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Sample records for mediterranean plant species

  1. Light dependency of VOC emissions from selected Mediterranean plant species

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    Owen, S. M.; Harley, P.; Guenther, A.; Hewitt, C. N.

    The light, temperature and stomatal conductance dependencies of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from ten plant species commonly found in the Mediterranean region were studied using a fully controlled leaf cuvette in the laboratory. At standard conditions of temperature and light (30°C and 1000 μmol m -2 s -1 PAR), low emitting species ( Arbutus unedo, Pinus halepensis, Cistus incanus, Cistus salvifolius, Rosmarinus officinalis and Thymus vulgaris) emitted between 0.1 and 5.0 μg (C) (total VOCs) g -1 dw h -1, a medium emitter ( Pinus pinea) emitted between 5 and 10 μg (C) g -1 dw h -1 and high emitters ( Cistus monspeliensis, Lavendula stoechas and Quercus sp.) emitted more than 10 μg (C) g -1 dw h -1. VOC emissions from all of the plant species investigated showed some degree of light dependency, which was distinguishable from temperature dependency. Emissions of all compounds from Quercus sp. were light dependent. Ocimene was one of several monoterpene compounds emitted by P. pinea and was strongly correlated to light. Only a fraction of monoterpene emissions from C. incanus exhibited apparent weak light dependency but emissions from this plant species were strongly correlated to temperature. Data presented here are consistent with past studies, which show that emissions are independent of stomatal conductance. These results may allow more accurate predictions of monoterpene emission fluxes from the Mediterranean region to be made.

  2. Evaluating Hypotheses of Plant Species Invasions on Mediterranean Islands: Inverse Patterns between Alien and Endemic Species

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    Alexander Bjarnason

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Invasive alien species cause major changes to ecosystem functioning and patterns of biodiversity, and the main factors involved in invasion success remain contested. Using the Mediterranean island of Crete, Greece as a case study, we suggest a framework for analyzing spatial data of alien species distributions, based on environmental predictors, aiming to gain an understanding of their spatial patterns and spread. Mediterranean islands are under strong ecological pressure from invading species due to their restricted size and increased human impact. Four hypotheses of invasibility, the “propagule pressure hypothesis” (H1, “biotic resistance hypothesis vs. acceptance hypothesis” (H2, “disturbance-mediated hypothesis” (H3, and “environmental heterogeneity hypothesis” (H4 were tested. Using data from alien, native, and endemic vascular plant species, the propagule pressure, biotic resistance vs. acceptance, disturbance-mediated, and environmental heterogeneity hypotheses were tested with Generalized Additive Modeling (GAM of 39 models. Based on model selection, the optimal model includes the positive covariates of native species richness, the negative covariates of endemic species richness, and land area. Variance partitioning between the four hypotheses indicated that the biotic resistance vs. acceptance hypothesis explained the vast majority of the total variance. These results show that areas of high species richness have greater invasibility and support the acceptance hypothesis and “rich-get-richer” distribution of alien species. The negative correlation between alien and endemic species appears to be predominantly driven by altitude, with fewer alien and more endemic species at greater altitudes, and habitat richness. The negative relationship between alien and endemic species richness provides potential for understanding patterns of endemic and alien species on islands, contributing to more effective conservation

  3. Chemical Composition and Seasonality of Aromatic Mediterranean Plant Species by NMR-Based Metabolomics

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    Monica Scognamiglio

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available An NMR-based metabolomic approach has been applied to analyse seven aromatic Mediterranean plant species used in traditional cuisine. Based on the ethnobotanical use of these plants, the approach has been employed in order to study the metabolic changes during different seasons. Primary and secondary metabolites have been detected and quantified. Flavonoids (apigenin, quercetin, and kaempferol derivatives and phenylpropanoid derivatives (e.g., chlorogenic and rosmarinic acid are the main identified polyphenols. The richness in these metabolites could explain the biological properties ascribed to these plant species.

  4. Chemical Composition and Seasonality of Aromatic Mediterranean Plant Species by NMR-Based Metabolomics.

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    Scognamiglio, Monica; D'Abrosca, Brigida; Esposito, Assunta; Fiorentino, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    An NMR-based metabolomic approach has been applied to analyse seven aromatic Mediterranean plant species used in traditional cuisine. Based on the ethnobotanical use of these plants, the approach has been employed in order to study the metabolic changes during different seasons. Primary and secondary metabolites have been detected and quantified. Flavonoids (apigenin, quercetin, and kaempferol derivatives) and phenylpropanoid derivatives (e.g., chlorogenic and rosmarinic acid) are the main identified polyphenols. The richness in these metabolites could explain the biological properties ascribed to these plant species.

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

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    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. .

  6. Plant species influence on soil C after afforestation of Mediterranean degraded soils

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    Dominguez, Maria T.; García-Vargas, Carlos; Madejón, Engracia; Marañón, Teodoro

    2015-04-01

    Increasing C sequestration in terrestrial ecosystems is one of the main current environmental challenges to mitigate climate change. Afforestation of degraded and contaminated lands is one of the key strategies to achieve an increase in C sequestration in ecosystems. Plant species differ in their mechanisms of C-fixation, C allocation into different plant organs, and interaction with soil microorganisms, all these factors influencing the dynamics of soil C following the afforestation of degraded soils. In this work we examine the influence of different woody plant species on soil C dynamics in degraded and afforested Mediterranean soils. The soils were former agricultural lands that were polluted by a mining accident and later afforested with different native plant species. We analysed the effect of four of these species (Olea europaea var. sylvestris Brot., Populus alba L., Pistacia lentiscus L. and Retama sphaerocarpa (L.) Boiss.) on different soil C fractions, soil nutrient availability, microbial activity (soil enzyme activities) and soil CO2 fluxes 15 years after the establishment of the plantations. Results suggest that the influence of the planted trees and shrubs is still limited, being more pronounced in the more acidic and nutrient-poor soils. Litter accumulation varied among species, with the highest C accumulated in the litter under the deciduous species (Populus alba L.). No differences were observed in the amount of total soil organic C among the studied species, or in the concentrations of phenols and sugars in the dissolved organic C (DOC), which might have indicated differences in the biodegradability of the DOC. Microbial biomass and activity was highly influenced by soil pH, and plant species had a significant influence on soil pH in the more acidic site. Soil CO2 fluxes were more influenced by the plant species than total soil C content. Our results suggest that changes in total soil C stocks after the afforestation of degraded Mediterranean

  7. Environmental niche conservatism explains the accumulation of species richness in Mediterranean-hotspot plant genera.

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    Skeels, Alexander; Cardillo, Marcel

    2017-03-01

    The causes of exceptionally high plant diversity in Mediterranean-climate biodiversity hotspots are not fully understood. We asked whether a mechanism similar to the tropical niche conservatism hypothesis could explain the diversity of four large genera (Protea, Moraea, Banksia, and Hakea) with distributions within and adjacent to the Greater Cape Floristic Region (South Africa) or the Southwest Floristic Region (Australia). Using phylogenetic and spatial data we estimated the environmental niche of each species, and reconstructed the mode and dynamics of niche evolution, and the geographic history, of each genus. For three genera, there were strong positive relationships between the diversity of clades within a region and their inferred length of occupation of that region. Within genera, there was evidence for strong evolutionary constraint on niche axes associated with climatic seasonality and aridity, with different niche optima for hotspot and nonhotspot clades. Evolutionary transitions away from hotspots were associated with increases in niche breadth and elevated rates of niche evolution. Our results point to a process of "hotspot niche conservatism" whereby the accumulation of plant diversity in Mediterranean-type ecosystems results from longer time for speciation, with dispersal away from hotspots limited by narrow and phylogenetically conserved environmental niches. © 2017 The Author(s). Evolution © 2017 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  8. Plant performance on Mediterranean green roofs: interaction of species-specific hydraulic strategies and substrate water relations.

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    Raimondo, Fabio; Trifilò, Patrizia; Lo Gullo, Maria A; Andri, Sergio; Savi, Tadeja; Nardini, Andrea

    2015-01-20

    Recent studies have highlighted the ecological, economic and social benefits assured by green roof technology to urban areas. However, green roofs are very hostile environments for plant growth because of shallow substrate depths, high temperatures and irradiance and wind exposure. This study provides experimental evidence for the importance of accurate selection of plant species and substrates for implementing green roofs in hot and arid regions, like the Mediterranean area. Experiments were performed on two shrub species (Arbutus unedo L. and Salvia officinalis L.) grown in green roof experimental modules with two substrates slightly differing in their water retention properties, as derived from moisture release curves. Physiological measurements were performed on both well-watered and drought-stressed plants. Gas exchange, leaf and xylem water potential and also plant hydraulic conductance were measured at different time intervals following the last irrigation. The substrate type significantly affected water status. Arbutus unedo and S. officinalis showed different hydraulic responses to drought stress, with the former species being substantially isohydric and the latter one anisohydric. Both A. unedo and S. officinalis were found to be suitable species for green roofs in the Mediterranean area. However, our data suggest that appropriate choice of substrate is key to the success of green roof installations in arid environments, especially if anisohydric species are employed. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company.

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

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

    2016-11-01

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

  10. Growing substrates for aromatic plant species in green roofs and water runoff quality: pilot experiments in a Mediterranean climate.

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    Monteiro, Cristina M; Calheiros, Cristina S C; Palha, Paulo; Castro, Paula M L

    2017-09-01

    Green roof technology has evolved in recent years as a potential solution to promote vegetation in urban areas. Green roof studies for Mediterranean climates, where extended drought periods in summer contrast with cold and rainy periods in winter, are still scarce. The present research study assesses the use of substrates with different compositions for the growth of six aromatic plant species - Lavandula dentata, Pelargonium odoratissimum, Helichrysum italicum, Satureja montana, Thymus caespititius and T. pseudolanuginosus, during a 2-year period, and the monitoring of water runoff quality. Growing substrates encompassed expanded clay and granulated cork, in combination with organic matter and crushed eggshell. These combinations were adequate for the establishment of all aromatic plants, allowing their propagation in the extensive system located on the 5th storey. The substrate composed of 70% expanded clay and 30% organic matter was the most suitable, and crushed eggshell incorporation improved the initial plant establishment. Water runoff quality parameters - turbidity, pH, conductivity, NH 4 + , NO 3 - , PO 4 3- and chemical oxygen demand - showed that it could be reused for non-potable uses in buildings. The present study shows that selected aromatic plant species could be successfully used in green roofs in a Mediterranean climate.

  11. Seasonal and species-specific response of VOC emissions by Mediterranean woody plant to elevated ozone concentrations

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    Llusia, J.; Penuelas, J. [Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Spain). Unitat Ecofisiologia CSIC-CEAB-CREAF; Gimeno, R.S. [CIEMAT, Madrid (Spain). Ecotoxicologia de la Contaminacion Atmosferica

    2002-08-01

    Although certain factors controlling plant emission rates of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are reasonably well understood, the influence of elevated ozone concentrations as abiotic stress is mostly unknown. Therefore, we studied the effects of ozone concentrations on seasonal biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) emissions by different Mediterranean plant species in open top chambers (OTC). Three ozone treatments were established: filtered air (F), non-filtered air (NF), and fumigated air (NF+) adding 40 nl l{sup -1} of ozone over NF. We studied the response of VOC emission in saplings of four Mediterranean woody plant species and subspecies: Ceratonia siliqua L., Olea europaea L., Quercus ilex spp. ilex L., and Quercus ilex spp. rotundifolia L. as representative of natural Mediterranean vegetation. No visible symptoms were detected on the leaves. No significant effect was found on net photosynthetic rates or stomatal conductance except for an increase in net photosynthetic rates in Quercus ilex ilex in spring and summer and an overall slight increase in Quercus ilex rotundifolia. Emissions of the total VOCs from Ceratonia siliqua in summer, and from Olea europaea and Quercus ilex rotundifolia in spring increased in ozone fumigated OTC in comparison with F or NF OTC. Decreased emissions were found in Quercus ilex rotundifolia in summer. There were no significant differences between ozone fumigation treatments for the other plant species and seasons. When considering particular VOCs, the results were also variable among species and time of the year. While {alpha}-pinene emissions decreased with ozone fumigation in Olea europaea, {alpha}-pinene and limonene emissions increased in Quercus ilex ilex. The responses of these particular VOCs did not always match the responses of total VOCs. In spite of this strong variability, when considering overall annual data for all species and seasons, there were increased net photosynthetic rates (37%) and limonene (95

  12. Seasonal and species-specific response of VOC emissions by Mediterranean woody plant to elevated ozone concentrations

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    Llusià, J.; Peñuelas, J.; Gimeno, B. S.

    Although certain factors controlling plant emission rates of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are reasonably well understood, the influence of elevated ozone concentrations as abiotic stress is mostly unknown. Therefore, we studied the effects of ozone concentrations on seasonal biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) emissions by different Mediterranean plant species in open top chambers (OTC). Three ozone treatments were established: filtered air (F), non-filtered air (NF), and fumigated air (NF+) adding 40 nl l -1 of ozone over NF. We studied the response of VOC emission in saplings of four Mediterranean woody plant species and subspecies: Ceratonia siliqua L., Olea europaea L., Quercus ilex spp. ilex L., and Quercus ilex spp. rotundifolia L. as representative of natural Mediterranean vegetation. No visible symptoms were detected on the leaves. No significant effect was found on net photosynthetic rates or stomatal conductance except for an increase in net photosynthetic rates in Quercus ilex ilex in spring and summer and an overall slight increase in Quercus ilex rotundifolia. Emissions of the total VOCs from Ceratonia siliqua in summer, and from Olea europaea and Quercus ilex rotundifolia in spring increased in ozone fumigated OTC in comparison with F or NF OTC. Decreased emissions were found in Quercus ilex rotundifolia in summer. There were no significant differences between ozone fumigation treatments for the other plant species and seasons. When considering particular VOCs, the results were also variable among species and time of the year. While α-pinene emissions decreased with ozone fumigation in Olea europaea, α-pinene and limonene emissions increased in Quercus ilex ilex. The responses of these particular VOCs did not always match the responses of total VOCs. In spite of this strong variability, when considering overall annual data for all species and seasons, there were increased net photosynthetic rates (37%) and limonene (95%) and total VOC (45

  13. Can native plant species be preserved in an anthropogenic forest landscape dominated by aliens? A case study from Mediterranean Chile

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    Steffi Heinrichs

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Plantations with fast growing exotic tree species can negatively affect native plant species diversity and promote the spread of alien species. Mediterranean Chile experienced major landscape changes with a vast expansion of industrial plantations of Pinus radiata in the past. However, with increasing knowledge of biodiversity effects on ecosystem services Chilean forest owners now aim to integrate the conservation of native biodiversity into forest management, but data on native species diversity and establishment within a plantation landscape is scarce. Here we investigated plant species diversity and composition in four forest management options applied within a landscape dominated by P. radiata plantations in comparison to an unmanaged reference: (i a clear cut, (ii a strip cut, (iii a native canopy of Nothofagus glauca and (iv a young P. radiata plantation. We wanted to assess if native plant species can be maintained either by natural regeneration or by planting of native tree species (Nothofagus glauca, N. obliqua, Quillaja saponaria within this landscape. Results show a high diversity of native and forest plant species within the different management options indicating a high potential for native biodiversity restoration within an anthropogenic landscape. In particular, herbaceous species can benefit from management. They are rare in unmanaged natural forests that are characterized by low light conditions and a thick litter layer. Management, however, also promoted a diversity of alien species. The rapid spread of alien grass species after management can deter an initial establishment of native tree species or the survival and growth after planting mainly under dry but less under sufficient moisture conditions. The most unsuccessful option for promoting native plant species was clear cutting in a dry area where alien grasses were abundant. For drought-tolerant tree species such as Quillaja saponaria, though

  14. Post-fire salvage logging alters species composition and reduces cover, richness, and diversity in Mediterranean plant communities.

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    Leverkus, Alexandro B; Lorite, Juan; Navarro, Francisco B; Sánchez-Cañete, Enrique P; Castro, Jorge

    2014-01-15

    An intense debate exists on the effects of post-fire salvage logging on plant community regeneration, but scant data are available derived from experimental studies. We analyzed the effects of salvage logging on plant community regeneration in terms of species richness, diversity, cover, and composition by experimentally managing a burnt forest on a Mediterranean mountain (Sierra Nevada, S Spain). In each of three plots located at different elevations, three replicates of three treatments were implemented seven months after the fire, differing in the degree of intervention: "Non-Intervention" (all trees left standing), "Partial Cut plus Lopping" (felling 90% of the trees, cutting the main branches, and leaving all the biomass in situ), and "Salvage Logging" (felling and piling the logs, and masticating the woody debris). Plant composition in each treatment was monitored two years after the fire in linear point transects. Post-fire salvage logging was associated with reduced species richness, Shannon diversity, and total plant cover. Moreover, salvaged sites hosted different species assemblages and 25% lower cover of seeder species (but equal cover of resprouters) compared to the other treatments. Cover of trees and shrubs was also lowest in Salvage Logging, which could suggest a potential slow-down of forest regeneration. Most of these results were consistent among the three plots despite plots hosting different plant communities. Concluding, our study suggests that salvage logging may reduce species richness and diversity, as well as the recruitment of woody species, which could delay the natural regeneration of the ecosystem. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

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

    2009-02-01

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

  16. Retranslocation of foliar nutrients in evergreen tree species planted in a Mediterranean environment.

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    Fife, D N; Nambiar, E K S; Saur, E

    2008-02-01

    Internal nutrient recycling through retranslocation (resorption) is important for meeting the nutrient demands of new tissue production in trees. We conducted a comparative study of nutrient retranslocation from leaves of five tree species from three genera grown in plantation forests for commercial or environmental purposes in southern Australia--Acacia mearnsii De Wild., Eucalyptus globulus Labill., E. fraxinoides H. Deane & Maiden, E. grandis W. Hill ex Maiden and Pinus radiata D. Don. Significant amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium were retranslocated during three phases of leaf life. In the first phase, retranslocation occurred from young leaves beginning 6 months after leaf initiation, even when leaves were physiologically most active. In the second phase, retranslocation occurred from mature green leaves during their second year, and in the third phase, retranslocation occurred during senescence before leaf fall. Nutrient retranslocation occurred mainly in response to new shoot production. The pattern of retranslocation was remarkably similar in the leaves of all study species (and in the phyllodes of Casuarina glauca Sieber ex Spreng.), despite their diverse genetics, leaf forms and growth rates. There was no net retranslocation of calcium in any of the species. The amounts of nutrients at the start of each pre-retranslocation phase had a strong positive relationship with the amounts subsequently retranslocated, and all species fitted a common relationship. The percentage reduction in concentration or content (retranslocation efficiency) at a particular growth phase is subject to many variables, even within a species, and is therefore not a meaningful measure of interspecific variation. It is proposed that the pattern of retranslocation and its governing factors are similar among species in the absence of interspecies competition for growth and crown structure which occurs in mixed species stands.

  17. Evaluation of three endemic Mediterranean plant species Atriplex halimus, Medicago lupulina and Portulaca oleracea for Phytoremediation of Ni, Pb and Zn

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    Chami, Ziad Al; Amer, Nasser; Bitar, Lina Al; Mondelli, Donato; Dumontet, Stefano

    2013-04-01

    The success of phytoremediation depends upon the identification of suitable plants species that hyperaccumulate/tolerate heavy metals and produce large amounts of biomass. In this study, three endemic Mediterranean plant species Atriplex halimus, Medicago lupulina and Portulaca oleracea, were grown hydroponically to assess their potential use in phytoremediation of Ni, Pb and Zn and biomass production. The objective of this research is to improve phytoremediation procedures by searching for a new endemic Mediterranean plant species which can be used for phytoremediation of low/moderate contamination in the Mediterranean arid and semiarid conditions and bioenergy production. The hydroponics experiment was carried out in a growth chamber using half strength Hoagland's solution as control (CTR) and 5 concentrations for Pb and Zn (5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 mg L-1) and 3 concentrations for Ni (1, 2, and 5 mg L-1). Complete randomized design with five replications was adopted. Main growth parameters (shoot and root dry weight, shoot and root length and chlorophyll content) were determined. Shoots and roots were analyzed for their metals contents. Some interesting contributions of this research are: (i) plant metal uptake efficiency ranked as follows: A. halimus > M. lupulina > P. oleracea, whereas heavy metal toxicity ranked as follows: Ni > Zn > Pb, (ii) none of the plant species was identified as hyperaccumulator, (iii) Atriplex halimus and Medicago lupulina can accumulate Ni, Pb and Zn in their roots, (iv) translocate small fraction to their above ground biomass, and (v) indicate moderate pollution levels of the environment. In addition, as they are a good biomass producer, they can be used in phytostabilisation of marginal lands and their above ground biomass can be used for livestock feeding as well for bioenergy production.

  18. [Native plant resources to optimize the performances of forest rehabilitation in Mediterranean and tropical environment: some examples of nursing plant species that improve the soil mycorrhizal potential].

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    Duponnois, Robin; Ramanankierana, Heriniaina; Hafidi, Mohamed; Baohanta, Rondro; Baudoin, Ezékiel; Thioulouse, Jean; Sanguin, Hervé; Bâ, Amadou; Galiana, Antoine; Bally, René; Lebrun, Michel; Prin, Yves

    2013-01-01

    The overexploitation of natural resources, resulting in an increased need for arable lands by local populations, causes a serious dysfunction in the soil's biological functioning (mineral deficiency, salt stress, etc.). This dysfunction, worsened by the climatic conditions (drought), requires the implementation of ecological engineering strategies allowing the rehabilitation of degraded areas through the restoration of essential ecological services. The first symptoms of weathering processes of soil quality in tropical and Mediterranean environments result in an alteration of the plant cover structure with, in particular, the pauperization of plant species diversity and abundance. This degradation is accompanied by a weakening of soils and an increase of the impact of erosion on the surface layer resulting in reduced fertility of soils in terms of their physicochemical characteristics as well as their biological ones (e.g., soil microbes). Among the microbial components particularly sensitive to erosion, symbiotic microorganisms (rhizobia, Frankia, mycorrhizal fungi) are known to be key components in the main terrestrial biogeochemical cycles (C, N and P). Many studies have shown the importance of the management of these symbiotic microorganisms in rehabilitation and revegetation strategies of degraded environments, but also in improving the productivity of agrosystems. In particular, the selection of symbionts and their inoculation into the soil were strongly encouraged in recent decades. These inoculants were selected not only for their impact on the plant, but also for their ability to persist in the soil at the expense of the residual native microflora. The performance of this technique was thus evaluated on the plant cover, but its impact on soil microbial characteristics was totally ignored. The role of microbial diversity on productivity and stability (resistance, resilience, etc.) of eco- and agrosystems has been identified relatively recently and has led

  19. Effects of Mediterranean shrub species on rainfall interception

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garcia-Estringana, P.; Alonso-Blazquez, N.; Marques, M. J.; Bienes, R.; Alegre, J.

    2009-01-01

    Rainfall is intercepted by vegetation. Water intercepted could be evaporated, or it could drip from the leaves and stems to the soil or it could run down the stems to the base of the plant. In the Mediterranean, where water is a scant resource, interception loss could have an influence on hydrology. Water storage capacity depends on vegetation type. In the Mediterranean, there are many types of shrubs, and many of them are able to intercept large volumes of water depending on the shrub type. many lands of the Mediterranean basin of Europea Union have been abandoned in the last decades and consequently vegetation type changes too. This modifies hydrologic processes, changing the volume and the way in which the rainfall reaches the soil. The aim of this study was to characterize water storage capacity in 9 Mediterranean shrub species, working with the whole plant and comparing results obtained by two methods, rainfall simulation and submersion method in laboratory conditions. (Author) 12 refs.

  20. The influence of fire history, plant species and post-fire management on soil water repellency in a Mediterranean catchment: the Mount Carmel range, Israel

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    Keesstra, Saskia; Wittenberg, Lea; Maroulis, Jerry; Malkinson, Dan; Cerdà, Artemi; Pereira, Paulo

    2016-04-01

    Fire is a key factor impacting soil hydrology in many Mediterranean catchments. Soil water repellency (SWR) can stimulate land degradation processes by reducing the affinity of soil and water thereby triggering a reduction in soil fertility and increasing soil and water losses (. The effects of two consequent fires (1989 and 2005) on SWR were assessed in the Carmel Mountains, Israel. Fire history, plant recovery and post-fire management were investigated as determining factors in a time dependent system. SWR was highest in the >50 years unburnt plots, where soil under Pinus halepensis is most hydrophobic. In the most disturbed soils (twice burnt), many sites have a low to absent SWR even if the soil is very dry. The dynamics and fluctuations in SWR differ in magnitude under different plant species. The areas treated with CC (chipping of charred trees) showed a much higher SWR than areas left untreated. From these insights, a conceptual model of the reaction of SWR on multiple fires was developed. KEYWORDS: Soil water repellency, WDPT, Wildfires, Vegetation recovery, post-fire management, Mediterranean.

  1. Native-Invasive Plants vs. Halophytes in Mediterranean Salt Marshes: Stress Tolerance Mechanisms in Two Related Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al Hassan, Mohamad; Chaura, Juliana; López-Gresa, María P; Borsai, Orsolya; Daniso, Enrico; Donat-Torres, María P; Mayoral, Olga; Vicente, Oscar; Boscaiu, Monica

    2016-01-01

    Dittrichia viscosa is a Mediterranean ruderal species that over the last decades has expanded into new habitats, including coastal salt marshes, ecosystems that are per se fragile and threatened by human activities. To assess the potential risk that this native-invasive species represents for the genuine salt marsh vegetation, we compared its distribution with that of Inula crithmoides, a taxonomically related halophyte, in three salt marshes located in "La Albufera" Natural Park, near the city of Valencia (East Spain). The presence of D. viscosa was restricted to areas of low and moderate salinity, while I. crithmoides was also present in the most saline zones of the salt marshes. Analyses of the responses of the two species to salt and water stress treatments in controlled experiments revealed that both activate the same physiological stress tolerance mechanisms, based essentially on the transport of toxic ions to the leaves-where they are presumably compartmentalized in vacuoles-and the accumulation of specific osmolytes for osmotic adjustment. The two species differ in the efficiency of those mechanisms: salt-induced increases in Na(+) and Cl(-) contents were higher in I. crithmoides than in D. viscosa, and the osmolytes (especially glycine betaine, but also arabinose, fructose and glucose) accumulated at higher levels in the former species. This explains the (slightly) higher stress tolerance of I. crithmoides, as compared to D. viscosa, established from growth inhibition measurements and their distribution in nature. The possible activation of K(+) transport to the leaves under high salinity conditions may also contribute to salt tolerance in I. crithmoides. Oxidative stress level-estimated from malondialdehyde accumulation-was higher in the less tolerant D. viscosa, which consequently activated antioxidant responses as a defense mechanism against stress; these responses were weaker or absent in the more tolerant I. crithmoides. Based on these results, we

  2. Native-invasive plants vs. halophytes in Mediterranean salt marshes: Stress tolerance mechanisms in two related species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamad eAl Hassan

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Dittrichia viscosa is a Mediterranean ruderal species that over the last decades has expanded into new habitats, including coastal salt marshes, ecosystems that are per se fragile and threatened by human activities. To assess the potential risk that this native-invasive species represents for the genuine salt marsh vegetation, we compared its distribution with that of Inula crithmoides, a taxonomically related halophyte, in three salt marshes located in ‘La Albufera’ Natural Park, near the city of Valencia (East Spain. The presence of D. viscosa was restricted to areas of low and moderate salinity, while I. crithmoides was also present in the most saline zones of the salt marshes. Analyses of the responses of the two species to salt and water stress treatments in controlled experiments revealed that both activate the same physiological stress tolerance mechanisms, based essentially on the transport of toxic ions to the leaves – where they are presumably compartmentalized in vacuoles – and the accumulation of specific osmolytes for osmotic adjustment. The two species differ in the efficiency of those mechanisms: salt-induced increases in Na+ and Cl- contents were higher in I. crithmoides than in D. viscosa, and the osmolytes (especially glycine betaine, but also arabinose, fructose and glucose accumulated at higher levels in the former species. This explains the (slightly higher stress tolerance of I. crithmoides, as compared to D. viscosa, established from growth inhibition measurements and their distribution in nature. The possible activation of K+ transport to the leaves under high salinity conditions may also contribute to salt tolerance in I. crithmoides. Oxidative stress level – estimated from malondialdehyde accumulation – was higher in the less tolerant D. viscosa, which consequently activated antioxidant responses as a defense mechanism against stress; these responses were weaker or absent in the more tolerant I. crithmoides

  3. Plant biodiversity in French Mediterranean vineyards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Marianne; Bilodeau, Clelia; Alexandre, Frédéric; Godron, Michel; Gresillon, Etienne

    2017-04-01

    In a context of agricultural intensification and increasing urbanization, the biodiversity of farmed plots is a key to improve the sustainability of farmed landscapes. The medium life-duration of the vineyards as well as their location in Mediterranean region are favorable to plant biodiversity. We studied 35 vineyards and if present, their edges, located in three French Mediterranean terroirs: Bandol, Pic Saint Loup and Terrasses du Larzac. We collected botanical information (floral richness et diversity, biological traits), and analyzed their relationships with different factors: social (management, heritage or professional concern), environmental (slope, exposition, geology), spatial (edges, surrounding landscape in a 500 meters radius, distance to the nearest large city). Vineyards are generally heavily disturbed by intensive practices like tilling and application of herbicides, and for this reason their floral diversity is low. This is particularly true in Bandol terroir, in accordance with the standards of the Bandol PDO wine sector. Farmed landscapes and proximity to a large town impact on functional groups, generalist species being overrepresented. If vineyards are surrounded with natural edges, it doubles the floral richness at the plot and edges scale. Species present in vineyards edges are perennial herbaceous species with Euro- Asian and Mediterranean distribution ranges characteristic of prairie and wasteland stages, increasing the functional diversity of vineyards (generalist species). Environmental factors have a lower influence: vineyards are generally located on flat lands. These results suggest that some practices should be encouraged to avoid the biological degradation of vineyards: conservation of tree-lined edges and their extensive management, reduction of chemical weeding, grass-growing using non-cosmopolitan species. These recommendations should also contribute to soil conservation.

  4. The influence of fire history, plant species and post-fire management on soil water repellency in a Mediterranean catchment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keesstra, Saskia; Wittenberg, Lea; Maroulis, Jerry; Sambalino, Francesco; Malkinson, Dan; Cerdà, Artemi; Pereira, Paulo

    2017-01-01

    Fire is a key factor impacting soil hydrology in many Mediterranean catchments. Soil water repellency (SWR) can stimulate land degradation processes by reducing the affinity of soil and water thereby triggering a reduction in soil fertility and increasing soil and water losses. The effects of two

  5. Water-use strategies of six co-existing Mediterranean woody species during a summer drought

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Quero, J.L.; Sterck, F.J.; Martínez-Vilalta, J.; Villar, R.

    2011-01-01

    Drought stress is known to limit plant performance in Mediterranean-type ecosystems. We have investigated the dynamics of the hydraulics, gas exchange and morphology of six co-existing Mediterranean woody species growing under natural field conditions during a drought that continued during the

  6. Comparative patterns of plant invasions in the Mediterranean biome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arianoutsou, Margarita; Delipetrou, Pinelopi; Vilà, Montserrat; Dimitrakopoulos, Panayiotis G; Celesti-Grapow, Laura; Wardell-Johnson, Grant; Henderson, Lesley; Fuentes, Nicol; Ugarte-Mendes, Eduardo; Rundel, Philip W

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this work was to compare and contrast the patterns of alien plant invasions in the world's five mediterranean-climate regions (MCRs). We expected landscape age and disturbance history to have bearing on levels of invasion. We assembled a database on naturalized alien plant taxa occurring in natural and semi-natural terrestrial habitats of all five regions (specifically Spain, Italy, Greece and Cyprus from the Mediterranean Basin, California, central Chile, the Cape Region of South Africa and Southwestern - SW Australia). We used multivariate (hierarchical clustering and NMDS ordination) trait and habitat analysis to compare characteristics of regions, taxa and habitats across the mediterranean biome. Our database included 1627 naturalized species with an overall low taxonomic similarity among the five MCRs. Herbaceous perennials were the most frequent taxa, with SW Australia exhibiting both the highest numbers of naturalized species and the highest taxonomic similarity (homogenization) among habitats, and the Mediterranean Basin the lowest. Low stress and highly disturbed habitats had the highest frequency of invasion and homogenization in all regions, and high natural stress habitats the lowest, while taxonomic similarity was higher among different habitats in each region than among regions. Our analysis is the first to describe patterns of species characteristics and habitat vulnerability for a single biome. We have shown that a broad niche (i.e. more than one habitat) is typical of naturalized plant species, regardless of their geographical area of origin, leading to potential for high homogenization within each region. Habitats of the Mediterranean Basin are apparently the most resistant to plant invasion, possibly because their landscapes are generally of relatively recent origin, but with a more gradual exposure to human intervention over a longer period.

  7. Plant-plant interactions in the restoration of Mediterranean drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdecantos, Alejandro; Fuentes, David; Smanis, Athanasios

    2014-05-01

    Plant-plant interactions are complex and dependent of both local abiotic features of the ecosystem and biotic relationships with other plants and animals. The net result of these interactions may be positive, negative or neutral resulting in facilitation, competition or neutralism, respectively (role of phylogeny). It has been proposed that competition is stronger between those individuals that share functional traits than between unrelated ones. The relative interaction effect of one plant on a neighbour may change in relation to resource availability - especially water in drylands. In addition, plants develop above and belowground biomass with time increasing the level and, eventually, changing the intensity and/or the direction of the interaction. In the framework of the restoration of degraded drylands, many studies have focused on the positive (nurse) effects of adult trees, shrubs and even grasses on artificially planted seedlings by improving the microclimate or providing protection against herbivores, but little is known about the interactions between seedlings of different life traits planted together under natural field conditions. In 2010 we established planting plots in two contrasted sites under semiarid Mediterranean climate and introduced one year old seedlings in different combinations of three species, two shrubs (Olea europaea and Pistacia lentiscus) and one grass (Stipa tenacissima). Half of the planting holes in each site were implemented with low-cost ecotechnological inputs to increase water availability by forcing runoff production and promoting deep infiltration (small plastic fabric + dry well). This resulted in four levels of abiotic stress. Biotic interactions were assessed by monitoring seedling survival and growth for three years after planting. The Relative Interaction Index (RII) of S. tenacissima on O. europaea was almost flat and close to 0 along the stress gradient since the beginning of the study suggesting limited interaction

  8. Occurrence of Morphological and Anatomical Adaptive Traits in Young and Adult Plants of the Rare Mediterranean Cliff Species Primula palinuri Petagna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veronica De Micco

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Cliffs worldwide are known to be reservoirs of relict biodiversity. Despite the presence of harsh abiotic conditions, large endemic floras live in such environments. Primula palinuri Petagna is a rare endemic plant species, surviving on cliff sites along a few kilometres of the Tyrrhenian coast in southern Italy. This species is declared at risk of extinction due to human impact on the coastal areas in question. Population surveys have shown that most of the plants are old individuals, while seedlings and plants at early stages of development are rare. We followed the growth of P. palinuri plants from seed germination to the adult phase and analysed the morphoanatomical traits of plants at all stages of development. Our results showed that the pressure of cliff environmental factors has been selected for seasonal habitus and structural adaptive traits in this species. The main morphoanatomical modifications are suberized cell layers and accumulation of phenolic compounds in cell structures. These features are strictly related to regulation of water uptake and storage as well as defence from predation. However, we found them well established only in adult plants and not in juvenile individuals. These findings contribute to explain the rare recruitment of the present relict populations, identifying some of the biological traits which result in species vulnerability.

  9. Occurrence of morphological and anatomical adaptive traits in young and adult plants of the rare Mediterranean cliff species Primula palinuri Petagna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Micco, Veronica; Aronne, Giovanna

    2012-01-01

    Cliffs worldwide are known to be reservoirs of relict biodiversity. Despite the presence of harsh abiotic conditions, large endemic floras live in such environments. Primula palinuri Petagna is a rare endemic plant species, surviving on cliff sites along a few kilometres of the Tyrrhenian coast in southern Italy. This species is declared at risk of extinction due to human impact on the coastal areas in question. Population surveys have shown that most of the plants are old individuals, while seedlings and plants at early stages of development are rare. We followed the growth of P. palinuri plants from seed germination to the adult phase and analysed the morphoanatomical traits of plants at all stages of development. Our results showed that the pressure of cliff environmental factors has been selected for seasonal habitus and structural adaptive traits in this species. The main morphoanatomical modifications are suberized cell layers and accumulation of phenolic compounds in cell structures. These features are strictly related to regulation of water uptake and storage as well as defence from predation. However, we found them well established only in adult plants and not in juvenile individuals. These findings contribute to explain the rare recruitment of the present relict populations, identifying some of the biological traits which result in species vulnerability.

  10. Transpiration efficiency of three Mediterranean annual pasture species and wheat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolger, T P; Turner, N C

    1998-06-01

    Attempts to improve water use efficiency in regions with Mediterranean climates generally focus on increasing plant transpiration relative to evaporation from the soil and increasing transpiration efficiency. Our aim was to determine if transpiration efficiency differs among key species occurring in annual pastures in southern Australia. Two glasshouse experiments were conducted with three key pasture species, subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum L.), capeweed [Arctotheca calendula (L.) Levyns] and annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum Gaudin), and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Transpiration efficiency was assessed at the levels of␣whole-plant biomass and water use (W), leaf gas exchange measurements of the ratio of CO 2 assimilation to leaf conductance to water vapour (A/g), and carbon isotope discrimination (Δ) in leaf tissue. In addition, Δ was measured on shoots of the three pasture species growing together in the field. In the glasshouse studies, annual ryegrass had a consistently higher transpiration efficiency than subterranean clover or capeweed by all methods of measurement. Subterranean clover and capeweed had similar transpiration efficiencies by all three methods of measurement. Wheat had W values similar to ryegrass but A/g and Δ values similar to subterranean clover or capeweed. The high W of annual ryegrass seems to be related to a conservative leaf gas exchange behaviour, with lower assimilation and conductance but higher A/g than for the other species. In contrast to the glasshouse results, the three pasture species had similar Δ values when growing together in mixed-species swards in the field. Reasons for these differing responses between glasshouse and field-grown plants are discussed in terms of the implications for improving the transpiration efficiency of mixed-species annual pasture communities in the field.

  11. A plant economics spectrum in Mediterranean forests along environmental gradients: is there coordination among leaf, stem and root traits?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Riva, de la E.G.; Tosto, A.; Perez-Ramos, I.M.; Navarro-Fernandez, C.M.; Olmos, M.; Anten, N.P.R.; Maranon, T.; Villar, R.

    2016-01-01

    Questions: Is there any evidence of coordination among leaf, stem and root traits, and thereby of the existence of a plant economics spectrum at the species and community level in Mediterranean forests? Are these traits related to plant size and seedmass? Location: Mediterranean forests and

  12. The impact of land abandonment on species richness and abundance in the Mediterranean Basin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plieninger, Tobias; Hui, Cang; Gaertner, Mirijam

    2014-01-01

    species richness and abundance in agroforestry, arable land, pastures, and permanent crops of the Mediterranean Basin. In particular, we investigated (1) which taxonomic groups (arthropods, birds, lichen, vascular plants) are more affected by land abandonment; (2) at which spatial and temporal scales.......0001) plant and animal species richness and abundance overall, though results were heterogeneous, with differences in effect size between taxa, spatial-temporal scales, land uses, landforms, and climate. In conclusion, there is no "one-size-fits-all" conservation approach that applies to the diverse contexts......Land abandonment is common in the Mediterranean Basin, a global biodiversity hotspot, but little is known about its impacts on biodiversity. To upscale existing case-study insights to the Pan-Mediterranean level, we conducted a metaanalysis of the effects of land abandonment on plant and animal...

  13. UV-B and Mediterranean forest species: Direct effects and ecological consequences

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paoletti, E.

    2005-01-01

    Experimental results from plants receiving elevated doses of UV-B radiation generally show that Mediterranean forest species are well protected against increases in UV-B radiation. Natural adaptations to water stress and excess light (elevated concentrations of UV-B screening compounds, leaf hairs, thick cuticle and epidermis), and UV-B responses (thickening of the cuticle, increase in carotenoids) may avoid or counter-balance UV-B radiation damage. This response confirms that Mediterranean forest vegetation is adapted to face oxidative stress factors, such as elevated tropospheric ozone concentrations, drought and high radiation, including UV-B. Nevertheless, in the long term, species-specific and season-specific differential responses in growth, physiology, phenology and reproductive behaviour may alter the interactions between species and lead to slow but important changes in ecosystem structure and function. - Mediterranean plant adaptations against water stress and excess light may also afford protection against UV-B

  14. Climate change reduces nectar secretion in two common Mediterranean plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takkis, Krista; Tscheulin, Thomas; Tsalkatis, Panagiotis; Petanidou, Theodora

    2015-09-15

    Global warming can lead to considerable impacts on natural plant communities, potentially inducing changes in plant physiology and the quantity and quality of floral rewards, especially nectar. Changes in nectar production can in turn strongly affect plant-pollinator interaction networks-pollinators may potentially benefit under moderate warming conditions, but suffer as resources reduce in availability as elevated temperatures become more extreme. Here, we studied the effect of elevated temperatures on nectar secretion of two Mediterranean Lamiaceae species-Ballota acetabulosa and Teucrium divaricatum. We measured nectar production (viz. volume per flower, sugar concentration per flower and sugar content per flower and per plant), number of open and empty flowers per plant, as well as biomass per flower under a range of temperatures selected ad hoc in a fully controlled climate chamber and under natural conditions outdoors. The average temperature in the climate chamber was increased every 3 days in 3 °C increments from 17.5 to 38.5 °C. Both study species showed a unimodal response of nectar production (volume per flower, sugar content per flower and per plant) to temperature. Optimal temperature for sugar content per flower was 25-26 °C for B. acetabulosa and 29-33 °C for T. divaricatum. According to our results, moderate climate warming predicted for the next few decades could benefit nectar secretion in T. divaricatum as long as the plants are not water stressed, but have a moderate negative effect on B. acetabulosa. Nevertheless, strong warming as predicted by climate change models for the end of the 21st century is expected to reduce nectar secretion in both species and can thus significantly reduce available resources for both wild bees and honeybees in Mediterranean systems. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company.

  15. URJC GB dataset: Community-based seed bank of Mediterranean high-mountain and semi-arid plant species at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alonso, Patricia; Iriondo, José María

    2014-01-01

    The Germplasm Bank of Universidad Rey Juan Carlos was created in 2008 and currently holds 235 accessions and 96 species. This bank focuses on the conservation of wild-plant communities and aims to conserve ex situ a representative sample of the plant biodiversity present in a habitat, emphasizing priority ecosystems identified by the Habitats Directive. It is also used to store plant material for research and teaching purposes. The collection consists of three subcollections, two representative of typical habitats in the center of the Iberian Peninsula: high-mountain pastures (psicroxerophylous pastures) and semi-arid habitats (gypsophylic steppes), and a third representative of the genus Lupinus. The high-mountain subcollection currently holds 153 accessions (63 species), the semi-arid subcollection has 76 accessions (29 species,) and the Lupinus subcollection has 6 accessions (4 species). All accessions are stored in a freezer at -18 °C in Kilner jars with silica gel. The Germplasm Bank of Universidad Rey Juan Carlos follows a quality control protocol which describes the workflow performed with seeds from seed collection to storage. All collectors are members of research groups with great experience in species identification. Herbarium specimens associated with seed accessions are preserved and 63% of the records have been georreferenced with GPS and radio points. The dataset provides unique information concerning the location of populations of plant species that form part of the psicroxerophylous pastures and gypsophylic steppes of Central Spain as well as populations of genus Lupinus in the Iberian Peninsula. It also provides relevant information concerning mean seed weight and seed germination values under specific incubation conditions. This dataset has already been used by researchers of the Area of Biodiversity and Conservation of URJC as a source of information for the design and implementation of experimental designs in these plant communities. Since

  16. URJC GB dataset: Community-based seed bank of Mediterranean high-mountain and semi-arid plant species at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Alonso

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The Germplasm Bank of Universidad Rey Juan Carlos was created in 2008 and currently holds 235 accessions and 96 species. This bank focuses on the conservation of wild-plant communities and aims to conserve ex situ a representative sample of the plant biodiversity present in a habitat, emphasizing priority ecosystems identified by the Habitats Directive. It is also used to store plant material for research and teaching purposes. The collection consists of three subcollections, two representative of typical habitats in the center of the Iberian Peninsula: high-mountain pastures (psicroxerophylous pastures and semi-arid habitats (gypsophylic steppes, and a third representative of the genus Lupinus. The high-mountain subcollection currently holds 153 accessions (63 species, the semi-arid subcollection has 76 accessions (29 species, and the Lupinus subcollection has 6 accessions (4 species. All accessions are stored in a freezer at -18 °C in Kilner jars with silica gel. The Germplasm Bank of Universidad Rey Juan Carlos follows a quality control protocol which describes the workflow performed with seeds from seed collection to storage. All collectors are members of research groups with great experience in species identification. Herbarium specimens associated with seed accessions are preserved and 63% of the records have been georreferenced with GPS and radio points. The dataset provides unique information concerning the location of populations of plant species that form part of the psicroxerophylous pastures and gypsophylic steppes of Central Spain as well as populations of genus Lupinus in the Iberian Peninsula. It also provides relevant information concerning mean seed weight and seed germination values under specific incubation conditions. This dataset has already been used by researchers of the Area of Biodiversity and Conservation of URJC as a source of information for the design and implementation of experimental designs in these plant

  17. Sibling species of copepods in association with Mediterranean gorgorians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mercedes Conradi

    2004-03-01

    Full Text Available Hitherto a single species of Doridicola Leydig (Poecilostomatoida: Rhynchomolgidae has been found reported in association with gorgonians in Europe: Doridicola botulosus (Stock and Kleeton, 1963, living on the Mediterranean gorgonian Eunicella singularis (Esper, 1791. During a survey along the Iberian Mediterranean coast, several specimens of D. botulosus were collected from its reported host. Furthermore, an undescribed species of Doridicola was discovered living in association with Paramuricea clavata (Risso, 1826, a Mediterranean gorgonian usually living in overlaps with that of E. singularis. Although the new species is close to D. botulosus, they differ in the oral appendages. A common origin of these two species was suggested. This is a good example of sibling species produced by the colonisation of two hosts with overlapping habitats

  18. Leaf level emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC from some Amazonian and Mediterranean plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Bracho-Nunez

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Emission inventories defining regional and global biogenic volatile organic compounds (VOC emission strengths are needed to determine the impact of VOC on atmospheric chemistry (oxidative capacity and physics (secondary organic aerosol formation and effects. The aim of this work was to contribute with measurements of tree species from the poorly described tropical vegetation in direct comparison with the quite well-investigated, highly heterogeneous emissions from Mediterranean vegetation. VOC emission from sixteen plant species from the Mediterranean area were compared with twelve plant species from different environments of the Amazon basin by an emission screening at leaf level using branch enclosures. Analysis of the volatile organics was performed online by a proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometer (PTR-MS and offline by collection on adsorbent tubes and subsequent gas chromatographic analysis. Isoprene was the most dominant compound emitted followed by monoterpenes, methanol and acetone. The average loss rates of VOC carbon in relation to the net CO2 assimilation were found below 4% and indicating normal unstressed plant behavior. Most of the Mediterranean species emitted a large variety of monoterpenes, whereas only five tropical species were identified as monoterpene emitters exhibiting a quite conservative emission pattern (α-pinene < limonene < sabinene < ß-pinene. Mediterranean plants showed additional emissions of sesquiterpenes. In the case of Amazonian plants no sesquiterpenes were detected. However, missing of sesquiterpenes may also be due to a lack of sensitivity of the measuring systems. Furthermore, our screening activities cover only 1% of tree species of such tropical areas as estimated based on recent biodiversity reports. Methanol emissions, an indicator of growth, were found to be common in most of the tropical and Mediterranean species. A few species from both ecosystems showed acetone emissions. The observed

  19. Diversity of Phytophthora Species from Declining Mediterranean Maquis Vegetation, including Two New Species, Phytophthora crassamura and P. ornamentata sp. nov.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scanu, Bruno; Linaldeddu, Benedetto T.; Deidda, Antonio; Jung, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    The Mediterranean basin is recognized as a global biodiversity hotspot accounting for more than 25,000 plant species that represent almost 10% of the world’s vascular flora. In particular, the maquis vegetation on Mediterranean islands and archipelagos constitutes an important resource of the Mediterranean plant diversity due to its high rate of endemism. Since 2009, a severe and widespread dieback and mortality of Quercus ilex trees and several other plant species of the Mediterranean maquis has been observed in the National Park of La Maddalena archipelago (northeast Sardinia, Italy). Infected plants showed severe decline symptoms and a significant reduction of natural regeneration. First studies revealed the involvement of the highly invasive wide-host range pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi and several fungal pathogens. Subsequent detailed research led to a better understanding of these epidemics showing that multiple Phytophthora spp. were involved, some of them unknown to science. In total, nine Phytophthora species were isolated from rhizosphere soil samples collected from around symptomatic trees and shrubs including Asparagus albus, Cistus sp., Juniperus phoenicea, J. oxycedrus, Pistacia lentiscus and Rhamnus alaternus. Based on morphological characters, growth-temperature relations and sequence analysis of the ITS and cox1 gene regions, the isolates were identified as Phytophthora asparagi, P. bilorbang, P. cinnamomi, P. cryptogea, P. gonapodyides, P. melonis, P. syringae and two new Clade 6 taxa which are here described as P. crassamura sp. nov. and P. ornamentata sp. nov. Pathogenicity tests supported their possible involvement in the severe decline that is currently threatening the Mediterranean maquis vegetation in the La Maddalena archipelago. PMID:26649428

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  1. Leaf level emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) from some Amazonian and Mediterranean plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bracho-Nunez, A.; Knothe, , N. M.; Welter, S.; Staudt, M.; Costa, W. R.; Liberato, M. A. R.; Piedade, M. T. F.; Kesselmeier, J.

    2013-09-01

    Emission inventories defining regional and global biogenic volatile organic compounds (VOC) emission strengths are needed to determine the impact of VOC on atmospheric chemistry (oxidative capacity) and physics (secondary organic aerosol formation and effects). The aim of this work was to contribute with measurements of tree species from the poorly described tropical vegetation in direct comparison with the quite well-investigated, highly heterogeneous emissions from Mediterranean vegetation. VOC emission from sixteen plant species from the Mediterranean area were compared with twelve plant species from different environments of the Amazon basin by an emission screening at leaf level using branch enclosures. Analysis of the volatile organics was performed online by a proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometer (PTR-MS) and offline by collection on adsorbent tubes and subsequent gas chromatographic analysis. Isoprene was the most dominant compound emitted followed by monoterpenes, methanol and acetone. The average loss rates of VOC carbon in relation to the net CO2 assimilation were found below 4% and indicating normal unstressed plant behavior. Most of the Mediterranean species emitted a large variety of monoterpenes, whereas only five tropical species were identified as monoterpene emitters exhibiting a quite conservative emission pattern (α-pinene plants showed additional emissions of sesquiterpenes. In the case of Amazonian plants no sesquiterpenes were detected. However, missing of sesquiterpenes may also be due to a lack of sensitivity of the measuring systems. Furthermore, our screening activities cover only 1% of tree species of such tropical areas as estimated based on recent biodiversity reports. Methanol emissions, an indicator of growth, were found to be common in most of the tropical and Mediterranean species. A few species from both ecosystems showed acetone emissions. The observed heterogeneous emissions, including reactive VOC species which are not

  2. Antioxidant properties of Mediterranean food plant extracts: geographical differences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaffer, S; Schmitt-Schillig, S; Müller, W E; Eckert, G P

    2005-03-01

    Locally grown, wild food plants seasonally contribute a considerable portion of the daily diet in certain Mediterranean areas and it has been suggested that the beneficial effects of the Mediterranean diet on human health partly originate from the antioxidant effect of flavonoid-rich food plants. The nutrient content of most wild plants is higher than that of cultivated ones and may vary depending on the prevailing environmental conditions. Accordingly, three local Mediterranean plant foods (i.e. Cichorium intybus, Sonchus oleraceus, Papaver rhoeas) were collected in Greece (Crete), southern Italy, and southern Spain in order to assess possible differences in their in vitro antioxidant potential. The biological assays revealed diverse intra-plant specific antioxidant effects for the tested extracts ranging from no activity to almost complete protection. Furthermore, substantial differences in the polyphenol content were found for the nutritionally used part of the same plant originating from different locations. However, no clear correlations between the polyphenol content and the extracts' antioxidant activities were found. Taken together, the data suggest that certain local Mediterranean plant foods possess promising antioxidant activity and that the observed biological effects are possibly influenced by the geographically-dependent environmental conditions prevailing during plant growth.

  3. Alien Marine Species in the Mediterranean - the 100 ‘Worst Invasives’ and their Impact

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. STREFTARIS

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available A number of marine alien species have been described as invasive or locally invasive in the Mediterranean because of their proliferation, and/or their geographical spread and/or impact on native populations. Based on that information and on the documented impact they have on the biodiversity and socioeconomics of the basin, a preliminary list of the 100 ‘worst’ Invasive Alien Species (IAS in the Mediterranean has been produced and presented in this work along with details on their impact. Emphasis is given to their impact on socioeconomics (fi sheries/aquaculture, health & sanitation, infrastructure & building, documented for 43 species. Such selection of the ‘worst’ IAS was diffi cult and controversial and is expected to attract much attention and scientifi c criticism since not only can the documentation of the impact of IAS be controversial, but also their inventory can be biased towards the effort and resources devoted to the study of the impact of certain species/taxonomic groups. Thus, while marine plants (phytobenthos and phytoplankton are fairly well studied, less attention has been paid to the impact of vertebrates and even less to invertebrates. Nevertheless, the list highlights the need for continued research on the issue (monitoring aliens and their impact for an integrated ecosystem based management approach over the entire area. The preliminary list can provide the basis for selecting indicator species within the Mediterranean and thus be the common ground to build cooperation about IAS within countries in the region.

  4. Annotated list of marine alien species in the Mediterranean with records of the worst invasive species

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    A. ZENETOS

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available This collaborative effort by many specialists across the Mediterranean presents an updated annotated list of alien marine species in the Mediterranean Sea. Alien species have been grouped into six broad categories namely established, casual, questionable, cryptogenic, excluded and invasive, and presented in lists of major ecofunctional/taxonomic groups. The establishment success within each group is provided while the questionable and excluded records are commented in brief. A total of 963 alien species have been reported from the Mediterranean until December 2005, 218 of which have been classified as excluded (23% leaving 745 of the recorded species as valid aliens. Of these 385 (52% are already well established, 262 (35% are casual records, while 98 species (13% remain “questionable” records. The species cited in this work belong mostly to zoobenthos and in particular to Mollusca and Crustacea, while Fish and Phytobenthos are the next two groups which prevail among alien biota in the Mediterranean. The available information depends greatly on the taxonomic group examined. Thus, besides the three groups explicitly addressed in the CIESM atlas series (Fish, Decapoda/Crustacea and Mollusca, which are however updated in the present work, Polychaeta, Phytobenthos, Phytoplankton and Zooplankton are also addressed in this study. Among other zoobenthic taxa sufficiently covered in this study are Echinodermata, Sipuncula, Bryozoa and Ascidiacea. On the contrary, taxa such as Foraminifera, Amphipoda and Isopoda, that are not well studied in the Mediterranean, are insufficiently covered. A gap of knowledge is also noticed in Parasites, which, although ubiquitous and pervasive in marine systems, have been relatively unexplored as to their role in marine invasions. Conclusively the lack of funding purely systematic studies in the region has led to underestimation of the number of aliens in the Mediterranean. Emphasis is put on those species that are

  5. Is the diversification of Mediterranean Basin plant lineages coupled to karyotypic changes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escudero, M; Balao, F; Martín-Bravo, S; Valente, L; Valcárcel, V

    2018-01-01

    The Mediterranean Basin region, home to 25,000 plant species, is included in the worldwide list of hotspots of biodiversity. Despite the indisputably important role of chromosome transitions in plant evolution and diversification, no reference study to date has dealt with the possible relationship between chromosome evolution and lineage diversification in the Mediterranean Basin. Here we study patterns of diversification, patterns of chromosome number transition (either polyploidy or dysploidy) and the relationship between the two for 14 Mediterranean Basin angiosperm lineages using previously published phylogenies. We found a mixed pattern, with half of the lineages displaying a change in chromosome transition rates after the onset of the Mediterranean climate (six increases, one decrease) and the other half (six) experiencing constant rates of chromosome transitions through time. We have also found a heterogeneous pattern regarding diversification rates, with lineages exhibiting moderate (five phylogenies) or low (six) initial diversification rates that either increased (six) or declined (five) through time. Our results reveal no clear link between diversification rates and chromosome number transition rates. By promoting the formation of new habitats and driving the extinction of many species, the Mediterranean onset and the posterior Quaternary climatic oscillations could have been key for the establishment of new chromosomal variants in some plant phylogenies but not in others. While the biodiversity of the Mediterranean Basin may be partly influenced by the chromosomal diversity of its lineages, this study concludes that lineage diversification in the region is largely decoupled from karyotypic evolution. © 2017 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  6. The east-west-north colonization history of the Mediterranean and Europe by the coastal plant Carex extensa (Cyperaceae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Escudero, M.; Vargas, P.; Arens, P.; Ouborg, N.J.; Luceno, M.

    2010-01-01

    Coastal plants are ideal models for studying the colonization routes of species because of the simple linear distributions of these species. Carex extensa occurs mainly in salt marshes along the Mediterranean and European coasts. Variation in cpDNA sequences, amplified fragment length polymorphisms

  7. Two new species of Thyronectria from Mediterranean Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Checa, Julia; Jaklitsch, Walter M; Blanco, María N; Moreno, Gabriel; Olariaga, Ibai; Tello, Salvador; Voglmayr, Hermann

    2015-01-01

    Two new species of Thyronectria growing in Mediterranean vegetation are described from southern Spain; they are T. giennensis from Quercus ilex ssp. rotundifolia and T. pistaciae from Pistacia lentiscus. Both species are characterized by morphology of sexual and asexual morphs and by DNA data. They have olivaceous to green-brown muriform ascospores and are closely related to T. asturiensis and T. roseovirens, as determined by multigene phylogenetic analyses of a matrix containing six loci (ITS and 28S regions of nuc rDNA, ACT1, RPB1, RPB2, TEF1 and TUB2 genes). We also report that Cucurbitaria bicolor is a synonym of Thyronectria rhodochlora, the type species of Thyronectria. © 2015 by The Mycological Society of America.

  8. Relating ring width of Mediterranean evergreen species to seasonal and annual variations of precipitation and temperature

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    W. Nijland

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Plant growth in Mediterranean landscapes is limited by the typical summer-dry climate. Forests in these areas are only marginally productive and may be quite susceptible to modern climate change. To improve our understanding of forest sensitivity to annual and seasonal climatic variability, we use tree-ring measurements of two Mediterranean evergreen tree species: Quercus ilex L. and Arbutus unedo L. We sampled 34 stems of these species on three different types of substrates in the Peyne study area in southern France. The resulting chronologies were analysed in combination with 38 yr of monthly precipitation and temperature data to reconstruct the response of stem growth to climatic variability. Results indicate a strong positive response to May and June precipitation, as well as a significant positive influence of early-spring temperatures and a negative growth response to summer heat. Comparison of the data with more detailed productivity measurements in two contrasting years confirms these observations and shows a strong productivity limiting effect of low early-summer precipitation. The results show that tree-ring data from Q.ilex and A.unedo can provide valuable information about the response of these tree species to climate variability, improving our ability to predict the effects of climate change in Mediterranean ecosystems.

  9. Relating ring width of Mediterranean evergreen species to seasonal and annual variations of precipitation and temperature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nijland, W.; Jansma, E.; Addink, E. A.; Domínguez Delmás, M.; de Jong, S. M.

    2011-05-01

    Plant growth in Mediterranean landscapes is limited by the typical summer-dry climate. Forests in these areas are only marginally productive and may be quite susceptible to modern climate change. To improve our understanding of forest sensitivity to annual and seasonal climatic variability, we use tree-ring measurements of two Mediterranean evergreen tree species: Quercus ilex L. and Arbutus unedo L. We sampled 34 stems of these species on three different types of substrates in the Peyne study area in southern France. The resulting chronologies were analysed in combination with 38 yr of monthly precipitation and temperature data to reconstruct the response of stem growth to climatic variability. Results indicate a strong positive response to May and June precipitation, as well as a significant positive influence of early-spring temperatures and a negative growth response to summer heat. Comparison of the data with more detailed productivity measurements in two contrasting years confirms these observations and shows a strong productivity limiting effect of low early-summer precipitation. The results show that tree-ring data from Q.ilex and A.unedo can provide valuable information about the response of these tree species to climate variability, improving our ability to predict the effects of climate change in Mediterranean ecosystems.

  10. Sensitivity to zinc of Mediterranean woody species important for restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Disante, Karen B; Fuentes, David; Cortina, Jordi

    2010-04-15

    Heavy metals have increased in natural woodlands and shrublands over the last several decades as a consequence of anthropogenic activities. However, our knowledge of the effects of these elements on woody species is scarce. In this study, we examined the responses of six Mediterranean woody species to increasing levels of zinc in hydroponic culture and discussed the possible implications for the restoration of contaminated sites. The species used, Pinus pinea L., Pinus pinaster Ait., Pinus halepensis Mill., Tetraclinis articulata (Vahl) Mast., Rhamnus alaternus L. and Quercus suber L. represent a climatic gradient from dry sub-humid to semi-arid conditions. Zinc concentrations in shoots ranged from 53 microg g(-1) in Q. suber to 382 microg g(-1) in T. articulata and were well below the levels found in roots. Zinc inhibited root elongation and root biomass and changed the root length distribution per diameter class, but the magnitude of the effects was species-specific. Only P. halepensis and Q. suber showed toxicity symptoms in aboveground parts. Species more characteristic from xeric environments (T. articulata, R. alaternus and P. halepensis) were more sensitive to zinc than species from mesic environments (Q. suber, P. pinaster and P. pinea). According to the Zn responses and bioaccumulation, Q. suber P. pinea and P. halepensis are the best candidates for field trials to test the value of woody species to restore contaminated sites. None of the species tested seemed suitable for phytoremediation. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. 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

  12. Seasonal and local differences in leaf litter flammability of six Mediterranean tree species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kauf, Zorica; Fangmeier, Andreas; Rosavec, Roman; Španjol, Željko

    2015-03-01

    One of the suggested management options for reducing fire danger is the selection of less flammable plant species. Nevertheless, vegetation flammability is both complex and dynamic, making identification of such species challenging. While large efforts have been made to connect plant traits to fire behavior, seasonal changes and within species variability of traits are often neglected. Currently, even the most sophisticated fire danger systems presume that intrinsic characteristics of leaf litter stay unchanged, and plant species flammability lists are often transferred from one area to another. In order to assess if these practices can be improved, we performed a study examining the relationship between morphological characteristics and flammability parameters of leaf litter, thereby taking into account seasonal and local variability. Litter from six Mediterranean tree species was sampled throughout the fire season from three different locations along a climate gradient. Samples were subjected to flammability testing involving an epiradiator operated at 400 °C surface temperature with 3 g sample weight. Specific leaf area, fuel moisture content, average area, and average mass of a single particle had significant influences on flammability parameters. Effects of sampling time and location were significant as well. Due to the standardized testing conditions, these effects could be attributed to changes in intrinsic characteristics of the material. As the aforementioned effects were inconsistent and species specific, these results may potentially limit the generalization of species flammability rankings. Further research is necessary in order to evaluate the importance of our findings for fire danger modeling.

  13. Faster N Release, but Not C Loss, From Leaf Litter of Invasives Compared to Native Species in Mediterranean Ecosystems

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    Guido Incerti

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Plant invasions can have relevant impacts on biogeochemical cycles, whose extent, in Mediterranean ecosystems, have not yet been systematically assessed comparing litter carbon (C and nitrogen (N dynamics between invasive plants and native communities. We carried out a 1-year litterbag experiment in 4 different plant communities (grassland, sand dune, riparian and mixed forests on 8 invasives and 24 autochthonous plant species, used as control. Plant litter was characterized for mass loss, N release, proximate lignin and litter chemistry by 13C CPMAS NMR. Native and invasive species showed significant differences in litter chemical traits, with invaders generally showing higher N concentration and lower lignin/N ratio. Mass loss data revealed no consistent differences between native and invasive species, although some woody and vine invaders showed exceptionally high decomposition rate. In contrast, N release rate from litter was faster for invasive plants compared to native species. N concentration, lignin content and relative abundance of methoxyl and N-alkyl C region from 13C CPMAS NMR spectra were the parameters that better explained mass loss and N mineralization rates. Our findings demonstrate that during litter decomposition invasive species litter has no different decomposition rates but greater N release rate compared to natives. Accordingly, invasives are expected to affect N cycle in Mediterranean plant communities, possibly promoting a shift of plant assemblages.

  14. Selecting native perennial plants for ecological intensification in Mediterranean greenhouse horticulture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez, E; González, M; Paredes, D; Campos, M; Benítez, E

    2017-12-04

    Natural control by predators and parasitoids provides an important and often unnoticed ecosystem service to agricultural landscapes by reducing pest populations in crops. The current model of horticultural intensification in south-eastern Spain produces high yields but has also resulted in a landscape almost completely covered by plastic. Promoting natural areas among greenhouses could enhance biodiversity, by being beneficial insects, and reduce pest pressure outdoors. The first step is to ascertain how pests and their natural enemies (NEs) use Mediterranean vegetation for selecting the best plants for pest suppression outdoors. The abundance of the two major horticultural pests, the tobacco whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, and the western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis, together with their NEs, were assayed in 22 flowering perennial plants, which were newly planted in an experimental field surrounded by greenhouses. Eight plant species were identified as the most critical species for sustaining pest populations outdoors. A set of five plant species supported a medium level of pests, and another set of ten plant species supported the lowest level of both pests. Tobacco whitefly occurred in a few plants species, whereas western flower thrips occurred on almost all the plant species studied, and was favoured by the presence of flowers in perennial plants. The results suggest that plant diversity may provide relatively few acceptable host plants for tobacco whitefly than for western flower thrips. NEs were generally collected in plants that also supported abundance of pests, indicating that host/prey availability, more than food resources from flowers, was a stronger predictor of NE abundance in perennial plants. Field trials using the plants with the lowest host acceptance by pests are needed in order to ascertain whether pest abundance outdoors is reduced.

  15. Consequences of plant-chemical diversity for domestic goat food preference in Mediterranean forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baraza, Elena; Hódar, José A.; Zamora, Regino

    2009-01-01

    The domestic goat, a major herbivore in the Mediterranean basin, has demonstrated a strong ability to adapt its feeding behaviour to the chemical characteristics of food, selecting plants according to their nutritive quality. In this study, we determine some chemical characteristics related to plant nutritional quality and its variability among and within five tree species, these being the main components of the mountain forests of SE Spain, with the aim of determining their influence on food selection by this generalist herbivore. We analyse nitrogen, total phenols, condensed tannins and fibre concentration as an indicator of the nutritive value of the different trees. To determine the preference by the domestic goat, we performed two types of feeding-choice assays, where goats had to select between different species or between branches of the same species but from trees of different nutritional quality. The analysis of the plant nutritional quality showed significant differences in the chemical characteristics between species, and a high variability within species. However, when faced with different tree species, the domestic goat selected some of them but showed striking individual differences between goats. When selecting between trees of the same species, the goats showed no differential selection. This limited effect of chemical plant characteristics, together with the variability in foraging behaviour, resulted in a widespread consumption of diverse plant species, which can potentially modulate the effect of the goat on vegetation composition, and open the way for the conservation of traditional livestock grazing on natural protected areas.

  16. Tree species identity and diversity drive fungal richness and community composition along an elevational gradient in a Mediterranean ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saitta, Alessandro; Anslan, Sten; Bahram, Mohammad; Brocca, Luca; Tedersoo, Leho

    2018-01-01

    Ecological and taxonomic knowledge is important for conservation and utilization of biodiversity. Biodiversity and ecology of fungi in Mediterranean ecosystems is poorly understood. Here, we examined the diversity and spatial distribution of fungi along an elevational gradient in a Mediterranean ecosystem, using DNA metabarcoding. This study provides novel information about diversity of all ecological and taxonomic groups of fungi along an elevational gradient in a Mediterranean ecosystem. Our analyses revealed that among all biotic and abiotic variables tested, host species identity is the main driver of the fungal richness and fungal community composition. Fungal richness was strongly associated with tree richness and peaked in Quercus-dominated habitats and Cistus-dominated habitats. The highest taxonomic richness of ectomycorrhizal fungi was observed under Quercus ilex, whereas the highest taxonomic richness of saprotrophs was found under Pinus. Our results suggest that the effect of plant diversity on fungal richness and community composition may override that of abiotic variables across environmental gradients.

  17. Plants used in artisanal fisheries on the Western Mediterranean coasts of Italy

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    Savo Valentina

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Artisanal fisheries in the Mediterranean, especially in Italy, have been poorly investigated. There is a long history of fishing in this region, and it remains an important economic activity in many localities. Our research entails both a comprehensive review of the relevant literature and 58 field interviews with practitioners on plants used in fishing activities along the Western Mediterranean Italian coastal regions. The aims were to record traditional knowledge on plants used in fishery in these regions and to define selection criteria for plant species used in artisanal fisheries, considering ecology and intrinsic properties of plants, and to discuss the pattern of diffusion of shared uses in these areas. Methods Information was gathered both from a general review of ethnobotanical literature and from original data. A total of 58 semi-structured interviews were carried out in Liguria, Latium, Campania and Sicily (Italy. Information on plant uses related to fisheries were collected and analyzed through a chi-square residual analysis and the correspondence analysis in relation to habitat, life form and chorology. Results A total of 60 plants were discussed as being utilized in the fisheries of the Western Italian Mediterranean coastal regions, with 141 different uses mentioned. Of these 141 different uses, 32 are shared among different localities. A multivariate statistical analysis was performed on the entire dataset, resulting in details about specific selection criteria for the different usage categories (plants have different uses that can be classified into 11 main categories. In some uses, species are selected for their features (e.g., woody, or habitat (e.g., riverine, etc. The majority of uses were found to be obsolete (42% and interviews show that traditional fishery knowledge is in decline. There are several reasons for this, such as climatic change, costs, reduction of fish stocks, etc. Conclusions Our research

  18. The nature of plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rieseberg, Loren H; Wood, Troy E; Baack, Eric J

    2006-03-23

    Many botanists doubt the existence of plant species, viewing them as arbitrary constructs of the human mind, as opposed to discrete, objective entities that represent reproductively independent lineages or 'units of evolution'. However, the discreteness of plant species and their correspondence with reproductive communities have not been tested quantitatively, allowing zoologists to argue that botanists have been overly influenced by a few 'botanical horror stories', such as dandelions, blackberries and oaks. Here we analyse phenetic and/or crossing relationships in over 400 genera of plants and animals. We show that although discrete phenotypic clusters exist in most genera (> 80%), the correspondence of taxonomic species to these clusters is poor (< 60%) and no different between plants and animals. Lack of congruence is caused by polyploidy, asexual reproduction and over-differentiation by taxonomists, but not by contemporary hybridization. Nonetheless, crossability data indicate that 70% of taxonomic species and 75% of phenotypic clusters in plants correspond to reproductively independent lineages (as measured by postmating isolation), and thus represent biologically real entities. Contrary to conventional wisdom, plant species are more likely than animal species to represent reproductively independent lineages.

  19. NEOLITHIC PLANT USE IN THE WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN REGION: PRELIMINARY RESULTS FROM THE AGRIWESTMED PROJECT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Peña-Chocarro

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available This contribution focuses on the preliminary results of the AGRIWESTMED project which focuses on the archaeobotanical analyses of early Neolithic sites in the western Mediterranean region (both in Iberia and in northern Morocco. A large number of sites has been studied producing an interesting dataset of plant remains which places the earliest examples of domesticated plants in the second half of the 6th millennium cal BC. Plant diversity is high as it is shown by the large number of species represented: hulled and naked wheats, barley, peas, fava beans, vetches, lentils and grass peas. To more crops, poppy and flax, are also part of the first agricultural crops of the area. Although agriculture seems to occupy a first place in the production of food, gathering is well represented in the Moroccan sites where a large number of species has been identified. 

  20. Isolation and characterization of 10 microsatellite loci in Cneorum tricoccon (Cneoraceae), a Mediterranean relict plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Fernández, Alfredo; Lázaro-Nogal, Ana; Traveset, Anna; Valladares, Fernando

    2012-08-01

    The main aim of this study was to isolate and characterize microsatellite loci in Cneorum tricoccon (Cneoraceae), a Mediterranean shrub relict of the early Tertiary, which inhabits western Mediterranean islands and coasts. Microsatellites will be useful for investigating biogeography and landscape genetics across the species distribution range, including current or past gene flow. Seventeen microsatellite loci were characterized, of which 10 were polymorphic and amplified for a total of 56 alleles in three populations of C. tricoccon. The markers revealed average coefficients of expected heterozygosity (H(e) = 0.425), observed heterozygosity (H(o) = 0.282), and inbreeding coefficient value per population (F(IS) = 0.408). These microsatellite primers will potentially be useful in the study of population and landscape genetics, conservation status of isolated populations, island-continental distribution, current or historical movements between populations, and in the investigation of the consequences of dispersal mechanisms of these plants.

  1. Foliar stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes in woody Mediterranean species with different life form and post-fire regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saura-Mas, S; Lloret, F

    2010-01-01

    Wildfire is an important ecological disturbance factor in most Mediterranean ecosystems. In the Mediterranean Basin, most shrub species can regenerate after fire by resprouting or seeding. Here, we hypothesize that post-fire regenerative syndromes may potentially co-vary with traits directly related to functional properties involved in resource use. Thus, seeders with a shorter life span and smaller size would have lower water-use efficiency (WUE) than re-sprouting species and would take up nutrients such as nitrogen from more superficial parts of the soil. To test this hypothesis, we compared leaf (13)C and (15)N signatures from 29 co-existing species with different post-fire regeneration strategies. We also considered life form as an additional explanatory variable of the differences between post-fire regenerative groups. Our data support the hypothesis that seeder species (which mostly evolved in the Quaternary under a Mediterranean climate) have lower WUE and less stomatal control than non-seeders (many of which evolved under different climatic conditions in the Tertiary) and consequently greater consumption of water per unit biomass. This would be related to their smaller life forms, which tend to have lower WUE and shorter life and leaf lifespan. Differences in (15)N also support the hypothesis that resprouters have deeper root systems than non-resprouters. The study supports the hypothesis of an overlap between plant functional traits and plant attributes describing post-disturbance resilience.

  2. Species interactions and plant polyploidy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segraves, Kari A; Anneberg, Thomas J

    2016-07-01

    Polyploidy is a common mode of speciation that can have far-reaching consequences for plant ecology and evolution. Because polyploidy can induce an array of phenotypic changes, there can be cascading effects on interactions with other species. These interactions, in turn, can have reciprocal effects on polyploid plants, potentially impacting their establishment and persistence. Although there is a wealth of information on the genetic and phenotypic effects of polyploidy, the study of species interactions in polyploid plants remains a comparatively young field. Here we reviewed the available evidence for how polyploidy may impact many types of species interactions that range from mutualism to antagonism. Specifically, we focused on three main questions: (1) Does polyploidy directly cause the formation of novel interactions not experienced by diploids, or does it create an opportunity for natural selection to then form novel interactions? (2) Does polyploidy cause consistent, predictable changes in species interactions vs. the evolution of idiosyncratic differences? (3) Does polyploidy lead to greater evolvability in species interactions? From the scarce evidence available, we found that novel interactions are rare but that polyploidy can induce changes in pollinator, herbivore, and pathogen interactions. Although further tests are needed, it is likely that selection following whole-genome duplication is important in all types of species interaction and that there are circumstances in which polyploidy can enhance the evolvability of interactions with other species. © 2016 Botanical Society of America.

  3. Evaluation of Mediterranean plants for controlling gully erosion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baets, S. de; Poesen, J.; Muys, B.

    2009-01-01

    In Mediterranean environments, gullies are responsible for large soil losses causing loss of fertile cropland soil, reservoir sedimentation and flooding. To limit soil loss and sediment export it is important to prevent the initiation or rills and to stabilise gullies. This can be done by establishing vegetation at vulnerable places in the landscape. Although in the past, the effects of vegetation on soil erosion rates were predicted using above-ground biomass characteristics only, plant roots also play an important role in protecting the soil against erosion by concentrated runoff. Especially in conditions where the above-ground biomass becomes very scarce (e.g. due to drought, harvest, overgrazing or fire) the effects of vegetation will be underestimated when only above-ground plant characteristics are taken into account. (Author) 6 refs.

  4. Evaluation of Mediterranean plants for controlling gully erosion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baets, S. de; Poesen, J.; Muys, B.

    2009-07-01

    In Mediterranean environments, gullies are responsible for large soil losses causing loss of fertile cropland soil, reservoir sedimentation and flooding. To limit soil loss and sediment export it is important to prevent the initiation or rills and to stabilise gullies. This can be done by establishing vegetation at vulnerable places in the landscape. Although in the past, the effects of vegetation on soil erosion rates were predicted using above-ground biomass characteristics only, plant roots also play an important role in protecting the soil against erosion by concentrated runoff. Especially in conditions where the above-ground biomass becomes very scarce (e.g. due to drought, harvest, overgrazing or fire) the effects of vegetation will be underestimated when only above-ground plant characteristics are taken into account. (Author) 6 refs.

  5. Uncertainties and validation of alien species catalogues: The Mediterranean as an example

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zenetos, Argyro; Çinar, Melih Ertan; Crocetta, Fabio; Golani, Dani; Rosso, Antonietta; Servello, Gianna; Shenkar, Noa; Turon, Xavier; Verlaque, Marc

    2017-05-01

    The meticulous revision by taxonomic experts of established alien species in the Mediterranean resulted in a major revision of the list proposed by Galil et al. (2016), with 73 species to be excluded (35 species categorised as non-established and 37 as not true aliens), and 72 species added to the list. Consequently, by year 2016 the total number of established alien species in the Mediterranean reached 613, which is a 28% increase over the preceding four years. If we also consider casual species (208 species), the total number of alien species in the Mediterranean is 821. This is attributed to: new findings, change in establishment status of species previously known on the basis of few and scattered records, and results of phylogenetic studies in some cosmopolitan species. However, the true number of alien species reported here is considered to be an underestimation, as it does not include phytoplanktonic organisms, Foraminifera, cryptogenic and species known on the basis of questionable records that might turn out to be true aliens. EASIN and INVASIVESNET can play a major role in the future revision/update of the present list, which currently serves for assessing indicators that are necessary for policy, and for management of alien species in the Mediterranean Sea. An increasing trend in new arrivals since 1950, which culminated in the 2001-2010 period, appeared to decline after 2010. Whether this negative trend is an indication of improvement, or is an artefact, remains to be seen. The current list provides a reliable updated database from which to continue monitoring the arrival and spread of invasive species in the Mediterranean, as well as to provide counsel to governmental agencies with respect to management and control. Current geographical, taxonomical and impact data gaps can be reduced only by instituting harmonised standards and methodologies for monitoring alien populations in all countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-23

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

  7. The Mediterranean aromatic plants and their culinary use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bianchi, Alberto

    2015-02-01

    Over the centuries, aromatic plants have acquired both practical relevance and socio-cultural meanings that have influenced the evolution of humanity itself and created relevant economic value. In fact, since a long time ago spices were promoted to a leading economic role, and their profitability has been often comparable to that of other commodities traded in much larger volumes. Many geographical discoveries, explorations, worldwide relationships between populations in different continents, were undertaken in order to meet the quest for new flavours, new tastes, new medicinal plants or to find new markets for those already known. While the use of plants in medicine offers an extensive written documentation produced by most ancient human civilizations, the same can not be said for food herbs and flavouring spices. However, without the adequate selection of edible, reliable and valuable plants from the whole biodiversity pool operated by folk cultures everywhere in the world, their proper combination would have never been elaborated and cuisines, like the Mediterranean ones, would have not attained such unique mix of flavour, taste and nutrient content that has no equal in the world. Therefore, any consideration on herbs and aromatic plants in the kitchen leads inequivocally to a journey into tradition.

  8. Summer freezing resistance: a critical filter for plant community assemblies in Mediterranean high mountains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Sánchez Pescador

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Assessing freezing community response and whether freezing resistance is related to other functional traits is essential for understanding alpine community assemblages, particularly in Mediterranean environments where plants are exposed to freezing temperatures and summer droughts. Thus, we characterized the leaf freezing resistance of 42 plant species in 38 plots at Sierra de Guadarrama (Spain by measuring their ice nucleation temperature, freezing point (FP, and low-temperature damage (LT50, as well as determining their freezing resistance mechanisms (i.e., tolerance or avoidance. The community response to freezing was estimated for each plot as community weighted means (CWMs and functional diversity, and we assessed their relative importance with altitude. We established the relationships between freezing resistance, growth forms, and four key plant functional traits (i.e., plant height, specific leaf area, leaf dry matter content, and seed mass. There was a wide range of freezing resistance responses and more than in other alpine habitats. At the community level, the CWMs of FP and LT50 responded negatively to altitude, whereas the functional diversity of both traits increased with altitude. The proportion of freezing-tolerant species also increased with altitude. The ranges of FP and LT50 varied among growth forms, and only the leaf dry matter content correlated negatively with freezing-resistance traits. Summer freezing events represent important abiotic filters for assemblies of Mediterranean high mountain communities, as suggested by the CWMs. However, a concomitant summer drought constraint may also explain the high freezing resistance of species that thrive in these areas and the lower functional diversity of freezing resistance traits at lower altitudes. Leaves with high dry matter contents may maintain turgor at lower water potential and enhance drought tolerance in parallel to freezing resistance. This adaptation to drought seems to

  9. Biogeochemical and Ecomorphological Niche Segregation of Mediterranean Woody Species along a Local Gradient

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    Enrique G. de la Riva

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available According with niche theory the species are specialized in different ecological niches, being able to coexist as result of a differential use of resources. In this context, the biogeochemical niche hypothesis proposes that species have an optimal elemental composition which results from the link between the chemical and morphological traits for the optimum plant functioning. Thus, and attending to the limiting similarity concept, different elemental composition and plant structure among co-occurring species may reduce competition, promoting different functional niches. Different functional habits associated with leaf life-span or growth forms are associated with different strategies for resource uptake, which could promote niche partitioning. In the present study, based on the biogeochemical niche concept and the use of resources in different proportions, we have focused on leaf traits (morphological and chemical associated with resource uptake, and explored the niche partitioning among functional habits: leaf life-span (deciduous, evergreen, and semideciduous and growth (tree, shrub, and arborescent-shrub. To this end, we have quantified the hypervolume of the leaf functional trait space (both structure and chemical composition in a sample of 45 Mediterranean woody species from Sierra Morena Mountains (Spain growing along a local soil resource gradient. Our results show consistent variation in functional space for woody communities distributed along the environmental gradient. Thus, communities dominated by deciduous trees with faster growth and a predominant acquisitive strategy were characteristic of bottom forests and showed highest leaf biogeochemical space. While semideciduous shrubs and evergreen (arborescent, trees species, characterized by a conservative strategy, dominated ridge forests and showed smaller functional space. In addition, within each topographical zone or environment type, the foliar biogeochemical niche partitioning

  10. Biogeochemical and Ecomorphological Niche Segregation of Mediterranean Woody Species along a Local Gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Riva, Enrique G; Marañón, Teodoro; Violle, Cyrille; Villar, Rafael; Pérez-Ramos, Ignacio M

    2017-01-01

    According with niche theory the species are specialized in different ecological niches, being able to coexist as result of a differential use of resources. In this context, the biogeochemical niche hypothesis proposes that species have an optimal elemental composition which results from the link between the chemical and morphological traits for the optimum plant functioning. Thus, and attending to the limiting similarity concept, different elemental composition and plant structure among co-occurring species may reduce competition, promoting different functional niches. Different functional habits associated with leaf life-span or growth forms are associated with different strategies for resource uptake, which could promote niche partitioning. In the present study, based on the biogeochemical niche concept and the use of resources in different proportions, we have focused on leaf traits (morphological and chemical) associated with resource uptake, and explored the niche partitioning among functional habits: leaf life-span (deciduous, evergreen, and semideciduous) and growth (tree, shrub, and arborescent-shrub). To this end, we have quantified the hypervolume of the leaf functional trait space (both structure and chemical composition) in a sample of 45 Mediterranean woody species from Sierra Morena Mountains (Spain) growing along a local soil resource gradient. Our results show consistent variation in functional space for woody communities distributed along the environmental gradient. Thus, communities dominated by deciduous trees with faster growth and a predominant acquisitive strategy were characteristic of bottom forests and showed highest leaf biogeochemical space. While semideciduous shrubs and evergreen (arborescent, trees) species, characterized by a conservative strategy, dominated ridge forests and showed smaller functional space. In addition, within each topographical zone or environment type, the foliar biogeochemical niche partitioning would underlie the

  11. Disentangling environmental correlates of vascular plant biodiversity in a Mediterranean hotspot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molina-Venegas, Rafael; Aparicio, Abelardo; Pina, Francisco José; Valdés, Benito; Arroyo, Juan

    2013-10-01

    We determined the environmental correlates of vascular plant biodiversity in the Baetic-Rifan region, a plant biodiversity hotspot in the western Mediterranean. A catalog of the whole flora of Andalusia and northern Morocco, the region that includes most of the Baetic-Rifan complex, was compiled using recent comprehensive floristic catalogs. Hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) and detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) of the different ecoregions of Andalusia and northern Morocco were conducted to determine their floristic affinities. Diversity patterns were studied further by focusing on regional endemic taxa. Endemic and nonendemic alpha diversities were regressed to several environmental variables. Finally, semi-partial regressions on distance matrices were conducted to extract the respective contributions of climatic, altitudinal, lithological, and geographical distance matrices to beta diversity in endemic and nonendemic taxa. We found that West Rifan plant assemblages had more similarities with Andalusian ecoregions than with other nearby northern Morocco ecoregions. The endemic alpha diversity was explained relatively well by the environmental variables related to summer drought and extreme temperature values. Of all the variables, geographical distance contributed by far the most to spatial turnover in species diversity in the Baetic-Rifan hotspot. In the Baetic range, elevation was the most significant driver of nonendemic species beta diversity, while lithology and elevation were the main drivers of endemic beta diversity. Despite the fact that Andalusia and northern Morocco are presently separated by the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, the Baetic and Rifan mountain ranges have many floristic similarities - especially in their western ranges - due to past migration of species across the Strait of Gibraltar. Climatic variables could be shaping the spatial distribution of endemic species richness throughout the Baetic-Rifan hotspot. Determinants

  12. Drought versus heat: What's the major constraint on Mediterranean green roof plants?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Savi, Tadeja, E-mail: tsavi@units.it [Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita, Università di Trieste, Via L. Giorgieri 10, 34127 Trieste (Italy); Dal Borgo, Anna, E-mail: dalborgo.anna@gmail.com [Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita, Università di Trieste, Via L. Giorgieri 10, 34127 Trieste (Italy); Love, Veronica L., E-mail: vllove1@sheffield.ac.uk [Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita, Università di Trieste, Via L. Giorgieri 10, 34127 Trieste (Italy); Department of Landscape, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S10 2TN (United Kingdom); Andri, Sergio, E-mail: s.andri@seic.it [Harpo seic verdepensile, Via Torino 34, 34123 Trieste (Italy); Tretiach, Mauro, E-mail: tretiach@units.it [Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita, Università di Trieste, Via L. Giorgieri 10, 34127 Trieste (Italy); Nardini, Andrea, E-mail: nardini@units.it [Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita, Università di Trieste, Via L. Giorgieri 10, 34127 Trieste (Italy)

    2016-10-01

    Green roofs are gaining momentum in the arid and semi-arid regions due to their multiple benefits as compared with conventional roofs. One of the most critical steps in green roof installation is the selection of drought and heat tolerant species that can thrive under extreme microclimate conditions. We monitored the water status, growth and survival of 11 drought-adapted shrub species grown on shallow green roof modules (10 and 13 cm deep substrate) and analyzed traits enabling plants to cope with drought (symplastic and apoplastic resistance) and heat stress (root membrane stability). The physiological traits conferring efficiency/safety to the water transport system under severe drought influenced plant water status and represent good predictors of both plant water use and growth rates over green roofs. Moreover, our data suggest that high substrate temperature represents a stress factor affecting plant survival to a larger extent than drought per se. In fact, the major cause influencing seedling survival on shallow substrates was the species-specific root resistance to heat, a single and easy measurable trait that should be integrated into the methodological framework for screening and selection of suitable shrub species for roof greening in the Mediterranean. - Highlights: • The use of hardy shrub species for roof greening should be increased. • We monitored water status of 11 shrub species growing on shallow green roofs. • Species heat and drought tolerance, growth, and survival were studied. • High substrate temperature significantly affected plant survival. • Root resistance to heat could be used as trait for species selection for green roofs.

  13. Drought versus heat: What's the major constraint on Mediterranean green roof plants?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Savi, Tadeja; Dal Borgo, Anna; Love, Veronica L.; Andri, Sergio; Tretiach, Mauro; Nardini, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Green roofs are gaining momentum in the arid and semi-arid regions due to their multiple benefits as compared with conventional roofs. One of the most critical steps in green roof installation is the selection of drought and heat tolerant species that can thrive under extreme microclimate conditions. We monitored the water status, growth and survival of 11 drought-adapted shrub species grown on shallow green roof modules (10 and 13 cm deep substrate) and analyzed traits enabling plants to cope with drought (symplastic and apoplastic resistance) and heat stress (root membrane stability). The physiological traits conferring efficiency/safety to the water transport system under severe drought influenced plant water status and represent good predictors of both plant water use and growth rates over green roofs. Moreover, our data suggest that high substrate temperature represents a stress factor affecting plant survival to a larger extent than drought per se. In fact, the major cause influencing seedling survival on shallow substrates was the species-specific root resistance to heat, a single and easy measurable trait that should be integrated into the methodological framework for screening and selection of suitable shrub species for roof greening in the Mediterranean. - Highlights: • The use of hardy shrub species for roof greening should be increased. • We monitored water status of 11 shrub species growing on shallow green roofs. • Species heat and drought tolerance, growth, and survival were studied. • High substrate temperature significantly affected plant survival. • Root resistance to heat could be used as trait for species selection for green roofs.

  14. High Correlated Paternity Leads to Negative Effects on Progeny Performance in Two Mediterranean Shrub Species.

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    Sofia Nora

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic habitat deterioration can promote changes in plant mating systems that subsequently may affect progeny performance, thereby conditioning plant recruitment for the next generation. However, very few studies yet tested mating system parameters other than outcrossing rates; and the direct effects of the genetic diversity of the pollen received by maternal plants (i.e. correlated paternity has often been overlooked. In this study, we investigated the relation between correlated paternity and progeny performance in two common Mediterranean shrubs, Myrtus communis and Pistacia lentiscus. To do so, we collected open-pollinated progeny from selected maternal plants, calculated mating system parameters using microsatellite genotyping and conducted sowing experiments under greenhouse and field conditions. Our results showed that some progeny fitness components were negatively affected by the high correlated paternity of maternal plants. In Myrtus communis, high correlated paternity had a negative effect on the proportion and timing of seedling emergence in the natural field conditions and in the greenhouse sowing experiment, respectively. In Pistacia lentiscus, seedling emergence time under field conditions was also negatively influenced by high correlated paternity and a progeny survival analysis in the field experiment showed greater mortality of seedlings from maternal plants with high correlated paternity. Overall, we found effects of correlated paternity on the progeny performance of Myrtus communis, a self-compatible species. Further, we also detected effects of correlated paternity on the progeny emergence time and survival in Pistacia lentiscus, an obligate outcrossed species. This study represents one of the few existing empirical examples which highlight the influence that correlated paternity may exert on progeny performance in multiple stages during early seedling growth.

  15. Climate Variability Structures Plant Community Dynamics in Mediterranean Restored and Reference Tidal Wetlands

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    Dylan E. Chapple

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available In Mediterranean regions and other areas with variable climates, interannual weather variability may impact ecosystem dynamics, and by extension ecological restoration projects. Conditions at reference sites, which are often used to evaluate restoration projects, may also be influenced by weather variability, confounding interpretations of restoration outcomes. To better understand the influence of weather variability on plant community dynamics, we explore change in a vegetation dataset collected between 1990 and 2005 at a historic tidal wetland reference site and a nearby tidal wetland restoration project initiated in 1976 in California’s San Francisco (SF Bay. To determine the factors influencing reference and restoration trajectories, we examine changes in plant community identity in relation to annual salinity levels in the SF Bay, annual rainfall, and tidal channel structure. Over the entire study period, both sites experienced significant directional change away from the 1990 community. Community change was accelerated following low salinity conditions that resulted from strong El Niño events in 1994–1995 and 1997–1998. Overall rates of change were greater at the restoration site and driven by a combination of dominant and sub-dominant species, whereas change at the reference site was driven by sub-dominant species. Sub-dominant species first appeared at the restoration site in 1996 and incrementally increased during each subsequent year, whereas sub-dominant species cover at the reference site peaked in 1999 and subsequently declined. Our results show that frequent, long-term monitoring is needed to adequately capture plant community dynamics in variable Mediterranean ecosystems and demonstrate the need for expanding restoration monitoring and timing restoration actions to match weather conditions.

  16. Fire behavior in Mediterranean shrub species (Maquis) | Saglam ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The prediction of fire behavior in fire prone ecosystems is of vital importance in all phases of fire management including fire prevention, presuppression, suppression and fire use. This paper deals with an experimental burning exercise conducted in the Mediterranean region in Turkey. A series of 18 experimental fires were ...

  17. Chemotaxonomy in some Mediterranean plants and implications for fossil biomarker records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norström, Elin; Katrantsiotis, Christos; Smittenberg, Rienk H.; Kouli, Katerina

    2017-12-01

    The increasing utilization of n-alkanes as plant-derived paleo-environmental proxies calls for improved chemotaxonomic control of the modern flora in order to calibrate fossil sediment records to modern analogues. Several recent studies have investigated long-chain n-alkane concentrations and chain-length distributions in species from various vegetation biomes, but up to date, the Mediterranean flora is relatively unexplored in this respect. Here, we analyse the n-alkane concentrations and chain-length distributions in some of the most common species of the modern macchia and phrygana vegetation in south western Peloponnese, Greece. We show that the drought adapted phrygana herbs and shrubs, as well as some of the sclerophyll and gymnosperm macchia components, produce high concentrations of n-alkanes, on average more than double n-alkane production in local wetland reed vegetation. Furthermore, the chain-length distribution in the analysed plants is related to plant functionality, with longer chain lengths associated with higher drought adaptive capacities, probably as a response to long-term evolutionary processes in a moisture limited environment. Furthermore, species with relatively higher average chain lengths (ACL) showed more enriched carbon isotope composition in their tissues (δ13Cplant), suggesting a dual imprint from both physiological and biochemical drought adaptation. The findings have bearings on interpretation of fossil sedimentary biomarker records in the Mediterranean region, which is discussed in relation to a case study from Agios Floros fen, Messenian plain, Peloponnese. The 6000 year long n-alkane record from Agios Floros (ACL, δ13Cwax) is linked to the modern analogue and then evaluated through a comparison with other regional-wide as well as local climate and vegetation proxy-data. The high concentration of long chain n-alkanes in phrygana vegetation suggests a dominating imprint from this vegetation type in sedimentary archives from this

  18. A massive update of non-indigenous species records in Mediterranean marinas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulman, Aylin; Ferrario, Jasmine; Occhpinti-Ambrogi, Anna; Arvanitidis, Christos; Bandi, Ada; Bertolino, Marco; Bogi, Cesare; Chatzigeorgiou, Giorgos; Çiçek, Burak Ali; Deidun, Alan; Ramos-Esplá, Alfonso; Koçak, Cengiz; Lorenti, Maurizio; Martinez-Laiz, Gemma; Merlo, Guenda; Princisgh, Elisa; Scribano, Giovanni; Marchini, Agnese

    2017-01-01

    The Mediterranean Sea is home to over 2/3 of the world's charter boat traffic and hosts an estimated 1.5 million recreational boats. Studies elsewhere have demonstrated marinas as important hubs for the stepping-stone transfer of non-indigenous species (NIS), but these unique anthropogenic, and typically artificial habitats have largely gone overlooked in the Mediterranean as sources of NIS hot-spots. From April 2015 to November 2016, 34 marinas were sampled across the following Mediterranean countries: Spain, France, Italy, Malta, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus to investigate the NIS presence and richness in the specialized hard substrate material of these marina habitats. All macroinvertebrate taxa were collected and identified. Additionally, fouling samples were collected from approximately 600 boat-hulls from 25 of these marinas to determine if boats host diverse NIS not present in the marina. Here, we present data revealing that Mediterranean marinas indeed act as major hubs for the transfer of marine NIS, and we also provide evidence that recreational boats act as effective vectors of spread. From this wide-ranging geographical study, we report here numerous new NIS records at the basin, subregional, country and locality level. At the basin level, we report three NIS new to the Mediterranean Sea ( Achelia sawayai sensu lato , Aorides longimerus , Cymodoce aff. fuscina ), and the re-appearance of two NIS previously known but currently considered extinct in the Mediterranean ( Bemlos leptocheirus, Saccostrea glomerata ). We also compellingly update the distributions of many NIS in the Mediterranean Sea showing some recent spreading; we provide details for 11 new subregional records for NIS ( Watersipora arcuata , Hydroides brachyacantha sensu lato and Saccostrea glomerata now present in the Western Mediterranean; Symplegma brakenhielmi , Stenothoe georgiana , Spirobranchus tertaceros sensu lato , Dendostrea folium sensu lato and Parasmittina egyptiaca now present in

  19. Relating species abundance distributions to species-area curves in two Mediterranean-type shrublands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeley, Jon E.

    2003-01-01

    Based on both theoretical and empirical studies there is evidence that different species abundance distributions underlie different species-area relationships. Here I show that Australian and Californian shrubland communities (at the scale from 1 to 1000 m2) exhibit different species-area relationships and different species abundance patterns. The species-area relationship in Australian heathlands best fits an exponential model and species abundance (based on both density and cover) follows a narrow log normal distribution. In contrast, the species-area relationship in Californian shrublands is best fit with the power model and, although species abundance appears to fit a log normal distribution, the distribution is much broader than in Australian heathlands. I hypothesize that the primary driver of these differences is the abundance of small-stature annual species in California and the lack of annuals in Australian heathlands. Species-area is best fit by an exponential model in Australian heathlands because the bulk of the species are common and thus the species-area curves initially rise rapidly between 1 and 100 m2. Annuals in Californian shrublands generate very broad species abundance distributions with many uncommon or rare species. The power function is a better model in these communities because richness increases slowly from 1 to 100 m2 but more rapidly between 100 and 1000 m2due to the abundance of rare or uncommon species that are more likely to be encountered at coarser spatial scales. The implications of this study are that both the exponential and power function models are legitimate representations of species-area relationships in different plant communities. Also, structural differences in community organization, arising from different species abundance distributions, may lead to different species-area curves, and this may be tied to patterns of life form distribution.

  20. Seasonal, Sex- and Plant Size-Related Effects on Photoinhibition and Photoprotection in the Dioecious Mediterranean Dwarf Palm, Chamaerops humilis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales, Melanie; Pintó-Marijuan, Marta; Munné-Bosch, Sergi

    2016-01-01

    In Mediterranean-type ecosystems plants are exposed to several adverse environmental conditions throughout the year, ranging from drought stress during the warm and dry summers to chilling stress due to the typical drop in temperatures during winters. Here we evaluated the ecophysiological response, in terms of photoinhibition and photoprotection, of the dioecious Mediterranean palm, Chamaerops humilis to seasonal variations in environmental conditions. Furthermore, we considered as well the influence of plant size, maturity, and sexual dimorphism. Results showed evidence of winter photoinhibition, with a marked decrease of the F v /F m ratio below 0.7 between January and March, which was coincident with the lowest temperatures. During this period, the de-epoxidation state of the xanthophyll cycle and zeaxanthin levels increased, which might serve as a photoprotection mechanism, owing the full recovery from winter photoinhibition during spring. Furthermore, mature plants showed lower chlorophyll levels and higher β-carotene levels per unit of chlorophyll than juvenile plants, and females displayed lower leaf water contents and higher photoinhibition than males during summer, probably due to increased reproductive effort of females. However, neither low temperatures during winter nor reproductive events in females during the summer led to irreversible damage to the photosynthetic apparatus. We conclude that (i) the Mediterranean dwarf palm, C. humilis, suffers from photoinhibition during winter, but this is transient and does not lead to irreversible damage, and (ii) females from this plant species are more sensitive than males to photoinhibition during reproductive events.

  1. Seasonal, sex- and plant size-related effects on photoinhibition and photoprotection in the dioecious Mediterranean dwarf palm, Chamaerops humilis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie Morales

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available In Mediterranean-type ecosystems plants are exposed to several adverse environmental conditions throughout the year, ranging from drought stress during the warm and dry summers to chilling stress due to the typical drop in temperatures during winters. Here we evaluated the ecophysiological response, in terms of photoinhibition and photoprotection, of the dioecious Mediterranean palm, Chamaerops humilis to seasonal variations in environmental conditions. Furthermore, we considered as well the influence of plant size, maturity and sexual dimorphism. Results showed evidence of winter photoinhibition, with a marked decrease of the Fv/Fm ratio below 0.7 between January and March, which was coincident with the lowest temperatures. During this period, the de-epoxidation state of the xanthophyll cycle and zeaxanthin levels increased, which might serve as a photoprotection mechanism, owing the full recovery from winter photoinhibition during spring. Furthermore, mature plants showed lower chlorophyll levels and higher β-carotene levels per unit of chlorophyll than juvenile plants, and females displayed lower leaf water contents and higher photoinhibition than males during summer, probably due to increased reproductive effort of females. However, neither low temperatures during winter nor reproductive events in females during the summer led to irreversible damage to the photosynthetic apparatus. We conclude that (i the Mediterranean dwarf palm, C. humilis, suffers from photoinhibition during winter, but this is transient and does not lead to irreversible damage, and (ii females from this plant species are more sensitive than males to photoinhibition during reproductive events.

  2. Plant-specific volatile organic compound emission rates from young and mature leaves of Mediterranean vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bracho-Nunez, Araceli; Welter, Saskia; Staudt, Michael; Kesselmeier, Jürgen

    2011-08-01

    The seasonality of vegetation, i.e., developmental stages and phenological processes, affects the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Despite the potential significance, the contributions of seasonality to VOC emission quality and quantity are not well understood and are therefore often ignored in emission simulations. We investigated the VOC emission patterns of young and mature leaves of several Mediterranean plant species in relation to their physiological and developmental changes during the growing period and estimated Es. Foliar emissions of isoprenoids and oxygenated VOCs like methanol and acetone were measured online by means of a proton transfer reaction mass spectrometer (PTR-MS) and offline with gas chromatography coupled with a mass spectrometer and flame ionization detector. The results suggest that VOC emission is a developmentally regulated process and that quantitative and qualitative variability is plant species specific. Leaf ontogeny clearly influenced both the VOC Es and the relative importance of different VOCs. Methanol was the major compound contributing to the sum of target VOC emissions in young leaves (11.8 ± 10.4 μg g-1 h-1), while its contribution was minor in mature leaves (4.1 ± 4.1 μg g-1 h-1). Several plant species showed a decrease or complete subsidence of monoterpene, sesquiterpene, and acetone emissions upon maturity, perhaps indicating a potential response to the higher defense demands of young emerging leaves.

  3. ISOLATION OF MESOPHYLL PROTOPLASTS FROM MEDITERRANEAN WOODY PLANTS FOR THE STUDY OF DNA INTEGRITY UNDER ABIOTIC STRESS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Kuzminsky

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Abiotic stresses have considerable negative impact on Mediterranean plant ecosystems and better comprehension of the genetic control of response and adaptation of trees to global changes is urgently needed. The Single Cell Gel Electrophoresis assay could be considered a good estimator of DNA damage in an individual eukaryotic cell. This method has been mainly employed in animal tissues, because the plant cell wall represents an obstacle for the extraction of nuclei; moreover, in Mediterranean woody species, especially in the sclerophyll plants, this procedure can be quite difficult because of the presence of sclerenchyma and hardened cells. On the other hand, these plants represent an interesting material to be studied because of the ability of these plants to tolerate abiotic stress. For instance, holm oak (Quercus ilex L. has been selected as the model plant to identify critical levels of O3 for Southern European forests. Consequently, a quantitative method for the evaluation of cell injury of leaf tissues of this species is required. Optimal conditions for high-yield nuclei isolation were obtained by using protoplast technology and a detailed description of the method is provided and discussed. White poplar (Populus alba L. was used as an internal control for protoplast isolation. Such a method has not been previously reported in newly fully developed leaves of holm oak. This method combined with Single Cell Gel Electrophoresis assay represents a new tool for testing the DNA integrity of leaf tissues in higher plants under stress conditions.

  4. Performance evaluation of five Mediterranean species to optimize ecosystem services of green roofs under water-limited conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azeñas, V; Janner, I; Medrano, H; Gulías, J

    2018-04-15

    Rapid urban growth in Mediterranean cities has become a serious environmental concern. Due to this expansion, which covers adjacent horizontal ground, a critical deficit of green areas has been increasing. Moreover, irrigation is considered an important issue since water is one of the most limiting natural resources all over the world. The main objective of this study was to perform a long-term experiment to assess five Mediterranean species for extensive green roof implementation in Mediterranean-climate conditions. Brachypodium phoenicoides, Crithmum maritimum, Limonium virgatum, Sedum sediforme and Sporobolus pungens were grown in experimental modules under well-watered and water-limited conditions (irrigation at 50% and 25% ET 0 , respectively). Plant growth and cover, relative appearance, color evolution and water use were determined periodically for two years. Shoot and root biomass were quantified at the end of the experimental period. The effects of the irrigation treatments and seasonal changes were assessed to identify the advantages and disadvantages of each species according to their environmental performance. All species survived and showed adequate esthetic performance and plant cover during the experiment. S. sediforme registered the lowest variation of relative appearance along the experiment, the highest biomass production and the lowest water consumption. Nevertheless, B. phoenicoides appeared to be an interesting alternative to S. sediforme, showing high esthetic performance and water consumption throughout the rainy season, suggesting a potential role of this species in stormwater regulation related with runoff reduction. S. pungens performed well in summer but presented poor esthetics during winter. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Reproductive allocation strategies in desert and Mediterranean populations of annual plants grown with and without water stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aronson, J; Kigel, J; Shmida, A

    1993-03-01

    Reproductive effort (relative allocation of biomass to diaspore production) was compared in matched pairs of Mediterranean and desert populations of three unrelated annual species, Erucaria hispanica (L.) Druce, Bromus fasciculatus C. Presl. and Brachypodium distachyon (L.) Beauv., grown under high and low levels of water availability in a common-environment experiment. Desert populations in all three species showed higher reproductive effort than corresponding Mediterranean populations, as expressed by both a reproductive index (RI= reproductive biomass/vegetative biomass), and a reproductive efficiency index (REI=number of diaspores/total plant biomass). Moreover, in E. hispanica and Brachypodium distachyon, inter-populational differences in reproductive effort were greater under water stress, the main limiting factor for plant growth in the desert. These results indicate that variability in reproductive effort in response to drought is a critical and dynamic component of life history strategies in annual species in heterogeneous, unpredictable xeric environments. When subjected to water stress the Mediterranean populations of E. hispanica and B. distachyon showed greater plasticity (e.g. had a greater reduction) in reproductive effort than the desert populations, while in Bromus fasciculatus both populations showed similar amounts of plasticity.

  6. Dental calculus and isotopes provide direct evidence of fish and plant consumption in Mesolithic Mediterranean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cristiani, Emanuela; Radini, Anita; Borić, Dušan; Robson, Harry K; Caricola, Isabella; Carra, Marialetizia; Mutri, Giuseppina; Oxilia, Gregorio; Zupancich, Andrea; Šlaus, Mario; Vujević, Dario

    2018-05-25

    In this contribution we dismantle the perceived role of marine resources and plant foods in the subsistence economy of Holocene foragers of the Central Mediterranean using a combination of dental calculus and stable isotope analyses. The discovery of fish scales and flesh fragments, starch granules and other plant and animal micro-debris in the dental calculus of a Mesolithic forager dated to the end of the 8th millenium BC and buried in the Vlakno Cave on Dugi Otok Island in the Croatian Archipelago demonstrates that marine resources were regularly consumed by the individual together with a variety of plant foods. Since previous stable isotope data in the Eastern Adriatic and the Mediterranean region emphasises that terrestrial-based resources contributed mainly to Mesolithic diets in the Mediterranean Basin, our results provide an alternative view of the dietary habits of Mesolithic foragers in the Mediterranean region based on a combination of novel methodologies and data.

  7. Experimental warming decreases arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal colonization in prairie plants along a Mediterranean climate gradient

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hannah Wilson

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF provide numerous services to their plant symbionts. Understanding climate change effects on AMF, and the resulting plant responses, is crucial for predicting ecosystem responses at regional and global scales. We investigated how the effects of climate change on AMF-plant symbioses are mediated by soil water availability, soil nutrient availability, and vegetation dynamics. Methods: We used a combination of a greenhouse experiment and a manipulative climate change experiment embedded within a Mediterranean climate gradient in the Pacific Northwest, USA to examine this question. Structural equation modeling (SEM was used to determine the direct and indirect effects of experimental warming on AMF colonization. Results: Warming directly decreased AMF colonization across plant species and across the climate gradient of the study region. Other positive and negative indirect effects of warming, mediated by soil water availability, soil nutrient availability, and vegetation dynamics, canceled each other out. Discussion: A warming-induced decrease in AMF colonization would likely have substantial consequences for plant communities and ecosystem function. Moreover, predicted increases in more intense droughts and heavier rains for this region could shift the balance among indirect causal pathways, and either exacerbate or mitigate the negative, direct effect of increased temperature on AMF colonization.

  8. Relating ring width of Mediterranean evergreen species to seasonal and annual variations of precipitation and temperature

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijland, W.; Jansma, E.; Addink, E.A.; Domínguez Delmás, M.; Jong, S.M. de

    2011-01-01

    Plant growth in Mediterranean landscapes is limited by the typical summer-dry climate. Forests in these areas are only marginally productive and may be quite susceptible to modern climate change. To improve our understanding of forest sensitivity to annual and seasonal climatic variability, we

  9. Mediterranean species of Caulerpa are polyploid with smaller genomes in the invasive ones.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Varela-Álvarez

    Full Text Available Caulerpa species are marine green algae, which often act as invasive species with rapid clonal proliferation when growing outside their native biogeographical borders. Despite many publications on the genetics and ecology of Caulerpa species, their life history and ploidy levels are still to be resolved and are the subject of large controversy. While some authors claimed that the thallus found in nature has a haplodiplobiontic life cycle with heteromorphic alternation of generations, other authors claimed a diploid or haploid life cycle with only one generation involved. DAPI-staining with image analysis and microspectrophotometry were used to estimate relative nuclear DNA contents in three species of Caulerpa from the Mediterranean, at individual, population and species levels. Results show that ploidy levels and genome size vary in these three Caulerpa species, with a reduction in genome size for the invasive ones. Caulerpa species in the Mediterranean are polyploids in different life history phases; all sampled C. taxifolia and C. racemosa var. cylindracea were in haplophasic phase, but in C. prolifera, the native species, individuals were found in both diplophasic and haplophasic phases. Different levels of endopolyploidy were found in both C. prolifera and C. racemosa var. cylindracea. Life history is elucidated for the Mediterranean C. prolifera and it is hypothesized that haplophasic dominance in C. racemosa var. cylindracea and C. taxifolia is a beneficial trait for their invasive strategies.

  10. Species richness and composition assessment of spiders in a Mediterranean scrubland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bondoso Cardoso, Pedro Miguel; Henriques, Sérgio S.; Gaspar, Clara

    2009-01-01

    Intensive fieldwork has been undertaken in Portugal in order to develop a standardized and optimized sampling protocol for Mediterranean spiders. The present study had the objectives of testing the use of semi-quantitative sampling for obtaining an exhaustive species richness assessment of spiders...

  11. Origin and biogeography of the deep-water Mediterranean Hydromedusae including the description of two new species collected in submarine canyons of Northwestern Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. M. Gili

    1998-06-01

    Full Text Available Two new species of hydromedusae (Foersteria antoniae and Cunina simplex are described from plankton collected in sediment traps placed in the Lacaze-Duthiers Submarine Canyon and along Banyuls-sur-Mer coast (northwestern Mediterranean. The Mediterranean hydromedusan deep-water fauna contains 41 species which represent 45.5 % of the world-wide deep-sea hydromedusae fauna (90 and 20% of the total number of Mediterranean hydromedusae (204. The Mediterranean deep-water hydromedusan fauna is characterised by a large percentage of holoplanktonic species (61%, mainly Trachymedusae. Nevertheless, contrary to the general opinion, the percentage of meroplanktonic species is equally high. The most original features of this fauna lies however in the importance of the number of endemic species (22% and in the fact that the majority of them are meroplanktonic Leptomedusae with a supposed bathybenthic stage. Some of the endemic species could still represent relics of the primitive Tethys fauna having survived to the Messinian crisis. The origin of the Mediterranean deep-water hydromedusan fauna is discussed and a general hypothesis is proposed.

  12. Mediterranean diet

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000110.htm Mediterranean diet To use the sharing features on this page, ... and other health problems. How to Follow the Diet The Mediterranean diet is based on: Plant-based ...

  13. Invasive plant species in hardwood tree plantations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochelle R. Beasley; Paula M. Pijut

    2010-01-01

    Invasive plants are species that can grow and spread aggressively, mature quickly, and invade an ecosystem causing economic and environmental damage. Invasive plants usually invade disturbed areas, but can also colonize small areas quickly, and may spread and dominate large areas in a few short years. Invasive plant species displace native or desirable forest...

  14. Do invasive plant species alter soil health?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Invasive species may alter soil characteristics or interact with the soil microbial community to yield a competitive advantage. Our objectives were to determine: if invasive plant species alter soil properties important to soil health; and the long-term effects of invasive plant species on soil pro...

  15. Morphological and Phenological characterization of Mediterranean species in Northern Sardinia, Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piga, Alessandra; Duce, Pierpaolo; Cesaraccio, Carla

    2016-04-01

    Monitoring of vegetation, in particular methodologies for phenological and biometrical monitoring, are widely implied for climate change studies and their importance for understanding the consequences of global environmental change on vegetation is highlighted in the most recent IPCC reports. It is very likely that, during the next decades, the Mediterranean Regions will cope to the very negative effects of climatic changes. Consequently, due to the climate change impacts and the effects of anthropogenic pressures upon natural resources, these regions are among the most vulnerable ecosystems to the effects of climate change. Therefore, appears to be of crucial importance to better understand the physiological strategies for cope to climate change adaptation for the Mediterranean maquis shrub species which are key information for developing adaptation strategies guidelines. In this work, the biological and reproductive cycle of some Mediterranean species growing in an experimental area located within a nature reserve in the peninsula of Capo Caccia, north-west Sardinia, Italy, was investigated for a period of two years. In particular, the research was focused on: (1) the study of the development processes and the description of phenological phases, and (2) the analysis of the growth processes performed through biometric and floristic composition measurements. Specific BBCH scales for each species were developed. Shoot growth and floristic composition analysis did not show a clear trend in the response of the different species to climatic manipulations but a downward trend in the number of species. The results obtained in this study add useful information on the phenological cycle and growth of the Mediterranean species, improving the knowledge on the mechanisms of adaptation to adverse environmental conditions of these species

  16. Surveying Caulerpa (Chlorophyta species along the shores of the eastern Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. UKABI

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Caulerpa (Chlorophyta species inhabiting intertidal and shallow subtidal areas along the Israeli Mediterranean shores were surveyed (i.e. presence/absence on a seasonal basis from 2007-2009. We recorded the presence of three speciesC. prolifera, C. mexicana, and C. scalpelliformis. These species were noticeable in autumn and inconspicuous during winter, thus, revealing seasonality and population dynamics. There were no indications of well-known invasive species such as Caulerpa racemosa var.cylindracea and Caulerpa taxifolia. This study is the first of a kind that assesses the geographical distribution and seasonality of the genus Caulerpa along the Israeli shores.

  17. Plant distribution-altitude and landform relationships in karstic sinkholes of Mediterranean region of Turkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozkan, Kürsad; Gulsoy, Serkan; Mert, Ahmet; Ozturk, Munir; Muys, Bart

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between the plant distribution and the altitude-shape-size characteristics of sinkholes, and the landform characteristics inside sinkholes in the Mediterranean region of Turkey. Block kriging, Factor analysis, Cluster Analysis and Detrended Correspondence Analysis were performed. The sinkhole type and altitudinal zone were found to be the significant factors affecting the plant distribution. However, the sinkhole type was more important than the altitudinal zone. Hence, the sinkholes were first subdivided into groups according to types and then the groups were divided into subgroups according to the altitudinal zones. Consequently, 4 groups were defined; A-type sinkholes [1400-1550 m (A1), 1550-1700 m (A2)] and B-type sinkholes [1400-1550 (B1), 1550-1700 m (B2)]. The B-type was wider vertically and shorter horizontally than A-type sinkholes. Significant differences were found between the plant distribution and slope position inside the sinkholes. Plant distribution in the lower slopes was different from that in the flats and ridges in the B1 sub-type of B-type. Plant distribution in B2 subtype was different among the slope positions (ridge, middle slope, lower slope, and flat). Although distribution of plants is different in different parts (ridges, upper slope, middle slope, lower slope and basal flats) of A sinkhole, the differences between the parts of intermediate slope position are not significant. A high plant variability along short distances in the sinkholes was observed in the study area. That is why the site of sinkholes have a big potential for the distribution of many species. Hence, the area must be separated as strictly protected zone.

  18. DNA barcoding for species assignment: the case of Mediterranean marine fishes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monica Landi

    Full Text Available DNA barcoding enhances the prospects for species-level identifications globally using a standardized and authenticated DNA-based approach. Reference libraries comprising validated DNA barcodes (COI constitute robust datasets for testing query sequences, providing considerable utility to identify marine fish and other organisms. Here we test the feasibility of using DNA barcoding to assign species to tissue samples from fish collected in the central Mediterranean Sea, a major contributor to the European marine ichthyofaunal diversity.A dataset of 1278 DNA barcodes, representing 218 marine fish species, was used to test the utility of DNA barcodes to assign species from query sequences. We tested query sequences against 1 a reference library of ranked DNA barcodes from the neighbouring North East Atlantic, and 2 the public databases BOLD and GenBank. In the first case, a reference library comprising DNA barcodes with reliability grades for 146 fish species was used as diagnostic dataset to screen 486 query DNA sequences from fish specimens collected in the central basin of the Mediterranean Sea. Of all query sequences suitable for comparisons 98% were unambiguously confirmed through complete match with reference DNA barcodes. In the second case, it was possible to assign species to 83% (BOLD-IDS and 72% (GenBank of the sequences from the Mediterranean. Relatively high intraspecific genetic distances were found in 7 species (2.2%-18.74%, most of them of high commercial relevance, suggesting possible cryptic species.We emphasize the discriminatory power of COI barcodes and their application to cases requiring species level resolution starting from query sequences. Results highlight the value of public reference libraries of reliability grade-annotated DNA barcodes, to identify species from different geographical origins. The ability to assign species with high precision from DNA samples of disparate quality and origin has major utility in several

  19. Wild and semi-domesticated food plant consumption in seven circum-Mediterranean areas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hadjichambis, A.C.; Paraskeva-Hadjichambi, D.; Della, A.; Giusti, M.E.; Pasquale, C.; Lenzarini, C.; Censorii, E.; Gonzales-Tejero, M.R.; Sanchez-Rojas, C.P.; Ramiro-Gutierrez, J.M.; Skoula, M.; Johnson, C.; Sarpaki, A.; Hmamouchi, M.; Jorhi, S.; El-Demerdash, M.; El-Zayat, M.; Pieroni, A.

    2008-01-01

    The use of local Mediterranean food plants is at the brink of disappearance. Even though there is relatively abundant information on inventories of wild edible taxa, there is also a crucial need to understand how these plants are consumed and when and how these consumption phenomena change over time

  20. Effect of plant chemicals on the behavior of the Mediterranean fruit fly

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Papadopoulos, N.T.; Kouloussis, N.A.; Katsoyannos, B.I.

    2006-01-01

    A review of current information on the relation between plant chemicals and the Mediterranean fruit fly is presented. The influence of age and adult physiology on the response of med flies to plant chemicals is studied. The effect of plant chemicals on med fly behavior during host finding, mating and oviposition is analysed. The possible influence of plant chemicals on the dispersion patterns and spatial distribution of the fly is also addressed. (MAC)

  1. Effect of plant chemicals on the behavior of the Mediterranean fruit fly

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Papadopoulos, N.T., E-mail: nikopap@uth.g [University of Thessaly (Greece). Dept. of Crop Production and Rural Environment. Lab. of Entomology and Agricultural Zoology; Kouloussis, N.A.; Katsoyannos, B.I. [University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki (Greece). School of Agriculture

    2006-07-01

    A review of current information on the relation between plant chemicals and the Mediterranean fruit fly is presented. The influence of age and adult physiology on the response of med flies to plant chemicals is studied. The effect of plant chemicals on med fly behavior during host finding, mating and oviposition is analysed. The possible influence of plant chemicals on the dispersion patterns and spatial distribution of the fly is also addressed. (MAC)

  2. A massive update of non-indigenous species records in Mediterranean marinas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aylin Ulman

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The Mediterranean Sea is home to over 2/3 of the world’s charter boat traffic and hosts an estimated 1.5 million recreational boats. Studies elsewhere have demonstrated marinas as important hubs for the stepping-stone transfer of non-indigenous species (NIS, but these unique anthropogenic, and typically artificial habitats have largely gone overlooked in the Mediterranean as sources of NIS hot-spots. From April 2015 to November 2016, 34 marinas were sampled across the following Mediterranean countries: Spain, France, Italy, Malta, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus to investigate the NIS presence and richness in the specialized hard substrate material of these marina habitats. All macroinvertebrate taxa were collected and identified. Additionally, fouling samples were collected from approximately 600 boat-hulls from 25 of these marinas to determine if boats host diverse NIS not present in the marina. Here, we present data revealing that Mediterranean marinas indeed act as major hubs for the transfer of marine NIS, and we also provide evidence that recreational boats act as effective vectors of spread. From this wide-ranging geographical study, we report here numerous new NIS records at the basin, subregional, country and locality level. At the basin level, we report three NIS new to the Mediterranean Sea (Achelia sawayai sensu lato, Aorides longimerus, Cymodoce aff. fuscina, and the re-appearance of two NIS previously known but currently considered extinct in the Mediterranean (Bemlos leptocheirus, Saccostrea glomerata. We also compellingly update the distributions of many NIS in the Mediterranean Sea showing some recent spreading; we provide details for 11 new subregional records for NIS (Watersipora arcuata, Hydroides brachyacantha sensu lato and Saccostrea glomerata now present in the Western Mediterranean; Symplegma brakenhielmi, Stenothoe georgiana, Spirobranchus tertaceros sensu lato, Dendostrea folium sensu lato and Parasmittina egyptiaca now

  3. Fire and drought affect plant communities and the greenhouse gas balance in a Mediterranean shrubland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, José M.; Parra, Antonio; Dannenmann, Michael; Ramírez, David A.; Diaz-Pines, Eugenio; Tejedor, Javier; Kitzler, Barbara; Karhu, Kristina; Resco, Victor; Povoas, Luciano

    2010-05-01

    Predicted changes in the seasonality and amount of rainfall under a changing climate have the potential to dramatically alter ecosystem function and species composition. Moreover, in fire-prone ecosystems, the joint effects of fire and increasing aridity may create irreversible changes to the services these ecosystems provide. To understand the effects of increasing drought and fire in a Mediterranean shrubland, we implemented an automated rainfall manipulation system, with rain-out shelters which automatically fold and unfold when conditions are rainy and dry, respectively. In January 2009, we implemented five different treatments, where annual precipitation was reduced by diminishing summer rainfall from the long-term historical average, up to a 40% reduction, following IPCC scenarios. In September 2009, we uninstalled all the shelters to burn the different plots, and reinstalled the shelters immediately afterwards. In this talk, we will present the preliminary results of an integrated experiment which aims at understanding the concomitant effects of fire and different drought intensities on the species composition and greenhouse gas balance (CO2, N2O and CH4) of a Mediterranean shrubland. We observed that plant growth was more severely affected by drought in the more shallow-rooted, malacophyllous shrub (from 116 to -7.2 mg/g/d in Cistus ladanifer), than in a deeper-rooted heather (from 5.5 to 66.9 mg/g/day in Erica arborea). This growth response was mediated by species-specific differences in hydraulics, leaf morphology and photosynthetic gas exchange of each species. Analyses of changes in species composition after fire are currently undergoing. The precipitation reduction treatments exerted drought stress on CH4 oxidizing microorganisms and thus reduced the CH4 sink strength of the ecosystem during the pre-fire period. Furthermore, the net CH4 uptake at the soil-atmosphere interface was reduced by the fire for a period of at least one month. Pedosphere

  4. Endangered Species (Plants). LC Science Tracer Bullet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niskern, Diana, Comp.

    This guide is intended for those who wish to study the literature dealing with various aspects of endangered plant species. This document includes the following sections, some of which are bibliographies: (1) "Introductions to the Topic"; (2) "Subject Headings" (for endangered species of plants used by the Library of Congress); (3) "General…

  5. The Invasive Plant Species Education Guide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Kevin; James, Krista; Carlson, Kitrina; D'Angelo, Jean

    2010-01-01

    To help high school students gain a solid understanding of invasive plant species, university faculty and students from the University of Wisconsin-Stout (UW-Stout) and a local high school teacher worked together to develop the Invasive Plant Species (IPS) Education Guide. The IPS Education Guide includes nine lessons that give students an…

  6. Critically endangered fish species of Turkish Seas (Mediterranean and Aegean): Longfin gurnard, Chelidonichthys obscurus (Walbaum, 1792)

    OpenAIRE

    Cemal Turan; Deniz Ergüden; Mevlüt Gürlek

    2016-01-01

    Longfin gurnard Chelidonichthys obscurus (Walbaum, 1792) is reported several times from various researchers in the checklist of Turkish marine fishes. However, last three decades, the species is not occurred in the distributional range, comprising the northeastern Mediterranean Sea and Aegean Sea coast of Turkey. It is possibly critically endangered or absent in the Turkish Seas. Moreover, there has no any biological study been carried out on C. obscurus in Turkey. C. obscurus is considered t...

  7. Syllidae (Annelida: Phyllodocida) from the deep Mediterranean Sea, with the description of three new species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langeneck, Joachim; Musco, Luigi; Busoni, Giulio; Conese, Ilaria; Aliani, Stefano; Castelli, Alberto

    2018-01-03

    Despite almost two centuries of research, the diversity of Mediterranean deep-sea environments remain still largely unexplored. This is particularly true for the polychaete family Syllidae. We report herein 14 species; among them, we describe Erinaceusyllis barbarae n. sp., Exogone sophiae n. sp. and Prosphaerosyllis danovaroi n. sp. and report Parexogone wolfi San Martín, 1991, Exogone lopezi San Martín, Ceberio Aguirrezabalaga, 1996 and Anguillosyllis Day, 1963 for the first time from the Western Mediterranean, the latter based on a single individual likely belonging to an undescribed species. Moreover, we re-establish Syllis profunda Cognetti, 1955 based on type and new material. Present data, along with a critical analysis of available literature, show that Syllidae are highly diverse in deep Mediterranean environments, even though they are rarely reported, probably due to the scarce number of studies devoted to the size-fraction of benthos including deep-sea syllids. Most deep-sea Syllidae have wide distributions, which do not include shallow-waters. 100 m depth apparently represents the boundary between the assemblages dominated by generalist shallow water syllids like Exogone naidina Ørsted, 1843 and Syllis parapari San Martín López, 2000, and those deep-water assemblages characterised by strictly deep-water species like Parexogone campoyi San Martín, Ceberio Aguirrezabalaga, 1996, Parexogone wolfi San Martín, 1991 and Syllis sp. 1 (= Langerhansia caeca Katzmann, 1973).

  8. Ozone exposure induces the activation of leaf senescence-related processes and morphological and growth changes in seedlings of Mediterranean tree species

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ribas, Angela; Pen-tilde uelas, Josep; Elvira, Susana; Gimeno, Benjamin S.

    2005-01-01

    Four Mediterranean tree taxa, Quercus ilex subsp. ilex, Quercus ilex subsp. ballota, Olea europaea cv. vulgaris and Ceratonia siliqua, were exposed to different ozone (O 3 ) concentrations in open top chambers (OTCs) during 2 years. Three treatments were applied: charcoal-filtered air (CF), non-filtered air (NF) and non-filtered air plus 40 ppb v of O 3 (NF+). The photochemical maximal efficiency, Fv/Fm, decreased in NF+ plants during the second year of exposure, especially during the most stressful Mediterranean seasons (winter and summer). An increase of δ 13 C was found in three of the four studied species during the first year of exposure. This finding was only maintained in C. siliqua during the second year. Decreases in the chlorophyll content were detected during the first year of fumigations in all the species studied, but not during the second year. The NF+ treatment induced changes in foliar anatomical characteristics, especially in leaf mass per area (LMA) and spongy parenchyma thickness, which increased in some species. A reduction in N content and an increase in δ 15 N were found in all species during the second year when exposed in the NF+ OTCs, suggesting a change in their retranslocation pattern linked to an acceleration of leaf senescence, as also indicated by the above mentioned biochemical and anatomical foliar changes. The two Q. ilex subspecies were the most sensitive species since the changes in N concentration, δ 15 N, chlorophyll, leaf area, LMA and biomass occurred at ambient O 3 concentrations. However, C. siliqua was the most responsive species (29% biomass reduction) when exposed to the NF+ treatment, followed by the two Q. ilex subspecies (14-20%) and O. europaea (no significant reduction). Ozone resistance of the latter species was linked to some plant traits such as chlorophyll concentrations, or spongy parenchyma thickness. - Ozone induces species-specific leaf senescence-related processes and morphological and growth changes in

  9. Post-fire environments are favourable for plant functioning of seeder and resprouter Mediterranean shrubs, even under drought.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parra, Antonio; Moreno, José M

    2017-05-01

    Understanding how drought affects seeder and resprouter plants during post-fire regeneration is important for the anticipation of Mediterranean vegetation vulnerability in a context of increasing drought and fire caused by climate change. A Mediterranean shrubland was subjected to various drought treatments (including 45% rainfall reduction, 7 months drought yr -1 ), before and after experimental burning, by means of a rainout-shelter system with an irrigation facility. Predawn shoot water potential (Ψ pd ), relative growth rate (RGR), specific leaf area (SLA) and bulk leaf carbon isotopic composition (δ 13 C) were monitored in the main woody species during the first 3 yr after fire. Cistus ladanifer seedlings showed higher Ψ pd , RGR and SLA, and lower δ 13 C, than unburned plants during the first two post-fire years. Seedlings under drought maintained relatively high Ψ pd , but suffered a decrease in Ψ pd and RGR, and an increase in δ 13 C, relative to control treatments. Erica arborea, E. scoparia and Phillyrea angustifolia resprouts had higher Ψ pd and RGR than unburned plants during the first post-fire year. Resprouters were largely unaffected by drought. Overall, despite marked differences between the two functional groups, post-fire environments were favourable for plant functioning of both seeder and resprouter shrubs, even under the most severe drought conditions implemented. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  10. Why some plant species are rare.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wieger Wamelink, G W; Wamelink, G W Weiger; Goedhart, Paul W; Frissel, Joep; Frissel, Josep Y

    2014-01-01

    Biodiversity, including plant species diversity, is threatened worldwide as a result of anthropogenic pressures such as an increase of pollutants and climate change. Rare species in particular are on the verge of becoming extinct. It is still unclear as to why some plant species are rare and others are not. Are they rare due to: intrinsic reasons, dispersal capacity, the effects of management or abiotic circumstances? Habitat preference of rare plant species may play an important role in determining why some species are rare. Based on an extensive data set of soil parameters we investigated if rarity is due to a narrow habitat preference for abiotic soil parameters. For 23 different abiotic soil parameters, of which the most influential were groundwater-table, soil-pH and nutrient-contents, we estimated species responses for common and rare species. Based on the responses per species we calculated the range of occurrence, the range between the 5 and 95 percentile of the response curve giving the habitat preference. Subsequently, we calculated the average response range for common and rare species. In addition, we designed a new graphic in order to provide a better means for presentation of the results. The habitat preferences of rare species for abiotic soil conditions are significantly narrower than for common species. Twenty of the twenty-three abiotic parameters showed on average significantly narrower habitat preferences for rare species than for common species; none of the abiotic parameters showed on average a narrower habitat preference for common species. The results have major implications for the conservation of rare plant species; accordingly management and nature development should be focussed on the maintenance and creation of a broad range of environmental conditions, so that the requirements of rare species are met. The conservation of (abiotic) gradients within ecosystems is particularly important for preserving rare species.

  11. Study of some characteristic Mediterranean vegetation species best suited for renaturalization of terminal-phase municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills in Puglia (Southern Italy)

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Mei, Massimiliano; Di Mauro, Mariaida

    2006-07-01

    Natural recovery of worked-out or closed municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills is a current topic, but knowledge about the adaptability of Mediterranean vegetation species to such stressful conditions is still quite poor. Autochthonous plants were selected to withstand the stresses such as hot climate and drought typical of Mediterranean areas; this characteristic potentially allows the plants an easier, efficient adaptation. Our aim was to provide information in order to obtain an adequate quality of environmental renewal of a landfill and a reduced management cost while ensuring rehabilitation to an acceptable naturalistic state. The investigation lasted 3 years; some Mediterranean scrub native plant species were selected and monitored in their morphological (total and relative height, basal diameter, number of inter-nodes) and physiological (photosynthetic rate and water potential) activity. In order to test dependence on CO 2 concentration, different meteorological parameters were also monitored. Ceratonia siliqua, Phillyrea latifolia, Olea europaea and Quercus ilex showed considerable adaptability, reacting positively to every improvement in environmental conditions, particularly those of a meteorological nature. Survival and growth was satisfactory in Hedysarum coronarium, Medicago sativa, Lotus corniculatus, Rosmarinus officinalis, Myrtus communis and Viburnum tinus. Fraxinus ornus and Acer campestre suffered stress during the summer dry period and recovered quickly when atmospheric conditions improved. A drop irrigation system to ensure a satisfactory soil moisture during summer dry periods was the fundamental element for survival.

  12. Traits determining the digestibility-decomposability relationships in species from Mediterranean rangelands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bumb, Iris; Garnier, Eric; Coq, Sylvain; Nahmani, Johanne; Del Rey Granado, Maria; Gimenez, Olivier; Kazakou, Elena

    2018-03-05

    Forage quality for herbivores and litter quality for decomposers are two key plant properties affecting ecosystem carbon and nutrient cycling. Although there is a positive relationship between palatability and decomposition, very few studies have focused on larger vertebrate herbivores while considering links between the digestibility of living leaves and stems and the decomposability of litter and associated traits. The hypothesis tested is that some defences of living organs would reduce their digestibility and, as a consequence, their litter decomposability, through 'afterlife' effects. Additionally in high-fertility conditions the presence of intense herbivory would select for communities dominated by fast-growing plants, which are able to compensate for tissue loss by herbivory, producing both highly digestible organs and easily decomposable litter. Relationships between dry matter digestibility and decomposability were quantified in 16 dominant species from Mediterranean rangelands, which are subject to management regimes that differ in grazing intensity and fertilization. The digestibility and decomposability of leaves and stems were estimated at peak standing biomass, in plots that were either fertilized and intensively grazed or unfertilized and moderately grazed. Several traits were measured on living and senesced organs: fibre content, dry matter content and nitrogen, phosphorus and tannin concentrations. Digestibility was positively related to decomposability, both properties being influenced in the same direction by management regime, organ and growth forms. Digestibility of leaves and stems was negatively related to their fibre concentrations, and positively related to their nitrogen concentration. Decomposability was more strongly related to traits measured on living organs than on litter. Digestibility and decomposition were governed by similar structural traits, in particular fibre concentration, affecting both herbivores and micro

  13. Climatic and topographical correlates of plant palaeo- and neoendemism in a Mediterranean biodiversity hotspot

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molina-Venegas, Rafael; Aparicio, Abelardo; Lavergne, Sébastien; Arroyo, Juan

    2017-01-01

    Background and Aims Understanding the evolutionary and ecological forces contributing to the emergence of biodiversity hotspots is of outstanding importance to elucidate how they may withstand current climate changes. Here we explored patterns of phylogenetic and non-phylogenetic plant endemism in a Mediterranean biodiversity hotspot. We hypothesized that areas with wet and equable climatic conditions would be prone to long-term persistence of endemic lineages (palaeoendemism), whilst areas of recent local speciation (neoendemism) would be more related to harsher environmental conditions and to high topographical relief promoting speciation. Methods We focused on the Baetic–Rifan biodiversity hotspot (southern Iberian Peninsula and northern Morocco) in combination with molecular phylogenetic information and relative phylogenetic endemism (RPE), a recent phylogenetic measure of endemism, allowing us to discern centres of palaeo- from those of neoendemism. Using eco-geographical regions as study units, we explored correlations between both RPE and endemic species richness with precipitation- and temperature-related variables and with elevation range. Key Results Centres of neoendemism were concentrated towards the easternmost part of the hotspot, while centres of palaeoendemism were clustered in the vicinity of the Strait of Gibraltar. The RPE index, indicating more palaeoendemism, was positively correlated with total annual precipitation, while endemic species richness showed a poor correlation. In contrast, elevation range and mean annual temperature were poor predictors of RPE, despite elevation range showing a strong correlation with endemic species richness. Conclusions The Baetic–Rifan biodiversity hotspot shows clearly differentiated centres of neo- and palaeoendemism. Topographical relief may have driven evolutionary diversification of newly evolved species, while water availability seems more critical for the long-term persistence of ancient lineages in

  14. Chemical interactions between plants in Mediterranean vegetation: the influence of selected plant extracts on Aegilops geniculata metabolome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scognamiglio, Monica; Fiumano, Vittorio; D'Abrosca, Brigida; Esposito, Assunta; Choi, Young Hae; Verpoorte, Robert; Fiorentino, Antonio

    2014-10-01

    Allelopathy is the chemical mediated communication among plants. While on one hand there is growing interest in the field, on the other hand it is still debated as doubts exist at different levels. A number of compounds have been reported for their ability to influence plant growth, but the existence of this phenomenon in the field has rarely been demonstrated. Furthermore, only few studies have reported the uptake and the effects at molecular level of the allelochemicals. Allelopathy has been reported on some plants of Mediterranean vegetation and could contribute to structuring this ecosystem. Sixteen plants of Mediterranean vegetation have been selected and studied by an NMR-based metabolomics approach. The extracts of these donor plants have been characterized in terms of chemical composition and the effects on a selected receiving plant, Aegilops geniculata, have been studied both at the morphological and at the metabolic level. Most of the plant extracts employed in this study were found to have an activity, which could be correlated with the presence of flavonoids and hydroxycinnamate derivatives. These plant extracts affected the receiving plant in different ways, with different rates of growth inhibition at morphological level. The results of metabolomic analysis of treated plants suggested the induction of oxidative stress in all the receiving plants treated with active donor plant extracts, although differences were observed among the responses. Finally, the uptake and transport into receiving plant leaves of different metabolites present in the extracts added to the culture medium were observed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Functional plant types drive plant interactions in a Mediterranean mountain range

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    Petr eMacek

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Shrubs have both positive (facilitation and negative (competition effects on understory plants, the net interaction effect being modulated by abiotic conditions. Overall shrubs influence to great extent the structure of plant communities where they have significant presence. Interactions in a plant community are quite diverse but little is known about their variability and effects at community level. Here we checked the effects of co-occurring shrub species from different functional groups on a focal understory species, determining mechanisms driving interaction outcome, and tested whether effects measured on the focal species were a proxy for effects measured at the community level. Growth, physiological, and reproductive traits of Euphorbia nicaeensis, our focal species, were recorded on individuals growing in association with four dominant shrub species and in adjacent open areas. We also recorded community composition and environmental conditions in each microhabitat.Shrubs provided environmental conditions for plant growth, which contrasted with open areas, including moister soil, greater N content, higher air temperatures, and lower radiation. Shrub-associated individuals showed lower reproductive effort and greater allocation to growth, while most physiological traits remained unaffected. Euphorbia individuals were bigger and had more leaf N under N-fixing than under non-fixing species. Soil moisture was also higher under N-fixing shrubs; therefore soil conditions in the understory may counter reduced light conditions.There was a significant effect of species identity and functional types in the outcome of plant interactions with consistent effects at individual and community levels. The contrasting allocation strategies to reproduction and growth in Euphorbia plants, either associated or not with shrubs, showed high phenotypic plasticity and evidence its ability to cope with contrasting environmental conditions.

  16. Germination sensitivity to water stress in four shrubby species across the Mediterranean Basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamorro, D; Luna, B; Ourcival, J-M; Kavgacı, A; Sirca, C; Mouillot, F; Arianoutsou, M; Moreno, J M

    2017-01-01

    Mediterranean shrublands are generally water-limited and fire-driven ecosystems. Seed-based post-fire regeneration may be affected by varying rainfall patterns, depending on species sensitivity to germinate under water stress. In our study, we considered the germination response to water stress in four species from several sites across the Mediterranean Basin. Seeds of species with a hard coat (Cistus monspeliensis, C. salviifolius, Cistaceae, Calicotome villosa, Fabaceae) or soft coat (Erica arborea, Ericaceae), which were exposed or not to a heat shock and smoke (fire cues), were made to germinate under water stress. Final germination percentage, germination speed and viability of seeds were recorded. Germination was modelled using hydrotime analysis and correlated to the water balance characteristics of seed provenance. Water stress was found to decrease final germination in the three hard-seeded species, as well as reduce germination speed. Moreover, an interaction between fire cues and water stress was found, whereby fire cues increased sensitivity to water stress. Seed viability after germination under water stress also declined in two hard-seeded species. Conversely, E. arborea showed little sensitivity to water stress, independent of fire cues. Germination responses varied among populations of all species, and hydrotime parameters were not correlated to site water balance, except in E. arborea when not exposed to fire cues. In conclusion, the species studied differed in germination sensitivity to water stress; furthermore, fire cues increased this sensitivity in the three hard-seeded species, but not in E. arborea. Moreover, populations within species consistently differed among themselves, but these differences could only be related to the provenance locality in E. arborea in seeds not exposed to fire cues. © 2016 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  17. Schmidtea mediterranea phylogeography: an old species surviving on a few Mediterranean islands?

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    Pala Maria

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Schmidtea mediterranea (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Continenticola is found in scattered localities on a few islands and in coastal areas of the western Mediterranean. Although S. mediterranea is the object of many regeneration studies, little is known about its evolutionary history. Its present distribution has been proposed to stem from the fragmentation and migration of the Corsica-Sardinia microplate during the formation of the western Mediterranean basin, which implies an ancient origin for the species. To test this hypothesis, we obtained a large number of samples from across its distribution area. Using known and new molecular markers and, for the first time in planarians, a molecular clock, we analysed the genetic variability and demographic parameters within the species and between its sexual and asexual populations to estimate when they diverged. Results A total of 2 kb from three markers (COI, CYB and a nuclear intron N13 was amplified from ~200 specimens. Molecular data clustered the studied populations into three groups that correspond to the west, central and southeastern geographical locations of the current distribution of S. mediterranea. Mitochondrial genes show low haplotype and nucleotide diversity within populations but demonstrate higher values when all individuals are considered. The nuclear marker shows higher values of genetic diversity than the mitochondrial genes at the population level, but asexual populations present lower variability than the sexual ones. Neutrality tests are significant for some populations. Phylogenetic and dating analyses show the three groups to be monophyletic, with the west group being the basal group. The time when the diversification of the species occurred is between ~20 and ~4 mya, although the asexual nature of the western populations could have affected the dating analyses. Conclusions S. mediterranea is an old species that is sparsely distributed in a harsh habitat

  18. Phylogenetic characterization of two echinoid species of the southeastern Mediterranean, off Egypt

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    Taha Soliman

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In this study we investigated the phylogenetics of two sea urchin species, Arbacia lixula and Paracentrotus lividus from the Mediterranean Sea. Specimens were collected from the east coast of Alexandria City, Egypt. Pigmentation examination showed four sympatric color morphotypes (black, purple, reddish brown, and olive green. Mitochondrial DNA was extracted from specimens and mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI and 16S ribosomal RNA (16S were sequenced. The results showed that all black specimens constituted the species A. lixula. All other colors belonged to P. lividus, with no apparent differentiation between color morphotypes. Moreover, P. lividus showed high haplotype diversity (COI; H = 0.9500 and 16S; H = 0.8580 and low values of nucleotide diversity (COI; π = 0.0075 and 16S; π = 0.0049, indicating a high degree of polymorphism within this species. This study represents the first attempt at DNA barcoding of echinoid species in the southeast Mediterranean off the Egyptian coast, and will provide a base for future phylogenetic analyses.

  19. Biogenic emissions from Pinus halepensis: a typical species of the Mediterranean area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, V.; Dumergues, L.; Solignac, G.; Torres, L.

    2005-03-01

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emissions by vegetation present in the Mediterranean area are not well known. They may contribute with anthropogenic VOC emissions to the tropospheric ozone formation that reaches important level in the European Mediterranean region. The present work, carried out as part of the European ESCOMPTE project «fiEld experimentS to COnstrain Models of atmospheric Pollution and Transport of Emissions», adds a new contribution to the inventory of the main natural hydrocarbons sources likely to participate in the ozone production. The corresponding measurement campaign was conducted in La Barben, a site close to Marseilles (France), with the aim to quantify the terpenic emission pattern and the behaviour of Pinus halepensis, an important Mediterranean species slightly studied. The determination of biogenic emissions from P. halepensis was done by the enclosure of an intact branch in a Teflon cuvette. Main emitted monoterpenes were β trans-ocimene and linalool. The total monoterpenic emission rates thus recorded were found to reach maximum values around 30 μg g dry weight-1 h -1. The normalized emission rates calculated at 30 °C and 1000 μmol m -2 s -1 with Guenther's algorithm was 14.76, 8.65 and 4.05 μg g dry weight-1 h -1, respectively, for the total monoterpenes, β trans-ocimene and linalool.

  20. Coexistence of two freshwater turtle species along a Mediterranean stream: The role of spatial and temporal heterogeneity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segurado, Pedro; Figueiredo, Diogo

    2007-09-01

    In the Iberian Peninsula the European pond turtle ( Emys orbicularis) and the Mediterranean pond turtle ( Mauremys leprosa) share many freshwater habitats, in particular Mediterranean streams. Whether and how these two species divide space within those habitats is poorly known in part due to the very low abundance of E. orbicularis at most syntopic sites. The spatial coexistence of these two species was studied along a 1.3 km reach of a typical Mediterranean stream based on data from trapping sessions and basking counts. The effect of the hydrological regime on differences in space use between species was also assessed. Spatial associations between species and between each species and microhabitat descriptors were estimated using a permutation procedure to account for spatial autocorrelation. Differences in the use of space were also estimated using a resample technique to account for the small sample sizes of E. orbicularis. Results indicate that E. orbicularis shows a preference for temporary, shallow, well vegetated and sandy reaches, while M. leprosa is less selective regarding microhabitat. Differences between E. orbicularis and juveniles of M. leprosa were less obvious. The high spatial heterogeneity of Mediterranean streams may be responsible for the persistence of viable populations of E. orbicularis as well as favouring the coexistence of the two turtle species. Therefore, stream habitat management and conservation plans for E. orbicularis should give priority to the maintenance of high levels of heterogeneity along Mediterranean streams.

  1. Developing Foram-AMBI for biomonitoring in the Mediterranean: Species assignments to ecological categories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorissen, Frans; Nardelli, Maria P.; Almogi-Labin, Ahuva; Barras, Christine; Bergamin, Luisa; Bicchi, Erica; El Kateb, Akram; Ferraro, Luciana; McGann, Mary; Morigi, Caterina; Romano, Elena; Sabattini, Anna; Schweizer, Magali; Spezzaferri, Silvia

    2018-01-01

    Most environmental bio-monitoring methods using the species composition of marine faunas define the Ecological Quality Status of soft bottom ecosystems based on the relative proportions of species assigned to a limited number of ecological categories. In this study we analyse the distribution patterns of benthic foraminifera in the Mediterranean as a function of organic carbon gradients on the basis of 15 publications and assign the individual species to five ecological categories. Our categories (of sensitive, indifferent and 3rd, 2nd and 1st order opportunists) are very similar to the ecological categories commonly used for macrofauna, but show some minor differences. In the 15 analysed publications, we considered the numerical data of 493 taxa, of which 199 could be assigned. In all 79 taxa were classified as sensitive, 60 as indifferent, 46 as 3rd order, 12 as 2nd order and 2 as 1st order opportunists. The remaining 294 taxa are all accessory, and will only marginally contribute to biotic indices based on relative species proportions. In this paper we wanted also to explain the methodology we used for these species assignments, paying particular attention to all complications and problems encountered. We think that the species list proposed here will constitute a highly useful tool for foraminiferal bio-monitoring of soft bottoms in the Mediterranean Sea, which can be used in different ecological indices (Foram-AMBI and similar methods). With additional information becoming available in the next few years, it will be possible to expand the list, and, if necessary, to apply some minor corrections. As a next step, we intend to test this species list using several biotic indices, in a number of independent data sets, as soon as these will become available.

  2. Changes in leaf δ13C and δ15N for three Mediterranean tree species in relation to soil water availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogaya, Romà; Peñuelas, Josep

    2008-11-01

    A rain exclusion experiment simulating drought conditions expected in Mediterranean areas for the following decades (15% decrease in soil moisture) was conducted in a Mediterranean holm oak forest to study the response of leaf δ13C, δ15N, and N concentrations to the predicted climatic changes for the coming decades. Plant material was sampled in 2000, 2003, 2004, and 2005 in eight plots: four of them were control plots and the other four plots received the rain exclusion treatment. Although there was a negative relationship between δ13C and soil moisture, for each species and year, the rain exclusion treatment did not have any significant effect on δ13C, and therefore on the intrinsic water use efficiency (iWUE) of the three dominant species: Phillyrea latifolia, Arbutus unedo, and Quercus ilex. On the other hand, rain exclusion clearly increased the δ15N values in the three species studied, probably indicating higher N losses at the soil level leading to a 15N enrichment of the available N. It suggested that rain exclusion exerted a greater effect on the nitrogen biogeochemical cycle than on the carbon assimilation process. δ15N values were inversely correlated with summer soil moisture in Q. ilex and A. unedo, but no relationship was observed in P. latifolia. This latter species showed the lowest iWUE values, but it was the only species with no decrease in annual basal increment in response to the rain exclusion treatment, and it also had the highest resistance to the hot and dry conditions projected for the Mediterranean basin in the coming decades. The different strategies to resist rain exclusion conditions of these species could induce changes in their competitive ability and future distribution. The losses of N from the ecosystem may further limit plant growth and ecosystem functioning.

  3. Biological significance of dead biomass retention trait in Mediterranean Basin species: an analysis between different successional niches and regeneration strategies as functional groups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baeza, M J; Santana, V M

    2015-11-01

    Standing dead biomass retention is considered one of the most relevant fuel structural traits to affect plant flammability. However, very little is known about the biological significance of this trait and its distribution between different functional groups. Our aim was to analyse how the proportion of dead biomass produced in Mediterranean species is related to the successional niche of species (early-, mid- and late-successional stages) and the regeneration strategy of species (seeders and resprouters). We evaluated biomass distribution by size classes and standing dead biomass retention in nine dominant species from the Mediterranean Basin in different development stages (5, 9, 14 and 26 years since the last fire). The results revealed significant differences in the standing dead biomass retention of species that presented a distinct successional niche or regeneration strategy. These differences were restricted to the oldest ages studied (>9 years). Tree and small tree resprouters, typical in late-successional stages, presented slight variations with age and a less marked trend to retain dead biomass, while seeder shrubs and dwarf shrubs, characteristic of early-successional stages, showed high dead biomass loads. Our results suggest that the species that tend to retain more dead branches are colonising species that may promote fire in early-successional stages. © 2015 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  4. Nuclear Microsatellite Primers for the Endangered Relict Fir, Abies pinsapo (Pinaceae and Cross-Amplification in Related Mediterranean Species

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    Laura Navarro-Sampedro

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Twelve nuclear microsatellite primers (nSSR were developed for the endangered species Abies pinsapo Boiss. to enable the study of gene flow and genetic structure in the remaining distribution areas. Microsatellite primers were developed using next-generation sequencing (454 data from a single Abies pinsapo individual. Primers were applied to thirty individuals from the three extant localities. The number of alleles per locus ranged from one to four. Cross-amplification was tested for other Abies species from the Mediterranean Basin, and most of the loci showed higher polymorphisms in the Mediterranean species than in A. pinsapo. These microsatellite markers provide tools for conservation genetic studies in Abies pinsapo as well other Abies species from the Mediterranean Basin.

  5. Land-use intensity and host plant simultaneously shape the composition of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities in a Mediterranean drained peatland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciccolini, Valentina; Ercoli, Laura; Davison, John; Vasar, Martti; Öpik, Maarja; Pellegrino, Elisa

    2016-12-01

    Land-use change is known to be a major threat to biodiversity and ecosystem services in Mediterranean areas. However, the potential for different host plants to modulate the effect of land-use intensification on community composition of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) is still poorly understood. To test the hypothesis that low land-use intensity promotes AMF diversity at different taxonomic scales and to determine whether any response is dependent upon host plant species identity, we characterised AMF communities in the roots of 10 plant species across four land use types of differing intensity in a Mediterranean peatland system. AMF were identified using 454 pyrosequencing. This revealed an overall low level of AMF richness in the peaty soils; lowest AMF richness in the intense cropping system at both virtual taxa and family level; strong modulation by the host plant of the impact of land-use intensification on AMF communities at the virtual taxa level; and a significant effect of land-use intensification on AMF communities at the family level. These findings have implications for understanding ecosystem stability and productivity and should be considered when developing soil-improvement strategies in fragile ecosystems, such as Mediterranean peatlands. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. Plant cell death and cellular alterations induced by ozone: Key studies in Mediterranean conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Faoro, Franco; Iriti, Marcello

    2009-01-01

    An account of histo-cytological and ultrastructural studies on ozone effect on crop and forest species in Italy is given, with emphasis on induced cell death and the underlying mechanisms. Cell death phenomena possibly due to ambient O 3 were recorded in crop and forest species. In contrast, visible O 3 effects on Mediterranean vegetation are often unclear. Microscopy is thus suggested as an effective tool to validate and evaluate O 3 injury to Mediterranean vegetation. A DAB-Evans blue staining was proposed to validate O 3 symptoms at the microscopic level and for a pre-visual diagnosis of O 3 injury. The method has been positively tested in some of the most important crop species, such as wheat, tomato, bean and onion and, with some restriction, in forest species, and it also allows one to gain some very useful insights into the mechanisms at the base of O 3 sensitivity or tolerance. - Ozone-induced cell death is a frequent phenomenon in Mediterranean conditions, not only in the most sensitive crops but also in forest species.

  7. Functional indicators of response mechanisms to nitrogen deposition, ozone, and their interaction in two Mediterranean tree species.

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    Lina Fusaro

    Full Text Available The effects of nitrogen (N deposition, tropospheric ozone (O3 and their interaction were investigated in two Mediterranean tree species, Fraxinus ornus L. (deciduous and Quercus ilex L. (evergreen, having different leaf habits and resource use strategies. An experiment was conducted under controlled condition to analyse how nitrogen deposition affects the ecophysiological and biochemical traits, and to explore how the nitrogen-induced changes influence the response to O3. For both factors we selected realistic exposures (20 kg N ha-1 yr-1 and 80 ppb h for nitrogen and O3, respectively, in order to elucidate the mechanisms implemented by the plants. Nitrogen addition resulted in higher nitrogen concentration at the leaf level in F. ornus, whereas a slight increase was detected in Q. ilex. Nitrogen enhanced the maximum rate of assimilation and ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate regeneration in both species, whereas it influenced the light harvesting complex only in the deciduous F. ornus that was also affected by O3 (reduced assimilation rate and accelerated senescence-related processes. Conversely, Q. ilex developed an avoidance mechanism to cope with O3, confirming a substantial O3 tolerance of this species. Nitrogen seemed to ameliorate the harmful effects of O3 in F. ornus: the hypothesized mechanism of action involved the production of nitrogen oxide as the first antioxidant barrier, followed by enzymatic antioxidant response. In Q. ilex, the interaction was not detected on gas exchange and photosystem functionality; however, in this species, nitrogen might stimulate an alternative antioxidant response such as the emission of volatile organic compounds. Antioxidant enzyme activity was lower in plants treated with both O3 and nitrogen even though reactive oxygen species production did not differ between the treatments.

  8. Diversity of Porifera in the Mediterranean coralligenous accretions, with description of a new species

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    Marco Bertolino

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Temperate reefs, built by multilayers of encrusting algae accumulated during hundreds to thousands of years, represent one of the most important habitats of the Mediterranean Sea. These bioconstructions are known as “coralligenous” and their spatial complexity allow the formation of heterogeneous microhabitats offering opportunities for a large number of small cryptic species hardly ever considered.Although sponges are the dominant animal taxon in the coralligenous rims with both insinuating and perforating species, this group is until now poorly known. Aim of this work is to develop a reference baseline about the taxonomic knowledge of sponges and, considering their high level of phenotypic plasticity, evaluate the importance of coralligenous accretions as a pocket for biodiversity conservation.Collecting samples in four sites along the coast of the Ligurian Sea, we recorded 133 sponge taxa (115 of them identified at species level and 18 at genus level. One species, Eurypon gracilis is new for science; three species, Paratimea oxeata, Clathria (Microciona haplotoxa and Eurypon denisae are new records for the Italian sponge fauna, eleven species are new findings for the Ligurian Sea. Moreover, seventeen species have not been recorded before from the coralligenous community. The obtained data, together with an extensive review of the existing literature, increase to 273 the number of sponge species associated with the coralligenous concretions and confirm that this habitat is an extraordinary reservoir of biodiversity still largely unexplored, not only taxonomically, but also as to peculiar adaptations and life histories.

  9. Biodiversity hotspots house most undiscovered plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joppa, Lucas N; Roberts, David L; Myers, Norman; Pimm, Stuart L

    2011-08-09

    For most organisms, the number of described species considerably underestimates how many exist. This is itself a problem and causes secondary complications given present high rates of species extinction. Known numbers of flowering plants form the basis of biodiversity "hotspots"--places where high levels of endemism and habitat loss coincide to produce high extinction rates. How different would conservation priorities be if the catalog were complete? Approximately 15% more species of flowering plant are likely still undiscovered. They are almost certainly rare, and depending on where they live, suffer high risks of extinction from habitat loss and global climate disruption. By using a model that incorporates taxonomic effort over time, regions predicted to contain large numbers of undiscovered species are already conservation priorities. Our results leave global conservation priorities more or less intact, but suggest considerably higher levels of species imperilment than previously acknowledged.

  10. Little evidence for fire-adapted plant traits in Mediterranean climate regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradshaw, S Don; Dixon, Kingsley W; Hopper, Stephen D; Lambers, Hans; Turner, Shane R

    2011-02-01

    As climate change increases vegetation combustibility, humans are impacted by wildfires through loss of lives and property, leading to an increased emphasis on prescribed burning practices to reduce hazards. A key and pervading concept accepted by most environmental managers is that combustible ecosystems have traditionally burnt because plants are fire adapted. In this opinion article, we explore the concept of plant traits adapted to fire in Mediterranean climates. In the light of major threats to biodiversity conservation, we recommend caution in deliberately increasing fire frequencies if ecosystem degradation and plant extinctions are to be averted as a result of the practice. Crown Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. An integrated approach shows different use of water resources from Mediterranean maquis species in a coastal dune ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-11-01

    An integrated approach has been used to analyse the dependence of three Mediterranean species, A. unedo L., Q. ilex L., and P. latifolia L. co-occurring in a coastal dune ecosystem on two different water resources: groundwater and rainfed upper soil layers. The approach included leaf level gas exchanges, sap flow measurements and structural adaptations between 15 May and 31 July 2007. During this period it was possible to capture different species-specific response patterns to an environment characterized by a sandy soil, with a low water retention capacity, and the presence of a water table. The latter did not completely prevent the development of a drought response and, combined with previous studies in the same area, response differences between species have been partially attributed to different root distributions. Sap flow of A. unedo decreased rapidly with the decline of soil water content, while that of Q. ilex decreased only moderately. Midday leaf water potential of P. latifolia and A. unedo ranged between -2.2 and -2.7 MPa throughout the measuring period, while in Q. ilex it decreased down to -3.4 MPa at the end of the season. A. unedo was the only species that responded to drought with a decrease of its leaf area to sapwood area ratio from 23.9±1.2 (May) to 15.2±1.5 (July). While A. unedo also underwent an almost stepwise loss on hydraulic conductivity, such a loss did not occur for Q. ilex, whereas P. latifolia was able to slightly increase its hydraulic conducitivity. These differences show how different plant compartments coordinate differently between species in their responses to drought. The different responses appear to be mediated by different root distributions of the species and their relative resistances to drought are likely to depend on the duration of the periods in which water remains extractable in the upper soil layers.

  12. Temperature variation on the Mediterranean Sea by the exploitation of the Vandellos II Nuclear Power Plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Villarreal Romero, M.; Ribes Hernandez, G.; Esparza Martin, J. L.

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this study is to verify the compliance with the Resolution of 7th February MAH/285/2007 Departament de Medi Ambient I Habitatge de la Generalitat de Catalunya establishing discharges limits to the Mediterranean Sea and, in particular, the section that references the thermal rise. The study area include about 1.5 km coastline, which is located in the vicinity of the Vandellos II Nuclear Power Plant.

  13. Allergic reactions to vespids: comparison of sensitivities to two species in a Mediterranean area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanca, M; Miranda, A; Fernandez, J; Terrados, S; Vela, J M; Vega, J M; Gonzalez, J J; Juarez, C

    1988-01-01

    We have studied a group of twenty-seven patients who suffer allergic reactions to vespids stings. Specific IgE antibodies to venom extracts from Polistes gallicus and Vespula germanica were measured by RAST, and the crossreactivity between the two venoms was compared using the RAST inhibition technique. We concluded that, in southern Spain, sensitization to P. gallicus was more prevalent than that to V. germanica, with 44% of the subjects in this study reacting to P. gallicus compared with 33% to V. germanica. However, there was a considerable degree of crossreactivity between the two species. It is evident that Polistes is an important species in this area; however, both in Spain and other Mediterranean countries, V. germanica venom is used almost exclusively for diagnosis and immunotherapy.

  14. Seasonal variations in monoterpene profiles and ecophysiological traits in Mediterranean pine species of group halepensis

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    Michelozzi M

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Foliar and cortical terpene profile, and needle gas exchange and water potential of P. halepensis, P. brutia and P. eldarica were compared over three consecutive seasons (1996-1998 in an experimental plantation nearby Firenze (Italy. Terpene percentages in mature tissue (cortex and needle did not change in response to water stress during summer period and remained stable through seasons and years. Terpene profiles were not affected by seasonal drought, and are thus valuable to characterize Mediterranean pine species of the group “halepensis”. There was a threshold-type response of maximum daily gas exchange to decreasing predawn water potential in all pines. Net photosynthesis and needle conductance were linearly related, regardless of the species.

  15. Mediterranean coastal dune systems: Which abiotic factors have the most influence on plant communities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruocco, Matteo; Bertoni, Duccio; Sarti, Giovanni; Ciccarelli, Daniela

    2014-08-01

    Mediterranean coastal dunes are dynamic and heterogeneous ecosystems characterised by a strong interaction between abiotic and biotic factors. The present study aimed to adopt a multidisciplinary approach - integrating data on dune morphology, sediment texture and soil parameters as well as shoreline trend - in order to define which are the abiotic factors that most affect the distribution and composition of Mediterranean plant dune communities. The study was carried out in two protected areas, located in central Italy, subjected to different shoreline trends in recent years. 75 plots were identified along eleven randomly positioned cross-shore transects, starting from the beach continuing up to the plant communities of the backdunes. In each plot floristic and environmental data - such as distance to the coastline, plot altitude, inclination, shoreline trend, mean grain-size, sorting, pH, conductivity and organic matter concentration - were collected. The analyses revealed significant changes of vegetational cover, dune morphology and geopedological features along the coast-to-inland gradient. Relationships between vegetation composition and environmental factors were investigated through Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA). Four factors - distance to the coastline, mean grain-size, shoreline trend and organic matter - were found to be closely correlated with the floristic composition of plant communities. Finally, soil properties were highlighted as the most determinant factors of community zonation in these Mediterranean coastal dune ecosystems. These results could be taken into account by local managers in conservation actions such as protecting the eroding foredunes as well as in artificial dune reconstructions.

  16. Phylogeographical patterns among Mediterranean sepiolid squids and their Vibrio symbionts: environment drives specificity among sympatric species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamborsky, D J; Nishiguchi, M K

    2011-01-01

    Bobtail squid from the genera Sepiola and Rondeletiola (Cephalopoda: Sepiolidae) form mutualistic associations with luminous Gram-negative bacteria (Gammaproteobacteria: Vibrionaceae) from the genera Vibrio and Photobacterium. Symbiotic bacteria proliferate inside a bilobed light organ until they are actively expelled by the host into the surrounding environment on a diel basis. This event results in a dynamic symbiont population with the potential to establish the symbiosis with newly hatched sterile (axenic) juvenile sepiolids. In this study, we examined the genetic diversity found in populations of sympatric sepiolid squid species and their symbionts by the use of nested clade analysis with multiple gene analyses. Variation found in the distribution of different species of symbiotic bacteria suggests a strong influence of abiotic factors in the local environment, affecting bacterial distribution among sympatric populations of hosts. These abiotic factors include temperature differences incurred by a shallow thermocline, as well as a lack of strong coastal water movement accompanied by seasonal temperature changes in overlapping niches. Host populations are stable and do not appear to have a significant role in the formation of symbiont populations relative to their distribution across the Mediterranean Sea. Additionally, all squid species examined (Sepiola affinis, S. robusta, S. ligulata, S. intermedia, and Rondeletiola minor) are genetically distinct from one another regardless of location and demonstrate very little intraspecific variation within species. These findings suggest that physical boundaries and distance in relation to population size, and not host specificity, are important factors in limiting or defining gene flow within sympatric marine squids and their associated bacterial symbionts in the Mediterranean Sea.

  17. Spatio-temporal patterns of key exploited marine species in the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie Morfin

    Full Text Available This study analyzes the temporal variability/stability of the spatial distributions of key exploited species in the Gulf of Lions (Northwestern Mediterranean Sea. To do so, we analyzed data from the MEDITS bottom-trawl scientific surveys from 1994 to 2010 at 66 fixed stations and selected 12 key exploited species. We proposed a geostatistical approach to handle zero-inflated and non-stationary distributions and to test for the temporal stability of the spatial structures. Empirical Orthogonal Functions and other descriptors were then applied to investigate the temporal persistence and the characteristics of the spatial patterns. The spatial structure of the distribution (i.e. the pattern of spatial autocorrelation of the 12 key species studied remained highly stable over the time period sampled. The spatial distributions of all species obtained through kriging also appeared to be stable over time, while each species displayed a specific spatial distribution. Furthermore, adults were generally more densely concentrated than juveniles and occupied areas included in the distribution of juveniles. Despite the strong persistence of spatial distributions, we also observed that the area occupied by each species was correlated to its abundance: the more abundant the species, the larger the occupation area. Such a result tends to support MacCall's basin theory, according to which density-dependence responses would drive the expansion of those 12 key species in the Gulf of Lions. Further analyses showed that these species never saturated their habitats, suggesting that they are below their carrying capacity; an assumption in agreement with the overexploitation of several of these species. Finally, the stability of their spatial distributions over time and their potential ability to diffuse outside their main habitats give support to Marine Protected Areas as a potential pertinent management tool.

  18. Serum sterol responses to increasing plant sterol intake from natural foods in the Mediterranean diet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escurriol, Verónica; Cofán, Montserrat; Serra, Mercè; Bulló, Mónica; Basora, Josep; Salas-Salvadó, Jordi; Corella, Dolores; Zazpe, Itziar; Martínez-González, Miguel A; Ruiz-Gutiérrez, Valentina; Estruch, Ramón; Ros, Emilio

    2009-09-01

    Phytosterols in natural foods are thought to inhibit cholesterol absorption. The Mediterranean diet is rich in phytosterol-containing plant foods. To assess whether increasing phytosterol intake from natural foods was associated with a cholesterol-lowering effect in a substudy of a randomized trial of nutritional intervention with Mediterranean diets for primary cardiovascular prevention (PREDIMED study). One hundred and six high cardiovascular risk subjects assigned to two Mediterranean diets supplemented with virgin olive oil (VOO) or nuts, which are phytosterol-rich foods, or advice on a low-fat diet. Outcomes were 1-year changes in nutrient intake and serum levels of lipids and non-cholesterol sterols. Average phytosterol intake increased by 76, 158 and 15 mg/day in participants assigned VOO, nuts and low-fat diets, respectively. Compared to participants in the low-fat diet group, changes in outcome variables were observed only in those in the Mediterranean diet with nuts group, with increases in intake of fibre, polyunsaturated fatty acids and phytosterols (P natural foods appear to be bioactive in cholesterol lowering.

  19. Climatic and topographical correlates of plant palaeo- and neoendemism in a Mediterranean biodiversity hotspot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molina-Venegas, Rafael; Aparicio, Abelardo; Lavergne, Sébastien; Arroyo, Juan

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the evolutionary and ecological forces contributing to the emergence of biodiversity hotspots is of outstanding importance to elucidate how they may withstand current climate changes. Here we explored patterns of phylogenetic and non-phylogenetic plant endemism in a Mediterranean biodiversity hotspot. We hypothesized that areas with wet and equable climatic conditions would be prone to long-term persistence of endemic lineages (palaeoendemism), whilst areas of recent local speciation (neoendemism) would be more related to harsher environmental conditions and to high topographical relief promoting speciation. We focused on the Baetic-Rifan biodiversity hotspot (southern Iberian Peninsula and northern Morocco) in combination with molecular phylogenetic information and relative phylogenetic endemism (RPE), a recent phylogenetic measure of endemism, allowing us to discern centres of palaeo- from those of neoendemism. Using eco-geographical regions as study units, we explored correlations between both RPE and endemic species richness with precipitation- and temperature-related variables and with elevation range. Centres of neoendemism were concentrated towards the easternmost part of the hotspot, while centres of palaeoendemism were clustered in the vicinity of the Strait of Gibraltar. The RPE index, indicating more palaeoendemism, was positively correlated with total annual precipitation, while endemic species richness showed a poor correlation. In contrast, elevation range and mean annual temperature were poor predictors of RPE, despite elevation range showing a strong correlation with endemic species richness. The Baetic-Rifan biodiversity hotspot shows clearly differentiated centres of neo- and palaeoendemism. Topographical relief may have driven evolutionary diversification of newly evolved species, while water availability seems more critical for the long-term persistence of ancient lineages in refuge areas of smoother topography. Given climatic

  20. Combining projected changes in species richness and composition reveals climate change impacts on coastal Mediterranean fish assemblages

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Albouy, Camille; Guilhaumon, François; Bastos Araujo, Miguel

    2012-01-01

    future climatic niches of 288 coastal Mediterranean fish species based on a global warming scenario. We then aggregated geographically the species-level projections to analyse the projected changes in species richness and composition. Our results show that projected changes in assemblage composition....... nestedness), separately. We also present a mapping strategy to simultaneously visualize changes in species richness and assemblage composition. To illustrate our approach, we used the Mediterranean coastal fish fauna as a case study. Using Bioclimatic Envelope Models (BEMs) we first projected the potential......, the joint exploration of changes in species richness and composition coupled with the distinction between species replacement and nestedness bears important information for understanding the nature of climate change impacts on biodiversity. These methodological advances should help decision...

  1. Low dynamics, high longevity and persistence of sessile structural species dwelling on Mediterranean coralligenous outcrops.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Núria Teixidó

    Full Text Available There is still limited understanding of the processes underlying benthic species dynamics in marine coastal habitats, which are of disproportionate importance in terms of productivity and biodiversity. The life-history traits of long-lived benthic species in these habitats are particularly poorly documented. In this study, we assessed decadal patterns of population dynamics for ten sponge and anthozoan species that play key structural roles in coralligenous outcrops (∼25 m depth in two areas of the NW Mediterranean Sea. This study was based on examination of a unique long-term photographic series, which allowed analysis of population dynamics over extensive spatial and time spans for the very first time. Specifically, 671 individuals were censused annually over periods of 25-, 15-, and 5-years. This long-term study quantitatively revealed a common life-history pattern among the ten studied species, despite the fact they present different growth forms. Low mortality rates (3.4% yr(-1 for all species combined and infrequent recruitment events (mean value of 3.1±0.5 SE recruits yr(-1 provided only a very small fraction of the new colonies required to maintain population sizes. Overall, annual mortality and recruitment rates did not differ significantly among years; however, some species displayed important mortality events and recruitment pulses, indicating variability among species. Based on the growth rates of these 10 species, we projected their longevity and, obtained a mean estimated age of 25-200 years. Finally, the low to moderate turnover rates (mean value 0.80% yr(-1 observed among the coralligenous species were in agreement with their low dynamics and persistence. These results offer solid baseline data and reveal that these habitats are among the most vulnerable to the current increases of anthropogenic disturbances.

  2. Biogeochemical and Ecomorphological Niche Segregation of Mediterranean Woody Species along a Local Gradient

    OpenAIRE

    Enrique G. de la Riva; Enrique G. de la Riva; Teodoro Marañón; Cyrille Violle; Rafael Villar; Ignacio M. Pérez-Ramos

    2017-01-01

    According with niche theory the species are specialized in different ecological niches, being able to coexist as result of a differential use of resources. In this context, the biogeochemical niche hypothesis proposes that species have an optimal elemental composition which results from the link between the chemical and morphological traits for the optimum plant functioning. Thus, and attending to the limiting similarity concept, different elemental composition and plant structure among co-oc...

  3. Is floral divergence sufficient to maintain species boundaries upon secondary contact in Mediterranean food-deceptive orchids?

    OpenAIRE

    Zitari, A; Scopece, G; Helal, A N; Widmer, A; Cozzolino, S

    2011-01-01

    Analyzing the processes that determine whether species boundaries are maintained on secondary contact may shed light on the early phase of speciation. In Anacamptis morio and Anacamptis longicornu, two Mediterranean orchid sister-species, we used molecular and morphological analyses, together with estimates of pollination success and experimental crosses, to assess whether floral isolation can shelter the species' genomes from genetic admixture on secondary contact. We found substantial genet...

  4. Important biological factors for utilizing native plant species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loren E. Wiesner

    1999-01-01

    Native plant species are valuable resources for revegetation of disturbed ecosystems. The success of these plantings is dependent on the native species selected, quality of seed used, condition of the soil, environmental conditions before and after planting, planting equipment used, time of planting, and other factors. Most native species contain dormant seed. Dormancy...

  5. Germination and early plant development of ten plant species ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ten agronomic plant species were exposed to different concentrations of nano titanium dioxide (nTiO2) or nano cerium oxide (nCeO2) (0, 250, 500 and 1000 mg/L) to examine potential effects on germination and early seedling development. We modified a standard test protocol developed for soluble chemicals (OPPTS 850.4200) to determine if such an approach might be useful for screening engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) and whether there were differences in response across a range of commercially important plant species to two common metal oxide ENMs. Eight of 10 species responded to nTiO2, and 5 species responded to nCeO2. Overall, it appeared that early root growth may be a more sensitive indicator of potential effects from ENM exposure than germination. The observed effects did not always relate to the exposure concentration, indicating that mass-based concentration may not fully explain developmental effects of these two ENMs. The results suggest that nTiO2 and nCeO2 have different effects on early plant growth of agronomic species, which may alter the timing of specific developmental events during their life cycle. In addition, standard germination tests, which are commonly used for toxicity screening of new materials, may not detect the subtle but potentially more important changes associated with early growth and development in terrestrial plants. Engineered nanoparticles (ENMs) have been recognized as valuable components of new technologies and are current

  6. Radiocaesium accumulation by different plant species

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Filiptsova, G.G.

    2000-01-01

    Using the model object influence of mineral nutritions level on radiocaesium accumulation by different plant species has been studied. It was shown the wheat roots accumulation the minimal value on radiocaesium on normal potassium level, the rye roots accumulation maximal level radiocaesium. (authors)

  7. Dynamics of non-structural carbohydrates in three Mediterranean woody species following long-term experimental drought

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teresa eRosas

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Stored non-structural carbohydrates (NSC have been proposed as a key determinant of drought resistance in plants. However, the evidence for this role is controversial, as it comes mostly from observational, short-term studies. Here, we take advantage of a long-term experimental throughfall reduction to elucidate the response of NSC to increased drought 14 years after the beginning of the treatment in three Mediterranean woody species (Quercus ilex L., Arbutus unedo L. and Phillyrea latifolia L.. In addition, we selected 20 Q. ilex individuals outside the experimental plots to directly assess the relationship between defoliation and NSC at the individual level. We measured the seasonal course of NSC concentrations in leaves, branches and lignotuber in late winter, late spring, summer and autumn 2012. Total concentrations of NSC were highest in the lignotuber for all species. In the long-term drought experiment we found significant depletion in concentrations of total NSC in treatment plots only in the lignotuber of A. unedo. At the same time, A. unedo was the only species showing a significant reduction in BAI under the drought treatment during the 14 years of the experiment. By contrast, Q. ilex just reduced stem growth only during the first 4 years of treatment and P. latifolia remained unaffected over the whole study period. However, we found a clear association between the concentrations of NSC and defoliation in Q. ilex individuals sampled outside the experimental plots, with lower total concentrations of NSC and lower proportion of starch in defoliated individuals. Taken together, our results suggest that stabilizing processes, probably at the stand level, may have been operating in the long-term to mitigate any impact of drought on NSC levels, and highlight the necessity to incorporate long-term experimental studies of plant responses to drought.

  8. First record of the Indo-Pacific species Iphione muricata Savigny in Lamarck, 1818 (Polychaeta: Iphionidae from the Mediterranean Sea, Israel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. GOREN

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The Indo-Pacific scaleworm Iphione muricata was observed and caught in the Mediterranean Sea along the coast of Israel. Morphological and molecular diagnostic characters of the species are discussed. This is the first record of this alien species in the Mediterranean Sea, and its previous reports in the Suez Canal suggest its introduction via Lessepsian migration.

  9. Updated review of marine alien species and other ‘newcomers’ recorded from the Maltese Islands (Central Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. EVANS

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available An updated review of marine alien species and other ‘newcomers’ recorded from the Maltese Islands is presented on account of new records and amendments to a previous review in 2007. Species were classified according to their establishment status (‘Questionable’, ‘Casual’, ‘Established’, ‘Invasive’ and origin (‘Alien’, ‘Range expansion’, ‘Cryptogenic’. A total of 31 species were added to the inventory, while 6 species have been removed, bringing the total number of species to 73. Of these, 66 are considered to be aliens (or putative aliens but with uncertain origin with the remaining 7 resulting from range expansion. Six records are considered to be questionable and hence unverified. For verified records, the dominant taxonomic groups are Mollusca (represented by 21 species and Actinopterygii (15 species, followed by Crustacea (8 species and Rhodophyta (7 species. Eight of these species (aliens: Caulerpa cylindracea, Lophocladia lallemandi, Womersleyella setacea, Brachidontes pharaonis, Percnon gibbesi, Fistularia commersonii, Siganus luridus; range extender: Sphoeroides pachygaster are considered to be invasive. The introduction pathway for 30 species is unknown. Amongst the alien species, ‘Shipping’ is the most common introduction pathway, followed by ‘Secondary dispersal’ from elsewhere in the Mediterranean Sea. An increasing trend in the number of alien marine species reported from the Maltese Islands is evident, with a peak of 22 species recorded during the last decade (2001–2010. A discussion on the rationale for including range-expanding species in national inventories of recent arrivals, and in the analysis of trends in records from the Maltese Islands, is included. In particular, the general warming trend of Mediterranean surface waters appears to be facilitating the westward spread of thermophilic alien species from the Eastern to the Central Mediterranean, and the eastward range expansion of

  10. Global warming enhances sulphide stress in a key seagrass species (NW Mediterranean).

    Science.gov (United States)

    García, Rosa; Holmer, Marianne; Duarte, Carlos M; Marbà, Núria

    2013-12-01

    The build-up of sulphide concentrations in sediments, resulting from high inputs of organic matter and the mineralization through sulphate reduction, can be lethal to the benthos. Sulphate reduction is temperature dependent, thus global warming may contribute to even higher sulphide concentrations and benthos mortality. The seagrass Posidonia oceanica is very sensitive to sulphide stress. Hence, if concentrations build up with global warming, this key Mediterranean species could be seriously endangered. An 8-year monitoring of daily seawater temperature, the sulphur isotopic signatures of water (δ(34)S(water)), sediment (δ(34)SCRS ) and P. oceanica leaf tissue (δ(34)S(leaves)), along with total sulphur in leaves (TS(leaves)) and annual net population growth along the coast of the Balearic archipelago (Western Mediterranean) allowed us to determine if warming triggers P. oceanica sulphide stress and constrains seagrass survival. From the isotopic S signatures, we estimated sulphide intrusion into the leaves (F(sulphide)) and sulphur incorporation into the leaves from sedimentary sulphides (SS(leaves)). We observed lower δ(34)S(leaves), higher F(sulphide) and SS(leaves) coinciding with a 6-year period when two heat waves were recorded. Warming triggered sulphide stress as evidenced by the negative temperature dependence of δ(34)S(leaves) and the positive one of F(sulphide), TS(leaves) and SS(leaves). Lower P. oceanica net population growth rates were directly related to higher contents of TS(leaves). At equivalent annual maximum sea surface water temperature (SST(max)), deep meadows were less affected by sulphide intrusion than shallow ones. Thus, water depth acts as a protecting mechanism against sulphide intrusion. However, water depth would be insufficient to buffer seagrass sulphide stress triggered by Mediterranean seawater summer temperatures projected for the end of the 21st century even under scenarios of moderate greenhouse gas emissions, A1B

  11. Two new species of Dendrobrachia Brook, 1889 (Cnidaria: Octocorallia: Dendrobrachiidae from the north-eastern Atlantic and western Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo J. López-González

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Examination of recent benthic material collected during several cruises in the Gulf of Cadiz (NE Atlantic and the Strait of Sicily (Mediterranean has allowed the taxonomic reassessment of some previously identified specimens belonging to the monogeneric gorgonian family Dendrobrachiidae Brook, 1889. Dendrobrachia fallax Brook, 1889 is the type species of the single genus in this family, and was originally described from Ascension Island (South Atlantic. Subsequently, other authors reported the presence of this species in Cape Verde Islands (north-eastern Atlantic and some Mediterranean localities (Alboran Sea and the Strait of Sicily. The study of the specimen from the Prince of Monaco collections in Cape Verde Islands, and recently collected material from the Gulf of Cadiz (north-eastern Atlantic and in the south of Malta (Mediterranean, materials previously considered as D. fallax, allow us to recognize two undescribed species in this genus. All previous records of D. fallax from the north-eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean should be considered incorrect. Opresko and Bayer (1991 added two additional species of Dendrobrachia. Two new species are described here and compared with their congeners.

  12. Characterization of the Cultivable Gut Microflora in Wild-Caught 
Mediterranean Fish Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jammal, Ahmad; Bariche, Michel; Zu Dohna, Heinrich; Kambris, Zakaria

    2017-05-01

    Microflora of the gastrointestinal tract plays important roles in food digestion, nutrient absorption and in host defense against ingested pathogens. Several studies have focused on the microflora of farmed fishes, but the gut flora of wild fishes remains poorly characterized. The aim of this work was to provide an overview of the bacteria colonizing the gut of wild-caught fishes and to determine whether some bacterial species can be pathogenic. We isolated cultivable bacteria from fifteen wild-caught Mediterranean fish species corresponding to different habitat, diet and origin. Bacterial species identity was determined by 16s rRNA gene sequencing for the 61 isolates. The potential pathogenicity of isolated bacteria was investigated using fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) and zebrafish (Danio rerio) as model organisms. Two bacterial strains (Serratia sp. and Aeromonas salmonicida) were lethal when microinjected to Drosophila, while zebrafish did not develop any disease when exposed to any of 34 isolated bacterial strains. However, it was interesting to note that two bacterial strains (Shewanella and Arthrobacter) isolated from marine fishes were able to colonize the guts of freshwater zebrafish. The results of this study give an overview of the bacterial species found in the guts of wild fishes living off Beirut seashore. It shows that some parameters believed to be limiting factors to host-gut colonization by bacteria can be overcome by some species. This pilot study could be extended by sampling a larger number of fish species with several specimens per fish species, and by identifying uncultivable bacteria that reside in the fish guts. Our results may have implications for the utilization of certain bacterial species in fish farming or their use as bio-indicators for water and/or food quality.

  13. Inventory of the Invasive Alien Plant Species in Indonesia

    OpenAIRE

    TJITROSOEDIRDJO, SRI SUDARMIYATI

    2005-01-01

    An inventory of the alien plant species in Indonesia based on the existing references and herbarium specimens concluded that 1936 alien plant species are found in Indonesia which belong to 187 families. Field studies should be done to get the complete figures of alien plant species in Indonesia. Based on the existing figures of the plant species, the invasive alien plant species can be identified, followed by studies on the assessment of losses, biology, management and their possible utilizat...

  14. Factors affecting in vitro plant regeneration of the critically endangered Mediterranean knapweed ( Centaurea tchihatcheffii Fisch et. Mey)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozel, Cigdem Alev; Khawar, Khalid Mahmood; Mirici, Semra; Ozcan, Sebahattin; Arslan, Orhan

    2006-10-01

    Habitat destruction has resulted in the extinction of many plant species from the earth, and many more face extinction. Likely, the annual endemic Mediterranean knapweed ( Centaurea tchihatcheffii) growing in the Golbasi district of Ankara, Turkey is facing extinction and needs urgent conservation. Plant tissue culture, a potentially useful technique for ex situ multiplication, was used for the restoration of this ill-fated plant through seed germination, micropropagation from stem nodes, and adventitious shoot regeneration from immature zygotic embryos. The seeds were highly dormant and very difficult to germinate. No results were obtained from the micropropagation of stem nodes. However, immature zygotic embryos showed the highest adventitious shoot regeneration on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium, containing 1 mg l-1 kinetin and 0.25 mg l-1 NAA. Regenerated shoots were best rooted on MS medium containing 1 mg l-1 IBA and transferred to the greenhouse for flowering and seed set. As such, the present work is the first record of in vitro propagation of critically endangered C. tchihatcheffii, using immature zygotic embryos, and is a step forward towards conservation of this indigenous species.

  15. Trawling disturbance on benthic ecosystems and consequences on commercial species: a northwestern Mediterranean case study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alba Muntadas

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Trawling is known to disturb benthic communities and habitats, which may in turn indirectly affect populations of commercial species that live in close association with the seabed. The degree of impact on both benthic communities and demersal species depends on the fishing effort level. This may vary over the year because of the fleet dynamics, which are in turn normally driven by the main target species’ life cycle. In this study we describe changes in benthic functional components of a northwestern Mediterranean fishing ground that represents a recruitment area for an important target species (red mullet, Mullus barbatus. This fishing ground experiences a varying intensity of fishing effort over the year and benthic functional components under different levels of trawling were compared with an unfished, control area. Traits related to sexual maturity and life span for infauna and body size and life span for epifauna were found to vary with fishing activity. Potential effects of these changes on ecological functioning and the impact on red mullet population are discussed. The development of fisheries management plans under an ecosystem based fisheries management (EBFM requires the links between target species and benthic communities’ disturbance due to fishing practices to be explicitly considered.

  16. A casual alien plant new to Mediterranean Europe: Ceiba speciosa (Malvaceae in the suburban area of Palermo (NW Sicily, Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pasta, Salvatore

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The abiotic and biotic characteristics of the first sites where floss silk tree behaves as a casual alien plant in the Mediterranean Europe are described. The species was probably first planted in botanical gardens of southern France few decades before mid XIX century. It was introduced in Palermo in 1896, a city which appears to match very well its climatic requirements. According to the available information on its biology and ecology in both its original and secondary range, the floss silk tree should not become an invasive alien plant in the Mediterranean. Nevertheless, several gaps need to be filled in order to increase our understanding of future trends of Ceiba speciosa in southern Europe, in particular, the eventual role of pollinators and seed dispersers outside the species’ natural range.Se describen las caracteristicas abióticas y bióticas de los primeros sitios del mediterráneo europeo donde el árbol palo borracho se encuentra creciendo como especie alóctona casual. Con respecto a la historia de su introducción, esta especie fue probablemente plantada en los jardines botánicos del sur de Francia unos pocos decenios antes de la mitad del siglo XIX. En 1896, sin embargo, fue introducida en Palermo, ciudad que parece satisfacer muy bien sus requerimientos climáticos. De acuerdo con la información disponible, tanto dentro como fuera de su área de distribución natural, el palo borracho no debería convertirse en planta invasora en el mediterráneo. Sin embargo, algunos vacíos de información deben ser completados antes de establecer su potencial invasor de una manera definitiva, particularmente, el posible papel de agentes polinizadores y dispersores fuera del área de distribución natural de la especie.

  17. Differential response of two Mediterranean cold-water coral species to ocean acidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Movilla, Juancho; Orejas, Covadonga; Calvo, Eva; Gori, Andrea; López-Sanz, Àngel; Grinyó, Jordi; Domínguez-Carrió, Carlos; Pelejero, Carles

    2014-09-01

    Cold-water coral (CWC) reefs constitute one of the most complex deep-sea habitats harboring a vast diversity of associated species. Like other tropical or temperate framework builders, these systems are facing an uncertain future due to several threats, such as global warming and ocean acidification. In the case of Mediterranean CWC communities, the effect may be exacerbated due to the greater capacity of these waters to absorb atmospheric CO2 compared to the global ocean. Calcification in these organisms is an energy-demanding process, and it is expected that energy requirements will be greater as seawater pH and the availability of carbonate ions decrease. Therefore, studies assessing the effect of a pH decrease in skeletal growth, and metabolic balance are critical to fully understand the potential responses of these organisms under a changing scenario. In this context, the present work aims to investigate the medium- to long-term effect of a low pH scenario on calcification and the biochemical composition of two CWCs from the Mediterranean, Dendrophyllia cornigera and Desmophyllum dianthus. After 314 d of exposure to acidified conditions, a significant decrease of 70 % was observed in Desmophyllum dianthus skeletal growth rate, while Dendrophyllia cornigera showed no differences between treatments. Instead, only subtle differences between treatments were observed in the organic matter amount, lipid content, skeletal microdensity, or porosity in both species, although due to the high variability of the results, these differences were not statistically significant. Our results also confirmed a heterogeneous effect of low pH on the skeletal growth rate of the organisms depending on their initial weight, suggesting that those specimens with high calcification rates may be the most susceptible to the negative effects of acidification.

  18. Ecophysiological and biochemical strategies of response to ozone in Mediterranean evergreen broadleaf species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nali, C.; Paoletti, E.; Marabottini, R.; Della Rocca, G.; Lorenzini, G.; Paolacci, A. R.; Ciaffi, M.; Badiani, M.

    Three Mediterranean shrubs, Phillyrea latifolia L. (phillyrea), Arbutus unedo L. (strawberry tree), and Laurus nobilis L. (laurel), differing in their morphological and ecological response to water shortage, were exposed for 90 days to 0 or 110 ppb of ozone (O 3), 5 h each day. This yielded an accumulated exposure over of a threshold of 40 ppb (AOT40) of 31.5 ppm h over the 3 months experiment. These species showed differing responses to O 3: laurel and phillyrea developed foliar chlorotic mottles on the adaxial surface of leaves, whereas strawberry tree leaves showed reddish interveinal stipple-like necrotic lesions. In all cases, however, foliar injury did not exceed 8% of the sampled leaf area. At the end of the exposure period, O 3-induced stomatal limitation caused significant decreases of net photosynthesis in strawberry tree and laurel, but not in phillyrea. The relative water content of the leaves was significantly decreased by O 3, especially in laurel and strawberry tree, suggesting the occurrence of drought stress. Electrical conductivity of leachates from foliar discs increased in response to the treatment, much more strongly in laurel and in strawberry tree than in phillyrea, suggesting an O 3-dependent alteration of the membrane retention capacity. At the end of the experimental period, the activity of superoxide dismutase and the content of reduced glutathione, but not that of reduced ascorbate, were significantly increased in the ozonated leaves of strawberry tree and phillyrea, but not in laurel. The evergreen broadleaves studied here maybe relatively tolerant to realistic O 3 levels, at least in terms of visible injury and gas exchange. Such tolerance might overlap with their level of tolerance to drought stress. High constitutive levels, and/or O 3-induced increases in antioxidants, might contribute to O 3 tolerance in these Mediterranean evergreen broadleaf species.

  19. Ozone exposure induces the activation of leaf senescence-related processes and morphological and growth changes in seedlings of Mediterranean tree species

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ribas, Angela [CSIC-CEAB-CREAF Ecophysiology Unit, CREAF-Center for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications, Edifici C, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona (Spain)]. E-mail: a.ribas@creaf.uab.es; Pen-tilde uelas, Josep [CSIC-CEAB-CREAF Ecophysiology Unit, CREAF-Center for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications, Edifici C, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona (Spain)]. E-mail: josep.penuelas@uab.es; Elvira, Susana [CIEMAT, Avd. Complutense 22, 28040 Madrid (Spain); Gimeno, Benjamin S. [CIEMAT, Avd. Complutense 22, 28040 Madrid (Spain)

    2005-03-01

    Four Mediterranean tree taxa, Quercus ilex subsp. ilex, Quercus ilex subsp. ballota, Olea europaea cv. vulgaris and Ceratonia siliqua, were exposed to different ozone (O{sub 3}) concentrations in open top chambers (OTCs) during 2 years. Three treatments were applied: charcoal-filtered air (CF), non-filtered air (NF) and non-filtered air plus 40 ppb{sub v} of O{sub 3} (NF+). The photochemical maximal efficiency, Fv/Fm, decreased in NF+ plants during the second year of exposure, especially during the most stressful Mediterranean seasons (winter and summer). An increase of {delta}{sup 13}C was found in three of the four studied species during the first year of exposure. This finding was only maintained in C. siliqua during the second year. Decreases in the chlorophyll content were detected during the first year of fumigations in all the species studied, but not during the second year. The NF+ treatment induced changes in foliar anatomical characteristics, especially in leaf mass per area (LMA) and spongy parenchyma thickness, which increased in some species. A reduction in N content and an increase in {delta}{sup 15}N were found in all species during the second year when exposed in the NF+ OTCs, suggesting a change in their retranslocation pattern linked to an acceleration of leaf senescence, as also indicated by the above mentioned biochemical and anatomical foliar changes. The two Q. ilex subspecies were the most sensitive species since the changes in N concentration, {delta}{sup 15}N, chlorophyll, leaf area, LMA and biomass occurred at ambient O{sub 3} concentrations. However, C. siliqua was the most responsive species (29% biomass reduction) when exposed to the NF+ treatment, followed by the two Q. ilex subspecies (14-20%) and O. europaea (no significant reduction). Ozone resistance of the latter species was linked to some plant traits such as chlorophyll concentrations, or spongy parenchyma thickness. - Ozone induces species-specific leaf senescence

  20. Evolutionary responses of native plant species to invasive plants : a review

    OpenAIRE

    Oduor, Ayub M. O.

    2013-01-01

    Strong competition from invasive plant species often leads to declines in abundances and may,in certain cases, cause localized extinctions of native plant species. Nevertheless, studies have shown that certain populations of native plant species can co-exist with invasive plant species, suggesting the possibility of adaptive evolutionary responses of those populations to the invasive plants. Empirical inference of evolutionary responses of the native plant species to invasive plants has invol...

  1. Bridging Human and Natural Sciences for a Better Understanding of Urban Floral Patterns: the Role of Planting Practices in Mediterranean Gardens

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    Audrey Marco

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity research in urban settings constitutes an interdisciplinary field combining both the natural and human sciences. A full understanding of the patterns and processes underlying the dynamic of biodiversity in urban ecosystems needs to include humans in models of ecological functioning. We focus on the planting practices of gardeners to identify the bottom-up and top-down human influences on the floral diversity of the Mediterranean gardens in an urbanizing rural zone. An initial ecological study of cultivated flora in 120 private gardens showing floristic pattern variations along an urbanization gradient was combined with a sociological survey. This survey aimed at collecting reasons for planting in gardens in connection with cultivated species. These reasons were classified into categories and analyzed according to the frequency of cultivated species within the entire gradient. Floristic heterogeneity in gardens, represented by the richness of uncommon species, is predominantly caused by social factors, particularly related to the practices and social networks of gardeners who tend to diversify the range of species that are planted. Floristic uniformity, defined by a high frequency of occurrence of plant species, results not only from social factors but also from natural factors that exert high pressure in the Mediterranean region. This "floristic norm" is also influenced by the urban context, which can modify the expression of natural and social factors and lead to differences in plant species compositions between housing density zones. More generally, these results stress the importance of considering both individual choices and city-level influences through an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the underlying processes that establish urban biodiversity patterns at a small scale.

  2. A major trade-off between structural and photosynthetic investments operative across plant and needle ages in three Mediterranean pines.

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    Kuusk, Vivian; Niinemets, Ülo; Valladares, Fernando

    2018-04-01

    Pine (Pinus) species exhibit extensive variation in needle shape and size between juvenile (primary) and adult (secondary) needles (heteroblasty), but few studies have quantified the changes in needle morphological, anatomical and chemical traits upon juvenile-to-adult transition. Mediterranean pines keep juvenile needles longer than most other pines, implying that juvenile needles play a particularly significant role in seedling and sapling establishment in this environment. We studied needle anatomical, morphological and chemical characteristics in juvenile and different-aged adult needles in Mediterranean pines Pinus halepensis Mill., Pinus pinea L. and Pinus nigra J. F. Arnold subsp. salzmannii (Dunal) Franco hypothesizing that needle anatomical modifications upon juvenile-to-adult transition lead to a trade-off between investments in support and photosynthetic tissues, and that analogous changes occur with needle aging albeit to a lower degree. Compared with adult needles, juvenile needles of all species were narrower with 1.6- to 2.4-fold lower leaf dry mass per unit area, and had ~1.4-fold thinner cell walls, but needle nitrogen content per dry mass was similar among plant ages. Juvenile needles also had ~1.5-fold greater mesophyll volume fraction, ~3-fold greater chloroplast volume fraction and ~1.7-fold greater chloroplast exposed to mesophyll exposed surface area ratio, suggesting overall greater photosynthetic activity. Changes in needle traits were similar in aging adult needles, but the magnitude was generally less than the changes upon juvenile to adult transition. In adult needles, the fraction in support tissues scaled positively with known ranking of species tolerance of drought (P. halepensis > P. pinea > P. nigra). Across all species, and needle and plant ages, a negative correlation between volume fractions of mesophyll and structural tissues was observed, manifesting a trade-off between biomass investments in different needle functions. These

  3. Dynamics of non-structural carbohydrates in three Mediterranean woody species following long-term experimental drought.

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    Rosas, Teresa; Galiano, Lucía; Ogaya, Romà; Peñuelas, Josep; Martínez-Vilalta, Jordi

    2013-01-01

    Stored non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) have been proposed as a key determinant of drought resistance in plants. However, the evidence for this role is controversial, as it comes mostly from observational, short-term studies. Here, we take advantage of a long-term experimental throughfall reduction to elucidate the response of NSC to increased drought 14 years after the beginning of the treatment in three Mediterranean resprouter trees (Quercus ilex L., Arbutus unedo L. and Phillyrea latifolia L.). In addition, we selected 20 Q. ilex individuals outside the experimental plots to directly assess the relationship between defoliation and NSC at the individual level. We measured the seasonal course of NSC concentrations in leaves, branches and lignotuber in late winter, late spring, summer, and autumn 2012. Total concentrations of NSC were highest in the lignotuber for all species. In the long-term drought experiment we found significant depletion in concentrations of total NSC in treatment plots only in the lignotuber of A. unedo. At the same time, A. unedo was the only species showing a significant reduction in BAI under the drought treatment during the 14 years of the experiment. By contrast, Q. ilex just reduced stem growth only during the first 4 years of treatment and P. latifolia remained unaffected over the whole study period. However, we found a clear association between the concentrations of NSC and defoliation in Q. ilex individuals sampled outside the experimental plots, with lower total concentrations of NSC and lower proportion of starch in defoliated individuals. Taken together, our results suggest that stabilizing processes, probably at the stand level, may have been operating in the long-term to mitigate any impact of drought on NSC levels, and highlight the necessity to incorporate long-term experimental studies of plant responses to drought.

  4. Resistance of Two Mediterranean Cold-Water Coral Species to Low-pH Conditions

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    Juancho Movilla

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Deep-water ecosystems are characterized by relatively low carbonate concentration values and, due to ocean acidification (OA, these habitats might be among the first to be exposed to undersaturated conditions in the forthcoming years. However, until now, very few studies have been conducted to test how cold-water coral (CWC species react to such changes in the seawater chemistry. The present work aims to investigate the mid-term effect of decreased pH on calcification of the two branching CWC species most widely distributed in the Mediterranean, Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata. No significant effects were observed in the skeletal growth rate, microdensity and porosity of both species after 6 months of exposure. However, while the calcification rate of M. oculata was similar for all colony fragments, a heterogeneous skeletal growth pattern was observed in L. pertusa, the younger nubbins showing higher growth rates than the older ones. A higher energy demand is expected in these young, fast-growing fragments and, therefore, a reduction in calcification might be noticed earlier during long-term exposure to acidified conditions.

  5. INVENTORY OF THE INVASIVE ALIE N PLANT SPECIES IN INDONESIA

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    SRI S UDARMIYATI T JITROSOEDIRDJO

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available An inventory of the alien plant species in Indone sia based on the existing references and herbarium specimens concluded that 1936 alien plant species ar e found in Indonesia which belong to 187 families. Field studies should be done to get the complete figur es of alien plant species in Indonesia. Based on the existing figures of the plant species, the invasive alien plant species can be iden tified, followed by studies on the assessment of losses, biology, management and their possible utilizations. Alien plant species are imported to Indonesia for cultivation, collection of the botanical garden, as experimental plants or other curiosities. Aside from plants purposely imported, there are also introduced plant propagules conta-minating imported agricultural products. These alien plant species can be beneficial or have a potential of being invasive. The alien cultivated species consisted of 67% of the total number. More than half of the cultivated plants are ornamental plants. Some of th e species are naturalized or escaped from cultivation and become wild and invasive. Some other natura lized species, adapted well without any problems of invasion. There are 339 species or 17% of the species r ecorded as weeds. The highest record of weeds is found in the family of Poaceae (57 species, follo wed by Asteraceae (53 species and Cyperaceae (35 species. There are 6 families having more than 10 species of weeds: Amaranthaceae, Asteraceae, Cyperaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Poaceae, and Rubiaceae. Three families have more than 100 species: Asteraceae 162 species, Poaceae 120 species, and Papillionaceae 103 species. Five species of aquatic and 20 species of terrestrial plants considered as important alien plant species in Indonesia were identified and some of their distributions noted

  6. Food Plants of 19 butterflies species (Lepidoptera from Loreto, Peru

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    Joel Vásquez Bardales

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available This work reports the food plants utilized by 19 species of butterflies from Allpahuayo-Mishana Research Center and the Community of San Rafael, Loreto, Peru. We report 23 plant species and one hybrid of angiosperms used by the butterflies. Larval host plants were 21 species and five were adult nectar sources. Two species were both host plant and nectar source: Passiflora coccinea Aubl. and Passiflora edulis Sims. The most frequently used plant families were Solanaceae, Passifloraceae, Fabaceae and Aristolochiaceae.

  7. Modifying rainfall patterns in a Mediterranean shrubland: system design, plant responses, and experimental burning.

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    Parra, Antonio; Ramírez, David A; Resco, Víctor; Velasco, Ángel; Moreno, José M

    2012-11-01

    Global warming is projected to increase the frequency and intensity of droughts in the Mediterranean region, as well as the occurrence of large fires. Understanding the interactions between drought, fire and plant responses is therefore important. In this study, we present an experiment in which rainfall patterns were modified to simulate various levels of drought in a Mediterranean shrubland of central Spain dominated by Cistus ladanifer, Erica arborea and Phillyrea angustifolia. A system composed of automatic rainout shelters with an irrigation facility was used. It was designed to be applied in vegetation 2 m tall, treat relatively large areas (36 m2), and be quickly dismantled to perform experimental burning and reassembled back again. Twenty plots were subjected to four rainfall treatments from early spring: natural rainfall, long-term average rainfall (2 months drought), moderate drought (25% reduction from long-term rainfall, 5 months drought) and severe drought (45% reduction, 7 months drought). The plots were burned in late summer, without interfering with rainfall manipulations. Results indicated that rainfall manipulations caused differences in soil moisture among treatments, leading to reduced water availability and growth of C. ladanifer and E. arborea in the drought treatments. However, P. angustifolia was not affected by the manipulations. Rainout shelters had a negligible impact on plot microenvironment. Experimental burns were of high fire intensity, without differences among treatments. Our system provides a tool to study the combined effects of drought and fire on vegetation, which is important to assess the threats posed by climate change in Mediterranean environments.

  8. Unraveling Salt Tolerance Mechanisms in Halophytes: A Comparative Study on Four Mediterranean Limonium Species with Different Geographic Distribution Patterns

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    Mohamad Al Hassan

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available We have performed an extensive study on the responses to salt stress in four related Limonium halophytes with different geographic distribution patterns, during seed germination and early vegetative growth. The aims of the work were twofold: to establish the basis for the different chorology of these species, and to identify relevant mechanisms of salt tolerance dependent on the control of ion transport and osmolyte accumulation. Seeds were germinated in vitro, in the presence of increasing NaCl concentrations, and subjected to “recovery of germination” tests; germination percentages and velocity were determined to establish the relative tolerance and competitiveness of the four Limonium taxa. Salt treatments were also applied to young plants, by 1-month irrigation with NaCl up to 800 mM; then, growth parameters, levels of monovalent and divalent ions (in roots and leaves, and leaf contents of photosynthetic pigments and common osmolytes were determined in control and stressed plants of the four species. Seed germination is the most salt-sensitive developmental phase in Limonium. The different germination behavior of the investigated species appears to be responsible for their geographical range size: L. narbonense and L. virgatum, widespread throughout the Mediterranean, are the most tolerant and the most competitive at higher soil salinities; the endemic L. santapolense and L. girardianum are the most sensitive and more competitive only at lower salinities. During early vegetative growth, all taxa showed a strong tolerance to salt stress, although slightly higher in L. virgatum and L. santapolense. Salt tolerance is based on the efficient transport of Na+ and Cl− to the leaves and on the accumulation of fructose and proline for osmotic adjustment. Despite some species-specific quantitative differences, the accumulation patterns of the different ions were similar in all species, not explaining differences in tolerance, except for the

  9. A new species of Bathymedon Sars, 1892 (Amphipoda: Oedicerotidae from the western Mediterranean bathyal floor

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    Damiá Jaume

    1998-12-01

    Full Text Available Bathymedon longirostris sp. nov. (Amphipoda: Oedicerotidae from the western Mediterranean bathyal suprabenthos is described. It is characterised by the well-developed rostrum; the discrete lateral lobe of head; the elongation of the peduncle segment 3 of the first antenna; the very slender propodus of the second gnathopod, which attains maximum width not at the palm angle, but at about midway along the palm margin; and by the relative length of the carpus of the foregoing limb, sub-equal to propodus. The discovery of a tiny remnant of the 2nd peduncle segment of the first antenna in the new species is commented with regard to the homologation of the peduncle segments in other members of the Family. The new taxon was captured below 593 m over muddy bottoms with pteropod shells and remains of planktonic foraminiferans. It was one of the most common amphipods in the lower slope (below ~ 1000 m, whereas in the depth range comprised between 1250 and 1859 m it was the second dominant species, representing 11.4 % of the total gammarideans captured. The area studied harbours three additional congeneric species, although their populations are mainly concentrated in the upper and middle slope. Over the bottom, adult males of the new species apparently tend to occupy higher levels beyond the water-sediment interface than the rest of demographic categories. The gut content of three individuals revealed a bulk of calcified foraminiferans, a diet in consonance with their massive mandibles. Juvenile individuals were more abundant in winter, whereas adult individuals were clearly dominant in summer, thus suggesting the biological cycle of the species follows some type of periodicity.

  10. Species-specific variation in the phosphorus nutritional sources by microphytoplankton in a Mediterranean estuary

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    MARLY CAROLINA MARTINEZ SOTO

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the species-specific phosphorus (P nutrition sources in the microphytoplankton community in the Mahon estuary (Minorca, Western Mediterranean in 2011, under two contrasting hydrographic scenarios. Estuarine flow, nutrient concentrations, phytoplankton community composition and enzyme-labeled fluorescence (ELF were measured in June and October, corresponding to the beginning and the end of summer. Dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN and inorganic phosphate (Pi exhibited enhanced concentrations in the inner estuary where N:P molar ratios suggested P-limitation in both surveys. Pi was low and variable (0.09±0.02 μmol•l-1 in June and 0.06±0.02 μmol•l-1 in October, whereas organic phosphorus remained a more reliable P source. Even though ambient Pi concentrations were slightly higher on June, when the microphytoplankton assemblage was dominated by dinoflagellates, the percentage of cells expressing ELF labeling was notably higher (65% of total cells than in October (12%, when the presence of diatoms characterized the microphytoplankton community. ELF was mainly expressed by dinoflagellate taxa, whereas diatoms only expressed significant AP in the inner estuary during the June survey. A P-addition bioassay in which response of AP to Pi enrichment was evaluated showed remarkable reduction in AP with increasing Pi. However, some dinoflagellate species maintained AP even when Pi was supplied in excess. We suggest that in the case of some dinoflagellate species AP is not as tightly controlled by ambient Pi as previously believed. AP activity in these species could indicate selective use of organic phosphorus, or slow metabolic response to changes in P forms, rather than physiological stress to low Pi availability. We emphasize the importance of identifying the links between the different P sources and the species-specific requirements, in order to understand the ecological response to anthropogenic biogeochemical perturbations.

  11. Role of species diversity and secondary compound complementarity on diet selection of Mediterranean shrubs by goats.

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    Rogosic, Jozo; Estell, Richard E; Skobic, Dragan; Martinovic, Anita; Maric, Stanislava

    2006-06-01

    Goats foraging on Mediterranean shrubs containing secondary compounds (toxins) may consume a variety of shrubs that contain different phytotoxins, thereby increasing shrub intake and avoiding toxicosis. We conducted eight experiments to examine whether goats offered different mixtures of shrubs containing different phytotoxins (tannins and saponins) would consume more shrub biomass than goats offered one shrub a single phytotoxin (tannin or saponin). In the first three experiments, goats fed a mixture of three tannin-rich shrubs (Quercus ilex, Arbutus unedo, and Pistacia lentiscus) ate more foliage than goats offered only one shrub (23.2 vs. 10.7 g/kg BW; 25.2 vs. 13.4 g/kg BW, and 27.9 vs. 7.9 g/kg BW), regardless of tannin concentration in individual shrub species. Goats also consumed more foliage when offered the same three tannin-rich shrubs than when offered the saponin-rich shrub Hedera helix (25.4 vs. 8.0 g/kg BW). However, goats offered a mixture of the same three tannin-rich shrubs consumed less foliage than goats offered a mixture of two shrubs containing tannins and saponins: Quercus and Hedera (21.6 vs. 27.1 g/kg BW), Arbutus and Hedera (21.8 vs. 27.1 g/kg BW), and Pistacia and Hedera (19.7 vs. 22.0 g/kg BW). Comparison of intake of shrubs containing only tannins or saponins to intake of shrubs containing both tannins and saponins indicated that goats consumed more total biomass when fed with shrubs with both classes of compounds than with either tannins or saponins alone. Our results suggest that goats can increase intake of Mediterranean shrubs high in secondary compounds by selecting those with different classes of phytotoxins. Simultaneous ingestion of shrubs containing tannins and saponins may promote chemical interactions that inhibit toxic effects of these phytotoxins in the intestinal tract. In addition to complementary interactions between tannins and saponins, biological diversity within Mediterranean maquis vegetation also plays a positive

  12. Seasonal Dynamics of Phlebotomine Sand Fly Species Proven Vectors of Mediterranean Leishmaniasis Caused by Leishmania infantum.

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    Bulent Alten

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The recent geographical expansion of phlebotomine vectors of Leishmania infantum in the Mediterranean subregion has been attributed to ongoing climate changes. At these latitudes, the activity of sand flies is typically seasonal; because seasonal phenomena are also sensitive to general variations in climate, current phenological data sets can provide a baseline for continuing investigations on sand fly population dynamics that may impact on future scenarios of leishmaniasis transmission. With this aim, in 2011-2013 a consortium of partners from eight Mediterranean countries carried out entomological investigations in sites where L. infantum transmission was recently reported.A common protocol for sand fly collection included monthly captures by CDC light traps, complemented by sticky traps in most of the sites. Collections were replicated for more than one season in order to reduce the effects of local weather events. In each site, the trapping effort was left unchanged throughout the survey to legitimate inter-seasonal comparisons. Data from 99,000 collected specimens were analyzed, resulting in the description of seasonal dynamics of 56,000 sand flies belonging to L. infantum vector species throughout a wide geographical area, namely P. perniciosus (Portugal, Spain and Italy, P. ariasi (France, P. neglectus (Greece, P. tobbi (Cyprus and Turkey, P. balcanicus and P. kandelakii (Georgia. Time of sand fly appearance/disappearance in collections differed between sites, and seasonal densities showed variations in each site. Significant correlations were found between latitude/mean annual temperature of sites and i the first month of sand fly appearance, that ranged from early April to the first half of June; ii the type of density trend, varying from a single peak in July/August to multiple peaks increasing in magnitude from May through September. A 3-modal trend, recorded for P. tobbi in Cyprus, represents a novel finding for a L. infantum vector

  13. Seasonal Dynamics of Phlebotomine Sand Fly Species Proven Vectors of Mediterranean Leishmaniasis Caused by Leishmania infantum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alten, Bulent; Maia, Carla; Afonso, Maria Odete; Campino, Lenea; Jiménez, Maribel; González, Estela; Molina, Ricardo; Bañuls, Anne Laure; Prudhomme, Jorian; Vergnes, Baptiste; Toty, Celine; Cassan, Cécile; Rahola, Nil; Thierry, Magali; Sereno, Denis; Bongiorno, Gioia; Bianchi, Riccardo; Khoury, Cristina; Tsirigotakis, Nikolaos; Dokianakis, Emmanouil; Antoniou, Maria; Christodoulou, Vasiliki; Mazeris, Apostolos; Karakus, Mehmet; Ozbel, Yusuf; Arserim, Suha K; Erisoz Kasap, Ozge; Gunay, Filiz; Oguz, Gizem; Kaynas, Sinan; Tsertsvadze, Nikoloz; Tskhvaradze, Lamzira; Giorgobiani, Ekaterina; Gramiccia, Marina; Volf, Petr; Gradoni, Luigi

    2016-02-01

    The recent geographical expansion of phlebotomine vectors of Leishmania infantum in the Mediterranean subregion has been attributed to ongoing climate changes. At these latitudes, the activity of sand flies is typically seasonal; because seasonal phenomena are also sensitive to general variations in climate, current phenological data sets can provide a baseline for continuing investigations on sand fly population dynamics that may impact on future scenarios of leishmaniasis transmission. With this aim, in 2011-2013 a consortium of partners from eight Mediterranean countries carried out entomological investigations in sites where L. infantum transmission was recently reported. A common protocol for sand fly collection included monthly captures by CDC light traps, complemented by sticky traps in most of the sites. Collections were replicated for more than one season in order to reduce the effects of local weather events. In each site, the trapping effort was left unchanged throughout the survey to legitimate inter-seasonal comparisons. Data from 99,000 collected specimens were analyzed, resulting in the description of seasonal dynamics of 56,000 sand flies belonging to L. infantum vector species throughout a wide geographical area, namely P. perniciosus (Portugal, Spain and Italy), P. ariasi (France), P. neglectus (Greece), P. tobbi (Cyprus and Turkey), P. balcanicus and P. kandelakii (Georgia). Time of sand fly appearance/disappearance in collections differed between sites, and seasonal densities showed variations in each site. Significant correlations were found between latitude/mean annual temperature of sites and i) the first month of sand fly appearance, that ranged from early April to the first half of June; ii) the type of density trend, varying from a single peak in July/August to multiple peaks increasing in magnitude from May through September. A 3-modal trend, recorded for P. tobbi in Cyprus, represents a novel finding for a L. infantum vector. Adults

  14. A critical review of records of alien marine species from the Maltese Islands and surrounding waters (Central Mediterranean

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    M. SCIBERRAS

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available An updated list of alien marine species recorded from the Maltese Islands and surrounding waters, compiled from scientific and ‘grey’ literature and from authenticated unpublished reports to the authors, is presented. The listed species are classified in one of four categories as regards establishment status: established, casual, invasive and questionable. Doubtful records are listed as ‘?’. A total of 48 species, including nine dubious ones, are included in the list. Of the accepted records, 64% are established, of which 15.4% are invasive, 18% are casual and 18% are questionable. The most represented groups are molluscs (14 species, fish (13 species and macrophytes (10 species. Six species are classified as invasive in Maltese waters: Lophocladia lallemandii, Womersleyella setacea, Caulerpa racemosa var. cylindracea, Percnon gibbesi, Fistularia commersonii and Sphoeroides pachygaster; impacts of some of these species on local ecosystems are discussed. Since the early 1900s, there has been an increasing trend in the number of alien marine species reported from the Maltese Islands. Transportation via shipping and in connection with aquaculture, as well as the range expansion of Lessepsian immigrants, appear to be the most common vectors for entry, accounting for 20%, 11% and 32% respectively of the alien species included in this review. The general warming trend of Mediterranean waters and increasing marine traffic may be facilitating the spread of warm-water Atlantic and Indo-Pacific species to the central Mediterranean, including the Maltese Islands.

  15. Using geomorphological variables to predict the spatial distribution of plant species in agricultural drainage networks.

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    Rudi, Gabrielle; Bailly, Jean-Stéphane; Vinatier, Fabrice

    2018-01-01

    To optimize ecosystem services provided by agricultural drainage networks (ditches) in headwater catchments, we need to manage the spatial distribution of plant species living in these networks. Geomorphological variables have been shown to be important predictors of plant distribution in other ecosystems because they control the water regime, the sediment deposition rates and the sun exposure in the ditches. Whether such variables may be used to predict plant distribution in agricultural drainage networks is unknown. We collected presence and absence data for 10 herbaceous plant species in a subset of a network of drainage ditches (35 km long) within a Mediterranean agricultural catchment. We simulated their spatial distribution with GLM and Maxent model using geomorphological variables and distance to natural lands and roads. Models were validated using k-fold cross-validation. We then compared the mean Area Under the Curve (AUC) values obtained for each model and other metrics issued from the confusion matrices between observed and predicted variables. Based on the results of all metrics, the models were efficient at predicting the distribution of seven species out of ten, confirming the relevance of geomorphological variables and distance to natural lands and roads to explain the occurrence of plant species in this Mediterranean catchment. In particular, the importance of the landscape geomorphological variables, ie the importance of the geomorphological features encompassing a broad environment around the ditch, has been highlighted. This suggests that agro-ecological measures for managing ecosystem services provided by ditch plants should focus on the control of the hydrological and sedimentological connectivity at the catchment scale. For example, the density of the ditch network could be modified or the spatial distribution of vegetative filter strips used for sediment trapping could be optimized. In addition, the vegetative filter strips could constitute

  16. Variability of PCB burden in 5 fish and sharks species of the French Mediterranean continental slope.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cresson, Pierre; Fabri, Marie Claire; Miralles, Françoise Marco; Dufour, Jean-Louis; Elleboode, Romain; Sevin, Karine; Mahé, Kelig; Bouchoucha, Marc

    2016-05-01

    Despite being generally located far from contamination sources, deep marine ecosystems are impacted by chemicals like PCB. The PCB contamination in five fish and shark species collected in the continental slope of the Gulf of Lions (NW Mediterranean Sea) was measured, with a special focus on intra- and interspecific variability and on the driving factors. Significant differences occurred between species. Higher values were measured in Scyliorhinus canicula, Galeus melastomus and Helicolenus dactylopterus and lower values in Phycis blennoides and Lepidorhombus boscii. These differences might be explained by specific abilities to accumulate and eliminate contaminant, mostly through cytochrome P450 pathway. Interindividual variation was also high and no correlation was observed between contamination and length, age or trophic level. Despite its major importance, actual bioaccumulation of PCB in deep fish is not as documented as in other marine ecosystems, calling for a better assessment of the factors driving individual bioaccumulation mechanisms and originating high variability in PCB contamination. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Analysis of postfire vegetation dynamics of Mediterranean shrub species based on terrestrial and NDVI data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Clemente, Rocío; Cerrillo, R M Navarro; Hernández-Bermejo, J E; Royo, S Escuin; Kasimis, N A

    2009-05-01

    The present study offers an analysis of regeneration patterns and diversity dynamics after a wildfire, which occurred in 1993 and affected about 7000 ha in southern Spain. The aim of the work was to analyze the rule in the succession of shrub species after fire, relating it to the changes registered in the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Fractional vegetation cover was recorded from permanent plots in 2000 and 2005. NDVI data related to each time were obtained from Landsat images. Both data sets, from fieldwork and remote sensing, were analyzed through statistical and quantitative analyses and then correlated. Results have permitted the description of the change in plant cover and species composition on a global and plot scale. It can be affirmed that, from the seventh to the twelfth year after the fire, the floristic composition within the burned area remained unchanged at a global level. However, on a smaller scale (plot level), the major shrub species, Ulex parviflorus, Rosmarinus officinalis, and Cistus clusii, underwent significant changes. The regeneration dynamics established by these species conditioned plant species composition and, consequently, diversity indexes such as Shannon (H) and Simpson (D). The changes recorded in the NDVI values corresponding to the surveyed plots were highly correlated with those found in the regrowth of the main species. Areas dominated by U. parviflorus in a senile phase were related to a decrease in NDVI values and an increase in the number of species. This result describes the successional dynamics; the dryness of the main colonizer shrub species is allowing the regrowth and re-establishment of other species. Within the study area, NDVI shows sensitivity to postfire plant cover changes and indirectly expresses the diversity dynamics.

  18. Analysis of Postfire Vegetation Dynamics of Mediterranean Shrub Species Based on Terrestrial and NDVI Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Clemente, Rocío; Navarro Cerrillo, R. M.; Hernández-Bermejo, J. E.; Escuin Royo, S.; Kasimis, N. A.

    2009-05-01

    The present study offers an analysis of regeneration patterns and diversity dynamics after a wildfire, which occurred in 1993 and affected about 7000 ha in southern Spain. The aim of the work was to analyze the rule in the succession of shrub species after fire, relating it to the changes registered in the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Fractional vegetation cover was recorded from permanent plots in 2000 and 2005. NDVI data related to each time were obtained from Landsat images. Both data sets, from fieldwork and remote sensing, were analyzed through statistical and quantitative analyses and then correlated. Results have permitted the description of the change in plant cover and species composition on a global and plot scale. It can be affirmed that, from the seventh to the twelfth year after the fire, the floristic composition within the burned area remained unchanged at a global level. However, on a smaller scale (plot level), the major shrub species, Ulex parviflorus, Rosmarinus officinalis, and Cistus clusii, underwent significant changes. The regeneration dynamics established by these species conditioned plant species composition and, consequently, diversity indexes such as Shannon (H) and Simpson (D). The changes recorded in the NDVI values corresponding to the surveyed plots were highly correlated with those found in the regrowth of the main species. Areas dominated by U. parviflorus in a senile phase were related to a decrease in NDVI values and an increase in the number of species. This result describes the successional dynamics; the dryness of the main colonizer shrub species is allowing the regrowth and re-establishment of other species. Within the study area, NDVI shows sensitivity to postfire plant cover changes and indirectly expresses the diversity dynamics.

  19. An integrated approach shows different use of water resources from Mediterranean maquis species in a coastal dune ecosystem

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    F. Manes

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available An integrated approach has been used to analyse the dependence of three Mediterranean species, A. unedo L., Q. ilex L., and P. latifolia L. co-occurring in a coastal dune ecosystem on two different water resources: groundwater and rainfed upper soil layers. The approach included leaf level gas exchanges, sap flow measurements and structural adaptations between 15 May and 31 July 2007. During this period it was possible to capture different species-specific response patterns to an environment characterized by a sandy soil, with a low water retention capacity, and the presence of a water table. The latter did not completely prevent the development of a drought response and, combined with previous studies in the same area, response differences between species have been partially attributed to different root distributions. Sap flow of A. unedo decreased rapidly with the decline of soil water content, while that of Q. ilex decreased only moderately. Midday leaf water potential of P. latifolia and A. unedo ranged between −2.2 and −2.7 MPa throughout the measuring period, while in Q. ilex it decreased down to −3.4 MPa at the end of the season. A. unedo was the only species that responded to drought with a decrease of its leaf area to sapwood area ratio from 23.9±1.2 (May to 15.2±1.5 (July. While A. unedo also underwent an almost stepwise loss on hydraulic conductivity, such a loss did not occur for Q. ilex, whereas P. latifolia was able to slightly increase its hydraulic conducitivity. These differences show how different plant compartments coordinate differently between species in their responses to drought. The different responses appear to be mediated by different root distributions of the species and their relative resistances to drought are likely to depend on the duration of the periods in which water remains extractable in the upper soil layers.

  20. Clonal growth and plant species abundance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herben, Tomáš; Nováková, Zuzana; Klimešová, Jitka

    2014-08-01

    Both regional and local plant abundances are driven by species' dispersal capacities and their abilities to exploit new habitats and persist there. These processes are affected by clonal growth, which is difficult to evaluate and compare across large numbers of species. This study assessed the influence of clonal reproduction on local and regional abundances of a large set of species and compared the predictive power of morphologically defined traits of clonal growth with data on actual clonal growth from a botanical garden. The role of clonal growth was compared with the effects of seed reproduction, habitat requirements and growth, proxied both by LHS (leaf-height-seed) traits and by actual performance in the botanical garden. Morphological parameters of clonal growth, actual clonal reproduction in the garden and LHS traits (leaf-specific area - height - seed mass) were used as predictors of species abundance, both regional (number of species records in the Czech Republic) and local (mean species cover in vegetation records) for 836 perennial herbaceous species. Species differences in habitat requirements were accounted for by classifying the dataset by habitat type and also by using Ellenberg indicator values as covariates. After habitat differences were accounted for, clonal growth parameters explained an important part of variation in species abundance, both at regional and at local levels. At both levels, both greater vegetative growth in cultivation and greater lateral expansion trait values were correlated with higher abundance. Seed reproduction had weaker effects, being positive at the regional level and negative at the local level. Morphologically defined traits are predictive of species abundance, and it is concluded that simultaneous investigation of several such traits can help develop hypotheses on specific processes (e.g. avoidance of self-competition, support of offspring) potentially underlying clonal growth effects on abundance. Garden

  1. Uses of plants, animal and mineral substances in Mediterranean ethno-veterinary practices for the care of small ruminants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piluzza, G; Virdis, S; Serralutzu, F; Bullitta, S

    2015-06-20

    The cultural heritage of Sardinian shepherds is rapidly vanishing and survives in the memory of elderly people. The objective of our study was not only to report the usage of plants and their preparation for administration but also the use of other remedies of different origin arising from traditional ethno-veterinary knowledge, as Sardinian shepherds were used to employ plants, animals, minerals and combinations of several substances to prepare remedies for prophylaxis or therapy on their animals. The work was carried out in rural areas of the island of Sardinia (Italy) by interviewing shepherds and filling questionnaires in order to record ethno-veterinary practices traditionally used for animal health care. Ethno-veterinary remedies traditionally utilised for treatments of small ruminants against ecto-and endo-parasites, gastrointestinal diseases, viral and bacterial diseases, wounds, sprains and bruises were identified. Non herbal remedies outnumbered the herbal ones, as usually plant species were mainly used for the care of cattle and equines. A total of 150 ethno-veterinary uses were documented for the treatment of 33 animal conditions, a detailed account of the formulations and their administration to sheep and goats was provided. Herbal remedies involved the use of twenty two spontaneous species and seven cultivated species. This study identifies remedies used in ethno-veterinary practices for small ruminants care in Sardinia, the second major Mediterranean island which has agro-pastoral activities dating back to Neolithic. Moreover, the danger of losing oral traditions, and the increasing attention towards traditional remedies as potential sources of natural products for improving animal health and welfare, support the interest of our survey. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Decreased summer drought affects plant productivity and soil carbon dynamics in a Mediterranean woodland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotrufo, M. F.; Alberti, G.; Inglima, I.; Marjanović, H.; Lecain, D.; Zaldei, A.; Peressotti, A.; Miglietta, F.

    2011-09-01

    Precipitation patterns are expected to change in the Mediterranean region within the next decades, with projected decreases in total rainfall and increases in extreme events. We manipulated precipitation patterns in a Mediterranean woodland, dominated by Arbutus unedo L., to study the effects of changing precipitation regimes on above-ground net primary production (ANPP) and soil C dynamics, specifically plant-derived C input to soil and soil respiration (SR). Experimental plots were exposed to either a 20 % reduction of throughfall or to water addition targeted at maintaining soil water content above a minimum of 10 % v/v. Treatments were compared to control plots which received ambient precipitation. Enhanced soil moisture during summer months highly stimulated annual stem primary production, litter fall, SR and net annual plant-derived C input to soil which on average increased by 130 %, 26 %, 58 % and 220 %, respectively, as compared to the control. In contrast, the 20 % reduction in throughfall (equivalent to 10 % reduction in precipitation) did not significantly change soil moisture at the site, and therefore did not significantly affect ANPP or SR. We conclude that minor changes (around 10 % reduction) in precipitation amount are not likely to significantly affect ANPP or soil C dynamics in Mediterranean woodlands. However, if summer rain increases, C cycling will significantly accelerate but soil C stocks are not likely to be changed in the short-term. More studies involving modelling of long-term C dynamics are needed to predict if the estimated increases in soil C input under wet conditions is going to be sustained and if labile C is being substituted to stable C, with a negative effect on long-term soil C stocks.

  3. Decreased summer drought affects plant productivity and soil carbon dynamics in a Mediterranean woodland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. F. Cotrufo

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Precipitation patterns are expected to change in the Mediterranean region within the next decades, with projected decreases in total rainfall and increases in extreme events. We manipulated precipitation patterns in a Mediterranean woodland, dominated by Arbutus unedo L., to study the effects of changing precipitation regimes on above-ground net primary production (ANPP and soil C dynamics, specifically plant-derived C input to soil and soil respiration (SR. Experimental plots were exposed to either a 20 % reduction of throughfall or to water addition targeted at maintaining soil water content above a minimum of 10 % v/v. Treatments were compared to control plots which received ambient precipitation. Enhanced soil moisture during summer months highly stimulated annual stem primary production, litter fall, SR and net annual plant-derived C input to soil which on average increased by 130 %, 26 %, 58 % and 220 %, respectively, as compared to the control. In contrast, the 20 % reduction in throughfall (equivalent to 10 % reduction in precipitation did not significantly change soil moisture at the site, and therefore did not significantly affect ANPP or SR. We conclude that minor changes (around 10 % reduction in precipitation amount are not likely to significantly affect ANPP or soil C dynamics in Mediterranean woodlands. However, if summer rain increases, C cycling will significantly accelerate but soil C stocks are not likely to be changed in the short-term. More studies involving modelling of long-term C dynamics are needed to predict if the estimated increases in soil C input under wet conditions is going to be sustained and if labile C is being substituted to stable C, with a negative effect on long-term soil C stocks.

  4. Decreased summer drought affects plant productivity and soil carbon dynamics in Mediterranean woodland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotrufo, M. F.; Alberti, G.; Inglima, I.; Marjanović, H.; Lecain, D.; Zaldei, A.; Peressotti, A.; Miglietta, F.

    2011-06-01

    Precipitation patterns are expected to change in the Mediterranean region within the next decades, with projected decreases in total rainfall and increases in extreme events. We manipulated precipitation patterns in a Mediterranean woodland, dominated by Arbutus unedo L., to study the effects of changing precipitation regimes on above-ground net primary production (ANPP) and soil C dynamics, specifically plant-derived C input to soil and soil respiration (SR). Experimental plots were exposed to either a 20 % reduction of throughfall or to water addition targeted at maintaining soil water content above a minimum of 10 % v/v. Treatments were compared to control plots which received ambient precipitation. The throughfall manipulation experiment started in 2004 and we report data up to the 2009 growing season. Enhanced soil moisture during summer months highly stimulated annual stem primary production, litter fall, SR and net annual plant-derived C input to soil which on average increased by 130 %, 26 %, 50 % and 220 %, respectively, as compared to control. In contrast, the 20 % reduction in throughfall (equivalent to 10 % reduction of precipitation) did not significantly change soil moisture at the site, and therefore did not significantly affect ANPP or SR. We conclude that minor changes (around 10 % reduction) in precipitation amount are not likely to significantly affect ANPP or soil C dynamics in Mediterranean woodland. However, if summer rain increases, C cycling will significantly accelerate but soil C stocks are not likely to be changed in the short-term. More studies involving modelling of long term C dynamics are needed to predict if the estimated increases in soil C input under wet conditions is going to be sustained and if labile C is being substituted to stable C, with a negative effect on long term soil C stocks.

  5. Plant genotype-specific archaeal and bacterial endophytes but similar Bacillus antagonists colonize Mediterranean olive trees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henry eMueller

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Endophytes have an intimate and often symbiotic interaction with their hosts. Less is known about the composition and function of endophytes in trees. In order to evaluate our hypothesis that plant genotype and origin have a strong impact on both, endophytes of leaves from 10 Olea europaea L. cultivars from the Mediterranean basin growing at a single agricultural site in Spain and from nine wild olive trees located in natural habitats in Greece, Cyprus and on Madeira Island were studied. The composition of the bacterial endophytic communities as revealed by 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing and the subsequent PCoA analysis showed a strong correlation to the plant genotypes. The bacterial distribution patterns were congruent with the plant origins in Eastern and Western areas of the Mediterranean basin. Subsequently, the endophytic microbiome of wild olives was shown to be closely related to those of cultivated olives of the corresponding geographic origins. The olive leaf endosphere harbored mostly Proteobacteria, followed by Firmicutes, Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes. The detection of a high portion of archaeal taxa belonging to the phyla Thaumarchaeota, Crenarchaeota and Euryarchaeota in the amplicon libraries was an unexpected discovery, which was confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR revealing an archaeal portion of up to 35.8%. Although the function of these Archaea for their host plant remains speculative, this finding suggests a significant relevance of archaeal endophytes for plant-microbe interactions. In addition, the antagonistic potential of culturable endophytes was determined; all isolates with antagonistic activity against the olive-pathogenic fungus Verticillium dahliae Kleb. belong to Bacillus amyloliquefaciens. In contrast to the specific global structural diversity, BOX-fingerprints of the antagonistic Bacillus isolates were highly similar and independent of the olive genotype from which they were isolated.

  6. Contrasting impacts of continuous moderate drought and episodic severe droughts on the aboveground-biomass increment and litterfall of three coexisting Mediterranean woody species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Daijun; Ogaya, Romà; Barbeta, Adrià; Yang, Xiaohong; Peñuelas, Josep

    2015-11-01

    Climate change is predicted to increase the aridity in the Mediterranean Basin and severely affect forest productivity and composition. The responses of forests to different timescales of drought, however, are still poorly understood because extreme and persistent moderate droughts can produce nonlinear responses in plants. We conducted a rainfall-manipulation experiment in a Mediterranean forest dominated by Quercus ilex, Phillyrea latifolia, and Arbutus unedo in the Prades Mountains in southern Catalonia from 1999 to 2014. The experimental drought significantly decreased forest aboveground-biomass increment (ABI), tended to increase the litterfall, and decreased aboveground net primary production throughout the 15 years of the study. The responses to the experimental drought were highly species-specific. A. unedo suffered a significant reduction in ABI, Q. ilex experienced a decrease during the early experiment (1999-2003) and in the extreme droughts of 2005-2006 and 2011-2012, and P. latifolia was unaffected by the treatment. The drought treatment significantly increased branch litterfall, especially in the extremely dry year of 2011, and also increased overall leaf litterfall. The drought treatment reduced the fruit production of Q. ilex, which affected seedling recruitment. The ABIs of all species were highly correlated with SPEI in early spring, whereas the branch litterfalls were better correlated with summer SPEIs and the leaf and fruit litterfalls were better correlated with autumn SPEIs. These species-specific responses indicated that the dominant species (Q. ilex) could be partially replaced by the drought-resistant species (P. latifolia). However, the results of this long-term study also suggest that the effect of drought treatment has been dampened over time, probably due to a combination of demographic compensation, morphological and physiological acclimation, and epigenetic changes. However, the structure of community (e.g., species composition

  7. Taxonomic perspective of plant species yielding vegetable oils used ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A search conducted to determine the plants yielding vegetable oils resulted in 78 plant species with potential use in cosmetics and skin care products. The taxonomic position of these plant species is described with a description of vegetable oils from these plants and their use in cosmetic and skin care products.

  8. Combining genetic and demographic data for the conservation of a Mediterranean marine habitat-forming species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosana Arizmendi-Mejía

    Full Text Available The integration of ecological and evolutionary data is highly valuable for conservation planning. However, it has been rarely used in the marine realm, where the adequate design of marine protected areas (MPAs is urgently needed. Here, we examined the interacting processes underlying the patterns of genetic structure and demographic strucuture of a highly vulnerable Mediterranean habitat-forming species (i.e. Paramuricea clavata (Risso, 1826, with particular emphasis on the processes of contemporary dispersal, genetic drift, and colonization of a new population. Isolation by distance and genetic discontinuities were found, and three genetic clusters were detected; each submitted to variations in the relative impact of drift and gene flow. No founder effect was found in the new population. The interplay of ecology and evolution revealed that drift is strongly impacting the smallest, most isolated populations, where partial mortality of individuals was highest. Moreover, the eco-evolutionary analyses entailed important conservation implications for P. clavata. Our study supports the inclusion of habitat-forming organisms in the design of MPAs and highlights the need to account for genetic drift in the development of MPAs. Moreover, it reinforces the importance of integrating genetic and demographic data in marine conservation.

  9. Plants on the move: plant-soil interactions in poleward shifting plant species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grunsven, van R.H.A.

    2008-01-01

    As a result of recent global climate change, areas that have previously been climatically unsuitable for species have now become suitable new habitats. Many plant-species are expanding their range polewards, colonizing these newly available areas. If these species are able to expand their range

  10. Diatom species composition and indices for determining the ecological status of coastal Mediterranean Spanish lakes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antón-Garrido, Beatriz

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Diatom indices have been used and tested mainly for assessing the ecological status of rivers and deep lakes, but there are scarce studies that determine their effectiveness in shallow lakes and in coastal Mediterranean lakes. This study evaluates the validity of several common diatom indices (SPI, BDI, CEC and TDIL for the determination of the ecological quality of three coastal lakes (Valencia, Spain and presents descriptions and ecological data of the main diatom species recorded. Diatom samples were collected from phytobenthos, both from epiphyton of the dominant submerged macrophytes and the sediment. The ecological status of the systems was determined according to different physico-chemical variables and was compared with the results obtained from epiphytic diatom communities. The results showed discrepancies among diatom indices and also with the state determined by the environmental variables. The effectiveness of the indices depended on the number of species assessed for each index with respect to the total species recorded and the suitability of the weight assigned to each species. The results reveal the need to gather more information about the composition and ecology of the diatoms and microalgae characteristic of coastal Mediterranean standing waters. This work contributes to their better knowledge.Los índices de diatomeas han sido aplicados y contrastados principalmente en la evaluación del estado ecológico de los sistemas lóticos y lagos profundos, pero son escasos los estudios sobre su eficacia en lagos someros y lagunas litorales mediterráneas. Este trabajo evalúa la validez de varios índices conocidos de diatomeas (IPS, IBD, CEE y TDIL para la determinación de la calidad ecológica de tres lagunas litorales (Valencia, España y presenta las descripciones y datos ecológicos de las principales especies de diatomeas registradas. Las muestras de diatomeas se recogieron del fitobentos, tanto del epifiton desarrollado sobre

  11. A new species of Saturnius Manter, 1969 (Digenea: Hemiuridae) from Mediterranean mullet (Teleostei: Mugilidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marzoug, Douniazed; Rima, Mohamed; Boutiba, Zitouni; Georgieva, Simona; Kostadinova, Aneta; Pérez-del-Olmo, Ana

    2014-02-01

    A new hemiurid digenean, Saturnius gibsoni n. sp., is described from the stomach lining of Mugil cephalus L. off Oran, Mediterranean coast of Algeria. Characteristic morphological features of the new species include small size of the body which is comprised of six pseudosegments, small ventral sucker, weakly developed mound-shaped flange at the level of the ventral sucker, and eggs being large in relation to the size of the body. Saturnius gibsoni n. sp. resembles S. minutus Blasco-Costa, Pankov, Gibson, Balbuena, Raga, Sarabeev & Kostadinova, 2006 and two unidentified Saturnius spp. in the small size of the body and most metrical features. However, in spite of the presence of five transverse septa resulting in six pseudosegments and the range overlap of some metrical features, the ventral sucker in S. minutus is much larger, the ventral sucker muscular flange is more prominent, the last pseudosegment is narrower in relation to body width and more rounded, and the eggs are smaller (mean 21 × 10 vs 25 × 12 μm). Furthermore, the partial sequences of the 28S rRNA gene region (domains D1-D3; 1,195 nt) obtained from two isolates of S. gibsoni n. sp. differed by 11 nt (0.9%) from that of S. minutus. Both unidentified forms of Saturnius are clearly distinguishable from S. gibsoni n. sp. by the presence of six stout, transverse muscular septa, forming seven pseudosegments (vs five septa forming six pseudosegments). Bayesian inference analysis of partial 28S rDNA sequences based on a total of 15 species from the families Hemiuridae and Lecithasteridae depicted the Bunocotylinae Dollfus, 1950 as a strongly supported basal clade, with Bunocotyle progenetica (Markowski, 1936) as the closest sister taxon to Saturnius spp.

  12. New pasture plants intensify invasive species risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Driscoll, Don A; Catford, Jane A; Barney, Jacob N; Hulme, Philip E; Inderjit; Martin, Tara G; Pauchard, Aníbal; Pyšek, Petr; Richardson, David M; Riley, Sophie; Visser, Vernon

    2014-11-18

    Agricultural intensification is critical to meet global food demand, but intensification threatens native species and degrades ecosystems. Sustainable intensification (SI) is heralded as a new approach for enabling growth in agriculture while minimizing environmental impacts. However, the SI literature has overlooked a major environmental risk. Using data from eight countries on six continents, we show that few governments regulate conventionally bred pasture taxa to limit threats to natural areas, even though most agribusinesses promote taxa with substantial weed risk. New pasture taxa (including species, subspecies, varieties, cultivars, and plant-endophyte combinations) are bred with characteristics typical of invasive species and environmental weeds. By introducing novel genetic and endophyte variation, pasture taxa are imbued with additional capacity for invasion and environmental impact. New strategies to prevent future problems are urgently needed. We highlight opportunities for researchers, agribusiness, and consumers to reduce environmental risks associated with new pasture taxa. We also emphasize four main approaches that governments could consider as they build new policies to limit weed risks, including (i) national lists of taxa that are prohibited based on environmental risk; (ii) a weed risk assessment for all new taxa; (iii) a program to rapidly detect and control new taxa that invade natural areas; and (iv) the polluter-pays principle, so that if a taxon becomes an environmental weed, industry pays for its management. There is mounting pressure to increase livestock production. With foresight and planning, growth in agriculture can be achieved sustainably provided that the scope of SI expands to encompass environmental weed risks.

  13. Species composition and structure of a photophilic algal community dominated by Halopteris scoparia (L. Sauvageau from the North-Western Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ballesteros, Enric

    1993-12-01

    Full Text Available A photophilic agal community dominated by Halopteris scoparia and other brown algae is described from sheltered environments from the North-Western Mediterranean rocky bottoms. This community is included in the Padino-Cladostephetum hirsutae previously described by FELDMANN(1937 for the same geographical area. This plant association is characterized by the lack of an upper erect stratum of Fucales and by the low degree of presence of thermophilic species which typify other similar communities described from other Mediterranean areas. Algal biomass ranges from 1100 to 2500 g dw m-2 and coverage percentage ranges from 250 to 450 %. The great miniaturization and the extraordinary diversity and species richness of Mediterranean photophilic algal communities is assessed. Although there is not a clear seasonal change in biomass of the dominant species in the community, two structural stages can be discerned along an annual cycle: a developed community (summer and a diversified community (winter. Finally, the community structure and the environmental factors that impinge upon it are compared with those found in other Mediterranean phytobenthic communities.

    Se describe una comunidad de algas fotófilas mediterráneas de modo calmado dominada por Hatopteris scoparia y otros feófitos de porte mediano, la cual se adscribe a la asociación Padino-Clodostephetum hirsutae J. Feldmann 1937. Dicha asociación se caracteriza por la ausencia de un estrato elevado de Fucales y el escaso grado de presencia de especies termófilas propia de comunidades similares descritas de otras zonas del Mediterráneo. La biomasa algal oscila entre 1100 y 2500 g ps m-2 mientras que el porcentaje de recubrimiento varía entre el 250 y el 450%. Se pone de manifiesto la gran miniaturización de las comunidades de algas fotólitas mediterráneas y su extraordinaria diversidad y riqueza especificas. Pese a no existir un claro

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  15. Diamond vs. square mesh codend in a multi-species trawl fishery of the western Mediterranean: effects on catch composition, yield, size selectivity and discards

    OpenAIRE

    Ordines, F. (Francesc); Massutí, E. (Enric); Guijarro, B. (Beatriz); Mas, R. (Ramon)

    2006-01-01

    Selectivity studies usually describe the effects on target species, whereas information on by-catch and discards is scarce. Nevertheless, large quantities of undersized individuals and invertebrates are discarded in the Mediterranean multi-species bottom trawl fishery. The present work analyses the data from two surveys carried out on the shallow and deep continental shelf (50–78 m, and 147–189 m, respectively) off the Balearic Islands (western Mediterranean). In these surveys, the traditiona...

  16. Walking response of the Mediterranean pine engraver, Orthotomicus erosus, to novel plant odors host in a laboratory olfactometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    A. J. Walter; R. C. Venette; S. A. Kells; S. J. Seybold

    2010-01-01

    When an herbivorous insect enters a new geographic area, it will select host plants based on short and long distance cues. A conifer-feeding bark beetle that has been recently introduced to North America, the Mediterranean pine engraver, Orthotomicus erosus (Wollaston), has a potentially wide host range, especially among members of the Pinaceae....

  17. The morphology of saccular otoliths as a tool to identify different mugilid species from the Northeastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callicó Fortunato, Roberta; Benedito Durà, Vicent; Volpedo, Alejandra

    2014-06-01

    In the Northeastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea there are 8 species of the Mugilidae family: Mugil cephalus, Liza aurata, Liza ramada, Oedalechilus labeo, Chelon labrosus, Liza saliens, Liza carinata and Liza haematocheila. The identification of mugilids is very important for local fisheries management and regulations, but it is difficult using gross morphological characters. This work aims to contribute to the identification of mullets present in the Northeastern Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea using saccular otolith features of each species. Specimens of C. labrosus, L. aurata, L. ramada, L. saliens and M. cephalus were obtained from Delta del Ebro (40°38'N-0°44'E) in artisanal catches. For L. carinata and O. labeo photographs extracted from AFORO online database were used. L. haematocheila was not studied for lack of otolith samples. A general pattern of the saccular otoliths for this family was identified: the shape of the otoliths are rectangular to oblong with irregular margins; they present a heterosulcoid, ostial sulcus acusticus, with an open funnel-like ostium to the anterior margin and a closed, tubular cauda, ending towards the posterior ventral corner, always larger than the ostium. In the present study, the mugilid species could be recognized using their saccular otolith morphology. Here we give the first key to identify Northeastern Atlantic and Mediterranean mullets. The distinctive features between the species were the position and centrality of the sulcus, the curvature of the cauda, the presence of areal depositions and plateaus, and the type of anterior and posterior regions. These features could be used not only to reinforce the identification keys through morphological and meristic characters of the species, but also to identify the species consumed by piscivores, being the otoliths the only identifiable remains of the individuals.

  18. Solar plants, environmental degradation and local socioeconomic contexts: A case study in a Mediterranean country

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Delfanti, Lavinia [University of Viterbo, Department DAFNE, Via S. Camillo De Lellis snc, I-11100, Viterbo (Italy); Colantoni, Andrea, E-mail: colantoni@unitus.it [University of Viterbo, Department DAFNE, Via S. Camillo De Lellis snc, I-11100, Viterbo (Italy); Recanatesi, Fabio [University of Viterbo, Department DAFNE, Via S. Camillo De Lellis snc, I-11100, Viterbo (Italy); Bencardino, Massimiliano [University of Salerno, Department of Political, Social and Communication Sciences, Via Giovanni Paolo II 132, I-84084 Fisciano (Italy); Sateriano, Adele [Via A. Di Tullio 40, I-00136, Rome (Italy); Zambon, Ilaria [University of Viterbo, Department DAFNE, Via S. Camillo De Lellis snc, I-11100, Viterbo (Italy); Salvati, Luca, E-mail: luca.salvati@crea.gov.it [Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA-RPS), Via della Navicella 2-4, I-00184, Rome (Italy)

    2016-11-15

    Photovoltaic plants developed on rural land are becoming a common infrastructure in the Mediterranean region and may contribute, at least indirectly, to various forms of environmental degradation including landscape deterioration, land take, soil degradation and loss in traditional cropland and biodiversity. Our study illustrates a procedure estimating (i) the extension of ground-mounted photovoltaic fields at the municipal scale in Italy and (ii) inferring the socioeconomic profile of the Italian municipalities experiencing different expansion rates of ground-mounted photovoltaic fields over the last years (2007-2014). The procedure was based on diachronic information derived from official data sources integrated into a geographical decision support system. Our results indicate that the surface area of ground-mounted photovoltaic fields into rural land grew continuously in Italy between 2007 and 2014 with positive and increasing growth rates observed during 2007-2011 and positive but slightly decreasing growth rates over 2012-2014, as a result of market saturation and policies containing the diffusion of solar plants on greenfields. We found important differences in the density of ground-mounted solar plants between northern and southern Italian municipalities. We identified accessible rural municipalities in southern Italy with intermediate population density and large availability of non-urban land as the most exposed to the diffusion of solar plants on greenfields in the last decade. Our approach is a promising tool to estimate changes in the use of land driven by the expansion of photovoltaic fields into rural land.

  19. Solar plants, environmental degradation and local socioeconomic contexts: A case study in a Mediterranean country

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Delfanti, Lavinia; Colantoni, Andrea; Recanatesi, Fabio; Bencardino, Massimiliano; Sateriano, Adele; Zambon, Ilaria; Salvati, Luca

    2016-01-01

    Photovoltaic plants developed on rural land are becoming a common infrastructure in the Mediterranean region and may contribute, at least indirectly, to various forms of environmental degradation including landscape deterioration, land take, soil degradation and loss in traditional cropland and biodiversity. Our study illustrates a procedure estimating (i) the extension of ground-mounted photovoltaic fields at the municipal scale in Italy and (ii) inferring the socioeconomic profile of the Italian municipalities experiencing different expansion rates of ground-mounted photovoltaic fields over the last years (2007-2014). The procedure was based on diachronic information derived from official data sources integrated into a geographical decision support system. Our results indicate that the surface area of ground-mounted photovoltaic fields into rural land grew continuously in Italy between 2007 and 2014 with positive and increasing growth rates observed during 2007-2011 and positive but slightly decreasing growth rates over 2012-2014, as a result of market saturation and policies containing the diffusion of solar plants on greenfields. We found important differences in the density of ground-mounted solar plants between northern and southern Italian municipalities. We identified accessible rural municipalities in southern Italy with intermediate population density and large availability of non-urban land as the most exposed to the diffusion of solar plants on greenfields in the last decade. Our approach is a promising tool to estimate changes in the use of land driven by the expansion of photovoltaic fields into rural land.

  20. The role of vicariance vs. dispersal in shaping genetic patterns in ocellated lizard species in the western Mediterranean

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Paulo, O. S.; Pinheiro, J.; Miraldo, A.

    2008-01-01

    in the western Mediterranean as exemplified by the distribution of species and subspecies and genetic variation within the ocellated lizard group. To reassess the role of the MSC, partial sequences of three mitochondrial DNA genes (cytochrome b, 12S and 16S ribosomal RNA) and two nuclear genes (beta......-fibrinogen and C-mos) from species of the ocellated lizard group were analysed. Three alternative hypotheses were tested: that divergence was initiated (i) by post-MSC vicariance as the basin filled, (ii) when separate populations established either side of the strait by pre-MSC overseas dispersal, and (iii...

  1. Continuous osteological characters in the reconstruction of phylogenetic relationships of the six Euro-Mediterranean mullet species (Mugilidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antović, Ivanka

    2013-09-01

    Sixty-three continuous osteological characters (18 skull continuous characters and the total length of neurocranium, 45 continuous characters of 15 elements of the viscerodermal skeleton) were analyzed and included in the reconstruction of phylogenetic relationships of the six Euro-Mediterranean mullet species from the South Adriatic Sea: Mugil cephalus Linnaeus, 1758; Liza saliens Risso, 1810; Liza aurata Risso, 1810; Liza ramada Risso, 1826; Chelon labrosus Risso, 1826 and Oedalechilus labeo Cuvier, 1829. The study reveals that Sphyraenidae was separated clearly from Mugilidae, C. labrosus and three Liza species form a common cluster (L. ramada and L. saliens being the closest), while O. labeo and M. cephalus cluster together.

  2. Causes of change in nitrophytic and oligotrophic lichen species in a Mediterranean climate: Impact of land cover and atmospheric pollutants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pinho, P.; Augusto, S.; Martins-Loucao, M.A. [Faculdade de Ciencias, Centro de Ecologia e Biologia Vegetal, Universidade de Lisboa, edificio C4, 1749-016 Lisbon (Portugal); Pereira, M.J.; Soares, A. [Instituto Superior Tecnico, Universidade Tecnica de Lisboa, Cerena, Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049-001 Lisbon (Portugal); Maguas, C. [Faculdade de Ciencias, Centro de Ecologia e Biologia Vegetal, Universidade de Lisboa, edificio C4, 1749-016 Lisbon (Portugal); Branquinho, C. [Faculdade de Ciencias, Centro de Ecologia e Biologia Vegetal, Universidade de Lisboa, edificio C4, 1749-016 Lisbon (Portugal); Antiga Fabrica da Polvora de Barcarena, Universidade Atlantica, 2745-615 Barcarena (Portugal)], E-mail: cmbranquinho@fc.ul.pt

    2008-08-15

    With the aim of determining the main drivers of changes in nitrophytic and oligotrophic macro-lichen communities in an industrial region with a Mediterranean climate, we considered both land-cover types and atmospheric pollutants. We determined the relation between the abundance of nitrophytic and oligotrophic species with environmental factors considering the distance of influence of land-cover types. The results showed that oligotrophic species decreased in the proximity of artificial areas, barren land and agricultural areas, associated with higher concentrations of NO{sub 2} and Zn, and Ti, probably dust of industrial and agricultural origin. Nitrophytic species were positively related to all the mentioned land-cover types, and with higher concentrations of Fe and N. Magnesium, probably from ocean aerosols, was negatively related to oligotrophic species and positively to nitrophytic. - Causes of change in nitrophytic and oligotrophic lichen species.

  3. Causes of change in nitrophytic and oligotrophic lichen species in a Mediterranean climate: Impact of land cover and atmospheric pollutants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pinho, P.; Augusto, S.; Martins-Loucao, M.A.; Pereira, M.J.; Soares, A.; Maguas, C.; Branquinho, C.

    2008-01-01

    With the aim of determining the main drivers of changes in nitrophytic and oligotrophic macro-lichen communities in an industrial region with a Mediterranean climate, we considered both land-cover types and atmospheric pollutants. We determined the relation between the abundance of nitrophytic and oligotrophic species with environmental factors considering the distance of influence of land-cover types. The results showed that oligotrophic species decreased in the proximity of artificial areas, barren land and agricultural areas, associated with higher concentrations of NO 2 and Zn, and Ti, probably dust of industrial and agricultural origin. Nitrophytic species were positively related to all the mentioned land-cover types, and with higher concentrations of Fe and N. Magnesium, probably from ocean aerosols, was negatively related to oligotrophic species and positively to nitrophytic. - Causes of change in nitrophytic and oligotrophic lichen species

  4. Reproduction ecology of Pinus halepensis : a monoecious, wind-pollinated and partially serotinous Mediterranean pine tree

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goubitz, Shirrinka

    2001-01-01

    Fire is an important factor in the evolution and ecology of Mediterranean plant species. The fire frequency has increased in the 20st century. Pines are the most important tree species in the area. Pinus halepensis is the only natural pine in parts of the east Mediterranean basin, such as Israel and

  5. Rapid assessment of non-indigenous species in the era of the eDNA barcoding: A Mediterranean case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardura, Alba; Planes, Serge

    2017-03-01

    With only a narrow opening through the Gibraltar and Suez Canals, the Mediterranean Sea is one of the largest semi-enclosed seas. The marine flora and fauna are some of the richest in the world, relative to its size, particularly in the coastal habitats, which are also characterized by numerous endemic species although the introduction of non-indigenous species threatens its rich and unique biodiversity. Following the opening of the Suez Canal, and in combination with shipping and aquaculture activities, non-indigenous species (NIS) introduction has had measurable impacts on the Mediterranean. Lagoon ecosystems along the French coastline, with approx. 100 NIS identified, are considered hot-spot areas for these species. Rapid assessment sampling for sessile benthic species together with DNA barcoding is a rapid, easy and cheap method to detect non-indigenous species. Two nearby and different ecosystems were sampled for invertebrate species: Saint-Nazaire lagoon, a Special Protection Area within the Natura 2000 Network and Canet port, a marina in a small village. The DNA barcoding tool for species identification was used for confirming the taxonomy. This showed that, despite the Saint-Nazaire Lagoon classification within the Natura 2000 network, it is already contaminated with a single NIS that was found in high densities and is clearly beginning to dominate the system. It is proposed that a rapid assessment of the sampled environment and the DNA barcode approach are efficient and can provide sufficient information on the new target species to be used in conservation planning and ongoing management efforts.

  6. The cost of integration of parabolic trough CSP plants in isolated Mediterranean power systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Poullikkas, Andreas; Hadjipaschalis, Ioannis; Kourtis, George

    2010-01-01

    In this work, a technical and economic analysis concerning the integration of parabolic trough concentrated solar power (CSP) technologies, with or without thermal storage capability, in an existing typical small isolated Mediterranean power generation system, in the absence of a feed-in tariff scheme, is carried out. In addition to the business as usual (BAU) scenario, five more scenarios are examined in the analysis in order to assess the electricity unit cost with the penetration of parabolic trough CSP plants of 50 MWe or 100 MWe, with or without thermal storage capability. Based on the input data and assumptions made, the simulations indicated that the scenario with the utilization of a single parabolic trough CSP plant (either 50 MWe or 100 MWe and with or without thermal storage capability) in combination with BAU will effect an insignificant change in the electricity unit cost of the generation system compared to the BAU scenario. In addition, a sensitivity analysis on natural gas price, showed that increasing fuel prices and the existence of thermal storage capability in the CSP plant make this scenario marginally more economically attractive compared to the BAU scenario. (author)

  7. Climatic niche conservatism and biogeographical non-equilibrium in Eschscholzia californica (Papaveraceae), an invasive plant in the Chilean Mediterranean region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peña-Gómez, Francisco T; Guerrero, Pablo C; Bizama, Gustavo; Duarte, Milén; Bustamante, Ramiro O

    2014-01-01

    Species climate requirements are useful for predicting their geographic distribution. It is often assumed that the niche requirements for invasive plants are conserved during invasion, especially when the invaded regions share similar climate conditions. California and central Chile have a remarkable degree of convergence in their vegetation structure, and a similar Mediterranean climate. Such similarities make these geographic areas an interesting natural experiment for testing climatic niche dynamics and the equilibrium of invasive species in a new environment. We tested to see if the climatic niche of Eschscholzia californica is conserved in the invaded range (central Chile), and we assessed whether the invasion process has reached a biogeographical equilibrium, i.e., occupy all the suitable geographic locations that have suitable conditions under native niche requirements. We compared the climatic niche in the native and invaded ranges as well as the projected potential geographic distribution in the invaded range. In order to compare climatic niches, we conducted a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Species Distribution Models (SDMs), to estimate E. californica's potential geographic distribution. We also used SDMs to predict altitudinal distribution limits in central Chile. Our results indicated that the climatic niche occupied by E. californica in the invaded range is firmly conserved, occupying a subset of the native climatic niche but leaving a substantial fraction of it unfilled. Comparisons of projected SDMs for central Chile indicate a similarity, yet the projection from native range predicted a larger geographic distribution in central Chile compared to the prediction of the model constructed for central Chile. The projected niche occupancy profile from California predicted a higher mean elevation than that projected from central Chile. We concluded that the invasion process of E. californica in central Chile is consistent with climatic niche

  8. Water repellence assessment in humid mediterranean carbonated environments: influence of shrubland species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oscar, Gonzalez-Pelayo; Vicente, Andreu; Luis, Rubio Jose; Carla Sofia, Ferreira; Dinis, Ferreira Antonio Jose

    2010-05-01

    The importance of natural or induced (fire) water repellence in terms of water redistribution in the soil profile, reduction in soil infiltration capacity and thus, in runoff magnification, is well established. Hydrophobicity has been identified around the world in different climatic conditions, land covers, soil and vegetation types. Regarding soil and vegetation, many studies are based on coarse acidic soils with pine forest, eucalyptus, deciduous trees, grassland, cropland, chaparral vegetation type, and lately in shrublands. However, few studies are related to shrubland in wet Mediterranean carbonated environments. This work is oriented to the study of soil water repellence in these environments by means of WDPT. The study was carried out in Podentes (Coimbra), central Portugal, on 4 ha of shrubland (mainly Quercus coccifera, Pistacia lentiscus and Arbutus unedo), developed on Umbric leptosol and Calcaric cambisol soil types (WRB). The WDPT was assessed depending on the shrubland type, slope orientation, soil depth (0-2 cm and 2-5 cm) and on different soil fractions (unedo. Soil water repellence decreased with depth. The studied shrubland species showed an increasing trend on the soil hydrophobicity persistence: A. unedo > Q. coccifera ≈ P. lentiscus; and depending on the orientation: NE > SW. Direct relationships were obtained between the soil organic matter content and the log WDPT on almost all the surface soil samples. The soil pH and carbonate content did not display correlation with soil water repellence. The different hydrophobic compounds generated by waxes and resins of the different shrubland types, which could be incorporated to the soil as binding agents, seem to be the explanation for the differences of the WDPT data. The patchy distribution of the vegetation rules the persistence of the natural soil water repellence, restraining water infiltration mainly by micropore flow, being then the soil hydrology controlled by the macropore flow, cracks

  9. VT Biodiversity Project - Plant and Animal Species Atlas

    Data.gov (United States)

    Vermont Center for Geographic Information — (Link to Metadata) This database contains town-level totals of documented species records for several plant and animal taxa including vascular plants, trees,...

  10. Phytophthora Species, New Threats to the Plant Health in Korea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ik-Hwa Hyun

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Given the lack of a resistant genetic pool in host plants, the introduction of exotic invasive pathogens can result in epidemics that affect a specific ecosystem and economy. Plant quarantine, which is designed to protect endemic plant resources, is a highly invaluable safeguard that should keep biosecurity with increasing international trade and global transportation. A total of 34 species of plant pathogens including Phytophthora infestans were documented as introduced from other countries into Korea from 1900 to 2010. The genus Phytophthora, classified in oomycetes, includes more than 120 species that are mostly recognized worldwide as highly invasive plant pathogens. After 2000, over 50 new species of Phytophthora were identified internationally as plant pathogens occurring in crops and forest trees. In Korea, Phytophthora is also one of the most serious plant pathogens. To date, 22 species (about one-fifth of known species of the genus have been identified and reported as plant pathogens in the country. The likelihood of new exotic Phytophthora species being introduced into Korea continues to increase, thus necessitating intensive plant quarantine inspections. As new potential threats to plant health in Korea, six Phytophthora species, namely, P. alni, P. inundata, P. kernoviae, P. pinifolia, P. quercina, and P. ramorum, are discussed in this review with focus on history, disease, biology, management, and plant quarantine issues.

  11. Invasive Plant Species in the National Parks of Vietnam

    OpenAIRE

    Bernard Dell; Pham Quang Thu; Dang Thanh Tan

    2012-01-01

    The impact of invasive plant species in national parks and forests in Vietnam is undocumented and management plans have yet to be developed. Ten national parks, ranging from uncut to degraded forests located throughout Vietnam, were surveyed for invasive plant species. Transects were set up along roads, trails where local people access park areas, and also tracks through natural forest. Of 134 exotic weeds, 25 were classified as invasive species and the number of invasive species ranged from ...

  12. Evolutionary responses of native plant species to invasive plants: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oduor, Ayub M O

    2013-12-01

    Strong competition from invasive plant species often leads to declines in abundances and may, in certain cases, cause localized extinctions of native plant species. Nevertheless, studies have shown that certain populations of native plant species can co-exist with invasive plant species,suggesting the possibility of adaptive evolutionary responses of those populations to the invasive plants. Empirical inference of evolutionary responses of the native plant species to invasive plants has involved experiments comparing two conspecific groups of native plants for differences in expression of growth/reproductive traits: populations that have experienced competition from the invasive plant species (i.e. experienced natives) versus populations with no known history of interactions with the invasive plant species (i.e. naıve natives). Here, I employ a meta-analysis to obtain a general pattern of inferred evolutionary responses of native plant species from 53 such studies. In general, the experienced natives had significantly higher growth/reproductive performances than naıve natives, when grown with or without competition from invasive plants.While the current results indicate that certain populations of native plant species could potentially adapt evolutionarily to invasive plant species, the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that probably underlie such evolutionary responses remain unexplored and should be the focus of future studies.

  13. Barriers to gene flow in the marine environment: insights from two common intertidal limpet species of the Atlantic and Mediterranean.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra Sá-Pinto

    Full Text Available Knowledge of the scale of dispersal and the mechanisms governing gene flow in marine environments remains fragmentary despite being essential for understanding evolution of marine biota and to design management plans. We use the limpets Patella ulyssiponensis and Patella rustica as models for identifying factors affecting gene flow in marine organisms across the North-East Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea. A set of allozyme loci and a fragment of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome C oxidase subunit I were screened for genetic variation through starch gel electrophoresis and DNA sequencing, respectively. An approach combining clustering algorithms with clinal analyses was used to test for the existence of barriers to gene flow and estimate their geographic location and abruptness. Sharp breaks in the genetic composition of individuals were observed in the transitions between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean and across southern Italian shores. An additional break within the Atlantic cluster separates samples from the Alboran Sea and Atlantic African shores from those of the Iberian Atlantic shores. The geographic congruence of the genetic breaks detected in these two limpet species strongly supports the existence of transpecific barriers to gene flow in the Mediterranean Sea and Northeastern Atlantic. This leads to testable hypotheses regarding factors restricting gene flow across the study area.

  14. Saurida lessepsianus a new species of lizardfish (Pisces: Synodontidae) from the Red Sea and Mediterranean Sea, with a key to Saurida species in the Red Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Barry C; Golani, Daniel; Tikochinski, Yaron

    2015-05-12

    Saurida lessepsianus n. sp., a lizardfish (Aulopiformes: Synodontidae) from the Red Sea and Mediterranean Sea, previously misidentified as S. undosquamis (Richardson) and more recently as S. macrolepis Tanaka, is described as a new species. It is characterised by the following combination of characters: dorsal fin with 11-12 rays; pectoral fins with 13-15 rays; lateral-line scales 47-51; transverse scale rows above lateral line 4½, below lateral line 5½; pectoral fins moderately long (extending to between just before or just beyond a line from origin of pelvic fins to origin of dorsal fin); 2 rows of teeth on outer palatines; 0-2 teeth on vomer; tongue with 3-6 rows of teeth posteriorly; caudal peduncle slightly compressed (depth a little more than width); upper margin of caudal fin with row of 3-8 (usually 6 or 7) small black spots; stomach pale grey to blackish anteriorly; intestine whitish. The species is common in the Red Sea and as a result of Lessepsian migration through the Suez Canal, it is now widely distributed in the eastern Mediterranean. The taxonomic status of two other Red Sea nominal species, Saurus badimottah Rüppell [= Saurida tumbil (Bloch)] and Saurida sinaitica Dollfus in Gruvel (a nomen nudum), is clarified. A key is provided for the species of Saurida in the Red Sea.

  15. Using ground observations of a digital camera in the VIS-NIR range for quantifying the phenology of Mediterranean woody species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weil, Gilad; Lensky, Itamar M.; Levin, Noam

    2017-10-01

    The spectral reflectance of most plant species is quite similar, and thus the feasibility of identifying most plant species based on single date multispectral data is very low. Seasonal phenological patterns of plant species may enable to face the challenge of using remote sensing for mapping plant species at the individual level. We used a consumer-grade digital camera with near infra-red capabilities in order to extract and quantify vegetation phenological information in four East Mediterranean sites. After illumination corrections and other noise reduction steps, the phenological patterns of 1839 individuals representing 12 common species were analyzed, including evergreen trees, winter deciduous trees, semi-deciduous summer shrubs and annual herbaceous patches. Five vegetation indices were used to describe the phenology: relative green and red (green/red chromatic coordinate), excess green (ExG), normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and green-red vegetation index (GRVI). We found significant differences between the phenology of the various species, and defined the main phenological groups using agglomerative hierarchical clustering. Differences between species and sites regarding the start of season (SOS), maximum of season (MOS) and end of season (EOS) were displayed in detail, using ExG values, as this index was found to have the lowest percentage of outliers. An additional visible band spectral index (relative red) was found as useful for characterizing seasonal phenology, and had the lowest correlation with the other four vegetation indices, which are more sensitive to greenness. We used a linear mixed model in order to evaluate the influences of various factors on the phenology, and found that unlike the significant effect of species and individuals on SOS, MOS and EOS, the sites' location did not have a direct significant effect on the timing of phenological events. In conclusion, the relative advantage of the proposed methodology is the

  16. Phytochemical studies and biological activity of carnivorous plants from the Mediterranean region

    OpenAIRE

    Grevenstuk, Tomás

    2010-01-01

    Tese de doutoramento, Ciências Biotecnológicas (Biotecnologia Vegetal), Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade do Algarve, 2010 In this thesis several studies were conducted with four carnivorous plant species which occur on Portuguese territory: Pinguicula lusitanica, Pinguicula vulgaris, Drosera intermedia and Drosera rotundifolia. Most habitats of these plants are threatened and natural populations are scarce, therefore micropropagation protocols were developed to ...

  17. Nutritive value of the Range Plants in the Western Mediterranean Desert of Egypt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El-Din, A.S.; El-Kady, H.F.

    2001-01-01

    The present study assesses the nutritive value of the range plants in the Western Mediterranean Desert of Egypt to evaluate their usage as forage for domestic animals (mainly sheep and goats). Analysis of plant organs which represent the diet selected by the herbivores indicated that their mean protein content is about 1.1%. This is lower than the proper level, but it is ranked as acceptable protein content. The average digestible protein intake was about 46.4g 100kg live weight-1 day-1, which is inadequate for the protein needs of grazing animals. The amount of total digestible nutrient (TDN) was also lower than the normal requirements of the sheep. The shortfall in the forage nutrition may be attributed to the high stocking rate. If the stocking rate is about seven times lower than the present value, most of the requirements of energy and protein could be fulfilled in the range. The ratio of Ca: P was higher than the optimum, which may lead to lower utilization of both Ca and P by animals. (author)

  18. 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.

  19. Transfer of {sup 238}U, {sup 230}Th, {sup 226}Ra, and {sup 210}Pb from soils to tree and shrub species in a Mediterranean area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blanco Rodriguez, P. [Natural Radioactivity Group, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Extremadura, Avda. de Elvas s/n, 06071 Badajoz (Spain); Vera Tome, F. [Natural Radioactivity Group, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Extremadura, Avda. de Elvas s/n, 06071 Badajoz (Spain)], E-mail: fvt@unex.es; Lozano, J.C. [Natural Radioactivity Group, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Extremadura, Avda. de Elvas s/n, 06071 Badajoz (Spain); Laboratorio de Radiaciones Ionizantes, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Salamanca, 37008 Salamanca (Spain); Perez Fernandez, M.A. [Natural Radioactivity Group, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Extremadura, Avda. de Elvas s/n, 06071 Badajoz (Spain); Area de Ecologia, Universidad Pablo Olavide, Carretera de Utrera km. 1, 41013 Sevilla (Spain)

    2010-06-15

    The soil-to-plant transfer factors of natural uranium isotopes ({sup 238}U and {sup 234}U), {sup 230}Th, {sup 226}Ra, and {sup 210}Pb were studied in a disused uranium mine located in the Extremadura region in the south-west of Spain. The plant samples included trees (Quercus ilex, Quercus suber, and Eucalyptus cameldulensis) and one shrub (Cytisus multiflorus). All of them are characteristic of Mediterranean environments. The activity concentrations in leaves and fruit were determined for the tree species at different stages of growth. For the shrub, the total above-ground fraction was considered in three seasons. For old leaves and fruit, the highest activity concentrations were found in Eucalyptus cameldulensis for all the radionuclides studied, except in the case of {sup 230}Th that presented similar activity concentrations in all of the tree species studied. In every case, the transfer to fruit was less than the transfer to leaves. In the shrub, the results depended on the season of sampling, with the highest value obtained in spring and the lowest in autumn. Important correlations were obtained for {sup 238}U and {sup 226}Ra between the activity ratio in soils with that in leaves or fruit.

  20. Transfer of 238U, 230Th, 226Ra, and 210Pb from soils to tree and shrub species in a Mediterranean area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blanco Rodriguez, P.; Vera Tome, F.; Lozano, J.C.; Perez Fernandez, M.A.

    2010-01-01

    The soil-to-plant transfer factors of natural uranium isotopes ( 238 U and 234 U), 230 Th, 226 Ra, and 210 Pb were studied in a disused uranium mine located in the Extremadura region in the south-west of Spain. The plant samples included trees (Quercus ilex, Quercus suber, and Eucalyptus cameldulensis) and one shrub (Cytisus multiflorus). All of them are characteristic of Mediterranean environments. The activity concentrations in leaves and fruit were determined for the tree species at different stages of growth. For the shrub, the total above-ground fraction was considered in three seasons. For old leaves and fruit, the highest activity concentrations were found in Eucalyptus cameldulensis for all the radionuclides studied, except in the case of 230 Th that presented similar activity concentrations in all of the tree species studied. In every case, the transfer to fruit was less than the transfer to leaves. In the shrub, the results depended on the season of sampling, with the highest value obtained in spring and the lowest in autumn. Important correlations were obtained for 238 U and 226 Ra between the activity ratio in soils with that in leaves or fruit.

  1. Mediterranean food consumption patterns: low environmental impacts and significant health-nutrition benefits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aboussaleh, Y; Capone, R; Bilali, H El

    2017-11-01

    The Mediterranean dietary patterns comply better with recommended nutrient and micronutrient intakes. The Mediterranean diet (MD) was associated with reduced mortality and lower risk for metabolic chronic diseases. It has also low ecological, carbon and water footprints due to its high share of plant-based foods. In fact, the share of plant-based dietary energy is higher in the Mediterranean than in Northern Europe. The Mediterranean hotspot is a major centre of plant and crop diversity. Mediterranean people gather and consume about 2300 plant species. This review paper aims at highlighting the nutrition-health benefits of the MD and analysing the main environmental impacts of the Mediterranean food consumption patterns. There is a growing body of scientific evidence that the MD has significant health-nutrition benefits and low environmental footprints, so there is urgent need to reverse the ongoing erosion of the MD heritage and to promote it as a sustainable diets model.

  2. Large and abundant flowers increase indirect costs of corollas: a study of coflowering sympatric Mediterranean species of contrasting flower size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixido, Alberto L; Valladares, Fernando

    2013-09-01

    Large floral displays receive more pollinator visits but involve higher production and maintenance costs. This can result in indirect costs which may negatively affect functions like reproductive output. In this study, we explored the relationship between floral display and indirect costs in two pairs of coflowering sympatric Mediterranean Cistus of contrasting flower size. We hypothesized that: (1) corolla production entails direct costs in dry mass, N and P, (2) corollas entail significant indirect costs in terms of fruit set and seed production, (3) indirect costs increase with floral display, (4) indirect costs are greater in larger-flowered sympatric species, and (5) local climatic conditions influence indirect costs. We compared fruit set and seed production of petal-removed flowers and unmanipulated control flowers and evaluated the influence of mean flower number and mean flower size on relative fruit and seed gain of petal-removed and control flowers. Fruit set and seed production were significantly higher in petal-removed flowers in all the studied species. A positive relationship was found between relative fruit gain and mean individual flower size within species. In one pair of species, fruit gain was higher in the large-flowered species, as was the correlation between fruit gain and mean number of open flowers. In the other pair, the correlation between fruit gain and mean flower size was also higher in the large-flowered species. These results reveal that Mediterranean environments impose significant constraints on floral display, counteracting advantages of large flowers from the pollination point of view with increased indirect costs of such flowers.

  3. Otolith shape analysis and mitochondrial DNA markers distinguish three sand smelt species in the Atherina boyeri species complex in western Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boudinar, A. S.; Chaoui, L.; Quignard, J. P.; Aurelle, D.; Kara, M. H.

    2016-12-01

    Atherina boyeri is a common euryhaline teleost fish in the Mediterranean and adjacent areas, which inhabits coastal and estuarine waters, including coastal lagoons and more rarely inland waters. Several recent studies have pointed the possible existence of three distinct groups or species, one lagoon/freshwater group and two 'punctuated and unpunctuated on the flanks' marine groups, within an A. boyeri species complex. This study is a combined approach using otolith shape and molecular markers to better define the structure of the species in the western Mediterranean. Genetic differentiation and species delimitation among nine Atherina boyeri populations from several marine and lagoon/brakish habitat sites in Algeria, Tunisia and France were investigated using three mitochondrial (control region, Cyt b and 16S) and one nuclear markers (2nd intron of S7). For further phylogenetic and phylogeographic study, we added sequences from Genbank covering more areas (Ionian Sea, Adriatic Sea, Tyrrhenian Sea, Black Sea, Atlantic). Five groups were found. Two of them perfectly corresponded to two species already recognized Atherina presbyter and Atherina hepsetus, both living in marine waters; and three additional, including Atherina boyeri (brackish and freshwater environments) and two independent groups of marine punctated and unpunctated individuals. Those findings are corroborated by the study of the otolith contour shape of 362 individuals of seven populations from different habitats using Fourier analysis. Individuals could be discriminated into five groups based on the first two functions (Wilk's lambda = 0.07, p < 0.001). Samples from Ziama inlet, marine punctuated individuals and unpunctuated marine specimens from Annaba's Gulf formed three well separated groups. Specimens from Mellah and Mauguio lagoons formed another group. The last one includes individuals from Bizerte and Thau lagoons. The divergences between them strongly support the potential species within the

  4. Long-Term Changes in Game Species Over a Long Period of Transformation in the Iberian Mediterranean Landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delibes-Mateos, Miguel; Farfán, Miguel Ángel; Olivero, Jesús; Márquez, Ana Luz; Vargas, Juan Mario

    2009-06-01

    Agricultural change has transformed large areas of traditional farming landscapes, leading to important changes in the species community assemblages in most European countries. We suspect that the drastic changes in land-use that have occurred in Andalusia (southern Spain) over recent decades, may have affected the distribution and abundance of game species in this region. This article compares the distribution of the main game species in Andalusia during the 1960s and 1990s, using data from maps available from the Mainland Spanish Fish, Game and National Parks Service and from recent datasets on hunting yield distributions, respectively. Big-game and small-game species were significantly segregated in southern Spain during the 1990s, as two clearly independent chorotypes (groups of species whose abundances are similarly distributed) were obtained from the classification analysis. In contrast, big-game and small-game species were not significantly segregated several decades ago, when there was only one chorotype consisting of small-game species and wild boar. The other three ungulates did not constitute a significant chorotype, as they showed positive correlations with some species in the group mentioned above. These changes seem to be a consequence of the transformations that have occurred in the Iberian Mediterranean landscape over the last few decades. The abandoning of traditional activities, and the consequent formation of dense scrubland and woodland, has led to an expansion of big-game species, and a decrease of small-game species in mountain areas. Moreover, agricultural intensification has apparently depleted small-game species populations in some agricultural areas. On the other hand, the increasingly intensive hunting management could be artificially boosting this segregation between small-game and big-game species. Our results suggest that the conservation and regeneration of traditional agricultural landscapes (like those predominating in the 1960s

  5. Exotic plant species attack revegetation plants in post-coal mining areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yusuf, Muhammad; Arisoesilaningsih, Endang

    2017-11-01

    This study aimed to explore some invasive exotic plant species that have the potential to disrupt the growth of revegetation plants in post-coal mining areas. This research was conducted in a revegetation area of PT, Amanah Anugerah Adi Mulia (A3M) Kintap site, South Borneo. Direct observation was carried out on some revegetation areas by observing the growth of revegetation plants disturbed by exotic plant species and the spread of exotic plant species. Based on observation, several invasive exotic plant species were identified including Mikania cordata, Centrosema pubescence, Calopogonium mucunoides, Mimosa pudica, Ageratum conyzoides, and Chromolaena odorata. These five plant species grew wild in the revegetation area and showed ability to disrupt the growth of other plants. In some tree species, such as Acacia mangium, Paraserianthes falcataria, M. cordata could inhibit the growth and even kill the trees through covering the tree canopy. So, the trees could not receive optimum sun light for photosynthesis processes. M. cordata was also observed to have the most widespread distribution. Several exotic plant species such as C. mucunoides, M. pudica, and A. conyzoides were observed to have deep root systems compared with plant species used for revegetation. This growth characteristic allowed exotic plant species to win the competition for nutrient absorption with other plant species.

  6. 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...

  7. Contrasting land uses in Mediterranean agro-silvo-pastoral systems generated patchy diversity patterns of vascular plants and below-ground microorganisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagella, Simonetta; Filigheddu, Rossella; Caria, Maria Carmela; Girlanda, Mariangela; Roggero, Pier Paolo

    2014-12-01

    The aims of this paper were (i) to define how contrasting land uses affected plant biodiversity in Mediterranean agro-silvo-pastoral-systems across a gradient of disturbance regimes: cork oak forests, secondary grasslands, hay crops, grass covered vineyards, tilled vineyards; (ii) to determine whether these patterns mirrored those of below-ground microorganisms and whether the components of γ-diversity followed a similar model. The disturbance regimes affected plant assemblage composition. Species richness decreased with increasing land use intensity, the Shannon index showed the highest values in grasslands and hay crops. Plant assemblage composition patterns mirrored those of Basidiomycota and Ascomycota. Richness in Basidiomycota, denitrifying bacteria and microbial biomass showed the same trend as that observed for vascular plant richness. The Shannon index pattern of below-ground microorganisms was different from that of plants. The plant γ-diversity component model weakly mirrored those of Ascomycota. Patchy diversity patterns suggest that the maintenance of contrasting land uses associated with different productions typical of agro-silvo-pastoral-systems can guarantee the conservation of biodiversity. Copyright © 2014 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  8. Traditional Mediterranean plants: characterization and use of an essential oils mixture to treat Malassezia otitis externa in atopic dogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nardoni, Simona; Pistelli, Luisa; Baronti, Ilenia; Najar, Basma; Pisseri, Francesca; Bandeira Reidel, Rose Vanessa; Papini, Roberto; Perrucci, Stefania; Mancianti, Francesca

    2017-08-01

    Several plants extracts from Mediterranean countries are traditionally employed in skin troubles both in humans and in animals. Malassezia pachydermatis is a lipophylic yeast responsible for otitis externa and dermatitis in dogs and for cutaneous and systemic disease in humans. Five mixtures of essential oils obtained from Mediterranean plants (Citrus paradisi, Salvia sclarea, Ocimum basilicum, Rosmarinus officinalis, Citrus limon, Anthemis nobilis, Lavandula hybrida and Thymus vulgaris) provided with antifungal and/or anti-inflammatory action assayed in vitro, were tested in vivo versus M. pachydermatis to treat once daily for 2 weeks 25 atopic dogs with Malassezia otitis externa. Mixture composed by C. limon 1%, S. sclarea 0,5%, R. officinalis 1%, A. nobilis 0,5% yielded excellent results in all treated dogs. Despite of clinical resolution after all treatments the number of blastospores did not decrease. This study confirms recent findings suggesting a multifactorial alternative approach for the management of canine Malassezia otitis.

  9. Fire as a control agent of demographic structure and plant performance of a rare Mediterranean endemic geophyte.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diadema, Katia; Médail, Frédéric; Bretagnolle, François

    2007-09-01

    We examine the effects of fire and/or surrounding vegetation cover on demographic stage densities and plant performance for a rare endemic geophyte, Acis nicaeensis (Alliaceae), in Mediterranean xerophytic grasslands of the 'Alpes-Maritimes' French 'département', through sampling plots in unburned and burned treatments. Fire increases density of flowering individuals and seedling emergence, as well as clump densities and number of individuals per clump, per limiting vegetation height and cover, and increasing bare soil cover. In contrast, fire has no effect on reproductive success. Nevertheless, two growing seasons after fire, all parameters of demographic stages and plant performance do not significantly differ between the two treatments. Small-scale fire is beneficial for the regeneration of this threatened geophyte at a short-time scale. In this context, a conservation planning with small and controlled fires could maintain the regeneration window for populations of rare Mediterranean geophytes.

  10. The genus Hippolyte Leach, 1814 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Caridea: Hippolytidae) in the East Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, with a checklist of all species in the genus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    d'Udekem d'Acoz, C.

    1996-01-01

    The genus Hippolyte Leach in the East Atlantic and the Mediterranean is revised and a list of the world species is given. Eleven species occur in the area studied: H. coerulescens (Fabricius), H. garciarasoi spec. nov., H. inermis Leach, H. lagarderei d'Udekem d'Acoz, H. leptocerus (Heller), H.

  11. Relationships between otolith and fish size from Mediterranean and north-eastern Atlantic species to be used in predator-prey studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giménez, J; Manjabacas, A; Tuset, V M; Lombarte, A

    2016-10-01

    Regressions between fish length and otolith size are provided for 40 species from the north-eastern Atlantic Ocean and 142 species from the Mediterranean Sea. Regressions were also estimated at genus level. Most of the regressions (c. 84%) explained a high percentage of the deviance (>75%). © 2016 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  12. Characterization of Acorn Fruit Oils Extracted from Selected Mediterranean Quercus Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Al-Rousan, W. M.

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The present study is aimed to identifying the acorn fruit oil composition of three Mediterranean white oak group species, Quercus aegilops (QA, Quercus infectoria (QI, and Quercus calliprinus (QC. Samples were estimated for the oil contents of acorn fruits, oil chemical and physical constants, fatty acid profile, tocopherols, phenolic compounds, and sterols.The oil content, expressed as dry weight, was found to be 3.40-7.51%. The physical and chemical constants included specific gravity 0.912-0.922, refractive index 1.4529-1.4645, specific extinction at 232 nm 2.497-2.536 and at 270 nm 1.495-2.037, iodine value 75.2-87.6, and saponification value 192.6-219.4. The fatty acid compositions were determined by GC as methyl esters. The most abundant fatty acids were oleic (53.3-56.1%, linoleic 21.3-23.4%, palmitic 17.8-18.7%, linolenic 1.5-1.6% and stearic acid 1.02-1.60%. The Tocopherol content was high in the range of 1440-1783 mg kg-1, γ-tocopherol constituted 84-91% of total tocopherols. Phenolic compounds were in remarkable amounts in all the three species 84-109 mg gallic acid kg-1 oil. Total sterol contents were between 2040-2480 mg kg-1 oil, with β-sitosterol being the main component comprising of 77.20-84.61%, followed by ∆5-avenasterol (5.8-11.4%, campesterol (3.6-4.5%, and stigmasterol (2.6-3.8. The cholesterol content was relatively high (0.42-0.55%.El presente estudio tuvo como objetivo identificar la composición de aceites de bellota de tres especies del grupo del roble blanco del Mediterráneo, Quercus Aegilops (QA, Quercus infectoria (QI y Quercus calliprinus (QC. Las muestras fueron evaluadas por el contenido de aceite, parámetros físico-químicos del aceite, perfil de ácidos grasos, tocoferoles, compuestos fenólicos y esteroles. El contenido de aceite, expresado en peso seco encontrado fue de 3,40 a 7,51%. Las constantes físico-químicas fueron: densidad 0,912-0,922, índice de refracción 1,4529 a 1,4645, extinción espec

  13. Functional plant types drive plant interactions in a Mediterranean mountain range

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Macek, P.; Prieto, I.; Macková, Jana; Pistón, N.; Pugnaire, F.I.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 7, May (2016), č. článku 662. ISSN 1664-462X R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) EE2.3.30.0032 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : biomass allocation * competition * facilitation * functional traits * plant interaction balance Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 4.298, year: 2016

  14. Substrate Composition and Depth Affect Soil Moisture Behavior and Plant-Soil Relationship on Mediterranean Extensive Green Roofs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie Chenot

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The Mediterranean basin is extremely vulnerable to climate change, and one of the areas most impacted by human water demand. Yet the green roofs increasingly created both for aesthetic reasons and to limit pollution and urban runoff are themselves very water-demanding. Successful green roof installation depends on the establishment of the vegetation, and the substrate is the key element: it conserves water, and provides the nutrients and physical support indispensable for plant growth. Since typical Mediterranean plant communities require no maintenance, this study seeks to develop techniques for creating maintenance- and watering-free horizontal green roofs for public or private buildings in a Mediterranean context. The innovative aspect of this study lies in creating two soil mixes, fine elements (clay and silt and coarse elements (pebbles of all sizes, in two different thicknesses, to assess vegetation development. Monitoring of substrate moisture was carried out and coupled with local rainfall measurements during summer and autumn. As expected, substrate moisture is mainly influenced by substrate depth (the deeper, the moister and composition (the finer the particles (clays and silts, the higher the moisture content. Vegetation cover impacts moisture to a lesser extent but is itself affected by the composition and depth of the substrates. These results are subsequently discussed with relation to the issue of sustainable green roofs in Mediterranean climates. Considering applications of our results, for an optimal colonization of a Mediterranean vegetation, a substrate thickness of 15 cm composed mainly of fine elements (75% clay-silt and 25% pebble-sand would be recommended in green roofs.

  15. Ozone injury to some Japanese woody plant species in summer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kadota, M; Ohta, K

    1972-01-01

    Ozone is an important constituent of photochemical oxidant smog. This paper reveals the semiquantitative responses of various Japanese woody plant species to ozone (0.25 ppm). Plant species examined in this investigation include four coniferous trees, eleven evergreen broad-leaf trees, and twenty-one deciduous broad-leaf trees or shrubs. Generally, plants having thin leaves were susceptible. The plant species with higher activity of photosynthesis appeared to be more susceptible. As a whole, evergreen broad-leaf trees could be said to be more resistant to ozone than deciduous broad-leaf trees.

  16. Linkage Maps of a Mediterranean × Continental Tall Fescue Population and their Comparative Analysis with Other Poaceae Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan Dierking

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Temperate grasses belonging to the complex are important throughout the world in pasture and grassland agriculture. Tall fescue ( Schreb. is the predominant species in the United States, covering approximately 15 million ha. Tall fescue has distinctive morphotypes, two of which are Continental (summer active and Mediterranean (summer semidormant. This is the first report of a linkage map created for Mediterranean tall fescue, while updating the Continental map with additional simple sequence repeat and sequence-tagged site markers. Additionally, this is the first time that diversity arrays technology (DArT markers were used in the construction of a tall fescue map. The male parent (Continental, R43-64, map consisted of 594 markers arranged in 22 linkage groups (LGs and covered a total of 1577 cM. The female parent (Mediterranean, 103-2, map was shorter (1258 cM and consisted of only 208 markers arranged in 29 LGs. Marker densities for R43-64 and 103-2 were 2.65 and 6.08 cM per marker, respectively. When compared with the other Poaceae species, meadow fescue ( Huds., annual ryegrass ( Lam., perennial ryegrass ( L., (L. Beauv., and barley ( L., a total of 171 and 98 orthologous or homologous sequences, identified by DArT analysis, were identified in R43-64 and 103-2, respectively. By using genomic in situ hybridization, we aimed to identify potential progenitors of both morphotypes. However, no clear conclusion on genomic constitution was reached. These maps will aid in the search for quantitative trait loci of various traits as well as help define and distinguish genetic differences between the two morphotypes.

  17. Alien plant species (ephemerophytes in Romensko-Poltavsky Geobotanical District, Ukraine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dvirna Tetyana S.

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the results of research on ephemerophytes of the alien portion of the flora of the Romensko-Poltavsky Geobotanical District (north-eastern Ukraine. It is a detailed study of this group of plants, conducted for the first time in the Ukraine. The checklist of alien vascular plants contains 345 species, of which 27 species are ephemerophytes (or 8%: Adonis aestivalis, A. annua, Papaver albiflorum, Urtica cannabina, Gypsophila perfoliata, Atriplex micrantha, Chenopodium × preissmannii, Ch. × thellungii, Rumex longifolius, Sisymbrium polymorphum, Euphorbia humifusa, Malus sylvestris, Onobrychis viciifolia, Astrodaucus orientalis, Datura tatula, Solanum schultesii, Lindernia procumbens, Melampyrum cristatum, Helianthus annuus, Petasites spurius, Xanthium ripicola × Xanthium albinum, Echinochloa tzvelevii, Panicum capillare, Panicum capillare L. subsp. barvipulvinatum, Phalaris canariensis, Setaria ×ambigua, Sorghum halepense. The basis of this work is original data of the author obtained during field studies, and a critical study of the literature, archival, cartographic materials and herbarium collections, and the use of classical methods of botanical classification. Complex research of this group of plants was conducted and as a result of these investigations the following characteristics were established: a predominance of kenophytes of Mediterranean origin in this group, species of arid areas, cosmopolitan species with a diffuse type of space structure, therophytes, herbaceous monocarpic plants, mesotrophes, heliophytes and xeromesophytes, with an insignificant degree of impact on native plant communities and with a limited distribution within the study region. The combination of these results indicates that ephemerophytes comprise a temporary, unstable component of the flora of this region of the Ukraine. The paper provides maps of the distribution of these 27 species.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jahanbakhsh Pairanj

    2011-09-01

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

  19. Support Vector Machine Based Tool for Plant Species Taxonomic Classification

    OpenAIRE

    Manimekalai .K; Vijaya.MS

    2014-01-01

    Plant species are living things and are generally categorized in terms of Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus and name of Species in a hierarchical fashion. This paper formulates the taxonomic leaf categorization problem as the hierarchical classification task and provides a suitable solution using a supervised learning technique namely support vector machine. Features are extracted from scanned images of plant leaves and trained using SVM. Only class, order, family of plants...

  20. Life styles of Colletotrichum species and implications for plant biosecurity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Silva, Dilani D. De; Crous, Pedro W.; Ades, Peter Kevin; Hyde, Kevin D.; Taylor, Paul W. J.

    Colletotrichum is a genus of major plant pathogens causing anthracnose diseases in many plant crops worldwide. The genus comprises a highly diverse group of pathogens that infect a wide range of plant hosts. The life styles of Colletotrichum species can be broadly categorised as necrotrophic,

  1. Coexistence induced by pollen limitation in flowering-plant species.

    OpenAIRE

    Ishii, R; Higashi, M

    2001-01-01

    We report a novel mechanism for species coexistence that does not invoke a trade-off relationship in the case of outbreeding flowering plants. Competition for pollination services may lead to interspecific segregation of the timing of flowering among plants. This, in turn, sets limits on the pollination services, which restrain the population growth of a competitively superior species, thereby allowing an inferior species to sustain its population in the habitat. This explains the often-obser...

  2. [Species diversity of ex-situ cultivated Chinese medicinal plants].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Que, Ling; Chi, Xiu-Lian; Zang, Chun-Xin; Zhang, Yu; Chen, Min; Yang, Guang; Jin, An-Qi

    2018-03-01

    Ex-situ conservation is an important means to protect biological genetic resources. Resource protection has received more and more attention with the continuous improvement of the comprehensive utilization of traditional Chinese medicine resources. In this paper, the research and compilation of the species list of ex-situ cultivated medicinal plants in 12 Chinese Academy of Sciences botanic gardens and 19 specialized medicinal botanic gardens in China were carried out. Based on the Species 2000(2017) and other classification databases, species diversity of medicinal plants ex-situ cultivated in these botanical gardens were analyzed. The study found that there were 16 351 higher plant species in our country, belonging to 276 families and 1 936 genera. Of these, 6 949 specieswere medicinal plants, accounting for 50.4% of the total medicinal plants. There were 1 280 medicinal plants were in threatened status, accounting for 19.6% of all threatened species in the Chinese Biodiversity Red List, with ex-situ cultivated proportion of 59.5%. And 3 988 medicinal plants were Chinese endemic species, accounting for 22.5% of all Chinese endemic species, with ex-situ cultivated proportion of 53.3%. This article has reference significance for the management and protection of medicinal plant resources. Copyright© by the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association.

  3. A new species of Nuuanu (Amphipoda: Gammaridea: Melitidae from shallow sandy bottoms of the Balearic Islands (W Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damià Jaume

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Nuuanu beatricis n. sp., a new melitid amphipod, is described from shallow-water sandy bottoms on the S and SE coasts of Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Mediterranean. It differs from the rest of its congeners in the combination of: (1 non-geniculate antennule, much longer than antenna; (2 distal segment of mandibular palp shorter than second, armed with both D and E setae; (3 second segment of mandibular palp with 2 setae; (4 posteroventral lobe (sensu Lowry and Watson, 2002 absent from posterior margin of coxa 4; (5 reduced spine present on medial surface of coxa 5; (6 posterior margin of basis of pereopod 5 convex; (7 anterodistal lobe of coxa 7 wanting; (8 posterior margin of basis of pereopod 7 sparsely serrated along proximal half only; (9 pleonites 1-2 lacking dorsodistal spines; (10 anterodistal corner of epimeral plate 1 rounded; (11 exopod of uropod 3 longer than protopod; and (12 telson with terminal spine on each lobe. Although the new amphipod could be an alien species introduced from a distant tropical location with alien Caulerpa algae species, it is here regarded as an ancient Mediterranean element owing to its peracarid condition (i.e. reduced potential for dispersal, regressed visual apparatus, and crevicular-interstitial existence. The presumed presence of sternal gills in Nuuanu is rejected after demonstration of the coxal origin of the spiniform structures interpreted elsewhere as sternal gills.

  4. Distribution patterns of rare earth elements in various plant species

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wyttenbach, A.; Tobler, L.; Furrer, V. [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland)

    1997-09-01

    The elements La, Ce, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Yb and Lu have been determined in 6 different plant species by neutron activation analysis. When the concentrations of each species were normalized to Norway spruce, smooth curves were obtained which revealed systematic inter-species differences. (author) 3 figs., 4 refs.

  5. Distribution patterns of rare earth elements in various plant species

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wyttenbach, A.; Tobler, L.; Furrer, V.

    1997-01-01

    The elements La, Ce, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Yb and Lu have been determined in 6 different plant species by neutron activation analysis. When the concentrations of each species were normalized to Norway spruce, smooth curves were obtained which revealed systematic inter-species differences. (author) 3 figs., 4 refs

  6. Trace elements in tissues of cetacean species rarely stranded along the Israeli Mediterranean coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoham-Frider, Efrat; Kerem, Dan; Roditi-Elasar, Mia; Goffman, Oz; Morick, Danny; Yoffe, Olga; Kress, Nurit

    2014-06-15

    In this paper we present the concentrations of Hg, Cd, Se, Pb, Cu, Mn, Zn and Fe in organs of 6 non-common specimens of cetaceans that were stranded along the Israeli Mediterranean coast (IMC), during 2002-2010: two fin whales, one minke whale, one Cuvier's beaked whale, one rough-toothed dolphin, and one Risso's dolphin. Most of the specimens were calves stranded by accident. Concentrations of Hg and Cd were low in tissues of the baleen whales and higher in the toothed whales, with maximum concentrations of 1067 mg kg(-1) Hg in the liver of the Risso's dolphin and 29 mg kg(-1) Cd in the kidney of the Cuvier's beaked whale. As far as we are aware, this is the first report of trace elements in baleen whales in the Eastern Mediterranean, and the first report of trace elements in minke whale and rough-toothed dolphin in the Mediterranean. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. An attempt of postharvest orange fruit rot control using essential oils from Mediterranean plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camele, Ippolito; De Feo, Vincenzo; Altieri, Luciana; Mancini, Emilia; De Martino, Laura; Luigi Rana, Gian

    2010-12-01

    Twelve essential oils from Mediterranean aromatic plants were tested at different doses against four fungi known as causal agents of post-harvest orange fruit rot: Botrytis cinerea, Penicillium italicum, Phytophthora citrophthora, and Rhizopus stolonifer. Essential oils were obtained from Hyssopus officinalis, Lavandula angustifolia, Majorana hortensis, Melissa officinalis, Ocimum basilicum, Origanum vulgare, Salvia officinalis, and Thymus vulgaris (Family Lamiaceae), Verbena officinalis (Family Verbenaceae), and Pimpinella anisum, Foeniculum vulgare, and Carum carvi (Family Apiaceae). Because preliminary in vitro experiments showed that only the oils from V. officinalis, T. vulgaris, and O. vulgare exhibited some fungistatic activity against the above-named fungi, these three essential oils were used in successive in vivo tests carried out to protect healthy "Washington navel" orange fruits from artificial infection by the same micromycetes. The essential oil of T. vulgaris, at a 2,000 ppm dose, controlled fruit rot by B. cinerea, P. citrophthora, and R. stolonifer but was ineffective against P. italicum. Essential oils of V. officinalis and O. vulgare inhibited infection by the first two fungi and only by P. citrophthora, respectively. This finding represents an important result, with the goal of using the essential oils as natural preservatives for food products, due to their positive effect on their safety and shelf life.

  8. Clonal growth and plant species abundance

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Herben, Tomáš; Nováková, Z.; Klimešová, Jitka

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 114, č. 2 (2014), s. 377-388 ISSN 0305-7364 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA526/09/0963 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : clonal plants * frequency * plant communities of Central Europe Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 3.654, year: 2014

  9. Protogrammus alboranensis n. sp. (Teleostei: Callionymidae, a new species of dragonet from the Alboran Sea, western Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Farias

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Protogrammus alboranensis n. sp. is described on the basis of four specimens from the Alboran Sea, western Mediterranean Sea. It is characterized within the genus Protogrammus by a total of nine unbranched rays on the second dorsal fin, eight unbranched rays on the anal fin, a very small preopercular spine with an upcurved main tip and one point on the dorsal margin, which is lacking an antrorse spine at the base, the first and second spines of the first dorsal fin filamentous and much longer than the first ray of the second dorsal fin in males, the tip of the last ray of the second dorsal fin reaching beyond the caudal fin base in males, and the anal fin distally black in the males (translucent in females. A key to the species of Protogrammus is presented; the zoogeography of the species is discussed.

  10. Molecular phylogenies confirm the presence of two cryptic Hemimycale species in the Mediterranean and reveal the polyphyly of the genera Crella and Hemimycale (Demospongiae: Poecilosclerida

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria J. Uriz

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Background Sponges are particularly prone to hiding cryptic species as their paradigmatic plasticity often favors species phenotypic convergence as a result of adaptation to similar habitat conditions. Hemimycale is a sponge genus (Family Hymedesmiidae, Order Poecilosclerida with four formally described species, from which only Hemimycale columella has been recorded in the Atlanto-Mediterranean basin, on shallow to 80 m deep bottoms. Contrasting biological features between shallow and deep individuals of Hemimycale columella suggested larger genetic differences than those expected between sponge populations. To assess whether shallow and deep populations indeed belong to different species, we performed a phylogenetic study of Hemimycale columella across the Mediterranean. We also included other Hemimycale and Crella species from the Red Sea, with the additional aim of clarifying the relationships of the genus Hemimycale. Methods Hemimycale columella was sampled across the Mediterranean, and Adriatic Seas. Hemimycale arabica and Crella cyathophora were collected from the Red Sea and Pacific. From two to three specimens per species and locality were extracted, amplified for Cytochrome C Oxidase I (COI (M1–M6 partition, 18S rRNA, and 28S (D3–D5 partition and sequenced. Sequences were aligned using Clustal W v.1.81. Phylogenetic trees were constructed under neighbor joining (NJ, Bayesian inference (BI, and maximum likelihood (ML criteria as implemented in Geneious software 9.01. Moreover, spicules of the target species were observed through a Scanning Electron microscope. Results The several phylogenetic reconstructions retrieved both Crella and Hemimycale polyphyletic. Strong differences in COI sequences indicated that C. cyathophora from the Red Sea might belong in a different genus, closer to Hemimycale arabica than to the Atlanto-Mediterranean Crella spp. Molecular and external morphological differences between Hemimycale arabica and the

  11. Exotic plant species receive adequate pollinator service despite variable integration into plant-pollinator networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Amibeth H; Knight, Tiffany M

    2018-05-01

    Both exotic and native plant species rely on insect pollinators for reproductive success, and yet few studies have evaluated whether and how exotic plant species receive services from native pollinators for successful reproduction in their introduced range. Plant species are expected to successfully reproduce in their exotic range if they have low reliance on animal pollinators or if they successfully integrate themselves into resident plant-pollinator networks. Here, we quantify the breeding system, network integration, and pollen limitation for ten focal exotic plant species in North America. Most exotic plant species relied on animal pollinators for reproduction, and these species varied in their network integration. However, plant reproduction was limited by pollen receipt for only one plant species. Our results demonstrate that even poorly integrated exotic plant species can still have high pollination service and high reproductive success. The comprehensive framework considered here provides a method to consider the contribution of plant breeding systems and the pollinator community to pollen limitation, and can be applied to future studies to provide a more synthetic understanding of the factors that determine reproductive success of exotic plant species.

  12. Phytotoxic studies of medicinal plant species of Pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gilani, S.A.; Adnan, M.; Kikuchi, A.; Fujii, Y.; Shinwari, Z.K.; Kazuo, N.; Watanabe, K.N.

    2010-01-01

    Allelopathic screening of 81 medicinal plant species, collected from North West Frontier Province (NWFP) Pakistan, was carried out to identify significantly higher allelopathic species for future phyto chemical analyses. For this purpose, sandwich method was used to test allelopathic potentials of leaf leachates of these plant species against lettuce seeds (Lactuca sativa L.). Two different concentrations of 10 mg and 50 mg of leaf leachates were used in the study. The radicle and hypocotyl growths were measured and compared with control treatments. It was observed that an endemic species Seriphidium kurramense, Andrachne cordifolia and Rhazya stricta were the stronger phyto toxic plants as compared to the other test species. Based on the current screening, three potential medicinal plants are recommended for future bioassay guided isolation of allelochemicals and for genetic diversity studies. It would also be interesting to see correlation between genetic markers and isolated allelochemicals. (author)

  13. Comparing grey water versus tap water and coal ash versus perlite on growth of two plant species on green roofs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agra, Har'el; Solodar, Ariel; Bawab, Omar; Levy, Shay; Kadas, Gyongyver J; Blaustein, Leon; Greenbaum, Noam

    2018-08-15

    Green roofs provide important ecosystem services in urban areas. In Mediterranean and other semi-arid climate regions, most perennial plants on green roofs need to be irrigated during the dry season. However, the use of freshwater in such regions is scarce. Therefore, the possibility of using grey water should be examined. Coal ash, produced primarily from the burning of coal in power plants, constitutes an environmental contaminant that should be disposed. One option is to use ash as a growing substrate for plants. Here, we compare the effects of irrigating with grey- versus tap-water and using ash versus perlite as growing substrates in green roofs. The study was conducted in northern Israel in a Mediterranean climate. The design was full factorial with three factors: water-type (grey or tap-water)×substrate-type (coal ash vs perlite)×plant species (Phyla nodiflora, Convolvulus mauritanicus or no-plant). The development of plants and the quality of drainage water along the season, as well as quality of the used substrates were monitored. Both plant species developed well under all the experimental conditions with no effect of water type or substrate type. Under all treatments, both plant species enhanced electrical conductivity (EC) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) of the drainage water. In the summer, EC and COD reached levels that are unacceptable in water and are intended to be reused for irrigation. We conclude that irrigating with grey water and using coal ash as a growth substrate can both be implemented in green roofs. The drainage from tap water as well as from grey water can be further used for irrigating the roof, but for that, COD and EC levels must be lowered by adding a sufficient amount of tap water before reusing. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Field Spectroscopy in the VNIR-SWIR Region to Discriminate between Mediterranean Native Plants and Exotic-Invasive Shrubs Based on Leaf Tannin Content

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Rudolf Karl Lehmann

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The invasive shrub, Acacia longifolia, native to southeastern Australia, has a negative impact on vegetation and ecosystem functioning in Portuguese dune ecosystems. In order to spectrally discriminate A. longifolia from other non-native and native species, we developed a classification model based on leaf reflectance spectra (350–2500 nm and condensed leaf tannin content. High variation of leaf tannin content is common for Mediterranean shrub and tree species, in particular between N-fixing and non-N-fixing species, as well as within the genus, Acacia. However, variation in leaf tannin content has not been studied in coastal dune ecosystems in southwest Portugal. We hypothesized that condensed tannin concentration varies significantly across species, further allowing for distinguishing invasive, nitrogen-fixing A. longifolia from other vegetation based on leaf spectral reflectance data. Spectral field measurements were carried out using an ASD FieldSpec FR spectroradiometer attached to an ASD leaf clip in order to collect 750 in situ leaf reflectance spectra of seven frequent plant species at three study sites in southwest Portugal. We applied partial least squares (PLS regression to predict the obtained leaf reflectance spectra of A. longifolia individuals to their corresponding tannin concentration. A. longifolia had the lowest tannin concentration of all investigated species. Four wavelength regions (675–710 nm, 1060–1170 nm, 1360–1450 nm and 1630–1740 nm were identified as being highly correlated with tannin concentration. A spectra-based classification model of the different plant species was calculated using a principal component analysis-linear discriminant analysis (PCA-LDA. The best prediction of A. longifolia was achieved by using wavelength regions between 1360–1450 nm and 1630–1740 nm, resulting in a user’s accuracy of 98.9%. In comparison, selecting the entire wavelength range, the best user accuracy only reached 86

  15. Site and plant species are important determinants of the Methylobacterium community composition in the plant phyllosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knief, Claudia; Ramette, Alban; Frances, Lisa; Alonso-Blanco, Carlos; Vorholt, Julia A

    2010-06-01

    The plant phyllosphere constitutes a habitat for numerous microorganisms; among them are members of the genus Methylobacterium. Owing to the ubiquitous occurrence of methylobacteria on plant leaves, they represent a suitable target for studying plant colonization patterns. The influence of the factor site, host plant species, time and the presence of other phyllosphere bacteria on Methylobacterium community composition and population size were evaluated in this study. Leaf samples were collected from Arabidopsis thaliana or Medicago truncatula plants and from the surrounding plant species at several sites. The abundance of cultivable Methylobacterium clearly correlated with the abundance of other phyllosphere bacteria, suggesting that methylobacteria constitute a considerable and rather stable fraction of the phyllosphere microbiota under varying environmental conditions. Automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA) was applied to characterize the Methylobacterium community composition and showed the presence of similar communities on A. thaliana plants at most sites in 2 consecutive years of sampling. A substantial part of the observed variation in the community composition was explained by site and plant species, especially in the case of the plants collected at the Arabidopsis sites (50%). The dominating ARISA peaks that were detected on A. thaliana plants were found on other plant species grown at the same site, whereas some different peaks were detected on A. thaliana plants from other sites. This indicates that site-specific factors had a stronger impact on the Methylobacterium community composition than did plant-specific factors and that the Methylobacterium-plant association is not highly host plant species specific.

  16. Is floral divergence sufficient to maintain species boundaries upon secondary contact in Mediterranean food-deceptive orchids?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zitari, A; Scopece, G; Helal, A N; Widmer, A; Cozzolino, S

    2012-01-01

    Analyzing the processes that determine whether species boundaries are maintained on secondary contact may shed light on the early phase of speciation. In Anacamptis morio and Anacamptis longicornu, two Mediterranean orchid sister-species, we used molecular and morphological analyses, together with estimates of pollination success and experimental crosses, to assess whether floral isolation can shelter the species' genomes from genetic admixture on secondary contact. We found substantial genetic and morphological homogenization in sympatric populations in combination with an apparent lack of postmating isolation. We further detected asymmetric introgression in the sympatric populations and an imbalance in cytotype representation, which may be due either to a difference in flowering phenology or else be a consequence of cytonuclear incompatibilities. Estimates of genetic clines for markers across sympatric zones revealed markers that significantly deviated from neutral expectations. We observed a significant correlation between spur length and reproductive success in sympatric populations, which may suggest that directional selection is the main cause of morphological differentiation in this species pair. Our results suggest that allopatric divergence has not led to the evolution of sufficient reproductive isolation to prevent genomic admixture on secondary contact in this orchid species pair. PMID:21792224

  17. Plant species richness enhances nitrogen retention in green roof plots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Catherine; Schweinhart, Shelbye; Buffam, Ishi

    2016-10-01

    Vegetated (green) roofs have become common in many cities and are projected to continue to increase in coverage, but little is known about the ecological properties of these engineered ecosystems. In this study, we tested the biodiversity-ecosystem function hypothesis using commercially available green roof trays as replicated plots with varying levels of plant species richness (0, 1, 3, or 6 common green roof species per plot, using plants with different functional characteristics). We estimated accumulated plant biomass near the peak of the first full growing season (July 2013) and measured runoff volume after nearly every rain event from September 2012 to September 2013 (33 events) and runoff fluxes of inorganic nutrients ammonium, nitrate, and phosphate from a subset of 10 events. We found that (1) total plant biomass increased with increasing species richness, (2) green roof plots were effective at reducing storm runoff, with vegetation increasing water retention more than soil-like substrate alone, but there was no significant effect of plant species identity or richness on runoff volume, (3) green roof substrate was a significant source of phosphate, regardless of presence/absence of plants, and (4) dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN = nitrate + ammonium) runoff fluxes were different among plant species and decreased significantly with increasing plant species richness. The variation in N retention was positively related to variation in plant biomass. Notably, the increased biomass and N retention with species richness in this engineered ecosystem are similar to patterns observed in published studies from grasslands and other well-studied ecosystems. We suggest that more diverse plantings on vegetated roofs may enhance the retention capacity for reactive nitrogen. This is of importance for the sustained health of vegetated roof ecosystems, which over time often experience nitrogen limitation, and is also relevant for water quality in receiving waters

  18. Estimating trends of population decline in long-lived marine species in the Mediterranean Sea based on fishers' perceptions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesc Maynou

    Full Text Available We conducted interviews of a representative sample of 106 retired fishers in Italy, Spain and Greece, asking specific questions about the trends they perceived in dolphin and shark abundances between 1940 and 1999 (in three 20 year periods compared to the present abundance. The large marine fauna studied were not target species of the commercial fleet segment interviewed (trawl fishery. The fishers were asked to rank the perceived abundance in each period into qualitative ordinal classes based on two indicators: frequency of sightings and frequency of catches (incidental or intentional of each taxonomic group. The statistical analysis of the survey results showed that both incidental catches and the sighting frequency of dolphins have decreased significantly over the 60+ years of the study period (except for in Greece due to the recent population increase. This shows that fishers' perceptions are in agreement with the declining population trends detected by scientists. Shark catches were also perceived to have diminished since the early 1940s for all species. Other long-lived Mediterranean marine fauna (monk seals, whales were at very low levels in the second half of the 20(th century and no quantitative data could be obtained. Our study supports the results obtained in the Mediterranean and other seas that show the rapid disappearance (over a few decades of marine fauna. We show that appropriately designed questionnaires help provide a picture of animal abundance in the past through the valuable perceptions of fishers. This information can be used to complement scientific sources or in some cases be taken as the only information source for establishing population trends in the abundance of sensitive species.

  19. Ecosystem Alterations and Species Range Shifts: An Atlantic-Mediterranean Cephalaspidean Gastropod in an Inland Egyptian Lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malaquias, Manuel António E.

    2016-01-01

    The eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean marine Cephalaspidea gastropod Haminoea orbignyana was collected from Lake Qarun (Fayoum, Egypt), a landlocked lake that has undergone a shift from freshwater to estuarine conditions in the past 100 years. Species identity was confirmed by both morphological (anatomical dissection and scanning electron microscopy) and molecular methods (COI gene phylogeny). Observations suggested a robust population of H. orbignyana in the lake with a density of ca. 64 individuals/m2 and ca. 105 egg masses/m2 during surveys conducted in the summer of 2013. The vast majority of snails and egg masses were found under rocks. Observations of egg masses in the lab showed a gradual change from whitish to yellow-green as the eggs matured and the release of veliger larvae alone after about a week. Although adult cephalaspideans readily consumed filamentous red and green algae, and cyanobacteria, laboratory trials showed that they consumed significantly more of the red alga Ceramium sp., than of the green alga Cladophora glomerata, with consumption of Oscillatoria margaritifera being similar to those on the two algae. When grown on these resources for 16 days, H. orbignyana maintained their mass on the rhodophyte and cyanobacterium, but not in starvation controls. No cephalaspideans grew over the course of this experiment. Lake Qarun has been periodically restocked with Mediterranean fishes and prawns since the 1920s to maintain local fisheries, which represents a possible route of colonization for H. orbignyana. Yet, based on literature records, it seems more likely that invasion of the lake by this gastropod species has occurred only within the last 20 years. As human activities redistribute species through direct and indirect means, the structure of the community of this inland lake has become unpredictable and the long-term effects of these recent introductions are unknown. PMID:27248835

  20. Ecosystem Alterations and Species Range Shifts: An Atlantic-Mediterranean Cephalaspidean Gastropod in an Inland Egyptian Lake.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edwin Cruz-Rivera

    Full Text Available The eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean marine Cephalaspidea gastropod Haminoea orbignyana was collected from Lake Qarun (Fayoum, Egypt, a landlocked lake that has undergone a shift from freshwater to estuarine conditions in the past 100 years. Species identity was confirmed by both morphological (anatomical dissection and scanning electron microscopy and molecular methods (COI gene phylogeny. Observations suggested a robust population of H. orbignyana in the lake with a density of ca. 64 individuals/m2 and ca. 105 egg masses/m2 during surveys conducted in the summer of 2013. The vast majority of snails and egg masses were found under rocks. Observations of egg masses in the lab showed a gradual change from whitish to yellow-green as the eggs matured and the release of veliger larvae alone after about a week. Although adult cephalaspideans readily consumed filamentous red and green algae, and cyanobacteria, laboratory trials showed that they consumed significantly more of the red alga Ceramium sp., than of the green alga Cladophora glomerata, with consumption of Oscillatoria margaritifera being similar to those on the two algae. When grown on these resources for 16 days, H. orbignyana maintained their mass on the rhodophyte and cyanobacterium, but not in starvation controls. No cephalaspideans grew over the course of this experiment. Lake Qarun has been periodically restocked with Mediterranean fishes and prawns since the 1920s to maintain local fisheries, which represents a possible route of colonization for H. orbignyana. Yet, based on literature records, it seems more likely that invasion of the lake by this gastropod species has occurred only within the last 20 years. As human activities redistribute species through direct and indirect means, the structure of the community of this inland lake has become unpredictable and the long-term effects of these recent introductions are unknown.

  1. Long-term trajectory of some elasmobranch species off the Tuscany coasts (NW Mediterranean from 50 years of catch data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Ligas

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The time series of elasmobranch catch rates off the Tuscany coasts (NW Mediterranean were investigated by means of min/max auto-correlation factor analysis in order to estimate variations in population abundance and evaluate the influence of environmental and anthropogenic factors. The analyses highlighted a general decreasing trend in the catch rates of sharks and skates from 1961 to the mid-1990s, mainly influenced by the increase in fishing effort. Since the 1990s, the EU Common Fishery Policy for the Mediterranean has promoted the reduction of fishing fleets through incentives to vessel demolition. The Porto S. Stefano trawl fleet has decreased by about 50%, leading to a decrease in fishing effort which seemed to be the most relevant factor affecting the increasing trend shown by the catch rates of Galeus melastomus, Scyliorhinus canicula and skates from 1991 to 2009. The elasmobranch assemblage did not undergo major shifts but the weighted frequency of occurrence shows that elasmobranchs were more frequent in the past. Particular caution should be paid in interpreting the recent rebound of some species as an early sign of recovery: trawl survey data and landing data show that over the last 50 years elasmobranch fauna have undergone a drastic decline and that recent rebounds are still far from a recovery to historical levels.

  2. Atmospheric mercury species measurements across the Western Mediterranean region: Behaviour and variability during a 2015 research cruise campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castagna, Jessica; Bencardino, Mariantonia; D'Amore, Francesco; Esposito, Giulio; Pirrone, Nicola; Sprovieri, Francesca

    2018-01-01

    In the framework of the ongoing MEDOCEANOR measurements program, an oceanographic cruise campaign was carried out during summer 2015 in the Western sector of Mediterranean Sea basin, on-board the research vessel ;Minerva Uno; of the Italian National Research Council (CNR). The overall goal was to investigate the dynamic patterns of mercury in the Marine Boundary Layer (MBL) and the main factors affecting mercury behaviour at both coastal and offshore locations. The mean concentrations of the recorded Hg species were 1.6 ± 0.5 ngm-3 , 11.8 ± 15.0 pgm-3 , and 2.4 ± 1.1 pgm-3 , respectively for GEM, GOM, and PBM. Moreover, during the measurement period typical fair-weather conditions of the Mediterranean summer were encountered with high levels of solar radiation and temperature that favoured photochemical reactions. Atmospheric pollutants such as ozone, sulphur oxides and nitrogen oxides and other meteorological parameters were in addition recorded and jointly discussed with selected mercury events in terms of their spatio-temporal variations. Changes in air pollutant concentrations were also argued in the light of their likely influencing sources, among which, anthropogenic activities, such as the mercury cell chlor-alkali complex in Tuscany, Italy, and natural influence, like volcanic ashes, detected around the Aeolian area and the in-situ production of reactive gaseous mercury within the Marine Boundary Layer.

  3. Pioneer plant species contributing to phytoestabilization of contaminated soils in mine areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    João Batista, Maria; Gonzalez-Fernandez, Oscar; Abreu, Maria Manuela; Carvalho, Luisa; Queralt, Ignasi

    2013-04-01

    . Chemical elements concentrations in plant leaves are independent of the same elements concentrations in soils where plants were developed. The obtained results showed the difficulty to understand the soil-plant system in heterogeneous materials such as mining sites. Other parameters such as plant physiology are responsible for the different uptake in the same species, contributing to the uncertainty of the remediation strategies. The studied native plants are well adapted to soils or spoils with different characteristics and high content of hazardous chemical elements. These species are adequate for stabilization strategies of a great variety of substrata. To improve and optimize remediation programs for mine areas in the Mediterranean region it is important to use several pioneer plants at the same time. This can contribute to reduce the costs of remediation with less environmental impact.

  4. Dataset of Phenology of Mediterranean high-mountain meadows flora (Sierra Nevada, Spain)

    OpenAIRE

    Antonio Jesús Pérez-Luque; Cristina Patricia Sánchez-Rojas; Regino Zamora; Ramón Pérez-Pérez; Francisco Javier Bonet

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Sierra Nevada mountain range (southern Spain) hosts a high number of endemic plant species, being one of the most important biodiversity hotspots in the Mediterranean basin. The high-mountain meadow ecosystems (borreguiles) harbour a large number of endemic and threatened plant species. In this data paper, we describe a dataset of the flora inhabiting this threatened ecosystem in this Mediterranean mountain. The dataset includes occurrence data for flora collected in those ecosystems...

  5. Connecting infrared spectra with plant traits to identify species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buitrago, Maria F.; Skidmore, Andrew K.; Groen, Thomas A.; Hecker, Christoph A.

    2018-05-01

    Plant traits are used to define species, but also to evaluate the health status of forests, plantations and crops. Conventional methods of measuring plant traits (e.g. wet chemistry), although accurate, are inefficient and costly when applied over large areas or with intensive sampling. Spectroscopic methods, as used in the food industry and mineralogy, are nowadays applied to identify plant traits, however, most studies analysed visible to near infrared, while infrared spectra of longer wavelengths have been little used for identifying the spectral differences between plant species. This study measured the infrared spectra (1.4-16.0 μm) on individual, fresh leaves of 19 species (from herbaceous to woody species), as well as 14 leaf traits for each leaf. The results describe at which wavelengths in the infrared the leaves' spectra can differentiate most effectively between these plant species. A Quadratic Discrimination Analysis (QDA) shows that using five bands in the SWIR or the LWIR is enough to accurately differentiate these species (Kappa: 0.93, 0.94 respectively), while the MWIR has a lower classification accuracy (Kappa: 0.84). This study also shows that in the infrared spectra of fresh leaves, the identified species-specific features are correlated with leaf traits as well as changes in their values. Spectral features in the SWIR (1.66, 1.89 and 2.00 μm) are common to all species and match the main features of pure cellulose and lignin spectra. The depth of these features varies with changes of cellulose and leaf water content and can be used to differentiate species in this region. In the MWIR and LWIR, the absorption spectra of leaves are formed by key species-specific traits including lignin, cellulose, water, nitrogen and leaf thickness. The connection found in this study between leaf traits, features and spectral signatures are novel tools to assist when identifying plant species by spectroscopy and remote sensing.

  6. A new species of Oochoristica (Cyclophyllidea: Linstowiidae) from non-native Mediterranean geckos, Hemidactylus turcicus (Sauria: Gekkonidae), from Texas, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAllister, Chris T; Bursey, Charles R

    2017-06-01

    A new species of cyclophyllidean tapeworm, Oochoristica harschi sp. nov. is described from 2 of 18 (11%) non-native Mediterranean geckos (Hemidactylus turcicus) collected in June 2016 from Tom Green County, Texas, USA The new species has few characteristics in common with 17 species of Oochoristica previously described from Nearctic reptiles. Of this group, O. harschi is most similar to O. macallisteri Bursey and Goldberg, 1996 from the side-blotched lizard, Uta stansburiana from Arizona and California, USA, in number of testes, 14-20 vs. 12-20. However, O. harschi has oval suckers and a long neck compared to the circular suckers and absent neck in O. macallisteri. On comparison with other species of Oochoristica, it was found O. chinensis Jensen, Schmidt and Kuntz, 1983 from the Sino-Japanese realm, O. iguanae Bursey and Goldberg, 1996 from the Neotropical realm, and O. maccoyi Bursey and Goldberg, 1966 from the Panamanian realm were most similar to the new species. However, O. harschi can be differentiated by possessing a much longer neck and a shorter cirrus pouch. It can be further differentiated from O. chinensis by possessing an ovoid vs. an irregular vitellarium, from O. iguanae by having a smaller strobilus (65 vs. 110 mm) as well as an ovoid vs. a triangular vitellarium, and from O. maccoyi by having significantly more proglottids (145 vs. 89) and a longer strobilus (65 vs. 20 mm). The new species is the fifth species of Oochoristica reported from non-native H. turcicus and the 18th species described from the Nearctic region.

  7. Larvicidal activity of six Nigerian plant species against Anopheles ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study evaluated the larvicidal activity of extracts from six Nigerian plant species (Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides, Piper guineense, Nicotianat abacum, Erythrophleum suaveoleus, Jatropha curcas and Petiveria alliacea) against laboratory-bred Anopheles gambiae and Aedes aegypti larvae. Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides ...

  8. Variation of interception loss with different plant species at the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    USER

    Department of Water Resources Management and Agrometeorology, University of ... Interception studies of six plants groups were carried out at the campus of University of Agriculture, ... species, leaf area, seasonal characteristics and leaf.

  9. Human population, grasshopper and plant species richness in European countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steck, Claude E.; Pautasso, Marco

    2008-11-01

    Surprisingly, several studies over large scales have reported a positive spatial correlation of people and biodiversity. This pattern has important implications for conservation and has been documented for well studied taxa such as plants, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. However, it is unknown whether the pattern applies also to invertebrates other than butterflies and more work is needed to establish whether the species-people relationship is explained by both variables correlating with other environmental factors. We studied whether grasshopper species richness (Orthoptera, suborder Caelifera) is related to human population size in European countries. As expected, the number of Caelifera species increases significantly with increasing human population size. But this is not the case when controlling for country area, latitude and number of plant species. Variations in Caelifera species richness are primarily associated with variations in plant species richness. Caelifera species richness also increases with decreasing mean annual precipitation, Gross Domestic Product per capita (used as an indicator for economic development) and net fertility rate of the human population. Our analysis confirms the hypothesis that the broad-scale human population-biodiversity correlations can be explained by concurrent variations in factors other than human population size such as plant species richness, environmental productivity, or habitat heterogeneity. Nonetheless, more populated countries in Europe still have more Caelifera species than less populated countries and this poses a particular challenge for conservation.

  10. Widespread plant species: natives vs. aliens in our changing world

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stohlgren, Thomas J.; Pyšek, Petr; Kartesz, John; Nishino, Misako; Pauchard, Aníbal; Winter, Marten; Pino, Joan; Richardson, David M.; Wilson, John R.U.; Murray, Brad R.; Phillips, Megan L.; Ming-yang, Li; Celesti-Grapow, Laura; Font, Xavier

    2011-01-01

    Estimates of the level of invasion for a region are traditionally based on relative numbers of native and alien species. However, alien species differ dramatically in the size of their invasive ranges. Here we present the first study to quantify the level of invasion for several regions of the world in terms of the most widely distributed plant species (natives vs. aliens). Aliens accounted for 51.3% of the 120 most widely distributed plant species in North America, 43.3% in New South Wales (Australia), 34.2% in Chile, 29.7% in Argentina, and 22.5% in the Republic of South Africa. However, Europe had only 1% of alien species among the most widespread species of the flora. Across regions, alien species relative to native species were either as well-distributed (10 comparisons) or more widely distributed (5 comparisons). These striking patterns highlight the profound contribution that widespread invasive alien plants make to floristic dominance patterns across different regions. Many of the most widespread species are alien plants, and, in particular, Europe and Asia appear as major contributors to the homogenization of the floras in the Americas. We recommend that spatial extent of invasion should be explicitly incorporated in assessments of invasibility, globalization, and risk assessments.

  11. Widespread plant species: Natives versus aliens in our changing world

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Pysek, P.; Kartesz, J.; Nishino, M.; Pauchard, A.; Winter, M.; Pino, J.; Richardson, D.M.; Wilson, J.R.U.; Murray, B.R.; Phillips, M.L.; Ming-yang, L.; Celesti-Grapow, L.; Font, X.

    2011-01-01

    Estimates of the level of invasion for a region are traditionally based on relative numbers of native and alien species. However, alien species differ dramatically in the size of their invasive ranges. Here we present the first study to quantify the level of invasion for several regions of the world in terms of the most widely distributed plant species (natives vs. aliens). Aliens accounted for 51.3% of the 120 most widely distributed plant species in North America, 43.3% in New South Wales (Australia), 34.2% in Chile, 29.7% in Argentina, and 22.5% in the Republic of South Africa. However, Europe had only 1% of alien species among the most widespread species of the flora. Across regions, alien species relative to native species were either as well-distributed (10 comparisons) or more widely distributed (5 comparisons). These striking patterns highlight the profound contribution that widespread invasive alien plants make to floristic dominance patterns across different regions. Many of the most widespread species are alien plants, and, in particular, Europe and Asia appear as major contributors to the homogenization of the floras in the Americas. We recommend that spatial extent of invasion should be explicitly incorporated in assessments of invasibility, globalization, and risk assessments. ?? 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  12. Thermal Hyperspectral Remote Sensing for Plant Species and Stress Detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlerf, M.; Rock, G.; Ullah, S.; Gerhards, M.; Udelhoven, T.; Skidmore, A. K.

    2014-12-01

    Thermal infrared (TIR) spectroscopy offers a novel opportunity for measuring emissivity spectra of natural surfaces. Emissivity spectra are not directly measured, they first have to be retrieved from the raw measurements. Once retrieved, the spectra can be used, for example, to discriminate plant species or to detect plant stress. Knowledge of plant species distribution is essential for the sustainable management of ecosystems. Remote sensing of plant species has so far mostly been limited to data in the visible and near-infrared where, however, different species often reveal similar reflectance curves. Da Luz and Crowley showed in a recent paper that in the TIR plants indeed have distinct spectral features. Also with a certain species, subtle changes of emissivity in certain wavebands may occur, when biochemical compounds change due to osmotic adjustment induced by water stress. Here we show, that i) emissive imaging spectroscopy allows for reliable and accurate retrieval of plant emissivity spectra, ii) emissivity spectra are well suited to discriminate plant species, iii) a reduction in stomatal conductance (caused by stress) changes the thermal infrared signal. For 13 plant species in the laboratory and for 8 plant species in a field setup emissivity spectra were retrieved. A comparison shows, that for most species the shapes of the emissivity curves agree quite well, but that clear offsets between the two types of spectra exist. Discrimination analysis revealed that based on the lab spectra, 13 species could be distinguished with an average overall classification accuracy of 92% using the 6 best spectral bands. For the field spectra (8 species), a similar high OAA of 89% was achieved. Species discrimination is likely to be possible due to variations in the composition of the superficial epidermal layer of plant leaves and in internal chemical concentrations producing unique emissivity features. However, to date, which spectral feature is responsible for which

  13. Genetic diversity within a dominant plant outweighs plant species diversity in structuring an arthropod community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Kerri M; Rudgers, Jennifer A

    2013-05-01

    Plant biodiversity is being lost at a rapid rate. This has spurred much interest in elucidating the consequences of this loss for higher trophic levels. Experimental tests have shown that both plant species diversity and genetic diversity within a plant species can influence arthropod community structure. However, the majority of these studies have been conducted in separate systems, so their relative importance is currently unresolved. Furthermore, potential interactions between the two levels of diversity, which likely occur in natural systems, have not been investigated. To clarify these issues, we conducted three experiments in a freshwater sand dune ecosystem. We (1) independently manipulated plant species diversity, (2) independently manipulated genetic diversity within the dominant plant species, Ammophila breviligulata, and (3) jointly manipulated genetic diversity within the dominant plant and species diversity. We found that genetic diversity within the dominant plant species, Ammophila breviligulata, more strongly influenced arthropod communities than plant species diversity, but this effect was dependent on the presence of other species. In species mixtures, A. breviligulata genetic diversity altered overall arthropod community composition, and arthropod richness and abundance peaked at the highest level of genetic diversity. Positive nonadditive effects of diversity were detected, suggesting that arthropods respond to emergent properties of diverse plant communities. However, in the independent manipulations where A. breviligulata was alone, effects of genetic diversity were weaker, with only arthropod richness responding. In contrast, plant species diversity only influenced arthropods when A. breviligulata was absent, and then only influenced herbivore abundance. In addition to showing that genetic diversity within a dominant plant species can have large effects on arthropod community composition, these results suggest that understanding how species

  14. Plant regeneration from haploid cell suspension-derived protoplasts of Mediterranean rice (Oryza sativa L. cv. Miara).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guiderdoni, E; Chaïr, H

    1992-11-01

    More than 750 plants were regenerated from protoplasts isolated from microspore callus-derived cell suspensions of the Mediterranean japonica rice Miara, using a nurse-feeder technique and N6-based culture medium. The mean plating efficiency and the mean regeneration ability of the protocalluses were 0.5% and 49% respectively. Flow cytometric evaluation of the DNA contents of 7 month old-cell and protoplast suspensions showed that they were still haploid. Contrastingly, the DNA contents of leaf cell nuclei of the regenerated protoclones ranged from 1C to 5C including 60% 2C plants. This was consistent with the morphological type and the fertility of the mature plants. These results and the absence of chimeric plants suggest that polyploidization occurred during the early phase of protoplast culture.

  15. High-Level Antimicrobial Efficacy of Representative Mediterranean Natural Plant Extracts against Oral Microorganisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lamprini Karygianni

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Nature is an unexplored reservoir of novel phytopharmaceuticals. Since biofilm-related oral diseases often correlate with antibiotic resistance, plant-derived antimicrobial agents could enhance existing treatment options. Therefore, the rationale of the present report was to examine the antimicrobial impact of Mediterranean natural extracts on oral microorganisms. Five different extracts from Olea europaea, mastic gum, and Inula viscosa were tested against ten bacteria and one Candida albicans strain. The extraction protocols were conducted according to established experimental procedures. Two antimicrobial assays—the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC assay and the minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC assay—were applied. The screened extracts were found to be active against each of the tested microorganisms. O. europaea presented MIC and MBC ranges of 0.07–10.00 mg mL−1 and 0.60–10.00 mg mL−1, respectively. The mean MBC values for mastic gum and I. viscosa were 0.07–10.00 mg mL−1 and 0.15–10.00 mg mL−1, respectively. Extracts were less effective against C. albicans and exerted bactericidal effects at a concentration range of 0.07–5.00 mg mL−1 on strict anaerobic bacteria (Porphyromonas gingivalis, Prevotella intermedia, Fusobacterium nucleatum, and Parvimonas micra. Ethyl acetate I. viscosa extract and total mastic extract showed considerable antimicrobial activity against oral microorganisms and could therefore be considered as alternative natural anti-infectious agents.

  16. Designing conservation strategies to preserve the genetic diversity of Astragalus edulis Bunge, an endangered species from western Mediterranean region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julio Peñas

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Astragalus edulis (Fabaceae is an endangered annual species from the western Mediterranean region that colonized the SE Iberian Peninsula, NE and SW Morocco, and the easternmost Macaronesian islands (Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. Although in Spain some conservation measures have been adopted, it is still necessary to develop an appropriate management plan to preserve genetic diversity across the entire distribution area of the species. Our main objective was to use population genetics as well as ecological and phylogeographic data to select Relevant Genetic Units for Conservation (RGUCs as the first step in designing conservation plans for A. edulis. We identified six RGUCs for in situ conservation, based on estimations of population genetic structure and probabilities of loss of rare alleles. Additionally, further population parameters, i.e. occupation area, population size, vulnerability, legal status of the population areas, and the historical haplotype distribution, were considered in order to establish which populations deserve conservation priority. Three populations from the Iberian Peninsula, two from Morocco, and one from the Canary Islands represent the total genetic diversity of the species and the rarest allelic variation. Ex situ conservation is recommended to complement the preservation of A. edulis, given that effective in situ population protection is not feasible in all cases. The consideration of complementary phylogeographic and ecological data is useful for management efforts to preserve the evolutionary potential of the species.

  17. Designing conservation strategies to preserve the genetic diversity of Astragalus edulis Bunge, an endangered species from western Mediterranean region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peñas, Julio; Barrios, Sara; Bobo-Pinilla, Javier; Lorite, Juan; Martínez-Ortega, M Montserrat

    2016-01-01

    Astragalus edulis (Fabaceae) is an endangered annual species from the western Mediterranean region that colonized the SE Iberian Peninsula, NE and SW Morocco, and the easternmost Macaronesian islands (Lanzarote and Fuerteventura). Although in Spain some conservation measures have been adopted, it is still necessary to develop an appropriate management plan to preserve genetic diversity across the entire distribution area of the species. Our main objective was to use population genetics as well as ecological and phylogeographic data to select Relevant Genetic Units for Conservation (RGUCs) as the first step in designing conservation plans for A. edulis. We identified six RGUCs for in situ conservation, based on estimations of population genetic structure and probabilities of loss of rare alleles. Additionally, further population parameters, i.e. occupation area, population size, vulnerability, legal status of the population areas, and the historical haplotype distribution, were considered in order to establish which populations deserve conservation priority. Three populations from the Iberian Peninsula, two from Morocco, and one from the Canary Islands represent the total genetic diversity of the species and the rarest allelic variation. Ex situ conservation is recommended to complement the preservation of A. edulis, given that effective in situ population protection is not feasible in all cases. The consideration of complementary phylogeographic and ecological data is useful for management efforts to preserve the evolutionary potential of the species.

  18. Ethnobotany of medicinal plants used in Eastern Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Mediterranean Sea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrió, Esperança; Vallès, Joan

    2012-06-14

    This paper represents the first large-scale ethnobotanical study in the island of Mallorca, and provides significant information on pharmaceutical plant uses, built up from interviews with native people from this touristic hotspot, demonstrating its ethnopharmacological importance. To collect, analyse and evaluate the ethnobotanical knowledge concerning medicinal plants in a north-eastern Mallorcan area (municipalities of Artà, Capdepera and Son Servera; 298 km2, 31,764 inhabitants). We performed semi-structured interviews with 42 informants (mean age 77; 40% women, 60% men), identified the plant taxa reported and analysed the results, comparing them with those found in the current Mallorcan ethnobotanical information and in other territories. The informants reported data on 121 human medicinal plants representing 64 botanical families. Around 45 medicinal uses reported, concerning 37 species, have not or have very rarely been cited as medicinal. An index of medicinal importance is proposed. All efforts addressed to compiling ethnobotanical information in industrialised or touristised areas such as Eastern Mallorca are still valuable. New possibilities can be explored to give practical value to Mallorcan ethnobotanical data in the frame of considering traditional plant knowledge as part of the islanders’ lifestyle and healthy habits.

  19. Nest-niche differentiation in two sympatric columbid species from a Mediterranean Tetraclinis woodland: Considerations for forest management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanane, Saâd; Yassin, Mohamed

    2017-01-01

    Studies of niche partitioning among Columbid species have mainly addressed food habits and foraging activities, while partitioning in relation to nest-niche differentiation has been little studied. Here we investigate whether two sympatric columbid species-Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus) and Turtle dove (Streptopelia turtur)-occupy similar niches. A total of 74 nests were monitored: 37 nests for each species. The study, conducted in June 2016, attempted to determine the factors that may play a role in nest-niche differentiation among the two sympatric columbid species in a Moroccan Thuya (Tetraclinis articulata) forest. We used Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA) to test the relevance of nest placement, proximity of food resources, forest edge and human presence variables in the nest distribution of the two species. The results show substantial niche segregation in the T. articulata nest-trees selected by Woodpigeons and Turtle doves, with selection depending primarily on the tree size and nest height. Observed nest-niche partitioning may diminish the potential for competition between these species and enhance opportunities for their coexistence. Management policies and practices aimed at ensuring the presence of mixed-sized class of Thuya trees must be prioritized. We recommend additional studies designed to: (1) reproduce the same experimental approach on other Mediterranean Thuya forests to improve our understanding of the effects of different levels of anthropogenic disturbance on the breeding behaviour of these two game species; (2) better understand the spatio-temporal dynamics of Woodpigeon and Turtle dove coexistence in the region; and (3) better identify the spatio-temporal extent of the effect of forest management on Woodpigeon and Turtle dove site occupancy.

  20. Plant species responses to oil degradation and toxicity reduction in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Vegetated plots were established by planting different plant species – legumes and vegetable (Abelmoschus, esculentus, Telfaria occidentalis and Vigna unguiculata) and applied with sawdust and chromolaena leaves at different intensities of oil pollution. Toxicity of the soil was evaluated using germination percentage, ...

  1. Eco-taxonomic distribution of plant species around motor mechanic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A survey of plant species and their families present in auto mechanic workshops in Benin City and Asaba was carried out. The frequency of occurrence of plants in the sites visited was used to determine prevalence. Peperomia pellucida occurred most in all the sites visited with a 55% frequency. The high rate of occurrence ...

  2. Plant species richness regulates soil respiration through changes in productivity.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tavares Correa Dias, A.; van Ruijven, J.; Berendse, F.

    2010-01-01

    Soil respiration is an important pathway of the C cycle. However, it is still poorly understood how changes in plant community diversity can affect this ecosystem process. Here we used a long-term experiment consisting of a gradient of grassland plant species richness to test for effects of

  3. Plant species richness regulates soil respiration through changes in productivity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dias, A.A.; Ruijven, van J.; Berendse, F.

    2010-01-01

    Soil respiration is an important pathway of the C cycle. However, it is still poorly understood how changes in plant community diversity can affect this ecosystem process. Here we used a long-term experiment consisting of a gradient of grassland plant species richness to test for effects of

  4. Species composition, plant cover and diversity of recently reforested ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SERVER

    2007-12-17

    Dec 17, 2007 ... Deforestation, over-cultivation and rural growth have severely ... over-cultivation, plant populations changed, and biolo- ... Restoring community structure (e.g. species composi-tion ... plant diversity at all spatial scales are the criteria that should ..... taxonomic groups in recovering and restored forests.

  5. Alien species in the Mediterranean Sea by 2010. A contribution to the application of European Union’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD. Part I. Spatial distribution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. ZENETOS

    2010-11-01

    Species that are classified as invasive or potentially invasive are 134 in the whole of the Mediterranean: 108 are present in the EMED, 76 in the CMED, 53 in the Adriatic and 64 in the WMED. The WMED hosts most invasive macrophytes, whereas the EMED has the lion’s share in polychaetes, crustaceans, molluscs and fish.

  6. ecotaxonomic baseline evaluation of the plant species in a ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Admin

    plant species of medicinal and other economic values. The investigation was ... A total of 41 and 24 representative ... INTRODUCTION. Baseline .... at 100m interval, involving a total of 15 sampling locations .... explained by factors such as climate, productivity and ... encouraging the: Maintenance of traditional tree species.

  7. Plant species classification using deep convolutional neural network

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dyrmann, Mads; Karstoft, Henrik; Midtiby, Henrik Skov

    2016-01-01

    Information on which weed species are present within agricultural fields is important for site specific weed management. This paper presents a method that is capable of recognising plant species in colour images by using a convolutional neural network. The network is built from scratch trained an...

  8. Rare vascular plant species at risk : recovery by seeding?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pegtel, Dick M.

    . Rare vascular plant species are endangered worldwide. Population losses are most commonly caused by human-related factors. Conservation management seeks to halt this adverse trend and if possible, to enhance long-lasting self-sustainable populations. In general, rare species are poorly recruited

  9. When Are Native Species Inappropriate for Conservation Plantings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conservation agencies and organizations are generally reluctant to encourage the use of invasive plant species in conservation programs. Harsh lessons learned in the past have resulted in tougher screening protocols for non-indigenous species introductions and removal of many no...

  10. Seasonal variations in furfural yield of some species of coppice and Mediterranean maquis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vidrich, V.; Cecconi, C.A.; Martini, R.; Pazzagli, G.; Fusi, P.

    1982-01-01

    Studies were made with the object of complete utilization of forest residues. They showed that Quercus cerris, Myrtus species and Phyllirea species from the Maremma region of Tuscany, and Q. pubescens and Rhamnus alaternus from the Montecatini region of the province were suitable for economic exploitation. For all these species, the normal cutting time coincided with the optimum yield of furfural. 11 references.

  11. Response of plant species to coal-mine soil materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Day, A.D.; Tucker, T.C.; Thames, J.L.

    1983-03-01

    The two-year Black Mesa Coal Mine Research Study on the area near Kayenta, Arizona investigating the growth and establishment of seven plant species in unmined soil and coal-mined soils found that plant species grew better in unmined soil and that irrigation is essential during seedling establishment for the effective stabilization of coal-mined soils in a semi-arid environment. Differences among the species included variations in germination, response to irrigation, seedling establishment, and stem growth. 12 references, 2 figures, 2 tables.

  12. Distribution and content of ellagitannins in Finnish plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moilanen, Johanna; Koskinen, Piia; Salminen, Juha-Pekka

    2015-08-01

    The results of a screening study, in which a total of 82 Finnish plant species were studied for their ellagitannin composition and content, are presented. The total ellagitannin content was determined by HPLC-DAD, the detected ellagitannins were further characterized by HPLC-ESI-QTOF-MS and divided into four structurally different sub-groups. Thirty plant species were found to contain ellagitannins and the ellagitannin content in the crude extracts varied from few mgg(-1) to over a hundred mgg(-1). Plant families that were rich in ellagitannins (>90mgg(-1) of the crude extract) were Onagraceae, Lyhtraceae, Geraniaceae, Elaeagnaceae, Fagaceae and some species from Rosaceae. Plant species that contained moderate amounts of ellagitannins (31-89mgg(-1) of the crude extract) were representatives of the family Rosaceae. Plant species that contained low amounts of ellagitannins (1-30mgg(-1) of the crude extract) were representatives of the families Betulaceae and Myricaceae. The specific ellagitannin composition of the species allowed their chemotaxonomic classification and the comparison between the older Cronquist's classification and the nowadays preferred Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Plant Species Identification by Bi-channel Deep Convolutional Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Guiqing; Xia, Zhaoqiang; Zhang, Qiqi; Zhang, Haixi; Fan, Jianping

    2018-04-01

    Plant species identification achieves much attention recently as it has potential application in the environmental protection and human life. Although deep learning techniques can be directly applied for plant species identification, it still needs to be designed for this specific task to obtain the state-of-art performance. In this paper, a bi-channel deep learning framework is developed for identifying plant species. In the framework, two different sub-networks are fine-tuned over their pretrained models respectively. And then a stacking layer is used to fuse the output of two different sub-networks. We construct a plant dataset of Orchidaceae family for algorithm evaluation. Our experimental results have demonstrated that our bi-channel deep network can achieve very competitive performance on accuracy rates compared to the existing deep learning algorithm.

  14. Spatio-temporal distribution of the dominant Diatom and Dinoflagellate species in the Bay of Tunis (SW Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. DALY YAHIA-KEFI

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Microphytoplankton composition and its relationships with hydrology and nutrient distributions were investigated over 24 months (December 1993 - November 1995 in the Bay of Tunis ( SW Mediterranean Sea. A new index, the ‘Specific Preference Index’ (SPI obtained by computing the median value of each parameter weighed by the numerical value of each species density was developed. Using this index, the relationships between each species and temperature, salinity and major nutrients were analysed. The distribution of chlorophyll a did not show a clear correlation with microplankton abundance suggesting that other factors contribute to chlorophyll concentration, such as smaller phytoplankton size fractions or detritus. The winter-spring diatom blooms did not show a regular pattern during both years. High nutrient inputs in late summer, associated with mild meteorological conditions, contributed to the development of a large diatom bloom in autumn 1995 where significant silicate depletion was witnessed. Generally, diatoms were more stenotherm than dinoflagellates in the Bay, whereas dinoflagellates were more stenohaline than diatoms. The statistical analyses showed that the two species, Bellerochea horologicalis , and Lithodesmioides polymorpha, var., tunisiense, appeared in a wide range of environmental conditions. An excess of phosphateversus nitrate appeared to be associated with red tides of, Gymnodinium spp, whereas Peridinium quinquecorne, showed the opposite. Phosphate concentrations appear to be crucial in this coastal environment, where diatom blooms are often limited by low silicate availability.

  15. Eight new species of Andrena Fabricius (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Andrenidae) from Israel-a Mediterranean hotspot for wild bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pisanty, Gideon; Scheuchl, Erwin; Dorchin, Netta

    2016-11-10

    More than 150 solitary bee species of the genus Andrena Fabricius are known from Israel and the West Bank, where they are distributed along a broad climatic gradient and diverse habitats and vegetation types. Extensive collecting throughout Israel in recent years has yielded eight new species and one new subspecies, adding to the rich bee fauna of the region:   A. crocusella Pisanty & Scheuchl n. sp., A. danini Pisanty & Scheuchl n. sp., A. hermonella Scheuchl & Pisanty n. sp., A. israelica Scheuchl & Pisanty n. sp., A. judaea Scheuchl & Pisanty n. sp., A. menahemella Scheuchl & Pisanty n. sp., A. palaestina Pisanty & Scheuchl n. sp., A. perahia Pisanty & Scheuchl n. sp., and A. sphecodimorpha mediterranea Pisanty & Scheuchl n. ssp. The previously unknown female of A. fimbriatoides Scheuchl 2004 and male of A. wolfi Gusenleitner & Scheuchl 2000 are also described here for the first time. The discovery of males of A. wolfi lead us to reinstate A. iohannescaroli Nobile 2000 as a valid taxon. Detailed morphological description and differential diagnosis against closest relatives are provided for all species, as well as information on the distribution, phenology and flower visitation, when available. A neotype is designated for A. sphecodimorpha Hedicke, the holotype of which is considered to be lost. Additional collecting efforts in diverse habitats and seasons, incorporating diverse collecting techniques, are required in order to deepen our knowledge of the rich bee fauna in threatened habitats in the Mediterranean Basin, which constitutes one of the world's major hotspots for wild bees.

  16. Effects of ocean acidification on the shells of four Mediterranean gastropod species near a CO2 seep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duquette, Ashley; McClintock, James B; Amsler, Charles D; Pérez-Huerta, Alberto; Milazzo, Marco; Hall-Spencer, Jason M

    2017-11-30

    Marine CO 2 seeps allow the study of the long-term effects of elevated pCO 2 (ocean acidification) on marine invertebrate biomineralization. We investigated the effects of ocean acidification on shell composition and structure in four ecologically important species of Mediterranean gastropods (two limpets, a top-shell snail, and a whelk). Individuals were sampled from three sites near a volcanic CO 2 seep off Vulcano Island, Italy. The three sites represented ambient (8.15pH), moderate (8.03pH) and low (7.73pH) seawater mean pH. Shell mineralogy, microstructure, and mechanical strength were examined in all four species. We found that the calcite/aragonite ratio could vary and increased significantly with reduced pH in shells of one of the two limpet species. Moreover, each of the four gastropods displayed reductions in either inner shell toughness or elasticity at the Low pH site. These results suggest that near-future ocean acidification could alter shell biomineralization and structure in these common gastropods. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Alien plant dynamics following fire in mediterranean-climate California shrublands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeley, J.E.; Baer-Keeley, M.; Fotheringham, C.J.

    2005-01-01

    Over 75 species of alien plants were recorded during the first five years after fire in southern California shrublands, most of which were European annuals. Both cover and richness of aliens varied between years and plant association. Alien cover was lowest in the first postfire year in all plant associations and remained low during succession in chaparral but increased in sage scrub. Alien cover and richness were significantly correlated with year (time since disturbance) and with precipitation in both coastal and interior sage scrub associations. Hypothesized factors determining alien dominance were tested with structural equation modeling. Models that included nitrogen deposition and distance from the coast were not significant, but with those variables removed we obtained a significant model that gave an R2 = 0.60 for the response variable of fifth year alien dominance. Factors directly affecting alien dominance were (1) woody canopy closure and (2) alien seed banks. Significant indirect effects were (3) fire intensity, (4) fire history, (5) prefire stand structure, (6) aridity, and (7) community type. According to this model the most critical factor influencing aliens is the rapid return of the shrub and subshrub canopy. Thus, in these communities a single functional type (woody plants) appears to the most critical element controlling alien invasion and persistence. Fire history is an important indirect factor because it affects both prefire stand structure and postfire alien seed banks. Despite being fire-prone ecosystems, these shrublands are not adapted to fire per se, but rather to a particular fire regime. Alterations in the fire regime produce a very different selective environment, and high fire frequency changes the selective regime to favor aliens. This study does not support the widely held belief that prescription burning is a viable management practice for controlling alien species on semiarid landscapes. ?? 2005 by the Ecological Society of

  18. Impact of high-intensity pulsed electric fields on bioactive compounds in Mediterranean plant-based foods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elez-Martínez, Pedro; Soliva-Fortuny, Robert; Martín-Belloso, Olga

    2009-05-01

    Novel non-thermal processing technologies such as high-intensity pulsed electric field (HIPEF) treatments may be applied to pasteurize plant-based liquid foods as an alternative to conventional heat treatments. In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in HIPEF as a way of preserving and extending the shelf-life of liquid products without the quality damage caused by heat treatments. However, less attention has been paid to the effects of HIPEF on minor constituents of these products, namely bioactive compounds. This review is a state-of-the-art update on the effects of HIPEF treatments on health-related compounds in plants of the Mediterranean diet such as fruit juices, and Spanish gazpacho. The relevance of HIPEF-processing parameters on retaining plant-based bioactive compounds will be discussed.

  19. Postfire chaparral regeneration under mediterranean and non-mediterranean climates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeley, Jon E.; Fotheringham, Connie J.; Rundel, Philip W.

    2012-01-01

    This study compares postfire regeneration and diversity patterns in fire-prone chaparral shrublands from mediterranean (California) and non-mediterranean-type climates (Arizona). Vegetation sampling was conducted in tenth hectare plots with nested subplots for the first two years after fire. Floras in the two regions were compared with Jaccard's Index and importance of families and genera compared with dominance-diversity curves. Although there were 44 families in common between the two regions, the dominant families differed; Poaceae and Fabaceae in Arizona and Hydrophyllaceae and Rosaceae in California. Dominance diversity curves indicated in the first year a more equable distribution of families in Arizona than in California. Woody plants were much more dominant in the mediterranean climate and herbaceous plants more dominant in the bimodal rainfall climate. Species diversity was comparable in both regions at the lowest spatial scales but not at the tenth hectare scale. Due to the double growing season in the non-mediterranean region, the diversity for the first year comprised two different herbaceous floras in the fall and spring growing seasons. The Mediterranean climate in California, in contrast, had only a spring growing season and thus the total diversity for the first year was significantly greater in Arizona than in California for both annuals and herbaceous perennials. Chaparral in these two climate regimes share many dominant shrub species but the postfire communities are very different. Arizona chaparral has both a spring and fall growing season and these produce two very different postfire floras. When combined, the total annual diversity was substantially greater in Arizona chaparral.

  20. Herbivory and dominance shifts among exotic and congeneric native plant species during plant community establishment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Engelkes, Tim; Meisner, Annelein; Morriën, Elly

    2016-01-01

    in a riparian ecosystem during early establishment of invaded communities. We planted ten plant communities each consisting of three individuals of each of six exotic plant species as well as six phylogenetically related natives. Exotic plant species were selected based on a rapid recent increase in regional...... abundance, the presence of a congeneric native species, and their co-occurrence in the riparian ecosystem. All plant communities were covered by tents with insect mesh. Five tents were open on the leeward side to allow herbivory. The other five tents were completely closed in order to exclude insects...... and vertebrates. Herbivory reduced aboveground biomass by half and influenced which of the plant species dominated the establishing communities. Exposure to herbivory did not reduce the total biomass of natives more than that of exotics, so aboveground herbivory did not selectively enhance exotics during...

  1. Mercury uptake and accumulation by four species of aquatic plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Skinner, Kathleen [Department of Biology, Russell Sage College, 45 Ferry Street, Troy, NY 12180 (United States)]. E-mail: skinnk@sage.edu; Wright, Nicole [NEIWPCC-NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, 4th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-3502 (United States)]. E-mail: ndwright@gw.dec.state.ny.us; Porter-Goff, Emily [Department of Biology, Russell Sage College, 45 Ferry Street, Troy, NY 12180 (United States)

    2007-01-15

    The effectiveness of four aquatic plants including water hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes), water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes), zebra rush (Scirpus tabernaemontani) and taro (Colocasia esculenta) were evaluated for their capabilities in removing mercury from water. The plants were exposed to concentrations of 0 mg/L, 0.5 mg/L or 2 mg/L of mercury for 30 days. Assays were conducted using both Microtox[reg] (water) and cold vapor Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) (roots and water). The Microtox[reg] results indicated that the mercury induced acute toxicity had been removed from the water. AAS confirmed an increase of mercury within the plant root tissue and a corresponding decrease of mercury in the water. All species of plants appeared to reduce mercury concentrations in the water via root uptake and accumulation. Water lettuce and water hyacinth appeared to be the most effective, followed by taro and zebra rush, respectively. - Four species of aquatic plants reduced mercury in water.

  2. Mercury uptake and accumulation by four species of aquatic plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Skinner, Kathleen; Wright, Nicole; Porter-Goff, Emily

    2007-01-01

    The effectiveness of four aquatic plants including water hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes), water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes), zebra rush (Scirpus tabernaemontani) and taro (Colocasia esculenta) were evaluated for their capabilities in removing mercury from water. The plants were exposed to concentrations of 0 mg/L, 0.5 mg/L or 2 mg/L of mercury for 30 days. Assays were conducted using both Microtox[reg] (water) and cold vapor Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) (roots and water). The Microtox[reg] results indicated that the mercury induced acute toxicity had been removed from the water. AAS confirmed an increase of mercury within the plant root tissue and a corresponding decrease of mercury in the water. All species of plants appeared to reduce mercury concentrations in the water via root uptake and accumulation. Water lettuce and water hyacinth appeared to be the most effective, followed by taro and zebra rush, respectively. - Four species of aquatic plants reduced mercury in water

  3. Generalist Bee Species on Brazilian Bee-Plant Interaction Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Astrid de Matos Peixoto Kleinert

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Determining bee and plant interactions has an important role on understanding general biology of bee species as well as the potential pollinating relationship between them. Bee surveys have been conducted in Brazil since the end of the 1960s. Most of them applied standardized methods and had identified the plant species where the bees were collected. To analyze the most generalist bees on Brazilian surveys, we built a matrix of bee-plant interactions. We estimated the most generalist bees determining the three bee species of each surveyed locality that presented the highest number of interactions. We found 47 localities and 39 species of bees. Most of them belong to Apidae (31 species and Halictidae (6 families and to Meliponini (14 and Xylocopini (6 tribes. However, most of the surveys presented Apis mellifera and/or Trigona spinipes as the most generalist species. Apis mellifera is an exotic bee species and Trigona spinipes, a native species, is also widespread and presents broad diet breath and high number of individuals per colony.

  4. No universal scale-dependent impacts of invasive species on native plant species richness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stohlgren, Thomas J; Rejmánek, Marcel

    2014-01-01

    A growing number of studies seeking generalizations about the impact of plant invasions compare heavily invaded sites to uninvaded sites. But does this approach warrant any generalizations? Using two large datasets from forests, grasslands and desert ecosystems across the conterminous United States, we show that (i) a continuum of invasion impacts exists in many biomes and (ii) many possible species-area relationships may emerge reflecting a wide range of patterns of co-occurrence of native and alien plant species. Our results contradict a smaller recent study by Powell et al. 2013 (Science 339, 316-318. (doi:10.1126/science.1226817)), who compared heavily invaded and uninvaded sites in three biomes and concluded that plant communities invaded by non-native plant species generally have lower local richness (intercepts of log species richness-log area regression lines) but steeper species accumulation with increasing area (slopes of the regression lines) than do uninvaded communities. We conclude that the impacts of plant invasions on plant species richness are not universal.

  5. Plant-soil interactions in the expansion and native range of a poleward shifting plant species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grunsven, van R.H.A.; Putten, van der W.H.; Bezemer, T.M.; Berendse, F.; Veenendaal, E.M.

    2010-01-01

    Climate warming causes range shifts of many species toward higher latitudes and altitudes. However, range shifts of host species do not necessarily proceed at the same rates as those of their enemies and symbionts. Here, we examined how a range shifting plant species performs in soil from its

  6. Plant species richness regulates soil respiration through changes in productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dias, André Tavares Corrêa; van Ruijven, Jasper; Berendse, Frank

    2010-07-01

    Soil respiration is an important pathway of the C cycle. However, it is still poorly understood how changes in plant community diversity can affect this ecosystem process. Here we used a long-term experiment consisting of a gradient of grassland plant species richness to test for effects of diversity on soil respiration. We hypothesized that plant diversity could affect soil respiration in two ways. On the one hand, more diverse plant communities have been shown to promote plant productivity, which could increase soil respiration. On the other hand, the nutrient concentration in the biomass produced has been shown to decrease with diversity, which could counteract the production-induced increase in soil respiration. Our results clearly show that soil respiration increased with species richness. Detailed analysis revealed that this effect was not due to differences in species composition. In general, soil respiration in mixtures was higher than would be expected from the monocultures. Path analysis revealed that species richness predominantly regulates soil respiration through changes in productivity. No evidence supporting the hypothesized negative effect of lower N concentration on soil respiration was found. We conclude that shifts in productivity are the main mechanism by which changes in plant diversity may affect soil respiration.

  7. Floristic summary of plant species in the air pollution literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, J P

    1996-01-01

    A floristic summary and analysis was performed on a list of the plant species that have been studied for the effects of gaseous and chemical air pollutants on vegetation in order to compare the species with the flora of North America north of Mexico. The scientific names of 2081 vascular plant species were extracted from almost 4000 journal articles stored in two large literature databases on the effects of air pollutants on plants. Three quarters of the plant species studied occur in North America, but this was only 7% of the total North American flora. Sixteen percent and 56% of all North American genera and families have been studied. The most studied genus is Pinus with 70% of the North American species studied, and the most studied family is the grass family, with 12% of the species studied. Although Pinus is ranked 86th in the North American flora, the grass family is ranked third, indicating that representation at the family level is better than at the genus level. All of the top ten families in North America are represented in the top 20 families in the air pollution effects literature, but only one genus (Lupinus) in the top ten genera in North America is represented in the top thirteen genera in the air pollution literature.

  8. Detecting biodiversity hotspots by species-area relationships: a case study of Mediterranean beetles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fattorini, Simone

    2006-08-01

    Any method of identifying hotspots should take into account the effect of area on species richness. I examined the importance of the species-area relationship in determining tenebrionid (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) hotspots on the Aegean Islands (Greece). Thirty-two islands and 170 taxa (species and subspecies) were included in this study. I tested several species-area relationship models with linear and nonlinear regressions, including power exponential, negative exponential, logistic, Gompertz, Weibull, Lomolino, and He-Legendre functions. Islands with positive residuals were identified as hotspots. I also analyzed the values of the C parameter of the power function and the simple species-area ratios. Species richness was significantly correlated with island area for all models. The power function model was the most convenient one. Most functions, however identified certain islands as hotspots. The importance of endemics in insular biotas should be evaluated carefully because they are of high conservation concern. The simple use of the species-area relationship can be problematic when areas with no endemics are included. Therefore the importance of endemics should be evaluated according to different methods, such as percentages, to take into account different levels of endemism and different kinds of "endemics" (e.g., endemic to single islands vs. endemic to the archipelago). Because the species-area relationship is a key pattern in ecology, my findings can be applied at broader scales.

  9. On some Indo-Pacific boring endolithic Bivalvia species introduced into the Mediterranean Sea with their host – spread of Sphenia rueppelli A. Adams, 1850

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. ZENETOS

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The study of the endolithic molluscs found on/in living alien Spondylusshells collected in the Gulf of Iskenderun (Turkey brought to light three more alien bivalvia species namely Petricola hemprichi, Gastrochaena cymbium and Sphenia rueppelli. The presence of Sphenia rueppellideserves attention as it constitutes the first record of this species as living in the Mediterranean Sea. The definitive establishment and spreading of these bivalves in the basin seems to be also attested by careful analysis of specimens sampled in other southern Turkish localities and previously retained in local private collections. The present records raise some questions on the vector of arrival of the species in the Mediterranean Sea that could be strictly connected with their hosts.

  10. The relationships between heavy metal (Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Pb, Zn) levels and the size of six Mediterranean fish species

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Canli, Mustafa; Atli, Gueluezar

    2003-01-01

    Significant relationships between metal concentrations and fish size were negative. - Heavy metal (Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Pb, Zn) concentrations in the muscle, gill and liver of six fish species (Sparus auratus, Atherina hepsetus, Mugil cephalus, Trigla cuculus, Sardina pilchardus and Scomberesox saurus) from the northeast Mediterranean Sea were measured and the relationships between fish size (length and weight) and metal concentrations in the tissues were investigated by linear regression analysis. Metal concentrations (as μg/g d.w.) were highest in the liver, except for iron in the gill of Scomberesox saurus and lowest in the muscle of all the fish species. Highest concentrations of Cd (4.50), Cr (17.1) and Pb (41.2) were measured in liver tissues of T. cuculus, Sardina pilchardus and A. hepsetus, respectively. The liver of M. cephalus showed strikingly high Cu concentrations (202.8). The gill of Scomberesox saurus was the only tissue that showed highest (885.5) iron concentrations. Results of linear regression analysis showed that, except in a few cases, significant relationships between metal concentrations and fish size were negative. Highly significant (P<0.001) negative relationships were found between fish length and Cr concentrations in the liver of A. hepsetus and M. cephalus, and Cr concentrations in the gill of T. cuculus. Cr and Pb concentrations in the liver and Cu concentrations in all the tissues of Scomberesox saurus also showed very significant (P<0.001) negative relationships. Negative relationships found here were discussed

  11. Drought-induced photosynthetic inhibition and autumn recovery in two Mediterranean oak species (Quercus ilex and Quercus suber).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaz, M; Pereira, J S; Gazarini, L C; David, T S; David, J S; Rodrigues, A; Maroco, J; Chaves, M M

    2010-08-01

    Responses of leaf water relations and photosynthesis to summer drought and autumn rewetting were studied in two evergreen Mediterranean oak species, Quercus ilex spp. rotundifolia and Quercus suber. The predawn leaf water potential (Ψ(lPD)), stomatal conductance (gs) and photosynthetic rate (A) at ambient conditions were measured seasonally over a 3-year period. We also measured the photosynthetic response to light and to intercellular CO₂ (A/PPFD and A/C(i) response curves) under water stress (summer) and after recovery due to autumn rainfall. Photosynthetic parameters, Vc(max), J(max) and triose phosphate utilization (TPU) rate, were estimated using the Farquhar model. RuBisCo activity, leaf chlorophyll, leaf nitrogen concentration and leaf carbohydrate concentration were also measured. All measurements were performed in the spring leaves of the current year. In both species, the predawn leaf water potential, stomatal conductance and photosynthetic rate peaked in spring, progressively declined throughout the summer and recovered upon autumn rainfall. During the drought period, Q. ilex maintained a higher predawn leaf water potential and stomatal conductance than Q. suber. During this period, we found that photosynthesis was not only limited by stomatal closure, but was also downregulated as a consequence of a decrease in the maximum carboxylation rate (Vc(max)) and the light-saturated rate of photosynthetic electron transport (J(max)) in both species. The Vc(max) and J(max) increased after the first autumnal rains and this increase was related to RuBisCo activity, leaf nitrogen concentration and chlorophyll concentration. In addition, an increase in the TPU rate and in soluble leaf sugar concentration was observed in this period. The results obtained indicate a high resilience of the photosynthetic apparatus to summer drought as well as good recovery in the following autumn rains of these evergreen oak species.

  12. Fillet proximate composition, lipid quality, yields, and organoleptic quality of Mediterranean-farmed marine fish: A review with emphasis on new species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grigorakis, Kriton

    2017-09-22

    Species diversification in Mediterranean mariculture involves various important fish that contribute to the diet of many human populations. These include meagres (Sciaenidae), flatfishes, mullets, and various sparids. Their quality aspects (yields, fillet proximate composition, and lipid quality) are discussed in this review. Their filleting yield is mostly 40-45%. The viscerosomatic index ranges from 1.5% to 14%, depending on species. Low muscle fat contents of flatfishes and meagres differentiate them from the rest of the farmed species. Farmed fish contain high n-3 polyunsaturates fatty acids (PUFA; 12.3-36.3% vs. 5.48-37.2% in the wild) and have higher muscle fat and n-6 PUFA contents (mainly 18:2 n-6) than their wild counterparts. The aquaculture management, diet, and season can affect fillet composition and fatty acids, while season (i.e. food availability and maturation) largely affects lipid quality in wild fish. Data on the sensory quality of Mediterranean-farmed species are mainly limited to whether specific management differentiates the sensory quality; thus, further development of tools for sensory analysis is required. Observations on the quality features in farmed Mediterranean fish indicate that species diversification can also provide product diversification based on different commercial weights and fillet quality specifications.

  13. Selection of focal earthworm species as non-target soil organisms for environmental risk assessment of genetically modified plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Capelle, Christine; Schrader, Stefan; Arpaia, Salvatore

    2016-04-01

    By means of a literature survey, earthworm species of significant relevance for soil functions in different biogeographical regions of Europe (Atlantic, Boreal, Mediterranean) were identified. These focal earthworm species, defined here according to the EFSA Guidance Document on the environmental risk assessment (ERA) of genetically modified plants, are typical for arable soils under crop rotations with maize and/or potatoes within the three regions represented by Ireland, Sweden and Spain, respectively. Focal earthworm species were selected following a matrix of four steps: Identification of functional groups, categorization of non-target species, ranking species on ecological criteria, and final selection of focal species. They are recommended as appropriate non-target organisms to assess environmental risks of genetically modified (GM) crops; in this case maize and potatoes. In total, 44 literature sources on earthworms in arable cropping systems including maize or potato from Ireland, Sweden and Spain were collected, which present information on species diversity, individual density and specific relevance for soil functions. By means of condensed literature data, those species were identified which (i) play an important functional role in respective soil systems, (ii) are well adapted to the biogeographical regions, (iii) are expected to occur in high abundances under cultivation of maize or potato and (iv) fulfill the requirements for an ERA test system based on life-history traits. First, primary and secondary decomposers were identified as functional groups being exposed to the GM crops. In a second step, anecic and endogeic species were categorized as potential species. In step three, eight anecic and endogeic earthworm species belonging to the family Lumbricidae were ranked as relevant species: Aporrectodea caliginosa, Aporrectodea rosea, Aporrectodea longa, Allolobophora chlorotica, Lumbricus terrestris, Lumbricus friendi, Octodrilus complanatus and

  14. Invasive vascular plant species of limnocrenic karst springs in Poland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spałek, Krzysztof

    2015-04-01

    Natural water reservoirs are very valuable floristic sites in Poland. Among them, the most important for preservation of biodiversity of flora are limnocrenic karst springs. The long-term process of human pressure on habitats of this type caused disturbance of their biological balance. Changes in the water regime, industrial development and chemisation of agriculture, especially in the period of last two hundred years, led to systematic disappearance of localities of many plant species connected with rare habitats and also to appear numerous invasive plant species. They are: Acorus calamus, Echinocystis lobata, Elodea canadensis, Erechtites hieraciifolia, Impatiens glandulifera, Solidago canadensis, S. gigantea and S. graminifolia. Fielworks were conducted in 2010-2014.

  15. Plant antiherbivore defenses in Fabaceae species of the Chaco.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lima, T E; Sartori, A L B; Rodrigues, M L M

    2017-01-01

    The establishment and maintenance of plant species in the Chaco, one of the widest continuous areas of forests in the South American with sharp climatic variations, are possibly related to biological features favoring plants with particular defenses. This study assesses the physical and chemical defenses mechanisms against herbivores of vegetative and reproductive organs. Its analyses of 12 species of Fabaceae (Leguminosae) collected in remnants of Brazilian Chaco shows that 75% present structural defense characters and 50% have chemical defense - defense proteins in their seeds, like protease inhibitors and lectins. Physical defenses occur mainly on branches (78% of the species), leaves (67%), and reproductive organs (56%). The most common physical characters are trichomes and thorns, whose color represents a cryptic character since it does not contrast with the other plant structures. Defense proteins occur in different concentrations and molecular weight classes in the seeds of most species. Protease inhibitors are reported for the first time in seeds of: Albizia niopoides, Anadenanthera colubrina, Mimosa glutinosa, Prosopis rubriflora, and Poincianella pluviosa. The occurrence of physical and chemical defenses in members of Fabaceae indicate no associations between defense characters in these plant species of the Chaco.

  16. Synthesis of plant phenology in the Fynbos biome

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Pierce, SM

    1984-12-00

    Full Text Available species in Australian and Cape mediterranean-type ecosystems is refuted for the Cape. Instead, in order to understand plant-function, investigations into root architecture, water budgets, plant-animal interactions and the influence of radiation...

  17. Shallow-water and not deep-sea as most plausible origin for cave-dwelling Paramisophria species (Copepoda: Calanoida: Arietellidae), with description of three new species from Mediterranean bathyal hyperbenthos and littoral caves

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jaume, Damià; Cartes, Joan E.; Boxshall, Geoffrey A.

    2000-01-01

    Japan (Tanaka, 1967; Ohtsuka, 1985; Ohtsuka & Mitsuzumi, 1990; Ohtsuka et al., 1991), Australia (McKinnon & Kimmerer, 1985), and New Zealand (Othman & Greenwood, 1992). Records of species far from their ordinary ranges, such as those of Paramisophria cluthae T. Scott, 1897 from the Mediterranean

  18. Interpreting the Climatic Effects on Xylem Functional Traits in Two Mediterranean Oak Species: The Role of Extreme Climatic Events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rita, Angelo; Borghetti, Marco; Todaro, Luigi; Saracino, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    In the Mediterranean region, the widely predicted rise in temperature, change in the precipitation pattern, and increase in the frequency of extreme climatic events are expected to alter the shape of ecological communities and to affect plant physiological processes that regulate ecosystem functioning. Although change in the mean values are important, there is increasing evidence that plant distribution, survival, and productivity respond to extremes rather than to the average climatic condition. The present study aims to assess the effects of both mean and extreme climatic conditions on radial growth and functional anatomical traits using long-term tree-ring time series of two co-existing Quercus spp. from a drought-prone site in Southern Italy. In particular, this is the first attempt to apply the Generalized Additive Model for Location, Scale, and Shape (GAMLSS) technique and Bayesian modeling procedures to xylem traits data set, with the aim of (i) detecting non-linear long-term responses to climate and (ii) exploring relationships between climate extreme and xylem traits variability in terms of probability of occurrence. This study demonstrates the usefulness of long-term xylem trait chronologies as records of environmental conditions at annual resolution. Statistical analyses revealed that most of the variability in tree-ring width and specific hydraulic conductivity might be explained by cambial age. Additionally, results highlighted appreciable relationships between xylem traits and climate variability more than tree-ring width, supporting also the evidence that the plant hydraulic traits are closely linked to local climate extremes rather than average climatic conditions. We reported that the probability of extreme departure in specific hydraulic conductivity (Ks) rises at extreme values of Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI). Therefore, changing frequency or intensity of extreme events might overcome the adaptive limits of vascular transport, resulting

  19. Interpreting the climatic effects on xylem functional traits in two Mediterranean oak species: the role of extreme climatic events

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angelo Rita

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available In the Mediterranean region, the widely predicted rise in temperature, change in the precipitation pattern and increase in the frequency of extreme climatic events are expected to alter the shape of ecological communities and to affect plant physiological processes that regulate ecosystem functioning. Although change in the mean values are important, there is increasing evidence that plant distribution, survival and productivity respond to extremes rather than to the average climatic condition. The present study aims to assess the effects of both mean and extreme climatic conditions on radial growth and functional anatomical traits using long-term tree-ring time series of two co-existing Quercus spp. from a drought-prone site in Southern Italy. In particular, this is the first attempt to apply the Generalized Additive Model for Location, Scale and Shape (GAMLSS technique and Bayesian modeling procedures to xylem traits data set, with the aim of i detecting non-linear long-term responses to climate and ii exploring relationships between climate extreme and xylem traits variability in terms of probability of occurrence. This study demonstrates the usefulness of long-term xylem trait chronologies as records of environmental conditions at annual resolution. Statistical analyses revealed that most of the variability in tree-ring width and specific hydraulic conductivity might be explained by cambial age. Additionally, results highlighted appreciable relationships between xylem traits and climate variability more than tree-ring width, supporting also the evidence that the plant hydraulic traits are closely linked to local climate extremes rather than average climatic conditions. We reported that the probability of extreme departure in specific hydraulic conductivity (Ks rises at extreme values of Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI. Therefore, changing frequency or intensity of extreme events might overcome the adaptive limits of vascular transport

  20. Parapenaeus longirostris (Lucas, 1846) an early warning indicator species of global warming in the central Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colloca, Francesco; Mastrantonio, Gianluca; Lasinio, Giovanna Jona; Ligas, Alessandro; Sartor, Paolo

    2014-10-01

    The effect of temperature increase on the stock of the deep-sea pink shrimp (Parapenaeus longirostris) was analysed along the western coasts of Italy (North Tyrrhenian-Ligurian Sea: Geographical Sub-Area 9). This crustacean is currently one of the most important commercial species of the trawl fisheries in the Mediterranean Sea. Landings of the species in the North Tyrrhenian-Ligurian Sea have grown consistently during the last years following a rapid increase in the stock size. Since the deep-sea pink shrimp stock is exploited on the same fishing ground of other heavily overexploited stocks in a full mixed and poorly selective fishery, its condition seems to be largely independent of the current fishing exploitation pattern suggesting a positive role of climate change on the dynamic of the stock. To test this hypothesis we investigated the effect of sea surface temperature (SST) on density and distribution of P. longirostris by means of general additive models (GAMs). Two different models were developed for the whole stock and for the recruits (CL International bottom trawl survey in the Mediterranean) survey density indices (n km- 2) covering the period 1995-2010. Predictors included were geographical coordinates, quarterly averaged minimum SST, sampling depth and year. Spawners density was included as predictor into the GAM for recruits. The best GAM for the whole stock explained 67.1% of the total deviance, showing a clear increase in density in concomitance with the expansion of the stock northward. We found a significant positive effect of the min SST of all seasons, as expected considering that P. longirostris spawn all year round, with the highest influence played by summer min SST, either in the same or previous year. The best model for recruits explained 64.9% of the total deviance. Recruitment increased linearly with the density of spawners showing a positive temporal trend and an expansion northward. The observed trend in recruitment appeared

  1. Hierarchical spatial segregation of two Mediterranean vole species: the role of patch-network structure and matrix composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pita, Ricardo; Lambin, Xavier; Mira, António; Beja, Pedro

    2016-09-01

    According to ecological theory, the coexistence of competitors in patchy environments may be facilitated by hierarchical spatial segregation along axes of environmental variation, but empirical evidence is limited. Cabrera and water voles show a metapopulation-like structure in Mediterranean farmland, where they are known to segregate along space, habitat, and time axes within habitat patches. Here, we assess whether segregation also occurs among and within landscapes, and how this is influenced by patch-network and matrix composition. We surveyed 75 landscapes, each covering 78 ha, where we mapped all habitat patches potentially suitable for Cabrera and water voles, and the area effectively occupied by each species (extent of occupancy). The relatively large water vole tended to be the sole occupant of landscapes with high habitat amount but relatively low patch density (i.e., with a few large patches), and with a predominantly agricultural matrix, whereas landscapes with high patch density (i.e., many small patches) and low agricultural cover, tended to be occupied exclusively by the small Cabrera vole. The two species tended to co-occur in landscapes with intermediate patch-network and matrix characteristics, though their extents of occurrence were negatively correlated after controlling for environmental effects. In combination with our previous studies on the Cabrera-water vole system, these findings illustrated empirically the occurrence of hierarchical spatial segregation, ranging from within-patches to among-landscapes. Overall, our study suggests that recognizing the hierarchical nature of spatial segregation patterns and their major environmental drivers should enhance our understanding of species coexistence in patchy environments.

  2. Spotted fever Rickettsia species in Hyalomma and Ixodes ticks infesting migratory birds in the European Mediterranean area

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background A few billion birds migrate annually between their breeding grounds in Europe and their wintering grounds in Africa. Many bird species are tick-infested, and as a result of their innate migratory behavior, they contribute significantly to the geographic distribution of pathogens, including spotted fever rickettsiae. The aim of the present study was to characterize, in samples from two consecutive years, the potential role of migrant birds captured in Europe as disseminators of Rickettsia-infected ticks. Methods Ticks were collected from a total of 14,789 birds during their seasonal migration northwards in spring 2009 and 2010 at bird observatories on two Mediterranean islands: Capri and Antikythira. All ticks were subjected to RNA extraction followed by cDNA synthesis and individually assayed with a real-time PCR targeting the citrate synthase (gltA) gene. For species identification of Rickettsia, multiple genes were sequenced. Results Three hundred and ninety-eight (2.7%) of all captured birds were tick-infested; some birds carried more than one tick. A total number of 734 ticks were analysed of which 353 ± 1 (48%) were Rickettsia-positive; 96% were infected with Rickettsia aeschlimannii and 4% with Rickettsia africae or unidentified Rickettsia species. The predominant tick taxon, Hyalomma marginatum sensu lato constituted 90% (n = 658) of the ticks collected. The remaining ticks were Ixodes frontalis, Amblyomma sp., Haemaphysalis sp., Rhipicephalus sp. and unidentified ixodids. Most ticks were nymphs (66%) followed by larvae (27%) and adult female ticks (0.5%). The majority (65%) of ticks was engorged and nearly all ticks contained visible blood. Conclusions Migratory birds appear to have a great impact on the dissemination of Rickettsia-infected ticks, some of which may originate from distant locations. The potential ecological, medical and veterinary implications of such Rickettsia infections need further examination. PMID:25011617

  3. Xylem hydraulic properties of roots and stems of nine Mediterranean woody species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Vilalta, Jordi; Prat, Ester; Oliveras, Imma; Piñol, Josep

    2002-09-01

    We studied the hydraulic architecture and water relations of nine co-occurring woody species in a Spanish evergreen oak forest over the course of a dry season. Our main objectives were to: (1) test the existence of a trade-off between hydraulic conductivity and security in the xylem, and (2) establish the safety margins at which the species operated in relation to hydraulic failure, and compare these safety margins between species and tissues (roots vs. stems). Our results showed that the relationship between specific hydraulic conductivity (K s) and resistance to cavitation followed a power function with exponent ≈-2, consistent with the existence of a trade-off between conductivity and security in the xylem, and also consistent with a linear relationship between vessel diameter and the size of inter-vessel pores. The diameter of xylem conduits, K s and vulnerability to xylem embolism were always higher in roots than in stems of the same species. Safety margins from hydraulic failure were narrower in roots than in stems. Among species, the water potential (Ψ) at which 50% of conductivity was lost due to embolism ranged between -0.9 and Cistus albidus=Ilex aquifolium>Phillyrea latifolia>Juniperus oxycedrus. Gas exchange and seasonal Ψ minima were in general correlated with resistance to xylem embolism. Hydraulic safety margins differed markedly among species, with some of them (J. oxycedrus, I. aquifolium, P. latifolia) showing a xylem overly resistant to cavitation. We hypothesize that this overly resistant xylem may be related to the shape of the relationship between K s and security we have found.

  4. A massive ingression of the alien species Mytilus edulis L. (Bivalvia: Mollusca into the Mediterranean Sea following the Costa Concordia cruise-ship disaster

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. CASOLI

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The Costa Concordia cruise-ship disaster occurred just off the coast of Italy on January 13th, 2012, and entailed the largest marine salvage operation in history. The salvage employed vessels from different European harbours, providing an unexpected means for transporting alien species into the Mediterranean. In this work we identified mussel species using fragments length polymorphism of a nuclear locus and report the first evidence of the transport of the blue mussel, Mytilus edulis Linnaeus, 1758 (Bivalvia: Mollusca, into the Mediterranean Sea, as a part of the fouling community of the hull of an accommodation barge arrived from a NE Atlantic location in October 2012. Furthermore, we describe the rapid growth of this species, under the ASV Pioneer, until its almost total extinction during the summer of 2013, which left a covering of mussel shells on the underlying Posidonia oceanica (Linnaeus Delile, 1813. meadow. This high mortality rate indicated that M. edulis had been exposed to high stress conditions, probably due to different salinity, temperature, and oligotrophic conditions from its place of origin, and there was no spawning event or known settlement on the nearest infralittoral natural habitats. This event reminds us of how the Mediterranean Sea is constantly under alien-species pressure, due to human activities.

  5. The combined effects of a long-term experimental drought and an extreme drought on the use of plant-water sources in a Mediterranean forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbeta, Adrià; Mejía-Chang, Monica; Ogaya, Romà; Voltas, Jordi; Dawson, Todd E; Peñuelas, Josep

    2015-03-01

    Vegetation in water-limited ecosystems relies strongly on access to deep water reserves to withstand dry periods. Most of these ecosystems have shallow soils over deep groundwater reserves. Understanding the functioning and functional plasticity of species-specific root systems and the patterns of or differences in the use of water sources under more frequent or intense droughts is therefore necessary to properly predict the responses of seasonally dry ecosystems to future climate. We used stable isotopes to investigate the seasonal patterns of water uptake by a sclerophyll forest on sloped terrain with shallow soils. We assessed the effect of a long-term experimental drought (12 years) and the added impact of an extreme natural drought that produced widespread tree mortality and crown defoliation. The dominant species, Quercus ilex, Arbutus unedo and Phillyrea latifolia, all have dimorphic root systems enabling them to access different water sources in space and time. The plants extracted water mainly from the soil in the cold and wet seasons but increased their use of groundwater during the summer drought. Interestingly, the plants subjected to the long-term experimental drought shifted water uptake toward deeper (10-35 cm) soil layers during the wet season and reduced groundwater uptake in summer, indicating plasticity in the functional distribution of fine roots that dampened the effect of our experimental drought over the long term. An extreme drought in 2011, however, further reduced the contribution of deep soil layers and groundwater to transpiration, which resulted in greater crown defoliation in the drought-affected plants. This study suggests that extreme droughts aggravate moderate but persistent drier conditions (simulated by our manipulation) and may lead to the depletion of water from groundwater reservoirs and weathered bedrock, threatening the preservation of these Mediterranean ecosystems in their current structures and compositions. © 2014

  6. A survey of wild plant species for food use in Sicily (Italy) - results of a 3-year study in four Regional Parks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Licata, Mario; Tuttolomondo, Teresa; Leto, Claudio; Virga, Giuseppe; Bonsangue, Giuseppe; Cammalleri, Ignazio; Gennaro, Maria Cristina; La Bella, Salvatore

    2016-02-09

    This paper illustrates the results of a study carried out in four Regional Parks of Sicily (Italy), concerning traditional knowledge on food use of wild plant species. The main aims of the paper were: (i) to verify which wild plant species are used for food purpose in the local culture based on information provided by elderly inhabitants (ii) to verify the presence of wild plant species which have not been cited for food use in previous studies in the Mediterranean area (iii) to determine how many of the most frequently cited wild plant species are cultivated by the local population in the four Sicilian Parks. Semi-structured interviews were carried out in the local communities of the four Regional Parks between 2007 and 2010. A total of 802 people over the age of 60 were interviewed. Cultural Importance Index was used to evaluate the level of importance given to any wild plant species as a food in the local culture. The level of appreciation of the wild plant species and the possible effects of wild plants on human health were also investigated. Local communities currently use a total number of 119 wild species for food purposes. Asteraceae and Brassicaceae were the most represented botanical families. In each of the four Sicilian Parks, Cichorium intybus L. and Foeniculum vulgare Mill. obtained the highest Cultural Importance Index values. Sixty-four species were indicated as also having medicinal properties. Leaves and other aerial plant parts were the parts most-used for the preparation of traditional recipes. The research shows that the level of traditional knowledge on the food uses of wild plant species in the study area is poor. The food uses of plants which are most likely to survive over time are those at the interface of food and medicine. Further agronomic studies are needed for a number of species with a view to introducing them as a crop into non-intensive agricultural systems.

  7. Kryptonesticus deelemanae gen. et sp. nov. (Araneae, Nesticidae, with notes on the Mediterranean cave species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Pavlek

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes and illustrates a new genus and a new species belonging to the family Nesticidae based on morphology and supported by molecular data. The new genus, Kryptonesticus gen. nov., groups eight species spread from Bulgaria and Turkey to Croatia, including Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Crete. As a result, seven new combinations are proposed: K. eremita (Simon, 1879 comb. nov., K. arenstorffi (Kulczyński, 1914 comb. nov., K. fagei (Kratochvíl, 1933 comb. nov., K. beroni (Deltshev, 1977 comb. nov., K. beshkovi (Deltshev, 1979 comb. nov., K. henderickxi (Bosselaers, 1998 comb. nov. and K. dimensis (López-Pancorbo, Kunt & Ribera, 2013 comb. nov., all ex Nesticus. Kryptonesticus deelemanae gen. et sp. nov. is described on the basis of both sexes and its phylogenetic relationships with closely related species are discussed based on morphological and molecular data (the cox1, rrn and H3 genes. In addition, the species of this new genus (except for K. eremita are clear candidates for protection: they have highly restricted ranges and some of them show a high degree of adaptation to the subterranean environment.

  8. Four new species of Emericella from the Mediterranean region of Europe.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zalar, P.; Frisvad, J.C.; Gunde-Cimerman, N.; Varga, J.; Samson, R.A.

    2008-01-01

    Four new species of Emericella, E. discophora, E. filifera, E. olivicola and E. stella-maris, are proposed. Their new taxonomic status was determined applying a polyphasic taxonomic approach using phenotypic (morphology and extrolite profiles) and molecular (sequences of ITS, beta-tubulin and

  9. Relationships between Plant Biomass and Species Richness under ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The study was conducted in a montane grassland of Kokosa District, West Arsi Zone of Oromia Region, southern Ethiopia. The objective of the study was to investigate the relationships between aboveground plant biomass and species richness in three farming systems and four grazing management systems. A total of 180 ...

  10. Regional Assessment of Ozone Sensitive Tree Species Using Bioindicator Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    John W. Coulston; Gretchen C. Smith; William D. Smith

    2003-01-01

    Tropospheric ozone occurs at phytotoxic levels in the northeastern and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. Quantifying possible regional-scale impacts of ambient ozone on forest tree species is difficult and is confounded by other factors, such as moisture and light, which influence the uptake of ozone by plants. Biomonitoring provides an approach to document...

  11. Extraction and antioxidant activities of two species Origanum plant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The antioxidant of ethanolic extract of two species of Origanum and essential oil of plant Origanum vulgare were investigated and also the total phenolic and flavonoid content measured. The radical scavenging activity was measured using the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) method. Total phenolic and flavonoid ...

  12. Widespread plant species: natives versus aliens in our changing world

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Stohlgren, T. J.; Pyšek, Petr; Kartesz, J.; Nishino, M.; Pauchard, A.; Winter, M.; Pino, J.; Richardson, D. M.; Wilson, J. R. U.; Murray, B. R.; Phillips, M. L.; Ming-yang, L.; Celesti-Grapow, L.; Font, X.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 13, č. 9 (2011), s. 1931-1944 ISSN 1387-3547 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : plant invasions * species distribution * Old and New World Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.896, year: 2011

  13. The importance of education in managing invasive plant species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Invasive plant species can establish in diverse environments and with the increase in human mobility, they are no longer restricted to isolated pockets in remote parts of the world. Cheat grass (Bromus tectorum L.) in rangelands, purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria L.) in wet lands and Canada this...

  14. AIRBORNE HYPERSPECTRAL IDENTIFICATION OF INVASIVE AND OPPORTUNISTIC WETLANDS PLANT SPECIES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coastal wetlands are among the most fragmented and disturbed ecosystems and the Great Lakes are no exception. One possible result is the observed increase in the presence and dominance of invasive and other opportunistic plant species, such as the common reed (Phragmites australi...

  15. Ecotaxonmic baseline evaluation of the plant species in a ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The survey of the flora composition of an ecosystem is important in several environmental baseline studies. An ecotaxonomic assessment was carried out in Ase-Ndoni proposed Rivgas Refinery project site in other to find out the plant species of medicinal and other economic values. The investigation was carried out to ...

  16. Rare and Endangered Geophyte Plant Species in Serpentine of Kosovo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naim Berisha

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Our study documents information on rarity, geographical distribution, taxonomy and conservation status of 11 geophyte species in serpentine soils of Kosovo, already included in the Red Book of Vascular Flora of Kosovo. Kosovo’s serpentine vegetation represents a diversity that yet has not been sufficiently explored. Large serpentine complexes are found in the northern Kosovo but also southern part of the country is rich in serpentines, therefore in endemics. Serpentine rocks and soils are characterized by low level of principal plant nutrients (N, P, K, Ca and exceptionally high levels of Mg and Fe. Serpentines play particular importance for flora of the country due to their richness in endemic plant species. The following 11 plant species have been studied: Aristolochia merxmuelleri, Colchicum hungaricum, Crocus flavus, Crocus kosaninii, Epimedium alpinum, Gentiana punctata, Gladiolus illyricus, Lilium albanicum, Paeonia peregrina, Tulipa gesneriana and Tulipa kosovarica. Five out of eleven studied geophytes fall within Critically Endangered IUCN based threat category and five out of eleven are local endemics. Aristolochia merxmuelleri and Tulipa kosovarica are steno-endemic plant species that are found exclusively in serpentine soils. Information in our database should prove to be valuable to efforts in ecology, floristics, biosystematics, conservation and land management.

  17. Efficient distinction of invasive aquatic plant species from non-invasive related species using DNA barcoding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghahramanzadeh, R; Esselink, G; Kodde, L P; Duistermaat, H; van Valkenburg, J L C H; Marashi, S H; Smulders, M J M; van de Wiel, C C M

    2013-01-01

    Biological invasions are regarded as threats to global biodiversity. Among invasive aliens, a number of plant species belonging to the genera Myriophyllum, Ludwigia and Cabomba, and to the Hydrocharitaceae family pose a particular ecological threat to water bodies. Therefore, one would try to prevent them from entering a country. However, many related species are commercially traded, and distinguishing invasive from non-invasive species based on morphology alone is often difficult for plants in a vegetative stage. In this regard, DNA barcoding could become a good alternative. In this study, 242 samples belonging to 26 species from 10 genera of aquatic plants were assessed using the chloroplast loci trnH-psbA, matK and rbcL. Despite testing a large number of primer sets and several PCR protocols, the matK locus could not be amplified or sequenced reliably and therefore was left out of the analysis. Using the other two loci, eight invasive species could be distinguished from their respective related species, a ninth one failed to produce sequences of sufficient quality. Based on the criteria of universal application, high sequence divergence and level of species discrimination, the trnH-psbA noncoding spacer was the best performing barcode in the aquatic plant species studied. Thus, DNA barcoding may be helpful with enforcing a ban on trade of such invasive species, such as is already in place in the Netherlands. This will become even more so once DNA barcoding would be turned into machinery routinely operable by a nonspecialist in botany and molecular genetics. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  18. The tropical African hermit crab Pagurus mbizi (Crustacea, Decapoda, Paguridae in the Western Mediterranean Sea: a new alien species or filling gaps in the knowledge of the distribution?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. E. GARCIA RASO

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available We report the first occurrence in the European Mediterranean Sea of a tropical Atlantic hermit crab, Pagurus mbizi (Forest, 1955, based on the capture of twenty specimens (all sizes and ovigerous females collected along the northern shores of the Alboran Sea, which proof the existence of a well-established population of this species, and the importance of this geographic area as a transitional and settlement zone for Atlantic species, which makes the Alboran Sea one of the richest marine biodiversity areas in the Mediterranean Sea. Some morphological comparative data with the closely related hermit crab Pagurus pubescentulus are given. In addition, data on its habitat and geographical distribution, as well as the probable pathways of introduction, are commented.

  19. Bat species richness and activity over an elevation gradient in mediterranean shrublands of Crete

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Panagiotis Georgiakakis

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract
    The effect of elevation on bat species richness and activity was investigated in shrublands of central Crete (Greece using broad-band acoustic surveys. Recordings of echolocation calls were made in 15 transects equally distributed in three distinct elevation zones (500, 1000 and 1500 m a.s.l. during spring and autumn 2007-2008. Time-expanded calls were subsequently identified with the use of quadratic discriminant functions.
    Out of 13 species recorded, Hypsugo savii, Pipistrellus kuhlii and Tadarida teniotis were the most common and abundant. Many Rhinolophus hipposideros were also recorded in all elevation zones. Thirteen species were recorded in the lower elevation zone, 7 species in the mid one and 8 species in the 1500 m a.s.l. sites. Species richness, the number of bat passes of the most abundant species, as well as the total number of bat passes were not significantly affected by elevation. In spring both species richness and bat activity were higher than in autumn, although the corresponding difference in temperature was not significant.
    The high variability in both bat activity and the number of species found per transect in each elevation zone probably depended on the presence of other habitat types in the close vicinity, while roost availability and location might also have played an important role.
    We suggest that the ability of bats to perform regular movements along the elevational gradient has to be taken in account when assessing elevational patterns in bat diversity and activity. The geology of the study area is also of considerable importance through its effect on foraging and roosting opportunities for bats.

    Riassunto
    Ricchezza specifica e attività dei chirotteri lungo un gradiente altitudinale nella macchia mediterranea di Creta
    L’effetto della quota su ricchezza in specie e

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. The Role of Different Agricultural Plant Species in Air Pollution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiala, P.; Miller, D.; Shivers, S.; Pusede, S.; Roberts, D. A.

    2017-12-01

    The goal of this research project is to use remote sensing data to study the relationship between different plant species and the pollutants in the air. It is known that chemical reactions within plants serve as both sources and sinks for different types of Volatile Organic Compounds. However, the species-specific relationships have not been well studied. Through the better characterization of this relationship, certain aspects of air pollution may be more effectively managed. For this project, I used Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) data and trace gas measurements from instruments on board the NASA DC-8 to assess the relationship between different plant species and the pollutants in the air. I used measurements primarily from the agricultural land surrounding Bakersfield, CA. I created a map of the crop species in this area using Multiple Endmember Spectral Mixture Analysis (MESMA) on the AVIRIS imagery, and matched this to trace gas measurements taken on the DC-8. I used a Hysplit matrix trajectory to account for the air transport over the vegetation and up to contact with the plane. Finally, I identified correlations between the plant types and the concentration of the pollutants. The results showed that there were significant relationships between specific species and pollutants, with lemons and grapes contributing to enhanced pollution, and tree nuts reducing pollution. Specifically, almonds produced significantly lower levels of O3 , NO, and NO2. Lemons and grapes had high O3 levels, and lemons had high levels of isoprene. In total, these data show that it may be possible to mitigate airborne pollution via selective planting; however, the overall environmental effects are much more complicated and must be analyzed further.

  3. Monitoring the effects of atmospheric ethylene near polyethylene manufacturing plants with two sensitive plant species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tonneijck, A.E.G.; Berge, ten W.F.; Jansen, B.P.

    2003-01-01

    Data of a multi-year (1977-1983) biomonitoring programme with marigold and petunia around polyethylene manufacturing plants was analysed to assess plant responses to atmospheric ethylene and to determine the area at risk for the phytotoxic effects of this pollutant. In both species, flower formation

  4. Species distribution models of two critically endangered deep-sea octocorals reveal fishing impacts on vulnerable marine ecosystems in central Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauria, V; Garofalo, G; Fiorentino, F; Massi, D; Milisenda, G; Piraino, S; Russo, T; Gristina, M

    2017-08-14

    Deep-sea coral assemblages are key components of marine ecosystems that generate habitats for fish and invertebrate communities and act as marine biodiversity hot spots. Because of their life history traits, deep-sea corals are highly vulnerable to human impacts such as fishing. They are an indicator of vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs), therefore their conservation is essential to preserve marine biodiversity. In the Mediterranean Sea deep-sea coral habitats are associated with commercially important crustaceans, consequently their abundance has dramatically declined due to the effects of trawling. Marine spatial planning is required to ensure that the conservation of these habitats is achieved. Species distribution models were used to investigate the distribution of two critically endangered octocorals (Funiculina quadrangularis and Isidella elongata) in the central Mediterranean as a function of environmental and fisheries variables. Results show that both species exhibit species-specific habitat preferences and spatial patterns in response to environmental variables, but the impact of trawling on their distribution differed. In particular F. quadrangularis can overlap with fishing activities, whereas I. elongata occurs exclusively where fishing is low or absent. This study represents the first attempt to identify key areas for the protection of soft and compact mud VMEs in the central Mediterranean Sea.

  5. Taxonomic status of Ligophorus mugilinus (Hargis, 1955) (Monogenea: Ancyrocephalidae), with a description of a new species of Ligophorus from Mugil cephalus (Teleostei: Mugilidae) in the Mediterranean Basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarabeev, Volodimir Leonidovich; Balbuena, Juan Antonio; Euzet, Louis

    2005-12-01

    Ligophorus mugilinus was originally described on the flathead mullet Mugil cephalus from the Gulf of Mexico. The species was later recorded in the Mediterranean Sea on the flathead mullet and in the Caribbean Sea on the white mullet Mugil curema. After examination of the type material and additional specimens of Ligophorus from the northwest Atlantic coast, the Caribbean Sea, and the Mediterranean and Black Sea, we observed morphological differences concerning haptoral and male copulatory structures between L. mugilinus from the northwest Atlantic and the forms from the Mediterranean and Black Seas. Accordingly, the latter specimens are described as a new species, Ligophorus mediterraneus n. sp. A redescription of L. mugilinus, including new morphometric data, is also given. The morphometric analysis of the Caribbean specimens suggested that their ascription to L. mugilinus is uncertain, but additional material is needed to clarify their specific identity. The results of this study, together with previous zoogeographical evidence, indicate that flathead mullets from different seas harbor different species complexes of Ligophorus. Given the coastal habits of the host, it is suggested that open oceans could act as geographical barriers favoring speciation within disjointed flathead mullet populations.

  6. Effect of Severe Winter Cold on the Photosynthetic Potentials of Three Co-occurring Evergreen Woody Species in a Mediterranean Forest, Catalonia (Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sperlich, Dominik; Gracia, Carlos; Peñuelas, Josep; Sabaté, Santi

    2013-04-01

    Evergreen tree species in the Mediterranean region have to cope with a wide range of environmental stress conditions from summer drought to winter cold. The winter period can lead to photoinhibition due to a combination of high solar irradiances and chilling temperatures which can reduce the light saturation point. However, Mediterranean winter mildness can lead periodically to favourable environmental conditions above the threshold for positive carbon balance benefitting evergreen woody species in contrast to winter deciduous species. The advantage of being able to photosynthesis all year round with a significant fraction in the winter month is compensating for the lower photosynthetic potentials during spring and summer in comparison to deciduous species. In this work, we investigated the physiological behaviour of three evergreen tree species (Quercus ilex, Pinus halepensis, Arbutus undeo) co-occurring in a natural and mature Mediterranean forest after a period of mild winter conditions and their response to a sudden period of intense cold weather. Therefore, we examined in each period the photosynthetic potentials by estimating the maximum carboxylation rate (Vcmax) and the maximum electron transport rate (Jmax) through gas exchange measurements. The results indicate that all species exhibited extraordinary high photosynthetic potentials during the first period of measurement as a response to the mild conditions. However, the sudden cold period affected negatively the photosynthetic potentials of Quercus ilex and A. unedo with reduction ranging between 37 to 45 %, whereas they were observed to be only insignificantly reduced in Pinus halepensis. Our results can be explained by previous classifications into photoinhibition-avoiding (P. halpensis) and photoinhibition-tolerant (Q. ilex, A. undeo) species on the basis of their susceptibility to dynamic photoinhibition (Martinez Ferri 2000). Photoinhibition tolerant species are characterised with a more dynamic

  7. Mercury uptake and accumulation by four species of aquatic plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skinner, Kathleen; Wright, Nicole; Porter-Goff, Emily

    2007-01-01

    The effectiveness of four aquatic plants including water hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes), water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes), zebra rush (Scirpus tabernaemontani) and taro (Colocasia esculenta) were evaluated for their capabilities in removing mercury from water. The plants were exposed to concentrations of 0 mg/L, 0.5 mg/L or 2 mg/L of mercury for 30 days. Assays were conducted using both Microtox (water) and cold vapor Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) (roots and water). The Microtox results indicated that the mercury induced acute toxicity had been removed from the water. AAS confirmed an increase of mercury within the plant root tissue and a corresponding decrease of mercury in the water. All species of plants appeared to reduce mercury concentrations in the water via root uptake and accumulation. Water lettuce and water hyacinth appeared to be the most effective, followed by taro and zebra rush, respectively.

  8. Four new species of Emericella from the Mediterranean region of Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zalar, Polona; Frisvad, Jens Christian; Gunde-Cimerman, Nina

    2008-01-01

    Four new species of Emericella, E. discophora, E. E. olivicola. and E. stella-maris, are proposed. Their new taxonomic status was determined applying a polyphasic taxonomic approach using phenotypic (morphology and extrolite profiles) and molecular (sequences of ITS, P-tubulin and calmodulin genes......-maris produced arugosin E, shamixanthone arid the yet unelucidated metabolites glia 1-3; E. filifera produced shatnixanthone and varitriols; E. discophora. produced sterigmatocystin and versicolorins; E. ohvicola produced numerous extrolites such as arugosin E, siderin, shamixanthone, sterigmatocystin, terrein...

  9. Habitat Fragmentation can Modulate Drought Effects on the Plant-soil-microbial System in Mediterranean Holm Oak (Quercus ilex) Forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores-Rentería, Dulce; Curiel Yuste, Jorge; Rincón, Ana; Brearley, Francis Q; García-Gil, Juan Carlos; Valladares, Fernando

    2015-05-01

    Ecological transformations derived from habitat fragmentation have led to increased threats to above-ground biodiversity. However, the impacts of forest fragmentation on soils and their microbial communities are not well understood. We examined the effects of contrasting fragment sizes on the structure and functioning of soil microbial communities from holm oak forest patches in two bioclimatically different regions of Spain. We used a microcosm approach to simulate the annual summer drought cycle and first autumn rainfall (rewetting), evaluating the functional response of a plant-soil-microbial system. Forest fragment size had a significant effect on physicochemical characteristics and microbial functioning of soils, although the diversity and structure of microbial communities were not affected. The response of our plant-soil-microbial systems to drought was strongly modulated by the bioclimatic conditions and the fragment size from where the soils were obtained. Decreasing fragment size modulated the effects of drought by improving local environmental conditions with higher water and nutrient availability. However, this modulation was stronger for plant-soil-microbial systems built with soils from the northern region (colder and wetter) than for those built with soils from the southern region (warmer and drier) suggesting that the responsiveness of the soil-plant-microbial system to habitat fragmentation was strongly dependent on both the physicochemical characteristics of soils and the historical adaptation of soil microbial communities to specific bioclimatic conditions. This interaction challenges our understanding of future global change scenarios in Mediterranean ecosystems involving drier conditions and increased frequency of forest fragmentation.

  10. Alien species in the Mediterranean Sea by 2012. A contribution to the application of European Union’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD. Part 2. Introduction trends and pathways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Α. ZENETOS

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available More than 60 marine non-indigenous species (NIS have been removed from previous lists and 84 species have been added, bringing the total to 986 alien species in the Mediterranean [775 in the eastern Mediterranean (EMED, 249 in the central Mediterranean (CMED, 190 in the Adriatic Sea (ADRIA and 308 in the western Mediterranean (WMED]. There were 48 new entries since 2011 which can be interpreted as approximately one new entry every two weeks. The number of alien species continues to increase, by 2-3 species per year for macrophytes, molluscs and polychaetes, 3-4 species per year for crustaceans, and 6 species per year for fish. The dominant group among alien species is molluscs (with 215 species, followed by crustaceans (159 and polychaetes (132. Macrophytes are the leading group of NIS in the ADRIA and the WMED, reaching 26-30% of all aliens, whereas in the EMED they barely constitute 10% of the introductions. In the EMED, molluscs are the most species-rich group, followed by crustaceans, fish and polychaetes. More than half (54% of the marine alien species in the Mediterranean were probably introduced by corridors (mainly Suez. Shipping is blamed directly for the introduction of only 12 species, whereas it is assumed to be the most likely pathway of introduction (via ballasts or fouling of another 300 species. For approximately 100 species shipping is a probable pathway along with the Suez Canal and/or aquaculture. Approximately 20 species have been introduced with certainty via aquaculture, while >50 species (mostly macroalgae, occurring in the vicinity of oyster farms, are assumed to be introduced accidentally as contaminants of imported species. A total of 18 species are assumed to have been introduced by the aquarium trade. Lessepsian species decline westwards, while the reverse pattern is evident for ship-mediated species and for those introduced with aquaculture. There is an increasing trend in new introductions via the Suez Canal and via

  11. INAA of microelements in plant species from the Danube floodplain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pantelica, A; Salagean, M; Scarlat, A [Department of Applie Physics, Horia Hulubei National Institute for Physics and Nuclear Engineering, PO Box MG-6, RO-76900 Magurele-Bucharest (Romania); Iordache, V [Department of Ecology, University of Bucharest, Bucharest (Romania)

    1999-07-01

    A research was developed and implemented in the Danube floodplain, as a part of a program dealing with biogeochemistry of metals, to assess the possibility of using the ubiquitous plant species in the soil pollution monitoring activity. The Danube River is heavily polluted by the input from a catchment, which includes 12 countries. Even if the concentrations in the Danube water and sediments reach acute values only in some hot spots, due to the dilution effect, they could have negative consequences by phenomena of bioaccumulation and bioconcentration. The content of Al, Ag, As, Au, Ba, Br, Ca, Cl, Ce, Co, Cr, Cs, Cu, Eu, Fe, Hg, Hf, K, La, Mg, Mn, Na, Ni, Rb, Sc, Se, Sm, Sr, Th, V and Zn in Bidens tripartita, Rubus caesius, Stachys palustris and Xanthium strumarium ubiquitous plant species, collected from two areas located on different regularly flooded islands of the Danube river was investigated by instrumental neutron activation analysis method at WWR-S reactor in Bucharest. From the statistical point of view, three groups of elements present highly correlated concentrations in the investigated plant samples (p(0.05))//. The first one includes Al, As, Ce, Cs, Eu, Fe, Hf, La, Sc, Sm, Th and V, the second one Au, Ca, Cu and Sr, and the third one Br, Cr, Na and Mn. For the elements of the first group, the elemental concentrations are found to be in similar ratios in the species investigated, namely: Xanthium s. < Rubus c. < Bidens t. < Stachys p. as well as for the third group: Bidens t. < Rubus c. < Stachys p. < Xanthium s, suggesting that physiological features of the species could be responsible for the observed patterns of distribution. The soil and dominating plant species were analysed for Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, Zn and Zr by the X-ray fluorescence method at the Institute for Geological Explorations, Bucharest. The elemental content in soil is reflected in the analysed plants for Cr, Cu, Fe, Ni, Pb and Zn, but not for Mn. This could be explained by the redox

  12. INAA of microelements in plant species from the Danube floodplain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pantelica, A.; Salagean, M.; Scarlat, A.; Iordache, V.

    1999-01-01

    A research was developed and implemented in the Danube floodplain, as a part of a program dealing with biogeochemistry of metals, to assess the possibility of using the ubiquitous plant species in the soil pollution monitoring activity. The Danube River is heavily polluted by the input from a catchment, which includes 12 countries. Even if the concentrations in the Danube water and sediments reach acute values only in some hot spots, due to the dilution effect, they could have negative consequences by phenomena of bioaccumulation and bioconcentration. The content of Al, Ag, As, Au, Ba, Br, Ca, Cl, Ce, Co, Cr, Cs, Cu, Eu, Fe, Hg, Hf, K, La, Mg, Mn, Na, Ni, Rb, Sc, Se, Sm, Sr, Th, V and Zn in Bidens tripartita, Rubus caesius, Stachys palustris and Xanthium strumarium ubiquitous plant species, collected from two areas located on different regularly flooded islands of the Danube river was investigated by instrumental neutron activation analysis method at WWR-S reactor in Bucharest. From the statistical point of view, three groups of elements present highly correlated concentrations in the investigated plant samples (p(0.05))//. The first one includes Al, As, Ce, Cs, Eu, Fe, Hf, La, Sc, Sm, Th and V, the second one Au, Ca, Cu and Sr, and the third one Br, Cr, Na and Mn. For the elements of the first group, the elemental concentrations are found to be in similar ratios in the species investigated, namely: Xanthium s. < Rubus c. < Bidens t. < Stachys p. as well as for the third group: Bidens t. < Rubus c. < Stachys p. < Xanthium s, suggesting that physiological features of the species could be responsible for the observed patterns of distribution. The soil and dominating plant species were analysed for Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, Zn and Zr by the X-ray fluorescence method at the Institute for Geological Explorations, Bucharest. The elemental content in soil is reflected in the analysed plants for Cr, Cu, Fe, Ni, Pb and Zn, but not for Mn. This could be explained by the redox

  13. Life-history trait of the Mediterranean keystone species Patella rustica: growth and microbial bioerosion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. PRUSINA

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The age and shell growth patterns in populations of Patella rustica of the Adriatic Sea were determined by analyzing the inner growth lines visible in shell sections. Marginal increment analysis showed annual periodicity with annual growth line being deposited in May. The growth analysis of 120 individual shells showed that 90.8 % of collected individuals were less than 4 years of age and only two individuals (1.6 % were older than 6 years. Population structure was described and the generalized von Bertalanffy growth parameters were calculated: asymptotic length (L∞ was 38.22 mm and the growth constant (K was 0.30 year-1. Growth performance index value of P. rustica (Ø’ was 2.64 and is among the lowest ranges reported for limpet species. Patella rustica shells were degraded to different degrees by microbial bioerosion. Microboring organisms identified were pseudofilamentous and filamentous cyanobacteria Hormathonema paulocellulare, Hyella caespitosa, Mastigocoleus testarum and Leptolyngbya sp. The overall intensity of infestation was relatively low, but increased in severity with shell length. The damage was most often restricted to the oldest parts of the shell, i.e. apex of the shell, posing difficulties in determining the exact position of the first growth line. The present study is first to introduce the use of inner growth lines in Patella rustica shell sections as a reliable method for age determination and it provides the first insight into the growth patterns of this keystone species while taking the interference of microbial shell bioerosion in consideration.

  14. CE of phytosiderophores and related metal species in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xuan, Yue; Scheuermann, Enrico B; Meda, Anderson R; Jacob, Peter; von Wirén, Nicolaus; Weber, Günther

    2007-10-01

    Phytosiderophores (PS) and the closely related substance nicotianamine (NA) are key substances in metal uptake into graminaceous plants. Here, the CE separation of these substances and related metal species is demonstrated. In particular, the three PS 2'-deoxymugineic acid (DMA), mugineic acid (MA), and 3-epi-hydroxymugineic acid (epi-HMA), and NA, are separated using MES/Tris buffer at pH 7.3. Moreover, three Fe(III) species of the different PS are separated without any stability problems, which are often present in chromatographic analyses. Also divalent metal species of Cu, Ni, and Zn with the ligands DMA and NA are separated with the same method. By using a special, zwitterionic CE capillary, even the separation of two isomeric Fe(III) chelates with the ligand ethylenediamine-N,N'-bis(o-hydroxyphenyl)acetic acid (EDDHA) is possible (i.e., meso-Fe(III)-EDDHA and rac-Fe(III)-EDDHA), and for fast separations of NA and respective divalent and trivalent metal species, a polymer CE microchip with suppressed EOF is described. The proposed CE method is applicable to real plant samples, and enables to detect changes of metal species (Cu-DMA, Ni-NA), which are directly correlated to biological processes.

  15. Efficient distinction of invasive aquatic plant species from non-invasive related species using DNA barcoding

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ghahramanzadeh, R.; Esselink, G.; Kodde, L.P.; Duistermaat, H.; Valkenburg, van J.L.C.H.; Marashi, S.H.; Smulders, M.J.M.; Wiel, van de C.C.M.

    2013-01-01

    Biological invasions are regarded as threats to global biodiversity. Among invasive aliens, a number of plant species belonging to the genera Myriophyllum, Ludwigia and Cabomba, and to the Hydrocharitaceae family pose a particular ecological threat to water bodies. Therefore, one would try to

  16. New evidence for electrotropism in some plant species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorgolewski, S.; Rozej, B.

    The ever-present global Atmospheric Electrical F ield (AEF) is used by many plant species. There are many natural habitats with electrotropic plants and habitats with no AEF. The plants growing there are not electrotropic, like the plants growing under the canopies of the trees or the Arecibo radio telescope. Examples are given of different plants which belong to one or the other class, and the criteria how to distinguish them. In addition to natural habitat observations, laboratory experiments were run in search of the sensitivity to electrotropic effect in different electric field intensities and directions. It was established that in very strong fields (of the order of 1 MV/m) all plants respond immediately to the field. This type of reaction is due to the Coulomb forces, but electrotropism depends on electric field interaction with ions in plant tissues. We use a "reference field" (130 V/m) and stronger fields in the several kV/m range which enhance plant growth rate and size similar to plant growth hormones. Surprising effects were also observed with reversed field polarity. In conclusion electrotropic pl nts deprived of the electrical field do not develop asa expected, as can be seen in BIOSPHERE 2. It was a sad example of what happens when one forgets to provide the plants with this vital natural environmental factor. Electrical fields of different intensity and direction are cheap and easy to generate. More plants were investigated in order to verify their response to electrical fields. Effect of several kV/m horizontal fields, was compared with the vertical 130 V/m field (ued as a reference) and it was shown that electrotropic sensitivity can be found easily. Surprisingly even the nonelectrotropic plants, whose initial growth rate does not depend on the field strength, when they develop leaves begin to lean towards the positive electrode, and become elect rotropic. Ground based fitotron experiments enable us to select cheaply plants which shall be suitable

  17. Man-induced hydrological changes, metazooplankton communities and invasive species in the Berre Lagoon (Mediterranean Sea, France)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Delpy, Floriane; Pagano, Marc; Blanchot, Jean; Carlotti, François; Thibault-Botha, Delphine

    2012-01-01

    The Berre Lagoon has been under strong anthropogenic pressure since the early 1950s. The opening of the hydroelectric EDF power plant in 1966 led to large salinity drops. The zooplankton community was mainly composed of two common brackish species: Acartia tonsa and Brachionus plicatilis. Since 2006, European litigation has strongly constrained the input of freshwater, maintaining the salinity above 15. A study was performed between 2008 and 2010 to evaluate how these modifications have impacted the zooplankton community. Our results show that the community is more diverse and contains several coastal marine species (i.e., Centropages typicus, Paracalanus parvus and Acartia clausi). A. tonsa is still present but is less abundant, whereas B. plicatilis has completely disappeared. Strong predatory marine species, such as chaetognaths, the large conspicuous autochtonous jellyfish Aurelia aurita and the invasive ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi, are now very common as either seasonal or permanent features of the lagoon.

  18. [Contribution to the study of Microphallidae Travassos 1920 (trematoda). XXXII. Microphallus breviatus n. sp., a species with an abbreviated evolutive cycle from a Mediterranean pond in the Languedoc].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deblock, S; Maillard, C

    1975-01-01

    Contribution to the study of Microphallidae Travassos, 1920 (Trematoda). XXXII. - Microphallus breviatus n. sp., a short life-cycle species of a mediterranean pond of Languedoc. The whole larval life-cycle of M. breviatus takes place in one host, Hydrobia ventrosa (Montagu), Mollusc Hydrobiidae. Hepato-pancreatic sporocysts produce morphologically altered xiphidio-cercariae which become encysted metacercariae in the sporocyts themselves. This species is defined in the genus by the anatomic characteristics of its cercariae and metacercariae, allied with its uncommon biology including two hosts only.

  19. Sesquiterpene lactones and monoterpene glucosides from plant species Picris echoides

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MILUTIN STEFANOVIC

    2000-11-01

    Full Text Available Investigation of the constituents of the aerial parts of domestic plant species Picris echoides afforded the sesquiterpene lactones, i.e., guaianolides jacquilenin (1, 11-epi-jacquilenin (2, achillin (3 and eudesmanolide telekin (4. The chemical indentification of the two monoterpene glucosides (–-cis-chrysanthenol-b-D-glucopyranoside (5 and its 6’-acetate 6 is also repoted. The guaianolide achillin (3 and the two monoterpene glucosides 5 and 6 were isolated for the first time from this plant species. Isolation was achieved by column chromatography and the structures were established mainly by the interpretation of their physical and spectral data, which were in agreement with those in the literature.

  20. Effect of silver nanoparticles on Mediterranean sea urchin embryonal development is species specific and depends on moment of first exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burić, Petra; Jakšić, Željko; Štajner, Lara; Dutour Sikirić, Maja; Jurašin, Darija; Cascio, Claudia; Calzolai, Luigi; Lyons, Daniel Mark

    2015-10-01

    With the ever growing use of nanoparticles in a broad range of industrial and consumer applications there is increasing likelihood that such nanoparticles will enter the aquatic environment and be transported through freshwater systems, eventually reaching estuarine or marine waters. Due to silver's known antimicrobial properties and widespread use of silver nanoparticles (AgNP), their environmental fate and impact is therefore of particular concern. In this context we have investigated the species-specific effects of low concentrations of 60 nm AgNP on embryonal development in Mediterranean sea urchins Arbacia lixula, Paracentrotus lividus and Sphaerechinus granularis. The sensitivity of urchin embryos was tested by exposing embryos to nanoparticle concentrations in the 1-100 μg L(-1) range, with times of exposure varying from 30 min to 24 h (1 h-48 h for S. granularis) post-fertilisation which corresponded with fertilized egg, 4 cell, blastula and gastrula development phases. The most sensitive species to AgNP was A. lixula with significant modulation of embryonal development at the lowest AgNP concentrations of 1-10 μg L(-1) with high numbers of malformed embryos or arrested development. The greatest impact on development was noted for those embryos first exposed to nanoparticles at 6 and 24 h post fertilisation. For P. lividus, similar effects were noted at higher concentrations of 50 μg L(-1) and 100 μg L(-1) for all times of first exposure. The S. granularis embryos indicated a moderate AgNP impact, and significant developmental abnormalities were recorded in the concentration range of 10-50 μg L(-1). As later post-fertilisation exposure times to AgNP caused greater developmental changes in spite of a shorter total exposure time led us to postulate on additional mechanisms of AgNP toxicity. The results herein indicate that toxic effects of AgNP are species-specific. The moment at which embryos first encounter AgNP is also shown to be

  1. Relations between species rarity, vulnerability, and range contraction for a beetle group in a densely populated region in the Mediterranean biodiversity hotspot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fattorini, Simone

    2014-02-01

    Rarity is often considered an indication of species extinction risk, and it is frequently used to obtain measures of species vulnerability. However, there is no strong evidence of a correlation between species vulnerability and threat. Moreover, there is no consensus about how rarity should be measured. I used a multidimensional characterization of species rarity to calculate a vulnerability index for tenebrionid beetles inhabiting an Italian region in the Mediterranean biodiversity hotspot. I used different metrics to examine 3 dimensions of rarity: species range, ecology, and population. Species with rarity values below the median were scored as rare for each dimension. I combined rarity scores into a vulnerability index. I then correlated species vulnerability with range trends (expanded vs. contracted). Different measures of the same rarity dimension were strongly correlated and produced similar vulnerability scores. This result indicates rarity-based vulnerability estimates are slightly affected by the way a certain rarity dimension is measured. Vulnerability was correlated with range trends; species with the highest vulnerability had the strongest range contraction. However, a large number of common species also underwent range contraction in the last 50 years, and there was no clear relation between range contraction and their ecology. This indicates that in general human-induced environmental changes affected species irrespective of their assumed vulnerability and that focusing only on rare species may severely bias perceptions of the extent of species decline. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  2. Hydroperiod regime controls the organization of plant species in wetlands

    OpenAIRE

    Foti, R.; del Jesus, M.; Rinaldo, A.; Rodriguez-Iturbe, I.

    2012-01-01

    With urban, agricultural, and industrial needs growing throughout the past decades, wetland ecosystems have experienced profound changes. Most critically, the biodiversity of wetlands is intimately linked to its hydrologic dynamics, which in turn are being drastically altered by ongoing climate changes. Hydroperiod regimes, e.g., percentage of time a site is inundated, exert critical control in the creation of niches for different plant species in wetlands. However, the spatial signatures of ...

  3. The Phytotoxicity of Designated Pollutants on Plant Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-03-01

    Only seeds collected from those flowers exposed during pollin 20. DISTRIBUTION/AVAILABILITY OF ABSTRACT 21. ABSTRACT SECURITY CLASSIFICATION...acid exposure during pollination lowered the germination rate of mature seeds. Plant injury was chiefly a function of acid concentration, but amount...TESTS Species Name Variety Barley Hordeum vulgare L. CM67 Bean Phaseolus vulgaris L. Pinto Citrus Citrus limon (L.) Lupe Lemon Lettuce Lactuca sativa

  4. Floristic characteristics of alien invasive seed plant species in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Congyan; Liu, Jun; Xiao, Hongguang; Zhou, Jiawei; DU, Daolin

    2016-01-01

    This study aims to determine the floristic characteristics of alien invasive seed plant species (AISPS) in China. There are a total of five hundred and thirteen AISPS, belonging to seventy families and two hundred and eighty-three genera. Seventy families were classified into nine areal types at the family level, and "Cosmopolitan" and "Pantropic" are the two main types. Two hundred and eighty-three genera were classified into twelve areal types at the genus level, and "Pantropic", "Trop. Asia & Amer. disjuncted", and "Cosmopolitan" are the three main types. These results reveal a certain degree of diversity among AISPS in China. The floristic characteristics at the family level exhibit strong pantropic characteristics. Two possible reasons for this are as follows. Firstly, southeastern China is heavily invaded by alien invasive plant species and this region has a mild climate. Secondly, southeastern China is more disturbed by human activities than other regions in China. The floristic characteristics at the genus level display strong pantropic but with abundant temperate characteristics. This may be due to that China across five climatic zones and the ecosystems in which the most alien invasive plant species occur have the same or similar climate with their natural habitat.

  5. Biodegradation of 2,4-dinitrotoluene by different plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podlipná, Radka; Pospíšilová, Blanka; Vaněk, Tomáš

    2015-02-01

    Over the past century, rapid growth of population, mining and industrialization significantly contributed to extensive soil, air and water contamination. The 2,4-dinitrotoluene (2,4-DNT), used mostly as explosive, belongs to the hazardous xenobiotics. Soils and waters contaminated with 2,4-DNT may be cleaned by phytoremediation using suitable plant species. The ability of crop plants (hemp, flax, sunflower and mustard) to germinate and grow on soils contaminated with 2,4-DNT was compared. Stimulation of their growth was found at 0.252 mg/g 2,4-DNT. The lethal concentration for the growth for these species was around 1 mg/g. In hydropony, the above mentioned species were able to survive 200 mg/l 2,4-DNT, the concentration close to maximal solubility of 2,4-DNT in water. Metabolism of 2,4-DNT was tested using suspension culture of soapwort and reed. The degradation products 2-aminonitrotoluene and 4-aminonitrotoluene were found both in the medium and in the acetone extract of plant cells. The test showed that the toxicity of these metabolites was higher than the toxicity of the parent compound, but 2,4-diaminotoluene, the product of next reduction step, was less toxic in the concentration range tested (0-200 mg/l). Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  6. Pathogenicity of two recent Western Mediterranean West Nile virus isolates in a wild bird species indigenous to Southern Europe: the red-legged partridge

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sotelo Elena

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract West Nile virus (WNV is an emerging zoonotic pathogen whose geographic spread and incidence in humans, horses and birds has increased significantly in recent years. WNV has long been considered a mild pathogen causing self-limiting outbreaks. This notion has changed as WNV is causing large epidemics with a high impact on human and animal health. This has been particularly noteworthy since its introduction into North America in 1999. There, native bird species have been shown to be highly susceptible to WNV infection and disease with high mortalities. For this reason, the effect of WNV infection in North American bird species has been thoroughly studied by means of experimental inoculations in controlled trials. To a lesser extent, European wild birds have been shown to be affected clinically by WNV infection. Yet experimental studies on European wild bird species are lacking. The red-legged partridge (Alectoris rufa is a gallinaceous bird indigenous to the Iberian Peninsula, widely distributed in South Western Europe. It plays a key role in the Mediterranean ecosystem and constitutes an economically important game species. As such it is raised intensively in outdoor facilities. In this work, red-legged partridges were experimentally infected with two recent WNV isolates from the Western Mediterranean area: Morocco/2003 and Spain/2007. All inoculated birds became viremic and showed clinical disease, with mortality rates of 70% and 30%, respectively. These results show that Western Mediterranean WNV variants can be pathogenic for some European bird species, such as the red-legged partridge.

  7. Pseudo-nitzschia species on the Catalan coast: characterization and contribution to the current knowledge of the distribution of this genus in the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonia Quijano-Scheggia

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Proliferations of the genus Pseudo-nitzschia recur along the Catalan coast (NW Mediterranean throughout the year. The establishment of 58 clonal cultures facilitated morphological studies with scanning electron microscopy (SEM and ITS 5.8S rDNA sequence characterization. Moreover, strains of each species were examined with respect to sexual compatibility and toxicity. The results of the morphological and phylogenetic studies confirmed nine species of the genus Pseudo-nitzschia: P. brasiliana, P. calliantha, P. delicatissima clade A/del 2, P. arenysensis, P. fraudulenta, P. galaxiae, P. linea, P. multistriata and P. pungens clade I. Moreover, two Pseudo-nitzschia species, P. caciantha and P. cf mannii, could only be identified following SEM analysis of their morphology. None of the cultured strains of Pseudo-nitzschia analyzed produced domoic acid in amounts above the limit of detection. The current distributions of the Pseudo-nitzschia species in the Mediterranean Sea were plotted on maps, which led to the following observations: i diversity within this genus is much greater than previously considered, ii some species have a broad distribution (e.g. P. calliantha, iii whereas the distribution of others is narrowly restricted (e.g. P. pungens clade I. Moreover, this study reports the first detection of P. linea in the Mediterranean Sea and is the first description of P. galaxiae and P. cf mannii along the Catalan coast. Morphological studies coupled with molecular biological characterization, mating tests and biogeographic distribution analyses provide a critical theoretical basis for testing and/or implementing the current phylogenetic framework in the genus Pseudo-nitzschia.

  8. A new genus and a new species in the sea cucumber subfamily Colochirinae (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea: Dendrochirotida: Cucumariidae) in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mjobo, Sifiso; Thandar, Ahmed S

    2016-11-09

    A new genus Hemiocnus is here erected to accommodate the Mediterranean dendrochirotid sea cucumber Cladodactyla syracusana Grube, currently classified, with some doubt, in the cucumariid genus Pseudocnella. At the same time a new cucumariid species, Hemiocnus rubrobrunneus, is described from some Tunisian material, misidentified as Pseudocnella syracusana (Grube), received from the United States National Museum. The new genus appears most closely related to Pseudocnella than to any other genus within the Colochirinae. Although its body wall ossicles resemble those of Pseudocnella spp. it differs in that the two ventral-most tentacles are reduced and in the presence of rosettes in the tentacles. P. syracusana also cannot be classified in Ocnus because of the presence of multi-layered, fir-cone shaped plates in the body wall, often with one end denticulate; such ossicles are lacking in the type species of the latter genus. The new species, Hemiocnus rubrobrunneus, on the other hand, shows some resemblance to H. syracusanus in its characteristic buttons and incomplete baskets, differing in its softer body wall, lack of fir-cone-shaped plates and in the presence of rosettes and complete baskets in the body wall. There are also some resemblances of the new species to the Mediterranean species of Ocnus viz. O. brunneus, O. planci and O. lacteus, but the soft nature of the body wall, shallow quadrilocular instead of deep trilocular baskets, and the presence of large knobbed plates in the anal region precludes its inclusion in this genus.

  9. Are litter decomposition and fire linked through plant species traits?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornelissen, Johannes H C; Grootemaat, Saskia; Verheijen, Lieneke M; Cornwell, William K; van Bodegom, Peter M; van der Wal, René; Aerts, Rien

    2017-11-01

    Contents 653 I. 654 II. 657 III. 659 IV. 661 V. 662 VI. 663 VII. 665 665 References 665 SUMMARY: Biological decomposition and wildfire are connected carbon release pathways for dead plant material: slower litter decomposition leads to fuel accumulation. Are decomposition and surface fires also connected through plant community composition, via the species' traits? Our central concept involves two axes of trait variation related to decomposition and fire. The 'plant economics spectrum' (PES) links biochemistry traits to the litter decomposability of different fine organs. The 'size and shape spectrum' (SSS) includes litter particle size and shape and their consequent effect on fuel bed structure, ventilation and flammability. Our literature synthesis revealed that PES-driven decomposability is largely decoupled from predominantly SSS-driven surface litter flammability across species; this finding needs empirical testing in various environmental settings. Under certain conditions, carbon release will be dominated by decomposition, while under other conditions litter fuel will accumulate and fire may dominate carbon release. Ecosystem-level feedbacks between decomposition and fire, for example via litter amounts, litter decomposition stage, community-level biotic interactions and altered environment, will influence the trait-driven effects on decomposition and fire. Yet, our conceptual framework, explicitly comparing the effects of two plant trait spectra on litter decomposition vs fire, provides a promising new research direction for better understanding and predicting Earth surface carbon dynamics. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  10. A new subgenus of the weevil genus Otiorhynchus Germar, 1822 (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Entiminae for a new species from Mediterranean Turkey associated with the carob tree, Ceratonia siliqua L. (Fabaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Genrik E. Davidian

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available A new species Otiorhynchus ceratoniae Davidian, Gültekin & Korotyaev sp. nov. is described from eastern Mediterranean Turkey. A new monotypic subgenus Arnoldinus Davidian, Gültekin & Korotyaev subgen. nov. is erected for this species. The new species was found only under Ceratonia siliqua L. trees with lower leaves damaged by adults.

  11. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Alien Plant Species Detection and Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dvořák, P.; Müllerová, J.; Bartaloš, T.; Brůna, J.

    2015-08-01

    Invasive species spread rapidly and their eradication is difficult. New methods enabling fast and efficient monitoring are urgently needed for their successful control. Remote sensing can improve early detection of invading plants and make their management more efficient and less expensive. In an ongoing project in the Czech Republic, we aim at developing innovative methods of mapping invasive plant species (semi-automatic detection algorithms) by using purposely designed unmanned aircraft (UAV). We examine possibilities for detection of two tree and two herb invasive species. Our aim is to establish fast, repeatable and efficient computer-assisted method of timely monitoring, reducing the costs of extensive field campaigns. For finding the best detection algorithm we test various classification approaches (object-, pixel-based and hybrid). Thanks to its flexibility and low cost, UAV enables assessing the effect of phenological stage and spatial resolution, and is most suitable for monitoring the efficiency of eradication efforts. However, several challenges exist in UAV application, such as geometrical and radiometric distortions, high amount of data to be processed and legal constrains for the UAV flight missions over urban areas (often highly invaded). The newly proposed UAV approach shall serve invasive species researchers, management practitioners and policy makers.

  12. ANTIFUNGAL POTENTIAL OF PLANT SPECIES FROM BRAZILIAN CAATINGA AGAINST DERMATOPHYTES.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biasi-Garbin, Renata Perugini; Demitto, Fernanda de Oliveira; Amaral, Renata Claro Ribeiro do; Ferreira, Magda Rhayanny Assunção; Soares, Luiz Alberto Lira; Svidzinski, Terezinha Inez Estivalet; Baeza, Lilian Cristiane; Yamada-Ogatta, Sueli Fumie

    2016-01-01

    Trichophyton rubrum and Trichophyton mentagrophytes complex, or Trichophyton spp. are the main etiologic agents of dermatophytosis, whose treatment is limited by the high cost of antifungal treatments, their various side effects, and the emergence of resistance amongst these species. This study evaluated the in vitro antidermatophytic activity of 23 crude extracts from nine plant species of semiarid vegetation (caatinga) found in Brazil. The extracts were tested at concentrations ranging from 1.95 to 1,000.0 mg/mL by broth microdilution assay against the reference strains T. rubrum ATCC 28189 and T. mentagrophytes ATCC 11481, and 33 clinical isolates of dermatophytes. All plants showed a fungicidal effect against both fungal species, with MIC/MFC values of the active extracts ranging from 15.6 to 250.0 µg/mL. Selected extracts of Eugenia uniflora (AcE), Libidibia ferrea (AE), and Persea americana (AcE) also exhibited a fungicidal effect against all clinical isolates of T. rubrum and T. mentagrophytes complex. This is the first report of the antifungal activity of Schinus terebinthifolius, Piptadenia colubrina, Parapiptadenia rigida, Mimosa ophthalmocentra, and Persea americana against both dermatophyte species.

  13. ANTIFUNGAL POTENTIAL OF PLANT SPECIES FROM BRAZILIAN CAATINGA AGAINST DERMATOPHYTES

    Science.gov (United States)

    BIASI-GARBIN, Renata Perugini; DEMITTO, Fernanda de Oliveira; do AMARAL, Renata Claro Ribeiro; FERREIRA, Magda Rhayanny Assunção; SOARES, Luiz Alberto Lira; SVIDZINSKI, Terezinha Inez Estivalet; BAEZA, Lilian Cristiane; YAMADA-OGATTA, Sueli Fumie

    2016-01-01

    Trichophyton rubrum and Trichophyton mentagrophytes complex, or Trichophyton spp. are the main etiologic agents of dermatophytosis, whose treatment is limited by the high cost of antifungal treatments, their various side effects, and the emergence of resistance amongst these species. This study evaluated the in vitro antidermatophytic activity of 23 crude extracts from nine plant species of semiarid vegetation (caatinga) found in Brazil. The extracts were tested at concentrations ranging from 1.95 to 1,000.0 mg/mL by broth microdilution assay against the reference strains T. rubrum ATCC 28189 and T. mentagrophytesATCC 11481, and 33 clinical isolates of dermatophytes. All plants showed a fungicidal effect against both fungal species, with MIC/MFC values of the active extracts ranging from 15.6 to 250.0 µg/mL. Selected extracts of Eugenia uniflora (AcE), Libidibia ferrea (AE), and Persea americana (AcE) also exhibited a fungicidal effect against all clinical isolates of T. rubrum and T. mentagrophytes complex. This is the first report of the antifungal activity of Schinus terebinthifolius, Piptadenia colubrina, Parapiptadenia rigida, Mimosa ophthalmocentra, and Persea americana against both dermatophyte species. PMID:27007561

  14. ANTIFUNGAL POTENTIAL OF PLANT SPECIES FROM BRAZILIAN CAATINGA AGAINST DERMATOPHYTES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renata Perugini BIASI-GARBIN

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Trichophyton rubrum and Trichophyton mentagrophytes complex, or Trichophyton spp. are the main etiologic agents of dermatophytosis, whose treatment is limited by the high cost of antifungal treatments, their various side effects, and the emergence of resistance amongst these species. This study evaluated the in vitro antidermatophytic activity of 23 crude extracts from nine plant species of semiarid vegetation (caatinga found in Brazil. The extracts were tested at concentrations ranging from 1.95 to 1,000.0 mg/mL by broth microdilution assay against the reference strains T. rubrum ATCC 28189 and T. mentagrophytesATCC 11481, and 33 clinical isolates of dermatophytes. All plants showed a fungicidal effect against both fungal species, with MIC/MFC values of the active extracts ranging from 15.6 to 250.0 µg/mL. Selected extracts of Eugenia uniflora (AcE, Libidibia ferrea (AE, and Persea americana (AcE also exhibited a fungicidal effect against all clinical isolates of T. rubrum and T. mentagrophytes complex. This is the first report of the antifungal activity of Schinus terebinthifolius, Piptadenia colubrina, Parapiptadenia rigida, Mimosa ophthalmocentra, and Persea americana against both dermatophyte species.

  15. Small mammals as indicators of cryptic plant species diversity in the central Chilean plant endemicity hotspot

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meredith Root-Bernstein

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Indicator species could help to compensate for a shortfall of knowledge about the diversity and distributions of undersampled and cryptic species. This paper provides background knowledge about the ecological interactions that affect and are affected by herbaceous diversity in central Chile, as part of the indicator species selection process. We focus on the ecosystem engineering role of small mammals, primarily the degu Octodon degus. We also consider the interacting effects of shrubs, trees, avian activity, livestock, slope, and soil quality on herbaceous communities in central Chile. We sampled herbaceous diversity on a private landholding characterized by a mosaic of savanna, grassland and matorral, across a range of degu disturbance intensities. We find that the strongest factors affecting endemic herbaceous diversity are density of degu runways, shrub cover and avian activity. Our results show that the degu, a charismatic and easily identifiable and countable species, could be used as an indicator species to aid potential conservation actions such as private protected area uptake. We map areas in central Chile where degus may indicate endemic plant diversity. This area is larger than expected, and suggests that significant areas of endemic plant communities may still exist, and should be identified and protected. Keywords: Cryptic species, Diversity, Endemic, Indicator species, Octodon degus, Plant

  16. The ability to manipulate plant glucosinolates and nutrients explains the better performance of Bemisia tabaci Middle East-Asia Minor 1 than Mediterranean on cabbage plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Hongying; Guo, Litao; Wang, Shaoli; Xie, Wen; Jiao, Xiaoguo; Wu, Qingjun; Zhang, Youjun

    2017-08-01

    The performance of herbivorous insects is greatly affected by host chemical defenses and nutritional quality. Some herbivores have developed the ability to manipulate plant defenses via signaling pathways. It is currently unclear, however, whether a herbivore can benefit by simultaneously reducing plant defenses and enhancing plant nutritional quality. Here, we show that the better performance of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci Middle East-Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1; formerly the "B" biotype) than Mediterranean (MED; formerly the "Q" biotype) on cabbage is associated with a suppression of glucosinolate (GS) content and an increase in amino acid supply in MEAM1-infested cabbage compared with MED-infested cabbage. MEAM1 had higher survival, higher fecundity, higher intrinsic rate of increase ( r m ), a longer life span, and a shorter developmental time than MED on cabbage plants. Amino acid content was higher in cabbage infested with MEAM1 than MED. Although infestation by either biotype decreased the levels of total GS, aliphatic GS, glucoiberin, sinigrin, glucobrassicin, and 4OH-glucobrassicin, and the expression of related genes in cabbage, MED infestation increased the levels of 4ME-glucobrassicin, neoglucobrassicin, progoitrin, and glucoraphanin. The GS content and expression of GS-related genes were higher in cabbage infested with MED than with MEAM1. Our results suggest that MEAM1 performs better than MED on cabbage by manipulating host defenses and nutritional quality.

  17. Interspecific competition of early successional plant species in ex-arable fields as influenced by plant-soil feedback

    OpenAIRE

    Jing, Jingying; Bezemer, T. Martijn; Van der Putten, Wim H.

    2015-01-01

    Plant–soil feedback can affect plants that belong to the same (intraspecific feedback) or different species (interspecific feedback). However, little is known about how intra- and interspecific plant–soil feedbacks influence interspecific plant competition. Here, we used plants and soil from early-stage ex-arable fields to examine how intra- and interspecific plant–soil feedbacks affect the performance of 10 conditioning species and the focal species, Jacobaea vulgaris. Plants were grown alon...

  18. [Psychoactive plant species--actual list of plants prohibited in Poland].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simonienko, Katarzyna; Waszkiewicz, Napoleon; Szulc, Agata

    2013-01-01

    According to the Act on Counteracting Drug Addiction (20-th of March, 2009, Dz. U. Nr 63 poz. 520.) the list of federally prohibited plants in Poland was expanded to include 16 new species. Until that time the only illegal plant materials were cannabis, papaver, coca and most of their products. The actual list of herbal narcotics includes species which significantly influence on the central nervous system work but which are rarely described in the national literature. The plants usually come from distant places, where--among primeval cultures--are used for ritual purposes. In our civilization the plants are usually used experimentally, recreationally or to gain particular narcotic effects. The results of the consumption vary: they can be specific or less typical, imitate other substances intake, mental disorders or different pathological states. The plant active substances can interact with other medicaments, be toxic to internal organs, cause serious threat to health or even death. This article describes the sixteen plant species, which are now prohibited in Poland, their biochemical ingredients and their influence on the human organism.

  19. Beyond the Mediterranean peninsulas: evidence of central European glacial refugia for a temperate forest mammal species, the bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deffontaine, V; Libois, R; Kotlík, P; Sommer, R; Nieberding, C; Paradis, E; Searle, J B; Michaux, J R

    2005-05-01

    This study details the phylogeographic pattern of the bank vole, Clethrionomys glareolus, a European rodent species strongly associated with forest habitat. We used sequences of 1011 base pairs of the mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b gene from 207 bank voles collected in 62 localities spread throughout its distribution area. Our results reveal the presence of three Mediterranean (Spanish, Italian and Balkan) and three continental (western, eastern and 'Ural') phylogroups. The endemic Mediterranean phylogroups did not contribute to the post-glacial recolonization of much of the Palaearctic range of species. Instead, the major part of this region was apparently recolonized by bank voles that survived in glacial refugia in central Europe. Moreover, our phylogeographic analyses also reveal differentiated populations of bank voles in the Ural mountains and elsewhere, which carry the mitochondrial DNA of another related vole species, the ruddy vole (Clethrionomys rutilus). In conclusion, this study demonstrates a complex phylogeographic history for a forest species in Europe which is sufficiently adaptable that, facing climate change, survives in relict southern and northern habitats. The high level of genetic diversity characterizing vole populations from parts of central Europe also highlights the importance of such regions as a source of intraspecific genetic biodiversity.

  20. Invasive plant species: Inventory, mapping, and monitoring - A national strategy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ludke, J. Larry; D'Erchia, Frank; Coffelt, Jan; Hanson, Leanne

    2002-01-01

    America is under siege by invasive species of plants and animals, and by diseases. The current environmental, economic, and health-related costs of invasive species could exceed $138 billion per year-more than all other natural disasters combined. Notorious examples include West Nile virus, Dutch elm disease, chestnut blight, and purple loose- strife in the Northeast; kudzu, Brazilian peppertree, water hyacinth, nutria, and fire ants in the Southeast; zebra mussels, leafy spurge, and Asian long-horn beetles in the Midwest; salt cedar, Russian olive, and Africanized bees in the Southwest; yellow star thistle, European wild oats, oak wilt disease, Asian clams, and white pine blister rust in California; cheatgrass, various knapweeds, and thistles in the Great Basin; whirling disease of salmonids in the Northwest; hundreds of invasive species from microbes to mammals in Hawaii; and the brown tree snake in Guam. Thousands of species from other countries are introduced intentionally or accidentally into the United States each year. Based on past experience, 10-15 percent can be expected to establish free-living populations and about 1 percent can be expected to cause significant impacts to ecosystems, native species, economic productivity, and (or) human health.

  1. Plant Size as Determinant of Species Richness of Herbivores, Natural Enemies and Pollinators across 21 Brassicaceae Species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hella Schlinkert

    Full Text Available Large plants are often more conspicuous and more attractive for associated animals than small plants, e.g. due to their wider range of resources. Therefore, plant size can positively affect species richness of associated animals, as shown for single groups of herbivores, but studies usually consider intraspecific size differences of plants in unstandardised environments. As comprehensive tests of interspecific plant size differences under standardised conditions are missing so far, we investigated effects of plant size on species richness of all associated arthropods using a common garden experiment with 21 Brassicaceae species covering a broad interspecific plant size gradient from 10 to 130 cm height. We recorded plant associated ecto- and endophagous herbivores, their natural enemies and pollinators on and in each aboveground plant organ, i.e. flowers, fruits, leaves and stems. Plant size (measured as height from the ground, the number of different plant organ entities and their biomass were assessed. Increasing plant size led to increased species richness of associated herbivores, natural enemies and pollinating insects. This pattern was found for ectophagous and endophagous herbivores, their natural enemies, as well as for herbivores associated with leaves and fruits and their natural enemies, independently of the additional positive effects of resource availability (i.e. organ biomass or number of entities and, regarding natural enemies, herbivore species richness. We found a lower R2 for pollinators compared to herbivores and natural enemies, probably caused by the high importance of flower characteristics for pollinator species richness besides plant size. Overall, the increase in plant height from 10 to 130 cm led to a 2.7-fold increase in predicted total arthropod species richness. In conclusion, plant size is a comprehensive driver of species richness of the plant associated arthropods, including pollinators, herbivores and their

  2. Effects of 'target' plant species body size on neighbourhood species richness and composition in old-field vegetation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brandon S Schamp

    Full Text Available Competition is generally regarded as an important force in organizing the structure of vegetation, and evidence from several experimental studies of species mixtures suggests that larger mature plant size elicits a competitive advantage. However, these findings are at odds with the fact that large and small plant species generally coexist, and relatively smaller species are more common in virtually all plant communities. Here, we use replicates of ten relatively large old-field plant species to explore the competitive impact of target individual size on their surrounding neighbourhoods compared to nearby neighbourhoods of the same size that are not centred by a large target individual. While target individuals of the largest of our test species, Centaurea jacea L., had a strong impact on neighbouring species, in general, target species size was a weak predictor of the number of other resident species growing within its immediate neighbourhood, as well as the number of resident species that were reproductive. Thus, the presence of a large competitor did not restrict the ability of neighbouring species to reproduce. Lastly, target species size did not have any impact on the species size structure of neighbouring species; i.e. they did not restrict smaller, supposedly poorer competitors, from growing and reproducing close by. Taken together, these results provide no support for a size-advantage in competition restricting local species richness or the ability of small species to coexist and successfully reproduce in the immediate neighbourhood of a large species.

  3. Antioxidant Properties and Flavonoid Profile in Leaves of Calabrian Lavandula multifida L., an Autochthon Plant of Mediterranean Southern Regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panuccio, Maria Rosaria; Fazio, Angela; Papalia, Teresa; Barreca, Davide

    2016-04-01

    Lavandula multifida is a rare short-lived plant characteristic of Mediterranean basin able to survive in hot and arid climatic conditions on poorly evolved limestone soils. In this work, we characterize the enzymatic antioxidant system and phenolic composition, as well as the antioxidant properties of L. multifida fresh leaves. Enzymatic patterns show high level of peroxidases, ascorbate peroxidase, and dehydroascorbate reductase activities, when compared with L. angustifolia. The same trend is evident in total carotenoids, ascorbic acid, and reduced glutathione, and in the total antioxidant capacity assay. Moreover, RP-DAD-HPLC analyses of EtOH extract, obtained from fresh leaves, reveal main components, carvacrol, vitexin, and 7- or 8-glucoside derivatives of hypolaetin, scutellarein, luteolin, isoscutellarein, apigenin, and chrysoeriol. The analysis of this autochthon plant depicted a series of strategies adopted by L. multifida to survive in its stressful natural habitat and richness in health-promoting compounds that can be a resource for the preservation of this variety in dangerous of extinction. © 2016 Verlag Helvetica Chimica Acta AG, Zürich.

  4. Hydroperiod regime controls the organization of plant species in wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foti, Romano; del Jesus, Manuel; Rinaldo, Andrea; Rodriguez-Iturbe, Ignacio

    2012-11-27

    With urban, agricultural, and industrial needs growing throughout the past decades, wetland ecosystems have experienced profound changes. Most critically, the biodiversity of wetlands is intimately linked to its hydrologic dynamics, which in turn are being drastically altered by ongoing climate changes. Hydroperiod regimes, e.g., percentage of time a site is inundated, exert critical control in the creation of niches for different plant species in wetlands. However, the spatial signatures of the organization of plant species in wetlands and how the different drivers interact to yield such signatures are unknown. Focusing on Everglades National Park (ENP) in Florida, we show here that cluster sizes of each species follow a power law probability distribution and that such clusters have well-defined fractal characteristics. Moreover, we individuate and model those signatures via the interplay between global forcings arising from the hydroperiod regime and local controls exerted by neighboring vegetation. With power law clustering often associated with systems near critical transitions, our findings are highly relevant for the management of wetland ecosystems. In addition, our results show that changes in climate and land management have a quantifiable predictable impact on the type of vegetation and its spatial organization in wetlands.

  5. REMOTE DETENTION OF INVASIVE AND OPPORTUNISTIC PLANT SPECIES IN GREAT LAKES COASTAL WETLANDS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Invasive and opportunistic plant species have been associated with wetland disturbance. Increases in the abundance of plant species such as common reed (Phragmites australis) in coastal Great Lakes wetlands are hypothesized to occur with shifts toward drier hydrologic regimes, fr...

  6. Plant-associated bacterial populations on native and invasive plant species: comparisons between 2 freshwater environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olapade, Ola A; Pung, Kayleigh

    2012-06-01

    Plant-microbial interactions have been well studied because of the ecological importance of such relationships in aquatic systems. However, general knowledge regarding the composition of these biofilm communities is still evolving, partly as a result of several confounding factors that are attributable to plant host properties and to hydrodynamic conditions in aquatic environments. In this study, the occurrences of various bacterial phylogenetic taxa on 2 native plants, i.e., mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum L.) and cow parsnip (Heracleum maximum Bartram), and on an invasive species, i.e., garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata (M. Bieb.) Cavara & Grande), were quantitatively examined using nucleic acid staining and fluorescence in situ hybridization. The plants were incubated in triplicates for about a week within the Kalamazoo River and Pierce Cedar Creek as well as in microcosms. The bacterial groups targeted for enumeration are known to globally occur in relatively high abundance and are also ubiquitously distributed in freshwater environments. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analyses of the bacterioplankton assemblages revealed that the majority of bacterial cells that hybridized with the different probes were similar between the 2 sites. In contrast, the plant-associated populations while similar on the 3 plants incubated in Kalamazoo River, their representations were highest on the 2 native plants relative to the invasive species in Pierce Cedar Creek. Overall, our results further suggested that epiphytic bacterial assemblages are probably under the influences of and probably subsequently respond to multiple variables and conditions in aquatic milieus.

  7. Impact of grazing on range plant community components under arid Mediterranean climate in northern Syria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Niane, A.A.

    2013-01-01

    Keywords: Rotational grazing, full protection, continuous grazing species richness,

    species diversity, soil seed bank, Bayesian methods, Salsola vermiculata, seed

    longevity, rangeland management, Syria.

    Rangelands represent 70% of the semi-arid and arid

  8. Changes in leaf Δ13C of herbarium plant species during the last 3 centuries of CO2 increase

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peñuelas, J.; Azcón-Bieto, J.

    1992-01-01

    Δ 13 C were determined for herbarium specimens of 12 C 3 plants (trees, shrubs and herbs) collected during the last 240 years in Catalonia, an area with a Mediterranean climate. Values were 19.91 (S.E. = 0.32, n= 21) for 1750–1760, 19–86 (S.E. = 0.21, n= 49) for 1850–1890 and 19.95 (S.E. = 0.29, n= 25) for 1925–1950, and decreased significantly to 18.87 (S.E. = 0.31, n= 29) for 1982–1988. More irregular temporal changes were found in Δ 13 C of two C 4 species, but they also suggest a decrease in discrimination in recent decades. These results suggest that either carbon assimilation rates have increased or stomatal conductance has decreased, and therefore, that there has been an increase in water use efficiency over the last few decades. (author)

  9. Plant cell walls: New insights from ancient species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Iben; Willats, William George Tycho

    2008-01-01

    Cell walls are a defining feature of plants and have numerous crucial roles in growth and development. They are also the largest source of terrestrial biomass and have many important industrial applications - ranging from bulk products to functional food ingredients. There is considerable interest......¿4)-linked ß-D-Glcp are joined by occasional (1¿3)-linkages. This mixed linkage glucan (MLG) has been the subject of extensive research because of the economic importance of several Poales species including rice, barley and wheat and because MLG has proven health benefits. The recent discovery of MLG...

  10. 45 CFR 670.25 - Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... native mammals, birds, and plants. 670.25 Section 670.25 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public... Protected Species of Mammals, Birds, and Plants § 670.25 Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants. The following species has been designated as Specially Protected...

  11. 7 CFR 650.22 - Rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 6 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and... Related Environmental Concerns § 650.22 Rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and animals. (a) Background. (1) A variety of plant and animal species of the United States are so reduced in numbers that...

  12. Herbicides: an unexpected ally for native plants in the war against invasive species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrea Watts; Tim Harrington; Dave Peter

    2015-01-01

    Herbicides are primarily used for protecting agricultural crops from weeds and controlling vegetation competition in newly planted forest stands. Yet for over 40 years, they have also proven useful in controlling invasive plant species in natural areas. Nonnative invasive plant species, if not controlled, can displace native species and disrupt an ecosystem by changing...

  13. MEDITERRANEAN FOOD CONSUMPTION PATTERNS: LOW ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS AND SIGNIFICANT HEALTH AND NUTRITION BENEFITS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elbilali, H.; Capone, R.; Lamaddalena, N.; Lamberti, L.; Elferchichi, A.; Aboussaleh, Y.

    2012-01-01

    Full text: Nutrition is central in the prevention of food-related non-communicable diseases representing an important health risk factor and an enormous socio-economic burden for Mediterranean societies. Nevertheless, assessment of food systems and diets sustainability should take into account not only their health benefits but also their environmental impacts. This work aims at analysing the main environmental impacts of the Mediterranean food consumption patterns (MFCPs) and at highlighting their nutrition and health benefits. The paper provides a review on nutrition and health benefits of the traditional Mediterranean diet (MD) as well as on water and land resources and biodiversity in the Mediterranean. FAO food consumption statistics and standard footprint data were used to characterise the MFCP and to calculate and discuss environmental impacts, i.e. water, carbon and ecological footprints. The Mediterranean hotspot is a major centre of plant and crop diversity. Mediterranean people gather and consume about 2,300 plant species. The share of plant-based energy in the diet is higher in the Mediterranean than in Northern Europe and America. Peoples adhering to the Mediterranean dietary patterns comply better with recommended nutrient and micronutrients intakes. The MD was associated with reduced mortality and lower risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and some cancers. During the last decades, the ecological footprint (EF) per capita in the Mediterranean increased while the biocapacity decreased thus the ecological deficit increased. The carbon footprint alone is generally higher than the biocapacity. MENA region has a lower EF than North America. Food consumption represents the highest share of water footprint of consumption (WFC) in the Mediterranean. WFC is lower in Mediterranean countries, especially MENA ones, than in North America. The traditional MD offers considerable health benefits and has lower environmental impacts than Northern

  14. Behaviour of long-lived radionuclides in soil-plant systems of the Mediterranean region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Apostolakis, C.; Papanicolaou, E.

    1993-01-01

    The objectives of the project are the selection of regions in Greece with high degree of contamination and sampling of the main soil types - in various depths - and of the cultivated or indigenous plants grown on them; determination of the physicochemical parameters of the soil samples and the radionuclide concentration, especially of 137 Cs, in the soil and plant samples; greenhouse experimentation with selected soil types and main agricultural crops to establish uptake rates, and laboratory studies to investigate translocation of radionuclides within undisturbed soil columns; correlation of analytical and experimental data and calculation of transfer factors from soil to plants and various products. (R.P.) 12 refs

  15. A revision of Meladema diving beetles (Coleoptera, Dytiscidae, with the description of a new species from the central Mediterranean based on molecules and morphology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David T. Bilton

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Meladema Laporte, 1835 are relatively large, stream-dwelling diving beetles, distributed widely in the Western Palaearctic, from the Atlantic Islands to Turkey, and from southern France and the Balkans to the central Sahara. In addition to the three previously recognised taxa (M. coriacea Laporte, 1835, M. imbricata (Wollaston, 1871 and M. lanio (Fabricius, 1775 we describe a new, cryptic, species from the central Mediterranean area, which can be distinguished from M. coriacea on both DNA sequence data and morphology, and provide a key to known species of the genus. Based on the study of genotyped material, both recent and archival, as well as the examination of a large number of museum specimens, we show that M. lepidoptera sp. n. occurs to the apparent exclusion of M. coriacea on Corsica, Sardinia and islands of the Tuscan Archipelago, but that both taxa are found in peninsular Italy, where they may occasionally hybridize. In the absence of the original type series, we designate a neotype for M. coriacea, and take the opportunity to designate a lectotype for M. lanio. Morphological variation in Meladema species is discussed, including that seen in known and presumed hybrids. Our study highlights the incomplete state of knowledge of Mediterranean biodiversity, even in relatively large, supposedly well-studied taxa.

  16. What shapes amino acid and sugar composition in Mediterranean floral nectars?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Petanidou, T.; Van Laere, A.; Ellis, W.; Smets, E.

    2006-01-01

    We studied the amino acid (AA) composition of the floral nectars of 73 plant species occurring in a phryganic (East Mediterranean garrigue) community and investigated whether AA and sugar composition is shaped by evolutionary (plant phylogeny), ecological (flowering time as a direct effect of summer

  17. Relationships between otolith size and fish size in some mesopelagic and bathypelagic species from the Mediterranean Sea (Strait of Messina, Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pietro Battaglia

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available The length-weight relationships and the regressions between otolith size (length and width and fish length of some mesopelagic and bathypelagic fishes living in the central Mediterranean Sea were provided. Images and morphological description of otoliths (sagittae from 16 species belonging to the families of Gonostomatidae (1, Microstomatidae (2, Myctophidae (8, Phosichthyidae (2, Sternoptychidae (2 and Stomiidae (1 were given. The length-weight relationship showed an isometric growth in 13 species. No differences between right and left otolith sizes were detected by t-test, so a single linear regression was plotted against standard length (SL for otolith length (OL and otolith width (OW. Data fitted well to the regression model for both OL and OW to SL, for each species (R2 > 0.8. These relationships offer a helpful tool in feeding studies and also provide support to palaeontologists in their research on fish fossils.

  18. Monitoring the effects of atmospheric ethylene near polyethylene manufacturing plants with two sensitive plant species

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tonneijck, A.E.G.; Berge, W.F. ten; Jansen, B.P.

    2003-01-01

    Atmospheric ethylene from polyethylene manufacturing plants adversely affected the number of flowers and growth of field-grown marigold and petunia. - Data of a multi-year (1977-1983) biomonitoring programme with marigold and petunia around polyethylene manufacturing plants was analysed to assess plant responses to atmospheric ethylene and to determine the area at risk for the phytotoxic effects of this pollutant. In both species, flower formation and growth were severely reduced close to the emission sources and plant performance improved with increasing distance. Plants exposed near the border of the research area had more flowers than the unexposed control while their growth was normal. Measurements of ethylene concentrations at a border site revealed that the growing season mean was 61.5 μg m -3 in 1982 and 15.6 μg m -3 in 1983. In terms of number of flowers, petunia was more sensitive than marigold and adverse effects were observed within ca. 400 m distance from the sources for marigold and within ca. 460 m for petunia. The area at risk (ca. 870 m) for ethylene-induced growth reduction was also limited to the industrial zone. Plants were more sensitive to ethylene in terms of growth reduction than in terms of inhibition of flowering. In the Netherlands, maximum permissible levels of ethylene are currently based on information from laboratory and greenhouse studies. Our results indicate that these levels are rather conservative in protecting field-grown plants against ethylene-induced injury near polyethylene manufacturing plants

  19. Is the extremely rare Iberian endemic plant species Castrilanthemum debeauxii (Compositae, Anthemideae) a 'living fossil'? Evidence from a multi-locus species tree reconstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomasello, Salvatore; Álvarez, Inés; Vargas, Pablo; Oberprieler, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    The present study provides results of multi-species coalescent species tree analyses of DNA sequences sampled from multiple nuclear and plastid regions to infer the phylogenetic relationships among the members of the subtribe Leucanthemopsidinae (Compositae, Anthemideae), to which besides the annual Castrilanthemum debeauxii (Degen, Hervier & É.Rev.) Vogt & Oberp., one of the rarest flowering plant species of the Iberian Peninsula, two other unispecific genera (Hymenostemma, Prolongoa), and the polyploidy complex of the genus Leucanthemopsis belong. Based on sequence information from two single- to low-copy nuclear regions (C16, D35, characterised by Chapman et al. (2007)), the multi-copy region of the nrDNA internal transcribed spacer regions ITS1 and ITS2, and two intergenic spacer regions of the cpDNA gene trees were reconstructed using Bayesian inference methods. For the reconstruction of a multi-locus species tree we applied three different methods: (a) analysis of concatenated sequences using Bayesian inference (MrBayes), (b) a tree reconciliation approach by minimizing the number of deep coalescences (PhyloNet), and (c) a coalescent-based species-tree method in a Bayesian framework ((∗)BEAST). All three species tree reconstruction methods unequivocally support the close relationship of the subtribe with the hitherto unclassified genus Phalacrocarpum, the sister-group relationship of Castrilanthemum with the three remaining genera of the subtribe, and the further sister-group relationship of the clade of Hymenostemma+Prolongoa with a monophyletic genus Leucanthemopsis. Dating of the (∗)BEAST phylogeny supports the long-lasting (Early Miocene, 15-22Ma) taxonomical independence and the switch from the plesiomorphic perennial to the apomorphic annual life-form assumed for the Castrilanthemum lineage that may have occurred not earlier than in the Pliocene (3Ma) when the establishment of a Mediterranean climate with summer droughts triggered evolution towards

  20. Trade-Offs between Drought Survival and Rooting Strategy of Two South American Mediterranean Tree Species: Implications for Dryland Forests Restoration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan F. Ovalle

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Differences in water-acquisition strategies of tree root systems can determine the capacity to survive under severe drought. We evaluate the effects of field water shortage on early survival, growth and root morphological variables of two South American Mediterranean tree species with different rooting strategies during two growing seasons. One year-old Quillaja saponaria (deep-rooted and Cryptocarya alba (shallow-rooted seedlings were established under two watering treatments (2 L·week−1·plant−1 and no water in a complete randomized design. Watering improved the final survival of both species, but the increase was only significantly higher for the shallow-rooted species. The survival rates of deep- and shallow-rooted species was 100% and 71% with watering treatment, and 96% and 10% for the unwatered treatment, respectively. Root morphological variables of deep-rooted species such as surface area, volume, and diameter were higher under unwatered treatment. On the other hand, shallow-rooted species had a higher total root dry mass, length, surface area with watering treatments. Our findings suggest that deep-rooted species are highly recommended for reforestation in dry conditions, even under low soil water availability. Water supplements during the summer season can attenuate the differences between deep- and shallow-rooted species in their ability to survive drought during the early stage.

  1. Light microscopic study of four plagiorchiid trematodes infecting marine fish in the south-eastern Mediterranean Sea, Alexandria City, with descriptions of two new species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdel-Gaber, Rewaida; Abdel-Ghaffar, Fathy; Mehlhorn, Heinz; Al Quraishy, Saleh; Morsy, Kareem; Maher, Sherein

    2018-05-01

    During the present investigation, a total of 220 fish specimens belonging to three different species, namely, little tunny Euthynnus alletteratus, African snook Lates niloticus, and striped red mullet Mullus surmuletus, were collected from January-November 2016 from the coasts off Abu Qir landing site, Alexandria City, south-eastern Mediterranean Sea, Egypt. The collected fish samples were dissected and examined for the presence of helminth parasites. Twenty-three out of 220 (10.45%) fish specimens were found to be naturally infected with four species of trematode parasites belonging to three different families of the order Plagiorchiida. The recovered parasite species were collected and identified by applying light microscopic examinations. The present study recorded two new parasite species, namely, Stephanostomum alletterani sp. nov. and Bathycreadium mulli sp. nov., belonging to the families Acanthocolpidae and Opecoelidae and infecting E. alletteratus and M. surmuletus, respectively and re-descriptions of the two remaining species, namely, Acanthostomum spiniceps and Aponurus mulli of the families Acanthostomatidae and Opecoelidae, respectively, to clarify the measurements of some body parts. Morphological and morphometric characterizations revealed some differences between the present species and other related species detected previously. Future studies are recommended to include advanced molecular characteristics for these species.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, C; Blair, JM; Knapp, AK

    2003-01-01

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

  3. Distribution of α amylase along the alimentary tract of two Mediterranean fish species, the parrotfish Sparisoma cretense L. and the stargazer, Uranoscopus scaber L

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.S. PAPOUTSOGLOU

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available There is very little information available for the only Mediterranean species of parrotfish ( Sparisoma cretense and its feeding habits, especially since most other parrotfish species are associated with coral reefs. The same lack of information is true for another fish species, the stargazer ( Uranoscopus scaber, which is carnivorous, and important for local fisheries in the Mediterranean. Comparative information is presented concerning the digestive activity and capacity for alpha amylase for these species with completely different feeding strategies, as well as main location(s of carbohydrate digestion along their digestive tract. Alphaamylase activity and capacity is significantly higher in S. cretensethan U. scaber(p<0.05. Activity in S. cretense is very high, comparable to levels reported for carp and tilapia. It is similar in anterior and posterior intestine, however, the posterior intestine comprises a more important role in alpha amylase capacity. In U. scaber, activity is present in pyloric caeca and intestine. Levels are very low, comparable to levels reported for other benthic marine carnivores. There is no difference between activities in intestine and pyloric caeca. However, activity is higher in the anterior part of the intestine, lower in the posterior intestine and absent in the stomach. Such information is thought to be beneficial for improving knowledge on the biology of the examined species, and the physiology of nutrition, as well as for assisting towards understanding these processes in other, more valuable species for aquaculture. Also, the possibility of using the stargazer alimentary tract, especially its pyloric caeca as a model system is discussed.

  4. 78 FR 48943 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Species Act Listing Determination for...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-12

    ... Atmospheric Administration Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Species Act Listing...; Endangered Species Act Listing Determination for Alewife and Blueback Herring AGENCY: National Marine... (Alosa aestivalis) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) throughout all or a significant...

  5. Biological invasions: economic and environmental costs of alien plant, animal, and microbe species

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Pimentel, David

    2011-01-01

    ...: Economic and Environmental Costs of Alien Plant, Animal, and Microbe Species, this reference discusses how non-native species invade new ecosystems and the subsequent economic and environmental effects of these species...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruijven, van J.; Berendse, F.

    2003-01-01

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

  7. Effect of supplementation with barley and calcium hydroxide on intake of Mediterranean shrubs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dragan Skobic

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Maquis plant communities are one of the most varied vegetation types in the Mediterranean region and an important habitat for wild and domestic herbivores. Although the majority of these shrubs are nutritious, the secondary compounds are main impediments that reduce their forage value. In five experiments we determined the effect of supplementing goats with calcium hydroxide plus barley, and barley alone on intake of five dominant shrubs (Quercus ilex, Erica multiflora, Arbutus unedo, Viburnum tinus and Pistacia lentiscus of the Mediterranean maquis community. The combination of calcium hydroxide plus barley and barley alone increased utilization of all five investigated Mediterranean shrubs; therewith that intake of Arbutus unedo and Viburnum tinus was not statistically significant. Supplemented goats with calcium hydroxide plus barley or barley alone could be effective in controlling secondary compounds-rich Mediterranean shrubs where their abundance threatens biodiversity. This control can be facilitated by browsing dominant Mediterranean shrubs, which has been shown to be effective in managing Mediterranean maquis density. Calcium hydroxide and barley (energy enhance use of secondary compounds-containing plants, which may increase production of alternate forages and create a more diverse mix of plant species in the Mediterranean maquis plant community.

  8. Mediterranean biomes: Evolution of their vegetation, floras and climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rundel, Philip W.; Arroyo, Mary T.K.; Cowling, R.M.; Keeley, J. E.; Lamont, B.B.; Vargas, Pablo

    2016-01-01

    Mediterranean-type ecosystems (MTEs) possess the highest levels of plant species richness in the world outside of the wet tropics. Sclerophyll vegetation similar to today’s mediterranean-type shrublands was already present on oligotrophic soils in the wet and humid climate of the Cretaceous, with fire-adapted Paleogene lineages in southwestern Australia and the Cape Region. The novel MTC seasonality present since the mid-Miocene has allowed colonization of MTEs from a regional species pool with associated diversification. Fire persistence has been a primary driving factor for speciation in four of the five regions. Understanding the regional patterns of plant species diversity among the MTEs involves complex interactions of geologic and climatic histories for each region as well as ecological factors that have promoted diversification in the Neogene and Quaternary. A critical element of species richness for many MTE lineages has been their ability to speciate and persist at fine spatial scales, with low rates of extinction.

  9. Effect of plant species on nitrogen recovery in aquaponics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Zhen; Lee, Jae Woo; Chandran, Kartik; Kim, Sungpyo; Brotto, Ariane Coelho; Khanal, Samir Kumar

    2015-01-01

    Nitrogen transformations in aquaponics with different edible plant species, i.e., tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) and pak choi (Brassica campestris L. subsp. chinensis) were systematically examined and compared. Results showed that nitrogen utilization efficiencies (NUE) of tomato- and pak choi-based aquaponic systems were 41.3% and 34.4%, respectively. The abundance of nitrifying bacteria in tomato-based aquaponics was 4.2-folds higher than that in pak choi-based aquaponics, primarily due to its higher root surface area. In addition, tomato-based aquaponics had better water quality than that of pak choi-based aquaponics. About 1.5-1.9% of nitrogen input were emitted to atmosphere as nitrous oxide (N2O) in tomato- and pak choi-based aquaponic systems, respectively, suggesting that aquaponics is a potential anthropogenic source of N2O emission. Overall, this is the first intensive study that examined the role plant species played in aquaponics, which could provide new strategy in designing and operating an aquaponic system. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Discriminant WSRC for Large-Scale Plant Species Recognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shanwen Zhang

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available In sparse representation based classification (SRC and weighted SRC (WSRC, it is time-consuming to solve the global sparse representation problem. A discriminant WSRC (DWSRC is proposed for large-scale plant species recognition, including two stages. Firstly, several subdictionaries are constructed by dividing the dataset into several similar classes, and a subdictionary is chosen by the maximum similarity between the test sample and the typical sample of each similar class. Secondly, the weighted sparse representation of the test image is calculated with respect to the chosen subdictionary, and then the leaf category is assigned through the minimum reconstruction error. Different from the traditional SRC and its improved approaches, we sparsely represent the test sample on a subdictionary whose base elements are the training samples of the selected similar class, instead of using the generic overcomplete dictionary on the entire training samples. Thus, the complexity to solving the sparse representation problem is reduced. Moreover, DWSRC is adapted to newly added leaf species without rebuilding the dictionary. Experimental results on the ICL plant leaf database show that the method has low computational complexity and high recognition rate and can be clearly interpreted.

  11. Antifungal Effect of Plant Essential Oils on Controlling Phytophthora Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jahanshir Amini

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available In this study, antifungal activity of essential oils of Cymbopogon citratus and Ocimum basilicum and two fungicides Mancozeb and Metalaxyl-Mancozeb in six different concentrations were investigated for controlling three species of Phytophthora, including P. capsici, P. drechsleri and P. melonis on pepper, cucumber and melon under in vitro and greenhouse conditions, respectively. Under the in vitro condition, the median effective concen- tration (EC₅₀ values (ppm of plant essential oils and fungicides were measured. In greenhouse, soil infested with Phytophthora species was treated by adding 50 ml of essential oils and fungicides (100 ppm. Disease severity was determined after 28 days. Among two tested plant essential oils, C. citratus had the lowest EC₅₀ values for inhibition of the mycelial growth of P. capsici (31.473, P. melonis (33.097 and P. drechsleri (69.112, respectively. The mean EC₅₀ values for Metalaxyl-Mancozeb on these pathogens were 20.87, 20.06 and 17.70, respectively. Chemical analysis of plant essential oils by GC-MS showed that, among 42 compounds identified from C. citratus, two compounds β-geranial (α-citral (39.16% and z-citral (30.95% were the most abundant. Under the greenhouse condition, Metalaxyl-Mancozeb caused the greatest reduction in disease severity, 84.2%, 86.8% and 92.1% on melon, cucumber, and pepper, respectively. The C. citratus essential oil reduced disease severity from 47.4% to 60.5% compared to the untreated control (p≤0.05. Essential oils of O. basilicum had the lowest effects on the pathogens under in vitro and greenhouse conditions. These results show that essential oils may contribute to the development of new antifungal agents to protect the crops from Phytophthora diseases.

  12. Reactive oxygen species, essential molecules, during plant-pathogen interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camejo, Daymi; Guzmán-Cedeño, Ángel; Moreno, Alexander

    2016-06-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are continually generated as a consequence of the normal metabolism in aerobic organisms. Accumulation and release of ROS into cell take place in response to a wide variety of adverse environmental conditions including salt, temperature, cold stresses and pathogen attack, among others. In plants, peroxidases class III, NADPH oxidase (NOX) locates in cell wall and plasma membrane, respectively, may be mainly enzymatic systems involving ROS generation. It is well documented that ROS play a dual role into cells, acting as important signal transduction molecules and as toxic molecules with strong oxidant power, however some aspects related to its function during plant-pathogen interactions remain unclear. This review focuses on the principal enzymatic systems involving ROS generation addressing the role of ROS as signal molecules during plant-pathogen interactions. We described how the chloroplasts, mitochondria and peroxisomes perceive the external stimuli as pathogen invasion, and trigger resistance response using ROS as signal molecule. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  13. Wastewater treatment plant effluents change abundance and composition of ammonia-oxidizing microorganisms in mediterranean urban stream biofilms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merbt, Stephanie N; Auguet, Jean-Christophe; Blesa, Alba; Martí, Eugènia; Casamayor, Emilio O

    2015-01-01

    Streams affected by wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents are hotspots of nitrification. We analyzed the influence of WWTP inputs on the abundance, distribution, and composition of epilithic ammonia-oxidizing (AO) assemblages in five Mediterranean urban streams by qPCR and amoA gene cloning and sequencing of both archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB). The effluents significantly modified stream chemical parameters, and changes in longitudinal profiles of both NH(4)(+) and NO(3)(-) indicated stimulated nitrification activity. WWTP effluents were an allocthonous source of both AOA, essentially from the Nitrosotalea cluster, and mostly of AOB, mainly Nitrosomonas oligotropha, Nitrosomonas communis, and Nitrosospira spp. changing the relative abundance and the natural composition of AO assemblages. Under natural conditions, Nitrososphaera and Nitrosopumilus AOA dominated AO assemblages, and AOB were barely detected. After the WWTP perturbation, epilithic AOB increased by orders of magnitude whereas AOA did not show quantitative changes but a shift in population composition to dominance of Nitrosotalea spp. The foraneous AOB successfully settled in downstream biofilms and probably carried out most of the nitrification activity. Nitrosotalea were only observed downstream and only in biofilms exposed to either darkness or low irradiance. In addition to other potential environmental limitations for AOA distribution, this result suggests in situ photosensitivity as previously reported for Nitrosotalea under laboratory conditions.

  14. Number of endemic and native plant species in the Galapagos Archipelago in relation to geographical parameters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willerslev, Eske; Hansen, Anders J.; Nielsen, Kirstine Klitgaard

    2002-01-01

    By simple and multiple regression analyses we investigate updated species numbers of endemic and native vascular plants and seed plants in the Galapagos Archipelago in relation to geographical parameters. We find that the best models to describe species numbers are regression models with log......-transformed species numbers as dependent and log-transformed modified area (i.e. area not covered with barren lava) as an independent variable. This holds both for total species number, for native species number, for endemic species number and for total number of seed plants as well as number of endemic seed plants...

  15. Arthropod assemblages on native and nonnative plant species of a coastal reserve in California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fork, Susanne K

    2010-06-01

    Biological invasions by nonnative plant species are a widespread phenomenon. Many studies have shown strong ecological impacts of plant invasions on native plant communities and ecosystem processes. Far fewer studies have examined effects on associated animal communities. From the perspective of a reserve's land management, I addressed the question of whether arthropod assemblages on two nonnative plant species of concern were impoverished compared with those assemblages associated with two predominant native plant species of that reserve. If the nonnative plant species, Conium maculatum L., and Phalaris aquatica L., supported highly depauperate arthropod assemblages compared with the native plant species, Baccharis pilularis De Candolle and Leymus triticoides (Buckley) Pilger, this finding would provide additional support for prioritizing removal of nonnatives and restoration of natives. I assessed invertebrate assemblages at the taxonomic levels of arthropod orders, Coleoptera families, and Formicidae species, using univariate analyses to examine community attributes (richness and abundance) and multivariate techniques to assess arthropod assemblage community composition differences among plant species. Arthropod richness estimates by taxonomic level between native and nonnative vegetation showed varying results. Overall, arthropod richness of the selected nonnative plants, examined at higher taxonomic resolution, was not necessarily less diverse than two of common native plants found on the reserve, although differences were found among plant species. Impacts of certain nonnative plant species on arthropod assemblages may be more difficult to elucidate than those impacts shown on native plants and ecosystem processes.

  16. Which plant traits respond to aridity? A critical step to assess functional diversity in Mediterranean drylands

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Nunes, A.; Köbel, M.; Pihno, P.; Matos, P.; de Bello, Francesco; Correia, O.; Branquinho, C.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 239, MAY 28 2017 (2017), s. 176-184 ISSN 0168-1923 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : Annual plants * Climatic gradient * Functional dispersion Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 3.887, year: 2016

  17. Nitrogen soil emissions and belowground plant processes in Mediterranean annual pastures are altered by ozone exposure and N-inputs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Martín, L.; Bermejo-Bermejo, V.; García-Torres, L.; Alonso, R.; de la Cruz, A.; Calvete-Sogo, H.; Vallejo, A.

    2017-09-01

    Increasing tropospheric ozone (O3) and atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition alter the structure and composition of pastures. These changes could affect N and C compounds in the soil that in turn can influence soil microbial activity and processes involved in the emission of N oxides, methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2), but these effects have been scarcely studied. Through an open top chamber (OTC) field experiment, the combined effects of both pollutants on soil gas emissions from an annual experimental Mediterranean community were assessed. Four O3 treatments and three different N input levels were considered. Fluxes of nitric (NO) and nitrous (N2O) oxide, CH4 and CO2 were analysed as well as soil mineral N and dissolved organic carbon. Belowground plant parameters like root biomass and root C and N content were also sampled. Ozone strongly increased soil N2O emissions, doubling the cumulative emission through the growing cycle in the highest O3 treatment, while N-inputs enhanced more slightly NO; CH4 and CO2 where not affected. Both N-gases had a clear seasonality, peaking at the start and at the end of the season when pasture physiological activity is minimal; thus, higher microorganism activity occurred when pasture had a low nutrient demand. The O3-induced peak of N2O under low N availability at the end of the growing season was counterbalanced by the high N inputs. These effects were related to the O3 x N significant interaction found for the root-N content in the grass and the enhanced senescence of the community. Results indicate the importance of the belowground processes, where competition between plants and microorganisms for the available soil N is a key factor, for understanding the ecosystem responses to O3 and N.

  18. Polyphenolic Profile and Targeted Bioactivity of Methanolic Extracts from Mediterranean Ethnomedicinal Plants on Human Cancer Cell Lines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonino Pollio

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The methanol extracts of the aerial part of four ethnomedicinal plants of Mediterranean region, two non-seed vascular plants, Equisetum hyemale L. and Phyllitis scolopendrium (L. Newman, and two Spermatophyta, Juniperus communis L. (J. communis and Cotinus coggygria Scop. (C. coggygria, were screened against four human cells lines (A549, MCF7, TK6 and U937. Only the extracts of J. communis and C. coggygria showed marked cytotoxic effects, affecting both cell morphology and growth. A dose-dependent effect of these two extracts was also observed on the cell cycle distribution. Incubation of all the cell lines in a medium containing J. communis extract determined a remarkable accumulation of cells in the G2/M phase, whereas the C. coggygria extract induced a significant increase in the percentage of G1 cells. The novelty of our findings stands on the observation that the two extracts, consistently, elicited coherent effects on the cell cycle in four cell lines, independently from their phenotype, as two of them have epithelial origin and grow adherent and two are lymphoblastoid and grow in suspension. Even the expression profiles of several proteins regulating cell cycle progression and cell death were affected by both extracts. LC-MS investigation of methanol extract of C. coggygria led to the identification of twelve flavonoids (compounds 1–11, 19 and eight polyphenols derivatives (12–18, 20, while in J. communis extract, eight flavonoids (21–28, a α-ionone glycoside (29 and a lignin (30 were found. Although many of these compounds have interesting individual biological activities, their natural blends seem to exert specific effects on the proliferation of cell lines either growing adherent or in suspension, suggesting potential use in fighting cancer.

  19. Genetic sexing strains in Mediterranean fruit fly, an example for other species amenable to large-scale rearing for the sterile insect technique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Franz, G.

    2005-01-01

    Through genetic and molecular manipulations, strains can be developed that are more suitable for the sterile insect technique (SIT). In this chapter the development of genetic sexing strains (GSSs) is given as an example. GSSs increase the effectiveness of area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM) programmes that use the SIT by enabling the large-scale release of only sterile males. For species that transmit disease, the removal of females is mandatory. For the Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), genetic sexing systems have been developed; they are stable enough to be used in operational programmes for extended periods of time. Until recently, the only way to generate such strains was through Mendelian genetics. In this chapter, the basic principle of translocation-based sexing strains is described, and Mediterranean fruit fly strains are used as examples to indicate the problems encountered in such strains. Furthermore, the strategies used to solve these problems are described. The advantages of following molecular strategies in the future development of sexing strains are outlined, especially for species where little basic knowledge of genetics exists. (author)

  20. Distribution of trace elements in organs of six species of cetaceans from the Ligurian Sea (Mediterranean), and the relationship with stable carbon and nitrogen ratios

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Capelli, R. [Dipartimento di Chimica e Tecnologie Farmaceutiche ed Alimentari - Universita degli Studi di Genova - Via Brigata Salerno, 13 I-16147 Genova (Italy); Das, K. [MARE center, Laboratory for Oceanology, University of Liege, B6 Sart-Tilman, B-4000 Liege (Belgium); Pellegrini, R. De; Drava, G. [Dipartimento di Chimica e Tecnologie Farmaceutiche ed Alimentari - Universita degli Studi di Genova - Via Brigata Salerno, 13 I-16147 Genova (Italy); Lepoint, G. [MARE center, Laboratory for Oceanology, University of Liege, B6 Sart-Tilman, B-4000 Liege (Belgium); Miglio, C. [Dipartimento di Chimica e Tecnologie Farmaceutiche ed Alimentari - Universita degli Studi di Genova - Via Brigata Salerno, 13 I-16147 Genova (Italy); Minganti, V. [Dipartimento di Chimica e Tecnologie Farmaceutiche ed Alimentari - Universita degli Studi di Genova - Via Brigata Salerno, 13 I-16147 Genova (Italy)], E-mail: minganti@dictfa.unige.it; Poggi, R. [Museo Civico di Storia Naturale ' Giacomo Doria' - Via Brigata Liguria, 9 I-16121 Genova (Italy)

    2008-02-15

    Mercury (total and organic), cadmium, lead, copper, iron, manganese, selenium and zinc concentrations were measured in different organs of 6 different cetacean species stranded in an area of extraordinary ecological interest (Cetaceans' Sanctuary of the Mediterranean Sea) along the coast of the Ligurian Sea (North-West Mediterranean). Stable-isotopes ratios of carbon ({sup 13}C/{sup 12}C) and nitrogen ({sup 15}N/{sup 14}N) were also measured in the muscle. A significant relationship exists between {sup 15}N/{sup 14}N, mercury concentration and the trophic level. The distribution of essential and non-essential trace elements was studied on several organs, and a significant relationship between selenium and mercury, with a molar ratio close to 1, was found in the cetaceans' kidney, liver and spleen, regardless of their species. High selenium concentrations are generally associated with a low organic to total mercury ratio. While narrow ranges of concentrations were observed for essential elements in most organs, mercury and selenium concentrations are characterised by a wide range of variation. Bio-accumulation and bio-amplification processes in cetaceans can be better understood by comparing trace element concentrations with the stable-isotopes data.

  1. Novel chemistry of invasive plants: exotic species have more unique metabolomic profiles than native congeners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macel, Mirka; de Vos, Ric C H; Jansen, Jeroen J; van der Putten, Wim H; van Dam, Nicole M

    2014-07-01

    It is often assumed that exotic plants can become invasive when they possess novel secondary chemistry compared with native plants in the introduced range. Using untargeted metabolomic fingerprinting, we compared a broad range of metabolites of six successful exotic plant species and their native congeners of the family Asteraceae. Our results showed that plant chemistry is highly species-specific and diverse among both exotic and native species. Nonetheless, the exotic species had on average a higher total number of metabolites and more species-unique metabolites compared with their native congeners. Herbivory led to an overall increase in metabolites in all plant species. Generalist herbivore performance was lower on most of the exotic species compared with the native species. We conclude that high chemical diversity and large phytochemical uniqueness of the exotic species could be indicative of biological invasion potential.

  2. Climate change, habitat loss, protected areas and the climate adaptation potential of species in mediterranean ecosystems worldwide.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirk R Klausmeyer

    Full Text Available Mediterranean climate is found on five continents and supports five global biodiversity hotspots. Based on combined downscaled results from 23 atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs for three emissions scenarios, we determined the projected spatial shifts in the mediterranean climate extent (MCE over the next century. Although most AOGCMs project a moderate expansion in the global MCE, regional impacts are large and uneven. The median AOGCM simulation output for the three emissions scenarios project the MCE at the end of the 21(st century in Chile will range from 129-153% of its current size, while in Australia, it will contract to only 77-49% of its current size losing an area equivalent to over twice the size of Portugal. Only 4% of the land area within the current MCE worldwide is in protected status (compared to a global average of 12% for all biome types, and, depending on the emissions scenario, only 50-60% of these protected areas are likely to be in the future MCE. To exacerbate the climate impact, nearly one third (29-31% of the land where the MCE is projected to remain stable has already been converted to human use, limiting the size of the potential climate refuges and diminishing the adaptation potential of native biota. High conversion and low protection in projected stable areas make Australia the highest priority region for investment in climate-adaptation strategies to reduce the threat of climate change to the rich biodiversity of the mediterranean biome.

  3. Revision of Chone Krøyer, 1856 (Polychaeta: Sabellidae from the eastern central Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea with descriptions of two new species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Ana Tovar-Hernández

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available A neotype specimen is designated for Chone acustica (Claparède, 1870 with a full description. The original descriptions of Chone arenicola Langerhans, 1880 and Chone collaris Langerhans, 1880, both from Madeira, did not include some details and incomplete or misleading information was provided, so both species are redescribed. Amendments to the description of Chone longiseta Giangrande, 1992 are also given together with the methyl green staining pattern of Chone usticensis Giangrande et al. 2006. Two new species are described: Chone gambiae sp. nov., from the Gulf of Naples and Chone dunerificta sp. nov., from the Gulf of Salerno. This study shows the distribution of Chone duneri Krøyer, 1856, and Chone filicaudata Southern, 1914, to be restricted to the Arctic seas and North Atlantic Ocean, respectively. Records from the Mediterranean Sea are found to be erroneous.

  4. Plant and soil carbon accumulation following fire in Mediterranean woodlands in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaye, Jason Philip; Romanyà, Joan; Vallejo, V Ramón

    2010-10-01

    We measured plant and soil carbon (C) storage following canopy-replacing wildfires in woodlands of northeastern Spain that include an understory of shrubs dominated by Quercus coccifera and an overstory of Pinus halepensis trees. Established plant succession models predict rapid shrub recovery in these ecosystems, and we build on this model by contrasting shrub succession with long-term C storage in soils, trees, and the whole ecosystem. We used chronosequence and repeated sampling approaches to detect change over time. Aboveground plant C increased from fire, which is substantially less than the 5,942 ± 487 g C m(-2) (mean ±1 standard error) in unburned sites. As expected, shrubs accumulated C rapidly, but the capacity for C storage in shrubs was 20 years post fire, and accounted for all of the difference in plant C between older burned sites and unburned sites. In contrast, soil C was initially higher in burned sites (~4,500 g C m(-2)) than in unburned sites (3,264 ± 261 g C m(-2)) but burned site C declined to unburned levels within 10 years after fire. Combining these results with prior research suggests two states for C storage. When pine regeneration is successful, ~9,200 g C m(-2) accumulate in woodlands but when tree regeneration fails (due to microclimatic stress or short fire return intervals), ecosystem C storage of ~4,000 g C m(-2) will occur in the resulting shrublands.

  5. Evidence for chemical interference effect of an allelopathic plant on neighboring plant species: A field study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio I Arroyo

    Full Text Available Many studies have reported the phytotoxicity of allelopathic compounds under controlled conditions. However, more field studies are required to provide realistic evidences for the significance of allelopathic interference in natural communities. We conducted a 2-years field experiment in a semiarid plant community (NE Spain. Specifically, we planted juvenile individuals and sowed seeds of Salsola vermiculata L., Lygeum spartum L. and Artemisia herba-alba Asso. (three co-dominant species in the community beneath adult individuals of the allelopathic shrub A. herba-alba, and assessed the growth, vitality, seed germination and seedling survival of those target species with and without the presence of chemical interference by the incorporation of activated carbon (AC to the soil. In addition, juveniles and seeds of the same three target species were planted and sown beneath the canopy of adults of S. vermiculata (a shrub similar to A. herba-alba, but non-allelopathic and in open bare soil to evaluate whether the allelopathic activity of A. herba-alba modulates the net outcome of its interactions with neighboring plants under contrasting abiotic stress conditions. We found that vitality of A. herba-alba juveniles was enhanced beneath A. herba-alba individuals when AC was present. Furthermore, we found that the interaction outcome in A. herba-alba microsite was neutral, whereas a positive outcome was found for S. vermiculata microsite, suggesting that allelopathy may limit the potential facilitative effects of the enhanced microclimatic conditions in A. herba-alba microsite. Yet, L. spartum juveniles were facilitated in A. herba-alba microsite. The interaction outcome in A. herba-alba microsite was positive under conditions of very high abiotic stress, indicating that facilitative interactions predominated over the interference of allelopathic plants under those conditions. These results highlight that laboratory studies can overestimate the

  6. Evidence for chemical interference effect of an allelopathic plant on neighboring plant species: A field study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arroyo, Antonio I; Pueyo, Yolanda; Giner, M Luz; Foronda, Ana; Sanchez-Navarrete, Pedro; Saiz, Hugo; Alados, Concepción L

    2018-01-01

    Many studies have reported the phytotoxicity of allelopathic compounds under controlled conditions. However, more field studies are required to provide realistic evidences for the significance of allelopathic interference in natural communities. We conducted a 2-years field experiment in a semiarid plant community (NE Spain). Specifically, we planted juvenile individuals and sowed seeds of Salsola vermiculata L., Lygeum spartum L. and Artemisia herba-alba Asso. (three co-dominant species in the community) beneath adult individuals of the allelopathic shrub A. herba-alba, and assessed the growth, vitality, seed germination and seedling survival of those target species with and without the presence of chemical interference by the incorporation of activated carbon (AC) to the soil. In addition, juveniles and seeds of the same three target species were planted and sown beneath the canopy of adults of S. vermiculata (a shrub similar to A. herba-alba, but non-allelopathic) and in open bare soil to evaluate whether the allelopathic activity of A. herba-alba modulates the net outcome of its interactions with neighboring plants under contrasting abiotic stress conditions. We found that vitality of A. herba-alba juveniles was enhanced beneath A. herba-alba individuals when AC was present. Furthermore, we found that the interaction outcome in A. herba-alba microsite was neutral, whereas a positive outcome was found for S. vermiculata microsite, suggesting that allelopathy may limit the potential facilitative effects of the enhanced microclimatic conditions in A. herba-alba microsite. Yet, L. spartum juveniles were facilitated in A. herba-alba microsite. The interaction outcome in A. herba-alba microsite was positive under conditions of very high abiotic stress, indicating that facilitative interactions predominated over the interference of allelopathic plants under those conditions. These results highlight that laboratory studies can overestimate the significance of

  7. Productivity is a poor predictor of plant species richness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adler, Peter B.; Seabloom, Eric W.; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Hillebrand, Helmut; Hautier, Yann; Hector, Andy; Harpole, W. Stanley; O'Halloran, Lydia R.; Grace, James B.; Anderson, T. Michael; Bakker, Jonathan D.; Biederman, Lori A.; Brown, Cynthia S.; Buckley, Yvonne M.; Calabrese, Laura B.; Chu, Cheng-Jin; Cleland, Elsa E.; Collins, Scott L.; Cottingham, Kathryn L.; Crawley, Michael J.; Damschen, Ellen Ingman; Davies, Kendi F.; DeCrappeo, Nicole M.; Fay, Philip A.; Firn, Jennifer; Frater, Paul; Gasarch, Eve I.; Gruner, Daneil S.; Hagenah, Nicole; Lambers, Janneke Hille Ris; Humphries, Hope; Jin, Virginia L.; Kay, Adam D.; Kirkman, Kevin P.; Klein, Julia A.; Knops, Johannes M.H.; La Pierre, Kimberly J.; Lambrinos, John G.; Li, Wei; MacDougall, Andrew S.; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Melbourne, Brett A.; Mitchell, Charles E.; Moore, Joslin L.; Morgan, John W.; Mortensen, Brent; Orrock, John L.; Prober, Suzanne M.; Pyke, David A.; Risch, Anita C.; Schuetz, Martin; Smith, Melinda D.; Stevens, Carly J.; Sullivan, Lauren L.; Wang, Gang; Wragg, Peter D.; Wright, Justin P.; Yang, Louie H.

    2011-01-01

    For more than 30 years, the relationship between net primary productivity and species richness has generated intense debate in ecology about the processes regulating local diversity. The original view, which is still widely accepted, holds that the relationship is hump-shaped, with richness first rising and then declining with increasing productivity. Although recent meta-analyses questioned the generality of hump-shaped patterns, these syntheses have been criticized for failing to account for methodological differences among studies. We addressed such concerns by conducting standardized sampling in 48 herbaceous-dominated plant communities on five continents. We found no clear relationship between productivity and fine-scale (meters-2) richness within sites, within regions, or across the globe. Ecologists should focus on fresh, mechanistic approaches to understanding the multivariate links between productivity an

  8. Effects of plant diversity on primary production and species interactions in brackish water angiosperm communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Salo, Tiina; Gustafsson, Camilla; Boström, Christoffer

    2009-01-01

    Research on plant biodiversity and ecosystem functioning has mainly focused on terrestrial ecosystems, and our understanding of how plant species diversity and interactions affect processes in marine ecosystems is still limited. To investigate if plant species richness and composition influence...... plant productivity in brackish water angiosperm communities, a 14 wk field experiment was conducted. Using a replacement design with a standardized initial aboveground biomass, shoots of Zostera marina, Potamogeton filiformis and P. perfoliatus were planted on a shallow, sandy bottom in replicated...

  9. Changes in climate-growth relationships and IADF formation over time of pine species (Pinus halepensis, P. pinaster and P. sylvestris in Mediterranean environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Olivar

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Background: The Mediterranean basin has experienced an increase in the mean annual temperature, a decrease in the mean annual precipitation, and an increase in the frequency of severe drought periods during the second half of the 20th century. However, winter and spring precipitation has increased and summer precipitation has decreased in the western Mediterranean region. Aim of the study: The objectives of the present study were: i to compare changes in climate-growth relationships over time for Pinus halepensis, P. pinaster and P. sylvestris in Spain ii to quantify the presence of intra-annual density fluctuations (IADFs on the three species, and iii to define the associated climatic variables. Area of study: 26 sampling sites (8 P. halepensis sites, 8 P. pinaster sites and 10 P. sylvestris sites were selected in their distribution area in Spain. Main results: Precipitation is the main factor influencing growth and IADF occurrence in the three species. Wet periods during previous winter and spring induced higher growth rates on P. halepensis and P. pinaster, while P. sylvestris was mostly influenced by summer precipitation. However, the influence of these climatic variables on the growth of these species changed over the studied period. The increase of winter and spring precipitation combined with increasingly harsh summer climatic conditions in the second half of the 20th century may have enhanced the importance of precipitation at the beginning of the growing season on the growth of species subject to higher summer drought stress (P. halepensis and P. pinaster and increased IADF occurrence. Research highlights: Besides reflecting changes in the environmental conditions during the growing season, the inclusion of IADF detection in chronologies adds new information to ring-width chronologies, thereby improving its quality.

  10. Differential responses of soil bacteria, fungi, archaea and protists to plant species richness and plant functional group identity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dassen, Sigrid; Cortois, Roeland; Martens, Henk; de Hollander, Mattias; Kowalchuk, George A; van der Putten, Wim H; De Deyn, Gerlinde B

    2017-08-01

    Plants are known to influence belowground microbial community structure along their roots, but the impacts of plant species richness and plant functional group (FG) identity on microbial communities in the bulk soil are still not well understood. Here, we used 454-pyrosequencing to analyse the soil microbial community composition in a long-term biodiversity experiment at Jena, Germany. We examined responses of bacteria, fungi, archaea, and protists to plant species richness (communities varying from 1 to 60 sown species) and plant FG identity (grasses, legumes, small herbs, tall herbs) in bulk soil. We hypothesized that plant species richness and FG identity would alter microbial community composition and have a positive impact on microbial species richness. Plant species richness had a marginal positive effect on the richness of fungi, but we observed no such effect on bacteria, archaea and protists. Plant species richness also did not have a large impact on microbial community composition. Rather, abiotic soil properties partially explained the community composition of bacteria, fungi, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), archaea and protists. Plant FG richness did not impact microbial community composition; however, plant FG identity was more effective. Bacterial richness was highest in legume plots and lowest in small herb plots, and AMF and archaeal community composition in legume plant communities was distinct from that in communities composed of other plant FGs. We conclude that soil microbial community composition in bulk soil is influenced more by changes in plant FG composition and abiotic soil properties, than by changes in plant species richness per se. © 2017 The Authors. Molecular Ecology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Monitoring the effects of atmospheric ethylene near polyethylene manufacturing plants with two sensitive plant species

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tonneijck, A.E.G.; Berge, W.F. ten; Jansen, B.P

    2003-05-01

    Atmospheric ethylene from polyethylene manufacturing plants adversely affected the number of flowers and growth of field-grown marigold and petunia. - Data of a multi-year (1977-1983) biomonitoring programme with marigold and petunia around polyethylene manufacturing plants was analysed to assess plant responses to atmospheric ethylene and to determine the area at risk for the phytotoxic effects of this pollutant. In both species, flower formation and growth were severely reduced close to the emission sources and plant performance improved with increasing distance. Plants exposed near the border of the research area had more flowers than the unexposed control while their growth was normal. Measurements of ethylene concentrations at a border site revealed that the growing season mean was 61.5 {mu}g m{sup -3} in 1982 and 15.6 {mu}g m{sup -3} in 1983. In terms of number of flowers, petunia was more sensitive than marigold and adverse effects were observed within ca. 400 m distance from the sources for marigold and within ca. 460 m for petunia. The area at risk (ca. 870 m) for ethylene-induced growth reduction was also limited to the industrial zone. Plants were more sensitive to ethylene in terms of growth reduction than in terms of inhibition of flowering. In the Netherlands, maximum permissible levels of ethylene are currently based on information from laboratory and greenhouse studies. Our results indicate that these levels are rather conservative in protecting field-grown plants against ethylene-induced injury near polyethylene manufacturing plants.

  12. Medhost: An encyclopedic bibliography of the host plants of the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), version 3.0

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly), Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), causes direct damage to fruits and vegetables through oviposition and larval feeding. Rigorous quarantine procedures are currently enforced to prevent domestic and transnational spread of Medfly. Accessible and reliable informatio...

  13. Wild Plant Species with Extremely Small Populations Require Conservation and Reintroduction in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hai Ren; Qianmei Zhang; Hongfang Lu; Hongxiao Liu; Qinfeng Guo; Jun Wang; Shuguang Jian; Hai’ou Bao

    2012-01-01

    China is exceptionally rich in biodiversity, with more than 30000 vascular plant species that include many endemic genera, species of ancient origin, and cultivated plants (Yang et al. 2005). Because of rapid economic development, population growth, pollution, and continuing resource exploitation, China’s plant diversity faces severe threats. According to the Chinese...

  14. Fire and invasive exotic plant species in eastern oak communities: an assessment of current knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cynthia D. Huebner

    2006-01-01

    Successful regeneration of oak-dominated communities in the Eastern United States historically requires disturbance such as fire, making them vulnerable to invasion by exotic plants. Little is currently known about the effects of fire on invasive plant species and the effects of invasive plant species on fire regimes of this region. Seventeen common eastern invaders...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  16. A new Legionella species, Legionella feeleii species nova, causes Pontiac fever in an automobile plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herwaldt, L A; Gorman, G W; McGrath, T; Toma, S; Brake, B; Hightower, A W; Jones, J; Reingold, A L; Boxer, P A; Tang, P W

    1984-03-01

    From 15 to 21 August 1981, Pontiac fever affected 317 automobile assembly plant workers. Results of serologic tests were negative for Mycoplasma, Chlamydia, respiratory tract viruses, and previously described legionellae. A gram-negative, rod-shaped organism (WO-44C) that did not grow on blood agar, required L-cysteine for growth, and contained large amounts of branched-chain fatty acids was isolated from a water-based coolant. The organism did not react with antisera against other legionellae, and on DNA hybridization the organism was less than 10% related to other Legionella species. Geometric mean titers found by indirect fluorescent antibody testing to WO-44C were significantly higher in ill employees than in controls (p = 0.0001). Attack rates by department decreased linearly with the department's distance from the implicated coolant system. The etiologic agent apparently was a new Legionella species; we propose the name Legionella feeleii species nova (AATC 35072). This is the first outbreak of nonpneumonic legionellosis in which the etiologic agent is not L. pneumophila, serogroup 1.

  17. Combined effects of gamma irradiation and two plant extracts, Nicandra physaloide and Dodonaea viscosa, on the Mediterranean Fruit Fly Ceratitis Capitata Wiedemann

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fadel, A.M.; El-Kholy, M.S.; Shoman, A.A.; El-Gengaihi, S.E.

    2003-01-01

    The petroleum ether extract of the plant Nicandra Physaloide L. and the alcoholic plant extract of Dodonaea viscosa L. were subjected to the biological evaluation to assess their toxic effects on the reproductive abilities and survival survival of the Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis Capitata Wied., exposed to the treated diet in the larval stage. The produced full grown pupae (1-2 day old) were gamma irradiated (90 Gy). Neither percent pupation, adult emergence nor survival were affected by treating larvae with any of the two plant extracts alone at the tested concentrations (0, 0.5, 1, 3,5 and 7 ppm).Applying each of the two plant extracts recorded insignificant effect on egg hatch. however, irradiating pupae produced from larvae subjected to the extracts significantly affected the male fertility and mating competitiveness

  18. Host plant use among closely related Anaea butterfly species (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae, Charaxinae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    QUEIROZ J. M.

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available There is a great number of Charaxinae (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae species in the tropics whose larvae feed on several plant families. However the genus Anaea is almost always associated with Croton species (Euphorbiaceae. This work describes patterns of host plant use by immature and adult abundance on different vertical strata of sympatric Anaea species in a forest of Southeastern Brazil. Quantitative samples of leaves were taken in April/1999 and May/2000 to collect eggs and larvae of four Anaea species on C.alchorneicarpus, C. floribundus and C. salutaris in a semideciduous forest. Sampled leaves were divided into three classes of plant phenological stage: saplings, shrubs and trees. The results showed that the butterfly species are segregating in host plant use on two scales: host plant species and plant phenological stages. C. alchorneicarpus was used by only one Anaea species, whereas C. floribundus was used by three species and C. salutaris by four Anaea species. There was one Anaea species concentrated on sapling, another on sapling/shrub and two others on shrub/tree leaves. Adults of Anaea were more frequent at canopy traps but there were no differences among species caught in traps at different vertical positions. This work supplements early studies on host plant use among Charaxinae species and it describes how a guild of closely related butterfly species may be organized in a complex tropical habitat.

  19. Antimicrobial and Antibiofilm Activity and Machine Learning Classification Analysis of Essential Oils from Different Mediterranean Plants against Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Artini, Marco; Patsilinakos, Alexandros; Papa, Rosanna; Božović, Mijat; Sabatino, Manuela; Garzoli, Stefania; Vrenna, Gianluca; Tilotta, Marco; Pepi, Federico; Ragno, Rino; Selan, Laura

    2018-02-23

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a ubiquitous organism and opportunistic pathogen that can cause persistent infections due to its peculiar antibiotic resistance mechanisms and to its ability to adhere and form biofilm. The interest in the development of new approaches for the prevention and treatment of biofilm formation has recently increased. The aim of this study was to seek new non-biocidal agents able to inhibit biofilm formation, in order to counteract virulence rather than bacterial growth and avoid the selection of escape mutants. Herein, different essential oils extracted from Mediterranean plants were analyzed for their activity against P. aeruginosa . Results show that they were able to destabilize biofilm at very low concentration without impairing bacterial viability. Since the action is not related to a bacteriostatic/bactericidal activity on P. aeruginosa , the biofilm change of growth in presence of the essential oils was possibly due to a modulation of the phenotype. To this aim, application of machine learning algorithms led to the development of quantitative activity-composition relationships classification models that allowed to direct point out those essential oil chemical components more involved in the inhibition of biofilm production. The action of selected essential oils on sessile phenotype make them particularly interesting for possible applications such as prevention of bacterial contamination in the community and in healthcare environments in order to prevent human infections. We assayed 89 samples of different essential oils as P. aeruginosa anti-biofilm. Many samples inhibited P. aeruginosa biofilm at concentrations as low as 48.8 µg/mL. Classification of the models was developed through machine learning algorithms.

  20. Antimicrobial and Antibiofilm Activity and Machine Learning Classification Analysis of Essential Oils from Different Mediterranean Plants against Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Artini

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a ubiquitous organism and opportunistic pathogen that can cause persistent infections due to its peculiar antibiotic resistance mechanisms and to its ability to adhere and form biofilm. The interest in the development of new approaches for the prevention and treatment of biofilm formation has recently increased. The aim of this study was to seek new non-biocidal agents able to inhibit biofilm formation, in order to counteract virulence rather than bacterial growth and avoid the selection of escape mutants. Herein, different essential oils extracted from Mediterranean plants were analyzed for their activity against P. aeruginosa. Results show that they were able to destabilize biofilm at very low concentration without impairing bacterial viability. Since the action is not related to a bacteriostatic/bactericidal activity on P. aeruginosa, the biofilm change of growth in presence of the essential oils was possibly due to a modulation of the phenotype. To this aim, application of machine learning algorithms led to the development of quantitative activity–composition relationships classification models that allowed to direct point out those essential oil chemical components more involved in the inhibition of biofilm production. The action of selected essential oils on sessile phenotype make them particularly interesting for possible applications such as prevention of bacterial contamination in the community and in healthcare environments in order to prevent human infections. We assayed 89 samples of different essential oils as P. aeruginosa anti-biofilm. Many samples inhibited P. aeruginosa biofilm at concentrations as low as 48.8 µg/mL. Classification of the models was developed through machine learning algorithms.

  1. Loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta): A target species for monitoring litter ingested by marine organisms in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matiddi, Marco; Hochsheid, Sandra; Camedda, Andrea; Baini, Matteo; Cocumelli, Cristiano; Serena, Fabrizio; Tomassetti, Paolo; Travaglini, Andrea; Marra, Stefano; Campani, Tommaso; Scholl, Francesco; Mancusi, Cecilia; Amato, Ezio; Briguglio, Paolo; Maffucci, Fulvio; Fossi, Maria Cristina; Bentivegna, Flegra; de Lucia, Giuseppe Andrea

    2017-11-01

    Marine litter is any persistent, manufactured or processed solid material discarded, disposed of or abandoned in the marine and coastal environment. Ingestion of marine litter can have lethal and sub-lethal effects on wildlife that accidentally ingests it, and sea turtles are particularly susceptible to this threat. The European Commission drafted the 2008/56/EC Marine Strategy Framework Directive with the aim to achieve a Good Environmental Status (GES), and the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta, Linnaeus 1758) was selected for monitoring the amount and composition of litter ingested by marine animals. An analogous decision has been made under the UNEP/MAP Barcelona Convention for the protection of the Mediterranean Sea, following the Ecosystem Approach. This work provides for the first time, two possible scenarios for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive GES, both related to "Trends in the amount and composition of litter ingested by marine animals" in the Mediterranean Sea. The study validates the use of the loggerhead turtle as target indicator for monitoring the impact of litter on marine biota and calls for immediate use of this protocol throughout the Mediterranean basin and European Region. Both GES scenarios are relevant worldwide, where sea turtles and marine litter are present, for measuring the impact of ingested plastics and developing policy strategies to reduce it. In the period between 2011 and 2014, 150 loggerhead sea turtles, found dead, were collected from the Italian Coast, West Mediterranean Sea Sub-Region. The presence of marine litter was investigated using a standardized protocol for necropsies and lab analysis. The collected items were subdivided into 4 main categories, namely, IND-Industrial plastic, USE-User plastic, RUB-Non plastic rubbish, POL-Pollutants and 14 sub-categories, to detect local diversity. Eighty-five percent of the individuals considered (n = 120) were found to have ingested an average of 1.3 ± 0.2 g of

  2. The Chemical Composition of the Lionfish (Pterois miles, Bennett 1828), the New Invasive Species of the Mediterranean Sea

    OpenAIRE

    Ayas, Deniz; Sen Agılkaya, Gulsemin; Kosker, Ali Rıza; Durmus, Mustafa; Ucar, Yılmaz; Bakan, Mısra

    2018-01-01

    In this study, the proximate composition of muscle tissue was investigated in lion fish (P. miles), which has a high invasion potency in the Mediterranean. At the same time, the potentials of accumulation of essential and toxic metals in brain, gill, muscle and liver tissues have been examined. The study was carried out with 4 lion fish individuals (1st individual 278 g, 28 cm, 2nd individual 55 g, 19 cm, 3rd individual 68 g, 20 cm, 4th individual 92 g, 22 cm) caught from the Yeşilovacık Bay ...

  3. Novel Natural Products for Healthy Ageing from the Mediterranean Diet and Food Plants of Other Global Sources-The MediHealth Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waltenberger, Birgit; Halabalaki, Maria; Schwaiger, Stefan; Adamopoulos, Nicolas; Allouche, Noureddine; Fiebich, Bernd L; Hermans, Nina; Jansen-Dürr, Pidder; Kesternich, Victor; Pieters, Luc; Schönbichler, Stefan; Skaltsounis, Alexios-Leandros; Tran, Hung; Trougakos, Ioannis P; Viljoen, Alvaro; Wolfender, Jean-Luc; Wolfrum, Christian; Xynos, Nikos; Stuppner, Hermann

    2018-05-06

    There is a rapid increase in the percentage of elderly people in Europe. Consequently, the prevalence of age-related diseases will also significantly increase. Therefore, the main goal of MediHealth, an international research project, is to introduce a novel approach for the discovery of active agents of food plants from the Mediterranean diet and other global sources that promote healthy ageing. To achieve this goal, a series of plants from the Mediterranean diet and food plants from other origins are carefully selected and subjected to in silico, cell-based, in vivo (fly and mouse models), and metabolism analyses. Advanced analytical techniques complement the bio-evaluation process for the efficient isolation and identification of the bioactive plant constituents. Furthermore, pharmacological profiling of bioactive natural products, as well as the identification and synthesis of their metabolites, is carried out. Finally, optimization studies are performed in order to proceed to the development of innovative nutraceuticals, dietary supplements or herbal medicinal products. The project is based on an exchange of researchers between nine universities and four companies from European and non-European countries, exploiting the existing complementary multidisciplinary expertise. Herein, the unique and novel approach of this interdisciplinary project is presented.

  4. Alien plant species list and distribution for Camdeboo National Park, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mmoto L. Masubelele

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Protected areas globally are threatened by the potential negative impacts that invasive alien plants pose, and Camdeboo National Park (CNP, South Africa, is no exception. Alien plants have been recorded in the CNP since 1981, before it was proclaimed a national park by South African National Parks in 2005. This is the first publication of a list of alien plants in and around the CNP. Distribution maps of some of the first recorded alien plant species are also presented and discussed. To date, 39 species of alien plants have been recorded, of which 13 are invasive and one is a transformer weed. The majority of alien plant species in the park are herbaceous (39% and succulent (24% species. The most widespread alien plant species in the CNP are Atriplex inflata (= A. lindleyi subsp. inflata, Salsola tragus (= S. australis and cacti species, especially Opuntia ficus-indica. Eradication and control measures that have been used for specific problematic alien plant species are described. Conservation implications: This article represents the first step in managing invasive alien plants and includes the collation of a species list and basic information on their distribution in and around the protected area. This is important for enabling effective monitoring of both new introductions and the distribution of species already present. We present the first species list and distribution information for Camdeboo National Park.

  5. Plant trait-species abundance relationships vary with environmental properties in subtropical forests in eastern china.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    En-Rong Yan

    Full Text Available Understanding how plant trait-species abundance relationships change with a range of single and multivariate environmental properties is crucial for explaining species abundance and rarity. In this study, the abundance of 94 woody plant species was examined and related to 15 plant leaf and wood traits at both local and landscape scales involving 31 plots in subtropical forests in eastern China. Further, plant trait-species abundance relationships were related to a range of single and multivariate (PCA axes environmental properties such as air humidity, soil moisture content, soil temperature, soil pH, and soil organic matter, nitrogen (N and phosphorus (P contents. At the landscape scale, plant maximum height, and twig and stem wood densities were positively correlated, whereas mean leaf area (MLA, leaf N concentration (LN, and total leaf area per twig size (TLA were negatively correlated with species abundance. At the plot scale, plant maximum height, leaf and twig dry matter contents, twig and stem wood densities were positively correlated, but MLA, specific leaf area, LN, leaf P concentration and TLA were negatively correlated with species abundance. Plant trait-species abundance relationships shifted over the range of seven single environmental properties and along multivariate environmental axes in a similar way. In conclusion, strong relationships between plant traits and species abundance existed among and within communities. Significant shifts in plant trait-species abundance relationships in a range of environmental properties suggest strong environmental filtering processes that influence species abundance and rarity in the studied subtropical forests.

  6. Differential responses of soil bacteria, fungi, archaea and protists to plant species richness and plant functional group identity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dassen, S.; Cortois, R.; Martens, Henk; De Hollander, M.; Kowalchuk, G.A.; van der Putten, W.H.; De Deyn, G.B.

    2017-01-01

    Plants are known to influence belowground microbial community structure along their roots, but the impacts of plant species richness and plant functional group (FG) identity on microbial communities in the bulk soil are still not well understood. Here, we used 454-pyrosequencing to analyse the soil

  7. Interspecific competition of early successional plant species in ex-arable fields as influenced by plant-soil feedback

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jing, Jingying; Bezemer, T. Martijn; Van der Putten, Wim H.

    2015-01-01

    Plant–soil feedback can affect plants that belong to the same (intraspecific feedback) or different species (interspecific feedback). However, little is known about how intra- and interspecific plant–soil feedbacks influence interspecific plant competition. Here, we used plants and soil from

  8. Changes in semi-arid plant species associations along a livestock grazing gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hugo Saiz

    Full Text Available In semi-arid ecosystems, vegetation is heterogeneously distributed, with plant species often associating in patches. These associations between species are not constant, but depend on the particular response of each species to environmental factors. Here, we investigated how plant species associations change in response to livestock grazing in a semi-arid ecosystem, Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park in South East Spain. We established linear point-intercept transects at four sites with different grazing intensity, and recorded all species at each point. We investigated plant associations by comparing the number of times that each pair of species occurred at the same spatial point (co-occurrences, with the expected number of times based on species abundances. We also assessed associations for each shrub and grass species by considering all their pairs of associations and for the whole plant community by considering all pairs of associations on each site. At all sites, the plant community had a negative pattern of association, with fewer co-occurrences than expected. Negative association in the plant community increased at maximum grazing intensity. Most species associated as expected, particularly grass species, and positive associations were most important at intermediate grazing intensities. No species changed its type of association along the grazing gradient. We conclude that in the present plant community, grazing-resistant species compete among themselves and segregate in space. Some shrub species act as refuges for grazing-sensitive species that benefit from being spatially associated with shrub species, particularly at intermediate grazing intensities where positive associations were highest. At high grazing intensity, these shrubs can no longer persist and positive associations decrease due to the disappearance of refuges. Spatial associations between plant species and their response to grazing help identify the factors that organize

  9. Plant species distribution along environmental gradient: do belowground interactions with fungi matter?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Loïc ePellissier

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The distribution of plants along environmental gradients is constrained by abiotic and biotic factors. Cumulative evidence attests of the impact of abiotic factors on plant distributions, but only few studies discuss the role of belowground communities. Soil fungi, in particular, are thought to play an important role in how plant species assemble locally into communities. We first review existing evidence, and then test the effect of the number of soil fungal operational taxonomic units (OTUs on plant species distributions using a recently collected dataset of plant and metagenomic information on soil fungi in the Western Swiss Alps. Using species distribution models, we investigated whether the distribution of individual plant species is correlated to the number of OTUs of two important soil fungal classes known to interact with plants: the Glomeromycetes, that are obligatory symbionts of plants, and the Agaricomycetes, that may be facultative plant symbionts, pathogens, or wood decayers. We show that including the fungal richness information in the models of plant species distributions improves predictive accuracy. Number of fungal OT