WorldWideScience

Sample records for plant community responses

  1. 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)

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elise S Gornish

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

  15. 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. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. Response of leaf endophytic bacterial community to elevated CO2 at different growth stages of rice plant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaidi eRen

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Plant endophytic bacteria play an important role in plant growth and health. In the context of climate change, the response of plant endophytic bacterial communities to elevated CO2 at different rice growing stages is poorly understood. Using 454 pyrosequencing, we investigated the response of leaf endophytic bacterial communities to elevated CO2 (eCO2 at the tillering, filling and maturity stages of the rice plant under different nitrogen fertilization conditions (low nitrogen fertilization (LN and high nitrogen fertilization (HN. The results revealed that the leaf endophytic bacterial community was dominated by Gammaproteobacteria-affiliated families, such as Enterobacteriaceae and Xanthomonadaceae, which represent 28.7-86.8% and 2.14-42.6% of the total sequence reads, respectively, at all tested growth stages. The difference in the bacterial community structure between the different growth stages was greater than the difference resulting from the CO2 and nitrogen fertilization treatments. The eCO2 effect on the bacterial communities differed greatly under different nitrogen application conditions and at different growth stages. Specifically, eCO2 revealed a significant effect on the community structure under both LN and HN levels at the tillering stage; however, the significant effect of eCO2 was only observed under HN, rather than under the LN condition at the filling stage; no significant effect of eCO2 on the community structure at both the LN and HN fertilization levels was found at the maturity stage. These results provide useful insights into the response of leaf endophytic bacterial communities to elevated CO2 across rice growth stages.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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...

  10. Response of Late Carboniferous and Early Permian Plant Communities to Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimichele, William A.; Pfefferkorn, Hermann W.; Gastaldo, Robert A.

    Late Carboniferous and Early Permian strata record the transition from a cold interval in Earth history, characterized by the repeated periods of glaciation and deglaciation of the southern pole, to a warm-climate interval. Consequently, this time period is the best available analogue to the Recent in which to study patterns of vegetational response, both to glacial-interglacial oscillation and to the appearance of warm climate. Carboniferous wetland ecosystems were dominated by spore-producing plants and early gymnospermous seed plants. Global climate changes, largely drying, forced vegetational changes, resulting in a change to a seed plant-dominated world, beginning first at high latitudes during the Carboniferous, reaching the tropics near the Permo-Carboniferous boundary. For most of this time plant assemblages were very conservative in their composition. Change in the dominant vegetation was generally a rapid process, which suggests that environmental thresholds were crossed, and involved little mixing of elements from the wet and dry floras.

  11. Response of Late Carboniferous and Early Permian plant communities to climate change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    DiMichele, W.A.; Pfefferkorn, H.W.; Gastaldo, R.A. [Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC (USA). National Museum of National History

    2001-07-01

    Late Carboniferous and Early Permian strata record the transition from a cold interval in Earth history, characterized by the repeated periods of glaciation and deglaciation of the southern pole, to a warm-climate interval. Consequently, this time period is the best available analogue to the Recent in which to study patterns of vegetational response, both to glacial-interglacial oscillation and to the appearance of warm climate. Carboniferous wetland ecosystems were dominated by spore-producing plants and early gymnospermous seed plants. Global climate changes, largely drying, forced vegetational changes, resulting in a change to a seed plant-dominated world, beginning first at high latitudes during the Carboniferous, reaching the tropics near the Permo-Carboniferous boundary. For most of this time plant assemblages were very conservative in their composition. Change in the dominant vegetation was generally a rapid process, which suggests that environmental thresholds were crossed, and involved little mixing of elements from the wet and dry floras.

  12. 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.

  13. Modulation of Root Microbiome Community Assembly by the Plant Immune Response (2013 DOE JGI Genomics of Energy and Environment 8th Annual User Meeting)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lebeis, Sarah [University of North Carolina

    2013-03-01

    Sarah Lebeis of University of North Carolina on "Modulation of root microbiome community assembly by the plant immune response" at the 8th Annual Genomics of Energy & Environment Meeting on March 28, 2013 in Walnut Creek, Calif.

  14. Soil microbial community response to hexavalent chromium in planted and unplanted soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ipsilantis, Ioannis; Coyne, Mark S

    2007-01-01

    Theories suggest that rapid microbial growth rates lead to quicker development of metal resistance. We tested these theories by adding hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] to soil, sowing Indian mustard (Brassica juncea), and comparing rhizosphere and bulk soil microbial community responses. Four weeks after the initial Cr(VI) application we measured Cr concentration, microbial biomass by fumigation extraction and soil extract ATP, tolerance to Cr and growth rates with tritiated thymidine incorporation, and performed community substrate use analysis with BIOLOG GN plates. Exchangeable Cr(VI) levels were very low, and therefore we assumed the Cr(VI) impact was transient. Microbial biomass was reduced by Cr(VI) addition. Microbial tolerance to Cr(VI) tended to be higher in the Cr-treated rhizosphere soil relative to the non-treated systems, while microorganisms in the Cr-treated bulk soil were less sensitive to Cr(VI) than microorganisms in the non-treated bulk soil. Microbial diversity as measured by population evenness increased with Cr(VI) addition based on a Gini coefficient derived from BIOLOG substrate use patterns. Principal component analysis revealed separation between Cr(VI) treatments, and between rhizosphere and bulk soil treatments. We hypothesize that because of Cr(VI) addition there was indirect selection for fast-growing organisms, alleviation of competition among microbial communities, and increase in Cr tolerance in the rhizosphere due to the faster turnover rates in that environment.

  15. Soil microbial community structure and function responses to successive planting of Eucalyptus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Falin; Zheng, Hua; Zhang, Kai; Ouyang, Zhiyun; Li, Huailin; Wu, Bing; Shi, Qian

    2013-10-01

    Many studies have shown soil degradation after the conversion of native forests to exotic Eucalyptus plantations. However, few studies have investigated the long-term impacts of short-rotation forestry practices on soil microorganisms. The impacts of Eucalyptus successive rotations on soil microbial communities were evaluated by comparing phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) abundances, compositions, and enzyme activities of native Pinus massoniana plantations and adjacent 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th generation Eucalyptus plantations. The conversion from P. massoniana to Eucalyptus plantations significantly decreased soil microbial community size and enzyme activities, and increased microbial physiological stress. However, the PLFA abundances formed "u" shaped quadratic functions with Eucalyptus plantation age. Alternatively, physiological stress biomarkers, the ratios of monounsaturated to saturated fatty acid and Gram+ to Gram- bacteria, formed "n"' shaped quadratic functions, and the ratio of cy17:0 to 16:1omega7c decreased with plantation age. The activities of phenol oxidase, peroxidase, and acid phosphatase increased with Eucalyptus plantation age, while the cellobiohydrolase activity formed "u" shaped quadratic functions. Soil N:P, alkaline hydrolytic nitrogen, soil organic carbon, and understory cover largely explained the variation in PLFA profiles while soil N:P, alkaline hydrolytic nitrogen, and understory cover explained most of the variability in enzyme activity. In conclusion, soil microbial structure and function under Eucalyptus plantations were strongly impacted by plantation age. Most of the changes could be explained by altered soil resource availability and understory cover associated with successive planting of Eucalyptus. Our results highlight the importance of plantation age for assessing the impacts of plantation conversion as well as the importance of reducing disturbance for plantation management.

  16. 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…

  17. Modeled subalpine plant community response to climate change and atmospheric nitrogen deposition in Rocky Mountain National Park, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonnell, T C; Belyazid, S; Sullivan, T J; Sverdrup, H; Bowman, W D; Porter, E M

    2014-04-01

    To evaluate potential long-term effects of climate change and atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition on subalpine ecosystems, the coupled biogeochemical and vegetation community competition model ForSAFE-Veg was applied to a site at the Loch Vale watershed of Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Changes in climate and N deposition since 1900 resulted in pronounced changes in simulated plant species cover as compared with ambient and estimated future community composition. The estimated critical load (CL) of N deposition to protect against an average future (2010-2100) change in biodiversity of 10% was between 1.9 and 3.5 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1). Results suggest that the CL has been exceeded and vegetation at the study site has already undergone a change of more than 10% as a result of N deposition. Future increases in air temperature are forecast to cause further changes in plant community composition, exacerbating changes in response to N deposition alone.

  18. 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.

  19. Responses of a constructed plant community to simulated glyphosate and dicamba drift

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background/Questions/Methods As part of its regulation of pesticides, the US Environmental Protection Agency must consider environmental risks, including impacts to nontarget plants exposed to pesticide drift. Normally these risk assessments consider impacts to individual spec...

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Responses of plant community composition and biomass production to warming and nitrogen deposition in a temperate meadow ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Tao; Guo, Rui; Gao, Song; Guo, Jixun; Sun, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Climate change has profound influences on plant community composition and ecosystem functions. However, its effects on plant community composition and biomass production are not well understood. A four-year field experiment was conducted to examine the effects of warming, nitrogen (N) addition, and their interactions on plant community composition and biomass production in a temperate meadow ecosystem in northeast China. Experimental warming had no significant effect on plant species richness, evenness, and diversity, while N addition highly reduced the species richness and diversity. Warming tended to reduce the importance value of graminoid species but increased the value of forbs, while N addition had the opposite effect. Warming tended to increase the belowground biomass, but had an opposite tendency to decrease the aboveground biomass. The influences of warming on aboveground production were dependent upon precipitation. Experimental warming had little effect on aboveground biomass in the years with higher precipitation, but significantly suppressed aboveground biomass in dry years. Our results suggest that warming had indirect effects on plant production via its effect on the water availability. Nitrogen addition significantly increased above- and below-ground production, suggesting that N is one of the most important limiting factors determining plant productivity in the studied meadow steppe. Significant interactive effects of warming plus N addition on belowground biomass were also detected. Our observations revealed that environmental changes (warming and N deposition) play significant roles in regulating plant community composition and biomass production in temperate meadow steppe ecosystem in northeast China.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    , responded similarly to increasing precipitation among studies and sites. In field experiments, increased precipitation favored species with small seed size,short leaf life span and high leaf nitrogen (N) concentration. However, with increasing precipitation along the natural gradient, community composition...

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Bacterial, fungal, and plant communities exhibit no biomass or compositional response to two years of simulated nitrogen deposition in a semiarid grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    McHugh, Theresa A.; Morrissey, Ember M.; Mueller, Rebecca C.; Gallegos-Graves, La Verne; Kuske, Cheryl R.; Reed, Sasha C.

    2017-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) deposition affects myriad aspects of terrestrial ecosystem structure and function, and microbial communities may be particularly sensitive to anthropogenic N inputs. However, our understanding of N deposition effects on microbial communities is far from complete, especially for drylands where data are comparatively rare. To address the need for an improved understanding of dryland biological responses to N deposition, we conducted a two-year fertilization experiment in a semiarid grassland on the Colorado Plateau in the southwestern United States. We evaluated effects of varied levels of N inputs on archaeal, bacterial, fungal and chlorophyte community composition within three microhabitats: biological soil crusts (biocrusts), soil below biocrusts, and the plant rhizosphere. Surprisingly, N addition did not affect the community composition or diversity of any of these microbial groups; however, microbial community composition varied significantly among sampling microhabitats. Further, while plant richness, diversity, and cover showed no response to N addition, there were strong linkages between plant properties and microbial community structure. Overall, these findings highlight the potential for some dryland communities to have limited biotic ability to retain augmented N inputs, possibly leading to large N losses to the atmosphere and to aquatic systems.

  8. Moving forward on facilitation research : Response to changing environments and effects on the diversity, functioning and evolution of plant communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soliveres, Santiago; Smit, Christian; Maestre, Fernando T

    2015-01-01

    Once seen as anomalous, facilitative interactions among plants and their importance for community structure and functioning are now widely recognized. The growing body of modelling, descriptive and experimental studies on facilitation covers a wide variety of terrestrial and aquatic systems througho

  9. Forest Plant community changes during 1989-2007 in response to climate warming in the Jura Mountains (France and Switzerland)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lenoir, Jonathan; Gégout, J.C.; Dupouey, J.L.

    2010-01-01

    reflecting the confounding influence of forest stand dynamics. Location: Jura Mountains (France and Switzerland). Methods: We assessed changes in plant community composition by surveying 154 Abies alba forest vegetation relevés (550-1,350 m a.s.l.) in 1989 and 2007. Over this period, temperatures increased...

  10. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    An eYang

    2015-08-01

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

  12. Isolated and Community Contexts Produce Distinct Responses by Host Plants to the Presence of Ant-Aphid Interaction: Plant Productivity and Seed Viability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canedo-Júnior, Ernesto Oliveira; Santiago, Graziele Silva; Zurlo, Luana Fonseca; Ribas, Carla Rodrigues; Carvalho, Rafaela Pereira; Alves, Guilherme Pereira; Carvalho, Mariana Comanucci Silva; Souza, Brígida

    2017-01-01

    Ant-aphid interactions may affect host plants in several ways, however, most studies measure only the amount of fruit and seed produced, and do not test seed viability. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the effects of the presence of ant-aphid interactions upon host plant productivity and seed viability in two different contexts: isolated and within an arthropod community. For this purpose we tested the hypothesis that in both isolated and community contexts, the presence of an ant-aphid interaction will have a positive effect on fruit and seed production, seed biomass and rate of seed germination, and a negative effect on abnormal seedling rates, in comparison to plants without ants. We performed a field mesocosm experiment containing five treatments: Ant-aphid, Aphid, Community, Ant-free community and Control. We counted fruits and seeds produced by each treatment, and conducted experiments for seed biomass and germinability. We found that in the community context the presence of an ant-aphid interaction negatively affected fruit and seed production. We think this may be because aphid attendance by tending-ants promotes aphid damage to the host plant, but without an affect on seed weight and viability. On the other hand, when isolated, the presence of an ant-aphid interaction positively affected fruit and seed production. These positive effects are related to the cleaning services offered to aphids by tending-ants, which prevent the development of saprophytic fungi on the surface of leaves, which would cause a decrease in photosynthetic rates. Our study is important because we evaluated some parameters of plant fitness that have not been addressed very well by other studies involving the effects of ant-aphid interactions mainly on plants with short life cycles. Lastly, our context dependent approach sheds new light on how ecological interactions can vary among different methods of crop management.

  13. Isolated and Community Contexts Produce Distinct Responses by Host Plants to the Presence of Ant-Aphid Interaction: Plant Productivity and Seed Viability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santiago, Graziele Silva; Zurlo, Luana Fonseca; Ribas, Carla Rodrigues; Carvalho, Rafaela Pereira; Alves, Guilherme Pereira; Carvalho, Mariana Comanucci Silva; Souza, Brígida

    2017-01-01

    Ant-aphid interactions may affect host plants in several ways, however, most studies measure only the amount of fruit and seed produced, and do not test seed viability. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the effects of the presence of ant-aphid interactions upon host plant productivity and seed viability in two different contexts: isolated and within an arthropod community. For this purpose we tested the hypothesis that in both isolated and community contexts, the presence of an ant-aphid interaction will have a positive effect on fruit and seed production, seed biomass and rate of seed germination, and a negative effect on abnormal seedling rates, in comparison to plants without ants. We performed a field mesocosm experiment containing five treatments: Ant-aphid, Aphid, Community, Ant-free community and Control. We counted fruits and seeds produced by each treatment, and conducted experiments for seed biomass and germinability. We found that in the community context the presence of an ant-aphid interaction negatively affected fruit and seed production. We think this may be because aphid attendance by tending-ants promotes aphid damage to the host plant, but without an affect on seed weight and viability. On the other hand, when isolated, the presence of an ant-aphid interaction positively affected fruit and seed production. These positive effects are related to the cleaning services offered to aphids by tending-ants, which prevent the development of saprophytic fungi on the surface of leaves, which would cause a decrease in photosynthetic rates. Our study is important because we evaluated some parameters of plant fitness that have not been addressed very well by other studies involving the effects of ant-aphid interactions mainly on plants with short life cycles. Lastly, our context dependent approach sheds new light on how ecological interactions can vary among different methods of crop management. PMID:28141849

  14. Community response to noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yano, Takashi; Gjestland, Truls; Lee, Soogab

    2012-01-01

    Activities from 2008 to 2011 by ICBEN community response to noise team were summarized. That is, individual community-based indexes such as community tolerance Level, Zuricher Fluglarm Index (ZFI) and Frankfurter Fluglarm Index (FFI/FNI) were newly proposed, differences in railway bonus between Europe and Asia were discussed by a Swedish survey, socio-acoustic surveys were reported from developing countries, and annoyance equivalents and dominant source models were proposed as the adequate combined noise model. Furthermore, not only negative, but also positive aspects of sound were discussed as soundscape studies. Finally, seven items were listed as future team activities.

  15. Community response to noise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takashi Yano

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Activities from 2008 to 2011 by ICBEN community response to noise team were summarized. That is, individual community-based indexes such as community tolerance Level, Zuricher Fluglarm Index (ZFI and Frankfurter Fluglarm Index (FFI/FNI were newly proposed, differences in railway bonus between Europe and Asia were discussed by a Swedish survey, socio-acoustic surveys were reported from developing countries, and annoyance equivalents and dominant source models were proposed as the adequate combined noise model. Furthermore, not only negative, but also positive aspects of sound were discussed as soundscape studies. Finally, seven items were listed as future team activities.

  16. Insect responses to host plant provision beyond natural boundaries: latitudinal and altitudinal variation in a Chinese fig wasp community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Rong; Compton, Stephen G; Quinnell, Rupert J; Peng, Yan-Qiong; Barwell, Louise; Chen, Yan

    2015-09-01

    Many plants are grown outside their natural ranges. Plantings adjacent to native ranges provide an opportunity to monitor community assembly among associated insects and their parasitoids in novel environments, to determine whether gradients in species richness emerge and to examine their consequences for host plant reproductive success. We recorded the fig wasps (Chalcidoidea) associated with a single plant resource (ovules of Ficus microcarpa) along a 1200 km transect in southwest China that extended for 1000 km beyond the tree's natural northern range margin. The fig wasps included the tree's agaonid pollinator and other species that feed on the ovules or are their parasitoids. Phytophagous fig wasps (12 species) were more numerous than parasitoids (nine species). The proportion of figs occupied by fig wasps declined with increasing latitude, as did the proportion of utilized ovules in occupied figs. Species richness, diversity, and abundance of fig wasps also significantly changed along both latitudinal and altitudinal gradients. Parasitoids declined more steeply with latitude than phytophages. Seed production declined beyond the natural northern range margin, and at high elevation, because pollinator fig wasps became rare or absent. This suggests that pollinator climatic tolerances helped limit the tree's natural distribution, although competition with another species may have excluded pollinators at the highest altitude site. Isolation by distance may prevent colonization of northern sites by some fig wasps and act in combination with direct and host-mediated climatic effects to generate gradients in community composition, with parasitoids inherently more sensitive because of declines in the abundance of potential hosts.

  17. Responses of Plant Community and Soil Properties to Inter-Annual Precipitation Variability and Grazing Durations in a Desert Steppe in Inner Mongolia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Zhen; YUN Xiang-jun; WEI Zhi-jun; Michael P Schellenberg; WANG Yun-feng; YANG Xia; HOU Xiang-yang

    2014-01-01

    Grazing can dramatically affect arid grassland communities that are very vulnerable to environmental changes due to its relatively short and sparse ground coverage, low biomass, sandy soil and inter-annual precipitation found in the desert steppe. The study investigates the effects of different grazing durations on vegetation and soil properties of a desert steppe community. The experiment was conducted in Xisu Banner in Inner Mongolia with ifve treatments:CG (continuous grazing), 40UG (40 d ungrazed), 50UG (50 d ungrazed), 60UG (60 d ungrazed) and UG (ungrazed). The biomass of both shrub and annual-biennial plant communities were signiifcantly decreased by CG. Continuous grazing and 40UG signiifcantly reduced the ANPP (aboveground net primary productivity) by the end of the three year study. 60UG treatment increased soil organic carbon (OC), total nitrogen concentration (TN) and total phosphorus concentration (TP) concentrations and 50UG increased the TN and total phosphorus concentration (TK) concentrations, whereas CG, 40UG and 50UG decreased soil OC, TP and available phosphorus concentration (AP) concentrations. The perennial plant species of the desert steppe were generally tolerant for grazing. The annual-biennial plant species had large variability in ANPP because of the inter-annual precipitation. Our results highlight that inter-annual precipitation variations could strongly modify the community responses to grazing in arid ecosystems.

  18. Soil mineral composition matters: response of microbial communities to phenanthrene and plant litter addition in long-term matured artificial soils.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Doreen Babin

    Full Text Available The fate of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs in soil is determined by a suite of biotic and abiotic factors, and disentangling their role in the complex soil interaction network remains challenging. Here, we investigate the influence of soil composition on the microbial community structure and its response to the spiked model PAH compound phenanthrene and plant litter. We used long-term matured artificial soils differing in type of clay mineral (illite, montmorillonite and presence of charcoal or ferrihydrite. The soils received an identical soil microbial fraction and were incubated for more than two years with two sterile manure additions. The matured artificial soils and a natural soil were subjected to the following spiking treatments: (I phenanthrene, (II litter, (III litter + phenanthrene, (IV unspiked control. Total community DNA was extracted from soil sampled on the day of spiking, 7, 21, and 63 days after spiking. Bacterial 16S rRNA gene and fungal internal transcribed spacer amplicons were quantified by qPCR and subjected to denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE. DGGE analysis revealed that the bacterial community composition, which was strongly shaped by clay minerals after more than two years of incubation, changed in response to spiked phenanthrene and added litter. DGGE and qPCR showed that soil composition significantly influenced the microbial response to spiking. While fungal communities responded only in presence of litter to phenanthrene spiking, the response of the bacterial communities to phenanthrene was less pronounced when litter was present. Interestingly, microbial communities in all artificial soils were more strongly affected by spiking than in the natural soil, which might indicate the importance of higher microbial diversity to compensate perturbations. This study showed the influence of soil composition on the microbiota and their response to phenanthrene and litter, which may increase our

  19. Soil mineral composition matters: response of microbial communities to phenanthrene and plant litter addition in long-term matured artificial soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babin, Doreen; Vogel, Cordula; Zühlke, Sebastian; Schloter, Michael; Pronk, Geertje Johanna; Heister, Katja; Spiteller, Michael; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid; Smalla, Kornelia

    2014-01-01

    The fate of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in soil is determined by a suite of biotic and abiotic factors, and disentangling their role in the complex soil interaction network remains challenging. Here, we investigate the influence of soil composition on the microbial community structure and its response to the spiked model PAH compound phenanthrene and plant litter. We used long-term matured artificial soils differing in type of clay mineral (illite, montmorillonite) and presence of charcoal or ferrihydrite. The soils received an identical soil microbial fraction and were incubated for more than two years with two sterile manure additions. The matured artificial soils and a natural soil were subjected to the following spiking treatments: (I) phenanthrene, (II) litter, (III) litter + phenanthrene, (IV) unspiked control. Total community DNA was extracted from soil sampled on the day of spiking, 7, 21, and 63 days after spiking. Bacterial 16S rRNA gene and fungal internal transcribed spacer amplicons were quantified by qPCR and subjected to denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). DGGE analysis revealed that the bacterial community composition, which was strongly shaped by clay minerals after more than two years of incubation, changed in response to spiked phenanthrene and added litter. DGGE and qPCR showed that soil composition significantly influenced the microbial response to spiking. While fungal communities responded only in presence of litter to phenanthrene spiking, the response of the bacterial communities to phenanthrene was less pronounced when litter was present. Interestingly, microbial communities in all artificial soils were more strongly affected by spiking than in the natural soil, which might indicate the importance of higher microbial diversity to compensate perturbations. This study showed the influence of soil composition on the microbiota and their response to phenanthrene and litter, which may increase our understanding of

  20. Responses of soil N-fixing bacteria communities to invasive plant species under different types of simulated acid deposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Congyan; Zhou, Jiawei; Jiang, Kun; Liu, Jun; Du, Daolin

    2017-06-01

    Biological invasions have incurred serious threats to native ecosystems in China, and soil N-fixing bacteria communities (SNB) may play a vital role in the successful plant invasion. Meanwhile, anthropogenic acid deposition is increasing in China, which may modify or upgrade the effects that invasive plant species can cause on SNB. We analyzed the structure and diversity of SNB by means of new generation sequencing technology in soils with different simulated acid deposition (SAD), i.e., different SO4 2- to NO3 - ratios, and where the invasive ( Amaranthus retroflexus L.) and the native species ( Amaranthus tricolor L.) grew mixed or isolated for 3 months. A. retroflexus itself did not exert significant effects on the diversity and richness of SNB but did it under certain SO4 2- to NO3 - ratios. Compared to soils where the native species grew isolated, the soils where the invasive A. retroflexus grew isolated showed lower relative abundance of some SNB classes under certain SAD treatments. Some types of SAD can alter soil nutrient content which in turn could affect SNB diversity and abundance. Specifically, greater SO4 2- to NO3 - ratios tended to have more toxic effects on SNB likely due to the higher exchange capacity of hydroxyl groups (OH-) between SO4 2- and NO3 -. As a conclusion, it can be expected a change in the structure of SNB after A. retroflexus invasion under acid deposition rich in sulfuric acid. This change may create a plant soil feedback favoring future A. retroflexus invasions.

  1. Responses of dune plant communities to continental uplift from a major earthquake: sudden releases from coastal squeeze.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iván F Rodil

    Full Text Available Vegetated dunes are recognized as important natural barriers that shelter inland ecosystems and coastlines suffering daily erosive impacts of the sea and extreme events, such as tsunamis. However, societal responses to erosion and shoreline retreat often result in man-made coastal defence structures that cover part of the intertidal and upper shore zones causing coastal squeeze and habitat loss, especially for upper shore biota, such as dune plants. Coseismic uplift of up to 2.0 m on the Peninsula de Arauco (South central Chile, ca. 37.5º S caused by the 2010 Maule earthquake drastically modified the coastal landscape, including major increases in the width of uplifted beaches and the immediate conversion of mid to low sandy intertidal habitat to supralittoral sandy habitat above the reach of average tides and waves. To investigate the early stage responses in species richness, cover and across-shore distribution of the hitherto absent dune plants, we surveyed two formerly intertidal armoured sites and a nearby intertidal unarmoured site on a sandy beach located on the uplifted coast of Llico (Peninsula de Arauco over two years. Almost 2 years after the 2010 earthquake, dune plants began to recruit, then rapidly grew and produced dune hummocks in the new upper beach habitats created by uplift at the three sites. Initial vegetation responses were very similar among sites. However, over the course of the study, the emerging vegetated dunes of the armoured sites suffered a slowdown in the development of the spatial distribution process, and remained impoverished in species richness and cover compared to the unarmoured site. Our results suggest that when released from the effects of coastal squeeze, vegetated dunes can recover without restoration actions. However, subsequent human activities and management of newly created beach and dune habitats can significantly alter the trajectory of vegetated dune development. Management that integrates the

  2. Responses of dune plant communities to continental uplift from a major earthquake: sudden releases from coastal squeeze.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodil, Iván F; Jaramillo, Eduardo; Hubbard, David M; Dugan, Jenifer E; Melnick, Daniel; Velasquez, Carlos

    2015-01-01

    Vegetated dunes are recognized as important natural barriers that shelter inland ecosystems and coastlines suffering daily erosive impacts of the sea and extreme events, such as tsunamis. However, societal responses to erosion and shoreline retreat often result in man-made coastal defence structures that cover part of the intertidal and upper shore zones causing coastal squeeze and habitat loss, especially for upper shore biota, such as dune plants. Coseismic uplift of up to 2.0 m on the Peninsula de Arauco (South central Chile, ca. 37.5º S) caused by the 2010 Maule earthquake drastically modified the coastal landscape, including major increases in the width of uplifted beaches and the immediate conversion of mid to low sandy intertidal habitat to supralittoral sandy habitat above the reach of average tides and waves. To investigate the early stage responses in species richness, cover and across-shore distribution of the hitherto absent dune plants, we surveyed two formerly intertidal armoured sites and a nearby intertidal unarmoured site on a sandy beach located on the uplifted coast of Llico (Peninsula de Arauco) over two years. Almost 2 years after the 2010 earthquake, dune plants began to recruit, then rapidly grew and produced dune hummocks in the new upper beach habitats created by uplift at the three sites. Initial vegetation responses were very similar among sites. However, over the course of the study, the emerging vegetated dunes of the armoured sites suffered a slowdown in the development of the spatial distribution process, and remained impoverished in species richness and cover compared to the unarmoured site. Our results suggest that when released from the effects of coastal squeeze, vegetated dunes can recover without restoration actions. However, subsequent human activities and management of newly created beach and dune habitats can significantly alter the trajectory of vegetated dune development. Management that integrates the effects of natural

  3. Light accelerates plant responses to warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Frenne, Pieter; Rodríguez-Sánchez, Francisco; De Schrijver, An; Coomes, David A; Hermy, Martin; Vangansbeke, Pieter; Verheyen, Kris

    2015-08-17

    Competition for light has profound effects on plant performance in virtually all terrestrial ecosystems. Nowhere is this more evident than in forests, where trees create environmental heterogeneity that shapes the dynamics of forest-floor communities(1-3). Observational evidence suggests that biotic responses to both anthropogenic global warming and nitrogen pollution may be attenuated by the shading effects of trees and shrubs(4-9). Here we show experimentally that tree shade is slowing down changes in below-canopy communities due to warming. We manipulated levels of photosynthetically active radiation, temperature and nitrogen, alone and in combination, in a temperate forest understorey over a 3-year period, and monitored the composition of the understorey community. Light addition, but not nitrogen enrichment, accelerated directional plant community responses to warming, increasing the dominance of warmth-preferring taxa over cold-tolerant plants (a process described as thermophilization(6,10-12)). Tall, competitive plants took greatest advantage of the combination of elevated temperature and light. Warming of the forest floor did not result in strong community thermophilization unless light was also increased. Our findings suggest that the maintenance of locally closed canopy conditions could reduce, at least temporarily, warming-induced changes in forest floor plant communities.

  4. Plant volatiles in polluted atmospheres: stress responses and signal degradation

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    BLANDE, JAMES D; HOLOPAINEN, JARMO K; NIINEMETS, ÜLO

    2014-01-01

    .... Volatiles induced by herbivore feeding are among the best studied plant responses to stress and may constitute an informative message to the surrounding community and further function in plant defence processes...

  5. 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.

  6. Changes in root-associated microbial communities are determined by species-specific plant growth responses to stress and disturbance

    OpenAIRE

    Bouasria, A.; Mustafa, T.; Bello, F; Zinger, L.; Lempérière, Guy; Geremia, R A; Choler, P.

    2012-01-01

    The diversity changes in the rhizosphere microbial communities of four grass species submitted to a stress (drought) and/or a disturbance (defoliation) were examined in a full factorial common garden experiment. The diversity of bacterial and fungal communities was determined using Single Strand Conformation Polymorphism (SSCP) and multivariate analyses of variance were performed to test for the effect of experimental factors on microbial beta diversity, i.e. the variation of microbial commun...

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. Linking above- and below-ground biodiversity: abundance and trophic complexity in soil as a response to experimental plant communities on abandoned arable land

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Korthals, G.W.; Smilauer, P.; Van Dijk, C.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2001-01-01

    1. This study investigates the effects of experimental plant communities on different trophic levels in the soil food web of abandoned arable land. 2. In April 1996, a biodiversity experiment commenced using a continuation of agricultural crop rotation (CCR), spontaneous succession with naturally co

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Plant response to polluted air

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kendrick, J.B. Jr.; Darley, E.F.; Middleton, J.T.; Paulus, A.O.

    1956-08-01

    Field observations and controlled fumigation experiments have shown that plants differ in their response to atmospheric contamination by ethylene, herbicides, fluorides, sulfur dioxide, and smog, or oxidized hydrocarbons. Controlled experiments have also shown that plant response to air pollution varies with species and variety of plant, age of plant tissue, soil fertility levels, soil moisture, air temperatures during the prefumigation growth period, and presence of certain agricultural chemicals on leaves. The leaves of many plants; such as tomato, African marigold, fuchsia, pepper, and potato, become curved and malformed in the presence of ethylene, while those of cantaloupe, China aster, gardenia, Cattleya orchid, and snapdragon do not. Ethylene may cause serious damage to the sepals of orchids without injury to the petals or leaves.

  13. Plant Responses to Nanoparticle Stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zahed Hossain

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available With the rapid advancement in nanotechnology, release of nanoscale materials into the environment is inevitable. Such contamination may negatively influence the functioning of the ecosystems. Many manufactured nanoparticles (NPs contain heavy metals, which can cause soil and water contamination. Proteomic techniques have contributed substantially in understanding the molecular mechanisms of plant responses against various stresses by providing a link between gene expression and cell metabolism. As the coding regions of genome are responsible for plant adaptation to adverse conditions, protein signatures provide insights into the phytotoxicity of NPs at proteome level. This review summarizes the recent contributions of plant proteomic research to elaborate the complex molecular pathways of plant response to NPs stress.

  14. Microbial Community Dynamics and Response to Plant Growth-Promoting Microorganisms in the Rhizosphere of Four Common Food Crops Cultivated in Hydroponics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheridan, C; Depuydt, P; De Ro, M; Petit, C; Van Gysegem, E; Delaere, P; Dixon, M; Stasiak, M; Aciksöz, S B; Frossard, E; Paradiso, R; De Pascale, S; Ventorino, V; De Meyer, T; Sas, B; Geelen, D

    2017-02-01

    Plant growth promoting microorganisms (PGPMs) of the plant root zone microbiome have received limited attention in hydroponic cultivation systems. In the framework of a project aimed at the development of a biological life support system for manned missions in space, we investigated the effects of PGPMs on four common food crops (durum and bread wheat, potato and soybean) cultivated in recirculating hydroponic systems for a whole life cycle. Each crop was inoculated with a commercial PGPM mixture and the composition of the microbial communities associated with their root rhizosphere, rhizoplane/endosphere and with the recirculating nutrient solution was characterised through 16S- and ITS-targeted Illumina MiSeq sequencing. PGPM addition was shown to induce changes in the composition of these communities, though these changes varied both between crops and over time. Microbial communities of PGPM-treated plants were shown to be more stable over time. Though additional development is required, this study highlights the potential benefits that PGPMs may confer to plants grown in hydroponic systems, particularly when cultivated in extreme environments such as space.

  15. Community patterns of tropical tree phenology derived from Unmanned Aerial Vehicle images: intra- and interspecific variation, association with species plant traits, and response to interannual climate variation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohlman, Stephanie; Rifai, Sami; Park, John; Dandois, Jonathan; Muller-Landau, Helene

    2017-04-01

    identities of 2000 crowns in the images by linking the crowns to stem tags in the field, thus producing a time series of cumulative annual deciduousness for 65 species. Deciduousness showed continuous variation among species rather than distinct phenological categories (ie evergreen and deciduous) that are commonly used in physiological, ecosystem and modeling studies. Some species labelled as evergreen by expert-based classification had annual deciduousness higher than those labelled as deciduous. We found significant, positive relationships between species mean deciduousness and species' leaf phosphorous, photosynthetic capacity and adult relative growth rate, suggesting that higher deciduousness is associated with greater resource acquisition. Comparing May 2015 (during an El Nino drought) and May 2014 (an non El Nino year with normal rainfall), mean deciduousness values for nearly all species was greater in 2015 but with differing levels of intraspecific variation. We discuss how the variation in deciduousness among species, its relationship with plant traits and response to the drought might be incorporated into terrestrial biosphere models of tropical forests to more accurately represent phenology and understand the consequences of community-level variation in phenology for ecosystem processes.

  16. 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

  17. Predicting plant responses to mycorrhizal: integrating evolutionary history and plant traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    The importance of mycorrhizae to most individual plant species is unknown, and responses to mycorrhizal fungi are known to vary among plant species. This complicates interpreting the extent that mycorrhizae affect plant populations, communities, and ecosystems and contributes to their underutilizat...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Dominant plant taxa predict plant productivity responses to CO2 enrichment across precipitation and soil gradients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fay, Philip A.; Newingham, Beth A.; Polley, H. Wayne; Morgan, Jack A.; LeCain, Daniel R.; Nowak, Robert S.; Smith, Stanley D.

    2015-01-01

    The Earth's atmosphere will continue to be enriched with carbon dioxide (CO2) over the coming century. Carbon dioxide enrichment often reduces leaf transpiration, which in water-limited ecosystems may increase soil water content, change species abundances and increase the productivity of plant communities. The effect of increased soil water on community productivity and community change may be greater in ecosystems with lower precipitation, or on coarser-textured soils, but responses are likely absent in deserts. We tested correlations among yearly increases in soil water content, community change and community plant productivity responses to CO2 enrichment in experiments in a mesic grassland with fine- to coarse-textured soils, a semi-arid grassland and a xeric shrubland. We found no correlation between CO2-caused changes in soil water content and changes in biomass of dominant plant taxa or total community aboveground biomass in either grassland type or on any soil in the mesic grassland (P > 0.60). Instead, increases in dominant taxa biomass explained up to 85 % of the increases in total community biomass under CO2 enrichment. The effect of community change on community productivity was stronger in the semi-arid grassland than in the mesic grassland, where community biomass change on one soil was not correlated with the change in either the soil water content or the dominant taxa. No sustained increases in soil water content or community productivity and no change in dominant plant taxa occurred in the xeric shrubland. Thus, community change was a crucial driver of community productivity responses to CO2 enrichment in the grasslands, but effects of soil water change on productivity were not evident in yearly responses to CO2 enrichment. Future research is necessary to isolate and clarify the mechanisms controlling the temporal and spatial variations in the linkages among soil water, community change and plant productivity responses to CO2 enrichment. PMID

  1. Thrips responses to plant odours

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kogel, de W.J.; Koschier, E.H.

    2002-01-01

    Thrips responses to plant odour compounds were assessed using a Y-tube olfactometer. Several compounds were attractive to adult Frankliniella occidentalis females, since the majority walked towards the odour source. Some odours that were attractive for western flower thrips appeared to be non-attrac

  2. Diminished response of arctic plants to warming over time.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelseyann S Kremers

    Full Text Available The goal of this study is to determine if the response of arctic plants to warming is consistent across species, locations and time. This study examined the impact of experimental warming and natural temperature variation on plants at Barrow and Atqasuk, Alaska beginning in 1994. We considered observations of plant performance collected from 1994-2000 "short-term" and those from 2007-2012 "long-term". The plant traits reported are the number of inflorescences, inflorescence height, leaf length, and day of flower emergence. These traits can inform us about larger scale processes such as plant reproductive effort, plant growth, and plant phenology, and therefore provide valuable insight into community dynamics, carbon uptake, and trophic interactions. We categorized traits of all species monitored at each site into temperature response types. We then compared response types across traits, plant growth forms, sites, and over time to analyze the consistency of plant response to warming. Graminoids were the most responsive to warming and showed a positive response to temperature, while shrubs were generally the least responsive. Almost half (49% of response types (across all traits, species, and sites combined changed from short-term to long-term. The percent of plants responsive to warming decreased from 57% (short-term to 46% (long-term. These results indicate that the response of plants to warming varies over time and has diminished overall in recent years.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAbee, Kathryn; Reinhardt, Keith; Germino, Matthew; Bosworth, Andrew

    2017-01-01

    Semi-arid rangelands are important carbon (C) pools at global scales. However, the degree of net C storage or release in water-limited systems is a function of precipitation amount and timing, as well as plant community composition. In northern latitudes of western North America, C storage in cold-desert ecosystems could increase with boosts in wintertime precipitation, in which climate models predict, due to increases in wintertime soil water storage that enhance summertime productivity. However, there are few long-term, manipulative field-based studies investigating how rangelands will respond to altered precipitation amount or timing. We measured aboveground C pools and fluxes at leaf, soil, and ecosystem scales over a single growing season in plots that had 200 mm of supplemental precipitation added in either winter or summer for the past 21 years, in shrub- and exotic-bunchgrass-dominated garden plots. At our cold-desert site (298 mm precipitation during the study year), we hypothesized that increased winter precipitation would stimulate the aboveground C uptake and storage relative to ambient conditions, especially in plots containing shrubs. Our hypotheses were generally supported: ecosystem C uptake and long-term biomass accumulation were greater in winter- and summer-irrigated plots compared to control plots in both vegetation communities. However, substantial increases in the aboveground biomass occurred only in winter-irrigated plots that contained shrubs. Our findings suggest that increases in winter precipitation will enhance C storage of this widespread ecosystem, and moreso in shrub- compared to grass-dominated communities.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Community and ecosystem responses to elevational gradients

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sundqvist, Maja K.; Sanders, Nate; Wardle, David A.

    2013-01-01

    Community structure and ecosystem processes often vary along elevational gradients. Their responses to elevation are commonly driven by changes in temperature, and many community- and ecosystem-level variables therefore frequently respond similarly to elevation across contrasting gradients. There...

  14. 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%.

  15. 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...

  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. 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...

  18. Understanding Plant Development and Stress Responses through Integrative Approaches

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Katie Dehesh; Chun-Ming Liu

    2010-01-01

    @@ As the name reflects, integrative plant biology is the core topic of JIPB. In the past few years JIPB has been pursuing the development of this area, to assist the scientific community to bring together all possible research tools to understand plant growth, development and stress responses in micro- and macro-scales. As part of these efforts, JIPB and Yantai University organized the 1st International Symposium on Integrative Plant Biology in the seaside town of Yantai during August 10-12,2009 (Figure 1). The symposium was co-sponsored by Botanical Society of China, Chinese Society for Cell Biology, Genetics Society of China, and Chinese Society for Plant Physiology.

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. Plants having modified response to ethylene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyerowitz, E.M.; Chang, C.; Bleecker, A.B.

    1997-11-18

    The invention includes transformed plants having at least one cell transformed with a modified ETR nucleic acid. Such plants have a phenotype characterized by a decrease in the response of at least one transformed plant cell to ethylene as compared to a plant not containing the transformed plant cell. Tissue and/or temporal specificity for expression of the modified ETR nucleic acid is controlled by selecting appropriate expression regulation sequences to target the location and/or time of expression of the transformed nucleic acid. The plants are made by transforming at least one plant cell with an appropriate modified ETR nucleic acid, regenerating plants from one or more of the transformed plant cells and selecting at least one plant having the desired phenotype. 31 figs.

  4. Plant immune responses triggered by beneficial microbes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wees, A.C.M. van; Ent, S. van der; Pieterse, C.M.J.

    2008-01-01

    Beneficial soil-borne microorganisms, such as plant growth promoting rhizobacteria and mycorrhizal fungi,can improve plant performance by inducing systemic defense responses that confer broad-spectrum resistance to plant pathogens and even insect herbivores. Different beneficial microbe-associated m

  5. Plant responses to insect egg deposition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hilker, M.; Fatouros, N.E.

    2015-01-01

    Plants can respond to insect egg deposition and thus resist attack by herbivorous insects from the beginning of the attack, egg deposition. We review ecological effects of plant responses to insect eggs and differentiate between egg-induced plant defenses that directly harm the eggs and indirect

  6. Plant responses to insect egg deposition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hilker, M.; Fatouros, N.E.

    2015-01-01

    Plants can respond to insect egg deposition and thus resist attack by herbivorous insects from the beginning of the attack, egg deposition. We review ecological effects of plant responses to insect eggs and differentiate between egg-induced plant defenses that directly harm the eggs and indirect def

  7. Plant responses to tropospheric ozone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tropospheric ozone is the second most abundant air pollutant and an important component of the global climate change. Over five decades of research on the phytotoxicity of ozone in model plants systems, crop plants and forest trees have provided some insight into the physiological, biochemical and m...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. Molecular mechanisms in plant abiotic stress response

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Poltronieri Palmiro

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Improved crop varieties are needed to sustain the food supply, to fight climate changes, water scarcity, temperature increase and a high variability of rainfalls. Variability of drought and increase in soil salinity have negative effects on plant growth and abiotic stresses seriously threaten sustainable agricultural production. To overcome the influence of abiotic stresses, new tolerant plant varieties and breeding techniques using assisted selection are sought. A deep understanding of the mechanisms that respond to stress and sustain stress resistance is required. Here is presented an overview of several mechanisms that interact in the stress response. Localised synthesis of plant hormones, second messengers and local effectors of abiotic stress response and survival, the signaling pathways regulated by plant hormones are today better understood. Metabolic networks in drought stress responses, long distance signaling, cross-talk between plant organs finalised to tissue-specific expression of abiotic stress relieving genes have been at the centre of most recent studies.

  15. 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.

  16. Response of a salt marsh microbial community to antibiotic contamination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandes, Joana P; Almeida, C Marisa R; Basto, M Clara P; Mucha, Ana P

    2015-11-01

    Salt marsh plants and associated microorganisms can have an important role in contaminant removal from estuaries, through bioremediation processes. Nevertheless, the interaction between emerging contaminants, namely antibiotics, and plant-microorganism associations in estuarine environment are still scarcely known. In this vein, the aim of the present study was to evaluate, in controlled conditions, the response of a salt marsh plant-microorganism association to a contamination with a veterinary antibiotic. For that a salt marsh plant (Phragmites australis) and its respective rhizosediment were collected in a temperate estuary (Lima estuary, NW Portugal) and exposed for 7 days to enrofloxacin (ENR) under different nutritional conditions in sediment elutriates. Response was evaluated in terms of ENR removal and changes in microbial community structure (evaluated by ARISA) and abundance (estimated by DAPI). In general, no significant changes were observed in microbial abundance. Changes in bacterial richness and diversity were observed but only in unplanted systems. However, multivariate analysis of ARISA profiles showed significant effect of both the presence of plant and type of treatment on the microbial community structure, with significant differences among all treatment groups. In addition, plants and associated microorganisms presented a potential for antibiotic removal that, although highly dependent on their nutritional status, can be a valuable asset to recover impacted areas such as estuarine ones.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard R Rodrigues

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

  18. 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

  19. Compatible plant-aphid interactions: how aphids manipulate plant responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giordanengo, Philippe; Brunissen, Laurence; Rusterucci, Christine; Vincent, Charles; van Bel, Aart; Dinant, Sylvie; Girousse, Christine; Faucher, Mireille; Bonnemain, Jean-Louis

    2010-01-01

    To access phloem sap, aphids have developed a furtive strategy, their stylets progressing towards sieve tubes mainly through the apoplasmic compartment. Aphid feeding requires that they overcome a number of plant responses, ranging from sieve tube occlusion and activation of phytohormone-signalling pathways to expression of anti-insect molecules. In addition to bypassing plant defences, aphids have been shown to affect plant primary metabolism, which could be a strategy to improve phloem sap composition in nutrients required for their growth. During compatible interactions, leading to successful feeding and reproduction, aphids cause alterations in their host plant, including morphological changes, modified resource allocation and various local as well as systemic symptoms. Repeated salivary secretions injected from the first probe in the epidermal tissue up to ingestion of sieve-tube sap may play a crucial role in the compatibility between the aphid and the plant.

  20. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. Fungal symbionts alter plant drought response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worchel, Elise R; Giauque, Hannah E; Kivlin, Stephanie N

    2013-04-01

    Grassland productivity is often primarily limited by water availability, and therefore, grasslands may be especially sensitive to climate change. Fungal symbionts can mediate plant drought response by enhancing drought tolerance and avoidance, but these effects have not been quantified across grass species. We performed a factorial meta-analysis of previously published studies to determine how arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and endophytic fungal symbionts affect growth of grasses under drought. We then examined how the effect of fungal symbionts on plant growth was influenced by biotic (plant photosynthetic pathway) and abiotic (level of drought) factors. We also measured the phylogenetic signal of fungal symbionts on grass growth under control and drought conditions. Under drought conditions, grasses colonized by AM fungi grew larger than those without mycorrhizal symbionts. The increased growth of grasses conferred from fungal symbionts was greatest at the lowest soil moisture levels. Furthermore, under both drought and control conditions, C3 grasses colonized by AM fungi grew larger than C3 grasses without symbionts, but the biomass of C4 grasses was not affected by AM fungi. Endophytes did not increase plant biomass overall under any treatment. However, there was a phylogenetically conserved increase in plant biomass in grasses colonized by endophytes. Grasses and their fungal symbionts seem to interact within a context-dependent symbiosis, varying with biotic and abiotic conditions. Because plant-fungal symbioses significantly alter plant drought response, including these responses could improve our ability to predict grassland functioning under global change.

  9. A plant's perspective of extremes: terrestrial plant responses to changing climatic variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyer, Christopher P O; Leuzinger, Sebastian; Rammig, Anja; Wolf, Annett; Bartholomeus, Ruud P; Bonfante, Antonello; de Lorenzi, Francesca; Dury, Marie; Gloning, Philipp; Abou Jaoudé, Renée; Klein, Tamir; Kuster, Thomas M; Martins, Monica; Niedrist, Georg; Riccardi, Maria; Wohlfahrt, Georg; de Angelis, Paolo; de Dato, Giovanbattista; François, Louis; Menzel, Annette; Pereira, Marízia

    2013-01-01

    We review observational, experimental, and model results on how plants respond to extreme climatic conditions induced by changing climatic variability. Distinguishing between impacts of changing mean climatic conditions and changing climatic variability on terrestrial ecosystems is generally underrated in current studies. The goals of our review are thus (1) to identify plant processes that are vulnerable to changes in the variability of climatic variables rather than to changes in their mean, and (2) to depict/evaluate available study designs to quantify responses of plants to changing climatic variability. We find that phenology is largely affected by changing mean climate but also that impacts of climatic variability are much less studied, although potentially damaging. We note that plant water relations seem to be very vulnerable to extremes driven by changes in temperature and precipitation and that heat-waves and flooding have stronger impacts on physiological processes than changing mean climate. Moreover, interacting phenological and physiological processes are likely to further complicate plant responses to changing climatic variability. Phenological and physiological processes and their interactions culminate in even more sophisticated responses to changing mean climate and climatic variability at the species and community level. Generally, observational studies are well suited to study plant responses to changing mean climate, but less suitable to gain a mechanistic understanding of plant responses to climatic variability. Experiments seem best suited to simulate extreme events. In models, temporal resolution and model structure are crucial to capture plant responses to changing climatic variability. We highlight that a combination of experimental, observational, and/or modeling studies have the potential to overcome important caveats of the respective individual approaches.

  10. Insect response to plant defensive protease inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu-Salzman, Keyan; Zeng, Rensen

    2015-01-07

    Plant protease inhibitors (PIs) are natural plant defense proteins that inhibit proteases of invading insect herbivores. However, their anti-insect efficacy is determined not only by their potency toward a vulnerable insect system but also by the response of the insect to such a challenge. Through the long history of coevolution with their host plants, insects have developed sophisticated mechanisms to circumvent antinutritional effects of dietary challenges. Their response takes the form of changes in gene expression and the protein repertoire in cells lining the alimentary tract, the first line of defense. Research in insect digestive proteases has revealed the crucial roles they play in insect adaptation to plant PIs and has brought about a new appreciation of how phytophagous insects employ this group of molecules in both protein digestion and counterdefense. This review provides researchers in related fields an up-to-date summary of recent advances.

  11. Advancing High Spatial and Spectral Resolution Remote Sensing for Observing Plant Community Response to Environmental Variability and Change in the Alaskan Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas Zesati, Sergio A.

    The Arctic is being impacted by climate change more than any other region on Earth. Impacts to terrestrial ecosystems have the potential to manifest through feedbacks with other components of the Earth System. Of particular concern is the potential for the massive store of soil organic carbon to be released from arctic permafrost to the atmosphere where it could exacerbate greenhouse warming and impact global climate and biogeochemical cycles. Even though substantial gains to our understanding of the changing Arctic have been made, especially over the past decade, linking research results from plot to regional scales remains a challenge due to the lack of adequate low/mid-altitude sampling platforms, logistic constraints, and the lack of cross-scale validation of research methodologies. The prime motivation of this study is to advance observational capacities suitable for documenting multi-scale environmental change in arctic terrestrial landscapes through the development and testing of novel ground-based and low altitude remote sensing methods. Specifically this study addressed the following questions: • How well can low-cost kite aerial photography and advanced computer vision techniques model the microtopographic heterogeneity of changing tundra surfaces? • How does imagery from kite aerial photography and fixed time-lapse digital cameras (pheno-cams) compare in their capacity to monitor plot-level phenological dynamics of arctic vegetation communities? • Can the use of multi-scale digital imaging systems be scaled to improve measurements of ecosystem properties and processes at the landscape level? • How do results from ground-based and low altitude digital remote sensing of the spatiotemporal variability in ecosystem processes compare with those from satellite remote sensing platforms? Key findings from this study suggest that cost-effective alternative digital imaging and remote sensing methods are suitable for monitoring and quantifying plot to

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. Soil bacterial community responses to global changes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bergmark, Lasse

    /change the microbial community towards a higher fungal dominance. That could lead to a change in the carbon and nutrient flow in soil. In Manuscript 2 the impact of climate change manipulations and the seasonal dynamics of soil fungi and bacterial communities are investigated. Our results show that the soil fungal......Soil bacteria and archaea are essential for ecosystem functioning and plant growth through their degradation of organic matter and turnover of nutrients. But since the majority of soil bacteria and archaea are unclassified and “nonculturable” the functionality of the microbial community and its...... overall importance for ecosystem function in soil is poorly understood. Global change factors may affect the diversity and functioning of soil prokaryotes and thereby ecosystem functioning. To gain a better understanding of the effects of global changes it is of fundamental importance to classify...

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Flexible resource allocation during plant defense responses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jack C. Schultz

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Plants are organisms composed of modules connected by xylem and phloem transport streams. Attack by both insects and pathogens elicits sometimes rapid defense responses in the attacked module. We have also known for some time that proteins are often reallocated away from pathogen-infected tissues, while the same infection sites may draw carbohydrates to them. This has been interpreted as a tug of war in which the plant withdraws critical resources to block microbial growth while the microbes attempt to acquire more resources. Sink-source regulated transport among modules of critical resources, particularly carbon and nitrogen, is also altered in response to attack. Insects and jasmonate can increase local sink strength, drawing carbohydrates that support defense production. Shortly after attack, carbohydrates may also be drawn to the root. The rate and direction of movement of photosynthate or signals in phloem in response to attack is subject to constraints that include branching, degree of connection among tissues, distance between sources and sinks, proximity, strength, and number of competing sinks, and phloem loading/unloading regulators. Movement of materials (e.g., amino acids, signals to or from attack sites in xylem is less well understood but is partly driven by transpiration. The root is an influential sink and may regulate sink-source interactions and transport above and below ground as well as between the plant and the rhizosphere and nearby, connected plants. Research on resource translocation in response to pathogens or herbivores has focused on biochemical mechanisms; whole-plant research is needed to determine which, if any, of these plant behaviors actually influence plant fitness.

  1. 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.

  2. Augmenting Plant Immune Responses and Biological Control by Microbial Determinants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sang Moo Lee

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Plant have developed sophisticated defence mechanisms against microbial pathogens. The recent accumulated information allow us to understand the nature of plant immune responses followed by recognition of microbial factors/determinants through cutting-edge genomics and multi-omics techniques. However, the practical approaches to sustain plant health using enhancement of plant immunity is yet to be fully appreciated. Here, we overviewed the general concept and representative examples on the plant immunity. The fungal, bacterial, and viral determinants that was previously reported as the triggers of plant immune responses are introduced and described as the potential protocol of biological control. Specifically, the role of chitin, glucan, lipopolysaccharides/extracellular polysaccharides, microbe/pathogen-associated molecular pattern, antibiotics, mimic-phytohormones, N-acyl homoserine lactone, harpin, vitamins, and volatile organic compounds are considered. We hope that this review stimulates scientific community and farmers to broaden their knowledge on the microbial determinant-based biological control and to apply the technology on the integrated pest management program.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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)

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. Plant Responses to High Frequency Electromagnetic Fields

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alain Vian

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available High frequency nonionizing electromagnetic fields (HF-EMF that are increasingly present in the environment constitute a genuine environmental stimulus able to evoke specific responses in plants that share many similarities with those observed after a stressful treatment. Plants constitute an outstanding model to study such interactions since their architecture (high surface area to volume ratio optimizes their interaction with the environment. In the present review, after identifying the main exposure devices (transverse and gigahertz electromagnetic cells, wave guide, and mode stirred reverberating chamber and general physics laws that govern EMF interactions with plants, we illustrate some of the observed responses after exposure to HF-EMF at the cellular, molecular, and whole plant scale. Indeed, numerous metabolic activities (reactive oxygen species metabolism, α- and β-amylase, Krebs cycle, pentose phosphate pathway, chlorophyll content, terpene emission, etc. are modified, gene expression altered (calmodulin, calcium-dependent protein kinase, and proteinase inhibitor, and growth reduced (stem elongation and dry weight after low power (i.e., nonthermal HF-EMF exposure. These changes occur not only in the tissues directly exposed but also systemically in distant tissues. While the long-term impact of these metabolic changes remains largely unknown, we propose to consider nonionizing HF-EMF radiation as a noninjurious, genuine environmental factor that readily evokes changes in plant metabolism.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Gap Assessment in the Emergency Response Community

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barr, Jonathan L.; Burtner, Edwin R.; Pike, William A.; Peddicord, Annie M Boe; Minsk, Brian S.

    2010-09-27

    This report describes a gap analysis of the emergency response and management (EM) community, performed during the fall of 2009. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) undertook this effort to identify potential improvements to the functional domains in EM that could be provided by the application of current or future technology. To perform this domain-based gap analysis, PNNL personnel interviewed subject matter experts (SMEs) across the EM domain; to make certain that the analyses reflected a representative view of the community, the SMEs were from a variety of geographic areas and from various sized communities (urban, suburban, and rural). PNNL personnel also examined recent and relevant after-action reports and U.S. Government Accountability Office reports.

  20. Community stakeholder responses to advocacy advertising

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, B.; Sinclair, J. [Elon University, Elon, NC (United States). School Community

    2009-07-01

    Focus group research was used to examine how community stakeholders, a group with local industry experience, responded to coal industry advocacy messages. The stakeholders expressed beliefs about both the advertiser and the coal industry, and while their knowledge led to critical consideration of the industry campaign, they also expressed a desire to identify with positive messages about their community. Applying a postpositivist research perspective, a new model is introduced to integrate these beliefs in terms of advertiser trust and industry accountability under the existing theoretical framework of persuasion knowledge. Agent and topic knowledge are combined in this model based on responses to the industry advocacy campaign. In doing so, this study integrates a priori theory within a new context, extending the current theoretical framework to include an understanding of how community stakeholders - a common target for marketplace advocacy - interpret industry messages.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Tropospheric ozone and plants: absorption, responses, and consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Kyoungwon; Tiwari, Supriya; Agrawal, S B; Torres, N L; Agrawal, Madhoolika; Sarkar, Abhijit; Shibato, Junko; Agrawal, Ganesh K; Kubo, Akihiro; Rakwal, Randeep

    2011-01-01

    carried out ans have generated an inventory of O₃-Responsive components--a great resource to the scientific community. Recently, it has been shown that certain organic chemicals ans elevated CO₂ levels are effective in ameliorating O₃-generated stress. Both targeted and highthroughput approaches have advanced our knowledge concerning what O₃-triggerred signaling and metabolic pathways exist in plants. Moreover, recently generated information, and several biomarkers for O₃, may, in the future, be exploited to better screen and develop O₃-tolerant plants.

  6. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  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. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  15. Quality Protein Maize Response to Nitrogen Rate and Plant Density ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Quality Protein Maize Response to Nitrogen Rate and Plant Density in the Guinea Savanna Zone of Ghana. ... protein maize (Zea mays L.) hybrid to plant density and nitrogen (N) fertilizer. ... Optimal N rate was not affected by plant density.

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Wetland Microbial Community Response to Restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theroux, S.; Hartman, W.; Tringe, S. G.

    2015-12-01

    Wetland restoration has been proposed as a potential long-term carbon storage solution, with a goal of engineering geochemical dynamics to accelerate peat accretion and encourage greenhouse gas (GHG) sequestration. However, wetland microbial community composition and metabolic rates are poorly understood and their predicted response to wetland restoration is a veritable unknown. In an effort to better understand the underlying factors that shape the balance of carbon flux in wetland soils, we targeted the microbial communities along a salinity gradient ranging from freshwater tidal marshes to hypersaline ponds in the San Francisco Bay-Delta region. Using 16S rRNA gene sequencing and shotgun metagenomics, coupled with greenhouse gas measurements, we sampled sixteen sites capturing a range in salinity and restoration status. Seawater delivers sulfate to wetland ecosystems, encouraging sulfate reduction and discouraging methane production. As expected, we observed the highest rates of methane production in the freshwater wetlands. Recently restored wetlands had significantly higher rates of methane production compared to their historic counterparts that could be attributed to variations in trace metal and organic carbon content in younger wetlands. In contrast, our sequencing results revealed an almost immediate return of the indigenous microbial communities following seasonal flooding and full tidal restoration in saline and hypersaline wetlands and managed ponds. Notably, we found elevated methane production rates in hypersaline ponds, the result of methylotrophic methane production confirmed by sequence data and lab incubations. Our study links belowground microbial communities and their aboveground greenhouse gas production and highlights the inherent complexity in predicting wetland microbial response in the face of both natural and unnatural disturbances.

  20. 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.

  1. Soil bacterial community responses to global changes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bergmark, Lasse

    ’ of climate change manipulations on soil microorganisms and nutrient availability in a Danish heathland, where the samples were taken shortly after a prolonged pre-summer drought. The major findings in the study are that warming increased measures of fungi and bacteria and drought might shift......Soil bacteria and archaea are essential for ecosystem functioning and plant growth through their degradation of organic matter and turnover of nutrients. But since the majority of soil bacteria and archaea are unclassified and “nonculturable” the functionality of the microbial community and its...... overall importance for ecosystem function in soil is poorly understood. Global change factors may affect the diversity and functioning of soil prokaryotes and thereby ecosystem functioning. To gain a better understanding of the effects of global changes it is of fundamental importance to classify...

  2. Does responsiveness to arbuscular mycorrhizas depend on plant invasive status?

    Science.gov (United States)

    1. Some posit invasive alien plants are less dependent on mycorrhizal associations than native plants, and thus weak mycorrhizal responsiveness may be a general mechanism of plant invasion. 2. Here, we tested whether mycorrhizal responsiveness varies by plant invasive status while controlling for ph...

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  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. 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.

  11. [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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Community functional responses to soil and climate at multiple spatial scales: when does intraspecific variation matter?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Siefert

    Full Text Available Despite increasing evidence of the importance of intraspecific trait variation in plant communities, its role in community trait responses to environmental variation, particularly along broad-scale climatic gradients, is poorly understood. We analyzed functional trait variation among early-successional herbaceous plant communities (old fields across a 1200-km latitudinal extent in eastern North America, focusing on four traits: vegetative height, leaf area, specific leaf area (SLA, and leaf dry matter content (LDMC. We determined the contributions of species turnover and intraspecific variation to between-site functional dissimilarity at multiple spatial scales and community trait responses to edaphic and climatic factors. Among-site variation in community mean trait values and community trait responses to the environment were generated by a combination of species turnover and intraspecific variation, with species turnover making a greater contribution for all traits. The relative importance of intraspecific variation decreased with increasing geographic and environmental distance between sites for SLA and leaf area. Intraspecific variation was most important for responses of vegetative height and responses to edaphic compared to climatic factors. Individual species displayed strong trait responses to environmental factors in many cases, but these responses were highly variable among species and did not usually scale up to the community level. These findings provide new insights into the role of intraspecific trait variation in plant communities and the factors controlling its relative importance. The contribution of intraspecific variation to community trait responses was greatest at fine spatial scales and along edaphic gradients, while species turnover dominated at broad spatial scales and along climatic gradients.

  16. Community functional responses to soil and climate at multiple spatial scales: when does intraspecific variation matter?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siefert, Andrew; Fridley, Jason D; Ritchie, Mark E

    2014-01-01

    Despite increasing evidence of the importance of intraspecific trait variation in plant communities, its role in community trait responses to environmental variation, particularly along broad-scale climatic gradients, is poorly understood. We analyzed functional trait variation among early-successional herbaceous plant communities (old fields) across a 1200-km latitudinal extent in eastern North America, focusing on four traits: vegetative height, leaf area, specific leaf area (SLA), and leaf dry matter content (LDMC). We determined the contributions of species turnover and intraspecific variation to between-site functional dissimilarity at multiple spatial scales and community trait responses to edaphic and climatic factors. Among-site variation in community mean trait values and community trait responses to the environment were generated by a combination of species turnover and intraspecific variation, with species turnover making a greater contribution for all traits. The relative importance of intraspecific variation decreased with increasing geographic and environmental distance between sites for SLA and leaf area. Intraspecific variation was most important for responses of vegetative height and responses to edaphic compared to climatic factors. Individual species displayed strong trait responses to environmental factors in many cases, but these responses were highly variable among species and did not usually scale up to the community level. These findings provide new insights into the role of intraspecific trait variation in plant communities and the factors controlling its relative importance. The contribution of intraspecific variation to community trait responses was greatest at fine spatial scales and along edaphic gradients, while species turnover dominated at broad spatial scales and along climatic gradients.

  17. Scaling plant nitrogen use and uptake efficiencies in response to nutrient addition in peatlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iversen, Colleen M; Bridgham, Scott D; Kellogg, Laurie E

    2010-03-01

    Nitrogen (N) is the primary growth-limiting nutrient in many terrestrial ecosystems, and therefore plant production per unit N taken up (i.e., N use efficiency, NUE) is a fundamentally important component of ecosystem function. Nitrogen use efficiency comprises two components: N productivity (A(N), plant production per peak biomass N content) and the mean residence time of N in plant biomass (MRT(N)). We utilized a five-year fertilization experiment to examine the manner in which increases in N and phosphorus (P) availability affected plant NUE at multiple biological scales (i.e., from leaf to community level). We fertilized a natural gradient of nutrient-limited peatland ecosystems in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, USA, with 6 g N x m(-2) x yr(-1), 2 g P x m(-2) x yr(-1), or a combination of N and P. Our objectives were to determine how changes in carbon and N allocation within a plant to leaf and woody tissue and changes in species composition within a community, both above- and belowground, would affect (1) NUE; (2) the adaptive trade-off between the components of NUE; (3) the efficiency with which plants acquired N from the soil (N uptake efficiency); and (4) plant community production per unit soil N availability (N response efficiency, NRE). As expected, N and P addition generally increased aboveground production and N uptake. In particular, P availability strongly affected the way in which plants took up and used N. Nitrogen use efficiency response to nutrient addition was not straightforward. Nitrogen use efficiency differed between leaf and woody tissue, among species, and across the ombrotrophic-minerotrophic gradient because plants and communities were adapted to maximize either A(N) or MRT(N), but not both concurrently. Increased N availability strongly decreased plant and community N uptake efficiency, while increased P availability increased N uptake efficiency, particularly in a nitrogen-fixing shrub. Nitrogen uptake efficiency was more important

  18. Plant response strategies to stress and disturbance: the case of aquatic plants

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Michèle Trémolières

    2004-12-01

    The environmental factors controlling the establishment and development of plants in different ecosystems are of two types, stress and disturbance. The effects of stress or disturbance on aquatic systems are discussed in relation to the following questions: Can we predict the state and rate of recolonization after a disturbance? What are the strategies of recolonization developed by plants? How high is the resilience of a disturbed system? Two theories, the intermediate disturbance hypothesis, and the patch dynamics concept proposed to predict the composition, structure and dynamics of plants due to physical-chemical factors, were tested on two scales, that of communities and that of species, within two alluvial floodplains (the Rhine and the Rhône systems in France). With regard to the change of community on a larger scale (i.e. the whole network of the cut-off channels in the floodplain), large gradients of connection and disturbance induce high diversities within communities. Moreover, the highest flood disturbance induces a higher species richness and the occurrence of a particular species. The change in species is analysed using biological traits (morphological, reproductive or physiological). In the floodplain of the river Rhône, the response of plants corresponds well to theory, i.e. that habitats with an intermediate disturbance are richer than more or less disturbed habitats. So we can predict, through the biological traits, the functioning of a habitat. The last remaining question is that of the resilience of the system, which can be discussed in terms of species competition and the risk of biological invasion after an opening of habitat.

  19. 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.

  20. Molecular communications between plant heat shock responses and disease resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jae-Hoon; Yun, Hye Sup; Kwon, Chian

    2012-08-01

    As sessile, plants are continuously exposed to potential dangers including various abiotic stresses and pathogen attack. Although most studies focus on plant responses under an ideal condition to a specific stimulus, plants in nature must cope with a variety of stimuli at the same time. This indicates that it is critical for plants to fine-control distinct signaling pathways temporally and spatially for simultaneous and effective responses to various stresses. Global warming is currently a big issue threatening the future of humans. Reponses to high temperature affect many physiological processes in plants including growth and disease resistance, resulting in decrease of crop yield. Although plant heat stress and defense responses share important mediators such as calcium ions and heat shock proteins, it is thought that high temperature generally suppresses plant immunity. We therefore specifically discuss on interactions between plant heat and defense responses in this review hopefully for an integrated understanding of these responses in plants.

  1. Morphological and Physiological Responses of Strawberry Plants to Water Stress

    OpenAIRE

    Krzysztof Klamkowski; Waldemar Treder

    2006-01-01

    The most of previous studies have been focused on the effect of water stress on plant yielding. However, the conditions in which plants grow from the moment of planting might affect their morphology and physiological response. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of water deficiency on growth and plant physiological response of strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa Duch. cv. ‘Salut’) under greenhouse conditions. The plants were grown in plastic containers filled with peat substratum. Wat...

  2. 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.

  3. 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 ...

  4. Plant responses to plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Loon, L.C. van

    2007-01-01

    Non-pathogenic soilborne microorganisms can promote plant growth, as well as suppress diseases. Plant growth promotion is taken to result from improved nutrient acquisition or hormonal stimulation. Disease suppression can occur through microbial antagonism or induction of resistance in the plant. Se

  5. Plant responses to plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Loon, L.C. van

    2007-01-01

    Non-pathogenic soilborne microorganisms can promote plant growth, as well as suppress diseases. Plant growth promotion is taken to result from improved nutrient acquisition or hormonal stimulation. Disease suppression can occur through microbial antagonism or induction of resistance in the plant.

  6. Responses of Soil Bacterial Communities to Nitrogen Deposition and Precipitation Increment Are Closely Linked with Aboveground Community Variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hui; Xu, Zhuwen; Yang, Shan; Li, Xiaobin; Top, Eva M; Wang, Ruzhen; Zhang, Yuge; Cai, Jiangping; Yao, Fei; Han, Xingguo; Jiang, Yong

    2016-05-01

    It has been predicted that precipitation and atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition will increase in northern China; yet, ecosystem responses to the interactive effects of water and N remain largely unknown. In particular, responses of belowground microbial community to projected global change and their potential linkages to aboveground macro-organisms are rarely studied. In this study, we examined the responses of soil bacterial diversity and community composition to increased precipitation and multi-level N deposition in a temperate steppe in Inner Mongolia, China, and explored the diversity linkages between aboveground and belowground communities. It was observed that N addition caused the significant decrease in bacterial alpha-diversity and dramatic changes in community composition. In addition, we documented strong correlations of alpha- and beta-diversity between plant and bacterial communities in response to N addition. It was found that N enriched the so-called copiotrophic bacteria, but reduced the oligotrophic groups, primarily by increasing the soil inorganic N content and carbon availability and decreasing soil pH. We still highlighted that increased precipitation tended to alleviate the effects of N on bacterial diversity and dampen the plant-microbe connections induced by N. The counteractive effects of N addition and increased precipitation imply that even though the ecosystem diversity and function are predicted to be negatively affected by N deposition in the coming decades; the combination with increased precipitation may partially offset this detrimental effect.

  7. Molecular responses in root-associative rhizospheric bacteria to variations in plant exudates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdoun, Hamid; McMillan, Mary; Pereg, Lily

    2015-04-01

    Plant exudates are a major factor in the interface of plant-soil-microbe interactions and it is well documented that the microbial community structure in the rhizosphere is largely influenced by the particular exudates excreted by various plants. Azospirillum brasilense is a plant growth promoting rhizobacterium that is known to interact with a large number of plants, including important food crops. The regulatory gene flcA has an important role in this interaction as it controls morphological differentiation of the bacterium that is essential for attachment to root surfaces. Being a response regulatory gene, flcA mediates the response of the bacterial cell to signals from the surrounding rhizosphere. This makes this regulatory gene a good candidate for analysis of the response of bacteria to rhizospheric alterations, in this case, variations in root exudates. We will report on our studies on the response of Azospirillum, an ecologically, scientifically and agriculturally important bacterial genus, to variations in the rhizosphere.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Regulation of abiotic and biotic stress responses by plant hormones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grosskinsky, Dominik Kilian; van der Graaff, Eric; Roitsch, Thomas Georg

    2016-01-01

    Plant hormones (phytohormones) are signal molecules produced within the plant, and occur in very low concentrations. In the present chapter, the current knowledge on the regulation of biotic and biotic stress responses by plant hormones is summarized with special focus on the novel insights into ...... through ubiquitination. The wide range of biotic and abiotic stresses that affect crop plants limits agricultural production.......Plant hormones (phytohormones) are signal molecules produced within the plant, and occur in very low concentrations. In the present chapter, the current knowledge on the regulation of biotic and biotic stress responses by plant hormones is summarized with special focus on the novel insights...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Drought responses of Arrhenatherum elatius grown in plant assemblages of varying species richness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otieno, Dennis; Kreyling, Juergen; Purcell, Andrew; Herold, Nadine; Grant, Kerstin; Tenhunen, John; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; Jentsch, Anke

    2012-02-01

    Evidence exists that plant community diversity influences productivity of individual members and their resistance and resilience during and after perturbations. We simulated drought within the long-term EVENT experimental site in the Ecological-Botanical Garden, University of Bayreuth to understand how Arrhenatherum elatius (L.) responds to water stress when grown in three different plant assemblages. The set up consisted of five replications for each factorial combination of drought and plant assemblages differing in functional diversity. Leaf water potential (ΨL), leaf gas exchange, natural δ13C, plant biomass and cover were measured. Imposed drought had different effects on A. elatius, depending on plant assemblage composition. Severe water stress was however, avoided by slowing down the rate of decline in ΨL, and this response was modified by community composition. High ΨL was associated with high stomatal conductance and leaf photosynthesis. Biomass production of A. elatius increased due to drought stress only in the least diverse assemblage, likely due to increased tillering and competitive advantage against neighbors in the drought-treated plants. Our results indicate that beneficial traits among plant species in a community may be responsible for the enhanced capacity to survive drought stress. Resistance to drought may, therefore, not be linked to species richness, but rather to the nature of interaction that exists between the community members.

  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. 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

  18. Plant Cell Adaptive Responses to Microgravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kordyum, Elizabeth; Kozeko, Liudmyla; Talalaev, Alexandr

    simulated microgravity and temperature elevation have different effects on the small HSP genes belonging to subfamilies with different subcellular localization: cytosol/nucleus - PsHSP17.1-СІІ and PsHSP18.1-СІ, cloroplasts - PsHSP26.2-Cl, endoplasmatic reticulum - PsHSP22.7-ER and mitochondria - PsHSP22.9-M: unlike high temperature, clinorotation does not cause denaturation of cell proteins, that confirms the sHSP chaperone function. Dynamics of investigated gene expression in pea seedlings growing 5 days after seed germination under clinorotation was similar to that in the stationary control. Similar patterns in dynamics of sHSP gene expression in the stationary control and under clinorotation may be one of mechanisms providing plant adaptation to simulated microgravity. It is pointed that plant cell responses in microgravity and under clinorotation vary according to growth phase, physiological state, and taxonomic position of the object. At the same time, the responses have, to some degree, a similar character reflecting the changes in cell organelle functional load. Thus, next certain changes in the structure and function of plant cells may be considered as adaptive: 1) an increase in the unsaturated fatty acid content in the plasmalemma, 2) rearrangements of organelle ultrastructure and an increase in their functional load, 3) an increase in cortical F-actin under destabilization of tubulin microtubules, 4) the level of gene expression and synthesis of heat shock proteins, 5) alterations of the enzyme and antioxidant system activity. The dynamics of these patterns demonstrated that the adaptation occurs on the principle of self-regulating systems in the limits of physiological norm reaction. The very importance of changed expression of genes involved in different cellular processes, especially HSP genes, in cell adaptation to altered gravity is discussed.

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. Plant responsiveness to mycorrhizas differs from dependence upon mycorrhizas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janos, David P

    2007-03-01

    Soil phosphorus response curves of plants with and without mycorrhizas reflect two different, but complementary, phenomena. The first, plant responsiveness to mycorrhizas, is represented by the difference in growth between plants with and without mycorrhizas at any designated level of phosphorus availability. This is also a measure of mycorrhizal fungus effectiveness. The second, the lowest level of phosphorus availability at which plants can grow without mycorrhizas, is here termed dependence upon mycorrhizas. The latter definition differs from conventional usage which fails to distinguish dependence from responsiveness. Sigmoid curves generated by the three-parameter, logistic equation generally can model the responses of plants to mycorrhizas and phosphorus addition and can be used to assess responsiveness, effectiveness, and dependence. Such curves reveal that plant responsiveness or fungus effectiveness determined at a single level of phosphorus availability may be misleading when used to compare different host species' intrinsic capacities to respond to different mycorrhizal fungus species. Instead, the same relative position should be evaluated among phosphorus response curves for different species combinations. Dependence of a plant species known to benefit from mycorrhizas can be assessed with reference to only the phosphorus response curve of plants without mycorrhizas. Dependence is a constitutive property of plant species that can be used to classify them as facultatively or obligately mycotrophic. Dependence is a plant attribute upon which natural selection can act, but responsiveness and effectiveness cannot be selected directly because they are emergent properties of the interaction between plant and fungus species.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Physiological blockage in plants in response to postharvest stress ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Physiological blockage in plants in response to postharvest stress. ... African Journal of Biotechnology. Journal Home · ABOUT ... However, ornamental plants are used in floral arrangements in vases and have limited shelf-life. Thus, this study ...

  8. Plants' responses to drought and shade environments | Kwon ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Plants' responses to drought and shade environments. ... African Journal of Biotechnology. Journal Home · ABOUT · Advanced Search · Current ... Water and light are the most important environements for plants' growth. These environemts are ...

  9. Soil Microbial Community Responses to Long-Term Global Change Factors in a California Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, K.; Peay, K.

    2015-12-01

    Soil fungal and bacterial communities act as mediators of terrestrial carbon and nutrient cycling, and interact with the aboveground plant community as both pathogens and mutualists. However, these soil microbial communities are sensitive to changes in their environment. A better understanding of the response of soil microbial communities to global change may help to predict future soil microbial diversity, and assist in creating more comprehensive models of terrestrial carbon and nutrient cycles. This study examines the effects of four global change factors (increased temperature, increased variability in precipitation, nitrogen deposition, and CO2 enrichment) on soil microbial communities at the Jasper Ridge Global Change Experiment (JRGCE), a full-factorial global change manipulative experiment on three hectares of California grassland. While similar studies have examined the effects of global change on soil microbial communities, few have manipulated more factors or been longer in duration than the JRGCE, which began field treatments in 1998. We find that nitrogen deposition, CO2 enrichment, and increased variability in precipitation significantly affect the structure of both fungal and bacterial communities, and explain more of the variation in the community structures than do local soil chemistry or aboveground plant community. Fungal richness is correlated positively with soil nitrogen content and negatively with soil water content. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), which associate closely with herbaceous plants' roots and assist in nutrient uptake, decrease in both richness and relative abundance in elevated CO2 treatments.

  10. Response of fungal, bacterial and ureolytic communities to synthetic sheep urine deposition in a grassland soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Brajesh K; Nunan, Naoise; Millard, Peter

    2009-10-01

    In grazed pastures, soil pH is raised in urine patches, causing dissolution of organic carbon and increased ammonium and nitrate concentrations, with potential effects on the structure and functioning of soil microbial communities. Here we examined the effects of synthetic sheep urine (SU) in a field study on dominant soil bacterial and fungal communities associated with bulk soil and plant roots (rhizoplane), using culture-independent methods and a new approach to investigate the ureolytic community. A differential response of bacteria and fungal communities to SU treatment was observed. The bacterial community showed a clear shift in composition after SU treatment, which was more pronounced in bulk soil than on the rhizoplane. The fungal community did not respond to SU treatment; instead, it was more affected by the time of sampling. Redundancy analysis of data indicated that the variation in the bacterial community was related to change in soil pH, while fungal community was more responsive to dissolution of organic carbon. Like the universal bacterial community, the ureolytic community was influenced by the SU treatment. However, different taxa within the ureolytic bacterial community responded differentially to the treatment. The ureolytic community comprised of members from a range of phylogenetically different taxa and could be used to measure the effect of environmental perturbations on the functional diversity of natural ecosystems.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Plant molecular stress responses face climate change. Trends in Plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ahuja, I.; Vos, de R.C.H.; Bones, A.M.; Hall, R.D.

    2010-01-01

    Environmental stress factors such as drought, elevated temperature, salinity and rising CO2 affect plant growth and pose a growing threat to sustainable agriculture. This has become a hot issue due to concerns about the effects of climate change on plant resources, biodiversity and global food secur

  14. Investigating the Response of Microbial Communities to Cyclodextrin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szponar, N.; Slater, G.; Smith, J.

    2009-05-01

    Recent studies have found applications of hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HPβCD) to be highly effective in removing DDT from soils in situ. However, the persistence of HPβCD within the soil and its impact on soil microbial communities is still unclear. It has been suggested that cyclodextrin might provide a substrate for microbial communities resulting in changes in the ongoing effectiveness of remediation and/or soil hydraulic properties. The potential exists that stimulation of the soil microbial community may contribute to removal of DDT, along with the solubilization effects normally associated with cyclodextrin treatment. This study investigated the response of soil microbial communities from a site undergoing remediation of DDT with HPβCD through microcosm and bench scale column studies. Phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis and their natural abundance 13C signatures can be used to identify in situ microbial metabolism of HPβCD. Heterotrophic organisms have PLFA with 13C signatures 3 to 6‰ depleted from their carbon source. Cyclodextrin was found to have a δ13C of -16‰ resulting from its formation via enzymatic degradation of cornstarch. In contrast, soil organic matter, had a predominantly C3 plant derived signature and a δ13C of -25‰. Incorporation of HPβCD by soil microbial communities would therefore cause a shift to a more enriched isotopic value. While microcosm studies demonstrated no noticeable change in biomass and few changes in PLFA distribution, column studies treated with a 10% solution of HPβCD demonstrated an approximate doubling of microbial biomass after 6 weeks of application based on PLFA concentrations. Concurrent changes in PLFA distribution further indicated a response to cyclodextrin. Changes in PLFA concentration and distribution were concurrent with isotopic enrichment of PLFA in treated columns. This isotopic enrichment provided direct evidence for microbial consumption of cyclodextrin. Incorporation of 13C enriched

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Preparing Special Educators for Culturally Responsive School-Community Partnerships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, Bridgie A.

    2004-01-01

    Today's increasingly multicultural student population requires that school-community partnerships operate from culturally responsive frameworks. Incorporating significant resources from multicultural communities is an essential component within school-community partnership. Although such a partnership is an essential strategy, it has not been…

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Functional trait responses to grazing are mediated by soil moisture and plant functional group identity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Shuxia; Li, Wenhuai; Lan, Zhichun; Ren, Haiyan; Wang, Kaibo

    2015-12-11

    Abundant evidence has shown that grazing alters plant functional traits, community structure and ecosystem functioning of grasslands. Few studies, however, have tested how plant responses to grazing are mediated by resource availability and plant functional group identity. We examined the effects of grazing on functional traits across a broad range of species along a soil moisture gradient in Inner Mongolia grassland. Our results showed that trait syndromes of plant size (individual biomass) and shoot growth (leaf N content and leaf density) distinguished plant species responses to grazing. The effects of grazing on functional traits were mediated by soil moisture and dependent on functional group identity. For most species, grazing decreased plant height but increased leaf N and specific leaf area (SLA) along the moisture gradient. Grazing enhanced the community-weighted attributes (leaf NCWM and SLACWM), which were triggered mainly by the positive trait responses of annuals and biennials and perennial grasses, and increased relative abundance of perennial forbs. Our results suggest that grazing-induced species turnover and increased intraspecific trait variability are two drivers for the observed changes in community weighted attributes. The dominant perennial bunchgrasses exhibited mixed tolerance-resistance strategies to grazing and mixed acquisitive-conservative strategies in resource utilization.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Plant immunity: unravelling the complexity of plant responses to biotic stresses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Robert Neil Gerard; Costa Alves, Gabriel Sergio; Van Sluys, Marie-Anne

    2017-03-01

    Plants are constantly exposed to evolving pathogens and pests, with crop losses representing a considerable threat to global food security. As pathogen evolution can overcome disease resistance that is conferred by individual plant resistance genes, an enhanced understanding of the plant immune system is necessary for the long-term development of effective disease management strategies. Current research is rapidly advancing our understanding of the plant innate immune system, with this multidisciplinary subject area reflected in the content of the 18 papers in this Special Issue. Advances in specific areas of plant innate immunity are highlighted in this issue, with focus on molecular interactions occurring between plant hosts and viruses, bacteria, phytoplasmas, oomycetes, fungi, nematodes and insect pests. We provide a focus on research across multiple areas related to pathogen sensing and plant immune response. Topics covered are categorized as follows: binding proteins in plant immunity; cytokinin phytohormones in plant growth and immunity; plant-virus interactions; plant-phytoplasma interactions; plant-fungus interactions; plant-nematode interactions; plant immunity in Citrus; plant peptides and volatiles; and assimilate dynamics in source/sink metabolism. Although knowledge of the plant immune system remains incomplete, the considerable ongoing scientific progress into pathogen sensing and plant immune response mechanisms suggests far reaching implications for the development of durable disease resistance against pathogens and pests.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oduor, Ayub M O

    2013-12-01

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

  9. Agroecology: Implications for plant response to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agricultural ecosystems (agroecosystems) represent the balance between the physiological responses of plants and plant canopies and the energy exchanges. Rising temperature and increasing CO2 coupled with an increase in variability of precipitation will create a complex set of interactions on plant ...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Impacts of extreme winter warming events on plant physiology in a sub-Arctic heath community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bokhorst, Stef; Bjerke, Jarle W; Davey, Matthew P; Taulavuori, Kari; Taulavuori, Erja; Laine, Kari; Callaghan, Terry V; Phoenix, Gareth K

    2010-10-01

    Insulation provided by snow cover and tolerance of freezing by physiological acclimation allows Arctic plants to survive cold winter temperatures. However, both the protection mechanisms may be lost with winter climate change, especially during extreme winter warming events where loss of snow cover from snow melt results in exposure of plants to warm temperatures and then returning extreme cold in the absence of insulating snow. These events cause considerable damage to Arctic plants, but physiological responses behind such damage remain unknown. Here, we report simulations of extreme winter warming events using infrared heating lamps and soil warming cables in a sub-Arctic heathland. During these events, we measured maximum quantum yield of photosystem II (PSII), photosynthesis, respiration, bud swelling and associated bud carbohydrate changes and lipid peroxidation to identify physiological responses during and after the winter warming events in three dwarf shrub species: Empetrum hermaphroditum, Vaccinium vitis-idaea and Vaccinium myrtillus. Winter warming increased maximum quantum yield of PSII, and photosynthesis was initiated for E. hermaphroditum and V. vitis-idaea. Bud swelling, bud carbohydrate decreases and lipid peroxidation were largest for E. hermaphroditum, whereas V. myrtillus and V. vitis-idaea showed no or less strong responses. Increased physiological activity and bud swelling suggest that sub-Arctic plants can initiate spring-like development in response to a short winter warming event. Lipid peroxidation suggests that plants experience increased winter stress. The observed differences between species in physiological responses are broadly consistent with interspecific differences in damage seen in previous studies, with E. hermaphroditum and V. myrtillus tending to be most sensitive. This suggests that initiation of spring-like development may be a major driver in the damage caused by winter warming events that are predicted to become more

  13. Agrobacterium tumefaciens responses to plant-derived signaling molecules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sujatha eSubramoni

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available As a special phytopathogen, Agrobacterium tumefaciens infects a wide range of plant hosts and causes plant tumors also known as crown galls. The complexity of Agrobacterium-plant interaction has been studied for several decades. Agrobacterium pathogenicity is largely attributed to its evolved capabilities of precise recognition and response to plant-derived chemical signals. Agrobacterium perceives plant-derived signals to activate its virulence genes, which are responsible for transferring and integrating its T-DNA (Transferred DNA from its Tumour-inducing (Ti plasmid into the plant nucleus. The expression of T-DNA in plant hosts leads to the production of a large amount of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA, cytokinin (CK and opines. IAA and CK stimulate plant growth, resulting in tumor formation. Agrobacterium utilizes opines as nutrient sources as well as signals in order to activate its quorum sensing (QS to further promote virulence and opine metabolism. Intriguingly, Agrobacterium also recognizes plant-derived signals including -amino butyric acid (GABA and salicylic acid (SA to activate quorum quenching that reduces the level of QS signals, thereby avoiding the elicitation of plant defense and preserving energy. In addition, Agrobacterium hijacks plant-derived signals including SA, IAA, and ethylene (ET to down-regulate its virulence genes located on the Ti plasmid. Moreover, certain metabolites from corn (Zea mays also inhibit the expression of Agrobacterium virulence genes. Here we outline the responses of Agrobacterium to major plant-derived signals that impact Agrobacterium-plant interactions.

  14. Acting Responsibly: Linguists in American Indian Communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bigler, Gregory; Linn, Mary S.

    1999-01-01

    Linguists working with endangered American Indian languages must realize that fieldwork is a cooperative venture, requiring that control be relinguished to the community. The relationship with the tribe must be negotiated, and linguists must return something concrete to the community in terms of language revival. Working in language teams that…

  15. Writing, Reader Response, and the Community College

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shafer, Gregory

    2013-01-01

    The community college stands as a beacon of democratic, inclusive ideals. Unlike the four year college--where research and advanced degrees are sought--the community college celebrates learning on a personal, heuristic level. And while such unconventional and even seditious practices have been questioned by those who seek to maintain "standards,"…

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Do competitors modulate rare plant response to precipitation change?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, Jonathan M; McEachern, A Kathryn; Cowan, Clark

    2010-01-01

    Ecologists increasingly suspect that climate change will directly impact species physiology, demography, and phenology, but also indirectly affect these measures via changes to the surrounding community. Unfortunately, few studies examine both the direct and indirect pathways of impact. Doing so is important because altered competitive pressures can reduce or magnify the direct responses of a focal species to climate change. Here, we examine the effects of changing rainfall on three rare annual plant species in the presence and absence of competition on the California Channel Islands. We used rain-out shelters and hand watering to exclude and augment early, late, and season-long rainfall, spanning the wide range of precipitation change forecast for the region. In the absence of competition, droughts reduced the population growth rates of two of three focal annuals, while increased rainfall was only sometimes beneficial. As compared to the focal species, the dominant competitors were more sensitive to the precipitation treatments, benefiting from increased season-long precipitation and harmed by droughts. Importantly, the response of two of three competitors to the precipitation treatments tended to be positively correlated with those of the focal annuals. Although this leads to the expectation that increased competition will counter the direct benefits of favorable conditions, such indirect effects of precipitation change proved weak to nonexistent in our experiment. Competitors had little influence on the precipitation response of two focal species, due to their low sensitivity to competition and highly variable precipitation responses. Competition did affect how our third focal species responded to precipitation change, but this effect only approached significance, and whether it truly resulted from competitor response to precipitation change was unclear. Our work suggests that even when competitors respond to climate change, these responses may have little

  20. Do competitors modulate rare plant response to precipitation change?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, J.M.; Kathryn, Mceachern A.; Cowan, C.

    2010-01-01

    Ecologists increasingly suspect that climate change will directly impact species physiology, demography, and phenology, but also indirectly affect these measures via changes to the surrounding community. Unfortunately, few studies examine both the direct and indirect pathways of impact. Doing so is important because altered competitive pressures can reduce or magnify the direct responses of a focal species to climate change. Here, we examine the effects of changing rainfall on three rare annual plant species in the presence and absence of competition on the California Channel Islands. We used rain-out shelters and hand watering to exclude and augment early, late, and season-long rainfall, spanning the wide range of precipitation change forecast for the region. In the absence of competition, droughts reduced the population growth rates of two of three focal annuals, while increased rainfall was only sometimes beneficial, As compared to the focal species, the dominant competitors were more sensitive to the precipitation treatments, benefiting from increased season-long precipitation and harmed by droughts. Importantly, the response of two of three competitors to the precipitation treatments tended to be positively correlated with those of the focal annuals. Although this leads to the expectation that increased competition will counter the direct benefits of favorable conditions, such indirect effects of precipitation change proved weak to nonexistent in our experiment. Competitors had little influence on the precipitation response of two focal species, due to their low sensitivity to competition and highly variable precipitation responses. Competition did affect how our third focal species responded to precipitation change, but this effect only approached significance, and whether it truly resulted from competitor response to precipitation change was unclear. Our work suggests that even when competitors respond to climate change, these responses may have little

  1. Long-term spatial pattern change in a semi-arid plant community: The role of climate and composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooker, Rob W.; Matesanz, Silvia; Valladares, Fernando; Klotz, Stefan

    2012-11-01

    The spatial pattern of plant communities can be an indicator of the processes that regulate community structure and their interplay with environmental drivers such as climate. However, to exploit such indicators we need a fuller understanding of the links between spatial pattern and climate. We examined variation in spatial pattern of annuals/biennials and perennials in a range margin steppic plant community in Germany over 26 years. We assessed change in spatial pattern through time, and how this change was related to local variation in climate and community composition. We found increasing dissociation between annuals/biennials and perennials through time, and a response of spatial pattern to summer temperature and precipitation. These responses are associated with the occurrence of Centaurea stoebe, a species which establishes in the community mid-way through the recording period. Our results indicate that in some circumstances spatial patterning of vegetation may not be directly linked to environmental severity, and that species turnover rather than changes in the interactions or abundance of species already in the community can influence the observed dynamics of vegetation spatial pattern. Thus, they support calls for a better understanding of the context-specificity of plant-plant interactions, their translation to spatial pattern, and their regulation by climate and other drivers such as species turnover.

  2. Plant diversity reduces the effect of multiple heavy metal pollution on soil enzyme activities and microbial community structure

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yang GAO; Chiyuan MIAO; Jun XIA; Liang MAO; Yafeng WANG; Pei ZHOU

    2012-01-01

    It is unclear whether certain plant species and plant diversity could reduce the impacts of multiple heavy metal pollution on soil microbial structure and soil enzyme activities. Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) was used to analyze the genetic diversity and microbial similarity in planted and unplanted soil under combined cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) pollution. A metal hyper- accumulator, Brassica juncea, and a common plant, Festuca arundinacea Schreb, were used in this research. The results showed that microorganism quantity in planted soil significantly increased, compared with that in unplanted soil with Cd and Pb pollution. The order of microbial community sensitivity in response to Cd and Pb stress was as follows: actinomycetes 〉 bacteria 〉 fungi. Respiration, phosphatase, urease and dehydrogenase activity were significantly inhibited due to Cd and Pb stress. Compared with unplanted soil, planted soils have frequently been reported to have higher rates of microbial activity due to the presence of additional surfaces for microbial colonization and organic compounds released by the plant roots. Two coexisting plants could increase microbe population and the activity of phosphatases, dehydrogenases and, in particular, ureases. Soil enzyme activity was higher in B. juncea phytoremediated soil than in F. arundinacea planted soil in this study. Heavy metal pollution decreased the richness of the soil microbial community, but plant diversity increased DNA sequence diversity and maintained DNA sequence diversity at highlevels. The genetic polymorphism under heavy metal stress was higher in B. juncea phytoremediated soil than in F. arundinacea planted soil.

  3. 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

  4. Bird community responses to the edge between suburbs and reserves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikin, Karen; Barton, Philip S; Knight, Emma; Lindenmayer, David B; Fischer, Joern; Manning, Adrian D

    2014-02-01

    New insights into community-level responses at the urban fringe, and the mechanisms underlying them, are needed. In our study, we investigated the compositional distinctiveness and variability of a breeding bird community at both sides of established edges between suburban residential areas and woodland reserves in Canberra, Australia. Our goals were to determine if: (1) community-level responses were direct (differed with distance from the edge, independent of vegetation) or indirect (differed in response to edge-related changes in vegetation), and (2) if guild-level responses provided the mechanism underpinning community-level responses. We found that suburbs and reserves supported significantly distinct bird communities. The suburban bird community, characterised by urban-adapted native and exotic species, had a weak direct edge response, with decreasing compositional variability with distance from the edge. In comparison, the reserve bird community, characterised by woodland-dependent species, was related to local tree and shrub cover. This was not an indirect response, however, as tree and shrub cover was not related to edge distance. We found that the relative richness of nesting, foraging and body size guilds also displayed similar edge responses, indicating that they underpinned the observed community-level responses. Our study illustrates how community-level responses provide valuable insights into how communities respond to differences in resources between two contrasting habitats. Further, the effects of the suburban matrix penetrate into reserves for greater distances than previously thought. Suburbs and adjacent reserves, however, provided important habitat resources for many native species and the conservation of these areas should not be discounted from continued management strategies.

  5. Fungal symbionts alter plant responses to global change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kivlin, Stephanie N; Emery, Sarah M; Rudgers, Jennifer A

    2013-07-01

    While direct plant responses to global change have been well characterized, indirect plant responses to global change, via altered species interactions, have received less attention. Here, we examined how plants associated with four classes of fungal symbionts (class I leaf endophytes [EF], arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi [AMF], ectomycorrhizal fungi [ECM], and dark septate endophytes [DSE]) responded to four global change factors (enriched CO2, drought, N deposition, and warming). We performed a meta-analysis of 434 studies spanning 174 publications to search for generalizable trends in responses of plant-fungal symbioses to future environments. Specifically, we addressed the following questions: (1) Can fungal symbionts ameliorate responses of plants to global change? (2) Do fungal symbiont groups differ in the degree to which they modify plant response to global change? (3) Do particular global change factors affect plant-fungal symbioses more than others? In all global change scenarios, except elevated CO2, fungal symbionts significantly altered plant responses to global change. In most cases, fungal symbionts increased plant biomass in response to global change. However, increased N deposition reduced the benefits of symbiosis. Of the global change factors we considered, drought and N deposition resulted in the strongest fungal mediation of plant responses. Our analysis highlighted gaps in current knowledge for responses of particular fungal groups and revealed the importance of considering not only the nonadditive effects of multiple global change factors, but also the interactive effects of multiple fungal symbioses. Our results show that considering plant-fungal symbioses is critical to predicting ecosystem response to global change.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Bacterial endophyte communities of three agricultural important grass species differ in their response towards management regimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wemheuer, Franziska; Kaiser, Kristin; Karlovsky, Petr; Daniel, Rolf; Vidal, Stefan; Wemheuer, Bernd

    2017-01-01

    Endophytic bacteria are critical for plant growth and health. However, compositional and functional responses of bacterial endophyte communities towards agricultural practices are still poorly understood. Hence, we analyzed the influence of fertilizer application and mowing frequency on bacterial endophytes in three agriculturally important grass species. For this purpose, we examined bacterial endophytic communities in aerial plant parts of Dactylis glomerata L., Festuca rubra L., and Lolium perenne L. by pyrotag sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes over two consecutive years. Although management regimes influenced endophyte communities, observed responses were grass species-specific. This might be attributed to several bacteria specifically associated with a single grass species. We further predicted functional profiles from obtained 16S rRNA data. These profiles revealed that predicted abundances of genes involved in plant growth promotion or nitrogen metabolism differed between grass species and between management regimes. Moreover, structural and functional community patterns showed no correlation to each other indicating that plant species-specific selection of endophytes is driven by functional rather than phylogenetic traits. The unique combination of 16S rRNA data and functional profiles provided a holistic picture of compositional and functional responses of bacterial endophytes in agricultural relevant grass species towards management practices. PMID:28102323

  9. Bacterial endophyte communities of three agricultural important grass species differ in their response towards management regimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wemheuer, Franziska; Kaiser, Kristin; Karlovsky, Petr; Daniel, Rolf; Vidal, Stefan; Wemheuer, Bernd

    2017-01-01

    Endophytic bacteria are critical for plant growth and health. However, compositional and functional responses of bacterial endophyte communities towards agricultural practices are still poorly understood. Hence, we analyzed the influence of fertilizer application and mowing frequency on bacterial endophytes in three agriculturally important grass species. For this purpose, we examined bacterial endophytic communities in aerial plant parts of Dactylis glomerata L., Festuca rubra L., and Lolium perenne L. by pyrotag sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes over two consecutive years. Although management regimes influenced endophyte communities, observed responses were grass species-specific. This might be attributed to several bacteria specifically associated with a single grass species. We further predicted functional profiles from obtained 16S rRNA data. These profiles revealed that predicted abundances of genes involved in plant growth promotion or nitrogen metabolism differed between grass species and between management regimes. Moreover, structural and functional community patterns showed no correlation to each other indicating that plant species-specific selection of endophytes is driven by functional rather than phylogenetic traits. The unique combination of 16S rRNA data and functional profiles provided a holistic picture of compositional and functional responses of bacterial endophytes in agricultural relevant grass species towards management practices.

  10. High specificity in plant leaf metabolic responses to arbuscular mycorrhiza.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schweiger, Rabea; Baier, Markus C; Persicke, Marcus; Müller, Caroline

    2014-05-22

    The chemical composition of plants (phytometabolome) is dynamic and modified by environmental factors. Understanding its modulation allows to improve crop quality and decode mechanisms underlying plant-pest interactions. Many studies that investigate metabolic responses to the environment focus on single model species and/or few target metabolites. However, comparative studies using environmental metabolomics are needed to evaluate commonalities of chemical responses to certain challenges. We assessed the specificity of foliar metabolic responses of five plant species to the widespread, ancient symbiosis with a generalist arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus. Here we show that plant species share a large 'core metabolome' but nevertheless the phytometabolomes are modulated highly species/taxon-specifically. Such a low conservation of responses across species highlights the importance to consider plant metabolic prerequisites and the long time of specific plant-fungus coevolution. Thus, the transferability of findings regarding phytometabolome modulation by an identical AM symbiont is severely limited even between closely related species.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Plant response to nutrient availability across variable bedrock geologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castle, S.C.; Neff, J.C.

    2009-01-01

    We investigated the role of rock-derived mineral nutrient availability on the nutrient dynamics of overlying forest communities (Populus tremuloides and Picea engelmanni-Abies lasiocarpa v. arizonica) across three parent materials (andesite, limestone, and sandstone) in the southern Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Broad geochemical differences were observed between bedrock materials; however, bulk soil chemistries were remarkably similar between the three different sites. In contrast, soil nutrient pools were considerably different, particularly for P, Ca, and Mg concentrations. Despite variations in nutrient stocks and nutrient availability in soils, we observed relatively inflexible foliar concentrations and foliar stoichiometries for both deciduous and coniferous species. Foliar nutrient resorption (P and K) in the deciduous species followed patterns of nutrient content across substrate types, with higher resorption corresponding to lower bedrock concentrations. Work presented here indicates a complex plant response to available soil nutrients, wherein plant nutrient use compensates for variations in supply gradients and results in the maintenance of a narrow range in foliar stoichiometry. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Community responses to extreme climatic conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frédéric JIGUET, Lluis BROTONS, Vincent DEVICTOR

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Species assemblages and natural communities are increasingly impacted by changes in the frequency and severity of extreme climatic events. Here we propose a brief overview of expected and demonstrated direct and indirect impacts of extreme events on animal communities. We show that differential impacts on basic biological parameters of individual species can lead to strong changes in community composition and structure with the potential to considerably modify the functional traits of the community. Sudden disequilibria have even been shown to induce irreversible shifts in marine ecosystems, while cascade effects on various taxonomic groups have been highlighted in Mediterranean forests. Indirect effects of extreme climatic events are expected when event-induced habitat changes (e.g. soil stability, vegetation composition, water flows altered by droughts, floods or hurricanes have differential consequences on species assembled within the communities. Moreover, in increasing the amplitude of trophic mismatches, extreme events are likely to turn many systems into ecological traps under climate change. Finally, we propose a focus on the potential impacts of an extreme heat wave on local assemblages as an empirical case study, analysing monitoring data on breeding birds collected in France. In this example, we show that despite specific populations were differently affected by local temperature anomalies, communities seem to be unaffected by a sudden heat wave. These results suggest that communities are tracking climate change at the highest possible rate [Current Zoology 57 (3: 406–413, 2011].

  17. Community responses to extreme climatic conditions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Frédéric JIGUET; Lluis BROTONS; Vincent DEVICTOR

    2011-01-01

    Species assemblages and natural communities are increasingly impacted by changes in the frequency and severity of extreme climatic events. Here we propose a brief overview of expected and demonstrated direct and indirect impacts of extreme events on animal communities. We show that differential impacts on basic biological parameters of individual species can lead to strong changes in community composition and structure with the potential to considerably modify the functional traits of the community. Sudden disequilibria have even been shown to induce irreversible shifts in marine ecosystems, while cascade effects on various taxonomic groups have been highlighted in Mediterranean forests. Indirect effects of extreme climatic events are expected when event-induced habitat changes (e.g. Soil stability, vegetation composition, water flows altered by droughts, floods or hurricanes) have differential consequences on species assembled within the communities. Moreover, in increasing the amplitude of trophic mismatches, extreme events are likely to turn many systems into ecological traps under climate change. Finally, we propose a focus on the potential impacts of an extreme heat wave on local assemblages as an empirical case study, analysing monitoring data on breeding birds collected in France. In this example, we show that despite specific populations were differently affected by local temperature anomalies, communities seem to be unaffected by a sudden heat wave. These results suggest that communities are tracking climate change at the highest possible rate.

  18. Physiological response of soybean genotypes to plant density

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gan, Y.; Stulen, H.; Keulen, van H.; Kuiper, P.J.C.

    2002-01-01

    Response of soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) to plant density has occupied a segment of agronomic research for most of the century. Genotype differences have been noted especially in response to planting date, lodging problems and water limitation. There is limited information on the physiological g

  19. 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

  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. Priming of antiherbivore defensive responses in plants

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jinwon Kim; Gary W.Felton

    2013-01-01

    Defense priming is defined as increased readiness of defense induction.A growing body of literature indicates that plants (or intact parts of a plant) are primed in anticipation of impending environmental stresses,both biotic and abiotic,and upon the following stimulus,induce defenses more quickly and strongly.For instance,some plants previously exposed to herbivore-inducible plant volatiles (HIPVs) from neighboring plants under herbivore attack show faster or stronger defense activation and enhanced insect resistance when challenged with secondary insect feeding.Research on priming of antiherbivore defense has been limited to the HIPV-mediated mechanism until recently,but significant advances were made in the past three years,including non-HIPV-mediated defense priming,epigenetic modifications as the molecular mechanism of priming,and others.It is timely to consider the advances in research on defense priming in the plantinsect interactions.

  2. Soil fungal community responses to global changes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haugwitz, Merian Skouw

    Global change will affect the functioning and structure of terrestrial ecosystems and since soil fungi are key players in organic matter decomposition and nutrient turnover, shifts in fungal community composition might have a strong impact on soil functioning. The main focus of this thesis...... composition of fungi, but the effects were generally limited to the litter layer and the uppermost humus layer (0-5 cm), which was unexpected considering the ecosystem had been manipulated for 18 years. Taken together the global change experiments altered the soil fungal communities and thereby highlight...... was therefore to investigate the impact of global environmental changes on soil fungal communities in a temperate and subartic heath ecosystem. The objective was further to determine global change effects on major functional groups of fungi and analyze the influence of fungal community changes on soil carbon...

  3. Soil fungal community responses to global changes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haugwitz, Merian Skouw

    Global change will affect the functioning and structure of terrestrial ecosystems and since soil fungi are key players in organic matter decomposition and nutrient turnover, shifts in fungal community composition might have a strong impact on soil functioning. The main focus of this thesis...... and nutrient availability and storage. By combining molecular methods such as 454 pyrosequencing and quantitative PCR of fungal ITS amplicons with analyses of soil enzymes, nutrient pools of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus we were able to characterize soil fungal communities as well as their impact on nutrient...... was therefore to investigate the impact of global environmental changes on soil fungal communities in a temperate and subartic heath ecosystem. The objective was further to determine global change effects on major functional groups of fungi and analyze the influence of fungal community changes on soil carbon...

  4. Caspases in plants: metacaspase gene family in plant stress responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagundes, David; Bohn, Bianca; Cabreira, Caroline; Leipelt, Fábio; Dias, Nathalia; Bodanese-Zanettini, Maria H; Cagliari, Alexandro

    2015-11-01

    Programmed cell death (PCD) is an ordered cell suicide that removes unwanted or damaged cells, playing a role in defense to environmental stresses and pathogen invasion. PCD is component of the life cycle of plants, occurring throughout development from embryogenesis to the death. Metacaspases are cysteine proteases present in plants, fungi, and protists. In certain plant-pathogen interactions, the PCD seems to be mediated by metacaspases. We adopted a comparative genomic approach to identify genes coding for the metacaspases in Viridiplantae. We observed that the metacaspase was divided into types I and II, based on their protein structure. The type I has a metacaspase domain at the C-terminus region, presenting or not a zinc finger motif in the N-terminus region and a prodomain rich in proline. Metacaspase type II does not feature the prodomain and the zinc finger, but has a linker between caspase-like catalytic domains of 20 kDa (p20) and 10 kDa (p10). A high conservation was observed in the zinc finger domain (type I proteins) and in p20 and p10 subunits (types I and II proteins). The phylogeny showed that the metacaspases are divided into three principal groups: type I with and without zinc finger domain and type II metacaspases. The algae and moss are presented as outgroup, suggesting that these three classes of metacaspases originated in the early stages of Viridiplantae, being the absence of the zinc finger domain the ancient condition. The study of metacaspase can clarify their assignment and involvement in plant PCD mechanisms.

  5. Plant physiological, morphological and yield-related responses to night temperature changes across different species and plant functional types

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Panpan Jing

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Land surface temperature over the past decades has shown a faster warming trend during the night than during the day. Extremely low night temperatures have occurred frequently due to the influence of land-sea thermal difference, topography and climate change. This asymmetric night temperature change is expected to affect plant ecophysiology and growth, as the plant carbon consumption processes could be affected more than the assimilation processes because photosynthesis in most plants occurs during the daytime whereas plant respiration occurs throughout the day. The effects of high night temperature (HNT and low night temperature (LNT on plant ecophysiological and growing processes and how the effects vary among different plant functional types (PFTs have not been analyzed extensively. In this meta-analysis, we examined the effect of HNT and LNT on plant physiology and growth across different PFTs and experimental settings. Plant species were grouped according to their photosynthetic pathways (C3, C4 and CAM, growth forms (herbaceous, woody, and economic purposes (crop, non-crop. We found that HNT and LNT both had a negative effect on plant yield, but the effect of HNT on plant yield was primarily related to a reduction in biomass allocation to reproduction organs and the effect of LNT on plant yield was more related to a negative effect on total biomass. Leaf growth was stimulated at HNT and suppressed at LNT. HNT accelerated plants ecophysiological processes, including photosynthesis and dark respiration, while LNT slowed these processes. Overall, the results showed that the effects of night temperature on plant physiology and growth varied between HNT and LNT, among the response variables and PFTs, and depended on the magnitude of temperature change and experimental design. These findings suggest complexities and challenges in seeking general patterns of terrestrial plant growth in HNT and LNT. The PFT specific responses of plants are

  6. On-line acquisition of plant related and environmental parameters (plant monitoring) in gerbera: determining plant responses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baas, R.; Slootweg, G.

    2004-01-01

    For on-line plant monitoring equipment to be functional in commercial glasshouse horticulture, relations between sensor readings and plant responses on both the short (days) and long term (weeks) are required. For this reason, systems were installed to monitor rockwool grown gerbera plants on a

  7. 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.

  8. Response of pest control by generalist predators to local-scale plant diversity: a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dassou, Anicet Gbèblonoudo; Tixier, Philippe

    2016-02-01

    Disentangling the effects of plant diversity on the control of herbivores is important for understanding agricultural sustainability. Recent studies have investigated the relationships between plant diversity and arthropod communities at the landscape scale, but few have done so at the local scale. We conducted a meta-analysis of 32 papers containing 175 independent measures of the relationship between plant diversity and arthropod communities. We found that generalist predators had a strong positive response to plant diversity, that is, their abundance increased as plant diversity increased. Herbivores, in contrast, had an overall weak and negative response to plant diversity. However, specialist and generalist herbivores differed in their response to plant diversity, that is, the response was negative for specialists and not significant for generalists. While the effects of scale remain unclear, the response to plant diversity tended to increase for specialist herbivores, but decrease for generalist herbivores as the scale increased. There was no clear effect of scale on the response of generalist predators to plant diversity. Our results suggest that the response of herbivores to plant diversity at the local scale is a balance between habitat and trophic effects that vary according to arthropod specialization and habitat type. Synthesis and applications. Positive effects of plant diversity on generalist predators confirm that, at the local scale, plant diversification of agroecosystems is a credible and promising option for increasing pest regulation. Results from our meta-analysis suggest that natural control in plant-diversified systems is more likely to occur for specialist than for generalist herbivores. In terms of pest management, our results indicate that small-scale plant diversification (via the planting of cover crops or intercrops and reduced weed management) is likely to increase the control of specialist herbivores by generalist predators.

  9. 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.

  10. Response-Guided Community Detection: Application to Climate Index Discovery

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bello, Gonzalo [North Carolina State University (NCSU), Raleigh; Angus, Michael [North Carolina State University (NCSU), Raleigh; Pedemane, Navya [North Carolina State University (NCSU), Raleigh; Harlalka, Jitendra [North Carolina State University (NCSU), Raleigh; Semazzi, Fredrick [North Carolina State University (NCSU), Raleigh; Kumar, Vipin [University of Minnesota; Samatova, Nagiza F [ORNL

    2015-01-01

    Discovering climate indices-time series that summarize spatiotemporal climate patterns-is a key task in the climate science domain. In this work, we approach this task as a problem of response-guided community detection; that is, identifying communities in a graph associated with a response variable of interest. To this end, we propose a general strategy for response-guided community detection that explicitly incorporates information of the response variable during the community detection process, and introduce a graph representation of spatiotemporal data that leverages information from multiple variables. We apply our proposed methodology to the discovery of climate indices associated with seasonal rainfall variability. Our results suggest that our methodology is able to capture the underlying patterns known to be associated with the response variable of interest and to improve its predictability compared to existing methodologies for data-driven climate index discovery and official forecasts.

  11. 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

  12. Involvement of Histone Modifications in Plant Abiotic Stress Responses

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lianyu Yuan; Xuncheng Liu; Ming Luo; Songguang Yang; Keqiang Wu

    2013-01-01

    As sessile organisms, plants encounter various environmental stimuli including abiotic stresses during their lifecycle. To survive under adverse conditions, plants have evolved intricate mechanisms to perceive external signals and respond accordingly. Responses to various stresses largely depend on the plant capacity to modulate the transcriptome rapidly and specifically. A number of studies have shown that the molecular mechanisms driving the responses of plants to environmental stresses often depend on nucleosome histone post-translational modifications including histone acetylation, methylation, ubiquitination, and phosphorylation. The combined effects of these modifications play an essential role in the regulation of stress responsive gene expression. In this review, we highlight our current understanding of the epigenetic mechanisms of histone modifications and their roles in plant abiotic stress response.

  13. Evaluating mechano-transduction and touch responses in plant roots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swanson, Sarah J; Barker, Richard; Ye, Yonggeng; Gilroy, Simon

    2015-01-01

    Mechanical forces can be imposed on plants either from the environment, through factors such as the weather, mechanical properties of the soil and animal movement, or through the internal forces generated by the interplay between turgor-driven growth and the rigid plant cell wall. Such mechanical cues have profound effects on plant growth and development leading to responses ranging from directional growth patterns as seen, e.g., in tendrils coiling around supports, to the reprogramming of entire developmental programs. Thus, assays to assess mechanical sensitivity and response provide important tools for helping understand a wide range of plant physiological and developmental responses. Here, we describe simple assays to monitor mechanical response in the plant root system focusing on the quantification of root skewing, waving and obstacle avoidance.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Enzyme action in the regulation of plant hormone responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westfall, Corey S; Muehler, Ashley M; Jez, Joseph M

    2013-07-05

    Plants synthesize a chemically diverse range of hormones that regulate growth, development, and responses to environmental stresses. The major classes of plant hormones are specialized metabolites with exquisitely tailored perception and signaling systems, but equally important are the enzymes that control the dose and exposure to the bioactive forms of these molecules. Here, we review new insights into the role of enzyme families, including the SABATH methyltransferases, the methylesterases, the GH3 acyl acid-amido synthetases, and the hormone peptidyl hydrolases, in controlling the biosynthesis and modifications of plant hormones and how these enzymes contribute to the network of chemical signals responsible for plant growth, development, and environmental adaptation.

  17. Nitric Oxide Signaling in Plant Responses to Abiotic Stresses

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Weihua Qiao; LiuMin Fan

    2008-01-01

    Nitric oxide (NO) plays important roles in diverse physiological processes In plants. NO can provoke both beneficial and harmful effects, which depend on the concentration and location of NO in plant cells. This review is focused on NO synthesis and the functions of NO in plant responses to abiotic environmental stresses. Abiotic stresses mostly induce NO production in plants. NO alleviates the harmfulness of reactive oxygen species, and reacts with other target molecules, and regulates the expression of stress responsive genes under various stress conditions.

  18. Unfolded protein response in plants: one master, many questions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruberti, Cristina; Kim, Sang-Jin; Stefano, Giovanni; Brandizzi, Federica

    2015-10-01

    To overcome endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, ER-localized stress sensors actuate distinct downstream organelle-nucleus signaling pathways to invoke a cytoprotective response, known as the unfolded protein response (UPR). Compared to yeast and metazoans, plant UPR studies are more recent but nevertheless fascinating. Here we discuss recent discoveries in plant UPR, highlight conserved and unique features of the plant UPR as well as critical yet-open questions whose answers will likely make significant contributions to the understanding plant ER stress management.

  19. THE CENTRAL ROLES OF IRON AND CALCIUM FOR PLANT/MICROBE INTERACTION AND SHAPING MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES IN THE SOIL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irena Sherameti

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Roots are associated with a large number of different microbes, which can form beneficial, neutral or pathogenic interactions. “Infochemicals” from the microbial community, released into the soil or plants, induce signaling processes in the root cells which determine the fitness of a plant and its response to the environment. The plant integrates the information from the different microbes for an appropriate and balanced response. On the other hand, the microbial community is shaped by signals from the roots. We have established a symbiotic interaction system, in which the information exchange between the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and a beneficial, plant-growth promoting endophytic fungus, called Piriformospora indica, can be studied and compared with other root-interacting microbes. Biochemical and molecular-genetic data indicate that two ions, calcium and iron, are major players in determining the fitness of the plant and the response to microbial signals. We will highlight the central role of these two ions in plant/microbe interactions.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Remote sensing of plant trait responses to field-based plant-soil feedback using UAV-based optical sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Meij, Bob; Kooistra, Lammert; Suomalainen, Juha; Barel, Janna M.; De Deyn, Gerlinde B.

    2017-02-01

    Plant responses to biotic and abiotic legacies left in soil by preceding plants is known as plant-soil feedback (PSF). PSF is an important mechanism to explain plant community dynamics and plant performance in natural and agricultural systems. However, most PSF studies are short-term and small-scale due to practical constraints for field-scale quantification of PSF effects, yet field experiments are warranted to assess actual PSF effects under less controlled conditions. Here we used unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)-based optical sensors to test whether PSF effects on plant traits can be quantified remotely. We established a randomized agro-ecological field experiment in which six different cover crop species and species combinations from three different plant families (Poaceae, Fabaceae, Brassicaceae) were grown. The feedback effects on plant traits were tested in oat (Avena sativa) by quantifying the cover crop legacy effects on key plant traits: height, fresh biomass, nitrogen content, and leaf chlorophyll content. Prior to destructive sampling, hyperspectral data were acquired and used for calibration and independent validation of regression models to retrieve plant traits from optical data. Subsequently, for each trait the model with highest precision and accuracy was selected. We used the hyperspectral analyses to predict the directly measured plant height (RMSE = 5.12 cm, R2 = 0.79), chlorophyll content (RMSE = 0.11 g m-2, R2 = 0.80), N-content (RMSE = 1.94 g m-2, R2 = 0.68), and fresh biomass (RMSE = 0.72 kg m-2, R2 = 0.56). Overall the PSF effects of the different cover crop treatments based on the remote sensing data matched the results based on in situ measurements. The average oat canopy was tallest and its leaf chlorophyll content highest in response to legacy of Vicia sativa monocultures (100 cm, 0.95 g m-2, respectively) and in mixture with Raphanus sativus (100 cm, 1.09 g m-2, respectively), while the lowest values (76 cm, 0.41 g m-2, respectively

  4. 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.

  5. Dynamic Frequency Response of Wind Power Plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Altin, Müfit

    Electricity generation from wind energy has rapidly increased for the last five years worldwide. In many countries, wind energy targets have been set in the range of 20% to 50% of all electricity generation due to the concerns of CO2 emissions, fossil fuel costs, and energy efficiency. In order...... to maintain sustainable and reliable operation of the power system for these targets, transmission system operators (TSOs) have revised the grid code requirements. Also, the TSOs are planning the future development of the power system with various wind penetration scenarios to integrate more wind power...... according to their grid codes. In these scenarios particularly with high wind power penetration cases, conventional power plants (CPPs) such as old thermal power plants are planned to be replaced with wind power plants (WPPs). Consequently, the power system stability will be affected and the control...

  6. Children's role in the community response to HIV in Zimbabwe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morten Skovdal

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Recent debates on how to achieve an optimal HIV response are dominated by intervention strategies that fail to recognize children's role in the community response to HIV. Whilst formal responses are key to the HIV response, they must recognize and build on indigenous community resources. This study examines adult's perspectives on the role of children in the HIV response in the Matobo District of southern Zimbabwe. Methods: Through a mix of individual interviews (n=19 and focus group discussions (n=9, 90 community members who were active in social groups spoke about their community response to HIV. Transcripts were subjected to a thematic analysis and coding to generate key concepts and representations. Findings: In the wake of the HIV epidemic, traditional views of children's social value as domestic “helpers” have evolved into them being regarded as capable and competent actors in the care and support of people living with HIV or AIDS, and as integral to household survival. Yet concurrent representations of children with excessive caregiving responsibilities as potentially vulnerable and at risk suggest that there is a limit to the role of children in the HIV response. Conclusion: Community volunteers and health staff delivering HIV services need to recognize the “behind the scene” role of children in the HIV response and ensure that children are incorporated into their modus operandi – both as social actors and as individuals in need of support.

  7. 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.

  8. University-Community Engagement: Case Study of University Social Responsibility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chile, Love M.; Black, Xavier M.

    2015-01-01

    Corporatisation of universities has drawn parallels between contemporary universities and business corporations, and extended analysis of corporate social responsibility to universities. This article reports on a case study of university-community engagement with schools and school communities through youth engagement programmes to enhance…

  9. University-Community Engagement: Case Study of University Social Responsibility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chile, Love M.; Black, Xavier M.

    2015-01-01

    Corporatisation of universities has drawn parallels between contemporary universities and business corporations, and extended analysis of corporate social responsibility to universities. This article reports on a case study of university-community engagement with schools and school communities through youth engagement programmes to enhance…

  10. Pivoting from Arabidopsis to wheat to understand how agricultural plants integrate responses to biotic stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, M O; Friesen, T L; Xu, S S; Chen, M S; Giron, D; Stuart, J J

    2015-02-01

    In this review, we argue for a research initiative on wheat's responses to biotic stress. One goal is to begin a conversation between the disparate communities of plant pathology and entomology. Another is to understand how responses to a variety of agents of biotic stress are integrated in an important crop. We propose gene-for-gene interactions as the focus of the research initiative. On the parasite's side is an Avirulence (Avr) gene that encodes one of the many effector proteins the parasite applies to the plant to assist with colonization. On the plant's side is a Resistance (R) gene that mediates a surveillance system that detects the Avr protein directly or indirectly and triggers effector-triggered plant immunity. Even though arthropods are responsible for a significant proportion of plant biotic stress, they have not been integrated into important models of plant immunity that come from plant pathology. A roadblock has been the absence of molecular evidence for arthropod Avr effectors. Thirty years after this evidence was discovered in a plant pathogen, there is now evidence for arthropods with the cloning of the Hessian fly's vH13 Avr gene. After reviewing the two models of plant immunity, we discuss how arthropods could be incorporated. We end by showing features that make wheat an interesting system for plant immunity, including 479 resistance genes known from agriculture that target viruses, bacteria, fungi, nematodes, insects, and mites. It is not likely that humans will be subsisting on Arabidopsis in the year 2050. It is time to start understanding how agricultural plants integrate responses to biotic stress. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  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. Soil microbial community structure and nitrogen cycling responses to agroecosystem management and carbon substrate addition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berthrong, S. T.; Buckley, D. H.; Drinkwater, L. E.

    2011-12-01

    Fertilizer application in conventional agriculture leads to N saturation and decoupled soil C and N cycling, whereas organic practices, e.g. complex rotations and legume incorporation, often results in increased SOM and tightly coupled cycles of C and N. These legacy effects of management on soils likely affect microbial community composition and microbial process rates. This project tested if agricultural management practices led to distinct microbial communities and if those communities differed in ability to utilize labile plant carbon substrates and to produce more plant available N. We addressed several specific questions in this project. 1) Do organic and conventional management legacies on similar soils produce distinct soil bacterial and fungal community structures and abundances? 2) How do these microbial community structures change in response to carbon substrate addition? 3) How do the responses of the microbial communities influence N cycling? To address these questions we conducted a laboratory incubation of organically and conventionally managed soils. We added C-13 labelled glucose either in one large dose or several smaller pulses. We extracted genomic DNA from soils before and after incubation for TRFLP community fingerprinting. We measured C in soil pools and respiration and N in soil extracts and leachates. Management led to different compositions of bacteria and fungi driven by distinct components in organic soils. Biomass did not differ across treatments indicating that differences in cycling were due to composition rather than abundance. C substrate addition led to convergence in bacterial communities; however management still strongly influenced the difference in communities. Fungal communities were very distinct between managements and plots with substrate addition not altering this pattern. Organic soils respired 3 times more of the glucose in the first week than conventional soils (1.1% vs 0.4%). Organic soils produced twice as much

  13. Recovery dynamics and invasibility of herbaceous plant communities after exposure to fifty-year climate extremes in different seasons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. E. Dreesen

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Disturbance events such as climatic extremes may enhance the invasibility of plant communities, through the creation of gaps and the associated local increase in available resources. In this study, experimental herbaceous communities consisting of three species were subjected to 50 yr extreme drought and/or heat events, in spring, summer or autumn. In the year of the induced extremes, species mortality and end-of-season biomass were examined. In two subsequent years without further disturbances, establishment of new species was recorded. The drought and drought + heat extremes in summer and autumn induced greater plant mortality compared with the heat extremes in those seasons and compared with all extremes applied in spring, in all three originally planted species. Recovery in terms of biomass towards the end of the growing season, however, was species-specific. The dominant species, the nitrogen fixer Trifolium repens, recovered poorly from the drought and drought + heat extremes which governed the community response. Community biomass, which was heavily affected by the drought and especially by the drought + heat events in summer and autumn, reached control values already one year later. Invasibility was increased in the communities that underwent the drought + heat extremes in the first year following the extreme events, but no longer in the second year. During the two years of invasion, the community composition changed, but independently of the type and impact of the extreme event. In short, the extreme climate events greatly affected the survival and productivity of the species, modified the species composition and dominance patterns, and increased the invasibility of our plant communities. However, none of these community properties seemed to be affected in the long term, as the induced responses faded out after one or two years.

  14. Coral community response to bleaching on a highly disturbed reef

    OpenAIRE

    Guest, J R; Low, J; Tun, K.; Wilson, B.; Ng, C.; D. Raingeard; Ulstrup, K. E.; Tanzil, J.T.I.; P. A. Todd; T. C. Toh; McDougald, D.; Chou, L.M.; Steinberg, P D

    2016-01-01

    While many studies of coral bleaching report on broad, regional scale responses, fewer examine variation in susceptibility among coral taxa and changes in community structure, before, during and after bleaching on individual reefs. Here we report in detail on the response to bleaching by a coral community on a highly disturbed reef site south of mainland Singapore before, during and after a major thermal anomaly in 2010. To estimate the capacity for resistance to thermal stress, we report on:...

  15. Coral community response to bleaching on a highly disturbed reef

    OpenAIRE

    Guest, J R; Low, J.; Tun, K.; B. Wilson; Ng, C.; Raingeard, D.; K. E. Ulstrup; Tanzil, J. T. I.; Todd, P.A.; Toh, T. C.; McDougald, D; Chou, L.M.; P. D. Steinberg

    2016-01-01

    While many studies of coral bleaching report on broad, regional scale responses, fewer examine variation in susceptibility among coral taxa and changes in community structure, before, during and after bleaching on individual reefs. Here we report in detail on the response to bleaching by a coral community on a highly disturbed reef site south of mainland Singapore before, during and after a major thermal anomaly in 2010. To estimate the capacity for resistance to thermal stress, we report on:...

  16. Plant growth responses to polypropylene--biocontainers

    Science.gov (United States)

    The influence of bio-fillers incorporated into polypropylene (PP) on the growth of plants was evaluated. Biocontainers were created by injection molding of PP with 25-40% by weight of Osage orange tree, Paulownia tree, coffee tree wood or dried distillers grain and 5% by weight of maleated polypropy...

  17. Plant Responses to Salt Stress: Adaptive Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose Ramón Acosta-Motos

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available This review deals with the adaptive mechanisms that plants can implement to cope with the challenge of salt stress. Plants tolerant to NaCl implement a series of adaptations to acclimate to salinity, including morphological, physiological and biochemical changes. These changes include increases in the root/canopy ratio and in the chlorophyll content in addition to changes in the leaf anatomy that ultimately lead to preventing leaf ion toxicity, thus maintaining the water status in order to limit water loss and protect the photosynthesis process. Furthermore, we deal with the effect of salt stress on photosynthesis and chlorophyll fluorescence and some of the mechanisms thought to protect the photosynthetic machinery, including the xanthophyll cycle, photorespiration pathway, and water-water cycle. Finally, we also provide an updated discussion on salt-induced oxidative stress at the subcellular level and its effect on the antioxidant machinery in both salt-tolerant and salt-sensitive plants. The aim is to extend our understanding of how salinity may affect the physiological characteristics of plants.

  18. Community response grids: using information technology to help communities respond to bioterror emergencies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaeger, Paul T; Fleischmann, Kenneth R; Preece, Jennifer; Shneiderman, Ben; Wu, Philip Fei; Qu, Yan

    2007-12-01

    Access to accurate and trusted information is vital in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from an emergency. To facilitate response in large-scale emergency situations, Community Response Grids (CRGs) integrate Internet and mobile technologies to enable residents to report information, professional emergency responders to disseminate instructions, and residents to assist one another. CRGs use technology to help residents and professional emergency responders to work together in community response to emergencies, including bioterrorism events. In a time of increased danger from bioterrorist threats, the application of advanced information and communication technologies to community response is vital in confronting such threats. This article describes CRGs, their underlying concepts, development efforts, their relevance to biosecurity and bioterrorism, and future research issues in the use of technology to facilitate community response.

  19. Using Plant Functional Traits and Phylogenies to Understand Patterns of Plant Community Assembly in a Seasonal Tropical Forest in Lao PDR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satdichanh, Manichanh; Millet, Jérôme; Heinimann, Andreas; Nanthavong, Khamseng; Harrison, Rhett D

    2015-01-01

    Plant functional traits reflect different evolutionary responses to environmental variation, and among extant species determine the outcomes of interactions between plants and their environment, including other plant species. Thus, combining phylogenetic and trait-based information can be a powerful approach for understanding community assembly processes across a range of spatial scales. We used this approach to investigate tree community composition at Phou Khao Khouay National Park (18°14'-18°32'N; 102°38'- 102°59'E), Laos, where several distinct forest types occur in close proximity. The aim of our study was to examine patterns of plant community assembly across the strong environmental gradients evident at our site. We hypothesized that differences in tree community composition were being driven by an underlying gradient in soil conditions. Thus, we predicted that environmental filtering would predominate at the site and that the filtering would be strongest on sandier soil with low pH, as these are the conditions least favorable to plant growth. We surveyed eleven 0.25 ha (50x50 m) plots for all trees above 10 cm dbh (1221 individual trees, including 47 families, 70 genera and 123 species) and sampled soils in each plot. For each species in the community, we measured 11 commonly studied plant functional traits covering both the leaf and wood economic spectrum traits and we reconstructed a phylogenetic tree for 115 of the species in the community using rbcL and matK sequences downloaded from Genebank (other species were not available). Finally we compared the distribution of trait values and species at two scales (among plots and 10x10m subplots) to examine trait and phylogenetic community structures. Although there was strong evidence that an underlying soil gradient was determining patterns of species composition at the site, our results did not support the hypothesis that the environmental filtering dominated community assembly processes. For the

  20. Using Plant Functional Traits and Phylogenies to Understand Patterns of Plant Community Assembly in a Seasonal Tropical Forest in Lao PDR.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manichanh Satdichanh

    Full Text Available Plant functional traits reflect different evolutionary responses to environmental variation, and among extant species determine the outcomes of interactions between plants and their environment, including other plant species. Thus, combining phylogenetic and trait-based information can be a powerful approach for understanding community assembly processes across a range of spatial scales. We used this approach to investigate tree community composition at Phou Khao Khouay National Park (18°14'-18°32'N; 102°38'- 102°59'E, Laos, where several distinct forest types occur in close proximity. The aim of our study was to examine patterns of plant community assembly across the strong environmental gradients evident at our site. We hypothesized that differences in tree community composition were being driven by an underlying gradient in soil conditions. Thus, we predicted that environmental filtering would predominate at the site and that the filtering would be strongest on sandier soil with low pH, as these are the conditions least favorable to plant growth. We surveyed eleven 0.25 ha (50x50 m plots for all trees above 10 cm dbh (1221 individual trees, including 47 families, 70 genera and 123 species and sampled soils in each plot. For each species in the community, we measured 11 commonly studied plant functional traits covering both the leaf and wood economic spectrum traits and we reconstructed a phylogenetic tree for 115 of the species in the community using rbcL and matK sequences downloaded from Genebank (other species were not available. Finally we compared the distribution of trait values and species at two scales (among plots and 10x10m subplots to examine trait and phylogenetic community structures. Although there was strong evidence that an underlying soil gradient was determining patterns of species composition at the site, our results did not support the hypothesis that the environmental filtering dominated community assembly processes

  1. Community-based oil spill response in Alaska

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Banta, J. [Prince William Sound Regional Citizen' s Advisory Council, Anchorage, AK (United States); Munger, M. [Cook Inlet Regional Citizen' s Advisory Council, Kenai, AK (United States)

    2006-07-01

    The Prince William Sound Regional Citizen's Advisory Council and the Cook Inlet Regional Citizen's Advisory Council are independent, non profit organizations formed in 1989 following the Exxon Valdez oil spill to promote the concept of community-based oil spill response (COSR) in their respective regions. COSR involves local citizens in responding to oil spilled in waters they rely upon for income, recreation and subsistence. The 2 advisory councils recently held a Community Oil Spill Response Forum to review the status of existing COSR teams and to share information about past and future COSR-related efforts. The meeting served as an information exchange process about regulatory programs, COSR variations in communities and harbors, training, and personnel issues. Key groups attending the forum were harbor masters, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, United States Coast Guard, existing COSR teams, oil response organizations, local community governments, and volunteers from the advisory councils. This paper was based on the notes taken from the forum. It was agreed that the current system is inadequate in its response to small spills that are frequently associated with non-tank vessels. It was suggested that improved capacity for community-based response could address the situation. It was also suggested that work groups should meet on an annual or biannual basis to continue to educate responders and communities about oil spill response. 7 refs.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Plant response to heavy metals and organic pollutants in cell culture and at whole plant level

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Golan-Goldhirsh, A.; Barazani, O. [Ben-Gurion Univ. of The Negev, The Jacob Blaustein Inst. for Desert Research, Albert Katz Dept. of Dryland Biotechnologies, Desert Plant Biotechnology Lab., Sede Boqer Campus (Israel); Nepovim, A.; Soudek, P.; Vanek, T. [Inst. of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry (Czech Republic); Smrcek, S.; Dufkova, L.; Krenkova, S. [Faculty of Natural Sciences, Charles Univ. (Czech Republic); Yrjala, K. [Univ. of Helsinki, Dept. of Biosciences, Div. of General Microbiology, Helsinki (Finland); Schroeder, P. [Inst. for Soil Ecology, GSF National Research Center for Environment and Health, Neuherberg, Oberschleissheim (Germany)

    2004-07-01

    Background. Increasing awareness in the last decade concerning environmental quality had prompted research into 'green solutions' for soil and water remediation, progressing from laboratory in vitro experiments to pot and field trials. In vitro cell culture experiments provide a convenient system to study basic biological processes, by which biochemical pathways, enzymatic activity and metabolites can be specifically studied. However, it is difficult to relate cell cultures, calli or even hydroponic experiments to the whole plant response to pollutant stress. In the field, plants are exposed to additional a-biotic and biotic factors, which complicate further plant response. Hence, we often see that in vitro selected species perform poorly under soil and field conditions. Soil physical and chemical properties, plant-mycorrhizal association and soil-microbial activity affect the process of contaminant degradation by plants and/or microorganisms, pointing to the importance of pot and field experiments. Objective. This paper is a joint effort of a group of scientists in COST action 837. It represents experimental work and an overview on plant response to environmental stress from in vitro tissue culture to whole plant experiments in soil. Results. Results obtained from in vitro plant tissue cultures and whole plant hydroponic experiments indicate the phytoremediation potential of different plant species and the biochemical mechanisms involved in plant tolerance. In pot experiments, several selected desert plant species, which accumulated heavy metal in hydroponic systems, succeeded in accumulating the heavy metal in soil conditions as well. Conclusions and recommendations. In vitro plant tissue cultures provide a useful experimental system for the study of the mechanisms involved in the detoxification of organic and heavy metal pollutants. However, whole plant experimental systems, as well as hydroponics followed by pot and field trials, are essential when

  5. Plant adaptation to low atmospheric pressures: potential molecular responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferl, Robert J.; Schuerger, Andrew C.; Paul, Anna-Lisa; Gurley, William B.; Corey, Kenneth; Bucklin, Ray

    2002-01-01

    There is an increasing realization that it may be impossible to attain Earth normal atmospheric pressures in orbital, lunar, or Martian greenhouses, simply because the construction materials do not exist to meet the extraordinary constraints imposed by balancing high engineering requirements against high lift costs. This equation essentially dictates that NASA have in place the capability to grow plants at reduced atmospheric pressure. Yet current understanding of plant growth at low pressures is limited to just a few experiments and relatively rudimentary assessments of plant vigor and growth. The tools now exist, however, to make rapid progress toward understanding the fundamental nature of plant responses and adaptations to low pressures, and to develop strategies for mitigating detrimental effects by engineering the growth conditions or by engineering the plants themselves. The genomes of rice and the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana have recently been sequenced in their entirety, and public sector and commercial DNA chips are becoming available such that thousands of genes can be assayed at once. A fundamental understanding of plant responses and adaptation to low pressures can now be approached and translated into procedures and engineering considerations to enhance plant growth at low atmospheric pressures. In anticipation of such studies, we present here the background arguments supporting these contentions, as well as informed speculation about the kinds of molecular physiological responses that might be expected of plants in low-pressure environments.

  6. 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.

  7. 7 CFR 613.3 - NRCS responsibilities in plant materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... increase. (f) Encourage and assist conservation districts, commercial seed producers, and commercial and... CONSERVATION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE CONSERVATION OPERATIONS PLANT MATERIALS CENTERS § 613.3 NRCS... materials for conservation uses and the development of plant materials technology. NRCS' responsibilities...

  8. Emerald ash borer responses to induced plant volatiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cesar Rodriguez-Saona; Therese M. Poland; James Miller; Lukasz Stelinski; Linda Buchan; Gary Grant; Peter de Groot; Linda MacDonald

    2007-01-01

    Herbivore feeding and methyl jasmonate, a volatile derivative of the stress-eliciting plant hormone, jasmonic acid, induce responses in plants which include the synthesis and emission of volatiles. These induced volatiles can serve to attract or repel herbivores; therefore, they may have potential use in pest management programs. The exotic emerald ash borer (EAB),...

  9. Transcriptional responses and regulations to deficient phosphorus in plants

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jinxiang BAO; Shuhua ZHANG; Wenjing LU; Chengjin GUO; Juntao GU; Kai XIAO

    2009-01-01

    Significant progress has been made over the past several years in the understanding of phosphorus (Pi)-starvation responses in plants and their regulation. The transcriptional changes that occur in response to Pi starvation are beginning to be revealed, although much is left to understand about their significance. In this paper, the recent progresses on the gene expression changes under deficient-Pi, cis-regulatory elements involved in response to deficient-Pi, the transcriptional control of Pi-starvation responses in eukaryotes, transcription factors involved in response to Pi-starvation, the role of MicroRNA on regulation of phosphate homeostasis, and phosphate sensing and signal transduction in plants have been summarized. The purpose of this review is to provide some basis for further elucidation of the transcriptional responses and regulations, and the networks of Pi sensing and signal transduction under deficient-Pi in plants in the future.

  10. Photosynthesis and photoprotective systems of plants in response to ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Photosynthesis and photoprotective systems of plants in response to aluminum ... limited data are available on the effects of Al toxicity on leaf photosynthesis. ... ultrastructure, pigments and light absorption, water relations, photochemistry, lipid ...

  11. 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

  12. 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…

  13. 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...

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Salo, Tiina; Gustafsson, Camilla; Boström, Christoffer

    2009-01-01

    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...

  17. Plant injury by air pollutants: influence of humidity on stomatal apertures and plant response to ozone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otto, H W; Daines, R H

    1969-03-14

    Ozone injury to Bel W3 tobacco and pinto bean plants increases with increasing humidity. The degree of plant injury sustained correlates well with porometer measurements; this indicates that the size of stomatal apertures increases with increasing humidity. Humidity may therefore influence plant response to all pollutants and may account in part for the greater sensitivity of plants to ozone-type injury in the eastern United States compared with the same species of plants grown in the Southwest. with those grown in the Southwest.

  18. Genetic and epigenetic control of plant heat responses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junzhong eLiu

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Plants have evolved sophisticated genetic and epigenetic regulatory systems to respond quickly to unfavorable environmental conditions such as heat, cold, drought, and pathogen infections. In particular, heat greatly affects plant growth and development, immunity and circadian rhythm, and poses a serious threat to the global food supply. According to temperatures exposing, heat can be usually classified as warm ambient temperature (about 22-27℃, high temperature (27-30℃ and extremely high temperature (37-42℃, also known as heat stress for the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. The genetic mechanisms of plant responses to heat have been well studied, mainly focusing on elevated ambient temperature-mediated morphological acclimation and acceleration of flowering, modulation of plant immunity and circadian clock by high temperatures, and thermotolerance to heat stress. Recently, great progress has been achieved on epigenetic regulation of heat responses, including DNA methylation, histone modifications, histone variants, ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling, histone chaperones, small RNAs, long non-coding RNAs and other undefined epigenetic mechanisms. These epigenetic modifications regulate the expression of heat-responsive genes and function to prevent heat-related damage. This review focuses on recent progresses regarding the genetic and epigenetic control of heat responses in plants, and pays more attention to the role of the major epigenetic mechanisms in plant heat responses. Further research perspectives are also discussed.

  19. Interactions between plant and rhizosphere microbial communities in a metalliferous soil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Epelde, Lur [NEIKER-Tecnalia, Department of Ecosystems, c/Berreaga 1, E-48160 Derio (Spain); Becerril, Jose M.; Barrutia, Oihana [Department of Plant Biology and Ecology, University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU, P.O. Box 644, E-48080 Bilbao (Spain); Gonzalez-Oreja, Jose A. [NEIKER-Tecnalia, Department of Ecosystems, c/Berreaga 1, E-48160 Derio (Spain); Garbisu, Carlos, E-mail: cgarbisu@neiker.ne [NEIKER-Tecnalia, Department of Ecosystems, c/Berreaga 1, E-48160 Derio (Spain)

    2010-05-15

    In the present work, the relationships between plant consortia, consisting of 1-4 metallicolous pseudometallophytes with different metal-tolerance strategies (Thlaspi caerulescens: hyperaccumulator; Jasione montana: accumulator; Rumex acetosa: indicator; Festuca rubra: excluder), and their rhizosphere microbial communities were studied in a mine soil polluted with high levels of Cd, Pb and Zn. Physiological response and phytoremediation potential of the studied pseudometallophytes were also investigated. The studied metallicolous populations are tolerant to metal pollution and offer potential for the development of phytoextraction and phytostabilization technologies. T. caerulescens appears very tolerant to metal stress and most suitable for metal phytoextraction; the other three species enhance soil functionality. Soil microbial properties had a stronger effect on plant biomass rather than the other way around (35.2% versus 14.9%). An ecological understanding of how contaminants, ecosystem functions and biological communities interact in the long-term is needed for proper management of these fragile metalliferous ecosystems. - Rhizosphere microbial communities in highly polluted mine soils are determinant for the growth of pseudometallophytes.

  20. Giraffe browsing in response to plant traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahenya, Obeid; Ndjamba, Johannes Kambinda; Mathisen, Karen Marie; Skarpe, Christina

    2016-08-01

    Intake rates by large herbivores are governed by among other things plant traits. We used Masai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi Matschie) as study animals, testing whether they as very large browsers would follow the Jarman-Bell principle and maximize intake rate while tolerating low forage quality. We worked in Arusha National Park, Tanzania. We investigated how intake rate was determined by bite mass and bite rate, and show that bite mass and bite rate were determined by plant characteristics, governed by inherent plant traits, plant traits acquired from previous years' browsing, and season. We predicted that; (1) bite mass would be larger in trees without spines than with (2) bite mass would be larger in the wet season than in the dry, (3) bite rate would be higher in spinescent trees than in non-spinescent, (4) bite rate and/or bite mass would increase with previous years' browsing, (5) bite mass, bite rate or browsing time per tree would be highest for high trees with large, although still available canopies. Visual observations were used to collect data on tree attributes, number of bites taken and time of browsing. Sample size was 132 observed giraffe. We found that bite mass was larger in spineless than in spinescent trees and was larger in the wet season than in the dry. Bite rate, but not bite mass, increased with increasing browsing in previous years and was highest on two to three meter high trees and in spinescent trees. Intake rate followed bite mass more than bite rate and was higher in spineless than in spinescent trees, higher in the wet season than in the dry, and tended to increase with tree height. Giraffe did not prioritize the highest intake rate, but browsed much on Acacias giving a high quality diet but a low intake rate.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Monitoring plant response to phenanthrene using the red edge of canopy hyperspectral reflectance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Linhai; Chen, Zhongxin; Wang, Jianjian; Ding, Jinzhi; Yu, Yunjiang; Li, Junsheng; Xiao, Nengwen; Jiang, Lianhe; Zheng, Yuanrun; Rimmington, Glyn M

    2014-09-15

    To investigate the mechanisms and potential for the remote sensing of phenanthrene-induced vegetation stress, we measured field canopy spectra, and associated plant and soil parameters in the field controlled experiment in the Yellow River Delta of China. Two widely distributed plant communities, separately dominated by reed (Phragmites australis) and glaucous seepweed (Suaeda salsa), were treated with different doses of phenanthrene. The canopy spectral changes of plant community resulted from the decreases of biomass and foliar projective coverage, while leaf photosynthetic pigment concentrations showed no significance difference among treatments. The spectral response to phenanthrene included a flattened red edge, with decreased first derivative of reflectance. The red edge slope and area consistently responded to phenanthrene, showing a strong relationship with aboveground biomass, coverage and canopy pigments density. These results suggest the potential of remote sensing and the importance of field validation to correctly interpret the causes of the spectral changes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. 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.

  5. Penerapan Corporate Social Responsibility dengan Konsep Community Based Tourism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linda Suriany

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: Business is not only economic institution, but social institution too. As social institution, business has responsibility to help society in solving social problem. This responsibility called Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR. CSR pays attention about social problem and environment, so CSR support continuous development to help government role. Nowadays, our government has national development’s agenda. One of them is tourism sector (Visit Indonesia Year 2008 programmed. But tourism sector has challenge in human resources. In this case, business role in practice CSR is needed to help tourism sector. With CSR activities, the quality of local community will increase to participate in tourism activities. CSR activities include training that based on research. When the quality of local community increase, local community can practice the concept of community based tourism (CBT. In the future, Indonesia has a power to compete with other countries.

  6. Rapid eco-evolutionary responses in perturbed phytoplankton communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thibodeau, Geneviève; Walsh, David A; Beisner, Beatrix E

    2015-09-07

    Biodiversity currently faces unprecedented threats owing to species extinctions. Ecologically, compensatory dynamics can ensure stable community biomass following perturbation. However, whether there is a contribution of genetic diversity to community responses is an outstanding question. To date, the contribution of evolutionary processes through genotype shifts has not been assessed in naturally co-occurring multi-species communities in the field. We examined the mechanisms contributing to the response of a lake phytoplankton community exposed to either a press or pulse acidification perturbation in lake mesocosms. To assess community shifts in the ecological response of morphospecies, we identified taxa microscopically. We also assessed genotype shifts by sequencing the ITS2 region of ribosomal DNA. We observed ecological and genetic contributions to community responses. The ecological response was attributed to compensatory morphospecies dynamics and occurred primarily in the Pulse perturbation treatment. In the Press treatments, in addition to compensatory dynamics, we observed evidence for genotype selection in two species of chlorophytes, Desmodesmus cuneatus and an unidentified Chlamydomonas. Our study demonstrates that while genotype selection may be rare, it is detectable and occurs especially when new environmental conditions are maintained for long enough to force selection processes on standing variation.

  7. 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...

  8. Signaling Components Involved in Plant Responses to Phosphate Starvation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hui Yuan; Dong Liu

    2008-01-01

    Phosphorus is one of the macronutrients essential for plant growth and development. Many soils around the world are deficient in phosphate (Pi) which is the form of phosphorus that plants can absorb and utilize. To cope with the stress of Pi starvation, plants have evolved many elaborate strategies to enhance the acquisition and utilization of Pi from the environment. These strategies include morphological, biochemical and physiological responses which ultimately enable plants to better survive under low Pi conditions. Though these adaptive responses have been well described because of their ecological and agricultural importance, our studies on the molecular mechanisms underlying these responses are still in their infancy. In the last decade, significant progresses have been made towards the identification of the molecular components which are involved in the control of plant responses to Pi starvation. In this article, we first provide an overview of some major responses of plants to Pi starvation, then summarize what we have known so tar about the signaling components involved in these responses, as well as the roles of sugar and phytohormones.

  9. Climate Effects on Plant Range Distributions and Community Structure of Pacific Northwest Prairies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bridgham, Scott D. [Univ. of Oregon, Eugene, OR (United States); Johnson, Bart [Univ. of Oregon, Eugene, OR (United States)

    2013-09-26

    was negatively impacted by increased temperatures, but for species planted north of their current range, increased temperature was neutral. However, for surviving plants climate treatments and site-specific factors (e.g., nutrient availability) were the strongest predictors of plant growth and seed set. When recruitment and plant growth are considered together, increased temperatures are negative within a species current range but beyond this range they become positive. Germination was the most critical stage for plant response across all sites and climate treatments. Our results underscore the importance of including plant vital rates into models that are examining climate change effects on plant ranges. Warming altered plant community composition, decreased diversity, and increased total cover, with warmed northern communities over time becoming more like ambient communities further south. In particular, warming increased the cover of annual introduced species, suggesting that the observed biogeographic pattern of increasing invasion by this plant functional group in US West Coast prairies as one moves further south is at least in part due to climate. Our results suggest that with the projected increase in drought severity with climate change, Pacific Northwest prairies may face an increase of invasion by annuals, similar to what has been observed in California, resulting in novel species assemblages and shifts in functional composition, which in turn may alter ecosystem function. Warming generally increased nutrient availability and plant productivity across all sites. The seasonality of soil respiration responses to heating were strongly dependent on the Mediterranean climate gradient in the PNW, with heating responses being generally positive during periods of adequate soil moisture and becoming neutral to negative during periods of low soil moisture. The asynchrony between temperature and precipitation may make soils less sensitive to warming. Precipitation

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tao Ding

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Physiological roles of plastid terminal oxidase in plant stress responses

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Xin Sun; Tao Wen

    2011-12-01

    The plastid terminal oxidase (PTOX) is a plastoquinol oxidase localized in the plastids of plants. It is able to transfer electrons from plastoquinone (PQ) to molecular oxygen with the formation of water. Recent studies have suggested that PTOX is beneficial for plants under environmental stresses, since it is involved in the synthesis of photoprotective carotenoids and chlororespiration, which could potentially protect the chloroplast electron transport chain (ETC) from over-reduction. The absence of PTOX in plants usually results in photo-bleached variegated leaves and impaired adaptation to environment alteration. Although PTOX level and activity has been found to increase under a wide range of stress conditions, the functions of plant PTOX in stress responses are still disputed now. In this paper, the possible physiological roles of PTOX in plant stress responses are discussed based on the recent progress.

  17. Do plants modulate biomass allocation in response to petroleum pollution?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nie, Ming; Yang, Qiang; Jiang, Li-Fen; Fang, Chang-Ming; Chen, Jia-Kuan; Li, Bo

    2010-01-01

    Biomass allocation is an important plant trait that responds plastically to environmental heterogeneities. However, the effects on this trait of pollutants owing to human activities remain largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the response of biomass allocation of Phragmites australis to petroleum pollution by a 13CO2 pulse-labelling technique. Our data show that plant biomass significantly decreased under petroleum pollution, but the root–shoot ratio for both plant biomass and 13C increased with increasing petroleum concentration, suggesting that plants could increase biomass allocation to roots in petroleum-polluted soil. Furthermore, assimilated 13C was found to be significantly higher in soil, microbial biomass and soil respiration after soils were polluted by petroleum. These results suggested that the carbon released from roots is rapidly turned over by soil microbes under petroleum pollution. This study found that plants can modulate biomass allocation in response to petroleum pollution. PMID:20484231

  18. A multi-scale evaluation of pack stock effects on subalpine meadow plant communities in the Sierra Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Steven R.; Berlow, Eric L.; Ostoja, Steven M.; Brooks, Matthew L.; Génin, Alexandre; Matchett, John R.; Hart, Stephen C.

    2017-01-01

    We evaluated the influence of pack stock (i.e., horse and mule) use on meadow plant communities in Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks in the Sierra Nevada of California. Meadows were sampled to account for inherent variability across multiple scales by: 1) controlling for among-meadow variability by using remotely sensed hydro-climatic and geospatial data to pair stock use meadows with similar non-stock (reference) sites, 2) accounting for within-meadow variation in the local hydrology using in-situ soil moisture readings, and 3) incorporating variation in stock use intensity by sampling across the entire available gradient of pack stock use. Increased cover of bare ground was detected only within “dry” meadow areas at the two most heavily used pack stock meadows (maximum animals per night per hectare). There was no difference in plant community composition for any level of soil moisture or pack stock use. Increased local-scale spatial variability in plant community composition (species dispersion) was detected in “wet” meadow areas at the two most heavily used meadows. These results suggest that at the meadow scale, plant communities are generally resistant to the contemporary levels of recreational pack stock use. However, finer-scale within-meadow responses such as increased bare ground or spatial variability in the plant community can be a function of local-scale hydrological conditions. Wilderness managers can improve monitoring of disturbance in Sierra Nevada meadows by adopting multiple plant community indices while simultaneously considering local moisture regimes.

  19. Academic-community partnerships for sustainable preparedness and response systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isakov, Alexander; O'Neal, Patrick; Prescott, John; Stanley, Joan; Herrmann, Jack; Dunlop, Anne

    2014-01-01

    Academic institutions possess tremendous resources that could be important for community disaster response and preparedness activities. In-depth exploration of the role of academic institutions in community disaster response has elicited information about particular academic resources leveraged for and essential to community preparedness and response; factors that contribute to the decision-making process for partner engagement; and facilitators of and barriers to sustainable collaborations from the perspectives of academic institutions, public health and emergency management agencies, and national association and agency leaders. The Academic-Community Partnership Project of the Emory University Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center in collaboration with the Association of Schools of Public Health convened an invitational summit which included leadership from the National Association of County and City Health Officials, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Directors of Public Health Preparedness, Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, CDC Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, Association of Schools of Public Health, Association of American Medical Colleges, Association of Academic Health Centers, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, and American Association of Poison Control Centers. From this convention, emerged recommendations for building and sustaining academic-public health-community collaborations for preparedness locally and regionally.

  20. Effects of experimental rainfall manipulations on Chihuahuan Desert grassland and shrubland plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Báez, Selene; Collins, Scott L; Pockman, William T; Johnson, Jennifer E; Small, Eric E

    2013-08-01

    Aridland ecosystems are predicted to be responsive to both increases and decreases in precipitation. In addition, chronic droughts may contribute to encroachment of native C3 shrubs into C4-dominated grasslands. We conducted a long-term rainfall manipulation experiment in native grassland, shrubland and the grass-shrub ecotone in the northern Chihuahuan Desert, USA. We evaluated the effects of 5 years of experimental drought and 4 years of water addition on plant community structure and dynamics. We assessed the effects of altered rainfall regimes on the abundance of dominant species as well as on species richness and subdominant grasses, forbs and shrubs. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling and MANOVA were used to quantify changes in species composition in response to chronic addition or reduction of rainfall. We found that drought consistently and strongly decreased cover of Bouteloua eriopoda, the dominant C4 grass in this system, whereas water addition slightly increased cover, with little variation between years. In contrast, neither chronic drought nor increased rainfall had consistent effects on the cover of Larrea tridentata, the dominant C3 shrub. Species richness declined in shrub-dominated vegetation in response to drought whereas richness increased or was unaffected by water addition or drought in mixed- and grass-dominated vegetation. Cover of subdominant shrubs, grasses and forbs changed significantly over time, primarily in response to interannual rainfall variability more so than to our experimental rainfall treatments. Nevertheless, drought and water addition shifted the species composition of plant communities in all three vegetation types. Overall, we found that B. eriopoda responded strongly to drought and less so to irrigation, whereas L. tridentata showed limited response to either treatment. The strong decline in grass cover and the resistance of shrub cover to rainfall reduction suggest that chronic drought may be a key factor promoting shrub

  1. Morphological and Physiological Responses of Strawberry Plants to Water Stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krzysztof Klamkowski

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available The most of previous studies have been focused on the effect of water stress on plant yielding. However, the conditions in which plants grow from the moment of planting might affect their morphology and physiological response. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of water deficiency on growth and plant physiological response of strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa Duch. cv. ‘Salut’ under greenhouse conditions. The plants were grown in plastic containers filled with peat substratum. Water stress was imposed by reducing the irrigation according to substratum moisture readings. Water stressed plants had the lowest values of water potential and showed strong decrease in gas exchange rate. Also, biomass and leaf area were the lowest in this group of plants. No differences in the length of root system were observed between control and water stressed plants. The lack of water in growing medium resulted also in a decrease of density and reduction of dimensions of stomata on plant leaves. These changes contribute to optimizing the use of assimilates and water use efficiency in periods when water availability is decreased.

  2. Morphological and Physiological Responses of Strawberry Plants to Water Stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krzysztof Klamkowski

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The most of previous studies have been focused on the effect of water stress on plant yielding. However, the conditions in which plants grow from the moment of planting might affect their morphology and physiological response. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of water deficiency on growth and plant physiological response of strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa Duch. cv. ‘Salut’ under greenhouse conditions. The plants were grown in plastic containers filled with peat substratum. Water stress was imposed by reducing the irrigation according to substratum moisture readings. Water stressed plants had the lowest values of water potential and showed strong decrease in gas exchange rate. Also, biomass and leaf area were the lowest in this group of plants. No differences in the length of root system were observed between control and water stressed plants. The lack of water in growing medium resulted also in a decrease of density and reduction of dimensions of stomata on plant leaves.These changes contribute to optimizing the use of assimilates and water use efficiency in periods when water availability is decreased.

  3. Denitrifying and diazotrophic community responses to artificial warming in permafrost and tallgrass prairie soils

    OpenAIRE

    Christopher Ryan Penton; Derek eSt. Louis; Amanda ePham; James R Cole; Liyou eWu; Yiqi eLuo; E.A.G. eSchuur; Jizhong eZhou; Tiedje, James M.

    2015-01-01

    Increasing temperatures have been shown to impact soil biogeochemical processes, although the corresponding changes to the underlying microbial functional communities are not well understood. Alterations in the nitrogen (N) cycling functional component are particularly important as N availability can affect microbial decomposition rates of soil organic matter and influence plant productivity. To assess changes in the microbial component responsible for these changes, the composition of the N-...

  4. 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)

  5. On the brink of change: plant responses to climate on the Colorado Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munson, Seth M.; Belnap, Jayne; Schelz, Charles D.; Moran, Mary; Carolin, Tara W.

    2011-01-01

    The intensification of aridity due to anthropogenic climate change in the southwestern U.S. is likely to have a large impact on the growth and survival of plant species that may already be vulnerable to water stress. To make accurate predictions of plant responses to climate change, it is essential to determine the long-term dynamics of plant species associated with past climate conditions. Here we show how the plant species and functional types across a wide range of environmental conditions in Colorado Plateau national parks have changed with climate variability over the last twenty years. During this time, regional mean annual temperature increased by 0.18°C per year from 1989–1995, 0.06°C per year from 1995–2003, declined by 0.14°C from 2003–2008, and there was high interannual variability in precipitation. Non-metric multidimensional scaling of plant species at long-term monitoring sites indicated five distinct plant communities. In many of the communities, canopy cover of perennial plants was sensitive to mean annual temperature occurring in the previous year, whereas canopy cover of annual plants responded to cool season precipitation. In the perennial grasslands, there was an overall decline of C3 perennial grasses, no change of C4 perennial grasses, and an increase of shrubs with increasing temperature. In the shrublands, shrubs generally showed no change or slightly increased with increasing temperature. However, certain shrub species declined where soil and physical characteristics of a site limited water availability. In the higher elevation woodlands, Juniperus osteosperma and shrub canopy cover increased with increasing temperature, while Pinus edulis at the highest elevation sites was unresponsive to interannual temperature variability. These results from well-protected national parks highlight the importance of temperature to plant responses in a water-limited region and suggest that projected increases in aridity are likely to promote

  6. Shifts in root-associated microbial communities of Typha latifolia growing in naphthenic acids and relationship to plant health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Lori A; Armstrong, Sarah A; Headley, John V; Greer, Charles W; Germida, James J

    2010-01-01

    Naphthenic acids (NAs) are a complex mixture of organic acid compounds released during the extraction of crude oil from oil sands operations. The accumulation of toxic NAs in tailings pond water (TPW) is of significant environmental concern, and phytoremediation using constructed wetlands is one remediation option being assessed. Since root-associated microorganisms are an important factor during phytoremediation of organic compounds, this study investigated the impact of NAs on the microbial communities associated with the macrophyte Typha latifolia (cattail). Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis revealed that the impact of NAs on microbial communities was niche dependent, with endophytic communities being the most stable and bulk water communities being the least stable. The type of NA used was significant to microbial response, with commercial NAs causing greater adverse changes than TPW NAs. In general, plant beneficial bacteria such as diazotrophs were favoured in cattails grown in TPW NAs, while potentially deleterious bacteria such as denitrifying Dechlorospirillum species increased in commercial NA treatments. These findings suggest that NAs may affect plant health by impacting root-associated microbial communities. A better understanding of these impacts may allow researchers to optimize those microbial communities that support plant health, and thus further optimize wetland treatment systems.

  7. The social responsibility commitment to the community and care environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martha Elena López Regalado

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The concept of csr has evolved in recent years, currently the main objective of the Company cannot lie only meet the monetary needs of the shareholders, but to seek the participation of all stakeholders in the company, with the different stakeholders that interact with the environment either customers, suppliers, employees and society at large, impacting the community with socially responsible actions. Because the concept has acquired new shades as social, economic and environmental responsibility among others, being on the great responsibility of the actions of companies to make social or common good acts to achieve their objectives without harming their economies community, the next job is presented focusing especially on two major indicators of social responsibility such as environmental care, and welfare of the community.

  8. Cellular Mechanisms of Gravitropic Response in Higher Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medvedev, Sergei; Smolikova, Galina; Pozhvanov, Gregory; Suslov, Dmitry

    The evolutionary success of land plants in adaptation to the vectorial environmental factors was based mainly on the development of polarity systems. In result, normal plant ontogenesis is based on the positional information. Polarity is a tool by which the developing plant organs and tissues are mapped and the specific three-dimensional structure of the organism is created. It is due to their polar organization plants are able to orient themselves relative to the gravity vector and different vectorial cues, and to respond adequately to various stimuli. Gravitation is one of the most important polarized environmental factor that guides the development of plant organisms in space. Every plant can "estimate" its position relative to the gravity vector and correct it, if necessary, by means of polarized growth. The direction and the magnitude of gravitational stimulus are constant during the whole plant ontogenesis. The key plant response to the action of gravity is gravitropism, i.e. the directed growth of organs with respect to the gravity vector. This response is a very convenient model to study the mechanisms of plant orientation in space. The present report is focused on the main cellular mechanisms responsible for graviropic bending in higher plants. These mechanisms and structures include electric polarization of plant cells, Ca ({2+) }gradients, cytoskeleton, G-proteins, phosphoinositides and the machinery responsible for asymmetric auxin distribution. Those mechanisms tightly interact demonstrating some hierarchy and multiple feedbacks. The Ca (2+) gradients provide the primary physiological basis of polarity in plant cells. Calcium ions influence on the bioelectric potentials, the organization of actin cytoskeleton, the activity of Ca (2+) -binding proteins and Ca (2+) -dependent protein kinases. Protein kinases modulate transcription factors activity thereby regulating the gene expression and switching the developmental programs. Actin cytoskeleton affects

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Plant-plant interactions mediate the plastic and genotypic response of Plantago asiatica to CO

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Loon, Van Marloes P.; Rietkerk, Max; Dekker, Stefan C.; Hikosaka, Kouki; Ueda, Miki U.; Anten, Niels P.R.

    2016-01-01

    Background and Aims The rising atmospheric CO2 concentration ([CO2]) is a ubiquitous selective force that may strongly impact species distribution and vegetation functioning. Plant-plant interactions could mediate the trajectory of vegetation responses to elevated [CO2<

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Soil bacterial community responses to warming and grazing in a Tibetan alpine meadow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yaoming; Lin, Qiaoyan; Wang, Shiping; Li, Xiangzhen; Liu, Wentso; Luo, Caiyun; Zhang, Zhenhua; Zhu, Xiaoxue; Jiang, Lili; Li, Xine

    2016-01-01

    Warming and grazing significantly affect the structure and function of an alpine meadow ecosystem. Yet, the responses of soil microbes to these disturbances are not well understood. Controlled asymmetrical warming (+1.2/1.7°C during daytime/nighttime) with grazing experiments were conducted to study microbial response to warming, grazing and their interactions. Significant interactive effects of warming and grazing were observed on soil bacterial α-diversity and composition. Warming only caused significant increase in bacterial α-diversity under no-grazing conditions. Grazing induced no substantial differences in bacterial α-diversity and composition irrespective of warming. Warming, regardless of grazing, caused a significant increase in soil bacterial community similarity across space, but grazing only induced significant increases under no-warming conditions. The positive effects of warming on bacterial α-diversity and grazing on community similarity were weakened by grazing and warming, respectively. Soil and plant variables explained well the variations in microbial communities, indicating that changes in soil and plant properties may primarily regulate soil microbial responses to warming in this alpine meadow. The results suggest that bacterial communities may become more similar across space in a future, warmed climate and moderate grazing may potentially offset, at least partially, the effects of global warming on the soil microbial diversity. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Response of graywater recycling systems based on hydroponic plant growth to three classes of surfactants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garland, J. L.; Levine, L. H.; Yorio, N. C.; Hummerick, M. E.

    2004-01-01

    Anionic (sodium laureth sulfate, SLES), amphoteric (cocamidopropyl betaine, CAPB) and nonionic (alcohol polyethoxylate, AE) surfactants were added to separate nutrient film technique (NFT) hydroponic systems containing dwarf wheat (Triticum aestivum cv. USU Apogee) in a series of 21 day trials. Surfactant was added either in a (1). temporally dynamic mode (1-3 g surfactant m(-2) growing area d(-1)) as effected by automatic addition of a 300 ppm surfactant solution to meet plant water demand, or (2). continuous mode (2 g surfactant m(-2) growing area d(-1)) as effected by slow addition (10 mLh(-1)) of a 2000 ppm surfactant solution beginning at 4d after planting. SLES showed rapid primary degradation in both experiments, with no accumulation 24 h after initial addition. CAPB and AE were degraded less rapidly, with 30-50% remaining 24 h after initial addition, but CAPB and AE levels were below detection limit for the remainder of the study. No reductions in vegetative growth of wheat were observed in response to SLES, but biomass was reduced 20-25% with CAPB and AE. Microbial communities associated with both the plant roots and wetted hardware surfaces actively degraded the surfactants, as determined by monitoring surfactant levels following pulse additions at day 20 (with plants) and day 21 (after plant removal). In order to test whether the biofilm communities could ameliorate phytotoxicity by providing a microbial community acclimated for CAPB and AE decay, the continuous exposure systems were planted with wheat seeds after crop removal at day 21. Acclimation resulted in faster primary degradation (>90% within 24h) and reduced phytotoxicity. Overall, the studies indicate that relatively small areas (3-5m(2)) of hydroponic plant systems can process per capita production of mixed surfactants (5-10 g x person(-1)d(-1)) with minimal effects on plant growth.

  18. Response of graywater recycling systems based on hydroponic plant growth to three classes of surfactants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garland, J. L.; Levine, L. H.; Yorio, N. C.; Hummerick, M. E.

    2004-01-01

    Anionic (sodium laureth sulfate, SLES), amphoteric (cocamidopropyl betaine, CAPB) and nonionic (alcohol polyethoxylate, AE) surfactants were added to separate nutrient film technique (NFT) hydroponic systems containing dwarf wheat (Triticum aestivum cv. USU Apogee) in a series of 21 day trials. Surfactant was added either in a (1). temporally dynamic mode (1-3 g surfactant m(-2) growing area d(-1)) as effected by automatic addition of a 300 ppm surfactant solution to meet plant water demand, or (2). continuous mode (2 g surfactant m(-2) growing area d(-1)) as effected by slow addition (10 mLh(-1)) of a 2000 ppm surfactant solution beginning at 4d after planting. SLES showed rapid primary degradation in both experiments, with no accumulation 24 h after initial addition. CAPB and AE were degraded less rapidly, with 30-50% remaining 24 h after initial addition, but CAPB and AE levels were below detection limit for the remainder of the study. No reductions in vegetative growth of wheat were observed in response to SLES, but biomass was reduced 20-25% with CAPB and AE. Microbial communities associated with both the plant roots and wetted hardware surfaces actively degraded the surfactants, as determined by monitoring surfactant levels following pulse additions at day 20 (with plants) and day 21 (after plant removal). In order to test whether the biofilm communities could ameliorate phytotoxicity by providing a microbial community acclimated for CAPB and AE decay, the continuous exposure systems were planted with wheat seeds after crop removal at day 21. Acclimation resulted in faster primary degradation (>90% within 24h) and reduced phytotoxicity. Overall, the studies indicate that relatively small areas (3-5m(2)) of hydroponic plant systems can process per capita production of mixed surfactants (5-10 g x person(-1)d(-1)) with minimal effects on plant growth.

  19. Plant species and soil type cooperatively shape the structure and function of microbial communities in the rhizosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berg, Gabriele; Smalla, Kornelia

    2009-04-01

    The rhizosphere is of central importance not only for plant nutrition, health and quality but also for microorganism-driven carbon sequestration, ecosystem functioning and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. A multitude of biotic and abiotic factors are assumed to influence the structural and functional diversity of microbial communities in the rhizosphere. In this review, recent studies on the influence of the two factors, plant species and soil type, on rhizosphere-associated microbial communities are discussed. Root exudates and the response of microorganisms to the latter as well as to root morphology were shown to shape rhizosphere microbial communities. All studies revealed that soil is the main reservoir for rhizosphere microorganisms. Many secrets of microbial life in the rhizosphere were recently uncovered due to the enormous progress in molecular and microscopic tools. Physiological and molecular data on the factors that drive selection processes in the rhizosphere are presented here. Furthermore, implications for agriculture, nature conservation and biotechnology will also be discussed.

  20. ROLE OF ETHYLENE IN RESPONSES OF PLANTS TO NITROGEN AVAILABILITY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Iqbal R Khan

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Ethylene is a plant hormone involved in several physiological processes and regulates the plant development during the whole life. Stressful conditions usually activate ethylene biosynthesis and signalling in plants. The availability of nutrients, shortage or excess, influences plant metabolism and ethylene plays an important role in plant adaptation under suboptimal conditions. Among the plant nutrients, the nitrogen (N is one the most important mineral element required for plant growth and development. The availability of N significantly influences plant metabolism, including ethylene biology. The interaction between ethylene and N affects several physiological process such as leaf gas exchanges, roots architecture, leaf, fruits and flowers development. Low plant N use efficiency leads to N loss and N deprivation, which affect ethylene biosynthesis and tissues sensitivity, inducing cell damage and ultimately lysis. Plants may respond differently to N availability balancing ethylene production through its signalling network. This review discusses the recent advances in the interaction between N availability and ethylene at whole plant and different organ levels, and explores how N availability induces ethylene biology and plant responses. Exogenously applied ethylene seems to cope the stress conditions and improves plant physiological performance. This can be explained considering the expression of ethylene biosynthesis and signalling genes under different N availability. A greater understanding of the regulation of N by means of ethylene modulation may help to increase N use efficiency and directly influence crop productivity under conditions of limited N availability, leading to positive effects on the environment. Moreover, efforts should be focused on the effect of N deficiency or excess in fruit trees, where ethylene can have detrimental effects especially during postharvest.

  1. Experiment, monitoring, and gradient methods used to infer climate change effects on plant communities yield consistent patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elmendorf, Sarah C; Henry, Gregory H R; Hollister, Robert D; Fosaa, Anna Maria; Gould, William A; Hermanutz, Luise; Hofgaard, Annika; Jónsdóttir, Ingibjörg S; Jónsdóttir, Ingibjörg I; Jorgenson, Janet C; Lévesque, Esther; Magnusson, Borgþór; Molau, Ulf; Myers-Smith, Isla H; Oberbauer, Steven F; Rixen, Christian; Tweedie, Craig E; Walker, Marilyn D; Walker, Marilyn

    2015-01-13

    Inference about future climate change impacts typically relies on one of three approaches: manipulative experiments, historical comparisons (broadly defined to include monitoring the response to ambient climate fluctuations using repeat sampling of plots, dendroecology, and paleoecology techniques), and space-for-time substitutions derived from sampling along environmental gradients. Potential limitations of all three approaches are recognized. Here we address the congruence among these three main approaches by comparing the degree to which tundra plant community composition changes (i) in response to in situ experimental warming, (ii) with interannual variability in summer temperature within sites, and (iii) over spatial gradients in summer temperature. We analyzed changes in plant community composition from repeat sampling (85 plant communities in 28 regions) and experimental warming studies (28 experiments in 14 regions) throughout arctic and alpine North America and Europe. Increases in the relative abundance of species with a warmer thermal niche were observed in response to warmer summer temperatures using all three methods; however, effect sizes were greater over broad-scale spatial gradients relative to either temporal variability in summer temperature within a site or summer temperature increases induced by experimental warming. The effect sizes for change over time within a site and with experimental warming were nearly identical. These results support the view that inferences based on space-for-time substitution overestimate the magnitude of responses to contemporary climate warming, because spatial gradients reflect long-term processes. In contrast, in situ experimental warming and monitoring approaches yield consistent estimates of the magnitude of response of plant communities to climate warming.

  2. Action of jasmonates in plant stress responses and development--applied aspects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wasternack, Claus

    2014-01-01

    Jasmonates (JAs) are lipid-derived compounds acting as key signaling compounds in plant stress responses and development. The JA co-receptor complex and several enzymes of JA biosynthesis have been crystallized, and various JA signal transduction pathways including cross-talk to most of the plant hormones have been intensively studied. Defense to herbivores and necrotrophic pathogens are mediated by JA. Other environmental cues mediated by JA are light, seasonal and circadian rhythms, cold stress, desiccation stress, salt stress and UV stress. During development growth inhibition of roots, shoots and leaves occur by JA, whereas seed germination and flower development are partially affected by its precursor 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA). Based on these numerous JA mediated signal transduction pathways active in plant stress responses and development, there is an increasing interest in horticultural and biotechnological applications. Intercropping, the mixed growth of two or more crops, mycorrhization of plants, establishment of induced resistance, priming of plants for enhanced insect resistance as well as pre- and post-harvest application of JA are few examples. Additional sources for horticultural improvement, where JAs might be involved, are defense against nematodes, biocontrol by plant growth promoting rhizobacteria, altered composition of rhizosphere bacterial community, sustained balance between growth and defense, and improved plant immunity in intercropping systems. Finally, biotechnological application for JA-induced production of pharmaceuticals and application of JAs as anti-cancer agents were intensively studied.

  3. Idiosyncratic responses of high Arctic plants to changing snow regimes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rumpf, Sabine B; Semenchuk, Philipp R; Dullinger, Stefan; Cooper, Elisabeth J

    2014-01-01

    The Arctic is one of the ecosystems most affected by climate change; in particular, winter temperatures and precipitation are predicted to increase with consequent changes to snow cover depth and duration. Whether the snow-free period will be shortened or prolonged depends on the extent and temporal patterns of the temperature and precipitation rise; resulting changes will likely affect plant growth with cascading effects throughout the ecosystem. We experimentally manipulated snow regimes using snow fences and shoveling and assessed aboveground size of eight common high arctic plant species weekly throughout the summer. We demonstrated that plant growth responded to snow regime, and that air temperature sum during the snow free period was the best predictor for plant size. The majority of our studied species showed periodic growth; increases in plant size stopped after certain cumulative temperatures were obtained. Plants in early snow-free treatments without additional spring warming were smaller than controls. Response to deeper snow with later melt-out varied between species and categorizing responses by growth forms or habitat associations did not reveal generic trends. We therefore stress the importance of examining responses at the species level, since generalized predictions of aboveground growth responses to changing snow regimes cannot be made.

  4. Idiosyncratic responses of high Arctic plants to changing snow regimes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabine B Rumpf

    Full Text Available The Arctic is one of the ecosystems most affected by climate change; in particular, winter temperatures and precipitation are predicted to increase with consequent changes to snow cover depth and duration. Whether the snow-free period will be shortened or prolonged depends on the extent and temporal patterns of the temperature and precipitation rise; resulting changes will likely affect plant growth with cascading effects throughout the ecosystem. We experimentally manipulated snow regimes using snow fences and shoveling and assessed aboveground size of eight common high arctic plant species weekly throughout the summer. We demonstrated that plant growth responded to snow regime, and that air temperature sum during the snow free period was the best predictor for plant size. The majority of our studied species showed periodic growth; increases in plant size stopped after certain cumulative temperatures were obtained. Plants in early snow-free treatments without additional spring warming were smaller than controls. Response to deeper snow with later melt-out varied between species and categorizing responses by growth forms or habitat associations did not reveal generic trends. We therefore stress the importance of examining responses at the species level, since generalized predictions of aboveground growth responses to changing snow regimes cannot be made.

  5. Carbon dioxide enrichment alters plant community structure and accelerates shrub growth in the shortgrass steppe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Jack A; Milchunas, Daniel G; LeCain, Daniel R; West, Mark; Mosier, Arvin R

    2007-09-11

    A hypothesis has been advanced that the incursion of woody plants into world grasslands over the past two centuries has been driven in part by increasing carbon dioxide concentration, [CO(2)], in Earth's atmosphere. Unlike the warm season forage grasses they are displacing, woody plants have a photosynthetic metabolism and carbon allocation patterns that are responsive to CO(2), and many have tap roots that are more effective than grasses for reaching deep soil water stores that can be enhanced under elevated CO(2). However, this commonly cited hypothesis has little direct support from manipulative experimentation and competes with more traditional theories of shrub encroachment involving climate change, management, and fire. Here, we show that, although doubling [CO(2)] over the Colorado shortgrass steppe had little impact on plant species diversity, it resulted in an increasingly dissimilar plant community over the 5-year experiment compared with plots maintained at present-day [CO(2)]. Growth at the doubled [CO(2)] resulted in an approximately 40-fold increase in aboveground biomass and a 20-fold increase in plant cover of Artemisia frigida Willd, a common subshrub of some North American and Asian grasslands. This CO(2)-induced enhancement of plant growth, among the highest yet reported, provides evidence from a native grassland suggesting that rising atmospheric [CO(2)] may be contributing to the shrubland expansions of the past 200 years. Encroachment of shrubs into grasslands is an important problem facing rangeland managers and ranchers; this process replaces grasses, the preferred forage of domestic livestock, with species that are unsuitable for domestic livestock grazing.

  6. Seasonal Changes in Bacterial Communities Cause Foaming in a Wastewater Treatment Plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ping; Yu, Zhisheng; Zhao, Jihong; Zhang, Hongxun

    2016-04-01

    Bio-foaming is a major problem in solid separation in activated sludge (AS) wastewater treatment systems. Understanding the changes in bacterial communities during sludge foaming is vital for explaining foam formation. Changes in bacterial communities in the foam, corresponding foaming AS, and non-foaming AS in a seasonal foaming wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Northern China were investigated by high-throughput pyrosequencing and molecular quantification-based approaches. We found that bacterial communities of the foam and the corresponding foaming AS were similar but markedly different from those of the non-foaming AS. Actinobacteria was the predominant phylum in the foam and the corresponding foaming AS, whereas Proteobacteria was predominant in the non-foaming AS. Similar to the results of most previous studies, our results showed that Candidatus "Microthrix parvicella" was the predominant filamentous bacteria in the foam and the corresponding foaming AS and was significantly enriched in the foam compared to the corresponding foaming AS. Its abundance decreased gradually with a slow disappearance of sludge foaming, indicating that its overgrowth had a direct relationship with sludge foaming. In addition to Candidatus M. parvicella, Tetrasphaera and Trichococcus might play a role in sludge foaming, because they supported the changes in AS microbial ecology for foam formation. The effluent water quality of the surveyed plant remained stable during the period of sludge foaming, but the microbial consortia responsible for nitrogen and phosphorus transformation and removal markedly changed compared to that in the non-foaming AS. This study adds to the previous understanding of bacterial communities causing foaming in WWTPs.

  7. 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.

  8. Soil microbial community response to precipitation change in a semi-arid ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cregger, Melissa [ORNL; Schadt, Christopher Warren [ORNL; McDowell, Nathan [Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL); Pockman, William [University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; Classen, Aimee T [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK)

    2012-01-01

    Microbial communities regulate many belowground carbon cycling processes; thus, the impact of climate change on the struc- ture and function of soil microbial communities could, in turn, impact the release or storage of carbon in soils. Here we used a large-scale precipitation manipulation ( 18%, 50%, or ambient) in a pi on-juniper woodland (Pinus edulis-Juniperus mono- sperma) to investigate how changes in precipitation amounts altered soil microbial communities as well as what role seasonal variation in rainfall and plant composition played in the microbial community response. Seasonal variability in precipitation had a larger role in determining the composition of soil microbial communities in 2008 than the direct effect of the experimental precipitation treatments. Bacterial and fungal communities in the dry, relatively moisture-limited premonsoon season were compositionally distinct from communities in the monsoon season, when soil moisture levels and periodicity varied more widely across treatments. Fungal abundance in the drought plots during the dry premonsoon season was particularly low and was 4.7 times greater upon soil wet-up in the monsoon season, suggesting that soil fungi were water limited in the driest plots, which may result in a decrease in fungal degradation of carbon substrates. Additionally, we found that both bacterial and fungal communities beneath pi on pine and juniper were distinct, suggesting that microbial functions beneath these trees are different. We conclude that predicting the response of microbial communities to climate change is highly dependent on seasonal dynam- ics, background climatic variability, and the composition of the associated aboveground community.

  9. Gender-related traits in the dioecious shrub Empetrum rubrum in two plant communities in the Magellanic steppe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Barradas, Mari Cruz; Zunzunegui, María; Collantes, Marta; Álvarez-Cansino, Leonor; García Novo, Francisco

    2014-10-01

    Following the theory on costs of reproduction, sexually dimorphic plants may exhibit several trade-offs in energy and resources that can determine gender dimorphism in morphological or physiological traits, especially during the reproductive period. In this study we assess whether the sexes of the dioecious species Empetrum rubrum differ in morphological and ecophysiological traits related to water economy and photochemical efficiency and whether these differences change in nearby populations with contrasting plant communities. We conducted physiological, morphological, sex ratio, and cover measurements in E. rubrum plants in the Magellanic steppe, North-Eastern part of Tierra del Fuego (Argentina), from two types of heathlands with differing community composition. We found differences between sites in soil pH and wind speed at the canopy level. E. rubrum plants exhibited lower photosynthetic height and higher LAI (leaf area index), lower RWC (relative water content) and higher water-use efficiency (lower Δ13C) in the heathland with harsher environmental conditions. Gender dimorphism in the physiological response was patent for photochemical efficiency and water use (RWC and Δ13C discrimination), with males showing a more conservative strategy in relation to females. Accordingly, male-biased sex ratio in the stress-prone community suggested a better performance of male plants under stressful environmental conditions. The integrated analysis of all variables (photochemical efficiency, RWC, leaf dry matter content (LDMC), pigments, and Δ13C) indicated an interaction between gender and heathland community effects in the physiological response. We suggest that female plants may exhibit compensatory mechanisms to face their higher reproductive costs.

  10. 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

  11. Communities of different plant diversity respond similarly to drought stress: experimental evidence from field non-weeded and greenhouse conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanta, Vojtěch; Doležal, Jiří; Zemková, Lenka; Lepš, Jan

    2012-06-01

    Accelerating rate of species loss has prompted researchers to study the role of species diversity in processes that control ecosystem functioning. Although negative impact of species loss has been documented, the evidence concerning its impact on ecosystem stability is still limited. Here, we studied the effects of declining species and functional diversity on plant community responses to drought in the field (open to weed colonization) and greenhouse conditions. Both species and functional diversity positively affected the average yields of field communities. However, this pattern was similar in both drought-stressed and control plots. No effect of diversity on community resistance, biomass recovery after drought and resilience was found because drought reduced biomass production similarly at each level of diversity by approximately 30 %. The use of dissimilarity (characterized by Euclidean distance) revealed higher variation under changing environments (drought-stressed vs. control) in more diverse communities compared to less species-rich assemblages. In the greenhouse experiment, the effect of species diversity affected community resistance, indicating that more diverse communities suffered more from drought than species-poor ones. We conclude that our study did not support the insurance hypothesis (stability properties of a community should increase with species richness) because species diversity had an equivocal effect on ecosystem resistance and resilience in an environment held under non-weeded practice, regardless of the positive relationship between sown species diversity and community biomass production. More species-rich communities were less resistant against drought-stressed conditions than species-poor ones grown in greenhouse conditions.

  12. The Ecological Responses of Plant Community to Iron Mine Exploitation——Taking Dacibei Iron Mine as an Example%植物群落对铁矿开采的生态响应——以大茨背铁矿为例

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    徐涛

    2012-01-01

    The ecological responses of plant community to iron mine exploitation and the diversity of plant community under different disturbance intensity were investigated by using the richness index R,Shannon-Weiner index H′,Simpson indexλ,and evenness index E1.The results showed that the 32 sample plots were classified into 7 community types based on the field survey and classification principle and system of Chinese Vegetation,which were the main types of the plant community of different function areas in iron mine.According to the value of Shannon-Weiner index,the order of the species diversity of different function areas was in the following: Wutai Mountain Nature Reserve bufferThe valley outside the mineResource integration boundariesThe west of the mineThe east of the mineThe highway sidePowder storageSelection coal fieldTailings reservoirCrushing fieldExploitation area,which eflected the disturbance intensity to the surrounding environment.Simpson index could reflect the status and the function of dominant species in the plant community.%采用样方法进行调查,应用丰富度指数R、Shannon-Weiner指数H′、Simpson指数λ和均匀度指数E1研究了植物群落对铁矿开采的生态响应,探讨了不同干扰强度下植物群落生物多样性变化。结果表明:依据《中国植被》的分类原则和系统,结合野外调查的实际情况,将调查的32个样方划分为7个群落类型,代表了铁矿开采不同功能区植物群落的主要类型。根据H′值将不同功能区的物种多样性排列如下:五台山自然保护区缓冲区&gt;矿区外山沟&gt;矿区资源整合界线&gt;矿界内西部&gt;矿界内东部&gt;矿区公路旁&gt;炸药库&gt;选煤场&gt;尾矿库&gt;破碎场&gt;开采区,反映了铁矿开采活动对周边环境干扰强度逐渐增大。Simpson指数λ能很好地反映优势种在植物群落中的地位和作用的大小。

  13. Bird community response to filter strips in Maryland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blank, P.J.; Dively, G.P.; Gill, D.E.; Rewa, C.A.

    2011-01-01

    Filter strips are strips of herbaceous vegetation planted along agricultural field margins adjacent to streams or wetlands and are designed to intercept sediment, nutrients, and agrichemicals. Roughly 16,000 ha of filter strips have been established in Maryland through the United States Department of Agriculture's Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program. Filter strips often represent the only uncultivated herbaceous areas on farmland in Maryland and therefore may be important habitat for early-successional bird species. Most filter strips in Maryland are planted to either native warm-season grasses or cool-season grasses and range in width from 10.7 m to 91.4 m. From 2004 to 2007 we studied the breeding and wintering bird communities in filter strips adjacent to wooded edges and non-buffered field edges and the effect that grass type and width of filter strips had on bird community composition. We used 5 bird community metrics (total bird density, species richness, scrub-shrub bird density, grassland bird density, and total avian conservation value), species-specific densities, nest densities, and nest survival estimates to assess the habitat value of filter strips for birds. Breeding and wintering bird community metrics were greater in filter strips than in non-buffered field edges but did not differ between cool-season and warm-season grass filter strips. Most breeding bird community metrics were negatively related to the percent cover of orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata) in ???1 yr. Breeding bird density was greater in narrow (60 m) filter strips. Our results suggest that narrow filter strips adjacent to wooded edges can provide habitat for many bird species but that wide filter strips provide better habitat for grassland birds, particularly obligate grassland species. If bird conservation is an objective, avoid planting orchardgrass in filter strips and reduce or eliminate orchardgrass from filter strips through management practices. Copyright ?? 2011 The

  14. Cytolytic toxins as triggers of plant immune response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Küfner, Isabell; Ottmann, Christian

    2009-01-01

    NEP1-like proteins (NLPs) are secreted proteins from fungi, oomycetes and bacteria, triggering immune responses and cell death in dicotyledonous plants. It has been unclear for a long time, whether NLPs are toxins or triggers of plant immunity. In a recent study we report that NLPs are toxins that exert cytolytic activity on dicotyledonous plants. Mutational analysis revealed a causal link between membrane damaging, cell death inducing and virulence promoting properties of NLPs. Interestingly, also induction of immune responses by NLPs required the same protein fold, providing evidence for damage-induced immunity in plants. Structural similarity to pore forming toxins from marine invertebrates allows the proposal of a model for the mode of NLP interaction with the host's membrane. PMID:19826219

  15. Predicting plant responses to mycorrhizae: integrating evolutionary history and plant traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinhart, Kurt O; Wilson, Gail W T; Rinella, Matthew J

    2012-07-01

    We assessed whether (1) arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization of roots (RC) and/or plant responses to arbuscular mycorrhizae (MR) vary with plant phylogeny and (2) MR and RC can be more accurately predicted with a phylogenetic predictor relative to a null model and models with plant trait and taxonomic predictors. In a previous study, MR and RC of 95 grassland species were measured. We constructed a phylogeny for these species and found it explained variation in MR and RC. Next, we used multiple regressions to identify the models that most accurately predicted plant MR. Models including either phylogenetic or phenotypic and taxonomic information similarly improved our ability to predict MR relative to a null model. Our study illustrates the complex evolutionary associations among species and constraints of using phylogenetic information, relative to plant traits, to predict how a plant species will interact with AMF. Published 2012. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  16. Response of reed community to the environment gradient water depth in the Yellow River Delta, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    We investigated and monitored a reed community in the fields.Data on the bio-ecologieal characteristics and β-diversity of reed communities in different environmental gradients (mainly based on water depth) of the Yellow River Delta were collected through multianalysis,extremum analysis and β-diversity index analysis.In accordance with the square sum of deviations (Ward)cluster analysis,10 sampling plots were divided into six types with the dominant plants in different plots varying according to the change in environmental gradients.The dominant plants in these plots varied from aquatic plants to xerophytes and salt tolerant plants as water depth decreased.The average height and diameter of the reeds at breast level were significantly correlated with the average water depth.The fitness curves of average density and coverage with average water depth were nonlinear.When the average water depth was 0.3 m,the average density and coverage of reeds reached the apex value,while the height and diameter of the reeds at breast level increased with the water depth.There were obvious changes to the environmental gradient in the Yellow River Delta.The transitional communities were also found to exist in the Yellow River Delta by β-diversity analysis.Vicarious species appeared with the change in water depth.The occurrence of substitute species is determined by the function of common species between adjacent belts.The different functions of common species led to differences in community structure and function and differences in dominant plants.The result reflects the variations of species present in different habitats and directly reflects environmental heterogeneity.The values of//-diversity indices of adjacent plots were higher than those of nonadjacent plots.There are transition zones between the xerophytes and aquatic plants in the Yellow River Delta.In an aquatic environment,the similarity of reed community is higher than that of xeromorphic plants.The β-diversity index

  17. 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.

  18. [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.

  19. The plant response:stress in the daily environment

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    FERGUSON Ian B.

    2004-01-01

    @@STRESS IS NORMAL Like animals, plants have evolved to survive in almost every climatic and environmental niche available. They have, however, evolved more sophisticated and varied methods to enable them to survive environmental changes in light, temperature, atmosphere composition, water and nutrients and salinity. This, in part, is necessary because of the sessile nature of plants; they do not have the ability to move to more favourable environments. Stress conditions that plants encounter are not always as rare or unusual as we might at first think. The most common environmental variables, necessary for growth, can impose significant stresses on the plant. But should we think of these as unusual and extreme or just part of the normal diurnal responses experienced by the plant?

  20. Fungal elicitors of the phytoalexin response in higher plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    West, Charles A.

    1981-09-01

    Several types of fungal molecules including cell wall polysaccharides, polypeptides, glycoproteins and lipid molecules have been found to serve as elicitors of phytoalexins in higher plants. Recent work has shown that an extracellular enzyme, endopolygalacturonase, from culture filtrates of the fungus Rhizopus stolonifer elicits the biosynthesis of an antifungal antibiotic, casbene, in extracts of treated castor bean ( Ricinus communis L.) seedlings. A suggested mode of action of this elicitor in the plant in which fragments of the plant cell wall released through the catalytic action of the enzyme serve as secondary elicitors to trigger the plant response is proposed on the basis of preliminary observations. Possible modes of interaction of other types of fungal elicitors with plants are also discussed.

  1. Soil microbial community structure is unaltered by plant invasion, vegetation clipping, and nitrogen fertilization in experimental semi-arid grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chelsea J Carey

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Global and regional environmental changes often co-occur, creating complex gradients of disturbance on the landscape. Soil microbial communities are an important component of ecosystem response to environmental change, yet little is known about how microbial structure and function respond to multiple disturbances, or whether multiple environmental changes lead to unanticipated interactive effects. Our study used experimental semi-arid grassland plots in a Mediterranean-climate to determine how soil microbial communities in a seasonally variable ecosystem respond to one, two, or three simultaneous environmental changes: exotic plant invasion, plant invasion + vegetation clipping (to simulate common management practices like mowing or livestock grazing, plant invasion + nitrogen (N fertilization, and plant invasion + clipping + N fertilization. We examined microbial community structure 5-6 years after plot establishment via sequencing of >1 million 16S rRNA genes. Abiotic soil properties (soil moisture, temperature, pH, and inorganic N and microbial functioning (nitrification and denitrification potentials were also measured and showed treatment-induced shifts, including altered NO3- availability, temperature, and nitrification potential. Despite these changes, bacterial and archaeal communities showed little variation in composition and diversity across treatments. Even communities in plots exposed to three interacting environmental changes were similar to those in restored native grassland plots. Historical exposure to large seasonal and inter-annual variations in key soil properties, in addition to prior site cultivation, may select for a functionally plastic or largely dormant microbial community, resulting in a microbial community that is structurally robust to single and multiple environmental changes.

  2. Tart Cherry Yield and Economic Response to Alternative Planting Densities

    OpenAIRE

    Me-Nsope, Nathalie Mongue

    2009-01-01

    The study investigates the economic response of tart cherry yields to planting density using an unbalanced longitudinal yield data from tart cherry orchards in Northwest Michigan. The relationship between tart cherry yield and tree age is specified as a linear spline function and planting density interacts with tree age. A random effect method, treating block as random, is used to estimate the spline function. Stochastic simulation was used to estimate the mean and variance of the product of ...

  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. Sensitivity of grassland plant community composition to spatial vs. temporal variation in precipitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cleland, Elsa E; Collins, Scott L; Dickson, Timothy L; Farrer, Emily C; Gross, Katherine L; Gherardi, Laureano A; Hallett, Lauren M; Hobbs, Richard J; Hsu, Joanna S; Turnbull, Laura; Suding, Katharine N

    2013-08-01

    Climate gradients shape spatial variation in the richness and composition of plant communities. Given future predicted changes in climate means and variability, and likely regional variation in the magnitudes of these changes, it is important to determine how temporal variation in climate influences temporal variation in plant community structure. Here, we evaluated how species richness, turnover, and composition of grassland plant communities responded to interannual variation in precipitation by synthesizing long-term data from grasslands across the United States. We found that mean annual precipitation,(MAP) was a positive predictor of species richness across sites, but a positive temporal relationship between annual precipitation and richness was only evident within two sites with low MAP. We also found higher average rates of species turnover in dry sites that in turn had a high proportion of annual species, although interannual rates of species turnover were surprisingly high across all locations. Annual species were less abundant than perennial species at nearly all sites, and our analysis showed that the probability of a species being lost or gained from one year to the next increased with decreasing species abundance. Bray-Curtis dissimilarity from one year to the next, a measure of species composition change that is influenced mainly by abundant species, was insensitive to precipitation at all sites. These results suggest that the richness and turnover patterns we observed were driven primarily by rare species, which comprise the majority of the local species pools at these grassland sites. These findings are consistent with the idea that short-lived and less abundant species are more sensitive to interannual climate variability than longer-lived and more abundant species. We conclude that, among grassland ecosystems, xeric grasslands are likely to exhibit the greatest responsiveness of community composition (richness and turnover) to predicted future

  5. Field Guide to the Plant Community Types of Voyageurs National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faber-Langendoen, Don; Aaseng, Norman; Hop, Kevin; Lew-Smith, Michael

    2007-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The objective of the U.S. Geological Survey-National Park Service Vegetation Mapping Program is to classify, describe, and map vegetation for most of the park units within the National Park Service (NPS). The program was created in response to the NPS Natural Resources Inventory and Monitoring Guidelines issued in 1992. Products for each park include digital files of the vegetation map and field data, keys and descriptions to the plant communities, reports, metadata, map accuracy verification summaries, and aerial photographs. Interagency teams work in each park and, following standardized mapping and field sampling protocols, develop products and vegetation classification standards that document the various vegetation types found in a given park. The use of a standard national vegetation classification system and mapping protocol facilitate effective resource stewardship by ensuring compatibility and widespread use of the information throughout the NPS as well as by other Federal and state agencies. These vegetation classifications and maps and associated information support a wide variety of resource assessment, park management, and planning needs, and provide a structure for framing and answering critical scientific questions about plant communities and their relation to environmental processes across the landscape. This field guide is intended to make the classification accessible to park visitors and researchers at Voyageurs National Park, allowing them to identify any stand of natural vegetation and showing how the classification can be used in conjunction with the vegetation map (Hop and others, 2001).

  6. Interactions between plant and rhizosphere microbial communities in a metalliferous soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epelde, Lur; Becerril, José M; Barrutia, Oihana; González-Oreja, José A; Garbisu, Carlos

    2010-05-01

    In the present work, the relationships between plant consortia, consisting of 1-4 metallicolous pseudometallophytes with different metal-tolerance strategies (Thlaspi caerulescens: hyperaccumulator; Jasione montana: accumulator; Rumex acetosa: indicator; Festuca rubra: excluder), and their rhizosphere microbial communities were studied in a mine soil polluted with high levels of Cd, Pb and Zn. Physiological response and phytoremediation potential of the studied pseudometallophytes were also investigated. The studied metallicolous populations are tolerant to metal pollution and offer potential for the development of phytoextraction and phytostabilization technologies. T. caerulescens appears very tolerant to metal stress and most suitable for metal phytoextraction; the other three species enhance soil functionality. Soil microbial properties had a stronger effect on plant biomass rather than the other way around (35.2% versus 14.9%). An ecological understanding of how contaminants, ecosystem functions and biological communities interact in the long-term is needed for proper management of these fragile metalliferous ecosystems. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Changes in fungal community composition in response to experimental soil warming at the alpine treeline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solly, Emily; Lindahl, Bjorn; Dawes, Melissa; Peter, Martina; Souza, Romulo; Rixen, Christian; Hagedorn, Frank

    2017-04-01

    Increased CO2 emissions and global warming may alter the composition of fungal communities through the reduction of low temperature limitation in the plant-soil system, faster nitrogen cycling and changes in the carbon allocation of host plants to the rhizosphere. Shifts in fungal community composition due to global changes are likely to affect the routes of carbon and nitrogen flows in the plant-soil system and alter the rates at which organic matter is decomposed. The main aim of our study was to estimate the effects of multiple years of free air CO2 enrichment (ambient concentration +200 ppm) and soil warming (+ 4°C) on the fungal community structure and composition. At an alpine treeline in Switzerland featuring two key high-elevation tree species, Larix decidua and Pinus uncinata, fungal communities within different organic horizons were analysed by high-throughput 454-pyrosequencing of ITS2 amplicons. In addition, we assessed the ectomycorrhizal community composition on root tips and monitored changes in sporocarp productivity of fungal species during the course of the experiment. Three years of experimental warming at the alpine treeline altered the composition of the fungal community in the organic horizons, whereas nine years of CO2 enrichment had only weak effects. Tree species influenced the composition of the fungal community and the magnitude of the responses of fungal functional groups to soil warming differed between plots with Larix and those with Pinus. The abundance of ectomycorrhizal fungi was positively correlated with nitrogen availability, and ectomycorrhizal taxa specialized for conditions of high nitrogen availability proliferated with warming, corresponding to considerable increases in extractable inorganic nitrogen in warmed soils. Changes in productivity of specific fungal fruiting bodies in response to soil warming (e.g. more Lactarius rufus sporocarps and less Hygrophorus speciousus sporocarps) were consistent with the 454-sequencing

  8. Recent Molecular Advances on Downstream Plant Responses to Abiotic Stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cláudia Regina Batista de Souza

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abiotic stresses such as extremes of temperature and pH, high salinity and drought, comprise some of the major factors causing extensive losses to crop production worldwide. Understanding how plants respond and adapt at cellular and molecular levels to continuous environmental changes is a pre-requisite for the generation of resistant or tolerant plants to abiotic stresses. In this review we aimed to present the recent advances on mechanisms of downstream plant responses to abiotic stresses and the use of stress-related genes in the development of genetically engineered crops.

  9. 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.

  10. The function of small RNAs in plant biotic stress response

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Juan Huang; Meiling Yang; Xiaoming Zhang

    2016-01-01

    Small RNAs (sRNAs) play essential roles in plants upon biotic stress. Plants utilize RNA silencing machinery to facilitate pathogen-associated molecular pattern-triggered immunity and effector-triggered immunity to defend against pathogen attack or to facilitate defense against insect herbivores. Pathogens, on the other hand, are also able to generate effectors and sRNAs to counter the host immune response. The arms race between plants and pathogens/insect herbivores has triggered the evolution of sRNAs, RNA silencing machinery and pathogen effectors. A great number of studies have been performed to investigate the roles of sRNAs in plant defense, bringing in the opportunity to utilize sRNAs in plant protection. Transgenic plants with pathogen-derived resistance ability or trans-generational defense have been generated, which show promising potential as solutions for pathogen/insect herbi-vore problems in the field. Here we summarize the recent progress on the function of sRNAs in response to biotic stress, mainly in plant-pathogen/insect herbivore interaction, and the application of sRNAs in disease and insect herbivore control.

  11. Roles of apoplastic peroxidases in plant response to wounding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minibayeva, Farida; Beckett, Richard Peter; Kranner, Ilse

    2015-04-01

    Apoplastic class III peroxidases (EC 1.11.1.7) play key roles in the response of plants to pathogen infection and abiotic stresses, including wounding. Wounding is a common stress for plants that can be caused by insect or animal grazing or trampling, or result from agricultural practices. Typically, mechanical damage to a plant immediately induces a rapid release and activation of apoplastic peroxidases, and an oxidative burst of reactive oxygen species (ROS), followed by the upregulation of peroxidase genes. We discuss how plants control the expression of peroxidases genes upon wounding, and also the sparse information on peroxidase-mediated signal transduction pathways. Evidence reviewed here suggests that in many plants production of the ROS that comprise the initial oxidative burst results from a complex interplay of peroxidases with other apoplastic enzymes. Later responses following wounding include various forms of tissue healing, for example through peroxidase-dependent suberinization, or cell death. Limited data suggest that ROS-mediated death signalling during the wound response may involve the peroxidase network, together with other redox molecules. In conclusion, the ability of peroxidases to both generate and scavenge ROS plays a key role in the involvement of these enigmatic enzymes in plant stress tolerance. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Processes of community development and responses of ecosystems to climate change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Redente, E.F.

    1989-05-26

    Our studies focus on attempting to understand the role of decomposer-primary producer linkages in successional dynamics. We are testing a series of hypotheses that relate changes in plant species composition during succession to changes in activity and structure of the soil microfloral and faunal community, dynamics of soil organic matter, and availability of soil nutrients. As these successional patterns are identified, they are being applied to understanding specific processes and mechanics involved in ecosystem development during recovery from moderate and severe disturbances. These findings are then being used in conjunction with simulation models to assess potential effects of climate change on ecosystems. Our research involves field studies in northwestern Colorado and southeastern Washington, laboratory studies, and simulation modeling. Ongoing projects include studies of response patterns of primary producer and soil microbial communities to nutrient additions (N, P, and sucrose), the function of mycorrhizal fungi in plant community development, and the dynamics of litter decomposition under semiarid conditions. New studies are being implemented to investigate the significance of nutrient transfers from VAM fungi to plants and plant-root exudate interactions, and to relate this to understanding their roles in succession.

  13. Corporate social responsibility along pipelines: communities and corporations working together

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carvalho, Edison D.R.; Lopes, Luciano E.; Danciguer, Lucilene; Macarini, Samuel; Souza, Maira de [Grupo de Aplicacao Interdisciplinar a Aprendizagem (GAIA), Campinas, SP (Brazil)

    2009-07-01

    In this paper we present GAIA's findings in three corporate social responsibility projects along pipelines owned by three Brazilian companies in gas, oil and mining sectors. The projects had as the main goal to improve the relationship with communities in the companies' direct influence areas. Clearly, the relationship with communities along pipelines is essential to prevent and reduce industrial hazards. The damage in pipelines due to agriculture, buildings, intentional perforations and traffic of heavy vehicles may cause fatal accidents, environmental and material losses. Such accidents have negative consequences with regard to economy, image and relationship with communities and environmental agencies. From communities' perspective, pipelines deteriorate their life quality due to risk of industrial hazards nearby their houses. The lack of proper information about the pipelines remarkably increases insecurity feelings and discourses against the companies among community leaders. The methodology developed by GAIA comprises companies' and communities' interests and encompasses nine stages. 1. Socio-environmental appraisal or inventory, mapping main risks, communities' needs and their leaders. 2. Communication plan, defining strategies, languages and communication vehicles for each stakeholder group. 3. Inter-institutional meetings to include other institutions in the program. 4. Launching seminar in partnership with local authorities, divulging companies' actions in the cities with pipelines. 5. Multiplier agents formation, enabling teachers, local leaders and government representatives to disseminate correct information about the pipelines such as their functioning, hazard prevention, maintenance actions, and restrictions of activities over the pipelines. 6. Formation on project management, enabling teachers, local leaders and government representatives to elaborate, fund raise and manage socio environmental projects aimed at

  14. Inferring resilience to fragmentation-induced changes in plant communities in a semi-arid Mediterranean ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Frutos, Ángel; Navarro, Teresa; Pueyo, Yolanda; Alados, Concepción L

    2015-01-01

    Predicting the capacity of ecosystems to absorb impacts from disturbance events (resilience), including land-use intensification and landscape fragmentation, is challenging in the face of global change. Little is known about the impacts of fragmentation on ecosystem functioning from a multi-dimensional perspective (multiple traits). This study used 58 500-m linear transects to quantify changes in the functional composition and resilience of vascular plant communities in response to an increase in landscape fragmentation in 18 natural scrubland fragments embedded within a matrix of abandoned crop fields in Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park, Almería, Spain. Changes in functional community composition were measured using functional diversity indices (functional richness and functional dispersion) that were based on 12 plant traits. Resilience was evaluated using the functional redundancy and response diversity from the perspective of plant dispersal, which is important, particularly, in fragmented landscapes. Scrubland fragmentation was measured using the Integral Index of Connectivity (IIC). The functional richness of the plant communities was higher in the most fragmented scrubland. Conversely, the functional dispersion (i.e., spread) of trait values among species in the functional trait space was lower at the most fragmented sites; consequently, the ecological tolerance of the vegetation to scrubland fragmentation decreased. Classifying the plant species into four functional groups indicated that fragmentation favoured an increase in functional redundancy in the 'short basal annual forbs and perennial forbs' group, most of which are species adapted to degraded soils. An assessment based on the traits associated with plant dispersal indicated that the resilience of 'woody plants', an important component in the Mediterranean scrubland, and habitat fragmentation were negatively correlated; however, the correlation was positive in the 'short basal annual forbs and

  15. Plant transcriptomics and responses to environmental stress: an overview

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Sameen Ruqia Imadi; Alvina Gul Kazi; Mohammad Abass Ahanger; Salih Gucel; Parvaiz Ahmad

    2015-09-01

    Different stresses include nutrient deficiency, pathogen attack, exposure to toxic chemicals etc. Transcriptomic studies have been mainly applied to only a few plant species including the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. These studies have provided valuable insights into the genetic networks of plant stress responses. Transcriptomics applied to cash crops including barley, rice, sugarcane, wheat and maize have further helped in understanding physiological and molecular responses in terms of genome sequence, gene regulation, gene differentiation, posttranscriptional modifications and gene splicing. On the other hand, comparative transcriptomics has provided more information about plant’s response to diverse stresses. Thus, transcriptomics, together with other biotechnological approaches helps in development of stress tolerance in crops against the climate change.

  16. Green thermoelectrics: Observation and analysis of plant thermoelectric response

    CERN Document Server

    Goupil, C; Khamsing, A; Apertet, Y; Bouteau, F; Mancuso, S; Patino, R; Lecoeur, Ph

    2015-01-01

    Plants are sensitive to thermal and electrical effects; yet the coupling of both, known as thermoelectricity, and its quantitative measurement in vegetal systems never were reported. We recorded the thermoelectric response of bean sprouts under various thermal conditions and stress. The obtained experimental data unambiguously demonstrate that a temperature difference between the roots and the leaves of a bean sprout induces a thermoelectric voltage between these two points. Basing our analysis of the data on the force-flux formalism of linear response theory, we found that the strength of the vegetal equivalent to the thermoelectric coupling is one order of magnitude larger than that in the best thermoelectric materials. Experimental data also show the importance of the thermal stress variation rate in the plant's electrophysiological response. Therefore, thermoelectric effects are sufficiently important to partake in the complex and intertwined processes of energy and matter transport within plants.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Stomatal Blue Light Response Is Present in Early Vascular Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doi, Michio; Kitagawa, Yuki; Shimazaki, Ken-ichiro

    2015-10-01

    Light is a major environmental factor required for stomatal opening. Blue light (BL) induces stomatal opening in higher plants as a signal under the photosynthetic active radiation. The stomatal BL response is not present in the fern species of Polypodiopsida. The acquisition of a stomatal BL response might provide competitive advantages in both the uptake of CO2 and prevention of water loss with the ability to rapidly open and close stomata. We surveyed the stomatal opening in response to strong red light (RL) and weak BL under the RL with gas exchange technique in a diverse selection of plant species from euphyllophytes, including spermatophytes and monilophytes, to lycophytes. We showed the presence of RL-induced stomatal opening in most of these species and found that the BL responses operated in all euphyllophytes except Polypodiopsida. We also confirmed that the stomatal opening in lycophytes, the early vascular plants, is driven by plasma membrane proton-translocating adenosine triphosphatase and K(+) accumulation in guard cells, which is the same mechanism operating in stomata of angiosperms. These results suggest that the early vascular plants respond to both RL and BL and actively regulate stomatal aperture. We also found three plant species that absolutely require BL for both stomatal opening and photosynthetic CO2 fixation, including a gymnosperm, C. revoluta, and the ferns Equisetum hyemale and Psilotum nudum.

  20. [Responses of plant functional traits to micro-topographical changes in hilly and gully region of the Loess Plateau, China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Shi-suo; Wen, Zhong-ming; Miao, Lian-peng; Qi, De-hui; Hua, Dong-wen

    2014-12-01

    Plant functional traits are closely tied to the performance of plants in specific microenvironments, and reflect their ability to adapt to those microenvironments. In areas with complex topography, analyzing the responses of plant functional traits to microtopographical changes is crucial to understanding the adaptive strategies of plants in diverse environments. This paper analyzed fluctuations in soil nutrients as well as correlations between plant functional traits and changes in topography at the family and community levels in selected natural vegetation communities in the foreststeppe zone of the loess hilly and gully region in Loess Plateau of China. Significant differences in plant functional traits were primarily driven by the phylogenetic background or species composition of the community. Slope aspect exerted less impact while slope positions had no significant effect on plant traits at the community level. No significant changes in plant functional traits were observed with changes in topography at the community level. However, leaf nitrogen and root nitrogen contents of Leguminous and Compositae species differed significantly With slope positions. The root tissue density of Graminaceous species differed significantly with slope positions. Root density exhibited significant positive correlations with soil nutrient and carbon contents at the community level. Both leaf nitrogen and root nitrogen contents of Leguminous species were positively correlated with soil phosphorus content, while leaf nitrogen and root nitrogen contents of both Graminaceous and Compositae species were significantly positively related to soil nitrogen content. The results demonstrate the different responses of species of different families to changes in micro-topography and their distinctive adaptive strategies to the environment.

  1. Plant Photosynthetic Responses During Insect Effector-Triggered Plant Susceptibility and Immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gramig, Greta G; Harris, Marion O

    2015-06-01

    Gall-inducing insects are known for altering source-sink relationships within plants. Changes in photosynthesis may contribute to this phenomenon. We investigated photosynthetic responses in wheat [Triticum aestivum L. (Poaceae: Triticeae)] seedlings attacked by the Hessian fly [Mayetiola destructor (Say) (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae], which uses a salivary effector-based strategy to induce a gall nutritive tissue in susceptible plants. Resistant plants have surveillance systems mediated by products of Resistance (R) genes. Detection of a specific salivary effector triggers downstream responses that result in a resistance that kills neonate larvae. A 2 × 2 factorial design was used to study maximum leaf photosynthetic assimilation and stomatal conductance rates. The plant treatments were-resistant or susceptible wheat lines expressing or not expressing the H13 resistance gene. The insect treatments were-no attack (control) or attack by larvae killed by H13 gene-mediated resistance. Photosynthesis was measured for the second and third leaves of the seedling, the latter being the only leaf directly attacked by larvae. We predicted effector-based attack would trigger increases in photosynthetic rates in susceptible but not resistant plants. For susceptible plants, attack was associated with increases (relative to controls) in photosynthesis for the third but not the second leaf. For resistant plants, attack was associated with increases in photosynthesis for both the second and third leaves. Mechanisms underlying the increases appeared to differ. Resistant plants exhibited responses suggesting altered source-sink relationships. Susceptible plants exhibited responses suggesting a mechanism other than altered source-sink relationships, possibly changes in water relations that contributed to increased stomatal conductance.

  2. Plant responses to Agrobacterium tumefaciens and crown gall development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jochen eGohlke

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Agrobacterium tumefaciens causes crown gall disease on various plant species by introducing its T-DNA into the genome. Therefore, Agrobacterium has been extensively studied both as a pathogen and an important biotechnological tool. The infection process involves the transfer of T-DNA and virulence proteins into the plant cell. At that time the gene expression patterns of host plants differ depending on the Agrobacterium strain, plant species and cell-type used. Later on, integration of the T-DNA into the plant host genome, expression of the encoded oncogenes, and increase in phytohormone levels induce a fundamental reprogramming of the transformed cells. This results in their proliferation and finally formation of plant tumours. The process of reprogramming is accompanied by altered gene expression, morphology and metabolism. In addition to changes in the transcriptome and metabolome, further genome-wide (‘omic’ approaches have recently deepened our understanding of the genetic and epigenetic basis of crown gall tumour formation. This review summarizes the current knowledge about plant responses in the course of tumor development. Special emphasis is placed on the connection between epigenetic, transcriptomic, metabolomic and morphological changes in the developing tumor. These changes not only result in abnormally proliferating host cells with a heterotrophic and transport-dependent metabolism, but also cause differentiation and serve as mechanisms to balance pathogen defense and adapt to abiotic stress conditions, thereby allowing the coexistence of the crown gall and host plant.

  3. Bacterial community response to petroleum contamination and nutrient addition in sediments from a temperate salt marsh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, Hugo; Mucha, Ana P; Almeida, C Marisa R; Bordalo, Adriano A

    2013-08-01

    Microbial communities play an important role in the biodegradation of organic pollutants in sediments, including hydrocarbons. The aim of this study was to evaluate the response of temperate salt marsh microbial communities to petroleum contamination, in terms of community structure, abundance and capacity to degrade hydrocarbons. Sediments un-colonized and colonized (rhizosediments) by Juncus maritimus, Phragmites australis and Triglochin striata were collected in a temperate estuary (Lima, NW Portugal), spiked with petroleum under variable nutritional conditions, and incubated for 15 days. Results showed that plant speciation emerged as the major factor for shaping the rhizosphere community structure, overriding the petroleum influence. Moreover, when exposed to petroleum contamination, the distinct salt marsh microbial communities responded similarly with (i) increased abundance, (ii) changes in structure, and (iii) decreased diversity. Communities, particularly those associated to J. maritimus and P. australis roots displayed a potential to degrade petroleum hydrocarbons, with degradation percentages between 15% and 41%, depending on sediment type and nutritional conditions. In conclusion, distinct salt marsh microbial communities responded similarly to petroleum contamination, but presented different pace, nutritional requirements, and potential for its biodegradation, which should be taken into account when developing bioremediation strategies.

  4. Differential responses of soil nematode community to pig manure application levels in Ferric Acrisols

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yi-Ru; Li, Xiao-Gang; Zhou, Zhi-Gao; Zhang, Tao-Lin; Wang, Xing-Xiang

    2016-10-01

    Excessive pig manure application probably degrades arable soil quality in some intensive pig farming areas. The responses of the nematode community to dosages of pig manure were investigated in Ferric Acrisols under 3-season peanut monoculture. Varying dosages of manure (1.75, 3.5, 7, 14 and 28 t·ha‑1·yr‑1) in combination with chemical fertilizer were applied to field plots, and chemical fertilizer alone was also applied as a control. With increasing manure application, the abundance of bacterivores and omnivores-predators increased, the abundance of plant parasites decreased, and fungivores abundance exhibited hump-shaped variation. Simpson diversity index and plant parasite index/maturity index of the nematode communities increased to a maximum level at a manure application rate of 3.5 t·ha‑1·yr‑1 and then sharply decreased. The changes in the soil nematode community were further determined to be correlated with chemical properties; available phosphorus had the strongest quadratic correlation with the two indices, implying that available phosphorus had a better indicative effect than other soil properties to nematode community. Available phosphorus in soil was deduced from 49 to 64 mg·kg‑1 with the best nematode communities. Our results emphasized the importance of regular applications of manure in agriculture field to balance nematode diversity and build healthy agro-ecosystems.

  5. Characterizing changes in soil bacterial community structure in response to short-term warming

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gibbons, Sean M.; sun, Huaibo; Xiong, Jinbo; Gilbert, Jack A.; Peng, Fei; Chu, Haiyan; Chu, Haiyan

    2014-08-01

    High altitude alpine meadows are experiencing considerably greater than average increases in soil surface temperature, potentially as a result of ongoing climate change. The effects of warming on plant productivity and soil edaphic variables have been established previously, but the influence of warming on soil microbial community structure has not been well characterized. Here, the impact of 15 months of soil warming (both + 1 and + 2 degrees C) on bacterial community structure was examined in a field experiment on a Tibetan plateau alpine meadow using bar-coded pyrosequencing. Warming significantly changed (P < 0.05) the structure of the soil bacterial community, but the alpha diversity was not dramatically affected. Changes in the abundance of the Actinobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria were found to contribute the most to differences between ambient (AT) and artificially warmed conditions. A variance partitioning analysis (VPA) showed that warming directly explained 7.15% variation in bacterial community structure, while warming-induced changes in soil edaphic and plant phenotypic properties indirectly accounted for 28.3% and 20.6% of the community variance, respectively. Interestingly, certain taxa showed an inconsistent response to the two warming treatments, for example Deltaproteobacteria showed a decreased relative abundance at + 1 degrees C, but a return to AT control relative abundance at + 2 degrees C. This suggests complex microbial dynamics that could result from conditional dependencies between bacterial taxa.

  6. Differential responses of soil nematode community to pig manure application levels in Ferric Acrisols

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yi-Ru; Li, Xiao-Gang; Zhou, Zhi-Gao; Zhang, Tao-Lin; Wang, Xing-Xiang

    2016-01-01

    Excessive pig manure application probably degrades arable soil quality in some intensive pig farming areas. The responses of the nematode community to dosages of pig manure were investigated in Ferric Acrisols under 3-season peanut monoculture. Varying dosages of manure (1.75, 3.5, 7, 14 and 28 t·ha−1·yr−1) in combination with chemical fertilizer were applied to field plots, and chemical fertilizer alone was also applied as a control. With increasing manure application, the abundance of bacterivores and omnivores-predators increased, the abundance of plant parasites decreased, and fungivores abundance exhibited hump-shaped variation. Simpson diversity index and plant parasite index/maturity index of the nematode communities increased to a maximum level at a manure application rate of 3.5 t·ha−1·yr−1 and then sharply decreased. The changes in the soil nematode community were further determined to be correlated with chemical properties; available phosphorus had the strongest quadratic correlation with the two indices, implying that available phosphorus had a better indicative effect than other soil properties to nematode community. Available phosphorus in soil was deduced from 49 to 64 mg·kg−1 with the best nematode communities. Our results emphasized the importance of regular applications of manure in agriculture field to balance nematode diversity and build healthy agro-ecosystems. PMID:27734955

  7. 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.

  8. Exploring the Response of Plants Grown under Uranium Stress

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Doustaly, Fany; Berthet, Serge; Bourguignon, Jacques [CEA, iRTSV, Laboratoire de Physiologie Cellulaire Vegetale, UMR 5168 CEA-CNRS-INRA-Univ. Grenoble Alpes (France); Combes, Florence; Vandenbrouck, Yves [CEA, iRTSV, Laboratoire de Biologie a Grande Echelle, EDyP, CEA-Grenoble (France); Carriere, Marie [CEA, INAC, LAN, UMR E3 CEA-Universite Joseph Fourier, Grenoble (France); Vavasseur, Alain [CEA, IBEB, LBDP, Saint Paul lez Durance, CEA Cadarache (France)

    2014-07-01

    Uranium is a natural element which is mainly redistributed in the environment due to human activity, including accidents and spillages. Plants may be useful in cleaning up after incidents, although little is yet known about the relationship between uranium speciation and plant response. We analyzed the impact of different uranium (U) treatments on three plant species namely sunflower, oilseed rape and wheat. Using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry elemental analysis, together with a panel of imaging techniques including scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy and particle-induced X-ray emission spectroscopy, we have recently shown how chemical speciation greatly influences the accumulation and distribution of U in plants. Uranyl (UO{sub 2}{sup 2+} free ion) is the predominant mobile form in soil surface at low pH in absence of ligands. With the aim to characterize the early plant response to U exposure, complete Arabidopsis transcriptome microarray experiments were conducted on plants exposed to 50 μM uranyl nitrate for 2, 6 and 30 h and highlighted a set of 111 genes with modified expression at these three time points. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR experiments confirmed and completed CATMA micro-arrays results allowing the characterization of biological processes perturbed by U. Functional categorization of deregulated genes emphasizes oxidative stress, cell wall biosynthesis and hormone biosynthesis and signaling. We showed that U stress is perceived by plant cells like a phosphate starvation stress since several phosphate deprivation marker genes were deregulated by U and also highlighted perturbation of iron homeostasis by U. Hypotheses are presented to explain how U perturbs the iron uptake and signaling response. These results give preliminary insights into the pathways affected by uranyl uptake, which will be of interest for engineering plants to help clean areas contaminated with

  9. Responses to invasion and invader removal differ between native and exotic plant groups in a coastal dune.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magnoli, Susan M; Kleinhesselink, Andrew R; Cushman, J Hall

    2013-12-01

    The spread of exotic, invasive species is a global phenomenon that is recognized as a major source of environmental change. Although many studies have addressed the effects of exotic plants on the communities they invade, few have quantified the effects of invader removal on plant communities, or considered the degree to which different plant groups vary in response to invasion and invader removal. We evaluated the effects of an exotic succulent, iceplant (Carpobrotus edulis), on a coastal dune plant community in northern California, as well as the community responses to its removal. To assess possible mechanisms by which iceplant affects other plants, we also evaluated its above- and belowground influences on the germination and growth of a dominant exotic annual grass, Bromus diandrus. We found that iceplant invasion was associated with reduced native plant cover as well as increased cover and density of some exotic plants-especially exotic annual grasses. However, iceplant removal did not necessarily lead to a reversal of these effects: removal increased the cover and density of both native and exotic species. We also found that B. diandrus grown in iceplant patches, or in soil where iceplant had been removed, had poorer germination and growth than B. diandrus grown in soil not influenced by iceplant. This suggests that the influence of iceplant on this dune plant community occurs, at least in part, due to belowground effects, and that these effects remain after iceplant has been removed. Our study demonstrates the importance of considering how exotic invasive plants affect not only native species, but also co-occurring exotic taxa. It also shows that combining observational studies with removal experiments can lead to important insights into the influence of invaders and the mechanisms of their effects.

  10. Impacts of atmospheric pollution on the plant communities of British acid grasslands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Payne, Richard J., E-mail: r.payne@mmu.ac.uk [School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University, Chester St., Manchester M1 5GD (United Kingdom); Geography, School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL (United Kingdom); Stevens, Carly J. [Faculty of Science, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom); Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4YQ (United Kingdom); Dise, Nancy B. [School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University, Chester St., Manchester M1 5GD (United Kingdom); Gowing, David J. [Faculty of Science, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom); Pilkington, Michael G.; Phoenix, Gareth K. [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, Alfred Denny Building, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom); Emmett, Bridget A. [Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Environment Centre Wales, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2UW (United Kingdom); Ashmore, Michael R. [Environment Department, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD (United Kingdom)

    2011-10-15

    Air pollutants are recognised as important agents of ecosystem change but few studies consider the effects of multiple pollutants and their interactions. Here we use ordination, constrained cluster analysis and indicator value analyses to identify potential environmental controls on species composition, ecological groupings and indicator species in a gradient study of UK acid grasslands. The community composition of these grasslands is related to climate, grazing, ozone exposure and nitrogen deposition, with evidence for an interaction between the ecological impacts of base cation and nitrogen deposition. Ozone is a key agent in species compositional change but is not associated with a reduction in species richness or diversity indices, showing the subtly different drivers on these two aspects of ecosystem degradation. Our results demonstrate the effects of multiple interacting pollutants, which may collectively have a greater impact than any individual agent. - Highlights: > Ozone exposure, N and base cation deposition modify UK acid grassland composition. > Ozone influences community composition without reducing species richness. > Nitrogen and base cation deposition have interacting impacts. > Distinct species responses to pollutants suggest potential for bioindication. - Ozone exposure and nitrogen deposition have distinct but additive impacts on the plant communities of British acid grasslands.

  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. Karrikins Identified in Biochars Indicate Post-Fire Chemical Cues Can Influence Community Diversity and Plant Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kochanek, Jitka; Flematti, Gavin R.

    2016-01-01

    Background Karrikins are smoke-derived compounds that provide strong chemical cues to stimulate seed germination and seedling growth. The recent discovery in Arabidopsis that the karrikin perception system may be present throughout angiosperms implies a fundamental plant function. Here, we identify the most potent karrikin, karrikinolide (KAR1), in biochars and determine its role in species unique plant responses. Methods Biochars were prepared by three distinct commercial-scale pyrolysis technologies using systematically selected source material and their chemical properties, including karrikinolide, were quantified. Dose-response assays determined the effects of biochar on seed germination for two model species that require karrikinolide to break dormancy (Solanum orbiculatum, Brassica tourneforttii) and on seedling growth using two species that display plasticity to karrikins, biochar and phytotoxins (Lactuca sativa, Lycopersicon esculentum). Multivariate analysis examined relationships between biochar properties and the plant phenotype. Findings and Conclusions Results showed that karrikin abundant biochars stimulated dormant seed germination and seedling growth via mechanisms analogous to post-fire chemical cues. The individual species response was associated with its sensitivity to karrikinolide and inhibitory compounds within the biochars. These findings are critical for understanding why biochar influences community composition and plant physiology uniquely for different species and reaffirms that future pyrolysis technologies promise by-products that concomitantly sequester carbon and enhance plant growth for ecological and broader plant related applications. PMID:27536995

  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. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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,...

  20. 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.

  1. Principal response curves: analysis of time-dependent multivariate responses of biological community to stress

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brink, van den P.J.; Braak, ter C.J.F.

    1999-01-01

    In this paper a novel multivariate method is proposed for the analysis of community response data from designed experiments repeatedly sampled in time. The long-term effects of the insecticide chlorpyrifos on the invertebrate community and the dissolved oxygen (DO)–pH–alkalinity–conductivity syndrom

  2. Crop and medicinal plants proteomics in response to salt stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keyvan eAghaei

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Increasing of world population marks a serious need to create new crop cultivars and medicinal plants with high growth and production at any environmental situations. Among the environmental unfavorable conditions, salinity is the most widespread in the world. Crop production and growth severely decreases under salt stress; however, some crop cultivars show significant tolerance against the negative effects of salinity. Among salt stress responses of crops, proteomic responses play a pivotal role in their ability to cope with it and have become the main center of notification. Many physiological responses are detectable in terms of protein increase and decrease even before physiological responses take place. Thus proteomic approach makes a short cut in the way of inferring how crops response to salt stress. Nowadays many salt-responsive proteins such as heat shock proteins, pathogen related proteins, protein kinases, ascorbate peroxidase, osmotin, ornithine decarboxylase and some transcription factors, have been detected in some major crops which are thought to give them the ability of withstanding against salt stress. Proteomic analysis of medicinal plants also revealed that alkaloid biosynthesis related proteins such as tryptophan synthase, codeinone reductase, strictosidine synthase and 12-oxophytodienoate reductase might have major role in production of secondary metabolites. In this review we are comparing some different or similar proteomic responses of several crops and medicinal plants to salt stress and discuss about the future prospects.

  3. Final Report for DOE Project: Climate Effects on Plant Range Distributions and Community Structure of Pacific Northwest Prairies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bridgham, Scott D. [Univ. of Oregon, Eugene, OR (United States); Johnson, Bart [Univ. of Oregon, Eugene, OR (United States)

    2013-09-26

    was negatively impacted by increased temperatures, but for species planted north of their current range, increased temperature was neutral. However, for surviving plants climate treatments and site-specific factors (e.g., nutrient availability) were the strongest predictors of plant growth and seed set. When recruitment and plant growth are considered together, increased temperatures are negative within a species current range but beyond this range they become positive. Germination was the most critical stage for plant response across all sites and climate treatments. Our results underscore the importance of including plant vital rates into models that are examining climate change effects on plant ranges. Warming altered plant community composition, decreased diversity, and increased total cover, with warmed northern communities over time becoming more like ambient communities further south. In particular, warming increased the cover of annual introduced species, suggesting that the observed biogeographic pattern of increasing invasion by this plant functional group in US West Coast prairies as one moves further south is at least in part due to climate. Our results suggest that with the projected increase in drought severity with climate change, Pacific Northwest prairies may face an increase of invasion by annuals, similar to what has been observed in California, resulting in novel species assemblages and shifts in functional composition, which in turn may alter ecosystem function. Warming generally increased nutrient availability and plant productivity across all sites. The seasonality of soil respiration responses to heating were strongly dependent on the Mediterranean climate gradient in the PNW, with heating responses being generally positive during periods of adequate soil moisture and becoming neutral to negative during periods of low soil moisture. The asynchrony between temperature and precipitation may make soils less sensitive to warming. Precipitation

  4. Microbial community response during the iron fertilization experiment LOHAFEX

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Thiele, S.; Fuchs, B.M.; Ramaiah, N.; Amanna, R.

    was enhanced within the fertilized area, a succession - like response of the microbial community upon the algal bloom was averted by highly effective grazing. Only small-celled members like the SAR11 and SAR86 clades could possibly escape the grazing pressure...

  5. Facilitating Student Engagement: Social Responsibility and Freshmen Learning Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kingston, Lindsey N.; MacCartney, Danielle; Miller, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    Human rights education is advanced as a method for promoting social responsibility, with an emphasis on promoting ideals of "global citizenship" among undergraduate students. At the same time, the practice of learning communities is widespread on college campuses for retaining freshmen and promoting student success. However, there is…

  6. Methylglyoxal: An Emerging Signaling Molecule in Plant Abiotic Stress Responses and Tolerance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoque, Tahsina S.; Hossain, Mohammad A.; Mostofa, Mohammad G.; Burritt, David J.; Fujita, Masayuki; Tran, Lam-Son P.

    2016-01-01

    The oxygenated short aldehyde methylglyoxal (MG) is produced in plants as a by-product of a number of metabolic reactions, including elimination of phosphate groups from glycolysis intermediates dihydroxyacetone phosphate and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate. MG is mostly detoxified by the combined actions of the enzymes glyoxalase I and glyoxalase II that together with glutathione make up the glyoxalase system. Under normal growth conditions, basal levels of MG remain low in plants; however, when plants are exposed to abiotic stress, MG can accumulate to much higher levels. Stress-induced MG functions as a toxic molecule, inhibiting different developmental processes, including seed germination, photosynthesis and root growth, whereas MG, at low levels, acts as an important signaling molecule, involved in regulating diverse events, such as cell proliferation and survival, control of the redox status of cells, and many other aspects of general metabolism and cellular homeostases. MG can modulate plant stress responses by regulating stomatal opening and closure, the production of reactive oxygen species, cytosolic calcium ion concentrations, the activation of inward rectifying potassium channels and the expression of many stress-responsive genes. MG appears to play important roles in signal transduction by transmitting and amplifying cellular signals and functions that promote adaptation of plants growing under adverse environmental conditions. Thus, MG is now considered as a potential biochemical marker for plant abiotic stress tolerance, and is receiving considerable attention by the scientific community. In this review, we will summarize recent findings regarding MG metabolism in plants under abiotic stress, and evaluate the concept of MG signaling. In addition, we will demonstrate the importance of giving consideration to MG metabolism and the glyoxalase system, when investigating plant adaptation and responses to various environmental stresses. PMID:27679640

  7. Plant surface wax affects parasitoid's response to host footprints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rostás, Michael; Ruf, Daniel; Zabka, Vanessa; Hildebrandt, Ulrich

    2008-10-01

    The plant surface is the substrate upon which herbivorous insects and natural enemies meet and thus represents the stage for interactions between the three trophic levels. Plant surfaces are covered by an epicuticular wax layer which is highly variable depending on species, cultivar or plant part. Differences in wax chemistry may modulate ecological interactions. We explored whether caterpillars of Spodoptera frugiperda, when walking over a plant surface, leave a chemical trail (kairomones) that can be detected by the parasitoid Cotesia marginiventris. Chemistry and micromorphology of cuticular waxes of two barley eceriferum wax mutants ( cer-za.126, cer-yp.949) and wild-type cv. Bonus (wt) were assessed. The plants were then used to investigate potential surface effects on the detectability of caterpillar kairomones. Here we provide evidence that C. marginiventris responds to chemical footprints of its host. Parasitoids were able to detect the kairomone on wild-type plants and on both cer mutants but the response to cer-yp.949 (reduced wax, high aldehyde fraction) was less pronounced. Experiments with caterpillar-treated wt and mutant leaves offered simultaneously, confirmed this observation: no difference in wasp response was found when wt was tested against cer-za.126 (reduced wax, wt-like chemical composition) but wt was significantly more attractive than cer-yp.949. This demonstrates for the first time that the wax layer can modulate the detectability of host kairomones.

  8. Hydro-responsive curling of the resurrection plant Selaginella lepidophylla.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafsanjani, Ahmad; Brulé, Véronique; Western, Tamara L; Pasini, Damiano

    2015-01-27

    The spirally arranged stems of the spikemoss Selaginella lepidophylla, an ancient resurrection plant, compactly curl into a nest-ball shape upon dehydration. Due to its spiral phyllotaxy, older outer stems on the plant interlace and envelope the younger inner stems forming the plant centre. Stem curling is a morphological mechanism that limits photoinhibitory and thermal damages the plant might experience in arid environments. Here, we investigate the distinct conformational changes of outer and inner stems of S. lepidophylla triggered by dehydration. Outer stems bend into circular rings in a relatively short period of desiccation, whereas inner stems curl slowly into spirals due to hydro-actuated strain gradient along their length. This arrangement eases both the tight packing of the plant during desiccation and its fast opening upon rehydration. The insights gained from this work shed light on the hydro-responsive movements in plants and might contribute to the development of deployable structures with remarkable shape transformations in response to environmental stimuli.

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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 ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Convey Peter

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Antarctic terrestrial vegetation is subject to one of the most e