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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, Huawu, E-mail: wuhuawu416@163.com [State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875 (China); College of Resources Science and Technology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875 (China); Li, Xiao-Yan, E-mail: xyli@bnu.edu.cn [State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875 (China); College of Resources Science and Technology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875 (China); Jiang, Zhiyun; Chen, Huiying; Zhang, Cicheng; Xiao, Xiong [College of Resources Science and Technology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875 (China)

    2016-01-15

    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. Ecosystem implications of conserving endemic versus eradicating introduced large herbivores in the Galapagos Archipelago

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastille-Rousseau, Guillaume; Gibbs, James P.; Campbell, Karl; Yackulic, Charles B.; Blake, Stephen

    2017-01-01

    Restoration of damaged ecosystems through invasive species removal and native species conservation is an increasingly common practice in biodiversity conservation. Estimating the degree of ecosystem response attributable specifically to eradication of exotic herbivores versus restoration of native herbivores is often difficult and is complicated by concurrent temporal changes in other factors, especially climate. We investigated the interactive impacts of native mega-herbivores (giant tortoises) and the eradication of large alien herbivores (goats) on vegetation productivity across the Galapagos Archipelago. We examined archipelago-wide patterns of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) as a proxy for vegetation productivity between 2001 and 2015 and evaluated how goat and historical and current tortoise occurrence influenced productivity. We used a breakpoint analysis to detect change in trends in productivity from five targeted areas following goat eradication. We found a positive association between tortoise occurrence and vegetation productivity and a negative association with goat occurrence. We also documented an increase in plant productivity following goat removal with recovery higher in moister regions than in arid region, potentially indicating an alternate stable state has been created in the latter. Climate variation also contributed to the detected improvement in productivity following goat eradication, sometimes obscuring the effect of eradication but more usually magnifying it by up to 300%. Our work offers perspectives regarding the effectiveness and outcomes of eradicating introduced herbivores and re-introducing native herbivores, and the merits of staging them simultaneously in order to restore critical ecosystem processes such as vegetation productivity.

  8. 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.

  9. Plant Functional Traits: Soil and Ecosystem Services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faucon, Michel-Pierre; Houben, David; Lambers, Hans

    2017-05-01

    Decline of ecosystem services has triggered numerous studies aiming at developing more sustainable agricultural management practices. Some agricultural practices may improve soil properties by expanding plant biodiversity. However, sustainable management of agroecosystems should be performed from a functional plant trait perspective. Advances in functional ecology, especially plant functional trait effects on ecosystem processes and services, provide pivotal knowledge for ecological intensification of agriculture; this approach acknowledges that a crop field is an agroecosystem whose ecological processes influence soil properties. We highlight the links between plant functional traits and soil properties in relation to four major ecosystem processes involved in vital ecosystem services: food production, crop protection, climate change mitigation, and soil and water conservation, aiming towards ecological intensification of sustainable agricultural and soil management. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. 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)

  11. 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...... implementation consisting of a distributed PI controller structure, both in terms of minimising the overall cost but also in terms of the ability to minimise deviation, which is the classical objective....

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Plant-pollinator interactions in New Caledonia influenced by introduced honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kato, Makoto; Kawakita, Atsushi

    2004-11-01

    The flora of New Caledonia is characterized by remarkably high species diversity, high endemicity, and an unusual abundance of archaic plant taxa. To investigate community-level pollination mutualism in this endemic ecosystem, we observed flower visitors on 99 plant species in 42 families of various types of vegetation. Among the 95 native plant species, the most dominant pollination system was melittophily (bee-pollinated, 46.3%), followed by phalaenophily (moth-pollinated, 20.0%), ornithophily (bird-pollinated, 11.6%), cantharophily (beetle-pollinated, 8.4%), myophily (fly-pollinated, 3.2%), chiropterophily (bat-pollinated, 3.2%), and anemophily (wind-pollinated, 3.2%). The prevalence of ornithophily by honeyeaters shows an ecological link to pollination mutualism in Australia. The relative dominance of phalaenophily is unique to New Caledonia, and is proposed to be related to the low diversity of the original bee fauna and the absence of long-tongued bees. Although some archaic plants maintain archaic plant-pollinator interactions, e.g., Zygogynum pollinated by micropterigid moths, or Hedycarya pollinated by thrips and staphylinid beetles, the most dominant organism observed on flowers was the introduced honey bee, Apis mellifera. The plant species now visited by honey bees are thought to have originally been pollinated by native solitary short-tongued bees. Our data suggest that the unique systems of pollination mutualism in New Caledonia are now endangered by the establishment of highly invasive honey bees.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  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.

    2017-01-01

    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. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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).

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaoue, Orou G.; de la Torre, Lucía; Navarrete, Hugo; Muriel, Priscilla; Macía, Manuel J.; Balslev, Henrik; León-Yánez, Susana; Jørgensen, Peter; Duffy, David Cameron

    2017-01-01

    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. PMID:28886104

  9. Contemporary evolution of host plant range expansion in an introduced herbivorous beetle Ophraella communa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukano, Y; Doi, H; Thomas, C E; Takata, M; Koyama, S; Satoh, T

    2016-04-01

    Host range expansion of herbivorous insects is a key event in ecological speciation and insect pest management. However, the mechanistic processes are relatively unknown because it is difficult to observe the ongoing host range expansion in natural population. In this study, we focused on the ongoing host range expansion in introduced populations of the ragweed leaf beetle, Ophraella communa, to estimate the evolutionary process of host plant range expansion of a herbivorous insect. In the native range of North America, O. communa does not utilize Ambrosia trifida, as a host plant, but this plant is extensively utilized in the beetle's introduced range. Larval performance and adult preference experiments demonstrated that native O. communa beetles show better survival on host plant individuals from introduced plant populations than those from native plant populations and they also oviposit on the introduced plant, but not on the native plant. Introduced O. communa beetles showed significantly higher performance on and preference for both introduced and native A. trifida plants, when compared with native O. communa. These results indicate the contemporary evolution of host plant range expansion of introduced O. communa and suggest that the evolutionary change of both the host plant and the herbivorous insect involved in the host range expansion. © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  10. 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.

  11. In Search of a Better Bean: A Simple Activity to Introduce Plant Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spaccarotella, Kim; James, Roxie

    2014-01-01

    Measuring plant stem growth over time is a simple activity commonly used to introduce concepts in growth and development in plant biology (Reid & Pu, 2007). This Quick Fix updates the activity and incorporates a real-world application: students consider possible effects of soil substrate and sunlight conditions on plant growth without needing…

  12. The dominance of introduced plant species in the diets of migratory Galapagos tortoises increases with elevation on a human-occupied island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, Stephen; Guézou, Anne; Deem, Sharon L.; Yackulic, Charles B.; Cabrera, Fredy

    2015-01-01

    The distribution of resources and food selection are fundamental to the ecology, life history, physiology, population dynamics, and conservation of animals. Introduced plants are changing foraging dynamics of herbivores in many ecosystems often with unknown consequences. Galapagos tortoises, like many herbivores, undertake migrations along elevation gradients driven by variability in vegetation productivity which take them into upland areas dominated by introduced plants. We sought to characterize diet composition of two species of Galapagos tortoises, focussing on how the role of introduced forage species changes over space and the implications for tortoise conservation. We quantified the distribution of tortoises with elevation using GPS telemetry. Along the elevation gradient, we quantified the abundance of introduced and native plant species, estimated diet composition by recording foods consumed by tortoises, and assessed tortoise physical condition from body weights and blood parameter values. Tortoises ranged between 0 and 429 m in elevation over which they consumed at least 64 plant species from 26 families, 44 percent of which were introduced species. Cover of introduced species and the proportion of introduced species in tortoise diets increased with elevation. Introduced species were positively selected for by tortoises at all elevations. Tortoise physical condition was either consistent or increased with elevation at the least biologically productive season on Galapagos. Santa Cruz tortoises are generalist herbivores that have adapted their feeding behavior to consume many introduced plant species that has likely made a positive contribution to tortoise nutrition. Some transformed habitats that contain an abundance of introduced forage species are compatible with tortoise conservation.

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Incorporating plant functional diversity effects in ecosystem service assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz, Sandra; Lavorel, Sandra; de Bello, Francesco; Quétier, Fabien; Grigulis, Karl; Robson, T Matthew

    2007-12-26

    Global environmental change affects the sustained provision of a wide set of ecosystem services. Although the delivery of ecosystem services is strongly affected by abiotic drivers and direct land use effects, it is also modulated by the functional diversity of biological communities (the value, range, and relative abundance of functional traits in a given ecosystem). The focus of this article is on integrating the different possible mechanisms by which functional diversity affects ecosystem properties that are directly relevant to ecosystem services. We propose a systematic way for progressing in understanding how land cover change affects these ecosystem properties through functional diversity modifications. Models on links between ecosystem properties and the local mean, range, and distribution of plant trait values are numerous, but they have been scattered in the literature, with varying degrees of empirical support and varying functional diversity components analyzed. Here we articulate these different components in a single conceptual and methodological framework that allows testing them in combination. We illustrate our approach with examples from the literature and apply the proposed framework to a grassland system in the central French Alps in which functional diversity, by responding to land use change, alters the provision of ecosystem services important to local stakeholders. We claim that our framework contributes to opening a new area of research at the interface of land change science and fundamental ecology.

  17. Incorporating plant functional diversity effects in ecosystem service assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz, Sandra; Lavorel, Sandra; de Bello, Francesco; Quétier, Fabien; Grigulis, Karl; Robson, T. Matthew

    2007-01-01

    Global environmental change affects the sustained provision of a wide set of ecosystem services. Although the delivery of ecosystem services is strongly affected by abiotic drivers and direct land use effects, it is also modulated by the functional diversity of biological communities (the value, range, and relative abundance of functional traits in a given ecosystem). The focus of this article is on integrating the different possible mechanisms by which functional diversity affects ecosystem properties that are directly relevant to ecosystem services. We propose a systematic way for progressing in understanding how land cover change affects these ecosystem properties through functional diversity modifications. Models on links between ecosystem properties and the local mean, range, and distribution of plant trait values are numerous, but they have been scattered in the literature, with varying degrees of empirical support and varying functional diversity components analyzed. Here we articulate these different components in a single conceptual and methodological framework that allows testing them in combination. We illustrate our approach with examples from the literature and apply the proposed framework to a grassland system in the central French Alps in which functional diversity, by responding to land use change, alters the provision of ecosystem services important to local stakeholders. We claim that our framework contributes to opening a new area of research at the interface of land change science and fundamental ecology. PMID:18093933

  18. 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...

  19. Herbivore regulation of plant abundance in aquatic ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Kevin A; O'Hare, Matthew T; McDonald, Claire; Searle, Kate R; Daunt, Francis; Stillman, Richard A

    2017-05-01

    Herbivory is a fundamental process that controls primary producer abundance and regulates energy and nutrient flows to higher trophic levels. Despite the recent proliferation of small-scale studies on herbivore effects on aquatic plants, there remains limited understanding of the factors that control consumer regulation of vascular plants in aquatic ecosystems. Our current knowledge of the regulation of primary producers has hindered efforts to understand the structure and functioning of aquatic ecosystems, and to manage such ecosystems effectively. We conducted a global meta-analysis of the outcomes of plant-herbivore interactions using a data set comprised of 326 values from 163 studies, in order to test two mechanistic hypotheses: first, that greater negative changes in plant abundance would be associated with higher herbivore biomass densities; second, that the magnitude of changes in plant abundance would vary with herbivore taxonomic identity. We found evidence that plant abundance declined with increased herbivore density, with plants eliminated at high densities. Significant between-taxa differences in impact were detected, with insects associated with smaller reductions in plant abundance than all other taxa. Similarly, birds caused smaller reductions in plant abundance than echinoderms, fish, or molluscs. Furthermore, larger reductions in plant abundance were detected for fish relative to crustaceans. We found a positive relationship between herbivore species richness and change in plant abundance, with the strongest reductions in plant abundance reported for low herbivore species richness, suggesting that greater herbivore diversity may protect against large reductions in plant abundance. Finally, we found that herbivore-plant nativeness was a key factor affecting the magnitude of herbivore impacts on plant abundance across a wide range of species assemblages. Assemblages comprised of invasive herbivores and native plant assemblages were associated with

  20. Regional distribution of introduced plant species in the forests of the Northeastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beth Schulz; W. Keith Moser; Cassandra Olson; Katherine Johnson

    2013-01-01

    Many plant species have been introduced to the United States by humans since European settlement, sometimes deliberately and sometimes inadvertently, such as in contaminated crop seed or soil. Some species have successfully escaped cultivation and become invasive, spreading and establishing new populations distant from original population centers. Indeed, introduced...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  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. 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)

  5. Cryptic seedling herbivory by nocturnal introduced generalists impacts survival, performance of native and exotic plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strauss, Sharon Y; Stanton, Maureen L; Emery, Nancy C; Bradley, Carrie A; Carleton, Alexandra; Dittrich-Reed, Dylan R; Ervin, Olivia A; Gray, Levi N; Hamilton, Andrew M; Rogge, Jennifer Harrington; Harper, Skye D; Law, Kimberley Cook; Pham, Vinh Q; Putnam, Matthew E; Roth, Tara M; Theil, Jacob H; Wells, Lara M; Yoshizuka, Eric M

    2009-02-01

    Although much of the theory on the success of invasive species has been geared at escape from specialist enemies, the impact of introduced generalist invertebrate herbivores on both native and introduced plant species has been underappreciated. The role of nocturnal invertebrate herbivores in structuring plant communities has been examined extensively in Europe, but less so in North America. Many nocturnal generalists (slugs, snails, and earwigs) have been introduced to North America, and 96% of herbivores found during a night census at our California Central Valley site were introduced generalists. We explored the role of these herbivores in the distribution, survivorship, and growth of 12 native and introduced plant species from six families. We predicted that introduced species sharing an evolutionary history with these generalists might be less vulnerable than native plant species. We quantified plant and herbivore abundances within our heterogeneous site and also established herbivore removal experiments in 160 plots spanning the gamut of microhabitats. As 18 collaborators, we checked 2000 seedling sites every day for three weeks to assess nocturnal seedling predation. Laboratory feeding trials allowed us to quantify the palatability of plant species to the two dominant nocturnal herbivores at the site (slugs and earwigs) and allowed us to account for herbivore microhabitat preferences when analyzing attack rates on seedlings. The relationship between local slug abundance and percent cover of five common plant taxa at the field site was significantly negatively associated with the mean palatability of these taxa to slugs in laboratory trials. Moreover, seedling mortality of 12 species in open-field plots was positively correlated with mean palatability of these taxa to both slugs and earwigs in laboratory trials. Counter to expectations, seedlings of native species were neither more vulnerable nor more palatable to nocturnal generalists than those of

  6. 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

  7. Plants cause ecosystem nutrient depletion via the interruption of bird-derived spatial subsidies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Hillary S.; McCauley, Douglas J.; Dunbar, Robert B.; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2010-01-01

    Plant introductions and subsequent community shifts are known to affect nutrient cycling, but most such studies have focused on nutrient enrichment effects. The nature of plant-driven nutrient depletions and the mechanisms by which these might occur are relatively poorly understood. In this study we demonstrate that the proliferation of the commonly introduced coconut palm, Cocos nucifera, interrupts the flow of allochthonous marine subsidies to terrestrial ecosystems via an indirect effect: impact on birds. Birds avoid nesting or roosting in C. nucifera, thus reducing the critical nutrient inputs they bring from the marine environment. These decreases in marine subsidies then lead to reductions in available soil nutrients, decreases in leaf nutrient quality, diminished leaf palatability, and reduced herbivory. This nutrient depletion pathway contrasts the more typical patterns of nutrient enrichment that follow plant species introductions. Research on the effects of spatial subsidy disruptions on ecosystems has not yet examined interruptions driven by changes within the recipient community, such as plant community shifts. The ubiquity of coconut palm introductions across the tropics and subtropics makes these observations particularly noteworthy. Equally important, the case of C. nucifera provides a strong demonstration of how plant community changes can dramatically impact the supply of allochthonous nutrients and thereby reshape energy flow in ecosystems. PMID:20133852

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.)

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Introducing the Cell Concept with Both Animal and Plant Cells: A Historical and Didactic Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clement, Pierre

    2007-01-01

    In France, as well as in several other countries, the cell concept is introduced at school by two juxtaposed drawings, a plant cell and an animal cell. After indicating the didactic obstacles associated with this presentation, this paper focuses on the reasons underlying the persistence of these two prototypes, through three complementary…

  14. Effects of vegetative propagule pressure on the establishment of an introduced clonal plant, Hydrocotyle vulgaris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ruihua; Chen, Qiuwen; Dong, Bicheng; Yu, Feihai

    2014-07-01

    Some introduced clonal plants spread mainly by vegetative (clonal) propagules due to the absence of sexual reproduction in the introduced range. Propagule pressure (i.e. total number of propagules) may affect the establishment and thus invasion success of introduced clonal plants, and such effects may also depend on habitat conditions. A greenhouse experiment with an introduced plant, Hydrocotyle vulgaris was conducted to investigate the role of propagule pressure on its invasion process. High (five ramets) or low (one ramet) propagule pressure was established either in bare soil or in an experimental plant community consisting of four grassland species. H. vulgaris produced more total biomass under high than under low propagule pressure in both habitat conditions. Interestingly, the size of the H. vulgaris individuals was smaller under high than under low propagule pressure in bare soil, whereas it did not differ between the two propagule pressure treatments in the grassland community. The results indicated that high propagule pressure can ensure the successful invasion in either the grass community or bare soil, and the shift in the intraspecific interaction of H. vulgaris from competition in the bare soil to facilitation in the grassland community may be a potential mechanism.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Effects of an Introduced Aquatic Plant, Hydrilla verticillata, on Benthic Communities in the Upper Chesapeake Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Posey, Martin H.; Wigand, Cathleen; Stevenson, J. Court

    1993-11-01

    The introduced submersed aquatic plant, Hydrilla verticillata, is currently spreading in the Chesapeake Bay, and is colonizing previously unvegetated areas and displacing native flora. To examine the effects of this invasion, we compared faunal densities between Hydrilla beds and unvegetated sand areas. Transplants of Hydrilla and sampling from natural Hydrilla and unvegetated patches indicate that this plant enhances the abundances of a variety of benthic fauna. Among two clam species transplanted into Hydrilla patches and adjacent unvegetated areas, one demonstrated enhanced survival within Hydrilla patches while the other exhibited reduced tissue growth. Similarly, the growth form of Hydrilla may have been affected by clam presence. Dissolved oxygen, sediment characteristics, and sediment resuspension also varied between Hydrilla and unvegetated areas. The spread of Hydrilla in the Chesapeake Bay clearly has significant, though complex, effects on the bottom community. Such effects emphasize the potential importance of introduced plants in altering community characteristics.

  18. Component modeling in ecological risk assessment: Disturbance in interspecific interactions caused by air toxics introduced into terrestrial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swider, Jan Zenon

    The human health risk assessment (HRA), initiated by the onset of nuclear industry, has been a well established methodology for assessing the impacts of human created contamination on an individual human being and entire population. The wide spread of applications and tools grown upon this methodology allows one not only to identify the hazards, but also to manage the risks. Recently, there has existed an increased awareness of the need to conduct ecological risk assessments (ERA) in addition to HRAs. The ERAs are, by and large, more complex than typical HRAs and involve not only different species but whole ecological systems. Such complex analyses require a thorough understanding of the processes underway in the ecosystem, including the contaminant transport through the food web, population dynamics as well as intra- and inter-specific relationships. The exposure pathways change radically depending on the consumer tier. Plants produce their nutriment from the sunlight and raw inorganic compounds. Animals and other living forms obtain energy by eating plants, other animals and detritus. Their double role as food consumers and food producers causes a trophic structure of the ecological system, where nutrients and energy are transferred from one trophic level to another. This is a dynamic process of energy flow, mostly in the form of food, varying with time and space. In order to conduct an efficient ERA, a multidisciplinary framework is needed. This framework can be enhanced by analyzing predator-prey interactions during the environmental disturbances caused by a pollutant emission, and by assessing the consequences of such disturbances. It is necessary to develop a way to describe how human industrial activity affects the ecosystems. Existing ecological studies have mostly been focused either on pure ecological interdependencies or on limited perspectives of human activities. In this study, we discuss the issues of air pollution and its ecological impacts from the

  19. Natural selection on plant resistance to herbivores in the native and introduced range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valverde, Pedro L.; Arroyo, Juan; Núñez-Farfán, Juan; Castillo, Guillermo; Calahorra, Adriana; Pérez-Barrales, Rocío; Tapia-López, Rosalinda

    2015-01-01

    When plants are introduced into new regions, the absence of their co-evolved natural enemies can result in lower levels of attack. As a consequence of this reduction in enemy pressure, plant performance may increase and selection for resistance to enemies may decrease. In the present study, we compared leaf damage, plant size and leaf trichome density, as well as the direction and magnitude of selection on resistance and plant size between non-native (Spain) and native (Mexico) populations of Datura stramonium. This species was introduced to Spain about five centuries ago and constitutes an ideal system to test four predictions of the enemy release hypothesis. Compared with native populations, we expected Spanish populations of D. stramonium to have (i) lower levels of foliar damage; (ii) larger plant size; (iii) lower leaf trichome density that is unrelated to foliar damage by herbivores; and (iv) weak or no selection on resistance to herbivores but strong selection on plant size. Our results showed that, on average, plants from non-native populations were significantly less damaged by herbivores, were less pubescent and were larger than those from native populations. We also detected different selection regimes on resistance and plant size between the non-native and native ranges. Positive selection on plant size was detected in both ranges (though it was higher in the non-native area), but consistent positive selection on relative resistance was detected only in the native range. Overall, we suggest that changes in selection pressure on resistance and plant size in D. stramonium in Spain are a consequence of ‘release from natural enemies’. PMID:26205526

  20. Mutualism between co-introduced species facilitates invasion and alters plant community structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prior, Kirsten M.; Robinson, Jennifer M.; Meadley Dunphy, Shannon A.; Frederickson, Megan E.

    2015-01-01

    Generalized mutualisms are often predicted to be resilient to changes in partner identity. Variation in mutualism-related traits between native and invasive species however, can exacerbate the spread of invasive species (‘invasional meltdown’) if invasive partners strongly interact. Here we show how invasion by a seed-dispersing ant (Myrmica rubra) promotes recruitment of a co-introduced invasive over native ant-dispersed (myrmecochorous) plants. We created experimental communities of invasive (M. rubra) or native ants (Aphaenogaster rudis) and invasive and native plants and measured seed dispersal and plant recruitment. In our mesocosms, and in laboratory and field trials, M. rubra acted as a superior seed disperser relative to the native ant. By contrast, previous studies have found that invasive ants are often poor seed dispersers compared with native ants. Despite belonging to the same behavioural guild, seed-dispersing ants were not functionally redundant. Instead, native and invasive ants had strongly divergent effects on plant communities: the invasive plant dominated in the presence of the invasive ant and the native plants dominated in the presence of the native ant. Community changes were not due to preferences for coevolved partners: variation in functional traits of linked partners drove differences. Here, we show that strongly interacting introduced mutualists can be major drivers of ecological change. PMID:25540283

  1. Range-expanding populations of a globally introduced weed experience negative plant-soil feedbacks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andonian, Krikor; Hierro, José L; Khetsuriani, Liana; Becerra, Pablo; Janoyan, Grigor; Villarreal, Diego; Cavieres, Lohengrin; Fox, Laurel R; Callaway, Ragan M

    2011-01-01

    Biological invasions are fundamentally biogeographic processes that occur over large spatial scales. Interactions with soil microbes can have strong impacts on plant invasions, but how these interactions vary among areas where introduced species are highly invasive vs. naturalized is still unknown. In this study, we examined biogeographic variation in plant-soil microbe interactions of a globally invasive weed, Centaurea solstitialis (yellow starthistle). We addressed the following questions (1) Is Centaurea released from natural enemy pressure from soil microbes in introduced regions? and (2) Is variation in plant-soil feedbacks associated with variation in Centaurea's invasive success? We conducted greenhouse experiments using soils and seeds collected from native Eurasian populations and introduced populations spanning North and South America where Centaurea is highly invasive and noninvasive. Soil microbes had pervasive negative effects in all regions, although the magnitude of their effect varied among regions. These patterns were not unequivocally congruent with the enemy release hypothesis. Surprisingly, we also found that Centaurea generated strong negative feedbacks in regions where it is the most invasive, while it generated neutral plant-soil feedbacks where it is noninvasive. Recent studies have found reduced below-ground enemy attack and more positive plant-soil feedbacks in range-expanding plant populations, but we found increased negative effects of soil microbes in range-expanding Centaurea populations. While such negative feedbacks may limit the long-term persistence of invasive plants, such feedbacks may also contribute to the success of invasions, either by having disproportionately negative impacts on competing species, or by yielding relatively better growth in uncolonized areas that would encourage lateral spread. Enemy release from soil-borne pathogens is not sufficient to explain the success of this weed in such different regions. The

  2. Inducible phenotypic plasticity in plants regulates aquatic ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackrel, Sara L; Morton, Timothy C

    2018-04-01

    Differences among individuals within species affect community and ecosystem processes in many systems, and may rival the importance of differences between species. Intraspecific variation consists of both plastic and genetic components that are regulated by different processes and operate on different time scales. Therefore, probing which mechanisms can affect traits sufficiently strongly to affect ecosystem processes is fundamental to understanding the consequences of individual variation. We find that a dominant deciduous tree of Pacific Northwest riparian ecosystems, red alder, exhibits strong and synergistic responses to nutrient resources and herbivory stress. These induced responses, which include shifting nutrient and plant secondary metabolite composition, have cascading effects on aquatic ecosystem function. Defense responses suppress leaf litter decomposition in small streams, thus altering the rate of energy capture for one of the most abundant terrestrial carbon sources entering aquatic systems. We find that alder responses to herbivory stress largely depend on availability of soil nutrients, with modification of the highly cytotoxic diarylheptanoid group of secondary metabolites being favored in nutrient-poor environments and modification of the typically dose-dependent ellagitannins being favored in nutrient-rich environments. Importantly, these findings identify traits for herbivore resistance in alder trees and demonstrate that plastic responses occurring within a species and over short time scales substantially alter a key function of an adjacent ecosystem. Furthermore, demonstrating plasticity among alder secondary metabolites lends insight into this system, in which decomposer communities are known to adjust to the secondary chemistry of local alder trees to facilitate rapid decomposition of locally derived leaf litter.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. Introduced sap-feeding insect pests of crop plants in the Maltese Islands

    OpenAIRE

    Mifsud, David; Watson, Gillian W.

    1999-01-01

    Sap-feeding insects within Hemiptera and Thysanoptera are some of the most important crop pests world-wide. Apart from the loss of yield they cause by sap depletion, saliva toxicity and soiling of the leaves, some species transmit serious plant virus diseases. Important sap-feeding species that have been introduced to the Maltese Islands include the whitefly Bemisia tabaci; the scale insects Pseudo coccus !ongispinus, Planococcus citri and lcerya purchasi; the aphids Aphis gossypii, Aphis spi...

  6. Emerging fungal threats to animal, plant and ecosystem health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Matthew C; Henk, Daniel A; Briggs, Cheryl J; Brownstein, John S; Madoff, Lawrence C; McCraw, Sarah L; Gurr, Sarah J

    2012-04-11

    The past two decades have seen an increasing number of virulent infectious diseases in natural populations and managed landscapes. In both animals and plants, an unprecedented number of fungal and fungal-like diseases have recently caused some of the most severe die-offs and extinctions ever witnessed in wild species, and are jeopardizing food security. Human activity is intensifying fungal disease dispersal by modifying natural environments and thus creating new opportunities for evolution. We argue that nascent fungal infections will cause increasing attrition of biodiversity, with wider implications for human and ecosystem health, unless steps are taken to tighten biosecurity worldwide.

  7. 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.

  8. Range-expanding populations of a globally introduced weed experience negative plant-soil feedbacks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krikor Andonian

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Biological invasions are fundamentally biogeographic processes that occur over large spatial scales. Interactions with soil microbes can have strong impacts on plant invasions, but how these interactions vary among areas where introduced species are highly invasive vs. naturalized is still unknown. In this study, we examined biogeographic variation in plant-soil microbe interactions of a globally invasive weed, Centaurea solstitialis (yellow starthistle. We addressed the following questions (1 Is Centaurea released from natural enemy pressure from soil microbes in introduced regions? and (2 Is variation in plant-soil feedbacks associated with variation in Centaurea's invasive success? METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We conducted greenhouse experiments using soils and seeds collected from native Eurasian populations and introduced populations spanning North and South America where Centaurea is highly invasive and noninvasive. Soil microbes had pervasive negative effects in all regions, although the magnitude of their effect varied among regions. These patterns were not unequivocally congruent with the enemy release hypothesis. Surprisingly, we also found that Centaurea generated strong negative feedbacks in regions where it is the most invasive, while it generated neutral plant-soil feedbacks where it is noninvasive. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Recent studies have found reduced below-ground enemy attack and more positive plant-soil feedbacks in range-expanding plant populations, but we found increased negative effects of soil microbes in range-expanding Centaurea populations. While such negative feedbacks may limit the long-term persistence of invasive plants, such feedbacks may also contribute to the success of invasions, either by having disproportionately negative impacts on competing species, or by yielding relatively better growth in uncolonized areas that would encourage lateral spread. Enemy release from soil-borne pathogens is

  9. INVASIVE PLANTS HARBOR HUNGRY DETRITIVORES THAT ALTER ECOSYSTEM FUNCTION

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecosystems are expected to function more efficiently in response to a diverse community of inhabitants. However, biological invasions may change expected relationships between ecosystem function and diversity. We observed increased decomposition, a measure of ecosystem function...

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-03-01

    Feedbacks of terrestrial ecosystems to atmospheric and 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 soil communities that depend 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 precipitation in Tennessee (USA). 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 activity, and soil nematodes. Multiple climate-change factors can interact to shape ecosystems, but in our study, those interactions were largely driven by changes in water. (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. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

    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 pr...

  14. Plant community dynamics and restoring Louisiana's wetland ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duke-Sylvester, S. M.; Visser, J.

    2017-12-01

    We have developed a computational model of plant community dynamics. Our model is designed to evaluate the effects of management actions on the structure and health of Louisiana's coastal wetland plant communities. A number of projects have been initiated or proposed to preserve and restore this ecosystem while still allowing the area to support Louisiana's economy. These projects involve both modification of the flow of freshwater as well as restoring natural wetlands. Evaluating the long term effects of these projects is complex and involves numerous moving pieces operating over an extensive and diverse landscape. The situation is further complicated by in sea level rise and climate change associated with global warming. The vegetation model is part of a larger set of linked models that include hydrology and soil morphology. Using hydrological conditions projected by the linked hydrology models, we are able to evaluate the effects of anthropogenic and climatic changes on Louisiana's wetland plant communities. Unique features of our model include replacing the division of wetlands into coarse groups defined by salinity conditions with species level responses to environmental conditions and extending the spatial scale of modeling to encompass the entirety of Louisiana's Gulf coast. Model results showing the potential impact of alternative management and climate change scenarios are presented.

  15. Fungal life-styles and ecosystem dynamics: biological aspects of plant pathogens, plant endophytes and saprophytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, R.J.; Redman, R.S.

    1997-01-01

    This chapter discusses various biochemical, genetic, ecological, and evolutionary aspects of fungi that express either symbiotic or saprophytic life-styles. An enormous pool of potential pathogens exists in both agricultural and natural ecosystems, and virtually all plant species are susceptible to one or more fungal pathogens. Fungal pathogens have the potential to impact on the genetic structure of populations of individual plant species, the composition of plant communities and the process of plant succession. Endophytic fungi exist for at least part of their life cycles within the tissues of a plant host. This group of fungi is distinguished from plant pathogens because they do not elicit significant disease symptoms. However, endophytes do maintain the genetic and biochemical mechanisms required for infection and colonization of plant hosts. Fungi that obtain chemical nutrients from dead organic matter are known as saprophytes and are critical to the dynamics and resilience of ecosystems. There are two modes of saprophytic growth: one in which biomolecules that are amenable to transport across cell walls and membranes are directly absorbed, and another in which fungi must actively convert complex biopolymers into subunit forms amenable to transportation into cells. Regardless of life-style, fungi employ similar biochemical mechanisms for the acquisition and conversion of nutrients into complex biomolecules that are necessary for vegetative growth, production and dissemination of progeny, organismal competition, and survival during periods of nutrient deprivation or environmental inclemency.

  16. Impacts of invasive plants on resident animals across ecosystems, taxa, and feeding types: a global assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schirmel, Jens; Bundschuh, Mirco; Entling, Martin H; Kowarik, Ingo; Buchholz, Sascha

    2016-02-01

    As drivers of global change, biological invasions have fundamental ecological consequences. However, it remains unclear how invasive plant effects on resident animals vary across ecosystems, animal classes, and functional groups. We performed a comprehensive meta-analysis covering 198 field and laboratory studies reporting a total of 3624 observations of invasive plant effects on animals. Invasive plants had reducing (56%) or neutral (44%) effects on animal abundance, diversity, fitness, and ecosystem function across different ecosystems, animal classes, and feeding types while we could not find any increasing effect. Most importantly, we found that invasive plants reduced overall animal abundance, diversity and fitness. However, this significant overall effect was contingent on ecosystems, taxa, and feeding types of animals. Decreasing effects of invasive plants were most evident in riparian ecosystems, possibly because frequent disturbance facilitates more intense plant invasions compared to other ecosystem types. In accordance with their immediate reliance on plants for food, invasive plant effects were strongest on herbivores. Regarding taxonomic groups, birds and insects were most strongly affected. In insects, this may be explained by their high frequency of herbivory, while birds demonstrate that invasive plant effects can also cascade up to secondary consumers. Since data on impacts of invasive plants are rather limited for many animal groups in most ecosystems, we argue for overcoming gaps in knowledge and for a more differentiated discussion on effects of invasive plant on native fauna. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. DISTRIBUTION OF SELECTED INVASIVE PLANTS IN RIPARIAN ECOSYSTEMS OF THE WESTERN UNITED STATES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riparian ecosystems typically exhibit high levels of plant species richness, physical disturbance, and interconnectedness; characteristics that may favor establishment and spread of invasive plant species. To assess the magnitude of this invasion, we organized an extensive surve...

  18. Felicia filifolia (Asteraceae, a South African alien plant introduced in S Catalonia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pyke, S.

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available The presence of Felicia filifolia, introduced plant of South African origin, is reported for the first time in the mountains of north Falset (Priorat. It is a chorological novelty in the register of alien plants for the Flora of Catalonia and the Iberian Peninsula.

    [es] Se indica por primera vez la presencia de Felicia filifolia, especie introducida de origen sudafricano, en las montañas del norte de Falset (Priorat. En el registro de plantas alóctonas constituye una novedad corológica para la flora de Cataluña y de la Península Ibérica. [ct] S’assenyala per primera vegada la presència de Felicia filifolia, espècie introduïda d’origen sud-africà, a les muntanyes del nord de Falset (Priorat. En el registre de plantes al·lòctones constitueix una novetat corològica per a la flora de Catalunya i de la Península Ibèrica.

  19. Plant-trait-based modeling assessment of ecosystem-service sensitivity to land-use change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quétier, Fabien; Lavorel, Sandra; Thuiller, Wilfried; Davies, Ian

    2007-12-01

    Evidence is accumulating that the continued provision of essential ecosystem services is vulnerable to land-use change. Yet, we lack a strong scientific basis for this vulnerability as the processes that drive ecosystem-service delivery often remain unclear. In this paper, we use plant traits to assess ecosystem-service sensitivity to land-use change in subalpine grasslands. We use a trait-based plant classification (plant functional types, PFTs) in a landscape modeling platform to model community dynamics under contrasting but internally consistent land-use change scenarios. We then use predictive models of relevant ecosystem attributes, based on quantitative plant traits, to make projections of ecosystem-service delivery. We show that plant traits and PFTs are effective predictors of relevant ecosystem attributes for a range of ecosystem services including provisioning (fodder), cultural (land stewardship), regulating (landslide and avalanche risk), and supporting services (plant diversity). By analyzing the relative effects of the physical environment and land use on relevant ecosystem attributes, we also show that these ecosystem services are most sensitive to changes in grassland management, supporting current agri-environmental policies aimed at maintaining mowing of subalpine grasslands in Europe.

  20. Performance of Introducing Outdoor Cold Air for Cooling a Plant Production System with Artificial Light.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jun; Tong, Yuxin; Yang, Qichang; Xin, Min

    2016-01-01

    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 m(2) each) was maintained at 25 and 20°C during photoperiod and dark period, respectively, for lettuce production. A null CO2 balance enrichment method was used in both PPALs. In one PPAL (PPALe), an air exchanger (air flow rate: 250 m(3)·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 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 for cooling 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 to 0.04 kg compared with that in the PPALc with the outdoor air temperature ranging from -5.6 to 2.7°C; (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.

  1. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Little, C.A.

    1976-08-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Twelve invasive plant taxa in U.S. western riparian ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Assessments of stream ecosystems often include an evaluation of riparian condition; a key stressor in riparian ecosystems is the presence of invasive plants. We analyzed the distribution of 12 invasive taxa (common burdock [Arctium minus], giant reed [Arundo donax], cheatgrass [B...

  5. Non-native plants and adaptive collaborative approaches to ecosystem restoration [Chapter 8

    Science.gov (United States)

    John Schelhas; James H. Miller; Jeanne C. Chambers

    2012-01-01

    Non-native invasive plant species (NNIPS) pose a serious socio-ecological challenge due to their potential to replace and damage critical human-sustaining ecosystems (OTA 1993; Mack et al. 2000; Pimentel 2002). The impacts of non-native species are widespread and significant - altering ecosystem structure and function, threatening other species, and imposing human...

  6. Exotic plant traits lead to functional diversity decline in novel ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Exotic species have become common and even dominant in some grasslands forming novel ecosystems because the species in them have no common evolutionary history. Recent work on these novel ecosystems suggest that exotic species contribute to diversity declines. In order to identify the plant traits...

  7. Predictors, spatial distribution, and occurrence of woody invasive plants in subtropical urban ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christina L. Staudhammer; Francisco J. Escobedo; Nathan Holt; Linda J. Young; Thomas J. Brandeis; Wayne Zipperer; Other

    2015-01-01

    We examined the spatial distribution, occurrence, and socioecological predictors of woody invasive plants (WIP) in two subtropical, coastal urban ecosystems: San Juan, Puerto Rico and Miami-Dade, United States. These two cities have similar climates and ecosystems typical of subtropical regions but differ in socioeconomics, topography, and urbanization processes. Using...

  8. Plant species introduced by foreigners according to folk tradition in Norway and some other European countries: xenophobic tales or not?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alm, Torbjørn

    2015-10-05

    In their quest to understand and interpret nature, people have frequently sought religious or divine origins for plant species and their characteristics. Less often, historical events or persons are involved. This study comprises eleven cases of the latter kind, all claiming that plant species have been introduced by foreigners or at least from foreign lands. Based on literature data and a few cases recorded during my own ethnobotanical field work, eleven European examples of pseudo-historical plant origins are presented here, including Cakile maritima, Cicuta virosa, Lathyrus japonicus, Leymus arenarius, Primula vulgaris, and Scopolia carniolica in Norway, Heracleum mantegazzianum and/or H. persicum in Denmark, Phoenix dactylifera and P. theophrastii in Greece, and Jacobaea vulgaris in Scotland. The only common trait in these stories is that foreigner or at least foreign lands are claimed as sources of the plant species. In most cases, the "historical" explanations given in folk tradition are demonstrably at odds with reality. In those cases that involve poisonous or potentially harmful species (Cicuta virosa, Heracleum mantegazzianum and/or H. persicum, Jacobaea vulgaris), or the "useless" Phoenix theophrastii, with its inedible fruits, the stories may be interpreted as xenophobic, blaming foreigners for introducing dangerous or worthless species. The remaining examples merely suggest a search for exotic and seemingly rational, if erroneous, origins for plant species and stands that people considered strange and unusual. The spreading vectors assumed in folk tradition are correct and well documented, e.g. ship cargos (including goods and packing materials), which are responsible for introducing ballast plants and other anthropochores, and wartime activities, introducing a broad range of species (polemochores). They do not, however, apply to the species included in this study, which are either indigenous plants or introduced ornamentals. The foreigners appearing

  9. Economic valuation of plant diversity storage service provided by Brazilian rupestrian grassland ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    FM. Resende

    Full Text Available The rupestrian grassland ecosystems provide various goods and services to society and support a significant amount of biological diversity. Notably the rich plant diversity has high levels of endemism and a variety of uses among the local communities and general society. Despite the socio-ecological importance of these ecosystems, they are subjected to significant anthropogenic pressures. The goal of this study is to perform economic valuation of the plant diversity storage service provided by rupestrian grassland ecosystems to provide grounds for the development of conservation policies and encourage sustainable practices in these ecosystems. Given the intense human disturbances and unique flora, the Serra do Cipó (southern portion of the Espinhaço Range in southeast Brazil was selected for the study. We estimate the monetary value related to the plant diversity storage service provided by the study area using the maintenance costs of native plants in the living collections of the botanical garden managed by the Zoobotanical Foundation - Belo Horizonte (located 97 km from Serra do Cipó. The plant diversity storage value provided by Serra do Cipó ecosystems is significant, reaching US$25.26 million year–1. This study contributes to the development of perspectives related to the conservation of rupestrian grassland ecosystems as well as others threatened tropical ecosystems with high biodiversity

  10. 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

  11. Economic valuation of plant diversity storage service provided by Brazilian rupestrian grassland ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Resende, FM.; Fernandes, GW.; Coelho, MS.

    2013-01-01

    The rupestrian grassland ecosystems provide various goods and services to society and support a significant amount of biological diversity. Notably the rich plant diversity has high levels of endemism and a variety of uses among the local communities and general society. Despite the socio-ecological importance of these ecosystems, they are subjected to significant anthropogenic pressures. The goal of this study is to perform economic valuation of the plant diversity storage service provided b...

  12. 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...

  13. Considerations on a data-driven approach to identify plant's imprint on ecosystem functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musavi, Talie; Kattge, Jens; Mahecha, Miguel; Reichstein, Markus; Van de Weg, Martine Janet; Van Bodegom, Peter; Bahn, Michael; Migliavacca, Mirco; Wirth, Christian; Reich, Peter

    2015-04-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems strongly determine the exchange of carbon, water and energy between the biosphere and atmosphere. These exchanges are influenced and partly driven by environmental conditions (e.g. local meteorology, soils), but generally mediated by organisms. In commonly used terrestrial biosphere models, this principle is implemented by process-based descriptions of plant functioning at the organ level. In order to validate these model formulations, we need an independent empirical approach to understand the plant's imprint on ecosystem functioning. We use land-atmosphere exchange of fluxes of CO2, H2O and energy in tandem with environmental controls available in FLUXNET to quantify "ecosystem functional properties" (EFPs). The latter are generally time-invariant ecosystem specific properties, for instance process sensitivities or efficiencies that shape ecosystem scale responses. Our crucial question is if plant traits measured at the organ level (available e.g. in the TRY database) can elucidate the characteristics of EFPs. In this study we follow this new avenue and link the two global databases FLUXNET and TRY to study the role of plants for biogeochemical cycles across a large number of different globally distributed ecosystem types. We aim to address emerging difficulties and possible solutions. For instance, we show that using average values of plant traits from TRY that are not necessarily measured at the fluxnet sites is of use but has clear limitations. However having information on the amount of vegetation at the sites derived from remote sensing is needed for weighting the plant traits. In addition, we have to consider that EFPs are not really time-invariant and subject to alterations after disturbance, meteorological extremes, management etc. Overall, we provide an outlook on perspectives and applications of empirical analyses of plants' imprint on ecosystem functioning by combining remote sensing, in situ measured plant traits and ecosystem

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petr Pyšek

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Understanding the dimensions of pathways of introduction of alien plants is important for regulating species invasions, but how particular pathways differ in terms of post-invasion success of species they deliver has never been rigorously tested. We asked whether invasion status, distribution and habitat range of 1,007 alien plant species introduced after 1500 A.D. to the Czech Republic differ among four basic pathways of introduction recognized for plants. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Pathways introducing alien species deliberately as commodities (direct release into the wild; escape from cultivation result in easier naturalization and invasion than pathways of unintentional introduction (contaminant of a commodity; stowaway arriving without association with it. The proportion of naturalized and invasive species among all introductions delivered by a particular pathway decreases with a decreasing level of direct assistance from humans associated with that pathway, from release and escape to contaminant and stowaway. However, those species that are introduced via unintentional pathways and become invasive are as widely distributed as deliberately introduced species, and those introduced as contaminants invade an even wider range of seminatural habitats. CONCLUSIONS: Pathways associated with deliberate species introductions with commodities and pathways whereby species are unintentionally introduced are contrasting modes of introductions in terms of invasion success. However, various measures of the outcome of the invasion process, in terms of species' invasion success, need to be considered to accurately evaluate the role of and threat imposed by individual pathways. By employing various measures we show that invasions by unintentionally introduced plant species need to be considered by management as seriously as those introduced by horticulture, because they invade a wide range of seminatural habitats, hence representing even a greater

  15. 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

  16. Host plant defense signaling in response to a coevolved herbivore combats introduced herbivore attack

    OpenAIRE

    Woodard, Anastasia M; Ervin, Gary N; Marsico, Travis D

    2012-01-01

    Defense-free space resulting from coevolutionarily naïve host plants recently has been implicated as a factor facilitating invasion success of some insect species. Host plants, however, may not be entirely defenseless against novel herbivore threats. Volatile chemical-mediated defense signaling, which allows plants to mount specific, rapid, and intense responses, may play a role in systems experiencing novel threats. Here we investigate defense responses of host plants to a native and exotic ...

  17. 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

  18. Flowering Phenology: An Activity to Introduce Human & Environmental Effects on Plant Reproduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neil, Kaesha

    2009-01-01

    Global and local climate change has become an important topic in the last few years. Concerns regarding the impact of climate changes on ecosystems in general, resources used by humans (e.g., water, energy, crops), and the intensity and frequency of natural disasters are driving the interest. Phenology is one way researchers are studying historic…

  19. 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

  20. Where to plant urban trees? A spatially explicit methodology to explore ecosystem service tradeoffs

    Science.gov (United States)

    E.W. Bodnaruk; C.N. Kroll; Y. Yang; S. Hirabayashi; David Nowak; T.A. Endreny

    2017-01-01

    Urban trees can help mitigate some of the environmental degradation linked to the rapid urbanization of humanity. Many municipalities are implementing ambitious tree planting programs to help remove air pollution, mitigate urban heat island effects, and provide other ecosystem services and benefits but lack quantitative tools to explore priority planting locations and...

  1. A conceptual model of plant responses to climate with implications for monitoring ecosystem change

    Science.gov (United States)

    C. David. Bertelsen

    2013-01-01

    Climate change is affecting natural systems on a global scale and is particularly rapid in the Southwest. It is important to identify impacts of a changing climate before ecosystems become unstable. Recognizing plant responses to climate change requires knowledge of both species present and plant responses to variable climatic conditions. A conceptual model derived...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Direct and indirect effects of invasive plants on soil chemistry and ecosystem function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weidenhamer, Jeffrey D; Callaway, Ragan M

    2010-01-01

    Invasive plants have a multitude of impacts on plant communities through their direct and indirect effects on soil chemistry and ecosystem function. For example, plants modify the soil environment through root exudates that affect soil structure, and mobilize and/or chelate nutrients. The long-term impact of litter and root exudates can modify soil nutrient pools, and there is evidence that invasive plant species may alter nutrient cycles differently from native species. The effects of plants on ecosystem biogeochemistry may be caused by differences in leaf tissue nutrient stoichiometry or secondary metabolites, although evidence for the importance of allelochemicals in driving these processes is lacking. Some invasive species may gain a competitive advantage through the release of compounds or combinations of compounds that are unique to the invaded community—the “novel weapons hypothesis.” Invasive plants also can exert profound impact on plant communities indirectly through the herbicides used to control them. Glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the world, often is used to help control invasive weeds, and generally is considered to have minimal environmental impacts. Most studies show little to no effect of glyphosate and other herbicides on soil microbial communities. However, herbicide applications can reduce or promote rhizobium nodulation and mycorrhiza formation. Herbicide drift can affect the growth of non-target plants, and glyphosate and other herbicides can impact significantly the secondary chemistry of plants at sublethal doses. In summary, the literature indicates that invasive species can alter the biogeochemistry of ecosystems, that secondary metabolites released by invasive species may play important roles in soil chemistry as well as plant-plant and plant-microbe interactions, and that the herbicides used to control invasive species can impact plant chemistry and ecosystems in ways that have yet to be fully explored.

  6. An introduced predator alters Aleutian Island plant communities by thwarting nutrient subsidies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maron, J.L.; Estes, J.A.; Croll, D.A.; Danner, E.M.; Elmendorf, S.C.; Buckelew, S.L.

    2006-01-01

    The ramifying effects of top predators on food webs traditionally have been studied within the framework of trophic cascades. Trophic cascades are compelling because they embody powerful indirect effects of predators on primary production. Although less studied, indirect effects of predators may occur via routes that are not exclusively trophic. We quantified how the introduction of foxes onto the Aleutian Islands transformed plant communities by reducing abundant seabird populations, thereby disrupting nutrient subsidies vectored by seabirds from sea to land. We compared soil and plant fertility, plant biomass and community composition, and stable isotopes of nitrogen in soil, plants, and other organisms on nine fox-infested and nine historically fox-free islands across the Aleutians. Additionally, we experimentally augmented nutrients on a fox-infested island to test whether differences in plant productivity and composition between fox-infested and fox-free islands could have arisen from differences in nutrient inputs between island types. Islands with historical fox infestations had soils low in phosphorus and nitrogen and plants low in tissue nitrogen. Soils, plants, slugs, flies, spiders, and bird droppings on these islands had low d15N values indicating that these organisms obtained nitrogen from internally derived sources. In contrast, soils, plants, and higher trophic level organisms on fox-free islands had elevated d15N signatures indicating that they utilized nutrients derived from the marine environment. Furthermore, soil phosphorus (but not nitrogen) and plant tissue nitrogen were higher on fox-free than fox-infested islands. Nutrient subsidized fox-free islands supported lush, high biomass plant communities dominated by graminoids. Fox-infested islands were less graminoid dominated and had higher cover and biomass of low-lying forbs and dwarf shrubs. While d15N profiles of soils and plants and graminoid biomass varied with island size and distance from

  7. Remote sensing of the energetic status of plants and ecosystems: optical and odorous signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penuelas, J.; Bartrons, M.; Llusia, J.; Filella, I.

    2016-12-01

    The optical and odorous signals emitted by plants and ecosystems present consistent relationships. They offer promising prospects for continuous local and global monitoring of the energetic status of plants and ecosystems, and therefore of their processing of energy and matter. We will discuss how the energetic status of plants (and ecosystems) resulting from the balance between the supply and demand of reducing power can be assessed biochemically, by the cellular NADPH/NADP ratio, optically, by using the photochemical reflectance index and sun-induced fluorescence as indicators of the dissipation of excess energy and associated physiological processes, and "odorously", by the emission of volatile organic compounds such as isoprenoids, as indicators of an excess of reducing equivalents and also of enhancement of protective converging physiological processes. These signals thus provide information on the energetic status, associated health status, and the functioning of plants and ecosystems. We will present the links among the three signals and will especially discuss the possibility of remotely sense the optical signals linked to carbon uptake and VOCs exchange by plants and ecosystems. These signals and their integration may have multiple applications for environmental and agricultural monitoring, for example, by extending the spatial coverage of carbon-flux and VOCs emission observations to most places and times, and/or for improving the process-based modeling of carbon fixation and isoprenoid emissions from terrestrial vegetation on plant, ecosystemic and global scales. Considerable challenges remain for a wide-scale and routine implementation of these biochemical, optical, and odorous signals for ecosystemic and/or agronomic monitoring and modeling, but its interest for making further steps forward in global ecology, agricultural applications, global carbon cycle, atmospheric science, and earth science warrants further research efforts in this line.

  8. 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)

  9. The importance of plant genotype and contemporary evolution for terrestrial ecosystem processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzpatrick, Connor R; Agrawal, Anurag A; Basiliko, Nathan; Hastings, Amy P; Isaac, Marney E; Preston, Michael; Johnson, Marc T J

    2015-10-01

    Plant genetic variation and evolutionary dynamics are predicted to impact ecosystem processes but these effects are poorly understood. Here we test the hypothesis that plant genotype and contemporary evolution influence the flux of energy and nutrients through soil, which then feedback to affect seedling performance in subsequent generations. We conducted a multiyear field evolution experiment using the native biennial plant Oenothera biennis. This experiment was coupled with experimental assays to address our hypothesis and quantify the relative importance of evolutionary and ecological factors on multiple ecosystem processes. Plant genotype, contemporary evolution, spatial variation, and herbivory affected ecosystem processes (e.g., leaf decay, soil respiration, seedling performance, N cycling), but their relative importance varied between specific ecosystem variables. Insect herbivory and evolution also contributed to a feedback that affected seedling biomass of O. biennis in the next generation. Our results show that heritable variation among plant genotypes can be an important factor affecting local ecosystem processes, and while effects of contemporary evolution were detectable and sometimes strong, they were often contingent on other ecological, factors.

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  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. 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...

  14. 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

  15. Diet analysis by next-generation sequencing indicates the frequent consumption of introduced plants by the critically endangered red-headed wood pigeon (Columba janthina nitens) in oceanic island habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ando, Haruko; Setsuko, Suzuki; Horikoshi, Kazuo; Suzuki, Hajime; Umehara, Shoko; Inoue-Murayama, Miho; Isagi, Yuji

    2013-10-01

    Oceanic island ecosystems are vulnerable to the introduction of alien species, and they provide a habitat for many endangered species. Knowing the diet of an endangered animal is important for appropriate nature restoration efforts on oceanic islands because introduced species may be a major component of the diets of some endangered species. DNA barcoding techniques together with next-generation sequencing may provide more detailed information on animal diets than other traditional methods. We performed a diet analysis using 48 fecal samples from the critically endangered red-headed wood pigeon that is endemic to the Ogasawara Islands based on chloroplast trnL P6 loop sequences. The frequency of each detected plant taxa was compared with a microhistological analysis of the same sample set. The DNA barcoding approach detected a much larger number of plants than the microhistological analysis. Plants that were difficult to identify by microhistological analysis after being digested in the pigeon stomachs were frequently identified only by DNA barcoding. The results of the barcoding analysis indicated the frequent consumption of introduced species, in addition to several native species, by the red-headed wood pigeon. The rapid eradication of specific introduced species may reduce the food resources available to this endangered bird; thus, balancing eradication efforts with the restoration of native food plants should be considered. Although some technical problems still exist, the trnL approach to next-generation sequencing may contribute to a better understanding of oceanic island ecosystems and their conservation.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Redefining plant systems biology: from cell to ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keurentjes, Joost J B; Angenent, Gerco C; Dicke, Marcel; Dos Santos, Vítor A P Martins; Molenaar, Jaap; van der Putten, Wim H; de Ruiter, Peter C; Struik, Paul C; Thomma, Bart P H J

    2011-04-01

    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 agricultural productivity while decreasing the ecological footprint. This requires a holistic systems biology approach that couples different aggregation levels while considering the variables that affect these biological systems from cell to community. The challenge is to generate accurate experimental data that can be used together with modelling concepts and techniques that allow experimentally verifying in silico predictions. The coupling of aggregation levels in plant sciences, termed Integral Quantification of Biological Organization (IQ(BiO)), might enhance our abilities to generate new desired plant phenotypes. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  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. 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.

  6. Effects of roads on adjacent plant community composition and ecosystem function: An example from three calcareous ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Mark A.; Davies, Linda; Power, Sally A.

    2012-01-01

    Roads and exhaust emissions can affect plant communities directly, for example via direct foliar uptake of exhaust products, or indirectly via changes to soil biogeochemistry and hydrology. A transect study adjacent to roads of different traffic densities was carried out at three species-rich calcareous grasslands in south eastern England. Measured annual NO 2 concentrations and modelled NH 3 concentrations increased towards the roads and with higher traffic densities, and there was evidence of increased soil moisture, pH and heavy metal concentrations at roadsides. Increases in the abundance of nitrogen (N) tolerant species and grasses at roadsides were associated with N enrichment from vehicle exhausts at two of the sites. In contrast plant species richness, the abundance of forb and moss species declined at roadside locations. As vehicle usage spreads across the world, it is increasingly important to understand the effects of road traffic on adjacent ecosystems to inform traffic and conservation management policies. - Highlights: ► A transect study assessed the effects of roads at three calcareous grasslands. ► Substantial areas experienced NO x above the critical level of 30 μg m −3 . ► Copper, zinc and lead concentrations approximately doubled in roadside soils. ► Roads may also disrupt natural drainage and increase the pH of soils. ► Plant compositional changes were found in relation to roadside proximity. - Roads are responsible for a suite of environmental perturbations which are associated with changes in plant composition, species richness and ecosystem functioning.

  7. 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.

  8. 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)

  9. Fire management and woody invasive plants in oak ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joanne. Rebbeck

    2012-01-01

    The use of prescribed fire to sustain oak forests has increased rapidly in the last decade as the threat of poor regeneration and increased dominance of shade tolerant or fire sensitive tree species grows. While prescribed fire can favor oak regeneration, it may also increase the invasion and expansion of nonnative invasive plant species (NNIS). Little is known about...

  10. 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.

  11. 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).

  12. 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

    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...

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Emerging fungal threats to animal, plant and ecosystem health

    OpenAIRE

    Fisher, Matthew C.; Henk, Daniel. A.; Briggs, Cheryl J.; Brownstein, John S.; Madoff, Lawrence C.; McCraw, Sarah L.; Gurr, Sarah J.

    2012-01-01

    The past two decades have seen an increasing number of virulent infectious diseases in natural populations and managed landscapes. In both animals and plants, an unprecedented number of fungal and fungal-like diseases have recently caused some of the most severe die-offs and extinctions ever witnessed in wild species, and are jeopardizing food security. Human activity is intensifying fungal disease dispersal by modifying natural environments and thus creating new opportunities for evolution. ...

  16. 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.

  17. Life cycle assessment of introducing an anaerobic digester in a municipal wastewater treatment plant in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, David; Collado, Sergio; Laca, Adriana; Díaz, Mario

    2016-01-01

    Anaerobic digestion (AD) is being established as a standard technology to recover some of the energy contained in the sludge in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) as biogas, allowing an economy in electricity and heating and a decrease in climate gas emission. The purpose of this study was to quantify the contributions to the total environmental impact of the plant using life cycle assessment methodology. In this work, data from real operation during 2012 of a municipal WWTP were utilized as the basis to determine the impact of including AD in the process. The climate change human health was the most important impact category when AD was included in the treatment (Scenario 1), especially due to fossil carbon dioxide emissions. Without AD (Scenario 2), increased emissions of greenhouse gases, mostly derived from the use of electricity, provoked a rise in the climate change categories. Biogas utilization was able to provide 47% of the energy required in the WWTP in Scenario 1. Results obtained make Scenario 1 the better environmental choice by far, mainly due to the use of the digested sludge as fertilizer.

  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. Plant Species Diversity Mediates Ecosystem Stability of Natural Dune Grasslands in Response to Drought

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rooijen, van Nils M.; Keersmaecker, de Wanda; Ozinga, Wim A.; Coppin, Pol; Hennekens, Stephan M.; Schaminée, Joop H.J.; Somers, Ben; Honnay, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    How plant species diversity can mediate the temporal stability of ecosystem functioning during periods of environmental stress is still a pressing question in ecology, certainly in the context of predicted increasing frequencies and intensities of climate extremes, such as drought. The vast

  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. 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

  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. 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 , vol. 19(12): 3571-3588 Alien plants as mediators of ecosystem services and disservices in urban systems: a global review Potgieter LJ Gaertner M Kueffer C Livingstone SW O’Farrell PJ Richardson DM ABSTRACT: Urban areas have unique...

  7. Non-native plant invasion along elevation and canopy closure gradients in a Middle Rocky Mountain ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshua P. Averett; Bruce McCune; Catherine G. Parks; Bridgett J. Naylor; Tim DelCurto; Ricardo Mata-Gonz??lez; RunGuo Zang

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hui, Cang; Richardson, David M; Pyšek, Petr; Le Roux, Johannes J; Kučera, Tomáš; Jarošík, Vojtěch

    2013-01-01

    Species gain membership of regional assemblages by passing through multiple ecological and environmental filters. To capture the potential trajectory of structural changes in regional meta-communities driven by biological invasions, one can categorize species pools into assemblages of different residence times. Older assemblages, having passed through more environmental filters, should become more functionally ordered and structured. Here we calculate the level of compartmentalization (modularity) for three different-aged assemblages (neophytes, introduced after 1500 AD; archaeophytes, introduced before 1500 AD, and natives), including 2,054 species of vascular plants in 302 reserves in central Europe. Older assemblages are more compartmentalized than younger ones, with species composition, phylogenetic structure and habitat characteristics of the modules becoming increasingly distinctive. This sheds light on two mechanisms of how alien species are functionally incorporated into regional species pools: the settling-down hypothesis of diminishing stochasticity with residence time, and the niche-mosaic hypothesis of inlaid neutral modules in regional meta-communities.

  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. Satellite observed global variations in ecosystem-scale plant water storage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, F.; Wigneron, J. P.; Brandt, M.; Fensholt, R.

    2017-12-01

    Plant water storage is a key component in ecohydrological processes and tightly coupled with global carbon and energy budgets. Field measurements of individual trees have revealed diurnal and seasonal variations in plant water storage across different tree species and sizes. However, global estimation of plant water storage is challenged by up-scaling from individual trees to an ecosystem scale. The L-band passive microwaves are sensitive to water stored in the stems, branches and leaves, with dependence on the vegetation structure. Thus, the L-band vegetation optical depth (L-VOD) parameter retrieved from satellite passive microwave observations can be used as a proxy for ecosystem-scale plant water storage. Here, we employ the recently developed SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity) L-VOD dataset to investigate spatial patterns in global plant water storage and its diurnal and seasonal variations. In addition, we compare the spatiotemporal patterns between plant water storage and canopy greenness (i.e., enhanced vegetation indices, EVI) to gain ecohydrological insights among different territorial biomes, including boreal forest and tropical woodland. Generally, seasonal dynamics of plant water storage is much smaller than canopy greenness, yet the temporal coupling of these two traits is totally different between boreal and tropical regions, which could be related to their strategies in plant water regulation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munson, Seth M.

    2013-01-01

    Plant species in dryland ecosystems are limited by water availability and may be vulnerable to increases in aridity. Methods are needed to monitor and assess the rate of change in plant abundance and composition in relation to climate, understand the potential for degradation in dryland ecosystems, and forecast future changes in plant species assemblages. I employ nearly a century of vegetation monitoring data from three North American deserts to demonstrate an approach to determine plant species responses to climate and critical points over a range of climatic conditions at which plant species shift from increases to decreases in abundance (climate pivot points). I assess these metrics from a site to regional scale and highlight how these indicators of plant performance can be modified by the physical and biotic environment. For example, shrubs were more responsive to drought and high temperatures on shallow soils with limited capacity to store water and fine-textured soils with slow percolation rates, whereas perennial grasses were more responsive to precipitation in sparse shrublands than in relatively dense grasslands and shrublands, where competition for water is likely more intense. The responses and associated climate pivot points of plant species aligned with their lifespan and structural characteristics, and the relationship between responses and climate pivot points provides evidence of the trade-off between the capacity of a plant species to increase in abundance when water is available and its drought resistance.

  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. 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

    2017-01-01

    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

  14. Ozone fluxes over various plant ecosystems in Italy: A review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cieslik, S.

    2009-01-01

    Among air pollutants, ozone is the most important stressor to vegetation, which undergoes damage and biomass reduction after penetration of ozone molecules into the leaf tissues through the stomata. Stomatal ozone fluxes are considered the governing factor needed to assess risk to plant health due to ozone. Although this parameter may be calculated by modeling, direct measurements are scarce. Moreover, southern European situations, especially regarding Italy, require special attention due to the decoupling between ozone concentrations and fluxes. This work reviews ozone flux measurements made during the last 15 years through Italy. - The dependence of ozone fluxes on environmental factors such as water supply is stronger than the dependence on the surface covering species.

  15. Living in two worlds: Evolutionary mechanisms act differently in the native and introduced ranges of an invasive plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Wen-Yong; Lambertini, Carla; Pyšek, Petr; Meyerson, Laura A; Brix, Hans

    2018-03-01

    Identifying the factors that influence spatial genetic structure among populations can provide insights into the evolution of invasive plants. In this study, we used the common reed ( Phragmites australis ), a grass native in Europe and invading North America, to examine the relative importance of geographic, environmental (represented by climate here), and human effects on population genetic structure and its changes during invasion. We collected samples of P. australis from both the invaded North American and native European ranges and used molecular markers to investigate the population genetic structure within and between ranges. We used path analysis to identify the contributions of each of the three factors-geographic, environmental, and human-related-to the formation of spatial genetic patterns. Genetic differentiation was observed between the introduced and native populations, and their genetic structure in the native and introduced ranges was different. There were strong effects of geography and environment on the genetic structure of populations in the native range, but the human-related factors manifested through colonization of anthropogenic habitats in the introduced range counteracted the effects of environment. The between-range genetic differences among populations were mainly explained by the heterogeneous environment between the ranges, with the coefficient 2.6 times higher for the environment than that explained by the geographic distance. Human activities were the primary contributor to the genetic structure of the introduced populations. The significant environmental divergence between ranges and the strong contribution of human activities to the genetic structure in the introduced range suggest that invasive populations of P. australis have evolved to adapt to a different climate and to human-made habitats in North America.

  16. Tipping point in plant-fungal interactions under severe drought causes abrupt rise in peatland ecosystem respiration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jassey, Vincent E J; Reczuga, Monika K; Zielińska, Małgorzata; Słowińska, Sandra; Robroek, Bjorn J M; Mariotte, Pierre; Seppey, Christophe V W; Lara, Enrique; Barabach, Jan; Słowiński, Michał; Bragazza, Luca; Chojnicki, Bogdan H; Lamentowicz, Mariusz; Mitchell, Edward A D; Buttler, Alexandre

    2018-03-01

    Ecosystems are increasingly prone to climate extremes, such as drought, with long-lasting effects on both plant and soil communities and, subsequently, on carbon (C) cycling. However, recent studies underlined the strong variability in ecosystem's response to droughts, raising the issue of nonlinear responses in plant and soil communities. The conundrum is what causes ecosystems to shift in response to drought. Here, we investigated the response of plant and soil fungi to drought of different intensities using a water table gradient in peatlands-a major C sink ecosystem. Using moving window structural equation models, we show that substantial changes in ecosystem respiration, plant and soil fungal communities occurred when the water level fell below a tipping point of -24 cm. As a corollary, ecosystem respiration was the greatest when graminoids and saprotrophic fungi became prevalent as a response to the extreme drought. Graminoids indirectly influenced fungal functional composition and soil enzyme activities through their direct effect on dissolved organic matter quality, while saprotrophic fungi directly influenced soil enzyme activities. In turn, increasing enzyme activities promoted ecosystem respiration. We show that functional transitions in ecosystem respiration critically depend on the degree of response of graminoids and saprotrophic fungi to drought. Our results represent a major advance in understanding the nonlinear nature of ecosystem properties to drought and pave the way towards a truly mechanistic understanding of the effects of drought on ecosystem processes. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. 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.

  18. Predicting climate change effects on wetland ecosystem services using species distribution modeling and plant functional traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moor, Helen; Hylander, Kristoffer; Norberg, Jon

    2015-01-01

    Wetlands provide multiple ecosystem services, the sustainable use of which requires knowledge of the underlying ecological mechanisms. Functional traits, particularly the community-weighted mean trait (CWMT), provide a strong link between species communities and ecosystem functioning. We here combine species distribution modeling and plant functional traits to estimate the direction of change of ecosystem processes under climate change. We model changes in CWMT values for traits relevant to three key services, focusing on the regional species pool in the Norrström area (central Sweden) and three main wetland types. Our method predicts proportional shifts toward faster growing, more productive and taller species, which tend to increase CWMT values of specific leaf area and canopy height, whereas changes in root depth vary. The predicted changes in CWMT values suggest a potential increase in flood attenuation services, a potential increase in short (but not long)-term nutrient retention, and ambiguous outcomes for carbon sequestration.

  19. 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.

  20. Analysing global ecosystem CO2 uptake capacity with plant trait data

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Weg, Martine; Sadat Musavi, Talie; van Bodegom, Peter; Kattge, Jens; Mahecha, Miguel; Reichstein, Markus; Bahn, Michael

    2014-05-01

    Given the modulating role of vegetation in the global carbon cycle, there is a demand for simple and general scaling relationships of vegetation characteristics and ecosystem CO2-uptake and emissions. On a leaf level, is it well established that plant trait foliar nitrogen (N) relates strongly with leaf level CO2. Furthermore, ecosystem productivity or CO2 uptake capacity have been related directly with whole-canopy N concentrations for a variety of ecosystems such as grasslands, and boreal, temporal and tropical forests. However, studies on the global validity of these leaf and ecosystem level relationships have been lacking up to date. The arrival of the large plant trait database TRY database offers the opportunity to link plant trait and ecosystem functioning on a global scale. In this study, we used CO2 flux data from the FLUXNET database, with plant trait (Narea) data from TRY and Narea measurements from a selection of FLUXNET sites as well. For 83 global FLUXNET sites, which had information available on species composition, we derived the light saturated gross primary productivity (GPP1000). We used MODIS LAI and fPAR, together with the species' relative height and abundance data, to up-scale the TRY derived Narea values to a canopy value per site (Ncanopy). For this calculation we assumed that top canopy leaves contribute more to CO2 uptake, and used a Lambert-Beer canopy light extinction principle to weigh the relative contribution per species to the final Ncanopy value. For our analyses, we divided the sites in five different vegetation classes: broad leaved forests, needle leaved forests, grasslands, crops and (sub)arctic non-forest vegetation. Site-measured Nareadata corroborated well with TRY derived Narea data, giving confidence in using a database such as TRY for global analyses like ours. Ncanopy alone explained 18 % of the observed variation in maximum (90th percentile) GPP1000 with a linear model. When adding the different vegetation types as a

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Total distribution of plant nutrients in a tropical rain forest ecosystem, Sabah, Malaysia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nykvist, N.

    1997-01-01

    Total amounts of plant nutrients in biomass and soil were estimated in a tropical rain forest ecosystem in Sabah, Malaysia. Amounts of some elements, especially calcium, were very low in the soil. The loss of calcium through log removal after clearfelling represented about 19% of the total amount in the ecosystem, indicating that sustainable forestry in this area is not possible without replacing the calcium removed. Neither the calcium content of the biomass nor the amount of exchangeable calcium in the soil were extremely low. Total analyses of the soil, including a complete digestion of the minerals are, therefore, necessary for a satisfactory determination of the long-term productivity of forest soils in areas with low contents of one or more plant nutrients. 37 refs, 1 fig, 5 tabs

  6. Managing invasive aquatic plants in a changing system: strategic consideration of ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hershner, Carl; Havens, Kirk J

    2008-06-01

    Climate change is projected to increase stress for many coastal plant communities. Along large portions of the North American coast, habitat degradation from anthropogenic changes to the environment already threaten the community structure of tidal marshes and submerged aquatic grass beds. The potential loss of ecological services historically provided by these communities has been a long-standing rationale for aggressive control of invading plants such as Phragmites australis and Hydrilla verticillata. Increasing evidence of ecological services provided by invasive species such as P. australis and H. verticillata suggest that, in the face of increasing stress, it may be prudent to take a more pragmatic approach regarding the effect of these species on coastal ecosystems. The notable resilience of these species to control efforts and their competitive success and comparative vigor in stressed systems and capacity to provide at least some beneficial services combine to suggest some invasive species may have a useful role in managed coastal ecosystems.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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...

  10. Riparian plant species loss alters trophic dynamics in detritus-based stream ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Lecerf, Antoine; Dobson, Michael; Dang, Christian K; Chauvet, Eric

    2005-01-01

    International audience; Riparian vegetation is closely connected to stream food webs through input of leaf detritus as a primary energy supply, and therefore, any alteration of plant diversity may influence aquatic ecosystem functioning. We measured leaf litter breakdown rate and associated biological parameters in mesh bags in eight headwater streams bordered either with mixed deciduous forest or with beech forest. The variety of leaf litter types in mixed forest results in higher food quali...

  11. Plant functional group composition modifies the effects of precipitation change on grassland ecosystem function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ellen L Fry

    Full Text Available Temperate grassland ecosystems face a future of precipitation change, which can alter community composition and ecosystem functions through reduced soil moisture and waterlogging. There is evidence that functionally diverse plant communities contain a wider range of water use and resource capture strategies, resulting in greater resistance of ecosystem function to precipitation change. To investigate this interaction between composition and precipitation change we performed a field experiment for three years in successional grassland in southern England. This consisted of two treatments. The first, precipitation change, simulated end of century predictions, and consisted of a summer drought phase alongside winter rainfall addition. The second, functional group identity, divided the plant community into three groups based on their functional traits- broadly described as perennials, caespitose grasses and annuals- and removed these groups in a factorial design. Ecosystem functions related to C, N and water cycling were measured regularly. Effects of functional groupidentity were apparent, with the dominant trend being that process rates were higher under control conditions where a range of perennial species were present. E.g. litter decomposition rates were significantly higher in plots containing several perennial species, the group with the highest average leaf N content. Process rates were also very strongly affected by the precipitation change treatmentwhen perennial plant species were dominant, but not where the community contained a high abundance of annual species and caespitose grasses. This contrasting response could be attributable to differing rooting patterns (shallower structures under annual plants, and deeper roots under perennials and faster nutrient uptake in annuals compared to perennials. Our results indicate that precipitation change will have a smaller effect on key process rates in grasslandscontaining a range of perennial

  12. Climate Change Effects on Plant Ecosystems – Genetic Resources for Future Barley Breeding

    OpenAIRE

    Ingvordsen, Cathrine Heinz

    2014-01-01

    Climate Change Effects on Plant Ecosystems – Genetic Resources for Future Barley Breeding. A growing population and a considerable increase in living standards worldwide are increasing the demand on the primary production. At the same time, climate change is projected to lower the primary production due to increases in the atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide ([CO2]) and ozone ([O3]), rising temperatures and extreme climate events such as floods, storms and heatwaves. These prediction...

  13. Coverage of Native Plants Is Key Factor Influencing the Invasibility of Freshwater Ecosystems by Exotic Plants in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haihao Yu

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the biotic and abiotic factors that influence the susceptibility of a community to invasion is beneficial for the prediction and management of invasive species and the conservation of native biodiversity. However, the relationships between factors and invasibility of a community have not been fully confirmed, and the factors most associated with the susceptibility of a community to invasion have rarely been identified. In this study, we investigated the species richness patterns in aquatic exotic and native plants and the relationships of exotic species richness with habitat and water environment factors in 262 aquatic plant communities in China. A total of 11 exotic plant species were recorded in our field survey, and we found neither a negative nor a positive relationship between aquatic exotic and native plant species richness. The aquatic exotic plant species richness is negatively correlated with the relative coverage and biomass of native plants but positively correlated with the total nitrogen (TN, total phosphorus (TP, and chemical oxygen demand (COD concentrations in the water. The native plant species richness, native species’ relative coverage, and native species’ biomass were positively related to each other, whereas the TP, TN, and COD were also positively related to each other. The native plant species richness, native species’ relative coverage, and native species biomass were each negatively correlated with the TP, TN, and COD. In addition, biotic rather than abiotic predictors accounted for most of the variation in exotic plant richness. Our results suggest that improving the vegetation coverage and the biodiversity of native plants is the most effective approach for preventing alien plant invasions and minimizing their impacts on freshwater ecosystems.

  14. Coverage of Native Plants Is Key Factor Influencing the Invasibility of Freshwater Ecosystems by Exotic Plants in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Haihao; Wang, Ligong; Liu, Chunhua; Fan, Shufeng

    2018-01-01

    Understanding the biotic and abiotic factors that influence the susceptibility of a community to invasion is beneficial for the prediction and management of invasive species and the conservation of native biodiversity. However, the relationships between factors and invasibility of a community have not been fully confirmed, and the factors most associated with the susceptibility of a community to invasion have rarely been identified. In this study, we investigated the species richness patterns in aquatic exotic and native plants and the relationships of exotic species richness with habitat and water environment factors in 262 aquatic plant communities in China. A total of 11 exotic plant species were recorded in our field survey, and we found neither a negative nor a positive relationship between aquatic exotic and native plant species richness. The aquatic exotic plant species richness is negatively correlated with the relative coverage and biomass of native plants but positively correlated with the total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), and chemical oxygen demand (COD) concentrations in the water. The native plant species richness, native species' relative coverage, and native species' biomass were positively related to each other, whereas the TP, TN, and COD were also positively related to each other. The native plant species richness, native species' relative coverage, and native species biomass were each negatively correlated with the TP, TN, and COD. In addition, biotic rather than abiotic predictors accounted for most of the variation in exotic plant richness. Our results suggest that improving the vegetation coverage and the biodiversity of native plants is the most effective approach for preventing alien plant invasions and minimizing their impacts on freshwater ecosystems.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Genetic variation and evolution of secondary compounds in native and introduced populations of the invasive plant Melaleuca quinquenervia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franks, Steven J; Wheeler, Gregory S; Goodnight, Charles

    2012-05-01

    We examined multivariate evolution of 20 leaf terpenoids in the invasive plant Melaleuca quinquenervia in a common garden experiment. Although most compounds, including 1,8-Cineole and Viridiflorol, were reduced in home compared with invaded range genotypes, consistent with an evolutionary decrease in defense, one compound (E-Nerolidol) was greater in invaded than home range genotypes. Nerolidol was negatively genetically correlated with Cineole and Viridiflorol, and the increase in this compound in the new range may have been driven by this negative correlation. There was positive selection on all three focal compounds, and a loss of genetic variation in introduced range genotypes. Selection skewers analysis predicted an increase in Cineole and Viridiflorol and a decrease or no change in Nerolidol, in direct contrast to the observed changes in the new range. This discrepancy could be due to differences in patterns of selection, genetic correlations, or the herbivore communities in the home versus introduced ranges. Although evolutionary changes in most compounds were consistent with the evolution of increased competitive ability hypothesis, changes in other compounds as well as selection patterns were not, indicating that it is important to understand selection and the nature of genetic correlations to predict evolutionary change in invasive species. © 2011 The Author(s). Evolution© 2011 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rai, Prabhat Kumar

    2008-01-01

    This review addresses the global problem of heavymetal pollution originating from increased industrialization and urbanization and its amelioration by using wetland plants both in a microcosm as well as natural/field condition. Heavymetal contamination in aquatic ecosystems due to discharge of industrial effluents may pose a serious threat to human health. Alkaline precipitation, ion exchange columns, electrochemical removal, filtration, and membrane technologies are the currently available technologies for heavy metal removal. These conventional technologies are not economical and may produce adverse impacts on aquatic ecosystems. Phytoremediation of metals is a cost-effective "green" technology based on the use of specially selected metal-accumulating plants to remove toxic metals from soils and water. Wetland plants are important tools for heavy metal removal. The Ramsar convention, one of the earlier modern global conservation treaties, was adopted at Ramsar, Iran, in 1971 and became effective in 1975. This convention emphasized the wise use of wetlands and their resources. 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. The extensive rhizosphere of wetland plants provides an enriched culture zone for the microbes involved in degradation. The wetland sediment zone provides reducing conditions that are conducive to the metal removal pathway. Constructed wetlands proved to be effective for the abatement of heavymetal 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

  19. Rapid demise and recovery of plant ecosystems across the end-Permian extinction event

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hochuli, Peter A.; Hermann, Elke; Vigran, Jorunn Os; Bucher, Hugo; Weissert, Helmut

    2010-12-01

    The end-Permian extinction event was the most pronounced biotic and ecological crisis in the history of the Earth. It is assumed that over 80% of marine genera disappeared, and that this event had a major impact on the evolution of marine organisms. The impact of this event on terrestrial biota is poorly known and a matter of controversial discussions. In contrast to the fundamental changes in marine fauna most major groups of plants range from the Late Palaeozoic into the Mesozoic. Consequently the impact of the end-Permian extinction event on the evolution of plants was often regarded as minor. However, major changes in the composition of the plant communities have been documented and a number of catastrophic scenarios have been envisioned — including the almost total destruction of plant ecosystems. Based on expanded sections from the Southern Barents Sea (Northern Norway) we trace mid-latitudinal terrestrial ecosystems across the Permo-Triassic transition with a time resolution in the order of 10 kyr, based on a high resolution C org-isotope stratigraphy. Our results show that the floral turnovers are linked with major changes in the C-isotope record and hence with global carbon cycling. The palynological records document the successive steps in the evolution of terrestrial ecosystems. After gradual changes during the latest Permian, plant ecosystems suffered from a major environmental perturbation leading to a rapid turnover from gymnosperm dominated ecosystems to assemblages dominated by lycopods. The dominance of the lycopods, expressed in a spore-spike, represents a relatively short-lived event in the order of 10 kyr. This perturbation of the terrestrial ecosystems preceded the globally recognized negative δ 13C org isotope spike by up to 100 kyr. It coincides with a first end-Permian negative shift of the C-isotope curve and was probably induced by a first major perturbation of the chemistry of the atmosphere, related to the onset of the volcanic

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Ecosystem engineering by plants on wave-exposed intertidal flats is governed by relationships between effect and response traits

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heuner, M.; Silinski, A.; Schoelynck, J.; Bouma, T.J.; Puijalon, S.; Troch, P.; Fuchs, E.; Schröder, B.; Schröder, U.; Meire, P.; Temmerman, S.

    2015-01-01

    In hydrodynamically stressful environments, some species—known as ecosystem engineers—are able to modify the environment for their own benefit. Little is known however, about the interaction between functional plant traits and ecosystem engineering. We studied the responses of Scirpus

  3. Diverging Plant and Ecosystem Strategies in Response to Climate Change in the High Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maseyk, K. S.; Welker, J. M.; Czimczik, C. I.; Lupascu, M.; Lett, C.; Seibt, U. H.

    2014-12-01

    Increasing summer precipitation means Arctic growing seasons are becoming wetter as well as warmer, but the effect of these coupled changes on tundra ecosystem functioning remains largely unknown. We have determined how warmer and wetter summers affect coupled carbon-water cycling in a High Arctic polar semi-desert ecosystem in NW Greenland. Measurements of ecosystem CO2 and water fluxes throughout the growing season and leaf ecophysiological traits (gas exchange, morphology, leaf chemistry) were made at a long-term climate change experiment. After 9 years of exposure to warmer (+ 4°C) and / or wetter (+ 50% precipitation) treatments, we found diverging plant strategies between the responses to warming with or without an increase in summer precipitation. Warming alone resulted in an increase in leaf nitrogen, mesophyll conductance and leaf-mass per area and higher rates of leaf-level photosynthesis, but with warming and wetting combined leaf traits remain largely unchanged. However, total leaf area increased with warming plus wetting but was unchanged with warming alone. The combined effect of these leaf trait and canopy adjustments is a decrease in ecosystem water-use efficiency (the ratio of net productivity to evapotranspiration) with warming only, but a substantial increase with combined warming and wetting. We conclude that increasing summer precipitation will alter tundra ecohydrological responses to warming; that leaf-level changes in ecophysiological traits have an upward cascading consequence for ecosystem and land surface-climate interactions; and the current relative resistance of High Arctic ecosystems to warming may mask biochemical and carbon cycling changes already underway.

  4. 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.

  5. Irrigation and Maize Cultivation Erode Plant Diversity Within Crops in Mediterranean Dry Cereal Agro-Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagúndez, Jaime; Olea, Pedro P.; Tejedo, Pablo; Mateo-Tomás, Patricia; Gómez, David

    2016-07-01

    The intensification of agriculture has increased production at the cost of environment and biodiversity worldwide. To increase crop yield in dry cereal systems, vast farmland areas of high conservation value are being converted into irrigation, especially in Mediterranean countries. We analyze the effect of irrigation-driven changes on the farm biota by comparing species diversity, community composition, and species traits of arable plants within crop fields from two contrasting farming systems (dry and irrigated) in Spain. We sampled plant species within 80 fields of dry wheat, irrigated wheat, and maize (only cultivated under irrigation). Wheat crops held higher landscape and per field species richness, and beta diversity than maize. Within the same type of crop, irrigated wheat hosted lower plant diversity than dry wheat at both field and landscape scales. Floristic composition differed between crop types, with higher frequencies of perennials, cosmopolitan, exotic, wind-pollinated and C4 species in maize. Our results suggest that irrigation projects, that transform large areas of dry cereal agro-ecosystems into irrigated crop systems dominated by maize, erode plant diversity. An adequate planning on the type and proportion of crops used in the irrigated agro-ecosystems is needed in order to balance agriculture production and biodiversity conservation.

  6. Modelling the Influence of Ectomycorrhizal Decomposition on Plant Nutrition and Carbon Sequestartion in Boreal Forst Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baskaran, P.; Hyvönen, R.; Agren, G. I.; Clemmensen, K.; Lindahl, B.; Manzoni, S.

    2016-12-01

    Tree growth in boreal forests is limited by nitrogen availability (N). Most boreal forest trees form symbiotic association with ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi, that improve uptake of inorganic N and also have the capacity to decompose soil organic matter and to mobilize organic N (`ECM decomposition'). To mechanistically understand the effect of `ECM decomposition' on ecosystem C and N balances, we formulated a model of C and N flows to and from plants, SOM, saprotrophs, ECM fungi, and inorganic N stores. Our predictions indicate that the optimal C allocation to ECM fungi, above which the symbiosis switches from mutualism to parasitism, depends strongly on the partitioning of soil organic matter decomposition between ECM fungi and saprotrophs. At high relative ECM decomposition and low N availability, optimal C allocation was estimated to 15% of NPP. The model also predicts a negative correlation between plant production and soil C sequestration, as increased plant belowground C allocation increases ECM mining of organic N which promotes tree growth but decreases soil C storage. In conclusion, our model provides a tool for studying ecosystem productivity and C storage, where ECM decomposition acts as a potential driver of both decomposition of soil organic matter and plant N uptake.

  7. Transfer parameters for ICRP's Reference Animals and Plants in a terrestrial Mediterranean ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillén, J; Beresford, N A; Baeza, A; Izquierdo, M; Wood, M D; Salas, A; Muñoz-Serrano, A; Corrales-Vázquez, J M; Muñoz-Muñoz, J G

    2018-06-01

    A system for the radiological protection of the environment (or wildlife) based on Reference Animals and Plants (RAPs) has been suggested by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). To assess whole-body activity concentrations for RAPs and the resultant internal dose rates, transfer parameters are required. However, transfer values specifically for the taxonomic families defined for the RAPs are often sparse and furthermore can be extremely site dependent. There is also a considerable geographical bias within available transfer data, with few data for Mediterranean ecosystems. In the present work, stable element concentrations (I, Li, Be, B, Na, Mg, Al, P, S, K. Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Rb, Sr, Mo, Ag, Cd, Cs, Ba, Tl, Pb and U) in terrestrial RAPs, and the corresponding whole-body concentration ratios, CR wo , were determined in two different Mediterranean ecosystems: a Pinewood and a Dehesa (grassland with disperse tree cover). The RAPs considered in the Pinewood ecosystem were Pine Tree and Wild Grass; whereas in the Dehesa ecosystem those considered were Deer, Rat, Earthworm, Bee, Frog, Duck and Wild Grass. The CR wo values estimated from these data are compared to those reported in international compilations and databases. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. Modeling plant competition for soil water balance in Water-limited Mediterranean Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortis, C.; Montaldo, N.

    2009-12-01

    In heterogeneous ecosystems, such Mediterranean ecosystems, contrasting plant functional types (PFTs, e.g., grass and woody vegetation) compete for the water use. In these complex ecosystems current modeling approaches need to be improved due to a general lack of knowledge about the relationship between ET and the plant survival strategies for the different PFTs under water stress. Indeed, still unsolved questions are: how the PFTs (in particular the root systems) compete for the water use, the impact of this competition on the water balance terms, and the role of the soil type and soil depth in this competition. For this reasons an elaborated coupled Vegetation dynamic model (VDM) - land surface model (LSM) model able to also predict root distribution of competing plant systems is developed. The transport of vertical water flow in the unsaturated soil is modelled through a Richards’ equation based model. The water extraction (sink) term is considered as the root water uptake. Two VDMs predict vegetation dynamics, including spatial and temporal distribution/evolution of the root systems in the soil of two competing species (grass and woody vegetation). An innovative method for solving the unlinear system of predicting equations is proposed. The coupled model is able to predict soil and root water potential of the two competing plant species. The model is tested for the Orroli case study, situated in the mid-west of Sardinia within the Flumendosa river watershed. The site landscape is a mixture of Mediterranean patchy vegetation types: trees, including wild olives and coark oaks, different shrubs and herbaceous species. In particular two contrasting plant functional types (grass and woody vegetation) have been included. The model well predict the soil moisture and vegetation dynamics for the case study, and significantly different root potentials are predicted for the two PFTs, highlighting the root competition for the water use. The soil depth is low in the case

  18. Modeling plant competition for water use in Water-limited Mediterranean Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortis, C.; Montaldo, N.

    2009-04-01

    In heterogeneous ecosystems, such Mediterranean ecosystems, contrasting plant functional types (PFTs, e.g., grass and woody vegetation) compete for the water use. In these complex ecosystems current modeling approaches need to be improved due to a general lack of knowledge about the relationship between ET and the plant survival strategies for the different PFTs under water stress. Indeed, still unsolved questions are: how the PFTs (in particular the root systems) compete for the water use, the impact of this competition on the water balance terms, and the role of the soil type and soil depth in this competition. For this reasons an elaborated coupled Vegetation dynamic model (VDM) - land surface model (LSM) model able to also predict root distribution of competing plant systems is developed. The transport of vertical water flow in the unsaturated soil is modelled through a Richards' equation based model. The water extraction (sink) term is considered as the root water uptake. Two VDMs predict vegetation dynamics, including spatial and temporal distribution/evolution of the root systems in the soil of two competing species (grass and woody vegetation). An innovative method for solving the unlinear system of predicting equations is proposed. The coupled model is able to predict soil and root water potential of the two competing plant species. The model is tested for the Orroli case study, situated in the mid-west of Sardinia within the Flumendosa river watershed. The site landscape is a mixture of Mediterranean patchy vegetation types: trees, including wild olives and coark oaks, different shrubs and herbaceous species. In particular two contrasting plant functional types (grass and woody vegetation) have been included. The model well predict the soil moisture and vegetation dynamics for the case study, and significantly different root potentials are predicted for the two PFTs, highlighting the root competition for the water use. The soil depth is low in the case

  19. Plant diversity maintains long-term ecosystem productivity under frequent drought by increasing short-term variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagg, Cameron; O'Brien, Michael J; Vogel, Anja; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Eisenhauer, Nico; Schmid, Bernhard; Weigelt, Alexandra

    2017-11-01

    Increasing frequency of extreme climatic events can disrupt ecosystem processes and destabilize ecosystem functioning. Biodiversity may dampen these negative effects of environmental perturbations to provide greater ecosystem stability. We assessed the effects of plant diversity on the resistance, recovery and stability of experimental grassland ecosystems in response to recurring summer drought over 7 yr. Plant biomass production was reduced during the summer drought treatment compared with control plots. However, the negative effect of drought was relatively less pronounced at high than at low plant diversity, demonstrating that biodiversity increased ecosystem resistance to environmental perturbation. Furthermore, more diverse plant communities compensated for the reduced productivity during drought by increasing spring productivity compared to control plots. The drought-induced compensatory recovery led to increased short-term variations in productivity across growing seasons in more diverse communities that stabilized the longer-term productivity across years. Our findings show that short-term variation between seasons in the face of environmental perturbation can lead to longer-term stability of annual productivity in diverse ecosystems compared to less diverse ecosystems. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  20. 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

  1. A synthesis of postfire recovery traits of woody plants in Australian ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Peter J; Lawes, Michael J; Murphy, Brett P; Russell-Smith, Jeremy; Nano, Catherine E M; Bradstock, Ross; Enright, Neal J; Fontaine, Joseph B; Gosper, Carl R; Radford, Ian; Midgley, Jeremy J; Gunton, Richard M

    2015-11-15

    Postfire resprouting and recruitment from seed are key plant life-history traits that influence population dynamics, community composition and ecosystem function. Species can have one or both of these mechanisms. They confer resilience, which may determine community composition through differential species persistence after fire. To predict ecosystem level responses to changes in climate and fire conditions, we examined the proportions of these plant fire-adaptive traits among woody growth forms of 2880 taxa, in eight fire-prone ecosystems comprising ~87% of Australia's land area. Shrubs comprised 64% of the taxa. More tree (>84%) than shrub (~50%) taxa resprouted. Basal, epicormic and apical resprouting occurred in 71%, 22% and 3% of the taxa, respectively. Most rainforest taxa (91%) were basal resprouters. Many trees (59%) in frequently-burnt eucalypt forest and savanna resprouted epicormically. Although crown fire killed many mallee (62%) and heathland (48%) taxa, fire-cued seeding was common in these systems. Postfire seeding was uncommon in rainforest and in arid Acacia communities that burnt infrequently at low intensity. Resprouting was positively associated with ecosystem productivity, but resprouting type (e.g. basal or epicormic) was associated with local scale fire activity, especially fire frequency. Although rainforest trees can resprout they cannot recruit after intense fires and may decline under future fires. Semi-arid Acacia communities would be susceptible to increasing fire frequencies because they contain few postfire seeders. Ecosystems dominated by obligate seeders (mallee, heath) are also susceptible because predicted shorter inter-fire intervals will prevent seed bank accumulation. Savanna may be resilient to future fires because of the adaptive advantage of epicormic resprouting among the eucalypts. The substantial non-resprouting shrub component of shrublands may decline, but resilient Eucalyptus spp. will continue to dominate under future

  2. 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

    2013-09-01

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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)

  5. 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.

  6. 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)

  7. 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.

  8. Plant species richness and shrub cover attenuate drought effects on ecosystem functioning across Patagonian rangelands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaitán, Juan J; Bran, Donaldo; Oliva, Gabriel; Maestre, Fernando T; Aguiar, Martín R; Jobbágy, Esteban; Buono, Gustavo; Ferrante, Daniela; Nakamatsu, Viviana; Ciari, Georgina; Salomone, Jorge; Massara, Virginia

    2014-10-01

    Drought is an increasingly common phenomenon in drylands as a consequence of climate change. We used 311 sites across a broad range of environmental conditions in Patagonian rangelands to evaluate how drought severity and temperature (abiotic factors) and vegetation structure (biotic factors) modulate the impact of a drought event on the annual integral of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI-I), our surrogate of ecosystem functioning. We found that NDVI-I decreases were larger with both increasing drought severity and temperature. Plant species richness (SR) and shrub cover (SC) attenuated the effects of drought on NDVI-I. Grass cover did not affect the impacts of drought on NDVI-I. Our results suggest that warming and species loss, two important imprints of global environmental change, could increase the vulnerability of Patagonian ecosystems to drought. Therefore, maintaining SR through appropriate grazing management can attenuate the adverse effects of climate change on ecosystem functioning. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  9. How do land management practices affect net ecosystem CO2 exchange of an invasive plant infestation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonnentag, O.; Detto, M.; Runkle, B.; Kelly, M.; Baldocchi, D. D.

    2009-12-01

    Ecosystem gas and energy exchanges of invasive plant infestations under different land management practices have been subject of few studies and thus little is known. Our goal is to characterize seasonal changes in net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) through the processes of photosynthesis (GEP) and ecosystem respiration (Reco) of a grassland used as pasture yet infested by perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium) in California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. We analyze eddy-covariance supported by environmental and canopy-scale hyperspectral reflectance measurements acquired in 2007-2009. Our study covers three summer drought periods with slightly different land management practices. Over the study period the site was subject to year-round grazing, and in 2008 the site was additionally mowed. Specific questions we address are a) how does pepperweed flowering affect GEP, b) does a mowing event affect NEE mainly through GEP or Reco, and c) can the combined effects of phenology and mowing on pepperweed NEE potentially be tracked using routinely applied remote sensing techniques? Preliminary results indicate that pepperweed flowering drastically decreases photosynthetic CO2 uptake due to shading by the dense arrangement of white flowers at the canopy top, causing the infestation to be almost CO2 neutral. In contrast, mowing causes the infestation to act as moderate net CO2 sink, mainly due to increased CO2 uptake during regrowth. We demonstrate that spectral regions other than commonly-used red and near-infrared might be more promising for pepperweed monitoring because of its spectral uniqueness during the flowering phase. Our results have important implications for land-use land-cover (LULC) change studies when biological invasions and their management alter ecosystem structure and functioning but not necessarily the respective LULC class.

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esperschütz, J.; Zimmermann, C.; Dümig, A.; Welzl, G.; Buegger, F.; Elmer, M.; Munch, J. C.; Schloter, M.

    2013-07-01

    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)

  13. Response of an invasive native wetland plant to environmental flows: implications for managing regulated floodplain ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vivian, Lyndsey M; Marshall, David J; Godfree, Robert C

    2014-01-01

    The natural flow regimes of rivers underpin the health and function of floodplain ecosystems. However, infrastructure development and the over-extraction of water has led to the alteration of natural flow regimes, resulting in the degradation of river and floodplain habitats globally. In many catchments, including Australia's Murray-Darling Basin, environmental flows are seen as a potentially useful tool to restore natural flow regimes and manage the degradation of rivers and their associated floodplains. In this paper, we investigated whether environmental flows can assist in controlling an invasive native floodplain plant in Barmah Forest, south-eastern Australia. We experimentally quantified the effects of different environmental flow scenarios, including a shallow (20 cm) and deeper (50 cm) flood of different durations (12 and 20 weeks), as well as drought and soil-saturated conditions, on the growth and survival of seedlings of Juncus ingens, a native emergent macrophyte that has become invasive in some areas of Barmah Forest following river regulation and alteration of natural flow regimes. Three height classes of J. ingens (33 cm, 17 cm and 12 cm) were included in the experiment to explicitly test for relationships between treatments, plant survival and growth, and plant height. We found that seedling mortality occurred in the drought treatment and in the 20-week flood treatments of both depths; however, mortality rates in the flood treatments depended on initial plant height, with medium and short plants (initial heights of ≤17 cm) exhibiting the highest mortality rates. Both the 20 cm and 50 cm flood treatments of only 12 weeks duration were insufficient to cause mortality in any of the height classes; indeed, shoots of plants in the 20 cm flood treatment were able to elongate through the water surface at rapid rates. Our findings have important implications for management of Barmah Forest and floodplain ecosystems elsewhere, as it demonstrates

  14. 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

  15. Interacting effects of elevated temperature and additional water on plant physiology and net ecosystem carbon fluxes in a high Arctic ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maseyk, Kadmiel; Seibt, Ulrike; Lett, Céline; Lupascu, Massimo; Czimczik, Claudia; Sullivan, Patrick; Welker, Jeff

    2013-04-01

    Arctic ecosystems are experiencing temperature increases more strongly than the global average, and increases in precipitation are also expected amongst the climate impacts on this region in the future. These changes are expected to strongly influence plant physiology and soil biogeochemistry with subsequent implications for system carbon balance. We have investigated the effects of a long-term (10 years) increase in temperature, soil water and the combination of both on a tundra ecosystem at a field manipulation experiment in NW Greenland. Leaf gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence, carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) content and leaf isotopic composition, and leaf morphology were measured on Salix arctica plants in treatment and control plots in June-July 2011, and continuous measurements of net plant and soil fluxes of CO2 and water were made using automatic chambers coupled to a trace gas laser analyzer. Plants in the elevated temperature (T2) treatment had the highest photosynthetic capacity in terms of net CO2 assimilation rates and photosystem II efficiencies, and lowest rates of non-photochemical energy dissipation during photosynthesis. T2 plants also had the highest leaf N content, specific leaf area (SLA) and saturation light level of photosynthesis. It appears that warming increases soil N availability, which the plants direct towards increasing photosynthetic capacity and producing larger thinner leaves. On the other hand, the plants in the plots with both elevated temperatures and additional water (T2W) had the lowest photosystem II efficiencies and the highest rates of non-photochemical energy dissipation, due more to higher levels of constitutive energy dissipation than regulated thermal quenching. Watering, both in combination with higher temperatures and alone (W treatment), also reduced leaf SLA and leaf N relative to control plots. However, net photosynthetic rates remained similar to control plants, due in part to higher stomatal conductance (W) and

  16. Hyperspectral remote sensing tools for quantifying plant litter and invasive species in arid ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagler, Pamela L.; Sridhar, B.B. Maruthi; Olsson, Aaryn Dyami; Glenn, Edward P.; van Leeuwen, Willem J.D.; Thenkabail, Prasad S.; Huete, Alfredo; Lyon, John G.

    2012-01-01

    Green vegetation can be distinguished using visible and infrared multi-band and hyperspectral remote sensing methods. The problem has been in identifying and distinguishing the non-photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) landscape components, such as litter and soils, and from green vegetation. Additionally, distinguishing different species of green vegetation is challenging using the relatively few bands available on most satellite sensors. This chapter focuses on hyperspectral remote sensing characteristics that aim to distinguish between green vegetation, soil, and litter (or senescent vegetation). Quantifying litter by remote sensing methods is important in constructing carbon budgets of natural and agricultural ecosystems. Distinguishing between plant types is important in tracking the spread of invasive species. Green leaves of different species usually have similar spectra, making it difficult to distinguish between species. However, in this chapter we show that phenological differences between species can be used to detect some invasive species by their distinct patterns of greening and dormancy over an annual cycle based on hyperspectral data. Both applications require methods to quantify the non-green cellulosic fractions of plant tissues by remote sensing even in the presence of soil and green plant cover. We explore these methods and offer three case studies. The first concerns distinguishing surface litter from soil using the Cellulose Absorption Index (CAI), as applied to no-till farming practices where plant litter is left on the soil after harvest. The second involves using different band combinations to distinguish invasive saltcedar from agricultural and native riparian plants on the Lower Colorado River. The third illustrates the use of the CAI and NDVI in time-series analyses to distinguish between invasive buffelgrass and native plants in a desert environment in Arizona. Together the results show how hyperspectral imagery can be applied to

  17. Grazing responses in herbs in relation to herbivore selectivity and plant traits in an alpine ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evju, Marianne; Austrheim, Gunnar; Halvorsen, Rune; Mysterud, Atle

    2009-08-01

    Herbivores shape plant communities through selective foraging. However, both herbivore selectivity and the plant's ability to tolerate or resist herbivory may depend on the density of herbivores. In an alpine ecosystem with a long history of grazing, plants are expected to respond to both enhanced and reduced grazing pressures, and the interaction between plant traits and changes in species abundance are expected to differ between the two types of alteration of grazing regime. To understand the mechanisms behind species response, we investigated the relationship between sheep selectivity (measured in situ), plant traits and experimentally derived measures of change in species abundance as a response to the enhancement (from low to high density) or cessation (from low to zero density) of sheep grazing pressure over a six-year time period for 22 abundant herb species in an alpine habitat in south Norway. Sheep selected large, late-flowering herbs with a low leaf C/N ratio. Species that increased in abundance in response to enhanced grazing pressure were generally small and had high root/shoot ratios, thus exhibiting traits that reflect both resistance (through avoidance) and tolerance (through regrowth capacity) strategies. The abundance of selected species remained stable during the study period, and also under the enhanced grazing pressure treatment. There was, however, a tendency for selected species to respond positively to cessation of grazing, although overall responses to cessation of grazing were much less pronounced than responses to enhanced grazing. Avoidance through short stature (probably associated with increased light availability through the removal of tall competitors) as well as a certain amount of regrowth capacity appear to be the main mechanisms behind a positive response to enhanced grazing pressure in this study. The plant trait perspective clearly improves our insight into the mechanisms behind observed changes in species abundance when the

  18. Riparian plant species loss alters trophic dynamics in detritus-based stream ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecerf, Antoine; Dobson, Michael; Dang, Christian K; Chauvet, Eric

    2005-12-01

    Riparian vegetation is closely connected to stream food webs through input of leaf detritus as a primary energy supply, and therefore, any alteration of plant diversity may influence aquatic ecosystem functioning. We measured leaf litter breakdown rate and associated biological parameters in mesh bags in eight headwater streams bordered either with mixed deciduous forest or with beech forest. The variety of leaf litter types in mixed forest results in higher food quality for large-particle invertebrate detritivores ('shredders') than in beech forest, which is dominated by a single leaf species of low quality. Breakdown rate of low quality (oak) leaf litter in coarse mesh bags was lower in beech forest streams than in mixed forest streams, a consequence of lower shredder biomass. In contrast, high quality (alder) leaf litter broke down at similar rates in both stream categories as a result of similar shredder biomass in coarse mesh bags. Microbial breakdown rate of oak and alder leaves, determined in fine mesh bags, did not differ between the stream categories. We found however aquatic hyphomycete species richness on leaf litter to positively co-vary with riparian plant species richness. Fungal species richness may enhance leaf litter breakdown rate through positive effects on resource quality for shredders. A feeding experiment established a positive relationship between fungal species richness per se and leaf litter consumption rate by an amphipod shredder (Gammarus fossarum). Our results show therefore that plant species richness may indirectly govern ecosystem functioning through complex trophic interactions. Integrating microbial diversity and trophic dynamics would considerably improve the prediction of the consequences of species loss.

  19. 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...

  20. Direct utilization of human liquid wastes by plants in a closed ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisovsky, G. M.; Gitelson, J. I.; Shilenko, M. P.; Gribovskaya, I. V.; Trubachev, I. N.

    1997-01-01

    plants for this element. Besides, hygienic and/or psychological reasons make it desirable to avoid direct use of liquid wastes in the nutrient solutions that would have direct contact with edible part of plants (tubers, roots, bulbs). Feasibility of direct utilization of liquid wastes by plants in a closed ``man - higher plants'' ecosystem has been experimentally studied on wheat - grain culture as a model plant with the edible part in the form of seeds spatially dissociated with the nutrient medium. The wheat covered 60-65% of the area under higher plants. The studies have been carried out in ``Bios-3'' experimental facility described in detail elsewhere.

  1. 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.

  2. Plant and arthropod community sensitivity to rainfall manipulation but not nitrogen enrichment in a successional grassland ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Mark A; Manning, Pete; Walker, Catherine S; Power, Sally A

    2014-12-01

    Grasslands provide many ecosystem services including carbon storage, biodiversity preservation and livestock forage production. These ecosystem services will change in the future in response to multiple global environmental changes, including climate change and increased nitrogen inputs. We conducted an experimental study over 3 years in a mesotrophic grassland ecosystem in southern England. We aimed to expose plots to rainfall manipulation that simulated IPCC 4th Assessment projections for 2100 (+15% winter rainfall and -30% summer rainfall) or ambient climate, achieving +15% winter rainfall and -39% summer rainfall in rainfall-manipulated plots. Nitrogen (40 kg ha(-1) year(-1)) was also added to half of the experimental plots in factorial combination. Plant species composition and above ground biomass were not affected by rainfall in the first 2 years and the plant community did not respond to nitrogen enrichment throughout the experiment. In the third year, above-ground plant biomass declined in rainfall-manipulated plots, driven by a decline in the abundances of grass species characteristic of moist soils. Declining plant biomass was also associated with changes to arthropod communities, with lower abundances of plant-feeding Auchenorrhyncha and carnivorous Araneae indicating multi-trophic responses to rainfall manipulation. Plant and arthropod community composition and plant biomass responses to rainfall manipulation were not modified by nitrogen enrichment, which was not expected, but may have resulted from prior nitrogen saturation and/or phosphorus limitation. Overall, our study demonstrates that climate change may in future influence plant productivity and induce multi-trophic responses in grasslands.

  3. Modelling of plant-soil carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycling in semi-natural terrestrial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Jessica; Quinton, John; Rowe, Ed; Tipping, Ed

    2013-04-01

    In recent centuries pools and fluxes of C, N and P in natural and semi-natural UK ecosystems have been transformed by atmospheric pollution leading to: acidification; eutrophication of surface waters; loss of biodiversity; and increased greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, climate change now threatens to perturb these systems further. Understanding in this field is vital in determining the consequences of artificial nutrient enrichment and land use and climate change, and mitigating against their effects. The N14CP model has been recently developed to assess the temporal responses of soil C, N and P pools to nutrient enrichment in semi-natural ecosystems, and explore the connections between these nutrients. It is a dynamic, mechanistic model, driven by: climate; CO2, N (fixation and pollutant deposition), and P (weathering and atmospheric deposition) inputs; and plant cover type. It explicitly links C, N, and P in both plants and soils, using plant element stoichiometry as the primary constraint. Net primary production, and plant/soil element pools, are calculated over time, and output fluxes of dissolved organic and inorganic, and gaseous, forms of C, N, and P produced. Radiocarbon data are used to constrain Soil Organic Matter (SOM) turnover. The SOM is represented as three pools, undergoing first-order decomposition reactions with turn-over rates ranging from 2 to 1000 years. The N14CP modelling methodology is discussed and its calibration and verification using observations from 200 northern European sites presented. Whilst the primary period of interest with respect to nutrient enrichment is from the industrial revolution onwards, plant-soil C, N and P are simulated at these sites for a period spanning from the start of the Holocene (to provide a spin-up period) to the present day. Clearly, during this time span land cover and usage will have changed at these sites, and histories of these changes are used as an input to the model. The influence of these land

  4. 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

  5. Distribution and occupancy of introduced species: a baseline inventory from Phase 3 plots across the country

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bethany K. Schulz; W. Keith. Moser

    2012-01-01

    Invasive plant species have significant negative impacts in many ecosystems and are found in many forests around the world. Although not all introduced species become invasive, there are numerous examples of species escaping cultivation and invading natural ecosystems years or even decades after their initial introduction. Regional distributions of invasive species are...

  6. The role of microorganisms and plants at different stages of ecosystem development for soil formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulz, S.; Brankatschk, R.; Dümig, A.; Kögel-Knabner, I.; Schloter, M.; Zeyer, J.

    2013-02-01

    Soil formation is the result of a complex network of biological as well as chemical and physical processes. Mainly the role of soil microbes is of high interest in this respect, as they are responsible for most transformations and drive the development of stable and labile carbon and nutrient pools in soil, which facilitate the basis for the subsequent establishment of plant communities. Glacier forefields, which provide a chronosequence of soils of different age due to the continuous retreat of the ice layer as a consequence of the increasing annual temperature since the last centuries, are a nice play ground to study the interaction of bacteria, fungi and archaea with their abiotic environment at different stages of soil formation. In this review we give insights into the role of microbes for soil development on the basis of investigations which have been performed at the Damma glacier in Switzerland in the frame of two international network projects Big Link (http://www.cces.ethz.ch/projects/clench/BigLink/) and DFG SFB/TRR 38 (http://www.tu-cottbus.de/ecosystem/). The review focusses on the microbiology of three major steps of soil formation including weathering of the parental material, the development of basic nutrient cycles, the formation of soil crusts and biofilms as initial microbial network structures and the occurrence of plants respectively the setup of plant communities.

  7. Microsatellite markers for Nuphar japonica (Nymphaeaceae), an aquatic plant in the agricultural ecosystem of Japan1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kondo, Toshiaki; Watanabe, Sonoko; Shiga, Takashi; Isagi, Yuji

    2016-01-01

    Premise of the study: Nuphar species (Nymphaeaceae) are representative aquatic plants in irrigation ponds in Japanese agricultural ecosystems. We developed 15 polymorphic microsatellite markers for N. japonica and confirmed their utility for its close relatives N. oguraensis var. akiensis and N. ×saijoensis, which originated from natural hybridization between N. japonica and N. oguraensis. Methods and Results: Genetic variation was characterized in 15 polymorphic loci in three populations of N. japonica. The average number of alleles per locus was 3.47 (range = 2−9; n = 32), and the average expected heterozygosity per locus was 0.84 (range = 0.5–1.0); 11 loci were amplified in N. oguraensis var. akiensis and 15 in N. ×saijoensis. Conclusions: The polymorphic microsatellite markers developed in this study will be useful for investigating the levels of genetic diversity within remnant populations of Nuphar taxa and could provide a valuable tool for conservation genetics of these taxa. PMID:28101435

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Model development and calibration for investigating climate, soil, and plant physiological controls on desert ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, G. C.; Bedford, D.; Miller, D. M.

    2011-12-01

    Arid ecosystems have adapted to cope with extreme temperatures and unreliable moisture inputs. Understanding desert vegetation dynamics through seasonal to inter-annual meteorological variability is important for assessing how further intensification of the hydrological system under climate change may impact desert ecosystems. Furthermore, due to world-wide problems with desertification, proper ecological characterization of deserts, which already cover a fifth of the world's land surface, is increasingly critical for monitoring global-scale ecology. We present a model-based study that examines spatio-temporal dynamics of desert vegetation in a research watershed located in the Mojave Desert. Moving from the basin floor to higher elevations, the study area covers a range of meteorological and soil conditions, allowing us to explore how various climate, soil, and plant physiological factors interact to affect desert ecosystems. The first stage of this work entails developing a model appropriate for simulating desert ecological systems. NCAR's CLM-CN model fully couples dynamics within the soil-vegetation-atmosphere continuum. It includes parameterizations for diverse vegetation types, making it a flexible and accessible tool for ecohydrological studies. The dominant plant-type in our study area is Larrea tridentata, a shrub abundantly found in deserts of North and South America. We find that the current CLM-CN sub-model for (semi-)arid region shrubs may not be suitable for the extreme conditions found in parts of the study area. Model modifications representing various adaptations of drought-resistant Larrea are crucial for properly simulating vegetation growth. Changes to CLM's soil hydraulic property functions are also needed to represent gravelly soils typical of the region. After developing a suitable parameterization for desert shrubs and soils, we calibrate the model to soil moisture and vegetation measurements in the study area. This includes soil moisture

  14. 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 Indicators to Assess Drought Responses of Arid Zone Native Seedlings in Reconstructed Soils. Land Degradation & Development. published online. DOI:10.1002/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

  15. Integrated plant nutrient management on diversified cropping system in aqua-terrestrial ecosystem for yield potentiality, quality and rural sustainability

    OpenAIRE

    PUSTE, ANANDAMOY DR.; DE, PRALAY ER.; MAITY, TAPAN KUMAR DR.

    2009-01-01

    Balanced and integrated plant nutrient management is imperative in agricultural production system including its quality - more applicable to those of developing country in the world. Like arable land in wetland ecosystem, nitrogen and other essential key plant elements and its management is also an integral part for so many beneficial aquatic crops (food, non-food etc.). With this significant importance of IPNM, number of case studies were undertaken through TOT, TDET based integrated aquacul...

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Very-High-Resolution Time-Lapse Photography for Plant and Ecosystems Research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary H. Nichols

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Premise of the study: Traditional photography is a compromise between image detail and area covered. We report a new method for creating time-lapse sequences of very-high-resolution photographs to produce zoomable images that facilitate observation across a range of spatial and temporal scales. Methods and Results: A robotic camera mount and software were used to capture images of the growth and movement in Brassica rapa every 15 s in the laboratory. The resultant time-lapse sequence (http://timemachine.gigapan.org/wiki/Plant_Growth captures growth detail such as circumnutation. A modified, solar-powered system was deployed at a remote field site in southern Arizona. Images were collected every 2 h over a 3-mo period to capture the response of vegetation to monsoon season rainfall (http://timemachine.gigapan.org/wiki/Arizona_Grasslands. Conclusions: A technique for observing time sequences of both individual plant and ecosystem response at a range of spatial scales is available for use in the laboratory and in the field.

  19. 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.

  20. 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 col...

  1. 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...

  2. Ecological and spatial modeling : mapping ecosystems, landscape changes, and plant species distribution in Llanos del Orinoco, Venezuela

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moreno, E.J.C.

    2007-01-01

    The transformation of Llanos del Orinoco, focused on the flooding savanna, is evaluated in terms of the change and replacement of the savanna ecosystem and the plant species distribution under a Landscape Ecological approach. This research is carried out at three spatial scales: sub-continental,

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Controls on the D/H ratios of plant leaf waxes in an arid ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feakins, Sarah J.; Sessions, Alex L.

    2010-04-01

    The extent to which leaf water D-enrichment (transpiration) and soil water D-enrichment (evaporation) affect the D/H ratio of plant leaf waxes remains a contentious issue, with important implications for paleohydrologic reconstructions. In this study we measure δD values of precipitation ( δD p), groundwater ( δD gw), plant xylem water ( δD xw) and leaf water ( δD lw) to understand their impact on the δD values of plant leaf wax n-alkanes ( δD wax) in an arid ecosystem. Our survey includes multiple species at four sites across an aridity gradient (80-30% relative humidity) in southern California. We find that many species take up groundwater or precipitation without significant fractionation. D-enriched soil water is a minor source even in species known to perform and utilize waters from hydraulic lift, such as Larrea tridentata (+10‰). Measurements of leaf water isotopic composition demonstrate that transpiration is an important mechanism for D-enrichment of leaf waters (+74 ± 20‰, 1 σ), resulting in the smallest net fractionation yet reported between source water and leaf waxes ( L. tridentata -41‰; multi-species mean value is -94 ± 21‰, 1 σ). We find little change in leaf water D-enrichment or net fractionation across the climatic gradient sampled by our study, suggesting that a net fractionation of ca. -90‰ may be appropriate for paleohydrologic reconstructions in semi-arid to arid environments. Large interspecies offsets in net fractionations (1 σ = 21‰) are potentially troublesome, given the observed floristic diversity and the likelihood of species assemblage changes with climate shifts.

  7. Predictors, spatial distribution, and occurrence of woody invasive plants in subtropical urban ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staudhammer, Christina L; Escobedo, Francisco J; Holt, Nathan; Young, Linda J; Brandeis, Thomas J; Zipperer, Wayne

    2015-05-15

    We examined the spatial distribution, occurrence, and socioecological predictors of woody invasive plants (WIP) in two subtropical, coastal urban ecosystems: San Juan, Puerto Rico and Miami-Dade, United States. These two cities have similar climates and ecosystems typical of subtropical regions but differ in socioeconomics, topography, and urbanization processes. Using permanent plot data, available forest inventory protocols and statistical analyses of geographic and socioeconomic spatial predictors, we found that landscape level distribution and occurrence of WIPs was not clustered. We also characterized WIP composition and occurrence using logistic models, and found they were strongly related to the proportional area of residential land uses. However, the magnitude and trend of increase depended on median household income and grass cover. In San Juan, WIP occurrence was higher in areas of high residential cover when incomes were low or grass cover was low, whereas the opposite was true in Miami-Dade. Although Miami-Dade had greater invasive shrub cover and numbers of WIP species, San Juan had far greater invasive tree density, basal area and crown cover. This study provides an approach for incorporating field and available census data in geospatial distribution models of WIPs in cities throughout the globe. Findings indicate that identifying spatial predictors of WIPs depends on site-specific factors and the ecological scale of the predictor. Thus, mapping protocols and policies to eradicate urban WIPs should target indicators of a relevant scale specific to the area of interest for their improved and proactive management. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Evaluating the potential of nitrogen fixing of plants in the forest ecosystem by using natural 15N abundance method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yao Yunyin; Chen Ming; Ma Changlin; Wang Zhidong; Hou Jingqing; Zhang Lihong; Luo Yongyun

    1991-02-01

    The potential of nitrogen fixing of plants was evaluated by using the variation of nitrogen isotope component in leaves and stems of plants and in soil. It gives a feasible method to investigate the nitrogen fixing potential of wild plants from atmosphere in the forest ecosystem. Plant samples and soil were collected from Natural Protecting Area of Xiaowutai Mountain in Hebei Province. The contents of N and 15 N in the legumes and other plants was obviously different from the value in soil. The δ 15 N value in leaves and stems of non-legumes plants was obviously different from the value in soil. The δ 15 N value of legumes was close to the value in the atmosphere (0 per mille). In the estimating of %Ndfa of nitrogen fixing plants in the forest ecosystem, the selection of non-nitrogen-fixing plants as reference is discussed. The chinese pine and a few non-legumes may have the potential of nitrogen fixing, because the δ 15 N value is close to the δ 15 N value in the atmosphere

  9. Linking land-use intensification, plant communities, and ecosystem processes in lowland Bolivia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carreno Rocabado, I.G.

    2013-01-01

    Land-use intensification (LUI) is one of the main global drivers of biodiversity loss with negative impact on ecosystem processes and the services that societies derive from the ecosystems. The effect of LUI on ecosystem processes can be direct through changes in environmental conditions and

  10. Linking land-use intensification, plant communities, and ecosystem processes in lowland Bolivia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carreno Rocabado, I.G.

    2013-01-01

    Land-use intensification (LUI) is one of the main global drivers of biodiversity loss with negative impact on ecosystem processes and the services that societies derive from the ecosystems. The effect of LUI on ecosystem processes can be direct through changes in environmental conditions and

  11. Inclusion of Additional Plant Species and Trait Information in Dynamic Vegetation Modeling of Arctic Tundra and Boreal Forest Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Euskirchen, E. S.; Patil, V.; Roach, J.; Griffith, B.; McGuire, A. D.

    2015-12-01

    Dynamic vegetation models (DVMs) have been developed to model the ecophysiological characteristics of plant functional types in terrestrial ecosystems. They have frequently been used to answer questions pertaining to processes such as disturbance, plant succession, and community composition under historical and future climate scenarios. While DVMs have proved useful in these types of applications, it has often been questioned if additional detail, such as including plant dynamics at the species-level and/or including species-specific traits would make these models more accurate and/or broadly applicable. A sub-question associated with this issue is, 'How many species, or what degree of functional diversity, should we incorporate to sustain ecosystem function in modeled ecosystems?' Here, we focus on how the inclusion of additional plant species and trait information may strengthen dynamic vegetation modeling in applications pertaining to: (1) forage for caribou in northern Alaska, (2) above- and belowground carbon storage in the boreal forest and lake margin wetlands of interior Alaska, and (3) arctic tundra and boreal forest leaf phenology. While the inclusion of additional information generally proved valuable in these three applications, this additional detail depends on field data that may not always be available and may also result in increased computational complexity. Therefore, it is important to assess these possible limitations against the perceived need for additional plant species and trait information in the development and application of dynamic vegetation models.

  12. 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

  13. Climate change effects on plant biomass alter dominance patterns and community evenness in an experimental old-field ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kardol, Paul [ORNL; Campany, Courtney E [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Souza, Lara [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Norby, Richard J [ORNL; Weltzin, Jake [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Classen, Aimee T [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK)

    2010-01-01

    Atmospheric and climatic change can alter plant biomass production and plant community composition. However, we know little about how climate change-induced alterations in biomass production affect plant community composition. To better understand how climate change will alter both individual plant species and community biomass we manipulated atmospheric [CO2], air temperature and precipitation in a constructed old-field ecosystem. Specifically, we compared the responses of dominant and subdominant species to our treatments, and explored how changes in plant dominance patterns alter community evenness over two years. Our study resulted in four major findings: 1) All treatments, elevated [CO2], warming and increased precipitation, increased plant biomass and the effects were additive rather than interactive, 2) Plant species differed in their response to the treatments, resulting in shifts in the proportional biomass of individual species, which altered the plant community composition; however, the plant community response was largely driven by the responses of the dominant species, 3) Precipitation explained most of the variation in plant community composition among treatments, and 4) Changes in precipitation caused a shift in the dominant species proportional biomass that resulted in higher community evenness in the dry relative to wet treatments. Interestingly, compositional and evenness responses of the subdominant community to the treatments did not always follow the responses of the whole plant community. Our data suggest that changes in plant dominance patterns and community evenness are an important part of community responses to climate change, and generally, that compositional shifts can have important consequences for the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems.

  14. Intertidal substrate modification as a result of mangrove planting: Impacts of introduced mangrove species on sediment microfacies characteristics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Christopher T.; Berkeley, Andrew

    2009-01-01

    A programme of mangrove planting has been undertaken around the island of Rodrigues (SW Indian Ocean) since the mid-1980's involving the introduction of the species Rhizophora mucronata. We examined three coastal embayment sites (Baie Diamant, Anse Goeland and Anse Pansia) in which planting has been undertaken over different time periods within the past 20 years. Planting has met with variable success in the different sites, probably due to variations in fluvial and groundwater influence. At two sites (Baie Diamant - first planted in 1990, and Anse Pansia - first planted in 1995) ecological data indicates that the mangroves are becoming well-established, and sedimentary evidence suggests that relatively rapid modification of intertidal substrates has occurred. This is evident in the form of significant increases in sediment organic-matter content (especially fibrous organic-matter) and an increase in the accumulation of sediment fines inside the mangroves. A strong correlation exists between the magnitude and depth of substrate modification and mangrove forest density, especially root and sapling density. At the third site, Anse Goeland (first planted in 2001), mangrove establishment has not been successful, many of the seedlings have died and no secondary colonisation has occurred. Sediment substrates show no deviation from background levels in terms of organic content or weight % fines content, and we find no evidence for mangrove planting influencing sediment substrates. Despite evidence for the development of a distinctive mangrove facies at Baie Diamant and Anse Pansia there is, however, no evidence as yet for a marked change in substrate geochemistry such as would be demonstrated by evidence of active bioclast dissolution - a common process in many natural (mature) mangrove substrates. We infer this to be a function of the present relative immaturity of the still developing mangrove substrates, but may also be a function of the apparent paucity of burrowing

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. HISTOLOGICAL MODIFICATION AT THE JEJUNUM LEVEL GENERATED BY INTRODUCING MEDICINAL PLANTS AND ESSENTIAL OILS IN BROILERS FEED

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    LAVINIA ŞTEF

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Medicinal plants and extracts including in monogastric animals feeding represents a current practice because phyto-additives can represent an alternative to antibiotics using. In this way, in Nutrition and animals feeding discipline was been performed an experiment on 6 weeks, respectively from hatching to 42 days of age, on 120 broiler chickens, divided on three experimental variants (LEU, LEP and LM with 40 individuals each of them. The used hybrid was Ross 308. In LEU group were incorporated essential oils of Coriandri fructus, Satureja hortensis, Hipophae rhamnoides, 250 mg at 1 kg combined fodder. In LEP group were included in combined fodder structure a plants premix (Mentha piperita, Salvia officinalis, Melissa officinalis in 2% proportion.. Microscopic studies showed, in the case of experimental groups, a hypertropic process of intestinal mucous membrane, emphasized by villousities and glandular apparatus development, through capilar system extending and leucocytar infiltrate development on all mucous chorion thickness.

  18. Pulse-drought atop press-drought: unexpected plant responses and implications for dryland ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, David L; Duniway, Michael C; Belnap, Jayne

    2015-12-01

    In drylands, climate change is predicted to cause chronic reductions in water availability (press-droughts) through reduced precipitation and increased temperatures as well as increase the frequency and intensity of short-term extreme droughts (pulse-droughts). These changes in precipitation patterns may have profound ecosystem effects, depending on the sensitivities of the dominant plant functional types (PFTs). Here we present the responses of four Colorado Plateau PFTs to an experimentally imposed, 4-year, press-drought during which a natural pulse-drought occurred. Our objectives were to (1) identify the drought sensitivities of the PFTs, (2) assess the additive effects of the press- and pulse-drought, and (3) examine the interactive effects of soils and drought. Our results revealed that the C3 grasses were the most sensitive PFT to drought, the C3 shrubs were the most resistant, and the C4 grasses and shrubs had intermediate drought sensitivities. Although we expected the C3 grasses would have the greatest response to drought, the higher resistance of C3 shrubs relative to the C4 shrubs was contrary to our predictions based on the higher water use efficiency of C4 photosynthesis. Also, the additive effects of press- and pulse-droughts caused high morality in C3 grasses, which has large ecological and economic ramifications for this region. Furthermore, despite predictions based on the inverse texture hypothesis, we observed no interactive effects of soils with the drought treatment on cover or mortality. These results suggest that plant responses to droughts in drylands may differ from expectations and have large ecological effects if press- and pulse-droughts push species beyond physiological and mortality thresholds.

  19. 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)

  20. 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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26705571

  1. 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.

  2. 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

    attention paid to safety and points to evidence of media-shifting-that the 'resolution' of a problem within the environmental domain creates a new problem in the workplace safety domain. The paper argues that biomass pellets qualify as an emerging risk for which proper control strategies have yet......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...

  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. Ecosystem Engineering by Plants on Wave-Exposed Intertidal Flats Is Governed by Relationships between Effect and Response Traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoelynck, Jonas; Bouma, Tjeerd J.; Puijalon, Sara; Troch, Peter; Fuchs, Elmar; Schröder, Boris; Schröder, Uwe; Meire, Patrick; Temmerman, Stijn

    2015-01-01

    In hydrodynamically stressful environments, some species—known as ecosystem engineers—are able to modify the environment for their own benefit. Little is known however, about the interaction between functional plant traits and ecosystem engineering. We studied the responses of Scirpus tabernaemontani and Scirpus maritimus to wave impact in full-scale flume experiments. Stem density and biomass were used to predict the ecosystem engineering effect of wave attenuation. Also the drag force on plants, their bending angle after wave impact and the stem biomechanical properties were quantified as both responses of stress experienced and effects on ecosystem engineering. We analyzed lignin, cellulose, and silica contents as traits likely effecting stress resistance (avoidance, tolerance). Stem density and biomass were strong predictors for wave attenuation, S. maritimus showing a higher effect than S. tabernaemontani. The drag force and drag force per wet frontal area both differed significantly between the species at shallow water depths (20 cm). At greater depths (35 cm), drag forces and bending angles were significantly higher for S. maritimus than for S. tabernaemontani. However, they do not differ in drag force per wet frontal area due to the larger plant surface of S. maritimus. Stem resistance to breaking and stem flexibility were significantly higher in S. tabernaemontani, having a higher cellulose concentration and a larger cross-section in its basal stem parts. S. maritimus had clearly more lignin and silica contents in the basal stem parts than S. tabernaemontani. We concluded that the effect of biomass seems more relevant for the engineering effect of emergent macrophytes with leaves than species morphology: S. tabernaemontani has avoiding traits with minor effects on wave attenuation; S. maritimus has tolerating traits with larger effects. This implies that ecosystem engineering effects are directly linked with traits affecting species stress resistance

  6. Introducing Aviary

    CERN Document Server

    Peutz, Mike

    2010-01-01

    The world is changing. Where before you needed to purchase and install big and expensive programs on your computer in order to create stunning images, you can now do it all online for free using Aviary. Aviary is an online collection of applications that enable you to upload and modify your own photographs and images, and create new imagery from scratch. It includes a powerful photo-manipulation tool called Phoenix, a vector-drawing application called Raven, an effects suite for creating eye-watering image effects called Peacock, and much more. Introducing Aviary takes you through all of these

  7. 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

  8. Genetic variation in a tropical tree species influences the associated epiphytic plant and invertebrate communities in a complex forest ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zytynska, Sharon E.; Fay, Michael F.; Penney, David; Preziosi, Richard F.

    2011-01-01

    Genetic differences among tree species, their hybrids and within tree species are known to influence associated ecological communities and ecosystem processes in areas of limited species diversity. The extent to which this same phenomenon occurs based on genetic variation within a single tree species, in a diverse complex ecosystem such as a tropical forest, is unknown. The level of biodiversity and complexity of the ecosystem may reduce the impact of a single tree species on associated communities. We assessed the influence of within-species genetic variation in the tree Brosimum alicastrum (Moraceae) on associated epiphytic and invertebrate communities in a neotropical rainforest. We found a significant positive association between genetic distance of trees and community difference of the epiphytic plants growing on the tree, the invertebrates living among the leaf litter around the base of the tree, and the invertebrates found on the tree trunk. This means that the more genetically similar trees are host to more similar epiphyte and invertebrate communities. Our work has implications for whole ecosystem conservation management, since maintaining sufficient genetic diversity at the primary producer level will enhance species diversity of other plants and animals. PMID:21444307

  9. 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.

  10. Modulation of the transglycosylation activity of plant family GH18 chitinase by removing or introducing a tryptophan side chain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umemoto, Naoyuki; Ohnuma, Takayuki; Osawa, Takuo; Numata, Tomoyuki; Fukamizo, Tamo

    2015-08-19

    Transglycosylation (TG) activity of a family GH18 chitinase from the cycad, Cycas revoluta, (CrChiA) was modulated by removing or introducing a tryptophan side chain. The removal from subsite +3 through mutation of Trp168 to alanine suppressed TG activity, while introduction into subsite +1 through mutation of Gly77 to tryptophan (CrChiA-G77W) enhanced TG activity. The crystal structures of an inactive double mutant of CrChiA (CrChiA-G77W/E119Q) with one or two N-acetylglucosamine residues occupying subsites +1 or +1/+2, respectively, revealed that the Trp77 side chain was oriented toward +1 GlcNAc to be stacked with it face-to-face, but rotated away from subsite +1 in the absence of GlcNAc at the subsite. Aromatic residues in the aglycon-binding site are key determinants of TG activity of GH18 chitinases. Copyright © 2015 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schittko, Conrad; Hawa, Mahmoud; Wurst, Susanne

    2014-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chisholm, Chelsea Lee

    elevation. In summary, my research stresses the importance of including information on functional identity in studies at scales of the individual, community and ecosystem. I found strong links between functional trait identity and ecosystem functioning across alpine meadows and treeline ecotones. A common...

  13. 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

  14. Simulating plant invasion dynamics in mountain ecosystems under global change scenarios.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carboni, Marta; Guéguen, Maya; Barros, Ceres; Georges, Damien; Boulangeat, Isabelle; Douzet, Rolland; Dullinger, Stefan; Klonner, Guenther; van Kleunen, Mark; Essl, Franz; Bossdorf, Oliver; Haeuser, Emily; Talluto, Matthew V; Moser, Dietmar; Block, Svenja; Conti, Luisa; Dullinger, Iwona; Münkemüller, Tamara; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2018-01-01

    Across the globe, invasive alien species cause severe environmental changes, altering species composition and ecosystem functions. So far, mountain areas have mostly been spared from large-scale invasions. However, climate change, land-use abandonment, the development of tourism and the increasing ornamental trade will weaken the barriers to invasions in these systems. Understanding how alien species will react and how native communities will influence their success is thus of prime importance in a management perspective. Here, we used a spatially and temporally explicit simulation model to forecast invasion risks in a protected mountain area in the French Alps under future conditions. We combined scenarios of climate change, land-use abandonment and tourism-linked increases in propagule pressure to test if the spread of alien species in the region will increase in the future. We modelled already naturalized alien species and new ornamental plants, accounting for interactions among global change components, and also competition with the native vegetation. Our results show that propagule pressure and climate change will interact to increase overall species richness of both naturalized aliens and new ornamentals, as well as their upper elevational limits and regional range-sizes. Under climate change, woody aliens are predicted to more than double in range-size and herbaceous species to occupy up to 20% of the park area. In contrast, land-use abandonment will open new invasion opportunities for woody aliens, but decrease invasion probability for naturalized and ornamental alien herbs as a consequence of colonization by native trees. This emphasizes the importance of interactions with the native vegetation either for facilitating or potentially for curbing invasions. Overall, our work highlights an additional and previously underestimated threat for the fragile mountain flora of the Alps already facing climate changes, land-use transformations and overexploitation by

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Modeling Plant-Atmosphere Interactions and Ramifications on the Surface Energy Balance in Arctic Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linn, R.; Cunningham, P.; Wilson, C. J.

    2011-12-01

    There is broad recognition that the melting of the permafrost in arctic landscapes could have pronounced global climatological impacts. The evolution of the permafrost and its impacts on the carbon and water balances is directly related to balances in the surface energy budget. There are a number of factors that are expected to impact the net heat flux at the surface of the soil including regional atmospheric conditions. However, ultimately this surface energy balance is controlled by local processes including evaporation from the surface, transpiration from vegetation as well as radiative and convective heat transfer. These four processes are directly impacted by coupling between the vegetation and atmosphere, and thus depend heavily upon the horizontal and vertical vegetation structure. If shrubs replace grasses in the arctic ecosystem there will be net shifts in the heat transfer to the ground. For example, the solar radiation that is absorbed by shrubs is separated from the soil by a stem space through which winds blow. In order for the energy to reach the soil it must warm the air and then warm the soil, however some of the warm air is mixed into the atmosphere and diffused. This structural feature can act in a fashion similar to a closed canopy forest, which frequently have cooler temperatures below the canopy than nearby grasslands An atmospheric hydrodynamics model, HIGRAD, has been enhanced to simulate complex, three-dimensional plant-atmosphere interactions at extremely high resolution (~0.1 m in all three directions). The model represents the transport of momentum, heat, moisture, and CO2 and their exchange between the vegetation and surrounding air. HIGRAD was used to simulate coupled atmosphere/vegetation systems representative of heterogeneous shrub and tussock grass surrounding a thermokarst. In these simulations shrubs, uneven grasses, and a thermokarst depression are explicitly resolved, and atmospheric conditions are similar to those of summer

  18. The exotic invasive plant, Amaranthus viridis, suppresses the growth of native acacia by altering soil microbial communities structure and functionalities in a sahelian ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sanon, A.; Beguiristain, T.; Sylla, S.; Berthelin, J.; Duponnois, R.

    2009-01-01

    The functioning and stability of terrestrial ecosystems are mainly determined by plant specific richness and composition, which in turn, are closely interlinked with soil organisms development, in particular, soil microorganisms. One of the main success ways of invasive plants was these exogenous organisms-mediated modifications in soil microbial communities composition and diversity as well as their functioning, thus compromising native plant survival. (Author)

  19. Modeling the response of plants and ecosystems to CO{sub 2} and climate change. Final technical report, September 1, 1992--August 31, 1996

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reynolds, J.F.

    1998-04-10

    Objectives can be divided into those for plant modeling and those for ecosystem modeling and experimental work in support of both. The author worked in a variety of ecosystem types, including pine, arctic, desert, and grasslands. Plant modeling objectives are: (1) to construct generic models of leaf, canopy, and whole-plant response to elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change; (2) to validate predictions of whole-plant response against various field studies of elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change; (3) to use these models to test specific hypotheses and to make predictions about primary, secondary and tertiary effects of elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change on individual plants for conditions and time frames beyond those used to calibrate the model; and (4) to provide information to higher-level models, such as community models and ecosystem models. Ecosystem level modeling objectives are: (1) to incorporate models of plant responses to elevated CO{sub 2} into a generic ecosystem model in order to predict the direct and indirect effects of elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change on ecosystems; (2) to validate model predictions of total system-level response (including decomposition) against various ecosystem field studies of elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change; (3) to use the ecosystem model to test specific hypotheses and to make predictions about primary, secondary and tertiary effects of elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change on ecosystems for conditions and time frames beyond those used to calibrate the model; and (4) to use the ecosystem model to study effects of change in CO{sub 2} and climate at regional and global scales. Occasionally the author conducted some experimental work that was deemed important to the development of the models. This work was mainly physiological work that could be performed in the Duke University Phytotron, using existing facilities.

  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. 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

  2. [Double-antisense ACC oxidase and ACC synthase fusion gene introduced into tomato by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation and analysis the ethylene production of transgenic plants].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, Ai Sheng; Yao, Quan Hong; Li, Xian; Fan, Hui Qin; Peng, Ri He

    2003-12-01

    The tomato fruit-specific promoter 2A11 was amplified from tomato genomic DNA using PCR techniques. Total RNA was isolated from ripen fruit of tomato, then ACC oxidase gene and ACC synthase gene were obtained using reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction. The fusion encoding ACC oxidase and ACC synthase gene was obtained through ACC oxidase gene and ACC synthase gene ligation. The fusion gene was then inserted into a plant binary vector pYPX145 in an inverted orientation. Finally, the binary plant expression vector pOSACC was constructed in which the double-antisense fusion gene was controlled by fruit-specific 2A11 promoter. By using hypocotyls and cotyledon petioles as explants, the unit of double-antisense fusion gene was successfully introduced into tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill) cultivar "Hezuo 903" by Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation. 105 transgenic plants were obtained through 200 mg/L kanamycin selection and GUS assay. Two lines of DR-1 and DR-2 were obtained through selecting the characteristics of prolonged shelf life and agriculture. The transgenic plants showed the characteristics of prolonged shelf life over 50 d. The amount of ethylene released from DR-1 and DR-2 fruits were reduced significantly to about 9.5% of that released by non-transformed controls.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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, pplants significant correlation was found between uranium concentration in plant and the substrate (r=0.88, pplants, 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. The Role of Plants as Ecosystem Engineers in Resilience to Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shachak, Moshe; Arbel, Shmuel; Boeken, Bertrand; Segoli, Moran; Ungar, Eugene; Zaady, Eli

    2010-05-01

    In drylands landscape structure is controlled by two ecosystem engineers, soil microphytes and shrubs. Soil microphytes adhere the soil particles by secreting polysaccharides, thus forming biogenic soil crusts. Shrubs engineer the environment above and below ground. Above ground they can form soil mounds and below ground modulate the soil properties by their roots. The two engineering modes create shrub patches in the landscape. The two phase mosaic formed by the engineers creates a source-sink system where the crust is a source of soil, water, organic matter and nutrients while the shrub patch is the sink. Most of the productivity and diversity of the system is concentrated in the sink patches. Climate change such as the increase in frequency and severity of droughts may affect the function of the two phase mosaic by causing shrub dieback. This can transform a shrub land into crust land by increasing leakage of resources and decreasing productivity and diversity (desertification). Based on our long term research at LTER sites in the Northern Negev, Israel, we present two models depicting how climate change can cause state changes from shrub land to crust land and how the mode of shrub engineering can prevent this transition. Our main proposition is that the resilience of a two phase mosaic to drought depends on whether the engineering is by mound formation or by subsurface soil modulation. When the engineering mode is mound formation, shrubs dying due to drought expose the underlying mound to erosion by rainfall and runoff. The eroded patch is then colonized by microphytes which form soil crusts. This process takes between five to ten years. To rebuild the soil mound by a shrub takes hundreds of years. Therefore, once the soil mound is eroded the area will then be transformed from shrub land to crust land and the recovery time is long. When the engineering is through the roots the system is more resilient to drought. Even if the canopy dies back the shrub patch

  8. Testing functional trait-based mechanisms underpinning plant responses to grazing and linkages to ecosystem functioning in grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, S. X.; Li, W. H.; Lan, Z. C.; Ren, H. Y.; Wang, K. B.; Bai, Y. F.

    2014-09-01

    Abundant evidence has shown that grazing alters plant functional traits, ecological strategies, community structure, and ecosystem functioning of grasslands. Few studies, however, have examined how plant responses to grazing are mediated by resource availability and functional group identity. We test functional trait-based mechanisms underlying the responses of different life forms to grazing and linkages to ecosystem functioning along a soil moisture gradient in the Inner Mongolia grassland. A principal component analysis (PCA) based on 9 traits × 276 species matrix showed that the plant size spectrum (i.e., individual biomass), leaf economics spectrum (leaf N content and leaf density), and light competition spectrum (height and stem-leaf biomass ratio) distinguished plant species responses to grazing. The three life forms exhibited differential strategies as indicated by trait responses to grazing. The annuals and biennials adopted grazing-tolerant strategies associated with high growth rate, reflected by high leaf N content and specific leaf area. The perennial grasses exhibited grazing-tolerant strategies associated with great regrowth capacity and high palatability scores, whereas perennial forbs showed grazing-avoidant strategies with short stature and low palatability scores. In addition, the dominant perennial bunchgrasses exhibited mixed tolerance-resistance strategies to grazing and mixed acquisitive-conservative strategies in resource utilization. Grazing increased the relative abundance of perennial forbs with low palatability in the wet and fertile meadow, but it promoted perennial grasses with high palatability in the dry and infertile typical steppe. Our findings suggest that the effects of grazing on plant functional traits are dependent on both the abiotic (e.g., soil moisture) and biotic (e.g., plant functional group identity and composition) factors. Grazing-induced shifts in functional group composition are largely dependent on resource

  9. Estimation and diversity of phylloplane mycobiota on selected plants in a Mediterranean-type ecosystem in Portugal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inácio, J; Pereira, P; de Carvalho, M; Fonseca, A; Amaral-Collaço, M T; Spencer-Martins, I

    2002-11-01

    Mediterranean ecosystems have not been consistently investigated as natural habitats for microbes in general, and fungi in particular. Here we present the results of a survey of epiphytic mycobiota (filamentous fungi and yeasts) on the phylloplane of selected plants in the Arrábida Natural Park, an ecosystem of Mediterranean characteristics in Portugal, using conventional culture-dependent isolation methods. Leaves from the species Acer monspessulanum and Quercus faginea (deciduous trees) and Cistus albidus, Pistacia lentiscus, and Osyris quadripartita (evergreen shrubs) were collected twice a year for two consecutive years, at two distinct locations of Serra da Arrábida: the more humid northern slope and the drier southern slope. A total of 1029 strains of filamentous fungi and 540 strains of yeasts were isolated, which represented at least 36 and 46 distinct species, respectively. Total counts were higher on the plants from the northern slope and there was a general increase from spring to autumn, notably on the deciduous trees for the yeasts. Plant species that had higher numbers of leaf colonists (A. monspessulanum, C. albidus, and Q. faginea) also yielded a wider range of species. Among the filamentous fungi there was a predominance of species of ascomycetous affinity, whereas basidiomycetous species dominated among yeast isolates. Some of the taxa recovered were common to other phylloplane studies (e.g., ubiquitous molds and yeasts such as Cladosporium spp. and Cryptococcus spp., respectively), but less common species were also found, some of which appeared to represent undescribed taxa. Interestingly, a few species seemed to be associated with a particular plant, notably in the case of the evergreen shrub C. albidus. However, for a considerable number of fungi and yeasts the same taxon was recovered throughout the year from more than one plant and at both sites, suggesting that such species might be genuine phylloplane inhabitants (or at least of aerial

  10. Modelling of radiocaesium-transfer (soil-plant-roe-deer) in forest ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Strebl, F.

    1995-05-01

    dependency of 137 Cs concentration in bilberry and spruce leaves/needles of different age classes was described successfully by regression terms. Other phenomena like seasonal variation of 137 Cs content in vegetation samples and organ specific differences of 137 Cs accumulation were investigated. Using the model predictions of soil contamination as a basis and under consideration of roe-deer forage plants' rooting depths, the development of 137 Cs contamination of roe-deer muscle samples (1987- 1993) is well described by application of an aggregated transfer factor. This investigation shows that 137 Cs persistence in forest ecosystems is distinctly longer than in agricultural land. The contamination levels of mushroom and roe-deer muscle samples 9 years after the reactor accident are still beyond the EU limit for human food-stuffs. According to model calculations roe deer samples of Weinsberger forest probably will exceed the limit of 600 Bq/kg up to the year 2001. (author)

  11. 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.

  12. The date palm tree rhizosphere is a niche for plant growth promoting bacteria in the oasis ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. Plant hydraulic responses to long-term dry season nitrogen deposition alter drought tolerance in a Mediterranean-type ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pivovaroff, Alexandria L; Santiago, Louis S; Vourlitis, George L; Grantz, David A; Allen, Michael F

    2016-07-01

    Anthropogenic nitrogen (N) deposition represents a significant N input for many terrestrial ecosystems. N deposition can affect plants on scales ranging from photosynthesis to community composition, yet few studies have investigated how changes in N availability affect plant water relations. We tested the effects of N addition on plant water relations, hydraulic traits, functional traits, gas exchange, and leaf chemistry in a semi-arid ecosystem in Southern California using long-term experimental plots fertilized with N for over a decade. The dominant species were Artemisia california and Salvia mellifera at Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve and Adenostoma fasciculatum and Ceanothus greggii at Sky Oaks Field Station. All species, except Ceanothus, showed increased leaf N concentration, decreased foliar carbon to N ratio, and increased foliar N isotopic composition with fertilization, indicating that added N was taken up by study species, yet each species had a differing physiological response to long-term N addition. Dry season predawn water potentials were less negative with N addition for all species except Adenostoma, but there were no differences in midday water potentials, or wet season water potentials. Artemisia was particularly responsive, as N addition increased stem hydraulic conductivity, stomatal conductance, and leaf carbon isotopic composition, and decreased wood density. The alteration of water relations and drought resistance parameters with N addition in Artemisia, as well as Adenostoma, Ceanothus, and Salvia, indicate that N deposition can affect the ability of native Southern California shrubs to respond to drought.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldo Leopold is considered by many to be the father of restoration ecology in North America. While a professor of wildlife management at the University of Wisconsin, he labored 13 years to restore a functioning ecosystem to badly damaged Sauk County farmland that he purchased at the height of the G...

  2. 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.

  3. Invasive plants have different effects on trophic structure of green and brown food webs in terrestrial ecosystems: a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCary, Matthew A; Mores, Robin; Farfan, Monica A; Wise, David H

    2016-03-01

    Although invasive plants are a major source of terrestrial ecosystem degradation worldwide, it remains unclear which trophic levels above the base of the food web are most vulnerable to plant invasions. We performed a meta-analysis of 38 independent studies from 32 papers to examine how invasive plants alter major groupings of primary and secondary consumers in three globally distributed ecosystems: wetlands, woodlands and grasslands. Within each ecosystem we examined if green (grazing) food webs are more sensitive to plant invasions compared to brown (detrital) food webs. Invasive plants have strong negative effects on primary consumers (detritivores, bacterivores, fungivores, and/or herbivores) in woodlands and wetlands, which become less abundant in both green and brown food webs in woodlands and green webs in wetlands. Plant invasions increased abundances of secondary consumers (predators and/or parasitoids) only in woodland brown food webs and green webs in wetlands. Effects of invasive plants on grazing and detrital food webs clearly differed between ecosystems. Overall, invasive plants had the most pronounced effects on the trophic structure of wetlands and woodlands, but caused no detectable changes to grassland trophic structure. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Phosphorus transformations at the sediment-water interface in shallow freshwater ecosystems caused by decomposition of plant debris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wenqiang; Jin, Xin; Meng, Xin; Tang, Wenzhong; Shan, Baoqing

    2018-03-03

    We studied the processes and mechanisms that drove phosphorus (P) release and transformations at the sediment-water interface (SWI) because of the decomposition of plant debris. The results showed that, as the simulation time increased, the pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), and oxidation reduction potential (ORP) in Duckweed+Sediment+Water (DWS) and Duckweed+Water (DW) initially decreased and then increased before stabilizing. Changes in the physicochemical characteristics affect the microhabitat and the release and transformations of P at the SWI. The initial flux of total P (TP), total dissolved phosphorus (TDP), and soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) was 886, 515, and 441 mg m -2 d -1 in DWS and 626, 376, and 330 mg m -2 d -1 in DW, respectively. As the plant debris decomposed, the fluxes of TP, TDP, and SRP decreased, and after 11 days, the fluxes remained at around 0 mg m -2 d -1 . The dissolved organic phosphorus (DOP) flux followed different trends in DWS and DW, and increased first to a maximum of 285 and 109 mg m -2 d -1 , respectively, by day 6. The results of this study indicate that plant debris decomposition drive P transformations at the SWI in shallow freshwater ecosystems. Therefore, to control internal sources and transformations of P, plant debris should be removed and harvested. This study also indicates that intervention is needed to ensure the health of freshwater ecosystems, and we cannot hope to get satisfactory results from only improving the national wastewater discharge standards. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  7. 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...

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Sánchez, Rosalva; Camargo-Ricalde, Sara Lucía; García-Moya, Edmundo; Luna-Cavazos, Mario; Romero-Manzanares, Angélica; Montaño, Noé Manuel

    2012-03-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dasgupta-Schubert, Nabanita; Borjas-García, Salomón; Tiwari, DK; Paraguay-Delgado, Francisco; Jiménez-Sandoval, Sergio; Alonso-Nuñez, Gabriel; Gómez-Romero, Mariela; Lindig-Cisneros, Roberto; Reyes De la Cruz, Homero

    2017-01-01

    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. PMID:28828256

  11. 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.

  12. Modelling the influence of ectomycorrhizal decomposition on plant nutrition and soil carbon sequestration in boreal forest ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baskaran, Preetisri; Hyvönen, Riitta; Berglund, S Linnea; Clemmensen, Karina E; Ågren, Göran I; Lindahl, Björn D; Manzoni, Stefano

    2017-02-01

    Tree growth in boreal forests is limited by nitrogen (N) availability. Most boreal forest trees form symbiotic associations with ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi, which improve the uptake of inorganic N and also have the capacity to decompose soil organic matter (SOM) and to mobilize organic N ('ECM decomposition'). To study the effects of 'ECM decomposition' on ecosystem carbon (C) and N balances, we performed a sensitivity analysis on a model of C and N flows between plants, SOM, saprotrophs, ECM fungi, and inorganic N stores. The analysis indicates that C and N balances were sensitive to model parameters regulating ECM biomass and decomposition. Under low N availability, the optimal C allocation to ECM fungi, above which the symbiosis switches from mutualism to parasitism, increases with increasing relative involvement of ECM fungi in SOM decomposition. Under low N conditions, increased ECM organic N mining promotes tree growth but decreases soil C storage, leading to a negative correlation between C stores above- and below-ground. The interplay between plant production and soil C storage is sensitive to the partitioning of decomposition between ECM fungi and saprotrophs. Better understanding of interactions between functional guilds of soil fungi may significantly improve predictions of ecosystem responses to environmental change. © 2016 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.

  13. 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)

  14. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 dominate, resulting in the loss of species diversity. Additionally, eutrophication changes the balance between the availability of multiple nutrients, such as N and P, which may cause extra impact...

  16. 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

  17. Patterns and Implications of Plant-Soil C and N Isotopic Compositions in African Savanna Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, L.; Macko, S. A.; D'Odorico, P.; Ries, L.

    2007-12-01

    Southern African savannas are mixed plant communities where C3 trees co-exist with C4 grasses. Owing to differences in their morphology and physiology, trees and grasses have different access to nutrients and water and different efficiency in the use of these resources. It is still unclear how climate variables such as the mean annual precipitation may affect the relative efficiency of grasses and trees in the use of water and soil nutrients such as nitrogen. In this study, the foliar δ15N and δ13C were used as indicators of nitrogen uptake and of water use efficiency, respectively, to investigate the effect of the rainfall regime on the use of nitrogen and water by herbaceous and woody plants. To this end, patterns of foliar δ15N and δ13C for both C3 and C4 plants as well as patterns of soil δ15N and δ13C in canopy and intercanopy areas were investigated both in the dry and in the wet season along the Kalahari megatransect, where a distinct rainfall gradient exists on a homogeneous soil substrate. Foliar δ15N signatures increased as aridity heightened for both C3 and C4 plants in both seasons, although the magnitude of the increase was different for these two plant functional types. Soil δ15N also significantly increased with aridity. Foliar δ13C signatures increased with aridity for C3 plants in the wet season but not in the dry season, while in C4 plants the relation between foliar δ13C signatures and aridity was more complex and non-linear in both seasons. The consistent higher foliar δ15N for C3 plants suggests that C4 plants are superior competitor for N. The different foliar δ13C relationships with rainfall for the C3 plants and C4 plants may indicate that the C3 plants have an advantage over C4 plants when competing for water resources. The differences in water and nitrogen use between C3 and C4 plants likely collectively contribute to the tree-grass coexistence in savannas.

  18. Nitrogen deposition reduces plant diversity and alters ecosystem functioning: field-scale evidence from a nationwide survey of UK heathlands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georgina E Southon

    Full Text Available Findings from nitrogen (N manipulation studies have provided strong evidence of the detrimental impacts of elevated N deposition on the structure and functioning of heathland ecosystems. Few studies, however, have sought to establish whether experimentally observed responses are also apparent under natural, field conditions. This paper presents the findings of a nationwide field-scale evaluation of British heathlands, across broad geographical, climatic and pollution gradients. Fifty two heathlands were selected across an N deposition gradient of 5.9 to 32.4 kg ha(-1 yr(-1. The diversity and abundance of higher and lower plants and a suite of biogeochemical measures were evaluated in relation to climate and N deposition indices. Plant species richness declined with increasing temperature and N deposition, and the abundance of nitrophilous species increased with increasing N. Relationships were broadly similar between upland and lowland sites, with the biggest reductions in species number associated with increasing N inputs at the low end of the deposition range. Both oxidised and reduced forms of N were associated with species declines, although reduced N appears to be a stronger driver of species loss at the functional group level. Plant and soil biochemical indices were related to temperature, rainfall and N deposition. Litter C:N ratios and enzyme (phenol-oxidase and phosphomonoesterase activities had the strongest relationships with site N inputs and appear to represent reliable field indicators of N deposition. This study provides strong, field-scale evidence of links between N deposition--in both oxidised and reduced forms--and widespread changes in the composition, diversity and functioning of British heathlands. The similarity of relationships between upland and lowland environments, across broad spatial and climatic gradients, highlights the ubiquity of relationships with N, and suggests that N deposition is contributing to biodiversity

  19. The influence of competition between plant functional types in the Canadian Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (CTEM) v. 2.0

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melton, Joe; Arora, Vivek

    2015-04-01

    The Canadian Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (CTEM) is the interactive vegetation component in the earth system modelling framework of the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis (CCCma). In its current framework, CTEM uses prescribed fractional coverage of plant functional types (PFTs) in each grid cell. In reality, vegetation cover is continually adjusting to changes in climate, atmospheric composition, and anthropogenic forcing, for example, through human-caused fires and CO2 fertilization. These changes in vegetation spatial patterns occur over timescales of years to centuries as tree migration is a slow process and vegetation distributions inherently have inertia. Here, we present version 2.0 of CTEM that includes a representation of competition between PFTs through a modified version of the Lotka-Volterra (L-V) predator-prey equations. The simulated areal extents of CTEM's seven non-crop PFTs are compared with available observation-based estimates, and simulations using unmodified L-V equations (similar to other models like TRIFFID), to demonstrate that the model is able to represent the broad spatial distributions of its seven PFTs at the global scale. Differences remain, however, since representing the multitude of plant species with just seven non-crop PFTs only allows the large scale climatic controls on the distributions of PFTs to be captured. As expected, PFTs that exist in climate niches are difficult to represent either due to the coarse spatial resolution of the model and the corresponding driving climate or the limited number of PFTs used to model the terrestrial ecosystem processes. The geographic and zonal distributions of primary terrestrial carbon pools and fluxes from the versions of CTEM that use prescribed and dynamically simulated fractional coverage of PFTs compare reasonably with each other and observation-based estimates. These results illustrate that the parametrization of competition between PFTs in CTEM behaves in a reasonably

  20. 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.

  1. 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)

  2. 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)

  3. Long-term ecosystem level experiment at Toolik Lake, Alaska, and at Abisko, Northern Sweden: generalisations and differences in ecosystem and plant type responses to global change.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Wijk, M.T.; Clemmensen, K.E.; Shaver, G.R.; Williams, M.; Callaghan, T.V.; Chapin III, F.S.; Cornelissen, J.H.C.; Gough, L.; Hobbie, S.E.; Jonasson, S.; Lee, J.A.; Michelsen, A.; Press, M.C.; Richardson, S.J.; Rueth, H.

    2003-01-01

    Long-term ecosystem-level experiments, in which the environment is manipulated in a controlled manner, are important tools to predict the responses of ecosystem functioning and composition to future global change. We present the results of a meta-analysis performed on the results of long-term

  4. Long-term ecosystem level experiments at Toolik Lake, Alaska, and at Abisko, Northern Sweden: generalizations and differences in ecosystem and plant type responses to global change

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijk, van M.T.; Clemmensen, K.E.; Shaver, G.R.; Williams, M.; Callaghans, T.V.; Chapin, F.S.; Cornelissen, J.H.C.; Gough, L.; Hobbie, S.E.; Jonasson, S.; Lees, J.A.; Michelsen, A.; Press, M.C.; Richardsons, S.J.; Rueth, H.

    2004-01-01

    Long-term ecosystem-level experiments, in which the environment is manipulated in a controlled manner, are important tools to predict the responses of ecosystem functioning and composition to future global change. We present the results of a meta-analysis performed on the results of long-term

  5. 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

  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. Relationship between radiocesium and stable cesium in plants and mushrooms collected from forest ecosystems with different contamination levels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yoshida, S.; Muramatsu, Y.; Steiner, M.

    2000-01-01

    Radiocesium contamination of forest products is still high in contrast to agricultural products, even more than 10 years after the Chernobyl accident. Since the removal of radiocesium from a contaminated forest is not feasible on a large scale, studies on the distribution and transfer of radiocesium in forest ecosystems are important from radiation protection viewpoint. However, the long-term fate of radiocesium in forest ecosystems is still difficult to predict because of the changes in vertical profiles and availability with time of radiocesium in soil, and particularly because of varying stand characteristics. As the chemical behavior of radiocesium is expected to be almost identical to that of stable Cs, analysis of stable Cs should be useful to understand the long-term behavior of radiocesium and its equilibrium distribution. In this study, the concentrations of stable Cs and related alkali and alkaline earth elements in mushrooms, plants and soils were determined by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) or inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES). Samples were collected in forests with different contamination levels in Japan, Germany, Finland, Italy, Ireland and Belarus. Data of stable elements were summarized together with those of radiocesium. A good correlation between Cs-137 and stable Cs in mushrooms was observed for each site independently, suggesting that mushrooms take up Cs-137 together with stable Cs. The Cs-137/Cs ratios were almost constant for samples collected at the same site except a German forest. A detailed study on the transfer of Cs-134 from organic soil horizons to fungal fruit bodies in a German forest showed that the Cs-134/Cs ratio reflected the ratios of those soil layers, from which the corresponding mushroom species takes up Cs-134. Different Cs-137/Cs ratios at different sites might be attributable to different depositions of Cs-137 and different forest (soil and vegetation) types. Positive

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Plant species, not climate, controls aboveground biomass O2:CO2 exchange ratios in deciduous and coniferous ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallagher, Morgan E.; Liljestrand, Frasier L.; Hockaday, William C.; Masiello, Caroline A.

    2017-09-01

    The oxidative ratio (OR) is the O2:CO2 ratio associated with photosynthesis, respiration, and other ecosystem gas exchange processes and can be reported on the scale of an individual leaf, an ecosystem, up to the entire terrestrial biosphere. The OR of the terrestrial biosphere is used to partition anthropogenic CO2 between oceanic and terrestrial carbon sinks, and the ease of measurement of this property on smaller scales suggests its potential for other uses. However, controls on the natural variation of OR are not understood in either organic matter pools or fluxes, and this lack of basic information limits the use of the tracer. Here we assess the annual variability of the OR of photosynthesis over decade for two temperate forests, one coniferous and one deciduous, and show that the photosynthetic OR signature is strongly dominated by plant species. We determined the OR of this flux by measuring the OR of carbon pools that close on annual or shorter timescales (leaves and individual tree rings), via solid-state 13C NMR spectroscopy and elemental analysis. Leaf litter OR is different between coniferous and deciduous forests, but tree bole OR is constant between species. There was no significant change in leaf litter OR with time, nor any correlations between leaf litter OR and temperature or precipitation. During this time growing season precipitation varied by 95% from the time period average, and growing season temperature by 22%, demonstrating that on the decadal scale photosynthetic OR is invariant over significant shifts in these climate parameters.

  13. 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

  14. Microsatellite markers forNuphar japonica(Nymphaeaceae), an aquatic plant in the agricultural ecosystem of Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kondo, Toshiaki; Watanabe, Sonoko; Shiga, Takashi; Isagi, Yuji

    2016-12-01

    Nuphar species (Nymphaeaceae) are representative aquatic plants in irrigation ponds in Japanese agricultural ecosystems. We developed 15 polymorphic microsatellite markers for N. japonica and confirmed their utility for its close relatives N. oguraensis var. akiensis and N . × saijoensis , which originated from natural hybridization between N. japonica and N. oguraensis . Genetic variation was characterized in 15 polymorphic loci in three populations of N. japonica . The average number of alleles per locus was 3.47 (range = 2-9; n = 32), and the average expected heterozygosity per locus was 0.84 (range = 0.5-1.0); 11 loci were amplified in N. oguraensis var. akiensis and 15 in N . × saijoensis . The polymorphic microsatellite markers developed in this study will be useful for investigating the levels of genetic diversity within remnant populations of Nuphar taxa and could provide a valuable tool for conservation genetics of these taxa.

  15. Assessing and monitoring impacts of genetically modified plants on agro-ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arpaia, S.; Messéan, A.; Birch, N.A.

    2014-01-01

    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 re...... 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.......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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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 impacts on water resources. The number of invasive species considered was restricted to those with extensive current or potential distributions; 17 out of a possible 160 species in fynbos shrublands in this case. We estimate that invasive alien plants...

  18. Assessing and monitoring impacts of genetically modified plants on agro-ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arpaia, S.; Messéan, A.; Birch, N.A.

    2014-01-01

    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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. Stable hydrogen isotopic compositions in plants and animals can provide ecosystem-hydrology connections: Santeelah Creek watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogel, M. L.; Newsome, S.; Graves, G.

    2013-12-01

    Connecting a watershed to its ecosystem can be accomplished with stable isotope tracers of hydrogen and oxygen at the natural abundance level. We have concentrated our study on a watershed with a significant altitudinal gradient in North Carolina. The Santeelah Creek watershed extends from 700 to 1600 m and is host to a robust population of black-throated blue warblers (Setophaga caerulescens; BTBW), which feed almost exclusively on caterpillars and small insects during their breeding and molting periods in June and July. The forests in this watershed are composed of a rich flora, including Betula, Rhododendron, Acer, Quercus, along with shrubs, ferns, and mosses. The δD of plants and insects along with creek and spring water samples provided us with background information that we extrapolated to the landscape scale. In addition, we have 13 years of δD data of feathers collected from over 500 specimens of BTBW that were collected from specific territories throughout the watershed. Variations in δD of plants within the watershed was not correlated with altitude, however, specific plant species (e.g. Betula vs. ferns) provide a direct link to the within watershed hydrology, because the δD values of plants are dependent not only on the δD of source water, but also growth temperature and the amount of evaporative transpiration. The δD values of BTBW feathers also do not vary with altitude, but vary annually and correlate with the amount of growing season and annual precipitation from the previous year when feathers were grown. While the δD of avian feathers has become a proven technique for tracing the natal origins of birds, our dataset allows us to delve further into the connections between water-primary producers-consumers-predators that will provide insight into how these analyses are truly linked to the hydrology of their environment.

  2. 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)

  3. Plant-facilitated effects of exotic earthworm Pontoscolex corethrurus on the soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics and soil microbial community in a subtropical field ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jianping; Zhang, Weixin; Shao, Yuanhu; Fu, Shenglei

    2017-11-01

    Earthworms and plants greatly affect belowground properties; however, their combined effects are more attractive based on the ecosystem scale in the field condition. To address this point, we manipulated earthworms (exotic endogeic species Pontoscolex corethrurus ) and plants (living plants [native tree species Evodia lepta ] and artificial plants) to investigate their combined effects on soil microorganisms, soil nutrients, and soil respiration in a subtropical forest. The manipulation of artificial plants aimed to simulate the physical effects of plants (e.g., shading and interception of water) such that the biological effects of plants could be evaluated separately. We found that relative to the controls, living plants but not artificial plants significantly increased the ratio of fungal to bacterial phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) and fungal PLFAs. Furthermore, earthworms plus living plants significantly increased the soil respiration and decreased the soil NH 4 + -N, which indicates that the earthworm effects on the associated carbon, and nitrogen processes were greatly affected by living plants. The permutational multivariate analysis of variance results also indicated that living plants but not earthworms or artificial plants significantly changed the soil microbial community. Our results suggest that the effects of plants on soil microbes and associated soil properties in this study were largely explained by their biological rather than their physical effects.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-01

    constitute an official endorsement or approval of the use of such commercial products. All product names and trademarks cited are the property of their...Vallisneria americana submersed Yes No American lotus** Nelumbo lutea floating-leaved No Yes Blue water lily Nymphaea elegans floating-leaved No Yes...trials (with and without fertilizer amendments , see below) to ascertain suitability for supporting aquatic plant growth. Because floating- leaved

  5. 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

    Nutrient availability and herbivory can regulate primary production in ecosystems, but little is known about how, or whether, they may interact with one another. Here, we investigate how nitrogen availability and insect herbivory interact to alter aboveground and belowground plant community biomass...... 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...

  6. 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.)

  7. 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)

  8. 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.

  9. Restoring Southern Pine Forests Ecosystems: Plant Community Response to Mechanical Midstory History Reduction and Prescribed Fire on Sandhills at Fort Benning Georgia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dale Brockway; Kenneth W. Outcalt; Becky L. Estes

    2003-01-01

    Developed during periods of fire exclusion, dense midstory vegetation, that reduces understory plant diversity (competitive shading) and increases the risk of damaging Wildfire (fuel ladder from ground to canopy), has impeded restoration efforts to safely reintroduce prescribed burning in southern pine ecosystems. Our study evaluated the effects of midstory reduction...

  10. 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.

  11. Phenology and Cover of Plant Growth Forms Predict Herbivore Habitat Selection in a High Latitude Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fauchald, Per; Langeland, Knut; Ims, Rolf A.; Yoccoz, Nigel G.; Bråthen, Kari Anne

    2014-01-01

    The spatial and temporal distribution of forage quality is among the most central factors affecting herbivore habitat selection. Yet, for high latitude areas, forage quantity has been found to be more important than quality. Studies on large ungulate foraging patterns are faced with methodological challenges in both assessing animal movements at the scale of forage distribution, and in assessing forage quality with relevant metrics. Here we use first-passage time analyses to assess how reindeer movements relate to forage quality and quantity measured as the phenology and cover of growth forms along reindeer tracks. The study was conducted in a high latitude ecosystem dominated by low-palatable growth forms. We found that the scale of reindeer movement was season dependent, with more extensive area use as the summer season advanced. Small-scale movement in the early season was related to selection for younger stages of phenology and for higher abundances of generally phenologically advanced palatable growth forms (grasses and deciduous shrubs). Also there was a clear selection for later phenological stages of the most dominant, yet generally phenologically slow and low-palatable growth form (evergreen shrubs). As the summer season advanced only quantity was important, with selection for higher quantities of one palatable growth form and avoidance of a low palatable growth form. We conclude that both forage quality and quantity are significant predictors to habitat selection by a large herbivore at high latitude. The early season selectivity reflected that among dominating low palatability growth forms there were palatable phenological stages and palatable growth forms available, causing herbivores to be selective in their habitat use. The diminishing selectivity and the increasing scale of movement as the season developed suggest a response by reindeer to homogenized forage availability of low quality. PMID:24972188

  12. 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)

  13. 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. .

  14. Use of spatial analysis to test hypotheses on plant recruitment in a hyper-arid ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan J Quets

    Full Text Available Mounds originating from wind-blown sediment accumulation beneath vegetation (nebkhas often indicate land degradation in dry areas. Thus far, most nebkha research has focused on individual plants. Here, we aimed to explore population-scale processes (up to scales of about 100 m that might explain an observed nebkha landscape pattern. We mapped the Rhazya stricta Decne. population in a 3 ha study site in a hyper-arid region of Saudi Arabia. We compared the spatial patterns of five different cohorts (age classes of observed nebkha host plants to those expected under several hypothesized drivers of recruitment and intraspecific interaction. We found that all R. stricta cohorts had a limited fractional vegetation cover and established in large-scale clusters. This clustering weakened with cohort age, possibly indicating merging of neighboring vegetation patches. Different cohort clusters did not spatially overlap in most cases, indicating that recruitment patterns changed position over time. Strong indications were found that the main drivers underlying R. stricta spatial configurations were allogenic (i.e. not driven by vegetation and dynamic. Most likely these drivers were aeolian-driven sand movement or human disturbance which forced offspring recruitment in spatially dynamic clusters. Competition and facilitation were likely active on the field site too, but apparently had a limited effect on the overall landscape structure.

  15. Use of spatial analysis to test hypotheses on plant recruitment in a hyper-arid ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quets, Jan J; Temmerman, Stijn; El-Bana, Magdy I; Al-Rowaily, Saud L; Assaeed, Abdulaziz M; Nijs, Ivan

    2014-01-01

    Mounds originating from wind-blown sediment accumulation beneath vegetation (nebkhas) often indicate land degradation in dry areas. Thus far, most nebkha research has focused on individual plants. Here, we aimed to explore population-scale processes (up to scales of about 100 m) that might explain an observed nebkha landscape pattern. We mapped the Rhazya stricta Decne. population in a 3 ha study site in a hyper-arid region of Saudi Arabia. We compared the spatial patterns of five different cohorts (age classes) of observed nebkha host plants to those expected under several hypothesized drivers of recruitment and intraspecific interaction. We found that all R. stricta cohorts had a limited fractional vegetation cover and established in large-scale clusters. This clustering weakened with cohort age, possibly indicating merging of neighboring vegetation patches. Different cohort clusters did not spatially overlap in most cases, indicating that recruitment patterns changed position over time. Strong indications were found that the main drivers underlying R. stricta spatial configurations were allogenic (i.e. not driven by vegetation) and dynamic. Most likely these drivers were aeolian-driven sand movement or human disturbance which forced offspring recruitment in spatially dynamic clusters. Competition and facilitation were likely active on the field site too, but apparently had a limited effect on the overall landscape structure.

  16. 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.

  17. Dietary protein modifies effect of plant extracts in the intestinal ecosystem of the pig at weaning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manzanilla, E G; Pérez, J F; Martín, M; Blandón, J C; Baucells, F; Kamel, C; Gasa, J

    2009-06-01

    The plant extract mixture (XT) used in the present experiment, containing carvacrol, cinnamaldehyde, and capsicum oleoresin, has previously been shown to decrease diarrhea mortality and to modify the intestinal environment of pigs after weaning. However, results obtained among experiments have not been consistent. We hypothesized that dietary protein could be a main factor determining the effect of plant extracts on intestinal environment. Thus, in the present study we assessed the effects of XT in piglet diets with different protein sources and amounts. Pigs weaned at 20 +/- 1 d of age (n = 240) were allocated to 1 of 6 treatments, which followed a factorial arrangement, with 2 amounts (as-fed basis) of the XT (0 and 200 mg/kg) and 3 diets with various amounts of CP and protein sources. Diet FM18 contained 10% of low-temperature fish meal (LT-FM) and a CP level of 18%; diet SBM18 contained 5% of LT-FM plus 9% of full fat extruded soy and a CP level of 18%; and SBM20 diet contained 10% of LT-FM plus 6.3% of full fat extruded soy and a CP level of 20%. Growth performance of the animals was recorded for 14 d, but no differences were detected among treatments. Eight pigs per treatment were killed to examine variables describing aspects of gastrointestinal ecology. For diets containing 18% CP, FM18 and SBM18, XT tended to decrease ileal digestibility of OM (P = 0.064 and 0.071, respectively) and decreased starch digestibility (P = 0.032 and 0.014, respectively). It also reduced villi length (P = 0.003 and 0.013, respectively) and tended to decrease intraepithelial lymphocyte number (P = 0.051 and 0.100, respectively) in the proximal jejunum. The XT inclusion also increased ileal lactobacilli:enterobacteria (P = 0.017) ratio and decreased VFA production in the cecum (P = 0.045) for all diets. A decreased CP level appeared to favor the effects of the studied plant extracts in a positive or negative way depending on the variable measured. The microbial differences

  18. 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......-mycorrhizal plants and in soil microorganisms, in order to reveal probable differences in acquisition patterns between the two functional plant types and between plants and soil microorganisms. Three weeks after the label addition, with the 15N-forms added with same amount of nitrogen per square meter, we analyzed...... e.g. freeze-thaw and dry-rewet events, although of smaller size. It also appears that the mycorrhizal plants in the short term may be less efficient than non-mycorrhizal plants in nitrogen acquisition, but in a longer term show larger nitrogen acquisition than non-mycorrhizal plants. However...

  19. 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)

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lamarque, S.; Lucot, E.; Badot, P.M. [Universite de Franche-Comte, Laboratoire de Biologie et Ecophysiologie, EA 3184 MRT USC INRA, 25 - Besancon (France)

    2004-07-01

    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 {sup 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{sup -1} DW at 0-5 cm depth (8500 to 14280 Bq.m{sup -2}). A great correlation exists between organic carbon content and soil total radiocaesium concentration (r{sup 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{sup -1} DW, 0 to 163 Bq.kg{sup -1} DW and 0 to 180 Bq.kg{sup -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)

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Allometric Convergence in Savanna Trees and Implications for the Use of Plant Scaling Models in Variable Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tredennick, Andrew T.; Bentley, Lisa Patrick; Hanan, Niall P.

    2013-01-01

    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 those

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Dynamic belowground ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harris, W. F.; Santantonio, D.; McGinty, D.

    1979-01-01

    Roots comprise the primary interface between plant and soil for uptake of water and nutrients. Much is known about the biochemistry, cell physiology and membrane physics associated with these important processes. In this paper we discuss the role of the belowground ecosystem, especially the autotrophic root component, in the structure and function of forest ecosystems. Beyond recognizing roles of anchoring terrestrial plants and uptake of water and nutrients, this component of the forest has been largely neglected in an ecosystem context. In order to focus discussion on the properties of the belowground ecosystem, we use the term rhizosphere to include roots, mycorrhizae, microbes, and rhizophagus invertebrates.

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. Differences in plant cover and species composition of semiarid grassland communities of central Mexico and its effects on net ecosystem exchange

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Delgado-Balbuena

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Changes in land use across the semiarid grasslands of northern Mexico have driven a decline of plant cover and alteration of plant species composition. A number of different plant communities have resulted from these changes. Their implications, however, on the carbon (C cycle and regional carbon balance are still poorly understood. Here, we examined the effects of plant cover loss and changes in species composition on net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE and their biotic and abiotic controls. NEE was measured in five representative plant community types within a semiarid grassland by temporarily enclosing the entire aboveground ecosystem using a chamber method (i.e., geodesic dome. Sites included an oat crop (crop, a moderately grazed grassland (moderate grazing, a 28 yr-old grazing exclosure (exclosure, an overgrazed site with low perennial grass cover (overgrazed, and an overgrazed site presenting shrub encroachment (shrub encroachment. For natural vegetation, rates of standardized daytime NEE for sites with a high plant cover (exclosure and moderate grazing were similar (P > 0.05 as compared to sites with low plant cover (overgrazed and shrub encroachment. However, yearly total nighttime NEE (carbon loss was more than double (P < 0.05 for sites with high plant cover compared to sites with low cover, resulting to slight C sinks for the low plant cover sites, and neutral or sources for the high plant cover sites as accounted by daytime and nighttime NEE annual balance. Differences in plant cover and its associated biomass defined the sensitivity to environmental controls. Thus, daytime NEE in low plant cover sites reached light compensation points at lower photosynthetic photon flux density than those from high plant cover sites. Differences in species composition did not influence NEE rates even though there were transient or permanent changes in C3 vs. C4 functional groups. Our results allowed the detection of the large variability and

  19. 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.

  20. 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,...

  1. 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...

  2. Rising sea level, temperature, and precipitation impact plant and ecosystem responses to elevated CO2 on a Chesapeake Bay wetland: review of a 28-year study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, Bert G

    2014-11-01

    An ongoing field study of the effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 on a brackish wetland on Chesapeake Bay, started in 1987, is unique as the longest continually running investigation of the effects of elevated CO2 on an ecosystem. Since the beginning of the study, atmospheric CO2 increased 18%, sea level rose 20 cm, and growing season temperature varied with approximately the same range as predicted for global warming in the 21st century. This review looks back at this study for clues about how the effects of rising sea level, temperature, and precipitation interact with high atmospheric CO2 to alter the physiology of C3 and C4 photosynthetic species, carbon assimilation, evapotranspiration, plant and ecosystem nitrogen, and distribution of plant communities in this brackish wetland. Rising sea level caused a shift to higher elevations in the Scirpus olneyi C3 populations on the wetland, displacing the Spartina patens C4 populations. Elevated CO2 stimulated carbon assimilation in the Scirpus C3 species measured by increased shoot and root density and biomass, net ecosystem production, dissolved organic and inorganic carbon, and methane production. But elevated CO2 also decreased biomass of the grass, S. patens C4. The elevated CO2 treatment reduced tissue nitrogen concentration in shoots, roots, and total canopy nitrogen, which was associated with reduced ecosystem respiration. Net ecosystem production was mediated by precipitation through soil salinity: high salinity reduced the CO2 effect on net ecosystem production, which was zero in years of severe drought. The elevated CO2 stimulation of shoot density in the Scirpus C3 species was sustained throughout the 28 years of the study. Results from this study suggest that rising CO2 can add substantial amounts of carbon to ecosystems through stimulation of carbon assimilation, increased root exudates to supply nitrogen fixation, reduced dark respiration, and improved water and nitrogen use efficiency. Published

  3. 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)

  4. Seasonal greening of an Arctic ecosystem in response to early snowmelt and climate warming: do plant community responses differ from species responses?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steltzer, H.; Weintraub, M. N.; Sullivan, P.; Wallenstein, M. D.; Schimel, J.; Darrouzet-Nardi, A.; Shory, R.; Livensperger, C.; Melle, C.; Segal, A. D.; Daly, K.; Tsosie, T.

    2011-12-01

    In the Arctic and around the world, earlier plant growth and a longer growing season are indications that warmer temperatures or other global changes are changing the seasonality of the Earth's ecosystems. These changes in plant life histories have multi-trophic level consequences that affect food webs and biogeochemical cycles. Both the response of the plant community and of individual species can affect food and habitat resources for animals or nutrient resources for microbes. Our aim was to determine if the response of an Arctic plant community differs from individual species responses to climate change. For two years in an early snowmelt and climate warming experiment in moist acidic tussock tundra, we observed the seasonal greening of the ecosystem through near-surface measurements of surface greenness and through direct observations of the timing of plant life history events for five to eight common species that differ in growth form. In 2010 when snowmelt was accelerated by 4 days, earlier snowmelt alone or in combination with climate warming extended the life history of the dominant graminoids (E. vaginatum and C. bigelowii) and willow (S. pulchra) by 3 to 4 days. For these species, new leaf production began earlier, while the timing of senescence was similar to the controls. The effect of earlier snowmelt on the life histories of birch (B. nana) and cranberry (V. vitis-idaea) was less, but warming alone tended to increase life history duration. Warming led to earlier leaf expansion for birch and delayed senescence for cranberry. We found that the onset of greening for the plant community began four days earlier, due to the earlier loss of snow cover, and that warming accelerated the rate of greening. Peak season ended 4 days earlier in response to earlier snowmelt and climate warming, due to earlier senescence by birch. In 2011, our manipulation of the snowpack by increasing energy absorption accelerated snowmelt by 15 days and control plots were snowfree

  5. 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)

  6. Communities of endophytic sebacinales associated with roots of herbaceous plants in agricultural and grassland ecosystems are dominated by Serendipita herbamans sp. nov.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kai Riess

    Full Text Available Endophytic fungi are known to be commonly associated with herbaceous plants, however, there are few studies focusing on their occurrence and distribution in plant roots from ecosystems with different land uses. To explore the phylogenetic diversity and community structure of Sebacinales endophytes from agricultural and grassland habitats under different land uses, we analysed the roots of herbaceous plants using strain isolation, polymerase chain reaction (PCR, transmission electron microscopy (TEM and co-cultivation experiments. A new sebacinoid strain named Serendipita herbamans belonging to Sebacinales group B was isolated from the roots of Bistorta vivipara, which is characterized by colourless monilioid cells (chlamydospores that become yellow with age. This species was very common and widely distributed in association with a broad spectrum of herbaceous plant families in diverse habitats, independent of land use type. Ultrastructurally, the presence of S. herbamans was detected in the cortical cells of Plantago media, Potentilla anserina and Triticum aestivum. In addition, 13 few frequent molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs or species were found across agricultural and grassland habitats, which did not exhibit a distinctive phylogenetic structure. Laboratory-based assays indicate that S. herbamans has the ability to colonize fine roots and stimulate plant growth. Although endophytic Sebacinales are widely distributed across agricultural and grassland habitats, TEM and nested PCR analyses reinforce the observation that these microorganisms are present in low quantity in plant roots, with no evidence of host specificity.

  7. 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.

  8. Do Wildfires Promote Woody Species Invasion in a Fire-Adapted Ecosystem? Post-fire Resprouting of Native and Non-native Woody Plants in Central Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrero, M Lucrecia; Torres, Romina C; Renison, Daniel

    2016-02-01

    We asked whether prescribed fire could be a useful management tool to reduce invasion by non-native plants in an ecosystem where native plants are supposed to be adapted to fires. Specifically, we compare the post-fire resprouting response of native and non-native woody species in Chaco Serrano forest of central Argentina. The measurements were carried out in five burnt areas where we selected ten native and seven non-native species. Our response variables were (1) post-fire survival, (2) types of resprouts, and (3) the growth of the resprouts. Our main results show that one year after the fire, survivals of native and non-native species were 0.84 and 0.89, respectively, with variances in survival seven times smaller in the native species group. Type of resprout was also less variable in native species, while growth of the resprouts was similar in native and non-native groups. We interpret that in most cases, the burning a forest with mixed native and non-native plants through prescribed fires will not differentially stop the invasion by non-native woody species even in ecosystems which are presumed to be relatively resistant to fires such as our study area.

  9. Linking a Large-Watershed Hydrogeochemical Model to a Wetland Community-Ecosystem Model to Estimate Plant Invasion Risk in the Coastal Great Lakes Region, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currie, W. S.; Bourgeau-Chavez, L. L.; Elgersma, K. J.; French, N. H. F.; Goldberg, D. E.; Hart, S.; Hyndman, D. W.; Kendall, A. D.; Martin, S. L.; Martina, J. P.

    2014-12-01

    In the Laurentian Great Lakes region of the Upper Midwest, USA, agricultural and urban land uses together with high N deposition are contributing to elevated flows of N in rivers and groundwater to coastal wetlands. The functioning of coastal wetlands, which provide a vital link between land and water, are imperative to maintaining the health of the entire Great Lakes Basin. Elevated N inflows are believed to facilitate the spread of large-stature invasive plants (cattails and Phragmites) that reduce biodiversity and have complex effects on other ecosystem services including wetland N retention and C accretion. We enhanced the ILHM (Integrated Landscape Hydrology Model) to simulate the effects of land use on N flows in streams, rivers, and groundwater throughout the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. We used the hydroperiods and N loading rates simulated by ILHM as inputs to the Mondrian model of wetland community-ecosystem processes to estimate invasion risk and other ecosystem services in coastal wetlands around the Michigan coast. Our linked models produced threshold behavior in the success of invasive plants in response to N loading, with the threshold ranging from ca. 8 to 12 g N/m2 y, depending on hydroperiod. Plant invasions increased wetland productivity 3-fold over historically oligotrophic native communities, decreased biodiversity but slightly increased wetland N retention. Regardless of invasion, elevated N loading resulted in significantly enhanced rates of C accretion, providing an important region-wide mechanism of C storage. The linked models predicted a general pattern of greater invasion risk in the southern basins of lakes Michigan and Huron relative to northern areas. The basic mechanisms of invasion have been partially validated in our field mesocosms constructed for this project. The general regional patterns of increased invasion risk have been validated through our field campaigns and remote sensing conducted for this project.

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Plant δ15 N reflects the high landscape-scale heterogeneity of soil fertility and vegetation productivity in a Mediterranean semiarid ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Navarro, Antonio; Barberá, Gonzalo G; Albaladejo, Juan; Querejeta, José I

    2016-12-01

    We investigated the magnitude and drivers of spatial variability in soil and plant δ 15 N across the landscape in a topographically complex semiarid ecosystem. We hypothesized that large spatial heterogeneity in water availability, soil fertility and vegetation cover would be positively linked to high local-scale variability in δ 15 N. We measured foliar δ 15 N in three dominant plant species representing contrasting plant functional types (tree, shrub, grass) and mycorrhizal association types (ectomycorrhizal or arbuscular mycorrhizal). This allowed us to investigate whether δ 15 N responds to landscape-scale environmental heterogeneity in a consistent way across species. Leaf δ 15 N varied greatly within species across the landscape and was strongly spatially correlated among co-occurring individuals of the three species. Plant δ 15 N correlated tightly with soil δ 15 N and key measures of soil fertility, water availability and vegetation productivity, including soil nitrogen (N), organic carbon (C), plant-available phosphorus (P), water-holding capacity, topographic moisture indices and normalized difference vegetation index. Multiple regression models accounted for 62-83% of within-species variation in δ 15 N across the landscape. The tight spatial coupling and interdependence of the water, N and C cycles in drylands may allow the use of leaf δ 15 N as an integrative measure of variations in moisture availability, biogeochemical activity, soil fertility and vegetation productivity (or 'site quality') across the landscape. © 2016 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.

  14. Methylotrophic bacteria symbiosis with the higher plants as means of minimization of the lower hydrocarbons concentration during artificial ecosystem gas exchange

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berkovich, Yuliy; Smolyanina, Svetlana; Moukhamedieva, Lana; Mardanov, Robert; Doronina, Nina; Ivanova, Ekaterina

    Plant growth unit should be included in the LSS for the space vehicles for vitamin greens supply and psychological support of cosmonauts during long-term missions. The lower hydrocarbons such as methane, methanol, methylated sulfuric compounds and methylated amines, ethylene and so on, are the natural products of human and plant metabolism and usually considered as the air pollutions. It is shown, that one way to decrease the lower hydrocarbons concentration in the artificial ecosystems could be colonization of the plants by methylotrophic bacteria. The aerobic methylotrophic bacteria possess unique ability to use methane and its oxidized or replaced derivatives without food damage and human, animals or plants infection. We have found that methylotrophic bacteria are the phyto-symbiotic bacteria: they stimulate growth and development of the colonized plants because of synthesizing cytokinins and auxins, and vitamin B12.Two collection strains of the obligate methylotrophic bacteria - Methylovorus mays C and Methylomonas metanica S - were chosen because of their high activity to assimilate the lower hydrocarbons due to functioning of methanoldehydrogenase, methanmonooxigenase and ribulose monophosphate cycle enzymes system.Colonization of the leaf cabbage Brassica chinensis L. by these strains led to approximately 30 % reduce of methanol and methane concentration in the air inside phytotron. Experimental estimations of the influence of methylotrophic bacteria on leafy greens growth and development are obtained.

  15. Depletion of stratospheric ozone over the Antarctic and Arctic: Responses of plants of polar terrestrial ecosystems to enhanced UV-B, an overview

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rozema, Jelte [Department of Systems Ecology, Institute of Ecological Science, Climate Centre, Vrije Universiteit, De Boelelaan 1087, 1081 HV Amsterdam (Netherlands)]. E-mail: jelte.rozema@ecology.falw.vu.nl; Boelen, Peter [Department of Systems Ecology, Institute of Ecological Science, Climate Centre, Vrije Universiteit, De Boelelaan 1087, 1081 HV Amsterdam (Netherlands); Blokker, Peter [Department of Systems Ecology, Institute of Ecological Science, Climate Centre, Vrije Universiteit, De Boelelaan 1087, 1081 HV Amsterdam (Netherlands)

    2005-10-15

    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.

  16. Introduced Pine Sawfly

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louis F. Wilson

    1966-01-01

    The introduced pine, sawfly (Diprion similis (Hartig)) in North America was first discovered in 1914 in a nursery in New Haven, Conn. This insect might have been introduced in the cocoon stage on nursery stock or packing material from Holland. Since its arrival, it has advanced steadily westward, reaching Pennsylvania before 1920 and Ontario by 1931. The present range...

  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. 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.

  19. Mineral nutrients in mediterranean ecosystems

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Day, JA

    1983-06-01

    Full Text Available ' classifications of plant forms and formations, categories implicitly based on their intuitive views of convergence. Because of the striking similarities in plant form among the small, widely-separated Mediterranean ecosystems (Figure 1), biogeographical concepts...

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Long-term effects of single potassium fertilization on {sup 137}Cs levels in plants and fungi in a boreal forest ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rosen, K., E-mail: Klas.Rosen@mark.slu.s [Department of Soil and Environment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU, P.O. Box 7014, SE-750 07 Uppsala (Sweden); Vinichuk, M. [Department of Soil and Environment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU, P.O. Box 7014, SE-750 07 Uppsala (Sweden); Department of Ecology, Zhytomyr State Technological University, 103 Chernyakhovsky Str., 10005 Zhytomyr (Ukraine); Nikolova, I.; Johanson, K. [Department of Soil and Environment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU, P.O. Box 7014, SE-750 07 Uppsala (Sweden)

    2011-02-15

    We examined the long-term effects of a single application of potassium (K) fertilizer (100 kg K ha{sup -1}) in 1992 on {sup 137}Cs uptake in a forest ecosystem in central Sweden. {sup 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 {sup 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 {sup 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 {sup 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 {sup 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: {yields} Effects of potassium fertilizer on {sup 137}Cs uptake by plants and fungi are investigated. {yields} {sup 137}Cs activity concentrations in forest plants decreased even within the first year. {yields} The most significant reduction occurred over the first 7-8 years. {yields} The reduction in fungi was less pronounced, but still statistically significant.

  3. Patterns and implications of plant-soil δ13C and δ15N values in African savanna ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lixin; D'Odorico, Paolo; Ries, Lydia; Macko, Stephen A.

    2010-01-01

    Southern African savannas are mixed plant communities where C 3 trees co-exist with C 4 grasses. Here foliar δ15N and δ13C were used as indicators of nitrogen uptake and of water use efficiency to investigate the effect of the rainfall regime on the use of nitrogen and water by herbaceous and woody plants in both dry and wet seasons. Foliar δ15N increased as aridity rose for both C 3 and C 4 plants for both seasons, although the magnitude of the increase was different for C 3 and C 4 plants and for two seasons. Soil δ15N also significantly increased with aridity. Foliar δ13C increased with aridity for C 3 plants in the wet season but not in the dry season, whereas in C 4 plants the relationship was more complex and non-linear. The consistently higher foliar δ15N for C 3 plants suggests that C 4 plants may be a superior competitor for nitrogen. The different foliar δ13C relationships with rainfall may indicate that the C 3 plants have an advantage when competing for water resources. The differences in water and nitrogen use likely collectively contribute to the tree-grass coexistence in savannas. Such differences facilitate interpretations of palaeo-vegetation composition variations and help predictions of vegetation composition changes under future climatic scenarios.

  4. Introducing the Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagad, Shyama; Genovesi, Piero; Carnevali, Lucilla; Schigel, Dmitry; McGeoch, Melodie A.

    2018-01-01

    Harmonised, representative data on the state of biological invasions remain inadequate at country and global scales, particularly for taxa that affect biodiversity and ecosystems. Information is not readily available in a form suitable for policy and reporting. The Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species (GRIIS) provides the first country-wise checklists of introduced (naturalised) and invasive species. GRIIS was conceived to provide a sustainable platform for information delivery to support national governments. We outline the rationale and methods underpinning GRIIS, to facilitate transparent, repeatable analysis and reporting. Twenty country checklists are presented as exemplars; GRIIS Checklists for close to all countries globally will be submitted through the same process shortly. Over 11000 species records are currently in the 20 country exemplars alone, with environmental impact evidence for just over 20% of these. GRIIS provides significant support for countries to identify and prioritise invasive alien species, and establishes national and global baselines. In future this will enable a global system for sustainable monitoring of trends in biological invasions that affect the environment. PMID:29360103

  5. 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...

  6. Scale-dependent effects of grazing and topographic heterogeneity on plant species richness in a Dutch salt marsh ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruifrok, Jasper L.; Postma, Froukje; Olff, Han; Smit, Christian

    2014-01-01

    QuestionFor over three decades, low-intensity grazing has been used to maintain or increase plant species richness in European natural areas, but the effects are highly variable. Thus far, good predictors of whether grazing will have positive effects on plant species richness are limited. How does

  7. Biodiversity of roadside plants and their response to air pollution in an Indo-Burma hotspot region: implications for urban ecosystem restoration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prabhat Kumar Rai

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available In recent Anthropocene, biodiversity of urban roadside plants is now increasingly being realized as an eco-sustainable tool for monitoring and mitigation of air pollution. The present study aimed to investigate the impact of particulate matter (PM pollutants on leaf morphology (stomata, biochemical (heavy metals, protein, and sugars parameters and enzyme activity (peroxidase and catalase of 12 common roadside plant species, growing at two different sites of Aizawl City, i.e. the Ramrikawn (RKN-Med; polluted peri-urban site and the Mizoram University (MZU-Low; less polluted rural site. The highest dust deposition was noted for the RKN-Med site on Ficus benghalensis and the lowest in Bauhinia variegate. The plant species growing at the RKN-Med site showed significant decreases in stomatal size and stomatal index (p ˂ 0.05. Further, increased concentration of heavy metals (Fe, Cu, and Zn was recorded at the RKN-Med site. Moreover, tolerant roadside plants find their suitability for plantation in ecologically sensitive regions, having implications for urban ecosystem restoration.

  8. Impacts of invasive alien plants on water quality, with particular ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    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 ...

  9. Bioaccumulation of {sup 226}Ra by plants growing in fresh water ecosystem around the uranium industry at Jaduguda, India

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jha, V.N., E-mail: jhavn1971@gmail.co [Environmental Assessment Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai-400085 (India); Tripathi, R.M., E-mail: tripathirm@yahoo.co [Environmental Assessment Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai-400085 (India); Sethy, N.K.; Sahoo, S.K.; Shukla, A.K.; Puranik, V.D. [Environmental Assessment Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai-400085 (India)

    2010-09-15

    A field study has been conducted to evaluate the {sup 226}Ra bioaccumulation among aquatic plants growing in the stream/river adjoining the uranium mining and ore-processing complex at Jaduguda, India. Two types of plant group have been investigated namely free floating algal species submerged into water and plants rooted in stream and riverbed. The highest {sup 226}Ra activity concentration (9850 Bq kg{sup -1}) was found in filamentous algae growing in the residual water of tailings pond. The concentration ratios of {sup 226}Ra in filamentous algae (activity concentration of {sup 226}Ra in plant Bq kg{sup -1} fresh weight/activity concentration of {sup 226}Ra in water Bq l{sup -1}) widely varied i.e. from 1.1 x 10{sup 3} to 8.6 x 10{sup 4}. Other aquatic plants were also showing wide variability in the {sup 226}Ra activity concentration. The ln-transformed filamentous algae {sup 226}Ra activity concentration was significantly correlated with that of ln-transformed water concentration (r = 0.89, p < 0.001). There was no correlation between the activity concentrations of {sup 226}Ra in stream/riverbed rooted plants and the substrate. For this group, correlation between {sup 226}Ra activity concentration and Mn, Fe, Cu concentration in plants were statistically significant.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. Modeling the response of plants and ecosystems to global change. Progress report, September 1, 1989--August 31, 1990

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reynolds, J.F.; Harley, P.; Hilbert, D.W.; Kemp, P.R.; Cornelius, J.M.; Tenhunen, J.D.

    1990-05-03

    An initiated close collaboration with experimentalists at Kansas State University that will provide data necessary to models of response to global change. This collaboration also includes co-operative experimental work carried out by staff at SERG that expands the range of ecosystem level processes measured in the open top chambers at Manhatan, Kansas. Several factors suggest that close co-operation between our two groups will be especially advantageous for the realization of the broad goals of the DOE CO{sub 2} consortium: (1) The experimental effort is very extensive, chambers and smaller closed chambers are experiments will provide information at levels. (2) We have been in close contact with the Kansas State group for some time and are beginning a major addition to the open chamber studies this summer. Consequently, we will be present at the field site for much of the summer, working directly with the group. (3) Several members of our group have extensive experience working in grasslands and our ecosystem model is currently well structured to handle grassland simulations.

  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. Integrating proximal and satellite optical data for the analysis of ecosystem carbon uptake and plant phenology at the European larch Specnet site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galvagno, Marta; Gamon, John; Cremonese, Edoardo; Garrity, Steven; Huemmrich, K. Fred; Filippa, Gianluca; Morra di Cella, Umberto; Rossini, Micol

    2017-04-01

    Automated canopy-level optical sampling in tandem with ecosystem-atmosphere flux observations is continuously carried on at a variety of ecosystems through the Specnet network (http://specnet.info/). Specifically, 9 sites within US and Europe were selected since 2015, to investigate the use of novel NDVI and PRI low-cost sensors for the analysis of ecosystem functioning and phenology. Different plant functional types, such as grasslands, deciduous, and evergreen forests belong to the network, here we present specific data from the larch (Larix decidua Mill.) forest Italian site. Three automated NDVI and three automated PRI spectral reflectance sensors (Decagon Devices Inc.) were installed in 2015 on the top of the 20-meters eddy covariance tower, pointing toward the west, north, and east orientations. An additional system, composed by one NDVI and PRI system was installed to monitor the understory component. The objective of this analysis is the comparison between these in-situ inexpensive sensors, independent NDVI and PRI sensors (Skye Instruments) previously installed on the 20-meters tower and satellite-derived NDVI. Both MODIS and Sentinel NDVI data were used for the comparison. Moreover, the newly derived chlorophyll/carotenoid index (CCI, Gamon et al. 2016), computed as the normalized difference between the NDVI red band and PRI 532 nm band, was tested to estimate the seasonal pattern of daily Gross Primary Productivity (GPP) of the larch forest. Results showed that the seasonality of NDVI was comparable among in-situ sensors and satellite data, though orientation-specific differences were observed. Both NDVI and CCI tracked daily GPP, but with different sensitivity to its seasonality. Future analysis will be directed toward a comparison between this site-based results with the other sites within the Specnet network.

  17. 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

  18. Introducing Electromagnetic Field Momentum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Ben Yu-Kuang

    2012-01-01

    I describe an elementary way of introducing electromagnetic field momentum. By considering a system of a long solenoid and line charge, the dependence of the field momentum on the electric and magnetic fields can be deduced. I obtain the electromagnetic angular momentum for a point charge and magnetic monopole pair partially through dimensional…

  19. 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

  20. Pesticide Pollution in Ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    İlter, Hüseyin; Kurt, Burak; Ötegen, Volkan Recai; Akbaba, Muhsin

    2018-01-01

    Pesticidepollution affects both aquatic and soil ecosystems. Factors that promotepesticide pollution include drainage patterns, properties of the pesticide,rainfall, microbial activity, treatment surface and rate of application.Pesticides are able to move from one ecosystem to another through processessuch as transfer (mobility) and transformation (degradation). Transfer mayoccur through surface runoff, vapourization to atmosphere, sorption (adsorp‐tion/desorp-tion), plant uptakeor soil water...

  1. 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.

  2. A century of ecosystem change: human and seabird impacts on plant species extirpation and invasion on islands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas K. Lameris

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available We used 116 years of floral and faunal records from Mandarte Island, British Columbia, Canada, to estimate the indirect effects of humans on plant communities via their effects on the population size of a surface-nesting, colonial seabird, the Glaucous-winged gull (Larus glaucescens. Comparing current to historical records revealed 18 extirpations of native plant species (32% of species historically present, 31 exotic species introductions, and one case of exotic introduction followed by extirpation. Contemporary surveys indicated that native species cover declined dramatically from 1986 to 2006, coincident with the extirpation of ‘old-growth’ conifers. Because vegetation change co-occurred with an increasing gull population locally and regionally, we tested several predictions from the hypothesis that the presence and activities of seabirds help to explain those changes. Specifically, we predicted that on Mandarte and nearby islands with gull colonies, we should observe higher nutrient loading and exotic plant species richness and cover than on nearby islands without gull colonies, as a consequence of competitive dominance in species adapted to high soil nitrogen and trampling. As predicted, we found that native plant species cover and richness were lower, and exotic species cover and richness higher, on islands with versus without gull colonies. In addition, we found that soil carbon and nitrogen on islands with nesting gulls were positively related to soil depth and exotic species richness and cover across plots and islands. Our results support earlier suggestions that nesting seabirds can drive rapid change in insular plant communities by increasing nutrients and disturbing vegetation, and that human activities that affect seabird abundance may therefore indirectly affect plant community composition on islands with seabird colonies.

  3. 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......). The interactive responses in the experimental treatments including elevated CO2 seemed to be linked to the realized range of treatment variability, for example with negative effects following experimental drought or positive effects following the relatively higher impact of night-time warming during cold periods...... 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. A century of ecosystem change: human and seabird impacts on plant species extirpation and invasion on islands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lameris, Thomas K.; Bennett, Joseph R.; Blight, Louise K.; Giesen, Marissa; Janssen, Michael H.; Schaminée, Joop J.H.J.; Arcese, Peter

    2016-01-01

    We used 116 years of floral and faunal records from Mandarte Island, British Columbia, Canada, to estimate the indirect effects of humans on plant communities via their effects on the population size of a surface-nesting, colonial seabird, the Glaucous-winged gull (Larus glaucescens). Comparing

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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...

  10. Three dimensional thermal pollution models. Volume 3: Free surface models. [waste heat discharge from power plants and effects on ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, S. S.; Sengupta, S.

    1978-01-01

    Two sets of programs, named Nasum 2 and Nasum 3 are presented in detail. Nasum 2 is a far field formulation and is used without including the plant thermal discharge. Nasum 3 uses horizontal stretching to provide higher resolution at thermal discharge joints; and includes far field influences such as varying tides and ambient currents far from point of discharge.

  11. 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)

  12. 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…

  13. 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...

  14. Isotopic evidence of the effects of herbivory and landscape position on plant nitrogen sources in a riparian ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menezes, Rômulo S C

    2009-03-01

    This study used (15)N natural abundance techniques to investigate whether elk herbivory affects the capability of willow (Salix spp.) and reed-grass (Carex spp.) to access N from groundwater in upper and lower landscape positions within riparian areas of the Rocky Mountain National Park. For this, delta(15)N values of plant, soil, rainfall and groundwater samples were measured within a replicated field experiment. Despite the relatively high variability in the (15)N data, it provided evidence of the effects of grazing and lanscape position on plant N sources. Carex seemed to acquire less groundwater N in upper landscape positions compared to Salix, maybe due to the deeper willow rooting system. However, grazed willows in upper landscape positions seemed to acquire less groundwater N as compared to willows protected from herbivory. These findings were in accordance with other isotopic and non-isotopic studies conducted in the same experimental site.

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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)

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Introducing the CTA concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acharya, B. S.; Actis, M.; Aghajani, T.; Agnetta, G.; Aguilar, J.; Aharonian, F.; Ajello, M.; Akhperjanian, A.; Alcubierre, M.; Aleksić, J.; Alfaro, R.; Aliu, E.; Allafort, A. J.; Allan, D.; Allekotte, I.; Amato, E.; Anderson, J.; Angüner, E. O.; Antonelli, L. A.; Antoranz, P.; Aravantinos, A.; Arlen, T.; Armstrong, T.; Arnaldi, H.; Arrabito, L.; Asano, K.; Ashton, T.; Asorey, H. G.; Awane, Y.; Baba, H.; Babic, A.; Baby, N.; Bähr, J.; Bais, A.; Baixeras, C.; Bajtlik, S.; Balbo, M.; Balis, D.; Balkowski, C.; Bamba, A.; Bandiera, R.; Barber, A.; Barbier, C.; Barceló, M.; Barnacka, A.; Barnstedt, J.; Barres de Almeida, U.; Barrio, J. A.; Basili, A.; Basso, S.; Bastieri, D.; Bauer, C.; Baushev, A.; Becerra, J.; Becherini, Y.; Bechtol, K. C.; Becker Tjus, J.; Beckmann, V.; Bednarek, W.; Behera, B.; Belluso, M.; Benbow, W.; Berdugo, J.; Berger, K.; Bernard, F.; Bernardino, T.; Bernlöhr, K.; Bhat, N.; Bhattacharyya, S.; Bigongiari, C.; Biland, A.; Billotta, S.; Bird, T.; Birsin, E.; Bissaldi, E.; Biteau, J.; Bitossi, M.; Blake, S.; Blanch Bigas, O.; Blasi, P.; Bobkov, A.; Boccone, V.; Boettcher, M.; Bogacz, L.; Bogart, J.; Bogdan, M.; Boisson, C.; Boix Gargallo, J.; Bolmont, J.; Bonanno, G.; Bonardi, A.; Bonev, T.; Bonifacio, P.; Bonnoli, G.; Bordas, P.; Borgland, A.; Borkowski, J.; Bose, R.; Botner, O.; Bottani, A.; Bouchet, L.; Bourgeat, M.; Boutonnet, C.; Bouvier, A.; Brau-Nogué, S.; Braun, I.; Bretz, T.; Briggs, M.; Bringmann, T.; Brook, P.; Brun, P.; Brunetti, L.; Buanes, T.; Buckley, J.; Buehler, R.; Bugaev, V.; Bulgarelli, A.; Bulik, T.; Busetto, G.; Buson, S.; Byrum, K.; Cailles, M.; Cameron, R.; Camprecios, J.; Canestrari, R.; Cantu, S.; Capalbi, M.; Caraveo, P.; Carmona, E.; Carosi, A.; Carr, J.; Carton, P.-H.; Casanova, S.; Casiraghi, M.; Catalano, O.; Cavazzani, S.; Cazaux, S.; Cerruti, M.; Chabanne, E.; Chadwick, P.; Champion, C.; Chen, A.; Chiang, J.; Chiappetti, L.; Chikawa, M.; Chitnis, V. R.; Chollet, F.; Chudoba, J.; Cieślar, M.; Cillis, A.; Cohen-Tanugi, J.; Colafrancesco, S.; Colin, P.; Colome, J.; Colonges, S.; Compin, M.; Conconi, P.; Conforti, V.; Connaughton, V.; Conrad, J.; Contreras, J. L.; Coppi, P.; Corona, P.; Corti, D.; Cortina, J.; Cossio, L.; Costantini, H.; Cotter, G.; Courty, B.; Couturier, S.; Covino, S.; Crimi, G.; Criswell, S. J.; Croston, J.; Cusumano, G.; Dafonseca, M.; Dale, O.; Daniel, M.; Darling, J.; Davids, I.; Dazzi, F.; De Angelis, A.; De Caprio, V.; De Frondat, F.; de Gouveia Dal Pino, E. M.; de la Calle, I.; De La Vega, G. A.; de los Reyes Lopez, R.; De Lotto, B.; De Luca, A.; de Mello Neto, J. R. T.; de Naurois, M.; de Oliveira, Y.; de Oña Wilhelmi, E.; de Souza, V.; Decerprit, G.; Decock, G.; Deil, C.; Delagnes, E.; Deleglise, G.; Delgado, C.; Della Volpe, D.; Demange, P.; Depaola, G.; Dettlaff, A.; Di Paola, A.; Di Pierro, F.; Díaz, C.; Dick, J.; Dickherber, R.; Dickinson, H.; Diez-Blanco, V.; Digel, S.; Dimitrov, D.; Disset, G.; Djannati-Ataï, A.; Doert, M.; Dohmke, M.; Domainko, W.; Dominis Prester, D.; Donat, A.; Dorner, D.; Doro, M.; Dournaux, J.-L.; Drake, G.; Dravins, D.; Drury, L.; Dubois, F.; Dubois, R.; Dubus, G.; Dufour, C.; Dumas, D.; Dumm, J.; Durand, D.; Dyks, J.; Dyrda, M.; Ebr, J.; Edy, E.; Egberts, K.; Eger, P.; Einecke, S.; Eleftheriadis, C.; Elles, S.; Emmanoulopoulos, D.; Engelhaupt, D.; Enomoto, R.; Ernenwein, J.-P.; Errando, M.; Etchegoyen, A.; Evans, P.; Falcone, A.; Fantinel, D.; Farakos, K.; Farnier, C.; Fasola, G.; Favill, B.; Fede, E.; Federici, S.; Fegan, S.; Feinstein, F.; Ferenc, D.; Ferrando, P.; Fesquet, M.; Fiasson, A.; Fillin-Martino, E.; Fink, D.; Finley, C.; Finley, J. P.; Fiorini, M.; Firpo Curcoll, R.; Flores, H.; Florin, D.; Focke, W.; Föhr, C.; Fokitis, E.; Font, L.; Fontaine, G.; Fornasa, M.; Förster, A.; Fortson, L.; Fouque, N.; Franckowiak, A.; Fransson, C.; Fraser, G.; Frei, R.; Albuquerque, I. F. M.; Fresnillo, L.; Fruck, C.; Fujita, Y.; Fukazawa, Y.; Fukui, Y.; Funk, S.; Gäbele, W.; Gabici, S.; Gabriele, R.; Gadola, A.; Galante, N.; Gall, D.; Gallant, Y.; Gámez-García, J.; García, B.; Garcia López, R.; Gardiol, D.; Garrido, D.; Garrido, L.; Gascon, D.; Gaug, M.; Gaweda, J.; Gebremedhin, L.; Geffroy, N.; Gerard, L.; Ghedina, A.; Ghigo, M.; Giannakaki, E.; Gianotti, F.; Giarrusso, S.; Giavitto, G.; Giebels, B.; Gika, V.; Giommi, P.; Girard, N.; Giro, E.; Giuliani, A.; Glanzman, T.; Glicenstein, J.-F.; Godinovic, N.; Golev, V.; Gomez Berisso, M.; Gómez-Ortega, J.; Gonzalez, M. M.; González, A.; González, F.; González Muñoz, A.; Gothe, K. S.; Gougerot, M.; Graciani, R.; Grandi, P.; Grañena, F.; Granot, J.; Grasseau, G.; Gredig, R.; Green, A.; Greenshaw, T.; Grégoire, T.; Grimm, O.; Grube, J.; Grudzinska, M.; Gruev, V.; Grünewald, S.; Grygorczuk, J.; Guarino, V.; Gunji, S.; Gyuk, G.; Hadasch, D.; Hagiwara, R.; Hahn, J.; Hakansson, N.; Hallgren, A.; Hamer Heras, N.; Hara, S.; Hardcastle, M. J.; Harris, J.; Hassan, T.; Hatanaka, K.; Haubold, T.; Haupt, A.; Hayakawa, T.; Hayashida, M.; Heller, R.; Henault, F.; Henri, G.; Hermann, G.; Hermel, R.; Herrero, A.; Hidaka, N.; Hinton, J.; Hoffmann, D.; Hofmann, W.; Hofverberg, P.; Holder, J.; Horns, D.; Horville, D.; Houles, J.; Hrabovsky, M.; Hrupec, D.; Huan, H.; Huber, B.; Huet, J.-M.; Hughes, G.; Humensky, T. B.; Huovelin, J.; Ibarra, A.; Illa, J. M.; Impiombato, D.; Incorvaia, S.; Inoue, S.; Inoue, Y.; Ioka, K.; Ismailova, E.; Jablonski, C.; Jacholkowska, A.; Jamrozy, M.; Janiak, M.; Jean, P.; Jeanney, C.; Jimenez, J. J.; Jogler, T.; Johnson, T.; Journet, L.; Juffroy, C.; Jung, I.; Kaaret, P.; Kabuki, S.; Kagaya, M.; Kakuwa, J.; Kalkuhl, C.; Kankanyan, R.; Karastergiou, A.; Kärcher, K.; Karczewski, M.; Karkar, S.; Kasperek, J.; Kastana, D.; Katagiri, H.; Kataoka, J.; Katarzyński, K.; Katz, U.; Kawanaka, N.; Kellner-Leidel, B.; Kelly, H.; Kendziorra, E.; Khélifi, B.; Kieda, D. B.; Kifune, T.; Kihm, T.; Kishimoto, T.; Kitamoto, K.; Kluźniak, W.; Knapic, C.; Knapp, J.; Knödlseder, J.; Köck, F.; Kocot, J.; Kodani, K.; Köhne, J.-H.; Kohri, K.; Kokkotas, K.; Kolitzus, D.; Komin, N.; Kominis, I.; Konno, Y.; Köppel, H.; Korohoda, P.; Kosack, K.; Koss, G.; Kossakowski, R.; Kostka, P.; Koul, R.; Kowal, G.; Koyama, S.; Kozioł, J.; Krähenbühl, T.; Krause, J.; Krawzcynski, H.; Krennrich, F.; Krepps, A.; Kretzschmann, A.; Krobot, R.; Krueger, P.; Kubo, H.; Kudryavtsev, V. A.; Kushida, J.; Kuznetsov, A.; La Barbera, A.; La Palombara, N.; La Parola, V.; La Rosa, G.; Lacombe, K.; Lamanna, G.; Lande, J.; Languignon, D.; Lapington, J.; Laporte, P.; Lavalley, C.; Le Flour, T.; Le Padellec, A.; Lee, S.-H.; Lee, W. H.; Leigui de Oliveira, M. A.; Lelas, D.; Lenain, J.-P.; Leopold, D. J.; Lerch, T.; Lessio, L.; Lieunard, B.; Lindfors, E.; Liolios, A.; Lipniacka, A.; Lockart, H.; Lohse, T.; Lombardi, S.; Lopatin, A.; Lopez, M.; López-Coto, R.; López-Oramas, A.; Lorca, A.; Lorenz, E.; Lubinski, P.; Lucarelli, F.; Lüdecke, H.; Ludwin, J.; Luque-Escamilla, P. L.; Lustermann, W.; Luz, O.; Lyard, E.; Maccarone, M. C.; Maccarone, T. J.; Madejski, G. M.; Madhavan, A.; Mahabir, M.; Maier, G.; Majumdar, P.; Malaguti, G.; Maltezos, S.; Manalaysay, A.; Mancilla, A.; Mandat, D.; Maneva, G.; Mangano, A.; Manigot, P.; Mannheim, K.; Manthos, I.; Maragos, N.; Marcowith, A.; Mariotti, M.; Marisaldi, M.; Markoff, S.; Marszałek, A.; Martens, C.; Martí, J.; Martin, J.-M.; Martin, P.; Martínez, G.; Martínez, F.; Martínez, M.; Masserot, A.; Mastichiadis, A.; Mathieu, A.; Matsumoto, H.; Mattana, F.; Mattiazzo, S.; Maurin, G.; Maxfield, S.; Maya, J.; Mazin, D.; Mc Comb, L.; McCubbin, N.; McHardy, I.; McKay, R.; Medina, C.; Melioli, C.; Melkumyan, D.; Mereghetti, S.; Mertsch, P.; Meucci, M.; Michałowski, J.; Micolon, P.; Mihailidis, A.; Mineo, T.; Minuti, M.; Mirabal, N.; Mirabel, F.; Miranda, J. M.; Mirzoyan, R.; Mizuno, T.; Moal, B.; Moderski, R.; Mognet, I.; Molinari, E.; Molinaro, M.; Montaruli, T.; Monteiro, I.; Moore, P.; Moralejo Olaizola, A.; Mordalska, M.; Morello, C.; Mori, K.; Mottez, F.; Moudden, Y.; Moulin, E.; Mrusek, I.; Mukherjee, R.; Munar-Adrover, P.; Muraishi, H.; Murase, K.; Murphy, A.; Nagataki, S.; Naito, T.; Nakajima, D.; Nakamori, T.; Nakayama, K.; Naumann, C.; Naumann, D.; Naumann-Godo, M.; Nayman, P.; Nedbal, D.; Neise, D.; Nellen, L.; Neustroev, V.; Neyroud, N.; Nicastro, L.; Nicolau-Kukliński, J.; Niedźwiecki, A.; Niemiec, J.; Nieto, D.; Nikolaidis, A.; Nishijima, K.; Nolan, S.; Northrop, R.; Nosek, D.; Nowak, N.; Nozato, A.; O'Brien, P.; Ohira, Y.; Ohishi, M.; Ohm, S.; Ohoka, H.; Okuda, T.; Okumura, A.; Olive, J.-F.; Ong, R. A.; Orito, R.; Orr, M.; Osborne, J.; Ostrowski, M.; Otero, L. A.; Otte, N.; Ovcharov, E.; Oya, I.; Ozieblo, A.; Padilla, L.; Paiano, S.; Paillot, D.; Paizis, A.; Palanque, S.; Palatka, M.; Pallota, J.; Panagiotidis, K.; Panazol, J.-L.; Paneque, D.; Panter, M.; Paoletti, R.; Papayannis, A.; Papyan, G.; Paredes, J. M.; Pareschi, G.; Parks, G.; Parraud, J.-M.; Parsons, D.; Paz Arribas, M.; Pech, M.; Pedaletti, G.; Pelassa, V.; Pelat, D.; Perez, M. d. C.; Persic, M.; Petrucci, P.-O.; Peyaud, B.; Pichel, A.; Pita, S.; Pizzolato, F.; Platos, Ł.; Platzer, R.; Pogosyan, L.; Pohl, M.; Pojmanski, G.; Ponz, J. D.; Potter, W.; Poutanen, J.; Prandini, E.; Prast, J.; Preece, R.; Profeti, F.; Prokoph, H.; Prouza, M.; Proyetti, M.; Puerto-Gimenez, I.; Pühlhofer, G.; Puljak, I.; Punch, M.; Pyzioł, R.; Quel, E. J.; Quinn, J.; Quirrenbach, A.; Racero, E.; Rajda, P. J.; Ramon, P.; Rando, R.; Rannot, R. C.; Rataj, M.; Raue, M.; Reardon, P.; Reimann, O.; Reimer, A.; Reimer, O.; Reitberger, K.; Renaud, M.; Renner, S.; Reville, B.; Rhode, W.; Ribó, M.; Ribordy, M.; Richer, M. G.; Rico, J.; Ridky, J.; Rieger, F.; Ringegni, P.; Ripken, J.; Ristori, P. R.; Riviére, A.; Rivoire, S.; Rob, L.; Roeser, U.; Rohlfs, R.; Rojas, G.; Romano, P.; Romaszkan, W.; Romero, G. E.; Rosen, S.; Rosier Lees, S.; Ross, D.; Rouaix, G.; Rousselle, J.; Rousselle, S.; Rovero, A. C.; Roy, F.; Royer, S.; Rudak, B.; Rulten, C.; Rupiński, M.; Russo, F.; Ryde, F.; Sacco, B.; Saemann, E. O.; Saggion, A.; Sahakian, V.; Saito, K.; Saito, T.; Saito, Y.; Sakaki, N.; Sakonaka, R.; Salini, A.; Sanchez, F.; Sanchez-Conde, M.; Sandoval, A.; Sandaker, H.; Sant'Ambrogio, E.; Santangelo, A.; Santos, E. M.; Sanuy, A.; Sapozhnikov, L.; Sarkar, S.; Sartore, N.; Sasaki, H.; Satalecka, K.; Sawada, M.; Scalzotto, V.; Scapin, V.; Scarcioffolo, M.; Schafer, J.; Schanz, T.; Schlenstedt, S.; Schlickeiser, R.; Schmidt, T.; Schmoll, J.; Schovanek, P.; Schroedter, M.; Schultz, C.; Schultze, J.; Schulz, A.; Schure, K.; Schwab, T.; Schwanke, U.; Schwarz, J.; Schwarzburg, S.; Schweizer, T.; Schwemmer, S.; Segreto, A.; Seiradakis, J.-H.; Sembroski, G. H.; Seweryn, K.; Sharma, M.; Shayduk, M.; Shellard, R. C.; Shi, J.; Shibata, T.; Shibuya, A.; Shum, E.; Sidoli, L.; Sidz, M.; Sieiro, J.; Sikora, M.; Silk, J.; Sillanpää, A.; Singh, B. B.; Sitarek, J.; Skole, C.; Smareglia, R.; Smith, A.; Smith, D.; Smith, J.; Smith, N.; Sobczyńska, D.; Sol, H.; Sottile, G.; Sowiński, M.; Spanier, F.; Spiga, D.; Spyrou, S.; Stamatescu, V.; Stamerra, A.; Starling, R.; Stawarz, Ł.; Steenkamp, R.; Stegmann, C.; Steiner, S.; Stergioulas, N.; Sternberger, R.; Sterzel, M.; Stinzing, F.; Stodulski, M.; Straumann, U.; Strazzeri, E.; Stringhetti, L.; Suarez, A.; Suchenek, M.; Sugawara, R.; Sulanke, K.-H.; Sun, S.; Supanitsky, A. D.; Suric, T.; Sutcliffe, P.; Sykes, J.; Szanecki, M.; Szepieniec, T.; Szostek, A.; Tagliaferri, G.; Tajima, H.; Takahashi, H.; Takahashi, K.; Takalo, L.; Takami, H.; Talbot, G.; Tammi, J.; Tanaka, M.; Tanaka, S.; Tasan, J.; Tavani, M.; Tavernet, J.-P.; Tejedor, L. A.; Telezhinsky, I.; Temnikov, P.; Tenzer, C.; Terada, Y.; Terrier, R.; Teshima, M.; Testa, V.; Tezier, D.; Thuermann, D.; Tibaldo, L.; Tibolla, O.; Tiengo, A.; Tluczykont, M.; Todero Peixoto, C. J.; Tokanai, F.; Tokarz, M.; Toma, K.; Torii, K.; Tornikoski, M.; Torres, D. F.; Torres, M.; Tosti, G.; Totani, T.; Toussenel, F.; Tovmassian, G.; Travnicek, P.; Trifoglio, M.; Troyano, I.; Tsinganos, K.; Ueno, H.; Umehara, K.; Upadhya, S. S.; Usher, T.; Uslenghi, M.; Valdes-Galicia, J. F.; Vallania, P.; Vallejo, G.; van Driel, W.; van Eldik, C.; Vandenbrouke, J.; Vanderwalt, J.; Vankov, H.; Vasileiadis, G.; Vassiliev, V.; Veberic, D.; Vegas, I.; Vercellone, S.; Vergani, S.; Veyssiére, C.; Vialle, J. P.; Viana, A.; Videla, M.; Vincent, P.; Vincent, S.; Vink, J.; Vlahakis, N.; Vlahos, L.; Vogler, P.; Vollhardt, A.; von Gunten, H.-P.; Vorobiov, S.; Vuerli, C.; Waegebaert, V.; Wagner, R.; Wagner, R. G.; Wagner, S.; Wakely, S. P.; Walter, R.; Walther, T.; Warda, K.; Warwick, R.; Wawer, P.; Wawrzaszek, R.; Webb, N.; Wegner, P.; Weinstein, A.; Weitzel, Q.; Welsing, R.; Werner, M.; Wetteskind, H.; White, R.; Wierzcholska, A.; Wiesand, S.; Wilkinson, M.; Williams, D. A.; Willingale, R.; Winiarski, K.; Wischnewski, R.; Wiśniewski, Ł.; Wood, M.; Wörnlein, A.; Xiong, Q.; Yadav, K. K.; Yamamoto, H.; Yamamoto, T.; Yamazaki, R.; Yanagita, S.; Yebras, J. M.; Yelos, D.; Yoshida, A.; Yoshida, T.; Yoshikoshi, T.; Zabalza, V.; Zacharias, M.; Zajczyk, A.; Zanin, R.; Zdziarski, A.; Zech, A.; Zhao, A.; Zhou, X.; Ziętara, K.; Ziolkowski, J.; Ziółkowski, P.; Zitelli, V.; Zurbach, C.; Żychowski, P.; CTA Consortium

    2013-03-01

    The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is a new observatory for very high-energy (VHE) gamma rays. CTA has ambitions science goals, for which it is necessary to achieve full-sky coverage, to improve the sensitivity by about an order of magnitude, to span about four decades of energy, from a few tens of GeV to above 100 TeV with enhanced angular and energy resolutions over existing VHE gamma-ray observatories. An international collaboration has formed with more than 1000 members from 27 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and North and South America. In 2010 the CTA Consortium completed a Design Study and started a three-year Preparatory Phase which leads to production readiness of CTA in 2014. In this paper we introduce the science goals and the concept of CTA, and provide an overview of the project.

  4. 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.

  5. 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)

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. The sedimentary record of Carboniferous rivers: Continuing influence of land plant evolution on alluvial processes and Palaeozoic ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Neil S.; Gibling, Martin R.

    2013-05-01

    Evidence from modern rivers and the deep-time geological record attests to the fundamental importance of plant life for the construction of physical habitats within fluvial environments. Data from an extensive literature review and original fieldwork demonstrates that many landforms and geomorphic features of modern river systems appear in the Palaeozoic stratigraphic record once terrestrial vegetation had adopted certain evolutionary advances. For example, stable point bars are associated with the onset of rooted plants in the Siluro-Devonian and avulsive and anabranching fluvial systems become common at the same time as extensive arborescent vegetation in the Carboniferous. In this paper, we demonstrate a correlation between the diversification of physical fluvial environments and the expansion of terrestrial fauna and flora, with an emphasis on the culmination of these trends within Carboniferous alluvial systems. Many extrinsic factors have been considered as possible controls on the evolutionary timelines of terrestrialization for organisms. However, a fundamental prerequisite for achieving terrestrial biodiversity was the variety of physical habitats, especially riparian systems, available for newly evolved organisms. In association with abundant lowland meandering systems, the widespread appearance across Carboniferous alluvial plains of fixed-channel and anabranching reaches created further physical landforms for colonization and would have promoted increasingly complex hyporheic flow regimes. Furthermore the associated increase in arborescent vegetation and supply of large woody debris to inland and coastal rivers would have created a wealth of microhabitats for continental organisms. We argue that the expanding extent and diversity of physical alluvial niches during the Palaeozoic is an underappreciated driver of the terrestrialization of early continental life. The study of the deep-time fossil and stratigraphic record also illustrates that vegetation is

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Effects of elevated CO₂, warming and drought episodes on plant carbon uptake in a temperate heath ecosystem are controlled by soil water status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albert, K R; Ro-Poulsen, H; Mikkelsen, T N; Michelsen, A; Van Der Linden, L; Beier, C

    2011-07-01

    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). The interactive responses in the experimental treatments including elevated CO₂ seemed to be linked to the realized range of treatment variability, for example with negative effects following experimental drought or positive effects following the relatively higher impact of night-time warming during cold periods early and late in the year. Longer-term experiments are needed to evaluate whether photosynthetic down-regulation will dampen the stimulation of photosynthesis under prolonged exposure to elevated CO₂. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  15. A phenazine-1-carboxylic acid producing polyextremophilic Pseudomonas chlororaphis (MCC2693) strain, isolated from mountain ecosystem, possesses biocontrol and plant growth promotion abilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, Rahul; Pandey, Anita

    2016-09-01

    The genus Pseudomonas is known to comprise a huge diversity of species with the ability to thrive in different habitats, including those considered as extreme environments. In the present study, a psychrotolerant, wide pH tolerant and halotolerant strain of Pseudomonas chlororaphis GBPI_507 (MCC2693), isolated from the wheat rhizosphere growing in a mountain location in Indian Himalayan Region (IHR), has been investigated for its antimicrobial potential with particular reference to phenazine production and plant growth promoting traits. GBPI_507 showed phenazine production at the temperatures ranged from 14 to 25°C. The benzene extracted compound identified as phenazine-1-carboxylic acid (PCA) through GC-MS exhibited antimicrobial properties against Gram positive bacteria and actinomycetes. The inhibition of phytopathogens in diffusible biocontrol assays was recorded in an order: Alternaria alternata>Phytophthora sp.>Fusarium solani>F. oxysporum. In volatile metabolite assays, all the pathogens, except Phytophthora sp. produced distorted colonies, characterized by restricted sporulation. The isolate also possessed other growth promoting and biocontrol traits including phosphate solubilization and production of siderophores, HCN, ammonia, and lytic enzymes (lipase and protease). Molecular studies confirmed production of PCA by the bacterium GBPI_507 through presence of phzCD and phzE genes in its genome. The polyextremophilic bacterial strain possesses various important characters to consider it as a potential agent for field applications, especially in mountain ecosystem, for sustainable and eco-friendly crop production. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  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. 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

  18. AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS,

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aquatic ecosystems are a vital part of the urban water cycle (and of urban areas more broadly), and, if healthy, provide a range of goods and services valued by humans (Meyer 1997). For example, aquatic ecosystems (e.g., rivers, lakes, wetlands) provide potable water, food resou...

  19. The Essence of "Plantness."

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darley, W. Marshall

    1990-01-01

    Major differences between plants and animals are presented. Discussed are autotrophs and heterotrophs, plant growth and development, gas exchange, the evolution of plants, ecosystem components, the alleged inferiority of plants, and fungi. (CW)

  20. [Effects of introducing Eucalyptus on indigenous biodiversity].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ping, Liang; Xie, Zong-Qiang

    2009-07-01

    Eucalyptus is well-known as an effective reforestation tree species, due to its fast growth and high adaptability to various environments. However, the introduction of Eucalyptus could have negative effects on the local environment, e. g., inducing soil degradation, decline of groundwater level, and decrease of biodiversity, and especially, there still have controversies on the effects of introduced Eucalyptus on the understory biodiversity of indigenous plant communities and related mechanisms. Based on a detailed analysis of the literatures at home and abroad, it was considered that the indigenous plant species in the majority of introduced Eucalyptus plantations were lesser than those in natural forests and indigenous species plantations but more than those in other exotic species plantations, mainly due to the unique eco-physiological characteristics of Eucalyptus and the irrational plantation design and harvesting techniques, among which, anthropogenic factors played leading roles. Be that as it may, the negative effects of introducing Eucalyptus on local plant biodiversity could be minimized via more rigorous scientific plantation design and management based on local plant community characteristics. To mitigate the negative effects of Eucalyptus introduction, the native trees and understory vegetation in plantations should be kept intact during reforestation with Eucalyptus to favor the normal development of plant community and regeneration. At the same time, human disturbance should be minimized to facilitate the natural regeneration of native species.

  1. Coastal ecosystems, productivity and ecosystem protection: Coastal ecosystem management

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ngoile, M.A.K.; Horrill, C.J. (Inst. of Marine Sciences, Zanzibar (Tanzania, United Republic of))

    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

  2. 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 t