for sustainable production of biofuels and bio-kerosene due to its high oil content and excellent quality. However, it is a perennial and incipiently domesticated species with none stable cultivar created until now despite genetic breeding programs in progress in several countries. Knowledge of the genetic structure and diversity of the species is a necessary step for breeding programs. The molecular marker can be used as a tool for speed up the process. This study was carried out to assess genetic diversity of a germplasm bank represented by J. curcas accessions from different provenance beside interspecific hybrid and backcrosses generated by IAC breeding programs using inter-simple sequence repeat markers. The molecular study revealed 271 bands of which 98.9% were polymorphic with an average of 22.7 polymorphic bands per primer. Genetic diversity of the germplasm evaluated was slightly higher than other germplasm around the world and ranged from 0.55 to 0.86 with an average of 0.59 (Jaccard index). Cluster analysis (UPGMA) revealed no clear grouping as to the geographical origin of accessions, consistent with genetic structure analysis using the Structure software. For diversity analysis between groups, accessions were divided into eight groups by origin. Nei's genetic distance between groups was 0.14. The results showed the importance of Mexican accessions, congeneric wild species, and interspecific hybrids for conservation and development of new genotypes in breeding programs.

  18. Plant diversity effects on soil microbial functions and enzymes are stronger than warming in a grassland experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinauer, Katja; Tilman, David; Wragg, Peter D; Cesarz, Simone; Cowles, Jane M; Pritsch, Karin; Reich, Peter B; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic changes in biodiversity and atmospheric temperature significantly influence ecosystem processes. However, little is known about potential interactive effects of plant diversity and warming on essential ecosystem properties, such as soil microbial functions and element cycling. We studied the effects of orthogonal manipulations of plant diversity (one, four, and 16 species) and warming (ambient, +1.5 degrees C, and +3 degrees C) on soil microbial biomass, respiration, growth after nutrient additions, and activities of extracellular enzymes in 2011 and 2012 in the BAC (biodiversity and climate) perennial grassland experiment site at Cedar Creek, Minnesota, USA. Focal enzymes are involved in essential biogeochemical processes of the carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycles. Soil microbial biomass and some enzyme activities involved in the C and N cycle increased significantly with increasing plant diversity in both years. In addition, 16-species mixtures buffered warming induced reductions in topsoil water content. We found no interactive effects of plant diversity and warming on soil microbial biomass and growth rates. However, the activity of several enzymes (1,4-beta-glucosidase, 1,4-beta-N-acetylglucosaminidase, phosphatase, peroxidase) depended on interactions between plant diversity and warming with elevated activities of enzymes involved in the C, N, and P cycles at both high plant diversity and high warming levels. Increasing plant diversity consistently decreased microbial biomass-specific enzyme activities and altered soil microbial growth responses to nutrient additions, indicating that plant diversity changed nutrient limitations and/or microbial community composition. In contrast to our expectations, higher plant diversity only buffered temperature effects on soil water content, but not on microbial functions. Temperature effects on some soil enzymes were greatest at high plant diversity. In total, our results suggest that the fundamental

  19. Functional diversity of supragranular GABAergic neurons in the barrel cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luc J Gentet

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Although the neocortex forms a distributed system comprised of several functional areas, its vertical columnar organization is largely conserved across areas and species, suggesting the existence of a canonical neocortical microcircuit. In order to elucidate the principles governing the organization of such a cortical diagram, a detailed understanding of the dynamics binding different types of cortical neurons into a coherent algorithm is essential. Within this complex circuitry, GABAergic interneurons, while forming approximately only 15-20% of all cortical neurons, appear critical in maintaining a dynamic balance between excitation and inhibition. Despite their importance, cortical GABAergic neurons have not been extensively studied in vivo and their precise role in shaping the local microcircuit sensory response still remains to be determined. Their paucity, combined with their molecular, anatomical and physiological diversity, has made it difficult to even establish a consensual nomenclature.However, recent technological advances in microscopy and mouse genetics have fostered a renewed interest in neocortical interneurons by putting them within visible reach of experimenters. The anatomically well-defined whisker-to-barrel pathway of the rodent is particularly amenable to studies attempting to link cortical circuit dynamics to behavior. To each whisker corresponds a discrete cortical unit equivalent to a single column, specialized in the encoding and processing of the sensory information it receives. In this review, we will focus on the functional role that each subtype of supragranular GABAergic neuron embedded within such a single neocortical unit may play in shaping the dynamics of the local circuit during somatosensory integration.

  20. Predicting functionality of protein-DNA interactions by integrating diverse evidence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ucar, Duygu; Beyer, A.; Parthasarathy, S.

    2009-01-01

    with motif binding sites, nucleosome occupancy and mRNA expression datasets within a probabilistic framework. This framework was specifically tailored for the identification of functional and nonfunctional DNA binding events. Using this, we estimate that only 50% of condition-specific protein-DNA binding...... in budding yeast is functional. We further investigated the molecular factors determining the functionality of protein-DNA interactions under diverse growth conditions. Our analysis suggests that the functionality of binding is highly condition-specific and highly dependent on the presence of specific......Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP-chip) experiments enable capturing physical interactions between regulatory proteins and DNA in vivo. However, measurement of chromatin binding alone is not sufficient to detect regulatory interactions. A detected binding event may not be biologically relevant...

  1. Evolution of highly diverse forms of behavior in molluscs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hochner, Binyamin; Glanzman, David L

    2016-10-24

    Members of the phylum Mollusca demonstrate the animal kingdom's tremendous diversity of body morphology, size and complexity of the nervous system, as well as diversity of behavioral repertoires, ranging from very simple to highly flexible. Molluscs include Solenogastres, with their worm-like bodies and behavior (see phylogenetic tree; Figure 1); Bivalvia (mussels and clams), protected by shells and practically immobile; and the cephalopods, such as the octopus, cuttlefish and squid. The latter are strange-looking animals with nervous systems comprising up to half a billion neurons, which mediate the complex behaviors that characterize these freely moving, highly visual predators. Molluscs are undoubtedly special - their extraordinary evolutionary advance somehow managed to sidestep the acquisition of the rigid skeleton that appears essential to the evolution of other 'successful' phyla: the exoskeleton in ecdysozoan invertebrates and the internal skeleton in Deuterostomia, including vertebrates. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Impact of seasonal variation on soil bacterial diversity and ecosystem functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amoo, Adenike Eunice; Oluranti Babalola, Olubukola

    2017-04-01

    Soil biodiversity boosts the functioning of the ecosystem thereby contributing to the provision of various ecosystem services. Understanding the link between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning and their reaction to environmental heterogeneity can maximize the contribution of soil microbes to ecosystem services. The diversity, abundance and function of microorganisms can be altered by seasonal variation. There is a dearth of information on how soil biodiversity respond to environmental changes. The impact of seasonal variation on bacterial communities and its effects on soil functioning in four South African forests was investigated. The samples were analysed for pH, moisture content, total carbon and nitrogen, soil nitrate and extractable phosphate. High-throughput sequencing and quantitative PCR were used to determine the diversity and abundance of bacteria. Community level physiological profiles (CLPPs) were measured using the MicroResp™ method. Enzyme activities were additionally used as proxy for ecosystem functions. The functional genes for nitrification and phosphate solubilisation were also measured. Seasonal variation has strong effects on bacterial communities and consequently soil processes. A reduction in biodiversity has direct results on soil ecosystem functioning.

  3. Resource partitioning along multiple niche axes drives functional diversity in parrotfishes on Caribbean coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adam, Thomas C; Kelley, Megan; Ruttenberg, Benjamin I; Burkepile, Deron E

    2015-12-01

    The recent loss of key consumers to exploitation and habitat degradation has significantly altered community dynamics and ecosystem function across many ecosystems worldwide. Predicting the impacts of consumer losses requires knowing the level of functional diversity that exists within a consumer assemblage. In this study, we document functional diversity among nine species of parrotfishes on Caribbean coral reefs. Parrotfishes are key herbivores that facilitate the maintenance and recovery of coral-dominated reefs by controlling algae and provisioning space for the recruitment of corals. We observed large functional differences among two genera of parrotfishes that were driven by differences in diet. Fishes in the genus Scarus targeted filamentous algal turf assemblages, crustose coralline algae, and endolithic algae and avoided macroalgae, while fishes in the genus Sparisoma preferentially targeted macroalgae. However, species with similar diets were dissimilar in other attributes, including the habitats they frequented, the types of substrate they fed from, and the spatial scale at which they foraged. These differences indicate that species that appear to be functionally redundant when looking at diet alone exhibit high levels of complementarity when we consider multiple functional traits. By identifying key functional differences among parrotfishes, we provide critical information needed to manage parrotfishes to enhance the resilience of coral-dominated reefs and reverse phase shifts on algal-dominated reefs throughout the wider Caribbean. Further, our study provides a framework for predicting the impacts of consumer losses in other species rich ecosystems.

  4. [Agrobacterium rubi strains from blueberry plants are highly diverse].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrahamovich, Eliana; López, Ana C; Alippi, Adriana M

    2014-01-01

    The diversity of a collection of Agrobacterium rubi strains isolated from blueberries from different regions of Argentina was studied by conventional microbiological tests and molecular techniques. Results from biochemical and physiological reactions, as well as from rep-PCR and RFLP analysis of PCR-amplified 23S rDNA showed high phenotypic and genotypic intraspecific variation. Copyright © 2014 Asociación Argentina de Microbiología. Publicado por Elsevier España. All rights reserved.

  5. Distance-based functional diversity measures and their decomposition: a framework based on Hill numbers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiu, Chun-Huo; Chao, Anne

    2014-01-01

    Hill numbers (or the "effective number of species") are increasingly used to characterize species diversity of an assemblage. This work extends Hill numbers to incorporate species pairwise functional distances calculated from species traits. We derive a parametric class of functional Hill numbers, which quantify "the effective number of equally abundant and (functionally) equally distinct species" in an assemblage. We also propose a class of mean functional diversity (per species), which quantifies the effective sum of functional distances between a fixed species to all other species. The product of the functional Hill number and the mean functional diversity thus quantifies the (total) functional diversity, i.e., the effective total distance between species of the assemblage. The three measures (functional Hill numbers, mean functional diversity and total functional diversity) quantify different aspects of species trait space, and all are based on species abundance and species pairwise functional distances. When all species are equally distinct, our functional Hill numbers reduce to ordinary Hill numbers. When species abundances are not considered or species are equally abundant, our total functional diversity reduces to the sum of all pairwise distances between species of an assemblage. The functional Hill numbers and the mean functional diversity both satisfy a replication principle, implying the total functional diversity satisfies a quadratic replication principle. When there are multiple assemblages defined by the investigator, each of the three measures of the pooled assemblage (gamma) can be multiplicatively decomposed into alpha and beta components, and the two components are independent. The resulting beta component measures pure functional differentiation among assemblages and can be further transformed to obtain several classes of normalized functional similarity (or differentiation) measures, including N-assemblage functional generalizations of the

  6. Diversity Indices as Measures of Functional Annotation Methods in Metagenomics Studies

    KAUST Repository

    Jankovic, Boris R.

    2016-01-26

    Applications of high-throughput techniques in metagenomics studies produce massive amounts of data. Fragments of genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic molecules are all found in metagenomics samples. Laborious and meticulous effort in sequencing and functional annotation are then required to, amongst other objectives, reconstruct a taxonomic map of the environment that metagenomics samples were taken from. In addition to computational challenges faced by metagenomics studies, the analysis is further complicated by the presence of contaminants in the samples, potentially resulting in skewed taxonomic analysis. The functional annotation in metagenomics can utilize all available omics data and therefore different methods that are associated with a particular type of data. For example, protein-coding DNA, non-coding RNA or ribosomal RNA data can be used in such an analysis. These methods would have their advantages and disadvantages and the question of comparison among them naturally arises. There are several criteria that can be used when performing such a comparison. Loosely speaking, methods can be evaluated in terms of computational complexity or in terms of the expected biological accuracy. We propose that the concept of diversity that is used in the ecosystems and species diversity studies can be successfully used in evaluating certain aspects of the methods employed in metagenomics studies. We show that when applying the concept of Hill’s diversity, the analysis of variations in the diversity order provides valuable clues into the robustness of methods used in the taxonomical analysis.

  7. Functional group diversity is key to Southern Ocean benthic carbon pathways.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David K A Barnes

    Full Text Available High latitude benthos are globally important in terms of accumulation and storage of ocean carbon, and the feedback this is likely to have on regional warming. Understanding this ecosystem service is important but difficult because of complex taxonomic diversity, history and geography of benthic biomass. Using South Georgia as a model location (where the history and geography of benthic biology is relatively well studied we investigated whether the composition of functional groups were critical to benthic accumulation, immobilization and burial pathway to sequestration-and also aid their study through simplification of identification. We reclassified [1], [2] morphotype and carbon mass data to 13 functional groups, for each sample of 32 sites around the South Georgia continental shelf. We investigated the influence on carbon accumulation, immobilization and sequestration estimate by multiple factors including the compositions of functional groups. Functional groups showed high diversity within and between sites, and within and between habitat types. Carbon storage was not linked to a functional group in particular but accumulation and immobilization increased with the number of functional groups present and the presence of hard substrata. Functional groups were also important to carbon burial rate, which increased with the presence of mixed (hard and soft substrata. Functional groups showed high surrogacy for taxonomic composition and were useful for examining contrasting habitat categorization. Functional groups not only aid marine carbon storage investigation by reducing time and the need for team size and speciality, but also important to benthic carbon pathways per se. There is a distinct geography to seabed carbon storage; seabed boulder-fields are hotspots of carbon accumulation and immobilization, whilst the interface between such boulder-fields and sediments are key places for burial and sequestration.

  8. Ground Spider Guilds and Functional Diversity in Native Pine Woodlands and Eucalyptus Plantations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corcuera, Pablo; Valverde, Pedro Luis; Jiménez, María Luisa; Ponce-Mendoza, Alejandro; De la Rosa, Gabriela; Nieto, Gisela

    2016-04-01

    Vegetation structure and floristics have a strong influence on the relative abundance of spider guilds and functional diversity of terrestrial arthropods. Human activities have transformed much of the temperate woodlands. The aim of this study was to test five predictions related to the guild distribution and functional diversity of the ground spider communities of Eucalyptus plantations and native pine woodlands in western Mexico. Spiders were collected every fortnight from September to November from 15 pitfalls positioned in each of the eight sites. We also assessed the cover of grasses, herbs, shrubs, and leaf litter in each site. We found that the abundances of ground hunters and sheet weavers between plantations and pine woodlands were different. Nevertheless, there was not a consistent difference between sites of each of the vegetation types. Most species of ground hunters, sheet web weavers, and many other hunters were associated with litter and the grass cover. Nonetheless, in some cases, species of different families belonging to the same guild responded to different variables. Wolf spiders were related to the grass Aristida stricta Micheaux, 1803, while the species of the other families of ground hunters were associated with leaf litter. One Eucalyptus plantation and one pine woodland had the highest functional diversity of all sites. These sites have a well developed litter and grass cover. Our study suggests that the abundance of litter and a high cover of grasses explain the occurrence of species with different traits, and these habitat components results in a high functional diversity. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. Diverse Phase Relations among Neuronal Rhythms and Their Potential Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maris, Eric; Fries, Pascal; van Ede, Freek

    2016-02-01

    Neuronal oscillations at nearby sites in the brain often show phase relations that are consistent across time, yet diverse across space. We discuss recent demonstrations of this phase relation diversity, and show that, contrary to earlier beliefs, this diversity is a general property of oscillations that is neither restricted to low-frequency oscillations nor to periods outside of stimulus processing. Arguing for the computational relevance of phase relation diversity, we discuss that it can be modulated by sensory and motor events, and put forward the idea that phase relation diversity may support effective neuronal communication by (i) enhancing selectivity and (ii) allowing for the concurrent segregation of multiple information streams. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Loss of functional diversity of ant assemblages in secondary tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bihn, Jochen H; Gebauer, Gerhard; Brandl, Roland

    2010-03-01

    Secondary forests and plantations increasingly dominate the tropical wooded landscape in place of primary forests. The expected reduction of biodiversity and its impact on ecological functions provided by these secondary forests are of major concern to society and ecologists. The potential effect of biodiversity loss on ecosystem functioning depends largely on the associated loss in the functional diversity of animal and plant assemblages, i.e., the degree of functional redundancy among species. However, the relationship between species and functional diversity is still poorly documented for most ecosystems. Here, we analyze how changes in the species diversity of ground-foraging ant assemblages translate into changes of functional diversity along a successional gradient of secondary forests in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. Our analysis uses continuous measures of functional diversity and is based on four functional traits related to resource use of ants: body size, relative eye size, relative leg length, and trophic position. We find a strong relationship between species and functional diversity, independent of the functional traits used, with no evidence for saturation in this relationship. Recovery of species richness and diversity of ant assemblages in tropical secondary forests was accompanied by a proportional increase of functional richness and diversity of assemblages. Moreover, our results indicate that the increase in functional diversity along the successional gradient of secondary forests is primarily driven by rare species, which are functionally unique. The observed loss of both species and functional diversity in secondary forests offers no reason to believe that the ecological functions provided by secondary forests are buffered against species loss through functional redundancy.

  11. An overview of the applicability of functional diversity in Biological Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freitas, J R; Mantovani, W

    2017-10-23

    Functional diversity is increasingly pointed as a useful approach to reach Biological Conservation goals. Here, we provide an overview of the functional diversity approach status in the Biological Conservation field. We sought for peer-reviewed papers published over a period of twenty years (from 1994 to 2014). First we used the general topic "functional diversity" and then refined our search using the key-word "conservation". We have identified the conservation strategies addressed, the organism studied, and the continent of study site in each paper. Thirteen classes of conservation strategies were identified. Plants were the most commonly studied organism group and most study-sites were located in Europe. The functional diversity approach was introduced in the Biological Conservation field in the early 2000's and its inclusion in conservation strategies is broadly advised. However, the number of papers that operationalise such inclusion by developing models and systems is still low. Functional diversity responds differently and eventually better than other measures to changes in land use and management, which suggests that this approach can potentially better predict the impacts. More studies are needed to corroborate this hypothesis. We pointed out knowledge gaps regarding identification of the responses for functional diversity about urban impacts and in research on the level of management intensity of land needed to maintain functional diversity. We recommend the use of functional diversity measures to find ecological indicators. Future studies should focus on the development of functional diversity measures of other taxa beyond plants as well as test hypothesis in tropical ecosystems.

  12. Avian Species and Functional Diversity in Agricultural Landscapes: Does Landscape Heterogeneity Matter?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Myung-Bok; Martin, James A

    2017-01-01

    While the positive relationship between avian diversity and habitat heterogeneity is widely accepted, it is primarily based on observed species richness without accounting for imperfect detection. Other facets of diversity such as functional diversity are also rarely explored. We investigated the avian diversity-landscape heterogeneity relationship in agricultural landscapes by considering two aspects of diversity: taxonomic diversity (species richness) estimated from a multi-species dynamic occupancy model, and functional diversity (functional evenness [FEve] and divergence [FDiv]) based on traits of occurring species. We also assessed how agricultural lands enrolled in a conservation program managed on behalf of declining early successional bird species (hereafter CP38 fields, an agri-environment scheme) influenced avian diversity. We analyzed breeding bird data collected at CP38 fields in Mississippi, USA, during 2010-2012, and two principal components of environmental variables: a gradient of heterogeneity (Shannon's landscape diversity index) and of the amount of CP38 fields (percent cover of CP38 fields; CP38). FEve did not show significant responses to environmental variables, whereas FDiv responded positively to heterogeneity and negatively to CP38. However, most FDiv values did not significantly differ from random expectations along an environmental gradient. When there was a significant difference, FDiv was lower than that expected. Unlike functional diversity, species richness showed a clear pattern. Species richness increased with increasing landscape heterogeneity but decreased with increasing amounts of CP38 fields. Only one species responded negatively to heterogeneity and positively to CP38. Our results suggest that the relationships between avian diversity and landscape heterogeneity may vary depending on the aspect of diversity considered: strong positive effects of heterogeneity on taxonomic diversity, but weakly positive or non

  13. Decreased plant productivity resulting from plant group removal experiment constrains soil microbial functional diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ximei; Johnston, Eric R; Barberán, Albert; Ren, Yi; Lü, Xiaotao; Han, Xingguo

    2017-10-01

    Anthropogenic environmental changes are accelerating the rate of biodiversity loss on Earth. Plant diversity loss is predicted to reduce soil microbial diversity primarily due to the decreased variety of carbon/energy resources. However, this intuitive hypothesis is supported by sparse empirical evidence, and most underlying mechanisms remain underexplored or obscure altogether. We constructed four diversity gradients (0-3) in a five-year plant functional group removal experiment in a steppe ecosystem in Inner Mongolia, China, and quantified microbial taxonomic and functional diversity with shotgun metagenome sequencing. The treatments had little effect on microbial taxonomic diversity, but were found to decrease functional gene diversity. However, the observed decrease in functional gene diversity was more attributable to a loss in plant productivity, rather than to the loss of any individual plant functional group per se. Reduced productivity limited fresh plant resources supplied to microorganisms, and thus, intensified the pressure of ecological filtering, favoring genes responsible for energy production/conversion, material transport/metabolism and amino acid recycling, and accordingly disfavored many genes with other functions. Furthermore, microbial respiration was correlated with the variation in functional composition but not taxonomic composition. Overall, the amount of carbon/energy resources driving microbial gene diversity was identified to be the critical linkage between above- and belowground communities, contrary to the traditional framework of linking plant clade/taxonomic diversity to microbial taxonomic diversity. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Modelling snow cover duration improves predictions of functional and taxonomic diversity for alpine plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Bradley Z; Choler, Philippe; Renaud, Julien; Dedieu, Jean-Pierre; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2015-11-01

    Quantifying relationships between snow cover duration and plant community properties remains an important challenge in alpine ecology. This study develops a method to estimate spatial variation in energy availability in the context of a topographically complex, high-elevation watershed, which was used to test the explanatory power of environmental gradients both with and without snow cover in relation to taxonomic and functional plant diversity. Snow cover in the French Alps was mapped at 15-m resolution using Landsat imagery for five recent years, and a generalized additive model (GAM) was fitted for each year linking snow to time and topography. Predicted snow cover maps were combined with air temperature and solar radiation data at daily resolution, summed for each year and averaged across years. Equivalent growing season energy gradients were also estimated without accounting for snow cover duration. Relationships were tested between environmental gradients and diversity metrics measured for 100 plots, including species richness, community-weighted mean traits, functional diversity and hyperspectral estimates of canopy chlorophyll content. Accounting for snow cover in environmental variables consistently led to improved predictive power as well as more ecologically meaningful characterizations of plant diversity. Model parameters differed significantly when fitted with and without snow cover. Filtering solar radiation with snow as compared without led to an average gain in R(2) of 0·26 and reversed slope direction to more intuitive relationships for several diversity metrics. The results show that in alpine environments high-resolution data on snow cover duration are pivotal for capturing the spatial heterogeneity of both taxonomic and functional diversity. The use of climate variables without consideration of snow cover can lead to erroneous predictions of plant diversity. The results further indicate that studies seeking to predict the response of alpine

  15. Plant diversity and root traits benefit physical properties key to soil function in grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gould, Iain J.; Quinton, John N.; Weigelt, Alexandra; Deyn, De Gerlinde B.; Bardgett, Richard D.; Seabloom, Eric

    2016-01-01

    Plant diversity loss impairs ecosystem functioning, including important effects on soil. Most studies that have explored plant diversity effects belowground, however, have largely focused on biological processes. As such, our understanding of how plant diversity impacts the soil physical

  16. Unity and diversity of executive functions: Individual differences as a window on cognitive structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, Naomi P; Miyake, Akira

    2017-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs) are high-level cognitive processes, often associated with the frontal lobes, that control lower level processes in the service of goal-directed behavior. They include abilities such as response inhibition, interference control, working memory updating, and set shifting. EFs show a general pattern of shared but distinct functions, a pattern described as "unity and diversity". We review studies of EF unity and diversity at the behavioral and genetic levels, focusing on studies of normal individual differences and what they reveal about the functional organization of these cognitive abilities. In particular, we review evidence that across multiple ages and populations, commonly studied EFs (a) are robustly correlated but separable when measured with latent variables; (b) are not the same as general intelligence or g; (c) are highly heritable at the latent level and seemingly also highly polygenic; and (d) activate both common and specific neural areas and can be linked to individual differences in neural activation, volume, and connectivity. We highlight how considering individual differences at the behavioral and neural levels can add considerable insight to the investigation of the functional organization of the brain, and conclude with some key points about individual differences to consider when interpreting neuropsychological patterns of dissociation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Leaf and stem economics spectra drive diversity of functional plant traits in a dynamic global vegetation model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sakschewski, B.; Bloh, von W.; Boit, A.; Rammig, A.; Kattge, J.; Poorter, L.; Peñualeas, J.; Thonicke, K.

    2015-01-01

    Functional diversity is critical for ecosystem dynamics, stability and productivity. However, dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs) which are increasingly used to simulate ecosystem functions under global change, condense functional diversity to plant functional types (PFTs) with constant

  18. Expanded functional diversity of shaker K(+ channels in cnidarians is driven by gene expansion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy Jegla

    Full Text Available The genome of the cnidarian Nematostella vectensis (starlet sea anemone provides a molecular genetic view into the first nervous systems, which appeared in a late common ancestor of cnidarians and bilaterians. Nematostella has a surprisingly large and diverse set of neuronal signaling genes including paralogs of most neuronal signaling molecules found in higher metazoans. Several ion channel gene families are highly expanded in the sea anemone, including three subfamilies of the Shaker K(+ channel gene family: Shaker (Kv1, Shaw (Kv3 and Shal (Kv4. In order to better understand the physiological significance of these voltage-gated K(+ channel expansions, we analyzed the function of 18 members of the 20 gene Shaker subfamily in Nematostella. Six of the Nematostella Shaker genes express functional homotetrameric K(+ channels in vitro. These include functional orthologs of bilaterian Shakers and channels with an unusually high threshold for voltage activation. We identified 11 Nematostella Shaker genes with a distinct "silent" or "regulatory" phenotype; these encode subunits that function only in heteromeric channels and serve to further diversify Nematostella Shaker channel gating properties. Subunits with the regulatory phenotype have not previously been found in the Shaker subfamily, but have evolved independently in the Shab (Kv2 family in vertebrates and the Shal family in a cnidarian. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that regulatory subunits were present in ancestral cnidarians, but have continued to diversity at a high rate after the split between anthozoans and hydrozoans. Comparison of Shaker family gene complements from diverse metazoan species reveals frequent, large scale duplication has produced highly unique sets of Shaker channels in the major metazoan lineages.

  19. Expanded functional diversity of shaker K(+) channels in cnidarians is driven by gene expansion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jegla, Timothy; Marlow, Heather Q; Chen, Bihan; Simmons, David K; Jacobo, Sarah M; Martindale, Mark Q

    2012-01-01

    The genome of the cnidarian Nematostella vectensis (starlet sea anemone) provides a molecular genetic view into the first nervous systems, which appeared in a late common ancestor of cnidarians and bilaterians. Nematostella has a surprisingly large and diverse set of neuronal signaling genes including paralogs of most neuronal signaling molecules found in higher metazoans. Several ion channel gene families are highly expanded in the sea anemone, including three subfamilies of the Shaker K(+) channel gene family: Shaker (Kv1), Shaw (Kv3) and Shal (Kv4). In order to better understand the physiological significance of these voltage-gated K(+) channel expansions, we analyzed the function of 18 members of the 20 gene Shaker subfamily in Nematostella. Six of the Nematostella Shaker genes express functional homotetrameric K(+) channels in vitro. These include functional orthologs of bilaterian Shakers and channels with an unusually high threshold for voltage activation. We identified 11 Nematostella Shaker genes with a distinct "silent" or "regulatory" phenotype; these encode subunits that function only in heteromeric channels and serve to further diversify Nematostella Shaker channel gating properties. Subunits with the regulatory phenotype have not previously been found in the Shaker subfamily, but have evolved independently in the Shab (Kv2) family in vertebrates and the Shal family in a cnidarian. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that regulatory subunits were present in ancestral cnidarians, but have continued to diversity at a high rate after the split between anthozoans and hydrozoans. Comparison of Shaker family gene complements from diverse metazoan species reveals frequent, large scale duplication has produced highly unique sets of Shaker channels in the major metazoan lineages.

  20. Mapping functional diversity from remotely sensed morphological and physiological forest traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Fabian D; Morsdorf, Felix; Schmid, Bernhard; Petchey, Owen L; Hueni, Andreas; Schimel, David S; Schaepman, Michael E

    2017-11-13

    Assessing functional diversity from space can help predict productivity and stability of forest ecosystems at global scale using biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships. We present a new spatially continuous method to map regional patterns of tree functional diversity using combined laser scanning and imaging spectroscopy. The method does not require prior taxonomic information and integrates variation in plant functional traits between and within plant species. We compare our method with leaf-level field measurements and species-level plot inventory data and find reasonable agreement. Morphological and physiological diversity show consistent change with topography and soil, with low functional richness at a mountain ridge under specific environmental conditions. Overall, functional richness follows a logarithmic increase with area, whereas divergence and evenness are scale invariant. By mapping diversity at scales of individual trees to whole communities we demonstrate the potential of assessing functional diversity from space, providing a pathway only limited by technological advances and not by methodology.

  1. Determination of a Screening Metric for High Diversity DNA Libraries.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas J Guido

    Full Text Available The fields of antibody engineering, enzyme optimization and pathway construction rely increasingly on screening complex variant DNA libraries. These highly diverse libraries allow researchers to sample a maximized sequence space; and therefore, more rapidly identify proteins with significantly improved activity. The current state of the art in synthetic biology allows for libraries with billions of variants, pushing the limits of researchers' ability to qualify libraries for screening by measuring the traditional quality metrics of fidelity and diversity of variants. Instead, when screening variant libraries, researchers typically use a generic, and often insufficient, oversampling rate based on a common rule-of-thumb. We have developed methods to calculate a library-specific oversampling metric, based on fidelity, diversity, and representation of variants, which informs researchers, prior to screening the library, of the amount of oversampling required to ensure that the desired fraction of variant molecules will be sampled. To derive this oversampling metric, we developed a novel alignment tool to efficiently measure frequency counts of individual nucleotide variant positions using next-generation sequencing data. Next, we apply a method based on the "coupon collector" probability theory to construct a curve of upper bound estimates of the sampling size required for any desired variant coverage. The calculated oversampling metric will guide researchers to maximize their efficiency in using highly variant libraries.

  2. High Diversity of Fungi in Air Particulate Matter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fröhlich-Nowoisky, J.; Despres, V. R.; Pöschl, U.

    2009-04-01

    Fungal spores account for large proportions of air particulate matter, and they influence the hydrological cycle and climate as nuclei for water droplets and ice crystals in clouds, fog and precipitation. Moreover, some fungi are major pathogens and allergens. The diversity of airborne fungi is, however, hardly known. By DNA analysis we found pronounced differences in the relative abundance and seasonal cycles of various groups of fungi in coarse and fine particulate matter, with more plant pathogens in the coarse and more human pathogens and allergens in the respirable fine particle fraction (fungi to primary biogenic aerosols in the atmosphere: wet and dry discharged spores, carbohydrates, and inorganic ions, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 7, 4569-4588, 2007. Fröhlich-Nowoisky, J. Despres, V.R., Pöschl, U.: High diversity of fungi in air particulate matter, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, submitted, 2008.

  3. Promoting High-Quality Cancer Care and Equity Through Disciplinary Diversity in Team Composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, Susan K; Fineberg, Iris C; Lin, Mingqian; Singer, Marybeth; Tang, May; Erban, John K

    2016-11-01

    Disciplinary diversity in team composition is a valuable vehicle for oncology care teams to provide high-quality, person-centered comprehensive care. Such diversity facilitates care that effectively addresses the complex needs (biologic, psychosocial, and spiritual) of the whole person. The concept of professional or disciplinary diversity centers on differences in function, education, and culture, reflecting variety and heterogeneity in the perspectives of team members contributing to care. Thorough understanding of the skills, knowledge, and education related to each team member's professional or lay expertise is critical for members to be able to optimize the team's potential. Furthermore, respect and appreciation for differences and similarities across disciplinary cultures allow team members to create a positive collaboration dynamic that maintains a focus on the care of the person with cancer. We present a case study of one oncology team's provision of care to the patient, a Chinese immigrant woman with breast cancer. The case illuminates the strengths and challenges of disciplinary diversity in team composition in assessing and addressing potential barriers to care. Coordinated sharing of information among the varied team members facilitated understanding and care planning focused on the patient's concerns, needs, and strengths. Importantly, collaboration across the disciplinarily diverse set of team members facilitated high-quality oncology care and promoted equity in access to the full range of care options, including enrollment on a National Cancer Institute-sponsored clinical trial. Further implications of disciplinary diversity in oncology care teams are considered for both clinical practice and research.

  4. Evaluation of nine distance-based measures of functional diversity applied to forest communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jin-Tun Zhang

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Several methods for the estimation of functional diversity are employed in plant communities. However, it is hard to select the most suitable measures in practice. This work presents comparisons of nine distance-based measures applied to functional diversity analysis in forest communities (36 plots along an elevational gradient in the Pangquangou Reserve, China. The employed indices and methods were: functional attribute diversity (FAD, Rao’s functional diversity (Rao’s index, single linkage (SL, complete linkage (CL, Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetic Mean (UPGMA, Unweighted Pair-Group Method using Centroids (UPGMC, Median linkage (Median, fuzzy equivalence diversity (Fuzzy index and minimum spanning tree index (MST. The results showed that all the nine measures successfully quantified the functional diversity in plant communities and described the changes along environmental gradient. It was concluded that all the employed indices and methods were equally effective and significantly correlated. Comparatively, fuzzy index, MST, UPGMC, UPGMA and Median were more suitable and should have priority over the other four measures in functional diversity analysis. A combination of a few measures of functional diversity within the same study was recommended. Functional diversity indices were significantly decreasing with elevation and correlated with species richness in the studied forest communities. 

  5. Evaluation of nine distance-based measures of functional diversity applied to forest communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jin-Tun Zhang

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Several methods for the estimation of functional diversity are employed in plant communities. However, it is hard to select the most suitable measures in practice. This work presents comparisons of nine distance-based measures applied to functional diversity analysis in forest communities (36m plots along an elevational gradient in the Pangquangou Reserve, China. The employed indices and methods were: functional attribute diversity (FAD, Rao’s functional diversity (Rao’s index, single linkage (SL, complete linkage (CL, Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetic Mean (UPGMA, Unweighted Pair-Group Method using Centroids (UPGMC, Median linkage (Median, fuzzy equivalence diversity (Fuzzy index and minimum spanning tree index (MST. The results showed that all the nine measures successfully quantified the functional diversity in plant communities and described the changes along environmental gradient. It was concludedthat all the employed indices and methods were equally effectiveand significantly correlated. Comparatively, fuzzy index, MST, UPGMC,UPGMA and Median were more suitable and should have priority over theother four measures in functional diversity analysis. A combination of a few measures of functional diversity within the same study was recommended. Functional diversity indices were significantly decreasing with elevation and correlated with species richness in the studied forest communities.

  6. Habitat connectivity and local conditions shape taxonomic and functional diversity of arthropods on green roofs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braaker, Sonja; Obrist, Martin Karl; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Moretti, Marco

    2017-05-01

    Increasing development of urban environments creates high pressure on green spaces with potential negative impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. There is growing evidence that green roofs - rooftops covered with vegetation - can contribute mitigate the loss of urban green spaces by providing new habitats for numerous arthropod species. Whether green roofs can contribute to enhance taxonomic and functional diversity and increase connectivity across urbanized areas remains, however, largely unknown. Furthermore, only limited information is available on how environmental conditions shape green roof arthropod communities. We investigated the community composition of arthropods (Apidae, Curculionidae, Araneae and Carabidae) on 40 green roofs and 40 green sites at ground level in the city of Zurich, Switzerland. We assessed how the site's environmental variables (such as area, height, vegetation, substrate and connectivity among sites) affect species richness and functional diversity using generalized linear models. We used an extension of co-inertia analysis (RLQ) and fourth-corner analysis to highlight the mechanism underlying community assemblages across taxonomic groups on green roof and ground communities. Species richness was higher at ground-level sites, while no difference in functional diversity was found between green roofs and ground sites. Green roof arthropod diversity increased with higher connectivity and plant species richness, irrespective of substrate depth, height and area of green roofs. The species trait analysis reviewed the mechanisms related to the environmental predictors that shape the species assemblages of the different taxa at ground and roof sites. Our study shows the important contribution of green roofs in maintaining high functional diversity of arthropod communities across different taxonomic groups, despite their lower species richness compared with ground sites. Species communities on green roofs revealed to be characterized

  7. Climate-suitable planting as a strategy for maintaining forest productivity and functional diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duveneck, Matthew J; Scheller, Robert M

    2015-09-01

    Within the time frame of the longevity of tree species, climate change will change faster than the ability of natural tree migration. Migration lags may result in reduced productivity and reduced diversity in forests under current management and climate change. We evaluated the efficacy of planting climate-suitable tree species (CSP), those tree species with current or historic distributions immediately south of a focal landscape, to maintain or increase aboveground biomass productivity, and species and functional diversity. We modeled forest change with the LANDIS-II forest simulation model for 100 years (2000-2100) at a 2-ha cell resolution and five-year time steps within two landscapes in the Great Lakes region (northeastern Minnesota and northern lower Michigan, USA). We compared current climate to low- and high-emission futures. We simulated a low-emission climate future with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007 B1 emission scenario and the Parallel Climate Model Global Circulation Model (GCM). We simulated a high-emission climate future with the IPCC A1FI emission scenario and the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) GCM. We compared current forest management practices (business-as-usual) to CSP management. In the CSP scenario, we simulated a target planting of 5.28% and 4.97% of forested area per five-year time step in the Minnesota and Michigan landscapes, respectively. We found that simulated CSP species successfully established in both landscapes under all climate scenarios. The presence of CSP species generally increased simulated aboveground biomass. Species diversity increased due to CSP; however, the effect on functional diversity was variable. Because the planted species were functionally similar to many native species, CSP did not result in a consistent increase nor decrease in functional diversity. These results provide an assessment of the potential efficacy and limitations of CSP management. These results have

  8. Consistent role of Quaternary climate change in shaping current plant functional diversity patterns across European plant orders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ordonez, Alejandro; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2017-02-01

    Current and historical environmental conditions are known to determine jointly contemporary species distributions and richness patterns. However, whether historical dynamics in species distributions and richness translate to functional diversity patterns remains, for the most part, unknown. The geographic patterns of plant functional space size (richness) and packing (dispersion) for six widely distributed orders of European angiosperms were estimated using atlas distribution data and trait information. Then the relative importance of late-Quaternary glacial-interglacial climate change and contemporary environmental factors (climate, productivity, and topography) as determinants of functional diversity of evaluated orders was assesed. Functional diversity patterns of all evaluated orders exhibited prominent glacial-interglacial climate change imprints, complementing the influence of contemporary environmental conditions. The importance of Quaternary glacial-interglacial climate change factors was comparable to that of contemporary environmental factors across evaluated orders. Therefore, high long-term paleoclimate variability has imposed consistent supplementary constraints on functional diversity of multiple plant groups, a legacy that may permeate to ecosystem functioning and resilience. These findings suggest that strong near-future anthropogenic climate change may elicit long-term functional disequilibria in plant functional diversity.

  9. Vector species richness increases haemorrhagic disease prevalence through functional diversity modulating the duration of seasonal transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Andrew W; Cleveland, Christopher A; Dallas, Tad A; Corn, Joseph L

    2016-06-01

    Although many parasites are transmitted between hosts by a suite of arthropod vectors, the impact of vector biodiversity on parasite transmission is poorly understood. Positive relationships between host infection prevalence and vector species richness (SR) may operate through multiple mechanisms, including (i) increased vector abundance, (ii) a sampling effect in which species of high vectorial capacity are more likely to occur in species-rich communities, and (iii) functional diversity whereby communities comprised species with distinct phenologies may extend the duration of seasonal transmission. Teasing such mechanisms apart is impeded by a lack of appropriate data, yet could highlight a neglected role for functional diversity in parasite transmission. We used statistical modelling of extensive host, vector and microparasite data to test the hypothesis that functional diversity leading to longer seasonal transmission explained variable levels of disease in a wildlife population. We additionally developed a simple transmission model to guide our expectation of how an increased transmission season translates to infection prevalence. Our study demonstrates that vector SR is associated with increased levels of disease reporting, but not via increases in vector abundance or via a sampling effect. Rather, the relationship operates by extending the length of seasonal transmission, in line with theoretical predictions.

  10. Genetic and functional diversity of ubiquitous DNA viruses in selected Chinese agricultural soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Li-Li; Yu, Dan-Ting; Zhang, Li-Mei; Shen, Ju-Pei; He, Ji-Zheng

    2017-03-01

    Viral community structures in complex agricultural soils are largely unknown. Electron microscopy and viromic analyses were conducted on six typical Chinese agricultural soil samples. Tailed bacteriophages, spherical and filamentous viral particles were identified by the morphological analysis. Based on the metagenomic analysis, single-stranded DNA viruses represented the largest viral component in most of the soil habitats, while the double-stranded DNA viruses belonging to the Caudovirales order were predominanted in Jiangxi-maize soils. The majority of functional genes belonged to the subsystem “phages, prophages, transposable elements, and plasmids”. Non-metric multidimensional analysis of viral community showed that the environment medium type was the most important driving factor for the viral community structure. For the major viral groups detected in all samples (Microviridae and Caudovirales), the two groups gathered viruses from different sites and similar genetic composition, indicating that viral diversity was high on a local point but relatively limited on a global scale. This is a novel report of viral diversity in Chinese agricultural soils, and the abundance, taxonomic, and functional diversity of viruses that were observed in different types of soils will aid future soil virome studies and enhance our understanding of the ecological functions of soil viruses.

  11. Five species, many genotypes, broad phenotypic diversity: When agronomy meets functional ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prieto, Ivan; Litrico, Isabelle; Violle, Cyrille; Barre, Philippe

    2017-01-01

    Current ecological theory can provide insight into the causes and impacts of plant domestication. However, just how domestication has impacted intraspecific genetic variability (ITV) is unknown. We used 50 ecotypes and 35 cultivars from five grassland species to explore how selection drives functional trait coordination and genetic differentiation. We quantified the extent of genetic diversity among different sets of functional traits and determined how much genetic diversity has been generated within populations of natural ecotypes and selected cultivars. In general, the cultivars were larger (e.g., greater height, faster growth rates) and had larger and thinner leaves (greater SLA). We found large (average 63%) and trait-dependent (ranging from 14% for LNC to 95.8% for growth rate) genetic variability. The relative extent of genetic variability was greater for whole-plant than for organ-level traits. This pattern was consistent within ecotypes and within cultivars. However, ecotypes presented greater ITV variability. The results indicated that genetic diversity is large in domesticated species with contrasting levels of heritability among functional traits and that selection for high yield has led to indirect selection of some associated leaf traits. These findings open the way to define which target traits should be the focus in selection programs, especially in the context of community-level selection. © 2017 Botanical Society of America.

  12. Functional Gene Diversity and Metabolic Potential of the Microbial Community in an Estuary-Shelf Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Wang

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Microbes play crucial roles in various biogeochemical processes in the ocean, including carbon (C, nitrogen (N, and phosphorus (P cycling. Functional gene diversity and the structure of the microbial community determines its metabolic potential and therefore its ecological function in the marine ecosystem. However, little is known about the functional gene composition and metabolic potential of bacterioplankton in estuary areas. The East China Sea (ECS is a dynamic marginal ecosystem in the western Pacific Ocean that is mainly affected by input from the Changjiang River and the Kuroshio Current. Here, using a high-throughput functional gene microarray (GeoChip, we analyzed the functional gene diversity, composition, structure, and metabolic potential of microbial assemblages in different ECS water masses. Four water masses determined by temperature and salinity relationship showed different patterns of functional gene diversity and composition. Generally, functional gene diversity [Shannon–Weaner’s H and reciprocal of Simpson’s 1/(1-D] in the surface water masses was higher than that in the bottom water masses. The different presence and proportion of functional genes involved in C, N, and P cycling among the bacteria of the different water masses showed different metabolic preferences of the microbial populations in the ECS. Genes involved in starch metabolism (amyA and nplT showed higher proportion in microbial communities of the surface water masses than of the bottom water masses. In contrast, a higher proportion of genes involved in chitin degradation was observed in microorganisms of the bottom water masses. Moreover, we found a higher proportion of nitrogen fixation (nifH, transformation of hydroxylamine to nitrite (hao and ammonification (gdh genes in the microbial communities of the bottom water masses compared with those of the surface water masses. The spatial variation of microbial functional genes was significantly correlated

  13. From pattern to process: species and functional diversity in fungal endophytes of Abies beshanzuensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Zhi-Lin; Rao, Long-Bing; Chen, Yi-Cun; Zhang, Chu-Long; Wu, You-Gui

    2011-03-01

    The biodiversity-functional relationship in fungal ecology was recently developed and debated, but has rarely been addressed in endophytes. In this study, an integrative culture system was designed to capture a rich fungal consortium from the conifer Abies beshanzuensis. Results indicate an impressive diversity of fungal lineages (a total of 84 taxa classified in Dikarya) and a relatively high proportion of hitherto unknown species (27.4%). The laccase gene was used as a functional marker due to its involvement in lignocellulose degradation. Remarkable diversity of laccase genes was found across a wide range of taxa, with at least 35 and 19 distinct sequences in ascomycetes and basidiomycetes respectively, were revealed. Many groups displayed variable ability to decompose needles. Furthermore, many ascomycetes, including three volatile-producing Muscodor species (Xylariaceae), showed the ability to inhibit pathogens. Notably, most laccase-producing species showed little or no antibiosis and vice versa. Clavicipitalean and ustilaginomycetous fungi, specifically toxic to insects, were inferred from taxonomic information. Intra-specific physiological variation in Pezicula sporulosa, a second dominant species, was clearly high. We conclude that a suite of defensive characteristics in endophytes contributes to improving host fitness under various stresses and that a diversity of laccase genes confers an ecological advantage in competition for nutrients. Intra-specific diversity may be of great ecological significance for ecotypic adaptation. These findings suggest a fair degree of functional complementarity rather than redundancy among endemic symbionts of natural plant populations. Copyright © 2010 The British Mycological Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Dung Beetles along a Tropical Altitudinal Gradient: Environmental Filtering on Taxonomic and Functional Diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunes, Cássio Alencar; Braga, Rodrigo Fagundes; Figueira, José Eugênio Cortes; Neves, Frederico de Siqueira; Fernandes, G Wilson

    2016-01-01

    Mountains provide an interesting context in which to study the many facets of biodiversity in response to macroclimate, since environmental conditions change rapidly due to elevation. Although the decrease in biodiversity with increasing elevation is generally accepted, our understanding of the variation of functional diversity along altitudinal gradients is still poorly known. The partitioning of diversity into spatial components can help to understand the processes that influence the distribution of species, and these studies are urgently needed in face of the increasing threats to mountain environments throughout the world. We describe the distribution of dung beetle diversity along an altitudinal gradient on a tropical mountain in southeastern Brazil, including the spatial partitioning of taxonomic and functional diversities. The altitudinal gradient ranged from 800 up to 1400 m a.s.l. and we collected dung beetles at every 100 m of altitude. We used the Rao Index to calculate γ, α and β diversity for taxonomic and functional diversity of dung beetles. Climatic, soil and vegetation variables were used to explain variation in community attributes along the altitudinal gradient. Dung beetle richness declined with altitude and was related to climatic and vegetation variables, but functional diversity did not follow the same pattern. Over 50% of γ taxonomic diversity was caused by among altitudes diversity (β), while almost 100% of functional diversity was due to the α component. Contrasting β taxonomic with β functional diversity, we suggest that there is ecological redundancy among communities and that the environment is filtering species in terms of the Grinnellian niche, rather than the Eltonian niche. β taxonomic diversity is caused mainly by the turnover component, reinforcing the hypothesis of environmental filtering. Global warming may have strong effects on mountain communities due to upslope range shifts and extinctions, and these events will

  15. Plant diversity surpasses plant functional groups and plant productivity as driver of soil biota in the long term.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nico Eisenhauer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: One of the most significant consequences of contemporary global change is the rapid decline of biodiversity in many ecosystems. Knowledge of the consequences of biodiversity loss in terrestrial ecosystems is largely restricted to single ecosystem functions. Impacts of key plant functional groups on soil biota are considered to be more important than those of plant diversity; however, current knowledge mainly relies on short-term experiments. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We studied changes in the impacts of plant diversity and presence of key functional groups on soil biota by investigating the performance of soil microorganisms and soil fauna two, four and six years after the establishment of model grasslands. The results indicate that temporal changes of plant community effects depend on the trophic affiliation of soil animals: plant diversity effects on decomposers only occurred after six years, changed little in herbivores, but occurred in predators after two years. The results suggest that plant diversity, in terms of species and functional group richness, is the most important plant community property affecting soil biota, exceeding the relevance of plant above- and belowground productivity and the presence of key plant functional groups, i.e. grasses and legumes, with the relevance of the latter decreasing in time. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Plant diversity effects on biota are not only due to the presence of key plant functional groups or plant productivity highlighting the importance of diverse and high-quality plant derived resources, and supporting the validity of the singular hypothesis for soil biota. Our results demonstrate that in the long term plant diversity essentially drives the performance of soil biota questioning the paradigm that belowground communities are not affected by plant diversity and reinforcing the importance of biodiversity for ecosystem functioning.

  16. Plant diversity surpasses plant functional groups and plant productivity as driver of soil biota in the long term.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenhauer, Nico; Milcu, Alexandru; Sabais, Alexander C W; Bessler, Holger; Brenner, Johanna; Engels, Christof; Klarner, Bernhard; Maraun, Mark; Partsch, Stephan; Roscher, Christiane; Schonert, Felix; Temperton, Vicky M; Thomisch, Karolin; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Scheu, Stefan

    2011-01-07

    One of the most significant consequences of contemporary global change is the rapid decline of biodiversity in many ecosystems. Knowledge of the consequences of biodiversity loss in terrestrial ecosystems is largely restricted to single ecosystem functions. Impacts of key plant functional groups on soil biota are considered to be more important than those of plant diversity; however, current knowledge mainly relies on short-term experiments. We studied changes in the impacts of plant diversity and presence of key functional groups on soil biota by investigating the performance of soil microorganisms and soil fauna two, four and six years after the establishment of model grasslands. The results indicate that temporal changes of plant community effects depend on the trophic affiliation of soil animals: plant diversity effects on decomposers only occurred after six years, changed little in herbivores, but occurred in predators after two years. The results suggest that plant diversity, in terms of species and functional group richness, is the most important plant community property affecting soil biota, exceeding the relevance of plant above- and belowground productivity and the presence of key plant functional groups, i.e. grasses and legumes, with the relevance of the latter decreasing in time. Plant diversity effects on biota are not only due to the presence of key plant functional groups or plant productivity highlighting the importance of diverse and high-quality plant derived resources, and supporting the validity of the singular hypothesis for soil biota. Our results demonstrate that in the long term plant diversity essentially drives the performance of soil biota questioning the paradigm that belowground communities are not affected by plant diversity and reinforcing the importance of biodiversity for ecosystem functioning.

  17. Plant Diversity Surpasses Plant Functional Groups and Plant Productivity as Driver of Soil Biota in the Long Term

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenhauer, Nico; Milcu, Alexandru; Sabais, Alexander C. W.; Bessler, Holger; Brenner, Johanna; Engels, Christof; Klarner, Bernhard; Maraun, Mark; Partsch, Stephan; Roscher, Christiane; Schonert, Felix; Temperton, Vicky M.; Thomisch, Karolin; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W.; Scheu, Stefan

    2011-01-01

    Background One of the most significant consequences of contemporary global change is the rapid decline of biodiversity in many ecosystems. Knowledge of the consequences of biodiversity loss in terrestrial ecosystems is largely restricted to single ecosystem functions. Impacts of key plant functional groups on soil biota are considered to be more important than those of plant diversity; however, current knowledge mainly relies on short-term experiments. Methodology/Principal Findings We studied changes in the impacts of plant diversity and presence of key functional groups on soil biota by investigating the performance of soil microorganisms and soil fauna two, four and six years after the establishment of model grasslands. The results indicate that temporal changes of plant community effects depend on the trophic affiliation of soil animals: plant diversity effects on decomposers only occurred after six years, changed little in herbivores, but occurred in predators after two years. The results suggest that plant diversity, in terms of species and functional group richness, is the most important plant community property affecting soil biota, exceeding the relevance of plant above- and belowground productivity and the presence of key plant functional groups, i.e. grasses and legumes, with the relevance of the latter decreasing in time. Conclusions/Significance Plant diversity effects on biota are not only due to the presence of key plant functional groups or plant productivity highlighting the importance of diverse and high-quality plant derived resources, and supporting the validity of the singular hypothesis for soil biota. Our results demonstrate that in the long term plant diversity essentially drives the performance of soil biota questioning the paradigm that belowground communities are not affected by plant diversity and reinforcing the importance of biodiversity for ecosystem functioning. PMID:21249208

  18. Environmental conditions influence the plant functional diversity effect on potential denitrification.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariana E Sutton-Grier

    Full Text Available Global biodiversity loss has prompted research on the relationship between species diversity and ecosystem functioning. Few studies have examined how plant diversity impacts belowground processes; even fewer have examined how varying resource levels can influence the effect of plant diversity on microbial activity. In a field experiment in a restored wetland, we examined the role of plant trait diversity (or functional diversity, (FD and its interactions with natural levels of variability of soil properties, on a microbial process, denitrification potential (DNP. We demonstrated that FD significantly affected microbial DNP through its interactions with soil conditions; increasing FD led to increased DNP but mainly at higher levels of soil resources. Our results suggest that the effect of species diversity on ecosystem functioning may depend on environmental factors such as resource availability. Future biodiversity experiments should examine how natural levels of environmental variability impact the importance of biodiversity to ecosystem functioning.

  19. De novo assembly of highly diverse viral populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Xiao

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Extensive genetic diversity in viral populations within infected hosts and the divergence of variants from existing reference genomes impede the analysis of deep viral sequencing data. A de novo population consensus assembly is valuable both as a single linear representation of the population and as a backbone on which intra-host variants can be accurately mapped. The availability of consensus assemblies and robustly mapped variants are crucial to the genetic study of viral disease progression, transmission dynamics, and viral evolution. Existing de novo assembly techniques fail to robustly assemble ultra-deep sequence data from genetically heterogeneous populations such as viruses into full-length genomes due to the presence of extensive genetic variability, contaminants, and variable sequence coverage. Results We present VICUNA, a de novo assembly algorithm suitable for generating consensus assemblies from genetically heterogeneous populations. We demonstrate its effectiveness on Dengue, Human Immunodeficiency and West Nile viral populations, representing a range of intra-host diversity. Compared to state-of-the-art assemblers designed for haploid or diploid systems, VICUNA recovers full-length consensus and captures insertion/deletion polymorphisms in diverse samples. Final assemblies maintain a high base calling accuracy. VICUNA program is publicly available at: http://www.broadinstitute.org/scientific-community/science/projects/viral-genomics/ viral-genomics-analysis-software. Conclusions We developed VICUNA, a publicly available software tool, that enables consensus assembly of ultra-deep sequence derived from diverse viral populations. While VICUNA was developed for the analysis of viral populations, its application to other heterogeneous sequence data sets such as metagenomic or tumor cell population samples may prove beneficial in these fields of research.

  20. De novo assembly of highly diverse viral populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xiao; Charlebois, Patrick; Gnerre, Sante; Coole, Matthew G; Lennon, Niall J; Levin, Joshua Z; Qu, James; Ryan, Elizabeth M; Zody, Michael C; Henn, Matthew R

    2012-09-13

    Extensive genetic diversity in viral populations within infected hosts and the divergence of variants from existing reference genomes impede the analysis of deep viral sequencing data. A de novo population consensus assembly is valuable both as a single linear representation of the population and as a backbone on which intra-host variants can be accurately mapped. The availability of consensus assemblies and robustly mapped variants are crucial to the genetic study of viral disease progression, transmission dynamics, and viral evolution. Existing de novo assembly techniques fail to robustly assemble ultra-deep sequence data from genetically heterogeneous populations such as viruses into full-length genomes due to the presence of extensive genetic variability, contaminants, and variable sequence coverage. We present VICUNA, a de novo assembly algorithm suitable for generating consensus assemblies from genetically heterogeneous populations. We demonstrate its effectiveness on Dengue, Human Immunodeficiency and West Nile viral populations, representing a range of intra-host diversity. Compared to state-of-the-art assemblers designed for haploid or diploid systems, VICUNA recovers full-length consensus and captures insertion/deletion polymorphisms in diverse samples. Final assemblies maintain a high base calling accuracy. VICUNA program is publicly available at: http://www.broadinstitute.org/scientific-community/science/projects/viral-genomics/ viral-genomics-analysis-software. We developed VICUNA, a publicly available software tool, that enables consensus assembly of ultra-deep sequence derived from diverse viral populations. While VICUNA was developed for the analysis of viral populations, its application to other heterogeneous sequence data sets such as metagenomic or tumor cell population samples may prove beneficial in these fields of research.

  1. FUNCTIONAL DIVERSITY AND ITS ATTRIBUTE FACTORS IN THE YUNMENG MOUNTAIN NATIONAL FOREST PARK IN BEIJING, CHINA

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Jin-Tun; Bai, Xiaohang; Shao, Dan

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT The interaction of diversity with environmental gradients is an important topic in ecology. This study investigated the pattern of change in functional diversity in forest communities along an altitudinal gradient in Yunmeng Mountain National Forest Park, China. Forty-two quadrats measuring 10 x 10 m in the forest communities were set up along this altitudinal gradient; plant species, traits and environmental variables were measured and recorded. Six functional diversity indices, nam...

  2. Discovery of diverse and functional antibodies from large human repertoire antibody libraries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwimmer, Lauren J; Huang, Betty; Giang, Hoa; Cotter, Robyn L; Chemla-Vogel, David S; Dy, Francis V; Tam, Eric M; Zhang, Fangjiu; Toy, Pamela; Bohmann, David J; Watson, Susan R; Beaber, John W; Reddy, Nithin; Kuan, Hua-Feng; Bedinger, Daniel H; Rondon, Isaac J

    2013-05-31

    Phage display antibody libraries have a proven track record for the discovery of therapeutic human antibodies, increasing the demand for large and diverse phage antibody libraries for the discovery of new therapeutics. We have constructed naïve antibody phage display libraries in both Fab and scFv formats, with each library having more than 250 billion clones that encompass the human antibody repertoire. These libraries show high fidelity in open reading frame and expression percentages, and their V-gene family distribution, VH-CDR3 length and amino acid usage mirror the natural diversity of human antibodies. Both the Fab and scFv libraries show robust sequence diversity in target-specific binders and differential V-gene usage for each target tested, supporting the use of libraries that utilize multiple display formats and V-gene utilization to maximize antibody-binding diversity. For each of the targets, clones with picomolar affinities were identified from at least one of the libraries and for the two targets assessed for activity, functional antibodies were identified from both libraries. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. High nutrient availability reduces the diversity and stability of the equine caecal microbiota

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naja C. K. Hansen

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: It is well known that nutrient availability can alter the gut microbiota composition, while the effect on diversity and temporal stability remains largely unknown. Methods: Here we address the equine caecal microbiota temporal stability, diversity, and functionality in response to diets with different levels of nutrient availability. Hay (low and slower nutrient availability versus a mixture of hay and whole oats (high and more rapid nutrient availability were used as experimental diets. Results: We found major effects on the microbiota despite that the caecal pH was far from sub-clinical acidosis. We found that the low nutrient availability diet was associated with a higher level of both diversity and temporal stability of the caecal microbiota than the high nutrient availability diet. These observations concur with general ecological theories, suggesting a stabilising effect of biological diversity and that high nutrient availability has a destabilising effect through reduced diversity. Conclusion: Nutrient availability does not only change the composition but also the ecology of the caecal microbiota.

  4. Functional diversity of macrobenthic assemblages decreases in response to sewage discharges

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gusmao, Joao B.; Brauko, Kalina M.; Eriksson, Britas K.; Lana, Paulo C.

    We analyzed the effects of sewage discharge on a subtropical estuary by comparing the functional diversity of intertidal macroinvertebrate assemblages in contaminated with non-contaminated reference areas. Functional structure was assessed using biological traits analysis (BTA) and four multivariate

  5. Impacts of Urban Areas and Their Characteristics on Avian Functional Diversity

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Emily Oliveira Hagen; Oskar Hagen; Juan D. Ibáñez-Álamo; Owen L. Petchey; Karl L. Evans

    2017-01-01

    .... We compare avian functional diversity in 25 urban areas, located across the globe, with paired non-urban assemblages using a database of 27 functional traits that capture variation in resource use...

  6. Assessing the functional diversity of herbivorous reef fishes using a compound-specific stable isotope approach

    KAUST Repository

    Tietbohl, Matthew

    2016-12-01

    Herbivorous coral reef fishes play an important role in helping to structure their environment directly by consuming algae and indirectly by promoting coral health and growth. These fishes are generally separated into three broad groups: browsers, grazers, and excavators/scrapers, with these groupings often thought to have a fixed general function and all fishes within a group thought to have similar ecological roles. This categorization assumes a high level of functional redundancy within herbivorous fishes. However, recent evidence questions the use of this broad classification scheme, and posits that there may actually be more resource partitioning within these functional groupings. Here, I use a compound-specific stable isotope approach (CSIA) to show there appears to be a greater diversity of functional roles than previously assumed within broad functional groups. The δ13C signatures from essential amino acids of reef end-members (coral, macroalgae, detritus, and phytoplankton) and fish muscle were analyzed to investigate differences in resource use between fishes. Most end-members displayed clear isotopic differences, and most fishes within functional groups were dissimilar in their isotopic signature, implying differences in the resources they target. No grazers closely resembled each other isotopically, implying a much lower level of functional redundancy within this group; scraping parrotfish were also distinct from excavating parrotfish and to a lesser degree distinct between scrapers. This study highlights the potential of CSIA to help distinguish fine-scale ecological differences within other groups of reef organisms as well. These results question the utility of lumping nominally herbivorous fishes into broad groups with assumed similar roles. Given the apparent functional differences between nominally herbivorous reef fishes, it is important for managers to incorporate the diversity of functional roles these fish play.

  7. Diversion assumptions for high-powered research reactors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Binford, F.T.

    1984-01-01

    This study deals with diversion assumptions for high-powered research reactors -- specifically, MTR fuel; pool- or tank-type research reactors with light-water moderator; and water, beryllium, or graphite reflectors, and which have a power level of 25 MW(t) or more. The objective is to provide assistance to the IAEA in documentation of criteria and inspection observables related to undeclared plutonium production in the reactors described above, including: criteria for undeclared plutonium production, necessary design information for implementation of these criteria, verification guidelines including neutron physics and heat transfer, and safeguards measures to facilitate the detection of undeclared plutonium production at large research reactors.

  8. 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 (FD Q ) 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 FD Q , 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.

  9. Mapping functional diversity from remotely sensed morphological and physiological forest traits

    OpenAIRE

    Schneider, Fabian D.; Morsdorf, Felix; Schmid, Bernhard; Petchey, Owen L.; Hueni, Andreas; Schimel, David S.; Schaepman, Michael E.

    2017-01-01

    Assessing functional diversity from space can help predict productivity and stability of forest ecosystems at global scale using biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships. We present a new spatially continuous method to map regional patterns of tree functional diversity using combined laser scanning and imaging spectroscopy. The method does not require prior taxonomic information and integrates variation in plant functional traits between and within plant species. We compare our method...

  10. An Index for Measuring Functional Diversity in Plant Communities Based on Neural Network Theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naiqi Song

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Functional diversity in plant communities is a key driver of ecosystem processes. The effective methods for measuring functional diversity are important in ecological studies. A new method based on neural network, self-organizing feature map (SOFM index, was put forward and described. A case application to the study of functional diversity of Phellodendron amurense communities in Xiaolongmen Forest Park of Beijing was carried out in this paper. The results showed that SOFM index was an effective method in the evaluation of functional diversity and its change in plant communities. Significant nonlinear correlations of SOFM index with the common used methods, FAD, MFAD, FDp, FDc, FRic, and FDiv indices, also proved that SOFM index is useful in the studies of functional diversity.

  11. Functional and Taxonomic Diversity of Stinging Wasps in Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest Areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dos Santos, E F; Noll, F B; Brandão, C R F

    2014-04-01

    Vespoidea are the most functionally diverse superfamily of Hymenoptera. Ecological studies involving this family are primarily based on eusocial groups, including ants and social paper wasps. In the present study, we examine stinging wasp (Vespoidea) faunal diversity in the Atlantic Rain Forest, which is one of the most diverse and threatened ecosystems in the World. Three conservation areas were sampled employing a standardized sample protocol. Families and functional groups of Vespoidea were collected in each area, with the exception ants (Formicidae), and analyzed using diversity analyses, to generate taxonomic diversity and distinctness indices. Results indicated Pompilidae was the most diverse family, and the idiobiont parasitoid type was the most diverse functional group in the three study areas. Núcleo Picinguaba of the Parque Estadual da Serra do Mar was taxonomically and functionally the most diverse and species rich area. Parque Estadual Intervales showed the highest number of dominant species and diversity of koinobiont parasitoids, while the Rebio Sooretama exhibited a decrease in several diversity parameters.

  12. Do functional diversity and trait dominance determine carbon storage in an altered tropical landscape?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Häger, Achim; Avalos, Gerardo

    2017-06-01

    Altered landscapes play a major role in biodiversity conservation and carbon (C) storage in the tropics. There is increasing evidence that C storage potential is controlled by tree functional diversity, but underlying mechanisms are debated. We analyzed the effects of trait dominance (mass-ratio hypothesis), species diversity, and trait variation (species complementarity) on C storage in the soils and vegetation of 20 agroforestry systems (AFS) and seven forested sites in Costa Rica. AFS consisted of organic and conventional coffee farms and pastures with trees. We used the community weighted mean (CWM) to measure trait dominance, and functional divergence (FDvar) to evaluate trait variation of wood densities (WD) and maximum heights (H max) of woody plants at each site. Species richness, the number of woody plants per hectare, and slope of the terrain were also considered as independent variables. Soil organic carbon (SOC) increased with higher CWMWD and with higher variability of H max ([Formula: see text]) across land-use types. Aboveground carbon (AGC) was controlled by the number of woody plants per hectare and by species richness. Our results suggest that dominant traits as well as species complementarity play an important role in determining C storage. Diverse, multilayered AFS which incorporate trees with high WD, combined with the conservation of remnant forests, can maximize C storage in the soils and vegetation of altered tropical landscapes.

  13. Multiple metrics of diversity have different effects on temperate forest functioning over succession.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Zuoqiang; Wang, Shaopeng; Gazol, Antonio; Mellard, Jarad; Lin, Fei; Ye, Ji; Hao, Zhanqing; Wang, Xugao; Loreau, Michel

    2016-12-01

    Biodiversity can be measured by taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional diversity. How ecosystem functioning depends on these measures of diversity can vary from site to site and depends on successional stage. Here, we measured taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional diversity, and examined their relationship with biomass in two successional stages of the broad-leaved Korean pine forest in northeastern China. Functional diversity was calculated from six plant traits, and aboveground biomass (AGB) and coarse woody productivity (CWP) were estimated using data from three forest censuses (10 years) in two large fully mapped forest plots (25 and 5 ha). 11 of the 12 regressions between biomass variables (AGB and CWP) and indices of diversity showed significant positive relationships, especially those with phylogenetic diversity. The mean tree diversity-biomass regressions increased from 0.11 in secondary forest to 0.31 in old-growth forest, implying a stronger biodiversity effect in more mature forest. Multi-model selection results showed that models including species richness, phylogenetic diversity, and single functional traits explained more variation in forest biomass than other candidate models. The models with a single functional trait, i.e., leaf area in secondary forest and wood density in mature forest, provided better explanations for forest biomass than models that combined all six functional traits. This finding may reflect different strategies in growth and resource acquisition in secondary and old-growth forests.

  14. Multi-scale functional and taxonomic β-diversity of the macroinvertebrate communities in a Mediterranean coastal lagoon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. CABANA

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Benthic macroinvertebrate communities form the basis of the intricate lagoonal food web. Understanding their functional and taxonomic response, from a β-diversity perspective, is essential to disclose underlying patterns with potential applicability in conservation and management actions. Within the central lagoon of Messolonghi we studied the main environmental components structuring the macroinvertebrate community. We analyzed the β-taxonomic and β-functional diversity across the main habitats and seasons, over a year time frame. Our results outline habitat type and vegetation biomass as the major factors structuring the communities. We found environmental variability to have a positive correlation with functional β-diversity, however no correlation was found with taxonomic β-diversity. Across the seasons an asynchronous response of the functional and taxonomic β-diversity was identified. The taxonomic composition displayed significant heterogeneity during the driest period and the functional during the rainy season. Across the habitats the unvegetated presented higher taxonomic homogeneity and functionally heterogeneity, contrary the vegetated habitats present higher taxonomic variability and functional homogeneity. Across the seasons and habitats a pattern of functional redundancy and taxonomic replacement was identified. Besides high functional turnover versus low taxonomic turnover was documented in an anthropogenic organically enriched habitat We conclude that habitats display independent functional and taxonomic seasonal patterns, thus different processes may contribute to their variability. The framework presented here highlights the importance of studying both β-diversity components framed in a multiscale approach to better understand ecological processes and variability patterns. These results are important to understand macroinvertebrate community assembly processes and are valuable for conservation purposes.

  15. Molecular and functional diversity in Capsicum landraces of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The present study analyzed the diversity in 26 landraces of Capsicum from Andaman Islands using 20 morphological, 16 biochemical and 10 DNA markers. Significant differences were observed in tested landraces and 16 reference genotypes from mainland India. Biochemical markers grouped all the genotypes into eight ...

  16. Using phylogenetic, functional and trait diversity to understand patterns of plant community productivity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc W Cadotte

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Two decades of research showing that increasing plant diversity results in greater community productivity has been predicated on greater functional diversity allowing access to more of the total available resources. Thus, understanding phenotypic attributes that allow species to partition resources is fundamentally important to explaining diversity-productivity relationships. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we use data from a long-term experiment (Cedar Creek, MN and compare the extent to which productivity is explained by seven types of community metrics of functional variation: 1 species richness, 2 variation in 10 individual traits, 3 functional group richness, 4 a distance-based measure of functional diversity, 5 a hierarchical multivariate clustering method, 6 a nonmetric multidimensional scaling approach, and 7 a phylogenetic diversity measure, summing phylogenetic branch lengths connecting community members together and may be a surrogate for ecological differences. Although most of these diversity measures provided significant explanations of variation in productivity, the presence of a nitrogen fixer and phylogenetic diversity were the two best explanatory variables. Further, a statistical model that included the presence of a nitrogen fixer, seed weight and phylogenetic diversity was a better explanation of community productivity than other models. CONCLUSIONS: Evolutionary relationships among species appear to explain patterns of grassland productivity. Further, these results reveal that functional differences among species involve a complex suite of traits and that perhaps phylogenetic relationships provide a better measure of the diversity among species that contributes to productivity than individual or small groups of traits.

  17. The Jena Diversity (JeDi) Model: A New Functional Diversity Approach To Modelling The Terrestrial Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlick, R.; Kleidon, A.; Reu, B.; Bohn, K.

    2009-12-01

    Current state-of-the-art terrestrial biosphere models usually do not account for biodiversity, representing the diversity of vegetation form and functioning using only a small number of plant functional types. In the Jena Diversity (JeDi) model, we introduce a new approach, based not on plant functional types, but on plant ecophysiological trade-offs. The JeDi model tests a large number of plant growth strategies. Each growth strategy is simulated using a set of randomly generated parameter values, which characterize its functioning in terms of carbon allocation, ecophysiology, and phenology, which are then linked to the growing conditions at the land surface. The model is constructed in such a way that these parameters inherently lead to ecophysiological trade-offs, which determine whether a growth strategy is able to survive and reproduce under the prevalent climatic conditions. Kleidon and Mooney (2000) demonstrated that this approach is capable of reproducing the geographic distribution of species richness. More recently, we have shown that JeDi is also able to reproduce the relative abundances of species within communities and the large-scale gradient of ecosystem evenness (Kleidon et al. 2009), as well as the global patterns of biomes (Reu et al., in prep) and biogeochemical fluxes and associated land surface properties (Pavlick et al., in prep). The Jena Diversity model explains how climate constrains the geographic patterns of plant biodiversity and biogeography and also allows us to understand the emergent effects of functional diversity on land surface functioning in the Earth system. Here we present some results from the JeDi model, wherein we vary the modelled functional diversity to quantify its impact on terrestrial biogeochemical fluxes. A richer representation of functional diversity leads to enhanced predictability of the biospheric response to environmental variability. This approach sets the foundation for future applications,in which the

  18. The Role of Environmental Filtering in Structuring Appalachian Tree Communities: Topographic Influences on Functional Diversity Are Mediated through Soil Characteristics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia I. Chapman

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Identifying the drivers of community assembly has long been a central goal in ecology, and the development of functional diversity indices has provided a new way of detecting the influence of environmental gradients on biotic communities. For an old-growth Appalachian forest, we used path analysis to understand how patterns of tree functional diversity relate to topography and soil gradients and to determine whether topographic effects are mediated through soil chemistry. All of our path models supported the idea of environmental filtering: stressful areas (high elevation, low soil moisture, low soil nutrients were occupied by communities of low functional diversity, which suggests a selective effect for species with traits adapted to such harsh conditions. The effects of topography (slope, aspect, elevation on functional diversity were often indirect and moderated through soil moisture and fertility. Soil moisture was a key component of our models and was featured consistently in each one, having either strong direct effects on functional diversity or indirect effects via soil fertility. Our results provide a comprehensive view of the interplay among functional trait assemblages, topography, and edaphic conditions and contribute to the baseline understanding of the role of environmental filtering in temperate forest community assembly.

  19. Role of affective self-regulatory efficacy in diverse spheres of psychosocial functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bandura, Albert; Caprara, Gian Vittorio; Barbaranelli, Claudio; Gerbino, Maria; Pastorelli, Concetta

    2003-01-01

    This prospective study with 464 older adolescents (14 to 19 years at Time 1; 16 to 21 years at Time 2) tested the structural paths of influence through which perceived self-efficacy for affect regulation operates in concert with perceived behavioral efficacy in governing diverse spheres of psychosocial functioning. Self-efficacy to regulate positive and negative affect is accompanied by high efficacy to manage one's academic development, to resist social pressures for antisocial activities, and to engage oneself with empathy in others' emotional experiences. Perceived self-efficacy for affect regulation essentially operated mediationally through the latter behavioral forms of self-efficacy rather than directly on prosocial behavior, delinquent conduct, and depression. Perceived empathic self-efficacy functioned as a generalized contributor to psychosocial functioning. It was accompanied by prosocial behavior and low involvement in delinquency but increased vulnerability to depression in adolescent females.

  20. Differential subcellular distribution of ion channels and the diversity of neuronal function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nusser, Zoltan

    2012-06-01

    Following the astonishing molecular diversity of voltage-gated ion channels that was revealed in the past few decades, the ion channel repertoire expressed by neurons has been implicated as the major factor governing their functional heterogeneity. Although the molecular structure of ion channels is a key determinant of their biophysical properties, their subcellular distribution and densities on the surface of nerve cells are just as important for fulfilling functional requirements. Recent results obtained with high resolution quantitative localization techniques revealed complex, subcellular compartment-specific distribution patterns of distinct ion channels. Here I suggest that within a given neuron type every ion channel has a unique cell surface distribution pattern, with the functional consequence that this dramatically increases the computational power of nerve cells. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Assessing Natural Resource Use by Forest-Reliant Communities in Madagascar Using Functional Diversity and Functional Redundancy Metrics

    OpenAIRE

    Brown, Kerry A.; Flynn, Dan F. B.; Abram, Nicola K.; Ingram, J. Carter; Johnson, Steig E.; Wright, Patricia

    2011-01-01

    Biodiversity plays an integral role in the livelihoods of subsistence-based forest-dwelling communities and as a consequence it is increasingly important to develop quantitative approaches that capture not only changes in taxonomic diversity, but also variation in natural resources and provisioning services. We apply a functional diversity metric originally developed for addressing questions in community ecology to assess utilitarian diversity of 56 forest plots in Madagascar. The use categor...

  2. Understanding Students' Precollege Experiences with Racial Diversity: The High School as Microsystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Julie J.; Chang, Stephanie H.

    2015-01-01

    Few qualitative studies consider how high school experiences affect readiness for diversity engagement in college. Using data from an ethnographic case study, three central trends (student experiences within homogeneous high schools, racial divisions within diverse high schools, and students who attended diverse high schools but had little…

  3. The Pliocene marine megafauna extinction and its impact on functional diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pimiento, Catalina; Griffin, John N; Clements, Christopher F; Silvestro, Daniele; Varela, Sara; Uhen, Mark D; Jaramillo, Carlos

    2017-08-01

    The end of the Pliocene marked the beginning of a period of great climatic variability and sea-level oscillations. Here, based on a new analysis of the fossil record, we identify a previously unrecognized extinction event among marine megafauna (mammals, seabirds, turtles and sharks) during this time, with extinction rates three times higher than in the rest of the Cenozoic, and with 36% of Pliocene genera failing to survive into the Pleistocene. To gauge the potential consequences of this event for ecosystem functioning, we evaluate its impacts on functional diversity, focusing on the 86% of the megafauna genera that are associated with coastal habitats. Seven (14%) coastal functional entities (unique trait combinations) disappeared, along with 17% of functional richness (volume of the functional space). The origination of new genera during the Pleistocene created new functional entities and contributed to a functional shift of 21%, but minimally compensated for the functional space lost. Reconstructions show that from the late Pliocene onwards, the global area of the neritic zone significantly diminished and exhibited amplified fluctuations. We hypothesize that the abrupt loss of productive coastal habitats, potentially acting alongside oceanographic alterations, was a key extinction driver. The importance of area loss is supported by model analyses showing that animals with high energy requirements (homeotherms) were more susceptible to extinction. The extinction event we uncover here demonstrates that marine megafauna were more vulnerable to global environmental changes in the recent geological past than previously thought.

  4. Cranial biomechanics underpins high sauropod diversity in resource-poor environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Button, David J; Rayfield, Emily J; Barrett, Paul M

    2014-11-22

    High megaherbivore species richness is documented in both fossil and contemporary ecosystems despite their high individual energy requirements. An extreme example of this is the Late Jurassic Morrison Formation, which was dominated by sauropod dinosaurs, the largest known terrestrial vertebrates. High sauropod diversity within the resource-limited Morrison is paradoxical, but might be explicable through sophisticated resource partitioning. This hypothesis was tested through finite-element analysis of the crania of the Morrison taxa Camarasaurus and Diplodocus. Results demonstrate divergent specialization, with Camarasaurus capable of exerting and accommodating greater bite forces than Diplodocus, permitting consumption of harder food items. Analysis of craniodental biomechanical characters taken from 35 sauropod taxa demonstrates a functional dichotomy in terms of bite force, cranial robustness and occlusal relationships yielding two polyphyletic functional 'grades'. Morrison taxa are widely distributed within and between these two morphotypes, reflecting distinctive foraging specializations that formed a biomechanical basis for niche partitioning between them. This partitioning, coupled with benefits associated with large body size, would have enabled the high sauropod diversities present in the Morrison Formation. Further, this provides insight into the mechanisms responsible for supporting the high diversities of large megaherbivores observed in other Mesozoic and Cenozoic communities, particularly those occurring in resource-limited environments.

  5. Linking carbon storage with functional diversity in tropical rainforest in the central Congo Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verbeeck, Hans; Kearsley, Elizabeth; Bauters, Marijn; Beeckman, Hans; Huygens, Dries; Steppe, Kathy; Boeckx, Pascal

    2015-04-01

    This presentation will show an overview of results of the COBIMFO project (Congo basin integrated monitoring for forest carbon mitigation and biodiversity). In the framework of this project we have established 21 permanent 1 ha sampling plots in different forest types in the Yangambi reserve. This UNESCO Man and Biosphere reserve has an area of more than 6000 km² and is located in the heart of the Congo Basin near the Yangambi research station (DR Congo). Analysis of the inventory data of these plots revealed that carbon stocks in mature forests in this area of the Congo Basin are significantly lower (24%) than stocks recorded in the outer regions of the basin. These lower stocks are attributed to a lower maximal tree height (Kearsley et al. 2013). In addition to the carbon inventories we collected leaf and wood samples on all species within 95% basal area of each of the Yangambi plots. A total of 995 individuals were sampled, covering 123 tree species. On the samples we measured 15 traits related to leaf and wood morphology and functioning. In the presented study, relationships between the observed functional diversity and biomass are analysed. One of the remarkable results of our analysis is that species with a high functional distinctiveness have a low contribution to the basal area and the carbon stocks. In contrast, species with a high contribution to the carbon stock have a low contribution to the functional diversity. Similar patterns have been observed elsewhere (e.g. Amazon basin), but are now for the first time confirmed for central African rainforest. Finally, we also present the first results of an analysis of carbons stocks and functional diversity in tropical plantations from a unique 70-years old tree diversity experiment that was established during the colonial period at the Yangambi research station. Kearsley, E., de Haulleville, T., Hufkens, K., Kidimbu, A., Toirambe, B., Baert, G., Huygens, D., Kebede, Y., Defourny, P., Bogaert, J., Beeckman, H

  6. Microbial mat ecosystems: Structure types, functional diversity, and biotechnological application

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina M. Prieto-Barajas

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Microbial mats are horizontally stratified microbial communities, exhibiting a structure defined by physiochemical gradients, which models microbial diversity, physiological activities, and their dynamics as a whole system. These ecosystems are commonly associated with aquatic habitats, including hot springs, hypersaline ponds, and intertidal coastal zones and oligotrophic environments, all of them harbour phototrophic mats and other environments such as acidic hot springs or acid mine drainage harbour non-photosynthetic mats. This review analyses the complex structure, diversity, and interactions between the microorganisms that form the framework of different types of microbial mats located around the globe. Furthermore, the many tools that allow studying microbial mats in depth and their potential biotechnological applications are discussed.

  7. Functional Resilience against Climate-Driven Extinctions - Comparing the Functional Diversity of European and North American Tree Floras.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liebergesell, Mario; Reu, Björn; Stahl, Ulrike; Freiberg, Martin; Welk, Erik; Kattge, Jens; Cornelissen, J Hans C; Peñuelas, Josep; Wirth, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Future global change scenarios predict a dramatic loss of biodiversity for many regions in the world, potentially reducing the resistance and resilience of ecosystem functions. Once before, during Plio-Pleistocene glaciations, harsher climatic conditions in Europe as compared to North America led to a more depauperate tree flora. Here we hypothesize that this climate driven species loss has also reduced functional diversity in Europe as compared to North America. We used variation in 26 traits for 154 North American and 66 European tree species and grid-based co-occurrences derived from distribution maps to compare functional diversity patterns of the two continents. First, we identified similar regions with respect to contemporary climate in the temperate zone of North America and Europe. Second, we compared the functional diversity of both continents and for the climatically similar sub-regions using the functional dispersion-index (FDis) and the functional richness index (FRic). Third, we accounted in these comparisons for grid-scale differences in species richness, and, fourth, investigated the associated trait spaces using dimensionality reduction. For gymnosperms we find similar functional diversity on both continents, whereas for angiosperms functional diversity is significantly greater in Europe than in North America. These results are consistent across different scales, for climatically similar regions and considering species richness patterns. We decomposed these differences in trait space occupation into differences in functional diversity vs. differences in functional identity. We show that climate-driven species loss on a continental scale might be decoupled from or at least not linearly related to changes in functional diversity. This might be important when analyzing the effects of climate-driven biodiversity change on ecosystem functioning.

  8. Functional Resilience against Climate-Driven Extinctions – Comparing the Functional Diversity of European and North American Tree Floras

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liebergesell, Mario; Stahl, Ulrike; Freiberg, Martin; Welk, Erik; Kattge, Jens; Cornelissen, J. Hans C.; Peñuelas, Josep

    2016-01-01

    Future global change scenarios predict a dramatic loss of biodiversity for many regions in the world, potentially reducing the resistance and resilience of ecosystem functions. Once before, during Plio-Pleistocene glaciations, harsher climatic conditions in Europe as compared to North America led to a more depauperate tree flora. Here we hypothesize that this climate driven species loss has also reduced functional diversity in Europe as compared to North America. We used variation in 26 traits for 154 North American and 66 European tree species and grid-based co-occurrences derived from distribution maps to compare functional diversity patterns of the two continents. First, we identified similar regions with respect to contemporary climate in the temperate zone of North America and Europe. Second, we compared the functional diversity of both continents and for the climatically similar sub-regions using the functional dispersion-index (FDis) and the functional richness index (FRic). Third, we accounted in these comparisons for grid-scale differences in species richness, and, fourth, investigated the associated trait spaces using dimensionality reduction. For gymnosperms we find similar functional diversity on both continents, whereas for angiosperms functional diversity is significantly greater in Europe than in North America. These results are consistent across different scales, for climatically similar regions and considering species richness patterns. We decomposed these differences in trait space occupation into differences in functional diversity vs. differences in functional identity. We show that climate-driven species loss on a continental scale might be decoupled from or at least not linearly related to changes in functional diversity. This might be important when analyzing the effects of climate-driven biodiversity change on ecosystem functioning. PMID:26848836

  9. Functional Resilience against Climate-Driven Extinctions - Comparing the Functional Diversity of European and North American Tree Floras.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario Liebergesell

    Full Text Available Future global change scenarios predict a dramatic loss of biodiversity for many regions in the world, potentially reducing the resistance and resilience of ecosystem functions. Once before, during Plio-Pleistocene glaciations, harsher climatic conditions in Europe as compared to North America led to a more depauperate tree flora. Here we hypothesize that this climate driven species loss has also reduced functional diversity in Europe as compared to North America. We used variation in 26 traits for 154 North American and 66 European tree species and grid-based co-occurrences derived from distribution maps to compare functional diversity patterns of the two continents. First, we identified similar regions with respect to contemporary climate in the temperate zone of North America and Europe. Second, we compared the functional diversity of both continents and for the climatically similar sub-regions using the functional dispersion-index (FDis and the functional richness index (FRic. Third, we accounted in these comparisons for grid-scale differences in species richness, and, fourth, investigated the associated trait spaces using dimensionality reduction. For gymnosperms we find similar functional diversity on both continents, whereas for angiosperms functional diversity is significantly greater in Europe than in North America. These results are consistent across different scales, for climatically similar regions and considering species richness patterns. We decomposed these differences in trait space occupation into differences in functional diversity vs. differences in functional identity. We show that climate-driven species loss on a continental scale might be decoupled from or at least not linearly related to changes in functional diversity. This might be important when analyzing the effects of climate-driven biodiversity change on ecosystem functioning.

  10. Arthropod Diversity and Functional Importance in Old-Growth Forests of North America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy Schowalter

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Old-growth forests have become rare in North America but provide habitat for unique assemblages of species that often are rare in younger forests. Insects and related arthropods reach their highest diversity in old-growth forests because of their stable moderate temperature and relative humidity and the rich variety of resources represented by high plant species richness and structural complexity. Old-growth arthropod assemblages typically are distinct from those in younger, managed forests. Major subcommunities include the arboreal community that is composed of a rich assemblage of herbivores, fungivores, and their associated predators and parasitoids that function to regulate primary production and nutrient fluxes, the stem zone community that includes bark- and wood-boring species and their associated predators and parasitoids that initiate the decomposition of coarse woody debris, and the forest floor community composed of a variety of detritivores, fungivores, burrowers, and their associated predators and parasitoids that are instrumental in litter decomposition. Insect outbreaks are relatively rare in old-growth forests, where the diversity of resources and predators limit population growth. In turn, insects contribute to plant diversity and limit primary production of host plant species, thereby promoting development of old-growth forest characteristics. Arthropods also provide important functions in decomposition and nutrient cycling that may be lost in younger, managed forests with limited provision of coarse woody debris and accumulated litter. Protection of remnant old-growth forests within the forest matrix may be particularly valuable for maintaining the diversity of plant and arthropod predators that can minimize outbreaks, thereby contributing to resilience to changing environmental conditions.

  11. Hsp40 function in yeast prion propagation: Amyloid diversity necessitates chaperone functional complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sporn, Zachary A; Hines, Justin K

    2015-01-01

    Yeast prions are heritable protein-based elements, most of which are formed of amyloid aggregates that rely on the action of molecular chaperones for transmission to progeny. Prions can form distinct amyloid structures, known as 'strains' in mammalian systems, that dictate both pathological progression and cross-species infection barriers. In yeast these same amyloid structural polymorphisms, called 'variants', dictate the intensity of prion-associated phenotypes and stability in mitosis. We recently reported that [PSI(+)] prion variants differ in the fundamental domain requirements for one chaperone, the Hsp40/J-protein Sis1, which are mutually exclusive between 2 different yeast prions, demonstrating a functional plurality for Sis1. Here we extend that analysis to incorporate additional data that collectively support the hypothesis that Sis1 has multiple functional roles that can be accomplished by distinct sets of domains. These functions are differentially required by distinct prions and prion variants. We also present new data regarding Hsp104-mediated prion elimination and show that some Sis1 functions, but not all, are conserved in the human homolog Hdj1/DNAJB1. Importantly, of the 10 amyloid-based prions indentified to date in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the chaperone requirements of only 4 are known, leaving a great diversity of amyloid structures, and likely modes of amyloid-chaperone interaction, largely unexplored.

  12. An overview of the applicability of functional diversity in Biological Conservation

    OpenAIRE

    Freitas, J. R.; Mantovani, W.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Functional diversity is increasingly pointed as a useful approach to reach Biological Conservation goals. Here, we provide an overview of the functional diversity approach status in the Biological Conservation field. We sought for peer-reviewed papers published over a period of twenty years (from 1994 to 2014). First we used the general topic “functional diversity” and then refined our search using the key-word “conservation”. We have identified the conservation strategies addressed,...

  13. Impacts of Urban Areas and Their Characteristics on Avian Functional Diversity

    OpenAIRE

    Emily Oliveira Hagen; Oskar Hagen; Ibáñez-Álamo, Juan D.; Petchey, Owen L.; Evans, Karl L.

    2017-01-01

    Urban development is rapidly expanding across the globe and is a major driver of environmental change. Despite considerable improvements in our understanding of how species richness responds to urbanization, there is still insufficient knowledge of how other measures of assemblage composition and structure respond to urban development. Functional diversity metrics provide a useful approach for quantifying ecological function. We compare avian functional diversity in 25 urban areas, located ac...

  14. Negative Impacts of Human Land Use on Dung Beetle Functional Diversity

    OpenAIRE

    Barragán, Felipe; Moreno, Claudia E.; Escobar, Federico; Halffter, Gonzalo; Navarrete, Dario

    2011-01-01

    The loss of biodiversity caused by human activity is assumed to alter ecosystem functioning. However our understanding of the magnitude of the effect of these changes on functional diversity and their impact on the dynamics of ecological processes is still limited. We analyzed the functional diversity of copro-necrophagous beetles under different conditions of land use in three Mexican biosphere reserves. In Montes Azules pastures, forest fragments and continuous rainforest were analyzed, in ...

  15. Effects of fishing and regional species pool on the functional diversity of fish communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, Gustavo M; Arenas, Francisco; Neto, Ana I; Jenkins, Stuart R

    2012-01-01

    The potential population and community level impacts of fishing have received considerable attention, but little is known about how fishing influences communities' functional diversity at regional scales. We examined how estimates of functional diversity differed among 25 regions of variable richness and investigated the functional consequences of removing species targeted by commercial fisheries. Our study shows that fishing leads to substantial losses in functional diversity. The magnitude of such loss was, however, reduced in the more speciose regions. Moreover, the removal of commercially targeted species caused a much larger reduction in functional diversity than expected by random species deletions, which was a consequence of the selective nature of fishing for particular species traits. Results suggest that functional redundancy is spatially variable, that richer biotas provide some degree of insurance against the impact of fishing on communities' functional diversity and that fishing predominantly selects for particular species traits. Understanding how fishing impacts community functional diversity is key to predict its effects for biodiversity as well as ecosystem functioning.

  16. Effects of fishing and regional species pool on the functional diversity of fish communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gustavo M Martins

    Full Text Available The potential population and community level impacts of fishing have received considerable attention, but little is known about how fishing influences communities' functional diversity at regional scales. We examined how estimates of functional diversity differed among 25 regions of variable richness and investigated the functional consequences of removing species targeted by commercial fisheries. Our study shows that fishing leads to substantial losses in functional diversity. The magnitude of such loss was, however, reduced in the more speciose regions. Moreover, the removal of commercially targeted species caused a much larger reduction in functional diversity than expected by random species deletions, which was a consequence of the selective nature of fishing for particular species traits. Results suggest that functional redundancy is spatially variable, that richer biotas provide some degree of insurance against the impact of fishing on communities' functional diversity and that fishing predominantly selects for particular species traits. Understanding how fishing impacts community functional diversity is key to predict its effects for biodiversity as well as ecosystem functioning.

  17. Predicting future forests: Understanding diverse phenological responses within a community and functional trait framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolkovich, E. M.; Flynn, D. F. B.

    2016-12-01

    In recent years increasing attention has focused on plant phenology as an important indicator of the biological impacts of climate change, as many plants have shifted their leafing and flowering earlier with increasing temperatures. As data have accumulated, researchers have found a link between phenological responses to warming and plant performance and invasions. Such work suggests phenology may not only be a major impact of warming, but a critical predictor of future plant performance. Yet alongside this increasing interest in phenology, important issues remain unanswered: responses to warming for species at the same site or in the same genus vary often by weeks or more and the explanatory power of phenology for performance and invasions when analyzed across diverse datasets remains low. We propose progress can come from explicitly considering phenology within a community context and as a critical plant trait correlated with other major plant functional traits. Here, we lay out a framework for our proposal: specifically we review how we expect phenology and phenological cues of different species within a community to vary and what other functional traits are predicted to co-vary with phenological traits. Much research currently suggests phenology is a critical functional trait that is shaped strongly by the environment. Plants are expected to adjust their phenologies to avoid periods of high abiotic risk and/or high competition. Thus we may expect phenology to correlate strongly to other traits involved in mitigating risk and high competition. Results from recent meta-analyses as well as experimental and observational research from 28 species in northeastern North American temperate forests suggest that species within a community show the predicted diversified set of phenological cues. We review early work on links to other functional traits and in closing review how these correlations may in turn determine the diversity of phenological responses observed for

  18. Neuropeptides and epitheliopeptides: structural and functional diversity in an ancestral metazoan Hydra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahashi, Toshio

    2013-06-01

    Peptides are known to play important developmental and physiological roles in signaling. The rich diversity of peptides, with functions as diverse as intercellular communication, neurotransmission and signaling that spatially and temporally controls axis formation and cell differentiation, hints at the wealth of information passed between interacting cells. Little is known about peptides that control developmental processes such as cell differentiation and pattern formation in metazoans. The cnidarian Hydra is one of the most basic metazoans and is a key model system for study of the peptides involved in these processes. We developed a novel peptidomic approach for the isolation and identification of functional peptide signaling molecules from Hydra (the Hydra Peptide Project). Over the course of this project, a wide variety of novel neuropeptides were identified. Most of these peptides act directly on muscle cells and their functions include induction of contraction and relaxation. Some peptides are involved in cell differentiation and morphogenesis. Moreover, epitheliopeptides that are produced by epithelial cells were originally identified in Hydra. Some of these epitheliopeptides exhibit morphogen-like activities, whereas others are involved in regulating neuron differentiation, possibly through neuron-epithelial cell interactions. We also describe below our high-throughput reverse-phase nano-flow LCMALDI- TOF-MS/MS approach, which has proved a powerful tool for the discovery of novel peptide signaling molecules in Hydra.

  19. Yellowstone Lake: high-energy geochemistry and rich bacterial diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clingenpeel, Scott; Macur, Richard E; Kan, Jinjun; Inskeep, William P; Lovalvo, Dave; Varley, John; Mathur, Eric; Nealson, Kenneth; Gorby, Yuri; Jiang, Hongchen; LaFracois, Toben; McDermott, Timothy R

    2011-08-01

    Yellowstone Lake is central to the balanced functioning of the Yellowstone ecosystem, yet little is known about the microbial component of its food chain. A remotely operated vehicle provided video documentation (http://www.tbi.montana.edu/media/videos/) and allowed sampling of dilute surface zone waters and enriched lake floor hydrothermal vent fluids. Vent emissions contained substantial H(2)S, CH(4), CO(2) and H(2), although CH(4) and H(2) levels were also significant throughout the lake. Pyrosequencing and near full-length sequencing of Bacteria 16S rRNA gene diversity associated with two vents and two surface water environments demonstrated that this lake contains significant bacterial diversity. Biomass was size-fractionated by sequentially filtering through 20-µm-, 3.0-µm-, 0.8-µm- and 0.1-µm-pore-size filters, with the >0.1 to <0.8 µm size class being the focus of this study. Major phyla included Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, α- and β-Proteobacteria and Cyanobacteria, with 21 other phyla represented at varying levels. Surface waters were dominated by two phylotypes: the Actinobacteria freshwater acI group and an α-Proteobacteria clade tightly linked with freshwater SAR11-like organisms. We also obtained evidence of novel thermophiles and recovered Prochlorococcus phylotypes (97-100% identity) in one near surface photic zone region of the lake. The combined geochemical and microbial analyses suggest that the foundation of this lake's food chain is not simple. Phototrophy presumably is an important driver of primary productivity in photic zone waters; however, chemosynthetic hydrogenotrophy and methanotrophy are likely important components of the lake's food chain. © 2011 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  20. Diversity-interaction modeling: estimating contributions of species identities and interactions to ecosystem function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kirwan, L; Connolly, J; Finn, J A

    2009-01-01

    We develop a modeling framework that estimates the effects of species identity and diversity on ecosystem function and permits prediction of the diversity-function relationship across different types of community composition. Rather than just measure an overall effect of diversity, we separately...... to the roles of evenness, functional groups, and functional redundancy. These more parsimonious descriptions can be especially useful in identifying general diversity-function relationships in communities with large numbers of species. We provide an example of the application of the modeling framework....... These models describe community-level performance and thus do not require separate measurement of the performance of individual species. This flexible modeling approach can be tailored to test many hypotheses in biodiversity research and can suggest the interaction mechanisms that may be acting....

  1. Impacts of Urban Areas and Their Characteristics on Avian Functional Diversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily Oliveira Hagen

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Urban development is rapidly expanding across the globe and is a major driver of environmental change. Despite considerable improvements in our understanding of how species richness responds to urbanization, there is still insufficient knowledge of how other measures of assemblage composition and structure respond to urban development. Functional diversity metrics provide a useful approach for quantifying ecological function. We compare avian functional diversity in 25 urban areas, located across the globe, with paired non-urban assemblages using a database of 27 functional traits that capture variation in resource use (amount and type of resources and how they are acquired across the 529 species occurring across these assemblages. Using three standard functional diversity metrics (FD, MNTD, and convex hull we quantify observed functional diversity and, using standardized effect sizes, how this diverges from that expected under random community assembly null models. We use regression trees to investigate whether human population density, amount of vegetation and city size (spatial extent of urban land, bio-region and use of semi-natural or agricultural assemblages as a baseline modulate the effect of urbanization on functional diversity. Our analyses suggest that observed functional diversity of urban avian assemblages is not consistently different from that of non-urban assemblages. After accounting for species richness avian functional diversity is higher in cities than areas of semi-natural habitat. This creates a paradox as species responses to urban development are determined by their ecological traits, which should generate assemblages clustered within a narrow range of trait space. Greater habitat diversity within cities compared to semi-natural areas dominated by a single habitat may enhance functional diversity in cities and explain this paradox. Regression trees further suggest that smaller urban areas, lower human population densities

  2. Hydrological-niche models predict water plant functional group distributions in diverse wetland types.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deane, David C; Nicol, Jason M; Gehrig, Susan L; Harding, Claire; Aldridge, Kane T; Goodman, Abigail M; Brookes, Justin D

    2017-06-01

    Human use of water resources threatens environmental water supplies. If resource managers are to develop policies that avoid unacceptable ecological impacts, some means to predict ecosystem response to changes in water availability is necessary. This is difficult to achieve at spatial scales relevant for water resource management because of the high natural variability in ecosystem hydrology and ecology. Water plant functional groups classify species with similar hydrological niche preferences together, allowing a qualitative means to generalize community responses to changes in hydrology. We tested the potential for functional groups in making quantitative prediction of water plant functional group distributions across diverse wetland types over a large geographical extent. We sampled wetlands covering a broad range of hydrogeomorphic and salinity conditions in South Australia, collecting both hydrological and floristic data from 687 quadrats across 28 wetland hydrological gradients. We built hydrological-niche models for eight water plant functional groups using a range of candidate models combining different surface inundation metrics. We then tested the predictive performance of top-ranked individual and averaged models for each functional group. Cross validation showed that models achieved acceptable predictive performance, with correct classification rates in the range 0.68-0.95. Model predictions can be made at any spatial scale that hydrological data are available and could be implemented in a geographical information system. We show the response of water plant functional groups to inundation is consistent enough across diverse wetland types to quantify the probability of hydrological impacts over regional spatial scales. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  3. High diversity of genogroup I picobirnaviruses in mammals

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    Patrick CY Woo

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available In a molecular epidemiology study using 791 fecal samples collected from different terrestrial and marine mammals in Hong Kong, genogroup I picobirnaviruses (PBVs were positive by RT-PCR targeting the partial RdRp gene in specimens from 5 cattle, 6 monkeys, 17 horses, 9 pigs, 1 rabbit, 1 dog and 12 California sea lions, with 11, 9, 23, 17, 1, 1 and 15 sequence types in the positive specimens from the corresponding animals, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the PBV sequences from each kind of animal were widely distributed in the whole tree with high diversity, sharing 47.4 to 89.0% nucleotide identities with other genogroup I PBV strains based on the partial RdRp gene. Nine complete segments 1 (viral loads 1.7×104 to 5.9×106/ml and 15 segments 2 (viral loads 4.1×103 to 1.3×106/ml of otarine PBVs from fecal samples serially collected from California sea lions were sequenced. In the two phylogenetic trees constructed using ORF2 and ORF3 of segment 1, the nine segment 1 sequences were clustered into four distinct clades (C1 to C4. In the tree constructed using RdRp gene of segment 2, the 15 segment 2 sequences were clustered into nine distinct clades (R1 to R9. In four sea lions, PBVs were detected in two different years, with the same segment 1 clade (C3 present in two consecutive years from one sea lion and different clades present in different years from three sea lions. A high diversity of PBVs was observed in a variety of terrestrial and marine mammals. Multiple sequence types with significant differences, representing multiple strains of PBV, were present in the majority of PBV-positive samples from different kinds of animals.

  4. High diversity at PRDM9 in chimpanzees and bonobos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groeneveld, Linn Fenna; Atencia, Rebeca; Garriga, Rosa M; Vigilant, Linda

    2012-01-01

    The PRDM9 locus in mammals has increasingly attracted research attention due to its role in mediating chromosomal recombination and possible involvement in hybrid sterility and hence speciation processes. The aim of this study was to characterize sequence variation at the PRDM9 locus in a sample of our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees and bonobos. PRDM9 contains a highly variable and repetitive zinc finger array. We amplified this domain using long-range PCR and determined the DNA sequences using conventional Sanger sequencing. From 17 chimpanzees representing three subspecies and five bonobos we obtained a total of 12 alleles differing at the nucleotide level. Based on a data set consisting of our data and recently published Pan PRDM9 sequences, we found that at the subspecies level, diversity levels did not differ among chimpanzee subspecies or between chimpanzee subspecies and bonobos. In contrast, the sample of chimpanzees harbors significantly more diversity at PRDM9 than samples of humans. Pan PRDM9 shows signs of rapid evolution including no alleles or ZnFs in common with humans as well as signals of positive selection in the residues responsible for DNA binding. The high number of alleles specific to the genus Pan, signs of positive selection in the DNA binding residues, and reported lack of conservation of recombination hotspots between chimpanzees and humans suggest that PRDM9 could be active in hotspot recruitment in the genus Pan. Chimpanzees and bonobos are considered separate species and do not have overlapping ranges in the wild, making the presence of shared alleles at the amino acid level between the chimpanzee and bonobo species interesting in view of the hypothesis that PRDM9 plays a universal role in interspecific hybrid sterility.

  5. High diversity at PRDM9 in chimpanzees and bonobos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linn Fenna Groeneveld

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The PRDM9 locus in mammals has increasingly attracted research attention due to its role in mediating chromosomal recombination and possible involvement in hybrid sterility and hence speciation processes. The aim of this study was to characterize sequence variation at the PRDM9 locus in a sample of our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees and bonobos. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: PRDM9 contains a highly variable and repetitive zinc finger array. We amplified this domain using long-range PCR and determined the DNA sequences using conventional Sanger sequencing. From 17 chimpanzees representing three subspecies and five bonobos we obtained a total of 12 alleles differing at the nucleotide level. Based on a data set consisting of our data and recently published Pan PRDM9 sequences, we found that at the subspecies level, diversity levels did not differ among chimpanzee subspecies or between chimpanzee subspecies and bonobos. In contrast, the sample of chimpanzees harbors significantly more diversity at PRDM9 than samples of humans. Pan PRDM9 shows signs of rapid evolution including no alleles or ZnFs in common with humans as well as signals of positive selection in the residues responsible for DNA binding. CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE: The high number of alleles specific to the genus Pan, signs of positive selection in the DNA binding residues, and reported lack of conservation of recombination hotspots between chimpanzees and humans suggest that PRDM9 could be active in hotspot recruitment in the genus Pan. Chimpanzees and bonobos are considered separate species and do not have overlapping ranges in the wild, making the presence of shared alleles at the amino acid level between the chimpanzee and bonobo species interesting in view of the hypothesis that PRDM9 plays a universal role in interspecific hybrid sterility.

  6. Origination and immigration drive latitudinal gradients in marine functional diversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah K Berke

    Full Text Available Global patterns in the functional attributes of organisms are critical to understanding biodiversity trends and predicting biotic responses to environmental change. In the first global marine analysis, we find a strong decrease in functional richness, but a strong increase in functional evenness, with increasing latitude using intertidal-to-outer-shelf bivalves as a model system (N = 5571 species. These patterns appear to be driven by the interplay between variation in origination rates among functional groups, and latitudinal patterns in origination and range expansion, as documented by the rich fossil record of the group. The data suggest that (i accumulation of taxa in spatial bins and functional categories has not impeded continued diversification in the tropics, and (ii extinctions will influence ecosystem function differentially across latitudes.

  7. Tree aboveground carbon storage correlates with environmental gradients and functional diversity in a tropical forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Yong; Yu, Shixiao; Lian, Juyu; Shen, Hao; Cao, Honglin; Lu, Huanping; Ye, Wanhui

    2016-01-01

    Tropical forests play a disproportionately important role in the global carbon (C) cycle, but it remains unclear how local environments and functional diversity regulate tree aboveground C storage. We examined how three components (environments, functional dominance and diversity) affected C storage in Dinghushan 20-ha plot in China. There was large fine-scale variation in C storage. The three components significantly contributed to regulate C storage, but dominance and diversity of traits were associated with C storage in different directions. Structural equation models (SEMs) of dominance and diversity explained 34% and 32% of variation in C storage. Environments explained 26–44% of variation in dominance and diversity. Similar proportions of variation in C storage were explained by dominance and diversity in regression models, they were improved after adding environments. Diversity of maximum diameter was the best predictor of C storage. Complementarity and selection effects contributed to C storage simultaneously, and had similar importance. The SEMs disengaged the complex relationships among the three components and C storage, and established a framework to show the direct and indirect effects (via dominance and diversity) of local environments on C storage. We concluded that local environments are important for regulating functional diversity and C storage. PMID:27278688

  8. Tree aboveground carbon storage correlates with environmental gradients and functional diversity in a tropical forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Yong; Yu, Shixiao; Lian, Juyu; Shen, Hao; Cao, Honglin; Lu, Huanping; Ye, Wanhui

    2016-06-09

    Tropical forests play a disproportionately important role in the global carbon (C) cycle, but it remains unclear how local environments and functional diversity regulate tree aboveground C storage. We examined how three components (environments, functional dominance and diversity) affected C storage in Dinghushan 20-ha plot in China. There was large fine-scale variation in C storage. The three components significantly contributed to regulate C storage, but dominance and diversity of traits were associated with C storage in different directions. Structural equation models (SEMs) of dominance and diversity explained 34% and 32% of variation in C storage. Environments explained 26-44% of variation in dominance and diversity. Similar proportions of variation in C storage were explained by dominance and diversity in regression models, they were improved after adding environments. Diversity of maximum diameter was the best predictor of C storage. Complementarity and selection effects contributed to C storage simultaneously, and had similar importance. The SEMs disengaged the complex relationships among the three components and C storage, and established a framework to show the direct and indirect effects (via dominance and diversity) of local environments on C storage. We concluded that local environments are important for regulating functional diversity and C storage.

  9. Loss of microbial diversity in soils is coincident with reductions in some specialized functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Brajesh K; Quince, Christopher; Macdonald, Catriona A; Khachane, Amit; Thomas, Nadine; Al-Soud, Waleed Abu; Sørensen, Søren J; He, Zhili; White, Duncan; Sinclair, Alex; Crooks, Bill; Zhou, Jizhong; Campbell, Colin D

    2014-08-01

    Loss of microbial diversity is considered a major threat because of its importance for ecosystem functions, but there is a lack of conclusive evidence that diversity itself is reduced under anthropogenic stress, and about the consequences of diversity loss. Heavy metals are one of the largest, widespread pollutant types globally, and these represent a significant environmental stressor for terrestrial microbial communities. Using combined metagenomics and functional assays, we show that the compositional and functional response of microbial communities to long-term heavy metal stress results in a significant loss of diversity. Our results indicate that even at a moderate loss of diversity, some key specialized functions (carried out by specific groups) may be compromised. Together with previous work, our data suggest disproportionate impact of contamination on microbes that carry out specialized, but essential, ecosystem functions. Based on these findings, we propose a conceptual framework to explicitly consider diversity of functions and microbial functional groups to test the relationship between biodiversity and soil functions. © 2014 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Dramatic Increases of Soil Microbial Functional Gene Diversity at the Treeline Ecotone of Changbai Mountain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Congcong; Shi, Yu; Ni, Yingying; Deng, Ye; Van Nostrand, Joy D; He, Zhili; Zhou, Jizhong; Chu, Haiyan

    2016-01-01

    The elevational and latitudinal diversity patterns of microbial taxa have attracted great attention in the past decade. Recently, the distribution of functional attributes has been in the spotlight. Here, we report a study profiling soil microbial communities along an elevation gradient (500-2200 m) on Changbai Mountain. Using a comprehensive functional gene microarray (GeoChip 5.0), we found that microbial functional gene richness exhibited a dramatic increase at the treeline ecotone, but the bacterial taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing did not exhibit such a similar trend. However, the β-diversity (compositional dissimilarity among sites) pattern for both bacterial taxa and functional genes was similar, showing significant elevational distance-decay patterns which presented increased dissimilarity with elevation. The bacterial taxonomic diversity/structure was strongly influenced by soil pH, while the functional gene diversity/structure was significantly correlated with soil dissolved organic carbon (DOC). This finding highlights that soil DOC may be a good predictor in determining the elevational distribution of microbial functional genes. The finding of significant shifts in functional gene diversity at the treeline ecotone could also provide valuable information for predicting the responses of microbial functions to climate change.

  11. Bark functional ecology: evidence for tradeoffs, functional coordination, and environment producing bark diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosell, Julieta A; Gleason, Sean; Méndez-Alonzo, Rodrigo; Chang, Yvonne; Westoby, Mark

    2014-01-01

    The causes underlying bark diversity are unclear. Variation has been frequently attributed to environmental differences across sites. However, variation may also result from tradeoffs and coordination between bark's multiple functions. Bark traits may also covary with wood and leaf traits as part of major dimensions of plant variation. To assess hypotheses regarding tradeoffs and functional coordination, we measured bark traits reflecting protection, storage, mechanics, and photosynthesis in branches of 90 species spanning a wide phylogenetic and environmental range. We also tested associations between bark, wood, and leaf traits. We partitioned trait variation within species, and within and across communities to quantify variation associated with across-site differences. We observed associations between bark mechanics and storage, density and thickness, and thickness and photosynthetic activity. Increasing bark thickness contributed significantly to stiffer stems and greater water storage. Bark density, water content, and mechanics covaried strongly with the equivalent wood traits, and to a lesser degree with leaf size, xylem conductivity, and vessel diameter. Most variation was observed within sites and had low phylogenetic signal. Compared with relatively minor across-site differences, tradeoffs and coordination among functions of bark, leaves, and wood are likely to be major and overlooked factors shaping bark ecology and evolution. © 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

  12. Flood-Induced Changes in Soil Microbial Functions as Modified by Plant Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    González Macé, Odette; Steinauer, Katja; Jousset, Alexandre; Eisenhauer, Nico; Scheu, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    Flooding frequency is predicted to increase during the next decades, calling for a better understanding of impacts on terrestrial ecosystems and for developing strategies to mitigate potential damage. Plant diversity is expected to buffer flooding effects by providing a broad range of species’ responses. Here we report on the response of soil processes to a severe summer flood in 2013, which affected major parts of central Europe. We compared soil microbial respiration, biomass, nutrient limitation and enzyme activity in a grassland biodiversity experiment in Germany before flooding, one week and three months after the flood. Microbial biomass was reduced in the severely flooded plots at high, but not at low plant functional group richness. Flooding alleviated microbial nitrogen limitation, presumably due the input of nutrient-rich sediments. Further, the activity of soil enzymes including 1,4-β-N-acetylglucosaminidase, phenol oxidase and peroxidase increased with flooding severity, suggesting increased chitin and lignin degradation as a consequence of the input of detritus in sediments. Flooding effects were enhanced at higher plant diversity, indicating that plant diversity temporarily reduces stability of soil processes during flooding. The long-term impacts, however, remain unknown and deserve further investigation. PMID:27870864

  13. Can we predict carbon stocks in tropical ecosystems from tree diversity? Comparing species and functional diversity in a plantation and a natural forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Jaen, Maria C; Potvin, Catherine

    2011-03-01

    • Linking tree diversity to carbon storage can provide further motivation to conserve tropical forests and to design carbon-enriched plantations. Here, we examine the role of tree diversity and functional traits in determining carbon storage in a mixed-species plantation and in a natural tropical forest in Panama. • We used species richness, functional trait diversity, species dominance and functional trait dominance to predict tree carbon storage across these two forests. Then we compared the species ranking based on wood density, maximum diameter, maximum height, and leaf mass per area (LMA) between sites to reveal how these values changed between different forests. • Increased species richness, a higher proportion of nitrogen fixers and species with low LMA increased carbon storage in the mixed-species plantation, while a higher proportion of large trees and species with high LMA increased tree carbon storage in the natural forest. Furthermore, we found that tree species varied greatly in their absolute and relative values between study sites. • Different results in different forests mean that we cannot easily predict carbon storage capacity in natural forests using data from experimental plantations. Managers should be cautious when applying functional traits measured in natural populations in the design of carbon-enriched plantations. © The Authors (2010). Journal compilation © New Phytologist Trust (2010).

  14. Functional diversity of macrophyte communities within and between Pyrenean lakes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enric BALLESTEROS

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Submersed vegetation is a common feature in about 70% Pyrenean high mountain (>1500 m a.s.l. lakes. Isoetids and soft-water elodeids are common elements of this underwater flora and can form distinct vegetation units (i.e. patches of vegetation dominated by different species within complex mosaics of vegetation in shallow waters (<7 m. Since isoetids exert a strong influence on sediment biogeochemistry due to high radial oxygen loss, we examined the small scale characteristics of the lake environment (water and sediment associated to vegetation patches in order to ascertain potential functional differences among them. To do so, we characterised the species composition and biomass of the main vegetation units from 11 lakes, defined plant communities based on biomass data, and then related each community with sediment properties (redox and dissolved nutrient concentration in the pore water and water nutrient concentration within plant canopy. We also characterised lake water and sediment in areas without vegetation as a reference. A total of twenty-one vegetation units were identified, ranging from one to five per lake. A cluster analysis on biomass species composition suggested seven different macrophyte communities that were named after the most dominant species: Nitella sp., Potamogeton praelongus, Myriophyllum alterniflorum, Sparganium angustifolium, Isoetes echinospora, Isoetes lacustris and Carex rostrata. Coupling between macrophyte communities and their immediate environment (overlying water and sediment was manifested mainly as variation in sediment redox conditions and the dominant form of inorganic nitrogen in pore-water. These effects depended on the specific composition of the community, and on the allocation between above- and belowground biomass, and could be predicted with a model relating the average and standard deviation of sediment redox potential from 0 down to -20 cm, across macrophyte communities. Differences in pore

  15. Nocturnality constrains morphological and functional diversity in the eyes of reef fishes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schmitz Lars

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ambient light levels are often considered to drive the evolution of eye form and function. Diel activity pattern is the main mechanism controlling the visual environment of teleost reef fish, with day-active (diurnal fish active in well-illuminated conditions, whereas night-active (nocturnal fish cope with dim light. Physiological optics predicts several specific evolutionary responses to dim-light vision that should be reflected in visual performance features of the eye. Results We analyzed a large comparative dataset on morphological traits of the eyes in 265 species of teleost reef fish in 43 different families. The eye morphology of nocturnal reef teleosts is characterized by a syndrome that indicates better light sensitivity, including large relative eye size, high optical ratio and large, rounded pupils. Improved dim-light image formation comes at the cost of reduced depth of focus and reduction of potential accommodative lens movement. Diurnal teleost reef fish, released from the stringent functional requirements of dim-light vision have much higher morphological and optical diversity than nocturnal species, with large ranges of optical ratio, depth of focus, and lens accommodation. Conclusions Physical characteristics of the environment are an important factor in the evolution and diversification of the vertebrate eye. Both teleost reef fish and terrestrial amniotes meet the functional requirements of dim-light vision with a similar evolutionary response of morphological and optical modifications. The trade-off between improved dim-light vision and reduced optical diversity may be a key factor in explaining the lower trophic diversity of nocturnal reef teleosts.

  16. Unifying the functional diversity in natural and cultivated soils using the overall body-mass distribution of nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulder, Christian; Maas, Rob

    2017-11-28

    Sustainable use of our soils is a key goal for environmental protection. As many ecosystem services are supported belowground at different trophic levels by nematodes, soil nematodes are expected to provide objective metrics for biological quality to integrate physical and chemical soil variables. Trait measurements of body mass carried out at the individual level can in this way be correlated with environmental properties that influence the performance of soil biota. Soil samples were collected across 200 sites (4 soil types and 5 land-use types resulting in 9 combinations) during a long-term monitoring programme in the Netherlands and the functional diversity of nematode communities was investigated. Using three commonly used functional diversity indices applicable to single traits (Divergence, Evenness and Richness), a unified index of overall body-mass distribution is proposed to better illustrate the application of functional metrics as a descriptor of land use. Effects of land use and soil chemistry on the functional diversity of nematodes were demonstrated and a combination of environmental factors accounts for the low functional value of Scots Pine forest soils in comparison to the high functional value of heathland soils, whereas human factors account for the low functional and chemical values of arable fields. These findings show an unexpected high functional vulnerability of nematodes inhabiting clay-rich soils in comparison to sandy soils and support the notion that soil C:N ratio is a major driver of biodiversity. The higher the C:N ratio, the higher the overall diversity, as soil nematodes cope better with nutrient-poor agroecosystems under less intense fertilization. A trait-based way focusing on size distribution of nematodes is proposed to maintain environmental health by monitoring the overall diversity in soil biota, keeping agriculture and forestry sustainable.

  17. The diversity of lexical functions in Bulgarian and Russian: an approach to compatible digital comparative lexicography

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Svetlana Timoshenko

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The diversity of lexical functions in Bulgarian and Russian: an approach to compatible digital comparative lexicography This paper presents an approach to the creation of Russian-Bulgarian digital dictionary of collocations using the apparatus of lexical functions. The project is aimed not only at the high-quality translation and word sense disambiguation but also at the cross-linguistic analysis and at comparing the semantics and compatibility of the words in Slavic languages (here: Russian and Bulgarian by means of digital lexicographical data. Another important application is computer-assisted language learning: Bulgarian data can be incorporated in the educational project being developed for Russian and English at the Institute for Information Transmission Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:26295345

  20. An overview of the applicability of functional diversity in Biological Conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. R. Freitas

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Functional diversity is increasingly pointed as a useful approach to reach Biological Conservation goals. Here, we provide an overview of the functional diversity approach status in the Biological Conservation field. We sought for peer-reviewed papers published over a period of twenty years (from 1994 to 2014. First we used the general topic “functional diversity” and then refined our search using the key-word “conservation”. We have identified the conservation strategies addressed, the organism studied, and the continent of study site in each paper. Thirteen classes of conservation strategies were identified. Plants were the most commonly studied organism group and most study-sites were located in Europe. The functional diversity approach was introduced in the Biological Conservation field in the early 2000’s and its inclusion in conservation strategies is broadly advised. However, the number of papers that operationalise such inclusion by developing models and systems is still low. Functional diversity responds differently and eventually better than other measures to changes in land use and management, which suggests that this approach can potentially better predict the impacts. More studies are needed to corroborate this hypothesis. We pointed out knowledge gaps regarding identification of the responses for functional diversity about urban impacts and in research on the level of management intensity of land needed to maintain functional diversity. We recommend the use of functional diversity measures to find ecological indicators. Future studies should focus on the development of functional diversity measures of other taxa beyond plants as well as test hypothesis in tropical ecosystems.

  1. Human-mediated loss of phylogenetic and functional diversity in coral reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'agata, Stéphanie; Mouillot, David; Kulbicki, Michel; Andréfouët, Serge; Bellwood, David R; Cinner, Joshua E; Cowman, Peter F; Kronen, Mecki; Pinca, Silvia; Vigliola, Laurent

    2014-03-03

    Beyond the loss of species richness, human activities may also deplete the breadth of evolutionary history (phylogenetic diversity) and the diversity of roles (functional diversity) carried out by species within communities, two overlooked components of biodiversity. Both are, however, essential to sustain ecosystem functioning and the associated provision of ecosystem services, particularly under fluctuating environmental conditions. We quantified the effect of human activities on the taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional diversity of fish communities in coral reefs, while teasing apart the influence of biogeography and habitat along a gradient of human pressure across the Pacific Ocean. We detected nonlinear relationships with significant breaking points in the impact of human population density on phylogenetic and functional diversity of parrotfishes, at 25 and 15 inhabitants/km(2), respectively, while parrotfish species richness decreased linearly along the same population gradient. Over the whole range, species richness decreased by 11.7%, while phylogenetic and functional diversity dropped by 35.8% and 46.6%, respectively. Our results call for caution when using species richness as a benchmark for measuring the status of ecosystems since it appears to be less responsive to variation in human population densities than its phylogenetic and functional counterparts, potentially imperiling the functioning of coral reef ecosystems. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. High-demand jobs: age-related diversity in work ability?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sluiter, Judith K

    2006-07-01

    High-demand jobs include 'specific' job demands that are not preventable with state of the art ergonomics knowledge and may overburden the bodily capacities, safety or health of workers. An interesting question is whether the age of the worker is an important factor in explanations of diversity in work ability in the context of high-demand jobs. In this paper, the work ability of ageing workers is addressed according to aspects of diversity in specific job demands and the research methods that are needed to shed light upon the relevant associated questions. From the international literature, a body of evidence was elicited concerning rates of chronological ageing in distinct bodily systems and functions. Intra-age-cohort differences in capacities and work ability, however, require (not yet existing) valid estimates of functional age or biological age indices for the specific populations of workers in high-demand jobs. Many studies have drawn on the highly demanding work of fire-fighters, ambulance workers, police officers, medical specialists, pilots/astronauts and submarine officers. Specific job demands in these jobs can be physical, mental or psychosocial in origin but may cause combined task-level loadings. Therefore, the assessment of single demands probably will not reveal enough relevant information about work ability in high-demand jobs and there will be a call for more integrated measures. Existing studies have used a variety of methodologies to address parts of the issue: task analyses for quantifying physical work demands, observations of psychological and physiological parameters, measures of psychosocial work demands and health complaints. Specific details about the work ability of ageing workers in high-demand jobs are scarce. In general, specific demands are more likely to overtax the capacities of older workers than those of younger workers in high-demand jobs, implying greater repercussions for health, although these effects also vary considerably

  3. Demographic history, selection and functional diversity of the canine genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostrander, Elaine A; Wayne, Robert K; Freedman, Adam H; Davis, Brian W

    2017-12-01

    The domestic dog represents one of the most dramatic long-term evolutionary experiments undertaken by humans. From a large wolf-like progenitor, unparalleled diversity in phenotype and behaviour has developed in dogs, providing a model for understanding the developmental and genomic mechanisms of diversification. We discuss pattern and process in domestication, beginning with general findings about early domestication and problems in documenting selection at the genomic level. Furthermore, we summarize genotype-phenotype studies based first on single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping and then with whole-genome data and show how an understanding of evolution informs topics as different as human history, adaptive and deleterious variation, morphological development, ageing, cancer and behaviour.

  4. Linking Remotely Sensed Functional Diversity of Structural Traits to the Radiative Regime of a Temperate Mixed Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, F. D.; Morsdorf, F.; Furrer, R.; Schmid, B.; Schaepman, M. E.

    2015-12-01

    Patterns of functional diversity reflect the inter- and intraspecific variability of plant traits and are linked to other aspects of biodiversity, environmental factors and ecosystem function. To study the patterns at plot and stand level, spatially continuous trait measurements are required. Remote sensing methods based on airborne observations can offer such continuous high-resolution measurements, resolving individual trees of a forest at a regional extent. The study was performed at the Laegern forest, a temperate mixed forest dominated by deciduous and coniferous trees (Fagus sylvatica, Picea abies; 47°28'42.0" N, 8°21'51.8" E, 682 m asl; Switzerland). Canopy height, plant area index and foliage height diversity were derived from full-waveform airborne laser scanning data. These structural traits were used to calculate functional richness, functional evenness and functional divergence at a range of scales. A Bayesian multiresolution scale analysis was used to infer the scales at which functional diversity patterns occur. The radiative regime of the forest was simulated using the 3D radiative transfer model DART. Using a voxel-based forest reconstruction allowed us to derive top of canopy, bottom of canopy and absorbed photosynthetically active radiation. The results of this study will provide new insights on linking forest canopy structure to the radiative regime of the forest. Light availability is a critical factor determining plant growth and competition. Within canopy light scattering is mainly driven by the arrangement of leaves and their leaf optical properties. Therefore, we expect a link between the structural complexity of the forest as encompassed by functional diversity and the light availability within and below the canopy. Ultimately, this information can be used in dynamic ecosystem models such as ED2, allowing us to predict the influence of functional diversity and radiative properties on ecosystem functioning under current conditions and

  5. Functional diversity supports the physiological tolerance hypothesis for plant species richness along climatic gradients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spasojevic, Marko J.; Grace, James B.; Harrison, Susan; Damschen, Ellen Ingman

    2013-01-01

    1. The physiological tolerance hypothesis proposes that plant species richness is highest in warm and/or wet climates because a wider range of functional strategies can persist under such conditions. Functional diversity metrics, combined with statistical modeling, offer new ways to test whether diversity-environment relationships are consistent with this hypothesis. 2. In a classic study by R. H. Whittaker (1960), herb species richness declined from mesic (cool, moist, northerly) slopes to xeric (hot, dry, southerly) slopes. Building on this dataset, we measured four plant functional traits (plant height, specific leaf area, leaf water content and foliar C:N) and used them to calculate three functional diversity metrics (functional richness, evenness, and dispersion). We then used a structural equation model to ask if ‘functional diversity’ (modeled as the joint responses of richness, evenness, and dispersion) could explain the observed relationship of topographic climate gradients to species richness. We then repeated our model examining the functional diversity of each of the four traits individually. 3. Consistent with the physiological tolerance hypothesis, we found that functional diversity was higher in more favorable climatic conditions (mesic slopes), and that multivariate functional diversity mediated the relationship of the topographic climate gradient to plant species richness. We found similar patterns for models focusing on individual trait functional diversity of leaf water content and foliar C:N. 4. Synthesis. Our results provide trait-based support for the physiological tolerance hypothesis, suggesting that benign climates support more species because they allow for a wider range of functional strategies.

  6. A highly diverse, desert-like microbial biocenosis on solar panels in a Mediterranean city.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorado-Morales, Pedro; Vilanova, Cristina; Peretó, Juli; Codoñer, Francisco M; Ramón, Daniel; Porcar, Manuel

    2016-07-05

    Microorganisms colonize a wide range of natural and artificial environments although there are hardly any data on the microbial ecology of one the most widespread man-made extreme structures: solar panels. Here we show that solar panels in a Mediterranean city (Valencia, Spain) harbor a highly diverse microbial community with more than 500 different species per panel, most of which belong to drought-, heat- and radiation-adapted bacterial genera, and sun-irradiation adapted epiphytic fungi. The taxonomic and functional profiles of this microbial community and the characterization of selected culturable bacteria reveal the existence of a diverse mesophilic microbial community on the panels' surface. This biocenosis proved to be more similar to the ones inhabiting deserts than to any human or urban microbial ecosystem. This unique microbial community shows different day/night proteomic profiles; it is dominated by reddish pigment- and sphingolipid-producers, and is adapted to withstand circadian cycles of high temperatures, desiccation and solar radiation.

  7. Functional trait space and the latitudinal diversity gradient

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lamanna, Christine; Blonder, Benjamin; Violle, Cyrille

    2014-01-01

    (within local assemblages), beta (among assemblages), and gamma (regional pool) scales. We test these predictions by quantifying hypervolumes constructed from functional traits representing major axes of plant strategy variation (specific leaf area, plant height, and seed mass) in tree assemblages...

  8. Land-use systems affect Archaeal community structure and functional diversity in western Amazon soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Acácio Aparecido Navarrete

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The study of the ecology of soil microbial communities at relevant spatial scales is primordial in the wide Amazon region due to the current land use changes. In this study, the diversity of the Archaea domain (community structure and ammonia-oxidizing Archaea (richness and community composition were investigated using molecular biology-based techniques in different land-use systems in western Amazonia, Brazil. Soil samples were collected in two periods with high precipitation (March 2008 and January 2009 from Inceptisols under primary tropical rainforest, secondary forest (5-20 year old, agricultural systems of indigenous people and cattle pasture. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of polymerase chain reaction-amplified DNA (PCR-DGGE using the 16S rRNA gene as a biomarker showed that archaeal community structures in crops and pasture soils are different from those in primary forest soil, which is more similar to the community structure in secondary forest soil. Sequence analysis of excised DGGE bands indicated the presence of crenarchaeal and euryarchaeal organisms. Based on clone library analysis of the gene coding the subunit of the enzyme ammonia monooxygenase (amoA of Archaea (306 sequences, the Shannon-Wiener function and Simpson's index showed a greater ammonia-oxidizing archaeal diversity in primary forest soils (H' = 2.1486; D = 0.1366, followed by a lower diversity in soils under pasture (H' = 1.9629; D = 0.1715, crops (H' = 1.4613; D = 0.3309 and secondary forest (H' = 0.8633; D = 0.5405. All cloned inserts were similar to the Crenarchaeota amoA gene clones (identity > 95 % previously found in soils and sediments and distributed primarily in three major phylogenetic clusters. The findings indicate that agricultural systems of indigenous people and cattle pasture affect the archaeal community structure and diversity of ammonia-oxidizing Archaea in western Amazon soils.

  9. Multiple effects of a Gracilaria vermiculophylla invasion on estuarine mudflat functioning and diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davoult, D; Surget, G; Stiger-Pouvreau, V; Noisette, F; Riera, P; Stagnol, D; Androuin, T; Poupart, N

    2017-10-01

    The invasive Japanese seaweed Gracilaria vermiculophylla has become established over the past several years in numerous European estuaries, from Portugal to Norway. In the Faou estuary (48.295°N-4.179°W, Brittany, France), it forms a dense population at the mud's surface. The effects of G. vermiculophylla on metabolism, diversity, and the food web were studied. Community gross primary production (GPP) and respiration (CR) during emersion, chlorophyll-a content, macrofaunal and meiofaunal diversity and abundance, and stable isotopes (δ(13)C and δ(15)N) of representative macrofaunal species and main food sources were measured at low tide in winter, spring, summer 2014, and winter 2015. Results show significant seasonal variation in GPP and CR. Moreover, GPP was significantly higher in areas where G. vermiculophylla was present than in the control area (bare mud). However, this high GPP appeared to be linked to the increase in biomass in primary producers, with their efficiency (primary productivity, i.e. assimilation number) remaining relatively stable compared with the control area. Significant variation in abundance of meiofauna and macrofauna was also detected and new epifaunal species were collected, mainly in Gracilaria-colonized areas. Isotopic food-web Bayesian mixing models strongly suggested that G. vermiculophylla plays a major role in the diet of some dominant species. Mechanisms interacting with the functioning and diversity of the mudflat are discussed. Finally, the invasive seaweed G. vermiculophylla affected the mudflat ecosystem in three ways: as a new primary producer (increase in metabolism), as a habitat-forming species (changes in diversity and abundance of macrofauna and meiofauna), and as a new abundant food source, likely through the detrital pathway. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Functional diversity response to hardwood forest management varies across taxa and spatial scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Bryan D; Holland, Jeffrey D; Summerville, Keith S; Dunning, John B; Saunders, Michael R; Jenkins, Michael A

    2017-06-01

    Contemporary forest management offers a trade-off between the potential positive effects of habitat heterogeneity on biodiversity, and the potential harm to mature forest communities caused by habitat loss and perforation of the forest canopy. While the response of taxonomic diversity to forest management has received a great deal of scrutiny, the response of functional diversity is largely unexplored. However, functional diversity may represent a more direct link between biodiversity and ecosystem function. To examine how forest management affects diversity at multiple spatial scales, we analyzed a long-term data set that captured changes in taxonomic and functional diversity of moths (Lepidoptera), longhorned beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), and breeding birds in response to contemporary silvicultural systems in oak-hickory hardwood forests. We used these data sets to address the following questions: how do even- and uneven-aged silvicultural systems affect taxonomic and functional diversity at the scale of managed landscapes compared to the individual harvested and unharvested forest patches that comprise the landscapes, and how do these silvicultural systems affect the functional similarity of assemblages at the scale of managed landscapes and patches? Due to increased heterogeneity within landscapes, we expected even-aged silviculture to increase and uneven-aged silviculture to decrease functional diversity at the landscape level regardless of impacts at the patch level. Functional diversity responses were taxon-specific with respect to the direction of change and time since harvest. Responses were also consistent across patch and landscape levels within each taxon. Moth assemblage species richness, functional richness, and functional divergence were negatively affected by harvesting, with stronger effects resulting from uneven-aged than even-aged management. Longhorned beetle assemblages exhibited a peak in species richness two years after harvesting

  11. Diversity-function relationships changed in a long-term restoration experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doherty, James M; Callaway, John C; Zedler, Joy B

    2011-09-01

    The central tenet of biodiversity-ecosystem function (BEF) theory, that species richness increases function, could motivate restoration practitioners to incorporate a greater number of species into their projects. But it is not yet clear how well BEF theory predicts outcomes of restoration, because it has been developed through tests involving short-run and tightly controlled (e.g., weeded) experiments. Thus, we resampled our 1997 BEF experiment in a restored salt marsh to test for long-term effects of species richness (plantings with 1, 3, and 6 species per 2 x 2 m plot), with multiple ecosystem functions as response variables. Over 11 years, 1- and 6-species assemblages converged on intermediate richness (mean = 3.9 species/ 0.25-m2 plot), and composition changed nonrandomly throughout the site. While three species became rare, the two most productive species became co-dominant. The two dominants controlled and increased shoot biomass, which appeared to decrease species richness. Diversity-function relationships became less positive over 11 years and differed significantly with (a) the species-richness metric (planted vs. measured), and (b) the indicator of function (shoot biomass, height, and canopy layering). The loss of positive relationships between species richness and function in our restored site began soon after we stopped weeding and continued with increasing dominance by productive species. Where species-rich plantings are unlikely to ensure long-term restoration of functions, as in our salt marsh, we recommend dual efforts to establish (1) dominant species that provide high levels of target functions, and (2) subordinate species, which might provide additional functions under current or future conditions.

  12. Functional diversity of catch mitigates negative effects of temperature variability on fisheries yields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dee, Laura E; Miller, Steve J; Peavey, Lindsey E; Bradley, Darcy; Gentry, Rebecca R; Startz, Richard; Gaines, Steven D; Lester, Sarah E

    2016-08-17

    Temperature variation within a year can impact biological processes driving population abundances. The implications for the ecosystem services these populations provide, including food production from marine fisheries, are poorly understood. Whether and how temperature variability impacts fishery yields may depend on the number of harvested species and differences in their responses to varying temperatures. Drawing from previous theoretical and empirical studies, we predict that greater temperature variability within years will reduce yields, but harvesting a larger number of species, especially a more functionally diverse set, will decrease this impact. Using a global marine fisheries dataset, we find that within-year temperature variability reduces yields, but current levels of functional diversity (FD) of targeted species, measured using traits related to species' responses to temperature, largely offset this effect. Globally, high FD of catch could avoid annual losses in yield of 6.8% relative to projections if FD were degraded to the lowest level observed in the data. By contrast, species richness in the catch and in the ecosystem did not provide a similar mitigating effect. This work provides novel empirical evidence that short-term temperature variability can negatively impact the provisioning of ecosystem services, but that FD can buffer these negative impacts. © 2016 The Author(s).

  13. Functional characterization of bacteria isolated from ancient arctic soil exposes diverse resistance mechanisms to modern antibiotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perron, Gabriel G; Whyte, Lyle; Turnbaugh, Peter J; Goordial, Jacqueline; Hanage, William P; Dantas, Gautam; Desai, Michael M

    2015-01-01

    Using functional metagenomics to study the resistomes of bacterial communities isolated from different layers of the Canadian high Arctic permafrost, we show that microbial communities harbored diverse resistance mechanisms at least 5,000 years ago. Among bacteria sampled from the ancient layers of a permafrost core, we isolated eight genes conferring clinical levels of resistance against aminoglycoside, β-lactam and tetracycline antibiotics that are naturally produced by microorganisms. Among these resistance genes, four also conferred resistance against amikacin, a modern semi-synthetic antibiotic that does not naturally occur in microorganisms. In bacteria sampled from the overlaying active layer, we isolated ten different genes conferring resistance to all six antibiotics tested in this study, including aminoglycoside, β-lactam and tetracycline variants that are naturally produced by microorganisms as well as semi-synthetic variants produced in the laboratory. On average, we found that resistance genes found in permafrost bacteria conferred lower levels of resistance against clinically relevant antibiotics than resistance genes sampled from the active layer. Our results demonstrate that antibiotic resistance genes were functionally diverse prior to the anthropogenic use of antibiotics, contributing to the evolution of natural reservoirs of resistance genes.

  14. Modeling microbial community structure and functional diversity across time and space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen, Peter E; Gibbons, Sean M; Gilbert, Jack A

    2012-07-01

    Microbial communities exhibit exquisitely complex structure. Many aspects of this complexity, from the number of species to the total number of interactions, are currently very difficult to examine directly. However, extraordinary efforts are being made to make these systems accessible to scientific investigation. While recent advances in high-throughput sequencing technologies have improved accessibility to the taxonomic and functional diversity of complex communities, monitoring the dynamics of these systems over time and space - using appropriate experimental design - is still expensive. Fortunately, modeling can be used as a lens to focus low-resolution observations of community dynamics to enable mathematical abstractions of functional and taxonomic dynamics across space and time. Here, we review the approaches for modeling bacterial diversity at both the very large and the very small scales at which microbial systems interact with their environments. We show that modeling can help to connect biogeochemical processes to specific microbial metabolic pathways. © 2012 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Diverse Effects, Complex Causes: Children Use Information about Machines' Functional Diversity to Infer Internal Complexity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahl, Richard E.; Keil, Frank C.

    2017-01-01

    Four studies explored the abilities of 80 adults and 180 children (4-9 years), from predominantly middle-class families in the Northeastern United States, to use information about machines' observable functional capacities to infer their internal, "hidden" mechanistic complexity. Children as young as 4 and 5 years old used machines'…

  16. β-Diversity of functional groups of woody plants in a tropical dry forest in Yucatan.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Omar López-Martínez

    Full Text Available Two main theories have attempted to explain variation in plant species composition (β-diversity. Niche theory proposes that most of the variation is related to environment (environmental filtering, whereas neutral theory posits that dispersal limitation is the main driver of β-diversity. In this study, we first explored how α- and β-diversity of plant functional groups defined by growth form (trees, shrubs and lianas, which represent different strategies of resource partitioning, and dispersal syndrome (autochory, anemochory and zoochory, which represent differences in dispersal limitation vary with successional age and topographic position in a tropical dry forest. Second, we examined the effects of environmental, spatial, and spatially-structured environmental factors on β-diversity of functional groups; we used the spatial structure of sampling sites as a proxy for dispersal limitation, and elevation, soil properties and forest stand age as indicators of environmental filtering. We recorded 200 species and 22,245 individuals in 276 plots; 120 species were trees, 41 shrubs and 39 lianas. We found that β-diversity was highest for shrubs, intermediate for lianas and lowest for trees, and was slightly higher for zoochorous than for autochorous and anemochorous species. All three dispersal syndromes, trees and shrubs varied in composition among vegetation classes (successional age and topographic position, whilst lianas did not. β-diversity was influenced mostly by proxies of environmental filtering, except for shrubs, for which the influence of dispersal limitation was more important. Stand age and topography significantly influenced α-diversity across functional groups, but showed a low influence on β-diversity -possibly due to the counterbalancing effect of resprouting on plant distribution and composition. Our results show that considering different plant functional groups reveals important differences in both α- and β-diversity

  17. DISPERSAL AS A MECHANISM LIMITING DIVERSITY OF HIGH LATITUDES

    Science.gov (United States)

    The pervasiveness acress taxa, space, and time of the latitudinal gradient in species diversity is conventionally thought to suggest a common cause that is not yet identified. Conventionally, the cause of the gradient is thought to originate in the tropics where diversity is hig...

  18. Homogenization and impoverishment of taxonomic and functional diversity of ants in Eucalyptus plantations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martello, Felipe; de Bello, Francesco; Morini, Maria Santina de Castro; Silva, Rogério R; Souza-Campana, Débora Rodriges de; Ribeiro, Milton Cezar; Carmona, Carlos P

    2018-02-19

    Despite its negative impacts on the environment and biodiversity, tree plantations can contribute to biodiversity conservation in fragmented landscapes, as they harbor many native species. In this study, we investigated the impact of Eucalyptus plantations on the taxonomic and functional diversity of ant communities, comparing ant communities sampled in managed and unmanaged (abandoned for 28 years) Eucalyptus plantations, and native Atlantic rain forests. Eucalyptus plantations, both managed and unmanaged, reduced the functional diversity and increased the similarity between ant communities leading to functional homogenization. While communities in managed plantations had the lowest values of both taxonomic and functional ant diversities, ant communities from unmanaged plantations had similar values of species richness, functional redundancy and Rao's Q compared to ant communities from forest patches (although functional richness was lower). In addition, communities in unmanaged Eucalyptus plantations were taxonomically and functionally more similar to communities located in managed plantations, indicating that Eucalyptus plantations have a severe long-term impact on ant communities. These results indicate that natural regeneration may mitigate the impact of Eucalyptus management, particularly regarding the functional structure of the community (α diversity), although it does not attenuate the effects of long term homogenization in community composition (β diversity).

  19. Microbial functional diversity covaries with permafrost thaw-induced environmental heterogeneity in tundra soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Mengting M; Zhang, Jin; Xue, Kai; Wu, Liyou; Deng, Ye; Deng, Jie; Hale, Lauren; Zhou, Xishu; He, Zhili; Yang, Yunfeng; Van Nostrand, Joy D; Schuur, Edward A G; Konstantinidis, Konstantinos T; Penton, Christopher R; Cole, James R; Tiedje, James M; Luo, Yiqi; Zhou, Jizhong

    2018-01-01

    Permafrost soil in high latitude tundra is one of the largest terrestrial carbon (C) stocks and is highly sensitive to climate warming. Understanding microbial responses to warming-induced environmental changes is critical to evaluating their influences on soil biogeochemical cycles. In this study, a functional gene array (i.e., geochip 4.2) was used to analyze the functional capacities of soil microbial communities collected from a naturally degrading permafrost region in Central Alaska. Varied thaw history was reported to be the main driver of soil and plant differences across a gradient of minimally, moderately, and extensively thawed sites. Compared with the minimally thawed site, the number of detected functional gene probes across the 15-65 cm depth profile at the moderately and extensively thawed sites decreased by 25% and 5%, while the community functional gene β-diversity increased by 34% and 45%, respectively, revealing decreased functional gene richness but increased community heterogeneity along the thaw progression. Particularly, the moderately thawed site contained microbial communities with the highest abundances of many genes involved in prokaryotic C degradation, ammonification, and nitrification processes, but lower abundances of fungal C decomposition and anaerobic-related genes. Significant correlations were observed between functional gene abundance and vascular plant primary productivity, suggesting that plant growth and species composition could be co-evolving traits together with microbial community composition. Altogether, this study reveals the complex responses of microbial functional potentials to thaw-related soil and plant changes and provides information on potential microbially mediated biogeochemical cycles in tundra ecosystems. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Epigenetic variation predicts regional and local intraspecific functional diversity in a perennial herb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medrano, Mónica; Herrera, Carlos M; Bazaga, Pilar

    2014-10-01

    The ecological significance of epigenetic variation has been generally inferred from studies on model plants under artificial conditions, but the importance of epigenetic differences between individuals as a source of intraspecific diversity in natural plant populations remains essentially unknown. This study investigates the relationship between epigenetic variation and functional plant diversity by conducting epigenetic (methylation-sensitive amplified fragment length polymorphisms, MSAP) and genetic (amplified fragment length polymorphisms, AFLP) marker-trait association analyses for 20 whole-plant, leaf and regenerative functional traits in a large sample of wild-growing plants of the perennial herb Helleborus foetidus from ten sampling sites in south-eastern Spain. Plants differed widely in functional characteristics, and exhibited greater epigenetic than genetic diversity, as shown by per cent polymorphism of MSAP fragments (92%) or markers (69%) greatly exceeding that for AFLP ones (41%). After controlling for genetic structuring and possible cryptic relatedness, every functional trait considered exhibited a significant association with at least one AFLP or MSAP marker. A total of 27 MSAP (13.0% of total) and 12 AFLP (4.4%) markers were involved in significant associations, which explained on average 8.2% and 8.0% of trait variance, respectively. Individual MSAP markers were more likely to be associated with functional traits than AFLP markers. Between-site differences in multivariate functional diversity were directly related to variation in multilocus epigenetic diversity after multilocus genetic diversity was statistically accounted for. Results suggest that epigenetic variation can be an important source of intraspecific functional diversity in H. foetidus, possibly endowing this species with the capacity to exploit a broad range of ecological conditions despite its modest genetic diversity. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. How does variation in rainfall affect simulated tropical tree mortality, functional diversity and coexistence?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, T.; Kueppers, L. M.; Koven, C.; Johnson, D. J.; Faybishenko, B.; McDowell, N. G.; Chambers, J. Q.

    2016-12-01

    Land surface models that include demographic and plant hydrodynamic processes are promising tools for characterizing how different drought scenarios may affect carbon cycling of tropical forests. The Ecosystem Demography (ED2) model, now formulated with such features, was used to evaluate how different drought scenarios affect mortality patterns, functional diversity and coexistence of four plant functional types (PFTs) of tropical trees at Barro Colorado Island (BCI), Panama. The four PFTs simulated were early- versus late-successional groups subdivided into drought-tolerant versus -intolerant groups. The hydrodynamic formulation enables the four PFTs to compete mechanistically along two largely orthogonal resource gradients of water and light. The model simulations produced considerable differences in the aboveground biomass response to contrasting drying scenarios that included longer dry seasons, El Nino related droughts, and drier dry seasons. The emergent mortality dynamics reflect the physiological trade-off between water-use and carbon fixation formulated by the hydrodynamic regulation over stomatal conductance. During dry periods, the model predicts increased mortality rates of pioneer trees compared to generalists and drought-intolerant trees compared to -tolerant trees. The model also predicts that surviving cohorts in the smallest size classes of drought-intolerant trees are occasionally primed for release from competition following acute droughts. Observations at BCI showed increased mortality rates for large trees (i.e. >30 cm dbh) during the 1982 El Nino drought, but not subsequent El Nino related droughts. The causes of the elevated mortality rates are explored with the model. Coexistence of four plant functional types in the model is highly sensitive to the parameterization of stem hydraulic conductivity; but, surprisingly not very sensitive to shifts in rainfall patterns. These results demonstrate (a) that plant hydrodynamics are critical for

  2. Negative impacts of human land use on dung beetle functional diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barragán, Felipe; Moreno, Claudia E; Escobar, Federico; Halffter, Gonzalo; Navarrete, Dario

    2011-03-23

    The loss of biodiversity caused by human activity is assumed to alter ecosystem functioning. However our understanding of the magnitude of the effect of these changes on functional diversity and their impact on the dynamics of ecological processes is still limited. We analyzed the functional diversity of copro-necrophagous beetles under different conditions of land use in three Mexican biosphere reserves. In Montes Azules pastures, forest fragments and continuous rainforest were analyzed, in Los Tuxtlas rainforest fragments of different sizes were analyzed and in Barranca de Metztitlán two types of xerophile scrub with different degrees of disturbance from grazing were analyzed. We assigned dung beetle species to functional groups based on food relocation, beetle size, daily activity period and food preferences, and as measures of functional diversity we used estimates based on multivariate methods. In Montes Azules functional richness was lower in the pastures than in continuous rainforest and rainforest fragments, but fragments and continuous forest include functionally redundant species. In small rainforest fragments (20 ha). Functional evenness and functional dispersion did not vary among habitat types or fragment size in these reserves. In contrast, in Metztitlán, functional richness and functional dispersion were different among the vegetation types, but differences were not related to the degree of disturbance by grazing. More redundant species were found in submontane than in crassicaule scrub. For the first time, a decrease in the functional diversity in communities of copro-necrophagous beetles resulting from changes in land use is documented, the potential implications for ecosystem functioning are discussed and a series of variables that could improve the evaluation of functional diversity for this biological group is proposed.

  3. Negative Impacts of Human Land Use on Dung Beetle Functional Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barragán, Felipe; Moreno, Claudia E.; Escobar, Federico; Halffter, Gonzalo; Navarrete, Dario

    2011-01-01

    The loss of biodiversity caused by human activity is assumed to alter ecosystem functioning. However our understanding of the magnitude of the effect of these changes on functional diversity and their impact on the dynamics of ecological processes is still limited. We analyzed the functional diversity of copro-necrophagous beetles under different conditions of land use in three Mexican biosphere reserves. In Montes Azules pastures, forest fragments and continuous rainforest were analyzed, in Los Tuxtlas rainforest fragments of different sizes were analyzed and in Barranca de Metztitlán two types of xerophile scrub with different degrees of disturbance from grazing were analyzed. We assigned dung beetle species to functional groups based on food relocation, beetle size, daily activity period and food preferences, and as measures of functional diversity we used estimates based on multivariate methods. In Montes Azules functional richness was lower in the pastures than in continuous rainforest and rainforest fragments, but fragments and continuous forest include functionally redundant species. In small rainforest fragments (20 ha). Functional evenness and functional dispersion did not vary among habitat types or fragment size in these reserves. In contrast, in Metztitlán, functional richness and functional dispersion were different among the vegetation types, but differences were not related to the degree of disturbance by grazing. More redundant species were found in submontane than in crassicaule scrub. For the first time, a decrease in the functional diversity in communities of copro-necrophagous beetles resulting from changes in land use is documented, the potential implications for ecosystem functioning are discussed and a series of variables that could improve the evaluation of functional diversity for this biological group is proposed. PMID:21448292

  4. Negative impacts of human land use on dung beetle functional diversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe Barragán

    Full Text Available The loss of biodiversity caused by human activity is assumed to alter ecosystem functioning. However our understanding of the magnitude of the effect of these changes on functional diversity and their impact on the dynamics of ecological processes is still limited. We analyzed the functional diversity of copro-necrophagous beetles under different conditions of land use in three Mexican biosphere reserves. In Montes Azules pastures, forest fragments and continuous rainforest were analyzed, in Los Tuxtlas rainforest fragments of different sizes were analyzed and in Barranca de Metztitlán two types of xerophile scrub with different degrees of disturbance from grazing were analyzed. We assigned dung beetle species to functional groups based on food relocation, beetle size, daily activity period and food preferences, and as measures of functional diversity we used estimates based on multivariate methods. In Montes Azules functional richness was lower in the pastures than in continuous rainforest and rainforest fragments, but fragments and continuous forest include functionally redundant species. In small rainforest fragments (20 ha. Functional evenness and functional dispersion did not vary among habitat types or fragment size in these reserves. In contrast, in Metztitlán, functional richness and functional dispersion were different among the vegetation types, but differences were not related to the degree of disturbance by grazing. More redundant species were found in submontane than in crassicaule scrub. For the first time, a decrease in the functional diversity in communities of copro-necrophagous beetles resulting from changes in land use is documented, the potential implications for ecosystem functioning are discussed and a series of variables that could improve the evaluation of functional diversity for this biological group is proposed.

  5. Bee diversity effects on pollination depend on functional complementarity and niche shifts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fründ, Jochen; Dormann, Carsten F; Holzschuh, Andrea; Tscharntke, Teja

    2013-09-01

    Biodiversity is important for many ecosystem processes. Global declines in pollinator diversity and abundance have been recognized, raising concerns about a pollination crisis of crops and wild plants. However, experimental evidence for effects of pollinator species diversity on plant reproduction is extremely scarce. We established communities with 1-5 bee species to test how seed production of a plant community is determined by bee diversity. Higher bee diversity resulted in higher seed production, but the strongest difference was observed for one compared to more than one bee species. Functional complementarity among bee species had a far higher explanatory power than bee diversity, suggesting that additional bee species only benefit pollination when they increase coverage of functional niches. In our experiment, complementarity was driven by differences in flower and temperature preferences. Interspecific interactions among bee species contributed to realized functional complementarity, as bees reduced interspecific overlap by shifting to alternative flowers in the presence of other species. This increased the number of plant species visited by a bee community and demonstrates a new mechanism for a biodiversity-function relationship ("interactive complementarity"). In conclusion, our results highlight both the importance of bee functional diversity for the reproduction of plant communities and the need to identify complementarity traits for accurately predicting pollination services by different bee communities.

  6. Functional Diversity of the Schistosoma mansoni Tyrosine Kinases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lívia G. A. Avelar

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Schistosoma mansoni, one of the causative agents of schistosomiasis, has a complex life cycle infecting over 200 million people worldwide. Such a successful and prolific parasite life cycle has been shown to be dependent on the adaptive interaction between the parasite and hosts. Tyrosine kinases (TKs play a key role in signaling pathways as demonstrated by a large body of experimental work in eukaryotes. Furthermore, comparative genomics have allowed the identification of TK homologs and provided insights into the functional role of TKs in several biological systems. Finally, TK structural biology has provided a rational basis for obtaining selective inhibitors directed to the treatment of human diseases. This paper covers the important aspects of the phospho-tyrosine signaling network in S. mansoni, Caenorhabditis elegans, and humans, the main process of functional diversification of TKs, that is, protein-domain shuffling, and also discusses TKs as targets for the development of new anti-schistosome drugs.

  7. Polymeric Biomaterials: Diverse Functions Enabled by Advances in Macromolecular Chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Yingkai; Li, Linqing; Scott, Rebecca A; Kiick, Kristi L

    2017-01-24

    Biomaterials have been extensively used to leverage beneficial outcomes in various therapeutic applications, such as providing spatial and temporal control over the release of therapeutic agents in drug delivery as well as engineering functional tissues and promoting the healing process in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. This perspective presents important milestones in the development of polymeric biomaterials with defined structures and properties. Contemporary studies of biomaterial design have been reviewed with focus on constructing materials with controlled structure, dynamic functionality, and biological complexity. Examples of these polymeric biomaterials enabled by advanced synthetic methodologies, dynamic chemistry/assembly strategies, and modulated cell-material interactions have been highlighted. As the field of polymeric biomaterials continues to evolve with increased sophistication, current challenges and future directions for the design and translation of these materials are also summarized.

  8. Functional High Performance Financial IT

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berthold, Jost; Filinski, Andrzej; Henglein, Fritz

    2011-01-01

    auditability of financial institutions, including their software systems. To top it off, increased product variety and customisation necessitates shorter software development cycles and higher development productivity. In this paper, we report about HIPERFIT, a recently etablished strategic research center...... at the University of Copenhagen that attacks this triple challenge of increased performance, transparency and productivity in the financial sector by a novel integration of financial mathematics, domain-specific language technology, parallel functional programming, and emerging massively parallel hardware. HIPERFIT...

  9. High bacterial diversity in epilithic biofilms of oligotrophic mountain lakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartrons, Mireia; Catalan, Jordi; Casamayor, Emilio O

    2012-11-01

    Benthic microbial biofilms attached to rocks (epilithic) are major sites of carbon cycling and can dominate ecosystem primary production in oligotrophic lakes. We studied the bacterial community composition of littoral epilithic biofilms in five connected oligotrophic high mountain lakes located at different altitudes by genetic fingerprinting and clone libraries of the 16S rRNA gene. Different intra-lake samples were analyzed, and consistent changes in community structure (chlorophyll a and organic matter contents, and bacterial community composition) were observed along the altitudinal gradient, particularly related with the location of the lake above or below the treeline. Epilithic biofilm genetic fingerprints were both more diverse among lakes than within lakes and significantly different between montane (below the tree line) and alpine lakes (above the tree line). The genetic richness in the epilithic biofilm was much higher than in the plankton of the same lacustrine area studied in previous works, with significantly idiosyncratic phylogenetic composition (specifically distinct from lake plankton or mountain soils). Data suggest the coexistence of aerobic, anaerobic, phototrophic, and chemotrophic microorganisms in the biofilm, Bacteroidetes and Cyanobacteria being the most important bacterial taxa, followed by Alpha-, Beta-, Gamma-, and Deltaproteobacteria, Chlorobi, Planctomycetes, and Verrucomicrobia. The degree of novelty was especially high for epilithic Bacteroidetes, and up to 50 % of the sequences formed monophyletic clusters distantly related to any previously reported sequence. More than 35 % of the total sequences matched at <95 % identity to any previously reported 16S rRNA gene, indicating that alpine epilithic biofilms are unexplored habitats that contain a substantial degree of novelty within a short geographical distance. Further research is needed to determine whether these communities are involved in more biogeochemical pathways than

  10. Bottom-up effects of species diversity on the functioning and stability of food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narwani, Anita; Mazumder, Asit

    2012-05-01

    1. The importance of species diversity for the stability of populations, communities and ecosystem functions is a central question in ecology. 2. Biodiversity experiments have shown that diversity can impact both the average and variability of stocks and rates at these levels of ecological organization in single trophic-level ecosystems. Whether these impacts hold in food webs and across trophic levels is still unclear. 3. We asked whether resource species diversity, community composition and consumer feeding selectivity in planktonic food webs impact the stability of resource or consumer populations, community biomass and ecosystem functions. We also tested the relative importance of resource diversity and community composition. 4. We found that resource diversity negatively affected resource population stability, but had no effect on consumer population stability, regardless of the consumer's feeding selectivity. Resource diversity had positive effects on most ecosystem functions and their stability, including primary production, resource biomass and particulate carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations. 5. Community composition, however, generally explained more variance in population, community and ecosystem properties than species diversity per se. This result points to the importance of the outcomes of particular species interactions and individual species' effect traits in determining food web properties and stability. 6. Among the stabilizing mechanisms tested, an increase in the average resource community biomass with increasing resource diversity had the greatest positive impact on stability. 7. Our results indicate that resource diversity and composition are generally important for the functioning and stability of whole food webs, but do not have straightforward impacts on consumer populations. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2012 British Ecological Society.

  11. Microbial Diversity Indexes Can Explain Soil Carbon Dynamics as a Function of Carbon Source.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louis, Benjamin P; Maron, Pierre-Alain; Menasseri-Aubry, Safya; Sarr, Amadou; Lévêque, Jean; Mathieu, Olivier; Jolivet, Claudy; Leterme, Philippe; Viaud, Valérie

    2016-01-01

    Mathematical models do not explicitly represent the influence of soil microbial diversity on soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics despite recent evidence of relationships between them. The objective of the present study was to statistically investigate relationships between bacterial and fungal diversity indexes (richness, evenness, Shannon index, inverse Simpson index) and decomposition of different pools of soil organic carbon by measuring dynamics of CO2 emissions under controlled conditions. To this end, 20 soils from two different land uses (cropland and grassland) were incubated with or without incorporation of 13C-labelled wheat-straw residue. 13C-labelling allowed us to study residue mineralisation, basal respiration and the priming effect independently. An innovative data-mining approach was applied, based on generalized additive models and a predictive criterion. Results showed that microbial diversity indexes can be good covariates to integrate in SOC dynamics models, depending on the C source and the processes considered (native soil organic carbon vs. fresh wheat residue). Specifically, microbial diversity indexes were good candidates to help explain mineralisation of native soil organic carbon, while priming effect processes seemed to be explained much more by microbial composition, and no microbial diversity indexes were found associated with residue mineralisation. Investigation of relationships between diversity and mineralisation showed that higher diversity, as measured by the microbial diversity indexes, seemed to be related to decreased CO2 emissions in the control soil. We suggest that this relationship can be explained by an increase in carbon yield assimilation as microbial diversity increases. Thus, the parameter for carbon yield assimilation in mathematical models could be calculated as a function of microbial diversity indexes. Nonetheless, given limitations of the methods used, these observations should be considered with caution and

  12. Deciphering the enigma of undetected species, phylogenetic, and functional diversity based on Good-Turing theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chao, Anne; Chiu, Chun-Huo; Colwell, Robert K; Magnago, Luiz Fernando S; Chazdon, Robin L; Gotelli, Nicholas J

    2017-11-01

    Estimating the species, phylogenetic, and functional diversity of a community is challenging because rare species are often undetected, even with intensive sampling. The Good-Turing frequency formula, originally developed for cryptography, estimates in an ecological context the true frequencies of rare species in a single assemblage based on an incomplete sample of individuals. Until now, this formula has never been used to estimate undetected species, phylogenetic, and functional diversity. Here, we first generalize the Good-Turing formula to incomplete sampling of two assemblages. The original formula and its two-assemblage generalization provide a novel and unified approach to notation, terminology, and estimation of undetected biological diversity. For species richness, the Good-Turing framework offers an intuitive way to derive the non-parametric estimators of the undetected species richness in a single assemblage, and of the undetected species shared between two assemblages. For phylogenetic diversity, the unified approach leads to an estimator of the undetected Faith's phylogenetic diversity (PD, the total length of undetected branches of a phylogenetic tree connecting all species), as well as a new estimator of undetected PD shared between two phylogenetic trees. For functional diversity based on species traits, the unified approach yields a new estimator of undetected Walker et al.'s functional attribute diversity (FAD, the total species-pairwise functional distance) in a single assemblage, as well as a new estimator of undetected FAD shared between two assemblages. Although some of the resulting estimators have been previously published (but derived with traditional mathematical inequalities), all taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional diversity estimators are now derived under the same framework. All the derived estimators are theoretically lower bounds of the corresponding undetected diversities; our approach reveals the sufficient conditions under

  13. Environmental and Human Controls of Ecosystem Functional Diversity in Temperate South America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Domingo Alcaraz-Segura

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The regional controls of biodiversity patterns have been traditionally evaluated using structural and compositional components at the species level, but evaluation of the functional component at the ecosystem level is still scarce. During the last decades, the role of ecosystem functioning in management and conservation has increased. Our aim was to use satellite-derived Ecosystem Functional Types (EFTs, patches of the land-surface with similar carbon gain dynamics to characterize the regional patterns of ecosystem functional diversity and to evaluate the environmental and human controls that determine EFT richness across natural and human-modified systems in temperate South America. The EFT identification was based on three descriptors of carbon gain dynamics derived from seasonal curves of the MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI: annual mean (surrogate of primary production, seasonal coefficient of variation (indicator of seasonality and date of maximum EVI (descriptor of phenology. As observed for species richness in the southern hemisphere, water availability, not energy, emerged as the main climatic driver of EFT richness in natural areas of temperate South America. In anthropogenic areas, the role of both water and energy decreased and increasing human intervention increased richness at low levels of human influence, but decreased richness at high levels of human influence.

  14. The gut microbiota of insects - diversity in structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel, Philipp; Moran, Nancy A

    2013-09-01

    Insect guts present distinctive environments for microbial colonization, and bacteria in the gut potentially provide many beneficial services to their hosts. Insects display a wide range in degree of dependence on gut bacteria for basic functions. Most insect guts contain relatively few microbial species as compared to mammalian guts, but some insects harbor large gut communities of specialized bacteria. Others are colonized only opportunistically and sparsely by bacteria common in other environments. Insect digestive tracts vary extensively in morphology and physicochemical properties, factors that greatly influence microbial community structure. One obstacle to the evolution of intimate associations with gut microorganisms is the lack of dependable transmission routes between host individuals. Here, social insects, such as termites, ants, and bees, are exceptions: social interactions provide opportunities for transfer of gut bacteria, and some of the most distinctive and consistent gut communities, with specialized beneficial functions in nutrition and protection, have been found in social insect species. Still, gut bacteria of other insects have also been shown to contribute to nutrition, protection from parasites and pathogens, modulation of immune responses, and communication. The extent of these roles is still unclear and awaits further studies. © 2013 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Alternative Splicing and Subfunctionalization Generates Functional Diversity in Fungal Proteomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez-López, Claudia; Lorenz, Michael C.; van Hoof, Ambro

    2013-01-01

    Alternative splicing is commonly used by the Metazoa to generate more than one protein from a gene. However, such diversification of the proteome by alternative splicing is much rarer in fungi. We describe here an ancient fungal alternative splicing event in which these two proteins are generated from a single alternatively spliced ancestral SKI7/HBS1 gene retained in many species in both the Ascomycota and Basidiomycota. While the ability to express two proteins from a single SKI7/HBS1 gene is conserved in many fungi, the exact mechanism by which they achieve this varies. The alternative splicing was lost in Saccharomyces cerevisiae following the whole-genome duplication event as these two genes subfunctionalized into the present functionally distinct HBS1 and SKI7 genes. When expressed in yeast, the single gene from Lachancea kluyveri generates two functionally distinct proteins. Expression of one of these proteins complements hbs1, but not ski7 mutations, while the other protein complements ski7, but not hbs1. This is the first known case of subfunctionalization by loss of alternative splicing in yeast. By coincidence, the ancestral alternatively spliced gene was also duplicated in Schizosaccharomyces pombe with subsequent subfunctionalization and loss of splicing. Similar subfunctionalization by loss of alternative splicing in fungi also explains the presence of two PTC7 genes in the budding yeast Tetrapisispora blattae, suggesting that this is a common mechanism to preserve duplicate alternatively spliced genes. PMID:23516382

  16. 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.

  17. Highly task-related diversity vs. less task-related diversity among university staff

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lauring, Jakob; Selmer, Jan

    2013-01-01

    As only very few large-scale studies have investigated multi-cultural university staff and as none of these studies have dealt with diversity and group processes, this survey was directed toward staffs in 16 science departments from three large universities in Denmark. Results based on the response...

  18. Application of the Nutrition Functional Diversity indicator to assess food system contributions to dietary diversity and sustainable diets of Malawian households.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luckett, Brian G; DeClerck, Fabrice A J; Fanzo, Jessica; Mundorf, Adrienne R; Rose, Donald

    2015-09-01

    Dietary diversity is associated with nutrient adequacy and positive health outcomes but indicators to measure diversity have focused primarily on consumption, rather than sustainable provisioning of food. The Nutritional Functional Diversity score was developed by ecologists to describe the contribution of biodiversity to sustainable diets. We have employed this tool to estimate the relative contribution of home production and market purchases in providing nutritional diversity to agricultural households in Malawi and examine how food system provisioning varies by time, space and socio-economic conditions. A secondary analysis of nationally representative household consumption data to test the applicability of the Nutritional Functional Diversity score. The data were collected between 2010 and 2011 across the country of Malawi. Households (n 11 814) from predominantly rural areas of Malawi. Nutritional Functional Diversity varied demographically, geographically and temporally. Nationally, purchased foods contributed more to household nutritional diversity than home produced foods (mean score=17·5 and 7·8, respectively). Households further from roads and population centres had lower overall diversity (PFunctional Diversity score is an effective indicator for identifying populations with low nutritional diversity and the relative roles that markets, agricultural extension and home production play in achieving nutritional diversity. This information may be used by policy makers to plan agricultural and market-based interventions that support sustainable diets and local food systems.

  19. Inconsistent impacts of decomposer diversity on the stability of aboveground and belowground ecosystem functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenhauer, Nico; Schädler, Martin

    2011-02-01

    The intensive discussion on the importance of biodiversity for the stability of essential processes in ecosystems has prompted a multitude of studies since the middle of the last century. Nevertheless, research has been extremely biased by focusing on the producer level, while studies on the impacts of decomposer diversity on the stability of ecosystem functions are lacking. Here, we investigate the impacts of decomposer diversity on the stability (reliability) of three important aboveground and belowground ecosystem functions: primary productivity (shoot and root biomass), litter decomposition, and herbivore infestation. For this, we analyzed the results of three laboratory experiments manipulating decomposer diversity (1-3 species) in comparison to decomposer-free treatments in terms of variability of the measured variables. Decomposer diversity often significantly but inconsistently affected the stability of all aboveground and belowground ecosystem functions investigated in the present study. While primary productivity was mainly destabilized, litter decomposition and aphid infestation were essentially stabilized by increasing decomposer diversity. However, impacts of decomposer diversity varied between plant community and fertility treatments. There was no general effect of the presence of decomposers on stability and no trend toward weaker effects in fertilized communities and legume communities. This indicates that impacts of decomposers are based on more than effects on nutrient availability. Although inconsistent impacts complicate the estimation of consequences of belowground diversity loss, underpinning mechanisms of the observed patterns are discussed. Impacts of decomposer diversity on the stability of essential ecosystem functions differed between plant communities of varying composition and fertility, implicating that human-induced changes of biodiversity and land-use management might have unpredictable effects on the processes mankind relies on

  20. Functional diversity of microbial communities in pristine aquifers inferred by PLFA- and sequencing-based approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwab, Valérie F.; Herrmann, Martina; Roth, Vanessa-Nina; Gleixner, Gerd; Lehmann, Robert; Pohnert, Georg; Trumbore, Susan; Küsel, Kirsten; Totsche, Kai U.

    2017-05-01

    Microorganisms in groundwater play an important role in aquifer biogeochemical cycles and water quality. However, the mechanisms linking the functional diversity of microbial populations and the groundwater physico-chemistry are still not well understood due to the complexity of interactions between surface and subsurface. Within the framework of Hainich (north-western Thuringia, central Germany) Critical Zone Exploratory of the Collaborative Research Centre AquaDiva, we used the relative abundances of phospholipid-derived fatty acids (PLFAs) to link specific biochemical markers within the microbial communities to the spatio-temporal changes of the groundwater physico-chemistry. The functional diversities of the microbial communities were mainly correlated with groundwater chemistry, including dissolved O2, Fet and NH4+ concentrations. Abundances of PLFAs derived from eukaryotes and potential nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (11Me16:0 as biomarker for Nitrospira moscoviensis) were high at sites with elevated O2 concentration where groundwater recharge supplies bioavailable substrates. In anoxic groundwaters more rich in Fet, PLFAs abundant in sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB), iron-reducing bacteria and fungi increased with Fet and HCO3- concentrations, suggesting the occurrence of active iron reduction and the possible role of fungi in meditating iron solubilization and transport in those aquifer domains. In more NH4+-rich anoxic groundwaters, anammox bacteria and SRB-derived PLFAs increased with NH4+ concentration, further evidencing the dependence of the anammox process on ammonium concentration and potential links between SRB and anammox bacteria. Additional support of the PLFA-based bacterial communities was found in DNA- and RNA-based Illumina MiSeq amplicon sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes, which showed high predominance of nitrite-oxidizing bacteria Nitrospira, e.g. Nitrospira moscoviensis, in oxic aquifer zones and of anammox bacteria in more NH4+-rich

  1. Assessing natural resource use by forest-reliant communities in Madagascar using functional diversity and functional redundancy metrics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kerry A Brown

    Full Text Available Biodiversity plays an integral role in the livelihoods of subsistence-based forest-dwelling communities and as a consequence it is increasingly important to develop quantitative approaches that capture not only changes in taxonomic diversity, but also variation in natural resources and provisioning services. We apply a functional diversity metric originally developed for addressing questions in community ecology to assess utilitarian diversity of 56 forest plots in Madagascar. The use categories for utilitarian plants were determined using expert knowledge and household questionnaires. We used a null model approach to examine the utilitarian (functional diversity and utilitarian redundancy present within ecological communities. Additionally, variables that might influence fluctuations in utilitarian diversity and redundancy--specifically number of felled trees, number of trails, basal area, canopy height, elevation, distance from village--were analyzed using Generalized Linear Models (GLMs. Eighteen of the 56 plots showed utilitarian diversity values significantly higher than expected. This result indicates that these habitats exhibited a low degree of utilitarian redundancy and were therefore comprised of plants with relatively distinct utilitarian properties. One implication of this finding is that minor losses in species richness may result in reductions in utilitarian diversity and redundancy, which may limit local residents' ability to switch between alternative choices. The GLM analysis showed that the most predictive model included basal area, canopy height and distance from village, which suggests that variation in utilitarian redundancy may be a result of local residents harvesting resources from the protected area. Our approach permits an assessment of the diversity of provisioning services available to local communities, offering unique insights that would not be possible using traditional taxonomic diversity measures. These analyses

  2. Assessing natural resource use by forest-reliant communities in Madagascar using functional diversity and functional redundancy metrics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Kerry A; Flynn, Dan F B; Abram, Nicola K; Ingram, J Carter; Johnson, Steig E; Wright, Patricia

    2011-01-01

    Biodiversity plays an integral role in the livelihoods of subsistence-based forest-dwelling communities and as a consequence it is increasingly important to develop quantitative approaches that capture not only changes in taxonomic diversity, but also variation in natural resources and provisioning services. We apply a functional diversity metric originally developed for addressing questions in community ecology to assess utilitarian diversity of 56 forest plots in Madagascar. The use categories for utilitarian plants were determined using expert knowledge and household questionnaires. We used a null model approach to examine the utilitarian (functional) diversity and utilitarian redundancy present within ecological communities. Additionally, variables that might influence fluctuations in utilitarian diversity and redundancy--specifically number of felled trees, number of trails, basal area, canopy height, elevation, distance from village--were analyzed using Generalized Linear Models (GLMs). Eighteen of the 56 plots showed utilitarian diversity values significantly higher than expected. This result indicates that these habitats exhibited a low degree of utilitarian redundancy and were therefore comprised of plants with relatively distinct utilitarian properties. One implication of this finding is that minor losses in species richness may result in reductions in utilitarian diversity and redundancy, which may limit local residents' ability to switch between alternative choices. The GLM analysis showed that the most predictive model included basal area, canopy height and distance from village, which suggests that variation in utilitarian redundancy may be a result of local residents harvesting resources from the protected area. Our approach permits an assessment of the diversity of provisioning services available to local communities, offering unique insights that would not be possible using traditional taxonomic diversity measures. These analyses introduce another

  3. Taxonomic and functional diversity provides insight into microbial pathways and stress responses in the saline Qinghai Lake, China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiuyuan Huang

    Full Text Available Microbe-mediated biogeochemical cycles contribute to the global climate system and have sensitive responses and feedbacks to environmental stress caused by climate change. Yet, little is known about the effects of microbial biodiversity (i.e., taxonmic and functional diversity on biogeochemical cycles in ecosytems that are highly sensitive to climate change. One such sensitive ecosystem is Qinghai Lake, a high-elevation (3196 m saline (1.4% lake located on the Tibetan Plateau, China. This study provides baseline information on the microbial taxonomic and functional diversity as well as the associated stress response genes. Illumina metagenomic and metatranscriptomic datasets were generated from lake water samples collected at two sites (B and E. Autotrophic Cyanobacteria dominated the DNA samples, while heterotrophic Proteobacteria dominated the RNA samples at both sites. Photoheterotrophic Loktanella was also present at both sites. Photosystem II was the most active pathway at site B; while, oxidative phosphorylation was most active at site E. Organisms that expressed photosystem II or oxidative phosphorylation also expressed genes involved in photoprotection and oxidative stress, respectively. Assimilatory pathways associated with the nitrogen cycle were dominant at both sites. Results also indicate a positive relationship between functional diversity and the number of stress response genes. This study provides insight into the stress resilience of microbial metabolic pathways supported by greater taxonomic diversity, which may affect the microbial community response to climate change.

  4. Structural Diversity and Function of Xyloglucan Sidechain Substituents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex Schultink

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Xyloglucan (XyG is a hemicellulose found in the cell walls of all land plants including early-divergent groups such as liverworts, hornworts and mosses. The basic structure of XyG, a xylosylated glucan, is similar in all of these plants but additional substituents can vary depending on plant family, tissue, and developmental stage. A comprehensive list of known XyG sidechain substituents is assembled including their occurrence within plant families, thereby providing insight into the evolutionary origin of the various sidechains. Recent advances in DNA sequencing have enabled comparative genomics approaches for the identification of XyG biosynthetic enzymes in Arabidopsis thaliana as well as in non-model plant species. Characterization of these biosynthetic genes not only allows the determination of their substrate specificity but also provides insights into the function of the various substituents in plant growth and development.

  5. The diverse neurogeography of emotional experience: form follows function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharpley, Christopher Francis; Bitsika, Vicki

    2010-12-20

    The experience of emotion underlies emotional expression and consequent action. Although several theoretical models of emotion have suggested that emotional expression is reciprocally involved with sensory inputs and behavioural responses to environmental stimuli, these discussions have largely focused upon fear and its survival value to the organism. By describing research studies across a wide range of emotions and the specific brain regions that are associated with those emotions, this review raises the hypothesis that the "form" of emotional experience neurogeography has followed the "function" associated with developing complex emotional and behavioural responses to challenging environmental stimuli. This separation of emotions within the brain thus confers a survival advantage for the organism in terms of reproduction, safety, and development of more effective problem-solving strategies. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Cyanobacterial nitrogenases: phylogenetic diversity, regulation and functional predictions

    OpenAIRE

    Esteves-Ferreira,Alberto A.; Cavalcanti,João Henrique Frota; Vaz,Marcelo Gomes Marçal Vieira; Alvarenga, Luna V.; Nunes-Nesi, Adriano; Araújo, Wagner L.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Cyanobacteria is a remarkable group of prokaryotic photosynthetic microorganisms, with several genera capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen (N2) and presenting a wide range of morphologies. Although the nitrogenase complex is not present in all cyanobacterial taxa, it is spread across several cyanobacterial strains. The nitrogenase complex has also a high theoretical potential for biofuel production, since H2 is a by-product produced during N2 fixation. In this review we discuss the...

  7. Extracellular Enzyme Activity assay as indicator of soil microbial functional diversity and activity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hendriksen, Niels Bohse; Winding, Anne

    2012-01-01

    Extracellular Enzyme Activity assay as indicator of soil microbial functional diversity and activity Niels Bohse Hendriksen, Anne Winding. Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark Soil enzymes originate from a variety of organisms, notably fungi and bacteria...... and especially hydrolytic extracellular enzymes are of pivotal importance for decomposition of organic substrates and biogeochemical cycling. Their activity reflects the functional diversity and activity of the microorganisms involved in decomposition processes which are essential processes for soil functioning......, experimental conditions of extraction of enzymes from soils, buffer and pH, substrate concentration, temperature and the necessary controls were optimized and standardized. This has resulted in an optimized standard operating procedure of EEA, which are being tested as an indicator of soil functional diversity...

  8. Effects of disturbance intensity on species and functional diversity in a tropical forest

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carreño Rocabado, G.; Peña-Claros, M.; Bongers, F.; Alarcón, A.; Licona, J.C.; Poorter, L.

    2012-01-01

    Disturbances are widespread and may affect community assembly, species composition, (functional) diversity and hence ecosystem processes. It remains still unclear to what extent disturbance-mediated species changes scale-up to changes in community functional properties, especially for species-rich

  9. Positive diversity-functioning relationships in model communities of methanotrophic bacteria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schnyder, Elvyra; Bodelier, P.L.E.; Hartmann, Martin; Henneberger, Ruth; Niklaus, Pascal A.

    2018-01-01

    Biodiversity enhances ecosystem functions such as biomass production and nutrient cycling. Although the majority of the terrestrial biodiversity is hidden in soils, very little is known about the importance of the diversity of microbial communities for soil functioning. Here, we tested effects of

  10. Curli functional amyloid systems are phylogenetically widespread and display large diversity in operon and protein structure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morten S Dueholm

    Full Text Available Escherichia coli and a few other members of the Enterobacteriales can produce functional amyloids known as curli. These extracellular fibrils are involved in biofilm formation and studies have shown that they may act as virulence factors during infections. It is not known whether curli fibrils are restricted to the Enterobacteriales or if they are phylogenetically widespread. The growing number of genome-sequenced bacteria spanning many phylogenetic groups allows a reliable bioinformatic investigation of the phylogenetic diversity of the curli system. Here we show that the curli system is phylogenetically much more widespread than initially assumed, spanning at least four phyla. Curli fibrils may consequently be encountered frequently in environmental as well as pathogenic biofilms, which was supported by identification of curli genes in public metagenomes from a diverse range of habitats. Identification and comparison of curli subunit (CsgA/B homologs show that these proteins allow a high degree of freedom in their primary protein structure, although a modular structure of tightly spaced repeat regions containing conserved glutamine, asparagine and glycine residues has to be preserved. In addition, a high degree of variability within the operon structure of curli subunits between bacterial taxa suggests that the curli fibrils might have evolved to fulfill specific functions. Variations in the genetic organization of curli genes are also seen among different bacterial genera. This suggests that some genera may utilize alternative regulatory pathways for curli expression. Comparison of phylogenetic trees of Csg proteins and the 16S rRNA genes of the corresponding bacteria showed remarkably similar overall topography, suggesting that horizontal gene transfer is a minor player in the spreading of the curli system.

  11. Staphylococcus aureus from the German general population is highly diverse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Karsten; Schaumburg, Frieder; Fegeler, Christian; Friedrich, Alexander W; Köck, Robin

    2017-01-01

    This prospective cohort study evaluates colonization dynamics and molecular characteristics of methicillin-susceptible and - resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA/MRSA) in a German general population. Nasal swabs of 1878 non-hospitalized adults were screened for S. aureus. Participants were screened thrice in intervals of 6-8 months. Isolates were characterized by spa and agr typing, mecA and mecC possession, respectively, and PCRs targeting virulence factors. 40.9% of all participants carried S. aureus at least once while 0.7% of the participants carried MRSA (mainly spa t011). MSSA isolates (n=1359) were associated with 331 different spa types; t084 (7.7%), t091 (6.1%) and t012 (71, 5.2%) were predominant. Of 206 participants carrying S. aureus at all three sampling time points, 14.1% carried the same spa type continuously; 5.3% carried different spa types with similar repeat patterns, but 80.6% carried S. aureus with unrelated spa types. MSSA isolates frequently harboured genes encoding enterotoxins (sec: 16.6%, seg: 63.1%, sei: 64.5%) and toxic shock syndrome toxin (tst: 17.5%), but rarely Panton-Valentine leukocidin (lukS-PV/lukF-PV: 0.2%). MSSA colonizing human nares in the community are clonally highly diverse. Among those constantly carrying S. aureus, clonal lineages changed over time. The proportion of persistent S. aureus carriers was lower than reported elsewhere. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  12. Scale-dependence of processes structuring dung beetle metacommunities using functional diversity and community deconstruction approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Pedro Giovâni da; Hernández, Malva Isabel Medina

    2015-01-01

    Community structure is driven by mechanisms linked to environmental, spatial and temporal processes, which have been successfully addressed using metacommunity framework. The relative importance of processes shaping community structure can be identified using several different approaches. Two approaches that are increasingly being used are functional diversity and community deconstruction. Functional diversity is measured using various indices that incorporate distinct community attributes. Community deconstruction is a way to disentangle species responses to ecological processes by grouping species with similar traits. We used these two approaches to determine whether they are improvements over traditional measures (e.g., species composition, abundance, biomass) for identification of the main processes driving dung beetle (Scarabaeinae) community structure in a fragmented mainland-island landscape in southern Brazilian Atlantic Forest. We sampled five sites in each of four large forest areas, two on the mainland and two on the island. Sampling was performed in 2012 and 2013. We collected abundance and biomass data from 100 sampling points distributed over 20 sampling sites. We studied environmental, spatial and temporal effects on dung beetle community across three spatial scales, i.e., between sites, between areas and mainland-island. The γ-diversity based on species abundance was mainly attributed to β-diversity as a consequence of the increase in mean α- and β-diversity between areas. Variation partitioning on abundance, biomass and functional diversity showed scale-dependence of processes structuring dung beetle metacommunities. We identified two major groups of responses among 17 functional groups. In general, environmental filters were important at both local and regional scales. Spatial factors were important at the intermediate scale. Our study supports the notion of scale-dependence of environmental, spatial and temporal processes in the distribution

  13. Scale-dependence of processes structuring dung beetle metacommunities using functional diversity and community deconstruction approaches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Giovâni da Silva

    Full Text Available Community structure is driven by mechanisms linked to environmental, spatial and temporal processes, which have been successfully addressed using metacommunity framework. The relative importance of processes shaping community structure can be identified using several different approaches. Two approaches that are increasingly being used are functional diversity and community deconstruction. Functional diversity is measured using various indices that incorporate distinct community attributes. Community deconstruction is a way to disentangle species responses to ecological processes by grouping species with similar traits. We used these two approaches to determine whether they are improvements over traditional measures (e.g., species composition, abundance, biomass for identification of the main processes driving dung beetle (Scarabaeinae community structure in a fragmented mainland-island landscape in southern Brazilian Atlantic Forest. We sampled five sites in each of four large forest areas, two on the mainland and two on the island. Sampling was performed in 2012 and 2013. We collected abundance and biomass data from 100 sampling points distributed over 20 sampling sites. We studied environmental, spatial and temporal effects on dung beetle community across three spatial scales, i.e., between sites, between areas and mainland-island. The γ-diversity based on species abundance was mainly attributed to β-diversity as a consequence of the increase in mean α- and β-diversity between areas. Variation partitioning on abundance, biomass and functional diversity showed scale-dependence of processes structuring dung beetle metacommunities. We identified two major groups of responses among 17 functional groups. In general, environmental filters were important at both local and regional scales. Spatial factors were important at the intermediate scale. Our study supports the notion of scale-dependence of environmental, spatial and temporal processes in

  14. Patterns of bird functional diversity on land-bridge island fragments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Zhifeng; Feeley, Kenneth J; Wang, Yanping; Pakeman, Robin J; Ding, Ping

    2013-07-01

    The loss of species diversity due to habitat fragmentation has been extensively studied. In contrast, the impacts of habitat fragmentation on functional diversity remains relatively poorly understood. We conducted bird functional diversity studies on a set of 41 recently isolated land-bridge islands in the Thousand Island Lake, China. We analysed differences in bird species richness and a recently developed suite of complementary functional diversity indices (FRic, volume of functional space occupied; FEve, evenness of abundance distribution in the functional trait space; FDiv, divergence in the distribution of abundance in the trait volume) across different gradients (island area and isolation). We found no correlations between FRic and FEve or FEve and FDiv, but negative correlations between FRic and FDiv. As predicted, island area accounted for most of the variation in bird species richness, whereas isolation explained most of the variation in species evenness (decreasing species evenness with increasing isolation). Functional diversity appears to be more strongly influenced by habitat filtering as opposed to limiting similarity. More specifically, across all islands, both FRic and FEve were significantly lower than expected for randomly assembled communities, but FDiv showed no clear patterns. FRic increased with island area, FEve decreased with island area and FDiv showed no clear patterns. Our finding that FEve decreases with island area at TIL may indicate low functional stability on such islands, and as such large islands and habitat patches may deserve extra attention and/or protection. These results help to demonstrate the importance of considering the effects of fragmentation on functional diversity in habitat management and reserve design plans. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2013 British Ecological Society.

  15. Linking microbial diversity and functionality of arctic glacial surface habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutz, Stefanie; Anesio, Alexandre M; Edwards, Arwyn; Benning, Liane G

    2017-02-01

    Distinct microbial habitats on glacial surfaces are dominated by snow and ice algae, which are the critical players and the dominant primary colonisers and net producers during the melt season. Here for the first time we have evaluated the role of these algae in association with the full microbial community composition (i.e., algae, bacteria, archaea) in distinct surface habitats and on 12 glaciers and permanent snow fields in Svalbard and Arctic Sweden. We cross-correlated these data with the analyses of specific metabolites such as fatty acids and pigments, and a full suite of potential critical physico-chemical parameters including major and minor nutrients, and trace metals. It has been shown that correlations between single algal species, metabolites, and specific geochemical parameters can be used to unravel mixed metabolic signals in complex communities, further assign them to single species and infer their functionality. The data also clearly show that the production of metabolites in snow and ice algae is driven mainly by nitrogen and less so by phosphorus limitation. This is especially important for the synthesis of secondary carotenoids, which cause a darkening of glacial surfaces leading to a decrease in surface albedo and eventually higher melting rates. © 2016 The Authors. Environmental Microbiology published by Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Bacterial cellulose biosynthesis: diversity of operons, subunits, products, and functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Römling, Ute; Galperin, Michael Y

    2015-09-01

    Recent studies of bacterial cellulose biosynthesis, including structural characterization of a functional cellulose synthase complex, provided the first mechanistic insight into this fascinating process. In most studied bacteria, just two subunits, BcsA and BcsB, are necessary and sufficient for the formation of the polysaccharide chain in vitro. Other subunits - which differ among various taxa - affect the enzymatic activity and product yield in vivo by modulating (i) the expression of the biosynthesis apparatus, (ii) the export of the nascent β-D-glucan polymer to the cell surface, and (iii) the organization of cellulose fibers into a higher-order structure. These auxiliary subunits play key roles in determining the quantity and structure of resulting biofilms, which is particularly important for the interactions of bacteria with higher organisms - leading to rhizosphere colonization and modulating the virulence of cellulose-producing bacterial pathogens inside and outside of host cells. We review the organization of four principal types of cellulose synthase operon found in various bacterial genomes, identify additional bcs genes that encode components of the cellulose biosynthesis and secretion machinery, and propose a unified nomenclature for these genes and subunits. We also discuss the role of cellulose as a key component of biofilms and in the choice between acute infection and persistence in the host. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Insight into the Molecular and Functional Diversity of Cnidarian Neuropeptides

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toshio Takahashi

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Cnidarians are the most primitive animals to possess a nervous system. This phylum is composed of the classes Scyphozoa (jellyfish, Cubozoa (box jellyfish, and Hydrozoa (e.g., Hydra, Hydractinia, which make up the subphylum Medusozoa, as well as the class Anthozoa (sea anemones and corals. Neuropeptides have an early evolutionary origin and are already abundant in cnidarians. For example, from the cnidarian Hydra, a key model system for studying the peptides involved in developmental and physiological processes, we identified a wide variety of novel neuropeptides from Hydra magnipapillata (the Hydra Peptide Project. Most of these peptides act directly on muscle cells and induce contraction and relaxation. Some peptides are involved in cell differentiation and morphogenesis. In this review, we describe FMRFamide-like peptides (FLPs, GLWamide-family peptides, and the neuropeptide Hym-355; FPQSFLPRGamide. Several hundred FLPs have been isolated from invertebrate animals such as cnidarians. GLWamide-family peptides function as signaling molecules in muscle contraction, metamorphosis, and settlement in cnidarians. Hym-355; FPQSFLPRGamide enhances neuronal differentiation in Hydra. Recently, GLWamide-family peptides and Hym-355; FPQSFLPRGamide were shown to trigger oocyte maturation and subsequent spawning in the hydrozoan jellyfish Cytaeis uchidae. These findings suggest the importance of these neuropeptides in both developmental and physiological processes.

  18. Bacterial cellulose biosynthesis: diversity of operons, subunits, products and functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Römling, Ute; Galperin, Michael Y.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Recent studies of bacterial cellulose biosynthesis, including structural characterization of a functional cellulose synthase complex, provided the first mechanistic insight into this fascinating process. In most studied bacteria, just two subunits, BcsA and BcsB, are necessary and sufficient for the formation of the polysaccharide chain in vitro. Other subunits – which differ among various taxa – affect the enzymatic activity and product yield in vivo by modulating expression of biosynthesis apparatus, export of the nascent β-D-glucan polymer to the cell surface, and the organization of cellulose fibers into a higher-order structure. These auxiliary subunits play key roles in determining the quantity and structure of the resulting biofilm, which is particularly important for interactions of bacteria with higher organisms that lead to rhizosphere colonization and modulate virulence of cellulose-producing bacterial pathogens inside and outside of host cells. Here we review the organization of four principal types of cellulose synthase operons found in various bacterial genomes, identify additional bcs genes that encode likely components of the cellulose biosynthesis and secretion machinery, and propose a unified nomenclature for these genes and subunits. We also discuss the role of cellulose as a key component of biofilms formed by a variety of free-living and pathogenic bacteria and, for the latter, in the choice between acute infection and persistence in the host. PMID:26077867

  19. Soil microbial community profiles and functional diversity in limestone cedar glades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, Jennifer M.; Dzantor, E. Kudjo; Momen, Bahram

    2016-01-01

    Rock outcrop ecosystems, such as limestone cedar glades (LCGs), are known for their rare and endemic plant species adapted to high levels of abiotic stress. Soils in LCGs are thin (functional diversity were characterized in LCGs using community level physiological profiling (CLPP) and plate-dilution frequency assays (PDFA). Most-probable number (MPN) estimates and microbial substrate-utilization diversity (H) were positively related to soil thickness, soil organic matter (OM), soil water content, and vegetation density, and were diminished in alkaline soil relative to circumneutral soil. Soil nitrate showed no relationship to SMCs, suggesting lack of N-limitation. Canonical correlation analysis indicated strong correlations between microbial CLPP patterns and several physical and chemical properties of soil, primarily temperature at the ground surface and at 4-cm depth, and secondarily soil-water content, enabling differentiation by season. Thus, it was demonstrated that several well-described abiotic determinants of plant community structure in this ecosystem are also reflected in SMC profiles.

  20. Structural Differences Explain Diverse Functions of Plasmodium Actins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vahokoski, Juha; Martinez, Silvia Muñico; Ignatev, Alexander; Lepper, Simone; Frischknecht, Friedrich; Sidén-Kiamos, Inga; Sachse, Carsten; Kursula, Inari

    2014-01-01

    Actins are highly conserved proteins and key players in central processes in all eukaryotic cells. The two actins of the malaria parasite are among the most divergent eukaryotic actins and also differ from each other more than isoforms in any other species. Microfilaments have not been directly observed in Plasmodium and are presumed to be short and highly dynamic. We show that actin I cannot complement actin II in male gametogenesis, suggesting critical structural differences. Cryo-EM reveals that Plasmodium actin I has a unique filament structure, whereas actin II filaments resemble canonical F-actin. Both Plasmodium actins hydrolyze ATP more efficiently than α-actin, and unlike any other actin, both parasite actins rapidly form short oligomers induced by ADP. Crystal structures of both isoforms pinpoint several structural changes in the monomers causing the unique polymerization properties. Inserting the canonical D-loop to Plasmodium actin I leads to the formation of long filaments in vitro. In vivo, this chimera restores gametogenesis in parasites lacking actin II, suggesting that stable filaments are required for exflagellation. Together, these data underline the divergence of eukaryotic actins and demonstrate how structural differences in the monomers translate into filaments with different properties, implying that even eukaryotic actins have faced different evolutionary pressures and followed different paths for developing their polymerization properties. PMID:24743229

  1. Chronic polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH contamination is a marginal driver for community diversity and prokaryotic predicted functioning in coastal sediments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathilde Jeanbille

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Benthic microorganisms are key players in the recycling of organic matter and recalcitrant compounds such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs in coastal sediments. Despite their ecological importance, the response of microbial communities to chronic PAH pollution, one of the major threats to coastal ecosystems, has received very little attention. In one of the largest surveys performed so far on coastal sediments, the diversity and composition of microbial communities inhabiting both chronically contaminated and non-contaminated coastal sediments were investigated using high-throughput sequencing on the 18S and 16S rRNA genes. Prokaryotic alpha-diversity showed significant association with salinity, temperature, and organic carbon content. The effect of particle size distribution was strong on eukaryotic diversity. Similarly to alpha-diversity, beta-diversity patterns were strongly influenced by the environmental filter, while PAHs had no influence on the prokaryotic community structure and a weak impact on the eukaryotic community structure at the continental scale. However, at the regional scale, PAHs became the main driver shaping the structure of bacterial and eukaryotic communities. These patterns were not found for PICRUSt predicted prokaryotic functions, thus indicating some degree of functional redundancy. Eukaryotes presented a greater potential for their use as PAH contamination biomarkers, owing to their stronger response at both regional and continental scales.

  2. Decoupling phylogenetic and functional diversity to reveal hidden signals in community assembly

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    de Bello, Francesco; Šmilauer, P.; Diniz-Filho, J. A. F.; Carmona, C. P.; Lososová, Z.; Herben, Tomáš; Götzenberger, Lars

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 8, č. 10 (2017), s. 1200-1211 ISSN 2041-210X R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA16-15012S; GA ČR GB14-36079G EU Projects: European Commission(XE) 267243 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : community ecology * phylogenetic diversity * functional diversity Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 5.708, year: 2016

  3. Microbial community diversity, function, and succession in California’s Mediterranean habitats

    OpenAIRE

    Curd, Emily Elizabeth

    2016-01-01

    We live on a predominantly microbial planet. I it is estimated that more than a billion microorganisms can live in a gram of soil. Microorganisms comprise the largest pool of genetic diversity on the planet and drive global biogeochemical cycles. Since microbial ecology is intimately associated with environment, changes in environmental conditions can have profound effects on the microbial diversity and function of microbial communities. In this dissertation I study; 1) the relationship betw...

  4. Functional Diversity as a New Framework for Understanding the Ecology of an Emerging Generalist Pathogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Aaron; Guégan, Jean-François; Benbow, M Eric; Williamson, Heather; Small, Pamela L C; Quaye, Charles; Boakye, Daniel; Merritt, Richard W; Gozlan, Rodolphe E

    2016-09-01

    Emerging infectious disease outbreaks are increasingly suspected to be a consequence of human pressures exerted on natural ecosystems. Previously, host taxonomic communities have been used as indicators of infectious disease emergence, and the loss of their diversity has been implicated as a driver of increased presence. The mechanistic details in how such pathogen-host systems function, however, may not always be explained by taxonomic variation or loss. Here we used machine learning and methods based on Gower's dissimilarity to quantify metrics of invertebrate functional diversity, in addition to functional groups and their taxonomic diversity at sites endemic and non-endemic for the model generalist pathogen Mycobacterium ulcerans, the causative agent of Buruli ulcer. Changes in these metrics allowed the rapid categorisation of the ecological niche of the mycobacterium's hosts and the ability to relate specific host traits to its presence in aquatic ecosystems. We found that taxonomic diversity of hosts and overall functional diversity loss and evenness had no bearing on the mycobacterium's presence, or whether the site was in an endemic area. These findings, however, provide strong evidence that generalist environmentally persistent bacteria such as M. ulcerans can be associated with specific functional traits rather than taxonomic groups of organisms, increasing our understanding of emerging disease ecology and origin.

  5. Cyanobacterial nitrogenases: phylogenetic diversity, regulation and functional predictions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto A. Esteves-Ferreira

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Cyanobacteria is a remarkable group of prokaryotic photosynthetic microorganisms, with several genera capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen (N2 and presenting a wide range of morphologies. Although the nitrogenase complex is not present in all cyanobacterial taxa, it is spread across several cyanobacterial strains. The nitrogenase complex has also a high theoretical potential for biofuel production, since H2 is a by-product produced during N2 fixation. In this review we discuss the significance of a relatively wide variety of cell morphologies and metabolic strategies that allow spatial and temporal separation of N2 fixation from photosynthesis in cyanobacteria. Phylogenetic reconstructions based on 16S rRNA and nifD gene sequences shed light on the evolutionary history of the two genes. Our results demonstrated that (i sequences of genes involved in nitrogen fixation (nifD from several morphologically distinct strains of cyanobacteria are grouped in similarity with their morphology classification and phylogeny, and (ii nifD genes from heterocytous strains share a common ancestor. By using this data we also discuss the evolutionary importance of processes such as horizontal gene transfer and genetic duplication for nitrogenase evolution and diversification. Finally, we discuss the importance of H2 synthesis in cyanobacteria, as well as strategies and challenges to improve cyanobacterial H2 production.

  6. Scale dependency of forest functional diversity assessed using imaging spectroscopy and airborne laser scanning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, F. D.; Morsdorf, F.; Schmid, B.; Petchey, O. L.; Hueni, A.; Schimel, D.; Schaepman, M. E.

    2016-12-01

    Forest functional traits offer a mechanistic link between ecological processes and community structure and assembly rules. However, measuring functional traits of forests in a continuous and consistent way is particularly difficult due to the complexity of in-situ measurements and geo-referencing. New imaging spectroscopy measurements overcome these limitations allowing to map physiological traits on broad spatial scales. We mapped leaf chlorophyll, carotenoids and leaf water content over 900 ha of temperate mixed forest (Fig. 1a). The selected traits are functionally important because they are indicating the photosynthetic potential of trees, leaf longevity and protection, as well as tree water and drought stress. Spatially continuous measurements on the scale of individual tree crowns allowed to assess functional diversity patterns on a range of ecological extents. We used indexes of functional richness, divergence and evenness to map different aspects of diversity. Fig. 1b shows an example of physiological richness at an extent of 240 m radius. We compared physiological to morphological diversity patterns, derived based on plant area index, canopy height and foliage height diversity. Our results show that patterns of physiological and morphological diversity generally agree, independently measured by airborne imaging spectroscopy and airborne laser scanning, respectively. The occurrence of disturbance areas and mixtures of broadleaf and needle trees were the main drivers of the observed diversity patterns. Spatial patterns at varying extents and richness-area relationships indicated that environmental filtering is the predominant community assembly process. Our results demonstrate the potential for mapping physiological and morphological diversity in a temperate mixed forest between and within species on scales relevant to study community assembly and structure from space and test the corresponding measurement schemes.

  7. Environmental drivers of fish functional diversity and composition in the Lower Colorado River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pool, T.K.; Olden, J.D.; Whittier, Joanna B.; Paukert, C.P.

    2010-01-01

    Freshwater conservation efforts require an understanding of how natural and anthropogenic factors shape the present-day biogeography of native and non-native species. This knowledge need is especially acute for imperiled native fishes in the highly modified Lower Colorado River Basin (LCRB), USA. In the present study we employed both a taxonomic and functional approach to explore how natural and human-related environmental drivers shape landscape-scale patterns of fish community composition in the LCRB. Our results showed that hydrologic alteration, watershed land use, and regional climate explained 30.3% and 44.7% of the total variation in fish community taxonomic and functional composition, respectively. Watersheds with greater dam densities and upstream storage capacity supported higher non-native functional diversity, suggesting that dams have provided additional "niche opportunities" for non-native equilibrium life-history strategists by introducing new reservoir habitat and modifying downstream flow and thermal regimes. By contrast, watersheds characterized by greater upstream land protection, lower dam densities, and higher variation in spring and summer precipitation supported fish communities with a strong complement of native species (opportunistic-periodic strategists). In conclusion, our study highlights the utility of a life-history approach to better understand the patterns and processes by which fish communities vary along environmental gradients.

  8. Functional diversity of benthic ciliate communities in response to environmental gradients in a wetland of Yangtze Estuary, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Yuan; Fan, Xinpeng; Warren, Alan; Zhang, Liquan; Xu, Henglong

    2018-02-01

    Researches on the functional diversity of benthic ecosystems have mainly focused on macrofauna, and studies on functional structure of ciliate communities have been based only on trophic- or size-groups. Current research was carried out on the changing patterns of classical and functional diversity of benthic ciliates in response to environmental gradients at three sites in a wetland in Yangtze Estuary. The results showed that changes of environmental factors (e.g. salinity, sediment grain size and hydrodynamic conditions) in the Yangtze Estuary induce variability in species composition and functional trait distribution. Furthermore, increased species richness and diversity did not lead to significant changes in functional diversity due to functional redundancy. However, salt water intrusion of Yangtze Estuary during the dry season could cause reduced functional diversity of ciliate communities. Current study provides the first insight into the functional diversity of ciliate communities in response to environmental gradients. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Functional diversity of home gardens and their agrobiodiversity conservation benefits in Benin, West Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gbedomon, Rodrigue Castro; Salako, Valère Kolawolé; Fandohan, Adandé Belarmain; Idohou, Alix Frank Rodrigue; Glèlè Kakaї, Romain; Assogbadjo, Achille Ephrem

    2017-11-25

    Understanding the functional diversity of home gardens and their socio-ecological determinants is essential for mainstreaming these agroforestry practices into agrobiodiversity conservation strategies. This paper analyzed functional diversity of home gardens, identified the socio-ecological drivers of functions assigned to them, and assessed the agrobiodiversity benefits of home gardens functions. Using data on occurring species in home garden (HG) and functions assigned to each species by the gardeners, the study combined clustering and discriminant canonical analyses to explore the functional diversity of 360 home gardens in Benin, West Africa. Next, multinomial logistic models and chi-square tests were used to analyze the effect of socio-demographic characteristics of gardeners (age, gender, and education level), agro-ecological zones (humid, sub-humid, and semi-arid), and management regime (single and multiple managers) on the possession of a functional type of home gardens. Generalized linear models were used to assess the effect of the functions of home gardens and the determinant factor on their potential in conserving agrobiodiversity. Seven functional groups of home gardens, four with specific functions (food, medicinal, or both food and medicinal) and three with multiple functions (more than two main functions), were found. Women owned most of home gardens with primarily food plant production purpose while men owned most of home gardens with primarily medicinal plant production purposes. Finding also showed that multifunctional home gardens had higher plant species diversity. Specifically, crops and crop wild relatives occurred mainly in home gardens with food function while wild plant species were mostly found in home gardens with mainly medicinal function. Home gardening is driven by functions beyond food production. These functions are mostly related to direct and extractive values of home gardens. Functions of home gardens were gendered, with women

  10. Application and Optimization of Biolog EcoPlates in Functional Diversity Studies of Soil Microbial Communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xu Wenhuan

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The biological diversity contributes to many aspects of human well-being and ecosystem function, however, we have known very little about microbial diversity due to the limitations of appropriate methodology underneath it. The development of biotech have brought revolutionary progress in the study of microbial diversity in which Biolog required to pay a lot of attention due to its ability of reflecting the metabolic situation of living microbial communities and have used widely in the study of soil microbial communities. However, there are some controversies during its operation procedure and incubation process, handling large data during the analysis might have also caused trouble in the overall process. The approach based on uses of “absolute used”, “INDIRECT” function in Excel could greatly optimize the data analysis, and the increase of principle components in Principle Component Analysis (PCA were able to extract more information from original data. Besides, the method that through “Taylor” and “logic” transformation for original data before PCA analysis could achieve data analysis optimization. This paper have presented the applications and optimization of Biolog EcoPlates in studies of functional diversity of microbial communities, presented its inherent biases and prospects, provided some reference for the applications and popularization of Biolog EcoPlates for microbial study and finally, the results imply improving the knowledge of biotech in study of soil microbial functional diversity.

  11. Comparison of Ant Community Diversity and Functional Group Composition Associated to Land Use Change in a Seasonally Dry Oak Forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuautle, M; Vergara, C H; Badano, E I

    2016-04-01

    Ants have been used to assess land use conversion, because they reflect environmental change, and their response to these changes have been useful in the identification of bioindicators. We evaluated ant diversity and composition associated to different land use change in a temperate forest (above 2000 m asl) in Mexico. The study was carried out in "Flor del Bosque" Park a vegetation mosaic of native Oak Forests and introduced Eucalyptus and grasslands. Species richness, dominance and diversity rarefaction curves, based on ant morphospecies and functional groups, were constructed and compared among the three vegetation types, for the rainy and the dry seasons of 2008-2009. Jaccard and Sorensen incidence-based indices were calculated to obtain similarity values among all the habitats. The Oak Forest was a rich dominant community, both in species and functional groups; the Eucalyptus plantation was diverse with low dominance. The most seasonality habitat was the grassland, with low species and high functional group diversity during the dry seasons, but the reverse pattern during the wet season. The Oak Forest was more similar to the Eucalyptus plantation than to the grassland, particularly during the dry season. Oak Forests are dominated by Cold Climate Specialists, specifically Prenolepis imparis (Say). The Eucalyptus and the grassland are characterized by generalized Myrmicinae, as Pheidole spp. and Monomorium ebenium (Forel). The conservation of the native Oak Forest is primordial for the maintenance of Cold Climate Specialist ant communities. The microclimatic conditions in this forest, probably, prevented the invasion by opportunistic species.

  12. Microsatellite genotyping reveals high genetic diversity but low ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    JMwacharos

    2016-03-16

    Mar 16, 2016 ... Genetic diversity and structure of goats within an early ... due to their recognized features and characteristics. The ... Genomic DNA was extracted from whole blood using. DNeasy® Blood and Tissue Kit (Qiagen GmbH, Germany). DNA concentration and purity were assessed using the BioPhotometer.

  13. Leaf and stem economics spectra drive diversity of functional plant traits in a dynamic global vegetation model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakschewski, Boris; von Bloh, Werner; Boit, Alice; Rammig, Anja; Kattge, Jens; Poorter, Lourens; Peñuelas, Josep; Thonicke, Kirsten

    2015-01-22

    Functional diversity is critical for ecosystem dynamics, stability and productivity. However, dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs) which are increasingly used to simulate ecosystem functions under global change, condense functional diversity to plant functional types (PFTs) with constant parameters. Here, we develop an individual- and trait-based version of the DGVM LPJmL (Lund-Potsdam-Jena managed Land) called LPJmL- flexible individual traits (LPJmL-FIT) with flexible individual traits) which we apply to generate plant trait maps for the Amazon basin. LPJmL-FIT incorporates empirical ranges of five traits of tropical trees extracted from the TRY global plant trait database, namely specific leaf area (SLA), leaf longevity (LL), leaf nitrogen content (Narea ), the maximum carboxylation rate of Rubisco per leaf area (vcmaxarea), and wood density (WD). To scale the individual growth performance of trees, the leaf traits are linked by trade-offs based on the leaf economics spectrum, whereas wood density is linked to tree mortality. No preselection of growth strategies is taking place, because individuals with unique trait combinations are uniformly distributed at tree establishment. We validate the modeled trait distributions by empirical trait data and the modeled biomass by a remote sensing product along a climatic gradient. Including trait variability and trade-offs successfully predicts natural trait distributions and achieves a more realistic representation of functional diversity at the local to regional scale. As sites of high climatic variability, the fringes of the Amazon promote trait divergence and the coexistence of multiple tree growth strategies, while lower plant trait diversity is found in the species-rich center of the region with relatively low climatic variability. LPJmL-FIT enables to test hypotheses on the effects of functional biodiversity on ecosystem functioning and to apply the DGVM to current challenges in ecosystem management from local

  14. Impact of Phanerochaete chrysosporium on the Functional Diversity of Bacterial Communities Associated with Decaying Wood.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincent Hervé

    Full Text Available Bacteria and fungi naturally coexist in various environments including forest ecosystems. While the role of saprotrophic basidiomycetes in wood decomposition is well established, the influence of these fungi on the functional diversity of the wood-associated bacterial communities has received much less attention. Based on a microcosm experiment, we tested the hypothesis that both the presence of the white-rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium and the wood, as a growth substrate, impacted the functional diversity of these bacterial communities. Microcosms containing sterile sawdust were inoculated with a microbial inoculum extracted from a forest soil, in presence or in absence of P. chrysosporium and subsequently, three enrichment steps were performed. First, bacterial strains were isolated from different microcosms previously analyzed by 16S rRNA gene-based pyrosequencing. Strains isolated from P. chrysosporium mycosphere showed less antagonism against this fungus compared to the strains isolated from the initial forest soil inoculum, suggesting a selection by the fungus of less inhibitory bacterial communities. Moreover, the presence of the fungus in wood resulted in a selection of cellulolytic and xylanolytic bacterial strains, highlighting the role of mycospheric bacteria in wood decomposition. Additionally, the proportion of siderophore-producing bacteria increased along the enrichment steps, suggesting an important role of bacteria in iron mobilization in decaying-wood. Finally, taxonomic identification of 311 bacterial isolates revealed, at the family level, strong similarities with the high-throughput sequencing data as well as with other studies in terms of taxonomic composition of the wood-associated bacterial community, highlighting that the isolated strains are representative of the wood-associated bacterial communities.

  15. Impact of Phanerochaete chrysosporium on the Functional Diversity of Bacterial Communities Associated with Decaying Wood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hervé, Vincent; Ketter, Elodie; Pierrat, Jean-Claude; Gelhaye, Eric; Frey-Klett, Pascale

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria and fungi naturally coexist in various environments including forest ecosystems. While the role of saprotrophic basidiomycetes in wood decomposition is well established, the influence of these fungi on the functional diversity of the wood-associated bacterial communities has received much less attention. Based on a microcosm experiment, we tested the hypothesis that both the presence of the white-rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium and the wood, as a growth substrate, impacted the functional diversity of these bacterial communities. Microcosms containing sterile sawdust were inoculated with a microbial inoculum extracted from a forest soil, in presence or in absence of P. chrysosporium and subsequently, three enrichment steps were performed. First, bacterial strains were isolated from different microcosms previously analyzed by 16S rRNA gene-based pyrosequencing. Strains isolated from P. chrysosporium mycosphere showed less antagonism against this fungus compared to the strains isolated from the initial forest soil inoculum, suggesting a selection by the fungus of less inhibitory bacterial communities. Moreover, the presence of the fungus in wood resulted in a selection of cellulolytic and xylanolytic bacterial strains, highlighting the role of mycospheric bacteria in wood decomposition. Additionally, the proportion of siderophore-producing bacteria increased along the enrichment steps, suggesting an important role of bacteria in iron mobilization in decaying-wood. Finally, taxonomic identification of 311 bacterial isolates revealed, at the family level, strong similarities with the high-throughput sequencing data as well as with other studies in terms of taxonomic composition of the wood-associated bacterial community, highlighting that the isolated strains are representative of the wood-associated bacterial communities.

  16. Addition of Rubber to soil damages the functional diversity of soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goswami, Madhurankhi; Bhattacharyya, Purnita; Tribedi, Prosun

    2017-07-01

    Rubber is a polymer of isoprene, consisting mainly of cis-1,4-polyisoprene units. The unmanageable production and its irresponsible disposal pose severe threats to environmental ecology. Therefore, the current study focuses extensively on the ill-effects of Rubber disposal on soil microbial functional diversity as it reflects the health of ecosystem by acting as a key component in ecosystem productivity. To investigate the effect of Rubber on soil microbial functional diversity, soil samples were collected from landfill sites and three different soil microcosms (Rubber treated, untreated, and sterile soil) were prepared. The soil enzymatic activity was determined by fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis followed by the determination of the microbial metabolic potential and functional diversity by average well color development and Shannon-Weaver index (H), respectively. BiOLOG ECO plates were used for determining the microbial functional diversity of the soil microcosms. Higher heterotrophic microbial count as well as higher soil microbial activity was observed in Rubber untreated soil than Rubber treated soil microcosm. The result indicated that the addition of Rubber to soil reduced soil heterotrophic microbial count and soil microbial activity considerably. Similarly, soil microbial metabolic potential as well as microbial functional diversity of soil had been decreased by the addition of Rubber gloves in it. Variation in soil microbial metabolic spectrum between Rubber treated and untreated microcosm was confirmed by multivariate analysis. Collectively, all the results demonstrated that the addition of Rubber to soil reduced the soil microbial functional diversity considerably. Therefore, it is necessary for the commission of serious steps regarding Rubber disposal and protection of the environment from serious environmental issues.

  17. Relative roles of local disturbance, current climate and palaeoclimate in determining phylogenetic and functional diversity in Chinese forests

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Feng, Gang; Mi, Xiangcheng; Bøcher, Peder Klith

    2014-01-01

    studied, their relative importance for other aspects of diversity, notably phylogenetic and functional diversity is so far little studied. Here, we link data from large Chinese forest plots to data on current and Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) climate as well as local disturbance regimes to study...... their relative roles in determining woody plant phylogenetic and functional diversity in this important hotspot for woody plant diversity. Local disturbance was the best predictor of functional diversity as represented by maximum canopy height (Hmax), probably reflecting the dominant role of competition...... importance for the geographic patterns of the functional (as represented by variation in maximum canopy height) and phylogenetic aspects of Chinese forest's woody plant diversity. Importantly, contemporary factors are of overriding importance for functional diversity, while paleoclimate has left a strong...

  18. Parametric scaling from species to growth-form diversity: an interesting analogy with multifractal functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricotta, Carlo; Pacini, Alessandra; Avena, Giancarlo

    2002-01-01

    We propose a measure of divergence from species to life-form diversity aimed at summarizing the ecological similarity among different plant communities without losing information on traditional taxonomic diversity. First, species and life-form relative abundances within a given plant community are determined. Next, using Rényi's generalized entropy, the diversity profiles of the analyzed community are computed both from species and life-form relative abundances. Finally, the speed of decrease from species to life-form diversity is obtained by combining the outcome of both profiles. Interestingly, the proposed measure shows some formal analogies with multifractal functions developed in statistical physics for the analysis of spatial patterns. As an application for demonstration, a small data set from a plant community sampled in the archaeological site of Paestum (southern Italy) is used.

  19. Trait choice profoundly affected the ecological conclusions drawn from functional diversity measures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Linhai; Fu, Bojie; Zhu, Huoxing; Wang, Cong; Jiao, Lei; Zhou, Ji

    2017-06-16

    Although trait choice is crucial to quantify functional diversity appropriately, the quantitative methods for it are rarely compared and discussed. Meanwhile, very little is known about how trait choice affects ecological conclusions drawn from functional diversity measures. We presented the four methods of trait selection as alternatives to the ordination axis-based method, which directly identify a subset of key traits to represent the main variation of all the traits. To evaluate their performance, we compared the closeness of association obtained by different methods between species richness and functional diversity indices (FAD, FD, Q, FDis) in the six ecosystems. The evaluation was also benchmarked against the results obtained by calculating the possible indices using all the trait combinations (the complete search method). We found that the trait selection methods were potential alternatives to axis-based method to gain a mechanistic understanding of functional responses and effects of traits, while these methods as well as the axis-based method possibly use mismatched information to interpret the investigated ecosystem properties. Trait choice profoundly affected the ecological conclusions drawn from functional diversity measures. The complete search method should be used to assess the rationale of different trait choice methods and the quality of the calculated indices.

  20. Comparative Genomics Reveals High Genomic Diversity in the Genus Photobacterium

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Machado, Henrique; Gram, Lone

    2017-01-01

    Vibrionaceae is a large marine bacterial family, which can constitute up to 50% of the prokaryotic population in marine waters. Photobacterium is the second largest genus in the family and we used comparative genomics on 35 strains representing 16 of the 28 species described so far, to understand...... the genomic diversity present in the Photobacterium genus. Such understanding is important for ecophysiology studies of the genus. We used whole genome sequences to evaluate phylogenetic relationships using several analyses (16S rRNA, MLSA, fur, amino-acid usage, ANI), which allowed us to identify two...... misidentified strains. Genome analyses also revealed occurrence of higher and lower GC content clades, correlating with phylogenetic clusters. Pan-and core-genome analysis revealed the conservation of 25% of the genome throughout the genus, with a large and open pan-genome. The major source of genomic diversity...

  1. DNA shuffling of adeno-associated virus yields functionally diverse viral progeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koerber, James T; Jang, Jae-Hyung; Schaffer, David V

    2008-10-01

    Adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors are extremely effective gene-delivery vehicles for a broad range of applications. However, the therapeutic efficacy of these and other vectors is currently limited by barriers to safe, efficient gene delivery, including pre-existing antiviral immunity, and infection of off-target cells. Recently, we have implemented directed evolution of AAV, involving the generation of randomly mutagenized viral libraries based on serotype 2 and high-throughput selection, to engineer enhanced viral vectors. Here, we significantly extend this capability by performing high-efficiency in vitro recombination to create a large (10(7)), diverse library of random chimeras of numerous parent AAV serotypes (AAV1, 2, 4-6, 8, and 9). In order to analyze the extent to which such highly chimeric viruses can be viable, we selected the library for efficient viral packaging and infection, and successfully recovered numerous novel chimeras. These new viruses exhibited a broad range of cell tropism both in vitro and in vivo and enhanced resistance to human intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), highlighting numerous functional differences between these chimeras and their parent serotypes. Thus, directed evolution can potentially yield unlimited numbers of new AAV variants with novel gene-delivery properties, and subsequent analysis of these variants can further extend basic knowledge of AAV biology.

  2. High-resolution genome-wide in vivo footprinting of diverse transcription factors in human cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyle, Alan P; Song, Lingyun; Lee, Bum-Kyu; London, Darin; Keefe, Damian; Birney, Ewan; Iyer, Vishwanath R; Crawford, Gregory E; Furey, Terrence S

    2011-03-01

    Regulation of gene transcription in diverse cell types is determined largely by varied sets of cis-elements where transcription factors bind. Here we demonstrate that data from a single high-throughput DNase I hypersensitivity assay can delineate hundreds of thousands of base-pair resolution in vivo footprints in human cells that precisely mark individual transcription factor-DNA interactions. These annotations provide a unique resource for the investigation of cis-regulatory elements. We find that footprints for specific transcription factors correlate with ChIP-seq enrichment and can accurately identify functional versus nonfunctional transcription factor motifs. We also find that footprints reveal a unique evolutionary conservation pattern that differentiates functional footprinted bases from surrounding DNA. Finally, detailed analysis of CTCF footprints suggests multiple modes of binding and a novel DNA binding motif upstream of the primary binding site.

  3. Captured metagenomics: large-scale targeting of genes based on 'sequence capture' reveals functional diversity in soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manoharan, Lokeshwaran; Kushwaha, Sandeep K; Hedlund, Katarina; Ahrén, Dag

    2015-12-01

    Microbial enzyme diversity is a key to understand many ecosystem processes. Whole metagenome sequencing (WMG) obtains information on functional genes, but it is costly and inefficient due to large amount of sequencing that is required. In this study, we have applied a captured metagenomics technique for functional genes in soil microorganisms, as an alternative to WMG. Large-scale targeting of functional genes, coding for enzymes related to organic matter degradation, was applied to two agricultural soil communities through captured metagenomics. Captured metagenomics uses custom-designed, hybridization-based oligonucleotide probes that enrich functional genes of interest in metagenomic libraries where only probe-bound DNA fragments are sequenced. The captured metagenomes were highly enriched with targeted genes while maintaining their target diversity and their taxonomic distribution correlated well with the traditional ribosomal sequencing. The captured metagenomes were highly enriched with genes related to organic matter degradation; at least five times more than similar, publicly available soil WMG projects. This target enrichment technique also preserves the functional representation of the soils, thereby facilitating comparative metagenomics projects. Here, we present the first study that applies the captured metagenomics approach in large scale, and this novel method allows deep investigations of central ecosystem processes by studying functional gene abundances. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Kazusa DNA Research Institute.

  4. Phylogenetic and ecological analyses of soil and sporocarp DNA sequences reveal high diversity and strong habitat partitioning in the boreal ectomycorrhizal genus Russula (Russulales; Basidiomycota)

    Science.gov (United States)

    József Geml; Gary A. Laursen; Ian C. Herriott; Jack M. McFarland; Michael G. Booth; Niall Lennon; H. Chad Nusbaum; D. Lee Taylor

    2010-01-01

    Although critical for the functioning of ecosystems, fungi are poorly known in high-latitude regions. Here, we provide the first genetic diversity assessment of one of the most diverse and abundant ectomycorrhizal genera in Alaska: Russula. We analyzed internal transcribed spacer rDNA sequences from sporocarps and soil samples using phylogenetic...

  5. Complex depth-related patterns in taxonomic and functional diversity of polychaetes in the Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Russell; Wei, Chih-Lin; Rowe, Gilbert; Schulze, Anja

    2013-10-01

    Patterns of taxonomic and functional diversity in polychaete assemblages were examined in the deep northern Gulf of Mexico, including the first analysis of polychaete feeding guild distribution. An analysis of samples from a total of 51 stations located along 7 transects plus additional nearby sites, indicated that density decreased exponentially with depth, with the central locations having higher densities than the eastern and western regions. Alpha diversity was also highest at the central stations associated with the Mississippi trough. The samples can be grouped into three significant clusters based on thirty percent similarity of species composition. BIO-ENV indicated depth, sediment particle size, and export POC were most important variables explaining distributions. The diversity of polychaete feeding guilds was high in the Mississippi trough, upper and mid-slope regions but declined to a few guilds on the Sigsbee abyssal plain. Combining feeding guild analysis with traditional analysis of species diversity contributes to a clearer understanding of trophic diversity in deep-sea benthic assemblages.

  6. Novel and conserved protein macoilin is required for diverse neuronal functions in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akiko Miyara

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Neural signals are processed in nervous systems of animals responding to variable environmental stimuli. This study shows that a novel and highly conserved protein, macoilin (MACO-1, plays an essential role in diverse neural functions in Caenorhabditis elegans. maco-1 mutants showed abnormal behaviors, including defective locomotion, thermotaxis, and chemotaxis. Expression of human macoilin in the C. elegans nervous system weakly rescued the abnormal thermotactic phenotype of the maco-1 mutants, suggesting that macoilin is functionally conserved across species. Abnormal thermotaxis may have been caused by impaired locomotion of maco-1 mutants. However, calcium imaging of AFD thermosensory neurons and AIY postsynaptic interneurons of maco-1 mutants suggest that macoilin is required for appropriate responses of AFD and AIY neurons to thermal stimuli. Studies on localization of MACO-1 showed that C. elegans and human macoilins are localized mainly to the rough endoplasmic reticulum. Our results suggest that macoilin is required for various neural events, such as the regulation of neuronal activity.

  7. Diversity and function of prevalent symbiotic marine bacteria in the genus Endozoicomonas

    KAUST Repository

    Neave, Matthew J.

    2016-08-24

    Endozoicomonas bacteria are emerging as extremely diverse and flexible symbionts of numerous marine hosts inhabiting oceans worldwide. Their hosts range from simple invertebrate species, such as sponges and corals, to complex vertebrates, such as fish. Although widely distributed, the functional role of Endozoicomonas within their host microenvironment is not well understood. In this review, we provide a summary of the currently recognized hosts of Endozoicomonas and their global distribution. Next, the potential functional roles of Endozoicomonas, particularly in light of recent microscopic, genomic, and genetic analyses, are discussed. These analyses suggest that Endozoicomonas typically reside in aggregates within host tissues, have a free-living stage due to their large genome sizes, show signs of host and local adaptation, participate in host-associated protein and carbohydrate transport and cycling, and harbour a high degree of genomic plasticity due to the large proportion of transposable elements residing in their genomes. This review will finish with a discussion on the methodological tools currently employed to study Endozoicomonas and host interactions and review future avenues for studying complex host-microbial symbioses.

  8. Functional characterization of sugarcane mustang domesticated transposases and comparative diversity in sugarcane, rice, maize and sorghum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Kajihara

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Transposable elements (TEs account for a large portion of plant genomes, particularly in grasses, in which they correspond to 50%-80% of the genomic content. TEs have recently been shown to be a source of new genes and new regulatory networks. The most striking contribution of TEs is referred as “molecular domestication”, by which the element coding sequence loses its movement capacity and acquires cellular function. Recently, domesticated transposases known as mustang and derived from the Mutator element have been described in sugarcane. In order to improve our understanding of the function of these proteins, we identified mustang genes from Sorghum bicolor and Zea mays and performed a phenetic analysis to assess the diversity and evolutionary history of this gene family. This analysis identified orthologous groups and showed that mustang genes are highly conserved in grass genomes. We also explored the transcriptional activity of sugarcane mustang genes in heterologous and homologous systems. These genes were found to be ubiquitously transcribed, with shoot apical meristem having the highest expression levels, and were downregulated by phytohormones. Together, these findings suggest the possible involvement of mustang proteins in the maintenance of hormonal homeostasis.

  9. Ecosystem services transcend boundaries: estuaries provide resource subsidies and influence functional diversity in coastal benthic communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Candida Savage

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Estuaries are highly productive ecosystems that can export organic matter to coastal seas (the 'outwelling hypothesis'. However the role of this food resource subsidy on coastal ecosystem functioning has not been examined. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We investigated the influence of estuarine primary production as a resource subsidy and the influence of estuaries on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in coastal mollusk-dominated sediment communities. Stable isotope values (δ(13C, δ(15N demonstrated that estuarine primary production was exported to the adjacent coast and contributed to secondary production up to 4 km from the estuary mouth. Further, isotope signatures of suspension feeding bivalves on the adjacent coast (Dosinia subrosea closely mirrored the isotope values of the dominant bivalves inside the estuaries (Austrovenus stutchburyi, indicating utilization of similar organic matter sources. However, the food subsidies varied between estuaries; with estuarine suspended particulate organic matter (SPOM dominant at Tairua estuary, while seagrass and fringing vegetation detritus was proportionately more important at Whangapoua estuary, with lesser contributions of estuarine SPOM. Distance from the estuary mouth and the size and density of large bivalves (Dosinia spp. had a significant influence on the composition of biological traits in the coastal macrobenthic communities, signaling the potential influence of these spatial subsidies on ecosystem functioning. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our study demonstrated that the locations where ecosystem services like productivity are generated are not necessarily where the services are utilized. Further, we identified indirect positive effects of the nutrient subsidies on biodiversity (the estuarine subsidies influenced the bivalves, which in turn affected the diversity and functional trait composition of the coastal sediment macrofaunal communities. These findings highlight the

  10. Ecosystem services transcend boundaries: estuaries provide resource subsidies and influence functional diversity in coastal benthic communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage, Candida; Thrush, Simon F; Lohrer, Andrew M; Hewitt, Judi E

    2012-01-01

    Estuaries are highly productive ecosystems that can export organic matter to coastal seas (the 'outwelling hypothesis'). However the role of this food resource subsidy on coastal ecosystem functioning has not been examined. We investigated the influence of estuarine primary production as a resource subsidy and the influence of estuaries on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in coastal mollusk-dominated sediment communities. Stable isotope values (δ(13)C, δ(15)N) demonstrated that estuarine primary production was exported to the adjacent coast and contributed to secondary production up to 4 km from the estuary mouth. Further, isotope signatures of suspension feeding bivalves on the adjacent coast (Dosinia subrosea) closely mirrored the isotope values of the dominant bivalves inside the estuaries (Austrovenus stutchburyi), indicating utilization of similar organic matter sources. However, the food subsidies varied between estuaries; with estuarine suspended particulate organic matter (SPOM) dominant at Tairua estuary, while seagrass and fringing vegetation detritus was proportionately more important at Whangapoua estuary, with lesser contributions of estuarine SPOM. Distance from the estuary mouth and the size and density of large bivalves (Dosinia spp.) had a significant influence on the composition of biological traits in the coastal macrobenthic communities, signaling the potential influence of these spatial subsidies on ecosystem functioning. Our study demonstrated that the locations where ecosystem services like productivity are generated are not necessarily where the services are utilized. Further, we identified indirect positive effects of the nutrient subsidies on biodiversity (the estuarine subsidies influenced the bivalves, which in turn affected the diversity and functional trait composition of the coastal sediment macrofaunal communities). These findings highlight the importance of integrative ecosystem-based management that maintains the

  11. High amino acid diversity and positive selection at a putative coral immunity gene (tachylectin-2

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hellberg Michael E

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Genes involved in immune functions, including pathogen recognition and the activation of innate defense pathways, are among the most genetically variable known, and the proteins that they encode are often characterized by high rates of amino acid substitutions, a hallmark of positive selection. The high levels of variation characteristic of immunity genes make them useful tools for conservation genetics. To date, highly variable immunity genes have yet to be found in corals, keystone organisms of the world's most diverse marine ecosystem, the coral reef. Here, we examine variation in and selection on a putative innate immunity gene from Oculina, a coral genus previously used as a model for studies of coral disease and bleaching. Results In a survey of 244 Oculina alleles, we find high nonsynonymous variation and a signature of positive selection, consistent with a putative role in immunity. Using computational protein structure prediction, we generate a structural model of the Oculina protein that closely matches the known structure of tachylectin-2 from the Japanese horseshoe crab (Tachypleus tridentatus, a protein with demonstrated function in microbial recognition and agglutination. We also demonstrate that at least three other genera of anthozoan cnidarians (Acropora, Montastrea and Nematostella possess proteins structurally similar to tachylectin-2. Conclusions Taken together, the evidence of high amino acid diversity, positive selection and structural correspondence to the horseshoe crab tachylectin-2 suggests that this protein is 1 part of Oculina's innate immunity repertoire, and 2 evolving adaptively, possibly under selective pressure from coral-associated microorganisms. Tachylectin-2 may serve as a candidate locus to screen coral populations for their capacity to respond adaptively to future environmental change.

  12. Landscape constraints on functional diversity of birds and insects in tropical agroecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tscharntke, Teja; Sekercioglu, Cagan H; Dietsch, Thomas V; Sodhi, Navjot S; Hoehn, Patrick; Tylianakis, Jason M

    2008-04-01

    In this paper, we analyze databases [corrected] on birds and insects to assess patterns of functional diversity in human-dominated landscapes in the tropics. A perspective from developed landscapes is essential for understanding remnant natural ecosystems, because most species experience their surroundings at spatial scales beyond the plot level, and spillover between natural and managed ecosystems is common. Agricultural bird species have greater habitat and diet breadth than forest species. Based on a global data base, bird assemblages in tropical agroforest ecosystems were composed of disproportionately more frugivorous and nectarivorous, but fewer insectivorous bird species compared with forest. Similarly, insect predators of plant-feeding arthropods were more diverse in Ecuadorian agroforest and forest compared with rice and pasture, while, in Indonesia, bee diversity was also higher in forested habitats. Hence, diversity of insectivorous birds and insect predators as well as bee pollinators declined with agricultural transformation. In contrast, with increasing agricultural intensification, avian pollinators and seed dispersers initially increase then decrease in proportion. It is well established that the proximity of agricultural habitats to forests has a strong influence on the functional diversity of agroecosystems. Community similarity is higher among agricultural systems than in natural habitats and higher in simple than in complex landscapes for both birds and insects, so natural communities, low-intensity agriculture, and heterogeneous landscapes appear to be critical in the preservation of beta diversity. We require a better understanding of the relative role of landscape composition and the spatial configuration of landscape elements in affecting spillover of functionally important species across managed and natural habitats. This is important for data-based management of tropical human-dominated landscapes sustaining the capacity of communities to

  13. Response of rocky invertebrate diversity, structure and function to the vertical layering of vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bustamante, María; Tajadura, Javier; Gorostiaga, José María; Saiz-Salinas, José Ignacio

    2014-06-01

    Macroalgae comprise a prominent part of the rocky benthos where many invertebrates develop, and are believed to be undergoing severe declines worldwide. In order to investigate how the vegetation structure (crustose, basal and canopy layers) contributes to the diversity, structure and function of benthic invertebrates, a total of 31 subtidal transects were sampled along the northeast Atlantic coast of Spain. Significant positive relationships were found between the canopy layer and faunal abundance, taxonomic diversity and functional group diversity. Canopy forming algae were also related to epiphytic invertebrates, medium size forms, colonial strategy and suspensivores. By contrast, basal algae showed negative relationships with all variables tested except for detritivores. Multivariate multiple regression analyses (DISTLM) point to crustose as well as canopy layers as the best link between seaweeds and invertebrate assemblage structure. A close relationship was found between taxonomic and functional diversities. In general, low levels of taxonomic redundancy were detected for functional groups correlated with vegetation structure. A conceptual model based on the results is proposed, describing distinct stages of invertebrate assemblages in relation to the vertical structure of vegetation.

  14. Ethnic Diversity in Schools and Bi-Ethnic Dutch Students' Educational Outcomes and Social Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karssen, Merlijn; van der Veen, Ineke; Volman, Monique

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined the relationship between ethnic diversity in school and educational outcomes, social-emotional functioning, and citizenship competences for bi-ethnic students. The focus of this study is bi-ethnic children with 1 non-migrant parent (with 2 non-migrant grandparents) and 1 migrant parent (with 2 foreign grandparents). It…

  15. Ethnic diversity in schools and bi-ethnic Dutch students’ educational outcomes and social functioning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Karssen, M.; van der Veen, I.; Volman, M.

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined the relationship between ethnic diversity in school and educational outcomes, social-emotional functioning, and citizenship competences for bi-ethnic students. The focus of this study is bi-ethnic children with 1 non-migrant parent (with 2 non-migrant grandparents) and 1

  16. Microbial functional diversity and enzymatic activity of soil degraded by sulphur mining reclaimed with various waste

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joniec, Jolanta; Frąc, Magdalena

    2017-10-01

    The aim of the study was to evaluate microbial functional diversity based on community level physiological profiling and β-glucosidase activity changes in soil degraded by sulphur mining and subjected to reclamation with various waste. The experiment was set up in the area of the former `Jeziórko' Sulphur Mine (Poland), on a soilless substrate with a particle size distribution of slightly loamy sand. The experimental variants included the application of post-flotation lime, sewage sludge and mineral wool. The analyses of soil samples included the assessment of the following microbiological indices: β-glucosidase activity and functional diversity average well color development and richness). The results indicate that sewage sludge did not exert a significant impact on the functional diversity of microorganisms present in the reclaimed soil. In turn, the application of other types of waste contributed to a significant increase in the parameters of total metabolic activity and functional diversity of the reclaimed soil. However, the temporal analysis of the metabolic profile of soil microorganisms demonstrated that a single application of waste did not yield a durable, stable metabolic profile in the reclaimed soil. Still, there was an increase in β-glucosidase activity, especially in objects treated with sewage sludge.

  17. Effects of the core functions of government on the diversity of executive agendas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jennings, W.; Bevan, S.; Timmermans, A.; Breeman, G.E.; Brouard, S.; Chaqués-Bonafont, L.; Green-Pedersen, C.; John, P.; Mortensen, P.B.; Palau Roque, A.

    2011-01-01

    The distribution of attention across issues is of fundamental importance to the political agenda and outputs of government. This article presents an issue-based theory of the diversity of governing agendas where the core functions of government—defense, international affairs, the economy, government

  18. Functional diversity of marine macrobenthic communities from sublittoral soft-sediment habitats off northern Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacheco, Aldo S.; González, Maria Teresa; Bremner, Julie; Oliva, Marcelo; Heilmayer, Olaf; Laudien, Jürgen; Riascos, José M.

    2011-09-01

    Benthic communities show changes in composition and structure across different environmental characteristics and habitats. However, incorporating species biological traits into the analysis can provide a better understanding of system functioning within habitats. We compare the functional diversity of macrobenthic communities from a contrasting shallow (15 m) and deep (50 m) sublittoral soft-sediment habitats in northern Chile, using biological traits analysis. Our aim was to highlight the biological characteristics responsible for differences between habitats and the implications for ecosystem functioning. Trait analysis showed that the deep habitat was restricted in providing functionally important biogenic structure and bioturbation and supports less diverse feeding-related energy pathways. The shallow habitat is characterized by more diverse energy pathways and a higher potential for matter exchange through bioturbation. We provide support to the predictions of transfer of energy from the benthos to upper trophic levels in the shallow, which is characterized mainly by normoxia and little organic matter content in the sediment. In the deep habitat, characterized by hypoxia and more organic matter, energy appears to be transferred to microbial components. We suggest that trait analysis should be added to the traditional approaches based on species diversity, because it provides indicators of ecosystem stress.

  19. Preoperative determinant of early postoperative renal function following radical cystectomy and intestinal urinary diversion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gondo, Tatsuo; Ohno, Yoshio; Nakashima, Jun; Hashimoto, Takeshi; Nakagami, Yoshihiro; Tachibana, Masaaki

    2017-02-01

    To identify preoperative factors correlated with postoperative early renal function in patients who had undergone radical cystectomy (RC) and intestinal urinary diversion. We retrospectively identified 201 consecutive bladder cancer patients without distant metastasis who had undergone RC at our institution between 2003 and 2012. The estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was calculated using the modified Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology equation before RC and 3 months following RC. Univariate and stepwise multiple linear regression analyses were applied to estimate postoperative renal function and to identify significant preoperative predictors of postoperative renal function. Patients who had undergone intestinal urinary diversion and were available for the collection of follow-up data (n = 164) were eligible for the present study. Median preoperative and postoperative eGFRs were 69.7 (interquartile range [IQR] 56.3-78.0) and 70.7 (IQR 57.3-78.1), respectively. In univariate analyses, age, preoperative proteinuria, thickness of abdominal subcutaneous fat tissue (TSF), preoperative serum creatinine level, preoperative eGFR, and urinary diversion type were significantly associated with postoperative eGFR. In a stepwise multiple linear regression analysis, preoperative eGFR, age, and TSF were significant factors for predicting postoperative eGFR (p function in patients who had undergone RC and intestinal urinary diversion. These results may be used for patient counseling before surgery, including the planning of perioperative chemotherapy administration.

  20. Parent Cultural Adaptation and Child Functioning in Culturally Diverse, Urban Families of Preschoolers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calzada, Esther J.; Brotman, Laurie Miller; Huang, Keng-Yen; Bat-Chava, Yael; Kingston, Sharon

    2008-01-01

    Parent cultural adaptation and preschool behavioral and socioemotional functioning were examined in a community sample of urban families from diverse cultural backgrounds. Participants were 130 families of children (mean age = 4.1 years) attending eight public Pre-Kindergarten programs in urban communities. Parents completed a measure of cultural…

  1. Effects of plant diversity, functional group composition, and fertilization on soil microbial properties in experimental grassland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanja Strecker

    Full Text Available Loss of biodiversity and increased nutrient inputs are two of the most crucial anthropogenic factors driving ecosystem change. Although both received considerable attention in previous studies, information on their interactive effects on ecosystem functioning is scarce. In particular, little is known on how soil biota and their functions are affected by combined changes in plant diversity and fertilization.We investigated the effects of plant diversity, functional community composition, and fertilization on the biomass and respiration of soil microbial communities in a long-term biodiversity experiment in semi-natural grassland (Jena Experiment. Plant species richness enhanced microbial basal respiration and microbial biomass, but did not significantly affect microbial specific respiration. In contrast, the presence of legumes and fertilization significantly decreased microbial specific respiration, without altering microbial biomass. The effect of legumes was superimposed by fertilization as indicated by a significant interaction between the presence of legumes and fertilization. Further, changes in microbial stoichiometry (C-to-N ratio and specific respiration suggest the presence of legumes to reduce N limitation of soil microorganisms and to modify microbial C use efficiency.Our study highlights the role of plant species and functional group diversity as well as interactions between plant community composition and fertilizer application for soil microbial functions. Our results suggest soil microbial stoichiometry to be a powerful indicator of microbial functioning under N limited conditions. Although our results support the notion that plant diversity and fertilizer application independently affect microbial functioning, legume effects on microbial N limitation were superimposed by fertilization, indicating significant interactions between the functional composition of plant communities and nutrient inputs for soil processes.

  2. Effects of plant diversity, functional group composition, and fertilization on soil microbial properties in experimental grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strecker, Tanja; Barnard, Romain L; Niklaus, Pascal A; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Weigelt, Alexandra; Scheu, Stefan; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2015-01-01

    Loss of biodiversity and increased nutrient inputs are two of the most crucial anthropogenic factors driving ecosystem change. Although both received considerable attention in previous studies, information on their interactive effects on ecosystem functioning is scarce. In particular, little is known on how soil biota and their functions are affected by combined changes in plant diversity and fertilization. We investigated the effects of plant diversity, functional community composition, and fertilization on the biomass and respiration of soil microbial communities in a long-term biodiversity experiment in semi-natural grassland (Jena Experiment). Plant species richness enhanced microbial basal respiration and microbial biomass, but did not significantly affect microbial specific respiration. In contrast, the presence of legumes and fertilization significantly decreased microbial specific respiration, without altering microbial biomass. The effect of legumes was superimposed by fertilization as indicated by a significant interaction between the presence of legumes and fertilization. Further, changes in microbial stoichiometry (C-to-N ratio) and specific respiration suggest the presence of legumes to reduce N limitation of soil microorganisms and to modify microbial C use efficiency. Our study highlights the role of plant species and functional group diversity as well as interactions between plant community composition and fertilizer application for soil microbial functions. Our results suggest soil microbial stoichiometry to be a powerful indicator of microbial functioning under N limited conditions. Although our results support the notion that plant diversity and fertilizer application independently affect microbial functioning, legume effects on microbial N limitation were superimposed by fertilization, indicating significant interactions between the functional composition of plant communities and nutrient inputs for soil processes.

  3. Structurally diverse MDM2-p53 antagonists act as modulators of MDR-1 function in neuroblastoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, L; Zhao, Y; Halliday, G C; Berry, P; Rousseau, R F; Middleton, S A; Nichols, G L; Del Bello, F; Piergentili, A; Newell, D R; Lunec, J; Tweddle, D A

    2014-08-12

    A frequent mechanism of acquired multidrug resistance in human cancers is overexpression of ATP-binding cassette transporters such as the Multi-Drug Resistance Protein 1 (MDR-1). Nutlin-3, an MDM2-p53 antagonist, has previously been reported to be a competitive MDR-1 inhibitor. This study assessed whether the structurally diverse MDM2-p53 antagonists, MI-63, NDD0005, and RG7388 are also able to modulate MDR-1 function, particularly in p53 mutant neuroblastoma cells, using XTT-based cell viability assays, western blotting, and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis. Verapamil and the MDM2-p53 antagonists potentiated vincristine-mediated growth inhibition in a concentration-dependent manner when used in combination with high MDR-1-expressing p53 mutant neuroblastoma cell lines at concentrations that did not affect the viability of cells when given alone. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses showed that verapamil, Nutlin-3, MI-63 and NDD0005, but not RG7388, led to increased intracellular levels of vincristine in high MDR-1-expressing cell lines. These results show that in addition to Nutlin-3, other structurally unrelated MDM2-p53 antagonists can also act as MDR-1 inhibitors and reverse MDR-1-mediated multidrug resistance in neuroblastoma cell lines in a p53-independent manner. These findings are important for future clinical trial design with MDM2-p53 antagonists when used in combination with agents that are MDR-1 substrates.

  4. Climate mediates hypoxic stress on fish diversity and nursery function at the land–sea interface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Brent B.; Levey, Matthew D.; Fountain, Monique C.; Carlisle, Aaron B.; Chavez, Francisco P.; Gleason, Mary G.

    2015-01-01

    Coastal ecosystems provide numerous important ecological services, including maintenance of biodiversity and nursery grounds for many fish species of ecological and economic importance. However, human population growth has led to increased pollution, ocean warming, hypoxia, and habitat alteration that threaten ecosystem services. In this study, we used long-term datasets of fish abundance, water quality, and climatic factors to assess the threat of hypoxia and the regulating effects of climate on fish diversity and nursery conditions in Elkhorn Slough, a highly eutrophic estuary in central California (United States), which also serves as a biodiversity hot spot and critical nursery grounds for offshore fisheries in a broader region. We found that hypoxic conditions had strong negative effects on extent of suitable fish habitat, fish species richness, and abundance of the two most common flatfish species, English sole (Parophrys vetulus) and speckled sanddab (Citharichthys stigmaeus). The estuary serves as an important nursery ground for English sole, making this species vulnerable to anthropogenic threats. We determined that estuarine hypoxia was associated with significant declines in English sole nursery habitat, with cascading effects on recruitment to the offshore adult population and fishery, indicating that human land use activities can indirectly affect offshore fisheries. Estuarine hypoxic conditions varied spatially and temporally and were alleviated by strengthening of El Niño conditions through indirect pathways, a consistent result in most estuaries across the northeast Pacific. These results demonstrate that changes to coastal land use and climate can fundamentally alter the diversity and functioning of coastal nurseries and their adjacent ocean ecosystems. PMID:26056293

  5. Climate mediates hypoxic stress on fish diversity and nursery function at the land-sea interface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Brent B; Levey, Matthew D; Fountain, Monique C; Carlisle, Aaron B; Chavez, Francisco P; Gleason, Mary G

    2015-06-30

    Coastal ecosystems provide numerous important ecological services, including maintenance of biodiversity and nursery grounds for many fish species of ecological and economic importance. However, human population growth has led to increased pollution, ocean warming, hypoxia, and habitat alteration that threaten ecosystem services. In this study, we used long-term datasets of fish abundance, water quality, and climatic factors to assess the threat of hypoxia and the regulating effects of climate on fish diversity and nursery conditions in Elkhorn Slough, a highly eutrophic estuary in central California (United States), which also serves as a biodiversity hot spot and critical nursery grounds for offshore fisheries in a broader region. We found that hypoxic conditions had strong negative effects on extent of suitable fish habitat, fish species richness, and abundance of the two most common flatfish species, English sole (Parophrys vetulus) and speckled sanddab (Citharichthys stigmaeus). The estuary serves as an important nursery ground for English sole, making this species vulnerable to anthropogenic threats. We determined that estuarine hypoxia was associated with significant declines in English sole nursery habitat, with cascading effects on recruitment to the offshore adult population and fishery, indicating that human land use activities can indirectly affect offshore fisheries. Estuarine hypoxic conditions varied spatially and temporally and were alleviated by strengthening of El Niño conditions through indirect pathways, a consistent result in most estuaries across the northeast Pacific. These results demonstrate that changes to coastal land use and climate can fundamentally alter the diversity and functioning of coastal nurseries and their adjacent ocean ecosystems.

  6. Diversification dynamics, species sorting, and changes in the functional diversity of marine benthic gastropods during the Pliocene-Quaternary at temperate western South America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivadeneira, Marcelo M; Nielsen, Sven N

    2017-01-01

    Functional diversity based on species traits is a powerful tool to investigate how changes in species richness and composition affect ecosystem functioning. However, studies aimed at understanding changes in functional diversity over large temporal and spatial scales are still scant. Here we evaluate the combined effect of diversification and species sorting on functional diversity of fossil marine gastropods during the Pliocene-Quaternary transition in the Pacific coast of South America. We analyzed a total of 172 species in 29 Pliocene and 97 Quaternary sites. Each species was characterized according to six functional traits: body size, feeding type, mobility, attachment, life-habit, and larval mode. Functional diversity was estimated according to four indexes (functional richness, evenness, divergence and dispersion) based on functional traits measured. Extrapolated species richness showed a slight yet not significant decrease from the Pliocene to the Quaternary despite the fact that a large faunal turnover took place; furthermore, a large extinction of Pliocene species (61-76%) was followed by a high pulse of appearances (49-56%) during the Quaternary. Three out of four indices of functional diversity (evenness, divergence and dispersion) increased significantly towards the Quaternary which is more than expected under a random turnover of species. The increase in functional diversity is associated with a loss of large-sized carnivore forms, which tended to be replaced by small-sized grazers. Hence, this trait-selective species turnover, even in the absence of significant changes in species richness, likely had a large effect and has shaped the functional diversity of present-day assemblages.

  7. A flexible and economical barcoding approach for highly multiplexed amplicon sequencing of diverse target genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Craig W. Herbold

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available High throughput sequencing of phylogenetic and functional gene amplicons provides tremendous insight into the structure and functional potential of complex microbial communities. Here, we introduce a highly adaptable and economical PCR approach to barcoding and pooling libraries of numerous target genes. In this approach, we replace gene- and sequencing platform-specific fusion primers with general, interchangeable barcoding primers, enabling nearly limitless customized barcode-primer combinations. Compared to barcoding with long fusion primers, our multiple-target gene approach is more economical because it overall requires lower number of primers and is based on short primers with generally lower synthesis and purification costs. To highlight our approach, we pooled over 900 different small-subunit rRNA and functional gene amplicon libraries obtained from various environmental or host-associated microbial community samples into a single, paired-end Illumina MiSeq run. Although the amplicon regions ranged in size from approximately 290 to 720 bp, we found no significant systematic sequencing bias related to amplicon length or gene target. Our results indicate that this flexible multiplexing approach produces large, diverse and high quality sets of amplicon sequence data for modern studies in microbial ecology.

  8. Depth-related trends in morphological and functional diversity of demersal fish assemblages in the western Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farré, Marc; Tuset, Víctor M.; Cartes, Joan E.; Massutí, Enric; Lombarte, Antoni

    2016-09-01

    The morphological and functional traits of fishes are key factors defining the ecological and biological habits of species within ecosystems. However, little is known about how the depth gradient affects these factors. In the present study, several demersal fish assemblages from the Balearic Islands (western Mediterranean Sea) along a wide depth range (40-2200 m) were morphologically, functionally and ecologically described. The morphological characterization of communities was performed using geometric morphometric methods, while the functional structures were obtained by the functional categorization of species and the application of principal coordinates analysis (PCoA). The results revealed that morphospaces presented less richness of body forms as depth increases, although they showed a progressive spreading of species toward the periphery, with a proliferation of more extreme body traits, demonstrating lower morphological redundancy. In addition, a trend toward the elongation of body shape was also observed with depth. Moreover, functional diversity increased with bathymetry up to 1400 m, where it sharply decreased downwards. This decrease was parallel to a progressive fall of H‧ (ecological diversity) up to 2200 m. Functional redundancy progressively decreased until the deepest assemblage (more constantly in the deeper levels), which was almost exclusively dominated by benthopelagic wandering species feeding on suprabenthos. Redundancy analysis (RDA) demonstrated that both morphological and functional spaces showed high variation along the bathymetric range. Mantel test indicated that the majority of species presented similar spatial distribution within the morphospace and functional space, although in the functional space the more abundant species were always located at the periphery. These results demonstrate that the assessment of the morpho-functional variation between marine communities helps to understand the processes that affect the structure and

  9. [Effect of long-term fertilization on microbial community functional diversity in black soil].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jing-xin; Chi, Feng-qin; Xu, Xiu-hong; Kuang, En-jun; Zhang, Jiu-ming; Su, Qing-rui; Zhou, Bao-ku

    2015-10-01

    In order to study the effects of long-term different fertilization on microbial community functional diversity in arable black. soil, we examined microbial metabolic activities in two soil la- yers (0-20 cm, 20-40 cm) under four treatments (CK, NPK, M, MNPK) from a 35-year continuous fertilization field at the Ministry of Agriculture Key Field Observation Station of Harbin Black Soil Ecology Environment using Biolog-ECO method. The results showed that: in the 0-20 cm soil layer, combined application of organic and inorganic fertilizer(MNPK) increased the rate of soil microbial carbon source utilization and community metabolism richness, diversity and dominance; In the 20-40 cm layer, these indices of the MNPK treatment was lower than that of the NPK treat- ment; while NPK treatment decreased soil microbial community metabolism evenness in both layers. Six groups of carbon sources used by soil microbes of all the treatments were different between the two soil layers, and the difference was significant among all treatments in each soil layer (P functional diversity in both tillage soil layer and down soil layers, and chemical fertilization alone had a larger influence on the microbial community functional diversity in the 20-40 cm layer.

  10. Importance of riparian remnants for frog species diversity in a highly fragmented rainforest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Mendoza, Clara; Pineda, Eduardo

    2010-01-01

    Tropical forests undergo continuous transformation to other land uses, resulting in landscapes typified by forest fragments surrounded by anthropogenic habitats. Small forest fragments, specifically strip-shaped remnants flanking streams (referred to as riparian remnants), can be particularly important for the maintenance and conservation of biodiversity within highly fragmented forests. We compared frog species diversity between riparian remnants, other forest fragments and cattle pastures in a tropical landscape in Los Tuxtlas, Mexico. We found similar species richness in the three habitats studied and a similar assemblage structure between riparian remnants and forest fragments, although species composition differed by 50 per cent. Frog abundance was halved in riparian remnants compared with forest fragments, but was twice that found in pastures. Our results suggest that riparian remnants play an important role in maintaining a portion of frog species diversity in a highly fragmented forest, particularly during environmentally stressful (hot and dry) periods. In this regard, however, the role of riparian remnants is complementary, rather than substitutive, with respect to the function of other forest fragments within the fragmented forest. PMID:20554561

  11. High diversity and widespread occurrence of mitotic spore mats in ectomycorrhizal Pezizales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Healy, R A; Smith, M E; Bonito, G M; Pfister, D H; Ge, Z-W; Guevara, G G; Williams, G; Stafford, K; Kumar, L; Lee, T; Hobart, C; Trappe, J; Vilgalys, R; McLaughlin, D J

    2013-03-01

    Fungal mitospores may function as dispersal units and/ or spermatia and thus play a role in distribution and/or mating of species that produce them. Mitospore production in ectomycorrhizal (EcM) Pezizales is rarely reported, but here we document mitospore production by a high diversity of EcM Pezizales on three continents, in both hemispheres. We sequenced the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and partial large subunit (LSU) nuclear rDNA from 292 spore mats (visible mitospore clumps) collected in Argentina, Chile, China, Mexico and the USA between 2009 and 2012. We collated spore mat ITS sequences with 105 fruit body and 47 EcM root sequences to generate operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Phylogenetic inferences were made through analyses of both molecular data sets. A total of 48 OTUs from spore mats represented six independent EcM Pezizales lineages and included truffles and cup fungi. Three clades of seven OTUs have no known meiospore stage. Mitospores failed to germinate on sterile media, or form ectomycorrhizas on Quercus, Pinus and Populus seedlings, consistent with a hypothesized role of spermatia. The broad geographic range, high frequency and phylogenetic diversity of spore mats produced by EcM Pezizales suggests that a mitospore stage is important for many species in this group in terms of mating, reproduction and/or dispersal. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  12. High local genetic diversity of canine parvovirus from Ecuador.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldaz, Jaime; García-Díaz, Juan; Calleros, Lucía; Sosa, Katia; Iraola, Gregorio; Marandino, Ana; Hernández, Martín; Panzera, Yanina; Pérez, Ruben

    2013-09-27

    Canine parvovirus (CPV) comprises three antigenic variants (2a, 2b, and 2c) that are distributed globally with different frequencies and levels of genetic variability. CPVs from central Ecuador were herein analyzed to characterize the strains and to provide new insights into local viral diversity, evolution, and pathogenicity. Variant prevalence was analyzed by PCR and partial sequencing for 53 CPV-positive samples collected during 2011 and 2012. The full-length VP2 gene was sequenced in 24 selected strains and a maximum-likelihood phylogenetic tree was constructed using both Ecuadorian and worldwide strains. Ecuadorian CPVs have a remarkable genetic diversity that includes the circulation of all three variants and the existence of different evolutionary groups or lineages. CPV-2c was the most prevalent variant (54.7%), confirming the spread of this variant in America. Ecuadorian CPV-2c strains clustered in two lineages, which represent the first evidence of polyphyletic CPV-2c circulating in South America. CPV-2a strains constituted 41.5% of the samples and clustered in a single lineage. The two detected CPV-2b strains (3.8%) were clearly polyphyletic and appeared related to Ecuadorian CPV-2a or foreign CPV-2b strains. Besides the substitution at residue 426 that is used to identify the variants, two amino acid changes occurred in Ecuadorian strains: Val139Iso and Thr440Ser. Ser(440) occurred in a biologically relevant domain of VP2 and is here described for the first time in CPV. The associations of Ecuadorian CPV-2c and CPV-2a with clinical symptoms indicate that dull mentation, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis and hypothermia occurred more frequently in infection with CPV-2c than with CPV-2a. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Drivers of the composition and diversity of carabid functional traits in UK coniferous plantations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spake, Rebecca; Barsoum, Nadia; Newton, Adrian C.; Doncaster, C. Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Functional diversity (FD) is increasingly used as a metric to evaluate the impact of forest management strategies on ecosystem functioning. Management interventions that aim to maximise FD require knowledge of multiple environmental drivers of FD, which have not been studied to date in temperate coniferous production forests. We quantified the relative importance of abiotic (forest management) and biotic (ground vegetation community) drivers of carabid FD and trait distribution in 44 coniferous plantation forest stands across the UK. Carabid FD declined with canopy cover and carabid body length correlated negatively with the percentage of open semi-natural area surrounding a plot. We conclude that forest management could enhance carabid FD through initiatives that emulate natural disturbance regimes through gap creation. We found that neither functional nor taxonomic metrics of vegetation diversity correlated with carabid FD, suggesting that restoration of plant communities, a major goal of forest restoration efforts, will not necessarily enhance carabid FD in coniferous plantations. PMID:26865748

  14. Functional soil microbial diversity across Europe estimated by EEA, MicroResp and BIOLOG

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winding, Anne; Rutgers, Michiel; Creamer, Rachel

    Soil microorganisms are abundant and essential for the bio-geochemical processes of soil, soil quality and soil ecosystem services. All this is dependent on the actual functions the microbial communities are performing in the soil. Measuring soil respiration has for many years been the basis...... of estimating soil microbial activity. However, today several techniques are in use for determining microbial functional diversity and assessing soil biodiversity: Methods based on CO2 development by the microbes such as substrate induced respiration (SIR) on specific substrates have lead to the development...... of MicroResp and Community Level Physiological Profile (CLPP), while soil enzymatic activity are being assayed by Extracellular Enzyme Activity (EEA) based on MUF-substrates. Here we compared and contrasted the three techniques of assessing soil microbial functional diversity in a European transect...

  15. Microtopographic refuges shape consumer-producer dynamics by mediating consumer functional diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandl, Simon J; Bellwood, David R

    2016-09-01

    Consumer-producer dynamics are critical for ecosystem functioning. In marine environments, primary production is often subject to strong consumer control, and on coral reefs, the grazing pressure exerted by herbivorous fishes has been identified as a major determinant of benthic community structure. Using experimental surfaces, we demonstrate that on coral reefs, microtopographic refuges decrease the overall grazing pressure by more than one order of magnitude. Furthermore, by functionally characterizing consumer communities, we show that refuges also restrict grazer communities to only one functional group, algal croppers, which selectively remove the apical parts of algae. In contrast, detritivorous fishes, which intensively graze flat and exposed microhabitats and can remove both particulate matter and entire stands of algal filaments, are almost entirely excluded. This preclusion of an entire ecosystem process (the removal of particulates) results in two distinct coexisting benthic regimes: communities within refuges are diverse and characterized by numerous algal types and juvenile scleractinian corals, while communities outside refuges support only low-diversity assemblages dominated by simple, unbranched filamentous turf algal mats. Although limited to the scale of a few centimeters, microtopographic refuges can, therefore, mediate the biotic control of community development by affecting both overall grazing rates and the functional diversity of consumer communities. We suggest that the coexistence of two distinct benthic regimes at a small spatial scale may be an important factor for ecosystem functioning and highlight the need to consider the ecological complexity of consumer-producer dynamics when assessing the status of coral reef ecosystems.

  16. Altitudinal patterns of diversity and functional traits of metabolically active microorganisms in stream biofilms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilhelm, Linda; Besemer, Katharina; Fragner, Lena; Peter, Hannes; Weckwerth, Wolfram; Battin, Tom J

    2015-11-01

    Resources structure ecological communities and potentially link biodiversity to energy flow. It is commonly believed that functional traits (generalists versus specialists) involved in the exploitation of resources depend on resource availability and environmental fluctuations. The longitudinal nature of stream ecosystems provides changing resources to stream biota with yet unknown effects on microbial functional traits and community structure. We investigated the impact of autochthonous (algal extract) and allochthonous (spruce extract) resources, as they change along alpine streams from above to below the treeline, on microbial diversity, community composition and functions of benthic biofilms. Combining bromodeoxyuridine labelling and 454 pyrosequencing, we showed that diversity was lower upstream than downstream of the treeline and that community composition changed along the altitudinal gradient. We also found that, especially for allochthonous resources, specialisation by biofilm bacteria increased along that same gradient. Our results suggest that in streams below the treeline biofilm diversity, specialisation and functioning are associated with increasing niche differentiation as potentially modulated by divers allochthonous and autochthonous constituents contributing to resources. These findings expand our current understanding on biofilm structure and function in alpine streams.

  17. Evolutionary Pattern and Regulation Analysis to Support Why Diversity Functions Existed within PPAR Gene Family Members.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Tianyu; Yan, Xiping; Wang, Guosong; Liu, Hehe; Gan, Xiang; Zhang, Tao; Wang, Jiwen; Li, Liang

    2015-01-01

    Peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor (PPAR) gene family members exhibit distinct patterns of distribution in tissues and differ in functions. The purpose of this study is to investigate the evolutionary impacts on diversity functions of PPAR members and the regulatory differences on gene expression patterns. 63 homology sequences of PPAR genes from 31 species were collected and analyzed. The results showed that three isolated types of PPAR gene family may emerge from twice times of gene duplication events. The conserved domains of HOLI (ligand binding domain of hormone receptors) domain and ZnF_C4 (C4 zinc finger in nuclear in hormone receptors) are essential for keeping basic roles of PPAR gene family, and the variant domains of LCRs may be responsible for their divergence in functions. The positive selection sites in HOLI domain are benefit for PPARs to evolve towards diversity functions. The evolutionary variants in the promoter regions and 3' UTR regions of PPARs result into differential transcription factors and miRNAs involved in regulating PPAR members, which may eventually affect their expressions and tissues distributions. These results indicate that gene duplication event, selection pressure on HOLI domain, and the variants on promoter and 3' UTR are essential for PPARs evolution and diversity functions acquired.

  18. Evolutionary Pattern and Regulation Analysis to Support Why Diversity Functions Existed within PPAR Gene Family Members

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tianyu Zhou

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor (PPAR gene family members exhibit distinct patterns of distribution in tissues and differ in functions. The purpose of this study is to investigate the evolutionary impacts on diversity functions of PPAR members and the regulatory differences on gene expression patterns. 63 homology sequences of PPAR genes from 31 species were collected and analyzed. The results showed that three isolated types of PPAR gene family may emerge from twice times of gene duplication events. The conserved domains of HOLI (ligand binding domain of hormone receptors domain and ZnF_C4 (C4 zinc finger in nuclear in hormone receptors are essential for keeping basic roles of PPAR gene family, and the variant domains of LCRs may be responsible for their divergence in functions. The positive selection sites in HOLI domain are benefit for PPARs to evolve towards diversity functions. The evolutionary variants in the promoter regions and 3′ UTR regions of PPARs result into differential transcription factors and miRNAs involved in regulating PPAR members, which may eventually affect their expressions and tissues distributions. These results indicate that gene duplication event, selection pressure on HOLI domain, and the variants on promoter and 3′ UTR are essential for PPARs evolution and diversity functions acquired.

  19. Factors shaping bacterial phylogenetic and functional diversity in coastal waters of the NW Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boras, Julia A.; Vaqué, Dolors; Maynou, Francesc; Sà, Elisabet L.; Weinbauer, Markus G.; Sala, Maria Montserrat

    2015-03-01

    To evaluate the main factors shaping bacterioplankton phylogenetic and functional diversity in marine coastal waters, we carried out a two-year study based on a monthly sampling in Blanes Bay (NW Mediterranean). We expected the key factors driving bacterial diversity to be (1) temperature and nutrient concentration, together with chlorophyll a concentration as an indicator of phytoplankton biomass and, hence, a carbon source for bacteria (here called bottom-up factors), and (2) top-down pressure (virus- and protist-mediated mortality of bacteria). Phylogenetic diversity was analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of 16S rRNA. Functional diversity was assessed by using monomeric carbon sources in Biolog EcoPlates and by determining the activity of six extracellular enzymes. Our results indicate that the bacterial phylogenetic and functional diversity in this coastal system is shaped mainly by bottom-up factors. A dendrogram analysis of the DGGE banding patterns revealed three main sample clusters. Two clusters differed significantly in temperature, nitrate and chlorophyll a concentration, and the third was characterized by the highest losses of bacterial production due to viral lysis detected over the whole study period. Protistan grazing had no effect on bacterial functional diversity, since there were no correlations between protist-mediated mortality (PMM) and extracellular enzyme activities, and utilization of only two out of the 31 carbon sources (N-acetyl-D-glucosamine and α-cyclodextrin) was correlated with PMM. In contrast, virus-mediated mortality correlated with changes in the percentage of use of four carbon sources, and also with specific leu-aminopeptidase and β-glucosidase activity. This suggests that viral lysate provides a pool of labile carbon sources, presumably including amino acids and glucose, which may inhibit proteolytic and glucosidic activity. Our results indicate that bottom-up factors play a more important role than

  20. Temporal changes in taxonomic and functional diversity of fish assemblages downstream from mountaintop mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hitt, Nathaniel P.; Chambers, Douglas B.

    2014-01-01

    Mountaintop mining (MTM) affects chemical, physical, and hydrological properties of receiving streams, but the long-term consequences for fish-assemblage structure and function are poorly understood. We sampled stream fish assemblages using electrofishing techniques in MTM exposure sites and reference sites within the Guyandotte River basin, USA, during 2010–2011. We calculated indices of taxonomic diversity (species richness, abundance, Shannon diversity) and functional diversity (functional richness, functional evenness, functional divergence) to compare exposure and reference assemblages between seasons (spring and autumn) and across years (1999–2011). We based temporal comparisons on 2 sites that were sampled during 1999–2001 by Stauffer and Ferreri (2002). Exposure assemblages had lower taxonomic and functional diversity than reference assemblages or simulated assemblages that accounted for random variation. Differences in taxonomic composition between reference and exposure assemblages were associated with conductivity and aqueous Se concentrations. Exposure assemblages had fewer species, lower abundances, and less biomass than reference assemblages across years and seasons. Green Sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus) and Creek Chub (Semotilus atromaculatus) became numerically dominant in exposure assemblages over time because of their persistence and losses of other taxa. In contrast, species richness increased over time in reference assemblages, a result that may indicate recovery from drought. Mean individual biomass increased as fish density decreased and most obligate invertivores were apparently extirpated at MTM exposure sites. Effects of MTM were not related to physical-habitat conditions but were associated with water-quality variables, which may limit quality and availability of benthic macroinvertebrate prey. Simulations revealed effects of MTM that could not be attributed to random variation in fish assemblage structure.

  1. Do temperate tree species diversity and identity influence soil microbial community function and composition?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khlifa, Rim; Paquette, Alain; Messier, Christian; Reich, Peter B; Munson, Alison D

    2017-10-01

    Studies of biodiversity-ecosystem function in treed ecosystems have generally focused on aboveground functions. This study investigates intertrophic links between tree diversity and soil microbial community function and composition. We examined how microbial communities in surface mineral soil responded to experimental gradients of tree species richness (SR), functional diversity (FD), community-weighted mean trait value (CWM), and tree identity. The site was a 4-year-old common garden experiment near Montreal, Canada, consisting of deciduous and evergreen tree species mixtures. Microbial community composition, community-level physiological profiles, and respiration were evaluated using phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis and the MicroResp™ system, respectively. The relationship between tree species richness and glucose-induced respiration (GIR), basal respiration (BR), metabolic quotient (qCO 2) followed a positive but saturating shape. Microbial communities associated with species mixtures were more active (basal respiration [BR]), with higher biomass (glucose-induced respiration [GIR]), and used a greater number of carbon sources than monocultures. Communities associated with deciduous tree species used a greater number of carbon sources than those associated with evergreen species, suggesting a greater soil carbon storage capacity. There were no differences in microbial composition (PLFA) between monocultures and SR mixtures. The FD and the CWM of several functional traits affected both BR and GIR. In general, the CWM of traits had stronger effects than did FD, suggesting that certain traits of dominant species have more effect on ecosystem processes than does FD. Both the functions of GIR and BR were positively related to aboveground tree community productivity. Both tree diversity (SR) and identity (species and functional identity-leaf habit) affected soil microbial community respiration, biomass, and composition. For the first time, we identified

  2. A gradient of nutrient enrichment reveals nonlinear impacts of fertilization on Arctic plant diversity and ecosystem function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prager, Case M; Naeem, Shahid; Boelman, Natalie T; Eitel, Jan U H; Greaves, Heather E; Heskel, Mary A; Magney, Troy S; Menge, Duncan N L; Vierling, Lee A; Griffin, Kevin L

    2017-04-01

    Rapid environmental change at high latitudes is predicted to greatly alter the diversity, structure, and function of plant communities, resulting in changes in the pools and fluxes of nutrients. In Arctic tundra, increased nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) availability accompanying warming is known to impact plant diversity and ecosystem function; however, to date, most studies examining Arctic nutrient enrichment focus on the impact of relatively large (>25x estimated naturally occurring N enrichment) doses of nutrients on plant community composition and net primary productivity. To understand the impacts of Arctic nutrient enrichment, we examined plant community composition and the capacity for ecosystem function (net ecosystem exchange, ecosystem respiration, and gross primary production) across a gradient of experimental N and P addition expected to more closely approximate warming-induced fertilization. In addition, we compared our measured ecosystem CO 2 flux data to a widely used Arctic ecosystem exchange model to investigate the ability to predict the capacity for CO 2 exchange with nutrient addition. We observed declines in abundance-weighted plant diversity at low levels of nutrient enrichment, but species richness and the capacity for ecosystem carbon uptake did not change until the highest level of fertilization. When we compared our measured data to the model, we found that the model explained roughly 30%-50% of the variance in the observed data, depending on the flux variable, and the relationship weakened at high levels of enrichment. Our results suggest that while a relatively small amount of nutrient enrichment impacts plant diversity, only relatively large levels of fertilization-over an order of magnitude or more than warming-induced rates-significantly alter the capacity for tundra CO 2 exchange. Overall, our findings highlight the value of measuring and modeling the impacts of a nutrient enrichment gradient, as warming-related nutrient

  3. Global analyses of TetR family transcriptional regulators in mycobacteria indicates conservation across species and diversity in regulated functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balhana, Ricardo J C; Singla, Ashima; Sikder, Mahmudul Hasan; Withers, Mike; Kendall, Sharon L

    2015-06-27

    Mycobacteria inhabit diverse niches and display high metabolic versatility. They can colonise both humans and animals and are also able to survive in the environment. In order to succeed, response to environmental cues via transcriptional regulation is required. In this study we focused on the TetR family of transcriptional regulators (TFTRs) in mycobacteria. We used InterPro to classify the entire complement of transcriptional regulators in 10 mycobacterial species and these analyses showed that TFTRs are the most abundant family of regulators in all species. We identified those TFTRs that are conserved across all species analysed and those that are unique to the pathogens included in the analysis. We examined genomic contexts of 663 of the conserved TFTRs and observed that the majority of TFTRs are separated by 200 bp or less from divergently oriented genes. Analyses of divergent genes indicated that the TFTRs control diverse biochemical functions not limited to efflux pumps. TFTRs typically bind to palindromic motifs and we identified 11 highly significant novel motifs in the upstream regions of divergently oriented TFTRs. The C-terminal ligand binding domain from the TFTR complement in M. tuberculosis showed great diversity in amino acid sequence but with an overall architecture common to other TFTRs. This study suggests that mycobacteria depend on TFTRs for the transcriptional control of a number of metabolic functions yet the physiological role of the majority of these regulators remain unknown.

  4. Genetic diversity of functional food species Spinacia oleracea L. by protein markers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rashid, M; Yousaf, Z; Haider, M S; Khalid, S; Rehman, H A; Younas, A; Arif, A

    2014-01-01

    Exploration of genetic diversity contributes primarily towards crop improvement. Spinaciaoleracea L. is a functional food species but unfortunately the genetic diversity of this vegetable is still unexplored. Therefore, this research was planned to explore the genetic diversity of S. oleracea by using morphological and protein markers. Protein profile of 25 accessions was generated on sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel. Total allelic variation of 27 bands was found. Out of these, 20 were polymorphic and the rest of the bands were monomorphic. Molecular weights of the bands ranged from 12.6 to 91.2 kDa. Major genetic differences were observed in accession 20541 (Peshawar) followed by 20180 (Lahore) and 19902 (AVRDC). Significant differences exist in the protein banding pattern. This variation can further be studied by advanced molecular techniques, including two-dimensional electrophoresis and DNA markers.

  5. FLORA: a novel method to predict protein function from structure in diverse superfamilies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oliver C Redfern

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Predicting protein function from structure remains an active area of interest, particularly for the structural genomics initiatives where a substantial number of structures are initially solved with little or no functional characterisation. Although global structure comparison methods can be used to transfer functional annotations, the relationship between fold and function is complex, particularly in functionally diverse superfamilies that have evolved through different secondary structure embellishments to a common structural core. The majority of prediction algorithms employ local templates built on known or predicted functional residues. Here, we present a novel method (FLORA that automatically generates structural motifs associated with different functional sub-families (FSGs within functionally diverse domain superfamilies. Templates are created purely on the basis of their specificity for a given FSG, and the method makes no prior prediction of functional sites, nor assumes specific physico-chemical properties of residues. FLORA is able to accurately discriminate between homologous domains with different functions and substantially outperforms (a 2-3 fold increase in coverage at low error rates popular structure comparison methods and a leading function prediction method. We benchmark FLORA on a large data set of enzyme superfamilies from all three major protein classes (alpha, beta, alphabeta and demonstrate the functional relevance of the motifs it identifies. We also provide novel predictions of enzymatic activity for a large number of structures solved by the Protein Structure Initiative. Overall, we show that FLORA is able to effectively detect functionally similar protein domain structures by purely using patterns of structural conservation of all residues.

  6. Land use impacts on biodiversity in LCA: proposal of characterization factors based on functional diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Souza, Danielle Maia de; Flynn, Dan F. B.; DeClerck, Fabrice

    2013-01-01

    of CFs based on FD can help on the establishment of possible links between species loss and key ecosystem functions, i.e., on the association between the midpoint indicator (e.g., biodiversity loss) and the damage caused to ecosystem quality, in terms of functions lost. Basing CFs on FD is not without......The focus of land use modeling in life cycle impact assessment has been mainly on taxonomic measures of biodiversity, namely species richness (SR). However, increasing availability of trait data for species has led to the use of functional diversity (FD) as a promising metric to reflect...

  7. Transition metal-catalyzed C-H bond functionalization in multicomponent reactions: a tool toward molecular diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Jie-Ping; Gan, Lu; Liu, Yunyun

    2017-11-07

    Transition metal-catalyzed C-H bond functionalization has numerous applications in organic synthesis as a powerful type of bond transformation. In particular, the combination of C-H functionalization with other types of chemical transformations in the manner of multicomponent reactions is an even more beneficial tool in the synthesis of small organic molecules because such reactions provide a platform for the rapid generation of high molecular diversity and complexity by making use of the advantages of both latent C-H bond transformation and the multicomponent reaction. Herein, we provide a review highlighting the research advances in the multicomponent reactions built upon transition metal-catalyzed C-H bond functionalization. The content spans from the reactions featuring the functionalization of C(sp(3))-H, C(sp(2))-H and C(sp)-H bonds over the last decade.

  8. Cloning the soil metagenome: a strategy for accessing the genetic and functional diversity of uncultured microorganisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rondon, M R; August, P R; Bettermann, A D; Brady, S F; Grossman, T H; Liles, M R; Loiacono, K A; Lynch, B A; MacNeil, I A; Minor, C; Tiong, C L; Gilman, M; Osburne, M S; Clardy, J; Handelsman, J; Goodman, R M

    2000-06-01

    Recent progress in molecular microbial ecology has revealed that traditional culturing methods fail to represent the scope of microbial diversity in nature, since only a small proportion of viable microorganisms in a sample are recovered by culturing techniques. To develop methods to investigate the full extent of microbial diversity, we used a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) vector to construct libraries of genomic DNA isolated directly from soil (termed metagenomic libraries). To date, we have constructed two such libraries, which contain more than 1 Gbp of DNA. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences recovered from one of the libraries indicates that the BAC libraries contain DNA from a wide diversity of microbial phyla, including sequences from diverse taxa such as the low-G+C, gram-positive Acidobacterium, Cytophagales, and Proteobacteria. Initial screening of the libraries in Escherichia coli identified several clones that express heterologous genes from the inserts, confirming that the BAC vector can be used to maintain, express, and analyze environmental DNA. The phenotypes expressed by these clones include antibacterial, lipase, amylase, nuclease, and hemolytic activities. Metagenomic libraries are a powerful tool for exploring soil microbial diversity, providing access to the genetic information of uncultured soil microorganisms. Such libraries will be the basis of new initiatives to conduct genomic studies that link phylogenetic and functional information about the microbiota of environments dominated by microorganisms that are refractory to cultivation.

  9. Data supporting functional diversity of the marine bacterium Cobetia amphilecti KMM 296

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larissa Balabanova

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Data is presented in support of functionality of hyper-diverse protein families encoded by the Cobetia amphilecti KMM 296 (formerly Cobetia marina KMM 296 genome (“The genome of the marine bacterium Cobetia marina KMM 296 isolated from the mussel Crenomytilus grayanus (Dunker, 1853” [1] providing its nutritional versatility, adaptability and biocontrol that could be the basis of the marine bacterium evolutionary and application potential. Presented data include the information of growth and biofilm-forming properties of the food-associated isolates of Pseudomonas, Bacillus, Listeria, Salmonella and Staphylococcus under the conditions of their co-culturing with C. amphilecti KMM 296 to confirm its high inter-species communication and anti-microbial activity. Also included are the experiments on the crude petroleum consumption by C. amphilecti KMM 296 as the sole source of carbon in the presence of sulfate or nitrate to ensure its bioremediation capacity. The multifunctional C. amphilecti KMM 296 genome is a promising source for the beneficial psychrophilic enzymes and essential secondary metabolites.

  10. High functional load inhibits phonological contrast loss: a corpus study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wedel, Andrew; Kaplan, Abby; Jackson, Scott

    2013-08-01

    For nearly a century, linguists have suggested that diachronic merger is less likely between phonemes with a high functional load--that is, phonemes that distinguish many words in the language in question. However, limitations in data and computational power have made assessing this hypothesis difficult. Here we present the first larger-scale study of the functional load hypothesis, using data from sound changes in a diverse set of languages. Our results support the functional load hypothesis: phoneme pairs undergoing merger distinguish significantly fewer minimal pairs in the lexicon than unmerged phoneme pairs. Furthermore, we show that higher phoneme probability is positively correlated with merger, but that this effect is stronger for phonemes that distinguish no minimal pairs. Finally, within our dataset we find that minimal pair count and phoneme probability better predict merger than change in system entropy at the lexical or phoneme level. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Contrasting changes in taxonomic vs. functional diversity of tropical fish communities after habitat degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villéger, Sébastien; Ramos Miranda, Julia; Flores Hernández, Domingo; Mouillot, David

    2010-09-01

    Human activities have strong impacts on ecosystem functioning through their effect on abiotic factors and on biodiversity. There is also growing evidence that species functional traits link changes in species composition and shifts in ecosystem processes. Hence, it appears to be of utmost importance to quantify modifications in the functional structure of species communities after human disturbance in addition to changes in taxonomic structure. Despite this fact, there is still little consensus on the actual impacts of human-mediated habitat alteration on the components of biodiversity, which include species functional traits. Therefore, we studied changes in taxonomic diversity (richness and evenness), in functional diversity, and in functional specialization of estuarine fish communities facing drastic environmental and habitat alterations. The Terminos Lagoon (Gulf of Mexico) is a tropical estuary of primary concern for its biodiversity, its habitats, and its resource supply, which have been severely impacted by human activities. Fish communities were sampled in four zones of the Terminos Lagoon 18 years apart (1980 and 1998). Two functions performed by fish (food acquisition and locomotion) were studied through the measurement of 16 functional traits. Functional diversity of fish communities was quantified using three independent components: richness, evenness, and divergence. Additionally, we measured the degree of functional specialization in fish communities. We used a null model to compare the functional and the taxonomic structure of fish communities between 1980 and 1998. Among the four largest zones studied, three did not show strong functional changes. In the northern part of the lagoon, we found an increase in fish richness but a significant decrease of functional divergence and functional specialization. We explain this result by a decline of specialized species (i.e., those with particular combinations of traits), while newly occurring species are

  12. UV radiation and organic matter composition shape bacterial functional diversity in sediments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ellard Roy Hunting

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available AbstractUV radiation and organic matter (OM composition are known to influence the speciescomposition of bacterioplankton communities. Potential effects of UV radiation onbacterial communities residing in sediments remain completely unexplored to date.However, it has been demonstrated that UV radiation can reach the bottom of shallowwaters and wetlands and alter the OM composition of the sediment, suggesting thatUV radiation may be more important for sediment bacteria than previously anticipated.It is hypothesized here that exposure of shallow OMcontaining sediments to UVradiation induces OMsource dependant shifts in the functional composition ofsediment bacterial communities. This study therefore investigated the combinedinfluence of both UV radiation and OM composition on bacterial functional diversity inlaboratory sediments. Two different organic matter sources, labile and recalcitrantorganic matter (OM, were used and metabolic diversity was measured with BiologGN. Radiation exerted strong negative effects on the metabolic diversity in thetreatments containing recalcitrant OM, more than in treatments containing labile OM.The functional composition of the bacterial community also differed significantlybetween the treatments. Our findings demonstrate that a combined effect of UVradiation and OM composition shapes the functional composition of microbialcommunities developing in sediments, hinting that UV radiation may act as animportant sorting mechanism for bacterial communities and driver for bacterialfunctioning in shallow lakes and wetlands.

  13. The veterinary antibiotic oxytetracycline and Cu influence functional diversity of the soil microbial community

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kong, W.-D. [Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Soil Environment of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 18 Shuangqing Road, Beijing 100085 (China); Zhu, Y.-G. [Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Soil Environment of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 18 Shuangqing Road, Beijing 100085 (China)]. E-mail: ygzhu@mail.rcees.ac.cn; Fu, B.-J. [Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Soil Environment of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 18 Shuangqing Road, Beijing 100085 (China); Marschner, P. [Soil and Land Systems, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide, DP 636, 5005 (Australia); He, J.-Z. [Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Soil Environment of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 18 Shuangqing Road, Beijing 100085 (China)

    2006-09-15

    There are increasing concerns over the effects of veterinary antibiotics and heavy metals in agricultural soils. The widely used veterinary antibiotic oxytetracycline (OTC), Cu and their combination on soil microbial community function were assessed with the Biolog method. The microbial community was extracted from the soil and exposed to a 0.85% sodium chloride solution containing OTC (0, 1, 5, 11, 43, 109 and 217 {mu}M), or Cu (0, 10, 20, 100 and 300 {mu}M), or combination of the two pollutants (OTC 0, 5, 11 {mu}M and Cu 0, 20 {mu}M). Functional diversity, evenness, average well color development (AWCD) and substrate utilization decreased significantly with increasing concentrations of OTC or Cu (p < 0.005). The critical concentrations were 11 {mu}M for OTC and 20 {mu}M for Cu. The combination of OTC and Cu significantly decreased Shannon's diversity, evenness and utilization of carbohydrates and carboxylic acids compared to individual one of the contaminants. The antibiotic OTC and Cu had significant negative effects on soil microbial community function, particularly when both pollutants were present. - Oxytetracycline reduces the functional diversity of soil microbial community, and the combination of Cu and oxytetracycline leads to a further reduction.

  14. Changes in tree reproductive traits reduce functional diversity in a fragmented Atlantic forest landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciana Coe Girão

    Full Text Available Functional diversity has been postulated to be critical for the maintenance of ecosystem functioning, but the way it can be disrupted by human-related disturbances remains poorly investigated. Here we test the hypothesis that habitat fragmentation changes the relative contribution of tree species within categories of reproductive traits (frequency of traits and reduces the functional diversity of tree assemblages. The study was carried out in an old and severely fragmented landscape of the Brazilian Atlantic forest. We used published information and field observations to obtain the frequency of tree species and individuals within 50 categories of reproductive traits (distributed in four major classes: pollination systems, floral biology, sexual systems, and reproductive systems in 10 fragments and 10 tracts of forest interior (control plots. As hypothesized, populations in fragments and control plots differed substantially in the representation of the four major classes of reproductive traits (more than 50% of the categories investigated. The most conspicuous differences were the lack of three pollination systems in fragments--pollination by birds, flies and non-flying mammals--and that fragments had a higher frequency of both species and individuals pollinated by generalist vectors. Hermaphroditic species predominate in both habitats, although their relative abundances were higher in fragments. On the contrary, self-incompatible species were underrepresented in fragments. Moreover, fragments showed lower functional diversity (H' scores for pollination systems (-30.3%, floral types (-23.6%, and floral sizes (-20.8% in comparison to control plots. In contrast to the overwhelming effect of fragmentation, patch and landscape metrics such as patch size and forest cover played a minor role on the frequency of traits. Our results suggest that habitat fragmentation promotes a marked shift in the relative abundance of tree reproductive traits and

  15. Changes in tree reproductive traits reduce functional diversity in a fragmented Atlantic forest landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girão, Luciana Coe; Lopes, Ariadna Valentina; Tabarelli, Marcelo; Bruna, Emilio M

    2007-09-19

    Functional diversity has been postulated to be critical for the maintenance of ecosystem functioning, but the way it can be disrupted by human-related disturbances remains poorly investigated. Here we test the hypothesis that habitat fragmentation changes the relative contribution of tree species within categories of reproductive traits (frequency of traits) and reduces the functional diversity of tree assemblages. The study was carried out in an old and severely fragmented landscape of the Brazilian Atlantic forest. We used published information and field observations to obtain the frequency of tree species and individuals within 50 categories of reproductive traits (distributed in four major classes: pollination systems, floral biology, sexual systems, and reproductive systems) in 10 fragments and 10 tracts of forest interior (control plots). As hypothesized, populations in fragments and control plots differed substantially in the representation of the four major classes of reproductive traits (more than 50% of the categories investigated). The most conspicuous differences were the lack of three pollination systems in fragments--pollination by birds, flies and non-flying mammals--and that fragments had a higher frequency of both species and individuals pollinated by generalist vectors. Hermaphroditic species predominate in both habitats, although their relative abundances were higher in fragments. On the contrary, self-incompatible species were underrepresented in fragments. Moreover, fragments showed lower functional diversity (H' scores) for pollination systems (-30.3%), floral types (-23.6%), and floral sizes (-20.8%) in comparison to control plots. In contrast to the overwhelming effect of fragmentation, patch and landscape metrics such as patch size and forest cover played a minor role on the frequency of traits. Our results suggest that habitat fragmentation promotes a marked shift in the relative abundance of tree reproductive traits and greatly reduces

  16. Specialized Functional Diversity and Interactions of the Na,K-ATPase

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matchkov, Vladimir V.; Krivoi, Igor I.

    2016-01-01

    Na,K-ATPase is a protein ubiquitously expressed in the plasma membrane of all animal cells and vitally essential for their functions. A specialized functional diversity of the Na,K-ATPase isozymes is provided by molecular heterogeneity, distinct subcellular localizations, and functional interactions with molecular environment. Studies over the last decades clearly demonstrated complex and isoform-specific reciprocal functional interactions between the Na,K-ATPase and neighboring proteins and lipids. These interactions are enabled by a spatially restricted ion homeostasis, direct protein-protein/lipid interactions, and protein kinase signaling pathways. In addition to its “classical” function in ion translocation, the Na,K-ATPase is now considered as one of the most important signaling molecules in neuronal, epithelial, skeletal, cardiac and vascular tissues. Accordingly, the Na,K-ATPase forms specialized sub-cellular multimolecular microdomains which act as receptors to circulating endogenous cardiotonic steroids (CTS) triggering a number of signaling pathways. Changes in these endogenous cardiotonic steroid levels and initiated signaling responses have significant adaptive values for tissues and whole organisms under numerous physiological and pathophysiological conditions. This review discusses recent progress in the studies of functional interactions between the Na,K-ATPase and molecular microenvironment, the Na,K-ATPase-dependent signaling pathways and their significance for diversity of cell function. PMID:27252653

  17. Linking multidimensional functional diversity to quantitative methods: a graphical hypothesis--evaluation framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boersma, Kate S; Dee, Laura E; Miller, Steve J; Bogan, Michael T; Lytle, David A; Gitelman, Alix I

    2016-03-01

    Functional trait analysis is an appealing approach to study differences among biological communities because traits determine species' responses to the environment and their impacts on ecosystem functioning. Despite a rapidly expanding quantitative literature, it remains challenging to conceptualize concurrent changes in multiple trait dimensions ("trait space") and select quantitative functional diversity methods to test hypotheses prior to analysis. To address this need, we present a widely applicable framework for visualizing ecological phenomena in trait space to guide the selection, application, and interpretation of quantitative functional diversity methods. We describe five hypotheses that represent general patterns of responses to disturbance in functional community ecology and then apply a formal decision process to determine appropriate quantitative methods to test ecological hypotheses. As a part of this process, we devise a new statistical approach to test for functional turnover among communities. Our combination of hypotheses and metrics can be applied broadly to address ecological questions across a range of systems and study designs. We illustrate the framework with a case study of disturbance in freshwater communities. This hypothesis-driven approach will increase the rigor and transparency of applied functional trait studies.

  18. Bioprospecting at former mining sites across Europe: microbial and functional diversity in soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sprocati, Anna Rosa; Alisi, Chiara; Tasso, Flavia; Fiore, Alessia; Marconi, Paola; Langella, Francesca; Haferburg, Götz; Nicoara, Andrei; Neagoe, Aurora; Kothe, Erika

    2014-01-01

    The planetary importance of microbial function requires urgently that our knowledge and our exploitation ability is extended, therefore every occasion of bioprospecting is welcome. In this work, bioprospecting is presented from the perspective of the UMBRELLA project, whose main goal was to develop an integral approach for remediation of soil influenced by mining activity, by using microorganisms in association with plants. Accordingly, this work relies on the cultivable fraction of microbial biodiversity, native to six mining sites across Europe, different for geographical, climatic and geochemical characteristics but similar for suffering from chronic stress. The comparative analysis of the soil functional diversity, resulting from the metabolic profiling at community level (BIOLOG ECOPlates) and confirmed by the multivariate analysis, separates the six soils in two clusters, identifying soils characterised by low functional diversity and low metabolic activity. The microbial biodiversity falls into four major bacterial phyla: Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, including a total of 47 genera and 99 species. In each soil, despite harsh conditions, metabolic capacity of nitrogen fixation and plant growth promotion were quite widespread, and most of the strains showed multiple resistances to heavy metals. At species-level, Shannon's index (alpha diversity) and Sørensen's Similarity (beta diversity) indicates the sites are indeed diverse. Multivariate analysis of soil chemical factors and biodiversity identifies for each soil well-discriminating chemical factors and species, supporting the assumption that cultured biodiversity from the six mining sites presents, at phylum level, a convergence correlated to soil factors rather than to geographical factors while, at species level, reflects a remarkable local characterisation.

  19. Earthworm-mycorrhiza interactions can affect the diversity, structure and functioning of establishing model grassland communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johann G Zaller

    Full Text Available Both earthworms and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF are important ecosystem engineers co-occurring in temperate grasslands. However, their combined impacts during grassland establishment are poorly understood and have never been studied. We used large mesocosms to study the effects of different functional groups of earthworms (i.e., vertically burrowing anecics vs. horizontally burrowing endogeics and a mix of four AMF taxa on the establishment, diversity and productivity of plant communities after a simulated seed rain of 18 grassland species comprising grasses, non-leguminous forbs and legumes. Moreover, effects of earthworms and/or AMF on water infiltration and leaching of ammonium, nitrate and phosphate were determined after a simulated extreme rainfall event (40 l m(-2. AMF colonisation of all three plant functional groups was altered by earthworms. Seedling emergence and diversity was reduced by anecic earthworms, however only when AMF were present. Plant density was decreased in AMF-free mesocosms when both anecic and endogeic earthworms were active; with AMF also anecics reduced plant density. Plant shoot and root biomass was only affected by earthworms in AMF-free mesocosms: shoot biomass increased due to the activity of either anecics or endogeics; root biomass increased only when anecics were active. Water infiltration increased when earthworms were present in the mesocosms but remained unaffected by AMF. Ammonium leaching was increased only when anecics or a mixed earthworm community was active but was unaffected by AMF; nitrate and phosphate leaching was neither affected by earthworms nor AMF. Ammonium leaching decreased with increasing plant density, nitrate leaching decreased with increasing plant diversity and density. In order to understand the underlying processes of these interactions further investigations possibly under field conditions using more diverse belowground communities are required. Nevertheless, this study

  20. Impacts of aquaculture wastewater irrigation on soil microbial functional diversity and community structure in arid regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Lijuan; Feng, Qi; Li, Changsheng; Wei, Yongping; Zhao, Yan; Feng, Yongjiu; Zheng, Hang; Li, Fengrui; Li, Huiya

    2017-09-11

    Aquaculture wastewater is one of the most important alternative water resources in arid regions where scarcity of fresh water is common. Irrigation with this kind of water may affect soil microbial functional diversity and community structure as changes of soil environment would be significant. Here, we conducted a field sampling to investigate these effects using Biolog and metagenomic methods. The results demonstrated that irrigation with aquaculture wastewater could dramatically reduce soil microbial functional diversity. The values of diversity indices and sole carbon source utilization were all significantly decreased. Increased soil salinity, especially Cl concentration, appeared primarily associated with the decreases. Differently, higher bacterial community diversity was obtained in aquaculture wastewater irrigated soils. More abundant phyla Actinobacteria, Chloroflexi, Acidobacteria, Gemmatimonadetes and fewer members of Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Planctomycetes were found in this kind of soils. Changes in the concentration of soil Cl mainly accounted for the shifts of bacterial community composition. This research can improve our understanding of how aquaculture wastewater irrigation changes soil microbial process and as a result, be useful to manage soil and wastewater resources in arid regions.

  1. Functional diversity of bacterial genes associated with aromatic hydrocarbon degradation in anthropogenic dark earth of Amazonia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana Gomes Germano

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this work was to evaluate the catabolic gene diversity for the bacterial degradation of aromatic hydrocarbons in anthropogenic dark earth of Amazonia (ADE and their biochar (BC. Functional diversity analyses in ADE soils can provide information on how adaptive microorganisms may influence the fertility of soils and what is their involvement in biogeochemical cycles. For this, clone libraries containing the gene encoding for the alpha subunit of aromatic ring-hydroxylating dioxygenases (α-ARHD bacterial gene were constructed, totaling 800 clones. These libraries were prepared from samples of an ADE soil under two different land uses, located at the Caldeirão Experimental Station - secondary forest (SF and agriculture (AG -, and the biochar (SF_BC and AG_BC, respectively. Heterogeneity estimates indicated greater diversity in BC libraries; and Venn diagrams showed more unique operational protein clusters (OPC in the SF_BC library than the ADE soil, which indicates that specific metabolic processes may occur in biochar. Phylogenetic analysis showed unidentified dioxygenases in ADE soils. Libraries containing functional gene encoding for the alpha subunit of the aromatic ring-hydroxylating dioxygenases (ARHD gene from biochar show higher diversity indices than those of ADE under secondary forest and agriculture.

  2. Mobilization of interactions between functional diversity of plant and soil organisms on nitrogen availability and use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drut, Baptiste; Cassagne, Nathalie; Cannavacciuolo, Mario; Brauman, Alain; Le Floch, Gaëtan; Cobo, Jose; Fustec, Joëlle

    2017-04-01

    Keywords: legumes, earthworms, microorganisms, nitrogen, interactions Both aboveground and belowground biodiversity and their interactions can play an important role in crop productivity. Plant functional diversity, such as legume based intercrops have been shown to improve yields through plant complementarity for nitrogen use (Corre-Hellou et al., 2006). Moreover, plant species or plant genotype may influence the structure of soil microorganism communities through the composition of rhizodeposits in the rhizosphere (Dennis et al., 2010). Belowground diversity can also positively influence plant performance especially related to functional dissimilarity between soil organisms (Eisenhauer, 2012). Earthworms through their burrowing activity influence soil microbial decomposers and nutrient availability and have thus been reported to increase plant growth (Brown, 1995; Brown et al., 2004). We hypothesize that i) plant functional (genetic and/or specific) diversity associated to functional earthworms diversity are key drivers of interactions balance to improve crop performances and ii) the improvement of plant performances can be related to change in the structure of soil microorganism communities due to the diversity of rhizodeposits and the burrowing activity of earthworms. In a first mesocosm experiment, we investigated the effect of a gradient of plant diversity - one cultivar of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), 3 different wheat cultivars, and 3 different cultivars intercropped with clover (Trifolium hybridum L.) - and the presence of one (endogeic) or two (endogeic and anecic) categories of earthworms on biomass and nitrogen accumulation of wheat. In a second mesocosm experiment, we investigated the influence of three species with different rhizodeposition - wheat, rapeseed (Brassica napus L. ) and faba bean (Vicia faba L.) in pure stand or intercropped - and the presence of endogeic earthworms on microbial activity and nitrogen availability. In the first experiment

  3. Microbial Diversity and Putative Diazotrophy in High- and Low-Microbial-Abundance Mediterranean Sponges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribes, Marta; Dziallas, Claudia; Coma, Rafel; Riemann, Lasse

    2015-09-01

    Microbial communities associated with marine sponges carry out nutrient transformations essential for benthic-pelagic coupling; however, knowledge about their composition and function is still sparse. We evaluated the richness and diversity of prokaryotic assemblages associated with three high-microbial-abundance (HMA) and three low-microbial-abundance (LMA) sympatric Mediterranean sponges to address their stability and uniqueness. Moreover, to examine functionality and because an imbalance between nitrogen ingestion and excretion has been observed for some of these species, we sequenced nitrogenase genes (nifH) and measured N2 fixation. The prokaryotic communities in the two sponge types did not differ in terms of richness, but the highest diversity was found in HMA sponges. Moreover, the discrete composition of the communities in the two sponge types relative to that in the surrounding seawater indicated that horizontal transmission and vertical transmission affect the microbiomes associated with the two sponge categories. nifH genes were found in all LMA species and sporadically in one HMA species, and about half of the nifH gene sequences were common between the different sponge species and were also found in the surrounding water, suggesting horizontal transmission. (15)N2-enriched incubations showed that N2 fixation was measurable in the water but was not associated with the sponges. Also, the analysis of the isotopic ratio of (15)N to (14)N in sponge tissue indicated that N2 fixation is not an important source of nitrogen in these Mediterranean sponges. Overall, our results suggest that compositional and functional features differ between the prokaryotic communities associated with HMA and LMA sponges, which may affect sponge ecology. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  4. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning decoupled: invariant ecosystem functioning despite non-random reductions in consumer diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Radchuk, V.; Leander, de F.; Brink, van den P.J.; Grimm, V.

    2016-01-01

    Most research that demonstrates enhancement and stabilization of ecosystem functioning due to biodiversity is based on biodiversity manipulations within one trophic level and measuring changes in ecosystem functions provided by that same trophic level. However, it is less understood whether and how

  5. Hydrothermal activity, functional diversity and chemoautotrophy are major drivers of seafloor carbon cycling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bell, J.B.; Woulds, C.; van Oevelen, D.

    2017-01-01

    Hydrothermal vents are highly dynamic ecosystems and are unusually energy rich in the deep-sea. Insitu hydrothermal-based productivity combined with sinking photosynthetic organic matter in a softsedimentsetting creates geochemically diverse environments, which remain poorly studied. Here,we use

  6. Methodological advances to study the diversity of soil protists and their functioning in soil food webs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geisen, Stefan; Bonkowski, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Soils host the most complex communities of organisms, which are still largely considered as an unknown 'black box'. A key role in soil food webs is held by the highly abundant and diverse group of protists. Traditionally, soil protists are considered as the main consumers of bacteria in soils.

  7. Methodological advances to study the diversity of soil protists and their functioning in soil food webs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geisen, Stefan; Bonkowski, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Soils host the most complex communities of organisms, which are still largely considered as an unknown ‘black box’. A key role in soil food webs is held by the highly abundant and diverse group of protists. Traditionally, soil protists are considered as the main consumers of bacteria in

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    ) of carbon (13C) and nitrogen (15N). Collembolan abundance data were used to analyse morphological and ecological traits of the collected taxa and calculate functional diversity indices. Our stable isotope results show that root-derived resources made larger contributions to epedaphic and hemiedaphic species...... in turn effects on the functional diversity of the community....

  9. Low-intensity agricultural landscapes in Transylvania support high butterfly diversity: implications for conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loos, Jacqueline; Dorresteijn, Ine; Hanspach, Jan; Fust, Pascal; Rakosy, László; Fischer, Joern

    2014-01-01