WorldWideScience

Sample records for plant communities

  1. 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...

  2. Plant Communities of Rough Rock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, Linda

    A unit of study on plants grown in the Navajo community of Rough Rock, Arizona, is presented in sketches providing the common Navajo name for the plant, a literal English translation, the English name of the plant, and the Latin name. A brief description of each plant includes where the plant grows, how the Navajos use the plant, and the color and…

  3. 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 ......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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Seed bank characteristics of Dutch plant communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1998-01-01

    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

  7. Global change and terrestrial plant community dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Janet; Serra-Diaz, Josep M; Syphard, Alexandra D; Regan, Helen M

    2016-04-05

    Anthropogenic drivers of global change include rising atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses and resulting changes in the climate, as well as nitrogen deposition, biotic invasions, altered disturbance regimes, and land-use change. Predicting the effects of global change on terrestrial plant communities is crucial because of the ecosystem services vegetation provides, from climate regulation to forest products. In this paper, we present a framework for detecting vegetation changes and attributing them to global change drivers that incorporates multiple lines of evidence from spatially extensive monitoring networks, distributed experiments, remotely sensed data, and historical records. Based on a literature review, we summarize observed changes and then describe modeling tools that can forecast the impacts of multiple drivers on plant communities in an era of rapid change. Observed responses to changes in temperature, water, nutrients, land use, and disturbance show strong sensitivity of ecosystem productivity and plant population dynamics to water balance and long-lasting effects of disturbance on plant community dynamics. Persistent effects of land-use change and human-altered fire regimes on vegetation can overshadow or interact with climate change impacts. Models forecasting plant community responses to global change incorporate shifting ecological niches, population dynamics, species interactions, spatially explicit disturbance, ecosystem processes, and plant functional responses. Monitoring, experiments, and models evaluating multiple change drivers are needed to detect and predict vegetation changes in response to 21st century global change.

  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. PLANT COMMUNITIES OF ALBANIA - A PRELIMINARY OVERVIEW

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J, RODWELL

    2002-01-01

    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.

  10. Developing Ornamental Plants for Promoting Community Economy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kritsana Khonphian

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Problem statement: This study aimed to investigate the development of ornamental plants for promoting community economy in marketing and product selling. The study area was Ban Mai Udom, Tambon Ban Mai, Amphoe Nong Bunmak, Changwat Nakhon Ratchasima. Approach: This qualitative research study collected documentary data and field data using survey, observations, interviews and focused group discussion. The sample consisted of totally 33 community leaders, ornamental plant producers sellers and buyers and state and private sector officials involving promotion of ornamental plant production and selling, obtained using the simple random sampling technique. The collected data were checked using the triangulation technique. The data were analyzed and the study findings were presented by means of a descriptive analysis. Results: The study findings revealed that the production of ornamental plants in Ban Mai Udom community had 2 types of development for promoting community economy: At the household level and the organizational level. At the household kevel, the problems of marketing and selling, in which prices could be bargained, by selling by themselves and haring their relatives sell the products a local markets both inside and outside the community. At the organization level, the patterns of promoting community economy were developed. The marketing problems were solved by using the concept of media through indigenous knowledge, setting up groups as an organization through ethnicity of Thai Khorat and using the Thai Khorat dialect. Conclusion: In solving the selling problems, all of the group members sold the products at local markets and foreign markets such as France, Hong Kong and Dubai. When they had got money, every group member could borrow some money as welfare at an interest rate of 2% year. Dividends were given to all group members every year. The methods mentioned could solve different problems involved.

  11. Curvilinear effects of invasive plants on plant diversity: plant community invaded by Sphagneticola trilobata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shan-Shan Qi

    Full Text Available The effects of invasive plants on the species diversity of plant communities are controversial, showing either a positive or negative linear relationship. Based on community data collected from forty 5 m×5 m plots invaded by Sphagneticola trilobata in eight cities across Hainan Island, China, we found S. trilobata decreased plant community diversity once its cover was beyond 10%. We demonstrated that the effects of invasive/native plants on the plant diversity of communities invaded by S. trilobata were curvilinear. These effects, which showed peaks under different degrees of vegetation cover, appeared not only for S. trilobata and all invasive plants, but also for all native plants. Invasive plants primarily had negative effects on plant diversity when they became abundant at a much lower cover level (less than 35%, compared with the native plants (over 60%. Thus, it is necessary to distinguish a range for assessing the effects of plants, especially invasive plants. Our results also confirmed that the invasion intensity of invasive alien plants increased with the intensity of local economic development. We highlight and further discuss the critical importance of curvilinear effects of biological invasion to provide ideas regarding the conservation of local biodiversity and the management of invasive plants.

  12. Curvilinear effects of invasive plants on plant diversity: plant community invaded by Sphagneticola trilobata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Shan-Shan; Dai, Zhi-Cong; Zhai, De-Li; Chen, Si-Chong; Si, Chun-Can; Huang, Ping; Wang, Rui-Ping; Zhong, Qiong-Xin; Du, Dao-Lin

    2014-01-01

    The effects of invasive plants on the species diversity of plant communities are controversial, showing either a positive or negative linear relationship. Based on community data collected from forty 5 m×5 m plots invaded by Sphagneticola trilobata in eight cities across Hainan Island, China, we found S. trilobata decreased plant community diversity once its cover was beyond 10%. We demonstrated that the effects of invasive/native plants on the plant diversity of communities invaded by S. trilobata were curvilinear. These effects, which showed peaks under different degrees of vegetation cover, appeared not only for S. trilobata and all invasive plants, but also for all native plants. Invasive plants primarily had negative effects on plant diversity when they became abundant at a much lower cover level (less than 35%), compared with the native plants (over 60%). Thus, it is necessary to distinguish a range for assessing the effects of plants, especially invasive plants. Our results also confirmed that the invasion intensity of invasive alien plants increased with the intensity of local economic development. We highlight and further discuss the critical importance of curvilinear effects of biological invasion to provide ideas regarding the conservation of local biodiversity and the management of invasive plants.

  13. 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 simulta

  14. 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

  15. Mutualistic rhizobia reduce plant diversity and alter community composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Kane R

    2014-12-01

    Mutualistic interactions can be just as important to community dynamics as antagonistic species interactions like competition and predation. Because of their large effects on both abiotic and biotic environmental variables, resource mutualisms, in particular, have the potential to influence plant communities. Moreover, the effects of resource mutualists such as nitrogen-fixing rhizobia on diversity and community composition may be more pronounced in nutrient-limited environments. I experimentally manipulated the presence of rhizobia across a nitrogen gradient in early assembling mesocosm communities with identical starting species composition to test how the classic mutualism between nitrogen-fixing rhizobia and their legume host influence diversity and community composition. After harvest, I assessed changes in α-diversity, community composition, β-diversity, and ecosystem properties such as inorganic nitrogen availability and productivity as a result of rhizobia and nitrogen availability. The presence of rhizobia decreased plant community diversity, increased community convergence (reduced β-diversity), altered plant community composition, and increased total community productivity. These community-level effects resulted from rhizobia increasing the competitive dominance of their legume host Chamaecrista fasciculata. Moreover, different non-leguminous species responded both negatively and positively to the presence of rhizobia, indicating that rhizobia are driving both inhibitory and potentially facilitative effects in communities. These findings expand our understanding of plant communities by incorporating the effects of positive symbiotic interactions on plant diversity and composition. In particular, rhizobia that specialize on dominant plants may serve as keystone mutualists in terrestrial plant communities, reducing diversity by more than 40%.

  16. Plant community responses to climate change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kongstad, J.

    2012-07-01

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

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. ROOT ALLOMETRY OF TWO SUBTROPICAL PLANT COMMUNITIES OF NORTHEASTERN MEXICO

    OpenAIRE

    Eduardo de los Ríos-Carrasco; José de Jesús Návar-Cháidez

    2010-01-01

    This research work aimed at the study of the root allometry in sub-tropical Tamaulipan thornscrub and pine forest communities of Nuevo Leon, Mexico. By excavating each individual root of each of 20 trees per plant community, we developed root allometric equations for biomass, volume, total length and diameter. Covariance analysis, ancova, was employed to determine the statistical difference of these variables between plant communities. Results indicate that pine plant trees have larger root v...

  20. Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Mediation of Plant-Plant Interactions in a Marshland Plant Community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qian Zhang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Obligate aerobic AMF taxa have high species richness under waterlogged conditions, but their ecological role remains unclear. Here we focused on AM fungal mediation of plant interactions in a marshland plant community. Five cooccurring plant species were chosen for a neighbor removal experiment in which benomyl was used to suppress AMF colonization. A Phragmites australis removal experiment was also performed to study its role in promoting AMF colonization by increasing rhizosphere oxygen concentration. Mycorrhizal fungal effects on plant interactions were different for dominant and subdominant plant species. AMF colonization has driven positive neighbor effects for three subdominant plant species including Kummerowia striata, Leonurus artemisia, and Ixeris polycephala. In contrast, AMF colonization enhanced the negative effects of neighbors on the dominant Conyza canadensis and had no significant impact on the neighbor interaction to the dominant Polygonum pubescens. AM colonization was positively related to oxygen concentration. P. australis increased oxygen concentration, enhanced AMF colonization, and was thus indirectly capable of influencing plant interactions. Aerobic AM fungi appear to be ecologically relevant in this wetland ecosystem. They drive positive neighbor interactions for subdominant plant species, effectively increasing plant diversity. We suggest, therefore, that AM fungi may be ecologically important even under waterlogged conditions.

  1. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal mediation of plant-plant interactions in a marshland plant community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qian; Sun, Qixiang; Koide, Roger T; Peng, Zhenhua; Zhou, Jinxing; Gu, Xungang; Gao, Weidong; Yu, Meng

    2014-01-01

    Obligate aerobic AMF taxa have high species richness under waterlogged conditions, but their ecological role remains unclear. Here we focused on AM fungal mediation of plant interactions in a marshland plant community. Five cooccurring plant species were chosen for a neighbor removal experiment in which benomyl was used to suppress AMF colonization. A Phragmites australis removal experiment was also performed to study its role in promoting AMF colonization by increasing rhizosphere oxygen concentration. Mycorrhizal fungal effects on plant interactions were different for dominant and subdominant plant species. AMF colonization has driven positive neighbor effects for three subdominant plant species including Kummerowia striata, Leonurus artemisia, and Ixeris polycephala. In contrast, AMF colonization enhanced the negative effects of neighbors on the dominant Conyza canadensis and had no significant impact on the neighbor interaction to the dominant Polygonum pubescens. AM colonization was positively related to oxygen concentration. P. australis increased oxygen concentration, enhanced AMF colonization, and was thus indirectly capable of influencing plant interactions. Aerobic AM fungi appear to be ecologically relevant in this wetland ecosystem. They drive positive neighbor interactions for subdominant plant species, effectively increasing plant diversity. We suggest, therefore, that AM fungi may be ecologically important even under waterlogged conditions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhilan Feng; Rongsong Liu; Donald L. DeAngelis; John P. Bryant; Knut Kielland; F. Stuart Chapin; Robert K. Swihart

    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...

  3. Plant genetics shapes inquiline community structure across spatial scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crutsinger, Gregory M; Cadotte, Marc W; Sanders, Nathan J

    2009-04-01

    Recent research in community genetics has examined the effects of intraspecific genetic variation on species diversity in local communities. However, communities can be structured by a combination of both local and regional processes and to date, few community genetics studies have examined whether the effects of instraspecific genetic variation are consistent across levels of diversity. In this study, we ask whether host-plant genetic variation structures communities of arthropod inquilines within distinct habitat patches--rosette leaf galls on tall goldenrod (Solidago altissima). We found that genetic variation determined inquiline diversity at both local and regional spatial scales, but that trophic-level responses varied independently of one another. This result suggests that herbivores and predators likely respond to heritable plant traits at different spatial scales. Together, our results show that incorporating spatial scale is essential for predicting the effects of genetically variable traits on different trophic levels and levels of diversity within the communities that depend on host plants.

  4. Bacterial Communities Associated with Different Anthurium andraeanum L. Plant Tissues

    OpenAIRE

    Sarria-Guzmán, Yohanna; Chávez-Romero, Yosef; Gómez-Acata, Selene; Montes-Molina, Joaquín Adolfo; Morales-Salazar, Eleacin; Dendooven,Luc; Yendi E. Navarro-Noya

    2016-01-01

    Plant-associated microbes have specific beneficial functions and are considered key drivers for plant health. The bacterial community structure of healthy Anthurium andraeanum L. plants was studied by 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing associated with different plant parts and the rhizosphere. A limited number of bacterial taxa, i.e., Sinorhizobium, Fimbriimonadales, and Gammaproteobacteria HTCC2089 were enriched in the A. andraeanum rhizosphere. Endophytes were more diverse in the roots than in th...

  5. Plant community controls on short-term ecosystem nitrogen retention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vries, Franciska T; Bardgett, Richard D

    2016-05-01

    Retention of nitrogen (N) is a critical ecosystem function, especially in the face of widespread anthropogenic N enrichment; however, our understanding of the mechanisms involved is limited. Here, we tested under glasshouse conditions how plant community attributes, including variations in the dominance, diversity and range of plant functional traits, influence N uptake and retention in temperate grassland. We added a pulse of (15) N to grassland plant communities assembled to represent a range of community-weighted mean plant traits, trait functional diversity and divergence, and species richness, and measured plant and microbial uptake of (15) N, and leaching losses of (15) N, as a short-term test of N retention in the plant-soil system. Root biomass, herb abundance and dominant plant traits were the main determinants of N retention in the plant-soil system: greater root biomass and herb abundance, and lower root tissue density, increased plant (15) N uptake, while higher specific leaf area and root tissue density increased microbial (15) N uptake. Our results provide novel, mechanistic insight into the short-term fate of N in the plant-soil system, and show that dominant plant traits, rather than trait functional diversity, control the fate of added N in the plant-soil system.

  6. 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.

  7. Host plant species determines symbiotic bacterial community mediating suppression of plant defenses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Seung Ho; Scully, Erin D.; Peiffer, Michelle; Geib, Scott M.; Rosa, Cristina; Hoover, Kelli; Felton, Gary W.

    2017-01-01

    Herbivore associated bacteria are vital mediators of plant and insect interactions. Host plants play an important role in shaping the gut bacterial community of insects. Colorado potato beetles (CPB; Leptinotarsa decemlineata) use several Solanum plants as hosts in their natural environment. We previously showed that symbiotic gut bacteria from CPB larvae suppressed jasmonate (JA)-induced defenses in tomato. However, little is known about how changes in the bacterial community may be involved in the manipulation of induced defenses in wild and cultivated Solanum plants of CPB. Here, we examined suppression of JA-mediated defense in wild and cultivated hosts of CPB by chemical elicitors and their symbiotic bacteria. Furthermore, we investigated associations between the gut bacterial community and suppression of plant defenses using 16 S rRNA amplicon sequencing. Symbiotic bacteria decreased plant defenses in all Solanum hosts and there were different gut bacterial communities in CPB fed on different host plants. When larvae were reared on different hosts, defense suppression differed among host plants. These results demonstrate that host plants influence herbivore gut bacterial communities and consequently affect the herbivore’s ability to manipulate JA-mediated plant defenses. Thus, the presence of symbiotic bacteria that suppress plant defenses might help CPB adapt to host plants. PMID:28045052

  8. Plant communities of the Pixley National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — A plant community analysis was performed as per a request by Dr. Thomas J. Rice of Cal Poly State University to enhance the detailed soil survey of Pixley National...

  9. Fire-Dependent Plant Communities (burn_plan_p)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Park Service, Department of the Interior — The Fire-Dependent Plant Communities (burn_plan_p) data layer was developed in conjunction with the St Croix National Scenic Riverway's Fire Management Plan. It...

  10. Independent variations of plant and soil mixtures reveal soil feedback effects on plant community overyielding

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hendriks, M.; Mommer, L.; Caluwe, de H.; Smit-Tiekstra, A.E.; Putten, van der W.H.; Kroon, de H.

    2013-01-01

    1. Recent studies have shown that the positive relationship between plant diversity and plant biomass ('overyielding') can be explained by soil pathogens depressing productivity more in low than in high diverse plant communities. However, tests of such soil effects in field studies were constrained

  11. Independent variations of plant and soil mixtures reveal soil feedback effects on plant community overyielding

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hendriks, M.; Mommer, L.; De Caluwe, H.; Smit-Tiekstra, A.E.; Van der Putten, W.H.; De Kroon, H.

    2013-01-01

    * Recent studies have shown that the positive relationship between plant diversity and plant biomass (‘overyielding’) can be explained by soil pathogens depressing productivity more in low than in high diverse plant communities. However, tests of such soil effects in field studies were constrained b

  12. Host plant species determines symbiotic bacterial community mediating suppression of plant defenses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbivore associated bacteria are vital mediators of plant and insect interactions. Host plants play an important role in shaping the gut bacterial community of insects. Colorado potato beetles (CPB; Leptinotarsa decemlineata) use several Solanum plants as hosts in their natural environment. We prev...

  13. Plant traits mediate consumer and nutrient control on plant community productivity and diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eskelinen, Anu; Harrison, Susan; Tuomi, Maria

    2012-12-01

    The interactive effects of consumers and nutrients on terrestrial plant communities, and the role of plant functional traits in mediating these responses, are poorly known. We carried out a six-year full-factorial field experiment using mammalian herbivore exclusion and fertilization in two habitat types (fertile and infertile alpine tundra heaths) that differed in plant functional traits related to resource acquisition and palatability. Infertile habitats were dominated by species with traits indicative of a slow-growing strategy: high C:N ratio, low specific leaf area, and high condensed tannins. We found that herbivory counteracted the effect of fertilization on biomass, and that this response differed between the two habitats and was correlated with plant functional traits. Live biomass dominated the treatment responses in infertile habitats, whereas litter accumulation dominated the treatment responses in fertile habitats and was strongly negatively associated with resident community tannin concentration. Species richness declined under herbivore exclusion and fertilization in fertile habitats, where litter accumulation was greatest. Community means of plant C:N ratio predicted treatment effects on diversity: fertilization decreased and herbivory increased dominance in communities originally dominated by plants with high C:N, while fertilization increased and herbivory diminished dominance in communities where low C:N species were abundant. Our results highlight the close interdependence between consumer effects, soil nutrients, and plant functional traits and suggest that plant traits may provide an improved understanding of how consumers and nutrients influence plant community productivity and diversity.

  14. On community matrix theory in experimental plant ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. F. Dormann

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available In multi-species communities the stability of a system is difficult to assess from field observations. This is the case for example for competitive interactions in plant communities. If a mathematical model can be formulated that underlies the processes in the community, a community matrix can be constructed whose elements represent the effects of each species onto every other (and itself at equilibrium. The most common competition model is the Lotka-Volterra equation set. It contains interspecific competition coefficients to represent the interactions between species. In plant community ecology several attempts have been made to quantify competitive interactions and to assemble a community matrix, so far with limited success. In this paper we discuss a method to use pairwise interaction coefficients from experimental plant communities to analyse feasibility and stability of multi-species sets. The approach is contrasted with that of Wilson and Roxburgh (1992 and is illustrated using data from Roxburgh and Wilson (2000a. Results from Wilson and from this study differ (some times substantially, with our approach being more pessimistic about stability and coexistence in plant communities.

  15. Contrasting effects of different mammalian herbivores on sagebrush plant communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kari E Veblen

    Full Text Available Herbivory by both grazing and browsing ungulates shapes the structure and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems worldwide, and both types of herbivory have been implicated in major ecosystem state changes. Despite the ecological consequences of differences in diets and feeding habits among herbivores, studies that experimentally distinguish effects of grazing from spatially co-occurring, but temporally segregated browsing are extremely rare. Here we use a set of long-term exclosures in northern Utah, USA, to determine how domestic grazers vs. wild ungulate herbivores (including browsers and mixed feeders affect sagebrush-dominated plant communities that historically covered ~62 million ha in North America. We sampled plant community properties and found that after 22 years grazing and browsing elicited perceptible changes in overall plant community composition and distinct responses by individual plant species. In the woody layer of the plant community, release from winter and spring wild ungulate herbivory increased densities of larger Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata, ssp. wyomingensis at the expense of small sagebrush, while disturbance associated with either cattle or wild ungulate activity alone was sufficient to increase bare ground and reduce cover of biological soil crusts. The perennial bunchgrass, bottlebrush squirretail (Elymus elymoides, responded positively to release from summer cattle grazing, and in turn appeared to competitively suppress another more grazing tolerant perennial grass, Sandberg's blue grass (Poa secunda. Grazing by domestic cattle also was associated with increased non-native species biomass. Together, these results illustrate that ungulate herbivory has not caused sagebrush plant communities to undergo dramatic state shifts; however clear, herbivore-driven shifts are evident. In a dry, perennial-dominated system where plant community changes can occur very slowly, our results provide insights into

  16. 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

  17. Influence of plant community composition on biomass production in planted grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henschell, Max A; Webster, Christopher R; Flaspohler, David J; Fortin, Chad R

    2015-01-01

    United States energy policy mandates increased use of renewable fuels. Restoring grasslands could contribute to a portion of this requirement through biomass harvest for bioenergy use. We investigated which plant community characteristics are associated with differences in biomass yield from a range of realistic native prairie plantings (n = 11; i.e., conservation planting, restoration, and wildlife cover). Our primary goal was to understand whether patterns in plant community composition and the Floristic Quality Index (FQI) were related to productivity as evidenced by dormant season biomass yield. FQI is an objective measure of how closely a plant community represents that of a pre-European settlement community. Our research was conducted in planted fields of native tallgrass prairie species, and provided a gradient in floristic quality index, species richness, species diversity, and species evenness in south-central Wisconsin during 2008 and 2009. We used a network of 15 randomly located 1 m2 plots within each field to characterize the plant community and estimate biomass yield by clipping the plots at the end of each growing season. While plant community composition and diversity varied significantly by planting type, biomass yield did not vary significantly among planting types (ANOVA; P >0.05). Biomass yield was positively correlated with plant community evenness, richness, C4 grass cover, and floristic quality index, but negatively correlated with plant species diversity in our multi-season multiple linear mixed effects models. Concordantly, plots with biomass yield in the lowest quartile (biomass yield biomass yield > 5800 kh/ha). Our results suggest that promoting the establishment of fields with high species evenness and floristic quality may increase biomass yield, while simultaneously supporting biodiversity.

  18. Microbial community structure in the rhizosphere of rice plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Björn eBreidenbach

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The microbial community in the rhizosphere environment is critical for the health of land plants and the processing of soil organic matter. The objective of this study was to determine the extent to which rice plants shape the microbial community in rice field soil over the course of a growing season. Rice (Oryza sativa was cultivated under greenhouse conditions in rice field soil from Vercelli, Italy and the microbial community in the rhizosphere of planted soil microcosms was characterized at four plant growth stages using quantitative PCR and 16S rRNA gene pyrotag analysis and compared to that of unplanted bulk soil. The abundances of 16S rRNA genes in the rice rhizosphere were on average twice that of unplanted bulk soil, indicating a stimulation of microbial growth in the rhizosphere. Soil environment type (i.e. rhizosphere versus bulk soil had a greater effect on the community structure than did time (e.g. plant growth stage. Numerous phyla were affected by the presence of rice plants, but the strongest effects were observed for Gemmatimonadetes, Proteobacteria and Verrucomicrobia. With respect to functional groups of microorganisms, potential iron reducers (e.g. Geobacter, Anaeromyxobacter and fermenters (e.g. Clostridiaceae, Opitutaceae were notably enriched in the rhizosphere environment. A Herbaspirillum species was always more abundant in the rhizosphere than bulk soil and was enriched in the rhizosphere during the early stage of plant growth.

  19. Nitrogen Fixing Legumes in the Plant Communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. A.A. Al-Fredan

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Problems statement: Numerous authors have used energetic to explain the ecological success of N-fixing plants. Legume biodiversity assessment, species dynamics, nitrogen fixation monitoring and environment impact assessment of these ecological events in Al-Hassa Oasis, Saudi Arabia are rare and need to be continuous and more frequent. Approach: Thus the objectives of this study were to analyze legume abundance within and outside Al-Hassa Oasis and relate it to the distribution of the different genera. Results: Thirty two legume plant species from 20 genera have been recorded within and outside the Oasis. The largest genera were Cassia (4 species, Indigofera (4 and Acacia (3. Annual herbs were the dominant growth form (34% of species recorded, followed by shrubs (28%, perennial herbs (19% and trees (19%. Eighteen alien plant species were recorded (maybe an underestimated number. The nitrogen fixation of the legume plant species in Al-Hassa Oasis was estimated/analyzing the fixing potentiality of these species and nonfixing reference species (Panicum turgidum using the 15N natural abundance method. Species with great nitrogen fixing capacity in Al-Hassa include: Medicago sativa, Vicia faba, Vicia sativa, Melitotus indicus, Dolicus lablab, Melitotus alba and Cliforia ternate. The mean biological fixation contribution of most of the recorded legume plants were high, varying from 3.9% (Indigofera argentea to 64.6% (Medicago sativa. Conclusion: Al-Hassa Oasis is richer than expected based on its location within the desert zone. This study confirms the importance of the Oasis for national flora conservation in the Kingdom. results showed a good potential for use of the 15N natural abundance methodology for evaluating the nitrogen fixation ability of the legume plants under field conditions as well as for the estimation of %Ndfa.

  20. Plant community succession in modern Yellow River Delta, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Data were collected in different successional stages using a simultaneous sampling method and analyzed through quantitative classification method. Three large groups and 12 classes were made to represent the community patterns of three succession stages and 12 succession communities. The succession series of plant community in the study area was as follows:saline bare land→community Suaeda salsa→community Tamarix chinensis→grassland. Succession degree and succession process of 12 succession communities were calculated. Most of these communities were in the lower succession stage, however,community Phragmites communis+Glycine soja and community Imperata cylindrica+G. soja were close to the succession stage of grassland climax. Five species diversity indices were used to study the changes in species richness, species evenness and diversity during succession of community. Heterogeneity index and richness index increased gradually during the community succession process, but species evenness tended to decrease with succession development. The relation between succession and environment was studied by ordination technique, and the results showed that the soil salt content was an important factor to halarch succession of the modern Yellow River Delta. It affected community structure, species composition and succession process.

  1. Models of plant populations and communities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huston, M.

    1990-01-01

    This document is the overview of the plant section in the book, {und Individual-Based Models and Approaches in Ecology}. A brief description of each of the chapters is provided, as well as a comparison of the models presented in each chapter. Four of the six chapters deal with single species interactions, one dealt with a two species system (plants and pollinators) and one deals with multispecies interactions. Both i-state distribution models and i-state configuration models are discussed. (MHB)

  2. A Proposed Aquatic Plant Community Biotic Index for Wisconsin Lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Stanley; Weber, Steven; Shaw, Byron

    2000-11-01

    The Aquatic Macrophyte Community Index (AMCI) is a multipurpose tool developed to assess the biological quality of aquatic plant communities in lakes. It can be used to specifically analyze aquatic plant communities or as part of a multimetric system to assess overall lake quality for regulatory, planning, management, educational, or research purposes. The components of the index are maximum depth of plant growth; percentage of the littoral zone vegetated; Simpson's diversity index; the relative frequencies of submersed, sensitive, and exotic species; and taxa number. Each parameter was scaled based on data distributions from a statewide database, and scaled values were totaled for the AMCI value. AMCI values were grouped and tested by ecoregion and lake type (natural lakes and impoundments) to define quality on a regional basis. This analysis suggested that aquatic plant communities are divided into four groups: (1) Northern Lakes and Forests lakes and impoundments, (2) North-Central Hardwood Forests lakes and impoundments, (3) Southeastern Wisconsin Till Plains lakes, and (4) Southeastern Wisconsin Till Plains impoundments, Driftless Area Lakes, and Mississippi River Backwater lakes. AMCI values decline from group 1 to group 4 and reflect general water quality and human use trends in Wisconsin. The upper quartile of AMCI values in any region are the highest quality or benchmark plant communities. The interquartile range consists of normally impacted communities for the region and the lower quartile contains severely impacted or degraded plant communities. When AMCI values were applied to case studies, the values reflected known impacts to the lakes. However, quality criteria cannot be used uncritically, especially in lakes that initially have low nutrient levels.

  3. Major plant communities of the Marakele National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P.J. van Staden

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available To manage and conserve any national park efficiently, a profound knowledge of the ecology is a prerequisite, and to achieve that an inventory of the biotic and abiotic components must be undertaken. As a contribution to such a program this information was collected for Marakele National Park. The study area covers 290.51 km² in the southwestern part of the Limpopo Province. The underlying parent rock of the study area is sandstone, shale and mudstone with several diabase dykes. The soils range from shallow to deep sandy soils on sandstone and clayey soils on diabase and mudstone. The rainfall varies from 556 mm to 630 mm per annum, mainly during the summer months. The study area experiences warm summers with temperatures of up to 32 ºC and cool, dry winters with frost in the low-lying areas. The vegetation of the study area was classified in a hierarchical, plant sociological system by using TWINSPAN and the Braun - Blanquet technique. The floristic data from 130 relevés were classified to identify five major plant communities, namely one forest community, three savanna/grassland communities and one wetland community. These plant communities were ecologically interpreted by habitat.The phytosociological table was condensed to a synoptic table to describe the major plant communities.

  4. 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

    Invasive exotic plant species often have fewer natural enemies and suffer less damage from herbivores in their new range than genetically or functionally related species that are native to that area. Although we might expect that having fewer enemies would promote the invasiveness of the introduced...... exotic plant species due to reduced enemy exposure, few studies have actually analyzed the ecological consequences of this situation in the field. Here, we examined how exposure to aboveground herbivores influences shifts in dominance among exotic and phylogenetically related native plant species...... 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...

  5. PLANT COMMUNITIES ON COASTAL DUNES IN LAZIO (ITALY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. STANISCI

    2004-05-01

    Full Text Available Aim of the paper is to describe the conservation state of the dune plant communities of Lazio (central Italy, using both original and already published phytosociological relevés. This case study in particular analyses the effects of human disturbance on the species composition and the vegetation zonation in coastal sandy landscape, already classified in three land facets. 13 plant associations were recognised and 9 of them were identified as potential natural vegetation types for the sandy coastal ecosystems of Lazio. Incidence of ruderal species and alien taxa were calculated for each plant community and for each land facet. The results have produced evidence that, even if Lazio coastline is largely occupied by human settlements or infrastructures, several sites still preserve an high plant communities diversity and few alien taxa inside the natural habitats occur. On the contrary where the human impact is intense, dune plant communities disappear or if they are still present, the vegetation zonation is incomplete, ruderals are abundant and alien species are locally common. A data-base of dune plant diversity was realised for a monitoring purpose.

  6. Plant reproduction is altered by simulated herbicide drift toconstructed 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...

  7. Plant communities along the Eerste River, Western Cape, South Africa: Community descriptions and implications for restoration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clifton S. Meek

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Riparian plant communities fulfil many functions, including the provision of corridors linking protected areas and other zones of high conservation value. These habitats across much of South Africa’s Cape Floristic Region, especially in the lowlands, have been heavily impacted and degraded by human activities. There is increasing interest in the restoration of degraded riparian zones and the ecosystem services they provide to enhance the conservation value of landscapes. Previous studies of riparian vegetation in the Cape Floristic Region focused on pristine headwater systems, and little is known about human-impacted communities that make up most of the riparian vegetation in downstream areas. More information is needed on the composition of these plant communities to establish a baseline for management intervention. The riparian zone of the Eerste River in South Africa’s Western Cape province provides a good opportunity to study the features of riparian vegetation along the entire gradient, from pristine vegetation in a protected area through different levels of human-mediated degradation. Riparian vegetation was surveyed in 150 plots along the entire length of the Eerste River (ca. 40 km. Data were analysed using the vegetation classification and analysis software package JUICE. Final groupings were plotted onto a two-dimensional detrended correspondence analysis plane to check the position of the communities in the reduced multidimensional space. Ten distinct plant communities were identified, including several novel communities dominated by alien plant species. Descriptions of each plant community are presented. Diagnostic, constant and dominant species are listed and the major structural and ecological characteristics of each community are described. Conservation implications: Major changes to hydrological and soil properties, nutrient dynamics and disturbance regimes and plant species composition along sections of the riparian zone

  8. Functionally and phylogenetically diverse plant communities key to soil biota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milcu, Alexandru; Allan, Eric; Roscher, Christiane; Jenkins, Tania; Meyer, Sebastian T; Flynn, Dan; Bessler, Holger; Buscot, François; Engels, Christof; Gubsch, Marlén; König, Stephan; Lipowsky, Annett; Loranger, Jessy; Renker, Carsten; Scherber, Christoph; Schmid, Bernhard; Thébault, Elisa; Wubet, Tesfaye; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Scheu, Stefan; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2013-08-01

    Recent studies assessing the role of biological diversity for ecosystem functioning indicate that the diversity of functional traits and the evolutionary history of species in a community, not the number of taxonomic units, ultimately drives the biodiversity--ecosystem-function relationship. Here, we simultaneously assessed the importance of plant functional trait and phylogenetic diversity as predictors of major trophic groups of soil biota (abundance and diversity), six years from the onset of a grassland biodiversity experiment. Plant functional and phylogenetic diversity were generally better predictors of soil biota than the traditionally used species or functional group richness. Functional diversity was a reliable predictor for most biota, with the exception of soil microorganisms, which were better predicted by phylogenetic diversity. These results provide empirical support for the idea that the diversity of plant functional traits and the diversity of evolutionary lineages in a community are important for maintaining higher abundances and diversity of soil communities.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kostenko, O.; Grootemaat, S.; Putten, van der 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

  10. Bacterial Communities Associated with Different Anthurium andraeanum L. Plant Tissues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarria-Guzmán, Yohanna; Chávez-Romero, Yosef; Gómez-Acata, Selene; Montes-Molina, Joaquín Adolfo; Morales-Salazar, Eleacin; Dendooven, Luc; Navarro-Noya, Yendi E.

    2016-01-01

    Plant-associated microbes have specific beneficial functions and are considered key drivers for plant health. The bacterial community structure of healthy Anthurium andraeanum L. plants was studied by 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing associated with different plant parts and the rhizosphere. A limited number of bacterial taxa, i.e., Sinorhizobium, Fimbriimonadales, and Gammaproteobacteria HTCC2089 were enriched in the A. andraeanum rhizosphere. Endophytes were more diverse in the roots than in the shoots, whereas all shoot endophytes were found in the roots. Streptomyces, Flavobacterium succinicans, and Asteroleplasma were only found in the roots, Variovorax paradoxus only in the stem, and Fimbriimonas 97%-OTUs only in the spathe, i.e., considered specialists, while Brevibacillus, Lachnospiraceae, Pseudomonas, and Pseudomonas pseudoalcaligenes were generalist and colonized all plant parts. The anaerobic diazotrophic bacteria Lachnospiraceae, Clostridium sp., and Clostridium bifermentans colonized the shoot system. Phylotypes belonging to Pseudomonas were detected in the rhizosphere and in the substrate (an equiproportional mixture of soil, cow manure, and peat), and dominated the endosphere. Pseudomonas included nine 97%-OTUs with different patterns of distribution and phylogenetic affiliations with different species. P. pseudoalcaligenes and P. putida dominated the shoots, but were also found in the roots and rhizosphere. P. fluorescens was present in all plant parts, while P. resinovorans, P. denitrificans, P. aeruginosa, and P. stutzeri were only detected in the substrate and rhizosphere. The composition of plant-associated bacterial communities is generally considered to be suitable as an indicator of plant health. PMID:27524305

  11. 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

  12. 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 `r

  13. Plant Community Characteristics of Trampling Disturbance Kobresia humilis Community along the Road in Naqu, Tibet

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Jinhua; LIU Shuzhen; ZHANG Xinquan; YAN Yan; ZHANG Jianguo

    2006-01-01

    The change of plant community character during recovery succession processes of high mountain meadow in Naqu, Tibet, was investigated. The results show that there are 41 plant species in the inventoried quadrates. The high-plants in four big families plays important roles in natural vegetation recovery, while Kobresia play an important role in climax communities. The plant species components changed with each succession stage. The plant species were mainly annual and biennial during the early succession stage, and perennial during the medium; and dominated by Kobresia humilis during the late. Potentilla bifurca and Potentilla tanaletfolia were both found in all stages. The accumulated number of family, genus, and species during the succession process varied quadric with the stages. The main plant community characteristics varied logistically with the succession stages except the height. The community characteristics mainly affected by dominant species which were changed in same rhythms. The biomass under ground was far more than the up-ground. The plant diversity inflated in the medium stage.

  14. Dispersal potential in plant communities depends on environmental conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ozinga, W.A.; Bekker, R.M.; Schaminée, J.H.J.; Groenendael, van J.M.

    2004-01-01

    Local plant communities can only function within a metacommunity context if they are connected by appropriate dispersal vectors, accommodating the transport of propagules between sites. The capacity for long-distance dispersal may be a key factor in the survival of local populations, especially in f

  15. Dispersal potential in plant communities depends on environmental conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ozinga, W.A.; Bekker, R.M.; Schaminée, J.H.J.; Groenendael, J.M. van

    2004-01-01

    1 Local plant communities can only function within a metacommunity context if they are connected by appropriate dispersal vectors, accommodating the transport of propagules between sites. The capacity for long-distance dispersal may be a key factor in the survival of local populations, especially in

  16. Response of native insect communities to invasive plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bezemer, T.M.; Harvey, J.A.; Cronin, J.T.

    2014-01-01

    Invasive plants can disrupt a range of trophic interactions in native communities. As 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. Thro

  17. 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

  18. Assessing the diversity of bacterial communities associated with plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andreote, Fernando Dini; Azevedo, João Lúcio; Araújo, Welington Luiz

    2009-01-01

    Plant–bacteria interactions result from reciprocal recognition between both species. These interactions are responsible for essential biological processes in plant development and health status. Here, we present a review of the methodologies applied to investigate shifts in bacterial communities associated with plants. A description of techniques is made from initial isolations to culture-independent approaches focusing on quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction in real time (qPCR), Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE), clone library construction and analysis, the application of multivariate analyses to microbial ecology data and the upcoming high throughput methodologies such as microarrays and pyrosequencing. This review supplies information about the development of traditional methods and a general overview about the new insights into bacterial communities associated with plants. PMID:24031382

  19. Priority plant communities for conservation in Northwest Yunnan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanni Zhang

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Because of limited resources, it is very important for biodiversity conservation to make accurate assessments of biodiversity prior to setting out measures for protecting regions and communities. To moreeffectively manage and protect forest resources in Northwest Yunnan, we evaluated the priority plant community types for conservation by mainly considering the function of plant communities in maintaining habitat and biodiversity. Recognizing the principles of good science, hierarchy and practicability, we established an evaluation indicator system consisting of six indicators: species diversity, number of rare and endangered plant species, protection level of plant species, number of endemic plant species, and rarity and endemism of community type. We selected 61 formations belonging to 13 vegetation subtypes in Northwest Yunnan for analysis. Assessment criteria followed a general ranking assignment methodology, and weights assigned to individual indicators were determined using an Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP and expert consultation. GIS technology was used as an aid to integrate evaluation. The results yielded conservation values of communities as follows: (1 at the association level: 4 associations were at first category, 31 second category, 23 third category, and three general category; (2 at the vegetation subtype level: one was at first category, six second category, six third category. The distribution of priority vegetation subtypes for conservation were: (1 first category: a small area distributed in Gaoligong Mountains; (2 second category: mainly distributed in high altitude mountains in the northwest, and also in some alpine areas in the southeast of the study area; (3 third category: distributed at low altitude in the southeast of the study area and in valleys of the Dulong River, Nu River, Lancang River and Jinsha River.

  20. 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.

  1. Invasive Plants in the Coastal Vegetal Communities in Valencia (Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco FERRER MERINO

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available A botanical survey has been conducted to determine the influence of invasive species on the main indigenous communities in the Spanish Mediterranean coast and evaluate the current status of these communities in the eastern coast of Spain. The work was done in about 35 km of coastline located in Valencia (Spain. A total of 361 species cataloged are present in the study area, belonging to 79 different families. 49 of them have been inventoried invasive species which currently affect 38 plant communities. For this cause, we have developed a map of location finding out the area occupied by the same at every point and key to indigenous communities it affects. The plant communities characteristic of semi-mobile dunes Centaureo maritimae-Echietum sabulicolae and Medicagini marinae-Ammophiletum australis have turned out to have a greater degree of invasion. Carpobrotus edulis, Agave americana, Arundo donax, Oxalis pes-caprae and Cortaderia sellowiana are invasive species that cause further encroachment, both in area as a number of vegetation communities they affect.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Homestead tree planting in two rural Swazi communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, James A.

    1990-01-01

    Tree planting practices were investigated on a total of 95 homesteads in two communities in rural Swaziland. Information was also collected on socioeconomic characteristics of the homesteads. In both the study areas, Sigombeni and Bhekinkosi, there was considerable variation amongst individual homesteads in size, relative wealth (as indicated by cattle and motor vehicle ownership), and amount and types of trees planted. Eighty-five percent of all homesteads in Sigombeni and 73% in Bhekinkosi had planted at least one tree. Common forms of planting included small woodlots, fruit trees, and ornamentals. Virtually all the woodlots consisted of two introduced wattle species (Acacia mearnsii and A. decurrens). The most commonly planted fruit trees were avocados, bananas, and peaches. No complex or labor-intensive agroforestry practices (such as maize/leucaena intercropping) were observed. There was some evidence that the poorest and newest homesteads were the least likely to have planted any trees and that the richest homesteads were the most likely to have planted woodlots. The results indicate that forestry research and extension efforts should take into account homestead characteristics, and strive to offer a range of tree planting options that vary in input requirements, labor needs, and complexity.

  5. [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

  6. Plant communities of the Soutpansberg Arid Northern Bushveld

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Theo H.C. Mostert

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The Soutpansberg Arid Northern Bushveld is one of eight major vegetation types (MVT described for the Soutpansberg-Blouberg region. The plant communities of this MVT are described in detail. Main ecological drivers of the vegetation structure and species composition of these communities are discussed and some conservation recommendations are made. Phytosociological data from a subset of 72 Braun-Blanquet sample plots collected in the Soutpansberg Arid Northern Bushveld were classified using Two-way Indicator Species Analysis (TWINSPAN and ordinated using a Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DECORANA. The resulting classification was further refined with table-sorting procedures based on the Braun-Blanquet floristic-sociological approach to vegetation classification using the computer software MEGATAB and JUICE. Eight plant communities were identified and described as Commiphora tenuipetiolata-Adansonia digitata short open woodland, Ledebouria ovatifolia-Commiphora mollis short bushland, Phyllanthus reticulatus-Acacia nigrescens short bushland, Tinnea rhodesiana-Combretum apiculatum short bushland, Dichrostachys cinerea subsp. africana-Spirostachys africana low thickets, Themeda triandra-Pterocarpus rotundifolius short closed grassland on steep basaltic slopes, Cyperus albostriatus-Syzygium cordatum sandveld wetlands, and Sesamothamnus lugardii-Catophractes alexandri tall sparse shrubland. These plant communities are event-driven ecosystems, predominantly infl uenced by frequent droughts, exposure to desiccation and unpredictable rainfall events. The complex topography of the Soutpansberg further contributes to the aridity of these ecosystems. The classifi cation and ordination analyses show similar groupings in the vegetation of the Soutpansberg Arid Mountain Bushveld. This confi rms the usefulness of complimentary analysis, using both classifi cation and ordination methods on a single data set in order to examine patterns and to search for

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Obratov-Petković Dragica

    2006-01-01

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

  8. Functionally and phylogenetically diverse plant communities key to soil biota

    OpenAIRE

    Milcu, Alexandru; Allan, Eric; Roscher, Christiane; Jenkins, Tania; Sebastian T Meyer; Flynn, Dan; Bessler, Holger; Buscot, François; Engels, Christof; Gubsch, Marlén; König, Stephan; Lipowsky, Annett; Loranger, Jessy; Renker, Carsten; Scherber, Christoph

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies assessing the role of biological diversity for ecosystem functioning indicate that the diversity of functional traits and the evolutionary history of species in a community, not the number of taxonomic units, ultimately drives the biodiversity–ecosystem-function relationship. Here, we simultaneously assessed the importance of plant functional trait and phylogenetic diversity as predictors of major trophic groups of soil biota (abundance and diversity), six years from the onset ...

  9. Plant genetics predicts intra-annual variation in phytochemistry and arthropod community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wimp, G M; Wooley, S; Bangert, R K; Young, W P; Martinsen, G D; Keim, P; Rehill, B; Lindroth, R L; Whitham, T G

    2007-12-01

    With the emerging field of community genetics, it is important to quantify the key mechanisms that link genetics and community structure. We studied cottonwoods in common gardens and in natural stands and examined the potential for plant chemistry to be a primary mechanism linking plant genetics and arthropod communities. If plant chemistry drives the relationship between plant genetics and arthropod community structure, then several predictions followed. We would find (i) the strongest correlation between plant genetic composition and chemical composition; (ii) an intermediate correlation between plant chemical composition and arthropod community composition; and (iii) the weakest relationship between plant genetic composition and arthropod community composition. Our results supported our first prediction: plant genetics and chemistry had the strongest correlation in the common garden and the wild. Our results largely supported our second prediction, but varied across space, seasonally, and according to arthropod feeding group. Plant chemistry played a larger role in structuring common garden arthropod communities relative to wild communities, free-living arthropods relative to leaf and stem modifiers, and early-season relative to late-season arthropods. Our results did not support our last prediction, as host plant genetics was at least as tightly linked to arthropod community structure as plant chemistry, if not more so. Our results demonstrate the consistency of the relationship between plant genetics and biodiversity. Additionally, plant chemistry can be an important mechanism by which plant genetics affects arthropod community composition, but other genetic-based factors are likely involved that remain to be measured.

  10. Using Plant Phylogenetic Relatedness as a Predictor for Plants' Control on Soil Microbial Communities and Nitrogen Cycling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potter, T.; Bowman, W. D.

    2016-12-01

    Despite the known importance of soil microbes and their influence on soil processes, a mechanistic understanding is still needed to predict how plants and soil microbes interact at scales that are relevant to community and ecosystem-scale processes. Closely related plant species have similar traits aboveground, but we don't know whether this is also true for belowground traits that affect soil microbial community structure and function. Determining how tightly plant phylogeny and plant functional traits are linked to soil microbial communities is a useful approach for discovering plant-microbe associations that are generalizable across plant species (a limitation of studies that employ a single or few plant species). Using this approach, we conducted a greenhouse study with seven congeneric grasses (genus Poa) and their native soils to examine whether plants' influences on microbial community structure were consistent with plant phylogenetic relatedness and/or plant functional traits. Seeds of each Poa species were planted in native soil (from the seed source population) as well as a homogenized soil from all seven populations. Additionally, a nitrogen treatment was added to address how an environmental change (such as nitrogen deposition) alters plant-microbe associations. Rhizosphere community composition of bacteria and fungi was obtained via marker gene sequencing to compare community composition across plant species. Patterns in plant-microbe associations across plant species reveal plant control on nutrient cycling via plant species' influence on microbial community structure. These results determine if we are ready to generalize about plant-microbe interactions at the genus level, an important stepping-stone to applying knowledge of plant-microbe interactions to larger ecological scales.

  11. Selection for niche differentiation in plant communities increases biodiversity effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuppinger-Dingley, Debra; Schmid, Bernhard; Petermann, Jana S; Yadav, Varuna; De Deyn, Gerlinde B; Flynn, Dan F B

    2014-11-06

    In experimental plant communities, relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning have been found to strengthen over time, a fact often attributed to increased resource complementarity between species in mixtures and negative plant-soil feedbacks in monocultures. Here we show that selection for niche differentiation between species can drive this increasing biodiversity effect. Growing 12 grassland species in test monocultures and mixtures, we found character displacement between species and increased biodiversity effects when plants had been selected over 8 years in species mixtures rather than in monocultures. When grown in mixtures, relative differences in height and specific leaf area between plant species selected in mixtures (mixture types) were greater than between species selected in monocultures (monoculture types). Furthermore, net biodiversity and complementarity effects were greater in mixtures of mixture types than in mixtures of monoculture types. Our study demonstrates a novel mechanism for the increase in biodiversity effects: selection for increased niche differentiation through character displacement. Selection in diverse mixtures may therefore increase species coexistence and ecosystem functioning in natural communities and may also allow increased mixture yields in agriculture or forestry. However, loss of biodiversity and prolonged selection of crops in monoculture may compromise this potential for selection in the longer term.

  12. Plant Community Traits of Shohada Protected Area, West Azerbijan, Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdollah HASSANZADEH GORTTAPEH

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Shohada Protected Area, consisting of Shohada Valley and its adjacent areas with an area of 577 hectares is located in south of Urmia, and is known as an important natural plant station of Urmia. It is studied with respect to the important factors which influence the vegetation cover in whole, particularly, with regard the composition and formation of plant communities. To study the area, Brown-Blanquets method was used. Plant samples were taken from 77 sample plots. The study resulted in recognition of four herbaceous types and seven shrub types in the studied area. In addition, the investigation led to the fact that the most important factors which influence the vegetation cover, are: geographical orientation, altitude, gradient and soil texture. The study also resulted in preparation of a colored vegetation map with a scale of 1:20000.

  13. Hemiparasitic plant impacts animal and plant communities across four trophic levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartley, S E; Green, P; Massey, F P; Press, M C P; Stewart, J A; John, E A

    2015-09-01

    Understanding the impact of species on community structure is a fundamental question in ecology. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that both subdominant species and parasites can have disproportionately large effects on other organisms. Here we report those impacts for a species that is both subdominant and parasitic, the hemiparasite Rhinanthus minor. While the impact of parasitic angiosperms on their hosts and, to a lesser degree, coexisting plant species, has been well characterized, much less is known about their effects on higher trophic levels: We experimentally manipulated field densities of the hemiparasite Rhinanthus minor in a species-rich grassland, comparing the plant and invertebrate communities in plots where it was removed, present at natural densities, or present at enhanced densities. Plots with natural and enhanced densities of R. minor had lower plant biomass than plots without the hemiparasite, but enhanced densities almost doubled the abundance of invertebrates within the plots across all trophic levels, with effects evident in herbivores, predators, and detritivores. The hemiparasite R. minor, despite being a subdominant and transient component within plant communities that it inhabits, has profound effects on four different trophic levels. These effects persist beyond the life of the hemiparasite, emphasizing its role as a keystone species in grassland communities.

  14. Plants are less negatively affected by flooding when growing in species-rich plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Alexandra J; de Kroon, Hans; Visser, Eric J W; Buchmann, Tina; Ebeling, Anne; Eisenhauer, Nico; Fischer, Christine; Hildebrandt, Anke; Ravenek, Janneke; Roscher, Christiane; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang; Voesenek, Laurentius A C J; Mommer, Liesje

    2017-01-01

    Flooding is expected to increase in frequency and severity in the future. The ecological consequences of flooding are the combined result of species-specific plant traits and ecological context. However, the majority of past flooding research has focused on individual model species under highly controlled conditions. An early summer flooding event in a grassland biodiversity experiment in Jena, Germany, provided the opportunity to assess flooding responses of 60 grassland species in monocultures and 16-species mixtures. We examined plant biomass, species-specific traits (plant height, specific leaf area (SLA), root aerenchyma, starch content) and soil porosity. We found that, on average, plant species were less negatively affected by the flood when grown in higher-diversity plots in July 2013. By September 2013, grasses were unaffected by the flood regardless of plant diversity, and legumes were severely negatively affected regardless of plant diversity. Plants with greater SLA and more root aerenchyma performed better in September. Soil porosity was higher in higher-diversity plots and had a positive effect on plant performance. As floods become more frequent and severe in the future, growing flood-sensitive plants in higher-diversity communities and in soil with greater soil aeration may attenuate the most negative effects of flooding.

  15. Impact of plant invasions on local arthropod communities: a meta-analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Hengstum, T.; Hooftman, D.A.P.; Oostermeijer, J.G.B.; van Tienderen, P.H.

    2014-01-01

    1. Invasive plants can have a major impact on local plant and animal communities. However, effects of plant invasions on arthropod communities and the potential drivers have rarely been studied. 2. We present a meta-analysis of 56 studies on the impact of plant invasions on abundance and richness of

  16. Impact of plant invasions on local arthropod communities: a meta-analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Hengstum, T.; Hooftman, D.A.P.; Oostermeijer, J.G.B.; van Tienderen, P.H.

    2014-01-01

    1. Invasive plants can have a major impact on local plant and animal communities. However, effects of plant invasions on arthropod communities and the potential drivers have rarely been studied. 2. We present a meta-analysis of 56 studies on the impact of plant invasions on abundance and richness of

  17. 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...

  18. Arctic Late Cretaceous and Paleocene Plant Community Succession

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, Alexei; Spicer, Robert; Daly, Robert; Jolley, David; Ahlberg, Anders; Moiseeva, Maria

    2010-05-01

    The Arctic abounds with Late Cretaceous and Paleocene plant fossils attesting to a thriving, diverse, but now extinct polar ecosystem that sequestered vast amounts of carbon. Through detailed examination of plant remains and their distributions in time and space with respect to their entombing sedimentary facies, it has been possible to reconstruct changes in Arctic vegetation composition and dynamics through the Late Cretaceous and into the Paleocene. Based on over 10,000 leaf remains, fossil wood and palynomorph assemblages from northeastern Russia and northern Alaska and palynological data from elsewhere in the Arctic we identify a number of successional plant communities (SPCs) representing seral development from early (pioneer), through middle to late SPCs and climax vegetation. We recognise that (1) Equisetites and some ferns (typically Birisia, but after the beginning of the Maastrichtian, Onoclea) were obligatory components of the early SPCs; (2) first rare angiosperms (e.g. the dicot Vitiphyllum multifidum) appeared in the middle SPCs of the Arctic in the Early - Middle Albian; (3) from late Albian times onwards angiosperms became abundant in the middle SPCs of the Arctic, but were still rare in the earlier and later SPCs; (4) monocots appeared in the Maastrichtian early SPCs; (5) all Arctic Cretaceous late SPCs (and climax vegetation) were dominated by conifers; (6) Arctic SPCs were more numerous and diverse under warm climates than cold; (7) during the Albian and late Cretaceous, advanced (Cenophytic, angiosperm-dominated) plant communities coexisted with those of a more relictual (Mesophytic, dominated by ferns and gymnosperms) aspect, and plants composing these communities did not mix; (8) coal-forming environments (mires) remained conifer, fern and bryophyte dominated throughout the late Cretaceous and Paleocene with little penetration of woody angiosperm components and thus are conservative and predominantly Mesophytic in character; (9) bryophytes

  19. Interactive effects of mycorrhizae and a root hemiparasite on plant community productivity and diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Claudia; Rissmann, Cornelia; Hempel, Stefan; Renker, Carsten; Buscot, François; Prati, Daniel; Auge, Harald

    2009-02-01

    Plant communities can be affected both by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and hemiparasitic plants. However, little is known about the interactive effects of these two biotic factors on the productivity and diversity of plant communities. To address this question, we set up a greenhouse study in which different AMF inocula and a hemiparasitic plant (Rhinanthus minor) were added to experimental grassland communities in a fully factorial design. In addition, single plants of each species in the grassland community were grown with the same treatments to distinguish direct AMF effects from indirect effects via plant competition. We found that AMF changed plant community structure by influencing the plant species differently. At the community level, AMF decreased the productivity by 15-24%, depending on the particular AMF treatment, mainly because two dominant species, Holcus lanatus and Plantago lanceolata, showed a negative mycorrhizal dependency. Concomitantly, plant diversity increased due to AMF inoculation and was highest in the treatment with a combination of two commercial AM strains. AMF had a positive effect on growth of the hemiparasite, and thereby induced a negative impact of the hemiparasite on host plant biomass which was not found in non-inoculated communities. However, the hemiparasite did not increase plant diversity. Our results highlight the importance of interactions with soil microbes for plant community structure and that these indirect effects can vary among AMF treatments. We conclude that mutualistic interactions with AMF, but not antagonistic interactions with a root hemiparasite, promote plant diversity in this grassland community.

  20. 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.

  1. The Brazilian research contribution to knowledge of the plant communities from Antarctic ice free areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ANTONIO B. PEREIRA

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available This work aims to summarize the results of research carried out by Brazilian researchers on the plant communities of Antarctic ice free areas during the last twenty five years. Since 1988 field work has been carried out in Elephant Island, King George Island, Nelson Island and Deception Island. During this period six papers were published on the chemistry of lichens, seven papers on plant taxonomy, five papers on plant biology, two studies on UVB photoprotection, three studies about the relationships between plant communities and bird colonies and eleven papers on plant communities from ice free areas. At the present, Brazilian botanists are researching the plant communities of Antarctic ice free areas in order to understand their relationships to soil microbial communities, the biodiversity, the distribution of the plants populations and their relationship with birds colonies. In addition to these activities, a group of Brazilian researchers are undertaking studies related to Antarctic plant genetic diversity, plant chemistry and their biotechnological applications.

  2. Species area relationships in mediterranean-climate plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeley, Jon E.; Fotheringham, C.J.

    2003-01-01

    Aim To determine the best-fit model of species–area relationships for Mediterranean-type plant communities and evaluate how community structure affects these species–area models.Location Data were collected from California shrublands and woodlands and compared with literature reports for other Mediterranean-climate regions.Methods The number of species was recorded from 1, 100 and 1000 m2 nested plots. Best fit to the power model or exponential model was determined by comparing adjusted r2 values from the least squares regression, pattern of residuals, homoscedasticity across scales, and semi-log slopes at 1–100 m2 and 100–1000 m2. Dominance–diversity curves were tested for fit to the lognormal model, MacArthur's broken stick model, and the geometric and harmonic series.Results Early successional Western Australia and California shrublands represented the extremes and provide an interesting contrast as the exponential model was the best fit for the former, and the power model for the latter, despite similar total species richness. We hypothesize that structural differences in these communities account for the different species–area curves and are tied to patterns of dominance, equitability and life form distribution. Dominance–diversity relationships for Western Australian heathlands exhibited a close fit to MacArthur's broken stick model, indicating more equitable distribution of species. In contrast, Californian shrublands, both postfire and mature stands, were best fit by the geometric model indicating strong dominance and many minor subordinate species. These regions differ in life form distribution, with annuals being a major component of diversity in early successional Californian shrublands although they are largely lacking in mature stands. Both young and old Australian heathlands are dominated by perennials, and annuals are largely absent. Inherent in all of these ecosystems is cyclical disequilibrium caused by periodic fires. The

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carlsen, T.M.

    1996-11-01

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

  4. Everglades Plant Community Response to 20th Century Hydrologic Changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willard, D. A.; Bernhardt, C. E.; Holmes, C. W.; Weimer, L. M.

    2002-05-01

    Pollen records in sediment cores from sites in the historic Everglades allowed us to document the natural variability of the ecosystem over the past 2,000 years and contrast it to 20th century changes in wetland plant communities. The natural system included extensive water-lily sloughs, sawgrass ridges, and scattered tree islands extending from Lake Okeechobee southward through Shark River Slough. Between ~1000 AD and 1200 AD, weedy species such as Amaranthus (water hemp) became more abundant, indicating decreased annual rainfall, shorter hydroperiods, and shallower water depths during this time. After ~1200 AD, vegetation returned to its pre-1000 AD composition. During the 20th century, two phases of hydrologic alteration occurred. Completed by 1930, the first phase included construction of the Hoover Dike, canals linking Lake Okeechobee to the Atlantic Ocean, and the Tamiami Trail. Reconstructions of plant communities indicate that these changes shortened hydroperiods and lowered water depths throughout the Everglades. The extent of water-lily slough communities decreased, and tree islands became larger in Shark River Slough. The second phase resulted from construction of canals and levees in the 1950s, creating three Water Conservation Areas. The response of plant communities to these changes varied widely depending on location in the Everglades. In Loxahatchee NWR, weedy and short-hydroperiod plant species became more abundant in marshes, and species composition of tree islands changed. In Water Conservation Area 2A, cattail replaced sawgrass in marshes with high nutrient influx; the ridge and slough structure of the marshes was replaced by more homogeneous sawgrass marshes; sustained high water levels for more than a decade resulted in loss of tree islands that had existed for more than 1,000 years. In Everglades National Park, the extent of slough vegetation decreased further. Near Florida Bay, the rate of mangrove intrusion into fresh-water marshes

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  6. Plant community and soil chemistry responses to long-term nitrogen inputs drive changes in alpine bacterial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Xia; Knelman, Joseph E; Gasarch, Eve; Wang, Deli; Nemergut, Diana R; Seastedt, Timothy R

    2016-06-01

    Bacterial community composition and diversity was studied in alpine tundra soils across a plant species and moisture gradient in 20 y-old experimental plots with four nutrient addition regimes (control, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) or both nutrients). Different bacterial communities inhabited different alpine meadows, reflecting differences in moisture, nutrients and plant species. Bacterial community alpha-diversity metrics were strongly correlated with plant richness and the production of forbs. After meadow type, N addition proved the strongest determinant of bacterial community structure. Structural Equation Modeling demonstrated that tundra bacterial community responses to N addition occur via changes in plant community composition and soil pH resulting from N inputs, thus disentangling the influence of direct (resource availability) vs. indirect (changes in plant community structure and soil pH) N effects that have remained unexplored in past work examining bacterial responses to long-term N inputs in these vulnerable environments. Across meadow types, the relative influence of these indirect N effects on bacterial community structure varied. In explicitly evaluating the relative importance of direct and indirect effects of long-term N addition on bacterial communities, this study provides new mechanistic understandings of the interaction between plant and microbial community responses to N inputs amidst environmental change.

  7. A Phloem-Feeding Insect Transfers Bacterial Endophytic Communities between Grapevine Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastiàn Lòpez-Fernàndez

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial endophytes colonize the inner tissues of host plants through the roots or through discontinuities on the plant surface, including wounds and stomata. Little is known regarding a possible role of insects in acquiring and transmitting non-phytopathogenic microorganisms from plant to plant, especially those endophytes that are beneficial symbionts providing plant protection properties and homeostatic stability to the host. To understand the ecological role of insects in the transmission of endophytic bacteria, we used freshly hatched nymphs of the American sap-feeding leafhopper Scaphoideus titanus (vector to transfer microorganisms across grapevine plants. After contact with the vector, sink plants were colonized by a complex endophytic community dominated by Proteobacteria, highly similar to that present in source plants. A similar bacterial community, but with a higher ratio of Firmicutes, was found on S. titanus. Insects feeding only on sink plants transferred an entirely different bacterial community dominated by Actinobacteria, where Mycobacterium sp., played a major role. Despite the fact that insects dwelled mostly on plant stems, the bacterial communities in plant roots resembled more closely those inside and on insects, when compared to those of above-ground plant organs. We prove here the potential of insect vectors to transfer entire endophytic bacterial communities between plants. We also describe the role of plants and bacterial endophytes in establishing microbial communities in plant-feeding insects.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-03-01

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

  9. 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

  10. A preliminary classification of wetland plant communities in north-central Minnesota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowardin, L.M.; Johnson, D.H.

    1973-01-01

    A classification of wetland plant communities was developed for a study area in north-central Minnesota in order to analyze data on waterfowl use of habitat that were gathered by radio telemetry. The classification employs features of several earlier classifications in addition to new classes for bogs and lakeshore communities. Brief descriptions are given for each community, and the important plant species are listed. Discriminant function analysis was used for 40 plant species. Seventy-five percent of the stands studied were classified correctly by this technique. Average probabilities of assignment to communities were calculated and helped to identify distinct and poorly defined communities as well as the relationship among communities.

  11. Coastal Freshwater Wetland Plant Community Response to Seasonal Drought and Flooding in Northwestern Costa Rica

    Science.gov (United States)

    In tropical wet-dry climates, seasonal hydrologic cycles drive wetland plant community change and produce distinct seasonal plant assemblages. In this study, we examined the plant community response to seasonal flooding and drought in a large coastal freshwater wetland in northwe...

  12. Rhizosphere microbial community and its response to plant species and soil history

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Garbeva, P.V.; van Elsas, J.D.; Van Veen, J.A.

    2008-01-01

    The plant rhizosphere is a dynamic environment in which many parameters may influence the population structure, diversity and activity of the microbial community. Two important factors determining the structure of microbial community present in the vicinity of plant roots are plant species and soil

  13. Distance and environmental difference in alpine plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malanson, George P.; Zimmerman, Dale L.; Fagre, Daniel B.

    2017-01-01

    Differences in plant communities are a response to the abiotic environment, species interactions, and dispersal. The role of geographic distance relative to the abiotic environment is explored for alpine tundra vegetation from 319 plots of four regions along the Rocky Mountain cordillera in the USA. The site by species data were ordinated using nonmetric multidimensional scaling to produce dependent variables for use in best-subsets regression. For independent variables, observations of local topography and microtopography were used as environmental indicators. Two methods of including distance in studies of vegetation and environment are used and contrasted. The relative importance of geographic distance in accounting for the pattern of alpine tundra similarity indicates that location is a factor in plant community composition. Mantel tests provide direct correlations between difference and distance but have known weaknesses. Moran spatial eigenvectors used in regression based approaches have greater geographic specificity, but require another step, ordination, in creating a vegetation variable. While the spatial eigenvectors are generally preferable, where species–environment relations are weak, as seems to be the case for the alpine sites studied here, the fewer abstractions of the Mantel test may be useful.

  14. Biotic and abiotic properties mediating plant diversity effects on soil microbial communities in an experimental grassland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Markus Lange

    Full Text Available Plant diversity drives changes in the soil microbial community which may result in alterations in ecosystem functions. However, the governing factors between the composition of soil microbial communities and plant diversity are not well understood. We investigated the impact of plant diversity (plant species richness and functional group richness and plant functional group identity on soil microbial biomass and soil microbial community structure in experimental grassland ecosystems. Total microbial biomass and community structure were determined by phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA analysis. The diversity gradient covered 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 and 60 plant species and 1, 2, 3 and 4 plant functional groups (grasses, legumes, small herbs and tall herbs. In May 2007, soil samples were taken from experimental plots and from nearby fields and meadows. Beside soil texture, plant species richness was the main driver of soil microbial biomass. Structural equation modeling revealed that the positive plant diversity effect was mainly mediated by higher leaf area index resulting in higher soil moisture in the top soil layer. The fungal-to-bacterial biomass ratio was positively affected by plant functional group richness and negatively by the presence of legumes. Bacteria were more closely related to abiotic differences caused by plant diversity, while fungi were more affected by plant-derived organic matter inputs. We found diverse plant communities promoted faster transition of soil microbial communities typical for arable land towards grassland communities. Although some mechanisms underlying the plant diversity effect on soil microorganisms could be identified, future studies have to determine plant traits shaping soil microbial community structure. We suspect differences in root traits among different plant communities, such as root turnover rates and chemical composition of root exudates, to structure soil microbial communities.

  15. Biotic and abiotic properties mediating plant diversity effects on soil microbial communities in an experimental grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, Markus; Habekost, Maike; Eisenhauer, Nico; Roscher, Christiane; Bessler, Holger; Engels, Christof; Oelmann, Yvonne; Scheu, Stefan; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef; Gleixner, Gerd

    2014-01-01

    Plant diversity drives changes in the soil microbial community which may result in alterations in ecosystem functions. However, the governing factors between the composition of soil microbial communities and plant diversity are not well understood. We investigated the impact of plant diversity (plant species richness and functional group richness) and plant functional group identity on soil microbial biomass and soil microbial community structure in experimental grassland ecosystems. Total microbial biomass and community structure were determined by phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis. The diversity gradient covered 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 and 60 plant species and 1, 2, 3 and 4 plant functional groups (grasses, legumes, small herbs and tall herbs). In May 2007, soil samples were taken from experimental plots and from nearby fields and meadows. Beside soil texture, plant species richness was the main driver of soil microbial biomass. Structural equation modeling revealed that the positive plant diversity effect was mainly mediated by higher leaf area index resulting in higher soil moisture in the top soil layer. The fungal-to-bacterial biomass ratio was positively affected by plant functional group richness and negatively by the presence of legumes. Bacteria were more closely related to abiotic differences caused by plant diversity, while fungi were more affected by plant-derived organic matter inputs. We found diverse plant communities promoted faster transition of soil microbial communities typical for arable land towards grassland communities. Although some mechanisms underlying the plant diversity effect on soil microorganisms could be identified, future studies have to determine plant traits shaping soil microbial community structure. We suspect differences in root traits among different plant communities, such as root turnover rates and chemical composition of root exudates, to structure soil microbial communities.

  16. 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

  17. Divergent composition but similar function of soil food webs of 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.; Hal, R. van; Harvey, J.A.; Hedlund, K.; Maraun, M.; Mikola, J.; Mladenov, A.G.; Robin, C.; Ruiter, P.C. de; Scheu, S.; Setala, H.; Smilauer, P.; Putten, W.H. van der

    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 provi

  18. Shifts in flowering phenology reshape a subalpine plant community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    CaraDonna, Paul J; Iler, Amy M; Inouye, David W

    2014-04-01

    Phenology--the timing of biological events--is highly sensitive to climate change. However, our general understanding of how phenology responds to climate change is based almost solely on incomplete assessments of phenology (such as first date of flowering) rather than on entire phenological distributions. Using a uniquely comprehensive 39-y flowering phenology dataset from the Colorado Rocky Mountains that contains more than 2 million flower counts, we reveal a diversity of species-level phenological shifts that bring into question the accuracy of previous estimates of long-term phenological change. For 60 species, we show that first, peak, and last flowering rarely shift uniformly and instead usually shift independently of one another, resulting in a diversity of phenological changes through time. Shifts in the timing of first flowering on average overestimate the magnitude of shifts in the timing of peak flowering, fail to predict shifts in the timing of last flowering, and underrepresent the number of species changing phenology in this plant community. Ultimately, this diversity of species-level phenological shifts contributes to altered coflowering patterns within the community, a redistribution of floral abundance across the season, and an expansion of the flowering season by more than I mo during the course of our study period. These results demonstrate the substantial reshaping of ecological communities that can be attributed to shifts in phenology.

  19. Metaproteomics of complex microbial communities in biogas plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heyer, Robert; Kohrs, Fabian; Reichl, Udo; Benndorf, Dirk

    2015-09-01

    Production of biogas from agricultural biomass or organic wastes is an important source of renewable energy. Although thousands of biogas plants (BGPs) are operating in Germany, there is still a significant potential to improve yields, e.g. from fibrous substrates. In addition, process stability should be optimized. Besides evaluating technical measures, improving our understanding of microbial communities involved into the biogas process is considered as key issue to achieve both goals. Microscopic and genetic approaches to analyse community composition provide valuable experimental data, but fail to detect presence of enzymes and overall metabolic activity of microbial communities. Therefore, metaproteomics can significantly contribute to elucidate critical steps in the conversion of biomass to methane as it delivers combined functional and phylogenetic data. Although metaproteomics analyses are challenged by sample impurities, sample complexity and redundant protein identification, and are still limited by the availability of genome sequences, recent studies have shown promising results. In the following, the workflow and potential pitfalls for metaproteomics of samples from full-scale BGP are discussed. In addition, the value of metaproteomics to contribute to the further advancement of microbial ecology is evaluated. Finally, synergistic effects expected when metaproteomics is combined with advanced imaging techniques, metagenomics, metatranscriptomics and metabolomics are addressed.

  20. Links between Plant and Rhizoplane Bacterial Communities in Grassland Soils, Characterized Using Molecular Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunan, Naoise; Daniell, Timothy J.; Singh, Brajesh K.; Papert, Artemis; McNicol, James W.; Prosser, James I.

    2005-01-01

    Molecular analysis of grassland rhizosphere soil has demonstrated complex and diverse bacterial communities, with resultant difficulties in detecting links between plant and bacterial communities. These studies have, however, analyzed “bulk” rhizosphere soil, rather than rhizoplane communities, which interact most closely with plants through utilization of root exudates. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that plant species was a major driver for bacterial rhizoplane community composition on individual plant roots. DNA extracted from individual roots was used to determine plant identity, by analysis of the plastid tRNA leucine (trnL) UAA gene intron, and plant-related bacterial communities. Bacterial communities were characterized by analysis of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA genes using two fingerprinting methods: terminal restriction fragment length polymorphisms (T-RFLP) and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Links between plant and bacterial rhizoplane communities could not be detected by visual examination of T-RFLP patterns or DGGE banding profiles. Statistical analysis of fingerprint patterns did not reveal a relationship between bacterial community composition and plant species but did demonstrate an influence of plant community composition. The data also indicated that topography and other, uncharacterized, environmental factors are important in driving bacterial community composition in grassland soils. T-RFLP had greater potential resolving power than DGGE, but findings from the two methods were not significantly different. PMID:16269710

  1. Distribution patterns and changes of aquatic plant communities in Napahai Wetland in northwestern Yunnan Plateau,China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Derong XIAO; Kun TIAN; Hua YUAN; Yuming YANG; Ningyun LI; Shouguo XU

    2008-01-01

    Using GPS technology and community research methods for plant communities,we investigated the distribution patterns of aquatic plant communities in the high plateaus of the Napahai Wetlands,Yunnan,China,as well as the species changes of plant communities compared with that of 24 years ago since 2005.We found that the types and numbers of aquatic plant communities have changed.Some pollution-tolerant,nutrient-loving plant communities such as Scirpus tabernaemontani,Zizania caduciflora,Myriophyllum spicatum,and Azolla imbricata flourished,while the primary aquatic plant com-munities were reduced or even disappeared.The number of aquatic plant communities were increased from nine to 12 with the addition of two new emergent plant com-munities and one new floating-leaved plant community.The increase in emergent plant communities was signifi-cant.From east to west and from south to north,various types of plant communities were continuously distributed,including floating-leaved plant communities,emergent plant communities and submerged plant communities.The composition of the communities became more com-plicated and the number of accompanying species increased,while the percentage ratio of dominant plant species declined.In 2005,the coverage of emergent plant communities was the largest (528.42 hm2) followed by submerged plant communities (362.50 hm2) and the float-ing-leaf plant communities was the smallest (70.23 hm2).The variations in the distribution of aquatic plant com-munities in the Napahai Wetlands reflect the natural responses to the change of the wetland ecological envir-onment.This study indicates that human disturbances have led to an inward movement of the wetland shoreline,a decrease in water quality and a reduction in wetland habitat.

  2. Influences of plant type on bacterial and archaeal communities in constructed wetland treating polluted river water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Yan; Yi, Hao; Chen, Sili; Zhang, Zhengke; Cui, Kai; Bing, Yongxin; Zhuo, Qiongfang; Li, Bingxin; Xie, Shuguang; Guo, Qingwei

    2016-10-01

    Both bacteria and archaeal communities can play important roles in biogeochemical processes in constructed wetland (CW) system. However, the influence of plant type on microbial community in surface water CW remains unclear. The present study investigated bacterial and archaeal communities in five surface water CW systems with different plant species. The abundance, richness, and diversity of both bacterial and archaeal communities considerably differed in these five CW systems. Compared with the other three CW systems, the CW systems planted with Vetiveria zizanioides or Juncus effusus L. showed much higher bacterial abundance but lower archaeal abundance. Bacteria outnumbered archaea in each CW system. Moreover, the CW systems planted with V. zizanioides or J. effusus L. had relatively lower archaeal but higher bacterial richness and diversity. In each CW system, bacterial community displayed much higher richness and diversity than archaeal community. In addition, a remarkable difference of both bacterial and archaeal community structures was observed in the five studied CW systems. Proteobacteria was the most abundant bacterial group (accounting for 33-60 %). Thaumarchaeota organisms (57 %) predominated in archaeal communities in CW systems planted with V. zizanioides or J. effusus L., while Woesearchaeota (23 or 24 %) and Euryarchaeota (23 or 15 %) were the major archaeal groups in CW systems planted with Cyperus papyrus or Canna indica L. Archaeal community in CW planted with Typha orientalis Presl was mainly composed of unclassified archaea. Therefore, plant type exerted a considerable influence on microbial community in surface water CW system.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  4. Abiotic drivers and plant traits explain landscape-scale patterns in soil microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vries, Franciska T; Manning, Pete; Tallowin, Jerry R B; Mortimer, Simon R; Pilgrim, Emma S; Harrison, Kathryn A; Hobbs, Phil J; Quirk, Helen; Shipley, Bill; Cornelissen, Johannes H C; Kattge, Jens; Bardgett, Richard D

    2012-11-01

    The controls on aboveground community composition and diversity have been extensively studied, but our understanding of the drivers of belowground microbial communities is relatively lacking, despite their importance for ecosystem functioning. In this study, we fitted statistical models to explain landscape-scale variation in soil microbial community composition using data from 180 sites covering a broad range of grassland types, soil and climatic conditions in England. We found that variation in soil microbial communities was explained by abiotic factors like climate, pH and soil properties. Biotic factors, namely community-weighted means (CWM) of plant functional traits, also explained variation in soil microbial communities. In particular, more bacterial-dominated microbial communities were associated with exploitative plant traits versus fungal-dominated communities with resource-conservative traits, showing that plant functional traits and soil microbial communities are closely related at the landscape scale.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alistair G Auffret

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

  6. Asynchronous responses of soil microbial community and understory plant community to simulated nitrogen deposition in a subtropical forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jianping; Liu, Wenfei; Fan, Houbao; Huang, Guomin; Wan, Songze; Yuan, Yinghong; Ji, Chunfeng

    2013-10-01

    Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition greatly affects ecosystem processes and properties. However, few studies have simultaneously examined the responses of both the above- and belowground communities to N deposition. Here, we investigated the effects of 8 years of simulated N deposition on soil microbial communities and plant diversity in a subtropical forest. The quantities of experimental N added (g of N m(-2) year(-1)) and treatment codes were 0 (N0, control), 6 (N1), 12 (N2), and 24 (N3). Phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) analysis was used to characterize the soil microbial community while plant diversity and coverage were determined in the permanent field plots. Microbial abundance was reduced by the N3 treatment, and plant species richness and coverage were reduced by both N2 and N3 treatments. Declines in plant species richness were associated with decreased abundance of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, increased bacterial stress index, and reduced soil pH. The plasticity of soil microbial community would be more related to the different responses among treatments when compared with plant community. These results indicate that long-term N deposition has greater effects on the understory plant community than on the soil microbial community and different conservation strategies should be considered.

  7. Bacterial communities involved in sulfur transformations in wastewater treatment plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Daniel Derrossi; de Andrade, Pedro Avelino Maia; Durrer, Ademir; Andreote, Fernando Dini; Corção, Gertrudes; Brandelli, Adriano

    2016-12-01

    The main sulfate-reducing (SRB) and sulfur-oxidizing bacteria (SOB) in six wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) located at southern Brazil were described based on high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rDNA. Specific taxa of SRB and SOB were correlated with some abiotic factors, such as the source of the wastewater, oxygen content, sample type, and physical chemical attributes of these WWTPs. When the 22 families of SRB and SOB were clustered together, the samples presented a striking distribution, demonstrating grouping patterns according to the sample type. For SOB, the most abundant families were Spirochaetaceae, Chromatiaceae, Helicobacteriaceae, Rhodospirillaceae, and Neisseriaceae, whereas, for SRB, were Syntrophaceae, Desulfobacteraceae, Nitrospiraceae, and Desulfovibriaceae. The structure and composition of the major families related to the sulfur cycle were also influenced by six chemical attributes (sulfur, potassium, zinc, manganese, phosphorus, and nitrogen). Sulfur was the chemical attribute that most influenced the variation of bacterial communities in the WWTPs (λ = 0.14, p = 0.008). The OTUs affiliated to Syntrophus showed the highest response to the increase of total sulfur. All these findings can contribute to improve the understanding in relation to the sulfur-oxidizing and sulfate-reducing communities in WWTPs aiming to reduce H2S emissions.

  8. Land-use intensity and host plant identity interactively shape communities of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in roots of grassland plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vályi, Kriszta; Rillig, Matthias C; Hempel, Stefan

    2015-03-01

    We studied the effect of host plant identity and land-use intensity (LUI) on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF, Glomeromycota) communities in roots of grassland plants. These are relevant factors for intraradical AMF communities in temperate grasslands, which are habitats where AMF are present in high abundance and diversity. In order to focus on fungi that directly interact with the plant at the time, we investigated root-colonizing communities. Our study sites represent an LUI gradient with different combinations of grazing, mowing, and fertilization. We used massively parallel multitag pyrosequencing to investigate AMF communities in a large number of root samples, while being able to track the identity of the host. We showed that host plants significantly differed in AMF community composition, while land use modified this effect in a plant species-specific manner. Communities in medium and low land-use sites were subsets of high land-use communities, suggesting a differential effect of land use on the dispersal of AMF species with different abundances and competitive abilities. We demonstrate that in these grasslands, there is a small group of highly abundant, generalist fungi which represent the dominating species in the AMF community.

  9. 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

    2014-09-23

    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.

  10. Absence of snow cover reduces understory plant cover and alters plant community composition in boreal forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreyling, Juergen; Haei, Mahsa; Laudon, Hjalmar

    2012-02-01

    Snow regimes affect biogeochemistry of boreal ecosystems and are altered by climate change. The effects on plant communities, however, are largely unexplored despite their influence on relevant processes. Here, the impact of snow cover on understory community composition and below-ground production in a boreal Picea abies forest was investigated using a long-term (8-year) snow cover manipulation experiment consisting of the treatments: snow removal, increased insulation (styrofoam pellets), and control. The snow removal treatment caused longer (118 vs. 57 days) and deeper soil frost (mean minimum temperature -5.5 vs. -2.2°C) at 10 cm soil depth in comparison to control. Understory species composition was strongly altered by the snow cover manipulations; vegetation cover declined by more than 50% in the snow removal treatment. In particular, the dominant dwarf shrub Vaccinium myrtillus (-82%) and the most abundant mosses Pleurozium schreberi (-74%) and Dicranum scoparium (-60%) declined strongly. The C:N ratio in V. myrtillus leaves and plant available N in the soil indicated no altered nitrogen nutrition. Fine-root biomass in summer, however, was negatively affected by the reduced snow cover (-50%). Observed effects are attributed to direct frost damage of roots and/ or shoots. Besides the obvious relevance of winter processes on plant ecology and distribution, we propose that shifts in the vegetation caused by frost damage may be an important driver of the reported alterations in biogeochemistry in response to altered snow cover. Understory plant performance clearly needs to be considered in the biogeochemistry of boreal systems in the face of climate change.

  11. Endophytic and rhizospheric bacterial communities isolated from the medicinal plants Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea angustifolia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiellini, Carolina; Maida, Isabel; Emiliani, Giovanni; Mengoni, Alessio; Mocali, Stefano; Fabiani, Arturo; Biffi, Sauro; Maggini, Valentina; Gori, Luigi; Vannacci, Alfredo; Gallo, Eugenia; Firenzuoli, Fabio; Fani, Renato

    2014-09-01

    In this work we analyzed the composition and structure of cultivable bacterial communities isolated from the stem/leaf and root compartments of two medicinal plants, Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench and Echinacea angustifolia (DC.) Hell, grown in the same soil, as well as the bacterial community from their rhizospheric soils. Molecular PCR-based techniques were applied to cultivable bacteria isolated from the three compartments of the two plants. The results showed that the two plants and their respective compartments were characterized by different communities, indicating a low degree of strain sharing and a strong selective pressure within plant tissues. Pseudomonas was the most highly represented genus, together with Actinobacteria and Bacillus spp. The presence of distinct bacterial communities in different plant species and among compartments of the same plant species could account for the differences in the medicinal properties of the two plants. Copyright© by the Spanish Society for Microbiology and Institute for Catalan Studies.

  12. Interactive effects of root endophytes and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on an experimental plant community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rillig, Matthias C; Wendt, Stefanie; Antonovics, Janis; Hempel, Stefan; Kohler, Josef; Wehner, Jeannine; Caruso, Tancredi

    2014-01-01

    Plant-soil microbial interactions have moved into focus as an important mechanism for understanding plant coexistence and composition of communities. Both arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) as well as other root endophytic fungi co-occur in plant roots, and therefore have the potential to influence relative abundances of plant species in local assemblages. However, no study has experimentally examined how these key root endosymbiont groups might interact and affect plant community composition. Here, using an assemblage of five plant species in mesocosms in a fully factorial experiment, we added an assemblage of AM fungi and/or a mixture of root endophytic fungal isolates, all obtained from the same grassland field site. The results demonstrate that the AM fungi and root endophytes interact to affect plant community composition by changing relative species abundance, and consequently aboveground productivity. Our study highlights the need to explicitly consider interactions of root-inhabiting fungal groups in studies of plant assemblages.

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purdy, Bruce J.; And Others

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

  15. Eco-geophysical imaging of watershed-scale soil patterns links with plant community spatial patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    The extent to which soil resource availability, nutrients or 1 moisture, control the structure, function and diversity of plant communities has aroused considerable interest in the past decade, and remains topical in light of global change. Numerous plant communities are controlled either by water o...

  16. 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 th

  17. 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. PMID:24586947

  18. Soil phosphorus depletion and shifts in plant communities change bacterial community structure in a long-term grassland management trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adair, Karen L; Wratten, Steve; Lear, Gavin

    2013-06-01

    Agricultural systems rely on healthy soils and their sustainability requires understanding the long-term impacts of agricultural practices on soils, including microbial communities. We examined the impact of 17 years of land management on soil bacterial communities in a New Zealand randomized-block pasture trial. Significant variation in bacterial community structure related to mowing and plant biomass removal, while nitrogen fertilizer had no effect. Changes in soil chemistry and legume abundance described 52% of the observed variation in the bacterial community structure. Legumes (Trifolium species) were absent in unmanaged plots but increased in abundance with management intensity; 11% of the variation in soil bacterial community structure was attributed to this shift in the plant community. Olsen P explained 10% of the observed heterogeneity, which is likely due to persistent biomass removal resulting in P limitation; Olsen P was significantly lower in plots with biomass removed (14 mg kg(-1) ± 1.3SE) compared with plots that were not mown, or where biomass was left after mowing (32 mg kg(-1) ± 1.6SE). Our results suggest that removal of plant biomass and associated phosphorus, as well as shifts in the plant community, have greater long-term impacts on soil bacterial community structure than application of nitrogen fertilizers.

  19. Developing restoration planting mixes for active ski slopes: a multi-site reference community approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burt, Jennifer Williamson

    2012-03-01

    Downhill ski areas occupy large expanses of mountainous lands where restoration of ecosystem function is of increasing importance and interest. Establishing diverse native plant communities on ski runs should enhance sediment and water retention, wildlife habitat, biodiversity and aesthetics. Because ski slopes are managed for recreation, ski slope revegetation mixes must consist of low-stature or herbaceous plants that can tolerate typical environmental conditions on ski slopes (high elevation, disturbed soils, open, steep slopes). The most appropriate reference communities for selecting ski slope revegetation species are thus successional, or seral plant communities in similar environments (i.e., other ski slopes). Using results from a broad-scale reference community analysis, I evaluated plant communities naturally occurring on ski slopes from 21 active and abandoned ski areas throughout the northern Sierra Nevada to identify native plant species suitable for use in ski slope restoration. I constructed a baseline planting palette of regionally appropriate plant species (for restoration of either newly created or already existing ski runs) that is functionally diverse and is likely to succeed across a broad range of environments. I also identify a more comprehensive list of species for more specialized planting mixes based on site-specific goals and particular environmental settings. Establishing seral plant communities may be an appropriate restoration goal for many other types of managed lands, including roadsides, firebreaks and utility rights-of-way. This study describes an ecological (and potentially cost-effective) approach to developing restoration planting palettes for such managed lands.

  20. Effects of invasive species on plant communities: an example using submersed aquatic plants at the regional level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Submerged aquatic plants have a key role in maintaining functioning aquatic ecosystems through their effects in the hydrological regime, sedimentation, nutrient cycling and habitats of associated fauna. Modifications of aquatic plant communities, as for example through the introduction of invasive s...

  1. 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.

  2. Biological support media influence the bacterial biofouling community in reverse osmosis water reclamation demonstration plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrera, Isabel; Mas, Jordi; Taberna, Elisenda; Sanz, Joan; Sánchez, Olga

    2015-01-01

    The diversity of the bacterial community developed in different stages of two reverse osmosis (RO) water reclamation demonstration plants designed in a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Tarragona (Spain) was characterized by applying 454-pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. The plants were fed by secondary treated effluent to a conventional pretreatment train prior to the two-pass RO system. Plants differed in the material used in the filtration process, which was sand in one demonstration plant and Scandinavian schists in the second plant. The results showed the presence of a highly diverse and complex community in the biofilms, mainly composed of members of the Betaproteobacteria and Bacteroidetes in all stages, with the presence of some typical wastewater bacteria, suggesting a feed water origin. Community similarities analyses revealed that samples clustered according to filter type, highlighting the critical influence of the biological supporting medium in biofilm community structure.

  3. Polyphasic analyses of methanogenic archaeal communities in agricultural biogas plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nettmann, E; Bergmann, I; Pramschüfer, S; Mundt, K; Plogsties, V; Herrmann, C; Klocke, M

    2010-04-01

    Knowledge of the microbial consortia participating in the generation of biogas, especially in methane formation, is still limited. To overcome this limitation, the methanogenic archaeal communities in six full-scale biogas plants supplied with different liquid manures and renewable raw materials as substrates were analyzed by a polyphasic approach. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was carried out to quantify the methanogenic Archaea in the reactor samples. In addition, quantitative real-time PCR (Q-PCR) was used to support and complete the FISH analysis. Five of the six biogas reactors were dominated by hydrogenotrophic Methanomicrobiales. The average values were between 60 to 63% of archaeal cell counts (FISH) and 61 to 99% of archaeal 16S rRNA gene copies (Q-PCR). Within this order, Methanoculleus was found to be the predominant genus as determined by amplified rRNA gene restriction analysis. The aceticlastic family Methanosaetaceae was determined to be the dominant methanogenic group in only one biogas reactor, with average values for Q-PCR and FISH between 64% and 72%. Additionally, in three biogas reactors hitherto uncharacterized but potentially methanogenic species were detected. They showed closest accordance with nucleotide sequences of the hitherto unclassified CA-11 (85%) and ARC-I (98%) clusters. These results point to hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis as a predominant pathway for methane synthesis in five of the six analyzed biogas plants. In addition, a correlation between the absence of Methanosaetaceae in the biogas reactors and high concentrations of total ammonia (sum of NH(3) and NH(4)(+)) was observed.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Tao; Melcher, Ulrich

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Differences in gypsum plant communities associated with habitat fragmentation and livestock grazing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pueyo, Y; Alados, C L; Barrantes, O; Komac, B; Rietkerk, M

    2008-06-01

    The negative consequences of habitat fragmentation for plant communities have been documented in many regions of the world. In some fragmented habitats, livestock grazing has been proposed to be a dispersal mechanism reducing isolation between fragments. In others, grazing acts together with fragmentation in a way that increases habitat degradation. Iberian gypsum plant communities have been grazed and fragmented by agricultural practices for centuries. Although their conservation is considered a priority by the European Community, the effects of fragmentation on gypsum plant communities and the possible role of livestock grazing remain unknown. In addition, a substantial proportion of plant species growing in gypsum environments are gypsum specialists. They could be particularly affected by fragmentation, as was found for other habitat specialists (i.e., serpentine and calcareous specialists). In this study (1) we investigated the effect of fragmentation and grazing on gypsum plant community composition (species and life-forms), and (2) we tested to see if gypsum specialists were differently affected by fragmentation and grazing than habitat generalists. A vegetation survey was conducted in the largest gypsum outcrop of Europe (Middle Ebro Valley, northeast Spain). Fragmented and continuous sites in grazed and ungrazed areas were compared. Measurements related to species and composition of life-forms were contrasted first for the whole gypsum plant community and then specifically for the gypsum specialists. In the whole community, our results showed lower plant species diversity in fragmented sites, mainly due to the larger dominance of species more tolerant to fragmented habitat conditions. With livestock grazing, the plant species richness and the similarity in plant species composition between remnants was larger, suggesting that animals were acting as dispersal agents between fragments. As expected, gypsum specialists were less abundant in fragmented areas

  7. Psychological Impact of a Nuclear Power Plant: Changing Perceptions of Community and Neighborhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughey, Joseph B.

    1986-01-01

    Examines change in attitude toward community and descriptions of neighborhood environments of 217 residents of rural host community for a nuclear power plant. Finds negative attitude change and less positive descriptions of neighborhoods. Discusses implications for community psychology and preventive intervention. (LFL)

  8. Large herbivores change the direction of interactions within plant communities along a salt marsh stress gradient

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Howison, Ruth A.; Olff, Han; Steever, Rutger; Smit, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Question: How multiple abiotic stress factors combined with herbivory affect interactions within plant communities is poorly understood. We ask how large herbivore grazing affects the direction of plant-plant interactions along an environmental gradient in a salt marsh. Location: Grazed (cattle) and

  9. Interplay between Senecio jacobaea and plant, soil, and aboveground insect community composition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bezemer, T.M.; Harvey, J.A.; Kowalchuk, G.A.; Korpershoek, H.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2006-01-01

    To elucidate the factors that affect the performance of plants in their natural environment, it is essential to study interactions with other neighboring plants, as well as with above- and belowground higher trophic organisms. We used a long-term field experiment to study how local plant community d

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viketoft, Maria; Bengtsson, Janne; Sohlenius, Björn; Berg, Matty P; Petchey, Owen; Palmborg, Cecilia; Huss-Danell, Kerstin

    2009-01-01

    An important component of plant-soil feedbacks is how plant species identity anddiversity influence soil organism communities. We examine the effects of grassland plant species growing alone and together up to a richness of 12 species on nematode diversity and feeding group composition, eight years after the establishment of experimental grassland plots at the BIODEPTH site in northern Sweden. This is a substantially longer time than most other experimental studies of plant effects on soil fauna. We address the hypotheses that (la) higher species or functional diversity of plants increases nematode diversity, as well as influences nematode community composition. Alternatively, (1b) individual plant species traits are most important for nematode diversity and community composition. (2) Plant effects on soil organisms will decrease with increasing number of trophic links between plants and soil fauna. Plant species identity was often more important than plant diversity for nematode community composition, supporting hypothesis 1b. There was a weak positive relation between plant and nematode richness;which could be attributed to the presence of the legume Trifolium pratense, but also to some other plant species, suggesting a selection or sampling effect. Several plant species in different functional groups affected nematode community composition. For example, we found that legumes increased bacterial-feeding nematodes, most notably r-selected Rhabditida, while fungal-feeding nematodes were enhanced by forbs. Other bacterial feeders and obligate root feeders were positively related to grasses. Plant effects were usually stronger on plant-, bacterial- and fungal-feeding nematodes than on omnivores/predators, which supports hypothesis 2. Our study suggests that plant identity has stronger effects than plant diversity on nematode community composition, but when comparing our results with similar previous studies the effects of particular plant species appear to vary. We

  11. A network model for plant-pollinator community assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Colin; Yang, Suann; Albert, Réka; Shea, Katriona

    2011-01-04

    Community assembly models, usually constructed for food webs, are an important component of our understanding of how ecological communities are formed. However, models for mutualistic community assembly are still needed, especially because these communities are experiencing significant anthropogenic disturbances that affect their biodiversity. Here, we present a unique network model that simulates the colonization and extinction process of mutualistic community assembly. We generate regional source pools of species interaction networks on the basis of statistical properties reported in the literature. We develop a dynamic synchronous Boolean framework to simulate, with few free parameters, the dynamics of new mutualistic community formation from the regional source pool. This approach allows us to deterministically map out every possible trajectory of community formation. This level of detail is rarely observed in other analytic approaches and allows for thorough analysis of the dynamical properties of community formation. As for food web assembly, we find that the number of stable communities is quite low, and the composition of the source pool influences the abundance and nature of community outcomes. However, in contrast to food web assembly, stable mutualistic communities form rapidly. Small communities with minor fluctuations in species presence/absence (self-similar limit cycles) are the most common community outcome. The unique application of this Boolean network approach to the study of mutualistic community assembly offers a great opportunity to improve our understanding of these critical communities.

  12. Mathematical modeling of heat transfer in plant community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Finnikov K.A.

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The conductive, convective and radiation heat exchange process in a natural system including plants aggregation, air lower layer and ground upper layer, is examined. The mathematical model of process is formulated in 1d unsteady approach. The numerical simulation of plants aggregation cooling is performed for the case of a radiation frost. It is found up that mutual influence of plants in an aggregation on the heat exchange with environment grows with the increase of plants size and plants number per ground area. The influence leads to that lower parts of plants are cooled slower, while upper parts are cooled faster. The estimations are made for the quantity of heat emitted in a thermogenic plant that is enough to prevent the plant cold stress. It is shown that in presence of enforced air flow the rate of plants cooling is noticeably lower, as well as the quantity of heat enough to prevent the plant cold stress.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janoušková, Martina; 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.

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Richard R; Pineda, Rosana P; Barney, Jacob N; Nilsen, Erik T; Barrett, John E; Williams, Mark A

    2015-01-01

    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 nitrogen

  16. Arrival order among native plant functional groups does not affect invasibility of constructed dune communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, T J; French, K; Jolley, D

    2013-10-01

    Different arrival order scenarios of native functional groups to a site may influence both resource use during development and final community structure. Arrival order may then indirectly influence community resistance to invasion. We present a mesocosm experiment of constructed coastal dune communities that monitored biotic and abiotic responses to different arrival orders of native functional groups. Constructed communities were compared with unplanted mesocosms. We then simulated a single invasion event by bitou (Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. rotundata), a dominant exotic shrub of coastal communities. We evaluated the hypothesis that plantings with simultaneous representation of grass, herb and shrub functional groups at the beginning of the experiment would more completely sequester resources and limit invasion than staggered plantings. Staggered plantings in turn would offer greater resource use and invasion resistance than unplanted mesocosms. Contrary to our expectations, there were few effects of arrival order on abiotic variables for the duration of the experiment and arrival order was unimportant in final community invasibility. All planted mesocosms supported significantly more invader germinants and significantly less invader abundance than unplanted mesocosms. Native functional group plantings may have a nurse effect during the invader germination and establishment phase and a competitive function during the invader juvenile and adult phase. Arrival order per se did not affect resource use and community invasibility in our mesocosm experiment. While grass, herb and shrub functional group plantings will not prevent invasion success in restored communities, they may limit final invader biomass.

  17. Responses of community-level plant-insect interactions to climate warming in a meadow steppe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Hui; Zou, Xuehui; Wang, Deli; Wan, Shiqiang; Wang, Ling; Guo, Jixun

    2015-12-21

    Climate warming may disrupt trophic interactions, consequently influencing ecosystem functioning. Most studies have concentrated on the temperature-effects on plant-insect interactions at individual and population levels, with a particular emphasis on changes in phenology and distribution. Nevertheless, the available evidence from the community level is limited. A 3-year field manipulative experiment was performed to test potential responses of plant and insect communities, and plant-insect interactions, to elevated temperature in a meadow steppe. Warming increased the biomass of plant community and forbs, and decreased grass biomass, indicating a shift from grass-dominant to grass-forb mixed plant community. Reduced abundance of the insect community under warming, particularly the herbivorous insects, was attributed to lower abundance of Euchorthippus unicolor and a Cicadellidae species resulting from lower food availability and higher defensive herbivory. Lower herbivore abundance caused lower predator species richness because of reduced prey resources and contributed to an overall decrease in insect species richness. Interestingly, warming enhanced the positive relationship between insect and plant species richness, implying that the strength of the plant-insect interactions was altered by warming. Our results suggest that alterations to plant-insect interactions at a community level under climate warming in grasslands may be more important and complex than previously thought.

  18. Responses of community-level plant-insect interactions to climate warming in a meadow steppe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Hui; Zou, Xuehui; Wang, Deli; Wan, Shiqiang; Wang, Ling; Guo, Jixun

    2015-01-01

    Climate warming may disrupt trophic interactions, consequently influencing ecosystem functioning. Most studies have concentrated on the temperature-effects on plant-insect interactions at individual and population levels, with a particular emphasis on changes in phenology and distribution. Nevertheless, the available evidence from the community level is limited. A 3-year field manipulative experiment was performed to test potential responses of plant and insect communities, and plant-insect interactions, to elevated temperature in a meadow steppe. Warming increased the biomass of plant community and forbs, and decreased grass biomass, indicating a shift from grass-dominant to grass-forb mixed plant community. Reduced abundance of the insect community under warming, particularly the herbivorous insects, was attributed to lower abundance of Euchorthippus unicolor and a Cicadellidae species resulting from lower food availability and higher defensive herbivory. Lower herbivore abundance caused lower predator species richness because of reduced prey resources and contributed to an overall decrease in insect species richness. Interestingly, warming enhanced the positive relationship between insect and plant species richness, implying that the strength of the plant-insect interactions was altered by warming. Our results suggest that alterations to plant-insect interactions at a community level under climate warming in grasslands may be more important and complex than previously thought. PMID:26686758

  19. Strong linkage between plant and soil fungal communities along a successional coastal dune system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy-Bolduc, Alice; Laliberté, Etienne; Boudreau, Stéphane; Hijri, Mohamed

    2016-10-01

    Complex interactions between plants and soil microorganisms drive key ecosystem and community properties such as productivity and diversity. In nutrient-poor systems such as sand dunes, plant traits and fungal symbioses related to nutrient acquisition can strongly influence vegetation dynamics. We investigated plant and fungal communities in a relic foredune plain located on an archipelago in Québec, Canada. We detected distinct communities across the edaphic and successional gradient. Our results showed a clear increase in plant species richness, as well as in the diversity of nutrient-acquisition strategies. We also found a strong correlation between aboveground vegetation and soil fungal communities, and both responded similarly to soil physicochemical properties. Soil pH influenced the composition of plant and fungal communities, and could act as an important environmental filter along this relic foredune plain. The increasing functional diversity in plant nutrient-acquisition strategies across the gradient might favor resource partitioning and facilitation among co-occurring plant species. The coordinated changes in soil microbial and plant communities highlight the importance of aboveground-belowground linkages and positive biotic interactions during ecological succession in nutrient-poor environments.

  20. Species divergence and trait convergence in experimental plant community assembly

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fukami, T.; Bezemer, T.M.; Mortimer, S.R.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2005-01-01

    Despite decades of research, it remains controversial whether ecological communities converge towards a common structure determined by environmental conditions irrespective of assembly history. Here, we show experimentally that the answer depends on the level of community organization considered. In

  1. An account of the plant communities of Tussen die Riviere Game Farm, Orange Free State

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. J.A. Werger

    1973-09-01

    Full Text Available As part of the IBP survey of conservation sites, the vegetation of Tussen die Riviere Game Farm,Orange Free State, was surveyed and analysed according to the Braun-Blanquet phytosociological method. A classification of the plant communities occurring there is given. A way by which a hierarchical classification of plant communities in South Africa community is physiognomically classified according of this system are discussed briefly.could be constructed, is suggested. Each plant to Fosberg's (1967 system. Two disadvantages of this system are discussed briefly.

  2. [Effects of phytase transgenic corn planting on soil nematode community].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Zong-Chao; Su, Ying; Mou, Wen-Ya; Liu, Man-Qiang; Chen, Xiao-Yun; Chen, Fa-Jun

    2014-04-01

    A healthy soil ecosystem is essential for nutrient cycling and energy conversion, and the impact of exogenous genes from genetically modified crops had aroused wide concerns. Phytase transgenic corn (i. e., the inbred line BVLA430101) was issued a bio-safety certificate on 27 September 2009 in China, which could improve the efficiency of feed utilization, reduce environmental pollution caused by animal manure. In this study, the abundance of trophic groups, community structure and ecological indices of soil nematodes were studied over the growing cycle of phytase transgenic corn (ab. transgenic corn) and control conventional parental corn (ab. control corn) in the field. Totally 29 and 26 nematode genera were isolated from transgenic corn and control corn fields, respectively. The abundances of bacterivores and omnivores-predators, the total number of soil nematodes, and the Shannon index (H) were significantly greater under transgenic corn than under control corn, while the opposite trend was found for the relative abundance of herbivores and the maturity index (Sigma MI) of soil nematodes. Repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) did not detect any significant effects of transgenic corn on the composition and abundance of nematode trophic groups and ecological indices of soil nematodes. Furthermore, the Student-T test showed that the abundances of bacterivores and omnivores-predators and the total number of soil nematodes during the milk-ripe stage were significant higher in the transgenic corn field than in the control corn field. The effects of transgenic corn planting on soil nematodes might be related to the increase in the nitrogen content of field soil under transgenic corn compared to control corn.

  3. The relationships between floral traits and specificity of pollination systems in three Scandinavian plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lázaro, Amparo; Hegland, Stein Joar; Totland, Orjan

    2008-08-01

    The pollination syndrome hypothesis has provided a major conceptual framework for how plants and pollinators interact. However, the assumption of specialization in pollination systems and the reliability of floral traits in predicting the main pollinators have been questioned recently. In addition, the relationship between ecological and evolutionary specialization in pollination interactions is still poorly understood. We used data of 62 plant species from three communities across southern Norway to test: (1) the relationships between floral traits and the identity of pollinators, (2) the association between floral traits (evolutionary specialization) and ecological generalization, and (3) the consistency of both relationships across communities. Floral traits significantly affected the identity of pollinators in the three communities in a way consistent with the predictions derived from the pollination syndrome concept. However, hover flies and butterflies visited flowers with different shapes in different communities, which we mainly attribute to among-community variation in pollinator assemblages. Interestingly, ecological generalization depended more on the community-context (i.e. the plant and pollinator assemblages in the communities) than on specific floral traits. While open yellow and white flowers were the most generalist in two communities, they were the most specialist in the alpine community. Our results warn against the use of single measures of ecological generalization to question the pollination syndrome concept, and highlight the importance of community comparisons to assess the pollination syndromes, and to understand the relationships between ecological and evolutionary specialization in plant-pollinator interactions.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuzzo, Victoria; Dávalos, Andrea; Blossey, Bernd

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  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. Changes in hardwood forest understory plant communities in response to European earthworm invasions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hale, Cindy M; Frelich, Lee E; Reich, Peter B

    2006-07-01

    European earthworms are colonizing earthworm-free northern hardwood forests across North America. Leading edges of earthworm invasion provide an opportunity to investigate the response of understory plant communities to earthworm invasion and whether the species composition of the earthworm community influences that response. Four sugar maple-dominated forest sites with active earthworm invasions were identified in the Chippewa National Forest in north central Minnesota, USA. In each site, we established a 30 x 150 m sample grid that spanned a visible leading edge of earthworm invasion and sampled earthworm populations and understory vegetation over four years. Across leading edges of earthworm invasion, increasing total earthworm biomass was associated with decreasing diversity and abundance of herbaceous plants in two of four study sites, and the abundance and density of tree seedlings decreased in three of four study sites. Sample points with the most diverse earthworm species assemblage, independent of biomass, had the lowest plant diversity. Changes in understory plant community composition were most affected by increasing biomass of the earthworm species Lumbricus rubellus. Where L. rubellus was absent there was a diverse community of native herbaceous plants, but where L. rubellus biomass reached its maximum, the herbaceous-plant community was dominated by Carex pensylvanica and Arisaema triphyllum and, in some cases, was completely absent. Evidence from these forest sites suggests that earthworm invasion can lead to dramatic changes in the understory community and that the nature of these changes is influenced by the species composition of the invading earthworm community.

  10. Endophytic Fungal Communities Associated with Vascular Plants in the High Arctic Zone Are Highly Diverse and Host-Plant Specific.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tao Zhang

    Full Text Available This study assessed the diversity and distribution of endophytic fungal communities associated with the leaves and stems of four vascular plant species in the High Arctic using 454 pyrosequencing with fungal-specific primers targeting the ITS region. Endophytic fungal communities showed high diversity. The 76,691 sequences obtained belonged to 250 operational taxonomic units (OTUs. Of these OTUs, 190 belonged to Ascomycota, 50 to Basidiomycota, 1 to Chytridiomycota, and 9 to unknown fungi. The dominant orders were Helotiales, Pleosporales, Capnodiales, and Tremellales, whereas the common known fungal genera were Cryptococcus, Rhizosphaera, Mycopappus, Melampsora, Tetracladium, Phaeosphaeria, Mrakia, Venturia, and Leptosphaeria. Both the climate and host-related factors might shape the fungal communities associated with the four Arctic plant species in this region. These results suggested the presence of an interesting endophytic fungal community and could improve our understanding of fungal evolution and ecology in the Arctic terrestrial ecosystems.

  11. Flora and ecological characteristics of rare plant communities on the southern slope of Shennongjia Mountain

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    According to the investigation of sampling area of 6800 m2 on the south slope of Shennongjia Mountain, there were 126 vascular plant species, belonging to 108 genera and 64 families, in the investigated rare plant communities, of which 9 rare plant species were recorded, accounting for 27.3% of the total rare plants. The communities were about 30 m in height and were divided into three layers as tree layer, shrub layer, and herb layer. The flora of the communities had obvious temperate character. Phanerophytes (accounted for 65.9%), Mesophyllous (62.7%), Papyraceous (84.1%), simple leaf (83.3%), un-entire leaf (69.8%) were dominant in life form, leaf size class, leaf texture, leaf form, and leaf margin respectively. According to important value of species, the communities were divided into three types as Davidia involucrata + Litsea pungens community, Cercidiphyllum japanicum + Padus wilsonii community, and Padus wilsonii + Acer mono community. The indexes of species diversity of tree layer had little difference among communities and evenness was high. The results indicated that the communities had complex structure and relative stability.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  13. Population Age Structures of Tree Species in Four Plant Communities in the Great Dismal Swamp, Virginia

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The primary objective of the present study was to determine the age structures of species occurring in four plant communities in the Great Dismal Swamp, Virginia, by...

  14. Structural Comparisons Of Four Plant Communities In the Great Dismal Swamp, Virginia

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Four plant communities in the Great Dismal Swamp, located on the coastal plain in southeastern Virginia, were sampled and estimates of density, basal area and...

  15. Characteristics, classification and ordination of riparian plant communities in the Three-Gorges areas

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    Sixteen different vegetation types of grassland and shrubland were selected to study the component and diversity of plant species of riparian plant communities along main channel in the Three-Gorges areas. Species richness (s), Simpson index (D), and Shannon-Weiner index (H) were used to study the biodiversity and the hierarchical classification was carried out by the methods of TWINSPAN and DCA ordination. The results showed that the components of flora were complex and dominated by the temperate type in the riparian plant communities. Species diversity was not different between the communities, but Shannon-Weiner indexes of different layers in some grassland were significantly different. TWINSPAN and DCA indicated that riparian plant communities distributed along the gradient of moisture.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  20. Management of aspen plant communities on the National Elk Refuge, Wyoming

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — There are 1,860 acres (753 ha) of aspen (Populus tremuloides) plant communities on the National Elk Refuge (NER). Aspen is an important tree species on the Refuge,...

  1. Subalpine meadow plant communities in Yosemite and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, 2011-2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This publication presents data collected within meadows from samples used to assess meadow plant community responses to recreational pack stock as part of a USGS...

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Carreno Rocabado, I.G.

    2013-01-01

    Land-use intensification (LUI) is one of the main global drivers of biodiversity loss with negative impact on ecosystem processes and the services that societies derive from the ecosystems. The effect of LUI on ecosystem processes can be direct through changes in environmental conditions and indirect through changes in plant community. In this dissertation I explored the mechanisms through which land-use intensification affects plant community assembly and ecosystem processes in the Bolivian ...

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

    OpenAIRE

    ter Heerdt, Gerhardus

    2016-01-01

    This thesis shows that weather conditions during the first year of establishment, strongly affect the composition of riparian plant communities. This is one of the factors determining if some goals of the Water Framework Directive and Natura 2000, reed beds and accompanying bird species, can be met. Increased summer drought due to climate change will make it more difficult to reach these goals. The composition of riparian plant communities establishing during a drawdown can vary largely. For ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradley D. Pinno

    2016-04-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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].

  9. Changes in community-level riparian plant traits over inundation gradients, Colorado River, Grand Canyon

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCoy-Sulentic, Miles; Kolb, Thomas; Merritt, David; Palmquist, Emily C.; Ralston, Barbara E.; Sarr, Daniel; Shafroth, Patrick B.

    2017-01-01

    Comparisons of community-level functional traits across environmental gradients have potential for identifying links among plant characteristics, adaptations to stress and disturbance, and community assembly. We investigated community-level variation in specific leaf area (SLA), plant mature height, seed mass, stem specific gravity (SSG), relative cover of C4 species, and total plant cover over hydrologic zones and gradients in years 2013 and 2014 in the riparian plant community along the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. Vegetation cover was lowest in the frequently inundated active channel zone, indicating constraints on plant establishment and production by flood disturbance and anaerobic stress. Changes in trait values over hydrologic zones and inundation gradients indicate that frequently inundated plots exhibit a community-level ruderal strategy with adaptation to submergence (high SLA and low SSG, height, seed mass, C4 relative cover), whereas less frequently inundated plots exhibit adaptation to drought and infrequent flood disturbance (low SLA and high SSG, height, seed mass, C4 relative cover). Variation in traits not associated with inundation suggests niche differentiation and multiple modes of community assembly. The results enhance understanding of future responses of riparian communities of the Grand Canyon to anticipated drying and changes in hydrologic regime.

  10. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonnemann, Ilja; Pfestorf, Hans; Jeltsch, Florian; Wurst, Susanne

    2015-01-01

    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 insect root

  12. Purple Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia rosea) Dieback and Partial Community Disassembly following Experimental Storm Surge in a Coastal Pitcher Plant Bog

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbott, Matthew J.; Battaglia, Loretta L.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25874369

  13. [Insect community structure and its stability in a Zanthoxylum bungeanum garden with different planting pattern].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiao-Ming; Li, Qiang; Chen, Guo-Hua; Yang, Jie; Gao, Xin; Song, Jia-Xiong

    2009-08-01

    An investigation was made on the insect community composition and structure in a Zanthoxylum bungeanum garden with corn-soybean - Z. bungeanum intercropping, soybean - Z. bungeanum intercropping, corn - Z. bungeanum intercropping, and only Z. bungeanum planting in Zhaotong City of Yunnan Province, and the community character index and principal component analysis were used to study the characters and stability of the insect community. A total of 326 insect species were recorded. In intercropped plots, the abundance, diversity, and evenness index of insect community were higher while the dominance index was lower, compared with those in monocultured Z. bungeanum plot. The diversity index of insect community decreased in the order of corn-soybean- Z. bungeanum intercropping > soybean - Z. bungeanum intercropping > corn - Z. bungeanum intercropping > only Z. bungeanum planting, and the insect community in corn-soybean - Z. bungeanum intercropping plot was relatively stable.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, Kailen A; Agrawal, Anurag A

    2008-06-01

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

  15. Different degrees of plant invasion significantly affect the richness of the soil fungal community.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chuncan Si

    Full Text Available Several studies have shown that soil microorganisms play a key role in the success of plant invasion. Thus, ecologists have become increasingly interested in understanding the ecological effects of biological invasion on soil microbial communities given continuing increase in the effects of invasive plants on native ecosystems. This paper aims to provide a relatively complete depiction of the characteristics of soil microbial communities under different degrees of plant invasion. Rhizospheric soils of the notorious invasive plant Wedelia trilobata with different degrees of invasion (uninvaded, low-degree, and high-degree using its coverage in the invaded ecosystems were collected from five discrete areas in Hainan Province, P. R. China. Soil physicochemical properties and community structure of soil microorganisms were assessed. Low degrees of W. trilobata invasion significantly increased soil pH values whereas high degrees of invasion did not significantly affected soil pH values. Moreover, the degree of W. trilobata invasion exerted significant effects on soil Ca concentration but did not significantly change other indices of soil physicochemical properties. Low and high degrees of W. trilobata invasion increased the richness of the soil fungal community but did not pose obvious effects on the soil bacterial community. W. trilobata invasion also exerted obvious effects on the community structure of soil microorganisms that take part in soil nitrogen cycling. These changes in soil physicochemical properties and community structure of soil microbial communities mediated by different degrees of W. trilobata invasion may present significant functions in further facilitating the invasion process.

  16. Different degrees of plant invasion significantly affect the richness of the soil fungal community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Si, Chuncan; Liu, Xueyan; Wang, Congyan; Wang, Lei; Dai, Zhicong; Qi, Shanshan; Du, Daolin

    2013-01-01

    Several studies have shown that soil microorganisms play a key role in the success of plant invasion. Thus, ecologists have become increasingly interested in understanding the ecological effects of biological invasion on soil microbial communities given continuing increase in the effects of invasive plants on native ecosystems. This paper aims to provide a relatively complete depiction of the characteristics of soil microbial communities under different degrees of plant invasion. Rhizospheric soils of the notorious invasive plant Wedelia trilobata with different degrees of invasion (uninvaded, low-degree, and high-degree using its coverage in the invaded ecosystems) were collected from five discrete areas in Hainan Province, P. R. China. Soil physicochemical properties and community structure of soil microorganisms were assessed. Low degrees of W. trilobata invasion significantly increased soil pH values whereas high degrees of invasion did not significantly affected soil pH values. Moreover, the degree of W. trilobata invasion exerted significant effects on soil Ca concentration but did not significantly change other indices of soil physicochemical properties. Low and high degrees of W. trilobata invasion increased the richness of the soil fungal community but did not pose obvious effects on the soil bacterial community. W. trilobata invasion also exerted obvious effects on the community structure of soil microorganisms that take part in soil nitrogen cycling. These changes in soil physicochemical properties and community structure of soil microbial communities mediated by different degrees of W. trilobata invasion may present significant functions in further facilitating the invasion process.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  18. Influences of space, soil, nematodes and plants on microbial community composition of chalk grassland soils

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yergeau, E.; Bezemer, T.M.; Hedlund, K.; Mortimer, S.R.; Kowalchuk, G.A.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2010-01-01

    Microbial communities respond to a variety of environmental factors related to resources (e.g. plant and soil organic matter), habitat (e.g. soil characteristics) and predation (e.g. nematodes, protozoa and viruses). However, the relative contribution of these factors on microbial community composit

  19. Chronic wind and plant communities in dunes: Total biomass, inter-specific competition, and species abundance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    He, W.M.; Xi, W.M.; Anten, N.P.R.

    2013-01-01

    Chronic wind is an important ecological factor, but its direct roles in shaping plant communities remain poorly understood. We hypothesized that chronic wind can modulate community productivity, inter-specific competition, and species abundance in inland dunes. We conducted an experiment with three

  20. Selective waterfowl herbivory affects species dominance in a submerged plant community

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Santamaria, L.

    2002-01-01

    I used a field experiment to test the hypothesis that waterfowl affect not only the abundance, but also the composition of submerged plant communities. A simple community was chosen for this purpose, composed of two taxa with contrasting distributions along a depth (shore-centre) gradient. I compare

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mielczarek, Artur Tomasz

    that plants with return sludge Side-Stream Hydrolysis (SSH) instead of the normal anaerobic process tank tended to have significantly fewer unwanted GAOs in contrast to many plants with traditional mainstream anaerobic tank and thus it was proposed that this system might be an effective strategy of control...

  2. Chemical and structural effects of invasive plants on herbivore-parasitoid/predator interactions in native communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harvey, J.A.; Fortuna, T.

    2012-01-01

    The introduction and/or spread of exotic organisms into new habitats is considered a major threat to biodiversity. Invasive plants have been shown to negatively affect native communities, competing with and excluding other plants and disrupting a wide range of trophic interactions associated with

  3. 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 h

  4. 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 a

  5. 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 h

  6. 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 maximum...

  7. 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...

  8. Plant growth and soil microbial community structure of legumes and grasses grown in monoculture or mixture

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Meimei; CHEN Baodong; MARSCHNER Petra

    2008-01-01

    A greenhouse pot experiment was conducted to investigate the influence of soil moisture eontent on plant growth and the rhizospheremicrobial community structure of four plant species (white clover, alfalfa, sudan grass, tall fescue), grown individually or in a mixture.The soil moisture content was adjusted to 55% or 80% water holding capacity (WHC). The results indicated that the total plant biomassof one pot was lower at 55% WHC. At a given soil moisture, the total plant biomass of white clover and tall fescue in the mixture waslower than that in a monoculture, indicating their poor competitiveness. For leguminous plants, the decrease in soil moisture reducedthe total microbial biomass, bacterial biomass, fungal biomass, and fungal/baeterial ratio in soil as assessed by the phospholipid fattyacid analysis, whereas, lower soil moisture increased those parameters in the tall fescue. The microbial biomass in the soil with legumeswas higher than that in the soil with grasses and the two plant groups differed in soil microbial community composition. At high soilmoisture content, microbial communities of the plant mixture were similar to those of the legume monoculture, and the existenceof legumes in the mixture enhanced the bacterial and fungal biomass in the soil compared to the grasses grown in the monoculture,indicating that legumes played a dominant role in the soil microbial community changes in the plant mixture.

  9. Importance of Marine-Derived Nutrients Supplied by Planktivorous Seabirds to High Arctic Tundra Plant Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwolicki, Adrian; Zmudczyńska-Skarbek, Katarzyna; Richard, Pierre; Stempniewicz, Lech

    2016-01-01

    We studied the relative importance of several environmental factors for tundra plant communities in five locations across Svalbard (High Arctic) that differed in geographical location, oceanographic and climatic influence, and soil characteristics. The amount of marine-derived nitrogen in the soil supplied by seabirds was locally the most important of the studied environmental factors influencing the tundra plant community. We found a strong positive correlation between δ15N isotopic values and total N content in the soil, confirming the fundamental role of marine-derived matter to the generally nutrient-poor Arctic tundra ecosystem. We also recorded a strong correlation between the δ15N values of soil and of the tissues of vascular plants and mosses, but not of lichens. The relationship between soil δ15N values and vascular plant cover was linear. In the case of mosses, the percentage ground cover reached maximum around a soil δ 15N value of 8‰, as did plant community diversity. This soil δ15N value clearly separated the occurrence of plants with low nitrogen tolerance (e.g. Salix polaris) from those predominating on high N content soils (e.g. Cerastium arcticum, Poa alpina). Large colonies of planktivorous little auks have a great influence on Arctic tundra vegetation, either through enhancing plant abundance or in shaping plant community composition at a local scale. PMID:27149113

  10. Effects of single and multiple applications of glyphosate and aminopyralid on simple constructed plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plant tests required for the registration of pesticides are generally performed under controlled laboratory/greenhouse conditions using single exposures, and the results may or may not be relevant to protecting plant communities or ecosystems. We report results from a field test ...

  11. Chemical and structural effects of invasive plants on herbivore-parasitoid/predator interactions in native communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harvey, J.A.; Fortuna, T.

    2012-01-01

    The introduction and/or spread of exotic organisms into new habitats is considered a major threat to biodiversity. Invasive plants have been shown to negatively affect native communities, competing with and excluding other plants and disrupting a wide range of trophic interactions associated with th

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Importance of Marine-Derived Nutrients Supplied by Planktivorous Seabirds to High Arctic Tundra Plant Communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrian Zwolicki

    Full Text Available We studied the relative importance of several environmental factors for tundra plant communities in five locations across Svalbard (High Arctic that differed in geographical location, oceanographic and climatic influence, and soil characteristics. The amount of marine-derived nitrogen in the soil supplied by seabirds was locally the most important of the studied environmental factors influencing the tundra plant community. We found a strong positive correlation between δ15N isotopic values and total N content in the soil, confirming the fundamental role of marine-derived matter to the generally nutrient-poor Arctic tundra ecosystem. We also recorded a strong correlation between the δ15N values of soil and of the tissues of vascular plants and mosses, but not of lichens. The relationship between soil δ15N values and vascular plant cover was linear. In the case of mosses, the percentage ground cover reached maximum around a soil δ 15N value of 8‰, as did plant community diversity. This soil δ15N value clearly separated the occurrence of plants with low nitrogen tolerance (e.g. Salix polaris from those predominating on high N content soils (e.g. Cerastium arcticum, Poa alpina. Large colonies of planktivorous little auks have a great influence on Arctic tundra vegetation, either through enhancing plant abundance or in shaping plant community composition at a local scale.

  14. Importance of Marine-Derived Nutrients Supplied by Planktivorous Seabirds to High Arctic Tundra Plant Communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwolicki, Adrian; Zmudczyńska-Skarbek, Katarzyna; Richard, Pierre; Stempniewicz, Lech

    2016-01-01

    We studied the relative importance of several environmental factors for tundra plant communities in five locations across Svalbard (High Arctic) that differed in geographical location, oceanographic and climatic influence, and soil characteristics. The amount of marine-derived nitrogen in the soil supplied by seabirds was locally the most important of the studied environmental factors influencing the tundra plant community. We found a strong positive correlation between δ15N isotopic values and total N content in the soil, confirming the fundamental role of marine-derived matter to the generally nutrient-poor Arctic tundra ecosystem. We also recorded a strong correlation between the δ15N values of soil and of the tissues of vascular plants and mosses, but not of lichens. The relationship between soil δ15N values and vascular plant cover was linear. In the case of mosses, the percentage ground cover reached maximum around a soil δ 15N value of 8‰, as did plant community diversity. This soil δ15N value clearly separated the occurrence of plants with low nitrogen tolerance (e.g. Salix polaris) from those predominating on high N content soils (e.g. Cerastium arcticum, Poa alpina). Large colonies of planktivorous little auks have a great influence on Arctic tundra vegetation, either through enhancing plant abundance or in shaping plant community composition at a local scale.

  15. Nighttime warming enhances drought resistance of plant communities in a temperate steppe

    OpenAIRE

    Zhongling Yang; Lin Jiang; Fanglong Su; Qian Zhang; Jianyang Xia; Shiqiang Wan

    2016-01-01

    Drought events could have profound influence on plant community structure and ecosystem function, and have subsequent impacts on community stability, but we know little about how different climate warming scenarios affect community resistance and resilience to drought. Combining a daytime and nighttime warming experiment in the temperate steppe of north China with a natural drought event during the study period, we tested how daytime and nighttime warming influences drought resistance and res...

  16. Hydrology, shore morphology and species traits affect seed dispersal, germination and community assembly in shoreline plant communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Leeuwen, C.H.A.; Sarneel, J.M.; van Paassen, José; Rip, W.J.; Bakker, E.S.

    2014-01-01

    Summary 1.Seed dispersal and germination are two primary processes influencing plant community assembly. On freshwater shores, water levels regulate both processes. However, it is still unclear how water levels, shore morphology and species traits interactively affect seed dispersal and germination,

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gentry Alwyn H.

    1986-12-01

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

  18. A Hardy Plant Facilitates Nitrogen Removal via Microbial Communities in Subsurface Flow Constructed Wetlands in Winter

    OpenAIRE

    Penghe Wang; Hui Zhang; Jie Zuo; Dehua Zhao; Xiangxu Zou; Zhengjie Zhu; Nasreen Jeelani; Xin Leng; Shuqing An

    2016-01-01

    The plants effect in subsurface flow constructed wetlands (SSF-CWs) is controversial, especially at low temperatures. Consequently, several SSF-CWs planted with Iris pseudacorus (CWI) or Typha orientalis Presl. (CWT) and several unplanted ones (CWC) were set up and fed with secondary effluent of sewage treatment plant during the winter in Eastern China. The 16S rDNA Illumina Miseq sequencing analysis indicated the positive effects of I. pseudacorus on the bacterial community richness and dive...

  19. Above–belowground herbivore interactions in mixed plant communities are influenced by altered precipitation patterns

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    Root- and shoot-feeding herbivores have the capacity to influence one another by modifying the chemistry of the shared host plant. This can alter rates of nutrient mineralisation and uptake by neighbouring plants and influence plant–plant competition, particularly in mixtures combining grasses and legumes. Root herbivory-induced exudation of nitrogen (N) from legume roots, for example, may increase N acquisition by co-occurring grasses, with knock-on effects on grassland community compositi...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snedden, Gregg A.; Steyer, Gregory D.

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Intraspecific trait variation drives functional responses of old-field plant communities to nutrient enrichment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siefert, Andrew; Ritchie, Mark E

    2016-05-01

    Environmental changes are expected to shift the distribution of functional trait values in plant communities through a combination of species turnover and intraspecific variation. The strength of these shifts may depend on the availability of individuals with trait values adapted to new environmental conditions, represented by the functional diversity (FD) of existing community residents or dispersal from the regional species pool. We conducted a 3-year nutrient- and seed-addition experiment in old-field plant communities to examine the contributions of species turnover and intraspecific variation to community trait shifts, focusing on four key plant functional traits: vegetative height, leaf area, specific leaf area (SLA), and leaf dry matter content (LDMC). We further examined the influence of initial FD and seed availability on the strength of these shifts. Community mean height, leaf area, and SLA increased in response to fertilization, and these shifts were driven almost entirely by intraspecific variation. The strength of intraspecific shifts in height and leaf area was positively related to initial intraspecific FD in these traits. Intraspecific trait responses to fertilization varied among species, with species of short stature displaying stronger shifts in SLA and LDMC but weaker shifts in leaf area. Trait shifts due to species turnover were generally weak and opposed intraspecific responses. Seed addition altered community taxonomic composition but had little effect on community trait shifts. These results highlight the importance of intraspecific variation for short-term community functional responses and demonstrate that the strength of these responses may be mediated by community FD.

  2. The root herbivore history of the soil affects the productivity of a grassland plant community and determines plant response to new root herbivore attack.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilja Sonnemann

    Full Text Available Insect root herbivores can alter plant community structure by affecting the competitive ability of single plants. However, their effects can be modified by the soil environment. Root herbivory itself may induce changes in the soil biota community, and it has recently been shown that these changes can affect plant growth in a subsequent season or plant generation. However, so far it is not known whether these root herbivore history effects (i are detectable at the plant community level and/or (ii also determine plant species and plant community responses to new root herbivore attack. The present greenhouse study determined root herbivore history effects of click beetle larvae (Elateridae, Coleoptera, genus Agriotes in a model grassland plant community consisting of six common species (Achillea millefolium, Plantago lanceolata, Taraxacum officinale, Holcus lanatus, Poa pratensis, Trifolium repens. Root herbivore history effects were generated in a first phase of the experiment by growing the plant community in soil with or without Agriotes larvae, and investigated in a second phase by growing it again in the soils that were either Agriotes trained or not. The root herbivore history of the soil affected plant community productivity (but not composition, with communities growing in root herbivore trained soil producing more biomass than those growing in untrained soil. Additionally, it influenced the response of certain plant species to new root herbivore attack. Effects may partly be explained by herbivore-induced shifts in the community of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. The root herbivore history of the soil proved to be a stronger driver of plant growth on the community level than an actual root herbivore attack which did not affect plant community parameters. History effects have to be taken into account when predicting the impact of root herbivores on grasslands.

  3. Methylobacterium-induced endophyte community changes correspond with protection of plants against pathogen attack.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardanov, Pavlo; Sessitsch, Angela; Häggman, Hely; Kozyrovska, Natalia; Pirttilä, Anna Maria

    2012-01-01

    Plant inoculation with endophytic bacteria that normally live inside the plant without harming the host is a highly promising approach for biological disease control. The mechanism of resistance induction by beneficial bacteria is poorly understood, because pathways are only partly known and systemic responses are typically not seen. The innate endophytic community structures change in response to external factors such as inoculation, and bacterial endophytes can exhibit direct or indirect antagonism towards pathogens. Earlier we showed that resistance induction by an endophytic Methylobacterium sp. in potato towards Pectobacterium atrosepticum was dependent on the density of the inoculum, whereas the bacterium itself had no antagonistic activity. To elucidate the role of innate endophyte communities in plant responses, we studied community changes in both in vitro and greenhouse experiments using various combinations of plants, endophyte inoculants, and pathogens. Induction of resistance was studied in several potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) cultivars by Methylobacterium sp. IMBG290 against the pathogens P. atrosepticum, Phytophthora infestans and Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000, and in pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) by M. extorquens DSM13060 against Gremmeniella abietina. The capacities of the inoculated endophytic Methylobacterium spp. strains to induce resistance were dependent on the plant cultivar, pathogen, and on the density of Methylobacterium spp. inoculum. Composition of the endophyte community changed in response to inoculation in shoot tissues and correlated with resistance or susceptibility to the disease. Our results demonstrate that endophytic Methylobacterium spp. strains have varying effects on plant disease resistance, which can be modulated through the endophyte community of the host.

  4. Economically and ecologically important plant communities in high altitude coniferous forest of Malam Jabba, Swat, Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sher, Hassan; Al Yemeni, Mohammad

    2011-01-01

    A study on the economically important plant communities was carried out during summer 2008 in various parts of Malam Jabba valley, Swat. The principal aim of the study was phytosociological evaluation with special reference to the occurrence of commercially important medicinal plant species in coniferous forest of the study area. Secondly to prepare ethnobotanical inventory of the plant resources of the area, as well as to evaluate the conservation status of important medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) through rapid vulnerable assessment (RVA) procedure. The study documented 90 species of ethnobotanical importance, out of these 71 spp used as medicinal plant, 20 spp fodder plant, 10 spp vegetables, 14 spp wild fruit, 18 spp fuel wood, 9 spp furniture and agricultural tools, 9 spp thatching, fencing and hedges, 4 spp honey bee, 2 spp evil eyes, 2 spp religious and 3 spp as poison. Phytosociologically six plant communities were found, comprising five herbs-shrubs-trees communities and one meadow community. Further study is, therefore, required to quantify the availability of species and to suggest suitable method for their production and conservation. Recommendations are also given in the spheres of training in identification, sustainable collection, value addition, trade monitoring and cooperative system of marketing.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    Aim Habitat fragmentation is a major driver of biodiversity loss but it is insufficiently known how much its effects vary among species with different life-history traits; especially in plant communities, the understanding of the role of traits related to species persistence and dispersal...... in determining dynamics of species communities in fragmented landscapes is still limited. The primary aim of this study was to test how plant traits related to persistence and dispersal and their interactions modify plant species vulnerability to decreasing habitat area and increasing isolation. Location Five...... of habitat loss on plant species richness was pervasive across different regions, whereas the effect of habitat isolation on species richness was not evident. This area effect was, however, not equal for all the species, and life-history traits related to both species persistence and dispersal modified plant...

  8. Community Visions for the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-09-01

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

  9. Simulation of plant communities with a cellular automaton

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1999-08-01

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

  10. Land-use history alters contemporary insect herbivore community composition and decouples plant-herbivore relationships.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hahn, Philip G. [University of Wisconsin; Orrock, John L. [University of Wisconsin

    2015-04-01

    1. Past land use can create altered soil conditions and plant communities that persist for decades, although the effects of these altered conditions on consumers are rarely investigated. 2. Using a large-scale field study at 36 sites in longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) woodlands, we examined whether historic agricultural land use leads to differences in the abundance and community composition of insect herbivores (grasshoppers, families Acrididae and Tettigoniidae). 3. We measured the cover of six plant functional groups and several environmental variables to determine whether historic agricultural land use affects the relationships between plant cover or environmental conditions and grasshopper assemblages. 4. Land-use history had taxa-specific effects and interacted with herbaceous plant cover to alter grasshopper abundances, leading to significant changes in community composition. Abundance of most grasshopper taxa increased with herbaceous cover in woodlands with no history of agriculture, but there was no relationship in post-agricultural woodlands. We also found that grasshopper abundance was negatively correlated with leaf litter cover. Soil hardness was greater in post-agricultural sites (i.e. more compacted) and was associated with grasshopper community composition. Both herbaceous cover and leaf litter cover are influenced by fire frequency, suggesting a potential indirect role of fire on grasshopper assemblages. 5. Our results demonstrate that historic land use may create persistent differences in the composition of grasshopper assemblages, while contemporary disturbances (e.g. prescribed fire) may be important for determining the abundance of grasshoppers, largely through the effect of fire on plants and leaf litter. Therefore, our results suggest that changes in the contemporary management regimes (e.g. increasing prescribed fire) may not be sufficient to shift the structure of grasshopper communities in post-agricultural sites towards communities in

  11. Spatial processes structuring riparian plant communities in agroecosystems: implications for restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourgeois, Bérenger; González, Eduardo; Vanasse, Anne; Aubin, Isabelle; Poulin, Monique

    2016-10-01

    The disruption of hydrological connectivity by human activities such as flood regulation or land-use changes strongly impacts riparian plant communities. However, landscape-scale processes have generally been neglected in riparian restoration projects as opposed to local conditions, even though such processes might largely influence community recovery. We surveyed plant composition of field edges and riverbanks in 51 riparian zones restored by tree planting (565 1-m(2) plots) within two agricultural watersheds in southeastern Québec, Canada. Once the effects of environmental variables (hydrology, soil, agriculture, landscape, restoration) were partialled out, three models of spatial autocorrelation based on Moran's eigenvector maps and asymmetric eigenvector maps were compared to quantify the pathways and direction of the spatial processes structuring riparian communities. The ecological mechanisms underlying predominant spatial processes were then assessed by regression trees linking species response to spatial gradients to seed and morphological traits. The structure of riparian communities was predominantly related to unidirectional spatial gradients from upstream to downstream along watercourses, which contributed more to species composition than bidirectional gradients along watercourses or overland. Plant traits selected by regression trees explained 22% of species response to unidirectional upstream-downstream gradients in field edges and 24% in riverbanks, and predominantly corresponded to seed traits rather than morphological traits of the adult plants. Our study showed that even in agriculturally open landscapes, water flow remains a major force structuring spatially riparian plant communities by filtering species according to their seed traits, thereby suggesting long-distance dispersal as a predominant process. Preserving hydrological connectivity at the watershed-scale and restoring riparian plant communities from upstream to downstream should be

  12. Plant species richness and functional traits affect community stability after a flood event.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Felícia M; Wright, Alexandra J; Eisenhauer, Nico; Ebeling, Anne; Roscher, Christiane; Wagg, Cameron; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Pillar, Valério D

    2016-05-19

    Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events. It is therefore of major importance to identify the community attributes that confer stability in ecological communities during such events. In June 2013, a flood event affected a plant diversity experiment in Central Europe (Jena, Germany). We assessed the effects of plant species richness, functional diversity, flooding intensity and community means of functional traits on different measures of stability (resistance, resilience and raw biomass changes from pre-flood conditions). Surprisingly, plant species richness reduced community resistance in response to the flood. This was mostly because more diverse communities grew more immediately following the flood. Raw biomass increased over the previous year; this resulted in decreased absolute value measures of resistance. There was no clear response pattern for resilience. We found that functional traits drove these changes in raw biomass: communities with a high proportion of late-season, short-statured plants with dense, shallow roots and small leaves grew more following the flood. Late-growing species probably avoided the flood, whereas greater root length density might have allowed species to better access soil resources brought from the flood, thus growing more in the aftermath. We conclude that resource inputs following mild floods may favour the importance of traits related to resource acquisition and be less associated with flooding tolerance.

  13. PLANT COMMUNITIES WITH ARNICA MONTANA IN NATURAL HABITATS FROM THE CENTRAL REGION OF ROMANIAN EASTERN CARPATHIANS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Constantin MARDARI

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Arnica montana is a species of European Union interest, whose harvest from the wild and exploitation should be made under certain management measures. In Romania it is a vulnerable species due to excessive collection. It is a species with European areal occuring in pastures, meadows, forest glades, shrubs communities of mountain to the subalpine regions and, isolated, up to the alpine belt. Most of the plant communities with Arnica montana are semi-natural, with a floristic composition in which there are numerous rare or threatened species also supporting the need of their conservation. Our study was focused on a numerical classification (hierarchical, using Flexible ß algorithm and Bray-Curtis dissimilarity based on 48 plots, of the plant communities with Arnica montana from the central region of Romanian Eastern Carpathians and on the investigation of the effect of some environmental variables (Ellenberg indicator values, altitude, heat load index on their floristic composition (100 m2 scale. Vegetation – environment relationship was assessed via detrended correspondence analysis and canonical correspondence analysis with Monte Carlo test. Six plant communities with Arnica montana were identified (communities of Festuca rubra with Agrostis capillaris, Festuca nigrescens, Vaccinium myrtillus, Nardus stricta, Vaccinium gaultherioides and Juniperus sibirica with a floristic composition mainly shaped by altitude, temperature and soil nitrogen content. Details related to location and sites characteristics, diagnostic species, floristic composition, presence of other rare or threatened species and Arnica montana abundance were presented for all these plant communities.

  14. Effects of Host Plant Factors on the Bacterial Communities Associated with Two Whitefly Sibling Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Ming-Ming; Guo, Lei; Tao, Yun-Li; Zhang, You-Jun; Wan, Fang-Hao; Chu, Dong

    2016-01-01

    Although discrepancy in the specific traits and ecological characteristics of Bemisia tabaci between species are partially attributed to the B. tabaci-associated bacteria, the factors that affect the diversity of B. tabaci-associated bacteria are not well-understood. We used the metagenomic approach to characterize the B. tabaci-associated bacterial community because the approach is an effective tool to identify the bacteria. To investigate the effects of the host plant and a virus, tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV), on the bacterial communities of B. tabaci sibling species B and Q, we analyzed the bacterial communities associated with whitefly B and Q collected from healthy cotton, healthy tomato, and TYLCV-infected tomato. The analysis used miseq-based sequencing of a variable region of the bacterial 16S rDNA gene. For the bacteria associated with B. tabaci, we found that the influence of the host plant species was greater than that of the whitefly cryptic species. With further analysis of host plants infected with the TYLCV, the virus had no significant effects on the B. tabaci-associated bacterial community. The effects of different plant hosts and TYLCV-infection on the diversity of B. tabaci-associated bacterial communities were successfully analyzed in this study. To explain why B. tabaci sibling species with different host ranges differ in performance, the analysis of the bacterial community may be essential to the explanation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Relative importance of abiotic, biotic, and disturbance drivers of plant community structure in the sagebrush steppe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Rachel M; Bakker, Jonathan D; Vincent, John B; Davies, G Matt

    2017-04-01

    Abiotic conditions, biotic factors, and disturbances can act as filters that control community structure and composition. Understanding the relative importance of these drivers would allow us to understand and predict the causes and consequences of changes in community structure. We used long-term data (1989-2002) from the sagebrush steppe in the state of Washington, USA, to ask three questions: (1) What are the key drivers of community-level metrics of community structure? (2) Do community-level metrics and functional groups differ in magnitude or direction of response to drivers of community structure? (3) What is the relative importance of drivers of community structure? The vegetation in 2002 was expressed as seven response variables: three community-level metrics (species richness, total cover, compositional change from 1989 to 2002) and the relative abundances of four functional groups. We used a multi-model inference framework to identify a set of top models for each response metric beginning from a global model that included two abiotic drivers, six disturbances, a biotic driver (initial plant community), and interactions between the disturbance and biotic drivers. We also used a permutational relative variable importance metric to rank the influence of drivers. Moisture availability was the most important driver of species richness and of native forb cover. Fire was the most important driver of shrub cover and training area usage was important for compositional change, but disturbances, including grazing, were of secondary importance for most other variables. Biotic drivers, as represented by the initial plant communities, were the most important driver for total cover and for the relative covers of exotics and native grasses. Our results indicate that the relative importance of drivers is dependent on the choice of metric, and that drivers such as disturbance and initial plant community can interact. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Study on complexity of plant communities at different altitudes on the Northern Slope of Changbai Mountain

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    By the method of gradient pattern analysis, twenty plots were set at altitudes of 700-2600 m with an interval of 100 m on the northern slope of the Changbai Mountain. The dissimilarity of respective sub-plots in the same community was measured and the complexity of plant communities at different altitudes was analyzed. The result from binary data of tree species in canopy tree indicated that the sub-plots in the communities, except subalpine Betula ermanii forest, showed comparatively high dissimilarity in species composition. Especially, the dissimilarity index (0.7) of broadleaved/Korean pine forest at low altitudes was obviously higher than other communities. The differences are not obvious between communities referring to dark coniferous forest. Comparatively, the dissimilarity in sub-plots of the communities at altitude of 1400 m was slightly higher than that of other communities, which reflected the complexity of tree species compositions of transitory-type communities. For subalpine Betula ermanii forest, tree species composition was simple and showed a high similarity between sub-plots. The results derived from binary data of shrub showed that the dissimilarity index of shrub species in broadleaved/Korean pine forest at low altitudes was higher than that in other communities, but the divergence tendency wasn't so obvious as that of arbor species. The dissimilarity derived from binary data of herb and all plant species at different altitudes showed greatly close tendency, and the differences in herb and all plant species between sub-plots were the greatest for the communities of broad-leaved-Korean pine forest and alpine tundra zone.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. C. M. Urtado

    2013-03-01

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

  4. [Noise-reduction function and its affecting factors of urban plant communities in Shanghai].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qing-Fei; Zheng, Si-Jun; Xia, Lei; Wu, Hai-Ping; Zhang, Ming-Li; Li, Ming-Sheng

    2007-10-01

    The factor analysis on the relationships between excess noise attenuation (decrement after noise propagating 30 m) and 8 structural characteristics of 19 urban plant communities in Shanghai showed that all the plant communities had notable effects on reducing noise, and the noise attenuation ability of the communities was significantly higher than that of lawn (P attenuation ability, i.e., those of > or = 10 dB(A), 6-10 dB(A), and attenuation ability of the communities were leaf area index, average bifurcate height, average height, coverage, and average canopy diameter, and their correlation coefficients with noise attenuation were 0.343, 0.318, 0.285, 0.226 and 0.193, respectively. These five factors had a cumulative contribution rate of 65.47%, suggesting that they should be considered in stress when designing urban greenbelt for noise reduction.

  5. Activation of the jasmonic acid plant defence pathway alters the composition of rhizosphere bacterial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalhais, Lilia C; Dennis, Paul G; Badri, Dayakar V; Tyson, Gene W; Vivanco, Jorge M; Schenk, Peer M

    2013-01-01

    Jasmonic acid (JA) signalling plays a central role in plant defences against necrotrophic pathogens and herbivorous insects, which afflict both roots and shoots. This pathway is also activated following the interaction with beneficial microbes that may lead to induced systemic resistance. Activation of the JA signalling pathway via application of methyl jasmonate (MeJA) alters the composition of carbon containing compounds released by roots, which are implicated as key determinants of rhizosphere microbial community structure. In this study, we investigated the influence of the JA defence signalling pathway activation in Arabidopsis thaliana on the structure of associated rhizosphere bacterial communities using 16S rRNA gene amplicon pyrosequencing. Application of MeJA did not directly influence bulk soil microbial communities but significant changes in rhizosphere community composition were observed upon activation of the jasmonate signalling pathway. Our results suggest that JA signalling may mediate plant-bacteria interactions in the soil upon necrotrophic pathogen and herbivorous insect attacks.

  6. Plant and soil fungal but not soil bacterial communities are linked in long-term fertilized grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassman, Noriko A.; Leite, Marcio F. A.; Pan, Yao; de Hollander, Mattias; van Veen, Johannes A.; Kuramae, Eiko E.

    2016-03-01

    Inorganic fertilization and mowing alter soil factors with subsequent effects-direct and indirect - on above- and below-ground communities. We explored direct and indirect effects of long-term fertilization (N, P, NPK, Liming) and twice yearly mowing on the plant, bacterial and fungal communities and soil factors. We analyzed co-variation using 16S and 18S rRNA genes surveys, and plant frequency and edaphic factors across treatments. The plant and fungal communities were distinct in the NPK and L treatments, while the bacterial communities and soil factors were distinct in the N and L treatments. Plant community diversity and evenness had low diversity in the NPK and high diversity in the liming treatment, while the diversity and evenness of the bacterial and fungal communities did not differ across treatments, except of higher diversity and evenness in the liming treatment for the bacteria. We found significant co-structures between communities based on plant and fungal comparisons but not between plant and bacterial nor bacterial and fungal comparisons. Our results suggested that the plant and fungal communities are more tightly linked than either community with the bacterial community in fertilized soils. We found co-varying plant, bacterial and fungal taxa in different treatments that may indicate ecological interactions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Pinno, Bradley D.; Ruth C. Errington

    2016-01-01

    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 im...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duguma, Dagne; Rugman-Jones, Paul; Kaufman, Michael G; Hall, Michael W; Neufeld, Josh D; Stouthamer, Richard; Walton, William E

    2013-01-01

    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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Purdy, B. J.

    1976-01-01

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

  12. [Influence of Submerged Plants on Microbial Community Structure in Sediment of Hongze Lake].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ding-yu; Zhang, Ting-xi; Dong, Dan-ping; Li, De-fang; Wang, Guo-xiang

    2016-05-15

    Phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) method was applied to analyze the influence of submerged plants on sediment microbial community structure, in order to investigate the changes of sediment microbial community structure for different kinds of the submerged plants in different growth periods. Particularly, Potamogeton crispus L., Potamogeton pectinatus L and the mixed group were chosen as the typical submerged plants in Hongze Lake for investigation in this paper. The results indicated that the change of total PLFAs in different periods was significant, on the contrary, the PLFA change for different groups in the same period was insignificant. The values of G⁺ PLFA/G⁻ PLFA in the submerged plant group were also highly related to the different growth periods, which demonstrated that the root function of the submerged plant had a severe impact on the microbial community in sediment. Furthermore, some environmental factors, such as Temperature, pH, TOC and DO, were correlated to characteristic phospholipid of PLFAs in sediment, which means the environmental factors could also affect the microbial community structure.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  14. FOREST-BASED MEDICINAL PLANTS RENDERING THEIR SERVICES TO THE RURAL COMMUNITY OF ASSAM, INDIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ratul Arya Baishya

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Forests are the main biological resource areas from where reportedly 80% of the medicinal plants are collected by the rural communities of the state. Traditional folk medicines, mainly based on plants, occupy a significant position today, especially in the developing countries, where modern health care service is limited. Medicinal plants are gaining global importance owing to the fact that herbal drugs are cost-effective, easily available and most reportedly, with negligible side effects. Safe, effective and inexpensive indigenous remedies had been practiced by the people of both tribal and rural society of Assam from time immemorial. Therefore, the need of the hour is to harness this natural resource sustainably for the socio-economic development of the indigenous communities. Hence, a strategy for sustainable harvesting practice needs to be developed that would ensure preservation of the valuable medicinal plants in situ while addressing the needs of the rural communities. The present study is, thus, an attempt to highlight the common medicinal plants of forested region as used by the rural poor community for different kinds of treatment as the rural local healers usually practice for treatment of diseases in their locality.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uddin, Md Nazim; Robinson, Randall William

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mudrák, Ondřej; Uteseny, Karoline; Frouz, Jan

    2016-04-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Shrub invasion decreases diversity and alters community stability in northern Chihuahuan Desert plant communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Selene Báez

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Global climate change is rapidly altering species range distributions and interactions within communities. As ranges expand, invading species change interactions in communities which may reduce stability, a mechanism known to affect biodiversity. In aridland ecosystems worldwide, the range of native shrubs is expanding as they invade and replace native grassland vegetation with significant consequences for biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. METHODOLOGY: We used two long-term data sets to determine the effects of shrub encroachment by Larrea tridentata on subdominant community composition and stability in formerly native perennial grassland dominated by Bouteloua eriopoda in New Mexico, USA. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Our results indicated that Larrea invasion decreased species richness during the last 100 years. We also found that over shorter temporal scales species-poor subdominant communities in areas invaded by Larrea were less stable (more variable in time compared to species rich communities in grass-dominated vegetation. Compositional stability increased as cover of Bouteloua increased and decreased as cover of Larrea increased. SIGNIFICANCE: Changes in community stability due to altered interspecific interactions may be one mechanism by which biodiversity declines in grasslands following shrub invasion. As global warming increases, shrub encroachment into native grasslands worldwide will continue to alter species interactions and community stability both of which may lead to a decline in biodiversity.

  19. Communities and Plants in Los Angeles Urban Gardens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available The gardens of Los Angeles are vast and diverse, and for several years now, I have been immersed in them. These include public parks, private residential gardens, an elite botanical garden and urban community gardens. I’m trying to discern what it means to go into these gardens, to labor in them, and to be associated with them in both imagination and practice. As a sociologist, my point of departure is that gardens are not isolated oases, but serve as windows that reveal the changing social and cultural landscape of Los Angeles.

  20. Nutrient capital sequestration in pioneer plant communities on surface-mine spoil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wade, G.L.

    1985-01-01

    Four pioneer plant communities on a surface-mine spoil were compared in terms of biomass production and nutrient capital sequestration. A chenopodium album-dominated community (Treatment 4) produced the greatest amount of biomass. Next were a community derived from a forest topsoil seed bank spread over mine spoil (Treatment 2), a seed bank community with common reclamation species seeded into it (Treatment 3), and a mix of grasses and Lespedeza commonly used in reclamation (Treatment 1). Amounts of nutrients sequestered in vegetation were not strictly proportional to biomass. Community nutrient contents were largely influenced by community biomass and the nutrient uptake characteristics of the species with most biomass. Significant changes in soil chemistry were found after one growing season. Addition of the reclamation mix of grasses and Lespedeza to the seed bank resulted in significantly fewer established native species. Native species lost their normal dominance and exhibited stunted growth and phenological delay in Treatment 3. Nutrient content niche, nutrient content niche share, and niche breadth (Levins; B) were calculated for important species in each community. Native species generally had reduced niche breadths and niche shares when reclamation species were added to the community. Community content niche, the sums of species content niches, varied between different types of pioneer communities.

  1. Effects of plant genotype and growth stage on the structure of bacterial communities associated with potato (Solanum tuberosum L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Overbeek, Leo; van Elsas, Jan Dirk

    2008-05-01

    The effects of genotype, plant growth and experimental factors (soil and year) on potato-associated bacterial communities were studied. Cultivars Achirana Inta, Désirée, Merkur and transgenic Désirée line DL12 (containing T4 lysozyme gene) were assessed in two field experiments. Cross-comparisons between both experiments were made using Désirée plants. Culture-dependent and -independent approaches were used to demonstrate effects on total bacterial, actinobacterial and Pseudomonas communities in bulk and rhizosphere soils and endospheres. PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis fingerprints prepared with group-specific primers were analyzed using multivariate analyses and revealed that bacterial communities in Achirana Inta plants differed most from those of Désirée and Merkur. No significant effects were found between Désirée and DL12 lines. Plant growth stage strongly affected different plant-associated communities in both experiments. To investigate the effect of plant-associated communities on plant health, 800 isolates from rhizospheres and endospheres at the flowering stage were tested for suppression of Ralstonia solanacearum biovar 2 and/or Rhizoctonia solani AG3. A group of isolates closely resembling Lysobacter sp. dominated in young plants. Its prevalence was affected by plant growth stage and experiment rather than by plant genotype. It was concluded that plant growth stage overwhelmed any effect of plant genotype on the bacterial communities associated with potato.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Rhizobacterial Community Structures Associated with Native Plants Grown in Chilean Extreme Environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorquera, Milko A; Maruyama, Fumito; Ogram, Andrew V; Navarrete, Oscar U; Lagos, Lorena M; Inostroza, Nitza G; Acuña, Jacquelinne J; Rilling, Joaquín I; de La Luz Mora, María

    2016-10-01

    Chile is topographically and climatically diverse, with a wide array of diverse undisturbed ecosystems that include native plants that are highly adapted to local conditions. However, our understanding of the diversity, activity, and role of rhizobacteria associated with natural vegetation in undisturbed Chilean extreme ecosystems is very poor. In the present study, the combination of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and 454-pyrosequencing approaches was used to describe the rhizobacterial community structures of native plants grown in three representative Chilean extreme environments: Atacama Desert (ATA), Andes Mountains (AND), and Antarctic (ANT). Both molecular approaches revealed the presence of Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Actinobacteria as the dominant phyla in the rhizospheres of native plants. Lower numbers of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were observed in rhizosphere soils from ATA compared with AND and ANT. Both approaches also showed differences in rhizobacterial community structures between extreme environments and between plant species. The differences among plant species grown in the same environment were attributed to the higher relative abundance of classes Gammaproteobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria. However, further studies are needed to determine which environmental factors regulate the structures of rhizobacterial communities, and how (or if) specific bacterial groups may contribute to the growth and survival of native plants in each Chilean extreme environments.

  4. TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND CONSERVATION OF MEDICINAL PLANTS IN THE INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY OF SANTA CATARINA, BC, MEXICO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edna Alicia Cortés-Rodríguez

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Traditional knowledge (TK integrates and shared local and cultural wealth by the members of a community. It includes information regarding beliefs, systems of values, respect and environmental care, as well as knowledge and management of native flora and the use of medicinal plants, like the mayority of the indigenous cultures of Latin America, which results in a viable resource management. Under this statement, the objetive of this paper was; to know, to collect and to analyze the TK of the medicinal plants of the indigenous community of Santa Catarina, B.C. Mexico and propose guidelines for their management. It was obtained a 36 medicinal plants record of the Mediterranean ecosystem, it was also identified the suffering for which the medicinal plants are used, as well as parts of the plant and its employment forms. It was concluded that the integration of TK to government management plans, represents an option for the conservation of ecosystem natural resources, in which the agricultural and livestock pressure constitutes a serious menace for the conservation of plant communities.

  5. 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.

  6. Antibiotic resistance differentiates Echinacea purpurea endophytic bacterial communities with respect to plant organs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mengoni, Alessio; Maida, Isabel; Chiellini, Carolina; Emiliani, Giovanni; Mocali, Stefano; Fabiani, Arturo; Fondi, Marco; Firenzuoli, Fabio; Fani, Renato

    2014-10-01

    Recent findings have shown that antibiotic resistance is widespread in multiple environments and multicellular organisms, as plants, harboring rich and complex bacterial communities, could be hot spot for emergence of antibiotic resistances as a response to bioactive molecules production by members of the same community. Here, we investigated a panel of 137 bacterial isolates present in different organs of the medicinal plant Echinacea purpurea, aiming to evaluate if different plant organs harbor strains with different antibiotic resistance profiles, implying then the presence of different biological interactions in the communities inhabiting different plant organs. Data obtained showed a large antibiotic resistance variability among strains, which was strongly related to the different plant organs (26% of total variance, P < 0.0001). Interestingly this uneven antibiotic resistance pattern was present also when a single genus (Pseudomonas), ubiquitous in all organs, was analyzed and no correlation of antibiotic resistance pattern with genomic relatedness among strains was found. In conclusion, we speculate that antibiotic resistance patterns are tightly linked to the type of plant organ under investigation, suggesting the presence of differential forms of biological interaction in stem/leaves, roots and rhizosphere. Copyright © 2014 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-23

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

  8. Geographic variation in plant community structure of salt marshes: species, functional and phylogenetic perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Hongyu; Chamberlain, Scott A; Elhaik, Eran; Jalli, Inder; Lynes, Alana-Rose; Marczak, Laurie; Sabath, Niv; Vargas, Amy; Więski, Kazimierz; Zelig, Emily M; Pennings, Steven C

    2015-01-01

    In general, community similarity is thought to decay with distance; however, this view may be complicated by the relative roles of different ecological processes at different geographical scales, and by the compositional perspective (e.g. species, functional group and phylogenetic lineage) used. Coastal salt marshes are widely distributed worldwide, but no studies have explicitly examined variation in salt marsh plant community composition across geographical scales, and from species, functional and phylogenetic perspectives. Based on studies in other ecosystems, we hypothesized that, in coastal salt marshes, community turnover would be more rapid at local versus larger geographical scales; and that community turnover patterns would diverge among compositional perspectives, with a greater distance decay at the species level than at the functional or phylogenetic levels. We tested these hypotheses in salt marshes of two regions: The southern Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States. We examined the characteristics of plant community composition at each salt marsh site, how community similarity decayed with distance within individual salt marshes versus among sites in each region, and how community similarity differed among regions, using species, functional and phylogenetic perspectives. We found that results from the three compositional perspectives generally showed similar patterns: there was strong variation in community composition within individual salt marsh sites across elevation; in contrast, community similarity decayed with distance four to five orders of magnitude more slowly across sites within each region. Overall, community dissimilarity of salt marshes was lowest on the southern Atlantic Coast, intermediate on the Gulf Coast, and highest between the two regions. Our results indicated that local gradients are relatively more important than regional processes in structuring coastal salt marsh communities. Our results also suggested that in

  9. Plant communities of field boundaries in Finnish farmland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. TARMI

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available To determine the importance of field boundary habitats for farmland biodiversity, we surveyed a total of 193 boundaries from four climatically and agriculturally dissimilar regions in Finland. We measured the current plant species richness and composition of the boundaries, and based on the differences in vegetation characteristics, we describe six boundary types. The observed plant species were mainly indicators of fresh to wet soils and moderate to rich mineral nitrogen content. The most frequent species were tall, perennial monocots and dicots indicating the high productivity of thevegetation. Moreove, herbicide-tolerant species were common. No species rare for Finland were found.In animal husbandry regions, the most frequent species were sown grassland species and typical grassland weeds. In cereal production regions, fast-spreading root weeds tolerant of herbicides were the most frequent. Mean species richness was highest in the cluster Ca-lamagrostis-Phalaris (24 species (s/boundary (b, which we considered as representative of moist sites with some disturbance by agricultural practices. Most species-poor were the clusters Elymus-Anthriscus (14 s/band Elymus-Cirsium (16 s/b,both found predominantly in cereal production regions in southern Finland. Our results suggest that the biodiversity value of boundaries is lowest in the most intensive cereal production areas and highest in areas of mixed farming.;

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Summer Freezing Resistance: A Critical Filter for Plant Community Assemblies in Mediterranean High Mountains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pescador, David S; Sierra-Almeida, Ángela; Torres, Pablo J; Escudero, Adrián

    2016-01-01

    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 (FD), 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 (LDMC), 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 FD 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 leaf dry matter content was negatively correlated 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 FD 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 be a general prerequisite for plants

  14. Concentration of Petroleum-Hydrocarbon Contamination Shapes Fungal Endophytic Community Structure in Plant Roots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourdel, Guillaume; Roy-Bolduc, Alice; St-Arnaud, Marc; Hijri, Mohamed

    2016-01-01

    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 pattern 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 pollution reduce fungal

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. L. Poelking

    2014-08-01

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Methylobacterium-induced endophyte community changes correspond with protection of plants against pathogen attack.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavlo Ardanov

    Full Text Available Plant inoculation with endophytic bacteria that normally live inside the plant without harming the host is a highly promising approach for biological disease control. The mechanism of resistance induction by beneficial bacteria is poorly understood, because pathways are only partly known and systemic responses are typically not seen. The innate endophytic community structures change in response to external factors such as inoculation, and bacterial endophytes can exhibit direct or indirect antagonism towards pathogens. Earlier we showed that resistance induction by an endophytic Methylobacterium sp. in potato towards Pectobacterium atrosepticum was dependent on the density of the inoculum, whereas the bacterium itself had no antagonistic activity. To elucidate the role of innate endophyte communities in plant responses, we studied community changes in both in vitro and greenhouse experiments using various combinations of plants, endophyte inoculants, and pathogens. Induction of resistance was studied in several potato (Solanum tuberosum L. cultivars by Methylobacterium sp. IMBG290 against the pathogens P. atrosepticum, Phytophthora infestans and Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000, and in pine (Pinus sylvestris L. by M. extorquens DSM13060 against Gremmeniella abietina. The capacities of the inoculated endophytic Methylobacterium spp. strains to induce resistance were dependent on the plant cultivar, pathogen, and on the density of Methylobacterium spp. inoculum. Composition of the endophyte community changed in response to inoculation in shoot tissues and correlated with resistance or susceptibility to the disease. Our results demonstrate that endophytic Methylobacterium spp. strains have varying effects on plant disease resistance, which can be modulated through the endophyte community of the host.

  1. 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).

  2. Plant communities, wetlands and landscapes of the Parque Nacional de Banhine, Moçambique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Stalmans

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available The Parque Nacional de Banhine (Banhine National Park was proclaimed during 1972. It covers 600 000 ha in Moçambique to the east of the Limpopo River. Until recently, this park, originally and popularly known as the ‘Serengeti of Moçambique’, was characterised by neglect and illegal hunting that caused the demise of most of its large wildlife. New initiatives aimed at rehabilitating the park have been launched within the scope of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park. A vegetation map was required as input to its management plan. The major objectives of the study were firstly to understand the environmental determinants of the vegetation, secondly to identify and describe individual plant communities in terms of species composition and structure and thirdly to delineate landscapes in terms of their plant community and wetland make-up, environmental determinants and distribution. A combination of fieldwork and analysis of LANDSAT satellite imagery was used. A total of 115 sample plots were surveyed. Another 222 sample points were briefly assessed from the air to establish the extent of the different landscapes. The ordination results clearly indicate the overriding importance of moisture availability in determining vegetation composition in the Parque Nacional de Banhine. Eleven distinct plant communities were recognised. They are described in terms of their structure, composition and distribution. These plant communities have strong affinities to a number of communities found in the Limpopo National Park to the west. The sandveld community is relatively the most species-rich of all communities. Different combinations of these plant communities can be grouped in five major landscapes, namely the Wetland, Grassland, Mopane, Sandveld and Androstachys landscape. These different landscapes hold six different wetland types as defined by the RAMSAR classification. The landscapes with their individual plant communities and wetland types represent

  3. Effect of a chemical manufacturing plant on community cancer rates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Churches Tim

    2005-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We conducted a retrospective study to determine if potential past exposure to dioxin had resulted in increased incidence of cancer in people living near a former manufacturing plant in New South Wales, Australia. During operation, from 1928 to 1970, by-products of the manufacturing process, including dioxin and other chemical waste, were dumped into wetlands and mangroves, discharged into a nearby bay and used to reclaim land along the foreshore, leaving a legacy of significant dioxin contamination. Methods We selected 20 Census Collector Districts within 1.5 kilometres of the former manufacturing plant as the study area. We obtained data on all cases of cancer and deaths from cancer in New South Wales from 1972 to 2001. We also compared rates for some cancer types that have been associated with dioxin exposure. Based on a person's residential address at time of cancer diagnosis, or at time of death due to cancer, various geo-coding software and processes were used to determine which collector district the case or death should be attributed to. Age and sex specific population data were used to calculate standardised incidence ratios and standardised mortality ratios, to compare the study area to two comparison areas, using indirect standardisation. Results During the 30-year study period 1,106 cases of cancer and 524 deaths due to cancer were identified in the study area. This corresponds to an age-sex standardised rate of 3.2 cases per 1,000 person-years exposed and 1.6 deaths per 1,000 person-years exposed. The study area had a lower rate of cancer and deaths from cancer than the comparison areas. The case incidence and mortality due to lung and bronchus carcinomas and haematopoietic cancers did not differ significantly from the comparison areas for the study period. There was no obvious geographical trend in ratios when comparing individual collector districts to New South Wales according to distance from the potential

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. B. Metcalfe

    2011-03-01

    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 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

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Planting Healthy Roots: Using Documentary Film to Evaluate and Disseminate Community-Based Participatory Research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandt, Heather M; Freedman, Darcy A; Friedman, Daniela B; Choi, Seul Ki; Seel, Jessica S; Guest, M Aaron; Khang, Leepao

    2016-01-01

    Documentary filmmaking approaches incorporating community engagement and awareness raising strategies may be a promising approach to evaluate community-based participatory research. The study purpose was 2-fold: (1) to evaluate a documentary film featuring the formation and implementation of a farmers' market and (2) to assess whether the film affected awareness regarding food access issues in a food-desert community with high rates of obesity. The coalition model of filmmaking, a model consistent with a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach, and personal stories, community profiles, and expert interviews were used to develop a documentary film (Planting Healthy Roots). The evaluation demonstrated high levels of approval and satisfaction with the film and CBPR essence of the film. The documentary film aligned with a CBPR approach to document, evaluate, and disseminate research processes and outcomes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estomba, Diego; Ladio, Ana; Lozada, Mariana

    2006-01-03

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

  9. Associations between Mycobacterium ulcerans and aquatic plant communities of West Africa: implications for Buruli ulcer disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntosh, Mollie; Williamson, Heather; Benbow, M Eric; Kimbirauskas, Ryan; Quaye, Charles; Boakye, Daniel; Small, Pamela; Merritt, Richard

    2014-06-01

    Numerous studies have associated Buruli ulcer (BU) disease with disturbed aquatic habitats; however, the natural reservoir, distribution, and transmission of the pathogen, Mycobacterium ulcerans, remain unknown. To better understand the role of aquatic plants in the ecology of this disease, a large-scale survey was conducted in waterbodies of variable flow throughout three regions of Ghana, Africa. Our objectives were to characterize plant communities and identify potential relationships with M. ulcerans and other mycolactone-producing mycobacteria (MPM). Waterbodies with M. ulcerans had significantly different aquatic plant communities, with submerged terrestrial plants identified as indicators of M. ulcerans presence. Mycobacterium ulcerans and MPM were detected on 14 plant taxa in emergent zones from both lotic and lentic waterbodies in endemic regions; however, M. ulcerans was not detected in the non-endemic Volta region. These findings support the hypothesis that plants provide substrate for M. ulcerans colonization and could act as potential indicators for disease risk. These findings also suggest that M. ulcerans is a widespread environmental bacteria species, but that it is absent or reduced in regions of low disease incidence. A better understanding is needed regarding the mechanistic associations among aquatic plants and M. ulcerans for identifying the mode of transmission of BU disease.

  10. Plant community diversity influences allocation to direct chemical defence in Plantago lanceolata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Mraja

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Forecasting the consequences of accelerating rates of changes in biodiversity for ecosystem functioning requires a mechanistic understanding of the relationships between the structure of biological communities and variation in plant functional characteristics. So far, experimental data of how plant species diversity influences the investment of individual plants in direct chemical defences against herbivores and pathogens is lacking. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used Plantago lanceolata as a model species in experimental grasslands differing in species richness and composition (Jena Experiment to investigate foliar concentrations of the iridoid glycosides (IG, catalpol and its biosynthetic precursor aucubin. Total IG and aucubin concentrations decreased, while catalpol concentrations increased with increasing plant diversity in terms of species or functional group richness. Negative plant diversity effects on total IG and aucubin concentrations correlated with increasing specific leaf area of P. lanceolata, suggesting that greater allocation to light acquisition reduced the investment into these carbon-based defence components. In contrast, increasing leaf nitrogen concentrations best explained increasing concentrations of the biosynthetically more advanced IG, catalpol. Observed levels of leaf damage explained a significant proportion of variation in total IG and aucubin concentrations, but did not account for variance in catalpol concentrations. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results clearly show that plants growing in communities of varying species richness and composition differ in their defensive chemistry, which may modulate plant susceptibility to enemy attack and consequently their interactions with higher trophic level organisms.

  11. The effect of drought on four plant communities in the northern Mojave Desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schultz, B.W. [Desert Research Inst., Reno, NV (United States); Ostler, W.K. [EG and G Energy Measurements, Inc., Las Vegas, NV (United States)

    1993-12-31

    Desert plant communities contain many perennial plant species that are well adapted to arid environments; therefore, one would intuitively believe that perennial desert species readily survive drought conditions. Abundant research on plant-soil-water relationships in North American deserts has shown that many species can maintain water uptake and growth when the soil-water potential is low. Little research, however, has focused on how prolonged drought conditions affect plant species in vegetation associations in desert ecosystems. A prolonged and widespread drought occurred in much of the western United States, including the Northern Mojave Desert, from 1987 through 1991. During this drought period vegetation characterization studies, initiated in 1990, by the US Department of Energy (DOE) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, allowed EG and G Energy Measurements to collect data that could be used to infer how both desert vegetation associations and desert plant species reacted to a prolonged drought. This paper presents the preliminary results.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ANAND S. BISHT

    2014-04-01

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

  13. Plant genetics affects arthropod community richness and composition: evidence from a synthetic eucalypt hybrid population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dungey, H S; Potts, B M; Whitham, T G; Li, H F

    2000-12-01

    To examine how genetic variation in a plant population affects arthropod community richness and composition, we quantified the arthropod communities on a synthetic population of Eucalyptus amygdalina, E. risdonii, and their F1 and advanced-generation hybrids. Five major patterns emerged. First, the pure species and hybrid populations supported significantly different communities. Second, species richness was significantly greatest on hybrids (F1 > F2 > E. amygdalina > E. risdonii). These results are similar to those from a wild population of the same species and represent the first case in which both synthetic and wild population studies confirm a genetic component to community structure. Hybrids also acted as centers of biodiversity by accumulating both the common and specialist taxa of both parental species (100% in the wild and 80% in the synthetic population). Third, species richness was significantly greater on F1s than the single F2 family, suggesting that the increased insect abundance on hybrids may not be caused by the breakup of coadapted gene complexes. Fourth, specialist arthropod taxa were most likely to show a dominance response to F1 hybrids, whereas generalist taxa exhibited a susceptible response. Fifth, in an analysis of 31 leaf terpenoids that are thought to play a role in plant defense, hybrids were generally intermediate to the parental chemotypes. Within the single F2 family, we found significant associations between the communities of individual trees and five individual oil components, including oil yield, demonstrating that there is a genetic effect on plant defensive chemistry that, in turn, may affect community structure. These studies argue that hybridization has important community-level consequences and that the genetic variation present in hybrid zones can be used to explore the genetic-based mechanisms that structure communities.

  14. Proposed Methodology for Specifying Atrazine Levels of Concern for Protection of Plant Communities in Freshwater Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    This document describes a proposed methodology for setting levels of concern (LOCs) for atrazine in natural freshwater systems to prevent unacceptably adverse effects on the aquatic plant communities in those systems. LOCs regarding effects on humans and possible effects on amph...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    ter Heerdt, Gerhardus

    2016-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Are cattle surrogate wildlife? Savannah plant community composition explained by total herbivory, not herbivore identity

    Science.gov (United States)

    The replacement of wild ungulate herbivores by domestic livestock in African savannas is composed of two interrelated phenomena: 1) loss or reduction in numbers of individual wildlife species or guilds, and 2) addition of livestock to the system. Each has important implications for plant community d...

  18. Control of Boreal Forest Soil Microbial Communities and Processes by Plant Secondary Compounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leewis, M. C.; Leigh, M. B.

    2016-12-01

    Plants release an array of secondary plant metabolites (SPMEs), which vary widely between plant species/progenies and may drive shifts in soil microbial community structure and function. We hypothesize that SPMEs released through litterfall and root turnover in the boreal forest control ecosystem carbon cycling by inhibiting microbial decomposition processes, which are overcome partially by increased aromatic biodegradation of microbial communities that also fortuitously prime soils for accelerated biodegradation of contaminants. Soils and litter (stems, roots, senescing leaves) were collected from 3 different birch progenies from Iceland, Finland, and Siberia that have been reported to contain different SPME content (low, medium, high, respectively) due to differences in herbivory pressure over their natural history, as well as black spruce, all growing in a long-term common tree garden at the Kevo Subarctic Field Research Institute, Finland. We characterized the SPME content of these plant progenies and used a variety of traditional microbiological techniques (e.g., enzyme assays, litter decomposition and contaminant biodegradation rates) and molecular techniques (e.g., high-throughput amplicon sequencing for bacteria and fungi) to assess how different levels of SPMEs may correlate to shifts in microbial community structure and function. Microbial communities (bacterial and fungal) significantly varied in composition as well as leaf litter and diesel biodegradation rates, in accordance with the phytochemistry of the trees present. This study offers novel, fundamental information about phytochemical controls on ecosystem processes, resilience to contaminants, and microbial decomposition processes.

  19. De plantengemeenschappen van de Wassenaarse duinen = (The plant communities of the Wassenaar dunes near The Hague)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boerboom, J.H.A.

    1960-01-01

    The plant communities on about 1800 ha of dunes were studied before any consequences could be observed of percolation since 1955 of fresh water stored underground for mains supply. Classification was by the French-Swiss and sometimes the Scandinavian sociological system. Some difficulties of

  20. Plants impact structure and function of bacterial communities in Arctic soils

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kumar, Manoj; Mannisto, Minna K.; van Elsas, Jan Dirk; Nissinen, Riitta M.

    2016-01-01

    Microorganisms are prime drivers of ecosystem functions in the Arctic, and they are essential for vegetation succession. However, very little is known about the phylogenetic and functional diversities of the bacterial communities associated with Arctic plants, especially in low organic matter soils.

  1. 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.

  2. Riparian plant community responses to increased flooding : A meta-analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Garssen, Annemarie G.; Baattrup-Pedersen, Annette; Voesenek, Laurentius A C J; Verhoeven, Jos T A; Soons, Merel B.

    2015-01-01

    A future higher risk of severe flooding of streams and rivers has been projected to change riparian plant community composition and species richness, but the extent and direction of the expected change remain uncertain. We conducted a meta-analysis to synthesize globally available experimental

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  5. Educational Plant Survey: Manatee Community College, March 20-24, 1995.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, Ruth S.; Bullock, Thomas K.

    Pursuant to Florida educational legislation, this report presents findings of an educational plant survey conducted in March 1995 at Manatee Community College (MCC). The report is designed to aid the formulation of plans for housing the educational program, student population, faculty, administrators, staff, and auxiliary and ancillary services of…

  6. Plant radiation history affects community assembly: evidence from the New Zealand alpine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, William G; Tanentzap, Andrew J; Heenan, Peter B

    2012-08-23

    The hypothesis that early plant radiations on islands dampen diversification and reduce habitat occupancy of later radiations via niche pre-emption has never, to our knowledge, been tested. We investigated clade-level dynamics in plant radiations in the alpine zone, New Zealand. Our aim was to determine whether radiations from older colonizations influenced diversification and community dominance of species from later colonizations within a common bioclimatic zone over the past ca 10 Myr. We used stem ages derived from the phylogenies of 17 genera represented in alpine plant communities in the Murchison Mountains, Fiordland, and assessed their presence and cover in 262 (5 × 5 m) vegetation plots. Our results show clear age-related community assembly effects, whereby congenerics from older colonizing genera co-occur more frequently and with greater cover per unit area than those from younger colonizing genera. However, we find no evidence of increased species richness with age of colonization in the alpine zone. The data support priority effects via niche pre-emption among plant radiations influencing community assembly.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  8. Proposed Methodology for Specifying Atrazine Levels of Concern for Protection of Plant Communities in Freshwater Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    This document describes a proposed methodology for setting levels of concern (LOCs) for atrazine in natural freshwater systems to prevent unacceptably adverse effects on the aquatic plant communities in those systems. LOCs regarding effects on humans and possible effects on amph...

  9. Small mammal communities and habitat selection in Northern Rocky Mountain bunchgrass: Implications for exotic plant invasions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean E. Pearson; Yvette K. Ortega; Kevin S. McKelvey; Leonard F. Ruggiero

    2001-01-01

    Agriculture and development have dramatically reduced the range of native bunchgrass habitats in the Northern Rocky Mountains, and the invasion of exotic plants threatens to greatly alter the remaining pristine prairie. Small mammals play many important roles in ecosystem functions, but little is known about small mammal community composition and structure in native...

  10. 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.

  11. Saline soil enzyme activities of four plant communities in Sangong River basin of Xinjiang, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZhengJun GUAN; Qian LUO; Xi CHEN; XianWei FENG; ZhiXi TANG; Wei WEI; YuanRun ZHENG

    2014-01-01

    Soil enzyme activity plays an important role in the conversion of soil organic carbon into inorganic carbon, which is significant for the global carbon cycle. In this study, we investigated the soil enzyme activities of two ligninolytic enzymes (peroxidase and polyphenol oxidase) and five non-ligninolytic enzymes (α-1,4-glucosidase (AG); β-1,4-gluco-sidase (BG); N-acetyl-β-glucosaminidase (NAG); β-D-cellobiosidase (CBH); and β-xylosidase (BXYL)) in four plant communities of the Sangong River basin in Fukang, North Xinjiang, China. The four typical plant communities were dominated by Haloxylon ammodendron, Reaumuria soongonica, Salsola passerina, and Tamarix rarmosissima, respec-tively, with saline soils of varied alkalinity. The results showed that the soil peroxidase activity decreased seasonally. The activities of the five non-ligninolytic enzymes decreased with increasing soil depths, while those of the two ligninolytic enzymes did not show such a trend. In the four plant communities, BG had the highest activity among the five non-ligninolytic enzymes, and the activities of the two ligninolytic enzymes were higher than those of the four non-ligninolytic ones (AG, NAG, CBH, and BXYL). The community of H. ammodendron displayed the highest activity with respect to the two ligninolytic enzymes in most cases, but no significant differences were found among the four plant communities. The geometric mean of soil enzyme activities of the four plant communities was validated through an inde-pendently performed principal component analysis (PCA), which indicated that different plant communities had different soil enzyme activities. The correlation analysis showed that soil polyphenol oxidase activity was significantly positively correlated with the activities of the five non-ligninolytic enzymes. The soil pH value was positively correlated with the ac-tivities of al soil enzymes except peroxidase. Soil microbial carbon content also showed a significant positive

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lia C R S Teixeira

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Impact of lime, nitrogen and plant species on bacterial community structure in grassland microcosms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Nabla; Brodie, Eoin; Connolly, John; Clipson, Nicholas

    2004-10-01

    A microcosm-based approach was used to study impacts of plant and chemical factors on the bacterial community structure of an upland acidic grassland soil. Seven perennial plant species typical of both natural, unimproved (Nardus stricta, Agrostis capillaris, Festuca ovina and F. rubra) and fertilized, improved (Holcus lanatus, Lolium perenne and Trifolium repens) grasslands were either left unamended or treated with lime, nitrogen, or lime plus nitrogen in a 75-day glasshouse experiment. Lime and nitrogen amendment were shown to have a greater effect on microbial activity, biomass and bacterial ribotype number than plant species. Liming increased soil pH, microbial activity and biomass, while decreasing ribotype number. Nitrogen addition decreased soil pH, microbial activity and ribotype number. Addition of lime plus nitrogen had intermediate effects, which appeared to be driven more by lime than nitrogen. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP) analysis revealed that lime and nitrogen addition altered soil bacterial community structure, while plant species had little effect. These results were further confirmed by multivariate redundancy analysis, and suggest that soil lime and nitrogen status are more important controllers of bacterial community structure than plant rhizosphere effects.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renhui Miao

    2016-06-01

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

  18. Impact of biological soil crusts and desert plants on soil microfaunal community composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darby, B.J.; Neher, D.A.; Belnap, J.

    2010-01-01

    Carbon and nitrogen are supplied by a variety of sources in the desert food web; both vascular and non-vascular plants and cyanobacteria supply carbon, and cyanobacteria and plant-associated rhizosphere bacteria are sources of biological nitrogen fixation. The objective of this study was to compare the relative influence of vascular plants and biological soil crusts on desert soil nematode and protozoan abundance and community composition. In the first experiment, biological soil crusts were removed by physical trampling. Treatments with crust removed had fewer nematodes and a greater relative ratio of bacterivores to microphytophages than treatments with intact crust. However, protozoa composition was similar with or without the presence of crusts. In a second experiment, nematode community composition was characterized along a spatial gradient away from stems of grasses or shrubs. Although nematodes generally occurred in increasing abundance nearer to plant stems, some genera (such as the enrichment-type Panagrolaimus) increased disproportionately more than others (such as the stress-tolerant Acromoldavicus). We propose that the impact of biological soil crusts and desert plants on soil microfauna, as reflected in the community composition of microbivorous nematodes, is a combination of carbon input, microclimate amelioration, and altered soil hydrology. ?? Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2009.

  19. Forecasting climate change impacts to plant community composition in the Sonoran Desert region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munson, Seth M.; Webb, Robert H.; Belnap, Jayne; Hubbard, J. Andrew; Swann, Don E.; Rutman, Sue

    2012-01-01

    Hotter and drier conditions projected for the southwestern United States can have a large impact on the abundance and composition of long-lived desert plant species. We used long-term vegetation monitoring results from 39 large plots across four protected sites in the Sonoran Desert region to determine how plant species have responded to past climate variability. This cross-site analysis identified the plant species and functional types susceptible to climate change, the magnitude of their responses, and potential climate thresholds. In the relatively mesic mesquite savanna communities, perennial grasses declined with a decrease in annual precipitation, cacti increased, and there was a reversal of the Prosopis velutina expansion experienced in the 20th century in response to increasing mean annual temperature (MAT). In the more xeric Arizona Upland communities, the dominant leguminous tree, Cercidium microphyllum, declined on hillslopes, and the shrub Fouquieria splendens decreased, especially on south- and west-facing slopes in response to increasing MAT. In the most xeric shrublands, the codominant species Larrea tridentata and its hemiparasite Krameria grayi decreased with a decrease in cool season precipitation and increased aridity, respectively. This regional-scale assessment of plant species response to recent climate variability is critical for forecasting future shifts in plant community composition, structure, and productivity.

  20. Plant growth in Arabidopsis is assisted by compost soil-derived microbial communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lilia C Carvalhais

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Plants in natural and agricultural environments are continuously exposed to a plethora of diverse microorganisms resulting in microbial colonization of roots and the rhizosphere. This process is believed to be accompanied by an intricate network of ongoing simultaneous interactions. In this study, we examined Arabidopsis thaliana roots and shoots in the presence or absence of whole microbial communities extracted from compost soil. The results show a clear growth promoting effect on Arabidopsis shoots in the presence of soil microbes compared to plants grown in microbe-free soil under otherwise identical conditions. Element analyses showed that iron uptake was facilitated by these mixed microbial communities which also led to transcriptional downregulation of genes required for iron transport. In addition, soil microbial communities suppressed the expression of marker genes involved in nitrogen uptake, oxidative stress/redox signaling, cell wall modification and salicylic acid (SA-mediated plant defense while upregulating jasmonate (JA signaling and photosynthesis. Multi-species analyses such as simultaneous transcriptiptional profiling of plants and their interacting microorganisms (metatransciptomics coupled to metagenomics may further increase our understanding of the intricate networks underlying plant-microbe interactions in their diverse environments.

  1. Mechanisms underlying plant sexual dimorphism in multi-trophic arthropod communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petry, William K; Perry, Kayla I; Fremgen, Aleshia; Rudeen, Sarahi K; Lopez, Mitchell; Dryburgh, John; Mooney, Kailen A

    2013-09-01

    A growing body of research documents the importance of plant genetic effects on arthropod community structure. However, the mechanisms underlying these effects are often unclear. Additionally, plant genetic effects have largely been quantified in common gardens, thus inflating the estimates of their importance by minimizing levels of natural variation. Using Valeriana edulis, a dioecious plant with genetically based sex determination, we conducted surveys and experiments on wild-grown individuals to document field patterns of arthropod association between the sexes and the mechanisms underlying these plant genetic effects. Three years of surveys revealed strong and consistent sex-biased arthropod association in wild-grown plants: female plants supported 4-fold, 1.5-fold, and 4-fold higher densities of aphids, aphid predators, and aphid-tending ants, respectively, compared to males. There was mixed evidence that the female bias for aphids was due to higher plant quality, while we found no difference between plant sexes in aphid preference or the top-down effects of predators and tending ants. Female bias for ants was due to both the greater attractiveness of female plants (direct effect mediated by floral nectar) and an independent, weaker effect of higher aphid abundance on females (density-mediated indirect effect). Conversely, the female bias for predators was driven solely by the greater attractiveness of female plants. We did not find interaction modification, i.e., ant-aphid and predator-aphid interactions were equivalent between plant sexes. Plant sex explained 0.24%, 2.28%, and 4.42% of the variance in aphids, predators, and ants, respectively, values comparable to but slightly weaker than those previously reported from common-garden studies. In contrast to the prediction of diminished plant genetic effects with increasing trophic level, we show how weak indirect effects on predators and parasitoids (via herbivores) can be complemented by strong direct

  2. Effects of plant genotype and growth stage on the betaproteobacterial communities associated with different potato cultivars in two fields

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Inceoglu, Ozgul; Falcao Salles, J.; van Overbeek, L.; van Elsas, J.D.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leurs, Liesbeth Nathalie

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Plant hybrid zones affect biodiversity: Tools for a genetic-based understanding of community structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Whitham, T.G.; Martinsen, G.D.; Keim, P. [Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff, AZ (United States); Floate, K.D. [Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge, Alberta (Canada); Dungey, H.S. [Univ. of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania (Australia)]|[Queensland Forest Research Inst., Gympie, Queensland (Australia); Potts, B.M. [Univ. of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania (Australia)

    1999-03-01

    Plant hybrid zones are dynamic centers of ecological and evolutionary processes for plants and their associated communities. Studies in the wild and in gardens with synthetic crosses showed that hybrid eucalypts supports the greatest species richness and abundances of insect and fungal taxa. In an updated review of 152 case studies of taxa associated with diverse hybridizing systems, there were 43 (28%) cases of hybrids being more susceptible than their parent species, 7 (5%) resistant, 35 (23%) additive, 35 (23%) dominant, and 32 (21%) showed no response to hybridization. Thus, most taxa respond to hybrids in ways that result in equal or greater abundance, and hybrids tend to accumulate the taxa of their parent species. These studies suggest that genetic-based plant traits affect the distribution of many species and that the variation in hybrids can be used as tools to examine the genetic components of community structure and biodiversity.

  5. Carbon nanotubes as plant growth regulators: effects on tomato growth, reproductive system, and soil microbial community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khodakovskaya, Mariya V; Kim, Bong-Soo; Kim, Jong Nam; Alimohammadi, Mohammad; Dervishi, Enkeleda; Mustafa, Thikra; Cernigla, Carl E

    2013-01-14

    Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) can affect plant phenotype and the composition of soil microbiota. Tomato plants grown in soil supplemented with CNTs produce two times more flowers and fruit compared to plants grown in control soil. The effect of carbon nanotubes on microbial community of CNT-treated soil is determined by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and pyrosequencing analysis. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes are the most dominant groups in the microbial community of soil. The relative abundances of Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes are found to increase, whereas Proteobacteria and Verrucomicorbia decrease with increasing concentration of CNTs. The results of comparing diversity indices and species level phylotypes (OTUs) between samples showed that there is not a significant affect on bacterial diversity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Damgaard, Christian

    2011-01-01

    . 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...... 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....... Additionally, the presented method is suited for testing different ecological hypothesis on competitive interactions along environmental gradients, investigating the importance of competition, as well as predicting the likelihood of different ecological scenarios....

  8. Climate legacy and lag effects on dryland plant communities in the southwestern U.S.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunting, Erin; Munson, Seth M.; Villarreal, Miguel

    2017-01-01

    Climate change effects on vegetation will likely be strong in the southwestern U.S., which is projected to experience large increases in temperature and changes in precipitation. Plant communities in the southwestern U.S. may be particularly vulnerable to climate change as the productivity of many plant species is strongly water-limited. This study examines the relationship between climate and vegetation condition using a time-series of Landsat imagery across grassland, shrubland, and woodland communities on the Colorado Plateau, USA. We improve on poorly understood inter-annual climate-vegetation relationships by exploring how the responses of different plant communities depend on climate legacies (>12 months) and lag behind shorter-term (3–12 month) changes in water availability. Our results show a prolonged drying trend on the Colorado Plateau since the early 1990s that was punctuated in several years by intense droughts. In areas that experienced sustained dry conditions or a drying trend, vegetation greenness (a proxy for production) increased linearly when conditions were interrupted by wetting events. In contrast, in areas that experienced sustained wet conditions or a wetting trend, vegetation greenness was weakly or not related to wetting events, indicating that production may saturate if vegetation experiences sufficient water availability. Shrubland and woodland communities had stronger relationships with climate at long lags (6–12 months) and many maintained greenness under sustained water deficit, whereas grassland communities had stronger relationships at short lags (3–6 months) and lost greenness even in periods of short-term drought. The results of our study show the importance of identifying climate legacies and lags when assessing indicators of ecological drought, which can be used to improve forecasts of which plant communities will be vulnerable under future climate change.

  9. Seed rain and seed bank reveal that seed limitation strongly influences plant community assembly in grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bryndís Marteinsdóttir

    Full Text Available Dispersal is an important factor in plant community assembly, but assembly studies seldom include information on actual dispersal into communities, i.e. the local propagule pool. The aim of this study was to determine which factors influence plant community assembly by focusing on two phases of the assembly process: the dispersal phase and the establishment phase. At 12 study sites in grazed ex-arable fields in Sweden the local plant community was determined and in a 100-m radius around the centre of each site, the regional species pool was measured. The local seed bank and the seed rain was explored to estimate the local propagule pool. Trait-based models were then applied to investigate if species traits (height, seed mass, clonal abilities, specific leaf area and dispersal method and regional abundance influenced which species from the regional species pool, dispersed to the local community (dispersal phase and which established (establishment phase. Filtering of species during the dispersal phase indicates the effect of seed limitation while filtering during the establishment phase indicates microsite limitation. On average 36% of the regional species pool dispersed to the local sites and of those 78% did establish. Species with enhanced dispersal abilities, e.g. higher regional abundance, smaller seeds and dispersed by cattle, were more likely to disperse to the sites than other species. At half the sites, dispersal was influenced by species height. Species establishment was however mainly unlinked to the traits included in this study. This study underlines the importance of seed limitation in local plant community assembly. It also suggests that without information on species dispersal into a site, it is difficult to distinguish between the influence of dispersal and establishment abilities, and thus seed and microsite limitation, as both can be linked to the same trait.

  10. Relationships between plant community functioning and soil carbon stocks in permanent mowed grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masson, Solène; Tasseta, Elise; Morvan-Bertrand, Annette; Amiaud, Bernard; Cliquet, Jean-Bernard; Klumpp, Katja; Louault, Frédérique; Lemauviel-Lavenant, Servane

    2017-04-01

    Grasslands represent the most widespread ecosystems on the surface of the earth and provide many ecosystem services. They are managed by farmers in order to produce provisioning services through forage production. They also offer regulation services for the humankind such as carbon (C) storage. According to their management, grasslands may constitute a C source or a sink. Plants control both C input through photosynthesis and C output release directly via their own respiration and indirectly via soil microflora respiration through organic matter mineralization. Plants can thus be considered as a gas stream center. To better understand the role of vegetation on soil C stocks, the P2C "Plant Pilot Carbon" project aims at evaluate C stocks in mowed permanent grasslands characterized by various edaphic and climatic conditions and identify the drivers (vegetation composition, plant community functioning, management, history) of soil C stocks. We focused on 32 grasslands selected over two French Regional Natural Parks (Normandy-Maine / Lorraine) and an experimental farm (ACBB SOERE, Theix, Auvergne). We measured then their floristic composition as well as their functional composition through a trait based approach. Leaf traits (SLA, LDMC, LNC, LC/N) were measured at the plant community level (community weighed mean traits) and soil C stocks were analyzed in the top soil (0-10 cm) and in a deeper layer (10-30 cm). The grassland sampling has allowed to obtain a great variability of both soil C stocks and plant community functioning which give the opportunity to assess the relationships between C stocks and vegetation considering climatic, edaphic and management parameters

  11. Understory plant communities and the functional distinction between savanna trees, forest trees, and pines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Veldman, Joseph W.; Mattingly, W. Brett; Brudvig, Lars A.

    2013-02-01

    Although savanna trees and forest trees are thought to represent distinct functional groups with different effects on ecosystem processes, few empirical studies have examined these effects. In particular, it remains unclear if savanna and forest trees differ in their ability to coexist with understory plants, which comprise the majority of plant diversity in most savannas. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) and data from 157 sites across three locations in the southeastern United States to understand the effects of broadleaf savanna trees, broadleaf forest trees, and pine trees on savanna understory plant communities. After accounting for underlying gradients in fire frequency and soil moisture, abundances (i.e., basal area and stem density) of forest trees and pines, but not savanna trees, were negatively correlated with the cover and density (i.e., local-scale species richness) of C4 graminoid species, a defining savanna understory functional group that is linked to ecosystem flammability. In analyses of the full understory community, abundances of trees from all functional groups were negatively correlated with species density and cover. For both the C4 and full communities, fire frequency promoted understory plants directly, and indirectly by limiting forest tree abundance. There was little indirect influence of fire on the understory mediated through savanna trees and pines, which are more fire tolerant than forest trees. We conclude that tree functional identity is an important factor that influences overstory tree relationships with savanna understory plant communities. In particular, distinct relationships between trees and C4 graminoids have implications for grass-tree coexistence and vegetation-fire feedbacks that maintain savanna environments and their associated understory plant diversity.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deirdre C. Rooney

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural improvement of seminatural 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. capillaris and L. perenne were planted in microcosms, and lime, nitrogen (NH4NO3, 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 NH4NO3 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.

  13. Genetic variation in plant morphology contributes to the species-level structure of grassland communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitlock, Raj; Grime, J Phil; Burke, Terry

    2010-05-01

    It is becoming apparent that genetic diversity can influence the species diversity and structure of ecological communities. Here, we investigated the intraspecific trait variation responsible for this relationship. We grew 10 genotypes of the sedge Carex caryophyllea, as monocultures, under standardized conditions and measured traits related to morphology, growth, and life history. The same genotypes had been prominent in determining the structure of multispecies experimental communities, equivalent in species diversity, in which the genetic diversity of the constituent plant species had been varied in parallel. The trait measurements revealed substantial phenotypic variation among Carex genotypes, related predominantly to differences in physical size and to the spatial deployment of above- and belowground tissue. Genotypes successful in experimental communities were larger in size and tended to adopt a "guerrilla" clonal growth strategy. In general, multivariate trait summaries of genotype size (and to a lesser extent, variation along a linear discriminant axis) predicted genotype and species abundance in experimental communities. However, one genotype exhibited a large disparity in this respect. The performance of this genotype lay closer to prediction when it was growing with a highly competitive grass genotype. The strength of the relationship between genotype size and performance within communities decreased with decreasing community genetic diversity. These results indicate that intraspecific trait measurements are useful for predicting and understanding community structure. They also imply that competitive interactions between the genotypes of different species play an increased role in determining phenotype in genetically impoverished communities.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaohui Wang

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

  15. Annual Glyphosate Treatments Alter Growth of Unaffected Bentgrass (Agrostis) Weeds and Plant Community Composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahrens, Collin W.; Auer, Carol A.

    2012-01-01

    Herbicide resistance is becoming more common in weed ecotypes and crop species including turfgrasses, but current gaps in knowledge limit predictive ecological risk assessments and risk management plans. This project examined the effect of annual glyphosate applications on the vegetative growth and reproductive potential of two weedy bentgrasses, creeping bentgrass (CB) and redtop (RT), where the glyphosate resistance (GR) trait was mimicked by covering the bentgrass plants during glyphosate application. Five field plots were studied in habitats commonly inhabited by weedy bentgrasses including an agricultural hayfield, natural meadow, and wasteland. Results showed that annual glyphosate treatment improved bentgrass survivorship, vegetative growth, and reproductive potential compared with bentgrass in unsprayed subplots. In the second year of growth, RT plants had an 86-fold increase in flower number in glyphosate-treated subplots versus controls, while CB plants had a 20-fold increase. At the end of the three year study, plant community composition had changed in glyphosate-treated subplots in hayfield and meadow plots compared to controls. Soils in subplots receiving glyphosate had higher nitrate concentrations than controls. This is the first study to mimic the GR trait in bentgrass plants with the goal of quantifying bentgrass response to glyphosate selection pressure and understanding the impacts on surrounding plant communities. PMID:23226530

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahrens, Collin W; Auer, Carol A

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Herbivores cause a rapid increase in hereditary symbiosis and alter plant community composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clay, Keith; Holah, Jenny; Rudgers, Jennifer A

    2005-08-30

    Microbial symbioses are ubiquitous in nature. Hereditary symbionts warrant particular attention because of their direct effects on the evolutionary potential of their hosts. In plants, hereditary fungal endophytes can increase the competitive ability, drought tolerance, and herbivore resistance of their host, although it is unclear whether or how these ecological benefits may alter the dynamics of the endophyte symbiosis over time. Here, we demonstrate that herbivores alter the dynamics of a hereditary symbiont under field conditions. Also, we show that changes in symbiont frequency were accompanied by shifts in the overall structure of the plant community. Replicated 25-m2 plots were enriched with seed of the introduced grass, Lolium arundinaceum at an initial frequency of 50% infection by the systemic, seed-transmitted endophyte Neotyphodium coenophialum. Over 54 months, there was a significantly greater increase in endophyte-infection frequency in the presence of herbivores (30% increase) than where mammalian and insect herbivory were experimentally reduced by fencing and insecticide application (12% increase). Under ambient mammalian herbivory, the above-ground biomass of nonhost plant species was reduced compared with the mammal-exclusion treatment, and plant composition shifted toward greater relative biomass of infected, tall fescue grass. These results demonstrate that herbivores can drive plant-microbe dynamics and, in doing so, modify plant community structure directly and indirectly.

  18. The use of Medicinal Plants among Different Communities of Balochistan against Hepatitis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shahab-ud-Din

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The present study was conducted during 2010 to enlist the medicinally important plants which are used against viral infection especially hepatitis in different areas of Baluchistan. The study was also confined to the traditional medicinal uses of weeds. The people of Baluchistan are using the medicinal plants for the treatment of various diseases including hepatitis and have for a long time been dependent on surrounding plant sources for their health care, food, shelter, fodders, and other purposes. The ethno botanical knowledge of local traditional healers and the native plants that are used for medicinal purposes were collected through questionnaire by interviewing local communities, local men, women, local healers (Hakims, herbal dealers (Pansars and personal interviews during field trips. The interviews were held in local community, to investigate local people and knowledgeable persons, who are the main user of medicinal plants. Information regarding their botanical name, local name, parts used, chemical constituents, mode of administration and application are tabulated below. A total of 22 plants species were identified by taxonomic description and locally by folk knowledge of people existing in the region. It was the first time to be aware of the significance of weeds with special reference to their medicinal uses in this area of Balochistan. It is suggested that such type of studies should be carried out in future on consumption and maintenance of indigenous knowledge of weeds.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Collin W Ahrens

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mateusz Wilk

    2014-06-01

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

  1. The relative importance of host-plant genetic diversity in structuring the associated herbivore community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tack, Ayco J M; Roslin, Tomas

    2011-08-01

    Recent studies suggest that intraspecific genetic diversity in one species may leave a substantial imprint on the surrounding community and ecosystem. Here, we test the hypothesis that genetic diversity within host-plant patches translates into consistent and ecologically important changes in the associated herbivore community. More specifically, we use potted, grafted oak saplings to construct 41 patches of four saplings each, with one, two, or four tree genotypes represented among the host plants. These patches were divided among two common gardens. Focusing first at the level of individual trees, we assess how tree-specific genotypic identity, patch-level genetic diversity, garden-level environmental variation, and their interactions affect the structure of the herbivore community. At the level of host-plant patches, we analyze whether the joint responses of herbivore species to environmental variation and genetic diversity result in differences in species diversity among tree quartets. Strikingly, both species-specific abundances and species diversity varied substantially among host-tree genotypes, among common gardens, and among specific locations within individual gardens. In contrast, the genetic diversity of the patch left a detectable imprint on local abundances of only two herbivore taxa. In both cases, the effect of genetic diversity was inconsistent among gardens and among host-plant genotypes. While the insect community differed significantly among individual host-plant genotypes, there were no interactive effects of the number of different genotypes within the patch. Overall, additive effects of intraspecific genetic diversity of the host plant explained a similar or lower proportion (7-10%) of variation in herbivore species diversity than did variation among common gardens. Combined with the few previous studies published to date, our study suggests that the impact of host-plant genetic diversity on the herbivore community can range from none to

  2. Bacterial Communities and Antibiotic Resistance Communities in a Full-Scale Hospital Wastewater Treatment Plant by High-Throughput Pyrosequencing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Youngho Ahn

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The community of whole microbes and antibiotic resistance bacteria (ARB in hospital wastewater treatment plants (WWTP receiving domestic wastewater (DWW and hospital wastewater (HWW was investigated. Samples from an influent of a secondary clarifier, at each treatment train, were characterized for the whole microbial community and ARB on the antibiotic resistance database, based on high-throughput pyrosequencing. The pyrosequencing analysis revealed that the abundance of Bacteroidetes in the DWW sample was higher (~1.6 times than in the HWW sample, whereas the abundance of Proteobacteria in the HWW sample was greater than in the DWW sample. At the top twenty of the genus level, distinct genera were observed—Saprospiraceae in the DWW and Zoogloea in the HWW. Apart from the top twenty genera, minor genera showed various antibiotic resistance types based on the antibiotic resistance gene database.

  3. 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.

  4. GROWING AN INTERNATIONAL MOVEMENT FOR PLANT CONSERVATION AND PLANT RESOURCE MANAGEMENT: THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL BOTANIC GARDEN COMMUNITY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Wyse Jackson

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available The last twenty to thirty years can be said to constitute a new renaissance botanical gardens around the world. One of the main causes is the growing concern of the world community associated with the issue of loss of biodiversity. In addition, because a greater need to be institutions that take part actively in the field of conservation of plant resources. Community botanical garden world is experiencing rapid development, not only in terms of the number of new botanical garden that is built up but also of the purpose and function. There are currently no less than 2,500 botanical gardens worldwide. To prepare for a global framework for policies, programs and priorities of the botanical garden world in the field of conservation of biodiversity, in 2000 BGCI has published the International Agenda for Botanic Gardens in Conservation, which contained the botanical garden's global mission.

  5. ABOUT CREATION OF MODELS OF NATURAL PLANT COMMUNITIES, INCLUDING RARE SPECIES, IN THE BOTANICAL GARDENS OF KRASNODAR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bakalov A. N.

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available One of the ways to save rare species of plants is to create models of natural communities on the grounds of the botanical gardens. In the Botanical Garden of Kuban State University we have created the model of forest communities with the participation of rare and endangered species, and we are still working on creating models of herbaceous communities. We have introduced 18 species of plants of the flora of the Krasnodar region in the forest community and more than 30 species in herbaceous community

  6. Pollination syndromes in a Caatinga plant community in northeastern Brazil: seasonal availability of floral resources in different plant growth habits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ZGM Quirino

    Full Text Available To describe plant phenological patterns and correlate functioning for the quantity and quality of resources available for the pollinator, it is crucial to understand the temporal dynamics of biological communities. In this way, the pollination syndromes of 46 species with different growth habits (trees, shrubs, herbs, and vines were examined in an area of Caatinga vegetation, northeastern Brazil (7° 28′ 45″ S and 36° 54′ 18″ W, during two years. Flowering was monitored monthly in all the species, over two years (from January 2003 to December 2004. Pollination syndromes were characterised based on floral traits such as size, colour, morphology, symmetry, floral resources, as well as on direct visual observation of floral visitors on focal plants and published information. We observed differences among the plant growth habits with respect to floral traits, types of resources offered, and floral syndromes. The flowering periods of the species varied among floral syndrome groups. The majority of the melittophilous species flowered during the rainy season in the two study years, while the species of the other pollination syndroms flowered at the end of the dry season. An asynchrony of flowering was noted among the chiropterophilous species, while the phalenophilous group concentrated during the rainy season. The overall availability of floral resources was different during the rainy and the dry seasons, and also it varied among plants with different growth habits. The availability of oil-flowers coincided with the period of low nectar availability. We observed a relationship between the temporal distribution of the pollination syndromes and the availability of floral resources among each growth habits in this tropical ecosystem. Resource allocation in seasonal environments, such as the Caatinga, can function as a strategy for maintaining pollinators, facilitating therefore the reproductive success of plant species. The availability of

  7. Pollination syndromes in a Caatinga plant community in northeastern Brazil: seasonal availability of floral resources in different plant growth habits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quirino, Z G M; Machado, I C

    2014-02-01

    To describe plant phenological patterns and correlate functioning for the quantity and quality of resources available for the pollinator, it is crucial to understand the temporal dynamics of biological communities. In this way, the pollination syndromes of 46 species with different growth habits (trees, shrubs, herbs, and vines) were examined in an area of Caatinga vegetation, northeastern Brazil (7° 28' 45″ S and 36° 54' 18″ W), during two years. Flowering was monitored monthly in all the species, over two years (from January 2003 to December 2004). Pollination syndromes were characterised based on floral traits such as size, colour, morphology, symmetry, floral resources, as well as on direct visual observation of floral visitors on focal plants and published information. We observed differences among the plant growth habits with respect to floral traits, types of resources offered, and floral syndromes. The flowering periods of the species varied among floral syndrome groups. The majority of the melittophilous species flowered during the rainy season in the two study years, while the species of the other pollination syndroms flowered at the end of the dry season. An asynchrony of flowering was noted among the chiropterophilous species, while the phalenophilous group concentrated during the rainy season. The overall availability of floral resources was different during the rainy and the dry seasons, and also it varied among plants with different growth habits. The availability of oil-flowers coincided with the period of low nectar availability. We observed a relationship between the temporal distribution of the pollination syndromes and the availability of floral resources among each growth habits in this tropical ecosystem. Resource allocation in seasonal environments, such as the Caatinga, can function as a strategy for maintaining pollinators, facilitating therefore the reproductive success of plant species. The availability of floral resources during

  8. 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

  9. The interactions between plant life form and fungal traits of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi determine the symbiotic community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-García, Álvaro; Azcón-Aguilar, Concepción; Barea, José M

    2014-12-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi have traditionally been considered generalist symbionts. However, an increasing number of studies are pointing out the selectivity potential of plant hosts. Plant life form, determined by plant life history traits, seems to drive the AM fungal community composition. The AM fungi also exhibit a wide diversity of functional traits known to be responsible for their distribution in natural ecosystems. However, little is known about the role of plant and fungal traits driving the resultant symbiotic assemblages. With the aim of testing the feedback relationship between plant and fungal traits on the resulting AM fungal community, we inoculated three different plant life forms, i.e. annual herbs, perennial herbs and perennial semi-woody plants, with AM fungal communities sampled in different seasons. We hypothesized that the annual climate variation will induce changes in the mean traits of the AM fungal communities present in the soil throughout the year. Furthermore, the association of plants with different life forms with AM fungi with contrasting life history traits will show certain preferences according to reciprocal traits of the plants and fungi. We found changes in the AM fungal community throughout the year, which were differentially disrupted by disturbance and altered by plant growth form and plant biomass. Both plant and fungal traits clearly contributed to the resultant AM fungal communities. The revealed process can have implications for the functioning of ecosystems since changes in dominant plant life forms or climatic variables could influence the traits of AM fungal communities in soil and hence ecosystem processes.

  10. Relations of alpine plant communities across environmental gradients: Multilevel versus multiscale analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malanson, George P.; Zimmerman, Dale L.; Kinney, Mitch; Fagre, Daniel B.

    2017-01-01

    Alpine plant communities vary, and their environmental covariates could influence their response to climate change. A single multilevel model of how alpine plant community composition is determined by hierarchical relations is compared to a separate examination of those relations at different scales. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling of species cover for plots in four regions across the Rocky Mountains created dependent variables. Climate variables are derived for the four regions from interpolated data. Plot environmental variables are measured directly and the presence of thirty-seven site characteristics is recorded and used to create additional independent variables. Multilevel and best subsets regressions are used to determine the strength of the hypothesized relations. The ordinations indicate structure in the assembly of plant communities. The multilevel analyses, although revealing significant relations, provide little explanation; of the site variables, those related to site microclimate are most important. In multiscale analyses (whole and separate regions), different variables are better explanations within the different regions. This result indicates weak environmental niche control of community composition. The weak relations of the structure in the patterns of species association to the environment indicates that either alpine vegetation represents a case of the neutral theory of biogeography being a valid explanation or that it represents disequilibrium conditions. The implications of neutral theory and disequilibrium explanations are similar: Response to climate change will be difficult to quantify above equilibrium background turnover.

  11. Ethnobotanical study on some Malaysian anti-malarial plants: a community based survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Adhroey, Abdulelah H; Nor, Zurainee M; Al-Mekhlafi, Hesham M; Mahmud, Rohela

    2010-10-28

    Various plants species are used in the traditional medicine for the treatment of malaria. This is the first community based ethnobotanical study in Peninsular Malaysia. To investigate the plants traditionally used in the treatment of malaria in Malaysia. An ethnobotanical survey was carried out among 233 Aboriginal and rural households, and traditional healers in malaria endemic areas in Peninsular Malaysia. Data were collected using a pre-tested questionnaire. Nineteen species belonging to 17 families were identified. Twelve plant species have not previously been documented for the treatment of malaria in Malaysia. Findings of this study can be used as an ethnopharmacological basis for selecting plants for further anti-malarial phytochemical and pharmaceutical studies. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pringle, Elizabeth G; Moreau, Corrie S

    2017-03-15

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

  13. Wildlife habitats provided by aquatic plant communities of surface mine lakes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Coss, R.D.; Nawrot, J.R.; Klimstra, W.D.

    1985-12-01

    Over 6000 ha of water impoundments have resulted from surface mining for coal in Illinois. A study was conducted to characterize aquatic plant communities in selected bodies of water, to evaluate these communities as wildlife habitat, and to determine utilization of vegetation by vertebrates. Study areas included between spoilbank impoundments and final cuts/haulroad incline lakes. All lakes had water quality sufficient to support aquatic plants dominated by Chara and Potamogeton. Littoral zone cover was good throughout the growing season; and remained relatively stable. Emergent plant communities were well-developed at only one lake; cattle grazing and steep shorelines restricted growth at other sites. A total of 89 vertebrate species was identified in and near the lakes studied. Utilization was most probably affected by development of emergent and watershed vegetation, accessibility of aquatic plants, and morphological features of the lakes. Management recommendations for enhancing wildlife habitat included grading to develop topographic variation and extensive littoral areas, and partial exclusion of cattle. Such waters can contribute significantly to available wildlife habitat in certain areas in Illinois, and may, in many instances, be a more desirable post-mining land use than row-crop production. 41 references, 4 figure, 3 table.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalie eChristian

    2015-09-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Ontogenetic shifts in plant-plant interactions in a rare cycad within angiosperm communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Álvarez-Yépiz, Juan C; Búrquez, Alberto; Dovčiak, Martin

    2014-06-01

    Gymnosperms and angiosperms can co-occur within the same habitats but key plant traits are thought to give angiosperms an evolutionary competitive advantage in many ecological settings. We studied ontogenetic changes in competitive and facilitative interactions between a rare gymnosperm (Dioon sonorense, our target species) and different plant and abiotic neighbours (conspecific-cycads, heterospecific-angiosperms, or abiotic-rocks) from 2007 to 2010 in an arid environment of northwestern Mexico. We monitored survival and growth of seedlings, juveniles, and adults of the cycad Dioon sonorense to evaluate how cycad survival and relative height growth rate (RHGR) responded to intra- and interspecific competition, canopy openness, and nearest neighbour. We tested spatial associations among D. sonorense life stages and angiosperm species and measured ontogenetic shifts in cycad shade tolerance. Canopy openness decreased cycad survival while intraspecific competition decreased survival and RHGR during early ontogeny. Seedling survival was higher in association with rocks and heterospecific neighbours where intraspecific competition was lower. Shade tolerance decreased with cycad ontogeny reflecting the spatial association of advanced stages with more open canopies. Interspecific facilitation during early ontogeny of our target species may promote its persistence in spite of increasing interspecific competition in later stages. We provide empirical support to the long-standing assumption that marginal rocky habitats serve as refugia from angiosperm competition for slow-growing gymnosperms such as cycads. The lack of knowledge of plant-plant interactions in rare or endangered species may hinder developing efficient conservation strategies (e.g. managing for sustained canopy cover), especially under the ongoing land use and climatic changes.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin A. Mörsdorf

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khaled Mohamed Mohamed Koriem

    2014-10-01

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

  1. Woody plant encroachment into grasslands: spatial patterns of functional group distribution and community development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Feng; Archer, Steven R; Gelwick, Frances; Bai, Edith; Boutton, Thomas W; Wu, Xinyuan Ben

    2013-01-01

    Woody plant encroachment into grasslands has been globally widespread. The woody species invading grasslands represent a variety of contrasting plant functional groups and growth forms. Are some woody plant functional types (PFTs) better suited to invade grasslands than others? To what extent do local patterns of distribution and abundance of woody PFTs invading grasslands reflect intrinsic topoedaphic properties versus plant-induced changes in soil properties? We addressed these questions in the Southern Great Plains, United States at a subtropical grassland known to have been encroached upon by woody species over the past 50-100 years. A total of 20 woody species (9 tree-statured; 11 shrub-statured) were encountered along a transect extending from an upland into a playa basin. About half of the encroaching woody plants were potential N2-fixers (55% of species), but they contributed only 7% to 16 % of the total basal area. Most species and the PFTs they represent were ubiquitously distributed along the topoedaphic gradient, but with varying abundances. Overstory-understory comparisons suggest that while future species composition of these woody communities is likely to change, PFT composition is not. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) ordination and variance partitioning (Partial CCA) indicated that woody species and PFT composition in developing woody communities was primarily influenced by intrinsic landscape location variables (e.g., soil texture) and secondarily by plant-induced changes in soil organic carbon and total nitrogen content. The ubiquitous distribution of species and PFTs suggests that woody plants are generally well-suited to a broad range of grassland topoedaphic settings. However, here we only examined categorical and non-quantitative functional traits. Although intrinsic soil properties exerted more control over the floristics of grassland-to-woodland succession did plant modifications of soil carbon and nitrogen concentrations, the latter

  2. Woody plant encroachment into grasslands: spatial patterns of functional group distribution and community development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feng Liu

    Full Text Available Woody plant encroachment into grasslands has been globally widespread. The woody species invading grasslands represent a variety of contrasting plant functional groups and growth forms. Are some woody plant functional types (PFTs better suited to invade grasslands than others? To what extent do local patterns of distribution and abundance of woody PFTs invading grasslands reflect intrinsic topoedaphic properties versus plant-induced changes in soil properties? We addressed these questions in the Southern Great Plains, United States at a subtropical grassland known to have been encroached upon by woody species over the past 50-100 years. A total of 20 woody species (9 tree-statured; 11 shrub-statured were encountered along a transect extending from an upland into a playa basin. About half of the encroaching woody plants were potential N2-fixers (55% of species, but they contributed only 7% to 16 % of the total basal area. Most species and the PFTs they represent were ubiquitously distributed along the topoedaphic gradient, but with varying abundances. Overstory-understory comparisons suggest that while future species composition of these woody communities is likely to change, PFT composition is not. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA ordination and variance partitioning (Partial CCA indicated that woody species and PFT composition in developing woody communities was primarily influenced by intrinsic landscape location variables (e.g., soil texture and secondarily by plant-induced changes in soil organic carbon and total nitrogen content. The ubiquitous distribution of species and PFTs suggests that woody plants are generally well-suited to a broad range of grassland topoedaphic settings. However, here we only examined categorical and non-quantitative functional traits. Although intrinsic soil properties exerted more control over the floristics of grassland-to-woodland succession did plant modifications of soil carbon and nitrogen

  3. Survey of Plant Communities and Use by White-tailed Deer of Woody Plants in Two Forests at Erie National Wildlife Refuge 1992

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The purpose of the present research project is to develop and implement a protocol for short- and long-term monitoring of forest plant communities on National...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giorgio BUFFA

    2003-02-01

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

  5. Soil nitrogen availability and plant genotype modify the nutrition strategies of M. truncatula and the associated rhizosphere microbial communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anouk Zancarini

    Full Text Available Plant and soil types are usually considered as the two main drivers of the rhizosphere microbial communities. The aim of this work was to study the effect of both N availability and plant genotype on the plant associated rhizosphere microbial communities, in relation to the nutritional strategies of the plant-microbe interactions, for six contrasted Medicago truncatula genotypes. The plants were provided with two different nutrient solutions varying in their nitrate concentrations (0 mM and 10 mM. First, the influence of both nitrogen availability and Medicago truncatula genotype on the genetic structure of the soil bacterial and fungal communities was determined by DNA fingerprint using Automated Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis (ARISA. Secondly, the different nutritional strategies of the plant-microbe interactions were evaluated using an ecophysiological framework. We observed that nitrogen availability affected rhizosphere bacterial communities only in presence of the plant. Furthermore, we showed that the influence of nitrogen availability on rhizosphere bacterial communities was dependent on the different genotypes of Medicago truncatula. Finally, the nutritional strategies of the plant varied greatly in response to a modification of nitrogen availability. A new conceptual framework was thus developed to study plant-microbe interactions. This framework led to the identification of three contrasted structural and functional adaptive responses of plant-microbe interactions to nitrogen availability.

  6. Soil nitrogen availability and plant genotype modify the nutrition strategies of M. truncatula and the associated rhizosphere microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zancarini, Anouk; Mougel, Christophe; Voisin, Anne-Sophie; Prudent, Marion; Salon, Christophe; Munier-Jolain, Nathalie

    2012-01-01

    Plant and soil types are usually considered as the two main drivers of the rhizosphere microbial communities. The aim of this work was to study the effect of both N availability and plant genotype on the plant associated rhizosphere microbial communities, in relation to the nutritional strategies of the plant-microbe interactions, for six contrasted Medicago truncatula genotypes. The plants were provided with two different nutrient solutions varying in their nitrate concentrations (0 mM and 10 mM). First, the influence of both nitrogen availability and Medicago truncatula genotype on the genetic structure of the soil bacterial and fungal communities was determined by DNA fingerprint using Automated Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis (ARISA). Secondly, the different nutritional strategies of the plant-microbe interactions were evaluated using an ecophysiological framework. We observed that nitrogen availability affected rhizosphere bacterial communities only in presence of the plant. Furthermore, we showed that the influence of nitrogen availability on rhizosphere bacterial communities was dependent on the different genotypes of Medicago truncatula. Finally, the nutritional strategies of the plant varied greatly in response to a modification of nitrogen availability. A new conceptual framework was thus developed to study plant-microbe interactions. This framework led to the identification of three contrasted structural and functional adaptive responses of plant-microbe interactions to nitrogen availability.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-10

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

  8. Soil microbial community composition changes according to the tillage practice and plant development stage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Degrune, Florine; Dufrêne, Marc; Colinet, Gilles; Taminiau, Bernard; Hiel, Marie-Pierre; Daube, Georges; Vandenbol, Micheline

    2015-04-01

    Soil microorganisms are abundant and diverse and can have both beneficial and adverse effects on crop growth. Some, such as plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria and mycorrhizae, are well known to favor crop productivity and plant health. They are notably involved in key processes such as improving plant nutrient acquisition, and they also play major roles in stimulating plant growth and protecting plants against pathogens by producing bioactive substances. Conversely, both agricultural practices and the plant development stage are known to influence the physical and chemical properties of the soil and hence the abundance and diversity of soil microorganisms. Here we investigated the impact of both tillage practice (conventional versus reduced tillage) and plant development stage (germination versus flowering) on the microbial community composition of an agricultural soil supporting a faba bean crop. Samples were taken at a depth of 15-20 cm from a silty soil in Belgium. For bacteria, we observed significant shifts in community composition according to both factors. Some changes were strongly related to the plant development stage and others to the tillage practice. Some taxa, including Gemmatimonas, Xanthomonadaceae, and Sinobacteraceae, showed a higher relative abundance at the flowering stage than at the germination stage, but no effect of tillage practice. Other taxa, including Flovobacterium, Chitinophaga, and Luteolibacter, showed a higher relative abundance under conventional tillage than under reduced tillage, but no change according to the stage of plant development. For fungi, significant shifts in community composition were observed according to the plant development stage. No effect of tillage practice was observed. The relative abundances of certain taxa, including Chaetomium and Clavicipitaceae, were higher during germination than during flowering, whereas other taxa, including Minimedusa and Teberdinia, showed a higher relative abundance during

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

    Non-native ungulates have substantial impacts on native ecosystems globally, altering both plant communities and soil biogeochemistry. Across tropical and temperate ecosystems, land managers fence and remove non-native ungulates to conserve native biodiversity, a costly management action, yet long-term outcomes are not well quantified. Specifically, knowledge gaps include: (i) the magnitude and time frame of plant community recovery; (ii) the response of non-native invasive plants; and (iii) changes to soil biogeochemistry. In 2010, we established a series of paired ungulate presence vs. removal plots that span a 20 yr. chronosequence in tropical montane wet forests on the Island of Hawaii to quantify the impacts and temporal legacy of feral pig removal on plant communities and soil biogeochemistry. We also compared soil biogeochemistry in targeted areas of low and high feral pig impact. Our work shows that both native and non-native vegetation respond positively to release from top-down control following removal of feral pigs, but species of high conservation concern recover only if initially present at the time of non-native ungulate removal. Feral pig impacts on soil biogeochemistry appear to last for at least 20 years following ungulate removal. We observed that both soil physical and chemical properties changed with feral pig removal. Soil bulk density and volumetric water content decreased while extractable base cations and inorganic N increased in low vs. high feral pig impact areas. We hypothesize that altered soil biogeochemistry facilitates continued invasions by non-native plants, even decades after non-native ungulate removal. Future work will concentrate on comparisons between wet and dry forest ecosystems and test whether manipulation of soil nutrients can be used to favor native vs. non-native plant establishment.

  10. Ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants in the community of Santa Rita, Ituiutaba – Minas Gerais, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Glaucieli Siqueira Parreira Alves

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper aimed to inventory the plants used in popular medicine by members of the rural community of Santa Rita, in the town of Ituiutaba, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The evaluation was carried out through interviews, with a semi-structured questionnaire and subsequent collection of the plants indicated by informants. One conducted 47 interviews and 127 species were listed, belonging to 55 Angiosperm families. For obtaining the quantitative data, one calculated the percentage of the Main Use Concordance (cMUC of each species; for identifying the therapeutic indications with greater importance, one used the Informant Consensus Factor (ICF. The cMUC showed that 5.5% of the plants mentioned are widely used by the community. The predominant botanical families registered were Lamiaceae and Asteraceae, with 14 and 13 records, respectively. The indication of predominant use mainly involved illnesses related to an emotional disorder, as indicated by the ICF. One emphasizes that 60.7% of the plants mentioned in this paper are exotic species; thus, there’s a need for further studies in order to catalogue knowledge on the medicinal plants which are native to this region.

  11. Responses of prairie arthropod communities to fire and fertilizer: Balancing plant and arthropod conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartley, M.K.; Rogers, W.E.; Siemann, E.; Grace, J.

    2007-01-01

    Fire is an important tool for limiting woody plant invasions into prairies, but using fire management to maintain grassland plant communities may inadvertently reduce arthropod diversity. To test this, we established twenty-four 100 m2 plots in a tallgrass prairie in Galveston County, Texas, in spring 2000. Plots were assigned a fire (no burn, one time burn [2000], two time burn [2000, 2001]) and fertilization treatment (none, NPK addition) in a full factorial design. Fertilization treatments allowed us to examine the effects of fire at a different level of productivity. We measured plant cover by species and sampled arthropods with sweep nets during the 2001 growing season. Path analysis indicated that fertilization reduced while annual fires increased arthropod diversity via increases and decreases in woody plant abundance, respectively. There was no direct effect of fire on arthropod diversity or abundance. Diptera and Homoptera exhibited particularly strong positive responses to fires. Lepidoptera had a negative response to nutrient enrichment. Overall, the negative effects of fire on the arthropod community were minor in contrast to the strong positive indirect effects of small-scale burning on arthropod diversity if conservation of particular taxa is not a priority. The same fire regime that minimized woody plant invasion also maximized arthropod diversity.

  12. Resource dependence in a new ecosystem: A host plant and its colonizing community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lakatos, K. Tímea; László, Zoltán; Tóthmérész, Béla

    2016-05-01

    The introduced black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) has become an invasive plant species in Europe. The introduction of alien plants such as the black locust may modify ecosystem composition and functioning. In response to the presence of a potential host plant, herbivores can adapt and shift to the consumption of the new host plant. In Eastern-Central Europe, the seed predator Bruchophagus robiniae (Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae) is an important consumer of black locust seeds which presumably shifted from its formerly host species to black locust. We tested the influence of host plant abundance on a seed predator - parasitoid community. We found that the seed predator B. robiniae was present in higher numbers in woodlots than in small patches of black locust. The density of the specialist parasitoid Mesopolobus sp. was lower in woodlots than in small patches, while the generalist parasitoid Eupelmus urozonos was evenly distributed between woodlots and small patches of black locust. We found that parasitoid species are influenced by the patch size of host plants, thus characteristics of introduced host plants can also manifest in higher trophic levels.

  13. Riparian plant community responses to increased flooding: a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garssen, Annemarie G; Baattrup-Pedersen, Annette; Voesenek, Laurentius A C J; Verhoeven, Jos T A; Soons, Merel B

    2015-08-01

    A future higher risk of severe flooding of streams and rivers has been projected to change riparian plant community composition and species richness, but the extent and direction of the expected change remain uncertain. We conducted a meta-analysis to synthesize globally available experimental evidence and assess the effects of increased flooding on (1) riparian adult plant and seedling survival, (2) riparian plant biomass and (3) riparian plant species composition and richness. We evaluated which plant traits are of key importance for the response of riparian plant species to flooding. We identified and analysed 53 papers from ISI Web of Knowledge which presented quantitative experimental results on flooding treatments and corresponding control situations. Our meta-analysis demonstrated how longer duration of flooding, greater depth of flooding and, particularly, their combination reduce seedling survival of most riparian species. Plant height above water level, ability to elongate shoots and plasticity in root porosity were decisive for adult plant survival and growth during longer periods of flooding. Both 'quiescence' and 'escape' proved to be successful strategies promoting riparian plant survival, which was reflected in the wide variation in survival (full range between 0 and 100%) under fully submerged conditions, while plants that protrude above the water level (>20 cm) almost all survive. Our survey confirmed that the projected increase in the duration and depth of flooding periods is sufficient to result in species shifts. These shifts may lead to increased or decreased riparian species richness depending on the nutrient, climatic and hydrological status of the catchment. Species richness was generally reduced at flooded sites in nutrient-rich catchments and sites that previously experienced relatively stable hydrographs (e.g. rain-fed lowland streams). Species richness usually increased at sites in desert and semi-arid climate regions (e.g. intermittent

  14. Land-use intensification effects on functional properties in tropical plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carreño-Rocabado, Geovana; Peña-Claros, Marielos; Bongers, Frans; Díaz, Sandra; Quetier, Fabien; Chuviña, José; Poorter, Lourens

    2016-01-01

    There is consensus that plant diversity and ecosystem processes are negatively affected by land-use intensification (LUI), but, at the same time, there is empirical evidence that a large heterogeneity can be found in the responses. This heterogeneity is especially poorly understood in tropical ecosystems. We evaluated changes in community functional properties across five common land-use types in the wet tropics with different land-use intensity: mature forest, logged forest, secondary forest, agricultural land, and pastureland, located in the lowlands of Bolivia. For the dominant plant species, we measured 12 functional response traits related to their life history, acquisition and conservation of resources, plant domestication, and breeding. We used three single-trait metrics to describe community functional properties: community abundance-weighted mean (CWM) traits values, coefficient of variation, and kurtosis of distribution. The CWM of all 12 traits clearly responded to LUI. Overall, we found that an increase in LUI resulted in communities dominated by plants with acquisitive leaf trait values. However, contrary to our expectations, secondary forests had more conservative trait values (i.e., lower specific leaf area) than mature and logged forest, probably because they were dominated by palm species. Functional variation peaked at intermediate land-use intensity (high coefficient of variation and low kurtosis), which included secondary forest but, unexpectedly, also agricultural land, which is an intensely managed system. The high functional variation of these systems is due to a combination of how response traits (and species) are filtered out by biophysical filters and how management practices introduced a range of exotic species and their trait values into the local species pool. Our results showed that, at local scales and depending on prevailing environmental and management practices, LUI does not necessarily result in communities with more acquisitive

  15. Effects of habitat management treatments on plant community composition and biomass in a Montane wetland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austin, J.E.; Keough, J.R.; Pyle, W.H.

    2007-01-01

    Grazing and burning are commonly applied practices that can impact the diversity and biomass of wetland plant communities. We evaluated the vegetative response of wetlands and adjacent upland grasslands to four treatment regimes (continuous idle, fall prescribed burning followed by idle, annual fall cattle grazing, and rotation of summer grazing and idle) commonly used by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Our study area was Grays Lake, a large, montane wetland in southeastern Idaho that is bordered by extensive wet meadows. We identified seven plant cover types, representing the transition from dry meadow to deep wetland habitats: mixed deep marsh, spikerush slough, Baltic rush (Juncus balticus), moist meadow, alkali, mesic meadow, and dry meadow. We compared changes in community composition and total aboveground biomass of each plant cover type between 1998, when all units had been idled for three years, and 1999 (1 yr post-treatment) and 2000 (2 yr post-treatment). Analysis using non-metric multidimensional scaling indicated that compositional changes varied among cover types, treatments, and years following treatment. Treatment-related changes in community composition were greatest in mixed deep marsh, Baltic rush, and mesic meadow. In mixed deep marsh and Baltic rush, grazing and associated trampling contributed to changes in the plant community toward more open water and aquatic species and lower dominance of Baltic rush; grazing and trampling also seemed to contribute to increased cover in mesic meadow. Changing hydrological conditions, from multiple years of high water to increasing drought, was an important factor influencing community composition and may have interacted with management treatments. Biomass differed among treatments and between years within cover types. In the wettest cover types, fall burning and grazing rotation treatments had greater negative impact on biomass than the idle treatment, but in drier cover types, summer grazing stimulated

  16. Incorporating Peatland Plant Communities into the Enzymic 'Latch' Hypothesis: Can Vegetation Influence Carbon Storage Mechanisms?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romanowicz, K. J.; Daniels, A. L.; Potvin, L. R.; Kane, E. S.; Kolka, R. K.; Chimner, R. A.; Lilleskov, E. A.

    2012-12-01

    High water table conditions in peatland ecosystems are known to favor plant production over decomposition and carbon is stored. Dominant plant communities change in response to water table but little is know of how these changes affect belowground carbon storage. One hypothesis known as the enzymic 'latch' proposed by Freeman et al. suggests that oxygen limitations due to high water table conditions inhibit microorganisms from synthesizing specific extracellular enzymes essential for carbon and nutrient mineralization, allowing carbon to be stored as decomposition is reduced. Yet, this hypothesis excludes plant community interactions on carbon storage. We hypothesize that the dominant vascular plant communities, sedges and ericaceous shrubs, will have inherently different effects on peatland carbon storage, especially in response to declines in water table. Sedges greatly increase in abundance following water table decline and create extensive carbon oxidation and mineralization hotspots through the production of deep roots with aerenchyma (air channels in roots). Increased oxidation may enhance aerobic microbial activity including increased enzyme activity, leading to peat subsidence and carbon loss. In contrast, ericaceous shrubs utilize enzymatically active ericoid mycorrhizal fungi that suppress free-living heterotrophs, promoting decreased carbon mineralization by mediating changes in rhizosphere microbial communities and enzyme activity regardless of water table declines. Beginning May 2010, bog monoliths were harvested, housed in mesocosm chambers, and manipulated into three vegetation treatments: unmanipulated (+sedge, +Ericaceae), sedge (+sedge, -Ericaceae), and Ericaceae (-sedge, +Ericaceae). Following vegetation manipulations, two distinct water table manipulations targeting water table seasonal profiles were implemented: (low intra-seasonal variability, higher mean water table; high intra-seasonal variability, lower mean water table). In 2012, peat

  17. Plant species diversity, plant biomass and responses of the soil community on abandoned land across Europe: idiosyncracy or above-belowground time lags

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hedlund, K.; Santa Regina, I.; Putten, van der W.H.; Leps, J.; Díaz, T.; Korthals, G.W.; Lavorel, S.; Brown, V.K.; Gormsen, D.; Mortimer, S.R.; Rodríguez Barrueco, C.; Roy, J.; Smilauer, P.; Smilauerová, M.; Dijk, van C.

    2003-01-01

    We examined the relationship between plant species diversity, productivity and the development of the soil community during early secondary succession on former arable land across Europe. We tested the hypothesis that increasing the initial plant species diversity enhances the biomass production and

  18. Assessing Metal Exposures in a Community near a Cement Plant in the Northeast U.S.

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Cement production is a major source of metals and metalloids in the environment, while exposures to metals and metalloids may impact human health in the surrounding communities. We recruited 185 participants living in the vicinity of a cement plant in the northeast U.S., and measured the levels of aluminum (Al), arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), and selenium (Se) in blood and Hg in hair samples from them. A questionnaire was used to assess potential sources of Hg exposure...

  19. Plant community structure regulates responses of prairie soil respiration to decadal experimental warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xia; Shi, Zheng; Li, Dejun; Zhou, Xuhui; Sherry, Rebecca A; Luo, Yiqi

    2015-10-01

    Soil respiration is recognized to be influenced by temperature, moisture, and ecosystem production. However, little is known about how plant community structure regulates responses of soil respiration to climate change. Here, we used a 13-year field warming experiment to explore the mechanisms underlying plant community regulation on feedbacks of soil respiration to climate change in a tallgrass prairie in Oklahoma, USA. Infrared heaters were used to elevate temperature about 2 °C since November 1999. Annual clipping was used to mimic hay harvest. Our results showed that experimental warming significantly increased soil respiration approximately from 10% in the first 7 years (2000-2006) to 30% in the next 6 years (2007-2012). The two-stage warming stimulation of soil respiration was closely related to warming-induced increases in ecosystem production over the years. Moreover, we found that across the 13 years, warming-induced increases in soil respiration were positively affected by the proportion of aboveground net primary production (ANPP) contributed by C3 forbs. Functional composition of the plant community regulated warming-induced increases in soil respiration through the quantity and quality of organic matter inputs to soil and the amount of photosynthetic carbon (C) allocated belowground. Clipping, the interaction of clipping with warming, and warming-induced changes in soil temperature and moisture all had little effect on soil respiration over the years (all P > 0.05). Our results suggest that climate warming may drive an increase in soil respiration through altering composition of plant communities in grassland ecosystems.

  20. 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.

  1. Spatial and environmental effects on plant communities in the Yellow River Delta, Eastern China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SONG Chuang-ye; LIU Gao-huan; LIU Qing-sheng

    2009-01-01

    Types and structure of plant communities in the Yellow River Delta were investigated by using detrended canonical correspondence analyses (DCCAs) and a two-way indicator species analysis (TWINSPAN). The distribution pattern and influential factors of the plant communities were also analyzed by testing elevation, slope, soil characteristics, longitude and latitude of 134 vegetation samples collected by representative plot sampling methods. Results showed that all the 134 vegetation samples could be divided into seven vegetation groups, separately dominated by Robinia pseucdoacacia, Imperata cylindrical, Miscanthus saccharifleus, Suaeda salsa, Aeluropus sinensis, Phragmites australis and Tamarix chinensis. The vegetation distribution pattern was mainly related to elevation, ground water depth and soil characteristics such as salinity and soluble potassium. Among the factors affecting distribution pattern of the plant communities, the species matrix explained by non-spatial environmental variation accounts for 45.2% of total variation. Spatial variation and spatial-structured environmental variation explain 11.8%, and 2.2%, respectively. Remained 40.8% of undetermined variation is attributed to biological and stochastic factors.

  2. Ethnobotanical uses of medicinal plant, Justicia adhatoda L. by Meitei community of Manipur, India

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Khuraijam Jibankumar Singh; Deepak Huidrom

    2013-01-01

    Objective: To investigate traditional uses of medicinal plant Justicia adhatoda L. by Meitei community in Manipur. Methods: Surveys were carried out in four districts in Central Valley of Manipur viz., Imphal eEtahsnto, bImotapnhiacla lW uessets, Bofi sthhne usppuerc iaens.d Thoubal between 2008-2013 to collect information on the study areas were interviewed and preLpoacraalt ipoeno tpelceh anniqdu Mesa oifb am/medaiicbinise ( manedn /cwuoismineens hfreoamle rtsh)e i np ltahnet parts were demonstrated and photographed. Results: It was found that Meitei community in the study area extensively used Justicia adhatoda Lm.e adsi ceinthen ion- mdieffdeirceinnte waasy ws etlol caus rfeo omda. nYyo auinlmg eanntds mlikaetu creo uggrhe,e nfe vleear,v eass twhmerae aunsde dd yasse tnrtaedriyt.i onal ethnic community used inflorescences and leaves of the plant to prepare different cuisinesT fhoer good digestion and health. Conclusions: Documentation of detailed ethnobotanical uses of individual plant species is need of the hour and it will help in understanding the in-depth knowledge about the role of species in the society.

  3. Invisible floral larcenies: microbial communities degrade floral nectar of bumble bee-pollinated plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, Carlos M; García, Isabel M; Pérez, Ricardo

    2008-09-01

    The ecology of nectarivorous microbial communities remains virtually unknown, which precludes elucidating whether these organisms play some role in plant-pollinator mutualisms beyond minor commensalism. We simultaneously assessed microbial abundance and nectar composition at the individual nectary level in flowers of three southern Spanish bumble bee-pollinated plants (Helleborus foetidus, Aquilegia vulgaris, and Aquilegia pyrenaica cazorlensis). Yeasts were frequent and abundant in nectar of all species, and variation in yeast density was correlated with drastic changes in nectar sugar concentration and composition. Yeast communities built up in nectar from early to late floral stages, at which time all nectaries contained yeasts, often at densities between 10(4) and 10(5) cells/mm3. Total sugar concentration and percentage sucrose declined, and percentage fructose increased, with increasing density of yeast cells in nectar. Among-nectary variation in microbial density accounted for 65% (H. foetidus and A. vulgaris) and 35% (A. p. cazorlensis) of intraspecific variance in nectar sugar composition, and 60% (H. foetidus) and 38% (A. vulgaris) of variance in nectar concentration. Our results provide compelling evidence that nectar microbial communities can have detrimental effects on plants and/or pollinators via extensive nectar degradation and also call for a more careful interpretation of nectar traits in the future, if uncontrolled for yeasts.

  4. Ectomycorrhizal fungal communities coinvading with Pinaceae host plants in Argentina: Gringos bajo el bosque.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayward, Jeremy; Horton, Thomas R; Nuñez, Martin A

    2015-10-01

    Coinvasive ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi allow Pinaceae species to invade regions otherwise lacking compatible symbionts, but ECM fungal communities permitting Pinaceae invasions are poorly understood. In the context of Pinaceae invasions on Isla Victoria, Nahuel Huapi National Park, Argentina, we asked: what ECM fungi are coinvading with Pinaceae hosts on Isla Victoria; are some ECM fungal species or genera more prone to invade than others; and are all ECM fungal species that associate with Northern Hemisphere hosts also nonnative, or are some native fungi compatible with nonnative plants? We sampled ECMs from 226 Pinaceae host plant individuals, both planted individuals and recruits, growing inside and invading from plantations. We used molecular techniques to examine ECM fungal communities associating with these trees. A distinctive subset of the ECM fungal community predominated far from plantations, indicating differences between highly invasive and less invasive ECM fungi. Some fungal invaders reported here have been detected in other locations around the world, suggesting strong invasion potential. Fungi that were frequently detected far from plantations are often found in early-successional sites in the native range, while fungi identified as late-successional species in the native range are rarely found far from plantations, suggesting a means for predicting potential fungal coinvaders.

  5. A conceptual ecosystem model of microbial communities in enhanced biological phosphorus removal plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, Per Halkjaer; Mielczarek, Artur Tomasz; Kragelund, Caroline; Nielsen, Jeppe Lund; Saunders, Aaron Marc; Kong, Yunhong; Hansen, Aviaja Anna; Vollertsen, Jes

    2010-09-01

    The microbial populations in 25 full-scale activated sludge wastewater treatment plants with enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR plants) have been intensively studied over several years. Most of the important bacterial groups involved in nitrification, denitrification, biological P removal, fermentation, and hydrolysis have been identified and quantified using quantitative culture-independent molecular methods. Surprisingly, a limited number of core species was present in all plants, constituting on average approx. 80% of the entire communities in the plants, showing that the microbial populations in EBPR plants are rather similar and not very diverse, as sometimes suggested. By focusing on these organisms it is possible to make a comprehensive ecosystem model, where many important aspects in relation to microbial ecosystems and wastewater treatment can be investigated. We have reviewed the current knowledge about these microorganisms with focus on key ecophysiological factors and combined this into a conceptual ecosystem model for EBPR plants. It includes the major pathways of carbon flow with specific organic substances, the dominant populations involved in the transformations, interspecies interactions, and the key factors controlling their presence and activity. We believe that the EBPR process is a perfect model system for studies of microbial ecology in water engineering systems and that this conceptual model can be used for proposing and testing theories based on microbial ecosystem theories, for the development of new and improved quantitative ecosystem models and is beneficial for future design and management of wastewater treatment systems. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Drought regulates the C and N cycling in soil depending on plant community composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanaullah, Muhammad; Chabbi, Abad; Rumpel, Cornelia

    2015-04-01

    Drought consequences on carbon (C) and nutrients cycling have been well explored, but little is known about interactions in the rhizosphere under various plant community composition. We compared drought effects on microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and on enzyme activities in the rhizosphere of three plants grown individually or in mixture: two grasses (Lolium perenne and Festuca arundinacea) and one legume (Medicago sativa). The activities of extracellular enzymes involved in C cycle (xylanase, β-cellobiosidase and β-glucosidase) and nitrogen (N) cycle (chitinase and Leucine-aminopeptidase) were compared to MBC changes. The MBC was highly correlated with root biomass. MBC increased in response to drought in soil under the plant mixture, whereas it showed variable trends under monocultures. Drought and plant species composition were responsible for more than 90% of the variation of enzyme activities. Most enzyme activities decreased in unplanted soil in response to drought. The activity of the enzyme involved in the N cycle increased strongly under mixture and two out of three monocultures, indicating an increased N demand under drought conditions. The activities of enzymes involved in the C cycle in soil under mixture (1) generally were lower during drought compared to soil under monocultures and (2) were unchanged or tended to decrease, while they were more likely to increase under monocultures. This has an important ecological consequence: the decomposition of plant residues and soil organic matter will be slower under drought when plants are grown in mixture compared to monocultures.

  7. Community Structures of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi in Soils and Plant Roots Inhabiting Abandoned Mines of Korea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Hyeok; Lee, Eun-Hwa; Ka, Kang-Hyeon

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we collected rhizosphere soils and root samples from a post-mining area and a natural forest area in Jecheon, Korea. We extracted spores of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) from rhizospheres, and then examined the sequences of 18S rDNA genes of the AMF from the collected roots of plants. We compared the AMF communities in the post-mining area and the natural forest area by sequence analysis of the AMF spores from soils and of the AMF clones from roots. Consequently, we confirmed that the structure of AMF communities varied between the post-mining area and the natural forest area and showed significant relationship with heavy metal contents in soils. These results suggest that heavy metal contamination by mining activity significantly affects the AMF community structure. PMID:28154485

  8. Carbon Sequestration in Tropical and Subtropical Plant Species in Collaborative and Community Forests of Nepal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ram Asheshwar Mandal

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Different plant species have different capacity of carbon sequestration but it is not assessed yet in Nepal. Therefore, this study was done to assess the species-wise carbon sequestration in two periods in forests. Three collaborative and three community forests were selected for the study. The selected forests were surveyed using GPS and mapped and stratified into tree, pole, and regeneration. Specifically 32, 33, and 31 samples were collected from Banke-Maraha, Tuteshwarnath, and Gadhanta-Bardibash collaborative forests, respectively, while 30, 25, and 22 samples were collected from Chureparwati, Buddha, and Chyandanda community forests correspondingly. The sample plots were of 25 m × 20 m for tree strata. The diameter and height of plants were measured and samples were collected for three consecutive years. The estimated carbon stock of Shorea robusta was the highest 35.93 t ha−1 in 2011 which was slightly decreased to 34.43 t ha−1 in 2012 and reached 32.02 t ha−1 in 2013 in Banke-Maraha collaborative forest but it was the least 7.97, 8.92, and 10.29 t ha−1 in 2011, 2012, and 2013, respectively, in Chyandanda community forest. The highest carbon sequestration was recorded about 5.02 t ha−1 of Shorea robusta in Chyandanda community forest in between t2013 and t2012.

  9. Activation of the jasmonic acid plant defence pathway alters the composition of rhizosphere bacterial communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lilia C Carvalhais

    Full Text Available Jasmonic acid (JA signalling plays a central role in plant defences against necrotrophic pathogens and herbivorous insects, which afflict both roots and shoots. This pathway is also activated following the interaction with beneficial microbes that may lead to induced systemic resistance. Activation of the JA signalling pathway via application of methyl jasmonate (MeJA alters the composition of carbon containing compounds released by roots, which are implicated as key determinants of rhizosphere microbial community structure. In this study, we investigated the influence of the JA defence signalling pathway activation in Arabidopsis thaliana on the structure of associated rhizosphere bacterial communities using 16S rRNA gene amplicon pyrosequencing. Application of MeJA did not directly influence bulk soil microbial communities but significant changes in rhizosphere community composition were observed upon activation of the jasmonate signalling pathway. Our results suggest that JA signalling may mediate plant-bacteria interactions in the soil upon necrotrophic pathogen and herbivorous insect attacks.

  10. Above–belowground herbivore interactions in mixed plant communities are influenced by altered precipitation patterns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Michael William Ryalls

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Root- and shoot-feeding herbivores have the capacity to influence one another by modifying the chemistry of the shared host plant. This can alter rates of nutrient mineralisation and uptake by neighbouring plants and influence plant–plant competition, particularly in mixtures combining grasses and legumes. Root herbivory-induced exudation of nitrogen (N from legume roots, for example, may increase N acquisition by co-occurring grasses, with knock-on effects on grassland community composition. Little is known about how climate change may affect these interactions, but an important and timely question is how will grass–legume mixtures respond in a future with an increasing reliance on legume N mineralisation in terrestrial ecosystems. Using a model grass–legume mixture, this study investigated how simultaneous attack on lucerne (Medicago sativa by belowground weevils (Sitona discoideus and aboveground aphids (Acyrthosiphon pisum affected a neighbouring grass (Phalaris aquatica when subjected to drought, ambient and elevated precipitation. Feeding on rhizobial nodules by weevil larvae enhanced soil water retention under ambient and elevated precipitation, but only when aphids were absent. While drought decreased nodulation and root N content in lucerne, grass root and shoot chemistry were unaffected by changes in precipitation. However, plant communities containing weevils but not aphids showed increased grass height and N concentrations, most likely associated with the transfer of N from weevil-attacked lucerne plants containing more nodules and higher root N concentrations compared with insect-free plants. Drought decreased aphid abundance by 54% but increased total and some specific amino acid concentrations (glycine, lysine, methionine, tyrosine, cysteine, histidine, arginine, aspartate and glutamate, suggesting that aphid declines were being driven by other facets of drought (e.g. reduced phloem hydraulics. The presence of weevil larvae

  11. Understory flora and community physiognomy of planted forests in the degraded purple soil ecosystem, South China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YUZhan-yuan; YUEYong-jie; GUOJian-fen; CHENGuang-shui; XIEJin-sheng; HEZong-ming; YANGYu-sheng

    2005-01-01

    The flora and community physiognomy of degraded plantation ecosystems on purple soil were investigated in Ninghua County of Fujian Province, China to understand the relationship between plant diversity and ecosystem processes.. Four different restoration communities (labeled as ecological restoration treatment I, II, Ill and IV) were selected by space-time replacement method according to the erosion intensity in degraded purple soil ecosystem. The results showed that there were totally 86 plant species belonging to 78 genera and 43 families in the degraded purple soil ecosystem. Of the 15 types of distribution area in spermatophyte genus, 12 types were found in the purple soil ecosystem. Along restoration gradient from low to high, plant growth type and life form spectra became abundant more and more, and the spermatophyte genera for each distribution area type and genera numbers for different foliage characters increased as well. It is concluded that the plant flora and physiognomy in ecological restoration process become more complex and diverse, indicating that the forest ecosystem on purple soil tends to be more stable.

  12. A Hardy Plant Facilitates Nitrogen Removal via Microbial Communities in Subsurface Flow Constructed Wetlands in Winter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Penghe; Zhang, Hui; Zuo, Jie; Zhao, Dehua; Zou, Xiangxu; Zhu, Zhengjie; Jeelani, Nasreen; Leng, Xin; An, Shuqing

    2016-09-01

    The plants effect in subsurface flow constructed wetlands (SSF-CWs) is controversial, especially at low temperatures. Consequently, several SSF-CWs planted with Iris pseudacorus (CWI) or Typha orientalis Presl. (CWT) and several unplanted ones (CWC) were set up and fed with secondary effluent of sewage treatment plant during the winter in Eastern China. The 16S rDNA Illumina Miseq sequencing analysis indicated the positive effects of I. pseudacorus on the bacterial community richness and diversity in the substrate. Moreover, the community compositions of the bacteria involved with denitrification presented a significant difference in the three systems. Additionally, higher relative abundances of nitrifying bacteria (0.4140%, 0.2402% and 0.4318% for Nitrosomonas, Nitrosospira and Nitrospira, respectively) were recorded in CWI compared with CWT (0.2074%, 0.0648% and 0.0181%, respectively) and CWC (0.3013%, 0.1107% and 0.1185%, respectively). Meanwhile, the average removal rates of NH4+-N and TN in CWI showed a prominent advantage compared to CWC, but no distinct advantage was found in CWT. The hardy plant I. pseudacorus, which still had active root oxygen release in cold temperatures, positively affected the abundance of nitrifying bacteria in the substrate, and accordingly was supposed to contribute to a comparatively high nitrogen removal efficiency of the system during the winter.

  13. A Hardy Plant Facilitates Nitrogen Removal via Microbial Communities in Subsurface Flow Constructed Wetlands in Winter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Penghe; Zhang, Hui; Zuo, Jie; Zhao, Dehua; Zou, Xiangxu; Zhu, Zhengjie; Jeelani, Nasreen; Leng, Xin; An, Shuqing

    2016-01-01

    The plants effect in subsurface flow constructed wetlands (SSF-CWs) is controversial, especially at low temperatures. Consequently, several SSF-CWs planted with Iris pseudacorus (CWI) or Typha orientalis Presl. (CWT) and several unplanted ones (CWC) were set up and fed with secondary effluent of sewage treatment plant during the winter in Eastern China. The 16S rDNA Illumina Miseq sequencing analysis indicated the positive effects of I. pseudacorus on the bacterial community richness and diversity in the substrate. Moreover, the community compositions of the bacteria involved with denitrification presented a significant difference in the three systems. Additionally, higher relative abundances of nitrifying bacteria (0.4140%, 0.2402% and 0.4318% for Nitrosomonas, Nitrosospira and Nitrospira, respectively) were recorded in CWI compared with CWT (0.2074%, 0.0648% and 0.0181%, respectively) and CWC (0.3013%, 0.1107% and 0.1185%, respectively). Meanwhile, the average removal rates of NH4+-N and TN in CWI showed a prominent advantage compared to CWC, but no distinct advantage was found in CWT. The hardy plant I. pseudacorus, which still had active root oxygen release in cold temperatures, positively affected the abundance of nitrifying bacteria in the substrate, and accordingly was supposed to contribute to a comparatively high nitrogen removal efficiency of the system during the winter. PMID:27646687

  14. Bacterial Community Structure Shifted by Geosmin in Granular Activated Carbon System of Water Treatment Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pham, Ngoc Dung; Lee, Eun-Hee; Chae, Seon-Ha; Cho, Yongdeok; Shin, Hyejin; Son, Ahjeong

    2016-01-01

    We investigated the relation between the presence of geosmin in water and the bacterial community structure within the granular activated carbon (GAC) system of water treatment plants in South Korea. GAC samples were collected in May and August of 2014 at three water treatment plants (Sungnam, Koyang, and Yeoncho in Korea). Dissolved organic carbon and geosmin were analyzed before and after GAC treatment. Geosmin was found in raw water from Sungnam and Koyang water treatment plants but not in that from Yeoncho water treatment plant. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, the 16S rRNA clone library indicated that the bacterial communities from the Sungnam and Koyang GAC systems were closely related to geosmin-degrading bacteria. Based on the phylogenetic tree and multidimensional scaling plot, bacterial clones from GAC under the influence of geosmin were clustered with Variovorax paradoxus strain DB 9b and Comamonas sp. DB mg. In other words, the presence of geosmin in water might have inevitably contributed to the growth of geosmin degraders within the respective GAC system.

  15. Community emergency response to nuclear power plant accidents: A selected and partially annotated bibliography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Youngen, G.

    1988-10-01

    The role of responding to emergencies at nuclear power plants is often considered the responsibility of the personnel onsite. This is true for most, if not all, of the incidents that may happen during the course of the plant`s operating lifetime. There is however, the possibility of a major accident occurring at anytime. Major nuclear accidents at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island have taught their respective countries and communities a significant lesson in local emergency preparedness and response. Through these accidents, the rest of the world can also learn a great deal about planning, preparing and responding to the emergencies unique to nuclear power. This bibliography contains books, journal articles, conference papers and government reports on emergency response to nuclear power plant accidents. It does not contain citations for ``onsite`` response or planning, nor does it cover the areas of radiation releases from transportation accidents. The compiler has attempted to bring together a sampling of the world`s collective written experience on dealing with nuclear reactor accidents on the sate, local and community levels. Since the accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, that written experience has grown enormously.

  16. 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

  17. Preliminary assessment of plant community structure and arbuscular mycorrhizas in rangeland habitats of Cholistan desert, Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaudhry, M S; Batool, Z; Khan, A G

    2005-11-01

    Plant species dominance and arbuscular mycorrhizas (AMs) were evaluated in four different habitats of Cholistan desert, Pakistan. The sites were selected on the basis of variations in topography, floristic composition and biotic interference. The phytosociological data revealed obvious differences in the floristic composition, plant species diversity, AM colonization and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) spore densities in the rhizospheres. The vegetation pattern and composition was governed by topography and edaphic characteristics of a particular site. Grasses were dominant and main components of vegetation at all the study sites and were invariably mycorrhizal. Some plant species were mycorrhizal at one site but non-mycorrhizal at the other. The AMF survey reported here offers an important starting point from which to analyse AMF community structure in different phytosociological habitats and land uses of Cholistan desert.

  18. Petroleum hydrocarbon contamination, plant identity and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) community determine assemblages of the AMF spore-associated microbes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

    The root-associated microbiome is a key determinant of pollutant degradation, soil nutrient availability and plant biomass productivity, but could not be examined in depth prior to recent advances in high-throughput sequencing. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) form symbioses with the majority of vascular plants. They are known to enhance mineral uptake and promote plant growth and are postulated to influence the processes involved in phytoremediation. Amplicon sequencing approaches have previously shown that petroleum hydrocarbon pollutant (PHP) concentration strongly influences AMF community structure in in situ phytoremediation experiments. We examined how AMF communities and their spore-associated microbiomes were structured within the rhizosphere of three plant species growing spontaneously in three distinct waste decantation basins of a former petrochemical plant. Our results show that the AMF community was only affected by PHP concentrations, while the AMF-associated fungal and bacterial communities were significantly affected by both PHP concentrations and plant species identity. We also found that some AMF taxa were either positively or negatively correlated with some fungal and bacterial groups. Our results suggest that in addition to PHP concentrations and plant species identity, AMF community composition may also shape the community structure of bacteria and fungi associated with AMF spores. © 2016 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Linking river flow regimes to riparian plant guilds: a community-wide modeling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lytle, David A; Merritt, David M; Tonkin, Jonathan D; Olden, Julian D; Reynolds, Lindsay V

    2017-06-01

    Modeling riparian plant dynamics along rivers is complicated by the fact that plants have different edaphic and hydrologic requirements at different life stages. With intensifying human demands for water and continued human alteration of rivers, there is a growing need for predicting responses of vegetation to flow alteration, including responses related to climate change and river flow management. We developed a coupled structured population model that combines stage-specific responses of plant guilds with specific attributes of river hydrologic regime. The model uses information on the vital rates of guilds as they relate to different hydrologic conditions (flood, drought, and baseflow), but deliberately omits biotic interactions from the structure (interaction neutral). Our intent was to (1) consolidate key vital rates concerning plant population dynamics and to incorporate these data into a quantitative framework, (2) determine whether complex plant stand dynamics, including biotic interactions, can be predicted from basic vital rates and river hydrology, and (3) project how altered flow regimes might affect riparian communities. We illustrated the approach using five flow-response guilds that encompass much of the river floodplain community: hydroriparian tree, xeroriparian shrub, hydroriparian shrub, mesoriparian meadow, and desert shrub. We also developed novel network-based tools for predicting community-wide effects of climate-driven shifts and deliberately altered flow regimes. The model recovered known patterns of hydroriparian tree vs. xeroriparian shrub dominance, including the relative proportion of these two guilds as a function of river flow modification. By simulating flow alteration scenarios ranging from increased drought to shifts in flood timing, the model predicted that mature hydroriparian forest should be most abundant near the observed natural flow regime. Multiguild sensitivity analysis identified substantial network connectivity (many

  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. Directional, stabilizing, and disruptive trait selection as alternative mechanisms for plant community assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolhauser, Andrés G; Pucheta, Eduardo

    2017-03-01

    How plant functional traits (e.g., seed mass) drive species abundance within communities remains an unsolved question. Borrowing concepts from natural selection theory, we propose that trait-abundance relationships can generally correspond to one of three modes of trait selection: directional (a rectilinear relationship, where species at one end of a trait axis are most abundant), stabilizing (an n-shaped relationship), and disruptive (a u-shaped relationship). Stabilizing selection (i.e., the functional convergence of abundant species) would result from positive density-dependent interactions (e.g., facilitation) or due to generalized trade-offs in resource acquisition/use, while disruptive selection (i.e., the divergence of abundant species) would result from negative density-dependent interactions (e.g., competition) or due to environmental heterogeneity. These selection modes can be interpreted as proxies for community-level trait-fitness functions, which establish the degree to which traits are truly "functional". We searched for selection modes in a desert annual-plant community in Argentina (which was divided into winter and summer guilds) to test the hypothesis that the relative importance of disruptive mechanisms (competition, disturbances) decreases with the increase of abiotic stress, a stabilizing agent. Average density was analyzed as a function of eight traits generally linked to resource acquisition and competitive ability (maximum plant height, leaf size, specific leaf area, specific root length), resource retention and stress tolerance (leaf dissection, leaf dry matter content, specific root volume), and regeneration (seed mass) using multiple quadratic-regression models. Trait selection was stabilizing and/or directional when the environment was harshest (winter) and disruptive and/or directional when conditions were milder (summer). Selection patterns differed between guilds for two important traits: plant height and seed mass. These results

  2. Can Plant Community Turnover Mitigate Permafrost Thaw Feedbacks to the Climate System?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hough, M.; Garnello, A.; Finnell, D.; Palace, M. W.; Rich, V. I.; Saleska, S. R.

    2014-12-01

    In many parts of the Arctic, permafrost thaw due to rising temperatures results in the conversion of dry tundra to wetland bog and fen ecosystems. Such increases in anaerobic environments may have substantial feedbacks to the rate of climate change through the increased production of CH4, a greenhouse gas an order of magnitude more potent than the CO2 respired from aerobic soils. However, the total emission rates of CH4 and CO2 alone cannot predict the magnitude of feedback to the climate system since this will also depend on the ecosystem's overall carbon balance and the source of carbon (new vs old) producing the emissions. Thus, building detailed carbon budgets is essential to understanding the potential climate feedbacks of habitat changes due to permafrost thaw. We studied above-ground plant biomass and its carbon content in order to calculate the inputs of new carbon to the soil along a permafrost thaw gradient with previously well-quantified CO2 and CH4 fluxes in northern Sweden. In order to account for within-season plant community turnover, we monitored plant percent cover over the course of a growing season in three communities: areas underlain by permafrost dominated by E. vaginatum, and E. nigrum, recently thawed sphagnum dominated areas, and more established E. angustifolium dominated fen communities. Additionally, we calculated end of season biomass and percent carbon for each species and compared our findings to previously published community composition assessments from 1972/1973 and 2000. We tied our ground-based measurements to aerial remote sensing images to extrapolate biomass and percent carbon across the mire based on community type. These results allow us to calculate total carbon inputs to the mire from new above-ground biomass. By coupling these measurements with flux rates from each habitat we will be able to assess the degree to which increased biomass production might offset the increase in CH4 released from soils as a result of plant

  3. Insect visitation and pollen deposition in an invaded prairie plant community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, D.L.; Royer, R.A.; Royer, M.R.

    2006-01-01

    Invasive plants with large flowering displays have been shown to compete with native plants for pollinator services, often to the detriment of native plant fitness. In this study, we compare the pollinator communities and pollen deposited on stigmas of native plant species within and away from stands of the invasive alien plant, leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) at a large natural area in North Dakota, USA. Specifically, we ask if infestation influences (1) visitation rates and taxonomic composition of visitors to native flowers, and (2) the amount of conspecific pollen, number of pollen species, and proportion of heterospecific pollen on stigmas of native plants. We observed visits to selected native species during May and June 2000 and 2001. Stigmas were collected from a subsample of the flowers within these plots, squashed, and the pollen identified and counted under a light microscope. Visitation varied between years and among species of native plants: infestation had mixed effects in 2000 but visitation, especially by halictids was always lower within infestations in 2001. Despite differences in visitation between years, we found significantly less conspecific pollen on stigmas from infested plots in six of eight cases; we never found significantly more conspecific pollen on stigmas from within infestations. Our results emphasize the temporal variability in plant-pollinator relations and the added complexity imposed by an invasive species that will always make prediction of effects difficult. Nonetheless, the consistently lower conspecific pollen counts on native stigmas within infestations, regardless of visitation, suggest the likelihood of negative effects. ?? 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Effects of flooding, salinity and herbivory on coastal plant communities, Louisiana, United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gough, L.; Grace, J.B.

    1998-01-01

    Flooding and salinity stress are predicted to increase in coastal Louisiana as relative sea level rise (RSLR) continues in the Gulf of Mexico region. Although wetland plant species are adapted to these stressors, questions persist as to how marshes may respond to changed abiotic variables caused by RSLR, and how herbivory by native and non-native mammals may affect this response. The effects of altered flooding and salinity on coastal marsh communities were examined in two field experiments that simultaneously manipulated herbivore pressure. Marsh sods subjected to increased or decreased flooding (by lowering or raising sods, respectively), and increased or decreased salinity (by reciprocally transplanting sods between a brackish and fresh marsh), were monitored inside and outside mammalian herbivore exclosures for three growing seasons. Increased flooding stress reduced species numbers and biomass; alleviating flooding stress did not significantly alter species numbers while community biomass increased. Increased salinity reduced species numbers and biomass, more so if herbivores were present. Decreasing salinity had an unexpected effect: herbivores selectively consumed plants transplanted from the higher-salinity site. In plots protected from herbivory, decreased salinity had little effect on species numbers or biomass, but community composition changed. Overall, herbivore pressure further reduced species richness and biomass under conditions of increased flooding and increased salinity, supporting other findings that coastal marsh species can tolerate increasingly stressful conditions unless another factor, e.g., herbivory, is also present. Also, species dropped out of more stressful treatments much faster than they were added when stresses were alleviated, likely due to restrictions on dispersal. The rate at which plant communities will shift as a result of changed abiotic variables will determine if marshes remain viable when subjected to RSLR.

  5. Diversity of Riparian Plants among and within Species Shapes River Communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara L Jackrel

    Full Text Available Organismal diversity among and within species may affect ecosystem function with effects transmitting across ecosystem boundaries. Whether recipient communities adjust their composition, in turn, to maximize their function in response to changes in donor composition at these two scales of diversity is unknown. We use small stream communities that rely on riparian subsidies as a model system. We used leaf pack experiments to ask how variation in plants growing beside streams in the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State, USA affects stream communities via leaf subsidies. Leaves from red alder (Alnus rubra, vine maple (Acer cinereus, bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum and western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla were assembled in leaf packs to contrast low versus high diversity, and deployed in streams to compare local versus non-local leaf sources at the among and within species scales. Leaves from individuals within species decomposed at varying rates; most notably thin leaves decomposed rapidly. Among deciduous species, vine maple decomposed most rapidly, harbored the least algal abundance, and supported the greatest diversity of aquatic invertebrates, while bigleaf maple was at the opposite extreme for these three metrics. Recipient communities decomposed leaves from local species rapidly: leaves from early successional plants decomposed rapidly in stream reaches surrounded by early successional forest and leaves from later successional plants decomposed rapidly adjacent to later successional forest. The species diversity of leaves inconsistently affected decomposition, algal abundance and invertebrate metrics. Intraspecific diversity of leaf packs also did not affect decomposition or invertebrate diversity. However, locally sourced alder leaves decomposed more rapidly and harbored greater levels of algae than leaves sourced from conspecifics growing in other areas on the Olympic Peninsula, but did not harbor greater aquatic invertebrate diversity. In

  6. Plant community characteristics and their relationships with climate in the Hexi Corridor region of northwestern China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Peixi SU; Hongbin CHEN; Qiaodi YAN

    2008-01-01

    Species, coverage, density, appearance, important values and above ground biomass of desert plant communities in the Hexi Corridor region in north-western China were investigated. Data on the meteoro-logical factors at the investigation sites were collected. Their relationships were statistically analyzed. The results show that the composition of plant species and total den-sity in the Hexi Corridor region are positively correlated with elevation and longitude, but negatively with latitude. The relation decreases from the southeast to the northwest in this region. In the desert regions with an accumulated temperature of >10℃ greater than 3200℃, the shrubs, including semi-shrubs, occupy dominant positions in the communities. Their importance values reach 100. When the accumulated temperature is about 3000℃, the com-munities are often in some type of transition, either with herbage being the dominant species, with some semi-shrubs or shrubs as companion species, or the dominant species being semi-shrubs with some perennial herbage as companion species. In desert communities with an annual precipitation of over 110 mm, the main life forms of plants are semi-shrubs or perennial herbs. When precip-itation is less than 110 mm, the main life forms of the vegetation are dwarf shrub or annual herbs. In the extreme arid regions with annual precipitation of around 50 mm in the northwestern part of the Hexi Corridor, barely some annual herbage come to life during the rainy season. Desert ecosystems consist of sparse vegetation with small biomass. They change with climate factors and are especially sensitive to precipitation, which is par-ticularly important for their conservation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uhlik, Ondrej; Musilova, Lucie; Ridl, Jakub; Hroudova, Miluse; Vlcek, Cestmir; Koubek, Jiri; Holeckova, Marcela; Mackova, Martina; Macek, Tomas

    2013-10-01

    The aim of the study was to investigate how selected natural compounds (naringin, caffeic acid, and limonene) induce shifts in both bacterial community structure and degradative activity in long-term polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-contaminated soil and how these changes correlate with changes in chlorobiphenyl degradation capacity. In order to address this issue, we have integrated analytical methods of determining PCB degradation with pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene tag-encoded amplicons and DNA-stable isotope probing (SIP). Our model system was set in laboratory microcosms with PCB-contaminated soil, which was enriched for 8 weeks with the suspensions of flavonoid naringin, terpene limonene, and phenolic caffeic acid. Our results show that application of selected plant secondary metabolites resulted in bacterial community structure far different from the control one (no natural compound amendment). The community in soil treated with caffeic acid is almost solely represented by Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, and Verrucomicrobia (together over 99 %). Treatment with naringin resulted in an enrichment of Firmicutes to the exclusion of Acidobacteria and Verrucomicrobia. SIP was applied in order to identify populations actively participating in 4-chlorobiphenyl catabolism. We observed that naringin and limonene in soil foster mainly populations of Hydrogenophaga spp., caffeic acid Burkholderia spp. and Pseudoxanthomonas spp. None of these populations were detected among 4-chlorobiphenyl utilizers in non-amended soil. Similarly, the degradation of individual PCB congeners was influenced by the addition of different plant compounds. Residual content of PCBs was lowest after treating the soil with naringin. Addition of caffeic acid resulted in comparable decrease of total PCBs with non-amended soil; however, higher substituted congeners were more degraded after caffeic acid treatment compared to all other treatments. Finally, it appears that plant secondary metabolites

  8. [Caloric value and ash content of dominant plants in plantation communities in Heshan of Guangdong, China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Xiao-ping; Cai, Xi-an; Zhao, Ping; Rao, Xing-quan

    2009-03-01

    Different parts of twenty dominant plant species in five plantation communities on the subtropical hilly lands in Heshan of Gunagdong as well as the litters from three of the five plantation communities were sampled, and their gross caloric value (GCV) and ash content were measured by using a PARR-1281 oxygen bomb calorimeter and a muffle furnace. Based on the measurements, the ash-free caloric value (AFCV) of the samples was calculated, and the characteristics of caloric value and ash content of the samples, according to plant part, individual, and plant growth form, were analyzed. The results showed that the GCV and AFCV of leaf, branch, stem wood, stem bark, and root were in the range of 10.7-22.17 kJ x g(-1) and 13.89-23.04 kJ x g(-1), respectively. The GCV and AFCV of leaf were significantly higher than those of other parts (P shrub layer (19.46 kJ x g(-1) > herb layer (18.77 kJ x g(-1)), with indigenous coniferous tree (19.86 kJ x g(-1)) > indigenous broad-leaved tree (19.55 kJ x g(-1)) > exotic eucalyptus (19.18 kJ x g(-1)), while the mean ash content was just the opposite. In Acacia mangium, coniferous, and Schima plantation communities, the GCV and AFCV of litters were higher than those of various plant parts (P mangium and coniferous plantations had higher mean GCV and AFCV than the litters and fresh leaves of tree layer, while the fresh leaves of tree layer in Schima plantation showed higher mean GCV and AFCV.

  9. The physical environment and major plant communities of the Karoo National Park, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francine Rubin

    1996-02-01

    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.

  10. Plant stimulation of soil microbial community succession: how sequential expression mediates soil carbon stabilization and turnover

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Firestone, Mary [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)

    2015-03-31

    It is now understood that most plant C is utilized or transformed by soil microorganisms en route to stabilization. Hence the composition of microbial communities that mediate decomposition and transformation of root C is critical, as are the metabolic capabilities of these communities. The change in composition and function of the C-transforming microbial communities over time in effect defines the biological component of soil C stabilization. Our research was designed to test 2 general hypotheses; the first two hypotheses are discussed first; H1: Root-exudate interactions with soil microbial populations results in the expression of enzymatic capacities for macromolecular, complex carbon decomposition; and H2: Microbial communities surrounding roots undergo taxonomic succession linked to functional gene activities as roots grow, mature, and decompose in soil. Over the term of the project we made significant progress in 1) quantifying the temporal pattern of root interactions with the soil decomposing community and 2) characterizing the role of root exudates in mediating these interactions.

  11. Plant Community Response in Small Plots One Year after Treatment with Triclopyr and Endothall in Noxon Rapids Reservoir, MT, 2011

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-01

    aquatic macrophyte community of Onondaga Lake: Field survey and plant growth bioassays of lake sediments. Lake and Reservoir Management 12:73-79...Plant Community Response in Small Plots One Year after Treatment with Triclopyr and Endothall in Noxon Rapids Reservoir , MT, 2011 Ryan M...Plots One Year after Treatment with Triclopyr and Endothall in Noxon Rapids Reservoir , MT, 2011 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM

  12. A dynamic modelling approach for estimating critical loads of nitrogen based on plant community changes under a changing climate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Belyazid, Salim, E-mail: salim@belyazid.com [Belyazid Consulting and Communication, Stationsvaegen 13, SE-517 34 Bollebygd (Sweden); Kurz, Dani [EKG Geoscience, Maulbeerstrasse 14, CH-3011 Bern (Switzerland); Braun, Sabine [Institut fuer Angewandte Planzenbiologie, Sandgrubenstrasse 25, CH-4124 Schoenenbuch (Switzerland); Sverdrup, Harald [Department of Chemical Engineering, Lund University, PO Box 124, SE-221 00 Lund (Sweden); Rihm, Beat [Meteotest, Fabrikstrasse 14, CH-3012 Bern (Switzerland); Hettelingh, Jean-Paul [Coordination Centre for Effects, PO Box 303, NL-3720 AH Bilthoven (Netherlands)

    2011-03-15

    A dynamic model of forest ecosystems was used to investigate the effects of climate change, atmospheric deposition and harvest intensity on 48 forest sites in Sweden (n = 16) and Switzerland (n = 32). The model was used to investigate the feasibility of deriving critical loads for nitrogen (N) deposition based on changes in plant community composition. The simulations show that climate and atmospheric deposition have comparably important effects on N mobilization in the soil, as climate triggers the release of organically bound nitrogen stored in the soil during the elevated deposition period. Climate has the most important effect on plant community composition, underlining the fact that this cannot be ignored in future simulations of vegetation dynamics. Harvest intensity has comparatively little effect on the plant community in the long term, while it may be detrimental in the short term following cutting. This study shows: that critical loads of N deposition can be estimated using the plant community as an indicator; that future climatic changes must be taken into account; and that the definition of the reference deposition is critical for the outcome of this estimate. - Research highlights: > Plant community changes can be used to estimate critical loads of nitrogen. > Climate change is decisive for future changes of geochemistry and plant communities. > Climate change cannot be ignored in estimates of critical loads. > The model ForSAFE-Veg was successfully used to set critical loads of nitrogen. - Plant community composition can be used in dynamic modelling to estimate critical loads of nitrogen deposition, provided the appropriate reference deposition, future climate and target plant communities are defined.

  13. Preliminary Investigation of Plant Communities within Camassia quamash Habitats on the Flathead Indian Reservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ringland, M.; Diller, B.

    2014-12-01

    Wetland destruction and disruption across the country has resulted in loss of habitat and diversity, leading to major ecosystem change. This study considers Camassia quamash (blue camas) as an indicator of wetland health and, in light of recent decrease in camas populations, as the subject species for a reintroduction project due to the plant's cultural significance. The bulb from which camas grows was a major subsistence commodity for tribes living in the Pacific Northwest and was once the second most-traded item in the region after salmon. Conservation management practices recommend detailed analysis of the target species' habitat in order to determine characteristics necessary for reestablishment. It was hypothesized that certain species, specifically exotic or invasive plants, may present deleterious competition for blue camas. Plant community dynamics associated with camas populations were studied using plot and transect sampling to measure camas density and species coverage. Statistical analysis was used to calculate camas density, frequency, site diversity, and correlation of each plant species with camas. One study site at Evaro, MT was found to have the highest level of plant diversity and highest abundance of camas. However, of the 83 species identified, none were found to have significant positive or negative correlation with camas prevalence, and no data supported the hypothesis of exotic or invasive competition.

  14. Resource heterogeneity, soil fertility, and species diversity: effects of clonal species on plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eilts, J Alexander; Mittelbach, Gary G; Reynolds, Heather L; Gross, Katherine L

    2011-05-01

    Spatial heterogeneity in soil resources is widely thought to promote plant species coexistence, and this mechanism figures prominently in resource-ratio models of competition. However, most experimental studies have found that nutrient enhancements depress diversity regardless of whether nutrients are uniformly or heterogeneously applied. This mismatch between theory and empirical pattern is potentially due to an interaction between plant size and the scale of resource heterogeneity. Clonal plants that spread vegetatively via rhizomes or stolons can grow large and may integrate across resource patches, thus reducing the positive effect of small-scale resource heterogeneity on plant species richness. Many rhizomatous clonal species respond strongly to increased soil fertility, and they have been hypothesized to drive the descending arm of the hump-shaped productivity-diversity relationship in grasslands. We tested whether clonals reduce species richness in a grassland community by manipulating nutrient heterogeneity, soil fertility, and the presence of rhizomatous clonal species in a 6-year field experiment. We found strong and consistent negative effects of clonals on species richness. These effects were greatest at high fertility and when soil resources were applied at a scale at which rhizomatous clonals could integrate across resource patches. Thus, we find support for the hypothesis that plant size and resource heterogeneity interact to determine species diversity.

  15. Indigenous microfungi and plants reduce soil nonylphenol contamination and stimulate resident microfungal communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girlanda, Mariangela; Favero-Longo, Sergio Enrico; Lazzari, Alexandra; Segreto, Rossana; Perotto, Silvia; Siniscalco, Consolata

    2009-02-01

    Nonylphenol, the most abundant environmental pollutant with endocrine disrupting activity, is also toxic to plants and microorganisms, but its actual impact in the field is unknown. In this study, diversity of culturable soil microfungal and plant communities was assessed in a disused industrial estate, at three sites featuring different nonylphenol pollution. Although soil microfungal assemblages varied widely among the sites, no significant correlation was found with point pollutant concentrations, thus suggesting indirect effects of soil contamination on microfungal assemblages. The potential of indigenous fungi and plants to remove nonylphenol was assessed in mesocosm experiments. Poplar plants and a fungal consortium consisting of the most abundant strains in the nonylphenol-polluted soil samples were tested alone or in combination for their ability to reduce, under greenhouse conditions, nonylphenol levels either in a sterile, artificially contaminated sand substrate, or in two non-sterile soils from the original industrial area. Introduction of indigenous fungi consistently reduced nonylphenol levels in all substrates, up to ca. 70% depletion, whereas introduction of the plant proved to be effective only with high initial pollutant levels. In native non-sterile soil, nonylphenol depletion following fungal inoculation correlated with biostimulation of indigenous fungi, suggesting positive interactions between introduced and resident fungi.

  16. Microbial community functional structures in wastewater treatment plants as characterized by GeoChip.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaohui Wang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Biological WWTPs must be functionally stable to continuously and steadily remove contaminants which rely upon the activity of complex microbial communities. However, knowledge is still lacking in regard to microbial community functional structures and their linkages to environmental variables. AIMS: To investigate microbial community functional structures of activated sludge in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs and to understand the effects of environmental factors on their structure. METHODS: 12 activated sludge samples were collected from four WWTPs in Beijing. A comprehensive functional gene array named GeoChip 4.2 was used to determine the microbial functional genes involved in a variety of biogeochemical processes such as carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous and sulfur cycles, metal resistance, antibiotic resistance and organic contaminant degradation. RESULTS: High similarities of the microbial community functional structures were found among activated sludge samples from the four WWTPs, as shown by both diversity indices and the overlapped genes. For individual gene category, such as egl, amyA, lip, nirS, nirK, nosZ, ureC, ppx, ppk, aprA, dsrA, sox and benAB, there were a number of microorganisms shared by all 12 samples. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA showed that the microbial functional patterns were highly correlated with water temperature, dissolved oxygen (DO, ammonia concentrations and loading rate of chemical oxygen demand (COD. Based on the variance partitioning analyses (VPA, a total of 53% of microbial community variation from GeoChip data can be explained by wastewater characteristics (25% and operational parameters (23%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: This study provided an overall picture of microbial community functional structures of activated sludge in WWTPs and discerned the linkages between microbial communities and environmental variables in WWTPs.

  17. Life cycle and regeneration niches of herbaceous plants in forest communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. A. Dubrovnaya

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The criterion for steady state species in the community is the possibility of a complete turnover generation. Ontogenetic structure of Fragaria vesca and Trientalis europaea cenopopulations in phytocenoses of different seral stages of forest community depended on the ecological-coenotic conditions. Cenopopulations of species with a high frequency of individuals of generative period were formed on disturbed forest communities, however, Frsagaria vesca and Trientalis europaea seedlings in disturbed forest areas were not present. For these species, regeneration niches or microbioloby were the optimal conditions for seed germination and successful completion of the initial stages of ontogenesis, dedicated to the cenopopulations of phytocenoses climax serial stages. In holistic forest communities, species showed strategy type of patients. This allowed the species to be kept on a previously developed site. Invasive-regressive ontogenetic structure of Frsagaria vesca and Trientalis europaea cenopopulations was formed in climax stages of forest communities. However, this type of ontogenetically structure of cenopopulations reflected the survival of seedlings of species in the community, but did not represent, the tenuous state of the population. The stages of the life cycle of Fragaria vesca and Trientalis europaea were confined to different cenopopulations, where they developed the necessary conditions for the flow of the hotel stages of ontogenesis. A set of populations, within which is carried out the full turnover of the generation of Frsagaria vesca and Trientalis europaea, formed a correct idea about the status of the species in the community. In terms of a mosaic of phytocenosis cenopopulation of Platanthera bifolia was presented cenopopulations loci. The development of plants within loci differed. A variety of factors in heterogeneous pine forest determined by the separation in space of the processes of formation of seeds and survival of

  18. Plant genetics and interspecific competitive interactions determine ectomycorrhizal fungal community responses to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gehring, Catherine; Flores-Rentería, Dulce; Sthultz, Christopher M; Leonard, Tierra M; Flores-Rentería, Lluvia; Whipple, Amy V; Whitham, Thomas G

    2014-03-01

    Although the importance of plant-associated microbes is increasingly recognized, little is known about the biotic and abiotic factors that determine the composition of that microbiome. We examined the influence of plant genetic variation, and two stressors, one biotic and one abiotic, on the ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungal community of a dominant tree species, Pinus edulis. During three periods across 16 years that varied in drought severity, we sampled the EM fungal communities of a wild stand of P. edulis in which genetically based resistance and susceptibility to insect herbivory was linked with drought tolerance and the abundance of competing shrubs. We found that the EM fungal communities of insect-susceptible trees remained relatively constant as climate dried, while those of insect-resistant trees shifted significantly, providing evidence of a genotype by environment interaction. Shrub removal altered the EM fungal communities of insect-resistant trees, but not insect-susceptible trees, also a genotype by environment interaction. The change in the EM fungal community of insect-resistant trees following shrub removal was associated with greater shoot growth, evidence of competitive release. However, shrub removal had a 7-fold greater positive effect on the shoot growth of insect-susceptible trees than insect-resistant trees when shrub density was taken into account. Insect-susceptible trees had higher growth than insect-resistant trees, consistent with the hypothesis that the EM fungi associated with susceptible trees were superior mutualists. These complex, genetic-based interactions among species (tree-shrub-herbivore-fungus) argue that the ultimate impacts of climate change are both ecological and evolutionary. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Succession Stages of Tundra Plant Communities Following Wildfire Disturbance in Arctic Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breen, A. L.; Hollingsworth, T. N.; Mack, M. C.; Jones, B. M.

    2015-12-01

    Rapid climate change is affecting climate-sensitive disturbance regimes throughout the world. In particular, the impacts of climate change on Arctic disturbance regimes are poorly understood because landscape-scale disturbances are infrequent or occur in remote localities. Wildfire in Arctic Alaska is presently limited by ignition source and favorable burn weather. With rapid climate change, a lengthening growing season, and subsequent increase in plant biomass and productivity, wildfire frequency and annual area burned in tundra ecosystems is expected to increase over the next century. Yet, post-fire tundra vegetation succession is inadequately characterized except at a few point locations. We identify succession stages of tussock tundra communities following wildfire using a chronosequence of 65 relevés in 10 tundra fire scars (1971-2011) and nearby unburned tundra from sites on the Seward Peninsula and northern foothills of the Brooks Range. We used the Braun-Blanquét approach to classify plant communities, and applied nonmetric multidimentional scaling (NMDS) to identify ecological gradients underlying community differentiation. The ordination revealed a clear differentiation between unburned and burned tundra communities. Ecological gradients, reflected by ordination axes, correspond to fire history (e.g., time since last fire, number of times burned, burn severity) and a complex productivity gradient. Post-fire species richness is less than unburned tundra; primarily reflected as a decrease in lichen species and turnover of bryophyte species immediately post-fire. Species richness of grasses increases post-fire and is greatest in communities that burned more than once in the past 30 years. Shrub cover and total aboveground biomass are greatest in repeat burn sites. We review and discuss our results focusing on the implications of a changing tundra fire regime, its effect on vegetation succession trajectories, and subsequent rates of carbon sequestration and

  20. Bacterial community of cushion plant Thylacospermum ceaspitosum on elevational gradient in the Himalayan cold desert.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klára eŘeháková

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available 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 Thylacospermum ceaspitosum in a xeric environment and

  1. Community exposure to asbestos from a vermiculite exfoliation plant in NE Minneapolis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, James; Pratt, Gregory C; Johnson, Jean; Messing, Rita B

    2006-11-01

    Western Mineral Products/W. R. Grace operated a vermiculite plant in a mixed industrial/residential area of northeast Minneapolis from 1936 to 1989. The plant processed vermiculite ore contaminated with amphibole asbestos from a mine in Libby, MT. Air monitoring in the early 1970s found fiber concentrations in excess of 10 fibers per cubic centimeter of air (f/cc), indicating that worker exposure to asbestos was occasionally 100 times the current occupational standard. Residents of the surrounding community also had direct contact with vermiculite processing wastes (containing up to 10% amphibole asbestos) that were made freely available. Children played on waste piles and neighborhood residents hauled the wastes away for home use. In total, 259 contaminated residential properties have been found to date. Reported emission factors and plant process data were used as inputs to model airborne emissions from the plant over several operating scenarios using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ISC-Prime model. Results estimate short-term air concentrations of asbestos fibers in residential areas nearest the plant may have at times exceeded current occupational standards. Exposure estimates for other pathways were derived primarily from assessments done in Libby by the U.S. EPA. The Northeast Minneapolis Community Vermiculite Investigation (NMCVI) was conducted by the Minnesota Department of Health to identify and characterize the exposures of a cohort of over 6000 people who live or lived in Northeast Minneapolis and may have been exposed to asbestos. This cohort is now being investigated in a respiratory health screening study conducted by the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Health.

  2. Crops in silico: A community wide multi-scale computational modeling framework of plant canopies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srinivasan, V.; Christensen, A.; Borkiewic, K.; Yiwen, X.; Ellis, A.; Panneerselvam, B.; Kannan, K.; Shrivastava, S.; Cox, D.; Hart, J.; Marshall-Colon, A.; Long, S.

    2016-12-01

    Current crop models predict a looming gap between supply and demand for primary foodstuffs over the next 100 years. While significant yield increases were achieved in major food crops during the early years of the green revolution, the current rates of yield increases are insufficient to meet future projected food demand. Furthermore, with projected reduction in arable land, decrease in water availability, and increasing impacts of climate change on future food production, innovative technologies are required to sustainably improve crop yield. To meet these challenges, we are developing Crops in silico (Cis), a biologically informed, multi-scale, computational modeling framework that can facilitate whole plant simulations of crop systems. The Cis framework is capable of linking models of gene networks, protein synthesis, metabolic pathways, physiology, growth, and development in order to investigate crop response to different climate scenarios and resource constraints. This modeling framework will provide the mechanistic details to generate testable hypotheses toward accelerating directed breeding and engineering efforts to increase future food security. A primary objective for building such a framework is to create synergy among an inter-connected community of biologists and modelers to create a realistic virtual plant. This framework advantageously casts the detailed mechanistic understanding of individual plant processes across various scales in a common scalable framework that makes use of current advances in high performance and parallel computing. We are currently designing a user friendly interface that will make this tool equally accessible to biologists and computer scientists. Critically, this framework will provide the community with much needed tools for guiding future crop breeding and engineering, understanding the emergent implications of discoveries at the molecular level for whole plant behavior, and improved prediction of plant and ecosystem

  3. Phytoliths as a tool to track plant community changes after fire regime shift

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirchholtes, R.; van Mourik, J. M.; Johnson, B. R.

    2016-12-01

    Anthropogenically induced changes to the historical fire regime are excellent analogues to study the dynamics of terrestrial ecosystem responses to present-day environmental changes. Fire suppression and loss of indigenous burning practices in the Willamette Valley, Oregon (USA) has led to near disappearance of the Oregon white oak savanna. The specific goal of this study was to better understand the pace and character with which the Oregon oak savannas are disappearing. Under suppressed fire regimes the shade-intolerant Garry oaks (Quercus garryana) are outcompeted by Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). As a consequence, the Oregon white oak savanna has been reduced to habitat loss and fragmentation of the many savanna-dependent plant and animal species, this system does capture a long-term continuous record of the plant community response to ecological disturbances. Because conventional indicators used in floristic reconstructions (pollen, spores etc.) are seldom preserved in the dry, oxidized sediments of savannas, we used phytoliths to establish the change in plant communities. Phytoliths are small yet robust silica particles produced by most plants. Many phytoliths take on cell shapes diagnostic of specific plant lineages, acting as indicators of their past presence. By reconstructing the vegetation patterns at the Jim's Creek Research Area using phytoliths, we confirm the pattern of rapid tree encroachment. In addition to grasses, the phytolith assemblages which represent the landscape from about 150 years ago, also document the presence of pines and firs. This suggests that (1) the Willamette Valley savannas did not exclusively consist of grass and oaks and (2) it took less than 150 years to change from and open landscape to a densely forested one. Under a warming climate and changing precipitation patterns, reducing fire risk, fire intensity and fuel loading is critical. Combined with increased attention to hydrological impacts of denser forests, an

  4. 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

  5. Land-use legacies and present fire regimes interact to mediate herbivory by altering the neighboring plant community.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hahn, Philip G. [University of Wisconsin; Orrock, John L. [University of Wisconsin

    2015-04-01

    Past and present human activities, such as historic agriculture and fire suppression, are widespread and can create depauperate plant communities. Although many studies show that herbivory on focal plants depends on the density of herbivores or the composition of the surrounding plant community, it is unclear whether anthropogenic changes to plant communities alter herbivory. We tested the hypothesis that human activities that alter the plant community lead to subsequent changes in herbivory. At 20 sites distributed across 80 300 hectares, we conducted a field experiment that manipulated insect herbivore access (full exclosures and pseudo-exclosures) to four focal plant species in longleaf pine woodlands with diff erent land-use histories (post-agricultural sites or non-agricultural sites) and degrees of fi re frequency (frequent and infrequent). Plant cover, particularly herbaceous cover, was lower in post-agricultural and fi re suppressed woodlands. Density of the dominant insect herbivore at our site (grasshoppers) was positively related to plant cover. Herbivore access reduced biomass of the palatable forb Solidago odora in frequently burned post-agricultural sites and in infrequently burned non-agricultural woodlands and increased mortality of another forb (Pityopsis graminifolia ), but did not aff ect two other less palatable species ( Schizachyrium scoparium and Tephrosia virginiana ). Herbivory on S. odora exhibited a hump-shaped response to plant cover, with low herbivory at low and high levels of plant cover. Herbivore density had a weak negative effect on herbivory. These findings suggest that changes in plant cover related to past and present human activities can modify damage rates on focal S. odora plants by altering grasshopper foraging behavior rather than by altering local grasshopper density. The resulting changes in herbivory may have the potential to limit natural recovery or restoration eff orts by reducing the establishment or performance of

  6. [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.

  7. Interspecific variation of the bacterial community structure in the phyllosphere of the three major plant components of mangrove forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dias, Armando Cavalcante Franco; Taketani, Rodrigo Gouveia; Andreote, Fernando Dini; Luvizotto, Danice Mazzer; da Silva, João Luis; Nascimento, Rosely dos Santos; de Melo, Itamar Soares

    2012-01-01

    Mangrove forests encompass a group of trees species that inhabit the intertidal zones, where soil is characterized by the high salinity and low availability of oxygen. The phyllosphere of these trees represent the habitat provided on the aboveground parts of plants, supporting in a global scale, a large and complex microbial community. The structure of phyllosphere communities reflects immigration, survival and growth of microbial colonizers, which is influenced by numerous environmental factors in addition to leaf physical and chemical properties. Here, a combination of culture-base methods with PCR-DGGE was applied to test whether local or plant specific factors shape the bacterial community of the phyllosphere from three plant species (Avicenia shaueriana, Laguncularia racemosa and Rhizophora mangle), found in two mangroves. The number of bacteria in the phyllosphere of these plants varied between 3.62 x 104 in A. schaeriana and 6.26 x 103 in R. mangle. The results obtained by PCR-DGGE and isolation approaches were congruent and demonstrated that each plant species harbor specific bacterial communities in their leaves surfaces. Moreover, the ordination of environmental factors (mangrove and plant species), by redundancy analysis (RDA), also indicated that the selection exerted by plant species is higher than mangrove location on bacterial communities at phyllosphere. PMID:24031877

  8. Landscape connectivity strengthens local-regional richness relationships in successional plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damschen, Ellen I; Brudvig, Lars A

    2012-04-01

    Local species diversity is maintained over ecological time by a balance between dispersal and species interactions. Local-regional species richness relationships are often used to investigate the relative importance of these two processes and the scales at which they operate. For communities undergoing succession, theory predicts a temporal progression in local-regional species richness relationships: from no relationship to positive linear to saturating. However, observational tests have been mixed, and experiments have been rare. Using a replicated large-scale experiment, we evaluate the impact of two dispersal-governing processes at the regional scale, connectivity and shape of the region (i.e., patches), on the progression of local-regional species richness relationships for plant communities undergoing succession. Regional connectivity accelerates the transition from no relationship to a positive linear relationship, while the shape of the region has no consistent effect nine years post-disturbance. Our results experimentally demonstrate the importance of dispersal in structuring local-regional species richness relationships over time and suggest that conservation corridors among regions can increase local diversity through regional enrichment of plant communities undergoing reassembly.

  9. Pepino (Solanum muricatum) planting increased diversity and abundance of bacterial communities in karst area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Jinxiang; Yang, Hui; Long, Xiaohua; Liu, Zhaopu; Rengel, Zed

    2016-02-01

    Soil nutrients and microbial communities are the two key factors in revegetation of barren environments. Ecological stoichiometry plays an important role in ecosystem function and limitation, but the relationships between above- and belowground stoichiometry and the bacterial communities in a typical karst region are poorly understood. We used pepino (Solanum muricatum) to examine the stoichiometric traits between soil and foliage, and determine diversity and abundance of bacteria in the karst soil. The soil had a relatively high pH, low fertility, and coarse texture. Foliar N:P ratio and the correlations with soil nitrogen and phosphorus suggested nitrogen limitation. The planting of pepino increased soil urease activity and decreased catalase activity. Higher diversity of bacteria was determined in the pepino rhizosphere than bulk soil using a next-generation, Illumina-based sequencing approach. Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes were the dominant phyla in all samples, accounting for more than 80% of the reads. On a genus level, all 625 detected genera were found in all rhizosphere and bulk soils, and 63 genera showed significant differences among samples. Higher Shannon and Chao 1 indices in the rhizosphere than bulk soil indicated that planting of pepino increased diversity and abundance of bacterial communities in karst area.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-07-01

    In initial ecosystems, concentrations of all macro- and micronutrients can be considered as extremely low. Plant litter therefore strongly influences the development of a degrader's food web and is an important source for C and N input into soil in such ecosystems. In the present study, a 13C litter decomposition field experiment was performed for 30 weeks in initial soils from a post-mining area near the city of Cottbus (Germany). Two of this region's dominant but contrasting pioneering plant species (Lotus corniculatus L. and Calamagrostis epigejos L.) were chosen to investigate the effects of litter quality on the litter decomposing microbial food web in initially nutrient-poor substrates. The results clearly indicate the importance of litter quality, as indicated by its N content, its bioavailability for the degradation process and the development of microbial communities in the detritusphere and soil. The degradation of the L. corniculatus litter, which had a low C / N ratio, was fast and showed pronounced changes in the microbial community structure 1-4 weeks after litter addition. The degradation of the C. epigejos litter material was slow and microbial community changes mainly occurred between 4 and 30 weeks after litter addition to the soil. However, for both litter materials a clear indication of the importance of fungi for the degradation process was observed both in terms of fungal abundance and activity (13C incorporation activity)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Esperschütz

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available In initial ecosystems, concentrations of all macro- and micronutrients can be considered as extremely low. Plant litter therefore strongly influences the development of a degrader's food web and is an important source for C and N input into soil in such ecosystems. In the present study, a 13C litter decomposition field experiment was performed for 30 weeks in initial soils from a post-mining area near the city of Cottbus (Germany. Two of this region's dominant but contrasting pioneering plant species (Lotus corniculatus L. and Calamagrostis epigejos L. were chosen to investigate the effects of litter quality on the litter decomposing microbial food web in initially nutrient-poor substrates. The results clearly indicate the importance of litter quality, as indicated by its N content, its bioavailability for the degradation process and the development of microbial communities in the detritusphere and soil. The degradation of the L. corniculatus litter, which had a low C / N ratio, was fast and showed pronounced changes in the microbial community structure 1–4 weeks after litter addition. The degradation of the C. epigejos litter material was slow and microbial community changes mainly occurred between 4 and 30 weeks after litter addition to the soil. However, for both litter materials a clear indication of the importance of fungi for the degradation process was observed both in terms of fungal abundance and activity (13C incorporation activity

  12. 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.)

  13. 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.

  14. Assessing metal exposures in a community near a cement plant in the Northeast U.S.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Zhao; Bank, Michael S; Spengler, John D

    2015-01-19

    Cement production is a major source of metals and metalloids in the environment, while exposures to metals and metalloids may impact human health in the surrounding communities. We recruited 185 participants living in the vicinity of a cement plant in the northeast U.S., and measured the levels of aluminum (Al), arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), and selenium (Se) in blood and Hg in hair samples from them. A questionnaire was used to assess potential sources of Hg exposure. Multivariate regressions and spatial analyses were performed to evaluate the relative importance of different routes of exposures. The metal concentrations in blood or hair samples of our study participants were comparable to the U.S. general or regional population. Smoking contributed significantly to Cd and Pb exposures, and seafood consumption contributed significantly to Hg and As exposures, while variables related to the cement plant were not significantly associated with metal concentrations. Our results suggest that our study population was not at elevated health risk due to metal exposures, and that the contribution of the cement plant to metal exposures in the surrounding community was minimal.

  15. 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.

  16. Location of Bioelectricity Plants in the Madrid Community Based on Triticale Crop: A Multicriteria Methodology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Romero

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a work whose objective is, first, to quantify the potential of the triticale biomass existing in each of the agricultural regions in the Madrid Community through a crop simulation model based on regression techniques and multiple correlation. Second, a methodology for defining which area has the best conditions for the installation of electricity plants from biomass has been described and applied. The study used a methodology based on compromise programming in a discrete multicriteria decision method (MDM context. To make a ranking, the following criteria were taken into account: biomass potential, electric power infrastructure, road networks, protected spaces, and urban nuclei surfaces. The results indicate that, in the case of the Madrid Community, the Campiña region is the most suitable for setting up plants powered by biomass. A minimum of 17,339.9 tons of triticale will be needed to satisfy the requirements of a 2.2 MW power plant. The minimum range of action for obtaining the biomass necessary in Campiña region would be 6.6 km around the municipality of Algete, based on Geographic Information Systems. The total biomass which could be made available in considering this range in this region would be 18,430.68 t.

  17. Performance of quantitative vegetation sampling methods across gradients of cover in Great Basin plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilliod, David S.; Arkle, Robert S.

    2013-01-01

    Resource managers and scientists need efficient, reliable methods for quantifying vegetation to conduct basic research, evaluate land management actions, and monitor trends in habitat conditions. We examined three methods for quantifying vegetation in 1-ha plots among different plant communities in the northern Great Basin: photography-based grid-point intercept (GPI), line-point intercept (LPI), and point-quarter (PQ). We also evaluated each method for within-plot subsampling adequacy and effort requirements relative to information gain. We found that, for most functional groups, percent cover measurements collected with the use of LPI, GPI, and PQ methods were strongly correlated. These correlations were even stronger when we used data from the upper canopy only (i.e., top “hit” of pin flags) in LPI to estimate cover. PQ was best at quantifying cover of sparse plants such as shrubs in early successional habitats. As cover of a given functional group decreased within plots, the variance of the cover estimate increased substantially, which required more subsamples per plot (i.e., transect lines, quadrats) to achieve reliable precision. For GPI, we found that that six–nine quadrats per hectare were sufficient to characterize the vegetation in most of the plant communities sampled. All three methods reasonably characterized the vegetation in our plots, and each has advantages depending on characteristics of the vegetation, such as cover or heterogeneity, study goals, precision of measurements required, and efficiency needed.

  18. Community analysis of plant biomass-degrading microorganisms from Obsidian Pool, Yellowstone National Park.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vishnivetskaya, Tatiana A; Hamilton-Brehm, Scott D; Podar, Mircea; Mosher, Jennifer J; Palumbo, Anthony V; Phelps, Tommy J; Keller, Martin; Elkins, James G

    2015-02-01

    The conversion of lignocellulosic biomass into biofuels can potentially be improved by employing robust microorganisms and enzymes that efficiently deconstruct plant polysaccharides at elevated temperatures. Many of the geothermal features of Yellowstone National Park (YNP) are surrounded by vegetation providing a source of allochthonic material to support heterotrophic microbial communities adapted to utilize plant biomass as a primary carbon and energy source. In this study, a well-known hot spring environment, Obsidian Pool (OBP), was examined for potential biomass-active microorganisms using cultivation-independent and enrichment techniques. Analysis of 33,684 archaeal and 43,784 bacterial quality-filtered 16S rRNA gene pyrosequences revealed that archaeal diversity in the main pool was higher than bacterial; however, in the vegetated area, overall bacterial diversity was significantly higher. Of notable interest was a flooded depression adjacent to OBP supporting a stand of Juncus tweedyi, a heat-tolerant rush commonly found growing near geothermal features in YNP. The microbial community from heated sediments surrounding the plants was enriched in members of the Firmicutes including potentially (hemi)cellulolytic bacteria from the genera Clostridium, Anaerobacter, Caloramator, Caldicellulosiruptor, and Thermoanaerobacter. Enrichment cultures containing model and real biomass substrates were established at a wide range of temperatures (55-85 °C). Microbial activity was observed up to 80 °C on all substrates including Avicel, xylan, switchgrass, and Populus sp. Independent of substrate, Caloramator was enriched at lower (65 °C) temperatures.

  19. Moderation is best: effects of grazing intensity on plant--flower visitor networks in Mediterranean communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazaro, Amparo; Tscheulin, Thomas; Devalez, Jelle; Nakas, Georgios; Stefanaki, Anastasia; Hanlidou, Effie; Petanidou, Theodora

    2016-04-01

    The structure of pollination networks is an important indicator of ecosystem stability and functioning. Livestock grazing is a frequent land use practice that directly affects the abundance and diversity of flowers and pollinators and, therefore, may indirectly affect the structure of pollination networks. We studied how grazing intensity affected the structure of plant-flower visitor networks along a wide range of grazing intensities by sheep and goats, using data from 11 Mediterranean plant-flower visitor communities from Lesvos Island, Greece. We hypothesized that intermediate grazing might result in higher diversity as predicted by the Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis, which could in turn confer more stability to the networks. Indeed, we found that networks at intermediate grazing intensities were larger, more generalized, more modular, and contained more diverse and even interactions. Despite general responses at the network level, the number of interactions and selectiveness of particular flower visitor and plant taxa in the networks responded differently to grazing intensity, presumably as a consequence of variation in the abundance of different taxa with grazing. Our results highlight the benefit of maintaining moderate levels of livestock grazing by sheep and goats to preserve the complexity and biodiversity of the rich Mediterranean communities, which have a long history of grazing by these domestic animals.

  20. Habitat fragmentation, tree diversity, and plant invasion interact to structure forest caterpillar communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stireman, John O; Devlin, Hilary; Doyle, Annie L

    2014-09-01

    Habitat fragmentation and invasive species are two of the most prominent threats to terrestrial ecosystems. Few studies have examined how these factors interact to influence the diversity of natural communities, particularly primary consumers. Here, we examined the effects of forest fragmentation and invasion of exotic honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii, Caprifoliaceae) on the abundance and diversity of the dominant forest herbivores: woody plant-feeding Lepidoptera. We systematically surveyed understory caterpillars along transects in 19 forest fragments over multiple years in southwestern Ohio and evaluated how fragment area, isolation, tree diversity, invasion by honeysuckle and interactions among these factors influence species richness, diversity and abundance. We found strong seasonal variation in caterpillar communities, which responded differently to fragmentation and invasion. Abundance and richness increased with fragment area, but these effects were mitigated by high levels of honeysuckle, tree diversity, landscape forest cover, and large recent changes in area. Honeysuckle infestation was generally associated with decreased caterpillar abundance and diversity, but these effects were strongly dependent on other fragment traits. Effects of honeysuckle on abundance were moderated when fragment area, landscape forest cover and tree diversity were high. In contrast, negative effects of honeysuckle invasion on caterpillar diversity were most pronounced in fragments with high tree diversity and large recent increases in area. Our results illustrate the complex interdependencies of habitat fragmentation, plant diversity and plant invasion in their effects on primary consumers and emphasize the need to consider these processes in concert to understand the consequences of anthropogenic habitat change for biodiversity.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Influence of grazing and fire frequency on small-scale plant community structure and resource variability in native tallgrass prairie

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veen, G. F. (Ciska); Blair, John M.; Smith, Melinda D.; Collins, Scott L.

    2008-01-01

    In grasslands worldwide, grazing by ungulates and periodic fires are important forces affecting resource availability and plant community structure. It is not clear, however, whether changes in community structure are the direct effects of the disturbance (i.e. fire and grazing) or are mediated indi

  4. Medicinal plants used to treat the most frequent diseases encountered in Ambalabe rural community, Eastern Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rakotoarivelo, Nivo H; Rakotoarivony, Fortunat; Ramarosandratana, Aro Vonjy; Jeannoda, Vololoniaina H; Kuhlman, Alyse R; Randrianasolo, Armand; Bussmann, Rainer W

    2015-09-15

    Traditional medicine remains the only health care available in many rural areas in Madagascar like the rural community of Ambalabe, located in a very remote area in the eastern part of the country. With limited access to modern medicine, the local population uses medicinal plants to treat most diseases. In this study, we aimed to inventory medicinal plants used by local people and how those relate to the treatment of the most frequent diseases encountered in Ambalabe. We interviewed participants in order to identify the most frequent diseases in the region and the medicinal plants used to treat them. The local physician was asked about the most frequent diseases, and ethnobotanical surveys to record medicinal plants and their uses, using semi-structured interviews and free listing, were conducted among 193 informants in local villages, of which 54 % were men and 46 % were women, ageing from 16 to 86 years. The local names, the uses of each plant species and the way they are prepared and administered were recorded and accompanied by herbarium specimens for identification. We also interviewed four traditional healers to elicit more details on the preparation and the use of plants. Our research allowed us to identify six most frequent diseases, namely diarrhea, malaria, stomach-ache, cough, bilharzia and dysentery. Among 209 plant species identified as having medicinal use, 83 species belonging to 49 families and 77 genera were used to treat these diseases. Our analyses highlighted the 11 commonly used species for their treatment, and also 16 species with a high fidelity level (FL ≥ 75 %) for each ailment. Diarrhea is one of the diseases with high number of species recorded. This study highlighted the closed relationship between people in Ambalabe and plant species, especially when faced with frequent diseases. However, most of the species used were collected in the surroundings of the villages. Few species were from Vohibe forest in which a management system on

  5. Grid connected integrated community energy system. Phase II: final stage 2 report. Outline specifications of cogeneration plant; continued

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1978-03-22

    Specifications are presented for the electrical equipment, site preparation, building construction and mechanical systems for a dual-purpose power plant to be located on the University of Minnesota campus. This power plant will supply steam and electrical power to a grid-connected Integrated Community Energy System. (LCL)

  6. Grid connected integrated community energy system. Phase II: final stage 2 report. Preliminary design of cogeneration plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1978-03-22

    The preliminary design of a dual-purpose power plant to be located on the University of Minnesota is described. This coal-fired plant will produce steam and electric power for a grid-connected Integrated Community Energy System. (LCL)

  7. Does seeding after severe forest fires in western USA mitigate negative impacts on soils and plant communities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. Peppin; P. Fule; J. Beyers; C. Sieg; M. Hunter

    2011-01-01

    Broadcast seeding is one of the most widely used post-wildfire emergency response treatments intended to reduce soil erosion, increase vegetative ground cover, and minimize establishment and spread of non-native plant species. However, seeding treatments can also have negative effects such as competition with recovering native plant communities and inadvertent...

  8. WHEAT LEAF RUST SEVERITY AS AFFECTED BY PLANT DENSITY AND SPECIES PROPORTION IN SIMPLE COMMUNITIES OF WHEAT AND WILD OATS

    Science.gov (United States)

    While it is generally accepted that dense stands of plants exacerbate epidemics caused by foliar pathogens, there is little experimental evidence to support this view. We grew model plant communities consisting of wheat and wild oats at different densities and proportions and exp...

  9. WHEAT LEAF RUST SEVERITY AS AFFECTED BY PLANT DENSITY AND SPECIES PROPORTION IN SIMPLE COMMUNITIES OF WHEAT AND WILD OATS

    Science.gov (United States)

    While it is generally accepted that dense stands of plants exacerbate epidemics caused by foliar pathogens, there is little experimental evidence to support this view. We grew model plant communities consisting of wheat and wild oats at different densities and proportions and exp...

  10. Modelling the effect of fertiliser, mowing, disturbance and width on the biodiversity of plant communities of field boundaries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schippers, P.; Joenje, W.

    2002-01-01

    To evaluate the effects of nitrogen, disturbance, mowing and boundary width on the composition of plant communities of field boundaries a spatial plant competition model was developed that incorporates competition for nitrogen and light as well as mineralisation and population dynamical processes. T

  11. Ethnobotanical study on medicinal plants in the community of Curral Velho, Luís Correia, Piauí, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jairla Lima Araujo

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The use of plants as medication in the state of Piauí, Brazil, has been a common practice passed from generation to generation. This study aimed to analyze the use of medicinal plants by residents of the community Curral Velho, in the municipality of Luís Correia, northern Piauí, Brazil, contributing to register and preserve the traditional botanical knowledge of the community under study and, as a consequence, the state’s. The survey of plant species used as a therapeutic resource was conducted through interviews with a semi-structured questionnaire applied to 38 informants. The plants were collected for scientific identification. Use value (UV, informant consensus factor (ICF, and relative importance (RI of species were determined. We registered 62 species, belonging to 38 families and 57 genera, and the Fabaceae family stood out. Aristolochia triangularis, Petiveria alliaceae, and Stachytarpheta cayennensis had the highest use values (UV = 3.0, and Turnera subulata was the most versatile. Out of the 10 bodily systems identified, those with higher concentration of medicinal species are related to the most ordinary illnesses as general signs (inflammation, fever, respiratory tract diseases, and genitourinary tract diseases. This survey enabled the identification of some relevant aspects concerning the use and knowledge of medicinal plants in the community under study. The diversity of medicinal plants known and the availability of plants in the very community suggest a correlation between use/knowledge of medicinal plants and their availability.

  12. Mitigating Community Impacts of Energy Development: Some Examples for Coal and Nuclear Generating Plants in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peelle, Elizabeth

    The Hartsville, Tennessee nuclear reactor site, the coal plant at Wheatland, Wyoming, and the nuclear plant at Skagit, Washington have mitigation plans developed in response to a federal, state, and local regulatory agency, respectively; the three mitigation plans aim at internalizing community-level social costs and benefits during the…

  13. Ethnobotany of Indigenous Saraguros: Medicinal Plants Used by Community Healers “Hampiyachakkuna” in the San Lucas Parish, Southern Ecuador

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José M. Andrade

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper reports the results of an ethnobotanical survey on the use of medicinal plants by community healers “Hampiyachakkuna” in the San Lucas Parish, province of Loja, Ecuador. A particular ethnic group, the indigenous Saraguros, inhabits this region. This study reports 183 plant species used in 75 different curative therapies by the Saraguro healers.

  14. Long-term exposure to elevated CO2 enhances plant community stability by suppressing dominant plant species in a mixed-grass prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zelikova, Tamara Jane; Blumenthal, Dana M; Williams, David G; Souza, Lara; LeCain, Daniel R; Morgan, Jack; Pendall, Elise

    2014-10-28

    Climate controls vegetation distribution across the globe, and some vegetation types are more vulnerable to climate change, whereas others are more resistant. Because resistance and resilience can influence ecosystem stability and determine how communities and ecosystems respond to climate change, we need to evaluate the potential for resistance as we predict future ecosystem function. In a mixed-grass prairie in the northern Great Plains, we used a large field experiment to test the effects of elevated CO2, warming, and summer irrigation on plant community structure and productivity, linking changes in both to stability in plant community composition and biomass production. We show that the independent effects of CO2 and warming on community composition and productivity depend on interannual variation in precipitation and that the effects of elevated CO2 are not limited to water saving because they differ from those of irrigation. We also show that production in this mixed-grass prairie ecosystem is not only relatively resistant to interannual variation in precipitation, but also rendered more stable under elevated CO2 conditions. This increase in production stability is the result of altered community dominance patterns: Community evenness increases as dominant species decrease in biomass under elevated CO2. In many grasslands that serve as rangelands, the economic value of the ecosystem is largely dependent on plant community composition and the relative abundance of key forage species. Thus, our results have implications for how we manage native grasslands in the face of changing climate.

  15. Plants, Birds and Butterflies: Short-Term Responses of Species Communities to Climate Warming Vary by Taxon and with Altitude

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, Tobias; Plattner, Matthias; Amrhein, Valentin

    2014-01-01

    As a consequence of climate warming, species usually shift their distribution towards higher latitudes or altitudes. Yet, it is unclear how different taxonomic groups may respond to climate warming over larger altitudinal ranges. Here, we used data from the national biodiversity monitoring program of Switzerland, collected over an altitudinal range of 2500 m. Within the short period of eight years (2003–2010), we found significant shifts in communities of vascular plants, butterflies and birds. At low altitudes, communities of all species groups changed towards warm-dwelling species, corresponding to an average uphill shift of 8 m, 38 m and 42 m in plant, butterfly and bird communities, respectively. However, rates of community changes decreased with altitude in plants and butterflies, while bird communities changed towards warm-dwelling species at all altitudes. We found no decrease in community variation with respect to temperature niches of species, suggesting that climate warming has not led to more homogenous communities. The different community changes depending on altitude could not be explained by different changes of air temperatures, since during the 16 years between 1995 and 2010, summer temperatures in Switzerland rose by about 0.07°C per year at all altitudes. We discuss that land-use changes or increased disturbances may have prevented alpine plant and butterfly communities from changing towards warm-dwelling species. However, the findings are also consistent with the hypothesis that unlike birds, many alpine plant species in a warming climate could find suitable habitats within just a few metres, due to the highly varied surface of alpine landscapes. Our results may thus support the idea that for plants and butterflies and on a short temporal scale, alpine landscapes are safer places than lowlands in a warming world. PMID:24416144

  16. Plants, birds and butterflies: short-term responses of species communities to climate warming vary by taxon and with altitude.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias Roth

    Full Text Available As a consequence of climate warming, species usually shift their distribution towards higher latitudes or altitudes. Yet, it is unclear how different taxonomic groups may respond to climate warming over larger altitudinal ranges. Here, we used data from the national biodiversity monitoring program of Switzerland, collected over an altitudinal range of 2500 m. Within the short period of eight years (2003-2010, we found significant shifts in communities of vascular plants, butterflies and birds. At low altitudes, communities of all species groups changed towards warm-dwelling species, corresponding to an average uphill shift of 8 m, 38 m and 42 m in plant, butterfly and bird communities, respectively. However, rates of community changes decreased with altitude in plants and butterflies, while bird communities changed towards warm-dwelling species at all altitudes. We found no decrease in community variation with respect to temperature niches of species, suggesting that climate warming has not led to more homogenous communities. The different community changes depending on altitude could not be explained by different changes of air temperatures, since during the 16 years between 1995 and 2010, summer temperatures in Switzerland rose by about 0.07°C per year at all altitudes. We discuss that land-use changes or increased disturbances may have prevented alpine plant and butterfly communities from changing towards warm-dwelling species. However, the findings are also consistent with the hypothesis that unlike birds, many alpine plant species in a warming climate could find suitable habitats within just a few metres, due to the highly varied surface of alpine landscapes. Our results may thus support the idea that for plants and butterflies and on a short temporal scale, alpine landscapes are safer places than lowlands in a warming world.

  17. Plants, birds and butterflies: short-term responses of species communities to climate warming vary by taxon and with altitude.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, Tobias; Plattner, Matthias; Amrhein, Valentin

    2014-01-01

    As a consequence of climate warming, species usually shift their distribution towards higher latitudes or altitudes. Yet, it is unclear how different taxonomic groups may respond to climate warming over larger altitudinal ranges. Here, we used data from the national biodiversity monitoring program of Switzerland, collected over an altitudinal range of 2500 m. Within the short period of eight years (2003-2010), we found significant shifts in communities of vascular plants, butterflies and birds. At low altitudes, communities of all species groups changed towards warm-dwelling species, corresponding to an average uphill shift of 8 m, 38 m and 42 m in plant, butterfly and bird communities, respectively. However, rates of community changes decreased with altitude in plants and butterflies, while bird communities changed towards warm-dwelling species at all altitudes. We found no decrease in community variation with respect to temperature niches of species, suggesting that climate warming has not led to more homogenous communities. The different community changes depending on altitude could not be explained by different changes of air temperatures, since during the 16 years between 1995 and 2010, summer temperatures in Switzerland rose by about 0.07°C per year at all altitudes. We discuss that land-use changes or increased disturbances may have prevented alpine plant and butterfly communities from changing towards warm-dwelling species. However, the findings are also consistent with the hypothesis that unlike birds, many alpine plant species in a warming climate could find suitable habitats within just a few metres, due to the highly varied surface of alpine landscapes. Our results may thus support the idea that for plants and butterflies and on a short temporal scale, alpine landscapes are safer places than lowlands in a warming world.

  18. Towards exploration of plant-based ethno-medicinal knowledge of rural community: basis for biodiversity conservation in Bangladesh

    OpenAIRE

    Chowdhury, Mohammad Shaheed Hossain; Koike, Masao

    2010-01-01

    Because lack of data impedes the assessment of the conservation of medicinal plants, ethno-medicinal studies are important to fill this gap. This study considered the traditional use of plants for health care by the rural communities in two forested and non-forested regions of Bangladesh. A total of 230 respondents were interviewed accompanied by field observation and voucher specimen collection. Altogether, 68 species of medicinal plants belonging to 38 families distributing over 58 genera w...

  19. Grid connected integrated community energy system. Phase II: final stage 2 report. Outline specifications of cogeneration plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1978-03-22

    Specifications are presented for major components of the dual-purpose power plant to be located on the University of Minnesota campus. This power plant will supply steam and electric power to a proposed grid-connected Integrated Community Energy System. The capital costs and capital budget for the power plant and specifications for auxiliary equipment, such as the interconnecting heat tunnel, are included. (LCL)

  20. Indoor-biofilter growth and exposure to airborne chemicals drive similar changes in plant root bacterial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Jacob A; Hu, Yi; Chau, Linh; Pauliushchyk, Margarita; Anastopoulos, Ioannis; Anandan, Shivanthi; Waring, Michael S

    2014-08-01

    Due to the long durations spent inside by many humans, indoor air quality has become a growing concern. Biofiltration has emerged as a potential mechanism to clean indoor air of harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are typically found at concentrations higher indoors than outdoors. Root-associated microbes are thought to drive the functioning of plant-based biofilters, or biowalls, converting VOCs into biomass, energy, and carbon dioxide, but little is known about the root microbial communities of such artificially grown plants, how or whether they differ from those of plants grown in soil, and whether any changes in composition are driven by VOCs. In this study, we investigated how bacterial communities on biofilter plant roots change over time and in response to VOC exposure. Through 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing, we compared root bacterial communities from soil-grown plants with those from two biowalls, while also comparing communities from roots exposed to clean versus VOC-laden air in a laboratory biofiltration system. The results showed differences in bacterial communities between soil-grown and biowall-grown plants and between bacterial communities from plant roots exposed to clean air and those from VOC-exposed plant roots. Both biowall-grown and VOC-exposed roots harbored enriched levels of bacteria from the genus Hyphomicrobium. Given their known capacities to break down aromatic and halogenated compounds, we hypothesize that these bacteria are important VOC degraders. While different strains of Hyphomicrobium proliferated in the two studied biowalls and our lab experiment, strains were shared across plant species, suggesting that a wide range of ornamental houseplants harbor similar microbes of potential use in living biofilters.

  1. Indoor-Biofilter Growth and Exposure to Airborne Chemicals Drive Similar Changes in Plant Root Bacterial Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yi; Chau, Linh; Pauliushchyk, Margarita; Anastopoulos, Ioannis; Anandan, Shivanthi; Waring, Michael S.

    2014-01-01

    Due to the long durations spent inside by many humans, indoor air quality has become a growing concern. Biofiltration has emerged as a potential mechanism to clean indoor air of harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are typically found at concentrations higher indoors than outdoors. Root-associated microbes are thought to drive the functioning of plant-based biofilters, or biowalls, converting VOCs into biomass, energy, and carbon dioxide, but little is known about the root microbial communities of such artificially grown plants, how or whether they differ from those of plants grown in soil, and whether any changes in composition are driven by VOCs. In this study, we investigated how bacterial communities on biofilter plant roots change over time and in response to VOC exposure. Through 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing, we compared root bacterial communities from soil-grown plants with those from two biowalls, while also comparing communities from roots exposed to clean versus VOC-laden air in a laboratory biofiltration system. The results showed differences in bacterial communities between soil-grown and biowall-grown plants and between bacterial communities from plant roots exposed to clean air and those from VOC-exposed plant roots. Both biowall-grown and VOC-exposed roots harbored enriched levels of bacteria from the genus Hyphomicrobium. Given their known capacities to break down aromatic and halogenated compounds, we hypothesize that these bacteria are important VOC degraders. While different strains of Hyphomicrobium proliferated in the two studied biowalls and our lab experiment, strains were shared across plant species, suggesting that a wide range of ornamental houseplants harbor similar microbes of potential use in living biofilters. PMID:24878602

  2. Characterization of bacterial community dynamics in a full-scale drinking water treatment plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Cuiping; Ling, Fangqiong; Zhang, Minglu; Liu, Wen-Tso; Li, Yuxian; Liu, Wenjun

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the spatial and temporal dynamics of microbial communities in drinking water systems is vital to securing the microbial safety of drinking water. The objective of this study was to comprehensively characterize the dynamics of microbial biomass and bacterial communities at each step of a full-scale drinking water treatment plant in Beijing, China. Both bulk water and biofilm samples on granular activated carbon (GAC) were collected over 9months. The proportion of cultivable cells decreased during the treatment processes, and this proportion was higher in warm season than cool season, suggesting that treatment processes and water temperature probably had considerable impact on the R2A cultivability of total bacteria. 16s rRNA gene based 454 pyrosequencing analysis of the bacterial community revealed that Proteobacteria predominated in all samples. The GAC biofilm harbored a distinct population with a much higher relative abundance of Acidobacteria than water samples. Principle coordinate analysis and one-way analysis of similarity indicated that the dynamics of the microbial communities in bulk water and biofilm samples were better explained by the treatment processes rather than by sampling time, and distinctive changes of the microbial communities in water occurred after GAC filtration. Furthermore, 20 distinct OTUs contributing most to the dissimilarity among samples of different sampling locations and 6 persistent OTUs present in the entire treatment process flow were identified. Overall, our findings demonstrate the significant effects that treatment processes have on the microbial biomass and community fluctuation and provide implications for further targeted investigation on particular bacteria populations. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  3. Functional trade-offs increase species diversity in experimental plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-Hur, Eyal; Fragman-Sapir, Ori; Hadas, Rivka; Singer, Alon; Kadmon, Ronen

    2012-11-01

    Functional trade-offs have long been recognised as important mechanisms of species coexistence, but direct experimental evidence for such mechanisms is extremely rare. Here, we test the effect of one classical trade-off - a negative correlation between seed size and seed number - by establishing microcosm plant communities with positive, negative and no correlation between seed size and seed number and analysing the effect of the seed size/number correlation on species richness. Consistent with theory, a negative correlation between seed size and seed number led to a higher number of species in the communities and a corresponding wider range of seed size (a measure of functional richness) by promoting coexistence of large- and small-seeded species. Our study provides the first direct evidence that a seed size/number trade-off may contribute to species coexistence, and at a wider context, demonstrates the potential role of functional trade-offs in maintaining species diversity.

  4. Species-driven phases and increasing structure in early-successional plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaplata, Markus K; Winter, Susanne; Fischer, Anton; Kollmann, Johannes; Ulrich, Werner

    2013-01-01

    Successional phases describe changes in ecological communities that proceed in steps rather than continuously. Despite their importance for the understanding of ecosystem development, there still exists no reliable definition of phases and no quantitative measure of phase transitions. In order to obtain these data, we investigated primary succession in an artificial catchment (6 ha) in eastern Germany over a period of 6 years. The data set consists of records of plant species and their cover values, and initial substrate properties, both from plots in a regular grid (20 m × 20 m) suitable for spatial data analysis. Community assembly was studied by analyses of species co-occurrence and nestedness. Additionally, we correlated lognormal and log series distributions of species abundance to each community. We here introduce a new general method for detection of successional phases based on the degree of transient spatial homogeneity in the study system. Spatially coherent vegetation patterns revealed nonoverlapping partitions within this sequence of primary succession and were characterized as two distinct ecological phases. Patterns of species co-occurrence were increasingly less random, and hence the importance of demographic stochasticity and neutral community assembly decreased during the study period. Our findings highlight the spatial dimension of successional phases and quantify the degree of change between these steps. They are an element for advancing a more reliable terminology of ecological successions.

  5. Using phylogenetic, functional and trait diversity to understand patterns of plant community productivity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc W Cadotte

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Two decades of research showing that increasing plant diversity results in greater community productivity has been predicated on greater functional diversity allowing access to more of the total available resources. Thus, understanding phenotypic attributes that allow species to partition resources is fundamentally important to explaining diversity-productivity relationships. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we use data from a long-term experiment (Cedar Creek, MN and compare the extent to which productivity is explained by seven types of community metrics of functional variation: 1 species richness, 2 variation in 10 individual traits, 3 functional group richness, 4 a distance-based measure of functional diversity, 5 a hierarchical multivariate clustering method, 6 a nonmetric multidimensional scaling approach, and 7 a phylogenetic diversity measure, summing phylogenetic branch lengths connecting community members together and may be a surrogate for ecological differences. Although most of these diversity measures provided significant explanations of variation in productivity, the presence of a nitrogen fixer and phylogenetic diversity were the two best explanatory variables. Further, a statistical model that included the presence of a nitrogen fixer, seed weight and phylogenetic diversity was a better explanation of community productivity than other models. CONCLUSIONS: Evolutionary relationships among species appear to explain patterns of grassland productivity. Further, these results reveal that functional differences among species involve a complex suite of traits and that perhaps phylogenetic relationships provide a better measure of the diversity among species that contributes to productivity than individual or small groups of traits.

  6. Metabolic activity and genetic diversity of microbial communities inhabiting the rhizosphere of halophyton plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bárány, Agnes; Szili-Kovács, Tibor; Krett, Gergely; Füzy, Anna; Márialigeti, Károly; Borsodi, Andrea K

    2014-09-01

    A preliminary study was conducted to compare the community level physiological profile (CLPP) and genetic diversity of rhizosphere microbial communities of four plant species growing nearby Kiskunság soda ponds, namely Böddi-szék, Kelemen-szék and Zab-szék. CLPP was assessed by MicroResp method using 15 different substrates while Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) was used to analyse genetic diversity of bacterial communities. The soil physical and chemical properties were quite different at the three sampling sites. Multivariate statistics (PCA and UPGMA) revealed that Zab-szék samples could be separated according to their genetic profile from the two others which might be attributed to the geographical location and perhaps the differences in soil physical properties. Böddi-szék samples could be separated from the two others considering the metabolic activity which could be explained by their high salt and low humus contents. The number of bands in DGGE gels was related to the metabolic activity, and positively correlated with soil humus content, but negatively with soil salt content. The main finding was that geographical location, soil physical and chemical properties and the type of vegetation were all important factors influencing the metabolic activity and genetic diversity of rhizosphere microbial communities.

  7. Species richness and phylogenetic structure in plant communities: 20 years of succession

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Stadler

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Secondary succession on arable fields is a popular system for studying processes influencing community assembly of plants. During early succession, the arrival and establishment of those propagules that can pass the environmental filters operating at a given site should be among the dominant processes leading to an initial increase in species richness. With ongoing succession, environmental filtering should decrease in relative importance compared to competitive interactions, which then should decrease species richness. Thereby, the phylogenetic structure of communities should change from random or clustered patterns during early succession to overdispersion. Disturbance is supposed to act as an additional filter, causing communities to be phylogenetically clustered. By analysing the species richness and phylogenetic structure of secondary succession in two different regions in Germany with three different disturbance levels each, we tested this general model. Although in one of the regions (Gimritz we found the expected trajectory of species richness, phylogenetic structure did not follow the expected trend from random or clustered towards overdispersed communities. In the other region (Bayreuth, species richness did not follow the expected trajectory and phylogenetic structure remained clustered over the course of succession. A preliminary analysis of autecological characteristics of the species involved (Ellenberg indicator values nevertheless showed clear contrasting trends. The idiosyncrasies of successional trajectories across sites might be due to the environmental context, the regional species pool as well as the legacy of former land use reflected in the seed bank.

  8. 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

    The study was performed on Danish grasslands on well-drained sandy soils. Image data included georeferenced Compact Airborne Spectrographic Imager (casi) data calibrated to apparent surface reflectance. Ecological data included a field-based management map, registration of (vascular) plant species...... and thirty 30 m by 30 m test sites with affinities seven management classes identified in the field and seven floristic classes modelled from detrended correspondence analysis. Spectral analysis was performed on the derived image reflectance of 18 test sites positioned within the casi scanline. Spectral...... 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...

  9. [Spatial-Temporal variability of aquatic plant communities in the Venezuelan Llanos].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rial B, Anabel

    2006-06-01

    The richness and abundance of aquatic plant communities were studied in 14 habitats of the Venezuelan "llanos" (07 degrees 35'-07 degrees 55' N-68 degrees 50'-69 degrees 00' W, Apure) during an annual cycle. Annual means were 27 degrees C, 115 mm rainfall and 77% relative humidity. A permanent transect was set in each habitat (ten consecutive square meter quadrats from the shore to the water). The plants and the area they covered in each quadrat were recorded monthly for a year. The total richness was 69 species. Alatalo and Alatalo's diversity analysis indicates that season, and its correlate, water level, influence species diversity and abundance more than habitat (spatial factor: geometric index-Euclidean distance).

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Salo, Tiina; Gustafsson, Camilla; Boström, Christoffer

    2009-01-01

    plant productivity in brackish water angiosperm communities, a 14 wk field experiment was conducted. Using a replacement design with a standardized initial aboveground biomass, shoots of Zostera marina, Potamogeton filiformis and P. perfoliatus were planted on a shallow, sandy bottom in replicated...... monocultures and all possible species combinations. Response variables included aboveground and belowground biomass, shoot density, space occupation and porewater nutrients. To determine whether selection and/or complementarity controlled productivity, additive partitioning and Di were calculated. Richness...... effects were species-specific and only increased the biomass production of P. perfoliatus and tuber production of P. filiformis, while species composition generally had a stronger effect on biomass production. Additive partitioning indicated a positive complementarity effect for the aboveground biomass...

  11. Quantitative distribution of aquatic plant and animal communities in the Forsmark-area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kautsky, H.; Plantman, P.; Borgiel, M. [Stockholm Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of Systems Ecology

    1999-12-15

    This report is a part of the SKB project 'SAFE'. The aim of SAFE is to update the previous safety analysis of SFR-1. SFR is for the repository of low and intermediate level radioactive waste. The aim of this report is to provide background information of the quantitative distribution of macroscopic (>1 mm) plants and animals on the sea floor (the phytobenthic communities) above the SFR. The phytobenthic plant and animal communities in the Bothnian Sea may constitute over half of the total production of the ecosystem in the coastal zone. Data will be used in a simulation model of the area. The attached plant and animal communities of the sea floor can be the major component to find radioactive isotopes when a leakage should occur from the SFR below the investigated area. Their ability to bioaccumulate the isotopes and the abundance of the plants and animals might to a large extent determine the amount of radionuclides that could be retained in the biological system. This might then affect the form of further dispersal of the radionuclides over larger areas, whether they are kept within and accumulated in the food chain or retained in the sediments or diluted in the water column. In the investigated area divers described the sea floor substrate and the dominating plant and animal communities along transect lines. In addition, the divers collected quantitative samples. Three transects were placed just above SFR, and two transects were placed from the shore of islands adjacent to SFR. In total, divers collected 54 quantitative samples. Also, divers collected 6 sediment cores for analysis of the organic contents and chlorophylla. The results from the divers estimates of plant and animal species distribution and cover degree, as well as the quantitative samples, indicated the area being fairly rich. An eroded moraine (boulders, stones, gravel and sand) dominated the substrate with occasional rock outcrops. At several sites, on the hard, more stable substrates

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