WorldWideScience

Sample records for introduced plants ecosystem

  1. The new flora of the northeastern USA: quantifying introduced plant species occupancy in forest ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bethany K. Schulz; Andrew N. Gray

    2013-01-01

    Introduced plant species have significant negative impacts in many ecosystems and are found in many forests around the world. Some factors linked to the distribution of introduced species include fragmentation and disturbance, native species richness, and climatic and physical conditions of the landscape. However, there are few data sources that enable the assessment...

  2. Vegetation component of geothermal EIS studies: Introduced plants, ecosystem stability, and geothermal development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-10-01

    This paper contributes new information about the impacts from introduced plant invasions on the native Hawaiian vegetation as consequences of land disturbance and geothermal development activities. In this regard, most geothermal development is expected to act as another recurring source of physical disturbance which favors the spread and maintenance of introduced organisms throughout the region. Where geothermal exploration and development activities extend beyond existing agricultural and residential development, they will become the initial or sole source of disturbance to the naturalized vegetation of the area. Kilauea has a unique ecosystem adapted to the dynamics of a volcanically active landscape. The characteristics of this ecosystem need to be realized in order to understand the major threats to the ecosystem and to evaluate the effects of and mitigation for geothermal development in Puna. The native Puna vegetation is well adapted to disturbances associated with volcanic eruption, but it is ill-adapted to compete with alien plant species in secondary disturbances produced by human activities. Introduced plant and animal species have become a major threat to the continued presence of the native biota in the Puna region of reference

  3. Vegetation component of geothermal EIS studies: Introduced plants, ecosystem stability, and geothermal development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1994-10-01

    This paper contributes new information about the impacts from introduced plant invasions on the native Hawaiian vegetation as consequences of land disturbance and geothermal development activities. In this regard, most geothermal development is expected to act as another recurring source of physical disturbance which favors the spread and maintenance of introduced organisms throughout the region. Where geothermal exploration and development activities extend beyond existing agricultural and residential development, they will become the initial or sole source of disturbance to the naturalized vegetation of the area. Kilauea has a unique ecosystem adapted to the dynamics of a volcanically active landscape. The characteristics of this ecosystem need to be realized in order to understand the major threats to the ecosystem and to evaluate the effects of and mitigation for geothermal development in Puna. The native Puna vegetation is well adapted to disturbances associated with volcanic eruption, but it is ill-adapted to compete with alien plant species in secondary disturbances produced by human activities. Introduced plant and animal species have become a major threat to the continued presence of the native biota in the Puna region of reference.

  4. Contrasting water use pattern of introduced and native plants in an alpine desert ecosystem, Northeast Qinghai–Tibet Plateau, China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu, Huawu; Li, Xiao-Yan; Jiang, Zhiyun; Chen, Huiying; Zhang, Cicheng; Xiao, Xiong

    2016-01-01

    Plant water use patterns reflect the complex interactions between different functional types and environmental conditions in water-limited ecosystems. However, the mechanisms underlying the water use patterns of plants in the alpine desert of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau remain poorly understood. This study investigated seasonal variations in the water sources of herbs (Carex moorcroftii, Astragalus adsurgens) and shrubs (Artemisia oxycephala, Hippophae rhamnoides) using stable oxygen-18 isotope methods. The results indicated that the native herbs (C. moorcroftii, A. adsurgens) and one of the shrubs (A. oxycephala) mainly relied on water from the shallow layer (0–30 cm) throughout the growing season, while the introduced shrub (H. rhamnoides) showed plasticity in switching between water from shallow and deep soil layers depending on soil water availability. All studied plants primarily depended on water from shallow soil layers early in the season. The differences of water use patterns between the introduced and native plants are closely linked with the range of active root zones when competing for water. Our findings will facilitate the mechanistic understanding of plant–soil–water relations in alpine desert ecosystems and provide information for screening introduced species for sand fixation. - Highlights: • Stable oxygen-18 in soil water experienced great evaporation enrichment. • H. rhamnoides experiences a flexible plasticity to switch between shallow and deep soil water. • Native plants mostly relied on shallow and middle soil water. • Water-use patterns by introduced-native plants are controlled by root characteristics.

  5. From leaf to basin: evaluating the impacts of introduced plant species on evapotranspiration fluxes from riparian ecosystems in the southwestern U.S

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hultine, K. R.; Bush, S.; Nagler, P. L.; Morino, K.; Burtch, K.; Dennison, P. E.; Glenn, E. P.; Ehleringer, J.

    2010-12-01

    Global change processes such as climate change and intensive land use pose significant threats to water resources, particularly in arid regions where potential evapotranspiration far exceeds annual rainfall. Potentially compounding these shortages is the progressive expansion of introduced plant species in riparian areas along streams, canals and rivers in geographically arid regions. The question of whether these invasive species have had or will have impacts on water resources is currently under intense debate. We identify a framework for assessing when and where introduced riparian plant species are likely to have the highest potential impact on hydrologic fluxes of arid and semi-arid river systems. We focus on three introduced plant systems that currently dominate southwestern U.S. riparian forests: tamarisk (Tamarix spp.), Russian olive (Eleagnus angustifolia), and Russian knapweed (Acroptilon repens). Our framework focuses on two main criteria: 1) the ecophysiological traits that promote establishment of invasive species across environmental gradients, and 2) an assessment of how hydrologic fluxes are altered by the establishment of introduced species at varying scales. The framework identifies when and where introduced species should have the highest potential impact on the water cycle. This framework will assist land managers and policy makers with restoration and conservation priorities to preserve water resources and valued riparian habitat given limited economic resources.

  6. Introduced and invasive species in novel rangeland ecosystems: friends or foes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Ludwig, John A.; Wilcox, Bradford P.; Betancourt, Julio L.; Dean, W. Richard J.; Hoffmann, Benjamin D.; Milton, Sue J.

    2012-01-01

    Globally, new combinations of introduced and native plant and animal species have changed rangelands into novel ecosystems. Whereas many rangeland stakeholders (people who use or have an interest in rangelands) view intentional species introductions to improve forage and control erosion as beneficial, others focus on unintended costs, such as increased fire risk, loss of rangeland biodiversity, and threats to conservation efforts, specifically in nature reserves and parks. These conflicting views challenge all rangeland stakeholders, especially those making decisions on how best to manage novel ecosystems. To formulate a conceptual framework for decision making, we examined a wide range of novel ecosystems, created by intentional and unintentional introductions of nonnative species and land-use–facilitated spread of native ones. This framework simply divides decision making into two types: 1) straightforward–certain, and 2) complex–uncertain. We argue that management decisions to retain novel ecosystems are certain when goods and services provided by the system far outweigh the costs of restoration, for example in the case of intensively managed Cenchrus pastures. Decisions to return novel ecosystems to natural systems are also certain when the value of the system is low and restoration is easy and inexpensive as in the case of biocontrol of Opuntia infestations. In contrast, decisions whether to retain or restore novel ecosystems become complex and uncertain in cases where benefits are low and costs of control are high as, for example, in the case of stopping the expansion of Prosopis and Juniperus into semiarid rangelands. Decisions to retain or restore novel ecosystems are also complex and uncertain when, for example, nonnative Eucalyptus trees expand along natural streams, negatively affecting biodiversity, but also providing timber and honey. When decision making is complex and uncertain, we suggest that rangeland managers utilize cost–benefit analyses

  7. Species-environment interactions changed by introduced herbivores in an oceanic high-mountain ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seguí, Jaume; López-Darias, Marta; Pérez, Antonio J; Nogales, Manuel; Traveset, Anna

    2017-01-05

    Summit areas of oceanic islands constitute some of the most isolated ecosystems on earth, highly vulnerable to climate change and introduced species. Within the unique high-elevation communities of Tenerife (Canary Islands), reproductive success and thus long-term survival of species may depend on environmental suitability as well as threat by introduced herbivores. By experimentally modifying the endemic and vulnerable species Viola cheiranthifolia along its entire altitudinal occurrence range, we studied plant performance, autofertility, pollen limitation and visitation rate and the interactive effect of grazing by non-native rabbits on them. We assessed the grazing effects by recording (1) the proportion of consumed plants and flowers along the gradient, (2) comparing fitness traits of herbivore-excluded plants along the gradient, and (3) comparing fitness traits, autofertility and pollen limitation between plants excluded from herbivores with unexcluded plants at the same locality. Our results showed that V. cheiranthifolia performance is mainly affected by inter-annual and microhabitat variability along the gradient, especially in the lowest edge. Despite the increasingly adverse environmental conditions, the plant showed no pollen limitation with elevation, which is attributed to the increase in autofertility levels (≥ 50% of reproductive output) and decrease in competition for pollinators at higher elevations. Plant fitness is, however, extremely reduced owing to the presence of non-native rabbits in the area (consuming more than 75% of the individuals in some localities), which in turn change plant trait-environment interactions along the gradient. Taken together, these findings indicate that the elevational variation found on plant performance results from the combined action of non-native rabbits with the microhabitat variability, exerting intricate ecological influences that threaten the survival of this violet species. Published by Oxford University

  8. Forests planted for ecosystem restoration or conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Constance A. Harrington

    1999-01-01

    Although the phrase, "planting for ecosystem restoration," is of recent origin, many of the earliest large-scale tree plantings were made for what we now refer to as "'restoration" or "conservation" goals. Forest restoration activities may be needed when ecosystems are disturbed by either natural or anthropogenic forces. Disturbances...

  9. Rapid plant evolution in the presence of an introduced species alters community composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, David Solance; Lau, Matthew K; Jacobs, Ryan; Monroy, Jenna A; Shuster, Stephen M; Whitham, Thomas G

    2015-10-01

    Because introduced species may strongly interact with native species and thus affect their fitness, it is important to examine how these interactions can cascade to have ecological and evolutionary consequences for whole communities. Here, we examine the interactions among introduced Rocky Mountain elk, Cervus canadensis nelsoni, a common native plant, Solidago velutina, and the diverse plant-associated community of arthropods. While introduced species are recognized as one of the biggest threats to native ecosystems, relatively few studies have investigated an evolutionary mechanism by which introduced species alter native communities. Here, we use a common garden design that addresses and supports two hypotheses. First, native S. velutina has rapidly evolved in the presence of introduced elk. We found that plants originating from sites with introduced elk flowered nearly 3 weeks before plants originating from sites without elk. Second, evolution of S. velutina results in a change to the plant-associated arthropod community. We found that plants originating from sites with introduced elk supported an arthropod community that had ~35 % fewer total individuals and a different species composition. Our results show that the impacts of introduced species can have both ecological and evolutionary consequences for strongly interacting species that subsequently cascade to affect a much larger community. Such evolutionary consequences are likely to be long-term and difficult to remediate.

  10. Plant mutualisms with rhizosphere microbiota in introduced versus native ranges

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Shelby, Natasha; Duncan, Richard P.; van der Putten, Wim H.; McGinn, Kevin J.; Weser, Carolin; Hulme, Philip E.

    2016-01-01

    * The performance of introduced plants can be limited by the availability of soil mutualists outside their native range, but how interactions with mutualists differ between ranges is largely unknown. If mutualists are absent, incompatible or parasitic, plants may compensate by investing more in root

  11. Rehabilitation of saline ecosystems through cultivation of salt tolerant plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abdul, R.; Mahmood, K.

    2012-01-01

    In Pakistan, salt-affected regions have been drastically disturbed by unchecked activities of local populations. Removal of deep-rooted perennials and overgrazing destroy the native vegetation leading to rapid desertification. Shallow-rooted agricultural crops are grown on marginal soils on limited area that is not enough with respect to the spread of salinity problem. Sustainable restoration of these ecosystems requires a large scale integration of perennial plants (trees, shrubs and herbs) back in to farming systems. However, selenization processes continue because the available options for cultivation of perennial plants prove less profitable than agricultural crops. This study relates to resort the salt-affected lands for plant production and develop a technology for sustainable saline ecosystem. Plants, having salt tolerance potential, have been identified and introduced on salt-affected wastelands to develop a sustainable ecosystem with increased productivity. The biomass so produced can be used directly as forage, fuel, and even as food or feed. In addition, fish aquaculture, and some value-added products make this ecosystem more sustainable. This technology is practically demonstrated at Biosaline Research Station of Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology (NIAB), Pakka Anna, Faisalabad, Pakistan. The marginally saline soils and wastelands ameliorated as a result of growing salt tolerant perennials can also be used for growing salt tolerant cultivars of conventional crops like wheat, barley and mustard. So, through proper management the saline ecosystem can become economical and profitable. (author)

  12. Introducing Model Predictive Control for Improving Power Plant Portfolio Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Edlund, Kristian Skjoldborg; Bendtsen, Jan Dimon; Børresen, Simon

    2008-01-01

    This paper introduces a model predictive control (MPC) approach for construction of a controller for balancing the power generation against consumption in a power system. The objective of the controller is to coordinate a portfolio consisting of multiple power plant units in the effort to perform...

  13. Genetically modified soybean plants and their ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milošević Mirjana B.

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Transgenic plants are developed by introgressing new genes using methods of molecular genetics and genetic engineering. The presence of these genes in plant genome is identified on the basis of specific oligonucleotides primers, and the use of PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction and DNA fragments multiplication. Genetically modified plants such as soybean constitute a newly created bioenergetic potential whose gene expression can cause disturbance of the biological balance ecosystem, soil structure and soil microbiological activity. Genetically modified plants may acquire monogenic or polygenic traits causing genetic and physiological changes in these plants, which may elicit a certain reaction of the environment including changes of microbiological composition of soil rhizosphere. The aim of introgressing genes for certain traits into a cultivated plant is to enhance its yield and intensify food production. There are more and more genetically modified plant species such as soybean, corn, potato, rice and others and there is a pressure to use them as human food and animal feed. Genetically modified soybean plants with introgressed gene for resistance to total herbicides, such as Round-up, are more productive than non-modified herbicide-sensitive soybeans.

  14. Introducing Model Predictive Control for Improving Power Plant Portfolio Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Edlund, Kristian Skjoldborg; Bendtsen, Jan Dimon; Børresen, Simon

    2008-01-01

    This paper introduces a model predictive control (MPC) approach for construction of a controller for balancing the power generation against consumption in a power system. The objective of the controller is to coordinate a portfolio consisting of multiple power plant units in the effort to perform...... reference tracking and disturbance rejection in an economically optimal way. The performance function is chosen as a mixture of the `1-norm and a linear weighting to model the economics of the system. Simulations show a significant improvement of the performance of the MPC compared to the current...

  15. Re-introducing environmental change drivers in biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Laender, Frederik; Rohr, Jason R.; Ashauer, Roman; Baird, Donald J.; Berger, Uta; Eisenhauer, Nico; Grimm, Volker; Hommen, Udo; Maltby, Lorraine; Meliàn, Carlos J.; Pomati, Francesco; Roessink, Ivo; Radchuk, Viktoriia; Van den Brink, Paul J.

    2016-01-01

    For the past 20 years, research on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (B-EF) has only implicitly considered the underlying role of environmental change. We illustrate that explicitly re-introducing environmental change drivers in B-EF research is needed to predict the functioning of ecosystems facing changes in biodiversity. Next, we show how this reintroduction improves experimental control over community composition and structure, which helps to obtain mechanistic insight about how multiple aspects of biodiversity relate to function, and how biodiversity and function relate in food-webs. We also highlight challenges for the proposed re-introduction, and suggest analyses and experiments to better understand how random biodiversity changes, as studied by classic approaches in B-EF research, contribute to the shifts in function that follow environmental change. PMID:27742415

  16. Plant functional traits predict green roof ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundholm, Jeremy; Tran, Stephanie; Gebert, Luke

    2015-02-17

    Plants make important contributions to the services provided by engineered ecosystems such as green roofs. Ecologists use plant species traits as generic predictors of geographical distribution, interactions with other species, and ecosystem functioning, but this approach has been little used to optimize engineered ecosystems. Four plant species traits (height, individual leaf area, specific leaf area, and leaf dry matter content) were evaluated as predictors of ecosystem properties and services in a modular green roof system planted with 21 species. Six indicators of ecosystem services, incorporating thermal, hydrological, water quality, and carbon sequestration functions, were predicted by the four plant traits directly or indirectly via their effects on aggregate ecosystem properties, including canopy density and albedo. Species average height and specific leaf area were the most useful traits, predicting several services via effects on canopy density or growth rate. This study demonstrates that easily measured plant traits can be used to select species to optimize green roof performance across multiple key services.

  17. Health of plants, animals and ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marwitz, P.A.; Weers, A.W. van

    1988-12-01

    This report makes part of a series of eight reports which have been drawn up in behalf of the Dutch Policy Notition Radiation Standards (BNS). It presents the elaboration of subproject 2 'Health of plants, animals and ecosystems'. The study had been based upon the following questions: Does the application of the radiation-protection principes, intended to the protection of man, offer sufficient protection for populations of plants and animals?; If that sufficient protection does exsist, are there situations imagible which are exceptions therefore?; Which studies should be made if the forementioned questions cannot be answered sufficiently? The gravity of radiation effects turns out to depend on the radiation dose an on the part of the population which is exposed. On the base of literature it is concluded that effects upon aquatic and terristric populations are excluded below radiation levels of 1 mGy/day. From the application of the generic models it appears that the radiation burden of organisms will remain below 1 mGy/day. Since the radiation burden of man in actual practice will be nearly always lower certainly no effects upon plants, animals and ecosystems are to be expected. An exception is possible for situations in which the distribution does not take place in the living environment of man; in that case protection of man is no need for limiting the radiation levels. Such locations do not exsist in the Netherlands. For the Dutch situation, in view of the actual and expected radiation levels, the in the report derived upper limits for the radiation levels will certainly be reached. It is recommended to make for the Netherlands, starting from concrete source terms, estimations which are based upon concrete situations, with the help of the generic models. In view of the foregoing the necessity therefore is small. Next it is recommeded to keep following the international developments in this area. (H.W.). 60 refs.; 8 figs.; 3 tabs

  18. Impacts of introduced Rangifer on ecosystem processes of maritime tundra on subarctic islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricca, Mark; Miles, A. Keith; Van Vuren, Dirk H.; Eviner, Valerie T.

    2016-01-01

    Introductions of mammalian herbivores to remote islands without predators provide a natural experiment to ask how temporal and spatial variation in herbivory intensity alter feedbacks between plant and soil processes. We investigated ecosystem effects resulting from introductions of Rangifer tarandus (hereafter “Rangifer”) to native mammalian predator- and herbivore-free islands in the Aleutian archipelago of Alaska. We hypothesized that the maritime tundra of these islands would experience either: (1) accelerated ecosystem processes mediated by positive feedbacks between increased graminoid production and rapid nitrogen cycling; or (2) decelerated processes mediated by herbivory that stimulated shrub domination and lowered soil fertility. We measured summer plant and soil properties across three islands representing a chronosequence of elapsed time post-Rangifer introduction (Atka: ~100 yr; Adak: ~50; Kagalaska: ~0), with distinct stages of irruptive population dynamics of Rangifer nested within each island (Atka: irruption, K-overshoot, decline, K-re-equilibration; Adak: irruption, K-overshoot; Kagalaska: initial introduction). We also measured Rangifer spatial use within islands (indexed by pellet group counts) to determine how ecosystem processes responded to spatial variation in herbivory. Vegetation community response to herbivory varied with temporal and spatial scale. When comparing temporal effects using the island chronosequence, increased time since herbivore introduction led to more graminoids and fewer dwarf-shrubs, lichens, and mosses. Slow-growingCladonia lichens that are highly preferred winter forage were decimated on both long-termRangifer-occupied islands. In addition, linear relations between more concentrated Rangifer spatial use and reductions in graminoid and forb biomass within islands added spatial heterogeneity to long-term patterns identified by the chronosequence. These results support, in part, the hypothesis that

  19. Plants in aquatic ecosystems: current trends and future directions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    O’Hare, Matthew T.; Aguiar, Francisca C.; Asaeda, Takashi; Bakker, Elisabeth S.; Chambers, Patricia A.; Clayton, John S.; Elger, Arnaud; Ferreira, Teresa M.; Gross, Elisabeth M.; Gunn, Iain D.M.; Gurnell, Angela M.; Hellsten, Seppo; Hofstra, Deborah E.; Li, Wei; Mohr, Silvia; Puijalon, Sara; Szoszkiewicz, Krzysztof; Willby, Nigel J.; Wood, Kevin A.

    2018-01-01

    Aquatic plants fulfil a wide range of ecological roles, and make a substantial contribution to the structure, function and service provision of aquatic ecosystems. Given their well-documented importance in aquatic ecosystems, research into aquatic plants continues to blossom. The 14th International

  20. Effects of Introduced and Indigenous Viruses on Native Plants: Exploring Their Disease Causing Potential at the Agro-Ecological Interface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincent, Stuart J.; Coutts, Brenda A.; Jones, Roger A. C.

    2014-01-01

    The ever increasing movement of viruses around the world poses a major threat to plants growing in cultivated and natural ecosystems. Both generalist and specialist viruses move via trade in plants and plant products. Their potential to damage cultivated plants is well understood, but little attention has been given to the threat such viruses pose to plant biodiversity. To address this, we studied their impact, and that of indigenous viruses, on native plants from a global biodiversity hot spot in an isolated region where agriculture is very recent (plant species, we used introduced generalist and specialist viruses, and indigenous viruses, to inoculate plants of 15 native species belonging to eight families. We also measured resulting losses in biomass and reproductive ability for some host–virus combinations. In addition, we sampled native plants growing over a wide area to increase knowledge of natural infection with introduced viruses. The results suggest that generalist introduced viruses and indigenous viruses from other hosts pose a greater potential threat than introduced specialist viruses to populations of native plants encountered for the first time. Some introduced generalist viruses infected plants in more families than others and so pose a greater potential threat to biodiversity. The indigenous viruses tested were often surprisingly virulent when they infected native plant species they were not adapted to. These results are relevant to managing virus disease in new encounter scenarios at the agro-ecological interface between managed and natural vegetation, and within other disturbed natural vegetation situations. They are also relevant for establishing conservation policies for endangered plant species and avoiding spread of damaging viruses to undisturbed natural vegetation beyond the agro-ecological interface. PMID:24621926

  1. Effects of introduced and indigenous viruses on native plants: exploring their disease causing potential at the agro-ecological interface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincent, Stuart J; Coutts, Brenda A; Jones, Roger A C

    2014-01-01

    The ever increasing movement of viruses around the world poses a major threat to plants growing in cultivated and natural ecosystems. Both generalist and specialist viruses move via trade in plants and plant products. Their potential to damage cultivated plants is well understood, but little attention has been given to the threat such viruses pose to plant biodiversity. To address this, we studied their impact, and that of indigenous viruses, on native plants from a global biodiversity hot spot in an isolated region where agriculture is very recent (viruses readily. To establish their potential to cause severe or mild systemic symptoms in different native plant species, we used introduced generalist and specialist viruses, and indigenous viruses, to inoculate plants of 15 native species belonging to eight families. We also measured resulting losses in biomass and reproductive ability for some host-virus combinations. In addition, we sampled native plants growing over a wide area to increase knowledge of natural infection with introduced viruses. The results suggest that generalist introduced viruses and indigenous viruses from other hosts pose a greater potential threat than introduced specialist viruses to populations of native plants encountered for the first time. Some introduced generalist viruses infected plants in more families than others and so pose a greater potential threat to biodiversity. The indigenous viruses tested were often surprisingly virulent when they infected native plant species they were not adapted to. These results are relevant to managing virus disease in new encounter scenarios at the agro-ecological interface between managed and natural vegetation, and within other disturbed natural vegetation situations. They are also relevant for establishing conservation policies for endangered plant species and avoiding spread of damaging viruses to undisturbed natural vegetation beyond the agro-ecological interface.

  2. Leaf bacterial diversity mediates plant diversity and ecosystem function relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laforest-Lapointe, Isabelle; Paquette, Alain; Messier, Christian; Kembel, Steven W

    2017-06-01

    Research on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning has demonstrated links between plant diversity and ecosystem functions such as productivity. At other trophic levels, the plant microbiome has been shown to influence host plant fitness and function, and host-associated microbes have been proposed to influence ecosystem function through their role in defining the extended phenotype of host organisms However, the importance of the plant microbiome for ecosystem function has not been quantified in the context of the known importance of plant diversity and traits. Here, using a tree biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiment, we provide strong support for the hypothesis that leaf bacterial diversity is positively linked to ecosystem productivity, even after accounting for the role of plant diversity. Our results also show that host species identity, functional identity and functional diversity are the main determinants of leaf bacterial community structure and diversity. Our study provides evidence of a positive correlation between plant-associated microbial diversity and terrestrial ecosystem productivity, and a new mechanism by which models of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships can be improved.

  3. Modeling Hawaiian ecosystem degradation due to invasive plants under current and future climates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam E Vorsino

    Full Text Available Occupation of native ecosystems by invasive plant species alters their structure and/or function. In Hawaii, a subset of introduced plants is regarded as extremely harmful due to competitive ability, ecosystem modification, and biogeochemical habitat degradation. By controlling this subset of highly invasive ecosystem modifiers, conservation managers could significantly reduce native ecosystem degradation. To assess the invasibility of vulnerable native ecosystems, we selected a proxy subset of these invasive plants and developed robust ensemble species distribution models to define their respective potential distributions. The combinations of all species models using both binary and continuous habitat suitability projections resulted in estimates of species richness and diversity that were subsequently used to define an invasibility metric. The invasibility metric was defined from species distribution models with 0.8; True Skill Statistic >0.75 as evaluated per species. Invasibility was further projected onto a 2100 Hawaii regional climate change scenario to assess the change in potential habitat degradation. The distribution defined by the invasibility metric delineates areas of known and potential invasibility under current climate conditions and, when projected into the future, estimates potential reductions in native ecosystem extent due to climate-driven invasive incursion. We have provided the code used to develop these metrics to facilitate their wider use (Code S1. This work will help determine the vulnerability of native-dominated ecosystems to the combined threats of climate change and invasive species, and thus help prioritize ecosystem and species management actions.

  4. Modeling Hawaiian ecosystem degradation due to invasive plants under current and future climates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vorsino, Adam E.; Fortini, Lucas B.; Amidon, Fred A.; Miller, Stephen E.; Jacobi, James D.; Price, Jonathan P.; `Ohukani`ohi`a Gon, Sam; Koob, Gregory A.

    2014-01-01

    Occupation of native ecosystems by invasive plant species alters their structure and/or function. In Hawaii, a subset of introduced plants is regarded as extremely harmful due to competitive ability, ecosystem modification, and biogeochemical habitat degradation. By controlling this subset of highly invasive ecosystem modifiers, conservation managers could significantly reduce native ecosystem degradation. To assess the invasibility of vulnerable native ecosystems, we selected a proxy subset of these invasive plants and developed robust ensemble species distribution models to define their respective potential distributions. The combinations of all species models using both binary and continuous habitat suitability projections resulted in estimates of species richness and diversity that were subsequently used to define an invasibility metric. The invasibility metric was defined from species distribution models with 0.8; True Skill Statistic >0.75) as evaluated per species. Invasibility was further projected onto a 2100 Hawaii regional climate change scenario to assess the change in potential habitat degradation. The distribution defined by the invasibility metric delineates areas of known and potential invasibility under current climate conditions and, when projected into the future, estimates potential reductions in native ecosystem extent due to climate-driven invasive incursion. We have provided the code used to develop these metrics to facilitate their wider use (Code S1). This work will help determine the vulnerability of native-dominated ecosystems to the combined threats of climate change and invasive species, and thus help prioritize ecosystem and species management actions.

  5. Ecosystem simplification, biodiversity loss and plant virus emergence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roossinck, Marilyn J; García-Arenal, Fernando

    2015-02-01

    Plant viruses can emerge into crops from wild plant hosts, or conversely from domestic (crop) plants into wild hosts. Changes in ecosystems, including loss of biodiversity and increases in managed croplands, can impact the emergence of plant virus disease. Although data are limited, in general the loss of biodiversity is thought to contribute to disease emergence. More in-depth studies have been done for human viruses, but studies with plant viruses suggest similar patterns, and indicate that simplification of ecosystems through increased human management may increase the emergence of viral diseases in crops. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Introducing the term 'Biocontrol Plants' for integrated pest management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pia Parolin

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Studies of interactions between crops, additional plants, pests and beneficial organisms already exist as well as studies of natural enemy preference, dispersal, and abundance. However, these studies focus on tri-trophic interactions from an "arthropod" point of view. We think that in order to optimize crop protection methods we need to understand the effects that plant structures have on the various arthropods and on subsequent tri-trophic interactions. Although studies and reviews describing the role of secondary plants in Integrated Pest Management (IPM exist, to date a general term which encompasses all plants added to a cropping system with the aim of enhancing IPM strategies has yet to be formulated. Therefore, we suggest a new term, "biocontrol plants", which we define as plants that are intentionally added to a crop system with the aim of enhancing crop productivity through pest attraction and/or pest regulation; a term that will promote the use of biocontrol services, and can ultimately lead to an increase in the sustainability of cropping systems.

  7. Enhancing (crop) plant photosynthesis by introducing novel genetic diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dann, Marcel; Leister, Dario

    2017-09-26

    Although some elements of the photosynthetic light reactions might appear to be ideal, the overall efficiency of light conversion to biomass has not been optimized during evolution. Because crop plants are depleted of genetic diversity for photosynthesis, efforts to enhance its efficiency with respect to light conversion to yield must generate new variation. In principle, three sources of natural variation are available: (i) rare diversity within extant higher plant species, (ii) photosynthetic variants from algae, and (iii) reconstruction of no longer extant types of plant photosynthesis. Here, we argue for a novel approach that outsources crop photosynthesis to a cyanobacterium that is amenable to adaptive evolution. This system offers numerous advantages, including a short generation time, virtually unlimited population sizes and high mutation rates, together with a versatile toolbox for genetic manipulation. On such a synthetic bacterial platform, 10 000 years of (crop) plant evolution can be recapitulated within weeks. Limitations of this system arise from its unicellular nature, which cannot reproduce all aspects of crop photosynthesis. But successful establishment of such a bacterial host for crop photosynthesis promises not only to enhance the performance of eukaryotic photosynthesis but will also reveal novel facets of the molecular basis of photosynthetic flexibility.This article is part of the themed issue 'Enhancing photosynthesis in crop plants: targets for improvement'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  8. Availability, diversification and versatility explain human selection of introduced plants in Ecuadorian traditional medicine.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G Hart

    Full Text Available Globally, a majority of people use plants as a primary source of healthcare and introduced plants are increasingly discussed as medicine. Protecting this resource for human health depends upon understanding which plants are used and how use patterns will change over time. The increasing use of introduced plants in local pharmacopoeia has been explained by their greater abundance or accessibility (availability hypothesis, their ability to cure medical conditions that are not treated by native plants (diversification hypothesis, or as a result of the introduced plants' having many different simultaneous roles (versatility hypothesis. In order to describe the role of introduced plants in Ecuador, and to test these three hypotheses, we asked if introduced plants are over-represented in the Ecuadorian pharmacopoeia, and if their use as medicine is best explained by the introduced plants' greater availability, different therapeutic applications, or greater number of use categories. Drawing on 44,585 plant-use entries, and the checklist of >17,000 species found in Ecuador, we used multi-model inference to test if more introduced plants are used as medicines in Ecuador than expected by chance, and examine the support for each of the three hypotheses above. We find nuanced support for all hypotheses. More introduced plants are utilized than would be expected by chance, which can be explained by geographic distribution, their strong association with cultivation, diversification (except with regard to introduced diseases, and therapeutic versatility, but not versatility of use categories. Introduced plants make a disproportionately high contribution to plant medicine in Ecuador. The strong association of cultivation with introduced medicinal plant use highlights the importance of the maintenance of human-mediated environments such as homegardens and agroforests for the provisioning of healthcare services.

  9. Naturalization of introduced plants: ecological drivers of biogeographic patterns

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Richardson, D. M.; Pyšek, Petr

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 196, č. 2 (2012), s. 383-396 ISSN 0028-646X R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP504/11/1028 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : plant invasions * naturalization * macroecological patterns Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 6.736, year: 2012

  10. Wetland plant influence on sediment ecosystem structure and trophic function

    OpenAIRE

    Whitcraft, Christine René

    2007-01-01

    Vascular plants structure wetland ecosystems. To examine mechanisms behind their influence, plants were studied under different scenarios of change: experimental manipulation of cover, invasion, and response to flushing regimes. I tested the hypothesis that wetland plants alter benthic communities through modification of abiotic factors, with cascading effects on microalgae and invertebrate communities. Major plant effects were observed in all systems studied, but the magnitude of, mechanisms...

  11. Meaningful traits for grouping plant species across arid ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bär Lamas, Marlene Ivonne; Carrera, A L; Bertiller, M B

    2016-05-01

    Grouping species may provide some degree of simplification to understand the ecological function of plants on key ecosystem processes. We asked whether groups of plant species based on morpho-chemical traits associated with plant persistence and stress/disturbance resistance reflect dominant plant growth forms in arid ecosystems. We selected twelve sites across an aridity gradient in northern Patagonia. At each site, we identified modal size plants of each dominant species and assessed specific leaf area (SLA), plant height, seed mass, N and soluble phenol concentration in green and senesced leaves at each plant. Plant species were grouped according with plant growth forms (perennial grasses, evergreen shrubs and deciduous shrubs) and plant morphological and/or chemical traits using cluster analysis. We calculated mean values of each plant trait for each species group and plant growth form. Plant growth forms significantly differed among them in most of the morpho-chemical traits. Evergreen shrubs were tall plants with the highest seed mass and soluble phenols in leaves, deciduous shrubs were also tall plants with high SLA and the highest N in leaves, and perennial grasses were short plants with high SLA and low concentration of N and soluble phenols in leaves. Grouping species by the combination of morpho-chemical traits yielded 4 groups in which species from one growth form prevailed. These species groups differed in soluble phenol concentration in senesced leaves and plant height. These traits were highly correlated. We concluded that (1) plant height is a relevant synthetic variable, (2) growth forms adequately summarize ecological strategies of species in arid ecosystems, and (3) the inclusion of plant morphological and chemical traits related to defenses against environmental stresses and herbivory enhanced the potential of species grouping, particularly within shrubby growth forms.

  12. REFLECTIONS ON POVERTY SOLUTIONS OFFERED BY INTRODUCING SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP TO ECOSYSTEM SERVICES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GABRIELA PRELIPCEAN

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The new economy which characterizes today’s world is invaded by countless theories and concepts which try to explain the way societies fail to assure a general well-being for citizens and wish to offer support for the development of a flourishing and safe future. Between these concepts, some new and some old, are the social entrepreneurship and the ecosystem services. Both of these have started to become very important for researchers and policy makers in the last decade. Also, both have the objective of creating a more human economy and assuring the human well-being. Even though the subjects of these theories are very different, we have managed to show in this paper that a correlation between the two is possible and more than that their combination can have positive outcomes. Social entrepreneurship is a concept describing a new way of using business know-how gained from the private sector in order to find solutions to social, cultural and environmental problems. Ecosystem services are the benefits which people obtain from ecosystems. A relation between the two concepts can be represented by the fact that ecosystem services might be the subject of social entrepreneurship. Another one would be the input which social entrepreneurship might bring to ecosystem services, in what concerns abilities and techniques in dealing with different problems. In conclusion, we tried to show that these double way relations would have an important role in what concerns the fight against poverty.

  13. Plant community mediation of ecosystem responses to global change factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Churchill, A. C.

    2017-12-01

    Human alteration of the numerous environmental drivers affecting ecosystem processes is unprecedented in the last century, including changes in climate regimes and rapid increases in the availability of biologically active nitrogen (N). Plant communities may offer stabilizing or amplifying feedbacks mediating potential ecosystem responses to these alterations, and my research seeks to examine the conditions associated with when plant feedbacks are important for ecosystem change. My dissertation research focused on the unintended consequences of N deposition into natural landscapes, including alpine ecosystems which are particularly susceptible to adverse environmental impacts. In particular, I examined alpine plant and soil responses to N deposition 1) across multiple spatial scales throughout the Southern Rocky Mountains, 2) among diverse plant communities associated with unique environmental conditions common in the alpine of this region, and 3) among ecosystem pools of N contributing to stabilization of N inputs within those communities. I found that communities responded to inputs of N differently, often associated with traits of dominant plant species but these responses were intimately linked with the abiotic conditions of each independent community. Even so, statistical models predicting metrics of N processing in the alpine were improved by encompassing both abiotic and biotic components of the main community types.

  14. Trophic dynamics in a simple experimental ecosystem: Interactions among centipedes, Collembola and introduced earthworms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meixiang Gao; Melanie K. Taylor; Mac A. Callaham

    2017-01-01

    Invasive earthworms in North America are known to have dramatic influences on soil ecosystems, including negative effects on other soil fauna. In general, studies examining this phenomenon have focused on invasive earthworm impacts on organisms at the same or lower trophic level as the earthworms themselves (i.e., detritivores and decomposers). In contrast, there have...

  15. Noise-induced stability in dryland plant ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Odorico, Paolo; Laio, Francesco; Ridolfi, Luca

    2005-08-02

    Dryland plant ecosystems tend to exhibit bistable dynamics with two preferential configurations of bare and vegetated soils. Climate fluctuations are usually believed to act as a source of disturbance on these ecosystems and to reduce their stability and resilience. In contrast, this work shows that random interannual fluctuations of precipitation may lead to the emergence of an intermediate statistically stable condition between the two stable states of the deterministic dynamics of vegetation. As a result, there is an enhancement of ecosystem resilience and a decrease in the likelihood of catastrophic shifts to the desert state.

  16. Introducing mixotrophy into a biogeochemical model describing an eutrophied coastal ecosystem: The Southern North Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghyoot, Caroline; Lancelot, Christiane; Flynn, Kevin J.; Mitra, Aditee; Gypens, Nathalie

    2017-09-01

    Most biogeochemical/ecological models divide planktonic protists between phototrophs (phytoplankton) and heterotrophs (zooplankton). However, a large number of planktonic protists are able to combine several mechanisms of carbon and nutrient acquisition. Not representing these multiple mechanisms in biogeochemical/ecological models describing eutrophied coastal ecosystems can potentially lead to different conclusions regarding ecosystem functioning, especially regarding the success of harmful algae, which are often reported as mixotrophic. This modelling study investigates the implications for trophic dynamics of including 3 contrasting forms of mixotrophy, namely osmotrophy (using alkaline phosphatase activity, APA), non-constitutive mixotrophy (acquired phototrophy by microzooplankton) and also constitutive mixotrophy. The application is in the Southern North Sea, an ecosystem that faced, between 1985 and 2005, a significant increase in the nutrient supply N:P ratio (from 31 to 81 mol N:P). The comparison with a traditional model shows that, when the winter N:P ratio in the Southern North Sea is above 22 molN molP-1 (as occurred from mid-1990s), APA allows a 3-32% increase of annual gross primary production (GPP). In result of the higher GPP, the annual sedimentation increases as well as the bacterial production. By contrast, APA does not affect the export of matter to higher trophic levels because the increased GPP is mainly due to Phaeocystis colonies, which are not grazed by copepods. Under high irradiance, non-constitutive mixotrophy appreciably increases annual GPP, transfer to higher trophic levels, sedimentation, and nutrient remineralisation. In this ecosystem, non-constitutive mixotrophy is also observed to have an indirect stimulating effect on diatoms. Constitutive mixotrophy in nanoflagellates appears to have little influence on this ecosystem functioning. An important conclusion from this work is that contrasting forms of mixotrophy have different

  17. A review of impacts by invasive exotic plants on forest ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kevin Devine; Songlin. Fei

    2011-01-01

    Many of our forest ecosystems are at risk due to the invasion of exotic invasive plant species. Invasive plant species pose numerous threats to ecosystems by decreasing biodiversity, deteriorating ecosystem processes, and degrading ecosystem services. Literature on Kentucky's most invasive exotic plant species was examined to understand their potential impacts on...

  18. Plant hydraulic diversity buffers forest ecosystem responses to drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderegg, W.; Konings, A. G.; Trugman, A. T.; Pacala, S. W.; Yu, K.; Sulman, B. N.; Sperry, J.; Bowling, D. R.

    2017-12-01

    Drought impacts carbon, water, and energy cycles in forests and may pose a fundamental threat to forests in future climates. Plant hydraulic transport of water is central to tree drought responses, including curtailing of water loss and the risk of mortality during drought. The effect of biodiversity on ecosystem function has typically been examined in grasslands, yet the diversity of plant hydraulic strategies may influence forests' response to drought. In a combined analysis of eddy covariance measurements, remote-sensing data of plant water content variation, model simulations, and plant hydraulic trait data, we test the degree to which plant water stress schemes influence the carbon cycle and how hydraulic diversity within and across ecosystems affects large-scale drought responses. We find that current plant functional types are not well-suited to capture hydraulic variation and that higher hydraulic diversity buffers ecosystem variation during drought. Our results demonstrate that tree functional diversity, particularly hydraulic diversity, may be critical to simulate in plant functional types in current land surface model projections of future vegetation's response to climate extremes.

  19. Chemical sensing of plant stress at the ecosystem scale

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Karl

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Significant ecosystem-scale emissions of methylsalicylate (MeSA, a semivolatile plant hormone thought to act as the mobile signal for systemic acquired resistance (SAR, were observed in an agroforest. Our measurements show that plant internal defence mechanisms can be activated in response to temperature stress and are modulated by water availability on large scales. Highest MeSA fluxes (up to 0.25 mg/m2/h were observed after plants experienced ambient night-time temperatures of ~7.5°C followed by a large daytime temperature increase (e.g. up to 22°C. Under these conditions estimated night-time leaf temperatures were as low as ~4.6°C, likely inducing a response to prevent chilling injury. Our observations imply that plant hormones can be a significant component of ecosystem scale volatile organic compound (VOC fluxes (e.g. as high as the total monoterpene (MT flux and therefore contribute to the missing VOC budget. If generalized to other ecosystems and different types of stresses these findings suggest that semivolatile plant hormones have been overlooked by investigations of the impact of biogenic VOCs on aerosol formation events in forested regions. Our observations show that the presence of MeSA in canopy air serves as an early chemical warning signal indicating ecosystem-scale stresses before visible damage becomes apparent. As a chemical metric, ecosystem emission measurements of MeSA in ambient air could therefore support field studies investigating factors that adversely affect plant growth.

  20. Soil-plant transfer factors in forest ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Strebl, F.; Gerzabek, M.H.

    1995-04-01

    Within scope of an extended study about 137 Cs behaviour in forest ecosystems several parameters were found to influence soil-plant transfer factors. TF-values of different plant species cover a range of two magnitudes. This is partly due to variations in rooting depth of plants and specific physiological adaptations of nutrient supply. Perrenial plants like trees (Picea abies) and dwarf shrubs (Vaccinium myrtillus) showed a distinct age - dependency of 137 Cs - transfer factors. In young plant parts caesium concentration is higher than in old, more signified twigs. A correlation analysis of physico-chemical soil parameters and TF-values to forest vegetation showed, that soil organic matter, especially the degree of humification and the ratio between extractable fulvic to humic acids are important influencing factors of 137 Cs transfer from forest soils to plants. (author)

  1. Marine ecosystem analysis for Kori nuclear power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, C.H.; Kim, Y.H.; Cho, T.S.

    1980-01-01

    The effect of both radioactive and thermal effluents discharged from the plant on aquatic ecosystem is one of the primary concerns in evaluating the environmental impact due to the operation of the nuclear power plant. Biological alteration of aquatic ecosystems may be resulted from radioactive effluents, thermal pollution and chemical releases. There is also another possible synergistic effect, that is, the combination of the above stresses, which may cause an impact severer than that of the sum of the individual impact. This report deals with species diversity and seasonal variations of those numbers of phytoplankton, marine algae and microorganisms, and distribution of radioactivity of marine organisms, as well as those data pertaining to sea water analysis. The present survey is designed to provide a partial baseline information for environmental impact assessment of Kori nuclear plant unit no. 1. (author)

  2. Marine-ecosystem analysis for the Kori nuclear power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, J.H.; Kim, Y.H.

    1979-01-01

    The effects of radioactive effluents and warm water discharged from the plant on aquatic ecosystem is one of the primary considerations in evaluating the impact due to the operation of the nuclear power plant. Biological alteration of aquatic ecosystems may be resulted from radioactive effluents, thermal pollution and chemical releases; there is also the possible synergistic effect, that is, the combination of the above stresses, which may cause an effect greater than that of the sum of the individual effects. This report deals with species diversity and seasonal vegetation of phytoplankton, marine algae and microorganisms, radioactive contamination of marine organisms, and lateral distribution of sea water temperature from discharge point. The present investigation is designed to provide a partial baseline information for environmental safety against Kori nuclear power plant. (author)

  3. Introducing litter quality to the ecosystem model LPJ-GUESS: Effects on short- and long-term soil carbon dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portner, Hanspeter; Wolf, Annett; Rühr, Nadine; Bugmann, Harald

    2010-05-01

    Many biogeochemical models have been applied to study the response of the carbon cycle to changes in climate, whereby the process of carbon uptake (photosynthesis) has usually gained more attention than the equally important process of carbon release by respiration. The decomposition of soil organic matter is driven by a combination of factors like soil temperature, soil moisture and litter quality. We have introduced dependence on litter substrate quality to heterotrophic soil respiration in the ecosystem model LPJ-GUESS [Smith et al.(2001)]. We were interested in differences in model projections before and after the inclusion of the dependency both in respect to short- and long-term soil carbon dynamics. The standard implementation of heterotrophic soil respiration in LPJ-GUESS is a simple carbon three-pool model whose decay rates are dependent on soil temperature and soil moisture. We have added dependence on litter quality by coupling LPJ-GUESS to the soil carbon model Yasso07 [Tuomi et al.(2008)]. The Yasso07 model is based on an extensive number of measurements of litter decomposition of forest soils. Apart from the dependence on soil temperature and soil moisture, the Yasso07 model uses carbon soil pools representing different substrate qualities: acid hydrolyzable, water soluble, ethanol soluble, lignin compounds and humus. Additionally Yasso07 differentiates between woody and non-woody litter. In contrary to the reference implementation of LPJ-GUESS, in the new model implementation, the litter now is divided according to its specific quality and added to the corresponding soil carbon pool. The litter quality thereby differs between litter source (leaves, roots, stems) and plant functional type (broadleaved, needleleaved, grass). The two contrasting model implementations were compared and validated at one specific CarboEuropeIP site (Lägern, Switzerland) and on a broader scale all over Switzerland. Our focus lay on the soil respiration for the years 2006

  4. Data from: Plant mutualisms with rhizosphere microbiota in introduced versus native ranges

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Shelby, Natasha; Duncan, Richard P.; Putten, van der W.H.; Mcginn, Kevin J.; Weser, Carolin; Hulme, Philip E.

    2016-01-01

    The performance of introduced plants can be limited by the availability of soil mutualists outside their native range, but how interactions with mutualists differ between ranges is largely unknown. If mutualists are absent, incompatible or parasitic, plants may compensate by investing more in root

  5. Biochar and Ecosystem Restoration: Plant Ecophysiological Responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gale, N.; Halim, M. A.; Thomas, S. C.

    2017-12-01

    Charcoal is thought to facilitate rapid plant regeneration following fires by increasing the retention and availability of nutrients and water, increasing soil pH, and by sorbing toxic and inhibitory soil compounds - responses that have recently encouraged research on "biochar," or charcoal used as a soil amendment. Interest in biochar for use in the restoration of disturbed systems is growing; however, investigations of the effects of biochar on wild plants and trees are lacking. We present results from two experiments testing the influence of biochar on the growth and physiology of pioneers. In the first study, in a glasshouse, we examined the effects of maple biochar (10 and 20 t/ha) applied to a temperate managed forest soil on the ecophysiology of 13 herbaceous old-field species. In the second study, in field trials in Bangladesh (15 x 15 m plots), we examined the effects of acacia biochar (7.5 t/ha) on the growth of regenerating dipterocarp secondary forests. In both experiments, we measured changes in nutrient availability to help explain ecophysiological responses. Biochars enhanced the performance of early successional old-field pioneers: increasing aboveground biomass (37%), photosynthesis (17%), reproductive biomass (100%), and water use efficiency (44%), but with high species-specific variation that included negative responses. In tropical forests, biochars marginally improved the growth and recruitment of canopy dipterocarps and increased the photosynthetic performance and abundance of some, but not all, of the dominant understory species. In both experiments, growth enhancement was due to pulses of PO4-and K+ supplied by biochar in the short term; while null and negative responses were the result of nitrogen immobilization for species with high photosynthetic capacities. These results suggest that by providing a pulse of P and base cations, biochar can improve the restoration of disturbed landscapes by enhancing the physiological performance of

  6. Explaining plant-soil diversity in Alpine ecosystems: more than just time since ecosystem succession started

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane, Stuart; Baetz, Nico; Borgeaud, Laure; Verrecchia, Eric; Vittoz, Pascal

    2014-05-01

    Ecosystem succession in Alpine environments has been a focus of research for many decades. Following from the classic ideas of Jenny (1941, 1961), following perturbation, an ecosystem (flora, fauna and soil) should evolve as a function of time at a rate conditioned by external variables (relief, climate, geology). More recently, biogeomorphologists have focused upon the notion of co-evolution of geomorphic processes with ecosystems over very short through to very long (evolutionary) time-scales. Alpine environments have been a particular focus of models of co-evolution, as a means of understanding the rate of plant colonization of previously glaciated terrain. However, work in this field has tended to adopt an over simplified view of the relationship between perturbation and succession, including: how the landform and ecosystem itself conditions the impact of a perturbation to create a complex spatial impact; and how perturbations are not simply ecosystem destroyers but can be a significant source of ecosystem resources. What this means is that at the within landform scale, there may well be a complex and dynamic topographic and sedimentological template that co-evolves with the development of soil, flora and fauna. In this paper, we present and test conceptual models for such co-evolution for an Alpine alluvial fan and an Alpine piedmont braided river. We combine detailed floristic inventory with soil inventory, survey of edaphic variables above and below ground (e.g. vertical and lateral sedimentological structure, using electrical resistance tomography) and the analysis of historical aerial imagery. The floristic inventory shows the existence of a suite of distinct plant communities within each landform. Time since last perturbation is not a useful explanatory variable of the spatial distribution of these communities because: (1) perturbation impacts are spatially variable, as conditioned by the extent distribution of topographic, edaphic and ecological

  7. Calcium constrains plant control over forest ecosystem nitrogen cycling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groffman, Peter M; Fisk, Melany C

    2011-11-01

    Forest ecosystem nitrogen (N) cycling is a critical controller of the ability of forests to prevent the movement of reactive N to receiving waters and the atmosphere and to sequester elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). Here we show that calcium (Ca) constrains the ability of northern hardwood forest trees to control the availability and loss of nitrogen. We evaluated soil N-cycling response to Ca additions in the presence and absence of plants and observed that when plants were present, Ca additions "tightened" the ecosystem N cycle, with decreases in inorganic N levels, potential net N mineralization rates, microbial biomass N content, and denitrification potential. In the absence of plants, Ca additions induced marked increases in nitrification (the key process controlling ecosystem N losses) and inorganic N levels. The observed "tightening" of the N cycle when Ca was added in the presence of plants suggests that the capacity of forests to absorb elevated levels of atmospheric N and CO2 is fundamentally constrained by base cations, which have been depleted in many areas of the globe by acid rain and forest harvesting.

  8. Transgenic rice plants harboring an introduced potato proteinase inhibitor II gene are insect resistant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duan, X; Li, X; Xue, Q; Abo-el-Saad, M; Xu, D; Wu, R

    1996-04-01

    We introduced the potato proteinase inhibitor II (PINII) gene (pin2) into several Japonica rice varieties, and regenerated a large number of transgenic rice plants. Wound-inducible expression of the pin2 gene driven by its own promoter, together with the first intron of the rice actin 1 gene (act1), resulted in high-level accumulation of the PINII protein in the transgenic plants. The introduced pin2 gene was stably inherited in the second, third, and fourth generations, as shown by molecular analyses. Based on data from the molecular analyses, several homozygous transgenic lines were obtained. Bioassay for insect resistance with the fifth-generation transgenic rice plants showed that transgenic rice plants had increased resistance to a major rice insect pest, pink stem borer (Sesamia inferens). Thus, introduction of an insecticidal proteinase inhibitor gene into cereal plants can be used as a general strategy for control of insect pests.

  9. Plant species richness and ecosystem multifunctionality in global drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maestre, Fernando T.; Quero, Jose L.; Gotelli, Nicholas J.; Escudero, Adrian; Ochoa, Victoria; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Garcia-Gomez, Miguel; Bowker, Matthew A.; Soliveres, Santiago; Escolar, Cristina; Garcia-Palacios, Pablo; Berdugo, Miguel; Valencia, Enrique; Gozalo, Beatriz; Gallardo, Antonio; Aguilera, Lorgio; Arredondo, Tulio; Blones, Julio; Boeken, Bertrand; Bran, Donaldo; Conceicao, Abel A.; Cabrera, Omar; Chaieb, Mohamed; Derak, Mchich; Eldridge, David J.; Espinosa, Carlos I.; Florentino, Adriana; Gaitan, Juan; Gatica, M. Gabriel; Ghiloufi, Wahida; Gomez-Gonzalez, Susana; Gutie, Julio R.; Hernandez, Rosa M.; Huang, Xuewen; Huber-Sannwald, Elisabeth; Jankju, Mohammad; Miriti, Maria; Monerris, Jorge; Mau, Rebecca L.; Morici, Ernesto; Naseri, Kamal; Ospina, Abelardo; Polo, Vicente; Prina, Anibal; Pucheta, Eduardo; Ramirez-Collantes, David A.; Romao, Roberto; Tighe, Matthew; Torres-Diaz, Cristian; Val, James; Veiga, Jose P.; Wang, Deli; Zaady, Eli

    2012-01-01

    Experiments suggest that biodiversity enhances the ability of ecosystems to maintain multiple functions, such as carbon storage, productivity, and the buildup of nutrient pools (multifunctionality). However, the relationship between biodiversity and multifunctionality has never been assessed globally in natural ecosystems. We report here on a global empirical study relating plant species richness and abiotic factors to multifunctionality in drylands, which collectively cover 41% of Earth's land surface and support over 38% of the human population. Multifunctionality was positively and significantly related to species richness. The best-fitting models accounted for over 55% of the variation in multifunctionality and always included species richness as a predictor variable. Our results suggest that the preservation of plant biodiversity is crucial to buffer negative effects of climate change and desertification in drylands.

  10. Litter drives ecosystem and plant community changes in cattail invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrer, Emily C; Goldberg, Deborah E

    2009-03-01

    Invaded systems are commonly associated with a change in ecosystem processes and a decline in native species diversity; however, many different causal pathways linking invasion, ecosystem change, and native species decline could produce this pattern. The initial driver of environmental change may be anthropogenic, or it may be the invader itself; and the mechanism behind native species decline may be the human-induced environmental change, competition from the invader, or invader-induced environmental change (non-trophic effects). We examined applicability of each of these alternate pathways in Great Lakes coastal marshes invaded by hybrid cattail (Typha x glauca). In a survey including transects in three marshes, we found that T. x glauca was associated with locally high soil nutrients, low light, and large amounts of litter, and that native diversity was highest in areas of shallow litter depth. We tested whether live T. x glauca plants or their litter induced changes in the environment and in diversity with a live plant and litter transplant experiment. After one year, Typha litter increased soil NH4+ and N mineralization twofold, lowered light levels, and decreased the abundance and diversity of native plants, while live Typha plants had no effect on the environment or on native plants. This suggests that T. x glauca, through its litter production, can cause the changes in ecosystem processes that we commonly attribute to anthropogenic nutrient loading and that T. x glauca does not displace native species through competition for resources, but rather affects them non-trophically through its litter. Moreover, because T. x glauca plants were taller when grown with their own litter, we suggest that this invader may produce positive feedbacks and change the environment in ways that benefit itself and may promote its own invasion.

  11. Engineering a plant community to deliver multiple ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storkey, Jonathan; Döring, Thomas; Baddeley, John; Collins, Rosemary; Roderick, Stephen; Jones, Hannah; Watson, Christine

    2015-06-01

    The sustainable delivery of multiple ecosystem services requires the management of functionally diverse biological communities. In an agricultural context, an emphasis on food production has often led to a loss of biodiversity to the detriment of other ecosystem services such as the maintenance of soil health and pest regulation. In scenarios where multiple species can be grown together, it may be possible to better balance environmental and agronomic services through the targeted selection of companion species. We used the case study of legume-based cover crops to engineer a plant community that delivered the optimal balance of six ecosystem services: early productivity, regrowth following mowing, weed suppression, support of invertebrates, soil fertility building (measured as yield of following crop), and conservation of nutrients in the soil. An experimental species pool of 12 cultivated legume species was screened for a range of functional traits and ecosystem services at five sites across a geographical gradient in the United Kingdom. All possible species combinations were then analyzed, using a process-based model of plant competition, to identify the community that delivered the best balance of services at each site. In our system, low to intermediate levels of species richness (one to four species) that exploited functional contrasts in growth habit and phenology were identified as being optimal. The optimal solution was determined largely by the number of species and functional diversity represented by the starting species pool, emphasizing the importance of the initial selection of species for the screening experiments. The approach of using relationships between functional traits and ecosystem services to design multifunctional biological communities has the potential to inform the design of agricultural systems that better balance agronomic and environmental services and meet the current objective of European agricultural policy to maintain viable food

  12. The challenge of introducing high-temperature reactor plants onto the international power plant market

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bogen, J.; Stoelzl, D.

    1987-01-01

    Growth of world population increases energy demand until the year 2000 and afterwards. Electricity growth rates in industrialized nations are lower after the oil price escalation in 1973 and 1979, and in developing countries grid sizes are often too small for the operation of large LWR plants. This indicates a potential for small and medium-sized power reactors such as the HTR-100 and the HTR-500. These plants can compete with coal fired plants of comparable size. An HTR-500 is even competitive, considering the electricity generating cost of large LWR plants. The special advantages of HTR plants in the small and medium-capacity range are discussed. (orig.)

  13. The challenge of introducing high-temperature-reactor plants onto the international power plant market

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bogen, J.; Stoelzl, D.

    1988-01-01

    Growth of world population increases energy demand until the year 2000 and afterwards. Electricity growth rates in industrialized nations are lower after the oil price escalation in 1973 and 1979, and in developing countries grid sizes are often too small for the operation of large LWR plants. This indicates a potential for small and medium-sized power reactors such as the HTR-100 and the HTR-500. These plants can compete with coal fired plants of comparable size. An HTR-500 is even competitive, considering the electricity generating cost of large LWR plants. The special advantages of HTR plants in the small and medium-capacity range are discussed. (orig.)

  14. Advanced maintenance strategies for power plant operators--introducing inter-plant life cycle management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Graeber, Ulrich

    2004-01-01

    One of the most important goals of competing power plant operators is to ensure safe operation of their plants, characterized by maximum availability throughout the entire life cycle and minimized specific generating costs. One parameter crucial to the total price of electricity--and one that can be actively influenced by the power plant operators--is maintenance. Up to 30% of all electricity generating costs accrue from maintenance. In the past years maintenance measures have been optimized particularly by the application and continuing development of testing and diagnostic techniques, by the increased level of system and component automation as well as more efficient organization structures. Despite the considerable success of these efforts, the potential for further cost reductions is still far from exhausted. But the risks connected to reliability, availability and safety need to be analyzed in greater detail in order to ensure the sustainability of the savings already achieved as well as those yet to be realized. The systematic application of condition-based maintenance and the implementation of structured life cycle management are essential requirements. An inter-plant approach is recommended to make a quick implementation of maintenance optimization potentials possible. Plant-specific improvement potentials can be established with the help of a best-practice comparison, and measures and priorities can be defined for realizing them. Creating an inter-plant database will allow experience and findings to be analyzed quickly and efficiently by experts and made available to all participants on a neutral platform. Despite--or maybe owing to--the increasingly competitive marketplace, a sustained reduction in the maintenance costs of power plant operators can only be achieved through a structured, inter-plant exchange of experience. The ZES offers the industry a suitable platform for cooperation with its 'Condition-Based Maintenance' research focus. The introduction

  15. Invasion of a Legume Ecosystem Engineer in a Cold Biome Alters Plant Biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa M. S. Vetter

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Plant ecosystem engineers are widely used to combat land degradation. However, the ability of those plants to modulate limiting abiotic and biotic resources of other species can cause damage to ecosystems in which they become invasive. Here, we use Lupinus nootkatensis as example to estimate and project the hazardous potential of nitrogen fixing herbaceous plants in a sub-polar oceanic climate. L. nootkatensis was introduced to Iceland in the 1940s to address erosion problems and foster reforestation, but subsequently became a high-latitude invader. In a local field survey, we quantified the impact of L. nootkatensis invasion at three different cover levels (0, 10–50, and 51–100% upon native plant diversity, richness, and community composition of heath-, wood-, and grasslands using a pairwise comparison design and comparisons of means. Afterward, we scaled impacts up to the ecosystem and landscape level by relating occurrences of L. nootkatensis to environmental and human-mediated variables across Iceland using a species distribution model. Plant diversity was significantly deteriorated under high lupine cover levels of the heath- and woodland, but not in the grassland. Plant species richness of the most diverse habitat, the heathland, linearly decreased with lupine cover level. The abundance of small rosettes, cushion plants, orchids, and small woody long-lived plants of the heath declined with invader presence, while the abundance of late successional species and widespread nitrophilous ruderals in wood- and grasslands increased. Distribution modeling revealed 13.3% of Iceland’s land surface area to be suitable lupine habitat. Until 2061–2080, this area will more than double and expand significantly into the Central Highlands due to human mediation and increasingly favorable climatic conditions. Species-rich habitats showed a loss of plant species diversity and richness as well as a change in community composition even in low lupine

  16. The challenge of introducing HTR plants on to the international power plant market

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bogen, J.; Stoelzl, D.

    1987-01-01

    The international power plant market today is characterized by high increase in energy consumption for developing countries with limitations of investment capital and low increase in energy consumption for industrialized countries with limitations of additional power plant capacities. As a consequence there is a low demand for large new power stations. This leads to a tendency for small and medium sized power plant units - meeting high environmental standards - for which the total investment volume is low and full load operation of a plant can be realized earlier due to the small block capacity. - For nuclear power plants the High-Temperature-Reactor (HTR)-line with spherical fuel elements and a core structure of graphite is specially suited for this small and medium sized nuclear reactor (SMSNR) capacity. The excellent safety characteristics, the high availability, the low radiation doses for the operation personnel and the environment of the HTR line has been demonstrated by 20 years of operation of the AVR-15 MWe experimental power plant in Juelich F.R.G. and since 1985 by operation of the THTR-300 MWe prototype plant at Hamm-Uentrop F.R.G. Up-dated concepts of the HTR-line are under design for electricity generation (HTR-500), for co-generation of power and heat (HTR-100) and for district heating purposes only (GHR-10). By implementing two HTR projects the Brown Boveri Group is in the position to realize the collected experiences from design, licensing, erection, commissioning and operation for the follow-on projects. This leads to practical and sound technical solutions convenient for existing manufacturing processes, well known materials, standardized components and usual manufacturing tolerances. Specific plant characteristics can be used for advantages in the competition. (author)

  17. Avian use of introduced plants: ornithologist records illuminate interspecific associations and research needs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aslan, Clare E; Rejmánek, Marcel

    2010-06-01

    Introduced species have the potential to impact processes central to the organization of ecological communities. Although hundreds of nonnative plant species have naturalized in the United States, only a small percentage of these have been studied in their new biotic communities. Their interactions with resident (native and introduced) bird species remain largely unexplored. As a group, citizen scientists such as ornithologists possess a wide range of experiences. They may offer insights into the prevalence and form of bird interactions with nonnative plants on a broad geographic scale. We surveyed 173 ornithologists from four U.S. states, asking them to report observations of bird interactions with nonnative plants. The primary goal of the survey was to obtain information useful in guiding future empirical research. In all, 1143 unique bird-plant interactions were reported, involving 99 plant taxa and 168 bird species. Forty-seven percent of reported interactions concerned potential dispersal (feeding on seeds or fruits). Remaining "habitat interactions" involved bird use of plants for nesting, perching, woodpecking, gleaning, and other activities. We utilized detrended correspondence analysis to ordinate birds with respect to the plants they reportedly utilize. Results illuminate the new guilds formed by these interactions. We assessed the existing level of knowledge about invasiveness of those plants reported most often in feeding interactions, identifying information gaps for biological invasions research priority. To exemplify the usefulness of citizen science data, we utilized survey results to guide field research on invasiveness in some of these plant species and observed both qualitatively and quantitatively strong agreement between survey reports and our empirical data. Questionnaire reports are therefore heuristically informative for the fields of both avian ecology and invasion biology.

  18. Introducing close-range photogrammetry for characterizing forest understory plant diversity and surface fuel structure at fine scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benjamin C. Bright; E. Louise Loudermilk; Scott M. Pokswinski; Andrew T. Hudak; Joseph J. O' Brien

    2016-01-01

    Methods characterizing fine-scale fuels and plant diversity can advance understanding of plant-fire interactions across scales and help in efforts to monitor important ecosystems such as longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) forests of the southeastern United States. Here, we evaluate the utility of close-range photogrammetry for measuring fuels and plant...

  19. Introducing PCTRAN as an evaluation tool for nuclear power plant emergency responses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cheng, Yi-Hsiang; Shih, Chunkuan; Chiang, Show-Chyuan; Weng, Tung-Li

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► PCTRAN is integrated with an atmospheric dispersion algorithm. ► The improved PCTRAN acts as an accident/incident simulator and a data exchange system. ► The software helps the responsible organizations decide the rescue and protective actions. ► The evaluation results show the nuclear power plant accident and its off-site dose consequences. ► The software can be used for nuclear power plant emergency responses. - Abstract: Protecting the public from radiation exposure is important if a nuclear power plant (NPP) accident occurs. Deciding appropriate protective actions in a timely and effective manner can be fulfilled by using an effective accident evaluation tool. In our earlier work, we have integrated PCTRAN (Personal Computer Transient Analyzer) with the off-site dose calculation model. In this study, we introduce PCTRAN as an evaluation tool for nuclear power plant emergency responses. If abnormal conditions in the plant are monitored or observed, the plant staffs can distinguish accident/incident initiation events. Thus, the responsible personnel can immediately operate PCTRAN and set up those accident/incident initiation events to simulate the nuclear power plant transient or accident in conjunction with off-site dose distributions. The evaluation results consequently help the responsible organizations decide the rescue and protective actions. In this study, we explain and demonstrate the capabilities of PCTRAN for nuclear emergency responses, through applying it to simulate the postulated nuclear power plant accident scenarios.

  20. Local loss and spatial homogenization of plant diversity reduce ecosystem multifunctionality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Experimental studies show that local plant species loss decreases ecosystem functioning and services, but it remains unclear how other changes in biodiversity, such as spatial homogenization, alter multiple processes (multifunctionality) in natural ecosystems. We present a global analysis of eight ...

  1. Climate change drives a shift in peatland ecosystem plant community: implications for ecosystem function and stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dieleman, Catherine M; Branfireun, Brian A; McLaughlin, James W; Lindo, Zoë

    2015-01-01

    The composition of a peatland plant community has considerable effect on a range of ecosystem functions. Peatland plant community structure is predicted to change under future climate change, making the quantification of the direction and magnitude of this change a research priority. We subjected intact, replicated vegetated poor fen peat monoliths to elevated temperatures, increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 ), and two water table levels in a factorial design to determine the individual and synergistic effects of climate change factors on the poor fen plant community composition. We identify three indicators of a regime shift occurring in our experimental poor fen system under climate change: nonlinear decline of Sphagnum at temperatures 8 °C above ambient conditions, concomitant increases in Carex spp. at temperatures 4 °C above ambient conditions suggesting a weakening of Sphagnum feedbacks on peat accumulation, and increased variance of the plant community composition and pore water pH through time. A temperature increase of +4 °C appeared to be a threshold for increased vascular plant abundance; however the magnitude of change was species dependent. Elevated temperature combined with elevated CO2 had a synergistic effect on large graminoid species abundance, with a 15 times increase as compared to control conditions. Community analyses suggested that the balance between dominant plant species was tipped from Sphagnum to a graminoid-dominated system by the combination of climate change factors. Our findings indicate that changes in peatland plant community composition are likely under future climate change conditions, with a demonstrated shift toward a dominance of graminoid species in poor fens. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Activity of oxidizing processes in introduced plants under low hardening temperature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. O. Zaitseva

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The peculiarities of oxidative enzymes’ activity at the dormancy phenological stage under conditions of low positive temperature were studied. Most effective methods (NPK, zircon growth regulator for enhancing the cold tolerance of the Swida, Deutzia, Buddleja and Hibiscus species have been determined. It has been established that activity of catalase and peroxidase depends on the cold adaptation of introduced arbo-real plants of different winter-resistance. The possibility to use the ratio of enzymatic activities Acold./Anorm. as a test-parameter in forecasting the winter-resistance of plants is displayed.

  3. Ecosystem restoration: a systems approach to exotic plant control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karl D. Smith

    1998-01-01

    Ecosystem restoration is a systems approach because it relates to all of the thousands of interrelated and interacting systems within the ecosystem. Ecosystem restoration also changes your role in the forest from observer to participant. Some of the goals of ecosystem restoration are to improve the health, vigor, and diversity of the ecosystem--and these goals can and...

  4. Soil ecosystem functioning under climate change: plant species and community effects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kardol, Paul [ORNL; Cregger, Melissa [ORNL; Campany, Courtney E [ORNL; Classen, Aimee T [ORNL

    2010-01-01

    Feedbacks of terrestrial ecosystems to climate change depend on soil ecosystem dynamics. Soil ecosystems can directly and indirectly respond to climate change. For example, warming directly alters microbial communities by increasing their activity. Climate change may also alter plant community composition, thus indirectly altering the microbial communities that feed on their inputs. To better understand how climate change may directly and indirectly alter soil ecosystem functioning, we investigated old-field plant community and soil ecosystem responses to single and combined effects of elevated [CO2], warming, and water availability. Specifically, we collected soils at the plot level (plant community soils), and beneath dominant plant species (plant-specific soils). We used microbial enzyme activities and soil nematodes as indicators for soil ecosystem functioning. Our study resulted in two main findings: 1) Overall, while there were some interactions, water, relative to increases in [CO2] and warming, had the largest impact on plant community composition, soil enzyme activities, and soil nematodes. Multiple climate change factors can interact to shape ecosystems, but in this case, those interactions were largely driven by changes in water availability. 2) Indirect effects of climate change, via changes in plant communities, had a significant impact on soil ecosystem functioning and this impact was not obvious when looking at plant community soils. Climate change effects on enzyme activities and soil nematode abundance and community structure strongly differed between plant community soils and plant-specific soils, but also within plant-specific soils. In sum, these results indicate that accurate assessments of climate change impacts on soil ecosystem functioning require incorporating the concurrent changes in plant function and plant community composition. Climate change-induced shifts in plant community composition will likely modify or counteract the direct

  5. Preventing establishment: an inventory of introduced plants in Puerto Villamil, Isabela Island, Galapagos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Guézou

    Full Text Available As part of an island-wide project to identify and eradicate potentially invasive plant species before they become established, a program of inventories is being carried out in the urban and agricultural zones of the four inhabited islands in Galapagos. This study reports the results of the inventory from Puerto Villamil, a coastal village representing the urban zone of Isabela Island. We visited all 1193 village properties to record the presence of the introduced plants. In addition, information was collected from half of the properties to determine evidence for potential invasiveness of the plant species. We recorded 261 vascular taxa, 13 of which were new records for Galapagos. Most of the species were intentionally grown (cultivated (73.3% and used principally as ornamentals. The most frequent taxa we encountered were Cocos nucifera (coconut tree (22.1% as a cultivated plant and Paspalum vaginatum (salt water couch (13.2% as a non cultivated plant. In addition 39 taxa were naturalized. On the basis of the invasiveness study, we recommend five species for eradication (Abutilon dianthum, Datura inoxia, Datura metel, Senna alata and Solanum capsicoides, one species for hybridization studies (Opuntia ficus-indica and three species for control (Furcraea hexapetala, Leucaena leucocephala and Paspalum vaginatum.

  6. Preventing Establishment: An Inventory of Introduced Plants in Puerto Villamil, Isabela Island, Galapagos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guézou, Anne; Pozo, Paola; Buddenhagen, Christopher

    2007-01-01

    As part of an island-wide project to identify and eradicate potentially invasive plant species before they become established, a program of inventories is being carried out in the urban and agricultural zones of the four inhabited islands in Galapagos. This study reports the results of the inventory from Puerto Villamil, a coastal village representing the urban zone of Isabela Island. We visited all 1193 village properties to record the presence of the introduced plants. In addition, information was collected from half of the properties to determine evidence for potential invasiveness of the plant species. We recorded 261 vascular taxa, 13 of which were new records for Galapagos. Most of the species were intentionally grown (cultivated) (73.3%) and used principally as ornamentals. The most frequent taxa we encountered were Cocos nucifera (coconut tree) (22.1%) as a cultivated plant and Paspalum vaginatum (salt water couch) (13.2%) as a non cultivated plant. In addition 39 taxa were naturalized. On the basis of the invasiveness study, we recommend five species for eradication (Abutilon dianthum, Datura inoxia, Datura metel, Senna alata and Solanum capsicoides), one species for hybridization studies (Opuntia ficus-indica) and three species for control (Furcraea hexapetala, Leucaena leucocephala and Paspalum vaginatum). PMID:17940606

  7. Introducing Urtica dioica, A Native Plant of Khuzestan, As an Antibacterial Medicinal Plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motamedi, Hossein; Seyyednejad, Seyyed Mansour; Bakhtiari, Ameneh; Vafaei, Mozhan

    2014-11-01

    Urtica dioica is a flowering plant with long history of use in folk medicine and as a food source. This study examined in vitro antibacterial potential of alcoholic extracts of U. dioica. Hydroalcoholic extracts from aerial parts were prepared using aqueous solution of ethanol and methanol and their inhibitory effects against clinical isolates was examined by disc diffusion method at different doses. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) indexes were also investigated. The scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis was also performed to find structural changes of affected bacteria consequent to exposing with extracts. Both extracts were active against Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Escherichia coli with respectively 16, 10, 18, and 14 mm (methanolic) and 11, 9, 17, and 16 mm (ethanolic) inhibition zone. The MIC of ethanolic extract against S. epidermidis and E. coli was respectively 10 and 40 mg/mL. The MIC of methanolic extract against S. aureus and S. epidermidis was 40 and 10 mg/mL, respectively. The MBC was found only for S. epidermidis (20 mg/mL). In SEM analysis the round shape of S. epidermidis was changed and irregular shapes were appeared, which suggest that the main target of these extracts was cell wall. Extracts of U. dioica showed significant antibacterial effect against some clinically important pathogenic bacteria. Based on the obtained results it can be concluded that U. dioica is useful as antibacterial and bactericidal agent in treating infectious diseases.

  8. Using life strategies to explore the vulnerability of ecosystem services to invasion by alien plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vicente, J.; Pinro, A.; Araujo, M.; Lomba, A.; Randin, C.; Guisan, A.; Honrado, J.; Verburg, P.H.

    2013-01-01

    Invasive plants can have different effects on ecosystem functioning and on the provision of ecosystem services, with the direction and magnitude of such effects depending on the service and ecosystem being considered, but also on the life strategies of the invaders. Strategies can influence

  9. Challenges and Opportunities to Introduce the First Nuclear Power Plant in Bangladesh

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haque, M.M.; Islam, M.S.; Zulquarnain, M.A.

    2011-01-01

    Nuclear activities were first started in Bangladesh in 1964 through the establishment of Atomic Energy Centre at Dhaka. Since then development of the nuclear activities for sustainable future is progressing gradually. Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) is responsible for developing and promoting nuclear activities for peaceful purposes with assured safety and support for nuclear power program in the country. The Government of Bangladesh has decided to set up the country's first nuclear power plant with a generation capacity between 600 MW and 1,000 MW at Rooppur in Pabna district, 125 km North-West of the capital city, Dhaka. In this context, the challenges and opportunities to introduce the first Rooppur nuclear power plant (RNPP) project are identified and then discussed in this paper. It is finally concluded that nuclear power is an inevitable option for Bangladesh. (author)

  10. Native and introduced host plants of Anastrepha fraterculus and Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae) in northwestern Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ovruski, Sergio; Schliserman, Pablo; Aluja, Martín

    2003-08-01

    Wild or commercially grown, native and exotic fruit were collected in 30 localities in the Tucumán province (NW Argentina) from January 1990 to December 1995 to determine their status as hosts of Anastrepha fraterculus (Wiedemann) and/or Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), the only two fruit fly species of economic and quarantine importance in Argentina. A total of 84,094 fruit (3,466.1 kg) representing 33 species (7 native and 26 exotic) in 15 plant families were sampled. We determined the following 17 host plant associations: Annona cherimola Miller (Annonaceae), Citrus paradisi Macfadyn (Rutaceae), Diospyros kaki L. (Ebenaceae), Eugenia uniflora L., Psidium guajava L., Myrcianthes pungens (Berg) Legrand (Myrtaceae), Ficus carica L. (Moraceae), Juglans australis Grisebach (Juglandaceae), Mangifera indica L. (Anacardiaceae), Eriobotrya japonica (Thunb.) Lindl., Prunus armeniaca L., P. domestica L., and P. persica (L.) Batsch (Rosaceae) were infested by both A. fraterculus and C. capitata. Citrus aurantium L., Citrus reticulata Blanco, Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck (Rutaceae), and Passiflora caerulea L. (Passifloraceae) were only infested by Ceratitis capitata. Out of a total of 99,627 adults that emerged from pupae, 69,180 (approximately 69.5%) were Anastrepha fraterculus, 30,138 (approximately 30.2%) were C. capitata, and 309 (approximately 0.3%) were an unidentified Anastrepha species. Anastrepha fraterculus predominated in native plant species while C. capitata did so in introduced species. Infestation rates (number of larvae/kg of fruit) varied sharply from year to year and between host plant species (overall there was a significant negative correlation between fruit size and infestation level). We provide information on fruiting phenology of all the reported hosts and discuss our findings in light of their practical (e.g., management of A. fraterculus and C. capitata in citrus groves) implications.

  11. Biological invasion by Myrica faya in Hawaii: Plant demography, nitrogen fixation, ecosystem effects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vitousek, P.M.; Walker, L.R.

    1989-01-01

    Myrica faya, an introduced actinorhizal nitrogen fixer, in invading young volcanic sites in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. We examined the population biology of the invader and ecosystem-level consequences of its invasion in open-canopied forests resulting from volcanic cinder-fall. Although Myrica faya is nominally dioecious, both males and females produce large amounts of fruit that are utilized by a number of exotic and native birds, particularly the exotic Zosterops japonica. In areas of active colonization, Myrica seed rain under perch trees of the dominant native Metrosideros polymorpha ranged from 6 to 60 seeds m -2 yr -1 ; no seeds were captured in the open. Planted seeds of Myrica also germinated an established better under isolated individuals of Metrosideros than in the open. Diameter growth of Myrica is > 15-fold greater than that of Metrosideros, and the Myrica population is increasing rapidly. Rates of nitrogen fixation were measured using the acetylene reduction assay calibrated with 15 N. Myrica nodules reduced acetylene at between 5 and 20 μmol g -1 h -1 , a rate that extrapolated to nitrogen fixation of 18 kg ha -1 in a densely colonized site. By comparison, all native sources of nitrogen fixation summed to 0.2 kg ha -1 yr -1 , and precipitation added -1 yr -1 . Measurements of litter decomposition and nitrogen release, soil nitrogen mineralization, and plant growth in bioassays all demonstrated that nitrogen fixed by Myrica becomes available to other organisms as well. We conclude that biological invasion by Myrica faya alters ecosystem-level properties in this young volcanic area; at least in this case, the demography and physiology of one species controls characteristics of a whole ecosystem

  12. Plutonium in a grassland ecosystem. [Rocky Flats Plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Little, C.A.

    1976-08-01

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

  13. Mutational rectification of plant type for introducing responsiveness to nitrogen in rice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chakrabarti, S.N.; Sen, S.

    1975-01-01

    Dhairal, a local indica cultigen, although is very popular in many parts of Eastern India to several desirable traits, possesses the draw-back of low response to the application of nitrogen fertilizer. Attempts were made to alter the plant type and introduce the trait of 'high-responsiveness to nitrogen fertilizer' into this variety through induction of mutation using once and recurrent X-ray radiation. In field trails with several mutant strains along with the control selections in successive seasons at various levels of nitrogen (0 to 180 kg N/ha), selection x nitrogen interaction and the differential responses of the mutant strains were noted to be highly significant with regard to grain yield. Increased genotypic variance for grain yield at high 'N' level indicated the change in 'spread' amongst mutant strains. Few strains showed considerably high response to nitrogen application as expressed from grain yield and performance with regard to several agronomic attributes. (author)

  14. Combined effects of plant competition and insect herbivory hinder invasiveness of an introduced thistle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suwa, Tomomi; Louda, Svata M

    2012-06-01

    The biotic resistance hypothesis is a dominant paradigm for why some introduced species fail to become invasive in novel environments. However, predictions of this hypothesis require further empirical field tests. Here, we focus on evaluating two biotic factors known to severely limit plants, interspecific competition and insect herbivory, as mechanisms of biotic resistance. We experimentally evaluated the independent and combined effects of three levels of competition by tallgrass prairie vegetation and two levels of herbivory by native insects on seedling regeneration, size, and subsequent flowering of the Eurasian Cirsium vulgare, a known invasive species elsewhere, and compared its responses to those of the ecologically similar and co-occurring native congener C. altissimum. Seedling emergence of C. vulgare was greater than that of C. altissimum, and that emergence was reduced by the highest level of interspecific competition. Insect leaf herbivory was also greater on C. vulgare than on C. altissimum at all levels of competition. Herbivory on seedlings dramatically decreased the proportion of C. vulgare producing flower heads at all competition levels, but especially at the high competition level. Competition and herbivory interacted to significantly decrease plant survival and biomass, especially for C. vulgare. Thus, both competition and herbivory limited regeneration of both thistles, but their effects on seedling emergence, survival, size and subsequent reproduction were greater for C. vulgare than for C. altissimum. These results help explain the unexpectedly low abundance recorded for C. vulgare in western tallgrass prairie, and also provide strong support for the biotic resistance hypothesis.

  15. Performance of introducing outdoor cold air for cooling a plant production system with artificial light

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun eWang

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The commercial use of a plant production system with artificial light (PPAL is limited by its high initial construction and operation costs. The electric-energy consumed by heat pumps, applied mainly for cooling, accounts for 15-35% of the total electric-energy used in a PPAL. To reduce the electric-energy consumption, an air exchanger with low capacity (180 W was used for cooling by introducing outdoor cold air. In this experiment, the indoor air temperature in two PPALs (floor area: 6.2 m2 each was maintained at 25ºC and 20ºC during light and dark periods, respectively, for lettuce production. In one PPAL (PPALe, an air exchanger (air flow rate: 250 m3 h-1 was used along with a heat pump (cooling capacity: 3.2 kW to maintain the indoor air temperature at the set-point. The other PPAL (PPALc with only a heat pump (cooling capacity: 3.2 kW was used for reference. Effects of introducing outdoor cold air on energy use efficiency, coefficient of performance (COP, electric-energy consumption for cooling and growth of lettuce were investigated. The results show that: when the air temperature difference between indoor and outdoor ranged from 20.2°C to 30.0°C: 1 the average energy use efficiency of the air exchanger was 2.8 and 3.4 times greater than the COP of the heat pumps in the PPALe and PPALc, respectively; 2 hourly electric-energy consumption in the PPALe reduced by 15.8-73.7% compared with that in the PPALc; 3 daily supply of CO2 in the PPALe reduced from 0.15 kg to 0.04 kg compared with that in the PPALc; 4 no significant difference in lettuce growth was observed in both PPALs. The results indicate that using air exchanger to introduce outdoor cold air should be considered as an effective way to reduce electric-energy consumption for cooling with little effects on plant growth in a PPAL.

  16. Phenotypic variability of plant leaves of Acer genus, introduced into steppe zone of Ukraine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. O. Zaitseva

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper deals with studying of the patterns of ecological adaptation of wood species of Acer L. genus during their introduction into steppe zone of Ukraine. Hydrothermal conditions of the growing season in steppe zone of Ukraine are particularly unfavorable for tree and shrubbery plantings, comprising both native and introduced species. In the course of plants’ introduction, adaptive changes occur; such changes represent the spectrum of phenotypic implementation of the definite genotype under the influence of new environmental conditions. Stress environment of the region of introduction leads to occurrence of a great variety of phenotypic forms, as the different variants of genotype implementation. Studying of phenotypic variability gives an opportunity to determine the capacity to adaptation of introduced species and ways of adaptive reactions in new conditions of living. Therefore, objective of the work consists in studying of the processes of differentiation of morphological characters in species of Acer genus introduced in the regions of steppe zone with varying intensity of hydrothermal factors. Studies were carried out in the central and south-eastern steppe regions, as well as in the south of steppe zone in the coastal and continental areas. Subjects of research were 9 species of maples, differing by their botanic and geographic origin and by the degree of drought resistance in the steppe zone of Ukraine. Patterns of variability of morphostructural characters of leaves were determined by the indicator of specific weight of leaves which was calculated as a ratio of weight of dry laminas to their area (mg/cm2. Following the results of study, it was found that adaptation of maples to xerothermic factors of the environment is connected with changing of the ratio of groups of character variation and their contribution into total sample. Direct relationship is established between the probability density of expression (phenotypic

  17. Use and valuation of native and introduced medicinal plant species in Campo Hermoso and Zetaquira, Boyacá, Colombia

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Medicinal plant species contribute significantly to folk medicine in Colombia. However, few local studies have investigated whether species used are introduced or native and whether there is a difference in importance of native and introduced medicinal plant species. The aim of the present study was to describe the use of medicinal plants within two municipalities, Campo Hermoso and Zetaquira, both in the department of Boyacá, Colombia and to assess the importance of native and introduced plants to healers, amateur healers and local people. As local healers including amateur healers have no history of introduced species our working hypotheses (H1-2) were that H1: native and introduced medicinal plant species are of equal importance and H2: healers and amateur healers do not differentiate in their preferences between native and introduced medicinal plant species. Methods Ten villages were included in the study. A combination of quantitative and qualitative methods was used including questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, in- depth interviews, and open talks. Voucher specimens were collected in home gardens and during field walks. For data analysis, we calculated use value indices and Jaccard index and tested for the above hypothesis using Spearman rank-correlation coefficients and Wilcoxon-Mann–Whitney tests. Results Eighty medicinal plant species were described by locals as the most frequently used. Of these, 78 species were taxonomically identified, distributed within 41 families and 74 genera, which included 35 native species and 43 introduced. The highest valued families were: Asteraceae, Lamiaceae, Apiaceae, Rutaceae and Verbenaceae. The species ranked highest according to their Use Values, in both municipalities, were Mentha suaveolens Ehrh., Ambrosia cumanensis Kunth, and Verbena littoralis Kunth. Introduced species were more important than native ones in Zetaquira, while there was no difference in importance in Campo Hermoso. While healers

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  19. Effects of snails, submerged plants and their coexistence on eutrophication in aquatic ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Mo Shuqing; Zhang Xiufeng; Tang Yali; Liu Zhengwen; Kettridge Nicholas

    2017-01-01

    Eutrophication resulting from nutrient loading to freshwater habitats is a severe problem, leading to degradation of ecosystems, including deterioration of water quality, water clarity and loss of biodiversity. Measures enacted to restore degraded freshwater ecosystems often involve the reintroduction of submerged plants and aquatic animals with beneficial ecological functions. In a mesocosm experiment, three treatments (planting with Vallisneria natans, introduction of the snail Bellamya aer...

  20. Fractionation of Nitrogen Isotopes by Plants with Different Types of Mycorrhiza in Mountain Tundra Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buzin, Igor; Makarov, Mikhail; Maslov, Mikhail; Tiunov, Alexei

    2017-04-01

    We studied nitrogen concentration and nitrogen isotope composition in plants from four mountain tundra ecosystems in the Khibiny Mountains. The ecosystems consisted of a toposequence beginning with the shrub-lichen heath (SLH) on the ridge and upper slope, followed by the Betula nana dominated shrub heath (SH) on the middle slope, the cereal meadow (CM) on the lower slope and the sedge meadow (SM) at the bottom of the slope. The inorganic nitrogen concentration of the soils from the studied ecosystems were significantly different; the SLH soil was found to contain the minimum concentration of N-NH4+ and N-NO3- , while in the soils of the meadow ecosystems these concentrations were much higher. The concentration of nitrogen in leaves of the dominant plant species in all of the ecosystems is directly connected with the concentration of inorganic nitrogen in the soils, regardless of the plant's mycorrhizal symbiosis type. However, such a correlation is not apparent in the case of plant roots, especially for plant roots with ectomycorrhiza and ericoid mycorrhiza. The majority of plant species with these types of mycorrhiza in the SH and particularly in the CM were enriched in 15N in comparison with the SLH (such plants were not found within the SM). This could be due to several reasons: 1) the decreasing role of mycorrhiza in nitrogen consumption and therefore in the fractionation of isotopes in the relatively-N-enriched ecosystems; 2) the use of relatively-15N-enriched forms of nitrogen for plant nutrition in meadow ecosystems. This heavier nitrogen isotope composition in plant roots with ectomycorrhiza and ericoid mycorrhiza in ecosystems with available nitrogen enriched soils doesn't correspond to the classical idea of mycorrhiza decreasing participation in nitrogen plant nutrition. The analysis of the isotope composition of separate labile forms of nitrogen makes it possible to explain the phenomenon. Not all arbuscular mycorrhizal species within the sedge meadow

  1. Problem of a radiocapacity in a system soil-plant for bog ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kutlakhmedova-Vyshnyakova, V.

    1998-01-01

    The factors of the various components of a pasture bog ecosystem were evaluated on the example of the Volynsk area. Soil and water were found to contribute appreciably to the accumulation of radionuclides in plants in the bog ecosystem. Evaluation of the integral distribution of radionuclides ( 137 Cs) and the radiocapacity factors of the bog ecosystem components lead to F(soil) = 0.5, F(water) = 0.1, F(plants) = 0.25, and F(root) = 0.15. The radiocapacity factor determines the fraction of radionuclides from a general reserve concentrated in a particular component of the ecosystem. The higher values transfer factors of accumulation for plants in the bog ecosystem in comparison with terrestrial ecosystems (Tf 1.5-18) are noteworthy. Thus the contribution of soil to the formation Tf is from 60 % to 80 %, the remaining pathway in plants being from the water phase. This may be related with the high radiocapacity of soil in the bog ecosystem and (as a corollary) the rather small concentration of radionuclides in water in comparison with soil

  2. Beyond barriers: ecosystem functions of alien aquatic plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grutters, Bart M.C.

    2017-01-01

    Human impacts have become a dominant force in shaping Earth’s biosphere. One major consequence is the global reshuffling of species, both through intentional introductions, but also unintentional because human infrastructure benefits the movement of certain species. Consequently, ecosystems are

  3. Repression of fungal plant pathogens and fungal-related contaminants: Selected ecosystem services by soil fauna communities in agroecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer-Wolfarth, Friederike; Schrader, Stefan; Oldenburg, Elisabeth; Brunotte, Joachim; Weinert, Joachim

    2017-04-01

    In agroecosystems soil-borne fungal plant diseases are major yield-limiting factors which are difficult to control. Fungal plant pathogens, like Fusarium species, survive as a saprophyte in infected tissue like crop residues and endanger the health of the following crop by increasing the infection risk for specific plant diseases. In infected plant organs, these pathogens are able to produce mycotoxins. Mycotoxins like deoxynivalenol (DON) persist during storage, are heat resistant and of major concern for human and animal health after consumption of contaminated food and feed, respectively. Among fungivorous soil organisms, there are representatives of the soil fauna which are obviously antagonistic to a Fusarium infection and the contamination with mycotoxins. Specific members of the soil macro-, meso-, and microfauna provide a wide range of ecosystem services including the stimulation of decomposition processes which may result in the regulation of plant pathogens and the degradation of environmental contaminants. Investigations under laboratory conditions and in field were conducted to assess the functional linkage between soil faunal communities and plant pathogenic fungi (Fusarium culmorum). The aim was to examine if Fusarium biomass and the content of its mycotoxin DON decrease substantially in the presence of soil fauna (earthworms: Lumbricus terrestris, collembolans: Folsomia candida and nematodes: Aphelenchoides saprophilus) in a commercial cropping system managed with conservation tillage located in Northern Germany. The results of our investigations pointed out that the degradation performance of the introduced soil fauna must be considered as an important contribution to the biodegradation of fungal plant diseases and fungal-related contaminants. Different size classes within functional groups and the traits of keystone species appear to be significant for soil function and the provision of ecosystem services as in particular L. terrestris revealed to

  4. Simulation of the decomposition and nitrogen mineralization of aboveground plant material in two unfertilized grassland ecosystems.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bloemhof, H.S.; Berendse, F.

    1995-01-01

    A simple model of the decomposition and nitrogen mineralization of plant material from two unfertilized grassland ecosystems has been developed, with only the proportion of leaves and stems in the original material, the initial nitrogen contents of these plant parts and temperature as input data.

  5. The potential of novel native plant materials for the restoration of novel ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T.A. Jones

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Extensive ecological change has been sustained by many dryland ecosystems throughout the world, resulting in conversion to so-called novel ecosystems. It is within such ecological contexts that native plant materials destined for ecological applications must be able to function. In the Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt. ssp. wyomingensis [Beetle & A.M. Young] S.L. Welsh ecosystems of the Intermountain West, for example, novel ecosystem structure and functioning are pervasive. Invasive species, particularly annual grasses, fuel repeated wildfires that drive previously stable ecosystem states across thresholds to less desirable states that are highly recalcitrant to restoration efforts. Structural changes include reductions of native flora, damage to biological soil crusts, and alterations to soil microbiota. Functional changes include altered hydrologic and nutrient cycling, leading to permanent losses of soil organic matter and nitrogen that favor the invaders. We argue that there is an important place in restoration for plant materials that are novel and/or non-local that have been developed to be more effective in the novel ecosystems for which they are intended, thus qualifying them as “ecologically appropriate.” Such plant materials may be considered as an alternative to natural/local “genetically appropriate” plant materials, which are sometimes deemed best adapted due to vetting by historical evolutionary processes.

  6. Native plants fare better against an introduced competitor with native microbes and lower nitrogen availability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaya Shivega, W; Aldrich-Wolfe, Laura

    2017-01-24

    While the soil environment is generally acknowledged as playing a role in plant competition, the relative importance of soil resources and soil microbes in determining outcomes of competition between native and exotic plants has rarely been tested. Resilience of plant communities to invasion by exotic species may depend on the extent to which native and exotic plant performance are mediated by abiotic and biotic components of the soil. We used a greenhouse experiment to compare performance of two native prairie plant species and one exotic species, when grown in intraspecific competition and when each native was grown in interspecific competition with the exotic species, in the presence and absence of a native prairie soil community, and when nitrogen availability was elevated or was maintained at native prairie levels. We found that elevated nitrogen availability was beneficial to the exotic species and had no effect on or was detrimental to the native plant species, that the native microbial community was beneficial to the native plant species and either had no effect or was detrimental to the exotic species, and that intraspecific competition was stronger than interspecific competition for the exotic plant species and vice-versa for the natives. Our results demonstrate that soil nitrogen availability and the soil microbial community can mediate the strength of competition between native and exotic plant species. We found no evidence for native microbes enhancing the performance of the exotic plant species. Instead, loss of the native soil microbial community appears to reinforce the negative effects of elevated N on native plant communities and its benefits to exotic invasive species. Resilience of plant communities to invasion by exotic plant species is facilitated by the presence of an intact native soil microbial community and weakened by anthropogenic inputs of nitrogen. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company.

  7. Abundance of introduced species at home predicts abundance away in herbaceous communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    J. Firn; J.L. Moore; A.S. MacDougall; E.T. Borer; E.W. Seabloom; J. HilleRisLambers; S. Harpole; E.E. Cleland; C.S. Brown; J.M.H. Knops; S.M. Prober; D.A. Pyke; K.A. Farrell; J.D. Bakker; L.R. O’Halloran; P.B. Adler; S.L. Collins; C.M. D’Antonio; M.J. Crawley; E.M. Wolkovich; K.J. La Pierre; B.A. Melbourne; Y. Hautier; J.W. Morgan; A.D.B. Leakey; A.D. Kay; R.L. McCulley; K.F. Davies; C.J. Stevens; C.J. Chu

    2011-01-01

    Many ecosystems worldwide are dominated by introduced plant species, leading to loss of biodiversity and ecosystem function. A common but rarely tested assumption is that these plants are more abundant in introduced vs. native communities, because ecological or evolutionary-based shifts in populations underlie invasion success. Here, data for 26 herbaceous species at...

  8. Ecosystem Fabrication (EcoFAB) Protocols for The Construction of Laboratory Ecosystems Designed to Study Plant-microbe Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Jian; Sasse, Joelle; Lewald, Kyle M; Zhalnina, Kateryna; Cornmesser, Lloyd T; Duncombe, Todd A; Yoshikuni, Yasuo; Vogel, John P; Firestone, Mary K; Northen, Trent R

    2018-04-10

    Beneficial plant-microbe interactions offer a sustainable biological solution with the potential to boost low-input food and bioenergy production. A better mechanistic understanding of these complex plant-microbe interactions will be crucial to improving plant production as well as performing basic ecological studies investigating plant-soil-microbe interactions. Here, a detailed description for ecosystem fabrication is presented, using widely available 3D printing technologies, to create controlled laboratory habitats (EcoFABs) for mechanistic studies of plant-microbe interactions within specific environmental conditions. Two sizes of EcoFABs are described that are suited for the investigation of microbial interactions with various plant species, including Arabidopsis thaliana, Brachypodium distachyon, and Panicum virgatum. These flow-through devices allow for controlled manipulation and sampling of root microbiomes, root chemistry as well as imaging of root morphology and microbial localization. This protocol includes the details for maintaining sterile conditions inside EcoFABs and mounting independent LED light systems onto EcoFABs. Detailed methods for addition of different forms of media, including soils, sand, and liquid growth media coupled to the characterization of these systems using imaging and metabolomics are described. Together, these systems enable dynamic and detailed investigation of plant and plant-microbial consortia including the manipulation of microbiome composition (including mutants), the monitoring of plant growth, root morphology, exudate composition, and microbial localization under controlled environmental conditions. We anticipate that these detailed protocols will serve as an important starting point for other researchers, ideally helping create standardized experimental systems for investigating plant-microbe interactions.

  9. Natural Ecosystem Surrounding a Conventional Banana Crop Improves Plant Health and Fruit Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florence P. Castelan

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Natural ecosystems near agricultural landscapes may provide rich environments for growing crops. However, the effect of a natural ecosystem on crop health and fruit quality is poorly understood. In the present study, it was investigated whether the presence of a natural ecosystem surrounding a crop area influences banana plant health and fruit postharvest behavior. Plants from two conventional banana crop areas with identical planting time and cultural practices were used; the only difference between banana crop areas is that one area was surrounded by a natural forest (Atlantic forest fragment (Near-NF, while the other area was inserted at the center of a conventional banana crop (Distant-NF. Results showed that bananas harvested from Near-NF showed higher greenlife and a more homogeneous profile during ripening compared to fruits harvested from Distant-NF. Differences in quality parameters including greenlife, carbohydrate profile, and pulp firmness between fruits harvested from Near-NF and Distant-NF are explained, at least partly, by differences in the balance of plant growth regulators (indole-3-acetic acid and abscisic acid in bananas during ripening. Furthermore, plants from Near-NF showed a lower severity index of black leaf streak disease (BLSD and higher levels of phenolic compounds in leaves compared to plants from Distant-NF. Together, the results provide additional evidence on how the maintenance of natural ecosystems near conventional crop areas could be a promising tool to improve plant health and fruit quality.

  10. Marine ecosystem analysis for wolsung nuclear power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, J.H.; Kim, Y.H.; Cho, T.J.

    1982-01-01

    Environmental surveys to provide base-line data for assessing the potential impact of the operation of Wolseong NPP on marine ecosystems were performed at 3-month intervals in 1981. Physico-chemical properties of seawater and gross beta activities in seawater and marine organisms were examined. The result shows that the ecosystems are non-polluted, typical of near-shore waters. The results of ecological surveys are summarized as follows: A total of 84 taxa of phytoplankton diatom were identified. Of the species, about 70 % are described as neritic species, and the major bloom occurred in September. The analysis of diversity indices shows that the community is very stable. The dominant species of zooplankton were protozoan Noctiluca scintillans and copepods. A total of 83 species of marine algae were identified. The algal community was more diverse in September-December than in March-July, and the dominant species were Chondria crassicaulis and Corallina pilulifera. Total algal production per unit area (0.25 m 2 ) was, on the average, 20 g-dry. The biomass of bacterial population was highest in December, and the result of multiple regression analysis indicates that the important environmental factors are nutrients, salinity and temperature. Primary productivities measured by Carbon-14 method were 1.11 mg C/m 3 /hr at 1 m depth, and 1.45 mg C/m 3 /hr at 6 m depth. As a whole the marine ecosystems adjacent Wolseong NPP site are thought to be stable. (author)

  11. Geographic structuring and transgenerational maternal effects shape germination in native, but not introduced, populations of a widespread plant invader.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alba, Christina; Moravcová, Lenka; Pyšek, Petr

    2016-05-01

    Germination is critical in determining species distributions and invasion dynamics. However, is it unclear how often invasive populations evolve germination characteristics different from native populations, because few studies have isolated genetic variation by using seed from garden-grown plants. Additionally, while herbivore-induced transgenerational effects are common, it is unknown whether maternal herbivory differentially shapes germination in native and introduced offspring. We explored germination in native and introduced populations of the North American invader Verbascum thapsus using seed from garden-grown maternal plants, half of which were protected from herbivores. To elucidate (1) germination niche breadth and (2) whether germination conditions affected expression of genetic structuring among populations, we germinated seed under four ecologically relevant temperature regimes. Native populations had a wide germination niche breadth, germinating as well as or better than introduced populations. At cooler temperatures, native populations exhibited a genetically based environmental cline indicative of local adaptation, with populations from warmer locales germinating better than populations from cooler locales. However, this cline was obscured when maternal plants were attacked by herbivores, revealing that local stressors can override the expression of geographic structuring. Introduced populations did not exhibit clinal variation, suggesting its disruption during the introduction process. Native and introduced populations have evolved genetic differences in germination. The result of this difference manifests in a wider germination niche breadth in natives, suggesting that the invasive behavior of V. thapsus in North America is attributable to other factors. © 2016 Botanical Society of America.

  12. Plant species and functional group combinations affect green roof ecosystem functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundholm, Jeremy; Macivor, J Scott; Macdougall, Zachary; Ranalli, Melissa

    2010-03-12

    Green roofs perform ecosystem services such as summer roof temperature reduction and stormwater capture that directly contribute to lower building energy use and potential economic savings. These services are in turn related to ecosystem functions performed by the vegetation layer such as radiation reflection and transpiration, but little work has examined the role of plant species composition and diversity in improving these functions. We used a replicated modular extensive (shallow growing- medium) green roof system planted with monocultures or mixtures containing one, three or five life-forms, to quantify two ecosystem services: summer roof cooling and water capture. We also measured the related ecosystem properties/processes of albedo, evapotranspiration, and the mean and temporal variability of aboveground biomass over four months. Mixtures containing three or five life-form groups, simultaneously optimized several green roof ecosystem functions, outperforming monocultures and single life-form groups, but there was much variation in performance depending on which life-forms were present in the three life-form mixtures. Some mixtures outperformed the best monocultures for water capture, evapotranspiration, and an index combining both water capture and temperature reductions. Combinations of tall forbs, grasses and succulents simultaneously optimized a range of ecosystem performance measures, thus the main benefit of including all three groups was not to maximize any single process but to perform a variety of functions well. Ecosystem services from green roofs can be improved by planting certain life-form groups in combination, directly contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. The strong performance by certain mixtures of life-forms, especially tall forbs, grasses and succulents, warrants further investigation into niche complementarity or facilitation as mechanisms governing biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships in green

  13. Radiocontamination patterns of vascular plants in a forest ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nimis, P.L.; Bolognini, G.; Giovani, C.

    1994-01-01

    This study is based on measurements of radiocesium and potassium-40 in leaves, stems and roots of 48 vascular plants in a natural beech forest in the Carnic Alps (NE Italy). The data have been submitted to numerical classification, and the main results are: (a) radiocontamination patterns and ecology of the species are well related, (b) three main groups of species with different radiocontamination can be distinguished: plants in clearings, forest plants rooting in the organic soil layer, forest plants rooting in the mineral layer; (c) radiocesium tends to be retained in the roots, especially in plants in the clearings; (d) Pteridophytes, contrary to all other plants, are able to discriminate between cesium and potassium at leaf level; (e) for all other species, cesium and potassium, once taken up by the plant, exhibit a similar behaviour; (f) total contamination by radiocesium is related to the depth of the root systems, and to the unequal distribution of radiocesium in the soil profile. Species-specific mechanisms of differential absorption are not evident in the investigated forest; the radiocontamination of plants can be easily explained in ecological terms. Radiocontamination on a water basis (Bq/l) is suggested as being much more appropriate for solving certain radioecological problems

  14. Wildland fire in ecosystems: fire and nonnative invasive plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristin Zouhar; Jane Kapler Smith; Steve Sutherland; Matthew L. Brooks

    2008-01-01

    This state-of-knowledge review of information on relationships between wildland fire and nonnative invasive plants can assist fire managers and other land managers concerned with prevention, detection, and eradication or control of nonnative invasive plants. The 16 chapters in this volume synthesize ecological and botanical principles regarding relationships between...

  15. Invasive exotic plant species in Sierra Nevada ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carla M. D' Antonio; Eric L. Berlow; Karen L. Haubensak

    2004-01-01

    The Sierra Nevada is a topographically and floristically diverse region of the western United States. While it comprises only a fifth of the total land area of California, half of the native plant species in the state occur within the range. In addition, more than 400 plant species are endemic to the Sierra Nevada and many of these are listed as threatened or have...

  16. Isolation and enzyme bioprospection of endophytic bacteria associated with plants of Brazilian mangrove ecosystem

    OpenAIRE

    Castro, Renata A; Quecine, Maria Carolina; Lacava, Paulo T; Batista, Bruna D; Luvizotto, Danice M; Marcon, Joelma; Ferreira, Anderson; Melo, Itamar S; Azevedo, João L

    2014-01-01

    The mangrove ecosystem is a coastal tropical biome located in the transition zone between land and sea that is characterized by periodic flooding, which confers unique and specific environmental conditions on this biome. In these ecosystems, the vegetation is dominated by a particular group of plant species that provide a unique environment harboring diverse groups of microorganisms, including the endophytic microorganisms that are the focus of this study. Because of their intimate associatio...

  17. Microbial Community Activity And Plant Biomass Are Insensitive To Passive Warming In A Semiarid Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinosa, N. J.; Fehmi, J. S.; Rasmussen, C.; Gallery, R. E.

    2017-12-01

    Soil microorganisms drive biogeochemical and nutrient cycling through the production of extracellular enzymes that facilitate organic matter decomposition and the flux of large amounts of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Although dryland ecosystems occupy over 40% of land cover and are projected to expand due to climate change, much of our current understanding of these processes comes from mesic temperate ecosystems. Understanding the responses of these globally predominant dryland ecosystems is therefore important yet complicated by co-occurring environmental changes. For example, the widespread and pervasive transition from grass to woody dominated landscapes is changing the hydrology, fire regimes, and carbon storage potential of semiarid ecosystems. In this study, we used a novel passive method of warming to conduct a warming experiment with added plant debris as either woodchip or biochar, to simulate different long-term carbon additions that accompany woody plant encroachment in semiarid ecosystems. The response of heterotrophic respiration, plant biomass, and microbial activity was monitored bi-annually. We hypothesized that the temperature manipulations would have direct and indirect effects on microbial activity. Warmer soils directly reduce the activity of soil extracellular enzymes through denaturation and dehydration of soil pores and indirectly through reducing microbe-available substrates and plant inputs. Overall, reduction in extracellular enzyme activity may reduce decomposition of coarse woody debris and potentially enhance soil carbon storage in semiarid ecosystems. For all seven hydrolytic enzymes examined as well as heterotrophic respiration, there was no consistent or significant response to experimental warming, regardless of seasonal climatic and soil moisture variation. The enzyme results observed here are consistent with the few other experimental results for warming in semiarid ecosystems and indicate that the controls over soil

  18. Introducing WISDEM:An Integrated System Modeling for Wind Turbines and Plant (Presentation)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dykes, K.; Graf, P.; Scott, G.; Ning, A.; King, R.; Guo, Y.; Parsons, T.; Damiani, R.; Felker, F.; Veers, P.

    2015-01-01

    The National Wind Technology Center wind energy systems engineering initiative has developed an analysis platform to leverage its research capabilities toward integrating wind energy engineering and cost models across wind plants. This Wind-Plant Integrated System Design & Engineering Model (WISDEM) platform captures the important interactions between various subsystems to achieve a better National Wind Technology Center wind energy systems engineering initiative has developed an analysis platform to leverage its research capabilities toward integrating wind energy engineering and cost models across wind plants. This Wind-Plant Integrated System Design & Engineering Model (WISDEM) platform captures the important interactions between various subsystems to achieve a better understanding of how to improve system-level performance and achieve system-level cost reductions. This work illustrates a few case studies with WISDEM that focus on the design and analysis of wind turbines and plants at different system levels.

  19. Redefining plant systems biology: from cell to ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keurentjes, J.J.B.; Angenent, G.C.; Dicke, M.; Martins Dos Santos, V.A.P.; Molenaar, J.; Van der Putten, W.H.; de Ruiter, P.C.; Struik, P.C.; Thomma, B.P.H.J.

    2011-01-01

    Molecular biologists typically restrict systems biology to cellular levels. By contrast, ecologists define biological systems as communities of interacting individuals at different trophic levels that process energy, nutrient and information flows. Modern plant breeding needs to increase

  20. Shrubs as ecosystem engineers across an environmental gradient: effects on species richness and exotic plant invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinhesselink, Andrew R; Magnoli, Susan M; Cushman, J Hall

    2014-08-01

    Ecosystem-engineering plants modify the physical environment and can increase species diversity and exotic species invasion. At the individual level, the effects of ecosystem engineers on other plants often become more positive in stressful environments. In this study, we investigated whether the community-level effects of ecosystem engineers also become stronger in more stressful environments. Using comparative and experimental approaches, we assessed the ability of a native shrub (Ericameria ericoides) to act as an ecosystem engineer across a stress gradient in a coastal dune in northern California, USA. We found increased coarse organic matter and lower wind speeds within shrub patches. Growth of a dominant invasive grass (Bromus diandrus) was facilitated both by aboveground shrub biomass and by growing in soil taken from shrub patches. Experimental removal of shrubs negatively affected species most associated with shrubs and positively affected species most often found outside of shrubs. Counter to the stress-gradient hypothesis, the effects of shrubs on the physical environment and individual plant growth did not increase across the established stress gradient at this site. At the community level, shrub patches increased beta diversity, and contained greater rarified richness and exotic plant cover than shrub-free patches. Shrub effects on rarified richness increased with environmental stress, but effects on exotic cover and beta diversity did not. Our study provides evidence for the community-level effects of shrubs as ecosystem engineers in this system, but shows that these effects do not necessarily become stronger in more stressful environments.

  1. Plant functional traits and diversity in sand dune ecosystems across different biogeographic regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahdavi, P.; Bergmeier, E.

    2016-07-01

    Plant species of a functional group respond similarly to environmental pressures and may be expected to act similarly on ecosystem processes and habitat properties. However, feasibility and applicability of functional groups in ecosystems across very different climatic regions have not yet been studied. In our approach we specified the functional groups in sand dune ecosystems of the Mediterranean, Hyrcanian and Irano-Turanian phytogeographic regions. We examined whether functional groups are more influenced by region or rather by habitat characteristics, and identified trait syndromes associated with common habitat types in sand dunes (mobile dunes, stabilized dunes, salt marshes, semi-wet sands, disturbed habitats). A database of 14 traits, 309 species and 314 relevés was examined and trait-species, trait-plot and species-plot matrices were built. Cluster analysis revealed similar plant functional groups in sand dune ecosystems across regions of very different species composition and climate. Specifically, our study showed that plant traits in sand dune ecosystems are grouped reflecting habitat affiliation rather than region and species pool. Environmental factors and constraints such as sand mobility, soil salinity, water availability, nutrient status and disturbance are more important for the occurrence and distribution of plant functional groups than regional belonging. Each habitat is shown to be equipped with specific functional groups and can be described by specific sets of traits. In restoration ecology the completeness of functional groups and traits in a site may serve as a guideline for maintaining or restoring the habitat.

  2. Bioindicators of Plant and Animal Origin in an Ecosystem Evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Žák

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The study had a threefold scientific objective: to perform a botanical survey of the area under study, to identify all plant species grazed by the European hare (Lepus europaeus and to determine polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB presence in hares using the screening test. The study area is characterized by intensive agricultural operations around the town of Senice in the Olomouc region. During the botanical survey in the agrocoenosis in 2001 and 2002, the author identified 62 species of herbs and grasses and 8 woody species. Of that total, 19 herbal and grass species and 6 woody species were suitable for consumption by the European hare. To determine the PCB concentrations, samples of plants, and the liver and muscle tissue from the front and hind extremities of the European hare were collected. PCB concentrations ranged from 0.0004 to 0.0007 mg in plants and 0.0001 to 0.0005 mg in the liver and musculature of hares.

  3. Ecological Performances of Plant Species of Halophilous Hydromorphic Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Speranza

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Coastal wetlands are very special environments, characterized by soils permanently or seasonally saturated by salt or brackish water. They host microorganisms and plants able to adapt to anoxic conditions. This paper proposes a review of recent scientific papers dealing with the study of coastal wetlands from different points of view. Some studies examine the species composition and the pattern of the spatial distribution of plant communities, depending on the depth of the salt water table, as well as on other related factors. A significant number of studies analyse instead the coastal wetlands in their ability for the phytoremediation (phytostabilisation and/or phytoextraction and highlight the importance of interactions between the rhizosphere of the halophytes and the physical environment. Finally, more recent studies consider the plant species of the coastal wetlands as a source of useful products (food, feed, oils and expose the results of promising researches on their cultivation.

  4. The Green Roof Microbiome: Improving Plant Survival for Ecosystem Service Delivery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberta Fulthorpe

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Plants are key contributors to ecosystem services delivered by green roofs in cities including stormwater capture, temperature regulation, and wildlife habitat. As a result, current research has primarily focused on their growth in relationship to extensive green roof (e.g., substrates <15 cm depth ecosystem services. Green roofs are exposed to a variety of harsh abiotic factors such as intense solar radiation, wind, and isolation from ground-level habitats, making survival exceedingly difficult. Plants in natural habitats benefit from a variety of interactions with fungi and bacteria. These plant-microbial interactions improve mechanisms of survival and productivity; however, many green roof substrates are sterilized prior to installation and lack microbial communities with unstudied consequences for green roof plant health and subsequent survival and performance. In this paper, we present six hypotheses on the positive role of microbes in green roof applications. In natural and experimental systems, microbial interactions have been linked to plant (1 drought tolerance, (2 pathogen protection, (3 nutrient availability, (4 salt tolerance, (5 phytohormone production, and (6 substrate stabilization, all of which are desirable properties of green roof ecosystems. As few studies exist that directly examine these relationships on green roofs, we explore the existing ecological literature on these topics to unravel the mechanisms that could support more complex green roof ecosystem and lead to new insight into the design, performance, and broader applications in green infrastructure.

  5. Solar radiation uncorks the lignin bottleneck on plant litter decomposition in terrestrial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austin, A.; Ballare, C. L.; Méndez, M. S.

    2015-12-01

    Plant litter decomposition is an essential process in the first stages of carbon and nutrient turnover in terrestrial ecosystems, and together with soil microbial biomass, provide the principal inputs of carbon for the formation of soil organic matter. Photodegradation, the photochemical mineralization of organic matter, has been recently identified as a mechanism for previously unexplained high rates of litter mass loss in low rainfall ecosystems; however, the generality of this process as a control on carbon cycling in terrestrial ecosystems is not known, and the indirect effects of photodegradation on biotic stimulation of carbon turnover have been debated in recent studies. We demonstrate that in a wide range of plant species, previous exposure to solar radiation, and visible light in particular, enhanced subsequent biotic degradation of leaf litter. Moreover, we demonstrate that the mechanism for this enhancement involves increased accessibility for microbial enzymes to plant litter carbohydrates due to a reduction in lignin content. Photodegradation of plant litter reduces the structural and chemical bottleneck imposed by lignin in secondary cell walls. In litter from woody plant species, specific interactions with ultraviolet radiation obscured facilitative effects of solar radiation on biotic decomposition. The generalized positive effect of solar radiation exposure on subsequent microbial activity is mediated by increased accessibility to cell wall polysaccharides, which suggests that photodegradation is quantitatively important in determining rates of mass loss, nutrient release and the carbon balance in a broad range of terrestrial ecosystems.

  6. Ecosystem-scale plant hydraulic strategies inferred from remotely-sensed soil moisture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bassiouni, M.; Good, S. P.; Higgins, C. W.

    2017-12-01

    Characterizing plant hydraulic strategies at the ecosystem scale is important to improve estimates of evapotranspiration and to understand ecosystem productivity and resilience. However, quantifying plant hydraulic traits beyond the species level is a challenge. The probability density function of soil moisture observations provides key information about the soil moisture states at which evapotranspiration is reduced by water stress. Here, an inverse Bayesian approach is applied to a standard bucket model of soil column hydrology forced with stochastic precipitation inputs. Through this approach, we are able to determine the soil moisture thresholds at which stomata are open or closed that are most consistent with observed soil moisture probability density functions. This research utilizes remotely-sensed soil moisture data to explore global patterns of ecosystem-scale plant hydraulic strategies. Results are complementary to literature values of measured hydraulic traits of various species in different climates and previous estimates of ecosystem-scale plant isohydricity. The presented approach provides a novel relation between plant physiological behavior and soil-water dynamics.

  7. Effects of snails, submerged plants and their coexistence on eutrophication in aquatic ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mo Shuqing

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Eutrophication resulting from nutrient loading to freshwater habitats is a severe problem, leading to degradation of ecosystems, including deterioration of water quality, water clarity and loss of biodiversity. Measures enacted to restore degraded freshwater ecosystems often involve the reintroduction of submerged plants and aquatic animals with beneficial ecological functions. In a mesocosm experiment, three treatments (planting with Vallisneria natans, introduction of the snail Bellamya aeruginosa and a combined treatment with both plants and snails were compared with controls to evaluate their effects on trophic state. The total nitrogen (TN, total phosphorus (TP and chlorophyll a (Chl a concentrations of planktonic and benthic algal samples were determined every two weeks, along with light intensity at the sediment surface. The plant-only treatment significantly reduced the TN levels and planktonic and benthic algal biomass and increased the light intensity at the sediment surface. The snail-only treatment reduced the concentrations of TN and reduced planktonic and benthic algal biomass. The combined treatment decreased the concentrations of TN and TP, reduced planktonic algal biomass and increased the light intensity on the sediment surface. The results indicate that while submerged plants and snails can both improve water quality, the most pronounced effect in aquatic ecosystems is achieved by their presence in combination. A combined reintroduction approach may provide enhanced benefits in restoring the eutrophic ecosystems, following the reduction of external nutrient loading.

  8. Rapid ecosystem shifts in peatlands: linking plant physiology and succession.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granath, Gustaf; Strengbom, Joachim; Rydin, Håkan

    2010-10-01

    Stratigraphic records from peatlands suggest that the shift from a rich fen (calcareous fen) to an ombrotrophic bog can occur rapidly. This shift constitutes a switch from a species-rich ecosystem to a species-poor one with greater carbon storage. In this process, the invasion and expansion of acidifying bog species of Sphagnum (peat mosses) play a key role. To test under what conditions an acidifying bog species could invade a rich fen, we conducted three experiments, contrasting the bog species S. fucsum with the rich-fen species S. warnstorfii and S. teres. We first tested the effect of calcareous water by growing the three species at different constant height above the water table (HWT; 2, 7, and 14 cm) in a rich-fen pool and measured maximum photosynthetic rate and production and difference in length growth as an indicator of competition. In none of the species was the photosynthetic capacity negatively affected when placed at low HWT, but S. fuscum was a weaker competitor at low HWT. In our second experiment we transplanted the three species into microhabitats with different and naturally varying HWT in a rich fen. Here, S. fuscum nearly ceased to photosynthesize when transplanted to low HWT (brown moss carpet), while it performed similarly to the two rich-fen species at the intermediate level (S. warnstorfii hummock level). In contrast to S. fuscum, the rich-fen sphagna performed equally well in both habitats. The brown moss carpet was seasonally flooded, and in our third experiment we found that S. fuscum, but not S. teres, was severely damaged when submerged in rich-fen water. Our results suggest two thresholds in HWT affecting the ecosystem switch: one level that reduces the risk of submergence and a higher one that makes bog sphagna competitive against the rich-fen species.

  9. Soil microbial species loss affects plant biomass and survival of an introduced bacterial strain, but not inducible plant defences

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kurm, Viola; Putten, Van Der Wim H.; Pineda, Ana; Hol, G.W.H.

    2018-01-01

    • Background and Aims: Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) strains can influence plant-insect interactions. However, little is known about the effect of changes in the soil bacterial community in general and especially the loss of rare soil microbes on these interactions. Here, the influence

  10. BudBurst Buddies: Introducing Young Citizen Scientists to Plants and Environmental Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, D.; Gardiner, L. S.; Henderson, S.

    2011-12-01

    As part of Project BudBurst, the BudBurst Buddies recently moved to the National Ecological Network (NEON) as part of its Education and Public Engagement efforts. The BudBurst Buddies (www.budburstbuddies.org) were created to engage elementary school age children in the science of observing plants and the timing of phenological (life cycle) events. BudBurst Buddies is a part of the Project BudBurst national citizen science initiative (www.budburst.org), which allows individuals to engage in the scientific process, contributing to a better understanding of climate change while increasing public awareness of phenology and the impacts of climate change on plants. As a first step towards engaging the next generation of citizen scientists, BudBurst Buddies provides the opportunity for children to gain experience with scientific research and increases awareness of how plants change throughout the year. Hundreds of young students have participated in the inaugural year of BudBurst Buddies. Children can participate in BudBurst Buddies on their own, with their families, or in formal or informal education settings. The program was recently highlighted by education staff at the New York Hall of Science and numerous classrooms have been implementing this resource as part of their curriculum. Each child who participates creates a journal about a plant of his or her choosing, makes observations of the plant over the growing season and submits findings online, earning an official BudBurst Buddies certificate. An online storybook for kids tells how two children, Lily and Sage, observed plants in their neighborhood and became BudBurst Buddies. This presentation will provide an overview of the BudBurst Buddies resources including a new implementation guide and will also share feedback from the first year of implementation.

  11. Ecosystem Responses To Plant Phenology Across Scales And Trophic Levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoner, D.; Sexton, J. O.; Nagol, J. R.; Ironside, K.; Choate, D.; Longshore, K.; Edwards, T., Jr.

    2015-12-01

    Plant phenology in arid and semi-arid ecoregions is constrained by water availability and governs the life history characteristics of primary and secondary consumers. We related the behavior, demography, and distribution of mammalian herbivores and their principal predator to remotely sensed vegetation and climatological indices across the western United States for the period 2000-2014. Across scales, terrain and topographic position moderates the effects of climatological drought on primary productivity, resulting in differential susceptibility among plant functional types to water stress. At broad scales, herbivores tie parturition to moist sites during the period of maximum increase in local forage production. Consequently, juvenile mortality is highest in regions of extreme phenological variability. Although decoupled from primary production by one or more trophic levels, carnivore home range size and density is negatively correlated to plant productivity and growing season length. At the finest scales, predation influences the behavior of herbivore prey through compromised habitat selection, in which maternal females trade nutritional benefits of high plant biomass for reduced mortality risk associated with increased visibility. Climate projections for the western United States predict warming combined with shifts in the timing and form of precipitation. Our analyses suggest that these changes will propagate through trophic levels as increased phenological variability and shifts in plant distributions, larger consumer home ranges, altered migration behavior, and generally higher volatility in wildlife populations. Combined with expansion and intensification of human land use across the region, these changes will likely have economic implications stemming from increased human-wildlife conflict (e.g., crop damage, vehicle collisions) and changes in wildlife-related tourism.

  12. Integrating plant ecological responses to climate extremes from individual to ecosystem levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felton, Andrew J; Smith, Melinda D

    2017-06-19

    Climate extremes will elicit responses from the individual to the ecosystem level. However, only recently have ecologists begun to synthetically assess responses to climate extremes across multiple levels of ecological organization. We review the literature to examine how plant responses vary and interact across levels of organization, focusing on how individual, population and community responses may inform ecosystem-level responses in herbaceous and forest plant communities. We report a high degree of variability at the individual level, and a consequential inconsistency in the translation of individual or population responses to directional changes in community- or ecosystem-level processes. The scaling of individual or population responses to community or ecosystem responses is often predicated upon the functional identity of the species in the community, in particular, the dominant species. Furthermore, the reported stability in plant community composition and functioning with respect to extremes is often driven by processes that operate at the community level, such as species niche partitioning and compensatory responses during or after the event. Future research efforts would benefit from assessing ecological responses across multiple levels of organization, as this will provide both a holistic and mechanistic understanding of ecosystem responses to increasing climatic variability.This article is part of the themed issue 'Behavioural, ecological and evolutionary responses to extreme climatic events'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  13. Wastewater treatment plant effluent introduces recoverable shifts in microbial community composition in urban streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledford, S. H.; Price, J. R.; Ryan, M. O.; Toran, L.; Sales, C. M.

    2017-12-01

    New technologies are allowing for intense scrutiny of the impact of land use on microbial communities in stream networks. We used a combination of analytical chemistry, real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and targeted amplicon sequencing for a preliminary study on the impact of wastewater treatment plant effluent discharge on urban streams. Samples were collected on two dates above and below treatment plants on the Wissahickon Creek, and its tributary, Sandy Run, in Montgomery County, PA, USA. As expected, effluent was observed to be a significant source of nutrients and human and non-specific fecal associated taxa. There was an observed increase in the alpha diversity at locations immediately below effluent outflows, which contributed many taxa involved in wastewater treatment processes and nutrient cycling to the stream's microbial community. Unexpectedly, modeling of microbial community shifts along the stream was not controlled by concentrations of measured nutrients. Furthermore, partial recovery, in the form of decreasing abundances of bacteria and nutrients associated with wastewater treatment plant processes, nutrient cycling bacteria, and taxa associated with fecal and sewage sources, was observed between effluent sources. Antecedent moisture conditions impacted overall microbial community diversity, with higher diversity occurring after rainfall. These findings hint at resilience in stream microbial communities to recover from wastewater treatment plant effluent and are vital to understanding the impacts of urbanization on microbial stream communities.

  14. National-scale strategic approaches for managing introduced plants: insights from Australian acacias in South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    van Wilgen, BW

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available A range of approaches and philosophies underpin national-level strategies for managing invasive alien plants. This study presents a strategy for the management of taxa that both have value and do harm. Insights were derived from examining Australian...

  15. Soil microbial species loss affects plant biomass and survival of an introduced bacterial strain, but not inducible plant defences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurm, Viola; van der Putten, Wim H; Pineda, Ana; Hol, W H Gera

    2018-02-12

    Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) strains can influence plant-insect interactions. However, little is known about the effect of changes in the soil bacterial community in general and especially the loss of rare soil microbes on these interactions. Here, the influence of rare soil microbe reduction on induced systemic resistance (ISR) in a wild ecotype of Arabidopsis thaliana against the aphid Myzus persicae was investigated. To create a gradient of microbial abundances, soil was inoculated with a serial dilution of a microbial community and responses of Arabidopsis plants that originated from the same site as the soil microbes were tested. Plant biomass, transcription of genes involved in plant defences, and insect performance were measured. In addition, the effects of the PGPR strain Pseudomonas fluorescens SS101 on plant and insect performance were tested under the influence of the various soil dilution treatments. Plant biomass showed a hump-shaped relationship with soil microbial community dilution, independent of aphid or Pseudomonas treatments. Both aphid infestation and inoculation with Pseudomonas reduced plant biomass, and led to downregulation of PR1 (salicylic acid-responsive gene) and CYP79B3 (involved in synthesis of glucosinolates). Aphid performance and gene transcription were unaffected by soil dilution. Neither the loss of rare microbial species, as caused by soil dilution, nor Pseudomonas affect the resistance of A. thaliana against M. persicae. However, both Pseudomonas survival and plant biomass respond to rare species loss. Thus, loss of rare soil microbial species can have a significant impact on both above- and below-ground organisms. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. The estimation ecological risk for ground ecosystems in case of nuclear power plant failures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kremlenkov, D.Yu.; Kremlenkov, M.Yu.

    2004-01-01

    The results of probabilistic estimation of the damage for forest and agricultural ecosystems connected with cesium-137 and strontium-90 release during hypothetical accidents at NPPs are analyzed. The concept of radioecological risk including application of the models for radioactivity transport in atmosphere and calculation of of absorbed doses in ecosystem critical groups is used for the analysis. It is proved that the probable ecological damage expressed in terms of ecosystem destruction area depends on the scale of accidental radioisotope releases, meteorological conditions and radiation resistance of critical groups in plant associations. The conclusion is made that ecological risks expressed in the form of probable area of ecosystem destruction in the zone where dose loads lay in the range from minimal ecologically significant limit up to ecologically significant limit amount to 4-9% for conifers contaminated with cesium-137 and to 2-4% for agricultural crops contaminated with strontium-90 [ru

  17. Defining groundwater-dependent ecosystems and assessing critical water needs for their foundational plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stella, J. C.

    2017-12-01

    In many water-limited regions, human water use in conjunction with increased climate variability threaten the sustainability of groundwater-dependent plant communities and the ecosystems that depend on them (GDEs). Identifying and delineating vulnerable GDEs and determining critical functional thresholds for their foundational species has proved challenging, but recent research across several disciplines shows great promise for reducing scientific uncertainty and increasing applicability to ecosystem and groundwater management. Combining interdisciplinary approaches provides insights into indicators that may serve as early indicators of ecosystem decline, or alternatively demonstrate lags in responses depending on scale or sensitivity, or that even may decouple over time (Fig. 1). At the plant scale, miniaturization of plant sap flow sensors and tensiometers allow for non-destructive, continual measurements of plant water status in response to environmental stressors. Novel applications of proven tree-ring and stable isotope methods provide multi-decadal chronologies of radial growth, physiological function (using d13C ratios) and source water use (using d18O ratios) in response to annual variation in climate and subsurface water availability to plant roots. At a landscape scale, integration of disparate geospatial data such as hyperspectral imagery and LiDAR, as well as novel spectral mixing analysis promote the development of novel water stress indices such as vegetation greenness and non-photosynthetic (i.e., dead) vegetation (Fig. 2), as well as change detection using time series (Fig. 3). Furthermore, increases in data resolution across numerous data types can increasingly differentiate individual plant species, including sensitive taxa that serve as early warning indicators of ecosystem impairment. Combining and cross-calibrating these approaches provide insight into the full range of GDE response to environmental change, including increased climate drought

  18. Modeling the response of plants and ecosystems to elevated CO sub 2 and climate change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reynolds, J.F.; Hilbert, D.W.; Chen, Jia-lin; Harley, P.C.; Kemp, P.R.; Leadley, P.W.

    1992-03-01

    While the exact effects of elevated CO{sub 2} on global climate are unknown, there is a growing consensus among climate modelers that global temperature and precipitation will increase, but that these changes will be non-uniform over the Earth's surface. In addition to these potential climatic changes, CO{sub 2} also directly affects plants via photosynthesis, respiration, and stomatal closure. Global climate change, in concert with these direct effects of CO{sub 2} on plants, could have a significant impact on both natural and agricultural ecosystems. Society's ability to prepare for, and respond to, such changes depends largely on the ability of climate and ecosystem researchers to provide predictions of regional level ecosystem responses with sufficient confidence and adequate lead time.

  19. Modeling the response of plants and ecosystems to elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reynolds, J.F.; Hilbert, D.W.; Chen, Jia-lin; Harley, P.C.; Kemp, P.R.; Leadley, P.W.

    1992-03-01

    While the exact effects of elevated CO{sub 2} on global climate are unknown, there is a growing consensus among climate modelers that global temperature and precipitation will increase, but that these changes will be non-uniform over the Earth`s surface. In addition to these potential climatic changes, CO{sub 2} also directly affects plants via photosynthesis, respiration, and stomatal closure. Global climate change, in concert with these direct effects of CO{sub 2} on plants, could have a significant impact on both natural and agricultural ecosystems. Society`s ability to prepare for, and respond to, such changes depends largely on the ability of climate and ecosystem researchers to provide predictions of regional level ecosystem responses with sufficient confidence and adequate lead time.

  20. Alien plants as mediators of ecosystem services and disservices in urban systems: a global review

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Potgieter, LJ

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available by human activities and their floras comprise a high proportion of alien plant species, many of which were intentionally introduced to provide, augment or restore ES. Urban environments also have novel disturbance regimes and provide colonization sites...

  1. Trait- and density-mediated indirect interactions initiated by an exotic invasive plant autogenic ecosystem engineer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean E. Pearson

    2010-01-01

    Indirect interactions are important for structuring ecological systems. However, research on indirect effects has been heavily biased toward top-down trophic interactions, and less is known about other indirect-interaction pathways. As autogenic ecosystem engineers, plants can serve as initiators of nontrophic indirect interactions that, like top-down pathways, can...

  2. Exploring Third-Grade Student Model-Based Explanations about Plant Relationships within an Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zangori, Laura; Forbes, Cory T.

    2015-01-01

    Elementary students should have opportunities to develop scientific models to reason and build understanding about how and why plants depend on relationships within an ecosystem for growth and survival. However, scientific modeling practices are rarely included within elementary science learning environments and disciplinary content is often…

  3. NON-TARGET AND ECOSYSTEM IMPACTS FROM GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS CONTAINING PLANT INCORPORATED PROTECTANTS (PIPS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The risk of unintended and unexpected adverse impacts on non-target organisms and ecosystems is a key issue in environmental risk assessment of PIP crop plants. While there has been considerable examination of the effects of insect resistant crops on certain non-target organisms...

  4. The effect of atmospheric carbon dioxide elevation on plant growth in freshwater ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schippers, P.; Vermaat, J.; Klein, de J.J.M.; Mooij, W.M.

    2004-01-01

    The authors developed a dynamic model to investigate the effect of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) increase on plant growth in freshwater ecosystems. Steady-state simulations were performed to analyze the response of phytoplankton and submerged macrophytes to atmospheric CO2 elevation from 350 to

  5. The effect of atmospheric carbon dioxide elevation on plant growth in freshwater ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schippers, P.; Vermaat, J.E.; de Klein, J.; Mooij, W.M.

    2004-01-01

    We developed a dynamic model to investigate the effect of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) increase on plant growth in freshwater ecosystems. Steady-state simulations were performed to analyze the response of phytoplankton and submerged macrophytes to atmospheric CO2 elevation from 350 to 700 ppm.

  6. Predicting ecosystem functioning from plant traits: Results from a multi-scale ecophsiological modeling approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijk, van M.T.

    2007-01-01

    Ecosystem functioning is the result of processes working at a hierarchy of scales. The representation of these processes in a model that is mathematically tractable and ecologically meaningful is a big challenge. In this paper I describe an individual based model (PLACO¿PLAnt COmpetition) that

  7. The time is ripe to introduce nuclear power plants in Asia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Machi, Sueo; Odera, Mitsutoshi; Ishii, Noriyuki; Nakasugi, Hideo; Mukaiyama, Takehiko; Nagasaki, Takao; Ake, Yutaka

    2010-01-01

    While the ambitious growth in nuclear power generation is expected in China and India, a number of countries in East and South Asia such as Vietnam and Indonesia are planning to construct new nuclear power plants to meet their increasing demands for electricity. In this feature article, eight experts described the state of introduction of nuclear power plants in such countries. These were titled as 'Trends of Deployment of Nuclear Energy in Asia-FNCA Ministerial Level Meeting', 'Vietnam- National Assembly Approval of Pre-feasibility Study and its Implementation', 'Present State of Nuclear Power Introduction in Indonesia-Awaiting the Decision of the President-', 'Present Status of Volcanic Hazard Assessment for Nuclear Facilities and Case of Bataan Nuclear Power Plant in Philippines', 'State of Nuclear Power Introduction in Thailand', 'Slow Start of Nuclear Power Introduction in Malaysia', 'Nuclear Energy Development in China in the View of Asian Market' and 'Is the Rollback in the Asian Market of Japan Group Possible?' It is highly expected Japan's high level of technology and safety with nuclear power generation would lead to promote international activities and cooperation of Japan group in the Asian Market. (T. Tanaka)

  8. Water and Nitrogen Limitations of Ecosystem Processes Across Three Dryland Plant Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beltz, C.; Lauenroth, W. K.; Burke, I. C.

    2017-12-01

    The availability of water and nitrogen (N) play a major role in controlling the distribution of ecosystem types and the rates of ecosystem processes across the globe. Both these resources are being altered by human activity. Anthropogenic fixation of N has increased inputs into the biosphere from 0.5 kg N ha-1 yr-1 to upwards of 10 kg N ha-1 yr-1, while the amount and seasonality of precipitation are expected to continue to change. Within dryland environments, the relationships between increasingly available N and ecosystem processes are especially complex due to dryland's characteristic strong limitation by low and highly variable precipitation. Other experiments have shown that this interplay between N and water can cause temporally complex co-limitation and spatially complex responses with variable effects on ecosystems, such as those to net primary productivity, soil respiration, and plant community composition. Research spanning multiple dryland plant communities is critical for generalizing findings to the 40% of the Earth's terrestrial surface covered in dryland ecosystems. Given IPCC projections in which both N availability and precipitation are altered, examining their interactive effect across multiple plant communities is critical to increasing our understanding of the limitations to ecosystem process in drylands. We are studying a gradient of three plant communities representing a C4 grassland (shortgrass steppe), a C3/C4 grassland (mixed grass prairie), and a shrub-dominated ecosystem with C3 and C4 grasses (sagebrush steppe). We added two levels of N (10 kg N ha-1 and 100 kg N ha-1) and increased summer monthly precipitation by 20%. Sites responded differently to treatments, with the scale of effect varying by treatment. The high-level nitrogen increased soil N availability and soil respiration, while decreasing soil carbon in the labile pool in the upper soil layers. These results will allow for better understanding of increased N in combination with

  9. Alien roadside species more easily invade alpine than lowland plant communities in a subarctic mountain ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonas J Lembrechts

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

  10. Alien roadside species more easily invade alpine than lowland plant communities in a subarctic mountain ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Introducing cattle grazing to a noxious weed-dominated rangeland shifts plant communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josh S. Davy

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Invasive weed species in California's rangelands can reduce herbaceous diversity, forage quality and wildlife habitat. Small-scale studies (5 acres or fewer have shown reductions of medusahead and yellow starthistle using prescribed grazing on rangelands, but little is published on the effects of pasture-scale (greater than 80 acres prescribed grazing on weed control and plant community responses. We report the results of a 6-year collaborative study of manager-applied prescribed grazing implemented on rangeland that had not been grazed for 4 years. Grazing reduced medusahead but did not alter yellow starthistle cover. Medusahead reductions were only seen in years that did not have significant late spring rainfall, suggesting that it is able to recover from heavy grazing if soil moisture is present. Later season grazing appears to have the potential to suppress medusahead in all years. In practice, however, such grazing is constrained by livestock drinking water availability and forage quality, which were limited even in years with late spring rainfall. Thus, we expect that grazing treatments under real-world constraints would reduce medusahead only in years with little late spring rainfall. After 10 years of grazing exclusion, the ungrazed plant communities began to shift, replacing medusahead with species that have little value, such as ripgut and red brome.

  12. A global database of sap flow measurements (SAPFLUXNET) to link plant and ecosystem physiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poyatos, Rafael; Granda, Víctor; Flo, Víctor; Molowny-Horas, Roberto; Mencuccini, Maurizio; Oren, Ram; Katul, Gabriel; Mahecha, Miguel; Steppe, Kathy; Martínez-Vilalta, Jordi

    2017-04-01

    Regional and global networks of ecosystem CO2 and water flux monitoring have dramatically increased our understanding of ecosystem functioning in the last 20 years. More recently, analyses of ecosystem-level fluxes have successfully incorporated data streams at coarser (remote sensing) and finer (plant traits) organisational scales. However, there are few data sources that capture the diel to seasonal dynamics of whole-plant physiology and that can provide a link between organism- and ecosystem-level function. Sap flow measured in plant stems reveals the temporal patterns in plant water transport, as mediated by stomatal regulation and hydraulic architecture. The widespread use of thermometric methods of sap flow measurement since the 1990s has resulted in numerous data sets for hundreds of species and sites worldwide, but these data have remained fragmentary and generally unavailable for syntheses of regional to global scope. We are compiling the first global database of sub-daily sap flow measurements in individual plants (SAPFLUXNET), aimed at unravelling the environmental and biotic drivers of plant transpiration regulation globally. I will present the SAPFLUXNET data infrastructure and workflow, which is built upon flexible, open-source computing tools within the R environment (dedicated R packages and classes, interactive documents and apps with Rmarkdown and Shiny). Data collection started in mid-2016, we have already incorporated > 50 datasets representing > 40 species and > 350 individual plants, globally distributed, and the number of contributed data sets is increasing rapidly. I will provide a general overview of the distribution of available data sets according to climate, measurement method, species, functional groups and plant size attributes. In parallel to the sap flow data compilation, we have also collated published results from calibrations of sap flow methods, to provide a first quantification on the variability associated with different sap

  13. Soil microbial species loss affects plant biomass and survival of an introduced bacterial strain, but not inducible plant defences

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kurm, Viola; van der Putten, W.H.; Pineda, A.M.; Hol, W.H.G.

    2018-01-01

    • Background and Aims Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) strains can influence plant–insect interactions. However, little is known about the effect of changes in the soil bacterial community in general and especially the loss of rare soil microbes on these interactions. Here, the influence

  14. A preliminary assessment of the extent and potential impacts of alien plant invasions in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem, East Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arne B.R. Witt

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available This article provides a preliminary list of alien plant species in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem in East Africa. The list is based on broad-scale roadside surveys in the area and is supplemented by more detailed surveys of tourist facilities in the Masai-Mara National Reserve and adjoining conservancies. We encountered 245 alien plant species; significantly more than previous studies, of which 62 (25% were considered to have established self-perpetuating populations in areas away from human habitation. These included species which had either been intentionally or accidentally introduced. Of the 245 alien plants, 212 (including four species considered to be native to the region were intentionally introduced into gardens in the National Reserve and 51 (24% had established naturalised populations within the boundaries of these tourism facilities. Of the 51 naturalised species, 23 (11% of the 212 alien species were recorded as being invasive within the ecosystem, outside of lodges and away from other human habitation. Currently, the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem is relatively free of widespread and abundant invasive alien plants, with a few exceptions, but there are extensive populations outside of the ecosystem, particularly to the west, from where they could spread. We address the potential impacts of six species that we consider to pose the highest risks (Parthenium hysterophorus, Opuntia stricta, Tithonia diversifolia, Lantana camara, Chromolaena odorata and Prosopis juliflora. Although invasive alien plants pose substantial threats to the integrity of the ecosystem, this has not yet been widely recognised. We predict that in the absence of efforts to contain, or reverse the spread of invasive alien plants, the condition of rangelands will deteriorate, with severe negative impacts on migrating large mammals, especially wildebeest, zebra and gazelles. This will, in turn, have a substantial negative impact on tourism, which is a major economic activity

  15. Can biomass responses to warming at plant to ecosystem levels be predicted by leaf-level responses?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, J.; Shao, J.; Zhou, X.; Yan, W.; Lu, M.

    2015-12-01

    Global warming has the profound impacts on terrestrial C processes from leaf to ecosystem scales, potentially feeding back to climate dynamics. Although numerous studies had investigated the effects of warming on C processes from leaf to plant and ecosystem levels, how leaf-level responses to warming scale up to biomass responses at plant, population, and community levels are largely unknown. In this study, we compiled a dataset from 468 papers at 300 experimental sites and synthesized the warming effects on leaf-level parameters, and plant, population and ecosystem biomass. Our results showed that responses of plant biomass to warming mainly resulted from the changed leaf area rather than the altered photosynthetic capacity. The response of ecosystem biomass to warming was weaker than those of leaf area and plant biomass. However, the scaling functions from responses of leaf area to plant biomass to warming were different in diverse forest types, but functions were similar in non-forested biomes. In addition, it is challenging to scale the biomass responses from plant up to ecosystem. These results indicated that leaf area might be the appropriate index for plant biomass response to warming, and the interspecific competition might hamper the scaling of the warming effects on plant and ecosystem levels, suggesting that the acclimation capacity of plant community should be incorporated into land surface models to improve the prediction of climate-C cycle feedback.

  16. Plant responses, climate pivot points, and trade-offs in water-limited ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munson, S. M.; Bunting, E.

    2017-12-01

    Ecosystem transitions and thresholds are conceptually well-defined and have become a framework to address vegetation response to climate change and land-use intensification, yet there are few approaches to define the environmental conditions which can lead to them. We demonstrate a novel climate pivot point approach using long-term monitoring data from a broad network of permanent plots, satellite imagery, and experimental treatments across the southwestern U.S. The climate pivot point identifies conditions that lead to decreased plant performance and serves as an early warning sign of increased vulnerability of crossing a threshold into an altered ecosystem state. Plant responses and climate pivot points aligned with the lifespan and structural characteristics of species, were modified by soil and landscape attributes of a site, and had non-linear dynamics in some cases. Species with strong increases in abundance when water was available were most susceptible to losses during water shortages, reinforcing plant energetic and physiological tradeoffs. Future research to uncover the heterogeneity of plant responses and climate pivot points at multiple scales can lead to greater understanding of shifts in ecosystem productivity and vulnerability to climate change.

  17. Plant responses to precipitation in desert ecosystems: integrating functional types, pulses, thresholds, and delays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogle, Kiona; Reynolds, James F

    2004-10-01

    provide insight into how the timing, frequency, and magnitude of rainfall in deserts affect plants, plant communities, and ecosystems.

  18. Plant functional traits in relation to fire in crown-fire ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pausas, Juli G.; Bradstock, Ross A.; Keith, David A.; Keeley, Jon E.

    2004-01-01

    Disturbance is a dominant factor in many ecosystems, and the disturbance regime is likely to change over the next decades in response to land-use changes and global warming. We assume that predictions of vegetation dynamics can be made on the basis of a set of life-history traits that characterize the response of a species to disturbance. For crown-fire ecosystems, the main plant traits related to postfire persistence are the ability to resprout (persistence of individuals) and the ability to retain a persistent seed bank (persistence of populations). In this context, we asked (1) to what extent do different life-history traits co-occur with the ability to resprout and/or the ability to retain a persistent seed bank among differing ecosystems and (2) to what extent do combinations of fire-related traits (fire syndromes) change in a fire regime gradient? We explored these questions by reviewing the literature and analyzing databases compiled from different crown-fire ecosystems (mainly eastern Australia, California, and the Mediterranean basin). The review suggests that the pattern of correlation between the two basic postfire persistent traits and other plant traits varies between continents and ecosystems. From these results we predict, for instance, that not all resprouters respond in a similar way everywhere because the associated plant traits of resprouter species vary in different places. Thus, attempts to generalize predictions on the basis of the resprouting capacity may have limited power at a global scale. An example is presented for Australian heathlands. Considering the combination of persistence at individual (resprouting) and at population (seed bank) level, the predictive power at local scale was significantly increased.

  19. Predicting Plant-Accessible Water in the Critical Zone: Mountain Ecosystems in a Mediterranean Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klos, P. Z.; Goulden, M.; Riebe, C. S.; Tague, C.; O'Geen, A. T.; Flinchum, B. A.; Safeeq, M.; Conklin, M. H.; Hart, S. C.; Asefaw Berhe, A.; Hartsough, P. C.; Holbrook, S.; Bales, R. C.

    2017-12-01

    Enhanced understanding of subsurface water storage, and the below-ground architecture and processes that create it, will advance our ability to predict how the impacts of climate change - including drought, forest mortality, wildland fire, and strained water security - will take form in the decades to come. Previous research has examined the importance of plant-accessible water in soil, but in upland landscapes within Mediterranean climates the soil is often only the upper extent of subsurface water storage. We draw insights from both this previous research and a case study of the Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory to: define attributes of subsurface storage, review observed patterns in its distribution, highlight nested methods for its estimation across scales, and showcase the fundamental processes controlling its formation. We observe that forest ecosystems at our sites subsist on lasting plant-accessible stores of subsurface water during the summer dry period and during multi-year droughts. This indicates that trees in these forest ecosystems are rooted deeply in the weathered, highly porous saprolite, which reaches up to 10-20 m beneath the surface. This confirms the importance of large volumes of subsurface water in supporting ecosystem resistance to climate and landscape change across a range of spatiotemporal scales. This research enhances the ability to predict the extent of deep subsurface storage across landscapes; aiding in the advancement of both critical zone science and the management of natural resources emanating from similar mountain ecosystems worldwide.

  20. Potential ecosystem service delivery by endemic plants in New Zealand vineyards: successes and prospects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shields, Morgan W; Tompkins, Jean-Marie; Saville, David J; Meurk, Colin D; Wratten, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    Vineyards worldwide occupy over 7 million hectares and are typically virtual monocultures, with high and costly inputs of water and agro-chemicals. Understanding and enhancing ecosystem services can reduce inputs and their costs and help satisfy market demands for evidence of more sustainable practices. In this New Zealand work, low-growing, endemic plant species were evaluated for their potential benefits as Service Providing Units (SPUs) or Ecosystem Service Providers (ESPs). The services provided were weed suppression, conservation of beneficial invertebrates, soil moisture retention and microbial activity. The potential Ecosystem Dis-services (EDS) from the selected plant species by hosting the larvae of a key vine moth pest, the light-brown apple moth (Epiphyas postvittana), was also quantified. Questionnaires were used to evaluate winegrowers' perceptions of the value of and problems associated with such endemic plant species in their vineyards. Growth and survival rates of the 14 plant species, in eight families, were evaluated, with Leptinella dioica (Asteraceae) and Acaena inermis 'purpurea' (Rosaceae) having the highest growth rates in terms of area covered and the highest survival rate after 12 months. All 14 plant species suppressed weeds, with Leptinella squalida, Geranium sessiliforum (Geraniaceae), Hebe chathamica (Plantaginaceae), Scleranthus uniflorus (Caryophyllaceae) and L. dioica, each reducing weed cover by >95%. Plant species also differed in the diversity of arthropods that they supported, with the Shannon Wiener diversity index (H') for these taxa ranging from 0 to 1.3. G. sessiliforum and Muehlenbeckia axillaris (Polygonaceae) had the highest invertebrate diversity. Density of spiders was correlated with arthropod diversity and G. sessiliflorum and H. chathamica had the highest densities of these arthropods. Several plant species associated with higher soil moisture content than in control plots. The best performing species in this context

  1. Potential ecosystem service delivery by endemic plants in New Zealand vineyards: successes and prospects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morgan W. Shields

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Vineyards worldwide occupy over 7 million hectares and are typically virtual monocultures, with high and costly inputs of water and agro-chemicals. Understanding and enhancing ecosystem services can reduce inputs and their costs and help satisfy market demands for evidence of more sustainable practices. In this New Zealand work, low-growing, endemic plant species were evaluated for their potential benefits as Service Providing Units (SPUs or Ecosystem Service Providers (ESPs. The services provided were weed suppression, conservation of beneficial invertebrates, soil moisture retention and microbial activity. The potential Ecosystem Dis-services (EDS from the selected plant species by hosting the larvae of a key vine moth pest, the light-brown apple moth (Epiphyas postvittana, was also quantified. Questionnaires were used to evaluate winegrowers’ perceptions of the value of and problems associated with such endemic plant species in their vineyards. Growth and survival rates of the 14 plant species, in eight families, were evaluated, with Leptinella dioica (Asteraceae and Acaena inermis ‘purpurea’ (Rosaceae having the highest growth rates in terms of area covered and the highest survival rate after 12 months. All 14 plant species suppressed weeds, with Leptinella squalida, Geranium sessiliforum (Geraniaceae, Hebe chathamica (Plantaginaceae, Scleranthus uniflorus (Caryophyllaceae and L. dioica, each reducing weed cover by >95%. Plant species also differed in the diversity of arthropods that they supported, with the Shannon Wiener diversity index (H′ for these taxa ranging from 0 to 1.3. G. sessiliforum and Muehlenbeckia axillaris (Polygonaceae had the highest invertebrate diversity. Density of spiders was correlated with arthropod diversity and G. sessiliflorum and H. chathamica had the highest densities of these arthropods. Several plant species associated with higher soil moisture content than in control plots. The best performing species

  2. Radioecological monitoring of the Tom' river ecosystem within zone of nuclear fuel cycle plants influence

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leonova, G.A.; Bobrov, V.A.; Malikov, Yu.I.; Mel'gunov, M.S.; Makarova, I.V.; Toropov, A.V.

    2005-01-01

    According to the results of 2000-2002 expeditions the estimation of radioactive contamination scales in water ecosystems within zone of Siberian Chemical Industrial Complex (SCC) influence was performed. The accumulation levels of short-lived artificial radionuclides in biota components of SCC technological channel (Romashka river), and spatial radionuclide distribution in biota of ecosystem of the Tom' and Ob' rivers at different distances from the local source have been determined using biochemical indication method. The most frequently occurring species of plants, filamentous green algae and fish were selected as indicator bioobjects for the monitoring. In spectrum of radioisotopes revealed in water plants, fish and water of the Romashka river there were determined twelve short-living isotopes that denoted continuing river burial. (author)

  3. Leaf and life history traits predict plant growth in a green roof ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremy Lundholm

    Full Text Available Green roof ecosystems are constructed to provide services such as stormwater retention and urban temperature reductions. Green roofs with shallow growing media represent stressful conditions for plant survival, thus plants that survive and grow are important for maximizing economic and ecological benefits. While field trials are essential for selecting appropriate green roof plants, we wanted to determine whether plant leaf traits could predict changes in abundance (growth to provide a more general framework for plant selection. We quantified leaf traits and derived life-history traits (Grime's C-S-R strategies for 13 species used in a four-year green roof experiment involving five plant life forms. Changes in canopy density in monocultures and mixtures containing one to five life forms were determined and related to plant traits using multiple regression. We expected traits related to stress-tolerance would characterize the species that best grew in this relatively harsh setting. While all species survived to the end of the experiment, canopy species diversity in mixture treatments was usually much lower than originally planted. Most species grew slower in mixture compared to monoculture, suggesting that interspecific competition reduced canopy diversity. Species dominant in mixture treatments tended to be fast-growing ruderals and included both native and non-native species. Specific leaf area was a consistently strong predictor of final biomass and the change in abundance in both monoculture and mixture treatments. Some species in contrasting life-form groups showed compensatory dynamics, suggesting that life-form mixtures can maximize resilience of cover and biomass in the face of environmental fluctuations. This study confirms that plant traits can be used to predict growth performance in green roof ecosystems. While rapid canopy growth is desirable for green roofs, maintenance of species diversity may require engineering of conditions that

  4. Leaf and life history traits predict plant growth in a green roof ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundholm, Jeremy; Heim, Amy; Tran, Stephanie; Smith, Tyler

    2014-01-01

    Green roof ecosystems are constructed to provide services such as stormwater retention and urban temperature reductions. Green roofs with shallow growing media represent stressful conditions for plant survival, thus plants that survive and grow are important for maximizing economic and ecological benefits. While field trials are essential for selecting appropriate green roof plants, we wanted to determine whether plant leaf traits could predict changes in abundance (growth) to provide a more general framework for plant selection. We quantified leaf traits and derived life-history traits (Grime's C-S-R strategies) for 13 species used in a four-year green roof experiment involving five plant life forms. Changes in canopy density in monocultures and mixtures containing one to five life forms were determined and related to plant traits using multiple regression. We expected traits related to stress-tolerance would characterize the species that best grew in this relatively harsh setting. While all species survived to the end of the experiment, canopy species diversity in mixture treatments was usually much lower than originally planted. Most species grew slower in mixture compared to monoculture, suggesting that interspecific competition reduced canopy diversity. Species dominant in mixture treatments tended to be fast-growing ruderals and included both native and non-native species. Specific leaf area was a consistently strong predictor of final biomass and the change in abundance in both monoculture and mixture treatments. Some species in contrasting life-form groups showed compensatory dynamics, suggesting that life-form mixtures can maximize resilience of cover and biomass in the face of environmental fluctuations. This study confirms that plant traits can be used to predict growth performance in green roof ecosystems. While rapid canopy growth is desirable for green roofs, maintenance of species diversity may require engineering of conditions that favor less

  5. Forest and Chernobyl: forest ecosystems after the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident: 1986-1994

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ipatyev, V.; Bulavik, I.; Baginsky, V.; Goncharenko, G.; Dvornik, A.

    1999-01-01

    This paper reports basic features of radionuclide migration and the prediction of the radionuclide redistribution and accumulation by forest phytocoenoses after the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (CNPP) accident. The current ecological condition of forest ecosystems is evaluated and scientific aspects of forest management in the conditions of the large-scale radioactive contamination are discussed. (Copyright (c) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam. All rights reserved.)

  6. The arable plant ecosystem as battleground for emergence of human pathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leo eVan Overbeek

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Disease incidences related to Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica infections by consumption of (fresh vegetables, sprouts and occasionally fruits made clear that these pathogens are not only transmitted to humans via the ‘classical’ routes of meat, eggs and dairy products, but also can be transmitted to humans via plants or products derived from plants. Nowadays, it is of major concern that these human pathogens, especially the ones belonging to the taxonomical family of Enterobacteriaceae, become adapted to environmental habitats without losing their virulence to humans. Adaptation to the plant environment would lead to longer persistence in plants, increasing their chances on transmission to humans via consumption of plant-derived food. One of the mechanisms of adaptation to the plant environment in human pathogens, proposed in this paper, is horizontal transfer of genes from different microbial communities present in the arable ecosystem, like the ones originating from soil, animal digestive track systems (manure, water and plants themselves. Genes that would confer better adaptation to the phytosphere might be genes involved in plant colonization, stress resistance and nutrient acquisition and utilization. Because human pathogenic enterics often were prone to genetic exchanges via phages and conjugative plasmids, it was postulated that these genetic elements may be hold key responsible for horizontal gene transfers between human pathogens and indigenous microbes in agroproduction systems. In analogy to zoonosis, we coin the term phytonosis for a human pathogen that is transmitted via plants and not exclusively via animals.

  7. Declining plant nitrogen supply and carbon accumulation in ageing primary boreal forest ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Högberg, Mona N.; Yarwood, Stephanie A.; Trumbore, Susan; Högberg, Peter

    2016-04-01

    Boreal forest soils are commonly characterized by a low plant nitrogen (N) supply. A high tree below-ground allocation of carbon (C) to roots and soil microorganisms in response to the shortage of N may lead to high microbial immobilisation of N, thus aggravating the N limitation. We studied the N supply at a Swedish boreal forest ecosystem chronosequence created by new land rising out of the sea due to iso-static rebound. The youngest soils develop with meadows by the coast, followed by a zone of dinitrogen fixing alder trees, and primary boreal conifer forest on ground up to 560 years old. With increasing ecosystem age, the proportion of microbial C out of the total soil C pool from the youngest to the oldest coniferous ecosystem was constant (c. 1-1.5%), whereas immobilised N (microbial N out of total soil N) increased and approached the levels commonly observed in similar boreal coniferous forests (c. 6-7 %), whereas gross N mineralization declined. Simultaneously, plant foliar N % decreased and the natural abundance of N-15 in the soil increased. More specifically, the difference in N-15 between plant foliage and soil increased, which is related to greater retention of N-15 relative to N-14 by ectomycorrhizal fungi as N is taken up from the soil and some N is transferred to the plant host. In the conifer forest, where these changes were greatest, we found increased fungal biomass in the F- and H-horizons of the mor-layer, in which ectomycorrhizal fungi are known to dominate (the uppermost horizon with litter and moss is dominated by saprotrophic fungi). Hence, we propose that the decreasing N supply to the plants and the subsequent decline in plant production in ageing boreal forests is linked to high tree belowground C allocation to C limited ectomycorrhizal fungi (and other soil microorganisms), a strong sink for available soil N. Data on organic matter C-14 suggested that the largest input of recently fixed plant C occurred in the younger coniferous forest

  8. TRANSGENIC PLANTS: ENVIRONMENTAL PERSISTENCE AND EFFECTS ON SOIL AND PLANT ECOSYSTEMS

    Science.gov (United States)

    The genetic engineering of plants has facilitated the production of valuable agricultural and forestry crops. Transgenic plants have been created that have increased resistance to pests, herbicides, pathogens, and environmental stress, enhanced qualitative and quantitative trait...

  9. Modification of plant-induced responses by an insect ecosystem engineer influences the colonization behaviour of subsequent shelter-users

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Uesugi, Akane; Morrell, Kimberly; Poelman, Erik H.; Raaijmakers, Ciska E.; Kessler, André

    2016-01-01

    * Herbivores that modify plant morphology, such as gall-forming insects, can disproportionately impact arthropod community on their host plants by providing novel habitats and shelters from biotic and abiotic stresses. These ecosystem engineers could also modify plant chemical properties, but how

  10. Post-mortem ecosystem engineering by oysters creates habitat for a rare marsh plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Hongyu; Pennings, Steven C

    2012-11-01

    Oysters are ecosystem engineers in marine ecosystems, but the functions of oyster shell deposits in intertidal salt marshes are not well understood. The annual plant Suaeda linearis is associated with oyster shell deposits in Georgia salt marshes. We hypothesized that oyster shell deposits promoted the distribution of Suaeda linearis by engineering soil conditions unfavorable to dominant salt marsh plants of the region (the shrub Borrichia frutescens, the rush Juncus roemerianus, and the grass Spartina alterniflora). We tested this hypothesis using common garden pot experiments and field transplant experiments. Suaeda linearis thrived in Borrichia frutescens stands in the absence of neighbors, but was suppressed by Borrichia frutescens in the with-neighbor treatment, suggesting that Suaeda linearis was excluded from Borrichia frutescens stands by interspecific competition. Suaeda linearis plants all died in Juncus roemerianus and Spartina alterniflora stands, regardless of neighbor treatments, indicating that Suaeda linearis is excluded from these habitats by physical stress (likely water-logging). In contrast, Borrichia frutescens, Juncus roemerianus, and Spartina alterniflora all performed poorly in Suaeda linearis stands regardless of neighbor treatments, probably due to physical stresses such as low soil water content and low organic matter content. Thus, oyster shell deposits play an important ecosystem engineering role in influencing salt marsh plant communities by providing a unique niche for Suaeda linearis, which otherwise would be rare or absent in salt marshes in the southeastern US. Since the success of Suaeda linearis is linked to the success of oysters, efforts to protect and restore oyster reefs may also benefit salt marsh plant communities.

  11. The Limits of Acclimation of land plants in a Terrestrial Ecosystems Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kothavala, Zavareh

    2014-05-01

    In this study, we examine the role of the terrestrial carbon cycle and the ability of different plant types to acclimate to a changing climate at the centennial scale using a global ecosystems model with updated biogeochemical processes related to moisture, carbon, and nitrogen. Elevated level of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) increases CO2 fertilization, resulting in more CO2 uptake by vegetation, whereas the concomitant warming increases autotrophic and heterotrophic respiration, releasing CO2 to the atmosphere. Additionally, warming will enhance photosynthesis if current temperatures are below the optimal temperature for plant growth, while it will reduce photosynthesis if current temperatures are above the optimal temperature for plant growth. We present a series of ensemble simulations to evaluate the ability of plants to acclimate to changing conditions over the last century and how this affects the terrestrial carbon sink. A set of experiments related to (a) the varying relationship between CO2 fertilization and the half saturation constant, (b) the factors related to gross primary productivity and maintenance respiration, and (c) the variables related to heterotrophic respiration, were conducted with thirteen plant functional types. The experiments were performed using the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM) with a present-day vegetation distribution without the effects of natural or human disturbance, and a closed Nitrogen cycle, at a half-degree resolution over the globe. The experiment design consisted of eight scenarios that are consistent with past and future ecosystem conditions, presented in other scientific studies. The significance of model trends related to runoff, soil moisture, soil carbon, Net Primary Productivity (NPP), crop yield, and Net Ecosystem Productivity (NEP) for different seasons, as well as surface temperature, precipitation, vapor pressure, and photosynthetically active radiation are analyzed for various ecosystems at the global

  12. Dual role of lignin in plant litter decomposition in terrestrial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austin, Amy T; Ballaré, Carlos L

    2010-03-09

    Plant litter decomposition is a critical step in the formation of soil organic matter, the mineralization of organic nutrients, and the carbon balance in terrestrial ecosystems. Biotic decomposition in mesic ecosystems is generally negatively correlated with the concentration of lignin, a group of complex aromatic polymers present in plant cell walls that is recalcitrant to enzymatic degradation and serves as a structural barrier impeding microbial access to labile carbon compounds. Although photochemical mineralization of carbon has recently been shown to be important in semiarid ecosystems, litter chemistry controls on photodegradative losses are not understood. We evaluated the importance of litter chemistry on photodegradation of grass litter and cellulose substrates with varying levels of lignin [cellulose-lignin (CL) substrates] under field conditions. Using wavelength-specific light attenuation filters, we found that light-driven mass loss was promoted by both UV and visible radiation. The spectral dependence of photodegradation correlated with the absorption spectrum of lignin but not of cellulose. Field incubations demonstrated that increasing lignin concentration reduced biotic decomposition, as expected, but linearly increased photodegradation. In addition, lignin content in CL substrates consistently decreased in photodegradative incubations. We conclude that lignin has a dual role affecting litter decomposition, depending on the dominant driver (biotic or abiotic) controlling carbon turnover. Under photodegradative conditions, lignin is preferentially degraded because it acts as an effective light-absorbing compound over a wide range of wavelengths. This mechanistic understanding of the role of lignin in plant litter decomposition will allow for more accurate predictions of carbon dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems.

  13. Ecosystem engineers on plants: indirect facilitation of arthropod communities by leaf-rollers at different scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieira, Camila; Romero, Gustavo Q

    2013-07-01

    Ecosystem engineering is a process by which organisms change the distribution of resources and create new habitats for other species via non-trophic interactions. Leaf-rolling caterpillars can act as ecosystem engineers because they provide shelter to secondary users. In this study, we report the influence of leaf-rolling caterpillars on speciose tropical arthropod communities along both spatial scales (leaf-level and plant-level effects) and temporal scales (dry and rainy seasons). We predict that rolled leaves can amplify arthropod diversity at both the leaf and plant levels and that this effect is stronger in dry seasons, when arthropods are prone to desiccation. Our results show that the abundance, richness, and biomass of arthropods within several guilds increased up to 22-fold in naturally and artificially created leaf shelters relative to unaltered leaves. These effects were observed at similar magnitudes at both the leaf and plant scales. Variation in the shelter architecture (funnel, cylinders) did not influence arthropod parameters, as diversity, abundance, orbiomass, but rolled leaves had distinct species composition if compared with unaltered leaves. As expected, these arthropod parameters on the plants with rolled leaves were on average approximately twofold higher in the dry season. Empty leaf rolls and whole plants were rapidly recolonized by arthropods over time, implying a fast replacement of individuals; within 15-day intervals the rolls and plants reached a species saturation. This study is the first to examine the extended effects of engineering caterpillars as diversity amplifiers at different temporal and spatial scales. Because shelter-building caterpillars are ubiquitous organisms in tropical and temperate forests, they can be considered key structuring elements for arthropod communities on plants.

  14. Heavy metal pollution in aquatic ecosystems and its phytoremediation using wetland plants: An ecosustainable approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rai, P.K. [Mizoram Central University, Tanhril (India). School for Earth Science & Natural Resource Management

    2008-07-01

    This review addresses the global problem of heavy metal pollution originating from increased industrialization and urbanization and its amelioration by using wetland plants both in a microcosm as well as natural/field condition. This review mentions salient features of wetland ecosystems, their vegetation component, and the pros and cons involved in heavy metal removal. Wetland plants are preferred over other bio-agents due to their low cost, frequent abundance in aquatic ecosystems, and easy handling. Constructed wetlands proved to be effective for the abatement of heavy metal pollution from acid mine drainage; landfill leachate; thermal power; and municipal, agricultural, refinery, and chlor-alkali effluent. the physicochemical properties of wetlands provide many positive attributes for remediating heavy metals. Typha, Phragmites, Eichhornia, Azolla, Lemna, and other aquatic macrophytes are some of the potent wetland plants for heavy metal removal. Biomass disposal problem and seasonal growth of aquatic macrophytes are some limitations in the transfer of phytoremediation technology from the laboratory to the field. However, the disposed biomass of macrophytes may be used for various fruitful applications. An ecosustainable model has been developed through the author's various works, which may ameliorate some of the limitations. The creation of more areas for phytoremediation may also aid in wetlands conservation. Genetic engineering and biodiversity prospecting of endangered wetland plants are important future prospects in this regard.

  15. Environmental risk assessment for plant pests: a procedure to evaluate their impacts on ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilioli, G; Schrader, G; Baker, R H A; Ceglarska, E; Kertész, V K; Lövei, G; Navajas, M; Rossi, V; Tramontini, S; van Lenteren, J C

    2014-01-15

    The current methods to assess the environmental impacts of plant pests differ in their approaches and there is a lack of the standardized procedures necessary to provide accurate and consistent results, demonstrating the complexity of developing a commonly accepted scheme for this purpose. By including both the structural and functional components of the environment threatened by invasive alien species (IAS), in particular plant pests, we propose an environmental risk assessment scheme that addresses this complexity. Structural components are investigated by evaluating the impacts of the plant pest on genetic, species and landscape diversity. Functional components are evaluated by estimating how plant pests modify ecosystem services in order to determine the extent to which an IAS changes the functional traits that influence ecosystem services. A scenario study at a defined spatial and temporal resolution is then used to explore how an IAS, as an exogenous driving force, may trigger modifications in the target environment. The method presented here provides a standardized approach to generate comparable and reproducible results for environmental risk assessment as a component of Pest Risk Analysis. The method enables the assessment of overall environmental risk which integrates the impacts on different components of the environment and their probabilities of occurrence. The application of the proposed scheme is illustrated by evaluating the environmental impacts of the invasive citrus long-horn beetle, Anoplophora chinensis. © 2013.

  16. Isolation and enzyme bioprospection of endophytic bacteria associated with plants of Brazilian mangrove ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro, Renata A; Quecine, Maria Carolina; Lacava, Paulo T; Batista, Bruna D; Luvizotto, Danice M; Marcon, Joelma; Ferreira, Anderson; Melo, Itamar S; Azevedo, João L

    2014-01-01

    The mangrove ecosystem is a coastal tropical biome located in the transition zone between land and sea that is characterized by periodic flooding, which confers unique and specific environmental conditions on this biome. In these ecosystems, the vegetation is dominated by a particular group of plant species that provide a unique environment harboring diverse groups of microorganisms, including the endophytic microorganisms that are the focus of this study. Because of their intimate association with plants, endophytic microorganisms could be explored for biotechnologically significant products, such as enzymes, proteins, antibiotics and others. Here, we isolated endophytic microorganisms from two mangrove species, Rhizophora mangle and Avicennia nitida, that are found in streams in two mangrove systems in Bertioga and Cananéia, Brazil. Bacillus was the most frequently isolated genus, comprising 42% of the species isolated from Cananéia and 28% of the species from Bertioga. However, other common endophytic genera such as Pantoea, Curtobacterium and Enterobacter were also found. After identifying the isolates, the bacterial communities were evaluated for enzyme production. Protease activity was observed in 75% of the isolates, while endoglucanase activity occurred in 62% of the isolates. Bacillus showed the highest activity rates for amylase and esterase and endoglucanase. To our knowledge, this is the first reported diversity analysis performed on endophytic bacteria obtained from the branches of mangrove trees and the first overview of the specific enzymes produced by different bacterial genera. This work contributes to our knowledge of the microorganisms and enzymes present in mangrove ecosystems.

  17. Changes in the Pincate Reserve ecosystems: Invasion of non-native plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denise Z. Avila-Jimenez

    2005-01-01

    Over the years, humans have modified the Sonoran Desert by introducing invasive plants that prosper in disturbed and non-disturbed habitats. These invaders modify the dynamics and structure of populations and the composition of communities, which in turn can result in radical changes in wildlife habitat. The natural landscape of the Sonoran Desert is characterized by...

  18. Links between plant litter chemistry, species diversity, and below-ground ecosystem function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Courtney L; Bowman, William D

    2008-12-16

    Decomposition is a critical source of plant nutrients, and drives the largest flux of terrestrial C to the atmosphere. Decomposing soil organic matter typically contains litter from multiple plant species, yet we lack a mechanistic understanding of how species diversity influences decomposition processes. Here, we show that soil C and N cycling during decomposition are controlled by the composition and diversity of chemical compounds within plant litter mixtures, rather than by simple metrics of plant species diversity. We amended native soils with litter mixtures containing up to 4 alpine plant species, and we used 9 litter chemical traits to evaluate the chemical composition (i.e., the identity and quantity of compounds) and chemical diversity of the litter mixtures. The chemical composition of the litter mixtures was the strongest predictor of soil respiration, net N mineralization, and microbial biomass N. Soil respiration and net N mineralization rates were also significantly correlated with the chemical diversity of the litter mixtures. In contrast, soil C and N cycling rates were poorly correlated with plant species richness, and there was no relationship between species richness and the chemical diversity of the litter mixtures. These results indicate that the composition and diversity of chemical compounds in litter are potentially important functional traits affecting decomposition, and simple metrics like plant species richness may fail to capture variation in these traits. Litter chemical traits therefore provide a mechanistic link between organisms, species diversity, and key components of below-ground ecosystem function.

  19. Stakeholder Perceptions of an Ecosystem Services Approach to Clearing Invasive Alien Plants on Private Land

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lauren S. Urgenson

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Incentivizing private landowners and other stakeholders is central to the effective conservation of ecosystem services in working landscapes. To better understand how to design effective incentives, the perceptions of landowners and other stakeholders are explored regarding a proposed approach to clearing invasive alien plants on private land in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. The public funded national program, Working for Water, conserves ecosystem services while employing and training people from marginalized sectors of society to clear these plants. Private landowner involvement is a key conservation challenge, because without adequate landowner involvement, invasive alien plants persist on the landscape and continuously reinvade cleared areas. We collected interview data from private landowners in three study sites, and web-survey data from conservation professionals and Working for Water managers, in order to compare stakeholder perceptions of (1 government and landowners' responsibilities for clearing invasive alien plants; (2 existing and proposed policy tools; and (3 the extent to which stakeholders consider the proposed financial incentive to be sufficient. There was significant consensus among stakeholders concerning their preference for shared landowner and government responsibility and for a policy mix that combines incentives with disincentives. Landowners from the three study sites differed in the level of responsibility they were willing to assume. Stakeholders also diverged in terms of their perceptions of the proposed financial incentives. Furthermore, the perspectives of landowners were strongly associated with ecological and social features of the landscapes in which they are located. Understanding stakeholders' points of view within their differing contexts is shown to be a valuable means of gaining insight into the opportunities and constraints that face ecosystem service conservation in working landscapes.

  20. Ecosystem-scale fluxes in seminatural Pyrenean grasslands: role of annual dynamics of plant functional types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altimir, Nuria; Ibañez, Mercedes; Elbers, Jan; Rota, Cristina; Arias, Claudia; Carrara, Arnaud; Nogues, Salvador; Sebastia, Maria-Teresa

    2013-04-01

    The net ecosystem exchange (NEE) and the annual C balance of a site are in general modulated by light, temperature and availability of water and other resources to the plants. In grasslands, NEE is expected to depend strongly on the vegetation with a relationship that can be summarized by the above-ground biomass, its amount and dynamics. Any factor controlling the amount of green biomass is expected to have a strong impact on the short-term NEE, such as amount of solar radiation, water availability and grazing pressure. These controls are modulated differently depending on the plant functional type enduring them. Furthermore, as different guilds follow different functional strategies for optimization of the resources, they also present different patterns of change in their capacities such as photosynthetic fixation, belowground C allocation, and C loss via respiration. We examined these relationships at several semi-natural pastures to determine how the seasonal distribution of plant functional types is detected in the short-term ecosystem exchange and what role it plays. We have looked into these patterns to determine the general variation of key processes and whether different temporal patterns arise between different guilds. The study sites are in the Pyrenees, on the mountain pastures of La Bertolina, Alinyà, and Castellar at 1300, 1700, 1900 m a.s.l. respectively. We performed ecosystem-scale flux measurements by means of micrometeorologial stations combined with a thorough description of the vegetation including below- and above-ground biomass and leaf area as well as monitoring of natural abundance of C isotopes, discriminated by plant functional types. We present here the results of the study.

  1. Development of concepts of plants activity, its ecological role and methods of its assessment in ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Savinov Alexander

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available When studying the species activity in the phytocoenoses, three methodological approaches are used: coenotipic, status and ergontic. The latter is proposed for the first time and based on the fact that the activity of plant organisms of a given species is considered as a set of interactions of these organisms with each other, with other organisms and abiotic components of ecosystems. This interaction essentially reflects the rate of accumulation and generation of substances, energy and information by plant organisms. To calculate the activity of the plant species in this aspect, the appropriate formulas were proposed. When comparing the coenotipic, status and ergontic approaches, it was stated that these approaches can complement each other.

  2. Externalities assessment of a coal power plant in the forest ecosystems in Valdecaballeros Area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laforga, P.; Planas, B.

    1995-01-01

    The book is divided in two parts. The first one analyzes the critical load and level concepts, and the methodological framework for Environmental Impact Statement (E.L.S.). In line with this, critical loads and levels represent the system vulnerability and excedances of critical values identify zones where impacts could occur. These are evaluated according to a set of criteria, talking into account present and future land use, their socio cultural interest, economic value of their natural resources and ecological quality of the whole system. In addition to Environment Impact Statement of air pollutants, the proposed formalism allows assessing the external cost of gaseous emission. The second part applies the developed ideas to a practical case: a hypothetical coal power plant on Valdecaballeros (Badajoz, Spain). Environmental impact on forestry ecosystems is studied on a 70 km radius area around the plant. The assessment of the external costs rely on yield losses associated with gaseous emission of the hypothetical plant. (Author) 100 refs

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-05-01

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

  4. Suggestion of Design Evaluation Plan based on Star Life Cycle to introduce the Information Minimalism Concept of KOREA Nuclear Plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jang, Gwi-sook; Lee, Seung-min; Park, Gee-yong

    2018-01-01

    The design of Korea Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) main control rooms (MCR) has been changed to be fully digitalized. Five or six display devices are assigned to each operator in NPP MCR to provide the information of safety parameter and plant status, and various control functions by connecting computerized control devices. Under this circumstance, the distributed displays can induce a dispersion of the operators' attention and increase the workload while conducting monitoring and control tasks efficiently. In addition, to support human operators to reduce their workload and increase the performance, the concepts of the ecological interface design (EID) and the operator-centered design were applied to the design HMI display. However these designs are applied to a limited set of screens and did not differ largely from the traditional HMI design in that the layout of the information is somewhere similar to P&IDs. In this paper, we propose a design evaluation plan based on star life cycle to introduce the information minimalism concept for designing an HMI display.

  5. Acceleration of exotic plant invasion in a forested ecosystem by a generalist herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eschtruth, Anne K; Battles, John J

    2009-04-01

    The successful invasion of exotic plants is often attributed to the absence of coevolved enemies in the introduced range (i.e., the enemy release hypothesis). Nevertheless, several components of this hypothesis, including the role of generalist herbivores, remain relatively unexplored. We used repeated censuses of exclosures and paired controls to investigate the role of a generalist herbivore, white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), in the invasion of 3 exotic plant species (Microstegium vimineum, Alliaria petiolata, and Berberis thunbergii) in eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) forests in New Jersey and Pennsylvania (U.S.A.). This work was conducted in 10 eastern hemlock (T. canadensis) forests that spanned gradients in deer density and in the severity of canopy disturbance caused by an introduced insect pest, the hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae). We used maximum likelihood estimation and information theoretics to quantify the strength of evidence for alternative models of the influence of deer density and its interaction with the severity of canopy disturbance on exotic plant abundance. Our results were consistent with the enemy release hypothesis in that exotic plants gained a competitive advantage in the presence of generalist herbivores in the introduced range. The abundance of all 3 exotic plants increased significantly more in the control plots than in the paired exclosures. For all species, the inclusion of canopy disturbance parameters resulted in models with substantially greater support than the deer density only models. Our results suggest that white-tailed deer herbivory can accelerate the invasion of exotic plants and that canopy disturbance can interact with herbivory to magnify the impact. In addition, our results provide compelling evidence of nonlinear relationships between deer density and the impact of herbivory on exotic species abundance. These findings highlight the important role of herbivore density in determining impacts on

  6. Changes in ecosystem services associated with planting structures of cropland: A case study in Minle County in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yaqun; Song, Wei; Mu, Fengyun

    2017-12-01

    The cropland ecosystem provides essential direct and indirect products and services to mankind such as food, fiber, biodiversity and soil conservation. A change of crop planting structure can change the ecosystem services of cropland by affecting land use type. In recent years, under the influence of regional comparative advantage and consumer demand changes, the crop planting structure in China has changed rapidly. However, there is still a lack of deep understanding on the effect of such a change in planting structure on the ecosystem services of cropland. Therefore, this research selected Minle County in the Heihe River Basin, which has small scattered croplands and a complex planting structure, as a study area. Based on the key time phase and optimal threshold of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data of the Thematic Mapper and Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (TM/ETM+) images, this study used the decision tree algorithm to classify and extract the crop planting structure in Minle County in 2007 and 2012 and to analyze the changes in its temporal and spatial patterns. Then, the market value method was adopted to estimate the effect of the change in crop planting structure on the ecosystem services of the cropland. From 2007 to 2012, the planting area of corn and rapeseed in Minle County increased by 5.86 × 103 ha and 5.10 × 103 ha, respectively. Conversely, the planting area of wheat and barley was reduced by 3.26 × 103 ha and 6.34 × 103 ha, respectively. These changes directly caused the increase of the ecosystem services value of corn and rapeseed by 1062.82 × 104 USD and 842.54 × 104 USD, respectively. The resulting reduction in the ecosystem services value of wheat and barley was 488.24 × 104 USD and 828.29 × 104 USD, respectively. Besides, the total ecosystem services value of cropland increased by 1564.98 × 104 USD. Further analysis found that the change in the crop planting structure caused an increase in the ecosystem services

  7. Plant hydraulic controls over ecosystem responses to climate-enhanced disturbances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackay, D. S.; Ewers, B. E.; Reed, D. E.; Pendall, E.; McDowell, N. G.

    2012-12-01

    Climate-enhanced disturbances such as drought and insect infestation range in severity, contributing minor to severe stress to forests including forest mortality. While neither form of disturbance has been unambiguously implicated as a mechanism of mortality, both induce changes in water, carbon, and nutrient cycling that are key to understanding forest ecosystem response to, and recovery from, disturbance. Each disturbance type has different biophysical, ecohydrological, and biogeochemical signatures that potentially complicate interpretation and development of theory. Plant hydraulic function is arguably a unifying control over these responses to disturbance because it regulates stomatal conductance, leaf biochemistry, carbon (C) uptake and utilization, and nutrient cycling. We demonstrated this idea by focusing on water and C, including non-structural (NSC), resources, and nitrogen (N) uptake across a spectrum of forest ecosystems (e.g., northern temperate mixed forests, lodgepole pine forests in the Rocky Mountains, and pinon pine - juniper woodlands in New Mexico) using the Terrestrial Regional Ecosystem Exchange Simulator (TREES). TREES is grounded in the biophysics of water movement through soil and plants, respectively via hydraulic conductivity of the soil and cavitation of xylem. It combines this dynamic plant hydraulic conductance with canopy biochemical controls over photosynthesis, and the dynamics of structural and non-structural carbon through a carbon budget that responds to plant hydraulic status. As such, the model can be used to develop testable hypotheses on a multitude of disturbance and recovery responses including xylem dysfunction, stomatal and non-stomatal controls on photosynthesis and carbon allocation, respiration, and allocation to defense compounds. For each of the ecosystems we constrained and evaluated the model with allometry, sap flux and/or eddy covariance data, leaf gas exchange measurements, and vulnerability to cavitation data

  8. Heterogeneity of soil surface ammonium concentration and other characteristics, related to plant specific variability in a Mediterranean-type ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cruz, Cristina; Bio, Ana M.F.; Jullioti, Aldo; Tavares, Alice; Dias, Teresa; Martins-Loucao, Maria Amelia

    2008-01-01

    Heterogeneity and dynamics of eight soil surface characteristics essential for plants-ammonium and nitrate concentrations, water content, temperature, pH, organic matter, nitrification and ammonification rates-were studied in a Mediterranean-type ecosystem on four occasions over a year. Soil properties varied seasonally and were influenced by plant species. Nitrate and ammonium were present in the soil at similar concentrations throughout the year. The positive correlation between them at the time of greatest plant development indicates that ammonium is a readily available nitrogen source in Mediterranean-type ecosystems. The results presented here suggest that plant cover significantly affects soil surface characteristics. - In Mediterranean-type ecosystems ammonium is present in the soil throughout the year and its concentration is dependent on plant cover

  9. Modeling invasive alien plant species in river systems : Interaction with native ecosystem engineers and effects on hydro-morphodynamic processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Oorschot, M.; Kleinhans, M. G.; Geerling, G.W.; Egger, G.; Leuven, R.S.E.W.; Middelkoop, H.

    2017-01-01

    Invasive alien plant species negatively impact native plant communities by out-competing species or changing abiotic and biotic conditions in their introduced range. River systems are especially vulnerable to biological invasions, because waterways can function as invasion corridors. Understanding

  10. Net ecosystem production in a Little Ice Age moraine: the role of plant functional traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varolo, E.; Zanotelli, D.; Tagliavini, M.; Zerbe, S.; Montagnani, L.

    2015-07-01

    Current glacier retreat allows vast mountain ranges available for vegetation establishment and growth. Little is known about the effective carbon (C) budget of these new ecosystems and how the presence of different vegetation communities, characterized by their specific physiology and life forms influences C fluxes. In this study, using a comparative analysis of the C fluxes of two contrasting vegetation types, we intend to evaluate if the different physiologies of the main species have an effect on Ecosystem Respiration (Reco), Gross Primary Production (GPP), annual cumulated Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE), and long-term carbon accumulation in soil. The NEE of two plant communities present on a Little Ice Age moraine in the Matsch glacier forefield (Alps, Italy) was measured over two growing seasons. They are a typical C3 grassland, dominated by Festuca halleri All. and a community dominated by CAM rosettes Sempervivum montanum L. on rocky soils. Using transparent and opaque chambers, we extrapolated the ecophysiological responses to the main environmental drivers and performed the partition of NEE into Reco and GPP. Soil samples were collected from the same site to measure long-term C accumulation in the ecosystem. The two communities showed contrasting GPP but similar Reco patterns and as a result significantly different in NEE. The grassland acted mainly as a carbon sink with a total cumulated value of -46.4 ± 35.5 g C m-2 NEE while the plots dominated by the CAM rosettes acted as a source with 31.9 ± 22.4 g C m-2. In spite of the NEE being different in the two plant communities, soil analysis did not reveal significant differences in carbon accumulation. Grasslands showed 1.76 ± 0.12 kg C m-2, while CAM rosettes showed 2.06 ± 0.23 kg C m-2. This study demonstrates that carbon dynamics of two vegetation communities can be distinct even though the growing environment is similar. The physiological traits of the dominant species determine large differences in

  11. The estimate of ecological risk for ground ecosystems in case of nuclear power plant failures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kremlenkov, D.Y.; Kremlenkov, M.Y.

    2003-01-01

    Full text: The stochastic nature of radiation damage generates a need of forecasting information about possible consequences for environment and people. In this article it is given the estimate of probable damage to forest-and agricultural ecosystems from radionuclide emergency pollution in case of nuclear plant failures (for early emergency period). This estimate is based on radio-ecological risk conception which provide with the application of radioactive substances distribution models in atmosphere, as were calculation of absorbent radiation dose in critical ecosystem groups-calculation of probable area of lost ecosystems has been done by using the program written in Pascal. The quantitative estimate of environmental loss has been conducted for diverse classes of atmospheric stability. The value of ecological dose range (ELD) to coniferous forest is 30 Gy, deciduous forest - 300 Gy, agricultural crop - 60 Gy. The value of minimum ecological dose range (MELD) for all ecosystems is 10 Gy. In dose spread from MELD to ELD the ecological damage is proportional to absorbed dose. The ecological damage to ground ecosystems caused by cesium-137 and strontium-90 emergency pollution is primarily depended on the scale of radionuclide emergency pollution as well as weather conditions and radio-stability of critical vegetal ecosystem groups. On the assumption of a dose spread from MELD to ELD, ecological risk defined in probable ecosystem's destruction area is estimated: for cesium-137 pollution about 2 % of coniferous forest and from 4 to 9 % of deciduous forest; for strontium-90 pollution from 2 to 4 % of agricultural crop. As the scale of cesium-137 emergency pollution rise from 10 4 to 10 5 Cu the probable damage determined in ecosystem's destruction area increase 12-19 times to coniferous forest ecosystem and 15-36 times to deciduous forest according to weather conditions. The probable damage to coniferous and deciduous forest rise 11-17 times in proportion as the scale

  12. Environmental and community controls on plant canopy chemistry in a Mediterranean-type ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahlin, Kyla M; Asner, Gregory P; Field, Christopher B

    2013-04-23

    Understanding how and why plant communities vary across space has long been a goal of ecology, yet parsing the relative importance of different influences has remained a challenge. Species-specific models are not generalizable, whereas broad plant functional type models lack important detail. Here we consider plant trait patterns at the local scale and ask whether plant chemical traits are more closely linked to environmental gradients or to changes in species composition. We used the visible-to-shortwave infrared (VSWIR) spectrometer of the Carnegie Airborne Observatory to develop maps of four plant chemical traits--leaf nitrogen per mass, leaf carbon per mass, leaf water concentration, and canopy water content--across a diverse Mediterranean-type ecosystem (Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, CA). For all four traits, plant community alone was the strongest predictor of trait variation (explaining 46-61% of the heterogeneity), whereas environmental gradients accounted for just one fourth of the variation in the traits. This result emphasizes the critical role that species composition plays in mediating nutrient and carbon cycling within and among different communities. Environmental filtering and limits to similarity can act strongly, simultaneously, in a spatially heterogeneous environment, but the local-scale environmental gradients alone cannot account for the variation across this landscape.

  13. Linkages of plant stoichiometry to ecosystem production and carbon fluxes with increasing nitrogen inputs in an alpine steppe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Yunfeng; Li, Fei; Zhou, Guoying; Fang, Kai; Zhang, Dianye; Li, Changbin; Yang, Guibiao; Wang, Guanqin; Wang, Jun; Yang, Yuanhe

    2017-12-01

    Unprecedented levels of nitrogen (N) have entered terrestrial ecosystems over the past century, which substantially influences the carbon (C) exchange between the atmosphere and biosphere. Temperature and moisture are generally regarded as the major controllers over the N effects on ecosystem C uptake and release. N-phosphorous (P) stoichiometry regulates the growth and metabolisms of plants and soil organisms, thereby affecting many ecosystem C processes. However, it remains unclear how the N-induced shift in the plant N:P ratio affects ecosystem production and C fluxes and its relative importance. We conducted a field manipulative experiment with eight N addition levels in a Tibetan alpine steppe and assessed the influences of N on aboveground net primary production (ANPP), gross ecosystem productivity (GEP), ecosystem respiration (ER), and net ecosystem exchange (NEE); we used linear mixed-effects models to further determine the relative contributions of various factors to the N-induced changes in these parameters. Our results showed that the ANPP, GEP, ER, and NEE all exhibited nonlinear responses to increasing N additions. Further analysis demonstrated that the plant N:P ratio played a dominate role in shaping these C exchange processes. There was a positive relationship between the N-induced changes in ANPP (ΔANPP) and the plant N:P ratio (ΔN:P), whereas the ΔGEP, ΔER, and ΔNEE exhibited quadratic correlations with the ΔN:P. In contrast, soil temperature and moisture were only secondary predictors for the changes in ecosystem production and C fluxes along the N addition gradient. These findings highlight the importance of plant N:P ratio in regulating ecosystem C exchange, which is crucial for improving our understanding of C cycles under the scenarios of global N enrichment. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Analyses of plant biomarkers in modern ecosystems to improve vegetation reconstructions at hominid sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uno, K. T.; Boisserie, J. R.; Cerling, T. E.; Polissar, P. J.

    2017-12-01

    Reconstructing vegetation at hominid localities in eastern Africa remains a significant challenge for examining the role of climate and environment in human evolution. Plant wax biomarker approaches, particularly carbon isotopes of n-alkyl lipids, have been increasingly used to estimate the proportion of C3 and C4­ vegetation in past environments. Identifying new biomarkers indicative of vegetation type, specifically those that can be used to identify (C3) grasses prior to the late Miocene C4 expansion, will enable vegetation reconstructions during the first half of the Neogene, where much remains to be learned about hominid environments. Here, we begin to look beyond carbon isotopes from n-alkyl lipids by analyzing molecular distributions and screening for new plant biomarkers that can be used to identify plant functional types or possibly, more specific taxonomic information. We evaluate molecular distributions, carbon isotope ratios, and pentacyclic triterpenoid methyl esters (PTMEs) in modern soils from a wide range of ecosystems in Ethiopia and Kenya where vegetation types, fraction woody cover, and climatic conditions are known. Preliminary data suggest PTMEs are associated with grassy ecosystems but absent from forested ones. We also find that woody cover can be estimated using n-alkane molecular distributions. This non-isotopic approach to reconstructing woody cover opens the door to reconstructing Neogene vegetation provided the molecular distributions of C3 grasses in the past are similar to those of modern C4 grasses.

  15. Regional signatures of plant response to drought and elevated temperature across a desert ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munson, Seth M.; Muldavin, Esteban H.; Belnap, Jayne; Peters, Debra P.C.; Anderson, John P.; Reiser, M. Hildegard; Gallo, Kirsten; Melgoza-Castillo, Alicia; Herrick, Jeffrey E.; Christiansen, Tim A.

    2013-01-01

    The performance of many desert plant species in North America may decline with the warmer and drier conditions predicted by climate change models, thereby accelerating land degradation and reducing ecosystem productivity. We paired repeat measurements of plant canopy cover with climate at multiple sites across the Chihuahuan Desert over the last century to determine which plant species and functional types may be the most sensitive to climate change. We found that the dominant perennial grass, Bouteloua eriopoda, and species richness had nonlinear responses to summer precipitation, decreasing more in dry summers than increasing with wet summers. Dominant shrub species responded differently to the seasonality of precipitation and drought, but winter precipitation best explained changes in the cover of woody vegetation in upland grasslands and may contribute to woody-plant encroachment that is widespread throughout the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Temperature explained additional variability of changes in cover of dominant and subdominant plant species. Using a novel empirically based approach we identified ‘‘climate pivot points’’ that were indicative of shifts from increasing to decreasing plant cover over a range of climatic conditions. Reductions in cover of annual and several perennial plant species, in addition to declines in species richness below the long-term summer precipitation mean across plant communities, indicate a decrease in the productivity for all but the most drought-tolerant perennial grasses and shrubs in the Chihuahuan Desert. Overall, our regional synthesis of long-term data provides a robust foundation for forecasting future shifts in the composition and structure of plant assemblages in the largest North American warm desert.

  16. Stochastic resonance and coherence resonance in groundwater-dependent plant ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borgogno, Fabio; D'Odorico, Paolo; Laio, Francesco; Ridolfi, Luca

    2012-01-21

    Several studies have shown that non-linear deterministic dynamical systems forced by external random components can give rise to unexpectedly regular temporal behaviors. Stochastic resonance and coherence resonance, the two best known processes of this type, have been studied in a number of physical and chemical systems. Here, we explore their possible occurrence in the dynamics of groundwater-dependent plant ecosystems. To this end, we develop two eco-hydrological models, which allow us to demonstrate that stochastic and coherence resonance may emerge in the dynamics of phreatophyte vegetation, depending on their deterministic properties and the intensity of external stochastic drivers. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Fate of 2,4-D Residues in Turkish Soil-Plant Ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Önal, Q.; Gözek, K.

    1981-01-01

    Full text: 2,4-D is the most frequently used herbicide in Turkish agriculture especially in Middle Anatolia. Studies on the behaviour of 2,4-D in the soil-plant ecosystem is being carried out under laboratory and field conditions. Some preliminary results are reported. After four weeks, recovery of radioactivity in carbon dioxide, aceton extract and bound residue was averaged for various soils: 20%, 15% and 48%, respectively. Barley, wheat and oat grown for four weeks on 2,4-D contaminated soil, contained from 0,6 up to 8% of the radioactivity applied. (author)

  18. Analysis of chemical factors affecting marine ecosystem around nuclear power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chun, Kwan Sik; Choi, Yoon Dong; Chun, Ki Jeong; Kim, Jin Kyu; Jung, Kyeong Chai; Lee, Yeong Keun; Park, Hyo Kook

    1994-06-01

    The ecological data of the coastal area of Youngkwang nuclear power plant from 1987 to 1993 were comprehensively analyzed, and various physical and chemical properties of sea water and sediments were measured. Major factors affecting phytoplankton standing crops were suspended substances, nitrate, and silicate. The contents of iron, chromium, copper, and sulfur in sediments sampled from the discharge channel were slightly higher than those in the other areas. In order to qantify the chemical impacts on marine ecosystem, it is desirable that a systematic survey be made through the whole year cycle to assure the consistency and confidence of the related data. (Author)

  19. Growth form and distribution of introduced plants in their native and non-native ranges in Eastern Asia and North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert E. Ricklefs; Qinfeng Guo; Hong Qian

    2008-01-01

    There is a growing interest in understanding the influence of plant traits on their ability to spread in non-native regions. Many studies addressing this issue have been based on relatively small areas or restricted taxonomic groups. Here, we analyse a large data base involving 1567 plant species introduced between Eastern Asia and North America or from elsewhere to...

  20. Sustainable utilization and conservation of plant biodiversity in montane ecosystems: the western Himalayas as a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Shujaul Mulk; Page, Sue E; Ahmad, Habib; Harper, David M

    2013-08-01

    Conservation of the unique biodiversity of mountain ecosystems needs trans-disciplinary approaches to succeed in a crowded colloquial world. Geographers, conservationists, ecologists and social scientists have, in the past, had the same conservation goals but have tended to work independently. In this review, the need to integrate different conservation criteria and methodologies is discussed. New criteria are offered for prioritizing species and habitats for conservation in montane ecosystems that combine both ecological and social data. Ecological attributes of plant species, analysed through robust community statistical packages, provide unbiased classifications of species assemblages and environmental biodiversity gradients and yield importance value indices (IVIs). Surveys of local communities' utilization of the vegetation provides use values (UVs). This review suggests a new means of assessing anthropogenic pressure on plant biodiversity at both species and community levels by integrating IVI and UV data sets in a combined analysis. Mountain ecosystems are hot spots for plant conservation efforts because they hold a high overall plant diversity as communities replace each other along altitudinal and climatic gradients, including a high proportion of endemic species. This review contributes an enhanced understanding of (1) plant diversity in mountain ecosystems with special reference to the western Himalayas; (2) ethnobotanical and ecosystem service values of mountain vegetation within the context of anthropogenic impacts; and (3) local and regional plant conservation strategies and priorities.

  1. Microbial community dynamics and transformation of vascular plant detritus in two wetland ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moran, M.A.

    1987-01-01

    The microbial ecology of two wetland ecosystems in southeastern Georgia, USA, was studied with respect to microbial community dynamics and microbially-mediated transformations of vascular plant detritus. In the Okefenokee Swamp, biomass of microorganisms in the water column and sediments was generally lower in winter months and higher during spring and summer. Biomass and activity (measured as 14 C-lignocellulose mineralization) differed significantly among five habitats within the Okefenokee, and also among locations within each habitat. Significant heterogeneity in the structure of Okefenokee microbial communities was found at scales from 30 cm to 150 m. In field and laboratory studies of vascular plant decomposition in the Okefenokee and a salt marsh on Sapelo Island, the mathematical model which best describes decomposition kinetics is the decaying coefficient model

  2. Drivers of plant species composition in siliceous spring ecosystems: groundwater chemistry, catchment traits or spatial factors?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carl BEIERKUHNLEIN

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Spring water reflects the hydrochemistry of the aquifer in the associated catchments. On dense siliceous bedrock, the nearsurface groundwater flow is expected to be closely related to the biogeochemical processes of forest ecosystems, where the impact of land use is also low. We hypothesize that the plant species composition of springs mainly reflects hydrochemical conditions. Therefore, springs may serve as indicator systems for biogeochemical processes in complex forest ecosystems. To test this hypothesis, we investigate the influence of spring water chemical properties, catchment traits, and spatial position on plant species composition for 73 springs in forested catchments in central Germany, using non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS, Mantel tests, and path analyses. Partial Mantel tests and path analyses reveal that vegetation is more greatly influenced by spring water chemistry than by catchment traits. Consequently, the catchment's influence on vegetation is effective in an indirect way, via spring water. When considering spatial aspects (in particular altitude in addition, the explanatory power of catchment traits for spring water properties is reduced almost to zero. As vegetation shows the highest correlation with the acidity gradient, we assume that altitude acts as a sum parameter that incorporates various acidifying processes in the catchment. These processes are particularly related to altitude – through bedrock, climatic parameters and forest vegetation. The species composition of undisturbed springs is very sensitive in reflecting such conditions and may serve as an integrative tool for detecting complex ecological processes.

  3. Synergistic linkage between remote sensing and biophysical models for estimating plant ecophysiological and ecosystem processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Inoue, Y.; Olioso, A.

    2004-01-01

    Abstract Information on the ecological and physiological status of crops is essential for growth diagnostics and yield prediction. Within-field or between-field spatial information is required, especially with the recent trend toward precision agriculture, which seeks the efficient use of agrochemicals, water, and energy. The study of carbon and nitrogen cycles as well as environmental management on local and regional scales requires assessment of the spatial variability of biophysical and ecophysiological variables, scaling up of which is also needed for scientific and decision-making purposes. Remote sensing has great potential for these applications because it enables wide-area non-destructive, and real-time acquisition of information about ecophysiological conditions of vegetation. With recent advances in sensor technology, a variety of electromagnetic signatures, such as hyperspectral reflectance, thermal-infrared temperature, and microwave backscattering coefficients, can be acquired for both plants and ecosystems using ground-based, airborne, and satellite platforms. Their spatial and temporal resolutions have both recently been improved. This article reviews the state of the art in the remote sensing of plant ecophysiological data, with special emphasis on the synergy between remote sensing signatures and biophysical and ecophysiological process models. Several case studies for the optical, thermal, and microwave domains have demonstrated the potential of this synergistic linkage. Remote sensing and process modeling methods complement each other when combined synergistically. Further research on this approach is needed f or a wide range of ecophysiological and ecosystem studies, as well as for practical crop management

  4. Dynamics of microbial communities during decomposition of litter from pioneering plants in initial soil ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Esperschütz

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available In initial ecosystems, concentrations of all macro- and micronutrients can be considered as extremely low. Plant litter therefore strongly influences the development of a degrader's food web and is an important source for C and N input into soil in such ecosystems. In the present study, a 13C litter decomposition field experiment was performed for 30 weeks in initial soils from a post-mining area near the city of Cottbus (Germany. Two of this region's dominant but contrasting pioneering plant species (Lotus corniculatus L. and Calamagrostis epigejos L. were chosen to investigate the effects of litter quality on the litter decomposing microbial food web in initially nutrient-poor substrates. The results clearly indicate the importance of litter quality, as indicated by its N content, its bioavailability for the degradation process and the development of microbial communities in the detritusphere and soil. The degradation of the L. corniculatus litter, which had a low C / N ratio, was fast and showed pronounced changes in the microbial community structure 1–4 weeks after litter addition. The degradation of the C. epigejos litter material was slow and microbial community changes mainly occurred between 4 and 30 weeks after litter addition to the soil. However, for both litter materials a clear indication of the importance of fungi for the degradation process was observed both in terms of fungal abundance and activity (13C incorporation activity

  5. Ecosystem development after mangrove wetland creation: plant-soil change across a 20-year chronosequence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osland, Michael J.; Spivak, Amanda C.; Nestlerode, Janet A.; Lessmann, Jeannine M.; Almario, Alejandro E.; Heitmuller, Paul T.; Russell, Marc J.; Krauss, Ken W.; Alvarez, Federico; Dantin, Darrin D.; Harvey, James E.; From, Andrew S.; Cormier, Nicole; Stagg, Camille L.

    2012-01-01

    Mangrove wetland restoration and creation efforts are increasingly proposed as mechanisms to compensate for mangrove wetland losses. However, ecosystem development and functional equivalence in restored and created mangrove wetlands are poorly understood. We compared a 20-year chronosequence of created tidal wetland sites in Tampa Bay, Florida (USA) to natural reference mangrove wetlands. Across the chronosequence, our sites represent the succession from salt marsh to mangrove forest communities. Our results identify important soil and plant structural differences between the created and natural reference wetland sites; however, they also depict a positive developmental trajectory for the created wetland sites that reflects tightly coupled plant-soil development. Because upland soils and/or dredge spoils were used to create the new mangrove habitats, the soils at younger created sites and at lower depths (10-30 cm) had higher bulk densities, higher sand content, lower soil organic matter (SOM), lower total carbon (TC), and lower total nitrogen (TN) than did natural reference wetland soils. However, in the upper soil layer (0-10 cm), SOM, TC, and TN increased with created wetland site age simultaneously with mangrove forest growth. The rate of created wetland soil C accumulation was comparable to literature values for natural mangrove wetlands. Notably, the time to equivalence for the upper soil layer of created mangrove wetlands appears to be faster than for many other wetland ecosystem types. Collectively, our findings characterize the rate and trajectory of above- and below-ground changes associated with ecosystem development in created mangrove wetlands; this is valuable information for environmental managers planning to sustain existing mangrove wetlands or mitigate for mangrove wetland losses.

  6. Do plant-based amendments improve soil physiochemical and microbiological properties and plant growth in dryland ecosystems?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kneller, Tayla; Harris, Richard; Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam

    2017-04-01

    , these include Triodia wiseana, Triodia wiseana and Acacia ancistrocarpa and a combination of the former species with Grevillia wickhamii. Pots were filled with soil materials and allocated plant community treatments. Plant growth and morphology, soil physiochemical (pH, electrical conductivity, N and organic C) and biological (microbial activity) properties were measured after 12 months to assess the suitability of the amendments. Results Our results have demonstrated a general decline in plant survival over the duration of 12 months, where pots with amended mine soils displaying the lowest survival rates compared to the topsoil. However, soil microbial activity of pots containing amendments was greater than those without, although there was no significant difference in microbial activity across vegetation communities (p ldr.2660 Muñoz-Rojas M, Erickson TE, Dixon KW, Merritt DJ. 2016. Soil quality indicators to assess functionality of restored soils in degraded semiarid ecosystems. Restoration Ecology 24, 43-52. DOI: 10.1111/rec.12368

  7. From explanation to application: introducing a practice-oriented ecosystem services evaluation (PRESET) model adapted to the context of landscape planning and management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haaren, von C.; Albert, C.; Barkmann, J.; Groot, de R.S.; Spangenberg, J.; Schroeter-Schlaack, C.; Hansjuergens, B.

    2014-01-01

    The development and use of the conceptual framework of ecosystem services (ES) has been very successful in supporting the broad diffusion and application of ES within science and policy communities. However, most of the currently proposed interpretations of the framework neither correlate to

  8. Will the balance of power shift among native eastern Pacific estuary ecosystem engineers with the introduced bopyrid isopod parasite orthione griffenis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    The blue mud shrimp, Upogebia pugettensis, the bay ghost shrimp, Neotrypaea californiensis, and eelgrass, Zostera marina are endemic ecosystem engineers that define the ecological structure and function of estuaries along the Pacific coast of the US as significantly as do marshes...

  9. Hyperspectral remote sensing application for monitoring and preservation of plant ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krezhova, Dora; Maneva, Svetla; Zdravev, Tomas; Petrov, Nikolay; Stoev, Antoniy

    Remote sensing technologies have advanced significantly at last decade and have improved the capability to gather information about Earth’s resources and environment. They have many applications in Earth observation, such as mapping and updating land-use and cover, weather forecasting, biodiversity determination, etc. Hyperspectral remote sensing offers unique opportunities in the environmental monitoring and sustainable use of natural resources. Remote sensing sensors on space-based platforms, aircrafts, or on ground, are capable of providing detailed spectral, spatial and temporal information on terrestrial ecosystems. Ground-based sensors are used to record detailed information about the land surface and to create a data base for better characterizing the objects which are being imaged by the other sensors. In this paper some applications of two hyperspectral remote sensing techniques, leaf reflectance and chlorophyll fluorescence, for monitoring and assessment of the effects of adverse environmental conditions on plant ecosystems are presented. The effect of stress factors such as enhanced UV-radiation, acid rain, salinity, viral infections applied to some young plants (potato, pea, tobacco) and trees (plums, apples, paulownia) as well as of some growth regulators were investigated. Hyperspectral reflectance and fluorescence data were collected by means of a portable fiber-optics spectrometer in the visible and near infrared spectral ranges (450-850 nm and 600-900 nm), respectively. The differences between the reflectance data of healthy (control) and injured (stressed) plants were assessed by means of statistical (Student’s t-criterion), first derivative, and cluster analysis and calculation of some vegetation indices in four most informative for the investigated species regions: green (520-580 nm), red (640-680 nm), red edge (690-720 nm) and near infrared (720-780 nm). Fluorescence spectra were analyzed at five characteristic wavelengths located at the

  10. Water content differences have stronger effects than plant functional groups on soil bacteria in a steppe ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ximei Zhang

    Full Text Available Many investigations across natural and artificial plant diversity gradients have reported that both soil physicochemical factors and plant community composition affect soil microbial communities. To test the effect of plant diversity loss on soil bacterial communities, we conducted a five-year plant functional group removal experiment in a steppe ecosystem in Inner Mongolia (China. We found that the number and composition type of plant functional groups had no effect on bacterial diversity and community composition, or on the relative abundance of major taxa. In contrast, bacterial community patterns were significantly structured by soil water content differences among plots. Our results support researches that suggest that water availability is the key factor structuring soil bacterial communities in this semi-arid ecosystem.

  11. Peak season plant activity shift towards spring is reflected by increasing carbon uptake by extratropical ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonsamo, Alemu; Chen, Jing M; Ooi, Ying W

    2018-05-01

    Climate change is lengthening the growing season of the Northern Hemisphere extratropical terrestrial ecosystems, but little is known regarding the timing and dynamics of the peak season of plant activity. Here, we use 34-year satellite normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) observations and atmospheric CO 2 concentration and δ 13 C isotope measurements at Point Barrow (Alaska, USA, 71°N) to study the dynamics of the peak of season (POS) of plant activity. Averaged across extratropical (>23°N) non-evergreen-dominated pixels, NDVI data show that the POS has advanced by 1.2 ± 0.6 days per decade in response to the spring-ward shifts of the start (1.0 ± 0.8 days per decade) and end (1.5 ± 1.0 days per decade) of peak activity, and the earlier onset of the start of growing season (1.4 ± 0.8 days per decade), while POS maximum NDVI value increased by 7.8 ± 1.8% for 1982-2015. Similarly, the peak day of carbon uptake, based on calculations from atmospheric CO 2 concentration and δ 13 C data, is advancing by 2.5 ± 2.6 and 4.3 ± 2.9 days per decade, respectively. POS maximum NDVI value shows strong negative relationships (p POS days. Given that the maximum solar irradiance and day length occur before the average POS day, the earlier occurrence of peak plant activity results in increased plant productivity. Both the advancing POS day and increasing POS vegetation greenness are consistent with the shifting peak productivity towards spring and the increasing annual maximum values of gross and net ecosystem productivity simulated by coupled Earth system models. Our results further indicate that the decline in autumn NDVI is contributing the most to the overall browning of the northern high latitudes (>50°N) since 2011. The spring-ward shift of peak season plant activity is expected to disrupt the synchrony of biotic interaction and exert strong biophysical feedbacks on climate by modifying the surface albedo and energy budget. © 2017

  12. Native mycorrhizal fungi replace introduced fungal species on Virginia pine and American chestnut planted on reclaimed mine sites of Ohio

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shivanand Hiremath; Kirsten Lehtoma; Jenise M. Bauman

    2014-01-01

    Plant-microbe community dynamics influence the natural succession of plant species where pioneer vegetation facilitates the establishment of a distantly related, later successional plant species. This has been observed in the case of restoration of the American chestnut (Castanea dentata) on abandoned mine land where Virginia pine (Pinus...

  13. Accumulation of heavy metals in an ecosystem influenced by zinc-plant emissions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zuzanna Czuchajowska

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Accumulation of Pb, Zn, Cd, Mn, Fe and Mg reaching the selected ecosystem in the dust emitted by a zinc-mill, was estimated in the leaves of Pinus silvestris, Vaccinium myrtillus and Vaccinium vitis-idaea, the main plant components of the system, and in the five upper soil layers. The values of metal concentration were different for the three considered species and showed-for each of them - dependence on the pollution degree of the stand. This regularity concerned Pb, Zn, Cd and Mn but not Fe and Mg. A significant positive correlation exists between the content of Pb, Zn and Cd in the soil and their concentration in leaves, the correlation for Mil is significant but negative. Manganese in leaves proved to be an antagonist in respect to the other metals.

  14. Fine Scale ANUClimate Data for Ecosystem Modeling and Assessment of Plant Functional Types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchinson, M. F.; Kesteven, J. L.; Xu, T.; Evans, B. J.; Togashi, H. F.; Stein, J. L.

    2015-12-01

    High resolution spatially extended values of climate variables play a central role in the assessment of climate and projected future climate in ecosystem modeling. The ground based meteorological network remains a key resource for deriving these spatially extended climate variables. We report on the production, and applications, of new anomaly based fine scale spatial interpolations of key climate variables at daily and monthly time scale, across the Australian continent. The methods incorporate several innovations that have significantly improved spatial predictive accuracy, as well as providing a platform for the incorporation of additional remotely sensed data. The interpolated climate data are supporting many continent-wide ecosystem modeling applications and are playing a key role in testing optimality hypotheses associated with plant functional types (PFTs). The accuracy, and robustness to data error, of anomaly-based interpolation has been enhanced by incorporating physical process aspects of the different climate variables and employing robust statistical methods implemented in the ANUSPLIN package. New regression procedures have also been developed to estimate "background" monthly climate normals from all stations with minimal records to substantially increase the density of supporting spatial networks. Monthly mean temperature interpolation has been enhanced by incorporating process based coastal effects that have reduced predictive error by around 10%. Overall errors in interpolated monthly temperature fields are around 25% less than errors reported by an earlier study. For monthly and daily precipitation, a new anomaly structure has been devised to take account of the skewness in precipitation data and the large proportion of zero values that present significant challenges to standard interpolation methods. The many applications include continent-wide Gross Primary Production modeling and assessing constraints on light and water use efficiency derived

  15. Use and valuation of native and introduced medicinal plant species in Campo Hermoso and Zetaquira, Boyacá, Colombia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cadena-Gonzalez, Ana Lucia; Sørensen, Marten; Theilade, Ida

    2013-01-01

    cumanensis Kunth, and Verbena littoralis Kunth. Introduced species were more important than native ones in Zetaquira, while there was no difference in importance in Campo Hermoso. While healers relied most on the uses of native species, amateur healers were inclined to rely on introduced species. Medicinal...

  16. Responses of plant community composition and biomass production to warming and nitrogen deposition in a temperate meadow ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Tao; Guo, Rui; Gao, Song; Guo, Jixun; Sun, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Climate change has profound influences on plant community composition and ecosystem functions. However, its effects on plant community composition and biomass production are not well understood. A four-year field experiment was conducted to examine the effects of warming, nitrogen (N) addition, and their interactions on plant community composition and biomass production in a temperate meadow ecosystem in northeast China. Experimental warming had no significant effect on plant species richness, evenness, and diversity, while N addition highly reduced the species richness and diversity. Warming tended to reduce the importance value of graminoid species but increased the value of forbs, while N addition had the opposite effect. Warming tended to increase the belowground biomass, but had an opposite tendency to decrease the aboveground biomass. The influences of warming on aboveground production were dependent upon precipitation. Experimental warming had little effect on aboveground biomass in the years with higher precipitation, but significantly suppressed aboveground biomass in dry years. Our results suggest that warming had indirect effects on plant production via its effect on the water availability. Nitrogen addition significantly increased above- and below-ground production, suggesting that N is one of the most important limiting factors determining plant productivity in the studied meadow steppe. Significant interactive effects of warming plus N addition on belowground biomass were also detected. Our observations revealed that environmental changes (warming and N deposition) play significant roles in regulating plant community composition and biomass production in temperate meadow steppe ecosystem in northeast China.

  17. Use of Plant Hydraulic Theory to Predict Ecosystem Fluxes Across Mountainous Gradients in Environmental Controls and Insect Disturbances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewers, B. E.; Pendall, E.; Reed, D. E.; Barnard, H. R.; Whitehouse, F.; Frank, J. M.; Massman, W. J.; Brooks, P. D.; Biederman, J. A.; Harpold, A. A.; Naithani, K. J.; Mitra, B.; Mackay, D. S.; Norton, U.; Borkhuu, B.

    2011-12-01

    While mountainous areas are critical for providing numerous ecosystem benefits at the regional scale, the strong gradients in environmental controls make predictions difficult. A key part of the problem is quantifying and predicting the feedback between mountain gradients and plant function which then controls ecosystem cycling. The emerging theory of plant hydraulics provides a rigorous yet simple platform from which to generate testable hypotheses and predictions of ecosystem pools and fluxes. Plant hydraulic theory predicts that plant controls over carbon, water, energy and nutrient fluxes can be derived from the limitation of plant water transport from the soil through xylem and out of stomata. In addition, the limit to plant water transport can be predicted by combining plant structure (e.g. xylem diameters or root-to-shoot ratios) and plant function (response of stomatal conductance to vapor pressure deficit or root vulnerability to cavitation). We evaluate the predictions of the plant hydraulic theory by testing it against data from a mountain gradient encompassing sagebrush steppe through subalpine forests (2700 to 3400 m). We further test the theory by predicting the carbon, water and nutrient exchanges from several coniferous trees in the same gradient that are dying from xylem dysfunction caused by blue-stain fungi carried by bark beetles. The common theme of both of these data sets is a change in water limitation caused by either changing precipitation along the mountainous gradient or lack of access to soil water from xylem-occluding fungi. Across all of the data sets which range in scale from individual plants to hillslopes, the data fit the predictions of plant hydraulic theory. Namely, there was a proportional tradeoff between the reference canopy stomatal conductance to water vapor and the sensitivity of that conductance to vapor pressure deficit that quantitatively fits the predictions of plant hydraulic theory. Incorporating this result into

  18. Mortality gradients within and among dominant plant populations as barometers of ecosystem change during extreme drought.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gitlin, Alicyn R; Sthultz, Christopher M; Bowker, Matthew A; Stumpf, Stacy; Paxton, Kristina L; Kennedy, Karla; Muñoz, Axhel; Bailey, Joseph K; Whitham, Thomas G

    2006-10-01

    Understanding patterns of plant population mortality during extreme weather events is important to conservation planners because the frequency of such events is expected to increase, creating the need to integrate climatic uncertainty into management. Dominant plants provide habitat and ecosystem structure, so changes in their distribution can be expected to have cascading effects on entire communities. Observing areas that respond quickly to climate fluctuations provides foresight into future ecological changes and will help prioritize conservation efforts. We investigated patterns of mortality in six dominant plant species during a drought in the southwestern United States. We quantified population mortality for each species across its regional distribution and tested hypotheses to identify ecological stress gradients for each species. Our results revealed three major patterns: (1) dominant species from diverse habitat types (i.e., riparian, chaparral, and low- to high-elevation forests) exhibited significant mortality, indicating that the effects of drought were widespread; (2) average mortality differed among dominant species (one-seed juniper[Juniperus monosperma (Engelm.) Sarg.] 3.3%; manzanita[Arctostaphylos pungens Kunth], 14.6%; quaking aspen[Populus tremuloides Michx.], 15.4%; ponderosa pine[Pinus ponderosa P. & C. Lawson], 15.9%; Fremont cottonwood[Populus fremontii S. Wats.], 20.7%; and pinyon pine[Pinus edulis Engelm.], 41.4%); (3) all dominant species showed localized patterns of very high mortality (24-100%) consistent with water stress gradients. Land managers should plan for climatic uncertainty by promoting tree recruitment in rare habitat types, alleviating unnatural levels of competition on dominant plants, and conserving sites across water stress gradients. High-stress sites, such as those we examined, have conservation value as barometers of change and because they may harbor genotypes that are adapted to climatic extremes.

  19. Biodiversity and ecosystem processes: lessons from nature to improve management of planted forests for REDD-plus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ian D. Thompson; Kimiko Okabe; John A. Parrotta; David I. Forrester; Eckehard Brockerhoff; Hervé Jactel; Hisatomo Taki

    2014-01-01

    Planted forests are increasingly contributing wood products and other ecosystem services at a global scale. These forests will be even more important as carbon markets develop and REDD-plus forest programs (forests used specifically to reduce atmospheric emissions of CO2 through deforestation and forest degradation) become common. Restoring degraded and deforested...

  20. Radioactive characterization of the terrestrial ecosystem in the area of location of the Juragua Nuclear Power Plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sibello Hernandez, R.Y.; Alonso Hernandez, C.M.; Diaz Asencio, M.; Cartas Aguila, H. A.

    1999-01-01

    In this work the results are exposed obtained by the Laboratory of Environmental Surveillance in the radioactive characterization of the existent terrestrial ecosystem in the area of location of the Juragua Nuclear Power Plants in Cienfuegos, Cuba, starting from 1986 and up to 1993

  1. Gene expression profiling--Opening the black box of plant ecosystem responses to global change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leakey, A.D.B.; Ainsworth, E.A.; Bernard, S.M.; Markelz, R.J.C.; Ort, D.R.; Placella, S.A.P.; Rogers, A.; Smith, M.D.; Sudderth, E.A.; Weston, D.J.; Wullschleger, S.D.; Yuan, S.

    2009-11-01

    The use of genomic techniques to address ecological questions is emerging as the field of genomic ecology. Experimentation under environmentally realistic conditions to investigate the molecular response of plants to meaningful changes in growth conditions and ecological interactions is the defining feature of genomic ecology. Since the impact of global change factors on plant performance are mediated by direct effects at the molecular, biochemical and physiological scales, gene expression analysis promises important advances in understanding factors that have previously been consigned to the 'black box' of unknown mechanism. Various tools and approaches are available for assessing gene expression in model and non-model species as part of global change biology studies. Each approach has its own unique advantages and constraints. A first generation of genomic ecology studies in managed ecosystems and mesocosms have provided a testbed for the approach and have begun to reveal how the experimental design and data analysis of gene expression studies can be tailored for use in an ecological context.

  2. Plant colonization, succession and ecosystem development on Surtsey with reference to neighbouring islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magnússon, B.; Magnússon, S. H.; Ólafsson, E.; Sigurdsson, B. D.

    2014-10-01

    Plant colonization and succession on the volcanic island of Surtsey, formed in 1963, have been closely followed. In 2013, a total of 69 vascular plant species had been discovered on the island; of these, 59 were present and 39 had established viable populations. Surtsey had more than twice the species of any of the comparable neighbouring islands, and all of their common species had established on Surtsey. The first colonizers were dispersed by sea, but, after 1985, bird dispersal became the principal pathway with the formation of a seagull colony on the island and consequent site amelioration. This allowed wind-dispersed species to establish after 1990. Since 2007, there has been a net loss of species on the island. A study of plant succession, soil formation and invertebrate communities in permanent plots on Surtsey and on two older neighbouring islands (plants and soil) has revealed that seabirds, through their transfer of nutrients from sea to land, are major drivers of development of these ecosystems. In the area impacted by seagulls, dense grassland swards have developed and plant cover, species richness, diversity, plant biomass and soil carbon become significantly higher than in low-impact areas, which remained relatively barren. A similar difference was found for the invertebrate fauna. After 2000, the vegetation of the oldest part of the seagull colony became increasingly dominated by long-lived, rhizomatous grasses (Festuca, Poa, Leymus) with a decline in species richness and diversity. Old grasslands of the neighbouring islands Elliđaey (puffin colony, high nutrient input) and Heimaey (no seabirds, low nutrient input) contrasted sharply. The puffin grassland of Elliđaey was very dense and species-poor. It was dominated by Festuca and Poa, and very similar to the seagull grassland developing on Surtsey. The Heimaey grassland was significantly higher in species richness and diversity, and had a more even cover of dominants (Festuca

  3. Introduced agricultural pests, plant and animals diseases and vectors in the Dutch Caribbean, with an alert species list

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buurt, van G.; Debrot, A.O.

    2012-01-01

    Most information on invasive alien pests is available for the leeward Dutch islands while the least is known for the windward Dutch islands. The principal means of entry is the importation of unsterilized soil and plant material through container shipment, import of ornamental plants and air

  4. Data on introduced plants in Zimbabwe: Floristic changes and patterns of collection based on historical herbarium records

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfred Maroyi

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available National herbaria with significant historical plant collections are critical to tracking floristic changes and patterns, which include the introduction and spread of non-native plant species. To explore the importance of herbarium specimen data in understanding floristic changes in Zimbabwe, the plant collections housed by the National Herbarium (SRGH in Harare, Zimbabwe were utilized with historical specimens dating back to 1870. A list of naturalised plant taxa and collection data were compiled. A total of 2916 plant specimens were recorded, comprising of 401 taxa, 237 genera and 76 plant families. Twenty eight specimens (1.0% were collected between 1870 and 1908, prior to the establishment of the National Herbarium in 1909 and 123 specimens (4.2% were collected in the first 25 years of the establishment of the institute (1909–1934. Intensive collection of herbarium specimens of casual, naturalised and invasive alien plant species occurred between 1950 and 1970. This data demonstrates the utility of plant species data housed in the National Herbaria and how such data can be used to map floristic changes and patterns. Keywords: Casual, Floristic changes, Invasive, Naturalised, National herbarium, Zimbabwe

  5. Data on introduced plants in Zimbabwe: Floristic changes and patterns of collection based on historical herbarium records.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maroyi, Alfred

    2017-12-01

    National herbaria with significant historical plant collections are critical to tracking floristic changes and patterns, which include the introduction and spread of non-native plant species. To explore the importance of herbarium specimen data in understanding floristic changes in Zimbabwe, the plant collections housed by the National Herbarium (SRGH) in Harare, Zimbabwe were utilized with historical specimens dating back to 1870. A list of naturalised plant taxa and collection data were compiled. A total of 2916 plant specimens were recorded, comprising of 401 taxa, 237 genera and 76 plant families. Twenty eight specimens (1.0%) were collected between 1870 and 1908, prior to the establishment of the National Herbarium in 1909 and 123 specimens (4.2%) were collected in the first 25 years of the establishment of the institute (1909-1934). Intensive collection of herbarium specimens of casual, naturalised and invasive alien plant species occurred between 1950 and 1970. This data demonstrates the utility of plant species data housed in the National Herbaria and how such data can be used to map floristic changes and patterns.

  6. Threatened plant resources: distribution and ecosystem services in the world's high elevation park of the karakoram ranges

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shedayi, A.; Xu, M.; Hussain, F.; Sadia, S.; Bano, S.

    2016-01-01

    This study aims to investigate diversity, distribution, status, ecosystem services and threats to the plant resources in the study area based on field survey and ethno ecological knowledge for effective conservation and sustainable ecosystem services. The present study was conducted in the world's high elevation Khunjerab National Park (KNP) of the Karakoram ranges in Pakistan bordering China. Tremendous ecosystem services are obtained from the park and considered the most important habitat for many plant biodiversity and wildlife species. Field surveys were conducted to collect plants in transect along the road side of seven valleys ranging from 3160m to 4934m altitudinal variation. The names and traditional uses were recorded from the local people of the area by semi structured questionnaires and direct interviews. The data was analyzed by excel spreadsheets, direct matrix ranking, and pair comparison tests. Asteraceae was the dominant family with 15% species followed by Chenopodiaceae 10%, Poaceae 8%, Papilionaceae and Rocaceae 7% each, Brasicaceae 6%. Plant resources contribute direct and indirect ecosystem services such as food, medicine, fuel, timber, thatching, water purification, mineral and soil retention, and most importantly as sink of global carbon stock especially in the high altitude peatlands. Herbs were the dominant species in the area with 89%. Fodder is the most common usage for plants, followed by medicine. Plants with percentages 27% and 39% found to be highly palatable and palatable respectively. Competition for food between wildlife and livestock was high recorded for 60% plants. Plants used to cure various diseases including stomachache, asthma, cancer and tuberculosis etc. Plant resources in KNP are unique and vary with climate and altitude. This floral wealth is under tremendous threats of global climate change and anthropogenic activities like overgrazing, increasing population, and a rapidly declining traditional knowledge for

  7. Application of Plants as Bio-markers to Assess Wetland Ecosystem Health

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yankovich, T.L.; Kupferschmidt, D.A.; Sharp, K.J.; Benz, M.L.; Kim, S.B.; Shultz, C.; Audette-Stuart, M.; Carr, J.

    2008-01-01

    Exposure of non-human biota to radionuclides or other contaminants depends upon a number of factors, which relate to the distribution of a given contaminant in the environment relative to the utilization of the environment by resident biota. Potential effects to biota following contaminant exposure must then be assessed based on the development of defensible linkages between the probability of exposure and the probability of corresponding effects. In many cases, contaminants, such as radionuclides, can show highly localized distributions in natural systems, covering relatively small spatial extents. Despite this, however, in the case of sedentary organisms, such as plants, it is possible for individuals to live in areas with relatively high contaminant levels throughout their lives. Plants represent integral components of ecosystems due to their capacity to use solar energy to convert CO 2 into digestible organic molecules, due to their position at the base of terrestrial and aquatic food chains, and due to their importance as habitat and refuges for terrestrial and aquatic biota. As a result, the integrity of ecosystems is dependent upon plant health. The objective of this study was to determine whether significant changes in parameters reflecting plant photosynthetic capacity occurred with significant differences in 14 C exposure in a wetland ecosystem. The study was conducted in Duke Swamp, a wetland ecosystem that receives 14 C through groundwater influx. Sampling was conducted at 4 locations with varying 14 C concentrations. These locations were selected based on a detailed survey of the swamp that was conducted in 2001 to evaluate the spatial distribution of 14 C in surface vegetation, relative to concentrations reported in Sphagnum moss and soil in the swamp in the early 1990's. Locations were also selected to assess the impacts of both 14 C exposure and the degree of incident solar radiation on plant photosynthetic parameters. A screening analysis of

  8. Increasing functional modularity with residence time in the co-distribution of native and introduced vascular plants

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hui, C.; Richardson, D. M.; Pyšek, Petr; Le Roux, J. J.; Kučera, T.; Jarošík, Vojtěch

    Sep 2013, č. 4 (2013), , 1-8, no-2454 ISSN 2041-1723 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : plant invasions * nature reserves * species pool Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 10.742, year: 2013

  9. Studies on the distribution of 2,4 D herbicide in soil-plant ecosystem using isotope tracer techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Onal, G.

    1986-01-01

    In this study, distribution of 2,4 Diclorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4 D) herbicide in soil-plant ecosystems under greenhouse conditions were investigated by using isotope tracer techniques. For this purpose barley, wheat and oat plants were grown in two different kinds of soil taken from surrounding of Ankara and the distribution of the herbicide between soil and plants were investigated. In the research 14 C-2,40 D was used and the radioactivity was measured in a liquid scintillation counter. (author)

  10. Effects of shading on photosynthesis, plant organic nitrogen uptake and root fungal colonization in a subarctic mire ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsrud, Hanna Maria Kerstin; Michelsen, Anders

    2009-01-01

    Arctic dwarf shrub ecosystems are predicted to be exposed to lower light intensity in a changing climate where mountain birch forests are expanding. We investigated how shading at 0%, 65%, and 97% affects photosynthesis, organic N uptake, C and N allocation patterns in plants, and root fungal...... ecosystems are capable of taking up organic N as intact glycine both under high irradiance levels and under shaded conditions when photosynthesis is strongly reduced. The allocation of 15N to green leaves of Rubus chamaemorus L. increased with shading, whereas the allocation of 13C to leaves of both...

  11. Comparison of remote sensing and plant trait-based modelling to predict ecosystem services in subalpine grasslands

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Homolová, Lucie; Schaepman, M. E.; Lamarque, L.; Clevers, J.G.P.W.; de Bello, Francesco; Thuiller, W.; Lavorel, S.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 5, č. 8 (2014), č. článku 100. ISSN 2150-8925 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 ; RVO:67985939 Keywords : land-use change * leaf chlorophyll content * imaging spectroscopy * water-content * aviris data * spectral reflectance * hyperspectral data * species richness * area index * vegetation * aisa * biomass * ecosystem properties * ecosystem services * linear regression * remote sensing * spatial heterogeneity * subalpine grasslands Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour; EF - Botanics (BU-J) OBOR OECD: Remote sensing; Plant sciences, botany (BU-J) Impact factor: 2.255, year: 2014

  12. Trait-based representation of hydrological functional properties of plants in weather and ecosystem models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashley M. Matheny

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Land surface models and dynamic global vegetation models typically represent vegetation through coarse plant functional type groupings based on leaf form, phenology, and bioclimatic limits. Although these groupings were both feasible and functional for early model generations, in light of the pace at which our knowledge of functional ecology, ecosystem demographics, and vegetation-climate feedbacks has advanced and the ever growing demand for enhanced model performance, these groupings have become antiquated and are identified as a key source of model uncertainty. The newest wave of model development is centered on shifting the vegetation paradigm away from plant functional types (PFTs and towards flexible trait-based representations. These models seek to improve errors in ecosystem fluxes that result from information loss due to over-aggregation of dissimilar species into the same functional class. We advocate the importance of the inclusion of plant hydraulic trait representation within the new paradigm through a framework of the whole-plant hydraulic strategy. Plant hydraulic strategy is known to play a critical role in the regulation of stomatal conductance and thus transpiration and latent heat flux. It is typical that coexisting plants employ opposing hydraulic strategies, and therefore have disparate patterns of water acquisition and use. Hydraulic traits are deterministic of drought resilience, response to disturbance, and other demographic processes. The addition of plant hydraulic properties in models may not only improve the simulation of carbon and water fluxes but also vegetation population distributions.

  13. Invasive plants and their escape from root herbivory: a worldwide comparison of the root-feeding nematode communities of the dune grass Ammophila arenaria in natural and introduced ranges

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Putten, van der W.H.; Yeates, G.W.; Duyts, H.; Schreck Reis, C.; Karssen, G.

    2005-01-01

    Invasive plants generally have fewer aboveground pathogens and viruses in their introduced range than in their natural range, and they also have fewer pathogens than do similar plant species native to the introduced range. However, although plant abundance is strongly controlled by root herbivores

  14. Inferring differential evolutionary processes of plant persistence traits in Northern Hemisphere Mediterranean fire-prone ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pausas, J.G.; Keeley, J.E.; Verdu, M.

    2006-01-01

    1 Resprouting capacity (R) and propagule-persistence (P) are traits that are often considered to have evolved where there are predictable crown fires. Because several indicators suggest a stronger selective pressure for such traits in California than in the Mediterranean Basin, we hypothesize that plant species should have evolved to become R+ and P+ more frequently in California than in the Mediterranean Basin. 2 To test this hypothesis we studied the phylogenetic association between R and P states in both California and the Mediterranean Basin using published molecular phylogenies. 3 The results suggest that R and P evolved differently in the two regions. The occurrence of the states differs significantly between regions for trait P, but not for trait R. The different patterns (towards R+ and P+ in California and towards R+ and P- in the Mediterranean Basin) are reflected in the higher abundance and the wider taxonomic distribution of species with both persistence traits (R+P+ species) in California. 4 The differential acquisition of fire persistence mechanisms at the propagule level (P+) supports the idea that fire selective pressures has been higher in California than in the Mediterranean Basin. 5 Our comparative phylogenetic-informed analysis contributes to an understanding of the differential role of the Quaternary climate in determining fire persistence traits in different Mediterranean-type ecosystems and, thus, to the debate on the evolutionary convergence of traits. ?? 2006 British Ecological Society.

  15. Simulating the indirect effects of power plant entrainment losses on an estuarine ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Summers, J.K. (Versar, Inc., Columbia, MD (USA))

    1989-12-01

    Entrainment caused by the operation of the Chalk Point Steam Electric Station has been shown to be a major source of mortality to the early life stages of forage fish populations in the Patuxent River, MD, USA. While direct losses to these populations are important as a source of reduction for population abundance, these losses also represent decreases in estuarine forage supplies and potential reductions in the abundances of estuarine predators. A simple estuarine trophic dynamics model was constructed to determine the magnitude of the potential losses to major estuarine consumers in the Patuxent River ecosystem due to the power plant-related losses of forage fish. Simulations were completed using two sets of feeding assumptions: feeding proportional to forage abundance, and feeding based on dietary preferences. The model demonstrates that striped bass, bluefish, and weakfish could experience significant losses (> 25%) to overall population production levels if they prefer to prey upon bay anchovy and silversides and entrainment losses to these forage populations is {>=} 70% of juvenile recruitment. The model also shows that indirect predator losses would be expected to be low (> 5%) if the majority of their diets consisted of forage other than bay anchovy and silversides. 2 figs., 31 refs., 4 tabs.

  16. Plant-cover influence on the spatial distribution of radiocaesium deposits in forest ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guillitte, Olivier; Andolina, Jean; Koziol, Michel; Debauche, Antoine

    1990-01-01

    Since the Chernobyl nuclear accident, a major campaign of radioactive deposit measurements has been carried out on forest soils in Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg. Three types of forest ecosystems have systematically been taken into account in each region: coniferous forests (mainly spruce stands), deciduous forests (mainly beech stands) and in clearings. Sampling and field measurements have been carried out in different places with regard to the plant cover: near the trunks, under the foliage, in a small gap, on soil with or without herbaceous or moss stratum. The samples have been collected and measured according to the different recognizable soil layers in order to evaluate the vertical deposit distribution. From overall measurements, one may observe a high spatial soil deposit variation which is mainly explained by the nature, structure and age of the forest stands and by the thickness and the nature of holorganic horizons. A particular interest of this study is the identification of the influence of stem flow and impluvium on forest-cover gaps and edges. (author)

  17. Safety - a Neglected Issue When Introducing Solid Biomass Fuel in Thermal Power Plants? Some Evidence of an Emerging Risk

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hedlund, Frank Huess; Astad, John

    2013-01-01

    The paper examines recent evidence from Denmark and abroad with climate change projects that aim to reduce global carbon dioxide emissions by converting coal fired thermal power plants to solid biomass fuel. The paper argues that projects appear to be pursued narrow-mindedly with insufficient att...

  18. Alien plants introduced by different pathways differ in invasion success: unintentional introductions as a threat to natural areas

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pyšek, Petr; Jarošík, Vojtěch; Pergl, Jan

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 6, č. 9 (2011), e24890 E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06073; GA ČR(CZ) GAP504/11/1028 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : plant invasions * pathways * naturalization and invasion Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 4.092, year: 2011

  19. Comparisons of diazotrophic communities in native and agricultural desert ecosystems reveal plants as important drivers in diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köberl, Martina; Erlacher, Armin; Ramadan, Elshahat M; El-Arabi, Tarek F; Müller, Henry; Bragina, Anastasia; Berg, Gabriele

    2016-02-01

    Diazotrophs provide the only biological source of fixed atmospheric nitrogen in the biosphere. Although they are the key player for plant-available nitrogen, less is known about their diversity and potential importance in arid ecosystems. We investigated the nitrogenase gene diversity in native and agricultural desert soil as well as within root-associated microbiota of medicinal plants grown in Egypt through the combination of nifH-specific qPCR, fingerprints, amplicon pyrosequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization-confocal laser scanning microscopy. Although the diazotrophic microbiota were characterized by generally high abundances and diversity, statistically significant differences were found between both soils, the different microhabitats, and between the investigated plants (Matricaria chamomilla L., Calendula officinalis L. and Solanum distichum Schumach. and Thonn.). We observed a considerable community shift from desert to agriculturally used soil that demonstrated a higher abundance and diversity in the agro-ecosystem. The endorhiza was characterized by lower abundances and only a subset of species when compared to the rhizosphere. While the microbiomes of the Asteraceae were similar and dominated by potential root-nodulating rhizobia acquired primarily from soil, the perennial S. distichum generally formed associations with free-living nitrogen fixers. These results underline the importance of diazotrophs in desert ecosystems and additionally identify plants as important drivers in functional gene pool diversity. © FEMS 2015.

  20. Non-Native Plant Invasion along Elevation and Canopy Closure Gradients in a Middle Rocky Mountain Ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua P Averett

    Full Text Available Mountain environments are currently among the ecosystems least invaded by non-native species; however, mountains are increasingly under threat of non-native plant invasion. The slow pace of exotic plant invasions in mountain ecosystems is likely due to a combination of low anthropogenic disturbances, low propagule supply, and extreme/steep environmental gradients. The importance of any one of these factors is debated and likely ecosystem dependent. We evaluated the importance of various correlates of plant invasions in the Wallowa Mountain Range of northeastern Oregon and explored whether non-native species distributions differed from native species along an elevation gradient. Vascular plant communities were sampled in summer 2012 along three mountain roads. Transects (n = 20 were evenly stratified by elevation (~70 m intervals along each road. Vascular plant species abundances and environmental parameters were measured. We used indicator species analysis to identify habitat affinities for non-native species. Plots were ordinated in species space, joint plots and non-parametric multiplicative regression were used to relate species and community variation to environmental variables. Non-native species richness decreased continuously with increasing elevation. In contrast, native species richness displayed a unimodal distribution with maximum richness occurring at mid-elevations. Species composition was strongly related to elevation and canopy openness. Overlays of trait and environmental factors onto non-metric multidimensional ordinations identified the montane-subalpine community transition and over-story canopy closure exceeding 60% as potential barriers to non-native species establishment. Unlike native species, non-native species showed little evidence for high-elevation or closed-canopy specialization. These data suggest that non-native plants currently found in the Wallowa Mountains are dependent on open canopies and disturbance for

  1. Non-Native Plant Invasion along Elevation and Canopy Closure Gradients in a Middle Rocky Mountain Ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Averett, Joshua P; McCune, Bruce; Parks, Catherine G; Naylor, Bridgett J; DelCurto, Tim; Mata-González, Ricardo

    2016-01-01

    Mountain environments are currently among the ecosystems least invaded by non-native species; however, mountains are increasingly under threat of non-native plant invasion. The slow pace of exotic plant invasions in mountain ecosystems is likely due to a combination of low anthropogenic disturbances, low propagule supply, and extreme/steep environmental gradients. The importance of any one of these factors is debated and likely ecosystem dependent. We evaluated the importance of various correlates of plant invasions in the Wallowa Mountain Range of northeastern Oregon and explored whether non-native species distributions differed from native species along an elevation gradient. Vascular plant communities were sampled in summer 2012 along three mountain roads. Transects (n = 20) were evenly stratified by elevation (~70 m intervals) along each road. Vascular plant species abundances and environmental parameters were measured. We used indicator species analysis to identify habitat affinities for non-native species. Plots were ordinated in species space, joint plots and non-parametric multiplicative regression were used to relate species and community variation to environmental variables. Non-native species richness decreased continuously with increasing elevation. In contrast, native species richness displayed a unimodal distribution with maximum richness occurring at mid-elevations. Species composition was strongly related to elevation and canopy openness. Overlays of trait and environmental factors onto non-metric multidimensional ordinations identified the montane-subalpine community transition and over-story canopy closure exceeding 60% as potential barriers to non-native species establishment. Unlike native species, non-native species showed little evidence for high-elevation or closed-canopy specialization. These data suggest that non-native plants currently found in the Wallowa Mountains are dependent on open canopies and disturbance for establishment in low

  2. [Historical research of cinchona cultivation in Japan (Part 2). Useful tropical plants introduced from Java and India in the early Meiji era].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagumo, Seiji; Sasaki, Yohei; Takido, Michio

    2010-01-01

    In the early Meiji era, Takeaki Enomoto made a proposal to the government that cinchona and coffee seedlings be introduced to Japan. In response, the Meiji government dispatched Masatsugu Takeda of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to Java and India from March to August 1878 for the purpose of investigating useful plants of tropical origin and introducing them to Japan. This paper clarifies the route to those destinations and the plants obtained locally. Using the seeds obtained from India during his travels, the cultivation of cinchona was attempted in 1882 for the first time in Japan. In Ogasawara, coffee cultivation was conducted, again for the first time in Japan, using coffee seeds brought back from Java. The cultivation of coffee was successful and served as the foundation of the Ogasawara coffee that exists to this day. Takeda also introduced a number of books and materials related to useful tropical plants available as a result of his travels, which contributed to the promotion of new industries and businesses in the Meiji era.

  3. Uptake of uranium by aquatic plants growing in fresh water ecosystem around uranium mill tailings pond at Jaduguda, India

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jha, V.N., E-mail: jhavn1971@gmail.com; Tripathi, R.M., E-mail: tripathirm@yahoo.com; Sethy, N.K., E-mail: sethybarc@rediffmail.com; Sahoo, S.K., E-mail: sksbarc@gmail.com

    2016-01-01

    Concentration of uranium was determined in aquatic plants and substrate (sediment or water) of fresh water ecosystem on and around uranium mill tailings pond at Jaduguda, India. Aquatic plant/substrate concentration ratios (CRs) of uranium were estimated for different sites on and around the uranium mill tailings disposal area. These sites include upstream and downstream side of surface water sources carrying the treated tailings effluent, a small pond inside tailings disposal area and residual water of this area. Three types of plant groups were investigated namely algae (filamentous and non-filamentous), other free floating & water submerged and sediment rooted plants. Wide variability in concentration ratio was observed for different groups of plants studied. The filamentous algae uranium concentration was significantly correlated with that of water (r = 0.86, p < 0.003). For sediment rooted plants significant correlation was found between uranium concentration in plant and the substrate (r = 0.88, p < 0.001). Both for other free floating species and sediment rooted plants, uranium concentration was significantly correlated with Mn, Fe, and Ni concentration of plants (p < 0.01). Filamentous algae, Jussiaea and Pistia owing to their high bioproductivity, biomass, uranium accumulation and concentration ratio can be useful for prospecting phytoremediation of stream carrying treated or untreated uranium mill tailings effluent. - Highlights: • Uranium mill tailings pond. • Jaduguda, India. • Fresh water plants. • Uranium uptake. • Relationship of uranium with stable elements.

  4. A New Digital Imaging and Analysis System for Plant and Ecosystem Phenological Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez, G.; Ramirez, G. A.; Vargas, S. A., Jr.; Luna, N. R.; Tweedie, C. E.

    2015-12-01

    Over the past decade, environmental scientists have increasingly used low-cost sensors and custom software to gather and analyze environmental data. Included in this trend has been the use of imagery from field-mounted static digital cameras. Published literature has highlighted the challenge scientists have encountered with poor and problematic camera performance and power consumption, limited data download and wireless communication options, general ruggedness of off the shelf camera solutions, and time consuming and hard-to-reproduce digital image analysis options. Data loggers and sensors are typically limited to data storage in situ (requiring manual downloading) and/or expensive data streaming options. Here we highlight the features and functionality of a newly invented camera/data logger system and coupled image analysis software suited to plant and ecosystem phenological studies (patent pending). The camera has resulted from several years of development and prototype testing supported by several grants funded by the US NSF. These inventions have several unique features and functionality and have been field tested in desert, arctic, and tropical rainforest ecosystems. The system can be used to acquire imagery/data from static and mobile platforms. Data is collected, preprocessed, and streamed to the cloud without the need of an external computer and can run for extended time periods. The camera module is capable of acquiring RGB, IR, and thermal (LWIR) data and storing it in a variety of formats including RAW. The system is full customizable with a wide variety of passive and smart sensors. The camera can be triggered by state conditions detected by sensors and/or select time intervals. The device includes USB, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, serial, GSM, Ethernet, and Iridium connections and can be connected to commercial cloud servers such as Dropbox. The complementary image analysis software is compatible with all popular operating systems. Imagery can be viewed and

  5. Plant, microbial and ecosystem carbon use efficiencies interact to stabilize microbial growth as a fraction of gross primary production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinsabaugh, Robert L; Moorhead, Daryl L; Xu, Xiaofeng; Litvak, Marcy E

    2017-06-01

    The carbon use efficiency of plants (CUE a ) and microorganisms (CUE h ) determines rates of biomass turnover and soil carbon sequestration. We evaluated the hypothesis that CUE a and CUE h counterbalance at a large scale, stabilizing microbial growth (μ) as a fraction of gross primary production (GPP). Collating data from published studies, we correlated annual CUE a , estimated from satellite imagery, with locally determined soil CUE h for 100 globally distributed sites. Ecosystem CUE e , the ratio of net ecosystem production (NEP) to GPP, was estimated for each site using published models. At the ecosystem scale, CUE a and CUE h were inversely related. At the global scale, the apparent temperature sensitivity of CUE h with respect to mean annual temperature (MAT) was similar for organic and mineral soils (0.029°C -1 ). CUE a and CUE e were inversely related to MAT, with apparent sensitivities of -0.009 and -0.032°C -1 , respectively. These trends constrain the ratio μ : GPP (= (CUE a  × CUE h )/(1 - CUE e )) with respect to MAT by counterbalancing the apparent temperature sensitivities of the component processes. At the ecosystem scale, the counterbalance is effected by modulating soil organic matter stocks. The results suggest that a μ : GPP value of c. 0.13 is a homeostatic steady state for ecosystem carbon fluxes at a large scale. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  6. Can observed ecosystem responses to elevated CO2 and N fertilisation be explained by optimal plant C allocation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stocker, Benjamin; Prentice, I. Colin

    2016-04-01

    The degree to which nitrogen availability limits the terrestrial C sink under rising CO2 is a key uncertainty in carbon cycle and climate change projections. Results from ecosystem manipulation studies and meta-analyses suggest that plant C allocation to roots adjusts dynamically under varying degrees of nitrogen availability and other soil fertility parameters. In addition, the ratio of biomass production to GPP appears to decline under nutrient scarcity. This reflects increasing plant C export into the soil and to symbionts (Cex) with decreasing nutrient availability. Cex is consumed by an array of soil organisms and may imply an improvement of nutrient availability to the plant. These concepts are left unaccounted for in Earth system models. We present a model for the coupled cycles of C and N in grassland ecosystems to explore optimal plant C allocation under rising CO2 and its implications for the ecosystem C balance. The model follows a balanced growth approach, accounting for the trade-offs between leaf versus root growth and Cex in balancing C fixation and N uptake. We further model a plant-controlled rate of biological N fixation (BNF) by assuming that Cex is consumed by N2-fixing processes if the ratio of Nup:Cex falls below the inverse of the C cost of N2-fixation. The model is applied at two temperate grassland sites (SwissFACE and BioCON), subjected to factorial treatments of elevated CO2 (FACE) and N fertilization. Preliminary simulation results indicate initially increased N limitation, evident by increased relative allocation to roots and Cex. Depending on the initial state of N availability, this implies a varying degree of aboveground growth enhancement, generally consistent with observed responses. On a longer time scale, ecosystems are progressively released from N limitation due tighter N cycling. Allowing for plant-controlled BNF implies a quicker release from N limitation and an adjustment to more open N cycling. In both cases, optimal plant

  7. The Transfer and diffusion of Cesium 137 within forest ecosystem in Fukushima after the nuclear power plant accident

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Suzuki, Takahiro; Murakami, Masashi [Community Ecology Lab., Biology Course, Faculty of Science, Chiba University, Chiba, 263-8522 (Japan); Ishii, Nobuyoshi [National Institute of Radiological Sciences, Chiba, 263-8555 (Japan); Tanoi, Keitaro; Hirose, Atsushi; Ohte, Nobuhito [Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, 113-8657 (Japan)

    2014-07-01

    A large amount of radionuclides was released from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident after the disastrous earthquake and subsequent tsunami of March 2011. Among the variety of radionuclides released from FDNPP, cesium 137 ({sup 137}Cs) is the most worrying radionuclide in the environment, with a half-life of 30 years. Since most of the Japanese land area is covered by forest, the distribution and transportation of radioactive materials within forest ecosystems should be conscientiously monitored. In Europe, many studies reported that the {sup 137}Cs deposition caused by the Chernobyl accident has still been distributed in the litter and soil layers and has become a source for the soil-to-plant transfer. Most of these studies emphasize the 'stability' of {sup 137}Cs within forest ecosystems, because {sup 137}Cs are considered to be strongly and immediately fixed in clay minerals. Even though there are many studies of the soil-to-plant transfer of {sup 137}Cs in forest after several years of Chernobyl accident, very initial distribution and transfer of {sup 137}Cs in food web within one to two years after the deposition in forest ecosystems have never been examined. The evaluation of the initial dynamics of {sup 137}Cs in forest ecosystems should be quite important because of the increasing stability of {sup 137}Cs after the deposition. The accumulation and transfer of {sup 137}Cs through food web within forest ecosystems were examined by collecting various organisms at forests in Fukushima. The {sup 137}Cs concentrations, natural Cs and K concentrations, and delta {sup 15}N of the specimens were measured to evaluate the occurrence of bioaccumulation or bio-diffusion of {sup 137}Cs through tropic interaction within forest ecosystem. {sup 137}Cs was highly concentrated on leaf litters which had been deposited in autumn 2010, before the accident. This accumulated {sup 137}Cs had transferred to higher trophic organisms mainly through

  8. Antecedent Moisture and Biological Inertia as Predictors of Plant and Ecosystem Productivity in Arid and Semiarid Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogle, K.

    2011-12-01

    Many plant and ecosystem processes in arid and semiarid systems may be affected by antecedent environmental conditions (e.g., precipitation patterns, soil water availability, temperature) that integrate over past days, weeks, months, seasons, or years. However, the importance of such antecedent exogenous effects relative to conditions occurring at the time of the observed process is relatively unexplored. Even less is known about the potential importance of antecedent endogenous effects that describe the influence of past ecosystem states on the current ecosystem state; e.g., how is current ecosystem productivity related to past productivity patterns? We hypothesize that incorporation of antecedent exogenous and endogenous factors can improve our predictive understanding of many plant and ecosystem processes, especially in arid and semiarid ecosystems. Furthermore, the common approach to quantifying the effects of antecedent (exogenous) variables relies on arbitrary, deterministic definitions of antecedent variables that (1) may not accurately describe the role of antecedent conditions and (2) ignore uncertainty associated with applying deterministic definitions. In this study, we employ a stochastic framework for (1) computing the antecedent variables that estimates the relative importance of conditions experienced each time unit into the past, also providing insight into potential lag responses, and (2) estimating the effect of antecedent factors on the response variable of interest. We employ this approach to explore the potential roles of antecedent exogenous and endogenous influences in three settings that illustrate the: (1) importance of antecedent precipitation for net primary productivity in the shortgrass steppe in northern Colorado, (2) dependency of tree growth on antecedent precipitation and past growth states for pinyon growing in western Colorado, and (3) influence of antecedent soil water and prior root status on observed root growth in the Mojave

  9. Goods and services provided by native plants in desert ecosystems: Examples from the northwestern coastal desert of Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laila M. Bidak

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available About one third of the earth’s land surface is covered by deserts that have low and variable rainfall, nutrient-poor soils, and little vegetation cover. Here, we focus on the goods and services offered by desert ecosystems using the northwestern coastal desert of Egypt extending from Burg El-Arab to El-Salloum as an example. We conducted field surveys and collected other data to identify the goods services and provided by native plant species. A total of 322 native plant species were compiled. The direct services provided by these native plants included sources of food, medicine, and energy; indirect vegetation services included promotion of biodiversity, water storage, and soil fertility. The plant diversity in this ecosystem provided economic service benefits, such as sources of fodder, fuel-wood, and traditional medicinal plants. Changes in land use and recent ill-managed human activities may influence the availability of these services and strongly impact biodiversity and habitat availability. Although deserts are fragile and support low levels of productivity, they provide a variety of goods and services whose continuing availability is contingent upon the adoption of rational land management practices.

  10. Aromatic plants play an important role in promoting soil biological activity related to nitrogen cycling in an orchard ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xinxin; Song, Beizhou; Yao, Yuncong; Wu, Hongying; Hu, Jinghui; Zhao, Lingling

    2014-02-15

    Aromatic plants can substantially improve the diversity and structure of arthropod communities, as well as reduce the number of herbivore pests and regulate the abundance of predators and parasitoids. However, it is not clear whether aromatic plants are also effective in improving soil quality by enhancing nutrient cycling. Here, field experiments are described involving intercropping with aromatic plants to investigate their effect on soil nitrogen (N) cycling in an orchard ecosystem. The results indicate that the soil organic nitrogen and available nitrogen contents increased significantly in soils intercropped with aromatic plants. Similarly, the activities of soil protease and urease increased, together with total microbial biomass involved in N cycling, including nitrifying bacteria, denitrifying bacteria and azotobacters, as well as the total numbers of bacteria and fungi. This suggests that aromatic plants improve soil N cycling and nutrient levels by enriching the soil in organic matter through the regulation of both the abundance and community structure of microorganisms, together with associated soil enzyme activity, in orchard ecosystems. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Introducing Mudbox

    CERN Document Server

    Kermanikian, Ara

    2010-01-01

    One of the first books on Autodesk's new Mudbox 3D modeling and sculpting tool!. Autodesk's Mudbox was used to create photorealistic creatures for The Dark Knight , The Mist , and others films. Now you can join the crowd interested in learning this exciting new digital modeling and sculpting tool with this complete guide. Get up to speed on all of Mudbox's features and functions, learn how sculpt and paint, and master the art of using effective workflows to make it all go easier.: Introduces Autodesk's Mudbox, an exciting 3D modeling and sculpting tool that enables you to create photorealistic

  12. Seed dispersal as an ecosystem service: frugivore loss leads to decline of a socially valued plant, Capsicum frutescens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egerer, Monika H; Fricke, Evan C; Rogers, Haldre S

    2018-04-01

    Species interactions, both mutualistic and antagonistic, are widely recognized as providing important ecosystem services. Fruit-eating animals influence plant recruitment by increasing germination during gut passage and moving seeds away from conspecifics. However, relative to studies focused on the importance of frugivores for plant population maintenance, few studies target frugivores as ecosystem service providers, and frugivores are underappreciated as ecosystem service providers relative to other mutualists such as pollinators. Here, we use an accidental experiment to elucidate the role of seed dispersal by frugivores for maintaining a culturally and economically important plant, the donne' sali chili (Capsicum frutescens) in the Mariana Islands. One of the islands (Guam) has lost nearly all of its native forest birds due to an invasive snake (Boiga irregularis), whereas nearby islands have relatively intact bird populations. We hypothesized that frugivore loss would influence chili recruitment and abundance, which could have economic and cultural impacts. By using video cameras, we confirmed that birds were the primary seed dispersers. We used captive bird feeding trials to obtain gut-passed seeds to use in a seedling emergence experiment. The experiment showed that gut-passed seeds emerged sooner and at a higher proportion than seeds from whole fruits. Consistent with our findings that birds benefit chilies, we observed lower chili abundance on Guam than on islands with birds. In a survey questionnaire of island residents, the majority of residents reported an association between the wild chili and local cultural values and traditions. In addition, we identified a thriving market for chili products, suggesting benefits of wild chilies to people in the Marianas both as consumers and producers. Our study therefore documents seed dispersal as both a cultural and a supporting ecosystem service. We provide a comprehensive case study on how seed-dispersed plants

  13. The invasive alien plants threatened the balance of ecosystem in conservative area in Ontoloe Island, Flores-Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antonius Mboka Segu Wake, Ignatius; Retnaningsih Soeprobowati, Tri; Jumari

    2018-05-01

    Invasive alien plants threaten to biodiversity, particularly in small island with high endemicity values such as Ontoloe Island, a tourist destination area of Riung Seventeen Island in Flores. The study aims to characterized the invasive plants have attacked the conservative area in Ontoloe Island. The method used by combining the line method and the plot method with three observation stations in utilization block and four observation station in protection block. Plot of 1mx1m was used for the observation of ground cover plants and seedling, 5mx5m for the observation in stake level, 10mx10m for the observation in pole level, 20mx20m for the observation in tree level. The data level of the plants obtained then analyzed with Important Value Index (IVI). Result showed that Lamtoro plants (Leuchaena leucocephala) is the invasive alien species which has the highest IVI in both of utilization block and protection block in each level of tree, stake, and pole. There are other invasive alien plants such as Tembeleken (Lantana camara) and Bidara (Zizipus mauritiana) dominated in stake level and Alang-alang (Imperata cylindrica) dominated in seedling level. All the native plants in Ontoloe Island will be threatened their existing because of the less control of invasive alien plants. Therefore, needs serious handling by the government in order to keep the balanced of the ecosystems in Ontoloe Island to be maintained especially to not deviated from management objectives area of Komodo Dragons conservation (Varanus komodoensis Ouwens, 1912).

  14. Problems of introducing first nuclear power plant in a developing country with some natural energy resources. The case of Indonesia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Subki, I.R.

    1997-01-01

    Indonesia, an archipelagic country, has limited hydro, oil/gas, coal and geothermal resources distributed unevenly over many islands. The use of nuclear energy is very potential not only for optimal energy mix but also to reduce the depletion rates of the fossil fuels. This potential was seriously studied by launching a comprehensive Feasibility Study and Site Investigation from November 1991 to May 1996. The study gives positive results for Nuclear Power Plant's (NPP) introduction, especially from technoeconomic aspects which cover : technology, safety, economy, radioactive waste management and acceptable site at Ujung Lemahabang in Central Java. Financial aspects pose some problem due to the government's policy of accepting no risks both political and financial in big projects undertaking. But, this can be overcome through Build Operate Own (BOO) and barter financing projects. The most difficult problems are non-technical, they are : people's perception on nuclear safety and psycho-political aspects of nuclear energy. We propose a combined solution of continuing more effective public information and developing a wisdom in decision making process. (author)

  15. Ecosystem Development after Mangrove Wetland Creation: Plant-Soil Change across a 20-year Chronosequence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangrove wetland restoration and creation efforts are increasingly proposed as mechanisms to compensate for mangrove wetland loss. However, ecosystem development and functional equivalence in restored and created mangrove wetlands is poorly understood. We compared a 20-yr chrono...

  16. Plant trait-based models identify direct and indirect effects of climate change on bundles of grassland ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamarque, Pénélope; Lavorel, Sandra; Mouchet, Maud; Quétier, Fabien

    2014-09-23

    Land use and climate change are primary causes of changes in the supply of ecosystem services (ESs). Although the consequences of climate change on ecosystem properties and associated services are well documented, the cascading impacts of climate change on ESs through changes in land use are largely overlooked. We present a trait-based framework based on an empirical model to elucidate how climate change affects tradeoffs among ESs. Using alternative scenarios for mountain grasslands, we predicted how direct effects of climate change on ecosystems and indirect effects through farmers' adaptations are likely to affect ES bundles through changes in plant functional properties. ES supply was overall more sensitive to climate than to induced management change, and ES bundles remained stable across scenarios. These responses largely reflected the restricted extent of management change in this constrained system, which was incorporated when scaling up plot level climate and management effects on ecosystem properties to the entire landscape. The trait-based approach revealed how the combination of common driving traits and common responses to changed fertility determined interactions and tradeoffs among ESs.

  17. Evaluation of the Morpho-physiology characteristics of maize inbred lines introduced from CIMMYT to identify the best candidates for planting in acidic soil in Jasinga, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lubis, K.; Sutjahjo, S. H.; Syukur, M.; Trikoesoemaningtyas

    2016-08-01

    Technological developments and climate change have affected crop planting strategies. For example, maize production has expanded to sub-optimal lands, including acidic soil common in areas like Indonesia. Breeding programs have created inbred lines of maize introduced from CIMMYT; they were tested locally in acidic soils to determine their adaptability and tolerance mechanisms. Breeds CLA 46 and NEI 9008 were found to be excellent candidates for acidic soil due to their ASI, high number of grains per year, and suitable dry seed weight.

  18. Assessing and monitoring impacts of genetically modified plants on agro-ecosystems: the approach of AMIGA project

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Arpaia

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The environmental impacts of genetically modified crops is still a controversial issue in Europe. The overall risk assessment framework has recently been reinforced by the European Food Safety Authority(EFSA and its implementation requires harmonized and efficient methodologies. The EU-funded research project AMIGA − Assessing and monitoring Impacts of Genetically modified plants on Agro-ecosystems − aims to address this issue, by providing a framework that establishes protection goals and baselines for European agro-ecosystems, improves knowledge on the potential long term environmental effects of genetically modified (GM plants, tests the efficacy of the EFSA Guidance Document for the Environmental Risk Assessment, explores new strategies for post market monitoring, and provides a systematic analysis of economic aspects of Genetically Modified crops cultivation in the EU. Research focuses on ecological studies in different EU regions, the sustainability of GM crops is estimated by analysing the functional components of the agro-ecosystems and specific experimental protocols are being developed for this scope.

  19. Uptake of uranium by aquatic plants growing in fresh water ecosystem around uranium mill tailings pond at Jaduguda, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jha, V N; Tripathi, R M; Sethy, N K; Sahoo, S K

    2016-01-01

    Concentration of uranium was determined in aquatic plants and substrate (sediment or water) of fresh water ecosystem on and around uranium mill tailings pond at Jaduguda, India. Aquatic plant/substrate concentration ratios (CRs) of uranium were estimated for different sites on and around the uranium mill tailings disposal area. These sites include upstream and downstream side of surface water sources carrying the treated tailings effluent, a small pond inside tailings disposal area and residual water of this area. Three types of plant groups were investigated namely algae (filamentous and non-filamentous), other free floating & water submerged and sediment rooted plants. Wide variability in concentration ratio was observed for different groups of plants studied. The filamentous algae uranium concentration was significantly correlated with that of water (r=0.86, puranium concentration in plant and the substrate (r=0.88, puranium concentration was significantly correlated with Mn, Fe, and Ni concentration of plants (puranium accumulation and concentration ratio can be useful for prospecting phytoremediation of stream carrying treated or untreated uranium mill tailings effluent. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Initial Response by a Native Beetle, Chrysochus auratus (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), to a Novel Introduced Host-Plant, Vincetoxicum rossicum (Gentianales: Apocynaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    deJonge, R B; Bourchier, R S; Smith, S M

    2017-06-01

    Native insects can form novel associations with introduced invasive plants and use them as a food source. The recent introduction into eastern North America of a nonnative European vine, Vincetoxicum rossicum (Kleopow) Barbar., allows us to examine the initial response of a native chrysomelid beetle, Chrysochus auratus F., that feeds on native plants in the same family as V. rossicum (Apocynaceae). We tested C. auratus on V. rossicum and closely related or co-occurring native plants (Apocynum spp., Asclepias spp., and Solidago canadensis L.) using all life stages of the beetle in lab, garden, and field experiments. Experiments measured feeding (presence or absence and amount), survival, oviposition, and whether previous exposure to V. rossicum in the lab or field affected adult beetle feeding. Beetles fed significantly less on V. rossicum than on native Apocynum hosts. Adult beetles engaged in exploratory feeding on leaves of V. rossicum and survived up to 10 d. Females oviposited on V. rossicum, eggs hatched, and larvae fed initially on the roots; however, no larvae survived beyond second instar. Beetles collected from Apocynum cannabinum L. field sites intermixed with V. rossicum were less likely to feed on this novel nonnative host than those collected from colonies further from and less likely to be exposed to V. rossicum (>5 km). Our experimental work indicates that V. rossicum may act as an oviposition sink for C. auratus and that this native beetle has not adapted to survive on this recently introduced novel host plant. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. Nitrogen Uptake During Fall, Winter and Spring Differs Among Plant Functional Groups in a Subarctic Heath Ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Klaus Steenberg; Michelsen, Anders; Jonasson, Sven

    2012-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) is a critical resource for plant growth in tundra ecosystems, and species differences in the timing of N uptake may be an important feature regulating community composition and ecosystem productivity. We added 15N-labelled glycine to a subarctic heath tundra dominated by dwarf shrubs...... to 37 ± 7% by April indicating significant microbial N turnover prior to spring thaw. Only the evergreen dwarf shrubs showed active 15N acquisition before early May indicating that they had the highest potential of all functional groups for acquiring nutrients that became available in early spring....... The faster-growing deciduous shrubs did not resume 15N acquisition until after early May indicating that they relied more on nitrogen made available later during the spring/early summer. The graminoids and mosses had no significant increases in 15N tracer recovery or tissue 15N tracer concentrations after...

  2. Geometagenomics illuminates the impact of agriculture on the distribution and prevalence of plant viruses at the ecosystem scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernardo, Pauline; Charles-Dominique, Tristan; Barakat, Mohamed; Ortet, Philippe; Fernandez, Emmanuel; Filloux, Denis; Hartnady, Penelope; Rebelo, Tony A; Cousins, Stephen R; Mesleard, François; Cohez, Damien; Yavercovski, Nicole; Varsani, Arvind; Harkins, Gordon W; Peterschmitt, Michel; Malmstrom, Carolyn M; Martin, Darren P; Roumagnac, Philippe

    2018-01-01

    Disease emergence events regularly result from human activities such as agriculture, which frequently brings large populations of genetically uniform hosts into contact with potential pathogens. Although viruses cause nearly 50% of emerging plant diseases, there is little systematic information about virus distribution across agro-ecological interfaces and large gaps in understanding of virus diversity in nature. Here we applied a novel landscape-scale geometagenomics approach to examine relationships between agricultural land use and distributions of plant-associated viruses in two Mediterranean-climate biodiversity hotspots (Western Cape region of South Africa and Rhône river delta region of France). In total, we analysed 1725 geo-referenced plant samples collected over two years from 4.5 × 4.5 km 2 grids spanning farmlands and adjacent uncultivated vegetation. We found substantial virus prevalence (25.8-35.7%) in all ecosystems, but prevalence and identified family-level virus diversity were greatest in cultivated areas, with some virus families displaying strong agricultural associations. Our survey revealed 94 previously unknown virus species, primarily from uncultivated plants. This is the first effort to systematically evaluate plant-associated viromes across broad agro-ecological interfaces. Our findings indicate that agriculture substantially influences plant virus distributions and highlight the extent of current ignorance about the diversity and roles of viruses in nature.

  3. The Date Palm Tree Rhizosphere Is a Niche for Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria in the Oasis Ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raoudha Ferjani

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In arid ecosystems environmental factors such as geoclimatic conditions and agricultural practices are of major importance in shaping the diversity and functionality of plant-associated bacterial communities. Assessing the influence of such factors is a key to understand (i the driving forces determining the shape of root-associated bacterial communities and (ii the plant growth promoting (PGP services they provide. Desert oasis environment was chosen as model ecosystem where agriculture is possible by the microclimate determined by the date palm cultivation. The bacterial communities in the soil fractions associated with the root system of date palms cultivated in seven oases in Tunisia were assessed by culture-independent and dependent approaches. According to 16S rRNA gene PCR-DGGE fingerprinting, the shapes of the date palm rhizosphere bacterial communities correlate with geoclimatic features along a north-south aridity transect. Despite the fact that the date palm root bacterial community structure was strongly influenced by macroecological factors, the potential rhizosphere services reflected in the PGP traits of isolates screened in vitro were conserved among the different oases. Such services were exerted by the 83% of the screened isolates. The comparable numbers and types of PGP traits indicate their importance in maintaining the plant functional homeostasis despite the different environmental selection pressures.

  4. The Date Palm Tree Rhizosphere Is a Niche for Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria in the Oasis Ecosystem

    KAUST Repository

    Ferjani, Raoudha

    2015-04-01

    In arid ecosystems environmental factors such as geoclimatic conditions and agricultural practices are of major importance in shaping the diversity and functionality of plant-associated bacterial communities. Assessing the influence of such factors is a key to understand (i) the driving forces determining the shape of root-associated bacterial communities and (ii) the plant growth promoting (PGP) services they provide. Desert oasis environment was chosen as model ecosystem where agriculture is possible by the microclimate determined by the date palm cultivation. The bacterial communities in the soil fractions associated with the root system of date palms cultivated in seven oases in Tunisia were assessed by culture-independent and dependent approaches. According to 16S rRNA gene PCR-DGGE fingerprinting, the shapes of the date palm rhizosphere bacterial communities correlate with geoclimatic features along a north-south aridity transect. Despite the fact that the date palm root bacterial community structure was strongly influenced by macroecological factors, the potential rhizosphere services reflected in the PGP traits of isolates screened in vitro were conserved among the different oases. Such services were exerted by the 83% of the screened isolates. The comparable numbers and types of PGP traits indicate their importance in maintaining the plant functional homeostasis despite the different environmental selection pressures.

  5. The Date Palm Tree Rhizosphere Is a Niche for Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria in the Oasis Ecosystem

    KAUST Repository

    Ferjani, Raoudha; Marasco, Ramona; Rolli, Eleonora; Cherif, Hanene; Cherif, Ameur; Gtari, Maher; Boudabous, Abdellatif; Daffonchio, Daniele; Ouzari, Hadda-Imene

    2015-01-01

    In arid ecosystems environmental factors such as geoclimatic conditions and agricultural practices are of major importance in shaping the diversity and functionality of plant-associated bacterial communities. Assessing the influence of such factors is a key to understand (i) the driving forces determining the shape of root-associated bacterial communities and (ii) the plant growth promoting (PGP) services they provide. Desert oasis environment was chosen as model ecosystem where agriculture is possible by the microclimate determined by the date palm cultivation. The bacterial communities in the soil fractions associated with the root system of date palms cultivated in seven oases in Tunisia were assessed by culture-independent and dependent approaches. According to 16S rRNA gene PCR-DGGE fingerprinting, the shapes of the date palm rhizosphere bacterial communities correlate with geoclimatic features along a north-south aridity transect. Despite the fact that the date palm root bacterial community structure was strongly influenced by macroecological factors, the potential rhizosphere services reflected in the PGP traits of isolates screened in vitro were conserved among the different oases. Such services were exerted by the 83% of the screened isolates. The comparable numbers and types of PGP traits indicate their importance in maintaining the plant functional homeostasis despite the different environmental selection pressures.

  6. Woody-plant ecosystems under climate change and air pollution-response consistencies across zonobiomes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matyssek, R; Kozovits, A R; Wieser, G; King, J; Rennenberg, H

    2017-06-01

    Forests store the largest terrestrial pools of carbon (C), helping to stabilize the global climate system, yet are threatened by climate change (CC) and associated air pollution (AP, highlighting ozone (O3) and nitrogen oxides (NOx)). We adopt the perspective that CC-AP drivers and physiological impacts are universal, resulting in consistent stress responses of forest ecosystems across zonobiomes. Evidence supporting this viewpoint is presented from the literature on ecosystem gross/net primary productivity and water cycling. Responses to CC-AP are compared across evergreen/deciduous foliage types, discussing implications of nutrition and resource turnover at tree and ecosystem scales. The availability of data is extremely uneven across zonobiomes, yet unifying patterns of ecosystem response are discernable. Ecosystem warming results in trade-offs between respiration and biomass production, affecting high elevation forests more than in the lowland tropics and low-elevation temperate zone. Resilience to drought is modulated by tree size and species richness. Elevated O3 tends to counteract stimulation by elevated carbon dioxide (CO2). Biotic stress and genomic structure ultimately determine ecosystem responsiveness. Aggrading early- rather than mature late-successional communities respond to CO2 enhancement, whereas O3 affects North American and Eurasian tree species consistently under free-air fumigation. Insect herbivory is exacerbated by CC-AP in biome-specific ways. Rhizosphere responses reflect similar stand-level nutritional dynamics across zonobiomes, but are modulated by differences in tree-soil nutrient cycling between deciduous and evergreen systems, and natural versus anthropogenic nitrogen (N) oversupply. The hypothesis of consistency of forest responses to interacting CC-AP is supported by currently available data, establishing the precedent for a global network of long-term coordinated research sites across zonobiomes to simultaneously advance both

  7. Trade-offs Between Electricity Production from Small Hydropower Plants and Ecosystem Services in Alpine River Basins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Philipp; Schwemmle, Robin; Viviroli, Daniel

    2015-04-01

    The need for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and the decision to phase out nuclear power plants in Switzerland and Germany increases pressure to develop the remaining hydropower potential in Alpine catchments. Since most of the potential for large reservoirs is already exploited, future development focusses on small run-of-the-river hydropower plants (SHP). Being considered a relatively environment-friendly electricity source, investment in SHP is promoted through subsidies. However, SHP can have a significant impact on riverine ecosystems, especially in the Alpine region where residual flow reaches tend to be long. An increase in hydropower exploitation will therefore increase pressure on ecosystems. While a number of studies assessed the potential for hydropower development in the Alps, two main factors were so far not assessed in detail: (i) ecological impacts within a whole river network, and (ii) economic conditions under which electricity is sold. We present a framework that establishes trade-offs between multiple objectives regarding environmental impacts, electricity production and economic evaluation. While it is inevitable that some ecosystems are compromised by hydropower plants, the context of these impacts within a river network should be considered when selecting suitable sites for SHP. From an ecological point of view, the diversity of habitats, and therefore the diversity of species, should be maintained within a river basin. This asks for objectives that go beyond lumped parameters of hydrological alteration, but also consider habitat diversity and the spatial configuration. Energy production in run-of-the-river power plants depends on available discharge, which can have large fluctuations. In a deregulated electricity market with strong price variations, an economic valuation should therefore be based on the expected market value of energy produced. Trade-off curves between different objectives can help decision makers to define policies

  8. Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning: Exploring Principles of Ecology with Agricultural Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruesink, Jennifer; O'Connor, Eileen; Sparks, Grace

    2006-01-01

    To date, little of the ecological research on biological diversity and ecosystem functioning has been carried out in agricultural systems, despite the fact that agriculture is a major contributor to loss of native habitats and species. However, agricultural research has demonstrated that polycultures of multiple crop species can have higher total…

  9. Tree harvest in an experimental sand ecosystem: plant effects on nutrient dynamics and solute generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    C. K. Keller; R. O' Brien; J. R. Havig; J. L. Smith; B. T. Bormann; D. Wang

    2006-01-01

    The hydrochemical signatures of forested ecosystems are known to be determined by a time-variant combination of physical-hydrologic, geochemical, and biologic processes. We studied subsurface potassium (K), calcium (Ca), and nitrate (NO3) in an experimental red-pine mesocosm to determine how trees affect the behavior of these nutrients in soil...

  10. Accounting for multiple stressors in regional stream ecosystem analysis: A demonstration with riparian invasive plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background/Questions/Methods: Large cross-sectional data sets allow testing of hypotheses about how one part of an ecosystem relates to other parts. Tests such as these are of interest for many reasons, one of which is to gain insight into the role of stressors, such as land co...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fujita, Y.

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Very high resolution time-lapse photography for plant and ecosystems research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Very high resolution gigapixel photography increasingly is being used to support a broad range of ecosystem and physical process research because it offers an inexpensive means of simultaneously collecting information at a range of spatial scales. Recently, methods have been developed to incorporate...

  13. Accumulation and environmental risk assessment of heavy metals in soil and plants of four different ecosystems in a former polymetallic ores mining and smelting area (Slovakia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demková, Lenka; Árvay, Július; Bobuľská, Lenka; Tomáš, Ján; Stanovič, Radovan; Lošák, Tomáš; Harangozo, Luboš; Vollmannová, Alena; Bystrická, Judita; Musilová, Janette; Jobbágy, Ján

    2017-04-16

    Heavy metals (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn) in soils and plants of four different ecosystems (forest, grassland, agro and urban ecosystem) at different distances from the source of the pollution were analyzed in order to assess and compare soil contamination in the various ecosystems and determine the potential accumulation of plants depending on the place they inhabit. Correlation relationships among heavy metals in soils differ depending on the ecosystem, and between soil and plant, the heavy metals showed significant correlation for Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn. Contamination factor (C f ), degree of contamination (C d ) and pollution load index (PLI) were used in order to determine the level of environmental contamination of the study area. All studied ecosystems were rated as moderately contaminated (except agroecosystem, which was found as low contamination ecosystem) according to C d and extremely polluted according to PLI. The highest pollution in both cases was found in urban ecosystem, and Cd, Cu and Fe were determined as the biggest pollutants.

  14. Ecosystem carbon stock influenced by plantation practice: implications for planting forests as a measure of climate change mitigation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chengzhang Liao

    Full Text Available Uncertainties remain in the potential of forest plantations to sequestrate carbon (C. We synthesized 86 experimental studies with paired-site design, using a meta-analysis approach, to quantify the differences in ecosystem C pools between plantations and their corresponding adjacent primary and secondary forests (natural forests. Totaled ecosystem C stock in plant and soil pools was 284 Mg C ha(-1 in natural forests and decreased by 28% in plantations. In comparison with natural forests, plantations decreased aboveground net primary production, litterfall, and rate of soil respiration by 11, 34, and 32%, respectively. Fine root biomass, soil C concentration, and soil microbial C concentration decreased respectively by 66, 32, and 29% in plantations relative to natural forests. Soil available N, P and K concentrations were lower by 22, 20 and 26%, respectively, in plantations than in natural forests. The general pattern of decreased ecosystem C pools did not change between two different groups in relation to various factors: stand age ( or = 25 years, stand types (broadleaved vs. coniferous and deciduous vs. evergreen, tree species origin (native vs. exotic of plantations, land-use history (afforestation vs. reforestation and site preparation for plantations (unburnt vs. burnt, and study regions (tropic vs. temperate. The pattern also held true across geographic regions. Our findings argued against the replacement of natural forests by the plantations as a measure of climate change mitigation.

  15. Methods to Improve Survival and Growth of Planted Alternative Species Seedlings in Black Ash Ecosystems Threatened by Emerald Ash Borer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas Bolton

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Emerald ash borer (EAB continues to spread across North America, infesting native ash trees and changing the forested landscape. Black ash wetland forests are severely affected by EAB. As black ash wetland forests provide integral ecosystem services, alternative approaches to maintain forest cover on the landscape are needed. We implemented simulated EAB infestations in depressional black ash wetlands in the Ottawa National Forest in Michigan to mimic the short-term and long-term effects of EAB. These wetlands were planted with 10 alternative tree species in 2013. Based on initial results in the Michigan sites, a riparian corridor in the Superior Municipal Forest in Wisconsin was planted with three alternative tree species in 2015. Results across both locations indicate that silver maple (Acer saccharinum L., red maple (Acer rubrum L., American elm (Ulmus americana L., and northern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis L. are viable alternative species to plant in black ash-dominated wetlands. Additionally, selectively planting on natural or created hummocks resulted in two times greater survival than in adjacent lowland sites, and this suggests that planting should be implemented with microsite selection or creation as a primary control. Regional landowners and forest managers can use these results to help mitigate the canopy and structure losses from EAB and maintain forest cover and hydrologic function in black ash-dominated wetlands after infestation.

  16. Biological effects of carbon nanotubes generated in forest wildfire ecosystems rich in resinous trees on native plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Lara-Romero

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Carbon nanotubes (CNTs have a broad range of applications and are generally considered human-engineered nanomaterials. However, carbon nanostructures have been found in ice cores and oil wells, suggesting that nature may provide appropriate conditions for CNT synthesis. During forest wildfires, materials such as turpentine and conifer tissues containing iron under high temperatures may create chemical conditions favorable for CNT generation, similar to those in synthetic methods. Here, we show evidence of naturally occurring multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs produced from Pinus oocarpa and Pinus pseudostrobus, following a forest wildfire. The MWCNTs showed an average of 10 walls, with internal diameters of ∼2.5 nm and outer diameters of ∼14.5 nm. To verify whether MWCNT generation during forest wildfires has a biological effect on some characteristic plant species of these ecosystems, germination and development of seedlings were conducted. Results show that the utilization of comparable synthetic MWCNTs increased seed germination rates and the development of Lupinus elegans and Eysenhardtia polystachya, two plants species found in the burned forest ecosystem. The finding provides evidence that supports the generation and possible ecological functions of MWCNTs in nature.

  17. Prosopis laevigata and Mimosa biuncifera (Leguminosae, jointly influence plant diversity and soil fertility of a Mexican semiarid ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosalva García-Sánchez

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Prosopis laevigata and Mimosa biuncifera are frequently found in arid and semiarid shrublands, but scarce information is available about their influence on plant community structure and soil fertility. We compared plant community structure, diversity and soil nutrients of three semiarid shrubland sites located in Mezquital Valley, Mexico. These sites differ in their dominant species: Site 1 (Bingu P. laevigata, Site 2 (González M. biuncifera, and Site 3 (Rincón with the presence of both legumes. The results showed that the plant community with P. laevigata and M. biuncifera (Site 3 had more cover, taller plants and higher plant diversity than sites with only one legume (Site 1 and Site 2. Soil organic matter (SOM, soil organic carbon (SOC, total nitrogen (TN, phosphorus-Olsen (P and C mineralization were higher in the soil under the canopy of both legumes than in bare soil. In contrast, soil cation concentrations were lower under the canopy of P. laevigata, but not for M. biuncifera. In addition, the density of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi spores was higher within the soil under the canopy of M. biuncifera than in the soil under the canopy of P. laevigata. Thus, resource islands (RI created by P. laevigata increased the amounts of SOC, TN and P when compared with the RI of M. biuncifera. This study provided evidences about the importance of species identity in order to expand the niche availability for the establishment of other plants, and highlights that P. laevigata and M. biuncifera jointly influencing plant colonization within semiarid ecosystems

  18. Experimental effects of herbivore density on above-ground plant biomass in an alpine grassland ecosystem

    OpenAIRE

    Austrheim, Gunnar; Speed, James David Mervyn; Martinsen, Vegard; Mulder, Jan; Mysterud, Atle

    2014-01-01

    Herbivores may increase or decrease aboveground plant productivity depending on factors such as herbivore density and habitat productivity. The grazing optimization hypothesis predicts a peak in plant production at intermediate herbivore densities, but has rarely been tested experimentally in an alpine field setting. In an experimental design with three densities of sheep (high, low, and no sheep), we harvested aboveground plant biomass in alpine grasslands prior to treatment and after five y...

  19. Links between plant litter chemistry, species diversity, and below-ground ecosystem function

    OpenAIRE

    Meier, Courtney L.; Bowman, William D.

    2008-01-01

    Decomposition is a critical source of plant nutrients, and drives the largest flux of terrestrial C to the atmosphere. Decomposing soil organic matter typically contains litter from multiple plant species, yet we lack a mechanistic understanding of how species diversity influences decomposition processes. Here, we show that soil C and N cycling during decomposition are controlled by the composition and diversity of chemical compounds within plant litter mixtures, rather than by simple metrics...

  20. The biotest basin of the Forsmark nuclear power plant, Sweden. An experiment on the ecosystem level

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grimaas, U.

    1979-01-01

    Biotope models of various sizes and enclosed waters in connection with radionuclide release constitute important tools for radioecological experiments, representing an intermediate step between field and laboratory conditions. The biotest basin at Forsmark is especially constructed for investigations on the effects of radioactivity and heat on a brackish water ecosystem. The basin encloses a water area of 1km 2 in the outer archipelago of the region and is fed with cooling water and released radionuclides by a discharge tunnel. The quantities of the discharges into the basin are adjustable. The biotest experiment permits a quantification of the retention and transport of radionuclides at the various trophic levels. Of special value is the possibility to work with known populations of fish. The approach has the advantage of experimental ecology - the control of important parameters - under the impact of all environmental factors in a complete ecosystem. (author)

  1. Understanding the value of plant diversity for ecosystem functioning through niche theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Purves, Drew W.; Loreau, Michel

    2016-01-01

    Biodiversity experiments have generated robust empirical results supporting the hypothesis that ecosystems function better when they contain more species. Given that ecosystems provide services that are valued by humans, this inevitably suggests that the loss of species from natural ecosystems could diminish their value. This raises two important questions. First, will experimental results translate into the real world, where species are being lost at an alarming rate? And second, what are the benefits and pitfalls of such valuation exercises? We argue that the empirical results obtained in experiments are entirely consistent with well-established theories of species coexistence. We then examine the current body of work through the lens of niche theory and highlight where closer links with theory could open up opportunities for future research. We argue that niche theory predicts that diversity–functioning relationships are likely to be stronger (and require more species) in the field than in simplified experimental settings. However, we caution that while many of the biological processes that promote coexistence can also generate diversity–function relationships, there is no simple mapping between the two. This implies that valuation exercises need to proceed with care. PMID:27928043

  2. Accumulation and transfer of 137Cs and 90Sr in the plants of the forest ecosystem near the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lukšienė, B.; Marčiulionienė, D.; Gudelienė, I.; Schönhofer, F.

    2013-01-01

    The radioecological state of the forest ecosystem in the vicinity of the Ignalina Power Plant prior to decommissioning was analysed with specific emphasis on 137 Cs and 90 Sr activity concentrations in plant species growing in two reference sampling sites (Tilze and Grikiniskes). In the period of 1996–2008 the mean contamination of plants with 137 Cs was from 45 to 119 Bq/kg and with 90 Sr – from 3 to 42 Bq/kg. Measured 137 Cs TF values for soil-root transfer mainly ranged between 1.0–1.4, except for Calamagrostis arundinacea which had a TF value of 0.1. On average, the 137 Cs TF value from root to shoot was 1.7 fold higher than for soil to root transfer. 90 Sr TF values (soil-root) were in the range of 1.2–1.8 but for Calluna vulgaris it was 0.2. The mean root to shoot TF value for 90 Sr was 7.7 fold higher. These results indicate the higher 90 Sr bioavailability than that of 137 Cs in the forested area. The Grikiniskes reference site is located nearby the Ignalina NPP, specifically the heated water outlet channel, which results in altered microclimatic conditions. These specific microclimatic conditions result in relationships between 137 Cs TF (soil-root) values and pH, moisture and organic matter content in the soil at Grikiniskes which appear to be different to those at the Tilze reference sampling site. - Highlights: ► The state of the forest ecosystem prior to decommissioning of the NPP was analysed. ► Results indicate the higher 90 Sr bioavailability than that of 137 Cs. ► Contribution of 137 Cs of different origin in plants was calculated.

  3. The effect of mercury deposition to ecosystem around coal-power plants in Tan-An peninsular, S. Korea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Y.; Lee, J.; Song, K.; Shin, S.; Han, J.; Hong, E.; Jung, G.

    2009-12-01

    According to UNEP’s Report in 2008, Korea is one of the largest mercury emitting country with emission amount of 32 tones and the contribution of stationary coal combustion is estimated around 59%, as one of major mercury emission sources. There are growing needs of ecosystem mercury monitoring to evaluate the effectiveness on mercury emission controls by regulations. Thus, the aim of this study was to identify the useful monitoring indicators by comparing mercury levels of various environmental matrices in different ecosystems. Tae-an coal power plant, located on the west coastal of Korea is selected for study sites since it is one of the largest coal power plant in Korea with 4000 MW capacities. We chose 2 reservoirs near to Tae-an coal power plant and 2 others in An-myeon and Baeg-ryeong island for control study. Total gaseous mercury of ambient air was 3.6, 4.5 and 1.2 ng/m3 for Tae-an, An-myeon and Baeg-ryeong sites, respectively. From these results, we investigated and compared total mercury and methylmercury concentrations in surface water, soil, sediment, leaves and freshwater fish between reservoirs, which were known for the indicators of mercury atmospheric deposition. Estimates for the potential rates of methylation and activities of sulfur reducing bacteria were also made by injection radioactive isotopes of 203Hg and 35S. Potential methylation rate and acid volatile sulfide formation potential were dramatically changed by depth and maximum values were found in the top sediment section.

  4. Fate of 2,4-D herbicide in soil-plant ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Onal, G.

    1983-01-01

    Herbicide was applied to wheat, barley and oat plants grown under laboratory, greenhouse and field conditions and the fate of the herbicide was investigated using carbon 14 radioisotope. Results of the investigation indicate that (1) under laboratory condition degradation of the herbicide was faster in the soil, rich in organic matter and was not influenced by humidity; (2) the absorption of the herbicide by the plants was low under greenhouse conditions and (3) the uptake of the chemical by the plants grown in the field was higher in the presence of fertilizer (diammonium phosphate)

  5. Land degradation and halophytic plant diversity of milleyha wetland ecosystem (samandag-hatay), Turkey

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Altay, V.

    2012-01-01

    Investigations were undertaken during 2010-2011 to study effect of human induced land degradation on structure of some halophytic plant communities. Over all 183 taxa of vascular plant were recorded. Out of these 76 were of typical halophytes. The dominant plant taxa were; Phragmites australis, Halimione portulacoides and Bolboschoenus maritimus. The threatened categories of these taxa were identified from the Red Data Book of Turkey together with their distribution. The impact of degradation on the habitats due to land use for agriculture, organic and inorganic waste disposal and housing for tourisitc purposes were identified and conservation measures were outlined in this study. (author)

  6. Disruption of the terrestrial plant ecosystem at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, western interior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschudy, R.H.; Pillmore, C.L.; Orth, C.J.; Gilmore, J.S.; Knight, J.D.

    1984-01-01

    The palynologically defined Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary in the western interior of North America occurs at the top of an iridium-rich clay layer. The boundary is characterized by the abrupt disappearance of certain pollen species, immediately followed by a pronounced, geologically brief change in the ratio of fern spores to angiosperm pollen. The occurrence of these changes at two widely separated sites implies continentwide disruption of the terrestrial ecosystem, probably caused by a major catastrophic event at the end of the period.

  7. Annual monitoring reveals rapid upward movement of exotic plants in a montane ecosystem

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kalwij, Jesse; Robertson, M. P.; van Rensburg, B. J.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 17, č. 12 (2015), s. 3517-3529 ISSN 1387-3547 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : alpine alien plants * established range * Sani Pass Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.855, year: 2015

  8. Propagation and Establishment of Native Plants for Vegetative Restoration of Aquatic Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-01

    ERDC/EL TR-13-9 ii Abstract Aquatic plants are a vital, but often missing, component of shallow, freshwater systems. Manmade systems, such as... water quality problems; development of noxious algal blooms; and, often, susceptibility to invasion by harmful, non-native, aquatic weeds. If...emergent aquatic plants that we have successfully used in founder colony establishment in US water bodies. ............................................. 7

  9. Abundance of introduced species at home predicts abundance away in herbaceous communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firn, Jennifer; Moore, Joslin L.; MacDougall, Andrew S.; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Seabloom, Eric W.; HilleRisLambers, Janneke; Harpole, W. Stanley; Cleland, Elsa E.; Brown, Cynthia S.; Knops, Johannes M.H.; Prober, Suzanne M.; Pyke, David A.; Farrell, Kelly A.; Bakker, John D.; O'Halloran, Lydia R.; Adler, Peter B.; Collins, Scott L.; D'Antonio, Carla M.; Crawley, Michael J.; Wolkovich, Elizabeth M.; La Pierre, Kimberly J.; Melbourne, Brett A.; Hautier, Yann; Morgan, John W.; Leakey, Andrew D.B.; Kay, Adam; McCulley, Rebecca; Davies, Kendi F.; Stevens, Carly J.; Chu, Cheng-Jin; Holl, Karen D.; Klein, Julia A.; Fay, Phillip A.; Hagenah, Nicole; Kirkman, Kevin P.; Buckley, Yvonne M.

    2011-01-01

    Many ecosystems worldwide are dominated by introduced plant species, leading to loss of biodiversity and ecosystem function. A common but rarely tested assumption is that these plants are more abundant in introduced vs. native communities, because ecological or evolutionary-based shifts in populations underlie invasion success. Here, data for 26 herbaceous species at 39 sites, within eight countries, revealed that species abundances were similar at native (home) and introduced (away) sites - grass species were generally abundant home and away, while forbs were low in abundance, but more abundant at home. Sites with six or more of these species had similar community abundance hierarchies, suggesting that suites of introduced species are assembling similarly on different continents. Overall, we found that substantial changes to populations are not necessarily a pre-condition for invasion success and that increases in species abundance are unusual. Instead, abundance at home predicts abundance away, a potentially useful additional criterion for biosecurity programmes.

  10. A coupled carbon and plant hydraulic model to predict ecosystem carbon and water flux responses to disturbance and environmental change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackay, D. S.; Ewers, B. E.; Roberts, D. E.; McDowell, N. G.; Pendall, E.; Frank, J. M.; Reed, D. E.; Massman, W. J.; Mitra, B.

    2011-12-01

    Changing climate drivers including temperature, humidity, precipitation, and carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations directly control land surface exchanges of CO2 and water. In a profound way these responses are modulated by disturbances that are driven by or exacerbated by climate change. Predicting these changes is challenging given that the feedbacks between environmental controls, disturbances, and fluxes are complex. Flux data in areas of bark beetle outbreaks in the western U.S.A. show differential declines in carbon and water flux in response to the occlusion of xylem by associated fungi. For example, bark beetle infestation at the GLEES AmeriFlux site manifested in a decline in summer water use efficiency to 60% in the year after peak infestation compared to previous years, and no recovery of carbon uptake following a period of high vapor pressure deficit. This points to complex feedbacks between disturbance and differential ecosystem reaction and relaxation responses. Theory based on plant hydraulics and extending to include links to carbon storage and exhaustion has potential for explaining these dynamics with simple, yet rigorous models. In this spirit we developed a coupled model that combines an existing model of canopy water and carbon flow, TREES [e.g., Loranty et al., 2010], with the Sperry et al., [1998] plant hydraulic model. The new model simultaneously solves carbon uptake and losses along with plant hydraulics, and allows for testing specific hypotheses on feedbacks between xylem dysfunction, stomatal and non-stomatal controls on photosynthesis and carbon allocation, and autotrophic and heterotrophic respiration. These are constrained through gas exchange, root vulnerability to cavitation, sap flux, and eddy covariance data in a novel model complexity-testing framework. Our analysis focuses on an ecosystem gradient spanning sagebrush to subalpine forests. Our modeling results support hypotheses on feedbacks between hydraulic dysfunction and 1) non

  11. Both temperature fluctuations and East Asian monsoons have driven plant diversification in the karst ecosystems from southern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Hanghui; Condamine, Fabien L; Harris, A J; Chen, Junlin; Pan, Bo; Möller, Michael; Hoang, Van Sam; Kang, Ming

    2017-11-01

    Karst ecosystems in southern China are species-rich and have high levels of endemism, yet little is known regarding the evolutionary processes responsible for the origin and diversification of karst biodiversity. The genus Primulina (Gesneriaceae) comprises ca. 170 species endemic to southern China with high levels of ecological (edaphic) specialization, providing an exceptional model to study the plant diversification in karsts. We used molecular data from nine chloroplast and 11 nuclear regions and macroevolutionary analyses to assess the origin and cause of species diversification due to palaeoenvironmental changes and edaphic specialization in Primulina. We found that speciation was positively associated with changes in past temperatures and East Asian monsoons through the evolutionary history of Primulina. Climatic change around the mid-Miocene triggered an early burst followed by a slowdown of diversification rate towards the present with the climate cooling. We detected different speciation rates among edaphic types, and transitions among soil types were infrequently and did not impact the overall speciation rate. Our findings suggest that both global temperature changes and East Asian monsoons have played crucial roles in floristic diversification within the karst ecosystems in southern China, such that speciation was higher when climate was warmer and wetter. This is the first study to directly demonstrate that past monsoon activity is positively correlated with speciation rate in East Asia. This case study could motivate further investigations to assess the impacts of past environmental changes on the origin and diversification of biodiversity in global karst ecosystems, most of which are under threat. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Photochemically induced carbon dioxide production as a mechanism for carbon loss from plant litter in arid ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandt, L. A.; Bohnet, C.; King, J. Y.

    2009-06-01

    We investigated the potential for abiotic mineralization to carbon dioxide (CO2) via photodegradation to account for carbon (C) loss from plant litter under conditions typical of arid ecosystems. We exposed five species of grass and oak litter collected from arid and mesic sites to a factorial design of ultraviolet (UV) radiation (UV pass, UV block), and sterilization under dry conditions in the laboratory. UV pass treatments produced 10 times the amount of CO2 produced in UV block treatments. CO2 production rates were unaffected by litter chemistry or sterilization. We also exposed litter to natural solar radiation outdoors on clear, sunny days close to the summer solstice at midlatitudes and found that UV radiation (280-400 nm) accounted for 55% of photochemically induced CO2 production, while shortwave visible radiation (400-500 nm) accounted for 45% of CO2 production. Rates of photochemically induced CO2 production on a per-unit-mass basis decreased with litter density, indicating that rates depend on litter surface area. We found no evidence for leaching, methane production, or facilitation of microbial decomposition as alternative mechanisms for significant photochemically induced C loss from litter. We conclude that abiotic mineralization to CO2 is the primary mechanism by which C is lost from litter during photodegradation. We estimate that CO2 production via photodegradation could be between 1 and 4 g C m-2 a-1 in arid ecosystems in the southwestern United States. Taken together with low levels of litter production in arid systems, photochemical mineralization to CO2 could account for a significant proportion of annual carbon loss from litter in arid ecosystems.

  13. Response of photosynthetic carbon gain to ecosystem retrogression of vascular plants and mosses in the boreal forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bansal, Sheel; Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte; Wardle, David A

    2012-07-01

    In the long-term absence of rejuvenating disturbances, forest succession frequently proceeds from a maximal biomass phase to a retrogressive phase characterized by reduced nutrient availability [notably nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P)] and net primary productivity. Few studies have considered how retrogression induces changes in ecophysiological responses associated with photosynthetic carbon (C) gain, and only for trees. We tested the hypothesis that retrogression would negatively impact photosynthetic C gain of four contrasting species, and that this impact would be greater for vascular plants (i.e., trees and shrubs) than for non-vascular plants (i.e., mosses). We used a 5,000-year-old chronosequence of forested islands in Sweden, where retrogression occurs in the long-term absence of lightning-ignited wildfires. Despite fundamental differences in plant form and ecological niche among species, vascular plants and mosses showed similar ecophysiological responses to retrogression. The most common effects of retrogression were reductions in photosynthesis and respiration per unit foliar N, increases in foliar N, δ(13)C and δ(15)N, and decreases in specific leaf areas. In contrast, photosynthesis per unit mass or area generally did not change along the chronosequence, but did vary many-fold between vascular plants and mosses. The consistent increases in foliar N without corresponding increases in mass- or area-based photosynthesis suggest that other factor(s), such as P co-limitation, light conditions or water availability, may co-regulate C gain in retrogressive boreal forests. Against our predictions, traits of mosses associated with C and N were generally highly responsive to retrogression, which has implications for how mosses influence ecosystem processes in boreal forests.

  14. The Compatibility of Geothermal Power Plants with Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems: The Case of the Cesine Wetland (Southern Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giorgio De Giorgio

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The Cesine Wetland, located along the Adriatic coast, was recognized as a Wetland of International Interest and a National Natural Park. Managed by the “World Wide Fund for nature” (WWF, it is considered a groundwater dependent ecosystem which is affected by seawater intrusion. The site was selected to test the environmental compatibility of a low-enthalpy geothermal power plant (closed loop operating in the aquifer saturated portion with purpose to improving the visitor centre. For this purpose, the long-lasting thermal impact on groundwater was assessed using a multi-methodological approach. The complex aquifer system was carefully studied with geological, hydrogeological and geochemical surveys, including chemical and isotopic laboratory analyses of surface water, groundwater and seawater. The isotopes δ18O, δD, δ11B, and 3H were useful to clarify the recharge contribution, the water mixing and the water age. All information was used to improve the conceptualization of the water system, including aquifers and the boundary conditions for a density driven numerical groundwater model. The purpose was to forecast anthropogenic thermal groundwater variations up to 10 years of plant working before the plant realization and to validate the solution after some working years. All results show the environmental compatibility notwithstanding the peculiar ecological environment.

  15. Impact of global climate change on ecosystem-level interactions among sympatric plants from all three photosynthetic pathways. Terminal report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nobel, P.S.

    1997-12-17

    The proposed research will determine biochemical and physiological responses to variations in environmental factors for plants of all three photosynthetic pathways under competitive situations in the field. These responses will be used to predict the effects of global climatic change on an ecosystem in the northwestern Sonoran Desert where the C{sub 3} subshrub Encelia farinosa, the C{sub 4} bunchgrass Hilaria rigida, and the CAM succulent Agave deserti are co-dominants. These perennials are relatively short with overlapping shallow roots facilitating the experimental measurements as well as leading to competition for soil water. Net CO{sub 2} uptake over 24-h periods measured in the laboratory will be analyzed using an environmental productivity index (EPI) that can incorporate simultaneous effects of soil water, air temperature, and light. Based on EPI, net CO{sub 2} uptake and hence plant productivity will be predicted for the three species in the field under various treatments. Activity of the two CO{sub 2} fixation enzymes, Rubisco and PEPCase, will be determined for these various environmental conditions; also, partitioning of carbon to various organs will be measured based on {sup 14}CO{sub 2} labeling and dry weight analysis. Thus, enzymatic and partitioning controls on competition among sympatric model plants representing all three photosynthetic pathways will be investigated.

  16. Migration of 90Sr in the cooling basin of the Ignalina atomic power plant and the Baltic sea ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dushauskiene-Duzh, R.

    1992-01-01

    On the basis of a long-time radiation monitoring of the Ignalina APP and the Baltic sea ecosystems determined regularities of the 90 Sr distribution in the main components of the ecosystems (water, bottom sediments, biota). It was established that 90 Sr accumulation coefficient in the aquatic plants of the warmed up water zone of the Ignalina APP is 2.6 lower than that of the stable water suction zone. The accumulation of 90 Sr in molluscs is higher in the warmed up water zone than in the stable water zone. It was determined that the mean concentration of 90 Sr in surface water of near-shore areas of the Baltic sea are higher than that in the open Baltic. Concentration of the 90 Sr in the biota in the Baltic sea is about 300-500 times higher than in the water. The accumulation level of 90 Sr in zoobenthos varies in different species being in organs and tissues of fishes consuming actively calcium for building up their skeletons. 90 Sr levels in bottom sediments of bays are higher than those in sediments of the open sea. Accumulation of 90 Sr in muds is about 11 times higher than in sands. (author). 5 figs., 3 refs

  17. Ecosystem-Based Incorporation of Nectar-Producing Plants for Stink Bug Parasitoids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Glynn Tillman

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Adult parasitoids of pest insects rely on floral resources for survival and reproduction, but can be food-deprived in intensively managed agricultural systems lacking these resources. Stink bugs are serious pests for crops in southwest Georgia. Provisioning nectar-producing plants for parasitoids of stink bugs potentially can enhance biocontrol of these pests. Knowledge of spatial and temporal availability and distribution of stink bugs in host plants is necessary for appropriate timing and placement of flowering plants in agroecosystems. Stink bugs move between closely associated host plants throughout the growing season in response to deteriorating suitability of their host plants. In peanut-cotton farmscapes, stink bugs develop in peanut, and subsequently the adults disperse into adjacent cotton. Parasitism of Nezara viridula (L. adults by Trichopoda pennipes (F. at the peanut-cotton interface was significantly higher in cotton with a strip of milkweed or buckwheat between the two crops than in cotton alone. Milkweed and buckwheat also provided nectar to a wide range of insect pollinators. Monarch butterflies fed on milkweed. When placed between peanut and cotton, a strip of soybean was an effective trap crop for cotton, reducing economic damage. Incorporation of buckwheat near soybean enhanced parasitism of Euschistus servus (Say eggs by Telenomus podisi Ashmead in cotton. In conclusion, nectar provision enhances biocontrol of stink bugs, acts together with other management tactics for stink bug control, and aids in conservation of natural enemies, insect pollinators, and the monarch butterfly.

  18. Interpreting Carbon Fluxes from a Spatially Heterogeneous Peatland with Thawing Permafrost: Scaling from Plant Community Scale to Ecosystem Scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harder, S. R.; Roulet, N. T.; Strachan, I. B.; Crill, P. M.; Persson, A.; Pelletier, L.; Watt, C.

    2014-12-01

    Various microforms, created by spatial differential thawing of permafrost, make up the subarctic heterogeneous Stordalen peatland complex (68°22'N, 19°03'E), near Abisko, Sweden. This results in significantly different peatland vegetation communities across short distances, as well as differences in wetness, temperature and peat substrates. We have been measuring the spatially integrated CO2, heat and water vapour fluxes from this peatland complex using eddy covariance and the CO2 exchange from specific plant communities within the EC tower footprint since spring 2008. With this data we are examining if it is possible to derive the spatially integrated ecosystem-wide fluxes from community-level simple light use efficiency (LUE) and ecosystem respiration (ER) models. These models have been developed using several years of continuous autochamber flux measurements for the three major plant functional types (PFTs) as well as knowledge of the spatial variability of the vegetation, water table and active layer depths. LIDAR was used to produce a 1 m resolution digital evaluation model of the complex and the spatial distribution of PFTs was obtained from concurrent high-resolution digital colour air photography trained from vegetation surveys. Continuous water table depths have been measured for four years at over 40 locations in the complex, and peat temperatures and active layer depths are surveyed every 10 days at more than 100 locations. The EC footprint is calculated for every half-hour and the PFT based models are run with the corresponding environmental variables weighted for the PFTs within the EC footprint. Our results show that the Sphagnum, palsa, and sedge PFTs have distinctly different LUE models, and that the tower fluxes are dominated by a blend of the Sphagnum and palsa PFTs. We also see a distinctly different energy partitioning between the fetches containing intact palsa and those with thawed palsa: the evaporative efficiency is higher and the Bowen

  19. Morphological and physiological features of the species Asimina triloba (L. dunal, introduced as an ornamental plant in Baia Mare (Maramureş county, Romania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beatrice SZILAGYI

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Tree species Asimina triloba (L. Dunal, is native to North America. In the area of origin is cultivated, both as food species because the edible fruit, and as ornamental species. Ornamental value derives both from decorative flowers, that open in early spring, and because habitus species. The species is demanding from slightly acidic soils (pH 5.5 to 7.0 and well drained. Seedlings are susceptible to heatstroke and need areas of the sun, but since the second year, vegetate well in bright light conditions [27]. Optimum climate is temperate to subtropical one. The species exhibits unique quality traits for a temperate fruit that are similar to other fruit in the Annonaceae family, including cherimoya (Annona cherimola Mill., sugar apple or sweetsop, (A. squamosa L., soursop (A. muricata L., custard apple (A. reticulata L., and atemoya (A. squamosa X A. cherimola, all of which are tropical [2].This study follows the behavior of the species, in particular conditions of the Baia Mare and its surroundings. In this area a fewindividuals were introduced, in order to diversigy the range of species of ornamental plants. In Baia Mare, topoclimate is specifically depression, sheltered by mountains, more atenuated as temperature and winds, than in surrounding areas. As a result ofclimatic conditions, chestnut Castanea sativa, grows in good conditions in Baia Mare. Instead, the area is heavily polluted,especially at ground level. Pollution by heavy metals is a historical being generated by the mining industry.The introduction and use of a new plant species into a new area involves: 1. easy to obtain seed; 2.- maintaining the crown shape habitus and and leaf shape and size, respectively; 3 – determination of optimal physiological parameters. Therefore have been performed, the following experimental determinations: 1. - germination of seed obtained in the particular conditions of the Baia Mare; 2. - some morphomtric characteristics of leaves, in the juveniles

  20. Climate Change Effects to Plant Ecosystems - Genetic Resources for Future Barley Breeding

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ingvordsen, Cathrine Heinz

    were identified for possible use in breeding of climate resilient cultivars and SNP-markers that link to traits favourable in changed environments. Basic knowledge of plant response to multifactor climate treatments has been added as well as data on numerous genotypes modeling the impact of climate...

  1. Woody plants in agro-ecosystems of semi-arid regions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Breman, H.; Kessler, J.J.

    1995-01-01

    A quantitative analysis of the role of woody plants in semi-arid regions, focusing on the Sahel and Sudan zones in West-Africa, is given for the assessment of their benefits in agro-sylvopastoral land-use systems with productive and sustainability objectives.

  2. Ecosystem-based incorporation of nectar-producing plants for stink bug parasitoids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adult parasitoids of pest insects rely on floral resources for survival and reproduction but can be food-deprived in intensively managed agricultural systems lacking these resources. Stink bugs are serious pests of crops in southwest Georgia. Provisioning nectar-producing plants for parasitoids of s...

  3. Invasive alien plants in the terrestrial ecosystems of Natal, South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Macdonald, IAW

    1985-01-01

    Full Text Available This report consists of two types of chapters. Most of the chapters are short syntheses of particular aspects of the alien plant problem in Natal, written by groups of participants during the workshop meeting. They are brief accounts of the state...

  4. Climate change as an ecosystem architect: implications to rare plant ecology, conservation, and restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Constance I. Millar

    2003-01-01

    Recent advances in earth system sciences have revealed significant new information relevant to rare plant ecology and conservation. Analysis of climate change at high resolution with new and precise proxies of paleotemperatures reveals a picture over the past two million years of oscillatory climate change operating simultaneously at multiple timescales. Low-frequency...

  5. Preliminary assessment of the impacts of invasive alien plants on ecosystem services in South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Van Wilgen, BW

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available and invasive alien plant infestations, and to use the two to estimate impacts on each of the services. In this paper our focus is on water resources only. We describe our approach for selecting species and areas in order to estimate current and future potential...

  6. Potential for biotic resistance from herbivores to tropical and subtropical plant invasions in aquatic ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Petruzella, A.; Grutters, B.M.C.; Thomaz, S.M.; Bakker, E.S.

    2017-01-01

    Invasions of tropical and subtropical aquatic plants threaten biodiversity and cause ecological and economic impacts worldwide. An urgent question is whether native herbivores are able to inhibit the spread of these alien species thus providing biotic resistance. The potential for biotic resistance

  7. Plant and animal species composition and heavy metal content in fly ash ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brieger, G.; Wells, J.R.; Hunter, R.D.

    1992-01-01

    Plant and animal species present on a coal fly ash slurry pond site and a dry deposit site were surveyed and sampled during a two-day period in October. Elemental analyses were determined for most of the species encountered. A total of 48 plant species were observed on the two sites, with 35 species on the wet site, and 20 on the dry site. Eighteen terrestrial and 7 aquatic animal species were found on the wet site, exclusive of vertebrates which were not studied with the exception of a carp (Cyprinus carpio). Eleven terrestrial invertebrate and one aquatic species were observed on the dry site. Neutron activation analysis was carried out for: Se, Hg, Cr, Ni, Zn, Co, Sb, Cd, and As. Using literature values for phytotoxicity, it is concluded that, in general, plants did not accumulate toxic levels of metals. Only one plant (Impatiens biflora Willd.) showed a significant level of Cd. Of 20 plants analyzed on the wet site, 10 had excessive Se concentrations (>5 ppm); on the dry site 6 out of 18 had high Se values. In animals (Gryllus sp.; Melanoplus sp.; Trachelipus sp; Lumbricus terrestris; Physa integra; Cyprinus carpio) the trace metal concentration was generally in between that of control animals and that of the fly ash itself. One exception included Zn, which, although the most variable element examined, was concentrated in all the terrestrial animals to levels higher than in fly ash. Crickets are the most consistent bioconcentrators with Cr, Se, and Zn at higher levels than for control animals. All animals species studied accumulated Se compared to controls. 48 refs., 6 tabs

  8. Nutrient dynamics and plant assemblages of Macrotermes falciger mounds in a savanna ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muvengwi, Justice; Ndagurwa, Hilton G. T.; Nyenda, Tatenda; Mbiba, Monicah

    2016-10-01

    Termites through mound construction and foraging activities contribute significantly to carbon and nutrient fluxes in nutrient-poor savannas. Despite this recognition, studies on the influence of termite mounds on carbon and nitrogen dynamics in sub-tropical savannas are limited. In this regard, we examined soil nutrient concentrations, organic carbon and nitrogen mineralization in incubation experiments in mounds of Macrotermes falciger and surrounding soils of sub-tropical savanna, northeast Zimbabwe. We also addressed whether termite mounds altered the plant community and if effects were similar across functional groups i.e. grasses, forbs or woody plants. Mound soils had significantly higher silt and clay content, pH and concentrations of calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), potassium (K), organic carbon (C), ammonium (NH4+) and nitrate (NO3-) than surrounding soils, with marginal differences in phosphorus (P) and sodium (Na) between mounds and matrix soils. Nutrient enrichment increased by a factor ranging from 1.5 for C, 4.9 for Mg up to 10.3 for Ca. Although C mineralization, nitrification and nitrification fraction were similar between mounds and matrix soils, nitrogen mineralization was elevated on mounds relative to surrounding matrix soils. As a result, termite mounds supported unique plant communities rich and abundant in woody species but less diverse in grasses and forbs than the surrounding savanna matrix in response to mound-induced shifts in soil parameters specifically increased clay content, drainage and water availability, nutrient status and base cation (mainly Ca, Mg and Na) concentration. In conclusion, by altering soil properties such as texture, moisture content and nutrient status, termite mounds can alter the structure and composition of sub-tropical savanna plant communities, and these results are consistent with findings in other savanna systems suggesting that increase in soil clay content, nutrient status and associated changes in the plant

  9. A biome-scale assessment of the impact of invasive alien plants on ecosystem services in South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Wilgen, B W; Reyers, B; Le Maitre, D C; Richardson, D M; Schonegevel, L

    2008-12-01

    This paper reports an assessment of the current and potential impacts of invasive alien plants on selected ecosystem services in South Africa. We used data on the current and potential future distribution of 56 invasive alien plant species to estimate their impact on four services (surface water runoff, groundwater recharge, livestock production and biodiversity) in five terrestrial biomes. The estimated reductions in surface water runoff as a result of current invasions were >3000 million m(3) (about 7% of the national total), most of which is from the fynbos (shrubland) and grassland biomes; the potential reductions would be more than eight times greater if invasive alien plants were to occupy the full extent of their potential range. Impacts on groundwater recharge would be less severe, potentially amounting to approximately 1.5% of the estimated maximum reductions in surface water runoff. Reductions in grazing capacity as a result of current levels of invasion amounted to just over 1% of the potential number of livestock that could be supported. However, future impacts could increase to 71%. A 'biodiversity intactness index' (the remaining proportion of pre-modern populations) ranged from 89% to 71% for the five biomes. With the exception of the fynbos biome, current invasions have almost no impact on biodiversity intactness. Under future levels of invasion, however, these intactness values decrease to around 30% for the savanna, fynbos and grassland biomes, but to even lower values (13% and 4%) for the two karoo biomes. Thus, while the current impacts of invasive alien plants are relatively low (with the exception of those on surface water runoff), the future impacts could be very high. While the errors in these estimates are likely to be substantial, the predicted impacts are sufficiently large to suggest that there is serious cause for concern.

  10. Nitrogen cycling in a flooded-soil ecosystem planted to rice (Oryza sativa L.)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reddy, K.R.

    1982-01-01

    15 N studies of various aspects of the nitrogen cycle in a flooded rice ecosystem on Crowley silt loam soil in Louisiana were reviewed to construct a mass balance model of the nitrogen cycle for this system. Nitrogen transformations modeled included 1) net ammonification (0.22 mg NH 4+ -N kg dry soil - 1 day - 1 ). 2) net nitrification (207 mg NO 3- -N kg dry soil - 1 day - 1 ). 3) denitrification (0.37 mg N kg dry soil - 1 day - 1 ), and 4) biological N 2 fixation (0.16 mg N kg dry soil - 1 day - 1 ). Nitrogen inputs included 1) application of fertilizers, 2) incorporation of crop residues, 3) biological N 2 fixation, and 4) deposition. Nitrogen outputs included 1) crop removal, 2) gaseous losses from NH 3 volatilization and simultaneous occurrence of nitrification-denitrification, and 3) leaching and runoff. Mass balance calculations indicated that 33% of the available inorganic nitrogen was recovered by rice, and the remaining nitrogen was lost from the system. Losses of N due to ammonia volatilization were minimal because fertilizer-N was incorporated into the soil. A significant portion of inorganic-N was lost by ammonium diffusion from the anaerobic layer to the aerobic layer in response to a concentration gradient and subsequent nitrification in the aerobic layer followed by nitrate diffusion into the anaerobic layer and denitrification into gaseous end products. Leaching and surface runoff losses were minimal. (orig.)

  11. Economic assessment of the contribution of biological control to the management of invasive alien plants and to the protection of ecosystem services in South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    De Lange, Willem J

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available This study is a first attempt at a holistic economic evaluation of South African endeavours to manage invasive alien plants using biological control. The author’s focus was on the delivery of ecosystem services from habitats that are invaded...

  12. Assessing health in agriculture--towards a common research framework for soils, plants, animals, humans and ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieweger, Anja; Döring, Thomas F

    2015-02-01

    In agriculture and food systems, health-related research includes a vast diversity of topics. Nutritional, toxicological, pharmacological, epidemiological, behavioural, sociological, economic and political methods are used to study health in the five domains of soils, plants, livestock, humans and ecosystems. An idea developed in the early founding days of organic agriculture stated that the health of all domains is one and indivisible. Here we show that recent research reveals the existence and complex nature of such health links among domains. However, studies of health aspects in agriculture are often separated by disciplinary boundaries. This restrains the understanding of health in agricultural systems. Therefore we explore the opportunities and limitations of bringing perspectives together from the different domains. We review current approaches to define and assess health in agricultural contexts, comparing the state of the art of commonly used approaches and bringing together the presently disconnected debates in soil science, plant science, veterinary science and human medicine. Based on a qualitative literature analysis, we suggest that many health criteria fall into two paradigms: (1) the Growth Paradigm, where terms are primarily oriented towards continued growth; (2) the Boundary Paradigm, where terms focus on maintaining or coming back to a status quo, recognising system boundaries. Scientific health assessments in agricultural and food systems need to be explicit in terms of their position on the continuum between Growth Paradigm and Boundary Paradigm. Finally, we identify areas and concepts for a future direction of health assessment and research in agricultural and food systems. © 2014 Society of Chemical Industry.

  13. Soil-to-plant transfer of 137Cs and 40K in an Atlantic blanket bog ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moran-Hunter, C.; O'Dea, J.

    2008-01-01

    The transfer of 137 Cs and 40 K from soil to vegetation was studied in an Atlantic blanket bog ecosystem along the Atlantic coast of Ireland where the dominant vegetation is a mixture of Calluna vulgaris, Eriophorum vaginatum and Sphagnum mosses. The impact of soil chemistry and nutritional status of vegetation on the uptake of both radionuclides was also examined. Cesium-137 transfer factors values ranged from 1.9 to 9.6 and accumulation of 137 Cs was higher in the leaves of C. vulgaris than in the stems. Transfer factors values for 137 Cs in both C. vulgaris and E. vaginatum were similar indicating that for the vegetation studied, uptake is not dependent on plant species. The uptake of 137 Cs in bog vegetation was found to be positively correlated with the nutrient status of vegetation, in particular the secondary nutrients, calcium and magnesium. Potassium-40 transfer factors ranged from 0.9 to 13.8 and uptake was higher in E. vaginatum than in C. vulgaris, however, unlike 137 Cs, the concentrations of 40 K within the leaves and stems of C. vulgaris were similar. The concentration of both 137 Cs and 40 K found in moss samples were in general lower than those found in vascular plants. (author)

  14. Functional traits drive plant community and ecosystem response to global change across arctic and alpine environments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chisholm, Chelsea Lee

    hierarchical Bayesian modelling. Here I found that competition is generally stronger in warmer climates, and that functional traits do not consistently predict growth across climate space. I also demonstrated that the inclusion of functional trait information as stabilizing niche differences in competition...... delayed in ice-rich areas. Finally, colleagues and I used an observational approach to assess changes in nutrient dynamics across replicated treeline transects in temperate regions around the globe, where we found consistent temperature-mediated changes in both ground-layer plant and soil nutrients across...

  15. Increased transpiration and plant water stress in a black spruce bog exposed to whole ecosystem warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, J.; Ward, E. J.; Wullschleger, S. D.; Hanson, P. J.

    2017-12-01

    The Spruce and Peatland Responses under Changing Environments (SPRUCE) experiment (http://mnspruce.ornl.gov/) in Northern Minnesota, USA, has exposed 12.8 m diameter plots of an ombrotrophic Picea mariana-Ericaceous shrub bog to whole ecosystem warming (0, +2.25, +4.5, +6.75, +9 °C) since August 2015, and elevated CO2 treatments (ambient or +500 ppm) since June 2016. The mixed-age stand has trees up to 40 year old, and a 5-8 m tall canopy. Thermal dissipation sap flow probes were installed into dominant Picea mariana and Larix laricina trees in each of the 10 open-top chambers in fall 2015. This talk will focus on the first two years of sap flux data from the 10 treatment plots and the relationships with seasonal growth and prevailing environmental conditions. Sap flow was scaled to whole tree and plot level transpiration based on prior in situ calibrations using cut trees, establishment of a sapwood depth: tree diameter relationship, and the tree size distribution within each plot. We also assessed water potential in the trees and two dominant shrubs at the site: Rhododendron groenlandicum and Chamaedaphne calyculata. The warming treatments increased the growing season by up to 6 weeks, with sapflow beginning earlier in spring and lasting later into the fall. The deciduous Larix was the only species exhibiting substantial predawn water stress under the treatments, where water potentials reached -2.5 MPa for the warmest plots. The elevated CO2 reduced midday water stress in the Rhododendron, but not the Chamaedaphne, which could lead to shifts in shrub species composition.

  16. Guidelines for whitebark pine planting prescriptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glenda L. Scott; Ward W. McCaughey; Kay Izlar

    2011-01-01

    Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) is a keystone species in high-elevation ecosystems of the western United States. Unfortunately many fragile subalpine ecosystems are losing whitebark pine as a functional community component due to the combined effects of an introduced disease, insects and succession. Planting whitebark pine is one part of a multifaceted restoration...

  17. Introducing of chrome less protection technology for hot dip galvanized and plasticised sheet in cold mill A.D. plant mill in Skopje

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Panovska, Liljana; Arsovski, Angel; Sekuloski, Predrag

    2003-01-01

    From the experiences of many well known companies, but also having in mind the legislative of the European Union about the direction which will take in the future and using our own experiences we have come to a conclusion that the process of substitution compounds in which the chromium is found in a shape of its hexavalent ion, as an imperative, as for better environmental protection, so far accomplishing economic effects, and improvement of the products. In other words, we have in plan to make changes in the existing technology for passivation of the galvanized coils and the preparation of the pre-painted coils before the process of applying primer, by ejecting chromate compounds in which chromium is hexavalent and its substitution with non-harmful compounds. Also we predict substitution of the standard chromate primer with universal chromate-free primer. There are planned laboratory experiments in some of the institutes of the companies, which manufacture chemical products of this type (Henkel, BASF, Akzo Nobel and others) as well as semi-industrial and industrial trials at our plant. In the frame of this project the focus will be in a direction of inventing pigments that do not contain strontium chromate that will provide best correlative characteristics in a function of the quality of the pre-painted product. Introducing a green label on the products will mean direct ecological influences (no need of an expensive procedures for reduction and refining) on the environment. Putting out of use the means, which contain hexavalent chromium gives benefits in the possibility of finding sophisticated buyers (manufactures of house-holding products and their decoration) as well as more aggressive marketing appearance on the West European market. (Original)

  18. Organic tritium in freshwater ecosystems: long-term trends in the environment of French nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gontier, G.; Siclet, F.

    2011-01-01

    From 1977 to 2009, more than 600 measurements of organic tritium were performed on fish, aquatic plants and sediments upstream and downstream of the 15 French NPP located along rivers. Examination of the results shows that organic tritium activities have exponentially decreased over the last thirty years, in all components of aquatic ecosystems. Upstream of all NPP, OBT levels in sediments are higher than in plants and fish, themselves larger than HTO in surface water. The magnitude of these differences and the long-term trends depend on the river basin and can be explained by the varying nature of tritium sources. In river catchment, where atmospheric test fallout is the main source of tritium, the observed levels result from the exposure of aquatic organisms to two distinct tritium pools of different ages: atmospheric tritiated water (representing present fallout), and organic tritium from soils (formed over several decades) which supplies particulate matter to surface waters. In the Rhone and Rhine river basins, an additional source of organic tritium of very low bio-availability, probably originating from the luminescent paint industry, is responsible for the spiking of sediment organic matter up to 100 to 100 000 Bq.L -1 combustion water. The comparison of upstream and downstream NPP tritium levels shows that the influence of tritium discharges is detectable only in rivers, with low background OBT activities, i.e in basins other than the Rhone and Rhine. The observed increase in plant and fish OBT is lower than the added HTO activity in water due to discharge, which supports the absence of bioaccumulation for tritium originating from HTO and the absence of highly bio-available tritiated organic molecules in NPP discharges. (authors)

  19. Enhancing legume ecosystem services through an understanding of plant-pollinator interplay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Jose eSuso

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Legumes are bee-pollinated, but to a different extent. The importance of the plant-pollinator interplay (PPI, in flowering crops such as legumes lies in a combination of the importance of pollination for the production service and breeding strategies, plus the increasing urgency in mitigating the decline of pollinators through the development and implementation of conservation measures. To realize the full potential of the PPI, a multidisciplinary approach is required. This article assembles an international team of genebank managers, geneticists, plant breeders, experts on environmental governance and agro-ecology, and comprises several sections. The contributions in these sections outline both the state of the art of knowledge in the field and the novel aspects under development, and encompass a range of reviews, opinions and perspectives. The first three sections explore the role of PPI in legume breeding strategies. PPI based approaches to crop improvement can make it possible to adapt and re-design breeding strategies to meet both goals of: 1 optimal productivity, based on an efficient use of pollinators, and 2 biodiversity conservation. The next section deals with entomological aspects and focuses on the protection of the pest control service and pollinators in legume crops. The final section addresses general approaches to encourage the synergy between food production and pollination services at farmer field level. Two basic approaches are proposed: a Farming with Alternative Pollinators (FAP and b Crop Design System (CDS.

  20. Plant functional traits of dominant native and invasive species in mediterranean-climate ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funk, Jennifer L; Standish, Rachel J; Stock, William D; Valladares, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    The idea that dominant invasive plant species outperform neighboring native species through higher rates of carbon assimilation and growth is supported by several analyses of global data sets. However, theory suggests that native and invasive species occurring in low-resource environments will be functionally similar, as environmental factors restrict the range of observed physiological and morphological trait values. We measured resource-use traits in native and invasive plant species across eight diverse vegetation communities distributed throughout the five mediterranean-climate regions, which are drought prone and increasingly threatened by human activities, including the introduction of exotic species. Traits differed strongly across the five regions. In regions with functional differences between native and invasive species groups, invasive species displayed traits consistent with high resource acquisition; however, these patterns were largely attributable to differences in life form. We found that species invading mediterranean-climate regions were more likely to be annual than perennial: three of the five regions were dominated by native woody species and invasive annuals. These results suggest that trait differences between native and invasive species are context dependent and will vary across vegetation communities. Native and invasive species within annual and perennial groups had similar patterns of carbon assimilation and resource use, which contradicts the widespread idea that invasive species optimize resource acquisition rather than resource conservation. .

  1. A whole plant approach to evaluate the water use of mediterranean maquis species in a coastal dune ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mereu, S.; Salvatori, E.; Fusaro, L.; Gerosa, G.; Muys, B.; Manes, F.

    2009-02-01

    An integrated approach has been used to analyse the water relations of three Mediterranean species, A. unedo L., Q. ilex L. and P. latifolia L. co-occurring in a coastal dune ecosystem. The approach considered leaf level gas exchange, sap flow measurements and structural adaptations between 15 May and 31 July 2007, and was necessary to capture the different response of the three species to the same environment. The complexity of the response was proportional to the complexity of the system, characterized by a sandy soil with a low water retention capacity and the presence of a water table. The latter did not completely prevent the development of a drought response, and species differences in this responses have been partially attributed to a different root distribution. Sap flow of A. unedo decreased rapidly in response to the decline of Soil Water Content, while that of Q. ilex decreased only moderately. Midday leaf water potential of P. latifolia and A. unedo was between 2.2 and 2.7 MPa through the measuring period, while in Q. ilex it reached a value of 3.4 MPa at the end of the season. A. unedo was the only species to decrease the leaf area to sapwood area ratio from 23.9±1.2 (May) to 15.2±1.5 (July), as a response to drought. A. unedo also underwent an almost stepwise loss on hydraulic conductivity, such a loss didn't occur for Q. ilex, while P. latifolia was able to slightly increase hydraulic conductivity, showing how different plant compartments coordinate differently between species as a response to drought. Such different coordination affects the gas exchange between vegetation and the atmosphere, and has implications for the response of the Mediterranean coastal dune ecosystems to climate change.

  2. Modeling invasive alien plant species in river systems: Interaction with native ecosystem engineers and effects on hydro-morphodynamic processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Oorschot, M.; Kleinhans, M. G.; Geerling, G. W.; Egger, G.; Leuven, R. S. E. W.; Middelkoop, H.

    2017-08-01

    Invasive alien plant species negatively impact native plant communities by out-competing species or changing abiotic and biotic conditions in their introduced range. River systems are especially vulnerable to biological invasions, because waterways can function as invasion corridors. Understanding interactions of invasive and native species and their combined effects on river dynamics is essential for developing cost-effective management strategies. However, numerical models for simulating long-term effects of these processes are lacking. This paper investigates how an invasive alien plant species affects native riparian vegetation and hydro-morphodynamics. A morphodynamic model has been coupled to a dynamic vegetation model that predicts establishment, growth and mortality of riparian trees. We introduced an invasive alien species with life-history traits based on Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica), and investigated effects of low- and high propagule pressure on invasion speed, native vegetation and hydro-morphodynamic processes. Results show that high propagule pressure leads to a decline in native species cover due to competition and the creation of unfavorable native colonization sites. With low propagule pressure the invader facilitates native seedling survival by creating favorable hydro-morphodynamic conditions at colonization sites. With high invader abundance, water levels are raised and sediment transport is reduced during the growing season. In winter, when the above-ground invader biomass is gone, results are reversed and the floodplain is more prone to erosion. Invasion effects thus depend on seasonal above- and below ground dynamic vegetation properties and persistence of the invader, on the characteristics of native species it replaces, and the combined interactions with hydro-morphodynamics.

  3. Consequences of cool-season drought induced plant mortality to Chihuahuan Desert grassland ecosystem and soil respiration dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Global climate change is predicted to increase the severity and frequency of cool-season drought across the arid Southwest US. We quantified net ecosystem carbon dioxide exchange (NEE), ecosystem respiration (Reco), and gross ecosystem photosynthesis (GEP) in response to interannual seasonal precip...

  4. Environmental risk assessment for plant pests: a procedure to evaluate their impacts on ecosystem services

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gilioli, G.; Schrader, G.; Baker, R.H.A.

    2014-01-01

    and temporal resolution is then used to explore how an IAS, as an exogenous driving force, may trigger modifications in the target environment. The method presented here provides a standardized approach to generate comparable and reproducible results for environmental risk assessment as a component of Pest...... Risk Analysis. The method enables the assessment of overall environmental risk which integrates the impacts on different components of the environment and their probabilities of occurrence. The application of the proposed scheme is illustrated by evaluating the environmental impacts of the invasive......The current methods to assess the environmental impacts of plant pests differ in their approaches and there is a lack of the standardized procedures necessary to provide accurate and consistent results, demonstrating the complexity of developing a commonly accepted scheme for this purpose...

  5. Transfer of radionuclides to plants of natural ecosystems at the Semipalatinsk Test Site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larionova, N V; Lukashenko, S N; Kabdyrakova, A M; Kunduzbayeva, A Ye; Panitskiy, A V; Ivanova, A R

    2018-06-01

    A systematic study devoted to 137 Cs, 90 Sr, 241 Am, 239+240 Pu radionuclides in vegetation cover from several spots of the Semipalatinsk test site (STS) is summarised in this paper, highlighting the main findings obtained. The analysed spots are characterized by various types of radioactive contamination. Transfer factors (Tf) required for the quantitative description of the radionuclides transition from the soil to aboveground plant parts were determined, being found that, on average, the minimum Tf for all the radionuclides concerned were determined on the "Experimental Field" ground, followed by the determined ones in the "plumes" of radioactive fallout and in the conditionally "background" territories analysed. The highest transfer factors were characteristic of zones of radioactive streamflows and places of warfare radioactive agent (WRA) tests. On the other hand, ordering the radionuclide transferring factors in descending order, the following sequence was obtained: 90 Sr Tf > Cs Tf >  239+240 Pu Tf >  241 Am Tf, with the 90 Sr Tf, on the average, exceeding the 137 Cs Tf by 8 times and exceeding the 239+240 Pu Tf by up 16 times. 239+240 Pu Tf values were up to 3 times higher than the 241 Am Tf. The exception to the indicated radionuclide Tf descending order corresponded to places of WRA tests where Tf of radionuclides of interest by plants follows the sequence 90 Sr >  239+240 Pu >  137 Cs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Soil-plant transfer of radiocaesium in slightly contaminated forest ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lamarque, S.; Lucot, E.; Badot, P.M.

    2004-01-01

    During Chernobyl's accident, large areas of Western European countries, particularly forests, were contaminated with radiocaesium fallouts. Soil-plant transfer is often the first step by which 137 Cs enters the food chains and flows through the biogeochemical cycle. The present work is devoted to document the soil-plant transfer of radiocaesium in slightly contaminated forest areas. Twelve sites, representative of the various functional features and great diversity of ecological contexts of Franche-Comte region (France), were selected to sample soils and forest trees: three species (Picea abies, Fagus sylvatica, Corylus avellana) and two organs (leaves or needles and young branches) were measured. Radiocaesium activities in soils have been observed to vary in range of 61 to 280 Bq.kg -1 DW at 0-5 cm depth (8500 to 14280 Bq.m -2 ). A great correlation exists between organic carbon content and soil total radiocaesium concentration (r 2 = 0,60). The studied soils have large organic carbon contents (2,7 to 28%) and large water pH values (3,1 to 6,1). Radiocaesium activities in leaves, needles and branches varied in range of 0 to 128 Bq.kg -1 DW, 0 to 163 Bq.kg -1 DW and 0 to 180 Bq.kg -1 DW respectively. We reported a large variability of Transfer Factors, TFs (0.02 to 0.58) with respect to vegetation type, organ type and soil features. The activity concentration in the leaves and needles were generally found to be greater than those measured in the branches. No correlation was found between soil radiocaesium activity and vegetation radiocaesium activity. TFs values could be related to variations in the radiocaesium bioavailability function of the soil features. (author)

  7. Accumulation and transfer of 137Cs and 90Sr in the plants of the forest ecosystem near the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukšienė, B; Marčiulionienė, D; Gudelienė, I; Schönhofer, F

    2013-02-01

    The radioecological state of the forest ecosystem in the vicinity of the Ignalina Power Plant prior to decommissioning was analysed with specific emphasis on (137)Cs and (90)Sr activity concentrations in plant species growing in two reference sampling sites (Tilze and Grikiniskes). In the period of 1996-2008 the mean contamination of plants with (137)Cs was from 45 to 119 Bq/kg and with (90)Sr - from 3 to 42 Bq/kg. Measured (137)Cs TF values for soil-root transfer mainly ranged between 1.0-1.4, except for Calamagrostis arundinacea which had a TF value of 0.1. On average, the (137)Cs TF value from root to shoot was 1.7 fold higher than for soil to root transfer. (90)Sr TF values (soil-root) were in the range of 1.2-1.8 but for Calluna vulgaris it was 0.2. The mean root to shoot TF value for (90)Sr was 7.7 fold higher. These results indicate the higher (90)Sr bioavailability than that of (137)Cs in the forested area. The Grikiniskes reference site is located nearby the Ignalina NPP, specifically the heated water outlet channel, which results in altered microclimatic conditions. These specific microclimatic conditions result in relationships between (137)Cs TF (soil-root) values and pH, moisture and organic matter content in the soil at Grikiniskes which appear to be different to those at the Tilze reference sampling site. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. The variable effects of soil nitrogen availability and insect herbivory on aboveground and belowground plant biomass in an old-field ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blue, Jarrod D.; Souza, Lara; Classen, Aimée T.

    2011-01-01

    in an old-field ecosystem. In 2004, we established 36 experimental plots in which we manipulated soil nitrogen (N) availability and insect abundance in a completely randomized plot design. In 2009, after 6 years of treatments, we measured aboveground biomass and assessed root production at peak growth...... not be limiting primary production in this ecosystem. Insects reduced the aboveground biomass of subdominant plant species and decreased coarse root production. We found no statistical interactions between N availability and insect herbivory for any response variable. Overall, the results of 6 years of nutrient...

  9. Science and Measurement Requirements for a Plant Physiology and Functional Types Mission: Measuring the Composition, Function and Health of Global Land and Coastal Ocean Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Robert O.; Rogez, Francois; Green, Rob; Ungar, Steve; Knox, Robert; Asner, Greg; Muller-Karger, Frank; Bissett, Paul; Chekalyuk, Alex; Dierssen, Heidi; hide

    2007-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the proposed Plant Physiology and Functional Types (PPFT) Mission. The National Academy of Sciences Decadal Survey, placed a critical priority on a Mission to observe distribution and changes in ecosystem functions. The PPFT satellite mission provides the essential measurements needed to assess drivers of change in biodiversity and ecosystem services that affect human welfare. The presentation reviews the science questions that the mission will be designed to answer, the science rationale, the science measurements, the mission concept, the planned instrumentation, the calibration method, and key signal to noise ratios and uniformity requirements.

  10. Is an ecosystem services-based approach developed for setting specific protection goals for plant protection products applicable to other chemicals?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maltby, Lorraine; Jackson, Mathew; Whale, Graham; Brown, A Ross; Hamer, Mick; Solga, Andreas; Kabouw, Patrick; Woods, Richard; Marshall, Stuart

    2017-02-15

    Clearly defined protection goals specifying what to protect, where and when, are required for designing scientifically sound risk assessments and effective risk management of chemicals. Environmental protection goals specified in EU legislation are defined in general terms, resulting in uncertainty in how to achieve them. In 2010, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published a framework to identify more specific protection goals based on ecosystem services potentially affected by plant protection products. But how applicable is this framework to chemicals with different emission scenarios and receptor ecosystems? Four case studies used to address this question were: (i) oil refinery waste water exposure in estuarine environments; (ii) oil dispersant exposure in aquatic environments; (iii) down the drain chemicals exposure in a wide range of ecosystems (terrestrial and aquatic); (iv) persistent organic pollutant exposure in remote (pristine) Arctic environments. A four-step process was followed to identify ecosystems and services potentially impacted by chemical emissions and to define specific protection goals. Case studies demonstrated that, in principle, the ecosystem services concept and the EFSA framework can be applied to derive specific protection goals for a broad range of chemical exposure scenarios. By identifying key habitats and ecosystem services of concern, the approach offers the potential for greater spatial and temporal resolution, together with increased environmental relevance, in chemical risk assessments. With modifications including improved clarity on terminology/definitions and further development/refinement of the key concepts, we believe the principles of the EFSA framework could provide a methodical approach to the identification and prioritization of ecosystems, ecosystem services and the service providing units that are most at risk from chemical exposure. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights

  11. Trait space of rare plants in a fire-dependent ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ames, Gregory M; Wall, Wade A; Hohmann, Matthew G; Wright, Justin P

    2017-08-01

    The causes of species rarity are of critical concern because of the high extinction risk associated with rarity. Studies examining individual rare species have limited generality, whereas trait-based approaches offer a means to identify functional causes of rarity that can be applied to communities with disparate species pools. Differences in functional traits between rare and common species may be indicative of the functional causes of species rarity and may therefore be useful in crafting species conservation strategies. However, there is a conspicuous lack of studies comparing the functional traits of rare species and co-occurring common species. We measured 18 important functional traits for 19 rare and 134 common understory plant species from North Carolina's Sandhills region and compared their trait distributions to determine whether there are significant functional differences that may explain species rarity. Flowering, fire, and tissue-chemistry traits differed significantly between rare and common, co-occurring species. Differences in specific traits suggest that fire suppression has driven rarity in this system and that changes to the timing and severity of prescribed fire may improve conservation success. Our method provides a useful tool to prioritize conservation efforts in other systems based on the likelihood that rare species are functionally capable of persisting. © 2016 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology.

  12. Cooling tower drift studies at the Paducah, Kentucky Gaseous Diffusion Plant. [Transport of drift-derived chromium in terrestrial ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Taylor, F.G.; Hanna, S.R.; Parr, P.D.

    1979-01-01

    The transfer and fate of chromium from cooling tower drift to terrestrial ecosystems were quantified at the Department of Energy's uranium enrichment facility at Paducah, Kentucky. Chromium concentrations in plant materials (fescue grass) decreased with increasing distance from the cooing tower, ranging from 251 +- 19 ppM at 15 meters to 0.52 +- 0.07 ppM at 1500 meters. The site of drift contamination, size characteristics, and elemental content of drift particles were determined using a scanning electron microscope with energy dispersive x-ray analysis capabilities. Results indicate that elemental content in drift water (mineral residue) may not be equivalent to the content in the recirculating cooling water of the tower. This hypothesis is contrary to basic assumptions in calculating drift emissions. A laboratory study simulating throughfall from 1 to 6 inches of rain suggested that there are more exchange sites associated with litter than live foliage. Leachate from each one inch throughfall simulant removed 3% of the drift mass from litter compared to 7 to 9% from live foliage. Results suggest that differences in retention are related to chemical properties of the drift rather than physical lodging of the particle residue. To determine the potential for movement of drift-derived chromium to surface streams, soil--water samplers (wells) were placed along a distance gradient to Little Bayou Creek. Samples from two depths following rainstorms revealed the absence of vertical or horizontal movement with maximum concentrations of 0.13 ppb at 50 meters from the tower. Preliminary model estimates of drift deposition are compared to depositionmeasurements. Isopleths of the predicted deposition are useful to identify areas of maximum drift transport in the environs of the gaseous diffusion plant.

  13. Carbon nanomaterials alter plant physiology and soil bacterial community composition in a rice-soil-bacterial ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hao, Yi; Ma, Chuanxin; Zhang, Zetian; Song, Youhong; Cao, Weidong; Guo, Jing; Zhou, Guopeng; Rui, Yukui; Liu, Liming; Xing, Baoshan

    2018-01-01

    The aim of this study was to compare the toxicity effects of carbon nanomaterials (CNMs), namely fullerene (C 60 ), reduced graphene oxide (rGO) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), on a mini-ecosystem of rice grown in a loamy potted soil. We measured plant physiological and biochemical parameters and examined bacterial community composition in the CNMs-treated plant-soil system. After 30 days of exposure, all the three CNMs negatively affected the shoot height and root length of rice, significantly decreased root cortical cells diameter and resulted in shrinkage and deformation of cells, regardless of exposure doses (50 or 500 mg/kg). Additionally, at the high exposure dose of CNM, the concentrations of four phytohormones, including auxin, indoleacetic acid, brassinosteroid and gibberellin acid 4 in rice roots significantly increased as compared to the control. At the high exposure dose of MWCNTs and C 60 , activities of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (POD) in roots increased significantly. High-throughput sequencing showed that three typical CNMs had little effect on shifting the predominant soil bacterial species, but the presence of CNMs significantly altered the composition of the bacterial community. Our results indicate that different CNMs indeed resulted in environmental toxicity to rice and soil bacterial community in the rhizosphere and suggest that CNMs themselves and their incorporated products should be reasonably used to control their release/discharge into the environment to prevent their toxic effects on living organisms and the potential risks to food safety. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Allometric convergence in savanna trees and implications for the use of plant scaling models in variable ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew T Tredennick

    Full Text Available Theoretical models of allometric scaling provide frameworks for understanding and predicting how and why the morphology and function of organisms vary with scale. It remains unclear, however, if the predictions of 'universal' scaling models for vascular plants hold across diverse species in variable environments. Phenomena such as competition and disturbance may drive allometric scaling relationships away from theoretical predictions based on an optimized tree. Here, we use a hierarchical Bayesian approach to calculate tree-specific, species-specific, and 'global' (i.e. interspecific scaling exponents for several allometric relationships using tree- and branch-level data harvested from three savanna sites across a rainfall gradient in Mali, West Africa. We use these exponents to provide a rigorous test of three plant scaling models (Metabolic Scaling Theory (MST, Geometric Similarity, and Stress Similarity in savanna systems. For the allometric relationships we evaluated (diameter vs. length, aboveground mass, stem mass, and leaf mass the empirically calculated exponents broadly overlapped among species from diverse environments, except for the scaling exponents for length, which increased with tree cover and density. When we compare empirical scaling exponents to the theoretical predictions from the three models we find MST predictions are most consistent with our observed allometries. In those situations where observations are inconsistent with MST we find that departure from theory corresponds with expected tradeoffs related to disturbance and competitive interactions. We hypothesize savanna trees have greater length-scaling exponents than predicted by MST due to an evolutionary tradeoff between fire escape and optimization of mechanical stability and internal resource transport. Future research on the drivers of systematic allometric variation could reconcile the differences between observed scaling relationships in variable ecosystems and

  15. Tritium behaviour in aquatic plants and animals in a freshwater marsh ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adams, L.W.; Peterle, T.J.; White, G.C.

    1979-01-01

    Ten curies of tritium as tritiated water (HTO) were experimentally added to an enclosed 2-ha Lake Erie marsh on 20 October 1973. Tritium kinetics in selected plants and animals were determined over a one-year period. Tritium levels in the marsh bottom sediment averaged 1.8 times the marsh water levels, with little evidence of tritium concentration above the marsh water tritium levels in the flora and fauna. The unbound tritium: marsh water tritium ratios in smartweed (Polygonum lapathifolium) and pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata) (both emergents) were lower than the same ratio for pondweed (Potamogeton crispus) (a submergent). There was some evidence of bound tritium buildup in midsummer, particularly in the pondweed. Tritium uptake into the unbound compartments of crayfish (Procambarus blandingi), carp (Cyprinus carpio) and bluegills (Lepomis macrochirus) was rapid. For crayfish, maximum HTO levels were observed on days 2 and 3 following treatment for muscle and viscera respectively. Unbound HTO in carp muscle peaked in 4 hours and the level in carp viscera reached a maximum in 2 days, in bluegill muscle and viscera on day 1. Unbound HTO in all species decreased following peak levels, paralleling marsh water HTO activity. Tritium uptake into the bound compartments was not as rapid nor were the levels as high as for unbound HTO in the fauna. The peak bound level in crayfish muscle was observed on day 10 (bound : unbound ratio of 0.34) and the maximum level in viscera was noted on day 20 (bound : unbound ratio of 0.23). Bound tritium in carp muscle and viscera reached maximum levels on day 20 (bound : unbound ratios of 0.25 and 0.39 respectively). In bluegills, peaks were reached on days 5 and 7 (bound : unbound ratios of 0.35 and 0.38 for muscle and viscera respectively). Bound tritium in all species decreased following maximum levels

  16. Prosopis laevigata and Mimosa biuncifera (Leguminosae, jointly influence plant diversity and soil fertility of a Mexican semiarid ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosalva García-Sánchez

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Prosopis laevigata and Mimosa biuncifera are frequently found in arid and semiarid shrublands, but scarce information is available about their influence on plant community structure and soil fertility. We compared plant community structure, diversity and soil nutrients of three semiarid shrubland sites located in Mezquital Valley, Mexico. These sites differ in their dominant species: Site 1 (Bingu P. laevigata, Site 2 (González M. biuncifera, and Site 3 (Rincón with the presence of both legumes. The results showed that the plant community with P. laevigata and M. biuncifera (Site 3 had more cover, taller plants and higher plant diversity than sites with only one legume (Site 1 and Site 2. Soil organic matter (SOM, soil organic carbon (SOC, total nitrogen (TN, phosphorus-Olsen (P and C mineralization were higher in the soil under the canopy of both legumes than in bare soil. In contrast, soil cation concentrations were lower under the canopy of P. laevigata, but not for M. biuncifera. In addition, the density of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi spores was higher within the soil under the canopy of M. biuncifera than in the soil under the canopy of P. laevigata. Thus, resource islands (RI created by P. laevigata increased the amounts of SOC, TN and P when compared with the RI of M. biuncifera. This study provided evidences about the importance of species identity in order to expand the niche availability for the establishment of other plants, and highlights that P. laevigata and M. biuncifera jointly influencing plant colonization within semiarid ecosystemsProsopis laevigata y Mimosa biuncifera coexisten en los matorrales semiáridos; sin embargo, se desconoce su influencia sobre la diversidad de la comunidad vegetal y el suelo. Este estudio evaluó el efecto de P. laevigata y M. biuncifera sobre la estructura, diversidad vegetal y nutrimentos del suelo, en tres matorrales del Valle del Mezquital, México. Los sitios difieren en la especie dominante

  17. Absorption, distribution, dynamics of 14C-chlorpyrifos in several kinds of animals and plants in fresh water ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen Shunhua; Zhong Chuangguang; Zhao Xiaokui

    1998-01-01

    The absorption, distribution, dynamics of chlorpyrifos in five fresh water organisms were studied. The results showed that all organisms tested absorbed 14 C-chlorpyrifos rapidly in simulation ecosystem for 4 h of exposure. The concentration factors (CF) of 14 C-chlorpyrifos in the organisms were in order of Gambusia affinis>Bellarnya purificata>Planorbis sp.>Lenna polyrrhiza>Naslurtium officincles on the 2nd day of the experiment. The absorption of 14 C-chlorpyrifos by three kinds of animals showed that the 14 C-radioactivity reached peaks after 24 h or 48 h of exposure to the pesticide. the concentration factors of Gambusia affinis (48 h), Bellarnya purificata (48 h) and Planorbis sp. (24 h) were 375, 249.69 and 30 respectively. The absorption peaks expressed in concentration factors in Lenna polyrrhiza and Naslurtium officincles, were 28.54 and 7.78 at 4 and 24 h respectively. After the absorption peaks, the radioactivity in all experimental animals and plants decreased with increase of time. After 4 h, the radioactivity in water rapidly decreased to 67% of the original and it decreased to about one half of the original after 24 h. Then the radioactivity of 14 C in water slightly increased due to the excreta of the organisms

  18. Structure of forest ecosystems and leaf area index of wood plants -results of monitoring over the years 1991-1994

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oszlanyi, J.

    1995-01-01

    Monitored characteristics and their dynamics over the last four vegetation seasons reveal the following conclusions: 1) Changes of monitored parameters (e.g. the structure of tree and shrub layer, the leaf area index) are slow, drab and insignificant at the permanent monitoring representing a major part of forest ecosystems of the area affected by the Hydroelectric power structures Gabcikovo. Despite the absence of floods, the ground water level is at a sufficient height to contact rhisosphere of wood plants and the recorded changes are in accord with growth regularities. 2) An increase of the ground water level in the upper part of the monitored territory and a partial renaturation of hydropedological conditions led to an improvement of production-ecological parameters of the area. Changes of its structure are of positive tendency, the leaf area index is stabilised at high values and somewhere even increased (in 1994 being by 70-80% higher than in 1991). 3) Localities with a permanent decrease of the ground water level (band along the old river-bed of the Danube, a dry triangle among the old river-bed of the Danube, the inlet canal and the river arm supplied by the intake structure at Dobrohost and other places) were afflicted by negative changes, locally indicating destruction of tree and shrub layers, with the leaf area index significantly reduced by 20-30%. (author). 1 tab., 5 refs [sk

  19. Radiocesium accumulation in the anuran frog, Rana tagoi tagoi, in forest ecosystems after the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Takahara, Teruhiko; Endo, Satoru; Takada, Momo; Oba, Yurika; Nursal, Wim Ikbal; Igawa, Takeshi; Doi, Hideyuki; Yamada, Toshihiro; Okuda, Toshinori

    2015-01-01

    Amphibians are key components in forest food webs. When examining radioactive contamination in anurans, it is important to understand how radiocesium transfer occurs from lower to higher trophic levels in forest ecosystems. We investigated the activity concentration of radiocesium ( 134 Cs and 137 Cs) in Tago's brown frog (Rana tagoi tagoi) captured on the forest floor approximately 2.5 years after the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP) accident. We collected 66 R. tagoi tagoi at different distances from the FNPP. Radiocesium accumulation showed positive correlations with the air radiation dose rate and litter contamination but not with distance from the FNPP. Whole-body radioactivity showed no correlation with body mass or length. Our results suggest that differences in the available food items result in large variability in individual contamination. Contamination level monitoring in terrestrial and aquatic amphibian is necessary for clarifying the processes and mechanisms of radiocesium transfer through forest food webs. - Highlights: • Radiocesium level in Rana tagoi tagoi from forests near Fukushima was assessed. • Radiocesium accumulation was related to air dose rate and litter contamination. • Differences in dietary intake might lead to variability in individual contamination. • Transfer of radiocesium among trophic levels can occur via anurans. - Rana tagoi tagoi accumulates radiocesium in forest floor habitats near Fukushima

  20. Soil-Plant Metal Relations in Panax notoginseng: An Ecosystem Health Risk Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ou, Xiaohong; Wang, Li; Guo, Lanping; Cui, Xiuming; Liu, Dahui; Yang, Ye

    2016-01-01

    This study features a survey of the content of heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Cr, As, Hg and Cu) in root and cultivation soils of Panax notoginseng (P. notoginseng), carried out in China’s Yunnan Province. The average contents of Pb, Cd, Cr, As, Hg, and Cu in the soil were 61.6, 0.4, 102.4, 57.1, 0.3, and 35.1 mg·kg−1, respectively. The heavy metals’ pollution indexes can be ranked as follows: As > Cd > Hg > Cu > Cr > Pb. The proportion of soil samples at slight, middle, strong, very strong, and extremely strong levels of potential environmental risk had values of 5.41%, 21.62%, 35.14%, 10.81%, and 27.03%, respectively. The potential environment risk index (RI) showed that 29.73% out of the total sample sites were above the level of strong and extremely strong. The ranges of Pb, Cd, Cr, As, Hg, and Cu content in tuber were 0.04–3.26, 0.04–0.33, 0.22–5.4, 0.10–1.8, 0.00–0.02, and 5.0–20.9 mg·kg−1, respectively. In combination with P. notoginseng consumption data, the estimated heavy metal daily intakes (EDIs) were 0.08–0.23, 0.006–0.019, 0.17–0.52, 0.04–0.12, 0.001–0.002, and 0.59–1.77 μg·kg−1·bw/day. All target hazard quotients (THQs) of individual elements and hazard indexes (HI) were less than one. The present study indicates that most of the P. notoginseng cultivation soil in the province of Yunnan presented slight and moderate ecological risk. Thus, more attention should be given to the heavy metals As, Cd, and Hg when selecting planting areas for the cultivation of P. notoginseng. Health risks associated with the intake of a single element or consumption of the combined metals through P. notoginseng are absent. PMID:27827951

  1. How ecosystems change following invasion by Robinia pseudoacacia: Insights from soil chemical properties and soil microbial, nematode, microarthropod and plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazzaro, Lorenzo; Mazza, Giuseppe; d'Errico, Giada; Fabiani, Arturo; Giuliani, Claudia; Inghilesi, Alberto F; Lagomarsino, Alessandra; Landi, Silvia; Lastrucci, Lorenzo; Pastorelli, Roberta; Roversi, Pio Federico; Torrini, Giulia; Tricarico, Elena; Foggi, Bruno

    2018-05-01

    Biological invasions are a global threat to biodiversity. Since the spread of invasive alien plants may have many impacts, an integrated approach, assessing effects across various ecosystem components, is needed for a correct understanding of the invasion process and its consequences. The nitrogen-fixing tree Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust) is a major invasive species worldwide and is used in forestry production. While its effects on plant communities and soils are well known, there have been few studies on soil fauna and microbes. We investigated the impacts of the tree on several ecosystem components, using a multi-trophic approach to combine evidence of soil chemical properties and soil microbial, nematode, microarthropod and plant communities. We sampled soil and vegetation in managed forests, comparing those dominated by black locust with native deciduous oak stands. We found qualitative and quantitative changes in all components analysed, such as the well-known soil nitrification and acidification in stands invaded by black locust. Bacterial richness was the only component favoured by the invasion. On the contrary, abundance and richness of microarthropods, richness of nematodes, and richness and diversity of plant communities decreased significantly in invaded stands. The invasion process caused a compositional shift in all studied biotic communities and in relationships between the different ecosystem components. We obtained clear insights into the effects of invasion of managed native forests by black locust. Our data confirms that the alien species transforms several ecosystem components, modifying the plant-soil community and affecting biodiversity at different levels. Correct management of this aggressive invader in temperate forests is urgently required. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Reclamation after oil and gas development does not speed up succession or plant community recovery in big sagebrush ecosystems in Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rottler, Caitlin M.; Burke, Ingrid C.; Palmquist, Kyle A.; Bradford, John B.; Lauenroth, William K.

    2018-01-01

    Article for intended outlet: Restoration Ecology. Abstract: Reclamation is an application of treatment(s) following a disturbance to promote succession and accelerate the return of target conditions. Previous studies have framed reclamation in the context of succession by studying its effectiveness in re-establishing late-successional plant communities. Re-establishment of these plant communities is especially important and potentially challenging in regions such as drylands and shrub steppe ecosystems where succession proceeds slowly. Dryland shrub steppe ecosystems are frequently associated with areas rich in fossil-fuel energy sources, and as such the need for effective reclamation after disturbance from fossil-fuel-related energy development is great. Past research in this field has focused primarily on coal mines; few researchers have studied reclamation after oil and gas development. To address this research gap and to better understand the effect of reclamation on rates of succession in dryland shrub steppe ecosystems, we sampled oil and gas wellpads and adjacent undisturbed big sagebrush plant communities in Wyoming, USA and quantified the extent of recovery for major functional groups on reclaimed and unreclaimed (recovered via natural succession) wellpads relative to the undisturbed plant community. Reclamation increased the rate of recovery for all forb and grass species as a group and for perennial grasses, but did not affect other functional groups. Rather, analyses comparing recovery to environmental variables and time since wellpad abandonment showed that recovery of other groups were affected primarily by soil texture and time since wellpad abandonment. This is consistent with studies in other ecosystems where reclamation has been implemented, suggesting that reclamation may not help re-establish late-successional plant communities more quickly than they would re-establish naturally.

  3. Beauveria bassiana (Ascomycota: Hypocreales) Introduced as an Endophyte in Corn Plants and Its Effects on Consumption, Reproductive Capacity, and Food Preference of Dichroplus maculipennis (Orthoptera: Acrididae: Melanoplinae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelizza, Sebastian A; Mariottini, Yanina; Russo, Leticia M; Vianna, M Florencia; Scorsetti, Ana C; Lange, Carlos E

    2017-01-01

    In this study, the effects of strain Beauveria bassiana (LPSC 1067) as an endophyte in corn plants on consumption, fecundity, and food preference of Dichroplus maculipennis were examined. We observed that the daily consumption by grasshoppers fed with control plants was almost twice that of those that were fed treated plants. Significant differences in fecundity of grasshoppers that were fed with treated plants compared with those that only fed on control plants were also observed. The number of eggs laid per female fed with control plants was 27.2, while the number of eggs laid per female that were fed during 15 d with treated plants was 17.7. Similar results were observed when the number of embryonated eggs was evaluated. The highest number of embryonated eggs were recorded in those females that only fed on control plants (96%) while fewer embryonated eggs were recorded in grasshoppers fed for 15 d with treated plants only (25%). In relation to food preference the average consumption rate for D. maculipennis females on control corn plants was 303.8 ± 24.5 mg while it was only 25 ± 2.1 mg on plants treated with B. bassiana as an endophyte. In summary, we observed that B. bassiana as a corn plant endophyte negatively affected the daily consumption rate, fecundity and food preference of D. maculipennis. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America.

  4. Modelling the diurnal and seasonal dynamics of soil CO2 exchange in a semiarid ecosystem with high plant-interspace heterogeneity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Jinnan; Wang, Ben; Jia, Xin; Feng, Wei; Zha, Tianshan; Kellomäki, Seppo; Peltola, Heli

    2018-01-01

    We used process-based modelling to investigate the roles of carbon-flux (C-flux) components and plant-interspace heterogeneities in regulating soil CO2 exchanges (FS) in a dryland ecosystem with sparse vegetation. To simulate the diurnal and seasonal dynamics of FS, the modelling considered simultaneously the CO2 production, transport and surface exchanges (e.g. biocrust photosynthesis, respiration and photodegradation). The model was parameterized and validated with multivariate data measured during the years 2013-2014 in a semiarid shrubland ecosystem in Yanchi, northwestern China. The model simulation showed that soil rewetting could enhance CO2 dissolution and delay the emission of CO2 produced from rooting zone. In addition, an ineligible fraction of respired CO2 might be removed from soil volumes under respiration chambers by lateral water flows and root uptakes. During rewetting, the lichen-crusted soil could shift temporally from net CO2 source to sink due to the activated photosynthesis of biocrust but the restricted CO2 emissions from subsoil. The presence of plant cover could decrease the root-zone CO2 production and biocrust C sequestration but increase the temperature sensitivities of these fluxes. On the other hand, the sensitivities of root-zone emissions to water content were lower under canopy, which may be due to the advection of water flows from the interspace to canopy. To conclude, the complexity and plant-interspace heterogeneities of soil C processes should be carefully considered to extrapolate findings from chamber to ecosystem scales and to predict the ecosystem responses to climate change and extreme climatic events. Our model can serve as a useful tool to simulate the soil CO2 efflux dynamics in dryland ecosystems.

  5. Plant litter chemistry alters the content and composition of organic carbon associated with soil mineral and aggregate fractions in invaded ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamura, Mioko; Suseela, Vidya; Simpson, Myrna; Powell, Brian; Tharayil, Nishanth

    2017-10-01

    Through the input of disproportionate quantities of chemically distinct litter, invasive plants may potentially influence the fate of organic matter associated with soil mineral and aggregate fractions in some of the ecosystems they invade. Although context dependent, these native ecosystems subjected to prolonged invasion by exotic plants may be instrumental in distinguishing the role of plant-microbe-mineral interactions from the broader edaphic and climatic influences on the formation of soil organic matter (SOM). We hypothesized that the soils subjected to prolonged invasion by an exotic plant that input recalcitrant litter (Japanese knotweed, Polygonum cuspidatum) would have a greater proportion of plant-derived carbon (C) in the aggregate fractions, as compared with that in adjacent soil inhabited by native vegetation that input labile litter, whereas the soils under an invader that input labile litter (kudzu, Pueraria lobata) would have a greater proportion of microbial-derived C in the silt-clay fraction, as compared with that in adjacent soils that receive recalcitrant litter. At the knotweed site, the higher C content in soils under P. cuspidatum, compared with noninvaded soils inhabited by grasses and forbs, was limited to the macroaggregate fraction, which was abundant in plant biomarkers. The noninvaded soils at this site had a higher abundance of lignins in mineral and microaggregate fractions and suberin in the macroaggregate fraction, partly because of the greater root density of the native species, which might have had an overriding influence on the chemistry of the above-ground litter input. At the kudzu site, soils under P. lobata had lower C content across all size fractions at a 0-5 cm soil depth despite receiving similar amounts of Pinus litter. Contrary to our prediction, the noninvaded soils receiving recalcitrant Pinus litter had a similar abundance of plant biomarkers across both mineral and aggregate fractions, potentially because of

  6. Relationships between Plant Diversity and the Abundance and α-Diversity of Predatory Ground Beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in a Mature Asian Temperate Forest Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Yi; Sang, Weiguo; Bai, Fan; Axmacher, Jan Christoph

    2013-01-01

    A positive relationship between plant diversity and both abundance and diversity of predatory arthropods is postulated by the Enemies Hypothesis, a central ecological top-down control hypothesis. It has been supported by experimental studies and investigations of agricultural and grassland ecosystems, while evidence from more complex mature forest ecosystems is limited. Our study was conducted on Changbai Mountain in one of the last remaining large pristine temperate forest environments in China. We used predatory ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) as target taxon to establish the relationship between phytodiversity and their activity abundance and diversity. Results showed that elevation was the only variable included in both models predicting carabid activity abundance and α-diversity. Shrub diversity was negatively and herb diversity positively correlated with beetle abundance, while shrub diversity was positively correlated with beetle α-diversity. Within the different forest types, a negative relationship between plant diversity and carabid activity abundance was observed, which stands in direct contrast to the Enemies Hypothesis. Furthermore, plant species density did not predict carabid α-diversity. In addition, the density of herbs, which is commonly believed to influence carabid movement, had little impact on the beetle activity abundance recorded on Changbai Mountain. Our study indicates that in a relatively large and heterogeneous mature forest area, relationships between plant and carabid diversity are driven by variations in environmental factors linked with altitudinal change. In addition, traditional top-down control theories that are suitable in explaining diversity patterns in ecosystems of low diversity appear to play a much less pronounced role in highly complex forest ecosystems. PMID:24376582

  7. Relationships between plant diversity and the abundance and α-diversity of predatory ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in a mature Asian temperate forest ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Yi; Sang, Weiguo; Bai, Fan; Axmacher, Jan Christoph

    2013-01-01

    A positive relationship between plant diversity and both abundance and diversity of predatory arthropods is postulated by the Enemies Hypothesis, a central ecological top-down control hypothesis. It has been supported by experimental studies and investigations of agricultural and grassland ecosystems, while evidence from more complex mature forest ecosystems is limited. Our study was conducted on Changbai Mountain in one of the last remaining large pristine temperate forest environments in China. We used predatory ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) as target taxon to establish the relationship between phytodiversity and their activity abundance and diversity. Results showed that elevation was the only variable included in both models predicting carabid activity abundance and α-diversity. Shrub diversity was negatively and herb diversity positively correlated with beetle abundance, while shrub diversity was positively correlated with beetle α-diversity. Within the different forest types, a negative relationship between plant diversity and carabid activity abundance was observed, which stands in direct contrast to the Enemies Hypothesis. Furthermore, plant species density did not predict carabid α-diversity. In addition, the density of herbs, which is commonly believed to influence carabid movement, had little impact on the beetle activity abundance recorded on Changbai Mountain. Our study indicates that in a relatively large and heterogeneous mature forest area, relationships between plant and carabid diversity are driven by variations in environmental factors linked with altitudinal change. In addition, traditional top-down control theories that are suitable in explaining diversity patterns in ecosystems of low diversity appear to play a much less pronounced role in highly complex forest ecosystems.

  8. Relationships between plant diversity and the abundance and α-diversity of predatory ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae in a mature Asian temperate forest ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yi Zou

    Full Text Available A positive relationship between plant diversity and both abundance and diversity of predatory arthropods is postulated by the Enemies Hypothesis, a central ecological top-down control hypothesis. It has been supported by experimental studies and investigations of agricultural and grassland ecosystems, while evidence from more complex mature forest ecosystems is limited. Our study was conducted on Changbai Mountain in one of the last remaining large pristine temperate forest environments in China. We used predatory ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae as target taxon to establish the relationship between phytodiversity and their activity abundance and diversity. Results showed that elevation was the only variable included in both models predicting carabid activity abundance and α-diversity. Shrub diversity was negatively and herb diversity positively correlated with beetle abundance, while shrub diversity was positively correlated with beetle α-diversity. Within the different forest types, a negative relationship between plant diversity and carabid activity abundance was observed, which stands in direct contrast to the Enemies Hypothesis. Furthermore, plant species density did not predict carabid α-diversity. In addition, the density of herbs, which is commonly believed to influence carabid movement, had little impact on the beetle activity abundance recorded on Changbai Mountain. Our study indicates that in a relatively large and heterogeneous mature forest area, relationships between plant and carabid diversity are driven by variations in environmental factors linked with altitudinal change. In addition, traditional top-down control theories that are suitable in explaining diversity patterns in ecosystems of low diversity appear to play a much less pronounced role in highly complex forest ecosystems.

  9. Effect of repeated burning on plant and soil carbon and nitrogen in cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) dominated ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rachel Jones; Jeanne C. Chambers; Dale W. Johnson; Robert R. Blank; David I. Board

    2015-01-01

    Fire has profound effects on ecosystem properties, but few studies have addressed the effect of repeated burns on soil nutrients, and none have been conducted in cold desert ecosystems where invasion by exotic annual grasses is resulting in greater fire frequency. In a 5 year study, we examined effects of repeated burning, litter removal, and post-fire seeding on...

  10. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Ecosystems

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Ecosystems provides data and information on the extent and classification of ecosystems circa 2000, including coastal,...

  11. High specificity but contrasting biodiversity of Sphagnum-associated bacterial and plant communities in bog ecosystems independent of the geographical region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Opelt, Katja; Berg, Christian; Schönmann, Susan; Eberl, Leo; Berg, Gabriele

    2007-10-01

    Mosses represent ecological niches that harbor a hitherto largely uncharacterized microbial diversity. To investigate which factors affect the biodiversity of bryophyte-associated bacteria, we analyzed the bacterial communities associated with two moss species, which exhibit different ecological behaviors and importance in bog ecosystems, Sphagnum magellanicum and Sphagnum fallax, from six temperate and boreal bogs in Germany and Norway. Furthermore, their surrounding plant communities were studied. Molecular analysis of bacterial communities was determined by single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis using eubacterial and genus-specific primers for the dominant genera Burkholderia and Serratia as well as by sequence analysis of a Burkholderia 16S rRNA gene clone library. Plant communities were analyzed by monitoring the abundance and composition of bryophyte and vascular plant species, and by determining ecological indicator values. Interestingly, we found a high degree of host specificity for associated bacterial and plant communities of both Sphagnum species independent of the geographical region. Calculation of diversity indices on the basis of SSCP gels showed that the S. fallax-associated communities displayed a statistically significant higher degree of diversity than those associated with S. magellanicum. In contrast, analyses of plant communities of Sphagnum-specific habitats resulted in a higher diversity of S. magellanicum-specific habitats for all six sites. The higher content of nutrients in the S. fallax-associated ecosystems can explain higher diversity of microorganisms.

  12. Mechanistic insights on the responses of plant and ecosystem gas exchange to global environmental change: lessons from Biosphere 2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Meler, Miquel A; Rucks, Jessica S; Aubanell, Gerard

    2014-09-01

    Scaling up leaf processes to canopy/ecosystem level fluxes is critical for examining feedbacks between vegetation and climate. Collectively, studies from Biosphere 2 Laboratory have provided important insight of leaf-to-ecosystem investigations of multiple environmental parameters that were not before possible in enclosed or field studies. B2L has been a testing lab for the applicability of new technologies such as spectral approaches to detect spatial and temporal changes in photosynthesis within canopies, or for the development of cavity ring-down isotope applications for ecosystem evapotranspiration. Short and long term changes in atmospheric CO2, drought or temperature allowed for intensive investigation of the interactions between photosynthesis and leaf, soil and ecosystem respiration. Experiments conducted in the rainforest biome have provided some of the most comprehensive dataset to date on the effects of climate change variables on tropical ecosystems. Results from these studies have been later corroborated in natural rainforest ecosystems and have improved the predictive capabilities of models that now show increased resilience of tropics to climate change. Studies of temperature and CO2 effects on ecosystem respiration and its leaf and soil components have helped reconsider the use of simple first-order kinetics for characterizing respiration in models. The B2L also provided opportunities to quantify the rhizosphere priming effect, or establish the relationships between net primary productivity, atmospheric CO2 and isoprene emissions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. The effects of insect biological control on a Tamarix invaded ecosystem: ecosystem water and carbon fluxes and plant-level responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background / Questions / Methods: Tamarix spp. (saltcedar) has invaded many river systems in the western United States with detrimental impacts to flora and fauna. Traditional methods of invasive plant control have been ineffective or costly. Therefore, insect biological control of Tamarix with Di...

  14. Jack-and-Master Trait Responses to Elevated CO2 and N: A Comparison of Native and Introduced Phragmites australis

    OpenAIRE

    Mozdzer, Thomas J.; Megonigal, J. Patrick

    2012-01-01

    Global change is predicted to promote plant invasions world-wide, reducing biodiversity and ecosystem function. Phenotypic plasticity may influence the ability of introduced plant species to invade and dominate extant communities. However, interpreting differences in plasticity can be confounded by phylogenetic differences in morphology and physiology. Here we present a novel case investigating the role of fitness trait values and phenotypic plasticity to global change factors between conspec...

  15. Radionuclides in terrestrial ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bocock, K.L.

    1981-01-01

    This report summarizes information on the distribution and movement of radionuclides in semi-natural terrestrial ecosystems in north-west England with particular emphasis on inputs to, and outputs from ecosystems; on plant and soil aspects; and on radionuclides in fallout and in discharges by the nuclear industry. (author)

  16. Plants in water-controlled ecosystems: active role in hydrologic processes and response to water stress. I. Scope and general outline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Iturbe, I.; Porporato, A.; Laio, F.; Ridolfi, L.

    This series of four papers studies the complex dynamics of water-controlled ecosystems from the hydro-ecological point of view [e.g., I. Rodriguez-Iturbe, Water Resour. Res. 36 (1) (2000) 3-9]. After this general outline, the role of climate, soil, and vegetation is modeled in Part II [F. Laio, A. Porporato, L. Ridolfi, I. Rodriguez-Iturbe, Adv. Water Res. 24 (7) (2001) 707-723] to investigate the probabilistic structure of soil moisture dynamics and the water balance. Particular attention is given to the impact of timing and amount of rainfall, plant physiology, and soil properties. From the statistical characterization of the crossing properties of arbitrary levels of soil moisture, Part III develops an expression for vegetation water stress [A. Porporato, F. Laio, L. Ridolfi, I. Rodriguez-Iturbe, Adv. Water Res. 24 (7) (2001) 725-744]. This measure of stress is then employed to quantify the response of plants to soil moisture deficit as well as to infer plant suitability to given environmental conditions and understand some of the reasons for possible coexistence of different species. Detailed applications of these concepts are developed in Part IV [F. Laio, A. Porporato, C.P. Fernandez-Illescas, I. Rodriguez-Iturbe, Adv. Water Res. 24 (7) (2001) 745-762], where we investigate the dynamics of three different water-controlled ecosystems.

  17. Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecosystem goods and services are the many life-sustaining benefits we receive from nature and contribute to environmental and human health and well-being. Ecosystem-focused research will develop methods to measure ecosystem goods and services.

  18. Analysis of elements that influence in customers acceptation for introduce new irradiation plants. This analysis was focused to National Enterprises (Nourishing sector)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zendejas Villanueva, M.A.

    1992-01-01

    There are several necessities among human being that have to be satisfied such as: physiological requirements, the main of this is the nourishment supply. This is the main daily topic to discussion among several countries and it is a serious problem of mankind. Lack of nourishments affect, thousands of people all over the world. The problem becomes greater if we consider the low productivity, an inadequated nourishment storage and also a deficient equipment to distribute those fresh products that have to travel long distances. This problem has not been solved despite of the existence of several technics. Many studies have been developed during a long time in order to obtain new choices in nourishment preservation. As a result of nuclear investigations there is now a method that offers several advantages in nourishmenting industry which is known as Food Irradiation. This treatment had been described to be adapted to a four elements corresponding to marketing technics in which the use of service to describe their characteristics and applies of nourishment irradiation, price and utilization of advertising and sales promotion to be known. The National Institute of Nuclear Research in Mexico has an Industrial Gamma Irradiation Source, which give services to pharmaceutical sectors, cosmetics and nourishments, and about october 1991 didn't allow satisfy this demand, for such reason in november every year carry out the feasibility for the installation of new irradiation plants in this country. This research showed a great interest from representatives of enterprises of the Mexico city area. It is necessary to increase the use of this technique and to install other irradiation plants in order to improve the quality of our products and to obtain a better acceptance in the international and local market (Author)

  19. Ecosystem development after mangrove creation: plant-soil change across a twenty-year chronosequence in Tampa Bay, FL

    Science.gov (United States)

    On a global scale, the loss of mangroves has been high (~1-2% loss per year in recent decades). Recognizing the important ecosystem services supported by mangroves, restoration and creation efforts are increasingly proposed as mechanisms to replace those services lost after mangr...

  20. Methods to Improve Survival and Growth of Planted Alternative Species Seedlings in Black Ash Ecosystems Threatened by Emerald Ash Borer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholas Bolton; Joseph Shannon; Joshua Davis; Matthew Grinsven; Nam Noh; Shon Schooler; Randall Kolka; Thomas Pypker; Joseph Wagenbrenner

    2018-01-01

    Emerald ash borer (EAB) continues to spread across North America, infesting native ash trees and changing the forested landscape. Black ash wetland forests are severely affected by EAB. As black ash wetland forests provide integral ecosystem services, alternative approaches to maintain forest cover on the landscape are needed. We implemented simulated EAB infestations...

  1. A novel framework for linking functional diversity of plants with other trophic levels for the quantification of ecosystem services.

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lavorel, S.; Storkey, J.; Bardgett, R.D.; de Bello, Francesco; Berg, M. P.; Le Roux, X.; Moretti, M.; Mulder, Ch.; Pakeman, R. J.; Diaz, S.; Harrington, R.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 24, č. 5 (2013), 942-948 ISSN 1100-9233 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP505/12/1296 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : Functional trait * Ecosystem functioning * Biotic interactions Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 3.372, year: 2013

  2. Depletion of stratospheric ozone over the Antarctic and Arctic: Responses of plants of polar terrestrial ecosystems to enhanced UV-B, an overview

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rozema, Jelte; Boelen, Peter; Blokker, Peter

    2005-01-01

    Depletion of stratospheric ozone over the Antarctic has been re-occurring yearly since 1974, leading to enhanced UV-B radiation. Arctic ozone depletion has been observed since 1990. Ozone recovery has been predicted by 2050, but no signs of recovery occur. Here we review responses of polar plants to experimentally varied UV-B through supplementation or exclusion. In supplementation studies comparing ambient and above ambient UV-B, no effect on growth occurred. UV-B-induced DNA damage, as measured in polar bryophytes, is repaired overnight by photoreactivation. With UV exclusion, growth at near ambient may be less than at below ambient UV-B levels, which relates to the UV response curve of polar plants. UV-B screening foils also alter PAR, humidity, and temperature and interactions of UV with environmental factors may occur. Plant phenolics induced by solar UV-B, as in pollen, spores and lignin, may serve as a climate proxy for past UV. Since the Antarctic and Arctic terrestrial ecosystems differ essentially (e.g. higher species diversity and more trophic interactions in the Arctic), generalization of polar plant responses to UV-B needs caution. - Polar plant responses to UV-B may be different in the Arctic than Antarctic regions

  3. Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Land Withdrawal Act of 1988. Introduced in the Senate, One Hundredth Congress, Second Session, Calendar No. 957, September 22, 1988

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1988-01-01

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources have amended S.1272 whose purpose is to withdraw 10,240 acres of land in Eddy County, New Mexico for the exclusive use of the Department of Energy for construction, operation, decommissioning, and post-decommissioning control of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. These lands are currently managed by the Department of the Interior. Full text of the amendments recommended by the Committee is presented along with a summary of major provisions of S.1272. Amendments would provide for an Environmental Evaluation Group oversight, limit the volume of waste stored at WIPP, require compliance with EPA standards, ban high-level radioactive waste experiments at WIPP, regulate transport of waste to WIPP, direct the DOE to consult with the Governor of New Mexico, require full-scale tests on transport packages, prevent shipments from Rocky Flats to Idaho Engineering Lab after WIPP begins operation, limit shipments of waste to Idaho, and establish the Environmental Evaluation Group by Federal contract

  4. Photosynthesis and carbon isotope discrimination in boreal forest ecosystems: A comparison of functional characteristics in plants from three mature forest types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flanagan, Lawrence B.; Brooks, J. Renee; Ehleringer, James R.

    1997-12-01

    In this paper we compare measurements of photosynthesis and carbon isotope discrimination characteristics among plants from three mature boreal forest types (Black spruce, Jack pine, and aspen) in order to help explain variation in ecosystem-level gas exchange processes. Measurements were made at the southern study area (SSA) and northern study area (NSA) of the boreal forest in central Canada as part of the Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study (BOREAS). In both the NSA and the SSA there were significant differences in photosynthesis among the major tree species, with aspen having the highest CO2 assimilation rates and spruce the lowest. Within a species, photosynthetic rates in the SSA were approximately twice those measured in the NSA, and this was correlated with similar variations in stomatal conductance. Calculations of the ratio of leaf intercellular to ambient CO2 concentration (ci/ca) from leaf carbon isotope discrimination (Δ) values indicated a relatively low degree of stomatal limitation of photosynthesis, despite the low absolute values of stomatal conductance in these boreal tree species. Within each ecosystem, leaf Δ values were strongly correlated with life-form groups (trees, shrubs, forbs, and mosses), and these differences are maintained between years. Although we observed significant variation in the 13C content of tree rings at the old Jack pine site in the NSA during the past decade (indicating interannual variation in the degree of stomatal limitation), changes in summer precipitation and temperature accounted for only 44% of the isotopic variance. We scaled leaf-level processes to the ecosystem level through analyses of well-mixed canopy air. On average, all three forest types had similar ecosystem-level Δ values (average value ± standard deviation, 19.1‰±0.5‰), calculated from measurements of change in the concentration and carbon isotope ratio of atmospheric CO2 during a diurnal cycle within a forest canopy. However, there were

  5. Salt marsh-mangrove ecotones: using structural gradients to investigate the effects of woody plant encroachment on plant-soil interactions and ecosystem carbon pools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yando, Erik S.; Osland, Michael J.; Willis, Jonathan M; Day, Richard H.; Krauss, Ken W.; Hester, Mark W.

    2016-01-01

    Changing winter climate extremes are expected to result in the poleward migration of mangrove forests at the expense of salt marshes. Although mangroves and marshes are both highly valued ecosystems, the ecological implications of mangrove expansion have not been fully investigated.

  6. Long-term effects of single potassium fertilization on 137Cs levels in plants and fungi in a boreal forest ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosen, K.; Vinichuk, M.; Nikolova, I.; Johanson, K.

    2011-01-01

    We examined the long-term effects of a single application of potassium (K) fertilizer (100 kg K ha -1 ) in 1992 on 137 Cs uptake in a forest ecosystem in central Sweden. 137 Cs activity concentrations were determined in three low-growing perennial shrubs, heather (Calluna vulgaris), lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) and bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), and in four wild fungal species (Cortinarius semisanguineus, Lactarius rufus, Rozites caperata and Suillus variegatus). Uptake of 137 Cs by plants and fungi growing on K-fertilized plots 17 years after application of the K fertilizer was significantly lower than in corresponding species growing in a non-fertilized control area. The 137 Cs activity concentration was 21-58% lower in fungal sporocarps and 40-61% lower in plants in the K-fertilized area compared with the control. Over the study period, this decrease in 137 Cs activity concentration was more consistent in plants than in fungi, although the effect was statistically significant and strongly pronounced in all species. The effect of K fertilization in reducing 137 Cs activity concentration in fungi and plants decreased over time but was still significant in 2009, 17 years after fertilization. This suggests that application of K fertilizer to forests is an appropriate and effective long-term measure to decrease radiocaesium accumulation in plants and fungi. - Research highlights: → Effects of potassium fertilizer on 137 Cs uptake by plants and fungi are investigated. → 137 Cs activity concentrations in forest plants decreased even within the first year. → The most significant reduction occurred over the first 7-8 years. → The reduction in fungi was less pronounced, but still statistically significant.

  7. Light-grown plants of transgenic tobacco expressing an introduced oat phytochrome A gene under the control of a constitutive viral promoter exhibit persistent growth inhibition by far-red light

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McCormac, A.; Whitelam, G.; Smith, H.

    1992-01-01

    A comparison of the photoregulation of development has been made for etiolated and light-grown plants of wild-type (WT) tobacco (Nicotiana tabacun L.) and an isogenic transgenic line which expresses an introduced oat phytochrome gene (phyA) under the control of a constitutive viral promoter. Etiolated seedlings of both the WT and transgenic line showed irradiance-dependent inhibition of hypocotyl growth under continuous far-red (FR) light; transgenic seedlings showed a greater level of inhibition under a given fluence rate and this is considered to be the result of the heterologous phytochrome protein (PhyA) functioning in a compatible manner with the native etiolated phytochrome. Deetiolation of WT seedlings resulted in a loss of responsiveness to prolonged FR. Light-grown transgenic seedlings, however, continued to respond in an irradiance-dependent manner to prolonged FR and it is proposed that this is a specific function of the constitutive PhyA. Mature green plants of the WT and transgenic lines showed a qualitatively similar growth promotion to a brief end-of-day FR-treatment but this response was abolished in the transgenic plants under prolonged irradiation by this same FR source. Growth inhibition (McCormac et al. 1991, Planta 185, 162-170) and enhanced levels of nitrate-reductase activity under irradiance of low red:far-red ratio, as achieved by the FR-supplementation of white light, emphasised that the introduced PhyA was eliciting an aberrant mode of photoresponse compared with the normal phytochrome population of light-grown plants. Total levels of the oat-encoded phytochrome in the etiolated transgenic tobacco were shown to be influenced by the wavelength of continuous irradiation in a manner which was qualitatively similar to that seen for the native, etiolated tobacco phytochrome, and distinct from that seen in etiolated oat tissues. These results are discussed in terms of the proposal that the constitutive oat-PhyA pool in the transgenic plants

  8. Adaptive Management Using Remote Sensing and Ecosystem Modeling in Response to Climate Variability and Invasive Aquatic Plants for the California Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Water Resource

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bubenheim, David; Potter, Christopher; Zhang, Minghua; Madsen, John

    2017-01-01

    The California Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is the hub for California's water supply and supports important ecosystem services, agriculture, and communities in Northern to Southern California. Expansion of invasive aquatic plants in the Delta coupled with impacts of changing climate and long-term drought is detrimental to the San Francisco Bay/California Delta complex. NASA Ames Research Center and the USDA-ARS partnered with the State of California to develop science-based, adaptive-management strategies for invasive aquatic plant in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Specific mapping tools developed utilizing satellite and airborne platforms provide regular assessments of population dynamics on a landscape scale and support both strategic planning and operational decision making for resource managers. San Joaquin and Sacramento River watersheds water quality input to the Delta is modeled using the Soil-Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and a modified SWAT tool has been customized to account for unique landscape and management of agricultural water supply and drainage within the Delta. Environmental response models for growth of invasive aquatic weeds are being parameterized and coupled with spatial distribution/biomass density mapping and water quality to study ecosystem response to climate and aquatic plant management practices. On the water validation and operational utilization of these tools by management agencies and how they are improving decision making, management effectiveness and efficiency will be discussed. The project combines science, operations, and economics related to integrated management scenarios for aquatic weeds to help land and water resource managers make science-informed decisions regarding management and outcomes.

  9. Adaptive Management Using Remote Sensing and Ecosystem Modeling in Response to Climate Variability and Invasive Aquatic Plants for the California Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Water Resource

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bubenheim, D.; Potter, C. S.; Zhang, M.; Madsen, J.

    2017-12-01

    The California Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is the hub for California's water supply and supports important ecosystem services, agriculture, and communities in Northern and Southern California. Expansion of invasive aquatic plants in the Delta coupled with impacts of changing climate and long-term drought is detrimental to the San Francisco Bay/California Delta complex. NASA Ames Research Center and the USDA-ARS partnered with the State of California to develop science-based, adaptive-management strategies for invasive aquatic plant management in the California Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Specific mapping tools developed utilizing satellite and airborne platforms provide regular assessments of population dynamics on a landscape scale and support both strategic planning and operational decision making for resource managers. San Joaquin and Sacramento River watersheds water quality input to the Delta is modeled using the Soil-Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and a modified SWAT tool has been customized to account for unique landscape and management of agricultural water supply and drainage within the Delta. Environmental response models for growth of invasive aquatic weeds are being parameterized and coupled with spatial distribution/biomass density mapping and water quality to study ecosystem response to climate and aquatic plant management practices. On the water validation and operational utilization of these tools by management agencies and how they improve decision making, management effectiveness and efficiency will be discussed. The project combines science, operations, and economics related to integrated management scenarios for aquatic weeds to help land and water resource managers make science-informed decisions regarding management and outcomes.

  10. Introduced Terrestrial Species Richness

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — These data represent predicted current distributions of all introduced mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and butterflies in the Middle-Atlantic region. These data...

  11. Terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Davis-Reddy, Claire

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Ecoregions Terrestrial Biomes Protected Areas Climate Risk and Vulnerability: A Handbook for Southern Africa | 75 7.2. Non-climatic drivers of ecosystem change 7.2.1. Land-use change, habitat loss and fragmentation Land-use change and landscape... concentrations of endemic plant and animal species, but these mainly occur in areas that are most threatened by human activity. Diverse terrestrial ecosystems in the region include tropical and sub-tropical forests, deserts, savannas, grasslands, mangroves...

  12. Plant functional types in Earth system models: past experiences and future directions for application of dynamic vegetation models in high-latitude ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wullschleger, Stan D; Epstein, Howard E; Box, Elgene O; Euskirchen, Eugénie S; Goswami, Santonu; Iversen, Colleen M; Kattge, Jens; Norby, Richard J; van Bodegom, Peter M; Xu, Xiaofeng

    2014-07-01

    Earth system models describe the physical, chemical and biological processes that govern our global climate. While it is difficult to single out one component as being more important than another in these sophisticated models, terrestrial vegetation is a critical player in the biogeochemical and biophysical dynamics of the Earth system. There is much debate, however, as to how plant diversity and function should be represented in these models. Plant functional types (PFTs) have been adopted by modellers to represent broad groupings of plant species that share similar characteristics (e.g. growth form) and roles (e.g. photosynthetic pathway) in ecosystem function. In this review, the PFT concept is traced from its origin in the early 1800s to its current use in regional and global dynamic vegetation models (DVMs). Special attention is given to the representation and parameterization of PFTs and to validation and benchmarking of predicted patterns of vegetation distribution in high-latitude ecosystems. These ecosystems are sensitive to changing climate and thus provide a useful test case for model-based simulations of past, current and future distribution of vegetation. Models that incorporate the PFT concept predict many of the emerging patterns of vegetation change in tundra and boreal forests, given known processes of tree mortality, treeline migration and shrub expansion. However, representation of above- and especially below-ground traits for specific PFTs continues to be problematic. Potential solutions include developing trait databases and replacing fixed parameters for PFTs with formulations based on trait co-variance and empirical trait-environment relationships. Surprisingly, despite being important to land-atmosphere interactions of carbon, water and energy, PFTs such as moss and lichen are largely absent from DVMs. Close collaboration among those involved in modelling with the disciplines of taxonomy, biogeography, ecology and remote sensing will be

  13. Ecosystem approach in education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nabiullin, Iskander

    2017-04-01

    Environmental education is a base for sustainable development. Therefore, in our school we pay great attention to environmental education. Environmental education in our school is based on ecosystem approach. What is an ecosystem approach? Ecosystem is a fundamental concept of ecology. Living organisms and their non-living environments interact with each other as a system, and the biosphere planet functions as a global ecosystem. Therefore, it is necessary for children to understand relationships in ecosystems, and we have to develop systems thinking in our students. Ecosystem approach and systems thinking should help us to solve global environmental problems. How do we implement the ecosystem approach? Students must understand that our biosphere functions as a single ecosystem and even small changes can lead to environmental disasters. Even the disappearance of one plant or animal species can lead to irreversible consequences. So in the classroom we learn the importance of each living organism for the nature. We pay special attention to endangered species, which are listed in the Red Data List. Kids are doing projects about these organisms, make videos, print brochures and newspapers. Fieldwork also plays an important role for ecosystem approach. Every summer, we go out for expeditions to study species of plants and animals listed in the Red Data List of Tatarstan. In class, students often write essays on behalf of any endangered species of plants or animals, this also helps them to understand the importance of each living organism in nature. Each spring we organise a festival of environmental projects among students. Groups of 4-5 students work on a solution of environmental problems, such as water, air or soil pollution, waste recycling, the loss of biodiversity, etc. Participants shoot a clip about their project, print brochures. Furthermore, some of the students participate in national and international scientific Olympiads with their projects. In addition to

  14. Nutrients, Toxins, and Water in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems Treated with Sewage Plant Effluents. Final Report of the Upland Recharge Program

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Woodwell, G. M.; Ballard, J. T.; Clinton, J.; Pecan, E. V.

    1976-01-01

    The objective of this work was to appraise the capacity of terrestrial and aquatic plant communities for absorbing and retaining nutrients and organic matter in sewage and for releasing ''clean'' water. Experimental systems included a sere representative of the Eastern Deciduous Forest, a timothy field, two Phalaris arundinacea meadows, a freshwater marsh, a pond, and a marsh-pond complex. Sewage of two qualities was applied at the rate of 5 cm per week; one treatment was equivalent to the release from a primary treatment sewage plant, the second to that from a secondary treatment plant. Under normal circumstances, without the addition of water or nutrients in sewage, the flux of nutrients into the groundwater was greatest under the agricultural communities and least under the late successional forest communities. All the terrestrial communities were net sources of most elements. Because the agricultural communities were fertilized and a substantial fraction of the fertilizer applied remained after the first year, the agricultural communities appeared to be net sinks during the first year of the experiment. The highest concentrations of nutrients in the percolate of the untreated communities commonly occurred in the earliest stages of succession. This relationship was especially conspicuous for nitrogen. Phosphorus and iron appeared to be held tightly within most ecosystems.

  15. Bee community as a source of energy in the production of food, honey-plants in the ecosystem of Croatian Forests' hunting grounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucak, Zvonimir; Beuk, Darko; Jumić, Vlado; Tusek, Tatjana; Vladimir-Knezević, Sanda; Tolusić, Zdravko; Skrivanko, Mario; Konjarović, Anastazija; Aladić, Krunoslav; Cupurdija, Edita

    2009-12-01

    In addition to the process of photosynthesis, the bee community is the main source of energy in food production, honey-plants used by game and people in the hunting grounds ecosystem. It is a well-known fact that thousands of plant species depend on the presence of bee communities (pollination, fertilization). In this paper we studied the presence of the bee community in the hunting grounds of Croatian Forests, and their influence on the number of game (wild pigs), as well as the quality of honey, honey plants in the hunting grounds used by people and game. We established the total number of game (wild boars). The honey quality parameters were determined using the Harmonised methods of the European Honey (Bogdanov et al., 1997) and the pollen analysis by were conducted according to Harmonised methods of melissopalynology (Von der Ohe et al., 2004). Research results indicate that the presence of the bee community influences the number of wild boars from 3-18%, and the quality of honey is in line with the European and world standards. The SAS/STAT package was used for the statistical analysis (SAS Institute Inc., 2000). The significance of the differences among the groups was determined by Duncan test.

  16. Impact of rice-straw biochars amended soil on the biological Si cycle in soil-plant ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zimin; Delvaux, Bruno; Struyf, Eric; Unzué-Belmonte, Dácil; Ronsse, Frederik; Cornelis, Jean-Thomas

    2017-04-01

    Biochar used as soil amendment can enhance soil fertility and plant growth. It may also contribute to increase the plant mineralomass of silicon (Si). However, very little studies have focused on the plant Si cycling in biochar amended soils. Here, we study the impact of two contrasting biochars derived from rice straws on soil Si availability and plant Si uptake. Rice plants were grown in a hydroponic device using Yoshida nutrient solution, respectively devoid of H4SiO4 (0 ppm Si: Si-) and enriched with it (40 ppm Si: Si+). After 12 weeks, the plants were harvested for further pyrolysis, conducted with holding time of 1h at 500˚ C. The respective rice-biochars are Si-/biochar and Si+/biochar. They exhibit contrasting phytolith contents (0.3 g Si kg-1 vs. 51.3 g Si kg-1), but identical physico-chemical properties. They were applied in two soils differing in weathering stage: a weathered Cambisol (CA) and a highly weathered Nitisol (NI). We then studied the effects of the amended biochar on CaCl2 extractable Si using a 64-days kinetic approach, on the content of soil biogenic Si, and on the uptake of Si by wheat plants grown for 5 weeks. We also quantified Si mineralomass in plants. We compared the effects of biochars to that of wollastonite (Wo)-(CaSiO3), a common Si-fertilizer. Our results show that Si+/biochar significantly increase the content of BSi in both soils. In CA, the cumulative content of CaCl2 extractable Si amounts to 85 mg kg-1 after Si+/biochar amendment, which is below the amount extracted after Wo application (100 mg kg-1). In contrast, in NI, the cumulative content of CaCl2 extractable Si is 198 mg kg-1 in the Si+/biochar amended treatment, which is far above the one measured after Wo application (93 mg kg-1). The Si-/biochar has no effect on the cumulative content of CaCl2 extractable Si in either soil type. Biochars and wollastonite increase the biomass of wheat on both soils. The increase is, however, larger in NI than in CA. In terms of Si

  17. Plants in water-controlled ecosystems: active role in hydrologic processes and response to water stress. IV. Discussion of real cases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laio, F.; Porporato, A.; Fernandez-Illescas, C. P.; Rodriguez-Iturbe, I.

    Three water-controlled ecosystems are studied here using the stochastic description of soil moisture dynamics and vegetation water stress proposed in Part II (F. Laio, A. Porporato, L. Ridolfi, I. Rodriguez-Iturbe, Adv. Water Res. 24 (7) (2001) 707-723) and Part III (A. Porporato, F. Laio, L. Ridolfi, I. Rodriguez-Iturbe, Adv. Water Res. 24 (7) (2001) 725-744) of this series of papers. In the savanna of Nylsvley (South Africa) the very diverse physiological characteristics of the existing plants give rise to different strategies of soil moisture exploitation. Notwithstanding these differences, the vegetation water stress for all the species turns out to be very similar, suggesting that coexistence might be attained also through differentiation of water use. The case of the savanna of Southern Texas points out how rooting depth and interannual rainfall variability can impact soil moisture dynamics and vegetation water stress. Because of the different responses to water stress of trees and grasses, external climatic forcing could be at the origin of the dynamic equilibrium allowing coexistence in this ecosystem. Finally, the analysis of a short grass steppe in Colorado provides an interesting example of the so-called inverse texture effect, whereby preferential conditions for vegetation are dependent on soil texture and rainfall. Sites which are more favorable during wet conditions may become less suitable to the same vegetation type during drier years. Such an effect is important to explain the predominance of existing species, as well as to investigate their reproductive strategies.

  18. The transfer of 137Cs through the soil-plant-sheep food chain in different pasture ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arja Paasikallio

    1996-12-01

    Full Text Available A grazing experiment with sheep was carried out in 1990-1993 on natural, semi-natural and cultivated pasture on clay soil. The pastures were located in Southern Finland and were moderately contaminated with 137 Cs by Chernobyl fallout. Natural pasture refers to forest pasture and serai-natural pasture to set-aside field pasture, the latter having been under cultivation about 15 years ago. The transfer of 137Cs to sheep was clearly higher from forest pasture than from the other two pastures and it was lowest from cultivated pasture. The transfer was higher to muscle and kidney than to liver and heart. The transfer of 137Cs to plants and to meat varied with years. Seasonal variation in the plant 137 Cs was followed-up on forest and set-aside field pasture; the activity concentration of plants reached a maximum in June, a lesser increase occurred later in the autumn. In 1993, which was considered an average year with respect to 137Cs transfer to plants, the mean soil-plant transfer factors of 137Cs for forest, set-aside field and cultivated pastures were 1.78, 0.36 and 0.09, and soil-meat aggregated transfer factors 11.0, 0.28 and 0.03, respectively.

  19. Effects of elevated CO2, warming and drought episodes on plant carbon uptake in a temperate heath ecosystem are controlled by soil water status

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Albert, Kristian Rost; Ro-Poulsen, H.; Mikkelsen, Teis Nørgaard

    2011-01-01

    The impact of elevated CO2, periodic drought and warming on photosynthesis and leaf characteristics of the evergreen dwarf shrub Calluna vulgaris in a temperate heath ecosystem was investigated. Photosynthesis was reduced by drought in midsummer and increased by elevated CO2 throughout the growing...... season, whereas warming only stimulated photosynthesis early in the year. At the beginning and end of the growing season, a T × CO2 interaction synergistically stimulated plant carbon uptake in the combination of warming and elevated CO2. At peak drought, the D × CO2 interaction antagonistically down......-regulated photosynthesis, suggesting a limited ability of elevated CO2 to counteract the negative effect of drought. The response of photosynthesis in the full factorial combination (TDCO2) could be explained by the main effect of experimental treatments (T, D, CO2) and the two-factor interactions (D × CO2, T × CO2...

  20. Fallout of cesium-137 on a forest ecosystem in the vicinity of a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adriano, D.C.; Hoyt, G.D.; Pinder, J.E. III

    1981-01-01

    Forest canopies intercepted airborne radionuclide-bearing particles released by a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant at the Savannah River Plant producing higher concentrations and accumulations of 137 Cs, 238 Pu and sup(239,240)Pu in the forest litter and mineral soil. This impact resulted in 137 Cs contents usually more than double that for the control samples not influenced by the plant release. The variations in accumulation and distribution patterns of 137 Cs, 238 Pu and sup(239,240)Pu were caused by the apparent greater mobility of 137 Cs in the soil profile and the time of deposition of the Pu isotopes. The use of 137 Cs as an environmental analog for Pu appears questionable as indicated by inconsistent relationships in samples between 137 Cs and 238 Pu or 137 Cs and sup(239,240)Pu. However, its use looks promising in situations elsewhere where erosional transport mechanism determines the mobility of these radionuclides. (author)

  1. How cushion communities are maintained in alpine ecosystems: A review and case study on alpine cushion plant reproduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianguo Chen

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Cushion species occur in nearly all alpine environments worldwide. In past decades, the adaptive and ecosystem-engineering roles of such highly specialized life forms have been well studied. However, the adaptive strategies responsible for cushion species reproductive success and maintenance in severe alpine habitats remain largely unclear. In this study, we reviewed the current understanding of reproductive strategies and population persistence in alpine cushion species. We then present a preliminary case study on the sexual reproduction of Arenaria polytrichoides (Caryophyllaceae, a typical cushion species inhabiting high elevations of the Himalaya Hengduan Mountains, which is a hotspot for diversification of cushion species. Finally, we highlight the limitations of our current understanding of alpine cushion species reproduction and propose future directions for study.

  2. Introducing ZBrush 4

    CERN Document Server

    Keller, Eric

    2011-01-01

    Introducing ZBrush 4 launches readers head-on into fulfilling their artistic potential for sculpting realistic creature, cartoon, and hard surface models in ZBrush. ZBrush's innovative technology and interface can be intimidating to both digital-art beginners as well as veterans who are used to a more conventional modeling environment. This book dispels myths about the difficulty of ZBrush with a thorough tour and exploration of the program's interface. Engaging projects also allow the reader to become comfortable with digital sculpting in with a relaxed and fun book atmosphere. Introducing ZB

  3. Introduced Terrestrial Species (Future)

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — These data represent predicted future potential distributions of terrestrial plants, animals, and pathogens non-native to the Middle-Atlantic region. These data are...

  4. Alpine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    P.W. Rundel; C.I. Millar

    2016-01-01

    Alpine ecosystems are typically defined as those areas occurring above treeline, while recognizing that alpine ecosystems at a local scale may be found below this boundary for reasons including geology, geomorphology, and microclimate. The lower limit of the alpine ecosystems, the climatic treeline, varies with latitude across California, ranging from about 3500 m in...

  5. Ecosystem Jenga!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umphlett, Natalie; Brosius, Tierney; Laungani, Ramesh; Rousseau, Joe; Leslie-Pelecky, Diandra L.

    2009-01-01

    To give students a tangible model of an ecosystem and have them experience what could happen if a component of that ecosystem were removed; the authors developed a hands-on, inquiry-based activity that visually demonstrates the concept of a delicately balanced ecosystem through a modification of the popular game Jenga. This activity can be…

  6. Evaluation of ecosystem simulation models as tools for assessment of power plant impacts on fish populations. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Swartzman, G.L.

    1984-07-01

    This report summarizes work on evaluating the usefulness of models in assessing power plant impacts. Models were found to be most useful in suggesting frequency and replication for monitoring programs. Models also were useful in indicating where further data are needed. The modeling work on Lake Ontario and Lake Keowee indicated difficulties in using monitoring data for model construction and validation

  7. The transfer of 137Cs through the soil-plant-sheep food chain in different pasture ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. PAASIKALLIO

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available A grazing experiment with sheep was carried out in 1990-1993 on natural, semi-natural and cultivated pasture on clay soil. The pastures were located in Southern Finland and were moderately contaminated with 137 Cs by Chernobyl fallout. Natural pasture refers to forest pasture and semi-natural pasture to set-aside field pasture, the latter having been under cultivation about 15 years ago. The transfer of 137 Cs to sheep was clearly higher from forest pasture than from the other two pastures and it was lowest from cultivated pasture. The transfer was higher to muscle and kidney than to liver and heart. The transfer of 137 Cs to plants and to meat varied with years. Seasonal variation in the plant 137 Cs was followed-up on forest and set-aside field pasturerespect to 137 Cs transfer to plants, the mean soil-plant transfer factors of 137 Cs for forest, set-aside field and cultivated pastures were 1.78, 0.36 and 0.09, and soil-meat aggregated transfer factors 11.0, 0.28 and 0.03, respectively.;

  8. Gathering in the city: an annotated bibliography and review of the literature about human-plant interactions in urban ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    R.J. McLain; K. MacFarland; L. Brody; J. Hebert; P. Hurley; M. Poe; L.P. Buttolph; N. Gabriel; M. Dzuna; M.R. Emery; S. Charnley

    2012-01-01

    The past decade has seen resurgence in interest in gathering wild plants and fungi in cities. In addition to gathering by individuals, dozens of groups have emerged in U.S., Canadian, and European cities to facilitate access to nontimber forest products (NTFPs), particularly fruits and nuts, in public and private spaces. Recent efforts within cities to encourage public...

  9. The transfer of 137Cs through the soil-plant-sheep food chain in different pasture ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paasikallio, Arja; Sormunen-Cristian, Riitta

    1996-01-01

    A grazing experiment with sheep was carried out in 1990-1993 on natural, semi-natural and cultivated pasture on clay soil. The pastures were located in Southern Finland and were moderately contaminated with 137 Cs by Chernobyl fallout. Natural pasture refers to forest pasture and semi-natural pasture to set-aside field pasture, the latter having been under cultivation about 15 years ago. The transfer of 137 Cs to sheep was clearly higher from forest pasture than from the other two pastures and it was lowest from cultivated pasture. The transfer was higher to muscle and kidney than to liver and heart. The transfer of 137 Cs to plants and to meat varied with years. Seasonal variation in the plant 137 Cs was followed-up on forest and set-aside field pasturerespect to 137 Cs transfer to plants, the mean soil-plant transfer factors of 137 Cs for forest, set-aside field and cultivated pastures were 1.78, 0.36 and 0.09, and soil-meat aggregated transfer factors 11.0, 0.28 and 0.03, respectively

  10. Astronomical Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuenschwander, D. E.; Finkenbinder, L. R.

    2004-05-01

    Just as quetzals and jaguars require specific ecological habitats to survive, so too must planets occupy a tightly constrained astronomical habitat to support life as we know it. With this theme in mind we relate the transferable features of our elementary astronomy course, "The Astronomical Basis of Life on Earth." Over the last five years, in a team-taught course that features a spring break field trip to Costa Rica, we have introduced astronomy through "astronomical ecosystems," emphasizing astronomical constraints on the prospects for life on Earth. Life requires energy, chemical elements, and long timescales, and we emphasize how cosmological, astrophysical, and geological realities, through stabilities and catastrophes, create and eliminate niches for biological life. The linkage between astronomy and biology gets immediate and personal: for example, studies in solar energy production are followed by hikes in the forest to examine the light-gathering strategies of photosynthetic organisms; a lesson on tides is conducted while standing up to our necks in one on a Pacific beach. Further linkages between astronomy and the human timescale concerns of biological diversity, cultural diversity, and environmental sustainability are natural and direct. Our experience of teaching "astronomy as habitat" strongly influences our "Astronomy 101" course in Oklahoma as well. This "inverted astrobiology" seems to transform our student's outlook, from the universe being something "out there" into something "we're in!" We thank the SNU Science Alumni support group "The Catalysts," and the SNU Quetzal Education and Research Center, San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica, for their support.

  11. Introducing Business English

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nickerson, C.; Planken, B.C.

    2015-01-01

    Introducing Business English provides a comprehensive overview of this topic, situating the concepts of Business English and English for Specific Business Purposes within the wider field of English for Special Purposes. This book draws on contemporary teaching and research contexts to demonstrate

  12. Geometagenomics illuminates the impact of agriculture on the distribution and prevalence of plant viruses at the ecosystem scale

    OpenAIRE

    Bernardo, Pauline; Charles-Dominique, Tristan; Barakat, Mohamed; Ortet, Philippe; Fernandez, Emmanuel; Filloux, Denis; Hartnady, Penelope; Rebelo, Tony A; Cousins, Stephen R; Mesleard, François; Cohez, Damien; Yavercovski, Nicole; Varsani, Arvind; Harkins, Gordon W; Peterschmitt, Michel

    2017-01-01

    Disease emergence events regularly result from human activities such as agriculture, which frequently brings large populations of genetically uniform hosts into contact with potential pathogens. Although viruses cause nearly 50% of emerging plant diseases, there is little systematic information about virus distribution across agro-ecological interfaces and large gaps in understanding of virus diversity in nature. Here we applied a novel landscape-scale geometagenomics approach to examine rela...

  13. Geometagenomics illuminates the impact of agriculture on the distribution and prevalence of plant viruses at the ecosystem scale

    OpenAIRE

    Bernardo, Pauline; Charles-Dominique, Tristan; Barakat, Mohamed; Ortet, Philippe; Fernandez, Emmanuel; Filloux, Denis; Hartnady, Penelope; Rebelo, Tony A.; Cousins, Stephen; Mesleard, François; Cohez, Damien; Yaverkovski, Nicole; Varsani, Arvind; Harkins, Gordon William; Peterschmitt, Michel

    2018-01-01

    Disease emergence events regularly result from human activities such as agriculture, which frequently brings large populations of genetically uniform hosts into contact with potential pathogens. Although viruses cause nearly 50% of emerging plant diseases, there is little systematic information about virus distribution across agro-ecological interfaces and large gaps in understanding of virus diversity in nature. Here we applied a novel landscape-scale geometagenomics approach to examine rela...

  14. Plants in water-controlled ecosystems: active role in hydrologic processes and response to water stress. III. Vegetation water stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porporato, A.; Laio, F.; Ridolfi, L.; Rodriguez-Iturbe, I.

    The reduction of soil moisture content during droughts lowers the plant water potential and decreases transpiration; this in turn causes a reduction of cell turgor and relative water content which brings about a sequence of damages of increasing seriousness. A review of the literature on plant physiology and water stress shows that vegetation water stress can be assumed to start at the soil moisture level corresponding to incipient stomatal closure and reach a maximum intensity at the wilting point. The mean crossing properties of these soil moisture levels crucial for water stress are derived analytically for the stochastic model of soil moisture dynamics described in Part II (F. Laio, A. Porporato, L. Ridolfi, I. Rodriguez-Iturbe. Adv. Water Res. 24 (7) (2001) 707-723). These properties are then used to propose a measure of vegetation water stress which combines the mean intensity, duration, and frequency of periods of soil water deficit. The characteristics of vegetation water stress are then studied under different climatic conditions, showing how the interplay between plant, soil, and environment can lead to optimal conditions for vegetation.

  15. Introducing English grammar

    CERN Document Server

    Borjars, Kersti

    2013-01-01

    Answering key questions such as 'Why study grammar?' and 'What is standard English?', Introducing English Grammar guides readers through the practical analysis of the syntax of English sentences. With all special terms carefully explained as they are introduced, the book is written for readers with no previous experience of grammatical analysis. It is ideal for all those beginning their study of linguistics, English language or speech pathology, as well as students with primarily literary interests who need to cover the basics of linguistic analysis. The approach taken is in line with current research in grammar, a particular advantage for students who may go on to study syntax in more depth. All the examples and exercises use real language taken from newspaper articles, non-standard dialects and include excerpts from studies of patients with language difficulties. Students are encouraged to think about the terminology as a tool kit for studying language and to test what can and cannot be described using thes...

  16. Introducing Students to Ethnobotany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kendler, Barry S.; And Others

    1992-01-01

    Ethnobotany is the scientific investigation of plant use by indigenous cultures for food, medicine, pesticides, and other purposes. Discusses the significance of ethnobotany and provides resources and laboratory activities suitable for use in biology and botany courses at the high school and college levels. (MDH)

  17. A literature study of the behaviour of cesium, strontium and plutonium in the soil-plant ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nielsen, B.; Strandberg, M.

    1988-07-01

    Literature on the occurrence of radiocesium (primarily 137CS) in the soil-plant system with emphasis on the influence of treatment on its root uptake, was reviewed. The aim was to study root uptake of radiocesium in order to estimate the applicability of suitable counter measures in cases of contamination of arable land with plutonium, radiostrontium and, in particular, radiocesium. To what extent 136CS is available to, and absorbed by, the plant and how it is distributed and absorbed in the soil is described. The physiological uptake of plutonium from soil through roots to plant parts lying above ground constitutes minor health hazards to population from the ingestion of vegetables. Extensive use of root fruits, might indicate that there is a risk present in areas of high plutonium soil concentration, because plutonium is adsorbed to root molecules, especially if soil and peel are not discarded. Another risk lies in the resuspension of plutonium deposited on the soil surface. As mentioned above, the impact of the leakage of plutonium from the Chernobyl accident was negligible in distant areas. The effects in the vicinity of the reactor, might have been important. In small areas with high levels of plutonium contamination removal of the top soil layer will be effective. Because of the high toxity and long half-life of plutonium, the risk involved merely in isolating such an area will be to high, because the plutonium may be further dispersed. In larger areas, deep ploughing to a depth of 30-40 cm or more, if feasible, is a possibility. Local factors have to be considered, e.g. position of bedrock, groundwater, soil parameters etc. Deep ploughing combined with previous dispersion of clay minerals, lime or humus or a combination, might be a solution, and should be followed by limiting crops to those with roots concentrated in the surface layer and with smallest attainable concentration ratios for plutonium. Cereals might fill this demand. 188 refs. (AB)

  18. Investigate the plant biomass response to climate warming in permafrost ecosystem using matrix-based data assimilation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, X.; Du, Z.; Schuur, E.; Luo, Y.

    2017-12-01

    Permafrost is one of the most vulnerable regions on the earth with over 40% world soil C represented in this region. Future climate warming potentially has a great impact on this region. On one hand, rising temperature accelerates permafrost soil thaw and release more C from land. On the other hand, warming may also increase the plant growing season length and therefore negatively feedback to climate change by increasing annual land C uptake. However, whether permafrost vegetation biomass change in response to warming can sequester more C has not been well understood. Manipulated air warming experiments reported that air warming has very limited impacts on grass land productivity and biomass growth in permafrost region [Mauritz et al., 2017]. It is hard to reveal the mechanisms behind the limited air warming response directly from experiment data. We employ a vegetation C cycle matrix model based on Community land model 4.5 (CLM4.5) and data assimilation technique to investigate how much do phenology and physiology processes contribute to the response respectively. Our results indicate phenology contributes the most in response to warming. The shift of vegetation parameter distributions after 2012 indicate vegetation acclimation may explain the modest response in plant biomass to air warming. The results suggest future model development need to take vegetation acclimation more seriously. The novel matrix-based model allows data assimilation to be conducted more efficiently. It provides more functional understanding of the models as well as the mechanism behind experiment data.

  19. Soil, Vegetation, and Seed Bank of a Sonoran Desert Ecosystem Along an Exotic Plant ( Pennisetum ciliare) Treatment Gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abella, Scott R.; Chiquoine, Lindsay P.; Backer, Dana M.

    2013-10-01

    Ecological conditions following removal of exotic plants are a key part of comprehensive environmental management strategies to combat exotic plant invasions. We examined ecological conditions following removal of the management-priority buffelgrass ( Pennisetum ciliare) in Saguaro National Park of the North American Sonoran Desert. We assessed soil, vegetation, and soil seed banks on seven buffelgrass site types: five different frequencies of buffelgrass herbicide plus hand removal treatments (ranging from 5 years of annual treatment to a single year of treatment), untreated sites, and non-invaded sites, with three replicates for each of the seven site types. The 22 measured soil properties (e.g., pH) differed little among sites. Regarding vegetation, buffelgrass cover was low (≤1 % median cover), or absent, across all treated sites but was high (10-70 %) in untreated sites. Native vegetation cover, diversity, and composition were indistinguishable across site types. Species composition was dominated by native species (>93 % relative cover) across all sites except untreated buffelgrass sites. Most (38 species, 93 %) of the 41 species detected in soil seed banks were native, and native seed density did not differ significantly across sites. Results suggest that: (1) buffelgrass cover was minimal across treated sites; (2) aside from high buffelgrass cover in untreated sites, ecological conditions were largely indistinguishable across sites; (3) soil seed banks harbored ≥12 species that were frequent in the aboveground vegetation; and (4) native species dominated post-treatment vegetation composition, and removing buffelgrass did not result in replacement by other exotic species.

  20. Impact of effluents from Tihange nuclear plant on the Meuse ecosystem: a five year in situ study and experimental approach 1976 -1980

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clercq-Versele, H. de; Kirchmann, R.

    1982-07-01

    The aim of present multidisciplinary study, started in 1975, was to evaluate the influence of liquid effluent releases from a PWR-type nuclear reactor on the ecosystem of running water. The Tihange-1 nuclear power plant, along the Meuse river near Liege, has been selected as site for this study, which situates in the general context of the industrial and urban pollution of this region. The in situ biological research dealt with phytoplankton, microphytobenthos and bryophytic populations on the one hand, and with zooplankton, macroinvertebrates and fish on the other hand. The impact of the releases on certain aquatic organisms has been studied with the help of experimental devices (pools and rafts). Laboratory research has been carried out on an alga type representative of Meuse phytoplankton. It could be concluded that a temperature increase of the Meuse water (generally 2 to 3 0 C), although it has no detectable qualitative influence on the various links of the Meuse ecosystem, seems to promote the development of more temperature-tolerant species and to influence biological parameters such as growth and reproduction of aquatic animals. Although the legal limit (namely 0.3 mg/l in the water downstream the releases) is always respected, chlorination of the Meuse water gives rise to a decrease of the photosynthetic activity in aquatic mosses and creates asphyxiation phenomena in fish and crayfish. The utility of certain animal organisms of the Meuse biocenose as bio-indicators of the radionuclides present in the releases, has been confirmed. The alga cultures are also very adequate for the evaluation of the biological availability of some radioisotopes such as tritium. (author)

  1. Introducing Program Evaluation Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raluca GÂRBOAN

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Programs and project evaluation models can be extremely useful in project planning and management. The aim is to set the right questions as soon as possible in order to see in time and deal with the unwanted program effects, as well as to encourage the positive elements of the project impact. In short, different evaluation models are used in order to minimize losses and maximize the benefits of the interventions upon small or large social groups. This article introduces some of the most recently used evaluation models.

  2. Chlorophyll fluorescence is a rigorous, high throughput tool to analyze the impacts of genotype, species, and stress on plant and ecosystem productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewers, B. E.; Pleban, J. R.; Aston, T.; Beverly, D.; Speckman, H. N.; Hosseini, A.; Bretfeld, M.; Edwards, C.; Yarkhunova, Y.; Weinig, C.; Mackay, D. S.

    2017-12-01

    . High throughput handheld or drone-based measurements of chlorophyll fluorescence provide high quality, quantitative data that can be used to not only connect genotype to phenotype but also quantify how vastly different plant species and genotypes respond to stress and change ecosystem productivity.

  3. Introducing "Frontiers in Zoology"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinze, Jürgen; Tautz, Diethard

    2004-09-29

    As a biological discipline, zoology has one of the longest histories. Today it occasionally appears as though, due to the rapid expansion of life sciences, zoology has been replaced by more or less independent sub-disciplines amongst which exchange is often sparse. However, the recent advance of molecular methodology into "classical" fields of biology, and the development of theories that can explain phenomena on different levels of organisation, has led to a re-integration of zoological disciplines promoting a broader than usual approach to zoological questions. Zoology has re-emerged as an integrative discipline encompassing the most diverse aspects of animal life, from the level of the gene to the level of the ecosystem.The new journal Frontiers in Zoology is the first Open Access journal focussing on zoology as a whole. It aims to represent and re-unite the various disciplines that look at animal life from different perspectives and at providing the basis for a comprehensive understanding of zoological phenomena on all levels of analysis. Frontiers in Zoology provides a unique opportunity to publish high quality research and reviews on zoological issues that will be internationally accessible to any reader at no cost.

  4. Mineral nutrients in mediterranean ecosystems

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Day, JA

    1983-06-01

    Full Text Available The notion of ecological convergence has influenced taxonomists and biogeographers since the development of ecology in the mid-nineteenth century. Our initial understanding of the ecosystems of the world resulted from plant geographers...

  5. Study of the radioactivity of forest ecosystems in some places of southern Bohemia following the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Konecny, J.; Vlcek, A.; Landa, M.; Obdrzalek, M.; Hofmannova, V.

    1989-01-01

    Following passage of the radioactive cloud, samples of forest ecocystems were analyzed and the data obtained were used in assessing the effect of radionuclides on the systems. Branches, bark, needles, leaves, mushrooms and soil were sampled. Dried and ground samples were measured using a scintillation detector linked to a gamma spectrometry system. The activities were assessed of 134 Cs, 137 Cs and also, informatively, of 40 K. High cesium concentrations were found in samples from 1987 when part of cesium was transformed into a soluble form and became thus accessible to plants. Pine needles were found to be most sensitive to concentration changes. The highest activities were observed in spruce needles, whereas birch showed very low cesium activites. High variations with the species and altitude above sea level were observed in mushrooms. (M.D.). 2 tabs., 10 refs

  6. Foliar pH as a new plant trati: van it explain variation in foliar chemistry and carbon cycling processes among subarctiv plant species and types?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cornelissen, J.H.C.; Quested, H.M.; van Logtestijn, R.S.P; Perez-Harguindeguy, N.; Gwynn-Jones, D.; Diaz, S.; Callaghan, T.V.; Press, M.C.; Aerts, R.

    2006-01-01

    Plant traits have become popular as predictors of interspecific variation in important ecosystem properties and processes. Here we introduce foliar pH as a possible new plant trait, and tested whether (1) green leaf pH or leaf litter pH correlates with biochemical and structural foliar traits that

  7. A Comparative-Study on Nutrient Cycling in Wet Heathland Ecosystems.2.Litter Decomposition and Nutrient Mineralization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berendse, F.; Bobbink, R.; Rouwenhorst, G.

    1989-01-01

    The concept of the relative nutrient requirement (L n) that was introduced in the first paper of this series is used to analyse the effects of the dominant plant population on nutrient cycling and nutrient mineralization in wet heathland ecosystems. A distinction is made between the effect that the

  8. Mexico introduces pentavalent vaccine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-08-01

    Combination vaccines have been introduced in Mexico. The national immunization program has incorporated the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccines in 1998, and the pentavalent vaccine in 1999. The two categories of antigen composition in combination vaccines are: 1) multiple different antigenic types of a single pathogen, such as the 23 valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, and 2) antigens from different pathogens causing different diseases, such as the DPT and MMR vaccines. Pentavalent vaccines are included in the second category. The vaccine protects against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, and other diseases produced by Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). Combined diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, and Haemophilus influenza type b (DTP-HB/Hib) vaccine has been distributed to 87% of Mexican children under 1 year of age. Over 800,000 doses of pentavalent vaccine have been administered.

  9. Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, F.C.; Spigel, Ben

    2016-01-01

    This paper reviews and discusses the emergent entrepreneurial ecosystem approach. Entrepreneurial ecosystems are defined as a set of interdependent actors and factors coordinated in such a way that they enable productive entrepreneurship within a particular territory. The purpose of this paper is to

  10. Assessment of Plant Functional Types in Tropical Arid and Semi-Arid Ecosystems of India Using Remote Sensing Data and GIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sudhakar Reddy, C.; Krishna, P. Hari; Murthy, M. S. R.

    2011-09-01

    Tropical ecosystems undergo changes caused by season, climate or multiple anthropogenic impacts. Such changes may cause gradual or rapid shifts from one state to another. There has been a focus on functional classifications of plants to find tools for monitoring and assessing species status in changing environments. It has been recognised that plant biological characteristics can be related to their response to predominant environmental factors and interactions between other organisms. These findings have resulted in a search for plant functional types (PFTs) that are user-defined groups of species with similar response to environmental resources and disturbance associated to common biological traits. Now, identification of plant functional types is priority area in the climate change research. Satellite Earth observation data is an important tool in providing considerable information on extracting PFT information at global and regional levels. From the modelling perspective, some of the current needs are the refinement of processes that govern community assembly, such as natural and anthropogenic disturbances. PFTs used in large-scale models are insufficient to represent the diversity of responses in natural plant communities. The currently available MODIS PFT map was generated by re-labeling the IGBP land cover type classes. However, the error magnitudes of the MODIS PFT product and their spatial and temporal distributions have not been fully characterized. Remotely sensed derived information of the phenology, community composition and vegetation structure are the key inputs to integrate with the variability in precipitation and temperature to map the spatial distribution of Plant functional types. PFTs allows accurate representation of the land surface by separately specifying the composition and structure of PFTs within a grid cell. Very little research efforts are discernible in India that explicitly address the PFTs. In the present study five natural

  11. Increasing plant use of organic nitrogen with elevation is reflected in nitrogen uptake rates and ecosystem delta15N.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Averill, Colin; Finzi, Adrien

    2011-04-01

    It is hypothesized that decreasing mean annual temperature and rates of nitrogen (N) cycling causes plants to switch from inorganic to organic forms of N as the primary mode of N nutrition. To test this hypothesis, we conducted field experiments and collected natural-abundance delta15N signatures of foliage, soils, and ectomycorrhizal sporocarps along a steep elevation-climate gradient in the White Mountains, New Hampshire, USA. Here we show that with increasing elevation organic forms of N became the dominant source of N taken up by hardwood and coniferous tree species based on dual-labeled glycine uptake analysis, an important confirmation of an emerging theory for the biogeochemistry of the N cycle. Variation in natural abundance foliar delta15N with elevation was also consistent with increasing organic N uptake, though a simple, mass balance model demonstrated that the uptake of delta15N depleted inorganic N, rather than fractionation upon transfer of N from mycorrhizal fungi, best explains variations in foliar delta15N with elevation.

  12. Background and anthropogenic radionuclide derived dose rates to freshwater ecosystem - Nuclear power plant cooling pond - Reference organisms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nedveckaite, T.; Filistovic, V.; Marciulioniene, D.; Prokoptchuk, N.; Plukiene, R.; Gudelis, A.; Remeikis, V.; Yankovich, T.; Beresford, N.-A.

    2011-01-01

    The radiological assessment of non-human biota to demonstrate protection is now accepted by a number of international and national bodies. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a scientific basis to assess and evaluate exposure of biota to ionizing radiation. Radionuclides from the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (Lithuania) were discharged into Lake Druksiai cooling pond. Additional radionuclide migration and recharge to this lake from a hypothetical near-surface, low-level radioactive waste disposal, to be situated 1.5 km from the lake, had been simulated using RESRAD-OFFSITE code. This paper uses ERICA Integrated Approach with associated tools and databases to compare the radiological dose to freshwater reference organisms. Based on these data, it can be concluded that background dose rates to non-human biota in Lake Druksiai far exceed those attributable to anthropogenic radionuclides. With respect the fishery and corresponding annual committed effective human dose as a result of this fish consumption Lake Druksiai continues to be a high-productivity water body with intensive angling and possible commercial fishing. - Highlights: → Dose rates to the reference organisms are lower than expected from the background radioactivity. → Pelagic fish part of adult human annual committed effective dose would be as small as a few μSv y -1 . → With respect the fishery Lake Druksiai continues to be a high-productivity water body.

  13. The biogenic volatile organic compounds emission inventory in France: application to plant ecosystems in the Berre-Marseilles area (France).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Valérie; Dumergues, Laurent; Ponche, Jean-Luc; Torres, Liberto

    2006-12-15

    An inventory describing the fluxes of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), isoprene and monoterpenes, and other VOCs (OVOCs) from the biosphere to the atmosphere, has been constructed within the framework of the ESCOMPTE project (fiEld experimentS to COnstrain Models of atmospheric Pollution and Transport of Emissions). The area concerned, located around Berre-Marseilles, is a Mediterranean region frequently subject to high ozone concentrations. The inventory has been developed using a fine scale land use database for the year 1999, forest composition statistics, emission potentials from individual plant species, biomass distribution, temperature and light intensity. The seasonal variations in emission potentials and biomass were also taken into account. Hourly meteorological data for 1999 were calculated from ALADIN data and these were used to predict the hourly isoprene, monoterpene and OVOC fluxes for the area on a 1 kmx1 km spatial grid. Estimates of annual biogenic isoprene, monoterpene and OVOC fluxes for the reference year 1999 were 20.6, 38.9 and 13.3 kt, respectively, Quercus pubescens, Quercus ilex, Pinus halepensis and garrigue vegetation are the dominant emitting species of the area. VOC emissions from vegetation in this region contribute approximately 94% to the NMVOC (non-methane volatile organic compounds) of natural origin and are of the same order of magnitude as NMVOC emissions from anthropogenic sources. These results complete the global ESCOMPTE database needed to make an efficient strategy for tropospheric ozone reduction policy.

  14. Peatland Woody Plant Growth Responses to Warming and Elevated CO2 in a Southern-boreal Raised Bog Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, J. R.; Hanson, P. J.; Warren, J.; Ward, E. J.; Brice, D. J.; Graham, J.

    2017-12-01

    Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Changing Environments (SPRUCE) is an in situ warming by elevated CO2 manipulation located in a high-carbon, spruce peatland in northern Minnesota. Warming treatments combined a 12-m diameter open topped chamber with internally recirculating warm air and soil deep heating to simulate a broad range of future warming treatments. Deep below ground soil warming rates are 0, +2.25, +4.5, +6.75, and +9 °C. Deep belowground warming was initiated in June 2014 followed by air warming in August 2015. In June 2016, elevated CO2 atmospheres (eCO2 at + 500 ppm) were added to half of the warming treatments in a regression design. Our objective was to track long-term vegetation responses to warming and eCO2. Annual tree growth is based on winter measurement of circumference of all Picea mariana and Larix laricina trees within each 113 m2 plot, automated dendrometers, terrestrial LIDAR scanning of tree heights and canopy volumes, and destructive allometry. Annual shrub growth is measured in late summer by destructive clipping in two 0.25 m2 sub-plots and separation of the current year tissues. During the first year of warming, tree basal area growth was reduced for Picea, but not Larix trees. Growth responses for the woody shrub vegetation remains highly variable with a trend towards increasing growth with warming. Elevated CO2 enhancements of growth are not yet evident in the data. Second-year results will also be reported. Long-term hypotheses for increased woody plant growth under warming include potential enhancements driven by increased nutrient availability from warming induced decomposition of surface peats.

  15. An Ecohydrological Approach to the Resiliency and Stability of Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peña Alzate, S.; Canon Barriga, J. E.

    2013-12-01

    We introduce a simplified ecohydrological model to quantitatively assess the resiliency and stability of ecosystems. The proposed model couples a hydrological soil moisture balance with a set of spatiotemporal dynamics of systems and agent-based algorithms to represent the interactions among several plant populations in a gridded area under different water, soil and temperature constraints. The model also allows disturbances, representing mostly the effects of deforestation practices. The simulated ecosystem, composed by a set of plant populations, includes allometric rules (i.e., power laws for generational and reproductive times, linear approximations for water and temperature gains, losses and optimal values and a set of intra and interspecific interaction rules based on high, optimal and low competition responses among the populations). Disturbances are determined by a clearance of populations in a defined area within the model's domain. The effects of climate variability can be also incorporated through precipitation and temperature time series that exhibit trends and heteroskedasticity. Resiliency and stability are calculated with modified indices that are used in hydrology, in this case to determine the ability of the ecosystem to recover from a disturbance. The model represents different types of plant phenotypes showing exponential growth in the first steps of the simulations. The indices, evaluated on each population and over the structure of the entire ecosystem, show how different populations respond differently to disturbances, following behaviors similar to those expected in nature, like high reproduction rates on gregarious plants with short generation times, and low densities in plants with high generations times. The selection of plant populations was mainly focused on the concept of biodiversity with emphasis on tropical regions. The model can represent the spatial and temporal succession of the ecosystem after being disturbed. The model also

  16. Pollutant deposition in forest ecosystems and characteristics of chemical properties of soils in the environs of the Temelin nuclear power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lochman, V.; Bucek, J.; Biba, M.

    1994-01-01

    The paper describes the results of investigations of the chemistry of precipitation water and soil water in 1991-1992 on research plots in the nearer and farther environs of the building site of the Temelin nuclear power plant (about 25 km north of Ceske Budejovice). Research plots lie in spruce and beech stands. When the installations on research plots were built (1990 and 1991), soil samples were taken to determine the supply of biogenic elements in humus and soil. The objective of the program was to determine the current level of element deposition in forest ecosystems, dynamics of soil elements and chemistry; the program is a part of more extensive research into forest environment and stand condition. The research of investigation provide data for a forecast of the effect of the projected operation of the nuclear power plant on forest environment, basic factor of growth and stabilization and for fulfilment of their functions. They can be a basis for evaluation of the rate of changes in forest ecosystems after the nuclear power plant has been launched into operation. The results of research are currently applied to supply data to the network of plots with monitoring of pollutant loads in the forest ecosystem in Southern Bohemia. Two research plots in spruce stand (Hnevkovice and Strouha) and a plot in beech stand (Vsetec) were laid out at a distance of several kilometers from the built-up premises of the Temelin nuclear power plant. The soils on these plots are medium deep brown forest soils (Cambisol) with a large amount of mother rock skeleton (biotitic paragneiss). Moder is a soil humus form in the spruce and beech stands. To monitor pollutant deposition in the forest ecosystems and their effect of the soil properties Vojirov plots were laid out which lie in spruce stand and in a mixed stand of beech and spruce in the Jindrichuv Hradec forest district, near the frontier with Austria. Humus podzols with moder and mor forms were developed on eolian sand between

  17. Introducing International Geneva

    CERN Multimedia

    2015-01-01

    Geneva is variously known as the city of peace, the world’s smallest metropolis and a place where great ideas have taken form. It has been the home to philosophers such as Rousseau and Voltaire. It was the centre of the Calvinist reformation and birthplace of the Red Cross.   I hardly need to tell you that it is also a city of great international collaboration in science. Little wonder, then, that over the years, Geneva has developed into the world’s capital of internationalism in the broadest sense of the word. Yet while we all know of the existence of modern day International Geneva, how many of us really know what it does? Here at CERN, we’re about to find out. Next week sees the first in a series of talks at the Laboratory from the heads of some of the institutions that make up International Geneva. On Friday, 20 February, it will be my pleasure to introduce you to Michael Møller, Acting Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNO...

  18. Introducing the new EDMS

    CERN Multimedia

    The EDMS Team

    2014-01-01

    We are very pleased to announce the arrival of a brand new EDMS: EDMS 6. The CERN Engineering and Equipment Data Management Service just got better than ever! EDMS is the de facto interface for all engineering related data and more. Currently there are more than 1.2 million documents and nearly 2 million files stored in EDMS.   What’s new? The first thing you will notice is the look and feel of EDMS 6; the new design not only makes it more modern but also more intuitive, so that the system is easier to use, regardless of your experience with EDMS. Whilst we have kept the key concepts, we have introduced more functionality and improved navigation within the interface, allowing for better performance to help you in your daily work. We have also added a personal slant to EDMS 6 so that you can now customise your list of favourite objects. Modifying data in EDMS is much simpler, allowing you to view all object data in a single window.  More functionality will be added in the ...

  19. Coastal ecosystems, productivity and ecosystem protection: Coastal ecosystem management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ngoile, M.A.K.; Horrill, C.J.

    1993-01-01

    The coastal zone is a complex ecosystem under the influence of physical, chemical and biological processes. Under natural conditions these processes interact and maintain an equilibrium in the coastal ecosystem. Man makes a variety of important uses of coastal resources, ranging from harvesting of living resources, extraction of nonliving resources, and recreation, to the disposal of wastes. Man's extensive use of the oceans introduces factors which bring about an imbalance in the natural processes, and may result in harmful and hazardous effects to life hindering further use. Man's pressure on the resources of the coastal zone is already manifest and will increase manifold. This calls for an immediate solution to the protection and sustainable use of coastal resources. The current sectorized approach to the management of human activities will not solve the problem because the different resources of the coastal zone interact in such a manner that disturbances in one cause imbalance in the others. This is further complicated by the sectorized approach to research and limited communication between policy makers, managers, and scientists. This paper discusses strategies for managing coastal-resources use through an integrated approach. The coastal zone is presented as a unified ecosystem in equilibrium and shows that man's extensive use of the coastal resources destabilizes this equilibrium. Examples from the East Africa Region are presented. 15 refs, 2 figs, 3 tabs

  20. Ecosystem thermodynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gomez Palacio, German Rau

    1998-01-01

    Ecology is no more a descriptive and self-sufficient science. Many viewpoints are needed simultaneously to give a full coverage of such complex systems: ecosystems. These viewpoints come from physics, chemistry, and nuclear physics, without a new far from equilibrium thermodynamics and without new mathematical tools such as catastrophe theory, fractal theory, cybernetics and network theory, the development of ecosystem science would never have reached the point of today. Some ideas are presented about the importance that concept such as energy, entropy, exergy information and none equilibrium have in the analysis of processes taking place in ecosystems

  1. Use resources of human exometabolites of different oxidation levels for higher plants cultivation on the soil-like substrate as applied to closed ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tikhomirov, Alexander A.; Kudenko, Yurii; Ushakova, Sofya; Tirranen, Lyalya; Gribovskaya, Illiada; Gros, Jean-Bernard; Lasseur, Christophe

    The technology of ‘wet incineration' of human exometabolites and inedible plants biomass by means of H2 O2 in alternating electromagnetic field to increase a closure of mass exchange processes in bioregenerative life support systems (BLSS) was developed at the Institute of Biophysics of the Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences (Krasnoyarsk, Russia). Human exometabolites mineralized can be used in a nutrient solution for plants cultivation in the BLSS phototrophic link. The objective of the given work appears to be the study of use resources of human exometabolites of different oxidation levels processed by the abovementioned method for higher plants cultivation on the soil-like substrate (SLS). The mineralized human wastes were tested for the purpose of their sterility. Then the effect of human exometabolites of different oxidation levels both on wheat productivity and on the SLS microflora composition was examined. The SLS extract with a definite amount of human mineralized wastes was used as an irrigation solution. The conducted experiments demonstrated that the H2 O2 decreasing to 1 ml on 1 g of feces and to 0.25 ml on 1 ml of urine had not affected the sterility of mineralized human wastes. Wheat cultivation on the SLS with the addition in an irrigation solution of mineralized human wastes in the amount simulating 1/6 of a daily human diet showed the absence of basic dependence of plants productivity on oxidation level of human exometabolites. Yet the analysis of the microflora composition of the irrigation solutions demonstrated its dependence on the oxidation level of the exometabolites introduced. The amount of yeast-like fungi increased in 20 times in the solutions containing less oxidized exometabolites in comparison with the variant in which the human wastes were subjected to a full-scale oxidation. Besides, the solutions with less oxidized exometabolites displayed a bigger content of plant pathogenic bacteria and denitrifies. Consequently the

  2. Urban ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Duvigneaud, P

    1974-01-01

    The author considers the town as an ecosystem. He examines its various subdivisions (climate, soil, structure, human and non-human communities, etc.) for which he chooses examples with particular reference to the city of Brussels.

  3. Working group 7: Ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Verheyen, R.

    1976-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to evaluate the environmental impact of nuclear power plants. The effects of ionizing radiations, of the thermal and chemical pollution on aquatic ecosystems as well as on terrestrial ecosystems have been estimated. After a general survey of such effects and their interaction, practical conclusions in regard to determined areas such as Meuse-Escaut marine and the coast have been drawn. The contamination effects of food chains have been evaluted under deliberately pessimistic conditions with regard to the choice of the radionuclide as well as of concentration factors. Following the biodegradation conditions of the surface waters, criteria for the quality of the aquatic ecosystems have been established. Finally, attention has been paid on certain factors affecting the site selection especially within the frame of the nature conservation. The effects of cooling towers have been also considered. (G.C.)

  4. Water- and plant-mediated responses of ecosystem carbon fluxes to warming and nitrogen addition on the Songnen grassland in northeast China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Jiang

    Full Text Available Understanding how grasslands are affected by a long-term increase in temperature is crucial to predict the future impact of global climate change on terrestrial ecosystems. Additionally, it is not clear how the effects of global warming on grassland productivity are going to be altered by increased N deposition and N addition.In-situ canopy CO(2 exchange rates were measured in a meadow steppe subjected to 4-year warming and nitrogen addition treatments. Warming treatment reduced net ecosystem CO(2 exchange (NEE and increased ecosystem respiration (ER; but had no significant impacts on gross ecosystem productivity (GEP. N addition increased NEE, ER and GEP. However, there were no significant interactions between N addition and warming. The variation of NEE during the four experimental years was correlated with soil water content, particularly during early spring, suggesting that water availability is a primary driver of carbon fluxes in the studied semi-arid grassland.Ecosystem carbon fluxes in grassland ecosystems are sensitive to warming and N addition. In the studied water-limited grassland, both warming and N addition influence ecosystem carbon fluxes by affecting water availability, which is the primary driver in many arid and semiarid ecosystems. It remains unknown to what extent the long-term N addition would affect the turn-over of soil organic matter and the C sink size of this grassland.

  5. The biodiversity-dependent ecosystem service debt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Tilman, David; Polasky, Stephen; Loreau, Michel

    2015-02-01

    Habitat destruction is driving biodiversity loss in remaining ecosystems, and ecosystem functioning and services often directly depend on biodiversity. Thus, biodiversity loss is likely creating an ecosystem service debt: a gradual loss of biodiversity-dependent benefits that people obtain from remaining fragments of natural ecosystems. Here, we develop an approach for quantifying ecosystem service debts, and illustrate its use to estimate how one anthropogenic driver, habitat destruction, could indirectly diminish one ecosystem service, carbon storage, by creating an extinction debt. We estimate that c. 2-21 Pg C could be gradually emitted globally in remaining ecosystem fragments because of plant species loss caused by nearby habitat destruction. The wide range for this estimate reflects substantial uncertainties in how many plant species will be lost, how much species loss will impact ecosystem functioning and whether plant species loss will decrease soil carbon. Our exploratory analysis suggests that biodiversity-dependent ecosystem service debts can be globally substantial, even when locally small, if they occur diffusely across vast areas of remaining ecosystems. There is substantial value in conserving not only the quantity (area), but also the quality (biodiversity) of natural ecosystems for the sustainable provision of ecosystem services. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  6. Strategic ecosystems of Colombia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marquez Calle German

    2002-01-01

    The author relates the ecosystems in Colombia, he makes a relationship between ecosystems and population, utility of the ecosystems, transformation of the ecosystems and poverty and he shows a methodology of identification of strategic ecosystems

  7. Environmental contamination in Antarctic ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bargagli, R

    2008-08-01

    Although the remote continent of Antarctica is perceived as the symbol of the last great wilderness, the human presence in the Southern Ocean and the continent began in the early 1900s for hunting, fishing and exploration, and many invasive plant and animal species have been deliberately introduced in several sub-Antarctic islands. Over the last 50 years, the development of research and tourism have locally affected terrestrial and marine coastal ecosystems through fuel combustion (for transportation and energy production), accidental oil spills, waste incineration and sewage. Although natural "barriers" such as oceanic and atmospheric circulation protect Antarctica from lower latitude water and air masses, available data on concentrations of metals, pesticides and other persistent pollutants in air, snow, mosses, lichens and marine organisms show that most persistent contaminants in the Antarctic environment are transported from other continents in the Southern Hemisphere. At present, levels of most contaminants in Antarctic organisms are lower than those in related species from other remote regions, except for the natural accumulation of Cd and Hg in several marine organisms and especially in albatrosses and petrels. The concentrations of organic pollutants in the eggs of an opportunistic top predator such as the south polar skua are close to those that may cause adverse health effects. Population growth and industrial development in several countries of the Southern Hemisphere are changing the global pattern of persistent anthropogenic contaminants and new classes of chemicals have already been detected in the Antarctic environment. Although the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty provides strict guidelines for the protection of the Antarctic environment and establishes obligations for all human activity in the continent and the Southern Ocean, global warming, population growth and industrial development in countries of the Southern

  8. A regional assessment of white-tailed deer effects on plant invasion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Averill, Kristine M. [Ecology Intercollege Graduate Degree Program, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA; Department of Plant Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA; Mortensen, David A. [Ecology Intercollege Graduate Degree Program, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA; Department of Plant Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA; Smithwick, Erica A. H. [Ecology Intercollege Graduate Degree Program, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA; Department of Geography, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA; Kalisz, Susan [Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA; McShea, William J. [Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Front Royal, VA, USA; Bourg, Norman A. [Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Front Royal, VA, USA; Parker, John D. [Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, MD, USA; Royo, Alejandro A. [United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Irvine, PA, USA; Abrams, Marc D. [Ecology Intercollege Graduate Degree Program, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA; Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA; Apsley, David K. [Department of Extension, The Ohio State University, Jackson, OH, USA; Blossey, Bernd [Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA; Boucher, Douglas H. [Department of Biology, Hood College, Frederick, MD, USA; Caraher, Kai L. [Department of Biology, Hood College, Frederick, MD, USA; DiTommaso, Antonio [Soil and Crop Sciences Section, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA; Johnson, Sarah E. [Ecology Intercollege Graduate Degree Program, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA; Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA; Masson, Robert [National Park Service, Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown, NJ, USA; Nuzzo, Victoria A. [Natural Area Consultants, Richford, NY, USA

    2017-12-07

    Herbivores can profoundly influence plant species assembly, including plant invasion, and resulting community composition. Population increases of native herbivores, e.g., white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), combined with burgeoning plant invasions raise concerns for native plant diversity and forest regeneration. While individual researchers typically test for the impact of deer on plant invasion at a few sites, the overarching influence of deer on plant invasion across regional scales is unclear. We tested the effects of deer on the abundance and diversity of introduced and native herbaceous and woody plants across 23 white-tailed deer research sites distributed across the east central and northeastern United States and representing a wide range of deer densities and invasive plant abundance and identity. Deer access/exclusion or deer population density did not affect introduced plant richness or community-level abundance. Native and total plant species richness, abundance (cover and stem density), and Shannon diversity were lower in deer-access vs. deer-exclusion plots. Among deer access plots, native species richness, native and total cover, and Shannon diversity (cover) declined as deer density increased. Deer access increased the proportion of introduced species cover (but not of species richness or stem density). As deer density increased, the proportion of introduced species richness, cover, and stem density all increased. Because absolute abundance of introduced plants was unaffected by deer, the increase in proportion of introduced plant abundance is likely an indirect effect of deer reducing native cover. Indicator species analysis revealed that deer access favored three introduced plant species, including Alliaria petiolata and Microstegium vimineum, as well as four native plant species. In contrast, deer exclusion favored three introduced plant species, including Lonicera japonica and Rosa multiflora, and fifteen native plant species. Overall

  9. Designer ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Awasthi, Ashutosh; Singh, Kripal; O'Grady, Audrey; Courtney, Ronan; Kalra, Alok; Singh, Rana Pratap; Cerda Bolinches, Artemio; Steinberger, Yosef; Patra, D.D.

    2016-01-01

    Increase in human population is accelerating the rate of land use change, biodiversity loss and habitat degradation, triggering a serious threat to life supporting ecosystem services. Existing strategies for biological conservation remain insufficient to achieve a sustainable human-nature

  10. Exotic invasive plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carolyn Hull Sieg; Barbara G. Phillips; Laura P. Moser

    2003-01-01

    Ecosystems worldwide are threatened by nonnative plant invasions that can cause undesirable, irreversible changes. They can displace native plants and animals, out-cross with native flora, alter nutrient cycling and other ecosystem functions, and even change an ecosystem's flammability (Walker and Smith 1997). After habitat loss, the spread of exotic species is...

  11. Externalities assessment of a coal power plant in the forest ecosystems in Valdecaballeros Area; Estimacion de las externalidades de una central termica de carbon en los ecosistemas forestales del Area de Valdecaballeros

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Laforga, P; Planas, B

    1995-07-01

    The book is divided in two parts. The first one analyzes the critical load and level concepts, and the methodological framework for Environmental Impact Statement (E.L.S.). In line with this, critical loads and levels represent the system vulnerability and excedances of critical values identify zones where impacts could occur. These are evaluated according to a set of criteria, talking into account present and future land use, their socio cultural interest, economic value of their natural resources and ecological quality of the whole system. In addition to Environment Impact Statement of air pollutants, the proposed formalism allows assessing the external cost of gaseous emission. The second part applies the developed ideas to a practical case: a hypothetical coal power plant on Valdecaballeros (Badajoz, Spain). Environmental impact on forestry ecosystems is studied on a 70 km radius area around the plant. The assessment of the external costs rely on yield losses associated with gaseous emission of the hypothetical plant. (Author) 100 refs.

  12. Urban ecosystems: What would Tansley do?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steward T. A. Pickett; J. M. Grove

    2009-01-01

    The ecosystem concept was introduced in ecology originally to solve problems associated with theories of succession and ecological communities. It has evolved to become one of ecology's fundamental ideas, and has proven to be applicable to a wide variety of research questions and applications. However, there is controversy about whether or how well the ecosystem...

  13. Impacts of invasive alien plants on water quality, with particular emphasis on South Africa

    OpenAIRE

    Chamier, J; Schachtschneider, K; le Maitre, DC; Ashton, PJ; van Wilgen, BW

    2012-01-01

    We review the current state of knowledge of quantified impacts of invasive alien plants on water quality, with a focus on South Africa. In South Africa, over 200 introduced plant species are regarded as invasive. Many of these species are particularly prominent in riparian ecosystems and their spread results in native species loss, increased biomass and fire intensity and consequent erosion, as well as decreased river flows. Research on the impact of invasive alien plants on water resources h...

  14. Introduced mammals on Western Indian Ocean islands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James C. Russell

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The diversity of introduced mammals and their introduction history varies greatly across the Western Indian Ocean (WIO islands, from ancient introductions in the past millennia on islands off the East coast of Africa where extant terrestrial native mammal communities exist, to very recent invasions in the past decades on islands in the Mascarene archipelago. We compile the distribution of 16 introduced mammal taxa on 28 island groups comprising almost 2000 islands. Through an exhaustive literature review and expert consultation process we recorded all mammal eradications, and species recoveries which could be attributed to introduced mammal eradication or control. All island groups have been invaded by mammals, and invasive cats and rats in particular are ubiquitous, but cultural contingency has also led to regional invasions by other mammals such as lemurs, civets and tenrecs. Mammal eradications have been attempted on 45 islands in the WIO, the majority in the Seychelles and Mauritius, and where successful have resulted in spectacular recovery of species and ecosystems. Invasive mammalian predator eradication or control in association with habitat management has led to improved conservation prospects for at least 24 species, and IUCN red-list down-listing of eight species, in the Mascarene Islands. Future island conservation prioritisation in the region will need to take account of global climate change and predicted sea-level rises and coastal inundation. Greater investment and prioritisation in island conservation in the region is warranted, given its high biodiversity values and the extent of invasions.

  15. Sustainability Of Coastal Fringe Ecosystems Against Anthropogenic Chemical Stressors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plant-dominated coastal ecosystems provide least 21 ecological services including shoreline protection, contaminant removal and nursery and breeding habitat for biota. The value of these ecological services is as great as $28000/h. These ecosystems which include intertidal wetl...

  16. Uptake of pulse injected nitrogen by soil microbes and mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal plants in a species-diverse subarctic heath ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andresen, Louise Christoffersen; Jonasson, Sven; Strom, Lena

    2008-01-01

    15N labeled ammonium, glycine or glutamic acid was injected into subarctic heath soil in situ, with the purpose of investigating how the nitrogen added in these pulses was subsequently utilized and cycled in the ecosystem. We analyzed the acquisition of 15N label in mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhiza......15N labeled ammonium, glycine or glutamic acid was injected into subarctic heath soil in situ, with the purpose of investigating how the nitrogen added in these pulses was subsequently utilized and cycled in the ecosystem. We analyzed the acquisition of 15N label in mycorrhizal and non...

  17. Ecosystem partitioning of 15N-glycine after long-term climate and nutrient manipulations, plant clipping and addition of labile carbon in a subarctic heath tundra

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Pernille Lærkedal; Michelsen, Anders; Jonasson, Sven Evert

    2008-01-01

    of nitrogen (N). Here, we studied 15N label incorporation into microbes, plants and soil N pools after both long-term (12 years) climate manipulation and nutrient addition, plant clipping and a pulse-addition of labile C to the soil, in order to gain information on interactions among soil N and C pools...... addition. However, plants exerted control on the soil inorganic N concentrations and recovery of total dissolved 15N (TD15N), and likewise the microbes reduced these soil pools, but only when fed with labile C. Soil microbes in clipped plots were primarily C limited, and the findings of reduced N...... availability, both in the presence of plants and with the combined treatment of plant clipping and addition of sugar, suggest that the plant control of soil N pools was not solely due to plant uptake of soil N, but also partially caused by plants feeding labile C to the soil microbes, which enhanced...

  18. The microbiome of medicinal plants: diversity and importance for plant growth, quality and health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köberl, Martina; Schmidt, Ruth; Ramadan, Elshahat M; Bauer, Rudolf; Berg, Gabriele

    2013-12-20

    Past medicinal plant research primarily focused on bioactive phytochemicals, however, the focus is currently shifting due to the recognition that a significant number of phytotherapeutic compounds are actually produced by associated microbes or through interaction with their host. Medicinal plants provide an enormous bioresource of potential use in modern medicine and agriculture, yet their microbiome is largely unknown. The objective of this review is (i) to introduce novel insights into the plant microbiome with a focus on medicinal plants, (ii) to provide details about plant- and microbe-derived ingredients of medicinal plants, and (iii) to discuss possibilities for plant growth promotion and plant protection for commercial cultivation of medicinal plants. In addition, we also present a case study performed both to analyse the microbiome of three medicinal plants (Matricaria chamomilla L., Calendula officinalis L., and Solanum distichum Schumach. and Thonn.) cultivated on organically managed Egyptian desert farm and to develop biological control strategies. The soil microbiome of the desert ecosystem was comprised of a high abundance of Gram-positive bacteria of prime importance for pathogen suppression under arid soil conditions. For all three plants, we observed a clearly plant-specific selection of the microbes as well as highly specific diazotrophic communities that overall identify plant species as important drivers in structural and functional diversity. Lastly, native Bacillus spec. div. strains were able to promote plant growth and elevate the plants' flavonoid production. These results underline the numerous links between the plant-associated microbiome and the plant metabolome.

  19. Characteristics of initial deposition and behavior of radiocesium in forest ecosystems of different locations and species affected by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Komatsu, Masabumi; Kaneko, Shinji; Ohashi, Shinta; Kuroda, Katsushi; Sano, Tetsuya; Ikeda, Shigeto; Saito, Satoshi; Kiyono, Yoshiyuki; Tonosaki, Mario; Miura, Satoru; Akama, Akio; Kajimoto, Takuya; Takahashi, Masamichi

    2016-01-01

    After the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident, information about stand-level spatial patterns of radiocesium initially deposited in the surrounding forests was essential for predicting the future dynamics of radiocesium and suggesting a management plan for contaminated forests. In the first summer (approximately 6 months after the accident), we separately estimated the amounts of radiocesium ("1"3"4Cs and "1"3"7Cs; Bq m"−"2) in the major components (trees, organic layers, and soils) in forests of three sites with different contamination levels. For a Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) forest studied at each of the three sites, the radiocesium concentration greatly differed among the components, with the needle and organic layer having the highest concentrations. For these cedar forests, the proportion of the "1"3"7Cs stock in the aboveground tree biomass varied from 22% to 44% of the total "1"3"7Cs stock; it was 44% in highly contaminated sites (7.0 × 10"5 Bq m"−"2) but reduced to 22% in less contaminated sites (1.1 × 10"4 Bq m"−"2). In the intermediate contaminated site (5.0–5.8 × 10"4 Bq m"−"2), 34% of radiocesium was observed in the aboveground tree biomass of the Japanese cedar stand. However, this proportion was considerably smaller (18–19%) in the nearby mixed forests of the Japanese red pine (Pinus densiflora) and deciduous broad-leaved trees. Non-negligible amounts of "1"3"4Cs and "1"3"7Cs were detected in both the sapwood and heartwood of all the studied tree species. This finding suggested that the uptake or translocation of radiocesium had already started within 6 months after the accident. The belowground compartments were mostly present in the organic layer and the uppermost (0–5 cm deep) mineral soil layer at all the study sites. We discussed the initial transfer process of radiocesium deposited in the forest and inferred that the type of initial deposition (i.e., dry versus wet radiocesium deposition

  20. Radionuclide transport processes in terrestrial ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whicker, F.W.

    1983-01-01

    Some major principles and the status of knowledge concerning the transport of radionuclides through terrestrial ecosystems are reviewed. Fundamental processes which control the flow of radionuclides between ecosystem components such as air, soil, plants, and animals are described, with emphasis on deposition, resuspension, plant uptake, ingestion, and assimilation. Properties of radionuclides, organisms, and ecosystems are examined in relation to their influence on the accumulation of radioactive materials by plants and animals. The effects of the physicochemical nature of the radionuclide; morphology, physiology, and behavior of the organism; and soil, nutrient, and trophic characteristics of the ecosystem are highlighted. Observations in natural ecosystems on radionuclides such as 137 Cs, 90 Sr, 131 I, 3 H, and 239 Pu are used to illustrate current concepts. An assessment of the degree to which the processes controlling radionuclide behavior are understood and of our ability to simulate and predict such behavior with computerized models is offered. Finally, brief comments are made on research needs

  1. Yield and Adaptability Evaluation of Newly Introduced Tomato ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    High yield is a major ambition to tomato plant breeders and farmers. The purpose of the ... Tabora Region on the growth and yield of newly introduced tomato varieties. The tested ..... (1985). Evaluation of some American tomatocultivars grown.

  2. Introduced Terrestrial Species Richness (Future)

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — These data represent predicted current distributions of all introduced fish in the Middle-Atlantic region. These data are available for both 8-digit HUCs and EMAP...

  3. Carbon sequestration and natural longleaf pine ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ram Thapa; Dean Gjerstad; John Kush; Bruce Zutter

    2010-01-01

    The Southeastern United States was once dominated by a longleaf pine ecosystem which ranged from Virginia to Texas and covered approximately 22 to 36 million ha. The unique fire tolerant species provided the necessary habitat for numerous plant and animal species. Different seasons of prescribed fire have various results on the ecosystem and the carbon which is stored...

  4. Biological invasions in forest ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrew M. Liebhold; Eckehard G. Brockerhoff; Susan Kalisz; Martin A. Nuñez; David A. Wardle; Michael J. Wingfield

    2017-01-01

    Forests play critical roles in global ecosystem processes and provide numerous services to society. But forests are increasingly affected by a variety of human influences, especially those resulting from biological invasions. Species invading forests include woody and herbaceous plants, many animal species including mammals and invertebrates, as well as a variety of...

  5. 1 Ecosystem-based.cdr

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Administrator

    Abstract. The ecosystem approach is a widely accepted framework for natural resource ... Here, we present a set of indicators, and a toolkit to aid their application, that are intended to support the ... Ability to adapt to different spatial scales ... growth of plants and algae, which may increase to create .... taxonomic resources).

  6. The microbiome of medicinal plants: diversity and importance for plant growth, quality and health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina eKöberl

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Past medicinal plant research primarily focused on bioactive phytochemicals, however the focus is currently shifting due to the recognition that a significant number of phytotherapeutic compounds are actually produced by associated microbes or through interaction with their host. Medicinal plants provide an enormous bioresource of potential use in modern medicine and agriculture, yet their microbiome is largely unknown. The objective of this review is i to introduce novel insights into the plant microbiome with a focus on medicinal plants, ii to provide details about plant- and microbe-derived ingredients of medicinal plants, and iii to discuss possibilities for plant growth promotion and plant protection for commercial cultivation of medicinal plants. In addition, we also present a case study performed both to analyse the microbiome of three medicinal plants (Matricaria chamomilla L., Calendula officinalis L. and Solanum distichum Schumach. and Thonn. cultivated on organically managed Egyptian desert farm and to develop biological control strategies. The soil microbiome of the desert ecosystem was comprised of a high abundance of Gram-positive bacteria of prime importance for pathogen suppression under arid soil conditions. For all three plants, we observed a clearly plant-specific selection of the microbes as well as highly specific diazotrophic communities that overall identify plant species as important drivers in structural and functional diversity. Lastly, native Bacillus spec. div. strains were able to promote plant growth and elevate the plants’ flavonoid production. These results underline the numerous links between the plant-associated microbiome and the plant metabolome.

  7. Review on Invasive Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle) Conflicting Values: Assessment of Its Ecosystem Services and Potential Biological Threat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sladonja, Barbara; Sušek, Marta; Guillermic, Julia

    2015-10-01

    Globally, invasions by alien plants are rapidly increasing in extent and severity, leading to large-scale ecosystem degradation. One of the most widespread invasive alien plant species in Europe and North America, Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle) was introduced intentionally for use as an ornamental plant in the 18th century. Since then, it has spread and is now frequently found in a number of countries. Today, Tree of Heaven is considered one of the worst invasive plant species in Europe and is also listed as invasive in North America and many other countries. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment is one of many systems trying to list and categorize biological services to humans and to provide a tool for identifying services delivered by natural ecosystems. Invasive species have generally caused degradation of the services, have a major impact on the environment, and are threatening biodiversity and reducing overall species abundance and diversity. On the other hand, some invasive species can provide services useful to human well-being. In the present review A. altissima impacts on ecosystems are identified and positive influences on some ecosystem services are weighed against the negative effects on the environment and human health. The aim of the present review is to resume the general knowledge of A. altissima, group available references on distribution and ecology according to countries, compare ecosystem services provided or enhanced by A. altissima presence and the negative effects it causes, identify gaps in current knowledge, and give recommendations for future lines of research.

  8. Introducing native landscape ecology to Hanford cleanup

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jim, R.; Nguyen, G.; Barry, B.

    1995-01-01

    Responsible management of environmental and public health risk requires a fundamental understanding of the intra-, inter-, and integral components of the hierarchical interaction dynamics within a pollution affected ecosystem. Because the ecosphere is a heterogeneous combination of many subecosystems of plant and animal species, its component interactions sustaining the complex whole are spatially mediated, and such an adaptive self-stabilizing ecomosaic often possesses long disintegration and regeneration times for the manifestation of observable consequences, quantitative assessment of its future structural and functional changes can be deceptive or plagued with irreducible uncertainty. This paper presents an holistic framework for the direct integration of native traditional environmental knowledge with the landscape ecology information system to refine and actualize the understanding of acceptable long-range risk and its collective estimation for an endangered population or community. An illustrative application of riparian zone restoration in the Hanford reach for wild salmon runs and habitat preservation is also discussed

  9. Diversity of introduced terrestrial flatworms in the Iberian Peninsula: a cautionary tale

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Álvarez-Presas

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Many tropical terrestrial planarians (Platyhelminthes, Geoplanidae have been introduced around the globe. One of these species is known to cause significant decline in earthworm populations, resulting in a reduction of ecological functions that earthworms provide. Flatworms, additionally, are a potential risk to other species that have the same dietary needs. Hence, the planarian invasion might cause significant economic losses in agriculture and damage to the ecosystem. In the Iberian Peninsula only Bipalium kewense Moseley, 1878 had been cited till 2007. From that year on, four more species have been cited, and several reports of the presence of these animals in particular gardens have been received. In the present study we have: (1 analyzed the animals sent by non-specialists and also the presence of terrestrial planarians in plant nurseries and garden centers; (2 identified their species through morphological and phylogenetic molecular analyses, including representatives of their areas of origin; (3 revised their dietary sources and (4 used Species Distribution Modeling (SDM for one species to evaluate the risk of its introduction to natural areas. The results have shown the presence of at least ten species of alien terrestrial planarians, from all its phylogenetic range. International plant trade is the source of these animals, and many garden centers are acting as reservoirs. Also, landscape restoration to reintroduce autochthonous plants has facilitated their introduction close to natural forests and agricultural fields. In conclusion, there is a need to take measures on plant trade and to have special care in the treatment of restored habitats.

  10. Diversity, Adaptability and Ecosystem Resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keribin, Rozenn; Friend, Andrew

    2013-04-01

    Our ability to predict climate change and anticipate its impacts depends on Earth System Models (ESMs) and their ability to account for the high number of interacting components of the Earth System and to gauge both their influence on the climate and the feedbacks they induce. The land carbon cycle is a component of ESMs that is still poorly constrained. Since the 1990s dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs) have become the main tool through which we understand the interactions between plant ecosystems and the climate. While DGVMs have made it clear the impacts of climate change on vegetation could be dramatic, predicting the dieback of rainforests and massive carbon losses from various ecosystems, they are highly variable both in their composition and their predictions. Their treatment of plant diversity and competition in particular vary widely and are based on highly-simplified relationships that do not account for the multiple levels of diversity and adaptability found in real plant ecosystems. The aim of this GREENCYCLES II project is to extend an individual-based DGVM to treat the diversity of physiologies found in plant communities and evaluate their effect if any on the ecosystem's transient dynamics and resilience. In the context of the InterSectoral Impacts Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP), an initiative coordinated by a team at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) that aims to provide fast-track global impact assessments for the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report, we compare 6 vegetation models including 4 DGVMs under different climate change scenarios and analyse how the very different treatments of plant diversity and interactions from one model to the next affect the models' results. We then investigate a new, more mechanistic method of incorporating plant diversity into the DGVM "Hybrid" based on ecological tradeoffs mediated by plant traits and individual-based competition for light.

  11. Internal transport of alien and native plants by geese and ducks: an experimental study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Garcia-Alvarez, Alberto; van Leeuwen, Casper H. A.; Luque, Carlos J.; Hussner, Andreas; Velez-Martin, Alberto; Perez-Vazquez, Andres; Green, Andy J.; Castellanos, Eloy M.

    2015-01-01

    Alien plant species are rapidly spreading in aquatic ecosystems around the world, causing major ecological effects. They are typically introduced by humans, after which natural vectors facilitate their further spread. Migratory waterbirds have long been recognised as important dispersal vectors for

  12. Traits and Resource Use of Co-Occurring Introduced and Native Trees in a Tropical Novel Forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jéssica Fonseca da Silva

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Novel forests are naturally regenerating forests that have established on degraded lands and have a species composition strongly influenced by introduced species. We studied ecophysiological traits of an introduced species (Castilla elastica Sessé and several native species growing side by side in novel forests dominated by C. elastica in Puerto Rico. We hypothesized that C. elastica has higher photosynthetic capacity and makes more efficient use of resources than co-occurring native species. Using light response curves, we found that the photosynthetic capacity of C. elastica is similar to that of native species, and that different parameters of the curves reflected mostly sun light variation across the forest strata. However, photosynthetic nitrogen use-efficiency as well as leaf area/mass ratios were higher for C. elastica, and both the amount of C and N per unit area were lower, highlighting the different ecological strategies of the introduced and native plants. Presumably, those traits support C. elastica’s dominance over native plants in the study area. We provide empirical data on the ecophysiology of co-occurring plants in a novel forest, and show evidence that different resource-investment strategies co-occur in this type of ecosystem.

  13. Estimating daytime ecosystem respiration from eddy-flux data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bruhn, Dan; Mikkelsen, Teis Nørgaard; Herbst, Mathias

    2011-01-01

    To understand what governs the patterns of net ecosystem exchange of CO2, an understanding of factors influencing the component fluxes, ecosystem respiration and gross primary production is needed. In the present paper, we introduce an alternative method for estimating daytime ecosystem respiration...... based on whole ecosystem fluxes from a linear regression of photosynthetic photon flux density data vs. daytime net ecosystem exchange data at forest ecosystem level. This method is based on the principles of the Kok-method applied at leaf level for estimating daytime respiration. We demonstrate...

  14. Game Design to Introduce Pets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wahyu Febriyanto

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Introduction of animals from an early age can make children to love animals, especially pets. Children are the easiest group to receive stimulation, such as for example the stimulation of introducing children to the pet. Various media are used by parents to introduce pet. For examplle, by the media of books, multimedia, etc. One of the interesting media to introduce pet is with game. Of these problems then need to know how to make concept and design game to introduced pets for children age 3-6 years. In this paper, author formulate how to make pet game design include game genre, user interface design, image model selection, game characters, and game engine. The expected design of this game can be formulation of learning through proper game as a learning tool children. Game design derived from this writing by using model 2-dimensional images are funny and interesting coloring. And combines several game genres into one, or use the mini games that children do not get bored quickly. Design of GUI (Graphical User Interface is made as simple as possible so that children easily understand in playing this game, but also must use an interesting image

  15. Introducing Positive Psychology to SLA

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacIntyre, Peter D.; Mercer, Sarah

    2014-01-01

    Positive psychology is a rapidly expanding subfield in psychology that has important implications for the field of second language acquisition (SLA). This paper introduces positive psychology to the study of language by describing its key tenets. The potential contributions of positive psychology are contextualized with reference to prior work,…

  16. An Exercise to Introduce Power

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seier, Edith; Liu, Yali

    2013-01-01

    In introductory statistics courses, the concept of power is usually presented in the context of testing hypotheses about the population mean. We instead propose an exercise that uses a binomial probability table to introduce the idea of power in the context of testing a population proportion. (Contains 2 tables, and 2 figures.)

  17. Introducing Group Theory through Music

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Craig M.

    2009-01-01

    The central ideas of postcalculus mathematics courses offered in college are difficult to introduce in middle and secondary schools, especially through the engineering and sciences examples traditionally used in algebra, geometry, and trigonometry textbooks. However, certain concepts in music theory can be used to expose students to interesting…

  18. Introducing Ethics Using Structured Controversies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wareham, David; Elefsiniotis, Takis P.; Elms, David

    2006-01-01

    This paper describes a method of introducing ethics to a second-year class of civil engineering students. The method, known as a "structured controversy", takes the form of a workshop where the students assume the identity of stakeholders having an interest in a proposed development in an environmentally sensitive region. The instructor…

  19. Five Perspectives for Introducing Hemingway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tillinghast, B. S., Jr.

    1983-01-01

    Suggests that the works of Ernest Hemingway can introduce young readers to (1) an intense expression of the joy of life, (2) heroic models, (3) original use of language, (4) a sharp sense of time and place, and (5) literature that can be understood at many levels. (MM)

  20. Endangered species management and ecosystem restoration: Finding the common ground

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casazza, Michael L.; Overton, Cory T.; Bui, Thuy-Vy D.; Hull, Joshua M.; Albertson, Joy D.; Bloom, Valary K.; Bobzien, Steven; McBroom, Jennifer; Latta, Marilyn; Olofson, Peggy; Rohmer, Tobias M.; Schwarzbach, Steven E.; Strong, Donald R.; Grijalva, Erik; Wood, Julian K.; Skalos, Shannon; Takekawa, John Y.

    2016-01-01

    Management actions to protect endangered species and conserve ecosystem function may not always be in precise alignment. Efforts to recover the California Ridgway’s Rail (Rallus obsoletus obsoletus; hereafter, California rail), a federally and state-listed species, and restoration of tidal marsh ecosystems in the San Francisco Bay estuary provide a prime example of habitat restoration that has conflicted with species conservation. On the brink of extinction from habitat loss and degradation, and non-native predators in the 1990s, California rail populations responded positively to introduction of a non-native plant, Atlantic cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora). California rail populations were in substantial decline when the non-native Spartina was initially introduced as part of efforts to recover tidal marshes. Subsequent hybridization with the native Pacific cordgrass (Spartina foliosa) boosted California rail populations by providing greater cover and increased habitat area. The hybrid cordgrass (S. alterniflora × S. foliosa) readily invaded tidal mudflats and channels, and both crowded out native tidal marsh plants and increased sediment accretion in the marsh plain. This resulted in modification of tidal marsh geomorphology, hydrology, productivity, and species composition. Our results show that denser California rail populations occur in invasive Spartina than in native Spartina in San Francisco Bay. Herbicide treatment between 2005 and 2012 removed invasive Spartina from open intertidal mud and preserved foraging habitat for shorebirds. However, removal of invasive Spartina caused substantial decreases in California rail populations. Unknown facets of California rail ecology, undesirable interim stages of tidal marsh restoration, and competing management objectives among stakeholders resulted in management planning for endangered species or ecosystem restoration that favored one goal over the other. We have examined this perceived conflict and propose

  1. Endangered species management and ecosystem restoration: finding the common ground

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael L. Casazza

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Management actions to protect endangered species and conserve ecosystem function may not always be in precise alignment. Efforts to recover the California Ridgway's Rail (Rallus obsoletus obsoletus; hereafter, California rail, a federally and state-listed species, and restoration of tidal marsh ecosystems in the San Francisco Bay estuary provide a prime example of habitat restoration that has conflicted with species conservation. On the brink of extinction from habitat loss and degradation, and non-native predators in the 1990s, California rail populations responded positively to introduction of a non-native plant, Atlantic cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora. California rail populations were in substantial decline when the non-native Spartina was initially introduced as part of efforts to recover tidal marshes. Subsequent hybridization with the native Pacific cordgrass (Spartina foliosa boosted California rail populations by providing greater cover and increased habitat area. The hybrid cordgrass (S. alterniflora à - S. foliosa readily invaded tidal mudflats and channels, and both crowded out native tidal marsh plants and increased sediment accretion in the marsh plain. This resulted in modification of tidal marsh geomorphology, hydrology, productivity, and species composition. Our results show that denser California rail populations occur in invasive Spartina than in native Spartina in San Francisco Bay. Herbicide treatment between 2005 and 2012 removed invasive Spartina from open intertidal mud and preserved foraging habitat for shorebirds. However, removal of invasive Spartina caused substantial decreases in California rail populations. Unknown facets of California rail ecology, undesirable interim stages of tidal marsh restoration, and competing management objectives among stakeholders resulted in management planning for endangered species or ecosystem restoration that favored one goal over the other. We have examined this perceived conflict

  2. Human and climate impact on ¹⁵N natural abundance of plants and soils in high-mountain ecosystems: a short review and two examples from the Eastern Pamirs and Mt. Kilimanjaro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zech, Michael; Bimüller, Carolin; Hemp, Andreas; Samimi, Cyrus; Broesike, Christina; Hörold, Claudia; Zech, Wolfgang

    2011-09-01

    Population pressure increasingly endangers high-mountain ecosystems such as the pastures in the Eastern Pamirs and the mountain forests on Mt. Kilimanjaro. At the same time, these ecosystems constitute the economic basis for millions of people living there. In our study, we, therefore, aimed at characterising the land-use effects on soil degradation and N-cycling by determining the natural abundance of (15)N. A short review displays that δ(15)N of plant-soil systems may often serve as an integrated indicator of N-cycles with more positive δ(15)N values pointing towards N-losses. Results for the high-mountain pastures in the Eastern Pamirs show that intensively grazed pastures are significantly enriched in (15)N compared to the less-exploited pastures by 3.5 ‰, on average. This can be attributed to soil organic matter degradation, volatile nitrogen losses, nitrogen leaching and a general opening of the N-cycle. Similarly, the intensively degraded savanna soils, the cultivated soils and the soils under disturbed forests on the foothill of Mt. Kilimanjaro reveal very positive δ(15)N values around 6.5 ‰. In contrast, the undisturbed forest soils in the montane zone are more depleted in (15)N, indicating that here the N-cycle is relatively closed. However, significantly higher δ(15)N values characterise the upper montane forest zone at the transition to the subalpine zone. We suggest that this reflects N-losses by the recently monitored and climate change and antropogenically induced increasing fire frequency pushing the upper montane rainforest boundary rapidly downhill. Overall, we conclude that the analysis of the (15)N natural abundance in high-mountain ecosystems is a purposeful tool for detecting land-use- or climate change-induced soil degradation and N-cycle opening.

  3. Ecological behavior and effects of energy related pollutants. Progress report, June 1976--August 1977. [SO2 impact on survival and stability of plant species; fallout /sup 137/Cs transfer processes in Southeastern Coastal Plain ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Platt, R.B.; Ragsdale, H.L.; Murdy, W.H.; Shure, D.J.

    1977-10-25

    The impact of SO/sub 2/ on the survival and stability of plant populations and communities was studied. The results to date have an important bearing on the adequacy of current permissible ambient air levels for SO/sub 2/. Atmospheric SO/sub 2/ concentrations at near permissible levels had a significant adverse effect on sexual reproduction processes, which results in a reduced number of viable seeds, in all 8 populations tested. Implications for both natural and agricultural plant species and possible significant losses of fruit production are discussed. An ecological implication of the invisible effect of fruit and seed mortality is postulated since the life cycle of many insects and the trophic relations of numerous animals depend, at least in part, on fruit production by trees and shrubs. Hence, there is a potential for disruptive effects on ecosystem level processes. Results are also reported from four systems-oriented studies within the Lower Three Runs Creek Watershed, Savannah River Plant, to examine fallout /sup 137/Cs transfer processes in ecological systems characteristic of the Southeastern Coastal Plain. These studies were carried out within the stream and its floodplains, within floodplains along the stream gradient, in upland aquatic systems (Carolina Bays), and in the upland scrub-oak forest system. Results are discussed.

  4. Variation in the carbon and oxygen isotope composition of plant biomass and its relationship to water-use efficiency at the leaf- and ecosystem-scales in a northern Great Plains grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flanagan, Lawrence B; Farquhar, Graham D

    2014-02-01

    Measurements of the carbon (δ(13) Cm ) and oxygen (δ(18) Om ) isotope composition of C3 plant tissue provide important insights into controls on water-use efficiency. We investigated the causes of seasonal and inter-annual variability in water-use efficiency in a grassland near Lethbridge, Canada using stable isotope (leaf-scale) and eddy covariance measurements (ecosystem-scale). The positive relationship between δ(13) Cm and δ(18) Om values for samples collected during 1998-2001 indicated that variation in stomatal conductance and water stress-induced changes in the degree of stomatal limitation of net photosynthesis were the major controls on variation in δ(13) Cm and biomass production during this time. By comparison, the lack of a significant relationship between δ(13) Cm and δ(18) Om values during 2002, 2003 and 2006 demonstrated that water stress was not a significant limitation on photosynthesis and biomass production in these years. Water-use efficiency was higher in 2000 than 1999, consistent with expectations because of greater stomatal limitation of photosynthesis and lower leaf ci /ca during the drier conditions of 2000. Calculated values of leaf-scale water-use efficiency were 2-3 times higher than ecosystem-scale water-use efficiency, a difference that was likely due to carbon lost in root respiration and water lost during soil evaporation that was not accounted for by the stable isotope measurements. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Soil to plant 137Cs transfer factors in Zea mays and Phaseolus vulgaris in a semi-arid ecosystem from a radioactive waste site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cervantes, M.L.; Segovia, N.; Gaso, M.I.; Palacios, J.C.

    2002-01-01

    A study of 137 Cs in soil, maize plants, (Zea mays) and beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) has been performed at the confined Storage Centre for Radioactive Waste from Mexico. Under field conditions the site was divided in four zones with different soil contamination characteristics. The plants were grown 'in situ' reproducing the local agricultural practices without fertilizers, pesticides or artificial irrigation.The 137 Cs determinations were performed using a low background gamma spectrometry system with an HPGe detector. The results indicate that one of the zones had a striking 137 Cs contamination in the soil and the uptake by the grown plants showed the highest specific activities at the root. For the edible parts of the plants the amount of 137 Cs in the maize grains was one order of magnitude lower than for the beans. The transfer factors ranges for the different parts of the maize plants was from 0.001 in the grain to 0.6 in the root. (author)

  6. Use of human wastes oxidized to different degrees in cultivation of higher plants on the soil-like substrate intended for closed ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tikhomirov, A. A.; Kudenko, Yu. A.; Ushakova, S. A.; Tirranen, L. S.; Gribovskaya, I. A.; Gros, J.-B.; Lasseur, Ch.

    2010-09-01

    To close mass exchange loops in bioregenerative life support systems more efficiently, researchers of the Institute of Biophysics SB RAS (Krasnoyarsk, Russia) have developed a procedure of wet combustion of human wastes and inedible parts of plants using H 2O 2 in alternating electromagnetic field. Human wastes pretreated in this way can be used as nutrient solutions to grow plants in the phototrophic unit of the LSS. The purpose of this study was to explore the possibilities of using human wastes oxidized to different degrees to grow plants cultivated on the soil-like substrate (SLS). The treated human wastes were analyzed to test their sterility. Then we investigated the effects produced by human wastes oxidized to different degrees on growth and development of wheat plants and on the composition of microflora in the SLS. The irrigation solution contained water, substances extracted from the substrate, and certain amounts of the mineralized human wastes. The experiments showed that the human wastes oxidized using reduced amounts of 30% H 2O 2: 1 ml/g of feces and 0.25 ml/ml of urine were still sterile. The experiments with wheat plants grown on the SLS and irrigated by the solution containing treated human wastes in the amount simulating 1/6 of the daily diet of a human showed that the degree of oxidation of human wastes did not significantly affect plant productivity. On the other hand, the composition of the microbiota of irrigation solutions was affected by the oxidation level of the added metabolites. In the solutions supplemented with partially oxidized metabolites yeast-like microscopic fungi were 20 times more abundant than in the solutions containing fully oxidized metabolites. Moreover, in the solutions containing incompletely oxidized human wastes the amounts of phytopathogenic bacteria and denitrifying microorganisms were larger. Thus, insufficiently oxidized sterile human wastes added to the irrigation solutions significantly affect the composition of

  7. Radioecology of natural systems in Colordao. Fourteenth annual progress report, May 1, 1975--July 31, 1976. [Pu diffusion in terrestrial ecosystems at Rocky Flats Plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Whicker, F.W.

    1976-08-01

    This report summarizes project activities during the period May 1, 1975 through July 31, 1976. The major study on the distribution and levels of Pu in major components of the terrestrial ecosystem at Rocky Flats was completed. Supportive studies on the ecology and pathology of small mammals and their role in Pu transport were essentially completed as well. Detailed studies on mule deer food habits, population dynamics, and movements at Rocky Flats are progressing. These studies are designed to measure the potential of mule deer in transporting Pu to uncontrolled areas. Alpha autoradiographic studies designed to measure Pu particle size and distribution and spatial patterns in soil were initiated. Field and greenhouse transport pathways from soil to vegetation are in progress and some early results reported. The status of studies on seasonal kinetics of Cs in a montane lake and stable lead geochemistry in an alpine lake watershed are also reported.

  8. Microplastics as an emerging threat to terrestrial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Souza Machado, Anderson Abel; Kloas, Werner; Zarfl, Christiane; Hempel, Stefan; Rillig, Matthias C

    2018-04-01

    Microplastics (plastics plastic litter or from direct environmental emission. Their potential impacts in terrestrial ecosystems remain largely unexplored despite numerous reported effects on marine organisms. Most plastics arriving in the oceans were produced, used, and often disposed on land. Hence, it is within terrestrial systems that microplastics might first interact with biota eliciting ecologically relevant impacts. This article introduces the pervasive microplastic contamination as a potential agent of global change in terrestrial systems, highlights the physical and chemical nature of the respective observed effects, and discusses the broad toxicity of nanoplastics derived from plastic breakdown. Making relevant links to the fate of microplastics in aquatic continental systems, we here present new insights into the mechanisms of impacts on terrestrial geochemistry, the biophysical environment, and ecotoxicology. Broad changes in continental environments are possible even in particle-rich habitats such as soils. Furthermore, there is a growing body of evidence indicating that microplastics interact with terrestrial organisms that mediate essential ecosystem services and functions, such as soil dwelling invertebrates, terrestrial fungi, and plant-pollinators. Therefore, research is needed to clarify the terrestrial fate and effects of microplastics. We suggest that due to the widespread presence, environmental persistence, and various interactions with continental biota, microplastic pollution might represent an emerging global change threat to terrestrial ecosystems. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Introducing ZBrush 3rd Edition

    CERN Document Server

    Keller, Eric

    2012-01-01

    Learn ZBrush inside and out with this updated new edition Get totally comfortable sculpting in a digital environment with the latest edition of this bestselling beginner's guide to ZBrush. Fully updated for the newest version of the software, ZBrush 4R3, this book dispels any fears you might have about the difficulty of using ZBrush and soon has you creating realistic, cartoon, and organic models with flair. Learn all the essentials, as you complete fun tutorials on painting, meshes, organic scripting, hard surface sculpting, lighting, rendering, and more. Introduces you to ZBrush, the sculpt

  10. Introducing time a graphic guide

    CERN Document Server

    Callender, Craig

    2010-01-01

    What is time? The 5th-century philosopher St Augustine famously said that he knew what time was, so long as no one asked him. Is time a fourth dimension similar to space or does it flow in some sense? And if it flows, does it make sense to say how fast? Does the future exist? Is time travel possible? Why does time seem to pass in only one direction?These questions and others are among the deepest and most subtle that one can ask, but "Introducing Time" presents them - many for the first time - in an easily accessible, lucid and engaging manner, wittily illustrated by Ralph Edney.

  11. Introduced species as evolutionary traps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlaepfer, Martin A.; Sherman, P.W.; Blossey, B.; Runge, M.C.

    2005-01-01

    Invasive species can alter environments in such a way that normal behavioural decision-making rules of native species are no longer adaptive. The evolutionary trap concept provides a useful framework for predicting and managing the impact of harmful invasive species. We discuss how native species can respond to changes in their selective regime via evolution or learning. We also propose novel management strategies to promote the long-term co-existence of native and introduced species in cases where the eradication of the latter is either economically or biologically unrealistic.

  12. Introducing Character Animation with Blender

    CERN Document Server

    Mullen, Tony

    2011-01-01

    Introducing Character Animation with Blender, 2nd Edition is written in a friendly but professional tone, with clear descriptions and numerous illustrative screenshots. Throughout the book, tutorials focus on how to accomplish actual animation goals, while illustrating the necessary technical methods along the way. These are reinforced by clear descriptions of how each specific aspect of Blender works and fits together with the rest of the package. By following all the tutorials, the reader will gain all the skills necessary to build and animate a well-modeled, fully-rigged character of their

  13. Introducing the Medical Ethics Bowl.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrick, Allison; Green, Rochelle; Cunningham, Thomas V; Eisenberg, Leah R; Hester, D Micah

    2016-01-01

    Although ethics is an essential component of undergraduate medical education, research suggests that current medical ethics curricula face considerable challenges in improving students' ethical reasoning. This article discusses these challenges and introduces a promising new mode of graduate and professional ethics instruction for overcoming them. We begin by describing common ethics curricula, focusing in particular on established problems with current approaches. Next, we describe a novel method of ethics education and assessment for medical students that we have devised: the Medical Ethics Bowl (MEB). Finally, we suggest the pedagogical advantages of the MEB when compared to other ethics curricula.

  14. Ecological analysis of plant cover of the permanent grassland ecosystem located in the vicinity of Novi Kneževac, Serbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Knežević Aleksa

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available A total of 205 taxa and stands of 12 plant communities were found to comprise the plant cover of the permanent grassland on the solonetz and solonchakic solonetz soils located in the vicinity of the town of Novi Kneževac (Vojvodina Province, Serbia. The registered taxa included 177 plant species, six subspecies, eight varieties, 13 forms and one lusus. The ecological analysis of the flora involved 191 taxa. That group consisted of 177 species, six subspecies, three varieties and five forms. The three varieties, Aster tripolium L. var. pannonicus ( Jacq. Beck, Chenopodium rubrum L. subsp. botryoides Sm. var. crassifolium (Hornem Kov. and Sonchus arvensis L. var. uliginosus (M.B. Grec. were used for analysis because their higher taxonomic categories were not recorded in the studied flora. The five forms, Aster sedifolius L. f. subsquamosus Soy, Bromus commutatus Schrad. f. violaceus Podp., Mentha aquatica L. f. erromera Top., Poa bulbosa L. f. vivipara Koel. and Scleranthus annus L. f. minimus Schur., were used for the same reason. The ecological analysis encompassed stands of all 12 recorded communities, i.e. ass. Scirpo-Phragmitetum W. Koch 1926, ass. Bolboschoenetum maritimi continentale Soy (1927 1957, ass. Acorelletum pannonici Soy (1939 1947, ass. Puccinelletum limosae (Rapcs. 1927 Soy 1930, ass. Pholiuro-Plantaginetum tenuiflorae (Rapcs. 1927 Wendel. 1943, ass. Hordeetum histricis (Soy 1933 Wendel. 1943, ass. Camphorosmetum annuae (Rapcs. 1916 Soy 1933 corr. Soy 1938, ass. Agrostio-Alopecuretum pratensis Soy (1933 1947, ass. Agrostio-Eleochariti-Alopecuretu geniculati (Magyar1928 Soy (1939 1947, ass. Artemisio-Festucetum pseudovinae (Magyar 1928 Soy 1945, ass. Achilleo-Festucetum pseudovinae (Magyar 1928 Soy 1945 and ass. Festuco-Andropogonetum ischaemi Vučk. 1985. The ecological analysis of the plant cover indicated that halophytes made 30.37% of the flora of the permanent grassland near the town of Novi Kneževac, and that the stands of

  15. Mapping ecosystem types by means of ecological species groups

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Witte, J.P.M.; Meijden, van der R.

    2000-01-01

    A method is presented to deduce nation-wide maps of ecosystem types from FLORBASE. This national database contains data, per km2, on the presence of indigenous plant species that grow in the wild. The ecosystem types on the maps are defined on the basis of abiotic factors that determine the plant

  16. Sustaining ecosystem services in cultural landscapes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plieninger, Tobias; van der Horst, Dan; Schleyer, Christian

    2014-01-01

    Classical conservation approaches focus on the man-made degradation of ecosystems and tend to neglect the socialecological values that human land uses have imprinted on many environments. Throughout the world, ingenious land-use practices have generated unique cultural landscapes...... research and management. With this paper, we introduce a special feature that aims to enhance the theoretical, empirical and practical knowledge of how to safeguard the resilience of ecosystem services in cultural landscapes. It concludes (1) that the usefulness of the ecosystem services approach...... to the analysis and management of cultural landscapes should be reviewed more critically; (2) that conventional ecosystem services assessment needs to be complemented by socio-cultural valuation; (3) that cultural landscapes are inherently changing, so that a dynamic view on ecosystem services and a focus...

  17. Davies, Florence (1995. Introducing Reading. Davies, Florence (1995. Introducing Reading.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonia Maria Gomes Ferreira

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Arising at a time of unprecedented growth of interest in fostering critical thinking, Introducing Reading offers a clear introduction and thorough account of contemporary developments in the field of reading. While overtly focusing on the special demands of social and human aspects of the reading practice, the issues raised have crucial resonance in the sphere of critical reading. Explicitly addressed to teachers of mother tongue and foreign language contexts, the book claims to elaborate on aspects of reading which have received meager attention to date: individual readers engaged in different real-world reading tasks, the social contexts where such readers engage and interact with texts, and the nature and variety of texts, here regarded as “participants” in the interaction between reader and writer. To this extent, the book successfully reaches the ambitious aim of “socializing and humanizing reading and the teaching of reading” (p. xi. Arising at a time of unprecedented growth of interest in fostering critical thinking, Introducing Reading offers a clear introduction and thorough account of contemporary developments in the field of reading. While overtly focusing on the special demands of social and human aspects of the reading practice, the issues raised have crucial resonance in the sphere of critical reading. Explicitly addressed to teachers of mother tongue and foreign language contexts, the book claims to elaborate on aspects of reading which have received meager attention to date: individual readers engaged in different real-world reading tasks, the social contexts where such readers engage and interact with texts, and the nature and variety of texts, here regarded as “participants” in the interaction between reader and writer. To this extent, the book successfully reaches the ambitious aim of “socializing and humanizing reading and the teaching of reading” (p. xi.

  18. Parallel ecological networks in ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olff, Han; Alonso, David; Berg, Matty P.; Eriksson, B. Klemens; Loreau, Michel; Piersma, Theunis; Rooney, Neil

    2009-01-01

    In ecosystems, species interact with other species directly and through abiotic factors in multiple ways, often forming complex networks of various types of ecological interaction. Out of this suite of interactions, predator–prey interactions have received most attention. The resulting food webs, however, will always operate simultaneously with networks based on other types of ecological interaction, such as through the activities of ecosystem engineers or mutualistic interactions. Little is known about how to classify, organize and quantify these other ecological networks and their mutual interplay. The aim of this paper is to provide new and testable ideas on how to understand and model ecosystems in which many different types of ecological interaction operate simultaneously. We approach this problem by first identifying six main types of interaction that operate within ecosystems, of which food web interactions are one. Then, we propose that food webs are structured among two main axes of organization: a vertical (classic) axis representing trophic position and a new horizontal ‘ecological stoichiometry’ axis representing decreasing palatability of plant parts and detritus for herbivores and detrivores and slower turnover times. The usefulness of these new ideas is then explored with three very different ecosystems as test cases: temperate intertidal mudflats; temperate short grass prairie; and tropical savannah. PMID:19451126

  19. Linking the spatial patterns of organisms and abiotic factors to ecosystem function and management: insights from semi-arid environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. T. Maestre

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Numerous theoretical and modeling studies have demonstrated the ecological significance of the spatial patterning of organisms on ecosystem functioning and dynamics. However, there is a paucity of empirical evidence that quantitatively shows how changes in the spatial patterns of the organisms forming biotic communities are directly related to ecosystem structure and functioning. In this article, I review a series of experiments and observational studies conducted in semi-arid environments from Spain (degraded calcareous shrubland, steppes dominated by Stipa tenacissima, and gypsum shrublands to: 1 evaluate whether the spatial patterns of the dominant biotic elements in the community are linked to ecosystem structure and functioning, and 2 test if these patterns, and those of abiotic factors, can be used to improve ecosystem restoration. In the semiarid steppes we found a significant positive relationship between the spatial pattern of the perennial plant community and: i the water status of S. tenacissima and ii perennial species richness and diversity. Experimental plantings conducted in these steppes showed that S. tenacissima facilitated the establishment of shrub seedlings, albeit the magnitude and direction of this effect was dependent on rainfall conditions during the first yr after planting. In the gypsum shrubland, a significant, direct relationship between the spatial pattern of the biological soil crusts and surrogates of ecosystem functioning (soil bulk density and respiration was found. In a degraded shrubland with very low vegetation cover, the survival of an introduced population of the shrub Pistacia lentiscus showed marked spatial patterns, which were related to the spatial patterns of soil properties such as soil compaction and sand content. These results provide empirical evidence on the importance of spatial patterns for maintaining ecosystem structure and functioning in semi-arid ecosystems

  20. Digital asset ecosystems rethinking crowds and cloud

    CERN Document Server

    Blanke, Tobias

    2014-01-01

    Digital asset management is undergoing a fundamental transformation. Near universal availability of high-quality web-based assets makes it important to pay attention to the new world of digital ecosystems and what it means for managing, using and publishing digital assets. The Ecosystem of Digital Assets reflects on these developments and what the emerging 'web of things' could mean for digital assets. The book is structured into three parts, each covering an important aspect of digital assets. Part one introduces the emerging ecosystems of digital assets. Part two examines digital asset manag

  1. Mediated Trust in the Innovation Ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mogensen, Kirsten

    This paper introduces a framework for further studies in the role of mediated trust in the innovation ecosystems. Combining insight from scholars like Etzkowitz, Russel and Nordfors, the concept of innovation ecosystem is described as an extended Triple Helix where media is seen as a fourth strand...... should be considered trustworthy. When receiving the message, the audience will decode the signals. Trust is considered fundamental for mass media if these are to fulfill their normative functions in the innovation ecosystem. However, the concept of trust is not clearly defined in the literature and we...

  2. Ensemble ecosystem modeling for predicting ecosystem response to predator reintroduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Christopher M; Gordon, Ascelin; Bode, Michael

    2017-04-01

    Introducing a new or extirpated species to an ecosystem is risky, and managers need quantitative methods that can predict the consequences for the recipient ecosystem. Proponents of keystone predator reintroductions commonly argue that the presence of the predator will restore ecosystem function, but this has not always been the case, and mathematical modeling has an important role to play in predicting how reintroductions will likely play out. We devised an ensemble modeling method that integrates species interaction networks and dynamic community simulations and used it to describe the range of plausible consequences of 2 keystone-predator reintroductions: wolves (Canis lupus) to Yellowstone National Park and dingoes (Canis dingo) to a national park in Australia. Although previous methods for predicting ecosystem responses to such interventions focused on predicting changes around a given equilibrium, we used Lotka-Volterra equations to predict changing abundances through time. We applied our method to interaction networks for wolves in Yellowstone National Park and for dingoes in Australia. Our model replicated the observed dynamics in Yellowstone National Park and produced a larger range of potential outcomes for the dingo network. However, we also found that changes in small vertebrates or invertebrates gave a good indication about the potential future state of the system. Our method allowed us to predict when the systems were far from equilibrium. Our results showed that the method can also be used to predict which species may increase or decrease following a reintroduction and can identify species that are important to monitor (i.e., species whose changes in abundance give extra insight into broad changes in the system). Ensemble ecosystem modeling can also be applied to assess the ecosystem-wide implications of other types of interventions including assisted migration, biocontrol, and invasive species eradication. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  3. Measuring Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Stam, F.C.

    2017-01-01

    How can entrepreneurial ecosystems and productive entrepreneurship can be traced empirically and how is entrepreneurship related to entrepreneurial ecosystems. The analyses in this chapter show the value of taking a systems view on the context of entrepreneurship. We measure entrepreneurial ecosystem elements and use these to compose an entrepreneurial ecosystem index. Next, we measure the output of entrepreneurial ecosystems with different indicators of high-growth firms. We use the 12 provi...

  4. Mapping Ecosystem Services

    OpenAIRE

    Georgiev,Teodor; Burkhard,Benjamin; Maes,Joachim

    2017-01-01

    Ecosystem services are the contributions of ecosystem structure and function (in combination with other inputs) to human well-being. That means, humankind is strongly dependent on well-functioning ecosystems and natural capital that are the base for a constant flow of ecosystem services from nature to society. Therefore ecosystem services have the potential to become a major tool for policy and decision making on global, national, regional and local scales. Possible applications are manifold:...

  5. Introducing Newton and classical physics

    CERN Document Server

    Rankin, William

    2002-01-01

    The rainbow, the moon, a spinning top, a comet, the ebb and flood of the oceans ...a falling apple. There is only one universe and it fell to Isaac Newton to discover its secrets. Newton was arguably the greatest scientific genius of all time, and yet he remains a mysterious figure. Written and illustrated by William Rankin, "Introducting Newton and Classical Physics" explains the extraordinary ideas of a man who sifted through the accumulated knowledge of centuries, tossed out mistaken beliefs, and single-handedly made enormous advances in mathematics, mechanics and optics. By the age of 25, entirely self-taught, he had sketched out a system of the world. Einstein's theories are unthinkable without Newton's founding system. He was also a secret heretic, a mystic and an alchemist, the man of whom Edmund Halley said "Nearer to the gods may no man approach!". This is an ideal companion volume to "Introducing Einstein".

  6. Introducing positive psychology to SLA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Mercer

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Positive psychology is a rapidly expanding subfield in psychology that has important implications for the field of second language acquisition (SLA. This paper introduces positive psychology to the study of language by describing its key tenets. The potential contributions of positive psychology are contextualized with reference to prior work, including the humanistic movement in language teaching, models of motivation, the concept of an affective filter, studies of the good language learner, and the concepts related to the self. There are reasons for both encouragement and caution as studies inspired by positive psychology are undertaken. Papers in this special issue of SSLLT cover a range of quantitative and qualitative methods with implications for theory, research, and teaching practice. The special issue serves as a springboard for future research in SLA under the umbrella of positive psychology.

  7. Invasive and introduced reptiles and amphibians: Chapter 28

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, Robert N.; Krysko, Kenneth L.; Mader, Douglas R.; Divers, Stephen J.

    2014-01-01

    Why is there a section on introduced amphibians and reptiles in this volume, and why should veterinarians care about this issue? Globally, invasive species are a major threat to the stability of native ecosystems,1,2 and amphibians and reptiles are attracting increased attention as potential invaders. Some introduced amphibians and reptiles have had a major impact (e.g., Brown Tree Snakes [Boiga irregularis] wiping out the native birds of Guam3 or Cane Toads [Rhinella marina] poisoning native Australian predators).4 For the vast majority of species, however, the ecological, economic, and sociopolitical effects of introduced amphibians and reptiles are generally poorly quantified, largely because of a lack of focused research effort rather than because such effects are nonexistent. This trend is alarming given that rates of introduction have increased exponentially in recent decades.

  8. Toxicity assessment of boron (B) by Lemna minor L. and Lemna gibba L. and their possible use as model plants for ecological risk assessment of aquatic ecosystems with boron pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gür, Nurcan; Türker, Onur Can; Böcük, Harun

    2016-08-01

    As many of the metalloid-based pollutants, the boron (B) toxicity issues have aroused more and more global attentions, especially concerning drinking water sources which flow through boron-rich areas. Therefore, feasible and innovative approaches are required in order to assess B toxicity in aquatic ecosystems. In this study, the toxic effects of B on Lemna minor L. and Lemna gibba L. were investigated using various endpoints including number of fronds, growth rates, dry biomass and antioxidants enzymatic activities. Lemna species were exposed to B concentrations of 2 (control), 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 and 128 mg L(-1) for a test period of 7 days. The results demonstrated that plant growth was significantly reduced when the B concentration reached 16 mg L(-1). Furthermore, our results also concluded that among the antioxidative enzymes, SOD, APX and GPX can serve as important biomarkers for B-rich environment. The present results suggested that L. minor and L. gibba are very useful model plants for phytoremediation of low-B contaminated wastewater and they are also suitable options for B biomonitoring due to high phototoxic sensitivity against B. In this respect, the scientific insight of the present study is to fill the gaps in the research about the use of L. minor and L. gibba in ecotoxicological research associated with B toxicity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. No difference in the competitive ability of introduced and native Trifolium provenances when grown with soil biota from their introduced and native ranges

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Shelby, Natasha; Hulme, P.E.; Putten, van der W.H.; McGinn, Kevin J.; Weser, Carolin; Duncan, R.P.

    2016-01-01

    The evolution of increased competitive ability (EICA) hypothesis could explain why some introduced plant species perform better outside their native ranges. EICA proposes that introduced plants escape specialist pathogens or herbivores leading to selection for resources to be reallocated away from

  10. Lacandon Maya ecosystem management: sustainable design for subsistence and environmental restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diemont, Stewart A W; Martin, Jay F

    2009-01-01

    Indigenous groups have designed and managed their ecosystems for generations, resulting in biodiversity protection while producing for their family's needs. Here we describe the agroecosystem of the Lacandon Maya, an indigenous group who live in Chiapas, Mexico. The Lacandon practice a form of swidden agriculture that conserves the surrounding rain forest ecosystem while cycling the majority of their land through five successional stages. These stages include an herbaceous stage, two shrub stages, and two forest stages. A portion of their land is kept in primary forest. This study presents the Lacandon traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) for agroforestry and quantitatively describes the plant community and the associated soil ecology of each successional stage. Also documented is the knowledge of the Lacandon regarding the immediate use of plant species and plant species useful for soil fertility enhancement. Woody plant diversity increases during the successional stages of the Lacandon system, and by the beginning of the first forest stage, the diversity is similar to that of the primary forest. In all stages, Lacandon use 60% of the available plant species for food, medicine, and raw materials. Approximately 45% of the woody plant species present in each fallow stage were thought by the Lacandon to enhance soil fertility. Total soil nitrogen and soil organic matter increased with successional stage and with time from intentional burn. Nutrient and soil nematode dynamics in shrub stages related to the presence of introduced and managed plants, indicating engineered soil enhancement by the Lacandon. The effects on biodiversity and soil ecology coupled with productivity for agricultural subsistence indicate that Lacandon TEK may offer tools for environmental conservation that would provide for a family's basic needs while maintaining a biodiverse rain forest ecosystem. Tools such as these may offer options for regional restoration and conservation efforts such as

  11. Cyanobacterial toxins: modes of actions, fate in aquatic and soil ecosystems, phytotoxicity and bioaccumulation in agricultural crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corbel, Sylvain; Mougin, Christian; Bouaïcha, Noureddine

    2014-02-01

    The occurrence of harmful cyanobacterial blooms in surface waters is often accompanied by the production of a variety of cyanotoxins. These toxins are designed to target in humans and animals specific organs on which they act: hepatotoxins (liver), neurotoxins (nervous system), cytotoxic alkaloids, and dermatotoxins (skin), but they often have important side effects too. When introduced into the soil ecosystem by spray irrigation of crops they may affect the same molecular pathways in plants having identical or similar target organs, tissues, cells or biomolecules. There are also several indications that terrestrial plants, including food crop plants, can bioaccumulate cyanotoxins and present, therefore, potential health hazards for human and animals. The number of publications concerned with phytotoxic effects of cyanotoxins on agricultural plants has increased recently. In this review, we first examine different cyanotoxins and their modes of actions in humans and mammals and occurrence of target biomolecules in vegetable organisms. Then we present environmental concentrations of cyanotoxins in freshwaters and their fate in aquatic and soil ecosystems. Finally, we highlight bioaccumulation of cyanotoxins in plants used for feed and food and its consequences on animals and human health. Overall, our review shows that the information on the effects of cyanotoxins on non-target organisms in the terrestrial environment is particularly scarce, and that there are still serious gaps in the knowledge about the fate in the soil ecosystems and phytotoxicity of these toxins. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Transformation of Digital Ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henningsson, Stefan; Hedman, Jonas

    2014-01-01

    the Digital Ecosystem Technology Transformation (DETT) framework for explaining technology-based transformation of digital ecosystems by integrating theories of business and technology ecosystems. The framework depicts ecosystem transformation as distributed and emergent from micro-, meso-, and macro- level......In digital ecosystems, the fusion relation between business and technology means that the decision of technical compatibility of the offering is also the decision of how to position the firm relative to the coopetive relations that characterize business ecosystems. In this article we develop...... coopetition. The DETT framework consists an alternative to the existing explanations of digital ecosystem transformation as the rational management of one central actor balancing ecosystem tensions. We illustrate the use of the framework by a case study of transformation in the digital payment ecosystem...

  13. Ecosystem degradation in India

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sinha, B.N.

    1990-01-01

    Environmental and ecosystem studies have assumed greater relevance in the last decade of the twentieth century than even before. The urban settlements are becoming over-crowded and industries are increasingly polluting the air, water and sound in our larger metropolises. Degradation of different types of ecosystem are discussed in this book, Ecosystem Degradation in India. The book has been divided into seven chapters: Introduction, Coastal and Delta Ecosystem, River Basin Ecosystem, Mountain Ecosystem, Forest Ecosystem, Urban Ecosystem and the last chapter deals with the Environmental Problems and Planning. In the introduction the environmental and ecosystem degradation problems in India is highlighted as a whole while in other chapters mostly case studies by experts who know their respective terrain very intimately are included. The case study papers cover most part of India and deal with local problems, stretching from east coast to west coast and from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. (author)

  14. Bio-protective microbial agents from rhizosphere eco-systems trigger plant defense responses provide protection against sheath blight disease in rice (Oryza sativa L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Udai B; Malviya, Deepti; Wasiullah; Singh, Shailendra; Pradhan, Jatindra K; Singh, Bhanu P; Roy, Manish; Imram, Mohd; Pathak, Neelam; Baisyal, B M; Rai, Jai P; Sarma, B K; Singh, Rajiv K; Sharma, P K; Kaur, Saman Deep; Manna, M C; Sharma, Sushil K; Sharma, Arun K

    2016-11-01

    Sheath blight of rice (Oryza sativa L.) caused by Rhizoctonia solani is a major disease and attempts are being made to develop microbe based technologies for biocontrol of this pathogen. However, the mechanisms of biocontrol are not fully understood and still require indepth study in the backdrop of emerging concepts in biological systems. The present investigation was aimed at deciphering the mechanisms of biocontrol of sheath blight of rice employing Pseudomonas fluorescens and Trichoderma harzianum as model agents for biocontrol. Initially 25, 5 and 5 strains of P. fluorescens, T. viride and T. harzianum, respectively, were screened for their biocontrol potential. Out of which, six strains with higher value of percent inhibition of fungal mycelium in dual plate assay were selected. The role of P. fluorescens, T. viride and T. harzianum were investigated in induction and bioaccumulation of natural antioxidants, defence-related biomolecules and other changes in plant which lead not only to growth promotion but also protection from pathogenic stress conditions in rice. The two most promising strains, P. fluorescens PF-08 and T. harzianum UBSTH-501 selected on the basis of in planta evaluation, when applied individually or in combination, significantly enhanced the accumulation of defence-related biomolecules, enzymes and exhibited biocontrol potential against R. solani. A modified/newly developed delivery system was applied for the first time in the experiments involving inoculation of plants with both bioagents, viz. P. fluorescens PF-08 and T. harzianum UBSTH-501. Results suggested that application of P. fluorescens PF-08 and T. harzianum UBSTH-501 alone or in combination, not only helps in control of the disease but also increases plant growth along with reduction in application of toxic chemical pesticides. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  15. The Effect of the Habitat Type on Soil and Plant Diversity Properties in Natural Ecosystems in the Northern Alborz (Case Study: Vaz Watershed

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Salarvand

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to compare plant species diversity indices (diversity and richness and some physico-chemical properties of soil among forest, ecotone and rangeland habitats. Vegetation sampling was done randomly at each habitat. One dominant community was selected in each habitat and one key area was distinguished in each community and 8×1m2 plots were randomly established in each key area. In each plot, the list of existing plants and cover percentage for each species were determined and soil samples were taken from depths of 0-10 cm. The Shannon-Wiener and Simpson diversity indices and Margalef and Menhinic richness indices were estimated using PAST software. Physical and chemical characteristics of the soil were compared at three sites by analysis of variance (One Way ANOVA. The results showed that the lowest and highest values of all species diversity and richness were occurred in forest and ecotone habitats, respectively. Bulk density, sand and pH value of soil were significantly the highest in the rangeland. The percentage of clay and organic carbon in forest habitat were higher than the two other habitats. This study revealed the importance of ecotone in preserving the diversity and species richness.

  16. Introducing Physician Assistants to Ontario

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meredith Vanstone

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available In 2006, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC introduced Physician Assistants (PAs through the announcement of demonstration projects, education and training programs, and subsequent funding. PAs are directly supervised by physicians and act as physician extenders by performing acts as delegated to them by their supervising physicians. PAs were proposed as a potential solution to help improve access to health care and reduce wait times throughout the province. Prior to the 2006 Ministry announcement, there was little public discussion regarding the acceptance of the PA role or its sustainability. Opposition from nursing and other groups emerged in response to the 2006 announcement and flared again when stakeholder comments were solicited in 2012 as part of the PA application for status as regulated health professionals. As a health reform, the introduction of PAs has neither succeeded nor failed. In 2013, the majority of PA funding continues to be provided by the MOHLTC, and it is unknown whether the PA role will be sustainable when the MOHTLC withdraws salary funding and health system employers must decide whether or not to continue employing PAs at their own expense.

  17. Two new pollution regulations introduced

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    2000-01-01

    A newly proposed regulation in Ontario will require the mandatory tracking of 358 airborne pollutants by the electricity sector as well as by other large industrial facilities such as iron and steel manufacturers and petroleum refiners. If passed, the regulation would make Ontario the first jurisdiction in the world to require monitoring and reporting of a full suite of major greenhouse gases, including smog and acid-rain causing emissions. The proposed regulation also provides for immediate public access to any reported information. Ontario residents can comment on the proposed regulation through the Environmental Bill of Rights registry. A new, more severe hazardous waste regulation will also take effect on March 31, 2001, whereby testing for 88 contaminants will be done according to a new standard called the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP). This new regulation also introduces a new 'derived from' rule which requires that a listed hazardous waste keep its classification until it can be demonstrated otherwise. Ontario's list of hazardous wastes has been updated to include 129 new chemicals and industrial processes. The Ontario Ministry has also adopted the Canada-wide Standards for Particulate Matter and Ozone, as well as the Canada-wide Standards for mercury emissions from base metal smelters as well as from incineration of sewage sludge and municipal, medical, hazardous waste

  18. Phytophthora Species, New Threats to the Plant Health in Korea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ik-Hwa Hyun

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Given the lack of a resistant genetic pool in host plants, the introduction of exotic invasive pathogens can result in epidemics that affect a specific ecosystem and economy. Plant quarantine, which is designed to protect endemic plant resources, is a highly invaluable safeguard that should keep biosecurity with increasing international trade and global transportation. A total of 34 species of plant pathogens including Phytophthora infestans were documented as introduced from other countries into Korea from 1900 to 2010. The genus Phytophthora, classified in oomycetes, includes more than 120 species that are mostly recognized worldwide as highly invasive plant pathogens. After 2000, over 50 new species of Phytophthora were identified internationally as plant pathogens occurring in crops and forest trees. In Korea, Phytophthora is also one of the most serious plant pathogens. To date, 22 species (about one-fifth of known species of the genus have been identified and reported as plant pathogens in the country. The likelihood of new exotic Phytophthora species being introduced into Korea continues to increase, thus necessitating intensive plant quarantine inspections. As new potential threats to plant health in Korea, six Phytophthora species, namely, P. alni, P. inundata, P. kernoviae, P. pinifolia, P. quercina, and P. ramorum, are discussed in this review with focus on history, disease, biology, management, and plant quarantine issues.

  19. The scale dependence of optical diversity in a prairie ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamon, J. A.; Wang, R.; Stilwell, A.; Zygielbaum, A. I.; Cavender-Bares, J.; Townsend, P. A.

    2015-12-01

    Biodiversity loss, one of the most crucial challenges of our time, endangers ecosystem services that maintain human wellbeing. Traditional methods of measuring biodiversity require extensive and costly field sampling by biologists with extensive experience in species identification. Remote sensing can be used for such assessment based upon patterns of optical variation. This provides efficient and cost-effective means to determine ecosystem diversity at different scales and over large areas. Sampling scale has been described as a "fundamental conceptual problem" in ecology, and is an important practical consideration in both remote sensing and traditional biodiversity studies. On the one hand, with decreasing spatial and spectral resolution, the differences among different optical types may become weak or even disappear. Alternately, high spatial and/or spectral resolution may introduce redundant or contradictory information. For example, at high resolution, the variation within optical types (e.g., between leaves on a single plant canopy) may add complexity unrelated to specie richness. We studied the scale-dependence of optical diversity in a prairie ecosystem at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, Minnesota, USA using a variety of spectrometers from several platforms on the ground and in the air. Using the coefficient of variation (CV) of spectra as an indicator of optical diversity, we found that high richness plots generally have a higher coefficient of variation. High resolution imaging spectrometer data (1 mm pixels) showed the highest sensitivity to richness level. With decreasing spatial resolution, the difference in CV between richness levels decreased, but remained significant. These findings can be used to guide airborne studies of biodiversity and develop more effective large-scale biodiversity sampling methods.

  20. Introducing Science to undergraduate students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Avila Jr

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available The knowledge of scientific method provides stimulus and development of critical thinking and logical analysis of information besides the training of continuous formulation of hypothesis to be applied in formal scientific issues as well as in everyday facts. The scientific education, useful for all people, is indispensable for the experimental science students. Aiming at the possibility to offer a systematic learning of the scientific principles, we developed a undergraduate course designed to approximate the students to the procedures of scientific production and publication. The course was developed in a 40 hours, containing two modules: I. Introducing Scientific Articles (papers and II. Writing Research Project. The first module deals with: (1 the difference between scientific knowledge and common sense; (2 scientific methodology; (3 scientific publishing categories; (4 logical principles; (5 deduction and induction approach and (6 paper analysis. The second module includes (1 selection of problem to be solved by experimental procedures; (2 bibliography revision; (3 support agencies; (4 project writing and presentation and (5 critical analysis of experimental results. The course used a Collaborative Learning strategy with each topic being developed through activities performed by the students. Qualitative and quantitative (through Likert questionnaires evaluation were carried out in each step of the course, the results showing great appreciation by the students. This is also the opinion of the staff responsible for the planning and development of the course, which is now in its second and improved version.

  1. Modelling the impact of mulching the soil with plant remains on water regime formation, crop yield and energy costs in agricultural ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gusev, Yeugeniy M.; Dzhogan, Larisa Y.; Nasonova, Olga N.

    2018-02-01

    The model MULCH, developed by authors previously for simulating the formation of water regime in an agricultural field covered by straw mulch layer, has been used for the comparative evaluation of the efficiency of four agricultural cultivation technologies, which are usually used for wheat production in different regions of Russia and Ukraine. It simulates the dynamics of water budget components in a soil rooting zone at daily time step from the beginning of spring snowmelt to the beginning of the period with stable negative air temperatures. The model was designed for estimation of mulching efficiency in terms of increase in plant water supply and crop yield under climatic and soil conditions of the steppe and forest-steppe zones. It is used for studying the mulching effect on some characteristics of water regime and yield of winter wheat growing at specific sites located in semi-arid and arid regions of the steppe and forest-steppe zones of the eastern and southern parts of the East-European (Russian) plain. In addition, a previously developed technique for estimating the energetic efficiency of various agricultural technologies with accounting for their impact on changes in soil energy is applied for the comparative evaluation of the efficiency of four agricultural cultivation technologies, which are usually used for wheat production in different regions of the steppe and forest-steppe zones of the European Russia: (1) moldboard tillage of soil without irrigation, (2) moldboard tillage of soil with irrigation, (3) subsurface cultivation, and (4) subsurface cultivation with mulching the soil with plant remains.

  2. Plant litter decomposition and carbon sequestration for arable soils. Final report of works. April 2005; Biodegradation des litieres et sequestration du carbone dans les ecosystemes cultives et perennes. Rapport final des travaux Avril 2005

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Recous, S.; Barrois, F.; Coppens, F.; Garnier, P.; Grehan, E. [Institut National de Recherches Agronomiques (INRA), Unite d' Agronomie Laon-Reims-Mons (France); Balesdent, J. [CNRS-CEA-Univ.de la Mediterranee, UMR 6191, Lab. d' Ecologie Microbienne de la Rhizosphere, 13 - Saint Paul lez Durance (France); Dambrine, E.; Zeller, B. [Institut National de Recherches Agronomiques (INRA), Unite Biogeochimie des Ecosystemes Forestiers, 54 - Nancy (France); Loiseau, P.; Personeni, E. [Institut National de Recherches Agronomiques (INRA), Unite d' Agronomie, 63 - Clermont-Ferrand (France)

    2002-07-01

    The general objective of this project was to contribute to the evaluation of land use and management impacts on C sequestration and nitrogen dynamics in soils. The land used through the presence/absence of crops and their species, and the land management through tillage, localisation of crop residues, fertilizer applications,... are important factors that affect the dynamics of organic matters in soils, particularly the mineralization of C and N, the losses to the atmosphere and hydrosphere, the retention of carbon into the soil. This project was conducted by four research groups, three of them having expertise in nutrient cycling of three major agro-ecosystems (arable crops, grasslands, forests) and the fourth one having expertise in modelling long term effects of land use on C storage into the soils. Within this common project one major objective was to better understand the fate of plant litter entering the soil either as above litter or as root litter. The focus was put on two factors that particularly affect decomposition: the initial biochemical quality of plant litter, and the location of the decomposing litter. One innovative aspect of the project was the use of stable isotope as {sup 13}C for carbon, based on the use of enriched or depleted {sup 13}C material, the only option to assess the dynamics of 'new' C entering the soil on the short term, in order to reveal the effects of decomposition factors. Another aspect was the simultaneous study of C and N. The project consisted in experiments relevant for each agro-ecosystem, in forest, grassland and arable soils for which interactions between residue quality and nitrogen availability on the one hand, residue quality and location on the other hand, was investigated. A common experiment was set up to investigate the potential degradability of the various residue used (beech leaf rape straw, young rye, Lolium and dactylic roots) in a their original soils and in a single soil was assessed. Based on

  3. Measuring Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, F.C.

    How can entrepreneurial ecosystems and productive entrepreneurship can be traced empirically and how is entrepreneurship related to entrepreneurial ecosystems. The analyses in this chapter show the value of taking a systems view on the context of entrepreneurship. We measure entrepreneurial

  4. Coral reefs - Specialized ecosystems

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wafar, M.V.M.

    This paper discusses briefly some aspects that characterize and differentiate coral reef ecosystems from other tropical marine ecosystems. A brief account on the resources that are extractable from coral reefs, their susceptibility to natural...

  5. Introducing guidelines into clinical practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fowkes, F G; Roberts, C J

    1984-04-01

    the impetus for the College to develop guidelines for the use of pre-operative chest X-rays in hospitals in the United Kingdom. Creating a change in clinical practice through the introduction of guidelines is a three stage process: Stage I: introducing the idea of a change in practice. Stage II: introduction of guidelines into clinical practic