WorldWideScience

Sample records for opposing plant community

  1. Why do local communities support or oppose seawater desalination?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirza Ordshahi, B.; Heck, N.; Faraola, S.; Paytan, A.; Haddad, B.; Potts, D. C.

    2016-12-01

    Freshwater shortages have become a global problem due to increasing water consumption and environmental changes which are reducing the reliability of traditional water resources. One option to address water shortages in coastal areas is the use of seawater desalination. Desalination technology is particularly valued for the production of high quality drinking water and consistent production. However, seawater desalination is controversial due to potential environmental, economic, and societal impacts and lack of public support for this water supply method. Compared to alternative potable water production methods, such as water recycling, little is known about public attitudes towards seawater desalination and factors that shape local support or rejection. Our research addresses this gap and explores variables that influence support for proposed desalination plants in the Monterey Bay region, where multiple facilities have been proposed in recent years. Data was collected via a questionnaire-based survey among a random sample of coastal residents and marine stakeholders between June-July, 2016. Findings of the study identify the influence of socio-demographic variables, knowledge about desalination, engagement in marine activities, perception of the environmental context, and the existence of a National Marine Sanctuary on local support. Research outcome provide novel insights into public attitudes towards desalination and enhances our understanding of why communities might support or reject this water supply technology.

  2. Entomopathogenic and plant pathogenic nematodes as opposing forces in agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenney, Eric; Eleftherianos, Ioannis

    2016-01-01

    Plant-parasitic nematodes are responsible for substantial damages within the agriculture industry every year, which is a challenge that has thus far gone largely unimpeded. Chemical nematicides have been employed with varying degrees of success, but their implementation can be cumbersome, and furthermore they could potentially be neutralising an otherwise positive effect from the entomopathogenic nematodes that coexist with plant-parasitic nematodes in soil environments and provide protection for plants against insect pests. Recent research has explored the potential of employing entomopathogenic nematodes to protect plants from plant-parasitic nematodes, while providing their standard degree of protection against insects. The interactions involved are highly complex, due to both the three-organism system and the assortment of variables present in a soil environment, but a strong collection of evidence has accumulated regarding the suppressive capacity of certain entomopathogenic nematodes and their mutualistic bacteria, in the context of limiting the infectivity of plant-parasitic nematodes. Specific factors produced by certain entomopathogenic nematode complexes during the process of insect infection appear to have a selectively nematicidal, or at least repellant, effect on plant-parasitic nematodes. Using this information, an opportunity has formed to adapt this relationship to large-scale, field conditions and potentially relieve the agricultural industry of one of its most substantial burdens. Copyright © 2015 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. MBS Native Plant Communities

    Data.gov (United States)

    Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — This data layer contains results of the Minnesota County Biological Survey (MCBS). It includes polygons representing the highest quality native plant communities...

  4. Opposing assembly mechanisms in a neotropical dry forest: implications for phylogenetic and functional community ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swenson, Nathan G; Enquist, Brian J

    2009-08-01

    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.

  5. Significant plant growth stimulation by composted as opposed to untreated Biochar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kammann, Claudia; Messerschmidt, Nicole; Müller, Christoph; Steffens, Diedrich; Schmidt, Hans-Peter; Koyro, Hans-Werner

    2013-04-01

    The application of production-fresh, untreated biochar does not always result in yield improvements, in particular in temperate or boreal soils. Therefore the use of biochar for soil C sequestration, although desirable from a global change mitigation point of view, may never be implemented without proven and economically feasible pathways for biochar effects in agriculture. To investigate earlier reports of the beneficial effects of composting biochar (e.g. Fischer & Glaser, 2012) we conducted a fully replicated (n=3, +/- biochar) large-scale composting study at the Delinat Institute in Arbaz, Switzerland. The materials were manures (bovine, horse and chicken), straw, stone meal and composting was performed with our without +20 vol.% of a woody biochar (German Charcoal GmbH). Interestingly, the rotting temperature was significantly higher in the biochar-compost while C and N were retained to a certain extent. To investigate the effect of composting ("ageing") on biochar effects, a completely randomized full-factorial pot study was carried out in the greenhouse using the pseudo-cereal Chenopodium quinoa. The three factors used in the study were (I) type of biochar addition ("aged", "fresh", or zero BC), (II) addition of compost and (III) low and high application rates of a full NPK-fertilizer (equivalent to 28 and 140 kg N ha-1, NPK + micronutrients) in several doses. The growth medium was a poor loamy sand. Biochars and compost were all added at a rate of 2% (w/w) to the soil. From the start there was a considerable difference between the growth of Quinoa with the fresh compared to the aged biochar. The fresh biochar produced the well-known reduction in plant growth compared to the unamended control. This reduction was alleviated to a certain extent by the addition of either compost and/or increased fertilization. In contrast the co-composted biochar always resulted in a highly significant stimulation of the Quinoa yield (roots, shoots, inflorescences). This

  6. Mountain Plant Community Sentinels: AWOL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malanson, G. P.

    2017-12-01

    Mountain plant communities are thought to be sensitive to climate change. Because climatic gradients are steep on mountain slopes, the spatial response of plant communities to climate change should be compressed and easier to detect. These expectations have led to identifying mountain plant communities as sentinels for climate change. This idea has, however, been criticized. Two critiques, for alpine treeline and alpine tundra, are rehearsed and supplemented. The critique of alpine treeline as sentinel is bolstered with new model results on the confounding role of dispersal mechanisms and sensitivity to climatic volatility. In alpine tundra, for which background turnover rates have yet to be established, community composition may reflect environmental gradients only for extremes where effects of climate are most indirect. Both plant communities, while primarily determined by energy at broad scales, may respond to water as a proximate driver at local scales. These plant communities may not be in equilibrium with climate, and differently scaled time lags may mean that ongoing vegetation change may not signal ongoing climate change (or lack thereof). In both cases a double-whammy is created by scale dependence for time lags and for drivers leading to confusion, but these cases present opportunities for insights into basic ecology.

  7. Community attitudes toward nuclear plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peelle, E.

    1982-01-01

    Among the many effects of the accident at Three Mile Island are impacts upon other communities that currently host nuclear-power reactors. Because studies on communities' reactions not immediately available, this chapter reviews existing studies and speculates about possible effects. The patterns and variations in impacts on and responses of nuclear host communities have been the subject of studies at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oak Ridge, Tennessee) since 1972. This essay presents results from four post-licensing studies of host communities - Plymouth, Massachusetts, and Waterford, Connecticut (PL-1), and Brunswick, North Carolina, and Appling-Toombs counties, Georgia (PL-2) - along with case study and attitude survey information from two additional communities in which reactors are under construction: Hartsville, Tennessee, and Cherokee County, South Carolina. Differences and similarities between the sites have been assessed in terms of differences in input and social structure; factors affecting the generally favorable attitudes toward local nuclear plants are discussed

  8. Plant diversity and plant identity influence Fusarium communities in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeBlanc, Nicholas; Kinkel, Linda; Kistler, H Corby

    2017-01-01

    Fusarium communities play important functional roles in soil and in plants as pathogens, endophytes, and saprotrophs. This study tests how rhizosphere Fusarium communities may vary with plant species, changes in the diversity of the surrounding plant community, and soil physiochemical characteristics. Fusarium communities in soil associated with the roots of two perennial prairie plant species maintained as monocultures or growing within polyculture plant communities were characterized using targeted metagenomics. Amplicon libraries targeting the RPB2 locus were generated from rhizosphere soil DNAs and sequenced using pyrosequencing. Sequences were clustered into operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and assigned a taxonomy using the Evolutionary Placement Algorithm. Fusarium community composition was differentiated between monoculture and polyculture plant communities, and by plant species in monoculture, but not in polyculture. Taxonomic classification of the Fusarium OTUs showed a predominance of F. tricinctum and F. oxysporum as well of the presence of a clade previously only found in the Southern Hemisphere. Total Fusarium richness was not affected by changes in plant community richness or correlated with soil physiochemical characteristics. However, OTU richness within two predominant phylogenetic lineages within the genus was positively or negatively correlated with soil physiochemical characteristics among samples within each lineage. This work shows that plant species, plant community richness, and soil physiochemical characteristics may all influence the composition and richness of Fusarium communities in soil.

  9. Opposing resonses to ecological gradients structure amphibian and reptile communities across a temperate grassland-savanna-forest landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grundel, Ralph; Beamer, David; Glowacki, Gary A.; Frohnapple, Krystal; Pavlovic, Noel B.

    2014-01-01

    Temperate savannas are threatened across the globe. If we prioritize savanna restoration, we should ask how savanna animal communities differ from communities in related open habitats and forests. We documented distribution of amphibian and reptile species across an open-savanna–forest gradient in the Midwest U.S. to determine how fire history and habitat structure affected herpetofaunal community composition. The transition from open habitats to forests was a transition from higher reptile abundance to higher amphibian abundance and the intermediate savanna landscape supported the most species overall. These differences warn against assuming that amphibian and reptile communities will have similar ecological responses to habitat structure. Richness and abundance also often responded in opposite directions to some habitat characteristics, such as cover of bare ground or litter. Herpetofaunal community species composition changed along a fire gradient from infrequent and recent fires to frequent but less recent fires. Nearby (200-m) wetland cover was relatively unimportant in predicting overall herpetofaunal community composition while fire history and fire-related canopy and ground cover were more important predictors of composition, diversity, and abundance. Increased developed cover was negatively related to richness and abundance. This indicates the importance of fire history and fire related landscape characteristics, and the negative effects of development, in shaping the upland herpetofaunal community along the native grassland–forest continuum.

  10. Embracing community ecology in plant microbiome research

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dini-Andreote, F.; Raaijmakers, J.M.

    2018-01-01

    Community assembly is mediated by selection, dispersal, drift, and speciation. Environmental selection is mostly used to date to explain patterns in plant microbiome assembly, whereas the influence of the other processes remains largely elusive. Recent studies highlight that adopting community

  11. Plant succession and approaches to community restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce A. Roundy

    2005-01-01

    The processes of vegetation change over time, or plant succession, are also the processes involved in plant community restoration. Restoration efforts attempt to use designed disturbance, seedbed preparation and sowing methods, and selection of adapted and compatible native plant materials to enhance ecological function. The large scale of wildfires and weed invasion...

  12. Modelling asymmetric growth in crowded plant communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Damgaard, Christian

    2010-01-01

    A class of models that may be used to quantify the effect of size-asymmetric competition in crowded plant communities by estimating a community specific degree of size-asymmetric growth for each species in the community is suggested. The model consists of two parts: an individual size......-asymmetric growth part, where growth is assumed to be proportional to a power function of the size of the individual, and a term that reduces the relative growth rate as a decreasing function of the individual plant size and the competitive interactions from other plants in the neighbourhood....

  13. THE EUROPEAN POSITION OF DUTCH PLANT COMMUNITIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.A.M. JANSSEN

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available In this paper it is analyzed for which plant communities (alliances the Netherlands has an international responsibility. Data has been brought together on the range and distribution of alliances in Europe, the area of plant communities in the Netherlands and surrounding countries and the occurrence of endemic associations in the Netherlands. The analysis resulted in a list of 34 out of 93 alliances in the Netherlands which are important from an international point of view.

  14. Seed bank characteristics of Dutch plant communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bekker, RM; Schaminee, JHJ; Bakker, JP; Thompson, K

    With the recent appearances of a new and well-documented classification of the Dutch plant communities (Schaminee et al 1995a,b; 1996) and a database on the seed longevity of plant species of North West Europe (Thompson ct al. 1997a) it was possible to investigate patterns of seed longevity in Dutch

  15. Ozone sensitivity of plants in natural communities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Treshow, M; Stewart, D

    1973-07-01

    Field fumigation studies conducted in grassland, oak, aspen, and conifer, communities established the injury threshold of prevalent plant species to ozone. Several important species, including Bromus tectorum, Quercus gambelii, and Populus tremuloides, were injured by a single 2-hours exposure to 15 pphM ozone. Over half the perennial forbs and woody species studied were visibly injured at concentrations of 30 pphM ozone or less. It is postulated that lower concentrations at prolonged or repeated exposures to ozone may impair growth and affect community vigor and stability. Continued exposure of natural plant communities to ozone is expected to initiate major shifts in the plant composition of communities. 10 references, 4 figures, 1 table.

  16. Plant-plant competition outcomes are modulated by plant effects on the soil bacterial community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hortal, S; Lozano, Y M; Bastida, F; Armas, C; Moreno, J L; Garcia, C; Pugnaire, F I

    2017-12-19

    Competition is a key process that determines plant community structure and dynamics, often mediated by nutrients and water availability. However, the role of soil microorganisms on plant competition, and the links between above- and belowground processes, are not well understood. Here we show that the effects of interspecific plant competition on plant performance are mediated by feedbacks between plants and soil bacterial communities. Each plant species selects a singular community of soil microorganisms in its rhizosphere with a specific species composition, abundance and activity. When two plant species interact, the resulting soil bacterial community matches that of the most competitive plant species, suggesting strong competitive interactions between soil bacterial communities as well. We propose a novel mechanism by which changes in belowground bacterial communities promoted by the most competitive plant species influence plant performance and competition outcome. These findings emphasise the strong links between plant and soil communities, paving the way to a better understanding of plant community dynamics and the effects of soil bacterial communities on ecosystem functioning and services.

  17. PLANT COMMUNITIES OF ALBANIA - A PRELIMINARY OVERVIEW

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. DRING

    2002-04-01

    Full Text Available The phytosociological analysis of Albania was initiated by F. Markgraf in the 30ies, but still remains incomplete. This is a preliminary list of the plant communities resulting from the literature and from field research carried out during the last years and may represent a first contribution for further research. Many communities are described only by dominant species, other are quoted as nomina nuda. Some further syntaxa. probably present in the study area, are added.

  18. Native plant community response to alien plant invasion and removal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jara ANDREU

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Given the potential ecological impacts of invasive species, removal of alien plants has become an important management challenge and a high priority for environmental managers. To consider that a removal effort has been successful requires both, the effective elimination of alien plants and the restoration of the native plant community back to its historical composition and function. We present a conceptual framework based on observational and experimental data that compares invaded, non-invaded and removal sites to quantify invaders’ impacts and native plant recover after their removal. We also conduct a meta-analysis to quantitatively evaluate the impacts of plant invaders and the consequences of their removal on the native plant community, across a variety of ecosystems around the world. Our results that invasion by alien plants is responsible for a local decline in native species richness and abundance. Our analysis also provides evidence that after removal, the native vegetation has the potential to recover to a pre-invasion target state. Our review reveal that observational and experimental approaches are rarely used in concert, and that reference sites are scarcely employed to assess native species recovery after removal. However, we believe that comparing invaded, non-invaded and removal sites offer the opportunity to obtain scientific information with relevance for management.

  19. Nuclear power plant and the host community

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Olsson, G

    1978-10-27

    A councillor from a small Swedish community (Kaevlinge) in the vicinity of the Barsebaeck nuclear power plant describes the effects which the plant has had on neighbouring communities. The effect on the labour market has been small at Kaevlinge, both during routine operation and construction phases. This is however, a fairly densely populated area with a population of half a million in a radius of 30 km. The situation is different at Oskarshamn or Oesthammar. Neither has there been any special economic benefit, due to Swedish taxation laws. There has been little local anxiety due to the proximity of the nuclear power plant. Certain local planning problems have been caused by restricted zones and power cables. Cooperation between the local authorities and the utility has been good.

  20. Opposing incentives for collaboration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dorch, Bertil F.; Wien, Charlotte; Larsen, Asger Væring

    , and gives a bonus for publications done through inter-institutionary collaboration. Credits given to universities are fractionalized between the participating universities. So far credits are not assigned to the individual authors but only to their institutions. However, it turns out that research...... collaboration is associated with a higher number of citations than single authorship which may present the author with two opposing incentives for research collaboration....

  1. Phyllosphere Microbiota Composition and Microbial Community Transplantation on Lettuce Plants Grown Indoors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Thomas R.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT The aerial surfaces of plants, or phyllosphere, are microbial habitats important to plant and human health. In order to accurately investigate microbial interactions in the phyllosphere under laboratory conditions, the composition of the phyllosphere microbiota should be representative of the diversity of microorganisms residing on plants in nature. We found that Romaine lettuce grown in the laboratory contained 10- to 100-fold lower numbers of bacteria than age-matched, field-grown lettuce. The bacterial diversity on laboratory-grown plants was also significantly lower and contained relatively higher proportions of Betaproteobacteria as opposed to the Gammaproteobacteria-enriched communities on field lettuce. Incubation of field-grown Romaine lettuce plants in environmental growth chambers for 2 weeks resulted in bacterial cell densities and taxa similar to those on plants in the field but with less diverse bacterial populations overall. In comparison, the inoculation of laboratory-grown Romaine lettuce plants with either freshly collected or cryopreserved microorganisms recovered from field lettuce resulted in the development of a field-like microbiota on the lettuce within 2 days of application. The survival of an inoculated strain of Escherichia coli O157:H7 was unchanged by microbial community transfer; however, the inoculation of E. coli O157:H7 onto those plants resulted in significant shifts in the abundance of certain taxa. This finding was strictly dependent on the presence of a field-associated as opposed to a laboratory-associated microbiota on the plants. Phyllosphere microbiota transplantation in the laboratory will be useful for elucidating microbial interactions on plants that are important to agriculture and microbial food safety. PMID:25118240

  2. Plant interactions with multiple insect herbivores: from community to genes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, J.M.; Kroes, A.; Li, Y.; Gols, R.; Loon, van J.J.A.; Poelman, E.H.; Dicke, M.

    2014-01-01

    Every plant is a member of a complex insect community that consists of tens to hundreds of species that belong to different trophic levels. The dynamics of this community are critically influenced by the plant, which mediates interactions between community members that can occur on the plant

  3. Plant community responses to climate change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kongstad, J.

    2012-07-01

    ecosystem more resilient to the climatic treatments than expected. We also found that the amount of flowering culms of D. flexuosa increased in response to increased CO{sub 2}, whereas the seed germination success decreased. The bryophyte biomass and the nitrogen content decreased in response to nitrogen addition. Even such apparently minor changes might, given time, affect the plant composition and thereby possibly also the major ecosystem processes. Further, we observed changes in the aboveground plant composition in response to the climate manipulations at the Mols site, where C. vulgaris was regenerating after a disturbance. Here a decrease in biomass of the pioneer stage was seen, when subjected to the drought treatment compared to warmed and control treatments. I therefore conclude, that the stage of the C. vulgaris population as well as the magnitude and frequency of disturbances determine the effects of future climate change on the plant community in heathland ecosystems. (Author)

  4. Investigating Effects of Invasive Species on Plant Community Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Wilfred

    2008-01-01

    In this article, the author presents a field study project that explores factors influencing forest community structure and lifts the veil off of "plant blindness." This ecological study consists of three laboratories: (1) preliminary field trip to the study site; (2) plant survey; and (3) analyzing plant community structure with descriptive…

  5. Plant community variability on a small area in southeastern Montana

    Science.gov (United States)

    James G. MacCracken; Daniel W. Uresk; Richard M. Hansen

    1984-01-01

    Plant communities are inherently variable due to a number of environmental and biological forces. Canopy cover and aboveground biomass were determined for understory vegetation in plant communities of a prairie grassland-forest ecotone in southeastern Montana. Vegetation units were described using polar ordination and stepwise discriminant analysis. Nine of a total of...

  6. Plant community analysis and ecology of afromontane and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The plant communities of the forests of southwestern Ethiopia were described based on floristic analysis of the data collected between February 1995 and May 1996. Floristic analysis is based on the cover-abundance values of both woody and herbaceous species. Plant community-environment relationship was assessed ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-06-01

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

  8. Plant community resistance to invasion by Bromus species: The roles of community attributes, Bromus interactions with plant communities, and Bromus traits [Chapter 10

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeanne C. Chambers; Matthew J. Germino; Jayne Belnap; Cynthia S. Brown; Eugene W. Schupp; Samuel B. St. Clair

    2016-01-01

    The factors that determine plant community resistance to exotic annual Bromus species (Bromus hereafter) are diverse and context specific. They are influenced by the environmental characteristics and attributes of the community, the traits of Bromus species, and the direct and indirect interactions of Bromus with the plant community. Environmental factors, in...

  9. Plant toxicity, adaptive herbivory, and plant community dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Z.; Liu, R.; DeAngelis, D.L.; Bryant, J.P.; Kielland, K.; Stuart, Chapin F.; Swihart, R.K.

    2009-01-01

    We model effects of interspecific plant competition, herbivory, and a plant's toxic defenses against herbivores on vegetation dynamics. The model predicts that, when a generalist herbivore feeds in the absence of plant toxins, adaptive foraging generally increases the probability of coexistence of plant species populations, because the herbivore switches more of its effort to whichever plant species is more common and accessible. In contrast, toxin-determined selective herbivory can drive plant succession toward dominance by the more toxic species, as previously documented in boreal forests and prairies. When the toxin concentrations in different plant species are similar, but species have different toxins with nonadditive effects, herbivores tend to diversify foraging efforts to avoid high intakes of any one toxin. This diversification leads the herbivore to focus more feeding on the less common plant species. Thus, uncommon plants may experience depensatory mortality from herbivory, reducing local species diversity. The depensatory effect of herbivory may inhibit the invasion of other plant species that are more palatable or have different toxins. These predictions were tested and confirmed in the Alaskan boreal forest. ?? 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  10. Abiotic drivers of Chihuahuan Desert plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laura Marie Ladwig

    2014-01-01

    Within grasslands, precipitation, fire, nitrogen (N) addition, and extreme temperatures influence community composition and ecosystem function. The differential influences of these abiotic factors on Chihuahuan Desert grassland communities was examined within the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, located in central New Mexico, U.S.A. Although fire is a natural...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Engelkes, Tim; Meisner, Annelein; Morriën, Elly

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Interaction of historical and nonhistorical disturbances maintains native plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, K W; Svejcar, T J; Bates, J D

    2009-09-01

    Historical disturbance regimes are often considered a critical element in maintaining native plant communities. However, the response of plant communities to disturbance may be fundamentally altered as a consequence of invasive plants, climate change, or prior disturbances. The appropriateness of historical disturbance patterns under modern conditions and the interactions among disturbances are issues that ecologists must address to protect and restore native plant communities. We evaluated the response of Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis (Beetle & A. Young) S.L. Welsh plant communities to their historical disturbance regime compared to other disturbance regimes. The historical disturbance regime of these plant communities was periodic fires with minimal grazing by large herbivores. We also investigated the influence of prior disturbance (grazing) on the response of these communities to subsequent disturbance (burning). Treatments were: (1) ungrazed (livestock grazing excluded since 1936) and unburned, (2) grazed and unburned, (3) ungrazed and burned (burned in 1993), and (4) grazed and burned. The ungrazed-burned treatment emulated the historical disturbance regime. Vegetation cover, density, and biomass production were measured the 12th, 13th, and 14th year post-burning. Prior to burning the presence of Bromus tectorum L., an exotic annual grass, was minimal (resilience to more severe disturbances. Modern deviations from historical conditions can alter ecosystem response to disturbances, thus restoring the historical disturbance regime may not be an appropriate strategy for all ecosystems.

  13. Environmental filtering drives the shape and breadth of the seed germination niche in coastal plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Pascual, Eduardo; Pérez-Arcoiza, Adrián; Prieto, José Alberto; Díaz, Tomás E

    2017-05-01

    A phylogenetic comparative analysis of the seed germination niche was conducted in coastal plant communities of western Europe. Two hypotheses were tested, that (1) the germination niche shape (i.e. the preference for a set of germination cues as opposed to another) would differ between beaches and cliffs to prevent seedling emergence in the less favourable season (winter and summer, respectively); and (2) the germination niche breadth (i.e. the amplitude of germination cues) would be narrower in the seawards communities, where environmental filtering is stronger. Seeds of 30 specialist species of coastal plant communities were collected in natural populations of northern Spain. Their germination was measured in six laboratory treatments based on field temperatures. Germination niche shape was estimated as the best germination temperature. Germination niche breadth was calculated using Pielou's evenness index. Differences between plant communities in their germination niche shape and breadth were tested using phylogenetic generalized least squares regression (PGLS). Germination niche shape differed between communities, being warm-cued in beaches (best germination temperature = 20 °C) and cold-cued in cliffs (14 °C). Germination niche was narrowest in seawards beaches (Pielou's index = 0·89) and broadest in landwards beaches (0·99). Cliffs had an intermediate germination niche breadth (0·95). The relationship between niche and plant community had a positive phylogenetic signal for shape (Pagel's λ = 0·64) and a negative one for breadth (Pagel's λ = -1·71). Environmental filters shape the germination niche to prevent emergence in the season of highest threat for seedling establishment. The germination niche breadth is narrower in the communities with stronger environmental filters, but only in beaches. This study provides empirical support to a community-level generalization of the hypotheses about the environmental drivers of the germination

  14. Measuring competition in plant communities where it is difficult to distinguish individual plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Damgaard, Christian

    2011-01-01

    A novel method for measuring plant-plant interactions in undisturbed semi-natural and natural plant communities where it is difficult to distinguish individual plants is discussed. It is assumed that the ecological success of the different plant species in the plant community may be adequately...... measured by plant cover and vertical density (a measure that is correlated to the 3-dimensional space occupancy and biomass). Both plant cover and vertical density are measured in a standard pin-point analysis in the beginning and at the end of the growing season. In the outlined competition model....... The method allows direct measurements of the competitive effects of neighbouringzplants on plant performance and the estimation of parameters that describe the ecological processes of plantplant interactions during the growing season as well as the process of survival and recruitment between growing seasons...

  15. Evapotranspiration in three plant communities of a Rhigozum ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Evapotranspiration losses in three Rhigozum trichotomum plant communities namely, pure grass, pure R. trichotomum and a mixed stand of grass and R. trichotomum were determined during the 1985-86 growing season. Three hydrologically isolated plots in each community type were irrigated and changes in soil water ...

  16. Vertebrate herbivores influence soil nematodes by modifying plant communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veen, G. F. (Ciska); Olff, Han; Duyts, Henk; van der Putten, Wim H.

    Abiotic soil properties, plant community composition, and herbivory all have been reported as important factors influencing the composition of soil communities. However, most studies thus far have considered these factors in isolation, whereas they strongly interact in the field. Here, we study how

  17. Response of native insect communities to invasive plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bezemer, T Martijn; Harvey, Jeffrey A; Cronin, James T

    2014-01-01

    Invasive plants can disrupt a range of trophic interactions in native communities. As a novel resource they can affect the performance of native insect herbivores and their natural enemies such as parasitoids and predators, and this can lead to host shifts of these herbivores and natural enemies. Through the release of volatile compounds, and by changing the chemical complexity of the habitat, invasive plants can also affect the behavior of native insects such as herbivores, parasitoids, and pollinators. Studies that compare insects on related native and invasive plants in invaded habitats show that the abundance of insect herbivores is often lower on invasive plants, but that damage levels are similar. The impact of invasive plants on the population dynamics of resident insect species has been rarely examined, but invasive plants can influence the spatial and temporal dynamics of native insect (meta)populations and communities, ultimately leading to changes at the landscape level.

  18. Interracial America. Opposing Viewpoints Series.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szumski, Bonnie, Ed.

    Books in the Opposing Viewpoints Series present debates about current issues that can be used to teach critical reading and thinking skills. The varied opinions in each book examine different aspects of a single issue. The topics covered in this volume explore the racial and ethnic tensions that concern many Americans today. The racial divide…

  19. Conservation and restoration of indigenous plants to improve community livelihoods: the Useful Plants Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulian, Tiziana; Sacandé, Moctar; Mattana, Efisio

    2014-05-01

    Kew's Millennium Seed Bank partnership (MSBP) is one of the largest ex situ plant conservation initiatives, which is focused on saving plants in and from regions most at risk, particularly in drylands. Seeds are collected and stored in seed banks in the country of origin and duplicated in the Millennium Seed Bank in the UK. The MSBP also strengthens the capacity of local communities to successfully conserve and sustainably use indigenous plants, which are important for their wellbeing. Since 2007, high quality seed collections and research information have been gathered on ca. 700 useful indigenous plant species that were selected by communities in Botswana, Kenya, Mali, Mexico and South Africa through Project MGU - The Useful Plants Project. These communities range from various farmer's groups and organisations to traditional healers, organic cotton/crop producers and primary schools. The information on seed conservation and plant propagation was used to train communities and to propagate ca. 200 species that were then planted in local gardens, and as species reintroduced for reforestation programmes and enriching village forests. Experimental plots have also been established to further investigate the field performance (plant survival and growth rate) of indigenous species, using low cost procedures. In addition, the activities support revenue generation for local communities directly through the sustainable use of plant products or indirectly through wider environmental and cultural services. This project has confirmed the potential of biodiversity conservation to improve food security and human health, enhance community livelihoods and strengthen the resilience of land and people to the changing climate. This approach of using indigenous species and having local communities play a central role from the selection of species to their planting and establishment, supported by complementary research, may represent a model for other regions of the world, where

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Churchill, A. C.

    2017-12-01

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

  1. Rural and school community in appreciating knowledge on medical plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcílio Souza Carneiro

    2016-05-01

    Isolated communities in the urban environment still use medicinal plants, but such knowledge is not always passed on to new generations. In this scenario, we propose a study with students, teachers, and community residents from Córrego da Ema, Amontada, Ceará, Brazil, aiming to know the wisdom of medicinal plants in a small rural community in the Brazilian semi-arid region. We interviewed the medicinal plant connoisseurs, named as local experts, by using the “snow ball” method. We applied questionnaires to investigate Elementary School students’ knowledge on medicinal plants (pre-tour. These actions provided a basis for planning guided-tours, activities aimed at 51 students, which we carried out along with the 10 experts and 2 local school teachers, whose results (post-tour were assessed by using the same pre-tour questionnaire. Most local experts were women (80%, their families had many people and low education level, factors that contribute to using medicinal plants. Experts cited 35 medicinal plant species. Students cited 24 pre-tour plant species and 28 post-tour plant species. Students increased their knowledge, as there was also a post-tour increase in therapeutic indications and preparation methods, as mentioned. The school played an important role in appreciating this intangible heritage, because it enabled actions involving formal and informal education.

  2. Rural and school community in appreciating knowledge on medical plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcílio Souza Carneiro

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Isolated communities in the urban environment still use medicinal plants, but such knowledge is not always passed on to new generations. In this scenario, we propose a study with students, teachers, and community residents from Córrego da Ema, Amontada, Ceará, Brazil, aiming to know the wisdom of medicinal plants in a small rural community in the Brazilian semi-arid region. We interviewed the medicinal plant connoisseurs, named as local experts, by using the “snow ball” method. We applied questionnaires to investigate Elementary School students’ knowledge on medicinal plants (pre-tour. These actions provided a basis for planning guided-tours, activities aimed at 51 students, which we carried out along with the 10 experts and 2 local school teachers, whose results (post-tour were assessed by using the same pre-tour questionnaire. Most local experts were women (80%, their families had many people and low education level, factors that contribute to using medicinal plants. Experts cited 35 medicinal plant species. Students cited 24 pre-tour plant species and 28 post-tour plant species. Students increased their knowledge, as there was also a post-tour increase in therapeutic indications and preparation methods, as mentioned. The school played an important role in appreciating this intangible heritage, because it enabled actions involving formal and informal education.

  3. Religious coalition opposes gene patents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, J S

    1995-05-19

    The biotechnology industry is concerned about a coalition of mainstream religious leaders, working with Jeremy Rifkin of the Foundation of Economic Trends, who oppose the patenting of human and animal life forms, body parts, and genes. The coalition called a press conference on May 18 to ask the government to prohibit the current patenting practices for genetic engineering. The biotechnology industry argues that patents indicate that a company's research tool has significant value, and encourages capitalists to invest their dollars in the development of new treatments for diseases. They also argue that the 29 biotech drugs that are on the market have been developed as a result of patents on genes. Although most business leaders are united in opposing restrictions, many scientists are divided, citing both religious and scientific reasons.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Kerri M; Rudgers, Jennifer A

    2013-05-01

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

  5. Plant reproduction is altered by simulated herbicide drift to constructed plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbicide drift may have unintended impacts on native vegetation, adversely affecting structure and function of plant communities. However, these potential effects have been rarely studied or quantified. To determine potential ecological effects of herbicide drift, we construct...

  6. Management of plant communities on set-aside land and its effects on earthworm communities

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gormsen, D.; Hedlund, K.; Korthals, G. W.; Mortimer, S. R.; Pižl, Václav; Šmilauerová, M.; Sugg, E.

    2004-01-01

    Roč. 40, 3-4 (2004), s. 123-128 ISSN 1164-5563 Grant - others:Evropská unie(XE) ENV4-CT95-0002 Keywords : earthworm community * plant community * land use Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.776, year: 2004

  7. Negative Plant-Soil Feedback and Positive Species Interaction in a Herbaceous Plant Community

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bonanomi, G.; Rietkerk, M.; Dekker, S.C.; Mazzoleni, S.

    2005-01-01

    Increasing evidence shows that facilitative interaction and negative plant¿soil feedback are driving factors of plant population dynamics and community processes. We studied the intensity and the relative impact of negative feedback on clonal growth and seed germination of Scirpus holoschoenus, a

  8. Opposed slant tube diabatic sorber

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erickson, Donald C.

    2004-01-20

    A sorber comprised of at least three concentric coils of tubing contained in a shell with a flow path for liquid sorbent in one direction, a flow path for heat transfer fluid which is in counter-current heat exchange relationship with sorbent flow, a sorbate vapor port in communication with at least one of sorbent inlet or exit ports, wherein each coil is coiled in opposite direction to those coils adjoining it, whereby the opposed slant tube configuration is achieved, with structure for flow modification in the core space inside the innermost coil.

  9. Plant Communities Suitable for Green Roofs in Arid Regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel Gioannini

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available In extensive green roof settings, plant communities can be more robust than monocultures. In addition, native plants might be hardier and more ecologically sound choices than non-native plants in green roof systems. The objectives of this research were to (1 compare the performance of plant communities with that of monocultures and (2 compare the growth of natives to non-natives in a simulated green roof setting. We conducted a two-year experiment at an outdoor site in a desert environment using four plant morphological types (groundcover, forb, succulent and grass. Native plants selected were Chrysactinia mexicana, Melampodium leucanthum, Euphorbia antisyphilitica, and Nassella tenuissima, and non-natives were Delosperma nubigenum, Stachys byzantina, Sedum kamtschiaticum and Festuca glauca. Plants were assigned randomly to either monoculture or community and grown in 1 m × 1 m custom-built trays filled with 15 cm of a proprietary blend of 50/20/30 lightweight aggregate/sand/compost (by volume. Native forb, Melampodium, in community had greater coverage for four of the five measurements in the first year over native forb in monoculture and non-native forb regardless of setting. Native forb coverage was also greater than non-native forb for three of the four measurements in year 2, regardless of setting. Coverage of native grass was significantly greater than non-native grasses throughout the experiment. Coverage was also greater for eight of nine measurements for native succulent over non-natives succulent. However, non-native groundcover coverage was significantly greater than native groundcover for seven of nine measurements. On 1 November 2016, relative water content (RWC for succulents (p = 0.0424 was greatest for native Euphorbia in monoculture at 88%. Native Euphorbia also had greater RWC than non-native Sedum on 4 April 2017 (78% and 4 July 2017 (80%. However, non-native Sedum had greater root length (6548 cm, root dry weight (12.1 g

  10. Nonrandom Composition of Flower Colors in a Plant Community: Mutually Different Co-Flowering Natives and Disturbance by Aliens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takashi T Makino

    Full Text Available When pollinators use flower color to locate food sources, a distinct color can serve as a reproductive barrier against co-flowering species. This anti-interference function of flower color may result in a community assembly of plant species displaying mutually different flower colors. However, such color dispersion is not ubiquitous, suggesting a variable selection across communities and existence of some opposing factors. We conducted a 30-week study in a plant community and measured the floral reflectances of 244 species. The reflectances were evaluated in insect color spaces (bees, swallowtails, and flies, and the dispersion was compared with random expectations. We found that co-existing colors were overdispersed for each analyzed pollinator type, and this overdispersion was statistically significant for bees. Furthermore, we showed that exclusion of 32 aliens from the analysis significantly increased the color dispersion of native flowers in every color space. This result indicated that aliens disturbed a native plant-pollinator network via similarly colored flowers. Our results demonstrate the masking effects of aliens in the detection of color dispersion of native flowers and that variations in pollinator vision yield different outcomes. Our results also support the hypothesis that co-flowering species are one of the drivers of color diversification and affect the community assembly.

  11. Plant Community Diversity After Herbicide Control of Spotted Knapweed

    OpenAIRE

    United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service

    1992-01-01

    Herbicides were applied to four west-central Montana sites with light to moderate spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa Lam.) infestations. Althought knapweed suppression was high, 2 years after the spraying the communities were not converted to grass monocultures. No large declines in plant diversity were caused by the herbicides, and small depressions were probably transitory. By the third year, diversity had increased.

  12. Vascular plant diversity and community Structure of nandi forests ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Abundance data of species was used for species diversity, similarity, species richness estimation and plant community analysis. PC-ORD, CANOCO and EstimateS were used to analyze the data. A total of 321 species ... Keywords: floristic composition, ordination, rarefaction, species accumulation, species richness.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  14. A baseline classification of riparian woodland plant communities in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The plots were placed along a gradient from the main water body to the drier fringe of the riparian zone. Plant species present in each plot were recorded with their estimated percentage cover using the Braun–Blanquet cover abundance scale. Hierarchical cluster analysis was used to determine vegetation communities.

  15. Plant community development is affected by nutrients and soil biota

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Deyn, G.B.; Raaijmakers, C.E.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2004-01-01

    1 Plant community development depends to a great extent on the availability of soil nutrients, but recent studies underline the role of symbiotic, herbivorous and pathogenic soil biota. We tested for interactions between these biotic and abiotic factors by studying the effects of additional

  16. Andean shrublands of Moquegua, South Peru: Prepuna plant communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Montesinos, D.B.; Cleef, A.M.; Sykora, K.V.

    2012-01-01

    A syntaxonomic overview of shrubland vegetation in the southern Andean regions of Peru is presented. For each plant community, information is given on physiognomy, floristic diversity, ecology and geographical distribution. The shrub vegetation on the slopes of the upper Tambo river valley includes

  17. The nuclear power plant and the host community

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Olsson, G.

    1978-01-01

    A councillor from a small Swedish community (Kaevlinge) in the vicinity of the Barsebaeck nuclear power plant describes the effects which the plant has had on neighbouring communities. The effect on the labour market has been small at Kaevlinge, both during routine operation and construction phases. This is however, a fairly densely populated area with a population of half a million in a radius of 30 km. The situation is different at Oskarshamn or Oesthammar. Neither has there been any special economic benefit, due to Swedish taxation laws. There has been little local anxiety due to the proximity of the nuclear power plant. Certain local planning problems have been caused by restricted zones and power cables. Cooperation between the local authorities and the utility has been good. (JIW)

  18. Effects of Trampling Limitation on Coastal Dune Plant Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santoro, Riccardo; Jucker, Tommaso; Prisco, Irene; Carboni, Marta; Battisti, Corrado; Acosta, Alicia T. R.

    2012-03-01

    Sandy coastlines are sensitive ecosystems where human activities can have considerable negative impacts. In particular, trampling by beach visitors is a disturbance that affects dune vegetation both at the species and community level. In this study we assess the effects of the limitation of human trampling on dune vegetation in a coastal protected area of Central Italy. We compare plant species diversity in two recently fenced sectors with that of an unfenced area (and therefore subject to human trampling) using rarefaction curves and a diversity/dominance approach during a two year study period. Our results indicate that limiting human trampling seems to be a key factor in driving changes in the plant diversity of dune systems. In 2007 the regression lines of species abundance as a function of rank showed steep slopes and high Y-intercept values in all sectors, indicating a comparable level of stress and dominance across the entire study site. On the contrary, in 2009 the regression lines of the two fenced sectors clearly diverge from that of the open sector, showing less steep slopes. This change in the slopes of the tendency lines, evidenced by the diversity/dominance diagrams and related to an increase in species diversity, suggests the recovery of plant communities in the two fences between 2007 and 2009. In general, plant communities subject to trampling tended to be poorer in species and less structured, since only dominant and tolerant plant species persisted. Furthermore, limiting trampling appears to have produced positive changes in the dune vegetation assemblage after a period of only two years. These results are encouraging for the management of coastal dune systems. They highlight how a simple and cost-effective management strategy, based on passive recovery conservation measures (i.e., fence building), can be a quick (1-2 years) and effective method for improving and safeguarding the diversity of dune plant communities.

  19. Ethnobotany of dye plants in Dong communities of China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yujing; Ahmed, Selena; Liu, Bo; Guo, Zhiyong; Huang, Weijuan; Wu, Xianjin; Li, Shenghua; Zhou, Jiangju; Lei, Qiyi; Long, Chunlin

    2014-02-19

    Dyes derived from plants have an extensive history of use for coloring food and clothing in Dong communities and other indigenous areas in the uplands of China. In addition to use as coloring agents, Dong communities have historically utilized dye plants for their value for enhancing the nutritive, medicinal and preservative properties of foods. However, the persistence of plant-derived dyes and associated cultural practices and traditional knowledge is threatened with rapid socio-economic change in China. Research is needed to document the ethnobotany of dye plants in indigenous communities towards their conservation and potential commercialization as a sustainable means of supporting local development initiatives. Semi-structured surveys on plants used for coloring agents and associated traditional knowledge were conducted in fifteen Dong villages of Tongdao County in Hunan Province of South Central China during 2011-2012. Transect walks were carried out with key informants identified from semi-structured surveys to collect samples and voucher specimens for each documented plant species for taxonomic identification. Dong households at the study sites utilize the flowers, bark, stems, tubers and roots of 13 plant species from 9 families as dyes to color their customary clothing and food. Out of the documented plants, a total of 7 are used for coloring food, 3 for coloring clothing and 3 for both food and clothing. Documented plants consist of 3 species that yield black pigments, 3 for brownish red/russet pigments, 3 for red pigments, 2 for dark blue pigments and 2 for yellow pigments. In addition to dyes, the plants have multiple uses including medicinal, ornamental, sacrificial, edible, and for timber. The use of dyes derived from plants persists at the study sites for their important role in expressing Dong cultural identity through customary clothing and food. Further research is needed to evaluate the safety of dye plants, their efficacy in enhancing food

  20. Habitat Fragmentation Drives Plant Community Assembly Processes across Life Stages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Guang; Feeley, Kenneth J.; Yu, Mingjian

    2016-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation is one of the principal causes of biodiversity loss and hence understanding its impacts on community assembly and disassembly is an important topic in ecology. We studied the relationships between fragmentation and community assembly processes in the land-bridge island system of Thousand Island Lake in East China. We focused on the changes in species diversity and phylogenetic diversity that occurred between life stages of woody plants growing on these islands. The observed diversities were compared with the expected diversities from random null models to characterize assembly processes. Regression tree analysis was used to illustrate the relationships between island attributes and community assembly processes. We found that different assembly processes predominate in the seedlings-to-saplings life-stage transition (SS) vs. the saplings-to-trees transition (ST). Island area was the main attribute driving the assembly process in SS. In ST, island isolation was more important. Within a fragmented landscape, the factors driving community assembly processes were found to differ between life stage transitions. Environmental filtering had a strong effect on the seedlings-to-saplings life-stage transition. Habitat isolation and dispersal limitation influenced all plant life stages, but had a weaker effect on communities than area. These findings add to our understanding of the processes driving community assembly and species coexistence in the context of pervasive and widespread habitat loss and fragmentation. PMID:27427960

  1. Plant community resistance to invasion by Bromus species – the roles of community attributes, Bromus Interactions with plant communities, and Bromus traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, Jeanne; Germino, Matthew; Belnap, Jayne; Brown, Cynthia; Schupp, Eugene W.; St. Clair, Samuel B

    2016-01-01

    The factors that determine plant community resistance to exotic annual Bromus species (Bromushereafter) are diverse and context specific. They are influenced by the environmental characteristics and attributes of the community, the traits of Bromus species, and the direct and indirect interactions of Bromus with the plant community. Environmental factors, in particular ambient and soil temperatures, have significant effects on the ability of Bromus to establish and spread. Seasonality of precipitation relative to temperature influences plant community resistance toBromus through effects on soil water storage, timing of water and nutrient availability, and dominant plant life forms. Differences among plant communities in how well soil resource use by the plant community matches resource supply rates can influence the magnitude of resource fluctuations due to either climate or disturbance and thus the opportunities for invasion. The spatial and temporal patterns of resource availability and acquisition of growth resources by Bromus versus native species strongly influence resistance to invasion. Traits of Bromus that confer a “priority advantage” for resource use in many communities include early-season germination and high growth and reproductive rates. Resistance to Bromus can be overwhelmed by high propagule supply, low innate seed dormancy, and large, if short-lived, seed banks. Biological crusts can inhibit germination and establishment of invasive annual plants, including several annual Bromus species, but are effective only in the absence of disturbance. Herbivores can have negative direct effects on Bromus, but positive indirect effects through decreases in competitors. Management strategies can be improved through increased understanding of community resistance to exotic annual Bromus species.

  2. [A phylogenetic analysis of plant communities of Teberda Biosphere Reserve].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shulakov, A A; Egorov, A V; Onipchenko, V G

    2016-01-01

    Phylogenetic analysis of communities is based on the comparison of distances on the phylogenetic tree between species of a community under study and those distances in random samples taken out of local flora. It makes it possible to determine to what extent a community composition is formed by more closely related species (i.e., "clustered") or, on the opposite, it is more even and includes species that are less related with each other. The first case is usually interpreted as a result of strong influence caused by abiotic factors, due to which species with similar ecology, a priori more closely related, would remain: In the second case, biotic factors, such as competition, may come to the fore and lead to forming a community out of distant clades due to divergence of their ecological niches: The aim of this' study Was Ad explore the phylogenetic structure in communities of the northwestern Caucasus at two spatial scales - the scale of area from 4 to 100 m2 and the smaller scale within a community. The list of local flora of the alpine belt has been composed using the database of geobotanic descriptions carried out in Teberda Biosphere Reserve at true altitudes exceeding.1800 m. It includes 585 species of flowering plants belonging to 57 families. Basal groups of flowering plants are.not represented in the list. At the scale of communities of three classes, namely Thlaspietea rotundifolii - commumties formed on screes and pebbles, Calluno-Ulicetea - alpine meadow, and Mulgedio-Aconitetea subalpine meadows, have not demonstrated significant distinction of phylogenetic structure. At intra level, for alpine meadows the larger share of closely related species. (clustered community) is detected. Significantly clustered happen to be those communities developing on rocks (class Asplenietea trichomanis) and alpine (class Juncetea trifidi). At the same time, alpine lichen proved to have even phylogenetic structure at the small scale. Alpine (class Salicetea herbaceae) that

  3. Community-level plant-soil feedbacks explain landscape distribution of native and non-native plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulmatiski, Andrew

    2018-02-01

    Plant-soil feedbacks (PSFs) have gained attention for their potential role in explaining plant growth and invasion. While promising, most PSF research has measured plant monoculture growth on different soils in short-term, greenhouse experiments. Here, five soil types were conditioned by growing one native species, three non-native species, or a mixed plant community in different plots in a common-garden experiment. After 4 years, plants were removed and one native and one non-native plant community were planted into replicate plots of each soil type. After three additional years, the percentage cover of each of the three target species in each community was measured. These data were used to parameterize a plant community growth model. Model predictions were compared to native and non-native abundance on the landscape. Native community cover was lowest on soil conditioned by the dominant non-native, Centaurea diffusa , and non-native community cover was lowest on soil cultivated by the dominant native, Pseudoroegneria spicata . Consistent with plant growth on the landscape, the plant growth model predicted that the positive PSFs observed in the common-garden experiment would result in two distinct communities on the landscape: a native plant community on native soils and a non-native plant community on non-native soils. In contrast, when PSF effects were removed, the model predicted that non-native plants would dominate all soils, which was not consistent with plant growth on the landscape. Results provide an example where PSF effects were large enough to change the rank-order abundance of native and non-native plant communities and to explain plant distributions on the landscape. The positive PSFs that contributed to this effect reflected the ability of the two dominant plant species to suppress each other's growth. Results suggest that plant dominance, at least in this system, reflects the ability of a species to suppress the growth of dominant competitors

  4. Diversity of MAPs in some plant communities of Stara Planina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Obratov-Petković Dragica

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The high floristic diversity of Stara Planina was the starting base for the research of medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs in individual forest and meadow communities. The sites Javor and Prelesje, forest community Fagetum moesiacae montanum B. Jov. 1953, pioneer community of birch Betuletum verrucosae s.l. and meadow community Agrostietum vulgaris (capillaris Pavlović, Z. 1955, were researched as follows: soil types, floristic composition and structure of the community, percentage of MAPs, as well as the selection of species which, according to the predetermined criteria can be recommended for further exploitation. The study shows that the soil of the forest communities is eutric brown, and meadow soils are dystric and eutric humus-siliceous. The percentage of MAPs in the floristic structure of the study sites in forest and meadow communities is 32.35%. The following species can be recommended for the collection and utilisation: Hypericum perforatum L., Asperula odorata L., Dryopteris filix-mas (L Schott. Urtica dioica L., Euphorbia amygdaloides L., Prunella grandiflora L. Tanacetum vulgare L., Achillea millefolium L., Rumex acetosa L., Campanula glomerata L., Stachys officinalis (L Trevis., Plantago lanceolata W. et K., Potentilla erecta (L Rauchel, Chamaespartium sagittale (L P. Gibbs. Cynanchum vincetoxicum (L Pers., Euphrasia stricta Host., Fagus moesiaca (Matt Liebl. and Fragaria vesca L.

  5. Nonrandom Composition of Flower Colors in a Plant Community: Mutually Different Co-Flowering Natives and Disturbance by Aliens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makino, Takashi T.; Yokoyama, Jun

    2015-01-01

    When pollinators use flower color to locate food sources, a distinct color can serve as a reproductive barrier against co-flowering species. This anti-interference function of flower color may result in a community assembly of plant species displaying mutually different flower colors. However, such color dispersion is not ubiquitous, suggesting a variable selection across communities and existence of some opposing factors. We conducted a 30-week study in a plant community and measured the floral reflectances of 244 species. The reflectances were evaluated in insect color spaces (bees, swallowtails, and flies), and the dispersion was compared with random expectations. We found that co-existing colors were overdispersed for each analyzed pollinator type, and this overdispersion was statistically significant for bees. Furthermore, we showed that exclusion of 32 aliens from the analysis significantly increased the color dispersion of native flowers in every color space. This result indicated that aliens disturbed a native plant–pollinator network via similarly colored flowers. Our results demonstrate the masking effects of aliens in the detection of color dispersion of native flowers and that variations in pollinator vision yield different outcomes. Our results also support the hypothesis that co-flowering species are one of the drivers of color diversification and affect the community assembly. PMID:26650121

  6. The role of plant mycorrhizal type and status in modulating the relationship between plant and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuenkamp, Lena; Moora, Mari; Öpik, Maarja; Davison, John; Gerz, Maret; Männistö, Minna; Jairus, Teele; Vasar, Martti; Zobel, Martin

    2018-01-25

    Interactions between communities of plants and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi shape fundamental ecosystem properties. Experimental evidence suggests that compositional changes in plant and AM fungal communities should be correlated, but empirical data from natural ecosystems are scarce. We investigated the dynamics of covariation between plant and AM fungal communities during three stages of grassland succession, and the biotic and abiotic factors shaping these dynamics. Plant communities were characterised using vegetation surveys. AM fungal communities were characterised by 454-sequencing of the small subunit rRNA gene and identification against the AM fungal reference database MaarjAM. AM fungal abundance was estimated using neutral-lipid fatty acids (NLFAs). Multivariate correlation analysis (Procrustes) revealed a significant relationship between plant and AM fungal community composition. The strength of plant-AM fungal correlation weakened during succession following cessation of grassland management, reflecting changes in the proportion of plants exhibiting different AM status. Plant-AM fungal correlation was strong when the abundance of obligate AM plants was high, and declined as the proportion of facultative AM plants increased. We conclude that the extent to which plants rely on AM symbiosis can determine how tightly communities of plants and AM fungi are interlinked, regulating community assembly of both symbiotic partners. © 2018 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2018 New Phytologist Trust.

  7. Mapping of aggregated floodplain plant communities using image fusion of CASI and LiDAR data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verrelst, J.; Geerling, G.W.; Sykora, K.V.; Clevers, J.G.P.W.

    2009-01-01

    Combined optical and laser altimeter data offer the potential to map and monitor plant communities based on their spectral and structural characteristics. A problem unresolved is, however, that narrowly defined plant communities, i.e. plant communities at a low hierarchical level of classification

  8. Development of an improved compact package plant for small community waste-water treatment

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Hulsman, A

    1993-01-01

    Full Text Available The challenges facing the design and operation of small community wastewater treatment plants are discussed. The package plant concept is considered and the consequent development of a compact intermittently aerated activated sludge package plant...

  9. The impact of plant chemical diversity on plant-herbivore interactions at the community level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salazar, Diego; Jaramillo, Alejandra; Marquis, Robert J

    2016-08-01

    Understanding the role of diversity in ecosystem processes and species interactions is a central goal of ecology. For plant-herbivore interactions, it has been hypothesized that when plant species diversity is reduced, loss of plant biomass to herbivores increases. Although long-standing, this hypothesis has received mixed support. Increasing plant chemical diversity with increasing plant taxonomic diversity is likely to be important for plant-herbivore interactions at the community level, but the role of chemical diversity is unexplored. Here we assess the effect of volatile chemical diversity on patterns of herbivore damage in naturally occurring patches of Piper (Piperaceae) shrubs in a Costa Rican lowland wet forest. Volatile chemical diversity negatively affected total, specialist, and generalist herbivore damage. Furthermore, there were differences between the effects of high-volatility and low-volatility chemical diversity on herbivore damage. High-volatility diversity reduced specialist herbivory, while low-volatility diversity reduced generalist herbivory. Our data suggest that, although increased plant diversity is expected to reduce average herbivore damage, this pattern is likely mediated by the diversity of defensive compounds and general classes of anti-herbivore traits, as well as the degree of specialization of the herbivores attacking those plants.

  10. Conceptual hierarchical modeling to describe wetland plant community organization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Little, A.M.; Guntenspergen, G.R.; Allen, T.F.H.

    2010-01-01

    Using multivariate analysis, we created a hierarchical modeling process that describes how differently-scaled environmental factors interact to affect wetland-scale plant community organization in a system of small, isolated wetlands on Mount Desert Island, Maine. We followed the procedure: 1) delineate wetland groups using cluster analysis, 2) identify differently scaled environmental gradients using non-metric multidimensional scaling, 3) order gradient hierarchical levels according to spatiotem-poral scale of fluctuation, and 4) assemble hierarchical model using group relationships with ordination axes and post-hoc tests of environmental differences. Using this process, we determined 1) large wetland size and poor surface water chemistry led to the development of shrub fen wetland vegetation, 2) Sphagnum and water chemistry differences affected fen vs. marsh / sedge meadows status within small wetlands, and 3) small-scale hydrologic differences explained transitions between forested vs. non-forested and marsh vs. sedge meadow vegetation. This hierarchical modeling process can help explain how upper level contextual processes constrain biotic community response to lower-level environmental changes. It creates models with more nuanced spatiotemporal complexity than classification and regression tree procedures. Using this process, wetland scientists will be able to generate more generalizable theories of plant community organization, and useful management models. ?? Society of Wetland Scientists 2009.

  11. Abandoned floodplain plant communities along a regulated dryland river

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, L. V.; Shafroth, Patrick B.; House, P. K.

    2014-01-01

    Rivers and their floodplains worldwide have changed dramatically over the last century because of regulation by dams, flow diversions and channel stabilization. Floodplains no longer inundated by river flows following dam-induced flood reduction comprise large areas of bottomland habitat, but the effects of abandonment on plant communities are not well understood. Using a hydraulic flow model, geomorphic mapping and field surveys, we addressed the following questions along the Bill Williams River, Arizona: (i) What per cent of the bottomland do abandoned floodplains comprise? and (ii) Are abandoned floodplains quantitatively different from adjacent xeric and riparian surfaces in terms of vegetation composition and surface sediment? We found that nearly 70% of active channel and floodplain area was abandoned following dam installation. Abandoned floodplains along the Bill Williams River tend to be similar to each other yet distinct from neighbouring habitats: they have been altered physically from their historic state, leading to distinct combinations of surface sediments, hydrology and plant communities. Abandoned floodplains may transition to xeric communities over time but are likely to retain some riparian qualities as long as there is access to relatively shallow ground water. With expected increases in water demand and drying climatic conditions in many regions, these surfaces and associated vegetation will continue to be extensive in riparian landscapes worldwide

  12. Population and community ecology of the rare plant amsinckia grandiflora

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carlsen, T.M.

    1996-11-01

    Research was conducted between the fall of 1992 and the spring on the population and community ecology of the rare annual plant, Amsinckia glandiflora (Gray) Kleeb. ex Greene (Boraginaceae). The research goal was to investigate the causes of the species rarity, data useful to restorative efforts. The work focused on the examination of competitive suppression by exotic annual grasses; comparisons with common, weedy congener; and the role of litter cover and seed germination and seedling establishment. Annual exotic grasses reduced A. grandiflora reproductive output to a greater extent than did the native perennial bunch grass.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  14. Community leaders' perspectives on socio-economic impacts of power-plant development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hastings, M.; Cawley, M.E.

    1981-01-01

    The primary focus of this research effort was to identify and measure the socioeconomic impacts of power plant development on non-metropolitan host communities. A mail survey, distributed to community leaders in 100 power plant communities east of the Mississippi River, was utilized to gather information from 713 respondents. Community leaders were questioned as to the plant's impact on (a) community groups, (b) aspects of community life, (c) overall community acceptance and (d) attitudes toward power plant development. Overall, the trends and patterns of plant impact on the host communities were found to be largely positive. Specifically, local employment opportunities were generally enhanced with the advent of the power plant. Directly related to power plant development was the overall improvement of the local economic situation. Off-shoots from such in the economic area included related general improvements in the community quality of life. While the vast majority of community leaders responded with positive comments on power plant presence, adverse impacts were also mentioned. Negative comments focused on environmental problems, deterioration of roads and traffic conditions, and the possibility of nuclear accidents. Despite these negative impacts, almost two-thirds of the community leaders would definitely support the reconstruction of the same energy facility. Power plant development, therefore, is generally perceived as both a positive and beneficial asset for the host area. (author)

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  16. Interspecific nutrient transfer in a tallgrass prairie plant community

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walter, L.E.F.; Hartnett, D.C.; Hetrick, B.A.D.; Schwab, A.P.

    1996-01-01

    Interplant nutrient transfer may be an important ecological process in grasslands, and may significantly influence plant neighborhood interactions. We investigated the potential for phosphorus transfer between the dominant grass Andropogon gerardii and several neighboring plant species in tallgrass prairie via a field 32PO4 labelling experiment. The mean amount of 32P received from donor shoots differed significantly among neighboring species and decreased with increasing distance from the donor. In general, forbs and cool-season C3 grasses received more labelled 32P than warm-season C4 grasses. Phosphorus transfer occurred over distances up to 0.5 m. The effects of species and distance on movement of phosphorus changed with increasing time after labelling. The relative mass of receiver and donor shoots did not affect amounts of 32P transfer. A benomyl fungicide treatment, applied to suppress mycorrhizal activity, likely did not affect existing vegetative hyphae and did not affect the amount of 32P transferred. These studies demonstrate that: (1) phosphorus is transferred among neighboring species in tallgrass prairie plant communities, (2) phosphorus may be transferred over significantly greater distances than reported in other grasslands, and (3) there is differential transfer among co-occurring species. Hypothesized mechanisms accounting for these patterns in tallgrass prairie include mycorrhizal hyphal interconnections and/or extensive and differential root and rhizosphere overlap among neighboring species

  17. Divergent composition but similar function of soil food webs of individual plants: plant species and community effects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bezemer, T.M.; Fountain, T.; Barea, J.M.; Christensen, S.; Dekker, S.C.; Duyts, H.; Hal, van R.; Harvey, J.A.; Hedlund, K.; Maraun, M.; Mikola, J.; Mladenov, A.G.; Robin, C.; Ruiter, de P.C.; Scheu, H.; Setälä, S.; šmilauer, P.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2010-01-01

    Soils are extremely rich in biodiversity, and soil organisms play pivotal roles in supporting terrestrial life, but the role that individual plants and plant communities play in influencing the diversity and functioning of soil food webs remains highly debated. Plants, as primary producers and

  18. Divergent composition but similar function of soil food webs beneath individual plants: plant species and community effects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bezemer, T.M.; Fountain, M.T.; Barea, J.M.; Christensen, S.; Dekker, S.C.; Duyts, H.; van Hal, R.; Harvey, J.A.; Hedlund, K.; Maraun, M.; Mikola, J.; Mladenov, A.G.; Robin, C.; de Ruiter, P.C.; Scheu, S.; Setälä, H.; Milauer, P.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2010-01-01

    Soils are extremely rich in biodiversity, and soil organisms play pivotal roles in supporting terrestrial life, but the role that individual plants and plant communities play in influencing the diversity and functioning of soil food webs remains highly debated. Plants, as primary producers and

  19. Changes in plant species richness induce functional shifts in soil nematode communities in experimental grassland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nico Eisenhauer

    Full Text Available Changes in plant diversity may induce distinct changes in soil food web structure and accompanying soil feedbacks to plants. However, knowledge of the long-term consequences of plant community simplification for soil animal food webs and functioning is scarce. Nematodes, the most abundant and diverse soil Metazoa, represent the complexity of soil food webs as they comprise all major trophic groups and allow calculation of a number of functional indices.We studied the functional composition of nematode communities three and five years after establishment of a grassland plant diversity experiment (Jena Experiment. In response to plant community simplification common nematode species disappeared and pronounced functional shifts in community structure occurred. The relevance of the fungal energy channel was higher in spring 2007 than in autumn 2005, particularly in species-rich plant assemblages. This resulted in a significant positive relationship between plant species richness and the ratio of fungal-to-bacterial feeders. Moreover, the density of predators increased significantly with plant diversity after five years, pointing to increased soil food web complexity in species-rich plant assemblages. Remarkably, in complex plant communities the nematode community shifted in favour of microbivores and predators, thereby reducing the relative abundance of plant feeders after five years.The results suggest that species-poor plant assemblages may suffer from nematode communities detrimental to plants, whereas species-rich plant assemblages support a higher proportion of microbivorous nematodes stimulating nutrient cycling and hence plant performance; i.e. effects of nematodes on plants may switch from negative to positive. Overall, food web complexity is likely to decrease in response to plant community simplification and results of this study suggest that this results mainly from the loss of common species which likely alter plant-nematode interactions.

  20. Climate impacts on bird and plant communities from altered animal-plant interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Thomas E.; Maron, John L.

    2012-01-01

    The contribution of climate change to declining populations of organisms remains a question of outstanding concern. Much attention to declining populations has focused on how changing climate drives phenological mismatches between animals and their food. Effects of climate on plant communities may provide an alternative, but particularly powerful, influence on animal populations because plants provide their habitats. Here, we show that abundances of deciduous trees and associated songbirds have declined with decreasing snowfall over 22 years of study in montane Arizona, USA. We experimentally tested the hypothesis that declining snowfall indirectly influences plants and associated birds by allowing greater over-winter herbivory by elk (Cervus canadensis). We excluded elk from one of two paired snowmelt drainages (10 ha per drainage), and replicated this paired experiment across three distant canyons. Over six years, we reversed multi-decade declines in plant and bird populations by experimentally inhibiting heavy winter herbivory associated with declining snowfall. Moreover, predation rates on songbird nests decreased in exclosures, despite higher abundances of nest predators, demonstrating the over-riding importance of habitat quality to avian recruitment. Thus, our results suggest that climate impacts on plant–animal interactions can have forceful ramifying effects on plants, birds, and ecological interactions.

  1. Plant Communities Rather than Soil Properties Structure Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Communities along Primary Succession on a Mine Spoil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krüger, Claudia; Kohout, Petr; Janoušková, Martina; Püschel, David; Frouz, Jan; Rydlová, Jana

    2017-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) community assembly during primary succession has so far received little attention. It remains therefore unclear, which of the factors, driving AMF community composition, are important during ecosystem development. We addressed this question on a large spoil heap, which provides a mosaic of sites in different successional stages under different managements. We selected 24 sites of c. 12, 20, 30, or 50 years in age, including sites with spontaneously developing vegetation and sites reclaimed by alder plantations. On each site, we sampled twice a year roots of the perennial rhizomatous grass Calamagrostis epigejos (Poaceae) to determine AMF root colonization and diversity (using 454-sequencing), determined the soil chemical properties and composition of plant communities. AMF taxa richness was unaffected by site age, but AMF composition variation increased along the chronosequences. AMF communities were unaffected by soil chemistry, but related to the composition of neighboring plant communities of the sampled C. epigejos plants. In contrast, the plant communities of the sites were more distinctively structured than the AMF communities along the four successional stages. We conclude that AMF and plant community successions respond to different factors. AMF communities seem to be influenced by biotic rather than by abiotic factors and to diverge with successional age. PMID:28473828

  2. Comparing herbaceous plant communities in active and passive riparian restoration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elise S Gornish

    Full Text Available Understanding the efficacy of passive (reduction or cessation of environmental stress and active (typically involving planting or seeding restoration strategies is important for the design of successful revegetation of degraded riparian habitat, but studies explicitly comparing restoration outcomes are uncommon. We sampled the understory herbaceous plant community of 103 riparian sites varying in age since restoration (0 to 39 years and revegetation technique (active, passive, or none to compare the utility of different approaches on restoration success across sites. We found that landform type, percent shade, and summer flow helped explain differences in the understory functional community across all sites. In passively restored sites, grass and forb cover and richness were inversely related to site age, but in actively restored sites forb cover and richness were inversely related to site age. Native cover and richness were lower with passive restoration compared to active restoration. Invasive species cover and richness were not significantly different across sites. Although some of our results suggest that active restoration would best enhance native species in degraded riparian areas, this work also highlights some of the context-dependency that has been found to mediate restoration outcomes. For example, since the effects of passive restoration can be quite rapid, this approach might be more useful than active restoration in situations where rapid dominance of pioneer species is required to arrest major soil loss through erosion. As a result, we caution against labeling one restoration technique as better than another. Managers should identify ideal restoration outcomes in the context of historic and current site characteristics (as well as a range of acceptable alternative states and choose restoration approaches that best facilitate the achievement of revegetation goals.

  3. Humans as long-distance dispersers of rural plant communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alistair G Auffret

    Full Text Available Humans are known for their capacity to disperse organisms long distances. Long-distance dispersal can be important for species threatened by habitat destruction, but research into human-mediated dispersal is often focused upon few and/or invasive species. Here we use citizen science to identify the capacity for humans to disperse seeds on their clothes and footwear from a known species pool in a valuable habitat, allowing for an assessment of the fraction and types of species dispersed by humans in an alternative context. We collected material from volunteers cutting 48 species-rich meadows throughout Sweden. We counted 24,354 seeds of 197 species, representing 34% of the available species pool, including several rare and protected species. However, 71 species (36% are considered invasive elsewhere in the world. Trait analysis showed that seeds with hooks or other appendages were more likely to be dispersed by humans, as well as those with a persistent seed bank. More activity in a meadow resulted in more dispersal, both in terms of species and representation of the source communities. Average potential dispersal distances were measured at 13 km. We consider humans capable seed dispersers, transporting a significant proportion of the plant communities in which they are active, just like more traditional vectors such as livestock. When rural populations were larger, people might have been regular and effective seed dispersers, and the net rural-urban migration resulting in a reduction in humans in the landscape may have exacerbated the dispersal failure evident in declining plant populations today. With the fragmentation of habitat and changes in land use resulting from agricultural change, and the increased mobility of humans worldwide, the dispersal role of humans may have shifted from providers of regular local and landscape dispersal to providers of much rarer long-distance and regional dispersal, and international invasion.

  4. Phylogenetic composition of host plant communities drives plant-herbivore food web structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volf, Martin; Pyszko, Petr; Abe, Tomokazu; Libra, Martin; Kotásková, Nela; Šigut, Martin; Kumar, Rajesh; Kaman, Ondřej; Butterill, Philip T; Šipoš, Jan; Abe, Haruka; Fukushima, Hiroaki; Drozd, Pavel; Kamata, Naoto; Murakami, Masashi; Novotny, Vojtech

    2017-05-01

    Insects tend to feed on related hosts. The phylogenetic composition of host plant communities thus plays a prominent role in determining insect specialization, food web structure, and diversity. Previous studies showed a high preference of insect herbivores for congeneric and confamilial hosts suggesting that some levels of host plant relationships may play more prominent role that others. We aim to quantify the effects of host phylogeny on the structure of quantitative plant-herbivore food webs. Further, we identify specific patterns in three insect guilds with different life histories and discuss the role of host plant phylogeny in maintaining their diversity. We studied herbivore assemblages in three temperate forests in Japan and the Czech Republic. Sampling from a canopy crane, a cherry picker and felled trees allowed a complete census of plant-herbivore interactions within three 0·1 ha plots for leaf chewing larvae, miners, and gallers. We analyzed the effects of host phylogeny by comparing the observed food webs with randomized models of host selection. Larval leaf chewers exhibited high generality at all three sites, whereas gallers and miners were almost exclusively monophagous. Leaf chewer generality dropped rapidly when older host lineages (5-80 myr) were collated into a single lineage but only decreased slightly when the most closely related congeneric hosts were collated. This shows that leaf chewer generality has been maintained by feeding on confamilial hosts while only a few herbivores were shared between more distant plant lineages and, surprisingly, between some congeneric hosts. In contrast, miner and galler generality was maintained mainly by the terminal nodes of the host phylogeny and dropped immediately after collating congeneric hosts into single lineages. We show that not all levels of host plant phylogeny are equal in their effect on structuring plant-herbivore food webs. In the case of generalist guilds, it is the phylogeny of deeper

  5. Plant pathogens structure arthropod communities across multiple spatial and temporal scales

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tack, A.J.M.; Dicke, M.

    2013-01-01

    Plant pathogens and herbivores frequently co-occur on the same host plants. Despite this, little is known about the impact of their interactions on the structure of plant-based ecological communities. Here, we synthesize evidence that indicates that plant pathogens may profoundly impact arthropod

  6. Herbivory of an invasive slug is affected by earthworms and the composition of plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaller, Johann G; Parth, Myriam; Szunyogh, Ilona; Semmelrock, Ines; Sochurek, Susanne; Pinheiro, Marcia; Frank, Thomas; Drapela, Thomas

    2013-05-13

    Biodiversity loss and species invasions are among the most important human-induced global changes. Moreover, these two processes are interlinked as ecosystem invasibility is considered to increase with decreasing biodiversity. In temperate grasslands, earthworms serve as important ecosystem engineers making up the majority of soil faunal biomass. Herbivore behaviour has been shown to be affected by earthworms, however it is unclear whether these effects differ with the composition of plant communities. To test this we conducted a mesocosm experiment where we added earthworms (Annelida: Lumbricidae) to planted grassland communities with different plant species composition (3 vs. 12 plant spp.). Plant communities had equal plant densities and ratios of the functional groups grasses, non-leguminous forbs and legumes. Later, Arion vulgaris slugs (formerly known as A. lusitanicus; Gastropoda: Arionidae) were added and allowed to freely choose among the available plant species. This slug species is listed among the 100 worst alien species in Europe. We hypothesized that (i) the food choice of slugs would be altered by earthworms' specific effects on the growth and nutrient content of plant species, (ii) slug herbivory will be less affected by earthworms in plant communities containing more plant species than in those with fewer plant species because of a more readily utilization of plant resources making the impacts of earthworms less pronounced. Slug herbivory was significantly affected by both earthworms and plant species composition. Slugs damaged 60% less leaves when earthworms were present, regardless of the species composition of the plant communities. Percent leaf area consumed by slugs was 40% lower in communities containing 12 plant species; in communities containing only three species earthworms increased slug leaf area consumption. Grasses were generally avoided by slugs. Leaf length and number of tillers was increased in mesocosms containing more plant

  7. Pesticides from wastewater treatment plant effluents affect invertebrate communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Münze, Ronald; Hannemann, Christin; Orlinskiy, Polina; Gunold, Roman; Paschke, Albrecht; Foit, Kaarina; Becker, Jeremias; Kaske, Oliver; Paulsson, Elin; Peterson, Märit; Jernstedt, Henrik; Kreuger, Jenny; Schüürmann, Gerrit; Liess, Matthias

    2017-12-01

    We quantified pesticide contamination and its ecological impact up- and downstream of seven wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in rural and suburban areas of central Germany. During two sampling campaigns, time-weighted average pesticide concentrations (c TWA ) were obtained using Chemcatcher® passive samplers; pesticide peak concentrations were quantified with event-driven samplers. At downstream sites, receiving waters were additionally grab sampled for five selected pharmaceuticals. Ecological effects on macroinvertebrate structure and ecosystem function were assessed using the biological indicator system SPEAR pesticides (SPEcies At Risk) and leaf litter breakdown rates, respectively. WWTP effluents substantially increased insecticide and fungicide concentrations in receiving waters; in many cases, treated wastewater was the exclusive source for the neonicotinoid insecticides acetamiprid and imidacloprid in the investigated streams. During the ten weeks of the investigation, five out of the seven WWTPs increased in-stream pesticide toxicity by a factor of three. As a consequence, at downstream sites, SPEAR values and leaf litter degradation rates were reduced by 40% and 53%, respectively. The reduced leaf litter breakdown was related to changes in the macroinvertebrate communities described by SPEAR pesticides and not to altered microbial activity. Neonicotinoids showed the highest ecological relevance for the composition of invertebrate communities, occasionally exceeding the Regulatory Acceptable Concentrations (RACs). In general, considerable ecological effects of insecticides were observed above and below regulatory thresholds. Fungicides, herbicides and pharmaceuticals contributed only marginally to acute toxicity. We conclude that pesticide retention of WWTPs needs to be improved. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Plant community structure in an oligohaline tidal marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brewer, J.S.; Grace, J.B.

    1990-01-01

    An oligohaline tidal marsh on the northern shore of Lake Pontchartrain, LA was characterized with respect to the distributions and abundances of plant species over spatial and temporal gradients using Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA). In addition, the species distributions were correlated to several physical environmental factors using Detrended Canonical Correspondence Analysis (DCCA). The distributions of species were best correlated with distance from Lake Pontchartrain, and to a lesser extent with elevation and substrate organic matter. They were least correlated with mean soil salinity (referred to here as background salinity). Of the three mid-seasonal dominant species, the perennial grass, Spartina patens, is the most salt tolerant and was found closest to the lake. Further inland the dominant perennial was Sagittaria lancifolia, which has a salt tolerance less than that of Spartina patens. The perennial sedge, Cladium jamaicense, which is the least salt tolerant of the three, was dominant furthest inland. Background salinity levels were generally low (interactions likely also play a role in structuring the plant community. The distributions of several annuals depended on the size and life history of the mid-seasonal dominant perennials. Most of the annuals frequently co-occurred with Sagittaria lancifolia, which was the shortest in stature and had the least persistent canopy of the three mid-seasonal dominant perennials.

  9. Mineralogical composition changes of postagrogenic soils under different plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Churilin, Nikita; Chizhikova, Natalia; Varlamov, Evgheni; Churilina, Alexandra

    2017-04-01

    Plant communities play the leading role in transformation of soil. The need of studying former arable lands increases due to large number of abandoned lands in Russia. It is necessary to study mineralogical composition of soils involved into natural processes to understand the trends of their development after agricultural activities in the past. The aim of the study is to identify changes in mineralogical composition of soils under the influence of different plant communities. Soils were sampled in the south of Arkhangelsk region, Ustyansky district, near Akichkin Pochinok village. Soils are formed on clay moraine of Moscow glaciation. Soil profiles were dug on interfluve. We selected 4 plant communities on different stages of succession: upland meadow with domination of sod grasses (Phleum pratense, Agrostis tenuis), 16-year-old birch forest where dominants are herbaceous plants such as Poa sp., Chamerion angustiflium, Agrostis tenuis, 16-year-old spruce forest with no herbaceous vegetation and 70-year-old bilberry spruce forest with domination of Vaccinium myrtillus and Vaccinium vitis-idaea. To separate soil fractions mineral content. We noticed a clear differentiation of studied soils both in the content of fraction and composition of minerals. Mineralogical composition and major mineral phases correlation of profiles under 70 years and 16 years of spruce forests are different. Mineralogical content in upper part of profile under the young spruce is more differentiated than in old spruce forest: the amount of quartz and kaolinite increases in upper horizon, although in this case the overall pattern of profile formation of clay material during podzolization remains unchanged. There is more substantial desilting under the birch forest, compared with profile under the spruce of same age within top 50 cm. Under the meadow vegetation we've discovered differentiation in mineral composition. Upper horizons contain smectite phase and differ from the underlying

  10. Plant traits determine the phylogenetic structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-García, Álvaro; Varela-Cervero, Sara; Vasar, Martti; Öpik, Maarja; Barea, José M; Azcón-Aguilar, Concepción

    2017-12-01

    Functional diversity in ecosystems has traditionally been studied using aboveground plant traits. Despite the known effect of plant traits on the microbial community composition, their effects on the microbial functional diversity are only starting to be assessed. In this study, the phylogenetic structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal communities associated with plant species differing in life cycle and growth form, that is, plant life forms, was determined to unravel the effect of plant traits on the functional diversity of this fungal group. The results of the 454 pyrosequencing showed that the AM fungal community composition differed across plant life forms and this effect was dependent on the soil collection date. Plants with ruderal characteristics tended to associate with phylogenetically clustered AM fungal communities. By contrast, plants with resource-conservative traits associated with phylogenetically overdispersed AM fungal communities. Additionally, the soil collected in different seasons yielded AM fungal communities with different phylogenetic dispersion. In summary, we found that the phylogenetic structure, and hence the functional diversity, of AM fungal communities is dependent on plant traits. This finding adds value to the use of plant traits for the evaluation of belowground ecosystem diversity, functions and processes. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonas J Lembrechts

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Restructuring of endophytic bacterial communities in grapevine yellows-diseased and recovered Vitis vinifera L. plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulgari, Daniela; Casati, Paola; Crepaldi, Paola; Daffonchio, Daniele; Quaglino, Fabio; Brusetti, Lorenzo; Bianco, Piero Attilio

    2011-07-01

    Length heterogeneity-PCR assays, combined with statistical analyses, highlighted that the endophytic bacterial community associated with healthy grapevines was characterized by a greater diversity than that present in diseased and recovered plants. The findings suggest that phytoplasmas can restructure the bacterial community by selecting endophytic strains that could elicit a plant defense response.

  14. A Post Licensing Study of Community Effects at Two Operating Nuclear Power Plants. Final Report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purdy, Bruce J.; And Others

    In an effort to identify and assess the social, economic, and political effects of nuclear power plant construction and operation upon two host communities (Plymouth, Massachusetts and Waterford, Connecticut), a post-licensing review revealed that the primary impact of the nuclear power plants in both communities was an increase in the property…

  15. Microbial community structure elucidates performance of Glyceria maxima plant microbial fuel cell

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Timmers, R.A.; Rothballer, M.; Strik, D.P.B.T.B.; Engel, M.; Schulz, M.; Hartmann, A.; Hamelers, H.V.M.; Buisman, C.J.N.

    2012-01-01

    The plant microbial fuel cell (PMFC) is a technology in which living plant roots provide electron donor, via rhizodeposition, to a mixed microbial community to generate electricity in a microbial fuel cell. Analysis and localisation of the microbial community is necessary for gaining insight into

  16. Effects of plant diversity on primary production and species interactions in brackish water angiosperm communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Salo, Tiina; Gustafsson, Camilla; Boström, Christoffer

    2009-01-01

    Research on plant biodiversity and ecosystem functioning has mainly focused on terrestrial ecosystems, and our understanding of how plant species diversity and interactions affect processes in marine ecosystems is still limited. To investigate if plant species richness and composition influence...... plant productivity in brackish water angiosperm communities, a 14 wk field experiment was conducted. Using a replacement design with a standardized initial aboveground biomass, shoots of Zostera marina, Potamogeton filiformis and P. perfoliatus were planted on a shallow, sandy bottom in replicated...

  17. Wind wave source functions in opposing seas

    KAUST Repository

    Langodan, Sabique

    2015-08-26

    The Red Sea is a challenge for wave modeling because of its unique two opposed wave systems, forced by opposite winds and converging at its center. We investigate the different physical aspects of wave evolution and propagation in the convergence zone. The two opposing wave systems have similar amplitude and frequency, each driven by the action of its own wind. Wave patterns at the centre of the Red Sea, as derived from extensive tests and intercomparison between model and measured data, suggest that the currently available wave model source functions may not properly represent the evolution of the local fields that appear to be characterized by a less effective wind input and an enhanced white-capping. We propose and test a possible simple solution to improve the wave-model simulation under opposing winds and waves condition. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  18. Links between plant and fungal communities across a deforestation chronosequence in the Amazon rainforest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Rebecca C; Paula, Fabiana S; Mirza, Babur S; Rodrigues, Jorge L M; Nüsslein, Klaus; Bohannan, Brendan J M

    2014-07-01

    Understanding the interactions among microbial communities, plant communities and soil properties following deforestation could provide insights into the long-term effects of land-use change on ecosystem functions, and may help identify approaches that promote the recovery of degraded sites. We combined high-throughput sequencing of fungal rDNA and molecular barcoding of plant roots to estimate fungal and plant community composition in soil sampled across a chronosequence of deforestation. We found significant effects of land-use change on fungal community composition, which was more closely correlated to plant community composition than to changes in soil properties or geographic distance, providing evidence for strong links between above- and below-ground communities in tropical forests.

  19. Changing expectations: a longitudinal study of community attitudes toward a nuclear power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hughey, J.B.; Lounsbury, J.W.; Sundstrom, E.; Mattingly, T.J. Jr.

    1983-01-01

    Initial and 5-year follow-up interviews were conducted with 213 residents of the host community for a nuclear power plant. The purpose was to determine possible changes in attitudes toward the plant and expectations about potential outcomes associated with construction. Large negative changes in attitudes toward the plant were noted and were accompanied most notably by decreased expectations of positive outcomes. The structure of the expectations remained essentially stable over the 5-year period. Perceptions of hazards, community disruption, and economic benefits as measured early in construction and during peak construction were found to be the best predictors of acceptance of the nuclear plant. Initial expectations were found to predict overall attitude toward the plant 5 years later. Results were discussed in terms of implications for social impact assessment, large-scale community change, and the predictability of community attitudes toward nuclear power plant construction

  20. Effects of diversity and identity of the neighbouring plant community on the abundance of arthropods on individual ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris) plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kostenko, O.; Grootemaat, Saskia S.; Van der Putten, W.H.; Bezemer, T.M.

    2012-01-01

    The diversity of plant community can greatly affect the abundance and diversity of arthropods associated to that community, but can also influence the composition or abundance of arthropods on individual plants growing in that community. We sampled arthropods and recorded plant size of individual

  1. The role of biotic interactions in plant community assembly: What is the community species pool?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Švamberková, Eva; Vítová, Alena; Lepš, Jan

    2017-11-01

    Differences in plant species composition between a community and its species pool are considered to reflect the effect of community filters. If we define the species pool as a set of species able to reach a site and form a viable population in a given abiotic environment (i.e. to pass the dispersal and abiotic filter), the difference in species composition should correspond to the effect of biotic interactions. However, most of the operational definitions of the species pool are based on co-occurrence patterns and thus also reflect the effect of biotic relationships, including definitions based on functional plant traits, Ellenberg indicator values or Beals index. We conducted two seed introduction experiments in an oligotrophic wet meadow with the aim of demonstrating that many species excluded, according to the above definitions, from a species pool are in fact able to establish there successfully if competition is removed. In sowing experiments, we studied the establishment and survival of species after the removal of competition (i.e. in artificial gaps) and in intact vegetation. We also investigated inter-annual variability of seed germination and seedling establishment and competitive exclusion of sown species. The investigated species also included those from very different habitats (i.e. species with very low corresponding Beals index or Ellenberg indicator values that were different from the target community weighted mean). Many of these species were able to grow in the focal wet meadow if competition was removed, but they did not establish and survive in the intact community. These species are thus not limited by abiotic conditions, but by the biotic filter. We also recorded a great inter-annual variability in seed germination and seedling establishment. Competitive exclusion of species with different ecological requirements could be quite fast (one and half seasons) in some species, but some non-resident species were able to survive several seasons; the

  2. Influences of Plant Species, Season and Location on Leaf Endophytic Bacterial Communities of Non-Cultivated Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Tao; Melcher, Ulrich

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria are known to be associated endophytically with plants. Research on endophytic bacteria has identified their importance in food safety, agricultural production and phytoremediation. However, the diversity of endophytic bacterial communities and the forces that shape their compositions in non-cultivated plants are largely uncharacterized. In this study, we explored the diversity, community structure, and dynamics of endophytic bacteria in different plant species in the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve of northern Oklahoma, USA. High throughput sequencing of amplified segments of bacterial rDNA from 81 samples collected at four sampling times from five plant species at four locations identified 335 distinct OTUs at 97% sequence similarity, representing 16 phyla. Proteobacteria was the dominant phylum in the communities, followed by the phyla Bacteriodetes and Actinobacteria. Bacteria from four classes of Proteobacteria were detected with Alphaproteobacteria as the dominant class. Analysis of molecular variance revealed that host plant species and collecting date had significant influences on the compositions of the leaf endophytic bacterial communities. The proportion of Alphaproteobacteria was much higher in the communities from Asclepias viridis than from other plant species and differed from month to month. The most dominant bacterial groups identified in LDA Effect Size analysis showed host-specific patterns, indicating mutual selection between host plants and endophytic bacteria and that leaf endophytic bacterial compositions were dynamic, varying with the host plant's growing season in three distinct patterns. In summary, next generation sequencing has revealed variations in the taxonomic compositions of leaf endophytic bacterial communities dependent primarily on the nature of the plant host species.

  3. Influences of Plant Species, Season and Location on Leaf Endophytic Bacterial Communities of Non-Cultivated Plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tao Ding

    Full Text Available Bacteria are known to be associated endophytically with plants. Research on endophytic bacteria has identified their importance in food safety, agricultural production and phytoremediation. However, the diversity of endophytic bacterial communities and the forces that shape their compositions in non-cultivated plants are largely uncharacterized. In this study, we explored the diversity, community structure, and dynamics of endophytic bacteria in different plant species in the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve of northern Oklahoma, USA. High throughput sequencing of amplified segments of bacterial rDNA from 81 samples collected at four sampling times from five plant species at four locations identified 335 distinct OTUs at 97% sequence similarity, representing 16 phyla. Proteobacteria was the dominant phylum in the communities, followed by the phyla Bacteriodetes and Actinobacteria. Bacteria from four classes of Proteobacteria were detected with Alphaproteobacteria as the dominant class. Analysis of molecular variance revealed that host plant species and collecting date had significant influences on the compositions of the leaf endophytic bacterial communities. The proportion of Alphaproteobacteria was much higher in the communities from Asclepias viridis than from other plant species and differed from month to month. The most dominant bacterial groups identified in LDA Effect Size analysis showed host-specific patterns, indicating mutual selection between host plants and endophytic bacteria and that leaf endophytic bacterial compositions were dynamic, varying with the host plant's growing season in three distinct patterns. In summary, next generation sequencing has revealed variations in the taxonomic compositions of leaf endophytic bacterial communities dependent primarily on the nature of the plant host species.

  4. Microbial community structure elucidates performance of Glyceria maxima plant microbial fuel cell

    OpenAIRE

    Timmers, R.A.; Rothballer, M.; Strik, D.P.B.T.B.; Engel, M.; Schulz, M.; Hartmann, A.; Hamelers, H.V.M.; Buisman, C.J.N.

    2012-01-01

    The plant microbial fuel cell (PMFC) is a technology in which living plant roots provide electron donor, via rhizodeposition, to a mixed microbial community to generate electricity in a microbial fuel cell. Analysis and localisation of the microbial community is necessary for gaining insight into the competition for electron donor in a PMFC. This paper characterises the anode-rhizosphere bacterial community of a Glyceria maxima (reed mannagrass) PMFC. Electrochemically active bacteria (EAB) w...

  5. Microbial community structure elucidates performance of Glyceria maxima plant microbial fuel cell

    OpenAIRE

    Timmers, Ruud A.; Rothballer, Michael; Strik, David P. B. T. B.; Engel, Marion; Schulz, Stephan; Schloter, Michael; Hartmann, Anton; Hamelers, Bert; Buisman, Cees

    2012-01-01

    The plant microbial fuel cell (PMFC) is a technology in which living plant roots provide electron donor, via rhizodeposition, to a mixed microbial community to generate electricity in a microbial fuel cell. Analysis and localisation of the microbial community is necessary for gaining insight into the competition for electron donor in a PMFC. This paper characterises the anode–rhizosphere bacterial community of a Glyceria maxima (reed mannagrass) PMFC. Electrochemically active bacteria (EAB) w...

  6. Broad-Scale Comparison of Photosynthesis in Terrestrial and Aquatic Plant Communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sand-Jensen, Kaj; Krause-Jensen, D.

    1997-01-01

    Comparisons of photosynthesis in terrestrial and aquatic habitats have been impaired by differences in methods and time-scales of measurements. We compiled information on gross photosynthesis at high irradiance and photosynthetic efficiency at low irradiance from 109 published terrestrial studies...... communities probably due to more efficient light utilization and gas exchange in the terrestrial habitats. By contrast only small differences were found within different aquatic plant communities or within different terrestrial plant communities....... of forests, grasslands and crops and 319 aquatic studies of phytoplankton, macrophyte and attached microalgal communities to test if specific differences existed between the communities. Maximum gross photosynthesis and photosynthetic efficiency were systematically higher in terrestrial than in aquatic...

  7. Changes in uranium plant community leaders' attitudes toward nuclear power: before and after TMI

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Winfield-Laird, I.; Hastings, M.; Cawley, M.E.

    1982-01-01

    The results of an investigation of the reactions of community leaders in nuclear power plant host communities toward nuclear power following the accident at Three Mile Island (TMI) are reported. Public and private sector officials were surveyed in ten general areas covering their attitudes toward and the continued use of nuclear power as compared to other fuel types, and the reassessment of the local plant impact on different community groups and aspects of community life. Information is compared with findings from a similar study conducted with the same community leaders prior to the TMI accident. The results indicate that community leaders' attitudes remained highly favorable toward the continued use of nuclear power. Three-fourths of the sample indicated that they would probably or definitely allow the continued use of nuclear power as compared to other fuel types, and the reassessment of the local majority still view the plant presence as having a positive impact on their communities. (author)

  8. Genetics-based interactions among plants, pathogens, and herbivores define arthropod community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busby, Posy E; Lamit, Louis J; Keith, Arthur R; Newcombe, George; Gehring, Catherine A; Whitham, Thomas G; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2015-07-01

    Plant resistance to pathogens or insect herbivores is common, but its potential for indirectly influencing plant-associated communities is poorly known. Here, we test whether pathogens' indirect effects on arthropod communities and herbivory depend on plant resistance to pathogens and/or herbivores, and address the overarching interacting foundation species hypothesis that genetics-based interactions among a few highly interactive species can structure a much larger community. In a manipulative field experiment using replicated genotypes of two Populus species and their interspecific hybrids, we found that genetic variation in plant resistance to both pathogens and insect herbivores modulated the strength of pathogens' indirect effects on arthropod communities and insect herbivory. First, due in part to the pathogens' differential impacts on leaf biomass among the two Populus species and the hybrids, the pathogen most strongly impacted arthropod community composition, richness, and abundance on the pathogen-susceptible tree species. Second, we found similar patterns comparing pathogen-susceptible and pathogen-resistant genotypes within species. Third, within a plant species, pathogens caused a fivefold greater reduction in herbivory on insect-herbivore-susceptible plant genotypes than on herbivore-resistant genotypes, demonstrating that the pathogen-herbivore interaction is genotype dependent. We conclude that interactions among plants, pathogens, and herbivores can structure multitrophic communities, supporting the interacting foundation species hypothesis. Because these interactions are genetically based, evolutionary changes in genetic resistance could result in ecological changes in associated communities, which may in turn feed back to affect plant fitness.

  9. Temporal dynamics of soil nematode communities in a grassland plant diversity experiment.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Viketoft, M.; Sohlenius, B.; Bostrom, S.; Palmborg, C.; Bengtsson, J.; Berg, M.P.; Kuss-Danell, K.

    2011-01-01

    We report here on an 8-year study examining links between plant and nematode communities in a grassland plant diversity experiment, located in the north of Sweden on previous agricultural soil. The examined plots contained 1, 4 and 12 common grassland plant species from three functional groups;

  10. Long-term effects of plant diversity and composition on soil nematode communities in grassland.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Viketoft, M.; Bengtsson, J.; Sohlenius, B.; Berg, M.P.; Petchey, O.; Palmborg, C.; Huss-Daniel, K.

    2009-01-01

    An important component of plant-soil feedbacks is how plant species identity and diversity influence soil organism communities. We examine the effects of grassland plant species growing alone and together up to a richness of 12 species on nematode diversity and feeding group composition, eight years

  11. Comparing arbuscular mycorrhizal communities of individual plants in a grassland biodiversity experiment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van de Voorde, T.F.J.; Van der Putten, W.H.; Gamper, H.A.; Hol, W.H.G.; Bezemer, T.M.

    2010-01-01

    Plants differ greatly in the soil organisms colonizing their roots. However, how soil organism assemblages of individual plant roots can be influenced by plant community properties remains poorly understood. We determined the composition of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in Jacobaea vulgaris

  12. Fire and invasive exotic plant species in eastern oak communities: an assessment of current knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cynthia D. Huebner

    2006-01-01

    Successful regeneration of oak-dominated communities in the Eastern United States historically requires disturbance such as fire, making them vulnerable to invasion by exotic plants. Little is currently known about the effects of fire on invasive plant species and the effects of invasive plant species on fire regimes of this region. Seventeen common eastern invaders...

  13. Interspecific Plant Interactions Reflected in Soil Bacterial Community Structure and Nitrogen Cycling in Primary Succession.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knelman, Joseph E; Graham, Emily B; Prevéy, Janet S; Robeson, Michael S; Kelly, Patrick; Hood, Eran; Schmidt, Steve K

    2018-01-01

    Past research demonstrating the importance plant-microbe interactions as drivers of ecosystem succession has focused on how plants condition soil microbial communities, impacting subsequent plant performance and plant community assembly. These studies, however, largely treat microbial communities as a black box. In this study, we sought to examine how emblematic shifts from early successional Alnus viridus ssp. sinuata (Sitka alder) to late successional Picea sitchensis (Sitka spruce) in primary succession may be reflected in specific belowground changes in bacterial community structure and nitrogen cycling related to the interaction of these two plants. We examined early successional alder-conditioned soils in a glacial forefield to delineate how alders alter the soil microbial community with increasing dominance. Further, we assessed the impact of late-successional spruce plants on these early successional alder-conditioned microbiomes and related nitrogen cycling through a leachate addition microcosm experiment. We show how increasingly abundant alder select for particular bacterial taxa. Additionally, we found that spruce leachate significantly alters the composition of these microbial communities in large part by driving declines in taxa that are enriched by alder, including bacterial symbionts. We found these effects to be spruce specific, beyond a general leachate effect. Our work also demonstrates a unique influence of spruce on ammonium availability. Such insights bolster theory relating the importance of plant-microbe interactions with late-successional plants and interspecific plant interactions more generally.

  14. Inoculation effects on root-colonizing arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities spread beyond directly inoculated plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Janoušková

    Full Text Available Inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF may improve plant performance at disturbed sites, but inoculation may also suppress root colonization by native AMF and decrease the diversity of the root-colonizing AMF community. This has been shown for the roots of directly inoculated plants, but little is known about the stability of inoculation effects, and to which degree the inoculant and the inoculation-induced changes in AMF community composition spread into newly emerging seedlings that were not in direct contact with the introduced propagules. We addressed this topic in a greenhouse experiment based on the soil and native AMF community of a post-mining site. Plants were cultivated in compartmented pots with substrate containing the native AMF community, where AMF extraradical mycelium radiating from directly inoculated plants was allowed to inoculate neighboring plants. The abundances of the inoculated isolate and of native AMF taxa were monitored in the roots of the directly inoculated plants and the neighboring plants by quantitative real-time PCR. As expected, inoculation suppressed root colonization of the directly inoculated plants by other AMF taxa of the native AMF community and also by native genotypes of the same species as used for inoculation. In the neighboring plants, high abundance of the inoculant and the suppression of native AMF were maintained. Thus, we demonstrate that inoculation effects on native AMF propagate into plants that were not in direct contact with the introduced inoculum, and are therefore likely to persist at the site of inoculation.

  15. Inoculation effects on root-colonizing arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities spread beyond directly inoculated plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krak, Karol; Vosátka, Miroslav; Püschel, David; Štorchová, Helena

    2017-01-01

    Inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) may improve plant performance at disturbed sites, but inoculation may also suppress root colonization by native AMF and decrease the diversity of the root-colonizing AMF community. This has been shown for the roots of directly inoculated plants, but little is known about the stability of inoculation effects, and to which degree the inoculant and the inoculation-induced changes in AMF community composition spread into newly emerging seedlings that were not in direct contact with the introduced propagules. We addressed this topic in a greenhouse experiment based on the soil and native AMF community of a post-mining site. Plants were cultivated in compartmented pots with substrate containing the native AMF community, where AMF extraradical mycelium radiating from directly inoculated plants was allowed to inoculate neighboring plants. The abundances of the inoculated isolate and of native AMF taxa were monitored in the roots of the directly inoculated plants and the neighboring plants by quantitative real-time PCR. As expected, inoculation suppressed root colonization of the directly inoculated plants by other AMF taxa of the native AMF community and also by native genotypes of the same species as used for inoculation. In the neighboring plants, high abundance of the inoculant and the suppression of native AMF were maintained. Thus, we demonstrate that inoculation effects on native AMF propagate into plants that were not in direct contact with the introduced inoculum, and are therefore likely to persist at the site of inoculation. PMID:28738069

  16. Litter Accumulation and Nutrient Content of Roadside Plant Communities in Sichuan Basin, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Huiqin; Monaco, Thomas

    2017-08-30

    It is widely recognized that feedbacks exist between plant litter and plant community species composition, but this relationship is difficult to interpret over heterogeneous conditions typical of modified environments such as roadways. Given the need to expedite natural recovery of disturbed areas through restoration interventions, we characterized litter accumulation and nutrient content (i.e., organic carbon, total N, and P) and quantified their association with key plant species. Plant species cover and litter characteristics were sampled at 18 successional forest plant communities along major roadways in Sichuan Basin, western China. Variation in litter across communities was assessed with principal component analysis (PCA) and species with the highest correlation to PCA axes were determined with Pearson's r coefficients. Plant communities with the longest time since road construction (i.e., 70 years) were distinctly different in litter total N and organic carbon compared to plant communities with a shorter disturbance history. We encountered 59 plant species across sampling plots, but only four rare species (i.e., frequency plant litter across heavily disturbed landscapes and how litter characteristics and rare plant species are correlated.

  17. Plant Invasions Associated with Change in Root-Zone Microbial Community Structure and Diversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard R Rodrigues

    Full Text Available The importance of plant-microbe associations for the invasion of plant species have not been often tested under field conditions. The research sought to determine patterns of change in microbial communities associated with the establishment of invasive plants with different taxonomic and phenetic traits. Three independent locations in Virginia, USA were selected. One site was invaded by a grass (Microstegium vimineum, another by a shrub (Rhamnus davurica, and the third by a tree (Ailanthus altissima. The native vegetation from these sites was used as reference. 16S rRNA and ITS regions were sequenced to study root-zone bacterial and fungal communities, respectively, in invaded and non-invaded samples and analyzed using Quantitative Insights Into Microbial Ecology (QIIME. Though root-zone microbial community structure initially differed across locations, plant invasion shifted communities in similar ways. Indicator species analysis revealed that Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs closely related to Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Ascomycota increased in abundance due to plant invasions. The Hyphomonadaceae family in the Rhodobacterales order and ammonia-oxidizing Nitrospirae phylum showed greater relative abundance in the invaded root-zone soils. Hyphomicrobiaceae, another bacterial family within the phyla Proteobacteria increased as a result of plant invasion, but the effect associated most strongly with root-zones of M. vimineum and R. davurica. Functional analysis using Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt showed bacteria responsible for nitrogen cycling in soil increased in relative abundance in association with plant invasion. In agreement with phylogenetic and functional analyses, greater turnover of ammonium and nitrate was associated with plant invasion. Overall, bacterial and fungal communities changed congruently across plant invaders, and support the hypothesis that

  18. Litter Accumulation and Nutrient Content of Roadside Plant Communities in Sichuan Basin, China

    OpenAIRE

    He, Huiqin; Monaco, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    It is widely recognized that feedbacks exist between plant litter and plant community species composition, but this relationship is difficult to interpret over heterogeneous conditions typical of modified environments such as roadways. Given the need to expedite natural recovery of disturbed areas through restoration interventions, we characterized litter accumulation and nutrient content (i.e., organic carbon, total N, and P) and quantified their association with key plant species. Plant spe...

  19. Allelopathy and resource competition: the effects of Phragmites australis invasion in plant communities

    OpenAIRE

    Uddin, Md Nazim; Robinson, Randall William

    2017-01-01

    Background Phragmites australis, a ubiquitous wetland plant, has been considered one of the most invasive species in the world. Allelopathy appears to be one of the invasion mechanisms, however, the effects could be masked by resource competition among target plants. The difficulty of distinguishing allelopathy from resource competition among plants has hindered investigations of the role of phytotoxic allelochemicals in plant communities. This has been addressed via experiments conducted in ...

  20. Bottom-up and top-down effects on plant communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Souza, Lara; Zelikova, Tamara Jane; Sanders, Nate

    2016-01-01

    -down) and soil nitrogen (bottom-up) were manipulated over six years in an existing old-field community. We tracked plant α and β diversity - within plot richness and among plot biodiversity- and aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) over the course of the experiment. We found that bottom-up factors...... affected ANPP while top-down factors influenced plant community structure. Across years, while N reduction lowered ANPP by 10%, N reduction did not alter ANPP relative to control plots. Further, N reduction lowered ANPP by 20% relative to N addition plots. On the other hand, the reduction of insect...... community composition via shifts in plant dominance....

  1. Relative Importance and Knowledge Distribution of Medicinal Plants in a Kichwa Community in the Ecuadorian Amazon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian Joseph Doyle

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Traditional knowledge, such as knowledge of the use of plants as medicine, influences how indigenous people manage forest resources. Gender and age-associated differences in traditional knowledge may impact forest resource management because of the traditional division of labor. We interviewed 18 men and 18 women between 9 and 74 years old in San José de Payamino, an indigenous community of the Kichwa ethnicity in the Ecuadorian Amazon, to determine if there are gender or age-associated differences in medicinal plant knowledge among the Payamino people and to identify the most important species from a sample of medicinal plants. Individuals were interviewed using a tablet that displayed images of 34 plants, which had been cited by traditional healers in the community. Quantitative analysis provided insight into the relative importance of plants in the sample as well as the distribution of medicinal plant knowledge among members of the community. The most important plants were Tradescantia zanonia and Monolena primuliflora. These plants should be considered candidates for further investigation. There was a positive correlation between age and knowledge of medicinal plants, but no significant difference between genders. Our results suggest that an interview method that relies on digital images can reveal differences in the importance of medicinal plants as well as provide insight into the distribution of traditional medical knowledge. While men and women are likely to manage forest resources similarly, younger members of the community may not have the same regard for forest resources as their elder counterparts.

  2. Petroleum Contamination and Plant Identity Influence Soil and Root Microbial Communities While AMF Spores Retrieved from the Same Plants Possess Markedly Different Communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iffis, Bachir; St-Arnaud, Marc; Hijri, Mohamed

    2017-01-01

    Phytoremediation is a promising in situ green technology based on the use of plants to cleanup soils from organic and inorganic pollutants. Microbes, particularly bacteria and fungi, that closely interact with plant roots play key roles in phytoremediation processes. In polluted soils, the root-associated microbes contribute to alleviation of plant stress, improve nutrient uptake and may either degrade or sequester a large range of soil pollutants. Therefore, improving the efficiency of phytoremediation requires a thorough knowledge of the microbial diversity living in the rhizosphere and in close association with plant roots in both the surface and the endosphere. This study aims to assess fungal ITS and bacterial 16S rRNA gene diversity using high-throughput sequencing in rhizospheric soils and roots of three plant species ( Solidago canadensis, Populus balsamifera , and Lycopus europaeus ) growing spontaneously in three petroleum hydrocarbon polluted sedimentation basins. Microbial community structures of rhizospheric soils and roots were compared with those of microbes associated with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) spores to determine the links between the root and rhizosphere communities and those associated with AMF. Our results showed a difference in OTU richness and community structure composition between soils and roots for both bacteria and fungi. We found that petroleum hydrocarbon pollutant (PHP) concentrations have a significant effect on fungal and bacterial community structures in both soils and roots, whereas plant species identity showed a significant effect only on the roots for bacteria and fungi. Our results also showed that the community composition of bacteria and fungi in soil and roots varied from those associated with AMF spores harvested from the same plants. This let us to speculate that in petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated soils, AMF may release chemical compounds by which they recruit beneficial microbes to tolerate or degrade the

  3. Petroleum Contamination and Plant Identity Influence Soil and Root Microbial Communities While AMF Spores Retrieved from the Same Plants Possess Markedly Different Communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bachir Iffis

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Phytoremediation is a promising in situ green technology based on the use of plants to cleanup soils from organic and inorganic pollutants. Microbes, particularly bacteria and fungi, that closely interact with plant roots play key roles in phytoremediation processes. In polluted soils, the root-associated microbes contribute to alleviation of plant stress, improve nutrient uptake and may either degrade or sequester a large range of soil pollutants. Therefore, improving the efficiency of phytoremediation requires a thorough knowledge of the microbial diversity living in the rhizosphere and in close association with plant roots in both the surface and the endosphere. This study aims to assess fungal ITS and bacterial 16S rRNA gene diversity using high-throughput sequencing in rhizospheric soils and roots of three plant species (Solidago canadensis, Populus balsamifera, and Lycopus europaeus growing spontaneously in three petroleum hydrocarbon polluted sedimentation basins. Microbial community structures of rhizospheric soils and roots were compared with those of microbes associated with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF spores to determine the links between the root and rhizosphere communities and those associated with AMF. Our results showed a difference in OTU richness and community structure composition between soils and roots for both bacteria and fungi. We found that petroleum hydrocarbon pollutant (PHP concentrations have a significant effect on fungal and bacterial community structures in both soils and roots, whereas plant species identity showed a significant effect only on the roots for bacteria and fungi. Our results also showed that the community composition of bacteria and fungi in soil and roots varied from those associated with AMF spores harvested from the same plants. This let us to speculate that in petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated soils, AMF may release chemical compounds by which they recruit beneficial microbes to tolerate

  4. Petroleum Contamination and Plant Identity Influence Soil and Root Microbial Communities While AMF Spores Retrieved from the Same Plants Possess Markedly Different Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iffis, Bachir; St-Arnaud, Marc; Hijri, Mohamed

    2017-01-01

    Phytoremediation is a promising in situ green technology based on the use of plants to cleanup soils from organic and inorganic pollutants. Microbes, particularly bacteria and fungi, that closely interact with plant roots play key roles in phytoremediation processes. In polluted soils, the root-associated microbes contribute to alleviation of plant stress, improve nutrient uptake and may either degrade or sequester a large range of soil pollutants. Therefore, improving the efficiency of phytoremediation requires a thorough knowledge of the microbial diversity living in the rhizosphere and in close association with plant roots in both the surface and the endosphere. This study aims to assess fungal ITS and bacterial 16S rRNA gene diversity using high-throughput sequencing in rhizospheric soils and roots of three plant species (Solidago canadensis, Populus balsamifera, and Lycopus europaeus) growing spontaneously in three petroleum hydrocarbon polluted sedimentation basins. Microbial community structures of rhizospheric soils and roots were compared with those of microbes associated with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) spores to determine the links between the root and rhizosphere communities and those associated with AMF. Our results showed a difference in OTU richness and community structure composition between soils and roots for both bacteria and fungi. We found that petroleum hydrocarbon pollutant (PHP) concentrations have a significant effect on fungal and bacterial community structures in both soils and roots, whereas plant species identity showed a significant effect only on the roots for bacteria and fungi. Our results also showed that the community composition of bacteria and fungi in soil and roots varied from those associated with AMF spores harvested from the same plants. This let us to speculate that in petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated soils, AMF may release chemical compounds by which they recruit beneficial microbes to tolerate or degrade the

  5. Assessing plant community composition fails to capture impacts of white-tailed deer on native and invasive plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuzzo, Victoria; Dávalos, Andrea; Blossey, Bernd

    2017-07-01

    Excessive herbivory can have transformative effects on forest understory vegetation, converting diverse communities into depauperate ones, often with increased abundance of non-native plants. White-tailed deer are a problematic herbivore throughout much of eastern North America and alter forest understory community structure. Reducing (by culling) or eliminating (by fencing) deer herbivory is expected to return understory vegetation to a previously diverse condition. We examined this assumption from 1992 to 2006 at Fermilab (Batavia, IL) where a cull reduced white-tailed deer ( Odocoileus virginianus ) abundance in 1998/1999 by 90 % from 24.6 to 2.5/km 2 , and at West Point, NY, where we assessed interactive effects of deer, earthworms, and invasive plants using 30 × 30 m paired fenced and open plots in 12 different forests from 2009 to 2012. We recorded not only plant community responses (species presence and cover) within 1 m 2 quadrats, but also responses of select individual species (growth, reproduction). At Fermilab, introduced Alliaria petiolata abundance initially increased as deer density increased, but then declined after deer reduction. The understory community responded to the deer cull by increased cover, species richness and height, and community composition changed but was dominated by early successional native forbs. At West Point plant community composition was affected by introduced earthworm density but not deer exclusion. Native plant cover increased and non-native plant cover decreased in fenced plots, thus keeping overall plant cover similar. At both sites native forb cover increased in response to deer reduction, but the anticipated response of understory vegetation failed to materialize at the community level. Deer-favoured forbs ( Eurybia divaricata , Maianthemum racemosum , Polygonatum pubescens and Trillium recurvatum ) grew taller and flowering probability increased in the absence of deer. Plant community monitoring fails to capture

  6. Consecutive opposed interactions of light waves

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Volkov, V V; Chirkin, Anatolii S

    1999-01-01

    The conditions were determined for the occurrence of the opposed interaction of waves having multiple frequencies in two consecutive three-frequency processes in periodically inhomogeneous nonlinear optical crystals. The necessary nonlinear susceptibility modulation period was calculated for an MgO:LiNbO 3 crystal. The characteristic features of the energy exchange between counterpropagating waves with parametric amplification in a low-frequency pump field were investigated. (nonlinear optical phenomena)

  7. Interspecific Plant Interactions Reflected in Soil Bacterial Community Structure and Nitrogen Cycling in Primary Succession

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph E. Knelman

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Past research demonstrating the importance plant–microbe interactions as drivers of ecosystem succession has focused on how plants condition soil microbial communities, impacting subsequent plant performance and plant community assembly. These studies, however, largely treat microbial communities as a black box. In this study, we sought to examine how emblematic shifts from early successional Alnus viridus ssp. sinuata (Sitka alder to late successional Picea sitchensis (Sitka spruce in primary succession may be reflected in specific belowground changes in bacterial community structure and nitrogen cycling related to the interaction of these two plants. We examined early successional alder-conditioned soils in a glacial forefield to delineate how alders alter the soil microbial community with increasing dominance. Further, we assessed the impact of late-successional spruce plants on these early successional alder-conditioned microbiomes and related nitrogen cycling through a leachate addition microcosm experiment. We show how increasingly abundant alder select for particular bacterial taxa. Additionally, we found that spruce leachate significantly alters the composition of these microbial communities in large part by driving declines in taxa that are enriched by alder, including bacterial symbionts. We found these effects to be spruce specific, beyond a general leachate effect. Our work also demonstrates a unique influence of spruce on ammonium availability. Such insights bolster theory relating the importance of plant–microbe interactions with late-successional plants and interspecific plant interactions more generally.

  8. Is fire exclusion in mountain big sagebrush communities prudent? Soil nutrient, plant diversity, and arthropod response to burning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fire has largely been excluded from many mountain big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt. ssp. vaseyana (Rydb.) Beetle) communities. Land and wildlife managers are especially reluctant to reintroduce fire in mountain big sagebrush plant communities, especially those communities without significan...

  9. Nectar-living yeasts of a tropical host plant community: diversity and effects on community-wide floral nectar traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    We characterize the diversity of nectar-living yeasts of a tropical host plant community at different hierarchical sampling levels, measure the associations between yeasts and nectariferous plants, and measure the effect of yeasts on nectar traits. Using a series of hierarchically nested sampling units, we extracted nectar from an assemblage of host plants that were representative of the diversity of life forms, flower shapes, and pollinator types in the tropical area of Yucatan, Mexico. Yeasts were isolated from single nectar samples; their DNA was identified, the yeast cell density was estimated, and the sugar composition and concentration of nectar were quantified using HPLC. In contrast to previous studies from temperate regions, the diversity of nectar-living yeasts in the plant community was characterized by a relatively high number of equally common species with low dominance. Analyses predict highly diverse nectar yeast communities in a relatively narrow range of tropical vegetation, suggesting that the diversity of yeasts will increase as the number of sampling units increases at the level of the species, genera, and botanical families of the hosts. Significant associations between specific yeast species and host plants were also detected; the interaction between yeasts and host plants impacted the effect of yeast cell density on nectar sugars. This study provides an overall picture of the diversity of nectar-living yeasts in tropical host plants and suggests that the key factor that affects the community-wide patterns of nectar traits is not nectar chemistry, but rather the type of yeasts interacting with host plants. PMID:28717591

  10. Nectar-living yeasts of a tropical host plant community: diversity and effects on community-wide floral nectar traits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Azucena Canto

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available We characterize the diversity of nectar-living yeasts of a tropical host plant community at different hierarchical sampling levels, measure the associations between yeasts and nectariferous plants, and measure the effect of yeasts on nectar traits. Using a series of hierarchically nested sampling units, we extracted nectar from an assemblage of host plants that were representative of the diversity of life forms, flower shapes, and pollinator types in the tropical area of Yucatan, Mexico. Yeasts were isolated from single nectar samples; their DNA was identified, the yeast cell density was estimated, and the sugar composition and concentration of nectar were quantified using HPLC. In contrast to previous studies from temperate regions, the diversity of nectar-living yeasts in the plant community was characterized by a relatively high number of equally common species with low dominance. Analyses predict highly diverse nectar yeast communities in a relatively narrow range of tropical vegetation, suggesting that the diversity of yeasts will increase as the number of sampling units increases at the level of the species, genera, and botanical families of the hosts. Significant associations between specific yeast species and host plants were also detected; the interaction between yeasts and host plants impacted the effect of yeast cell density on nectar sugars. This study provides an overall picture of the diversity of nectar-living yeasts in tropical host plants and suggests that the key factor that affects the community-wide patterns of nectar traits is not nectar chemistry, but rather the type of yeasts interacting with host plants.

  11. The effects of glyphosate and aminopyralid on an artifical plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    The US EPA has responsibility for registration of pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The potential adverse effects of pesticides to nontarget terrestrial plant communities are a concern that must be addressed in the pesticide regist...

  12. Notification: Hotline Complaint – Drinking Water Treatment Plant at the Fort Belknap Indian Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Project #OA-FY13-0076, November 13, 2012. On March 22, 2012, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) received a hotline complaint on the construction of the Drinking Water Treatment Plant (DWTP) at the Fort Belknap Indian Community.

  13. Large grazers modify effects of aboveground-belowground interactions on small-scale plant community composition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veen, G. F. (Ciska); Geuverink, Elzemiek; Olff, Han; Schmid, Bernhard

    Aboveground and belowground organisms influence plant community composition by local interactions, and their scale of impact may vary from millimeters belowground to kilometers aboveground. However, it still poorly understood how large grazers that select their forage on large spatial scales

  14. Large grazers modify effects of aboveground–belowground interactions on small-scale plant community composition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veen, G.F.; Geuverink, E.; Olff, H.

    2012-01-01

    Aboveground and belowground organisms influence plant community composition by local interactions, and their scale of impact may vary from millimeters belowground to kilometers aboveground. However, it still poorly understood how large grazers that select their forage on large spatial scales

  15. Herbicide and fertilizers promote analogous phylogenetic responses but opposite functional responses in plant communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pellissier, Loïc; Wisz, Mary S.; Strandberg, Beate

    2014-01-01

    on long-term experiment we show that fertilizer and herbicides (glyphosate) have contrasting effects on functional structure, but can increase phylogenetic diversity in semi-natural plant communities. We found that an increase in nitrogen promoted an increase in the average specific leaf area and canopy...... height at the community level, but an increase in glyphosate promoted a decrease in those traits. Phylogenetic diversity of plant communities increased when herbicide and fertilizer were applied together, likely because functional traits facilitating plant success in those conditions were......Throughout the world, herbicides and fertilizers change species composition in agricultural communities, but how do the cumulative effects of these chemicals impact the functional and phylogenetic structure of non-targeted communities when they drift into adjacent semi-natural habitats? Based...

  16. The Community's research and development programme on decommissioning of nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1982-01-01

    The programme, adopted by the Council of the European Communities, seeks to promote a number of research and development projects as well as the identification of guiding principles. The projects concern the following subjects: long-term integrity of buildings and systems; decontaminations for decommissioning purposes; dismantling techniques; treatment of specific waste materials (steel, concrete and graphite); large transport containers for radioactive waste arising from decommissioning of nuclear power plants in the Community; and influence of nuclear power plant design features on decommissioning

  17. Relationships between phyllosphere bacterial communities and plant functional traits in a neotropical forest

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    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

  18. Effects of migratory geese on plant communities of an Alaskan salt marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zacheis, Amy B.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Ruess, Roger W.

    2001-01-01

    1. We studied the effects of lesser snow geese (Anser caerulescens caerulescens) and Canada geese (Branta canadensis) on two salt marsh plant communities in Cook Inlet, Alaska, a stopover area used during spring migration. From 1995 to 1997 we compared plant species composition and biomass on plots where geese were excluded from feeding with paired plots where foraging could occur. 2. Foraging intensity was low (650-1930 goose-days km-2) compared to other goose-grazing systems. 3. Canada geese fed mainly on above-ground shoots of Triglochin maritimum, Puccinellia spp. and Carex ramenskii, whereas the majority of the snow goose diet consisted of below-ground tissues of Plantago maritima and Triglochin maritimum. 4. Plant communities responded differently to goose herbivory. In the sedge meadow community, where feeding was primarily on above-ground shoots, there was no effect of grazing on the dominant species Carex ramenskii and Triglochin maritimum. In the herb meadow community, where snow geese fed on Plantago maritima roots and other below-ground tissues, there was a difference in the relative abundance of plant species between treatments. Biomass of Plantago maritima and Potentilla egedii was lower on grazed plots compared with exclosed, whereas biomass of Carex ramenskii was greater on grazed plots. There was no effect of herbivory on total standing crop biomass in either community. The variable effect of herbivory on Carex ramenskii between communities suggests that plant neighbours and competitive interactions are important factors in a species' response to herbivory. In addition, the type of herbivory (above- or below-ground) was important in determining plant community response to herbivory. 5. Litter accumulation was reduced in grazed areas compared with exclosed in both communities. Trampling of the previous year's litter into the soil surface by geese incorporated more litter into soils in grazed areas. 6. This study illustrates that even light herbivore

  19. Burn Severity Dominates Understory Plant Community Response to Fire in Xeric Jack Pine Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradley D. Pinno

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Fire is the most common disturbance in northern boreal forests, and large fires are often associated with highly variable burn severities across the burnt area. We studied the understory plant community response to a range of burn severities and pre-fire stand age four growing seasons after the 2011 Richardson Fire in xeric jack pine forests of northern Alberta, Canada. Burn severity had the greatest impact on post-fire plant communities, while pre-fire stand age did not have a significant impact. Total plant species richness and cover decreased with disturbance severity, such that the greatest richness was in low severity burns (average 28 species per 1-m2 quadrat and plant cover was lowest in the high severity burns (average 16%. However, the response of individual plant groups differed. Lichens and bryophytes were most common in low severity burns and were effectively eliminated from the regenerating plant community at higher burn severities. In contrast, graminoid cover and richness were positively related to burn severity, while forbs did not respond significantly to burn severity, but were impacted by changes in soil chemistry with increased cover at pH >4.9. Our results indicate the importance of non-vascular plants to the overall plant community in this harsh environment and that the plant community is environmentally limited rather than recruitment or competition limited, as is often the case in more mesic forest types. If fire frequency and severity increase as predicted, we may see a shift in plant communities from stress-tolerant species, such as lichens and ericaceous shrubs, to more colonizing species, such as certain graminoids.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  1. Does a decade of elevated [CO2] affect a desert perennial plant community?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newingham, Beth A; Vanier, Cheryl H; Kelly, Lauren J; Charlet, Therese N; Smith, Stanley D

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the effects of elevated [CO2 ] on plant community structure is crucial to predicting ecosystem responses to global change. Early predictions suggested that productivity in deserts would increase via enhanced water-use efficiency under elevated [CO2], but the response of intact arid plant communities to elevated [CO2 ] is largely unknown. We measured changes in perennial plant community characteristics (cover, species richness and diversity) after 10 yr of elevated [CO2] exposure in an intact Mojave Desert community at the Nevada Desert Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) Facility. Contrary to expectations, total cover, species richness, and diversity were not affected by elevated [CO2]. Over the course of the experiment, elevated [CO2] had no effect on changes in cover of the evergreen C3 shrub, Larrea tridentata; alleviated decreases in cover of the C4 bunchgrass, Pleuraphis rigida; and slightly reduced the cover of C3 drought-deciduous shrubs. Thus, we generally found no effect of elevated [CO2] on plant communities in this arid ecosystem. Extended drought, slow plant growth rates, and highly episodic germination and recruitment of new individuals explain the lack of strong perennial plant community shifts after a decade of elevated [CO2]. © 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

  2. Seed bank and big sagebrush plant community composition in a range margin for big sagebrush

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martyn, Trace E.; Bradford, John B.; Schlaepfer, Daniel R.; Burke, Ingrid C.; Laurenroth, William K.

    2016-01-01

    The potential influence of seed bank composition on range shifts of species due to climate change is unclear. Seed banks can provide a means of both species persistence in an area and local range expansion in the case of increasing habitat suitability, as may occur under future climate change. However, a mismatch between the seed bank and the established plant community may represent an obstacle to persistence and expansion. In big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) plant communities in Montana, USA, we compared the seed bank to the established plant community. There was less than a 20% similarity in the relative abundance of species between the established plant community and the seed bank. This difference was primarily driven by an overrepresentation of native annual forbs and an underrepresentation of big sagebrush in the seed bank compared to the established plant community. Even though we expect an increase in habitat suitability for big sagebrush under future climate conditions at our sites, the current mismatch between the plant community and the seed bank could impede big sagebrush range expansion into increasingly suitable habitat in the future.

  3. Community-Weighted Mean Plant Traits Predict Small Scale Distribution of Insect Root Herbivore Abundance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilja Sonnemann

    Full Text Available Small scale distribution of insect root herbivores may promote plant species diversity by creating patches of different herbivore pressure. However, determinants of small scale distribution of insect root herbivores, and impact of land use intensity on their small scale distribution are largely unknown. We sampled insect root herbivores and measured vegetation parameters and soil water content along transects in grasslands of different management intensity in three regions in Germany. We calculated community-weighted mean plant traits to test whether the functional plant community composition determines the small scale distribution of insect root herbivores. To analyze spatial patterns in plant species and trait composition and insect root herbivore abundance we computed Mantel correlograms. Insect root herbivores mainly comprised click beetle (Coleoptera, Elateridae larvae (43% in the investigated grasslands. Total insect root herbivore numbers were positively related to community-weighted mean traits indicating high plant growth rates and biomass (specific leaf area, reproductive- and vegetative plant height, and negatively related to plant traits indicating poor tissue quality (leaf C/N ratio. Generalist Elaterid larvae, when analyzed independently, were also positively related to high plant growth rates and furthermore to root dry mass, but were not related to tissue quality. Insect root herbivore numbers were not related to plant cover, plant species richness and soil water content. Plant species composition and to a lesser extent plant trait composition displayed spatial autocorrelation, which was not influenced by land use intensity. Insect root herbivore abundance was not spatially autocorrelated. We conclude that in semi-natural grasslands with a high share of generalist insect root herbivores, insect root herbivores affiliate with large, fast growing plants, presumably because of availability of high quantities of food. Affiliation of

  4. Comparison of bacterial and fungal communities between natural and planted pine forests in subtropical China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nie, Ming; Meng, Han; Li, Ke; Wan, Jia-Rong; Quan, Zhe-Xue; Fang, Chang-Ming; Chen, Jia-Kuan; Li, Bo

    2012-01-01

    To improve our understanding of the changes in bacterial and fungal diversity in natural pine and planted forests in subtropical region of China, we examined bacterial and fungal communities from a native and a nearby planted pine forest of the Mt. Lushan by constructing clone libraries of 16S and 18S rRNA genes. For bacterial communities, Proteobacteria and Acidobacteria were dominant bacterial taxa in both two types of forest soils. The Shannon-Wiener diversity index, rarefaction curve analysis, and LibShuff analysis suggest that these two forests contained similar diversity of bacterial communities. Low soil acidity (pH ≈ 4) of our study forests might be one of the most important selection factors determining growth of acidophilic Acidobacteria and Proteobacteria. However, the natural forest harbored greater level of fungal diversity than the planted forest according to the Shannon-Wiener diversity index and rarefaction curve analysis. Basidiomycota and Ascomycota were dominant fungal taxa in the soils of natural and planted forests, respectively. Our results suggest that fungal community was more sensitive than the bacterial community in characterizing the differences in plant cover impacts on the microbial flora in the natural and planted forests. The natural and planted forests may function differently due to the differences in soil fungal diversity and relative abundance.

  5. Plant genotype shapes ant-aphid interactions: implications for community structure and indirect plant defense.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, Kailen A; Agrawal, Anurag A

    2008-06-01

    Little is known about the mechanisms by which plant genotype shapes arthropod community structure. In a field experiment, we measured the effects of milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) genotype and ants on milkweed arthropods. Populations of the ant-tended aphid Aphis asclepiadis and the untended aphid Myzocallis asclepiadis varied eight- to 18-fold among milkweed genotypes, depending on aphid species and whether ants were present. There was no milkweed effect on predatory arthropods. Ants increased Aphis abundance 59%, decreased Myzocallis abundance 52%, and decreased predator abundance 56%. Milkweed genotype indirectly influenced ants via direct effects on Aphis and Myzocallis abundance. Milkweed genotype also modified ant-aphid interactions, influencing the number of ants attracted per Aphis and Myzocallis. While ant effects on Myzocallis were consistently negative, effects on Aphis ranged from antagonistic to mutualistic among milkweed genotypes. As a consequence of milkweed effects on ant-aphid interactions, ant abundance varied 13-fold among milkweed genotypes, and monarch caterpillar survival was negatively correlated with genetic variation in ant abundance. We speculate that heritable variation in milkweed phloem sap drives these effects on aphids, ants, and caterpillars. In summary, milkweed exerts genetic control over the interactions between aphids and an ant that provides defense against foliage-feeding caterpillars.

  6. Species richness and floristic composition of Choco Region plant communities Species richness and floristic composition of Choco Region plant communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gentry Alwyn H.

    1986-12-01

    Full Text Available The Chocó phytogeographical region of coastal Colombia and adjacent Ecuador is well known as a region of unusually high endemism in plants (GENTRY, 1982a, 1986b, birds (TERBORGH & WINTER, 1982, and butterflies (BROWN, 1975, 1982. The region is also reputed to be unusually diverse biologically (GENTRY, 1978, 1982a but much of the data base for this assumption is rather anecdotal and for birds and heliconiinae butterflies (probably the best known groups of organisms it is clear that faunistic community diversity of the coastal Chocó is substantially less than in much of upper Amazonia (J. TERBORGH, pers. comm., K. BROWN, pers. comm.. El Choco la región fitogeográfica de la costa de Colombia y adyacente al Ecuador es conocido como una región de inusualmente alto endemismo en plantas (Gentry, 1982a, 1986b, pájaros (Terborgh y Winter, 1982, y las mariposas (Brown, 1975, 1982. La región también es conocida por ser inusualmente diversa biológicamente (Gentry, 1978, 1982a, pero gran parte de la base de datos para estesuposición es bastante anecdótico y para las aves y mariposas Heliconiinae (prooably los grupos más conocidos de organismos, está claro que la diversidad faunística comunidad del Chaco costera es sustancialmente menor que en gran parte de la Amazonia superior (J. Terborgh, com. pers., K . BROWN, com. pers..El único dato de nivel comunitario disponible para las plantas de la costa Colombia es la forma incompleta analizado 1000 m2 muestra de todas las plantas de más de2.5 cm dbh procedente de Tutunendó, incluido en Gentry (1982b de los patrones de diversidad neotropicales. Choco muestra de Gentry tenía el más alto número de especies de una serie de sitios de muestra y similares que llegaron a la conclusión de que nivel de riqueza de especies vegetales comunidad aumenta directamente con la precipitación. Muchos 1.000 m2 adicionales están disponibles, tanto desde el Chocoregión y de las especies ricas en bosques de Alto

  7. Purple pitcher plant (Sarracenia rosea Dieback and partial community disassembly following experimental storm surge in a coastal pitcher plant bog.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J Abbott

    Full Text Available Sea-level rise and frequent intense hurricanes associated with climate change will result in recurrent flooding of inland systems such as Gulf Coastal pitcher plant bogs by storm surges. These surges can transport salt water and sediment to freshwater bogs, greatly affecting their biological integrity. Purple pitcher plants (Sarracenia rosea are Gulf Coast pitcher plant bog inhabitants that could be at a disadvantage under this scenario because their pitcher morphology may leave them prone to collection of saline water and sediment after a surge. We investigated the effects of storm surge water salinity and sediment type on S. rosea vitality, plant community structure, and bog soil-water conductivity. Plots (containing ≥1 ramet of S. rosea were experimentally flooded with fresh or saline water crossed with one of three sediment types (local, foreign, or no sediment. There were no treatment effects on soil-water conductivity; nevertheless, direct exposure to saline water resulted in significantly lower S. rosea cover until the following season when a prescribed fire and regional drought contributed to the decline of all the S. rosea to near zero percent cover. There were also significant differences in plant community structure between treatments over time, reflecting how numerous species increased in abundance and a few species decreased in abundance. However, in contrast to S. rosea, most of the other species in the community appeared resilient to the effects of storm surge. Thus, although the community may be somewhat affected by storm surge, those few species that are particularly sensitive to the storm surge disturbance will likely drop out of the community and be replaced by more resilient species. Depending on the longevity of these biological legacies, Gulf Coastal pitcher plant bogs may be incapable of fully recovering if they become exposed to storm surge more frequently due to climate change.

  8. Plant Communities Rather than Soil Properties Structure Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Communities along Primary Succession on a Mine Spoil

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Krüger, C.; Kohout, Petr; Janoušková, M.; Püschel, D.; Frouz, J.; Rydlová, J.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 8, APR 20 (2017), s. 1-16, č. článku 719. ISSN 1664-302X Institutional support: RVO:61388971 Keywords : biodiversity * community ecology * fungal and plant succession Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology OBOR OECD: Microbiology Impact factor: 4.076, year: 2016

  9. Earthworms drive succession of both plant and Collembola communities in post-mining sites

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mudrák, Ondřej; Uteseny, Karoline; Frouz, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 18, April (2016), EGU2016-8464 ISSN 1607-7962. [European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2016. 17.04.2016-22.04.2016, Vienna] Institutional support: RVO:60077344 ; RVO:67985939 Keywords : earthworms * succession * plant communities * Collembola communities * post-mining sites Subject RIV: DF - Soil Science

  10. Global environmental change effects on plant community composition trajectories depend upon management legacies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Perring, Michael P.; Bernhardt-Römermann, Markus; Baeten, Lander; Midolo, Gabriele; Blondeel, Haben; Depauw, Leen; Landuyt, Dries; Maes, Sybryn L.; Lombaerde, De Emiel; Carón, Maria Mercedes; Vellend, Mark; Brunet, Jörg; Chudomelová, Markéta; Decocq, Guillaume; Diekmann, Martin; Dirnböck, Thomas; Dörfler, Inken; Durak, Tomasz; Frenne, De Pieter; Gilliam, Frank S.; Hédl, Radim; Heinken, Thilo; Hommel, Patrick; Jaroszewicz, Bogdan; Kirby, Keith J.; Kopecký, Martin; Lenoir, Jonathan; Li, Daijiang; Máliš, František; Mitchell, Fraser J.G.; Naaf, Tobias; Newman, Miles; Petřík, Petr; Reczyńska, Kamila; Schmidt, Wolfgang; Standovár, Tibor; Świerkosz, Krzysztof; Calster, Van Hans; Vild, Ondřej; Wagner, Eva Rosa; Wulf, Monika; Verheyen, Kris

    2018-01-01

    The contemporary state of functional traits and species richness in plant communities depends on legacy effects of past disturbances. Whether temporal responses of community properties to current environmental changes are altered by such legacies is, however, unknown. We expect global environmental

  11. Effects of changes in plant species richness and community traits on carabid assemblages and feeding guilds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harvey, J.A.; Putten, van der W.H.; Turin, H.; Wagenaar, R.; Bezemer, T.M.

    2008-01-01

    Experiments were conducted between 2001 and 2003 in constructed plant communities that were set up in 1996 on abandoned agricultural land. The primary aim of the experiment was to study how different secondary vegetation succession scenarios influence community development of invertebrates in

  12. Ethnoveterinary medicinal plants used by the Maale and Ari ethnic communities in southern Ethiopia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kidane, B.; Maesen, van der L.J.G.; Andel, van T.; Asfaw, Z.

    2014-01-01

    Ethnopharmacological relevance: Livestock production is an integral part of the agricultural system in Ethiopia. Medicinal plants are used and are important for rural communities for the treatment of livestock diseases. We studied and analysed the traditional medicinal plants used for the treatment

  13. Competition for light and nutrients in layered communities of aquatic plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Gerven, Luuk P.A.; de Klein, J.J.M; Gerla, Daan J.; Kooi, B.W.; Kuiper, Jan J.; Mooij, Wolf M.

    2015-01-01

    Dominance of free-floating plants poses a threat to biodiversity in many freshwater ecosystems. Here we propose a theoretical framework to understand this dominance, by modeling the competition for light and nutrients in a layered community of floating and submerged plants. The model shows that at

  14. Competition for Light and Nutrients in Layered Communities of Aquatic Plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Gerven, L.P.A.; de Klein, J.J.M.; Gerla, D.J.; Kooi, B.W.; Kuiper, J.J.; Mooij, W.M.

    2015-01-01

    Dominance of free-floating plants poses a threat to biodiversity in many freshwater ecosystems. Here we propose a theoretical framework to understand this dominance, by modeling the competition for light and nutrients in a layered community of floating and submerged plants. The model shows that at

  15. Competition for light and nutrients in layered communities of aquatic plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gerven, van Luuk P.A.; Klein, de Jeroen J.M.; Gerla, Daan J.; Kooi, Bob W.; Kuiper, Jan J.; Mooij, Wolf M.

    2015-01-01

    Dominance of free-floating plants poses a threat to biodiversity in many freshwater ecosystems. Here we propose a theoretical framework to understand this dominance, by modeling the competition for light and nutrients in a layered community of floating and submerged plants. The model shows that

  16. Hierarchical spatial point process analysis for a plant community with high biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Illian, Janine B.; Møller, Jesper; Waagepetersen, Rasmus

    2009-01-01

    A complex multivariate spatial point pattern of a plant community with high biodiversity is modelled using a hierarchical multivariate point process model. In the model, interactions between plants with different post-fire regeneration strategies are of key interest. We consider initially a maxim...

  17. Microbial Communities in Danish Wastewater Treatment Plants with Nutrient Removal

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mielczarek, Artur Tomasz

    Activated sludge treatment plants are the most used wastewater treatment systems worldwide for biological nutrient removal from wastewater. Nevertheless, the treatment systems have been for many years operated as so called “black-box”, where specific process parameters were adjusted without...... that plants with return sludge Side-Stream Hydrolysis (SSH) instead of the normal anaerobic process tank tended to have significantly fewer unwanted GAOs in contrast to many plants with traditional mainstream anaerobic tank and thus it was proposed that this system might be an effective strategy of control...

  18. The costly benefits of opposing agricultural biotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apel, Andrew

    2010-11-30

    Rigorous application of a simple definition of what constitutes opposition to agricultural biotechnology readily encompasses a wide array of key players in national and international systems of food production, distribution and governance. Even though the sum of political and financial benefits of opposing agricultural biotechnology appears vastly to outweigh the benefits which accrue to providers of agricultural biotechnology, technology providers actually benefit from this opposition. If these barriers to biotechnology were removed, subsistence farmers still would not represent a lucrative market for improved seed. The sum of all interests involved ensures that subsistence farmers are systematically denied access to agricultural biotechnology. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Wetland Plants of Great Salt Lake, A Guide to Identification, Communities, & Bird Habitat

    OpenAIRE

    Downard, Rebekah; Frank, Maureen; Perkins, Jennifer; Kettenring, Karin; Larese-Casanova, Mark

    2017-01-01

    Wetland Plants of Great Salt Lake: a guide to identification, communities, & bird habitat is a wetland plant identification guide, resulting from collaborative research efforts about Great Salt Lake (GSL) wetland conditions and bird habitat. Dr. Rebekah Downard collected dissertation field data from GSL wetlands during 2012–2015, the majority of which informed this work. Dr. Maureen Frank contributed her guide to GSL wetland vegetation and how to manage native plants as high-quality habitat f...

  20. THE CONCENTRATION OF PHOTOSINTHESIS PIGMENTS IN THE ANTHROPOGENIC PLANT COMMUNITIES IN TOBOLSK TOWN

    OpenAIRE

    Еlena Ivanovna Popova

    2016-01-01

    Photosynthesis means a lot in the life of a plant body. For the normal photosynthesis process it is necessary to have certain external and internal conditions. The topic of the research is the study of photosynthesis pigments in anthropogenic plant communities. The aim of our work was to study the pigment composition plants of anthropogenic phytocenoses. Methods: we have used the spectrophotometric method to define the concentration of pigments. Results: the research has shown that the concen...

  1. The Root-Associated Microbial Community of the World's Highest Growing Vascular Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angel, Roey; Conrad, Ralf; Dvorsky, Miroslav; Kopecky, Martin; Kotilínek, Milan; Hiiesalu, Inga; Schweingruber, Fritz; Doležal, Jiří

    2016-08-01

    Upward migration of plants to barren subnival areas is occurring worldwide due to raising ambient temperatures and glacial recession. In summer 2012, the presence of six vascular plants, growing in a single patch, was recorded at an unprecedented elevation of 6150 m.a.s.l. close to the summit of Mount Shukule II in the Western Himalayas (Ladakh, India). Whilst showing multiple signs of stress, all plants have managed to establish stable growth and persist for several years. To learn about the role of microbes in the process of plant upward migration, we analysed the root-associated microbial community of the plants (three individuals from each) using microscopy and tagged amplicon sequencing. No mycorrhizae were found on the roots, implying they are of little importance to the establishment and early growth of the plants. However, all roots were associated with a complex bacterial community, with richness and diversity estimates similar or even higher than the surrounding bare soil. Both soil and root-associated communities were dominated by members of the orders Sphingomonadales and Sphingobacteriales, which are typical for hot desert soils, but were different from communities of temperate subnival soils and typical rhizosphere communities. Despite taxonomic similarity on the order level, the plants harboured a unique set of highly dominant operational taxonomic units which were not found in the bare soil. These bacteria have been likely transported with the dispersing seeds and became part of the root-associated community following germination. The results indicate that developing soils act not only as a source of inoculation to plant roots but also possibly as a sink for plant-associated bacteria.

  2. Insect herbivory and plant adaptation in an early successional community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agrawal, Anurag A; Hastings, Amy P; Fines, Daniel M; Bogdanowicz, Steve; Huber, Meret

    2018-05-01

    To address the role of insect herbivores in adaptation of plant populations and the persistence of selection through succession, we manipulated herbivory in a long-term field experiment. We suppressed insects in half of 16 plots over nine years and examined the genotypic structure and chemical defense of common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), a naturally colonizing perennial apomictic plant. Insect suppression doubled dandelion abundance in the first few years, but had negligible effects thereafter. Using microsatellite DNA markers, we genotyped >2500 plants and demonstrate that insect suppression altered the genotypic composition of plots in both sampling years. Phenotypic and genotypic estimates of defensive terpenes and phenolics from the field plots allowed us to infer phenotypic plasticity and the response of dandelion populations to insect-mediated natural selection. The effects of insect suppression on plant chemistry were, indeed, driven both by plasticity and plant genotypic identity. In particular, di-phenolic inositol esters were more abundant in plots exposed to herbivory (due to the genotypic composition of the plots) and were also induced in response to herbivory. This field experiment thus demonstrates evolutionary sorting of plant genotypes in response to insect herbivores that was in same direction as the plastic defensive response within genotypes. © 2018 The Author(s). Evolution © 2018 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  3. Experimental restoration of a fen plant community after peat mining

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cobbaert, D.; Rochefort, L.; Price, J.S. [Univ. Laval, Sainte-Foy (Canada). Dept. de Phytologie

    2004-11-01

    Methods: The effectiveness of introducing fen plants with the application of donor diaspore material was tested. The donor diaspore material, containing seeds, rhizomes, moss fragments, and other plant propagules, was collected from two different types of natural fens. We tested whether the application of straw mulch would increase fen species cover and biodiversity compared to control plots without straw mulch. Terrace levels of different peat depths (15 cm, 40 cm, and 56 cm) were created to test the effects of different environmental site conditions on the success of re-vegetation. Results: Applying donor seed bank from natural fens was found to significantly increase fen plant cover and richness after the two growing seasons. Straw mulch proved to significantly increase fen plant richness. The intermediate terrace level (40 cm) had the highest fen plant establishment. Compared to reference sites, the low terrace level (15 cm) was richer in base cations, whereas the high terrace level (56 cm) was much drier. Conclusions: The application of donor diaspore material was demonstrated as an effective technique for establishing vascular fen plants. Further rewetting measures are considered necessary at the restoration site to create a fen ecosystem rather than simply restoring some fen species (Location: Riviere-du-Loup peatland, southern Quebec, Canada at 100 m a.s.l.)

  4. Indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants used by Saperas community of Khetawas, Jhajjar District, Haryana, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kumar Sunil

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plants have traditionally been used as a source of medicine in India by indigenous people of different ethnic groups inhabiting various terrains for the control of various ailments afflicting human and their domestic animals. The indigenous community of snake charmers belongs to the 'Nath' community in India have played important role of healers in treating snake bite victims. Snake charmers also sell herbal remedies for common ailments. In the present paper an attempt has been made to document on ethno botanical survey and traditional medicines used by snake charmers of village Khetawas located in district Jhajjar of Haryana, India as the little work has been made in the past to document the knowledge from this community. Methods Ethno botanical data and traditional uses of plants information was obtained by semi structured oral interviews from experienced rural folk, traditional herbal medicine practitioners of the 'Nath' community. A total of 42 selected inhabitants were interviewed, 41 were male and only one woman. The age of the healers was between 25 years and 75 years. The plant specimens were identified according to different references concerning the medicinal plants of Haryana and adjoining areas and further confirmation from Forest Research Institute, Dehradun. Results The present study revealed that the people of the snake charmer community used 57 medicinal plants species that belonged to 51 genera and 35 families for the treatment of various diseases. The study has brought to light that the main diseases treated by this community was snakebite in which 19 different types of medicinal plants belongs to 13 families were used. Significantly higher number of medicinal plants was claimed by men as compared to women. The highest numbers of medicinal plants for traditional uses utilized by this community were belonging to family Fabaceae. Conclusion This community carries a vast knowledge of medicinal plants but as

  5. Predictive occurrence models for coastal wetland plant communities: delineating hydrologic response surfaces with multinomial logistic regression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snedden, Gregg A.; Steyer, Gregory D.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding plant community zonation along estuarine stress gradients is critical for effective conservation and restoration of coastal wetland ecosystems. We related the presence of plant community types to estuarine hydrology at 173 sites across coastal Louisiana. Percent relative cover by species was assessed at each site near the end of the growing season in 2008, and hourly water level and salinity were recorded at each site Oct 2007–Sep 2008. Nine plant community types were delineated with k-means clustering, and indicator species were identified for each of the community types with indicator species analysis. An inverse relation between salinity and species diversity was observed. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) effectively segregated the sites across ordination space by community type, and indicated that salinity and tidal amplitude were both important drivers of vegetation composition. Multinomial logistic regression (MLR) and Akaike's Information Criterion (AIC) were used to predict the probability of occurrence of the nine vegetation communities as a function of salinity and tidal amplitude, and probability surfaces obtained from the MLR model corroborated the CCA results. The weighted kappa statistic, calculated from the confusion matrix of predicted versus actual community types, was 0.7 and indicated good agreement between observed community types and model predictions. Our results suggest that models based on a few key hydrologic variables can be valuable tools for predicting vegetation community development when restoring and managing coastal wetlands.

  6. Predictive occurrence models for coastal wetland plant communities: Delineating hydrologic response surfaces with multinomial logistic regression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snedden, Gregg A.; Steyer, Gregory D.

    2013-02-01

    Understanding plant community zonation along estuarine stress gradients is critical for effective conservation and restoration of coastal wetland ecosystems. We related the presence of plant community types to estuarine hydrology at 173 sites across coastal Louisiana. Percent relative cover by species was assessed at each site near the end of the growing season in 2008, and hourly water level and salinity were recorded at each site Oct 2007-Sep 2008. Nine plant community types were delineated with k-means clustering, and indicator species were identified for each of the community types with indicator species analysis. An inverse relation between salinity and species diversity was observed. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) effectively segregated the sites across ordination space by community type, and indicated that salinity and tidal amplitude were both important drivers of vegetation composition. Multinomial logistic regression (MLR) and Akaike's Information Criterion (AIC) were used to predict the probability of occurrence of the nine vegetation communities as a function of salinity and tidal amplitude, and probability surfaces obtained from the MLR model corroborated the CCA results. The weighted kappa statistic, calculated from the confusion matrix of predicted versus actual community types, was 0.7 and indicated good agreement between observed community types and model predictions. Our results suggest that models based on a few key hydrologic variables can be valuable tools for predicting vegetation community development when restoring and managing coastal wetlands.

  7. Invasion of Opuntia humifusa and O. phaeacantha (Cactaceae into plant communities of the Karadag Nature Reserve

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina V. Fateryga

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The results of a study of Opuntia humifusa and O. phaeacantha naturalised in the Karadag Nature Reserve (southeastern part of the Crimean Peninsula are presented. There, the largest coenopopulations of Opuntia plants are confined to the «biostation» territory (bordering with the park, administrative buildings and housing estate. Twelve localities were described in the Karadag Reserve. These differ by phytocoenotic characteristics, area and floristic composition. Seven localities include only O. humifusa plants; four ones include only O. phaeacantha individuals; and both the species are present on the twelfth locality. The total number of individuals of each species and ontogenetic structure of the population were studied in each locality. The total number of O. humifusa individuals in the Karadag Reserve is more than 600 plants within the «biostation» territory, while the total number of O. phaeacantha plants is about 400 individuals. Studying of the plant communities has been carried out according to the Braun-Blanquet method. Opuntia plants form derivate communities within degraded steppes, phryganoid-steppes, and semi-desert badland phytocoenoses almost at all studied localities. A significant number of synanthropic species (including alien plants was found within these communities. Opuntia plants are able to self-reproduce predominantly vegetatively. Self-seeding reproduction occurs less frequently. Both species can be considered as invasive plants because they have a high adaptive capacity.

  8. Structure and composition of oligohaline marsh plant communities exposed to salinity pulses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, R.J.; Mendelssohn, I.A.

    2000-01-01

    The response of two oligohaline marsh macrophyte communities to pulses of increased salinity was studied over a single growing season in a greenhouse experiment. The plant communities were allowed a recovery period in freshwater following the pulse events. The experimental treatments included: (1) salinity influx rate (rate of salinity increase from 0 to 12 gl-1); (2) duration of exposure to elevated salinity; and (3) water depth. The communities both included Sagittaria lancifolia L.; the codominant species were Eleocharis palustris (L.) Roemer and J.A. Schultes in community 1 and Schoenoplectus americanus (Pers.) Volk. ex Schinz and R. Keller in community 2. Effects of the treatments on sediment chemical characteristics (salinity, pH, redox potential, and sulfide and ammonium concentrations) and plant community attributes (aboveground and belowground biomass, stem density, leaf tissue nutrients, and species richness) were examined. The treatment effects often interacted to influence sediment and plant communities characteristics following recovery in fresh water. Salinity influx rate per se, however, had little effect on the abiotic or biotic response variables; significant influx effects were found when the 0 gl-1 (zero influx) treatment was compared to the 12 gl-1 treatments, regardless of the rate salinity was raised. A salinity level of 12 gl-1 had negative effects on plant community structure and composition; these effects were usually associated with 3 months of salinity exposure. Water depth often interacted with exposure duration, but increased water depth did independently decrease the values of some community response measures. Community 1 was affected more than community 2 in the most extreme salinity treatment (3 months exposure/15-cm water depth). Although species richness in both communities was reduced, structural changes were more dramatic in community 1. Biomass and stem density were reduced in community 1 overall and in both dominant species

  9. Plants of the fynbos biome harbour host species-specific bacterial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyambo, Tsakani; Makhalanyane, Thulani P; Cowan, Don A; Valverde, Angel

    2016-08-01

    The fynbos biome in South Africa is globally recognised as a plant biodiversity hotspot. However, very little is known about the bacterial communities associated with fynbos plants, despite interactions between primary producers and bacteria having an impact on the physiology of both partners and shaping ecosystem diversity. This study reports on the structure, phylogenetic composition and potential roles of the endophytic bacterial communities located in the stems of three fynbos plants (Erepsia anceps, Phaenocoma prolifera and Leucadendron laureolum). Using Illumina MiSeq 16S rRNA sequencing we found that different subpopulations of Deinococcus-Thermus, Alphaproteobacteria, Acidobacteria and Firmicutes dominated the endophytic bacterial communities. Alphaproteobacteria and Actinobacteria were prevalent in P. prolifera, whereas Deinococcus-Thermus dominated in L. laureolum, revealing species-specific host-bacteria associations. Although a high degree of variability in the endophytic bacterial communities within hosts was observed, we also detected a core microbiome across the stems of the three plant species, which accounted for 72% of the sequences. Altogether, it seems that both deterministic and stochastic processes shaped microbial communities. Endophytic bacterial communities harboured putative plant growth-promoting bacteria, thus having the potential to influence host health and growth. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. Lags in the response of mountain plant communities to climate change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alexander, Jake M; Chalmandrier, Loïc; Lenoir, Jonathan

    2018-01-01

    Rapid climatic changes and increasing human influence at high elevations around the world will have profound impacts on mountain biodiversity. However, forecasts from statistical models (e.g. species distribution models) rarely consider that plant community changes could substantially lag behind...... plant species' spread along elevational gradients, "establishment lags" following their arrival in recipient communities, and "extinction lags" of resident species. Variation in lags is explained by variation among species in physiological and demographic responses, by effects of altered biotic...... turnover in future communities might lag behind simple expectations based on species' range shifts with unlimited dispersal. The model shows a combined contribution of altered biotic interactions and dispersal lags to plant community turnover along an elevational gradient following climate warming. Our...

  11. Granivory of invasive, naturalized, and native plants in communities differentially susceptible to invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connolly, B M; Pearson, D E; Mack, R N

    2014-07-01

    Seed predation is an important biotic filter that can influence abundance and spatial distributions of native species through differential effects on recruitment. This filter may also influence the relative abundance of nonnative plants within habitats and the communities' susceptibility to invasion via differences in granivore identity, abundance, and food preference. We evaluated the effect of postdispersal seed predators on the establishment of invasive, naturalized, and native species within and between adjacent forest and steppe communities of eastern Washington, USA that differ in severity of plant invasion. Seed removal from trays placed within guild-specific exclosures revealed that small mammals were the dominant seed predators in both forest and steppe. Seeds of invasive species (Bromus tectorum, Cirsium arvense) were removed significantly less than the seeds of native (Pseudoroegneria spicata, Balsamorhiza sagittata) and naturalized (Secale cereale, Centaurea cyanus) species. Seed predation limited seedling emergence and establishment in both communities in the absence of competition in a pattern reflecting natural plant abundance: S. cereale was most suppressed, B. tectorum was least suppressed, and P. spicata was suppressed at an intermediate level. Furthermore, seed predation reduced the residual seed bank for all species. Seed mass correlated with seed removal rates in the forest and their subsequent effects on plant recruitment; larger seeds were removed at higher rates than smaller seeds. Our vegetation surveys indicate higher densities and canopy cover of nonnative species occur in the steppe compared with the forest understory, suggesting the steppe may be more susceptible to invasion. Seed predation alone, however, did not result in significant differences in establishment for any species between these communities, presumably due to similar total small-mammal abundance between communities. Consequently, preferential seed predation by small

  12. Advances in modeling trait-based plant community assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laughlin, Daniel C; Laughlin, David E

    2013-10-01

    In this review, we examine two new trait-based models of community assembly that predict the relative abundance of species from a regional species pool. The models use fundamentally different mathematical approaches and the predictions can differ considerably. Maxent obtains the most even probability distribution subject to community-weighted mean trait constraints. Traitspace predicts low probabilities for any species whose trait distribution does not pass through the environmental filter. Neither model maximizes functional diversity because of the emphasis on environmental filtering over limiting similarity. Traitspace can test for the effects of limiting similarity by explicitly incorporating intraspecific trait variation. The range of solutions in both models could be used to define the range of natural variability of community composition in restoration projects. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Stubble field plant communities of the Mazowiecki Landscape Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teresa Skrajna

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The characteristics of communities found in unploughed stubble fields of the Mazowiecki Landscape Park and its agricultural buffer zone are presented in the paper. The association Echinochloo-Setarietum divided into a typical variant, the variant with Galinsoga parviflora, and the variant with Bidens tripartite, was the most frequently noted and floristically differentiated association. Patches of Digitarietum ischaemi were also frequently observed in stubble fields on the poorest habitats. Rarely, on fertile soils, small patches of floristically rich communities with Veronica agrestis were recorded. Periodically, excessively wet habitats were seldom occupied by the speciesrichest phytocoenoses of Centunculo-Anthoceretum punctati. Single patches of the community with Setaria pumila, the form with Aphanes arvensis, were observed only in the south-eastern part of the Park.

  14. Rhizosphere microbial community structure in relation to root location and plant iron nutritional status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, C H; Crowley, D E

    2000-01-01

    Root exudate composition and quantity vary in relation to plant nutritional status, but the impact of the differences on rhizosphere microbial communities is not known. To examine this question, we performed an experiment with barley (Hordeum vulgare) plants under iron-limiting and iron-sufficient growth conditions. Plants were grown in an iron-limiting soil in root box microcosms. One-half of the plants were treated with foliar iron every day to inhibit phytosiderophore production and to alter root exudate composition. After 30 days, the bacterial communities associated with different root zones, including the primary root tips, nonelongating secondary root tips, sites of lateral root emergence, and older roots distal from the tip, were characterized by using 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) fingerprints generated by PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Our results showed that the microbial communities associated with the different root locations produced many common 16S rDNA bands but that the communities could be distinguished by using correspondence analysis. Approximately 40% of the variation between communities could be attributed to plant iron nutritional status. A sequence analysis of clones generated from a single 16S rDNA band obtained at all of the root locations revealed that there were taxonomically different species in the same band, suggesting that the resolving power of DGGE for characterization of community structure at the species level is limited. Our results suggest that the bacterial communities in the rhizosphere are substantially different in different root zones and that a rhizosphere community may be altered by changes in root exudate composition caused by changes in plant iron nutritional status.

  15. Non-linear effects of drought under shade: reconciling physiological and ecological models in plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmgren, Milena; Gómez-Aparicio, Lorena; Quero, José Luis; Valladares, Fernando

    2012-06-01

    The combined effects of shade and drought on plant performance and the implications for species interactions are highly debated in plant ecology. Empirical evidence for positive and negative effects of shade on the performance of plants under dry conditions supports two contrasting theoretical models about the role of shade under dry conditions: the trade-off and the facilitation hypotheses. We performed a meta-analysis of field and greenhouse studies evaluating the effects of drought at two or more irradiance levels on nine response variables describing plant physiological condition, growth, and survival. We explored differences in plant response across plant functional types, ecosystem types and methodological approaches. The data were best fit using quadratic models indicating a humped-back shape response to drought along an irradiance gradient for survival, whole plant biomass, maximum photosynthetic capacity, stomatal conductance and maximal photochemical efficiency. Drought effects were ameliorated at intermediate irradiance, becoming more severe at higher or lower light levels. This general pattern was maintained when controlling for potential variations in the strength of the drought treatment among light levels. Our quantitative meta-analysis indicates that dense shade ameliorates drought especially among drought-intolerant and shade-tolerant species. Wet tropical species showed larger negative effects of drought with increasing irradiance than semiarid and cold temperate species. Non-linear responses to irradiance were stronger under field conditions than under controlled greenhouse conditions. Non-linear responses to drought along the irradiance gradient reconciliate opposing views in plant ecology, indicating that facilitation is more likely within certain range of environmental conditions, fading under deep shade, especially for drought-tolerant species.

  16. Effects of water table position and plant functional group on plant community, aboveground production, and peat properties in a peatland mesocosm experiment (PEATcosm)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynette R. Potvin; Evan S. Kane; Rodney A. Chimner; Randall K. Kolka; Erik A. Lilleskov

    2015-01-01

    Aims Our objective was to assess the impacts of water table position and plant functional type on peat structure, plant community composition and aboveground plant production. Methods We initiated a full factorial experiment with 2 water table (WT) treatments (high and low) and 3 plant functional groups (PFG: sedge, Ericaceae,...

  17. Community Visions for the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ormsbee, Lindell e [Civil Engineering, Univ. of KY; Kipp, James A [Univ. of KY, Kentucky water research Institute

    2011-09-01

    This report focuses on assessing community preferences for the future use of the PGDP site, given the site's pending closure by US DOE. The project approach fostered interaction and engagement with the public based on lessons learned at other complex DOE environmental cleanup sites and upon the integration of a number of principles and approaches to public engagement from the Project Team's local, state, regional and international public engagement experience. The results of the study provide the community with a record of the diversity of values and preferences related to the environmental cleanup and future use of the site.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrer, Emily C; Goldberg, Deborah E

    2009-03-01

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

  19. Simulation of plant communities with a cellular automaton

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gassmann, F [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland)

    1999-08-01

    With a modelling approach based on cellular automata, five observed types of plant development can be simulated. In addition, the proposed model shows a strong tendency towards the formation of patches and a high degree of dynamical and structural instability leading to limits of predictability for the asymptotic solution chosen by the system among several possible metastable patterns (multistability). Further, external fluctuations can be shown to have advantages for certain plant types. The presented model unifies the fundamental dichotomy in vegetation dynamics between determinism (understood as predictability) and disorder (chance effects) by showing the outcome of both classical theories as special cases. (author) 2 figs., 4 refs.

  20. Life form succession in plant communities on colliery waste tips

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Down, C G

    1973-01-01

    Five disused colliery waste tips in the Somerset Coalfield, 12, 15, 21, 55 and 98 years old, respectively, were examined to determine the life forms of the naturally-occurring vascular plant species. Hemicryptophytes comprised between 68 and 79% of the number of species on each tip. Rosette hemicryptophytes comprised 31.8% of the species on the 12-year tip, declining to 11.8% on the 98-year tip. It is suggested that artificial planting of rosette hemicryptophytes may be beneficial in reclamation schemes. 3 tables.

  1. [Soil catalase activity of main plant communities in Leymus chinensis grassland in northeast China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Ping; Guo, Jixun; Zhu, Li

    2002-06-01

    The seasonal dynamics of soil catalase activity of three different plants communities in Leymus chinensis grassland in northeast China were in a parabolas shape. The seasonal variation of Chloris virgata community was greater than those of Leymus chinensis community and Puccinellia tenuiflora community, and "seed effect" might be the main reason. The correlation between the activity of soil catalase in different soil layers and environmental factors were analyzed. The results showed that the activity of soil catalase was decreased gradually with depth of soil layer. The activity of soil catalase was closely correlated with rainfall and air temperature, and it was affected by soil temperature, soil moisture, and their interactions. The correlation between the activity and aboveground vegetation was very significant, and the growing condition of plant communities could be reflected by the activity of soil catalase.

  2. [Relation between species distribution of plant community and soil factors under grazing in alpine meadow].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niu, Yu Jie; Yang, Si Wei; Wang, Gui Zhen; Liu, Li; Du, Guo Zhen; Hua, Li Min

    2017-12-01

    The research selected the alpine meadow located in the northeastern margin of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau to study the changes of vegetation community and soil properties under different grazing intensities, as well as the quantitative relation between the distribution patterns of plant species and the physical and chemical properties of soil. The results showed that the grazing caused the differentiation of the initial vegetation community with the dominant plants, Elymus nutans and Stipa grandis. In the plots with high and low grazing intensities, the dominant plants had changed to Kobresia humilis and Melissitus ruthenica, and E. nutans and Poa crymophila, respectively. With the increase of grazing intensity, the plant richness, importance value and biomass were significantly decreased. The sequence of plant species importance value in each plot against grazing intensity could be fitted by a logarithmic model. The number of required plant species was reduced while the importance value of the remaining plant species accounted for 50% of the importance value in the whole vegetation community. The available P, available K, soil compaction, soil water content, stable infiltration rate and large aggregate index were significantly changed with grazing intensity, however, the changes were different. The CCA ordination showed that the soil compaction was the key factor affecting the distribution pattern of the plant species under grazing. The variance decomposition indicated that the soil factors together explained 30.5% of the distribution of the plant species, in particular the soil physical properties alone explained 22.8% of the distribution of the plant species, which had the highest rate of contribution to the plant species distribution. The soil physical properties affected the distribution pattern of plant species on grazed alpine meadow.

  3. Dispersal and life span spectra in plant communities : a key to safe site dynamics, species coexistence and conservation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Strykstra, RJ; Bekker, RM; Van Andel, J

    Dispersal and life span of individual plant species within five plant communities were assessed to obtain a characterization of these communities in this respect. Such a characterization is important in the context of restoration and maintenance. The most frequent species of five communities were

  4. Interior West community tree guide: benefits, costs, and strategic planting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelaine E. Vargas; Gregory E. McPherson; James R. Simpson; Paula J. Peper; Shelley L. Gardner; Qingfu. Xiao

    2007-01-01

    Even as they increase the beauty of our surroundings, trees provide us with a great many ecosystem services, including air quality improvement, energy conservation, stormwater interception, and atmospheric carbon dioxide reduction. These benefits must be weighed against the costs of maintaining trees, including planting, pruning, irrigation, administration, pest...

  5. Central Florida community tree guide: benefits, costs, and strategic planting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paula J. Peper; E. Gregory McPherson; James R. Simpson; Shannon N. Albers; Qingfu Xiao

    2010-01-01

    Trees make our cities more attractive and provide many ecosystem services, including air quality improvement, energy conservation, stormwater interception, and atmospheric carbon dioxide reduction. These benefits must be weighed against the costs of maintaining trees, including planting, pruning, irrigation, administration, pest control, liability, cleanup, and removal...

  6. Desert Southwest Community Tree Guide: Benefits, Costs and Strategic Planting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greg McPherson; J.R. Simpson; P.J. Peper; S.E. Maco; Q. Xiao; E. Mulrean

    2004-01-01

    This report quantifies benefits and costs for typical large-, medium-, small-stature, deciduous trees (Fraxinus uhdei, Prosopis chilensis, Acacia farnesiana), as well as a conifer (Pinus halapensis). The analysis assumed that trees were planted in a residential yard site or a public (street/park) site, a 40-year time frame, and...

  7. Lower Midwest community tree guide: benefits, costs, and strategic planting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paula J. Peper; E. Gregory McPherson; James R. Simpson; Kelaine E. Vargas; Qingfu Xiao

    2009-01-01

    Even as they increase the beauty of our surroundings, trees provide us with a great many ecosystem services, including air quality improvement, energy conservation, stormwater interception, and atmospheric carbon dioxide reduction. These benefits must be weighed against the costs of maintaining trees, including planting, pruning, irrigation, administration, pest...

  8. Tropical community tree guide: benefits, costs, and strategic planting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelaine E. Vargas; Gregory E. McPherson; James R. Simpson; Paula J. Peper; Shelley L. Gardner; Qingfu Xiao

    2008-01-01

    Even as they increase the beauty of our surroundings, trees provide us with a great many ecosystem services, including air quality improvement, energy conservation, stormwater interception, and atmospheric carbon dioxide reduction. These benefits must be weighed against the costs of maintaining trees, including planting, pruning, irrigation, administration, pest...

  9. Midwest community tree guide: benefits, costs, and strategic planting

    Science.gov (United States)

    E. Gregory McPherson; James R. Simpson; Paula J. Peper; Scott E. Maco; Shelley L. Gardner; Shauna K. Cozad; Qingfu Xiao

    2006-01-01

    This report quantifies benefits and costs for typical small, medium, and large deciduous (losing their leaves every autumn) trees: crabapple, red oak, and hackberry (see "Common and Scientific Names" section). The analysis assumed that trees were planted in a residential yard or public site (streetside or park) with a 60 percent survival rate over a 40-year...

  10. Northeast community tree guide: benefits, costs, and strategic planting

    Science.gov (United States)

    E. Gregory McPherson; James R. Simpson; Paula J. Peper; Shelley L. Gardner; Kelaine E. Vargas; Qingfu Xiao

    2007-01-01

    Trees make our cities more attractive and provide many ecosystem services, including air quality improvement, energy conservation, stormwater interception, and atmospheric carbon dioxide reduction. These benefits must be weighed against the costs of maintaining trees, including planting, pruning, irrigation, administration, pest control, liability, cleanup, and removal...

  11. Ecological surveys of certain plant communities around urban areas ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    It was also observed that certain edaphic and human activity, discharge of pollutants with out any pretreatment was found responsible for variation in the nature, structure and composition of vegetation. The plant growth and their continuity was in danger in many disturb areas, especially in some coastal areas where salinity ...

  12. Plant communities as drivers of soil respiration: pathways, mechanisms, and significance for global change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metcalfe, D. B.; Fisher, R. A.; Wardle, D. A.

    2011-08-01

    Understanding the impacts of plant community characteristics on soil carbon dioxide efflux (R) is a key prerequisite for accurate prediction of the future carbon (C) balance of terrestrial ecosystems under climate change. However, developing a mechanistic understanding of the determinants of R is complicated by the presence of multiple different sources of respiratory C within soil - such as soil microbes, plant roots and their mycorrhizal symbionts - each with their distinct dynamics and drivers. In this review, we synthesize relevant information from a wide spectrum of sources to evaluate the current state of knowledge about plant community effects on R, examine how this information is incorporated into global climate models, and highlight priorities for future research. Despite often large variation amongst studies and methods, several general trends emerge. Mechanisms whereby plants affect R may be grouped into effects on belowground C allocation, aboveground litter properties and microclimate. Within vegetation types, the amount of C diverted belowground, and hence R, may be controlled mainly by the rate of photosynthetic C uptake, while amongst vegetation types this should be more dependent upon the specific C allocation strategies of the plant life form. We make the case that plant community composition, rather than diversity, is usually the dominant control on R in natural systems. Individual species impacts on R may be largest where the species accounts for most of the biomass in the ecosystem, has very distinct traits to the rest of the community and/or modulates the occurrence of major natural disturbances. We show that climate vegetation models incorporate a number of pathways whereby plants can affect R, but that simplifications regarding allocation schemes and drivers of litter decomposition may limit model accuracy. We also suggest that under a warmer future climate, many plant communities may shift towards dominance by fast growing plants which

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Coal mining activities change plant community structure due to air pollution and soil degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Bhanu; Agrawal, Madhoolika; Singh, Siddharth

    2014-10-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of coal mining activities on the community structures of woody and herbaceous plants. The response of individual plants of community to defilement caused by coal mining was also assessed. Air monitoring, soil physico-chemical and phytosociological analyses were carried around Jharia coalfield (JCF) and Raniganj coalfield. The importance value index of sensitive species minified and those of tolerant species enhanced with increasing pollution load and altered soil quality around coal mining areas. Although the species richness of woody and herbaceous plants decreased with higher pollution load, a large number of species acclimatized to the stress caused by the coal mining activities. Woody plant community at JCF was more affected by coal mining than herbaceous community. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed that structure of herbaceous community was mainly driven by soil total organic carbon, soil nitrogen, whereas woody layer community was influenced by sulphur dioxide in ambient air, soil sulphate and soil phosphorus. The changes in species diversity observed at mining areas indicated an increase in the proportion of resistant herbs and grasses showing a tendency towards a definite selection strategy of ecosystem in response to air pollution and altered soil characteristics.

  15. Changes in soil bacterial communities induced by the invasive plant Pennisetum setaceum in a semiarid environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Caballero, Gema; Caravaca, Fuensanta; del Mar Alguacil, María; Fernández-López, Manuel; José Fernández-González, Antonio; García-Orenes, Fuensanta; Roldán, Antonio

    2016-04-01

    Invasive alien species are considered as a global threat being among the main causes of biodiversity loss. Plant invasions have been extensively studied from different disciplines with the purpose of identifying predictor traits of invasiveness and finding solutions. However, less is known about the implication of the rhizosphere microbiota in these processes, even when it is well known the importance of the interaction between plant rhizosphere and microbial communities. The objective of this study was to determine whether native and invasive plants support different bacterial communities in their rhizospheres and whether there are bacterial indicator species that might be contributing to the invasion process of these ecosystems. We carried out a study in five independent locations under Mediterranean semiarid conditions, where the native Hyparrhenia hirta is being displaced by Pennisetum setaceum, an aggressive invasive Poaceae and soil bacterial communities were amplified and 454-pyrosequenced. Changes in the composition and structure of the bacterial communities, owing to the invasive status of the plant, were detected when the richness and alpha-diversity estimators were calculated as well as when we analyzed the PCoA axes scores. The Indicator Species Analysis results showed a higher number of indicators for invaded communities at all studied taxonomic levels. In conclusion, the effect of the invasiveness and its interaction with the soil location has promoted shifts in the rhizosphere bacterial communities which might be facilitating the invader success in these ecosystems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  17. Fungal Communities in Rhizosphere Soil under Conservation Tillage Shift in Response to Plant Growth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ziting Wang

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Conservation tillage is an extensively used agricultural practice in northern China that alters soil texture and nutrient conditions, causing changes in the soil microbial community. However, how conservation tillage affects rhizosphere and bulk soil fungal communities during plant growth remains unclear. The present study investigated the effect of long-term (6 years conservation (chisel plow, zero and conventional (plow tillage during wheat growth on the rhizosphere fungal community, using high-throughput sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS gene and quantitative PCR. During tillering, fungal alpha diversity in both rhizosphere and bulk soil were significantly higher under zero tillage compared to other methods. Although tillage had no significant effect during the flowering stage, fungal alpha diversity at this stage was significantly different between rhizosphere and bulk soils, with bulk soil presenting the highest diversity. This was also reflected in the phylogenetic structure of the communities, as rhizosphere soil communities underwent a greater shift from tillering to flowering compared to bulk soil communities. In general, less variation in community structure was observed under zero tillage compared to plow and chisel plow treatments. Changes in the relative abundance of the fungal orders Capnodiales, Pleosporales, and Xylariales contributed the highest to the dissimilarities observed. Structural equation models revealed that the soil fungal communities under the three tillage regimes were likely influenced by the changes in soil properties associated with plant growth. This study suggested that: (1 differences in nutrient resources between rhizosphere and bulk soils can select for different types of fungi thereby increasing community variation during plant growth; (2 tillage can alter fungal communities' variability, with zero tillage promoting more stable communities. This work suggests that long-term changes in

  18. Planting Seeds to Grow Healthy Children: Strategic Community Partnerships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alicea-Planas, Jessica; Sullivan, Kelly; Tran, Hang; Cruz, Anna

    2018-02-01

    More than one third of U.S adults are considered obese, and childhood obesity has more than doubled in the past 30 years. Food security can influence obesity, in particular, within inner cities where access to healthy food is often limited. The use of a mobile food truck program (with refrigeration) was implemented in two large inner cities in Connecticut as part of an initiative aimed at helping low-income families with young children gain access to healthy food and nutrition education. Collaborating with community child care centers was used. The experiences of the families who participated in the program were assessed via focus groups. Main ideas derived from the focus groups were participant satisfaction with money saving suggestions, ideas for how to make healthier choices, and excitement about opportunities to receive foods that they would not normally buy. This innovative mobile food truck program demonstrated the value of strategic community partnerships to influence health.

  19. The Upper Mississippi River floodscape: spatial patterns of flood inundation and associated plant community distributions

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeJager, Nathan R.; Rohweder, Jason J.; Yin, Yao; Hoy, Erin E.

    2016-01-01

    Questions How is the distribution of different plant communities associated with patterns of flood inundation across a large floodplain landscape? Location Thirty-eight thousand nine hundred and seventy hectare of floodplain, spanning 320 km of the Upper Mississippi River (UMR). Methods High-resolution elevation data (Lidar) and 30 yr of daily river stage data were integrated to produce a ‘floodscape’ map of growing season flood inundation duration. The distributions of 16 different remotely sensed plant communities were quantified along the gradient of flood duration. Results Models fitted to the cumulative frequency of occurrence of different vegetation types as a function of flood duration showed that most types exist along a continuum of flood-related occurrence. The diversity of community types was greatest at high elevations (0–10 d of flooding), where both upland and lowland community types were found, as well as at very low elevations (70–180 d of flooding), where a variety of lowland herbaceous communities were found. Intermediate elevations (20–60 d of flooding) tended to be dominated by floodplain forest and had the lowest diversity of community types. Conclusions Although variation in flood inundation is often considered to be the main driver of spatial patterns in floodplain plant communities, few studies have quantified flood–vegetation relationships at broad scales. Our results can be used to identify targets for restoration of historical hydrological regimes or better anticipate hydro-ecological effects of climate change at broad scales.

  20. Tracking fungal community responses to maize plants by DNA- and RNA-based pyrosequencing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eiko E Kuramae

    Full Text Available We assessed soil fungal diversity and community structure at two sampling times (t1 = 47 days and t2 = 104 days of plant age in pots associated with four maize cultivars, including two genetically modified (GM cultivars by high-throughput pyrosequencing of the 18S rRNA gene using DNA and RNA templates. We detected no significant differences in soil fungal diversity and community structure associated with different plant cultivars. However, DNA-based analyses yielded lower fungal OTU richness as compared to RNA-based analyses. Clear differences in fungal community structure were also observed in relation to sampling time and the nucleic acid pool targeted (DNA versus RNA. The most abundant soil fungi, as recovered by DNA-based methods, did not necessary represent the most "active" fungi (as recovered via RNA. Interestingly, RNA-derived community compositions at t1 were highly similar to DNA-derived communities at t2, based on presence/absence measures of OTUs. We recovered large proportions of fungal sequences belonging to arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and Basidiomycota, especially at the RNA level, suggesting that these important and potentially beneficial fungi are not affected by the plant cultivars nor by GM traits (Bt toxin production. Our results suggest that even though DNA- and RNA-derived soil fungal communities can be very different at a given time, RNA composition may have a predictive power of fungal community development through time.

  1. [Effects of alien species Robinia pseudoacacia on plant community functional structure in hilly-gully region of Loess Plateau, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Duo Ju; Wen, Zhong Ming; Zhang, Jing; Tao, Yu; Zeng, Hong Wen; Tang, Yang

    2018-02-01

    To investigate the effects of the introduction of Robinia pseudoacacia on the functional structure of plant communities, we selected paired-plots of R. pseudoacacia communities and native plant communities across different vegetation zones, i.e., steppe zone, forest-steppe zone, forest zone in hilly-gully region of Loess Plateau, China. We measured several functional characteristics and then compared the functional structures of R. pseudoacacia and native plant communities in different vegetation zones. The results showed that the variation of the functional traits across different vegetation zones were consistent in R. pseudoacacia community and native plant community, including leaf carbon concentration, leaf nitrogen concentration, leaf phosphorus concentration, specific leaf area, and leaf tissue density. The leaf carbon concentration, leaf nitrogen concentration, and specific leaf area of the R. pseudoacacia community were significantly higher than those of the native plant community. The trend of change that the functional diversity indices, i.e., FR ic , FE ve , FD iv , FD is , Rao of the R. pseudoacacia community and the native plant community with vegetation zones were different. The introduction of R. pseudoacacia enhanced the plant community functional diversity in the forest zone but reduced community functional diversity in the steppe zone.

  2. Plant Communities Rather than Soil Properties Structure Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Communities along Primary Succession on a Mine Spoil

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Krüger, Claudia; Kohout, Petr; Janoušková, Martina; Püschel, David; Frouz, J.; Rydlová, Jana

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 8, APR 20 (2017), s. 1-16, č. článku 719. ISSN 1664-302X R&D Projects: GA ČR GA13-10377S; GA ČR GA15-05466S Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : biodiversity * community ecology * fungal and plant succession Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 4.076, year: 2016

  3. Ignored fungal community in activated sludge wastewater treatment plants: diversity and altitudinal characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niu, Lihua; Li, Yi; Xu, Lingling; Wang, Peifang; Zhang, Wenlong; Wang, Chao; Cai, Wei; Wang, Linqiong

    2017-02-01

    Fungi are important contributors to the various functions of activated sludge wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs); however, the diversity and geographic characteristics of fungal populations have remained vastly unexplored. Here, quantitative polymerase chain reaction and 454 pyrosequencing were combined to investigate the abundance and diversity of the activated sludge fungal communities from 18 full-scale municipal WWTPs in China. Phylogenetic taxonomy revealed that the members of the fungal communities were assigned to 7 phyla and 195 genera. Ascomycota and Basidiomycota were the most abundant phyla, dominated by Pluteus, Wickerhamiella, and Penicillium. Twenty-three fungal genera, accounting for 50.1 % of the total reads, were shared by 18 WWTPs and constituted a core fungal community. The fungal communities presented similar community diversity but different community structures across the WWTPs. Significant distance decay relationships were observed for the dissimilarity in fungal community structure and altitudinal distance between WWTPs. Additionally, the community evenness increased from 0.25 to 0.7 as the altitude increased. Dissolved oxygen and the C/N ratio were determined to be the most dominant contributors to the variation in fungal community structure via redundancy analysis. The observed data demonstrated the diverse occurrence of fungal species and gave a marked view of fungal community characteristics based on the previously unexplored fungal communities in activated sludge WWTPs.

  4. Biomass, Leaf Area, and Resource Availability of Kudzu Dominated Plant Communities Following Herbicide Treatment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    L.T. Rader

    2001-10-01

    Kudzu is an exotic vine that threatens the forests of the southern U.S. Five herbicides were tested with regard to their efficacy in controlling kudzu, community recover was monitored, and interactions with planted pines were studied. The sites selected were old farm sites dominated by kudzu.These were burned following herbicide treatment. The herbicides included triclopyr, clopyralid, metsulfuron, tebuthiuron, and picloram plus 2,4-D. Pine seedlings were planted the following year. Regression equations were developed for predicting biomass and leaf area. Four distinct plant communities resulted from the treatments. The untreated check continued to be kudzu dominated. Blackberry dominated the clopyradid treatment. Metsulfron, trychlopyr and picloram treated sites resulted in herbaceous dominated communities. The tebuthiuron treatment maintained all vegetation low.

  5. Evapotranspiration over spatially extensive plant communities in the Big Cypress National Preserve, southern Florida, 2007-2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoemaker, W. Barclay; Lopez, Christian D.; Duever, Michael J.

    2011-01-01

    Evapotranspiration (ET) was quantified over plant communities within the Big Cypress National Preserve (BCNP) using the eddy covariance method for a period of 3 years from October 2007 to September 2010. Plant communities selected for study included Pine Upland, Wet Prairie, Marsh, Cypress Swamp, and Dwarf Cypress. These plant communities are spatially extensive in southern Florida, and thus, the ET measurements described herein can be applied to other humid subtropical locations such as the Everglades.

  6. Use of Medical Plants in Schools Communities from Sinop, Mato Grosso.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. C. M. Urtado

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: This study was conducted in Sinop, Mato Grosso, on two school communities. It was applied semi-structured questionnaires with questions focused on socioeconomic and the use of medicinal plants. It has as finality proved the effective use of medicinal plants on the everyday and a levy of the most used plant. The general profile of the respondents has shown that the women detain the major part of the knowledge, and that pass this uses to the future generations and friends, and find these plants on specialty stores, backyards, supermarket, root stores, bush and fairs. The plants that were found more frequently was (Ruta graveolens L., Babosa (Aloe vera L., Erva-Cidreira (Lippia alba Mill., Erva-Santa-Maria (Chenopodium ambrosioides L., Boldo (Plectranthus amboinicus Spreng., Hortel(Menta x vilosa Huds. e Terramicina (Alternanthera dentata Moench..Keywords: medical plants, Sinop, school.

  7. Microbe-mediated plant-soil feedback in pioneer stages of secondary succession causes long-lasting historical contingency effects in plant community composition.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kardol, P.; Bezemer, T.M.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2006-01-01

    Soil microbes and soil fauna have been assumed to play a key role in interspecific plant competition and successional community development. It has been suggested that plants can influence their performance by changing the composition of their associated soil communities. Such feedback effects may

  8. Contrasting trait responses in plant communities to experimental and geographic variation in precipitation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandel, Brody Steven; Goldstein, Leah; Kraft, Nathan

    2010-01-01

    Patterns of precipitation are likely to change significantly in the coming century, with important but poorly understood consequences for plant communities. Experimental and correlative studies may provide insight into expected changes, but little research has addressed the degree of concordance...... between these approaches. We synthesized results from four experimental water addition studies with a correlative analysis of community changes across a large natural precipitation gradient in the United States. We investigated whether community composition, summarized with plant functional traits......, responded similarly to increasing precipitation among studies and sites. In field experiments, increased precipitation favored species with small seed size,short leaf life span and high leaf nitrogen (N) concentration. However, with increasing precipitation along the natural gradient, community composition...

  9. The Communities' research and development programme on decommissioning of nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-01-01

    This is the first progress report of the European Community's programme (1979-1983) of research on the decommissioning of nuclear power plants. It shows the status of the programme on 31 December 1980. The programme seeks to promote a number of research and development projects as well as the identification of guiding principles. The projects concern the following subjects: long-term integrity of buildings and systems; decontamination for decommissioning purposes; dismantling techniques; treatment of specific waste materials: steel, concrete and graphite; large transport containers for radioactive was produced in the dismantling of nuclear power plants; estimation of the quantities of radioactive wastes arising from decommissioning of nuclear power plants in the Community; influence of nuclear power plant design features on decommissioning

  10. Design of community biogas plant for cooking and lighting from cowdung (a proposal case study)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mekki, Ibtisam I.

    1999-01-01

    A calculation design for community biogas plant was proposed for a village in Sudan consisting 100 families, each consisting of 6 persons (adult). Two children are equivalent to one person. Based on the requirement for cooking and lighting, the community biogas plant is deigned for production of total biogas of 360 m-3 gas per day. This volume of the gas will be produced from total dung per day of 6000kg. This amount of dung will expect to obtained from 600 cows. The actual digester volume equal to 60.5m-3. The layout of the plant was designed of two identical plants, each consisted of 3 digester, i.e. 6digesters will be needed.(Author)

  11. Linking the development and functioning of a carnivorous pitcher plant's microbial digestive community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armitage, David W

    2017-11-01

    Ecosystem development theory predicts that successional turnover in community composition can influence ecosystem functioning. However, tests of this theory in natural systems are made difficult by a lack of replicable and tractable model systems. Using the microbial digestive associates of a carnivorous pitcher plant, I tested hypotheses linking host age-driven microbial community development to host functioning. Monitoring the yearlong development of independent microbial digestive communities in two pitcher plant populations revealed a number of trends in community succession matching theoretical predictions. These included mid-successional peaks in bacterial diversity and metabolic substrate use, predictable and parallel successional trajectories among microbial communities, and convergence giving way to divergence in community composition and carbon substrate use. Bacterial composition, biomass, and diversity positively influenced the rate of prey decomposition, which was in turn positively associated with a host leaf's nitrogen uptake efficiency. Overall digestive performance was greatest during late summer. These results highlight links between community succession and ecosystem functioning and extend succession theory to host-associated microbial communities.

  12. Spectral identification of plant communities for mapping of semi-natural grasslands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Anne; Nielsen, Allan Aasbjerg; Ejrnæs, Rasmus

    2000-01-01

    identification of plant communities was based on a hierarchical approach relating the test sites to i) management (Ma) and ii) flora (Fl) using spectral consistency and separability as the main criteria. Evaluation of spectral consistency was based on unsupervised clustering of test sites of Ma classes 1 to 7...... as a measure of plant community heterogeneity within management classes. The spectral analysis as well as the maximum likelihood classification indicated that the source of spectral variation within management classes might be related to vegetation composition....

  13. Training of nuclear power plant personnel in the member states of the European Community

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Misenta, R.; Matfield, R.S.; Volta, G.; Ancarani, A.; Lhoir, J.

    1981-01-01

    After the Three Mile Island accident the Commission of the European Communities undertook various actions in order to assess the status of the training of nuclear power plant personnel with particular attention to their training for incidents and accidents. This presentation attempts a review of the training situation in the six member states of the European Community together with some other European states, that are operating nuclear power plants. Schemes for the training of control room operators, shift leaders, major European training centres and simulator training will be described

  14. Allelopathy and resource competition: the effects of Phragmites australis invasion in plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uddin, Md Nazim; Robinson, Randall William

    2017-12-01

    Phragmites australis, a ubiquitous wetland plant, has been considered one of the most invasive species in the world. Allelopathy appears to be one of the invasion mechanisms, however, the effects could be masked by resource competition among target plants. The difficulty of distinguishing allelopathy from resource competition among plants has hindered investigations of the role of phytotoxic allelochemicals in plant communities. This has been addressed via experiments conducted in both the greenhouse and laboratory by growing associated plants, Melaleuca ericifolia, Rumex conglomeratus, and model plant, Lactuca sativa at varying densities with the allelopathic plant, P. australis, its litter and leachate of P. australis litter. This study investigated the potential interacting influences of allelopathy and resource competition on plant growth-density relationships. In greenhouse, the root exudates mediated effects showed the strongest growth inhibition of M. ericifolia at high density whereas litter mediated results revealed increased growth at medium density treatments compared to low and high density. Again, laboratory experiments related to seed germination and seedling growth of L. sativa and R. conglomeratus exhibited phytotoxicity decreased showing positive growth as plant density increased and vice versa. Overall, the differential effects were observed among experiments but maximum individual plant biomass and some other positive effects on plant traits such as root and shoot length, chlorophyll content occurred at an intermediate density. This was attributed to the sharing of the available phytotoxin among plants at high densities which is compatible to density-dependent phytotoxicity model. The results demonstrated that plant-plant interference is the combined effect of allelopathy and resource competition with many other factors but this experimental design, target-neighbor mixed-culture in combination of plant grown at varying densities with varying

  15. Bacterial communities associated with culex mosquito larvae and two emergent aquatic plants of bioremediation importance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dagne Duguma

    Full Text Available Microbes are important for mosquito nutrition, growth, reproduction and control. In this study, we examined bacterial communities associated with larval mosquitoes and their habitats. Specifically, we characterized bacterial communities associated with late larval instars of the western encephalitis mosquito (Culextarsalis, the submerged portions of two emergent macrophytes (California bulrush, Schoenoplectuscalifornicus and alkali bulrush, Schoenoplectusmaritimus, and the associated water columns to investigate potential differential use of resources by mosquitoes in different wetland habitats. Using next-generation sequence data from 16S rRNA gene hypervariable regions, the alpha diversity of mosquito gut microbial communities did not differ between pond mesocosms containing distinct monotypic plants. Proteobacteria, dominated by the genus Thorsellia (Enterobacteriaceae, was the most abundant phylum recovered from C. tarsalis larvae. Approximately 49% of bacterial OTUs found in larval mosquitoes were identical to OTUs recovered from the water column and submerged portions of the two bulrushes. Plant and water samples were similar to one another, both being dominated by Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Cyanobacteria, Proteobacteria and Verrucomicrobia phyla. Overall, the bacterial communities within C. tarsalis larvae were conserved and did not change across sampling dates and between two distinct plant habitats. Although Thorsellia spp. dominated mosquito gut communities, overlap of mosquito gut, plant and water-column OTUs likely reveal the effects of larval feeding. Future research will investigate the role of the key indicator groups of bacteria across the different developmental stages of this mosquito species.

  16. Seasonal Variations in the Structure of Phytoplankton Communities near Nuclear Power Plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, S.-K.; Choi, H.-C.; Moon, H.-T.

    2015-01-01

    To investigate effects of thermal discharge effluent from nuclear power plants on the surrounding marine environment, especially on the phytoplankton community, environmental data gained by seasonal survey around Hanbit and Hanul nuclear power plants during the periods of 11 years from 1999 to 2009 were analysed. The data used were from environmental survey and assessment around Hanbit and Hanul nuclear power plants of Korea during the period of 11 years from 1999 to 2009. The purposes of this study are (1) to evaluate the effect of operation of nuclear power plants on phytoplankton community, (2) to find out whether the thermal discharge affected negatively phytoplankton community, and (3) to evaluate the difference of thermal discharge influence on phytoplankton community between West and East coastal area, Korea. Through this study, (1) quantitative evaluation of the effect of thermal discharge effluent on marine ecology, especially on abundance and biomass of phytoplankton were performed, (2) found that depending on the season, the effect of thermal discharge effluent from nuclear power plant on the marine environment is not always negative (i.e. warm water may increase or prevent decline of abundance in seasons with low temperature such as winter in Hanbit area), and (3) found that same thermal discharge effluent rate to different marine environments, such as west and east coast of Korea, does not result in same effect on the marine ecosystem. (author)

  17. Local Plant Diversity Across Multiple Habitats Supports a Diverse Wild Bee Community in Pennsylvania Apple Orchards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kammerer, Melanie A; Biddinger, David J; Rajotte, Edwin G; Mortensen, David A

    2016-02-01

    Wild pollinators supply essential, historically undervalued pollination services to crops and other flowering plant communities with great potential to ensure agricultural production against the loss of heavily relied upon managed pollinators. Local plant communities provision wild bees with crucial floral and nesting resources, but the distribution of floristic diversity among habitat types in North American agricultural landscapes and its effect on pollinators are diverse and poorly understood, especially in orchard systems. We documented floristic diversity in typical mid-Atlantic commercial apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) orchards including the forest and orchard-forest edge ("edge") habitats surrounding orchards in a heterogeneous landscape in south-central Pennsylvania, USA. We also assessed the correlation between plant richness and orchard pollinator communities. In this apple production region, edge habitats are the most species rich, supporting 146 out of 202 plant species recorded in our survey. Plant species richness in the orchard and edge habitats were significant predictors of bee species richness and abundance in the orchard, as well as landscape area of the forest and edge habitats. Both the quantity and quality of forest and edges close to orchards play a significant role in provisioning a diverse wild bee community in this agroecosystem. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Ethnomedicinal plants of the Bauri tribal community of Moulvibazar District, Bangladesh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Protiva Rani; Islam, Md Tabibul; Mostafa, Mohd Nabil; Rahmatullah, Mohammed

    2013-01-01

    Bangladesh reportedly has more than 100 tribal communities; however, documentation of their medicinal practices is markedly absent. The aim of the present study was to conduct an ethnomedicinal survey among the little known Bauri tribe of Bangladesh, whose tribal medicinal practices are yet to be documented. The survey was carried out among the Bauri tribal community of Purbo Tila village in Moulvibazar District. The community is believed to be the only Bauri community in the country and had four tribal healers who continue their traditional medicinal practices. Interviews of the healers were carried out with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and the guided field-walk method where the healers took the interviewers on guided field-walks through areas from where they collected their medicinal plants. Here they identified the plants and described their uses. The Bauri healers were observed to use 40 different plant species and one bird species for treatment of ailments such as fever, respiratory tract disorders, pain, gastrointestinal disorders, eye problems like cataract and conjunctivitis, jaundice, abscess, cardiovascular disorders, urinary problems, paralysis, dog bite, snake bite, helminthiasis, lesions on the tongue or lips and piles. Leaves were the major plant part used and constituted 38.3% of total uses followed by fruits at 14.9%. A review of the relevant scientific literature showed that a number of medicinal plants used by the Bauri healers possess pharmacological activities, which were in line with the traditional uses, thus validating their use by the Bauri tribe.

  19. Socioeconomic impacts of nuclear power plant siting: a case study of two New England communities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Purdy, B.J.

    1976-01-01

    An examination is presented of the social, economic and political/institutional impacts of two operating nuclear power complexes on two New England communities. The work is one of a series planned to broaden knowledge of the effects of large energy-generating facilities upon the social structure of local communities. Its primary objectives are to investigate and assess social and economic impacts resulting from construction and operation of nuclear power plants and to generate hypotheses about such impacts for future testing

  20. Competition for light and nutrients in layered communities of aquatic plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Gerven, Luuk P A; de Klein, Jeroen J M; Gerla, Daan J; Kooi, Bob W; Kuiper, Jan J; Mooij, Wolf M

    2015-07-01

    Dominance of free-floating plants poses a threat to biodiversity in many freshwater ecosystems. Here we propose a theoretical framework to understand this dominance, by modeling the competition for light and nutrients in a layered community of floating and submerged plants. The model shows that at high supply of light and nutrients, floating plants always dominate due to their primacy for light, even when submerged plants have lower minimal resource requirements. The model also shows that floating-plant dominance cannot be an alternative stable state in light-limited environments but only in nutrient-limited environments, depending on the plants' resource consumption traits. Compared to unlayered communities, the asymmetry in competition for light-coincident with symmetry in competition for nutrients-leads to fundamentally different results: competition outcomes can no longer be predicted from species traits such as minimal resource requirements ([Formula: see text] rule) and resource consumption. Also, the same two species can, depending on the environment, coexist or be alternative stable states. When applied to two common plant species in temperate regions, both the model and field data suggest that floating-plant dominance is unlikely to be an alternative stable state.

  1. Earthworms drive succession of both plant and Collembola communities in post-mining sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mudrák, Ondřej; Uteseny, Karoline; Frouz, Jan

    2016-04-01

    Previous field observations indicated that earthworms promote late-successional plant species and reduce collembolan numbers at post-mining sites in the Sokolov coal mining district (Czech Republic). Here, we established a laboratory pot experiment to test the effect of earthworms (Aporrectodea caliginosa Savigny and Lumbricus rubellus Hoffm.) and litter of low, medium, and high quality (the grass Calamagrostis epigejos, the willow Salix caprea, and the alder Alnus glutinosa, respectively) on late successional plants (grasses Arrhenatherum elatius and Agrostis capillaris, legumes Lotus corniculatus and Trifolium medium, and non-leguminous dicots Centaurea jacea and Plantago lanceolata) in spoil substrate originating from Sokolov post-mining sites and naturally inhabited by abundant numbers of Collembola. The earthworms increased plant biomass, especially that of the large-seeded A. elatius, but reduced the number of plant individuals, mainly that of the small-seeded A. capillaris and both legumes. Litter quality affected plant biomass, which was highest with S. caprea litter, but did not change the number of plant individuals. Litter quality did not modify the effect of earthworms on plants; the effect of litter quality and earthworms was only additive. Species composition of Collembola community was altered by litter quality, but earthworms reduced the number of individuals, increased the number of species, and increased species evenness consistently across the litter qualities. Because the results of this experiment were consistent with the field observations, we conclude that earthworms help drive succession of both plant and Collembola communities on post-mining sites.

  2. Leaf-litter microfungal community on poor fen plant debris in Torfy Lake area (Central Poland)

    OpenAIRE

    Mateusz Wilk; Agnieszka Banach; Julia Pawłowska; Marta Wrzosek

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to initially evaluate the species diversity of microfungi growing on litter of 15 plant species occurring on the poor fen and neighbouring area of the Torfy Lake, Masovian voivodeship, Poland. The lake is located near the planned road investment (construction of the Warsaw southern express ring road S2). The place is biologically valuable as there are rare plant communities from Rhynchosporion albae alliance protected under the Habitats Directive adopted by the E...

  3. Inoculation effects on root-colonizing arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities spread beyond directly inoculated plants

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Janoušková, Martina; Krak, Karol; Vosátka, Miroslav; Püschel, David; Štorchová, Helena

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 12, č. 7 (2017), s. 1-21, č. článku e0181525. E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LH14285 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 ; RVO:61389030 Keywords : inoculation * arbuscular mycorrhiza * community Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour; EH - Ecology, Behaviour (UEB-Q) OBOR OECD: Plant sciences, botany; Plant sciences, botany (UEB-Q) Impact factor: 2.806, year: 2016

  4. Ecological effects of transgene persistence on plant communities in the presence and absence of drift levels of glyphosate herbicide

    Science.gov (United States)

    In 2005, plant communities were constructed in outdoor sunlit chambers that contained 3 round tubs having a surface area of 1.2 m2 and a depth of 0.6 m. Six plant types were planted in triplicate using the same spatial arrangement in each tub. Three of the six plant types were se...

  5. Ethnobotany of wild plants used for starting fermented beverages in Shui communities of southwest China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Liya; Zhuo, Jingxian; Lei, Qiyi; Zhou, Jiangju; Ahmed, Selena; Wang, Chaoying; Long, Yuxiao; Li, Feifei; Long, Chunlin

    2015-05-28

    Shui communities of southwest China have an extensive history of using wild plants as starters (Xiaoqu) to prepare fermented beverages that serve important roles in interpersonal relationships and cultural events. While the practice of using wild plants as starters for the preparation of fermented beverages was once prevalent throughout China, this tradition has seen a decline nationally since the 1930s. The traditional technique of preparing fermented beverages from wild plant starters remains well preserved in the Shui communities in southwest China and provides insight on local human-environment interactions and conservation of plant biodiversity for cultural purposes. The present study sought to examine the ethnobotany of wild plants used as starters for the preparation of fermented beverages including an inventory of plants used as a starter in liquor fermentation and associated knowledge and practices. Field surveys were carried out that consisted of semi-structured surveys and plant species inventories. One hundred forty-nine informants in twenty Shui villages were interviewed between July 2012 and October 2014 to document knowledge associated with wild plants used as a liquor fermentation starter. The inventories involved plant voucher specimens and taxonomic identification of plant collections. A total of 103 species in 57 botanical families of wild plants were inventoried and documented that are traditionally used as starters for preparing fermented beverages by Shui communities. The majority of the species (93.2%) have multiple uses in addition to being used as a starter with medicinal purposes being the most prevalent. Shui women are the major harvesters and users of wild plants used as starters for preparing fermented beverages and transfer knowledge orally from mother to daughter. Findings from this study can serve as a basis for future investigation on fermented beverages and foods and associated knowledge and cultural practices. However, with rapid

  6. How plants connect pollination and herbivory networks and their contribution to community stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauve, Alix M C; Thébault, Elisa; Pocock, Michael J O; Fontaine, Colin

    2016-04-01

    Pollination and herbivory networks have mainly been studied separately, highlighting their distinct structural characteristics and the related processes and dynamics. However, most plants interact with both pollinators and herbivores, and there is evidence that both types of interaction affect each other. Here we investigated the way plants connect these mutualistic and antagonistic networks together, and the consequences for community stability. Using an empirical data set, we show that the way plants connect pollination and herbivory networks is not random and promotes community stability. Analyses of the structure of binary and quantitative networks show different results: the plants' generalism with regard to pollinators is positively correlated to their generalism with regard to herbivores when considering binary interactions, but not when considering quantitative interactions. We also show that plants that share the same pollinators do not share the same herbivores. However, the way plants connect pollination and herbivory networks promotes stability for both binary and quantitative networks. Our results highlight the relevance of considering the diversity of interaction types in ecological communities, and stress the need to better quantify the costs and benefits of interactions, as well as to develop new metrics characterizing the way different interaction types are combined within ecological networks.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-23

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

  8. Forest Plant and Bird Communities in the Lau Group, Fiji

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Janet; Steadman, David W.

    2010-01-01

    Background We examined species composition of forest and bird communities in relation to environmental and human disturbance gradients on Lakeba (55.9 km2), Nayau (18.4 km2), and Aiwa Levu (1.2 km2), islands in the Lau Group of Fiji, West Polynesia. The unique avifauna of West Polynesia (Fiji, Tonga, Samoa) has been subjected to prehistoric human-caused extinctions but little was previously known about this topic in the Lau Group. We expected that the degree of human disturbance would be a strong determinant of tree species composition and habitat quality for surviving landbirds, while island area would be unrelated to bird diversity. Methodology/Principal Findings All trees >5 cm diameter were measured and identified in 23 forest plots of 500 m2 each. We recognized four forest species assemblages differentiated by composition and structure: coastal forest, dominated by widely distributed species, and three forest types with differences related more to disturbance history (stages of secondary succession following clearing or selective logging) than to environmental gradients (elevation, slope, rockiness). Our point counts (73 locations in 1 or 2 seasons) recorded 18 of the 24 species of landbirds that exist on the three islands. The relative abundance and species richness of birds were greatest in the forested habitats least disturbed by people. These differences were due mostly to increased numbers of columbid frugivores and passerine insectivores in forests on Lakeba and Aiwa Levu. Considering only forested habitats, the relative abundance and species richness of birds were greater on the small but completely forested (and uninhabited) island of Aiwa Levu than on the much larger island of Lakeba. Conclusions/Significance Forest disturbance history is more important than island area in structuring both tree and landbird communities on remote Pacific islands. Even very small islands may be suitable for conservation reserves if they are protected from human

  9. Impacts of nuclear power plant developments on community service capacity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krannich, R.S.

    1978-03-01

    With the passage of the National Environmental Policy Act in 1969 a legislative mandate was established to assess ''socioeconomic'' as well as environmental consequences of large-scale development projects. However, the developing literature base in the area of socioeconomics has exhibited a pronounced tendency to stress social and economic pathologies associated with the so-called ''boom town'' syndrome. While boom growth and associated problems do appear to provide relevant conceptualizations of the socioeconomic impacts of energy resource development projects in geographically isolated sectors of the western United States, the argument is presented that such a perspective is generally inappropriate when assessing the consequences of nuclear power plant developments. Survey data on 21 nuclear generating facilities are analyzed in order to provide a comparative perspective on socioeconomic consequences and factors which may influence their relative importance

  10. Diversity reduces invasibility in experimental plant communities: the role of plant species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Ruijven, J.; De Deyn, G.B.; Berendse, F.

    2003-01-01

    Several studies have presented experimental evidence that diversity reduces invasibility in grassland communities. The interpretation of these results has been disputed recently and it was proposed that sampling effects were responsible for the observed decrease of invasibility with diversity. The

  11. Habitat template approach for green roofs using a native rocky sea coast plant community in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagase, Ayako; Tashiro-Ishii, Yurika

    2018-01-15

    The present study examined whether it is possible to simulate a local herbaceous coastal plant community on a roof, by studying the natural habitats of rocky sea coast plants and their propagation and performance on a green roof. After studying the natural habitat of coastal areas in Izu peninsula, a germination and cutting transplant study was carried out using herbaceous plants from the Jogasaki sea coast. Many plant species did not germinate at all and the use of cuttings was a better method than direct seeding. The green roof was installed in the spring of 2012 in Chiba city. Thirteen plant species from the Jogasaki sea coast, which were successfully propagated, were planted in three kinds of substrate (15 cm depth): pumice, roof tile and commercial green roof substrate. The water drainage was restricted and a reservoir with 5 cm depth of water underlaid the substrate to simulate a similar growing environment to the sea coast. Volcanic rocks were placed as mulch to create a landscape similar to that on the Jogasaki sea coast. Plant coverage on the green roof was measured every month from June 2012 to October 2014. All plants were harvested and their dry shoot weight was measured in December 2014. The type of substrate did not cause significant differences in plant survival and dry shoot weight. Sea coast plant species were divided into four categories: vigorous growth; seasonal change; disappearing after a few years; limited growth. Understanding the ecology of natural habitats was important to simulating a local landscape using native plant communities on the green roof. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Inter-plant communication through mycorrhizal networks mediates complex adaptive behaviour in plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorzelak, Monika A; Asay, Amanda K; Pickles, Brian J; Simard, Suzanne W

    2015-05-15

    Adaptive behaviour of plants, including rapid changes in physiology, gene regulation and defence response, can be altered when linked to neighbouring plants by a mycorrhizal network (MN). Mechanisms underlying the behavioural changes include mycorrhizal fungal colonization by the MN or interplant communication via transfer of nutrients, defence signals or allelochemicals. We focus this review on our new findings in ectomycorrhizal ecosystems, and also review recent advances in arbuscular mycorrhizal systems. We have found that the behavioural changes in ectomycorrhizal plants depend on environmental cues, the identity of the plant neighbour and the characteristics of the MN. The hierarchical integration of this phenomenon with other biological networks at broader scales in forest ecosystems, and the consequences we have observed when it is interrupted, indicate that underground 'tree talk' is a foundational process in the complex adaptive nature of forest ecosystems. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company.

  13. The factors controlling species density in herbaceous plant communities: An assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grace, J.B.

    1999-01-01

    This paper evaluates both the ideas and empirical evidence pertaining to the control of species density in herbaceous plant communities. While most theoretical discussions of species density have emphasized the importance of habitat productivity and disturbance regimes, many other factors (e.g. species pools, plant litter accumulation, plant morphology) have been proposed to be important. A review of literature presenting observations on the density of species in small plots (in the vicinity of a few square meters or less), as well as experimental studies, suggests several generalizations: (1) Available data are consistent with an underlying unimodal relationship between species density and total community biomass. While variance in species density is often poorly explained by predictor variables, there is strong evidence that high levels of community biomass are antagonistic to high species density. (2) Community biomass is just one of several factors affecting variations in species density. Multivariate analyses typically explain more than twice as much variance in species density as can be explained by community biomass alone. (3) Disturbance has important and sometimes complex effects on species density. In general, the evidence is consistent with the intermediate disturbance hypothesis but exceptions exist and effects can be complex. (4) Gradients in the species pool can have important influences on patterns of species density. Evidence is mounting that a considerable amount of the observed variability in species density within a landscape or region may result from environmental effects on the species pool. (5) Several additional factors deserve greater consideration, including time lags, species composition, plant morphology, plant density and soil microbial effects. Based on the available evidence, a conceptual model of the primary factors controlling species density is presented here. This model suggests that species density is controlled by the effects of

  14. Plant community responses to simultaneous changes in temperature, nitrogen availability, and invasion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elise S Gornish

    Full Text Available Increasing rates of change in climate have been observed across the planet and have contributed to the ongoing range shifts observed for many species. Although ecologists are now using a variety of approaches to study how much and through what mechanisms increasing temperature and nutrient pollution may influence the invasions inherent in range shifts, accurate predictions are still lacking.In this study, we conducted a factorial experiment, simultaneously manipulating warming, nitrogen addition and introduction of Pityopsis aspera, to determine how range-shifting species affect a plant community. We quantified the resident community using ordination scores, then used structural equation modeling to examine hypotheses related to how plants respond to a network of experimental treatments and environmental variables. Variation in soil pH explained plant community response to nitrogen addition in the absence of invasion. However, in the presence of invasion, the direct effect of nitrogen on the community was negligible and soil moisture was important for explaining nitrogen effects. We did not find effects of warming on the native plant community in the absence of invasion. In the presence of invasion, however, warming had negative effects on functional richness directly and invasion and herbivory explained the overall positive effect of warming on the plant community.This work highlights the variation in the biotic and abiotic factors responsible for explaining independent and collective climate change effects over a short time scale. Future work should consider the complex and non-additive relationships among factors of climate change and invasion in order to capture more ecologically relevant features of our changing environment.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Sánchez Pescador

    2016-02-01

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

  16. Soil-landform-plant communities relationships of a periglacial landscape at Potter Peninsula, Maritime Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poelking, E. L.; Schaefer, C. E. R.; Fernandes Filho, E. I.; de Andrade, A. M.; Spielmann, A. A.

    2014-08-01

    Integrated studies on the interplay between soils, periglacial geomorphology and plant communities are crucial for the understanding of climate change effects on terrestrial ecosystems of Maritime Antarctica, one of the most sensitive areas to global warming. Knowledge on physical environmental factors that influence plant communities can greatly benefit studies on monitoring climate change in Maritime Antarctica, where new ice-free areas are being constantly exposed, allowing plant growth and organic carbon inputs. The relationship between topography, plant communities and soils was investigated in Potter Peninsula, King George Island, Maritime Antarctica. We mapped the occurrence and distribution of plant communities and identified soil-landform-vegetation relationships. The vegetation map was obtained by classification of a Quickbird image, coupled with detailed landform and characterization of 18 soil profiles. The sub-formations were identified and classified, and we also determined the total elemental composition of lichens, mosses and grasses. Plant communities at Potter Peninsula occupy 23% of the ice-free area, at different landscape positions, showing decreasing diversity and biomass from the coastal zone to inland areas where sub-desert conditions prevail. There is a clear dependency between landform and vegetated soils. Soils with greater moisture or poorly drained, and acid to neutral pH, are favourable for mosses subformations. Saline, organic-matter rich ornithogenic soils of former penguin rookeries have greater biomass and diversity, with mixed associations of mosses and grasses, while stable felseenmeers and flat rocky cryoplanation surfaces are the preferred sites for Usnea and Himantormia lugubris lichens, at the highest surface. Lichens subformations cover the largest vegetated area, showing varying associations with mosses.

  17. Soil-landform-plant-community relationships of a periglacial landscape on Potter Peninsula, maritime Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poelking, E. L.; Schaefer, C. E. R.; Fernandes Filho, E. I.; de Andrade, A. M.; Spielmann, A. A.

    2015-05-01

    Integrated studies on the interplay between soils, periglacial geomorphology and plant communities are crucial for the understanding of climate change effects on terrestrial ecosystems of maritime Antarctica, one of the most sensitive areas to global warming. Knowledge on physical environmental factors that influence plant communities can greatly benefit studies on the monitoring of climate change in maritime Antarctica, where new ice-free areas are being constantly exposed, allowing plant growth and organic carbon inputs. The relationship between topography, plant communities and soils was investigated on Potter Peninsula, King George Island, maritime Antarctica. We mapped the occurrence and distribution of plant communities and identified soil-landform-vegetation relationships. The vegetation map was obtained by classification of a QuickBird image, coupled with detailed landform and characterization of 18 soil profiles. The sub-formations were identified and classified, and we also determined the total elemental composition of lichens, mosses and grasses. Plant communities on Potter Peninsula occupy 23% of the ice-free area, at different landscape positions, showing decreasing diversity and biomass from the coastal zone to inland areas where sub-desert conditions prevail. There is a clear dependency between landform and vegetated soils. Soils that have greater moisture or are poorly drained, and with acid to neutral pH, are favourable for moss sub-formations. Saline, organic-matter-rich ornithogenic soils of former penguin rookeries have greater biomass and diversity, with mixed associations of mosses and grasses, while stable felsenmeers and flat rocky cryoplanation surfaces are the preferred sites for Usnea and Himantormia lugubris lichens at the highest surface. Lichens sub-formations cover the largest vegetated area, showing varying associations with mosses.

  18. Importance of earthworm-seed interactions for the composition and structure of plant communities: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forey, Estelle; Barot, Sébastien; Decaëns, Thibaud; Langlois, Estelle; Laossi, Kam-Rigne; Margerie, Pierre; Scheu, Stefan; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2011-11-01

    Soil seed bank composition and dynamics are crucial elements for the understanding of plant population and community ecology. Earthworms are increasingly recognized as important dispersers and predators of seeds. Through direct and indirect effects they influence either positively or negatively the establishment and survival of seeds and seedlings. Seedling establishment is affected by a variety of earthworm-mediated mechanisms, such as selective seed ingestion and digestion, acceleration or deceleration of germination, and seed transport. Earthworm casts deposited on the soil surface and the entrance of earthworm burrows often contain viable seeds and constitute important regeneration niches for plant seedlings and therefore likely favour specific seed traits. However, the role of earthworms as seed dispersers, mediators of seed bank dynamics and seed predators has not been considered in concert. The overall effect of earthworms on plant communities remains little understood. Most knowledge is based on laboratory studies on temperate species and future work has to explore the biological significance of earthworm-seed interactions under more natural conditions. In this review we summarize the current knowledge on earthworm-seed interactions and discuss factors determining these interactions. We highlight that this interaction may be an underappreciated, yet major driving force for the dynamics of soil seed banks and plant communities which most likely have experienced co-evolutionary processes. Despite the experimental bias, we hypothesize that the knowledge gathered in the present review is of crucial relevance for restoration and conservation ecology. For instance, as earthworms emerge as successful and ubiquitous invaders in various ecosystems, the summarized information might serve as a basis for realistic estimations and modelling of consequences on native plant communities. We depict promising directions of future research and point to the need to consider

  19. Agave salmiana Plant Communities in Central Mexico as Affected by Commercial Use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez Salvador, Martin; Mata-González, Ricardo; Morales Nieto, Carlos; Valdez-Cepeda, Ricardo

    2012-01-01

    Agave salmiana is a native plant species harvested for the commercial production of mezcal ( Agave spirits) in the highlands of central Mexico. The objective of this study was to identify vegetation changes in natural communities where A. salmiana has been differentially harvested for commercial purposes. Three plant community categories were identified in the state of Zacatecas based on their history of A. salmiana utilization: short (less than 10 years of use), moderate (about 25 years), and long (60 or more years). Species cover, composition, and density were evaluated in field surveys by use category. A gradient of vegetation structure of the communities parallels the duration of A. salmiana use. A. salmiana density was greatest (3,125 plants ha-1) in the short-use areas and less (892 plants ha-1) in the moderate-use areas, associated with markedly greater density of shrubs (200%) and Opuntia spp. (50%) in moderate-use areas. The main shrubs were Larrea tridentata, Mimosa biuncifera, Jatropha dioica and Buddleia scordioides while the main Opuntia species were Opuntia leucotricha and Opuntia robusta. A. salmiana density was least (652 plants ha-1) in the long-use areas where shrubs were less abundant but Opuntia spp. density was 25% higher than in moderate-use areas. We suggest that shrubs may increase with moderate use creating an intermediate successional stage that facilitates the establishment of Opuntia spp. Long-term Agave use is generating new plant communities dominated by Opuntia spp. (nopaleras) as a replacement of the original communities dominated by A. salmiana (magueyeras).

  20. Interactions among predators and the cascading effects of vertebrate insectivores on arthropod communities and plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, Kailen A; Gruner, Daniel S; Barber, Nicholas A; Van Bael, Sunshine A; Philpott, Stacy M; Greenberg, Russell

    2010-04-20

    Theory on trophic interactions predicts that predators increase plant biomass by feeding on herbivores, an indirect interaction called a trophic cascade. Theory also predicts that predators feeding on predators, or intraguild predation, will weaken trophic cascades. Although past syntheses have confirmed cascading effects of terrestrial arthropod predators, we lack a comprehensive analysis for vertebrate insectivores-which by virtue of their body size and feeding habits are often top predators in these systems-and of how intraguild predation mediates trophic cascade strength. We report here on a meta-analysis of 113 experiments documenting the effects of insectivorous birds, bats, or lizards on predaceous arthropods, herbivorous arthropods, and plants. Although vertebrate insectivores fed as intraguild predators, strongly reducing predaceous arthropods (38%), they nevertheless suppressed herbivores (39%), indirectly reduced plant damage (40%), and increased plant biomass (14%). Furthermore, effects of vertebrate insectivores on predatory and herbivorous arthropods were positively correlated. Effects were strongest on arthropods and plants in communities with abundant predaceous arthropods and strong intraguild predation, but weak in communities depauperate in arthropod predators and intraguild predation. The naturally occurring ratio of arthropod predators relative to herbivores varied tremendously among the studied communities, and the skew to predators increased with site primary productivity and in trees relative to shrubs. Although intraguild predation among arthropod predators has been shown to weaken herbivore suppression, we find this paradigm does not extend to vertebrate insectivores in these communities. Instead, vertebrate intraguild preda-tion is associated with strengthened trophic cascades, and insectivores function as dominant predators in terrestrial plant-arthropod communities.

  1. Spatial point process analysis for a plant community with high biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Illian, Janine; Møller, Jesper; Waagepetersen, Rasmus Plenge

    A complex multivariate spatial point pattern for a plant community with high biodiversity is modelled using a hierarchical multivariate point process model. In the model, interactions between plants with different post-fire regeneration strategies are of key interest. We consider initially...... a maximum likelihood approach to inference where problems arise due to unknown interaction radii for the plants. We next demonstrate that a Bayesian approach provides a flexible framework for incorporating prior information concerning the interaction radii. From an ecological perspective, we are able both...

  2. Plant communities as drivers of soil respiration: pathways, mechanisms, and significance for global change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metcalfe, D. B.; Fisher, R. A.; Wardle, D. A.

    2011-03-01

    Understanding the impacts of plant community characteristics on soil carbon dioxide efflux (R) is a key prerequisite for accurate prediction of the future carbon balance of terrestrial ecosystems under climate change. In this review, we synthesize relevant information from a wide spectrum of sources to evaluate the current state of knowledge about plant community effects on R, examine how this information is incorporated into global climate models, and highlight priorities for future research. Plant species consistently exhibit cohesive suites of traits, linked to contrasting life history strategies, which exert a variety of impacts on R. As such, we propose that plant community shifts towards dominance by fast growing plants with nutrient rich litter could provide a major, though often neglected, positive feedback to climate change. Within vegetation types, belowground carbon flux will mainly be controlled by photosynthesis, while amongst vegetation types this flux will be more dependent upon the specific characteristics of the plant life form. We also make the case that community composition, rather than diversity, is usually the dominant control on ecosystem processes in natural systems. Individual species impacts on R may be largest where the species accounts for most of the biomass in the ecosystem, has very distinct traits to the rest of the community, or modulates the occurrence of major natural disturbances. We show that climate-vegetation models incorporate a number of pathways whereby plants can affect R, but that simplifications regarding allocation schemes and drivers of litter decomposition may limit model accuracy. This situation could, however, be relatively easily improved with targeted experimental and field studies. Finally, we identify key gaps in knowledge and recommend them as priorities for future work. These include the patterns of photosynthate partitioning amongst belowground components, ecosystem level effects of individual plant traits

  3. Nematode community shifts in response to experimental warming and canopy conditions are associated with plant community changes in the temperate-boreal forest ecotone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thakur, Madhav Prakash; Reich, Peter B; Fisichelli, Nicholas A; Stefanski, Artur; Cesarz, Simone; Dobies, Tomasz; Rich, Roy L; Hobbie, Sarah E; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2014-06-01

    Global climate warming is one of the key forces driving plant community shifts, such as range shifts of temperate species into boreal forests. As plant community shifts are slow to observe, ecotones, boundaries between two ecosystems, are target areas for providing early evidence of ecological responses to warming. The role of soil fauna is poorly explored in ecotones, although their positive and negative effects on plant species can influence plant community structure. We studied nematode communities in response to experimental warming (ambient, +1.7, +3.4 °C) in soils of closed and open canopy forest in the temperate-boreal ecotone of Minnesota, USA and calculated various established nematode indices. We estimated species-specific coverage of understory herbaceous and shrub plant species from the same experimental plots and tested if changes in the nematode community are associated with plant cover and composition. Individual nematode trophic groups did not differ among warming treatments, but the ratio between microbial-feeding and plant-feeding nematodes increased significantly and consistently with warming in both closed and open canopy areas and at both experimental field sites. The increase in this ratio was positively correlated with total cover of understory plant species, perhaps due to increased predation pressure on soil microorganisms causing higher nutrient availability for plants. Multivariate analyses revealed that temperature treatment, canopy conditions and nematode density consistently shaped understory plant communities across experimental sites. Our findings suggest that warming-induced changes in nematode community structure are associated with shifts in plant community composition and productivity in the temperate-boreal forest ecotones.

  4. Ecological assembly rules in plant communities--approaches, patterns and prospects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Götzenberger, Lars; de Bello, Francesco; Bråthen, Kari Anne; Davison, John; Dubuis, Anne; Guisan, Antoine; Lepš, Jan; Lindborg, Regina; Moora, Mari; Pärtel, Meelis; Pellissier, Loic; Pottier, Julien; Vittoz, Pascal; Zobel, Kristjan; Zobel, Martin

    2012-02-01

    Understanding how communities of living organisms assemble has been a central question in ecology since the early days of the discipline. Disentangling the different processes involved in community assembly is not only interesting in itself but also crucial for an understanding of how communities will behave under future environmental scenarios. The traditional concept of assembly rules reflects the notion that species do not co-occur randomly but are restricted in their co-occurrence by interspecific competition. This concept can be redefined in a more general framework where the co-occurrence of species is a product of chance, historical patterns of speciation and migration, dispersal, abiotic environmental factors, and biotic interactions, with none of these processes being mutually exclusive. Here we present a survey and meta-analyses of 59 papers that compare observed patterns in plant communities with null models simulating random patterns of species assembly. According to the type of data under study and the different methods that are applied to detect community assembly, we distinguish four main types of approach in the published literature: species co-occurrence, niche limitation, guild proportionality and limiting similarity. Results from our meta-analyses suggest that non-random co-occurrence of plant species is not a widespread phenomenon. However, whether this finding reflects the individualistic nature of plant communities or is caused by methodological shortcomings associated with the studies considered cannot be discerned from the available metadata. We advocate that more thorough surveys be conducted using a set of standardized methods to test for the existence of assembly rules in data sets spanning larger biological and geographical scales than have been considered until now. We underpin this general advice with guidelines that should be considered in future assembly rules research. This will enable us to draw more accurate and general

  5. Evolution in plant populations as a driver of ecological changes in arthropod communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Marc T J; Vellend, Mark; Stinchcombe, John R

    2009-06-12

    Heritable variation in traits can have wide-ranging impacts on species interactions, but the effects that ongoing evolution has on the temporal ecological dynamics of communities are not well understood. Here, we identify three conditions that, if experimentally satisfied, support the hypothesis that evolution by natural selection can drive ecological changes in communities. These conditions are: (i) a focal population exhibits genetic variation in a trait(s), (ii) there is measurable directional selection on the trait(s), and (iii) the trait(s) under selection affects variation in a community variable(s). When these conditions are met, we expect evolution by natural selection to cause ecological changes in the community. We tested these conditions in a field experiment examining the interactions between a native plant (Oenothera biennis) and its associated arthropod community (more than 90 spp.). Oenothera biennis exhibited genetic variation in several plant traits and there was directional selection on plant biomass, life-history strategy (annual versus biennial reproduction) and herbivore resistance. Genetically based variation in biomass and life-history strategy consistently affected the abundance of common arthropod species, total arthropod abundance and arthropod species richness. Using two modelling approaches, we show that evolution by natural selection in large O. biennis populations is predicted to cause changes in the abundance of individual arthropod species, increases in the total abundance of arthropods and a decline in the number of arthropod species. In small O. biennis populations, genetic drift is predicted to swamp out the effects of selection, making the evolution of plant populations unpredictable. In short, evolution by natural selection can play an important role in affecting the dynamics of communities, but these effects depend on several ecological factors. The framework presented here is general and can be applied to other systems to

  6. Evolution in plant populations as a driver of ecological changes in arthropod communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Marc T.J.; Vellend, Mark; Stinchcombe, John R.

    2009-01-01

    Heritable variation in traits can have wide-ranging impacts on species interactions, but the effects that ongoing evolution has on the temporal ecological dynamics of communities are not well understood. Here, we identify three conditions that, if experimentally satisfied, support the hypothesis that evolution by natural selection can drive ecological changes in communities. These conditions are: (i) a focal population exhibits genetic variation in a trait(s), (ii) there is measurable directional selection on the trait(s), and (iii) the trait(s) under selection affects variation in a community variable(s). When these conditions are met, we expect evolution by natural selection to cause ecological changes in the community. We tested these conditions in a field experiment examining the interactions between a native plant (Oenothera biennis) and its associated arthropod community (more than 90 spp.). Oenothera biennis exhibited genetic variation in several plant traits and there was directional selection on plant biomass, life-history strategy (annual versus biennial reproduction) and herbivore resistance. Genetically based variation in biomass and life-history strategy consistently affected the abundance of common arthropod species, total arthropod abundance and arthropod species richness. Using two modelling approaches, we show that evolution by natural selection in large O. biennis populations is predicted to cause changes in the abundance of individual arthropod species, increases in the total abundance of arthropods and a decline in the number of arthropod species. In small O. biennis populations, genetic drift is predicted to swamp out the effects of selection, making the evolution of plant populations unpredictable. In short, evolution by natural selection can play an important role in affecting the dynamics of communities, but these effects depend on several ecological factors. The framework presented here is general and can be applied to other systems to

  7. Medicinal wild plant knowledge and gathering patterns in a Mapuche community from North-western Patagonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estomba, Diego; Ladio, Ana; Lozada, Mariana

    2006-01-03

    Medicinal plant use has persisted as a long standing tradition in the Mapuche communities of Southern Argentina and Chile. An ethnobotanical survey was conducted in the rural Curruhuinca community located near the mountain city of San Martin de los Andes, Argentina. Semi-structured interviews were carried out on 22 families in order to examine the present use of medicinal plants and their reputed therapeutic effects. Ecological variables, such as distance to the gathering site and biogeographical origin were also analyzed. Our results showed that the Curruhuinca dwellers cited 89 plant species for medicinal purposes, both of native and exotic origin. They know about 47 native plants, of which they use 40, and they know of 42 exotic medicinal plants of which they use 34. A differential pattern was observed given that only native species, relevant for the traditional Mapuche medicine, were collected at more distant gathering sites. The interviewees mentioned 268 plant usages. Those most frequently reported had therapeutic value for treating digestive ailments (33%), as analgesic/anti-inflammatory (25%) and antitusive (13%). Native species were mainly cited as analgesics, and for gynecological, urinary and "cultural syndrome" effects, whereas exotic species were mainly cited for digestive ailments. The total number of medicinal plants known and used by the interviewees was positively correlated with people's age, indicating that this ancient knowledge tends to disappear in the younger generations.

  8. Plants utilization by the communities of Bharsar and adjoining area of Pauri Garhwal District, Uttarakhand, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ANAND S. BISHT

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Bisht AS, Sharma KD. 2014. Plants utilization by the communities of Bharsar and adjoining area of Pauri Garhwal District, Uttarakhand, India. Biodiversitas 15: 92-98. Garhwal Himalaya possesses luxuriant a varied vegetation with in the Himalaya region. Almost every plant has economic value in the form of shelter, food, water, medicine, fuel and industrial products and fodder. Surveys were conducted in entire Bharsar, Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand, India in order to get information on traditional uses of plants by local inhabitants. A total of 169 plants were collected of which 40 species of vegetables, 19 species of forest and agroforestry, 24 species of ornamental flower, 71 species of less known medicinal plants and 15 species of agricultural crops were found economically important as they are used by the people frequently for various purposes.

  9. Waste processing plant eco-auditing system for minimization of environmental risk: European Communities regulatory proposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brunetti, N.

    1993-01-01

    This paper delineates a system of process control and monitoring checks to be applied to municipal-industrial waste processing and disposal plants to ensure their energy efficient, environmentally safe and reliable operation. In line with European Communities environmental protection strategies, this eco-auditing system requires the preparation of environmental impacts statements on a regular basis during plant operation, as well as, prior to plant start-up. Continuous plant environmental compatibility evaluations are to ascertain: material and energy inputs and outputs; the composition and amounts of exhaust gases released into the atmosphere and the integrity of treatment liquids; control and monitoring instrumentation reliability. The implementation of the auditing system is to be carried out under the supervision of authorized auditing personnel. Waste processing and disposal plants are to make maximum use of energy and materials recovery processes so as to minimize energy consumption and risk to the environment

  10. Plant invasions: Merging the concepts of species invasiveness and community invasibility

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Richardson, D. M.; Pyšek, Petr

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 30, č. 3 (2006), s. 409-431 ISSN 0309-1333 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : plant invasions * species invasiveness * community invasibility Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.278, year: 2006

  11. Does the edge effect influence plant community structure in a tropical dry forest?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diogo Gallo Oliveira

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Edge effects are considered a key factor in regulating the structure of plant communities in different ecosystems. However, regardless to few studies, edge influence does not seem to be decisive in semiarid regions such as the Brazilian tropical dry forest known as Caatinga but this issue remains inconclusive. The present study tests the null hypothesis that the plant community of shrubs and trees does not change in its structure due to edge effects. Twenty-four plots (20 x 20 m were set up in a fragment of Caatinga, in which 12 plots were in the forest edges and 12 plots were inside the fragment. Tree richness, abundance and species composition did not differ between edge and interior plots. The results of this study are in agreement with the pattern previously found for semiarid environments and contrasts with previous results obtained in different environments such as Rainforests, Savanna and Forest of Araucaria, which indicate abrupt differences between the border and interior of the plant communities in these ecosystems, and suggest that the community of woody plants of the Caatinga is not ecologically affected by the presence of edges.

  12. The Effects of Disturbance History on Ground-Layer Plant Community Composition in British Columbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Ton

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Plant communities are sensitive to perturbations and may display alternative recovery pathways depending on disturbance history. In sub-boreal lodgepole pine forests of central interior British Columbia, Canada, fire and logging are two widespread landscape disturbances that overlap in many regions. We asked whether cumulative, short-interval disturbance from logging and fire resulted in different ground-layer plant communities than resulted from fire alone. Using field-collected data, we compared the taxonomic composition and functional traits of 3-year old plant communities that were either harvested 6-to-13 years prior, or not harvested prior to being burned in a large stand-replacing fire. The taxonomic composition diverged between the two treatments, driven primarily by differences in a few key indicator species such as Petasites frigidus and Vaccinium membranaceum. Analysis of individual species’ morphological traits indicated that only a few species vary in size in relation to disturbance history. Our data suggest that a history of forest harvest leaves a subtle footprint on post-fire ground-layer plant communities at early stages of succession.

  13. Establishment of different riparian plant communities from the same soil seed bank

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    ter Heerdt, Gerhardus

    2016-01-01

    This thesis shows that weather conditions during the first year of establishment, strongly affect the composition of riparian plant communities. This is one of the factors determining if some goals of the Water Framework Directive and Natura 2000, reed beds and accompanying bird species, can be met.

  14. Phytosociology and plant community utilisation by vervet monkeys of the Blydeberg Conservancy, Limpopo Province

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.S. Barret

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available The plant communities of the Blydeberg Conservancy were investigated as part of a research project on the foraging ecology of vervet monkeys Cercopithecus aethiops pygerythrus (senso lato in mixed lowveld bushveld and sour lowveld bushveld areas. To date there are no formal management plans for vervet monkeys. This is attributed to the limited knowledge of vervets and their utilisation of and impacts on ecosystems. From a TWINSPAN classification refined by Braun-Blanquet procedures, ten plant communities that can be placed into four major groups were identified. A classification and description of these communities, including a vegetation map are presented. Diagnostic species as well as prominent and less conspicuous species of tree, shrub, herb and grass strata are outlined. Of the ten available plant communities, the vervets utilised only six during the study period. There was an abundant supply of various food sources throughout the year, with movement patterns mostly coinciding with the fruiting times of several tree and other plant species.

  15. Independent Effects of Invasive Shrubs and Deer Herbivory on Plant Community Dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey S. Ward

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Both invasive species and deer herbivory are recognized as locally important drivers of plant community dynamics. However, few studies have examined whether their effects are synergistic, additive, or antagonistic. At three study areas in southern New England, we examined the interaction of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus Zimmermann herbivory and three levels of invasive shrub control over seven growing seasons on the dynamics of nine herbaceous and shrub guilds. Although evidence of synergistic interactions was minimal, the separate effects of invasive shrub control and deer herbivory on plant community composition and dynamics were profound. Plant communities remained relatively unchanged where invasive shrubs were not treated, regardless if deer herbivory was excluded or not. With increasing intensity of invasive shrub control, native shrubs and forbs became more dominant where deer herbivory was excluded, and native graminoids became progressively more dominant where deer herbivory remained severe. While deer exclusion and intensive invasive shrub control increased native shrubs and forbs, it also increased invasive vines. Restoring native plant communities in areas with both established invasive shrub thickets and severe deer browsing will require an integrated management plan to eliminate recalcitrant invasive shrubs, reduce deer browsing intensity, and quickly treat other opportunistic invasive species.

  16. Resurvey of historical vegetation plots: a tool for understanding long-term dynamics of plant communities

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hédl, Radim; Brnhardt-Römermann, M.; Grytnes, J.-A.; Jurasinski, G.; Ewald, J.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 20, č. 2 (2017), s. 161-163 ISSN 1402-2001 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : global change * plant communities * plot resurveys Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 2.474, year: 2016

  17. Volatile-mediated suppression of plant pathogens is related to soil properties and microbial community composition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Agtmaal, M.; Straathof, A.L.; Termorshuizen, Aad J; Lievens, Bart; Hoffland, Ellis; De Boer, W.

    2018-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that the soil microbial community produces a suite of volatile organic compounds that suppress plant pathogens. However, it remains unknown which soil properties and management practices influence volatile-mediated pathogen suppression. The aim of this study was to

  18. Plants Rather than Mineral Fertilization Shape Microbial Community Structure and Functional Potential in Legacy Contaminated Soil

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Rídl, Jakub; Kolář, Michal; Strejček, M.; Strnad, Hynek; Štursa, P.; Pačes, Jan; Macek, T.; Uhlík, O.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 7, JUN 24 (2016), č. článku 995. ISSN 1664-302X R&D Projects: GA ČR GA13-28283S Institutional support: RVO:68378050 Keywords : microbial community structure * plants * fertilization * contaminated soil * functional potential Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 4.076, year: 2016

  19. Volatile-mediated suppression of plant pathogens is related to soil properties and microbial community composition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Agtmaal, van Maaike; Straathof, Angela L.; Termorshuizen, Aad; Lievens, Bart; Hoffland, Ellis; Boer, de Wietse

    2018-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that the soil microbial community produces a suite of volatile organic compounds that suppress plant pathogens. However, it remains unknown which soil properties and management practices influence volatile-mediated pathogen suppression. The aim of this study was to

  20. Plant Community and Soil Environment Response to Summer Fire in the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fire is a keystone process in many ecosystems, especially grasslands. However, documentation of plant community and soil environment responses to fire is limited for semiarid grasslands relative to that for mesic grasslands. Replicated summer fire research is lacking, but much needed because summe...

  1. Plant secondary metabolite-induced shifts in bacterial community structure and degradative ability in contaminated soil

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Uhlík, O.; Musilová, L.; Rídl, Jakub; Hroudová, Miluše; Vlček, Čestmír; Koubek, J.; Holečková, M.; Mackova, M.; Macek, T.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 97, č. 20 (2013), s. 9245-9256 ISSN 0175-7598 Grant - others:EK(XE) 265946; GA MŠk(CZ) ME10041 Institutional support: RVO:68378050 Keywords : plant secondary metabolites (PSM) * bacterial community * metabolic activity * bioremediation * pyrosequencing Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 3.811, year: 2013

  2. Granivory of invasive, naturalized, and native plants in communities differentially susceptible to invasion

    Science.gov (United States)

    B. M. Connolly; D. E. Pearson; R. N. Mack

    2014-01-01

    Seed predation is an important biotic filter that can influence abundance and spatial distributions of native species through differential effects on recruitment. This filter may also influence the relative abundance of nonnative plants within habitats and the communities' susceptibility to invasion via differences in granivore identity, abundance, and food...

  3. Dissimilar response of plant and soil biota communities to long-term nutrient adition in grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wal, van der A.; Geerts, R.H.E.M.; Korevaar, H.; Schouten, A.J.; Jagers op Akkerhuis, G.A.J.M.; Rutgers, M.; Mulder, C.

    2009-01-01

    The long-term effect of fertilizers on plant diversity and productivity is well known, but long-term effects on soil biota communities have received relatively little attention. Here, we used an exceptional long-lasting (>40 years) grassland fertilization experiment to investigate the long-term

  4. Metagenomic analysis of an ecological wastewater treatment plant's microbial communities and their potential to metabolize pharmaceuticals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balcom, Ian N; Driscoll, Heather; Vincent, James; Leduc, Meagan

    2016-01-01

    Pharmaceuticals and other micropollutants have been detected in drinking water, groundwater, surface water, and soil around the world. Even in locations where wastewater treatment is required, they can be found in drinking water wells, municipal water supplies, and agricultural soils. It is clear conventional wastewater treatment technologies are not meeting the challenge of the mounting pressures on global freshwater supplies. Cost-effective ecological wastewater treatment technologies have been developed in response. To determine whether the removal of micropollutants in ecological wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) is promoted by the plant-microbe interactions, as has been reported for other recalcitrant xenobiotics, biofilm microbial communities growing on the surfaces of plant roots were profiled by whole metagenome sequencing and compared to the microbial communities residing in the wastewater. In this study, the concentrations of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) were quantified in each treatment tank of the ecological WWTP treating human wastewater at a highway rest stop and visitor center in Vermont. The concentrations of detected PPCPs were substantially greater than values reported for conventional WWTPs likely due to onsite recirculation of wastewater. The greatest reductions in PPCPs concentrations were observed in the anoxic treatment tank where Bacilli dominated the biofilm community. Benzoate degradation was the most abundant xenobiotic metabolic category identified throughout the system. Collectively, the microbial communities residing in the wastewater were taxonomically and metabolically more diverse than the immersed plant root biofilm. However, greater heterogeneity and higher relative abundances of xenobiotic metabolism genes was observed for the root biofilm.

  5. Properties of native plant communities do not determine exotic success during early forest succession

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldo Compagnoni; Charles B. Halpern

    2009-01-01

    Considerable research has been devoted to understanding how plant invasions are influenced by properties of the native community and to the traits of exotic species that contribute to successful invasion. Studies of invasibility are common in successionally stable grasslands, but rare in recently disturbed or seral forests. We used 16 years of species richness and...

  6. Squared Euclidean distance: a statistical test to evaluate plant community change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond D. Ratliff; Sylvia R. Mori

    1993-01-01

    The concepts and a procedure for evaluating plant community change using the squared Euclidean distance (SED) resemblance function are described. Analyses are based on the concept that Euclidean distances constitute a sample from a population of distances between sampling units (SUs) for a specific number of times and SUs. With different times, the distances will be...

  7. Blue oak plant communities of southern San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara Counties, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark I. Borchert; Nancy D. Cunha; Patricia C. Krosse; Marcee L. Lawrence

    1993-01-01

    An ecological classification system has been developed for the Pacific Southwest Region of the Forest Service. As part of that classification effort, blue oak (Quercus douglasii) woodlands and forests of southern San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara Counties in Los Padres National Forest were classified into I3 plant communities using...

  8. Negative Plant–Soil Feedback and Positive Species Interaction in a Herbaceous Plant Community

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bonanomi, G.; Rietkerk, M.G.; Dekker, S.C.; Mazzoleni, S.

    2005-01-01

    Increasing evidence shows that facilitative interaction and negative plant–soil feedback are driving factors of plant population dynamics and community processes. We studied the intensity and the relative impact of negative feedback on clonal growth and seed germination of Scirpus holoschoenus, a

  9. Endemic plants harbour specific Trichoderma communities with an exceptional potential for biocontrol of phytopathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zachow, Christin; Berg, Christian; Müller, Henry; Monk, Jana; Berg, Gabriele

    2016-10-10

    Trichoderma strains exhibit enormous potential for applications in biotechnology, in particular as biocontrol agents against pathogens. However, little is known about the diversity of plant-associated Trichoderma communities at a global scale and their antagonistic spectrum. In order to gather information about structure and function, we compared Trichoderma biomes of endemic (Aeonium, Diospyros, Hebe, Rhododendron) and cosmopolitan plants (Zea mays) in a global study encompassing the area Northwest Africa to New Zealand via the European Alps and Madagascar. At the quantitative level we found no differences between cosmopolitan and endemic plants. Statistically significant differences were detected at the qualitative level: Trichoderma populations of endemic plants were highly specific and diverse with hot spots appearing in Madagascar and New Zealand. By contrast, maize plants from all sites shared the majority of Trichoderma species (65.5%). Interestingly, the high above ground biodiversity in ecosystems containing endemic plants was confirmed by a high below ground Trichoderma diversity. Despite the differences, we found a global Trichoderma core community shared by all analysed plants, which was dominated by T. koningii and T. koningiopsis. Amplicon-based network analyses revealed a high similarity between maize Trichoderma grown world-wide and distinct populations of endemic plants. Furthermore, Trichoderma strains from endemic plants showed a higher antagonistic activity against fungal pathogens compared to maize-associated strains. Our results showed that endemic plants are associated with a specific Trichoderma microbiome which possesses a high antagonistic activity indicating that it has potential to be used for biocontrol purposes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Indigenous uses of ethnomedicinal plants among forest-dependent communities of Northern Bengal, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raj, Antony Joseph; Biswakarma, Saroj; Pala, Nazir A; Shukla, Gopal; Vineeta; Kumar, Munesh; Chakravarty, Sumit; Bussmann, Rainer W

    2018-01-26

    Traditional knowledge on ethnomedicinal plant is slowly eroding. The exploration, identification and documentation on utilization of ethnobotanic resources are essential for restoration and preservation of ethnomedicinal knowledge about the plants and conservation of these species for greater interest of human society. The study was conducted at fringe areas of Chilapatta Reserve Forest in the foothills of the eastern sub-Himalayan mountain belts of West Bengal, India, from December 2014 to May 2016. Purposive sampling method was used for selection of area. From this area which is inhabited by aboriginal community of Indo-Mongoloid origin, 400 respondents including traditional medicinal practitioners were selected randomly for personal interview schedule through open-ended questionnaire. The questionnaire covered aspects like plant species used as ethnomedicines, plant parts used, procedure for dosage and therapy. A total number of 140 ethnomedicinal species was documented, in which the tree species (55) dominated the lists followed by herbs (39) and shrubs (30). Among these total planted species used for ethnomedicinal purposes, 52 species were planted, 62 species growing wild or collected from the forest for use and 26 species were both wild and planted. The present study documented 61 more planted species as compared to 17 planted species documented in an ethnomedicinal study a decade ago. The documented species were used to treat 58 human diseases/ailments including nine species used to eight diseases/ailments of domestic animals. Stomach-related problems were treated by maximum number of plants (40 species) followed by cuts and wounds with 27 plant species and least with one species each for 17 diseases or ailments. Maximum number of 12 diseases/ailments was cured by Melia azedarach followed by Centella asiatica and Rauvolfia serpentina which were used to cure 11 diseases/ailments each. The list of 140 plant species indicates that the Chilapatta Reserve Forest

  11. The most used medicinal plants by communities in Mahaboboka, Amboronabo, Mikoboka, Southwestern Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randrianarivony, Tabita N; Ramarosandratana, Aro Vonjy; Andriamihajarivo, Tefy H; Rakotoarivony, Fortunat; Jeannoda, Vololoniaina H; Randrianasolo, Armand; Bussmann, Rainer W

    2017-03-09

    This paper reports a study undertaken in three remote communities (Mahaboboka, Amboronabo, Mikoboka), located in Sakaraha, Southwestern Madagascar. Not only villages are far away from sanitary infrastructures and doctors but drugs and consulting fees are unaffordable to villagers. They rely essentially on natural resources for health care as for most of rural areas in Madagascar. This paper aims to document medicinal plants used by communities in Sakaraha and to present the most important plant species used in traditional medicine. Semi - structured interview was conducted within 214 informants in 34 villages of the study area. Different ailments encountered in the site study were classified in various categories. For data analysis, frequency of citation (Fq), Informant Consensus Factor (Fic), Fidelity Level (FL) and Use Value (UV) were assessed to find agreement among informants about the use of plants as remedies. Mann-Whitney, Kruskall-Wallis and Spearman correlation tests were performed to determine use of medicinal plants following social status of informants. A total of 235 medicinal plant species belonging to 198 genera and 75 families were inventoried. The richest families in species used for medicinal purposes were: Fabaceae, Apocynaceae, Rubiaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Asteraceae, and Poaceae. Plant species cited by informants were used to treat 76 various ailments classified in 13 categories. Leaves and leafy twigs were the most used plant parts and decoction was the mostly cited way of preparation of these medicinal plants species. In average, local people cited 6.7 ± 6.03 medicinal taxa among them, Cedrelopsis grevei is the most cited medicinal plants (Fq. 0.28). With Cedrelopsis grevei (UV = 0.48), Henonia scoparia (UV = 0.43) are mostly used species. Leonotis nepetifolia (FL = 96%) and Strychnos henningsii (FL = 92%) are plant species claimed by high percentage of informants to treat the Digestive System Disorder. This study

  12. Use and management of traditional medicinal plants by Maale and Ari ethnic communities in southern Ethiopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Around 80% of the people of Ethiopia are estimated to be relying on medicinal plants for the treatment of different types of human health problems. The purpose of this study was to describe and analyse the use and management of medicinal plants used for the treatment of human health problems by the Maale and Ari communities in southern Ethiopia. Methods Quantitative and qualitative ethnobotanical field inquiries and analytical methods including individual and focus group discussions (18), observations, individual interviews (n = 74), preference ranking and paired comparison were used. Data were collected in three study sites and from two markets; the latter surveyed every 15 days from February 2011 to February 2012. Results A total of 128 medicinal plant species, belonging to 111 genera and 49 families, used as herbal medicine by Maale and Ari communities were documented. Predominantly harvested plant parts were leaves, which are known to have relatively low impact on medicinal plant resources. Species with high familiarity indices included Solanum dasyphyllum, Indigofera spicata, Ruta chalepensis, Plumbago zeylanica and Meyna tetraphylla. Low Jaccards similarity indices (≤ 0.33) indicated little correspondence in medicinal plant use among sites and between ethnic communities. The dominant ways of medicinal plant knowledge acquisition and transfer is vertical: from parents to children through oral means. Gender and site significantly influenced the number of human medicinal plants known currently in the study sites. Age was only a factor of significance in Maale. Marketing of medicinal plants harvested from wild and semi-wild stands is not common. Expansion of agricultural land and lack of cultivation efforts by local communities are mentioned by locals to affect the availability of medicinal plant resources. Conclusion S. dasyphyllum, I. spicata, P. zeylanica, M. tetraphylla, and Oxalis radicosa need to be considered for phytochemical and

  13. Water Source Utilization of Hammock and Pine Rockland Plant Communities in the Everglades, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saha, A. K.; Sternberg, L.; Miralles-Wilhelm, F.

    2007-12-01

    South Florida has a mosaic of plant communities resulting from topographical differences, spatially varying hydroperiods and fire. The only plant communities not flooded in the wet season are hardwood hammocks and often pine rocklands. Natural fires burn off litter accumulated in pine rocklands, with the exception of organic matter in sinkholes in the limestone bedrock. This relative lack of soil is thought to constrain pineland plants in the Everglades to depend upon groundwater that is typically low in nutrients. In contrast, adjoining hardwood hammocks have accumulated an organic soil layer that traps rainwater and nutrients. Plants in hammocks may be able to utilize this water and thereby access nutrients present in the litter. Hammocks are thus viewed as localized areas of high nutrients and instances of vegetation feedback upon the oligotrophic everglades landscape enabling establishment and survival of flood-intolerant tropical hardwood species. This study examines water source use and couples it to foliar nutrient concentrations of plants found in hammocks and pinelands. We examined the δ2H and δ18O of stem waters in plants in Everglades National Park and compared those with the δ2H and δ18O of potential water sources. In the wet season hammock plants accessed both groundwater and water in the surface organic soil layer while in the dry season they relied more on groundwater. A similar seasonal shift was observed in pineland plants; however groundwater constituted a much higher proportion of total water uptake throughout the year under observation. Concomitant with differential water utilization by hammock and pineland plant communities, we observed hammock plants having a significantly higher annual mean foliar N and P concentration than pineland plants. Most hammock species are intolerant of flooded soils and are thus constrained by the high water table in the wet season, yet access the lowered groundwater table in the dry season due to drying up of

  14. Lags in the response of mountain plant communities to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Jake M; Chalmandrier, Loïc; Lenoir, Jonathan; Burgess, Treena I; Essl, Franz; Haider, Sylvia; Kueffer, Christoph; McDougall, Keith; Milbau, Ann; Nuñez, Martin A; Pauchard, Aníbal; Rabitsch, Wolfgang; Rew, Lisa J; Sanders, Nathan J; Pellissier, Loïc

    2018-02-01

    Rapid climatic changes and increasing human influence at high elevations around the world will have profound impacts on mountain biodiversity. However, forecasts from statistical models (e.g. species distribution models) rarely consider that plant community changes could substantially lag behind climatic changes, hindering our ability to make temporally realistic projections for the coming century. Indeed, the magnitudes of lags, and the relative importance of the different factors giving rise to them, remain poorly understood. We review evidence for three types of lag: "dispersal lags" affecting plant species' spread along elevational gradients, "establishment lags" following their arrival in recipient communities, and "extinction lags" of resident species. Variation in lags is explained by variation among species in physiological and demographic responses, by effects of altered biotic interactions, and by aspects of the physical environment. Of these, altered biotic interactions could contribute substantially to establishment and extinction lags, yet impacts of biotic interactions on range dynamics are poorly understood. We develop a mechanistic community model to illustrate how species turnover in future communities might lag behind simple expectations based on species' range shifts with unlimited dispersal. The model shows a combined contribution of altered biotic interactions and dispersal lags to plant community turnover along an elevational gradient following climate warming. Our review and simulation support the view that accounting for disequilibrium range dynamics will be essential for realistic forecasts of patterns of biodiversity under climate change, with implications for the conservation of mountain species and the ecosystem functions they provide. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Herbicide and fertilizers promote analogous phylogenetic responses but opposite functional responses in plant communities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pellissier, Loïc; Wisz, Mary S; Strandberg, Beate; Damgaard, Christian

    2014-01-01

    Throughout the world, herbicides and fertilizers change species composition in agricultural communities, but how do the cumulative effects of these chemicals impact the functional and phylogenetic structure of non-targeted communities when they drift into adjacent semi-natural habitats? Based on long-term experiment we show that fertilizer and herbicides (glyphosate) have contrasting effects on functional structure, but can increase phylogenetic diversity in semi-natural plant communities. We found that an increase in nitrogen promoted an increase in the average specific leaf area and canopy height at the community level, but an increase in glyphosate promoted a decrease in those traits. Phylogenetic diversity of plant communities increased when herbicide and fertilizer were applied together, likely because functional traits facilitating plant success in those conditions were not phylogenetically conserved. Species richness also decreased with increasing levels of nitrogen and glyphosate. Our results suggest that predicting the cumulative effects of agrochemicals is more complex than anticipated due to their distinct selection of traits that may or may not be conserved phylogenetically. Precautionary efforts to mitigate drift of agricultural chemicals into semi-natural habitats are warranted to prevent unforeseeable biodiversity shifts. (paper)

  16. Lags in the response of mountain plant communities to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Jake M.; Chalmandrier, Loïc; Lenoir, Jonathan; Burgess, Treena I.; Essl, Franz; Haider, Sylvia; Kueffer, Christoph; McDougall, Keith; Milbau, Ann; Nuñez, Martin A.; Pauchard, Aníbal; Rabitsch, Wolfgang; Rew, Lisa J.; Sanders, Nathan J.; Pellissier, Loïc

    2018-01-01

    Rapid climatic changes and increasing human influence at high elevations around the world will have profound impacts on mountain biodiversity. However, forecasts from statistical models (e.g. species distribution models) rarely consider that plant community changes could substantially lag behind climatic changes, hindering our ability to make temporally realistic projections for the coming century. Indeed, the magnitudes of lags, and the relative importance of the different factors giving rise to them, remain poorly understood. We review evidence for three types of lag: “dispersal lags” affecting plant species’ spread along elevational gradients, “establishment lags” following their arrival in recipient communities, and “extinction lags” of resident species. Variation in lags is explained by variation among species in physiological and demographic responses, by effects of altered biotic interactions, and by aspects of the physical environment. Of these, altered biotic interactions could contribute substantially to establishment and extinction lags, yet impacts of biotic interactions on range dynamics are poorly understood. We develop a mechanistic community model to illustrate how species turnover in future communities might lag behind simple expectations based on species’ range shifts with unlimited dispersal. The model shows a combined contribution of altered biotic interactions and dispersal lags to plant community turnover along an elevational gradient following climate warming. Our review and simulation support the view that accounting for disequilibrium range dynamics will be essential for realistic forecasts of patterns of biodiversity under climate change, with implications for the conservation of mountain species and the ecosystem functions they provide. PMID:29112781

  17. Soil Seed Bank and Plant Community Development in Passive Restoration of Degraded Sandy Grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renhui Miao

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available To evaluate the efficacy of passive restoration on soil seed bank and vegetation recovery, we measured the species composition and density of the soil seed bank, as well as the species composition, density, coverage, and height of the extant vegetation in sites passively restored for 0, 4, 7, and 12 years (S0, S4, S7, and S12 in a degraded grassland in desert land. Compared with S0, three more species in the soil seed bank at depths of 0–30 cm and one more plant species in the community was detected in S12. Seed density within the topsoil (0–5 cm was five times higher in S12 than that in S0. Plant densities in S7 and S12 were triple and quadruple than that in S0. Plant coverage was increased by 1.5 times (S4, double (S7, and triple (S12 compared with S0. Sørensen’s index of similarity in species composition between the soil seed bank and the plant community were high (0.43–0.63, but it was lower in short-term restoration sites (S4 and S7 than that in no and long-term restoration sites (S0 and S12. The soil seed bank recovered more slowly than the plant community under passive restoration. Passive restoration is a useful method to recover the soil seed bank and vegetation in degraded grasslands.

  18. Plant and bird presence strongly influences the microbial communities in soils of Admiralty Bay, Maritime Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, Lia C R S; Yeargeau, Etienne; Balieiro, Fabiano C; Piccolo, Marisa C; Peixoto, Raquel S; Greer, Charles W; Rosado, Alexandre S

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the environmental factors that shape microbial communities is crucial, especially in extreme environments, like Antarctica. Two main forces were reported to influence Antarctic soil microbes: birds and plants. Both birds and plants are currently undergoing relatively large changes in their distribution and abundance due to global warming. However, we need to clearly understand the relationship between plants, birds and soil microorganisms. We therefore collected rhizosphere and bulk soils from six different sampling sites subjected to different levels of bird influence and colonized by Colobanthus quitensis and Deschampsia antarctica in Admiralty Bay, King George Island, Maritime Antarctic. Microarray and qPCR assays targeting 16S rRNA genes of specific taxa were used to assess microbial community structure, composition and abundance and analyzed with a range of soil physico-chemical parameters. The results indicated significant rhizosphere effects in four out of the six sites, including areas with different levels of bird influence. Acidobacteria were significantly more abundant in soils with little bird influence (low nitrogen) and in bulk soil. In contrast, Actinobacteria were significantly more abundant in the rhizosphere of both plant species. At two of the sampling sites under strong bird influence (penguin colonies), Firmicutes were significantly more abundant in D. antarctica rhizosphere but not in C. quitensis rhizosphere. The Firmicutes were also positively and significantly correlated to the nitrogen concentrations in the soil. We conclude that the microbial communities in Antarctic soils are driven both by bird and plants, and that the effect is taxa-specific.

  19. Plant and bird presence strongly influences the microbial communities in soils of Admiralty Bay, Maritime Antarctica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lia C R S Teixeira

    Full Text Available Understanding the environmental factors that shape microbial communities is crucial, especially in extreme environments, like Antarctica. Two main forces were reported to influence Antarctic soil microbes: birds and plants. Both birds and plants are currently undergoing relatively large changes in their distribution and abundance due to global warming. However, we need to clearly understand the relationship between plants, birds and soil microorganisms. We therefore collected rhizosphere and bulk soils from six different sampling sites subjected to different levels of bird influence and colonized by Colobanthus quitensis and Deschampsia antarctica in Admiralty Bay, King George Island, Maritime Antarctic. Microarray and qPCR assays targeting 16S rRNA genes of specific taxa were used to assess microbial community structure, composition and abundance and analyzed with a range of soil physico-chemical parameters. The results indicated significant rhizosphere effects in four out of the six sites, including areas with different levels of bird influence. Acidobacteria were significantly more abundant in soils with little bird influence (low nitrogen and in bulk soil. In contrast, Actinobacteria were significantly more abundant in the rhizosphere of both plant species. At two of the sampling sites under strong bird influence (penguin colonies, Firmicutes were significantly more abundant in D. antarctica rhizosphere but not in C. quitensis rhizosphere. The Firmicutes were also positively and significantly correlated to the nitrogen concentrations in the soil. We conclude that the microbial communities in Antarctic soils are driven both by bird and plants, and that the effect is taxa-specific.

  20. Plant and Bird Presence Strongly Influences the Microbial Communities in Soils of Admiralty Bay, Maritime Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, Lia C. R. S.; Yeargeau, Etienne; Balieiro, Fabiano C.; Piccolo, Marisa C.; Peixoto, Raquel S.; Greer, Charles W.; Rosado, Alexandre S.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the environmental factors that shape microbial communities is crucial, especially in extreme environments, like Antarctica. Two main forces were reported to influence Antarctic soil microbes: birds and plants. Both birds and plants are currently undergoing relatively large changes in their distribution and abundance due to global warming. However, we need to clearly understand the relationship between plants, birds and soil microorganisms. We therefore collected rhizosphere and bulk soils from six different sampling sites subjected to different levels of bird influence and colonized by Colobanthus quitensis and Deschampsia antarctica in Admiralty Bay, King George Island, Maritime Antarctic. Microarray and qPCR assays targeting 16S rRNA genes of specific taxa were used to assess microbial community structure, composition and abundance and analyzed with a range of soil physico-chemical parameters. The results indicated significant rhizosphere effects in four out of the six sites, including areas with different levels of bird influence. Acidobacteria were significantly more abundant in soils with little bird influence (low nitrogen) and in bulk soil. In contrast, Actinobacteria were significantly more abundant in the rhizosphere of both plant species. At two of the sampling sites under strong bird influence (penguin colonies), Firmicutes were significantly more abundant in D. antarctica rhizosphere but not in C. quitensis rhizosphere. The Firmicutes were also positively and significantly correlated to the nitrogen concentrations in the soil. We conclude that the microbial communities in Antarctic soils are driven both by bird and plants, and that the effect is taxa-specific. PMID:23840411

  1. Plants Rather than Mineral Fertilization Shape Microbial Community Structure and Functional Potential in Legacy Contaminated Soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ridl, Jakub; Kolar, Michal; Strejcek, Michal; Strnad, Hynek; Stursa, Petr; Paces, Jan; Macek, Tomas; Uhlik, Ondrej

    2016-01-01

    Plant-microbe interactions are of particular importance in polluted soils. This study sought to determine how selected plants (horseradish, black nightshade and tobacco) and NPK mineral fertilization shape the structure of soil microbial communities in legacy contaminated soil and the resultant impact of treatment on the soil microbial community functional potential. To explore these objectives, we combined shotgun metagenomics and 16S rRNA gene amplicon high throughput sequencing with data analysis approaches developed for RNA-seq. We observed that the presence of any of the selected plants rather than fertilization shaped the microbial community structure, and the microbial populations of the root zone of each plant significantly differed from one another and/or from the bulk soil, whereas the effect of the fertilizer proved to be insignificant. When we compared microbial diversity in root zones versus bulk soil, we observed an increase in the relative abundance of Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria or Bacteroidetes, taxa which are commonly considered copiotrophic. Our results thus align with the theory that fast-growing, copiotrophic, microorganisms which are adapted to ephemeral carbon inputs are enriched in the vegetated soil. Microbial functional potential indicated that some genetic determinants associated with signal transduction mechanisms, defense mechanisms or amino acid transport and metabolism differed significantly among treatments. Genetic determinants of these categories tend to be overrepresented in copiotrophic organisms. The results of our study further elucidate plant-microbe relationships in a contaminated environment with possible implications for the phyto/rhizoremediation of contaminated areas.

  2. THE CONCENTRATION OF PHOTOSINTHESIS PIGMENTS IN THE ANTHROPOGENIC PLANT COMMUNITIES IN TOBOLSK TOWN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Еlena Ivanovna Popova

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Photosynthesis means a lot in the life of a plant body. For the normal photosynthesis process it is necessary to have certain external and internal conditions. The topic of the research is the study of photosynthesis pigments in anthropogenic plant communities. The aim of our work was to study the pigment composition plants of anthropogenic phytocenoses. Methods: we have used the spectrophotometric method to define the concentration of pigments. Results: the research has shown that the concentration of a – chlorophyll, b – chlorophyll and carotenoids changes depending on the site conditions. The maximal concentration of a and b chlorophyll is found on less polluted areas. High carotenoid concentration was found in stress anthropogenic conditions. On the one hand, this carotenoid concentration decreases the stress effect. On the other hand it fulfils the protection function, preventing the chlorophyll molecules and other organic substances from destruction. In the research you will find the species composition of vascular plants on the sites under research. Jaccard’s coefficient of community has been defined. Field of application of results: the data can be used to predict the dynamics of populations and communities of plants in the contaminated areas and monitor the status of natural ecosystems.

  3. France's scientists rally to oppose Allegre's reforms

    CERN Multimedia

    Butler, D

    1998-01-01

    Plans by Allegre, the French science minister, for a profound reform of the country's research system are in doubt after a backlash by the scientific community. The issue came to a head at a meeting in Paris on the 14th of December.

  4. Microbial community structure elucidates performance of Glyceria maxima plant microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timmers, Ruud A; Rothballer, Michael; Strik, David P B T B; Engel, Marion; Schulz, Stephan; Schloter, Michael; Hartmann, Anton; Hamelers, Bert; Buisman, Cees

    2012-04-01

    The plant microbial fuel cell (PMFC) is a technology in which living plant roots provide electron donor, via rhizodeposition, to a mixed microbial community to generate electricity in a microbial fuel cell. Analysis and localisation of the microbial community is necessary for gaining insight into the competition for electron donor in a PMFC. This paper characterises the anode-rhizosphere bacterial community of a Glyceria maxima (reed mannagrass) PMFC. Electrochemically active bacteria (EAB) were located on the root surfaces, but they were more abundant colonising the graphite granular electrode. Anaerobic cellulolytic bacteria dominated the area where most of the EAB were found, indicating that the current was probably generated via the hydrolysis of cellulose. Due to the presence of oxygen and nitrate, short-chain fatty acid-utilising denitrifiers were the major competitors for the electron donor. Acetate-utilising methanogens played a minor role in the competition for electron donor, probably due to the availability of graphite granules as electron acceptors.

  5. Local temperatures inferred from plant communities suggest strong spatial buffering of climate warming across Northern Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lenoir, Jonathan; Graae, Bente; Aarrestad, Per

    2013-01-01

    -change impacts. Is this local spatial buffering restricted to topographically complex terrains? To answer this, we here study fine-grained thermal variability across a 2500-km wide latitudinal gradient in Northern Europe encompassing a large array of topographic complexities. We first combined plant community...... data, Ellenberg temperature indicator values, locally measured temperatures (LmT) and globally interpolated temperatures (GiT) in a modelling framework to infer biologically relevant temperature conditions from plant assemblages within community-inferred temperatures: CiT). We...... temperature indicator values in combination with plant assemblages explained 46-72% of variation in LmT and 92-96% of variation in GiT during the growing season (June, July, August). Growing-season CiT range within 1-km(2) units peaked at 60-65°N and increased with terrain roughness, averaging 1.97 °C (SD = 0...

  6. Climate interacts with soil to produce beta diversity in Californian plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez-Going, B M; Harrison, S P; Anacker, B L; Safford, H D

    2013-09-01

    Spatially distinct communities can arise through interactions and feedbacks between abiotic and biotic factors. We suggest that, for plants, patches of infertile soils such as serpentine may support more distinct communities from those in the surrounding non-serpentine matrix in regions where the climate is more productive (i.e., warmer and/or wetter). Where both soil fertility and climatic productivity are high, communities may be dominated by plants with fast-growing functional traits, whereas where either soils or climate impose low productivity, species with stress-tolerant functional traits may predominate. As a result, both species and functional composition may show higher dissimilarity between patch and matrix in productive climates. This pattern may be reinforced by positive feedbacks, in which higher plant growth under favorable climate and soil conditions leads to higher soil fertility, further enhancing plant growth. For 96 pairs of sites across a 200-km latitudinal gradient in California, we found that the species and functional dissimilarities between communities on infertile serpentine and fertile non-serpentine soils were higher in more productive (wetter) regions. Woody species had more stress-tolerant functional traits on serpentine than non-serpentine soil, and as rainfall increased, woody species functional composition changed toward fast-growing traits on non-serpentine, but not on serpentine soils. Soil organic matter increased with rainfall, but only on non-serpentine soils, and the difference in organic matter between soils was positively correlated with plant community dissimilarity. These results illustrate a novel mechanism wherein climatic productivity is associated with higher species, functional, and landscape-level dissimilarity (beta diversity).

  7. Restructuring of Endophytic Bacterial Communities in Grapevine Yellows-Diseased and Recovered Vitis vinifera L. Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulgari, Daniela; Casati, Paola; Crepaldi, Paola; Daffonchio, Daniele; Quaglino, Fabio; Brusetti, Lorenzo; Bianco, Piero Attilio

    2011-01-01

    Length heterogeneity-PCR assays, combined with statistical analyses, highlighted that the endophytic bacterial community associated with healthy grapevines was characterized by a greater diversity than that present in diseased and recovered plants. The findings suggest that phytoplasmas can restructure the bacterial community by selecting endophytic strains that could elicit a plant defense response. PMID:21622794

  8. Influence of flooding and landform properties on riparian plant communities in an old-growth northern hardwood watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    P. Charles Goebel; Kurt S. Pregitzer; Brian J. Palik

    2012-01-01

    In most forested landscapes, the organization of plant communities across stream valleys is thought to be regulated by a complex set of interactions including flooding, landform properties, and vegetation. However, few studies have directly examined the relative influence of frequent and infrequent flooding, as well as landform properties, on riparian plant community...

  9. Effects of Plant Genotype and Growth Stage on the Betaproteobacterial Communities Associated with Different Potato Cultivars in Two Fields

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Inceoglu, O.; Salles, J.F.; Overbeek, van L.S.; Elsas, van J.D.

    2010-01-01

    Bacterial communities in the rhizosphere are dynamic and susceptible to changes in plant conditions. Among the bacteria, the betaproteobacteria play key roles in nutrient cycling and plant growth promotion, and hence the dynamics of their community structures in the rhizosphere should be

  10. Medicinal, Aromatic and Cosmetic (MAC) plants for community health and bio-cultural diversity conservation in Bali, Indonesia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leurs, Liesbeth Nathalie

    2010-01-01

    The general aim of this ethno-botanical study is to document, describe and analyse the Balinese community members’ knowledge, belief and practices with regard to medicinal, aromatic and cosmetic (MAC) plants in relation to community health and bio-cultural diversity conservation of MAC plants. This

  11. Traditional uses of medicinal plants used by Indigenous communities for veterinary practices at Bajaur Agency, Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aziz, Muhammad Abdul; Khan, Amir Hasan; Adnan, Muhammad; Ullah, Habib

    2018-01-29

    The pastoral lifestyle of Indigenous communities of Bajaur Agency is bringing them close to natural remedies for treating their domestic animals. Several studies have been conducted across the globe describing the importance of traditional knowledge in veterinary care. Therefore, this study was planned with the aim to record knowledge on ethnoveterinary practices from the remote areas and share sit with other communities through published literature. Data was gathered from community members through semi-structured interviews and analyzed through informant consensus factor (Fic) to evaluate the consent of current ethnoveterinary practices among the local people. In total, 73 medicinal plants were recorded under the ethnoveterinary practices. Most widely used medicinal plants with maximum use reports (URs) were Visnaga daucoides Gaertn., Foeniculum vulgare Mill., Solanum virginianum L., Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal, Glycyrrhiza glabra L., and Curcuma longa L. New medicinal values were found with confidential level of citations for species including Heracleum candicans and Glycerhiza glabra. Family Apiaceae was the utmost family with high number (7 species) of medicinal plants. Maximum number of medicinal plants (32) was used for gastric problems. High Fic was recorded for dermatological (0.97) followed by reproductive (0.93) and gastrointestinal disorders (0.92). The main route of remedies administration was oral. Current study revealed that the study area has sufficient knowledge on ethnoveterinary medicinal plants. This knowledge is in the custody of nomadic grazers, herders, and aged community members. Plants with new medicinal uses need to be validated phytochemically and pharmacologically for the development of new alternative drugs for veterinary purposes.

  12. Wild plant species growing closely connected in a subalpine meadow host distinct root-associated bacterial communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristin Aleklett

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Plant roots are known to harbor large and diverse communities of bacteria. It has been suggested that plant identity can structure these root-associated communities, but few studies have specifically assessed how the composition of root microbiota varies within and between plant species growing under natural conditions. We assessed the community composition of endophytic and epiphytic bacteria through high throughput sequencing using 16S rDNA derived from root tissues collected from a population of a wild, clonal plant (Orange hawkweed–Pilosella aurantiaca as well as two neighboring plant species (Oxeye daisy–Leucanthemum vulgare and Alsike clover–Trifolium hybridum. Our first goal was to determine if plant species growing in close proximity, under similar environmental conditions, still hosted unique root microbiota. Our results showed that plants of different species host distinct bacterial communities in their roots. In terms of community composition, Betaproteobacteria (especially the family Oxalobacteraceae were found to dominate in the root microbiota of L. vulgare and T. hybridum samples, whereas the root microbiota of P. aurantiaca had a more heterogeneous distribution of bacterial abundances where Gammaproteobacteria and Acidobacteria occupied a larger portion of the community. We also explored the extent of individual variance within each plant species investigated, and found that in the plant species thought to have the least genetic variance among individuals (P. aurantiaca still hosted just as diverse microbial communities. Whether all plant species host their own distinct root microbiota and plants more closely related to each other share more similar bacterial communities still remains to be fully explored, but among the plants examined in this experiment there was no trend that the two species belonging to the same family shared more similarities in terms of bacterial community composition.

  13. Strong shift in the diazotrophic endophytic bacterial community inhabiting rice (Oryza sativa) plants after flooding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrando, Lucía; Fernández Scavino, Ana

    2015-09-01

    Flooding impacts soil microbial communities, but its effect on endophytic communities has rarely been explored. This work addresses the effect of flooding on the abundance and diversity of endophytic diazotrophic communities on rice plants established in a greenhouse experiment. The nifH gene was significantly more abundant in roots after flooding, whereas the nifH gene copy numbers in leaves were unaffected and remained low. The PCA (principal component analysis) of T-RFLP (terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism) profiles indicated that root communities of replicate plots were more similar and diverse after flooding than before flooding. The nifH libraries obtained by cloning and 454 pyrosequencing consistently showed a remarkable shift in the diazotrophic community composition after flooding. Gammaproteobacteria (66-98%), mainly of the genus Stenotrophomonas, prevailed in roots before flooding, whereas Betaproteobacteria was the dominant class (26-34%) after flooding. A wide variety of aerotolerant and anaerobic diazotrophic bacteria (e.g. Dechloromonas, Rhodopseudomonas, Desulfovibrio, Geobacter, Chlorobium, Spirochaeta, Selenomonas and Dehalobacter) with diverse metabolic traits were retrieved from flooded rice roots. These findings suggest that endophytic communities could be significantly impacted by changes in plant-soil conditions derived from flooding during rice cropping. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Leaf-litter microfungal community on poor fen plant debris in Torfy Lake area (Central Poland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mateusz Wilk

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to initially evaluate the species diversity of microfungi growing on litter of 15 plant species occurring on the poor fen and neighbouring area of the Torfy Lake, Masovian voivodeship, Poland. The lake is located near the planned road investment (construction of the Warsaw southern express ring road S2. The place is biologically valuable as there are rare plant communities from Rhynchosporion albae alliance protected under the Habitats Directive adopted by the European Union. On the examined plant debris 73 taxa of fungi were recorded (3 basidiomycetes, 13 ascomycetes, 2 zygomycetes, 43 anamorphic ascomycetes, 12 unidentified. Two of them, Dicranidion sp. and Wentiomyces sp. are presented here as new to Poland. Among the plant species examined, the litter of Rhododendron tomentosum harbored the highest number of fungal taxa (16. The highest percents of substrate-specific microfungi (i.e. recorded only on one plant species was noted on R. tomentosum (81.3 %, and Pteridium aquilinum (75%. It is emphasized that the lake area should be protected not only because of rare plant community but also because of the uniqueness and diversity of mycobiota.

  15. Annual glyphosate treatments alter growth of unaffected bentgrass (Agrostis weeds and plant community composition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Collin W Ahrens

    Full Text Available Herbicide resistance is becoming more common in weed ecotypes and crop species including turfgrasses, but current gaps in knowledge limit predictive ecological risk assessments and risk management plans. This project examined the effect of annual glyphosate applications on the vegetative growth and reproductive potential of two weedy bentgrasses, creeping bentgrass (CB and redtop (RT, where the glyphosate resistance (GR trait was mimicked by covering the bentgrass plants during glyphosate application. Five field plots were studied in habitats commonly inhabited by weedy bentgrasses including an agricultural hayfield, natural meadow, and wasteland. Results showed that annual glyphosate treatment improved bentgrass survivorship, vegetative growth, and reproductive potential compared with bentgrass in unsprayed subplots. In the second year of growth, RT plants had an 86-fold increase in flower number in glyphosate-treated subplots versus controls, while CB plants had a 20-fold increase. At the end of the three year study, plant community composition had changed in glyphosate-treated subplots in hayfield and meadow plots compared to controls. Soils in subplots receiving glyphosate had higher nitrate concentrations than controls. This is the first study to mimic the GR trait in bentgrass plants with the goal of quantifying bentgrass response to glyphosate selection pressure and understanding the impacts on surrounding plant communities.

  16. Incorporating the soil environment and microbial community into plant competition theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ke, Po-Ju; Miki, Takeshi

    2015-01-01

    Plants affect microbial communities and abiotic properties of nearby soils, which in turn influence plant growth and interspecific interaction, forming a plant-soil feedback (PSF). PSF is a key determinant influencing plant population dynamics, community structure, and ecosystem functions. Despite accumulating evidence for the importance of PSF and development of specific PSF models, different models are not yet fully integrated. Here, we review the theoretical progress in understanding PSF. When first proposed, PSF was integrated with various mathematical frameworks to discuss its influence on plant competition. Recent theoretical models have advanced PSF research at different levels of ecological organizations by considering multiple species, applying spatially explicit simulations to examine how local-scale predictions apply to larger scales, and assessing the effect of PSF on plant temporal dynamics over the course of succession. We then review two foundational models for microbial- and litter-mediated PSF. We present a theoretical framework to illustrate that although the two models are typically presented separately, their behavior can be understood together by invasibility analysis. We conclude with suggestions for future directions in PSF theoretical studies, which include specifically addressing microbial diversity to integrate litter- and microbial-mediated PSF, and apply PSF to general coexistence theory through a trait-based approach.

  17. Incorporating the soil environment and microbial community into plant competition theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ke, Po-Ju; Miki, Takeshi

    2015-01-01

    Plants affect microbial communities and abiotic properties of nearby soils, which in turn influence plant growth and interspecific interaction, forming a plant-soil feedback (PSF). PSF is a key determinant influencing plant population dynamics, community structure, and ecosystem functions. Despite accumulating evidence for the importance of PSF and development of specific PSF models, different models are not yet fully integrated. Here, we review the theoretical progress in understanding PSF. When first proposed, PSF was integrated with various mathematical frameworks to discuss its influence on plant competition. Recent theoretical models have advanced PSF research at different levels of ecological organizations by considering multiple species, applying spatially explicit simulations to examine how local-scale predictions apply to larger scales, and assessing the effect of PSF on plant temporal dynamics over the course of succession. We then review two foundational models for microbial- and litter-mediated PSF. We present a theoretical framework to illustrate that although the two models are typically presented separately, their behavior can be understood together by invasibility analysis. We conclude with suggestions for future directions in PSF theoretical studies, which include specifically addressing microbial diversity to integrate litter- and microbial-mediated PSF, and apply PSF to general coexistence theory through a trait-based approach. PMID:26500621

  18. Incorporating the soil environment and microbial community into plant competition theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Po-Ju eKe

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Plants affect microbial communities and abiotic properties of nearby soils, which in turn influence plant growth and interspecific interaction, forming a plant-soil feedback (PSF. PSF is a key determinant influencing plant population dynamics, community structure, and ecosystem functions. Despite accumulating evidence for the importance of PSF and development of specific PSF models, different models are not yet fully integrated. Here, we review the theoretical progress in understanding PSF. When first proposed, PSF was integrated with various mathematical frameworks to discuss its influence on plant competition. Recent theoretical models have advanced PSF research at different levels of ecological organizations by considering multiple species, applying spatially explicit simulations to examine how local-scale predictions apply to larger scales, and assessing the effect of PSF on plant temporal dynamics over the course of succession. We then review two foundational models for microbial- and litter-mediated PSF. We present a theoretical framework to illustrate that although the two models are typically presented separately, their behavior can be understood together by invasibility analysis. We conclude with suggestions for future directions in PSF theoretical studies, which include specifically addressing microbial diversity to integrate litter- and microbial-mediated PSF, and apply PSF to general coexistence theory through a trait-based approach.

  19. Belowground Water Dynamics Under Contrasting Annual and Perennial Plant Communities in an Agriculturally-Dominated Landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora, G.; Asbjornsen, H.; Helmers, M. J.; Shepherd, G. W.

    2005-12-01

    The conversion from grasslands and forests to row-crops in the Midwest has affected soil water cycling because plant characteristics are one of the main parameters determining soil storage capacity, infiltration rates, and surface runoff. Little is known, however, about the extent of modification of soil water dynamics under different plant communities. To address this important issue, we are documenting soil water dynamics under contrasting perennial and annual plant communities in an agriculturally-dominated landscape. Measurements of soil moisture and depths of uptake of source water were obtained for six vegetative cover types (corn and soybean field, brome pasture, degraded savanna, restored savanna, and restored prairie) at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Prairie City, Iowa. The depths of uptake of soil water were determined on the basis of oxygen isotope composition of soil water and stem water. Measurements were performed once a month during an entire growing season. Preliminary results indicate that soil water present under the different vegetation types show similar profiles with depth during the dry months. Soil water in the upper 5 cm is enriched in oxygen-18 by about 5 per mil relative to soil water at 100 cm. Our preliminary results also indicate that the isotopic composition of stem water from annual plants is typically higher by about 2 per mil relative to that of stem water from perennial plants during the dry period. Whereas the oxygen isotopic composition for corn stem water is -5.49 per mil, that for elm and oak stem water is -7.62 and -7.51 per mil, respectively. The higher isotope values for corn suggest that annual crop plants are withdrawing water from shallower soil horizons relative to perennial plants. Moreover, our preliminary data suggest lower moisture content in soil under annual plant cover. We propose that the presence of deeper roots in the perennial vegetation allows these plants to tap into deeper water sources when

  20. Ammonia oxidizing bacteria community dynamics in a pilot-scale wastewater treatment plant.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaohui Wang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Chemoautotrophic ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB have the metabolic ability to oxidize ammonia to nitrite aerobically. This metabolic feature has been widely used, in combination with denitrification, to remove nitrogen from wastewater in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs. However, the relative influence of specific deterministic environmental factors to AOB community dynamics in WWTP is uncertain. The ecological principles underlying AOB community dynamics and nitrification stability and how they are related are also poorly understood. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The community dynamics of ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB in a pilot-scale WWTP were monitored over a one-year period by Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (T-RFLP. During the study period, the effluent ammonia concentrations were almost below 2 mg/L, except for the first 60 days, indicting stable nitrification. T-RFLP results showed that, during the test period with stable nitrification, the AOB community structures were not stable, and the average change rate (every 15 days of AOB community structures was 10% ± 8%. The correlations between T-RFLP profiles and 10 operational and environmental parameters were tested by Canonical Correlation Analysis (CCA and Mantel test. The results indicated that the dynamics of AOB community correlated most strongly with Dissolved Oxygen (DO, effluent ammonia, effluent Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD and temperature. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This study suggests that nitrification stability is not necessarily accompanied by a stable AOB community, and provides insight into parameters controlling the AOB community dynamics within bioreactors with stable nitrification.

  1. Responses of Ammonia-Oxidising Bacterial Communities to Nitrogen, Lime, and Plant Species in Upland Grassland Soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rooney, D.C.; Kennedy, N.M.; Clipson, N.J.W.; Rooney, D.C.; Kennedy, N.M.; Gleeson, D.B.

    2010-01-01

    Agricultural improvement of semi natural grasslands has been shown to result in changes to plant and microbial diversity, with consequences for ecosystem functioning. A microcosm approach was used to elucidate the effects of two key components of agricultural improvement (nitrogen addition and liming) on ammonia-oxidising bacterial (AOB) communities in an upland grassland soil. Plant species characteristic of unimproved and improved pastures (A. capillaries and L. perenne) were planted in microcosms, and lime, nitrogen (NH 4 NO 3 ), or lime plus nitrogen added. The AOB community was profiled using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP) of the amoA gene. AOB community structure was largely altered by NH 4 NO 3 addition, rather than liming, although interactions between nitrogen addition and plant species were also evident. Results indicate that nitrogen addition drives shifts in the structure of key microbial communities in upland grassland soils, and that plant species may play a significant role in determining AOB community structure

  2. Soil Microbial Communities and Gas Dynamics Contribute to Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Nitrogen Uptake and Transfer to Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hestrin, R.; Harrison, M. J.; Lehmann, J.

    2016-12-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) associate with most terrestrial plants and influence ecosystem ecology and biogeochemistry. There is evidence that AMF play a role in soil nitrogen cycling, in part by taking up nitrogen and transferring it to plants. However, many aspects of this process are poorly understood, including the factors that control fungal access to nitrogen stored in soil organic matter. In this study, we used stable isotopes and root exclusion to track nitrogen movement from organic matter into AMF and host plants. AMF significantly increased total plant biomass and nitrogen content, but both AMF and other soil microbes seemed to compete with plants for nitrogen. Surprisingly, gaseous nitrogen species also contributed significantly to plant nitrogen content under alkaline soil conditions. Our current experiments investigate whether free-living microbial communities that have evolved under a soil nitrogen gradient influence AMF access to soil organic nitrogen and subsequent nitrogen transfer to plants. This research links interactions between plants, mycorrhizal symbionts, and free-living microbes with terrestrial carbon and nitrogen dynamics.

  3. Local wisdom of Cikondang village community in the utilization of medicinal plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulyani, Y.; Munandar, A.; Nuraeni, E.

    2018-05-01

    This study aims to analyze local wisdom Cikondang community in the use of medicinal plants. This research used qualitative method with emic and ethical approach to explain the relationship of public knowledge about the type and utilization of medicinal plants in the view of science. Determination of respondents conducted by purposive sampling, taken 30% of the total respondent. The data of the knowledge of the use of medicinal plants obtained through interview techniques as many as 39 respondents. Cikondang people know 27 known medicinal plants and commonly used. Zingiberaceae family has a type that is more widely used as a medicinal plant. The most widely used plant part is leaf and medicinal plant processing which mostly done by boiling. The species with the highest value of use is owned by Curcuma longa L. with a value of 4.28, which states important species / priorities, while the species with the lowest SUV value is Aracchis hypogaea L. of 0.15, which states species are less important and can be replaced by other plants.

  4. Realistic diversity loss and variation in soil depth independently affect community-level plant nitrogen use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selmants, Paul C; Zavaleta, Erika S; Wolf, Amelia A

    2014-01-01

    Numerous experiments have demonstrated that diverse plant communities use nitrogen (N) more completely and efficiently, with implications for how species conservation efforts might influence N cycling and retention in terrestrial ecosystems. However, most such experiments have randomly manipulated species richness and minimized environmental heterogeneity, two design aspects that may reduce applicability to real ecosystems. Here we present results from an experiment directly comparing how realistic and randomized plant species losses affect plant N use across a gradient of soil depth in a native-dominated serpentine grassland in California. We found that the strength of the species richness effect on plant N use did not increase with soil depth in either the realistic or randomized species loss scenarios, indicating that the increased vertical heterogeneity conferred by deeper soils did not lead to greater complementarity among species in this ecosystem. Realistic species losses significantly reduced plant N uptake and altered N-use efficiency, while randomized species losses had no effect on plant N use. Increasing soil depth positively affected plant N uptake in both loss order scenarios but had a weaker effect on plant N use than did realistic species losses. Our results illustrate that realistic species losses can have functional consequences that differ distinctly from randomized losses, and that species diversity effects can be independent of and outweigh those of environmental heterogeneity on ecosystem functioning. Our findings also support the value of conservation efforts aimed at maintaining biodiversity to help buffer ecosystems against increasing anthropogenic N loading.

  5. Plant domestication and the assembly of bacterial and fungal communities associated with strains of the common sunflower, Helianthus annuus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leff, Jonathan W; Lynch, Ryan C; Kane, Nolan C; Fierer, Noah

    2017-04-01

    Root and rhizosphere microbial communities can affect plant health, but it remains undetermined how plant domestication may influence these bacterial and fungal communities. We grew 33 sunflower (Helianthus annuus) strains (n = 5) that varied in their extent of domestication and assessed rhizosphere and root endosphere bacterial and fungal communities. We also assessed fungal communities in the sunflower seeds to investigate the degree to which root and rhizosphere communities were influenced by vertical transmission of the microbiome through seeds. Neither root nor rhizosphere bacterial communities were affected by the extent of sunflower domestication, but domestication did affect the composition of rhizosphere fungal communities. In particular, more modern sunflower strains had lower relative abundances of putative fungal pathogens. Seed-associated fungal communities strongly differed across strains, but several lines of evidence suggest that there is minimal vertical transmission of fungi from seeds to the adult plants. Our results indicate that plant-associated fungal communities are more strongly influenced by host genetic factors and plant breeding than bacterial communities, a finding that could influence strategies for optimizing microbial communities to improve crop yields. © 2016 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.

  6. Antiprotozoal activity of medicinal plants used by Iquitos-Nauta road communities in Loreto (Peru).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vásquez-Ocmín, Pedro; Cojean, Sandrine; Rengifo, Elsa; Suyyagh-Albouz, Soulaf; Amasifuen Guerra, Carlos A; Pomel, Sébastien; Cabanillas, Billy; Mejía, Kember; Loiseau, Philippe M; Figadère, Bruno; Maciuk, Alexandre

    2018-01-10

    In the Peruvian Amazon, the use of medicinal plants is a common practice. However, there is few documented information about the practical aspects of their use and few scientific validation. The starting point for this work was a set of interviews of people living in rural communities from the Peruvian Amazon about their uses of plants. Protozoan diseases are a public health issue in the Amazonian communities, who partly cope with it by using traditional remedies. Validation of these traditional practices contributes to public health care efficiency and may help identify new antiprotozoal compounds. to inventory and validate the use of medicinal plants by rural people of Loreto region. Rural mestizos were interviewed about traditional medication of parasite infections with medicinal plants. Ethnopharmacological surveys were undertaken in two villages along Iquitos-Nauta road (Loreto region, Peru), namely 13 de Febrero and El Dorado communities. Forty-six plants were collected according to their traditional use for the treatment of parasitic diseases, 50 ethanolic extracts (different parts for some of the plants) were tested in vitro on Plasmodium falciparum (3D7 sensitive strain and W2 chloroquine resistant strain), Leishmania donovani LV9 strain and Trypanosoma brucei gambiense. Cytotoxic assessment (HUVEC cells) of the active extracts was performed. Two of the most active plants were submitted to preliminary bioguided fractionation to ascertain and explore their activities. From the initial plants list, 10 were found to be active on P. falciparum, 15 on L. donovani and 2 on the three parasites. The ethanolic extract from Costus curvibracteatus (Costaceae) leaves and Grias neuberthii (Lecythidaceae) bark showed strong in vitro activity on P. falciparum (sensitive and resistant strain) and L. donovani and moderate activity on T. brucei gambiense. The Amazonian forest communities in Peru represents a source of knowledge on the use of medicinal plants. In this work

  7. Exploring the plant-associated bacterial communities in Medicago sativa L

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pini Francesco

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plant-associated bacterial communities caught the attention of several investigators which study the relationships between plants and soil and the potential application of selected bacterial species in crop improvement and protection. Medicago sativa L. is a legume crop of high economic importance as forage in temperate areas and one of the most popular model plants for investigations on the symbiosis with nitrogen fixing rhizobia (mainly belonging to the alphaproteobacterial species Sinorhizobium meliloti. However, despite its importance, no studies have been carried out looking at the total bacterial community associated with the plant. In this work we explored for the first time the total bacterial community associated with M. sativa plants grown in mesocosms conditions, looking at a wide taxonomic spectrum, from the class to the single species (S. meliloti level. Results Results, obtained by using Terminal-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (T-RFLP analysis, quantitative PCR and sequencing of 16 S rRNA gene libraries, showed a high taxonomic diversity as well as a dominance by members of the class Alphaproteobacteria in plant tissues. Within Alphaproteobacteria the families Sphingomonadaceae and Methylobacteriaceae were abundant inside plant tissues, while soil Alphaproteobacteria were represented by the families of Hyphomicrobiaceae, Methylocystaceae, Bradyirhizobiaceae and Caulobacteraceae. At the single species level, we were able to detect the presence of S. meliloti populations in aerial tissues, nodules and soil. An analysis of population diversity on nodules and soil showed a relatively low sharing of haplotypes (30-40% between the two environments and between replicate mesocosms, suggesting drift as main force shaping S. meliloti population at least in this system. Conclusions In this work we shed some light on the bacterial communities associated with M. sativa plants, showing that Alphaproteobacteria may

  8. Interferences between Sphagnum and vascular plants: effects on plant community structure and peat formation

    OpenAIRE

    Malmer, Nils; Albinsson, C; Svensson, B M; Wallén, Bo

    2003-01-01

    The interference between vascular plants and peat mosses with respect to nitrogen and phosphorus was studied in a fertilization experiment and with respect to competition for light in a removal experiment in poor fens with either soligenous or topogenous hydrology using Narthecium ossifragum (L.) Huds. and three species of Sphagnum sect. Sphagnum as targets. Adding fertilizer either on the moss surface or below it confirmed the hypotheses of an asymmetric competition for nutrients, viz. that ...

  9. The legacy of plant invasions: changes in the soil seed bank of invaded plant communities

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gioria, Margherita; Pyšek, Petr

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 66, č. 1 (2016), s. 40-53 ISSN 0006-3568 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA15-13491S; GA ČR GB14-36079G Grant - others:AV ČR(CZ) AP1002 Program:Akademická prémie - Praemium Academiae Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : plant invasions * soil seed bank * impact Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 5.378, year: 2016

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

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

  11. Resistance and resilience of tundra plant communities to disturbance by winter seismic vehicles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Felix, N.A.; Raynolds, M.K.; Jorgenson, J.C.; DuBois, K.E.

    1992-01-01

    Effects of winter seismic exploration on arctic tundra were evaluated on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, four to five growing seasons after disturbance. Plant cover, active layer depths, and track depression were measured at plots representing major tundra plant communities and different levels of initial disturbance. Results are compared with the initial effects reported earlier. Little resilience was seen in any vegetation type, with no clearly decreasing trends in community dissimilarity. Active layer depths remained greater on plots in all nonriparian vegetation types, and most plots still had visible trails. Decreases in plant cover persisted on most plots, although a few species showed recovery or increases in cover above predisturbance level. Moist sedge-shrub tundra and dryas terraces had the largest community dissimilarities initially, showing the least resistance to high levels of winter vehicle disturbance. Community dissimilarity continued to increase for five seasons in moist sedge-shrub tundra, with species composition changing to higher sedge cover and lower shrub cover. The resilience amplitude may have been exceeded on four plots which had significant track depression

  12. Interactions for pollinator visitation and their consequences for reproduction in a plant community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hegland, Stein Joar; Totland, Ørjan

    2012-08-01

    Competition and facilitation in species interactions attract much attention in ecology, but their relative importance has seldom been evaluated in a community context. We assessed competitive and facilitative interactions for pollinator visitation among co-flowering species in a plant community, investigated the subsequent consequences for plant reproduction, and investigated whether effects could be trait-based. We removed the flowers of two species attractive to pollinators, in two separate experiments and assessed the effects on pollinator visitation rates and components of reproductive success in 11 co-flowering focal herb species. Overall, most focal species appear not to interact with the removal species with respect to pollinator visitation and subsequent reproduction (neutral interactions). Three focal species in the community had significantly higher reproductive responses (fruit production and seed weight) in the presence of the attractive removal species (facilitative interactions), but species interaction effects were less pronounced in species' flower visitation rates. A community-wide meta-analysis demonstrated that the two experiments did not have a significant effect on either facilitation or competition, and that there was no overall correlation between effect sizes for visitation and reproduction. Based on species-specific responses, it seems likely that floral traits such as similar flower colors contribute to interspecific facilitation of pollinator visitation and, in particular, that high pollinator dependence for plant reproduction, and associated pollen limitation, may contribute to subsequent interaction effects on reproduction in the focal species.

  13. Traits related to species persistence and dispersal explain changes in plant communities subjected to habitat loss

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Marini, Lorenzo; Bruun, Hans Henrik; Heikkinen, Risto

    2012-01-01

    Aim Habitat fragmentation is a major driver of biodiversity loss but it is insufficiently known how much its effects vary among species with different life-history traits; especially in plant communities, the understanding of the role of traits related to species persistence and dispersal in dete...... rural landscapes in NW Europe, mitigating the spatial isolation of remaining grasslands should be accompanied by restoration measures aimed at improving habitat quality for low competitors, abiotically dispersed and perennial, clonal species.......Aim Habitat fragmentation is a major driver of biodiversity loss but it is insufficiently known how much its effects vary among species with different life-history traits; especially in plant communities, the understanding of the role of traits related to species persistence and dispersal...... in determining dynamics of species communities in fragmented landscapes is still limited. The primary aim of this study was to test how plant traits related to persistence and dispersal and their interactions modify plant species vulnerability to decreasing habitat area and increasing isolation. Location Five...

  14. Insect-plant interactions: new pathways to a better comprehension of ecological communities in Neotropical savannas.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

    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.

  15. Microbiomes: unifying animal and plant systems through the lens of community ecology theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christian, Natalie; Whitaker, Briana K; Clay, Keith

    2015-01-01

    The field of microbiome research is arguably one of the fastest growing in biology. Bacteria feature prominently in studies on animal health, but fungi appear to be the more prominent functional symbionts for plants. Despite the similarities in the ecological organization and evolutionary importance of animal-bacterial and plant-fungal microbiomes, there is a general failure across disciplines to integrate the advances made in each system. Researchers studying bacterial symbionts in animals benefit from greater access to efficient sequencing pipelines and taxonomic reference databases, perhaps due to high medical and veterinary interest. However, researchers studying plant-fungal symbionts benefit from the relative tractability of fungi under laboratory conditions and ease of cultivation. Thus each system has strengths to offer, but both suffer from the lack of a common conceptual framework. We argue that community ecology best illuminates complex species interactions across space and time. In this synthesis we compare and contrast the animal-bacterial and plant-fungal microbiomes using six core theories in community ecology (i.e., succession, community assembly, metacommunities, multi-trophic interactions, disturbance, restoration). The examples and questions raised are meant to spark discussion amongst biologists and lead to the integration of these two systems, as well as more informative, manipulatory experiments on microbiomes research.

  16. Microbiomes: unifying animal and plant systems through the lens of community ecology theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalie eChristian

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The field of microbiome research is arguably one of the fastest growing in biology. Bacteria feature prominently in studies on animal health, but fungi appear to be the more prominent functional symbionts for plants. Despite the similarities in the ecological organization and evolutionary importance of animal-bacterial and plant-fungal microbiomes, there is a general failure across disciplines to integrate the advances made in each system. Researchers studying bacterial symbionts in animals benefit from greater access to efficient sequencing pipelines and taxonomic reference databases, perhaps due to high medical and veterinary interest. However, researchers studying plant-fungal symbionts benefit from the relative tractability of fungi under laboratory conditions and ease of cultivation. Thus each system has strengths to offer, but both suffer from the lack of a common conceptual framework. We argue that community ecology best illuminates complex species interactions across space and time. In this synthesis we compare and contrast the animal-bacterial and plant-fungal microbiomes using six core theories in community ecology (i.e., succession, community assembly, metacommunities, multi-trophic interactions, disturbance, restoration. The examples and questions raised are meant to spark discussion amongst biologists and lead to the integration of these two systems, as well as more informative, manipulatory experiments on microbiomes research.

  17. Community analysis of microbial sharing and specialization in a Costa Rican ant-plant-hemipteran symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pringle, Elizabeth G; Moreau, Corrie S

    2017-03-15

    Ants have long been renowned for their intimate mutualisms with trophobionts and plants and more recently appreciated for their widespread and diverse interactions with microbes. An open question in symbiosis research is the extent to which environmental influence, including the exchange of microbes between interacting macroorganisms, affects the composition and function of symbiotic microbial communities. Here we approached this question by investigating symbiosis within symbiosis. Ant-plant-hemipteran symbioses are hallmarks of tropical ecosystems that produce persistent close contact among the macroorganism partners, which then have substantial opportunity to exchange symbiotic microbes. We used metabarcoding and quantitative PCR to examine community structure of both bacteria and fungi in a Neotropical ant-plant-scale-insect symbiosis. Both phloem-feeding scale insects and honeydew-feeding ants make use of microbial symbionts to subsist on phloem-derived diets of suboptimal nutritional quality. Among the insects examined here, Cephalotes ants and pseudococcid scale insects had the most specialized bacterial symbionts, whereas Azteca ants appeared to consume or associate with more fungi than bacteria, and coccid scale insects were associated with unusually diverse bacterial communities. Despite these differences, we also identified apparent sharing of microbes among the macro-partners. How microbial exchanges affect the consumer-resource interactions that shape the evolution of ant-plant-hemipteran symbioses is an exciting question that awaits further research. © 2017 The Author(s).

  18. Water table and species identity outweigh carbon and nitrogen availability in a softwater plant community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanderhaeghe, Floris; Smolders, Alfons J. P.; Roelofs, Jan G. M.; Hoffmann, Maurice

    2013-02-01

    Performance of aquatic macrophytes is driven by many environmental factors, and a major challenge is to understand how aquatic macrophyte communities are structured in various environments. In softwater lakes in Western Europe, hydrological state (submersed/emersed), carbon dioxide and ammonium levels and species interactions are considered as driving forces in structuring amphibious plant communities. In this study we aimed at evaluating the relative importance of these factors for four species in a competitive neighbourhood. Softwater lake habitat was simulated during one growing season in laboratory conditions, mimicking water level fluctuation, photoperiod and temperature. Artificial communities consisted of small populations of four softwater macrophyte species: Luronium natans, Baldellia ranunculoides ssp. repens, Eleocharis multicaulis and Hydrocotyle vulgaris. These communities were subjected to two levels of carbon dioxide and ammonium. Additionally, monocultures of Baldellia and Eleocharis were grown at a higher nutrient level combination in order to measure their competitive response in a community. Time (hydrological state) and species identity turned out to be the only consistently significant factors determining community composition. Plant performance was clearly species-dependent, while carbon dioxide and ammonium did not have major effects. The competitive response was significant in both Eleocharis and Baldellia. Competition intensity was highest in the emersed state. Carbon dioxide had a supplementary effect on the within-species performance in Luronium, Baldellia and Eleocharis, with high carbon dioxide level mainly resulting in more flowers and more stolons. Community outcomes and competitive responses in aquatic macrophytes appear difficult to predict, because of mixed life strategies and morphological and functional plasticity. We conclude that hydrological state was the only important environmental factor. The identity of the species that

  19. Plant communities as drivers of soil respiration: pathways, mechanisms, and significance for global change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. B. Metcalfe

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the impacts of plant community characteristics on soil carbon dioxide efflux (R is a key prerequisite for accurate prediction of the future carbon (C balance of terrestrial ecosystems under climate change. However, developing a mechanistic understanding of the determinants of R is complicated by the presence of multiple different sources of respiratory C within soil – such as soil microbes, plant roots and their mycorrhizal symbionts – each with their distinct dynamics and drivers. In this review, we synthesize relevant information from a wide spectrum of sources to evaluate the current state of knowledge about plant community effects on R, examine how this information is incorporated into global climate models, and highlight priorities for future research. Despite often large variation amongst studies and methods, several general trends emerge.

    Mechanisms whereby plants affect R may be grouped into effects on belowground C allocation, aboveground litter properties and microclimate. Within vegetation types, the amount of C diverted belowground, and hence R, may be controlled mainly by the rate of photosynthetic C uptake, while amongst vegetation types this should be more dependent upon the specific C allocation strategies of the plant life form. We make the case that plant community composition, rather than diversity, is usually the dominant control on R in natural systems. Individual species impacts on R may be largest where the species accounts for most of the biomass in the ecosystem, has very distinct traits to the rest of the community and/or modulates the occurrence of major natural disturbances. We show that climate vegetation models incorporate a number of pathways whereby plants can affect R, but that simplifications regarding allocation schemes and drivers of litter decomposition may limit model accuracy. We also suggest that under a warmer future

  20. Definition of sampling units begets conclusions in ecology: the case of habitats for plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mörsdorf, Martin A; Ravolainen, Virve T; Støvern, Leif Einar; Yoccoz, Nigel G; Jónsdóttir, Ingibjörg Svala; Bråthen, Kari Anne

    2015-01-01

    In ecology, expert knowledge on habitat characteristics is often used to define sampling units such as study sites. Ecologists are especially prone to such approaches when prior sampling frames are not accessible. Here we ask to what extent can different approaches to the definition of sampling units influence the conclusions that are drawn from an ecological study? We do this by comparing a formal versus a subjective definition of sampling units within a study design which is based on well-articulated objectives and proper methodology. Both approaches are applied to tundra plant communities in mesic and snowbed habitats. For the formal approach, sampling units were first defined for each habitat in concave terrain of suitable slope using GIS. In the field, these units were only accepted as the targeted habitats if additional criteria for vegetation cover were fulfilled. For the subjective approach, sampling units were defined visually in the field, based on typical plant communities of mesic and snowbed habitats. For each approach, we collected information about plant community characteristics within a total of 11 mesic and seven snowbed units distributed between two herding districts of contrasting reindeer density. Results from the two approaches differed significantly in several plant community characteristics in both mesic and snowbed habitats. Furthermore, differences between the two approaches were not consistent because their magnitude and direction differed both between the two habitats and the two reindeer herding districts. Consequently, we could draw different conclusions on how plant diversity and relative abundance of functional groups are differentiated between the two habitats depending on the approach used. We therefore challenge ecologists to formalize the expert knowledge applied to define sampling units through a set of well-articulated rules, rather than applying it subjectively. We see this as instrumental for progress in ecology as only rules

  1. Definition of sampling units begets conclusions in ecology: the case of habitats for plant communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin A. Mörsdorf

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available In ecology, expert knowledge on habitat characteristics is often used to define sampling units such as study sites. Ecologists are especially prone to such approaches when prior sampling frames are not accessible. Here we ask to what extent can different approaches to the definition of sampling units influence the conclusions that are drawn from an ecological study? We do this by comparing a formal versus a subjective definition of sampling units within a study design which is based on well-articulated objectives and proper methodology. Both approaches are applied to tundra plant communities in mesic and snowbed habitats. For the formal approach, sampling units were first defined for each habitat in concave terrain of suitable slope using GIS. In the field, these units were only accepted as the targeted habitats if additional criteria for vegetation cover were fulfilled. For the subjective approach, sampling units were defined visually in the field, based on typical plant communities of mesic and snowbed habitats. For each approach, we collected information about plant community characteristics within a total of 11 mesic and seven snowbed units distributed between two herding districts of contrasting reindeer density. Results from the two approaches differed significantly in several plant community characteristics in both mesic and snowbed habitats. Furthermore, differences between the two approaches were not consistent because their magnitude and direction differed both between the two habitats and the two reindeer herding districts. Consequently, we could draw different conclusions on how plant diversity and relative abundance of functional groups are differentiated between the two habitats depending on the approach used. We therefore challenge ecologists to formalize the expert knowledge applied to define sampling units through a set of well-articulated rules, rather than applying it subjectively. We see this as instrumental for progress in

  2. Antihyperlipidemic activity of the medicinal plants among Kadazan and Dusun communities in Sabah, Malaysia: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khaled Mohamed Mohamed Koriem

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Sabah is one of the 13 states within the Federation of Malaysia and is located in the northernmost part of Borneo. It is the second largest state in Malaysia with a landmass of approximately 7.4 million hectares. The total forested area is 4.7 million hectares. Sabah, being part of Borneo, is rich in plant biodiversity. There is also an abundance of medicinal plants and other plants for everyday use. There is a great awarness regarding association between low density lipoprotein reduction and decreased cardiovascular disease mortality. The antihyperlipidaemic activity of herbs plays an important role in the reduction of cardiovascular diseases, which is the top disease that causes mortality all over the world. Lipid-lowering activity of medicinal plant for phytomedicine research and drug development for such a disease are now focused all over the world. A plant-based diet rich in fruit, vegetables, and legumes and low in saturated fat is an effective prescription for anyone with more severe atherosclerosis. Howerver, there are few herbs available that provide some protection for persons with the above disease. The antihyperlipidaemia property in plant plays a vital role to reduce atherosclerosis. Thus, there is an increasing search for the lipid lowering agents from natural origin. In this review an attempt has been made to give an overview of the antihyperlipidemic activity in traditional medicinal plants found widely in Kadazan and Dusun communities in Sabah, Malaysia. The antihyperlipidemic activity of the traditional medicinal plants in these communities is more helpful for the development of new drugs used in the protection against dyslipidemia or atherosclerosis.

  3. Plants used for treatment of dysentery and diarrhoea by the Bhoxa community of district Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gairola, Sumeet; Sharma, Jyotsana; Gaur, R D; Siddiqi, T O; Painuli, R M

    2013-12-12

    Dysentery and diarrhoea are major causes of morbidity and mortality in rural communities of developing world. The Bhoxa community is an important primitive indigenous community of Uttarakhand, India. In this paper we have tried to scientifically enumerate ethnomedicinal plants and herbal preparations used by Bhoxa community to treat dysentery and diarrhoea, and discuss their antidiarrhoeal properties in the light of previous ethnomedicinal, pharmacological, microbiological and phytochemical studies. To record plants and herbal preparations used by Bhoxa community of district Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India in treatment of dysentery and diarrhoea, and to discuss antidiarrhoeal and antimicrobial properties of the recorded plants. Ethnomedicinal survey was conducted in different villages of Bhoxa community located in district Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India. Thirty Bhoxa traditional healers were interviewed to collect information on plants used by them for treating dysentery and diarrhoea. For each of the recorded plant species the use value (UV) and fidelity level (FL) was calculated. Detailed literature survey was conducted to summarize ethnomedicinal, pharmacological, microbiological and phytochemical information on the medicinal plants listed in the present study. Fifty medicinal plants (45 genera and 30 families) were used by Bhoxa community to treat dysentery and diarrhoea, among which 27 species were used for dysentery, 41 for diarrhoea and 18 for both dysentery and diarrhoea. Three plants viz., Dioscorea bulbifera L., Euphorbia thymifolia L. and Prunus persica (L.) Stokes, recorded in the present survey have been reported for the first time in treatment of dysentery and diarrhoea by any indigenous communities in India. FL and UV values revealed that most preferred species for the treatment of dysentery and diarrhoea by Bhoxa community are Euphorbia hirta L. followed by Holarrhena pubescens Wall., Helicteres isora L. and Cassia fistula L. Earlier pharmacological

  4. Ecology of some mire and bog plant communities in the Western Italian Alps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giorgio BUFFA

    2003-02-01

    Full Text Available During a mire vegetation study, conducted mainly in the subalpine-alpine sector of the Western Italian Alps, the ecology of several plant communities and numerous moss species of this kind of vegetation was evaluated. The study area covered the Piedmontese sector of the Graian Alps, the eastern sector of the Aosta Valley as well as certain localities of the Pennine Alps, the Canavese district and the Maritime Alps. They have a rocky substratum representative of the various regional lithologies and include the main sectors characterised by the highest precipitation. Three hundred and twenty two relevées were made using the phytosociological method and the pH and the conductivity of the water table and its depth were measured directly. Cluster Analysis allowed a classification of the samples and the identification of various groups of plant communities. Ordination performed by DCA and CCA allowed us to identify the ecological features of the various plant communities by using the values of the main environmental parameters, measured directly in the field, and certain climatic parameters (altitude and mean annual precipitation available. The use of climatic parameters is an important result for identifying communities which show greater oceanicity, something that is underlined also by the presence of indicator species such as Sphagnum papillosum and S. subnitens. Furthermore the communities are arranged in a "poor-rich" gradient, and are also profoundly influenced by depth to water table which is inversely correlated to the pH. Therefore we find certain kinds of communities all with a very low water table and which are little affected by its chemistry. Other groups share the fact that the water table is outcropping or near the surface and are distinguishable for their pH values and conductivity. We discuss the different response of the bryophytes and vascular plants of these communities to the environmental parameters considered, in light of their

  5. Receding Water Line and Interspecific Competition Determines Plant Community Composition and Diversity in Wetlands in Beijing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhengjun; Gong, Huili; Zhang, Jing

    2015-01-01

    Climate and human-induced wetland degradation has accelerated in recent years, not only resulting in reduced ecosystem services but also greatly affecting the composition and diversity of wetland plant communities. To date, the knowledge of the differences in community parameters and their successional trends in degraded wetlands remains scarce. Here based on remote sensing images, geographic information system technology, and statistical methods, we produced a successional gradient map of the Yeyahu Wetland Nature Reserve in Beijing, which has experienced a steady decline in water level in recent decades. In addition, we analyzed community composition and diversity along with each identified gradient. The results showed that community diversity decreases while dominance increases with the progress of succession, with the highest diversity occurring during the early stage of succession. Moreover, the community demonstrates greater similarity among subareas during later successional stages, and the similarity coefficients calculated from the important value (IV) of each species are more accurate. Correlation analysis showed that the impact of soil factors on diversity was not significant at a subarea scale, although these nutrients showed an increasing trend with the community succession. Furthermore, the IVs of the dominant species had a particularly significant impact on diversity, showing a significantly negative correlation with diversity indices and a significantly positive correlation with dominance indices. Further analysis showed that the retreat of water level resulted from sustained drought and local human activities was a major extrinsic driving force resulting in observed differences in the community successional stages, which resulted in differences in community composition and diversity. On the other hand, interspecific competition was the main intrinsic mechanism, which significantly influenced the IVs of the dominant species and community diversity

  6. Taxonomic and Functional Responses of Soil Microbial Communities to Annual Removal of Aboveground Plant Biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Xue; Zhou, Xishu; Hale, Lauren; Yuan, Mengting; Feng, Jiajie; Ning, Daliang; Shi, Zhou; Qin, Yujia; Liu, Feifei; Wu, Liyou; He, Zhili; Van Nostrand, Joy D.; Liu, Xueduan; Luo, Yiqi; Tiedje, James M.; Zhou, Jizhong

    2018-01-01

    Clipping, removal of aboveground plant biomass, is an important issue in grassland ecology. However, few studies have focused on the effect of clipping on belowground microbial communities. Using integrated metagenomic technologies, we examined the taxonomic and functional responses of soil microbial communities to annual clipping (2010–2014) in a grassland ecosystem of the Great Plains of North America. Our results indicated that clipping significantly (P microbial respiration rates. Annual temporal variation within the microbial communities was much greater than the significant changes introduced by clipping, but cumulative effects of clipping were still observed in the long-term scale. The abundances of some bacterial and fungal lineages including Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes were significantly (P microbial communities were significantly correlated with soil respiration and plant productivity. Intriguingly, clipping effects on microbial function may be highly regulated by precipitation at the interannual scale. Altogether, our results illustrated the potential of soil microbial communities for increased soil organic matter decomposition under clipping land-use practices. PMID:29904372

  7. An integrated metagenome and -proteome analysis of the microbial community residing in a biogas production plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortseifen, Vera; Stolze, Yvonne; Maus, Irena; Sczyrba, Alexander; Bremges, Andreas; Albaum, Stefan P; Jaenicke, Sebastian; Fracowiak, Jochen; Pühler, Alfred; Schlüter, Andreas

    2016-08-10

    To study the metaproteome of a biogas-producing microbial community, fermentation samples were taken from an agricultural biogas plant for microbial cell and protein extraction and corresponding metagenome analyses. Based on metagenome sequence data, taxonomic community profiling was performed to elucidate the composition of bacterial and archaeal sub-communities. The community's cytosolic metaproteome was represented in a 2D-PAGE approach. Metaproteome databases for protein identification were compiled based on the assembled metagenome sequence dataset for the biogas plant analyzed and non-corresponding biogas metagenomes. Protein identification results revealed that the corresponding biogas protein database facilitated the highest identification rate followed by other biogas-specific databases, whereas common public databases yielded insufficient identification rates. Proteins of the biogas microbiome identified as highly abundant were assigned to the pathways involved in methanogenesis, transport and carbon metabolism. Moreover, the integrated metagenome/-proteome approach enabled the examination of genetic-context information for genes encoding identified proteins by studying neighboring genes on the corresponding contig. Exemplarily, this approach led to the identification of a Methanoculleus sp. contig encoding 16 methanogenesis-related gene products, three of which were also detected as abundant proteins within the community's metaproteome. Thus, metagenome contigs provide additional information on the genetic environment of identified abundant proteins. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Effects of Nonnative Ungulate Removal on Plant Communities and Soil Biogeochemistry in Tropical Forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, R. J.; Litton, C. M.; Giardina, C. P.; Sparks, J. P.

    2014-12-01

    Non-native ungulates have substantial impacts on native ecosystems globally, altering both plant communities and soil biogeochemistry. Across tropical and temperate ecosystems, land managers fence and remove non-native ungulates to conserve native biodiversity, a costly management action, yet long-term outcomes are not well quantified. Specifically, knowledge gaps include: (i) the magnitude and time frame of plant community recovery; (ii) the response of non-native invasive plants; and (iii) changes to soil biogeochemistry. In 2010, we established a series of paired ungulate presence vs. removal plots that span a 20 yr. chronosequence in tropical montane wet forests on the Island of Hawaii to quantify the impacts and temporal legacy of feral pig removal on plant communities and soil biogeochemistry. We also compared soil biogeochemistry in targeted areas of low and high feral pig impact. Our work shows that both native and non-native vegetation respond positively to release from top-down control following removal of feral pigs, but species of high conservation concern recover only if initially present at the time of non-native ungulate removal. Feral pig impacts on soil biogeochemistry appear to last for at least 20 years following ungulate removal. We observed that both soil physical and chemical properties changed with feral pig removal. Soil bulk density and volumetric water content decreased while extractable base cations and inorganic N increased in low vs. high feral pig impact areas. We hypothesize that altered soil biogeochemistry facilitates continued invasions by non-native plants, even decades after non-native ungulate removal. Future work will concentrate on comparisons between wet and dry forest ecosystems and test whether manipulation of soil nutrients can be used to favor native vs. non-native plant establishment.

  9. Responses of prairie arthropod communities to fire and fertilizer: Balancing plant and arthropod conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartley, M.K.; Rogers, W.E.; Siemann, E.; Grace, J.

    2007-01-01

    Fire is an important tool for limiting woody plant invasions into prairies, but using fire management to maintain grassland plant communities may inadvertently reduce arthropod diversity. To test this, we established twenty-four 100 m2 plots in a tallgrass prairie in Galveston County, Texas, in spring 2000. Plots were assigned a fire (no burn, one time burn [2000], two time burn [2000, 2001]) and fertilization treatment (none, NPK addition) in a full factorial design. Fertilization treatments allowed us to examine the effects of fire at a different level of productivity. We measured plant cover by species and sampled arthropods with sweep nets during the 2001 growing season. Path analysis indicated that fertilization reduced while annual fires increased arthropod diversity via increases and decreases in woody plant abundance, respectively. There was no direct effect of fire on arthropod diversity or abundance. Diptera and Homoptera exhibited particularly strong positive responses to fires. Lepidoptera had a negative response to nutrient enrichment. Overall, the negative effects of fire on the arthropod community were minor in contrast to the strong positive indirect effects of small-scale burning on arthropod diversity if conservation of particular taxa is not a priority. The same fire regime that minimized woody plant invasion also maximized arthropod diversity.

  10. Ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants in the community of Santa Rita, Ituiutaba – Minas Gerais, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Glaucieli Siqueira Parreira Alves

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper aimed to inventory the plants used in popular medicine by members of the rural community of Santa Rita, in the town of Ituiutaba, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The evaluation was carried out through interviews, with a semi-structured questionnaire and subsequent collection of the plants indicated by informants. One conducted 47 interviews and 127 species were listed, belonging to 55 Angiosperm families. For obtaining the quantitative data, one calculated the percentage of the Main Use Concordance (cMUC of each species; for identifying the therapeutic indications with greater importance, one used the Informant Consensus Factor (ICF. The cMUC showed that 5.5% of the plants mentioned are widely used by the community. The predominant botanical families registered were Lamiaceae and Asteraceae, with 14 and 13 records, respectively. The indication of predominant use mainly involved illnesses related to an emotional disorder, as indicated by the ICF. One emphasizes that 60.7% of the plants mentioned in this paper are exotic species; thus, there’s a need for further studies in order to catalogue knowledge on the medicinal plants which are native to this region.

  11. Plant selenium hyperaccumulation- Ecological effects and potential implications for selenium cycling and community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, R Jason B; Pilon-Smits, Elizabeth A H

    2018-04-25

    Selenium (Se) hyperaccumulation occurs in ~50 plant taxa native to seleniferous soils in Western USA. Hyperaccumulator tissue Se levels, 1000-15,000 mg/kg dry weight, are typically 100 times higher than surrounding vegetation. Relative to other species, hyperaccumulators also transform Se more into organic forms. We review abiotic and biotic factors influencing soil Se distribution and bioavailability, soil being the source of the Se in hyperaccumulators. Next, we summarize the fate of Se in plants, particularly hyperaccumulators. We then extensively review the impact of plant Se accumulation on ecological interactions. Finally, we discuss the potential impact of Se hyperaccumulators on local community composition and Se cycling. Selenium (hyper)accumulation offers ecological advantages: protection from herbivores and pathogens and competitive advantage over other plants. The extreme Se levels in and around hyperaccumulators create a toxic environment for Se-sensitive ecological partners, while offering a niche for Se-resistant partners. Through these dual effects, hyperaccumulators may influence species composition in their local environment, as well as Se cycling. The implied effects of Se hyperaccumulation on community assembly and local Se cycling warrant further investigations into the contribution of hyperaccumulators and general terrestrial vegetation to global Se cycling and may serve as a case study for how trace elements influence ecological processes. Furthermore, understanding ecological implications of plant Se accumulation are vital for safe implementation of biofortification and phytoremediation, technologies increasingly implemented to battle Se deficiency and toxicity. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  12. Riparian plant community responses to increased flooding: a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garssen, Annemarie G; Baattrup-Pedersen, Annette; Voesenek, Laurentius A C J; Verhoeven, Jos T A; Soons, Merel B

    2015-08-01

    A future higher risk of severe flooding of streams and rivers has been projected to change riparian plant community composition and species richness, but the extent and direction of the expected change remain uncertain. We conducted a meta-analysis to synthesize globally available experimental evidence and assess the effects of increased flooding on (1) riparian adult plant and seedling survival, (2) riparian plant biomass and (3) riparian plant species composition and richness. We evaluated which plant traits are of key importance for the response of riparian plant species to flooding. We identified and analysed 53 papers from ISI Web of Knowledge which presented quantitative experimental results on flooding treatments and corresponding control situations. Our meta-analysis demonstrated how longer duration of flooding, greater depth of flooding and, particularly, their combination reduce seedling survival of most riparian species. Plant height above water level, ability to elongate shoots and plasticity in root porosity were decisive for adult plant survival and growth during longer periods of flooding. Both 'quiescence' and 'escape' proved to be successful strategies promoting riparian plant survival, which was reflected in the wide variation in survival (full range between 0 and 100%) under fully submerged conditions, while plants that protrude above the water level (>20 cm) almost all survive. Our survey confirmed that the projected increase in the duration and depth of flooding periods is sufficient to result in species shifts. These shifts may lead to increased or decreased riparian species richness depending on the nutrient, climatic and hydrological status of the catchment. Species richness was generally reduced at flooded sites in nutrient-rich catchments and sites that previously experienced relatively stable hydrographs (e.g. rain-fed lowland streams). Species richness usually increased at sites in desert and semi-arid climate regions (e.g. intermittent

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieira, Camila; Romero, Gustavo Q

    2013-07-01

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

  14. Community development on 35-year-old planted minespoil banks in Pennsylvania

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schuster, W S; Hutnik, R J

    1987-07-01

    Invading plant communities were studied in 1982 on a series of 35-year old strip-mine test plantings in the main bituminous region of Pennsylvania. Ten of the original 22 sites were evaluated; the others had been significantly disturbed or destroyed. The sites varied in mean pH, in survival and basal area of the planted trees and in the species planted. The study involved 24 plots of the following species: eastern white pine (Pine strobus), red pine (Pinus resinosa), Japanese larch (Laprix leptolepis), red oak (Quercus rubra), black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), white ash (Fraxinus americana), green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) and hybrid poplar (Populus hyb.) and seven plots where plantings were unsuccessful (control plots). In the cluster analysis of invading communities described by a modified Braun-Blanquet scale, strong clustering trends were evident by both site and planted species. Clustering by sites was most pronounced for those sites with extremes of soil pH. There was also strong clustering among pine plots and among some hardwood plots. Species richness was higher on white ash, red oak, Japanese larch and control plots than on white pine plots. Black cherry (Prunus serotina) was the most common of the 169 invading species and was especially numerous on black locust plots. Aspens (Populus sp.) were also common invaders, especially on pine and ash plots. These species, along with pin cherry (Prunus Pennsylvanica) and the planted black locust are declining in importance, whereas black cherry, red maple (Acer rubrum) and slippery elm (Ulmus rubra) are increasing. Invading oaks (Quercus sp.), hickories (Carya sp.) and a few sugar maple (Acer saccharum) and American beech (Fagus grandifolia) suggest future successional changes. 26 refs., 2 figs., 4 tabs.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moran, M.A.

    1987-01-01

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

  16. Ordination of self-organizing feature map neural networks and its application to the study of plant communities

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jintun ZHANG; Dongping MENG; Yuexiang XI

    2009-01-01

    A self-organizing feature map (SOFM) neural network is a powerful tool in analyzing and solving complex, non-linear problems. According to its features, a SOFM is entirely compatible with ordination studies of plant communities. In our present work, mathematical principles, and ordination techniques and procedures are introduced. A SOFM ordination was applied to the study of plant communities in the middle of the Taihang mountains. The ordination was carried out by using the NNTool box in MATLAB. The results of 68 quadrats of plant communities were distributed in SOFM space. The ordination axes showed the ecological gradients clearly and provided the relationships between communities with ecological meaning. The results are consistent with the reality of vegetation in the study area. This suggests that SOFM ordination is an effective technique in plant ecology. During ordination procedures, it is easy to carry out clustering of communities and so it is beneficial for combining classification and ordination in vegetation studies.

  17. Concentration of petroleum-hydrocarbon contamination shapes fungal endophytic community structure in plant roots

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillaume eBourdel

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Plant-root inhabiting fungi are a universal phenomenon found in all ecosystems where plants are able to grow, even in harsh environments. Interactions between fungi and plant roots can vary widely from mutualism to parasitism depending on many parameters. The role of fungal endophytes in phytoremediation of polluted sites, and characterization of the endophytic diversity and community assemblages in contaminated areas remain largely unexplored. In this study, we investigated the composition of endophytic fungal communities in the roots of two plant species growing spontaneously in petroleum-contaminated sedimentation basins of a former petro-chemical plant. The three adjacent basins showed a highly heterogeneous patterns of pollutant concentrations. We combined a culture-based isolation approach with the pyrosequencing of fungal ITS ribosomal DNA. We selected two species, Eleocharis erythropoda Steud. and Populus balsamifera L., and sampled three individuals of each species from each of three adjacent basins, each with a different concentration of petroleum hydrocarbons. We found that contamination level significantly shaped endophytic fungal diversity and community composition in E. erythropoda, with only 9.9% of these fungal Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs retrieved in all three basins. However, fungal community structure associated with P. balsamifera remained unaffected by the contamination level with 28.2% of fungal OTUs shared among all three basins. This could be explained by the smaller differences of pollutant concentrations in the soil around our set of P. balsamifera sampless compared to that around our set of E. erythropoda samples. Our culture-based approach allowed isolation of 11 and 30 fungal endophytic species from surface-sterilized roots of E. erythropoda and P. balsamifera, respectively. These isolates were ribotyped using ITS, and all were found in pyrosequensing datasets. Our results demonstrate that extreme levels of

  18. An ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants used by the Yaegl Aboriginal community in northern New South Wales, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Packer, Joanne; Brouwer, Nynke; Harrington, David; Gaikwad, Jitendra; Heron, Ronald; Yaegl Community Elders; Ranganathan, Shoba; Vemulpad, Subramanyam; Jamie, Joanne

    2012-01-06

    Documentation of Australian bush medicines is of utmost importance to the preservation of this disappearing and invaluable knowledge. This collaboration between the Yaegl Aboriginal community in northern New South Wales (NSW), Australia and an academic institution, demonstrates an effective means of preserving and adding value to this information. Questionnaire-guided interviews were performed with community Elders under a framework of participatory action research. Medicinal plant knowledge was collated in a handbook to aid interviews and to be used as an ongoing resource by the community. Specimens for all non-cultivar plants that were discussed were collected and deposited in herbaria with unique voucher numbers. This medicinal knowledge was checked against the literature for reports of related use and studies of biological activity. Nineteen Elders were interviewed, leading to discussions on fifty four plant preparations used for medicinal purposes. These plant preparations involved thirty two plants coming from twenty one families, reflecting the botanical diversity of the area. The plants retained in the Yaegl pharmacopoeia correspond to their accessibility and ease of preparation, reflected in their ongoing utilisation. Several plant uses did not appear elsewhere in the literature. This study is the first comprehensive documentation of the medicinal knowledge of the Yaegl Aboriginal community. It has been conducted using participatory action research methods and adds to the recorded customary knowledge of the region. The customary medicinal knowledge retained by the Yaegl Aboriginal community is related to the evolving needs of the community and accessibility of plants. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. The physical environment and major plant communities of the Karoo National Park, South Africa

    OpenAIRE

    Francine Rubin; A.R. Palmer

    1996-01-01

    The major plant communities of the Karoo National Park are described using the methods of the Zurich-Montpellier school of phytosociology, to assist with the formulation of a management strategy for the park. The vegetation physiognomy consists of Montane Karoo grassy shrublands. Karoo grassy dwarf shrublands. Karoo succulent dwarf shrublands and riparian thicket. Steep elevation and precipitation gradients within the study area have a direct impact on gradients in the vegetation. High elevat...

  20. Plant community structure regulates responses of prairie soil respiration to decadal experimental warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xia; Shi, Zheng; Li, Dejun; Zhou, Xuhui; Sherry, Rebecca A; Luo, Yiqi

    2015-10-01

    Soil respiration is recognized to be influenced by temperature, moisture, and ecosystem production. However, little is known about how plant community structure regulates responses of soil respiration to climate change. Here, we used a 13-year field warming experiment to explore the mechanisms underlying plant community regulation on feedbacks of soil respiration to climate change in a tallgrass prairie in Oklahoma, USA. Infrared heaters were used to elevate temperature about 2 °C since November 1999. Annual clipping was used to mimic hay harvest. Our results showed that experimental warming significantly increased soil respiration approximately from 10% in the first 7 years (2000-2006) to 30% in the next 6 years (2007-2012). The two-stage warming stimulation of soil respiration was closely related to warming-induced increases in ecosystem production over the years. Moreover, we found that across the 13 years, warming-induced increases in soil respiration were positively affected by the proportion of aboveground net primary production (ANPP) contributed by C3 forbs. Functional composition of the plant community regulated warming-induced increases in soil respiration through the quantity and quality of organic matter inputs to soil and the amount of photosynthetic carbon (C) allocated belowground. Clipping, the interaction of clipping with warming, and warming-induced changes in soil temperature and moisture all had little effect on soil respiration over the years (all P > 0.05). Our results suggest that climate warming may drive an increase in soil respiration through altering composition of plant communities in grassland ecosystems. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Assessing Metal Exposures in a Community near a Cement Plant in the Northeast U.S.

    OpenAIRE

    Zhao Dong; Michael S. Bank; John D. Spengler

    2015-01-01

    Cement production is a major source of metals and metalloids in the environment, while exposures to metals and metalloids may impact human health in the surrounding communities. We recruited 185 participants living in the vicinity of a cement plant in the northeast U.S., and measured the levels of aluminum (Al), arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), and selenium (Se) in blood and Hg in hair samples from them. A questionnaire was used to assess potential sources of Hg exposure...

  2. Medicinal plants used by the Tamang community in the Makawanpur district of central Nepal

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Luitel, D. R.; Rokaya, Maan Bahadur; Timsina, Binu; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 10, č. 5 (2014), s. 1-11 ISSN 1746-4269 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0073; GA ČR GP13-10850P Institutional support: RVO:67179843 ; RVO:67985939 Keywords : Makawanpur district * Medicinal plants * Pharmacology * Phytochemistry * Tamang community Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour; EF - Botanics (BU-J) Impact factor: 2.000, year: 2014

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dylan E. Chapple

    2017-03-01

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

  4. Effects of a ciliate protozoa predator on microbial communities in pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea leaves.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taylor K Paisie

    Full Text Available The aquatic communities found within the water filled leaves of the pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea, have a simple trophic structure providing an ideal system to study microscale interactions between protozoan predators and their bacterial prey. In this study, replicate communities were maintained with and without the presence of the bactivorous protozoan, Colpoda steinii, to determine the effects of grazing on microbial communities. Changes in microbial (Archaea and Bacteria community structure were assessed using iTag sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. The microbial communities were similar with and without the protozoan predator, with>1000 species. Of these species, Archaea were negligible, with Bacteria comprising 99.99% of the microbial community. The Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were the most dominant phyla. The addition of a protozoan predator did not have a significant effect on microbial evenness nor richness. However, the presence of the protozoan did cause a significant shift in the relative abundances of a number of bacterial species. This suggested that bactivorous protozoan may target specific bacterial species and/or that certain bacterial species have innate mechanisms by which they evade predators. These findings help to elucidate the effect that trophic structure perturbations have on predator prey interactions in microbial systems.

  5. Ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plant species used by communities around Mabira Central Forest Reserve, Uganda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tugume, Patience; Kakudidi, Esezah K; Buyinza, Mukadasi; Namaalwa, Justine; Kamatenesi, Maud; Mucunguzi, Patrick; Kalema, James

    2016-01-13

    An ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants was carried out in 14 villages adjacent to Mabira Central Forest Reserve (CFR) in Central Uganda between August 2013 and March 2014. Information was obtained through interviews using semi- structured questionnaires. Field excursions with traditional healers and herbal medicine collectors were carried out. Descriptive statistics were used to present the data. Fidelity ratios and Informant consensus agreements were calculated. A total of 190 plant species in 61 families and 152 genera were reported in the treatment of various health conditions. Family Fabaceae was dominant representing 14 % of the plant species documented. Vernonia amygdalina was the preferred species for treating malaria. Leaves (68 %) were the most frequently used parts in preparing herbal remedies. Decoctions (29 %) and oral route (53 %) of administration were commonly used method of herbal medicine preparation and administration respectively. Fifty-eight health conditions grouped in 25 categories were treated using medicinal plants. Informant consensus agreement was highest for blood system disorders (0.9) that included anaemia, hypertension and blood cleansing indicating homogeneity of informant's knowledge about remedies used. Vernonia amygdalina and Erythrina abyssinica had 100 % fidelity level for treatment of malaria and vomiting respectively. The diversity of medicinal plant species used and the associated indigenous knowledge are of great value to the local community and their conservation and preservation is paramount. The therapeutic uses of the documented plants provides basic data for further research focused on pharmacological studies and conservation of the most important species.

  6. Host preference of the hemiparasite Struthanthus flexicaulis (Loranthaceae in ironstone outcrop plant communities, southeast Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabiana Alves Mourão

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Struthanthus flexicaulis is a hemiparasite abundant in ironstone outcrops in southeast Brazil. We evaluated its host preference among species of the plant community, taking into account the abundance and foliage cover of the hosts. The importance of each species in the community and the mortality caused by the parasite were assessed based on a quantitative survey in 10 strips measuring 1m x 50m. The 10,290 individuals belonged to 42 species. Only 15 had a relative abundance in the plant community greater than 1%, of which 12 showed vestiges of parasitism. More than 80% of deaths in the community were associated with parasitism. Non-infected individuals had significantly less mortality rates (7% than those infected (83% (²= 1102.4, df = 1, p < 0.001. The observed infestation was different from the expected both regarding relative host abundance (²= 714.2, df = 11, p<0.001 and foliage cover (²= 209.2, df = 11, p<0.001. Struthanthus flexicaulis preferredMimosa calodendron, a legume attractive to avian seed dispersers. The interaction is maintained and intensified not only by the birds, who deposit innumerous seeds on the hosts branches, but also very likely by the ability of M. calodendron to fix nitrogen, thereby enhancing the mistletoe's development.

  7. Diversity of herbaceous plants and bacterial communities regulates soil resistome across forest biomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Hang-Wei; Wang, Jun-Tao; Singh, Brajesh K; Liu, Yu-Rong; Chen, Yong-Liang; Zhang, Yu-Jing; He, Ji-Zheng

    2018-04-24

    Antibiotic resistance is ancient and prevalent in natural ecosystems and evolved long before the utilization of synthetic antibiotics started, but factors influencing the large-scale distribution patterns of natural antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) remain largely unknown. Here, a large-scale investigation over 4000 km was performed to profile soil ARGs, plant communities and bacterial communities from 300 quadrats across five forest biomes with minimal human impact. We detected diverse and abundant ARGs in forests, including over 160 genes conferring resistance to eight major categories of antibiotics. The diversity of ARGs was strongly and positively correlated with the diversity of bacteria, herbaceous plants and mobile genetic elements (MGEs). The ARG composition was strongly correlated with the taxonomic structure of bacteria and herbs. Consistent with this strong correlation, structural equation modelling demonstrated that the positive effects of bacterial and herb communities on ARG patterns were maintained even when simultaneously accounting for multiple drivers (climate, spatial predictors and edaphic factors). These findings suggest a paradigm that the interactions between aboveground and belowground communities shape the large-scale distribution of soil resistomes, providing new knowledge for tackling the emerging environmental antibiotic resistance. © 2018 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Spatial Patterns of Species Diversity and Phylogenetic Structure of Plant Communities in the Tianshan Mountains, Arid Central Asia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong-Xiang Zhang

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The Tianshan Mountains, located in arid Central Asia, have a humid climate and are biodiversity hotspots. Here, we aimed to clarify whether the pattern of species diversity and the phylogenetic structure of plant communities is affected by environmental variables and glacial refugia. In this study, plant community assemblies of 17 research sites with a total of 35 sample plots were investigated at the grassland/woodland boundaries on the Tianshan Mountains. Community phylogeny of these plant communities was constructed based on two plant DNA barcode regions. The indices of phylogenetic diversity and phylogenetic community structure were calculated for these sample plots. We first estimated the correlation coefficients between species richness (SR and environmental variables as well as the presence of glacial refugia. We then mapped the significant values of indices of community phylogeny (PD, RPD, NRI, and NTI to investigate the correlation between community phylogeny and environmental structure or macrozones in the study area. The results showed that a significantly higher value of SR was obtained for the refugial groups than for the colonizing groups (P < 0.05; presence of refugia and environmental variables were highly correlated to the pattern of variation in SR. Indices of community phylogeny were not significantly different between refugial and colonizing regions. Comparison with the humid western part showed that plant communities in the arid eastern part of the Tianshan Mountains tended to display more significant phylogenetic overdispersion. The variation tendency of the PhyloSor index showed that the increase in macro-geographical and environmental distance did not influence obvious phylogenetic dissimilarities between different sample plots. In conclusion, glacial refugia and environmental factors profoundly influenced the pattern of SR, but community phylogenetic structure was not affected by glacial refugia among different plant

  9. Community emergency response to nuclear power plant accidents: A selected and partially annotated bibliography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Youngen, G.

    1988-10-01

    The role of responding to emergencies at nuclear power plants is often considered the responsibility of the personnel onsite. This is true for most, if not all, of the incidents that may happen during the course of the plant`s operating lifetime. There is however, the possibility of a major accident occurring at anytime. Major nuclear accidents at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island have taught their respective countries and communities a significant lesson in local emergency preparedness and response. Through these accidents, the rest of the world can also learn a great deal about planning, preparing and responding to the emergencies unique to nuclear power. This bibliography contains books, journal articles, conference papers and government reports on emergency response to nuclear power plant accidents. It does not contain citations for ``onsite`` response or planning, nor does it cover the areas of radiation releases from transportation accidents. The compiler has attempted to bring together a sampling of the world`s collective written experience on dealing with nuclear reactor accidents on the sate, local and community levels. Since the accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, that written experience has grown enormously.

  10. Bacterial Community Structure Shifted by Geosmin in Granular Activated Carbon System of Water Treatment Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pham, Ngoc Dung; Lee, Eun-Hee; Chae, Seon-Ha; Cho, Yongdeok; Shin, Hyejin; Son, Ahjeong

    2016-01-01

    We investigated the relation between the presence of geosmin in water and the bacterial community structure within the granular activated carbon (GAC) system of water treatment plants in South Korea. GAC samples were collected in May and August of 2014 at three water treatment plants (Sungnam, Koyang, and Yeoncho in Korea). Dissolved organic carbon and geosmin were analyzed before and after GAC treatment. Geosmin was found in raw water from Sungnam and Koyang water treatment plants but not in that from Yeoncho water treatment plant. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, the 16S rRNA clone library indicated that the bacterial communities from the Sungnam and Koyang GAC systems were closely related to geosmin-degrading bacteria. Based on the phylogenetic tree and multidimensional scaling plot, bacterial clones from GAC under the influence of geosmin were clustered with Variovorax paradoxus strain DB 9b and Comamonas sp. DB mg. In other words, the presence of geosmin in water might have inevitably contributed to the growth of geosmin degraders within the respective GAC system.

  11. Species diversity of plant communities from territories with natural origin radionuclides contamination

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaneva, A.V.; Belykh, E.S.; Maystrenko, T.A.; Grusdev, B.I.; Zainullin, V.G.; Vakhrusheva, O.M. [Institute of Biology, Komi Scientific Center, Ural Division of RAS, Syktyvkar, 167982 (Russian Federation); Oughton, D. [Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Aas (Norway)

    2014-07-01

    Since plants dominate every landscape, the impact of any environmental stressor on plants can directly affect the structure and function of an ecosystem, resulting in decreased primary productivity and degradation of wildlife habitat. The investigation goal of the present research was to study how vascular plant species' composition at a former radium mining site could be related to i) soil contamination with heavy metals and uranium and thorium decay chain radionuclides and ii) soil agrochemical properties. Between the 1930's and 1950's, the commercial extraction of radium, storage of the uranium mill tailings and radium production wastes, together with deactivation of the site with a mixture of sand and gravel completely destroyed plant communities in the vicinity of Vodny settlement (Komi Republic, Russia). The plant cover recovery started more than 60 years ago, and resulted in overgrowing with common grassland plant species. Three meadow sites were investigated, one with low contamination (on the territory of former radium production plant), one with high contamination (waste storage cell) and a reference sites out of the radiochemical plant zone of influence, but with similar natural conditions. Geo-botanical descriptions revealed 134 vascular plant species from 34 families in the meadow communities studied. The greatest richness was seen for Poaceae, Asteraceae, Rosaceae and Fabaceae families; others had 1-5 species. The highest richness in diversity was seen at reference sites with 95 vascular plant species. 87 species were registered on low contaminated sites and 75 species on high contaminated. Perennial herbs were the dominant life form on all the studied meadow communities. Arboreal species expansion in vegetation was noted at both experimental and reference sites. Shannon index calculations indicated a significant (p<0.05) decrease in species diversity on sample areas of the highly contaminated radioactive waste storage cell. Mean values

  12. Ethnopharmacological survey on medicinal plants used in herbal drinks among the traditional communities of Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, Mushtaq; Khan, Muhammad Pukhtoon Zada; Mukhtar, Anam; Zafar, Muhammad; Sultana, Shazia; Jahan, Sarwat

    2016-05-26

    There is very limited information regarding medicinal plants used by traditional healers in Pakistan, for treating wide-ranging diseases. Current study provides significant ethnopharmacological information, both qualitative and quantitative on medical plants in Pakistan and the pharmacological importance of herbal drinks, especially in the discovery of new drugs. The current ethnomedicinal field study was conducted from various traditional communities of Pakistan to document usage of medicinal plants as herbal drinks. Data was collected through field interviews from local people and using semi-structured questionnaires. Data was analyzed using quantitative indices such as UV (use value), RFC (Relative frequency of citation), and FL (Fidelity level). The present study recorded 217 plant species belonging to 174 genera and 69 families used in herbal drinks preparations. Major herbal preparations include decoctions, infusions and juice. According to use reports, significant species were Aloe vera, Artemisia fragrans, Allium cepa, Senegalia catechu, Alternanthera sessilis, Malva ludwigii, Arnebia benthamii, Cichorium intybus, Coccinia grandis, Dalbergia sissoo. Major ailment treated with herbal drinks include heartburn, fever, diarrhea, hypertension, and others. Use value (UV) varies from 0.23 to 0.02, with Mentha arvensis (0.23) having the highest value of UV followed by Mentha longifolia (0.22), Plantago lanceolate (0.19), Achillea millefolium (0.18), Coriandrum sativum (0.18), Justicia adhatoda and Malva sylvestris (0.17). Values of RFC varies from 0.28 to 0.09 while Fidelity level (FL) among plants varies from 37.5 to 100. Alternanthera sessilis, Oxytropis lapponica, Millettia pinnata and Salvia bucharica had the highest FL value (100). The use of medicinal plants is prevalent in traditional communities of Pakistan. Different herbal preparations are in common practice including various herbal drinks a common tradition and much favoured herbal preparation in terms

  13. [Species, functional, structural diversity of typical plant communities and their responses to environmental factors in Miao Archipelago, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Li Ting; Su, Tian; Liu, Xiang Yu; Yin, Fang; Guo, Chao; Tuo, Bin; Yan, En Rong

    2018-02-01

    Island vegetation plays an important role in biodiversity research across the world. The study of plant diversity in island is helpful for understanding the mechanism of plant diversity maintenance under land-sea interaction. Here, four typical plant communities (Quercus acutissima community, Robinia pseudoacacia community, Pinus thunbergii community and Vitex negundo community) in Miao Archipelago were selected to examine the species, functional and structural diversities and their responses to environmental factors at the community scale by using species diversity indices, functional diversity indices, as well as structural diversity indices. The results showed that the species richness and Rao index of P. thunbergii community was higher than that of Q. acutissima community and R. pseudoacacia community, but the structural diversity was lower. The species diversity and structural diversity of V. Negundo shrub were lower than that of forest community, but the functional diversity was higher than some forest communities. The relationship between the diversity of typical plant communities in island area illustrated a significant positive correlation between species richness with Rao index and tree height diversity, however the correlation with functional evenness was significantly negative. The structural diversity and functional evenness were determined by slope with negative and positive relationships, respectively. Functional heterogeneity, functional divergence and species diversity were affected largely by soil physical and chemical properties, displaying the positive relationship with soil bulk density and soil total carbon content, and a negative relationship with soil water content. In conclusion, diversity pattern of plant community in Miao Archipelago reflected not only the characteristics in mainland vegetation but also the special nature of the sea island.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  15. Plant communities and landscapes of the Parque Nacional de Zinave, Mozambique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc Stalmans

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available The Parque Nacional de Zinave covers 400 000 ha in Mozambique to the south of the Save River. Until recently, this park had been characterised by neglect and illegal hunting that caused the demise of most of its large wildlife. A recent initiative has been launched that aims at rehabilitating the park within the scope of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP. A vegetation map was required as input to its management plan. The three primary objectives of the study were, firstly, to understand the environmental and biotic determinants of the vegetation, secondly, to identify and describe individual plant communities in terms of species composition and structure along the roads in the study area and, thirdly, to delineate landscapes in terms of their plant community make-up, environmental as well as biotic determinants and distribution. This is the third survey and description of the landscapes of the national parks located in the Mozambique part of the GLTP. A combination of feldwork and analysis of LANDSAT satellite imagery was used. A total of 75 sample plots were surveyed. A brief subjective visual assessment was undertaken for another 114 sample points. The accuracy of the landscape map was evaluated by means of 582 points assessed during an aerial game count. The ordination results clearly indicate the overriding importance of moisture availability in determining vegetation composition. Ten distinct plant communities were recognised. Different combinations of these plant communities can be grouped in six major landscapes, namely the Save River channel and river banks, Save riverine forest, Acacia nigrescens woodland landscape, mopane landscape, miombo landscape and sandveld landscape. The landscapes with their individual plant communities represent habitats that are highly suitable for the reintroduction of many game species that were lost during the latter part of the last century. Conservation implication: No formal description and

  16. Overeruption of teeth opposing removable partial dentures: a preliminary study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuda, Ken-Ichi; Miyashita, Yuji; Ikebe, Kazunori; Enoki, Kaori; Kurushima, Yuko; Mihara, Yusuke; Maeda, Yoshinobu

    2014-01-01

    One of the purposes of prosthodontic treatment is to prevent overeruption of opposing teeth, but there is currently minimal literature describing the efficacy of removable partial dentures (RPDs) in performing this function. This study investigated overeruption following RPD treatment. The study participants were 33 patients treated with RPDs, and overeruption was evaluated by comparing the surface computeraided design data of dental casts made at two different time points-before and after RPD treatment. Overeruption was observed in 38.1% of teeth opposed by the RPD, which was much less than the proportion of teeth that overerupted when not opposed by the RPD.

  17. Biodiversity of Soil Microbial Communities Following Woody Plant Invasion of Grassland: An Assessment Using Molecular Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantola, I. B.; Gentry, T. J.; Filley, T. R.; Boutton, T. W.

    2012-12-01

    Woody plants have encroached into grasslands, savannas, and other grass-dominated ecosystems throughout the world during the last century. This dramatic vegetation change is likely driven by livestock grazing, altered fire frequencies, elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and/or changes in atmospheric deposition patterns. Woody invasion often results in significant changes in ecosystem function, including alterations in above- and belowground primary productivity, soil C, N, and P storage and turnover, and the size and activity of the soil microbial biomass pool. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships and interactions between plant communities and soil microbial communities in the Rio Grande Plains region of southern Texas where grasslands have been largely replaced by woodlands. Research was conducted along a successional chronosequence representing the stages of woody plant encroachment from open grassland to closed-canopy woodland. To characterize soil microbial community composition, soil samples (0-7.5 cm) were collected in remnant grasslands (representing time 0) and near the centers of woody plant clusters, groves, and drainage woodlands ranging in age from 10 to 130 yrs. Ages of woody plant stands were determined by dendrochronology. Community DNA was extracted from each soil sample with a MoBio PowerMax Soil DNA isolation kit. The DNA concentrations were quantified on a NanoDrop ND-1000 spectrophotometer and diluted to a standard concentration. Pyrosequencing was performed by the Research and Testing Laboratory (Lubbock, TX) according to Roche 454 Titanium chemistry protocols. Samples were amplified with primers 27F and 519R for bacteria, and primers ITS1F and ITS4 for fungi. Sequences were aligned using BioEdit and the RDP Pipeline and analyzed in MOTHUR. Non-metric multidimensional scaling of the operational taxonomic units identified by pyrosequencing revealed that both bacterial and fungal community composition were

  18. Residents within 30 km of the Sendai nuclear plant in Kagoshima prefecture, the scope of the evacuation zone, oppose to restart of the plant being shut down after Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. Findings based on the region's representative sample survey by interviewers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hirose, Hirotada

    2015-01-01

    Due to the aftermath of the accident of Tokyo Electric Power Company Right Single Quotation Marks Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake, a lot of residents were still forced to be under evacuation. However, the Japanese government places nuclear power as a base load power, and is trying to successively restart nuclear power plants under full-stop state. Under such circumstance, a questionnaire survey about the issue over the nuclear power plant was conducted for residents near the Sendai Nuclear Power Station, which is expected to restart. The areas of the survey are within 30 km radius from the plant, where evacuation is required in case of an accident, and these areas are divided to two categories; Precautionary Action Zone (PAZ), which is within 5 km from a nuclear plant, and Urgent Protective Action Planning Zone (UPZ), which is 5-30 km from a nuclear plant. This paper introduces in detail the survey methods and findings. (A.O.)

  19. Intensive land use drives small-scale homogenization of plant- and leafhopper communities and promotes generalists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chisté, Melanie N; Mody, Karsten; Kunz, Gernot; Gunczy, Johanna; Blüthgen, Nico

    2018-02-01

    The current biodiversity decline through anthropogenic land-use not only involves local species losses, but also homogenization of communities, with a few generalist species benefitting most from human activities. Most studies assessed community heterogeneity (β-diversity) on larger scales by comparing different sites, but little is known about impacts on β-diversity within each site, which is relevant for understanding variation in the level of α-diversity, the small-scale distribution of species and associated habitat heterogeneity. To obtain our dataset with 36,899 individuals out of 117 different plant- and leafhopper (Auchenorrhyncha) species, we sampled communities of 140 managed grassland sites across Germany by quantitative vacuum suction of five 1 m 2 plots on each site. Sites differed in land-use intensity as characterized by intensity of fertilization, mowing and grazing. Our results demonstrate a significant within-site homogenization of plant- and leafhopper communities with increasing land-use intensity. Correspondingly, density (- 78%) and γ-diversity (- 35%) declined, particularly with fertilization and mowing intensity. More than 34% of plant- and leafhopper species were significant losers and only 6% were winners of high land-use intensity, with abundant and widespread species being less affected. Increasing land-use intensity adversely affected dietary specialists and promoted generalist species. Our study emphasizes considerable, multifaceted effects of land-use intensification on species loss, with a few dominant generalists winning, and an emerging trend towards more homogenized assemblages. By demonstrating homogenization for the first time within sites, our study highlights that anthropogenic influences on biodiversity even occur on small scales.

  20. Competition and facilitation structure plant communities under nurse tree canopies in extremely stressful environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Namazi, Ali A; El-Bana, Magdy I; Bonser, Stephen P

    2017-04-01

    Nurse plant facilitation in stressful environments can produce an environment with relatively low stress under its canopy. These nurse plants may produce the conditions promoting intense competition between coexisting species under the canopy, and canopies may establish stress gradients, where stress increases toward the edge of the canopy. Competition and facilitation on these stress gradients may control species distributions in the communities under canopies. We tested the following predictions: (1) interactions between understory species shift from competition to facilitation in habitats experiencing increasing stress from the center to the edge of canopy of a nurse plant, and (2) species distributions in understory communities are controlled by competitive interactions at the center of canopy, and facilitation at the edge of the canopy. We tested these predictions using a neighbor removal experiment under nurse trees growing in arid environments. Established individuals of each of four of the most common herbaceous species in the understory were used in the experiment. Two species were more frequent in the center of the canopy, and two species were more frequent at the edge of the canopy. Established individuals of each species were subjected to neighbor removal or control treatments in both canopy center and edge habitats. We found a shift from competitive to facilitative interactions from the center to the edge of the canopy. The shift in the effect of neighbors on the target species can help to explain species distributions in these canopies. Canopy-dominant species only perform well in the presence of neighbors in the edge microhabitat. Competition from canopy-dominant species can also limit the performance of edge-dominant species in the canopy microhabitat. The shift from competition to facilitation under nurse plant canopies can structure the understory communities in extremely stressful environments.

  1. Bacterial communities in an ultrapure water containing storage tank of a power plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohus, Veronika; Kéki, Zsuzsa; Márialigeti, Károly; Baranyi, Krisztián; Patek, Gábor; Schunk, János; Tóth, Erika M

    2011-12-01

    Ultrapure waters (UPWs) containing low levels of organic and inorganic compounds provide extreme environment. On contrary to that microbes occur in such waters and form biofilms on surfaces, thus may induce corrosion processes in many industrial applications. In our study, refined saltless water (UPW) produced for the boiler of a Hungarian power plant was examined before and after storage (sampling the inlet [TKE] and outlet [TKU] waters of a storage tank) with cultivation and culture independent methods. Our results showed increased CFU and direct cell counts after the storage. Cultivation results showed the dominance of aerobic, chemoorganotrophic α-Proteobacteria in both samples. In case of TKU sample, a more complex bacterial community structure could be detected. The applied molecular method (T-RFLP) indicated the presence of a complex microbial community structure with changes in the taxon composition: while in the inlet water sample (TKE) α-Proteobacteria (Sphingomonas sp., Novosphingobium hassiacum) dominated, in the outlet water sample (TKU) the bacterial community shifted towards the dominance of α-Proteobacteria (Rhodoferax sp., Polynucleobacter sp., Sterolibacter sp.), CFB (Bacteroidetes, formerly Cytophaga-Flavobacterium-Bacteroides group) and Firmicutes. This shift to the direction of fermentative communities suggests that storage could help the development of communities with an increased tendency toward corrosion.

  2. The physical environment and major plant communities of the Karoo National Park, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francine Rubin

    1996-08-01

    Full Text Available The major plant communities of the Karoo National Park are described using the methods of the Zurich-Montpellier school of phytosociology, to assist with the formulation of a management strategy for the park. The vegetation physiognomy consists of Montane Karoo grassy shrublands. Karoo grassy dwarf shrublands. Karoo succulent dwarf shrublands and riparian thicket. Steep elevation and precipitation gradients within the study area have a direct impact on gradients in the vegetation. High elevation (1 800 m, and relatively high rainfall (406 mm montane grasslands occupy communities dominated by grasses (Merxmuellera disticha, Themeda triandra and woody species (Diospyros austro-africana, Elytropappus rhinocerotis, Euryops annae, Passerina montana. The increasing aridity away from the escarpment edge in a northerly direction is steep, and Montane Karoo dwarf shrublands replace these mesic communities. Species such as Eriocephalus ericoides, Rosenia oppositifolia and Pteronia tricephala dominate. At lower elevation (800 m the precipitation is very low (175 mm and uncertain (coefficient of variation of 78 . The substrata influence the vegetation, with the sandy substrata of the drainage lines supporting more woody taxa (Acacia karroo, Lycium cinereum and grasses (Hyparrhenia hirta, Stipagrostis namaquensis, Cenchrus ciliaris. Moving away from the mesic environment of the riparian zone, rapid desiccation occurs and the most xeric communities are encountered, dominated by Stipagrostis obtusa, S. ciliata and Pent-da incana. This document provides descriptions of the general communities and their associated landscape, lithology and soils.

  3. Plant stimulation of soil microbial community succession: how sequential expression mediates soil carbon stabilization and turnover

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Firestone, Mary [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)

    2015-03-31

    It is now understood that most plant C is utilized or transformed by soil microorganisms en route to stabilization. Hence the composition of microbial communities that mediate decomposition and transformation of root C is critical, as are the metabolic capabilities of these communities. The change in composition and function of the C-transforming microbial communities over time in effect defines the biological component of soil C stabilization. Our research was designed to test 2 general hypotheses; the first two hypotheses are discussed first; H1: Root-exudate interactions with soil microbial populations results in the expression of enzymatic capacities for macromolecular, complex carbon decomposition; and H2: Microbial communities surrounding roots undergo taxonomic succession linked to functional gene activities as roots grow, mature, and decompose in soil. Over the term of the project we made significant progress in 1) quantifying the temporal pattern of root interactions with the soil decomposing community and 2) characterizing the role of root exudates in mediating these interactions.

  4. Moving forward on facilitation research : Response to changing environments and effects on the diversity, functioning and evolution of plant communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soliveres, Santiago; Smit, Christian; Maestre, Fernando T

    Once seen as anomalous, facilitative interactions among plants and their importance for community structure and functioning are now widely recognized. The growing body of modelling, descriptive and experimental studies on facilitation covers a wide variety of terrestrial and aquatic systems

  5. Plant species richness sustains higher trophic levels of soil nematode communities after consecutive environmental perturbations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cesarz, Simone; Ciobanu, Marcel; Wright, Alexandra J; Ebeling, Anne; Vogel, Anja; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2017-07-01

    The magnitude and frequency of extreme weather events are predicted to increase in the future due to ongoing climate change. In particular, floods and droughts resulting from climate change are thought to alter the ecosystem functions and stability. However, knowledge of the effects of these weather events on soil fauna is scarce, although they are key towards functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. Plant species richness has been shown to affect the stability of ecosystem functions and food webs. Here, we used the occurrence of a natural flood in a biodiversity grassland experiment that was followed by a simulated summer drought experiment, to investigate the interactive effects of plant species richness, a natural flood, and a subsequent summer drought on nematode communities. Three and five months after the natural flooding, effects of flooding severity were still detectable in the belowground system. We found that flooding severity decreased soil nematode food-web structure (loss of K-strategists) and the abundance of plant feeding nematodes. However, high plant species richness maintained higher diversity and abundance of higher trophic levels compared to monocultures throughout the flood. The subsequent summer drought seemed to be of lower importance but reversed negative flooding effects in some cases. This probably occurred because the studied grassland system is well adapted to drought, or because drought conditions alleviated the negative impact of long-term soil waterlogging. Using soil nematodes as indicator taxa, this study suggests that high plant species richness can maintain soil food web complexity after consecutive environmental perturbations.

  6. Microbial community functional structures in wastewater treatment plants as characterized by GeoChip.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiaohui; Xia, Yu; Wen, Xianghua; Yang, Yunfeng; Zhou, Jizhong

    2014-01-01

    Biological WWTPs must be functionally stable to continuously and steadily remove contaminants which rely upon the activity of complex microbial communities. However, knowledge is still lacking in regard to microbial community functional structures and their linkages to environmental variables. To investigate microbial community functional structures of activated sludge in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and to understand the effects of environmental factors on their structure. 12 activated sludge samples were collected from four WWTPs in Beijing. A comprehensive functional gene array named GeoChip 4.2 was used to determine the microbial functional genes involved in a variety of biogeochemical processes such as carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous and sulfur cycles, metal resistance, antibiotic resistance and organic contaminant degradation. High similarities of the microbial community functional structures were found among activated sludge samples from the four WWTPs, as shown by both diversity indices and the overlapped genes. For individual gene category, such as egl, amyA, lip, nirS, nirK, nosZ, ureC, ppx, ppk, aprA, dsrA, sox and benAB, there were a number of microorganisms shared by all 12 samples. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) showed that the microbial functional patterns were highly correlated with water temperature, dissolved oxygen (DO), ammonia concentrations and loading rate of chemical oxygen demand (COD). Based on the variance partitioning analyses (VPA), a total of 53% of microbial community variation from GeoChip data can be explained by wastewater characteristics (25%) and operational parameters (23%), respectively. This study provided an overall picture of microbial community functional structures of activated sludge in WWTPs and discerned the linkages between microbial communities and environmental variables in WWTPs.

  7. Microbial community functional structures in wastewater treatment plants as characterized by GeoChip.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaohui Wang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Biological WWTPs must be functionally stable to continuously and steadily remove contaminants which rely upon the activity of complex microbial communities. However, knowledge is still lacking in regard to microbial community functional structures and their linkages to environmental variables. AIMS: To investigate microbial community functional structures of activated sludge in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs and to understand the effects of environmental factors on their structure. METHODS: 12 activated sludge samples were collected from four WWTPs in Beijing. A comprehensive functional gene array named GeoChip 4.2 was used to determine the microbial functional genes involved in a variety of biogeochemical processes such as carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous and sulfur cycles, metal resistance, antibiotic resistance and organic contaminant degradation. RESULTS: High similarities of the microbial community functional structures were found among activated sludge samples from the four WWTPs, as shown by both diversity indices and the overlapped genes. For individual gene category, such as egl, amyA, lip, nirS, nirK, nosZ, ureC, ppx, ppk, aprA, dsrA, sox and benAB, there were a number of microorganisms shared by all 12 samples. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA showed that the microbial functional patterns were highly correlated with water temperature, dissolved oxygen (DO, ammonia concentrations and loading rate of chemical oxygen demand (COD. Based on the variance partitioning analyses (VPA, a total of 53% of microbial community variation from GeoChip data can be explained by wastewater characteristics (25% and operational parameters (23%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: This study provided an overall picture of microbial community functional structures of activated sludge in WWTPs and discerned the linkages between microbial communities and environmental variables in WWTPs.

  8. Bacterial community of cushion plant Thylacospermum ceaspitosum on elevational gradient in the Himalayan cold desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Řeháková, Klára; Chroňáková, Alica; Krištůfek, Václav; Kuchtová, Barbora; Čapková, Kateřina; Scharfen, Josef; Čapek, Petr; Doležal, Jiří

    2015-01-01

    Although bacterial assemblages are important components of soils in arid ecosystems, the knowledge about composition, life-strategies, and environmental drivers is still fragmentary, especially in remote high-elevation mountains. We compared the quality and quantity of heterotrophic bacterial assemblages between the rhizosphere of the dominant cushion-forming plant Thylacospermum ceaspitosum and its surrounding bulk soil in two mountain ranges (East Karakoram: 4850-5250 m and Little Tibet: 5350-5850 m), in communities from cold steppes to the subnival zone in Ladakh, arid Trans-Himalaya, northwest India. Bacterial communities were characterized by molecular fingerprinting in combination with culture-dependent methods. The effects of environmental factors (elevation, mountain range, and soil physico-chemical parameters) on the bacterial community composition and structure were tested by multivariate redundancy analysis and conditional inference trees. Actinobacteria dominate the cultivable part of community and represent a major bacterial lineage of cold desert soils. The most abundant genera were Streptomyces, Arthrobacter, and Paenibacillus, representing both r- and K-strategists. The soil texture is the most important factor for the community structure and the total bacteria counts. Less abundant and diverse assemblages are found in East Karakoram with coarser soils derived from leucogranite bedrock, while more diverse assemblages in Little Tibet are associated with finer soils derived from easily weathering gneisses. Cushion rhizosphere is in general less diverse than bulk soil, and contains more r-strategists. K-strategists are more associated with the extremes of the gradient, with drought at lowest elevations (4850-5000 m) and frost at the highest elevations (5750-5850 m). The present study illuminates the composition of soil bacterial assemblages in relation to the cushion plant T. ceaspitosum in a xeric environment and brings important information about

  9. Succession Stages of Tundra Plant Communities Following Wildfire Disturbance in Arctic Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breen, A. L.; Hollingsworth, T. N.; Mack, M. C.; Jones, B. M.

    2015-12-01

    Rapid climate change is affecting climate-sensitive disturbance regimes throughout the world. In particular, the impacts of climate change on Arctic disturbance regimes are poorly understood because landscape-scale disturbances are infrequent or occur in remote localities. Wildfire in Arctic Alaska is presently limited by ignition source and favorable burn weather. With rapid climate change, a lengthening growing season, and subsequent increase in plant biomass and productivity, wildfire frequency and annual area burned in tundra ecosystems is expected to increase over the next century. Yet, post-fire tundra vegetation succession is inadequately characterized except at a few point locations. We identify succession stages of tussock tundra communities following wildfire using a chronosequence of 65 relevés in 10 tundra fire scars (1971-2011) and nearby unburned tundra from sites on the Seward Peninsula and northern foothills of the Brooks Range. We used the Braun-Blanquét approach to classify plant communities, and applied nonmetric multidimentional scaling (NMDS) to identify ecological gradients underlying community differentiation. The ordination revealed a clear differentiation between unburned and burned tundra communities. Ecological gradients, reflected by ordination axes, correspond to fire history (e.g., time since last fire, number of times burned, burn severity) and a complex productivity gradient. Post-fire species richness is less than unburned tundra; primarily reflected as a decrease in lichen species and turnover of bryophyte species immediately post-fire. Species richness of grasses increases post-fire and is greatest in communities that burned more than once in the past 30 years. Shrub cover and total aboveground biomass are greatest in repeat burn sites. We review and discuss our results focusing on the implications of a changing tundra fire regime, its effect on vegetation succession trajectories, and subsequent rates of carbon sequestration and

  10. Plant community composition and species richness in the High Arctic tundra: from the present to the future

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nabe-Nielsen, Jacob; Normand, Signe; Hui, Francis K.C.

    2017-01-01

    of these conditions is limited due to the scarcity of studies, especially in the High Arctic. 2. We investigated variations in vascular plant community composition and species richness based on 288 plots distributed on three sites along a coast-inland gradient in Northeast Greenland using a stratified random design......1. Arctic plant communities are altered by climate changes. The magnitude of these alterations depends on whether species distributions are determined by macroclimatic conditions, by factors related to local topography, or by biotic interactions. Our current understanding of the relative importance....... We used an information theoretic approach to determine whether variations in species richness were best explained by macroclimate, by factors related to local topography (including soil water) or by plant-plant interactions. Latent variable models were used to explain patterns in plant community...

  11. Mechanisms and ecological consequences of plant defence induction and suppression in herbivore communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kant, M R; Jonckheere, W; Knegt, B; Lemos, F; Liu, J; Schimmel, B C J; Villarroel, C A; Ataide, L M S; Dermauw, W; Glas, J J; Egas, M; Janssen, A; Van Leeuwen, T; Schuurink, R C; Sabelis, M W; Alba, J M

    2015-06-01

    exploitative competition and facilitation within ecological communities "inhabiting" a plant. Herbivores have evolved diverse strategies, which are not mutually exclusive, to decrease the negative effects of plant defences in order to maximize the conversion of plant material into offspring. Numerous adaptations have been found in herbivores, enabling them to dismantle or bypass defensive barriers, to avoid tissues with relatively high levels of defensive chemicals or to metabolize these chemicals once ingested. In addition, some herbivores interfere with the onset or completion of induced plant defences, resulting in the plant's resistance being partly or fully suppressed. The ability to suppress induced plant defences appears to occur across plant parasites from different kingdoms, including herbivorous arthropods, and there is remarkable diversity in suppression mechanisms. Suppression may strongly affect the structure of the food web, because the ability to suppress the activation of defences of a communal host may facilitate competitors, whereas the ability of a herbivore to cope with activated plant defences will not. Further characterization of the mechanisms and traits that give rise to suppression of plant defences will enable us to determine their role in shaping direct and indirect interactions in food webs and the extent to which these determine the coexistence and persistence of species. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. A dynamic modelling approach for estimating critical loads of nitrogen based on plant community changes under a changing climate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Belyazid, Salim; Kurz, Dani; Braun, Sabine; Sverdrup, Harald; Rihm, Beat; Hettelingh, Jean-Paul

    2011-01-01

    A dynamic model of forest ecosystems was used to investigate the effects of climate change, atmospheric deposition and harvest intensity on 48 forest sites in Sweden (n = 16) and Switzerland (n = 32). The model was used to investigate the feasibility of deriving critical loads for nitrogen (N) deposition based on changes in plant community composition. The simulations show that climate and atmospheric deposition have comparably important effects on N mobilization in the soil, as climate triggers the release of organically bound nitrogen stored in the soil during the elevated deposition period. Climate has the most important effect on plant community composition, underlining the fact that this cannot be ignored in future simulations of vegetation dynamics. Harvest intensity has comparatively little effect on the plant community in the long term, while it may be detrimental in the short term following cutting. This study shows: that critical loads of N deposition can be estimated using the plant community as an indicator; that future climatic changes must be taken into account; and that the definition of the reference deposition is critical for the outcome of this estimate. - Research highlights: → Plant community changes can be used to estimate critical loads of nitrogen. → Climate change is decisive for future changes of geochemistry and plant communities. → Climate change cannot be ignored in estimates of critical loads. → The model ForSAFE-Veg was successfully used to set critical loads of nitrogen. - Plant community composition can be used in dynamic modelling to estimate critical loads of nitrogen deposition, provided the appropriate reference deposition, future climate and target plant communities are defined.

  13. Legacy effects of no-analogue disturbances alter plant community diversity and composition in semi-arid sagebrush steppe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ripplinger, Julie; Franklin, Janet; Edwards, Thomas C.

    2015-01-01

    Questions(i) What role does the type of managed disturbance play in structuring sagebrush steppe plant communities? (ii) How does the composition of post-disturbance plant communities change with time since disturbance? (iii) Does plant community diversity change over time following managed disturbance?LocationField study within the sagebrush steppe ecosystem. Rich County, Utah, USA.MethodsWe developed a chronosequence spanning up to 50 yrs post-treatment to study sagebrush steppe vegetation dynamics. Direct ordination was used to examine plant community composition by managed disturbance type and time since disturbance, and factorial analysis of covariance was used to examine diversity dynamics following disturbance. Indicator species values were calculated in order to identify characteristic species for each disturbance type.ResultsPlant communities experienced a shift toward distinct community composition for each of the three managed disturbance types, and gave no indication of returning to untreated community composition or diversity. Small post-disturbance increases in the number of non-native grass species were observed in the treatments relative to reference, with native forb species making the largest contribution to altered composition. On fire- and chemically-treated sites the proportional native forb species richness increased over time since disturbance, while the proportional contribution of non-native forbs to total species richness decreased. For all three treatment types, native grasses contributed less on average to total richness than on reference sites, while non-native grasses made up a higher proportion of total richness.ConclusionsCommon shrubland management techniques have legacy effects on the composition and diversity of sagebrush steppe plant communities, and no-analogue disturbances, such as chemical or mechanical treatments, have more pronounced legacy effects than treatments similar to natural disturbance regimes (fire). This study

  14. Ethnopharmacological survey of medicinal plants used in traditional medicine by the communities of Mount Hermon, Lebanon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baydoun, Safaa; Chalak, Lamis; Dalleh, Helena; Arnold, Nelly

    2015-09-15

    Medicinal plant species in Lebanon are experiencing severe threats because of various environmental conditions, human expansion footprints and recent growing global demand. Organized research and information on indigenous medicinal plants and knowledge have been very limited and little efforts have been invested to develop a complete inventory for native medicinal plants and associated traditional knowledge in the country. Recognized as a key biodiversity area of the Mediterranean Basin, Mount Hermon hosts important richness of medicinal plants that has been traditionally used in treatment of many illnesses since generations. Novel knowledge gathered by the present investigation is important in preserving indigenous knowledge of Mount Hermon community and revitalizing traditional herbal medicines. Ethnopharmacological information was collected by semi-structured interviews with 53 native informants (herbalists, traditional healers, midwives and local adult villagers) in 13 towns and villages surrounding Mount Hermon. The interviews were conducted through guided field visits and discussion groups whilst collecting plants specimens. Taxonomical identification of plant species was based on the determination keys of the "New Flora of Lebanon and Syria" and specimens were deposited at the herbarium of the Research Center for Environment and Development at Beirut Arab University. The results obtained indicate that 124 plant species of Mount flora are still used in traditional medicine by the local communities as an important source of primary health care and treatment of a wide range of different illnesses. These species belonged to 42 families and 102 genera. Compositae (19 species), Labiatae (18 species), Rosaceae (11) and Umbelliferae (11) formed the dominant families. Informants' Consensus Factor (FIC) analysis revealed that among the 14 illness categories used, respiratory (0.94), gastrointestinal and renal (0.93), genital systems (0.92) had the highest FIC values

  15. Interactions between plant and rhizosphere microbial communities in a metalliferous soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Epelde, Lur; Becerril, Jose M.; Barrutia, Oihana; Gonzalez-Oreja, Jose A.; Garbisu, Carlos

    2010-01-01

    In the present work, the relationships between plant consortia, consisting of 1-4 metallicolous pseudometallophytes with different metal-tolerance strategies (Thlaspi caerulescens: hyperaccumulator; Jasione montana: accumulator; Rumex acetosa: indicator; Festuca rubra: excluder), and their rhizosphere microbial communities were studied in a mine soil polluted with high levels of Cd, Pb and Zn. Physiological response and phytoremediation potential of the studied pseudometallophytes were also investigated. The studied metallicolous populations are tolerant to metal pollution and offer potential for the development of phytoextraction and phytostabilization technologies. T. caerulescens appears very tolerant to metal stress and most suitable for metal phytoextraction; the other three species enhance soil functionality. Soil microbial properties had a stronger effect on plant biomass rather than the other way around (35.2% versus 14.9%). An ecological understanding of how contaminants, ecosystem functions and biological communities interact in the long-term is needed for proper management of these fragile metalliferous ecosystems. - Rhizosphere microbial communities in highly polluted mine soils are determinant for the growth of pseudometallophytes.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Esperschütz

    2013-07-01

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

  17. Microbial community structure elucidates performance of Glyceria maxima plant microbial fuel cell

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Timmers, Ruud A.; Strik, David P.B.T.B.; Hamelers, Bert; Buisman, Cees [Wageningen Univ. (Netherlands). Sub-dept. of Environmental Technology; Rothballer, Michael; Hartmann, Anton [Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Neuherberg (Germany). Dept. Microbe-Plant Interactions; Engel, Marion; Schulz, Stephan; Schloter, Michael [Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Neuherberg (Germany). Dept. Terrestrial Ecogenetics

    2012-04-15

    The plant microbial fuel cell (PMFC) is a technology in which living plant roots provide electron donor, via rhizodeposition, to a mixed microbial community to generate electricity in a microbial fuel cell. Analysis and localisation of the microbial community is necessary for gaining insight into the competition for electron donor in a PMFC. This paper characterises the anode-rhizosphere bacterial community of a Glyceria maxima (reed mannagrass) PMFC. Electrochemically active bacteria (EAB) were located on the root surfaces, but they were more abundant colonising the graphite granular electrode. Anaerobic cellulolytic bacteria dominated the area where most of the EAB were found, indicating that the current was probably generated via the hydrolysis of cellulose. Due to the presence of oxygen and nitrate, short-chain fatty acid-utilising denitrifiers were the major competitors for the electron donor. Acetate-utilising methanogens played a minor role in the competition for electron donor, probably due to the availability of graphite granules as electron acceptors. (orig.)

  18. The movement ecology and dynamics of plant communities in fragmented landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damschen, Ellen I; Brudvig, Lars A; Haddad, Nick M; Levey, Douglas J; Orrock, John L; Tewksbury, Joshua J

    2008-12-09

    A conceptual model of movement ecology has recently been advanced to explain all movement by considering the interaction of four elements: internal state, motion capacity, navigation capacities, and external factors. We modified this framework to generate predictions for species richness dynamics of fragmented plant communities and tested them in experimental landscapes across a 7-year time series. We found that two external factors, dispersal vectors and habitat features, affected species colonization and recolonization in habitat fragments and their effects varied and depended on motion capacity. Bird-dispersed species richness showed connectivity effects that reached an asymptote over time, but no edge effects, whereas wind-dispersed species richness showed steadily accumulating edge and connectivity effects, with no indication of an asymptote. Unassisted species also showed increasing differences caused by connectivity over time, whereas edges had no effect. Our limited use of proxies for movement ecology (e.g., dispersal mode as a proxy for motion capacity) resulted in moderate predictive power for communities and, in some cases, highlighted the importance of a more complete understanding of movement ecology for predicting how landscape conservation actions affect plant community dynamics.

  19. Interactions between plant and rhizosphere microbial communities in a metalliferous soil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Epelde, Lur [NEIKER-Tecnalia, Department of Ecosystems, c/Berreaga 1, E-48160 Derio (Spain); Becerril, Jose M.; Barrutia, Oihana [Department of Plant Biology and Ecology, University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU, P.O. Box 644, E-48080 Bilbao (Spain); Gonzalez-Oreja, Jose A. [NEIKER-Tecnalia, Department of Ecosystems, c/Berreaga 1, E-48160 Derio (Spain); Garbisu, Carlos, E-mail: cgarbisu@neiker.ne [NEIKER-Tecnalia, Department of Ecosystems, c/Berreaga 1, E-48160 Derio (Spain)

    2010-05-15

    In the present work, the relationships between plant consortia, consisting of 1-4 metallicolous pseudometallophytes with different metal-tolerance strategies (Thlaspi caerulescens: hyperaccumulator; Jasione montana: accumulator; Rumex acetosa: indicator; Festuca rubra: excluder), and their rhizosphere microbial communities were studied in a mine soil polluted with high levels of Cd, Pb and Zn. Physiological response and phytoremediation potential of the studied pseudometallophytes were also investigated. The studied metallicolous populations are tolerant to metal pollution and offer potential for the development of phytoextraction and phytostabilization technologies. T. caerulescens appears very tolerant to metal stress and most suitable for metal phytoextraction; the other three species enhance soil functionality. Soil microbial properties had a stronger effect on plant biomass rather than the other way around (35.2% versus 14.9%). An ecological understanding of how contaminants, ecosystem functions and biological communities interact in the long-term is needed for proper management of these fragile metalliferous ecosystems. - Rhizosphere microbial communities in highly polluted mine soils are determinant for the growth of pseudometallophytes.

  20. Community analysis of plant biomass-degrading microorganisms from Obsidian Pool, Yellowstone National Park.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vishnivetskaya, Tatiana A; Hamilton-Brehm, Scott D; Podar, Mircea; Mosher, Jennifer J; Palumbo, Anthony V; Phelps, Tommy J; Keller, Martin; Elkins, James G

    2015-02-01

    The conversion of lignocellulosic biomass into biofuels can potentially be improved by employing robust microorganisms and enzymes that efficiently deconstruct plant polysaccharides at elevated temperatures. Many of the geothermal features of Yellowstone National Park (YNP) are surrounded by vegetation providing a source of allochthonic material to support heterotrophic microbial communities adapted to utilize plant biomass as a primary carbon and energy source. In this study, a well-known hot spring environment, Obsidian Pool (OBP), was examined for potential biomass-active microorganisms using cultivation-independent and enrichment techniques. Analysis of 33,684 archaeal and 43,784 bacterial quality-filtered 16S rRNA gene pyrosequences revealed that archaeal diversity in the main pool was higher than bacterial; however, in the vegetated area, overall bacterial diversity was significantly higher. Of notable interest was a flooded depression adjacent to OBP supporting a stand of Juncus tweedyi, a heat-tolerant rush commonly found growing near geothermal features in YNP. The microbial community from heated sediments surrounding the plants was enriched in members of the Firmicutes including potentially (hemi)cellulolytic bacteria from the genera Clostridium, Anaerobacter, Caloramator, Caldicellulosiruptor, and Thermoanaerobacter. Enrichment cultures containing model and real biomass substrates were established at a wide range of temperatures (55-85 °C). Microbial activity was observed up to 80 °C on all substrates including Avicel, xylan, switchgrass, and Populus sp. Independent of substrate, Caloramator was enriched at lower (65 °C) temperatures.

  1. Location of Bioelectricity Plants in the Madrid Community Based on Triticale Crop: A Multicriteria Methodology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Romero

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a work whose objective is, first, to quantify the potential of the triticale biomass existing in each of the agricultural regions in the Madrid Community through a crop simulation model based on regression techniques and multiple correlation. Second, a methodology for defining which area has the best conditions for the installation of electricity plants from biomass has been described and applied. The study used a methodology based on compromise programming in a discrete multicriteria decision method (MDM context. To make a ranking, the following criteria were taken into account: biomass potential, electric power infrastructure, road networks, protected spaces, and urban nuclei surfaces. The results indicate that, in the case of the Madrid Community, the Campiña region is the most suitable for setting up plants powered by biomass. A minimum of 17,339.9 tons of triticale will be needed to satisfy the requirements of a 2.2 MW power plant. The minimum range of action for obtaining the biomass necessary in Campiña region would be 6.6 km around the municipality of Algete, based on Geographic Information Systems. The total biomass which could be made available in considering this range in this region would be 18,430.68 t.

  2. Long-term hydrologic effects on marsh plant community structure in the southern Everglades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busch, David E.; Loftus, W.F.; Bass, O.L.

    1998-01-01

    Although large-scale transformation of Everglades landscapes has occurred during the past century, the patterns of association among hydrologic factors and southern Everglades freshwater marsh vegetation have not been well-defined. We used a 10-year data base on the aquatic biota of Shark Slough to classify vegetation and describe plant community change in intermediate- to long-hydroperiod Everglades marshes. Study area marsh vegetation was quantitatively grouped into associations dominated by 1) Cladium jamaicense, 2) a group of emergents including Eleocharis cellulosa, Sagittaria lancifolia, and Rhyncospora tracyi, 3) taxa associated with algal mats (Utricularia spp. and Bacopa caroliniana), and 4) the grasses Panicum hemitomon and Paspalidium geminatum. During the decade evaluated, the range of water depths that characterized our study sites approached both extremes depicted in the 40-year hydrologic record for the region. Water depths were near the long-term average during the mid-1980s, declined sharply during a late 1980s drought, and underwent a prolonged increase from 1991 through 1995. Overall macrophyte cover varied inversely with water depth, while the response of periphyton was more complex. An ordination analysis, based on plant species abundance, revealed that study area vegetation structure was associated with hydrologic patterns. Marsh plant community structure showed evidence of cyclic interannual variation corresponding to hydrologic change over the decade evaluated. Lower water depths, the occurrence of marl substrates, and high periphyton cover were correlated. These factors contributed to reduced macrophyte cover in portions of the study area from which water had been diverted.

  3. Community emergency response to nuclear power plant accidents: A selected and partially annotated bibliography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Youngen, G.

    1988-10-01

    The role of responding to emergencies at nuclear power plants is often considered the responsibility of the personnel onsite. This is true for most, if not all, of the incidents that may happen during the course of the plant's operating lifetime. There is however, the possibility of a major accident occurring at anytime. Major nuclear accidents at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island have taught their respective countries and communities a significant lesson in local emergency preparedness and response. Through these accidents, the rest of the world can also learn a great deal about planning, preparing and responding to the emergencies unique to nuclear power. This bibliography contains books, journal articles, conference papers and government reports on emergency response to nuclear power plant accidents. It does not contain citations for ''onsite'' response or planning, nor does it cover the areas of radiation releases from transportation accidents. The compiler has attempted to bring together a sampling of the world's collective written experience on dealing with nuclear reactor accidents on the sate, local and community levels. Since the accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, that written experience has grown enormously

  4. Formation of higher plant component microbial community in closed ecological system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tirranen, L. S.

    2001-07-01

    Closed ecological systems (CES) place at the disposal of a researcher unique possibilities to study the role of microbial communities in individual components and of the entire system. The microbial community of the higher plant component has been found to form depending on specific conditions of the closed ecosystem: length of time the solution is reused, introduction of intrasystem waste water into the nutrient medium, effect of other component of the system, and system closure in terms of gas exchange. The higher plant component formed its own microbial complex different from that formed prior to closure. The microbial complex of vegetable polyculture is more diverse and stable than the monoculture of wheat. The composition of the components' microflora changed, species diversity decreased, individual species of bacteria and fungi whose numbers were not so great before the closure prevailed. Special attention should be paid to phytopathogenic and conditionally pathogenic species of microorganisms potentially hazardous to man or plants and the least controlled in CES. This situation can endanger creation of CES and make conjectural existence of preplanned components, man, specifically, and consequently, of CES as it is.

  5. Primary sand-dune plant community and soil properties during the west-coast India monsoon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Willis A.

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available A seven-station interrupted belt transect was established that followed a previously observed plant zonation pattern across an aggrading primary coastal dune system in the dry tropical region of west-coast India. The dominant weather pattern is monsoon from June to November, followed by hot and dry winter months when rainfall is scarce. Physical and chemical soil characteristics in each of the stations were analysed on five separate occasions, the first before the onset of monsoon, three during and the last post-monsoon. The plant community pattern was confirmed by quadrat survey. A pH gradient decreased with distance from the shoreline. Nutrient concentrations were deficient, increasing only in small amounts until the furthest station inland. At that location, there was a distinct and abrupt pedological transition zone from psammite to humic soils. There was a significant increase over previous stations in mean organic matter, ammonium nitrate and soil-water retention, although the increase in real terms was small. ANOVA showed significant variation in electrical conductivity, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and sodium concentrations over time. There was no relationship between soil chemistry characteristics and plant community structure over the transect. Ipomoea pes-caprae and Spinifex littoreus were restricted to the foredunes, the leguminous forb Alysicarpus vaginalis and Perotis indica to the two stations furthest from the strand. Ischaemum indicum, a C4 perennial grass species adopting an ephemeral strategy was, in contrast, ubiquitous to all stations.

  6. Assessing Metal Exposures in a Community near a Cement Plant in the Northeast U.S.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhao Dong

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Cement production is a major source of metals and metalloids in the environment, while exposures to metals and metalloids may impact human health in the surrounding communities. We recruited 185 participants living in the vicinity of a cement plant in the northeast U.S., and measured the levels of aluminum (Al, arsenic (As, cadmium (Cd, lead (Pb, mercury (Hg, and selenium (Se in blood and Hg in hair samples from them. A questionnaire was used to assess potential sources of Hg exposure. Multivariate regressions and spatial analyses were performed to evaluate the relative importance of different routes of exposures. The metal concentrations in blood or hair samples of our study participants were comparable to the U.S. general or regional population. Smoking contributed significantly to Cd and Pb exposures, and seafood consumption contributed significantly to Hg and As exposures, while variables related to the cement plant were not significantly associated with metal concentrations. Our results suggest that our study population was not at elevated health risk due to metal exposures, and that the contribution of the cement plant to metal exposures in the surrounding community was minimal.

  7. [Interrelations between plant communities and environmental factors of wetlands and surrounding lands in mid- and lower reaches of Tarim River].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Ruifeng; Zhou, Huarong; Qian, Yibing; Zhang, Jianjun

    2006-06-01

    A total of 16 quadrants of wetlands and surrounding lands in the mid- and lower reaches of Tarim River were surveyed, and the data about the characteristics of plant communities and environmental factors were collected and counted. By using PCA (principal component analysis) ordination and regression procedure, the distribution patterns of plant communities and the relationships between the characteristics of plant community structure and environmental factors were analyzed. The results showed that the distribution of the plant communities was closely related to soil moisture, salt, and nutrient contents. The accumulative contribution rate of soil moisture and salt contents in the first principal component accounted for 35.70%, and that of soil nutrient content in the second principal component reached 25.97%. There were 4 types of habitats for the plant community distribution, i. e., fenny--light salt--medium nutrient, moist--medium salt--medium nutrient, mesophytic--medium salt--low nutrient, and medium xerophytic-heavy salt--low nutrient. Along these habitats, swamp vegetation, meadow vegetation, riparian sparse forest, halophytic desert, and salinized shrub were distributed. In the wetlands and surrounding lands of mid- and lower reaches of Tarim River, the ecological dominance of the plant communities was markedly and unitary-linearly correlated with the compound gradient of soil moisture and salt contents. The relationships between species diversity, ecological dominance, and compound gradient of soil moisture and salt contents were significantly accorded to binary-linear regression model.

  8. Mountain pastures of Qilian Shan: plant communities, grazing impact and degradation status (Gansu province, NW China)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baranova, Alina; Schickhoff, Udo; Shunli, Wang; Ming, Jin

    2015-04-01

    Qilian Mountains are the water source region for the low arid reaches of HeiHe river basin (Gansu province, NW China). Due to overstocking and overgrazing during the last decades adverse ecological ef¬fects, in particular on soil properties and hydrological cycle, are to be expected in growing land areas. Vegetation cover is very important to prevent erosion process and to sustain stable subsurface runoff and ground water flow. The aim of this research is to identify plant communities, detecting grazing-induced and spatially differentiated changes in vegetation patterns, and to evaluate status of pasture land degradation.The study area is located in the spring/autumn pasture area of South Qilian Mountains between 2600-3600 m a.s.l., covering five main vegetation types: spruce forest, alpine shrubland, shrubby grassland, mountain grassland, degraded mountain grassland. In order to analyze gradual changes in vegetation patterns along altitudinal and grazing gradients and to classify related plant communities, quantitative and qualitative relevé data were collected (coverage, species composition, abundance of unpalatable plants, plant functional types, etc.). Vegetation was classified using hierarchical cluster analyses. Indirect Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) was used to analyze variation in relationships between vegetation, environmental factors, and grazing impact. According to DCA results, distribution of the plant communities was strongly affected by altitude and exposition. Grassland floristic gradients showed greater dependence on grazing impact, which correlated contrarily with soil organic content, soil moisture and pH. Highest numbers of species richness and alpha diversity were detected in alpine shrubland vegetation type. Comparing the monitoring data for the recent nine years, a trend of deterioration, species successions and shift in dominant species becomes obvious. Species indicating degrading site environmental conditions were identified

  9. Interspecific variation of the bacterial community structure in the phyllosphere of the three major plant components of mangrove forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armando Cavalcante Franco Dias

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Mangrove forests encompass a group of trees species that inhabit the intertidal zones, where soil is characterized by the high salinity and low availability of oxygen. The phyllosphere of these trees represent the habitat provided on the aboveground parts of plants, supporting in a global scale, a large and complex microbial community. The structure of phyllosphere communities reflects immigration, survival and growth of microbial colonizers, which is influenced by numerous environmental factors in addition to leaf physical and chemical properties. Here, a combination of culture-base methods with PCR-DGGE was applied to test whether local or plant specific factors shape the bacterial community of the phyllosphere from three plant species (Avicenia shaueriana, Laguncularia racemosa and Rhizophora mangle, found in two mangroves. The number of bacteria in the phyllosphere of these plants varied between 3.62 x 10(4 in A. schaeriana and 6.26 x 10³ in R. mangle. The results obtained by PCR-DGGE and isolation approaches were congruent and demonstrated that each plant species harbor specific bacterial communities in their leaves surfaces. Moreover, the ordination of environmental factors (mangrove and plant species, by redundancy analysis (RDA, also indicated that the selection exerted by plant species is higher than mangrove location on bacterial communities at phyllosphere.

  10. [Edge effect of the plant community structure on land-bridge islands in the Thousand Island Lake].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Xiao-Fei; Yuan, Jin-Feng; Hu, Guang; Xu, Gao-Fu; Yu, Ming-Jian

    2014-01-01

    The research was conducted on 29 land-bridge islands in the Thousand Island Lake (TIL), where long-term monitoring plots were set up during 2009-2010. The community attributes including species richness, Shannon index, plant mean height, plant mean diameter at breast height (DBH) and plant density along the edge-interior gradient from edge to interior forest were calculated to investigate the edge effect. The results showed that the species richness and Shannon index were affected through the whole gradient (larger than 50 m), while the range of edge effect was 20-30 m on mean plant height, and 10 m on plant density and mean DBH. Community attributes differed significantly among the edge gradients. The species richness and Shannon index peaked at the intermediate edge gradient. Plant density decreased and plant mean height increased along the edge to interior gradient. All five community attributes were significantly associated with the edge gradient, also different functional groups, evergreen or deciduous species, trees or shrubs, shade tolerant or shade intolerant species, were differentially influenced by the edge effect. It was demonstrated the influence of edge effect on the fragmented forest community varied with community attributes and functional groups.

  11. Mechanisms and ecological consequences of plant defence induction and suppression in herbivore communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kant, M. R.; Jonckheere, W.; Knegt, B.; Lemos, F.; Liu, J.; Schimmel, B. C. J.; Villarroel, C. A.; Ataide, L. M. S.; Dermauw, W.; Glas, J. J.; Egas, M.; Janssen, A.; Van Leeuwen, T.; Schuurink, R. C.; Sabelis, M. W.; Alba, J. M.

    2015-01-01

    give rise to exploitative competition and facilitation within ecological communities “inhabiting” a plant. Conclusions Herbivores have evolved diverse strategies, which are not mutually exclusive, to decrease the negative effects of plant defences in order to maximize the conversion of plant material into offspring. Numerous adaptations have been found in herbivores, enabling them to dismantle or bypass defensive barriers, to avoid tissues with relatively high levels of defensive chemicals or to metabolize these chemicals once ingested. In addition, some herbivores interfere with the onset or completion of induced plant defences, resulting in the plant’s resistance being partly or fully suppressed. The ability to suppress induced plant defences appears to occur across plant parasites from different kingdoms, including herbivorous arthropods, and there is remarkable diversity in suppression mechanisms. Suppression may strongly affect the structure of the food web, because the ability to suppress the activation of defences of a communal host may facilitate competitors, whereas the ability of a herbivore to cope with activated plant defences will not. Further characterization of the mechanisms and traits that give rise to suppression of plant defences will enable us to determine their role in shaping direct and indirect interactions in food webs and the extent to which these determine the coexistence and persistence of species. PMID:26019168

  12. Plant Community Richness Mediates Inhibitory Interactions and Resource Competition between Streptomyces and Fusarium Populations in the Rhizosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Essarioui, Adil; LeBlanc, Nicholas; Kistler, Harold C; Kinkel, Linda L

    2017-07-01

    Plant community characteristics impact rhizosphere Streptomyces nutrient competition and antagonistic capacities. However, the effects of Streptomyces on, and their responses to, coexisting microorganisms as a function of plant host or plant species richness have received little attention. In this work, we characterized antagonistic activities and nutrient use among Streptomyces and Fusarium from the rhizosphere of Andropogon gerardii (Ag) and Lespedeza capitata (Lc) plants growing in communities of 1 (monoculture) or 16 (polyculture) plant species. Streptomyces from monoculture were more antagonistic against Fusarium than those from polyculture. In contrast, Fusarium isolates from polyculture had greater inhibitory capacities against Streptomyces than isolates from monoculture. Although Fusarium isolates had on average greater niche widths, the collection of Streptomyces isolates in total used a greater diversity of nutrients for growth. Plant richness, but not plant host, influenced the potential for resource competition between the two taxa. Fusarium isolates had greater niche overlap with Streptomyces in monoculture than polyculture, suggesting greater potential for Fusarium to competitively challenge Streptomyces in monoculture plant communities. In contrast, Streptomyces had greater niche overlap with Fusarium in polyculture than monoculture, suggesting that Fusarium experiences greater resource competition with Streptomyces in polyculture than monoculture. These patterns of competitive and inhibitory phenotypes among Streptomyces and Fusarium populations are consistent with selection for Fusarium-antagonistic Streptomyces populations in the presence of strong Fusarium resource competition in plant monocultures. Similarly, these results suggest selection for Streptomyces-inhibitory Fusarium populations in the presence of strong Streptomyces resource competition in more diverse plant communities. Thus, landscape-scale variation in plant species richness may be

  13. Response of herbaceous plant community diversity and composition to overstorey harvest within riparian management zones in Northern Hardwoods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eric K. Zenner; Michelle A. Martin; Brian J. Palik; Jerilynn E. Peck; Charles R. Blinn

    2013-01-01

    Partial timber harvest within riparian management zones (RMZs) may permit active management of riparian forests while protecting stream ecosystems, but impacts on herbaceous communities are poorly understood. We compared herbaceous plant community abundance, diversity and composition in RMZs along small streams in northern Minnesota, USA, among four treatments before...

  14. Contributions of gopher mound and casting disturbances to plant community structure in a Cascade Range meadow complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    M. Case; C.B. Halpern; S.A. Levin

    2013-01-01

    Pocket gophers (Geomyidae) are major agents of disturbance in North American grasslands. Gopher mounds bury existing plants and influence community structure through various mechanisms. However, in mountain meadows that experience winter snowpack, gophers also create winter castings, smaller tube-shaped deposits, previously ignored in studies of plant–gopher...

  15. Grid connected integrated community energy system. Phase II: final stage 2 report. Outline specifications of cogeneration plant; continued

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1978-03-22

    Specifications are presented for the electrical equipment, site preparation, building construction and mechanical systems for a dual-purpose power plant to be located on the University of Minnesota campus. This power plant will supply steam and electrical power to a grid-connected Integrated Community Energy System. (LCL)

  16. WHEAT LEAF RUST SEVERITY AS AFFECTED BY PLANT DENSITY AND SPECIES PROPORTION IN SIMPLE COMMUNITIES OF WHEAT AND WILD OATS

    Science.gov (United States)

    While it is generally accepted that dense stands of plants exacerbate epidemics caused by foliar pathogens, there is little experimental evidence to support this view. We grew model plant communities consisting of wheat and wild oats at different densities and proportions and exp...

  17. The Effect of Re-Planting Trees on Soil Microbial Communities in a Wildfire-Induced Subalpine Grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ed-Haun Chang

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Wildfire often causes tremendous changes in ecosystems, particularly in subalpine and alpine areas, which are vulnerable due to severe climate conditions such as cold temperature and strong wind. This study aimed to clarify the effect of tree re-planting on ecosystem services such as the soil microbial community after several decades. We compared the re-planted forest and grassland with the mature forest as a reference in terms of soil microbial biomass C and N (Cmic and Nmic, enzyme activities, phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA composition, and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE. The Cmic and Nmic did not differ among the grassland, re-planted forest and mature forest soil; however, ratios of Cmic/Corg and Nmic/Ntot decreased from the grassland to re-planted forest and mature forest soil. The total PLFAs and those attributed to bacteria and Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria did not differ between the re-planted forest and grassland soil. Principle component analysis of the PLFA content separated the grassland from re-planted forest and mature forest soil. Similarly, DGGE analysis revealed changes in both bacterial and fungal community structures with changes in vegetation. Our results suggest that the microbial community structure changes with the re-planting of trees after a fire event in this subalpine area. Recovery of the soil microbial community to the original state in a fire-damaged site in a subalpine area may require decades, even under a re-planted forest.

  18. Ethnobotany of Indigenous Saraguros: Medicinal Plants Used by Community Healers “Hampiyachakkuna” in the San Lucas Parish, Southern Ecuador

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José M. Andrade

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper reports the results of an ethnobotanical survey on the use of medicinal plants by community healers “Hampiyachakkuna” in the San Lucas Parish, province of Loja, Ecuador. A particular ethnic group, the indigenous Saraguros, inhabits this region. This study reports 183 plant species used in 75 different curative therapies by the Saraguro healers.

  19. Ethnobotany of Indigenous Saraguros: Medicinal Plants Used by Community Healers "Hampiyachakkuna" in the San Lucas Parish, Southern Ecuador.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrade, José M; Lucero Mosquera, Hernán; Armijos, Chabaco

    2017-01-01

    This paper reports the results of an ethnobotanical survey on the use of medicinal plants by community healers "Hampiyachakkuna" in the San Lucas Parish, province of Loja, Ecuador. A particular ethnic group, the indigenous Saraguros, inhabits this region. This study reports 183 plant species used in 75 different curative therapies by the Saraguro healers.

  20. Ethnobotany of Indigenous Saraguros: Medicinal Plants Used by Community Healers “Hampiyachakkuna” in the San Lucas Parish, Southern Ecuador

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucero Mosquera, Hernán; Armijos, Chabaco

    2017-01-01

    This paper reports the results of an ethnobotanical survey on the use of medicinal plants by community healers “Hampiyachakkuna” in the San Lucas Parish, province of Loja, Ecuador. A particular ethnic group, the indigenous Saraguros, inhabits this region. This study reports 183 plant species used in 75 different curative therapies by the Saraguro healers. PMID:28744470

  1. Ethnobotanical study on medicinal plants in the community of Curral Velho, Luís Correia, Piauí, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesus Rodrigues Lemos

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The use of plants as medication in the state of Piauí, Brazil, has been a common practice passed from generation to generation. This study aimed to analyze the use of medicinal plants by residents of the community Curral Velho, in the municipality of Luís Correia, northern Piauí, Brazil, contributing to register and preserve the traditional botanical knowledge of the community under study and, as a consequence, the state’s. The survey of plant species used as a therapeutic resource was conducted through interviews with a semi-structured questionnaire applied to 38 informants. The plants were collected for scientific identification. Use value (UV, informant consensus factor (ICF, and relative importance (RI of species were determined. We registered 62 species, belonging to 38 families and 57 genera, and the Fabaceae family stood out. Aristolochia triangularis, Petiveria alliaceae, and Stachytarpheta cayennensis had the highest use values (UV = 3.0, and Turnera subulata was the most versatile. Out of the 10 bodily systems identified, those with higher concentration of medicinal species are related to the most ordinary illnesses as general signs (inflammation, fever, respiratory tract diseases, and genitourinary tract diseases. This survey enabled the identification of some relevant aspects concerning the use and knowledge of medicinal plants in the community under study. The diversity of medicinal plants known and the availability of plants in the very community suggest a correlation between use/knowledge of medicinal plants and their availability.

  2. Interactions of fire and nonnative species across an elevation/plant community gradient in Hawaii volcanoes national park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alison Ainsworth; J. Boone Kauffman

    2010-01-01

    Invasive species interacting with fires pose a relatively unknown, but potentially serious, threat to the tropical forests of Hawaii. Fires may create conditions that facilitate species invasions, but the degree to which this occurs in different tropical plant communities has not been quantified. We documented the survival and establishment of plant species for 2 yr...

  3. Grid connected integrated community energy system. Phase II: final stage 2 report. Preliminary design of cogeneration plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1978-03-22

    The preliminary design of a dual-purpose power plant to be located on the University of Minnesota is described. This coal-fired plant will produce steam and electric power for a grid-connected Integrated Community Energy System. (LCL)

  4. Bacterial community structure and variation in a full-scale seawater desalination plant for drinking water production

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Belila, A.; El-Chakhtoura, J.; Otaibi, N.; Muyzer, G.; Gonzalez-Gil, G.; Saikaly, P.E.; van Loosdrecht, M.C.M.; Vrouwenvelder, J.S.

    2016-01-01

    Microbial processes inevitably play a role in membrane-based desalination plants, mainly recognized as membrane biofouling. We assessed the bacterial community structure and diversity during different treatment steps in a full-scale seawater desalination plant producing 40,000 m3/d of drinking

  5. Ethnobotanical study on medicinal plants in the community of Curral Velho, Luís Correia, Piauí, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jairla Lima Araujo

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The use of plants as medication in the state of Piauí, Brazil, has been a common practice passed from generation to generation. This study aimed to analyze the use of medicinal plants by residents of the community Curral Velho, in the municipality of Luís Correia, northern Piauí, Brazil, contributing to register and preserve the traditional botanical knowledge of the community under study and, as a consequence, the state’s. The survey of plant species used as a therapeutic resource was conducted through interviews with a semi-structured questionnaire applied to 38 informants. The plants were collected for scientific identification. Use value (UV, informant consensus factor (ICF, and relative importance (RI of species were determined. We registered 62 species, belonging to 38 families and 57 genera, and the Fabaceae family stood out. Aristolochia triangularis, Petiveria alliaceae, and Stachytarpheta cayennensis had the highest use values (UV = 3.0, and Turnera subulata was the most versatile. Out of the 10 bodily systems identified, those with higher concentration of medicinal species are related to the most ordinary illnesses as general signs (inflammation, fever, respiratory tract diseases, and genitourinary tract diseases. This survey enabled the identification of some relevant aspects concerning the use and knowledge of medicinal plants in the community under study. The diversity of medicinal plants known and the availability of plants in the very community suggest a correlation between use/knowledge of medicinal plants and their availability.

  6. Phylogenetic Structure of Plant Communities: Are Polyploids Distantly Related to Co-occurring Diploids?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle L. Gaynor

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Polyploidy is widely acknowledged to have played an important role in the evolution and diversification of vascular plants. However, the influence of genome duplication on population-level dynamics and its cascading effects at the community level remain unclear. In part, this is due to persistent uncertainties over the extent of polyploid phenotypic variation, and the interactions between polyploids and co-occurring species, and highlights the need to integrate polyploid research at the population and community level. Here, we investigate how community-level patterns of phylogenetic relatedness might influence escape from minority cytotype exclusion, a classic population genetics hypothesis about polyploid establishment, and population-level species interactions. Focusing on two plant families in which polyploidy has evolved multiple times, Brassicaceae and Rosaceae, we build upon the hypothesis that the greater allelic and phenotypic diversity of polyploids allow them to successfully inhabit a different geographic range compared to their diploid progenitor and close relatives. Using a phylogenetic framework, we specifically test (1 whether polyploid species are more distantly related to diploids within the same community than co-occurring diploids are to one another, and (2 if polyploid species tend to exhibit greater ecological success than diploids, using species abundance in communities as an indicator of successful establishment. Overall, our results suggest that the effects of genome duplication on community structure are not clear-cut. We find that polyploid species tend to be more distantly related to co-occurring diploids than diploids are to each other. However, we do not find a consistent pattern of polyploid species being more abundant than diploid species, suggesting polyploids are not uniformly more ecologically successful than diploids. While polyploidy appears to have some important influences on species co-occurrence in

  7. The effect of glyphosate and nitrogen on plant communities and the soil fauna in terrestrial biotopes at field margins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Damgaard, Christian; Strandberg, Beate; Dupont, Yoko

    were assessed at the ecosystem level by measuring biodiversity and functional traits. We have obtained an increased understanding of the causal relationship between plant communities and the soil fauna at the ecosystem level and increased knowledge on how and by what mechanisms important drivers...... that are known to affect plant communities may affect pollination and the soil fauna. The combined use of plant trait and soil fauna trait data in a full-factorial field experiment of glyphosate and nitrogen has never been explored before. The focus on plant and soil fauna traits rather than species enabled...... nitrogen, generally, resulted in increasing total plant cover and biomass, especially of fast-growing and competitive species as grasses and a few herbs such as Tanacetum vulgare. Using plant traits we found that increase in nitrogen promoted an increase in the average specific leaf area (SLA) and canopy...

  8. Influence of weather variables and plant communities on grasshopper density in the Southern Pampas, Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Wysiecki, María Laura; Arturi, Marcelo; Torrusio, Sandra; Cigliano, María Marta

    2011-01-01

    A study was conducted to evaluate the influence of weather (precipitation and temperature) and plant communities on grasshopper density over a 14-year period (1996-2009) in Benito Juárez County, Southern Pampas, Argentina. Total density strongly varied among plant communities. Highest values were registered in 2001 and 2003 in highly disturbed pastures and in 2002 and 2009 in halophilous grasslands. Native grasslands had the lowest density values. Seasonal precipitation and temperature had no significant effect on total grasshopper density. Dichroplus elongatus (Giglio-Tos) (Orthoptera: Acridoidea), Covasacris pallidinota (Bruner), Dichroplus pratensis Bruner, Scotussa lemniscata Stål, Borellia bruneri (Rehn) and Dichroplus maculipennis (Blanchard) comprised, on average, 64% of the grasshopper assemblages during low density years and 79% during high density years. Dichroplus elongatus, S. lemniscata and C. pallidinota were the most abundant species in 2001, 2002 and 2003, while D. elongatus, B. brunneri and C. pallidinota in 2009. Dichroplus elongatus and D. pratensis, mixed feeders species, were positively affected by summer rainfall. This suggests that the increase in summer precipitation had a positive effect on the quantity and quality forage production, affecting these grasshopper populations. Scotussa lemniscata and C. pallidinota were negatively affected by winter and fall temperature, possibly affecting the embryonic development before diapause and hatching. Dichroplus elongatus and D. pratensis were associated with highly disturbed pastures, S. lemniscata with pastures and B. bruneri and D. maculipennis with halophilous grasslands. Covasacris pallidinota was closely associated with halophilous grasslands and moderately disturbed pastures. Weather conditions changed over the years, with 2001, 2002 and 2003 having excessive rainfall while 2008 and 2009 were the driest years since the study started. We suggest that although seasonal precipitation and

  9. Quantitative distribution of aquatic plant and animal communities in the Forsmark-area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kautsky, H.; Plantman, P.; Borgiel, M.

    1999-12-01

    This report is a part of the SKB project 'SAFE'. The aim of SAFE is to update the previous safety analysis of SFR-1. SFR is for the repository of low and intermediate level radioactive waste. The aim of this report is to provide background information of the quantitative distribution of macroscopic (>1 mm) plants and animals on the sea floor (the phytobenthic communities) above the SFR. The phytobenthic plant and animal communities in the Bothnian Sea may constitute over half of the total production of the ecosystem in the coastal zone. Data will be used in a simulation model of the area. The attached plant and animal communities of the sea floor can be the major component to find radioactive isotopes when a leakage should occur from the SFR below the investigated area. Their ability to bioaccumulate the isotopes and the abundance of the plants and animals might to a large extent determine the amount of radionuclides that could be retained in the biological system. This might then affect the form of further dispersal of the radionuclides over larger areas, whether they are kept within and accumulated in the food chain or retained in the sediments or diluted in the water column. In the investigated area divers described the sea floor substrate and the dominating plant and animal communities along transect lines. In addition, the divers collected quantitative samples. Three transects were placed just above SFR, and two transects were placed from the shore of islands adjacent to SFR. In total, divers collected 54 quantitative samples. Also, divers collected 6 sediment cores for analysis of the organic contents and chlorophylla. The results from the divers estimates of plant and animal species distribution and cover degree, as well as the quantitative samples, indicated the area being fairly rich. An eroded moraine (boulders, stones, gravel and sand) dominated the substrate with occasional rock outcrops. At several sites, on the hard, more stable substrates (boulders

  10. Quantitative distribution of aquatic plant and animal communities in the Forsmark-area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kautsky, H; Plantman, P; Borgiel, M [Stockholm Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of Systems Ecology

    1999-12-15

    This report is a part of the SKB project 'SAFE'. The aim of SAFE is to update the previous safety analysis of SFR-1. SFR is for the repository of low and intermediate level radioactive waste. The aim of this report is to provide background information of the quantitative distribution of macroscopic (>1 mm) plants and animals on the sea floor (the phytobenthic communities) above the SFR. The phytobenthic plant and animal communities in the Bothnian Sea may constitute over half of the total production of the ecosystem in the coastal zone. Data will be used in a simulation model of the area. The attached plant and animal communities of the sea floor can be the major component to find radioactive isotopes when a leakage should occur from the SFR below the investigated area. Their ability to bioaccumulate the isotopes and the abundance of the plants and animals might to a large extent determine the amount of radionuclides that could be retained in the biological system. This might then affect the form of further dispersal of the radionuclides over larger areas, whether they are kept within and accumulated in the food chain or retained in the sediments or diluted in the water column. In the investigated area divers described the sea floor substrate and the dominating plant and animal communities along transect lines. In addition, the divers collected quantitative samples. Three transects were placed just above SFR, and two transects were placed from the shore of islands adjacent to SFR. In total, divers collected 54 quantitative samples. Also, divers collected 6 sediment cores for analysis of the organic contents and chlorophylla. The results from the divers estimates of plant and animal species distribution and cover degree, as well as the quantitative samples, indicated the area being fairly rich. An eroded moraine (boulders, stones, gravel and sand) dominated the substrate with occasional rock outcrops. At several sites, on the hard, more stable substrates (boulders

  11. Quantitative distribution of aquatic plant and animal communities in the Forsmark-area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kautsky, H.; Plantman, P.; Borgiel, M. [Stockholm Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of Systems Ecology

    1999-12-15

    This report is a part of the SKB project 'SAFE'. The aim of SAFE is to update the previous safety analysis of SFR-1. SFR is for the repository of low and intermediate level radioactive waste. The aim of this report is to provide background information of the quantitative distribution of macroscopic (>1 mm) plants and animals on the sea floor (the phytobenthic communities) above the SFR. The phytobenthic plant and animal communities in the Bothnian Sea may constitute over half of the total production of the ecosystem in the coastal zone. Data will be used in a simulation model of the area. The attached plant and animal communities of the sea floor can be the major component to find radioactive isotopes when a leakage should occur from the SFR below the investigated area. Their ability to bioaccumulate the isotopes and the abundance of the plants and animals might to a large extent determine the amount of radionuclides that could be retained in the biological system. This might then affect the form of further dispersal of the radionuclides over larger areas, whether they are kept within and accumulated in the food chain or retained in the sediments or diluted in the water column. In the investigated area divers described the sea floor substrate and the dominating plant and animal communities along transect lines. In addition, the divers collected quantitative samples. Three transects were placed just above SFR, and two transects were placed from the shore of islands adjacent to SFR. In total, divers collected 54 quantitative samples. Also, divers collected 6 sediment cores for analysis of the organic contents and chlorophylla. The results from the divers estimates of plant and animal species distribution and cover degree, as well as the quantitative samples, indicated the area being fairly rich. An eroded moraine (boulders, stones, gravel and sand) dominated the substrate with occasional rock outcrops. At several sites, on the hard, more stable substrates

  12. Zero Energy Communities with Central Solar Plants using Liquid Desiccants and Local Storage: Preprint

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burch, J.; Woods, J.; Kozubal, E.; Boranian, A.

    2012-08-01

    The zero energy community considered here consists of tens to tens-of-thousands of residences coupled to a central solar plant that produces all the community's electrical and thermal needs. A distribution network carries fluids to meet the heating and cooling loads. Large central solar systems can significantly reduce cost of energy vs. single family systems, and they enable economical seasonal heat storage. However, the thermal distribution system is costly. Conventional district heating/cooling systems use a water/glycol solution to deliver sensible energy. Piping is sized to meet the peak instantaneous load. A new district system introduced here differs in two key ways: (i) it continuously distributes a hot liquid desiccant (LD) solution to LD-based heating and cooling equipment in each home; and (ii) it uses central and local storage of both LD and heat to reduce flow rates to meet average loads. Results for piping sizes in conventional and LD thermal communities show that the LD zero energy community reduces distribution piping diameters meeting heating loads by {approx}5X and meeting cooling loads by {approx}8X for cooling, depending on climate.

  13. [Plant communities in the terrestrial-aquatic transition zone in the paramo of Chingaza, Colombia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt-Mumm, Udo; Vargas Ríos, Orlando

    2012-03-01

    Plant communities in the terrestrial-aquatic transition zone in the paramo of Chingaza, Colombia. High Andean paramo ecosystems are an important water resource for many towns, and major cities in this region. The aquatic and wetland vegetation of different paramo lakes, pond, swamps and bogs was studied according to the classical phytosociological approach, which is based on homogenous stands, but excludes any border phenomena or transitional zone. The present research aimed at determining the aquatic and wetland vegetation along different moisture gradients. A total of 89 species in 30 transects were reported, of which Crassula venezuelensis, Carex honplandii, Callitriche nubigena, Eleocharis macrostachya, Ranunculus flagelliformis, R. nubigenus, Eleocharis stenocarpa, Galium ascendens y Alopecurus aequalis were present in more than one third of the transects. Numerical classification and indicator species analysis resulted in the definition of the next 18 communities: 1) Calamagrostis effusa, 2) Sphagnum cuspidatum, 3) Cyperus rufus, 4) Eleocharis stenocarpa, 5) Carex acutata, 6) Poa annua,7) Valeriana sp., 8) Ranunculus flagelliformis, 9) Carex bonplandii, 10) Festuca andicola. 11) Muhlenbergia fustigiata, 12) Elatine paramoana, 13) Isoëtes palmeri, 14) Crassula venezuelensis, 15) Lilaeopsis macloviana, 16) Callitriche nubigena, 17) Potamogeton paramoanus and 18) Potamogeton illinoensis. The ordination of communities reveals the presence of three different aquatic-terrestrial gradients which are related to the life form structure of species that characterized the various communities. We concluded that patchiness and heterogeneity of the vegetation is mainly the result of alterations caused by human activities (burning, cattle raise and material extraction for road and dam construction).

  14. Species-driven phases and increasing structure in early-successional plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaplata, Markus K; Winter, Susanne; Fischer, Anton; Kollmann, Johannes; Ulrich, Werner

    2013-01-01

    Successional phases describe changes in ecological communities that proceed in steps rather than continuously. Despite their importance for the understanding of ecosystem development, there still exists no reliable definition of phases and no quantitative measure of phase transitions. In order to obtain these data, we investigated primary succession in an artificial catchment (6 ha) in eastern Germany over a period of 6 years. The data set consists of records of plant species and their cover values, and initial substrate properties, both from plots in a regular grid (20 m × 20 m) suitable for spatial data analysis. Community assembly was studied by analyses of species co-occurrence and nestedness. Additionally, we correlated lognormal and log series distributions of species abundance to each community. We here introduce a new general method for detection of successional phases based on the degree of transient spatial homogeneity in the study system. Spatially coherent vegetation patterns revealed nonoverlapping partitions within this sequence of primary succession and were characterized as two distinct ecological phases. Patterns of species co-occurrence were increasingly less random, and hence the importance of demographic stochasticity and neutral community assembly decreased during the study period. Our findings highlight the spatial dimension of successional phases and quantify the degree of change between these steps. They are an element for advancing a more reliable terminology of ecological successions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stella, J. C.

    2017-12-01

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

  16. Impacts of extreme winter warming events on plant physiology in a sub-Arctic heath community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bokhorst, Stef; Bjerke, Jarle W; Davey, Matthew P; Taulavuori, Kari; Taulavuori, Erja; Laine, Kari; Callaghan, Terry V; Phoenix, Gareth K

    2010-10-01

    frequent in some regions of the Arctic and that may ultimately drive plant community shifts. Copyright © Physiologia Plantarum 2010.

  17. Plants, birds and butterflies: short-term responses of species communities to climate warming vary by taxon and with altitude.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, Tobias; Plattner, Matthias; Amrhein, Valentin

    2014-01-01

    As a consequence of climate warming, species usually shift their distribution towards higher latitudes or altitudes. Yet, it is unclear how different taxonomic groups may respond to climate warming over larger altitudinal ranges. Here, we used data from the national biodiversity monitoring program of Switzerland, collected over an altitudinal range of 2500 m. Within the short period of eight years (2003-2010), we found significant shifts in communities of vascular plants, butterflies and birds. At low altitudes, communities of all species groups changed towards warm-dwelling species, corresponding to an average uphill shift of 8 m, 38 m and 42 m in plant, butterfly and bird communities, respectively. However, rates of community changes decreased with altitude in plants and butterflies, while bird communities changed towards warm-dwelling species at all altitudes. We found no decrease in community variation with respect to temperature niches of species, suggesting that climate warming has not led to more homogenous communities. The different community changes depending on altitude could not be explained by different changes of air temperatures, since during the 16 years between 1995 and 2010, summer temperatures in Switzerland rose by about 0.07°C per year at all altitudes. We discuss that land-use changes or increased disturbances may have prevented alpine plant and butterfly communities from changing towards warm-dwelling species. However, the findings are also consistent with the hypothesis that unlike birds, many alpine plant species in a warming climate could find suitable habitats within just a few metres, due to the highly varied surface of alpine landscapes. Our results may thus support the idea that for plants and butterflies and on a short temporal scale, alpine landscapes are safer places than lowlands in a warming world.

  18. Development programmes in rural communities affected by industrial sites. The case of nuclear plants in Spain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yuncal, A.

    2000-01-01

    A socioeconomic analysis performed for rural communities affected by industrial sites, namely for the case of nuclear power plants in Spain a common proposal for all the European countries is made. Existence of a common European program that could cover the following aspects: Creation of a Committee to enhance the participation in decision making process on different aspects, information policies, security, transport, waste management, investments, economic development; Contract between local authorities, State and companies responsibilities and financing; Legal framework of political organization; common socio-economic program including environment, employment, companies activities, responsibilities, taxes

  19. Diversity and aggregation patterns of plant species in a grass community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ran Li

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Both composition and aggregation patterns of species in a community are the outcome of community self-organizing. In this paper we conducted analysis on species diversity and aggregation patterns of plant species in a grass community, Zhuhai, China. According to the sampling survey, in total of 47 plant species, belonging to 16 families, were found. Compositae had 10 species (21.3%, seconded by Gramineae (9 species, 19.1%, Leguminosae (6 species, 12.8%, Cyperaceae (4 species, 8.5%, and Malvaceae (3 species, 6.4%. The results revealed that the means of aggregation indices Iδ, I and m*/m were 21.71, 15.71 and 19.89 respectively and thus individuals of most of plant species strongly followed aggregative distribution. Iwao analysis indicated that both individuals of all species and clumps of all individuals of all species followed aggregative distribution. Taylor's power law indicated that individuals of all species followed aggregative distribution and aggregation intensity strengthened as the increase of mean density. We held that the strong aggregation intensity of a species has been resulted from the strong adaptation ability to the environment, the strong interspecific competition ability and the earlier establishment of the species. Fitting goodness of the mean, I, Iδ, m*/m with probability distributions demonstrated that the mean (density, I, Iδ, and m*/m over all species followed Weibull distribution rather than normal distribution. Lophatherum gracile, Paederia scandens (Lour. Merr., Eleusine indica, and Alternanthera philoxeroides (Mart. Griseb. were mostly aggregative, and Oxalis sp., Eleocharis plantagineiformis, Vernonia cinerea (L. Less., and Sapium sebiferum (L. Roxb, were mostly uniform in the spatial distribution. Importance values (IV showed that Cynodon dactylon was the most important species, seconded by Desmodium triflorum (L. DC., Cajanus scarabaeoides (L. Benth., Paspalum scrobiculatum L., and Rhynchelytrum repens. Oxalis

  20. Climate Effects on Plant Range Distributions and Community Structure of Pacific Northwest Prairies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bridgham, Scott D. [Univ. of Oregon, Eugene, OR (United States); Johnson, Bart [Univ. of Oregon, Eugene, OR (United States)

    2013-09-26

    was negatively impacted by increased temperatures, but for species planted north of their current range, increased temperature was neutral. However, for surviving plants climate treatments and site-specific factors (e.g., nutrient availability) were the strongest predictors of plant growth and seed set. When recruitment and plant growth are considered together, increased temperatures are negative within a species current range but beyond this range they become positive. Germination was the most critical stage for plant response across all sites and climate treatments. Our results underscore the importance of including plant vital rates into models that are examining climate change effects on plant ranges. Warming altered plant community composition, decreased diversity, and increased total cover, with warmed northern communities over time becoming more like ambient communities further south. In particular, warming increased the cover of annual introduced species, suggesting that the observed biogeographic pattern of increasing invasion by this plant functional group in US West Coast prairies as one moves further south is at least in part due to climate. Our results suggest that with the projected increase in drought severity with climate change, Pacific Northwest prairies may face an increase of invasion by annuals, similar to what has been observed in California, resulting in novel species assemblages and shifts in functional composition, which in turn may alter ecosystem function. Warming generally increased nutrient availability and plant productivity across all sites. The seasonality of soil respiration responses to heating were strongly dependent on the Mediterranean climate gradient in the PNW, with heating responses being generally positive during periods of adequate soil moisture and becoming neutral to negative during periods of low soil moisture. The asynchrony between temperature and precipitation may make soils less sensitive to warming. Precipitation

  1. A Community-Based Culture Collection for Targeting Novel Plant Growth-Promoting Bacteria from the Sugarcane Microbiome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaderson Silveira Leite Armanhi

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The soil-plant ecosystem harbors an immense microbial diversity that challenges investigative approaches to study traits underlying plant-microbe association. Studies solely based on culture-dependent techniques have overlooked most microbial diversity. Here we describe the concomitant use of culture-dependent and -independent techniques to target plant-beneficial microbial groups from the sugarcane microbiome. The community-based culture collection (CBC approach was used to access microbes from roots and stalks. The CBC recovered 399 unique bacteria representing 15.9% of the rhizosphere core microbiome and 61.6–65.3% of the endophytic core microbiomes of stalks. By cross-referencing the CBC (culture-dependent with the sugarcane microbiome profile (culture-independent, we designed a synthetic community comprised of naturally occurring highly abundant bacterial groups from roots and stalks, most of which has been poorly explored so far. We then used maize as a model to probe the abundance-based synthetic inoculant. We show that when inoculated in maize plants, members of the synthetic community efficiently colonize plant organs, displace the natural microbiota and dominate at 53.9% of the rhizosphere microbial abundance. As a result, inoculated plants increased biomass by 3.4-fold as compared to uninoculated plants. The results demonstrate that abundance-based synthetic inoculants can be successfully applied to recover beneficial plant microbes from plant microbiota.

  2. Penatalaksanaan Repair Palatoplasty dengan Teknik Furlow Double Opposing Z Plasty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pingky Krisna Arindra

    2015-06-01

    metode Furlow double opposing z plasty dengan kombinasi insisi lateral, dan didapatkan hasil menutupnya celah di palatum mole sampai dengan uvula. Telah dilakukan operasi repair palatoplasi dengan metode Furlow double opposing z plasty. Teknik ini dilakukan untuk menghindari insisi yang terlalu luas dikarenakan terdapatnya jaringan fibrous yang tebal pada mukosa palatum pasca operasi sebelumnya. Tujuan studi kasus adalah untuk mengetahui kemampuan teknik Furlow Double Opposing Z Plasty sebagai prosedur repair palatoplasty.   Repair Palatoplasty Management with Furlow Double Opposing Z Plasty Technique. Cases of cleft lip and palate are one of the deformity disorders that often occur. There are variety of clinical appearance ranging from incomplete to complete cases. Clinical appearance with different width requires proper surgical technique. Patients with cleft lip and palate had undergone surgical intervention, so that they needed surgical correction to repair the result or failure of the previous surgery. A Four year old boy complain there was cleft on the soft palate. The patient was diagnosed with labiognatopalatoscisis. The patient had undergone two stages of cleft lip surgery and twice of cleft palate surgery with pushback method and repair with z plasty, however the result was unsatisfactory. Further, the patient underwent repair palatoplasty surgery with Furlow double opposing z plasty method combined with lateral relaxing insicion. The result in the post surgery was the closure of cleft soft palate up to uvula. Repair palataplasty surgery has been done with Furlow double opposing z plasty method. This technique could avoid extended incision due to thick fibrous tissue on the palatum mucosa as the result of serial previous surgery. The aim of this case case study is to determine the technical capabilities of Furlow Double Opposing Z Plasty as palatoplasty repair procedure.

  3. Herbivores shape woody plant communities in the Kruger National Park: Lessons from three long-term exclosures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin J. Wigley

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The role of grazers in determining vegetation community compositions and structuring plant communities is well recognised in grassy systems. The role of browsers in affecting savanna woody plant communities is less clear. We used three long-term exclosures in the Kruger National Park to determine the effect of browsers on species compositions and population structures of woody communities. Species assemblages, plant traits relating to browsing and soil nutrients were compared inside and outside of the exclosures. Our results showed that browsers directly impact plant species distributions, densities and population structures by actively selecting for species with traits which make them desirable to browsers. Species with high leaf nitrogen, low total phenolic content and low acid detergent lignin appeared to be favoured by herbivores and therefore tend to be rare outside of the exclosures. This study also suggested that browsers have important indirect effects on savanna functioning, as the reduction of woody cover can result in less litter of lower quality, which in turn can result in lower soil fertility. However, the magnitude of browser effects appeared to depend on inherent soil fertility and climate. Conservation implications: Browsers were shown to have significant impacts on plant communities. They have noticeable effects on local species diversity and population structure, as well as soil nutrients. These impacts are shown to be related to the underlying geology and climate. The effects of browsers on woody communities were shown to be greater in low rainfall, fertile areas compared to high rainfall, infertile soils.

  4. Forest Plant community changes during 1989-2007 in response to climate warming in the Jura Mountains (France and Switzerland)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lenoir, Jonathan; Gégout, J.C.; Dupouey, J.L.

    2010-01-01

    Question: How strong are climate warming-driven changes within mid-elevation forest communities? Observations of plant community change within temperate mountain forest ecosystems in response to recent warming are scarce in comparison to high-elevation alpine and nival ecosystems, perhaps...... reflecting the confounding influence of forest stand dynamics. Location: Jura Mountains (France and Switzerland). Methods: We assessed changes in plant community composition by surveying 154 Abies alba forest vegetation relevés (550-1,350 m a.s.l.) in 1989 and 2007. Over this period, temperatures increased...... while precipitation did not change. Correspondence analysis (CA) and ecological indicator values were used to measure changes in plant community composition. Relevés in even- and uneven-aged stands were analysed separately to determine the influence of forest stand dynamics. We also analysed changes...

  5. The Community's research and development programme on decommissioning of nuclear power plants. Fourth annual progress report (year 1983)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1985-01-01

    This is the fourth progress report of the European Community's program. (1979-83) of research on decommissioning of nuclear power plants. It covers the year 1983 and follows the 1980, 1981 and 1982 reports (EUR 7440, EUR 8343, EUR 8962). The present report describes the further progress of research and contains a large amount of results. For a majority of the 51 research contracts composing the 1979-83 programme, work was completed by the end of 1983; the conclusions drawn from this work are in this report. The European Community's program deals with the following fields: long-term integrity of buildings and systems; decontamination for decommissioning purposes; dismantling techniques; treatment of specific wastes materials (steel, concrete and graphite); large transport containers for radioactive waste produced in the dismantling of nuclear power plants; estimation of the quantities of radioactive waste arising from the decommissioning of nuclear power plants in the Community; influence of nuclear power plant design features on decommissioning

  6. Quantitative Ethnobotany of Medicinal Plants Used by Indigenous Communities in the Bandarban District of Bangladesh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad O. Faruque

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available This study documents information on significant ethnomedicinal plants, which was collected from the traditional healers of three indigenous communities of Bangladesh. The documented data were quantitatively analyzed for the first time in this area. The information was obtained through open-ended, semi-structured questionnaires. The benefits, importance and coverage of ethnomedicine were expressed through several quantitative indices including Informant Consensus Factor (ICF, Use Value (UV, Frequency of Citation (FC, Relative Frequency of Citation (RFC and Relative Importance Index (RI. The agreement of homogeneity between the present and previous studies and among the indigenous communities was evaluated using the Jaccard Index (JI. A total of 159 ethnomedicinal plant species, which were distributed in 132 genera under 62 families, were documented from 174 informants. Of these, 128 plants were native and 31 were exotic. Of a majority of documented species, herbs and leaves were the most utilized plant parts for the preparation of ethnomedicines (45.28% whereas pastes (63.03% were the most popular formulations. Among the documented species, the dominant families were the Asteraceae (14 species and the Lamiaceae (12 species. The highest ICF value was 0.77 for digestive system disorders. Based on UVs, the five most commonly used ethnomedicinal plant species in the study area were Duabanga grandiflora (0.43, Zingiber officinale (0.41, Congea tomentosa (0.40, Matricaria chamomilla (0.33 and Engelhardtia spicata (0.28. The highest RFC was recorded for Rauvolfia serpentina (0.25. The highest RI value was calculated for both Scoparia dulcis and Leucas aspera (0.83. Importantly, 16 species were reported with new therapeutic uses and to our knowledge, 7 species described herein have never been ethnobotanically and pharmacologically studied, viz: Agastache urticifolia, Asarum cordifolium, C. tomentosa, E. spicata, Hypserpa nitida, Merremia vitifolia and

  7. Quantitative Ethnobotany of Medicinal Plants Used by Indigenous Communities in the Bandarban District of Bangladesh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faruque, Mohammad O.; Uddin, Shaikh B.; Barlow, James W.; Hu, Sheng; Dong, Shuang; Cai, Qian; Li, Xiaohua; Hu, Xuebo

    2018-01-01

    This study documents information on significant ethnomedicinal plants, which was collected from the traditional healers of three indigenous communities of Bangladesh. The documented data were quantitatively analyzed for the first time in this area. The information was obtained through open-ended, semi-structured questionnaires. The benefits, importance and coverage of ethnomedicine were expressed through several quantitative indices including Informant Consensus Factor (ICF), Use Value (UV), Frequency of Citation (FC), Relative Frequency of Citation (RFC) and Relative Importance Index (RI). The agreement of homogeneity between the present and previous studies and among the indigenous communities was evaluated using the Jaccard Index (JI). A total of 159 ethnomedicinal plant species, which were distributed in 132 genera under 62 families, were documented from 174 informants. Of these, 128 plants were native and 31 were exotic. Of a majority of documented species, herbs and leaves were the most utilized plant parts for the preparation of ethnomedicines (45.28%) whereas pastes (63.03%) were the most popular formulations. Among the documented species, the dominant families were the Asteraceae (14 species) and the Lamiaceae (12 species). The highest ICF value was 0.77 for digestive system disorders. Based on UVs, the five most commonly used ethnomedicinal plant species in the study area were Duabanga grandiflora (0.43), Zingiber officinale (0.41), Congea tomentosa (0.40), Matricaria chamomilla (0.33) and Engelhardtia spicata (0.28). The highest RFC was recorded for Rauvolfia serpentina (0.25). The highest RI value was calculated for both Scoparia dulcis and Leucas aspera (0.83). Importantly, 16 species were reported with new therapeutic uses and to our knowledge, 7 species described herein have never been ethnobotanically and pharmacologically studied, viz: Agastache urticifolia, Asarum cordifolium, C. tomentosa, E. spicata, Hypserpa nitida, Merremia vitifolia and

  8. Quantitative Ethnobotany of Medicinal Plants Used by Indigenous Communities in the Bandarban District of Bangladesh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faruque, Mohammad O; Uddin, Shaikh B; Barlow, James W; Hu, Sheng; Dong, Shuang; Cai, Qian; Li, Xiaohua; Hu, Xuebo

    2018-01-01

    This study documents information on significant ethnomedicinal plants, which was collected from the traditional healers of three indigenous communities of Bangladesh. The documented data were quantitatively analyzed for the first time in this area. The information was obtained through open-ended, semi-structured questionnaires. The benefits, importance and coverage of ethnomedicine were expressed through several quantitative indices including Informant Consensus Factor (ICF), Use Value (UV), Frequency of Citation (FC), Relative Frequency of Citation (RFC) and Relative Importance Index (RI). The agreement of homogeneity between the present and previous studies and among the indigenous communities was evaluated using the Jaccard Index (JI). A total of 159 ethnomedicinal plant species, which were distributed in 132 genera under 62 families, were documented from 174 informants. Of these, 128 plants were native and 31 were exotic. Of a majority of documented species, herbs and leaves were the most utilized plant parts for the preparation of ethnomedicines (45.28%) whereas pastes (63.03%) were the most popular formulations. Among the documented species, the dominant families were the Asteraceae (14 species) and the Lamiaceae (12 species). The highest ICF value was 0.77 for digestive system disorders. Based on UVs, the five most commonly used ethnomedicinal plant species in the study area were Duabanga grandiflora (0.43), Zingiber officinale (0.41), Congea tomentosa (0.40), Matricaria chamomilla (0.33) and Engelhardtia spicata (0.28). The highest RFC was recorded for Rauvolfia serpentina (0.25). The highest RI value was calculated for both Scoparia dulcis and Leucas aspera (0.83). Importantly, 16 species were reported with new therapeutic uses and to our knowledge, 7 species described herein have never been ethnobotanically and pharmacologically studied, viz: Agastache urticifolia, Asarum cordifolium, C. tomentosa, E. spicata, Hypserpa nitida, Merremia vitifolia and

  9. Zooming-in on floral nectar: a first exploration of nectar-associated bacteria in wild plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez-Pérez, Sergio; Herrera, Carlos M; de Vega, Clara

    2012-06-01

    Floral nectar of some animal-pollinated plants usually harbours highly adapted yeast communities which can profoundly alter nectar characteristics and, therefore, potentially have significant impacts on plant reproduction through their effects on insect foraging behaviour. Bacteria have also been occasionally observed in floral nectar, but their prevalence, phylogenetic diversity and ecological role within plant-pollinator-yeast systems remains unclear. Here we present the first reported survey of bacteria in floral nectar from a natural plant community. Culturable bacteria occurring in a total of 71 nectar samples collected from 27 South African plant species were isolated and identified by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Rarefaction-based analyses were used to assess operational taxonomic units (OTUs) richness at the plant community level using nectar drops as sampling units. Our results showed that bacteria are common inhabitants of floral nectar of South African plants (53.5% of samples yielded growth), and their communities are characterized by low species richness (18 OTUs at a 16S rRNA gene sequence dissimilarity cut-off of 3%) and moderate phylogenetic diversity, with most isolates belonging to the Gammaproteobacteria. Furthermore, isolates showed osmotolerance, catalase activity and the ability to grow under microaerobiosis, three traits that might help bacteria to overcome important factors limiting their survival and/or growth in nectar. © 2012 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Using Plant Functional Traits and Phylogenies to Understand Patterns of Plant Community Assembly in a Seasonal Tropical Forest in Lao PDR.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manichanh Satdichanh

    Full Text Available Plant functional traits reflect different evolutionary responses to environmental variation, and among extant species determine the outcomes of interactions between plants and their environment, including other plant species. Thus, combining phylogenetic and trait-based information can be a powerful approach for understanding community assembly processes across a range of spatial scales. We used this approach to investigate tree community composition at Phou Khao Khouay National Park (18°14'-18°32'N; 102°38'- 102°59'E, Laos, where several distinct forest types occur in close proximity. The aim of our study was to examine patterns of plant community assembly across the strong environmental gradients evident at our site. We hypothesized that differences in tree community composition were being driven by an underlying gradient in soil conditions. Thus, we predicted that environmental filtering would predominate at the site and that the filtering would be strongest on sandier soil with low pH, as these are the conditions least favorable to plant growth. We surveyed eleven 0.25 ha (50x50 m plots for all trees above 10 cm dbh (1221 individual trees, including 47 families, 70 genera and 123 species and sampled soils in each plot. For each species in the community, we measured 11 commonly studied plant functional traits covering both the leaf and wood economic spectrum traits and we reconstructed a phylogenetic tree for 115 of the species in the community using rbcL and matK sequences downloaded from Genebank (other species were not available. Finally we compared the distribution of trait values and species at two scales (among plots and 10x10m subplots to examine trait and phylogenetic community structures. Although there was strong evidence that an underlying soil gradient was determining patterns of species composition at the site, our results did not support the hypothesis that the environmental filtering dominated community assembly processes

  12. Medicinal use of plants by the peasant community of San Jacinto, northern Colombia Medicinal use of plants by the peasant community of San Jacinto, northern Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bonzani Renée M.

    1999-11-01

    Full Text Available I studied the medicinal use of plants by the peasant community of the town of San Jacinto, located in the savanna of Bolívar, northern Colombia. Fifty-five families, 138 genera, and 118 species were scientifically identified from 249 specimens collected of the modern-day vegetation of San Jacinto. From these, 198 uses were recorded for 190 (76% of the specimens. The 54 uses recorded for human medicine (27% and the five uses recorded for animal medicine (2% are discussed. Vernacular names, parts used, method of preparation, and medicinal uses are listed.Se presenta un estudio etnobotánico de la comunidad campesina del pueblo de San Jacinto, localizado en las sabanas de Bolívar, norte de Colombia. Se identificaron científicamente 55 familias, 138 géneros, y 118 especies con base en 249 especímenes recolectados de la vegetación de San Jacinto. De esos, se establecieron 198 usos para 190 (76% especímenes. Se presentan 54 usos para medicina humana (27% y cinco usos para medicina animal (2%. Se listan nombres vernáculos, partes usadas, método de preparación, y usos medicinales.

  13. Proteotyping of laboratory-scale biogas plants reveals multiple steady-states in community composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohrs, F; Heyer, R; Bissinger, T; Kottler, R; Schallert, K; Püttker, S; Behne, A; Rapp, E; Benndorf, D; Reichl, U

    2017-08-01

    Complex microbial communities are the functional core of anaerobic digestion processes taking place in biogas plants (BGP). So far, however, a comprehensive characterization of the microbiomes involved in methane formation is technically challenging. As an alternative, enriched communities from laboratory-scale experiments can be investigated that have a reduced number of organisms and are easier to characterize by state of the art mass spectrometric-based (MS) metaproteomic workflows. Six parallel laboratory digesters were inoculated with sludge from a full-scale BGP to study the development of enriched microbial communities under defined conditions. During the first three month of cultivation, all reactors (R1-R6) were functionally comparable regarding biogas productions (375-625 NL L reactor volume -1 d -1 ), methane yields (50-60%), pH values (7.1-7.3), and volatile fatty acids (VFA, 1 gNH 3 L -1 ) showed an increase to pH 7.5-8.0, accumulation of acetate (>10 mM), and decreasing biogas production (<125 NL L reactor volume -1 d -1 ). Tandem MS (MS/MS)-based proteotyping allowed the identification of taxonomic abundances and biological processes. Although all reactors showed similar performances, proteotyping and terminal restriction fragment length polymorphisms (T-RFLP) fingerprinting revealed significant differences in the composition of individual microbial communities, indicating multiple steady-states. Furthermore, cellulolytic enzymes and cellulosomal proteins of Clostridium thermocellum were identified to be specific markers for the thermophilic reactors (R3, R4). Metaproteins found in R3 indicated hydrogenothrophic methanogenesis, whereas metaproteins of acetoclastic methanogenesis were identified in R4. This suggests not only an individual evolution of microbial communities even for the case that BGPs are started at the same initial conditions under well controlled environmental conditions, but also a high compositional variance of microbiomes under

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josh S. Davy

    2015-10-01

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

  15. Microbial community analysis of switchgrass planted and unplanted soil microcosms displaying PCB dechlorination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Yi; Meggo, Richard; Hu, Dingfei; Schnoor, Jerald L; Mattes, Timothy E

    2015-08-01

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) pose potential risks to human and environmental health because they are carcinogenic, persistent, and bioaccumulative. In this study, we investigated bacterial communities in soil microcosms spiked with PCB 52, 77, and 153. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) was employed to improve overall PCB removal, and redox cycling (i.e., sequential periods of flooding followed by periods of no flooding) was performed in an effort to promote PCB dechlorination. Lesser chlorinated PCB transformation products were detected in all microcosms, indicating the occurrence of PCB dechlorination. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) and clone library analysis showed that PCB spiking, switchgrass planting, and redox cycling affected the microbial community structure. Putative organohalide-respiring Chloroflexi populations, which were not found in unflooded microcosms, were enriched after 2 weeks of flooding in the redox-cycled microcosms. Sequences classified as Geobacter sp. were detected in all microcosms and were most abundant in the switchgrass-planted microcosm spiked with PCB congeners. The presence of possible organohalide-respiring bacteria in these soil microcosms suggests that they play a role in PCB dechlorination therein.

  16. Plant community development within the F- and H-Area tree-kill zone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nelson, E.A.; Westbury, H.M. Jr.

    1994-10-01

    The F- and H-Area Seepage Basins received liquid waste from the F and H chemical separation facilities from 1955 through 1988. Tree mortality in seepline fed wetlands down-slope from the basins was observed in the late 1970`s, and investigations were conducted to determine the cause and source of the impacts. Analysis of the soil and water in the tree-kill zones demonstrated a strong chemical linkage with the F- and H-Area seepage basins. Although no single cause of the mortality was determined, it was believed to be the result of interactions of alterations in the hydrology and erosional deposition, along with lowering of pH and increased conductivity, sodium, aluminum, and nitrogen compounds. A mild drought during the growing season may also have increased the concentration of the chemical contaminants in the soils matrix. In 1988, the F- and H-Area Seepage Basins were closed and covered with a clay cap to reduce the rate of dispersion of the contaminants in the soil beneath the basins. Subsequent studies of the chemical composition of the tree-kill zone groundwater and toxicological characteristics of the seepline soil have shown a reduced contaminant flux. In 1993, an initial vegetation study was undertaken to determine the level of recovery by the plant communities in the tree-kill zones. This study repeats the initial vegetation investigation in order to further analyze and characterize the recovery of plant communities in the zones after an additional year of growth.

  17. Field Guide to the Plant Community Types of Voyageurs National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faber-Langendoen, Don; Aaseng, Norman; Hop, Kevin; Lew-Smith, Michael

    2007-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The objective of the U.S. Geological Survey-National Park Service Vegetation Mapping Program is to classify, describe, and map vegetation for most of the park units within the National Park Service (NPS). The program was created in response to the NPS Natural Resources Inventory and Monitoring Guidelines issued in 1992. Products for each park include digital files of the vegetation map and field data, keys and descriptions to the plant communities, reports, metadata, map accuracy verification summaries, and aerial photographs. Interagency teams work in each park and, following standardized mapping and field sampling protocols, develop products and vegetation classification standards that document the various vegetation types found in a given park. The use of a standard national vegetation classification system and mapping protocol facilitate effective resource stewardship by ensuring compatibility and widespread use of the information throughout the NPS as well as by other Federal and state agencies. These vegetation classifications and maps and associated information support a wide variety of resource assessment, park management, and planning needs, and provide a structure for framing and answering critical scientific questions about plant communities and their relation to environmental processes across the landscape. This field guide is intended to make the classification accessible to park visitors and researchers at Voyageurs National Park, allowing them to identify any stand of natural vegetation and showing how the classification can be used in conjunction with the vegetation map (Hop and others, 2001).

  18. Convergence in mycorrhizal fungal communities due to drought, plant competition, parasitism, and susceptibility to herbivory: consequences for fungi and host plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gehring, Catherine A; Mueller, Rebecca C; Haskins, Kristin E; Rubow, Tine K; Whitham, Thomas G

    2014-01-01

    Plants and mycorrhizal fungi influence each other's abundance, diversity, and distribution. How other biotic interactions affect the mycorrhizal symbiosis is less well understood. Likewise, we know little about the effects of climate change on the fungal component of the symbiosis or its function. We synthesized our long-term studies on the influence of plant parasites, insect herbivores, competing trees, and drought on the ectomycorrhizal fungal communities associated with a foundation tree species of the southwestern United States, pinyon pine (Pinus edulis), and described how these changes feed back to affect host plant performance. We found that drought and all three of the biotic interactions studied resulted in similar shifts in ectomycorrhizal fungal community composition, demonstrating a convergence of the community towards dominance by a few closely related fungal taxa. Ectomycorrhizal fungi responded similarly to each of these stressors resulting in a predictable trajectory of community disassembly, consistent with ecological theory. Although we predicted that the fungal communities associated with trees stressed by drought, herbivory, competition, and parasitism would be poor mutualists, we found the opposite pattern in field studies. Our results suggest that climate change and the increased importance of herbivores, competitors, and parasites that can be associated with it, may ultimately lead to reductions in ectomycorrhizal fungal diversity, but that the remaining fungal community may be beneficial to host trees under the current climate and the warmer, drier climate predicted for the future.

  19. Grazing exclusion, substrate type, and drought frequency affect plant community structure in rangelands of the arid unpredictable Arabian Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Keblawy, Ali; El-Sheikh, Mohamed

    2017-04-01

    Grazing and drought can adversely affect the ecology and management of rangeland ecosystems. Several management actions have been applied to restore species diversity and community structure in degraded rangelands of the unpredictable arid environment. Protection from grazing is considered as a proper approach for restoration of degraded rangelands, but this depends on substrate type and sometime is hindered with water deficiency (drought). In this study, the effect of protection from grazing animals on species diversity and plant community structure was assessed after a dry and wet periods in both sandy and gravelly substrates in the Dubai Desert Conservation reserve (DDCR), United Arab Emirates. Two sites were selected during November 2012 on the two substrate types (fixed sandy flat and gravel plain) in the arid DDCR. An enclosure was established in each site. Plant community attributes (plant cover, density, frequency, species composition, and diversity indices) were assessed in a number of permanent plots laid inside and outside each enclosure during November 2012, April 2014 and April 2016. The results showed that protection improved clay content, but decreased the organic matters. Interestingly, the protection reduced the concentrations of most estimated nutrients, which could be attributed to the high turnover rate of nutrients associated grazing and low decomposition of accumulated dry plants of non-protected sites. Protection significantly increased all plant community attributes, but the only significant effect was for plant density. Plant density was almost twice greater inside than outside the enclosures. During the dry period, protection resulted in significantly greater deterioration in cover, density and all diversity indices in gravel, compared to sandy sites. Most of the grasses and shrubby plants had died in the gravel plains. However, plant community of the gravel plains was significantly restored after receiving considerable rainfalls. The

  20. Impact of Cropping Systems, Soil Inoculum, and Plant Species Identity on Soil Bacterial Community Structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishaq, Suzanne L; Johnson, Stephen P; Miller, Zach J; Lehnhoff, Erik A; Olivo, Sarah; Yeoman, Carl J; Menalled, Fabian D

    2017-02-01

    Farming practices affect the soil microbial community, which in turn impacts crop growth and crop-weed interactions. This study assessed the modification of soil bacterial community structure by organic or conventional cropping systems, weed species identity [Amaranthus retroflexus L. (redroot pigweed) or Avena fatua L. (wild oat)], and living or sterilized inoculum. Soil from eight paired USDA-certified organic and conventional farms in north-central Montana was used as living or autoclave-sterilized inoculant into steam-pasteurized potting soil, planted with Am. retroflexus or Av. fatua and grown for two consecutive 8-week periods to condition soil nutrients and biota. Subsequently, the V3-V4 regions of the microbial 16S rRNA gene were sequenced by Illumina MiSeq. Treatments clustered significantly, with living or sterilized inoculum being the strongest delineating factor, followed by organic or conventional cropping system, then individual farm. Living inoculum-treated soil had greater species richness and was more diverse than sterile inoculum-treated soil (observed OTUs, Chao, inverse Simpson, Shannon, P soil contained more Chloroflexi and Acidobacteria, while the sterile inoculum soil had more Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Gemmatimonadetes, and Verrucomicrobia. Organically farmed inoculum-treated soil had greater species richness, more diversity (observed OTUs, Chao, Shannon, P soil. Cyanobacteria were higher in pots growing Am. retroflexus, regardless of inoculum type, for three of the four organic farms. Results highlight the potential of cropping systems and species identity to modify soil bacterial communities, subsequently modifying plant growth and crop-weed competition.

  1. Drivers of spatial heterogeneity in nitrogen processing among three alpine plant communities in the Rocky Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Churchill, A. C.; Beers, A.; Grinath, J.; Bowman, W. D.

    2017-12-01

    Nitrogen cycling across the globe has been fundamentally altered due to regional elevated N deposition and there is a cascade of ecosystem consequences including shifts in species composition, eutrophication, and soil acidification. Making predictions that encompass the factors that drive these ecosystem changes has frequently been limited to single ecosystem types, or areas with fairly homogenous abiotic conditions. The alpine is an ecosystem type that exhibits changes under relatively low levels of N depositions due to short growing seasons and shallow soils limiting N storage. While recent work provided estimates for the magnitude of N associated with ecosystem changes, less is known about the within-site factors that may interact to stabilize or amplify the differential response of N pools under future conditions of resource deposition. To examine numerous potential within-site and regional factors (both biotic and abiotic) affecting ecosystem N pools we examined the relationship between those factors and a suite of ecosystem pools of N followed by model selection procedures and structural equation modelling. Measurements were conducted at Niwot Ridge Long Term Ecological Research site and in Rocky Mountain National Park in three distinct alpine meadow ecosystems (dry, moist, and wet meadows). These meadows span a moisture gradient as well as plant community composition, thereby providing high variability of potential biotic and abiotic drivers across small spatial scales in the alpine. In general, regional scale abiotic factors such as site levels of annual average N deposition or precipitation were poor predictors of seasonal pools of N, while spring soil water pools of N were negatively correlated with elevation. Models containing multiple abiotic and biotic drivers, however, were best at predicting soil and plant pools of N across the two sites. Future analysis will include highlight interactions among with-site factors affecting N pools in the alpine using

  2. Tracking dynamics of plant biomass composting by changes in substrate structure, microbial community, and enzyme activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Hui

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Understanding the dynamics of the microbial communities that, along with their secreted enzymes, are involved in the natural process of biomass composting may hold the key to breaking the major bottleneck in biomass-to-biofuels conversion technology, which is the still-costly deconstruction of polymeric biomass carbohydrates to fermentable sugars. However, the complexity of both the structure of plant biomass and its counterpart microbial degradation communities makes it difficult to investigate the composting process. Results In this study, a composter was set up with a mix of yellow poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera wood-chips and mown lawn grass clippings (85:15 in dry-weight and used as a model system. The microbial rDNA abundance data obtained from analyzing weekly-withdrawn composted samples suggested population-shifts from bacteria-dominated to fungus-dominated communities. Further analyses by an array of optical microscopic, transcriptional and enzyme-activity techniques yielded correlated results, suggesting that such population shifts occurred along with early removal of hemicellulose followed by attack on the consequently uncovered cellulose as the composting progressed. Conclusion The observed shifts in dominance by representative microbial groups, along with the observed different patterns in the gene expression and enzymatic activities between cellulases, hemicellulases, and ligninases during the composting process, provide new perspectives for biomass-derived biotechnology such as consolidated bioprocessing (CBP and solid-state fermentation for the production of cellulolytic enzymes and biofuels.

  3. Impacts of atmospheric pollution on the plant communities of British acid grasslands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Payne, Richard J., E-mail: r.payne@mmu.ac.uk [School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University, Chester St., Manchester M1 5GD (United Kingdom); Geography, School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL (United Kingdom); Stevens, Carly J. [Faculty of Science, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom); Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4YQ (United Kingdom); Dise, Nancy B. [School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University, Chester St., Manchester M1 5GD (United Kingdom); Gowing, David J. [Faculty of Science, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom); Pilkington, Michael G.; Phoenix, Gareth K. [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, Alfred Denny Building, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom); Emmett, Bridget A. [Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Environment Centre Wales, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2UW (United Kingdom); Ashmore, Michael R. [Environment Department, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD (United Kingdom)

    2011-10-15

    Air pollutants are recognised as important agents of ecosystem change but few studies consider the effects of multiple pollutants and their interactions. Here we use ordination, constrained cluster analysis and indicator value analyses to identify potential environmental controls on species composition, ecological groupings and indicator species in a gradient study of UK acid grasslands. The community composition of these grasslands is related to climate, grazing, ozone exposure and nitrogen deposition, with evidence for an interaction between the ecological impacts of base cation and nitrogen deposition. Ozone is a key agent in species compositional change but is not associated with a reduction in species richness or diversity indices, showing the subtly different drivers on these two aspects of ecosystem degradation. Our results demonstrate the effects of multiple interacting pollutants, which may collectively have a greater impact than any individual agent. - Highlights: > Ozone exposure, N and base cation deposition modify UK acid grassland composition. > Ozone influences community composition without reducing species richness. > Nitrogen and base cation deposition have interacting impacts. > Distinct species responses to pollutants suggest potential for bioindication. - Ozone exposure and nitrogen deposition have distinct but additive impacts on the plant communities of British acid grasslands.

  4. Microbiomes: unifying animal and plant systems through the lens of community ecology theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christian, Natalie; Whitaker, Briana K.; Clay, Keith

    2015-01-01

    The field of microbiome research is arguably one of the fastest growing in biology. Bacteria feature prominently in studies on animal health, but fungi appear to be the more prominent functional symbionts for plants. Despite the similarities in the ecological organization and evolutionary importance of animal-bacterial and plant–fungal microbiomes, there is a general failure across disciplines to integrate the advances made in each system. Researchers studying bacterial symbionts in animals benefit from greater access to efficient sequencing pipelines and taxonomic reference databases, perhaps due to high medical and veterinary interest. However, researchers studying plant–fungal symbionts benefit from the relative tractability of fungi under laboratory conditions and ease of cultivation. Thus each system has strengths to offer, but both suffer from the lack of a common conceptual framework. We argue that community ecology best illuminates complex species interactions across space and time. In this synthesis we compare and contrast the animal-bacterial and plant–fungal microbiomes using six core theories in community ecology (i.e., succession, community assembly, metacommunities, multi-trophic interactions, disturbance, restoration). The examples and questions raised are meant to spark discussion amongst biologists and lead to the integration of these two systems, as well as more informative, manipulatory experiments on microbiomes research. PMID:26441846

  5. Tracking dynamics of plant biomass composting by changes in substrate structure, microbial community, and enzyme activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background Understanding the dynamics of the microbial communities that, along with their secreted enzymes, are involved in the natural process of biomass composting may hold the key to breaking the major bottleneck in biomass-to-biofuels conversion technology, which is the still-costly deconstruction of polymeric biomass carbohydrates to fermentable sugars. However, the complexity of both the structure of plant biomass and its counterpart microbial degradation communities makes it difficult to investigate the composting process. Results In this study, a composter was set up with a mix of yellow poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) wood-chips and mown lawn grass clippings (85:15 in dry-weight) and used as a model system. The microbial rDNA abundance data obtained from analyzing weekly-withdrawn composted samples suggested population-shifts from bacteria-dominated to fungus-dominated communities. Further analyses by an array of optical microscopic, transcriptional and enzyme-activity techniques yielded correlated results, suggesting that such population shifts occurred along with early removal of hemicellulose followed by attack on the consequently uncovered cellulose as the composting progressed. Conclusion The observed shifts in dominance by representative microbial groups, along with the observed different patterns in the gene expression and enzymatic activities between cellulases, hemicellulases, and ligninases during the composting process, provide new perspectives for biomass-derived biotechnology such as consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) and solid-state fermentation for the production of cellulolytic enzymes and biofuels. PMID:22490508

  6. Impacts of atmospheric pollution on the plant communities of British acid grasslands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Payne, Richard J.; Stevens, Carly J.; Dise, Nancy B.; Gowing, David J.; Pilkington, Michael G.; Phoenix, Gareth K.; Emmett, Bridget A.; Ashmore, Michael R.

    2011-01-01

    Air pollutants are recognised as important agents of ecosystem change but few studies consider the effects of multiple pollutants and their interactions. Here we use ordination, constrained cluster analysis and indicator value analyses to identify potential environmental controls on species composition, ecological groupings and indicator species in a gradient study of UK acid grasslands. The community composition of these grasslands is related to climate, grazing, ozone exposure and nitrogen deposition, with evidence for an interaction between the ecological impacts of base cation and nitrogen deposition. Ozone is a key agent in species compositional change but is not associated with a reduction in species richness or diversity indices, showing the subtly different drivers on these two aspects of ecosystem degradation. Our results demonstrate the effects of multiple interacting pollutants, which may collectively have a greater impact than any individual agent. - Highlights: → Ozone exposure, N and base cation deposition modify UK acid grassland composition. → Ozone influences community composition without reducing species richness. → Nitrogen and base cation deposition have interacting impacts. → Distinct species responses to pollutants suggest potential for bioindication. - Ozone exposure and nitrogen deposition have distinct but additive impacts on the plant communities of British acid grasslands.

  7. Chemosensory perception and medicinal plants for digestive ailments in a Mapuche community in NW Patagonia, Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molares, Soledad; Ladio, Ana

    2009-06-25

    To document the richness of plant species used in gastrointestinal disorders and to investigate about the criteria of aroma and flavor associated with its recognition, classification, selection and use. Ethnobotanical fieldwork consisted of interviews to 30 inhabitants living in a Mapuche community of Northwestern Patagonia; data collected was analyzed by means of non-parametric statistics. This work records 75 ethnospecies, pertaining to 40 botanic families. Lamiaceae, Asteraceae and Chenopodiaceae were the most frequently mentioned and described in terms of smell and taste. Most of species (69%) have notable aroma and/or flavor characteristics. The species presenting highest consensus in the population are positively associated with a higher frequency of organoleptic descriptions. In addition, local people consider these perceptions to be potentially useful in the search for substitutes when species are scarce or disappear from a locality. It is possible to establish a preliminary system of classification of medicinal plants based on their organoleptic characteristics and relate this to their effects on health. Moreover the cultural interpretation of smell and taste is of great heuristic importance to ethnopharmacology, in that it indicates which plants are most likely to contain the main active ingredients sought.

  8. The plant in between: Analogism and entanglement in an Italian community of anthroposophists

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadia Breda

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The article analyses the special relationship with the world of plants developed by anthroposophy from the framework of a new perspective called the “plant turn” (Myers 2015. Anthroposophy (AS is analysed as a peculiar form of Analogism (Descola 2005, historically derived from the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner and subsequently evolved into contemporary AS practices that the author encountered during her fieldwork in a community of North-Eastern Italy. Both Steiner’s texts and the analysis of contemporary practices of AS reveal a relationship with the world of plants that the author reads in light of Ingold’s categories of “interweaving” of the world, the interpenetration of elements, and their ceaseless becoming (Ingold 2011. The result is a representation of the vegetal world involving the whole cosmos, humans and non-humans, terrestrial and celestial, in a cosmic expansion of the relations between beings typical of Analogisms. The practices referring to the vegetal world enacted by anthroposophists are intense, engaging, dialogue-based and provocative in their ability to uproot many elements of naturalism and deal with a contemporary world characterised by ecological crisis.

  9. Isolated and Community Contexts Produce Distinct Responses by Host Plants to the Presence of Ant-Aphid Interaction: Plant Productivity and Seed Viability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santiago, Graziele Silva; Zurlo, Luana Fonseca; Ribas, Carla Rodrigues; Carvalho, Rafaela Pereira; Alves, Guilherme Pereira; Carvalho, Mariana Comanucci Silva; Souza, Brígida

    2017-01-01

    Ant-aphid interactions may affect host plants in several ways, however, most studies measure only the amount of fruit and seed produced, and do not test seed viability. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the effects of the presence of ant-aphid interactions upon host plant productivity and seed viability in two different contexts: isolated and within an arthropod community. For this purpose we tested the hypothesis that in both isolated and community contexts, the presence of an ant-aphid interaction will have a positive effect on fruit and seed production, seed biomass and rate of seed germination, and a negative effect on abnormal seedling rates, in comparison to plants without ants. We performed a field mesocosm experiment containing five treatments: Ant-aphid, Aphid, Community, Ant-free community and Control. We counted fruits and seeds produced by each treatment, and conducted experiments for seed biomass and germinability. We found that in the community context the presence of an ant-aphid interaction negatively affected fruit and seed production. We think this may be because aphid attendance by tending-ants promotes aphid damage to the host plant, but without an affect on seed weight and viability. On the other hand, when isolated, the presence of an ant-aphid interaction positively affected fruit and seed production. These positive effects are related to the cleaning services offered to aphids by tending-ants, which prevent the development of saprophytic fungi on the surface of leaves, which would cause a decrease in photosynthetic rates. Our study is important because we evaluated some parameters of plant fitness that have not been addressed very well by other studies involving the effects of ant-aphid interactions mainly on plants with short life cycles. Lastly, our context dependent approach sheds new light on how ecological interactions can vary among different methods of crop management. PMID:28141849

  10. Isolated and Community Contexts Produce Distinct Responses by Host Plants to the Presence of Ant-Aphid Interaction: Plant Productivity and Seed Viability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ernesto Oliveira Canedo-Júnior

    Full Text Available Ant-aphid interactions may affect host plants in several ways, however, most studies measure only the amount of fruit and seed produced, and do not test seed viability. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the effects of the presence of ant-aphid interactions upon host plant productivity and seed viability in two different contexts: isolated and within an arthropod community. For this purpose we tested the hypothesis that in both isolated and community contexts, the presence of an ant-aphid interaction will have a positive effect on fruit and seed production, seed biomass and rate of seed germination, and a negative effect on abnormal seedling rates, in comparison to plants without ants. We performed a field mesocosm experiment containing five treatments: Ant-aphid, Aphid, Community, Ant-free community and Control. We counted fruits and seeds produced by each treatment, and conducted experiments for seed biomass and germinability. We found that in the community context the presence of an ant-aphid interaction negatively affected fruit and seed production. We think this may be because aphid attendance by tending-ants promotes aphid damage to the host plant, but without an affect on seed weight and viability. On the other hand, when isolated, the presence of an ant-aphid interaction positively affected fruit and seed production. These positive effects are related to the cleaning services offered to aphids by tending-ants, which prevent the development of saprophytic fungi on the surface of leaves, which would cause a decrease in photosynthetic rates. Our study is important because we evaluated some parameters of plant fitness that have not been addressed very well by other studies involving the effects of ant-aphid interactions mainly on plants with short life cycles. Lastly, our context dependent approach sheds new light on how ecological interactions can vary among different methods of crop management.

  11. Ethnobotany of medicinal plants among the communities of Alpine and Sub-alpine regions of Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kayani, Sadaf; Ahmad, Mushtaq; Sultana, Shazia; Khan Shinwari, Zabta; Zafar, Muhammed; Yaseen, Ghulam; Hussain, Manzoor; Bibi, Tahira

    2015-04-22

    To best of our knowledge it is first quantitative ethno-botanical study from Alpine and Sub-alpine, Western Himalaya of Pakistan. The study aims to report, compare the uses and highlight the ethno-botanical significance of medicinal plants for treatment of various diseases. A total of 290 (278 males and 12 females) informants including 14 Local Traditional Healers (LTHs) were interviewed. Information was collected using semi-structured interviews, analyzed and compared by quantitative ethno-botanical indices such as Informant Consensus Factor (ICF), Relative frequency of citation (RFC), use value (UV), Fidelity Level (FL) and Jaccard index (JI). A total of 125 plant species (Gymnosperms 7 species, Monocotyledons 2 and 116 Di-cotyledons) belonging to 41 families are collected, identified and ethno-botanically assessed. The most dominant family is Ranunculaceae (20 species) followed by Rosaceae (14 species). In diseases treated, gastrointestinal tract (GIT) diseases have highest proportion (27.5%) followed by respiratory diseases (20%) in the mountain communities. The most dominant life form of plants used is herbs (78%) followed by shrubs (19%) while the most commonly used plant parts are leaves (44 reports) followed by underground part, the roots (37 reports). The highest ICF (0.68) is found for ear, nose and eye disease category followed by respiratory disorders (0.46). There are 15 medicinal plants having 100% FL. Use value (UV) and Relative frequency of citation (RFC) range from 0.03 to 0.53 and 0.04 to 0.23 respectively. In comparison, maximum similarity index is found in the studies with JI 19.52 followed by 17.39. Similarity percentage of plant uses range from 1.69% to 19.52% while dissimilarity percentage varies from 0% to 20%. The Alpine and Sub-alpine regions of Pakistan are rich in medicinal plants and still need more research exploration. On the other hand, ethno-botanical knowledge in study areas is decreasing day by day due to high emigration rates

  12. Potential link between plant and fungal distributions in a dipterocarp rainforest: community and phylogenetic structure of tropical ectomycorrhizal fungi across a plant and soil ecotone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peay, Kabir G; Kennedy, Peter G; Davies, Stuart J; Tan, Sylvester; Bruns, Thomas D

    2010-01-01

    *Relatively little is known about diversity or structure of tropical ectomycorrhizal communities or their roles in tropical ecosystem dynamics. In this study, we present one of the largest molecular studies to date of an ectomycorrhizal community in lowland dipterocarp rainforest. *We sampled roots from two 0.4 ha sites located across an ecotone within a 52 ha forest dynamics plot. Our plots contained > 500 tree species and > 40 species of ectomycorrhizal host plants. Fungi were identified by sequencing ribosomal RNA genes. *The community was dominated by the Russulales (30 species), Boletales (17), Agaricales (18), Thelephorales (13) and Cantharellales (12). Total species richness appeared comparable to molecular studies of temperate forests. Community structure changed across the ecotone, although it was not possible to separate the role of environmental factors vs host plant preferences. Phylogenetic analyses were consistent with a model of community assembly where habitat associations are influenced by evolutionary conservatism of functional traits within ectomycorrhizal lineages. *Because changes in the ectomycorrhizal fungal community parallel those of the tree community at this site, this study demonstrates the potential link between the distribution of tropical tree diversity and the distribution of tropical ectomycorrhizal diversity in relation to local-scale edaphic variation.

  13. Linkage between bacterial and fungal rhizosphere communities in hydrocarbon-contaminated soils is related to plant phylogeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Terrence H; El-Din Hassan, Saad; Lauron-Moreau, Aurélien; Al-Otaibi, Fahad; Hijri, Mohamed; Yergeau, Etienne; St-Arnaud, Marc

    2014-02-01

    Phytoremediation is an attractive alternative to excavating and chemically treating contaminated soils. Certain plants can directly bioremediate by sequestering and/or transforming pollutants, but plants may also enhance bioremediation by promoting contaminant-degrading microorganisms in soils. In this study, we used high-throughput sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes and the fungal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region to compare the community composition of 66 soil samples from the rhizosphere of planted willows (Salix spp.) and six unplanted control samples at the site of a former petrochemical plant. The Bray-Curtis distance between bacterial communities across willow cultivars was significantly correlated with the distance between fungal communities in uncontaminated and moderately contaminated soils but not in highly contaminated (HC) soils (>2000 mg kg(-1) hydrocarbons). The mean dissimilarity between fungal, but not bacterial, communities from the rhizosphere of different cultivars increased substantially in the HC blocks. This divergence was partly related to high fungal sensitivity to hydrocarbon contaminants, as demonstrated by reduced Shannon diversity, but also to a stronger influence of willows on fungal communities. Abundance of the fungal class Pezizomycetes in HC soils was directly related to willow phylogeny, with Pezizomycetes dominating the rhizosphere of a monophyletic cluster of cultivars, while remaining in low relative abundance in other soils. This has implications for plant selection in phytoremediation, as fungal associations may affect the health of introduced plants and the success of co-inoculated microbial strains. An integrated understanding of the relationships between fungi, bacteria and plants will enable the design of treatments that specifically promote effective bioremediating communities.

  14. Silver nanoparticles uptake by salt marsh plants - Implications for phytoremediation processes and effects in microbial community dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandes, Joana P; Mucha, Ana P; Francisco, Telmo; Gomes, Carlos Rocha; Almeida, C Marisa R

    2017-06-15

    This study investigated the uptake of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) by a salt marsh plant, Phragmites australis, as well as AgNPs effects on rhizospheric microbial community, evaluating the implications for phytoremediation processes. Experiments were carried out with elutriate solution doped with Ag, either in ionic form or in NP form. Metal uptake was evaluated in plant tissues, elutriate solutions and sediments (by AAS) and microbial community was characterized in terms of bacterial community structure (evaluated by ARISA). Results showed Ag accumulation but only in plant belowground tissues and only in the absence of rhizosediment, the presence of sediment reducing Ag availability. But in plant roots Ag accumulation was higher when Ag was in NP form. Multivariate analysis of ARISA profiles showed significant effect of the absence/presence of Ag either in ionic or NP form on microbial community structure, although without significant differences among bacterial richness and diversity. Overall, P. australis can be useful for phytoremediation of medium contaminated with Ag, including with AgNPs. However, the presence of Ag in either forms affected the microbial community structure, which may cause disturbances in ecosystems function and compromise phytoremediation processes. Such considerations need to be address regarding environmental management strategies applied to the very important estuarine areas. The form in which the metal was added affected metal uptake by Phragmites australis and rhizosediment microbial community structure, which can affect phytoremediation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Driving factors of the communities of phytophagous and predatory mites in a physic nut plantation and spontaneous plants associated.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, Wilton P; Sarmento, Renato A; Teodoro, Adenir V; Neto, Marçal P; Ignacio, Maíra

    2013-08-01

    Seasonal changes in climate and plant diversity are known to affect the population dynamics of both pests and natural enemies within agroecosystems. In Brazil, spontaneous plants are usually tolerated in small-scale physic nut plantations over the year, which in turn may mediate interactions between pests and natural enemies within this agroecosystem. Here, we aimed to access the influence of seasonal variation of abiotic (temperature, relative humidity and rainfall) and biotic (diversity of spontaneous plants, overall richness and density of mites) factors on the communities of phytophagous and predatory mites found in a physic nut plantation and its associated spontaneous plants. Mite sampling was monthly conducted in dicotyledonous and monocotyledonous leaves of spontaneous plants as well as in physic nut shrubs over an entire year. In the dry season there was a higher abundance of phytophagous mites (Tenuipalpidae, Tarsonemidae and Tetranychidae) on spontaneous plants than on physic nut shrubs, while predatory mites (Phytoseiidae) showed the opposite pattern. The overall density of mites on spontaneous plants increased with relative humidity and diversity of spontaneous plants. Rainfall was the variable that most influenced the density of mites inhabiting physic nut shrubs. Agroecosystems comprising spontaneous plants associated with crops harbour a rich mite community including species of different trophic levels which potentially benefit natural pest control due to increased diversity and abundance of natural enemies.

  16. "Who's gonna plant the trees?!?": Creating effective synergies between community and research goals in scientist-community partnerships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Declet-Barreto, J.; Johnson, C.

    2017-12-01

    Harnessing science into effective, community-focused action requires ongoing partnerships that increase both understanding and trust between communities and scientists. One hurdle to overcome is that often, research questions and goals do not line up with the most pressing perceived or objective issues that a partner community faces. Another barrier is that community members often do not have a clear idea of how communities could benefit from the research, an issue that can create confusion and undermine community support for a partnership. In this session, we will discuss some of our successes and misses in developing research partnerships and actionable science for the benefit of communities. We will share stories on how we crafted effective actionable research products in partnership with Environmental Justice and other vulnerable communities.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  18. The Effects of Timing of Grazing on Plant and Arthropod Communities in High-Elevation Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Stacy C.; Burkle, Laura A.; Cross, Wyatt F.; Cutting, Kyle A.

    2014-01-01

    Livestock grazing can be used as a key management tool for maintaining healthy ecosystems. However, the effectiveness of using grazing to modify habitat for species of conservation concern depends on how the grazing regime is implemented. Timing of grazing is one grazing regime component that is less understood than grazing intensity and grazer identity, but is predicted to have important implications for plant and higher trophic level responses. We experimentally assessed how timing of cattle grazing affected plant and arthropod communities in high-elevation grasslands of southwest Montana to better evaluate its use as a tool for multi-trophic level management. We manipulated timing of grazing, with one grazing treatment beginning in mid-June and the other in mid-July, in two experiments conducted in different grassland habitat types (i.e., wet meadow and upland) in 2011 and 2012. In the upland grassland experiment, we found that both early and late grazing treatments reduced forb biomass, whereas graminoid biomass was only reduced with late grazing. Grazing earlier in the growing season versus later did not result in greater recovery of graminoid or forb biomass as expected. In addition, the density of the most ubiquitous grassland arthropod order (Hemiptera) was reduced by both grazing treatments in upland grasslands. A comparison of end-of-season plant responses to grazing in upland versus wet meadow grasslands revealed that grazing reduced graminoid biomass in the wet meadow and forb biomass in the upland, irrespective of timing of grazing. Both grazing treatments also reduced end-of-season total arthropod and Hemiptera densities and Hemiptera biomass in both grassland habitat types. Our results indicate that both early and late season herbivory affect many plant and arthropod characteristics in a similar manner, but grazing earlier may negatively impact species of conservation concern requiring forage earlier in the growing season. PMID:25338008

  19. Properties of soil pore space regulate pathways of plant residue decomposition and community structure of associated bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negassa, Wakene C; Guber, Andrey K; Kravchenko, Alexandra N; Marsh, Terence L; Hildebrandt, Britton; Rivers, Mark L

    2015-01-01

    Physical protection of soil carbon (C) is one of the important components of C storage. However, its exact mechanisms are still not sufficiently lucid. The goal of this study was to explore the influence of soil structure, that is, soil pore spatial arrangements, with and without presence of plant residue on (i) decomposition of added plant residue, (ii) CO2 emission from soil, and (iii) structure of soil bacterial communities. The study consisted of several soil incubation experiments with samples of contrasting pore characteristics with/without plant residue, accompanied by X-ray micro-tomographic analyses of soil pores and by microbial community analysis of amplified 16S-18S rRNA genes via pyrosequencing. We observed that in the samples with substantial presence of air-filled well-connected large (>30 µm) pores, 75-80% of the added plant residue was decomposed, cumulative CO2 emission constituted 1,200 µm C g(-1) soil, and movement of C from decomposing plant residue into adjacent soil was insignificant. In the samples with greater abundance of water-filled small pores, 60% of the added plant residue was decomposed, cumulative CO2 emission constituted 2,000 µm C g(-1) soil, and the movement of residue C into adjacent soil was substantial. In the absence of plant residue the influence of pore characteristics on CO2 emission, that is on decomposition of the native soil organic C, was negligible. The microbial communities on the plant residue in the samples with large pores had more microbial groups known to be cellulose decomposers, that is, Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Firmicutes, while a number of oligotrophic Acidobacteria groups were more abundant on the plant residue from the samples with small pores. This study provides the first experimental evidence that characteristics of soil pores and their air/water flow status determine the phylogenetic composition of the local microbial community and directions and magnitudes of soil C

  20. Properties of Soil Pore Space Regulate Pathways of Plant Residue Decomposition and Community Structure of Associated Bacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negassa, Wakene C.; Guber, Andrey K.; Kravchenko, Alexandra N.; Marsh, Terence L.; Hildebrandt, Britton; Rivers, Mark L.

    2015-01-01

    Physical protection of soil carbon (C) is one of the important components of C storage. However, its exact mechanisms are still not sufficiently lucid. The goal of this study was to explore the influence of soil structure, that is, soil pore spatial arrangements, with and without presence of plant residue on (i) decomposition of added