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Sample records for plant communities dominated

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. Rhizosphere bacterial communities of dominant steppe plants shift in response to a gradient of simulated nitrogen deposition

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    An eYang

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available We evaluated effects of 9-year simulation of simulated nitrogen (N deposition on microbial composition and diversity in the rhizosphere of two dominant temperate grassland species: grass Stipa krylovii and forb Artemisia frigida. Microbiomes in S. krylovii and A.frigida rhizosphere differed, but changed consistently along the N gradient. These changes were correlated to N-induced shifts to plant community. Hence, as plant biomass changed, so did bacterial rhizosphere communities, a result consistent with the role that N fertilizer has been shown to play in altering plant-microbial mutualisms. A total of 23 bacterial phyla were detected in the two rhizospheric soils by pyrosequencing, with Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria and Bacteroidetes dominating the sequences of all samples. Bacterioidetes and Proteobacteria tended to increase, while Acidobacteria declined with increase in N addition rates. TM7 increased >5-fold in the high N addition rates, especially in S. krylovii rhizosphere. Nitrogen addition also decreased diversity of OTUs (operational taxonomic units, Shannon and Chao1 indices of rhizospheric microbes regardless of plant species. These results suggest that there were both similar but also specific changes in microbial communities of temperate steppes due to N deposition.

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

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    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

  6. Limited impacts of extensive human land use on dominance, specialization, and biotic homogenization in boreal plant communities.

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    Mayor, Stephen J; Boutin, Stan; He, Fangliang; Cahill, James F

    2015-02-13

    Niche theory predicts that human disturbance should influence the assembly of communities, favouring functionally homogeneous communities dominated by few but widespread generalists. The decline and loss of specialists leaves communities with species that are functionally more similar. Evenness of species occupancy declines, such that species become either widespread of rare. These patterns have often been observed, but it is unclear if they are a general result of human disturbance or specific to communities that are rich in species, in complex, spatially heterogeneous environments where the problem has often been investigated. We therefore tested whether human disturbance impacts dominance/evenness of species occupancy in communities, specialism/generalism of species, and functional biotic homogenization in the spatially relatively homogeneous, species poor boreal forest region of Alberta, Canada. We investigated 371 boreal vascular plant communities varying 0 - 100% in proportion of human land use. Rank species occupancy curves revealed high species dominance regardless of disturbance: within any disturbance class a few species occupied nearly every site and most species were found in a low proportion of sites. However, species were more widespread and displayed more even occupancy in intermediately disturbed communities than among communities of either low or high disturbance. We defined specialists and generalists based on turnover in co-occupants and thereby assessed impacts of human disturbance on specialization of species and community homogenization. Generalists were not disproportionately found at higher disturbance sites, and did not occupy more sites. Communities with greater human disturbance were not more functionally homogeneous; they did not harbor communities with more generalists. We unexpectedly did not observe strong linkages between species specialism/generalism and disturbance, nor between community homogenization and disturbance. These

  7. Strong Regionality and Dominance of Anaerobic Bacterial Taxa Characterize Diazotrophic Bacterial Communities of the Arcto-Alpine Plant Species Oxyria digyna and Saxifraga oppositifolia

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    Manoj Kumar

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Arctic and alpine biomes are most often strongly nitrogen-limited, and hence biological nitrogen fixation is a strong driver of these ecosystems. Both biomes are characterized by low temperatures and short growing seasons, but they differ in seasonality of solar radiation and in soil water balance due to underlying permafrost in the Arctic. Arcto-alpine plant species are well-adapted to the low temperatures that prevail in their habitats, and plant growth is mainly limited by the availability of nutrients, in particular nitrogen, due to slow mineralization. Nitrogen fixing bacteria are likely important for plant growth in these habitats, but very little is known of these bacteria or forces shaping their communities. In this study, we characterized the potential nitrogen fixing bacterial (PNFB communities associated with two arcto-alpine pioneer plant species, Oxyria digyna (mountain sorrel and Saxifraga oppositifolia (blue saxifrage, in three climate regions. Both of these plants readily colonize low nutrient mineral soils. Our goal was to investigate how climate (region and, on the other hand, host plant and plant species shape these communities. To our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive study describing PNFB communities associated with pioneer plants in different arcto-alpine biomes. Replicate samples were taken from two arctic regions, Kilpisjärvi and Ny-Ålesund, and one alpine region, Mayrhofen. In these, the PNFB communities in the bulk and rhizosphere soils and the plant endospheres were characterized by nifH-targeted PCR and massive parallel sequencing. The data revealed strong effects of climatic region on the dominating nitrogen fixers. Specifically, nifH sequences related to Geobacter (δ-Proteobacteria were present in high relative abundances in the nitrogen-fixing communities in the Mayrhofen and Kilpisjärvi regions, while members of the Clostridiales prevailed in the Kilpisjärvi and Ny-Ålesund regions. The bulk and

  8. Strong Regionality and Dominance of Anaerobic Bacterial Taxa Characterize Diazotrophic Bacterial Communities of the Arcto-Alpine Plant Species Oxyria digyna and Saxifraga oppositifolia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Manoj; van Elsas, Jan Dirk; Nissinen, Riitta

    2017-01-01

    Arctic and alpine biomes are most often strongly nitrogen-limited, and hence biological nitrogen fixation is a strong driver of these ecosystems. Both biomes are characterized by low temperatures and short growing seasons, but they differ in seasonality of solar radiation and in soil water balance due to underlying permafrost in the Arctic. Arcto-alpine plant species are well-adapted to the low temperatures that prevail in their habitats, and plant growth is mainly limited by the availability of nutrients, in particular nitrogen, due to slow mineralization. Nitrogen fixing bacteria are likely important for plant growth in these habitats, but very little is known of these bacteria or forces shaping their communities. In this study, we characterized the potential nitrogen fixing bacterial (PNFB) communities associated with two arcto-alpine pioneer plant species, Oxyria digyna (mountain sorrel) and Saxifraga oppositifolia (blue saxifrage), in three climate regions. Both of these plants readily colonize low nutrient mineral soils. Our goal was to investigate how climate (region) and, on the other hand, host plant and plant species shape these communities. To our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive study describing PNFB communities associated with pioneer plants in different arcto-alpine biomes. Replicate samples were taken from two arctic regions, Kilpisjärvi and Ny-Ålesund, and one alpine region, Mayrhofen. In these, the PNFB communities in the bulk and rhizosphere soils and the plant endospheres were characterized by nifH -targeted PCR and massive parallel sequencing. The data revealed strong effects of climatic region on the dominating nitrogen fixers. Specifically, nifH sequences related to Geobacter (δ- Proteobacteria ) were present in high relative abundances in the nitrogen-fixing communities in the Mayrhofen and Kilpisjärvi regions, while members of the Clostridiales prevailed in the Kilpisjärvi and Ny-Ålesund regions. The bulk and rhizosphere soil

  9. Effects of species' similarity and dominance on the functional and phylogenetic structure of a plant meta-community.

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    Chalmandrier, L; Münkemüller, T; Lavergne, S; Thuiller, W

    2015-01-01

    Different assembly processes drive the spatial structure of meta-communities (beta-diversity). Recently, functional and phylogenetic diversities have been suggested as indicators of these assembly processes. Assuming that diversity is a good proxy for niche overlap, high beta-diversity along environmental gradients should be the result of environmental filtering while low beta-diversity should stem from competitive interactions. So far, studies trying to disentangle the relative importance of these assembly processes have provided mixed results. One reason for this may be that these studies often rely on a single measure of diversity and thus implicitly make a choice on how they account for species relative abundances and how species similarities are captured by functional traits or phylogeny. Here, we tested the effect of gradually scaling the importance of dominance (the weight given to dominant vs. rare species) and species similarity (the weight given to small vs. large similarities) on resulting beta-diversity patterns of an alpine plant meta-community. To this end, we combined recent extensions of the Hill numbers framework with Pagel's phylogenetic tree transformation approach. We included functional (based on the leaf-height-seed spectrum) and phylogenetic facets of beta-diversity in our analysis and explicitly accounted for effects of environmental and spatial covariates. We found that functional beta-diversity, was high when the same weight was given to dominant vs. rare species and to large vs. small species' similarities. In contrast, phylogenetic beta-diversity was low when greater weight was given to dominant species and small species' similarities. Those results suggested that different environments along the gradients filtered different species according to their functional traits, while, the same competitive lineages dominated communities across the gradients. Our results highlight that functional vs. phylogenetic facets, presence-absence vs

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

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    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

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Yeasts dominate soil fungal communities in three lowland Neotropical rainforests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunthorn, Micah; Kauserud, Håvard; Bass, David; Mayor, Jordan; Mahé, Frédéric

    2017-10-01

    Forest soils typically harbour a vast diversity of fungi, but are usually dominated by filamentous (hyphae-forming) taxa. Compared to temperate and boreal forests, though, we have limited knowledge about the fungal diversity in tropical rainforest soils. Here we show, by environmental metabarcoding of soil samples collected in three Neotropical rainforests, that Yeasts dominate the fungal communities in terms of the number of sequencing reads and OTUs. These unicellular forms are commonly found in aquatic environments, and their hyperdiversity may be the result of frequent inundation combined with numerous aquatic microenvironments in these rainforests. Other fungi that are frequent in aquatic environments, such as the abundant Chytridiomycotina, were also detected. While there was low similarity in OTU composition within and between the three rainforests, the fungal communities in Central America were more similar to each other than the communities in South America, reflecting a general biogeographic pattern also seen in animals, plants and protists. © 2017 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Transplanting native dominant plants to facilitate community development in restored coastal plain wetlands.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    De Steven, Diane; Sharitz, Rebecca R.

    2007-12-01

    Abstract: Drained depressional wetlands are typically restored by plugging ditches or breaking drainage tiles to allow recovery of natural ponding regimes, while relying on passive recolonization from seed banks and dispersal to establish emergent vegetation. However, in restored depressions of the southeastern United States Coastal Plain, certain characteristic rhizomatous graminoid species may not recolonize because they are dispersal-limited and uncommon or absent in the seed banks of disturbed sites. We tested whether selectively planting such wetland dominants could facilitate restoration by accelerating vegetative cover development and suppressing non-wetland species. In an operational-scale project in a South Carolina forested landscape, drained depressional wetlands were restored in early 2001 by completely removing woody vegetation and plugging surface ditches. After forest removal, tillers of two rhizomatous wetland grasses (Panicum hemitomon, Leersia hexandra) were transplanted into singlespecies blocks in 12 restored depressions that otherwise were revegetating passively. Presence and cover of all plant species appearing in planted plots and unplanted control plots were recorded annually. We analyzed vegetation composition after two and four years, during a severe drought (2002) and after hydrologic recovery (2004). Most grass plantings established successfully, attaining 15%–85% cover in two years. Planted plots had fewer total species and fewer wetland species compared to control plots, but differences were small. Planted plots achieved greater total vegetative cover during the drought and greater combined cover of wetland species in both years. By 2004, planted grasses appeared to reduce cover of non-wetland species in some cases, but wetter hydrologic conditions contributed more strongly to suppression of non-wetland species. Because these two grasses typically form a dominant cover matrix in herbaceous depressions, our results indicated that

  2. 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.

  3. Community composition of root-associated fungi in a Quercus-dominated temperate forest: “codominance” of mycorrhizal and root-endophytic fungi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toju, Hirokazu; Yamamoto, Satoshi; Sato, Hirotoshi; Tanabe, Akifumi S; Gilbert, Gregory S; Kadowaki, Kohmei

    2013-01-01

    In terrestrial ecosystems, plant roots are colonized by various clades of mycorrhizal and endophytic fungi. Focused on the root systems of an oak-dominated temperate forest in Japan, we used 454 pyrosequencing to explore how phylogenetically diverse fungi constitute an ecological community of multiple ecotypes. In total, 345 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) of fungi were found from 159 terminal-root samples from 12 plant species occurring in the forest. Due to the dominance of an oak species (Quercus serrata), diverse ectomycorrhizal clades such as Russula, Lactarius, Cortinarius, Tomentella, Amanita, Boletus, and Cenococcum were observed. Unexpectedly, the root-associated fungal community was dominated by root-endophytic ascomycetes in Helotiales, Chaetothyriales, and Rhytismatales. Overall, 55.3% of root samples were colonized by both the commonly observed ascomycetes and ectomycorrhizal fungi; 75.0% of the root samples of the dominant Q. serrata were so cocolonized. Overall, this study revealed that root-associated fungal communities of oak-dominated temperate forests were dominated not only by ectomycorrhizal fungi but also by diverse root endophytes and that potential ecological interactions between the two ecotypes may be important to understand the complex assembly processes of belowground fungal communities. PMID:23762515

  4. 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....

  5. Mesoherbivores affect grasshopper communities in a megaherbivore-dominated South African savannah.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Plas, Fons; Olff, Han

    2014-06-01

    African savannahs are among the few places on earth where diverse communities of mega- and meso-sized ungulate grazers dominate ecosystem functioning. Less conspicuous, but even more diverse, are the communities of herbivorous insects such as grasshoppers, which share the same food. Various studies investigated the community assembly of these groups separately, but it is poorly known how ungulate communities shape grasshopper communities. Here, we investigated how ungulate species of different body size alter grasshopper communities in a South African savannah. White rhino is the most abundant vertebrate herbivore in our study site. Other common mesoherbivores include buffalo, zebra and impala. We hypothesized that white rhinos would have greater impact than mesoherbivores on grasshopper communities. Using 10-year-old exclosures, at eight sites we compared the effects of ungulates on grasshopper communities in three nested treatments: (i) unfenced plots ('control plots') with all vertebrate herbivores present, (ii) plots with a low cable fence, excluding white rhino ('megaherbivore exclosures'), and (iii) plots with tall fences, excluding all herbivores larger than rodents ('complete ungulate exclosures'). In each plot, we collected data of vegetation structure, grass and grasshopper community composition. Complete ungulate exclosures contained 30% taller vegetation than megaherbivore exclosures and they were dominated by different grass and grasshopper species. Grasshoppers in complete ungulate exclosures were on average 3.5 mm longer than grasshoppers in megaherbivore exclosures, possibly due to changes in plant communities or vegetation structure. We conclude that surprisingly, in this megaherbivore hotspot, mesoherbivores, instead of megaherbivores, most strongly affect grasshopper communities.

  6. Allelopathic dominance ofMiscanthus transmorrisonensis in an alpine grassland community in Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chou, C H; Lee, Y F

    1991-11-01

    A study site located at 2600 m elevation in Tartarchia Anpu, Nantou county, Taiwan, exhibits a unique grassland community composed of two principal species,Miscanthus transmorrisonensis andYushinia niitakayamensis, and 35 other species. The relative frequencies of the two species are 12% and 11%, while their relative coverages are 25% and 19.5%, respectively. The values for the remaining 35 species are lower than4% each, while species diversity of the community is -3.04839, indicating great diversity. To elucidate the mechanism of dominance ofM. transmorrisonensis, allelopathic evaluation of the plant was conducted. Aqueous extracts of M.Transmorrisonensis plant parts with two ecotypes were bioassayed. The extracts showed significant phytotoxic effects on seed germination and radicle growth of four tested plants: rye grass, lettuce, and two varieties of Chinese cabbage. In addition, rhizosphere soils underMiscanthus also exhibited significant phytotoxicity, indicating that allelopathic interaction was involved. Some responsible phytotoxic phenolics, namely, p-coumaric, ferulic, vanillic, protocatechuic, o-hydroxyphenylacetic, andm-hydroxyphenylacetic acids, and 4-hydroxycoumarin and phloridzin were identified. Allelopathy thus can play an important role in regulating plant diversity in the field.

  7. Soil carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus stoichiometry of three dominant plant communities distributed along a small-scale elevation gradient in the East Dongting Lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Cong; Li, Feng; Xie, Yong-hong; Deng, Zheng-miao; Chen, Xin-sheng

    2018-02-01

    Soil carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) stoichiometry greatly affects plant community succession and structure. However, few studies have examined the soil stoichiometric changes in different vegetation communities of freshwater wetland ecosystems along an elevation gradient distribution. In the present study, soil nutrient concentrations (C, N, and P), soil stoichiometry (C:N, C:P, and N:P ratios), and other soil physicochemical characteristics were measured and analyzed in 62 soil samples collected from three dominant plant communities (Carex brevicuspis, Artemisia selengensis, and Miscanthus sacchariflorus) in the East Dongting Lake wetlands. The concentration ranges of soil organic carbon (SOC), total soil nitrogen (TN), and total soil phosphorus (TP) were 9.42-45.97 g/kg, 1.09-5.50 g/kg, and 0.60-1.70 g/kg, respectively. SOC and TN concentrations were the highest in soil from the C. brevicuspis community (27.48 g/kg and 2.78 g/kg, respectively) and the lowest in soil from the A. selengensis community (17.97 g/kg and 1.71 g/kg, respectively). However, the highest and lowest TP concentrations were detected in soil from the A. selengensis (1.03 g/kg) and M. sacchariflorus (0.89 g/kg) communities, respectively, and the C:N ratios were the highest and lowest in soil from the M. sacchariflorus (12.72) and A. selengensis (12.01) communities, respectively. C:P and N:P ratios were the highest in soil from the C. brevicuspis community (72.77 and 6.46, respectively) and the lowest in soil from the A. selengensis community (45.52 and 3.76, respectively). Correlation analyses confirmed that SOC concentrations were positively correlated with TN and TP, and C:N and N:P ratios were positively correlated with C:P. These data indicated that soil C, N, and P stoichiometry differed significantly among different plant communities and that these differences might be accounted for by variations in the hydrological conditions of the three communities.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Cyanobacteria dominance influences resource use efficiency and community turnover in phytoplankton and zooplankton communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filstrup, Christopher T; Hillebrand, Helmut; Heathcote, Adam J; Harpole, W Stanley; Downing, John A

    2014-04-01

    Freshwater biodiversity loss potentially disrupts ecosystem services related to water quality and may negatively impact ecosystem functioning and temporal community turnover. We analysed a data set containing phytoplankton and zooplankton community data from 131 lakes through 9 years in an agricultural region to test predictions that plankton communities with low biodiversity are less efficient in their use of limiting resources and display greater community turnover (measured as community dissimilarity). Phytoplankton resource use efficiency (RUE = biomass per unit resource) was negatively related to phytoplankton evenness (measured as Pielou's evenness), whereas zooplankton RUE was positively related to phytoplankton evenness. Phytoplankton and zooplankton RUE were high and low, respectively, when Cyanobacteria, especially Microcystis sp., dominated. Phytoplankton communities displayed slower community turnover rates when dominated by few genera. Our findings, which counter findings of many terrestrial studies, suggest that Cyanobacteria dominance may play important roles in ecosystem functioning and community turnover in nutrient-enriched lakes. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-06-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Plant species' origin predicts dominance and response to nutrient enrichment and herbivores in global grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seabloom, Eric W.; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Buckley, Yvonne M.; Cleland, Elsa E.; Davies, Kendi F.; Firn, Jennifer; Harpole, W. Stanley; Hautier, Yann; Lind, Eric M.; MacDougall, Andrew S.; Orrock, John L.; Prober, Suzanne M.; Adler, Peter B.; Anderson, T. Michael; Bakker, Jonathan D.; Biederman, Lori A.; Blumenthal, Dana M.; Brown, Cynthia S.; Brudvig, Lars A.; Cadotte, Marc; Chu, Chengjin; Cottingham, Kathryn L.; Crawley, Michael J.; Damschen, Ellen I.; Dantonio, Carla M.; DeCrappeo, Nicole M.; Du, Guozhen; Fay, Philip A.; Frater, Paul; Gruner, Daniel S.; Hagenah, Nicole; Hector, Andy; Hillebrand, Helmut; Hofmockel, Kirsten S.; Humphries, Hope C.; Jin, Virginia L.; Kay, Adam; Kirkman, Kevin P.; Klein, Julia A.; Knops, Johannes M. H.; La Pierre, Kimberly J.; Ladwig, Laura; Lambrinos, John G.; Li, Qi; Li, Wei; Marushia, Robin; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Melbourne, Brett A.; Mitchell, Charles E.; Moore, Joslin L.; Morgan, John; Mortensen, Brent; O'Halloran, Lydia R.; Pyke, David A.; Risch, Anita C.; Sankaran, Mahesh; Schuetz, Martin; Simonsen, Anna; Smith, Melinda D.; Stevens, Carly J.; Sullivan, Lauren; Wolkovich, Elizabeth; Wragg, Peter D.; Wright, Justin; Yang, Louie

    2015-01-01

    Exotic species dominate many communities; however the functional significance of species' biogeographic origin remains highly contentious. This debate is fuelled in part by the lack of globally replicated, systematic data assessing the relationship between species provenance, function and response to perturbations. We examined the abundance of native and exotic plant species at 64 grasslands in 13 countries, and at a subset of the sites we experimentally tested native and exotic species responses to two fundamental drivers of invasion, mineral nutrient supplies and vertebrate herbivory. Exotic species are six times more likely to dominate communities than native species. Furthermore, while experimental nutrient addition increases the cover and richness of exotic species, nutrients decrease native diversity and cover. Native and exotic species also differ in their response to vertebrate consumer exclusion. These results suggest that species origin has functional significance, and that eutrophication will lead to increased exotic dominance in grasslands. PMID:26173623

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Dominance hierarchies, diversity and species richness of vascular plants in an alpine meadow: contrasting short and medium term responses to simulated global change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juha M. Alatalo

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available We studied the impact of simulated global change on a high alpine meadow plant community. Specifically, we examined whether short-term (5 years responses are good predictors for medium-term (7 years changes in the system by applying a factorial warming and nutrient manipulation to 20 plots in Latnjajaure, subarctic Sweden. Seven years of experimental warming and nutrient enhancement caused dramatic shifts in dominance hierarchies in response to the nutrient and the combined warming and nutrient enhancement treatments. Dominance hierarchies in the meadow moved from a community being dominated by cushion plants, deciduous, and evergreen shrubs to a community being dominated by grasses, sedges, and forbs. Short-term responses were shown to be inconsistent in their ability to predict medium-term responses for most functional groups, however, grasses showed a consistent and very substantial increase in response to nutrient addition over the seven years. The non-linear responses over time point out the importance of longer-term studies with repeated measurements to be able to better predict future changes. Forecasted changes to temperature and nutrient availability have implications for trophic interactions, and may ultimately influence the access to and palatability of the forage for grazers. Depending on what anthropogenic change will be most pronounced in the future (increase in nutrient deposits, warming, or a combination of them both, different shifts in community dominance hierarchies may occur. Generally, this study supports the productivity–diversity relationship found across arctic habitats, with community diversity peaking in mid-productivity systems and degrading as nutrient availability increases further. This is likely due the increasing competition in plant–plant interactions and the shifting dominance structure with grasses taking over the experimental plots, suggesting that global change could have high costs to biodiversity in the

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Contrasting growth responses of dominant peatland plants to warming and vegetation composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Tom N; Ward, Susan E; Ostle, Nicholas J; Bardgett, Richard D

    2015-05-01

    There is growing recognition that changes in vegetation composition can strongly influence peatland carbon cycling, with potential feedbacks to future climate. Nevertheless, despite accelerated climate and vegetation change in this ecosystem, the growth responses of peatland plant species to combined warming and vegetation change are unknown. Here, we used a field warming and vegetation removal experiment to test the hypothesis that dominant species from the three plant functional types present (dwarf-shrubs: Calluna vulgaris; graminoids: Eriophorum vaginatum; bryophytes: Sphagnum capillifolium) contrast in their growth responses to warming and the presence or absence of other plant functional types. Warming was accomplished using open top chambers, which raised air temperature by approximately 0.35 °C, and we measured air and soil microclimate as potential mechanisms through which both experimental factors could influence growth. We found that only Calluna growth increased with experimental warming (by 20%), whereas the presence of dwarf-shrubs and bryophytes increased growth of Sphagnum (46%) and Eriophorum (20%), respectively. Sphagnum growth was also negatively related to soil temperature, which was lower when dwarf-shrubs were present. Dwarf-shrubs may therefore promote Sphagnum growth by cooling the peat surface. Conversely, the effect of bryophyte presence on Eriophorum growth was not related to any change in microclimate, suggesting other factors play a role. In conclusion, our findings reveal contrasting abiotic and biotic controls over dominant peatland plant growth, suggesting that community composition and carbon cycling could be modified by simultaneous climate and vegetation change.

  7. Invasion of a dominant floral resource: effects on the floral community and pollination of native plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodell, Karen; Parker, Ingrid M

    2017-01-01

    Through competition for pollinators, invasive plants may suppress native flora. Community-level studies provide an integrative assessment of invasion impacts and insights into factors that influence the vulnerability of different native species. We investigated effects of the nonnative herb Lythrum salicaria on pollination of native species in 14 fens of the eastern United States. We compared visitors per flower for 122 native plant species in invaded and uninvaded fens and incorporated a landscape-scale experiment, removing L. salicaria flowers from three of the invaded fens. Total flower densities were more than three times higher in invaded than uninvaded or removal sites when L. salicaria was blooming. Despite an increase in number of visitors with number of flowers per area, visitors per native flower declined with increasing numbers of flowers. Therefore, L. salicaria invasion depressed visitation to native flowers. In removal sites, visitation to native flowers was similar to uninvaded sites, confirming the observational results and also suggesting that invasion had not generated a persistent build-up of visitor populations. To study species-level impacts, we examined effects of invasion on visitors per flower for the 36 plant species flowering in both invaded and uninvaded fens. On average, the effect of invasion represented about a 20% reduction in visits per flower. We measured the influence of plant traits on vulnerability to L. salicaria invasion using meta-analysis. Bilaterally symmetrical flowers experienced stronger impacts on visitation, and similarity in flower color to L. salicaria weakly intensified competition with the invader for visitors. Finally, we assessed the reproductive consequences of competition with the invader in a dominant flowering shrub, Dasiphora fruticosa. Despite the negative effect of invasion on pollinator visitation in this species, pollen limitation of seed production was not stronger in invaded than in uninvaded

  8. Interactive effects of warming and increased precipitation on community structure and composition in an annual forb dominated desert steppe.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanhui Hou

    Full Text Available To better understand how warming, increased precipitation and their interactions influence community structure and composition, a field experiment simulating hydrothermal interactions was conducted at an annual forb dominated desert steppe in northern China over 2 years. Increased precipitation increased species richness while warming significantly decreased species richness, and their effects were additive rather than interactive. Although interannual variations in weather conditions may have a major affect on plant community composition on short term experiments, warming and precipitation treatments affected individual species and functional group composition. Warming caused C4 grasses such as Cleistogenes squarrosa to increase while increased precipitation caused the proportions of non-perennial C3 plants like Artemisia capillaris to decrease and perennial C4 plants to increase.

  9. 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...

  10. Stochastic processes dominate during boreal bryophyte community assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fenton, Nicole J; Bergeron, Yves

    2013-09-01

    Why are plant species found in certain locations and not in others? The study of community assembly rules has attempted to answer this question, and many studies articulate the historic dichotomy of deterministic (predictable niches) vs. stochastic (random or semi-random processes). The study of successional sequences to determine whether they converge, as would be expected by deterministic theory, or diverge, as stochastic theory would suggest, has been one method used to investigate this question. In this article we ask the question: Do similar boreal bryophyte communities develop in the similar habitat created by convergent succession after fires of different severities? Or do the stochastic processes generated by fires of different severity lead to different communities? Specifically we predict that deterministic structure will be more important for large forest-floor species than stochastic processes, and that the inverse will be true for small bryophyte species. We used multivariate regression trees and model selection to determine the relative weight of structure (forest structure, substrates, soil structure) and processes (fire severity) for two groups of bryophyte species sampled in 12 sites (seven high-severity and five low-severity fires). Contrary to our first hypothesis, processes were as important for large forest-floor bryophytes as for small pocket species. Fire severity, its interaction with the quality of available habitat, and its impact on the creation of biological legacies played dominant roles in determining community structure. In this study, sites with nearly identical forest structure, generated via convergent succession after high- and low-severity fire, were compared to see whether these sites supported similar bryophyte communities. While similar to some degree, both the large forest-floor species and the pocket species differed after high-severity fire compared to low-severity fire. This result suggests that the "how," or process of

  11. Dominance-diversity, community-coefficient and nice-width relations ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... grazing pressure on these species. In view of the great anthropogenic pressure on the plant community, conservation and management measures are required for sustainable use of these important ethnobotanical plant species and plant biodiversity protection. International Journal of Biological & Chemical Sciences Vol.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Floating plant dominance as a stable state

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Scheffer, M.; Szabo, S.; Gragnani, A.; Nes, van E.H.; Rinaldi, S.; Kautsky, N.; Norberg, J.; Roijackers, R.M.M.; Franken, R.J.M.

    2003-01-01

    The authors demonstrate that floating-plant dominance can be a self-stabilizing ecosystem state, which may explain its notorious persistence in many situations. Their results, based on experiments, field data, and models (in Dutch ditches and Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe), represent evidence for

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. [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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Plant litter effects on soil nutrient availability and vegetation dynamics: changes that occur when annual grasses invade shrub-steppe communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheel Bansal; Roger L. Sheley; Bob Blank; Edward A. Vasquez

    2014-01-01

    Changes in the quantity and quality of plant litter occur in many ecosystems as they are invaded by exotic species, which impact soil nutrient cycling and plant community composition. Such changes in sagebrush-steppe communities are occurring with invasion of annual grasses (AG) into a perennial grass (PG) dominated system. We conducted a 5-year litter manipulation...

  4. [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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Ecosystem and Community Responses to Rainfall Manipulations in Shrublands Depends on Dominant Vegetation Cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esch, E. H.; Lipson, D.; Kim, J. B.; Cleland, E. E.

    2014-12-01

    Southern California is predicted to face decreasing precipitation with increased interannual variability in the coming century. Native shrublands in this area are increasingly invaded by exotic annual grasses, though invasion dynamics can vary by rainfall scenario, with wet years generally associated with high invasion pressure. Interplay between rainfall and invasion scenarios can influence carbon stocks and community composition. Here we asked how invasion alters ecosystem and community responses in drought versus high rainfall scenarios, as quantified by community identity, biomass production, and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). To do this, we performed a rainfall manipulation experiment with paired plots dominated either by native shrubs or exotic herbaceous species, subjected to treatments of 50%, 100%, or 150% of ambient rainfall. The study site was located in a coastal sage scrub ecosystem, with patches dominated by native shrubs and exotic grasses located in San Diego County, USA. During two growing seasons, we found that native, herbaceous biomass production was significantly affected by rainfall treatment (p<0.05 for both years), though was not affected by dominant community composition. Photosynthetic biomass production of shrub species also varied by treatment (p=0.035). Exotic biomass production showed a significant interaction between dominant community composition and rainfall treatment, and both individual effects (p<0.001 for all). NDVI showed similar results, but also indicated the importance of rainfall timing on overall biomass production between years. Community composition data showed certain species, of both native and exotic identities, segregating by treatment. These results indicate that exotic species are more sensitive to rainfall, and that increased rainfall may promote greater carbon storage in annual dominated communities when compared to shrub dominated communities in high rainfall years, but with drought, this

  11. 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.

  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 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).

  14. Salt Marsh development studies at Waquoit Bay, Massachusetts: Influence of geomorphology on long-term plant community structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orson, Richard A.; Howes, Brian L.

    1992-11-01

    Stochastic events relating to beach formation and inlet dynamics have been the major factors influencing the development of the Waquoit Bay tidal marshes. This results from the physical structure of the Waquoit Bay system where tidal exchange is limited to one or two small inlets and is in contrast to marsh development in nearby Barnstable Marsh where direct unrestricted exchange with Cape Cod Bay has smoothed the effects of stochastic events on vegetation development. We contend that vegetation development in salt marshes where connections to adjacent waters are restricted will be dominated by abiotic factors (e.g. storms, sedimentation rates, etc.) while those marshes directly linked to open bodies of water and where alterations to hydrodynamic factors are gradual, autecological processes (e.g. interspecific competition) will dominate long-term plant community development. The results from the five marsh systems within the Waquoit Bay complex suggest that once a vegetation change occurs the new community tended to persist for long periods of time (100's-1000's years). Stability of the 'new' community appeared to depend upon the stability of the physical structure of the system and/or time between perturbations necessary to allow the slower autecological processes to have a discernable effect. In order for the plant community to persist as long as observed, the vegetation must also be exerting an influence on the processes of development. Increased production of roots and rhizomes and growth characteristics (density of culms) are some of the factors which help to maintain long-term species dominance. It is clear from this investigation that the structure of the plant community at any one point in time is dependent upon numerous factors including historical developmental influences. To properly assess changes to the present plant community or determine recent rates of accretion, historic developmental trends must be considered. The factors that have influenced the

  15. Mesoherbivores affect grasshopper communities in a megaherbivore-dominated South African savannah

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Plas, Fons; Olff, Han

    African savannahs are among the few places on earth where diverse communities of mega- and meso-sized ungulate grazers dominate ecosystem functioning. Less conspicuous, but even more diverse, are the communities of herbivorous insects such as grasshoppers, which share the same food. Various studies

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.)

  19. Species Composition and Structure of the Communities of Plant-Parasitic and Free-Living Soil Nematodes in the Greenhouses of Botanical Gardens of Ukraine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gubin A.I.

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Species Composition and Structure of the Communities of Plant-Parasitic and Free-Living Soil Nematodes in the Greenhouses of Botanical Gardens of Ukraine. Gubin, A. I., Sigareva, D. D. — In greenhouses of botanical gardens of Ukraine 81 species of nematodes were found. The richest by the number of species was Tylenchida order that was presented by 25 species (31 % of species composition. The dominant group of nematodes was plant-parasitic (most frequent was Rotylenchus robustus (de Man, 1876 Filipjev, 1936 and Meloidogyne incognita (Kofoid et White, 1919 Chitwood, 1949. The group of saprobiotic nematodes, which was presented by 52 species (64 %, appeared to be the richest by the number of species. It is shown, that formation of nematode communities in greenhouses of botanical gardens was caused by the interaction of many related factors, crucial of which is the composition of plant collections. The structure of communities is quite constant and almost independent of the quantity of nematodes species. Plant-parasitic species dominate by the number and frequency of detection, and represent a kind of a core of nematode communities.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Bacterial community structure and variation in a full-scale seawater desalination plant for drinking water production

    KAUST Repository

    Belila, Abdelaziz

    2016-02-18

    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 water. Water samples were taken over the full treatment train consisting of chlorination, spruce media and cartridge filters, de-chlorination, first and second pass reverse osmosis (RO) membranes and final chlorine dosage for drinking water distribution. The water samples were analyzed for water quality parameters (total bacterial cell number, total organic carbon, conductivity, pH, etc.) and microbial community composition by 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing. The planktonic microbial community was dominated by Proteobacteria (48.6%) followed by Bacteroidetes (15%), Firmicutes (9.3%) and Cyanobacteria (4.9%). During the pretreatment step, the spruce media filter did not impact the bacterial community composition dominated by Proteobacteria. In contrast, the RO and final chlorination treatment steps reduced the Proteobacterial relative abundance in the produced water where Firmicutes constituted the most dominant bacterial group. Shannon and Chao1 diversity indices showed that bacterial species richness and diversity decreased during the seawater desalination process. The two-stage RO filtration strongly reduced the water conductivity (>99%), TOC concentration (98.5%) and total bacterial cell number (>99%), albeit some bacterial DNA was found in the water after RO filtration. About 0.25% of the total bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were present in all stages of the desalination plant: the seawater, the RO permeates and the chlorinated drinking water, suggesting that these bacterial strains can survive in different environments such as high/low salt concentration and with/without residual disinfectant. These bacterial strains were not caused by contamination during

  3. 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

  4. [Allelopathic interactions between invasive plant Solidago canadensis and native plant Phragmites australis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yu-Zhe; Fan, Jiang-Wen; Yin, Xin; Yang, En-Yi; Wei, Wei; Tian, Zhi-Hui; Da, Liang-Jun

    2011-05-01

    Taking the seeds of invasive plant Solidago canadensis and native plant Phragmites australis from their mono- and co-dominant communities as allelopathic acceptors, this paper analyzed the differences in the seed germination rate and sprout length after treated with five level (12.5, 25, 50, 100, and 200 mg x mL(-1)) S. canadensis and P. australis extracts, aimed to understand the allelopathic interactions between the two species. The 1000-grain weight and seed germination rate under distilled water treatment of the two species in co-dominated community were greater than those in mono-dominant community. Low level (12.5 and 25 mg x mL(-1)) S. canadensi extracts slightly promoted the seed germination rates of S. canadensis in both mono- and co-dominant communities, but high level (50, 100, and 200 mg x mL(-1)) S. canadensi extracts had strong inhibition effect, especially for the S. canadensis in co-dominated community. No significant patterns were observed about the effects of P. australis extract on S. canadensis seed germination. The sprout length of S. canadensis seeds in both mono- and co-dominant communities decreased with increasing level of S. canadensis extract, but decreased in a fluctuation way with increasing level of P. australis extract. After treated with the extracts of P. australis or S. canadensis, the seed germination rate of P. australis in mono-dominant community was significantly greater than that in co-dominant community (P < 0.05), but there was no significant difference between these two extracts.

  5. 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.

  6. Population dynamics of iron-oxidizing communities in pilot plants for the treatment of acid mine waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinzel, Elke; Janneck, Eberhard; Glombitza, Franz; Schlömann, Michael; Seifert, Jana

    2009-08-15

    The iron-oxidizing microbial community in two pilot plants for the treatment of acid mine water was monitored to investigate the influence of different process parameters such as pH, iron concentration, and retention time on the stability of the system to evaluate the applicability of this treatment technology on an industrial scale. The dynamics of the microbial populations were followed using T-RFLP (terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism) over a period of several months. For a more precise quantification, two TaqMan assays specific for the two prominent groups were developed and the relative abundance of these taxa in the iron-oxidizing community was verified by real-time PCR. The investigations revealed that the iron-oxidizing community was clearly dominated by two groups of Betaproteobacteria affiliated with the poorly known and not yet recognized species "Ferrovum myxofaciens" and with strains related to Gallionella ferruginea, respectively. These taxa dominated the microbial community during the whole investigation period and accelerated the oxidation of ferrous iron despite the changing characteristics of mine waters flowing into the plants. Thus, it is assumed that the treatment technology can also be applied to other mine sites and that these organisms play a crucial role in such treatment systems.

  7. 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

  8. Understory Plant Community Composition Is Associated with Fine-Scale Above- and Below-Ground Resource Heterogeneity in Mature Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta) Forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntosh, Anne C. S.; Macdonald, S. Ellen; Quideau, Sylvie A.

    2016-01-01

    Understory plant communities play critical ecological roles in forest ecosystems. Both above- and below-ground ecosystem properties and processes influence these communities but relatively little is known about such effects at fine (i.e., one to several meters within-stand) scales, particularly for forests in which the canopy is dominated by a single species. An improved understanding of these effects is critical for understanding how understory biodiversity is regulated in such forests and for anticipating impacts of changing disturbance regimes. Our primary objective was to examine the patterns of fine-scale variation in understory plant communities and their relationships to above- and below-ground resource and environmental heterogeneity within mature lodgepole pine forests. We assessed composition and diversity of understory vegetation in relation to heterogeneity of both the above-ground (canopy tree density, canopy and tall shrub basal area and cover, downed wood biomass, litter cover) and below-ground (soil nutrient availability, decomposition, forest floor thickness, pH, and phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) and multiple carbon-source substrate-induced respiration (MSIR) of the forest floor microbial community) environment. There was notable variation in fine-scale plant community composition; cluster and indicator species analyses of the 24 most commonly occurring understory species distinguished four assemblages, one for which a pioneer forb species had the highest cover levels, and three others that were characterized by different bryophyte species having the highest cover. Constrained ordination (distance-based redundancy analysis) showed that two above-ground (mean tree diameter, litter cover) and eight below-ground (forest floor pH, plant available boron, microbial community composition and function as indicated by MSIR and PLFAs) properties were associated with variation in understory plant community composition. These results provide novel insights

  9. Understory Plant Community Composition Is Associated with Fine-Scale Above- and Below-Ground Resource Heterogeneity in Mature Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta Forests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne C S McIntosh

    Full Text Available Understory plant communities play critical ecological roles in forest ecosystems. Both above- and below-ground ecosystem properties and processes influence these communities but relatively little is known about such effects at fine (i.e., one to several meters within-stand scales, particularly for forests in which the canopy is dominated by a single species. An improved understanding of these effects is critical for understanding how understory biodiversity is regulated in such forests and for anticipating impacts of changing disturbance regimes. Our primary objective was to examine the patterns of fine-scale variation in understory plant communities and their relationships to above- and below-ground resource and environmental heterogeneity within mature lodgepole pine forests. We assessed composition and diversity of understory vegetation in relation to heterogeneity of both the above-ground (canopy tree density, canopy and tall shrub basal area and cover, downed wood biomass, litter cover and below-ground (soil nutrient availability, decomposition, forest floor thickness, pH, and phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs and multiple carbon-source substrate-induced respiration (MSIR of the forest floor microbial community environment. There was notable variation in fine-scale plant community composition; cluster and indicator species analyses of the 24 most commonly occurring understory species distinguished four assemblages, one for which a pioneer forb species had the highest cover levels, and three others that were characterized by different bryophyte species having the highest cover. Constrained ordination (distance-based redundancy analysis showed that two above-ground (mean tree diameter, litter cover and eight below-ground (forest floor pH, plant available boron, microbial community composition and function as indicated by MSIR and PLFAs properties were associated with variation in understory plant community composition. These results provide

  10. Understory Plant Community Composition Is Associated with Fine-Scale Above- and Below-Ground Resource Heterogeneity in Mature Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta) Forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntosh, Anne C S; Macdonald, S Ellen; Quideau, Sylvie A

    2016-01-01

    Understory plant communities play critical ecological roles in forest ecosystems. Both above- and below-ground ecosystem properties and processes influence these communities but relatively little is known about such effects at fine (i.e., one to several meters within-stand) scales, particularly for forests in which the canopy is dominated by a single species. An improved understanding of these effects is critical for understanding how understory biodiversity is regulated in such forests and for anticipating impacts of changing disturbance regimes. Our primary objective was to examine the patterns of fine-scale variation in understory plant communities and their relationships to above- and below-ground resource and environmental heterogeneity within mature lodgepole pine forests. We assessed composition and diversity of understory vegetation in relation to heterogeneity of both the above-ground (canopy tree density, canopy and tall shrub basal area and cover, downed wood biomass, litter cover) and below-ground (soil nutrient availability, decomposition, forest floor thickness, pH, and phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) and multiple carbon-source substrate-induced respiration (MSIR) of the forest floor microbial community) environment. There was notable variation in fine-scale plant community composition; cluster and indicator species analyses of the 24 most commonly occurring understory species distinguished four assemblages, one for which a pioneer forb species had the highest cover levels, and three others that were characterized by different bryophyte species having the highest cover. Constrained ordination (distance-based redundancy analysis) showed that two above-ground (mean tree diameter, litter cover) and eight below-ground (forest floor pH, plant available boron, microbial community composition and function as indicated by MSIR and PLFAs) properties were associated with variation in understory plant community composition. These results provide novel insights

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. When do plant radiations influence community assembly? The importance of historical contingency in the race for niche space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanentzap, Andrew J; Brandt, Angela J; Smissen, Rob D; Heenan, Peter B; Fukami, Tadashi; Lee, William G

    2015-07-01

    Plant radiations are widespread but their influence on community assembly has rarely been investigated. Theory and some evidence suggest that radiations can allow lineages to monopolize niche space when founding species arrive early into new bioclimatic regions and exploit ecological opportunities. These early radiations may subsequently reduce niche availability and dampen diversification of later arrivals. We tested this hypothesis of time-dependent lineage diversification and community dominance using the alpine flora of New Zealand. We estimated ages of 16 genera from published phylogenies and determined their relative occurrence across climatic and physical gradients in the alpine zone. We used these data to reconstruct occupancy of environmental space through time, integrating palaeoclimatic and palaeogeological changes. Our analysis suggested that earlier-colonizing lineages encountered a greater availability of environmental space, which promoted greater species diversity and occupancy of niche space. Genera that occupied broader niches were subsequently more dominant in local communities. An earlier time of arrival also contributed to greater diversity independently of its influence in accessing niche space. We suggest that plant radiations influence community assembly when they arise early in the occupancy of environmental space, allowing them to exclude later-arriving colonists from ecological communities by niche preemption. © 2015 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Genetic sorting of subordinate species in grassland modulated by intraspecific variation in dominant species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danny J Gustafson

    Full Text Available Genetic variation in a single species can have predictable and heritable effects on associated communities and ecosystem processes, however little is known about how genetic variation of a dominant species affects plant community assembly. We characterized the genetic structure of a dominant grass (Sorghastrum nutans and two subordinate species (Chamaecrista fasciculata, Silphium integrifolium, during the third growing season in grassland communities established with genetically distinct (cultivated varieties or local ecotypes seed sources of the dominant grasses. There were genetic differences between subordinate species growing in the cultivar versus local ecotype communities, indicating that intraspecific genetic variation in the dominant grasses affected the genetic composition of subordinate species during community assembly. A positive association between genetic diversity of S. nutans, C. fasciculata, and S. integrifolium and species diversity established the role of an intraspecific biotic filter during community assembly. Our results show that intraspecific variation in dominant species can significantly modulate the genetic composition of subordinate species.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Experimental Manipulation of Grassland Plant Diversity Induces Complex Shifts in Aboveground Arthropod Diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hertzog, Lionel R; Meyer, Sebastian T; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Ebeling, Anne

    2016-01-01

    Changes in producer diversity cause multiple changes in consumer communities through various mechanisms. However, past analyses investigating the relationship between plant diversity and arthropod consumers focused only on few aspects of arthropod diversity, e.g. species richness and abundance. Yet, shifts in understudied facets of arthropod diversity like relative abundances or species dominance may have strong effects on arthropod-mediated ecosystem functions. Here we analyze the relationship between plant species richness and arthropod diversity using four complementary diversity indices, namely: abundance, species richness, evenness (equitability of the abundance distribution) and dominance (relative abundance of the dominant species). Along an experimental gradient of plant species richness (1, 2, 4, 8, 16 and 60 plant species), we sampled herbivorous and carnivorous arthropods using pitfall traps and suction sampling during a whole vegetation period. We tested whether plant species richness affects consumer diversity directly (i), or indirectly through increased productivity (ii). Further, we tested the impact of plant community composition on arthropod diversity by testing for the effects of plant functional groups (iii). Abundance and species richness of both herbivores and carnivores increased with increasing plant species richness, but the underlying mechanisms differed between the two trophic groups. While higher species richness in herbivores was caused by an increase in resource diversity, carnivore richness was driven by plant productivity. Evenness of herbivore communities did not change along the gradient in plant species richness, whereas evenness of carnivores declined. The abundance of dominant herbivore species showed no response to changes in plant species richness, but the dominant carnivores were more abundant in species-rich plant communities. The functional composition of plant communities had small impacts on herbivore communities, whereas

  6. Experimental Manipulation of Grassland Plant Diversity Induces Complex Shifts in Aboveground Arthropod Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hertzog, Lionel R.; Meyer, Sebastian T.; Weisser, Wolfgang W.; Ebeling, Anne

    2016-01-01

    Changes in producer diversity cause multiple changes in consumer communities through various mechanisms. However, past analyses investigating the relationship between plant diversity and arthropod consumers focused only on few aspects of arthropod diversity, e.g. species richness and abundance. Yet, shifts in understudied facets of arthropod diversity like relative abundances or species dominance may have strong effects on arthropod-mediated ecosystem functions. Here we analyze the relationship between plant species richness and arthropod diversity using four complementary diversity indices, namely: abundance, species richness, evenness (equitability of the abundance distribution) and dominance (relative abundance of the dominant species). Along an experimental gradient of plant species richness (1, 2, 4, 8, 16 and 60 plant species), we sampled herbivorous and carnivorous arthropods using pitfall traps and suction sampling during a whole vegetation period. We tested whether plant species richness affects consumer diversity directly (i), or indirectly through increased productivity (ii). Further, we tested the impact of plant community composition on arthropod diversity by testing for the effects of plant functional groups (iii). Abundance and species richness of both herbivores and carnivores increased with increasing plant species richness, but the underlying mechanisms differed between the two trophic groups. While higher species richness in herbivores was caused by an increase in resource diversity, carnivore richness was driven by plant productivity. Evenness of herbivore communities did not change along the gradient in plant species richness, whereas evenness of carnivores declined. The abundance of dominant herbivore species showed no response to changes in plant species richness, but the dominant carnivores were more abundant in species-rich plant communities. The functional composition of plant communities had small impacts on herbivore communities, whereas

  7. Rhododendron aureum Georgi formed a special soil microbial community and competed with above-ground plants on the tundra of the Changbai Mountain, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiaolong; Li, Lin; Zhao, Wei; Zhao, Jiaxin; Chen, Xia

    2017-09-01

    Rhododendron aureum Georgi is a perennial evergreen dwarf shrub that grows at all elevations within the alpine tundra of northern China. Previous research has investigated the plant communities of R. aureum ; however, little information is available regarding interspecific competition and underground soil microbial community composition. The objective of our study was to determine whether the presence of R. aureum creates a unique soil microbiome and to investigate the relationship between R. aureum and other plant species. Our study site ranged from 1,800 to 2,600 m above sea level on the northern slope of the Changbai Mountain. The results show that the soil from sites with an R. aureum community had a higher abundance of nitrogen-fixing bacteria and a higher resistance to pathogens than soils from sites without R. aureum . We emphasize that R. aureum promotes a unique soil microbial community structure that is distinct from those associated with other plants. Elevation and microbial biomass were the main influencing factors for plant community structure. Analysis of interspecific relationships reveals that R. aureum is negatively associated with most other dominant shrubs and herbs, suggesting interspecific competition. It is necessary to focus on other dominant species if protection and restoration of the R. aureum competition is to occur. In the future, more is needed to prove whether R. aureum decreases species diversity in the tundra ecosystems of Changbai Mountain.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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....

  11. 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.

  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. 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...

  14. High specificity but contrasting biodiversity of Sphagnum-associated bacterial and plant communities in bog ecosystems independent of the geographical region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Opelt, Katja; Berg, Christian; Schönmann, Susan; Eberl, Leo; Berg, Gabriele

    2007-10-01

    Mosses represent ecological niches that harbor a hitherto largely uncharacterized microbial diversity. To investigate which factors affect the biodiversity of bryophyte-associated bacteria, we analyzed the bacterial communities associated with two moss species, which exhibit different ecological behaviors and importance in bog ecosystems, Sphagnum magellanicum and Sphagnum fallax, from six temperate and boreal bogs in Germany and Norway. Furthermore, their surrounding plant communities were studied. Molecular analysis of bacterial communities was determined by single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis using eubacterial and genus-specific primers for the dominant genera Burkholderia and Serratia as well as by sequence analysis of a Burkholderia 16S rRNA gene clone library. Plant communities were analyzed by monitoring the abundance and composition of bryophyte and vascular plant species, and by determining ecological indicator values. Interestingly, we found a high degree of host specificity for associated bacterial and plant communities of both Sphagnum species independent of the geographical region. Calculation of diversity indices on the basis of SSCP gels showed that the S. fallax-associated communities displayed a statistically significant higher degree of diversity than those associated with S. magellanicum. In contrast, analyses of plant communities of Sphagnum-specific habitats resulted in a higher diversity of S. magellanicum-specific habitats for all six sites. The higher content of nutrients in the S. fallax-associated ecosystems can explain higher diversity of microorganisms.

  15. Changing drivers of species dominance during tropical forest succession

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lohbeck, M.W.M.; Poorter, L.; Martinez-Ramos, M.; Rodriguez-Valázquez, J.; Breugel, van M.; Bongers, F.

    2014-01-01

    1. Deterministic theories predict that local communities assemble from a regional species pool based on niche differences, thus by plant functional adaptations. We tested whether functional traits can also explain patterns in species dominance among the suite of co-occurring species. 2. We predicted

  16. 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.

  17. Assessment of interspecific interactions in plant communities: an illustration from the cold desert saltbush grasslands of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, Carl D.; Emlen, John M.

    1995-01-01

    Interspecific interactions influence both the productivity and composition of plant communities. Here, we propose new field procedures and analytical approaches for assessing interspecific interactions in nature and apply these procedures to the salt desert shrub grasslands of western Utah. Data were collected from two grazing treatments over a period of 2 years. The proposed equations were fairly consistent across both treatments and years. In addition to illustrating how to assess interspecific interactions within a community, we also develop a new approach for projecting the community composition as a result of some alteration, i.e. increase or decrease in the abundance of one or more species. Results demonstrate competition both within and between plant life-form groups. While introduced annuals were found to depress profoundly the likelihood of perennial plants replacing themselves, perennials had little influence on annuals. Thus, as native perennials die, they are more likely to be replaced by perennials than for the reverse to occur. Our results suggest that unless conditions change, these communities will become increasingly dominated by introduced annuals.

  18. Using Bi-Seasonal WorldView-2 Multi-Spectral Data and Supervised Random Forest Classification to Map Coastal Plant Communities in Everglades National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristie S. Wendelberger

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Coastal plant communities are being transformed or lost because of sea level rise (SLR and land-use change. In conjunction with SLR, the Florida Everglades ecosystem has undergone large-scale drainage and restoration, altering coastal vegetation throughout south Florida. To understand how coastal plant communities are changing over time, accurate mapping techniques are needed that can define plant communities at a fine-enough resolution to detect fine-scale changes. We explored using bi-seasonal versus single-season WorldView-2 satellite data to map three mangrove and four adjacent plant communities, including the buttonwood/glycophyte community that harbors the federally-endangered plant Chromolaena frustrata. Bi-seasonal data were more effective than single-season to differentiate all communities of interest. Bi-seasonal data combined with Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR elevation data were used to map coastal plant communities of a coastal stretch within Everglades National Park (ENP. Overall map accuracy was 86%. Black and red mangroves were the dominant communities and covered 50% of the study site. All the remaining communities had ≤10% cover, including the buttonwood/glycophyte community. ENP harbors 21 rare coastal species threatened by SLR. The spatially explicit, quantitative data provided by our map provides a fine-scale baseline for monitoring future change in these species’ habitats. Our results also offer a method to monitor vegetation change in other threatened habitats.

  19. Using Bi-Seasonal WorldView-2 Multi-Spectral Data and Supervised Random Forest Classification to Map Coastal Plant Communities in Everglades National Park.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wendelberger, Kristie S; Gann, Daniel; Richards, Jennifer H

    2018-03-09

    Coastal plant communities are being transformed or lost because of sea level rise (SLR) and land-use change. In conjunction with SLR, the Florida Everglades ecosystem has undergone large-scale drainage and restoration, altering coastal vegetation throughout south Florida. To understand how coastal plant communities are changing over time, accurate mapping techniques are needed that can define plant communities at a fine-enough resolution to detect fine-scale changes. We explored using bi-seasonal versus single-season WorldView-2 satellite data to map three mangrove and four adjacent plant communities, including the buttonwood/glycophyte community that harbors the federally-endangered plant Chromolaena frustrata . Bi-seasonal data were more effective than single-season to differentiate all communities of interest. Bi-seasonal data combined with Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) elevation data were used to map coastal plant communities of a coastal stretch within Everglades National Park (ENP). Overall map accuracy was 86%. Black and red mangroves were the dominant communities and covered 50% of the study site. All the remaining communities had ≤10% cover, including the buttonwood/glycophyte community. ENP harbors 21 rare coastal species threatened by SLR. The spatially explicit, quantitative data provided by our map provides a fine-scale baseline for monitoring future change in these species' habitats. Our results also offer a method to monitor vegetation change in other threatened habitats.

  20. Bacterial community compositions of coking wastewater treatment plants in steel industry revealed by Illumina high-throughput sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Qiao; Qu, Yuanyuan; Shen, Wenli; Zhang, Zhaojing; Wang, Jingwei; Liu, Ziyan; Li, Duanxing; Li, Huijie; Zhou, Jiti

    2015-03-01

    In this study, Illumina high-throughput sequencing was used to reveal the community structures of nine coking wastewater treatment plants (CWWTPs) in China for the first time. The sludge systems exhibited a similar community composition at each taxonomic level. Compared to previous studies, some of the core genera in municipal wastewater treatment plants such as Zoogloea, Prosthecobacter and Gp6 were detected as minor species. Thiobacillus (20.83%), Comamonas (6.58%), Thauera (4.02%), Azoarcus (7.78%) and Rhodoplanes (1.42%) were the dominant genera shared by at least six CWWTPs. The percentages of autotrophic ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria were unexpectedly low, which were verified by both real-time PCR and fluorescence in situ hybridization analyses. Hierarchical clustering and canonical correspondence analysis indicated that operation mode, flow rate and temperature might be the key factors in community formation. This study provides new insights into our understanding of microbial community compositions and structures of CWWTPs. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Natal Host Plants Can Alter Herbivore Competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Huipeng; Preisser, Evan L; Su, Qi; Jiao, Xiaoguo; Xie, Wen; Wang, Shaoli; Wu, Qingjun; Zhang, Youjun

    2016-01-01

    Interspecific competition between herbivores is widely recognized as an important determinant of community structure. Although researchers have identified a number of factors capable of altering competitive interactions, few studies have addressed the influence of neighboring plant species. If adaptation to/ epigenetic effects of an herbivore's natal host plant alter its performance on other host plants, then interspecific herbivore interactions may play out differently in heterogeneous and homogenous plant communities. We tested wether the natal host plant of a whitefly population affected interactions between the Middle-east Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1) and Mediterranean (MED) cryptic species of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci by rearing the offspring of a cabbage-derived MEAM1 population and a poinsettia-derived MED population together on three different host plants: cotton, poinsettia, and cabbage. We found that MED dominated on poinsettia and that MEAM1 dominated on cabbage, results consistent with previous research. MED also dominated when reared with MEAM1 on cotton, however, a result at odds with multiple otherwise-similar studies that reared both species on the same natal plant. Our work provides evidence that natal plants affect competitive interactions on another plant species, and highlights the potential importance of neighboring plant species on herbivore community composition in agricultral systems.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Ecosystem water availability in juniper versus sagebrush snow-dominated rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Western Juniper (J. occidentalis Hook.) now dominates over 3.6 million ha of rangeland in the Intermountain Western US. Critical ecological relationships among snow distribution, water budgets, plant community transitions, and habitat requirements for wildlife, such as sage grouse, remain poorly und...

  5. Fungal associations of roots of dominant and sub-dominant plants in high-alpine vegetation systems with special reference to mycorrhiza.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haselwandter, K; Read, D J

    1980-04-01

    Types of root infection were analysed in healthy dominant and sub-dominant plants of zonal and azonal vegetation above the timberline in the Central and Northern Calcareous Alps of Austria. In the open nival zone vegetation, infection by fungi of the Rhizoctonia type was predominant, vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal infection, which was mostly of the fine endophyte (Glomus tenuis) type, being light and mainly restricted to grasses in closed vegetation patches. More extensive Glomus tenuis infection was found in the alpine grass heath, but in Carex, Rhizoctonia was again the most important fungus. The ericaceous plants of the dwarf shrub heath have typical ericoid infection, but quantitative analysis reveals a decrease of infection intensity with increase of altitude. The possible function of the various types of root infection are discussed, and the status of Rhizoctonia as a possible mycorrhizal fungus is considered.

  6. 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.

  7. Food source quality and ant dominance hierarchy influence the outcomes of ant-plant interactions in an arid environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores-Flores, Rocío Vianey; Aguirre, Armando; Anjos, Diego V.; Neves, Frederico S.; Campos, Ricardo I.; Dáttilo, Wesley

    2018-02-01

    In this study, we conducted a series of experiments in a population of Vachellia constricta (Fabaceae) in the arid Tehuacan-Cuicatláan valley, Mexico, in order to evaluate if the food source quality and ant dominance hierarchy influence the outcomes of ant-plant interactions. Using an experiment with artificial nectaries, we observed that ants foraging on food sources with higher concentration of sugar are quicker in finding and attacking potential herbivorous insects. More specifically, we found that the same ant species may increase their defence effectiveness according to the quality of food available. These findings indicate that ant effectiveness in plant protection is context-dependent and may vary according to specific individual characteristics of plants. In addition, we showed that competitively superior ant species tend to dominate plants in periods with high nectar activity, emphasizing the role of the dominance hierarchy structuring ant-plant interactions. However, when high sugar food sources were experimentally available ad libitum, the nocturnal and competitively superior ant species, Camponotus atriceps, did not dominate the artificial nectaries during the day possibly due to limitation of its thermal tolerance. Therefore, temporal niche partitioning may be allowing the coexistence of two dominant ant species (Camponotus rubritorax during the day and C. atriceps at night) on V. constricta. Our findings indicate that the quality of the food source, and temporal shifts in ant dominance are key factors which structure the biotic plant defences in an arid environment.

  8. Contrasting the community structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi from hydrocarbon-contaminated and uncontaminated soils following willow (Salix spp. L. planting.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saad El-Din Hassan

    Full Text Available Phytoremediation is a potentially inexpensive alternative to chemical treatment of hydrocarbon-contaminated soils, but its success depends heavily on identifying factors that govern the success of root-associated microorganisms involved in hydrocarbon degradation and plant growth stimulation. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF form symbioses with many terrestrial plants, and are known to stimulate plant growth, although both species identity and the environment influence this relationship. Although AMF are suspected to play a role in plant adaptation to hydrocarbon contamination, their distribution in hydrocarbon-contaminated soils is not well known. In this study, we examined how AMF communities were structured within the rhizosphere of 11 introduced willow cultivars as well as unplanted controls across uncontaminated and hydrocarbon-contaminated soils at the site of a former petrochemical plant. We obtained 69 282 AMF-specific 18S rDNA sequences using 454-pyrosequencing, representing 27 OTUs. Contaminant concentration was the major influence on AMF community structure, with different AMF families dominating at each contaminant level. The most abundant operational taxonomic unit in each sample represented a large proportion of the total community, and this proportion was positively associated with increasing contamination, and seemingly, by planting as well. The most contaminated soils were dominated by three phylotypes closely related to Rhizophagus irregularis, while these OTUs represented only a small proportion of sequences in uncontaminated and moderately contaminated soils. These results suggest that in situ inoculation of AMF strains could be an important component of phytoremediation treatments, but that strains should be selected from the narrow group that is both adapted to contaminant toxicity and able to compete with indigenous AMF species.

  9. Contrasting the community structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi from hydrocarbon-contaminated and uncontaminated soils following willow (Salix spp. L.) planting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassan, Saad El-Din; Bell, Terrence H; Stefani, Franck O P; Denis, David; Hijri, Mohamed; St-Arnaud, Marc

    2014-01-01

    Phytoremediation is a potentially inexpensive alternative to chemical treatment of hydrocarbon-contaminated soils, but its success depends heavily on identifying factors that govern the success of root-associated microorganisms involved in hydrocarbon degradation and plant growth stimulation. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) form symbioses with many terrestrial plants, and are known to stimulate plant growth, although both species identity and the environment influence this relationship. Although AMF are suspected to play a role in plant adaptation to hydrocarbon contamination, their distribution in hydrocarbon-contaminated soils is not well known. In this study, we examined how AMF communities were structured within the rhizosphere of 11 introduced willow cultivars as well as unplanted controls across uncontaminated and hydrocarbon-contaminated soils at the site of a former petrochemical plant. We obtained 69 282 AMF-specific 18S rDNA sequences using 454-pyrosequencing, representing 27 OTUs. Contaminant concentration was the major influence on AMF community structure, with different AMF families dominating at each contaminant level. The most abundant operational taxonomic unit in each sample represented a large proportion of the total community, and this proportion was positively associated with increasing contamination, and seemingly, by planting as well. The most contaminated soils were dominated by three phylotypes closely related to Rhizophagus irregularis, while these OTUs represented only a small proportion of sequences in uncontaminated and moderately contaminated soils. These results suggest that in situ inoculation of AMF strains could be an important component of phytoremediation treatments, but that strains should be selected from the narrow group that is both adapted to contaminant toxicity and able to compete with indigenous AMF species.

  10. Host identity is a dominant driver of mycorrhizal fungal community composition during ecosystem development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-García, Laura B; Richardson, Sarah J; Tylianakis, Jason M; Peltzer, Duane A; Dickie, Ian A

    2015-03-01

    Little is known about the response of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities to ecosystem development. We use a long-term soil chronosequence that includes ecosystem progression and retrogression to quantify the importance of host plant identity as a factor driving fungal community composition during ecosystem development. We identified arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and plant species from 50 individual roots from each of 10 sites spanning 5-120 000 yr of ecosystem age using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP), Sanger sequencing and pyrosequencing. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities were highly structured by ecosystem age. There was strong niche differentiation, with different groups of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) being characteristic of early succession, ecosystem progression and ecosystem retrogression. Fungal alpha diversity decreased with ecosystem age, whereas beta diversity was high at early stages and lower in subsequent stages. A total of 39% of the variance in fungal communities was explained by host plant and site age, 29% of which was attributed to host and the interaction between host and site (24% and 5%, respectively). The strong response of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi to ecosystem development appears to be largely driven by plant host identity, supporting the concept that plant and fungal communities are tightly coupled rather than independently responding to habitat. © 2014 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

  11. Hillslope characterization: Identifying key controls on local-scale plant communities' distribution using remote sensing and subsurface data fusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falco, N.; Wainwright, H. M.; Dafflon, B.; Leger, E.; Peterson, J.; Steltzer, H.; Wilmer, C.; Williams, K. H.; Hubbard, S. S.

    2017-12-01

    Mountainous watershed systems are characterized by extreme heterogeneity in hydrological and pedological properties that influence biotic activities, plant communities and their dynamics. To gain predictive understanding of how ecosystem and watershed system evolve under climate change, it is critical to capture such heterogeneity and to quantify the effect of key environmental variables such as topography, and soil properties. In this study, we exploit advanced geophysical and remote sensing techniques - coupled with machine learning - to better characterize and quantify the interactions between plant communities' distribution and subsurface properties. First, we have developed a remote sensing data fusion framework based on the random forest (RF) classification algorithm to estimate the spatial distribution of plant communities. The framework allows the integration of both plant spectral and structural information, which are derived from multispectral satellite images and airborne LiDAR data. We then use the RF method to evaluate the estimated plant community map, exploiting the subsurface properties (such as bedrock depth, soil moisture and other properties) and geomorphological parameters (such as slope, curvature) as predictors. Datasets include high-resolution geophysical data (electrical resistivity tomography) and LiDAR digital elevation maps. We demonstrate our approach on a mountain hillslope and meadow within the East River watershed in Colorado, which is considered to be a representative headwater catchment in the Upper Colorado Basin. The obtained results show the existence of co-evolution between above and below-ground processes; in particular, dominant shrub communities in wet and flat areas. We show that successful integration of remote sensing data with geophysical measurements allows identifying and quantifying the key environmental controls on plant communities' distribution, and provides insights into their potential changes in the future

  12. Vegetation types, dominant compositions, woody plant diversity and stand structure in Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary of Northeast India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majumdar, Koushik; Datta, B K

    2015-03-01

    Present study was carried out to assess the vegetation types, diversity and phytosociological status of woody plants in Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary of Tripura, Northeast India. Vegetation data was derived by 25 line transects (10 m wide and 500 m length, each 0.5 ha size). All woody species at >10 cm gbh (Girth at Breast Height) within each plots were measured and counted. A total of six forest types were classified by cluster analysis using Importance Value Index (IVI) of 289 woody species. Species diversity, forest structure and woody community associations were evaluated and discussed. One way ANOVA revealed significant differences in all species diversity measures and stand structure along the forest types. Distribution of stem density at ten different gbh classes showed reverse J-shaped curves. Population status of woody plants was also examined through grouping of all individuals into four population age stages viz. sapling ( or = 30 - 120 - 210 cm gbh) and old (> or =210 cm). To observe dominant composition and species population trend, IVI of top ten dominant species from all forest types were tabulated. The present study suggested that Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary is an important habitat in Tripura from floristic point of view and it should be conserved on priority basis for remaining wildlife endurances and monitor for forest livelihoods products for sustainable biodiversity conservation in this region.

  13. 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

  14. Convergence in mycorrhizal fungal communities due to drought, plant competition, parasitism and susceptibility to herbivory: Consequences for fungi and host plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine A. Gehring

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available 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 mistletoe 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.

  15. 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)

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. How do plant communities and flower visitors relate? A case study of semi-natural xerothermic grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damian Chmura

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The paper examines the relationships between the species composition of flower visitors and plants in the semi-natural xerothermic grasslands in southern and central Poland. Thirty 10 × 10 m permanent plots were laid out in total, mainly in nature reserves. The vegetation units studied were classified according to the Braun-Blanquet system; these were phytocoenoses of the Festuco-Brometea classes Inuletum ensifoliae, Adonido-Brachypodietum pinnati and the transitional plant community. Entomological research was performed using the Pollard method within the same plots. A particular site was visited only once and different sites were studied between April and August 2008. We applied, among others, co-correspondence-analysis Co-CA, detrended correspondence analysis (DCA and redundancy analysis (RDA to investigate the co-occurrence patterns of plants and flower visitors and their biotopic requirements. We found that the species composition of flower visitors cannot be predicted by floristic composition when the duration of the study is restricted to one day (but under similar weather conditions; however, there is a positive relationship between the species richness of insects and plants and a positive relationship between the number of plant species and the abundance of flower visitors. The Ellenberg moisture index and the cover of meadow species significantly explained the species composition of insects. The three various vegetation units and five dominant xerothermic species, i.e. Adonis vernalis, Anemone sylvestris, Inula ensifolia, Linum hirsutum and Carlina onopordifolia that were studied across time differed in the species richness of insects. Our results demonstrate that possible patterns in the species composition and the assembly rules of flower visitors are not apparent when the Pollard method is applied. Based on the data obtained using this method, the flower visiting assemblages seem not to be driven by competition and they primarily

  19. The effect of environmental change on vascular plant and cryptogam communities from the Falkland Islands and the Maritime Antarctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Convey Peter

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Antarctic terrestrial vegetation is subject to one of the most extreme climates on Earth. Currently, parts of Antarctica are one of the fastest warming regions on the planet. During 3 growing seasons, we investigated the effect of experimental warming on the diversity and abundance of coastal plant communities in the Maritime Antarctic region (cryptogams only and the Falkland Islands (vascular plants only. We compared communities from the Falkland Islands (51°S, mean annual temperature 7.9°C, with those of Signy Island (60°S, -2.1°C and Anchorage Island (67°S, -2.6°C, and experimental temperature manipulations at each of the three islands using Open Top Chambers (OTCs. Results Despite the strong difference in plant growth form dominance between the Falkland Islands and the Maritime Antarctic, communities across the gradient did not differ in total diversity and species number. During the summer months, the experimental temperature increase at 5 cm height in the vegetation was similar between the locations (0.7°C across the study. In general, the response to this experimental warming was low. Total lichen cover showed a non-significant decreasing trend at Signy Island (p Conclusion These results suggest that small temperature increases may rapidly lead to decreased soil moisture, resulting in more stressful conditions for plants. The more open plant communities (grass and lichen appeared more negatively affected by such changes than dense communities (dwarf shrub and moss.

  20. 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 ...

  1. Belowground biotic complexity drives aboveground dynamics: a test of the soil community feedback model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pendergast, Thomas H; Burke, David J; Carson, Walter P

    2013-03-01

    Feedbacks between soil communities and plants may determine abundance and diversity in plant communities by influencing fitness and competitive outcomes. We tested the core hypotheses of soil community feedback theory: plant species culture distinct soil communities that alter plant performance and the outcome of interspecific competition. We applied this framework to inform the repeated dominance of Solidago canadensis in old-field communities. In glasshouse experiments, we examined the effects of soil communities on four plant species' performance in monoculture and outcomes of interspecific competition. We used terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP) analysis to infer differences in the soil communities associated with these plant species. Soil community origin had strong effects on plant performance, changed the intensity of interspecific competition and even reversed whether plant species were limited by conspecifics or heterospecifics. These plant-soil feedbacks are strong enough to upend winners and losers in classic competition models. Plant species cultured significantly different mycorrhizal fungal and bacterial soil communities, indicating that these feedbacks are likely microbiotic in nature. In old-fields and other plant communities, these soil feedbacks appear common, fundamentally alter the intensity and nature of plant competition and potentially maintain diversity while facilitating the dominance of So. canadensis. © 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

  2. 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.

  3. Plant traits and plant biogeography control the biotic resistance provided by generalist herbivores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grutters, B.M.C.; Roijendijk, Yvonne; Verberk, W.C.E.P.; Bakker, E.S.

    2017-01-01

    1.Globalization and climate change trigger species invasions and range shifts, which reshuffle communities at an exceptional rate and expose plant migrants to unfamiliar herbivores. Dominant hypotheses to predict plant success are based on evolutionary novelty: either herbivores are maladapted to

  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. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Sulfur metabolizing microbes dominate microbial communities in Andesite-hosted shallow-sea hydrothermal systems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yao Zhang

    Full Text Available To determine microbial community composition, community spatial structure and possible key microbial processes in the shallow-sea hydrothermal vent systems off NE Taiwan's coast, we examined the bacterial and archaeal communities of four samples collected from the water column extending over a redoxocline gradient of a yellow and four from a white hydrothermal vent. Ribosomal tag pyrosequencing based on DNA and RNA showed statistically significant differences between the bacterial and archaeal communities of the different hydrothermal plumes. The bacterial and archaeal communities from the white hydrothermal plume were dominated by sulfur-reducing Nautilia and Thermococcus, whereas the yellow hydrothermal plume and the surface water were dominated by sulfide-oxidizing Thiomicrospira and Euryarchaeota Marine Group II, respectively. Canonical correspondence analyses indicate that methane (CH(4 concentration was the only statistically significant variable that explains all community cluster patterns. However, the results of pyrosequencing showed an essential absence of methanogens and methanotrophs at the two vent fields, suggesting that CH(4 was less tied to microbial processes in this shallow-sea hydrothermal system. We speculated that mixing between hydrothermal fluids and the sea or meteoric water leads to distinctly different CH(4 concentrations and redox niches between the yellow and white vents, consequently influencing the distribution patterns of the free-living Bacteria and Archaea. We concluded that sulfur-reducing and sulfide-oxidizing chemolithoautotrophs accounted for most of the primary biomass synthesis and that microbial sulfur metabolism fueled microbial energy flow and element cycling in the shallow hydrothermal systems off the coast of NE Taiwan.

  11. Sulfur metabolizing microbes dominate microbial communities in Andesite-hosted shallow-sea hydrothermal systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yao; Zhao, Zihao; Chen, Chen-Tung Arthur; Tang, Kai; Su, Jianqiang; Jiao, Nianzhi

    2012-01-01

    To determine microbial community composition, community spatial structure and possible key microbial processes in the shallow-sea hydrothermal vent systems off NE Taiwan's coast, we examined the bacterial and archaeal communities of four samples collected from the water column extending over a redoxocline gradient of a yellow and four from a white hydrothermal vent. Ribosomal tag pyrosequencing based on DNA and RNA showed statistically significant differences between the bacterial and archaeal communities of the different hydrothermal plumes. The bacterial and archaeal communities from the white hydrothermal plume were dominated by sulfur-reducing Nautilia and Thermococcus, whereas the yellow hydrothermal plume and the surface water were dominated by sulfide-oxidizing Thiomicrospira and Euryarchaeota Marine Group II, respectively. Canonical correspondence analyses indicate that methane (CH(4)) concentration was the only statistically significant variable that explains all community cluster patterns. However, the results of pyrosequencing showed an essential absence of methanogens and methanotrophs at the two vent fields, suggesting that CH(4) was less tied to microbial processes in this shallow-sea hydrothermal system. We speculated that mixing between hydrothermal fluids and the sea or meteoric water leads to distinctly different CH(4) concentrations and redox niches between the yellow and white vents, consequently influencing the distribution patterns of the free-living Bacteria and Archaea. We concluded that sulfur-reducing and sulfide-oxidizing chemolithoautotrophs accounted for most of the primary biomass synthesis and that microbial sulfur metabolism fueled microbial energy flow and element cycling in the shallow hydrothermal systems off the coast of NE Taiwan.

  12. Fungal communities influence decomposition rates of plant litter from two dominant tree species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Asplund, Johan; Kauserud, Håvard; Bokhorst, Stef; Lie, Marit H.; Ohlson, Mikael; Nybakken, Line

    The home-field advantage hypothesis (HFA) predicts that plant litter decomposes faster than expected underneath the plant from which it originates. We tested this hypothesis in a decomposition experiment where litters were incubated reciprocally in neighbouring European beech and Norway spruce

  13. 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.

  14. Facilitated establishment of Quercus ilex in shrub-dominated communities within a Mediterranean ecosystem: do mycorrhizal partners matter?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard, Franck; Selosse, Marc-André; Gardes, Monique

    2009-04-01

    Positive plant-plant interaction is a widespread phenomenon, especially in harsh environments, which can contribute to secondary successions. Here, we investigated whether Arbutus unedo positively influences Quercus ilex establishment in shrub communities by abiotic and/or biotic interactions in a Mediterranean forest ecosystem, where we previously showed that A. unedo and Q. ilex share numerous species of mycorrhizal fungi. In a first field experiment, patterns of Q. ilex survivorship were documented. During the summer following germination, a majority of seedlings survived in A. unedo chaparral (AU), whereas most of them died in previous succession stages dominated by Erica arborea (EA). These results showed that survival of the Q. ilex seedling is succession stage dependent, probably due to the differential effects of the summer drought. In a second experiment, Q. ilex seedlings were used as bait plants to investigate the mycorrhizal inoculum in EA and AU. Morphotyping and molecular typing revealed 2.5 times higher colonization in AU than in EA, with more diverse fungi. Our results demonstrate that A. unedo facilitates mycorrhization of Q. ilex by hosting compatible ectomycorrhizal symbionts and positively influences seedling survival by buffering abiotic conditions. A comprehensive understanding of facilitation should thus include investigations of the soil biological patterns.

  15. Tundra plant above-ground biomass and shrub dominance mapped across the North Slope of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berner, Logan T.; Jantz, Patrick; Tape, Ken D.; Goetz, Scott J.

    2018-03-01

    Arctic tundra is becoming greener and shrubbier due to recent warming. This is impacting climate feedbacks and wildlife, yet the spatial distribution of plant biomass in tundra ecosystems is uncertain. In this study, we mapped plant and shrub above-ground biomass (AGB; kg m-2) and shrub dominance (%; shrub AGB/plant AGB) across the North Slope of Alaska by linking biomass harvests at 28 field sites with 30 m resolution Landsat satellite imagery. We first developed regression models (p plant AGB (r 2 = 0.79) and shrub AGB (r 2 = 0.82) based on the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) derived from imagery acquired by Landsat 5 and 7. We then predicted regional plant and shrub AGB by combining these regression models with a regional Landsat NDVI mosaic built from 1721 summer scenes acquired between 2007 and 2016. Our approach employed a Monte Carlo uncertainty analysis that propagated sampling and sensor calibration errors. We estimated that plant AGB averaged 0.74 (0.60, 0.88) kg m-2 (95% CI) and totaled 112 (91, 135) Tg across the region, with shrub AGB accounting for ~43% of regional plant AGB. The new maps capture landscape variation in plant AGB visible in high resolution satellite and aerial imagery, notably shrubby riparian corridors. Modeled shrub AGB was strongly correlated with field measurements of shrub canopy height at 25 sites (rs  = 0.88) and with a regional map of shrub cover (rs  = 0.76). Modeled plant AGB and shrub dominance were higher in shrub tundra than graminoid tundra and increased between areas with the coldest and warmest summer air temperatures, underscoring the fact that future warming has the potential to greatly increase plant AGB and shrub dominance in this region. These new biomass maps provide a unique source of ecological information for a region undergoing rapid environmental change.

  16. From lithotroph- to organotroph-dominant: directional shift of microbial community in sulphidic tailings during phytostabilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiaofang; Bond, Philip L.; Van Nostrand, Joy D.; Zhou, Jizhong; Huang, Longbin

    2015-01-01

    Engineering microbial diversity to enhance soil functions may improve the success of direct revegetation in sulphidic mine tailings. Therefore, it is essential to explore how remediation and initial plant establishment can alter microbial communities, and, which edaphic factors control these changes under field conditions. A long-term revegetation trial was established at a Pb-Zn-Cu tailings impoundment in northwest Queensland. The control and amended and/or revegetated treatments were sampled from the 3-year-old trial. In total, 24 samples were examined using pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes and various chemical properties. The results showed that the microbial diversity was positively controlled by soil soluble Si and negatively controlled by soluble S, total Fe and total As, implying that pyrite weathering posed a substantial stress on microbial development in the tailings. All treatments were dominated by typical extremophiles and lithotrophs, typically Truepera, Thiobacillus, Rubrobacter; significant increases in microbial diversity, biomass and frequency of organotrophic genera (typically Nocardioides and Altererythrobacter) were detected in the revegetated and amended treatment. We concluded that appropriate phytostabilization options have the potential to drive the microbial diversity and community structure in the tailings toward those of natural soils, however, inherent environmental stressors may limit such changes. PMID:26268667

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Vernacular dominance in folk taxonomy: a case study of ethnospecies in medicinal plant trade in Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otieno, Joseph; Abihudi, Siri; Veldman, Sarina; Nahashon, Michael; van Andel, Tinde; de Boer, Hugo J

    2015-02-19

    Medicinal plants are traded as products with vernacular names, but these folk taxonomies do not always correspond one-to-one with scientific plant names. These local species entities can be defined as ethnospecies and can match, under-differentiate or over-differentiate as compared to scientific species. Identification of plant species in trade is further complicated by the processed state of the product, substitution and adulteration. In countries like Tanzania, an additional dimension to mapping folk taxonomies on scientific names is added by the multitude of ethnicities and languages of the plant collectors, traders and consumers. This study aims to elucidate the relations between the most common vernacular names and the ethnicity of the individual traders among the medicinal plant markets in Dar es Salaam and Tanga regions in Tanzania, with the aim of understanding the dynamics of vernacular names in plant trade. A total of 90 respondents were interviewed in local markets using semi-structured interviews. The ethnicity of each respondent was recorded, as well as the language of each ethnospecies mentioned during the interviews. Voucher collections and reference literature were used to match ethnospecies across languages. At each market, the language of the majority of the vendors dominates the names for medicinal products. The dominant vendors often represent the major ethnic groups of that region. Independent of their ethnicity, vendors offer their products in the dominant language of the specific region without apparently leading to any confusion or species mismatching. Middlemen, traders and vendors adapt their folk classifications to those of the ethnic groups of the region where they conduct their trade, and to the ethnicity of their main customers. The names in the language of the traders are not forgotten, but relegated in favor of the more salient names of the dominant tribe.

  20. Carbon cost of plant nitrogen acquisition: global carbon cycle impact from an improved plant nitrogen cycle in the Community Land Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Mingjie; Fisher, Joshua B; Brzostek, Edward R; Phillips, Richard P

    2016-03-01

    Plants typically expend a significant portion of their available carbon (C) on nutrient acquisition - C that could otherwise support growth. However, given that most global terrestrial biosphere models (TBMs) do not include the C cost of nutrient acquisition, these models fail to represent current and future constraints to the land C sink. Here, we integrated a plant productivity-optimized nutrient acquisition model - the Fixation and Uptake of Nitrogen Model - into one of the most widely used TBMs, the Community Land Model. Global plant nitrogen (N) uptake is dynamically simulated in the coupled model based on the C costs of N acquisition from mycorrhizal roots, nonmycorrhizal roots, N-fixing microbes, and retranslocation (from senescing leaves). We find that at the global scale, plants spend 2.4 Pg C yr(-1) to acquire 1.0 Pg N yr(-1) , and that the C cost of N acquisition leads to a downregulation of global net primary production (NPP) by 13%. Mycorrhizal uptake represented the dominant pathway by which N is acquired, accounting for ~66% of the N uptake by plants. Notably, roots associating with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi - generally considered for their role in phosphorus (P) acquisition - are estimated to be the primary source of global plant N uptake owing to the dominance of AM-associated plants in mid- and low-latitude biomes. Overall, our coupled model improves the representations of NPP downregulation globally and generates spatially explicit patterns of belowground C allocation, soil N uptake, and N retranslocation at the global scale. Such model improvements are critical for predicting how plant responses to altered N availability (owing to N deposition, rising atmospheric CO2 , and warming temperatures) may impact the land C sink. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. Dominance and Diversity of Bird Community in Floodplain Forest Ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karel Poprach

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper is aimed to assessment of diversity and structure of bird community in floodplain forest ecosystem. Authors present results of analyses data on bird communities obtained at two transects in the Litovelské Pomoraví Protected Landscape Area (Czech Republic in the period 1998–2012. Research of bird communities was carried out using the point-count method. The article deals with qualitative and quantitative representation of breeding bird species, including their relation to habitat type (closed floodplain forest, ecotone. Altogether 63 breeding species were recorded at the Vrapač transect and 67 at the Litovelské luhy transect, respectively. To be able to detect all recorded species, 11 out of 14 years of monitoring were needed at the Vrapač transect and all 8 years of monitoring at the Litovelské luhy transect, respectively. Authors show that the values in dominant bird species change significantly among the particular census dates within one season, mainly with respect to their activity and detectability. Results are discussed in the frame of sustainable forest management in floodplain forest ecosystems. The presented article can promote to discussion aimed to management strategy for floodplain forest ecosystems, which ranks among natural habitat types of Community interest protected under the Natura 2000 European network.

  4. 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.

  5. Seagrass community dynamics in a subtropical estuarine lagoon

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thorhaug, A.; Roessler, M.A.

    1977-11-01

    The temporal and spatial distributions of major plant and animal species were investigated for 4 years in south Biscayne Bay including Card Sound, Florida, a subtropical estuarine lagoon. This was part of a larger study including chemical, physical and geological investigations. The major species of plants were Thalassia testudinum Banks ex Konig, turtle grass, Laurencia poitei (Lamour.) Howe, a red macroalga and the green algae Penicillus capitatus Lamarck and Halimeda incrassata (Ellis) Lamour. Standing crop and production of plant material taken bi-weekly is given in detail for 16 stations in Card Sound for the 4-year period and for eight stations in Biscayne Bay for a 1-year period. The major animal species were not equally distributed; in the near-shore Thalassia community, species of Pagurus, Neopanope, Hippolyte, Cerithium, Bulla, Prunum and Modulus were dominant. In mid-bay, where patchy Thalassia plus green algae occurred, Thor and Chondrilla were the dominant animals. Near the fringing islands, where tidal flow caused more oceanic conditions, the community was dominated by sponges, urchins and corals. This highlights the structural differences in what is now termed the ''Thalassia community.'' Comparisons with other known Thalassia communities are made.

  6. Elevational characteristics of the archaeal community in full-scale activated sludge wastewater treatment plants at a 3,660-meter elevational scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niu, Lihua; Zhang, Xue; Li, Yi; Wang, Peifang; Zhang, Wenlong; Wang, Chao; Wang, Qing

    2017-07-01

    Due to the important roles of archaea in wastewater treatment processes, archaeal communities have been studied extensively in various anaerobic reactors, but the knowledge of archaeal communities in full-scale activated sludge wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) remains quite poor. In this study, 454-pyrosequencing was for the first time employed to investigate archaeal communities from 20 full-scale activated sludge WWTPs distributed at a 3,660-meter elevational scale in China. Results showed that archaeal communities from WWTPs were dominated by Methanosarcinales (84.6%). A core archaeal population (94.5%) composed of Methanosaeta, Methanosarcina, Methanogenium and Methanobrevibacter was shared among WWTPs. The elevational pattern of archaeal communities was observed in WWTPs, with an elevational threshold associated with archaeal community richness and structures at approximately 1,500 meters above sea level (masl). A declining trend in community richness with increasing elevation was observed at higher elevations, whereas no trend was presented at lower elevations. Spearman correlation analysis indicated that the archaeal community richness at higher elevations was associated with more environmental variables than that at lower elevations. Redundancy analysis indicated that wastewater variables were the dominant contributors to the variation of community structures at higher elevations, followed by operational variables and elevation.

  7. Changes in marine fish community under influence of Leningrad nuclear power plant and another human activities in the watershed of Koporskaya Bay (Gulf of Finland, Baltic Sea)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zimin, V.L.

    1999-01-01

    The long-time observations (1978-1997) in the Leningrad nuclear power plant cooling water-body (Koporskaya Bay) in the frame of the Regional Ecological Monitoring Program provided reliable data on the local fish community state. Regular observations allow us to trace structural changes in fish community, because they follow changes on physiological and population levels in this community. 45 species of fishes and lamprey were recorded during all investigation period. However, the species diversity is very poor. Wittaker dominance-diversity curves reflect degradation in the coastal fish community being under influence of the complex industrial and agricultural factors. The fish community is now dominated by only 2-3 species, especially threespined stickleback and ninespined stickleback; while the first species more abundant then the second one as far as ∼10 times

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. A framework for quantifying the extent of impact to plants from linear construction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Jun; Shi, Peng; Wang, Ya-Feng; Yu, Yang; Yang, Lei

    2017-05-30

    We present a novel framework that accurately evaluates the extent of a linear project's effect from the variability of the structure of the plant community while avoiding interference caused by pioneer species and invasive species. This framework was based on the change of dominant species in the plant community affected by construction. TWINSPAN classification and variation of the integrated importance value (IIV) of each plant species group were used to characterize the process of change in the structure of the plant community. Indicator species group and its inflection point were defined and used to judge the extent of the effects of pipelines. Our findings revealed that dominant species in the working area of the pipeline construction were different from the original plant communities. With the disturbance decreased, the composition and structure of the plant communities gradually changed. We considered the outer limit of the area affected by the construction to be the first area in which the plant community reached a steady state and was similar to the original community. The framework could be used in the post eco-environment impact assessment of linear construction to estimate the intensity of disturbance and recovery condition.

  12. 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.

  13. [Succession pattern of artificial vegetation community and its ecological mechanism in an arid desert region].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Cailin; Li, Zizhen

    2003-09-01

    Focusing on the artificial vegetation protection system of the Shapotou section of Baotou-Lanzhou railway in the arid desert region of China, this paper examined the dynamics of dominant plant species and the succession pattern of artificial plant community in the process of establishing and developing regional artificial vegetation. It also studied the driving force and the ecologically intrinsic mechanism of the community succession. The results demonstrated that the species composition of the artificial vegetation dramatically changed after 40 years of succession, from original artificial plant community of shrub and semi-shrub to artificial-natural desert plant community with annual herb dominated. During the process of succession, the importance values of artificial shrubs, such as Caragana korshinskii and Hedysarum scoparius, decreased and gradually retreated from the artificial plant community, while the naturally multiplied annual herb, such as Eragrostis poaeoides, Bassia dasyphylla, Salsola ruthenica, Chloris virgata and etc., were presented one after another and gradually became dominant. Besides, Artemisia ordosica always played a key role in the community due to its ability of naturally sowing and self-replacement. This type of succession pattern was closely related to the shortage of precipitation resource in this region and the formation of soil crust which inhibited the reproduction of shrub and perennial herb with deep root systems. This study provided a theoretical ground for realizing persistent development of artificial plant community.

  14. Positive feedback between mycorrhizal fungi and plants influences plant invasion success and resistance to invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qian; Yang, Ruyi; Tang, Jianjun; Yang, Haishui; Hu, Shuijin; Chen, Xin

    2010-08-24

    Negative or positive feedback between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and host plants can contribute to plant species interactions, but how this feedback affects plant invasion or resistance to invasion is not well known. Here we tested how alterations in AMF community induced by an invasive plant species generate feedback to the invasive plant itself and affect subsequent interactions between the invasive species and its native neighbors. We first examined the effects of the invasive forb Solidago canadensis L. on AMF communities comprising five different AMF species. We then examined the effects of the altered AMF community on mutualisms formed with the native legume forb species Kummerowia striata (Thunb.) Schindl. and on the interaction between the invasive and native plants. The host preferences of the five AMF were also assessed to test whether the AMF form preferred mutualistic relations with the invasive and/or the native species. We found that S. canadensis altered AMF spore composition by increasing one AMF species (Glomus geosporum) while reducing Glomus mosseae, which is the dominant species in the field. The host preference test showed that S. canadensis had promoted the abundance of AMF species (G. geosporum) that most promoted its own growth. As a consequence, the altered AMF community enhanced the competitiveness of invasive S. canadensis at the expense of K. striata. Our results demonstrate that the invasive S. canadensis alters soil AMF community composition because of fungal-host preference. This change in the composition of the AMF community generates positive feedback to the invasive S. canadensis itself and decreases AM associations with native K. striata, thereby making the native K. striata less dominant.

  15. Positive feedback between mycorrhizal fungi and plants influences plant invasion success and resistance to invasion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qian Zhang

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Negative or positive feedback between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF and host plants can contribute to plant species interactions, but how this feedback affects plant invasion or resistance to invasion is not well known. Here we tested how alterations in AMF community induced by an invasive plant species generate feedback to the invasive plant itself and affect subsequent interactions between the invasive species and its native neighbors. We first examined the effects of the invasive forb Solidago canadensis L. on AMF communities comprising five different AMF species. We then examined the effects of the altered AMF community on mutualisms formed with the native legume forb species Kummerowia striata (Thunb. Schindl. and on the interaction between the invasive and native plants. The host preferences of the five AMF were also assessed to test whether the AMF form preferred mutualistic relations with the invasive and/or the native species. We found that S. canadensis altered AMF spore composition by increasing one AMF species (Glomus geosporum while reducing Glomus mosseae, which is the dominant species in the field. The host preference test showed that S. canadensis had promoted the abundance of AMF species (G. geosporum that most promoted its own growth. As a consequence, the altered AMF community enhanced the competitiveness of invasive S. canadensis at the expense of K. striata. Our results demonstrate that the invasive S. canadensis alters soil AMF community composition because of fungal-host preference. This change in the composition of the AMF community generates positive feedback to the invasive S. canadensis itself and decreases AM associations with native K. striata, thereby making the native K. striata less dominant.

  16. 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

  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. Macroalgal-dominated coastal detritic communities from the Western Mediterranean and the Northeastern Atlantic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. JOHER

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available This is a qualitative comparison of the distribution of macroalgal-dominated coastal detritic communities from the Western Mediterranean and the Northeastern Atlantic, based on our own data from the Balearic Islands (Western Mediterranean and available data from literature. The macroalgal-dominated coastal detritic bottoms from both regions could be distinguished by the presence of a high number of regional exclusive non-carbonated species, and the presence of a high number of maërl-forming species in the Mediterranean. Further, regional differences in the distribution of some exclusive species allowed the distinction of three zones in the Northeastern Atlantic (United Kingdom, French Brittany and Galicia, while no differences were found within the Western Mediterranean. However, the algal communities considered in the selected literature could not be qualitatively distinguished, and all the samples should be considered as maërl beds. Lithothamnion corallioides and Phymatolithon calcareum were the most widespread maërl forming species in the two regions, while in the Western Mediterranean Spongites fruticulosus was also very frequent. According to the differences in the species composition of the basal and erect strata of these beds, and also in their species richness, five different morphologies of macroalgal-dominated detritic bottoms could be distinguished. Their main characteristic species and their biogeographical distribution are detailed.

  19. 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

  20. Plant community responses to climate change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kongstad, J.

    2012-07-01

    Climate change is expected to affect terrestrial ecosystems across the globe with increased atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentration, higher temperatures and changes in precipitation patterns. These environmental factors are drivers of many important ecosystem processes, and changes in ecosystem function are therefore expected in the future. The aim of this PhD-thesis was to examine the effects of climate change on aboveground plant growth, plant composition and plant phenology in Danish heathland ecosystems. Two sites were investigated in large-scale field experiments: 1) the CLIMAITE site, 'Brandbjerg' and 2) the INCREASE site at Mols. Field manipulations lasted years and included: Warming, summer drought and (CLIMAITE only) elevated CO{sub 2} concentrations. The treatments were applied individually and in all possible combinations. Further, at Brandbjerg, but outside the treatment plots, a study was performed on the effects nitrogen and phosphorus addition on phenology, chemistry and growth of the dominant grass Deschampsia flexuosa (Wavy Hairgrass). In general, the aboveground vegetation responded less than expected to changing climatic conditions; even though Calluna vulgaris (Heather) increased in biomass over the study period, the biomass was not affected by the manipulations, indicating that C. vulgaris, has a strong resistance to changes in climate. Also, the grass biomass (primarily D. flexuosa) was not affected and was relatively constant over the period. I argue that the resilience of D. flexuosa towards the climatic treatments came from the plants ability to let the tissue die back, and then quickly recover once conditions again became favourable. That gave the plant a high resilience to changes in climatic factors. Calluna vulgaris, on the other hand, showed a resistance to changes by constantly maintaining the growth during the whole season, probably because of its evergreen status. Together, the two different strategies made the heathland

  1. Sulfate Reducing Bacteria and Mycobacteria Dominate the Biofilm Communities in a Chloraminated Drinking Water Distribution System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez-Smith, C Kimloi; LaPara, Timothy M; Hozalski, Raymond M

    2015-07-21

    The quantity and composition of bacterial biofilms growing on 10 water mains from a full-scale chloraminated water distribution system were analyzed using real-time PCR targeting the 16S rRNA gene and next-generation, high-throughput Illumina sequencing. Water mains with corrosion tubercles supported the greatest amount of bacterial biomass (n = 25; geometric mean = 2.5 × 10(7) copies cm(-2)), which was significantly higher (P = 0.04) than cement-lined cast-iron mains (n = 6; geometric mean = 2.0 × 10(6) copies cm(-2)). Despite spatial variation of community composition and bacterial abundance in water main biofilms, the communities on the interior main surfaces were surprisingly similar, containing a core group of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) assigned to only 17 different genera. Bacteria from the genus Mycobacterium dominated all communities at the main wall-bulk water interface (25-78% of the community), regardless of main age, estimated water age, main material, and the presence of corrosion products. Further sequencing of the mycobacterial heat shock protein gene (hsp65) provided species-level taxonomic resolution of mycobacteria. The two dominant Mycobacteria present, M. frederiksbergense (arithmetic mean = 85.7% of hsp65 sequences) and M. aurum (arithmetic mean = 6.5% of hsp65 sequences), are generally considered to be nonpathogenic. Two opportunistic pathogens, however, were detected at low numbers: M. hemophilum (arithmetic mean = 1.5% of hsp65 sequences) and M. abscessus (arithmetic mean = 0.006% of hsp65 sequences). Sulfate-reducing bacteria from the genus Desulfovibrio, which have been implicated in microbially influenced corrosion, dominated all communities located underneath corrosion tubercules (arithmetic mean = 67.5% of the community). This research provides novel insights into the quantity and composition of biofilms in full-scale drinking water distribution systems, which is critical for assessing the risks to public health and to the

  2. Do intrinsically dominant and subordinate species exist? A test statistic for field data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olff, Han; Bakker, Jan P.

    . We propose a new method to obtain information about processes that structure plant communities. We analysed the relationship between the presence and dominance of species across a range of habitats. A simple regression model was used to describe this relationship for each species. Based on the

  3. Growth Responses of Three Dominant Wetland Plant Species to Various Flooding and Nutrient Levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, S.; Shaffer, G. P.

    2017-12-01

    Coastal Louisiana is experiencing a greater rate of wetland loss than any other wetland system in the United States. This is primarily due to anthropogenic stressors such as flood control levees, backfilling and development of wetlands, and other hydrologic modifications. Methods employed to mitigate wetland loss include the construction of river diversions and assimilation wetlands, which can provide consistent sources of freshwater influx and nutrients to impounded swamps and marshes. It is well known that prolonged flooding causes strain on wetland plant communities and facilitates or exacerbates wetland degradation. However, because river diversions and assimilation wetlands bring high nutrient loads along with freshwater, there is debate over whether prolonged flooding or high influx of nutrients is the primary cause of stress in river diversion and assimilation wetland discharge areas. This mesocosm experiment addresses this question by isolating the effects of flooding and nutrients on the biomass of baldcypress (Taxodium distichum), maidencane (Panicum hemitomon), and cordgrass (Spartina patens) over the course of a growing season. The results of this study provide clarity as to whether flooding stress, high nutrient loads, or both cause a reduction in wetland plant productivity. By evaluating the growth responses of T. distichum, P. hemitomon, and S. patens at varying nutrient regimes, we gain insight on how these more dominant species will react to high nutrient discharges from large river diversions, such as those proposed in Louisiana's 2017 Master Plan.

  4. Illumina amplicon sequencing of 16S rRNA tag reveals bacterial community development in the rhizosphere of apple nurseries at a replant disease site and a new planting site.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian Sun

    Full Text Available We used a next-generation, Illumina-based sequencing approach to characterize the bacterial community development of apple rhizosphere soil in a replant site (RePlant and a new planting site (NewPlant in Beijing. Dwarfing apple nurseries of 'Fuji'/SH6/Pingyitiancha trees were planted in the spring of 2013. Before planting, soil from the apple rhizosphere of the replant site (ReSoil and from the new planting site (NewSoil was sampled for analysis on the Illumina MiSeq platform. In late September, the rhizosphere soil from both sites was resampled (RePlant and NewPlant. More than 16,000 valid reads were obtained for each replicate, and the community was composed of five dominant groups (Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Gemmatimonadetes and Actinobacteria. The bacterial diversity decreased after apple planting. Principal component analyses revealed that the rhizosphere samples were significantly different among treatments. Apple nursery planting showed a large impact on the soil bacterial community, and the community development was significantly different between the replanted and newly planted soils. Verrucomicrobia were less abundant in RePlant soil, while Pseudomonas and Lysobacter were increased in RePlant compared with ReSoil and NewPlant. Both RePlant and ReSoil showed relatively higher invertase and cellulase activities than NewPlant and NewSoil, but only NewPlant soil showed higher urease activity, and this soil also had the higher plant growth. Our experimental results suggest that planting apple nurseries has a significant impact on soil bacterial community development at both replant and new planting sites, and planting on new site resulted in significantly higher soil urease activity and a different bacterial community composition.

  5. Ecological implications of reduced pollen deposition in alpine plants: a case study using a dominant cushion plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, Anya; Hooper, Robyn; Molenda, Olivia; Lortie, Christopher J

    2014-01-01

    The reproductive assurance hypothesis states that self-incompatible female plants must produce twice the number of seeds relative to their self-compatible hermaphroditic counterparts to persist in gynodioecious populations. This is a viable life-history strategy, provided that pollination rates are sufficiently high. However, reduced pollination rates in alpine plants are likely due to climate induced plant-pollinator mismatches and general declines in pollinators. Using a gynodioecious population of the dominant plant Silene acaulis (Caryophyllaceae), we tested the reproductive assurance hypothesis and also the stress gradient hypothesis with a series of pollinator exclusion trials and extensive measurements of subsequent reproductive output (gender ratio, plant size, percent fruit-set, fruit weight, seeds per fruit, total seeds, seed weight, and seed germination). The reproductive assurance hypothesis was supported with female plants being more sensitive to and less likely to be viable under reductions in pollination rates. These findings are the first to show that the stress gradient hypothesis is also supported under a gradient of pollen supply instead of environmental limitations. Beneficiary abundance was negatively correlated to percent fruit-set under current pollen supply, but became positive under reduced pollen supply suggesting that there are important plant-plant-pollinator interactions related to reproduction in these alpine plant species.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Patterns and drivers of plant functional group dominance across the Western Hemisphere: a macroecological re-assessment based on a massive botanical dataset

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Kristine Engemann; Sandel, Brody Steven; Enquist, Brian

    2016-01-01

    a standardized plant species occurrence dataset of unprecedented size covering the entire New World. Functional group distributions were estimated from 3 648 533 standardized occurrence records for a total of 83 854 vascular plant species, extracted from the Botanical Information and Ecology Network (BIEN......Plant functional group dominance has been linked to climate, topography and anthropogenic factors. Here, we assess existing theory linking functional group dominance patterns to their drivers by quantifying the spatial distribution of plant functional groups at a 100-km grid scale. We use......) database. Seven plant functional groups were considered, describing major differences in structure and function: epiphytes; climbers; ferns; herbs; shrubs; coniferous trees; and angiosperm trees. Two measures of dominance (relative number of occurrences and relative species richness) were analysed against...

  10. Characteristics of microbial community involved in early biofilms formation under the influence of wastewater treatment plant effluent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Yuke; Li, Jie; Lu, Junling; Xiao, Lin; Yang, Liuyan

    2018-04-01

    Effluents from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) containing microorganisms and residual nutrients can influence the biofilm formation. Although the process and mechanism of bacterial biofilm formation have been well characterized, little is known about the characteristics and interaction of bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes in the early colonization, especially under the influence of WWTP effluent. The aim of this study was to characterize the important bacterial, archaeal and eukaryotic species in the early stage of biofilm formation downstream of the WWTP outlet. Water and biofilm samples were collected 24 and 48hr after the deposition of bio-cords in the stream. Illumina Miseq sequencing of the 16S and 18S rDNA showed that, among the three domains, the bacterial biofilm community had the largest alpha and beta diversity. The early bacterial colonizers appeared to be "biofilm-specific", with only a few dominant operational taxonomic units (OTUs) shared between the biofilm and the ambient water environment. Alpha-proteobacteria and Ciliophora tended to dominate the bacterial and eukaryotic communities, respectively, of the early biofilm already at 24hr, whereas archaea played only a minor role during the early stage of colonization. The network analysis showed that the three domains of microbial community connected highly during the early colonization and it might be a characteristic of the microbial communities in the biofilm formation process where co-occurrence relationships could drive coexistence and diversity maintenance within the microbial communities. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Plant height revertants of Dominant Semidwarf mutant rice created by low-energy ion irradiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu Binmei [Key Laboratory of Ion Beam Bioengineering, Institute of Plasma Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei 230031 (China); Wu Yuejin [Key Laboratory of Ion Beam Bioengineering, Institute of Plasma Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei 230031 (China)], E-mail: yjwu@ipp.ac.cn; Xu Xue; Song, M.; Zhao, M. [Key Laboratory of Ion Beam Bioengineering, Institute of Plasma Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei 230031 (China); Fu, X.D. [Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101 (China)

    2008-04-15

    Dominant Semidwarf mutant rice (Sdd) was obtained from its wild type (WT) by irradiation with a low-energy ion beam. Six tall revertants of Sdd were induced by irradiation. The revertants restored the plant height to that of WT plants. Investigation of the agronomic character and genetic analysis indicate that the revertants are similar to WT plants with putative different inherited mutations. The revertants were checked for DNA differences using the simple sequence repeat technique. Among 408 such primers used, only 2 primers detected mutation sites in the revertants, which provided the molecular evidence for the revertants induced from Sdd. This study indicates that ion irradiation may be used as a mutagen to create revertants for plant architecture studies and could be a new application.

  15. Understory cover responses to pinon-juniper treatments across tree dominance gradients in the Great Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piñon (Pinus spp.) and juniper (Juniperus spp.) trees are reduced to restore native vegetation and avoid high severity fires where they have invaded sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.) communities. To recommend treatment implementation which avoids threshold-crossing to invasive plant dominance w...

  16. Vegetation structure of plantain-based agrosystems determines numerical dominance in community of ground-dwelling ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dassou, Anicet Gbéblonoudo; Tixier, Philippe; Dépigny, Sylvain; Carval, Dominique

    2017-01-01

    In tropics, ants can represent an important part of animal biomass and are known to be involved in ecosystem services, such as pest regulation. Understanding the mechanisms underlying the structuring of local ant communities is therefore important in agroecology. In the humid tropics of Africa, plantains are cropped in association with many other annual and perennial crops. Such agrosystems differ greatly in vegetation diversity and structure and are well-suited for studying how habitat-related factors affect the ant community. We analysed abundance data for the six numerically dominant ant taxa in 500 subplots located in 20 diversified, plantain-based fields. We found that the density of crops with foliage at intermediate and high canopy strata determined the numerical dominance of species. We found no relationship between the numerical dominance of each ant taxon with the crop diversity. Our results indicate that the manipulation of the densities of crops with leaves in the intermediate and high strata may help maintain the coexistence of ant species by providing different habitat patches. Further research in such agrosystems should be performed to assess if the effect of vegetation structure on ant abundance could result in efficient pest regulation.

  17. 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

  18. Management of Peatland Shrub- and Forest-Dominated Communities for Threatened and Endangered Species

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Robertson, Kevin

    1998-01-01

    ... or agricultural uses, and they support several threatened, endangered, and sensitive species (TES). Several of these plant communities are rare due to alterations in fire and hydrology over large expanses of the region...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  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. 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.

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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)

  9. 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

  10. Effect of livestock grazing in the partitions of a semiarid plant-plant spatial signed network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saiz, Hugo; Alados, Concepción L.

    2014-08-01

    In recent times, network theory has become a useful tool to study the structure of the interactions in ecological communities. However, typically, these approaches focus on a particular kind of interaction while neglecting other possible interactions present in the ecosystem. Here, we present an ecological network for plant communities that consider simultaneously positive and negative interactions, which were derived from the spatial association and segregation between plant species. We employed this network to study the structure and the association strategies in a semiarid plant community of Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park, SE Spain, and how they changed in 4 sites that differed in stocking rate. Association strategies were obtained from the partitions of the network, built based on a relaxed structural balance criterion. We found that grazing simplified the structure of the plant community. With increasing stocking rate species with no significant associations became dominant and the number of partitions decreased in the plant community. Independently of stocking rate, many species presented an associative strategy in the plant community because they benefit from the association to certain ‘nurse’ plants. These ‘nurses’ together with species that developed a segregating strategy, intervened in most of the interactions in the community. Ecological networks that combine links with different signs provide a new insight to analyze the structure of natural communities and identify the species which play a central role in them.

  11. Conversion of sagebrush shrublands to exotic annual grasslands negatively impacts small mammal communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostoja, S.M.; Schupp, E.W.

    2009-01-01

    Aim The exotic annual cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) is fast replacing sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) communities throughout the Great Basin Desert and nearby regions in the Western United States, impacting native plant communities and altering fire regimes, which contributes to the long-term persistence of this weedy species. The effect of this conversion on native faunal communities remains largely unexamined. We assess the impact of conversion from native perennial to exotic annual plant communities on desert rodent communities. Location Wyoming big sagebrush shrublands and nearby sites previously converted to cheatgrass-dominated annual grasslands in the Great Basin Desert, Utah, USA. Methods At two sites in Tooele County, Utah, USA, we investigated with Sherman live trapping whether intact sagebrush vegetation and nearby converted Bromus tectorum-dominated vegetation differed in rodent abundance, diversity and community composition. Results Rodent abundance and species richness were considerably greater in sagebrush plots than in cheatgrass-dominated plots. Nine species were captured in sagebrush plots; five of these were also trapped in cheatgrass plots, all at lower abundances than in the sagebrush. In contrast, cheatgrass-dominated plots had no species that were not found in sagebrush. In addition, the site that had been converted to cheatgrass longer had lower abundances of rodents than the site more recently converted to cheatgrass-dominated plots. Despite large differences in abundances and species richness, Simpson's D diversity and Shannon-Wiener diversity and Brillouin evenness indices did not differ between sagebrush and cheatgrass-dominated plots. Main conclusions This survey of rodent communities in native sagebrush and in converted cheatgrass-dominated vegetation suggests that the abundances and community composition of rodents may be shifting, potentially at the larger spatial scale of the entire Great Basin, where cheatgrass continues to invade

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. Modeling dynamics of tundra plant communities on the Yamal Peninsula, Russia, in response to climate change and grazing pressure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu, Q; Epstein, H E; Frost, G V; Walker, D A; Forbes, B C

    2011-01-01

    Understanding the responses of the arctic tundra biome to a changing climate requires knowledge of the complex interactions among the climate, soils and biological system. This study investigates the individual and interaction effects of climate change and reindeer grazing across a variety of climate zones and soil texture types on tundra vegetation community dynamics using an arctic vegetation model that incorporates the reindeer diet, where grazing is a function of both foliar nitrogen concentration and reindeer forage preference. We found that grazing is important, in addition to the latitudinal climate gradient, in controlling tundra plant community composition, explaining about 13% of the total variance in model simulations for all arctic tundra subzones. The decrease in biomass of lichen, deciduous shrub and graminoid plant functional types caused by grazing is potentially dampened by climate warming. Moss biomass had a nonlinear response to increased grazing intensity, and such responses were stronger when warming was present. Our results suggest that evergreen shrubs may benefit from increased grazing intensity due to their low palatability, yet a growth rate sensitivity analysis suggests that changes in nutrient uptake rates may result in different shrub responses to grazing pressure. Heavy grazing caused plant communities to shift from shrub tundra toward moss, graminoid-dominated tundra in subzones C and D when evergreen shrub growth rates were decreased in the model. The response of moss, lichen and forbs to warming varied across the different subzones. Initial vegetation responses to climate change during transient warming are different from the long term equilibrium responses due to shifts in the controlling mechanisms (nutrient limitation versus competition) within tundra plant communities.

  15. Photophysiological and light absorption properties of phytoplankton communities in the river-dominated margin of the northern Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakraborty, Sumit; Lohrenz, Steven E.; Gundersen, Kjell

    2017-06-01

    Spatial and temporal variability in photophysiological properties of phytoplankton were examined in relationship to phytoplankton community composition in the river-dominated continental margin of the northern Gulf of Mexico (NGOM). Observations made during five research cruises in the NGOM included phytoplankton photosynthetic and optical properties and associated environmental conditions and phytoplankton community structure. Distinct patterns of spatial and temporal variability in photophysiological parameters were found for waters dominated by different phytoplankton groups. Photophysiological properties for locations associated with dominance by a particular group of phytoplankton showed evidence of photoacclimation as reflected by differences in light absorption and pigment characteristics in relationship to different light environments. The maximum rate of photosynthesis normalized to chlorophyll (PmaxB) was significantly higher for communities dominated (>60% biomass) by cyanobacteria + prochlorophyte (cyano + prochl). The initial slope of the photosynthesis-irradiance (P-E) curve normalized to chlorophyll (αB) was not clearly related to phytoplankton community structure and no significant differences were found in PmaxB and αB between different geographic regions. In contrast, maximum quantum yield of carbon fixation in photosynthesis (Φcmax) differed significantly between regions and was higher for diatom-dominated communities. Multiple linear regression models, specific for the different phytoplankton communities, using a combination of environmental and bio-optical proxies as predictor variables showed considerable promise for estimation of the photophysiological parameters on a regional scale. Such an approach may be utilized to develop size class-specific or phytoplankton group-specific primary productivity models for the NGOM.Plain Language SummaryThis study examined the relationships between phytoplankton community composition and associated

  16. [Diversity and classification system of weed community in Harbin City, China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xiao-Shuang; Liang, Hong; Song, Kun; Da, Liang-Jun

    2014-08-01

    To analyze the causes of weed community diversity and their strategies of adaption to the high heterogeneity of urban habitats, weed communities in the central urban area of Harbin, China were studied, and a classification system was established for the weed communities. There were 175 weed species, belonging to 128 genera and 38 families. The heterogeneous urban habitats and species' temporal niche differentiation resulted in the highly diversified weed communities. The high proportions of mono-species dominance and annual species dominance communities were their response to the unstable urban habitats under human disturbances with high intensities and frequencies. A four-level classification system was established in terms of plant species and habitat conditions. Within this system, the identified 1763 weed communities could be categorized into two types of life form, 5 types of dormancy form, 22 community groups, and 119 dominance communities.

  17. Main Effect QTL with Dominance Determines Heterosis for Dynamic Plant Height in Upland Cotton

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lianguang Shang

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Plant height, which shows dynamic development and heterosis, is a major trait affecting plant architecture and has an indirect influence on economic yield related to biological yield in cotton. In the present study, we carried out dynamic analysis for plant height and its heterosis by quantitative trait loci (QTL mapping at multiple developmental stages using two recombinant inbred lines (RILs and their backcross progeny. At the single-locus level, 47 QTL were identified at five developmental stages in two hybrids. In backcross populations, QTL identified at an early stage mainly showed partial effects and QTL detected at a later stage mostly displayed overdominance effects. At the two-locus level, we found that main effect QTL played a more important role than epistatic QTL in the expression of heterosis in backcross populations. Therefore, this study implies that the genetic basis of plant height heterosis shows dynamic character and main effect QTL with dominance determines heterosis for plant height in Upland cotton.

  18. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ballesteros, Enric

    1993-12-01

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

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

  1. Variations in Vegetation Structure, Species Dominance and Plant Communities in South of the Eastern Desert-Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fawzy SALAMA

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available For two successive years, the floristic diversity and vegetation composition in the southern part of the Eastern Desert ofEgypt were investigated through four transects (3 crossing the Eastern Desert and one along the Red Sea. The data collected from 142 stands covering the study area included the species composition, functional groups, chorology and occurrences (Qvalues. A total of 94 plant species belonging to 33 different families were recorded, with Asteracea, Zygophyllaceae, Fabaceae,Poaceae, Chenopodiaceae and Brassicaceae as the largest families. Shrubs represented the largest functional group (39.4%, while perennial herbs represented the smallest ones (12.8%. Species occurrence (Q-value revealed that Zilla spinosa, Acacia tortilis subsp raddiana, Morettia philaeana, Caroxylon imbricatum, Zygophyllum coccineum and Citrullus colocynthis had wide ecological range of distribution (dominant species, Q-values 0.2. Saharo-Arabian chorotype was highly represented (72.6 % in the flora of this area, eventually as mono, bi or pluriregional. Classification of the data set yielded 7 vegetation groups included: (A Zilla spinosa-Morettia philaeana, (B1 Zilla spinosa-Citrullus colocynthis-Morettia philaeana, (B2 Zilla spinosa, (C1Zygophyllum album-Tamarix nilotica, (C2 Zygophyllum coccineum-Tamarix nilotica, (D1 Zilla spinosa-Zygophyllum coccineum and (D2 Zilla spinosa-Acacia tortilis subsp. raddiana-Tamarix aphylla-Balanites aegyptiaca. Certain vegetation groups were assigned to one or more transects. Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA revealed that electrical conductivity, sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chlorides, moisture content, sulphates, pH, organic matter and gravel were the soil variables that affect the species distribution in this study.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Carbon balance modification in Sphagnum-dominated peat mesocosms invaded by Molinia caerulea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leroy, Fabien; Gogo, Sébastien; Guimbaud, Christophe; Bernard-Jannin, Léonard; Laggoun-Défarge, Fatima

    2017-04-01

    Plant communities have a key role in regulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in peatland ecosystems and thus on their capacity to act as carbon (C) sink. However, in response to global change, boreal and temperate peatlands may shift from Sphagnum to vascular plant-dominated peatlands that may alter their C-sink function. We set up a mesocosm experiment to investigate how the main GHG fluxes (CO2 and CH4) are affected by plant community modification from Sphagnum mosses to Molinia caerulea dominance. Gross primary production (GPP), ecosystem respiration (ER) and CH4 emissions models were used to compare the C balance and global warming potential under both vegetation cover. While the annual CO2 and CH4 emissions modeling estimated an output of respectively 652 and 18 gC m-2 y-1 in Sphagnum mesocosms, it represented a release of 1473 and 50 gC m-2 y-1 with Molinia caerulea occurrence. Annual modeled GPP was respectively -495 and -1968 gC m-2 y-1 in Sphagnum and Molinia mesocosms leading to a net ecosystem carbon balance (NECB) of 175 g gC m-2 y-1 in Sphagnum mesocosms (i.e., a C-source) and of -445 gC m-2 y-1 for Molinia ones (i.e., a C-sink). Even if CH4 emission accounted for a small part of the gaseous C efflux ( 3%), its global warming potential value to get CO2 equivalent makes both plant communities acting as a warming climate effect. The vegetation shift from Sphagnum mosses to Molinia caerulea seems beneficial for C sequestration regarding the gaseous pool. However, roots and litters of Molinia caerulea could further provide substrates for C emissions and dissolved organic C release.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Community composition and cellulase activity of cellulolytic bacteria from forest soils planted with broad-leaved deciduous and evergreen trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jiang-Ke; Zhang, Jing-Jing; Yu, Heng-Yu; Cheng, Jian-Wen; Miao, Li-Hong

    2014-02-01

    Cellulolytic bacteria in forest soil provide carbon sources to improve the soil fertility and sustain the nutrient balance of the forest ecological system through the decomposition of cellulosic remains. These bacteria can also be utilized for the biological conversion of biomass into renewable biofuels. In this study, the community compositions and activities of cellulolytic bacteria in the soils of forests planted with broad-leaved deciduous (Chang Qing Garden, CQG) and broad-leaved evergreen (Forest Park, FP) trees in Wuhan, China were resolved through restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and sequencing analysis of the 16S rRNA gene. All of the isolates exhibited 35 RFLP fingerprint patterns and were clustered into six groups at a similarity level of 50 %. The phylogeny analysis based on the 16S rRNA gene sequence revealed that these RFLP groups could be clustered into three phylogenetic groups and further divided into six subgroups at a higher resolution. Group I consists of isolates from Bacillus cereus, Bacillus subtilis complex (I-A) and from Paenibacillus amylolyticus-related complex (I-B) and exhibited the highest cellulase activity among all of the cellulolytic bacteria isolates. Cluster II consists of isolates belonging to Microbacterium testaceum (II-A), Chryseobacterium indoltheticum (II-B), and Flavobacterium pectinovorum and the related complex (II-C). Cluster III consists of isolates belonging to Pseudomonas putida-related species. The community shift with respect to the plant species and the soil properties was evidenced by the phylogenetic composition of the communities. Groups I-A and I-B, which account for 36.0 % of the cellulolytic communities in the CQG site, are the dominant groups (88.4 %) in the FP site. Alternatively, the ratio of the bacteria belonging to group III (P. putida-related isolates) shifted from 28.0 % in CQG to 4.0 % in FP. The soil nutrient analysis revealed that the CQG site planted with deciduous broad

  12. Predicting invasion in grassland ecosystems: is exotic dominance the real embarrassment of richness?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seabloom, Eric W. [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of MN, St. Paul MN 55108 USA; Borer, Elizabeth T. [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of MN, St. Paul MN 55108 USA; Buckley, Yvonne [ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane Queensland 4072 Australia; Cleland, Elsa E. [Ecology, Behavior & Evolution Section, University of California, San Diego La Jolla CA 92093 USA; Davies, Kendi [Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 80309 USA; Firn, Jennifer [Queensland University of Technology, Biogeosciences, Brisbane Queensland 4000 Australia; Harpole, W. Stanley [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University, Ames IA 50011 USA; Hautier, Yann [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of MN, St. Paul MN 55108 USA; Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190 CH-8057 Zurich Switzerland; Lind, Eric [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of MN, St. Paul MN 55108 USA; MacDougall, Andrew [Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph Ontario N1G 2W1 Canada; Orrock, John L. [Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin, Madison WI 53706 USA; Prober, Suzanne M. [CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences, Private Bag 5 Wembley WA 6913 Australia; Adler, Peter [Department of Wildland Resources and the Ecology Center, Utah State University, Logan UT 84322 USA; Alberti, Juan [Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (UNMdP-CONICET), Mar del Plata Argentina; Michael Anderson, T. [Department of Biology, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem NC 27109 USA; Bakker, Jonathan D. [School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle WA 98195-4115 USA; Biederman, Lori A. [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University, Ames IA 50011 USA; Blumenthal, Dana [Rangeland Resources Research Unit, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Fort Collins CO 80526 USA; Brown, Cynthia S. [Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, Colorado State University, Fort Collins CO 80523 USA; Brudvig, Lars A. [Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing MI 48824 USA; Caldeira, Maria [Centro de Estudos Florestais, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Technical University of Lisbon, Lisbon Portugal; Chu, Chengjin [School of Life Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000 China; Crawley, Michael J. [Department of Biology, Imperial College London, Silwood Park Ascot SL5 7PY UK; Daleo, Pedro [Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (UNMdP-CONICET), Mar del Plata Argentina; Damschen, Ellen I. [Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin, Madison WI 53706 USA; D' Antonio, Carla M. [Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara CA 93106 USA; DeCrappeo, Nicole M. [U.S. Geological Survey Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, Corvallis OR 97331 USA; Dickman, Chris R. [Desert Ecology Research Group, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney NSW 2006 Australia; Du, Guozhen [School of Life Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000 China; Fay, Philip A. [USDA-ARS Grassland Soil and Water Research Lab, Temple TX 76502 USA; Frater, Paul [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University, Ames IA 50011 USA; Gruner, Daniel S. [Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, College Park MD 20742 USA; Hagenah, Nicole [School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Scottsville Pietermaritzburg 3209 South Africa; Department of Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, New Haven CT 06520 USA; Hector, Andrew [Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190 CH-8057 Zurich Switzerland; Helm, Aveliina [Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Tartu, Tartu Estonia; Hillebrand, Helmut [Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment, Carl-von-Ossietzky University, Wilhelmshaven Germany; Hofmockel, Kirsten S. [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University, Ames IA 50011 USA; Humphries, Hope C. [INSTAAR, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 80309-0450 USA; Iribarne, Oscar [Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (UNMdP-CONICET), Mar del Plata Argentina; Jin, Virginia L. [USDA-ARS Agroecosystem Management Research Unit, Lincoln NE 68583 USA; Kay, Adam [Biology Department, University of St. Thomas, Saint Paul MN 55105 USA; Kirkman, Kevin P. [School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Scottsville Pietermaritzburg 3209 South Africa; Klein, Julia A. [Department Forest, Rangeland & Watershed Stewardship, Colorado State University, Fort Collins CO 80523-1472 USA; Knops, Johannes M. H. [School of Biological Sciences, University of Nebraska, Lincoln NE 68588 USA; La Pierre, Kimberly J. [Department of Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, New Haven CT 06520 USA; Ladwig, Laura M. [Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM 87103 USA; Lambrinos, John G. [Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University, Corvallis OR 97331 USA; Leakey, Andrew D. B. [Department of Plant Biology and Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana IL 61801 USA; Li, Qi [Key Laboratory of Adaptation and Evolution of Plateau Biota, Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining 810008 Qinghai China; Li, Wei [Yunnan Academy of Biodiversity, Southwest Forestry University, Kunming 650224 China; McCulley, Rebecca [Department of Plant & Soil Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington KY 40546 USA; Melbourne, Brett [Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 80309 USA; Mitchell, Charles E. [Department of Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill NC 27599 USA; Moore, Joslin L. [Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology, Melbourne, c/o School of Botany, University of Melbourne, Melbourne Victoria 3010 Australia; Morgan, John [Department of Botany, La Trobe University, Bundoora 3086 Victoria Australia; Mortensen, Brent [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University, Ames IA 50011 USA; O' Halloran, Lydia R. [Department of Zoology, Oregon State University, Corvallis OR 97331 USA; Pärtel, Meelis [Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Tartu, Tartu Estonia; Pascual, Jesús [Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (UNMdP-CONICET), Mar del Plata Argentina; Pyke, David A. [U.S. Geological Survey Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, Corvallis OR 97331 USA; Risch, Anita C. [Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, 8903 Birmensdorf Switzerland; Salguero-Gómez, Roberto [ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane Queensland 4072 Australia; Sankaran, Mahesh [National Centre for Biological Sciences, GKVK Campus, Bellary Road Bangalore 560065 India; Schuetz, Martin [Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, 8903 Birmensdorf Switzerland; Simonsen, Anna [Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto, Toronto ON M5S 3B2 Canada; Smith, Melinda [Department of Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins CO 80523 USA; Stevens, Carly [Lancaster Environment Center, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ UK; Sullivan, Lauren [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University, Ames IA 50011 USA; Wardle, Glenda M. [Desert Ecology Research Group, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney NSW 2006 Australia; Wolkovich, Elizabeth M. [Biodiversity Research Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver V6T 1Z4 Canada; Wragg, Peter D. [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of MN, St. Paul MN 55108 USA; Wright, Justin [Department of Biology, Duke University, Durham NC 27708 USA; Yang, Louie [Department of Entomology, University of California, Davis CA 95616 USA

    2013-10-16

    Invasions have increased the size of regional species pools, but are typically assumed to reduce native diversity. However, global-scale tests of this assumption have been elusive because of the focus on exotic species richness, rather than relative abundance. This is problematic because low invader richness can indicate invasion resistance by the native community or, alternatively, dominance by a single exotic species. Here, we used a globally replicated study to quantify relationships between exotic richness and abundance in grass-dominated ecosystems in 13 countries on six continents, ranging from salt marshes to alpine tundra. We tested effects of human land use, native community diversity, herbivore pressure, and nutrient limitation on exotic plant dominance. Despite its widespread use, exotic richness was a poor proxy for exotic dominance at low exotic richness, because sites that contained few exotic species ranged from relatively pristine (low exotic richness and cover) to almost completely exotic-dominated ones (low exotic richness but high exotic cover). Both exotic cover and richness were predicted by native plant diversity (native grass richness) and land use (distance to cultivation). Although climate was important for predicting both exotic cover and richness, climatic factors predicting cover (precipitation variability) differed from those predicting richness (maximum temperature and mean temperature in the wettest quarter). Herbivory and nutrient limitation did not predict exotic richness or cover. Exotic dominance was greatest in areas with low native grass richness at the site- or regional-scale. Although this could reflect native grass displacement, a lack of biotic resistance is a more likely explanation, given that grasses comprise the most aggressive invaders. These findings underscore the need to move beyond richness as a surrogate for the extent of invasion, because this metric confounds monodominance with invasion resistance. Monitoring

  13. Analysis of bacterial communities and bacterial pathogens in a biogas plant by the combination of ethidium monoazide, PCR and Ion Torrent sequencing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Luo, Gang; Angelidaki, Irini

    2014-01-01

    with time were also observed. This could be attributed to varying composition of the influent. Batch experiments showed that the methane recovery from the digested residues (obtained from biogas reactor) was mainly related with post-digestion temperature. However, post-digestion time rather than temperature......The present study investigated the changes of bacterial community composition including bacterial pathogens along a biogas plant, i.e. from the influent, to the biogas reactor and to the post-digester. The effects of post-digestion temperature and time on the changes of bacterial community...... showed that the bacterial community composition in the influent was changed after anaerobic digestion. Firmicutes were dominant in all the samples, while Proteobacteria decreased in the biogas reactor compared with the influent. Variations of bacterial community composition in the biogas reactor...

  14. Differential paths to activism: a study of social movement organizations in Three Mile Island communities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cable, S.M.

    1985-01-01

    This project compares political activists from four community protest organizations in Three Mile Island (TMI) communities that were formed as a response of the March 1979 accident at the TMI nuclear power plant. These organizations constituted four separate groups of activists concerned with the same set of grievances. The purpose of the study was to compare the activists across groups to assess differential paths to activism. The data were gathered over a three-year period from March 1979 to March 1982 and included monthly newsletters published by the organizations, newspaper accounts of relevant events; and a systematic survey of 149 of the most active participants. The thesis of differential paths to activism was supported by the data; two relatively distinct paths were found to dominate the TMI communities. In the path that dominated in communities within five miles of the plant, activists tended to be older, more conservative, and less ideologically inclined to protest prior to the accident. In the path to activism that dominated in communities further from the plant site, activists tended to be younger, more liberal, and more experienced in protests

  15. Wildfires in northern Siberian larch dominated communities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kharuk, Viacheslav I; Dvinskaya, Maria L; Im, Sergey T; Ranson, Kenneth J

    2011-01-01

    The fire history of the northern larch forests within the permafrost zone in a portion of northern Siberia (∼66°N, 100°E) was studied. Since there is little to no human activity in this area, fires within the study area were mostly caused by lightning. Fire return intervals (FRI) were estimated on the basis of burn marks on tree stems and dates of tree natality. FRI values varied from 130 to 350 yr with a 200 ± 50 yr mean. For southerly larch dominated communities, FRI was found to be shorter (77 ± 20 yr at ∼ 61°N, and 82 ± 7 at 64°N), and it was longer at the northern boundary (∼71°) of larch stands (320 ± 50 yr). During the Little Ice Age period in the 16th–18th centuries, FRI was approximately twice as long those as recorded in this study. Fire caused changes in the soil including increases in soil drainage and permafrost thawing depth, and a radial growth increase to about twice the background value (with more than six times observed in extreme cases). This effect may simulate the predicted warming impact on the larch growth in the permafrost zone.

  16. Dominant role of plant physiology in trend and variability of gross primary productivity in North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Sha; Zhang, Yao; Ciais, Philippe; Xiao, Xiangming; Luo, Yiqi; Caylor, Kelly K.; Huang, Yuefei; Wang, Guangqian

    2017-02-01

    Annual gross primary productivity (GPP) varies considerably due to climate-induced changes in plant phenology and physiology. However, the relative importance of plant phenology and physiology on annual GPP variation is not clear. In this study, a Statistical Model of Integrated Phenology and Physiology (SMIPP) was used to evaluate the relative contributions of maximum daily GPP (GPPmax) and the start and end of growing season (GSstart and GSend) to annual GPP variability, using a regional GPP product in North America during 2000-2014 and GPP data from 24 AmeriFlux sites. Climatic sensitivity of the three indicators was assessed to investigate the climate impacts on plant phenology and physiology. The SMIPP can explain 98% of inter-annual variability of GPP over mid- and high latitudes in North America. The long-term trend and inter-annual variability of GPP are dominated by GPPmax both at the ecosystem and regional scales. During warmer spring and autumn, GSstart is advanced and GSend delayed, respectively. GPPmax responds positively to summer temperature over high latitudes (40-80°N), but negatively in mid-latitudes (25-40°N). This study demonstrates that plant physiology, rather than phenology, plays a dominant role in annual GPP variability, indicating more attention should be paid to physiological change under futher climate change.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. Decomposition of Carex and Sphagnum litter in two mesotrophic fens differing in dominant plant species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Scheffer, R.A.; Van Logtestijn, R. S P; Verhoeven, J. T A

    2001-01-01

    Peatlands can be classified into fens and bogs based on their hydrology. Development of fens to bogs is accompanied by the invasion of Sphagnum species. The purpose of this study was to determine how the decomposition process in fens is influenced by the transition from a vascular plant-dominated

  2. 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

  3. 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

    temperature had no significant effect on total grasshopper density, these weather variables and plant communities had differential influence on the dominant grasshopper species.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Uptake and allocation of 15N in alpine plants. Implications for the importance of competitive ability in predicting community structure in a stressful environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Theodose, T.A.; Jaeger, C.H.; Bowman, W.D.; Schardt, J.C.

    1996-01-01

    Several potential components of competitive ability were determined for 13 plant species in a N-limited alpine moist meadow community in order to determine if competition had an influence on relative abundance in this stressful environment. The components of competitive ability examined were 15 N uptake rate, 15 N allocation, whole plant biomass, root:shoot ratio, and tissue N concentrations. It was hypothesized that 15 N uptake rate would be the component most correlated with relative abundance. However, 15 N uptake rate was negatively correlated with percent cover in the community. In contrast, whole plant biomass and root:shoot ratio were positively correlated with relative abundance. Tissue N concentrations and 15 N allocation were not important predictors of relative abundance. These results suggest that in a harsh environment, high resource uptake rates are not indicative of competitive ability, but may instead by a mechanism by which rare species are able to coexist with competitive dominants. (au) 47 refs

  7. Linking above and belowground responses to global change at community and ecosystem scales.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Antoninka, Anita [Northern Arizona University; Wolf, Julie [Northern Arizona University; Bowker, Matt [Northern Arizona University; Classen, Aimee T [ORNL; JohnsonPhD, Dr Nancy C [Northern Arizona University

    2009-01-01

    Cryptic belowground organisms are difficult to observe and their responses to global changes are not well understood. Nevertheless, there is reason to believe that interactions among above- and belowground communities may mediate ecosystem responses to global change. We used grassland mesocosms to manipulate the abundance of one important group of soil organisms, arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, and to study community and ecosystem responses to CO2 and N enrichment. After two growing seasons, biomass responses of plant communities were recorded, and soil community responses were measured using microscopy, phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) and community-level physiological profiles (CLPP). Ecosystem responses were examined by measuring net primary production (NPP), evapotranspiration, total soil organic matter (SOM), and extractable mineral N. Structural equation modeling was used to examine the causal relationships among treatments and response variables. We found that while CO2 and N tended to directly impact ecosystem functions (evapotranspiration and NPP, respectively), AM fungi indirectly impacted ecosystem functions by strongly influencing the composition of plant and soil communities. For example, the presence of AM fungi had a strong influence on other root and soil fungi and soil bacteria. We found that the mycotrophic status of the dominant plant species in the mesocosms determined whether the presence of AM fungi increased or decreased NPP. Mycotrophic grasses dominated the mesocosm communities during the first growing season, and thus, the mycorrhizal treatments had the highest NPP. In contrast, non-mycotrophic forbs were dominant during the second growing season and thus, the mycorrhizal treatments had the lowest NPP. The composition of the plant community strongly influenced soil N; and the composition of the soil organisms strongly influenced SOM accumulation in the mesocosms. These results show how linkages between above- and belowground communities

  8. 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

  9. Dominant integration locus drives continuous diversification of plant immune receptors with exogenous domain fusions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Paul C; Schudoma, Christian; Jackson, William; Baggs, Erin; Dagdas, Gulay; Haerty, Wilfried; Moscou, Matthew; Krasileva, Ksenia V

    2018-02-19

    The plant immune system is innate and encoded in the germline. Using it efficiently, plants are capable of recognizing a diverse range of rapidly evolving pathogens. A recently described phenomenon shows that plant immune receptors are able to recognize pathogen effectors through the acquisition of exogenous protein domains from other plant genes. We show that plant immune receptors with integrated domains are distributed unevenly across their phylogeny in grasses. Using phylogenetic analysis, we uncover a major integration clade, whose members underwent repeated independent integration events producing diverse fusions. This clade is ancestral in grasses with members often found on syntenic chromosomes. Analyses of these fusion events reveals that homologous receptors can be fused to diverse domains. Furthermore, we discover a 43 amino acid long motif associated with this dominant integration clade which is located immediately upstream of the fusion site. Sequence analysis reveals that DNA transposition and/or ectopic recombination are the most likely mechanisms of formation for nucleotide binding leucine rich repeat proteins with integrated domains. The identification of this subclass of plant immune receptors that is naturally adapted to new domain integration will inform biotechnological approaches for generating synthetic receptors with novel pathogen "baits."

  10. 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...

  11. Habitat Heterogeneity Affects Plant and Arthropod Species Diversity and Turnover in Traditional Cornfields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez, Eliana; Rös, Matthias; Bonilla, María Argenis; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2015-01-01

    The expansion of the agricultural frontier by the clearing of remnant forests has led to human-dominated landscape mosaics. Previous studies have evaluated the effect of these landscape mosaics on arthropod diversity at local spatial scales in temperate and tropical regions, but little is known about fragmentation effects in crop systems, such as the complex tropical traditional crop systems that maintain a high diversity of weeds and arthropods in low-Andean regions. To understand the factors that influence patterns of diversity in human-dominated landscapes, we investigate the effect of land use types on plant and arthropod diversity in traditionally managed cornfields, via surveys of plants and arthropods in twelve traditional cornfields in the Colombian Andes. We estimated alpha and beta diversity to analyze changes in diversity related to land uses within a radius of 100 m to 1 km around each cornfield. We observed that forests influenced alpha diversity of plants, but not of arthropods. Agricultural lands had a positive relationship with plants and herbivores, but a negative relationship with predators. Pastures positively influenced the diversity of plants and arthropods. In addition, forest cover seemed to influence changes in plant species composition and species turnover of herbivore communities among cornfields. The dominant plant species varied among fields, resulting in high differentiation of plant communities. Predator communities also exhibited high turnover among cornfields, but differences in composition arose mainly among rare species. The crop system evaluated in this study represents a widespread situation in the tropics, therefore, our results can be of broad significance. Our findings suggest that traditional agriculture may not homogenize biological communities, but instead could maintain the regional pool of species through high beta diversity.

  12. 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.

  13. Dominant colonization and inheritance of Methylobacterium sp. strain OR01 on perilla plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizuno, Masayuki; Yurimoto, Hiroya; Iguchi, Hiroyuki; Tani, Akio; Sakai, Yasuyoshi

    2013-01-01

    Pink-pigmented facultative methylotrophs (PPFMs) are major inhabitants of the phyllosphere. In a preceding study, we found that perilla plants harbor a dominant population of PPFMs on their leaves and seeds, and that the closest relative of PPFMs (Methylobacterium sp. strain OR01 as representative strain) isolated from red perilla seeds was M. fujisawaense DSM5686(T). In the present study, the specific interaction between red perilla and Methylobacterium species was investigated. All the PPFMs isolated from red perilla seeds harvested in the Ohara area of Kyoto, Japan in 2009, 2010, and 2011 and the PPFMs isolated from red perilla leaves planted at four geographically different places in Japan had 16S rRNA sequences identical to that of strain OR01. Direct transmission of PPFMs from seeds to leaves and the competitiveness of strain OR01 were confirmed. This report is the first step toward understanding the species-level specificity of the interaction between perilla plants and Methylobacterium species.

  14. Fungi isolated from the rhizosphere of spring cruciferous plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Majchrzak

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Fungal communities isolated from the rhizosphere of spring cruciferous plants were analysed in the study. It was found that the rhizosphere of crucifers was colonized primarily by fungi of the order Mucorales and of the genus Fusarium. Members of the genus Fusarium dominated in the rhizoplane. The roots of cruciferous plants secrete glucosinolates – secondary metabolites known for their antifungal properties, thus affecting the communities of soil-dwelling fungi.

  15. Eukaryotic community diversity and spatial variation during drinking water production (by seawater desalination) and distribution in a full-scale network

    KAUST Repository

    Belila, Abdelaziz

    2016-12-01

    Eukaryotic microorganisms are naturally present in many water resources and can enter, grow and colonize water treatment and transport systems, including reservoirs, pipes and premise plumbing. In this study, we explored the eukaryotic microbial community structure in water during the (i) production of drinking water in a seawater desalination plant and (ii) transport of the drinking water in the distribution network. The desalination plant treatment involved pre-treatment (e.g. spruce filters), reverse osmosis (RO) membrane filtration and post-treatment steps (e.g. remineralization). 454 pyrosequencing analysis of the 18S rRNA gene revealed a highly diverse (35 phyla) and spatially variable eukaryotic community during water treatment and distribution. The desalination plant feed water contained a typical marine picoeukaryotic community dominated by Stramenopiles, Alveolates and Porifera. In the desalination plant Ascomycota was the most dominant phylum (15.5% relative abundance), followed by Alveolata (11.9%), unclassified fungi clade (10.9%) and Porifera (10.7%). In the drinking water distribution network, an uncultured fungi phylum was the major group (44.0%), followed by Chordata (17.0%), Ascomycota (11.0%) and Arthropoda (8.0%). Fungi constituted 40% of the total eukaryotic community in the treatment plant and the distribution network and their taxonomic composition was dominated by an uncultured fungi clade (55%). Comparing the plant effluent to the network samples, 84 OTUs (2.1%) formed the core eukaryotic community while 35 (8.4%) and 299 (71.5%) constituted unique OTUs in the produced water at the plant and combined tap water samples from the network, respectively. RO membrane filtration treatment significantly changed the water eukaryotic community composition and structure, highlighting the fact that (i) RO produced water is not sterile and (ii) the microbial community in the final tap water is influenced by the downstream distribution system. The study

  16. Reciprocal interactions between fluvial processes and riparian plants at multiple scales: ecogeomorphic feedbacks drive coevolution of floodplain morphology and vegetation communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stella, J. C.; Kui, L.; Diehl, R. M.; Bywater-Reyes, S.; Wilcox, A. C.; Shafroth, P. B.; Lightbody, A.

    2017-12-01

    Fluvial forces interact with woody riparian plants in complex ways to influence the coevolution of river morphology and floodplain plant communities. Here, we report on an integrated suite of multi-disciplinary studies that contrast the responses of plants with different morphologies, tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) and cottonwood (Populus fremontii) in terms of (1) differences in vulnerability to scour and burial during floods; (2) interactions and feedbacks between plants and river morphodynamics; and (3) long-term coevolution of river floodplains and riparian communities following flow regulation from dams. The focus of these studies is sand-bed rivers in arid-land regions where invasion by tamarisk has strongly influenced riverine plant communities and geomorphic processes. We complemented a suite of field-scale flume experiments using live seedlings to quantify the initial stages of plant-river interactions with an analysis of long-term vegetation and geomorphic changes along the dammed Bill Williams River (AZ, USA) using time-series air photographs. Vegetation-fluvial interactions varied with plant characteristics, river hydraulics and sediment conditions, across the wide range of scales we investigated. In the flume studies, tamarisk's denser crowns and stiffer stems induced greater sedimentation compared to cottonwood. This resulted in tamarisk's greater mortality from burial as small seedlings under sediment equilibrium conditions but higher relative survival in larger floods under sediment deficit scenarios, in which more cottonwoods were lost to root scour. Sediment deficit conditions, as occurs downstream of dams, induced both greater scour and greater plant loss. With larger size and at higher densities, plants' vulnerability diminished due to greater root anchoring and canopy effects on hydraulics. At the corridor scale, we observed a pattern of plant encroachment during five decades of flow regulation, in which channel narrowing and simplification was more

  17. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petr eMacek

    2016-05-01

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

  19. Changes in soil bacterial community structure as a result of incorporation of Brassica plants compared with continuous planting eggplant and chemical disinfection in greenhouses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Tianzhu; Liu, Tongtong; Zheng, Chengyu; Kang, Chunsheng; Yang, Zichao; Yao, Xiaotong; Song, Fengbin; Zhang, Runzhi; Wang, Xuerong; Xu, Ning; Zhang, Chunyi; Li, Wei; Li, Shumin

    2017-01-01

    Greenhouse eggplant monocropping in China has contributed to the aggravation of soil-borne diseases, reductions in crop quality and yield, and the degradation of physical and chemical soil properties. Crop rotation is one effective way of alleviating the problems of continuous cropping worldwide; however, few studies have reported changes in soil bacterial community structures and physical and chemical soil properties after Brassica vegetables had been rotated with eggplant in greenhouses. In this experiment, mustard-eggplant (BFN) and oilseed rape-eggplant (BFC) rotations were studied to identify changes in the physicochemical properties and bacterial community structure in soil that was previously subject to monocropping. Samples were taken after two types of Brassica plants incorporated into soil for 15 days to compare with continually planted eggplant (control, CN) and chemical disinfection of soil (CF) in greenhouses. MiSeq pyrosequencing was used to analyze soil bacterial diversity and structure in the four different treatments. A total of 55,129 reads were identified, and rarefaction analysis showed that the soil treatments were equally sampled. The bacterial richness of the BFC treatment and the diversity of the BFN treatment were significantly higher than those of the other treatments. Further comparison showed that the bacterial community structures of BFC and BFN treatments were also different from CN and CF treatments. The relative abundance of several dominant bacterial genera in the BFC and BFN treatments (such as Flavobacteria, Stenotrophomonas, Massilia and Cellvibrio, which played different roles in improving soil fertility and advancing plant growth) was distinctly higher than the CN or CF treatments. Additionally, the total organic matter and Olsen-P content of the BFC and BFN treatments were significantly greater than the CN treatment. We conclude that Brassica vegetables-eggplant crop rotations could provide a more effective means of solving

  20. Legacy effects overwhelm the short-term effects of exotic plant invasion and restoration on soil microbial community structure, enzyme activities, and nitrogen cycling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elgersma, Kenneth J; Ehrenfeld, Joan G; Yu, Shen; Vor, Torsten

    2011-11-01

    Plant invasions can have substantial consequences for the soil ecosystem, altering microbial community structure and nutrient cycling. However, relatively little is known about what drives these changes, making it difficult to predict the effects of future invasions. In addition, because most studies compare soils from uninvaded areas to long-established dense invasions, little is known about the temporal dependence of invasion impacts. We experimentally manipulated forest understory vegetation in replicated sites dominated either by exotic Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii), native Viburnums, or native Vacciniums, so that each vegetation type was present in each site-type. We compared the short-term effect of vegetation changes to the lingering legacy effects of the previous vegetation type by measuring soil microbial community structure (phospholipid fatty acids) and function (extracellular enzymes and nitrogen mineralization). We also replaced the aboveground litter in half of each plot with an inert substitute to determine if changes in the soil microbial community were driven by aboveground or belowground plant inputs. We found that after 2 years, the microbial community structure and function was largely determined by the legacy effect of the previous vegetation type, and was not affected by the current vegetation. Aboveground litter removal had only weak effects, suggesting that changes in the soil microbial community and nutrient cycling were driven largely by belowground processes. These results suggest that changes in the soil following either invasion or restoration do not occur quickly, but rather exhibit long-lasting legacy effects from previous belowground plant inputs.

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Plant diversity and energy potency of community forest in East Kalimantan, Indonesia: Searching for fast growing wood species for energy production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    RUDIANTO AMIRTA

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract. Amirta R, Yuliansyah, Angi EM, Ananto BR, Setiyono B, Haqiqi MT, Septiana HA, Lodong M, Oktavianto RN. 2016. Plant diversity and energy potency of community forest in East Kalimantan, Indonesia: Searching for fast growing wood species for energy production. Nusantara Bioscience 8: 22-30. Nowadays, there is an increasing interest in intensifying the production and use of biomass to replace fossil fuels for the production of heat and electricity, especially for a remote area that generally abundance with the wood biomass resources including in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. In this work, diversity of plant species that commonly growth in community forest area of East Kutai District, East Kalimantan, Indonesia had been studied to point out their energy potency to be used as biomass feedstock for the electricity generated. Diversity of plant species in the community forest was evaluated by making 13 sampling plots with 20mx20m size approximately. Concurently, the energy properties of plant biomass such as proximate and ultimate compositions were also analyzed using ASTM methods. Results showed that more than 30 species of tropical trees and wood shrubs were grown in the community forest. The presence of them was classified into two different growth of origins: natural and artificial plantation, and also three different categories of plant resources: tree species from logged over forest, commercial fast growing plant tree species for the fiber production and woody shrubs. The highest dominancy and productivity was found in Paraserianthes falcataria (L. Nielsen since the wood biomass was artificially planted for the commercial purposes. Among the 31 plant species analyzed we found the highest energy potency was obtained from Cratoxylum cochinchinense (Lour. Blume that produced 3.17 MWh/ton, and the lowest was from Trema orientalis (L. Blume 0.97 MWh/ton. The woody shrubs species such as Vernonia amigdalina Delile., Piper aduncum L., Gliricidia

  10. Sensitivity of spectral indices to CO2 fluxes for several plant communities in a Sphagnum-dominated peatland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Letendre, J.; Poulin, M.; Rochefort, L.

    2008-01-01

    A study was conducted in which the relationship between spectral indices and carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) fluxes was tested for different communities in a Sphagnum-dominated peatland. This paper focused on the remote sensing approach that was used to directly link spectral indices to CO 2 fluxes to highlight the potential of remote sensing for mapping the spatial distribution of CO 2 fluxes. Carbon exchange in these ecosystems has become an environmental concern since peatlands play a key role in the global carbon cycle. A portable climate-controlled chamber was used to measure fluxes while simultaneously recording reflectance with a hand-held spectroradiometer. A laboratory experiment was also conducted to find a water-related index that most correlated with Sphagnum water content in order to regulate the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) values obtained in the field. The laboratory experiment showed a strong correlation between Sphagnum water content and all spectral indices, notably the water index (WI), normalized difference water index (NDWI), and relative depth index (RDI). The water index was chosen to regulate NDVI values. This paper described the indices that were tested in the field for CO 2 flux estimations. NDVI alone was found to be a poor predictor of net ecosystem exchange. The relationship between CO 2 fluxes and narrow band chlorophyll indices was reasonably well adjusted. It was concluded that the chlorophyll indices may be the most promising for mapping the spatial distribution of CO 2 fluxes in the future. 62 refs., 2 tabs., 4 figs

  11. Do oxygen stable isotopes track precipitation moisture source in vascular plant dominated peatlands?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charman, D.; Amesbury, M. J.; Newnham, R.; Loader, N.; Goodrich, J. P.; Gallego-Sala, A. V.; Royles, J.; Keller, E. D.; Baisden, W. T.

    2014-12-01

    Variations in the isotopic composition of precipitation are determined by fractionation processes which occur during temperature and humidity dependent phase changes associated with evaporation and condensation. Oxygen stable isotope ratios have therefore been frequently used as a source of palaeoclimate data from a variety of proxy archives. Exploitation of this record from ombrotrophic peatlands, where the source water used in cellulose synthesis is derived solely from precipitation, has been mostly limited to Northern Hemisphere Sphagnum-dominated bogs, with limited application in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) or in peatlands dominated by vascular plants. Throughout New Zealand (NZ), the preserved root matrix of the restionaceous wire rush (Empodisma spp.) forms deep peat deposits. NZ provides an ideal location to undertake empirical research into oxygen isotope fractionation in vascular peatlands because sites are ideally suited to single taxon analysis, preserve potentially high resolution full Holocene palaeoclimate records and are situated in the climatically sensitive SH mid-latitudes. Crucially, large gradients exist in the mean isotopic composition of precipitation across NZ, caused primarily by the relative influence of different climate modes. We test the capacity for δ18O analysis of Empodisma alpha cellulose from ombrotrophic restiad peatlands in NZ to provide a methodology for developing palaeoclimate records. We took surface plant, water and precipitation samples over spatial (six sites spanning >10° latitude) and temporal (monthly measurements over one year) gradients. We found a strong link between the isotopic compositions of surface root water, the most likely source water for plant growth, and precipitation in both datasets. Back-trajectory modelling of precipitation moisture source for rain days prior to sampling showed clear seasonality in the temporal data that was reflected in surface root water. The link between source water and plant

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  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. Habitat Heterogeneity Affects Plant and Arthropod Species Diversity and Turnover in Traditional Cornfields.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eliana Martínez

    Full Text Available The expansion of the agricultural frontier by the clearing of remnant forests has led to human-dominated landscape mosaics. Previous studies have evaluated the effect of these landscape mosaics on arthropod diversity at local spatial scales in temperate and tropical regions, but little is known about fragmentation effects in crop systems, such as the complex tropical traditional crop systems that maintain a high diversity of weeds and arthropods in low-Andean regions. To understand the factors that influence patterns of diversity in human-dominated landscapes, we investigate the effect of land use types on plant and arthropod diversity in traditionally managed cornfields, via surveys of plants and arthropods in twelve traditional cornfields in the Colombian Andes. We estimated alpha and beta diversity to analyze changes in diversity related to land uses within a radius of 100 m to 1 km around each cornfield. We observed that forests influenced alpha diversity of plants, but not of arthropods. Agricultural lands had a positive relationship with plants and herbivores, but a negative relationship with predators. Pastures positively influenced the diversity of plants and arthropods. In addition, forest cover seemed to influence changes in plant species composition and species turnover of herbivore communities among cornfields. The dominant plant species varied among fields, resulting in high differentiation of plant communities. Predator communities also exhibited high turnover among cornfields, but differences in composition arose mainly among rare species. The crop system evaluated in this study represents a widespread situation in the tropics, therefore, our results can be of broad significance. Our findings suggest that traditional agriculture may not homogenize biological communities, but instead could maintain the regional pool of species through high beta diversity.

  16. Shifts of microbial communities of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivation in a closed artificial ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Youcai; Fu, Yuming; Dong, Chen; Jia, Nannan; Liu, Hong

    2016-05-01

    The microbial communities of plant ecosystems are in relation to plant growing environment, but the alteration in biodiversity of rhizosphere and phyllosphere microbial communities in closed and controlled environments is unknown. The purpose of this study is to analyze the change regularity of microbial communities with wheat plants dependent-cultivated in a closed artificial ecosystem. The microbial community structures in closed-environment treatment plants were investigated by a culture-dependent approach, polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE), and Illumina Miseq high-throughput sequencing. The results indicated that the number of microbes decreased along with time, and the magnitude of bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes were 10(7)-10(8), 10(5), and 10(3)-10(4) CFU/g (dry weight), respectively. The analysis of PCR-DGGE and Illumina Miseq revealed that the wheat leaf surface and near-root substrate had different microbial communities at different periods of wheat ecosystem development and showed that the relative highest diversity of microbial communities appeared at late and middle periods of the plant ecosystem, respectively. The results also indicated that the wheat leaf and substrate had different microbial community compositions, and the wheat substrate had higher richness of microbial community than the leaf. Flavobacterium, Pseudomonas, Paenibacillus, Enterobacter, Penicillium, Rhodotorula, Acremonium, and Alternaria were dominant in the wheat leaf samples, and Pedobacter, Flavobacterium, Halomonas, Marinobacter, Salinimicrobium, Lysobacter, Pseudomonas, Halobacillus, Xanthomonas, Acremonium, Monographella, and Penicillium were dominant populations in the wheat near-root substrate samples.

  17. Vegetation of Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge, Louisiana-Recent plant communities with comparison to a three-decade-old survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Rebecca J.; Michot, Thomas C.; Allain, Larry

    2011-01-01

    Shifts in plant community composition and structure can affect the quality of habitat for wildlife species. Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Louisiana was established in 1937 with a primary goal of providing habitat for wintering waterfowl species. A large freshwater impoundment constructed on the refuge to improve waterfowl habitat value was completed in 1943. About 10 years after construction was completed, staff at the refuge became concerned that emergent vegetation cover was increasing in the impoundment over time while open water areas, which are critical as foraging and resting areas for waterfowl, were decreasing. To document vegetation change over time, we collected information on plant community species composition for comparison to similar data collected in 1973. A total of 84 sampling plots was established in 2006 within the impoundment to coincide as closely as possible to plots sampled in the earlier study. Plant species composition and cover were recorded at each plot in the summers of 2006 and 2007. Change between sampling events separated by more than three decades was determined by comparing the frequency of occurrence of 20 species identified in 1973 to their frequency in 2006 and 2007. Interannual variation was determined by comparing plot data between 2006 and 2007. In plots dominated by emergent vegetation, it was found that Bacopa caroliniana, Eleocharis equisetoides, Leersia hexandra, Panicum hemitomon, and Sagittaria lancifolia were significantly less frequent in 2006 and 2007 than in 1973. The frequency of Brasenia schreberi, Cabomba caroliniana, Nitella gracilis, and Nymphoides aquatica was significantly lower in 2006 and 2007 than in 1973 in plots dominated by floating-leaved plants, submersed plants, or open water. In 2007, Hydrocotyle sp. and Sacciolepis striata were more frequent than in 1973 in emergent vegetation plots, and Utricularia sp. was more frequent in submersed or open-water plots. We documented

  18. Comparison between cultivated and total bacterial communities associated with Cucurbita pepo using cultivation-dependent techniques and 454 pyrosequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eevers, N; Beckers, B; Op de Beeck, M; White, J C; Vangronsveld, J; Weyens, N

    2016-02-01

    Endophytic bacteria often have beneficial effects on their host plants that can be exploited for bioremediation applications but, according to the literature, only 0.001-1% of all endophytic microbes should be cultivable. This study compared the cultivated endophytic communities of the roots and shoots of Cucurbita pepo with the total endophytic communities as determined by cultivation-dependent techniques and 454 pyrosequencing. The ten most abundant taxa of the total communities aligned well with the cultivated taxa; however, the abundance of these taxa in the two communities differed greatly. Enterobacter showed very low presence in the total communities, whereas they were dominantly present in the cultivated communities. Although Rhizobium dominated in total root and shoot communities, it was poorly cultivable and even then only in growth media containing plant extract. Since endophytes likely contribute to plant-growth promotion, cultivated bacterial strains were tested for their plant-growth promoting capabilities, and the results were correlated with their abundance in the total community. Bacillus and Pseudomonas showed promising results when considering cultivability, abundance in the total community and plant-growth promoting capability. This study demonstrated that, although a limited number of bacterial genera were cultivable, current cultivation-dependent techniques may be sufficient for further isolation and inoculation experiments that aim to improve phytoremediation efficiency. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Plant establishment and soil microenvironments in Utah juniper masticated woodlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kert R. Young

    2012-01-01

    Juniper (Juniperus spp.) encroachment into sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) and bunchgrass communities has reduced understory plant cover and allowed juniper trees to dominate millions of hectares of semiarid rangelands. Trees are mechanically masticated or shredded to decrease wildfire potential and increase desirable understory plant cover. When trees are masticated after...

  3. Paleovegetation reconstruction of fossil forests dominated by Metasequoia and Glyptostrobus from the late Pliocene Kobiwako Group, central Japan

    OpenAIRE

    CHIYOMI, YAMAKAWA; ARATA, MOMOHARA; TOMOO, NUNOTANI; MIDORI, MATSUMOTO; YASUYUKI, WATANO; Lake Biwa Museum; Graduate School of Horticulture, Chiba University; Lake Biwa Museum; Graduate School of Science, Chiba University; Graduate School of Science, Chiba University

    2008-01-01

    A late Pliocene (1.8-1.9 Ma) wetland fossil forest community that was dominated by Metasequoia and Glyptostrobus was reconstructed based on the species composition of the stumps and other plant macrofossil assemblages. The plant fossils were recovered from a fossil forest preserved in deposits of the Kobiwako Group that are exposed in the Echi River, Shiga Prefecture, central Japan. Fossil wood of Metasequoia and Glyptostrobus was distinguished based on anatomical characteristics. Apportionme...

  4. Spirochaetes dominate the microbial community associated with the red coral Corallium rubrum on a broad geographic scale

    KAUST Repository

    van de Water, Jeroen A. J. M.; Melkonian, Ré my; Junca, Howard; Voolstra, Christian R.; Reynaud, Sté phanie; Allemand, Denis; Ferrier-Pagè s, Christine

    2016-01-01

    Mass mortality events in populations of the iconic red coral Corallium rubrum have been related to seawater temperature anomalies that may have triggered microbial disease development. However, very little is known about the bacterial community associated with the red coral. We therefore aimed to provide insight into this species’ bacterial assemblages using Illumina MiSeq sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons generated from samples collected at five locations distributed across the western Mediterranean Sea. Twelve bacterial species were found to be consistently associated with the red coral, forming a core microbiome that accounted for 94.6% of the overall bacterial community. This core microbiome was particularly dominated by bacteria of the orders Spirochaetales and Oceanospirillales, in particular the ME2 family. Bacteria belonging to these orders have been implicated in nutrient cycling, including nitrogen, carbon and sulfur. While Oceanospirillales are common symbionts of marine invertebrates, our results identify members of the Spirochaetales as other important dominant symbiotic bacterial associates within Anthozoans.

  5. Spirochaetes dominate the microbial community associated with the red coral Corallium rubrum on a broad geographic scale

    KAUST Repository

    van de Water, Jeroen A. J. M.

    2016-06-06

    Mass mortality events in populations of the iconic red coral Corallium rubrum have been related to seawater temperature anomalies that may have triggered microbial disease development. However, very little is known about the bacterial community associated with the red coral. We therefore aimed to provide insight into this species’ bacterial assemblages using Illumina MiSeq sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons generated from samples collected at five locations distributed across the western Mediterranean Sea. Twelve bacterial species were found to be consistently associated with the red coral, forming a core microbiome that accounted for 94.6% of the overall bacterial community. This core microbiome was particularly dominated by bacteria of the orders Spirochaetales and Oceanospirillales, in particular the ME2 family. Bacteria belonging to these orders have been implicated in nutrient cycling, including nitrogen, carbon and sulfur. While Oceanospirillales are common symbionts of marine invertebrates, our results identify members of the Spirochaetales as other important dominant symbiotic bacterial associates within Anthozoans.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. Plant-mediated CH4 transport and C gas dynamics quantified in-situ in a Phalaris arundinacea-dominant wetland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Louise Askær; Elberling, Bo; Friborg, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    passive. Thus, diurnal variations are less important in contrast to wetland vascular plants facilitating convective gas flow. Despite of plant-dominant CH4 transport, net CH4 fluxes were low (–0.005–0.016 µmol m-2 s-1) and annually less than 1% of the annual C-CO2 assimilation. This is considered a result......±35% of ecosystem CH4 emissions were plant-mediated, but data show no evidence of significant diurnal variations related to convective gas flow regardless of season or plant growth stages. Therefore, despite a high percentage of arenchyma, P. arundinacea-mediated CH4 transport is interpreted to be predominantly...

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Pyrosequencing assessment of rhizosphere fungal communities from a soybean field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugiyama, Akifumi; Ueda, Yoshikatsu; Takase, Hisabumi; Yazaki, Kazufumi

    2014-10-01

    Soil fungal communities play essential roles in soil ecosystems, affecting plant growth and health. Rhizosphere bacterial communities have been shown to undergo dynamic changes during plant growth. This study utilized 454 pyrosequencing to analyze rhizosphere fungal communities during soybean growth. Members of the Ascomycota and Basiodiomycota dominated in all soils. There were no statistically significant changes at the phylum level among growth stages or between bulk and rhizosphere soils. In contrast, the relative abundance of small numbers of operational taxonomic units, 4 during growth and 28 between bulk and rhizosphere soils, differed significantly. Clustering analysis revealed that rhizosphere fungal communities were different from bulk fungal communities during growth stages of soybeans. Taken together, these results suggest that in contrast to rhizosphere bacterial communities, most constituents of rhizosphere fungal communities remained stable during soybean growth.

  15. 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)

  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. Bistability of mangrove forests and competition with freshwater plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Jiang; Fuller, Douglas O; Teh, Su Yean; Zhai, Lu; Koh, Hock Lye; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Sternberg, L.D.S.L.

    2015-01-01

    Halophytic communities such as mangrove forests and buttonwood hammocks tend to border freshwater plant communities as sharp ecotones. Most studies attribute this purely to underlying physical templates, such as groundwater salinity gradients caused by tidal flux and topography. However, a few recent studies hypothesize that self-reinforcing feedback between vegetation and vadose zone salinity are also involved and create a bistable situation in which either halophytic dominated habitat or freshwater plant communities may dominate as alternative stable states. Here, we revisit the bistability hypothesis and demonstrate the mechanisms that result in bistability. We demonstrate with remote sensing imagery the sharp boundaries between freshwater hardwood hammock communities in southern Florida and halophytic communities such as buttonwood hammocks and mangroves. We further document from the literature how transpiration of mangroves and freshwater plants respond differently to vadose zone salinity, thus altering the salinity through feedback. Using mathematical models, we show how the self-reinforcing feedback, together with physical template, controls the ecotones between halophytic and freshwater communities. Regions of bistability along environmental gradients of salinity have the potential for large-scale vegetation shifts following pulse disturbances such as hurricane tidal surges in Florida, or tsunamis in other regions. The size of the region of bistability can be large for low-lying coastal habitat due to the saline water table, which extends inland due to salinity intrusion. We suggest coupling ecological and hydrologic processes as a framework for future studies.

  18. 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

  19. Uncertainty in 14C model ages of groundwater: The influence of soil gas in terranes dominated by C3 plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, S.; Hart, R.; Eggett, D.

    2009-12-01

    Groundwater is the largest source of fresh water readily available to humanity and aquifers with long residence times are particularly susceptible to overuse. Thus, it is important to have quantitative estimates of the residence time of water in such aquifers. Many models used to calculate 14C ages of groundwater depend on an estimate of the δ13C value of carbon dioxide in soil at the time of recharge, a value that must be estimated. Other work has suggested that for terranes dominated by C3 plants, -23‰ is an appropriate value, and sensitivity calculations show that the apparent age of a groundwater is strongly dependent on the choice of this parameter. This is especially true where the measured values of δ13C of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) are used to estimate the contribution of “dead” carbon to the DIC load via the dissolution of calcite in the aquifer and soil zones. To better understand the temporal and spatial isotopic and abundance variability of soil carbon dioxide, we established soil gas sampling sites that encompassed a wide variety of settings in terms of season, elevation, climate, and plant community that were sampled monthly throughout regions of the state of Utah where C3 flora dominate. Direct measurements of soil gas suggest a value of -21.8 ± 1.4‰ (1σ) is a good input variable as long as: a) C3 vegetation dominates, and b) extreme aridity does not prevail such that plant densities and soil microbial activities are minimized. If recharge is envisaged to occur during spring and early summer in highly vegetated uplands, a value of -24.0 ± 0.6‰ may be more appropriate as statistical analysis reveals that seasonality and plant density are most clearly correlated to the carbon isotope composition of carbon dioxide in soil gas. Although the two values and ranges cited above values do not diverge strongly from other published estimates, they place fairly narrow limits on the uncertainty of ±500 and ±200 yr., respectively, in

  20. Vegetative Propagule Pressure and Water Depth Affect Biomass and Evenness of Submerged Macrophyte Communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hong-Li; Wang, Yong-Yang; Zhang, Qian; Wang, Pu; Zhang, Ming-Xiang; Yu, Fei-Hai

    2015-01-01

    Vegetative propagule pressure may affect the establishment and structure of aquatic plant communities that are commonly dominated by plants capable of clonal growth. We experimentally constructed aquatic communities consisting of four submerged macrophytes (Hydrilla verticillata, Ceratophyllum demersum, Elodea nuttallii and Myriophyllum spicatum) with three levels of vegetative propagule pressure (4, 8 and 16 shoot fragments for communities in each pot) and two levels of water depth (30 cm and 70 cm). Increasing vegetative propagule pressure and decreasing water level significantly increased the growth of the submerged macrophyte communities, suggesting that propagule pressure and water depth should be considered when utilizing vegetative propagules to re-establish submerged macrophyte communities in degraded aquatic ecosystems. However, increasing vegetative propagule pressure and decreasing water level significantly decreased evenness of the submerged macrophyte communities because they markedly increased the dominance of H. verticillata and E. nuttallii, but had little impact on that of C. demersum and M. spicatum. Thus, effects of vegetative propagule pressure and water depth are species-specific and increasing vegetative propagule pressure under lower water level can facilitate the establishment success of submerged macrophyte communities.

  1. Remote-Sensed Monitoring of Dominant Plant Species Distribution and Dynamics at Jiuduansha Wetland in Shanghai, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenpeng Lin

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Spartina alterniflora is one of the most hazardous invasive plant species in China. Monitoring the changes in dominant plant species can help identify the invasion mechanisms of S. alterniflora, thereby providing scientific guidelines on managing or controlling the spreading of this invasive species at Jiuduansha Wetland in Shanghai, China. However, because of the complex terrain and the inaccessibility of tidal wetlands, it is very difficult to conduct field experiments on a large scale in this wetland. Hence, remote sensing plays an important role in monitoring the dynamics of plant species and its distribution on both spatial and temporal scales. In this study, based on multi-spectral and high resolution (<10 m remote sensing images and field observational data, we analyzed spectral characteristics of four dominant plant species at different green-up phenophases. Based on the difference in spectral characteristics, a decision tree classification was built for identifying the distribution of these plant species. The results indicated that the overall classification accuracy for plant species was 87.17%, and the Kappa Coefficient was 0.81, implying that our classification method could effectively identify the four plant species. We found that the area of Phragmites australi showed an increasing trend from 1997 to 2004 and from 2004 to 2012, with an annual spreading rate of 33.77% and 31.92%, respectively. The area of Scirpus mariqueter displayed an increasing trend from 1997 to 2004 (12.16% per year and a decreasing trend from 2004 to 2012 (−7.05% per year. S. alterniflora has the biggest area (3302.20 ha as compared to other species, accounting for 51% of total vegetated area at the study region in 2012. It showed an increasing trend from 1997 to 2004 and from 2004 to 2012, with an annual spreading rate of 130.63% and 28.11%, respectively. As a result, the native species P. australi was surrounded and the habitats of S. mariqueter were

  2. [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.

  3. 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....

  4. Sensitivity of spectral indices to CO{sub 2} fluxes for several plant communities in a Sphagnum-dominated peatland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Letendre, J.; Poulin, M.; Rochefort, L. [Laval Univ., Quebec City, PQ (Canada). Dept. de Phytologie, Peatland Ecology and Research Group

    2008-07-01

    A study was conducted in which the relationship between spectral indices and carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) fluxes was tested for different communities in a Sphagnum-dominated peatland. This paper focused on the remote sensing approach that was used to directly link spectral indices to CO{sub 2} fluxes to highlight the potential of remote sensing for mapping the spatial distribution of CO{sub 2} fluxes. Carbon exchange in these ecosystems has become an environmental concern since peatlands play a key role in the global carbon cycle. A portable climate-controlled chamber was used to measure fluxes while simultaneously recording reflectance with a hand-held spectroradiometer. A laboratory experiment was also conducted to find a water-related index that most correlated with Sphagnum water content in order to regulate the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) values obtained in the field. The laboratory experiment showed a strong correlation between Sphagnum water content and all spectral indices, notably the water index (WI), normalized difference water index (NDWI), and relative depth index (RDI). The water index was chosen to regulate NDVI values. This paper described the indices that were tested in the field for CO{sub 2} flux estimations. NDVI alone was found to be a poor predictor of net ecosystem exchange. The relationship between CO{sub 2} fluxes and narrow band chlorophyll indices was reasonably well adjusted. It was concluded that the chlorophyll indices may be the most promising for mapping the spatial distribution of CO{sub 2} fluxes in the future. 62 refs., 2 tabs., 4 figs.

  5. 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

  6. Floristic and vegetation structure of a grassland plant community on shallow basalt in southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo Fett Pinto

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Few studies have adequately described the floristic and structural features of natural grasslands associated with shallow basalt soils in southern Brazil. This study was carried out on natural grazing land used for livestock production in the municipality of Santana do Livramento, in the Campanha region of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The aim of the study was to describe the floristic and structural diversity of the area. The floristic list obtained comprises 229 plant taxa from 40 botanical families, with a predominance of the families Poaceae (62, Asteraceae (28, Fabaceae (16 and Cyperaceae (12. The estimated diversity and evenness in the community were 3.00 and 0.874, respectively. Bare soil and rock outcrops accounted for 19.3% of the area, resulting in limited forage availability. Multivariate analysis revealed two well-defined groups among the sampling units. One group showed a high degree of internal aggregation, associated with deep soils, and was characterized by the presence of tussocks, whereas the other was less aggregate and was characterized by prostrate species growing on shallow soil. Ordination analysis indicated a gradient of moisture and of soil depth in the study area, resulting in different vegetation patterns. These patterns were analogous to the vegetation physiognomies described for Uruguayan grasslands. Overall, the grassland community studied is similar to others found throughout southern Brazil, although it harbors more winter forage species. In addition, the rare grass Paspalum indecorum Mez is locally dominant in some patches, behaving similarly to P. notatum Fl., a widespread grass that dominates extensive grassland areas in southern Brazil.

  7. [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

  8. 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

  9. [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.

  10. 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;

  11. 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.

  12. Long-term addition of fertilizer, labile carbon, and fungicide alters the biomass of plant functional groups in a subarctic-alpine community

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haugwitz-Hardenberg-Reventlow, M S; Michelsen, A.

    2011-01-01

    experiment on a subarctic-alpine fellfield dominated by woody evergreen shrubs, bryophytes, and lichens. To manipulate nutrient availability additions of NPK fertilizer, labile C, and fungicide (benomyl) were done in a fully factorial design, replicated in six blocks. The treatments were run for 10 years...... vascular plant groups. Also, limitation of soil nutrient availability caused by labile C addition decreased the relative proportion of green shoots in evergreen shrubs, although these were expected to cope better with the nutrient limitation than the opportunistic graminoids, which, by contrast, were...... unaffected. Reduced fungal biomass due to benomyl addition was accompanied by increased evergreen shrub and clubmoss biomass. Taken together, the effects of treatments were most pronounced 16 years after initiation of the experiment, but despite changes in biomass the overall plant community composition...

  13. 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

  14. Response of aboveground carbon balance to long-term, experimental shifts in precipitation seasonality is contingent on plant community type in cold-desert rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinhardt, K.; McAbee, K.; Germino, M. J.; Bosworth, A.

    2016-12-01

    Semi-arid rangelands have been identified as potential carbon (C) sinks. However, the degree of net C storage or release in water-limited systems is a function of precipitation amount and timing, as well as plant community composition. In northern latitudes of western North America, climate models predict increases in wintertime precipitation and decreases in summertime precipitation. In theory, this should boost C storage in cold-desert ecosystems that have deep-rooted woody plants due to greater wintertime soil water storage that enhances summertime productivity. However, there are few long-term, manipulative field-based studies investigating how shrub- and grass-dominated rangelands will respond to changing precipitation patterns. We measured aboveground C pools and fluxes at leaf, soil, and ecosystem scales over the 2014 growing season on plots that had supplemental precipitation added in either winter or summer for 21 years, in shrub- and exotic-bunchgrass-dominated plots. We hypothesized that increased winter precipitation would stimulate aboveground C uptake and storage relative to ambient conditions, in our cold-desert-adapted plant species. We further hypothesized that long-term gains in aboveground C storage due to precipitation manipulations would be greater in plots containing shrubs. Our hypotheses were generally supported: ecosystem C uptake and long-term biomass accumulation were greater in winter- and summer-irrigated plots compared to control plots in both vegetation communities. However, substantial increases in aboveground biomass occurred only in winter-irrigated plots that contained shrubs. Our findings suggest that increases in winter precipitation will enhance C storage of this widespread ecosystem, provided that the ecosystems have resisted conversion to exotic grassland.

  15. Microbial community composition and dynamics of moving bed biofilm reactor systems treating municipal sewage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biswas, Kristi; Turner, Susan J

    2012-02-01

    Moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) systems are increasingly used for municipal and industrial wastewater treatment, yet in contrast to activated sludge (AS) systems, little is known about their constituent microbial communities. This study investigated the community composition of two municipal MBBR wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in Wellington, New Zealand. Monthly samples comprising biofilm and suspended biomass were collected over a 12-month period. Bacterial and archaeal community composition was determined using a full-cycle community approach, including analysis of 16S rRNA gene libraries, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA). Differences in microbial community structure and abundance were observed between the two WWTPs and between biofilm and suspended biomass. Biofilms from both plants were dominated by Clostridia and sulfate-reducing members of the Deltaproteobacteria (SRBs). FISH analyses indicated morphological differences in the Deltaproteobacteria detected at the two plants and also revealed distinctive clustering between SRBs and members of the Methanosarcinales, which were the only Archaea detected and were present in low abundance (<5%). Biovolume estimates of the SRBs were higher in biofilm samples from one of the WWTPs which receives both domestic and industrial waste and is influenced by seawater infiltration. The suspended communities from both plants were diverse and dominated by aerobic members of the Gammaproteobacteria and Betaproteobacteria. This study represents the first detailed analysis of microbial communities in full-scale MBBR systems and indicates that this process selects for distinctive biofilm and planktonic communities, both of which differ from those found in conventional AS systems.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Plant community, primary productivity, and environmental conditions following wetland re-establishment in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, R.L.; Fujii, R.

    2010-01-01

    Wetland restoration can mitigate aerobic decomposition of subsided organic soils, as well as re-establish conditions favorable for carbon storage. Rates of carbon storage result from the balance of inputs and losses, both of which are affected by wetland hydrology. We followed the effect of water depth (25 and 55 cm) on the plant community, primary production, and changes in two re-established wetlands in the Sacramento San-Joaquin River Delta, California for 9 years after flooding to determine how relatively small differences in water depth affect carbon storage rates over time. To estimate annual carbon inputs, plant species cover, standing above- and below-ground plant biomass, and annual biomass turnover rates were measured, and allometric biomass models for Schoenoplectus (Scirpus) acutus and Typha spp., the emergent marsh dominants, were developed. As the wetlands developed, environmental factors, including water temperature, depth, and pH were measured. Emergent marsh vegetation colonized the shallow wetland more rapidly than the deeper wetland. This is important to potential carbon storage because emergent marsh vegetation is more productive, and less labile, than submerged and floating vegetation. Primary production of emergent marsh vegetation ranged from 1.3 to 3.2 kg of carbon per square meter annually; and, mid-season standing live biomass represented about half of the annual primary production. Changes in species composition occurred in both submerged and emergent plant communities as the wetlands matured. Water depth, temperature, and pH were lower in areas with emergent marsh vegetation compared to submerged vegetation, all of which, in turn, can affect carbon cycling and storage rates. ?? Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009.

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. Denitrifying bacteria from the genus Rhodanobacter dominate bacterial communities in the highly contaminated subsurface of a nuclear legacy waste site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Green, Stefan [Florida State University; Prakash, Om [Florida State University; Jasrotia, Puja [Florida State University; Overholt, Will [Florida State University; Cardenas, Erick [Michigan State University, East Lansing; Hubbard, Daniela [Florida State University; Tiedje, James M. [Michigan State University, East Lansing; Watson, David B [ORNL; Schadt, Christopher Warren [ORNL; Brooks, Scott C [ORNL; Kostka, Joel [Florida State University

    2011-01-01

    The effect of long-term mixed-waste contamination, particularly uranium and nitrate, on the microbial community in the terrestrial subsurface was investigated at the field scale at the Oak Ridge Integrated Field Research Challenge (ORIFRC) site in Oak Ridge, TN. The abundance, community composition, and distribution of groundwater microorganisms were examined across the site during two seasonal sampling events. At representative locations, subsurface sediment was also examined from two boreholes, one sampled from the most heavily contaminated area of the site and another from an area with low contamination. A suite of DNA- and RNA-based molecular tools were employed for community characterization, including quantitative PCR of ribosomal RNA and nitrite reductase genes, community composition fingerprinting analysis, and high-throughput pyrotag sequencing of rRNA genes. The results demonstrate that pH is a major driver of the subsurface microbial community structure, and denitrifying bacteria from the genus Rhodanobacter (class Gammaproteobacteria) dominate at low pH. The relative abundance of bacteria from this genus was positively correlated with lower pH conditions, and these bacteria were abundant and active in the most highly contaminated areas. Other factors, such as concentration of nitrogen species, oxygen and sampling season did not appear to strongly influence the distribution of Rhodanobacter. Results indicate that these organisms are acid-tolerant denitrifiers, well suited to the acidic, nitrate-rich subsurface conditions, and pH is confirmed as a dominant driver of bacterial community structure in this contaminated subsurface environment.

  3. Tree species diversity promotes aboveground carbon storage through functional diversity and functional dominance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mensah, Sylvanus; Veldtman, Ruan; Assogbadjo, Achille E; Glèlè Kakaï, Romain; Seifert, Thomas

    2016-10-01

    The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function has increasingly been debated as the cornerstone of the processes behind ecosystem services delivery. Experimental and natural field-based studies have come up with nonconsistent patterns of biodiversity-ecosystem function, supporting either niche complementarity or selection effects hypothesis. Here, we used aboveground carbon (AGC) storage as proxy for ecosystem function in a South African mistbelt forest, and analyzed its relationship with species diversity, through functional diversity and functional dominance. We hypothesized that (1) diversity influences AGC through functional diversity and functional dominance effects; and (2) effects of diversity on AGC would be greater for functional dominance than for functional diversity. Community weight mean (CWM) of functional traits (wood density, specific leaf area, and maximum plant height) were calculated to assess functional dominance (selection effects). As for functional diversity (complementarity effects), multitrait functional diversity indices were computed. The first hypothesis was tested using structural equation modeling. For the second hypothesis, effects of environmental variables such as slope and altitude were tested first, and separate linear mixed-effects models were fitted afterward for functional diversity, functional dominance, and both. Results showed that AGC varied significantly along the slope gradient, with lower values at steeper sites. Species diversity (richness) had positive relationship with AGC, even when slope effects were considered. As predicted, diversity effects on AGC were mediated through functional diversity and functional dominance, suggesting that both the niche complementarity and the selection effects are not exclusively affecting carbon storage. However, the effects were greater for functional diversity than for functional dominance. Furthermore, functional dominance effects were strongly transmitted by CWM of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. EFFECTS OF PLANT SIZE ON PHOTOSYNTHESIS AND WATER RELATIONS IN THE DESERT SHRUB PROSOPIS GLANDULOSA (FABACEAE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Jornada del Muerto basin of the Chihuahuan Desert of southern New Mexico, USA, has undergone a marked transition of plant communities. Shrubs such as mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) have greatly increased or now dominate in areas that were previously dominated by perennial gra...

  7. 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.

  8. Ethnomedicinal and ecological status of plants in Garhwal Himalaya, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background The northern part of India harbours a great diversity of medicinal plants due to its distinct geography and ecological marginal conditions. The traditional medical systems of northern India are part of a time tested culture and honored still by people today. These traditional systems have been curing complex disease for more than 3,000 years. With rapidly growing demand for these medicinal plants, most of the plant populations have been depleted, indicating a lack of ecological knowledge among communities using the plants. Thus, an attempt was made in this study to focus on the ecological status of ethnomedicinal plants, to determine their availability in the growing sites, and to inform the communities about the sustainable exploitation of medicinal plants in the wild. Methods The ecological information regarding ethnomedicinal plants was collected in three different climatic regions (tropical, sub-tropical and temperate) for species composition in different forest layers. The ecological information was assessed using the quadrate sampling method. A total of 25 quadrats, 10 × 10 m were laid out at random in order to sample trees and shrubs, and 40 quadrats of 1 × 1 m for herbaceous plants. In each climatic region, three vegetation sites were selected for ecological information; the mean values of density, basal cover, and the importance value index from all sites of each region were used to interpret the final data. Ethnomedicinal uses were collected from informants of adjacent villages. About 10% of inhabitants (older, experienced men and women) were interviewed about their use of medicinal plants. A consensus analysis of medicinal plant use between the different populations was conducted. Results Across the different climatic regions a total of 57 species of plants were reported: 14 tree species, 10 shrub species, and 33 herb species. In the tropical and sub-tropical regions, Acacia catechu was the dominant tree while Ougeinia oojeinensis in the

  9. Ethnomedicinal and ecological status of plants in Garhwal Himalaya, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheikh Mehraj A

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The northern part of India harbours a great diversity of medicinal plants due to its distinct geography and ecological marginal conditions. The traditional medical systems of northern India are part of a time tested culture and honored still by people today. These traditional systems have been curing complex disease for more than 3,000 years. With rapidly growing demand for these medicinal plants, most of the plant populations have been depleted, indicating a lack of ecological knowledge among communities using the plants. Thus, an attempt was made in this study to focus on the ecological status of ethnomedicinal plants, to determine their availability in the growing sites, and to inform the communities about the sustainable exploitation of medicinal plants in the wild. Methods The ecological information regarding ethnomedicinal plants was collected in three different climatic regions (tropical, sub-tropical and temperate for species composition in different forest layers. The ecological information was assessed using the quadrate sampling method. A total of 25 quadrats, 10 × 10 m were laid out at random in order to sample trees and shrubs, and 40 quadrats of 1 × 1 m for herbaceous plants. In each climatic region, three vegetation sites were selected for ecological information; the mean values of density, basal cover, and the importance value index from all sites of each region were used to interpret the final data. Ethnomedicinal uses were collected from informants of adjacent villages. About 10% of inhabitants (older, experienced men and women were interviewed about their use of medicinal plants. A consensus analysis of medicinal plant use between the different populations was conducted. Results Across the different climatic regions a total of 57 species of plants were reported: 14 tree species, 10 shrub species, and 33 herb species. In the tropical and sub-tropical regions, Acacia catechu was the dominant tree while

  10. Distribution of dominant arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi among five plant species in undisturbed vegetation of a coastal grassland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holtgrewe-Stukenbrock, Eva; Rosendahl, Søren

    2005-01-01

    Most plant species in mixed grassland vegetation are colonized by arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. Previous studies have reported differences in host preferences among AM fungi, although the fungi are known to lack host specificity. In the present study, the distribution of phylogenetic groups...... of AM fungi belonging to a clade of Glomus species was studied in five plant species from a coastal grassland in Denmark. The occurrence of the fungi was determined by PCR analyses of fungal large subunit ribosomal DNA sequences amplified from root fragments using a specific primer set. The results...... showed that the dominant Glomus species were able to colonize all the studied plant species, supporting the view that the AM fungi represent a large underground interconnecting mycelial network....

  11. 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 ...

  12. Plant-pollinator interactions in tropical monsoon forests in Southeast Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kato, Makoto; Kosaka, Yasuyuki; Kawakita, Atsushi; Okuyama, Yudai; Kobayashi, Chisato; Phimminith, Thavy; Thongphan, Daovorn

    2008-11-01

    Forests with different flora and vegetation types harbor different assemblages of flower visitors, and plant-pollinator interactions vary among forests. In monsoon-dominated East and Southeast Asia, there is a characteristic gradient in climate along latitude, creating a broad spectrum of forest types with potentially diverse pollinator communities. To detect a geographical pattern of plant-pollinator interactions, we investigated flowering phenology and pollinator assemblages in the least-studied forest type, i.e., tropical monsoon forest, in the Vientiane plain in Laos. Throughout the 5-year study, we observed 171 plant species blooming and detected flower visitors on 145 species. Flowering occurred throughout the year, although the number of flowering plant species peaked at the end of dry season. The dominant canopy trees, including Dipterocarpaceae, bloomed annually, in contrast to the supra-annual general flowering that occurs in Southeast Asian tropical rain forests. Among the 134 native plant species, 68 were pollinated by hymenopterans and others by lepidopterans, beetles, flies, or diverse insects. Among the observed bees, Xylocopa, megachilids, and honeybees mainly contributed to the pollination of canopy trees, whereas long-tongued Amegilla bees pollinated diverse perennials with long corolla tubes. This is the first community-level study of plant-pollinator interactions in an Asian tropical monsoon forest ecosystem.

  13. 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...

  14. 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

  15. Community Structure and Productivity in Western Mongolian Steppe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kiyokazu Kawada

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The people of the Mongolian steppe have maintained a sustainable, nomadic lifestyle. However, several ecological processes are threatening their way of life. Ecological changan be detected through the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data. It is therefore, imperative to develop a sustainable rangeland management system aimed at combating desertifi cation. In this study we quantitatively and qualitatively describe several western Mongolian steppe plant communities by examining species composition, plant volume and community structure. Study sites were located in the Uvs and Khovd provinces and had all been affected by livestock grazing. A total of 48 species were found. Stipa krylovii , S . gobica , Cleistogenes songorica , Koeleria cristata and Ajania achilleoides were dominant. There was a signifi cant relationship between biomass and plant volume at all sites. Study sites were classifi ed into four groups using cluster analysis, based on the presence or absence of several species. More than 90% of plant volumes at all groups were perennial grasses and perennial forbs. The ratio of C 3 to C 4 plants at site 3 was reversed in comparison to the other sites. Species highly palatable to livestock were dominant at all sites. To ensure the sustainable use of biological resources in these arid areas, these fi ndings should be taken into account in designing land-use plans.

  16. Impact of metal pollution on fungal diversity and community structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Op De Beeck, Michiel; Lievens, Bart; Busschaert, Pieter; Rineau, Francois; Smits, Mark; Vangronsveld, Jaco; Colpaert, Jan V

    2015-06-01

    The impact of metal pollution on plant communities has been studied extensively in the past, but little is known about the effects of metal pollution on fungal communities that occur in metal-polluted soils. Metal-tolerant ecotypes of the ectomycorrhizal fungus Suillus luteus are frequently found in pioneer pine forests in the Campine region in Belgium on metal-polluted soils. We hypothesized that metal pollution would play an important role in shaping below-ground fungal communities that occur in these soils and that Suillus luteus would be a dominant player. To test these hypotheses, the fungal communities in a young pine plantation in soil polluted with zinc, and cadmium were studied using 454 amplicon pyrosequencing. Results show that zinc, cadmium and soil organic matter content were strongly correlated with the fungal community composition, but no effects on fungal diversity were observed. As hypothesized, S. luteus was found to be a dominant member of the studied fungal communities. However, other dominant fungal species, such as Sistotrema sp., Wilcoxina mikolae and Cadophora finlandica were found as well. Their presence in metal-polluted sites is discussed. © 2014 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Vegetative Propagule Pressure and Water Depth Affect Biomass and Evenness of Submerged Macrophyte Communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong-Li Li

    Full Text Available Vegetative propagule pressure may affect the establishment and structure of aquatic plant communities that are commonly dominated by plants capable of clonal growth. We experimentally constructed aquatic communities consisting of four submerged macrophytes (Hydrilla verticillata, Ceratophyllum demersum, Elodea nuttallii and Myriophyllum spicatum with three levels of vegetative propagule pressure (4, 8 and 16 shoot fragments for communities in each pot and two levels of water depth (30 cm and 70 cm. Increasing vegetative propagule pressure and decreasing water level significantly increased the growth of the submerged macrophyte communities, suggesting that propagule pressure and water depth should be considered when utilizing vegetative propagules to re-establish submerged macrophyte communities in degraded aquatic ecosystems. However, increasing vegetative propagule pressure and decreasing water level significantly decreased evenness of the submerged macrophyte communities because they markedly increased the dominance of H. verticillata and E. nuttallii, but had little impact on that of C. demersum and M. spicatum. Thus, effects of vegetative propagule pressure and water depth are species-specific and increasing vegetative propagule pressure under lower water level can facilitate the establishment success of submerged macrophyte communities.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Study of community leaders in a nuclear host community: local issues, expectations and support and opposition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bronfman, B.H.

    1977-08-01

    A study of community leaders was undertaken in Hartsville, Tennessee, site of the TVA Hartsville Nuclear Power Plant currently under construction. Leaders were found to be extremely supportive of the plant and of TVA's efforts to mitigate impacts expected to result from construction. Like their citizen counterparts, leaders expect economic benefits and some growth-related disruption to occur as a result of the plant, while environmental impacts are seen as extremely unlikely to occur. Plant-related issues, such as housing availability and traffic congestion, dominate leaders' thinking about current issues. These issues are expected to continue to be important in the future, and new issues dealing with growth and planning, employment and taxation are expected to arise

  7. Aspen increase soil moisture, nutrients, organic matter and respiration in Rocky Mountain forest communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buck, Joshua R; St Clair, Samuel B

    2012-01-01

    Development and change in forest communities are strongly influenced by plant-soil interactions. The primary objective of this paper was to identify how forest soil characteristics vary along gradients of forest community composition in aspen-conifer forests to better understand the relationship between forest vegetation characteristics and soil processes. The study was conducted on the Fishlake National Forest, Utah, USA. Soil measurements were collected in adjacent forest stands that were characterized as aspen dominated, mixed, conifer dominated or open meadow, which includes the range of vegetation conditions that exist in seral aspen forests. Soil chemistry, moisture content, respiration, and temperature were measured. There was a consistent trend in which aspen stands demonstrated higher mean soil nutrient concentrations than mixed and conifer dominated stands and meadows. Specifically, total N, NO(3) and NH(4) were nearly two-fold higher in soil underneath aspen dominated stands. Soil moisture was significantly higher in aspen stands and meadows in early summer but converged to similar levels as those found in mixed and conifer dominated stands in late summer. Soil respiration was significantly higher in aspen stands than conifer stands or meadows throughout the summer. These results suggest that changes in disturbance regimes or climate scenarios that favor conifer expansion or loss of aspen will decrease soil resource availability, which is likely to have important feedbacks on plant community development.

  8. Species composition and community structure of subtropical forest stands in western himalayan foothills of kashmir

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shaheen, H.; Malik, N. M.; Dar, M. E. U. I.

    2015-01-01

    Lesser Himalayan subtropical forests have unique species composition due to diverse climatic and topographic factors which create numerous microhabitats. Phytosociological characteristics, structural attributes and biological spectrum of plant communities in the forests of Himalayan foothills in Kashmir were analyzed. A total of 65 species belonging to 26 plant families were recorded constituting 6 plant communities. Average value of diversity recorded for the communities was 2.44; species richness 4.01; whereas evenness was found to be 0.48. The species data indicated random distribution of species with a hump shaped diversity pattern directly correlated with increasing altitude. Themeda anathera was the dominant species with an importance value percentage of 14.7 percentage followed by Pinus roxburghii (9.6 percentage), Mallotus philippenensis (5.2 percentage), Malvastrum coromandelianum (5.1 percentage), Acacia modesta (5 percentage), Olea ferruginea (3.8 percentage) and Oxalis corniculata (3.2 percentage). Vegetation was dominated by Therophytes (30 percentage) and megaphanerophytes (23.3) with dominant leaf spectrum as leptophylls (31.6 percentage). Thirty seven percent plants had medicinal values followed by 31 percentage having fodder values where as 12 percentage used as fuel. Principal component analyses and cluster analyses revealed the association of dominant species with specific sites due to prevailing environmental conditions. The distribution of species in ordination diagrams indicated a continuous change in species composition along the altitudinal gradient. Key stone tree species were subject to immense tree felling resulting in deteriorating changes in forest structure. Visual indicators showed over grazing at all the studied sites evident from the dominance of unpalatable species. Local forest stands demand immediate attention of policy makers as well as forest management so that local diversity and floristic richness could be conserved and

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  13. 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.

  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

    2018-01-01

    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

  15. Denitrifying bacteria from the genus Rhodanobacter dominate bacterial communities in the highly contaminated subsurface of a nuclear legacy waste site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Stefan J; Prakash, Om; Jasrotia, Puja; Overholt, Will A; Cardenas, Erick; Hubbard, Daniela; Tiedje, James M; Watson, David B; Schadt, Christopher W; Brooks, Scott C; Kostka, Joel E

    2012-02-01

    The effect of long-term mixed-waste contamination, particularly uranium and nitrate, on the microbial community in the terrestrial subsurface was investigated at the field scale at the Oak Ridge Integrated Field Research Challenge (ORIFRC) site in Oak Ridge, TN. The abundance, community composition, and distribution of groundwater microorganisms were examined across the site during two seasonal sampling events. At representative locations, subsurface sediment was also examined from two boreholes, one sampled from the most heavily contaminated area of the site and another from an area with low contamination. A suite of DNA- and RNA-based molecular tools were employed for community characterization, including quantitative PCR of rRNA and nitrite reductase genes, community composition fingerprinting analysis, and high-throughput pyrotag sequencing of rRNA genes. The results demonstrate that pH is a major driver of the subsurface microbial community structure and that denitrifying bacteria from the genus Rhodanobacter (class Gammaproteobacteria) dominate at low pH. The relative abundance of bacteria from this genus was positively correlated with lower-pH conditions, and these bacteria were abundant and active in the most highly contaminated areas. Other factors, such as the concentration of nitrogen species, oxygen level, and sampling season, did not appear to strongly influence the distribution of Rhodanobacter bacteria. The results indicate that these organisms are acid-tolerant denitrifiers, well suited to the acidic, nitrate-rich subsurface conditions, and pH is confirmed as a dominant driver of bacterial community structure in this contaminated subsurface environment.

  16. Phylogenetic diversity of dominant bacterial communities during bioremediation of crude oil-polluted soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eugene Thomas Cloete

    2011-08-01

    degradation. Cluster analysis of DGGE bands using simple matching group average setting revealed that poultry droppings-amended soils and calcium ammonium nitrate-amended soils formed distinct clades meaning that the treatment selected similar bacterial populations for each of the treatments whereas NPK soils showed less association. Excision, reamplification and sequencing of dominant DGGE bands in biostimulated soils revealed the presence of distinct hydrocarbon degraders like Corynebacterium spp., Dietzia spp., low G+C Gram positive bacteria and some uncultured bacterial clones. Phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequences of these dominant bacterial communities was conducted using the neighbour joining method of PHYLIP. Two distinct clades appeared in the tree clustered members of the Actinobacteria and Firmicutes separately. The overall data suggested that Gram positive bacteria especially members of the Actinobacteria may have a key role in bioremediation of crude oil-polluted soil.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Bacterial community structure in the Cerasus sachalinensis Kom ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The results showed that the bacterial community diversity in the cultivated C. sachalinensis rhizosphere was always higher than the wild, while the evenness and dominance indices followed a different pattern as compared to band richness in the wild and cultivated conditions. The plant growth stages also had an influence ...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Seasonal dynamics and vertical distribution of plant-feeding nematode communities in grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verschoor, B.C.; Goede, de R.G.M.; Hoop, de J.W.; Vries, de F.W.

    2001-01-01

    The vertical distribution and seasonal dynamics of plant- and fungal-feeding nematode taxa in permanent grasslands were investigated. Dolichodoridae, Paratylenchus, Pratylenchus, Tylenchidae and Aphelenchoides dominated the upper 10 cm soil and their numbers strongly decreased with depth. The

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. Biological Invasion Influences the Outcome of Plant-Soil Feedback in the Invasive Plant Species from the Brazilian Semi-arid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Souza, Tancredo Augusto Feitosa; de Andrade, Leonaldo Alves; Freitas, Helena; da Silva Sandim, Aline

    2017-05-30

    Plant-soil feedback is recognized as the mutual interaction between plants and soil microorganisms, but its role on the biological invasion of the Brazilian tropical seasonal dry forest by invasive plants still remains unclear. Here, we analyzed and compared the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) communities and soil characteristics from the root zone of invasive and native plants, and tested how these AMF communities affect the development of four invasive plant species (Cryptostegia madagascariensis, Parkinsonia aculeata, Prosopis juliflora, and Sesbania virgata). Our field sampling revealed that AMF diversity and frequency of the Order Diversisporales were positively correlated with the root zone of the native plants, whereas AMF dominance and frequency of the Order Glomerales were positively correlated with the root zone of invasive plants. We grew the invasive plants in soil inoculated with AMF species from the root zone of invasive (I changed ) and native (I unaltered ) plant species. We also performed a third treatment with sterilized soil inoculum (control). We examined the effects of these three AMF inoculums on plant dry biomass, root colonization, plant phosphorous concentration, and plant responsiveness to mycorrhizas. We found that I unaltered and I changed promoted the growth of all invasive plants and led to a higher plant dry biomass, mycorrhizal colonization, and P uptake than control, but I changed showed better results on these variables than I unaltered . For plant responsiveness to mycorrhizas and fungal inoculum effect on plant P concentration, we found positive feedback between changed-AMF community (I changed ) and three of the studied invasive plants: C. madagascariensis, P. aculeata, and S. virgata.

  11. Plant biomass and species composition along an environmental gradient in montane riparian meadows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kathleen A. Dwire; J. Boone Kauffman; E. N. Jack Brookshire; John E. Baham

    2004-01-01

    In riparian meadows, narrow zonation of the dominant vegetation frequently occurs along the elevational gradient from the stream edge to the floodplain terrace. We measured plant species composition and above- and belowground biomass in three riparian plant communities - a priori defined as wet, moist, and dry meadow - along short streamside topographic gradients in...

  12. Bacterial Endophytes Isolated from Plants in Natural Oil Seep Soils with Chronic Hydrocarbon Contamination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lumactud, Rhea; Shen, Shu Yi; Lau, Mimas; Fulthorpe, Roberta

    2016-01-01

    The bacterial endophytic communities of four plants growing abundantly in soils highly contaminated by hydrocarbons were analyzed through culturable and culture-independent means. Given their tolerance to the high levels of petroleum contamination at our study site, we sought evidence that Achillea millefolium, Solidago canadensis, Trifolium aureum, and Dactylis glomerata support high levels of hydrocarbon degrading endophytes. A total of 190 isolates were isolated from four plant species. The isolates were identified by partial 16S rDNA sequence analysis, with class Actinobacteria as the dominant group in all species except S. canadensis, which was dominated by Gammaproteobacteria. Microbacterium foliorum and Plantibacter flavus were present in all the plants, with M. foliorum showing predominance in D. glomerata and both endophytic bacterial species dominated T. aureum. More than 50% of the isolates demonstrated degradative capabilities for octanol, toluene, naphthalene, kerosene, or motor oil based on sole carbon source growth screens involving the reduction of tetrazolium dye. P. flavus isolates from all the sampled plants showed growth on all the petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs) substrates tested. Mineralization of toluene and naphthalene was confirmed using gas-chromatography. 16S based terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis revealed significant differences between the endophytic bacterial communities showing them to be plant host specific at this site. To our knowledge, this is the first account of the degradation potential of bacterial endophytes in these commonly occurring pioneer plants that were not previously known as phytoremediating plants.

  13. Bacterial endophytes isolated from plants in natural oil seep soils with chronic hydrocarbon contamination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rhea eLumactud

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The bacterial endophytic communities of four plants growing abundantly in soils highly contaminated by hydrocarbons were analyzed through culturable and and culture-independent means. Given their tolerance to the high levels of petroleum contamination at our study site, we sought evidence that Achillea millefolium, Solidago canadensis, Trifolium aureum and Dactylis glomerata support high levels of hydrocarbon degrading endophytes. A total of 190 isolates were isolated from four plant species. The isolates were identified by partial 16S rDNA sequence analysis, with class Actinobacteria as the dominant group in all species except Solidago canadensis, which was dominated by Gammaproteobacteria. Microbacterium foliorum and Plantibacter flavus were present in all the plants, with M. foliorum showing predominance in D. glomerata and both endophytic bacterial species dominated T. aureum. More than 50% of the isolates demonstrated degradative capabilities for octanol, toluene, naphthalene, kerosene or motor oil based on sole carbon source growth screens involving the reduction of tetrazolium dye. P. flavus isolates from all the sampled plants showed growth on all the petroleum hydrocarbons substrates tested. Mineralization of toluene and naphthalene was confirmed using gas-chromatography. 16S based terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis revealed significant differences between the endophytic bacterial communities showing them to be plant host specific at this site. To our knowledge, this is the first account of the degradation potential of bacterial endophytes in these commonly occurring pioneer plants that were not previously known as phytoremediating plants.

  14. Grazing intensity on the plant diversity of alpine meadow in the eastern Tibetan plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wu Ning

    2004-04-01

    Full Text Available Because ofthe remoteness and harsh conditions of the high-altitude rangelands on the eastern Tibetan Plateau, the relationship between yak grazing and plant diversity has not been so clear although livestock increase was thought as the main issue leading to the degradation of rangeland. In the debate of rangeland degradation, biodiversity loss has been assumed as one of the indicators in the last two decades. In this paper authors measured the effects of different grazing intensities on the plant diversity and the structure of Kobresia pygmaea community in the case-study area, northwestern Sichuan. The results indicated that plant diversity of alpine meadow has different changing trends respectively with the change of grazing intensity and seasons. In June the highest plant diversity occurred in the intensively grazed (HG plots, but in July and September species biodiversity index of slightly grazed (LG plots is higher than other experimental treatments. In August the intermediate grazed (IG plots has the highest biodiversity index. Moreover, it was found that intensively grazing always leads to the increase of plant density, but meanwhile the decrease of community height, coverage and biomass. Over-grazing can change the community structure and lead to the succession from Kobresia pygmaea dominated community to Poa pratensis dominated. Analyzing results comprehensively, it can be suggested that the relationship between grazing intensity and plant diversity is not linear, i.e. diversity index is not as good as other characteristics of community structure to evaluate rangeland degradation on the high altitude situation. The change of biodiversity is so complicated that it can not be explained with the simple corresponding causality.

  15. Analysis of risk-dominant sequences by MAAP3.0 for Kuosheng Nuclear Power Plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin, J.D.; Chieng, C.C.; Wang, T.K.; Hsiue, R.K.

    1987-01-01

    Kuosheng Nuclear Power Plant is the first operating model-6/Mark III boiling water reactor (BWR6/Mark III) in the world, and a probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) has been performed to determine the likely frequencies of core melt accidents and the magnitude, composition, and fraction of fission products released in these accidents. The final report of this PRA indicates that categories 8 and 15 are ranked No. 1 by risk index (the product of release frequency and release fraction) and release frequency, respectively. The dominant contributors of these two categories are frequent earthquakes and typhoons

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

  20. Temperature effects on respiration and photosynthesis in three diatom-dominated benthic communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hancke, Kasper; Glud, R.N.

    2004-01-01

    ABSTRACT: Short-term temperature effects on respiration and photosynthesis were investigated in intact diatom-dominated benthic communities, collected at 2 temperate and 1 high-arctic subtidal sites. Areal rates of total (TOE) and diffusive (DOE) O2 exchange were determined from O2-microsensor....... This can be ascribed to changes in physical and biological controls during resuspension. Gross photosynthesis was measured with the light-dark shift method at the 2 temperate sites. Both areal (Pgross) and volumetric (Pgross,vol) rates increased with temperature to an optimum temperature at 12 and 15°C......, with a Q10 for Pgross of 2.2 and 2.6 for the 2 sites, respectively. The gross photosynthesis response could be categorised as psychrotrophic for both sites and no temperature adaptation was observed between the 2 sites. Our measurements document that temperature stimulates heterotrophic activity more than...

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. [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.

  5. Microbial Community Composition of Polyhydroxyalkanoate-Accumulating Organisms in Full-Scale Wastewater Treatment Plants Operated in Fully Aerobic Mode

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oshiki, Mamoru; Onuki, Motoharu; Satoh, Hiroyasu; Mino, Takashi

    2013-01-01

    The removal of biodegradable organic matter is one of the most important objectives in biological wastewater treatments. Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA)-accumulating organisms (PHAAOs) significantly contribute to the removal of biodegradable organic matter; however, their microbial community composition is mostly unknown. In the present study, the microbial community composition of PHAAOs was investigated at 8 full-scale wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), operated in fully aerobic mode, by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis and post-FISH Nile blue A (NBA) staining techniques. Our results demonstrated that 1) PHAAOs were in the range of 11–18% in the total number of cells, and 2) the microbial community composition of PHAAOs was similar at the bacterial domain/phylum/class/order level among the 8 full-scale WWTPs, and dominant PHAAOs were members of the class Alphaproteobacteria and Betaproteobacteria. The microbial community composition of α- and β-proteobacterial PHAAOs was examined by 16S rRNA gene clone library analysis and further by applying a set of newly designed oligonucleotide probes targeting 16S rRNA gene sequences of α- or β-proteobacterial PHAAOs. The results demonstrated that the microbial community composition of PHAAOs differed in the class Alphaproteobacteria and Betaproteobacteria, which possibly resulted in a different PHA accumulation capacity among the WWTPs (8.5–38.2 mg-C g-VSS−1 h−1). The present study extended the knowledge of the microbial diversity of PHAAOs in full-scale WWTPs operated in fully aerobic mode. PMID:23257912

  6. Phosphorus as a Limiting Nutrient in Zooplankton Communities Above a Reef Dominated by the Invasive Quagga Mussel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, J.; Cuhel, R. L.; Aguilar, C.

    2008-12-01

    Comprehensive water column data were retrieved from three sites in open waters of Lake Michigan during the summer of 2008. At two, the invasive quagga mussel (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis) functioned as a phosphorus sink. One of these sites, Sheboygan Reef (SR04), exhibited a lower average soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) value throughout its water column. The large size fraction of the phytoplankton community at this site contained proportionally less of the total seston phosphorus than at other comparable sites. Instead of this simply being a reflection of less large phytoplankton, phosphorus enrichment experiments conducted along with other lines of evidence indicate it may, in fact, reflect less phosphorus per unit of weight in the large phytoplankton community. In these experiments, larger phytoplankton were observed to be less efficient at assimilating phosphate after low-level additions (0.1 μM) were made to simulate the amount of phosphorus added during for example a rainstorm. The relatively inefficient uptake of short-term injections of phosphate observed in the large phytoplankton class is more influential on the overall uptake of phosphorus at a site like SR04 which ordinarily has low levels of available phosphorus (quagga mussel community at this site (>10,000 m-2) dominated the phosphorus inventory (mmol P/m2). Furthermore, C:N:P ratios indicate that zooplankton at all three sites may be suffering from a phosphorus deficit. A dominant presence of quagga mussels at Sheboygan Reef was correlated with decreased SRP levels and relatively low levels of phosphorus at the producer and consumer levels in the water column.

  7. Floral advertisement scent in a changing plant-pollinators market.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filella, Iolanda; Primante, Clara; Llusià, Joan; Martín González, Ana M; Seco, Roger; Farré-Armengol, Gerard; Rodrigo, Anselm; Bosch, Jordi; Peñuelas, Josep

    2013-12-05

    Plant-pollinator systems may be considered as biological markets in which pollinators choose between different flowers that advertise their nectar/pollen rewards. Although expected to play a major role in structuring plant-pollinator interactions, community-wide patterns of flower scent signals remain largely unexplored. Here we show for the first time that scent advertisement is higher in plant species that bloom early in the flowering period when pollinators are scarce relative to flowers than in species blooming later in the season when there is a surplus of pollinators relative to flowers. We also show that less abundant flowering species that may compete with dominant species for pollinator visitation early in the flowering period emit much higher proportions of the generalist attractant β-ocimene. Overall, we provide a first community-wide description of the key role of seasonal dynamics of plant-specific flower scent emissions, and reveal the coexistence of contrasting plant signaling strategies in a plant-pollinator market.

  8. 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.

  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 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

  12. Community regulation: the relative importance of recruitment and predation intensity of an intertidal community dominant in a seascape context.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gil Rilov

    Full Text Available Predicting the strength and context-dependency of species interactions across multiple scales is a core area in ecology. This is especially challenging in the marine environment, where populations of most predators and prey are generally open, because of their pelagic larval phase, and recruitment of both is highly variable. In this study we use a comparative-experimental approach on small and large spatial scales to test the relationship between predation intensity and prey recruitment and their relative importance in shaping populations of a dominant rocky intertidal space occupier, mussels, in the context of seascape (availability of nearby subtidal reef habitat. Predation intensity on transplanted mussels was tested inside and outside cages and recruitment was measured with standard larval settlement collectors. We found that on intertidal rocky benches with contiguous subtidal reefs in New Zealand, mussel larval recruitment is usually low but predation on recruits by subtidal consumers (fish, crabs is intense during high tide. On nearby intertidal rocky benches with adjacent sandy subtidal habitats, larval recruitment is usually greater but subtidal predators are typically rare and predation is weaker. Multiple regression analysis showed that predation intensity accounts for most of the variability in the abundance of adult mussels compared to recruitment. This seascape-dependent, predation-recruitment relationship could scale up to explain regional community variability. We argue that community ecology models should include seascape context-dependency and its effects on recruitment and species interactions for better predictions of coastal community dynamics and structure.

  13. Community regulation: the relative importance of recruitment and predation intensity of an intertidal community dominant in a seascape context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rilov, Gil; Schiel, David R

    2011-01-01

    Predicting the strength and context-dependency of species interactions across multiple scales is a core area in ecology. This is especially challenging in the marine environment, where populations of most predators and prey are generally open, because of their pelagic larval phase, and recruitment of both is highly variable. In this study we use a comparative-experimental approach on small and large spatial scales to test the relationship between predation intensity and prey recruitment and their relative importance in shaping populations of a dominant rocky intertidal space occupier, mussels, in the context of seascape (availability of nearby subtidal reef habitat). Predation intensity on transplanted mussels was tested inside and outside cages and recruitment was measured with standard larval settlement collectors. We found that on intertidal rocky benches with contiguous subtidal reefs in New Zealand, mussel larval recruitment is usually low but predation on recruits by subtidal consumers (fish, crabs) is intense during high tide. On nearby intertidal rocky benches with adjacent sandy subtidal habitats, larval recruitment is usually greater but subtidal predators are typically rare and predation is weaker. Multiple regression analysis showed that predation intensity accounts for most of the variability in the abundance of adult mussels compared to recruitment. This seascape-dependent, predation-recruitment relationship could scale up to explain regional community variability. We argue that community ecology models should include seascape context-dependency and its effects on recruitment and species interactions for better predictions of coastal community dynamics and structure.

  14. Vegetation communities associated with the 100-Area and 200-Area facilities on the Hanford Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stegen, J.A.

    1994-01-01

    The Hanford Site, Benton County, Washington, lies within the broad semi-arid shrub-steppe vegetation zone of the Columbia Basin. Thirteen different habitat types on the Hanford Site have been mapped in Habitat Types on the Hanford Site: Wildlife and Plant Species of Concern (Downs et al. 1993). In a broad sense, this classification is correct. On a smaller scale, however, finer delineations are possible. This study was conducted to determine the plant communities and estimate vegetation cover in and directly adjacent to the 100 and 200 Areas, primarily in relation to waste sites, as part of a comprehensive ecological study for the Compensation Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) characterization of the 100 and 200 Areas. During the summer of 1993, field surveys were conducted and a map of vegetation communities in each area, including dominant species associations, was produced. The field surveys consisted of qualitative community delineations. The community delineations described were made by field reconnaissance and are qualitative in nature. The delineations were made by visually determining the dominant plant species or vegetation types and were based on the species most apparent at the time of inspection. Additionally, 38 transects were run in these plant communities to try to obtain a more accurate representation of the community. Because habitat disturbances from construction/operations activities continue to occur in these areas, users of this information should be cautious in applying these maps without a current ground survey. This work will complement large-scale habitat maps of the Hanford Site

  15. Vegetation communities associated with the 100-Area and 200-Area facilities on the Hanford Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stegen, J.A.

    1994-01-17

    The Hanford Site, Benton County, Washington, lies within the broad semi-arid shrub-steppe vegetation zone of the Columbia Basin. Thirteen different habitat types on the Hanford Site have been mapped in Habitat Types on the Hanford Site: Wildlife and Plant Species of Concern (Downs et al. 1993). In a broad sense, this classification is correct. On a smaller scale, however, finer delineations are possible. This study was conducted to determine the plant communities and estimate vegetation cover in and directly adjacent to the 100 and 200 Areas, primarily in relation to waste sites, as part of a comprehensive ecological study for the Compensation Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) characterization of the 100 and 200 Areas. During the summer of 1993, field surveys were conducted and a map of vegetation communities in each area, including dominant species associations, was produced. The field surveys consisted of qualitative community delineations. The community delineations described were made by field reconnaissance and are qualitative in nature. The delineations were made by visually determining the dominant plant species or vegetation types and were based on the species most apparent at the time of inspection. Additionally, 38 transects were run in these plant communities to try to obtain a more accurate representation of the community. Because habitat disturbances from construction/operations activities continue to occur in these areas, users of this information should be cautious in applying these maps without a current ground survey. This work will complement large-scale habitat maps of the Hanford Site.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Bacterial community composition of a wastewater treatment system reliant on N{sub 2} fixation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reid, N.M.; Bowers, T.H.; Lloyd-Jones, G. [Scion, Rotorua (New Zealand)

    2008-05-15

    The temporal stability and change of the dominant phylogenetic groups of the domain bacteria were studied in a model plant-based industrial wastewater treatment system showing high levels of organic carbon removal supported by high levels of N{sub 2} fixation. Community profiles were obtained through terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis and cloning of 16S rRNA amplicons followed by sequencing. Bacterial community profiles showed that ten common terminal restriction fragments made up approximately 50% of the measured bacterial community. As much as 42% of the measured bacterial community could be monitored by using quantitative PCR and primers that targeted three dominant operational taxonomic units. Despite changes in wastewater composition and dissolved oxygen levels, the bacterial community composition appeared stable and was dominated by {alpha}-Proteobacteria and {beta}-Proteobacteria, with a lesser amount of the highly diverse bacterial phylum Bacteroidetes. A short period of considerable change in the bacterial community composition did not appear to affect treatment performance indicating functional redundancy in this treatment system. (orig.)

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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)

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. Antioxidant Activity of Dominant Plants Species in Obat Pahit from Lingga Malay Ethnic in Riau Archipelago

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fitmawati Fitmawati

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Obat Pahit is a potion that has been long commonly consumed by Lingga Malay society for generations as stamina keeper. The most dominant plants found in the packaging of the Obat Pahit were namely Bauhunia semibifida, Cnestis palala and Penawa Root (3 species. This research aimed to investigate and determine activity of antioxidant contents in Obat Pahit from five Traditional Medicine Practitioners (TMPs in the district of Lingga. The tested samples were mashed then being soaked into 2 types of solvent: distilled water and methanol, containing HCl 1%. DPPH method was also used in this research. Quantitatively antioxidant activity test of Obat Pahit from the five TMPs by using methanol solvent had extremely highest activity compared to the distilled water solvent. The test, using TLC plate by spraying the extract from three dominant plants with 0.1 mM of DPPH solution, produced a pale-yellow spots at a wavelength of 366 nm. On the other hand, the test using HPLC at wavelengths of 230 nm and 280 nm showed the presence of two dominant secondary metabolites contents: flavonoid and phenolic. IC50 (ppm of Bauhinia semibifida (6.6247, Penawa Root (5.0124 and Cnestis palala (5.9968 were much lower than IC50 of mangosteen’s rind (41.7675, vitamin C (6.6612 and Stimuno drug (8.333. This antioxidant analysis has not been reported previously. This proof contributed greatly to uncovering potentially native natural resources as an indigenous Indonesian drug which is expected to decrease dependence on imported drugs especially imunomodulator, antihypertensive, antidiabet etc. This research would be beneficial and excellent manifestation for the development of natural antioxidant-based medicines from traditional knowledge of Indonesia’s local ethnicities.

  6. 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...

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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

  9. Can oxygen stable isotopes be used to track precipitation moisture source in vascular plant-dominated peatlands?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amesbury, Matthew J.; Charman, Dan J.; Newnham, Rewi M.; Loader, Neil J.; Goodrich, Jordan; Royles, Jessica; Campbell, David I.; Keller, Elizabeth D.; Baisden, W. Troy; Roland, Thomas P.; Gallego-Sala, Angela V.

    2015-11-01

    Variations in the isotopic composition of precipitation are determined by fractionation processes which occur during temperature- and humidity-dependent phase changes associated with evaporation and condensation. Oxygen stable isotope ratios have therefore been frequently used as a source of palaeoclimate data from a variety of proxy archives, which integrate this signal over time. Applications from ombrotrophic peatlands, where the source water used in cellulose synthesis is derived solely from precipitation, have been mostly limited to Northern Hemisphere Sphagnum-dominated bogs, with few in the Southern Hemisphere or in peatlands dominated by vascular plants. New Zealand (NZ) provides an ideal location to undertake empirical research into oxygen isotope fractionation in vascular peatlands because single taxon analysis can be easily carried out, in particular using the preserved root matrix of the restionaceous wire rush (Empodisma spp.) that forms deep Holocene peat deposits throughout the country. Furthermore, large gradients are observed in the mean isotopic composition of precipitation across NZ, caused primarily by the relative influence of different climate modes. Here, we test whether δ18O of Empodisma α-cellulose from ombrotrophic restiad peatlands in NZ can provide a methodology for developing palaeoclimate records of past precipitation δ18O. Surface plant, water and precipitation samples were taken over spatial (six sites spanning >10° latitude) and temporal (monthly measurements over one year) gradients. A link between the isotopic composition of root-associated water, the most likely source water for plant growth, and precipitation in both datasets was found. Back-trajectory modelling of precipitation moisture source for rain days prior to sampling showed clear seasonality in the temporal data that was reflected in root-associated water. The link between source water and plant cellulose was less clear, although mechanistic modelling predicted mean

  10. [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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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 activitie