Sample records for neotropical savanna trees

  1. Climatic changes can drive the loss of genetic diversity in a Neotropical savanna tree species. (United States)

    Lima, Jacqueline S; Ballesteros-Mejia, Liliana; Lima-Ribeiro, Matheus S; Collevatti, Rosane G


    The high rates of future climatic changes, compared with the rates reported for past changes, may hamper species adaptation to new climates or the tracking of suitable conditions, resulting in significant loss of genetic diversity. Trees are dominant species in many biomes and because they are long-lived, they may not be able to cope with ongoing climatic changes. Here, we coupled ecological niche modelling (ENM) and genetic simulations to forecast the effects of climatic changes on the genetic diversity and the structure of genetic clusters. Genetic simulations were conditioned to climatic variables and restricted to plant dispersal and establishment. We used a Neotropical savanna tree as species model that shows a preference for hot and drier climates, but with low temperature seasonality. The ENM predicts a decreasing range size along the more severe future climatic scenario. Additionally, genetic diversity and allelic richness also decrease with range retraction and climatic genetic clusters are lost for both future scenarios, which will lead genetic variability to homogenize throughout the landscape. Besides, climatic genetic clusters will spatially reconfigure on the landscape following displacements of climatic conditions. Our findings indicate that climate change effects will challenge population adaptation to new environmental conditions because of the displacement of genetic ancestry clusters from their optimal conditions. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Long range lateral root activity by neo-tropical savanna trees. (United States)

    Leonel da S. L. Sternberg; Sandra Bucci; Augusto Franco; Guillermo Goldstein; William A. Hoffman; Frederick C. Meinzer; Marcelo Z. Moreira; Fabian. Scholz


    The extent of water uptake by lateral roots of savanna trees in the Brazilian highlands was measured by irrigating two 2 by 2 m plots with deuterium-enriched water and assaying for the abundance of deuterium in stem water from trees inside and at several distances from the irrigation plots. Stem water of trees inside the irrigation plots was highly enriched compared to...

  3. Biophysical properties and functional significance of stem water storage tissues in Neotropical savanna trees. (United States)

    F.G. Scholz; S.J. Bucci; G. Goldstein; F.C. Meinzer; A.C. Franco; F. Miralles-Wilhelm


    Biophysical characteristics of sapwood and outer parenchyma water storage compartments were studied in stems of eight dominant Brazilian Cerrado tree species to assess the impact of differences in tissue capacitance on whole-plant water relations. Both the sapwood and outer parenchyma tissues played an important role in regulation of internal water deficits of Cerrado...

  4. Tree-grass interactions in savannas

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scholes, RJ


    Full Text Available Savannas occur where trees and grasses interact to create a biome that is neither grassland nor forest. Woody and gramineous plants interact by many mechanisms, some negative (competition) and some positive (facilitation). The strength and sign...

  5. Sensitivity of woody carbon stocks to bark investment strategy in Neotropical savannas and forests (United States)

    Trugman, Anna T.; Medvigy, David; Hoffmann, William A.; Pellegrini, Adam F. A.


    Fire frequencies are changing in Neotropical savannas and forests as a result of forest fragmentation and increasing drought. Such changes in fire regime and climate are hypothesized to destabilize tropical carbon storage, but there has been little consideration of the widespread variability in tree fire tolerance strategies. To test how aboveground carbon stocks change with fire frequency and composition of plants with different fire tolerance strategies, we update the Ecosystem Demography model 2 (ED2) with (i) a fire survivorship module based on tree bark thickness (a key fire-tolerance trait across woody plants in savannas and forests), and (ii) plant functional types representative of trees in the region. With these updates, the model is better able to predict how fire frequency affects population demography and aboveground woody carbon. Simulations illustrate that the high survival rate of thick-barked, large trees reduces carbon losses with increasing fire frequency, with high investment in bark being particularly important in reducing losses in the wettest sites. Additionally, in landscapes that frequently burn, bark investment can broaden the range of climate and fire conditions under which savannas occur by reducing the range of conditions leading to either complete tree loss or complete grass loss. These results highlight that tropical vegetation dynamics depend not only on rainfall and changing fire frequencies but also on tree fire survival strategy. Further, our results indicate that fire survival strategy is fundamentally important in regulating tree size demography in ecosystems exposed to fire, which increases the preservation of aboveground carbon stocks and the coexistence of different plant functional groups.

  6. Ecological release in lizard assemblages of neotropical savannas. (United States)

    Mesquita, Daniel Oliveira; Colli, Guarino Rinaldi; Vitt, Laurie J


    We compare lizard assemblages of Cerrado and Amazonian savannas to test the ecological release hypothesis, which predicts that niche dimensions and abundance should be greater in species inhabiting isolated habitat patches with low species richness (Amazonian savannas and isolated Cerrado patches) when compared with nonisolated areas in central Cerrado with greater species richness. We calculated microhabitat and diet niche breadths with data from 14 isolated Cerrado patches and Amazon savanna areas and six central Cerrado populations. Morphological data were compared using average Euclidean distances, and lizard abundance was estimated using the number of lizards captured in pitfall traps over an extended time period. We found no evidence of ecological release with respect to microhabitat use, suggesting that historical factors are better microhabitat predictors than ecological factors. However, data from individual stomachs indicate that ecological release occurs in these areas for one species (Tropidurus) but not others (Ameiva ameiva, Anolis, Cnemidophorus, and Micrablepharus), suggesting that evolutionary lineages respond differently to environmental pressures, with tropidurids being more affected by ecological factors than polychrotids, teiids, and gymnophthalmids. We found no evidence that ecological release occurs in these areas using morphological data. Based on abundance data, our results indicate that the ecological release (density compensation) hypothesis is not supported: lizard species are not more abundant in isolated areas than in nonisolated areas. The ecology of species is highly conservative, varying little from assemblage to assemblage. Nevertheless, increases in niche breadth for some species indicate that ecological release occurs as well.

  7. Microbial Diversity in Cerrado Biome (Neotropical Savanna Soils.

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    Alinne Pereira de Castro

    Full Text Available The Cerrado, the largest savanna region in South America, is located in central Brazil. Cerrado physiognomies, which range from savanna grasslands to forest formations, combined with the highly weathered, acidic clay Cerrado soils form a unique ecoregion. In this study, high-throughput sequencing of ribosomal RNA genes was combined with shotgun metagenomic analysis to explore the taxonomic composition and potential functions of soil microbial communities in four different vegetation physiognomies during both dry and rainy seasons. Our results showed that changes in bacterial, archaeal, and fungal community structures in cerrado denso, cerrado sensu stricto, campo sujo, and gallery forest soils strongly correlated with seasonal patterns of soil water uptake. The relative abundance of AD3, WPS-2, Planctomycetes, Thermoprotei, and Glomeromycota typically decreased in the rainy season, whereas the relative abundance of Proteobacteria and Ascomycota increased. In addition, analysis of shotgun metagenomic data revealed a significant increase in the relative abundance of genes associated with iron acquisition and metabolism, dormancy, and sporulation during the dry season, and an increase in the relative abundance of genes related to respiration and DNA and protein metabolism during the rainy season. These gene functional categories are associated with adaptation to water stress. Our results further the understanding of how tropical savanna soil microbial communities may be influenced by vegetation covering and temporal variations in soil moisture.

  8. A continental analysis of correlations between tree patterns in African savannas and human and environmental variables

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groen, T.A.; Langevelde, van F.; Vijver, van de C.A.D.M.; Raad, de A.L.; Leeuw, de J.; Prins, H.H.T.


    This study analyses possible relationships between natural processes taking place in savannas and the tree patterns found in savannas. This can lead to new hypotheses about which processes are driving savanna physiognomy. To do so tree patterns were quantified for African savannas from historical

  9. Mapping big tree presence in open savanna, using tree shadow and high resolution multispectral imagery

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mathieu, Renaud SA


    Full Text Available Large scattered trees play an important role in the functioning of savanna landscapes. They act as focal points for various organism activities, which influence the distribution of nutrients and water within the landscape, which in turn influences...

  10. Insect-plant interactions: new pathways to a better comprehension of ecological communities in Neotropical savannas. (United States)

    Del-Claro, Kleber; Torezan-Silingardi, Helena M


    The causal mechanisms shaping and structuring ecological communities are among the most important themes in ecology. The study of insect-plant interactions in trophic nets is pointed out as basic to improve our knowledge on this issue. The cerrado tropical savanna, although extremely diverse, distributed in more than 20% of the Brazilian territory and filled up with rich examples of multitrophic interactions, is underexplored in terms of biodiversity interaction. Here, this ecosystem is suggested as valuable to the study of insect-plant interactions whose understanding can throw a new light at the ecological communities' theory. Three distinct systems: extrafloral nectary plants or trophobiont herbivores and the associated ant fauna; floral herbivores-predators-pollinators; and plants-forest engineers and associated fauna, will serve as examples to illustrate promising new pathways in cerrado. The aim of this brief text is to instigate young researchers, mainly entomologists, to initiate more elaborated field work, including experimental manipulations in multitrophic systems, to explore in an interactive way the structure that maintain preserved viable communities in the Neotropical savanna.

  11. The individual and interactive effects of tree-tree establishment competition and fire on savanna structure and dynamics


    Calabrese, Justin; Vázquez, Federico; López, Cristóbal; San Miguel, Maxi; Grimm, Volker


    The mechanisms regulating savanna tree populations are still not well understood. Recent empirical work suggests that both tree-tree competition and fire are key factors in semi-arid to mesic savannas. However, the potential for competition to structure savannas, particularly in interaction with fire, has received little theoretical attention. We develop a minimalistic and analytically tractable stochastic cellular automaton to study the individual and combined effects of competition and fire...

  12. Disaggregating tree and grass phenology in tropical savannas (United States)

    Zhou, Qiang

    Savannas are mixed tree-grass systems and as one of the world's largest biomes represent an important component of the Earth system affecting water and energy balances, carbon sequestration and biodiversity as well as supporting large human populations. Savanna vegetation structure and its distribution, however, may change because of major anthropogenic disturbances from climate change, wildfire, agriculture, and livestock production. The overstory and understory may have different water use strategies, different nutrient requirements and have different responses to fire and climate variation. The accurate measurement of the spatial distribution and structure of the overstory and understory are essential for understanding the savanna ecosystem. This project developed a workflow for separating the dynamics of the overstory and understory fractional cover in savannas at the continental scale (Australia, South America, and Africa). Previous studies have successfully separated the phenology of Australian savanna vegetation into persistent and seasonal greenness using time series decomposition, and into fractions of photosynthetic vegetation (PV), non-photosynthetic vegetation (NPV) and bare soil (BS) using linear unmixing. This study combined these methods to separate the understory and overstory signal in both the green and senescent phenological stages using remotely sensed imagery from the MODIS (MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) sensor. The methods and parameters were adjusted based on the vegetation variation. The workflow was first tested at the Australian site. Here the PV estimates for overstory and understory showed best performance, however NPV estimates exhibited spatial variation in validation relationships. At the South American site (Cerrado), an additional method based on frequency unmixing was developed to separate green vegetation components with similar phenology. When the decomposition and frequency methods were compared, the frequency

  13. Tree invasion in a semi-arid savanna in Zimbabwe : seedling recruitment of Acacia karroo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chirara, C. (Chipangura)


    In this thesis Chirara reports on his study on the competitive interaction between savanna grasses and young tree seedlings of Acacia karroo, from hereon indicated as ' Acacia seedlings' . Acacia is one of the tree species that dominates savanna grassland in situations of overgrazing (bush

  14. The ghosts of trees past: savanna trees create enduring legacies in plant species composition. (United States)

    Stahlheber, Karen A; Crispin, Kimberly L; Anton, Cassidy; D'Antonio, Carla M


    Isolated trees in savannas worldwide are known to modify their local environment and interact directly with neighboring plants. Less is known about how related tree species differ in their impacts on surrounding communities, how the effects of trees vary between years, and how composition might change following loss of the tree. To address these knowledge gaps, we explored the following questions: How do savanna trees influence the surrounding composition of herbaceous plants? Is the influence of trees consistent across different species and years? How does this change following the death of the tree? We surveyed herbaceous species composition and environmental attributes surrounding living and dead evergreen and deciduous Quercus trees in California (USA) savannas across several years that differed in their total precipitation. Oak trees of all species created distinct, homogenous understory communities dominated by exotic grasses across several sites. The composition of the low-diversity understory communities showed less interannual variation than open grassland, despite a two-fold difference in precipitation between the driest and wettest year. Vegetation composition was correlated with variation in soil properties, which were strongly affected by trees. Oaks also influenced the communities beyond the edge of the crown, but this depended on site and oak species. Low-diversity understory communities persisted up to 43 years following the death of the tree. A gradual decline in the effect of trees on the physical, environment following death did not result in vegetation becoming more similar to open grassland over time. The presence of long-lasting legacies of past tree crowns highlights the difficulty of assigning control of the current distribution of herbaceous species in grassland to their contemporary environment.

  15. Indigenous burning as conservation practice: neotropical savanna recovery amid agribusiness deforestation in Central Brazil. (United States)

    Welch, James R; Brondízio, Eduardo S; Hetrick, Scott S; Coimbra, Carlos E A


    International efforts to address climate change by reducing tropical deforestation increasingly rely on indigenous reserves as conservation units and indigenous peoples as strategic partners. Considered win-win situations where global conservation measures also contribute to cultural preservation, such alliances also frame indigenous peoples in diverse ecological settings with the responsibility to offset global carbon budgets through fire suppression based on the presumed positive value of non-alteration of tropical landscapes. Anthropogenic fire associated with indigenous ceremonial and collective hunting practices in the Neotropical savannas (cerrado) of Central Brazil is routinely represented in public and scientific conservation discourse as a cause of deforestation and increased CO2 emissions despite a lack of supporting evidence. We evaluate this claim for the Xavante people of Pimentel Barbosa Indigenous Reserve, Brazil. Building upon 23 years of longitudinal interdisciplinary research in the area, we used multi-temporal spatial analyses to compare land cover change under indigenous and agribusiness management over the last four decades (1973-2010) and quantify the contemporary Xavante burning regime contributing to observed patterns based on a four year sample at the end of this sequence (2007-2010). The overall proportion of deforested land remained stable inside the reserve (0.6%) but increased sharply outside (1.5% to 26.0%). Vegetation recovery occurred where reserve boundary adjustments transferred lands previously deforested by agribusiness to indigenous management. Periodic traditional burning by the Xavante had a large spatial distribution but repeated burning in consecutive years was restricted. Our results suggest a need to reassess overreaching conservation narratives about the purported destructiveness of indigenous anthropogenic fire in the cerrado. The real challenge to conservation in the fire-adapted cerrado biome is the long

  16. Seasonality, diaspore traits and the structure of plant-frugivore networks in Neotropical savanna forest (United States)

    Darosci, Adriano Antonio Brito; Bruna, Emilio M.; Motta-Junior, José Carlos; Ferreira, Cristiane da Silva; Blake, John Gilman; Munhoz, Cássia Beatriz Rodrigues


    Complex frugivory networks are common in heterogeneous environments, but how the structure of those networks varies due to seasonality and other environmental factors remains unclear. For example, seasonal variation in rainfall can influence fruit production and diaspore characteristics, which could alter the quantity and quality of resources available to different animals in the network and, hence, network structure. We investigated how a frugivory network varied seasonally in Brazilian savanna (Cerrado), where there are well-defined dry and wet seasons and fructification mainly during the rainy season for most tree species. We recorded fruit consumption by animals during the dry and wet seasons in two different gallery forests and used these data to test the hypotheses that connectance, links per species and nestedness would be higher in the dry season than rainy season due to low available food in the former that would be consumed by various species of frugivores. Concomitantly, we also measured seed width and lipid content from diaspores of the fruiting trees to determine if these characteristics influenced interaction properties between fruiting trees and frugivores. Among the measured network parameters, connectance, links per species and specialization varied between seasons in one site but not in the other, indicating that seasonal variation in networks is not necessarily consistent over time or space. The number of tree species with small diaspores with high lipid content differed between seasons, and those characteristics were key factors increasing the interaction parameter of fruiting trees. We suggest that network stability between seasons may be related to local frugivore diversity, resource availability, and fruit quality.

  17. The influence of savanna trees on nutrient, water and light availability and the understorey vegetation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ludwig, F.; Kroon, de H.; Berendse, F.; Prins, H.H.T.


    In an East African savanna herbaceous layer productivity and species composition were studied around Acacia tortilis trees of three different age classes, as well as around dead trees and in open grassland patches. The effects of trees on nutrient, light and water availability were measured to

  18. Assessing the use of forest islands by parrot species in a neotropical savanna

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    Igor Berkunsky


    Full Text Available Understanding the effect of habitat fragmentation is a fundamental yet complicated aim of many ecological studies. Beni savanna is a naturally fragmented forest habitat, where forest islands exhibit variation in resources and threats. To understand how the availability of resources and threats affect the use of forest islands by parrots, we applied occupancy modeling to quantify use and detection probabilities for 12 parrot species on 60 forest islands. The presence of urucuri (Attalea phalerata and macaw (Acrocomia aculeata palms, the number of tree cavities on the islands, and the presence of selective logging,and fire were included as covariates associated with availability of resources and threats. The model-selection analysis indicated that both resources and threats variables explained the use of forest islands by parrots. For most species, the best models confirmed predictions. The number of cavities was positively associated with use of forest islands by 11 species. The area of the island and the presence of macaw palm showed a positive association with the probability of use by seven and five species, respectively, while selective logging and fire showed a negative association with five and six species, respectively. The Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis, the critically endangered parrot species endemic to our study area, was the only species that showed a negative association with both threats. Monitoring continues to be essential to evaluate conservation and management actions of parrot populations. Understanding of how species are using this natural fragmented habitat will help determine which fragments should be preserved and which conservation actions are needed.

  19. Tree cover in sub-Saharan Africa: rainfall and fire constrain forest and savanna as alternative stable states

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Staver, AC


    Full Text Available Savannas are known as ecosystems with tree cover below climate-defined equilibrium values. However, a predictive framework for understanding constraints on tree cover is lacking. The authors present a) a spatially extensive analysis of tree cover...

  20. Impacts of Human Activities on Tree Species Composition Along the Forest Savanna Boundary in Nigeria

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    Christiana Ndidi Egbinola


    Full Text Available The study investigated the tree species composition along the forest-savanna boundary in Oyo state of Nigeria with the aim of assessing the impact of human activities on the floristic composition. A transect was placed along the study area and species data was collected from quadrats placed in study plots within different study sites. Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA was used to determine vegetation assemblages, while both correlation and the analysis of variance (ANOVA were used to show the relationship between species in the different study sites. Results of the DCA revealed three species assemblages, an area with only forest species, another with only savanna species and a third with both forest/savanna species. ANOVA results further revealed that within the forest and savanna assemblages, species in mature and successional sites were alike. The study therefore revealed that human activities’ within the region is leading to the establishment of savanna species and an elimination of forest species.

  1. Hydraulic lift in a neotropical savanna: experimental manipulation and model simulations (United States)

    Fabian G. Scholz; Sandra J. Bucci; William A. Hoffmann; Frederick C. Meinzer; Guillermo Goldstein


    The objective of this study was to assess the magnitude of hydraulic lift in Brazilian savannas (Cerrado) and to test the hypothesis that hydraulic lift by herbaceous plants contributes substantially to slowing the decline of water potential and water storage in the upper soil layers during the dry season. To this effect, field observations of soil water content and...

  2. Leaf anatomical traits of non-arboreal savanna species along a gradient of tree encroachment

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    Luiz Felipe Souza Pinheiro


    Full Text Available ABSTRACT In the Brazilian savanna (Cerrado of Brazil, fire suppression has transformed typical savanna formations (TS into forested savanna (FS due to the phenomenon of encroachment. Under encroachment, non-arboreal plants begin to receive less light due to greater tree density and canopy closure. Here we aim to evaluate if leaf anatomical traits of non-arboreal species differ according to the degree of tree encroachment at the Assis Ecological Station - São Paulo, Brazil. To this end, we evaluated leaf tissue thickness and specific leaf area (SLA in representative non-arboreal species occurring along a gradient of tree encroachment. Leaves of TS species showed a trend towards xeromorphism, with traits reported to facilitate survival under high luminosity, such as thick leaves, thick epidermis and mesophyll, and low SLA. In contrast, FS species exhibited mesomorphic leaves, with thin mesophyll and high SLA, which are able to capture diffuse light in denser environments. Thus, non-arboreal understory species with mesomorphic leaf traits should be favored in environments with denser vegetation in contrast to typical savanna species. The results suggest that typical non-arboreal savanna species would not survive under tree encroachment due to the low competitiveness of their leaf anatomical strategies in shady environments.

  3. Overlap in nitrogen sources and redistribution of nitrogen between trees and grasses in a semi-arid savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Priyadarshini, K.V.R.; Prins, H.H.T.; Bie, de S.; Heitkonig, I.M.A.; Woodborne, S.; Gort, G.; Kirkman, K.; Fry, B.; Kroon, de H.


    A key question in savanna ecology is how trees and grasses coexist under N limitation. We used N stable isotopes and N content to study N source partitioning across seasons from trees and associated grasses in a semi-arid savanna. We also used 15N tracer additions to investigate possible

  4. Competition between trees and grasses for both soil water and mineral nitrogen in dry savannas. (United States)

    Donzelli, D; De Michele, C; Scholes, R J


    The co-existence of trees and grasses in savannas in general can be the result of processes involving competition for resources (e.g. water and nutrients) or differential response to disturbances such as fire, animals and human activities; or a combination of both broad mechanisms. In moist savannas, the tree-grass coexistence is mainly attributed to of disturbances, while in dry savannas, limiting resources are considered the principal mechanism of co-existence. Virtually all theoretical explorations of tree-grass dynamics in dry savannas consider only competition for soil water. Here we investigate whether coexistence could result from a balanced competition for two resources, namely soil water and mineral nitrogen. We introduce a simple dynamical resource-competition model for trees and grasses. We consider two alternative hypotheses: (1) trees are the superior competitors for nitrogen while grasses are superior competitors for water, and (2) vice-versa. We study the model properties under the two hypotheses and test each hypothesis against data from 132 dry savannas in Africa using Kendall's test of independence. We find that Hypothesis 1 gets much more support than Hypothesis 2, and more support than the null hypothesis that neither is operative. We further consider gradients of rainfall and nitrogen availability and find that the Hypothesis 1 model reproduces the observed patterns in nature. We do not consider our results to definitively show that tree-grass coexistence in dry savannas is due to balanced competition for water and nitrogen, but show that this mechanism is a possibility, which cannot be a priori excluded and should thus be considered along with the more traditional explanations. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Leaf green-up in a semi-arid African savanna - separating tree and grass responses to environmental cues

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Archibald, S


    Full Text Available -arid African savanna - 583 Journal of Vegetation Science 18: 583-594, 2007 © IAVS; Opulus Press Uppsala. Leaf green-up in a semi-arid African savanna – separating tree and grass responses to environmental cues Archibald, S.1* & Scholes, R.J.1,2 1Natural... to identify tree and grass green-up dates in a semi-arid savanna system, and are there predictable environmental cues for green-up for each life form? Location: Acacia nigrescens/Combretum apiculatum savanna, Kruger National Park, South Africa (25° S, 31...

  6. A probabilistic analysis of fire-induced tree-grass coexistence in savannas. (United States)

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


    Fires play an important role in determining the composition and structure of vegetation in semiarid ecosystems. The study of the interactions between fire and vegetation requires a stochastic approach because of the random and unpredictable nature of fire occurrences. To this end, this article develops a minimalist probabilistic framework to investigate the impact of intermittent fire occurrences on the temporal dynamics of vegetation. This framework is used to analyze the emergence of statistically stable conditions favorable to tree-grass coexistence in savannas. It is found that these conditions can be induced and stabilized by the stochastic fire regime. A decrease in fire frequency leads to bush encroachment, while more frequent and intense fires favor savanna-to-grassland conversions. The positive feedback between fires and vegetation can convert states of tree-grass coexistence in semiarid savannas into bistable conditions, with both woodland and grassland as possible, though mutually exclusive, stable states of the system.

  7. Multiple endmember spectral-angle-mapper (SAM) analysis improves discrimination of Savanna tree species

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Cho, Moses A


    Full Text Available of this paper was to evaluate the classification performance of a multiple-endmember spectral angle mapper (SAM) classification approach in discriminating seven common African savanna tree species and to compare the results with the traditional SAM classifier...

  8. Surviving and growing amidst others : the effect of environmental factors on germination and establishment of savanna trees

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moribe Barbosa, E.R.


    Savanna ecosystems are characterized by a continuous grass layer intermixed with a discontinuous layer of trees and shrubs. A complex set of environmental drivers, such as water, soil nutrients, solar radiance, fire and herbivory, determines vegetation structure and composition in savannas.Such

  9. High frequency of trypanosomatids in gallery forest bats of a Neotropical savanna. (United States)

    Lourenço, João Lucas M; Minuzzi-Souza, Thaís T C; Silva, Larissa R; Oliveira, Amanda C; Mendonça, Vagner J; Nitz, Nadjar; Aguiar, Ludmilla M S; Gurgel-Gonçalves, Rodrigo


    Bats are well-known hosts of trypanosomatids, though information about their role as reservoirs of these protozoans in the Brazilian savanna is poorly known. We aimed to analyze the occurrence of trypanosomatid species in bats occurring in remnants of gallery forests of Brasília, Federal District of Brazil. We sampled bats using mist nets in six sites, and we collected blood, wing fragments and oral swab samples from all captured individuals. Trypanosomatids were identified in the captured bats through sequencing of the SSUrRNA region and kDNA qPCR. We found no parasite in blood smears of 146 individuals of 14 species captured, but blood cultures were positive for nine bats. We detected trypanosomatids molecularly in 111 (76%) specimens of all bat species in the studied areas. Most of the infected bats had Leishmania-like DNA detected in blood and swab samples of the oral mucosa. We distinguished three species of Trypanosoma (Trypanosoma dionisii, T. rangeli and T. cruzi) in Carollia perspicillata. SSUrRNA PCR of oral samples is a non-invasive and practical method for identification of trypanosomatid species in bats. Our results support our belief that bats could be potential reservoirs for Trypanosoma and Leishmania-like species in the enzootic cycle of these parasites in gallery forests of the Brazilian Cerrado biome. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Pollination syndromes ignored: importance of non-ornithophilous flowers to Neotropical savanna hummingbirds (United States)

    Maruyama, Pietro K.; Oliveira, Genilda M.; Ferreira, Carolina; Dalsgaard, Bo; Oliveira, Paulo E.


    Generalization prevails in flower-animal interactions, and although animal visitors are not equally effective pollinators, most interactions likely represent an important energy intake for the animal visitor. Hummingbirds are nectar-feeding specialists, and many tropical plants are specialized toward hummingbird-pollination. In spite of this, especially in dry and seasonal tropical habitats, hummingbirds may often rely on non-ornithophilous plants to meet their energy requirements. However, quantitative studies evaluating the relative importance of ornithophilous vs. non-ornithophilous plants for hummingbirds in these areas are scarce. We here studied the availability and use of floral resources by hummingbirds in two different areas of the Cerrado, the seasonal savannas in Central Brazil. Roughly half the hummingbird visited plant species were non-ornithophilous, and these contributed greatly to increase the overall nectar availability. We showed that mean nectar offer, at the transect scale, was the only parameter related to hummingbird visitation frequency, more so than nectar offer at single flowers and at the plant scale, or pollination syndrome. Centrality indices, calculated using hummingbird-plant networks, showed that ornithophilous and non-ornithophilous plants have similar importance for network cohesion. How this foraging behaviour affects reproduction of non-ornithophilous plants remains largely unexplored and is probably case specific, however, we suggest that the additional energy provided by non-ornithophilous plants may facilitate reproduction of truly ornithophilous flowers by attracting and maintaining hummingbirds in the area. This may promote asymmetric hummingbird-plant associations, i.e., pollination depends on floral traits adapted to hummingbird morphology, but hummingbird visitation is determined more by the energetic "reward" than by pollination syndromes.

  11. Carbon mapping of Argentine savannas: Using fractional tree cover to scale from field to region (United States)

    González-Roglich, M.; Swenson, J. J.


    Programs which intend to maintain or enhance carbon (C) stocks in natural ecosystems are promising, but require detailed and spatially explicit C distribution models to monitor the effectiveness of management interventions. Savanna ecosystems are significant components of the global C cycle, covering about one fifth of the global land mass, but they have received less attention in C monitoring protocols. Our goal was to estimate C storage across a broad savanna ecosystem using field surveys and freely available satellite images. We first mapped tree canopies at 2.5 m resolution with a spatial subset of high resolution panchromatic images to then predict regional wall-to-wall tree percent cover using 30-m Landsat imagery and the Random Forests algorithms. We found that a model with summer and winter spectral indices from Landsat, climate and topography performed best. Using a linear relationship between C and % tree cover, we then predicted tree C stocks across the gradient of tree cover, explaining 87 % of the variability. The spatially explicit validation of the tree C model with field-measured C-stocks revealed an RMSE of 8.2 tC/ha which represented ~30% of the mean C stock for areas with tree cover, comparable to studies based on more advanced remote sensing methods, such as LiDAR and RADAR. Sample spatial distribution highly affected the performance of the RF models in predicting tree cover, raising concerns regarding the predictive capabilities of the model in areas for which training data is not present. The 50,000 km2 has ~41 Tg C, which could be released to the atmosphere if agricultural pressure intensifies in this semiarid savanna.

  12. An idealized model for tree-grass coexistence in savannas : The role of life stage structure and fire disturbances

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baudena, Mara|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/340303867; D'Andrea, Fabio; Provenzale, A.


    1. We discuss a simple implicit-space model for the competition of trees and grasses in an idealized savanna environment. The model represents patch occupancy dynamics within the habitat and introduces life stage structure in the tree population, namely adults and seedlings. A tree can be

  13. How well can spectroscopy predict leaf morphological traits in the seasonal neotropical savannas? (United States)

    Streher, A. S.; McGill, B.; Morellato, P.; Silva, T. S. F.


    Variations in foliar morphological traits, quantified as leaf mass per area (LMA, g m-2) and leaf dry matter content (LDMC, g g-1), correspond to a tradeoff between investments in leaf construction costs and leaf life span. Leaf spectroscopy, the acquisition of reflected radiation along contiguous narrow spectral bands from leaves, has shown the potential to link leaf optical properties with a range of foliar traits. However, our knowledge is still limited on how well leaf traits from plants with different life forms and deciduousness strategies can be predicted from spectroscopy. To understand the relationships between leaf traits and optical properties, we investigated: 1) What are the spectral regions associated with leaf morphological traits? 2) How generalizable an optical trait model is across different life forms and leaf strategies? Five locations across cerrado and campo rupestre vegetation in Brazil were sampled during the growing season in 2017. Triplicate mature sun leaves were harvested from plants encompassing different life forms (grasses, perennial herbs, shrubs and trees), comprising 1650 individuals growing over a wide range of environmental conditions. For each individual, we determined LDMC and LMA, and took 30 spectral leaf measurements from 400 to 2500nm, using a spectrometer. We used the Random Forests (RF) algorithm to predict both morphological traits from leaf reflectance, and performed feature selection with a backward stepwise method, progressively removing variables with small importance at each iteration. Model performance was evaluated by using 10-fold cross-validation. LDMC values ranged from 0.12 to 0.67 g g-1, while LMA varied between 41.78 and 562 g m-2. The spectral bands that best explained trait variation were found within the SWIR, around 1397 nm for LDMC, and 2279 nm for LMA. Our general model explained 55.28% of LDMC variance and 55.64% of LMA variation, and the mean RMSE for the predicted values were 0.004 g g-1 and 36.99 g

  14. Tree-grass interactions on an East African savanna : the effects of facilitation, competition, and hydraulic lift

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ludwig, F.


    Keywords: Rangelands, Semi-arid areas, stable isotopes, Acacia, C 4- grasses, plant nutrients, soil nutrients, soil water, plant water relations

    Savanna trees can either increase or decrease the productivity of understorey grasses. Trees reduce grass

  15. Overlap in nitrogen sources and redistribution of nitrogen between trees and grasses in a semi-arid savanna. (United States)

    Priyadarshini, K V R; Prins, Herbert H T; de Bie, Steven; Heitkönig, Ignas M A; Woodborne, Stephan; Gort, Gerrit; Kirkman, Kevin; Fry, Brian; de Kroon, Hans


    A key question in savanna ecology is how trees and grasses coexist under N limitation. We used N stable isotopes and N content to study N source partitioning across seasons from trees and associated grasses in a semi-arid savanna. We also used (15)N tracer additions to investigate possible redistribution of N by trees to grasses. Foliar stable N isotope ratio (δ(15)N) values were consistent with trees and grasses using mycorrhiza-supplied N in all seasons except in the wet season when they switched to microbially fixed N. The dependence of trees and grasses on mineralized soil N seemed highly unlikely based on seasonal variation in mineralization rates in the Kruger Park region. Remarkably, foliar δ(15)N values were similar for all three tree species differing in the potential for N fixation through nodulation. The tracer experiment showed that N was redistributed by trees to understory grasses in all seasons. Our results suggest that the redistribution of N from trees to grasses and uptake of N was independent of water redistribution. Although there is overlap of N sources between trees and grasses, dependence on biological sources of N coupled with redistribution of subsoil N by trees may contribute to the coexistence of trees and grasses in semi-arid savannas.

  16. Biome-specific effects of nitrogen and phosphorus on the photosynthetic characteristics of trees at a forest-savanna boundary in Cameroon. (United States)

    Domingues, Tomas Ferreira; Ishida, F Yoko; Feldpausch, Ted R; Grace, John; Meir, Patrick; Saiz, Gustavo; Sene, Olivier; Schrodt, Franziska; Sonké, Bonaventure; Taedoumg, Herman; Veenendaal, Elmar M; Lewis, Simon; Lloyd, Jon


    Photosynthesis/nutrient relationships of proximally growing forest and savanna trees were determined in an ecotonal region of Cameroon (Africa). Although area-based foliar N concentrations were typically lower for savanna trees, there was no difference in photosynthetic rates between the two vegetation formation types. Opposite to N, area-based P concentrations were-on average-slightly lower for forest trees; a dependency of photosynthetic characteristics on foliar P was only evident for savanna trees. Thus savanna trees use N more efficiently than their forest counterparts, but only in the presence of relatively high foliar P. Along with some other recent studies, these results suggest that both N and P are important modulators of woody tropical plant photosynthetic capacities, influencing photosynthetic metabolism in different ways that are also biome specific. Attempts to find simple unifying equations to describe woody tropical vegetation photosynthesis-nutrient relationships are likely to meet with failure, with ecophysiological distinctions between forest and savanna requiring acknowledgement.

  17. Spectral mapping of savanna tree species at canopy level, with focus on tall trees, using an integrated CAO Hyperspectral & LiDAR sensor approach

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Naidoo, L


    Full Text Available The detection and mapping of tree/plant species in the savanna ecosystem can provide numerous benefits for the managerial authorities. This includes the accurate mapping of the spatial distribution of economically viable trees which are a key source...

  18. Functional traits of trees on and off termite mounds : Understanding the origin of biotically-driven heterogeneity in savannas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Plas, F.; Howison, R.; Reinders, J.; Fokkema, W.; Olff, H.

    Questions In African savannas, Macrotermes termites contribute to small-scale heterogeneity by constructing large mounds. Operating as islands of high nutrient and water availability and low fire frequency, these mounds support distinct, diverse communities of trees that have been shown to be highly

  19. Canopy area of large trees explains aboveground biomass variations across neotropical forest landscapes (United States)

    Meyer, Victoria; Saatchi, Sassan; Clark, David B.; Keller, Michael; Vincent, Grégoire; Ferraz, António; Espírito-Santo, Fernando; d'Oliveira, Marcus V. N.; Kaki, Dahlia; Chave, Jérôme


    Large tropical trees store significant amounts of carbon in woody components and their distribution plays an important role in forest carbon stocks and dynamics. Here, we explore the properties of a new lidar-derived index, the large tree canopy area (LCA) defined as the area occupied by canopy above a reference height. We hypothesize that this simple measure of forest structure representing the crown area of large canopy trees could consistently explain the landscape variations in forest volume and aboveground biomass (AGB) across a range of climate and edaphic conditions. To test this hypothesis, we assembled a unique dataset of high-resolution airborne light detection and ranging (lidar) and ground inventory data in nine undisturbed old-growth Neotropical forests, of which four had plots large enough (1 ha) to calibrate our model. We found that the LCA for trees greater than 27 m (˜ 25-30 m) in height and at least 100 m2 crown size in a unit area (1 ha), explains more than 75 % of total forest volume variations, irrespective of the forest biogeographic conditions. When weighted by average wood density of the stand, LCA can be used as an unbiased estimator of AGB across sites (R2 = 0.78, RMSE = 46.02 Mg ha-1, bias = -0.63 Mg ha-1). Unlike other lidar-derived metrics with complex nonlinear relations to biomass, the relationship between LCA and AGB is linear and remains unique across forest types. A comparison with tree inventories across the study sites indicates that LCA correlates best with the crown area (or basal area) of trees with diameter greater than 50 cm. The spatial invariance of the LCA-AGB relationship across the Neotropics suggests a remarkable regularity of forest structure across the landscape and a new technique for systematic monitoring of large trees for their contribution to AGB and changes associated with selective logging, tree mortality and other types of tropical forest disturbance and dynamics.

  20. Effects of an accidental dry-season fire on the reproductive phenology of two Neotropical savanna shrubs. (United States)

    Dodonov, P; Zanelli, C B; Silva-Matos, D M


    Fire is a recurrent disturbance in savanna vegetation and savanna species are adapted to it. Even so, fire may affect various aspects of plant ecology, including phenology. We studied the effects of a spatially heterogeneous fire on the reproductive phenology of two dominant woody plant species, Miconia albicans (Melastomataceae) and Schefflera vinosa (Araliaceae), in a savanna area in South-eastern Brazil. The study site was partially burnt by a dry-season accidental fire in August 2006, and we monitored the phenolology of 30 burnt and 30 unburnt individuals of each species between September 2007 and September 2008. We used restricted randomizations to assess phenological differences between the burnt and unburnt individuals. Fire had negative effects on the phenology of M. albicans, with a smaller production of reproductive structures in general and of floral buds, total fruits, and ripe fruits in burnt plants. All unburnt but only 16% of the burnt M. albicans plants produced ripe fruits during the study. Fire effects on S. vinosa were smaller, but there was a greater production of floral buds and fruits (but not ripe fruits) by burnt plants; approximately 90% of the individuals of S. vinosa produced ripe fruits during the study, regardless of having been burnt or not. The differences between the two species may be related to S. vinosa's faster growth and absence from the seed bank at the study site, whereas M. albicans grows more slowly and is dominant in the seed bank.

  1. Effects of groundwater abstraction on two keystone tree species in an arid savanna national park. (United States)

    Shadwell, Eleanor; February, Edmund


    In arid systems with no surface water, deep boreholes in ephemeral river beds provide for humans and animals. With continually increasing infrastructure development for tourism in arid wildlife parks such as the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in southern Africa, we ask what effects increased abstraction may have on large trees. Large trees in arid savannas perform essential ecosystem services by providing food, shade, nesting sites and increased nutrients for many other plant and animal species and for this are regarded as keystone species. We determine seasonal fluctuations in the water table while also determining the water source for the dominant large tree species in the Auob and Nossob rivers in the Park. We also determine the extent to which these trees are physiologically stressed using leaf δ 13 C, xylem pressure potentials, specific leaf area and an estimate of canopy death. We do this both upstream and downstream of a low water use borehole in the Auob River and a high water use borehole in the Nossob River. Our results show that the trees are indeed using deep groundwater in the wet season and that this is the same water used by people. In the dry season, trees in the Auob downstream of the active borehole become detached from the aquifer and use more isotopically enriched soil water. In the Nossob in the dry season, all trees use isotopically enriched soil water, and downstream of the active borehole use stomatal regulation to maintain leaf water potentials. These results suggest that trees in the more heavily utilised Nossob are under more water stress than those trees in the Auob but that trees in both rivers demonstrate physiological adaptation to the changes in available water with smaller heavier leaves, no significant canopy dieback and in the dry season in the Nossob stomatal regulation of leaf water potentials. An increase in abstraction of groundwater particularly at the Nossob borehole may cause an additional draw down of the water table adding

  2. Effects of groundwater abstraction on two keystone tree species in an arid savanna national park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eleanor Shadwell


    Full Text Available Background In arid systems with no surface water, deep boreholes in ephemeral river beds provide for humans and animals. With continually increasing infrastructure development for tourism in arid wildlife parks such as the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in southern Africa, we ask what effects increased abstraction may have on large trees. Large trees in arid savannas perform essential ecosystem services by providing food, shade, nesting sites and increased nutrients for many other plant and animal species and for this are regarded as keystone species. Methods We determine seasonal fluctuations in the water table while also determining the water source for the dominant large tree species in the Auob and Nossob rivers in the Park. We also determine the extent to which these trees are physiologically stressed using leaf δ13C, xylem pressure potentials, specific leaf area and an estimate of canopy death. We do this both upstream and downstream of a low water use borehole in the Auob River and a high water use borehole in the Nossob River. Results Our results show that the trees are indeed using deep groundwater in the wet season and that this is the same water used by people. In the dry season, trees in the Auob downstream of the active borehole become detached from the aquifer and use more isotopically enriched soil water. In the Nossob in the dry season, all trees use isotopically enriched soil water, and downstream of the active borehole use stomatal regulation to maintain leaf water potentials. These results suggest that trees in the more heavily utilised Nossob are under more water stress than those trees in the Auob but that trees in both rivers demonstrate physiological adaptation to the changes in available water with smaller heavier leaves, no significant canopy dieback and in the dry season in the Nossob stomatal regulation of leaf water potentials. Discussion An increase in abstraction of groundwater particularly at the Nossob borehole may

  3. Divergent Hydraulic Safety Strategies in Three Co-occurring Anacardiaceae Tree Species in a Chinese Savanna. (United States)

    Zhang, Shu-Bin; Zhang, Jiao-Lin; Cao, Kun-Fang


    Vulnerability segmentation, the condition under which plant leaves are more vulnerable to drought-induced cavitation than stems, may act as a "safety valve" to protect stems from hydraulic failure. Evergreen, winter-deciduous, and drought-deciduous tree species co-occur in tropical savannas, but there have been no direct studies on the role of vulnerability segmentation and stomatal regulation in maintaining hydraulic safety in trees with these three leaf phenologies. To this end, we selected three Anacardiaceae tree species co-occurring in a Chinese savanna, evergreen Pistacia weinmanniifolia , drought-deciduous Terminthia paniculata , and winter-deciduous Lannea coromandelica , to study inter-species differentiation in leaf and stem hydraulic safety. We found that the two deciduous species had significantly higher sapwood-specific hydraulic conductivity and leaf-specific hydraulic conductance than the evergreen species. Moreover, two deciduous species were more vulnerable to stem cavitation than the evergreen species, although both drought-deciduous species and evergreen species had drought-resistance leaves. The evergreen species maintained a wide hydraulic safety margin (HSM) in stems and leaves; which was achieved by embolism resistance of both stems and leaves and isohydric stomatal control. Both deciduous species had limited HSMs in stems and leaves, being isohydric in the winter-deciduous species and anisohydric in drought-deciduous species. The difference in water potential at 50% loss of hydraulic conductivity between the leaves and the terminal stems (P50 leaf-stem ) was positive in P. weinmanniifolia and L. coromandelica , whereas, T. paniculata exhibited a lack of vulnerability segmentation. In addition, differences in hydraulic architecture were found to be closely related to other structural traits, i.e., leaf mass per area, wood density, and sapwood anatomy. Overall, the winter-deciduous species exhibits a drought-avoidance strategy that maintains

  4. Spatial and temporal soil moisture resource partitioning by trees and grasses in a temperate savanna, Arizona, USA. (United States)

    Weltzin, Jake F; McPherson, Guy R


    Stable isotope analysis was used to determine sources of water used by coexisting trees and grasses in a temperate savanna dominated by Quercus emoryi Torr. We predicted that (1) tree seedlings and bunchgrasses utilize shallow sources of soil water, (2) mature savanna trees use deeper sources of water, and (3) trees switch from shallow to deep water sources within 1 year of germination. We found that Q. emoryi trees, saplings, and seedlings (about 2 months, 1 year, and 2 years old), and the dominant bunchgrass [Trachypogon montufari (H.B.K.) Nees.] utilized seasonally available moisture from different depths within the soil profile depending on size/age relationships. Sapling and mature Q. emoryi acquired water from >50 cm deep, 2-month-old seedlings utilized water from emoryi within extant stands of native grasses. The potential for subsequent interaction between Q. emoryi and native grasses was evidenced by similar patterns of soil water use by 1- and 2-year-old seedlings and grasses. Q. emoryi seedlings did not switch from shallow to deep sources of soil water within 2 years of germination: water use by these seedlings apparently becomes independent of water use by grasses after 2 years of age. Finally, older trees (saplings, mature trees) use water from deeper soil layers than grasses, which may facilitate the stable coexistence of mature trees and grasses. Potential shifts in the seasonality of precipitation may alter interactions between woody plants and grasses within temperate savannas characterized by bimodal precipitation regimes: reductions in summer precipitation or soil moisture may be particularly detrimental to warm-season grasses and seedlings of Q. emoryi.

  5. Large-scale phylogeography of the disjunct Neotropical tree species Schizolobium parahyba (Fabaceae-Caesalpinioideae). (United States)

    Turchetto-Zolet, Andreia C; Cruz, Fernanda; Vendramin, Giovanni G; Simon, Marcelo F; Salgueiro, Fabiano; Margis-Pinheiro, Marcia; Margis, Rogerio


    Neotropical rainforests exhibit high levels of endemism and diversity. Although the evolutionary genetics of plant diversification has garnered increased interest, phylogeographic studies of widely distributed species remain scarce. Here we describe chloroplast and nuclear variation patterns in Schizolobium parahyba (Fabaceae), a widespread tree in Neotropical rainforests that harbor two varieties with a disjunct distribution. Chloroplast and nuclear sequence analyses yielded 21 and 4 haplotypes, respectively. Two genetic diversity centers that correlate with the two known varieties were identified: the Southeastern Atlantic forest and the Amazonian basin. In contrast, the populations from southern and northeastern Atlantic forests and Andean-Central American forests exhibited low levels of genetic diversity and divergent haplotypes, likely related to historical processes that impact the flora and fauna in these regions, such as a founder's effect after dispersion and demographic expansion. Phylogeographic and demographic patterns suggest that episodes of genetic isolation and dispersal events have shaped the evolutionary history for this species, and different patterns have guided the evolution of S. parahyba. Moreover, the results of this study suggest that the dry corridor formed by Cerrado and Caatinga ecoregions and the Andean uplift acted as barriers to this species' gene flow, a picture that may be generalized to most of the plant biodiversity tropical woodlands and forests. These results also reinforce the importance of evaluating multiple genetic markers for a more comprehensive understanding of population structure and history. Our results provide insight into the conservation efforts and ongoing work on the genetics of population divergence and speciation in these Neotropical rainforests. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Testing aggregation hypotheses among Neotropical trees and shrubs: results from a 50-ha plot over 20 years of sampling. (United States)

    Myster, Randall W; Malahy, Michael P


    Spatial patterns of tropical trees and shrubs are important to understanding their interaction and the resultant structure of tropical rainforests. To assess this issue, we took advantage of previously collected data, on Neotropical tree and shrub stem identified to species and mapped for spatial coordinates in a 50ha plot, with a frequency of every five years and over a 20 year period. These stems data were first placed into four groups, regardless of species, depending on their location in the vertical strata of the rainforest (shrubs, understory trees, mid-sized trees, tall trees) and then used to generate aggregation patterns for each sampling year. We found shrubs and understory trees clumped at small spatial scales of a few meters for several of the years sampled. Alternatively, mid-sized trees and tall trees did not clump, nor did they show uniform (regular) patterns, during any sampling period. In general (1) groups found higher in the canopy did not show aggregation on the ground and (2) the spatial patterns of all four groups showed similarity among different sampling years, thereby supporting a "shifting mosaic" view of plant communities over large areas. Spatial analysis, such as this one, are critical to understanding and predicting tree spaces, tree-tree replacements and the Neotropical forest patterns, such as biodiversity and those needed for sustainability efforts, they produce.

  7. Nitrogen use strategies of seedlings from neotropical tree species of distinct successional groups. (United States)

    Oliveira, Halley Caixeta; da Silva, Ligia Maria Inocêncio; de Freitas, Letícia Dias; Debiasi, Tatiane Viegas; Marchiori, Nidia Mara; Aidar, Marcos Pereira Marinho; Bianchini, Edmilson; Pimenta, José Antonio; Stolf-Moreira, Renata


    Few studies have analyzed the strategies of neotropical tree seedlings for absorbing, translocating and assimilating the nitrogen. Here, we compared the nitrogen use strategies of seedlings from six tree species that are native to the Brazilian Atlantic Forest and that belong to different successional groups: Trema micrantha, Heliocarpus popayanensis and Cecropia pachystachya (pioneers), Cariniana estrellensis, Eugenia brasiliensis and Guarea kunthiana (non-pioneers). The effects of cultivating seedlings with nitrate or ammonium on the growth, physiology and nitrogen metabolism were analyzed. Nitrate-grown pioneer species had much higher leaf nitrate reductase activity than non-pioneer ones, but non-pioneer seedlings were also able to use nitrate as a nitrogen source. In addition to this remarkable difference between the groups in the capacity for leaf nitrate assimilation, substantial variations in the nitrogen use strategies were observed within the successional classes. Differently from the other non-pioneers, the canopy species C. estrellensis seemed to assimilate nitrate mainly in the leaves. Morphophysiological analyses showed a gradient of ammonium toxicity response, with E. brasiliensis as the most tolerant species, and T. micrantha and H. popayanensis as the most sensitive ones. Guarea kunthiana showed a relatively low tolerance to ammonium and an unusual high translocation of this cation in the xylem sap. In contrast to the other pioneers, C. pachystachya had a high plasticity in the use of nitrogen sources. Overall, these results suggest that nitrogen use strategies of neotropical tree seedlings were not determined solely by their successional position. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  8. Ant-caterpillar antagonism at the community level: interhabitat variation of tritrophic interactions in a neotropical savanna. (United States)

    Sendoya, Sebastián F; Oliveira, Paulo S


    Ant foraging on foliage can substantially affect how phytophagous insects use host plants and represents a high predation risk for caterpillars, which are important folivores. Ant-plant-herbivore interactions are especially pervasive in cerrado savanna due to continuous ant visitation to liquid food sources on foliage (extrafloral nectaries, insect honeydew). While searching for liquid rewards on plants, aggressive ants frequently attack or kill insect herbivores, decreasing their numbers. Because ants vary in diet and aggressiveness, their effect on herbivores also varies. Additionally, the differential occurrence of ant attractants (plant and insect exudates) on foliage produces variable levels of ant foraging within local floras and among localities. Here, we investigate how variation of ant communities and of traits among host plant species (presence or absence of ant attractants) can change the effect of carnivores (predatory ants) on herbivore communities (caterpillars) in a cerrado savanna landscape. We sampled caterpillars and foliage-foraging ants in four cerrado localities (70-460 km apart). We found that: (i) caterpillar infestation was negatively related with ant visitation to plants; (ii) this relationship depended on local ant abundance and species composition, and on local preference by ants for plants with liquid attractants; (iii) this was not related to local plant richness or plant size; (iv) the relationship between the presence of ant attractants and caterpillar abundance varied among sites from negative to neutral; and (v) caterpillars feeding on plants with ant attractants are more resistant to ant predation than those feeding on plants lacking attractants. Liquid food on foliage mediates host plant quality for lepidopterans by promoting generalized ant-caterpillar antagonism. Our study in cerrado shows that the negative effects of generalist predatory ants on herbivores are detectable at a community level, affecting patterns of abundance and

  9. Effects of gut passage on the germination of seeds ingested by didelphid marsupials in a neotropical savanna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Guimarães Lessa


    Full Text Available We analyzed the effects that passage through the guts of seven didelphid species had on the seed germination of 10 plant species. This study was conducted in an area of riparian woodland in a cerrado (savanna reserve in southeastern Brazil. We found seeds of 23 angiosperm species in 427 fecal samples obtained from seven didelphid species. The plant families most often represented by the seeds found in the fecal samples were Melastomataceae (5 species and Rubiaceae (4 species . Most gut-passed seeds showed no significant difference in germinability when compared with the hand-extracted seeds. Among the ingested seeds, only those of Clidemia urceolata DC. (Melastomataceae and Myrcia sp. (Myrtaceae showed an increase in germinability (final proportion of germinated seeds, indicating that didelphid gut passage does not always benefit seed germination. The average germination time of consumed seeds ranged from 12 days (Cipocereus minensis (Werderm. Ritter to 171 days (Cordiera sessilis (Vell. Kuntze. The small number of seeds destroyed after gut passage and the results obtained during the germination experiments underscore the importance of didelphid marsupials to the dynamics of plant reproduction, especially those of small-seeded cerrado species.

  10. Shifts in functional traits elevate risk of fire-driven tree dieback in tropical savanna and forest biomes. (United States)

    Pellegrini, Adam F A; Franco, Augusto C; Hoffmann, William A


    Numerous predictions indicate rising CO2 will accelerate the expansion of forests into savannas. Although encroaching forests can sequester carbon over the short term, increased fires and drought-fire interactions could offset carbon gains, which may be amplified by the shift toward forest plant communities more susceptible to fire-driven dieback. We quantify how bark thickness determines the ability of individual tree species to tolerate fire and subsequently determine the fire sensitivity of ecosystem carbon across 180 plots in savannas and forests throughout the 2.2-million km(2) Cerrado region in Brazil. We find that not accounting for variation in bark thickness across tree species underestimated carbon losses in forests by ~50%, totaling 0.22 PgC across the Cerrado region. The lower bark thicknesses of plant species in forests decreased fire tolerance to such an extent that a third of carbon gains during forest encroachment may be at risk of dieback if burned. These results illustrate that consideration of trait-based differences in fire tolerance is critical for determining the climate-carbon-fire feedback in tropical savanna and forest biomes. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew T Tredennick

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

  12. Coupling carbon allocation with leaf and root phenology predicts tree-grass partitioning along a savanna rainfall gradient (United States)

    Haverd, V.; Smith, B.; Raupach, M.; Briggs, P.; Nieradzik, L.; Beringer, J.; Hutley, L.; Trudinger, C. M.; Cleverly, J.


    The relative complexity of the mechanisms underlying savanna ecosystem dynamics, in comparison to other biomes such as temperate and tropical forests, challenges the representation of such dynamics in ecosystem and Earth system models. A realistic representation of processes governing carbon allocation and phenology for the two defining elements of savanna vegetation (namely trees and grasses) may be a key to understanding variations in tree-grass partitioning in time and space across the savanna biome worldwide. Here we present a new approach for modelling coupled phenology and carbon allocation, applied to competing tree and grass plant functional types. The approach accounts for a temporal shift between assimilation and growth, mediated by a labile carbohydrate store. This is combined with a method to maximize long-term net primary production (NPP) by optimally partitioning plant growth between fine roots and (leaves + stem). The computational efficiency of the analytic method used here allows it to be uniquely and readily applied at regional scale, as required, for example, within the framework of a global biogeochemical model.We demonstrate the approach by encoding it in a new simple carbon-water cycle model that we call HAVANA (Hydrology and Vegetation-dynamics Algorithm for Northern Australia), coupled to the existing POP (Population Orders Physiology) model for tree demography and disturbance-mediated heterogeneity. HAVANA-POP is calibrated using monthly remotely sensed fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (fPAR) and eddy-covariance-based estimates of carbon and water fluxes at five tower sites along the North Australian Tropical Transect (NATT), which is characterized by large gradients in rainfall and wildfire disturbance. The calibrated model replicates observed gradients of fPAR, tree leaf area index, basal area, and foliage projective cover along the NATT. The model behaviour emerges from complex feedbacks between the plant

  13. Increased tree densities in South African savannas: >50 years of data suggests CO2 as driver

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Buitenwerf, R


    Full Text Available EC et al. (2007) Effects of four decades of fire manipulation on woody vegetation structure in savanna. Ecology, 88, 1119-1125. Hoffman MT, O'Connor TG (1999) Vegetation change over 40 years in the Weenen/Muden area, KwaZulu-Natal: evidence from... response of savanna woody plant species following harvesting: the value of persistence. Forest Ecology and Management, 232, 114-123. O'Connor TG (1985) A synthesis of field experiments concerning the grass layer in the savanna regions of southern...

  14. Ecological thresholds in the savanna landscape: developing a protocol for monitoring the change in composition and utilisation of large trees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dave J Druce

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Acquiring greater understanding of the factors causing changes in vegetation structure -- particularly with the potential to cause regime shifts -- is important in adaptively managed conservation areas. Large trees (> or =5 m in height play an important ecosystem function, and are associated with a stable ecological state in the African savanna. There is concern that large tree densities are declining in a number of protected areas, including the Kruger National Park, South Africa. In this paper the results of a field study designed to monitor change in a savanna system are presented and discussed. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Developing the first phase of a monitoring protocol to measure the change in tree species composition, density and size distribution, whilst also identifying factors driving change. A central issue is the discrete spatial distribution of large trees in the landscape, making point sampling approaches relatively ineffective. Accordingly, fourteen 10 m wide transects were aligned perpendicular to large rivers (3.0-6.6 km in length and eight transects were located at fixed-point photographic locations (1.0-1.6 km in length. Using accumulation curves, we established that the majority of tree species were sampled within 3 km. Furthermore, the key ecological drivers (e.g. fire, herbivory, drought and disease which influence large tree use and impact were also recorded within 3 km. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The technique presented provides an effective method for monitoring changes in large tree abundance, size distribution and use by the main ecological drivers across the savanna landscape. However, the monitoring of rare tree species would require individual marking approaches due to their low densities and specific habitat requirements. Repeat sampling intervals would vary depending on the factor of concern and proposed management mitigation. Once a monitoring protocol has been identified and evaluated, the next

  15. Efficiency of Individual Tree Detection Approaches Based on Light-Weight and Low-Cost UAS Imagery in Australian Savannas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grigorijs Goldbergs


    Full Text Available The reliability of airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR for delineating individual trees and estimating aboveground biomass (AGB has been proven in a diverse range of ecosystems, but can be difficult and costly to commission. Point clouds derived from structure from motion (SfM matching techniques obtained from unmanned aerial systems (UAS could be a feasible low-cost alternative to airborne LiDAR scanning for canopy parameter retrieval. This study assesses the extent to which SfM three-dimensional (3D point clouds—obtained from a light-weight mini-UAS quadcopter with an inexpensive consumer action GoPro camera—can efficiently and effectively detect individual trees, measure tree heights, and provide AGB estimates in Australian tropical savannas. Two well-established canopy maxima and watershed segmentation tree detection algorithms were tested on canopy height models (CHM derived from SfM imagery. The influence of CHM spatial resolution on tree detection accuracy was analysed, and the results were validated against existing high-resolution airborne LiDAR data. We found that the canopy maxima and watershed segmentation routines produced similar tree detection rates (~70% for dominant and co-dominant trees, but yielded low detection rates (<35% for suppressed and small trees due to poor representativeness in point clouds and overstory occlusion. Although airborne LiDAR provides higher tree detection rates and more accurate estimates of tree heights, we found SfM image matching to be an adequate low-cost alternative for the detection of dominant and co-dominant tree stands.

  16. Anthropogenic edges, isolation and the flowering time and fruit set of Anadenanthera peregrina, a cerrado savanna tree. (United States)

    Athayde, Eduardo Anversa; Morellato, Leonor Patrícia Cerdeira


    Fragmentation exposes plants to extreme environmental conditions with implications for species phenology and reproduction.We investigated whether isolation and edge effects influence size, flowering time, fruit set, and seedling establishment of Anadenanthera peregrina var. falcata. We compared trees in the interior (n =85), and on the edge (n =74) of a cerrado savanna fragment as well as in a pasture (n =26) with respect to size, flowering phenology, flower and fruit production, fruit and seed set, predispersal seed predation, and seedling establishment. Trees in the pasture were larger and produced a higher number of flowers and fruits than trees on the edge and interior, yet seed set did not differ across environments. The plant size structure explained the flower and fruit production, and the self-compatibility breeding system caused a similar seed set regardless of the environment. First flowering was later and fruit set higher in the interior. We argue that time of first flower influenced the fruit set of Anadenathera. Edge and isolated trees started to flower earlier as a response to microclimatic conditions--mainly temperature--reducing the fruit set. Predispersal seed predation was lower among pasture trees. Conversely, we found seedlings only on the edge and in the interior of cerrado, suggesting that the pasture was of poor quality habitat for Anadenanthera recruitment. Isolation affected the plant size structure and reproduction of Anadenanthera trees. Studies comparing plant phenology under contrasting environmental conditions may offer clues on how global change may affect plant reproduction in the tropics.

  17. Multispecies coalescent analysis of the early diversification of neotropical primates: phylogenetic inference under strong gene trees/species tree conflict. (United States)

    Schrago, Carlos G; Menezes, Albert N; Furtado, Carolina; Bonvicino, Cibele R; Seuanez, Hector N


    Neotropical primates (NP) are presently distributed in the New World from Mexico to northern Argentina, comprising three large families, Cebidae, Atelidae, and Pitheciidae, consequently to their diversification following their separation from Old World anthropoids near the Eocene/Oligocene boundary, some 40 Ma. The evolution of NP has been intensively investigated in the last decade by studies focusing on their phylogeny and timescale. However, despite major efforts, the phylogenetic relationship between these three major clades and the age of their last common ancestor are still controversial because these inferences were based on limited numbers of loci and dating analyses that did not consider the evolutionary variation associated with the distribution of gene trees within the proposed phylogenies. We show, by multispecies coalescent analyses of selected genome segments, spanning along 92,496,904 bp that the early diversification of extant NP was marked by a 2-fold increase of their effective population size and that Atelids and Cebids are more closely related respective to Pitheciids. The molecular phylogeny of NP has been difficult to solve because of population-level phenomena at the early evolution of the lineage. The association of evolutionary variation with the distribution of gene trees within proposed phylogenies is crucial for distinguishing the mean genetic divergence between species (the mean coalescent time between loci) from speciation time. This approach, based on extensive genomic data provided by new generation DNA sequencing, provides more accurate reconstructions of phylogenies and timescales for all organisms. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  18. Biomass partitioning and root morphology of savanna trees across a water gradient

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tomlinson, K.W.; Sterck, F.J.; Bongers, F.; Silva, da D.A.; Barbosa, E.R.; Ward, D.; Bakker, F.T.; Kaauwen, van M.P.W.; Prins, H.H.T.; Bie, de S.; Langevelde, van F.


    1. Plant organ biomass partitioning has been hypothesized to be driven by resources, such that species from drier environments allocate more biomass to roots than species from wetter environments to access water at greater soil depths. In savanna systems, fire may select for greater allocation to

  19. Interactions between terrestrial mammals and the fruits of two neotropical rainforest tree species (United States)

    Camargo-Sanabria, Angela A.; Mendoza, Eduardo


    Mammalian frugivory is a distinctive biotic interaction of tropical forests; however, most efforts in the Neotropics have focused on cases of animals foraging in the forest canopy, in particular primates and bats. In contrast much less is known about this interaction when it involves fruits deposited on the forest floor and terrestrial mammals. We conducted a camera-trapping survey to analyze the characteristics of the mammalian ensembles visiting fruits of Licania platypus and Pouteria sapota deposited on the forest floor in a well preserved tropical rainforest of Mexico. Both tree species produce large fruits but contrast in their population densities and fruit chemical composition. In particular, we expected that more species of terrestrial mammals would consume P. sapota fruits due to its higher pulp:seed ratio, lower availability and greater carbohydrate content. We monitored fruits at the base of 13 trees (P. sapota, n = 4 and L. platypus, n = 9) using camera-traps. We recorded 13 mammal species from which we had evidence of 8 consuming or removing fruits. These eight species accounted for 70% of the species of mammalian frugivores active in the forest floor of our study area. The ensemble of frugivores associated with L. platypus (6 spp.) was a subset of that associated with P. sapota (8 spp). Large body-sized species such as Tapirus bairdii, Pecari tajacu and Cuniculus paca were the mammals more frequently interacting with fruits of the focal species. Our results further our understanding of the characteristics of the interaction between terrestrial mammalian frugivores and large-sized fruits, helping to gain a more balanced view of its importance across different tropical forests and providing a baseline to compare against defaunated forests.

  20. Vulnerability of native savanna trees and exotic Khaya senegalensis to seasonal drought. (United States)

    Arndt, Stefan K; Sanders, Gregor J; Bristow, Mila; Hutley, Lindsay B; Beringer, Jason; Livesley, Stephen J


    Seasonally dry ecosystems present a challenge to plants to maintain water relations. While native vegetation in seasonally dry ecosystems have evolved specific adaptations to the long dry season, there are risks to introduced exotic species. African mahogany, Khaya senegalensis Desr. (A. Juss.), is an exotic plantation species that has been introduced widely in Asia and northern Australia, but it is unknown if it has the physiological or phenotypic plasticity to cope with the strongly seasonal patterns of water availability in the tropical savanna climate of northern Australia. We investigated the gas exchange and water relations traits and adjustments to seasonal drought in K. senegalensis and native eucalypts (Eucalyptus tetrodonta F. Muell. and Corymbia latifolia F. Muell.) in a savanna ecosystem in northern Australia. The native eucalypts did not exhibit any signs of drought stress after 3 months of no rainfall and probably had access to deeper soil moisture late into the dry season. Leaf water potential, stomatal conductance, transpiration and photosynthesis all remained high in the dry season but osmotic adjustment was not observed. Overstorey leaf area index (LAI) was 0.6 in the native eucalypt savanna and did not change between wet and dry seasons. In contrast, the K. senegalensis plantation in the wet season was characterized by a high water potential, high stomatal conductance and transpiration and a high LAI of 2.4. In the dry season, K. senegalensis experienced mild drought stress with a predawn water potential -0.6 MPa. Overstorey LAI was halved, and stomatal conductance and transpiration drastically reduced, while minimum leaf water potentials did not change (-2 MPa) and no osmotic adjustment occurred. Khaya senegalensis exhibited an isohydric behaviour and also had a lower hydraulic vulnerability to cavitation in leaves, with a P50 of -2.3 MPa. The native eucalypts had twice the maximum leaf hydraulic conductance but a much higher P50 of -1.5 MPa

  1. Balanites Aegyptiaca (L.: A Multipurpose Fruit Tree in Savanna Zone Of Western Sudan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamal Eldin Mohammed Fadl


    Full Text Available Underutilized fruit trees play a vital role in food security and economy of the rural population in a number of African countries. Beside the significant important of the underutilized fruit trees in food security and livelihood of the local population many applications can be summarized such as using of leaves for fodder, branches for fencing materials, fire wood and charcoal making, timber for furniture and constructing huts, controlling soil erosion and competing desert encroachments . In spite of their great potential little attention has been given to this species. Balanites aegyptiaca “soap berry tree; thorn tree, desert date” is an important multipurpose trees species in dry land Africa. The tree is a potential source of medicines, pesticides, edible oil, animal feed, nuts, soap, and fuel wood. The edible fruits are rich in saturated fatty acids which are used as cooking oil. The fruit also contains Stereoids (Saponins, Sapogenins, and Disogenins which are used as row materials for industrial production of contraceptive pills and other sexual hormones. The excessive uses of the tree for fruit production and for other uses combined with scarcity of natural regeneration lead to drastic depletion of this species. The desert date tree is adapted to dry and hot climatic environment which are characterized by increasing of land and water resources. However, little information is available about propagation and domestication of this valuable tree species; therefore, studies are needed for sustainable use of underutilized fruit trees in general and for Balanites aegyptiaca in particular. This article aims at highlighting and summarizing information on different aspect of B. aegyptiaca to stimulate the scientist interest in this valuable tree species which is of economical importance for rural inhabitants of western Sudan and other African countries.DOI: Journal of Environment Volume-4

  2. Understory vegetation in fast-growing tree plantations on savanna soils in Congo


    Loumeto, J.J.; Huttel, Charles


    The hypothesis that tree plantations may catalyze the regeneration of natural forest biodiversity was tested through studies of floristic diversity and structure in fast-growing tree plantations in the Congo. Study sites included experimental and industrial plantations on poor sandy coastal soils near Pointe-Noire, and experimental plantations on clay soils near Loudima. The effects of plantations species, plantation age (in 6- to 20-year-old eucalypt stands), disturbance due to herbicide use...

  3. Some aspects of the Seed Germination and Seedling Growth of two Savanna tree Species


    D.A. Agboola; A.A. Ajiboye; O.O. Fawibe; M.O. Atayese


    Studies were made on some aspects of the seed germination and seedling growth of two multipurpose trees. These include the effect of pre sowing treatments, seed sizes and gibberellic acid on the germination of seeds and seedling growth. The tree species include Prosopis africana (Guil & Perr) Taub and Dialium guineense (wild). Two seed sizes designated small- size (Ss) and Big-size (Bs) were identified in the seed. The effect of gibberellic acid (GA3) had a greater significance effect (P < 0....

  4. Edge effects enhance selfing and seed harvesting efforts in the insect-pollinated Neotropical tree Copaifera langsdorffii (Fabaceae). (United States)

    Tarazi, R; Sebbenn, A M; Kageyama, P Y; Vencovsky, R


    Edge effects may affect the mating system of tropical tree species and reduce the genetic diversity and variance effective size of collected seeds at the boundaries of forest fragments because of a reduction in the density of reproductive trees, neighbour size and changes in the behaviour of pollinators. Here, edge effects on the genetic diversity, mating system and pollen pool of the insect-pollinated Neotropical tree Copaifera langsdorffii were investigated using eight microsatellite loci. Open-pollinated seeds were collected from 17 seed trees within continuous savannah woodland (SW) and were compared with seeds from 11 seed trees at the edge of the savannah remnant. Seeds collected from the SW had significantly higher heterozygosity levels (Ho=0.780; He=0.831) than seeds from the edge (Ho=0.702; He=0.800). The multilocus outcrossing rate was significantly higher in the SW (tm=0.859) than in the edge (tm=0.759). Pollen pool differentiation was significant, however, it did not differ between the SW (=0.105) and the edge (=0.135). The variance effective size within the progenies was significantly higher in the SW (Ne=2.65) than at the edge (Ne=2.30). The number of seed trees to retain the reference variance effective size of 500 was 189 at the SW and 217 at the edge. Therefore, it is preferable that seed harvesting for conservation and environmental restoration strategies be conducted in the SW, where genetic diversity and variance effective size within progenies are higher.

  5. Hydraulic redistribution study in two native tree species of agroforestry parklands of West African dry savanna (United States)

    Bayala, Jules; Heng, Lee Kheng; van Noordwijk, Meine; Ouedraogo, Sibiri Jean


    Hydraulic redistribution (HR) in karité ( Vitellaria paradoxa) and néré ( Parkia biglobosa) tree species was studied by monitoring the soil water potential ( ψs) using thermocouple psychrometers at four compass directions, various distances from trees and at different soil depths (max depth 80 cm) during the dry seasons of 2004 and 2005. A modified WaNuLCAS model was then used to infer the amount of water redistribued based on ψs values. Tree transpiration rate was also estimated from sap velocity using thermal dissipative probes (TDP) and sapwood area, and the contribution of hydraulically redistributed water in tree transpiration was determined. The results revealed on average that 46% of the psychrometer readings under karité and 33% under néré showed the occurrence of HR for the two years. Soil under néré displayed significantly lower fluctuations of ψs (0.16 MPa) compared to soil under karité (0.21 MPa). The results of this study indicated that the existence of HR leads to a higher ψs in the plant rhizosphere and hence is important for soil water dynamics and plant nutrition by making more accessible the soluble elements. The simulation showed that the amount of water redistributed would be approximately 73.0 L and 247.1 L per tree per day in 2005 for karité and néré, and would represent respectively 60% and 53% of the amount transpired a day. Even though the model has certainly overestimated the volume of water hydraulically redistributed by the two species, this water may play a key role in maintaining fine root viability and ensuring the well adaptation of these species to the dry areas. Therefore, knowledge of the extent of such transfers and of the seasonal patterns is required and is of paramount importance in parkland systems both for trees and associated crops.

  6. Aquaporins in the wild: natural genetic diversity and selective pressure in the PIP gene family in five Neotropical tree species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vendramin Giovanni G


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Tropical trees undergo severe stress through seasonal drought and flooding, and the ability of these species to respond may be a major factor in their survival in tropical ecosystems, particularly in relation to global climate change. Aquaporins are involved in the regulation of water flow and have been shown to be involved in drought response; they may therefore play a major adaptive role in these species. We describe genetic diversity in the PIP sub-family of the widespread gene family of Aquaporins in five Neotropical tree species covering four botanical families. Results PIP Aquaporin subfamily genes were isolated, and their DNA sequence polymorphisms characterised in natural populations. Sequence data were analysed with statistical tests of standard neutral equilibrium and demographic scenarios simulated to compare with the observed results. Chloroplast SSRs were also used to test demographic transitions. Most gene fragments are highly polymorphic and display signatures of balancing selection or bottlenecks; chloroplast SSR markers have significant statistics that do not conform to expectations for population bottlenecks. Although not incompatible with a purely demographic scenario, the combination of all tests tends to favour a selective interpretation of extant gene diversity. Conclusions Tropical tree PIP genes may generally undergo balancing selection, which may maintain high levels of genetic diversity at these loci. Genetic variation at PIP genes may represent a response to variable environmental conditions.

  7. Use of flowering trees by birds in Savanna in Nigeria during the dry ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Birds preferentially visited flowers primarily to lap nectar. Cases of opportunistic insectivory ... The importance of exotic trees as a nectar substitute for nectarivorous birds in residential areas represent a critical ecosystem service of great value to humanity (esthetic, ethical and economical). In this research, exotic species ...

  8. [New species, newly used names and new ranges of tree ferns (Filicales: Cyatheaceae) in the Neotropics]. (United States)

    Rojas-Alvarado, A F


    Two new species are described for the Neotropics, four species are newly accepted, and four species and one variety are reported. The new species are: Cyathea grayumii A. Rojas and C. panamensis A. Rojas. Cyathea alfonsiana L. D. Gómez, C. holdridgeana Nisman & L. D. Gómez, C. onusta H. Christ and C. squarrosa (Rosenst.) Domin are recognized; Cnemidaria coclena Stolze, Cyathea andina (H. Karst.) Domin, C. caracasana var. meridensis (H. Karst.) R. M. Tryon, C. macrosora (Baker) Domin and C. pseudonanna (L. D. Gómez) Lellinger are reported from Costa Rica and Panama.

  9. Some aspects of the Seed Germination and Seedling Growth of two Savanna tree Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D.A. Agboola


    Full Text Available Studies were made on some aspects of the seed germination and seedling growth of two multipurpose trees. These include the effect of pre sowing treatments, seed sizes and gibberellic acid on the germination of seeds and seedling growth. The tree species include Prosopis africana (Guil & Perr Taub and Dialium guineense (wild. Two seed sizes designated small- size (Ss and Big-size (Bs were identified in the seed. The effect of gibberellic acid (GA3 had a greater significance effect (P < 0.05 on seed germination of both D. guineense and P. africana seeds. The big size seeds had a significant effect (P < 0.05 on the seed germination when compared to the small size seeds. The hydration/dehydration, pre sowing treatments on the seeds did not have any significant effects on germination.

  10. Rapid assessment and mapping of tree cover in southern African savanna woodlands using a new iPhone App and Landsat 8 imagery (United States)

    Fuller, D. O.


    Tree cover is a key parameter in climate modeling. It strongly influences CO2 exchanges between the land surface and atmosphere and surface energy balance. We measured percent woody canopy cover (PWCC) in the savanna woodlands of eastern Zambia over a 10-day period in May 2016 using a new iPhone App (CanopyApp) and related these field measurements to Landsat 8 (L8) Band 4 (red) imagery acquired approximately the same time. We then used parameters from the band 4 digital numbers (DNs)-PWCC linear regression to derive a new map of PWCC for the entire L8 scene. Consistent with theory and previous empirical studies, we found that the relationship between L8 band 4 DNs- PWCC was negative and linear (r2 = 0.61, p reflectance was weaker (r2 = 0.46, p shadowing effects and other spatial inhomogeneities from variable soil and background reflectance. Our PWCC map agreed qualitatively with similar percent tree-cover maps based on Landsat level 1 products and past field studies in the area conducted using a hemispherical lens. Our results also compared favorably with other remote sensing studies that have used complex multivariate approaches to estimate tree cover, which suggests that use of a single L8 band 4 is sufficient to estimate PWCC when spectral contrast exists between the grass, soil and tree layers during the austral fall period in southern African savannas.

  11. Trees and the City: Diversity and Composition along a Neotropical Gradient of Urbanization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rubén Ortega-Álvarez


    Full Text Available In this study we assessed tree species richness, density, and composition patterns along a gradient of urbanization of a megacity. Our results show that total, native, and exotic tree densities were highest in green areas where larger spaces are considered for greening purposes. Conversely, total, native, and exotic tree species richness were highest in land uses with intermediate levels of urban development (residential, residential-commercial areas. Not finding highest tree species richness in less developed urban areas suggests that cultural factors may shape the array of species that are planted within cities. Supporting this, tree composition analyses showed that green areas are comprised of different tree species when compared to the rest of the studied urban land uses. Thus, our results suggest that, to increase the ecological quality of cities, residents and managers should be encouraged to select a greater variety of trees to promote heterogeneous green areas.

  12. Mapping Savanna Tree Species at Ecosystem Scales Using Support Vector Machine Classification and BRDF Correction on Airborne Hyperspectral and LiDAR Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory P. Asner


    Full Text Available Mapping the spatial distribution of plant species in savannas provides insight into the roles of competition, fire, herbivory, soils and climate in maintaining the biodiversity of these ecosystems. This study focuses on the challenges facing large-scale species mapping using a fusion of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR and hyperspectral imagery. Here we build upon previous work on airborne species detection by using a two-stage support vector machine (SVM classifier to first predict species from hyperspectral data at the pixel scale. Tree crowns are segmented from the lidar imagery such that crown-level information, such as maximum tree height, can then be combined with the pixel-level species probabilities to predict the species of each tree. An overall prediction accuracy of 76% was achieved for 15 species. We also show that bidirectional reflectance distribution (BRDF effects caused by anisotropic scattering properties of savanna vegetation can result in flight line artifacts evident in species probability maps, yet these can be largely mitigated by applying a semi-empirical BRDF model to the hyperspectral data. We find that confronting these three challenges—reflectance anisotropy, integration of pixel- and crown-level data, and crown delineation over large areas—enables species mapping at ecosystem scales for monitoring biodiversity and ecosystem function.

  13. Landscape changes in a neotropical forest-savanna ecotone zone in central Brazil: The role of protected areas in the maintenance of native vegetation. (United States)

    Garcia, Andrea S; Sawakuchi, Henrique O; Ferreira, Manuel Eduardo; Ballester, Maria Victoria R


    In the Amazon-savanna ecotone in northwest Brazil, the understudied Araguaia River Basin contains high biodiversity and seasonal wetlands. The region is representative of tropical humid-dry ecotone zones, which have experienced intense land use and land cover (LULC) conversions. Here we assessed the LULC changes for the last four decades in the central portion of the Araguaia River Basin to understand the temporal changes in the landscape composition and configuration outside and inside protected areas. We conducted these analyzes by LULC mapping and landscape metrics based on patch classes. During this period, native vegetation was reduced by 26%. Forests were the most threatened physiognomy, with significant areal reduction and fragmentation. Native vegetation cover was mainly replaced by croplands and pastures. Such replacement followed spatial and temporal trends related to the implementation of protected areas and increases in population cattle herds. The creation of most protected areas took place between 1996 and 2007, the same period during which the conversion of the landscape matrix from natural vegetation to agriculture occurred. We observed that protected areas mitigate fragmentation, but their roles differ according to their location and level of protection. Still, we argue that landscape characteristics, such as suitability for agriculture, also influence landscape conversions and should be considered when establishing protected areas. The information provided in this study can guide new research on species conservation and landscape planning, as well as improve the understanding of the impacts of landscape composition and configuration changes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Human impacts affect tree community features of 20 forest fragments of a vanishing neotropical hotspot. (United States)

    Pereira, José Aldo Alves; de Oliveira-Filho, Ary Teixeira; Eisenlohr, Pedro V; Miranda, Pedro L S; de Lemos Filho, José Pires


    The loss in forest area due to human occupancy is not the only threat to the remaining biodiversity: forest fragments are susceptible to additional human impact. Our aim was to investigate the effect of human impact on tree community features (species composition and abundance, and structural descriptors) and check if there was a decrease in the number of slender trees, an increase in the amount of large trees, and also a reduction in the number of tree species that occur in 20 fragments of Atlantic montane semideciduous forest in southeastern Brazil. We produced digital maps of each forest fragment using Landsat 7 satellite images and processed the maps to obtain morphometric variables. We used investigative questionnaires and field observations to survey the history of human impact. We then converted the information into scores given to the extent, severity, and duration of each impact, including proportional border area, fire, trails, coppicing, logging, and cattle, and converted these scores into categorical levels. We used linear models to assess the effect of impacts on tree species abundance distribution and stand structural descriptors. Part of the variation in floristic patterns was significantly correlated to the impacts of fire, logging, and proportional border area. Structural descriptors were influenced by cattle and outer roads. Our results provided, for the first time, strong evidence that tree species occurrence and abundance, and forest structure of Atlantic seasonal forest fragments respond differently to various modes of disturbance by humans.

  15. Leaf litter breakdown rates and associated fauna of native and exotic trees used in Neotropical Riparia Reforestation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gutierrez Isaza, Nataly; Blanco, Juan Felipe


    A signature of globalization is the prevalence of exotic trees along reforested urban and rural riparian zones in the neotropics, but little is known about the instream processing of its leaf litter. In this study, leaf litter breakdown rates were measured during 35 days using mesh bags within a reference headwater stream for seven exotic and three native tree species commonly used in urban and rural reforestation. Artocarpus altilis, Schefflera actinophylla and Terminalia catappa scored the highest mass loss rates (>85 %; mean life: t50 <15 d), while Cecropia sp. and Cespedesia macrophylla (mass loss =36 and 15 %; t50 =58 and 172 d, respectively) scored the lowest rates. However, a broad range of rates was observed among the ten species studied. The carbon to phosphorus ratio (c:p) and toughness of the leaf litter were the best predictors of breakdown rates. However, these leaf properties were not correlated with the very low values of macro invertebrates abundance and diversity, and the few morpho classified as shredders. Therefore physical rather than biological controls seem to best explain the observed variability of mass loss rates, and thus slow decomposing leaf litter species seems to provide a habitat rather than a food resource, particularly to collectors. This study suggests that riparian reforestation will propagate species-specific ecological influences on instream processes such as leaf litter processing depending on leaf quality properties, therefore ecosystem-wide influences should be considered for improving reforestation strategies. Future studies should test for differences in breakdown rates and colonization by macro invertebrates relative for leaf litter species origin (native vs. exotic).

  16. Domestication of the neotropical tree Chrysophyllum cainito from a geographically limited yet genetically diverse gene pool in Panama. (United States)

    Petersen, Jennifer J; Parker, Ingrid M; Potter, Daniel


    Species in the early stages of domestication, in which wild and cultivated forms co-occur, provide important opportunities to develop and test hypotheses about the origins of crop species. Chrysophyllum cainito (Sapotaceae), the star apple or caimito, is a semidomesticated tree widely cultivated for its edible fruits; it is known to be native to the neotropics, but its precise geographic origins have not been firmly established. Here, we report results of microsatellite marker analyses supporting the hypothesis that the center of domestication for caimito was the Isthmus of Panama, a region in which few crop species are believed to have originated, despite its importance as a crossroads for the dispersal of domesticated plants between North and South America. Our data suggest that caimito was domesticated in a geographically restricted area while incorporating a diverse gene pool. These results refute the generally accepted Antillean origin of caimito, as well as alternative hypotheses that the species was domesticated independently in the two areas or over a broad geographic range including both. Human-mediated dispersal from Panama to the north and east was accompanied by strong reductions in both genotypic and phenotypic diversity. Within Panama, cultivated and wild trees show little neutral genetic divergence, in contrast to striking phenotypic differentiation in fruit and seed traits. In addition to providing a rare example of data that support the hypothesis of a narrow geographic origin on the Isthmus of Panama for a now widespread cultivated plant species, this study is one of the first investigations of the origins of an edible species of the large pantropical family Sapotaceae.

  17. Growth and reproduction respond differently to climate in three Neotropical tree species. (United States)

    Alfaro-Sánchez, Raquel; Muller-Landau, Helene C; Wright, S Joseph; Camarero, J Julio


    The response of tropical forests to anthropogenic climate change is critically important to future global carbon budgets, yet remains highly uncertain. Here, we investigate how precipitation, temperature, solar radiation and dry- and wet-season lengths are related to annual tree growth, flower production, and fruit production in three moist tropical forest tree species using long-term datasets from tree rings and litter traps in central Panama. We also evaluated how growth, flower, and fruit production were interrelated. We found that growth was positively correlated with wet-season precipitation in all three species: Jacaranda copaia (r = 0.63), Tetragastris panamensis (r = 0.39) and Trichilia tuberculata (r = 0.39). Flowering and fruiting in Jacaranda were negatively related to current-year dry-season rainfall and positively related to prior-year dry-season rainfall. Flowering in Tetragastris was negatively related to current-year annual mean temperature while Trichilia showed no significant relationships of reproduction with climate. Growth was significantly related to reproduction only in Tetragastris, where it was positively related to previous year fruiting. Our results suggest that tree growth in moist tropical forest tree species is generally reduced by drought events such as those associated with strong El Niño events. In contrast, interannual variation in reproduction is not generally associated with growth and has distinct and species-specific climate responses, with positive effects of El Niño events in some species. Understanding these contrasting climate effects on tree growth and reproduction is critical to predicting changes in tropical forest dynamics and species composition under climate change.

  18. Seasonal water stress tolerance and habitat associations within four neotropical tree genera. (United States)

    Baraloto, Christopher; Morneau, François; Bonal, Damien; Blanc, Lilian; Ferry, Bruno


    We investigated the relationship between habitat association and physiological performance in four congeneric species pairs exhibiting contrasting distributions between seasonally flooded and terra firme habitats in lowland tropical rain forests of French Guiana, including Virola and Iryanthera (Myristicaceae), Symphonia (Clusiaceae), and Eperua (Caesalpiniaceae). We analyzed 10-year data sets of mapped and measured saplings (stems >150 cm in height and or =10 cm dbh) across 37.5 ha of permanent plots covering a 300-ha zone, within which seasonally flooded areas (where the water table never descends below 1 m) have been mapped. Additionally, we tested the response of growth, survival, and leaf functional traits of these species to drought and flood stress in a controlled experiment. We tested for habitat preference using a modification of the torus translation method. Strong contrasting associations of the species pairs of Iryanthera, Virola, and Symphonia were observed at the sapling stage, and these associations strengthened for the tree stage. Neither species of Eperua was significantly associated with flooded habitats at the sapling stage, but E. falcata was significantly and positively associated with flooded forests at the tree stage, and trees of E. grandiflora were found almost exclusively in nonflooded habitats. Differential performance provided limited explanatory support for the observed habitat associations, with only congeners of Iryanthera exhibiting divergent sapling survival and tree growth. Seedlings of species associated with flooded forest tended to have higher photosynthetic capacity than their congeners at field capacity. In addition, they tended to have the largest reductions in leaf gas exchange and growth rate in response to experimental drought stress and the least reductions in response to experimental inundation. The corroboration of habitat association with differences in functional traits and, to a lesser extent, measures of performance

  19. The trait contribution to wood decomposition rates of 15 Neotropical tree species. (United States)

    van Geffen, Koert G; Poorter, Lourens; Sass-Klaassen, Ute; van Logtestijn, Richard S P; Cornelissen, Johannes H C


    The decomposition of dead wood is a critical uncertainty in models of the global carbon cycle. Despite this, relatively few studies have focused on dead wood decomposition, with a strong bias to higher latitudes. Especially the effect of interspecific variation in species traits on differences in wood decomposition rates remains unknown. In order to fill these gaps, we applied a novel method to study long-term wood decomposition of 15 tree species in a Bolivian semi-evergreen tropical moist forest. We hypothesized that interspecific differences in species traits are important drivers of variation in wood decomposition rates. Wood decomposition rates (fractional mass loss) varied between 0.01 and 0.31 yr(-1). We measured 10 different chemical, anatomical, and morphological traits for all species. The species' average traits were useful predictors of wood decomposition rates, particularly the average diameter (dbh) of the tree species (R2 = 0.41). Lignin concentration further increased the proportion of explained inter-specific variation in wood decomposition (both negative relations, cumulative R2 = 0.55), although it did not significantly explain variation in wood decomposition rates if considered alone. When dbh values of the actual dead trees sampled for decomposition rate determination were used as a predictor variable, the final model (including dead tree dbh and lignin concentration) explained even more variation in wood decomposition rates (R2 = 0.71), underlining the importance of dbh in wood decomposition. Other traits, including wood density, wood anatomical traits, macronutrient concentrations, and the amount of phenolic extractives could not significantly explain the variation in wood decomposition rates. The surprising results of this multi-species study, in which for the first time a large set of traits is explicitly linked to wood decomposition rates, merits further testing in other forest ecosystems.

  20. Tree species, spatial heterogeneity, and seasonality drive soil fungal abundance, richness, and composition in Neotropical rainforests. (United States)

    Kivlin, Stephanie N; Hawkes, Christine V


    Tropical ecosystems remain poorly understood and this is particularly true for belowground soil fungi. Soil fungi may respond to plant identity when, for example, plants differentially allocate resources belowground. However, spatial and temporal heterogeneity in factors such as plant inputs, moisture, or nutrients can also affect fungal communities and obscure our ability to detect plant effects in single time point studies or within diverse forests. To address this, we sampled replicated monocultures of four tree species and secondary forest controls sampled in the drier and wetter seasons over 2 years. Fungal community composition was primarily related to vegetation type and spatial heterogeneity in the effects of vegetation type, with increasing divergence partly reflecting greater differences in soil pH and soil moisture. Across wetter versus drier dates, fungi were 7% less diverse, but up to four-fold more abundant. The combined effects of tree species and seasonality suggest that predicted losses of tropical tree diversity and intensification of drought have the potential to cascade belowground to affect both diversity and abundance of tropical soil fungi. © 2016 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Tracking a genetic signal of extinction-recolonization events in a neotropical tree species: Vouacapoua americana Aublet in French Guiana. (United States)

    Dutech, Cyril; Maggia, Laurent; Tardy, Christophe; Joly, Hélène I; Jarne, Philippe


    Drier periods from the late Pleistocene and early Holocene have been hypothesized to have caused the disappearance of various rainforest species over large geographical areas in South America and restricted the extant populations to mesic sites. Subsequent improvement in climatic conditions has been associated with recolonization. Changes in population size associated with these extinction-recolonization events should have affected genetic diversity within species. However, these historical hypotheses and their genetic consequences have rarely been tested in South America. Here, we examine the diversity of the chloroplast and nuclear genomes in a Neotropical rainforest tree species, Vouacapoua americana (Leguminosae, Caesalpinioideae) in French Guiana. The chloroplast diversity was analyzed using a polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism method (six pairs of primers) in 29 populations distributed over most of French Guiana, and a subset of 17 populations was also analyzed at nine polymorphic microsatellite loci. To determine whether this species has experienced extinction-recolonization, we sampled populations in areas supposedly not or only slightly affected by climatic changes, where the populations would not have experienced frequent extinction, and in areas that appear to have been recently recolonized. In the putatively recolonized areas, we found patches of several thousands of hectares homogeneous for chloroplast variation that can be interpreted as the effect of recolonization processes from several geographical origins. In addition, we observed that, for both chloroplast and nuclear genomes, the populations in newly recolonized areas exhibited a significantly smaller allelic richness than others. Controlling for geographic distance, we also detected a significant correlation between chloroplast and nuclear population differentiation. This result indicates a cytonuclear disequilibrium that can be interpreted as a historical signal

  2. High levels of diversity uncovered in a widespread nominal taxon: continental phylogeography of the neotropical tree frog Dendropsophus minutus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo Gehara

    Full Text Available Species distributed across vast continental areas and across major biomes provide unique model systems for studies of biotic diversification, yet also constitute daunting financial, logistic and political challenges for data collection across such regions. The tree frog Dendropsophus minutus (Anura: Hylidae is a nominal species, continentally distributed in South America, that may represent a complex of multiple species, each with a more limited distribution. To understand the spatial pattern of molecular diversity throughout the range of this species complex, we obtained DNA sequence data from two mitochondrial genes, cytochrome oxidase I (COI and the 16S rhibosomal gene (16S for 407 samples of D. minutus and closely related species distributed across eleven countries, effectively comprising the entire range of the group. We performed phylogenetic and spatially explicit phylogeographic analyses to assess the genetic structure of lineages and infer ancestral areas. We found 43 statistically supported, deep mitochondrial lineages, several of which may represent currently unrecognized distinct species. One major clade, containing 25 divergent lineages, includes samples from the type locality of D. minutus. We defined that clade as the D. minutus complex. The remaining lineages together with the D. minutus complex constitute the D. minutus species group. Historical analyses support an Amazonian origin for the D. minutus species group with a subsequent dispersal to eastern Brazil where the D. minutus complex originated. According to our dataset, a total of eight mtDNA lineages have ranges >100,000 km2. One of them occupies an area of almost one million km2 encompassing multiple biomes. Our results, at a spatial scale and resolution unprecedented for a Neotropical vertebrate, confirm that widespread amphibian species occur in lowland South America, yet at the same time a large proportion of cryptic diversity still remains to be discovered.

  3. Evaluation of hedgerow trees in alley cropping for phosphorus use efficiency and N{sub 2} fixation in low P soils in moist savanna in Nigeria

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sanginga, N [International Inst. of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan (Nigeria); Danso, S K.A. [Joint FAO/IAEA Div. of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, Vienna (Austria). Soil Fertility and Crop Production Section; Zapata, F [FAO/IAEA Agriculture and Biotechnology Lab., Seibersdorf (Austria). Soils Science Unit; Bowen, G D [Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Glen Osmond (Australia). Div. of Soils


    Soils low in P and N are common in the moist savanna climatic zones and consequently growth of hedgerow trees in alley cropping systems might require addition of N and P fertilizers. This is difficult for small scale farmers who have limited access to fertilizers and therefore depend only on limited input cropping systems. Exploiting genetic differences in P use efficiency and using hedgerow trees selected for high N{sub 2} fixation ability can improve tree establishment and growth on N and P-poor soils, restore soil fertility and preserve soil from degradation. Field experiments carried out at Fashola (moist savanna) have shown that large differences in growth and P use efficiency occurred between N{sub 2} fixing trees such as Gliricidia sepium, and non N{sub 2}-fixing trees such as Senna siamea and Senna spectabilis. Provenances or isoline differences in P use efficiency also occurred within species and was also influenced by level of P and period of growth. Differences between species and provenances in P uptake and growth were largely related to differences in physiological P-use efficiency (PPUE), root length and VAM infection rate, especially at low P. In general, nodulation was improved by P application, but varied among provenances. Gliricidia Sepium fixed about 61% of its N from atmospheric N{sub 2} in the pot experiment and 40% in the field. The percentage of N fixed was not affected by rate of P application. Differences in P and N accumulation and use efficiency were also influenced by management practices such as pruning. The distribution of total P followed the same trend as that of dry matter yield, while no significant correlations were found between partitioning of dry matter and total N. Uncut and cut G. Sepium derived 35 and 54% respectively of their N from atmospheric N{sub 2}. About 54% of the fixed N{sub 2} was partitioned to shoots and roots and this was not proportional to the size of these organs relative the whole plant. 17refs,2figs,2tabs.

  4. Rooting depth varies differentially in trees and grasses as a function of mean annual rainfall in an African savanna. (United States)

    Holdo, Ricardo M; Nippert, Jesse B; Mack, Michelle C


    A significant fraction of the terrestrial biosphere comprises biomes containing tree-grass mixtures. Forecasting vegetation dynamics in these environments requires a thorough understanding of how trees and grasses use and compete for key belowground resources. There is disagreement about the extent to which tree-grass vertical root separation occurs in these ecosystems, how this overlap varies across large-scale environmental gradients, and what these rooting differences imply for water resource availability and tree-grass competition and coexistence. To assess the extent of tree-grass rooting overlap and how tree and grass rooting patterns vary across resource gradients, we examined landscape-level patterns of tree and grass functional rooting depth along a mean annual precipitation (MAP) gradient extending from ~ 450 to ~ 750 mm year -1 in Kruger National Park, South Africa. We used stable isotopes from soil and stem water to make inferences about relative differences in rooting depth between these two functional groups. We found clear differences in rooting depth between grasses and trees across the MAP gradient, with grasses generally exhibiting shallower rooting profiles than trees. We also found that trees tended to become more shallow-rooted as a function of MAP, to the point that trees and grasses largely overlapped in terms of rooting depth at the wettest sites. Our results reconcile previously conflicting evidence for rooting overlap in this system, and have important implications for understanding tree-grass dynamics under altered precipitation scenarios.

  5. Mating System and Effective Population Size of the Overexploited Neotropical Tree (Myroxylon peruiferum L.f.) and Their Impact on Seedling Production. (United States)

    Silvestre, Ellida de Aguiar; Schwarcz, Kaiser Dias; Grando, Carolina; de Campos, Jaqueline Bueno; Sujii, Patricia Sanae; Tambarussi, Evandro Vagner; Macrini, Camila Menezes Trindade; Pinheiro, José Baldin; Brancalion, Pedro Henrique Santin; Zucchi, Maria Imaculada


    The reproductive system of a tree species has substantial impact on genetic diversity and structure within and among natural populations. Such information, should be considered when planning tree planting for forest restoration. Here, we describe the mating system and genetic diversity of an overexploited Neotropical tree, Myroxylon peruiferum L.f. (Fabaceae) sampled from a forest remnant (10 seed trees and 200 seeds) and assess whether the effective population size of nursery-grown seedlings (148 seedlings) is sufficient to prevent inbreeding depression in reintroduced populations. Genetic analyses were performed based on 8 microsatellite loci. M. peruiferum presented a mixed mating system with evidence of biparental inbreeding (t^m-t^s = 0.118). We found low levels of genetic diversity for M. peruiferum species (allelic richness: 1.40 to 4.82; expected heterozygosity: 0.29 to 0.52). Based on Ne(v) within progeny, we suggest a sample size of 47 seed trees to achieve an effective population size of 100. The effective population sizes for the nursery-grown seedlings were much smaller Ne = 27.54-34.86) than that recommended for short term Ne ≥ 100) population conservation. Therefore, to obtain a reasonable genetic representation of native tree species and prevent problems associated with inbreeding depression, seedling production for restoration purposes may require a much larger sampling effort than is currently used, a problem that is further complicated by species with a mixed mating system. This study emphasizes the need to integrate species reproductive biology into seedling production programs and connect conservation genetics with ecological restoration.

  6. Growth form and seasonal variation in leaf gas exchange of Colophospermum mopane savanna trees in northwest Botswana

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veenendaal, E.M.; Mantlana, K.B.; Pammenter, N.W.; Weber, P.; Huntsman-Mapila, P.; Lloyd, J.


    We investigated differences in physiological and morphological traits between the tall and short forms of mopane (Colophospermum mopane (Kirk ex Benth.) Kirk ex J. Leonard) trees growing near Maun, Botswana on a Kalahari sandveld overlying an impermeable calcrete duricrust. We sought to determine if

  7. Leaf adaptations of evergreen and deciduous trees of semi-arid and humid savannas on three continents

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tomlinson, K.W.; Poorter, L.; Sterck, F.J.; Borghetti, M.; Ward, D.; Bie, de S.; Langevelde, van F.


    1. Drought stress selects for a suite of plant traits at root, stem and leaf level. Two strategies are proposed for trees growing in seasonally water-stressed environments: drought tolerance and drought avoidance. These are respectively associated with evergreen phenology, where plants retain their

  8. Growth form and seasonal variation in leaf gas exchange of Colophospermum mopane savanna trees in northwest Botswana. (United States)

    Veenendaal, Elmar M; Mantlana, Khanyisa B; Pammenter, Norman W; Weber, Piet; Huntsman-Mapila, Phillipa; Lloyd, Jon


    We investigated differences in physiological and morphological traits between the tall and short forms of mopane (Colophospermum mopane (Kirk ex Benth.) Kirk ex J. Léonard) trees growing near Maun, Botswana on a Kalahari sandveld overlying an impermeable calcrete duricrust. We sought to determine if differences between the two physiognomic types are attributable to the way they exploit available soil water. The tall form, which was located on deeper soil than the short form (5.5 versus 1.6 m), had a lower leaf:fine root biomass ratio (1:20 versus 1:6), but a similar leaf area index (0.9-1.0). Leaf nitrogen concentrations varied between 18 and 27 mg g(-1) and were about 20% higher in the tall form than in the short form. Maximum net assimilation rates (A sat) occurred during the rainy seasons (March-April 2000 and January-February 2001) and were similar in the tall and short forms (15-22 micromol m(-2) s(-1)) before declining to less than 10 micromol m(-2) s(-1) at the end of the rainy season in late April. As the dry season progressed, A sat, soil water content, predawn leaf water potential (Psi pd) and leaf nitrogen concentration declined rapidly. Before leaf abscission, Psi pd was more negative in the short form (-3.4 MPa) than in the tall form (-2.7 MPa) despite the greater availability of soil water beneath the short form trees. This difference appeared attributable to differences in root depth and density between the physiognomic types. Stomatal regulation of water use and carbon assimilation differed between years, with the tall form having a consistently more conservative water-use strategy as the dry season progressed than the short form.

  9. Tree cover, tree height and bare soil cover differences along a land use degradation gradient in semi-arid savannas, South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mathieu, R


    Full Text Available High resolution airborne hyperspectral and discrete return LiDAR data were used to assess bare soil and tree cover differences along a land use transect consisting of state-owned, privately-owned conservation areas, and communal areas in South...

  10. Phylogenetics of neotropical Platymiscium (Leguminosae

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Saslis-Lagoudakis, C. Haris; Chase, Mark W; Robinson, Daniel N


    Platymiscium is a neotropical legume genus of forest trees in the Pterocarpus clade of the pantropical "dalbergioid" clade. It comprises 19 species (29 taxa), distributed from Mexico to southern Brazil. This study presents a molecular phylogenetic analysis of Platymiscium and allies inferred from...

  11. Determinants of woody cover in African savannas (United States)

    Sankaran, M.; Hanan, N.P.; Scholes, Robert J.; Ratnam, J.; Augustine, D.J.; Cade, B.S.; Gignoux, J.; Higgins, S.I.; Le, Roux X.; Ludwig, F.; Ardo, J.; Banyikwa, F.; Bronn, A.; Bucini, G.; Caylor, K.K.; Coughenour, M.B.; Diouf, A.; Ekaya, W.; Feral, C.J.; February, E.C.; Frost, P.G.H.; Hiernaux, P.; Hrabar, H.; Metzger, K.L.; Prins, H.H.T.; Ringrose, S.; Sea, W.; Tews, J.; Worden, J.; Zambatis, N.


    Savannas are globally important ecosystems of great significance to human economies. In these biomes, which are characterized by the co-dominance of trees and grasses, woody cover is a chief determinant of ecosystem properties 1-3. The availability of resources (water, nutrients) and disturbance regimes (fire, herbivory) are thought to be important in regulating woody cover1,2,4,5, but perceptions differ on which of these are the primary drivers of savanna structure. Here we show, using data from 854 sites across Africa, that maximum woody cover in savannas receiving a mean annual precipitation (MAP) of less than ???650 mm is constrained by, and increases linearly with, MAP. These arid and semi-arid savannas may be considered 'stable' systems in which water constrains woody cover and permits grasses to coexist, while fire, herbivory and soil properties interact to reduce woody cover below the MAP-controlled upper bound. Above a MAP of ???650 mm, savannas are 'unstable' systems in which MAP is sufficient for woody canopy closure, and disturbances (fire, herbivory) are required for the coexistence of trees and grass. These results provide insights into the nature of African savannas and suggest that future changes in precipitation 6 may considerably affect their distribution and dynamics. ?? 2005 Nature Publishing Group.

  12. Fire-free land use in pre-1492 Amazonian savannas. (United States)

    Iriarte, José; Power, Mitchell J; Rostain, Stéphen; Mayle, Francis E; Jones, Huw; Watling, Jennifer; Whitney, Bronwen S; McKey, Doyle B


    The nature and scale of pre-Columbian land use and the consequences of the 1492 "Columbian Encounter" (CE) on Amazonia are among the more debated topics in New World archaeology and paleoecology. However, pre-Columbian human impact in Amazonian savannas remains poorly understood. Most paleoecological studies have been conducted in neotropical forest contexts. Of studies done in Amazonian savannas, none has the temporal resolution needed to detect changes induced by either climate or humans before and after A.D. 1492, and only a few closely integrate paleoecological and archaeological data. We report a high-resolution 2,150-y paleoecological record from a French Guianan coastal savanna that forces reconsideration of how pre-Columbian savanna peoples practiced raised-field agriculture and how the CE impacted these societies and environments. Our combined pollen, phytolith, and charcoal analyses reveal unexpectedly low levels of biomass burning associated with pre-A.D. 1492 savanna raised-field agriculture and a sharp increase in fires following the arrival of Europeans. We show that pre-Columbian raised-field farmers limited burning to improve agricultural production, contrasting with extensive use of fire in pre-Columbian tropical forest and Central American savanna environments, as well as in present-day savannas. The charcoal record indicates that extensive fires in the seasonally flooded savannas of French Guiana are a post-Columbian phenomenon, postdating the collapse of indigenous populations. The discovery that pre-Columbian farmers practiced fire-free savanna management calls into question the widely held assumption that pre-Columbian Amazonian farmers pervasively used fire to manage and alter ecosystems and offers fresh perspectives on an emerging alternative approach to savanna land use and conservation that can help reduce carbon emissions.

  13. Classification of savanna tree species, in the Greater Kruger National Park region, by integrating hyperspectral and LiDAR data in a random forest data mining environment

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Naidoo, L


    Full Text Available . Savanna vegetation are also highly irregular in canopy and crown shape, height and other structural dimensions with a combination of open grassland patches and dense woody thicket – a stark contrast to the more homogeneous forest vegetation. This study...

  14. Savanna browse production. 2: Prediction | Penderis | African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Our study was initiated with the aim of modelling browse production rates of key savanna tree species in the northern Zululand region of KwaZulu-Natal, with the assumption that browse production equates to utilised browse biomass. Predictive models for the production of browse, at different game feeding levels, ...

  15. The role of ant-tended extrafloral nectaries in the protection and benefit of a Neotropical rainforest tree. (United States)

    de la Fuente, Marie Ann S; Marquis, Robert J


    One possible function of extrafloral nectaries is to attract insects, particularly ants, which defend plants from herbivores. We determined whether ants visiting saplings of the tree Stryphnodendronmicrostachyum (Leguminosae) provide protection (decreased plant damage due to ant molestation or killing of herbivores) and benefit (increased plant growth and reproduction associated with ant presence) to the plant. We compared ant and herbivore abundance, herbivore damage and growth of ant-visited plants and ant-excluded plants grown in sun and shade microhabitats of a 6-ha plantation in Costa Rica over a 7-month period. Results show that ants provided protection to plants not by reducing herbivore numbers but by molesting herbivores. Ants also reduced the incidence of pathogen attack on leaves. Protection was greater in the shade than in the sun, probably due to lower herbivore attack in the sun. Protection was also variable within sun and shade habitats, and this variability appeared to be related to variable ant visitation. Results also indicate that ant presence benefits the plant: ant-visited plants grew significantly more in height than ant-excluded plants. The cultivation of ants may serve as an important natural biological control in tropical forestry and agroforestry systems, where increased plant density can otherwise lead to increased herbivore attack.

  16. Effects of temperate agriculture on neotropical migrant landbirds (United States)

    Nicholas L. Rodenhouse; Louis B. Best; Raymond J. O' Connor; Eric K. Bollinger


    The ecology of Neotropical migrant landbirds in temperate farmland is reviewed to develop management recommendations for the conservation of migrants. Migrants constitute about 71% of bird species using farmland and 86% of bird species nesting there. The number and abundances of Neotropical migrants using farmland are greatest in uncultivated edges with trees and...

  17. Global extent and determinants of savanna and forest as alternative biome states

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Staver, C


    Full Text Available Theoretically, fire–tree cover feedbacks can maintain savanna and forest as alternative stable states. However, the global extent of fire- driven discontinuities in tree cover is unknown, especially accounting for seasonality and soils. The authors...

  18. Photosynthetic traits of five neotropical rainforest tree species: interactions between light response curves and leaf-to-air vapour pressure deficit

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo Schramm Mielke


    Full Text Available Measurements of leaf gas exchange at different photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD levels were conducted in order to compare the photosynthetic traits of five neotropical rainforest tree species, with a special emphasis on empirical mathematical models to estimate the light response curve parameters incorporating the effects of leaf-to-air vapour pressure deficit (D on the saturated photosynthetic rate (Amax. All empirical mathematical models seemed to provide a good estimation of the light response parameters. Comparisons of the leaf photosynthetic traits between different species needed to select an appropriate model and indicated the microenvironmental conditions when the data were collected. When the vapour pressure deficit inside the chamber was not controlled, the incorporation of linear or exponencial functions that explained the effects of D on leaf gas exchange, was a very good method to enhance the performance of the models.Medições das trocas gasosas foliares em diferentes níveis do densidade de fluxo de fótons fotossintéticamente ativos (PPFD foram realizadas com o objetivo de comparar as características fotossintéticas de cinco espécies arbóreas de florestas úmidas neotropicais, com especial ênfase em modelos matemáticos empíricos para estimativa de parâmetros derivados das curvas de resposta à radiação luminosa e dos efeitos da diferença de pressão de vapor entre a folha e o ar (D na taxa fotossintética em saturação luminosa (Amax. Os modelos analisados proporcionaram boas estimativas para os parâmetros derivados das curvas de resposta à radiação luminosa. Comparações entre as características fotossintéticas de diferentes espécies devem sempre considerar os modelos utilizados, seguidas de indicações pormenorizadas das condições microambientais no momento em que os dados foram coletados. Quando a diferença de pressão de vapor não for controlada artificialmente durante as medições, a

  19. The development of savanna afforestation in northern Nigeria

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kadeba, O. (Forestry Research Institute, Ibadan (Nigeria))


    The savanna woodland which covers over 80% of the land area of Nigeria is not capable of meeting the requirements of its population for wood and wood products. Since its inception in 1964, the Savanna Forestry Research Project has been concerned mainly with the problems of wood production in this region. The major constraints to tree planting, which include seasonal deficiencies of soil and atmospheric moisture, low levels of soil fertility, selection of suitable exotic tree species and competition in the early stages of tree growth with grasses, have been identified. References are made to some of the major problems that have been solved and those that are being tackled. Some species of exotic trees have proven adaptive to the savanna conditions and are known to be superior to the native savanna trees in terms of growth rates, yields and utility values. The exotic trees which can grown well in the different savanna climatic zones include several species of Eucalyptus and Pinus in addition to teak (Tectona grandis), Gmelina arborea, and neem (Azadirachta indica).

  20. Special issue: Comparative biogeography of Neotropical primates. (United States)

    Lynch Alfaro, Jessica W; Cortés-Ortiz, Liliana; Di Fiore, Anthony; Boubli, Jean P


    New research presented in this special issue of Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution on the "Phylogeny and Biogeography of Neotropical Primates" greatly improves our understanding of the evolutionary history of the New World monkeys and provides insights into the multiple platyrrhine radiations, diversifications, extinctions, and recolonizations that have taken place over time and over space in the Neotropics. Here, we synthesize genetic and biogeographic research from the past several years to construct an overarching hypothesis for platyrrhine evolution. We also highlight continuing controversies in Neotropical primate biogeography, such as whether the location of origin of platyrrhines was Africa or Asia; whether Patagonian fossil primates are stem or crown platyrrhines; and whether cis- and trans-Andean Neotropical primates were subject to vicariance through Andes mountain building, or instead diversified through isolation in mountain valleys after skirting around the Andes on the northwestern coast of South America. We also consider the role of the Amazon River and its major tributaries in shaping platyrrhine biodiversity, and how and when primates from the Amazon reached the Atlantic Forest. A key focus is on primate colonizations and extirpations in Central America, the Andes, and the seasonally dry tropical forests and savannas (such as the Llanos, Caatinga, and Cerrado habitats), all ecosystems that have been understudied up until now for primates. We suggest that most primates currently inhabiting drier open habitats are relatively recent arrivals, having expanded from rainforest habitats in the Pleistocene. We point to the Pitheciidae as the taxonomic group most in need of further phylogenetic and biogeographic research. Additionally, genomic studies on the Platyrrhini are deeply needed and are expected to bring new surprises and insights to the field of Neotropical primate biogeography. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Response of land surface phenology to variation in tree cover during green-up and senescence periods in the semi-arid savanna of Southern Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Cho, Moses A


    Full Text Available ) seasonal time series (2001 to 2015) maps for a study region in South Africa. Tree cover (%) data for 100 randomly selected polygons grouped into three tree cover classes: low (< 20%, n = 44), medium (20-40%, n = 22) and high (> 40%, n = 34) were used...

  2. Challenges and opportunities in land surface modelling of savanna ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Whitley


    Full Text Available The savanna complex is a highly diverse global biome that occurs within the seasonally dry tropical to sub-tropical equatorial latitudes and are structurally and functionally distinct from grasslands and forests. Savannas are open-canopy environments that encompass a broad demographic continuum, often characterised by a changing dominance between C3-tree and C4-grass vegetation, where frequent environmental disturbances such as fire modulates the balance between ephemeral and perennial life forms. Climate change is projected to result in significant changes to the savanna floristic structure, with increases to woody biomass expected through CO2 fertilisation in mesic savannas and increased tree mortality expected through increased rainfall interannual variability in xeric savannas. The complex interaction between vegetation and climate that occurs in savannas has traditionally challenged terrestrial biosphere models (TBMs, which aim to simulate the interaction between the atmosphere and the land surface to predict responses of vegetation to changing in environmental forcing. In this review, we examine whether TBMs are able to adequately represent savanna fluxes and what implications potential deficiencies may have for climate change projection scenarios that rely on these models. We start by highlighting the defining characteristic traits and behaviours of savannas, how these differ across continents and how this information is (or is not represented in the structural framework of many TBMs. We highlight three dynamic processes that we believe directly affect the water use and productivity of the savanna system: phenology, root-water access and fire dynamics. Following this, we discuss how these processes are represented in many current-generation TBMs and whether they are suitable for simulating savanna fluxes.Finally, we give an overview of how eddy-covariance observations in combination with other data sources can be used in model

  3. Frequent burning promotes invasions of alien plants into a mesic African savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Masocha, M.; Skidmore, A.K.; Poshiwa, X.; Prins, H.H.T.


    Fire is both inevitable and necessary for maintaining the structure and functioning of mesic savannas. Without disturbances such as fire and herbivory, tree cover can increase at the expense of grass cover and over time dominate mesic savannas. Consequently, repeated burning is widely used to

  4. Is deciduousness a key to climate resilience among iconic California savanna oak species? Relating phenological habits to seasonal indicators of tree physiological and water stress across field, hyperspectral, drone (UAS)-based multispectral and thermal image data (United States)

    Mayes, M. T.; Caylor, K. K.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Greenberger, R. N.; Estes, L. D.


    In California (CA) savannas, oak trees (genus Quercus) play keystone roles in water and nutrient cycling, support biodiversity and many land-use activities. Declines in oak basal area of up to 25% from the 1930s-2000s, which have occurred alongside climate trends such as increasing variability of rainfall and prevalence of hotter droughts, threaten the services and ecological functions these trees provide. It is particularly unclear how climate relates to productivity and stress across oak species. Past work has found that seedling recruitment has varied inversely with "deciduousness." That is, evergreen oaks (e.g. Quercus agrifola. Coast Live Oak) are reproducing more successfully than drought-deciduous (e.g. Quercus douglassi, Blue Oak), which in turn are more successful than fully deciduous species (e.g. Quercus lobata, Valley Oak). However, there is poor understanding of how these ecological trends by species, corresponding with phenological habit, relate to physiological and ecohydrological processes such as carbon assimilation, water or nutrient use efficiency in mature tree stands. This limits predictive capability for which species will be most resilient to harsher future growing conditions, and, how to monitor stress and productivity in long-lived mature oak communities across landscapes via tools including remotely sensed data. This project explores how ecophysiological variables (e.g. stomatal conductance) relate to phenological habits across three oak species (Coast Live, Blue and Valley) over a seasonal dry-down period in Santa Barbara County, CA. Our goal is to probe if deciduousness is a key to resilience in productivity and water stress across iconic oak species. We test relationships between leaf and canopy-level field data, and indicators from multiple new sources of remotely sensed data, including ground hyperspectral, drone (UAS)-based multi-spectral and thermal image data, as means of monitoring tree physiological and water stress from scales

  5. Multiple remote sensing data sources to assess spatio-temporal patterns of fire incidence over Campos Amazônicos Savanna Vegetation Enclave (Brazilian Amazon). (United States)

    Alves, Daniel Borini; Pérez-Cabello, Fernando


    Fire activity plays an important role in the past, present and future of Earth system behavior. Monitoring and assessing spatial and temporal fire dynamics have a fundamental relevance in the understanding of ecological processes and the human impacts on different landscapes and multiple spatial scales. This work analyzes the spatio-temporal distribution of burned areas in one of the biggest savanna vegetation enclaves in the southern Brazilian Amazon, from 2000 to 2016, deriving information from multiple remote sensing data sources (Landsat and MODIS surface reflectance, TRMM pluviometry and Vegetation Continuous Field tree cover layers). A fire scars database with 30 m spatial resolution was generated using a Landsat time series. MODIS daily surface reflectance was used for accurate dating of the fire scars. TRMM pluviometry data were analyzed to dynamically establish time limits of the yearly dry season and burning periods. Burned area extent, frequency and recurrence were quantified comparing the results annually/seasonally. Additionally, Vegetation Continuous Field tree cover layers were used to analyze fire incidence over different types of tree cover domains. In the last seventeen years, 1.03millionha were burned within the study area, distributed across 1432 fire occurrences, highlighting 2005, 2010 and 2014 as the most affected years. Middle dry season fires represent 86.21% of the total burned areas and 32.05% of fire occurrences, affecting larger amount of higher density tree surfaces than other burning periods. The results provide new insights into the analysis of burned areas of the neotropical savannas, spatially and statistically reinforcing important aspects linked to the seasonality patterns of fire incidence in this landscape. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Sap flow measurements combining sap-flux density radial profiles with punctual sap-flux density measurements in oak trees (Quercus ilex and Quercus pyrenaica) - water-use implications in a water-limited savanna- (United States)

    Reyes, J. Leonardo; Lubczynski1, Maciek W.


    measurements using the HFD-measured radial profiles. The standard TDP daily mean of sap-flux density was 95% higher than the 2cm equivalent of the HFD for Q. ilex and 70% higher for Q. pyrenaica. NTG-corrected TDP daily mean of sap-flux density was 34% higher than HFD for Q. ilex and 47% lower for Q. pyrenaica. Regarding sap flow measurements, the standard TDP sap flow was 81% higher than HFD sap flow for Q. ilex and 297% for Q. pyrenaica. The NTG-corrected TDP sap flow was 24% higher than HFD sap flow for Q. ilex and 23% for Q. pyrenaica. The radial correction, for TDP-NTG-corrected sap-flux density, produced sap-flow measurements in well agreement with HFD, just slightly lower (-3% Q.i. and -4% Q.p.). The TDP-HFD sap flow data acquired in dry season over the savanna type of sparsely distributed oak trees (Q. ilex & Q. pyrenaica) showed that the TDP method must be corrected for NTG and for radial variability of sap flux density in trees with sapwood thicker than 2 cm. If such corrections are not taken into consideration, the amount of accounted water used by the trees is prone to overestimation, especially for Quercus pyrenaica. The obtained results indicate also that the combination of HFD and TDP leads to an efficient and accurate operational sap flow measurement schema that is currently in the optimization stage.

  7. Time-dependent effects of climate and drought on tree growth in a Neotropical dry forest: Short-term tolerance vs. long-term sensitivity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mendivelso, H.A.; Camarero, J.J.; Gutierrez, E.; Zuidema, P.


    We analyzed the effects of climate and drought on radial growth using dendrochronology in seven deciduous tree species coexisting in a Bolivian tropical dry forest subjected to seasonal drought. Precipitation, temperature and a multiscalar drought index were related to tree-ring width data at

  8. The global extent and determinants of savanna and forest as alternative biome states. (United States)

    Staver, A Carla; Archibald, Sally; Levin, Simon A


    Theoretically, fire-tree cover feedbacks can maintain savanna and forest as alternative stable states. However, the global extent of fire-driven discontinuities in tree cover is unknown, especially accounting for seasonality and soils. We use tree cover, climate, fire, and soils data sets to show that tree cover is globally discontinuous. Climate influences tree cover globally but, at intermediate rainfall (1000 to 2500 millimeters) with mild seasonality (less than 7 months), tree cover is bimodal, and only fire differentiates between savanna and forest. These may be alternative states over large areas, including parts of Amazonia and the Congo. Changes in biome distributions, whether at the cost of savanna (due to fragmentation) or forest (due to climate), will be neither smooth nor easily reversible.

  9. Leaf litter breakdown rates and associated fauna of native and exotic trees used in Neotropical Riparia Reforestation; Tasas de perdida de masa de la hojarasca y fauna asociada en especies de arboles comunmente utilizados en la Reforestacion de Riberas Neotropicales

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gutierrez Isaza, Nataly; Blanco, Juan Felipe


    A signature of globalization is the prevalence of exotic trees along reforested urban and rural riparian zones in the neotropics, but little is known about the instream processing of its leaf litter. In this study, leaf litter breakdown rates were measured during 35 days using mesh bags within a reference headwater stream for seven exotic and three native tree species commonly used in urban and rural reforestation. Artocarpus altilis, Schefflera actinophylla and Terminalia catappa scored the highest mass loss rates (>85 %; mean life: t50 <15 d), while Cecropia sp. and Cespedesia macrophylla (mass loss =36 and 15 %; t50 =58 and 172 d, respectively) scored the lowest rates. However, a broad range of rates was observed among the ten species studied. The carbon to phosphorus ratio (c:p) and toughness of the leaf litter were the best predictors of breakdown rates. However, these leaf properties were not correlated with the very low values of macro invertebrates abundance and diversity, and the few morpho classified as shredders. Therefore physical rather than biological controls seem to best explain the observed variability of mass loss rates, and thus slow decomposing leaf litter species seems to provide a habitat rather than a food resource, particularly to collectors. This study suggests that riparian reforestation will propagate species-specific ecological influences on instream processes such as leaf litter processing depending on leaf quality properties, therefore ecosystem-wide influences should be considered for improving reforestation strategies. Future studies should test for differences in breakdown rates and colonization by macro invertebrates relative for leaf litter species origin (native vs. exotic).

  10. A review of the palm genus Acrocomia: Neotropical green gold (United States)

    The genus Acrocomia, popularly known as macaw palm or macaúba, occurs in savanna areas and open forests of tropical America, with distribution from Central to southern South America. They are important oleaginous palm trees, due to their role in ecosystems, local economies, and their potential for b...

  11. Restoring a disappearing ecosystem: the Longleaf Pine Savanna.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harrington, Timothy B. [USFS; Miller, Karl V. [University of Georgia; Park, Noreen


    Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) savannas of the southeastern United States contain some of the worlds most diverse plant communities, along with a unique complement of wildlife. Their traditionally open canopy structure and rich understory of grasses and herbs were critical to their vigor. However, a long history of land-use practices such as logging, farming, and fire exclusion have reduced this once-widespread ecosystem to only 3 percent of its original range. At six longleaf pine plantations in South Carolina, Tim Harrington with the Pacific Northwest Research Station and collaborators with the Southern Research Station used various treatments (including prescribed burns, tree thinning, and herbicide applications) to alter the forest structure and tracked how successful each one was in advancing savanna restoration over a 14-year period. They found that typical planting densities for wood production in plantations create dense understory shade that excludes many native herbaceous species important to savannas and associated wildlife. The scientists found that although tree thinning alone did not result in sustained gains, a combination of controlled burning, thinning, and herbicide treatments to reduce woody plants was an effective strategy for recovering the savanna ecosystem. The scientists also found that these efforts must be repeated periodically for enduring benefits.

  12. Improved quality of beneath-canopy grass in South African savannas: Local and seasonal variation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Treydte, A.C.; Looringh van Beeck, F.A.; Ludwig, F.; Heitkonig, I.M.A.


    Questions: Do large trees improve the nutrient content and the structure of the grass layer in savannas? Does the magnitude of this improvement differ with locality ( soil nutrients) and season ( water availability)? Are grass structure and species composition beneath tree canopies influenced by

  13. From savanna to campus woodlot: the historical ecology of farm woodlots in southern Illinois (United States)

    C. M. Ruffner; A. Trieu; S. Chandy; M. D. Davis; D. Fishel; G. Gipson; J. Lhotka; K. Lynch; P. Perkins; S. van de Gevel; W. Watson; E. White


    The historical ecology of Thompson Woods, a 4.1 ha forest remnant on the campus of Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, was investigated through stand structure analysis, dendroecology, and historical records. Historical records indicate the area was a savanna ecosystem prior to European settlement dominated by large, open grown mixed oak-hickory trees. No trees in...

  14. Trees (United States)

    Al-Khaja, Nawal


    This is a thematic lesson plan for young learners about palm trees and the importance of taking care of them. The two part lesson teaches listening, reading and speaking skills. The lesson includes parts of a tree; the modal auxiliary, can; dialogues and a role play activity.

  15. [Neotropical plant morphology]. (United States)

    Pérez-García, Blanca; Mendoza, Aniceto


    An analysis on plant morphology and the sources that are important to the morphologic interpretations is done. An additional analysis is presented on all published papers in this subject by the Revista de Biología Tropical since its foundation, as well as its contribution to the plant morphology development in the neotropics.

  16. Environmental determinants of tropical forest and savanna distribution: A quantitative model evaluation and its implication (United States)

    Zeng, Zhenzhong; Chen, Anping; Piao, Shilong; Rabin, Sam; Shen, Zehao


    The distributions of tropical ecosystems are rapidly being altered by climate change and anthropogenic activities. One possible trend—the loss of tropical forests and replacement by savannas—could result in significant shifts in ecosystem services and biodiversity loss. However, the influence and the relative importance of environmental factors in regulating the distribution of tropical forest and savanna biomes are still poorly understood, which makes it difficult to predict future tropical forest and savanna distributions in the context of climate change. Here we use boosted regression trees to quantitatively evaluate the importance of environmental predictors—mainly climatic, edaphic, and fire factors—for the tropical forest-savanna distribution at a mesoscale across the tropics (between 15°N and 35°S). Our results demonstrate that climate alone can explain most of the distribution of tropical forest and savanna at the scale considered; dry season average precipitation is the single most important determinant across tropical Asia-Australia, Africa, and South America. Given the strong tendency of increased seasonality and decreased dry season precipitation predicted by global climate models, we estimate that about 28% of what is now tropical forest would likely be lost to savanna by the late 21st century under the future scenario considered. This study highlights the importance of climate seasonality and interannual variability in predicting the distribution of tropical forest and savanna, supporting the climate as the primary driver in the savanna biogeography.

  17. Horizontal and vertical variability of soil moisture in savanna ecosystems (United States)

    Caylor, K.; D'Odorico, P.; Rodriguez-Iturbe, I.


    Soil moisture is a key hydrological variable that mediates the interactions between climate, soil, and vegetation dynamics in water-limited ecosystems. Because of the importance of water limitation in savannas, a number of theoretical models of tree-grass coexistence have been developed which differ in their underlying assumptions about the ways in which trees and grasses access and use soil moisture. However, clarification of the mechanisms that allow savanna vegetation to persist as a mixture of grasses and trees remains a vexing problem in both hydrological and vegetation science. A particular challenge is the fact that the spatial pattern of vegetation is both a cause and effect of variation in water availability in semiarid ecosystems. At landscape to regional scales, climatic and geologic constraints on soil moisture availability are primary determinants of vegetation structural pattern. However, at local to landscape scales the patchy vegetation structural mosaic serves to redistribute the availability of soil moisture in ways that have important consequences for structural dynamics and community composition. In this regard, the emerging field of ecohydrology is well suited to investigate questions concerning couplings between the patchy structural mosaic of savanna vegetation and the kinds self-organizing dynamics known to exist in other light and nutrient-limited vegetation systems. Here we address the role of patchy vegetation structure through the use of a lumped model of soil moisture dynamics that accounts for the effect of tree canopy on the lateral and vertical distribution of soil moisture. The model includes mechanisms for the drying of the ground surface due to soil evaporation in the sites with no tree cover, and for the lateral water uptake due to root invading areas with no canopy cover located in the proximity of trees. The model, when applied to a series of sites along a rainfall gradient in southern Africa, is able to explain the cover

  18. African savanna-forest boundary dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cuni Sanchez, Aida; White, Lee J. T.; Calders, Kim


    -term inventory plots we quantify changes in vegetation structure, above-ground biomass (AGB) and biodiversity of trees ≥10 cm diameter over 20 years for five vegetation types: savanna; colonising forest (F1), monodominant Okoume forest (F2); young Marantaceae forest (F3); and mixed Marantaceae forest (F4...... substantially in structure, AGB or diversity. Critically, the stability of the F3 stage implies that this stage may be maintained for long periods. Soil carbon was low, and did not show a successional gradient as for AGB and diversity. TLS vertical plant profiles showed distinctive differences amongst...... the vegetation types, indicating that this technique can improve ecological understanding. We highlight two points: (i) as forest colonises, changes in biodiversity are much slower than changes in forest structure or AGB; and (ii) all forest types store substantial quantities of carbon. Multidecadal monitoring...

  19. Deciphering the distribution of the savanna biome

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Lehmann, CER


    Full Text Available to rainfall. We identified three continental divergences in the limits of savanna that could not be explained by environment. Climate and soils do not have a deterministic effect on the distribution of savanna. Over the range of savanna, some proportion...

  20. Tropical savannas and dry forests. (United States)

    Pennington, R Toby; Lehmann, Caroline E R; Rowland, Lucy M


    In the tropics, research, conservation and public attention focus on rain forests, but this neglects that half of the global tropics have a seasonally dry climate. These regions are home to dry forests and savannas (Figures 1 and 2), and are the focus of this Primer. The attention given to rain forests is understandable. Their high species diversity, sheer stature and luxuriance thrill biologists today as much as they did the first explorers in the Age of Discovery. Although dry forest and savanna may make less of a first impression, they support a fascinating diversity of plant strategies to cope with stress and disturbance including fire, drought and herbivory. Savannas played a fundamental role in human evolution, and across Africa and India they support iconic megafauna. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. African Savanna-Forest Boundary Dynamics: A 20-Year Study (United States)

    Cuni-Sanchez, Aida; White, Lee J. T.; Calders, Kim; Jeffery, Kathryn J.; Abernethy, Katharine; Burt, Andrew; Disney, Mathias; Gilpin, Martin; Gomez-Dans, Jose L.; Lewis, Simon L.


    Recent studies show widespread encroachment of forest into savannas with important consequences for the global carbon cycle and land-atmosphere interactions. However, little research has focused on in situ measurements of the successional sequence of savanna to forest in Africa. Using long-term inventory plots we quantify changes in vegetation structure, above-ground biomass (AGB) and biodiversity of trees ≥10 cm diameter over 20 years for five vegetation types: savanna; colonising forest (F1), monodominant Okoume forest (F2); young Marantaceae forest (F3); and mixed Marantaceae forest (F4) in Lopé National Park, central Gabon, plus novel 3D terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) measurements to assess forest structure differences. Over 20 years no plot changed to a new stage in the putative succession, but F1 forests strongly moved towards the structure, AGB and diversity of F2 forests. Overall, savanna plots showed no detectable change in structure, AGB or diversity using this method, with zero trees ≥10 cm diameter in 1993 and 2013. F1 and F2 forests increased in AGB, mainly as a result of adding recruited stems (F1) and increased Basal Area (F2), whereas F3 and F4 forests did not change substantially in structure, AGB or diversity. Critically, the stability of the F3 stage implies that this stage may be maintained for long periods. Soil carbon was low, and did not show a successional gradient as for AGB and diversity. TLS vertical plant profiles showed distinctive differences amongst the vegetation types, indicating that this technique can improve ecological understanding. We highlight two points: (i) as forest colonises, changes in biodiversity are much slower than changes in forest structure or AGB; and (ii) all forest types store substantial quantities of carbon. Multi-decadal monitoring is likely to be required to assess the speed of transition between vegetation types. PMID:27336632

  2. The effects of past climate variability on fire and vegetation in the cerrãdo savanna ecosystem of the Huanchaca Mesetta, Noel Kempff Mercado National Park, NE Bolivia (United States)

    Maezumi, S. Y.; Power, M. J.; Mayle, F. E.; McLauchlan, K.; Iriarte, J.


    Cerrãdo savannas have the greatest fire activity of all major global land-cover types and play a significant role in the global carbon cycle. During the 21st century, temperatures are predicted to increase by ~ 3 °C coupled with a precipitation decrease of ~ 20%. Although these conditions could potentially intensify drought stress, it is unknown how that might alter vegetation composition and fire regimes. To assess how Neotropical savannas responded to past climate changes, a 14 500 year, high-resolution, sedimentary record from Huanchaca Mesetta, a palm swamp located in the cerrãdo savanna in northeastern Bolivia, was analyzed for phytoliths, stable isotopes and charcoal. A non-analogue, cold-adapted vegetation community dominated the Late Glacial-Early Holocene period (14 500-9000 ka), that included trees and C3 Pooideae and C4 Panicoideae grasses. The Late Glacial vegetation was fire sensitive and fire activity during this period was low, likely responding to fuel availability and limitation. Although similar vegetation characterized the Early Holocene, the warming conditions associated with the onset of the Holocene led to an initial increase in fire activity. Huanchaca Mesetta became increasingly fire-dependent during the Middle Holocene with the expansion of C4 fire adapted grasses. However, as warm, dry conditions, characterized by increased length and severity of the dry season, continued, fuel availability decreased. The establishment of the modern palm swamp vegetation occurred at 5000 cal yr BP. Edaphic factors are the first order control on vegetation on the rocky quartzite mesetta. Where soils are sufficiently thick, climate is the second order control of vegetation on the mesetta. The presence of the modern palm swamp is attributed to two factors: (1) increased precipitation that increased water table levels, and (2) decreased frequency and duration of surazos leading to increased temperature minima. Natural (soil, climate, fire) drivers rather

  3. Human impacts in African savannas are mediated by plant functional traits. (United States)

    Osborne, Colin P; Charles-Dominique, Tristan; Stevens, Nicola; Bond, William J; Midgley, Guy; Lehmann, Caroline E R


    Tropical savannas have a ground cover dominated by C 4 grasses, with fire and herbivory constraining woody cover below a rainfall-based potential. The savanna biome covers 50% of the African continent, encompassing diverse ecosystems that include densely wooded Miombo woodlands and Serengeti grasslands with scattered trees. African savannas provide water, grazing and browsing, food and fuel for tens of millions of people, and have a unique biodiversity that supports wildlife tourism. However, human impacts are causing widespread and accelerating degradation of savannas. The primary threats are land cover-change and transformation, landscape fragmentation that disrupts herbivore communities and fire regimes, climate change and rising atmospheric CO 2 . The interactions among these threats are poorly understood, with unknown consequences for ecosystem health and human livelihoods. We argue that the unique combinations of plant functional traits characterizing the major floristic assemblages of African savannas make them differentially susceptible and resilient to anthropogenic drivers of ecosystem change. Research must address how this functional diversity among African savannas differentially influences their vulnerability to global change and elucidate the mechanisms responsible. This knowledge will permit appropriate management strategies to be developed to maintain ecosystem integrity, biodiversity and livelihoods. © 2018 The Authors New Phytologist © 2018 New Phytologist Trust.

  4. Extensive consumption of Tabebuia aurea (Manso) Benth. & Hook. (Bignoniaceae) nectar by parrots in a tecoma savanna in the southern Pantanal (Brazil)


    Ragusa-Netto, J.


    Neotropical parrots forage for various food items such as seeds, fruit pulp, flowers, young leaves, and even arthropods. While foraging, many species wander over large areas that include both open and closed habitats. In this study, I examined parrot foraging activity during a brief synchronous and massive flowering in August 1998 in a tecoma savanna (dominated by Tabebuia aurea) in the southern Pantanal. Six parrot species, ranging from the small Brotogeris chiriri to the large Amazona aesti...

  5. History of fire and Douglas-fir establishment in a savanna and sagebrush-grassland mosaic, southwestern Montana, USA (United States)

    Emily K. Heyerdahl; Richard F. Miller; Russell A. Parsons


    Over the past century, trees have encroached into grass- and shrublands across western North America. These include Douglas-fir trees (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco var. glauca (Beissn.) Franco) encroaching into mountain big sagebrush Nutt. ssp. vaseyana (Rydb.) Beetle) from stable islands of savanna in...

  6. Ecology and management of oak woodlands and savannas in the southwestern Borderlands Region (United States)

    Gerald J. Gottfried; Peter F. Ffolliott


    Management of the Madrean oak woodlands and the less dense and ecologically different oak savannas must be based on sound ecological information. However, relatively little is known about the Madrean oak ecosystems in spite of the fact that they cover about 80,000 km2 in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Emory oak (Quercus emoryi), the dominant tree...

  7. Application of Object Based Classification and High Resolution Satellite Imagery for Savanna Ecosystem Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jane Southworth


    Full Text Available Savanna ecosystems are an important component of dryland regions and yet are exceedingly difficult to study using satellite imagery. Savannas are composed are varying amounts of trees, shrubs and grasses and typically traditional classification schemes or vegetation indices cannot differentiate across class type. This research utilizes object based classification (OBC for a region in Namibia, using IKONOS imagery, to help differentiate tree canopies and therefore woodland savanna, from shrub or grasslands. The methodology involved the identification and isolation of tree canopies within the imagery and the creation of tree polygon layers had an overall accuracy of 84%. In addition, the results were scaled up to a corresponding Landsat image of the same region, and the OBC results compared to corresponding pixel values of NDVI. The results were not compelling, indicating once more the problems of these traditional image analysis techniques for savanna ecosystems. Overall, the use of the OBC holds great promise for this ecosystem and could be utilized more frequently in studies of vegetation structure.

  8. Dynamics of woody vegetation in a semi-arid savanna, with a focus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Increases in the tree:grass ratio with accompanying changes in herbaceous composition, called bush or shrub encroachment, is a worldwide phenomenon in ... Acacia mellifera-dominated savannas in the Northern Cape, South Africa, were investigated by means of vegetation classification and analyses of sequential aerial ...

  9. Identification of the wood-borer and the factors affecting its attack on Caryocar brasiliense trees in the Brazilian Savanna=Identificação do broqueador de tronco e os fatores que afetam o seu ataque em árvores de Caryocar brasiliense no cerrado brasileiro.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Germano Leão Demolin Leite


    Full Text Available The objectives of this work were to identify the wood-borer of the trunk of Caryocar brasiliense Camb. (Caryocaraceae and the effects of tree size, chemical and physical soil attributes, and floristic diversity in its attack. The wood-boring caterpillar of the trunck of C. brasiliense belongs to the family Cossidae (Lepidoptera. The number of pupae and the amount of sawdust produced by the wood-borer per tree was higher in the pasture 1 of Montes Claros and pasture in Ibiracatu than in the other four areas (pastures and savanna in Montes Claros and savanna in Ibiracatu. The number of pupae and the amount of sawdust was highest in the trunks of trees with diameters having a breast height (DBH more than 30 cm. This may explain the severity of attack in the areas mentioned above, which contain a higher percentage of plants with DBH> 30 cm. The soil properties also positively associate with higher attack of the wood-borer on trees when the soil is rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium, sum of bases, capacity of cationic exchange, and organic matter, while there was a negative correlation between attack and fine sand content. Systems with less floristic diversity, particularly trees of other species, may concentrate the attack of the wood-borer in the trunks of C. Brasiliense trees. Os objetivos deste trabalho foram identificar o broqueador do tronco de Caryocar brasiliense Camb. (Caryocaraceae e os efeitos de tamanho de árvore, atributos químico-físicos do solo e da diversidade florística em seu ataque. A lagarta broqueadora do tronco de C. brasiliense pertence à família Cossidae (Lepidoptera. O número de pupas e de serragem do broqueador por árvore foi maior na pastagem (1 em Montes Claros e pastagem em Ibiracatu do que nas outras quatro áreas (pastagens e cerrado em Montes Claros e cerrado em Ibiracatu. O número de pupas e da quantidade de serragem do broqueador foi maior em árvores cujo diâmetro de tronco na altura do peito (DAB foi

  10. Changes in soil organic carbon after burning in a forest-savanna edge

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federico Sánchez Ojeda


    Full Text Available Soils are one of the largest terrestrial pools of carbon, yet there is still little understanding of spatial variability for ecosystems in the tropics. Fire plays an important role in neotropical savannas ecosystems and significantly contribute to global greenhouse gas (GHG fluxes. Nevertheless the impacts of burning on soil carbon is still uncertain in Latin America. We compared soil organic carbon (SOC in the first 20 cm depth in savannas in pre and post fire conditions along a forests-savanna edge typically present in these landscapes of the northern South America. We established 8 transects of 20 m longitude along the border with 1m2 plots sampled every 4 m. SOC pre-disturbance was on average 1.794 (±SE 0,043 and the minimum value found (1.08% was registered 6 months after the burning. Our results show that both the influence of the distance to the edge and the time of burning affect negatively the SOC and also there is a significant interaction between both variables. Our results provide improved estimates of the effect of fire on soil carbon stocks and its highly dynamic nature . We believe these finding will be a step to help better estimate GHG in this type of heterogeneous landscapes. Further it provides a tool for understanding C dynamics under a climate change context with predicted increased fire frequency, extent and severity.

  11. Spatial vegetation patterns and neighborhood competition among woody plants in an East African savanna. (United States)

    Dohn, Justin; Augustine, David J; Hanan, Niall P; Ratnam, Jayashree; Sankaran, Mahesh


    The majority of research on savanna vegetation dynamics has focused on the coexistence of woody and herbaceous vegetation. Interactions among woody plants in savannas are relatively poorly understood. We present data from a 10-yr longitudinal study of spatially explicit growth patterns of woody vegetation in an East African savanna following exclusion of large herbivores and in the absence of fire. We examined plant spatial patterns and quantified the degree of competition among woody individuals. Woody plants in this semiarid savanna exhibit strongly clumped spatial distributions at scales of 1-5 m. However, analysis of woody plant growth rates relative to their conspecific and heterospecific neighbors revealed evidence for strong competitive interactions at neighborhood scales of up to 5 m for most woody plant species. Thus, woody plants were aggregated in clumps despite significantly decreased growth rates in close proximity to neighbors, indicating that the spatial distribution of woody plants in this region depends on dispersal and establishment processes rather than on competitive, density-dependent mortality. However, our documentation of suppressive effects of woody plants on neighbors also suggests a potentially important role for tree-tree competition in controlling vegetation structure and indicates that the balanced-competition hypothesis may contribute to well-known patterns in maximum tree cover across rainfall gradients in Africa. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  12. Habitat differences in dung beetle assemblages in an African savanna-forest ecotone: implications for secondary seed dispersal. (United States)

    Kunz, Britta K; Krell, Frank-Thorsten


    The probability and pattern of secondary seed dispersal by dung beetles (Scarabaeinae) depend on their community structure and composition at the site of primary deposition, which, in turn, seem to be strongly determined by vegetation. Consequently, we expected pronounced differences in secondary seed dispersal between forest and savanna in the northern Ivory Coast, West Africa. We found 99 dung beetle species at experimentally exposed dung piles of the olive baboon (Papio anubis (Lesson, 1827)), an important primary seed disperser in West Africa. Seventy-six species belonged to the roller and tunneler guilds, which are relevant for secondary seed dispersal. Most species showed a clear habitat preference. Contrary to the Neotropics, species number and abundance were much higher in the savanna than in the forest. Rollers and tunnelers each accounted for approximately 50% of the individuals in the savanna, but in the forest rollers made up only 4%. Seeds deposited into the savanna by an omnivorous primary disperser generally have a higher overall probability of being more rapidly dispersed secondarily by dung beetles than seeds in the forest. Also, rollers disperse seeds over larger distances. In contrast to other studies, small rollers were active in dispersal of large seeds, which were seemingly mistaken for dung balls. Our results suggest that rollers can remove seeds from any plant dispersed in primate dung in this ecosystem. © 2011 ISZS, Blackwell Publishing and IOZ/CAS.

  13. Greenhouse gas emissions from Savanna ( Miombo ) woodlands ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Natural vegetation represents an important sink for greenhouse gases (GHGs); however, there is relatively little information available on emissions from southern African savannas. The effects of clearing savanna woodlands for crop production on soil fluxes of N2O, CO2 and CH4 were studied on clay (Chromic luvisol) and ...

  14. Implications of the spatial dynamics of fire spread for the bistability of savanna and forest. (United States)

    Schertzer, E; Staver, A C; Levin, S A


    The role of fire in expanding the global distribution of savanna is well recognized. Empirical observations and modeling suggest that fire spread has a threshold response to fuel-layer continuity, which sets up a positive feedback that maintains savanna-forest bistability. However, modeling has so far failed to examine fire spread as a spatial process that interacts with vegetation. Here, we use simple, well-supported assumptions about fire spread as an infection process and its effects on trees to ask whether spatial dynamics qualitatively change the potential for savanna-forest bistability. We show that the spatial effects of fire spread are the fundamental reason that bistability is possible: because fire spread is an infection process, it exhibits a threshold response to fuel continuity followed by a rapid increase in fire size. Other ecological processes affecting fire spread may also contribute including temporal variability in demography or fire spread. Finally, including the potential for spatial aggregation increases the potential both for savanna-forest bistability and for savanna and forest to coexist in a landscape mosaic.

  15. Trait shifts associated with the subshrub life-history strategy in a tropical savanna. (United States)

    Giroldo, A B; Scariot, A; Hoffmann, W A


    Over the past 10 million years, tropical savanna environments have selected for small growth forms within woody plant lineages. The result has been the evolution of subshrubs (geoxyles), presumably as an adaptation to frequent fire. To evaluate the traits associated with the shift from tree to subshrub growth forms, we compared seed biomass, germination, survival, resprouting, biomass allocation, and photosynthesis between congeneric trees and subshrubs, and quantified phylogenetic conservatism. Despite large differences in adult morphology between trees and subshrub species, the differences are modest in seedlings, and most of the variation in traits was explained by genus, indicating considerable phylogenic conservatism. Regardless, tree seedlings invested more heavily in aboveground growth, compared to subshrubs, which is consistent with the adult strategy of savanna trees, which depend on a large resistant-fire stem. Subshrub seedlings also invest in greater non-structural carbohydrate reserves, likely as an adaptation to the high fire frequencies typical of tropical savannas. The modest differences as seedlings suggest that selective pressures during early development may not have contributed substantially to the evolution of the subshrub growth form and that the distinct allocation and life history must arise later in life. This is consistent with the interpretation that the subshrub growth form arose as a life-history strategy in which maturity is reached at a small stem size, allowing them to reproduce despite repeated fire-induced topkill. The convergent evolution of subshrubs within multiple tree lineages reaffirms the importance of fire in the origin and diversification of the flora of mesic savannas.

  16. Sobrevivência e crescimento de seis espécies arbóreas submetidas a quatro tratamentos em área minerada no cerrado Survival and growth of six tree species under four treatments on a mined areain the Brazilian savanna

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    Lucas de Carvalho Ramos Silva


    Full Text Available Entre as várias atividades antrópicas desenvolvidas no Cerrado, a mineração é uma das que provocam significativos danos. A regeneração natural da vegetação em áreas mineradas é extremamente lenta e, portanto, a intervenção em lavras esgotadas faz-se necessária. O presente trabalho objetiva avaliar a sobrevivência e o crescimento de mudas de seis espécies arbóreas, submetidas a quatro tratamentos, usadas na revegetação de uma cascalheira em Brasília-DF. Os quatro tratamentos consistiram da combinação da utilização de cobertura morta sobre as covas e/ou o plantio de árvores em substrato coberto por Stylosanthes spp. Um tratamento controle, localizado em área adjacente não minerada, foi estabelecido para efeitos comparativos. Os resultados indicam que as mudas arbóreas implantadas na área minerada apresentaram maior sobrevivência e crescimento do que as mesmas espécies plantadas na área controle não minerada. Na área minerada não foram verificadas diferenças significativas no desenvolvimento das espécies em função dos tratamentos aplicados - cobertura morta sobre covas e/ou estrato herbáceo sobre a superfície minerada.Among many human activities developed in areas of Brazilian savanna, mining is one that causes significative damage to the environment. Natural sucession on such sites is extremely slow and therefore revegetation works are necessary. This work aims to evaluate survival and growth of six tree species under four treatments grown on an exploited gravel mine in the Brazilian Federal District. The four treatments were drawn from the combination of mulching around tree seedlings and the establishment of Stylosanthes spp on the area surface. A control was established on a nearby unexploited for comparison reason. Results show a higher survival rate and growth of tree seedlings established on the exploited site than on the control-site which kept intact soil. There were no significant differences for

  17. Modeling decay rates of dead wood in a neotropical forest. (United States)

    Hérault, Bruno; Beauchêne, Jacques; Muller, Félix; Wagner, Fabien; Baraloto, Christopher; Blanc, Lilian; Martin, Jean-Michel


    Variation of dead wood decay rates among tropical trees remains one source of uncertainty in global models of the carbon cycle. Taking advantage of a broad forest plot network surveyed for tree mortality over a 23-year period, we measured the remaining fraction of boles from 367 dead trees from 26 neotropical species widely varying in wood density (0.23-1.24 g cm(-3)) and tree circumference at death time (31.5-272.0 cm). We modeled decay rates within a Bayesian framework assuming a first order differential equation to model the decomposition process and tested for the effects of forest management (selective logging vs. unexploited), of mode of death (standing vs. downed) and of topographical levels (bottomlands vs. hillsides vs. hilltops) on wood decay rates. The general decay model predicts the observed remaining fraction of dead wood (R2 = 60%) with only two biological predictors: tree circumference at death time and wood specific density. Neither selective logging nor local topography had a differential effect on wood decay rates. Including the mode of death into the model revealed that standing dead trees decomposed faster than downed dead trees, but the gain of model accuracy remains rather marginal. Overall, these results suggest that the release of carbon from tropical dead trees to the atmosphere can be simply estimated using tree circumference at death time and wood density.

  18. Phylogeny of Neotropical Cercosaura (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) lizards. (United States)

    Torres-Carvajal, Omar; Lobos, Simón E; Venegas, Pablo J


    Among Neotropical lizards, the geographically widespread gymnophthalmid Cercosaura as currently defined includes lowland and highland taxa from Panama to Argentina, with some species occurring in the northern Andes. In this study we analyze three mitochondrial (12S, 16S, ND4) and one nuclear (c-mos) gene using Bayesian methods to clarify the phylogenetic relationships among most species of Cercosaura based on a well-supported phylogenetic hypothesis that also includes a large sample of other taxa within Cercosaurini. The phylogenetic tree obtained in this paper shows that Cercosaura as currently defined is not monophyletic. Two species from the northern Andes (C. dicra and C. vertebralis) are nested within Pholidobolus, which has been formerly recognized as a major radiation along the Andes of Ecuador and Colombia. Therefore, Cercosaura has probably not diversified in the northern Andes, although the phylogenetic position of C. hypnoides from the Andes of Colombia remains unknown. Tree topology and genetic distances support both recognition of C. ocellata bassleri as a distinct species, C. bassleri, and recognition of C. argula and C. oshaughnessyi as two different species. In the interest of promoting clarity and precision regarding the names of clades of gymnophthalmid lizards, we propose a phylogenetic definition of Cercosaura. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Origin and dynamics of the northern South American coastal savanna belt during the Holocene - the role of climate, sea-level, fire and humans (United States)

    Alizadeh, Kamaleddin; Cohen, Marcelo; Behling, Hermann


    Presence of a coastal savanna belt expanding from British Guiana to northeastern Brazil cannot be explained by present-day climate. Using pollen and charcoal analyses on an 11.6 k old sediment core from a coastal depression in the savanna belt near the mouth of the Amazon River we investigated the paleoenvironmental history to shed light on this question. Results indicate that small areas of savanna accompanied by a forest type composed primarily by the genus Micropholis (Sapotaceae) that has no modern analog existed at the beginning of the Holocene. After 11,200 cal yr BP, savanna accompanied by few trees replaced the forest. In depressions swamp forest developed and by ca 10,000 cal yr BP replaced by Mauritia swamps. Between 8500 and 5600 cal yr BP gallery forest (composed mainly of Euphorbiaceae) and swamp forest succeeded the treeless savanna. The modern vegetation with alternating gallery forest and savanna developed after 5600 cal yr BP. We suggest that the early Holocene no-analog forest is a relict of previously more extensive forest under cooler and moister Lateglacial conditions. The early Holocene savanna expansion indicates a drier phase probably related to the shift of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) towards its northernmost position. The mid-Holocene forest expansion is probably a result of the combined influence of equatorwards shift of ITCZ joining the South Atlantic Convergence Zone (SACZ). The ecosystem variability during the last 5600 cal yr BP, formed perhaps under influence of intensified ENSO condition. High charcoal concentrations, especially during the early Holocene, indicate that natural and/or anthropogenic fires may have maintained the savanna. However, our results propose that climate change is the main driving factor for the formation of the coastal savanna in this region. Our results also show that the early Holocene sea level rise established mangroves near the study site until 7500 cal yr BP and promoted swamp formation in

  20. Convex relationships in ecosystems containing mixtures of trees and grass

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scholes, RJ


    Full Text Available The relationship between grass production and the quantity of trees in mixed tree-grass ecosystems (savannas) is convex for all or most of its range. In other words, the grass production declines more steeply per unit increase in tree quantity...

  1. The influence of canopy strata on remotely sensed observations of savanna-woodlands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fuller, D.O.; Prince, S.D.; Astle, W.L.


    Upwelling radiance from savanna woodlands may originate from two separate layers: (1) the field layer, which is a mixture of soil, litter and herbs, and (2) the tree layer composed of woody parts and leaves. Unless detailed field data are available for a particular savanna location, it is unknown how the individual layers may influence the red and near-infrared signals and whether radiative interactions between layers are important. We employed an existing radiative transfer model (SAIL) in conjunction with a simple, single-scattering model to analyse the variation in Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) channel 1 and 2 response as well as NDVI for savanna-woodland vegetation in eastern Zambia. Linear fits between predicted and observed values of reflectance and NDVI were significant ( p 0.05) in the red and in NDVI, however, the model failed to explain a high proportion of the variation in near-infrared. Red and NDVI in sites where tree cover was high were also poorly modelled, which suggests that multiple interactions between canopy layers make a single-scattering model unreliable, particularly in the near-infrared. Modelled results were also compared to aircraft radiometer measurements provided by the integrated camera and radiometer instrument (ICAR). Simulations parameterized with field data suggest that the model may be used to infer tree and field layer influences at different points during the seasonal cycle. Results also suggest that the field layer dominated the signal in our savanna woodland sites throughout most points of the seasonal cycle, which is consistent with other canopy radiative-transfer studies. Simulations indicated that the tree layer was a relatively more important component of NDVI during the dry season when the field layer was largely senescent, accounting for 20-40 per cent of the satellite signal. (author)

  2. DNA barcode detects high genetic structure within neotropical bird species.

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    Erika Sendra Tavares

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Towards lower latitudes the number of recognized species is not only higher, but also phylogeographic subdivision within species is more pronounced. Moreover, new genetically isolated populations are often described in recent phylogenies of Neotropical birds suggesting that the number of species in the region is underestimated. Previous COI barcoding of Argentinean bird species showed more complex patterns of regional divergence in the Neotropical than in the North American avifauna. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Here we analyzed 1,431 samples from 561 different species to extend the Neotropical bird barcode survey to lower latitudes, and detected even higher geographic structure within species than reported previously. About 93% (520 of the species were identified correctly from their DNA barcodes. The remaining 41 species were not monophyletic in their COI sequences because they shared barcode sequences with closely related species (N = 21 or contained very divergent clusters suggestive of putative new species embedded within the gene tree (N = 20. Deep intraspecific divergences overlapping with among-species differences were detected in 48 species, often with samples from large geographic areas and several including multiple subspecies. This strong population genetic structure often coincided with breaks between different ecoregions or areas of endemism. CONCLUSIONS: The taxonomic uncertainty associated with the high incidence of non-monophyletic species and discovery of putative species obscures studies of historical patterns of species diversification in the Neotropical region. We showed that COI barcodes are a valuable tool to indicate which taxa would benefit from more extensive taxonomic revisions with multilocus approaches. Moreover, our results support hypotheses that the megadiversity of birds in the region is associated with multiple geographic processes starting well before the Quaternary and extending to more recent

  3. Patterns in woody vegetation structure across African savannas (United States)

    Axelsson, Christoffer R.; Hanan, Niall P.


    savanna tree sizes do not occur in either coarse sands or heavy clays. When examining the occurrence of PVPs, we found that the same factors that contribute to the formation of PVPs also correlate with higher levels of woody plant aggregation elsewhere in savannas and that rainfall seasonality plays a key role for the underlying processes.

  4. Patterns in woody vegetation structure across African savannas

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    C. R. Axelsson


    content suggesting that maximal savanna tree sizes do not occur in either coarse sands or heavy clays. When examining the occurrence of PVPs, we found that the same factors that contribute to the formation of PVPs also correlate with higher levels of woody plant aggregation elsewhere in savannas and that rainfall seasonality plays a key role for the underlying processes.

  5. Comparative Phylogeography of Neotropical Birds (United States)


    birds, butterflies, plants , soil type, and precipitation (Whitmore and Prance 1987); (C) study populations based largely on neo-tropical lowland...Caballero, A. 1994. Developments in the prediction of effective population size. Heredity 73:657- 679. Camargo, A., R. O. De Sa, and W. R. Heyer. 2006...157-183. Hamrick, J. L., and M. J. W. Godt. 1996. Effects of life history traits on genetic diversity in plant species. Philosophical Transactions Of

  6. Mapping invasive species and spectral mixture relationships with neotropical woody formations in southeastern Brazil (United States)

    Amaral, Cibele H.; Roberts, Dar A.; Almeida, Teodoro I. R.; Souza Filho, Carlos R.


    Biological invasion substantially contributes to the increasing extinction rates of native vegetative species. The remote detection and mapping of invasive species is critical for environmental monitoring. This study aims to assess the performance of a Multiple Endmember Spectral Mixture Analysis (MESMA) applied to imaging spectroscopy data for mapping Dendrocalamus sp. (bamboo) and Pinus elliottii L. (slash pine), which are invasive plant species, in a Brazilian neotropical landscape within the tropical Brazilian savanna biome. The work also investigates the spectral mixture between these exotic species and the native woody formations, including woodland savanna, submontane and alluvial seasonal semideciduous forests (SSF). Visible to Shortwave Infrared (VSWIR) imaging spectroscopy data at one-meter spatial resolution were atmospherically corrected and subset into the different spectral ranges (VIS-NIR1: 530-919 nm; and NIR2-SWIR: 1141-2352 nm). The data were further normalized via continuum removal (CR). Multiple endmember selection methods, including Interactive Endmember Selection (IES), Endmember average root mean square error (EAR), Minimum average spectral angle (MASA) and Count-based (CoB) (collectively called EMC), were employed to create endmember libraries for the targeted vegetation classes. The performance of the MESMA was assessed at the pixel and crown scales. Statistically significant differences (α = 0.05) were observed between overall accuracies that were obtained at various spectral ranges. The infrared region (IR) was critical for detecting the vegetation classes using spectral data. The invasive species endmembers exhibited spectral patterns in the IR that were not observed in the native formations. Bamboo was characterized as having a high green vegetation (GV) fraction, lower non-photosynthetic vegetation (NPV) and a low shade fraction, while pine exhibited higher NPV and shade fractions. The invasive species showed a statistically

  7. Estrutura da vegetação arbórea de um remanescente ecotonal urbano floresta-savana no Parque do Sabiá, em Uberlândia, MG Tree vegetation structure in an urban forest-savanna ecotone remnant, southeastern Brazil

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    Frederico Augusto Guimarães Guilherme


    Full Text Available Neste estudo, avaliou-se a estrutura do componente arbóreo de manchas de vegetação correspondentes à Floresta Estacional Semidecidual e dois cerradões, inseridas em um remanescente urbano composto também por uma mancha de mata de brejo. O levantamento compreendeu 1,32 ha, onde todos os indivíduos com perímetro à altura do peito > 5 cm foram amostrados. Registraram-se 141 espécies, distribuídas em 46 famílias botânicas, com diversidade de Shannon de 3,99. Fabaceae apresentou a maior riqueza de espécies no levantamento, corroborando o padrão encontrado em outros estudos sobre o bioma Cerrado. Maprounea guianensis teve os maiores valores relativos de densidade, freqüência e dominância no remanescente. A floresta estacional apresentou a maior riqueza florística e espécies características dessa formação, em comparação com demais pesquisas. Hirtella glandulosa apresentou o maior valor de importância no cerradão 2, o que evidencia a existência de um solo distrófico nessa fisionomia. Características estruturais similares entre o cerradão 2 e a floresta estacional e diversidade florística significativamente maior no cerradão 2 do que no cerradão 1, além da presença de espécies típicas de matas de brejo e floresta estacional no cerradão 2, evidenciavam áreas de transição no remanescente. No cerradão 1 foram registrados poucos indivíduos arbóreos nas menores classes de diâmetro. Isso provavelmente se deva às perturbações antrópicas constantes e variadas, indicando a necessidade de ações preventivas para a conservação e manejo desse patrimônio biológico.The study evaluated the tree component structure of vegetation fragments consisted of semideciduous forest, two woody savannas (cerradão, inserted in an urban forest remnant, also consisting of a fragment of swamp forest. The survey comprised 1.32 hectares, where all trees with ³ 5 cm perimeter at breast height were recorded. A total of 141 species

  8. Biomass burning in West African savannas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Menaut, J.C.; Abbadie, L.; Lavenu, F.; Loudjani, P.; Podaire, A.


    This chapter approaches the influence of West African savanna ecosystems on the regional climate by giving, as precisely as possible, the amount of volatilized elements (e.g., carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur) annually released by bush fires into the atmosphere. In spite of the relative functional similarity of West African savannas, fire behavior and effects vary with the different bioclimatic and phytogeographic zones of the region: Guinea or humid zone; Sudan or mesic zone; and, Sahel or arid zone. In order to reach an acceptable accuracy, results are given for each of the zones described and summarized for West Africa

  9. Partitioning taxonomic diversity of aquatic insect assemblages and functional feeding groups in Neotropical Savanna headwater streams (United States)

    Biological diversity can be divided into: alpha (α, local), beta (β, difference in assemblage composition among locals), and gamma (γ, total diversity). We assessed the partitioning of taxonomic diversity of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera (EPT) and of functional feedin...

  10. Floral nectar production and nectary structure of a bee-pollinated shrub from Neotropical savanna. (United States)

    Guimarães, E; Nogueira, A; Machado, S R


    Biotic pollination is critical for tropical ecosystem functioning, and nectar plays an essential role as it represents the main trophic resource for pollinators. Nevertheless, little is known about the mechanisms that underlie its production, which is essential for understanding the basis of nectar-mediated interactions in ecological and evolutionary approaches. Therefore, this study explores the relationship between the nectar secretion pattern and nectary functional changes in Anemopaegma album, a bee-pollinated species. We analysed the pattern of nectar production under field conditions and investigated floral nectary structural changes in two different developmental stages using light, transmission and scanning electron microscopy. We measured 30.95 ± 23.02 μl (mean ± SD, n = 30) of nectar accumulated inside the nectar chamber (29.26 ± 3.48% sucrose equivalents) at the moment of flower opening. Nectar removal did not influence the pattern of floral nectar production in terms of volume or total sugar but reduced the concentration of the nectar produced during the first 24 h of anthesis. The nectary consisted of an epidermis, a nectary parenchyma and a subnectary parenchyma supplied only by phloem. Starch grains decreased in size and abundance from the subnectary parenchyma toward the epidermis. We observed the degradation of starch grains and incorporation of amyloplasts into vacuoles at the pre-anthesis stage as well as the transformation of amyloplasts into elaioplasts during anthesis. Nectar secretion was continuous during the A. album flower life span, which was related to the functional features of its floral nectary, especially the presence of starch stored in the parenchyma. © 2015 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  11. The demography of the lizard Tropidurus torquatus (Squamata, Tropiduridae in a highly seasonal Neotropical savanna

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    Helga C. Wiederhecker


    Full Text Available The demography of a population of Tropidurus torquatus was studied from March 1996 until December 1998, in the Cerrado biome of the Central Brazil, using the method of capture and recapture. Population size, number of incoming individuals in the population, and age structure varied seasonally, reflecting the reproductive cycle of the species. The instantaneous rate of population increase did not differ from zero throughout the study. In general, the permanence rate of juveniles and adults were low, indicating a large turnover of individuals in the population, with a maximum life expectancy of three years. The sex-ratio among adults was biased toward females. Since no bias was observed among juveniles and there was no difference in adults permanence between sexes, we suggestet that the biased adult sex-ratio resulted from a lower permanence of males during a short ontogenetic period, when secondary sexual characteristics develop. When compared to T. itambere, the studied population of T. torquatus attained a higher density and a greater female bias in the sex-ratio. In general, the studied population presented characteristics that, according to life history theory, should be associated with early age at maturity and polyginy: short life expectancy, high population turnover, and female biased sex-ratios.

  12. Savanna fire and the origins of the 'underground forests' of Africa. (United States)

    Maurin, Olivier; Davies, T Jonathan; Burrows, John E; Daru, Barnabas H; Yessoufou, Kowiyou; Muasya, A Muthama; van der Bank, Michelle; Bond, William J


    The origin of fire-adapted lineages is a long-standing question in ecology. Although phylogeny can provide a significant contribution to the ongoing debate, its use has been precluded by the lack of comprehensive DNA data. Here, we focus on the 'underground trees' (=geoxyles) of southern Africa, one of the most distinctive growth forms characteristic of fire-prone savannas. We placed geoxyles within the most comprehensive dated phylogeny for the regional flora comprising over 1400 woody species. Using this phylogeny, we tested whether African geoxyles evolved concomitantly with those of the South American cerrado and used their phylogenetic position to date the appearance of humid savannas. We found multiple independent origins of the geoxyle life-form mostly from the Pliocene, a period consistent with the origin of cerrado, with the majority of divergences occurring within the last 2 million yr. When contrasted with their tree relatives, geoxyles occur in regions characterized by higher rainfall and greater fire frequency. Our results indicate that the geoxylic growth form may have evolved in response to the interactive effects of frequent fires and high precipitation. As such, geoxyles may be regarded as markers of fire-maintained savannas occurring in climates suitable for forests. © 2014 The Authors New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

  13. Plant diversity patterns in neotropical dry forests and their conservation implications. (United States)

    Banda-R, Karina; Delgado-Salinas, Alfonso; Dexter, Kyle G; Linares-Palomino, Reynaldo; Oliveira-Filho, Ary; Prado, Darién; Pullan, Martin; Quintana, Catalina; Riina, Ricarda; Rodríguez M, Gina M; Weintritt, Julia; Acevedo-Rodríguez, Pedro; Adarve, Juan; Álvarez, Esteban; Aranguren B, Anairamiz; Arteaga, Julián Camilo; Aymard, Gerardo; Castaño, Alejandro; Ceballos-Mago, Natalia; Cogollo, Álvaro; Cuadros, Hermes; Delgado, Freddy; Devia, Wilson; Dueñas, Hilda; Fajardo, Laurie; Fernández, Ángel; Fernández, Miller Ángel; Franklin, Janet; Freid, Ethan H; Galetti, Luciano A; Gonto, Reina; González-M, Roy; Graveson, Roger; Helmer, Eileen H; Idárraga, Álvaro; López, René; Marcano-Vega, Humfredo; Martínez, Olga G; Maturo, Hernán M; McDonald, Morag; McLaren, Kurt; Melo, Omar; Mijares, Francisco; Mogni, Virginia; Molina, Diego; Moreno, Natalia Del Pilar; Nassar, Jafet M; Neves, Danilo M; Oakley, Luis J; Oatham, Michael; Olvera-Luna, Alma Rosa; Pezzini, Flávia F; Dominguez, Orlando Joel Reyes; Ríos, María Elvira; Rivera, Orlando; Rodríguez, Nelly; Rojas, Alicia; Särkinen, Tiina; Sánchez, Roberto; Smith, Melvin; Vargas, Carlos; Villanueva, Boris; Pennington, R Toby


    Seasonally dry tropical forests are distributed across Latin America and the Caribbean and are highly threatened, with less than 10% of their original extent remaining in many countries. Using 835 inventories covering 4660 species of woody plants, we show marked floristic turnover among inventories and regions, which may be higher than in other neotropical biomes, such as savanna. Such high floristic turnover indicates that numerous conservation areas across many countries will be needed to protect the full diversity of tropical dry forests. Our results provide a scientific framework within which national decision-makers can contextualize the floristic significance of their dry forest at a regional and continental scale. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  14. Phylogenetic analysis of Attalea (Arecaceae): insights on the historical biogeography of a recently diversified Neotropical plant group (United States)

    Technical Abstract Here we present a dated phylogenetic tree of the neotropical palm genus Attalea (Arecaceae). We used six orthologs from the nuclear WRKY gene family across 98 accessions to address relationships among species and biogeographic hypotheses. Here we found that the formerly recognized...

  15. Movement patterns of three arboreal primates in a Neotropical moist forest explained by LiDAR-estimated canopy structure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McLean, Kevin A.; Trainor, Anne M.; Asner, Gregory P.; Crofoot, Margaret C.; Hopkins, Mariah E.; Campbell, Christina J.; Martin, Roberta E.; Knapp, David E.; Jansen, Patrick A.


    Context: Many arboreal mammals in Neotropical forests are important seed dispersers that influence the spatial patterns of tree regeneration via their movement patterns, which in turn are determined by the canopy structure of the forest itself. However, the relationship between arboreal mammal

  16. Rapid Assessment of Key Structural Elements of Different Vegetation Types of West African Savannas in Burkina Faso

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    Qasim Mohammad


    Full Text Available Estimations of Leaf Area Index (LAI have recently gained attention due to the sensitivity to the effects of climate change and its impact on forest ecosystems. Hence, a study was conducted on the LAI estimation of four vegetation types: (i gallery forests, (ii woodland savannas, (iii tree savannas, and (iv shrub savannas, at two protected areas of Nazinga Game Ranch and Bontioli Nature Reserve, Burkina Faso. A relationship between LAI and Crown Diameter was also investigated at these two sites. Digital hemispherical photography was used for the LAI estimation. Crown diameters (CD were determined perpendicular to each other and averaged for each tree and shrub. Overall results revealed that LAI ranged from 0-1.33 and the CD was recorded in the range of 0.46-11.01 m. The gallery forests recorded the highest mean LAI 1.33 ± 0.32 as well as the highest mean CD 7.69 ± 1.90 m. The LAI for the vegetation types were at their lower ends as the study was conducted in summer season, higher values are therefore expected in the wet season, as a significant correlation between LAI and precipitation has been emphasized by various studies. Continuous LAI monitoring and studies on various growth parameters of different vegetation types at the study sites are recommended towards enhanced monitoring and an ecologically feasible forest- and savanna-use and management to maintain essential ecosystem functions and services.

  17. Fire Frequency and Vegetation Composition Influence Soil Nitrogen Cycling and Base Cations in an Oak Savanna Ecosystem (United States)

    McLauchlan, K. K.; Nelson, D. M.; Perakis, S.; Marcotte, A. L.


    Fire frequency is crucial for maintaining savannas in the transition between forests and grasslands. In general, increasing fire frequency has two effects: it increases herbaceous plant cover more than woody plant cover, and it lowers soil organic matter stocks. These effects have been demonstrated at a long-term prescribed fire experiment in an oak savanna ecosystem at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, Minnesota, U.S.A. The fire experiment began in 1964 and oak savannas are burned at various frequencies ranging from every year to not at all. This has led to changes in vegetation ranging from almost 100% grassland to 100% oak forest. Additionally, nitrogen stocks almost doubled in the sites that were not burned, as it accumulated in the trees, leaf litter, and soil. We addressed additional soil changes taking place at this experiment by asking the question: How have fire and oak-grass balance affected soil nutrients, specifically nitrogen and base cations? Surface soils were collected from 12 plots on the oak savanna burn experiment. Soils were collected in increments to 100 cm depth, from under grass-dominated vegetation and from under tree-dominated vegetation. We non-destructively estimated soil base cations by measuring elemental concentrations of dried soil subsamples with a handheld x-ray fluorescence analyzer. We also measured carbon and nitrogen concentrations and isotopic composition of the soil samples. Soils in plots with high fire frequency had higher concentrations of calcium than soils in unburned plots (low fire frequency). Similar trends were seen for soil potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus concentrations. In contrast, soils in plots with high fire frequency had dramatically lowered nitrogen cycling rates and stocks across the oak savanna. The contrast between the responses of different nutrients to changing fire frequency has important implications for the consequences of fire and tree-grass composition on nutrient cycling dynamics.

  18. Implication of Forest-Savanna Dynamics on Biomass and Carbon Stock: Effectiveness of an Amazonian Ecological Station (United States)

    Couto-Santos, F. R.; Luizao, F. J.


    The forests-savanna advancement/retraction process seems to play an important role in the global carbon cycle and in the climate-vegetation balance maintenance in the Amazon. To contribute with long term carbon dynamics and assess effectiveness of a protected area in reduce carbon emissions in Brazilian Amazon transitional areas, variations in forest-savanna mosaics biomass and carbon stock within Maraca Ecological Station (MES), Roraima/Brazil, and its outskirts non-protected areas were compared. Composite surface soil samples and indirect methods based on regression models were used to estimate aboveground tree biomass accumulation and assess vegetation and soil carbon stock along eleven 0.6 ha transects perpendicular to the forest-savanna limits. Aboveground biomass and carbon accumulation were influenced by vegetation structure, showing higher values within protected area, with great contribution of trees above 40 cm in diameter. In the savanna environments of protected areas, a higher tree density and carbon stock up to 30 m from the border confirmed a forest encroachment. This pointed that MES acts as carbon sink, even under variations in soil fertility gradient, with a potential increase of the total carbon stock from 9 to 150 Mg C ha-1. Under 20 years of fire and disturbance management, the results indicated the effectiveness of this protected area to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate greenhouse and climate change effects in a forest-savanna transitional area in Brazilian Northern Amazon. The contribution of this study in understanding rates and reasons for biomass and carbon variation, under different management strategies, should be considered the first approximation to assist policies of reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) from underresearched Amazonian ecotone; despite further efforts in this direction are still needed. FINANCIAL SUPPORT: Boticário Group Foundation (Fundação Grupo Boticário); National Council for

  19. Spatial Heterogeneity and Sources of Soil Carbon in Southern African Savannas (United States)

    Macko, S.; Wang, L.; Okin, G.


    Soil organic carbon (SOC) is one of the largest and most dynamic reservoirs of C on Earth, with nearly twice as much C stored in SOC than in the biosphere and atmosphere combined. SOC storage in global tropical savannas constitutes approximately 56 Gt of C, which rises to 216 Gt of C (i.e., about 17% of the terrestrial non- agricultural SOC), when woodlands, shrublands, and desert scrub are included. Savannas cover about 20% of the global land surface, including about one-half of Africa, Australia and South America. The shared dominance of trees and grasses in savannas, the dominant physiognomy in southern Africa, add more complexity to soil C pool partitioning and dynamics than is found in landscapes with a single physiognomy. Here, the spatial variability of the soil C pool was investigated with particular emphasis on understanding the contribution to SOC from trees and grasses at two savanna sites of the Kalahari Transect, one wet and the other dry. Using a combination of stable isotope techniques and geostatistics, the results showed that spatial patterns of soil δ13 C exist and were related to the distributions of woody (C3) and herbaceous (C4) vegetation at both sites. Heterogeneity of the sources of SOC, as well as heterogeneity in the amount of SOC, was greater at the dry site relative to the wet site. At the dry site, the grasses were the major contributor to soil C whereas in the wet site, woody vegetation was the major contributor, regardless of the location with respect to woody canopies.

  20. Tree-grass interaction dynamics and pulsed fires : mathematical and numerical studies


    Tamen, A. T.; Dumont, Y.; Tewa, J. J.; Bowong, S.; Couteron, Pierre


    Savannas are dynamical systems where grasses and trees can either dominate or coexist. Fires are known to be central in the functioning of the savanna biome although their characteristics are expected to vary along the rainfall gradients as observed in Sub-Saharan Africa. In this paper, we model the tree-grass dynamics using impulsive differential equations that consider fires as discrete events. This framework allows us to carry out a comprehensive qualitative mathematical analysis that reve...

  1. Tree-Grass interactions dynamics and Pulse Fires: mathematical and numerical studies


    Tamen, A. Tchuinté; Dumont, Y.; Bowong, S.; Tewa, J. J.; Couteron, P.


    Savannas are dynamical systems where grasses and trees can either dominate or coexist. Fires are known to be central in the functioning of the savanna biome though their characteristics are expected to vary along the rainfall gradients as observed in Sub-Saharan Africa. In this paper, we model the tree-grass dynamics using impulsive differential equations that consider fires as discrete events. This framework allows us to carry out a comprehensive qualitative mathematical analysis that reveal...

  2. Determinants of woody cover in African savannas

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Sankaran, M


    Full Text Available workshop on savanna complexity funded by the NSF. We thank R. Boone, I. McHugh, R. Grant, H. Biggs, W. T. Starmer, P. M. Barbosa, D. Ruess, J. Rettenmayer, C. Williams, J. Klein, M. T. Anderson, W. J. Parton, J. C. Neff, N. Govender and the Kruger Park...

  3. Restoration of midwestern oak woodlands and savannas (United States)

    Dan C. Dey; John M. Kabrick


    There are various definitions for savanna and woodland in the ecological literature. Characteristic elements of each community are broadly defined and often overlap according to the authorities (Curtis 1959; Nuzzo 1986; Nelson 2010). Some confusion is inevitable when categorizing what is in reality a continuum of states from prairie to forest in which there can be much...

  4. The influence of tree thinning on the establishment of herbaceous ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The influence of tree thinning on the establishment of herbaceous plants in a semi-arid savanna of southern Africa. GN Smit, FG Rethman. Abstract. The investigation was conducted on an area covered by a dense stand of Colophospermum mopane. Seven plots (65 m × 180 m) were subjected to different intensities of tree ...

  5. Phytogeography and conservation of neotropical dry forest with emphasis on Columbia


    Banda Rodriguez, Karina Paola


    Dry forest is one of the most threatened tropical forests in the world. Human impact has caused its massive transformation but conservation of dry forest has often been neglected across Latin America. In Colombia, less than 10% of the original extension of dry forest remains. This thesis studies the phytogeography of neotropical dry forest and its relevance for conservation using data from 1602 tree species inventories made in dry forests across Latin America and the Caribbean ...

  6. Molecular phylogeny of Neotropical bioluminescent beetles (Coleoptera: Elateroidea) in southern and central Brazil. (United States)

    Amaral, D T; Arnoldi, F G C; Rosa, S P; Viviani, V R


    Bioluminescence in beetles is found mainly in the Elateroidea superfamily (Elateridae, Lampyridae and Phengodidae). The Neotropical region accounts for the richest diversity of bioluminescent species in the world with about 500 described species, most occurring in the Amazon, Atlantic rainforest and Cerrado (savanna) ecosystems in Brazil. The origin and evolution of bioluminescence, as well as the taxonomic status of several Neotropical taxa in these families remains unclear. In order to contribute to a better understanding of the phylogeny and evolution of bioluminescent Elateroidea we sequenced and analyzed sequences of mitochondrial NADH2 and the nuclear 28S genes and of the cloned luciferase sequences of Brazilian species belonging to the following genera: (Lampyridae) Macrolampis, Photuris, Amydetes, Bicellonycha, Aspisoma, Lucidota, Cratomorphus; (Elateridae) Conoderus, Pyrophorus, Hapsodrilus, Pyrearinus, Fulgeochlizus; and (Phengodidae) Pseudophengodes, Phrixothrix, Euryopa and Brasilocerus. Our study supports a closer phylogenetic relationship between Elateridae and Phengodidae as other molecular studies, in contrast with previous morphologic and molecular studies that clustered Lampyridae/Phengodidae. Molecular data also supported division of the Phengodinae subfamily into the tribes Phengodini and Mastinocerini. The position of the genus Amydetes supports the status of the Amydetinae as a subfamily. The genus Euryopa is included in the Mastinocerini tribe within the Phengodinae/Phengodidae. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  7. Immune-related effects from predation risk in Neotropical blue-black grassquits (Volatinia jacarina). (United States)

    Caetano, João V O; Maia, Maya R; Manica, Lilian T; Macedo, Regina H


    Predation is a major force shaping natural history traits of birds because of their vulnerability during nesting and higher visibility during diurnal activities. For most birds in the Neotropics, predation is the major cause of nest failure due to the region's high diversity and abundance of predators. The blue-black grassquit (Volatinia jacarina), similarly to other small passerines in the savanna region of central Brazil, suffers extremely high rates of nest predation. Additionally, males may be particularly vulnerable to predators since they are very conspicuous when executing courtship displays. We assessed some of the non-lethal costs of predation risk on this species by comparing physiological and morphological parameters of birds exposed to predator vocalizations with that of control subjects exposed to non-predator vocalizations. Birds exposed to the predator vocalizations exhibited an immune-related reaction (changes in their H/L ratio), but no changes were observed in other biological parameters measured. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Neotropical Behaviour. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Using paleoecological data to define main vegetation dynamics along the savanna-forest ecotone in Colombia: implications for accurate assessment of human impacts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berrio, J.C.; Wouters, H.; Hooghiemstra, H.; Carr, A.S.; Boom, A.; Randall, R.W


    n recent decades there has been increasing interest, from scientists of many disciplines, in the origins and dynamics of tropical savanna-forest boundaries. These boundaries are rarely present as a smooth gradient from tropical forests to scattered trees and open grassland (Bond and Parr 2010);

  9. Structural, physiognomic and above-ground biomass variation in savanna–forest transition zones on three continents – how different are co-occurring savanna and forest formations?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. M. Veenendaal


    Full Text Available Through interpretations of remote-sensing data and/or theoretical propositions, the idea that forest and savanna represent "alternative stable states" is gaining increasing acceptance. Filling an observational gap, we present detailed stratified floristic and structural analyses for forest and savanna stands located mostly within zones of transition (where both vegetation types occur in close proximity in Africa, South America and Australia. Woody plant leaf area index variation was related to tree canopy cover in a similar way for both savanna and forest with substantial overlap between the two vegetation types. As total woody plant canopy cover increased, so did the relative contribution of middle and lower strata of woody vegetation. Herbaceous layer cover declined as woody cover increased. This pattern of understorey grasses and herbs progressively replaced by shrubs as the canopy closes over was found for both savanna and forests and on all continents. Thus, once subordinate woody canopy layers are taken into account, a less marked transition in woody plant cover across the savanna–forest-species discontinuum is observed compared to that inferred when trees of a basal diameter > 0.1 m are considered in isolation. This is especially the case for shrub-dominated savannas and in taller savannas approaching canopy closure. An increased contribution of forest species to the total subordinate cover is also observed as savanna stand canopy closure occurs. Despite similarities in canopy-cover characteristics, woody vegetation in Africa and Australia attained greater heights and stored a greater amount of above-ground biomass than in South America. Up to three times as much above-ground biomass is stored in forests compared to savannas under equivalent climatic conditions. Savanna–forest transition zones were also found to typically occur at higher precipitation regimes for South America than for Africa. Nevertheless, consistent across all three

  10. Drought sensitivity changes over the last century at the North American savanna-forest boundary (United States)

    Heilman, K.; McLachlan, J. S.


    Future environmental changes can affect the sensitivity of tree growth to climate. Theses changes are of particular concern at biome boundaries where tree distribution could shift as a result of changes in both drought and drought sensitivity. One such region is the North American savanna-forest boundary, where increased CO2 and droughts could alter savanna and forest ecosystem distributions in two contrasting ways: 1). More severe droughts may increase drought sensitivity, favoring open savanna ecosystems or, 2). Increases in water use efficiency resulting from higher atmospheric CO2 may decrease drought sensitivity, promoting forest expansion. This study sought to understand whether the past 100 years of climate and CO2 changes have impacted regional tree growth-climate sensitivity. To test for these climate sensitivity changes, we measured the sensitivity of Quercus spp. radial growth to Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI). Tree growth sensitivity to climate can vary according to many factors, including: stand structure, available moisture, and tree age. To control for these factors, we sampled tree growth-climate responses at sites in both open and closed forests, and at both low and high annual precipitation. Within each site, we compared growth responses to climate between trees established under high CO2 conditions after 1950 (high CO2 young), and tree established before 1950 under low CO2 levels (low CO2 young). At most sites, low CO2 young have a higher drought sensitivity than higher CO2 young. These changes in the sensitivity to drought are consistent with CO2 enhancement of water use efficiency. Furthermore, these differences in drought sensitivity are higher at sites with high temperature and low precipitation, suggesting that the alleviation of drought is more likely in hot and dry regions. Thus, if CO2 enhancement is indeed occurring in these systems, lower growth sensitivity to drought in hot and dry regions could favor increased forest growth. If

  11. Rooting strategies in a subtropical savanna: a landscape-scale three-dimensional assessment. (United States)

    Zhou, Yong; Boutton, Thomas W; Wu, X Ben; Wright, Cynthia L; Dion, Anais L


    In resource-limited savannas, the distribution and abundance of fine roots play an important role in acquiring essential resources and structuring vegetation patterns and dynamics. However, little is known regarding the three-dimensional distribution of fine roots in savanna ecosystems at the landscape scale. We quantified spatial patterns of fine root density to a depth of 1.2 m in a subtropical savanna landscape using spatially specific sampling. Kriged maps revealed that fine root density was highest at the centers of woody patches, decreased towards the canopy edges, and reached lowest values within the grassland matrix throughout the entire soil profile. Lacunarity analyses indicated that spatial heterogeneities of fine root density decreased continuously to a depth of 50 cm and then increased in deeper portions of the soil profile across this landscape. This vertical pattern might be related to inherent differences in root distribution between trees/shrubs and herbaceous species, and the presence/absence of an argillic horizon across this landscape. The greater density of fine roots beneath woody patches in both upper and lower portions of the soil profile suggests an ability to acquire disproportionately more resources than herbaceous species, which may facilitate the development and persistence of woody patches across this landscape.

  12. Light hydrocarbon emissions from African savanna burnings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bonsang, B.; Lambert, G.; Boissard, C.C.


    A study was undertaken in West Africa to determine the background mixing ratio of nonmethane hydrocarbons (NMHC) during the dry season and to measure the composition of savanna burnings. The experiment was conducted from 13 to 22 January 1989 in the experimental station located at the border of the tropical rainforest and savanna. Samples were collected during aircraft flights at 2,400 m in the free troposphere, at 400 m in the haze layer and in a smoke plume at 200 m altitude. Samples representing the ground-level evolution of the local background were collected at 10 m altitude. Fire samples were collected at a short distance from the fires during the intensive experiments. Results are presented in tables and indicate that the effect of NMHC produced by biomass burning on the tropospheric photochemistry is limited to a few species, namely, C 2 -C 4 alkenes

  13. Unsustainable fuelwood extraction from South African savannas (United States)

    Wessels, K. J.; Colgan, M. S.; Erasmus, B. F. N.; Asner, G. P.; Twine, W. C.; Mathieu, R.; van Aardt, J. A. N.; Fisher, J. T.; Smit, I. P. J.


    Wood and charcoal supply the majority of sub-Saharan Africa’s rural energy needs. The long-term supply of fuelwood is in jeopardy given high consumption rates. Using airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR), we mapped and investigated savanna aboveground biomass across contrasting land uses, ranging from densely populated communal areas to highly protected areas in the Lowveld savannas of South Africa. We combined the LiDAR observations with socio-economic data, biomass production rates and fuelwood consumption rates in a supply-demand model to predict future fuelwood availability. LiDAR-based biomass maps revealed disturbance gradients around settlements up to 1.5 km, corresponding to the maximum distance walked to collect fuelwood. At current levels of fuelwood consumption (67% of households use fuelwood exclusively, with a 2% annual reduction), we calculate that biomass in the study area will be exhausted within thirteen years. We also show that it will require a 15% annual reduction in consumption for eight years to a level of 20% of households using fuelwood before the reduction in biomass appears to stabilize to sustainable levels. The severity of dwindling fuelwood reserves in African savannas underscores the importance of providing affordable energy for rural economic development.

  14. Unsustainable fuelwood extraction from South African savannas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wessels, K J; Colgan, M S; Asner, G P; Erasmus, B F N; Twine, W C; Fisher, J T; Mathieu, R; Van Aardt, J A N; Smit, I P J


    Wood and charcoal supply the majority of sub-Saharan Africa’s rural energy needs. The long-term supply of fuelwood is in jeopardy given high consumption rates. Using airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR), we mapped and investigated savanna aboveground biomass across contrasting land uses, ranging from densely populated communal areas to highly protected areas in the Lowveld savannas of South Africa. We combined the LiDAR observations with socio-economic data, biomass production rates and fuelwood consumption rates in a supply–demand model to predict future fuelwood availability. LiDAR-based biomass maps revealed disturbance gradients around settlements up to 1.5 km, corresponding to the maximum distance walked to collect fuelwood. At current levels of fuelwood consumption (67% of households use fuelwood exclusively, with a 2% annual reduction), we calculate that biomass in the study area will be exhausted within thirteen years. We also show that it will require a 15% annual reduction in consumption for eight years to a level of 20% of households using fuelwood before the reduction in biomass appears to stabilize to sustainable levels. The severity of dwindling fuelwood reserves in African savannas underscores the importance of providing affordable energy for rural economic development. (letter)

  15. Climate-biomes, pedo-biomes and pyro-biomes: which world view explains the tropical forest - savanna boundary in South America? (United States)

    Langan, Liam; Higgins, Steven; Scheiter, Simon


    Elucidating the drivers of broad vegetation formations improves our understanding of earth system functioning. The biome, defined primarily by the dominance of a particular growth strategy, is commonly employed to group vegetation into similar units. Predicting tropical forest and savanna biome boundaries in South America has proven difficult. Process based DGVMs (Dynamic global vegetation models) are our best tool to simulate vegetation patterns, make predictions for future changes and test theory, however, many DGVMs fail to accurately simulate the spatial distribution or indeed presence of the South American savanna biome which can result in large differences in modelled ecosystem structural properties. Evidence suggests fire plays a significant role in mediating these forest and savanna biome boundaries, however, fire alone does not appear to be sufficient to predict these boundaries in South America using DGVMs hinting at the presence of one or more missing environmental factors. We hypothesise that soil depth, which affects plant available water by determining maximum storage potential and influences temporal availability, may be one of these missing environmental factors. To test our hypothesis we use a novel vegetation model, the aDGVM2. This model has been specifically designed to allow plant trait strategies, constrained by trade-offs between traits, evolve based on the abiotic and biotic conditions where the resulting community trait suites are emergent properties of model dynamics. Furthermore it considers root biomass in multiple soil layers and therefore allows the consideration of alternative rooting strategies, which in turn allows us to explore in more detail the role of soil hydraulic factors in controlling biome boundary distributions. We find that changes in soil depth, interacting with fire, affect the relative dominance of tree and grass strategies and thus the presence and spatial distribution of forest and savanna biomes in South America

  16. Seasonality and Interannual Variability of Carbon Uptake and Respiration in a California Oak Savanna (United States)

    Ma, S.; Baldocchi, D.; Xu, L.


    Estimating terrestrial carbon sink with large-scale modeling research requires understanding the physiological and ecological processes associated with the carbon uptake and respiration of ecosystems and their variability in seasons and years. This study was conducted in an oak/grass savanna ecosystem in California, USA. The savanna ecosystem consists of blue oak trees ( Quercus douglasii) in the overstory and annual C3 grasses in the understory. Fluxes of CO2 were measured above the canopy (overstory) and the grasses (understory) from 2001 to 2005 with two eddy covariance systems. Under typical Mediterranean Climate, net ecosystem exchange of CO2 (NEE), ecosystem respiration (Reco), and gross primary production (GPP) in this savanna ecosystem had a distinctive dry-wet seasonal pattern. Leaf area index, leaf nitrogen concentration, and leaf carbon stable isotope discrimination reflected the responses of leaf to the seasonality and interannual variability. Light- use efficiency, the ratio of GPP to absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (aPAR), was not consistent within a year or from year to year, indicating that photosynthesis process was constrained with low temperature during the beginning of the wet season and limited by precipitation during the summer drought. Annual NEE, Reco, and GPP above the canopy varied significantly between years, varying from -108 - 133 gC m-2, 780 - 988 gC m-2, and 646 - 963 gC m-2, respectively. The difference of interannual Reco was 1.2 times of that of interannual GPP. There was a tight relationship between annual NEE and the precipitation during the period with daily mean temperature varying between 10 - 20°C, equivalent to precipitation during March and April. The longer the period lasted, the higher carbon uptake occurred. Estimated annual NEE from 1949 - 2005 in the savanna ecosystem varied between ~-400 - 200 gC m-2.

  17. Topo-edaphic controls over woody plant biomass in South African savannas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. S. Colgan


    Full Text Available The distribution of woody biomass in savannas reflects spatial patterns fundamental to ecosystem processes, such as water flow, competition, and herbivory, and is a key contributor to savanna ecosystem services, such as fuelwood supply. While total precipitation sets an upper bound on savanna woody biomass, the extent to which substrate and terrain constrain trees and shrubs below this maximum remains poorly understood, often occluded by local-scale disturbances such as fire and trampling. Here we investigate the role of hillslope topography and soil properties in controlling woody plant aboveground biomass (AGB in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Large-area sampling with airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR provided a means to average across local-scale disturbances, revealing an unexpectedly linear relationship between AGB and hillslope-position on basalts, where biomass levels were lowest on crests, and linearly increased toward streams (R2 = 0.91. The observed pattern was different on granite substrates, where AGB exhibited a strongly non-linear relationship with hillslope position: AGB was high on crests, decreased midslope, and then increased near stream channels (R2 = 0.87. Overall, we observed 5-to-8-fold lower AGB on clayey, basalt-derived soil than on granites, and we suggest this is due to herbivore-fire interactions rather than lower hydraulic conductivity or clay shrinkage/swelling, as previously hypothesized. By mapping AGB within and outside fire and herbivore exclosures, we found that basalt-derived soils support tenfold higher AGB in the absence of fire and herbivory, suggesting high clay content alone is not a proximal limitation on AGB. Understanding how fire and herbivory contribute to AGB heterogeneity is critical to predicting future savanna carbon storage under a changing climate.

  18. Can savannas help balance the South African greenhouse gas budget?

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scholes, RJ


    Full Text Available This article discusses the South African Greenhouse Experiment on Savannas (SAGES) study conducted by the CSIR' Division of Forest Science and Technology (Foretek) on the role of savannas in the balance of the greenhouse gas budget of South Africa...

  19. Fire in Australian savannas: from leaf to landscape (United States)

    Beringer, Jason; Hutley, Lindsay B; Abramson, David; Arndt, Stefan K; Briggs, Peter; Bristow, Mila; Canadell, Josep G; Cernusak, Lucas A; Eamus, Derek; Edwards, Andrew C; Evans, Bradley J; Fest, Benedikt; Goergen, Klaus; Grover, Samantha P; Hacker, Jorg; Haverd, Vanessa; Kanniah, Kasturi; Livesley, Stephen J; Lynch, Amanda; Maier, Stefan; Moore, Caitlin; Raupach, Michael; Russell-Smith, Jeremy; Scheiter, Simon; Tapper, Nigel J; Uotila, Petteri


    Savanna ecosystems comprise 22% of the global terrestrial surface and 25% of Australia (almost 1.9 million km2) and provide significant ecosystem services through carbon and water cycles and the maintenance of biodiversity. The current structure, composition and distribution of Australian savannas have coevolved with fire, yet remain driven by the dynamic constraints of their bioclimatic niche. Fire in Australian savannas influences both the biophysical and biogeochemical processes at multiple scales from leaf to landscape. Here, we present the latest emission estimates from Australian savanna biomass burning and their contribution to global greenhouse gas budgets. We then review our understanding of the impacts of fire on ecosystem function and local surface water and heat balances, which in turn influence regional climate. We show how savanna fires are coupled to the global climate through the carbon cycle and fire regimes. We present new research that climate change is likely to alter the structure and function of savannas through shifts in moisture availability and increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, in turn altering fire regimes with further feedbacks to climate. We explore opportunities to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions from savanna ecosystems through changes in savanna fire management. PMID:25044767

  20. Termites and large herbivores influence seed removal rates in an African savanna. (United States)

    Acanakwo, Erik Francis; Sheil, Douglas; Moe, Stein R


    Seed removal can influence plant community dynamics, composition, and resulting vegetation characteristics. In the African savanna, termites and large herbivores influence vegetation in various ways, likely including indirect effects on seed predators and secondary dispersers. However, the intensity and variation of seed removal rates in African savannas has seldom been studied. We experimentally investigated whether termites and large herbivores were important factors in the mechanisms contributing to observed patterns in tree species composition on and off mounds, in Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda. Within fenced (excluding large herbivores) and unfenced termite mound and adjacent savanna plots, we placed seeds of nine native tree species within small open "cages," accessed by all animals, roofed cages that only allowed access to small vertebrates and invertebrates, and closed cages that permitted access by smaller invertebrates only (5 mm wire mesh). We found that mean seed removal rate was high (up to 87.3% per 3 d). Mound habitats experienced significantly higher removal rates than off-mound habitats. The mean removal rate of native seeds from closed cages was 11.1% per 3 d compared with 19.4% and 23.3% removed per 3 d in the roofed and open cages, respectively. Smaller seeds experienced higher removal rates than larger seeds. Large herbivore exclusion on mounds reduced native seed removal rates by a mean of 8.8% in the open cages, but increased removal rates by 1.7% in the open cages when off-mound habitats were fenced. While removal rates from open cages were higher on active mounds (30.9%) than on inactive mounds (26.7%), the removal rates from closed cages were lower on active vs. inactive mounds (6.1% vs. 11.6%, respectively). Thus, we conclude that large herbivores and Macrotermes mounds influence seed removal rates, though these effects appear indirect. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  1. Biogeographical patterns of Myrcia s.l. (Myrtaceae) and their correlation with geological and climatic history in the Neotropics. (United States)

    Santos, Matheus Fortes; Lucas, Eve; Sano, Paulo Takeo; Buerki, Sven; Staggemeier, Vanessa Graziele; Forest, Félix


    Many recent studies discuss the influence of climatic and geological events in the evolution of Neotropical biota by correlating these events with dated phylogenetic hypotheses. Myrtaceae is one of the most diverse Neotropical groups and it therefore a good proxy of plant diversity in the region. However, biogeographic studies on Neotropical Myrtaceae are still very limited. Myrcia s.l. is an informal group comprising three accepted genera (Calyptranthes, Marlierea and Myrcia) making up the second largest Neotropical group of Myrtaceae, totalling about 700 species distributed in nine subgroups. Exclusively Neotropical, the group occurs along the whole of the Neotropics with diversity centres in the Caribbean, the Guiana Highlands and the central-eastern Brazil. This study aims to identify the time and place of divergence of Myrcia s.l. lineages, to examine the correlation in light of geological and climatic events in the Neotropics, and to explore relationships among Neotropical biogeographic areas. A dated phylogenetic hypothesis was produced using BEAST and calibrated by placing Paleomyrtinaea princetonensis (56Ma) at the root of the tree; biogeographic analysis used the DEC model with dispersal probabilities between areas based on distance and floristic affinities. Myrcia s.l. originated in the Montane Atlantic Forest between the end of Eocene and early Miocene and this region acted as a secondary cradle for several lineages during the evolution of this group. The Caribbean region was important in the diversification of the Calyptranthes clade while the Guayana shield appears as ancestral area for an older subgroup of Myrcia s.l. The Amazon Forest has relatively low diversity of Myrcia s.l. species but appears to have been important in the initial biogeographic history of old lineages. Lowland Atlantic Forest has high species diversity but species rich lineages did not originate in the area. Diversification of most subgroups of Myrcia s.l. occurred throughout

  2. Modeling soil moisture memory in savanna ecosystems (United States)

    Gou, S.; Miller, G. R.


    Antecedent soil conditions create an ecosystem's "memory" of past rainfall events. Such soil moisture memory effects may be observed over a range of timescales, from daily to yearly, and lead to feedbacks between hydrological and ecosystem processes. In this study, we modeled the soil moisture memory effect on savanna ecosystems in California, Arizona, and Africa, using a system dynamics model created to simulate the ecohydrological processes at the plot-scale. The model was carefully calibrated using soil moisture and evapotranspiration data collected at three study sites. The model was then used to simulate scenarios with various initial soil moisture conditions and antecedent precipitation regimes, in order to study the soil moisture memory effects on the evapotranspiration of understory and overstory species. Based on the model results, soil texture and antecedent precipitation regime impact the redistribution of water within soil layers, potentially causing deeper soil layers to influence the ecosystem for a longer time. Of all the study areas modeled, soil moisture memory of California savanna ecosystem site is replenished and dries out most rapidly. Thus soil moisture memory could not maintain the high rate evapotranspiration for more than a few days without incoming rainfall event. On the contrary, soil moisture memory of Arizona savanna ecosystem site lasts the longest time. The plants with different root depths respond to different memory effects; shallow-rooted species mainly respond to the soil moisture memory in the shallow soil. The growing season of grass is largely depended on the soil moisture memory of the top 25cm soil layer. Grass transpiration is sensitive to the antecedent precipitation events within daily to weekly timescale. Deep-rooted plants have different responses since these species can access to the deeper soil moisture memory with longer time duration Soil moisture memory does not have obvious impacts on the phenology of woody plants

  3. Allometry of a neotropical palm, Euterpe edulis Mart. Alometria de uma palmeira Neotropical, Euterpe edulis Mart

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciana F. Alves


    Full Text Available The stem allometry (stem diameter vs. tree height of a Neotropical palm (Euterpe edulis found in rain and seasonal forest of Southeastern Brazil was examined. Observed height-diameter relationships along the stem (diameter at ground level, (dgl, and diameter at breast height (dbh were compared to three theoretical stability mechanical models: elastic similarity, stress similarity and geometric similarity. Slopes of log-transformed height-diameter relationships did not lie near those predicted by any stability mechanical models. Significant differences in stem allometry were found when comparing dgl to dbh, suggesting greater increase in dbh with height. The relationship between stability safety factor (SSF and palm height showed that both dgl and dbh were found to be above McMahon's theoretical buckling limit for dicotyledonous trees, but some individuals approached this limit in relation to dbh. Despite displaying a similar decreasing pattern of SSF with height, differences found in SSF along the stem - greater SSF for dgl when compared to dbh - indicate that the risk of mechanism failure in palms depends upon the size and varies along the stem. Distinct allometric relationships along the stem obtained for Euterpe edulis may be reflecting possible differences in stem design and growth strategies.Neste trabalho foram analisadas as relações entre o diâmetro e a altura de uma palmeira Neotropical (Euterpe edulis comum na Floresta Atlântica do SE do Brasil. As relações observadas entre a altura e o diâmetro ao longo do estipe (diâmetro ao nível do solo (DAS, e diâmetro ao nível do peito (DAP foram comparadas a três modelos teóricos de estabilidade mecânica: similaridade elástica, similaridade de estresse e similaridade geométrica. As inclinações das regressões altura-diâmetro não se ajustaram a nenhum dos modelos de estabilidade mecânica. Diferenças significativas na alometria do estipe foram encontradas comparando-se as rela

  4. No strong evidence for increasing liana abundance in the Myristicaceae of a Neotropical aseasonal rain forest. (United States)

    Smith, James R; Queenborough, Simon A; Alvia, Pablo; Romero-Saltos, Hugo; Valencia, Renato


    The "liana dominance hypothesis" posits that lianas are increasing in abundance in tropical forests, thereby potentially reducing tree biomass due to competitive interactions between trees and lianas. This scenario has implications not only for forest ecosystem function and species composition, but also climate change given the mass of carbon stored in tropical trees. In 2003 and 2013, all Myristicaceae trees in the 50-ha Yasuní Forest Dynamics Plot, Ecuador, were surveyed for liana presence and load in their crowns. We tested the hypothesis that the proportion of trees with lianas increased between 2003 and 2013 in line with the liana dominance hypothesis. Contrary to expectations, the total proportion of trees with lianas decreased from 35% to 32%, and when only trees ≥10 cm diameter at breast height were considered liana incidence increased 44-48%. Liana load was dynamic with a large proportion of trees losing or gaining lianas over the 10-yr period; large trees with intermediate liana loads increased in proportion at the expense of those with low and high loads. Lianas also impacted performance: trees with 26-75% crown cover by lianas in 2003 had reduced growth rates of 80% compared to of liana-free trees, and trees with >75% crown cover had 33% the growth rate and a log odds of mortality eight times that of liana-free trees. We suggest that the lack of strong support found for the liana dominance hypothesis is likely due to the aseasonal climate of Yasuní, which limits the competitive advantage lianas maintain over trees during dry seasons due to their efficient capture and use of water. We propose further research of long-term liana dynamics from aseasonal forests is required to determine the generality of the increasing liana dominance hypothesis in Neotropical forests. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  5. Three new species of the killifish genus Melanorivulus from the central Brazilian Cerrado savanna (Cyprinodontiformes, Aplocheilidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wilson J.E.M. Costa


    Full Text Available Three new species are described from the Neotropical region comprising the Cerrado savannas of the central Brazilian plateaus, which is among the most important biodiversity centres in the world. These species are considered closely related to M. dapazi from the same region, with which they share the presence of a rudimentary interarcual cartilage and a dark reddish brown distal margin on the male anal fin. The group comprising M. dapazi and the three new species is here named as the M. dapazi species group. Melanorivulus ignescens sp. n., from the upper Rio Araguaia basin, is distinguished from all other species of the M. dapazi group by the anal-fin colour pattern in males; M. flavipinnis sp. n. and M. regularis sp. n. from the Rio Paraguai basin are distinguished from all other congeners of the M. dapazi group by the colour pattern of the caudal fin and number of scales in the longitudinal series, respectively. All the new species are further unambiguously diagnosed by unique combinations of morphological characters, including meristic and morphometric data, and colour patterns. This study reinforces the importance of using live colour patterns to diagnose species and species groups of the genus Melanorivulus, but also indicates that osteological characters may be informative for species diagnosis. This study confirms the high diversity of species of Melanorivulus in the central Brazilian Cerrado plateaus already reported in previous studies, indicating that endemic species are often restricted to short segments of a single river drainage.

  6. Neotropical lowland forests along environmental gradients

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Toledo, M.


    Neotropical lowlands feature an extraordinary display of vegetation types. This is especially the case for Bolivia where three biogeographical regions, Amazonian, Brazilian-Paranaense and Gran Chaco meet in the lowland areas, providing thus an ideal setting to study vegetation-environment

  7. High spatial resolution mapping of land cover types in a priority area for conservation in the Brazilian savanna (United States)

    Ribeiro, F.; Roberts, D. A.; Hess, L. L.; Davis, F. W.; Caylor, K. K.; Nackoney, J.; Antunes Daldegan, G.


    Savannas are heterogeneous landscapes consisting of highly mixed land cover types that lack clear distinct boundaries. The Brazilian Cerrado is a Neotropical savanna considered a biodiversity hotspot for conservation due to its biodiversity richness and rapid transformation of its landscape by crop and pasture activities. The Cerrado is one of the most threatened Brazilian biomes and only 2.2% of its original extent is strictly protected. Accurate mapping and monitoring of its ecosystems and adjacent land use are important to select areas for conservation and to improve our understanding of the dynamics in this biome. Land cover mapping of savannas is difficult due to spectral similarity between land cover types resulting from similar vegetation structure, floristically similar components, generalization of land cover classes, and heterogeneity usually expressed as small patch sizes within the natural landscape. These factors are the major contributor to misclassification and low map accuracies among remote sensing studies in savannas. Specific challenges to map the Cerrado's land cover types are related to the spectral similarity between classes of land use and natural vegetation, such as natural grassland vs. cultivated pasture, and forest ecosystem vs. crops. This study seeks to classify and evaluate the land cover patterns across an area ranked as having extremely high priority for future conservation in the Cerrado. The main objective of this study is to identify the representativeness of each vegetation type across the landscape using high to moderate spatial resolution imagery using an automated scheme. A combination of pixel-based and object-based approaches were tested using RapidEye 3A imagery (5m spatial resolution) to classify the Cerrado's major land cover types. The random forest classifier was used to map the major ecosystems present across the area, and demonstrated to have an effective result with 68% of overall accuracy. Post

  8. Bat activity at remnant oak trees in California Central Coast vineyards (United States)

    William D. Tietje; Ted Weller; Christopher C. Yim


    During 1990 to 2013, the area planted with wine grapes increased nearly 4.5 times in San Luis Obispo County. Much of this development occurred on open oak savanna with scattered oak (Quercus spp.) trees. Remnant trees are retained in some vineyards, but their value to biodiversity retention has not been quantified. During April to September 2014,...

  9. Drought damage to bushveld trees and large shrubs | JJP | African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    An intensive survey was carried out in Sweet Bushveld (savanna) to study drought damage to the trees and large shrubs in a Combretum apiculatum community. In general, the severity of damage was less than was expected and its pattern differed markedly between the 21 different species encountered. Keywords: ...

  10. Description of the savanna ecosystem project, Nylsvley, South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    CSIR National Scientific Programmes Unit, CSIR


    Full Text Available practices. These savannas stretch in a broad belt across southern Africa and have been greatly affected by increasing exploitation during the past hundred years. Increases in useful productivity have been accompanied by such problems as bush encroachment...

  11. Evaporation from cultivated and semi-wild Sudanian Savanna in west Africa (United States)

    Ceperley, Natalie C.; Mande, Theophile; van de Giesen, Nick; Tyler, Scott; Yacouba, Hamma; Parlange, Marc B.


    Rain-fed farming is the primary livelihood of semi-arid west Africa. Changes in land cover have the potential to affect precipitation, the critical resource for production. Turbulent flux measurements from two eddy-covariance towers and additional observations from a dense network of small, wireless meteorological stations combine to relate land cover (savanna forest and agriculture) to evaporation in a small (3.5 km2) catchment in Burkina Faso, west Africa. We observe larger sensible and latent heat fluxes over the savanna forest in the headwater area relative to the agricultural section of the watershed all year. Higher fluxes above the savanna forest are attributed to the greater number of exposed rocks and trees and the higher productivity of the forest compared to rain-fed, hand-farmed agricultural fields. Vegetation cover and soil moisture are found to be primary controls of the evaporative fraction. Satellite-derived vegetation index (NDVI) and soil moisture are determined to be good predictors of evaporative fraction, as indicators of the physical basis of evaporation. Our measurements provide an estimator that can be used to derive evaporative fraction when only NDVI is available. Such large-scale estimates of evaporative fraction from remotely sensed data are valuable where ground-based measurements are lacking, which is the case across the African continent and many other semi-arid areas. Evaporative fraction estimates can be combined, for example, with sensible heat from measurements of temperature variance, to provide an estimate of evaporation when only minimal meteorological measurements are available in remote regions of the world. These findings reinforce local cultural beliefs of the importance of forest fragments for climate regulation and may provide support to local decision makers and rural farmers in the maintenance of the forest areas.

  12. Revisiting the two-layer hypothesis: coexistence of alternative functional rooting strategies in savannas. (United States)

    Holdo, Ricardo M


    The two-layer hypothesis of tree-grass coexistence posits that trees and grasses differ in rooting depth, with grasses exploiting soil moisture in shallow layers while trees have exclusive access to deep water. The lack of clear differences in maximum rooting depth between these two functional groups, however, has caused this model to fall out of favor. The alternative model, the demographic bottleneck hypothesis, suggests that trees and grasses occupy overlapping rooting niches, and that stochastic events such as fires and droughts result in episodic tree mortality at various life stages, thus preventing trees from otherwise displacing grasses, at least in mesic savannas. Two potential problems with this view are: 1) we lack data on functional rooting profiles in trees and grasses, and these profiles are not necessarily reflected by differences in maximum or physical rooting depth, and 2) subtle, difficult-to-detect differences in rooting profiles between the two functional groups may be sufficient to result in coexistence in many situations. To tackle this question, I coupled a plant uptake model with a soil moisture dynamics model to explore the environmental conditions under which functional rooting profiles with equal rooting depth but different depth distributions (i.e., shapes) can coexist when competing for water. I show that, as long as rainfall inputs are stochastic, coexistence based on rooting differences is viable under a wide range of conditions, even when these differences are subtle. The results also indicate that coexistence mechanisms based on rooting niche differentiation are more viable under some climatic and edaphic conditions than others. This suggests that the two-layer model is both viable and stochastic in nature, and that a full understanding of tree-grass coexistence and dynamics may require incorporating fine-scale rooting differences between these functional groups and realistic stochastic climate drivers into future models.

  13. The biodiversity cost of carbon sequestration in tropical savanna


    Abreu, Rodolfo C. R.; Hoffmann, William A.; Vasconcelos, Heraldo L.; Pilon, Natashi A.; Rossatto, Davi R.; Durigan, Giselda


    Tropical savannas have been increasingly viewed as an opportunity for carbon sequestration through fire suppression and afforestation, but insufficient attention has been given to the consequences for biodiversity. To evaluate the biodiversity costs of increasing carbon sequestration, we quantified changes in ecosystem carbon stocks and the associated changes in communities of plants and ants resulting from fire suppression in savannas of the Brazilian Cerrado, a global biodiversity hotspot. ...

  14. The Spatial Pattern and Interactions of Woody Plants on the Temperate Savanna of Inner Mongolia, China: The Effects of Alternating Seasonal Grazing-Mowing Regimes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao Wang

    Full Text Available Ulmus pumila tree-dominated temperate savanna, which is distributed widely throughout the forest-steppe ecotone on the Mongolian Plateau, is a relatively stable woody-herbaceous complex ecosystem in northern China. Relatively more attention has been paid to the degradation of typical steppe areas, whereas less focus has been placed on the succession of this typical temperate savanna under the present management regime. In this study, we established 3 sample plots 100 m×100 m in size along a gradient of fixed distances from one herder's stationary site and then surveyed all the woody plants in these plots. A spatial point pattern analysis was employed to clarify the spatial distribution and interaction of these woody plants. The results indicated that old U. pumila trees (DBH ≥ 20 cm showed a random distribution and that medium U. pumila trees (5 cm ≤ DBH < 20 cm showed an aggregated distribution at a smaller scale and a random distribution at a larger scale; few or no juvenile trees (DBH < 5 cm were present, and seedlings (without DBH formed aggregations in all 3 plots. These findings can be explained by an alternate seasonal grazing-mowing regime (exclosure in summer, mowing in autumn and grazing in winter and spring; the shrubs in all 3 plots exist along a grazing gradient that harbors xerophytic and mesophytic shrubs. Of these shrubs, xerophytic shrubs show significant aggregation at a smaller scale (0-5.5 m, whereas mesophytic shrubs show significant aggregation at a larger scale (0-25 m, which may be the result of the dual effects of grazing pressure and climate change. Medium trees and seedlings significantly facilitate the distributions of xerophytic shrubs and compete significantly with mesophytic shrubs due to differences in water use strategies. We conclude that the implementation of an alternative grazing-mowing regime results in xerophytic shrub encroachment or existence, breaking the chain of normal succession in a U. pumila

  15. Impacts of an extreme cyclone event on landscape-scale savanna fire, productivity and greenhouse gas emissions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hutley, L B; Maier, S W; Evans, B J; Beringer, J; Cook, G D; Razon, E


    North Australian tropical savanna accounts for 12% of the world’s total savanna land cover. Accordingly, understanding processes that govern carbon, water and energy exchange within this biome is critical to global carbon and water budgeting. Climate and disturbances drive ecosystem carbon dynamics. Savanna ecosystems of the coastal and sub-coastal of north Australia experience a unique combination of climatic extremes and are in a state of near constant disturbance from fire events (1 in 3 years), storms resulting in windthrow (1 in 5–10 years) and mega-cyclones (1 in 500–1000 years). Critically, these disturbances occur over large areas creating a spatial and temporal mosaic of carbon sources and sinks. We quantify the impact on gross primary productivity (GPP) and fire occurrence from a tropical mega-cyclone, tropical Cyclone Monica (TC Monica), which affected 10 400 km 2 of savanna across north Australia, resulting in the mortality and severe structural damage to ∼140 million trees. We estimate a net carbon equivalent emission of 43 Tg of CO 2 -e using the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) GPP (MOD17A2) to quantify spatial and temporal patterns pre- and post-TC Monica. GPP was suppressed for four years after the event, equivalent to a loss of GPP of 0.5 Tg C over this period. On-ground fuel loads were estimated to potentially release 51.2 Mt CO 2 -e, equivalent to ∼10% of Australia’s accountable greenhouse gas emissions. We present a simple carbon balance to examine the relative importance of frequency versus impact for a number of key disturbance processes such as fire, termite consumption and intense but infrequent mega-cyclones. Our estimates suggested that fire and termite consumption had a larger impact on Net Biome Productivity than infrequent mega-cyclones. We demonstrate the importance of understanding how climate variability and disturbance impacts savanna dynamics in the context of the increasing interest in

  16. Coleopterous galls from the Neotropical region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valéria Cid Maia


    Full Text Available Data on Neotropical coleopterous galls were compiled from the literature, which showed that 82 galls have so far been recorded among 77 plant species. The Fabaceae and Asteraceae plant families display the greatest richness in galls. Most galls are induced on stems or buds, while leaves constitute the second most attacked plant organ. Only 16 coleopteran gallers have been identified at the species level; most records are presented at the order level. The identified species belong to four families: Apionidae, Buprestidae, Curculionidae and Erirhinidae. The galls are found in Argentina, Brazil, Belize, Chile, Colombia (probably, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Venezuela. Eighteen species of Coleoptera are inquilines of galls and are associated with 18 plant species, most frequently with Asteraceae, Melastomataceae and Fabaceae. The inquilines were recorded mainly in leaf galls induced by Cecidomyiidae (Diptera. The identity of these weevils is poorly known. General data indicate a lack of taxonomic studies in the Neotropical region.

  17. Monitoring the Distribution and Dynamics of an Invasive Grass in Tropical Savanna Using Airborne LiDAR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaun R. Levick


    Full Text Available The spread of an alien invasive grass (gamba grass—Andropogon gayanus in the tropical savannas of Northern Australia is a major threat to habitat quality and biodiversity in the region, primarily through its influence on fire intensity. Effective control and eradication of this invader requires better insight into its spatial distribution and rate of spread to inform management actions. We used full-waveform airborne LiDAR to map areas of known A. gayanus invasion in the Batchelor region of the Northern Territory, Australia. Our stratified sampling campaign included wooded savanna areas with differing degrees of A. gayanus invasion and adjacent areas of native grass and woody tree mixtures. We used height and spatial contiguity based metrics to classify returns from A. gayanus and developed spatial representations of A. gayanus occurrence (1 m resolution and canopy cover (10 m resolution. The cover classification proved robust against two independent field-based investigations at 500 m2 (R2 = 0.87, RMSE = 12.53 and 100 m2 (R2 = 0.79, RMSE = 14.13 scale. Our mapping results provide a solid benchmark for evaluating the rate and pattern of A. gayanus spread from future LiDAR campaigns. In addition, this high-resolution mapping can be used to inform satellite image analysis for the evaluation of A. gayanus invasion over broader regional scales. Our research highlights the huge potential that airborne LiDAR holds for facilitating the monitoring and management of savanna habitat condition.

  18. Mediterranean savanna system: understanding and modeling of olive orchard. (United States)

    Brilli, Lorenzo; Moriondo, Marco; Bindi, Marco


    Nowadays most of the studies on C and N exchange were focused on forest ecosystems and crop systems, while only few studies have been focused on so called "savanna systems". They are long-term agro-ecosystems (fruit trees, grapevines and olive trees, etc.) usually characterized by two different layers (ground vegetation and trees). Generally, there is a lack of knowledge about these systems due to their intrinsic structural complexity (different eco-physiological characteristics so as agricultural practices). However, given their long-term carbon storage capacity, these systems can play a fundamental role in terms of global C cycle. Among all of them, the role that olive trees can play in C sequestration should not be neglected, especially in Mediterranean areas where they typify the rural landscape and are widely cultivated (Loumou and Giourga, 2003). It is therefore fundamental modelling the C-fluxes exchanges coming from these systems through a tool able to well reproduce these dynamics in one of the most exposed areas to the risk of climate change (IPCC, 2007). In this work, 2 years of Net CO2 Ecosystem Exchange (NEE) measures from eddy covariance were used to test the biogeochemistry model DayCent. The study was conducted in a rain-fed olive orchard situated in Follonica, South Tuscany, Italy (42 ° 55'N, 10 ° 45'E), in an agricultural area near the coast. The instrumentation for flux measurement was placed 1.9 m above the canopy top (6.5 m from the ground) so that the footprint area, expressed as the area containing 90% of the observed flux, was almost entirely contained within the olive orchard limits (Brilli et al., in press). Ancillary slow sensors have included soil temperature profiles, global radiation, air temperature and humidity, rain gauge. Fluxes of sensible heat, latent heat, momentum and CO2 as well as ancillary data were derived at half-hourly time resolution. Specific soil (texture, current and historical land use and vegetation cover) and

  19. Preferential production and transport of grass-derived pyrogenic carbon in NE-Australian savanna ecosystems (United States)

    Saiz, Gustavo; Goodrick, Iain; Wurster, Christopher; Nelson, Paul N.; Wynn, Jonathan; Bird, Michael


    Understanding the main factors driving fire regimes in grasslands and savannas is critical to better manage their biodiversity and functions. Moreover, improving our knowledge on pyrogenic carbon (PyC) dynamics, including formation, transport and deposition, is fundamental to better understand a significant slow-cycling component of the global carbon cycle, particularly as these ecosystems account for a substantial proportion of the area globally burnt. However, a thorough assessment of past fire regimes in grass-dominated ecosystems is problematic due to challenges in interpreting the charcoal record of sediments. It is therefore critical to adopt appropriate sampling and analytical methods to allow the acquisition of reliable data and information on savanna fire dynamics. This study uses hydrogen pyrolysis (HyPy) to quantify PyC abundance and stable isotope composition (δ13C) in recent sediments across 38 micro-catchments covering a wide range of mixed C3/C4 vegetation in north Queensland, Australia. We exploited the contrasting δ13C values of grasses (i.e. C4; δ13C >-15‰) and woody vegetation (i.e. C3; δ13C <-24‰) to assess the preferential production and transport of grass-derived PyC in savanna ecosystems. Analyses were conducted on bulk and size-fractionated samples to determine the fractions into which PyC preferentially accumulates. Our data show that the δ13C value of PyC in the sediments is decoupled from the δ13C value of total organic carbon, which suggests that a significant component of PyC may be derived from incomplete grass combustion, even when the proportion of C4 grass biomass in the catchment was relatively small. Furthermore, we conducted 16 experimental burns that indicate that there is a comminution of PyC produced in-situ to smaller particles, which facilitates the transport of this material, potentially affecting its preservation potential. Savanna fires preferentially burn the grass understory rather than large trees, leading to

  20. Quantitative analysis of savanna wood species, in Teixeira, state of Paraiba, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Adelmo Nunes Leite


    Full Text Available Savanna is the vegetation of semi-arid northeastern region of Brazil, which is largely determined by climate and topography. The municipality of Teixeira in the state of Paraiba presents hyperxerophilous shrub-arboreal caatinga land cover, which differs in size and density from those found in Sertaneja Depression, due to higher humidity. The objective of this work was to quantify forest remnant in the municipality of Teixeira, using geographic information system and forest inventory techniques. Native vegetation was mapped using satellite images, from November, 2008. Forest inventory was carried out in 40 sample plots (20 m × 20 m that were selected systematically. Height and diameter at 1.30 m from soil level (DBH were measured in every tree with DBH ≥ 10 cm. Each tree was identified by common and scientific names. A total of 4,911 trees were sampled, representing 46 species and 24 families that corresponds to 3,069 trees ha-1. The species with highest importance value (IV were: Croton sonderianus, Mimosa tenuiflora and Piptadenia stipulacea and the more important families were Euphorbiaceae, Mimosaceae and Caesalpinaceae. The municipality of Teixeira has its best preserved areas in mountainous regions with difficult access.

  1. Analysis of stable states in global savannas: is the CART pulling the horse? (United States)

    Hanan, Niall P; Tredennick, Andrew T; Prihodko, Lara; Bucini, Gabriela; Dohn, Justin


    Multiple stable states, bifurcations and thresholds are fashionable concepts in the ecological literature, a recognition that complex ecosystems may at times exhibit the interesting dynamic behaviours predicted by relatively simple biomathematical models. Recently, several papers in Global Ecology and Biogeography , Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, Science and elsewhere have attempted to quantify the prevalence of alternate stable states in the savannas of Africa, Australia and South America, and the tundra-taiga-grassland transitions of the circum-boreal region using satellite-derived woody canopy cover. While we agree with the logic that basins of attraction can be inferred from the relative frequencies of ecosystem states observed in space and time, we caution that the statistical methodologies underlying the satellite product used in these studies may confound our ability to infer the presence of multiple stable states. We demonstrate this point using a uniformly distributed 'pseudo-tree cover' database for Africa that we use to retrace the steps involved in creation of the satellite tree-cover product and subsequent analysis. We show how classification and regression tree (CART)-based products may impose discontinuities in satellite tree-cover estimates even when such discontinuities are not present in reality. As regional and global remote sensing and geospatial data become more easily accessible for ecological studies, we recommend careful consideration of how error distributions in remote sensing products may interact with the data needs and theoretical expectations of the ecological process under study.

  2. Impact of communal land use and conservation on woody vegetation structure in the Lowveld savannas of South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Wessels, Konrad J


    Full Text Available 0378-1127/ doi Please cite this article in press as: Wessels, K.J., et al., Impact of communal land use and conservation on woody vegetation structure in the Lowveld savannas of South Africa. Forest Ecol. Manage. (2010), doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2010....09.012 d in revised form 24 August 2010 d 7 September 2010 y words: R l land use r National Park y vegetation structure l wood a Using airborne LiDAR from the Carnegie Airborne Observatory (CAO), we quantified and compared tree canopy cover...

  3. Ecosystem properties of semi-arid savanna grassland in West Africa and its relationship to environmental variability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tagesson, Torbern; Fensholt, Rasmus; Guiro, Idrissa


    he Dahra field site in Senegal, West Africa, was established in 2002 to monitor ecosystem properties of semiarid savanna grassland and their responses to climatic and environmental change. This article describes the environment and the ecosystem properties of the site using a unique set of in situ......), biomass, vegetation water content, and land-atmosphere exchanges of carbon (NEE) and energy. The Dahra field site experiences a typical Sahelian climate and is covered by coexisting trees (~3% canopy cover) and grass species, characterizing large parts of the Sahel. This makes the site suitable...

  4. Preferential Production and Transport of Grass-Derived Pyrogenic Carbon in NE-Australian Savanna Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gustavo Saiz


    large trees, leading to a bias toward the finer C4-derived PyC in the sedimentary record. This in turn, provides further evidence for the preferential production and transport of C4-derived PyC in mixed ecosystems where grass and woody vegetation coexist. Moreover, our isotopic approach provides independent validation of findings derived from conventional charcoal counting techniques concerning the appropriateness of adopting a relatively small particle size threshold (i.e., ~50 μm to reconstruct savanna fire regimes using sedimentary records. This work allows for a more nuanced understanding of the savanna isotope disequilibrium effect, which has significant implications for global 13C isotopic disequilibria calculations and for the interpretation of δ13C values of PyC preserved in sedimentary records.

  5. Neogene-dominated diversification in neotropical montane lichens: dating divergence events in the lichen-forming fungal genus Oropogon (Parmeliaceae). (United States)

    Leavitt, Steven D; Esslinger, Theodore L; Lumbsch, H Thorsten


    Diversification in neotropical regions has been attributed to both Tertiary geological events and Pleistocene climatic fluctuations. However, the timing and processes driving speciation in these regions remain unexplored in many important groups. Here, we address the timing of diversification in the neotropical lichenized fungal genus Oropogon (Ascomycota) and assess traditional species boundaries. We analyzed sequence data from three loci to assess phenotypically circumscribed Oropogon species from the Oaxacan Highlands, Mexico. We provide a comparison of dated divergence estimates between concatenated gene trees and a calibrated multilocus species-tree using substitution rates for two DNA regions. We also compare estimates from a data set excluding ambiguously aligned regions and a data set including the hyper-variable regions in two ribosomal markers. Phylogenetic reconstructions were characterized by well-supported monophyletic clades corresponding to traditionally circumscribed species, with the exception of a single taxon. Divergence estimates indicate that most diversification of the sampled Oropogon species occurred throughout the Oligocene and Miocene, although diversification of a single closely related clade appears to have occurred during the late Pliocene and into the Pleistocene. Divergence estimates calculated from a data set with ambiguously aligned regions removed were much more recent than those from the full data set. Overall, our analyses place the majority of divergence events of Oropogon species from the Oaxacan Highlands within the Neogene and provide strong evidence that climatic changes during the Pleistocene were not a major factor driving speciation in the lichenized genus Oropogon in neotropical highlands.

  6. Status and management of neotropical migratory birds: Introduction (United States)

    Deborah M.; Peter W. Stangel


    The future for neotropical migratory birds rests with our commitment and ability to provide them adequate habitat during all periods of their life cycle. Our commitment to this cause is apparent in the groundswell of interest in neotropical migrants and the many proactive and coopemtive partnerships resulting from the Partners in Flight - Aves de las Americas...

  7. DNA fingerprinting validates seed dispersal curves from observational studies in the neotropical legume parkia. (United States)

    Heymann, Eckhard W; Lüttmann, Kathrin; Michalczyk, Inga M; Saboya, Pedro Pablo Pinedo; Ziegenhagen, Birgit; Bialozyt, Ronald


    Determining the distances over which seeds are dispersed is a crucial component for examining spatial patterns of seed dispersal and their consequences for plant reproductive success and population structure. However, following the fate of individual seeds after removal from the source tree till deposition at a distant place is generally extremely difficult. Here we provide a comparison of observationally and genetically determined seed dispersal distances and dispersal curves in a Neotropical animal-plant system. In a field study on the dispersal of seeds of three Parkia (Fabaceae) species by two Neotropical primate species, Saguinus fuscicollis and Saguinus mystax, in Peruvian Amazonia, we observationally determined dispersal distances. These dispersal distances were then validated through DNA fingerprinting, by matching DNA from the maternally derived seed coat to DNA from potential source trees. We found that dispersal distances are strongly right-skewed, and that distributions obtained through observational and genetic methods and fitted distributions do not differ significantly from each other. Our study showed that seed dispersal distances can be reliably estimated through observational methods when a strict criterion for inclusion of seeds is observed. Furthermore, dispersal distances produced by the two primate species indicated that these primates fulfil one of the criteria for efficient seed dispersers. Finally, our study demonstrated that DNA extraction methods so far employed for temperate plant species can be successfully used for hard-seeded tropical plants.

  8. DNA Fingerprinting Validates Seed Dispersal Curves from Observational Studies in the Neotropical Legume Parkia (United States)

    Heymann, Eckhard W.; Lüttmann, Kathrin; Michalczyk, Inga M.; Saboya, Pedro Pablo Pinedo; Ziegenhagen, Birgit; Bialozyt, Ronald


    Background Determining the distances over which seeds are dispersed is a crucial component for examining spatial patterns of seed dispersal and their consequences for plant reproductive success and population structure. However, following the fate of individual seeds after removal from the source tree till deposition at a distant place is generally extremely difficult. Here we provide a comparison of observationally and genetically determined seed dispersal distances and dispersal curves in a Neotropical animal-plant system. Methodology/Principal Findings In a field study on the dispersal of seeds of three Parkia (Fabaceae) species by two Neotropical primate species, Saguinus fuscicollis and Saguinus mystax, in Peruvian Amazonia, we observationally determined dispersal distances. These dispersal distances were then validated through DNA fingerprinting, by matching DNA from the maternally derived seed coat to DNA from potential source trees. We found that dispersal distances are strongly right-skewed, and that distributions obtained through observational and genetic methods and fitted distributions do not differ significantly from each other. Conclusions/Significance Our study showed that seed dispersal distances can be reliably estimated through observational methods when a strict criterion for inclusion of seeds is observed. Furthermore, dispersal distances produced by the two primate species indicated that these primates fulfil one of the criteria for efficient seed dispersers. Finally, our study demonstrated that DNA extraction methods so far employed for temperate plant species can be successfully used for hard-seeded tropical plants. PMID:22514748

  9. The biodiversity cost of carbon sequestration in tropical savanna. (United States)

    Abreu, Rodolfo C R; Hoffmann, William A; Vasconcelos, Heraldo L; Pilon, Natashi A; Rossatto, Davi R; Durigan, Giselda


    Tropical savannas have been increasingly viewed as an opportunity for carbon sequestration through fire suppression and afforestation, but insufficient attention has been given to the consequences for biodiversity. To evaluate the biodiversity costs of increasing carbon sequestration, we quantified changes in ecosystem carbon stocks and the associated changes in communities of plants and ants resulting from fire suppression in savannas of the Brazilian Cerrado, a global biodiversity hotspot. Fire suppression resulted in increased carbon stocks of 1.2 Mg ha -1 year -1 since 1986 but was associated with acute species loss. In sites fully encroached by forest, plant species richness declined by 27%, and ant richness declined by 35%. Richness of savanna specialists, the species most at risk of local extinction due to forest encroachment, declined by 67% for plants and 86% for ants. This loss highlights the important role of fire in maintaining biodiversity in tropical savannas, a role that is not reflected in current policies of fire suppression throughout the Brazilian Cerrado. In tropical grasslands and savannas throughout the tropics, carbon mitigation programs that promote forest cover cannot be assumed to provide net benefits for conservation.

  10. Fire effects on the composition of a bird community in an amazonian Savanna (Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Cintra

    Full Text Available The effects of fire on the composition of a bird community were investigated in an Amazonian savanna near Alter-do-Chão, Pará (Brazil. Mist-net captures and visual counts were used to assess species richness and bird abundance pre- and post-fire in an approximately 20 ha area. Visual counts along transects were used to survey birds in an approximately 2000 ha area in a nearby area. Results using the same method of ordination analysis (multidimensional scaling showed significant effects of fire in the 20 ha and 2000 ha areas and strongly suggest direct effects on bird community composition. However, the effects were different at different spatial scales and/or in different years, indicating that the effects of fire vary spatially and/or temporally. Bird community composition pre-fire was significantly different from that found post-fire. Using multiple regression analysis it was found that the numbers of burned and unburned trees were not significantly related to either bird species richness or bird abundance. Two months after the fire, neither bird species richness nor bird abundance was significantly related to the number of flowering trees (Lafoensia pacari or fruiting trees (Byrsonima crassifolia. Since fire is an annual event in Alter-do-Chão and is becoming frequent in the entire Amazon, bird community composition in affected areas could be constantly changing in time and space.

  11. Soil physical conditions in Nigerian savannas and biomass production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Salako, F.K.


    Nigeria is located in the tropical zone, with a vast area having savanna vegetation. This is a region that is itself diverse, necessitating a classification into derived savanna, southern Guinea savanna and northern Guinea savanna. These classifications reflect environmental characteristics such as length of growing period, which for instance is 151-180 days for the northern Guinea savanna, 181-210 days for the southern Guinea savanna and 211-270 days for the derived savanna/coastal savanna. The major soils found in the various agro-ecological zones have coarse-textured surface soil, and are low in organic matter and chemical fertility. Although, yields can be improved by addition of inorganic and organic fertilizer, this can only be sustained and assured with high soil physical qualities. Soil physical qualities can be sustained at a high level with conservation tillage and soil conservation measures. Tillage is physical manipulation of the soil. Thus, the most profound effect of tillage is in relation to soil physical properties. For socio-economic and cultural reasons, manual tillage is still widely practiced in Africa as farming is largely at subsistence level. However, there are now a number of commercial farms especially for cash crop production in many parts of Africa. Many of these are located in locations which were hitherto reserved as forest and a need for sustainable production in pertinent to maintain ecological balance. Soils with coarse texture are not often sensitive to some physical parameters while some physical parameters are more relevant in a given study than others. Sustainable crop production researches in the tropics have focused on the role of planted fallows and their spatial arrangement (e.g., as in alley cropping) for many decades. Application of soil physics in the area of food production and environmental management still lags behind other sub-disciplines of soil science, particularly soil fertility in the tropics. A great challenge is

  12. Synergistic effects of fire and elephants on arboreal animals in an African savanna. (United States)

    Pringle, Robert M; Kimuyu, Duncan M; Sensenig, Ryan L; Palmer, Todd M; Riginos, Corinna; Veblen, Kari E; Young, Truman P


    Disturbance is a crucial determinant of animal abundance, distribution and community structure in many ecosystems, but the ways in which multiple disturbance types interact remain poorly understood. The effects of multiple-disturbance interactions can be additive, subadditive or super-additive (synergistic). Synergistic effects in particular can accelerate ecological change; thus, characterizing such synergies, the conditions under which they arise, and how long they persist has been identified as a major goal of ecology. We factorially manipulated two principal sources of disturbance in African savannas, fire and elephants, and measured their independent and interactive effects on the numerically dominant vertebrate (the arboreal gekkonid lizard Lygodactylus keniensis) and invertebrate (a guild of symbiotic Acacia ants) animal species in a semi-arid Kenyan savanna. Elephant exclusion alone (minus fire) had negligible effects on gecko density. Fire alone (minus elephants) had negligible effects on gecko density after 4 months, but increased gecko density twofold after 16 months, likely because the decay of fire-damaged woody biomass created refuges and nest sites for geckos. In the presence of elephants, fire increased gecko density nearly threefold within 4 months of the experimental burn; this occurred because fire increased the incidence of elephant damage to trees, which in turn improved microhabitat quality for geckos. However, this synergistic positive effect of fire and elephants attenuated over the ensuing year, such that only the main effect of fire was evident after 16 months. Fire also altered the structure of symbiotic plant-ant assemblages occupying the dominant tree species (Acacia drepanolobium); this influenced gecko habitat selection but did not explain the synergistic effect of fire and elephants. However, fire-driven shifts in plant-ant occupancy may have indirectly mediated this effect by increasing trees' susceptibility to elephant damage. Our

  13. [Geographic data for Neotropical bats (Chiroptera)]. (United States)

    Noguera-Urbano, Elkin A; Escalante, Tania


    The global effort to digitize biodiversity occurrence data from collections, museums and other institutions has stimulated the development of important tools to improve the knowledge and conservation of biodiversity. The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) enables and opens access to biodiversity data of 321 million of records, from 379 host institutions. Neotropical bats are a highly diverse and specialized group, and the geographic information about them is increasing since few years ago, but there are a few reports about this topic. The aim of this study was to analyze the number of digital records in GBIF of Neotropical bats with distribution in 21 American countries, evaluating their nomenclatural and geographical consistence at scale of country. Moreover, we evaluated the gaps of information on 1 degrees latitude x 1 degrees longitude grids cells. There were over 1/2 million records, but 58% of them have no latitude and longitude data; and 52% full fit nomenclatural and geographic evaluation. We estimated that there are no records in 54% of the analyzed area; the principal gaps are in biodiversity hotspots like the Colombian and Brazilian Amazonia and Southern Venezuela. In conclusion, our study suggests that available data on GBIF have nomenclatural and geographic biases. GBIF data represent partially the bat species richness and the main gaps in information are in South America.

  14. Long-distance calls in Neotropical primates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oliveira Dilmar A.G.


    Full Text Available Long-distance calls are widespread among primates. Several studies concentrate on such calls in just one or in few species, while few studies have treated more general trends within the order. The common features that usually characterize these vocalizations are related to long-distance propagation of sounds. The proposed functions of primate long-distance calls can be divided into extragroup and intragroup ones. Extragroup functions relate to mate defense, mate attraction or resource defense, while intragroup functions involve group coordination or alarm. Among Neotropical primates, several species perform long-distance calls that seem more related to intragroup coordination, markedly in atelines. Callitrichids present long-distance calls that are employed both in intragroup coordination and intergroup contests or spacing. Examples of extragroup directed long-distance calls are the duets of titi monkeys and the roars and barks of howler monkeys. Considerable complexity and gradation exist in the long-distance call repertoires of some Neotropical primates, and female long-distance calls are probably more important in non-duetting species than usually thought. Future research must focus on larger trends in the evolution of primate long-distance calls, including the phylogeny of calling repertoires and the relationships between form and function in these signals.

  15. Toxoplasma gondii in small neotropical wild felids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Alberto Cañon-Franco


    Full Text Available In the last decade, studies on wildlife worldwide have discovered key epidemiological aspects of the sylvatic cycle of Toxoplasma gondii. However, despite the known role of wild felines as definitive hosts in the transmission and maintenance of this parasite, few studies have focused on the involvement of these animals. Brazil exhibits the largest number of wild felid species in the Americas, all of which have a critical conservation status. However, serological detections, epidemiological studies and some molecular characterizations of T. gondii have primarily used Neotropical felid populations that are maintained in captivity, which does not reflect the disease behavior in free-living conditions. A systematic review of the worldwide scientific literature was conducted focusing on toxoplasmosis in small Neotropical felids. This review covered a number of aspects, including the state of scientific research, parasite transmission in the wild, the genetic characteristics of isolates, the relationship between these genetic characteristics and the pathogenicity of the parasite, and the risk factors linked to conflicts with humans. The present review shows the relevance of studying these felid populations based on their frequent interactions with humans in peri-urban areas and the need for further comprehensive studies to establish the real significance of T. gondii in public and animal health in tropical and temperate regions.

  16. Breakdown of an ant-plant mutualism follows the loss of large herbivores from an African savanna. (United States)

    Palmer, Todd M; Stanton, Maureen L; Young, Truman P; Goheen, Jacob R; Pringle, Robert M; Karban, Richard


    Mutualisms are key components of biodiversity and ecosystem function, yet the forces maintaining them are poorly understood. We investigated the effects of removing large mammals on an ant-Acacia mutualism in an African savanna. Ten years of large-herbivore exclusion reduced the nectar and housing provided by plants to ants, increasing antagonistic behavior by a mutualistic ant associate and shifting competitive dominance within the plant-ant community from this nectar-dependent mutualist to an antagonistic species that does not depend on plant rewards. Trees occupied by this antagonist suffered increased attack by stem-boring beetles, grew more slowly, and experienced doubled mortality relative to trees occupied by the mutualistic ant. These results show that large mammals maintain cooperation within a widespread symbiosis and suggest complex cascading effects of megafaunal extinction.

  17. Temporal dynamics and leaf trait variability in Neotropical dry forests (United States)

    Hesketh, Michael Sean

    This thesis explores the variability of leaf traits resulting from changes in season, ecosystem successional stage, and site characteristics. In chapter two, I present a review of the use of remote sensing analysis for the evaluation of Neotropical dry forests. Here, I stress the conclusion, drawn from studies on land cover characterization, biodiversity assessment, and evaluation of forest structural characteristics, that addressing temporal variability in spectral properties is an essential element in the monitoring of these ecosystems. Chapter three describes the effect of wet-dry seasonality on spectral classification of tree and liana species. Highly accurate classification (> 80%) was possible using data from either the wet or dry season. However, this accuracy decreased by a factor of ten when data from the wet season was classified using an algorithm trained on the dry, or vice versa. I also address the potential creation of a spectral taxonomy of species, but found that any clustering based on spectral properties resulted in markedly different arrangements in the wet and dry seasons. In chapter 4, I address the variation present in both physical and spectral leaf traits according to changes in forest successional stage at dry forest sites in Mexico and Costa Rica. I found significant differences in leaf traits between successional stages, but more strongly so in Costa Rica. This variability deceased the accuracy of spectral classification of tree species by a factor of four when classifying data using an algorithm trained on a different successional stage. Chapter 5 shows the influence of seasonality and succession on trait variability in Mexico. Differences in leaf traits between successional stages were found to be greater during the dry season, but were sufficient in both seasons to negatively influence spectral classification of tree species. Throughout this thesis, I show clear and unambiguous evidence of the variability of key physical and spectral

  18. The Influence of Cattle Wastes on Degraded Savanna Soils of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper examines the effects of cattle wastes on degraded savanna soils of Kwara State, Nigeria. A total of 40 soil samples were systematically collected from five quadrats of 12m x 12m. In 4 identified cattle sheds and 1 in adjacent fallow land (control field) on the same soil, climatic type and ecological zone. Standard ...

  19. Modelling annual evapotranspiration in a semi-arid, African savanna ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Accurately measuring evapotranspiration (ET) is essential if we are to derive reasonable estimates of production and water use for semi-arid savannas. Estimates of ET are also important in defining the health of an ecosystem and the quantity of water used by the vegetation when preparing a catchment-scale water balance.

  20. Transformation of a savanna grassland by drought and grazing | O ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The relative effects of drought and heavy grazing on the floristic composition, population size and and structure, and basal cover of an African savanna grassland were differentiated by comparing changes over eight years over eight years, which included a severe drought year, across a gradient of grazing history. Drought ...

  1. Nitrogen inputs by precipitation in the Nigerian Savanna | Adeniyi ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Inorganic nitrogen input via direct bulk precipitation was measured, and the relation between the different nitrogen species and rainfall characteristics determined over three rainy seasons at Shagunu, a remote, sparsely populated, non-industrialized site in the northern Guinea savanna of Nigeria. Nitrogen concentration per ...

  2. Savanna ecosystem project: phase I summary and phase II progress

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Huntely, BJ


    Full Text Available A summary of the results of the first phase (mid 1974 to mid 1976) of the South African Savanna Ecosystem Project being undertaken at Nylsvley in the northern Transvaal is presented. Phase I of this ten year study of the structure and functioning...

  3. Facilitation between bovids and equids on an African savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Odadi, W.O.; Jain, M.; Wieren, van S.E.; Prins, H.H.T.; Rubenstein, D.I.


    Background: Equids, especially zebras and donkeys, and cattle (bovids) share habitats in many savanna ecosystems in Africa. The issue of competition for food between these ungulate guilds remains largely unresolved. Resolving it will provide insights into how wild zebra are likely to interact with

  4. Termites of the Savanna ecosystem project study area, Nylsvley

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Ferrar, P


    Full Text Available This report describes the termite fauna of the Savanna Ecosystem Project study area at the Nylsvley Nature Reserve, with an illustrated key for identification of species. Twenty-one species of fifteen genera and two families are recorded, and notes...

  5. Erratum: Vascular epiphyte vegetation in rocky savannas of southeastern Brazil

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Alves, R. J. V.; Kolbek, Jiří; Becker, J.


    Roč. 27, č. 4 (2009), s. 351-352 ISSN 0107-055X Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : epiphytes * Brazil * rocky savannas Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 0.868, year: 2009

  6. Disentangling how landscape spatial and temporal heterogeneity affects Savanna birds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bronwyn Price

    Full Text Available In highly seasonal tropical environments, temporal changes in habitat and resources are a significant determinant of the spatial distribution of species. This study disentangles the effects of spatial and mid to long-term temporal heterogeneity in habitat on the diversity and abundance of savanna birds by testing four competing conceptual models of varying complexity. Focussing on sites in northeast Australia over a 20 year time period, we used ground cover and foliage projected cover surfaces derived from a time series of Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery, rainfall data and site-level vegetation surveys to derive measures of habitat structure at local (1-100 ha and landscape (100-1000s ha scales. We used generalised linear models and an information theoretic approach to test the independent effects of spatial and temporal influences on savanna bird diversity and the abundance of eight species with different life-history behaviours. Of four competing models defining influences on assemblages of savanna birds, the most parsimonious included temporal and spatial variability in vegetation cover and site-scale vegetation structure, suggesting savanna bird species respond to spatial and temporal habitat heterogeneity at both the broader landscape scale and at the fine-scale. The relative weight, strength and direction of the explanatory variables changed with each of the eight species, reflecting their different ecology and behavioural traits. This study demonstrates that variations in the spatial pattern of savanna vegetation over periods of 10 to 20 years at the local and landscape scale strongly affect bird diversity and abundance. Thus, it is essential to monitor and manage both spatial and temporal variability in avian habitat to achieve long-term biodiversity outcomes.

  7. Disentangling how landscape spatial and temporal heterogeneity affects Savanna birds. (United States)

    Price, Bronwyn; McAlpine, Clive A; Kutt, Alex S; Ward, Doug; Phinn, Stuart R; Ludwig, John A


    In highly seasonal tropical environments, temporal changes in habitat and resources are a significant determinant of the spatial distribution of species. This study disentangles the effects of spatial and mid to long-term temporal heterogeneity in habitat on the diversity and abundance of savanna birds by testing four competing conceptual models of varying complexity. Focussing on sites in northeast Australia over a 20 year time period, we used ground cover and foliage projected cover surfaces derived from a time series of Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery, rainfall data and site-level vegetation surveys to derive measures of habitat structure at local (1-100 ha) and landscape (100-1000s ha) scales. We used generalised linear models and an information theoretic approach to test the independent effects of spatial and temporal influences on savanna bird diversity and the abundance of eight species with different life-history behaviours. Of four competing models defining influences on assemblages of savanna birds, the most parsimonious included temporal and spatial variability in vegetation cover and site-scale vegetation structure, suggesting savanna bird species respond to spatial and temporal habitat heterogeneity at both the broader landscape scale and at the fine-scale. The relative weight, strength and direction of the explanatory variables changed with each of the eight species, reflecting their different ecology and behavioural traits. This study demonstrates that variations in the spatial pattern of savanna vegetation over periods of 10 to 20 years at the local and landscape scale strongly affect bird diversity and abundance. Thus, it is essential to monitor and manage both spatial and temporal variability in avian habitat to achieve long-term biodiversity outcomes.

  8. Phylogenomics and species delimitation of a complex radiation of Neotropical suboscine birds (Pachyramphus). (United States)

    Musher, Lukas J; Cracraft, Joel


    Phylogeographic studies within the Neotropics continue to uncover hidden diversity, the extent of which remains poorly known. In birds, molecular studies are producing evidence that species-level diversity is substantially underestimated. Many avian taxa comprise large complexes of subspecies that often represent species-level taxa by various criteria. One such group of Neotropical suboscine birds, the becards (Pachyramphus), ranges from Argentina through northern Mexico. Their taxonomic limits have been complex and controversial as the genus has bounced around a number of suboscine families. Additionally, the phylogenetic relationships within Pachyramphus are unresolved due to insufficient sampling of taxa and populations across species' ranges. We used target capture of ultraconserved elements for 62 individuals representing 42 taxa, and sequenced two mitochondrial genes and two nuclear introns covering 265 individuals of 51 taxa, including all recognized species, resulting in the most densely and completely sampled phylogenetic hypothesis for Pachyramphus to date. We delimited species using a traditional taxonomic approach and then tested them under a Bayesian multi-species coalescent framework. In doing so, we provide evidence for multiple young, previously undetected evolutionary lineages within Pachyramphus. Deep, well-supported branches and a high number of intraspecific lineages across the tree suggest that at least 50% of species diversity may be unrecognized. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Diversification of the silverspot butterflies (Nymphalidae) in the Neotropics inferred from multi-locus DNA sequences. (United States)

    Massardo, Darli; Fornel, Rodrigo; Kronforst, Marcus; Gonçalves, Gislene Lopes; Moreira, Gilson Rudinei Pires


    The tribe Heliconiini (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) is a diverse group of butterflies distributed throughout the Neotropics, which has been studied extensively, in particular the genus Heliconius. However, most of the other lineages, such as Dione, which are less diverse and considered basal within the group, have received little attention. Basic information, such as species limits and geographical distributions remain uncertain for this genus. Here we used multilocus DNA sequence data and the geographical distribution analysis across the entire range of Dione in the Neotropical region in order to make inferences on the evolutionary history of this poorly explored lineage. Bayesian time-tree reconstruction allows inferring two major diversification events in this tribe around 25mya. Lineages thought to be ancient, such as Dione and Agraulis, are as recent as Heliconius. Dione formed a monophyletic clade, sister to the genus Agraulis. Dione juno, D. glycera and D. moneta were reciprocally monophyletic and formed genetic clusters, with the first two more close related than each other in relation to the third. Divergence time estimates support the hypothesis that speciation in Dione coincided with both the rise of Passifloraceae (the host plants) and the uplift of the Andes. Since the sister species D. glycera and D. moneta are specialized feeders on passion-vine lineages that are endemic to areas located either within or adjacent to the Andes, we inferred that they co-speciated with their host plants during this vicariant event. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Ecosystem properties of semiarid savanna grassland in West Africa and its relationship with environmental variability. (United States)

    Tagesson, Torbern; Fensholt, Rasmus; Guiro, Idrissa; Rasmussen, Mads Olander; Huber, Silvia; Mbow, Cheikh; Garcia, Monica; Horion, Stéphanie; Sandholt, Inge; Holm-Rasmussen, Bo; Göttsche, Frank M; Ridler, Marc-Etienne; Olén, Niklas; Lundegard Olsen, Jørgen; Ehammer, Andrea; Madsen, Mathias; Olesen, Folke S; Ardö, Jonas


    The Dahra field site in Senegal, West Africa, was established in 2002 to monitor ecosystem properties of semiarid savanna grassland and their responses to climatic and environmental change. This article describes the environment and the ecosystem properties of the site using a unique set of in situ data. The studied variables include hydroclimatic variables, species composition, albedo, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), hyperspectral characteristics (350-1800 nm), surface reflectance anisotropy, brightness temperature, fraction of absorbed photosynthetic active radiation (FAPAR), biomass, vegetation water content, and land-atmosphere exchanges of carbon (NEE) and energy. The Dahra field site experiences a typical Sahelian climate and is covered by coexisting trees (~3% canopy cover) and grass species, characterizing large parts of the Sahel. This makes the site suitable for investigating relationships between ecosystem properties and hydroclimatic variables for semiarid savanna ecosystems of the region. There were strong interannual, seasonal and diurnal dynamics in NEE, with high values of ~-7.5 g C m(-2)  day(-1) during the peak of the growing season. We found neither browning nor greening NDVI trends from 2002 to 2012. Interannual variation in species composition was strongly related to rainfall distribution. NDVI and FAPAR were strongly related to species composition, especially for years dominated by the species Zornia glochidiata. This influence was not observed in interannual variation in biomass and vegetation productivity, thus challenging dryland productivity models based on remote sensing. Surface reflectance anisotropy (350-1800 nm) at the peak of the growing season varied strongly depending on wavelength and viewing angle thereby having implications for the design of remotely sensed spectral vegetation indices covering different wavelength regions. The presented time series of in situ data have great potential for dryland dynamics

  11. Red-cockaded woodpecker cavity-tree damage by Hurricane Rita: an evaluation of contributing factors (United States)

    Ben Bainbridge; Kristen A. Baum; Daniel Saenz; Cory K. Adams


    Picoides borealis (Red-cockaded Woodpecker) is an endangered species inhabiting pine savannas of the southeastern United States. Because the intensity of hurricanes striking the southeastern United States is likely to increase as global temperatures rise, it is important to identify factors contributing to hurricane damage to Red-cockaded Woodpecker cavity-trees. Our...

  12. Insecticidal defenses of Piperaceae from the neotropics. (United States)

    Bernard, C B; Krishanmurty, H G; Chauret, D; Durst, T; Philogène, B J; Sánchez-Vindas, P; Hasbun, C; Poveda, L; San Román, L; Arnason, J T


    Insecticidal and growth-reducing properties of extracts of 14 species of American neotropical Piperaceae were investigated by inclusion in diets of a polyphagous lepidopteran, the European corn borer,Ostrinia nubilalis. Nutritional indices suggested most extracts acted by postdigestive toxicity.Piper aduncum, P. tuberculatum, andP. decurrens were among the most active species and were subjected to bioassay-guided isolation of the active components. Dillapiol was isolated from the active fraction ofP. aduncum, piperlonguminine was isolated fromP. tuberculatum, and a novel neolignan fromP. decurrens. The results support other studies on Asian and AfricanPiper species, which suggest that lignans and isobutyl amides are the active defence compounds in this family.

  13. Monitoring drought impact on Mediterranean oak savanna vegetation using remote sensing (United States)

    González-Dugo, Maria P.; Carpintero, Elisabet; Andreu, Ana


    A holm oak savanna, known as dehesa in Spain and montado in Portugal, is the largest agroforest ecosystem in Europe, covering about 3 million hectares in the Iberian Peninsula and Greece (Papanastasis et al., 2004). It is considered an example of sustainable land use, supporting a large number of species and diversity of habitats and for its importance in rural development and economy (Plieninger et al., 2001). It is a combination between an agricultural and a naturally vegetated ecosystem, consisting of widely-spaced oak trees (mostly Quercus Ilex and Quercus suber) combined with a sub-canopy composed by crops, annual grassland and/or shrubs. It has a Mediterranean climate with severe periodic droughts. In the last decades, this system is being exposed to multiple threats derived from socio-economic changes and intensive agricultural use, which have caused environmental degradation, including tree decline, changes in soil properties and hydrological processes, and an increase of soil erosion (Coelho et al., 2004). Soil water dynamics plays a central role in the current decline and reduction of forested areas that jeopardizes the preservation of the system. In this work, a series of remotely sensed images since 1990 to present was used to evaluate the effect of several drought events occurred in the study area (1995, 2009, 2010/2011) on the tree density and water status. Data from satellites Landsat and field measurements have been combined in a spectral mixture model to assess separately the evolution of tree, dry grass and bare soil ground coverage. Only summer images have been used to avoid the influence of the green herbaceous layer on the analysis. Thermal data from the same sensors and meteorological information are integrated in a two source surface energy balance model to compute the Evaporative Stress Index (ESI) and evaluate the vegetation water status. The results have provided insights about the severity of each event and the spatial distribution of

  14. Metapopulation dynamics of the mistletoe and its host in savanna areas with different fire occurrence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grazielle Sales Teodoro

    Full Text Available Mistletoes are aerial hemiparasitic plants which occupy patches of favorable habitat (host trees surrounded by unfavorable habitat and may be possibly modeled as a metapopulation. A metapopulation is defined as a subdivided population that persists due to the balance between colonization and extinction in discrete habitat patches. Our aim was to evaluate the dynamics of the mistletoe Psittacanthus robustus and its host Vochysia thyrsoidea in three Brazilian savanna areas using a metapopulation approach. We also evaluated how the differences in terms of fire occurrence affected the dynamic of those populations (two areas burned during the study and one was fire protected. We monitored the populations at six-month intervals. P. robustus population structure and dynamics met the expected criteria for a metapopulation: i the suitable habitats for the mistletoe occur in discrete patches; (ii local populations went extinct during the study and (iii colonization of previously non-occupied patches occurred. The ratio of occupied patches decreased in all areas with time. Local mistletoe populations went extinct due to two different causes: patch extinction in area with no fire and fire killing in the burned areas. In a burned area, the largest decrease of occupied patch ratios occurred due to a fire event that killed the parasites without, however, killing the host trees. The greatest mortality of V. thyrsoidea occurred in the area without fire. In this area, all the dead trees supported mistletoe individuals and no mortality was observed for parasite-free trees. Because P. robustus is a fire sensitive species and V. thyrsoidea is fire tolerant, P. robustus seems to increase host mortality, but its effect is lessened by periodic burning that reduces the parasite loads.

  15. Sub-pixel estimation of tree cover and bare surface densities using regression tree analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Augusto Zangrando Toneli


    Full Text Available Sub-pixel analysis is capable of generating continuous fields, which represent the spatial variability of certain thematic classes. The aim of this work was to develop numerical models to represent the variability of tree cover and bare surfaces within the study area. This research was conducted in the riparian buffer within a watershed of the São Francisco River in the North of Minas Gerais, Brazil. IKONOS and Landsat TM imagery were used with the GUIDE algorithm to construct the models. The results were two index images derived with regression trees for the entire study area, one representing tree cover and the other representing bare surface. The use of non-parametric and non-linear regression tree models presented satisfactory results to characterize wetland, deciduous and savanna patterns of forest formation.

  16. Adding Biotic Interactions into Paleodistribution Models: A Host-Cleptoparasite Complex of Neotropical Orchid Bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Paiva Silva

    Full Text Available Orchid bees compose an exclusive Neotropical pollinators group, with bright body coloration. Several of those species build their own nests, while others are reported as nest cleptoparasites. Here, the objective was to evaluate whether the inclusion of a strong biotic interaction, such as the presence of a host species, improved the ability of species distribution models (SDMs to predict the geographic range of the cleptoparasite species. The target species were Aglae caerulea and its host species Eulaema nigrita. Additionally, since A. caerulea is more frequently found in the Amazon rather than the Cerrado areas, a secondary objective was to evaluate whether this species is increasing or decreasing its distribution given South American past and current climatic conditions. SDMs methods (Maxent and Bioclim, in addition with current and past South American climatic conditions, as well as the occurrences for A. caerulea and E. nigrita were used to generate the distribution models. The distribution of A. caerulea was generated with and without the inclusion of the distribution of E. nigrita as a predictor variable. The results indicate A. caerulea was barely affected by past climatic conditions and the populations from the Cerrado savanna could be at least 21,000 years old (the last glacial maximum, as well as the Amazonian ones. On the other hand, in this study, the inclusion of the host-cleptoparasite interaction complex did not statistically improve the quality of the produced models, which means that the geographic range of this cleptoparasite species is mainly constrained by climate and not by the presence of the host species. Nonetheless, this could also be caused by unknown complexes of other Euglossini hosts with A. caerulea, which still are still needed to be described by science.

  17. Leaf morphophysiology of a Neotropical mistletoe is shaped by seasonal patterns of host leaf phenology. (United States)

    Scalon, Marina Corrêa; Rossatto, Davi Rodrigo; Domingos, Fabricius Maia Chaves Bicalho; Franco, Augusto Cesar


    Several mistletoe species are able to grow and reproduce on both deciduous and evergreen hosts, suggesting a degree of plasticity in their ability to cope with differences in intrinsic host functions. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of host phenology on mistletoe water relations and leaf gas exchange. Mistletoe Passovia ovata parasitizing evergreen (Miconia albicans) hosts and P. ovata parasitizing deciduous (Byrsonima verbascifolia) hosts were sampled in a Neotropical savanna. Photosynthetic parameters, diurnal cycles of stomatal conductance, pre-dawn and midday leaf water potential, and stomatal anatomical traits were measured during the peak of the dry and wet seasons, respectively. P. ovata showed distinct water-use strategies that were dependent on host phenology. For P. ovata parasitizing the deciduous host, water use efficiency (WUE; ratio of photosynthetic rate to transpirational water loss) was 2-fold lower in the dry season than in the wet season; in contrast, WUE was maintained at the same level during the wet and dry seasons in P. ovata parasitizing the evergreen host. Generally, mistletoe and host diurnal cycles of stomatal conductance were linked, although there were clear differences in leaf water potential, with mistletoe showing anisohydric behaviour and the host showing isohydric behaviour. Compared to mistletoes attached to evergreen hosts, those parasitizing deciduous hosts had a 1.4-fold lower stomatal density and 1.2-fold wider stomata on both leaf surfaces, suggesting that the latter suffered less intense drought stress. This is the first study to show morphophysiological differences in the same mistletoe species parasitizing hosts of different phenological groups. Our results provide evidence that phenotypical plasticity (anatomical and physiological) might be essential to favour the use of a greater range of hosts.

  18. Phytolith analysis as a tool for palaeo-environmental studies: a case study of the reconstruction of the historical extent of oak savanna in the Willamette Valley, Oregon (United States)

    Kirchholtes, Renske; van Mourik, Jan; Johnson, Bart


    Landscape-level restorations can be costly, so the effectiveness of the approach and the objectives of the restoration should be supported by a comprehensive investigation. The goal of the research presented here is to provide the basis for such a restoration effort using phytolith analyses. Fire suppression and loss of indigenous burning in the Willamette Valley, Oregon (USA) has led to near disappearance of the Oregon white oak savanna. Under suppressed fire regimes the shade-intolerant Garry oaks (Quercus garryana) are outcompeted by Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). As a consequence, the Oregon white oak savanna has been reduced to floristic reconstructions (pollen and spores) are seldom preserved in the dry, oxidized sediments of savannahs, meaning an alternative line of evidence is required for their historical study. Phytoliths are small yet robust silica particles produced by most plants. Many phytoliths take on cell shapes diagnostic of specific plant lineages, acting as indicators of their past presence. Unlike pollen grains, phytoliths readily preserve in well-drained soils during intermittent dry periods characteristic of sites such as the Jim's Creek research area. By reconstructing locality-scale pre-settlement vegetation patterns at the Jim's Creek Research Area using phytoliths, we confirm the broader-scale pattern of tree encroachment. However, phytolith assemblages from over 150 years ago document the presence of pines and firs, suggesting savannas in the Willamette Valley were not necessarily always dominated by oaks.

  19. Vegetation Structure and Carbon Stocks of Two Protected Areas within the South-Sudanian Savannas of Burkina Faso

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Qasim


    Full Text Available Savannas and adjacent vegetation types like gallery forests are highly valuable ecosystems contributing to several ecosystem services including carbon budgeting. Financial mechanisms such as REDD+ (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation can provide an opportunity for developing countries to alleviate poverty through conservation of its forestry resources. However, for availing such opportunities carbon stock assessments are essential. Therefore, a research study for this purpose was conducted at two protected areas (Nazinga Game Ranch and Bontioli Nature Reserve in Burkina Faso. Similarly, analysis of various vegetation parameters was also conducted to understand the overall vegetation structure of these two protected areas. For estimating above ground biomass, existing allometric equations for dry tropical woody vegetation types were used. Compositional structure was described by applying tree species and family importance indices. The results show that both sites collectively contain a mean carbon stock of 3.41 ± 4.98 Mg·C·ha−1. Among different savanna vegetation types, gallery forests recorded the highest mean carbon stock of 9.38 ± 6.90 Mg·C·ha−1. This study was an attempt at addressing the knowledge gap particularly on carbon stocks of protected savannas—it can serve as a baseline for carbon stocks for future initiatives such as REDD+ within these areas.

  20. Determinants of seasonal changes in availability of food patches for elephants (Loxodonta africana in a semi-arid African savanna

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    Bruce W. Clegg


    Full Text Available Loss of biodiversity caused by impact of elephants (Loxodonta africana on African woodlands may require a management response, but any action should be based on an understanding of why elephants choose to utilise trees destructively. Comprehension of elephant feeding behaviour requires consideration of the relative value of the plant groups they may potentially consume. Profitability of available food is partly determined by the time to locate a food patch and, therefore, as a foundation for understanding the influence of food availability on diet selection, key controls on the density of grass, forb, and browse patches were investigated across space and time in a semi-arid African savanna. Density of food patches changed seasonally because plant life-forms required different volumes of soil water to produce green forage; and woody plants and forbs responded to long-term changes in soil moisture, while grasses responded to short-term moisture pulses. Soil texture, structure of woody vegetation and fire added further complexity by altering the soil water thresholds required for production of green forage. Interpolating between regularly-timed, ground-based measurements of food density by using modelled soil water as the predictor in regression equations may be a feasible method of quantifying food available to elephants in complex savanna environments.

  1. Effects of vegetation burning on the atmospheric chemistry of the Venezuelan savanna

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sanhueza, E.


    Biomass burning in tropical savanna and rainforest regions is an important factor in the chemical composition of the atmosphere. On the global scale, burning of savanna grass procedures three to four times greater emission of trace gases than deforestation processes of tropical rainforest. As part of a comprehensive study of the Venezuelan savanna atmosphere, measurements of gases and particles, chemical composition of rain, and biogenic soil emission were made during burning and nonburning periods at several rural savanna sites. A review of the most significant findings is presented in this chapter, and their regional and global implications are discussed

  2. Spatial-temporal distribution of fire-protected savanna physiognomies in Southeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo H.O. Pinheiro


    Full Text Available The analysis of the influence of edaphic finer textures, as a facilitating factor for the expansion of forest formations in the absence of fire, was possible thanks to rare characteristics found in a savanna fragment located in the State of São Paulo, Brazil. The total suppression of fire for over four decades, and the occurrence of two savanna physiognomies, cerrado sensu stricto and cerradão, allowed the conduction of this study based on the hypothesis that cerradão, a physiognomy of forest aspect consisting of fire-sensitive tree and shrubs species, is favored by fire absence and higher soil hydric retention capacity. Edaphic samples were collected from a regular grid of 200 m² for the production of isopletic maps of the distribution of clay, fine sand, coarse sand and silt edaphic textures by the geostatistic method of ordinary kriging. Changes in the areas occupied by both savanna physiognomies, defined on the basis of aerial photographs taken over a period of 43 years, were assessed through mean variation rates. Besides corroborating the hypothesis of edaphic hydric retention as a facilitating factor for the expansion of forest physiognomies in savanna areas, we were able to infer the positive influence of higher precipitation on the increase in cerradão expansion rates.A influência de texturas edáficas finas, como fator de facilitação para a expansão de formações florestais sobre áreas savânicas, através da maior retenção hídrica edáfica, na ausência de incêndios, foi possível ser estudada graças às características encontradas em um fragmento savânico com 38,8 ha, situado em Corumbataí (SP. A supressão total do fogo por quatro décadas, e a ocorrência de duas fisionomias, cerrado sensu stricto e cerradão, permitiram a condução deste estudo. Amostras de solo foram coletadas em uma grade regular de 200 m², abrangendo toda a área do fragmento. Foram produzidos mapas iso-pléticos, com a distribuição das

  3. Dissolved nutrient exports from natural and human-impacted Neotropical catchments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gücker, Björn; Silva, Ricky C. S.; Graeber, Daniel


    Aim Neotropical biomes are highly threatened by land-use changes, but the catchment-wide biogeochemical effects are poorly understood. Here, we aim to compare exports of dissolved nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) from natural and human-impacted catchments in the Neotropics. Location Neotropics. Me...

  4. Continental-scale patterns and climatic drivers of fruiting phenology: A quantitative Neotropical review (United States)

    Mendoza, Irene; Peres, Carlos A.; Morellato, Leonor Patrícia C.


    Changes in the life cycle of organisms (i.e. phenology) are one of the most widely used early-warning indicators of climate change, yet this remains poorly understood throughout the tropics. We exhaustively reviewed any published and unpublished study on fruiting phenology carried out at the community level in the American tropics and subtropics (latitudinal range: 26°N-26°S) to (1) provide a comprehensive overview of the current status of fruiting phenology research throughout the Neotropics; (2) unravel the climatic factors that have been widely reported as drivers of fruiting phenology; and (3) provide a preliminary assessment of the potential phenological responses of plants under future climatic scenarios. Despite the large number of phenological datasets uncovered (218), our review shows that their geographic distribution is very uneven and insufficient for the large surface of the Neotropics ( 1 dataset per 78,000 km2). Phenological research is concentrated in few areas with many studies (state of São Paulo, Brazil, and Costa Rica), whereas vast regions elsewhere are entirely unstudied. Sampling effort in fruiting phenology studies was generally low: the majority of datasets targeted fewer than 100 plant species (71%), lasted 2 years or less (72%), and only 10.4% monitored > 15 individuals per species. We uncovered only 10 sites with ten or more years of phenological monitoring. The ratio of numbers of species sampled to overall estimates of plant species richness was wholly insufficient for highly diverse vegetation types such as tropical rainforest, seasonal forest and cerrado, and only slightly more robust for less diverse vegetation types, such as deserts, arid shrublands and open grassy savannas. Most plausible drivers of phenology extracted from these datasets were environmental (78.5%), whereas biotic drivers were rare (6%). Among climatic factors, rainfall was explicitly included in 73.4% of cases, followed by air temperature (19.3%). Other

  5. Long-term energy balance and vegetation water stress monitoring of Mediterranean oak savanna using satellite thermal data (United States)

    González-Dugo, Maria P.; Chen, Xuelong; Andreu, Ana; Carpintero, Elisabet; Gómez-Giraldez, Pedro; Su, Z.(Bob)


    Drought is one of the major hazards faced by natural and cropped vegetation in the Mediterranean Sea Basin. Water scarcity is likely to be worsened under the predicted conditions of climate change, which is expected to make this region both warmer and drier. A Holm oak savanna, known as dehesa in Spain and montado in Portugal, is an agro-silvo-pastoral system occupying more than 3 million hectares the Iberian Peninsula and Greece. It consists of widely-spaced oak trees (mostly Quercus ilex L.), combined with crops, pasture and Mediterranean shrubs. This ecosystem is considered an example of sustainable land use, supporting a large number of species and diversity of habitats and for its importance in rural economy. A similar ecosystem is worldwide distributed in areas with Mediterranean climate (as California or South Africa) and shares structural and functional properties with tropical savannas in Africa, Australia and South America. Remote sensing time series can assist the monitoring of the energy balance components, with special attention to the evapotranspiration and vegetation water stress over these areas. Long-term data analysis may improve our understanding of the functioning of the system, helping to assess drought impacts and leading to reduce the economic and environmental vulnerability of this ecosystem. This work analyzes the evolution the surface energy balance components, mapping the evapotranspiration and moisture stress of holm oak woodlands of Spain and Portugal during the last 15 years (2001-2015). The surface energy balance model (SEBS) has been applied over the Iberian Peninsula on a monthly time scale and 0.05° spatial resolution, using multi-satellite and meteorological forcing data. Modelled energy and water fluxes have been validated using ground measurements of two eddy covariance towers located in oak savanna sites during 3 years, resulting in moderate deviations from observations (10-25 W/m2). The departure of actual ET from the

  6. Morphological and functional diversity of primary producers group in savannas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Medina, E.


    The meaning of biological diversity for the operation and stability of natural ecosystems is matter of great theoretical and practical interest. The appearance and permanency of species in a given atmosphere indicates its capacity to compete with other species with similar habit and requirements, and to accumulate the resources that allow its reproduction. On the other hand, the coexistence of similar species in the same ecosystem allows to wonder if ever biological redundancy exists, that is to say, if several species coexist with the same function inside the ecosystem, so that the disappearance of one of them would not have biological significant consequences. A strategy to simplify the analysis of relationships between biodiversity and ecosystems operation is by grouping species with similar function, called functional groups. In this work the the primary producers functional group is analyzed, essentially superiors plants, in a savannas ecosystems. The analysis establishes that the gives the primary producers group is heterogeneous and complex, so much morphological as functionally: 1) the structural complexity and diversity forms of life in an savannas ecosystem are associated with the stratified exploitation of resources over (light) and under the floor (nourishment and water). Changes in diversity that affect the system structure will probably also affect its operations. 2 )Very similar morphological species can differ physiologically up to constitute production units with contrasting nutritional requirements. The echo-physiologic analysis of this differentiation can explain the habitat preferences that are naturally observed. 3) The long-time permanency of rare species, of low frequency, show the inability of dominant species to capture all the available resources. 4) The primary producers and the floor microorganisms have strong interactions. Changes in the community composition can generate significant changes in other community. These biotic interactions

  7. Biomass resilience of Neotropical secondary forests. (United States)

    Poorter, Lourens; Bongers, Frans; Aide, T Mitchell; Almeyda Zambrano, Angélica M; Balvanera, Patricia; Becknell, Justin M; Boukili, Vanessa; Brancalion, Pedro H S; Broadbent, Eben N; Chazdon, Robin L; Craven, Dylan; de Almeida-Cortez, Jarcilene S; Cabral, George A L; de Jong, Ben H J; Denslow, Julie S; Dent, Daisy H; DeWalt, Saara J; Dupuy, Juan M; Durán, Sandra M; Espírito-Santo, Mario M; Fandino, María C; César, Ricardo G; Hall, Jefferson S; Hernandez-Stefanoni, José Luis; Jakovac, Catarina C; Junqueira, André B; Kennard, Deborah; Letcher, Susan G; Licona, Juan-Carlos; Lohbeck, Madelon; Marín-Spiotta, Erika; Martínez-Ramos, Miguel; Massoca, Paulo; Meave, Jorge A; Mesquita, Rita; Mora, Francisco; Muñoz, Rodrigo; Muscarella, Robert; Nunes, Yule R F; Ochoa-Gaona, Susana; de Oliveira, Alexandre A; Orihuela-Belmonte, Edith; Peña-Claros, Marielos; Pérez-García, Eduardo A; Piotto, Daniel; Powers, Jennifer S; Rodríguez-Velázquez, Jorge; Romero-Pérez, I Eunice; Ruíz, Jorge; Saldarriaga, Juan G; Sanchez-Azofeifa, Arturo; Schwartz, Naomi B; Steininger, Marc K; Swenson, Nathan G; Toledo, Marisol; Uriarte, Maria; van Breugel, Michiel; van der Wal, Hans; Veloso, Maria D M; Vester, Hans F M; Vicentini, Alberto; Vieira, Ima C G; Bentos, Tony Vizcarra; Williamson, G Bruce; Rozendaal, Danaë M A


    Land-use change occurs nowhere more rapidly than in the tropics, where the imbalance between deforestation and forest regrowth has large consequences for the global carbon cycle. However, considerable uncertainty remains about the rate of biomass recovery in secondary forests, and how these rates are influenced by climate, landscape, and prior land use. Here we analyse aboveground biomass recovery during secondary succession in 45 forest sites and about 1,500 forest plots covering the major environmental gradients in the Neotropics. The studied secondary forests are highly productive and resilient. Aboveground biomass recovery after 20 years was on average 122 megagrams per hectare (Mg ha(-1)), corresponding to a net carbon uptake of 3.05 Mg C ha(-1) yr(-1), 11 times the uptake rate of old-growth forests. Aboveground biomass stocks took a median time of 66 years to recover to 90% of old-growth values. Aboveground biomass recovery after 20 years varied 11.3-fold (from 20 to 225 Mg ha(-1)) across sites, and this recovery increased with water availability (higher local rainfall and lower climatic water deficit). We present a biomass recovery map of Latin America, which illustrates geographical and climatic variation in carbon sequestration potential during forest regrowth. The map will support policies to minimize forest loss in areas where biomass resilience is naturally low (such as seasonally dry forest regions) and promote forest regeneration and restoration in humid tropical lowland areas with high biomass resilience.

  8. Polyphyly of the hawk genera Leucopternis and Buteogallus (Aves, Accipitridae): multiple habitat shifts during the Neotropical buteonine diversification. (United States)

    Amaral, Fabio S Raposo do; Miller, Matthew J; Silveira, Luís Fábio; Bermingham, Eldredge; Wajntal, Anita


    The family Accipitridae (hawks, eagles and Old World vultures) represents a large radiation of predatory birds with an almost global distribution, although most species of this family occur in the Neotropics. Despite great morphological and ecological diversity, the evolutionary relationships in the family have been poorly explored at all taxonomic levels. Using sequences from four mitochondrial genes (12S, ATP8, ATP6, and ND6), we reconstructed the phylogeny of the Neotropical forest hawk genus Leucopternis and most of the allied genera of Neotropical buteonines. Our goals were to infer the evolutionary relationships among species of Leucopternis, estimate their relationships to other buteonine genera, evaluate the phylogenetic significance of the white and black plumage patterns common to most Leucopternis species, and assess general patterns of diversification of the group with respect to species' affiliations with Neotropical regions and habitats. Our molecular phylogeny for the genus Leucopternis and its allies disagrees sharply with traditional taxonomic arrangements for the group, and we present new hypotheses of relationships for a number of species. The mtDNA phylogenetic trees derived from analysis of the combined data posit a polyphyletic relationship among species of Leucopternis, Buteogallus and Buteo. Three highly supported clades containing Leucopternis species were recovered in our phylogenetic reconstructions. The first clade consisted of the sister pairs L. lacernulatus and Buteogallus meridionalis, and Buteogallus urubitinga and Harpyhaliaetus coronatus, in addition to L. schistaceus and L. plumbeus. The second clade included the sister pair Leucopternis albicollis and L. occidentalis as well as L. polionotus. The third lineage comprised the sister pair L. melanops and L. kuhli, in addition to L. semiplumbeus and Buteo buteo. According to our results, the white and black plumage patterns have evolved at least twice in the group. Furthermore

  9. Polyphyly of the hawk genera Leucopternis and Buteogallus (Aves, Accipitridae: multiple habitat shifts during the Neotropical buteonine diversification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bermingham Eldredge


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The family Accipitridae (hawks, eagles and Old World vultures represents a large radiation of predatory birds with an almost global distribution, although most species of this family occur in the Neotropics. Despite great morphological and ecological diversity, the evolutionary relationships in the family have been poorly explored at all taxonomic levels. Using sequences from four mitochondrial genes (12S, ATP8, ATP6, and ND6, we reconstructed the phylogeny of the Neotropical forest hawk genus Leucopternis and most of the allied genera of Neotropical buteonines. Our goals were to infer the evolutionary relationships among species of Leucopternis, estimate their relationships to other buteonine genera, evaluate the phylogenetic significance of the white and black plumage patterns common to most Leucopternis species, and assess general patterns of diversification of the group with respect to species' affiliations with Neotropical regions and habitats. Results Our molecular phylogeny for the genus Leucopternis and its allies disagrees sharply with traditional taxonomic arrangements for the group, and we present new hypotheses of relationships for a number of species. The mtDNA phylogenetic trees derived from analysis of the combined data posit a polyphyletic relationship among species of Leucopternis, Buteogallus and Buteo. Three highly supported clades containing Leucopternis species were recovered in our phylogenetic reconstructions. The first clade consisted of the sister pairs L. lacernulatus and Buteogallus meridionalis, and Buteogallus urubitinga and Harpyhaliaetus coronatus, in addition to L. schistaceus and L. plumbeus. The second clade included the sister pair Leucopternis albicollis and L. occidentalis as well as L. polionotus. The third lineage comprised the sister pair L. melanops and L. kuhli, in addition to L. semiplumbeus and Buteo buteo. According to our results, the white and black plumage patterns have evolved

  10. Land-use change outweighs projected effects of changing rainfall on tree cover in sub-Saharan Africa. (United States)

    Aleman, Julie C; Blarquez, Olivier; Staver, Carla A


    Global change will likely affect savanna and forest structure and distributions, with implications for diversity within both biomes. Few studies have examined the impacts of both expected precipitation and land use changes on vegetation structure in the future, despite their likely severity. Here, we modeled tree cover in sub-Saharan Africa, as a proxy for vegetation structure and land cover change, using climatic, edaphic, and anthropic data (R(2)  = 0.97). Projected tree cover for the year 2070, simulated using scenarios that include climate and land use projections, generally decreased, both in forest and savanna, although the directionality of changes varied locally. The main driver of tree cover changes was land use change; the effects of precipitation change were minor by comparison. Interestingly, carbon emissions mitigation via increasing biofuels production resulted in decreases in tree cover, more severe than scenarios with more intense precipitation change, especially within savannas. Evaluation of tree cover change against protected area extent at the WWF Ecoregion scale suggested areas of high biodiversity and ecosystem services concern. Those forests most vulnerable to large decreases in tree cover were also highly protected, potentially buffering the effects of global change. Meanwhile, savannas, especially where they immediately bordered forests (e.g. West and Central Africa), were characterized by a dearth of protected areas, making them highly vulnerable. Savanna must become an explicit policy priority in the face of climate and land use change if conservation and livelihoods are to remain viable into the next century. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. A revision of Spondias L. (Anacardiaceae in the Neotropics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John D. Mitchell


    Full Text Available As part of an ongoing study of Anacardiaceae subfamily Spondioideae, the ten native and one introduced species of Spondias in the Neotropics are revised. The genus is circumscribed. Three new species, S. admirabilis, S. expeditionaria, and S. globosa, are described and illustrated; a key to the taxa found in the Neotropics and distribution maps are provided. The Paleotropical species and allied genera are reviewed. Diagnostic character sets include leaf architecture, habit, flower morphology, and gross fruit morphology. Notes on the ecology and economic botany of the species are provided.

  12. Revision of the Neotropical Xanthandrus Verral (Diptera, Syrphidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Borges Zuleica M.


    Full Text Available The Neotropical genus Xanthandrus Verral, 1901 is revised. Six species are redescribed: X. bucephalus (Wiedemann, 1830, X. cubanus Fluke, 1936, X. mellinoides (Macquart, 1846, X. mexicanus Curran, 1930, X. nitidulus Fluke, 1937, and X. plaumanni Fluke, 1937. Three species are included based on original descriptions: X. flavomaculatus Shannon, 1927, X. palliatus (Fluke, 1945, and X. simplex (Loew, 1861. New synonyms proposed: Argentinomyia longicornis (Walker, 1837 = Xanthandrus biguttatus Hull, 1945 syn. nov., and Xanthandrus bucephalus (Wiedemann, 1830 = Melanostoma quadrinotata Bigot, 1884 syn. nov. Description of terminalia, a key for Neotropical species, and illustrations are also presented.

  13. Bistability, Spatial Interaction, and the Distribution of Tropical Forests and Savannas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Staal, Arie; Dekker, Stefan C.; Xu, Chi; Nes, van Egbert H.


    Recent work has indicated that tropical forest and savanna can be alternative stable states under a range of climatic conditions. However, dynamical systems theory suggests that in case of strong spatial interactions between patches of forest and savanna, a boundary between both states is only

  14. Plant composition in oak savanna and woodland restoration at Prairie Fork Conservation Area in Missouri (United States)

    Nadia E. Navarrete-Tindall; J.W. Van Sambeek; Jamie Coe; Warren Taylor


    The wooded areas of the Prairie Fork Conservation Area in central Missouri are typical of the oak/hickory forest/prairie transition zone that will require active management to restore pre-settlement, grass dominated savannas and open woodlands to improve habitat for wildlife. We initiated a management program to restore savannas and woodlands by reducing the midstory (...

  15. Pattern of invasion by Adhatoda vasica in savannas of Sariska Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan, Western India

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bhatt, Priyanka; Rawat, G.S.; Sankar, K.; Tomlinson, K.W.; Langevelde, van F.


    As part of global experiments on Savanna vegetation, we examined the ecological characteristics of an important
    semiarid savanna in the Indian sub-continent i.e Sariska Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan, Western India during April 2009 to
    May 2011. 149 plots across five line transects were sampled

  16. Heaths and forests of the western hills of Chia, Bogota savanna, Colombia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cortes S, Sandra P.; Van der Hammen, Thomas; Rangel Ch, J Orlando


    The authors make a study of the heaths and forests of the western hills of the population of Chia, located in the savanna of Bogota and the presence or absences of these in the same Bogota savanna; the authors treat topics like their physiognomy and composition, distribution and ecology among other topics

  17. Nutritional composition and protein value of the baru (Dipteryx alata Vog.) almond from the Brazilian Savanna. (United States)

    Fernandes, Daniela C; Freitas, Jullyana B; Czeder, Ludmila P; Naves, Maria Margareth V


    The almond of the baru tree (Dipteryx alata Vog.), a native species of the Brazilian Savanna, is used in the gastronomy of the central western region of the country. There is relatively little information about the chemical composition and nutritional value of the baru almond, which was the motivation for this research. The baru almonds had high lipid (397-437 g kg(-1)) and protein (238-281 g kg(-1)) contents. There were differences in the amino acid score (AAS = 83-103%) and limiting amount of sulfur amino acids, depending on the origin of the almond. The protein value of the baru almond was higher than that of the peanut according to the relative net protein ratio (RNPR(Baru) = 74%, RNPR(Peanut) = 66%) and the protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS). The baru almond also had high iron (mean 48.1 mg kg(-1)), zinc (mean 46.6 mg kg(-1)) and dietary fibre (mean 115.8 g kg(-1)) contents in relation to Dietary Reference Intakes. The baru almond has a high nutrient density and high content of quality protein. Furthermore, the lipid and protein contents and amino acid profile of the baru almond are representative of edible seeds and similar to those of true nuts. This almond can be used as a complementary source of protein and as an excellent option for a healthy diet. Copyright (c) 2010 Society of Chemical Industry.

  18. Vocal ontogeny in neotropical singing mice (Scotinomys.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Polly Campbell

    Full Text Available Isolation calls produced by dependent young are a fundamental form of communication. For species in which vocal signals remain important to adult communication, the function and social context of vocal behavior changes dramatically with the onset of sexual maturity. The ontogenetic relationship between these distinct forms of acoustic communication is surprisingly under-studied. We conducted a detailed analysis of vocal development in sister species of Neotropical singing mice, Scotinomys teguina and S. xerampelinus. Adult singing mice are remarkable for their advertisement songs, rapidly articulated trills used in long-distance communication; the vocal behavior of pups was previously undescribed. We recorded 30 S. teguina and 15 S. xerampelinus pups daily, from birth to weaning; 23 S. teguina and 11 S. xerampelinus were recorded until sexual maturity. Like other rodent species with poikilothermic young, singing mice were highly vocal during the first weeks of life and stopped vocalizing before weaning. Production of first advertisement songs coincided with the onset of sexual maturity after a silent period of ≧2 weeks. Species differences in vocal behavior emerged early in ontogeny and notes that comprise adult song were produced from birth. However, the organization and relative abundance of distinct note types was very different between pups and adults. Notably, the structure, note repetition rate, and intra-individual repeatability of pup vocalizations did not become more adult-like with age; the highly stereotyped structure of adult song appeared de novo in the first songs of young adults. We conclude that, while the basic elements of adult song are available from birth, distinct selection pressures during maternal dependency, dispersal, and territorial establishment favor major shifts in the structure and prevalence of acoustic signals. This study provides insight into how an evolutionarily conserved form of acoustic signaling provides

  19. Countryside biogeography of Neotropical reptiles and amphibians. (United States)

    Mendenhall, Chase D; Frishkoff, Luke O; Santos-Barrera, Georgina; Pacheco, Jesús; Mesfun, Eyobed; Mendoza Quijano, Fernando; Ehrlich, Paul R; Ceballos, Gerardo; Daily, Gretchen C; Pringle, Robert M


    The future of biodiversity and ecosystem services depends largely on the capacity of human-dominated ecosystems to support them, yet this capacity remains largely unknown. Using the framework of countryside biogeography, and working in the Las Cruces system of Coto Brus, Costa Rica, we assessed reptile and amphibian assemblages within four habitats that typify much of the Neotropics: sun coffee plantations (12 sites), pasture (12 sites), remnant forest elements (12 sites), and a larger, contiguous protected forest (3 sites in one forest). Through analysis of 1678 captures of 67 species, we draw four primary conclusions. First, we found that the majority of reptile (60%) and amphibian (70%) species in this study used an array of habitat types, including coffee plantations and actively grazed pastures. Second, we found that coffee plantations and pastures hosted rich, albeit different and less dense, reptile and amphibian biodiversity relative to the 326-ha Las Cruces Forest Reserve and neighboring forest elements. Third, we found that the small ribbons of "countryside forest elements" weaving through farmland collectively increased the effective size of a 326-ha local forest reserve 16-fold for reptiles and 14-fold for amphibians within our 236-km2 study area. Therefore, countryside forest elements, often too small for most remote sensing techniques to identify, are contributing -95% of the available habitat for forest-dependent reptiles and amphibians in our largely human-dominated study region. Fourth, we found large and pond-reproducing amphibians to prefer human-made habitats, whereas small, stream-reproducing, and directly developing species are more dependent on forest elements. Our investigation demonstrates that tropical farming landscapes can support substantial reptile and amphibian biodiversity. Our approach provides a framework for estimating the conservation value of the complex working landscapes that constitute roughly half of the global land surface

  20. Taxonomy Icon Data: African savanna elephant [Taxonomy Icon

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available African savanna elephant Loxodonta africana Chordata/Vertebrata/Mammalia/Theria/Eutheria/etc. Loxodonta_afri...cana_L.png Loxodonta_africana_NL.png Loxodonta_africana_S.png Loxodonta_africana_NS....png ...

  1. Relationships between phyllosphere bacterial communities and plant functional traits in a neotropical forest (United States)

    Kembel, Steven W.; O’Connor, Timothy K.; Arnold, Holly K.; Hubbell, Stephen P.; Wright, S. Joseph; Green, Jessica L.


    The phyllosphere—the aerial surfaces of plants, including leaves—is a ubiquitous global habitat that harbors diverse bacterial communities. Phyllosphere bacterial communities have the potential to influence plant biogeography and ecosystem function through their influence on the fitness and function of their hosts, but the host attributes that drive community assembly in the phyllosphere are poorly understood. In this study we used high-throughput sequencing to quantify bacterial community structure on the leaves of 57 tree species in a neotropical forest in Panama. We tested for relationships between bacterial communities on tree leaves and the functional traits, taxonomy, and phylogeny of their plant hosts. Bacterial communities on tropical tree leaves were diverse; leaves from individual trees were host to more than 400 bacterial taxa. Bacterial communities in the phyllosphere were dominated by a core microbiome of taxa including Actinobacteria, Alpha-, Beta-, and Gammaproteobacteria, and Sphingobacteria. Host attributes including plant taxonomic identity, phylogeny, growth and mortality rates, wood density, leaf mass per area, and leaf nitrogen and phosphorous concentrations were correlated with bacterial community structure on leaves. The relative abundances of several bacterial taxa were correlated with suites of host plant traits related to major axes of plant trait variation, including the leaf economics spectrum and the wood density–growth/mortality tradeoff. These correlations between phyllosphere bacterial diversity and host growth, mortality, and function suggest that incorporating information on plant–microbe associations will improve our ability to understand plant functional biogeography and the drivers of variation in plant and ecosystem function. PMID:25225376

  2. The role of indicator species: Neotropical migratory song birds (United States)

    Theodore R. Simons; Kerry N. Rabenold; David A. Buehler; Jaime A. Collazo; Kathleen E. Franzreb


    Southern Appalachian forests support some of the richest avian diversity in North America, including some 75 species of Neotropical migrants, birds that perform the remarkable feat of making much of the Western Hemisphere their home. This diverse group includes the swallows, kingbirds, and other flycatchers that feed in the air on flying insects. The Eastern kingbird...

  3. Molecular phylogeny of Neotropical monogeneans (Platyhelminthes: Monogenea) from catfishes (Siluriformes)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mendoza-Palmero, Carlos Alonso; Blasco-Costa, I.; Scholz, Tomáš


    Roč. 8, MAR 18 2015 (2015), s. 164 ISSN 1756-3305 R&D Projects: GA ČR GBP505/12/G112 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Phylogeny * Monogenea * Dactylogyridae * Neotropical region * Diversity * Siluriformes * 28S rRNA Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 3.234, year: 2015

  4. A preliminary survey of foliar sclerenchyma in neotropical Loranthaceae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuijt, J.; Lye, D.


    The foliar sclerenchyma of all genera of neotropical Loranthaceae is surveyed by means of cleared leaves, using selected species. Three general categories of sclerenchyma are recognized. Fibers may form discontinuous or continuous bundles associated with veins or, more rarely, occur as individual

  5. The neotropical genus Opeatocerata Melander (Díptera, Empididae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenneth G. V. Smith


    Full Text Available The Neotropical empidid genus Opeatocerata Melander, hitherto known from only a sigle female from Mexico, is redefined in the light of new material, including males. Three new species are described and illustrated, a key provided and the presence of the genus now additionally established in Costa Rica, Panama, Bolivia, Ecuador, Trinidad and Brazil.

  6. Origin and management of neotropical cassava arthropod pests ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Cassava, one of the worlds major food crops is grown throughout the tropical regions of the world. Cassava originated in the neotropics; it was introduced into West Africa from Brazil by slave traders in the 1500's, and taken to Asia during the 17th century. Consequently the greatest diversity of cassava pests, as well as their ...

  7. Hearing diversity in moths confronting a neotropical bat assemblage. (United States)

    Cobo-Cuan, Ariadna; Kössl, Manfred; Mora, Emanuel C


    The tympanal ear is an evolutionary acquisition which helps moths survive predation from bats. The greater diversity of bats and echolocation strategies in the Neotropics compared with temperate zones would be expected to impose different sensory requirements on the neotropical moths. However, even given some variability among moth assemblages, the frequencies of best hearing of moths from different climate zones studied to date have been roughly the same: between 20 and 60 kHz. We have analyzed the auditory characteristics of tympanate moths from Cuba, a neotropical island with high levels of bat diversity and a high incidence of echolocation frequencies above those commonly at the upper limit of moths' hearing sensitivity. Moths of the superfamilies Noctuoidea, Geometroidea and Pyraloidea were examined. Audiograms were determined by non-invasively measuring distortion-product otoacoustic emissions. We also quantified the frequency spectrum of the echolocation sounds to which this moth community is exposed. The hearing ranges of moths in our study showed best frequencies between 36 and 94 kHz. High sensitivity to frequencies above 50 kHz suggests that the auditory sensitivity of moths is suited to the sounds used by sympatric echolocating bat fauna. Biodiversity characterizes predators and prey in the Neotropics, but the bat-moth acoustic interaction keeps spectrally matched.

  8. Wood anatomy of the neotropical Sapotaceae. VII, Chrysophyllum (United States)

    B. F. Kukachka


    In the neotropics, the genus Chrysophyllum consists of C. cainito and a number of species which have recently been assigned to the genus Cynodendron. Many taxonomists have not accepted the new genus Cynodendron and this is supported by the present study of the wood anatomy. In this restricted sense, Chrysophyllum consists of a group of closely related species that are...

  9. Wood anatomy of the neotropical Sapotaceae : XIV. Elaeoluma (United States)

    Bohumil Francis Kukachka


    The genus Elaeoluma consists of three species distributed in the Amazon Basin, Surinam, Guyana, and Venezuela. The description presented here is based on E. glabrescens of the Amazon Basin. The wood is easily differentiated from all other neotropical Sapotaceae by its pale brown color, reticulate parenchyma, which is hardly discernable with a hand lens, and a low...

  10. Point Count Length and Detection of Forest Neotropical Migrant Birds (United States)

    Deanna K. Dawson; David R. Smith; Chandler S. Robbins


    Comparisons of bird abundances among years or among habitats assume that the rates at which birds are detected and counted are constant within species. We use point count data collected in forests of the Mid-Atlantic states to estimate detection probabilities for Neotropical migrant bird species as a function of count length. For some species, significant differences...

  11. The ecology of migrant birds: A neotropical perspective [book review (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch


    Originally published by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1983 as Nearctic Avian Migrants in the Neotropics with coauthors Gene Morton, Tom Lovejoy, and Jim Ruos, the initial work has been considerably expanded, updated, and revised by John Rappole. Indeed, the revision warranted publication in Spanish in 1993 followed by further revision that resulted in this...

  12. Effects of pesticides and contaminants on neotropical migrants (United States)

    Nicholas W. Gard; Michael J. Hooper; Richard S. Bennett


    Many agricultural pesticides and industrial contaminants are capable of adversely affecting birds through direct effects such as elevated mortality rates and decreased reproductive success or indirectly by modifying habitat composition or food availability. Although neotropical migrants are potentially exposed to these contaminants on their breeding, migratory and...

  13. Management implications of cowbird parasitism on neotropical migrant songbirds (United States)

    Scott K. Robinson; Joseph A. Grzybowski; Stephen I. Rothstein; Margaret C. Brittingham; Lisa J. Petit; Frank R. Thompson


    Populations of brood parasitic Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molofhrus afer) have increased to the point where they pose a potential threat to populations of many neotropical migrant songbirds. Because cowbirds mostly feed in short grass (e.g., pastures and lawns) or on bare ground (e.g., row crops), they benefit directly from human activities. Cowbirds...

  14. Population trends and management opportunities for neotropical migrants (United States)

    Chandler S. Robbins; John. R. Sauer; Bruce G. Peterjohn


    The Breeding Bird Survey shows that certain Neotropical migrant songbird populations have been declining over the past 26 years. Among them are forest birds that require extensive forest on the breeding grounds and also forested habitats on tropical wintering grounds. Other species have shown significant declines only since the early 1980's. Birds with broader...

  15. Modeling the health and productivity of Oak Savannas in central USA (United States)

    Nightingale, J. M.; Hill, M. J.


    Oak species have a long history of domination in eastern North America and their present distribution in various regions exceeds that recorded in the original forests at the time of European settlement. The increase in oak during the late 18th and 19th centuries can be attributed to historical changes in disturbance regimes in the eastern biome. The expansion in oak distribution has occurred on xeric or nutrient-poor sites, which indicates the stress tolerance capabilities of many oak species. The aim of this research is to assess the health and productivity of the fragmented oak savannas that span from Texas north to the Canada border using statewide GAP, climate and MODIS data and the 3PGS (Physiological Principles Predicting Growth using satellite data) ecosystem process model. 3-PGS is a simple big-leaf productivity model that sets upper limits on monthly gross primary productivity (GPP) by determining the amount of photosynthetically active radiation absorbed (APAR) by vegetation and the photosynthetic capacity (LUE) of the canopy. The utilized portion of APAR is calculated by reducing total PAR by an amount determined by the most constraining of a series of environmental modifiers that affect gas exchange through stomata. These include: (a) high daytime atmospheric VPD; (b) soil water availability; and (c) the frequency of sub-freezing temperatures (<-2 °C). Climate data including day length, precipitation, average temperature and vapor pressure deficit are obtained from the Daymet daily gridded surface data from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The fraction of APAR is obtained from the MODIS terra/aqua combined product. Monthly surfaces were derived for the study period 2003-2008 spanning available MODIS and Climate datasets. Soil properties for the entire U.S.A., derived from luster analysis of STATSGO soil parameters, terrain and climate observations were obtained from ORNL. Oak savannas within this region are identified using the statewide Gap

  16. Savanna Vegetation Dynamics and their Influence on Landscape-Scale C, N, and P Biogeochemistry (United States)

    Boutton, T. W.; Zhou, Y.; Wu, X. B.; Hyodo, A.


    Soil carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) cycles are strongly interlinked and controlled through biological processes, and the P cycle is further controlled through geochemical processes. In grasslands, savannas, and other dryland ecosystems throughout the world, woody plant encroachment often modifies soil C, N, and P stores, although it remains unknown if these three elements change proportionally in response to this vegetation change. We evaluated proportional changes and spatial patterns of soil organic C (SOC), total N (TN), and total P (TP) following woody encroachment by taking spatially-explicit soil cores to a depth of 1.2 m across a subtropical savanna landscape which has undergone encroachment by trees and shrubs during the past century in the Rio Grande Plains, USA. SOC and TN were coupled with respect to increasing magnitudes and spatial patterns along the soil profile following woody encroachment. In contrast, TP increased slower than SOC and TN in surface soils, but faster in subsurface soils. Spatial patterns of TP strongly resembled those of vegetation cover throughout the soil profile, but differed from those of SOC and TN, especially in deeper portions of the profile. The encroachment of woody plants into this P-limited ecosystem resulted in the accumulation of proportionally less soil P compared to C and N in surface soils; however, proportionally more P accrued in deeper portions of the profile beneath woody patches where alkaline soil pH and high carbonate concentrations would favor precipitation of P as relatively insoluble calcium phosphates. Structural equation models (SEM) showed that fine root density explained the greatest proportion of variation in SOC, TN, and TP in the surface soil. In deeper portions of the profile, SEM showed that silt and clay explained much of the variation in SOC and TN, while soil pH strongly controlled TP. This imbalanced relationship highlights that the relative importance of biotic vs. abiotic

  17. Modeling habitat suitability of the invasive clam Corbicula fluminea in a Neotropical shallow lagoon, southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. C. L. Silveira

    Full Text Available Abstract This study aimed to model the habitat suitability for an invasive clam Corbicula fluminea in a coastal shallow lagoon in the southern Neotropical region (–30.22, –50.55. The lagoon (19km2, maximum deep 2.5m was sampled with an Ekman dredge in an orthogonal matrix comprising 84 points. At each sampling point, were obtained environmental descriptors as depth, organic matter content (OMC, average granulometry (Avgran, and the percentage of sand (Pcsand. Prediction performance of Generalized Linear Models (GLM, Generalized Additive Models (GAM and Boosted Regression Tree (BRT were compared. Also, niche overlapping with other native clam species (Castalia martensi, Neocorbicula limosa and Anodontites trapesialis was examined. A BRT model with 1400 trees was selected as the best model, with cross-validated correlation of 0.82. The relative contributions of predictors were Pcsand-42.6%, OMC-35.8%, Avgran-10.9% and Depth-10.8%. Were identified that C. fluminea occur mainly in sandy sediments with few organic matter, in shallow areas nor by the shore. The PCA showed a wide niche overlap with the native clam species C. martensi, N. limosa and A. trapesialis.

  18. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Flowering Trees. Boswellia serrata Roxb. ex Colebr. (Indian Frankincense tree) of Burseraceae is a large-sized deciduous tree that is native to India. Bark is thin, greenish-ash-coloured that exfoliates into smooth papery flakes. Stem exudes pinkish resin ... Fruit is a three-valved capsule. A green gum-resin exudes from the ...

  19. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    Flowering Trees. Ailanthus excelsa Roxb. (INDIAN TREE OF. HEAVEN) of Simaroubaceae is a lofty tree with large pinnately compound alternate leaves, which are ... inflorescences, unisexual and greenish-yellow. Fruits are winged, wings many-nerved. Wood is used in making match sticks. 1. Male flower; 2. Female flower.

  20. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Flowering Trees. Gyrocarpus americanus Jacq. (Helicopter Tree) of Hernandiaceae is a moderate size deciduous tree that grows to about 12 m in height with a smooth, shining, greenish-white bark. The leaves are ovate, rarely irregularly ... flowers which are unpleasant smelling. Fruit is a woody nut with two long thin wings.

  1. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    More Details Fulltext PDF. Volume 8 Issue 8 August 2003 pp 112-112 Flowering Trees. Zizyphus jujuba Lam. of Rhamnaceae · More Details Fulltext PDF. Volume 8 Issue 9 September 2003 pp 97-97 Flowering Trees. Moringa oleifera · More Details Fulltext PDF. Volume 8 Issue 10 October 2003 pp 100-100 Flowering Trees.

  2. Biophysical Properties of Cultivated Pastures in the Brazilian Savanna Biome: An Analysis in the Spatial-Temporal Domains Based on Ground and Satellite Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando M. Araújo


    Full Text Available Brazil has the largest commercial beef cattle herd in the world, with cattle ranching being particularly prominent in the 200-million ha, Brazilian neotropical moist savanna biome, known as Cerrado, one of the world’s hotspots for biodiversity conservation. As decreasing productivity is a major concern affecting the Cerrado pasturelands, evaluation of pasture conditions through the determination of biophysical parameters is instrumental for more effective management practices and herd occupation strategies. Within this context, the primary goal of this study was the regional assessment of pasture biophysical properties, through the scaling of wet- and dry-season ground truth data (total biomass, green biomass, and % green cover via the combined use of high (Landsat-TM and moderate (MODIS spatial resolution vegetation index images. Based on the high correlation found between NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index and % green cover (r = 0.95, monthly MODIS-based % green cover images were derived for the 2009–2010 hydrological cycle, which were able to capture major regional patterns and differences in pasture biophysical responses, including the increasing greenness values towards the southern portions of the biome, due to both local conditions (e.g., more fertile soils and management practices. These results corroborate the development of biophysically-based landscape degradation indices, in support of improved land use governance and natural area conservation in the Cerrado.

  3. Phenological patterns of Spodoptera Guenée, 1852 (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is more affected by ENSO than seasonal factors and host plant availability in a Brazilian Savanna (United States)

    Piovesan, Mônica; Specht, Alexandre; Carneiro, Eduardo; Paula-Moraes, Silvana Vieira; Casagrande, Mirna Martins


    The identification of factors responsible for the population dynamics is fundamental for pest management, since losses can reach 18% of annual production. Besides regular seasonal environmental factors and crop managements, additional supra-annual meteorological phenomena can also affect population dynamics, although its relevance has been rarely investigated. Among crop pests, Spodoptera stands out due to its worldwide distribution, high degree of polyphagy, thus causing damages in several crops in the world. Aiming to distinguish the relevance of different factors shaping population dynamics of Spodoptera in an ecosystem constituted of dry and rainy seasons, the current study used circular statistics to identify phenological patterns and test if its population fluctuation is driven by El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) effect, seasonal meteorological parameters, and/or host plant availability. Samplings were done in an intercropping system, in the Brazilian Savanna, during the new moon cycles between July/2013 and June/2016. Species were recorded all year round, but demonstrated differently non-uniform distribution, being concentrated in different seasons of the year. Population fluctuations were mostly affected by the ENSO intensity, despite the contrasting seasonal meteorological variation or host plant availability in a 400-m radius. Studies involving the observation of supra-annual phenomena, although rare, reach similar conclusions in relation to Neotropical insect fauna. Therefore, it is paramount to have long-term sampling studies to obtain a more precise response of the pest populations towards the agroecosystem conditions.

  4. On the relative role of fire and rainfall in determining vegetation patterns in tropical savannas: a simulation study (United States)

    Spessa, Allan; Fisher, Rosie


    Tropical savannas cover 18% of the world's land surface and are amongst the most productive terrestrial systems in the world. They comprise 15% of the total terrestrial carbon stock, with an estimated mean net primary productivity (NPP) of 7.2 tCha-1yr-1 or two thirds of NPP in tropical forests. Tropical savannas are the most frequently burnt biome, with fire return intervals in highly productive areas being typically 1-2 years. Fires shape vegetation species composition, tree to grass ratios and nutrient redistribution, as well as the biosphere-atmosphere exchange of trace gases, momentum and radiative energy. Tropical savannas are a major source of emissions, contributing 38 % of total annual CO2 from biomass burning, 30% CO, 19 % CH4 and 59 % NOx. Climatically, they occur in regions subject to a strongly seasonal ‘wet-dry' regime, usually under monsoonal control from the movement of the inter-tropical convergence zone. In general, rainfall during the prior wet season(s) determines the amount of grass fuel available for burning while the length of the dry season influences fuel moisture content. Rainfall in tropical savannas exhibits high inter-annual variability, and under future climate change, is projected to change significantly in much of Africa, South America and northern Australia. Process-based simulation models of fire-vegetation dynamics and feedbacks are critical for determining the impacts of wildfires under projected future climate change on i) ecosystem structure and function, and ii) emissions of trace gases and aerosols from biomass burning. A new mechanistic global fire model SPITFIRE (SPread and InTensity of FIRE) has been designed to overcome many of the limitations in existing fire models set within Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs). SPITFIRE has been applied in coupled mode globally and southern Africa, both as part of the LPJ DGVM. It has also been driven with MODIS burnt area data applied to sub-Saharan Africa, while coupled to the

  5. The genus Cecropia: a biological clock to estimate the age of recently disturbed areas in the Neotropics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul-Camilo Zalamea

    Full Text Available Forest successional processes following disturbance take decades to play out, even in tropical forests. Nonetheless, records of vegetation change in this ecosystem are scarce, increasing the importance of the chronosequence approach to study forest recovery. However, this approach requires accurate dating of secondary forests, which until now was a difficult and/or expensive task. Cecropia is a widespread and abundant pioneer tree genus of the Neotropics. Here we propose and validate a rapid and straightforward method to estimate the age of secondary forest patches based on morphological observations of Cecropia trees. We found that Cecropia-inferred ages were highly correlated with known ages of the forest. We also demonstrate that Cecropia can be used to accurately date disturbances and propose twenty-one species distributed all over the geographical range of the genus as potential secondary forest chronometer species. Our method is limited in applicability by the maximal longevity of Cecropia individuals. Although the oldest chronosequence used in this study was 20 years old, we argue that at least for the first four decades after disturbance, the method described in this study provides very accurate estimations of secondary forest ages. The age of pioneer trees provides not only information needed to calculate the recovery of carbon stocks that would help to improve forest management, but also provides information needed to characterize the initial floristic composition and the rates of species remigration into secondary forest. Our contribution shows how successional studies can be reliably and inexpensively extended without the need to obtain forest ages based on expensive or potentially inaccurate data across the Neotropics.

  6. Using targeted enrichment of nuclear genes to increase phylogenetic resolution in the neotropical rain forest genus Inga (Leguminosae: Mimosoideae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James A Nicholls


    Full Text Available Evolutionary radiations are prominent and pervasive across many plant lineages in diverse geographical and ecological settings; in neotropical rainforests there is growing evidence suggesting that a significant fraction of species richness is the result of recent radiations. Understanding the evolutionary trajectories and mechanisms underlying these radiations demands much greater phylogenetic resolution than is currently available for these groups. The neotropical tree genus Inga (Leguminosae is a good example, with ~300 extant species and a crown age of 2-10 MY, yet over 6kb of plastid and nuclear DNA sequence data gives only poor phylogenetic resolution among species. Here we explore the use of larger-scale nuclear gene data obtained though targeted enrichment to increase phylogenetic resolution within Inga. Transcriptome data from three Inga species were used to select 264 nuclear loci for targeted enrichment and sequencing. Following quality control to remove probable paralogs from these sequence data, the final dataset comprised 259,313 bases from 194 loci for 24 accessions representing 22 Inga species and an outgroup (Zygia. Bayesian phylogenies reconstructed using either all loci concatenated or a subset of 60 loci in a gene-tree/species-tree approach yielded highly resolved phylogenies. We used coalescent approaches to show that the same targeted enrichment data also have significant power to discriminate among alternative within-species population histories in the widespread species I. umbellifera. In either application, targeted enrichment simplifies the informatics challenge of identifying orthologous loci associated with de novo genome sequencing. We conclude that targeted enrichment provides the large volumes of phylogenetically-informative sequence data required to resolve relationships within recent plant species radiations, both at the species level and for within-species phylogeographic studies.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Regina Afonso


    Full Text Available In this article, we analyze the main non-wood forest products from Brazilian savanna. We studied the behavior and the growth rates of production and prices of almond of babaçu, oil of copaiba, fiber of buriti, leaf of jaborandi, bark of barbatimão, bark of angico, fruit of mangaba, almonds of pequi, from 1982 to 2005. All the products exhibited decreasing production, with exception of the oil of copaiba and almonds of pequi, which showed positive growth rates: 12.9% and 8.5%, respectively. The analysis of prices for most products was not significant, except for barks of barbatimão and angico, and almonds of pequi, which showed positive trends: 10.9%, 6.7%, and 4.6%, respectively. We believe that results were not significant due to the severe variations of the Brazilian currency in the period. We conclude that pequi is the main product from savanna and that oil of copaiba has the biggest increase in the production because most of the production comes from the whole Brazilian Amazon region.

  8. Seasonal variation of ground spiders in a Brazilian Savanna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Farcic Mineo


    Full Text Available The Brazilian Savanna Ecoregion (Cerrado is one of the richest biomes in the world, with a characteristic highly seasonal climate a dry season between May and September and a rainy season from October through April. Ground-dwelling spiders from three Cerrado phytophysiognomies, "campo cerrado", "cerrado" and "cerrad��o", were sampled using pitfall traps during two years, totaling 111 species and 3,529 individuals. The abundance of individuals and species richness was higher during the wet season. Fifty-eight species were captured exclusively during that period, whereas only nineteen were restricted to the dry season. Only two species were found in all samples. The number of juveniles was higher than the number of adults in all phytophysiognomies and in all species during both seasons. The highest abundance was registered in October and the lowest in April. Overall sex ratio was male-biased in all vegetation types sampled. Distinct climate variables affected the abundance of spiders depending on sex, age and vegetal physiognomy where they were sampled. This study involved the longest sampling of spider abundance and diversity on the ground of a Brazilian Savanna.

  9. Using Paleoecology to Inform Land Management as Climates Change: An Example from an Oak Savanna Ecosystem (United States)

    Spencer, Jessica D.; Brunelle, Andrea; Hepola, Tim


    Oak savanna, a transitional ecosystem between open prairie and dense oak forest, was once widespread in Minnesota. Upon European settlement much of the oak savanna was destroyed. Recently, efforts to restore this ecosystem have increased and often include the reintroduction of fire. Though fire is known to serve an important role within oak savannas, there are currently few studies which address fire regimes on timescales longer than the last century. This research presents a paleoecological history of Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge (SNWR) in MN, USA, spanning the last 8000 years. The objectives of this study were to use charcoal, pollen, and magnetic susceptibility of lake sediments collected from Johnson Slough (JS) within the refuge to evaluate the natural range of variability and disturbance history of the oak savanna within the refuge, assess the success of current restoration strategies, and add to the regional paleoecological history. The mid/late Holocene period of the JS record shows a period of high fire activity from ca. 6500 to 2600 cal year BP, with a shift from prairie to oak savanna occurring over this same period. A (possibly agricultural) disturbance to JS sediments affected the period from ca. 2600 cal year BP to 1963 AD, which includes the time of Euro-American settlement. However, the destruction and subsequent restoration of the oak savanna is evident in a pollen ratio of Quercus:Poaceae, indicating that current restoration efforts have been successful at restoring the oak savanna to within the natural range of variability seen just prior to destruction.

  10. Tree compression with top trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bille, Philip; Gørtz, Inge Li; Landau, Gad M.


    We introduce a new compression scheme for labeled trees based on top trees [3]. Our compression scheme is the first to simultaneously take advantage of internal repeats in the tree (as opposed to the classical DAG compression that only exploits rooted subtree repeats) while also supporting fast...

  11. Tree compression with top trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bille, Philip; Gørtz, Inge Li; Landau, Gad M.


    We introduce a new compression scheme for labeled trees based on top trees. Our compression scheme is the first to simultaneously take advantage of internal repeats in the tree (as opposed to the classical DAG compression that only exploits rooted subtree repeats) while also supporting fast...

  12. The phylogeny of Simulium (Chirostilbia (Diptera: Simuliidae and perspectives on the systematics of the genus in the Neotropical Region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Henrique Gil-Azevedo


    Full Text Available Recently, knowledge of Neotropical Simuliidae has been accumulating quickly. However, information about supra-specific relationships is scarce and diagnoses of Simulium subgenera are unsatisfactory. To investigate the relationships among Simulium (Chirostilbia species and test the subgenus monophyly, we performed a cladistic analysis. The ingroup included all species of this subgenus and the outgroup included representatives of the 17 species groups of Neotropical Simulium and three Holarctic species. The study was based on a data matrix with 31 terminal taxa and 45 morphological characteristics of adult, pupa and larva. The phylogenetic analysis under equal weights resulted in eight most-parsimonious trees (length = 178, consistency index = 34, retention index = 67. The monophyly of the S. (Chirostilbia was not supported in our analysis. The Simulium subpallidum species group was closer to Simulium (Psilopelmia and Simulium (Ectemnaspis than to the Simulium pertinax species group. Additionally, we describe the three-dimensional shape of the terminalia of male and female of Simulium (Chirostilbia for the first time and provide comments about the taxonomic problems involving some species of the subgenus: Simulium acarayense, Simulium papaveroi, S. pertinax, Simulium serranum, Simulium striginotum and S. subpallidum.

  13. No evidence that elevated CO2 gives tropical lianas an advantage over tropical trees. (United States)

    Marvin, David C; Winter, Klaus; Burnham, Robyn J; Schnitzer, Stefan A


    Recent studies indicate that lianas are increasing in size and abundance relative to trees in neotropical forests. As a result, forest dynamics and carbon balance may be altered through liana-induced suppression of tree growth and increases in tree mortality. Increasing atmospheric CO2 is hypothesized to be responsible for the increase in neotropical lianas, yet no study has directly compared the relative response of tropical lianas and trees to elevated CO2 . We explicitly tested whether tropical lianas had a larger response to elevated CO2 than co-occurring tropical trees and whether seasonal drought alters the response of either growth form. In two experiments conducted in central Panama, one spanning both wet and dry seasons and one restricted to the dry season, we grew liana (n = 12) and tree (n = 10) species in open-top growth chambers maintained at ambient or twice-ambient CO2 levels. Seedlings of eight individuals (four lianas, four trees) were grown in the ground in each chamber for at least 3 months during each season. We found that both liana and tree seedlings had a significant and positive response to elevated CO2 (in biomass, leaf area, leaf mass per area, and photosynthesis), but that the relative response to elevated CO2 for all variables was not significantly greater for lianas than trees regardless of the season. The lack of differences in the relative response between growth forms does not support the hypothesis that elevated CO2 is responsible for increasing liana size and abundance across the neotropics. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Inferences of Present and Past Changes at Isolated Enclaves and Matrix of Savannas by Carbon Isotopes in a Transitional Forest-Savanna Area in Northern Amazonia (United States)

    Couto-Santos, F. R.; Luizao, F. J.; Camargo, P. B.


    The evolutionary history of savannas influenced by short term climate cycles, during the Quaternary Period, could prompt variations in forest cover often related to movements of the forest-savanna boundary. In this study we investigated current and past changes in the structure of vegetation and the origins of savannas of different natures in a biogeographically and climatic transitional forest-savanna area in northern Amazonia. Variations in the isotopic composition of soil organic matter (δ13C) from surface soils (0-10 cm) along forest-savanna boundaries, detected by a sigmoidal non-linear function, were used to identify current changes in vegetation, while past changes were inferred by discontinuities in the evolution of δ13C with soil depth using piecewise regression associated with radiocarbon dating (14C). By comparing small isolated savanna enclaves inside a strictly protected nature reserve (ESEC Maracá) with its outskirts unprotected continuous savanna matrix, we found that origins and the patterns of dynamics were distinct between these areas and did not respond in the same way to climate change and fire events, either in the last decades or during the Holocene. The stability of the present boundaries of the surrounding savanna matrix reflects the resilience of the transitional forests under a recent intensified fire regime and favorable climate, while the deep forest soil isotopic signal indicated a forest shrinkage of at least 70 m occurring since its origin in early Holocene until 780 years BP associated with a climate drier than the current one. Contrarily, the protected enclaves inside ESEC Maracá, remained stable since the middle Holocene, suggesting a non-anthropogenic origin related to soil edaphic conditions, but with recent dynamics of advancing forest by 8 m century-1 favored by current climate and lacking fire events. A detailed understanding of the origins of savannas of distinct natures and the way they are affected by climate and fire

  15. Integrating Dendrochronology, Climate and Satellite Remote Sensing to Better Understand Savanna Landscape Dynamics in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jane Southworth


    Full Text Available This research examines the integration and potential uses of linkages between climate dynamics, savanna vegetation and landscape level processes within a highly vulnerable region, both in terms of climate variability and social systems. We explore the combined applications of two time-series methodologies: (1 climate signals detected in tree ring growth, from published literature, chronologies from the International Tree-Ring Data Bank, and minimal preliminary field data; and (2 new primary production (NPP data of vegetation cover over time derived from remotely sensed analyses. Both time-series are related to the regional patterns of precipitation, the principle driver of plant growth in the area. The approach is temporally and spatially multiscalar and examines the relationships between vegetation cover, type and amount, and precipitation shifts. We review literature linking dendrochronology, climate, and remotely sensed imagery, and, in addition, provide unique preliminary analyses from a dry study site located on the outer limit of the Okavango Delta. The work demonstrates integration across the different data sources, to provide a more holistic view of landscape level processes occurring in the last 30-50 years. These results corroborate the water-limited nature of the region and the dominance of precipitation in controlling vegetation growth. We present this integrative analysis of vegetation and climate change, as a prospective approach to facilitate the development of long-term climate/vegetation change records across multiple scales.

  16. Tree Nut Allergies (United States)

    ... Blog Vision Awards Common Allergens Tree Nut Allergy Tree Nut Allergy Learn about tree nut allergy, how ... a Tree Nut Label card . Allergic Reactions to Tree Nuts Tree nuts can cause a severe and ...

  17. Spectral variability within species and its effects on savanna tree species discrimination

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Cho, Moses A


    Full Text Available . Smith, and P. E. Johnson, "Spectral mixture modeling: a new analysis of rock and soil types at the Viking Lander 1 site.," Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 98 B8, pp. 8098-8112, 1986. [2] F. A. Kruse, A. B. Lefkoff, J. W. Boardman, K. B...

  18. Checklist of sea turtles endohelminth in Neotropical region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Werneck M. R.


    Full Text Available This paper presents a list of parasites described in sea turtles from the Neotropical region. Through the review of literature the occurrence of 79 taxa of helminthes parasites were observed, mostly consisting of the Phylum Platyhelminthes with 76 species distributed in 14 families and 2 families of the Phylum Nematoda within 3 species. Regarding the parasite records, the most studied host was the green turtle (Chelonia mydas followed by the hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata, olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea, loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta and leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea. Overall helminths were reported in 12 countries and in the Caribbean Sea region. This checklist is the largest compilation of data on helminths found in sea turtles in the Neotropical region.

  19. Assembly and phylogenetic structure of Neotropical palm communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eiserhardt, Wolf L.; Svenning, J.-C.; Balslev, Henrik

    Diversity, composition and dynamics of Neotropical palm communities are receiving an increasing amount of attention due to their economic importance, but also because their high species richness and functional diversity render them valuable model systems for overall forest biodiversity. However......, to better understand these palm communities, it is crucial to gain insight into the mechanisms responsible for their assembly. These can be dispersal limitation, environmental filtering, or biotic interactions. If the degree of niche conservatism is known for a group of organisms, patterns of community...... an unspecific assumption of “general niche conservatism”, phylogenetic signal will be analysed for Neotropical palms. Moreover, as an example for evolutionary mechanisms disrupting phylogenetic signal, speciation modes will be examined in selected genera. With the combined results we aim to show the relative...

  20. Management of Herbaceous Seeps and Wet Savannas for Threatened and Endangered Species

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Harper, Mary


    Wetland communities such as herbaceous seeps and wet savannas occur on military installations throughout the southeastern United States, usually as pockets of wet habitat within a matrix of drier longleaf pine woodlands...

  1. Hyper-temporal c-band SAR for baseline woody structural assessments in deciduous savannas

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mathieu, Renaud SA


    Full Text Available deciduous savanna environment. Results showed that: the temporal filter reduced image variance; the random forest model out-performed the linear model; while the TCV metric consistently showed marginally higher accuracies than the TCC metric. Combinations...

  2. Nylsvley - South African Savanna ecosystem project: objectives, organisation and research programme

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Huntley, BJ


    Full Text Available A description of the objectives, organization and research programme of the Savanna Ecosystem Project being undertaken at Nylsvley in the northern Transvaal is presented. The project is a cooperative multi-disciplinary study of the structure...

  3. Comparing the Dry Season In-Situ Leaf Area Index (LAI Derived from High-Resolution RapidEye Imagery with MODIS LAI in a Namibian Savanna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel J. Mayr


    Full Text Available The Leaf Area Index (LAI is one of the most frequently applied measures to characterize vegetation and its dynamics and functions with remote sensing. Satellite missions, such as NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS operationally produce global datasets of LAI. Due to their role as an input to large-scale modeling activities, evaluation and verification of such datasets are of high importance. In this context, savannas appear to be underrepresented with regards to their heterogeneous appearance (e.g., tree/grass-ratio, seasonality. Here, we aim to examine the LAI in a heterogeneous savanna ecosystem located in Namibia’s Owamboland during the dry season. Ground measurements of LAI are used to derive a high-resolution LAI model with RapidEye satellite data. This model is related to the corresponding MODIS LAI/FPAR (Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation scene (MOD15A2 in order to evaluate its performance at the intended annual minimum during the dry season. Based on a field survey we first assessed vegetation patterns from species composition and elevation for 109 sites. Secondly, we measured in situ LAI to quantitatively estimate the available vegetation (mean = 0.28. Green LAI samples were then empirically modeled (LAImodel with high resolution RapidEye imagery derived Difference Vegetation Index (DVI using a linear regression (R2 = 0.71. As indicated by several measures of model performance, the comparison with MOD15A2 revealed moderate consistency mostly due to overestimation by the aggregated LAImodel. Model constraints aside, this study may point to important issues for MOD15A2 in savannas concerning the underlying MODIS Land Cover product (MCD12Q1 and a potential adjustment by means of the MODIS Burned Area product (MCD45A1.

  4. Spatio-Temporal Dynamics in Land Use and Habitat Fragmentation within a Protected Area Dedicated to Tourism in a Sudanian Savanna of West Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dimobe Kangbéni


    Full Text Available Nazinga Game Ranch (NGR is a reserve in Burkina Faso involving local communities for securing biodiversity through sustainable management. Yet, its ecosystems are threatened by increasing number of elephants and illegal human activities. Renowned as a model of wildlife participatory management, NGR has mainly been studied for its animal wildlife only. The aim of this study was to uncover ecological effects of recent land management on savanna habitats including tourism, and to conclude on more sustainable options, land use/land cover (LULC changes and vegetation dynamics in NGR were analyzed. This was accomplished with multi-temporal change detection using Landsat images of 1984, 2002 and 2013 to map seven representative LULC classification categories, and quantitative indices of landscape metrics. The results showed that the LULC dynamics in NGR from 1984 to 2013 was mainly characterized by an expansion of gallery forest, tree savanna and agricultural area and a reduction of shrub savanna, woodland and bare soils. From 2002 to 2013, fragmentation in all land cover types increased at the landscape level, whereas at the class level, it decreased for woodland. Our findings provided evidence of habitat degradation in NGR, due to extensive agriculture, tourism and growing of elephants’ population. According to the original management goals and the purposes of the reserve, both fauna and tourism are to be maintained and sustained in a sustainable way. Adaptation of land use and targeted wildlife management are the main requirements for avoiding further degradation of vegetation and thus of the existence basis of local inhabitants, animals and tourism.

  5. Impact of savanna conversion to oil palm plantations on C stocks dynamics and soil fertility (United States)

    Quezada, Juan Carlos; Guillaume, Thomas; Buttler, Alexandre; Ruegg, Johanna


    Large-scale expansion of oil palm cultivation on forested land in South-East Asia during the last decades lead to high negative environmental impacts. Because rainforests store high amount of C, their conversion to oil palm plantations results in large net CO2 emissions. Oil palm cultivation in tropical ecosystems such as savanna that store less C than forests is seen as an alternative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of future oil palm development. While this option is more and more frequently mentioned, few data are available on the effective gain in C storage. Furthermore negative impact on soil organic carbon and soil fertility could offset gains of C storage in oil palm biomass. Here, we present results on aboveground and belowground C stocks and soil nutrient dynamics over a full rotation cycle of oil palm plantations established on tropical savanna grasslands. Three natural savanna grasslands as reference sites and 9 oil palm plantations ranging from two to twenty-seven years old were selected in the Llanos in Colombia. Oxisols were sampled down to 70 cm in each management zones of oil palm plantations (weeded circle, interrow, frond piles and harvesting path). Taking advantages of a shift from C4 to C3 vegetation, we quantified savanna-derived soil organic carbon (SOC) decomposition and oil palm-derived SOC stabilization rates and how they were affected by management practices (mineral fertilization, organic amendments, etc.). Results show that, in opposite to forest conversion, C storage increases when savannas are converted to oil palm plantations. Because soil C storage was very low in natural conditions, SOC changes had little effects on overall C storage. Substitution of savanna-derived SOC by oil palm-derived SOC was very fast in the topsoil and highest under frond pile and weeded circle where C and nutrients inputs are highest. However, stabilization of oil palm-derived SOC compensated loss of savanna-derived SOC rather than increased SOC stocks

  6. New Neotropical species of Prioninae and Cerambycinae (Cerambycidae)


    GALILEO, Maria Helena M.; MARTINS, Ubirajara R.


    Novas espécies descritas: Hovorelus adiectus sp. nov. (Anacolini) da Costa Rica; Stenoeme aguilari sp. nov. do Paraguai e Placoeme wappesi sp. nov. da Bolívia (Oemini); da Bahia, Brasil: Coeloxestia spinosa sp. nov. (Cerambycini, Sphallotrichina); Stizocera debilis sp. nov., Anelaphus bravoi sp. nov. (Elaphidionini) e Chydarteres formosus sp. nov. (Trachyderini).New Neotropical species of Prioninae and Cerambycinae (Cerambycidae). New species described: Hovorelus adiectus sp. nov. (Anacolini)...

  7. Pterandra pyroidea: a case of pollination shift within Neotropical Malpighiaceae (United States)

    Cappellari, Simone C.; Haleem, Muhammad A.; Marsaioli, Anita J.; Tidon, Rosana; Simpson, Beryl B.


    Background and Aims Most Neotropical species of Malpighiaceae produce floral fatty oils in calyx glands to attract pollinating oil-collecting bees, which depend on this resource for reproduction. This specialized type of pollination system tends to be lost in members of the family that occur outside the geographic distribution (e.g. Africa) of Neotropical oil-collecting bees. This study focused on the pollination ecology, chemical ecology and reproductive biology of an oil flower species, Pterandra pyroidea (Malpighiaceae) from the Brazilian Cerrado. Populations of this species consist of plants with oil-secreting (glandular) flowers, plants with non-oil-secreting flowers (eglandular) or a mix of both plant types. This study specifically aims to clarify the role of eglandular morphs in this species. Methods Data on pollinators were recorded by in situ observations. Breeding system experiments were conducted by isolating inflorescences and by enzymatic reactions. Floral resources, pollen and floral oils offered by this species were analysed by staining and a combination of various spectroscopic methods. Key Results Eglandular flowers of P. pyroidea do not act as mimics of their oil-producing conspecifics to attract pollinators. Instead, both oil-producing and oil-free flowers depend on pollen-collecting bees for reproduction, and their main pollinators are bumble-bees. Floral oils produced by glandular flowers are less complex than those described in closely related genera. Conclusions Eglandular flowers represent a shift in the pollination system in which oil is being lost and pollen is becoming the main reward of P. pyroidea flowers. Pollination shifts of this kind have hitherto not been demonstrated empirically within Neotropical Malpighiaceae and this species exhibits an unusual transition from a specialized towards a generalized pollination system in an area considered the hotspot of oil-collecting bee diversity in the Neotropics. Transitions of this type


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enrique Reyes-Novelo


    Full Text Available The present is a review about the use of wild bees as an indicator group in biodiversity and fragmentation studies. It describes the criteria used for the selection of bioindicator groups and it discusses the available information to evaluate if wild bees meet this criteria. The reviewed information suggests that wild bees comply with the requeriments for a suitable bioindicator group. Its use is recommended for Neotropical ecosystems.

  9. Molecular cloning and sequence analysis of growth hormone cDNA of Neotropical freshwater fish Pacu (Piaractus mesopotamicus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janeth Silva Pinheiro


    Full Text Available RT-PCR was used for amplifying Piaractus mesopotamicus growth hormone (GH cDNA obtained from mRNA extracted from pituitary cells. The amplified fragment was cloned and the complete cDNA sequence was determined. The cloned cDNA encompassed a sequence of 543 nucleotides that encoded a polypeptide of 178 amino acids corresponding to mature P. mesopotamicus GH. Comparison with other GH sequences showed a gap of 10 amino acids localized in the N terminus of the putative polypeptide of P. mesopotamicus. This same gap was also observed in other members of the family. Neighbor-joining tree analysis with GH sequences from fishes belonging to different taxonomic groups placed the P. mesopotamicus GH within the Otophysi group. To our knowledge, this is the first GH sequence of a Neotropical characiform fish deposited in GenBank.

  10. Impacts of landuse and climate change on the dynamics and biodiversity in the Thornbush Savanna Biome

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Jeltsch, F


    Full Text Available pressure on dryland ecosystem services takes place in regions of intermediate aridity and not, as might be expected, in dry subhumid ar- eas where population density is highest, or in hyperarid areas, where population is lowest. The high... of households (Ericson & Watson 2009). They can function as a model-region for a broad range of dry- lands, especially non-humid savannas, worldwide?in particular as projected climatic changes for most subhumid and semiarid savanna regions indicate major...

  11. Contribution of conservation genetics in assessing neotropical freshwater fish biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    NM. Piorski

    Full Text Available Human activities have a considerable impact on hydrographic systems and fish fauna. The present review on conservation genetics of neotropical freshwater fish reveals that DNA analyses have been promoting increased knowledge on the genetic structure of fish species and their response to environmental changes. This knowledge is fundamental to the management of wild fish populations and the establishment of Evolutionary Significant Units capable of conserving genetic integrity. While population structuring can occur even in long-distance migratory fish, isolated populations can show reduced genetic variation and be at greater risk of extinction. Phylogeography and phylogeny have been powerful tools in understanding the evolution of fish populations, species and communities in distinct neotropic environments. Captive fish can be used to introduce new individuals and genes into the wild and their benefits and disadvantages can be monitored through genetic analysis. Understanding how fish biodiversity in neotropical freshwaters is generated and maintained is highly important, as these habitats are transformed by human development and fish communities are increasingly exploited as food sources to sustain a growing human population.

  12. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    medium-sized handsome tree with a straight bole that branches at the top. Leaves are once pinnate, with two to three pairs of leaflets. Young parts of the tree are velvety. Inflorescence is a branched raceme borne at the branch ends. Flowers are large, white, attractive, and fragrant. Corolla is funnel-shaped. Fruit is an ...

  13. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Cassia siamia Lamk. (Siamese tree senna) of Caesalpiniaceae is a small or medium size handsome tree. Leaves are alternate, pinnately compound and glandular, upto 18 cm long with 8–12 pairs of leaflets. Inflorescence is axillary or terminal and branched. Flowering lasts for a long period from March to February. Fruit is ...

  14. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Flowering Trees. Cerbera manghasL. (SEA MANGO) of Apocynaceae is a medium-sized evergreen coastal tree with milky latex. The bark is grey-brown, thick and ... Fruit is large. (5–10 cm long), oval containing two flattened seeds and resembles a mango, hence the name Mangas or. Manghas. Leaves and fruits contain ...

  15. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)


    Flowering Trees. Gliricidia sepium(Jacq.) Kunta ex Walp. (Quickstick) of Fabaceae is a small deciduous tree with. Pinnately compound leaves. Flower are prroduced in large number in early summer on terminal racemes. They are attractive, pinkish-white and typically like bean flowers. Fruit is a few-seeded flat pod.

  16. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Flowering Trees. Acrocarpus fraxinifolius Wight & Arn. (PINK CEDAR, AUSTRALIAN ASH) of. Caesalpiniaceae is a lofty unarmed deciduous native tree that attains a height of 30–60m with buttresses. Bark is thin and light grey. Leaves are compound and bright red when young. Flowers in dense, erect, axillary racemes.

  17. Talking Trees (United States)

    Tolman, Marvin


    Students love outdoor activities and will love them even more when they build confidence in their tree identification and measurement skills. Through these activities, students will learn to identify the major characteristics of trees and discover how the pace--a nonstandard measuring unit--can be used to estimate not only distances but also the…

  18. Drawing Trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Halkjær From, Andreas; Schlichtkrull, Anders; Villadsen, Jørgen


    We formally prove in Isabelle/HOL two properties of an algorithm for laying out trees visually. The first property states that removing layout annotations recovers the original tree. The second property states that nodes are placed at least a unit of distance apart. We have yet to formalize three...

  19. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)


    Grevillea robusta A. Cunn. ex R. Br. (Sil- ver Oak) of Proteaceae is a daintily lacy ornamental tree while young and growing into a mighty tree (45 m). Young shoots are silvery grey and the leaves are fern- like. Flowers are golden-yellow in one- sided racemes (10 cm). Fruit is a boat- shaped, woody follicle.

  20. Sarchophagid flies (Insecta, Diptera from pig carcasses in Minas Gerais, Brazil, with nine new records from the Cerrado, a threatened Neotropical biome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cátia A. Mello-Patiu


    Full Text Available Sarchophagid flies (Insecta, Diptera from pig carcasses in Minas Gerais, Brazil, with nine new records from the Cerrado, a threatened Neotropical biome. The diversity of the Sarcophagidae fauna of the Cerrado biome, also know as the Brazilian Savanna, is still underestimated. In this research we collected flies in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, during a Forensic Entomology experiment. Samples were collected throughout the decomposition process of domestic pig (Sus scrofa Linnaeus carcasses, and the experiments were conducted in areas of pasture and semideciduous forest. A total of 85,694 adult flesh flies belonging to 57 species were collected from all carcasses. New records for nine species of Sarcophaginae are provided, including the first record of Blaesoxipha (Acridiophaga caridei (Brèthes, 1906 to Brazil, and new occurrences of the following species for the Cerrado and/or for the state of Minas Gerais: Blaesoxipha (Acanthodotheca acridiophagoides (Lopes & Downs, 1951, Malacophagomyia filamenta (Dodge, 1964, Nephochaetopteryx orbitalis (Curran & Walley, 1934, Nephochaetopteryx cyaneiventris Lopes, 1936, Nephochaetopteryx pallidiventris Townsend, 1934, Oxysarcodexia occulta Lopes, 1946, Ravinia effrenata (Walker, 1861 and Sarcophaga (Neobellieria polistensis (Hall, 1933.

  1. Wildlife survey and monitoring in the Sky Island Region with an emphasis on neotropical felids (United States)

    Sergio Avila-Villegas; Jessica Lamberton-Moreno


    The Sky Island region of southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico consists of isolated mountain ranges separated by deserts and grasslands. It mixes elements from five major ecosystems: the Rocky Mountains, Sierra Madre Occidental, the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts and the Neotropics. Here some Neotropical species reach their northern ranges, such as jaguars...

  2. Status of neotropical migrant landbirds in the Midwest: identifying species of management concern (United States)

    Frank R. Thompson; Stephen J. Lewis; Janet D. Green; David N. Ewert


    We ranked species of neotropical migrant landbirds by decreasing management concern for their viability in the Midwest. This was part of a coordinated effort by regional working groups of the Partners In Flight Program, an interagency program for the conservation of neotropical migratory birds (NTMBs). Species were ranked by seven criteria, developed by working group...

  3. USDA Forest Service goals and programs for monitoring neotropical migratory birds (United States)

    Patricia Manley


    The USDA Forest Service (USFS) developed goals, objectives, and guidelines for monitoring neotropical migratory birds (NTMB) on National Forest System lands in response to the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Program Partners in Flight. A USFS task group developed a hierarchical monitoring framework designed to define priorities for type of monitoring data....

  4. Subsocial Neotropical Doryphorini (Chrysomelidae, Chrysomelinae: new observations on behavior, host plants and systematics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donald M. Windsor


    Full Text Available A summary of literature, documented observations and field studies finds evidence that mothers actively defend offspring in at least eight species and three genera of Neotropical Chrysomelinae associated with two host plant families. Reports on three Doryphora species reveal that all are oviparous and feed on vines in the Apocyanaceae. Mothers in the two subsocial species defend eggs and larvae by straddling, blocking access at the petiole and greeting potential predators with leaf-shaking and jerky advances. A less aggressive form of maternal care is found in two Platyphora and four Proseicela species associated with Solanaceae, shrubs and small trees. For these and other morphologically similar taxa associated with Solanaceae, genetic distances support morphology-based taxonomy at the species level, reveal one new species, but raise questions regarding boundaries separating genera. We urge continued study of these magnificent insects, their enemies and their defenses, both behavioral and chemical, especially in forests along the eastern versant of the Central and South American cordillera.

  5. An estimate of the number of tropical tree species (United States)

    Slik, J. W. Ferry; Arroyo-Rodríguez, Víctor; Aiba, Shin-Ichiro; Alvarez-Loayza, Patricia; Alves, Luciana F.; Ashton, Peter; Balvanera, Patricia; Bastian, Meredith L.; Bellingham, Peter J.; van den Berg, Eduardo; Bernacci, Luis; da Conceição Bispo, Polyanna; Blanc, Lilian; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin; Boeckx, Pascal; Bongers, Frans; Boyle, Brad; Bradford, Matt; Brearley, Francis Q.; Breuer-Ndoundou Hockemba, Mireille; Bunyavejchewin, Sarayudh; Calderado Leal Matos, Darley; Castillo-Santiago, Miguel; Catharino, Eduardo L. M.; Chai, Shauna-Lee; Chen, Yukai; Colwell, Robert K.; Chazdon, Robin L.; Clark, Connie; Clark, David B.; Clark, Deborah A.; Culmsee, Heike; Damas, Kipiro; Dattaraja, Handanakere S.; Dauby, Gilles; Davidar, Priya; DeWalt, Saara J.; Doucet, Jean-Louis; Duque, Alvaro; Durigan, Giselda; Eichhorn, Karl A. O.; Eisenlohr, Pedro V.; Eler, Eduardo; Ewango, Corneille; Farwig, Nina; Feeley, Kenneth J.; Ferreira, Leandro; Field, Richard; de Oliveira Filho, Ary T.; Fletcher, Christine; Forshed, Olle; Franco, Geraldo; Fredriksson, Gabriella; Gillespie, Thomas; Gillet, Jean-François; Amarnath, Giriraj; Griffith, Daniel M.; Grogan, James; Gunatilleke, Nimal; Harris, David; Harrison, Rhett; Hector, Andy; Homeier, Jürgen; Imai, Nobuo; Itoh, Akira; Jansen, Patrick A.; Joly, Carlos A.; de Jong, Bernardus H. J.; Kartawinata, Kuswata; Kearsley, Elizabeth; Kelly, Daniel L.; Kenfack, David; Kessler, Michael; Kitayama, Kanehiro; Kooyman, Robert; Larney, Eileen; Laumonier, Yves; Laurance, Susan; Laurance, William F.; Lawes, Michael J.; do Amaral, Ieda Leao; Letcher, Susan G.; Lindsell, Jeremy; Lu, Xinghui; Mansor, Asyraf; Marjokorpi, Antti; Martin, Emanuel H.; Meilby, Henrik; Melo, Felipe P. L.; Metcalfe, Daniel J.; Medjibe, Vincent P.; Metzger, Jean Paul; Millet, Jerome; Mohandass, D.; Montero, Juan C.; de Morisson Valeriano, Márcio; Mugerwa, Badru; Nagamasu, Hidetoshi; Nilus, Reuben; Ochoa-Gaona, Susana; Onrizal; Page, Navendu; Parolin, Pia; Parren, Marc; Parthasarathy, Narayanaswamy; Paudel, Ekananda; Permana, Andrea; Piedade, Maria T. F.; Pitman, Nigel C. A.; Poorter, Lourens; Poulsen, Axel D.; Poulsen, John; Powers, Jennifer; Prasad, Rama C.; Puyravaud, Jean-Philippe; Razafimahaimodison, Jean-Claude; Reitsma, Jan; dos Santos, João Roberto; Roberto Spironello, Wilson; Romero-Saltos, Hugo; Rovero, Francesco; Rozak, Andes Hamuraby; Ruokolainen, Kalle; Rutishauser, Ervan; Saiter, Felipe; Saner, Philippe; Santos, Braulio A.; Santos, Fernanda; Sarker, Swapan K.; Satdichanh, Manichanh; Schmitt, Christine B.; Schöngart, Jochen; Schulze, Mark; Suganuma, Marcio S.; Sheil, Douglas; da Silva Pinheiro, Eduardo; Sist, Plinio; Stevart, Tariq; Sukumar, Raman; Sun, I.-Fang; Sunderland, Terry; Suresh, H. S.; Suzuki, Eizi; Tabarelli, Marcelo; Tang, Jangwei; Targhetta, Natália; Theilade, Ida; Thomas, Duncan W.; Tchouto, Peguy; Hurtado, Johanna; Valencia, Renato; van Valkenburg, Johan L. C. H.; Van Do, Tran; Vasquez, Rodolfo; Verbeeck, Hans; Adekunle, Victor; Vieira, Simone A.; Webb, Campbell O.; Whitfeld, Timothy; Wich, Serge A.; Williams, John; Wittmann, Florian; Wöll, Hannsjoerg; Yang, Xiaobo; Adou Yao, C. Yves; Yap, Sandra L.; Yoneda, Tsuyoshi; Zahawi, Rakan A.; Zakaria, Rahmad; Zang, Runguo; de Assis, Rafael L.; Garcia Luize, Bruno; Venticinque, Eduardo M.


    The high species richness of tropical forests has long been recognized, yet there remains substantial uncertainty regarding the actual number of tropical tree species. Using a pantropical tree inventory database from closed canopy forests, consisting of 657,630 trees belonging to 11,371 species, we use a fitted value of Fisher’s alpha and an approximate pantropical stem total to estimate the minimum number of tropical forest tree species to fall between ∼40,000 and ∼53,000, i.e., at the high end of previous estimates. Contrary to common assumption, the Indo-Pacific region was found to be as species-rich as the Neotropics, with both regions having a minimum of ∼19,000–25,000 tree species. Continental Africa is relatively depauperate with a minimum of ∼4,500–6,000 tree species. Very few species are shared among the African, American, and the Indo-Pacific regions. We provide a methodological framework for estimating species richness in trees that may help refine species richness estimates of tree-dependent taxa. PMID:26034279

  6. Assessment of Aboveground Woody Biomass Dynamics Using Terrestrial Laser Scanner and L-Band ALOS PALSAR Data in South African Savanna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor Onyango Odipo


    volume scattering of woody vegetation along river valleys and streams. The AGB change analysis showed 32 ha (3.5% of the 900 ha experienced AGB loses above an average of 5 t/ha per annum, which can mainly be attributed to the falling of trees by mega herbivores such as elephants. The study concludes that SAR data, especially L-band SAR, can be used in the detection of small changes in savanna vegetation over time.

  7. Phylogenetic trees


    Baños, Hector; Bushek, Nathaniel; Davidson, Ruth; Gross, Elizabeth; Harris, Pamela E.; Krone, Robert; Long, Colby; Stewart, Allen; Walker, Robert


    We introduce the package PhylogeneticTrees for Macaulay2 which allows users to compute phylogenetic invariants for group-based tree models. We provide some background information on phylogenetic algebraic geometry and show how the package PhylogeneticTrees can be used to calculate a generating set for a phylogenetic ideal as well as a lower bound for its dimension. Finally, we show how methods within the package can be used to compute a generating set for the join of any two ideals.

  8. Termites create spatial structure and govern ecosystem function by affecting N2 fixation in an East African savanna. (United States)

    Fox-Dobbs, Kena; Doak, Daniel F; Brody, Alison K; Palmer, Todd M


    The mechanisms by which even the clearest of keystone or dominant species exert community-wide effects are only partially understood in most ecosystems. This is especially true when a species or guild influences community-wide interactions via changes in the abiotic landscape. Using stable isotope analyses, we show that subterranean termites in an East African savanna strongly influence a key ecosystem process: atmospheric nitrogen fixation by a monodominant tree species and its bacterial symbionts. Specifically, we applied the 15N natural abundance method in combination with other biogeochemical analyses to assess levels of nitrogen fixation by Acacia drepanolobium and its effects on co-occurring grasses and forbs in areas near and far from mounds and where ungulates were or were not excluded. We find that termites exert far stronger effects than do herbivores on nitrogen fixation. The percentage of nitrogen derived from fixation in Acacia drepanolobium trees is higher (55-80%) away from mounds vs. near mounds (40-50%). Mound soils have higher levels of plant available nitrogen, and Acacia drepanolobium may preferentially utilize soil-based nitrogen sources in lieu of fixed nitrogen when these sources are readily available near termite mounds. At the scale of the landscape, our models predict that termite/soil derived nitrogen sources influence >50% of the Acacia drepanolobium trees in our system. Further, the spatial extent of these effects combine with the spacing of termite mounds to create highly regular patterning in nitrogen fixation rates, resulting in marked habitat heterogeneity in an otherwise uniform landscape. In summary, we show that termite-associated effects on nitrogen processes are not only stronger than those of more apparent large herbivores in the same system, but also occur in a highly regular spatial pattern, potentially adding to their importance as drivers of community and ecosystem structure.

  9. Phylogenetics and diversification of tanagers (Passeriformes: Thraupidae), the largest radiation of Neotropical songbirds. (United States)

    Burns, Kevin J; Shultz, Allison J; Title, Pascal O; Mason, Nicholas A; Barker, F Keith; Klicka, John; Lanyon, Scott M; Lovette, Irby J


    Thraupidae is the second largest family of birds and represents about 4% of all avian species and 12% of the Neotropical avifauna. Species in this family display a wide range of plumage colors and patterns, foraging behaviors, vocalizations, ecotypes, and habitat preferences. The lack of a complete phylogeny for tanagers has hindered the study of this evolutionary diversity. Here, we present a comprehensive, species-level phylogeny for tanagers using six molecular markers. Our analyses identified 13 major clades of tanagers that we designate as subfamilies. In addition, two species are recognized as distinct branches on the tanager tree. Our topologies disagree in many places with previous estimates of relationships within tanagers, and many long-recognized genera are not monophyletic in our analyses. Our trees identify several cases of convergent evolution in plumage ornaments and bill morphology, and two cases of social mimicry. The phylogeny produced by this study provides a robust framework for studying macroevolutionary patterns and character evolution. We use our new phylogeny to study diversification processes, and find that tanagers show a background model of exponentially declining diversification rates. Thus, the evolution of tanagers began with an initial burst of diversification followed by a rate slowdown. In addition to this background model, two later, clade-specific rate shifts are supported, one increase for Darwin's finches and another increase for some species of Sporophila. The rate of diversification within these two groups is exceptional, even when compared to the overall rapid rate of diversification found within tanagers. This study provides the first robust assessment of diversification rates for the Darwin's finches in the context of the larger group within which they evolved. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Mechanosensing of stem bending and its interspecific variability in five neotropical rainforest species. (United States)

    Coutand, Catherine; Chevolot, Malia; Lacointe, André; Rowe, Nick; Scotti, Ivan


    In rain forests, sapling survival is highly dependent on the regulation of trunk slenderness (height/diameter ratio): shade-intolerant species have to grow in height as fast as possible to reach the canopy but also have to withstand mechanical loadings (wind and their own weight) to avoid buckling. Recent studies suggest that mechanosensing is essential to control tree dimensions and stability-related morphogenesis. Differences in species slenderness have been observed among rainforest trees; the present study thus investigates whether species with different slenderness and growth habits exhibit differences in mechanosensitivity. Recent studies have led to a model of mechanosensing (sum-of-strains model) that predicts a quantitative relationship between the applied sum of longitudinal strains and the plant's responses in the case of a single bending. Saplings of five different neotropical species (Eperua falcata, E. grandiflora, Tachigali melinonii, Symphonia globulifera and Bauhinia guianensis) were subjected to a regimen of controlled mechanical loading phases (bending) alternating with still phases over a period of 2 months. Mechanical loading was controlled in terms of strains and the five species were subjected to the same range of sum of strains. The application of the sum-of-strain model led to a dose-response curve for each species. Dose-response curves were then compared between tested species. The model of mechanosensing (sum-of-strain model) applied in the case of multiple bending as long as the bending frequency was low. A comparison of dose-response curves for each species demonstrated differences in the stimulus threshold, suggesting two groups of responses among the species. Interestingly, the liana species B. guianensis exhibited a higher threshold than other Leguminosae species tested. This study provides a conceptual framework to study variability in plant mechanosensing and demonstrated interspecific variability in mechanosensing.

  11. Electron Tree

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Appelt, Ane L; Rønde, Heidi S


    The photo shows a close-up of a Lichtenberg figure – popularly called an “electron tree” – produced in a cylinder of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). Electron trees are created by irradiating a suitable insulating material, in this case PMMA, with an intense high energy electron beam. Upon discharge......, during dielectric breakdown in the material, the electrons generate branching chains of fractures on leaving the PMMA, producing the tree pattern seen. To be able to create electron trees with a clinical linear accelerator, one needs to access the primary electron beam used for photon treatments. We...... appropriated a linac that was being decommissioned in our department and dismantled the head to circumvent the target and ion chambers. This is one of 24 electron trees produced before we had to stop the fun and allow the rest of the accelerator to be disassembled....

  12. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)


    shaped corolla. Fruit is large, ellipsoidal, green with a hard and smooth shell containing numerous flattened seeds, which are embedded in fleshy pulp. Calabash tree is commonly grown in the tropical gardens of the world as a botanical oddity.

  13. Nutrient and Light Limitations on Grass Productivity in a Southern African Savanna (United States)

    Ries, L. P.; Shugart, H. H.; Caylor, K. K.; Okin, G. S.; Kgope, B.


    Despite the ubiquity of sub-tropical savannas throughout the earth, limitations of savanna productivity are understudied relative to other terrestrial systems. In particular, there has been little attention on the role of phosphorus (P) in savanna productivity and structure. This study examined the role of increased nitrogen (N) and P in grass productivity in a woodland savanna in Botswana. We added aqueous forms of N and P individually and together to selected grasses. During the following growing season we measured foliar nutrient concentrations, aboveground biomass productivity and photosynthetic response at various levels of incident photosynthetically active radiation to estimate the productivity response. As expected, we observed an increase in foliar P concentrations in P and N+P treatments. However, there was no increase in foliar N for any treatments. We also observed a significant increase in net carbon assimilation and Amax for all treatments relative to the control grasses. Despite a higher rate of leaf level carbon assimilation in the N treatment, the aboveground biomass production was smaller than that of the N+P treatment. These results suggest that the aboveground productivity of these woodland savanna grasses is limited by both N and P. Additionally, under constant CO2 availability, photosynthesis appears to be limited by nutrients for light levels greater than 500 μmol m-2s-1. This research will help broaden our understanding of the biogeochemical processes that govern savanna productivity. Ultimately, these data can be used to model canopy productivity and ecological succession of savannas under scenarios in which bush encroachment and desertification may alter light and nutrients availability.

  14. A Review of Neotropical Myxomycetes (1828-2008

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lado, Carlos


    Full Text Available A synthesis of the accumulated knowledge on myxomycetes recorded from the Neotropical region is presented in this paper. The biodiversity of these microorganisms in the Neotropics has been underestimated, and this paper shows that half the known species in the world have been recorded from the region. The monograph by M.L. Farr, for the series Flora Neotropica, published in 1976, has been taken as a baseline. The records produced after this date, some older obscure records, and data from recently published catalogues, monographs and other papers have been incorporated. The information is presented in a table format by species and countries. Species names are listed with synonyms that have been used in Neotropical literature and nomenclature has been updated. A comprehensive list of references by country has been included. A characteristic assemblage of myxomycetes from the Neotropics has been identified. The richness of myxobiota in different countries has been evaluated, and gaps in current information and unexplored areas have become evident from the results. Use of the compiled information to direct conservation plans, and to serve as a starting point to establish and develop future strategies for the study of myxomycetes in this area of the world, is discussed. The importance of prioritizing this research on microorganismal biodiversity, in view of accelerated habitat destruction, is stressed.Se realiza una síntesis sobre el conocimiento actual de los Myxomycetes en el Neotrópico. La biodiversidad de estos microorganismos en la región neotropical ha sido subestimada, pero este trabajo demuestra que la mitad de las especies conocidas en el mundo se han citado de esta región. La monografía que M.L. Farr publicó en 1976, para la serie Flora Neotrópica, se ha tomado como punto de partida para la realización de este trabajo. A ella se han incorporado las citas publicadas después de esta fecha, algunas más antiguas pero raras, y datos de

  15. The neotropical species of Xanthopimpla Saussure (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae: Pimplinae). (United States)

    Gómez, Isrrael C; Sääksjärvi, Ilari E; Broad, Gavin R; Puhakka, Liisa; Castillo, Carol; Peña, Carlos; Pádua, Diego G


    Xanthopimpla Saussure, 1892 is one of the largest and best studied genera of the family Ichneumonidae. It is most species rich in the Oriental and Afrotropical regions with only a few species occurring in Central and South America. The present study reviews the Neotropical species of the genus including descriptions of four new species from Amazonia and Northeast South America. We define a new species group: the amazonica species-group, to accommodate the following five species: X. amazonica Gómez, Sääksjärvi & Veijalainen, X. guianensis Gómez & Sääksjärvi sp. n., X. jussilai Veijalainen, Sääksjärvi & Broad, X. pucallpensis Gómez & Sääksjärvi sp. n. and X. vidali Gómez sp. n. The aurita species-group, which had hitherto been regarded as the only species-group in the Neotropical region, is currently represented by five species: X. allpahuaya Gómez & Sääksjärvi sp. n., X. aurita Krieger, X. craspedoptera Krieger, X. rhabdomera Townes and X. spiloptera Krieger. The Andean species X. peruana Krieger is established as an unplaced species outside of the amazonica and aurita species-groups. A key to Neotropical species-groups and species of Xanthopimpla is provided. Xanthopimpla aurita is recorded for the first time from Ecuador and Colombia and its extensive distribution is discussed. Xanthopimpla amazonica, X. craspedoptera and X. jussilai are recorded for the first time from Brazil; X. amazonica is recorded for the first time from French Guiana; X. spiloptera is recorded for the first time from French Guiana and Peru, and X. rhabdomera is recorded for the first time from Peru. 

  16. Psittacid herpesviruses associated with mucosal papillomas in neotropical parrots

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Styles, Darrel K.; Tomaszewski, Elizabeth K.; Jaeger, Laurie A.; Phalen, David N.


    Mucosal papillomas are relatively common lesions in several species of captive neotropical parrots. They cause considerable morbidity and in some cases, result in mortality. Previous efforts to identify papillomavirus DNA and proteins in these lesions have been largely unsuccessful. In contrast, increasing evidence suggests that mucosal papillomas may contain psittacid herpesviruses (PsHVs). In this study, 41 papillomas from 30 neotropical parrots were examined by PCR with PsHV-specific primers. All 41 papillomas were found to contain PsHV DNA. This 100% prevalence of PsHV infection in the papilloma population was found to be significantly higher than PsHV infection prevalence observed in other surveys of captive parrots. PsHV genotypes 1, 2, and 3, but not 4 were found in these lesions. Psittacus erithacus papillomavirus DNA and finch papillomavirus DNA were not found in the papillomas. A papilloma from a hyacinth macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) was found to contain cells that had immunoreactivity to antiserum made to the common antigenic region of human papillomavirus (HPV) L1 major capsid protein. However, four other mucosal papillomas were negative for this immunoreactivity, and negative control tissues from a parrot embryo showed a similar staining pattern to that seen in the cloaca papilloma of the hyacinth macaw, strongly suggesting that the staining seen in hyacinth macaw papilloma was nonspecific. Based on these findings, it was concluded that specific genotypes of PsHV play a direct role in the development of mucosal papillomas of neotropical parrots and there is no evidence to suggest the concurrent presence of a papillomavirus in these lesions

  17. Molecular Ecological Insights into Neotropical Bird-Tick Interactions. (United States)

    Miller, Matthew J; Esser, Helen J; Loaiza, Jose R; Herre, Edward Allen; Aguilar, Celestino; Quintero, Diomedes; Alvarez, Eric; Bermingham, Eldredge


    In the tropics, ticks parasitize many classes of vertebrate hosts. However, because many tropical tick species are only identifiable in the adult stage, and these adults usually parasitize mammals, most attention on the ecology of tick-host interactions has focused on mammalian hosts. In contrast, immature Neotropical ticks are often found on wild birds, yet difficulties in identifying immatures hinder studies of birds' role in tropical tick ecology and tick-borne disease transmission. In Panama, we found immature ticks on 227 out of 3,498 individually-sampled birds representing 93 host species (24% of the bird species sampled, and 13% of the Panamanian land bird fauna). Tick parasitism rates did not vary with rainfall or temperature, but did vary significantly with several host ecological traits. Likewise, Neotropical-Nearctic migratory birds were significantly less likely to be infested than resident species. Using a molecular library developed from morphologically-identified adult ticks specifically for this study, we identified eleven tick species parasitizing birds, indicating that a substantial portion of the Panamanian avian species pool is parasitized by a diversity of tick species. Tick species that most commonly parasitized birds had the widest diversity of avian hosts, suggesting that immature tick species are opportunistic bird parasites. Although certain avian ecological traits are positively associated with parasitism, we found no evidence that individual tick species show specificity to particular avian host ecological traits. Finally, our data suggest that the four principal vectors of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in the Neotropics rarely, if ever, parasitize Panamanian birds. However, other tick species that harbor newly-discovered rickettsial parasites of unknown pathogenicity are frequently found on these birds. Given our discovery of broad interaction between Panamanian tick and avian biodiversity, future work on tick ecology and the dynamics of

  18. Molecular Ecological Insights into Neotropical Bird-Tick Interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J Miller

    Full Text Available In the tropics, ticks parasitize many classes of vertebrate hosts. However, because many tropical tick species are only identifiable in the adult stage, and these adults usually parasitize mammals, most attention on the ecology of tick-host interactions has focused on mammalian hosts. In contrast, immature Neotropical ticks are often found on wild birds, yet difficulties in identifying immatures hinder studies of birds' role in tropical tick ecology and tick-borne disease transmission. In Panama, we found immature ticks on 227 out of 3,498 individually-sampled birds representing 93 host species (24% of the bird species sampled, and 13% of the Panamanian land bird fauna. Tick parasitism rates did not vary with rainfall or temperature, but did vary significantly with several host ecological traits. Likewise, Neotropical-Nearctic migratory birds were significantly less likely to be infested than resident species. Using a molecular library developed from morphologically-identified adult ticks specifically for this study, we identified eleven tick species parasitizing birds, indicating that a substantial portion of the Panamanian avian species pool is parasitized by a diversity of tick species. Tick species that most commonly parasitized birds had the widest diversity of avian hosts, suggesting that immature tick species are opportunistic bird parasites. Although certain avian ecological traits are positively associated with parasitism, we found no evidence that individual tick species show specificity to particular avian host ecological traits. Finally, our data suggest that the four principal vectors of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in the Neotropics rarely, if ever, parasitize Panamanian birds. However, other tick species that harbor newly-discovered rickettsial parasites of unknown pathogenicity are frequently found on these birds. Given our discovery of broad interaction between Panamanian tick and avian biodiversity, future work on tick ecology

  19. Changes in Carbon Emissions in Colombian Savannas Derived From Recent Land use and Land Cover Change (United States)

    Etter, A.; Sarmiento, A.


    The global contribution of carbon emissions from land use dynamics and change to the global carbon (C) cycle is still uncertain, a major concern in global change modeling. Carbon emission from fires in the tropics is significant and represents 9% of the net primary production, and 50% of worldwide C emissions from fires are attributable to savanna fires. Such emissions may vary significantly due to differences in ecosystem types. Most savanna areas are devoted to grazing land uses making methane emissions also important in savanna ecosystems. Land use change driven by intensification of grazing and cropping has become a major factor affecting C emission dynamics from savanna regions. Colombia has some 17 MHa of mesic savannas which have been historically burned. Due to changes in market demands and improved accessibility during the last 20 years, important areas of savannas changed land use from predominantly extensive grazing to crops and intensive grazing systems. This research models and evaluates the impacts of such land use changes on the spatial and temporal burning patterns and C emissions in the Orinoco savannas of Colombia. We address the effects of land use change patterns using remote sensing data from MODIS and Landsat, ecosystem mapping products, and spatial GIS analysis. First we map the expansion of the agricultural frontier from the 1980s-2000s. We then model the changes in land use from the 1980s using a statistical modeling approach to analyze and quantify the impact of accessibility, ecosystem type and land tenure. We calculate the effects on C emissions from fire regimes and other sources of C based on patterns and extent of burned areas in the 2000s for different savanna ecosystem types and land uses. In the Llanos the fire regime exhibits a marked seasonal variability with most fire events occurring during the dry season between December-March. Our analysis shows that fire frequencies vary consistently between 0.6 and 2.8 fires.yr-1 per 2

  20. The origin and distribution of neotropical species of Campylopus


    Frahm, Jan-Peter


    Of the 65 species of Campylopus known from tropical America, 33 are andine in distribution, 16 are found only in SE Brazil, 8 have wide ranges through Central and South America, 3 species are disjunct in SE-North America and Brazil, 3 are confined to the Caribbean and one species belongs to the circum-pacific and one to the tethyan element. For different parts of the Neotropics, the composition of phytogeographical elements is calculated. For the first time, bryophyte distributions are compar...

  1. Western equatorial African forest-savanna mosaics: a legacy of late Holocene climatic change?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Ngomanda


    Full Text Available Past vegetation and climate changes reconstructed using two pollen records from Lakes Maridor and Nguène, located in the coastal savannas and inland rainforest of Gabon, respectively, provide new insights into the environmental history of western equatorial African rainforests during the last 4500 cal yr BP. These pollen records indicate that the coastal savannas of western equatorial Africa did not exist during the mid-Holocene and instead the region was covered by evergreen rainforests. From ca. 4000 cal yr BP a progressive decline of inland evergreen rainforest, accompanied by the expansion of semi-deciduous rainforest, occurred synchronously with grassland colonisation in the coastal region of Gabon. The contraction of moist evergreen rainforest and the establishment of coastal savannas in Gabon suggest decreasing humidity from ca. 4000 cal yr BP. The marked reduction in evergreen rainforest and subsequent savanna expansion was followed from 2700 cal yr BP by the colonization of secondary forests dominated by the palm, Elaeis guineensis, and the shrub, Alchornea cordifolia (Euphorbiaceae. A return to wetter climatic conditions from about 1400 cal yr BP led to the renewed spread of evergreen rainforest inland, whereas a forest-savanna mosaic still persists in the coastal region. There is no evidence to suggest that the major environmental changes observed were driven by human impact.

  2. IDESSA: An Integrative Decision Support System for Sustainable Rangeland Management in Southern African Savannas (United States)

    Meyer, Hanna; Authmann, Christian; Dreber, Niels; Hess, Bastian; Kellner, Klaus; Morgenthal, Theunis; Nauss, Thomas; Seeger, Bernhard; Tsvuura, Zivanai; Wiegand, Kerstin


    Bush encroachment is a syndrome of land degradation that occurs in many savannas including those of southern Africa. The increase in density, cover or biomass of woody vegetation often has negative effects on a range of ecosystem functions and services, which are hardly reversible. However, despite its importance, neither the causes of bush encroachment, nor the consequences of different resource management strategies to combat or mitigate related shifts in savanna states are fully understood. The project "IDESSA" (An Integrative Decision Support System for Sustainable Rangeland Management in Southern African Savannas) aims to improve the understanding of the complex interplays between land use, climate patterns and vegetation dynamics and to implement an integrative monitoring and decision-support system for the sustainable management of different savanna types. For this purpose, IDESSA follows an innovative approach that integrates local knowledge, botanical surveys, remote-sensing and machine-learning based time-series of atmospheric and land-cover dynamics, spatially explicit simulation modeling and analytical database management. The integration of the heterogeneous data will be implemented in a user oriented database infrastructure and scientific workflow system. Accessible via web-based interfaces, this database and analysis system will allow scientists to manage and analyze monitoring data and scenario computations, as well as allow stakeholders (e. g. land users, policy makers) to retrieve current ecosystem information and seasonal outlooks. We present the concept of the project and show preliminary results of the realization steps towards the integrative savanna management and decision-support system.

  3. Spatial pattern enhances ecosystem functioning in an African savanna. (United States)

    Pringle, Robert M; Doak, Daniel F; Brody, Alison K; Jocqué, Rudy; Palmer, Todd M


    The finding that regular spatial patterns can emerge in nature from local interactions between organisms has prompted a search for the ecological importance of these patterns. Theoretical models have predicted that patterning may have positive emergent effects on fundamental ecosystem functions, such as productivity. We provide empirical support for this prediction. In dryland ecosystems, termite mounds are often hotspots of plant growth (primary productivity). Using detailed observations and manipulative experiments in an African savanna, we show that these mounds are also local hotspots of animal abundance (secondary and tertiary productivity): insect abundance and biomass decreased with distance from the nearest termite mound, as did the abundance, biomass, and reproductive output of insect-eating predators. Null-model analyses indicated that at the landscape scale, the evenly spaced distribution of termite mounds produced dramatically greater abundance, biomass, and reproductive output of consumers across trophic levels than would be obtained in landscapes with randomly distributed mounds. These emergent properties of spatial pattern arose because the average distance from an arbitrarily chosen point to the nearest feature in a landscape is minimized in landscapes where the features are hyper-dispersed (i.e., uniformly spaced). This suggests that the linkage between patterning and ecosystem functioning will be common to systems spanning the range of human management intensities. The centrality of spatial pattern to system-wide biomass accumulation underscores the need to conserve pattern-generating organisms and mechanisms, and to incorporate landscape patterning in efforts to restore degraded habitats and maximize the delivery of ecosystem services.

  4. Stable oxygen isotope and flux partitioning demonstrates understory of an oak savanna contributes up to half of ecosystem carbon and water exchange

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maren eDubbert


    Full Text Available Semi-arid ecosystems contribute about 40% to global net primary production (GPP even though water is a major factor limiting carbon uptake. Evapotranspiration (ET accounts for up to 95% of the water loss and in addition, vegetation can also mitigate drought effects by altering soil water distribution. Hence, partitioning of carbon and water fluxes between the soil and vegetation components is crucial to gain mechanistic understanding of vegetation effects on carbon and water cycling. However, the possible impact of herbaceous vegetation in savanna type ecosystems is often overlooked. Therefore, we aimed at quantifying understory vegetation effects on the water balance and productivity of a Mediterranean oak savanna. ET and net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE were partitioned based on flux and stable oxygen isotope measurements and also rain infiltration was estimated.The understory vegetation contributed importantly to total ecosystem ET and GPP with a maximum of 43% and 51%, respectively. It reached water-use efficiencies (WUE; ratio of carbon gain by water loss similar to cork-oak trees. The understory vegetation inhibited soil evaporation (E and, although E was large during wet periods, it did not diminish WUE during water-limited times. The understory strongly increased soil water infiltration, specifically following major rain events. At the same time, the understory itself was vulnerable to drought, which led to an earlier senescence of the understory growing under trees as compared to open areas, due to competition for water. Thus, beneficial understory effects are dominant and contribute to the resilience of this ecosystem. At the same time the vulnerability of the understory to drought suggests that future climate change scenarios for the Mediterranean basin threaten understory development. This in turn will very likely diminish beneficial understory effects like infiltration and ground water recharge and therefore ecosystem resilience to

  5. Microbial properties and litter and soil nutrients after two prescribed fires in developing savannas in an upland Missouri Ozark Forest (United States)

    Felix, Jr. Ponder; Mahasin Tadros; Edward F. Loewenstein


    On some landscapes periodic fire may be necessary to develop and maintain oak-dominated savannas. We studied the effects of two annual prescribed burns to determine their effect on microbial activity and soil and litter nutrients 1 year after the last burn. Surface litter and soil from the upper 0?5 cm soil layer in three developing savannas (oak-hickory, ...

  6. Bird species and numbers of birds in oak savannas of the Southwestern Borderlands region including effects of burning (United States)

    Peter F. Ffolliott; Hui Chen; Gerald J. Gottfried


    Oak savannas of the Southwestern Borderlands region provide food, cover, and sites for nesting, roosting, and perching for a diversity of bird species. The results of a five-year (2003-2007) study of bird species, numbers of birds, and their diversities in the naturally occurring (unburned) oak savannas of the region are reported in this paper. Effects of cool-season...

  7. Eastern wood-pewee (Contopus virens) breeding demography across a gradient of savanna, woodland, and forest in the Missouri Ozarks (United States)

    Sarah W. Kendrick; Frank R. Thompson; Jennifer L. Reidy


    Better knowledge of bird response to savanna and woodland restoration is needed to inform management of these communities. We related temporal and habitat variables to breeding demography and densities of the Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus virens) across a gradient of savanna, woodland, and forest. We determined nest success, clutch size, young fledged...

  8. Beneficial Effects of Ants and Spiders on the Reproductive Value of Eriotheca gracilipes (Malvaceae) in a Tropical Savanna. (United States)

    Stefani, Vanessa; Pires, Tayna Lopes; Torezan-Silingardi, Helena Maura; Del-Claro, Kleber


    Predators affect plant fitness when they forage on them and reduce the action of herbivores. Our study evaluates the complementary effects of spiders and ants that visit the extrafloral nectaries of Eriotheca gracilipes (Malvaceae) on the production of fruits and viable seeds of these savanna trees. Four experimental groups were established: control group - with free access of spiders and ants; exclusion group - spiders and ants excluded; ant group - absence of spiders; and spider group - absence of ants. The presence of ants reduced the spider richness; however, the presence of spiders did not affect the ant richness. A significantly higher number of fruits per buds were found in the presence of spiders alone or spiders and ants together (control group) compared with the absence of both predators (exclusion group). The number of seeds per fruits and seed viability were higher in the control group. This is the first study showing that spiders and ants may exert a positive and complementary effect on the reproductive value of an extrafloral nectaried plant. Mostly the impact of ants and/or spiders on herbivores is considered, whereas our study reinforces the importance of evaluating the effect of multiple predators simultaneously, exploring how the interactions among predators with distinct skills may affect the herbivores and the plants on which they forage.

  9. Biodiversity, threats and conservation challenges in the Cerrado of Amapá, an Amazonian savanna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen Mustin


    Full Text Available An Amazonian savanna in northern Brazil known as the Cerrado of Amapá is under imminent threat from poor land-use planning, the expansion of large-scale agriculture and other anthropogenic pressures. These savannas house a rich and unique flora and fauna, including endemic plants and animals. However, the area remains under-sampled for most taxa, and better sampling may uncover new species. We estimate that only ~9.16% of these habitats have any kind of protection, and legislative changes threaten to further weaken or remove this protection. Here we present the status of knowledge concerning the biodiversity of the Cerrado of Amapá, its conservation status, and the main threats to the conservation of this Amazonian savanna. To secure the future of these unique and imperilled habitats, we suggest urgent expansion of protected areas, as well as measures that would promote less-damaging land uses to support the local population.

  10. Neotropical peatland methane emissions along a vegetation and biogeochemical gradient. (United States)

    Winton, R Scott; Flanagan, Neal; Richardson, Curtis J


    Tropical wetlands are thought to be the most important source of interannual variability in atmospheric methane (CH4) concentrations, yet sparse data prevents them from being incorporated into Earth system models. This problem is particularly pronounced in the neotropics where bottom-up models based on water table depth are incongruent with top-down inversion models suggesting unaccounted sinks or sources of CH4. The newly documented vast areas of peatlands in the Amazon basin may account for an important unrecognized CH4 source, but the hydrologic and biogeochemical controls of CH4 dynamics from these systems remain poorly understood. We studied three zones of a peatland in Madre de Dios, Peru, to test whether CH4 emissions and pore water concentrations varied with vegetation community, soil chemistry and proximity to groundwater sources. We found that the open-canopy herbaceous zone emitted roughly one-third as much CH4 as the Mauritia flexuosa palm-dominated areas (4.7 ± 0.9 and 14.0 ± 2.4 mg CH4 m-2 h-1, respectively). Emissions decreased with distance from groundwater discharge across the three sampling sites, and tracked changes in soil carbon chemistry, especially increased soil phenolics. Based on all available data, we calculate that neotropical peatlands contribute emissions of 43 ± 11.9 Tg CH4 y-1, however this estimate is subject to geographic bias and will need revision once additional studies are published.

  11. Neotropical peatland methane emissions along a vegetation and biogeochemical gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R Scott Winton

    Full Text Available Tropical wetlands are thought to be the most important source of interannual variability in atmospheric methane (CH4 concentrations, yet sparse data prevents them from being incorporated into Earth system models. This problem is particularly pronounced in the neotropics where bottom-up models based on water table depth are incongruent with top-down inversion models suggesting unaccounted sinks or sources of CH4. The newly documented vast areas of peatlands in the Amazon basin may account for an important unrecognized CH4 source, but the hydrologic and biogeochemical controls of CH4 dynamics from these systems remain poorly understood. We studied three zones of a peatland in Madre de Dios, Peru, to test whether CH4 emissions and pore water concentrations varied with vegetation community, soil chemistry and proximity to groundwater sources. We found that the open-canopy herbaceous zone emitted roughly one-third as much CH4 as the Mauritia flexuosa palm-dominated areas (4.7 ± 0.9 and 14.0 ± 2.4 mg CH4 m-2 h-1, respectively. Emissions decreased with distance from groundwater discharge across the three sampling sites, and tracked changes in soil carbon chemistry, especially increased soil phenolics. Based on all available data, we calculate that neotropical peatlands contribute emissions of 43 ± 11.9 Tg CH4 y-1, however this estimate is subject to geographic bias and will need revision once additional studies are published.

  12. Floral structure in the neotropical palm genus Chamaedorea (Arecoideae, Arecaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stauffer, Fred W.


    Full Text Available Male and female floral structure has been studied in 28 species of Chamaedorea, the largest palm genus present in the Neotropics. The taxa investigated represent all subgenera according to the most recent taxonomic revision of the group. Morphological, histological and cytological features that are known to be of importance for interactions with visiting insects were studied and their putative role in protecting the flowering parts assessed. The taxonomic distribution of selected characters is in some cases congruent with relationships inferred by recently published molecular studies within the group.Se ha estudiado la estructura de las flores masculinas y femeninas en 28 especies de Chamaedorea, el género de palmas con mayor número de especies en la región neotropical. Los táxones investigados representan a todos los subgéneros contemplados en la más reciente revisión taxonómica del grupo. Se han estudiado los caracteres morfológicos, histológicos y citológicos de mayor importancia en cuanto a la visita de insectos y se ha examinado su rol dentro de la protección de los órganos florales. La distribución taxonómica de caracteres seleccionados ha demostrado, en algunos casos, ser congruente con las relaciones inferidas por los más recientes estudios moleculares que incluyen al grupo.

  13. Essential Oils from Neotropical Piper Species and Their Biological Activities (United States)

    da Trindade, Rafaela; Alves, Nayara Sabrina; Figueiredo, Pablo Luís; Maia, José Guilherme S.; Setzer, William N.


    The Piper genus is the most representative of the Piperaceae reaching around 2000 species distributed in the pantropical region. In the Neotropics, its species are represented by herbs, shrubs, and lianas, which are used in traditional medicine to prepare teas and infusions. Its essential oils (EOs) present high yield and are chemically constituted by complex mixtures or the predominance of main volatile constituents. The chemical composition of Piper EOs displays interspecific or intraspecific variations, according to the site of collection or seasonality. The main volatile compounds identified in Piper EOs are monoterpenes hydrocarbons, oxygenated monoterpenoids, sesquiterpene hydrocarbons, oxygenated sesquiterpenoids and large amounts of phenylpropanoids. In this review, we are reporting the biological potential of Piper EOs from the Neotropical region. There are many reports of Piper EOs as antimicrobial agents (fungi and bacteria), antiprotozoal (Leishmania spp., Plasmodium spp., and Trypanosoma spp.), acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory and cytotoxic activity against different tumor cells lines (breast, leukemia, melanoma, gastric, among others). These studies can contribute to the rational and economic exploration of Piper species, once they have been identified as potent natural and alternative sources to treat human diseases. PMID:29240662

  14. Effects of experimental fuel additions on fire intensity and severity: unexpected carbon resilience of a neotropical forest. (United States)

    Brando, Paulo M; Oliveria-Santos, Claudinei; Rocha, Wanderley; Cury, Roberta; Coe, Michael T


    Global changes and associated droughts, heat waves, logging activities, and forest fragmentation may intensify fires in Amazonia by altering forest microclimate and fuel dynamics. To isolate the effects of fuel loads on fire behavior and fire-induced changes in forest carbon cycling, we manipulated fine fuel loads in a fire experiment located in southeast Amazonia. We predicted that a 50% increase in fine fuel loads would disproportionally increase fire intensity and severity (i.e., tree mortality and losses in carbon stocks) due to multiplicative effects of fine fuel loads on the rate of fire spread, fuel consumption, and burned area. The experiment followed a fully replicated randomized block design (N = 6) comprised of unburned control plots and burned plots that were treated with and without fine fuel additions. The fuel addition treatment significantly increased burned area (+22%) and consequently canopy openness (+10%), fine fuel combustion (+5%), and mortality of individuals ≥5 cm in diameter at breast height (dbh; +37%). Surprisingly, we observed nonsignificant effects of the fuel addition treatment on fireline intensity, and no significant differences among the three treatments for (i) mortality of large trees (≥30 cm dbh), (ii) aboveground forest carbon stocks, and (iii) soil respiration. It was also surprising that postfire tree growth and wood increment were higher in the burned plots treated with fuels than in the unburned control. These results suggest that (i) fine fuel load accumulation increases the likelihood of larger understory fires and (ii) single, low-intensity fires weakly influence carbon cycling of this primary neotropical forest, although delayed postfire mortality of large trees may lower carbon stocks over the long term. Overall, our findings indicate that increased fine fuel loads alone are unlikely to create threshold conditions for high-intensity, catastrophic fires during nondrought years. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Determinants of the spatial distribution of tree species in a neotropical forest

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Garzon-López, Carol


    De mechanismen die de ruimtelijke verspreidingdeling van soorten bepalen zijn verdeeld in twee uitersten: deterministisch (soortspecifieke aanpassing aan de omgevingsomstandigheden) en stochastisch (dispersielimitatie en stochastische demografie). Verschillende onderzoeken kijken naar deze twee

  16. Morphology, ecophysiology and germination of seeds of the Neotropical tree Alibertia patinoi (Rubiaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego Fernando Escobar Escobar


    Full Text Available Alibertia patinoi (Rubiaceae. Alibertia patinoi (Rubiaceae is of economic and cultural importance for communities in the Colombian Pacific and Amazon regions, where it is cultivated and mature fruits are highly appreciated and consumed. Since there is a lack of knowledge of the seed physiology of this species, we describe here the germination behavior and morphometry of seeds of Alibertia patinoi, and relate them to its habitat. Fruits were collected from a mixed food crop and a commercial plantation in Guaimía village, Buenaventura, Colombia, a tropical rain forest area. We measured length, width, thickness, mass (n=1 400, and moisture content of seeds (n=252. Primary dormancy tests were conducted (n=200, followed by imbibition (n=252 and germination dynamics, under different conditions of light and temperature specific to understory and forest clearings (n=300 seeds. Finally, seed storage behavior was established (n=100 seeds. We observed that size and mass of seeds had a narrow range of values that did not differ within or among fruits and that the species did not exhibit primary dormancy. The seeds are recalcitrant, and recently harvested seeds exhibited higher seed moisture content (ca. 44% and continuous metabolism. The seed germination percentage was observed to be higher under the specific dense canopy forest light and temperature conditions; furthermore, neither enriched far-red light nor darkness conditions inhibited germination. We concluded that rapid germination could be the establishment strategy of this species. Also, the physiological traits (i.e., rapid germination rate, low germination requirements, absence of primary dormancy, and recalcitrant behavior and seed size and mass, suggest that A. patinoi is adapted to conditions of mature tropical rain forests.

  17. The trait contribution to wood decomposition rates of 15 neotropical tree species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geffen, van K.G.; Poorter, L.; Sass-Klaassen, U.; Logtestijn, R.S.P.; Cornelissen, J.H.C.


    The decomposition of dead wood is a critical uncertainty in models of the global carbon cycle. Despite this, relatively few studies have focused on dead wood decomposition, with a strong bias to higher latitudes. Especially the effect of inter-specific variation in species traits on differences wood

  18. The trait contribution to wood decomposition rates of 15 Neotropical tree species.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Geffen, K.G.; Poorter, L.; Sass-Klaassen, U.; van Logtestijn, R.S.P; Cornelissen, J.H.C.


    The decomposition of dead wood is a critical uncertainty in models of the global carbon cycle. Despite this, relatively few studies have focused on dead wood decomposition, with a strong bias to higher latitudes. Especially the effect of interspecific variation in species traits on differences in

  19. Fuel biomass and combustion factors associated with fires in savanna ecosystems of South Africa and Zambia (United States)

    Shea, Ronald W.; Shea, Barbara W.; Kauffman, J. Boone; Ward, Darold E.; Haskins, Craig I.; Scholes, Mary C.


    Fires are dominant factors in shaping the structure and composition of vegetation in African savanna ecosystems. Emissions such as CO2, NOx, CH4, and other compounds originating from these fires are suspected to contribute substantially to changes in global biogeochemical processes. Limited quantitative data exist detailing characteristics of biomass, burning conditions, and the postfire environment in African savannas. Fourteen test sites, differentiated by distinct burn frequency histories and land-use patterns, were established and burned during August and September 1992 in savanna parklands of South Africa and savanna woodlands of Zambia. Vegetation physiognomy, available fuel loads, the levels of biomass consumed by fire, environmental conditions, and fire behavior are described. In the South African sites, total aboveground fuel loads ranged from 2218 to 5492 kg ha-1 where fire return intervals were 1-4 years and exceeded 7000 kg ha-1 at a site subjected to 38 years of fire exclusion. However, fireline intensity was only 1419 kW m-1 at the fire exclusion site, while ranging from 480 to 6130 kW m-1 among the frequent fire sites. In Zambia, total aboveground fuel loads ranged from 3164 kg ha-1 in a hydromorphic grassland to 7343 kg ha-1 in a fallow shifting cultivation site. Dormant grass and litter constituted 70-98% of the total fuel load among all sites. Although downed woody debris was a relatively minor fuel component at most sites, it constituted 43-57% of the total fuel load in the fire exclusion and shifting cultivation sites. Fire line intensity ranged between 1734 and 4061 kW m-1 among all Zambian sites. Mean grass consumption generally exceeded 95%, while downed woody debris consumption ranged from 3 to 73% at all sites. In tropical savannas and savanna woodlands of southern Africa, differences in environmental conditions, land- use patterns, and fire regimes influence vegetation characteristics and thus influence fire behavior and biomass

  20. Nutrient dynamics and plant assemblages of Macrotermes falciger mounds in a savanna ecosystem (United States)

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


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

  1. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    deciduous tree with irregularly-shaped trunk, greyish-white scaly bark and milky latex. Leaves in opposite pairs are simple, oblong and whitish beneath. Flowers that occur in branched inflorescence are white, 2–. 3cm across and fragrant. Calyx is glandular inside. Petals bear numerous linear white scales, the corollary.

  2. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Berrya cordifolia (Willd.) Burret (Syn. B. ammonilla Roxb.) – Trincomali Wood of Tiliaceae is a tall evergreen tree with straight trunk, smooth brownish-grey bark and simple broad leaves. Inflorescence is much branched with white flowers. Stamens are many with golden yellow anthers. Fruit is a capsule with six spreading ...

  3. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Canthium parviflorum Lam. of Rubiaceae is a large shrub that often grows into a small tree with conspicuous spines. Leaves are simple, in pairs at each node and are shiny. Inflorescence is an axillary few-flowered cymose fascicle. Flowers are small (less than 1 cm across), 4-merous and greenish-white. Fruit is ellipsoid ...

  4. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)


    Hook.f. ex Brandis (Yellow. Cadamba) of Rubiaceae is a large and handsome deciduous tree. Leaves are simple, large, orbicular, and drawn abruptly at the apex. Flowers are small, yellowish and aggregate into small spherical heads. The corolla is funnel-shaped with five stamens inserted at its mouth. Fruit is a capsule.

  5. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Celtis tetrandra Roxb. of Ulmaceae is a moderately large handsome deciduous tree with green branchlets and grayish-brown bark. Leaves are simple with three to four secondary veins running parallel to the mid vein. Flowers are solitary, male, female and bisexual and inconspicuous. Fruit is berry-like, small and globose ...

  6. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    Aglaia elaeagnoidea (A.Juss.) Benth. of Meliaceae is a small-sized evergreen tree of both moist and dry deciduous forests. The leaves are alternate and pinnately compound, terminating in a single leaflet. Leaflets are more or less elliptic with entire margin. Flowers are small on branched inflorescence. Fruit is a globose ...

  7. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)


    Flowers are borne on stiff bunches terminally on short shoots. They are 2-3 cm across, white, sweet-scented with light-brown hairy sepals and many stamens. Loquat fruits are round or pear-shaped, 3-5 cm long and are edible. A native of China, Loquat tree is grown in parks as an ornamental and also for its fruits.

  8. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    mid-sized slow-growing evergreen tree with spreading branches that form a dense crown. The bark is smooth, thick, dark and flakes off in large shreds. Leaves are thick, oblong, leathery and bright red when young. The female flowers are drooping and are larger than male flowers. Fruit is large, red in color and velvety.

  9. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Andira inermis (wright) DC. , Dog Almond of Fabaceae is a handsome lofty evergreen tree. Leaves are alternate and pinnately compound with 4–7 pairs of leaflets. Flowers are fragrant and are borne on compact branched inflorescences. Fruit is ellipsoidal one-seeded drupe that is peculiar to members of this family.

  10. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    narrow towards base. Flowers are large and attrac- tive, but emit unpleasant foetid smell. They appear in small numbers on erect terminal clusters and open at night. Stamens are numerous, pink or white. Style is slender and long, terminating in a small stigma. Fruit is green, ovoid and indistinctly lobed. Flowering Trees.

  11. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Muntingia calabura L. (Singapore cherry) of. Elaeocarpaceae is a medium size handsome ever- green tree. Leaves are simple and alternate with sticky hairs. Flowers are bisexual, bear numerous stamens, white in colour and arise in the leaf axils. Fruit is a berry, edible with several small seeds embedded in a fleshy pulp ...

  12. ~{owering 'Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    . Stamens are fused into a purple staminal tube that is toothed. Fruit is about 0.5 in. across, nearly globose, generally 5-seeded, green but yellow when ripe, quite smooth at first but wrinkled in drying, remaining long on the tree ajier ripening.

  13. Tree Mortality (United States)

    Mark J. Ambrose


    Tree mortality is a natural process in all forest ecosystems. However, extremely high mortality also can be an indicator of forest health issues. On a regional scale, high mortality levels may indicate widespread insect or disease problems. High mortality may also occur if a large proportion of the forest in a particular region is made up of older, senescent stands....

  14. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Guaiacum officinale L. (LIGNUM-VITAE) of Zygophyllaceae is a dense-crowned, squat, knobbly, rough and twisted medium-sized ev- ergreen tree with mottled bark. The wood is very hard and resinous. Leaves are compound. The leaflets are smooth, leathery, ovate-ellipti- cal and appear in two pairs. Flowers (about 1.5.

  15. Spatial pattern enhances ecosystem functioning in an African savanna.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert M Pringle


    Full Text Available The finding that regular spatial patterns can emerge in nature from local interactions between organisms has prompted a search for the ecological importance of these patterns. Theoretical models have predicted that patterning may have positive emergent effects on fundamental ecosystem functions, such as productivity. We provide empirical support for this prediction. In dryland ecosystems, termite mounds are often hotspots of plant growth (primary productivity. Using detailed observations and manipulative experiments in an African savanna, we show that these mounds are also local hotspots of animal abundance (secondary and tertiary productivity: insect abundance and biomass decreased with distance from the nearest termite mound, as did the abundance, biomass, and reproductive output of insect-eating predators. Null-model analyses indicated that at the landscape scale, the evenly spaced distribution of termite mounds produced dramatically greater abundance, biomass, and reproductive output of consumers across trophic levels than would be obtained in landscapes with randomly distributed mounds. These emergent properties of spatial pattern arose because the average distance from an arbitrarily chosen point to the nearest feature in a landscape is minimized in landscapes where the features are hyper-dispersed (i.e., uniformly spaced. This suggests that the linkage between patterning and ecosystem functioning will be common to systems spanning the range of human management intensities. The centrality of spatial pattern to system-wide biomass accumulation underscores the need to conserve pattern-generating organisms and mechanisms, and to incorporate landscape patterning in efforts to restore degraded habitats and maximize the delivery of ecosystem services.

  16. Tree Plantation Will not Compensate Natural Woody Vegetation Cover Loss in the Atlantic Department of Southern Benin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toyi, MS.


    Full Text Available This study deals with land use and land cover changes for a 33 years period. We assessed these changes for eight land cover classes in the south of Benin by using an integrated multi-temporal analysis using three Landsat images (1972 Landsat MSS, 1986 Landsat TM and 2005 Landsat ETM+. Three scenarios for the future were simulated using a first-order Markovian model based on annual probability matrices. The contribution of tree plantations to compensate forest loss was assessed. The results show a strong loss of forest and savanna, mainly due to increased agricultural land. Natural woody vegetation ("forest", "wooded savanna" and "tree and shrub savanna" will seriously decrease by 2025 due to the expansion of agricultural activities and the increase of settlements. Tree plantations are expected to double by 2025, but they will not compensate for the loss of natural woody vegetation cover. Consequently, we assist to a continuing woody vegetation area decrease. Policies regarding reforestation and forest conservation must be initiated to reverse the currently projected tendencies.

  17. Seasonality of Overstory and Understory Fluxes in a Semi-Arid Oak Savanna: What can be Learned from Comparing Measured and Modeled Fluxes? (United States)

    Raz-Yaseef, N.; Sonnentag, O.; Kobayashi, H.; Chen, J. M.; Verfaillie, J. G.; Ma, S.; Baldocchi, D. D.


    Semi-arid climates experience large seasonal and inter-annual variability in radiation and precipitation, creating natural conditions adequate to study how year-to-year changes affect atmosphere-biosphere fluxes. Especially, savanna ecosystems, that combine tree and below-canopy components, create a unique environment in which phenology dramatically changes between seasons. We used a 10-year flux database in order to define seasonal and interannual variability of climatic inputs and fluxes, and evaluate model capability to reproduce observed variability. This is based on the perception that model capability to construct the deviation, and not the average, is important in order to correctly predict ecosystem sensitivity to climate change. Our research site is a low density and low LAI (0.8) semi-arid savanna, located at Tonzi Ranch, Northern California. In this system, trees are active during the warm season (Mar - Oct), and grasses are active during the wet season (Dec - May). Measurements of carbon and water fluxes above and below the tree canopy using eddy covariance and supplementary measurements have been made since 2001. Fluxes were simulated using bio-meteorological process-oriented ecosystem models: BEPS and 3D-CAONAK. Models were partly capable of reproducing fluxes on daily scales (R2=0.66). We then compared model outputs for different ecosystem components and seasons, and found distinct seasons with high correlations while other seasons were purely represented. Comparison was much higher for ET than for GPP. The understory was better simulated than the overstory. CANOAK overestimated spring understory fluxes, probably due to the capability to directly calculated 3D radiative transfer. BEPS underestimated spring understory fluxes, following the pre-description of grass die-off. Both models underestimated peak spring overstory fluxes. During winter tree dormant, modeled fluxes were null, but occasional high fluxes of both ET and GPP were measured following

  18. Rove beetles (Coleoptera Staphylilnidae) in neotropical riverine landscapes: characterising their distribution.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gutierrez Chacon, C.; Del Carmen Zuniga, M.; van Bodegom, P.M.; Chara, J.; Giraldo, L.M.


    1. The diversity and ecology of Staphylinidae in the Neotropical region has been poorly investigated, especially in riverine landscapes where these beetles are among the dominant organisms. Therefore, the relation between the occurrence of Staphylinidae and environmental variables was investigated

  19. The consequences of pleistocene climate change on lowland neotropical vegetation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    De Oliveira, P.E.; Colinvaux, P.A. (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama City (Panama))


    Palynological reconstructions indicate that lowland tropical America was subject to intense cooling during the last ice-age. The descent of presently montane taxa into the lowlands of Amazonia and Minas Gerais indicate temperature depressions ranging from 5[degrees]C to 9[degrees]C cooler-than-present. The strengthened incursion of southerly airmasses caused a reassortment of vegetation throughout Amazonia. Presently allopatric species are found to have been sympatric as novel forest assemblages and formed and dissolved. Modest drying, perhaps a 20% reduction in precipitation, accounts for all the records that show a Pleistocene expansion of savanna. No evidence is found to support the fragmentation of Amazonian forests during glacial times, and the hypothesis of forest refuges as an explanation of tropical speciation is rejected on empirical grounds.

  20. The jumping plant-lice of the Neotropical genus Tainarys (Hemiptera: Psylloidea) associated with Anacardiaceae. (United States)

    Burckhardt, Daniel; Queiroz, Dalva L


    The Neotropical psyllid genus Tainarys Brèthes, 1920 is revised to include 14 extant and one fossil species from Dominican amber. Eight species are described as new, viz. Tainarys aroeira sp. nov., T. atra sp. nov., T. hapla sp. nov., T. myracrodrui sp. nov., T. nigricornis sp. nov., T. didyma sp. nov. and T. orientalis sp. nov. from Brazil, the last two also from Uruguay, as well as T. lozadai sp. nov. from Peru. The fifth instar immatures are described for nine species. †Vicinilura Klimaszewski, 1996, erected for the fossil †V. reposta Klimaszewski, 1996 and previously synonymised with Leurolophus Tuthill, 1942, is synonymised here (syn. nov.) with Tainarys and †V. reposta is transferred to become †Tainarys reposta (Klimaszewski), comb. nov. The descriptions are supplemented by illustrations and keys for the identification of adults and immatures. Phylogenetic relationships between species are investigated with a cladistic analysis using 22 adult and six immature morphological characters. The analysis resulted in a single most parsimonious, fully resolved tree. The fossil species is nested within the genus rather than being the sister taxon of the remainder of species. The extant species are restricted to the subtropical and temperate parts of South America. Three pairs of sister clades display an east‒west South American and one a midwest‒southern Brazilian geographical vicariance. Host plants are confirmed for nine and likely for another four species. They are Astronium, Haplorhus, Myracrodruon, Schinopsis and Schinus (Anacardiaceae). All Tainarys species appear to be oligophagous inducing irregular leaf curls on their hosts.

  1. Opposing assembly mechanisms in a neotropical dry forest: implications for phylogenetic and functional community ecology. (United States)

    Swenson, Nathan G; Enquist, Brian J


    Species diversity is promoted and maintained by ecological and evolutionary processes operating on species attributes through space and time. The degree to which variability in species function regulates distribution and promotes coexistence of species has been debated. Previous work has attempted to quantify the relative importance of species function by using phylogenetic relatedness as a proxy for functional similarity. The key assumption of this approach is that function is phylogenetically conserved. If this assumption is supported, then the phylogenetic dispersion in a community should mirror the functional dispersion. Here we quantify functional trait dispersion along several key axes of tree life-history variation and on multiple spatial scales in a Neotropical dry-forest community. We next compare these results to previously reported patterns of phylogenetic dispersion in this same forest. We find that, at small spatial scales, coexisting species are typically more functionally clustered than expected, but traits related to adult and regeneration niches are overdispersed. This outcome was repeated when the analyses were stratified by size class. Some of the trait dispersion results stand in contrast to the previously reported phylogenetic dispersion results. In order to address this inconsistency we examined the strength of phylogenetic signal in traits at different depths in the phylogeny. We argue that: (1) while phylogenetic relatedness may be a good general multivariate proxy for ecological similarity, it may have a reduced capacity to depict the functional mechanisms behind species coexistence when coexisting species simultaneously converge and diverge in function; and (2) the previously used metric of phylogenetic signal provided erroneous inferences about trait dispersion when married with patterns of phylogenetic dispersion.

  2. Historical reconstruction of climatic and elevation preferences and the evolution of cloud forest-adapted tree ferns in Mesoamerica


    Sosa, Victoria; Ornelas, Juan Francisco; Ram?rez-Barahona, Santiago; G?ndara, Etelvina


    Background Cloud forests, characterized by a persistent, frequent or seasonal low-level cloud cover and fragmented distribution, are one of the most threatened habitats, especially in the Neotropics. Tree ferns are among the most conspicuous elements in these forests, and ferns are restricted to regions in which minimum temperatures rarely drop below freezing and rainfall is high and evenly distributed around the year. Current phylogeographic data suggest that some of the cloud forest-adapted...

  3. Morphological variability and distribution of the exotic Asian Mesocyclops thermocyclopoides (Copepoda: Cyclopoida: in the Neotropical region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Suárez-Morales


    Full Text Available From a series of biological samples collected from different freshwater environments in Costa Rica, Central America, the exotic Asian cyclopoid Mesocyclops thermocyclopoides Harada, 1931 was identified. We analyzed the morphology and appendage ornamentation of different Neotropical populations of this species, including specimens from Honduras, southeastern Mexico, and Costa Rica. We also examined Asian specimens from Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand, and performed a comparison of the Neotropical and Asian populations including a Principal Component Analysis (PCA. The Neotropical and Asian specimens show subtle morphological variations in the antennules, antennae, mandibles, swimming legs 1-4, and fifth legs. Some characters in the Neotropical group appear to diverge from the Asian pattern and the PCA indicated that intercontinental populations of M. thermocyclopoides are far from being homogeneous. These intra-specific differences are described to expand the known morphological range of this species and to provide the first comparative analysis of an exotic copepod in the Americas. Our analysis suggests that the geographic isolation of the American populations and the subtle morphological divergences with respect to the Asian patterns could be related to speciation processes in the Neotropical region, but also intra-Asian differences are reported. In the Neotropical region this species appears to be restricted to southeastern Mexico, Central America, and one Caribbean island; its potential as biological control of mosquito might enhance its spread in the region.

  4. Body size diversity and frequency distributions of Neotropical cichlid fishes (Cichliformes: Cichlidae: Cichlinae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah E Steele

    Full Text Available Body size is an important correlate of life history, ecology and distribution of species. Despite this, very little is known about body size evolution in fishes, particularly freshwater fishes of the Neotropics where species and body size diversity are relatively high. Phylogenetic history and body size data were used to explore body size frequency distributions in Neotropical cichlids, a broadly distributed and ecologically diverse group of fishes that is highly representative of body size diversity in Neotropical freshwater fishes. We test for divergence, phylogenetic autocorrelation and among-clade partitioning of body size space. Neotropical cichlids show low phylogenetic autocorrelation and divergence within and among taxonomic levels. Three distinct regions of body size space were identified from body size frequency distributions at various taxonomic levels corresponding to subclades of the most diverse tribe, Geophagini. These regions suggest that lineages may be evolving towards particular size optima that may be tied to specific ecological roles. The diversification of Geophagini appears to constrain the evolution of body size among other Neotropical cichlid lineages; non-Geophagini clades show lower species-richness in body size regions shared with Geophagini. Neotropical cichlid genera show less divergence and extreme body size than expected within and among tribes. Body size divergence among species may instead be present or linked to ecology at the community assembly scale.

  5. Comparative phylogeography: concepts, methods and general patterns in neotropical birds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arbelaez Cortes, Enrique


    Understanding the patterns and processes involved in intraspecific lineages diversification in time and space is the aim of phylogeography. The comparison of those phylogeographic patterns among co-distributed species shows insights of a community history. Here I review the concepts and methodologies of comparative phylogeography, an active research field that has heterogeneous analytical methods. In order to present a framework for phylogeography in the neotropics, I comment the general phylogeographic patterns of the birds from this region. this review is based on more than 100 studies conducted during the last 25 years and indicate that despite different co-distributed species seem to share some points in their phylogeographic pattern they have idiosyncratic aspects, indicating an unique history for each one.

  6. Conservation challenges for the Austral and Neotropical America section. (United States)

    Ceballos, Gerardo; Vale, Mariana M; Bonacic, Cristian; Calvo-Alvarado, Julio; List, Rurik; Bynum, Nora; Medellín, Rodrigo A; Simonetti, Javier A; Rodríguez, Jon Paul


    The Austral and Neotropical America (ANA) section of the Society for Conservation Biology includes a vast territory with some of the largest relatively pristine ecosystems in the world. With more than 573 million people, the economic growth of the region still depends strongly on natural resource exploitation and still has high rates of environmental degradation and biodiversity loss. A survey among the ANA section membership, with more than 700 members, including most of the section's prominent ecologists and conservationists, indicates that lack of capacity building for conservation, corruption, and threats such as deforestation and illegal trade of species, are among the most urgent problems that need to be addressed to improve conservation in the region. There are, however, strong universities and ecology groups taking the lead in environmental research and conservation, a most important issue to enhance the ability of the region to solve conservation and development conflicts.

  7. Some Possible Cases of Escape Mimicry in Neotropical Butterflies. (United States)

    Pinheiro, C E G; Freitas, A V L


    The possibility that escape or evasive mimicry evolved in butterflies and other prey insects in a similar fashion to classical Batesian and Müllerian mimicry has long been advanced in the literature. However, there is a general disagreement among lepidopterists and evolutionary biologists on whether or not escape mimicry exists, as well as in which mimicry rings this form of mimicry has evolved. Here, we review some purported cases of escape mimicry in Neotropical butterflies and suggest new mimicry rings involving several species of Archaeoprepona, Prepona, and Doxocopa (the "bright blue bands" ring) and species of Colobura and Hypna (the "creamy bands" ring) where the palatability of butterflies, their ability to escape predator attacks, geographic distribution, relative abundance, and co-occurrence in the same habitats strongly suggest that escape mimicry is involved. In addition, we also indicate other butterfly taxa whose similarities of coloration patterns could be due to escape mimicry and would constitute important case studies for future investigation.

  8. Soil erosion and deposition before and after fire in oak savannas (United States)

    Peter F. Ffolliott; Gerald J. Gottfried; Hui Chen; Aaron T. Kauffman; Cody L. Stropki; Daniel G. Neary


    Effects of low severity prescribed burning treatments and a wildfire on soil erosion and deposition in the oak savannas in the Southwestern Borderlands are reported. Measurements in the spring and fall, respectively, characterize soil movements following winter rains and high-intensity summer rainstorms. Annual values are also presented. Relationships between soil...

  9. Changing forest-woodland-savanna mosaics in Uganda: with implications for conservation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nangendo, G.


    Forest-Woodland-Savanna (FWS) mosaics are complex, highly varied and dynamic landscapes.Until recently, they were considered poor in terms of biodiversity. Consequently, only few scientific studies have been done on them and little attention has been paid to their

  10. Alien plant invasions in tropical and sub-tropical savannas: patterns, processes and prospects

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Foxcroft, L. C.; Richardson, D. M.; Rejmánek, M.; Pyšek, Petr


    Roč. 12, č. 12 (2010), s. 3913-3933 ISSN 1387-3547 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : savannas * plant invasions * world Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 3.474, year: 2010

  11. Trophic interactions among invertebrates in termitaria in the African savanna : a stable isotope approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Visser, Sarah N.; Freymann, Bernd P.; Schnyder, Hans


    1. Termites (Isoptera) in tropical savannas are known as ecosystem engineers, affecting the spatial and temporal distribution of water, carbon, cations, and nutrients through their mound structures. Their mounds, however, also offer habitation to diverse taxa and feeding guilds of other

  12. Interacting effects of grass height and herbivores on the establishment of an encroaching savanna shrub

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hagenah, N.; Munkert, H.; Gerhardt, K.; Olff, H.


    Shrub encroachment is a widely observed problem in Southern African savannas. Although the effects of herbivory and grass height on woody species recruitment have been studied individually, little information exists about how these factors interact. In this study seeds and seedlings of the

  13. Synthesis of field experiments concerning the grass layer in the savanna regions of southern Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    O'Connor, TG


    Full Text Available The purpose of this synthesis of long term experiments was to develop an account of how the principal determinants (rainfall, soil type, woody/grass ratio, herbivory, fire) influence the dynamics of the grass layer of southern African savannas...

  14. Composition and species diversity of pine-wiregrass savannas of the Green Swamp, North Carolina (United States)

    Joan Walker; Robert K. Peet


    Fire-maintained, species-rich pines wiregrass savannas in the Green Swamp, North Carolina were sampled over their natural range of environmental conditions and fire frequencies. Species composition, species richness, diversity (Exp H', I/ C), and aboveground production were documented and fertilization experiments conducted to assess possible mechanisms for the...


    Soil-atmosphere fluxes of carbon monoxide (CO) were measured from September 1999 through November 2000 in savanna areas in central Brazil (Cerrado) under different fire regimes using transparent and opaque static chambers. Studies focused on two vegetation types, cerrado stricto...

  16. Trophic ecology of Lepidoptera larvae associated with woody vegetation in a savanna ecosystem

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scholtz, CH


    Full Text Available This study represents a quantitative survey of a Lepidoptera community and deals with the trophic ecology of the 27 species of foliage-feeding Lepidoptera on the eight dominant woody plants in the Burkea africana-Eragrostis pallens savanna...

  17. Ethno-management of plinthic and ironpan soils in the savanna ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Ethno-management of plinthic and ironpan soils in the savanna regions of West Africa. ... Ghana Journal of Agricultural Science ... tracts of land, the Zaï method of chiselling into the pan and growing crops in the pits is adopted These indigenous farmers' practices need scientific improvement to make them more effective.

  18. Dry season mapping of savanna forage quality, using the hyperspectral Carnegie

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Knox, N.; Skidmore, A.K.; Prins, H.H.T.; Asner, P.; Werff, van der H.M.A.; Boer, de W.F.; Waal, van der C.; Knegt, de H.J.; Kohi, E.; Slotow, R.; Grant, R.C.


    Forage quality within an African savanna depends upon limiting nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) and nutrients that constrain the intake rates (non-digestible fibre) of herbivores. These forage quality nutrients are particularly crucial in the dry season when concentrations of limiting nutrients

  19. Impact of goat browsing on Aloe ferox in a South African savanna ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The extent and impact of the utilisation of Aloe ferox by Boer goats during winter in a South African savanna was determined using a plant-based approach. All Aloe plants rooted within the transects were eaten by goats, with small plants utilised more frequently than tall plants. The density of dying and dead Aloe plants was ...

  20. Unlocking resources in savannas: how goats and other mixed feeders overcome the negative effects of tannins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mkhize, N.R.



    This thesis contributes insights on how condensed tannins might mediate the interactions between woody plants and large herbivores in the African savannas. Current understanding in this regard is still based on data from short-term laboratory experiments, mostly

  1. Estimating and mapping grass phosphorus concentration in an African savanna using hyperspectral image data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mutanga, O.; Kumar, L.


    We tested the utility of imaging spectroscopy and neural networks to map phosphorus concentration in savanna grass using airborne HyMAP image data. We also sought to ascertain the key wavelengths for phosphorus prediction using hyperspectral remote sensing. The remote sensing of foliar phosphorus

  2. Recent shift from forest to savanna burning in the Amazon Basin observed by satellite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ten Hoeve, J E; Jacobson, M Z; Remer, L A; Correia, A L


    The numbers of fires detected on forest, savanna and transition lands during the 2002–10 biomass burning seasons in Amazonia are shown using fire count data and co-located land cover classifications from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). The ratio of forest fires to savanna fires has varied substantially over the study period, with a maximum ratio of 0.65:1 in 2005 and a minimum ratio of 0.27:1 in 2009, with the four lowest years occurring in 2007–10. The burning during the droughts of 2007 and 2010 is attributed to a higher number of savanna fires relative to the drought of 2005. A decrease in the regional mean single scattering albedo of biomass burning aerosols, consistent with the shift from forest to savanna burning, is also shown. During the severe drought of 2010, forest fire detections were lower in many areas compared with 2005, even though the drought was more severe in 2010. This result suggests that improved fire management practices, including stricter burning regulations as well as lower deforestation burning, may have reduced forest fires in 2010 relative to 2005 in some areas of the Amazon Basin. (letter)

  3. Impacts of communal fuelwood extraction on lidar-estimated biomass patterns of savanna woodlands

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Wessels, Konrad J


    Full Text Available Approximately 54% of rural households in South Africa continue to use wood as their main source of energy, mainly for cooking and heating. The provision of biomass by savanna woodlands is thus of considerable value to rural households and therefore...

  4. Characterization of habitat preferences for selected wildlife species in encinal savannas of the Southwest [Poster (United States)

    Wendy D. Jones; Carlton M. Jones; Peter F. Ffolliott; Gerald J. Gottfried


    The encinal savannas of the sub-mogollon southwestern United States are important for livestock grazing and wildlife habitat. Little data have been collected on the ecology of these Sierra Madrean types of woodland land areas, which makes management difficult. Obtaining information such as habitat preferences for selected wildlife species and livestock can be an...

  5. Abundance of birds in the oak savannas of the southwestern United States (United States)

    Wendy D. Jones; Carlton M. Jones; Peter F. Ffolliott; Gerald J. Gottfried


    Oak ecosystems of the Southwestern United States are important habitats for a variety of wildlife species. Information is available on the abundance and habitat preferences of some species inhabiting the more densely structured oak woodlands, but little information is available on these topics for the comparatively open oak savannas. Studies are underway to alleviate...

  6. The importance of herbivore interactions for the dynamics of African savanna woodlands : an hypothesis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van de Koppel, J; Prins, HHT

    Current hypotheses to explain dynamic transitions between savanna grasslands and woodlands in Africa focus on grazing by elephant or the influence of fire. Using a simple mathematical model, this paper argues that interactions between small herbivores such as impala or buffalo and large herbivores

  7. Assessing effect of rainfall on rate of alien shrub expansion in a southern African savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Masocha, Mhosisi; Dube, Timothy; Skidmore, A.K.; Holmgren, Milena; Prins, Herbert


    Understanding the environmental factors governing the spread of alien shrubs is crucial for conserving biodiversity. In the semi-arid savannas of Africa, alien shrub invasion often occurs simultaneously with native shrub encroachment but climate-dependent differences in encroachments of native and

  8. Soil properties in fire-consumed log burnout openings in a Missouri oak savanna (United States)

    Charles C. Rhoades; A. J. Meier; A. J. Rebertus


    Downed logs are known to increase species diversity in many forest ecosystems by increasing resource and structural complexity and by altering fire behavior in fire-prone ecosystems. In a frequently burned oak savanna in central Missouri, combustion of downed logs formed patches that have remained free of herbaceous vegetation for more than 3 years. To assess the...


    Brazilian savannas (Cerrado) have suffered drastic changes in land use with major conversion of native areas to agriculture since 1960. Burning, both due to natural conditions and as a human-induced practice, is a common event during the dry season (April to September) and plays ...

  10. Mapping Cropland in Smallholder-Dominated Savannas: Integrating Remote Sensing Techniques and Probabilistic Modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean Sweeney


    Full Text Available Traditional smallholder farming systems dominate the savanna range countries of sub-Saharan Africa and provide the foundation for the region’s food security. Despite continued expansion of smallholder farming into the surrounding savanna landscapes, food insecurity in the region persists. Central to the monitoring of food security in these countries, and to understanding the processes behind it, are reliable, high-quality datasets of cultivated land. Remote sensing has been frequently used for this purpose but distinguishing crops under certain stages of growth from savanna woodlands has remained a major challenge. Yet, crop production in dryland ecosystems is most vulnerable to seasonal climate variability, amplifying the need for high quality products showing the distribution and extent of cropland. The key objective in this analysis is the development of a classification protocol for African savanna landscapes, emphasizing the delineation of cropland. We integrate remote sensing techniques with probabilistic modeling into an innovative workflow. We present summary results for this methodology applied to a land cover classification of Zambia’s Southern Province. Five primary land cover categories are classified for the study area, producing an overall map accuracy of 88.18%. Omission error within the cropland class is 12.11% and commission error 9.76%.

  11. Structure, root systems and periodicity of savanna plants and vegetations in Northern Surinam

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Donselaar-ten Bokkel Huinink, van W.A.E.


    From July 1958 to May 1959 an investigation was carried out of the relation between physiognomic characteristics of the vegetation and the habitat on some savannas in the vicinity of Zanderij, Surinam. Root systems, structure, periodicity and characteristics of the leaves were considered, both of

  12. Long-term trends and interannual variability of forest, savanna and agricultural fires in South America

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chen, Y.; Morton, D. C.; Yin, Y. F.; Collatz, G. J.; Kasibhatla, P. S.; van der Werf, G.R.; DeFries, R. S.; Randerson, J. T.


    Background: Landscape fires in South America have considerable impacts on ecosystems, air quality and the climate system. We examined long-term trends and interannual variability of forest, savanna and agricultural fires for the continent during 2001-2012 using multiple satellite-derived fire

  13. Elephant distribution around a volcanic shield dominated by a mosaic of forest and savanna (Marsabit, Kenya)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ngene, S.M.; Skidmore, A.K.; Gils, H.; Douglas-Hamilton, I.; Omondi, P.


    We investigated the factors that influenced the distribution of the African elephant around a volcanic shield dominated by a mosaic of forest and savanna in northern Kenya. Data on elephant distribution were acquired from four female and five bull elephants, collared with satellite-linked

  14. Gastrointestinal Parasites of Savanna Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) in Ugalla, Tanzania

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kalousová, B.; Piel, A. K.; Pomajbíková, Kateřina; Modrý, David; Stewart, F.A.; Petrželková, Klára Judita


    Roč. 35, č. 2 (2014), s. 463-475 ISSN 0164-0291 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : hominoid * Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii * gastrointestinal parasites * savanna * Spirurids * transmission * Ugalla * Tanzania Subject RIV: GJ - Animal Vermins ; Diseases, Veterinary Medicine Impact factor: 1.993, year: 2014

  15. Gastrointestinal parasites of savanna chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) in Ugalla, Tanzania

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kalousová, B.; Piel, A. K.; Pomajbíková, K.; Modrý, D.; Stewart, F. A.; Petrželková, Klára Judita


    Roč. 35, č. 2 (2014), s. 436-475 ISSN 0164-0291 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/09/0927 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Hominoid * Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii * Gastrointestinal parasites * Savanna * Spirurids * Transmission * Ugalla * Tanzania Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.993, year: 2014

  16. Water-removed spectra increase the retrieval accuracy when estimating savanna grass nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Ramoelo, Abel


    Full Text Available . Ritchie and H. H. T. Prins (2002). Global enviromental controls of diversity of large hervivores. Nature 415: 901-904. 26 Owen-Smith, N. and S. M. Cooper (1987). Palatabilty of woody plants to browsing ruminants in a South African savanna. In...

  17. Fire and life in Tarangire : effects of burning and herbivory on an East African Savanna system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vijver, van de C.A.D.M.


    This thesis investigates the effects of fire on quality and quantity of forage for grazers in the savannas of East Africa where fire has been used as a tool in pasture management for centuries. Hereby the mechanisms that cause the effects, as well as the manner in which the effects are

  18. Visual and acoustic signaling in three species of Brazilian nocturnal tree frogs (Anura, Hylidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luís Felipe Toledo


    Full Text Available Visual communication seems to be widespread among nocturnal anurans, however, reports of these behaviors in many Neotropical species are lacking. Therefore, we gathered information collected during several sporadic field expeditions in central and southern Brazil with three nocturnal tree frogs: Aplastodiscus perviridis, Hypsiboas albopunctatus and H. bischoffi. These species displayed various aggressive behaviors, both visual and acoustic, towards other males. For A. perviridis we described arm lifting and leg kicking; for H. albopunctatus we described the advertisement and territorial calls, visual signalizations, including a previously unreported behavior (short leg kicking, and male-male combat; and for H. bischoffiwe described the advertisement and fighting calls, toes and fingers trembling, leg lifting, and leg kicking. We speculate about the evolution of some behaviors and concluded that the use of visual signals among Neotropical anurans may be much more common than suggested by the current knowledge.

  19. Surface tree languages and parallel derivation trees

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Engelfriet, Joost


    The surface tree languages obtained by top-down finite state transformation of monadic trees are exactly the frontier-preserving homomorphic images of sets of derivation trees of ETOL systems. The corresponding class of tree transformation languages is therefore equal to the class of ETOL languages.

  20. Modeling Surface Energy Fluxes over a Dehesa (Oak Savanna Ecosystem Using a Thermal Based Two-Source Energy Balance Model (TSEB I

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Andreu


    Full Text Available Savannas are among the most variable, complex and extensive biomes on Earth, supporting livestock and rural livelihoods. These water-limited ecosystems are highly sensitive to changes in both climatic conditions, and land-use/management practices. The integration of Earth Observation (EO data into process-based land models enables monitoring ecosystems status, improving its management and conservation. In this paper, the use of the Two-Source Energy Balance (TSEB model for estimating surface energy fluxes is evaluated over a Mediterranean oak savanna (dehesa. A detailed analysis of TSEB formulation is conducted, evaluating how the vegetation architecture (multiple layers affects the roughness parameters and wind profile, as well as the reliability of EO data to estimate the ecosystem parameters. The results suggest that the assumption of a constant oak leaf area index is acceptable for the purposes of the study and the use of spectral information to derive vegetation indices is sufficiently accurate, although green fraction index may not reflect phenological conditions during the dry period. Although the hypothesis for a separate wind speed extinction coefficient for each layer is partially addressed, the results show that taking a single oak coefficient is more precise than using bulk system coefficient. The accuracy of energy flux estimations, with an adjusted Priestley–Taylor coefficient (0.9 reflecting the conservative water-use tendencies of this semiarid vegetation and a roughness length formulation which integrates tree structure and the low fractional cover, is considered adequate for monitoring the ecosystem water use (RMSD ~40 W m−2.

  1. Trees are good, but… (United States)

    E.G. McPherson; F. Ferrini


    We know that “trees are good,” and most people believe this to be true. But if this is so, why are so many trees neglected, and so many tree wells empty? An individual’s attitude toward trees may result from their firsthand encounters with specific trees. Understanding how attitudes about trees are shaped, particularly aversion to trees, is critical to the business of...

  2. Modular tree automata

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bahr, Patrick


    Tree automata are traditionally used to study properties of tree languages and tree transformations. In this paper, we consider tree automata as the basis for modular and extensible recursion schemes. We show, using well-known techniques, how to derive from standard tree automata highly modular...

  3. Simple street tree sampling (United States)

    David J. Nowak; Jeffrey T. Walton; James Baldwin; Jerry. Bond


    Information on street trees is critical for management of this important resource. Sampling of street tree populations provides an efficient means to obtain street tree population information. Long-term repeat measures of street tree samples supply additional information on street tree changes and can be used to report damages from catastrophic events. Analyses of...

  4. Street trees reduce the negative effects of urbanization on birds. (United States)

    Pena, João Carlos de Castro; Martello, Felipe; Ribeiro, Milton Cezar; Armitage, Richard A; Young, Robert J; Rodrigues, Marcos


    The effects of streets on biodiversity is an important aspect of urban ecology, but it has been neglected worldwide. Several vegetation attributes (e.g. street tree density and diversity) have important effects on biodiversity and ecological processes. In this study, we evaluated the influences of urban vegetation-represented by characteristics of street trees (canopy size, proportion of native tree species and tree species richness)-and characteristics of the landscape (distance to parks and vegetation quantity), and human impacts (human population size and exposure to noise) on taxonomic data and functional diversity indices of the bird community inhabiting streets. The study area was the southern region of Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais, Brazil), a largely urbanized city in the understudied Neotropical region. Bird data were collected on 60 point count locations distributed across the streets of the landscape. We used a series of competing GLM models (using Akaike's information criterion for small sample sizes) to assess the relative contribution of the different sets of variables to explain the observed patterns. Seventy-three bird species were observed exploiting the streets: native species were the most abundant and frequent throughout this landscape. The bird community's functional richness and Rao's Quadratic Entropy presented values lower than 0.5. Therefore, this landscape was favoring few functional traits. Exposure to noise was the most limiting factor for this bird community. However, the average size of arboreal patches and, especially the characteristics of street trees, were able to reduce the negative effects of noise on the bird community. These results show the importance of adequately planning the urban afforestation process: increasing tree species richness, preserving large trees and planting more native trees species in the streets are management practices that will increase bird species richness, abundance and community functional aspects and

  5. The effects of gap size and disturbance type on invasion of wet pine savanna by cogongrass, Imperata cylindrica (Poaceae) (United States)

    King, S.E.; Grace, J.B.


    Cogongrass is a nonindigenous species perceived to threaten native communities of the southeastern United States through modification of species composition and alteration of community processes. To examine how gap size and disturbance type influence the invasion of wet pine savannas by cogongrass, we performed three field experiments to evaluate the response of cogongrass seeds and transplanted seedlings to four different gap sizes, four types of site disturbance, and recent burning of savanna vegetation. Cogongrass germinated, survived, and grew in all gap sizes, from 0 to 100 cm in diameter. Similarly, disturbance type had no effect on germination or seedling and transplant survival. Tilling, however, significantly enhanced transplanted seedling growth, resulting in a tenfold increase in biomass over the other disturbance types. Seedling survival to 1 and 2 mo was greater in burned savanna than unburned savanna, although transplant survival and growth were not affected by burning. Results of this study suggest that cogongrass can germinate, survive, and grow in wet pine savanna communities regardless of gap size or type of disturbance, including burning. Burning of savanna vegetation may enhance establishment by improving early seedling survival, and soil disturbance can facilitate invasion of cogongrass by enhancing plant growth.

  6. Post-fire reproduction of herbs at a savanna-gallery forest boundary in Distrito Federal, Brazil

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    K. G. Massi


    Full Text Available Abstract In Cerrado, studies of post-fire vegetation recovery show that some herbaceous species are able to flower shortly after fires. However, these were mainly short-term studies that focused on grasslands and savannas. Little is known about the effects of fire on ground layer of forests that border the savannas in Central Brazil. Thus, an accidental burning gave us the opportunity to describe the reproductive activity of the ground layer vegetation after a fire event along a savanna-forest boundary at the IBGE Ecological Reserve, Brasília, Brazil. During the 16-month of the inventory, we registered 170 herbaceous species flowering or fruiting, of which 52 species (31% may have been influenced by fire that changed their times of reproduction. In the savanna plots reproduction peaked at the end of the rainy season. Of the total number of reproducing species, 90 species occurred only in the savanna and four in the forest. Five herbs were recorded in the forest, savanna and border environments. Late dry season fire probably lead the majority of herbaceous species to have their reproduction spread throughout the study time.

  7. Post-fire reproduction of herbs at a savanna-gallery forest boundary in Distrito Federal, Brazil. (United States)

    Massi, K G; Eugênio, C U O; Franco, A C


    In Cerrado, studies of post-fire vegetation recovery show that some herbaceous species are able to flower shortly after fires. However, these were mainly short-term studies that focused on grasslands and savannas. Little is known about the effects of fire on ground layer of forests that border the savannas in Central Brazil. Thus, an accidental burning gave us the opportunity to describe the reproductive activity of the ground layer vegetation after a fire event along a savanna-forest boundary at the IBGE Ecological Reserve, Brasília, Brazil. During the 16-month of the inventory, we registered 170 herbaceous species flowering or fruiting, of which 52 species (31%) may have been influenced by fire that changed their times of reproduction. In the savanna plots reproduction peaked at the end of the rainy season. Of the total number of reproducing species, 90 species occurred only in the savanna and four in the forest. Five herbs were recorded in the forest, savanna and border environments. Late dry season fire probably lead the majority of herbaceous species to have their reproduction spread throughout the study time.

  8. Projections of 21st Century African Climate: Implications for African Savanna Fire Dynamics, Human Health and Food Security (United States)

    Adegoke, J. O.


    Fire is a key agent of change in the African savannas, which are shaped through the complex interactions between trees, C4 grasses, rainfall, temperature, CO2 and fire. These fires and their emitted smoke can have numerous direct and indirect effects on the environment, water resources, air quality, and climate. For instance, veld fires in southern Africa cause large financial losses to agriculture, livestock production and forestry on an annual basis. This study contributes to our understanding of the implications of projected surface temperature evolution in Africa for fire risk, human health and agriculture over the coming decades. We use an ensemble of high-resolution regional climate model simulations of African climate for the 21st century. Regional dowscalings and recent global circulation model projections obtained for Africa indicate that African temperatures are likely to rise at 1.5 times the global rate of temperature increase in the tropics, and at almost twice the global rate of increase in the subtropics. Warming is projected to occur during the 21st century, with increases of 4-6 °C over the subtropics and 3-5 °C over the tropics plausible by the end of the century relative to present-day climate under the A2 (low mitigation) scenario. We explore the significance of the projected warming by documenting increases in projected high fire danger days and heat-wave days. General drying is projected across the continent, even for areas (e.g. tropical Africa) where an increase in rainfall is plausible. This is due to the drastic increases in temperature that are projected, which leads to drier soils (through enhanced evaporation) despite the rainfall increases. This will likely impact negatively on crop yield, particularly on the maize crop that is of crucial importance in terms of African food security.

  9. Resource-use efficiency explains grassy weed invasion in a low-resource savanna in north Australia

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    Emilie eEns


    Full Text Available Comparative studies of plant resource use and ecophysiological traits of invasive and native resident plant species can elucidate mechanisms of invasion success and ecosystem impacts. In the seasonal tropics of north Australia, the alien C4 perennial grass Andropogon gayanus (gamba grass has transformed diverse, mixed tree-grass savanna ecosystems into dense monocultures. To better understand the mechanisms of invasion, we compared resource acquisition and usage efficiency using leaf-scale ecophysiological and stand-scale growth traits of A. gayanus with a co-habiting native C4 perennial grass Alloteropsis semialata. Under wet season conditions, A. gayanus had higher rates of stomatal conductance, assimilation and water use, plus a longer daily assimilation period than the native species A. semialata. Growing season length was also ~2 months longer for the invader. Wet season measures of leaf scale water use efficiency (WUE and light use efficiency (LUE did not differ between the two species, although photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency (PNUE was significantly higher in A. gayanus. By May (dry season the drought avoiding native species A. semialata had senesced. In contrast, rates of A. gayanus gas exchange was maintained into the dry season, albeit at lower rates that the wet season, but at higher WUE and PNUE, evidence of significant physiological plasticity. High PNUE and leaf 15N isotope values suggested that A. gayanus was also capable of preferential uptake of soil ammonium, with utilisation occurring into the dry season. High PNUE and fire tolerance in an N-limited and highly flammable ecosystem confers a significant competitive advantage over native grass species and a broader niche width. As a result A. gayanus is rapidly spreading across north Australia with significant consequences for biodiversity and carbon and retention.

  10. Allelopathic exudates of cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica): implications for the performance of native pine savanna plant species in the southeastern US. (United States)

    Hagan, Donald L; Jose, Shibu; Lin, Chung-Ho


    We conducted a greenhouse study to assess the effects of cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica) rhizochemicals on a suite of plants native to southeastern US pine savanna ecosystems. Our results indicated a possible allelopathic effect, although it varied by species. A ruderal grass (Andropogon arctatus) and ericaceous shrub (Lyonia ferruginea) were unaffected by irrigation with cogongrass soil "leachate" (relative to leachate from mixed native species), while a mid-successional grass (Aristida stricta Michx. var. beyrichiana) and tree (Pinus elliottii) were negatively affected. For A. stricta, we observed a 35.7 % reduction in aboveground biomass, a 21.9 % reduction in total root length, a 24.6 % reduction in specific root length and a 23.5 % reduction in total mycorrhizal root length, relative to the native leachate treatment. For P. elliottii, there was a 19.5 % reduction in percent mycorrhizal colonization and a 20.1 % reduction in total mycorrhizal root length. Comparisons with a DI water control in year two support the possibility that the treatment effects were due to the negative effects of cogongrass leachate, rather than a facilitative effect from the mixed natives. Chemical analyses identified 12 putative allelopathic compounds (mostly phenolics) in cogongrass leachate. The concentrations of most compounds were significantly lower, if they were present at all, in the native leachate. One compound was an alkaloid with a speculated structure of hexadecahydro-1-azachrysen-8-yl ester (C23H33NO4). This compound was not found in the native leachate. We hypothesize that the observed treatment effects may be attributable, at least partially, to these qualitative and quantitative differences in leachate chemistry.

  11. Neotropical dry forest wildlife water hole use and management

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    Christopher Vaughan


    Full Text Available Selected wildlife species diurnal use of a natural water hole (QD and an artificial water hole (AW were studied during 1990 dry season at Guanacaste Conservation Area, Costa Rica. In total, 919 individuals (six mammal and one game bird species consumed water from QD, while 713 individuals (four mammal species consumed water from AW. Estimated daily water consumption by selected wildlife species was 29.7 l at QD and 27.3 l at AW. Estimated 24-h water consumed by all wildlife species or evaporated was 44.6 l at QD and 41.1 l at AW. This resulted from summing: a water consumed by studied species, b estimated 24-hour water consumed by other wildlife (QD = 14.85 l, AW = 13.65 l and c daily water evaporation (QD = 0.04 l, AW = 0.10 l. During a 120-day dry season, AW required about 4 932 l of water from the park administration. Management implications for neotropical dry forest water holes are discussed.Se estudió el uso diurno de un ojo de agua natural (QD y otro artificial (AW a finales de la época seca de 1990 en el Area de Conservacion de Guanacaste, Costa Rica. En total 919 individuos (seis especies de mamíferos y una de ave cinegética consumieron agua de QD y 713 individuos (cuatro especies de mamíferos de AQ. Se estimó que en un dia, las especies de vida silvestre estudiados tomaron 29.7 l y 27.3 l de agua de QD y AW, respectivamente. El total de agua consumido o evaporado de cada ojo de agua durante 24-horas fue estimado en 44.6 l en QD y 41.1 l en AW, con base en: a agua bebida durante 12 h por las especies seleccionadas, b agua bebida por todos los otros individuos durante 24 h (QD = 14.85 l, AW = 13.65 l y c evaporación diaria (QD = 0.04 l, AW = 0.01 l. Para abastecer AW durante una epoca seca de 120 días, la administración del parque debe proveer 4 932 l de agua. Se discute las implicaciones de manejo en las regiones de bosque seco neotropical.

  12. Paleocene wind-dispersed fruits and seeds from Colombia and their implications for early Neotropical rainforests

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    Herrera Fabiany


    Full Text Available Extant Neotropical rainforests are well known for their remarkable diversity of fruit and seed types. Biotic agents disperse most of these disseminules, whereas wind dispersal is less common. Although wind-dispersed fruits and seeds are greatly overshadowed in closed rainforests, many important families in the Neotropics (e.g., Bignoniaceae, Fabaceae, Malvaceae, Orchidaceae, Sapindaceae show numerous morphological adaptations for anemochory (i.e. wings, accessory hairs. Most of these living groups have high to moderate levels of plant diversity in the upper levels of the canopy. Little is known about the fossil record of wind-dispersed fruits and seeds in the Neotropics. Six new species of disseminules with varied adaptations for wind dispersal are documented here. These fossils, representing extinct genera of Ulmaceae, Malvaceae, and some uncertain families, indicate that wind-dispersed fruit and seed syndromes were already common in the Neotropics by the Paleocene, coinciding with the early development of multistratal rainforests. Although the major families known to include most of the wind-dispersed disseminules in extant rainforests are still missing from the Paleogene fossil record of South and Central America, the new fossils imply that anemochory was a relatively important product and/or mechanism of plant evolution and diversification in early Neotropical rainforests.

  13. Atractiellomycetes belonging to the ‘rust’ lineage (Pucciniomycotina) form mycorrhizae with terrestrial and epiphytic neotropical orchids (United States)

    Kottke, Ingrid; Suárez, Juan Pablo; Herrera, Paulo; Cruz, Dario; Bauer, Robert; Haug, Ingeborg; Garnica, Sigisfredo


    Distinctive groups of fungi are involved in the diverse mycorrhizal associations of land plants. All previously known mycorrhiza-forming Basidiomycota associated with trees, ericads, liverworts or orchids are hosted in Agaricomycetes, Agaricomycotina. Here we demonstrate for the first time that Atractiellomycetes, members of the ‘rust’ lineage (Pucciniomycotina), are mycobionts of orchids. The mycobionts of 103 terrestrial and epiphytic orchid individuals, sampled in the tropical mountain rainforest of Southern Ecuador, were identified by sequencing the whole ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region and part of 28S rDNA. Mycorrhizae of 13 orchid individuals were investigated by transmission electron microscopy. Simple septal pores and symplechosomes in the hyphal coils of mycorrhizae from four orchid individuals indicated members of Atractiellomycetes. Molecular phylogeny of sequences from mycobionts of 32 orchid individuals out of 103 samples confirmed Atractiellomycetes and the placement in Pucciniomycotina, previously known to comprise only parasitic and saprophytic fungi. Thus, our finding reveals these fungi, frequently associated to neotropical orchids, as the most basal living basidiomycetes involved in mycorrhizal associations of land plants. PMID:20007181

  14. Teachers like savanna: every rain the splendor of spring

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    Andréa Inês Goldschmidt


    Full Text Available Field of stages is an important site when we think of teacher training, if need be stimulated reflections involving the teaching identity and praxis. One way to configure these reflections is to use metaphors. Against this background, it was proposed to the Degree Course in Biological Sciences trainees perform the reading of the text of Maria Socorro Lucena Lima entitled "The stage at the undergraduate and the metaphor of the tree." After they built the tree of Supervised I, as an object of study and reflection; however, taking into account the cerrado biome. Listed were six forest species, to be built and presented the associations made between the text read, the reflections and the biological characteristics of the species. Students brought important buildings such as the uniqueness of each species and individual experience of each, revealing that "being a teacher" historically constituted. It was appointed by the participants of the cerrado soil of adversity and the profession, reflecting on the difficulties and teaching devaluation and the importance of this professional in society. We can conceive of students as future professionals aware of their practice as a reflective practitioner.

  15. City of Pittsburgh Trees (United States)

    Allegheny County / City of Pittsburgh / Western PA Regional Data Center — Trees cared for and managed by the City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Works Forestry Division. Tree Benefits are calculated using the National Tree Benefit...

  16. Trace gas emissions to the atmosphere by biomass burning in the west African savannas (United States)

    Frouin, Robert J.; Iacobellis, Samuel F.; Razafimpanilo, Herisoa; Somerville, Richard C. J.


    Savanna fires and atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) detection and estimating burned area using Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer_(AVHRR) reflectance data are investigated in this two part research project. The first part involves carbon dioxide flux estimates and a three-dimensional transport model to quantify the effect of north African savanna fires on atmospheric CO2 concentration, including CO2 spatial and temporal variability patterns and their significance to global emissions. The second article describes two methods used to determine burned area from AVHRR data. The article discusses the relationship between the percentage of burned area and AVHRR channel 2 reflectance (the linear method) and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) (the nonlinear method). A comparative performance analysis of each method is described.

  17. Dynamics in carbon exchange fluxes for a grazed semi-arid savanna ecosystem in West Africa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tagesson, Torbern; Fensholt, Rasmus; Cropley, Ford


    variable in scaling carbon fluxes from ground observations using earth observation data. The net ecosystem exchange of carbon dioxide (NEE) 2010-2013 was measured using the eddy covariance technique at a grazed semi-arid savanna site in Senegal, West Africa. Night-time NEE was not related to temperature......-arid savanna sites; half-hourly GPP and Reco peaked at -43μmol CO2m-2s-1 and 20μmol CO2m-2s-1, and daily GPP and Reco peaked at -15gCm-2 and 12gCm-2, respectively. Possible explanations for the high CO2 fluxes are a high fraction of C4 species, alleviated water stress conditions, and a strong grazing pressure...

  18. Long-term carbon loss in fragmented Neotropical forests. (United States)

    Pütz, Sandro; Groeneveld, Jürgen; Henle, Klaus; Knogge, Christoph; Martensen, Alexandre Camargo; Metz, Markus; Metzger, Jean Paul; Ribeiro, Milton Cezar; de Paula, Mateus Dantas; Huth, Andreas


    Tropical forests play an important role in the global carbon cycle, as they store a large amount of carbon (C). Tropical forest deforestation has been identified as a major source of CO2 emissions, though biomass loss due to fragmentation--the creation of additional forest edges--has been largely overlooked as an additional CO2 source. Here, through the combination of remote sensing and knowledge on ecological processes, we present long-term carbon loss estimates due to fragmentation of Neotropical forests: within 10 years the Brazilian Atlantic Forest has lost 69 (±14) Tg C, and the Amazon 599 (±120) Tg C due to fragmentation alone. For all tropical forests, we estimate emissions up to 0.2 Pg C y(-1) or 9 to 24% of the annual global C loss due to deforestation. In conclusion, tropical forest fragmentation increases carbon loss and should be accounted for when attempting to understand the role of vegetation in the global carbon balance.

  19. Edible Neotropical Blueberries: Antioxidant and Compositional Fingerprint Analysis (United States)



    Edible blueberry species are well recognized for their potential health benefits. Ericaceae fruits including the North American highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) and five less common edible blueberry relatives from the New World tropics, Anthopterus wardii Ball, Cavendishia grandifolia Hoerld, Macleania coccoloboides A. C. Sm., Sphyrospermum buxifolium Poepp. & Endl., and Sphyrospermum cordifolium Benth, were investigated for their antioxidant properties and phenolic profiles. The Neotropical berries C. grandifolia and A. wardii exhibited significantly higher DPPH• and ABTS•+ scavenging and iron chelation activities than V. corymbosum. Total phenolic content and HPLC-PDA compositional fingerprint analyses were also carried out. Significant correlations were observed among total phenolic contents, DPPH• and ABTS•+ scavenging, and iron chelation activities. Using HPLC-PDA, the phenolic constituents in the berries were identified as chlorogenic acid, p-coumaric acid, hyperoside, quercetin-3-O-glucoside, isoorientin, isovitexin, orientin and vitexin. Principal components analysis reduced the dimensions of antioxidant and total phenolic data to two components, which accounted for 95% of total variation among the six fruits. Each fruit species formed its own cluster, and therefore the antioxidant profile of each species was shown to be distinct. PMID:21391608

  20. Unveiling the Hidden Bat Diversity of a Neotropical Montane Forest.

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    Gloriana Chaverri

    Full Text Available Mountain environments, characterized by high levels of endemism, are at risk of experiencing significant biodiversity loss due to current trends in global warming. While many acknowledge their importance and vulnerability, these ecosystems still remain poorly studied, particularly for taxa that are difficult to sample such as bats. Aiming to estimate the amount of cryptic diversity among bats of a Neotropical montane cloud forest in Talamanca Range-south-east Central America-, we performed a 15-night sampling campaign, which resulted in 90 captured bats belonging to 8 species. We sequenced their mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI and screened their inter- and intraspecific genetic variation. Phylogenetic relations with conspecifics and closely related species from other geographic regions were established using Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian inference methods, as well as median-joining haplotype networks. Mitochondrial lineages highly divergent from hitherto characterized populations (> 9% COI dissimilarity were found in Myotis oxyotus and Hylonycteris underwoodi. Sturnira burtonlimi and M. keaysi also showed distinct mitochondrial structure with sibling species and/or populations. These results suggest that mountains in the region hold a high degree of endemicity potential that has previously been ignored in bats. They also warn of the high extinction risk montane bats may be facing due to climatic change, particularly in isolated mountain systems like Talamanca Range.

  1. Yeasts dominate soil fungal communities in three lowland Neotropical rainforests. (United States)

    Dunthorn, Micah; Kauserud, Håvard; Bass, David; Mayor, Jordan; Mahé, Frédéric


    Forest soils typically harbour a vast diversity of fungi, but are usually dominated by filamentous (hyphae-forming) taxa. Compared to temperate and boreal forests, though, we have limited knowledge about the fungal diversity in tropical rainforest soils. Here we show, by environmental metabarcoding of soil samples collected in three Neotropical rainforests, that Yeasts dominate the fungal communities in terms of the number of sequencing reads and OTUs. These unicellular forms are commonly found in aquatic environments, and their hyperdiversity may be the result of frequent inundation combined with numerous aquatic microenvironments in these rainforests. Other fungi that are frequent in aquatic environments, such as the abundant Chytridiomycotina, were also detected. While there was low similarity in OTU composition within and between the three rainforests, the fungal communities in Central America were more similar to each other than the communities in South America, reflecting a general biogeographic pattern also seen in animals, plants and protists. © 2017 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Biometry of neotropical invertebrates inhabiting floodplain rivers: unraveling bionomy

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    Florencia Zilli

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Currently, it is widely recognized that invertebrates play key roles in neotropical floodplains and in many other environments worldwide. However, little information has been published concerning their biometry, in spite that it represents an essential tool for many different studies. Here, we provided length-mass and length-length relationships by fitting the linearized model (log10 Y = log10a + b log10 X and several mean biomass ratios ± SE for bivalves, gastropods, quironomids, ephemeropterans, oligochaetes and hirudineans. We measured, weighed, oven dried and incinerated to ashes specimens collected from 2005 to 2014 in the Paraná River, Argentina. The lineal equations had fit levels higher than 75% in most of the significant regressions. Hence, when slopes were compared, differences raised from ontogeny and phylogeny of taxa. Additionally, slopes resulted different from constants of other regions, types of environments and climates. In addition, organic matter ratios resulted significantly different among invertebrates according to their feeding types. The equations and ratios that we provided will facilitate future research on life history, productivity and energy transference in the food webs of invertebrates inhabiting floodplain wetlands and can be used as tools for planning management strategies and in restoration projects of aquatic environments.

  3. Complementary roles of two resilient neotropical mammalian seed dispersers (United States)

    de Almeida, Adriana; Morris, Rebecca J.; Lewis, Owen T.; Mikich, Sandra B.


    Capuchin monkeys (Cebus spp. and Sapajus spp.) and coatis (Nasua spp.) coexist in most neotropical forests, including small forest remnants. Both capuchins and coatis eat fruit and disperse seeds, but little is known about whether their roles in seed dispersal are redundant or complementary. We compiled 49 studies from the literature on feeding by capuchins and/or coatis, of which 19 were comprehensive enough for our analyses. We determined the relative importance of fruit eating to each species and compared their diets. Additionally, we analysed the structure of three fruit-frugivore networks built with both animal groups and the fruits they eat and evaluated whether fruit traits influenced the network topology. Fruits represented the largest part of capuchin and coati diets, even though coatis have been known for their opportunistic and generalist diets. Capuchins and coatis also exhibited similar general diet parameters (niche breadth and trophic diversity). The three networks exhibited high connectance values and variable niche overlap. A Multiple Correspondence Analysis, failed to detect any trait or trait combination related to food use. In conclusion, capuchins and coatis both have generalist diets; they feed on many different species of fruits and exhibit important complementarity as seed dispersers. Both are likely to be particularly important seed dispersers in disturbed and fragmented forests.

  4. Landscape matrix mediates occupancy dynamics of Neotropical avian insectivores (United States)

    Kennedy, Christina M.; Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Neel, Maile C.; Fagan, William F.; Marpa, Peter P.


    In addition to patch-level attributes (i.e., area and isolation), the nature of land cover between habitat patches (the matrix) may drive colonization and extinction dynamics in fragmented landscapes. Despite a long-standing recognition of matrix effects in fragmented systems, an understanding of the relative impacts of different types of land cover on patterns and dynamics of species occurrence remains limited. We employed multi-season occupancy models to determine the relative influence of patch area, patch isolation, within-patch vegetation structure, and landscape matrix on occupancy dynamics of nine Neotropical nsectivorous birds in 99 forest patches embedded in four matrix types (agriculture, suburban evelopment, bauxite mining, and forest) in central Jamaica. We found that within-patch vegetation structure and the matrix type between patches were more important than patch area and patch isolation in determining local colonization and local extinction probabilities, and that the effects of patch area, isolation, and vegetation structure on occupancy dynamics tended to be matrix and species dependent. Across the avian community, the landscape matrix influenced local extinction more than local colonization, indicating that extinction processes, rather than movement, likely drive interspecific differences in occupancy dynamics. These findings lend crucial empirical support to the hypothesis that species occupancy dynamics in fragmented systems may depend greatly upon the landscape context.

  5. Adaptive evolution of facial colour patterns in Neotropical primates. (United States)

    Santana, Sharlene E; Lynch Alfaro, Jessica; Alfaro, Michael E


    The rich diversity of primate faces has interested naturalists for over a century. Researchers have long proposed that social behaviours have shaped the evolution of primate facial diversity. However, the primate face constitutes a unique structure where the diverse and potentially competing functions of communication, ecology and physiology intersect, and the major determinants of facial diversity remain poorly understood. Here, we provide the first evidence for an adaptive role of facial colour patterns and pigmentation within Neotropical primates. Consistent with the hypothesis that facial patterns function in communication and species recognition, we find that species living in smaller groups and in sympatry with a higher number of congener species have evolved more complex patterns of facial colour. The evolution of facial pigmentation and hair length is linked to ecological factors, and ecogeographical rules related to UV radiation and thermoregulation are met by some facial regions. Our results demonstrate the interaction of behavioural and ecological factors in shaping one of the most outstanding facial diversities of any mammalian lineage.

  6. Revision of the Neotropical genus Protoconnus Franz (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Scydmaeninae). (United States)

    JaŁoszyŃski, PaweŁ


    The Neotropical genus Protoconnus Franz, belonging to the tribe Glandulariini, is revised. Protoconnus is redefined based on detailed morphological study, and all known species are revised, including 10 originally placed in Protoconnus, one transferred from Euconnus, and 14 described as new. The following species are treated: P. andicola Franz (Peru), P. peruensis Franz (Peru), P. minutus Franz (Peru), P. minutissimus Franz (Peru), P. venezolanus Franz (Venezuela), P. araguanus Franz (Venezuela), P. bolivianus Franz (Bolivia), P. comarapae Franz (Bolivia), P. robustus Franz (Bolivia), P. paraguayanus Franz (Paraguay), P. princeps (Franz), comb. n. (ex Euconnus) (Peru), P. quillabambanus sp. n. (Peru), P. ecuadoranus sp. n. (Ecuador), P. napoanus sp. n. (Ecuador), P. magnus sp. n. (Ecuador), P. impressifrons sp. n. (Bolivia), P. angustus sp. n. (Bolivia), P. acutus sp. n. (Bolivia), P. tunarianus sp. n. (Bolivia), P. apaapa sp. n. (Bolivia), P. maximus sp. n. (Costa Rica), P. minusculus sp. n. (Costa Rica), P. costaricanus sp. n. (Costa Rica), P. inexpectatus sp. n. (Costa Rica), and P. volcanbaru sp. n. (Panama). Lectotypes are designated for P. andicola and P. peruensis.

  7. Ant species confer different partner benefits on two neotropical myrmecophytes. (United States)

    Frederickson, Megan E


    The dynamics of mutualistic interactions involving more than a single pair of species depend on the relative costs and benefits of interaction among alternative partners. The neotropical myrmecophytes Cordia nodosa and Duroia hirsuta associate with several species of obligately symbiotic ants. I compared the ant partners of Cordia and Duroia with respect to two benefits known to be important in ant-myrmecophyte interactions: protection against herbivores provided by ants, and protection against encroaching vegetation provided by ants. Azteca spp., Myrmelachista schumanni, and Allomerus octoarticulatus demerarae ants all provide the leaves of Cordia and Duroia some protection against herbivores. However, Azteca and Allomerus provide more protection than does Myrmelachista to the leaves of their host plants. Although Allomerus protects the leaves of its hosts, plants occupied by Allomerus suffer more attacks by herbivores to their stems than do plants occupied by other ants. Relative to Azteca or Allomerus, Myrmelachista ants provide better protection against encroaching vegetation, increasing canopy openness over their host plants. These differences in benefits among the ant partners of Cordia and Duroia are reflected in the effect of each ant species on host plant size, growth rate, and reproduction. The results of this study show how mutualistic ant partners can differ with respect to both the magnitude and type of benefits they provide to the same species of myrmecophytic host.

  8. Inter-annual Variability of Evapotranspiration in a Semi-arid Oak-savanna Ecosystem: Measured and Modeled Buffering to Precipitation Changes (United States)

    Raz-Yaseef, N.; Sonnentag, O.; Kobayashi, H.; Baldocchi, D. D.


    Precipitation (P) is the primary control on vegetation dynamics and productivity, implying that climate induced disturbances in frequency and timing of P are intimately coupled with fluxes of carbon, water and energy. Future climate change is expected to increase extreme rainfall events as well as droughts, suggesting linked vegetation changes to an unknown extent. Semi-arid climates experience large inter-annual variability (IAV) in P, creating natural conditions adequate to study how year-to-year changes in P affect atmosphere-biosphere fluxes. We used a 10-year flux database collected at a semi-arid savanna site in order to: (1) define IAV in P by means of frequency and timing; (2) investigate how changes in P affect the ecohydrology of the forest and its partitioning into the main vapor fluxes, and (3) evaluate model capability to predict IAV of carbon and water fluxes above and below the canopy. This is based on the perception that the capability of process-oriented models to construct the deviation, and not the average, is important in order to correctly predict ecosystem sensitivity to climate change. Our research site was a low density and low LAI (0.8) semi-arid (P=523±180 mm yr-1) savanna site, combined of oaks and grass, and located at Tonzi ranch, California. Measurements of carbon and water fluxes above and below the tree canopy using eddy covariance and supplementary measurements have been made since 2001. Measured fluxes were compared to modeled based on two bio-meteorological process-oriented ecosystem models: BEPS and 3D-CAONAK. Our results show that IAV in P was large, and standard deviation (STD) was 38% of the average. Accordingly, the wet soil period (measured volumetric water content > 8%) varied between 156 days in dry years to 301 days in wet years. IAV of the vapor fluxes were lower than that of P (STD was 17% for the trees and 23% for the floor components), suggesting on ecosystem buffering to changes in P. The timing of grass green up

  9. Radiation absorption and use by humid savanna grassland: assessment using remote sensing and modelling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roux, X. le; Gauthier, H.; Begue, A.; Sinoquet, H.


    The components of the canopy radiation balance in photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), phytomass and leaf area index (LAI) were measured during a complete annual cycle in an annually burned African humid savanna. Directional reflectances measured by a hand-held radiometer were used to compute the canopy normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). The fraction f APAR of PAR absorbed by the canopy (APAR) and canopy reflectances were simulated by the scattering from arbitrarily inclined leaves (SAIL) and the radiation interception in row intercropping (RIRI) models. The daily PAR to solar radiation ratio was linearly related to the daily fraction of diffuse solar radiation with an annual value around 0.47. The observed f APAR was non-linearly related to NDVI. The SAIL model simulated reasonably well directional reflectances but noticeably overestimated f APAR during most of the growing season. Comparison of simulations performed with the 1D and 3D versions of the RIRI model highlighted the weak influence of the heterogeneous structure of the canopy after fire and of the vertical distribution of dead and green leaves on total f APAR . Daily f APAR values simulated by the 3D-RIRI model were linearly related to and 9.8% higher than observed values. For sufficient soil water availability, the net production efficiency ϵ n of the savanna grass canopy was 1.92 and 1.28 g DM MJ −1 APAR (where DM stands for dry matter) during early regrowth and mature stage, respectively. In conclusion, the linear relationship between NDVI and f APAR used in most primary production models operating at large scales may slightly overestimate f APAR by green leaves for the humid savanna biome. Moreover, the net production efficiency of humid savannas is close to or higher than values reported for the other major natural biomes. (author)

  10. Implication of climate change for the persistence of raptors in arid savanna

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wichmann, M.C.; Wissel, C. [UFZ-Center for Environmental Research, Dept. of Ecological Modelling, Leipzig (Germany); Jeltsch, F. [Univ. of Potsdam, Inst. for Biochemistry and Biology, Potsdam (Germany); Dean, W.R.J. [Univ. of Cape Town, Percy FitzPatrick Inst. of African Ornithology, Rondebosch (South Africa); Moloney, K.A. [Iowa State Univ., Dept. of Botany, Ames, IA (United States)


    Arid savannas are regarded as one of the ecosystems most likely to be affected by climate change. In these dry conditions, even top predators like raptors are affected by water availability and precipitation. However, few research initiatives have a adressed the question of how climate change will affect population dynamics and extinction risk of particular species in and ecosystems. Here, we use an individual-oriented modeling approach to conduct experiments on the population dynamics of long lived raptors. We investigate the potential impact of precipitation variation caused by climate change on raptors in and savanna using the tawny eagle (Aquila rapax) in the southern Kalahari as a case study. We simulated various modifications of precipitation scenarios predicted for climate change, such as lowered annual precipitation mean, increased inter-annual variation and increased auto-correlation in precipitation. We found a high impact of these modifications on extinction risk of tawny eagles, with reduced population persistence in most cases. Decreased mean annual precipitation and increased inter-annual variation both caused dramatic decreases in population persistence. Increased autocorrelation in precipitation led only to slightly accelerated extinction of simulated populations. Finally. for various patterns of periodically fluctuating precipitation, we found both increased and decreased population persistence. In summary, our results suggest that the impacts on raptor population dynamics and survival caused by climate change in and savannas will be great. We emphasize that even if under climate change the mean annual precipitation remains constant but the inter-annual variation increases the persistence of raptor populations in and savannas will decrease considerably. This suggests a new dimension, of climate change driven impacts on population persistence and consequently on biodiversity. However, more investigations on particular species and/or species groups

  11. Molecular phylogeny and diversification of a widespread Neotropical rainforest bird group: The Buff-throated Woodcreeper complex, Xiphorhynchus guttatus/susurrans (Aves: Dendrocolaptidae). (United States)

    Rocha, Tainá C; Sequeira, Fernando; Aleixo, Alexandre; Rêgo, Péricles S; Sampaio, Iracilda; Schneider, Horacio; Vallinoto, Marcelo


    The genus Xiphorhynchus is a species rich avian group widely distributed in Neotropical forests of Central and South America. Although recent molecular studies have improved our understanding of the spatial patterns of genetic diversity in some species of this genus, most are still poorly known, including their taxonomy. Here, we address the historical diversification and phylogenetic relationships of the X. guttatus/susurrans complex, using data from two mitochondrial (cyt b and ND2) and one nuclear (β-fibint7) genes. Phylogenetic relationships were inferred with both gene trees and a Bayesian-based species tree under a coalescent framework (∗BEAST). With exception of the nuclear β-fibint7 gene that produced an unresolved tree, both mtDNA and the species tree showed a similar topology and were congruent in recovering five main clades with high statistical support. These clades, however, are not fully concordant with traditional delimitation of some X. guttatus subspecies, since X. g. polystictus, X. g. guttatus, and X. g. connectens are not supported as distinct clades. Interestingly, these three taxa are more closely related to the mostly trans-Andean X. susurrans than the other southern and western Amazonian subspecies of X. guttatus, which constitutes a paraphyletic species. Timing estimates based on the species tree indicated that diversification in X. guttatus occurred between the end of the Pliocene and early Pleistocene, likely associated with the formation of the modern Amazon River and its main southern tributaries (Xingu, Tocantins, and Madeira), in addition to climate-induced changes in the distribution of rainforest biomes. Our study supports with an enlarged dataset a previous proposal for recognizing at least three species level taxa in the X. guttatus/susurrans complex: X. susurrans, X. guttatus, and X. guttatoides. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Fire feedbacks facilitate invasion of pine savannas by Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius). (United States)

    Stevens, Jens T; Beckage, Brian


    * Fire disturbance can mediate the invasion of ecological communities by nonnative species. Nonnative plants that modify existing fire regimes may initiate a positive feedback that can facilitate their continued invasion. Fire-sensitive plants may successfully invade pyrogenic landscapes if they can inhibit fire in the landscape. * Here, we investigated whether the invasive shrub Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius) can initiate a fire-suppression feedback in a fire-dependent pine savanna ecosystem in the southeastern USA. * We found that prescribed burns caused significant (30-45%) mortality of Brazilian pepper at low densities and that savannas with more frequent fires contained less Brazilian pepper. However, high densities of Brazilian pepper reduced fire temperature by up to 200 degrees C, and experienced as much as 80% lower mortality. * A cellular automaton model was used to demonstrate that frequent fire may control low-density populations, but that Brazilian pepper may reach a sufficient density during fire-free periods to initiate a positive feedback that reduces the frequency of fire and converts the savanna to an invasive-dominated forest.

  13. Estimating vegetation dryness to optimize fire risk assessment with spot vegetation satellite data in savanna ecosystems (United States)

    Verbesselt, J.; Somers, B.; Lhermitte, S.; van Aardt, J.; Jonckheere, I.; Coppin, P.


    The lack of information on vegetation dryness prior to the use of fire as a management tool often leads to a significant deterioration of the savanna ecosystem. This paper therefore evaluated the capacity of SPOT VEGETATION time-series to monitor the vegetation dryness (i.e., vegetation moisture content per vegetation amount) in order to optimize fire risk assessment in the savanna ecosystem of Kruger National Park in South Africa. The integrated Relative Vegetation Index approach (iRVI) to quantify the amount of herbaceous biomass at the end of the rain season and the Accumulated Relative Normalized Difference vegetation index decrement (ARND) related to vegetation moisture content were selected. The iRVI and ARND related to vegetation amount and moisture content, respectively, were combined in order to monitor vegetation dryness and optimize fire risk assessment in the savanna ecosystems. In situ fire activity data was used to evaluate the significance of the iRVI and ARND to monitor vegetation dryness for fire risk assessment. Results from the binary logistic regression analysis confirmed that the assessment of fire risk was optimized by integration of both the vegetation quantity (iRVI) and vegetation moisture content (ARND) as statistically significant explanatory variables. Consequently, the integrated use of both iRVI and ARND to monitor vegetation dryness provides a more suitable tool for fire management and suppression compared to other traditional satellite-based fire risk assessment methods, only related to vegetation moisture content.

  14. Molecular systematics and historical biogeography of tree boas (Corallus spp.). (United States)

    Colston, Timothy J; Grazziotin, Felipe G; Shepard, Donald B; Vitt, Laurie J; Colli, Guarino R; Henderson, Robert W; Blair Hedges, S; Bonatto, Sandro; Zaher, Hussam; Noonan, Brice P; Burbrink, Frank T


    Inferring the evolutionary and biogeographic history of taxa occurring in a particular region is one way to determine the processes by which the biodiversity of that region originated. Tree boas of the genus Corallus are an ancient clade and occur throughout Central and South America and the Lesser Antilles, making it an excellent group for investigating Neotropical biogeography. Using sequenced portions of two mitochondrial and three nuclear loci for individuals of all recognized species of Corallus, we infer phylogenetic relationships, present the first molecular analysis of the phylogenetic placement of the enigmatic C. cropanii, develop a time-calibrated phylogeny, and explore the biogeographic history of the genus. We found that Corallus diversified within mainland South America, via over-water dispersals to the Lesser Antilles and Central America, and via the traditionally recognized Panamanian land bridge. Divergence time estimates reject the South American Caribbean-Track as a general biogeographic model for Corallus and implicate a role for events during the Oligocene and Miocene in diversification such as marine incursions and the uplift of the Andes. Our findings also suggest that recognition of the island endemic species, C. grenadensis and C. cookii, is questionable as they are nested within the widely distributed species, C. hortulanus. Our results highlight the importance of using widespread taxa when forming and testing biogeographic hypotheses in complex regions and further illustrate the difficulty of forming broadly applicable hypotheses regarding patterns of diversification in the Neotropical region. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Flower power: tree flowering phenology as a settlement cue for migrating birds. (United States)

    McGrath, Laura J; van Riper, Charles; Fontaine, Joseph J


    1. Neotropical migrant birds show a clear preference for stopover habitats with ample food supplies; yet, the proximate cues underlying these decisions remain unclear. 2. For insectivorous migrants, cues associated with vegetative phenology (e.g. flowering, leaf flush, and leaf loss) may reliably predict the availability of herbivorous arthropods. Here we examined whether migrants use the phenology of five tree species to choose stopover locations, and whether phenology accurately predicts food availability. 3. Using a combination of experimental and observational evidence, we show migrant populations closely track tree phenology, particularly the flowering phenology of honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa), and preferentially forage in trees with more flowers. Furthermore, the flowering phenology of honey mesquite reliably predicts overall arthropod abundance as well as the arthropods preferred by migrants for food. 4. Together, these results suggest that honey mesquite flowering phenology is an important cue used by migrants to assess food availability quickly and reliably, while in transit during spring migration.

  16. Neotropical species of Meteorus Haliday (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Meteorinae) parasitizing Arctiinae (Lepidoptera: Noctuoidea: Erebidae). (United States)

    Aguirre, Helmuth; Shaw, Scott R


    Three new species of Meteorus parasitoids of Arctiinae are described: Meteorus anuae n. sp., M. juliae n. sp. and M. mirandae n. sp. The first biological record for M. cecavorum Aguirre & Shaw as well as its cocoon description is reported. A comprehensive key for the Neotropical Meteorus attacking Arctiinae is provided. A total of nine Meteorus species have been reared from Arctiinae in the Neotropical Region. Six of them are gregarious and three solitary. The biological information about host and food plants concurs with the hypothesis of specialist parasitoids preferring "nasty" caterpillars.

  17. Categorizing ideas about trees: a tree of trees. (United States)

    Fisler, Marie; Lecointre, Guillaume


    The aim of this study is to explore whether matrices and MP trees used to produce systematic categories of organisms could be useful to produce categories of ideas in history of science. We study the history of the use of trees in systematics to represent the diversity of life from 1766 to 1991. We apply to those ideas a method inspired from coding homologous parts of organisms. We discretize conceptual parts of ideas, writings and drawings about trees contained in 41 main writings; we detect shared parts among authors and code them into a 91-characters matrix and use a tree representation to show who shares what with whom. In other words, we propose a hierarchical representation of the shared ideas about trees among authors: this produces a "tree of trees." Then, we categorize schools of tree-representations. Classical schools like "cladists" and "pheneticists" are recovered but others are not: "gradists" are separated into two blocks, one of them being called here "grade theoreticians." We propose new interesting categories like the "buffonian school," the "metaphoricians," and those using "strictly genealogical classifications." We consider that networks are not useful to represent shared ideas at the present step of the study. A cladogram is made for showing who is sharing what with whom, but also heterobathmy and homoplasy of characters. The present cladogram is not modelling processes of transmission of ideas about trees, and here it is mostly used to test for proximity of ideas of the same age and for categorization.

  18. Urban tree growth modeling (United States)

    E. Gregory McPherson; Paula J. Peper


    This paper describes three long-term tree growth studies conducted to evaluate tree performance because repeated measurements of the same trees produce critical data for growth model calibration and validation. Several empirical and process-based approaches to modeling tree growth are reviewed. Modeling is more advanced in the fields of forestry and...

  19. Keeping trees as assets (United States)

    Kevin T. Smith


    Landscape trees have real value and contribute to making livable communities. Making the most of that value requires providing trees with the proper care and attention. As potentially large and long-lived organisms, trees benefit from commitment to regular care that respects the natural tree system. This system captures, transforms, and uses energy to survive, grow,...

  20. Study of the mobilization of pollutants in soils of the Bogota Savanna - phase 1, Heavy Metals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonzalez, Luz Myrian; Vargas Zarate, Orlando


    In this study the soils contamination of the Bogota Savanna was evaluated by heavy metals, that they have importance to be this the area of population's of the country bigger density, where the use of the soils has suffered changes in the last years that have affected its properties, as consequence of the not controlled growth of the urban area, of the industrialization and of the agricultural use not planned. As a first stage toward the risk evaluation for the presence of metals weighed in the soils of the Bogota Savanna, the concentrations of cadmium, cobalt, chromium, copper, manganese, nickel, lead, zinc, molybdenum, arsenic and mercury were measured. It was also measured the movilizable fraction and the mobile fraction, that is to say, the quantity of metals that can be taken by the roots of the plants or that it can be leached toward the water bodies. Equally, the soils of the Savanna were characterized in an area of the plane part that covers 800 km 2 , as for the physical and chemical properties that can affect the retention and mobilization of heavy metals. The results obtained shows elements, that will allow in a future to develop mobilization and transport models, adapted for our specific conditions and to make an risks evaluation for the population's health, foods consumption on these soils or for the possibility of contamination of the underground waters. The obtained data of levels of heavy metals and other properties of the soils will serve as base for future studies of the conditions of the Savanna soils and for the establishment of standard of quality in our country. During 1997 it plans to enlarge the study area to 1200 km 2 and to begin the sampling and analysis of the soils. In the first phase of the study were found levels of heavy metals that overcome the world averages especially cadmium, cobalt, nickel, lead and zinc and in some cases chromium and mercury, levels that put in evidence the existence an ecological risk and for the population

  1. Precipitation chemistry and wet deposition in a remote wet savanna site in West Africa: Djougou (Benin) (United States)

    Akpo, A. B.; Galy-Lacaux, C.; Laouali, D.; Delon, C.; Liousse, C.; Adon, M.; Gardrat, E.; Mariscal, A.; Darakpa, C.


    In the framework of the IDAF (IGAC/DEBITS/AFrica) international program, this study aims to study the chemical composition of precipitation and associated wet deposition at the rural site of Djougou in Benin, representative of a West and Central African wet savanna. Five hundred and thirty rainfall samples were collected at Djougou, Benin, from July 2005 to December 2009 to provide a unique database. The chemical composition of precipitation was analyzed for inorganic (Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, NH4+, K+, NO3-, Cl-, SO42-) and organic (HCOO-, CH3COO-, C2H5COO-, C2O42-) ions, using ion chromatography. The 530 collected rain events represent a total of 5706.1 mm of rainfall compared to the measured pluviometry 6138.9 mm, indicating that the collection efficiency is about 93%. The order of total annual loading rates for soluble cations is NH4+ > Ca2+ > Mg2+ > K+. For soluble anions the order of loading is carbonates > HCOO- > NO3- > CH3COO- > SO42- > Cl- > C2O42- > C2H5COO-. In the wet savanna of Djougou, 86% of the measured pH values range between 4.7 and 5.7 with a median pH of 5.19, corresponding to a VWM (Volume Weighed Mean) H+ concentration of 6.46 μeq·L-1. This acidity results from a mixture of mineral and organic acids. The annual sea salt contribution was computed for K+, Mg2+, Ca2+ and SO42- and represents 4.2% of K+, 41% of Mg2+, 1.3% of Ca2+, and 7.4% of SO42-. These results show that K+, Ca2+, SO42-, and Mg2+ were mainly of non-marine origin. The marine contribution is estimated at 9%. The results of the chemical composition of rainwater of Djougou indicates that, except for the carbonates, ammonium has the highest VWM concentration (14.3 μeq·L-1) and nitrate concentration is 8.2 μeq·L-1. The distribution of monthly VWM concentration for all ions is computed and shows the highest values during the dry season, comparing to the wet season. Identified nitrogenous compound sources (NOx and NH3) are domestic animals, natural emissions from savanna soils, biomass

  2. Palm utilization and management in Asia: examples for the neotropics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)


    productos comestibles de 61 especies de palmas asiáticas. A partir de estos ejemplos, se hacen sugerencias para el manejo y la valorización de las palmas neotropicales, a fin de incrementar el suministro de alimentos y de otros productos útiles. Asia is endowed with the world’s greatest palm biodiversity, and also possesses the highest diversity of palm utilization. Palms have a long history of management for both subsistence and commercial products, many of which are deeply embedded in local cultures. In Asia, traditional technologies of exploiting wild and semi-wild palm populations, as well as processing techniques associated with many of the palm products, are generally more advanced than in the Neotropics. Native Asian palms currently provide significant quantities of food, beverage, fiber, rattan, construction material and other products. This article surveys edible products from 61 Asian palm species. Using these examples from Asia, suggestions are made as to how Neotropical palms could be managed and valorized for food and other useful products.

  3. The function of stilt roots in the growth strategy of Socratea exorrhiza (Arecaceae at two neotropical sites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory R Goldsmith


    Full Text Available Arboreal palms have developed a variety of structural root modifications and systems to adapt to the harsh abiotic conditions of tropical rain forests. Stilt roots have been proposed to serve a number of functions including the facilitation of rapid vertical growth to the canopy and enhanced mechanical stability. To examine whether stilt roots provide these functions, we compared stilt root characteristics of the neotropical palm tree Socratea exorrhiza on sloped (>20º and flat locations at two lowland neotropical sites. S. exorrhiza (n=80 trees did not demonstrate differences in number of roots, vertical stilt root height, root cone circumference, root cone volume, or location of roots as related to slope. However, we found positive relationships between allocation to vertical growth and stilt root architecture including root cone circumference, number of roots, and root cone volume. Accordingly, stilt roots may allow S. exorrhiza to increase height and maintain mechanical stability without having to concurrently invest in increased stem diameter and underground root structure. This strategy likely increases the species ability to rapidly exploit light gaps as compared to non-stilt root palms and may also enhance survival as mature trees approach the theoretical limits of their mechanical stability. Rev. Biol. Trop. 55 (3-4: 787-793. Epub 2007 December, 28.Comparamos características físicas de raíces aéreas de la palmera Socratea exorrhiza en sitios inclinados (pendiente>20º y sitios planos, en dos lugares neotropicales. S. exorrhiza (n=80 árboles no muestra diferencias en el número de raíces, la altura vertical de las raíces, la circunferencia y la masa del cono de las raíces, o la posición de las raíces en los sitios con pendiente. Encontramos relaciones positivas entre el crecimiento vertical y la arquitectura de las raíces aéreas, incluso entre el número de raíces, la circunferencia del cono de las raíces, y la masa del

  4. Neotropical bats: estimating species diversity with DNA barcodes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth L Clare

    Full Text Available DNA barcoding using the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene (COI is frequently employed as an efficient method of species identification in animal life and may also be used to estimate species richness, particularly in understudied faunas. Despite numerous past demonstrations of the efficiency of this technique, few studies have attempted to employ DNA barcoding methodologies on a large geographic scale, particularly within tropical regions. In this study we survey current and potential species diversity using DNA barcodes with a collection of more than 9000 individuals from 163 species of Neotropical bats (order Chiroptera. This represents one of the largest surveys to employ this strategy on any animal group and is certainly the largest to date for land vertebrates. Our analysis documents the utility of this tool over great geographic distances and across extraordinarily diverse habitats. Among the 163 included species 98.8% possessed distinct sets of COI haplotypes making them easily recognizable at this locus. We detected only a single case of shared haplotypes. Intraspecific diversity in the region was high among currently recognized species (mean of 1.38%, range 0-11.79% with respect to birds, though comparable to other bat assemblages. In 44 of 163 cases, well-supported, distinct intraspecific lineages were identified which may suggest the presence of cryptic species though mean and maximum intraspecific divergence were not good predictors of their presence. In all cases, intraspecific lineages require additional investigation using complementary molecular techniques and additional characters such as morphology and acoustic data. Our analysis provides strong support for the continued assembly of DNA barcoding libraries and ongoing taxonomic investigation of bats.

  5. Phyllostomid bat occurrence in successional stages of neotropical dry forests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Daniel Avila-Cabadilla

    Full Text Available Tropical dry forests (TDFs are highly endangered tropical ecosystems being replaced by a complex mosaic of patches of different successional stages, agricultural fields and pasturelands. In this context, it is urgent to understand how taxa playing critical ecosystem roles respond to habitat modification. Because Phyllostomid bats provide important ecosystem services (e.g. facilitate gene flow among plant populations and promote forest regeneration, in this study we aimed to identify potential patterns on their response to TDF transformation in sites representing four different successional stages (initial, early, intermediate and late in three Neotropical regions: México, Venezuela and Brazil. We evaluated bat occurrence at the species, ensemble (abundance and assemblage level (species richness and composition, guild composition. We also evaluated how bat occurrence was modulated by the marked seasonality of TDFs. In general, we found high seasonal and regional specificities in phyllostomid occurrence, driven by specificities at species and guild levels. For example, highest frugivore abundance occurred in the early stage of the moistest TDF, while highest nectarivore abundance occurred in the same stage of the driest TDF. The high regional specificity of phyllostomid responses could arise from: (1 the distinctive environmental conditions of each region, (2 the specific behavior and ecological requirements of the regional bat species, (3 the composition, structure and phenological patterns of plant assemblages in the different stages, and (4 the regional landscape composition and configuration. We conclude that, in tropical seasonal environments, it is imperative to perform long-term studies considering seasonal variations in environmental conditions and plant phenology, as well as the role of landscape attributes. This approach will allow us to identify potential patterns in bat responses to habitat modification, which constitute an invaluable

  6. Phyllostomid Bat Occurrence in Successional Stages of Neotropical Dry Forests (United States)

    Avila-Cabadilla, Luis Daniel; Stoner, Kathryn Elizabeth; Nassar, Jafet M.; Espírito-Santo, Mario M.; Alvarez-Añorve, Mariana Yolotl; Aranguren, Carla I.; Henry, Mickael; González-Carcacía, José A.; Dolabela Falcão, Luiz A.; Sanchez-Azofeifa, Gerardo Arturo


    Tropical dry forests (TDFs) are highly endangered tropical ecosystems being replaced by a complex mosaic of patches of different successional stages, agricultural fields and pasturelands. In this context, it is urgent to understand how taxa playing critical ecosystem roles respond to habitat modification. Because Phyllostomid bats provide important ecosystem services (e.g. facilitate gene flow among plant populations and promote forest regeneration), in this study we aimed to identify potential patterns on their response to TDF transformation in sites representing four different successional stages (initial, early, intermediate and late) in three Neotropical regions: México, Venezuela and Brazil. We evaluated bat occurrence at the species, ensemble (abundance) and assemblage level (species richness and composition, guild composition). We also evaluated how bat occurrence was modulated by the marked seasonality of TDFs. In general, we found high seasonal and regional specificities in phyllostomid occurrence, driven by specificities at species and guild levels. For example, highest frugivore abundance occurred in the early stage of the moistest TDF, while highest nectarivore abundance occurred in the same stage of the driest TDF. The high regional specificity of phyllostomid responses could arise from: (1) the distinctive environmental conditions of each region, (2) the specific behavior and ecological requirements of the regional bat species, (3) the composition, structure and phenological patterns of plant assemblages in the different stages, and (4) the regional landscape composition and configuration. We conclude that, in tropical seasonal environments, it is imperative to perform long-term studies considering seasonal variations in environmental conditions and plant phenology, as well as the role of landscape attributes. This approach will allow us to identify potential patterns in bat responses to habitat modification, which constitute an invaluable tool for

  7. Classification and regression trees

    CERN Document Server

    Breiman, Leo; Olshen, Richard A; Stone, Charles J


    The methodology used to construct tree structured rules is the focus of this monograph. Unlike many other statistical procedures, which moved from pencil and paper to calculators, this text's use of trees was unthinkable before computers. Both the practical and theoretical sides have been developed in the authors' study of tree methods. Classification and Regression Trees reflects these two sides, covering the use of trees as a data analysis method, and in a more mathematical framework, proving some of their fundamental properties.

  8. Nesting success of grassland and savanna birds on reclaimed surface coal mines of the midwestern United States

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Galligan, E.W.; DeVault, T.L.; Lima, S.L. [Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN (United States)


    Reclaimed surface coal mines in southwestern Indiana support many grassland and shrub/savanna bird species of conservation concern. We examined the nesting success of birds on these reclaimed mines to assess whether such 'unnatural' places represent productive breeding habitats for such species. We established eight study sites on two large, grassland-dominated mines in southwestern Indiana and classified them into three categories (open grassland, shrub/savanna, and a mixture of grassland and shrub/savanna) based on broad vegetation and landscape characteristics. During the 1999 and 2000 breeding seasons, we found and monitored 911 nests of 31 species. Daily nest survival for the most commonly monitored grassland species ranged from 0.903 (Dickcissel, Spiza americana) to 0.961 (Grasshopper Sparrow, Ammodramus savannarum). Daily survival estimates for the dominant shrub/savanna nesting species ranged from 0.932 (Brown Thrasher, Toxostoma rufum) to 0.982 (Willow Flycatcher, Empidonax traillii). Vegetation and landscape effects on nesting success were minimal, and only Eastern Meadowlarks (Sturnella magna) showed a clear time-of-season effect, with greater nesting success in the first half of the breeding season. Rates of Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism were only 2.1% for grassland species and 12.0% for shrub/savanna species. The nesting success of birds on reclaimed mine sites was comparable to that in other habitats, indicating that reclaimed habitats on surface mines do not necessarily represent reproductive traps for birds.

  9. The ecology, distribution, conservation and management of large old trees. (United States)

    Lindenmayer, David B; Laurance, William F


    Large old trees are some of the most iconic biota on earth and are integral parts of many terrestrial ecosystems including those in tropical, temperate and boreal forests, deserts, savannas, agro-ecological areas, and urban environments. In this review, we provide new insights into the ecology, function, evolution and management of large old trees through broad cross-disciplinary perspectives from literatures in plant physiology, growth and development, evolution, habitat value for fauna and flora, and conservation management. Our review reveals that the diameter, height and longevity of large old trees varies greatly on an inter-specific basis, thereby creating serious challenges in defining large old trees and demanding an ecosystem- and species-specific definition that will only rarely be readily transferable to other species or ecosystems. Such variation is also manifested by marked inter-specific differences in the key attributes of large old trees (beyond diameter and height) such as the extent of buttressing, canopy architecture, the extent of bark micro-environments and the prevalence of cavities. We found that large old trees play an extraordinary range of critical ecological roles including in hydrological regimes, nutrient cycles and numerous ecosystem processes. Large old trees strongly influence the spatial and temporal distribution and abundance of individuals of the same species and populations of numerous other plant and animal species. We suggest many key characteristics of large old trees such as extreme height, prolonged lifespans, and the presence of cavities - which confer competitive and evolutionary advantages in undisturbed environments - can render such trees highly susceptible to a range of human influences. Large old trees are vulnerable to threats ranging from droughts, fire, pests and pathogens, to logging, land clearing, landscape fragmentation and climate change. Tackling such diverse threats is challenging because they often

  10. Effects of anabolic and catabolic nutrients on woody plant encroachment after long-term experimental fertilization in a South African savanna.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony J Mills

    Full Text Available The causes of the worldwide problem of encroachment of woody plants into grassy vegetation are elusive. The effects of soil nutrients on competition between herbaceous and woody plants in various landscapes are particularly poorly understood. A long-term experiment of 60 plots in a South African savanna, comprising annual applications of ammonium sulphate (146-1166 kg ha-1 yr-1 and superphosphate (233-466 kg ha-1 yr-1 over three decades, and subsequent passive protection over another three decades, during which indigenous trees encroached on different plots to extremely variable degrees, provided an opportunity to investigate relationships between soil properties and woody encroachment. All topsoils were analysed for pH, acidity, EC, water-dispersible clay, Na, Mg, K, Ca, P, S, C, N, NH4, NO3, B, Mn, Cu and Zn. Applications of ammonium sulphate (AS, but not superphosphate (SP, greatly constrained tree abundance relative to control plots. Differences between control plots and plots that had received maximal AS application were particularly marked (16.3 ± 5.7 versus 1.2 ± 0.8 trees per plot. Soil properties most affected by AS applications included pH (H2O (control to maximal AS application: 6.4 ± 0.1 to 5.1 ± 0.2, pH (KCl (5.5 ± 0.2 to 4.0 ± 0.1, acidity (0.7 ± 0.1 to 2.6 ± 0.3 cmol kg-1, acid saturation (8 ± 2 to 40 ± 5%, Mg (386 ± 25 to 143 ± 15 mg kg-1, Ca (1022 ± 180 to 322 ± 14 mg kg-1, Mn (314 ± 11 to 118 ± 9 mg kg-1, Cu (3.6 ± 0.3 to 2.3 ± 0.2 mg kg-1 and Zn (6.6 ± 0.4 to 3.7 ± 0.4 mg kg-1. Magnesium, B, Mn and Cu were identified using principal component analysis, boundary line analysis and Kruskal-Wallis rank sum tests as the nutrients most likely to be affecting tree abundance. The ratio Mn/Cu was most related to tree abundance across the experiment, supporting the hypothesis that competition between herbaceous and woody plants depends on the availability of anabolic relative to catabolic nutrients. These findings

  11. Long-term effects of fire frequency and season on herbaceous vegetation in savannas of the Kruger National Park, South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Smith, MD


    Full Text Available in savannas, the experimental burn plots (EBPs), which is located in the Kruger National Park (South Africa) and encompasses four major savanna vegetation types that span broad spatial gradients of rainfall (450–700mm) and soil fertility....

  12. The magnitude and persistence of soil NO, N20, CH4, and C02 fluxes from burned tropical savanna in Brazil (United States)

    Mark Poth; Iris Cofman Anderson; Heloisa Sinatora Miranda; Antonia Carlos Miranda; Philip J. Riggan


    Among all global ecosystems, tropical savannas are the most severely and extensively affected by anthropogenic burning. Frequency of fire in cerrado, a type of tropical savanna covering 25% of Brazil, is 2 to 4 years. In 1992 we measured soil fluxes of NO, N20, CH4, and C02 from cerrado sites that had...

  13. Biodiversity effects on ecosystem function due to land use: The case of buffel savannas in the Sky Islands Seas in the central region of Sonora (United States)

    A. E. Castellanos; H. Celaya; C. Hinojo; A. Ibarra; J. R. Romo


    Buffel savannas have been an important landscape on cattle grazing ranches in Sonora over the past 50 years or more. Changes in land use result in biodiversity changes that may produce ecosystem functional changes; however, these are less well documented. Although fire driven processes have been proposed for Buffel savannas, this is not generally the case, and other...

  14. On the suitability of MODIS time series metrics to map vegetation types in dry savanna ecosystems: A case study in the Kalahari of NE Namibia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hüttich, C.; Gessner, U.; Herold, M.; Strohbach, B.; Schmidt, M.; Keil, M.; Dech, S.


    The characterization and evaluation of the recent status of biodiversity in Southern Africa’s Savannas is a major prerequisite for suitable and sustainable land management and conservation purposes. This paper presents an integrated concept for vegetation type mapping in a dry savanna ecosystem

  15. Variation in wood anatomy of species with a distribution covering both rain forest and savanna areas of the Ivory Coast, West-Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Outer, den R.W.; Veenendaal, van W.L.H.


    The variation in wood anatomy within 30 hardwood species, each with a distribution covering both rain forest and savanna areas of the Ivory Coast, Africa, has been studied. Compared to specimens from the rain forest, material from the savanna tends to have more wood ray tissue (rays are higher,

  16. The diversity and biogeography of late Pleistocene birds from the lowland Neotropics (United States)

    Steadman, David W.; Oswald, Jessica A.; Rincón, Ascanio D.


    The Neotropical lowlands sustain the world's richest bird communities, yet little that we know about their history is based on paleontology. Fossils afford a way to investigate distributional shifts in individual species, and thus improve our understanding of long-term change in Neotropical bird communities. We report a species-rich avian fossil sample from a late Pleistocene tar seep (Mene de Inciarte) in northwestern Venezuela. A mere 175 identified fossils from Mene de Inciarte represent 73 species of birds, among which six are extinct, and eight others no longer occur within 100 km. These 14 species consist mainly of ducks (Anatidae), snipe (Scolopacidae), vultures/condors (Vulturidae), hawks/eagles (Accipitridae), and blackbirds (Icteridae). Neotropical bird communities were richer in the late Pleistocene than today; their considerable extinction may be related to collapse of the large mammal fauna at that time. The species assemblage at Mene de Inciarte suggests that biogeographic patterns, even at continental scales, have been remarkably labile over short geological time frames. Mene de Inciarte is but one of 300 + tar seeps in Venezuela, only two of which have been explored for fossils. We may be on the cusp of an exciting new era of avian paleontology in the Neotropics.

  17. High abundance of neotropical drosophilids (Diptera: Drosophilidae) in four cultivated areas of central Brazil. (United States)

    Emerich, Pp; Valadão, H; Silva, Jrvp; Tidon, R


    The drosophilid assemblages of four cultivated areas (soy, bean, corn, and orange plantations) grown in the core of the Neotropical region were analyzed by comparing their abundances and compositions. The collections, which were gathered using 38 banana traps, captured 12,560 drosophilids, including nine Neotropical and six exotic species. Most of the flies were collected in the bean (43%) and soy (42%) fields. The composition and relative abundance of species also varied among cultivated areas, with orange orchards presenting the highest relative abundance of exotics due to the dominance of the Afrotropical Zaprionus indianus (Gupta). Crop plantations were dominated by a Neotropical species, Drosophila cardini (Sturtevant), which has been shown to be well adapted to dry and disturbed environments. We discuss the drosophilid assemblages of the cultivated areas, comparing them with assemblages from neighbor urban and natural environments. The low drosophilid richness found in this study is similar to the richness found in urban environments and lower than the drosophilid richness of forests, supporting a pattern already known for other taxa. The high abundance of drosophilids in cultivated areas, as well as the dominance of a Neotropical species (D. cardini) in the crop assemblages, was a surprising result.

  18. Stopover ecology of neotropical migrants in central Veracruz, México (United States)

    Ernesto Ruelas Inzunza; Stephen W. Hoffman; Laurie J. Goodrich


    Available information on the ecology of neotropical migrants during the winter season and especially during migration is far behind the existing knowledge of birds during the breeding season. This paper presents a stopover ecology case study. We document the occurrence of species, outline the prevailing weather patterns during spring and fall migration seasons, and...

  19. Effects of livestock grazing on neotropical migratory landbirds in western North America (United States)

    Carl E. Bock; Victoria A. Saab; Terrell D. Rich; David S. Dobkin


    Livestock grazing is a widespread and important influence on neotropical migratory birds in four major ecosystems in western North America: grasslands of the Great Plains and Southwest, riparian woodlands, Intermountain shrubsteppe, and open coniferous forests. We have reviewed available literature on avian responses to grazing in these habitats. Among 35 plains...

  20. Using landscape metrics to model source habitat for Neotropical migrants in the midwestern U.S. (United States)

    Peter T. Fauth; Eric J. Gustafson; Kerry N. Rabenold


    Size of a forest patch is a useful predictor of density and reproductive success of Neotropical migratory birds in much of eastern North America. Within these forested landscapes, large forest tracts appear to be sources-fragments in which surpluses of offspring are produced and can potentially colonize new fragments including woodlot sinks where reproduction fails to...

  1. A taxonomic revision of the Neotropical poison frog genus Ranitomeya (Amphibia: Dendrobatidae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brown, J.L.; Twomey, E.; Amézquita, A.; Souza, M.B.; Caldwell, J.P.; Lötters, S.; May, R.; Melo-Sampaio, P.R.; Mejía-Vargas, D.; Perez-Peña, P.; Pepper, M.; Poelman, E.H.; Sanchez-Rodriguez, M.; Summers, K.


    The Neotropical poison frog genus Ranitomeya is revised, resulting in one new genus, one new species, five synonymies and one species classified as nomen dubium. We present an expanded molecular phylogeny that contains 235 terminals, 104 of which are new to this study. Notable additions to this

  2. The species of the Neotropical genus Fractipons Townes, 1970 (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae, Cryptinae). (United States)

    Bordera, Santiago; González-Moreno, Alejandra


    In this paper, two new species of the Neotropical genus Fractipons Townes, 1970 (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae) are described. A new diagnosis for the genus, a re-description of Fractipons cincticornis Townes, 1970 and a key to known species are provided. New distribution records for the genus now include Argentina, Costa Rica, Panama and Peru.

  3. Distributional patterns of the Neotropical genus Thecomyia Perty (Diptera, Sciomyzidae and phylogenetic support

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda Ciprandi Pires


    Full Text Available Distributional patterns of the Neotropical genus Thecomyia Perty (Diptera, Sciomyzidae and phylogenetic support. The distributional pattern of the genus Thecomyia Perty, 1833 was defined using panbiogeographic tools, and analyzed based on the phylogeny of the group. This study sought to establish biogeographical homologies in the Neotropical region between different species of the genus, based on their distribution pattern and later corroboration through its phylogeny. Eight individual tracks and 16 generalized tracks were identified, established along nearly the entire swath of the Neotropics. Individual tracks are the basic units of a panbiogeographic study, and correspond to the hypothesis of minimum distribution of the organisms involved. The generalized tracks, obtained from the spatial congruence between two or more individual tracks, are important in the identification of smaller areas of endemism. Thus, we found evidence from the generalized tracks in support of previous classification for the Neotropical region. The Amazon domain is indicated as an area of outstanding importance in the diversification of the group, by the confluence of generalized tracks and biogeographic nodes in the region. Most of the generalized tracks and biogeographical nodes were congruent with the phylogenetic hypothesis of the genus, indicating support of the primary biogeographical homologies originally defined by the track analysis.

  4. Descriptions of two new species of Sphenorhina (Hemiptera, Cercopidae, Tomaspidinae from the Neotropical region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andressa Paladini


    Full Text Available Description of two new species of Sphenorhina (Hemiptera, Cercopidae, Tomaspidinae from the Neotropical region. Two new species of Sphenorhina Amyot & Serville, S. pseudoboliviana SP. NOV: from Bolivia and S. plata SP. NOV: from Argentina are described and illustrated.

  5. Interspecific competition, predation, and the coexistence of three closely related neotropical armoured catfishes (Siluriformes - Callichthyidae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mol, J.H.A.


    Tropical ecosystems are renowned for their high biodiversity with many closely related species living together. Alpha diversity of tropical freshwater fishes is also extremely high, as exemplified by the cichlid fauna of the Great African lakes and the neotropical characins. Since

  6. New taxa, including three new genera show uniqueness of Neotropical Nepticulidae (Lepidoptera)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nieukerken, van E.J.; Doorenweerd, C.; Nishida, K.; Snyers, C.


    After finding distinct clades in a molecular phylogeny for Nepticulidae that could not be placed in any known genera and discovering clear apomorphic characters that define these clades, as well as a number of Neotropical species that could be placed in known genera but were undescribed, three new

  7. Do birds select habitat or food resources? Nearctic-neotropic migrants in northeastern Costa Rica (United States)

    Jared D. Wolfe; Matthew D. Johnson; C. John Ralph; R. Mark Brigham


    Nearctic-neotropic migrant birds need to replenish energy reserves during stopover periods to successfully complete their semiannual movements. In this study we used linear models to examine the habitat use of 11 migrant species in northeastern Costa Rica to better understand the influence of food and structural resources on the presence of birds during stopover...

  8. An interactive database for setting conservation priorities for western neotropical migrants (United States)

    Michael F. Carter; Keith Barker


    We develop and explain a species ranking system for the states and physiographic regions of the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Program's West Working Group. The ranking criteria attempt to measure characteristics of species which make them vulnerable to extirpation, as well as assess the relative importance of different geographic and/or political areas...

  9. The specimens of Parulidae from the Neotropics in the collection of the Zoological Museum Amsterdam

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Prins, Tineke G.


    The Parulidae form a group of little dainty birds with slender bills consisting of 126 species. The family is confined to the New World, the largest number of species and genera being found in North and Central America. Neotropical material of 35 species is represented in the collection of the

  10. An illustrated key to Neotropical species of the genus Meteorus Haliday ( Hymenoptera , Braconidae , Euphorinae )


    Aguirre, Helmuth; de Almeida, Luis Felipe; Shaw, Scott Richard; Sarmiento, Carlos E.


    Abstract A comprehensive key for 75 species of Meteorus distributed across 15 Neotropical countries is presented. Eleven new species from Bolivia, Costa Rica and Ecuador are described: Meteorus albistigma , Meteorus carolae , Meteorus eurysaccavorus , Meteorus fallacavus , Meteorus flavistigma , Meteorus haimowitzi , Meteorus magnoculus , Meteorus martinezi , Meteorus microcavus , Meteorus noctuivorus and Meteorus orion . Expanded range distributions are recorded for Meteorus andreae , Meteor...

  11. Improving discrimination of savanna tree species through a multiple endmember spectral-angle-mapper (SAM) approach: canopy level analysis

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Cho, Moses A


    Full Text Available sensing. The objectives of this paper were to (i) evaluate the classification performance of a multiple-endmember spectral angle mapper (SAM) classification approach (conventionally known as the nearest neighbour) in discriminating ten common African...

  12. Fault tree handbook

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haasl, D.F.; Roberts, N.H.; Vesely, W.E.; Goldberg, F.F.


    This handbook describes a methodology for reliability analysis of complex systems such as those which comprise the engineered safety features of nuclear power generating stations. After an initial overview of the available system analysis approaches, the handbook focuses on a description of the deductive method known as fault tree analysis. The following aspects of fault tree analysis are covered: basic concepts for fault tree analysis; basic elements of a fault tree; fault tree construction; probability, statistics, and Boolean algebra for the fault tree analyst; qualitative and quantitative fault tree evaluation techniques; and computer codes for fault tree evaluation. Also discussed are several example problems illustrating the basic concepts of fault tree construction and evaluation

  13. There's Life in Hazard Trees (United States)

    Mary Torsello; Toni McLellan

    The goals of hazard tree management programs are to maximize public safety and maintain a healthy sustainable tree resource. Although hazard tree management frequently targets removal of trees or parts of trees that attract wildlife, it can take into account a diversity of tree values. With just a little extra planning, hazard tree management can be highly beneficial...

  14. Atlantic forests to the all Americas: Biogeographical history and divergence times of Neotropical Ficus (Moraceae). (United States)

    Machado, Anderson Ferreira Pinto; Rønsted, Nina; Bruun-Lund, Sam; Pereira, Rodrigo Augusto Santinelo; Paganucci de Queiroz, Luciano


    Ficus (Moraceae) is well diversified in the Neotropics with two lineages inhabiting the wet forests of this region. The hemiepiphytes of section Americanae are the most diversified with c. 120 species, whereas section Pharmacosycea includes about 20 species mostly with a terrestrial habit. To reconstruct the biogeographical history and diversification of Ficus in the Americas, we produced a dated Bayesian phylogenetic hypothesis of Neotropical Ficus including two thirds of the species sequenced for five nuclear regions (At103, ETS, G3pdh, ITS/5.8S and Tpi). Ancestral range was estimated using all models available in Biogeobears and Binary State Speciation and Extinction analysis was used to evaluate the role of the initial habit and propagule size in diversification. The phylogenetic analyses resolved both Neotropical sections as monophyletic but the internal relationships between species in section Americanae remain unclear. Ficus started their diversification in the Neotropics between the Oligocene and Miocene. The genus experienced two bursts of diversification: in the middle Miocene and the Pliocene. Colonization events from the Amazon to adjacent areas coincide with the end of the Pebas system (10 Mya) and the connection of landmasses. Divergence of endemic species in the Atlantic forest is inferred to have happened after its isolation and the opening and consolidation of the Cerrado. Our results suggest a complex diversification in the Atlantic forest differing between postulated refuges and more instable areas in the South distribution of the forest. Finally the selection for initial hemiepiphytic habit and small to medium propagule size influenced the diversification and current distribution of the species at Neotropical forests marked by the historical instability and long-distance dispersal. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Covering tree with stars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baumbach, Jan; Guo, Jiong; Ibragimov, Rashid


    We study the tree edit distance problem with edge deletions and edge insertions as edit operations. We reformulate a special case of this problem as Covering Tree with Stars (CTS): given a tree T and a set of stars, can we connect the stars in by adding edges between them such that the resulting...... tree is isomorphic to T? We prove that in the general setting, CST is NP-complete, which implies that the tree edit distance considered here is also NP-hard, even when both input trees having diameters bounded by 10. We also show that, when the number of distinct stars is bounded by a constant k, CTS...

  16. Evidence for Widespread Associations between Neotropical Hymenopteran Insects and Actinobacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernal Matarrita-Carranza


    taxa and ranging from the American temperate to the Neotropical region. Our work thus provides important insights into the widespread distribution of Actinobacteria and hymenopteran insects associations, while also pointing at novel resources that could be targeted for the discovery of active natural products with great potential in medical and biotechnological applications.

  17. Selectivity of fish ladders: a bottleneck in Neotropical fish movement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Sérgio Agostinho

    Full Text Available Although dozens of fish ladders have been constructed at dams of Brazilian reservoirs, there are few studies evaluating their efficiency as a tool for the conservation of Neotropical ichthyofauna, especially for migratory species. Therefore, the present study evaluated the selectivity of the species that entered and ascended the fish ladder located next to Lajeado Dam (Luis Eduardo Magalhães Hydroelectric Power Plant on the Tocantins River. Samples were taken monthly from November, 2002 through October, 2003, in the resting pools of the ladder, using cast nets, and in the downstream stretch, using gillnets. The selectivity of the ladder in attracting fish was evaluated by comparing the occurrence, relative abundance, dominance and the congruence of abundance ranks of migratory and non-migratory species in the ladder and in the stretch of river immediately downstream. Species richness and fish abundance in the resting pools were used to evaluate selectivity along the ladder. The effects on selectivity by temporal variations in water level downriver and maximum flow velocity in the fish ladder were also analyzed. Out of the 130 species recorded downriver, 62.3% were caught in the ladder, and migratory species were clearly favored. However, more than 2/3 of the catch belonged to only three species (Rhaphiodon vulpinus, Psectrogaster amazonica and Oxydoras niger. Although the majority of the species that entered the ladder were able to reach its top, there was a sharp reduction in abundance of individuals towards the top. Temporal variations in the water level below the dam influenced richness and abundance of fish concentrated downstream and in the ladder, with lower values during periods of low water. In the ladder, a maximum flow velocity of 2.3 m/s, although also selective, proved to be more appropriate for fish ascension than a velocity of 2.8 m/s. It was concluded that the entry and ascension of the fish in the ladder were not congruent with

  18. Evidence for Widespread Associations between Neotropical Hymenopteran Insects and Actinobacteria (United States)

    Matarrita-Carranza, Bernal; Moreira-Soto, Rolando D.; Murillo-Cruz, Catalina; Mora, Marielos; Currie, Cameron R.; Pinto-Tomas, Adrián A.


    ranging from the American temperate to the Neotropical region. Our work thus provides important insights into the widespread distribution of Actinobacteria and hymenopteran insects associations, while also pointing at novel resources that could be targeted for the discovery of active natural products with great potential in medical and biotechnological applications. PMID:29089938

  19. Regression tree analysis for predicting body weight of Nigerian Muscovy duck (Cairina moschata

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oguntunji Abel Olusegun


    Full Text Available Morphometric parameters and their indices are central to the understanding of the type and function of livestock. The present study was conducted to predict body weight (BWT of adult Nigerian Muscovy ducks from nine (9 morphometric parameters and seven (7 body indices and also to identify the most important predictor of BWT among them using regression tree analysis (RTA. The experimental birds comprised of 1,020 adult male and female Nigerian Muscovy ducks randomly sampled in Rain Forest (203, Guinea Savanna (298 and Derived Savanna (519 agro-ecological zones. Result of RTA revealed that compactness; body girth and massiveness were the most important independent variables in predicting BWT and were used in constructing RT. The combined effect of the three predictors was very high and explained 91.00% of the observed variation of the target variable (BWT. The optimal regression tree suggested that Muscovy ducks with compactness >5.765 would be fleshy and have highest BWT. The result of the present study could be exploited by animal breeders and breeding companies in selection and improvement of BWT of Muscovy ducks.

  20. Estimating tree species diversity in the savannah using NDVI and woody canopy cover (United States)

    Madonsela, Sabelo; Cho, Moses Azong; Ramoelo, Abel; Mutanga, Onisimo; Naidoo, Laven


    Remote sensing applications in biodiversity research often rely on the establishment of relationships between spectral information from the image and tree species diversity measured in the field. Most studies have used normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) to estimate tree species diversity on the basis that it is sensitive to primary productivity which defines spatial variation in plant diversity. The NDVI signal is influenced by photosynthetically active vegetation which, in the savannah, includes woody canopy foliage and grasses. The question is whether the relationship between NDVI and tree species diversity in the savanna depends on the woody cover percentage. This study explored the relationship between woody canopy cover (WCC) and tree species diversity in the savannah woodland of southern Africa and also investigated whether there is a significant interaction between seasonal NDVI and WCC in the factorial model when estimating tree species diversity. To fulfil our aim, we followed stratified random sampling approach and surveyed tree species in 68 plots of 90 m × 90 m across the study area. Within each plot, all trees with diameter at breast height of >10 cm were sampled and Shannon index - a common measure of species diversity which considers both species richness and abundance - was used to quantify tree species diversity. We then extracted WCC in each plot from existing fractional woody cover product produced from Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data. Factorial regression model was used to determine the interaction effect between NDVI and WCC when estimating tree species diversity. Results from regression analysis showed that (i) WCC has a highly significant relationship with tree species diversity (r2 = 0.21; p NDVI and WCC is not significant, however, the factorial model significantly reduced the error of prediction (RMSE = 0.47, p NDVI (RMSE = 0.49) or WCC (RMSE = 0.49) model during the senescence period. The result justifies our assertion