WorldWideScience

Sample records for plant diversity gradient

  1. Turnover of plant lineages shapes herbivore phylogenetic beta diversity along ecological gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellissier, Loïc; Ndiribe, Charlotte; Dubuis, Anne; Pradervand, Jean-Nicolas; Salamin, Nicolas; Guisan, Antoine; Rasmann, Sergio

    2013-05-01

    Understanding drivers of biodiversity patterns is of prime importance in this era of severe environmental crisis. More diverse plant communities have been postulated to represent a larger functional trait-space, more likely to sustain a diverse assembly of herbivore species. Here, we expand this hypothesis to integrate environmental, functional and phylogenetic variation of plant communities as factors explaining the diversity of lepidopteran assemblages along elevation gradients in the Swiss Western Alps. According to expectations, we found that the association between butterflies and their host plants is highly phylogenetically structured. Multiple regression analyses showed the combined effect of climate, functional traits and phylogenetic diversity in structuring butterfly communities. Furthermore, we provide the first evidence that plant phylogenetic beta diversity is the major driver explaining butterfly phylogenetic beta diversity. Along ecological gradients, the bottom up control of herbivore diversity is thus driven by phylogenetically structured turnover of plant traits as well as environmental variables. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  2. Environmental Drivers of Patterns of Plant Diversity Along a Wide Environmental Gradient in Korean Temperate Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chang-Bae Lee

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Understanding patterns of biodiversity and their drivers along environmental gradients is one of the central topics in ecology. However, whether diversity patterns along environmental gradients differ among diversity components as well as life forms and what kind of variables control or interact to shape the diversity patterns are poorly known. This study scrutinized the distribution patterns of three plant groups with four diversity indices and evaluated the effects of regional area, topography, topographic heterogeneity, climate, primary productivity, vegetation structure diversity and vegetation type diversity along an extensive elevational gradient on the Baekdudaegan Mountains in South Korea. Different elevational patterns, including hump-shaped, reversed hump-shaped, increasing, multimodal and no relationship, were observed among both the diversity indices and the plant groups. Regional area, habitat heterogeneity and climate were included to explain most of the elevational diversity patterns. In particular, habitat heterogeneity was the most important variable for explaining the patterns of diversity. The results suggest that patterns of elevational diversity may differ not only among plant groups but also among diversity indices and that such patterns are primarily caused by habitat heterogeneity in the Baekdudaegan Mountains because more heterogeneous and diverse habitats can support more coexisting species.

  3. Phylogenetic diversity of macromycetes and woody plants along an elevational gradient in Eastern Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marko Gomez-Hernandez; Guadalupe Williams-Linera; D. Jean Lodge; Roger Guevara; Eduardo Ruiz-Sanchez; Etelvina Gandara

    2016-01-01

    Phylogenetic information provides insight into the ecological and evolutionary processes that organize species assemblages. We compared patterns of phylogenetic diversity among macromycete and woody plant communities along a steep elevational gradient in eastern Mexico to better understand the evolutionary processes that structure their communities. Macrofungi and...

  4. Topography- and management-mediated resource gradients maintain rare and common plant diversity around paddy terraces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uematsu, Yuta; Ushimaru, Atushi

    2013-09-01

    Examining the causes of interspecific differences in susceptibility to bidirectional land-use changes (land abandonment and use-intensification) is important for understanding the mechanisms of global biodiversity loss in agricultural landscapes. We tested the hypothesis that rare (endangered) plant species prefer wet and oligotrophic areas within topography- and management-mediated resource (soil water content, nutrient, and aboveground biomass) gradients, making them more susceptible to both abandonment and use-intensification of agricultural lands. We demonstrated that topography and management practices generated resource gradients in seminatural grasslands around traditional paddy terraces. Terraced topography and management practices produced a soil moisture gradient within levees and a nutrient gradient within paddy terraces. Both total and rare species diversity increased with soil water content. Total species diversity increased in more eutrophied areas with low aboveground biomass, whereas rare species diversity was high under oligotrophic conditions. Rare and common species were differentially distributed along the human-induced nutrient gradient, with rare species preferring wet, nutrient-poor environments in the agricultural landscapes studied. We suggest that conservation efforts should concentrate on wet, nutrient-poor areas within such landscapes, which can be located easily using land-use and topography maps. This strategy would reduce the costs of finding and conserving rare grassland species in a given agricultural landscape.

  5. Functional diversity supports the physiological tolerance hypothesis for plant species richness along climatic gradients

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    Spasojevic, Marko J.; Grace, James B.; Harrison, Susan; Damschen, Ellen Ingman

    2013-01-01

    1. The physiological tolerance hypothesis proposes that plant species richness is highest in warm and/or wet climates because a wider range of functional strategies can persist under such conditions. Functional diversity metrics, combined with statistical modeling, offer new ways to test whether diversity-environment relationships are consistent with this hypothesis. 2. In a classic study by R. H. Whittaker (1960), herb species richness declined from mesic (cool, moist, northerly) slopes to xeric (hot, dry, southerly) slopes. Building on this dataset, we measured four plant functional traits (plant height, specific leaf area, leaf water content and foliar C:N) and used them to calculate three functional diversity metrics (functional richness, evenness, and dispersion). We then used a structural equation model to ask if ‘functional diversity’ (modeled as the joint responses of richness, evenness, and dispersion) could explain the observed relationship of topographic climate gradients to species richness. We then repeated our model examining the functional diversity of each of the four traits individually. 3. Consistent with the physiological tolerance hypothesis, we found that functional diversity was higher in more favorable climatic conditions (mesic slopes), and that multivariate functional diversity mediated the relationship of the topographic climate gradient to plant species richness. We found similar patterns for models focusing on individual trait functional diversity of leaf water content and foliar C:N. 4. Synthesis. Our results provide trait-based support for the physiological tolerance hypothesis, suggesting that benign climates support more species because they allow for a wider range of functional strategies.

  6. Commercial Plant Production and Consumption Still Follow the Latitudinal Gradient in Species Diversity despite Economic Globalization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Erik J; Helmus, Matthew R; Cavender-Bares, Jeannine; Polasky, Stephen; Lasky, Jesse R; Zanne, Amy E; Pearse, William D; Kraft, Nathan J B; Miteva, Daniela A; Fagan, William F

    2016-01-01

    Increasing trade between countries and gains in income have given consumers around the world access to a richer and more diverse set of commercial plant products (i.e., foods and fibers produced by farmers). According to the economic theory of comparative advantage, countries open to trade will be able to consume more-in terms of volume and diversity-if they concentrate production on commodities that they can most cost-effectively produce, while importing goods that are expensive to produce, relative to other countries. Here, we perform a global analysis of traded commercial plant products and find little evidence that increasing globalization has incentivized agricultural specialization. Instead, a country's plant production and consumption patterns are still largely determined by local evolutionary legacies of plant diversification. Because tropical countries harbor a greater diversity of lineages across the tree of life than temperate countries, tropical countries produce and consume a greater diversity of plant products than do temperate countries. In contrast, the richer and more economically advanced temperate countries have the capacity to produce and consume more plant species than the generally poorer tropical countries, yet this collection of plant species is drawn from fewer branches on the tree of life. Why have countries not increasingly specialized in plant production despite the theoretical financial incentive to do so? Potential explanations include the persistence of domestic agricultural subsidies that distort production decisions, cultural preferences for diverse local food production, and that diverse food production protects rural households in developing countries from food price shocks. Less specialized production patterns will make crop systems more resilient to zonal climatic and social perturbations, but this may come at the expense of global crop production efficiency, an important step in making the transition to a hotter and more

  7. Commercial Plant Production and Consumption Still Follow the Latitudinal Gradient in Species Diversity despite Economic Globalization.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erik J Nelson

    Full Text Available Increasing trade between countries and gains in income have given consumers around the world access to a richer and more diverse set of commercial plant products (i.e., foods and fibers produced by farmers. According to the economic theory of comparative advantage, countries open to trade will be able to consume more-in terms of volume and diversity-if they concentrate production on commodities that they can most cost-effectively produce, while importing goods that are expensive to produce, relative to other countries. Here, we perform a global analysis of traded commercial plant products and find little evidence that increasing globalization has incentivized agricultural specialization. Instead, a country's plant production and consumption patterns are still largely determined by local evolutionary legacies of plant diversification. Because tropical countries harbor a greater diversity of lineages across the tree of life than temperate countries, tropical countries produce and consume a greater diversity of plant products than do temperate countries. In contrast, the richer and more economically advanced temperate countries have the capacity to produce and consume more plant species than the generally poorer tropical countries, yet this collection of plant species is drawn from fewer branches on the tree of life. Why have countries not increasingly specialized in plant production despite the theoretical financial incentive to do so? Potential explanations include the persistence of domestic agricultural subsidies that distort production decisions, cultural preferences for diverse local food production, and that diverse food production protects rural households in developing countries from food price shocks. Less specialized production patterns will make crop systems more resilient to zonal climatic and social perturbations, but this may come at the expense of global crop production efficiency, an important step in making the transition to a

  8. Commercial Plant Production and Consumption Still Follow the Latitudinal Gradient in Species Diversity despite Economic Globalization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Erik J.; Helmus, Matthew R.; Cavender-Bares, Jeannine; Polasky, Stephen; Lasky, Jesse R.; Zanne, Amy E.; Pearse, William D.; Kraft, Nathan J. B.; Miteva, Daniela A.; Fagan, William F.

    2016-01-01

    Increasing trade between countries and gains in income have given consumers around the world access to a richer and more diverse set of commercial plant products (i.e., foods and fibers produced by farmers). According to the economic theory of comparative advantage, countries open to trade will be able to consume more–in terms of volume and diversity–if they concentrate production on commodities that they can most cost-effectively produce, while importing goods that are expensive to produce, relative to other countries. Here, we perform a global analysis of traded commercial plant products and find little evidence that increasing globalization has incentivized agricultural specialization. Instead, a country’s plant production and consumption patterns are still largely determined by local evolutionary legacies of plant diversification. Because tropical countries harbor a greater diversity of lineages across the tree of life than temperate countries, tropical countries produce and consume a greater diversity of plant products than do temperate countries. In contrast, the richer and more economically advanced temperate countries have the capacity to produce and consume more plant species than the generally poorer tropical countries, yet this collection of plant species is drawn from fewer branches on the tree of life. Why have countries not increasingly specialized in plant production despite the theoretical financial incentive to do so? Potential explanations include the persistence of domestic agricultural subsidies that distort production decisions, cultural preferences for diverse local food production, and that diverse food production protects rural households in developing countries from food price shocks. Less specialized production patterns will make crop systems more resilient to zonal climatic and social perturbations, but this may come at the expense of global crop production efficiency, an important step in making the transition to a hotter and more

  9. Floristic diversity and distribution pattern of plant communities along altitudinal gradient in Sangla Valley, Northwest Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Pankaj; Rana, J C; Devi, Usha; Randhawa, S S; Kumar, Rajesh

    2014-01-01

    Himalayas are globally important biodiversity hotspots and are facing rapid loss in floristic diversity and changing pattern of vegetation due to various biotic and abiotic factors. This has necessitated the qualitative and quantitative assessment of vegetation here. The present study was conducted in Sangla Valley of northwest Himalaya aiming to assess the structure of vegetation and its trend in the valley along the altitudinal gradient. In the forest and alpine zones of the valley, 15 communities were recorded. Study revealed 320 species belonging to 199 genera and 75 families. Asteraceae, Rosaceae, Apiaceae, and Ranunculaceae were dominant. Among genera, Artemisia followed by Polygonum, Saussurea, Berberis, and Thalictrum were dominant. Tree and shrub's density ranged from 205 to 600 and from 105 to 1030 individual per hectare, respectively, whereas herbs ranged from 22.08 to 78.95 individual/m(2). Nearly 182 species were native to the Himalaya. Maximum altitudinal distribution of few selected climate sensitive species was found to be highest in northeast and north aspects. This study gives an insight into the floristic diversity and community structure of the fragile Sangla Valley which was hitherto not available.

  10. Microbial functional diversity associated with plant litter decomposition along a climatic gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherman, Chen; Steinberger, Yosef

    2012-08-01

    Predicted changes in climate associated with increased greenhouse gas emissions can cause increases in global mean temperature and changes in precipitation regimes. These changes may affect key soil processes, e.g., microbial CO(2) evolution and biomass, mineralization rates, primary productivity, biodiversity, and litter decomposition, which play an important role in carbon and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Our study examined the changes in litter microbial communities and decomposition along a climatic gradient, ranging from arid desert to humid Mediterranean regions in Israel. Wheat straw litter bags were placed in arid, semi-arid, Mediterranean, and humid Mediterranean sites. Samples were collected seasonally over a 2-year period in order to evaluate mass loss, litter moisture, C/N ratio, bacterial colony-forming units (CFUs), microbial CO(2) evolution and biomass, microbial functional diversity, and catabolic profile. Decomposition rate was the highest during the first year of the study at the Mediterranean and arid sites. Community-level physiological profile and microbial biomass were the highest in summer, while bacterial CFUs were the highest in winter. Microbial functional diversity was found to be highest at the humid Mediterranean site, whereas substrate utilization increased at the arid site. Our results support the assumption that climatic factors control litter degradation and regulate microbial activity.

  11. How do earthworms, soil texture and plant composition affect infiltration along an experimental plant diversity gradient in grassland?

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    Fischer, Christine; Roscher, Christiane; Jensen, Britta; Eisenhauer, Nico; Baade, Jussi; Attinger, Sabine; Scheu, Stefan; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Schumacher, Jens; Hildebrandt, Anke

    2014-01-01

    Infiltration is a key process in determining the water balance, but so far effects of earthworms, soil texture, plant species diversity and their interaction on infiltration capacity have not been studied. We measured infiltration capacity in subplots with ambient and reduced earthworm density nested in plots of different plant species (1, 4, and 16 species) and plant functional group richness and composition (1 to 4 groups; legumes, grasses, small herbs, tall herbs). In summer, earthworm presence significantly increased infiltration, whereas in fall effects of grasses and legumes on infiltration were due to plant-mediated changes in earthworm biomass. Effects of grasses and legumes on infiltration even reversed effects of texture. We propose two pathways: (i) direct, probably by modifying the pore spectrum and (ii) indirect, by enhancing or suppressing earthworm biomass, which in turn influenced infiltration capacity due to change in burrowing activity of earthworms. Overall, the results suggest that spatial and temporal variations in soil hydraulic properties can be explained by biotic processes, especially the presence of certain plant functional groups affecting earthworm biomass, while soil texture had no significant effect. Therefore biotic parameters should be taken into account in hydrological applications.

  12. How do earthworms, soil texture and plant composition affect infiltration along an experimental plant diversity gradient in grassland?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Fischer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Infiltration is a key process in determining the water balance, but so far effects of earthworms, soil texture, plant species diversity and their interaction on infiltration capacity have not been studied. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We measured infiltration capacity in subplots with ambient and reduced earthworm density nested in plots of different plant species (1, 4, and 16 species and plant functional group richness and composition (1 to 4 groups; legumes, grasses, small herbs, tall herbs. In summer, earthworm presence significantly increased infiltration, whereas in fall effects of grasses and legumes on infiltration were due to plant-mediated changes in earthworm biomass. Effects of grasses and legumes on infiltration even reversed effects of texture. We propose two pathways: (i direct, probably by modifying the pore spectrum and (ii indirect, by enhancing or suppressing earthworm biomass, which in turn influenced infiltration capacity due to change in burrowing activity of earthworms. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Overall, the results suggest that spatial and temporal variations in soil hydraulic properties can be explained by biotic processes, especially the presence of certain plant functional groups affecting earthworm biomass, while soil texture had no significant effect. Therefore biotic parameters should be taken into account in hydrological applications.

  13. PLANT DIVERSITY

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    Habitat change statistics and species-area curves were used to estimate the effects of alternative future scenarios for agriculture on plant diversity in Iowa farmlands. Study areas were two watersheds in central Iowa of about 50 and 90 square kilometers, respectively. Future s...

  14. Species Richness and Functional Trait Diversity for Plants in Southern California's Green Infrastructure along a Climate Gradient

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    Rochford, M. E.; Ibsen, P.; Jenerette, D.

    2016-12-01

    Green infrastructure (GI) is greenery planted to absorb rainwater into the earth as an alternative to grey infrastructure, like storm drains. Not only does GI prevent flooding, but it also performs a number of ecosystem services, including increasing biodiversity, because it allows water to cycle through the environment naturally. Increased biodiversity in plant communities is said to help purify the air and improve the health and resilience of the plants themselves. I want to investigate these claims about GI's benefits by studying types of GI with slightly different functions. This will answer the questions 1) Are different types of green infrastructure's plant communities equally biodiverse in terms of functional trait diversity and species richness? 2) How does functional trait diversity and species richness differ along a temperature gradient in Southern California? To compare biodiversity, I must survey four different types of GI, urban parks, riparian zones, detention basins, and bioswales, in three cities in distinct climate regions. Detention basins are reservoirs lined with vegetation that collect water until it is absorbed into the soil. Bioswales are vegetated gutters that filter out pollutants in storm water. Unlike retention basins, they also add aesthetic value to an area. Even though parks are mainly for recreation and beatification rather than storm water management, they have plenty of permeable surface to absorb storm water. The types of GI that have high levels of interaction with humans should also have higher levels of maintenance. The results should follow the homogenization hypothesis and demonstrate that, regardless of climate, species richness should not differ much between highly maintained areas, like parks, in different cities. Otherwise, in GI that is not as manicured, species richness should be significantly different between cities and the different types of GI. Because types of GI selected vary in expected levels of human

  15. Genetic diversity, outcrossing rate, and demographic history along a climatic gradient in the ruderal plant Ruellia nudiflora (Acanthaceae)

    OpenAIRE

    Vargas-Mendoza, Carlos F.; Ortegón-Campos, Ilka; Marrufo-Zapata, Denis; Herrera, Carlos M.; Parra-Tabla, Víctor

    2015-01-01

    © 2015 Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Biología. All Rights Reserved. Ruellia nudiflora has shown a high potential to easily invade disturbed areas. Outcrossing rate and genetic structure and diversity in this species were examined along a climatic gradient in the Yucatán Peninsula (Mexico) in order to understand the effects of environmental heterogeneity - isolation by environment (IBE) - as well as correlation in herkogamy on genetic structure, diversity, and demograph...

  16. Genetic diversity, outcrossing rate, and demographic history along a climatic gradient in the ruderal plant Ruellia nudiflora (Acanthaceae)

    OpenAIRE

    Vargas-Mendoza, Carlos F.; Ortegón-Campos, Ilka; Marrufo-Zapata, Denis; Herrera, Carlos M.; Parra-Tabla, Víctor

    2015-01-01

    Ruellia nudiflora has shown a high potential to easily invade disturbed areas. Outcrossing rate and genetic structure and diversity in this species were examined along a climatic gradient in the Yucatán Peninsula (Mexico) in order to understand the effects of environmental heterogeneity - isolation by environment (IBE) - as well as correlation in herkogamy on genetic structure, diversity, and demographic history in this species. Nine populations were sampled along a temperature-precipitation ...

  17. Variation in tidal wetland plant diversity and composition within and among coastal estuaries: assessing the relative importance of environmental gradients

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    Question: Does wetland plant composition vary more by estuarine type (differentiated by the degree of riverine versus oceanic influence) or habitat type within estuaries (defined by US National Wetlands Inventory [NWI] marsh classes)? Location: Oregon estuaries: Netarts Bay, ...

  18. The drivers of plant diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Kristine Engemann

    dataset consisting of 72,533 vascular plant species in 432 families covering the New World. Eight plant growth forms were defined based on woodiness, structure, and root traits, and species names were standardized to the latest accepted scientific name. The data is used in Paper II and IV In Paper II we....... The study emphasise that using big, collected datasets is not without limitations, and we recommend using rarefaction for species richness estimation from such datasets. Paper IV investigates a well-known macroecological pattern, the latitudinal diversity gradient, for nine vascular plant functional groups......In this thesis we use a “big data” approach to describe and explain large-scale patterns of plant diversity. The botanical data used for the six papers come from three different databases covering the New World, North America, and Europe respectively. The data on plant distributions were combined...

  19. How does pedogenesis drive plant diversity?

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    Laliberté, Etienne; Grace, James B.; Huston, Michael A.; Lambers, Hans; Teste, François P.; Turner, Benjamin L.; Wardle, David A.

    2013-01-01

    Some of the most species-rich plant communities occur on ancient, strongly weathered soils, whereas those on recently developed soils tend to be less diverse. Mechanisms underlying this well-known pattern, however, remain unresolved. Here, we present a conceptual model describing alternative mechanisms by which pedogenesis (the process of soil formation) might drive plant diversity. We suggest that long-term soil chronosequences offer great, yet largely untapped, potential as 'natural experiments' to determine edaphic controls over plant diversity. Finally, we discuss how our conceptual model can be evaluated quantitatively using structural equation modeling to advance multivariate theories about the determinants of local plant diversity. This should help us to understand broader-scale diversity patterns, such as the latitudinal gradient of plant diversity.

  20. Functional trait space and the latitudinal diversity gradient

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lamanna, Christine; Blonder, Benjamin; Violle, Cyrille

    2014-01-01

    The processes causing the latitudinal gradient in species richness remain elusive. Ecological theories for the origin of biodiversity gradients, such as competitive exclusion, neutral dynamics, and environmental filtering, make predictions for how functional diversity should vary at the alpha...... of trait combinations or that niche packing is stronger in the tropical zone. Although there are limitations in the data, our analyses suggest that multiple processes have shaped trait diversity in trees, reflecting no consistent support for any one theory....

  1. Biodiversity patterns along ecological gradients: unifying β-diversity indices.

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    Szava-Kovats, Robert C; Pärtel, Meelis

    2014-01-01

    Ecologists have developed an abundance of conceptions and mathematical expressions to define β-diversity, the link between local (α) and regional-scale (γ) richness, in order to characterize patterns of biodiversity along ecological (i.e., spatial and environmental) gradients. These patterns are often realized by regression of β-diversity indices against one or more ecological gradients. This practice, however, is subject to two shortcomings that can undermine the validity of the biodiversity patterns. First, many β-diversity indices are constrained to range between fixed lower and upper limits. As such, regression analysis of β-diversity indices against ecological gradients can result in regression curves that extend beyond these mathematical constraints, thus creating an interpretational dilemma. Second, despite being a function of the same measured α- and γ-diversity, the resultant biodiversity pattern depends on the choice of β-diversity index. We propose a simple logistic transformation that rids beta-diversity indices of their mathematical constraints, thus eliminating the possibility of an uninterpretable regression curve. Moreover, this transformation results in identical biodiversity patterns for three commonly used classical beta-diversity indices. As a result, this transformation eliminates the difficulties of both shortcomings, while allowing the researcher to use whichever beta-diversity index deemed most appropriate. We believe this method can help unify the study of biodiversity patterns along ecological gradients.

  2. Ecological and evolutionary drivers of the elevational gradient of diversity.

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    Laiolo, Paola; Pato, Joaquina; Obeso, José Ramón

    2018-05-02

    Ecological, evolutionary, spatial and neutral theories make distinct predictions and provide distinct explanations for the mechanisms that control the relationship between diversity and the environment. Here, we test predictions of the elevational diversity gradient focusing on Iberian bumblebees, grasshoppers and birds. Processes mediated by local abundance and regional diversity concur in explaining local diversity patterns along elevation. Effects expressed through variation in abundance were similar among taxa and point to the overriding role of a physical factor, temperature. This determines how energy is distributed among individuals and ultimately how the resulting pattern of abundance affects species incidence. Effects expressed through variation in regional species pools depended instead on taxon-specific evolutionary history, and lead to diverging responses under similar environmental pressures. Local filters and regional variation also explain functional diversity gradients, in line with results from species richness that indicate an (local) ecological and (regional) historical unfolding of diversity-elevation relationships. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  3. Energy gradients and the geographic distribution of local ant diversity.

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    Kaspari, Michael; Ward, Philip S; Yuan, May

    2004-08-01

    Geographical diversity gradients, even among local communities, can ultimately arise from geographical differences in speciation and extinction rates. We evaluated three models--energy-speciation, energy-abundance, and area--that predict how geographic trends in net diversification rates generate trends in diversity. We sampled 96 litter ant communities from four provinces: Australia, Madagascar, North America, and South America. The energy-speciation hypothesis best predicted ant species richness by accurately predicting the slope of the temperature diversity curve, and accounting for most of the variation in diversity. The communities showed a strong latitudinal gradient in species richness as well as inter-province differences in diversity. The former vanished in the temperature-diversity residuals, suggesting that the latitudinal gradient arises primarily from higher diversification rates in the tropics. However, inter-province differences in diversity persisted in those residuals--South American communities remained more diverse than those in North America and Australia even after the effects of temperature were removed.

  4. Scale-specific correlations between habitat heterogeneity and soil fauna diversity along a landscape structure gradient.

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    Vanbergen, Adam J; Watt, Allan D; Mitchell, Ruth; Truscott, Anne-Marie; Palmer, Stephen C F; Ivits, Eva; Eggleton, Paul; Jones, T Hefin; Sousa, José Paulo

    2007-09-01

    Habitat heterogeneity contributes to the maintenance of diversity, but the extent that landscape-scale rather than local-scale heterogeneity influences the diversity of soil invertebrates-species with small range sizes-is less clear. Using a Scottish habitat heterogeneity gradient we correlated Collembola and lumbricid worm species richness and abundance with different elements (forest cover, habitat richness and patchiness) and qualities (plant species richness, soil variables) of habitat heterogeneity, at landscape (1 km(2)) and local (up to 200 m(2)) scales. Soil fauna assemblages showed considerable turnover in species composition along this habitat heterogeneity gradient. Soil fauna species richness and turnover was greatest in landscapes that were a mosaic of habitats. Soil fauna diversity was hump-shaped along a gradient of forest cover, peaking where there was a mixture of forest and open habitats in the landscape. Landscape-scale habitat richness was positively correlated with lumbricid diversity, while Collembola and lumbricid abundances were negatively and positively related to landscape spatial patchiness. Furthermore, soil fauna diversity was positively correlated with plant diversity, which in turn peaked in the sites that were a mosaic of forest and open habitat patches. There was less evidence that local-scale habitat variables (habitat richness, tree cover, plant species richness, litter cover, soil pH, depth of organic horizon) affected soil fauna diversity: Collembola diversity was independent of all these measures, while lumbricid diversity positively and negatively correlated with vascular plant species richness and tree canopy density. Landscape-scale habitat heterogeneity affects soil diversity regardless of taxon, while the influence of habitat heterogeneity at local scales is dependent on taxon identity, and hence ecological traits, e.g. body size. Landscape-scale habitat heterogeneity by providing different niches and refuges, together

  5. Diverse Expected Gradient Active Learning for Relative Attributes.

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    You, Xinge; Wang, Ruxin; Tao, Dacheng

    2014-06-02

    The use of relative attributes for semantic understanding of images and videos is a promising way to improve communication between humans and machines. However, it is extremely labor- and time-consuming to define multiple attributes for each instance in large amount of data. One option is to incorporate active learning, so that the informative samples can be actively discovered and then labeled. However, most existing active-learning methods select samples one at a time (serial mode), and may therefore lose efficiency when learning multiple attributes. In this paper, we propose a batch-mode active-learning method, called Diverse Expected Gradient Active Learning (DEGAL). This method integrates an informativeness analysis and a diversity analysis to form a diverse batch of queries. Specifically, the informativeness analysis employs the expected pairwise gradient length as a measure of informativeness, while the diversity analysis forces a constraint on the proposed diverse gradient angle. Since simultaneous optimization of these two parts is intractable, we utilize a two-step procedure to obtain the diverse batch of queries. A heuristic method is also introduced to suppress imbalanced multi-class distributions. Empirical evaluations of three different databases demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed approach.

  6. A Latitudinal Diversity Gradient in Terrestrial Bacteria of the Genus Streptomyces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheryl P. Andam

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available We show that Streptomyces biogeography in soils across North America is influenced by the regional diversification of microorganisms due to dispersal limitation and genetic drift. Streptomyces spp. form desiccation-resistant spores, which can be dispersed on the wind, allowing for a strong test of whether dispersal limitation governs patterns of terrestrial microbial diversity. We employed an approach that has high sensitivity for determining the effects of genetic drift. Specifically, we examined the genetic diversity and phylogeography of physiologically similar Streptomyces strains isolated from geographically distributed yet ecologically similar habitats. We found that Streptomyces beta diversity scales with geographic distance and both beta diversity and phylogenetic diversity manifest in a latitudinal diversity gradient. This pattern of Streptomyces biogeography resembles patterns seen for diverse species of plants and animals, and we therefore evaluated these data in the context of ecological and evolutionary hypotheses proposed to explain latitudinal diversity gradients. The data are consistent with the hypothesis that niche conservatism limits dispersal, and historical patterns of glaciation have limited the time for speciation in higher-latitude sites. Most notably, higher-latitude sites have lower phylogenetic diversity, higher phylogenetic clustering, and evidence of range expansion from lower latitudes. In addition, patterns of beta diversity partition with respect to the glacial history of sites. Hence, the data support the hypothesis that extant patterns of Streptomyces biogeography have been driven by historical patterns of glaciation and are the result of demographic range expansion, dispersal limitation, and regional diversification due to drift.

  7. A Latitudinal Diversity Gradient in Terrestrial Bacteria of the Genus Streptomyces

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    Andam, Cheryl P.; Doroghazi, James R.; Campbell, Ashley N.; Kelly, Peter J.; Choudoir, Mallory J.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT We show that Streptomyces biogeography in soils across North America is influenced by the regional diversification of microorganisms due to dispersal limitation and genetic drift. Streptomyces spp. form desiccation-resistant spores, which can be dispersed on the wind, allowing for a strong test of whether dispersal limitation governs patterns of terrestrial microbial diversity. We employed an approach that has high sensitivity for determining the effects of genetic drift. Specifically, we examined the genetic diversity and phylogeography of physiologically similar Streptomyces strains isolated from geographically distributed yet ecologically similar habitats. We found that Streptomyces beta diversity scales with geographic distance and both beta diversity and phylogenetic diversity manifest in a latitudinal diversity gradient. This pattern of Streptomyces biogeography resembles patterns seen for diverse species of plants and animals, and we therefore evaluated these data in the context of ecological and evolutionary hypotheses proposed to explain latitudinal diversity gradients. The data are consistent with the hypothesis that niche conservatism limits dispersal, and historical patterns of glaciation have limited the time for speciation in higher-latitude sites. Most notably, higher-latitude sites have lower phylogenetic diversity, higher phylogenetic clustering, and evidence of range expansion from lower latitudes. In addition, patterns of beta diversity partition with respect to the glacial history of sites. Hence, the data support the hypothesis that extant patterns of Streptomyces biogeography have been driven by historical patterns of glaciation and are the result of demographic range expansion, dispersal limitation, and regional diversification due to drift. PMID:27073097

  8. Coastal microbial mat diversity along a natural salinity gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henk Bolhuis

    Full Text Available The North Sea coast of the Dutch barrier island of Schiermonnikoog is covered by microbial mats that initiate a succession of plant communities that eventually results in the development of a densely vegetated salt marsh. The North Sea beach has a natural elevation running from the low water mark to the dunes resulting in gradients of environmental factors perpendicular to the beach. These gradients are due to the input of seawater at the low water mark and of freshwater from upwelling groundwater at the dunes and rainfall. The result is a natural and dynamic salinity gradient depending on the tide, rainfall and wind. We studied the microbial community composition in thirty three samples taken every ten meters along this natural salinity gradient by using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE of rRNA gene fragments. We looked at representatives from each Domain of life (Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya and with a particular emphasis on Cyanobacteria. Analysis of the DGGE fingerprints together with pigment composition revealed three distinct microbial mat communities, a marine community dominated by diatoms as primary producers, an intermediate brackish community dominated by Cyanobacteria as primary producers and a freshwater community with Cyanobacteria and freshwater green algae.

  9. Genetic diversity and species diversity of stream fishes covary across a land-use gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blum, M.J.; Bagley, M.J.; Walters, D.M.; Jackson, S.A.; Daniel, F.B.; Chaloud, D.J.; Cade, B.S.

    2012-01-01

    Genetic diversity and species diversity are expected to covary according to area and isolation, but may not always covary with environmental heterogeneity. In this study, we examined how patterns of genetic and species diversity in stream fishes correspond to local and regional environmental conditions. To do so, we compared population size, genetic diversity and divergence in central stonerollers (Campostoma anomalum) to measures of species diversity and turnover in stream fish assemblages among similarly sized watersheds across an agriculture-forest land-use gradient in the Little Miami River basin (Ohio, USA). Significant correlations were found in many, but not all, pair-wise comparisons. Allelic richness and species richness were strongly correlated, for example, but diversity measures based on allele frequencies and assemblage structure were not. In-stream conditions related to agricultural land use were identified as significant predictors of genetic diversity and species diversity. Comparisons to population size indicate, however, that genetic diversity and species diversity are not necessarily independent and that variation also corresponds to watershed location and glaciation history in the drainage basin. Our findings demonstrate that genetic diversity and species diversity can covary in stream fish assemblages, and illustrate the potential importance of scaling observations to capture responses to hierarchical environmental variation. More comparisons according to life history variation could further improve understanding of conditions that give rise to parallel variation in genetic diversity and species diversity, which in turn could improve diagnosis of anthropogenic influences on aquatic ecosystems. ?? 2011 Springer-Verlag.

  10. Competitive ability, stress tolerance and plant interactions along stress gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Man; Sun, Tao; Xue, SuFeng; Yang, Wei; Shao, DongDong; Martínez-López, Javier

    2018-04-01

    Exceptions to the generality of the stress-gradient hypothesis (SGH) may be reconciled by considering species-specific traits and stress tolerance strategies. Studies have tested stress tolerance and competitive ability in mediating interaction outcomes, but few have incorporated this to predict how species interactions shift between competition and facilitation along stress gradients. We used field surveys, salt tolerance and competition experiments to develop a predictive model interspecific interaction shifts across salinity stress gradients. Field survey and greenhouse tolerance tests revealed tradeoffs between stress tolerance and competitive ability. Modeling showed that along salinity gradients, (1) plant interactions shifted from competition to facilitation at high salinities within the physiological limits of salt-intolerant plants, (2) facilitation collapsed when salinity stress exceeded the physiological tolerance of salt-intolerant plants, and (3) neighbor removal experiments overestimate interspecific facilitation by including intraspecific effects. A community-level field experiment, suggested that (1) species interactions are competitive in benign and, facilitative in harsh condition, but fuzzy under medium environmental stress due to niche differences of species and weak stress amelioration, and (2) the SGH works on strong but not weak stress gradients, so SGH confusion arises when it is applied across questionable stress gradients. Our study clarifies how species interactions vary along stress gradients. Moving forward, focusing on SGH applications rather than exceptions on weak or nonexistent gradients would be most productive. © 2018 by the Ecological Society of America.

  11. Latitudinal diversity gradients in Mesozoic non-marine turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, David B.; Holroyd, Patricia A.; Valdes, Paul; Barrett, Paul M.

    2016-11-01

    The latitudinal biodiversity gradient (LBG)-the pattern of increasing taxonomic richness with decreasing latitude-is prevalent in the structure of the modern biota. However, some freshwater taxa show peak richness at mid-latitudes; for example, extant Testudines (turtles, terrapins and tortoises) exhibit their greatest diversity at 25° N, a pattern sometimes attributed to recent bursts of climatically mediated species diversification. Here, we test whether this pattern also characterizes the Mesozoic distribution of turtles, to determine whether it was established during either their initial diversification or as a more modern phenomenon. Using global occurrence data for non-marine testudinate genera, we find that subsampled richness peaks at palaeolatitudes of 15-30° N in the Jurassic, 30-45° N through the Cretaceous to the Campanian, and from 30° to 60° N in the Maastrichtian. The absence of a significant diversity peak in southern latitudes is consistent with results from climatic models and turtle niche modelling that demonstrate a dearth of suitable turtle habitat in Gondwana during the Jurassic and Late Cretaceous. Our analyses confirm that the modern testudinate LBG has a deep-time origin and further demonstrate that LBGs are not always expressed as a smooth, equator-to-pole distribution.

  12. Intraspecific leaf trait variability along a boreal-to-tropical community diversity gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastias, Cristina C.; Fortunel, Claire; Valladares, Fernando; Baraloto, Christopher; Benavides, Raquel; Cornwell, William; Markesteijn, Lars; de Oliveira, Alexandre A.; Sansevero, Jeronimo B. B.; Vaz, Marcel C.; Kraft, Nathan J. B.

    2017-01-01

    Disentangling the mechanisms that shape community assembly across diversity gradients is a central matter in ecology. While many studies have explored community assembly through species average trait values, there is a growing understanding that intraspecific trait variation (ITV) can also play a critical role in species coexistence. Classic biodiversity theory hypothesizes that higher diversity at species-rich sites can arise from narrower niches relative to species-poor sites, which would be reflected in reduced ITV as species richness increases. To explore how ITV in woody plant communities changes with species richness, we compiled leaf trait data (leaf size and specific leaf area) in a total of 521 woody plant species from 21 forest communities that differed dramatically in species richness, ranging from boreal to tropical rainforests. At each forest, we assessed ITV as an estimate of species niche breadth and we quantified the degree of trait overlap among co-occurring species as a measure of species functional similarity. We found ITV was relatively invariant across the species richness gradient. In addition, we found that species functional similarity increased with diversity. Contrary to the expectation from classic biodiversity theory, our results rather suggest that neutral processes or equalizing mechanisms can be acting as potential drivers shaping community assembly in hyperdiverse forests. PMID:28241033

  13. Leaf bacterial diversity mediates plant diversity and ecosystem function relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laforest-Lapointe, Isabelle; Paquette, Alain; Messier, Christian; Kembel, Steven W

    2017-06-01

    Research on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning has demonstrated links between plant diversity and ecosystem functions such as productivity. At other trophic levels, the plant microbiome has been shown to influence host plant fitness and function, and host-associated microbes have been proposed to influence ecosystem function through their role in defining the extended phenotype of host organisms However, the importance of the plant microbiome for ecosystem function has not been quantified in the context of the known importance of plant diversity and traits. Here, using a tree biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiment, we provide strong support for the hypothesis that leaf bacterial diversity is positively linked to ecosystem productivity, even after accounting for the role of plant diversity. Our results also show that host species identity, functional identity and functional diversity are the main determinants of leaf bacterial community structure and diversity. Our study provides evidence of a positive correlation between plant-associated microbial diversity and terrestrial ecosystem productivity, and a new mechanism by which models of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships can be improved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Disentangling diversity patterns in sandy beaches along environmental gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barboza, Francisco R; Gómez, Julio; Lercari, Diego; Defeo, Omar

    2012-01-01

    importance that salinity and morphodynamic gradients have on macroscale diversity patterns in sandy beaches.

  17. The Brazilian freshwater wetscape: Changes in tree community diversity and composition on climatic and geographic gradients.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian Wittmann

    Full Text Available Wetlands harbor an important compliment of regional plant diversity, but in many regions data on wetland diversity and composition is still lacking, thus hindering our understanding of the processes that control it. While patterns of broad-scale terrestrial diversity and composition typically correlate with contemporary climate it is not clear to what extent patterns in wetlands are complimentary, or conflicting. To elucidate this, we consolidate data from wetland forest inventories in Brazil and examine patterns of diversity and composition along temperature and rainfall gradients spanning five biomes. We collated 196 floristic inventories covering an area >220 ha and including >260,000 woody individuals. We detected a total of 2,453 tree species, with the Amazon alone accounting for nearly half. Compositional patterns indicated differences in freshwater wetland floras among Brazilian biomes, although biomes with drier, more seasonal climates tended to have a larger proportion of more widely distributed species. Maximal alpha diversity increased with annual temperature, rainfall, and decreasing seasonality, patterns broadly consistent with upland vegetation communities. However, alpha diversity-climate relationships were only revealed at higher diversity values associated with the uppermost quantiles, and in most sites diversity varied irrespective of climate. Likewise, mean biome-level differences in alpha-diversity were unexpectedly modest, even in comparisons of savanna-area wetlands to those of nearby forested regions. We describe attenuated wetland climate-diversity relationships as a shifting balance of local and regional effects on species recruitment. Locally, excessive waterlogging strongly filters species able to colonize from regional pools. On the other hand, increased water availability can accommodate a rich community of drought-sensitive immigrant species that are able to track buffered wetland microclimates. We argue that

  18. Tree species identity and diversity drive fungal richness and community composition along an elevational gradient in a Mediterranean ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saitta, Alessandro; Anslan, Sten; Bahram, Mohammad; Brocca, Luca; Tedersoo, Leho

    2018-01-01

    Ecological and taxonomic knowledge is important for conservation and utilization of biodiversity. Biodiversity and ecology of fungi in Mediterranean ecosystems is poorly understood. Here, we examined the diversity and spatial distribution of fungi along an elevational gradient in a Mediterranean ecosystem, using DNA metabarcoding. This study provides novel information about diversity of all ecological and taxonomic groups of fungi along an elevational gradient in a Mediterranean ecosystem. Our analyses revealed that among all biotic and abiotic variables tested, host species identity is the main driver of the fungal richness and fungal community composition. Fungal richness was strongly associated with tree richness and peaked in Quercus-dominated habitats and Cistus-dominated habitats. The highest taxonomic richness of ectomycorrhizal fungi was observed under Quercus ilex, whereas the highest taxonomic richness of saprotrophs was found under Pinus. Our results suggest that the effect of plant diversity on fungal richness and community composition may override that of abiotic variables across environmental gradients.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Kerri M; Rudgers, Jennifer A

    2013-05-01

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

  20. Shrubs as ecosystem engineers across an environmental gradient: effects on species richness and exotic plant invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

    Ecosystem-engineering plants modify the physical environment and can increase species diversity and exotic species invasion. At the individual level, the effects of ecosystem engineers on other plants often become more positive in stressful environments. In this study, we investigated whether the community-level effects of ecosystem engineers also become stronger in more stressful environments. Using comparative and experimental approaches, we assessed the ability of a native shrub (Ericameria ericoides) to act as an ecosystem engineer across a stress gradient in a coastal dune in northern California, USA. We found increased coarse organic matter and lower wind speeds within shrub patches. Growth of a dominant invasive grass (Bromus diandrus) was facilitated both by aboveground shrub biomass and by growing in soil taken from shrub patches. Experimental removal of shrubs negatively affected species most associated with shrubs and positively affected species most often found outside of shrubs. Counter to the stress-gradient hypothesis, the effects of shrubs on the physical environment and individual plant growth did not increase across the established stress gradient at this site. At the community level, shrub patches increased beta diversity, and contained greater rarified richness and exotic plant cover than shrub-free patches. Shrub effects on rarified richness increased with environmental stress, but effects on exotic cover and beta diversity did not. Our study provides evidence for the community-level effects of shrubs as ecosystem engineers in this system, but shows that these effects do not necessarily become stronger in more stressful environments.

  1. Microbial diversity in the floral nectar of Linaria vulgaris along an urbanization gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartlewicz, Jacek; Lievens, Bart; Honnay, Olivier; Jacquemyn, Hans

    2016-03-30

    Microbes are common inhabitants of floral nectar and are capable of influencing plant-pollinator interactions. All studies so far investigated microbial communities in floral nectar in plant populations that were located in natural environments, but nothing is known about these communities in nectar of plants inhabiting urban environments. However, at least some microbes are vectored into floral nectar by pollinators, and because urbanization can have a profound impact on pollinator communities and plant-pollinator interactions, it can be expected that it affects nectar microbes as well. To test this hypothesis, we related microbial diversity in floral nectar to the degree of urbanization in the late-flowering plant Linaria vulgaris. Floral nectar was collected from twenty populations along an urbanization gradient and culturable bacteria and yeasts were isolated and identified by partially sequencing the genes coding for small and large ribosome subunits, respectively. A total of seven yeast and 13 bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were found at 3 and 1% sequence dissimilarity cut-offs, respectively. In agreement with previous studies, Metschnikowia reukaufii and M. gruessi were the main yeast constituents of nectar yeast communities, whereas Acinetobacter nectaris and Rosenbergiella epipactidis were the most frequently found bacterial species. Microbial incidence was high and did not change along the investigated urbanization gradient. However, microbial communities showed a nested subset structure, indicating that species-poor communities were a subset of species-rich communities. The level of urbanization was putatively identified as an important driver of nestedness, suggesting that environmental changes related to urbanization may impact microbial communities in floral nectar of plants growing in urban environments.

  2. Partitioning the regional and local drivers of phylogenetic and functional diversity along temperate elevational gradients on an East Asian peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chun, Jung-Hwa; Lee, Chang-Bae

    2018-02-12

    Species-centric approaches to biodiversity in ecological research are limited in their ability to reflect the evolutionary history and functional diversity of community assembly. Recently, the introduction of alternative facets of biodiversity, such as phylogenetic and functional diversity, has shed light on this problem and improved our understanding of the processes underlying biodiversity patterns. Here, we investigated the phylogenetic and functional diversity patterns of α, β and γ components in woody plant assemblages along regional and local elevational gradients in South Korea. Although the patterns of phylogenetic and functional diversity varied along regional and local elevational transects, the main drivers were partitioned into two categories: regional area or climate for phylogenetic diversity, depending on whether the transect was at a regional or local scale; and habitat heterogeneity for functional diversity, which was derived in elevational bands. Moreover, environmental distance was more important than was geographic distance for phylogenetic and functional β diversity between paired elevational bands. These results support the hypothesis that niche-based deterministic processes such as environmental filtering and competitive exclusion are fundamental in structuring woody plant assemblages along temperate elevational gradients regardless of scale (regional vs. local) in our study areas.

  3. Plant pollinator networks along a gradient of urbanisation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geslin, Benoît; Gauzens, Benoit; Thébault, Elisa; Dajoz, Isabelle

    2013-01-01

    Habitat loss is one of the principal causes of the current pollinator decline. With agricultural intensification, increasing urbanisation is among the main drivers of habitat loss. Consequently studies focusing on pollinator community structure along urbanisation gradients have increased in recent years. However, few studies have investigated how urbanisation affects plant-pollinator interaction networks. Here we assessed modifications of plant-pollinator interactions along an urbanisation gradient based on the study of their morphological relationships. Along an urbanisation gradient comprising four types of landscape contexts (semi-natural, agricultural, suburban, urban), we set up experimental plant communities containing two plant functional groups differing in their morphological traits ("open flowers" and "tubular flowers"). Insect visitations on these communities were recorded to build plant-pollinator networks. A total of 17 857 interactions were recorded between experimental plant communities and flower-visitors. The number of interactions performed by flower-visitors was significantly lower in urban landscape context than in semi-natural and agricultural ones. In particular, insects such as Syrphidae and solitary bees that mostly visited the open flower functional group were significantly impacted by urbanisation, which was not the case for bumblebees. Urbanisation also impacted the generalism of flower-visitors and we detected higher interaction evenness in urban landscape context than in agricultural and suburban ones. Finally, in urban context, these modifications lowered the potential reproductive success of the open flowers functional group. Our findings show that open flower plant species and their specific flower-visitors are especially sensitive to increasing urbanisation. These results provide new clues to improve conservation measures within urbanised areas in favour of specialist flower-visitors. To complete this functional approach, studies

  4. Ethnomedicinal Plant DIversity in Thailand

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Phumthum, Methee; Srithi, Kamonnate; Inta, Angkhana

    2018-01-01

    Ethnopharmacological relevance: Plants have provided medicine to humans for thousands of years, and in most parts of the world people still use traditional plant-derived medicine. Knowledge related to traditional use provides an important alternative to unavailable or expensive western medicine i...

  5. Higher speciation and lower extinction rates influence mammal diversity gradients in Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamma, Krishnapriya; Ramakrishnan, Uma

    2015-02-04

    Little is known about the patterns and correlates of mammal diversity gradients in Asia. In this study, we examine patterns of species distributions and phylogenetic diversity in Asia and investigate if the observed diversity patterns are associated with differences in diversification rates between the tropical and non-tropical regions. We used species distribution maps and phylogenetic trees to generate species and phylogenetic diversity measures for 1° × 1° cells across mainland Asia. We constructed lineage-through-time plots and estimated diversification shift-times to examine the temporal patterns of diversifications across orders. Finally, we tested if the observed gradients in Asia could be associated with geographical differences in diversification rates across the tropical and non-tropical biomes. We estimated speciation, extinction and dispersal rates across these two regions for mammals, both globally and for Asian mammals. Our results demonstrate strong latitudinal and longitudinal gradients of species and phylogenetic diversity with Southeast Asia and the Himalayas showing highest diversity. Importantly, our results demonstrate that differences in diversification (speciation, extinction and dispersal) rates between the tropical and the non-tropical biomes influence the observed diversity gradients globally and in Asia. For the first time, we demonstrate that Asian tropics act as both cradles and museums of mammalian diversity. Temporal and spatial variation in diversification rates across different lineages of mammals is an important correlate of species diversity gradients observed in Asia.

  6. Disentangling the drivers of ß diversity along latitudinal and elevational gradients

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kraft, Nathan J. B.; Comita, Liza S.; Chase, Jonathan M.

    2011-01-01

    that sampling alone predicts changes in ß diversity caused simply by changes in the sizes of species pools. For example, forest inventories sampled along latitudinal and elevational gradients show the well-documented pattern that ß diversity is higher in the tropics and at low elevations. However, after......Understanding spatial variation in biodiversity along environmental gradients is a central theme in ecology. Differences in species compositional turnover among sites (ß diversity) occurring along gradients are often used to infer variation in the processes structuring communities. Here, we show...... correcting for variation in pooled species richness (¿ diversity), these differences in ß diversity disappear. Therefore, there is no need to invoke differences in the mechanisms of community assembly in temperate versus tropical systems to explain these global-scale patterns of ß diversity....

  7. Phytoplankton Diversity Effects on Community Biomass and Stability along Nutrient Gradients in a Eutrophic Lake

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Tian

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning is a central issue in ecology, but how this relationship is affected by nutrient stress is still unknown. In this study, we analyzed the phytoplankton diversity effects on community biomass and stability along nutrient gradients in an artificial eutrophic lake. Four nutrient gradients, varying from slightly eutrophic to highly eutrophic states, were designed by adjusting the amount of polluted water that flowed into the lake. Mean phytoplankton biomass, species richness, and Shannon diversity index all showed significant differences among the four nutrient gradients. Phytoplankton community biomass was correlated with diversity (both species richness and Shannon diversity index, varying from positive to negative along the nutrient gradients. The influence of phytoplankton species richness on resource use efficiency (RUE also changed from positive to negative along the nutrient gradients. However, the influence of phytoplankton Shannon diversity on RUE was not significant. Both phytoplankton species richness and Shannon diversity had a negative influence on community turnover (measured as community dissimilarity, i.e., a positive diversity–stability relationship. Furthermore, phytoplankton spatial stability decreased along the nutrient gradients in the lake. With increasing nutrient concentrations, the variability (standard deviation of phytoplankton community biomass increased more rapidly than the average total biomass. Results in this study will be helpful in understanding the phytoplankton diversity effects on ecosystem functioning and how these effects are influenced by nutrient conditions in aquatic ecosystems.

  8. Elevational Gradients in Bird Diversity in the Eastern Himalaya: An Evaluation of Distribution Patterns and Their Underlying Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acharya, Bhoj Kumar; Sanders, Nathan J.; Vijayan, Lalitha; Chettri, Basundhara

    2011-01-01

    Background Understanding diversity patterns and the mechanisms underlying those patterns along elevational gradients is critically important for conservation efforts in montane ecosystems, especially those that are biodiversity hotspots. Despite recent advances, consensus on the underlying causes, or even the relative influence of a suite of factors on elevational diversity patterns has remained elusive. Methods and Principal Findings We examined patterns of species richness, density and range size distribution of birds, and the suite of biotic and abiotic factors (primary productivity, habitat variables, climatic factors and geometric constraints) that governs diversity along a 4500-m elevational gradient in the Eastern Himalayan region, a biodiversity hotspot within the world's tallest mountains. We used point count methods for sampling birds and quadrats for estimating vegetation at 22 sites along the elevational gradient. We found that species richness increased to approximately 2000 m, then declined. We found no evidence that geometric constraints influenced this pattern, whereas actual evapotranspiration (a surrogate for primary productivity) and various habitat variables (plant species richness, shrub density and basal area of trees) accounted for most of the variation in bird species richness. We also observed that ranges of most bird species were narrow along the elevation gradient. We find little evidence to support Rapoport's rule for the birds of Sikkim region of the Himalaya. Conclusions and Significance This study in the Eastern Himalaya indicates that species richness of birds is highest at intermediate elevations along one of the most extensive elevational gradients ever examined. Additionally, primary productivity and factors associated with habitat accounted for most of the variation in avian species richness. The diversity peak at intermediate elevations and the narrow elevational ranges of most species suggest important conservation implications

  9. plant diversity, vegetation structure and relationship between plant

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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    patterns of plant diversity were evaluated on the basis of species richness as the total number ... threatened due to habitat conversion, loss, and ... the conservation of highland forest bird species .... the economic and social welfare of the rural.

  10. Fire frequency and tree canopy structure influence plant species diversity in a forest-grassland ecotone

    Science.gov (United States)

    David W. Peterson; Peter B. Reich

    2008-01-01

    Disturbances and environmental heterogeneity are two factors thought to influence plant species diversity, but their effects are still poorly understood in many ecosystems. We surveyed understory vegetation and measured tree canopy cover on permanent plots spanning an experimental fire frequency gradient to test fire frequency and tree canopy effects on plant species...

  11. Phylogenetic and Functional Diversity of Fleshy-Fruited Plants Are Positively Associated with Seedling Diversity in a Tropical Montane Forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcia C. Muñoz

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Mutualistic interactions between plants and animals can affect both plant and animal communities, and potentially leave imprints on plant demography. Yet, no study has simultaneously tested how trait variation in plant resources shapes the diversity of animal consumers, and how these interactions influence seedling recruitment. Here, we analyzed whether (i phylogenetic diversity and functional diversity of fruiting plants were correlated with the corresponding diversity of frugivorous birds, and (ii whether phylogenetic diversity and functional identity of plant and bird communities influenced the corresponding diversity and identity of seedling communities. We recorded mutualistic interactions between fleshy-fruited plants and frugivorous birds and seedling communities in 10 plots along an elevational gradient in the Colombian Andes. We built a phylogeny for plants/seedlings and birds and measured relevant morphological plant and bird traits that influence plant-bird interactions and seedling recruitment. We found that phylogenetic diversity and functional diversity of frugivorous birds were positively associated with the corresponding diversities of fruiting plants, consistent with a bottom-up effect of plants on birds. Moreover, the phylogenetic diversity of seedlings was related to the phylogenetic diversity of plants, but was unrelated to the phylogenetic diversity of frugivorous birds, suggesting that top-down effects of animals on seedlings were weak. Mean seed mass of seedling communities was positively associated with the mean fruit mass of plants, but was not associated with the mean avian body mass in the frugivore communities. Our study shows that variation in the traits of fleshy-fruited plants was associated with the diversity of frugivorous birds and affected the future trajectory of seedling recruitment, whereas the morphological traits of animal seed dispersers were unrelated to the phylogenetic and functional structure of

  12. Purification of power plant waters with high gradient magnetic filters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosenberg, R.

    1993-04-01

    This is a report of a literature survey. Magnetic high gradient filtration is suitable for separations in difficult surroundings because it can be used in high pressure and temperature, the filtration can be automated and the filter does not contain components which have to be replaced. Magnetic separators for purification of power plant waters have been manufactured commercially for a long time, but they have not always worked satisfactorily especially when separating small particles. The corrosion products in power plant waters are usually ferrimagnetic or paramagnetic and are well suited for magnetic separation. The particle sizes varies considerable but at least in nuclear power plants they are mostly in the range 0.1-30 μ, some even smaller. According to different publications most 60 Co is in particles, while other publications indicate that more than 70 % is in solution. Similarly the data on the purification efficiency of 60 Co varies significantly. Even small magnetic fields are sufficient to separate large ferrimagnetic particles, but the separation of small and paramagnetic particles requires a field more than 20 kT and the high gradient. Presently available commercial separators are so efficient that its seems not to be economically worthwhile to develop them further to improve the filtration efficiency for small particles. Instead it might be worthwhile to investigate methods to increase the particle size by water chemistry methods. (Au). (25 refs., 2 figs.)

  13. Plant Size and Competitive Dynamics along Nutrient Gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldberg, Deborah E; Martina, Jason P; Elgersma, Kenneth J; Currie, William S

    2017-08-01

    Resource competition theory in plants has focused largely on resource acquisition traits that are independent of size, such as traits of individual leaves or roots or proportional allocation to different functions. However, plants also differ in maximum potential size, which could outweigh differences in module-level traits. We used a community ecosystem model called mondrian to investigate whether larger size inevitably increases competitive ability and how size interacts with nitrogen supply. Contrary to the conventional wisdom that bigger is better, we found that invader success and competitive ability are unimodal functions of maximum potential size, such that plants that are too large (or too small) are disproportionately suppressed by competition. Optimal size increases with nitrogen supply, even when plants compete for nitrogen only in a size-symmetric manner, although adding size-asymmetric competition for light does substantially increase the advantage of larger size at high nitrogen. These complex interactions of plant size and nitrogen supply lead to strong nonlinearities such that small differences in nitrogen can result in large differences in plant invasion success and the influence of competition along productivity gradients.

  14. Human impacts flatten rainforest-savanna gradient and reduce adaptive diversity in a rainforest bird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam H Freedman

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Ecological gradients have long been recognized as important regions for diversification and speciation. However, little attention has been paid to the evolutionary consequences or conservation implications of human activities that fundamentally change the environmental features of such gradients. Here we show that recent deforestation in West Africa has homogenized the rainforest-savanna gradient, causing a loss of adaptive phenotypic diversity in a common rainforest bird, the little greenbul (Andropadus virens. Previously, this species was shown to exhibit morphological and song divergence along this gradient in Central Africa. Using satellite-based estimates of forest cover, recent morphological data, and historical data from museum specimens collected prior to widespread deforestation, we show that the gradient has become shallower in West Africa and that A. virens populations there have lost morphological variation in traits important to fitness. In contrast, we find no loss of morphological variation in Central Africa where there has been less deforestation and gradients have remained more intact. While rainforest deforestation is a leading cause of species extinction, the potential of deforestation to flatten gradients and inhibit rainforest diversification has not been previously recognized. More deforestation will likely lead to further flattening of the gradient and loss of diversity, and may limit the ability of species to persist under future environmental conditions.

  15. Mean annual precipitation explains spatiotemporal patterns of Cenozoic mammal beta diversity and latitudinal diversity gradients in North America.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danielle Fraser

    Full Text Available Spatial diversity patterns are thought to be driven by climate-mediated processes. However, temporal patterns of community composition remain poorly studied. We provide two complementary analyses of North American mammal diversity, using (i a paleontological dataset (2077 localities with 2493 taxon occurrences spanning 21 discrete subdivisions of the Cenozoic based on North American Land Mammal Ages (36 Ma--present, and (ii climate space model predictions for 744 extant mammals under eight scenarios of future climate change. Spatial variation in fossil mammal community structure (β diversity is highest at intermediate values of continental mean annual precipitation (MAP estimated from paleosols (∼ 450 mm/year and declines under both wetter and drier conditions, reflecting diversity patterns of modern mammals. Latitudinal gradients in community change (latitudinal turnover gradients, aka LTGs increase in strength through the Cenozoic, but also show a cyclical pattern that is significantly explained by MAP. In general, LTGs are weakest when continental MAP is highest, similar to modern tropical ecosystems in which latitudinal diversity gradients are weak or undetectable. Projections under modeled climate change show no substantial change in β diversity or LTG strength for North American mammals. Our results suggest that similar climate-mediated mechanisms might drive spatial and temporal patterns of community composition in both fossil and extant mammals. We also provide empirical evidence that the ecological processes on which climate space models are based are insufficient for accurately forecasting long-term mammalian response to anthropogenic climate change and inclusion of historical parameters may be essential.

  16. Plant parasite control and soil fauna diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavelle, Patrick; Blouin, Manuel; Boyer, Johnny; Cadet, Patrice; Laffray, Daniel; Pham-Thi, Anh-Thu; Reversat, Georges; Settle, William; Zuily, Yasmine

    2004-07-01

    The use of pesticides to control plant parasites and diseases has generated serious problems of public health and environmental quality, leading to the promotion of alternative Integrated Pest Management strategies that tend to rely more on natural processes and the active participation of farmers as observers and experimenters in their own fields. We present three case studies that point at different options provided by locally available populations of soil organisms, the maintenance of diverse populations of pests or increased resistance of plants to pest attacks by their interactions with earthworms and other useful soil organisms. These examples demonstrate the diversity of options offered by the non-planned agro-ecosystem diversity in pest control and the need to identify management options that maintain this biodiversity.

  17. Coastal Microbial Mat Diversity along a Natural Salinity Gradient

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bolhuis, H.; Fillinger, L.; Stal, L.J.

    2013-01-01

    The North Sea coast of the Dutch barrier island of Schiermonnikoog is covered by microbial mats that initiate a succession of plant communities that eventually results in the development of a densely vegetated salt marsh. The North Sea beach has a natural elevation running from the low water mark to

  18. Linking plant hydraulics and beta diversity in tropical forests

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Christoffersen, Bradley [Earth and Environmental Sciences, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos NM 87545 USA; Meir, Patrick [School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH9 3FE UK; Research School of Biology, Australian National University, Canberra ACT 2601 Australia; McDowell, Nate G. [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA 99352 USA

    2017-05-31

    In tropical forests, studies of xylem traits governing water transport through plants, or ‘hydraulic architecture’ (Tyree et al., 1991), and changes in species composition across environmental gradients, or ‘beta diversity’ (Gentry, 1988; Ackerly & Cornwell, 2007), have progressedmostly in parallel until recently (Hao et al., 2008; Bartlett et al., 2016). In this issue of New Phytologist, Cosme et al. (pp. 000–5 000) present a timely contribution to the intersection of plant hydraulic architecture (HA) with trait-based community ecology. Building on previous biogeographical work that demonstrated shifts in species composition (beta diversity) across a gradient from valleys to plateaus in central Amazonia (Schietti et al., 2014), Cosme et al. explore how variation in HA might underpin this sorting, sampling pairs of congeneric species restrictedmostly to either plateau or valley habitats. Valley species had significantly lower wood density and higher hydraulically-weighted vessel diameter and vessel area. By contrast, trees with some of the largest hydraulically-weighted vessel diameters existed in tall, deciduous plateau species, while the leaf: sapwood area ratio decreased with height in valley but not plateau species. These intriguing results suggest that species differentiation in water transport traits mediate edaphic filtering along the valley-toplateau gradient, in contrast to previous work where wood mechanical support mediated valley-to-plateau environmental filtering (Fortunel et al., 2014).

  19. Monitoring shifts in plant diversity in response to climate change: A method for landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Owen, A.J.; Lee, M.

    2000-01-01

    Improved sampling designs are needed to detect, monitor, and predict plant migrations and plant diversity changes caused by climate change and other human activities. We propose a methodology based on multi-scale vegetation plots established across forest ecotones which provide baseline data on patterns of plant diversity, invasions of exotic plant species, and plant migrations at landscape scales in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA. We established forty two 1000-m2 plots in relatively homogeneous forest types and the ecotones between them on 14 vegetation transects. We found that 64% of the variance in understory species distributions at landscape scales were described generally by gradients of elevation and under-canopy solar radiation. Superimposed on broad-scale climatic gradients are small-scale gradients characterized by patches of light, pockets of fertile soil, and zones of high soil moisture. Eighteen of the 42 plots contained at least one exotic species; monitoring exotic plant invasions provides a means to assess changes in native plant diversity and plant migrations. Plant species showed weak affinities to overstory vegetation types, with 43% of the plant species found in three or more vegetation types. Replicate transects along several environmental gradients may provide the means to monitor plant diversity and species migrations at landscape scales because: (1) ecotones may play crucial roles in expanding the geophysiological ranges of many plant species; (2) low affinities of understory species to overstory forest types may predispose vegetation types to be resilient to rapid environmental change; and (3) ecotones may help buffer plant species from extirpation and extinction.

  20. Genetic signatures of ecological diversity along an urbanization gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Ryan P; O'Donnell, James L; Lowell, Natalie C; Shelton, Andrew O; Samhouri, Jameal F; Hennessey, Shannon M; Feist, Blake E; Williams, Gregory D

    2016-01-01

    Despite decades of work in environmental science and ecology, estimating human influences on ecosystems remains challenging. This is partly due to complex chains of causation among ecosystem elements, exacerbated by the difficulty of collecting biological data at sufficient spatial, temporal, and taxonomic scales. Here, we demonstrate the utility of environmental DNA (eDNA) for quantifying associations between human land use and changes in an adjacent ecosystem. We analyze metazoan eDNA sequences from water sampled in nearshore marine eelgrass communities and assess the relationship between these ecological communities and the degree of urbanization in the surrounding watershed. Counter to conventional wisdom, we find strongly increasing richness and decreasing beta diversity with greater urbanization, and similar trends in the diversity of life histories with urbanization. We also find evidence that urbanization influences nearshore communities at local (hundreds of meters) rather than regional (tens of km) scales. Given that different survey methods sample different components of an ecosystem, we then discuss the advantages of eDNA-which we use here to detect hundreds of taxa simultaneously-as a complement to traditional ecological sampling, particularly in the context of broad ecological assessments where exhaustive manual sampling is impractical. Genetic data are a powerful means of uncovering human-ecosystem interactions that might otherwise remain hidden; nevertheless, no sampling method reveals the whole of a biological community.

  1. Aquatic macroinvertebrate diversity and composition in streams along an altitudinal gradient in Southeastern Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Henriques-Oliveira, Ana Lucia; Nessimian, Jorge Luiz

    2010-01-01

    Aquatic macroinvertebrate diversity and composition in streams along an altitudinal gradient in Southeastern Brazil. A study concerning taxonomic richness and composition of the aquatic insect fauna in streams within the same catchment basin along an altitudinal gradient in Southeast Brazil, was conducted to test the hypothesis that there is a faunal discontinuity in the biocenotic composition, related to differences in altitude and latitude. In Southeastern Brazil, around latitude 22°, this ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  3. Diverse urban plantings managed with sufficient resource availability can increase plant productivity and arthropod diversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathon eMuller

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Buildings structures and surfaces are explicitly being used to grow plants, and these ‘urban plantings’ are typically designed for aesthetic value. Urban plantings also have the potential to contribute significant ‘ecological values’ by increasing urban habitat for animals such as arthropods and by increasing plant productivity. In this study, we evaluated how the provision of these additional ecological values is affected by plant species richness; the availability of essential resources for plants, such as water, light, space; and soil characteristics. We sampled 33 plantings located on the exterior of three buildings in the urban centre of Brisbane, Australia (subtropical climatic region over two, six week sampling periods characterised by different temperature and rainfall conditions. Plant cover was estimated as a surrogate for productivity as destructive sampling of biomass was not possible. We measured weekly light levels (photosynthetically active radiation, plant CO2 assimilation, soil CO2 efflux, and arthropod diversity.Differences in plant cover were best explained by a three-way interaction of plant species richness, management water regime and sampling period. As the richness of plant species increased in a planter, productivity and total arthropod richness also increased significantly - likely due to greater habitat heterogeneity and quality. Overall we found urban plantings can provide additional ecological values if essential resources are maintained within a planter such as water, light and soil temperature. Diverse urban plantings that are managed with these principles in mind can contribute to the attraction of diverse arthropod communities, and lead to increased plant productivity within a dense urban context.

  4. Temperature and diet effects on omnivorous fish performance: Implications for the latitudinal diversity gradient in herbivorous fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behrens, M.D.; Lafferty, K.D.

    2007-01-01

    Herbivorous fishes show a clear latitudinal diversity gradient, making up a larger proportion of the fish species in a community in tropical waters than in temperate waters. One proposed mechanism that could drive this gradient is a physiological constraint due to temperature. One prediction based on this mechanism is that if herbivorous fishes could shift their diet to animal material, they would be better able to grow, survive, and reproduce in cold waters. We tested this prediction on the omnivore Girella nigricans under different temperature and diet regimes using RNA-DNA ratios as an indicator of performance. Fish had increased performance (100%) at low temperatures (12??C) when their diet was supplemented with animal material. In contrast, at higher temperatures (17, 22, and 27??C) fish showed no differences between diets. This indicates that omnivorous fishes could increase their performance at low temperatures by consuming more animal matter. This study supports the hypothesis that a relative increase in the nutritional value of plant material at warmer temperatures could drive the latitudinal diversity gradient in herbivorous fishes. ?? 2007 NRC.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-10-01

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

  6. Plant diversity predicts beta but not alpha diversity of soil microbes across grasslands worldwide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prober, Suzanne M.; Leff, Jonathan W.; Bates, Scott T.; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Firn, Jennifer; Harpole, W. Stanley; Lind, Eric M.; Seabloom, Eric W.; Adler, Peter B.; Bakker, Jonathan D.; Cleland, Elsa E.; DeCrappeo, Nicole; DeLorenze, Elizabeth; Hagenah, Nicole; Hautier, Yann; Hofmockel, Kirsten S.; Kirkman, Kevin P.; Knops, Johannes M. H.; La Pierre, Kimberly J.; MacDougall, Andrew S.; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Mitchell, Charles E.; Risch, Anita C.; Schuetz, Martin; Stevens, Carly J.; Williams, Ryan J.; Fierer, Noah

    2015-01-01

    Aboveground–belowground interactions exert critical controls on the composition and function of terrestrial ecosystems, yet the fundamental relationships between plant diversity and soil microbial diversity remain elusive. Theory predicts predominantly positive associations but tests within single sites have shown variable relationships, and associations between plant and microbial diversity across broad spatial scales remain largely unexplored. We compared the diversity of plant, bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities in one hundred and forty-five 1 m2 plots across 25 temperate grassland sites from four continents. Across sites, the plant alpha diversity patterns were poorly related to those observed for any soil microbial group. However, plant beta diversity (compositional dissimilarity between sites) was significantly correlated with the beta diversity of bacterial and fungal communities, even after controlling for environmental factors. Thus, across a global range of temperate grasslands, plant diversity can predict patterns in the composition of soil microbial communities, but not patterns in alpha diversity.

  7. Assessment of variations in taxonomic diversity, forest structure, and aboveground biomass using remote sensing along an altitudinal gradient in tropical montane forest of Costa Rica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, C. M.; Saatchi, S. S.; Clark, D.; Fricker, G. A.; Wolf, J.; Gillespie, T. W.; Rovzar, C. M.; Andelman, S.

    2012-12-01

    This research sought to understand how alpha and beta diversity of plants vary and relate to the three-dimensional vegetation structure and aboveground biomass along environmental gradients in the tropical montane forests of Braulio Carrillo National Park in Costa Rica. There is growing evidence that ecosystem structure plays an important role in defining patterns of species diversity and along with abiotic factors (climate and edaphic) control the phenotypic and functional variations across landscapes. It is well documented that strong subdivisions at local and regional scales are found mainly on geologic or climate gradients. These general determinants of biodiversity are best demonstrated in regions with natural gradients such as tropical montane forests. Altitudinal gradients provide a landscape scale changes through variations in topography, climate, and edaphic conditions on which we tested several theoretical and biological hypotheses regarding drivers of biodiversity. The study was performed by using forest inventory and botanical data from nine 1-ha plots ranging from 100 m to 2800 m above sea level and remote sensing data from airborne lidar and radar sensors to quantify variations in forest structure. In this study we report on the effectiveness of relating patterns of tree taxonomic alpha diversity to three-dimensional structure of a tropical montane forest using lidar and radar observations of forest structure and biomass. We assessed alpha and beta diversity at the species, genus, and family levels utilizing datasets provided by the Terrestrial Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network. Through the comparison to active remote sensing imagery, our results show that there is a strong relationship between forest 3D-structure, and alpha and beta diversity controlled by variations in abiotic factors along the altitudinal gradient. Using spatial analysis with the aid of remote sensing data, we find distinct patterns along the environmental gradients

  8. Global gradients in vertebrate diversity predicted by historical area-productivity dynamics and contemporary environment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walter Jetz

    Full Text Available Broad-scale geographic gradients in species richness have now been extensively documented, but their historical underpinning is still not well understood. While the importance of productivity, temperature, and a scale dependence of the determinants of diversity is broadly acknowledged, we argue here that limitation to a single analysis scale and data pseudo-replication have impeded an integrated evolutionary and ecological understanding of diversity gradients. We develop and apply a hierarchical analysis framework for global diversity gradients that incorporates an explicit accounting of past environmental variation and provides an appropriate measurement of richness. Due to environmental niche conservatism, organisms generally reside in climatically defined bioregions, or "evolutionary arenas," characterized by in situ speciation and extinction. These bioregions differ in age and their total productivity and have varied over time in area and energy available for diversification. We show that, consistently across the four major terrestrial vertebrate groups, current-day species richness of the world's main 32 bioregions is best explained by a model that integrates area and productivity over geological time together with temperature. Adding finer scale variation in energy availability as an ecological predictor of within-bioregional patterns of richness explains much of the remaining global variation in richness at the 110 km grain. These results highlight the separate evolutionary and ecological effects of energy availability and provide a first conceptual and empirical integration of the key drivers of broad-scale richness gradients. Avoiding the pseudo-replication that hampers the evolutionary interpretation of non-hierarchical macroecological analyses, our findings integrate evolutionary and ecological mechanisms at their most relevant scales and offer a new synthesis regarding global diversity gradients.

  9. Contrasting species-environment relationships in communities of testate amoebae, bryophytes and vascular plants along the fen-bog gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamentowicz, Mariusz; Lamentowicz, Lukasz; van der Knaap, Willem O; Gabka, Maciej; Mitchell, Edward A D

    2010-04-01

    We studied the vegetation, testate amoebae and abiotic variables (depth of the water table, pH, electrical conductivity, Ca and Mg concentrations of water extracted from mosses) along the bog to extremely rich fen gradient in sub-alpine peatlands of the Upper Engadine (Swiss Alps). Testate amoeba diversity was correlated to that of mosses but not of vascular plants. Diversity peaked in rich fen for testate amoebae and in extremely rich fen for mosses, while for testate amoebae and mosses it was lowest in bog but for vascular plants in extremely rich fen. Multiple factor and redundancy analyses (RDA) revealed a stronger correlation of testate amoebae than of vegetation to water table and hydrochemical variables and relatively strong correlation between testate amoeba and moss community data. In RDA, hydrochemical variables explained a higher proportion of the testate amoeba and moss data than water table depth. Abiotic variables explained a higher percentage of the species data for testate amoebae (30.3% or 19.5% for binary data) than for mosses (13.4%) and vascular plants (10%). These results show that (1) vascular plant, moss and testate amoeba communities respond differently to ecological gradients in peatlands and (2) testate amoebae are more strongly related than vascular plants to the abiotic factors at the mire surface. These differences are related to vertical trophic gradients and associated niche differentiation.

  10. Diversity of Wild Bees along Elevational Gradient in an Agricultural Area in Central Java, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Imam Widhiono

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Increases in mean temperature affect the diversity and abundance of wild bees in agricultural ecosystems. Pollinator community composition is expected to change along an elevational gradient due to differences in the daily ambient temperature. This study investigated the diversity and abundance of wild bees in an agricultural area along an elevational gradient in Central Java, Indonesia. Wild bees were collected using a sweep net in 40 green bean (Phaseolus vulgaris cultivation sampling locations at seven different elevations (8, 108, 224, 424, 644, 893, and 1017 m above sea level. Species diversity was determined using the Shannon–Wiener diversity index. We identified 932 individuals from 8 species of wild bee belonging to 3 families. The family Apidae was predominant, with 6 species, while only 1 species was found from each of Megachilidae and Halictidae. Across the study sites, diversity increased with increasing elevation (H′ = 1.4, D = 0.25, and E = 0.78 at low elevation to H′ = 2.04, D = 0.13, and E = 0.96 at high elevation, and higher numbers of species were found at middle and high elevations. Species richness and abundance increased linearly with increasing elevation, and species diversity was highest at middle elevations.

  11. Global latitudinal species diversity gradient in deep-sea benthic foraminifera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Culver, Stephen J.; Buzas, Martin A.

    2000-02-01

    Global scale patterns of species diversity for modern deep-sea benthic foraminifera, an important component of the bathyal and abyssal meiofauna, are examined using comparable data from five studies in the Atlantic, ranging over 138° of latitude from the Norwegian Sea to the Weddell Sea. We show that a pattern of decreasing diversity with increasing latitude characterises both the North and South Atlantic. This pattern is confirmed for the northern hemisphere by independent data from the west-central North Atlantic and the Arctic basin. Species diversity in the North Atlantic northwards from the equator is variable until a sharp fall in the Norwegian Sea (ca. 65°N). In the South Atlantic species diversity drops from a maximum in latitudes less than 30°S and then decreases slightly from 40 to 70°S. For any given latitude, North Atlantic diversity is generally lower than in the South Atlantic. Both ecological and historical factors related to food supply are invoked to explain the formation and maintenance of the latitudinal gradient of deep-sea benthic foraminiferal species diversity. The gradient formed some 36 million years ago when global climatic cooling led to seasonally fluctuating food supply in higher latitudes.

  12. Functional, size and taxonomic diversity of fish along a depth gradient in the deep sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mindel, Beth L; Neat, Francis C; Trueman, Clive N; Webb, Thomas J; Blanchard, Julia L

    2016-01-01

    Biodiversity is well studied in ecology and the concept has been developed to include traits of species, rather than solely taxonomy, to better reflect the functional diversity of a system. The deep sea provides a natural environmental gradient within which to study changes in different diversity metrics, but traits of deep-sea fish are not widely known, hampering the application of functional diversity to this globally important system. We used morphological traits to determine the functional richness and functional divergence of demersal fish assemblages along the continental slope in the Northeast Atlantic, at depths of 300-2,000 m. We compared these metrics to size diversity based on individual body size and species richness. Functional richness and size diversity showed similar patterns, with the highest diversity at intermediate depths; functional divergence showed the opposite pattern, with the highest values at the shallowest and deepest parts of the study site. Species richness increased with depth. The functional implications of these patterns were deduced by examining depth-related changes in morphological traits and the dominance of feeding guilds as illustrated by stable isotope analyses. The patterns in diversity and the variation in certain morphological traits can potentially be explained by changes in the relative dominance of pelagic and benthic feeding guilds. All measures of diversity examined here suggest that the deep areas of the continental slope may be equally or more diverse than assemblages just beyond the continental shelf.

  13. Functional, size and taxonomic diversity of fish along a depth gradient in the deep sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beth L. Mindel

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity is well studied in ecology and the concept has been developed to include traits of species, rather than solely taxonomy, to better reflect the functional diversity of a system. The deep sea provides a natural environmental gradient within which to study changes in different diversity metrics, but traits of deep-sea fish are not widely known, hampering the application of functional diversity to this globally important system. We used morphological traits to determine the functional richness and functional divergence of demersal fish assemblages along the continental slope in the Northeast Atlantic, at depths of 300–2,000 m. We compared these metrics to size diversity based on individual body size and species richness. Functional richness and size diversity showed similar patterns, with the highest diversity at intermediate depths; functional divergence showed the opposite pattern, with the highest values at the shallowest and deepest parts of the study site. Species richness increased with depth. The functional implications of these patterns were deduced by examining depth-related changes in morphological traits and the dominance of feeding guilds as illustrated by stable isotope analyses. The patterns in diversity and the variation in certain morphological traits can potentially be explained by changes in the relative dominance of pelagic and benthic feeding guilds. All measures of diversity examined here suggest that the deep areas of the continental slope may be equally or more diverse than assemblages just beyond the continental shelf.

  14. Measuring species diversity in a subtropical forest across a tree size gradient: a comparison of diversity indices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ke, X.; Su, Z.; Hu, Y.; Zhou, Y.; Xu, M.

    2017-01-01

    Shannon-Wiener index and Simpson's diversity index together with other metrics, e.g., richness, number of stems per species or species-specific density (N: S ratio), and kurtosis, were applied to characterize the woody plant diversity patterns of a subtropical broadleaved forest in south China. The aims of our study were to compare the efficacy and sensitivity to community diversity measures between Shannon-Wiener index and Simpson's diversity index. Tree census data from a 5-ha sample plot was partitioned into 3 datasets by diameter class to represent 3 distinct woody plant communities for the characterization of diversity across communities. The 5-ha sample plot of the forest had a total abundance of 23,301 tree stems = 1 cm DBH and a richness of 139 species. The majority of tree stems were seedlings (41.1%) and saplings (38.8%), whereas canopy trees only accounted for 20.1% of the total tree stems. Both Shannon-Wiener index and Simpson's diversity index decreased significantly in response to a decrease in the N: S ratio across the datasets, but Shannon-Wiener index was more sensitive to plot-based richness changes and had a higher efficacy in predicting changes in species richness. Our findings are contrary to the general belief that Shannon-Wiener index is an insensitive measure of the character of the N: S relationship and have demonstrated that it remains a good measure for species diversity in plant community studies for its sensitivity and efficacy. We also suggest that the kurtosis statistic can be used as a new diversity measure due to its sensitivity to diversity change. (author)

  15. Relationships between Plant Diversity and Grasshopper Diversity and Abundance in the Little Missouri National Grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David H. Branson

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available A continuing challenge in orthopteran ecology is to understand what determines grasshopper species diversity at a given site. In this study, the objective was to determine if variation in grasshopper abundance and diversity between 23 sites in western North Dakota (USA could be explained by variation in plant species richness and diversity. In this system with relatively low plant diversity, grasshopper species richness and abundance were not significantly associated with plant species richness in either year. Although a number of significant associations between plant diversity and grasshopper diversity were found through regression analyses, results differed greatly between years indicating that plant species richness and diversity did not lead to strong effects on grasshopper diversity metrics. Plant species richness appears to be too coarse grained to lead to accurate predictions of grasshopper species richness in this system dominated by generalist grasshopper species.

  16. Phylogenetic niche conservatism explains an inverse latitudinal diversity gradient in freshwater arthropods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morinière, Jérôme; van Dam, Matthew H.; Hawlitschek, Oliver; Bergsten, Johannes; Michat, Mariano C.; Hendrich, Lars; Ribera, Ignacio; Toussaint, Emmanuel F. A.; Balke, Michael

    2016-05-01

    The underlying mechanisms responsible for the general increase in species richness from temperate regions to the tropics remain equivocal. Many hypotheses have been proposed to explain this astonishing pattern but additional empirical studies are needed to shed light on the drivers at work. Here we reconstruct the evolutionary history of the cosmopolitan diving beetle subfamily Colymbetinae, the majority of which are found in the Northern hemisphere, hence exhibiting an inversed latitudinal diversity gradient. We reconstructed a dated phylogeny using 12 genes, to investigate the biogeographical history and diversification dynamics in the Colymbetinae. We aimed to identify the role that phylogenetic niche conservatism plays in the inversed diversification pattern seen in this group. Our results suggest that Colymbetinae originated in temperate climates, which supports the hypothesis that their distribution is the result of an ancestral adaptation to temperate environmental conditions rather than tropical origins, and that temperate niche conservatism can generate and/or maintain inverse latitudinal diversity gradients.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  18. Emerging dragonfly diversity at small Rhode Island (U.S.A.) wetlands along an urbanization gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aliberti Lubertazzi, Maria A.; Ginsberg, Howard S.

    2010-01-01

    Natal habitat use by dragonflies was assessed on an urban to rural land-use gradient at a set of 21 wetlands, during two emergence seasons (2004, 2005). The wetlands were characterized for urbanization level by using the first factor from a principal components analysis combining chloride concentration in the wetland and percent forest in the surrounding buffer zone. Measurements of species diversity and its components (species richness and evenness) were analyzed and compared along the urbanization gradient, as were distributions of individual species. Dragonfly diversity, species richness, and evenness did not change along the urbanization gradient, so urban wetlands served as natal habitat for numerous dragonfly species. However, several individual species displayed strong relationships to the degree of urbanization, and most were more commonly found at urban sites and at sites with fish. In contrast, relatively rare species were generally found at the rural end of the gradient. These results suggest that urban wetlands can play important roles as dragonfly habitat and in dragonfly conservation efforts, but that conservation of rural wetlands is also important for some dragonfly species.

  19. Conservation status affects elevational gradient in bird diversity in the Himalaya: A new perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prakash Kumar Paudel

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Understanding diversity patterns along altitudinal gradients, and their underlying causes are important for conserving biodiversity. Previous studies have focused on climatic, energetic, and geographic variables (e.g., mid-domain effects, with less attention paid to human-induced habitat modifications. We used published data of bird distributions along an elevational gradient (0–4900 m in the Nepalese Himalaya and interpolated species presence between elevational limits. The relationship between species richness and environmental variables was analyzed using generalized linear models. A low plateau relationship between bird richness and elevation was observed, with a main peak at intermediate elevations (2800 m. Across the total gradient, interpolated bird species richness had a unimodal relationship to maximum monthly precipitation and a linear response to seasonal variation in temperature, proportion of forest cover, and proportion of protected area. In lower elevations (0–2800 m, interpolated species richness had a positive and linear response to the proportion of Ramsar sites and a unimodal response to habitat heterogeneity. At higher elevations (2900–4900 m, interpolated bird richness had a positive linear response to monthly variation in temperature and a negative linear response to proportion forest cover. We conclude that factors related to human management are important drivers of elevational gradients in bird species richness. Keywords: Elevational gradient, Biogeography, Bird species richness, Conservation, Himalaya, Nepal

  20. Cenozoic plant diversity of Yunnan: A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yongjiang Huang

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Yunnan in southwestern China is renowned for its high plant diversity. To understand how this modern botanical richness formed, it is critical to investigate the past biodiversity throughout the geological time. In this review, we present a summary on plant diversity, floristics and climates in the Cenozoic of Yunnan and document their changes, by compiling published palaeobotanical sources. Our review demonstrates that thus far a total of 386 fossil species of ferns, gymnosperms and angiosperms belonging to 170 genera within 66 families have been reported from the Cenozoic, particularly the Neogene, of Yunnan. Angiosperms display the highest richness represented by 353 species grouped into 155 genera within 60 families, with Fagaceae, Fabaceae, Lauraceae and Juglandaceae being the most diversified. Most of the families and genera recorded as fossils still occur in Yunnan, but seven genera have disappeared, including Berryophyllum, Cedrelospermum, Cedrus, Palaeocarya, Podocarpium, Sequoia and Wataria. The regional extinction of these genera is commonly referred to an aridification of the dry season associated with Asian monsoon development. Floristic analyses indicate that in the late Miocene, Yunnan had three floristic regions: a northern subtropical floristic region in the northeast, a subtropical floristic region in the east, and a tropical floristic region in the southwest. In the late Pliocene, Yunnan saw two kinds of floristic regions: a subalpine floristic region in the northwest, and two subtropical floristic regions separately in the southwest and the eastern center. These floristic concepts are verified by results from our areal type analyses which suggest that in the Miocene southwestern Yunnan supported the most Pantropic elements, while in the Pliocene southwestern Yunnan had abundant Tropical Asia (Indo–Malaysia type and East Asia and North America disjunct type that were absent from northwestern Yunnan. From the late Miocene to

  1. Nonnative invasive plants: Maintaining biotic and soceioeconomic integrity along the urban-rural-natural gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cynthia D. Huebner; David J. Nowak; Richard V. Pouyat; Allison R. Bodine

    2012-01-01

    In this chapter, we evaluate nonnative invasive plant species of the urban-rural-natural area gradient in order to reduce negative impacts of invasive plants on native species and ecosystems. This evaluation includes addressing (i) the concept of urban areas as the primary source of invasive plant species and characteristics of urban nonnative plants, including their...

  2. Community phylogenetic diversity of cyanobacterial mats associated with geothermal springs along a tropical intertidal gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jing, Hongmei; Lacap, Donnabella C; Lau, Chui Yim; Pointing, Stephen B

    2006-04-01

    The 16S rRNA gene-defined bacterial diversity of tropical intertidal geothermal vents subject to varying degrees of seawater inundation was investigated. Shannon-Weaver diversity estimates of clone library-derived sequences revealed that the hottest pools located above the mean high-water mark that did not experience seawater inundation were most diverse, followed by those that were permanently submerged below the mean low-water mark. Pools located in the intertidal were the least biodiverse, and this is attributed to the fluctuating conditions caused by periodic seawater inundation rather than physicochemical conditions per se. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that a ubiquitous Oscillatoria-like phylotype accounted for 83% of clones. Synechococcus-like phylotypes were also encountered at each location, whilst others belonging to the Chroococcales, Oscillatoriales, and other non-phototrophic bacteria occurred only at specific locations along the gradient. All cyanobacterial phylotypes displayed highest phylogenetic affinity to terrestrial thermophilic counterparts rather than marine taxa.

  3. Reservoir longitudinal gradient promotes ordered losses on diversity and density of Ephemeroptera community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. M. Melo

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Reservoir operations alter, eliminate or restrain the natural hydrologic cycles. Biotic community has become subject to these non-cyclic events, responding by reducing the species diversity. Ephemeroptera species present distinct responses to environmental deterioration such that poses this assemblage between the most useful groups in biomonitoring programs. We hypothesized an alteration in beta diversity at the longitudinal species gradient, which will be influenced mainly by species losses between zones. Changes in temporal beta diversity is also expected, but the main drivers of such alterations will be the species turnover between the sampling period. Ephemeroptera community was monitored in nine sampling points from Itaipu Reservoir, where were installed three sets of substrates composed by a float and 2 wooden substrates. We took biological samples in triplicates monthly, from June-01 to August-02. Our initial hypothesis was partially supported and with significant variations only for spatial approach, between the Reservoir zones. The generated ordering from Non-Metric Dimensional Scale – NMDS - corroborated with spatial analyzes, with the formation of two groups along the gradient zonation of the reservoir. The temporal ordination showed no clear pattern. As expected, the contribution to beta diversity was different for our two approaches, such that the loss of species was more important along the spatial gradient and despite of no significant result, the species replacement was more important among months. The spatial results lead us to infer that differences in limnological characteristics between zones are important for determining differences in Ephemeroptera composition and can reflect the dependency degree of the species in relation to the lentic and sometimes-lotic conditions, mainly in the riverine zone of reservoirs. On the other hand, the absence of a temporal pattern can be result of chaotic variations in the

  4. Spatial grain and the causes of regional diversity gradients in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaspari, Michael; Yuan, May; Alonso, Leeanne

    2003-03-01

    Gradients of species richness (S; the number of species of a given taxon in a given area and time) are ubiquitous. A key goal in ecology is to understand whether and how the many processes that generate these gradients act at different spatial scales. Here we evaluate six hypotheses for diversity gradients with 49 New World ant communities, from tundra to rain forest. We contrast their performance at three spatial grains from S(plot), the average number of ant species nesting in a m2 plot, through Fisher's alpha, an index that treats our 30 1-m2 plots as subsamples of a locality's diversity. At the smallest grain, S(plot), was tightly correlated (r2 = 0.99) with colony abundance in a fashion indistinguishable from the packing of randomly selected individuals into a fixed space. As spatial grain increased, the coaction of two factors linked to high net rates of diversification--warm temperatures and large areas of uniform climate--accounted for 75% of the variation in Fisher's alpha. However, the mechanisms underlying these correlations (i.e., precisely how temperature and area shape the balance of speciation to extinction) remain elusive.

  5. Structure of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas diversity in West Africa covaries with a climatic gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kodjo Glato

    Full Text Available Sub-Saharan agriculture has been identified as vulnerable to ongoing climate change. Adaptation of agriculture has been suggested as a way to maintain productivity. Better knowledge of intra-specific diversity of varieties is prerequisites for the successful management of such adaptation. Among crops, root and tubers play important roles in food security and economic growth for the most vulnerable populations in Africa. Here, we focus on the sweet potato. The Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas was domesticated in Central and South America and was later introduced into Africa and is now cultivated throughout tropical Africa. We evaluated its diversity in West Africa by sampling a region extending from the coastal area of Togo to the northern Sahelian region of Senegal that represents a range of climatic conditions. Using 12 microsatellite markers, we evaluated 132 varieties along this gradient. Phenotypic data from field trials conducted in three seasons was also obtained. Genetic diversity in West Africa was found to be 18% lower than in America. Genetic diversity in West Africa is structured into five groups, with some groups found in very specific climatic areas, e.g. under a tropical humid climate, or under a Sahelian climate. We also observed genetic groups that occur in a wider range of climates. The genetic groups were also associated with morphological differentiation, mainly the shape of the leaves and the color of the stem or root. This particular structure of diversity along a climatic gradient with association to phenotypic variability can be used for conservation strategies. If such structure is proved to be associated with specific climatic adaptation, it will also allow developing strategies to adapt agriculture to ongoing climate variation in West Africa.

  6. Structure of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) diversity in West Africa covaries with a climatic gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glato, Kodjo; Aidam, Atsou; Kane, Ndjido Ardo; Bassirou, Diallo; Couderc, Marie; Zekraoui, Leila; Scarcelli, Nora; Barnaud, Adeline; Vigouroux, Yves

    2017-01-01

    Sub-Saharan agriculture has been identified as vulnerable to ongoing climate change. Adaptation of agriculture has been suggested as a way to maintain productivity. Better knowledge of intra-specific diversity of varieties is prerequisites for the successful management of such adaptation. Among crops, root and tubers play important roles in food security and economic growth for the most vulnerable populations in Africa. Here, we focus on the sweet potato. The Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) was domesticated in Central and South America and was later introduced into Africa and is now cultivated throughout tropical Africa. We evaluated its diversity in West Africa by sampling a region extending from the coastal area of Togo to the northern Sahelian region of Senegal that represents a range of climatic conditions. Using 12 microsatellite markers, we evaluated 132 varieties along this gradient. Phenotypic data from field trials conducted in three seasons was also obtained. Genetic diversity in West Africa was found to be 18% lower than in America. Genetic diversity in West Africa is structured into five groups, with some groups found in very specific climatic areas, e.g. under a tropical humid climate, or under a Sahelian climate. We also observed genetic groups that occur in a wider range of climates. The genetic groups were also associated with morphological differentiation, mainly the shape of the leaves and the color of the stem or root. This particular structure of diversity along a climatic gradient with association to phenotypic variability can be used for conservation strategies. If such structure is proved to be associated with specific climatic adaptation, it will also allow developing strategies to adapt agriculture to ongoing climate variation in West Africa.

  7. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and barcoded pyrosequencing reveal unprecedented archaeal diversity in mangrove sediment and rhizosphere samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pires, Ana C C; Cleary, Daniel F R; Almeida, Adelaide; Cunha, Angela; Dealtry, Simone; Mendonça-Hagler, Leda C S; Smalla, Kornelia; Gomes, Newton C M

    2012-08-01

    Mangroves are complex ecosystems that regulate nutrient and sediment fluxes to the open sea. The importance of bacteria and fungi in regulating nutrient cycles has led to an interest in their diversity and composition in mangroves. However, very few studies have assessed Archaea in mangroves, and virtually nothing is known about whether mangrove rhizospheres affect archaeal diversity and composition. Here, we studied the diversity and composition of Archaea in mangrove bulk sediment and the rhizospheres of two mangrove trees, Rhizophora mangle and Laguncularia racemosa, using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and pyrosequencing of archaeal 16S rRNA genes with a nested-amplification approach. DGGE profiles revealed significant structural differences between bulk sediment and rhizosphere samples, suggesting that roots of both mangrove species influence the sediment archaeal community. Nearly all of the detected sequences obtained with pyrosequencing were identified as Archaea, but most were unclassified at the level of phylum or below. Archaeal richness was, furthermore, the highest in the L. racemosa rhizosphere, intermediate in bulk sediment, and the lowest in the R. mangle rhizosphere. This study shows that rhizosphere microhabitats of R. mangle and L. racemosa, common plants in subtropical mangroves located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, hosted distinct archaeal assemblages.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Řeháková, Klára; Chroňáková, Alica; Krištůfek, Václav; Kuchtová, Barbora; Čapková, Kateřina; Scharfen, Josef; Čapek, Petr; Doležal, Jiří

    2015-01-01

    Although bacterial assemblages are important components of soils in arid ecosystems, the knowledge about composition, life-strategies, and environmental drivers is still fragmentary, especially in remote high-elevation mountains. We compared the quality and quantity of heterotrophic bacterial assemblages between the rhizosphere of the dominant cushion-forming plant Thylacospermum ceaspitosum and its surrounding bulk soil in two mountain ranges (East Karakoram: 4850-5250 m and Little Tibet: 5350-5850 m), in communities from cold steppes to the subnival zone in Ladakh, arid Trans-Himalaya, northwest India. Bacterial communities were characterized by molecular fingerprinting in combination with culture-dependent methods. The effects of environmental factors (elevation, mountain range, and soil physico-chemical parameters) on the bacterial community composition and structure were tested by multivariate redundancy analysis and conditional inference trees. Actinobacteria dominate the cultivable part of community and represent a major bacterial lineage of cold desert soils. The most abundant genera were Streptomyces, Arthrobacter, and Paenibacillus, representing both r- and K-strategists. The soil texture is the most important factor for the community structure and the total bacteria counts. Less abundant and diverse assemblages are found in East Karakoram with coarser soils derived from leucogranite bedrock, while more diverse assemblages in Little Tibet are associated with finer soils derived from easily weathering gneisses. Cushion rhizosphere is in general less diverse than bulk soil, and contains more r-strategists. K-strategists are more associated with the extremes of the gradient, with drought at lowest elevations (4850-5000 m) and frost at the highest elevations (5750-5850 m). The present study illuminates the composition of soil bacterial assemblages in relation to the cushion plant T. ceaspitosum in a xeric environment and brings important information about

  9. Plant functional traits and the distribution of West African rain forest trees along the rainfall gradient

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maharjan, S.K.; Poorter, L.; Holmgren, M.; Bongers, F.; Wieringa, J.J.; Hawthorne, W.D.

    2011-01-01

    Plant morphological and physiological traits affect the way plants tolerate environmental stresses and therefore play an important role in shaping species distribution patterns in relation to environmental gradients. Despite our growing knowledge on the role of functional traits in structuring plant

  10. Diverse role of CBL-interacting protein kinases in plant

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    admin

    Diverse role of CBL-interacting protein kinases in plant. Most of the extracellular and ... to their role in stress signalling. Their role in transport of plant hormone auxin and mechanism of action in stress response shed new light on diverse role of.

  11. Bird diversity and dissimilarity show contrasting patterns along heavy metal pollution gradients in the Urals, Russia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belskii, Eugen A; Mikryukov, Vladimir S

    2018-05-07

    The effects of industrial pollution on bird diversity have been widely studied using traditional diversity measures, which assume all species to be equivalent. We compared species richness and Shannon index with distance-based measures of taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity (the abundance-weighted mean nearest taxon distances), which describe within-community dissimilarity at terminal branches. Analysis of dissimilarity can shed light on the processes underlying community assembly, i.e., environmental filtering decreases dissimilarity whereas competitive exclusion increases it. In the 2-year study near Karabash and Revda copper smelters in Russia, point counts of nesting birds and habitat descriptions were taken at 10 sites (40 plots) along each pollution gradient. The abundance and diversity of birds showed good repeatability in both regions. The total density of birds, number of species per plot, and Shannon diversity decreased at high toxic load in both regions. The taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic nearest taxon distances showed the same pattern within regions. Species dissimilarity within communities increased with pollution in Karabash (due to loss of functionally similar species), but did not change in Revda (due to mass replacement of forest species by species of open habitats). Pollution-induced changes in bird communities near Karabash were greater due to the stronger deterioration of the forest ecosystems and less favorable natural conditions (more arid climate, lower diversity and vitality of the tree stand and understorey) compared to Revda. This study emphasizes the need for a multi-level approach to the analysis of bird communities using traditional indices of diversity, functional, taxonomic, or phylogenetic distances between species and environmental variables.

  12. Effect of Plant Diversity on Diversity and Abundance of Arthropods in Winter Wheat Fields

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A Khodashenas

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Plant biomass and diversity play an important role in enhancing of biodiversity of other trophic levels, specially arthropods in terrestrial ecosystems. In order to determine the effects of plants on diversity and abundance of arthropods, a study was carried out in three regions of Razavi and northern Khorasan provinces, Shirvan, Mashhad and Gonabad. In each region, high and low input fields of winter wheat and a natural system for comparison were selected. In ripening stage of wheat growth (90 stage of Zadoks, sampling was done by use of quadrate in each system with five replications. Plants in each quadrate were counted and species richness of plants was determined. Insect sampling was done by sweep net from surface of plants, then species richness and abundance of collected insects were determined. As a result, agricultural practices decreased plant species richness but diversity and abundance of insects and spiders increased in agricultural systems. Our finding revealed that abundance of insects and spiders were not affected by plant species richness and plant biomass was the main factor affecting on species richness and abundance of insects, spiders and beneficial insects. Therefore, decreasing plant species richness that arose from agricultural practices doesn’t effect on arthropods diversity and abundance and doesn’t decrease sustainability of agricultural systems. Irregular use of chemical inputs, specially pesticides, is the main factor to decreasing of plants and arthropods species richness in agricultural systems. Keywords: Plant diversity, Arthropod diversity, Arthropod abundance, Plant-insect interactions, Agricultural systems

  13. Faster speciation and reduced extinction in the tropics contribute to the Mammalian latitudinal diversity gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Rolland

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The increase in species richness from the poles to the tropics, referred to as the latitudinal diversity gradient, is one of the most ubiquitous biodiversity patterns in the natural world. Although understanding how rates of speciation and extinction vary with latitude is central to explaining this pattern, such analyses have been impeded by the difficulty of estimating diversification rates associated with specific geographic locations. Here, we use a powerful phylogenetic approach and a nearly complete phylogeny of mammals to estimate speciation, extinction, and dispersal rates associated with the tropical and temperate biomes. Overall, speciation rates are higher, and extinction rates lower, in the tropics than in temperate regions. The diversity of the eight most species-rich mammalian orders (covering 92% of all mammals peaks in the tropics, except that of the Lagomorpha (hares, rabbits, and pikas reaching a maxima in northern-temperate regions. Latitudinal patterns in diversification rates are strikingly consistent with these diversity patterns, with peaks in species richness associated with low extinction rates (Primates and Lagomorpha, high speciation rates (Diprotodontia, Artiodactyla, and Soricomorpha, or both (Chiroptera and Rodentia. Rates of range expansion were typically higher from the tropics to the temperate regions than in the other direction, supporting the "out of the tropics" hypothesis whereby species originate in the tropics and disperse into higher latitudes. Overall, these results suggest that differences in diversification rates have played a major role in shaping the modern latitudinal diversity gradient in mammals, and illustrate the usefulness of recently developed phylogenetic approaches for understanding this famous yet mysterious pattern.

  14. Evolution of specialization and ecological character displacement along a gradient of plant quality.

    OpenAIRE

    Egas, C.J.M.; Sabelis, M.W.; Dieckmann, U.

    2005-01-01

    We study the combined evolutionary dynamics of herbivore specialization and eco-logical character displacement, taking into account foraging behavior of the herbivores, and a quality gradient of plant types. Herbivores can adapt by changing two adaptive traits: their level of specialization in feeding efficiency and their point of maximum feeding efficiency along the plant gradient. The number of herbivore phenotypes, their levels of specialization, and the amount of character displacement am...

  15. Bat and bird diversity along independent gradients of latitude and tree composition in European forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charbonnier, Yohan M; Barbaro, Luc; Barnagaud, Jean-Yves; Ampoorter, Evy; Nezan, Julien; Verheyen, Kris; Jactel, Hervé

    2016-10-01

    Species assemblages are shaped by local and continental-scale processes that are seldom investigated together, due to the lack of surveys along independent gradients of latitude and habitat types. Our study investigated changes in the effects of forest composition and structure on bat and bird diversity across Europe. We compared the taxonomic and functional diversity of bat and bird assemblages in 209 mature forest plots spread along gradients of forest composition and vertical structure, replicated in 6 regions spanning from the Mediterranean to the boreal biomes. Species richness and functional evenness of both bat and bird communities were affected by the interactions between latitude and forest composition and structure. Bat and bird species richness increased with broadleaved tree cover in temperate and especially in boreal regions but not in the Mediterranean where they increased with conifer abundance. Bat species richness was lower in forests with smaller trees and denser understorey only in northern regions. Bird species richness was not affected by forest structure. Bird functional evenness increased in younger and denser forests. Bat functional evenness was also influenced by interactions between latitude and understorey structure, increasing in temperate forests but decreasing in the Mediterranean. Covariation between bat and bird abundances also shifted across Europe, from negative in southern forests to positive in northern forests. Our results suggest that community assembly processes in bats and birds of European forests are predominantly driven by abundance and accessibility of feeding resources, i.e., insect prey, and their changes across both forest types and latitudes.

  16. Forest snail diversity and its environmental predictors along a sharp climatic gradient in southern Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horsák, Michal; Juřičková, Lucie; Horsáková, Veronika; Pokorná, Adéla; Pokorný, Petr; Šizling, Arnošt L.; Chytrý, Milan

    2018-04-01

    Diversity patterns of forest snail assemblages have been studied mainly in Europe. Siberian snail faunas have different evolutionary history and colonization dynamics than European faunas, but studies of forest snail diversity are almost missing from Siberia. Therefore, we collected snails at 173 forest sites in the Russian Altai and adjacent areas, encompassing broad variation in climate and forest types. We found 51 species, with a maximum of 15 and an average of seven species per site. The main gradient in species composition was related to soil pH, a variable that also positively correlates with snail abundances. The second gradient was associated with climate characteristics of winter. We observed significant differences in both species richness and composition among six forest types defined based on vegetation classification. Hemiboreal continental forests were the poorest of these types but hosted several species characteristic of European full-glacial stages of the Late Pleistocene. A high snow cover in Temperate coniferous and mixed forests, protecting the soil from freezing, allowed the frost-sensitive large-bodied (>10 mm) species to inhabit this forest type. In contrast to most of the European snail assemblages studied so far we found that the factors responsible for the variation in species richness differed from those driving species composition. This may be attributed to the sharp climatic gradient and the presence of the cold-adapted species typical of the Pleistocene cold stages. We suggest that southern Siberian forests hosting these species can serve as modern analogues of full-glacial forests in periglacial Central and Eastern Europe.

  17. Functional diversity of benthic ciliate communities in response to environmental gradients in a wetland of Yangtze Estuary, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Yuan; Fan, Xinpeng; Warren, Alan; Zhang, Liquan; Xu, Henglong

    2018-02-01

    Researches on the functional diversity of benthic ecosystems have mainly focused on macrofauna, and studies on functional structure of ciliate communities have been based only on trophic- or size-groups. Current research was carried out on the changing patterns of classical and functional diversity of benthic ciliates in response to environmental gradients at three sites in a wetland in Yangtze Estuary. The results showed that changes of environmental factors (e.g. salinity, sediment grain size and hydrodynamic conditions) in the Yangtze Estuary induce variability in species composition and functional trait distribution. Furthermore, increased species richness and diversity did not lead to significant changes in functional diversity due to functional redundancy. However, salt water intrusion of Yangtze Estuary during the dry season could cause reduced functional diversity of ciliate communities. Current study provides the first insight into the functional diversity of ciliate communities in response to environmental gradients. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Severe plant invasions can increase mycorrhizal fungal abundance and diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lekberg, Ylva; Gibbons, Sean; Rosendahl, Søren

    2013-01-01

    Invasions by non-native plants can alter ecosystem functions and reduce native plant diversity, but relatively little is known about their effect on belowground microbial communities. We show that invasions by knapweed (Centaurea stoebe) and leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula, hereafter spurge...... plant provenance.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 14 March 2013; doi:10.1038/ismej.2013.41....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  20. Soil biota suppress positive plant diversity effects on productivity at high but not low soil fertility

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Luo, Shan; Deyn, De Gerlinde B.; Jiang, B.; Yu, Shixiao

    2017-01-01

    Plant community productivity commonly increases with increasing plant diversity, which is explained by complementarity among plant species in resource utilization (complementarity effect), or by selection of particularly productive plant species in diverse plant communities (selection effect).

  1. Species richness, alpha and beta diversity of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants in the woodlands of swat, pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akhtar, N.; Bergmeier, E.

    2015-01-01

    The variation in species richness and diversity of trees, shrubs and herbs in the mountains of Miandam, Swat, North Pakistan, along an elevation gradient between 1600 m and 3400 m was explored. Field data were collected in 18 altitudinal intervals of 100 m each. Polynomial regression was used to find relations of the different growth forms with elevation. The Shannon index was used for calculating α-diversity and the Simpson index for β-diversity. Species richness and α-diversity of herbs were unrelated to elevation. Herbaceous species turnover was high, ranging between 0.46 and 0.89, with its maximum between 2700 and 3000 m. Hump-shaped relationship was observed for shrubs with maximum richness between 2000 and 2200 m; and α-diversity decreased monotonically. Turnover of shrub species was highest between 2000 and 2500 m. Tree species richness was highest at low elevations, and α-diversity was relatively low along the entire gradient. Tree species turnover was also high in the lower zone and again at 2600-2800 m. Species richness of all vascular plants was highest at 2200-2500 m, and α-diversity was highest in the lower part of the gradient. Beta diversity of all growth forms was quite high ranging between 0.53 and 0.87 along the entire gradient reflecting high species and structural turnover. (author)

  2. Bird diversity along a gradient of fragmented habitats of the Cerrado.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jesus, Shayana DE; Pedro, Wagner A; Bispo, Arthur A

    2018-01-01

    Understanding the factors that affect biodiversity is of central interest to ecology, and essential to species conservation and ecosystems management. We sampled bird communities in 17 forest fragments in the Cerrado biome, the Central-West region of Brazil. We aimed to know the communities structure pattern and the influence of geographical distance and environmental variables on them, along a gradient of fragmented habitats at both local and landscape scales. Eight structural variables of the fragments served as an environmental distance measurement at the local scale while five metrics served as an environmental distance measurement at the landscape scale. Species presence-absence data were used to calculate the dissimilarity index. Beta diversity was calculated using three indices (βsim, βnes and βsor), representing the spatial species turnover, nestedness and total beta diversity, respectively. Spatial species turnover was the predominant pattern in the structure of the communities. Variations in beta diversity were explained only by the environmental variables of the landscape with spatial configuration being more important than the composition. This fact indicates that, in Cerrado of Goiás avian communities structure, deterministic ecological processes associated to differences in species responses to landscape fragmentation are more important than stochastic processes driven by species dispersal.

  3. Diversity of pico- to mesoplankton along the 2000 km salinity gradient of the Baltic Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yue O.O. Hu

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Microbial plankton form the productive base of both marine and freshwater ecosystems and are key drivers of global biogeochemical cycles of carbon and nutrients. Plankton diversity is immense with representations from all major phyla within the three domains of life. So far, plankton monitoring has mainly been based on microscopic identification, which has limited sensitivity and reproducibility, not least because of the numerical majority of plankton being unidentifiable under the light microscope. High-throughput sequencing of taxonomic marker genes offers a means to identify taxa inaccessible by traditional methods; thus, recent studies have unveiled an extensive previously unknown diversity of plankton. Here, we conducted ultra-deep Illumina sequencing (average 105 sequences/sample of rRNA gene amplicons of surface water eukaryotic and bacterial plankton communities sampled in summer along a 2000 km transect following the salinity gradient of the Baltic Sea. Community composition was strongly correlated with salinity for both bacterial and eukaryotic plankton assemblages, highlighting the importance of salinity for structuring the biodiversity within this ecosystem. In contrast, no clear trends in alpha-diversity for bacterial or eukaryotic communities could be detected along the transect. The distribution of major planktonic taxa followed expected patterns as observed in monitoring programs, but groups novel to the Baltic Sea were also identified, such as relatives to the coccolithophore Emiliana huxleyi detected in the northern Baltic Sea. This study provides the first ultra-deep sequencing-based survey on eukaryotic and bacterial plankton biogeography in the Baltic Sea.

  4. Endophytic actinobacteria of medicinal plants: diversity and bioactivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golinska, Patrycja; Wypij, Magdalena; Agarkar, Gauravi; Rathod, Dnyaneshwar; Dahm, Hanna; Rai, Mahendra

    2015-08-01

    Endophytes are the microorganisms that exist inside the plant tissues without having any negative impact on the host plant. Medicinal plants constitute the huge diversity of endophytic actinobacteria of economical importance. These microbes have huge potential to synthesis of numerous novel compounds that can be exploited in pharmaceutical, agricultural and other industries. It is of prime importance to focus the present research on practical utilization of this microbial group in order to find out the solutions to the problems related to health, environment and agriculture. An extensive characterization of diverse population of endophytic actinobacteria associated with medicinal plants can provide a greater insight into the plant-endophyte interactions and evolution of mutualism. In the present review, we have discussed the diversity of endophytic actinobacteria of from medicinal plants their multiple bioactivities.

  5. Dynamics of environmental gradients on plant functional groups ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ajl yemi

    2011-12-19

    Dec 19, 2011 ... 1Institute of Ecological Science and Technology, Henan University, Kaifeng 475001, China. 2College of ... moisture, nutrients, disturbance, etc) and anthropogenic .... role of plant interactions in determining zonation patterns.

  6. Forest structure, diversity and regeneration potential along altitudinal gradient in Dhanaulti of Garhwal Himalaya

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Saha, S.; Rajwar, G.S.; Kumar, M.

    2016-07-01

    Aim of the study: The aim of the present study was to understatnd the forest composition, structure, diversity and regeneration potential along altitudinal gradient. Area of study: The study was carried out in Dhanaulti forest which falls under temperate region of Garhwal Himalaya in Uttarakhand state, India. Material and Methods: Vegetation analysis was carried out using 10 quadrats at each altitude using a quadrate size of 10×10 m2. In each quadrate, categories of trees >30 cm cbh were considered as trees, 10-30cm cbh as saplings and <10 cm cbh as seedlings. The data were quantitatively analyzed. Main results: In upper and middle altitudes, Cedrus deodara was reported dominant tree whereas, in lower altitude Quercus leucotrichophora was reported dominant. Tree density was highest in lower altitude which reduced middle and upper altitudes whereas, total basal cover increased with increasing altitude. The increasing total basal cover with altitude could be because of the presence of Cedrus deodara trees having higher girth classes. In tree, sapling and seedling layers, diversity (H) and equitabiltiy (EC) decreased with increasing altitude. However, concentrations of dominace (CD) and beta diversity (BD have shown reverse trend with H and EC which increased with increasing altitudes, in each layer of tree, sapling and seedling. The distribution pattern of most species in all layers of trees, saplings and seedlings was contagious. The regeneration potential of the species has shown that some of the species in the absence of tree layer are still regenerating particularly, Rhododendron arboreum, Benthamidia capitata, Neolitsea pallens etc. It indicates that most of the species are shifting upward as they are getting suitable conditions. Research highlights: Altitude influence species composition, diversity and regeneration potential of species. (Author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhengjun; Gong, Huili; Zhang, Jing

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Plant Community Diversity After Herbicide Control of Spotted Knapweed

    OpenAIRE

    United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service

    1992-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  10. Diversity and feeding strategies of soil microfauna along elevation gradients in Himalayan cold deserts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miloslav Devetter

    Full Text Available High-elevation cold deserts in Tibet and Himalaya are one of the most extreme environments. One consequence is that the diversity of macrofauna in this environment is often limited, and soil microorganisms have a more influential role in governing key surface and subsurface bioprocesses. High-elevation soil microfauna represent important components of cold ecosystems and dominant consumers of microbial communities. Still little is known about their diversity and distribution on the edge of their reproductive and metabolic abilities. In this study, we disentangle the impact of elevation and soil chemistry on diversity and distribution of rotifers, nematodes and tardigrades and their most frequent feeding strategies (microbial filter-feeders, bacterivores, fungivores, root-fungal feeders, omnivores along two contrasting altitudinal gradients in Indian NW Himalaya (Zanskar transect from 3805 to 4714 m a.s.l. and southwestern Tibet (Tso Moriri transect from 4477 to 6176 m a.s.l., using a combination of multivariate analysis, variation partitioning and generalized additive models. Zanskar transect had higher precipitation, soil moisture, organic matter and available nutrients than dry Tso Moriri transect. In total, 40 species of nematodes, 19 rotifers and 1 tardigrade were discovered. Species richness and total abundance of rotifers and nematodes showed mid-elevation peaks in both investigated transects. The optimum for rotifers was found at higher elevation than for nematodes. Diversity and distribution of soil microfauna was best explained by soil nitrogen, phosphorus and organic matter. More fertile soils hosted more diverse and abundant faunal communities. In Tso Moriri, bacterivores represented 60% of all nematodes, fungivores 35%, root-fungal feeders 1% and omnivores 3%. For Zanskar the respective proportions were 21%, 13%, 56% and 9%. Elevational optima of different feeding strategies occurred in Zanskar in one elevation zone (4400-4500 m

  11. Tree diversity patterns along the latitudinal gradient in the northwestern Russia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Tikhonova

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Background One of the key forest characteristics is the biodiversity, particularly the diversity of trees which are forest ecosystem engineers. Nowadays the most worldwide common approach for assessment of forest conditions and dynamics is based on the systematic monitoring, performed at a set of regularly structured plots. To fulfill the existing gap in this sort of knowledge on the Russian forests, an extensive study of tree species diversity on a regular network was conducted in north-west of Russia. Methods The study used the ICP Forests monitoring network that spans over 1700 km along the western Russian border from forest-tundra in the north to broadleaved-coniferous forests in the south. Tree data were collected at 710 sites that were assigned along a regular grid. We performed series of statistical analyses of the tree species distribution and diversity in relation to environmental and anthropogenic factors. Results According to the Maxent species distribution modelling results only Pinus sylvestris, Betula sp. and Picea abies have the potential to grow throughout the study area. The locally maximum tree species diversity varies along the latitudinal gradient from 1 to 3 species in the north to 5–7 species in the south. Monocultural stands are relatively abundant across the study area, being especially common in the south taiga. The prevailing part of the monocultural stands is represented by Scots pine (72%. The age distribution of dominant trees has a clear connection with the intensity of forest use. We found that recent wildfire events had only little effect on tree diversity in the study area. Conclusions We demonstrated that ICP Forests monitoring network enables to successfully establish the main qualitative and quantitative relations of the spatial variation of tree species diversity to climatic, landscape, soil and anthropogenic factors. Analysis of the influence of these factors on tree species distribution allowed us to

  12. Plant species distribution along environmental gradient: do belowground interactions with fungi matter?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Loïc ePellissier

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The distribution of plants along environmental gradients is constrained by abiotic and biotic factors. Cumulative evidence attests of the impact of abiotic factors on plant distributions, but only few studies discuss the role of belowground communities. Soil fungi, in particular, are thought to play an important role in how plant species assemble locally into communities. We first review existing evidence, and then test the effect of the number of soil fungal operational taxonomic units (OTUs on plant species distributions using a recently collected dataset of plant and metagenomic information on soil fungi in the Western Swiss Alps. Using species distribution models, we investigated whether the distribution of individual plant species is correlated to the number of OTUs of two important soil fungal classes known to interact with plants: the Glomeromycetes, that are obligatory symbionts of plants, and the Agaricomycetes, that may be facultative plant symbionts, pathogens, or wood decayers. We show that including the fungal richness information in the models of plant species distributions improves predictive accuracy. Number of fungal OTUs is especially correlated to the distribution of high elevation plant species. We suggest that high elevation soil show greater variation in fungal assemblages that may in turn impact plant turnover among communities. We finally discuss how to move beyond correlative analyses, through the design of field experiments manipulating plant and fungal communities along environmental gradients.

  13. Plant genotypic diversity reduces the rate of consumer resource utilization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McArt, Scott H; Thaler, Jennifer S

    2013-07-07

    While plant species diversity can reduce herbivore densities and herbivory, little is known regarding how plant genotypic diversity alters resource utilization by herbivores. Here, we show that an invasive folivore--the Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica)--increases 28 per cent in abundance, but consumes 24 per cent less foliage in genotypic polycultures compared with monocultures of the common evening primrose (Oenothera biennis). We found strong complementarity for reduced herbivore damage among plant genotypes growing in polycultures and a weak dominance effect of particularly resistant genotypes. Sequential feeding by P. japonica on different genotypes from polycultures resulted in reduced consumption compared with feeding on different plants of the same genotype from monocultures. Thus, diet mixing among plant genotypes reduced herbivore consumption efficiency. Despite positive complementarity driving an increase in fruit production in polycultures, we observed a trade-off between complementarity for increased plant productivity and resistance to herbivory, suggesting costs in the complementary use of resources by plant genotypes may manifest across trophic levels. These results elucidate mechanisms for how plant genotypic diversity simultaneously alters resource utilization by both producers and consumers, and show that population genotypic diversity can increase the resistance of a native plant to an invasive herbivore.

  14. Mobilization of interactions between functional diversity of plant and soil organisms on nitrogen availability and use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drut, Baptiste; Cassagne, Nathalie; Cannavacciuolo, Mario; Brauman, Alain; Le Floch, Gaëtan; Cobo, Jose; Fustec, Joëlle

    2017-04-01

    Keywords: legumes, earthworms, microorganisms, nitrogen, interactions Both aboveground and belowground biodiversity and their interactions can play an important role in crop productivity. Plant functional diversity, such as legume based intercrops have been shown to improve yields through plant complementarity for nitrogen use (Corre-Hellou et al., 2006). Moreover, plant species or plant genotype may influence the structure of soil microorganism communities through the composition of rhizodeposits in the rhizosphere (Dennis et al., 2010). Belowground diversity can also positively influence plant performance especially related to functional dissimilarity between soil organisms (Eisenhauer, 2012). Earthworms through their burrowing activity influence soil microbial decomposers and nutrient availability and have thus been reported to increase plant growth (Brown, 1995; Brown et al., 2004). We hypothesize that i) plant functional (genetic and/or specific) diversity associated to functional earthworms diversity are key drivers of interactions balance to improve crop performances and ii) the improvement of plant performances can be related to change in the structure of soil microorganism communities due to the diversity of rhizodeposits and the burrowing activity of earthworms. In a first mesocosm experiment, we investigated the effect of a gradient of plant diversity - one cultivar of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), 3 different wheat cultivars, and 3 different cultivars intercropped with clover (Trifolium hybridum L.) - and the presence of one (endogeic) or two (endogeic and anecic) categories of earthworms on biomass and nitrogen accumulation of wheat. In a second mesocosm experiment, we investigated the influence of three species with different rhizodeposition - wheat, rapeseed (Brassica napus L. ) and faba bean (Vicia faba L.) in pure stand or intercropped - and the presence of endogeic earthworms on microbial activity and nitrogen availability. In the first experiment

  15. Plant hydraulic diversity buffers forest ecosystem responses to drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderegg, W.; Konings, A. G.; Trugman, A. T.; Pacala, S. W.; Yu, K.; Sulman, B. N.; Sperry, J.; Bowling, D. R.

    2017-12-01

    Drought impacts carbon, water, and energy cycles in forests and may pose a fundamental threat to forests in future climates. Plant hydraulic transport of water is central to tree drought responses, including curtailing of water loss and the risk of mortality during drought. The effect of biodiversity on ecosystem function has typically been examined in grasslands, yet the diversity of plant hydraulic strategies may influence forests' response to drought. In a combined analysis of eddy covariance measurements, remote-sensing data of plant water content variation, model simulations, and plant hydraulic trait data, we test the degree to which plant water stress schemes influence the carbon cycle and how hydraulic diversity within and across ecosystems affects large-scale drought responses. We find that current plant functional types are not well-suited to capture hydraulic variation and that higher hydraulic diversity buffers ecosystem variation during drought. Our results demonstrate that tree functional diversity, particularly hydraulic diversity, may be critical to simulate in plant functional types in current land surface model projections of future vegetation's response to climate extremes.

  16. Cyanobacterial Diversity in Biological Soil Crusts along a Precipitation Gradient, Northwest Negev Desert, Israel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagemann, Martin; Henneberg, Manja; Felde, Vincent J M N L; Drahorad, Sylvie L; Berkowicz, Simon M; Felix-Henningsen, Peter; Kaplan, Aaron

    2015-07-01

    Cyanobacteria occur worldwide but play an important role in the formation and primary activity of biological soil crusts (BSCs) in arid and semi-arid ecosystems. The cyanobacterial diversity in BSCs of the northwest Negev desert of Israel was surveyed at three fixed sampling stations situated along a precipitation gradient in the years 2010 to 2012. The three stations also are characterized by marked differences in soil features such as soil carbon, nitrogen, or electrical conductivity. The cyanobacterial biodiversity was analyzed by sequencing inserts of clone libraries harboring partial 16S rRNA gene sequences obtained with cyanobacteria-specific primers. Filamentous, non-diazotrophic strains (subsection III), particularly Microcoleus-like, dominated the cyanobacterial community (30% proportion) in all years. Specific cyanobacterial groups showed increased (e.g., Chroococcidiopsis, Leptolyngbya, and Nostoc strains) or decreased (e.g., unicellular strains belonging to the subsection I and Scytonema strains) abundances with declining water availability at the most arid, southern station, whereas many cyanobacterial strains were frequently found in the soils of all three stations. The cyanobacterial diversity at the three sampling stations appears dependent on the available precipitation, whereas the differences in soil chemistry were of lower importance.

  17. Variation of Synechococcus Pigment Genetic Diversity Along Two Turbidity Gradients in the China Seas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, Xiaomin; Liu, Hongbin; Choi, Donghan; Noh, Jae Hoon

    2018-01-01

    Synechococcus are important and widely distributed picocyanobacteria that encompass a high pigment diversity. In this study, we developed a primer set (peBF/peAR) for amplifying the cpeBA operon sequence from Synechococcus genomic DNA to study Synechococcus pigment diversity along two turbidity gradients in the China seas. Our data revealed that all previously reported pigment types occurred in the South (SCS) and East (ECS) China Seas. In addition, a novel pigment genetic type (type 3f), represented by the high phycourobilin Synechococcus sp. strain KORDI-100 (Exc495:545 = 2.35), was detected. This pigment genetic type differs from the 3c/3d types not only for a very high PUB/PEB ratio but also for a different intergenic spacer sequence and gene organization of the phycobilisome. Synechococcus of different pigment types exhibited clear niche differentiation. Type 2 dominated in the coastal waters, whereas type 3c/3d and 3f were predominant in oceanic waters of the SCS in summer. In the ECS, however, type 3a was the major pigment type throughout the transect. We suggest that in marine environment, various pigment types often co-occur but with one type dominant and PUB/PEB ratio is related to geographic distribution of Synechococcus pigment types. The two marginal seas of China have markedly different Synechococcus pigment compositions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Environmental change in a Mediterranean salt marsh wetland: ecological drivers of halophytes diversity along flooding frequency gradients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia María Rodríguez-González

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Coastal wetlands are among most threatened ecosystems, owing to the intense human activity concentrated in shoreline areas together with the expected sea level rise resultant from climate change. Salt marshes are wetlands which are inundated twice daily by the sea, thus tightly dependent on frequency and duration of submergence. Identifying the factors that determine the diversity, distribution and abundance of halophyte species in salt marshes will help retaining their conservation status and adopt anticipate management measures, and this will ultimately contribute to preserve marshland biodiversity and ecological services. Reserva Natural de Castro Marim e Vila Real de Santo António (RNSCMVRSA is a natural reserve located in South Eastern Portugal, comprising the tidal area of Guadiana River mouth. In spite of their great ecological value, salt marsh ecosystems in this region have suffered intense anthropic disturbance, namely hydrologic alterations and vegetation removal to gain soils for agriculture and salt intensive production. The present study aimed at characterizing the halophyte diversity in the RNSCMVRSA salt marshes and determining their major ecological correlates. The end-point is to implement, afterward, a sustainable cultivation of autochthonous halophyte plants, with economic value, in the abandoned saltpans and degraded rangelands. This project will contribute to the conservation of halophyte diversity, promote environmental requalification, and provide an economic alternative for local populations, enabling the reduction of unregulated harvest of halophyte plant populations. Field sampling strategy included a preliminary survey of local vegetation diversity and floristic inventories of halophyte communities in plots established across the existing environmental heterogeneity in order to span the whole variation gradients of the species presence and abundance. The abiotic characterization of halophyte communities included a

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rubén Ortega-Álvarez

    2011-01-01

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

  1. Latitudinal diversity gradients in New World bats: are they a consequence of niche conservatism?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos Pereira, Maria João; Palmeirim, Jorge M

    2013-01-01

    The increase in species diversity from the Poles to the Equator is a major biogeographic pattern, but the mechanisms underlying it remain obscure. Our aim is to contribute to their clarification by describing the latitudinal gradients in species richness and in evolutionary age of species of New World bats, and testing if those patterns may be explained by the niche conservatism hypothesis. Maps of species ranges were used to estimate species richness in a 100 x 100 km grid. Root distances in a molecular phylogeny were used as a proxy for the age of species, and the mean root distance of the species in each cell of the grid was estimated. Generalised additive models were used to relate latitude with both species richness and mean root distance. This was done for each of the three most specious bat families and for all Chiroptera combined. Species richness increases towards the Equator in the whole of the Chiroptera and in the Phyllostomidae and Molossidae, families that radiated in the tropics, but the opposite trend is observed in the Vespertilionidae, which has a presumed temperate origin. In the whole of the Chiroptera, and in the three main families, there were more basal species in the higher latitudes, and more derived species in tropical areas. In general, our results were not consistent with the predictions of niche conservatism. Tropical niche conservatism seems to keep bat clades of tropical origin from colonizing temperate zones, as they lack adaptations to survive cold winters, such as the capacity to hibernate. However, the lower diversity of Vespertilionidae in the Neotropics is better explained by competition with a diverse pre-existing community of bats than by niche conservatism.

  2. Microbial diversity and community structure across environmental gradients in Bransfield Strait, Western Antarctic Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camila Negrão Signori

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The Southern Ocean is currently subject to intense investigations, mainly related to its importance for global biogeochemical cycles and its alarming rate of warming in response to climate change. Microbes play an essential role in the functioning of this ecosystem and are the main drivers of the biogeochemical cycling of elements. Yet, the diversity and abundance of microorganisms in this system remains poorly studied, in particular with regards to changes along environmental gradients. Here, we used amplicon sequencing of 16S rRNA gene tags using primers covering both Bacteria and Archaea to assess the composition and diversity of the microbial communities from four sampling depths (surface, the maximum and minimum of the oxygen concentration, and near the seafloor at ten oceanographic stations located in Bransfield Strait (northwest of the Antarctic Peninsula (AP and near the sea ice edge (north of the AP. Samples collected near the seafloor and at the oxygen minimum exhibited a higher diversity than those from the surface and oxygen maximum for both bacterial and archaeal communities. The main taxonomic groups identified below 100 m were Thaumarchaeota, Euryarchaeota and Proteobacteria (Gamma-, Delta-, Beta- and Alphaproteobacteria, whereas in the mixed layer above 100 m Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria (mainly Alpha- and Gammaproteobacteria were found to be dominant. A combination of environmental factors seems to influence the microbial community composition. Our results help to understand how the dynamic seascape of the Southern Ocean shapes the microbial community composition and set a baseline for upcoming studies to evaluate the response of this ecosystem to future changes.

  3. Plant diversity increases spatio?temporal niche complementarity in plant?pollinator interactions

    OpenAIRE

    Venjakob, Christine; Klein, Alexandra?Maria; Ebeling, Anne; Tscharntke, Teja; Scherber, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    Ongoing biodiversity decline impairs ecosystem processes, including pollination. Flower visitation, an important indicator of pollination services, is influenced by plant species richness. However, the spatio-temporal responses of different pollinator groups to plant species richness have not yet been analyzed experimentally. Here, we used an experimental plant species richness gradient to analyze plant-pollinator interactions with an unprecedented spatio-temporal resolution. We observed four...

  4. Diversity and Plant Growth Promoting Proerties of Rhizobacteria ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate and assess the plant growth promoting characteristics and diversity of major tef rhizosphere isolates from central Ethiopia. A total of 162 bacteria were isolated from rhizosphere of tef [Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter] and characterized. While screening using some plant growth ...

  5. Diversity of medicinal plants and anthropogenic threats in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Diversity of medicinal plants and anthropogenic threats in the Samburu Central Sub-County of Kenya. ... Biodiversity of medicinal plants and effects of human activities on availability of traditional ... There is, therefore need to adopt management strategies that enhance the conservation of these valuable natural resources.

  6. Species composition, plant cover and diversity of recently reforested ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SERVER

    2007-12-17

    Dec 17, 2007 ... Deforestation, over-cultivation and rural growth have severely ... over-cultivation, plant populations changed, and biolo- ... Restoring community structure (e.g. species composi-tion ... plant diversity at all spatial scales are the criteria that should ..... taxonomic groups in recovering and restored forests.

  7. Forest climbing plants of West Africa: diversity, ecology and management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bongers, F.J.J.M.; Parren, M.P.E.; Traoré, D.

    2005-01-01

    Climbing plants, including lianas, represent a fascinating component of the ecology of tropical forests. This book focuses on the climbing plants of West African forests. Based on original research, it presents information on the flora (including a checklist), diversity (with overviews at several

  8. Ocean thermal gradient as a generator of electricity. OTEC power plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enrique, Luna-Gomez Victor; Angel, Alatorre-Mendieta Miguel

    2016-04-01

    The OTEC (Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion) is a power plant that uses the thermal gradient of the sea water between the surface and a depth of about 700 meters. It works by supplying the heat to a steam machine, for evaporation, with sea water from the surface and cold, to condense the steam, with deep sea water. The energy generated by the power plant OTEC can be transferred to the electric power grid, another use is to desalinate seawater. During the twentieth century in some countries experimental power plants to produce electricity or obtaining drinking water they were installed. On the Mexico's coast itself this thermal gradient, as it is located in tropical seas it occurs, so it has possibilities of installing OTEC power plant type. In this paper one type OTEC power plant operation is represented in most of its components.

  9. Carbon storage potential by four macrophytes as affected by planting diversity in a created wetland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Means, Mary M; Ahn, Changwoo; Korol, Alicia R; Williams, Lisa D

    2016-01-01

    Wetland creation has become a commonplace method for mitigating the loss of natural wetlands. Often mitigation projects fail to restore ecosystem services of the impacted natural wetlands. One of the key ecosystem services of newly created wetlands is carbon accumulation/sequestration, but little is known about how planting diversity (PD) affects the ability of herbaceous wetland plants to store carbon in newly created wetlands. Most mitigation projects involve a planting regime, but PD, which may be critical in establishing biologically diverse and ecologically functioning wetlands, is seldom required. Using a set of 34 mesocosms (∼1 m(2) each), we investigated the effects of planting diversity on carbon storage potential of four native wetland plant species that are commonly planted in created mitigation wetlands in Virginia - Carex vulpinoidea, Eleocharis obtusa, Juncus effusus, and Mimulus ringens. The plants were grown under the four distinctive PD treatments [i.e., monoculture (PD 1) through four different species mixture (PD 4)]. Plant biomass was harvested after two growing seasons and analyzed for tissue carbon content. Competition values (CV) were calculated to understand how the PD treatment affected the competitive ability of plants relative to their biomass production and thus carbon storage potentials. Aboveground biomass ranged from 988 g/m(2) - 1515 g/m(2), being greatest in monocultures, but only when compared to the most diverse mixture (p = 0.021). However, carbon storage potential estimates per mesocosm ranged between 344 g C/m(2) in the most diverse mesocosms (PD 4) to 610 g C/m(2) in monoculture ones with no significant difference (p = 0.089). CV of E. obtusa and C. vulpinoidea showed a declining trend when grown in the most diverse mixtures but J. effusus and M. ringens displayed no difference across the PD gradient (p = 0.910). In monocultures, both M. ringens, and J. effusus appeared to store carbon as biomass more

  10. Elevation gradient of successful plant traits for colonizing alpine summits under climate change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matteodo, Magalì; Wipf, Sonja; Stöckli, Veronika; Rixen, Christian; Vittoz, Pascal

    2013-01-01

    Upward migration of plant species due to climate change has become evident in several European mountain ranges. It is still, however, unclear whether certain plant traits increase the probability that a species will colonize mountain summits or vanish, and whether these traits differ with elevation. Here, we used data from a repeat survey of the occurrence of plant species on 120 summits, ranging from 2449 to 3418 m asl, in south-eastern Switzerland to identify plant traits that increase the probability of colonization or extinction in the 20th century. Species numbers increased across all plant traits considered. With some traits, however, numbers increased proportionally more. The most successful colonizers seemed to prefer warmer temperatures and well-developed soils. They produced achene fruits and/or seeds with pappus appendages. Conversely, cushion plants and species with capsule fruits were less efficient as colonizers. Observed changes in traits along the elevation gradient mainly corresponded to the natural distribution of traits. Extinctions did not seem to be clearly related to any trait. Our study showed that plant traits varied along both temporal and elevational gradients. While seeds with pappus seemed to be advantageous for colonization, most of the trait changes also mirrored previous gradients of traits along elevation and hence illustrated the general upward migration of plant species. An understanding of the trait characteristics of colonizing species is crucial for predicting future changes in mountain vegetation under climate change. (letter)

  11. Cellulose microfibril structure: inspirations from plant diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, A. W.

    2018-03-01

    Cellulose microfibrils are synthesized at the plasma membrane by cellulose synthase catalytic subunits that associate to form cellulose synthesis complexes. Variation in the organization of these complexes underlies the variation in cellulose microfibril structure among diverse organisms. However, little is known about how the catalytic subunits interact to form complexes with different morphologies. We are using an evolutionary approach to investigate the roles of different catalytic subunit isoforms in organisms that have rosette-type cellulose synthesis complexes.

  12. Diversity of vascular plants of Piestany and surroundings (presentation)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Penzesova, A.; Galusova, T.

    2013-01-01

    In this presentation is a summary of the results of floristic research aimed at determining diversity of vascular plants of Piestany and its surroundings. Plant taxa we determined using the designation keys. We have compiled a list of plant species occurring in the monitored area, we evaluated the selected botanical-phytogeographical characteristics of flora, we've put together a list of local protected, endangered and rare species and a list of local invasive and expansive species according to sources. (Authors)

  13. Spatial patterns of littoral zooplankton assemblages along a salinity gradient in a brackish sea: A functional diversity perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helenius, Laura K.; Leskinen, Elina; Lehtonen, Hannu; Nurminen, Leena

    2017-11-01

    The distribution patterns and diversity of littoral zooplankton are both key baseline information for understanding the functioning of coastal ecosystems, and for identifying the mechanisms by which the impacts of recently increased eutrophication are transferred through littoral food webs. In this study, zooplankton community structure and diversity along a shallow coastal area of the northern Baltic Sea were determined in terms of horizontal environmental gradients. Spatial heterogeneity of the zooplankton community was examined along the gradient. Altogether 31 sites in shallow sandy bays on the coast of southwest Finland were sampled in the summer periods of 2009 and 2010 for zooplankton and environmental variables (surface water temperature, salinity, turbidity, wave exposure, macrophyte coverage, chlorophyll a and nutrients). Zooplankton diversity was measured as both taxonomic as well as functional diversity, using trait-based classification of planktonic crustaceans. Salinity, and to a lesser extent turbidity and temperature, were found to be the main predictors of the spatial patterns and functional diversity of the zooplankton community. Occurrence of cyclopoid copepods, as well as abundances of the calanoid copepod genus Acartia and the rotifer genus Keratella were found to be key factors in differentiating sites along the gradient. As far as we know, this is the first extensive study of functional diversity in Baltic Sea coastal zooplankton communities.

  14. 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.

  15. Plants diversity and phytoaccumulators identification on the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The dominant taxa on the old waste dumpsite having an average density superior to 5 plants/m2 and occurring less frequently on the control site were Alternanthera sessilis, Amaranthus spinosus, Cyperus rotundus, Cyperus iria, Eleusine indica, Euphorbia glomerifera, Ipomoea triloba, Portulaca oleracea and Trianthema ...

  16. Plants diversity and phytoaccumulators identification on the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    MESSOU AMAN

    2004) and depend on metals mobility, utilization by organisms or ... if they are consumed, because of the toxicity of some metals to ... Ellis and Salt, 2003; Pillay et al., 2003). Industrial .... (Pb), iron (Fe), and copper (Cu) were respectively of 250, 50, 5, ...... bioremediation and mechanisms of heavy metals tolerance of plants:.

  17. Primary productivity as a control over soil microbial diversity along environmental gradients in a polar desert ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin M. Geyer

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Primary production is the fundamental source of energy to foodwebs and ecosystems, and is thus an important constraint on soil communities. This coupling is particularly evident in polar terrestrial ecosystems where biological diversity and activity is tightly constrained by edaphic gradients of productivity (e.g., soil moisture, organic carbon availability and geochemical severity (e.g., pH, electrical conductivity. In the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, environmental gradients determine numerous properties of soil communities and yet relatively few estimates of gross or net primary productivity (GPP, NPP exist for this region. Here we describe a survey utilizing pulse amplitude modulation (PAM fluorometry to estimate rates of GPP across a broad environmental gradient along with belowground microbial diversity and decomposition. PAM estimates of GPP ranged from an average of 0.27 μmol O2/m2/s in the most arid soils to an average of 6.97 μmol O2/m2/s in the most productive soils, the latter equivalent to 217 g C/m2/y in annual NPP assuming a 60 day growing season. A diversity index of four carbon-acquiring enzyme activities also increased with soil productivity, suggesting that the diversity of organic substrates in mesic environments may be an additional driver of microbial diversity. Overall, soil productivity was a stronger predictor of microbial diversity and enzymatic activity than any estimate of geochemical severity. These results highlight the fundamental role of environmental gradients to control community diversity and the dynamics of ecosystem-scale carbon pools in arid systems.

  18. Plant distributions along salinity and tidal gradients in Oregon tidal marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Accurately modeling climate change effects on tidal marshes in the Pacific Northwest requires understanding how plant assemblages and species are presently distributed along gradients of salinity and tidal inundation. We outline on-going field efforts by the EPA and USGS to dete...

  19. Plant invasion and speciation along elevational gradients on the oceanic island La Palma, Canary Islands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Steinbauer, Manuel; Irl, Severin David Howard; González-Mancebo, Juana Maria

    2017-01-01

    and anthropogenic filters, thus controlling the dispersal and establishment of species. Here, we investigate speciation and invasion processes along elevational gradients. Methods: We assess the vascular plant species richness as well as the number and percentage of endemic species and non-native species...

  20. Evolution of specialization and ecological character displacement along a gradient of plant quality.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Egas, C.J.M.; Sabelis, M.W.; Dieckmann, U.

    2005-01-01

    We study the combined evolutionary dynamics of herbivore specialization and eco-logical character displacement, taking into account foraging behavior of the herbivores, and a quality gradient of plant types. Herbivores can adapt by changing two adaptive traits: their level of specialization in

  1. Speciation and the Latitudinal Diversity Gradient: Insights from the Global Distribution of Endemic Fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanly, Patrick J; Mittelbach, Gary G; Schemske, Douglas W

    2017-06-01

    The nearly universal pattern that species richness increases from the poles to the equator (the latitudinal diversity gradient [LDG]) has been of intense interest since its discovery by early natural-history explorers. Among the many hypotheses proposed to explain the LDG, latitudinal variation in (1) productivity, (2) time and area available for diversification, and (3) speciation and/or extinction rates have recently received the most attention. Because tropical regions are older and were formerly more widespread, these factors are often intertwined, hampering efforts to distinguish their relative contributions to the LDG. Here we examine the global distribution of endemic lake fishes to determine how lake age, area, and latitude each affect the probability of speciation and the extent of diversification occurring within a lake. We analyzed the distribution of endemic fishes worldwide (1,933 species and subspecies from 47 families in 2,746 lakes) and find that the probability of a lake containing an endemic species and the total number of endemics per lake increase with lake age and area and decrease with latitude. Moreover, the geographic locations of endemics in 34 of 41 families are found at lower latitudes than those of nonendemics. We propose that the greater diversification of fish at low latitudes may be driven in part by ecological opportunities promoted by tropical climates and by the coevolution of species interactions.

  2. Bioprospecting saline gradient of a Wildlife Sanctuary for bacterial diversity and antimicrobial activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeLuca, Mara; King, Riley; Morsy, Mustafa

    2017-08-11

    Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are becoming a global crisis, causing death of thousands of people and significant economic impact. The discovery of novel antibiotics is crucial to saving lives and reducing healthcare costs. To address the antibiotic-resistant crisis, in collaboration the Small World Initiative, which aims to crowdsource novel antibiotic discovery, this study aimed to identify antimicrobial producing bacteria and bacterial diversity in the soil of the Stimpson Wildlife Sanctuary, an inland area with a soil salt gradient. Approximately 4500 bacterial colonies were screened for antimicrobial activity and roughly 100 bacteria were identified as antimicrobial producers, which belong to Entrococcaceae (74%), Yersiniaceae (19%), and unidentified families (7%). Several bacterial isolates showed production of broad spectrum inhibitory compounds, while others were more specific to certain pathogens. The data obtained from the current study provide a resource for further characterization of the soil bacteria with antimicrobial activity, with an aim to discover novel ones. The study showed no correlation between soil salt level and the presence of bacteria with antimicrobial activities. However, most of the identified antimicrobial producing bacteria do not belong to actinomycetes, the most common phyla of antibiotic producing bacteria and this could potentially lead to the discovery of novel antibiotics.

  3. Herbivores and nutrients control grassland plant diversity via light limitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borer, Elizabeth T.; Seabloom, Eric W.; Gruner, Daniel S.; Harpole, W. Stanley; Hillebrand, Helmut; Lind, Eric M.; Alder, Peter B.; Alberti, Juan; Anderson, T. Michael; Bakker, Jonathan D.; Biederman, Lori; Blumenthal, Dana; Brown, Cynthia S.; Brudvig, Lars A.; Buckley, Yvonne M.; Cadotte, Marc; Chu, Cheng-Jin; Cleland, Elsa E.; Crawley, Michael J.; Daleo, Pedro; Damschen, Ellen Ingman; Davies, Kendi F.; DeCrappeo, Nicole M.; Du, Guozhen; Firn, Jennifer; Hautier, Yann; Heckman, Robert W.; Hector, Andy; HilleRisLambers, Janneke; Iribarne, Oscar; Klein, Julia A.; Knops, Johannes M.H.; La Pierre, Kimberly J.; Leakey, Andrew D.B.; Li, Wei; MacDougall, Andrew S.; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Melbourne, Brett A.; Mitchell, Charles E.; Moore, Joslin L.; Mortensen, Brent; O'Halloran, Lydia R.; Orrock, John L.; Pascual, Jesús; Prober, Suzanne M.; Pyke, David A.; Risch, Anita C.; Schuetz, Martin; Smith, Melinda D.; Stevens, Carly J.; Sullivan, Lauren L.; Williams, Ryan J.; Wragg, Peter D.; Wright, Justin P.; Yang, Louie H.

    2014-01-01

    Human alterations to nutrient cycles and herbivore communities are affecting global biodiversity dramatically. Ecological theory predicts these changes should be strongly counteractive: nutrient addition drives plant species loss through intensified competition for light, whereas herbivores prevent competitive exclusion by increasing ground-level light, particularly in productive systems. Here we use experimental data spanning a globally relevant range of conditions to test the hypothesis that herbaceous plant species losses caused by eutrophication may be offset by increased light availability due to herbivory. This experiment, replicated in 40 grasslands on 6 continents, demonstrates that nutrients and herbivores can serve as counteracting forces to control local plant diversity through light limitation, independent of site productivity, soil nitrogen, herbivore type and climate. Nutrient addition consistently reduced local diversity through light limitation, and herbivory rescued diversity at sites where it alleviated light limitation. Thus, species loss from anthropogenic eutrophication can be ameliorated in grasslands where herbivory increases ground-level light.

  4. Diversity begets diversity: host expansions and the diversification of plant-feeding insects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nylin Sören

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plant-feeding insects make up a large part of earth's total biodiversity. While it has been shown that herbivory has repeatedly led to increased diversification rates in insects, there has been no compelling explanation for how plant-feeding has promoted speciation rates. There is a growing awareness that ecological factors can lead to rapid diversification and, as one of the most prominent features of most insect-plant interactions, specialization onto a diverse resource has often been assumed to be the main process behind this diversification. However, specialization is mainly a pruning process, and is not able to actually generate diversity by itself. Here we investigate the role of host colonizations in generating insect diversity, by testing if insect speciation rate is correlated with resource diversity. Results By applying a variant of independent contrast analysis, specially tailored for use on questions of species richness (MacroCAIC, we show that species richness is strongly correlated with diversity of host use in the butterfly family Nymphalidae. Furthermore, by comparing the results from reciprocal sister group selection, where sister groups were selected either on the basis of diversity of host use or species richness, we find that it is likely that diversity of host use is driving species richness, rather than vice versa. Conclusion We conclude that resource diversity is correlated with species richness in the Nymphalidae and suggest a scenario based on recurring oscillations between host expansions – the incorporation of new plants into the repertoire – and specialization, as an important driving force behind the diversification of plant-feeding insects.

  5. The beta-diversity of species interactions: Untangling the drivers of geographic variation in plant-pollinator diversity and function across scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burkle, Laura A; Myers, Jonathan A; Belote, R Travis

    2016-01-01

    Geographic patterns of biodiversity have long inspired interest in processes that shape the assembly, diversity, and dynamics of communities at different spatial scales. To study mechanisms of community assembly, ecologists often compare spatial variation in community composition (beta-diversity) across environmental and spatial gradients. These same patterns inspired evolutionary biologists to investigate how micro- and macro-evolutionary processes create gradients in biodiversity. Central to these perspectives are species interactions, which contribute to community assembly and geographic variation in evolutionary processes. However, studies of beta-diversity have predominantly focused on single trophic levels, resulting in gaps in our understanding of variation in species-interaction networks (interaction beta-diversity), especially at scales most relevant to evolutionary studies of geographic variation. We outline two challenges and their consequences in scaling-up studies of interaction beta-diversity from local to biogeographic scales using plant-pollinator interactions as a model system in ecology, evolution, and conservation. First, we highlight how variation in regional species pools may contribute to variation in interaction beta-diversity among biogeographic regions with dissimilar evolutionary history. Second, we highlight how pollinator behavior (host-switching) links ecological networks to geographic patterns of plant-pollinator interactions and evolutionary processes. Third, we outline key unanswered questions regarding the role of geographic variation in plant-pollinator interactions for conservation and ecosystem services (pollination) in changing environments. We conclude that the largest advances in the burgeoning field of interaction beta-diversity will come from studies that integrate frameworks in ecology, evolution, and conservation to understand the causes and consequences of interaction beta-diversity across scales. © 2016 Botanical

  6. Plant diversity surpasses plant functional groups and plant productivity as driver of soil biota in the long term.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nico Eisenhauer

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available One of the most significant consequences of contemporary global change is the rapid decline of biodiversity in many ecosystems. Knowledge of the consequences of biodiversity loss in terrestrial ecosystems is largely restricted to single ecosystem functions. Impacts of key plant functional groups on soil biota are considered to be more important than those of plant diversity; however, current knowledge mainly relies on short-term experiments.We studied changes in the impacts of plant diversity and presence of key functional groups on soil biota by investigating the performance of soil microorganisms and soil fauna two, four and six years after the establishment of model grasslands. The results indicate that temporal changes of plant community effects depend on the trophic affiliation of soil animals: plant diversity effects on decomposers only occurred after six years, changed little in herbivores, but occurred in predators after two years. The results suggest that plant diversity, in terms of species and functional group richness, is the most important plant community property affecting soil biota, exceeding the relevance of plant above- and belowground productivity and the presence of key plant functional groups, i.e. grasses and legumes, with the relevance of the latter decreasing in time.Plant diversity effects on biota are not only due to the presence of key plant functional groups or plant productivity highlighting the importance of diverse and high-quality plant derived resources, and supporting the validity of the singular hypothesis for soil biota. Our results demonstrate that in the long term plant diversity essentially drives the performance of soil biota questioning the paradigm that belowground communities are not affected by plant diversity and reinforcing the importance of biodiversity for ecosystem functioning.

  7. Is plant biodiversity driven by decomposition processes? An emerging new theory on plant diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mazzoleni, S.; Bonanomi, G.; Giannino, F.; Rietkerk, M.G.; Dekker, S.C.; Zucconi, F.

    2007-01-01

    Diversity of forest trees ranges from monospecific stands to the astonishing richness of tierra firma tropical forests. Such patterns are observed along gradients of latitude, altitude, soil fertility and rainfall. So far, the proposed coexisting mechanisms do not provide a comprehensive and

  8. Species composition, diversity and stratification in subtropical evergreen broadleaf forests along a latitudinal thermal gradient in the Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S.M. Feroz

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available A well-developed evergreen broadleaf forest exists in the northern part of Okinawa and in the central part of the Ishigaki Islands in the Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan. All woody plants were identified to species level and their heights and diameters were measured in a 750m2 plot in Okinawa and a 400m2 plot in the Ishigaki Islands. Species overlap, dominance, diversity, multi-strata structure, and spatial distribution were calculated. The floristic composition in Okinawa was found to be different from that in Ishigaki. The species overlap between strata was higher in Okinawa than in Ishigaki. Species diversity and evenness tended to increase from the top down in Okinawa and the reverse in Ishigaki. Mean tree weight of each stratum decreased and tree density increased from top down in both forests. This trend resembled the mean weight–density trajectory of self-thinning plant populations. The degree of stand stratification, species richness and species diversity for trees with DBH ⩾4.5  cm increased along the latitudinal thermal gradient in the Ryukyu Archipelago. Thus, trees in the lower strata of Okinawa and upper strata of Ishigaki are important for sustainable maintenance of higher woody species diversity in the Ryukyu Archipelago.

  9. Elevational gradients in fish diversity in the Himalaya: water discharge is the key driver of distribution patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhatt, Jay P; Manish, Kumar; Pandit, Maharaj K

    2012-01-01

    Studying diversity and distribution patterns of species along elevational gradients and understanding drivers behind these patterns is central to macroecology and conservation biology. A number of studies on biogeographic gradients are available for terrestrial ecosystems, but freshwater ecosystems remain largely neglected. In particular, we know very little about the species richness gradients and their drivers in the Himalaya, a global biodiversity hotspot. We collated taxonomic and distribution data of fish species from 16 freshwater Himalayan rivers and carried out empirical studies on environmental drivers and fish diversity and distribution in the Teesta river (Eastern Himalaya). We examined patterns of fish species richness along the Himalayan elevational gradients (50-3800 m) and sought to understand the drivers behind the emerging patterns. We used generalized linear models (GLM) and generalized additive models (GAM) to examine the richness patterns; GLM was used to investigate relationship between fish species richness and various environmental variables. Regression modelling involved stepwise procedures, including elimination of collinear variables, best model selection, based on the least Akaike's information criterion (AIC) and the highest percentage of deviance explained (D(2)). This maiden study on the Himalayan fishes revealed that total and non-endemic fish species richness monotonously decrease with increasing elevation, while endemics peaked around mid elevations (700-1500 m). The best explanatory model (synthetic model) indicated that water discharge is the best predictor of fish species richness patterns in the Himalayan rivers. This study, carried out along one of the longest bioclimatic elevation gradients of the world, lends support to Rapoport's elevational rule as opposed to mid domain effect hypothesis. We propose a species-discharge model and contradict species-area model in predicting fish species richness. We suggest that drivers of

  10. Acidification of sandy grasslands - consequences for plant diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsson, Pål Axel; Mårtensson, Linda-Maria; Bruun, Hans Henrik

    2009-01-01

    soil; a number of nationally red-listed species showed a similar pattern. Plant species diversity and number of red-listed species increased with slope. Where the topsoil had been acidified, limestone was rarely present above a depth of 30 cm. The presence of limestone restricts the availability......Questions: (1) Does soil acidification in calcareous sandy grasslands lead to loss of plant diversity? (2) What is the relationship between the soil content of lime and the plant availability of mineral nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in sandy grasslands? Location: Sandy glaciofluvial deposits......). Environmental variables were recorded at each plot, and soil samples were analysed for exchangeable P and N, as well as limestone content and pH. Data were analysed with regression analysis and canonical correspondence analysis. Results: Plant species richness was highest on weakly acid to slightly alkaline...

  11. FISH DIVERSITY ALONG THE LONGITUDINAL GRADIENT IN A MAN–MADE LAKE OF WEST AFRICA, TAABO HYDROELECTRIC RESERVOIR, IVORY COAST

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. G. Aliko

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Fish assemblage patterns in Taabo Reservoir, a hydroelectric lake of Ivory Coast, were studied and related to the longitudinal gradient (river–dam gradient composed of riverine, transitional, and lacustrine zones. Data were collected at 5 stations and each one was sampled during 5 surveys. Fish community structure was analysed using alpha and beta diversity indices. In total, 53 fish species were obtained in the whole ecosystem. Total species richness recorded at each ecological zone was 42, 43 and 45 species respectively in the riverine, transitional and lacustrine zones. Alpha diversity did not differed significantly along the longitudinal gradient but reached the highest value (33 species in the transitional zone and the lowest (18 species occurred in both the riverine and lacustrine zones. Temporal variability of Alpha diversity according to the hydrological regime of the lake differed with the zone. Beta diversity showed that fish assemblages similarity was higher between the transitional and the riverine zones (βw = 0.43 and lower between the riverine and the lacustrine zones (βw = 0.79.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  13. Distribution and diversity of Tardigrada along altitudinal gradients in the Hornsund, Spitsbergen (Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krzysztof Zawierucha

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Two transects were established and sampled along altitudinal gradients on the slopes of Ariekammen (77°01′N; 15°31′E and Rotjesfjellet (77°00′N; 15°22′E in Hornsund, Spitsbergen. In total 59 moss, lichen, liverwort and mixed moss–lichen samples were collected and 33 tardigrade species of Hetero- and Eutardigrada were found. The α diversity ranged from 1 to 8 per sample; the estimated number of species based on all analysed samples was 52±17 for the Chao 2 estimator and 41 for the incidence-based coverage estimator. According to the results of detrended canonical correspondence analysis, altitude and type of substratum were the most important factors influencing tardigrade communities in the investigated area. Macrobiotus crenulatus, M. hufelandi hufelandi and Hypsibius pallidus dominated in the lower elevations, whereas Echiniscus wendti and E. merokensis merokensis prevailed in samples from higher plots. Macrobiotus islandicus islandicus was collected most often from mosses collected from rock whereas Isohypsibius coulsoni from mosses collected from soil. Analyses of covariance were employed to test for differences in species richness between the transects in relation to altitude. Contrary to expectations, there were significant differences in species richness between the transects, but richness was not significantly related to altitude. Interestingly, significant effects of colonies of seabirds, little auk (Alle alle, on the tardigrades communities were detected. Additionally, in one of the samples first ever males of Milnesium asiaticum were found. Their measurements and microphotographs are provided herein.

  14. DNA from soil mirrors plant taxonomic and growth form diversity

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Yoccoz, N. G.; Brathen, K. A.; Gielly, L.; Haile, J.; Edwards, M. E.; Goslar, T.; von Stedingk, H.; Brysting, A.; Coissac, E.; Pompanon, F.; Sonstebo, J. H.; Miquel, C.; Valentini, A.; de Bello, Francesco; Chave, J.; Thuiller, W.; Wincker, P.; Cruaud, C.; Gavory, F.; Rasmussen, M.; Gilbert, M. T. P.; Orlando, L.; Brochmann, C.; Willerslev, E.; Taberlet, P.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 21, č. 15 (2012), s. 3647-3655 ISSN 0962-1083 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP505/12/1296 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : biodiversity assessment * environmental sequencing * plant diversity * DNA Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 6.275, year: 2012

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  16. Diversity of vascular plants of Piestany and surroundings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Penzesova, A.; Galusova, T.

    2013-01-01

    In the present work is a summary of the results of floristic research aimed at determining diversity of vascular plants of Piestany and its surroundings. Plant taxa we determined using the designation keys. We have compiled a list of plant species occurring in the monitored area, we evaluated the selected botanical-phytogeographical characteristics of flora, we've put together a list of local protected, endangered and rare species and a list of local invasive and expansive species according to sources. (Authors)

  17. A Brief Review of Molecular Techniques to Assess Plant Diversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ibrahim A. Arif

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Massive loss of valuable plant species in the past centuries and its adverse impact on environmental and socioeconomic values has triggered the conservation of plant resources. Appropriate identification and characterization of plant materials is essential for the successful conservation of plant resources and to ensure their sustainable use. Molecular tools developed in the past few years provide easy, less laborious means for assigning known and unknown plant taxa. These techniques answer many new evolutionary and taxonomic questions, which were not previously possible with only phenotypic methods. Molecular techniques such as DNA barcoding, random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD, amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP, microsatellites and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP have recently been used for plant diversity studies. Each technique has its own advantages and limitations. These techniques differ in their resolving power to detect genetic differences, type of data they generate and their applicability to particular taxonomic levels. This review presents a basic description of different molecular techniques that can be utilized for DNA fingerprinting and molecular diversity analysis of plant species.

  18. A Brief Review of Molecular Techniques to Assess Plant Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arif, Ibrahim A.; Bakir, Mohammad A.; Khan, Haseeb A.; Al Farhan, Ahmad H.; Al Homaidan, Ali A.; Bahkali, Ali H.; Sadoon, Mohammad Al; Shobrak, Mohammad

    2010-01-01

    Massive loss of valuable plant species in the past centuries and its adverse impact on environmental and socioeconomic values has triggered the conservation of plant resources. Appropriate identification and characterization of plant materials is essential for the successful conservation of plant resources and to ensure their sustainable use. Molecular tools developed in the past few years provide easy, less laborious means for assigning known and unknown plant taxa. These techniques answer many new evolutionary and taxonomic questions, which were not previously possible with only phenotypic methods. Molecular techniques such as DNA barcoding, random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD), amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), microsatellites and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) have recently been used for plant diversity studies. Each technique has its own advantages and limitations. These techniques differ in their resolving power to detect genetic differences, type of data they generate and their applicability to particular taxonomic levels. This review presents a basic description of different molecular techniques that can be utilized for DNA fingerprinting and molecular diversity analysis of plant species. PMID:20559503

  19. Effects of above-ground plant species composition and diversity on the diversity of soil-borne microorganisms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kowalchuk, G.A.; Buma, D.S; De Boer, W.; Klinkhamer, P.G.L.; Van Veen, J.A.

    2002-01-01

    A coupling of above-ground plant diversity and below-ground microbial diversity has been implied in studies dedicated to assessing the role of macrophyte diversity on the stability, resilience, and functioning of ecosystems. Indeed, above-ground plant communities have long been assumed to drive

  20. Elevational gradients in phylogenetic structure of ant communities reveal the interplay of biotic and abiotic constraints on diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Machac, Antonin; Janda, Milan; Dunn, Robert R.

    2011-01-01

    A central focus of ecology and biogeography is to determine the factors that govern spatial variation in biodiversity. Here, we examined patterns of ant diversity along climatic gradients in three temperate montane systems: Great Smoky Mountains National Park (USA), Chiricahua Mountains (USA......), and Vorarlberg (Austria). To identify the factors which potentially shape these elevational diversity gradients, we analyzed patterns of community phylogenetic structure (i.e. the evolutionary relationships among species coexisting in local communities). We found that species at low-elevation sites tended...... to be evenly dispersed across phylogeny, suggesting that these communities are structured by interspecific competition. In contrast, species occurring at high-elevation sites tended to be more closely related than expected by chance, implying that these communities are structured primarily by environmental...

  1. Biogeographical Interpretation of Elevational Patterns of Genus Diversity of Seed Plants in Nepal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Miao; Feng, Jianmeng

    2015-01-01

    This study tests if the biogeographical affinities of genera are relevant for explaining elevational plant diversity patterns in Nepal. We used simultaneous autoregressive (SAR) models to investigate the explanatory power of several predictors in explaining the diversity-elevation relationships shown in genera with different biogeographical affinities. Delta akaike information criterion (ΔAIC) was used for multi-model inferences and selections. Our results showed that both the total and tropical genus diversity peaked below the mid-point of the elevational gradient, whereas that of temperate genera had a nearly symmetrical, unimodal relationship with elevation. The proportion of temperate genera increased markedly with elevation, while that of tropical genera declined. Compared to tropical genera, temperate genera had wider elevational ranges and were observed at higher elevations. Water-related variables, rather than mid-domain effects (MDE), were the most significant predictors of elevational patterns of tropical genus diversity. The temperate genus diversity was influenced by energy availability, but only in quadratic terms of the models. Though climatic factors and mid-domain effects jointly explained most of the variation in the diversity of temperate genera with elevation, the former played stronger roles. Total genus diversity was most strongly influenced by climate and the floristic overlap of tropical and temperate floras, while the influences of mid-domain effects were relatively weak. The influences of water-related and energy-related variables may vary with biogeographical affinities. The elevational patterns may be most closely related to climatic factors, while MDE may somewhat modify the patterns. Caution is needed when investigating the causal factors underlying diversity patterns for large taxonomic groups composed of taxa of different biogeographical affinities. Right-skewed diversity-elevation patterns may be produced by the differential

  2. Response of Plant Height, Species Richness and Aboveground Biomass to Flooding Gradient along Vegetation Zones in Floodplain Wetlands, Northeast China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lou, Yanjing; Pan, Yanwen; Gao, Chuanyu; Jiang, Ming; Lu, Xianguo; Xu, Y Jun

    2016-01-01

    Flooding regime changes resulting from natural and human activity have been projected to affect wetland plant community structures and functions. It is therefore important to conduct investigations across a range of flooding gradients to assess the impact of flooding depth on wetland vegetation. We conducted this study to identify the pattern of plant height, species richness and aboveground biomass variation along the flooding gradient in floodplain wetlands located in Northeast China. We found that the response of dominant species height to the flooding gradient depends on specific species, i.e., a quadratic response for Carex lasiocarpa, a negative correlation for Calamagrostis angustifolia, and no response for Carex appendiculata. Species richness showed an intermediate effect along the vegetation zone from marsh to wet meadow while aboveground biomass increased. When the communities were analysed separately, only the water table depth had significant impact on species richness for two Carex communities and no variable for C. angustifolia community, while height of dominant species influenced aboveground biomass. When the three above-mentioned communities were grouped together, variations in species richness were mainly determined by community type, water table depth and community mean height, while variations in aboveground biomass were driven by community type and the height of dominant species. These findings indicate that if habitat drying of these herbaceous wetlands in this region continues, then two Carex marshes would be replaced gradually by C. angustifolia wet meadow in the near future. This will lead to a reduction in biodiversity and an increase in productivity and carbon budget. Meanwhile, functional traits must be considered, and should be a focus of attention in future studies on the species diversity and ecosystem function in this region.

  3. Response of Plant Height, Species Richness and Aboveground Biomass to Flooding Gradient along Vegetation Zones in Floodplain Wetlands, Northeast China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lou, Yanjing; Pan, Yanwen; Gao, Chuanyu; Jiang, Ming; Lu, Xianguo; Xu, Y. Jun

    2016-01-01

    Flooding regime changes resulting from natural and human activity have been projected to affect wetland plant community structures and functions. It is therefore important to conduct investigations across a range of flooding gradients to assess the impact of flooding depth on wetland vegetation. We conducted this study to identify the pattern of plant height, species richness and aboveground biomass variation along the flooding gradient in floodplain wetlands located in Northeast China. We found that the response of dominant species height to the flooding gradient depends on specific species, i.e., a quadratic response for Carex lasiocarpa, a negative correlation for Calamagrostis angustifolia, and no response for Carex appendiculata. Species richness showed an intermediate effect along the vegetation zone from marsh to wet meadow while aboveground biomass increased. When the communities were analysed separately, only the water table depth had significant impact on species richness for two Carex communities and no variable for C. angustifolia community, while height of dominant species influenced aboveground biomass. When the three above-mentioned communities were grouped together, variations in species richness were mainly determined by community type, water table depth and community mean height, while variations in aboveground biomass were driven by community type and the height of dominant species. These findings indicate that if habitat drying of these herbaceous wetlands in this region continues, then two Carex marshes would be replaced gradually by C. angustifolia wet meadow in the near future. This will lead to a reduction in biodiversity and an increase in productivity and carbon budget. Meanwhile, functional traits must be considered, and should be a focus of attention in future studies on the species diversity and ecosystem function in this region. PMID:27097325

  4. Species presence frequency and diversity in different patch types along an altitudinal gradient: Larix chinensis Beissn in Qinling Mountains (China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minyi Huang

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Forest communities are mosaic systems composed of patches classified into four different developmental patch types: gap patch (G, building patch (B, mature patch (M and degenerate patch (D. To study the mechanisms maintaining diversity in subalpine coniferous forests, species presence frequency and diversity in the four distinct patch types (G, B, M and D of Larix chinensis conifer forests at three altitudinal gradients in the Qinling Mountains were analyzed. Our results were as follows: (1 Different species (or functional groups had distinct presence frequencies in the four different patch types along the altitudinal gradient; (2 Some species or functional groups (species groups sharing similar traits and responses to the environment only occurred in some specific patches. For seed dispersal, species using wind mainly occurred in G and D, while species using small animals mainly occurred in B and M; (3 Species composition of adjacent patch types was more similar than non-adjacent patch types, based on the lower β diversity index of the former; (4 The maximum numbers of species and two diversity indices (D′ and H′ were found in the middle altitudes. Various gap-forming processes and dispersal limitation may be the two major mechanisms determining species diversity in Larix chinensis coniferous forests at the patch scale.

  5. Plant diversity on high elevation islands – drivers of species richness and endemism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Severin D.H. Irl

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available High elevation islands elicit fascination because of their large array of endemic species and strong environmental gradients. First, I define a high elevation island according to geographic and environmental characteristics. Then, within this high elevation island framework, I address local disturbance effects on plant distribution, drivers of diversity and endemism on the island scale, and global patterns of treeline elevation and climate change. Locally, introduced herbivores have strong negative effects on the summit scrub of my model island La Palma (Canary Islands, while roads have unexpected positive effects on endemics. On the island scale, topography and climate drive diversity and endemism. Hotspots of endemicity are found in summit regions – a general pattern on high elevation islands. The global pattern of treeline elevation behaves quite differently on islands than on the mainland. A thorough literature review and climate projections suggest that climate change will profoundly affect oceanic island floras.

  6. Plant diversity in the homegardens of Karwar, Karnataka, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SHIVANAND BHAT

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Bhat S, Bhandary MJ, Rajanna L. 2014. Plant diversity in the homegardens of Karwar, Karnataka, India. Biodiversitas 15: 229-235. A study was conducted in 50 selected home gardens of Karwar, Karnataka, India to document their floristic diversity and composition with regard to life forms and uses. As many as 210 species of flowering plants belonging to 69 families were recorded. Euphorbiaceae (13species, Apocynaceae (11spp., Cucurbitaceae (10 spp. and Fabaceae (10 spp. are the predominant families. Shrubs are the dominant life forms (73 spp. followed by trees (61 spp., herbs (42 spp. and climbers (24 spp.. Areca palm (Areca catechu, coconut palm (Cocos nucifera, mango tree (Mangifera indica, banana (Musa paradisiaca, shoe flower (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis and holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum are the most common plants occurring in all of the 50 studied gardens. 38% of the plant species are grown mainly for ornamental and aesthetic purposes while 33% of the species are used for obtaining food products like fruits and vegetables and 22% of the plants are mainly used for medicinal purposes. The predominance of ornamental species makes the home gardens of Karwar different from those occurring in other regions in which mostly food plants form the major component.

  7. Spatial gradients in freshwater fish diversity, abundance and current pattern in the Himalayan region of Upper Ganges Basin, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    AJEY KUMAR PATHAK

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Pathak AK, Sarkar UK, Singh SP. 2014. Spatial gradients in freshwater fish diversity, abundance and current pattern in the Himalayan region of Upper Ganges Basin, India. Biodiversitas 15: 186-194.The present study describes the analysis and mapping of the different measurements of freshwater fish biodiversity of the Upper Ganges basin in the Himalayan region using spatial interpolation methods of Geographical Information System. The diversity, richness and abundance of fishes for each sampling location were determined and Kriging interpolation was applied on each fisheries measurement to predict and produce semivariogram. The semivariogarms produced were cross validated and reclassified. The reclassified maps for richness, abundance and diversity of fishes, occurrence of cold water threatened fish and abundance of important genera like Tor, Schziothorax and species were produced. The result of the Kriging produced good results and overall error in the estimation process was found significant. The cross validation of semovariograms also provided a better result with the observed data sets. Moreover, weighted overlay analysis of the reclassified raster maps of richness and abundance of fishes produced the classified raster map at different evaluation scale (0-10 qualitatively describing the gradient of species richness and abundance compositely. Similarly, the classified raster map at same evaluation scale qualitatively describing the gradient of species abundance and diversity compositely was produced and published. Further, basin wise analysis between Alaknanda/Pindar and Ganga1 sub basins showed 0.745 disparities at 0.745 distances in 2 dimensional spaces. The richness, diversity and abundance of threatened fishes among the different sampling locations were not significant (p = 0.9.

  8. Plant functional diversity affects climate-vegetation interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groner, Vivienne P.; Raddatz, Thomas; Reick, Christian H.; Claussen, Martin

    2018-04-01

    We present how variations in plant functional diversity affect climate-vegetation interaction towards the end of the African Humid Period (AHP) in coupled land-atmosphere simulations using the Max Planck Institute Earth system model (MPI-ESM). In experiments with AHP boundary conditions, the extent of the green Sahara varies considerably with changes in plant functional diversity. Differences in vegetation cover extent and plant functional type (PFT) composition translate into significantly different land surface parameters, water cycling, and surface energy budgets. These changes have not only regional consequences but considerably alter large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns and the position of the tropical rain belt. Towards the end of the AHP, simulations with the standard PFT set in MPI-ESM depict a gradual decrease of precipitation and vegetation cover over time, while simulations with modified PFT composition show either a sharp decline of both variables or an even slower retreat. Thus, not the quantitative but the qualitative PFT composition determines climate-vegetation interaction and the climate-vegetation system response to external forcing. The sensitivity of simulated system states to changes in PFT composition raises the question how realistically Earth system models can actually represent climate-vegetation interaction, considering the poor representation of plant diversity in the current generation of land surface models.

  9. The microbiome of medicinal plants: diversity and importance for plant growth, quality and health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köberl, Martina; Schmidt, Ruth; Ramadan, Elshahat M; Bauer, Rudolf; Berg, Gabriele

    2013-12-20

    Past medicinal plant research primarily focused on bioactive phytochemicals, however, the focus is currently shifting due to the recognition that a significant number of phytotherapeutic compounds are actually produced by associated microbes or through interaction with their host. Medicinal plants provide an enormous bioresource of potential use in modern medicine and agriculture, yet their microbiome is largely unknown. The objective of this review is (i) to introduce novel insights into the plant microbiome with a focus on medicinal plants, (ii) to provide details about plant- and microbe-derived ingredients of medicinal plants, and (iii) to discuss possibilities for plant growth promotion and plant protection for commercial cultivation of medicinal plants. In addition, we also present a case study performed both to analyse the microbiome of three medicinal plants (Matricaria chamomilla L., Calendula officinalis L., and Solanum distichum Schumach. and Thonn.) cultivated on organically managed Egyptian desert farm and to develop biological control strategies. The soil microbiome of the desert ecosystem was comprised of a high abundance of Gram-positive bacteria of prime importance for pathogen suppression under arid soil conditions. For all three plants, we observed a clearly plant-specific selection of the microbes as well as highly specific diazotrophic communities that overall identify plant species as important drivers in structural and functional diversity. Lastly, native Bacillus spec. div. strains were able to promote plant growth and elevate the plants' flavonoid production. These results underline the numerous links between the plant-associated microbiome and the plant metabolome.

  10. Experimental warming decreases arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal colonization in prairie plants along a Mediterranean climate gradient

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hannah Wilson

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF provide numerous services to their plant symbionts. Understanding climate change effects on AMF, and the resulting plant responses, is crucial for predicting ecosystem responses at regional and global scales. We investigated how the effects of climate change on AMF-plant symbioses are mediated by soil water availability, soil nutrient availability, and vegetation dynamics. Methods: We used a combination of a greenhouse experiment and a manipulative climate change experiment embedded within a Mediterranean climate gradient in the Pacific Northwest, USA to examine this question. Structural equation modeling (SEM was used to determine the direct and indirect effects of experimental warming on AMF colonization. Results: Warming directly decreased AMF colonization across plant species and across the climate gradient of the study region. Other positive and negative indirect effects of warming, mediated by soil water availability, soil nutrient availability, and vegetation dynamics, canceled each other out. Discussion: A warming-induced decrease in AMF colonization would likely have substantial consequences for plant communities and ecosystem function. Moreover, predicted increases in more intense droughts and heavier rains for this region could shift the balance among indirect causal pathways, and either exacerbate or mitigate the negative, direct effect of increased temperature on AMF colonization.

  11. [Species diversity of ex-situ cultivated Chinese medicinal plants].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Que, Ling; Chi, Xiu-Lian; Zang, Chun-Xin; Zhang, Yu; Chen, Min; Yang, Guang; Jin, An-Qi

    2018-03-01

    Ex-situ conservation is an important means to protect biological genetic resources. Resource protection has received more and more attention with the continuous improvement of the comprehensive utilization of traditional Chinese medicine resources. In this paper, the research and compilation of the species list of ex-situ cultivated medicinal plants in 12 Chinese Academy of Sciences botanic gardens and 19 specialized medicinal botanic gardens in China were carried out. Based on the Species 2000(2017) and other classification databases, species diversity of medicinal plants ex-situ cultivated in these botanical gardens were analyzed. The study found that there were 16 351 higher plant species in our country, belonging to 276 families and 1 936 genera. Of these, 6 949 specieswere medicinal plants, accounting for 50.4% of the total medicinal plants. There were 1 280 medicinal plants were in threatened status, accounting for 19.6% of all threatened species in the Chinese Biodiversity Red List, with ex-situ cultivated proportion of 59.5%. And 3 988 medicinal plants were Chinese endemic species, accounting for 22.5% of all Chinese endemic species, with ex-situ cultivated proportion of 53.3%. This article has reference significance for the management and protection of medicinal plant resources. Copyright© by the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association.

  12. Fungal diversity associated with Hawaiian Drosophila host plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian S Ort

    Full Text Available Hawaiian Drosophila depend primarily, sometimes exclusively, on specific host plants for oviposition and larval development, and most specialize further on a particular decomposing part of that plant. Differences in fungal community between host plants and substrate types may establish the basis for host specificity in Hawaiian Drosophila. Fungi mediate decomposition, releasing plant micronutrients and volatiles that can indicate high quality substrates and serve as cues to stimulate oviposition. This study addresses major gaps in our knowledge by providing the first culture-free, DNA-based survey of fungal diversity associated with four ecologically important tree genera in the Hawaiian Islands. Three genera, Cheirodendron, Clermontia, and Pisonia, are important host plants for Drosophila. The fourth, Acacia, is not an important drosophilid host but is a dominant forest tree. We sampled fresh and rotting leaves from all four taxa, plus rotting stems from Clermontia and Pisonia. Based on sequences from the D1/D2 domain of the 26S rDNA gene, we identified by BLAST search representatives from 113 genera in 13 fungal classes. A total of 160 operational taxonomic units, defined on the basis of ≥97% genetic similarity, were identified in these samples, but sampling curves show this is an underestimate of the total fungal diversity present on these substrates. Shannon diversity indices ranged from 2.0 to 3.5 among the Hawaiian samples, a slight reduction compared to continental surveys. We detected very little sharing of fungal taxa among the substrates, and tests of community composition confirmed that the structure of the fungal community differed significantly among the substrates and host plants. Based on these results, we hypothesize that fungal community structure plays a central role in the establishment of host preference in the Hawaiian Drosophila radiation.

  13. The microbiome of medicinal plants: diversity and importance for plant growth, quality and health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina eKöberl

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Past medicinal plant research primarily focused on bioactive phytochemicals, however the focus is currently shifting due to the recognition that a significant number of phytotherapeutic compounds are actually produced by associated microbes or through interaction with their host. Medicinal plants provide an enormous bioresource of potential use in modern medicine and agriculture, yet their microbiome is largely unknown. The objective of this review is i to introduce novel insights into the plant microbiome with a focus on medicinal plants, ii to provide details about plant- and microbe-derived ingredients of medicinal plants, and iii to discuss possibilities for plant growth promotion and plant protection for commercial cultivation of medicinal plants. In addition, we also present a case study performed both to analyse the microbiome of three medicinal plants (Matricaria chamomilla L., Calendula officinalis L. and Solanum distichum Schumach. and Thonn. cultivated on organically managed Egyptian desert farm and to develop biological control strategies. The soil microbiome of the desert ecosystem was comprised of a high abundance of Gram-positive bacteria of prime importance for pathogen suppression under arid soil conditions. For all three plants, we observed a clearly plant-specific selection of the microbes as well as highly specific diazotrophic communities that overall identify plant species as important drivers in structural and functional diversity. Lastly, native Bacillus spec. div. strains were able to promote plant growth and elevate the plants’ flavonoid production. These results underline the numerous links between the plant-associated microbiome and the plant metabolome.

  14. Medicinal plant diversity and traditional healing practices in eastern Nepal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shrestha, Nawal; Shrestha, Saugat; Koju, Laxmi; Shrestha, Krishna Kumar; Wang, Zhiheng

    2016-11-04

    The rich floral and ethnic composition of eastern Nepal and the widespread utilization of locally available medicinal plants offer remarkable opportunity for ethnomedicinal research. The present paper aims to explore medicinal plant diversity and use in the remote villages of eastern Nepal. It also aims to evaluate ethnopharmacological significance of the documented use reports and identify species of high indigenous priority. The study was undertaken in four villages located in the Sankhuwasabha district in eastern Nepal. Ethnomedicinal information was collected through structured interviews. The homogeneity of informant's knowledge and the relative importance of documented medicinal plants were validated by informant consensus factor and use value, respectively. Species preference for treatment of particular diseases was evaluated through fidelity level. We reported medicinal properties of 48 species belonging to 33 families and 40 genera, for the treatment of 37 human ailments. The uses of 10 medicinal plants were previously undocumented. The informant consensus factor (F IC ) ranged between 0.38 and 1 with about 50% of values greater than 0.80 and over 75% of values greater than 0.70, indicating moderate to high consensus among the informants on the use of medicinal plants in the region. Swertia chirayita was the most preferred species with significantly high use values, followed by Paris polyphylla and Neopicrorhiza scrophulariiflora. The remote villages in eastern Nepal possess rich floral and cultural diversity with strong consensus among informants on utilization of plants for local healthcare. The direct pharmacological evidence for medicinal properties of most species indicates high reliability of documented information. Careful and systematic screening of compounds isolated from these plants could possibly provide good opportunity for the discovery of novel medicines to treat life-threatening human diseases. We recommend prioritization of medicinal

  15. Effects of plant diversity on the concentration of secondary plant metabolites and the density of arthropods on focal plants in the field

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kostenko, O.; Mulder, Patrick P. J.; Courbois, Matthijs; Bezemer, T. Martijn

    2017-01-01

    1.The diversity of the surrounding plant community can directly affect the abundance of insects on a focal plant as well as the size and quality of that focal plant. However, to what extent the effects of plant diversity on the arthropod community on a focal plant are mediated by host plant quality

  16. Enhancing (crop) plant photosynthesis by introducing novel genetic diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dann, Marcel; Leister, Dario

    2017-09-26

    Although some elements of the photosynthetic light reactions might appear to be ideal, the overall efficiency of light conversion to biomass has not been optimized during evolution. Because crop plants are depleted of genetic diversity for photosynthesis, efforts to enhance its efficiency with respect to light conversion to yield must generate new variation. In principle, three sources of natural variation are available: (i) rare diversity within extant higher plant species, (ii) photosynthetic variants from algae, and (iii) reconstruction of no longer extant types of plant photosynthesis. Here, we argue for a novel approach that outsources crop photosynthesis to a cyanobacterium that is amenable to adaptive evolution. This system offers numerous advantages, including a short generation time, virtually unlimited population sizes and high mutation rates, together with a versatile toolbox for genetic manipulation. On such a synthetic bacterial platform, 10 000 years of (crop) plant evolution can be recapitulated within weeks. Limitations of this system arise from its unicellular nature, which cannot reproduce all aspects of crop photosynthesis. But successful establishment of such a bacterial host for crop photosynthesis promises not only to enhance the performance of eukaryotic photosynthesis but will also reveal novel facets of the molecular basis of photosynthetic flexibility.This article is part of the themed issue 'Enhancing photosynthesis in crop plants: targets for improvement'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  17. Plant mycorrhizal traits in Europe in relation to climatic and edaphic gradients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillermo Bueno, C.; Gerz, Maret; Zobel, Martin; Moora, Mari

    2017-04-01

    Around 90% of plant species associate with mycorrhizal fungi. The symbiosis is known to provide plants with soil N, P and water, and fungi with plant photosynthesized carbohydrates. However, not all mycorrhizal symbioses are identical. The identity of associated plant and fungal species differs, as does the effect of the symbiosis on nutrient cycling and ecosystems more generally. In this study, we analysed the European distribution of two plant mycorrhizal traits in relation to climatic and edaphic drivers. We used the European distribution of the frequency of mycorrhizal colonization (plant mycorrhizal status); whether mycorrhizal fungi either always (obligately mycorrhizal, OM), or sometimes (facultatively mycorrhizal, FM) colonize plant roots, and the four main plant mycorrhizal types; arbuscular (AM), ecto-(ECM), ericoid (ERM), and non-mycorrhizal (NM) plants. We expected AM species to predominate in ecosystems where most soil nutrients occur in inorganic forms (lower latitudes) and those with higher soil pH. By contrast, due to the saprophytic abilities of ECM and ERM fungi, we expected ECM and ERM plants to predominate in ecosystems where nutrients are bound to organic compounds (higher latitudes) and those with lower soil pH. NM plant species are known to be common in disturbed habitats or in extremely phosphorus poor ecosystems, such as the Arctic tundra. Our results showed that the distribution of mycorrhizal types was driven by temperature and soil pH, with increases of NM, ECM and ERM, and decreases of AM, with latitude. FM predominated over OM species and this difference increased with latitude and was dependent on temperature drivers only. These results represent the first evidence at a European scale of plant mycorrhizal distribution patterns linked with climatic and edaphic gradients, supporting the idea of a tight relationship between the mycorrhizal symbiosis and nutrient cycling.

  18. Medicinal Plants Density Along an Altitudinal Gradient in and Around Ayubia National Park

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tariq, A.; Adnan, M.; Begum, S.

    2016-01-01

    Medicinal plants are an essential source of livelihood for many rural populations and are currently facing several threats of extinction in temperate Himalaya, such as excessive grazing and collection along altitudinal gradients. The present study was designed to investigate the species density of medicinal plants at different mid-altitude levels (2200, 2300, 2400, and 2500 m above the sea level (a.s.l.) between two forest-use types and to examine the possible association between medicinal plant densities and forest-stand structural variables along the altitudinal gradient. Factorial design analysis of variance showed that the densities of all medicinal plants differed significantly between the forest-use types (p<0.00) and elevation (p<0.00). Moreover, a significant interaction (p<0.04) was also observed between the forest-use types and elevation. In the old-growth forest, density of medicinal plants was 290/40 m/sup 2/ at the higher altitude (2500 m a.s.l.), approximately 1.5-fold less than the 475/40 m/sup 2/ density observed at lower altitude (2200 m a.s.l.). However, in derived woodland, density of medicinal plants at higher altitude was approximately 4-fold less than that at the lower altitude. At these altitudinal levels, medicinal plants densities, such as Valeriana jatamansi, were significantly higher under old-growth forest compared to derived woodland, where they were almost nonexistent. A rapid vulnerability assessment has also shown that Valeriana jatamansi and Viola canescens were highly vulnerable species. Litter cover was the influential variable that was most likely related to medicinal plant density. In conclusion, abundance of medicinal plants decreased along mid-altitude levels in both of the forest-use types. However, this decrease was extremely marked in the derived woodland, and this decline may be due to human activity. Hence, these factors must be considered in future studies to suggest protective measures that can be applied along

  19. No evidence of complementary water use along a plant species richness gradient in temperate experimental grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dörte Bachmann

    Full Text Available Niche complementarity in resource use has been proposed as a key mechanism to explain the positive effects of increasing plant species richness on ecosystem processes, in particular on primary productivity. Since hardly any information is available for niche complementarity in water use, we tested the effects of plant diversity on spatial and temporal complementarity in water uptake in experimental grasslands by using stable water isotopes. We hypothesized that water uptake from deeper soil depths increases in more diverse compared to low diverse plant species mixtures. We labeled soil water in 8 cm (with 18O and 28 cm depth (with ²H three times during the 2011 growing season in 40 temperate grassland communities of varying species richness (2, 4, 8 and 16 species and functional group number and composition (legumes, grasses, tall herbs, small herbs. Stable isotope analyses of xylem and soil water allowed identifying the preferential depth of water uptake. Higher enrichment in 18O of xylem water than in ²H suggested that the main water uptake was in the upper soil layer. Furthermore, our results revealed no differences in root water uptake among communities with different species richness, different number of functional groups or with time. Thus, our results do not support the hypothesis of increased complementarity in water use in more diverse than in less diverse communities of temperate grassland species.

  20. The Importance of Biotic vs. Abiotic Drivers of Local Plant Community Composition Along Regional Bioclimatic Gradients.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kari Klanderud

    Full Text Available We assessed if the relative importance of biotic and abiotic factors for plant community composition differs along environmental gradients and between functional groups, and asked which implications this may have in a warmer and wetter future. The study location is a unique grid of sites spanning regional-scale temperature and precipitation gradients in boreal and alpine grasslands in southern Norway. Within each site we sampled vegetation and associated biotic and abiotic factors, and combined broad- and fine-scale ordination analyses to assess the relative explanatory power of these factors for species composition. Although the community responses to biotic and abiotic factors did not consistently change as predicted along the bioclimatic gradients, abiotic variables tended to explain a larger proportion of the variation in species composition towards colder sites, whereas biotic variables explained more towards warmer sites, supporting the stress gradient hypothesis. Significant interactions with precipitation suggest that biotic variables explained more towards wetter climates in the sub alpine and boreal sites, but more towards drier climates in the colder alpine. Thus, we predict that biotic interactions may become more important in alpine and boreal grasslands in a warmer future, although more winter precipitation may counteract this trend in oceanic alpine climates. Our results show that both local and regional scales analyses are needed to disentangle the local vegetation-environment relationships and their regional-scale drivers, and biotic interactions and precipitation must be included when predicting future species assemblages.

  1. Species turnover drives β-diversity patterns across multiple spatial scales of plant-galling interactions in mountaintop grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coelho, Marcel Serra; Carneiro, Marco Antônio Alves; Branco, Cristina Alves; Borges, Rafael Augusto Xavier; Fernandes, Geraldo Wilson

    2018-01-01

    This study describes differences in species richness and composition of the assemblages of galling insects and their host plants at different spatial scales. Sampling was conducted along altitudinal gradients composed of campos rupestres and campos de altitude of two mountain complexes in southeastern Brazil: Espinhaço Range and Mantiqueira Range. The following hypotheses were tested: i) local and regional richness of host plants and galling insects are positively correlated; ii) beta diversity is the most important component of regional diversity of host plants and galling insects; and iii) Turnover is the main mechanism driving beta diversity of both host plants and galling insects. Local richness of galling insects and host plants increased with increasing regional richness of species, suggesting a pattern of unsaturated communities. The additive partition of regional richness (γ) into local and beta components shows that local richnesses (α) of species of galling insects and host plants are low relative to regional richness; the beta (β) component incorporates most of the regional richness. The multi-scale analysis of additive partitioning showed similar patterns for galling insects and host plants with the local component (α) incorporated a small part of regional richness. Beta diversity of galling insects and host plants were mainly the result of turnover, with little contribution from nesting. Although the species composition of galling insects and host plant species varied among sample sites, mountains and even mountain ranges, local richness remained relatively low. In this way, the addition of local habitats with different landscapes substantially affects regional richness. Each mountain contributes fundamentally to the composition of regional diversity of galling insects and host plants, and so the design of future conservation strategies should incorporate multiple scales.

  2. Dynamic gradient descent learning algorithms for enhanced empirical modeling of power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parlos, A.G.; Atiya, Amir; Chong, K.T.

    1991-01-01

    A newly developed dynamic gradient descent-based learning algorithm is used to train a recurrent multilayer perceptron network for use in empirical modeling of power plants. The two main advantages of the proposed learning algorithm are its ability to consider past error gradient information for future use and the two forward passes associated with its implementation, instead of one forward and one backward pass of the backpropagation algorithm. The latter advantage results in computational time saving because both passes can be performed simultaneously. The dynamic learning algorithm is used to train a hybrid feedforward/feedback neural network, a recurrent multilayer perceptron, which was previously found to exhibit good interpolation and extrapolation capabilities in modeling nonlinear dynamic systems. One of the drawbacks, however, of the previously reported work has been the long training times associated with accurate empirical models. The enhanced learning capabilities provided by the dynamic gradient descent-based learning algorithm are demonstrated by a case study of a steam power plant. The number of iterations required for accurate empirical modeling has been reduced from tens of thousands to hundreds, thus significantly expediting the learning process

  3. Plant Growth Promotion Potential Is Equally Represented in Diverse Grapevine Root-Associated Bacterial Communities from Different Biopedoclimatic Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramona Marasco

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Plant-associated bacteria provide important services to host plants. Environmental factors such as cultivar type and pedoclimatic conditions contribute to shape their diversity. However, whether these environmental factors may influence the plant growth promoting (PGP potential of the root-associated bacteria is not widely understood. To address this issue, the diversity and PGP potential of the bacterial assemblage associated with the grapevine root system of different cultivars in three Mediterranean environments along a macrotransect identifying an aridity gradient were assessed by culture-dependent and independent approaches. According to 16S rRNA gene PCR-DGGE, the structure of endosphere and rhizosphere bacterial communities was highly diverse (P=0.03 and was associated with a cultivar/latitudinal/climatic effect. Despite being diverse, the bacterial communities associated with Egyptian grapevines shared a higher similarity with the Tunisian grapevines than those cultivated in North Italy. A similar distribution, according to the cultivar/latitude/aridity gradients, was observed for the cultivable bacteria. Many isolates (23% presented in vitro multiple stress resistance capabilities and PGP activities, the most frequent being auxin synthesis (82%, insoluble phosphate solubilisation (61%, and ammonia production (70%. The comparable numbers and types of potential PGP traits among the three different environmental settings indicate a strong functional homeostasis of beneficial bacteria associated with grape root.

  4. Functional diversity of microbial decomposers facilitates plant coexistence in a plant-microbe-soil feedback model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miki, Takeshi; Ushio, Masayuki; Fukui, Shin; Kondoh, Michio

    2010-08-10

    Theory and empirical evidence suggest that plant-soil feedback (PSF) determines the structure of a plant community and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. The plant community alters the nutrient pool size in soil by affecting litter decomposition processes, which in turn shapes the plant community, forming a PSF system. However, the role of microbial decomposers in PSF function is often overlooked, and it remains unclear whether decomposers reinforce or weaken litter-mediated plant control over nutrient cycling. Here, we present a theoretical model incorporating the functional diversity of both plants and microbial decomposers. Two fundamental microbial processes are included that control nutrient mineralization from plant litter: (i) assimilation of mineralized nutrient into the microbial biomass (microbial immobilization), and (ii) release of the microbial nutrients into the inorganic nutrient pool (net mineralization). With this model, we show that microbial diversity may act as a buffer that weakens plant control over the soil nutrient pool, reversing the sign of PSF from positive to negative and facilitating plant coexistence. This is explained by the decoupling of litter decomposability and nutrient pool size arising from a flexible change in the microbial community composition and decomposition processes in response to variations in plant litter decomposability. Our results suggest that the microbial community plays a central role in PSF function and the plant community structure. Furthermore, the results strongly imply that the plant-centered view of nutrient cycling should be changed to a plant-microbe-soil feedback system, by incorporating the community ecology of microbial decomposers and their functional diversity.

  5. Inter-varietal interactions among plants in genotypically diverse mixtures tend to decrease herbivore performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grettenberger, Ian M; Tooker, John F

    2016-09-01

    Much research has explored the effects of plant species diversity on herbivore populations, but far less has considered effects of plant genotypic diversity, or how abiotic stressors, like drought, can modify effects. Mechanisms by which plant genotypic diversity affects herbivore populations remain largely unresolved. We used greenhouse studies with a model system of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and bird cherry-oat aphid (Rhopalosiphum padi L.) to determine whether the genotypic diversity of a plant's neighborhood influences performance and fitness of herbivores on a focal plant and if drought changes the influence of neighborhood diversity. Taken across all varieties we tested, plant-plant interactions in diverse neighborhoods reduced aphid performance and generated associational resistance, although effects on aphids depended on variety identity. In diverse mixtures, drought stress greatly diminished the genotypic diversity-driven reduction in aphid performance. Neighborhood diversity influenced mother aphid size, and appeared to partially explain how plant-plant interactions reduced the number of offspring produced in mixtures. Plant size did not mediate effects on aphid performance, although neighborhood diversity reduced plant mass across varieties and watering treatments. Our results suggest inter-varietal interactions in genotypic mixtures can affect herbivore performance in the absence of herbivore movement and that abiotic stress may diminish any effects. Accounting for how neighborhood diversity influences resistance of an individual plant to herbivores will help aid development of mixtures of varieties for managing insect pests and clarify the role of plant genotypic diversity in ecosystems.

  6. Species richness of vascular plants, bryophytes, and lichens along an altitudinal gradient in western Norway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grytnes, John Arvid; Heegaard, Einar; Ihlen, Per G.

    2006-05-01

    Species richness patterns of ground-dwelling vascular plants, bryophytes, and lichens were compared along an altitudinal gradient (310-1135 m a.s.l.), in western Norway. Total species richness peaked at intermediate altitudes, vascular plant species richness peaked immediately above the forest limit (at 600-700 m a.s.l.), bryophyte species richness had no statistically significant trend, whereas lichen richness increased from the lowest point and up to the forest limit, with no trend above. It is proposed that the pattern in vascular plant species richness is enhanced by an ecotone effect. Bryophyte species richness responds to local scale factors whereas the lichen species richness may be responding to the shading from the forest trees.

  7. Plant diversity associated with pools in natural and restored peatlands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Fontaine

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available This study describes plant assemblages associated with the edges of peatland pools. We conducted inventories in six natural peatlands in the province of Québec (Canada in order to measure the contribution of pools to species diversity in climatic regions where peatlands are used for peat extraction. We also carried out vegetation surveys in a peatland that has been restored after peat extraction/harvesting to determine whether pool vegetation establishes along the edges of created pools when dry surface restoration techniques only are used. Pools enhanced plant species richness in natural peatlands. Around created pools, species associated with natural pools were still absent, and non-bog species were present, six years after restoration. On this basis, we emphasise the importance of preserving natural peatlands with pools. In order to restore fully the plant diversity associated with peatlands at harvested sites, it may be necessary to modify pool excavation techniques so that created pools resemble more closely those in natural peatlands. Active introduction of the plant species or communities associated with natural pools may also be needed; candidate species for North America include Andromeda glaucophylla, Cladopodiella fluitans, Carex limosa, Eriophorum virginicum, Rhynchospora alba and Sphagnum cuspidatum.

  8. Expanding Kenya's protected areas under the Convention on Biological Diversity to maximize coverage of plant diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherer, Laura; Curran, Michael; Alvarez, Miguel

    2017-04-01

    Biodiversity is highly valuable and critically threatened by anthropogenic degradation of the natural environment. In response, governments have pledged enhanced protected-area coverage, which requires scarce biological data to identify conservation priorities. To assist this effort, we mapped conservation priorities in Kenya based on maximizing alpha (species richness) and beta diversity (species turnover) of plant communities while minimizing economic costs. We used plant-cover percentages from vegetation surveys of over 2000 plots to build separate models for each type of diversity. Opportunity and management costs were based on literature data and interviews with conservation organizations. Species richness was predicted to be highest in a belt from Lake Turkana through Mount Kenya and in a belt parallel to the coast, and species turnover was predicted to be highest in western Kenya and along the coast. Our results suggest the expanding reserve network should focus on the coast and northeastern provinces of Kenya, where new biological surveys would also fill biological data gaps. Meeting the Convention on Biological Diversity target of 17% terrestrial coverage by 2020 would increase representation of Kenya's plant communities by 75%. However, this would require about 50 times more funds than Kenya has received thus far from the Global Environment Facility. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  9. Altitudinal patterns of plant diversity on the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, southwestern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xiang; Zhang, Huayong; Tian, Wang; Zeng, Xiaoqiang; Huang, Hai

    2016-01-01

    Understanding altitudinal patterns of biological diversity and their underlying mechanisms is critically important for biodiversity conservation in mountainous regions. The contribution of area to plant diversity patterns is widely acknowledged and may mask the effects of other determinant factors. In this context, it is important to examine altitudinal patterns of corrected taxon richness by eliminating the area effect. Here we adopt two methods to correct observed taxon richness: a power-law relationship between richness and area, hereafter "method 1"; and richness counted in equal-area altitudinal bands, hereafter "method 2". We compare these two methods on the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, which is the nearest large-scale altitudinal gradient to the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere. We find that seed plant species richness, genus richness, family richness, and species richness of trees, shrubs, herbs and Groups I-III (species with elevational range size 500 m, respectively) display distinct hump-shaped patterns along the equal-elevation altitudinal gradient. The corrected taxon richness based on method 2 (TRcor2) also shows hump-shaped patterns for all plant groups, while the one based on method 1 (TRcor1) does not. As for the abiotic factors influencing the patterns, mean annual temperature, mean annual precipitation, and mid-domain effect explain a larger part of the variation in TRcor2 than in TRcor1. In conclusion, for biodiversity patterns on the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, method 2 preserves the significant influences of abiotic factors to the greatest degree while eliminating the area effect. Our results thus reveal that although the classical method 1 has earned more attention and approval in previous research, method 2 can perform better under certain circumstances. We not only confirm the essential contribution of method 1 in community ecology, but also highlight the significant role of method 2 in eliminating the area effect, and call for more

  10. Decreasing abundance, increasing diversity and changing structure of the wild bee community (Hymenoptera: Anthophila along an urbanization gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Fortel

    Full Text Available Wild bees are important pollinators that have declined in diversity and abundance during the last decades. Habitat destruction and fragmentation associated with urbanization are reported as part of the main causes of this decline. Urbanization involves dramatic changes of the landscape, increasing the proportion of impervious surface while decreasing that of green areas. Few studies have investigated the effects of urbanization on bee communities. We assessed changes in the abundance, species richness, and composition of wild bee community along an urbanization gradient.Over two years and on a monthly basis, bees were sampled with colored pan traps and insect nets at 24 sites located along an urbanization gradient. Landscape structure within three different radii was measured at each study site. We captured 291 wild bee species. The abundance of wild bees was negatively correlated with the proportion of impervious surface, while species richness reached a maximum at an intermediate (50% proportion of impervious surface. The structure of the community changed along the urbanization gradient with more parasitic species in sites with an intermediate proportion of impervious surface. There were also greater numbers of cavity-nesting species and long-tongued species in sites with intermediate or higher proportion of impervious surface. However, urbanization had no effect on the occurrence of species depending on their social behavior or body size.We found nearly a third of the wild bee fauna known from France in our study sites. Indeed, urban areas supported a diverse bee community, but sites with an intermediate level of urbanization were the most speciose ones, including greater proportion of parasitic species. The presence of a diverse array of bee species even in the most urbanized area makes these pollinators worthy of being a flagship group to raise the awareness of urban citizens about biodiversity.

  11. Decreasing abundance, increasing diversity and changing structure of the wild bee community (Hymenoptera: Anthophila) along an urbanization gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortel, Laura; Henry, Mickaël; Guilbaud, Laurent; Guirao, Anne Laure; Kuhlmann, Michael; Mouret, Hugues; Rollin, Orianne; Vaissière, Bernard E

    2014-01-01

    Wild bees are important pollinators that have declined in diversity and abundance during the last decades. Habitat destruction and fragmentation associated with urbanization are reported as part of the main causes of this decline. Urbanization involves dramatic changes of the landscape, increasing the proportion of impervious surface while decreasing that of green areas. Few studies have investigated the effects of urbanization on bee communities. We assessed changes in the abundance, species richness, and composition of wild bee community along an urbanization gradient. Over two years and on a monthly basis, bees were sampled with colored pan traps and insect nets at 24 sites located along an urbanization gradient. Landscape structure within three different radii was measured at each study site. We captured 291 wild bee species. The abundance of wild bees was negatively correlated with the proportion of impervious surface, while species richness reached a maximum at an intermediate (50%) proportion of impervious surface. The structure of the community changed along the urbanization gradient with more parasitic species in sites with an intermediate proportion of impervious surface. There were also greater numbers of cavity-nesting species and long-tongued species in sites with intermediate or higher proportion of impervious surface. However, urbanization had no effect on the occurrence of species depending on their social behavior or body size. We found nearly a third of the wild bee fauna known from France in our study sites. Indeed, urban areas supported a diverse bee community, but sites with an intermediate level of urbanization were the most speciose ones, including greater proportion of parasitic species. The presence of a diverse array of bee species even in the most urbanized area makes these pollinators worthy of being a flagship group to raise the awareness of urban citizens about biodiversity.

  12. Changes in semi-arid plant species associations along a livestock grazing gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hugo Saiz

    Full Text Available In semi-arid ecosystems, vegetation is heterogeneously distributed, with plant species often associating in patches. These associations between species are not constant, but depend on the particular response of each species to environmental factors. Here, we investigated how plant species associations change in response to livestock grazing in a semi-arid ecosystem, Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park in South East Spain. We established linear point-intercept transects at four sites with different grazing intensity, and recorded all species at each point. We investigated plant associations by comparing the number of times that each pair of species occurred at the same spatial point (co-occurrences, with the expected number of times based on species abundances. We also assessed associations for each shrub and grass species by considering all their pairs of associations and for the whole plant community by considering all pairs of associations on each site. At all sites, the plant community had a negative pattern of association, with fewer co-occurrences than expected. Negative association in the plant community increased at maximum grazing intensity. Most species associated as expected, particularly grass species, and positive associations were most important at intermediate grazing intensities. No species changed its type of association along the grazing gradient. We conclude that in the present plant community, grazing-resistant species compete among themselves and segregate in space. Some shrub species act as refuges for grazing-sensitive species that benefit from being spatially associated with shrub species, particularly at intermediate grazing intensities where positive associations were highest. At high grazing intensity, these shrubs can no longer persist and positive associations decrease due to the disappearance of refuges. Spatial associations between plant species and their response to grazing help identify the factors that organize

  13. Endophytic Fungal Diversity in Medicinal Plants of Western Ghats, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monnanda Somaiah Nalini

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Endophytes constitute an important component of microbial diversity, and in the present investigation, seven plant species with rich ethnobotanical uses representing six families were analyzed for the presence of endophytic fungi from their natural habitats during monsoon (May/June and winter (November/December seasons of 2007. Fungal endophytes were isolated from healthy plant parts such as stem, root, rhizome, and inflorescence employing standard isolation methods. One thousand five hundred and twenty-nine fungal isolates were obtained from 5200 fragments. Stem fragments harbored more endophytes (80.37% than roots (19.22%. 31 fungal taxa comprised of coelomycetes (65%, hyphomycetes (32%, and ascomycetes (3%. Fusarium, Acremonium, Colletotrichum, Chaetomium, Myrothecium, Phomopsis, and Pestalotiopsis spp. were commonly isolated. Diversity indices differed significantly between the seasons (P<0.001. Species richness was greater for monsoon isolations than winter. Host specificity was observed for few fungal endophytes. UPGMA cluster analysis grouped the endophytes into distinct clusters on the basis of genetic distance. This study is the first report on the diversity and host-specificity of endophytic fungal taxa were from the semi evergreen forest type in Talacauvery subcluster of Western Ghats.

  14. Ecological Diversity in South American Mammals: Their Geographical Distribution Shows Variable Associations with Phylogenetic Diversity and Does Not Follow the Latitudinal Richness Gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Nilda Fergnani

    Full Text Available The extent to which the latitudinal gradient in species richness may be paralleled by a similar gradient of increasing functional or phylogenetic diversity is a matter of controversy. We evaluated whether taxonomic richness (TR is informative in terms of ecological diversity (ED, an approximation to functional diversity and phylogenetic diversity (AvPD using data on 531 mammal species representing South American old autochthonous (marsupials, xenarthrans, mid-Cenozoic immigrants (hystricognaths, primates and newcomers (carnivorans, artiodactyls. If closely related species are ecologically more similar than distantly related species, AvPD will be a strong predictor of ED; however, lower ED than predicted from AvPD may be due to species retaining most of their ancestral characters, suggesting niche conservatism. This pattern could occur in tropical rainforests for taxa of tropical affinity (old autochthonous and mid-Cenozoic immigrants and in open and arid habitats for newcomers. In contrast, higher ED than expected from AvPD could occur, possibly in association with niche evolution, in arid and open habitats for taxa of tropical affinity and in forested habitats for newcomers. We found that TR was a poor predictor of ED and AvPD. After controlling for TR, there was considerable variability in the extent to which AvPD accounted for ED. Taxa of tropical affinity did not support the prediction of ED deficit within tropical rainforests, rather, they showed a mosaic of regions with an excess of ED interspersed with zones of ED deficit within the tropics; newcomers showed ED deficit in arid and open regions. Some taxa of tropical affinity showed excess of ED in tropical desert areas (hystricognaths or temperate semideserts (xenarthrans; newcomers showed excess of ED at cold-temperate latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. This result suggests that extreme climatic conditions at both temperate and tropical latitudes may have promoted niche evolution in

  15. Small mammals as indicators of cryptic plant species diversity in the central Chilean plant endemicity hotspot

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meredith Root-Bernstein

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Indicator species could help to compensate for a shortfall of knowledge about the diversity and distributions of undersampled and cryptic species. This paper provides background knowledge about the ecological interactions that affect and are affected by herbaceous diversity in central Chile, as part of the indicator species selection process. We focus on the ecosystem engineering role of small mammals, primarily the degu Octodon degus. We also consider the interacting effects of shrubs, trees, avian activity, livestock, slope, and soil quality on herbaceous communities in central Chile. We sampled herbaceous diversity on a private landholding characterized by a mosaic of savanna, grassland and matorral, across a range of degu disturbance intensities. We find that the strongest factors affecting endemic herbaceous diversity are density of degu runways, shrub cover and avian activity. Our results show that the degu, a charismatic and easily identifiable and countable species, could be used as an indicator species to aid potential conservation actions such as private protected area uptake. We map areas in central Chile where degus may indicate endemic plant diversity. This area is larger than expected, and suggests that significant areas of endemic plant communities may still exist, and should be identified and protected. Keywords: Cryptic species, Diversity, Endemic, Indicator species, Octodon degus, Plant

  16. Genetic diversity and population structure in contemporary house sparrow populations along an urbanization gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vangestel, C; Mergeay, J; Dawson, D A; Callens, T; Vandomme, V; Lens, L

    2012-09-01

    House sparrow (Passer domesticus) populations have suffered major declines in urban as well as rural areas, while remaining relatively stable in suburban ones. Yet, to date no exhaustive attempt has been made to examine how, and to what extent, spatial variation in population demography is reflected in genetic population structuring along contemporary urbanization gradients. Here we use putatively neutral microsatellite loci to study if and how genetic variation can be partitioned in a hierarchical way among different urbanization classes. Principal coordinate analyses did not support the hypothesis that urban/suburban and rural populations comprise two distinct genetic clusters. Comparison of FST values at different hierarchical scales revealed drift as an important force of population differentiation. Redundancy analyses revealed that genetic structure was strongly affected by both spatial variation and level of urbanization. The results shown here can be used as baseline information for future genetic monitoring programmes and provide additional insights into contemporary house sparrow dynamics along urbanization gradients.

  17. Genetically based differentiation in growth of multiple non-native plant species along a steep environmental gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haider, Sylvia; Kueffer, Christoph; Edwards, Peter J; Alexander, Jake M

    2012-09-01

    A non-native plant species spreading along an environmental gradient may need to adjust its growth to the prevailing conditions that it encounters by a combination of phenotypic plasticity and genetic adaptation. There have been several studies of how non-native species respond to changing environmental conditions along latitudinal gradients, but much less is known about elevational gradients. We conducted a climate chamber experiment to investigate plastic and genetically based growth responses of 13 herbaceous non-native plants along an elevational gradient from 100 to 2,000 m a.s.l. in Tenerife. Conditions in the field ranged from high anthropogenic disturbance but generally favourable temperatures for plant growth in the lower half of the gradient, to low disturbance but much cooler conditions in the upper half. We collected seed from low, mid and high elevations and grew them in climate chambers under the characteristic temperatures at these three elevations. Growth of all species was reduced under lower temperatures along both halves of the gradient. We found consistent genetically based differences in growth over the upper elevational gradient, with plants from high-elevation sites growing more slowly than those from mid-elevation ones, while the pattern in the lower part of the gradient was more mixed. Our data suggest that many non-native plants might respond to climate along elevational gradients by genetically based changes in key traits, especially at higher elevations where low temperatures probably impose a stronger selection pressure. At lower elevations, where anthropogenic influences are greater, higher gene flow and frequent disturbance might favour genotypes with broad ecological amplitudes. Thus the importance of evolutionary processes for invasion success is likely to be context-dependent.

  18. Genetic diversity and population structure in contemporary house sparrow populations along an urbanization gradient

    OpenAIRE

    Vangestel, C; Mergeay, Joachim; Dawson, D. A; Callens, T; Vandomme, V; Lens, L

    2012-01-01

    House sparrow (Passer domesticus) populations have suffered major declines in urban as well as rural areas, while remaining relatively stable in suburban ones. Yet, to date no exhaustive attempt has been made to examine how, and to what extent, spatial variation in population demography is reflected in genetic population structuring along contemporary urbanization gradients. Here we use putatively neutral microsatellite loci to study if and how genetic variation can be partitioned in a hierar...

  19. Consistent variability in beta-diversity patterns contrasts with changes in alpha-diversity along an onshore to offshore environmental gradient: the case of Red Sea soft-bottom macrobenthos

    KAUST Repository

    Alsaffar, Zahra Hassan Ali; Curdia, Joao; Borja, Angel; Irigoien, Xabier; Carvalho, Susana

    2017-01-01

    . These findings suggest that mechanisms driving biodiversity are similar across the depth gradient. The partitioning of beta-diversity also show that assemblages are mainly driven by the substitution of species (turnover or replacement), most likely as a result

  20. Macroalgal diversity along an inshore-offshore environmental gradient in the Jakarta Bay - Thousand Islands reef complex, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Draisma, Stefano G. A.; Prud'homme van Reine, Willem F.; Herandarudewi, Sekar M. C.; Hoeksema, Bert W.

    2018-01-01

    The Jakarta Bay - Thousand Islands reef complex extends to more than 80 km in northwest direction from the major conurbation Jakarta (Indonesia) along a pronounced inshore to offshore environmental gradient. The present study aims to determine to what extent environmental factors can explain the composition of macroalgal communities on the reefs off Jakarta. Therefore, the presence-absence of 67 macroalgal taxa was recorded for 27 sampling sites along the inshore-offshore disturbance gradient and analysed with substrate variables and water quality variables. The macroalgal richness pattern matches the pattern of other reef taxa. The 27 sites could be assigned to one of four geographical zones with 85% certainty based on their macroalgal taxon assemblages. These four zones (i.e., Jakarta Bay and, respectively, South, Central, and North Thousand Islands) had significantly different macroalgal assemblages, except for the North and South zones. Along the nearshore gradient there was a greater shift in taxon composition than within the central Thousand Islands. The patterns of ten habitat and water quality variables resembled the macroalgal diversity patterns by 56%. All ten variables together explained 69% of the variation in macroalgal composition. Shelf depth, % sand cover, gelbstoff/detrital material, chlorophyll a concentration, seawater surface temperature, and % dead coral cover were the best predictors of seaweed flora composition. Furthermore, 44 macroalgal species represented new records for the area. The present study provides important baseline data of macroalgae in the area for comparison in future biodiversity assessments in the area and elsewhere in the region.

  1. Accelerating learning of neural networks with conjugate gradients for nuclear power plant applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reifman, J.; Vitela, J.E.

    1994-01-01

    The method of conjugate gradients is used to expedite the learning process of feedforward multilayer artificial neural networks and to systematically update both the learning parameter and the momentum parameter at each training cycle. The mechanism for the occurrence of premature saturation of the network nodes observed with the back propagation algorithm is described, suggestions are made to eliminate this undesirable phenomenon, and the reason by which this phenomenon is precluded in the method of conjugate gradients is presented. The proposed method is compared with the standard back propagation algorithm in the training of neural networks to classify transient events in neural power plants simulated by the Midland Nuclear Power Plant Unit 2 simulator. The comparison results indicate that the rate of convergence of the proposed method is much greater than the standard back propagation, that it reduces both the number of training cycles and the CPU time, and that it is less sensitive to the choice of initial weights. The advantages of the method are more noticeable and important for problems where the network architecture consists of a large number of nodes, the training database is large, and a tight convergence criterion is desired

  2. DIVERSITY OF ARBUSCULAR MYCORRHIZAL FUNGI ALONG A SAND DUNE STABILIZATION GRADIENT: A CASE STUDY AT PRAIA DE JOAQUINA, ILHA DE SANTA CATARINA, SOUTH BRAZIL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Species diversity of abuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) was assessed along a dunes stabilization gradient (embyonic dune, foredune and fixed dune) at Praia da Joaquina (Joaquina Beach), Ilha de Santa Catarina. These dunes served as a case study to assess whether diversity and myc...

  3. Low genetic diversity despite multiple introductions of the invasive plant species Impatiens glandulifera in Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagenblad, Jenny; Hülskötter, Jennifer; Acharya, Kamal Prasad; Brunet, Jörg; Chabrerie, Olivier; Cousins, Sara A O; Dar, Pervaiz A; Diekmann, Martin; De Frenne, Pieter; Hermy, Martin; Jamoneau, Aurélien; Kolb, Annette; Lemke, Isgard; Plue, Jan; Reshi, Zafar A; Graae, Bente Jessen

    2015-08-20

    Invasive species can be a major threat to native biodiversity and the number of invasive plant species is increasing across the globe. Population genetic studies of invasive species can provide key insights into their invasion history and ensuing evolution, but also for their control. Here we genetically characterise populations of Impatiens glandulifera, an invasive plant in Europe that can have a major impact on native plant communities. We compared populations from the species' native range in Kashmir, India, to those in its invaded range, along a latitudinal gradient in Europe. For comparison, the results from 39 other studies of genetic diversity in invasive species were collated. Our results suggest that I. glandulifera was established in the wild in Europe at least twice, from an area outside of our Kashmir study area. Our results further revealed that the genetic diversity in invasive populations of I. glandulifera is unusually low compared to native populations, in particular when compared to other invasive species. Genetic drift rather than mutation seems to have played a role in differentiating populations in Europe. We find evidence of limitations to local gene flow after introduction to Europe, but somewhat less restrictions in the native range. I. glandulifera populations with significant inbreeding were only found in the species' native range and invasive species in general showed no increase in inbreeding upon leaving their native ranges. In Europe we detect cases of migration between distantly located populations. Human activities therefore seem to, at least partially, have facilitated not only introductions, but also further spread of I. glandulifera across Europe. Although multiple introductions will facilitate the retention of genetic diversity in invasive ranges, widespread invasive species can remain genetically relatively invariant also after multiple introductions. Phenotypic plasticity may therefore be an important component of the

  4. Diversity and feeding strategies of soil microfauna along elevation gradients in Himalayan cold deserts

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Devetter, Miloslav; Háněl, Ladislav; Řeháková, Klára; Doležal, J.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 12, č. 11 (2017), č. článku e0187646. E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LTC17019 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : diversity * feeding strategies * soil microfauna * Himalayan cold deserts Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 2.806, year: 2016

  5. Hydrological-niche models predict water plant functional group distributions in diverse wetland types.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deane, David C; Nicol, Jason M; Gehrig, Susan L; Harding, Claire; Aldridge, Kane T; Goodman, Abigail M; Brookes, Justin D

    2017-06-01

    Human use of water resources threatens environmental water supplies. If resource managers are to develop policies that avoid unacceptable ecological impacts, some means to predict ecosystem response to changes in water availability is necessary. This is difficult to achieve at spatial scales relevant for water resource management because of the high natural variability in ecosystem hydrology and ecology. Water plant functional groups classify species with similar hydrological niche preferences together, allowing a qualitative means to generalize community responses to changes in hydrology. We tested the potential for functional groups in making quantitative prediction of water plant functional group distributions across diverse wetland types over a large geographical extent. We sampled wetlands covering a broad range of hydrogeomorphic and salinity conditions in South Australia, collecting both hydrological and floristic data from 687 quadrats across 28 wetland hydrological gradients. We built hydrological-niche models for eight water plant functional groups using a range of candidate models combining different surface inundation metrics. We then tested the predictive performance of top-ranked individual and averaged models for each functional group. Cross validation showed that models achieved acceptable predictive performance, with correct classification rates in the range 0.68-0.95. Model predictions can be made at any spatial scale that hydrological data are available and could be implemented in a geographical information system. We show the response of water plant functional groups to inundation is consistent enough across diverse wetland types to quantify the probability of hydrological impacts over regional spatial scales. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  6. Power generation enhancement in a salinity-gradient solar pond power plant using thermoelectric generator

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ziapour, Behrooz M.; Saadat, Mohammad; Palideh, Vahid; Afzal, Sadegh

    2017-01-01

    Highlights: • Thermoelectric generator was used and simulated within a salinity-gradient solar pond power plant. • Results showed that the thermoelectric generator can be able to enhance the power plant efficiency. • Results showed that the presented models can be able to produce generation even in the cold months. • The optimum size of area of solar pond based on its effect on efficiency is 50,000 m 2 . - Abstract: Salinity-gradient solar pond (SGSP) has been a reliable supply of heat source for power generation when it has been integrated with low temperature thermodynamics cycles like organic Rankine cycle (ORC). Also, thermoelectric generator (TEG) plays a critical role in the production of electricity from renewable energy sources. This paper investigates the potential of thermoelectric generator as a power generation system using heat from SGSP. In this work, thermoelectric generator was used instead of condenser of ORC with the purpose of improving the performance of system. Two new models of SGSP have been presented as: (1) SGSP using TEG in condenser of ORC without heat exchanger and (2) SGSP using TEG in condenser of ORC with heat exchanger. These proposed systems was evaluated through computer simulations. The ambient conditions were collected from beach of Urmia lake in IRAN. Simulation results indicated that, for identical conditions, the model 1 has higher performance than other model 2. For models 1 and 2 in T LCZ = 90 °C, the overall thermal efficiency of the solar pond power plant, were obtained 0.21% and 0.2% more than ORC without TEG, respectively.

  7. Host Plant Physiology and Mycorrhizal Functioning Shift across a Glacial through Future [CO2] Gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becklin, Katie M; Mullinix, George W R; Ward, Joy K

    2016-10-01

    Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration ([CO 2 ]) may modulate the functioning of mycorrhizal associations by altering the relative degree of nutrient and carbohydrate limitations in plants. To test this, we grew Taraxacum ceratophorum and Taraxacum officinale (native and exotic dandelions) with and without mycorrhizal fungi across a broad [CO 2 ] gradient (180-1,000 µL L -1 ). Differential plant growth rates and vegetative plasticity were hypothesized to drive species-specific responses to [CO 2 ] and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. To evaluate [CO 2 ] effects on mycorrhizal functioning, we calculated response ratios based on the relative biomass of mycorrhizal (M Bio ) and nonmycorrhizal (NM Bio ) plants (R Bio = [M Bio - NM Bio ]/NM Bio ). We then assessed linkages between R Bio and host physiology, fungal growth, and biomass allocation using structural equation modeling. For T. officinale, R Bio increased with rising [CO 2 ], shifting from negative to positive values at 700 µL L -1 [CO 2 ] and mycorrhizal effects on photosynthesis and leaf growth rates drove shifts in R Bio in this species. For T. ceratophorum, R Bio increased from 180 to 390 µL L -1 and further increases in [CO 2 ] caused R Bio to shift from positive to negative values. [CO 2 ] and fungal effects on plant growth and carbon sink strength were correlated with shifts in R Bio in this species. Overall, we show that rising [CO 2 ] significantly altered the functioning of mycorrhizal associations. These symbioses became more beneficial with rising [CO 2 ], but nonlinear effects may limit plant responses to mycorrhizal fungi under future [CO 2 ]. The magnitude and mechanisms driving mycorrhizal-CO 2 responses reflected species-specific differences in growth rate and vegetative plasticity, indicating that these traits may provide a framework for predicting mycorrhizal responses to global change. © 2016 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.

  8. An engine for global plant diversity: Highest evolutionary turnover and emigration in the American tropics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre eAntonelli

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the processes that have generated the latitudinal biodiversity gradient and the continental differences in tropical biodiversity remains a major goal of evolutionary biology. Here we estimate the timing and direction of range shifts of extant flowering plants (angiosperms between tropical and non-tropical zones, and into and out of the major tropical regions of the world. We then calculate rates of speciation and extinction taking into account incomplete taxonomic sampling. We use a recently published fossil calibrated phylogeny and apply novel bioinformatic tools to code species into user-defined polygons. We reconstruct biogeographic history using stochastic character mapping to compute relative numbers of range shifts in proportion to the number of available lineages through time. Our results, based on the analysis of c. 22,600 species and c. 20 million geo-referenced occurrence records, show no significant differences between the speciation and extinction of tropical and non-tropical angiosperms. This suggests that at least in plants, the tropical biodiversity gradient primarily derives from other factors than differential rates of diversification. In contrast, the outstanding species richness found today in the American tropics (the Neotropics, as compared to tropical Africa and tropical Asia, is associated with significantly higher speciation and extinction rates. This suggests an exceedingly rapid evolutionary turnover, i.e. Neotropical species being formed and replaced by one another at unparalleled rates. In addition, tropical America stands out from other continents by having ‘pumped out’ more species than it received through most of the last 66 million years. These results imply that the Neotropics have acted as an engine for global plant diversity.

  9. Soil stability and plant diversity in eco-engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Böll, Albert; Gerber, Werner; Rickli, Christian; Graf, Frank

    2010-05-01

    Slopes affected by superficial sliding and subsequently re-stabilised with eco-engineering measures were investigated, particularly related to soil stability and plant diversity. The sites are situated in three different areas of beech-fir-spruce forest associations of the higher montane zone of Switzerland. Climatic and site characteristics, in paraticular soil properties after the sliding event, of the three investigation areas are very similar. However, the number of species (shrubs and trees) used for the initial planting as well as the year of application of the eco-engineering measures differ substantially. In the investigation area Dallenwil-Wirzweli the biological measures taken in 1981 were restricted to one tree species, namely White Alder (Alnus incana). In Klosters, where measures were taken in 1983 as well as in the Arieschbach valley, where eco-engineering was applied in 1998, the initial planting consisted of 15 species either. Investigations in 2005/2006 revealed neither obvious differences among the three areas nor distinct correlations related to the diversity of the initial planting on the on hand and the development of the vegetation cover and soil stability on the other hand. During the available time of development, the soil aggregate stability increased by 30 to 39%. Compared to the corresponding climax association, the relative values of soil aggregate stability varied between 90 and 120%. Concurrently, the dry unit weight decreased between 1.1 and 3.1 kN/m3. The cumulative vegetation cover varied from 110 to 150%. Due to processes of soil development a distinct shift in the grain size distribution was noticed, from a well sorted gravel with clay and sand (GW-GC) to a silty gravel with sand (GM) in Dallenwil-Wirzweli and a silty to clayey gravel with sand (GC-GM) in Klosters and the Arieschbach valley. Furthermore, in all three investigation areas succession processes were observed that are comparable to average rates of natural secondary

  10. Microbial network, phylogenetic diversity and community membership in the active layer across a permafrost thaw gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondav, Rhiannon; McCalley, Carmody K; Hodgkins, Suzanne B; Frolking, Steve; Saleska, Scott R; Rich, Virginia I; Chanton, Jeff P; Crill, Patrick M

    2017-08-01

    Biogenic production and release of methane (CH 4 ) from thawing permafrost has the potential to be a strong source of radiative forcing. We investigated changes in the active layer microbial community of three sites representative of distinct permafrost thaw stages at a palsa mire in northern Sweden. The palsa site (intact permafrost and low radiative forcing signature) had a phylogenetically clustered community dominated by Acidobacteria and Proteobacteria. The bog (thawing permafrost and low radiative forcing signature) had lower alpha diversity and midrange phylogenetic clustering, characteristic of ecosystem disturbance affecting habitat filtering. Hydrogenotrophic methanogens and Acidobacteria dominated the bog shifting from palsa-like to fen-like at the waterline. The fen (no underlying permafrost, high radiative forcing signature) had the highest alpha, beta and phylogenetic diversity, was dominated by Proteobacteria and Euryarchaeota and was significantly enriched in methanogens. The Mire microbial network was modular with module cores consisting of clusters of Acidobacteria, Euryarchaeota or Xanthomonodales. Loss of underlying permafrost with associated hydrological shifts correlated to changes in microbial composition, alpha, beta and phylogenetic diversity associated with a higher radiative forcing signature. These results support the complex role of microbial interactions in mediating carbon budget changes and climate feedback in response to climate forcing. © 2017 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Linking diversity and distribution to understand biodiversity gradients and inform conservation assessments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabricio Villalobos

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Broad-scale patterns of species richness result from differential coexistence among species in distinct regions of the globe, determined by the species’ ranges and their properties such as size, shape and location. Thus, species richness and ranges are inherently linked. These two biodiversity features also yield primary information for conservation assessments. However, species richness and range size have been usually studied separately and no formal analytical link has been established. In my PhD thesis, I applied and extended a recently developed conceptual and methodological framework to study geographical association among species and similarity among sites. This range–diversity framework, along with stochastic simulation modelling, allowed me to jointly evaluate the relationship between diversity and distribution, to infer potential processes underlying composite patterns of phyllostomid bats, and to use this approach to inform conservation assessments for the Mexican avifauna. I highlight the need to explore composite patterns for understanding biodiversity patterns and show how combining diversity and distributional data can help describe complex biogeographical patterns, providing a transparent and explicit application for initial conservation assessments.

  12. Microbial diversity and impact on carbonate geochemistry across a changing geochemical gradient in a karst aquifer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Cassie J; Engel, Annette S

    2013-02-01

    Although microbes are known to influence karst (carbonate) aquifer ecosystem-level processes, comparatively little information is available regarding the diversity of microbial activities that could influence water quality and geological modification. To assess microbial diversity in the context of aquifer geochemistry, we coupled 16S rRNA Sanger sequencing and 454 tag pyrosequencing to in situ microcosm experiments from wells that cross the transition from fresh to saline and sulfidic water in the Edwards Aquifer of central Texas, one of the largest karst aquifers in the United States. The distribution of microbial groups across the transition zone correlated with dissolved oxygen and sulfide concentration, and significant variations in community composition were explained by local carbonate geochemistry, specifically calcium concentration and alkalinity. The waters were supersaturated with respect to prevalent aquifer minerals, calcite and dolomite, but in situ microcosm experiments containing these minerals revealed significant mass loss from dissolution when colonized by microbes. Despite differences in cell density on the experimental surfaces, carbonate loss was greater from freshwater wells than saline, sulfidic wells. However, as cell density increased, which was correlated to and controlled by local geochemistry, dissolution rates decreased. Surface colonization by metabolically active cells promotes dissolution by creating local disequilibria between bulk aquifer fluids and mineral surfaces, but this also controls rates of karst aquifer modification. These results expand our understanding of microbial diversity in karst aquifers and emphasize the importance of evaluating active microbial processes that could affect carbonate weathering in the subsurface.

  13. Microhabitat amelioration and reduced competition among understorey plants as drivers of facilitation across environmental gradients: towards a unifying framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soliveres, Santiago; Eldridge, David J.; Maestre, Fernando T.; Bowker, Matthew A.; Tighe, Matthew; Escudero, Adrián

    2015-01-01

    Studies of facilitative interactions as drivers of plant richness along environmental gradients often assume the existence of an overarching stress gradient equally affecting the performance of all the species in a given community. However, co-existing species differ in their ecophysiological adaptations, and do not experience the same stress level under particular environmental conditions. Moreover, these studies assume a unimodal richness-biomass curve, which is not as general as previously thought. We ignored these assumptions to assess changes in plant-plant interactions, and their effect on local species richness, across environmental gradients in semi-arid areas of Spain and Australia. We aimed to understand the relative importance of direct (microhabitat amelioration) and indirect (changes in the competitive relationships among the understorey species: niche segregation, competitive exclusion or intransitivity) mechanisms that might underlie the effects of nurse plants on local species richness. By jointly studying these direct and indirect mechanisms using a unifying framework, we were able to see how our nurse plants (trees, shrubs and tussock grasses) not only increased local richness by expanding the niche of neighbouring species, but also by increasing niche segregation among them, though the latter was not important in all cases. The outcome of the competition-facilitation continuum changed depending on the study area, likely because the different types of stress gradient considered. When driven by both rainfall and temperature, or rainfall alone, the community-wide importance of nurse plants remained constant (Spanish sites), or showed a unimodal relationship along the gradient (Australian sites). This study expands our understanding of the relative roles of plant-plant interactions and environmental conditions as drivers of local species richness in semi-arid environments. These results can also be used to refine predictions about the response of

  14. Microhabitat amelioration and reduced competition among understorey plants as drivers of facilitation across environmental gradients: towards a unifying framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soliveres, Santiago; Eldridge, David J; Maestre, Fernando T; Bowker, Matthew A; Tighe, Matthew; Escudero, Adrián

    2011-11-20

    Studies of facilitative interactions as drivers of plant richness along environmental gradients often assume the existence of an overarching stress gradient equally affecting the performance of all the species in a given community. However, co-existing species differ in their ecophysiological adaptations, and do not experience the same stress level under particular environmental conditions. Moreover, these studies assume a unimodal richness-biomass curve, which is not as general as previously thought. We ignored these assumptions to assess changes in plant-plant interactions, and their effect on local species richness, across environmental gradients in semi-arid areas of Spain and Australia. We aimed to understand the relative importance of direct (microhabitat amelioration) and indirect (changes in the competitive relationships among the understorey species: niche segregation, competitive exclusion or intransitivity) mechanisms that might underlie the effects of nurse plants on local species richness. By jointly studying these direct and indirect mechanisms using a unifying framework, we were able to see how our nurse plants (trees, shrubs and tussock grasses) not only increased local richness by expanding the niche of neighbouring species, but also by increasing niche segregation among them, though the latter was not important in all cases. The outcome of the competition-facilitation continuum changed depending on the study area, likely because the different types of stress gradient considered. When driven by both rainfall and temperature, or rainfall alone, the community-wide importance of nurse plants remained constant (Spanish sites), or showed a unimodal relationship along the gradient (Australian sites). This study expands our understanding of the relative roles of plant-plant interactions and environmental conditions as drivers of local species richness in semi-arid environments. These results can also be used to refine predictions about the response of

  15. Intraspecific chemical diversity among neighbouring plants correlates positively with plant size and herbivore load but negatively with herbivore damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bustos-Segura, Carlos; Poelman, Erik H; Reichelt, Michael; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Gols, Rieta

    2017-01-01

    Intraspecific plant diversity can modify the properties of associated arthropod communities and plant fitness. However, it is not well understood which plant traits determine these ecological effects. We explored the effect of intraspecific chemical diversity among neighbouring plants on the associated invertebrate community and plant traits. In a common garden experiment, intraspecific diversity among neighbouring plants was manipulated using three plant populations of wild cabbage that differ in foliar glucosinolates. Plants were larger, harboured more herbivores, but were less damaged when plant diversity was increased. Glucosinolate concentration differentially correlated with generalist and specialist herbivore abundance. Glucosinolate composition correlated with plant damage, while in polycultures, variation in glucosinolate concentrations among neighbouring plants correlated positively with herbivore diversity and negatively with plant damage levels. The results suggest that intraspecific variation in secondary chemistry among neighbouring plants is important in determining the structure of the associated insect community and positively affects plant performance. © 2016 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  17. Succession of bacterial community structure and diversity in a paddy soil oxygen gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noll, Matthias; Matthies, Diethart; Frenzel, Peter; Derakshani, Manigee; Liesack, Werner

    2005-03-01

    Cultivation-independent techniques were applied to assess the succession and phylogenetic composition of bacterial communities in a vertical oxygen gradient in flooded, unplanted paddy soil microcosms. Microsensor measurements showed that within 6 h of flooding, oxygen was depleted from 200 microM at the floodwater-soil interface to undetectable amounts at a depth of approximately 2 mm and below. The gradient was quite stable over time, although the oxygen depletion was less pronounced 84 days than 6 h after flooding. Community fingerprint patterns were obtained by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis from the oxic, transition, and anoxic zones of triplicate soil microcosms at 0, 1 and 6 h, and 1, 2, 7, 21, 30, 42, 84, and 168 days after flooding. Correspondence analyses revealed that T-RFLP patterns obtained using either community DNA or RNA were affected by time and oxygen zone, and that there was a significant interaction between the effects of time and oxygen zone. The temporal dynamics of bacterial populations were resolved more clearly using RNA than using DNA. At the RNA level, successional community dynamics were most pronounced from 1 h to 2 days and less pronounced from 2 to 21 days after flooding, for both oxic and anoxic zones. No effect of time or oxygen zone on the community dynamics was observed from 21 to 168 days after flooding. Dominant early successional populations were identified by cloning and comparative sequence analysis of environmental 16S rRNA and 16S rRNA genes as members of the Betaproteobacteria (oxic zone) and the clostridial cluster I (anoxic zone). Dominant late successional populations belonged to the Verrucomicrobia and Nitrospira (detected mainly in the oxic zone), and to the Myxococcales (detected mainly in the anoxic zone). In conclusion, the bacterial community developed through successional stages, leading at the RNA level to almost stable community patterns within 21 days after flooding. This

  18. Use of Plant Hydraulic Theory to Predict Ecosystem Fluxes Across Mountainous Gradients in Environmental Controls and Insect Disturbances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewers, B. E.; Pendall, E.; Reed, D. E.; Barnard, H. R.; Whitehouse, F.; Frank, J. M.; Massman, W. J.; Brooks, P. D.; Biederman, J. A.; Harpold, A. A.; Naithani, K. J.; Mitra, B.; Mackay, D. S.; Norton, U.; Borkhuu, B.

    2011-12-01

    While mountainous areas are critical for providing numerous ecosystem benefits at the regional scale, the strong gradients in environmental controls make predictions difficult. A key part of the problem is quantifying and predicting the feedback between mountain gradients and plant function which then controls ecosystem cycling. The emerging theory of plant hydraulics provides a rigorous yet simple platform from which to generate testable hypotheses and predictions of ecosystem pools and fluxes. Plant hydraulic theory predicts that plant controls over carbon, water, energy and nutrient fluxes can be derived from the limitation of plant water transport from the soil through xylem and out of stomata. In addition, the limit to plant water transport can be predicted by combining plant structure (e.g. xylem diameters or root-to-shoot ratios) and plant function (response of stomatal conductance to vapor pressure deficit or root vulnerability to cavitation). We evaluate the predictions of the plant hydraulic theory by testing it against data from a mountain gradient encompassing sagebrush steppe through subalpine forests (2700 to 3400 m). We further test the theory by predicting the carbon, water and nutrient exchanges from several coniferous trees in the same gradient that are dying from xylem dysfunction caused by blue-stain fungi carried by bark beetles. The common theme of both of these data sets is a change in water limitation caused by either changing precipitation along the mountainous gradient or lack of access to soil water from xylem-occluding fungi. Across all of the data sets which range in scale from individual plants to hillslopes, the data fit the predictions of plant hydraulic theory. Namely, there was a proportional tradeoff between the reference canopy stomatal conductance to water vapor and the sensitivity of that conductance to vapor pressure deficit that quantitatively fits the predictions of plant hydraulic theory. Incorporating this result into

  19. Rethinking plant functional types in Earth System Models: pan-tropical analysis of tree survival across environmental gradients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, D. J.; Needham, J.; Xu, C.; Davies, S. J.; Bunyavejchewin, S.; Giardina, C. P.; Condit, R.; Cordell, S.; Litton, C. M.; Hubbell, S.; Kassim, A. R. B.; Shawn, L. K. Y.; Nasardin, M. B.; Ong, P.; Ostertag, R.; Sack, L.; Tan, S. K. S.; Yap, S.; McDowell, N. G.; McMahon, S.

    2016-12-01

    Terrestrial carbon cycling is a function of the growth and survival of trees. Current model representations of tree growth and survival at a global scale rely on coarse plant functional traits that are parameterized very generally. In view of the large biodiversity in the tropical forests, it is important that we account for the functional diversity in order to better predict tropical forest responses to future climate changes. Several next generation Earth System Models are moving towards a size-structured, trait-based approach to modelling vegetation globally, but the challenge of which and how many traits are necessary to capture forest complexity remains. Additionally, the challenge of collecting sufficient trait data to describe the vast species richness of tropical forests is enormous. We propose a more fundamental approach to these problems by characterizing forests by their patterns of survival. We expect our approach to distill real-world tree survival into a reasonable number of functional types. Using 10 large-area tropical forest plots that span geographic, edaphic and climatic gradients, we model tree survival as a function of tree size for hundreds of species. We found surprisingly few categories of size-survival functions emerge. This indicates some fundamental strategies at play across diverse forests to constrain the range of possible size-survival functions. Initial cluster analysis indicates that four to eight functional forms are necessary to describe variation in size-survival relations. Temporal variation in size-survival functions can be related to local environmental variation, allowing us to parameterize how demographically similar groups of species respond to perturbations in the ecosystem. We believe this methodology will yield a synthetic approach to classifying forest systems that will greatly reduce uncertainty and complexity in global vegetation models.

  20. The effect of latitudinal gradient on the species diversity of Chinese litter-dwelling thrips

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jun; Tong, Xiaoli; Wu, Donghui

    2014-01-01

    Abstract To understand the global distribution patterns of litter-dwelling thrips, a total 150 leaf litter samples were collected from 6 natural reserves located in three climatic regions, temperate, subtropical and tropical. The results showed the relative abundance of Thysanoptera was over 3.0% in 4 natural reserves from subtropical and tropical zone, and reached 5.9% in one tropical reserve, only less than Acarina and Collembola. In contrast it was only 0.3% in the warm temperate natural reserves, and no thrips were collected in a mid temperate reserve. The order on the average species numbers per plot of litter thrips was tropic > subtropics > temperate (n=25, p0.05). The diversity of litter thrips in the tropics and subtropics was much higher than that in the temperate area based on comparsions of Shannon-Wiener diversity index (H’), Pielou eveness index (J), and Simpson dominance index (D). All of these results indicated that litter-dwelling thrips lived mainly in tropical and subtropical regions; meanwhile, species number and relative abundance increased with decreasing latitude. PMID:25061351

  1. Plant community and litter composition in temperate deciduous woodlots along two field gradients of soil Ni, Cu and Co concentrations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hale, Beverley; Robertson, Paul

    2016-01-01

    Perennial plant communities in the proximity of metal smelters and refineries may receive substantial inputs of base metal particulate as well as sulphate from the co-emission of sulphur dioxide. The Ni refinery at Port Colborne (Canada) operated by Inco (now Vale Canada Ltd.) emitted Ni, Co and Cu, along with sulphur dioxide, between 1918 and 1984. The objectives were to determine if vascular plant community composition, including standing litter, in twenty-one woodlots on clay or organic soil, were related to soil Ni concentration which decreased in concentration with distance from the Ni refinery. The soil Ni concentration in the clay woodlots ranged from 16 to 4130 mg Ni/kg, and in the organic woodlots, ranged from 98 to 22,700 mg Ni/kg. The concentrations of Co and Cu in the soils were also elevated, and highly correlated with soil Ni concentration. In consequence, each series of woodlots constituted a ‘fixed ratio ray’ of metal mixture exposure. For each of the woodlots, there were 16 independent measurements of ‘woodlot status’ which were correlated with elevated soil Ni concentration. Of the 32 combinations, there were eight linear correlations with soil Ni concentration, considerably more than would be expected by chance alone at a p-value of 0.05. With the exception of mean crown rating for shrubs at the clay sites, the correlations were consistent with the hypothesis that increased soil metal concentrations would be correlated with decreased diversity, plant community health or fitness, and increased accumulation of litter. Only five of the eight linear correlations were from the organic woodlots, suggesting that the observations were not confounded with soil type nor range in soil metal concentrations. - Highlights: • Temperate woodlots on organic or clay soils with gradient of soil Ni were studied. • Soil Ni ranged up to 4100 mg/kg on clay and up to 22,700 mg/kg on organic. • Most indices of plant community status were not correlated

  2. Prioritizing conservation areas for coastal plant diversity under increasing urbanization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doxa, Aggeliki; Albert, Cécile Hélène; Leriche, Agathe; Saatkamp, Arne

    2017-10-01

    Coastal urban expansion will continue to drive further biodiversity losses, if conservation targets for coastal ecosystems are not defined and met. Prioritizing areas for future protected area networks is thus an urgent task in such urbanization-threatened ecosystems. Our aim is to quantify past and future losses of coastal vegetation priority areas due to urbanization and assess the effectiveness of the existing protected area network for conservation. We conduct a prioritization analysis, based on 82 coastal plants, including common and IUCN red list species, in a highly-urbanized but biotically diverse region, in South-Eastern France. We evaluate the role of protected areas, by taking into account both strict and multi-use areas. We assess the impact of past and future urbanization on high priority areas, by combining prioritization analyses and urbanization models. We show that half of the highly diverse areas have already been lost due to urbanization. Remaining top priority areas are also among the most exposed to future urban expansion. The effectiveness of the existing protected area (PA) network is only partial. While strict PAs coincide well with top priority areas, they only represent less than one third of priority areas. The effectiveness of multi-use PAs, such as the Natura 2000 network, also remains limited. Our approach highlights the impact of urbanization on plant conservation targets. By modelling urbanization, we manage to identify those areas where protection could be more efficient to limit further losses. We suggest to use our approach in the future to expand the PA network in order to achieve the 2020 Aichi biodiversity targets. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Literature study of plants diversity in Sempu Island Nature Reserve, East Java

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    RONY IRAWANTO

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract. Irawanto R, Abywijaya IK, Mudiana D. 2017. Literature study of plants diversity in Sempu Island Nature Reserve, East Java. Pros Sem Nas Masy Biodiv Indon 3: 138-146. Purwodadi Botanic Garden have the task of plant conservation through inventories, exploration, collection and maintenance of plants, especially on dry lowland plants. Exploration activities and plants collection aim to conserve and save the plants from extinction, as well as conduct research and documentation of plant diversity in a region. It's related of the global strategy for plant conservation (GSPC target is known and documentation of plants diversity, especially in threatened habitats could be a priority. Sempu island's status as a nature reserve has a diversity of ecosystem and biodiversity of flora and fauna that are endemic and unique. This study aims to determine the plant's diversity in Island Sempu Nature Reserve based on a literature review of various studies that have been done. This study is a database for planning exploration activities, collecting, and documenting the plant's diversity in Sempu Island - East Java. Based on the literature review there are 282 species of plant diversity in Sempu Island, included in 80 families, contained in 10 blocks/location areas, namely Telaga Lele, Telaga Sat, Telaga Dowo, Gladakan, Baru-baru, Gua Macan, Teluk Ra’as, Teluk Semut, Air Tawar, dan Waru-Waru.Tenth blocks represent plants vegetation of mangrove forest, coastal forest, lowland tropical forests, and meadows.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  5. Plant diversity in hedgerows amidst Atlantic Forest fragments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina C. C. Oliveira

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Hedgerows are linear structures found in agricultural landscapes that may facilitate dispersal of plants and animals and also serve as habitat. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationships among diversity and ecological traits of woody plants, hedgerow characteristics (size, age, and origin, and the structure of the surrounding Atlantic Forest landscape. Field data were collected from 14 hedgerows, and landscape metrics from 1000-m buffers surrounding hedgerows were recorded from a thematic map. In all sampled hedgerows, arboreal species were predominantly zoochoric and early-succession species, and hedgerow width was an important factor explaining the richness and abundance of this group of species. Connection with forest vegetation did not explain richness and abundance of animal-dispersed species, but richness of non-zoochoric species increased in more connected hedgerows. These results suggest that hedgerows are probably colonized by species arriving from nearby early-succession sites, forest fragment edges, and isolated trees in the matrix. Nonetheless, hedgerows provide resources for frugivorous animals and influence landscape connectivity, highlighting the importance of these elements in the conservation of biodiversity in fragmented and rural landscapes.

  6. Analysis of microbial diversity on deli slicers using polymerase chain reaction and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koo, O K; Mertz, A W; Akins, E L; Sirsat, S A; Neal, J A; Morawicki, R; Crandall, P G; Ricke, S C

    2013-02-01

    Cross-contamination of pathogenic and spoilage bacteria from food-contact surfaces to food products is a serious public health issue. Bacteria may survive and attach to food-contact surfaces by residual food components and/or background bacteria which may subsequently transfer to other food products. Deli slicers, generally used for slicing ready-to-eat products, can serve as potential sources for considerable bacterial transfer. The objective of this study was to assess the extent and distribution of microbial diversity of deli slicers by identification of pathogenic and background bacteria. Slicer-swab samples were collected from restaurants in Arkansas and Texas in the United States. Ten surface areas for each slicer were swabbed using sterile sponges. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) was applied to investigate the fingerprint of samples, and each band was further identified by sequence analysis. Pseudomonads were identified as the dominant bacteria followed by Enterobacteriaceae family, and lactic acid bacteria such as Lactococcus lactis and Streptococcus thermophilus were also found. Bacterial distribution was similar for all surface areas, while the blade guard exhibited the greatest diversity. This study provides a profile of the microbial ecology of slicers using DGGE to develop more specific sanitation practices and to reduce cross-contamination during slicing. © 2012 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  7. Diversity of meiofauna from the 9°50'N East Pacific rise across a gradient of hydrothermal fluid emissions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabine Gollner

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available We studied the meiofauna community at deep-sea hydrothermal vents along a gradient of vent fluid emissions in the axial summit trought (AST of the East Pacific Rise 9°50'N region. The gradient ranged from extreme high temperatures, high sulfide concentrations, and low pH at sulfide chimneys to ambient deep-sea water conditions on bare basalt. We explore meiofauna diversity and abundance, and discuss its possible underlying ecological and evolutionary processes.After sampling in five physico-chemically different habitats, the meiofauna was sorted, counted and classified. Abundances were low at all sites. A total of 52 species were identified at vent habitats. The vent community was dominated by hard substrate generalists that also lived on bare basalt at ambient deep-sea temperature in the axial summit trough (AST generalists. Some vent species were restricted to a specific vent habitat (vent specialists, but others occurred over a wide range of physico-chemical conditions (vent generalists. Additionally, 35 species were only found on cold bare basalt (basalt specialists. At vent sites, species richness and diversity clearly increased with decreasing influence of vent fluid emissions from extreme flow sulfide chimney (no fauna, high flow pompei worm (S: 4-7, H'(loge: 0.11-0.45, vigorous flow tubeworm (S: 8-23; H'(loge: 0.44-2.00 to low flow mussel habitats (S: 28-31; H'(loge: 2.34-2.60.Our data suggest that with increasing temperature and toxic hydrogen sulfide concentrations and increasing amplitude of variation of these factors, fewer species are able to cope with these extreme conditions. This results in less diverse communities in more extreme habitats. The finding of many species being present at sites with and without vent fluid emissions points to a non endemic deep-sea hydrothermal vent meiofaunal community. This is in contrast to a mostly endemic macrofauna but similar to what is known for meiofauna from shallow-water vents.

  8. Diversity of bacterial communities along a petroleum contamination gradient in desert soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abed, Raeid M M; Al-Kindi, Sumaiya; Al-Kharusi, Samiha

    2015-01-01

    Microbial communities in oil-polluted desert soils have been rarely studied compared to their counterparts from freshwater and marine environments. We investigated bacterial diversity and changes therein in five desert soils exposed to different levels of oil pollution. Automated rRNA intergenic spacer (ARISA) analysis profiles showed that the bacterial communities of the five soils were profoundly different (analysis of similarities (ANOSIM), R = 0.45, P pollution levels. Multivariate analyses of ARISA profiles revealed that the microbial communities in the S soil, which contains the highest level of contamination, were different from the other soils and formed a completely separate cluster. A total of 16,657 ribosomal sequences were obtained, with 42-89 % of these sequences belonging to the phylum Proteobacteria. While sequences belonging to Betaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Bacilli, and Actinobacteria were encountered in all soils, sequences belonging to anaerobic bacteria from the classes Deltaproteobacteria, Clostridia, and Anaerolineae were only detected in the S soil. Sequences belonging to the genus Terriglobus of the class Acidobacteria were only detected in the B3 soil with the lowest level of contamination. Redundancy analysis (RDA) showed that oil contamination level was the most determinant factor that explained variations in the microbial communities. We conclude that the exposure to different levels of oil contamination exerts a strong selective pressure on bacterial communities and that desert soils are rich in aerobic and anaerobic bacteria that could potentially contribute to the degradation of hydrocarbons.

  9. Testing the stress-gradient hypothesis during the restoration of tropical degraded land using the shrub Rhodomyrtus tomentosa as a nurse plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nan Liu; Hai Ren; Sufen Yuan; Qinfeng Guo; Long Yang

    2013-01-01

    The relative importance of facilitation and competition between pairwise plants across abiotic stress gradients as predicted by the stress-gradient hypothesis has been confirmed in arid and temperate ecosystems, but the hypothesis has rarely been tested in tropical systems, particularly across nutrient gradients. The current research examines the interactions between a...

  10. Diversity of bacteria nesting the plant cover of north Sinai deserts, Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amira L. Hanna

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available North Sinai deserts were surveyed for the predominant plant cover and for the culturable bacteria nesting their roots and shoots. Among 43 plant species reported, 13 are perennial (e.g. Fagonia spp., Pancratium spp. and 30 annuals (e.g. Bromus spp., Erodium spp.. Eleven species possessed rhizo-sheath, e.g. Cyperus capitatus, Panicum turgidum and Trisetaria koelerioides. Microbiological analyses demonstrated: the great diversity and richness of associated culturable bacteria, in particular nitrogen-fixing bacteria (diazotrophs; the majority of bacterial residents were of true and/or putative diazotrophic nature; the bacterial populations followed an increasing density gradient towards the root surfaces; sizeable populations were able to reside inside the root (endorhizosphere and shoot (endophyllosphere tissues. Three hundred bacterial isolates were secured from studied spheres. The majority of nitrogen-fixing bacilli isolates belonged to Bacillus megaterium, Bacillus pumilus, Bacillus polymexa, Bacillus macerans, Bacillus circulans and Bacillus licheniformis. The family Enterobacteriaceae represented by Enterobacter agglomerans, Enterobacter sackazakii, Enterobacter cloacae, Serratia adorifera, Serratia liquefaciens and Klebsiella oxytoca. The non-Enterobacteriaceae population was rich in Pantoae spp., Agrobacterium rdiobacter, Pseudomonas vesicularis, Pseudomonas putida, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Ochrobactrum anthropi, Sphingomonas paucimobilis and Chrysemonas luteola. Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus were reported inside root and shoot tissues of a number of tested plants. The dense bacterial populations reported speak well to the very possible significant role played by the endophytic bacterial populations in the survival, in respect of nutrition and health, of existing plants. Such groups of diazotrophs are good candidates, as bio-preparates, to support the growth of future field crops grown in deserts of north Sinai and irrigated by the

  11. Plant diversity and biomass of Marudu bay mangroves in Malaysia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanum, F.; Kudus, K.A.; Saari, N.S

    2012-01-01

    The mangroves of Marudu Bay in the state of Sabah is situated at the tip of Borneo Island, and at the southern limit of the Coral Triangle whose waters hold the highest diversity of corals, fish, molluscks, crustaceans and marine plant species in the world. The ecosystem shows a deterioration due to unsustainable fishing, pollution and encroachment, and these are impacting the Marudu Bay coastal communities economically. Fishing is the major economic activity here. Realising the importance of conserving the mangroves to uplift the socio-economic livelihood of the coastal community, a resource inventory of the mangroves and its productivity study were carried out. A total of 16 plant species in 12 genera and 9 families were identified. It was also found that 0.7 ha is capable of capturing all the species in the mangrove forest. The mangrove forests of Marudu Bay are dominated by Rhizopora apiculata and R. mucronata. The highest Importance Value index (IVI) was given by Rhizophora mucronata. Total Above Ground Biomass (TAGB) for 1-ha of mangrove forest in Marudu Bay was estimated to be 98.4 t/ha. It was found in other parallel studies that the mangroves of Marudu Bay are productive ecosystems that provide valuable habitats, nurseries and spawning grounds for various commercially important species of fish and invertebrates such as shrimp besides many species of wildlife. The mangroves at Marudu Bay are not only aesthetically attractive but provide opportunities for ecotourism activities that can be undertaken by the local community inhabiting the area to uplift their meagre income, These activities include mangrove cruising, recreational fishing, educational tourism and mangrove honey production, amongst others. This way, the degradation of the mangrove in Marudu Bay can be halted and reversed. (author)

  12. Diversity, occurrence and feeding traits of caddisfly larvae as indicators for ecological integrity of river-floodplain habitats along a connectivity gradient

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van den Brink, F.W.B.; Van der Velde, G.; Wijnhoven, S.

    2013-01-01

    In order to assess ecological values of Lower Rhine and Meuse floodplain habitats we studied the spatial and seasonal variation in diversity, species assemblages and feeding traits of caddisfly larvae in water bodies over the lateral connectivity gradient: eupotamon: main and secondary channels:

  13. Diversity of microbiota found in coffee processing wastewater treatment plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pires, Josiane Ferreira; Cardoso, Larissa de Souza; Schwan, Rosane Freitas; Silva, Cristina Ferreira

    2017-11-13

    Cultivable microbiota presents in a coffee semi-dry processing wastewater treatment plant (WTP) was identified. Thirty-two operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were detected, these being 16 bacteria, 11 yeasts and 4 filamentous fungi. Bacteria dominated the microbial population (11.61 log CFU mL - 1 ), and presented the highest total diversity index when observed in the WTP aerobic stage (Shannon = 1.94 and Simpson = 0.81). The most frequent bacterial species were Enterobacter asburiae, Sphingobacterium griseoflavum, Chryseobacterium bovis, Serratia marcescens, Corynebacterium flavescens, Acetobacter orientalis and Acetobacter indonesiensis; these showed the largest total bacteria populations in the WTP, with approximately 10 log CFU mL - 1 . Yeasts were present at 7 log CFU mL - 1 of viable cells, with Hanseniaspora uvarum, Wickerhamomyces anomalus, Torulaspora delbrueckii, Saturnispora gosingensis, and Kazachstania gamospora being the prevalent species. Filamentous fungi were found at 6 log CFU mL - 1 , with Fusarium oxysporum the most populous species. The identified species have the potential to act as a biological treatment in the WTP, and the application of them for this purpose must be better studied.

  14. 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.

  15. Do chemical gradients within soil aggregates reflect plant/soil interactions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krüger, Jaane; Hallas, Till; Kinsch, Lena; Stahr, Simon; Prietzel, Jörg; Lang, Friederike

    2016-04-01

    -specific: On P-rich study sites the results reveal a significant depletion of citric acid-extractable PO4 and P on aggregate surfaces in subsoil horizons, while at the other study sites a slight enrichment at the aggregate surfaces could be observed. Total P concentrations show no distinct gradients within topsoil aggregates, but a slight P enrichment at the surface of subsoil aggregates at the P-rich site. A strong correlation with the total Al concentrations may indicate a P speciation change within aggregates (e.g., due to acidification processes). These results were also confirmed by P K-edge XANES spectra of aggregate core and shell samples of the P-rich site: In the aggregate shells of topsoil as well as subsoil aggregates, organic P forms are most dominant (82 and 80 %, respectively) than in the aggregate interior (54 and 66%, respectively). Moreover, P in the shell seems to be completely associated to Al, whereas some of the P in the aggregate interior is bound to Fe and/or Ca. Overall, our results show that plant/soil interactions impact on small-scale distribution and bioavailability of nutrients by root uptake and root-induced aggregate engineering.

  16. Root biomass and exudates link plant diversity with soil bacterial and fungal biomass

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eisenhauer, Nico; Lanoue, Arnaud; Strecker, Tanja; Scheu, Stefan; Steinauer, Katja; Thakur, Madhav P.; Mommer, Liesje

    2017-01-01

    Plant diversity has been shown to determine the composition and functioning of soil biota. Although root-derived organic inputs are discussed as the main drivers of soil communities, experimental evidence is scarce. While there is some evidence that higher root biomass at high plant diversity

  17. Diversity and Biological Activities of Endophytic Fungi Associated with Micropropagated Medicinal Plant Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-01

    1105 Diversity and Biological Activities of Endophytic Fungi Associated with Micropropagated Medicinal Plant Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench Luiz H...fungal community and micropropagated clones of E. purpurea was re-established after acclimatization to soil and the endophytic fungi produced compounds...Diversity and Biological Activities of Endophytic Fungi Associated with Micropropagated Medicinal Plant Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench 5a. CONTRACT

  18. Data from: Root biomass and exudates link plant diversity with soil bacterial and fungal biomass

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eisenhauer, Nico; Strecker, Tanja; Lanoue, Arnaud; Scheu, Stefan; Steinauer, Katja; Thakur, Madhav P.; Mommer, L.

    2017-01-01

    Plant diversity has been shown to determine the composition and functioning of soil biota. Although root-derived organic inputs are discussed as the main drivers of soil communities, experimental evidence is scarce. While there is some evidence that higher root biomass at high plant diversity

  19. Island phytophagy: explaining the remarkable diversity of plant-feeding insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joy, Jeffrey B; Crespi, Bernard J

    2012-08-22

    Plant-feeding insects have undergone unparalleled diversification among different plant taxa, yet explanations for variation in their diversity lack a quantitative, predictive framework. Island biogeographic theory has been applied to spatially discrete habitats but not to habitats, such as host plants, separated by genetic distance. We show that relationships between the diversity of gall-inducing flies and their host plants meet several fundamental predictions from island biogeographic theory. First, plant-taxon genetic distinctiveness, an integrator for long-term evolutionary history of plant lineages, is a significant predictor of variance in the diversity of gall-inducing flies among host-plant taxa. Second, range size and structural complexity also explain significant proportions of the variance in diversity of gall-inducing flies among different host-plant taxa. Third, as with other island systems, plant-lineage age does not predict species diversity. Island biogeographic theory, applied to habitats defined by genetic distance, provides a novel, comprehensive framework for analysing and explaining the diversity of plant-feeding insects and other host-specific taxa.

  20. Links between plant litter chemistry, species diversity, and below-ground ecosystem function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Courtney L; Bowman, William D

    2008-12-16

    Decomposition is a critical source of plant nutrients, and drives the largest flux of terrestrial C to the atmosphere. Decomposing soil organic matter typically contains litter from multiple plant species, yet we lack a mechanistic understanding of how species diversity influences decomposition processes. Here, we show that soil C and N cycling during decomposition are controlled by the composition and diversity of chemical compounds within plant litter mixtures, rather than by simple metrics of plant species diversity. We amended native soils with litter mixtures containing up to 4 alpine plant species, and we used 9 litter chemical traits to evaluate the chemical composition (i.e., the identity and quantity of compounds) and chemical diversity of the litter mixtures. The chemical composition of the litter mixtures was the strongest predictor of soil respiration, net N mineralization, and microbial biomass N. Soil respiration and net N mineralization rates were also significantly correlated with the chemical diversity of the litter mixtures. In contrast, soil C and N cycling rates were poorly correlated with plant species richness, and there was no relationship between species richness and the chemical diversity of the litter mixtures. These results indicate that the composition and diversity of chemical compounds in litter are potentially important functional traits affecting decomposition, and simple metrics like plant species richness may fail to capture variation in these traits. Litter chemical traits therefore provide a mechanistic link between organisms, species diversity, and key components of below-ground ecosystem function.

  1. Diversity of cultivated and metabolically active aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria along an oligotrophic gradient in the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Jeanthon

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic (AAP bacteria play significant roles in the bacterioplankton productivity and biogeochemical cycles of the surface ocean. In this study, we applied both cultivation and mRNA-based molecular methods to explore the diversity of AAP bacteria along an oligotrophic gradient in the Mediterranean Sea in early summer 2008. Colony-forming units obtained on three different agar media were screened for the production of bacteriochlorophyll-a (BChl-a, the light-harvesting pigment of AAP bacteria. BChl-a-containing colonies represented a low part of the cultivable fraction. In total, 54 AAP strains were isolated and the phylogenetic analyses based on their 16S rRNA and pufM genes showed that they were all affiliated to the Alphaproteobacteria. The most frequently isolated strains belonged to Citromicrobium bathyomarinum, and Erythrobacter and Roseovarius species. Most other isolates were related to species not reported to produce BChl-a and/or may represent novel taxa. Direct extraction of RNA from seawater samples enabled the analysis of the expression of pufM, the gene coding for the M subunit of the reaction centre complex of aerobic anoxygenic photosynthesis. Clone libraries of pufM gene transcripts revealed that most phylotypes were highly similar to sequences previously recovered from the Mediterranean Sea and a large majority (~94 % was affiliated to the Gammaproteobacteria. The most abundantly detected phylotypes occurred in the western and eastern Mediterranean basins. However, some were exclusively detected in the eastern basin, reflecting the highest diversity of pufM transcripts observed in this ultra-oligotrophic region. To our knowledge, this is the first study to document extensively the diversity of AAP isolates and to unveil the active AAP community in an oligotrophic marine environment. By pointing out the discrepancies

  2. Regulation and diversity of plant polysaccharide utilisation in fungi

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Battaglia, E.

    2011-01-01

    Filamentous fungi obtain their nutrients by degrading dead or living plant material. Plant material consists of different cell wall and storage polysaccharides. Due to the complex structure and the variety of plant polysaccharides, filamentous fungi secrete a wide range of plant polysaccharide

  3. Links between plant litter chemistry, species diversity, and below-ground ecosystem function

    OpenAIRE

    Meier, Courtney L.; Bowman, William D.

    2008-01-01

    Decomposition is a critical source of plant nutrients, and drives the largest flux of terrestrial C to the atmosphere. Decomposing soil organic matter typically contains litter from multiple plant species, yet we lack a mechanistic understanding of how species diversity influences decomposition processes. Here, we show that soil C and N cycling during decomposition are controlled by the composition and diversity of chemical compounds within plant litter mixtures, rather than by simple metrics...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Salo, Tiina; Gustafsson, Camilla; Boström, Christoffer

    2009-01-01

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

  5. GENOTYPIC AND PLASTIC VARIATION IN PLANT SIZE - EFFECTS ON FECUNDITY AND ALLOCATION PATTERNS IN LYCHNIS-FLOS-CUCULI ALONG A GRADIENT OF NATURAL SOIL FERTILITY

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    BIERE, A

    1 Genotypic and plastic variation in plant size, and trade-offs among components of reproduction were studied using cloned individuals from 24 parental plants of the perennial hay-meadow species Lychnis-flos-cuculi, planted in four sites along a gradient of natural soil fertility. 2 Plant biomass,

  6. Diversity Strategies for Nuclear Power Plant Instrumentation and Control Systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wood, Richard Thomas; Belles, Randy; Cetiner, Mustafa Sacit; Holcomb, David Eugene; Korsah, Kofi; Loebl, Andy; Mays, Gary T.; Muhlheim, Michael David; Mullens, James Allen; Poore, Willis P. III; Qualls, A.L.; Wilson, Thomas L.; Waterman, Michael E.

    2010-01-01

    This report presents the technical basis for establishing acceptable mitigating strategies that resolve diversity and defense-in-depth (D3) assessment findings and conform to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) requirements. The research approach employed to establish appropriate diversity strategies involves investigation of available documentation on D3 methods and experience from nuclear power and nonnuclear industries, capture of expert knowledge and lessons learned, determination of best practices, and assessment of the nature of common-cause failures (CCFs) and compensating diversity attributes. The research described in this report does not provide guidance on how to determine the need for diversity in a safety system to mitigate the consequences of potential CCFs. Rather, the scope of this report provides guidance to the staff and nuclear industry after a licensee or applicant has performed a D3 assessment per NUREG/CR-6303 and determined that diversity in a safety system is needed for mitigating the consequences of potential CCFs identified in the evaluation of the safety system design features. Succinctly, the purpose of the research described in this report was to answer the question, 'If diversity is required in a safety system to mitigate the consequences of potential CCFs, how much diversity is enough?' The principal results of this research effort have identified and developed diversity strategies, which consist of combinations of diversity attributes and their associated criteria. Technology, which corresponds to design diversity, is chosen as the principal system characteristic by which diversity criteria are grouped to form strategies. The rationale for this classification framework involves consideration of the profound impact that technology-focused design diversity provides. Consequently, the diversity usage classification scheme involves three families of strategies: (1) different technologies, (2) different approaches within the same

  7. Diversity Strategies for Nuclear Power Plant Instrumentation and Control Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wood, Richard Thomas [ORNL; Belles, Randy [ORNL; Cetiner, Mustafa Sacit [ORNL; Holcomb, David Eugene [ORNL; Korsah, Kofi [ORNL; Loebl, Andy [ORNL; Mays, Gary T [ORNL; Muhlheim, Michael David [ORNL; Mullens, James Allen [ORNL; Poore III, Willis P [ORNL; Qualls, A L [ORNL; Wilson, Thomas L [ORNL; Waterman, Michael E. [U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

    2010-02-01

    This report presents the technical basis for establishing acceptable mitigating strategies that resolve diversity and defense-in-depth (D3) assessment findings and conform to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) requirements. The research approach employed to establish appropriate diversity strategies involves investigation of available documentation on D3 methods and experience from nuclear power and nonnuclear industries, capture of expert knowledge and lessons learned, determination of best practices, and assessment of the nature of common-cause failures (CCFs) and compensating diversity attributes. The research described in this report does not provide guidance on how to determine the need for diversity in a safety system to mitigate the consequences of potential CCFs. Rather, the scope of this report provides guidance to the staff and nuclear industry after a licensee or applicant has performed a D3 assessment per NUREG/CR-6303 and determined that diversity in a safety system is needed for mitigating the consequences of potential CCFs identified in the evaluation of the safety system design features. Succinctly, the purpose of the research described in this report was to answer the question, 'If diversity is required in a safety system to mitigate the consequences of potential CCFs, how much diversity is enough?' The principal results of this research effort have identified and developed diversity strategies, which consist of combinations of diversity attributes and their associated criteria. Technology, which corresponds to design diversity, is chosen as the principal system characteristic by which diversity criteria are grouped to form strategies. The rationale for this classification framework involves consideration of the profound impact that technology-focused design diversity provides. Consequently, the diversity usage classification scheme involves three families of strategies: (1) different technologies, (2) different approaches within

  8. Environmental conditions influence the plant functional diversity effect on potential denitrification.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariana E Sutton-Grier

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Global biodiversity loss has prompted research on the relationship between species diversity and ecosystem functioning. Few studies have examined how plant diversity impacts belowground processes; even fewer have examined how varying resource levels can influence the effect of plant diversity on microbial activity. In a field experiment in a restored wetland, we examined the role of plant trait diversity (or functional diversity, (FD and its interactions with natural levels of variability of soil properties, on a microbial process, denitrification potential (DNP. We demonstrated that FD significantly affected microbial DNP through its interactions with soil conditions; increasing FD led to increased DNP but mainly at higher levels of soil resources. Our results suggest that the effect of species diversity on ecosystem functioning may depend on environmental factors such as resource availability. Future biodiversity experiments should examine how natural levels of environmental variability impact the importance of biodiversity to ecosystem functioning.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Fungal-host diversity among mycoheterotrophic plants increases proportionally to their fungal-host overlap.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomes, Sofia I F; Merckx, Vincent S F T; Saavedra, Serguei

    2017-05-01

    The vast majority of plants obtain an important proportion of vital resources from soil through mycorrhizal fungi. Generally, this happens in exchange of photosynthetically fixed carbon, but occasionally the interaction is mycoheterotrophic, and plants obtain carbon from mycorrhizal fungi. This process results in an antagonistic interaction between mycoheterotrophic plants and their fungal hosts. Importantly, the fungal-host diversity available for plants is restricted as mycoheterotrophic interactions often involve narrow lineages of fungal hosts. Unfortunately, little is known whether fungal-host diversity may be additionally modulated by plant-plant interactions through shared hosts. Yet, this may have important implications for plant competition and coexistence. Here, we use DNA sequencing data to investigate the interaction patterns between mycoheterotrophic plants and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. We find no phylogenetic signal on the number of fungal hosts nor on the fungal hosts shared among mycoheterotrophic plants. However, we observe a potential trend toward increased phylogenetic diversity of fungal hosts among mycoheterotrophic plants with increasing overlap in their fungal hosts. While these patterns remain for groups of plants regardless of location, we do find higher levels of overlap and diversity among plants from the same location. These findings suggest that species coexistence cannot be fully understood without attention to the two sides of ecological interactions.

  11. Bioindicator responses and performance of plant species along a vehicular pollution gradient in western Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kashyap, Rachit; Sharma, Rohit; Uniyal, Sanjay Kr

    2018-04-21

    Loss of green cover, and increasing pollution is a prime global concern. The problem calls for screening of pollution-tolerant tree species that can be integrated into plantation drives. Recognizing this, the study analyzed bio-indicator responses and performance of commonly occurring plant species along a pollution gradient in western Himalaya. Based on distance from the road, three sites viz., highly polluted (HP), moderately polluted (MP), and least polluted (LP), were identified. From these sites, leaves of commonly occurring 26 tree species were collected and analyzed for dust accumulation, total chlorophyll, relative water content (RWC), ascorbic acid, and pH using standard protocols. Later, assessment of Air Pollution Tolerance Index (APTI) and Anticipated Performance Indices (API) was carried out. The results revealed variations in biochemical characteristics. The pH, RWC, and total chlorophyll increased with decreasing pollution while ascorbic acid increased with increasing pollution. Dust capturing potential of Ficus carica (1.191 mg/m 2 ) and Toona ciliata (0.820 mg/m 2 ) was relatively higher. Based on the results of APTI, Grevillea robusta was classified as tolerant. It scored significantly higher values (21.06, 21.19, and 19.61 in LP, MP, and HP sites, respectively). Quercus floribunda, G. robusta (68.75% each), Juglans regia (68.7%), and T. ciliata (62.50%) were good performers in HP sites. Acer caesium, Betula utilis, and Morus alba that had low API scores (43.75%) were predicted as poor performers. Thus, G. robusta, Q. floribunda, J. regia, T. ciliata, and F. carica were evaluated as best performers. They could be integrated into plantations drives for environmental management.

  12. Plant diversity and conservation in China: planning a strategic bioresource for a sustainable future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Hongwen

    2011-01-01

    China is one of the richest countries for plant diversity with approximately 33 000 vascular plant species, ranking second in the world. However, the plant diversity in China is increasingly threatened, with an estimated 4000–5000 plant species being threatened or on the verge of extinction, making China, proportionally, one of the highest priorities for global plant biodiversity conservation. Coming in the face of the current ecological crisis, it is timely that China has launched China's Strategy for Plant Conservation (CSPC). China has increasingly recognized the importance of plant diversity in efforts to conserve and sustainably use its plant diversity. More than 3000 nature reserves have been established, covering approximately 16% of the land surface of China. These natural reserves play important roles in plant conservation, covering more than 85% of types of terrestrial natural ecosystems, 40% of types of natural wetlands, 20% of native forests and 65% of natural communities of vascular plants. Meanwhile, the flora conserved in botanical gardens is also extensive. A recent survey shows that the 10 largest botanical gardens have living collections of 43 502 taxa, with a total of 24 667 species in ex situ conservation. These provide an important reserve of plant resources for sustainable economic and social development in China. Plant diversity is the basis for bioresources and sustainable utilization. The 21st century is predicted to be an era of bio-economy driven by advances of bioscience and biotechnology. Bio-economy may become the fourth economy form after agricultural, industrial, and information and information technology economies, having far-reaching impacts on sustainable development in agriculture, forestry, environmental protection, light industry, food supply and health care and other micro-economy aspects. Thus, a strategic and forward vision for conservation of plant diversity and sustainable use of plant resources in the 21st century is of

  13. Habitats as complex odour environments: how does plant diversity affect herbivore and parasitoid orientation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole Wäschke

    Full Text Available Plant diversity is known to affect success of host location by pest insects, but its effect on olfactory orientation of non-pest insect species has hardly been addressed. First, we tested in laboratory experiments the hypothesis that non-host plants, which increase odour complexity in habitats, affect the host location ability of herbivores and parasitoids. Furthermore, we recorded field data of plant diversity in addition to herbivore and parasitoid abundance at 77 grassland sites in three different regions in Germany in order to elucidate whether our laboratory results reflect the field situation. As a model system we used the herb Plantago lanceolata, the herbivorous weevil Mecinus pascuorum, and its larval parasitoid Mesopolobus incultus. The laboratory bioassays revealed that both the herbivorous weevil and its larval parasitoid can locate their host plant and host via olfactory cues even in the presence of non-host odour. In a newly established two-circle olfactometer, the weeviĺs capability to detect host plant odour was not affected by odours from non-host plants. However, addition of non-host plant odours to host plant odour enhanced the weeviĺs foraging activity. The parasitoid was attracted by a combination of host plant and host volatiles in both the absence and presence of non-host plant volatiles in a Y-tube olfactometer. In dual choice tests the parasitoid preferred the blend of host plant and host volatiles over its combination with non-host plant volatiles. In the field, no indication was found that high plant diversity disturbs host (plant location by the weevil and its parasitoid. In contrast, plant diversity was positively correlated with weevil abundance, whereas parasitoid abundance was independent of plant diversity. Therefore, we conclude that weevils and parasitoids showed the sensory capacity to successfully cope with complex vegetation odours when searching for hosts.

  14. Plant diversity moderates drought stress in grasslands: Implications from a large real-world study on "1"3C natural abundances

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Klaus, Valentin H.; Hölzel, Norbert; Prati, Daniel; Schmitt, Barbara; Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Solly, Emily F.; Hänsel, Falk; Fischer, Markus; Kleinebecker, Till

    2016-01-01

    Land-use change and intensification play a key role in the current biodiversity crisis. The resulting species loss can have severe effects on ecosystem functions and services, thereby increasing ecosystem vulnerability to climate change. We explored whether land-use intensification (i.e. fertilization intensity), plant diversity and other potentially confounding environmental factors may be significantly related to water use (i.e. drought stress) of grassland plants. Drought stress was assessed using δ"1"3C abundances in aboveground plant biomass of 150 grassland plots across a gradient of land-use intensity. Under water shortage, plants are forced to increasingly take up the heavier "1"3C due to closing stomata leading to an enrichment of "1"3C in biomass. Plants were sampled at the community level and for single species, which belong to three different functional groups (one grass, one herb, two legumes). Results show that plant diversity was significantly related to the δ"1"3C signal in community, grass and legume biomass indicating that drought stress was lower under higher diversity, although this relation was not significant for the herb species under study. Fertilization, in turn, mostly increased drought stress as indicated by more positive δ"1"3C values. This effect was mostly indirect by decreasing plant diversity. In line with these results, we found similar patterns in the δ"1"3C signal of the organic matter in the topsoil, indicating a long history of these processes. Our study provided strong indication for a positive biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship with reduced drought stress at higher plant diversity. However, it also underlined a negative reinforcing situation: as land-use intensification decreases plant diversity in grasslands, this might subsequently increases drought sensitivity. Vice-versa, enhancing plant diversity in species-poor agricultural grasslands may moderate negative effects of future climate change. - Highlights

  15. Plant diversity moderates drought stress in grasslands: Implications from a large real-world study on {sup 13}C natural abundances

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Klaus, Valentin H., E-mail: v.klaus@uni-muenster.de [Münster University, Institute for Landscape Ecology, Heisenbergstr. 2, 48149 Münster (Germany); Hölzel, Norbert [Münster University, Institute for Landscape Ecology, Heisenbergstr. 2, 48149 Münster (Germany); Prati, Daniel; Schmitt, Barbara [University of Bern, Institute of Plant Sciences, Altenbergrain 21, 3013 Bern (Switzerland); Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Solly, Emily F. [Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry, Hans-Knöll-Str. 10, 07745 Jena (Germany); Hänsel, Falk [University Marburg, Environmental Informatics, Faculty of Geography, Deutschhausstr. 12, 35037 Marburg (Germany); Fischer, Markus [University of Bern, Institute of Plant Sciences, Altenbergrain 21, 3013 Bern (Switzerland); Kleinebecker, Till [Münster University, Institute for Landscape Ecology, Heisenbergstr. 2, 48149 Münster (Germany)

    2016-10-01

    Land-use change and intensification play a key role in the current biodiversity crisis. The resulting species loss can have severe effects on ecosystem functions and services, thereby increasing ecosystem vulnerability to climate change. We explored whether land-use intensification (i.e. fertilization intensity), plant diversity and other potentially confounding environmental factors may be significantly related to water use (i.e. drought stress) of grassland plants. Drought stress was assessed using δ{sup 13}C abundances in aboveground plant biomass of 150 grassland plots across a gradient of land-use intensity. Under water shortage, plants are forced to increasingly take up the heavier {sup 13}C due to closing stomata leading to an enrichment of {sup 13}C in biomass. Plants were sampled at the community level and for single species, which belong to three different functional groups (one grass, one herb, two legumes). Results show that plant diversity was significantly related to the δ{sup 13}C signal in community, grass and legume biomass indicating that drought stress was lower under higher diversity, although this relation was not significant for the herb species under study. Fertilization, in turn, mostly increased drought stress as indicated by more positive δ{sup 13}C values. This effect was mostly indirect by decreasing plant diversity. In line with these results, we found similar patterns in the δ{sup 13}C signal of the organic matter in the topsoil, indicating a long history of these processes. Our study provided strong indication for a positive biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship with reduced drought stress at higher plant diversity. However, it also underlined a negative reinforcing situation: as land-use intensification decreases plant diversity in grasslands, this might subsequently increases drought sensitivity. Vice-versa, enhancing plant diversity in species-poor agricultural grasslands may moderate negative effects of future

  16. Genome Size Diversity and Its Impact on the Evolution of Land Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaume Pellicer

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Genome size is a biodiversity trait that shows staggering diversity across eukaryotes, varying over 64,000-fold. Of all major taxonomic groups, land plants stand out due to their staggering genome size diversity, ranging ca. 2400-fold. As our understanding of the implications and significance of this remarkable genome size diversity in land plants grows, it is becoming increasingly evident that this trait plays not only an important role in shaping the evolution of plant genomes, but also in influencing plant community assemblages at the ecosystem level. Recent advances and improvements in novel sequencing technologies, as well as analytical tools, make it possible to gain critical insights into the genomic and epigenetic mechanisms underpinning genome size changes. In this review we provide an overview of our current understanding of genome size diversity across the different land plant groups, its implications on the biology of the genome and what future directions need to be addressed to fill key knowledge gaps.

  17. Root chemistry and soil fauna, but not soil abiotic conditions explain the effects of plant diversity on root decomposition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chen, Hongmei; Oram, Natalie J.; Barry, Kathryn E.; Mommer, Liesje; Ruijven, van Jasper; Kroon, de Hans; Ebeling, Anne; Eisenhauer, Nico; Fischer, Christine; Gleixner, Gerd; Gessler, Arthur; González Macé, Odette; Hacker, Nina; Hildebrandt, Anke; Lange, Markus; Scherer-lorenzen, Michael; Scheu, Stefan; Oelmann, Yvonne; Wagg, Cameron; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Wirth, Christian; Weigelt, Alexandra

    2017-01-01

    Plant diversity influences many ecosystem functions including root decomposition. However, due to the presence of multiple pathways via which plant diversity may affect root decomposition, our mechanistic understanding of their relationships is limited. In a grassland biodiversity experiment, we

  18. Seed plant phylogenetic diversity and species richness in conservation planning within a global biodiversity hotspot in eastern Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Rong; Kraft, Nathan J B; Yu, Haiying; Li, Heng

    2015-12-01

    One of the main goals of conservation biology is to understand the factors shaping variation in biodiversity across the planet. This understanding is critical for conservation planners to be able to develop effective conservation strategies. Although many studies have focused on species richness and the protection of rare and endemic species, less attention has been paid to the protection of the phylogenetic dimension of biodiversity. We explored how phylogenetic diversity, species richness, and phylogenetic community structure vary in seed plant communities along an elevational gradient in a relatively understudied high mountain region, the Dulong Valley, in southeastern Tibet, China. As expected, phylogenetic diversity was well correlated with species richness among the elevational bands and among communities. At the community level, evergreen broad-leaved forests had the highest levels of species richness and phylogenetic diversity. Using null model analyses, we found evidence of nonrandom phylogenetic structure across the region. Evergreen broad-leaved forests were phylogenetically overdispersed, whereas other vegetation types tended to be phylogenetically clustered. We suggest that communities with high species richness or overdispersed phylogenetic structure should be a focus for biodiversity conservation within the Dulong Valley because these areas may help maximize the potential of this flora to respond to future global change. In biodiversity hotspots worldwide, we suggest that the phylogenetic structure of a community may serve as a useful measure of phylogenetic diversity in the context of conservation planning. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

  19. Improvement in gradient ion chromatographic method for trace anions and organic acids in the PWR nuclear power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Junlowjiraya, V.

    1989-01-01

    In a nuclear power plant the use of high quality water is very important to minimize corrosion and downtime of a plant system. To evaluate the quality of water the most widely used instrument is a conductivity analyzer. However, conductivity monitor is nonspecific, the conductivity signal cannot give information about what species or impurities are presented in the water, steam, and condensate. To determine these impurities qualitatively and quantitatively, the ion chromatography is an effective technique. This presentation demonstrates an improvement of gradient ion chromatographic technique to solve lithium interference in the borated samples. The data acquisition system and computer automation setup for the analysis are also discussed

  20. Assessing diversity of prairie plants using remote sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamon, J. A.; Wang, R.

    2017-12-01

    Biodiversity loss endangers ecosystem services and is considered as a global change that may generate unacceptable environmental consequences for the Earth system. Global biodiversity observations are needed to provide a better understanding of biodiversity - ecosystem services relationships and to provide a stronger foundation for conserving the Earth's biodiversity. While remote sensing metrics have been applied to estimate α biodiversity directly through optical diversity, a better understanding of the mechanisms behind the optical diversity-biodiversity relationship is needed. We designed a series of experiments at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, MN, to investigate the scale dependence of optical diversity and explore how species richness, evenness, and composition affect optical diversity. We collected hyperspectral reflectance of 16 prairie species using both a full-range field spectrometer fitted with a leaf clip, and an imaging spectrometer carried by a tram system to simulate plot-level images with different species richness, evenness, and composition. Two indicators of spectral diversity were explored: the coefficient of variation (CV) of spectral reflectance in space, and spectral classification using a Partial Least Squares Discriminant Analysis (PLS-DA). Our results showed that sampling methods (leaf clip-derived data vs. image-derived data) affected the optical diversity estimation. Both optical diversity indices were affected by species richness and evenness (Pguide regional studies of biodiversity estimation using high spatial and spectral resolution remote sensing.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eliana Martínez

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

  3. Disturbance in dry coastal dunes in Denmark promotes diversity of plants and arthropods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brunbjerg, Ane Kirstine; Jørgensen, Gorm Pilgaard; Nielsen, Kristian Mandsberg

    2015-01-01

    of three disturbance types (burning, trampling and blowouts) on plant and arthropod species richness and composition in dry coastal dunes in Jutland, Denmark. Environmental variables, plant presence–absence and arthropod abundance were measured in 150 1 × 2 m plots along transects in blowouts, burned areas...... on plant and arthropod composition. Indicator species analysis revealed plant and arthropod species indicative for different disturbances. Plant and arthropod species richness and the number of annual plant species generally increased with disturbance, and plant and arthropod richness and composition...... responded differently to different disturbances. Arthropod communities were more diverse in disturbed plots and hosted species often found in early successional habitats of potential conservation value. Disturbance promoted β-diversity, but affected plants more than arthropods, likely because...

  4. Relationships between plant diversity and grasshopper diversity and abundance in the Little Missouri National Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    A continuing challenge in Orthoptera ecology is to understand what determines grasshopper species diversity at a given site. In this study, the objective was to determine if variation in grasshopper abundance and diversity between 23 sites in western North Dakota (USA) could be explained by variatio...

  5. Ecological Effects of Roads on the Plant Diversity of Coastal Wetland in the Yellow River Delta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunzhao Li

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The 26 sample sites in 7 study plots adjacent to asphalt road and earth road in coastal wetland in the Yellow River Delta were selected to quantify plant diversity using quadrat sampling method in plant bloom phase of July and August 2012. The indice of βT and Jaccard’s coefficient were applied to evaluate the species diversity. The results showed that the plant diversities and alien plants were high in the range of 0–20 m to the road verge. There were more exotics and halophytes in plots of asphalt roadside than that of earth roadside. However, proportion of halophytes in habitats of asphalt roadsides was lower than that of earth roadside. By comparing β-diversity, there were more common species in the asphalt roadsides than that in the earth roadsides. The similarity of plant communities in studied plots of asphalt roadsides and earth roadsides increased with increasing the distance to road verge. The effect range of roads for plant diversity in study region was about 20 m to road verge. Our results indicate that the construction and maintenance of roads in wetland could increase the plant species diversities of communities and risk of alien species invasion.

  6. Ecological Effects of Roads on the Plant Diversity of Coastal Wetland in the Yellow River Delta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yunzhao; Du, Siyao; Han, Guangxuan; Qu, Fanzhu; Wang, Guangmei; Fu, Yuqin; Zhan, Chao

    2014-01-01

    The 26 sample sites in 7 study plots adjacent to asphalt road and earth road in coastal wetland in the Yellow River Delta were selected to quantify plant diversity using quadrat sampling method in plant bloom phase of July and August 2012. The indice of β T and Jaccard's coefficient were applied to evaluate the species diversity. The results showed that the plant diversities and alien plants were high in the range of 0–20 m to the road verge. There were more exotics and halophytes in plots of asphalt roadside than that of earth roadside. However, proportion of halophytes in habitats of asphalt roadsides was lower than that of earth roadside. By comparing β-diversity, there were more common species in the asphalt roadsides than that in the earth roadsides. The similarity of plant communities in studied plots of asphalt roadsides and earth roadsides increased with increasing the distance to road verge. The effect range of roads for plant diversity in study region was about 20 m to road verge. Our results indicate that the construction and maintenance of roads in wetland could increase the plant species diversities of communities and risk of alien species invasion. PMID:25147872

  7. Epigenetic diversity increases the productivity and stability of plant populations

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Latzel, Vít; Allan, E.; Bortolini Silveira, A.; Colot, V.; Fischer, M.; Bossdorf, O.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 4, Nov 2013 (2013), s. 1-7, č. 2875 ISSN 2041-1723 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : Arabidopsis thaliana * ecosystem * diversity Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 10.742, year: 2013

  8. Plant diversity changes and succession along resource availability and disturbance gradients in Kamchatka

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Doležal, Jiří; Yakubov, V.; Hara, T.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 214, č. 3 (2013), s. 477-488 ISSN 1385-0237 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA13-13368S Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : Species-area curves * Intermediate disturbance hypothesis * Kamchatka Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.640, year: 2013

  9. PLANT DIVERSITY OF THE ZHELTOKAMENSKIY OPEN CAST MINES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yarova T.A.

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Floristic structure data of soil algae, lichens, mosses, and vascular plants are given. Rare plant species which are protected at the Ukrainian, European, and International levels were revealed. The species list of trees and bushes was conducted. The soil analysis was carried out by such parameters: pH-value, the maintenance of hygroscopic water, the maintenance of mineral substances. Vegetation biomass on the open cast mines sample areas is defined. Ecological analysis of the biotopes of registered algae species was performed. The ecological analysis of the vascular plants species biotopes was carried out.The estimation of the perspective vegetation pattern was suggested for natural restoration of the open cast mines. The plant species are selected according to the ecological and morphological characteristics for plant rehabilitation and planting of open cast mines.

  10. Diversity, classification and function of the plant protein kinase superfamily

    OpenAIRE

    Lehti-Shiu, Melissa D.; Shiu, Shin-Han

    2012-01-01

    Eukaryotic protein kinases belong to a large superfamily with hundreds to thousands of copies and are components of essentially all cellular functions. The goals of this study are to classify protein kinases from 25 plant species and to assess their evolutionary history in conjunction with consideration of their molecular functions. The protein kinase superfamily has expanded in the flowering plant lineage, in part through recent duplications. As a result, the flowering plant protein kinase r...

  11. Diversity and distribution of autotrophic microbial community along environmental gradients in grassland soils on the Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Guangxia; Kong, Weidong; Liu, Jinbo; Zhao, Jingxue; Du, Haodong; Zhang, Xianzhou; Xia, Pinhua

    2015-10-01

    Soil microbial autotrophs play a significant role in CO2 fixation in terrestrial ecosystem, particularly in vegetation-constrained ecosystems with environmental stresses, such as the Tibetan Plateau characterized by low temperature and high UV. However, soil microbial autotrophic communities and their driving factors remain less appreciated. We investigated the structure and shift of microbial autotrophic communities and their driving factors along an elevation gradient (4400-5100 m above sea level) in alpine grassland soils on the Tibetan Plateau. The autotrophic microbial communities were characterized by quantitative PCR, terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP), and cloning/sequencing of cbbL genes, encoding the large subunit for the CO2 fixation protein ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RubisCO). High cbbL gene abundance and high RubisCO enzyme activity were observed and both significantly increased with increasing elevations. Path analysis identified that soil RubisCO enzyme causally originated from microbial autotrophs, and its activity was indirectly driven by soil water content, temperature, and NH4 (+) content. Soil autotrophic microbial community structure dramatically shifted along the elevation and was jointly driven by soil temperature, water content, nutrients, and plant types. The autotrophic microbial communities were dominated by bacterial autotrophs, which were affiliated with Rhizobiales, Burkholderiales, and Actinomycetales. These autotrophs have been well documented to degrade organic matters; thus, metabolic versatility could be a key strategy for microbial autotrophs to survive in the harsh environments. Our results demonstrated high abundance of microbial autotrophs and high CO2 fixation potential in alpine grassland soils and provided a novel model to identify dominant drivers of soil microbial communities and their ecological functions.

  12. Plant species diversity affects infiltration capacity in an experimental grassland through changes in soil properties

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fischer, C.; Tischer, J.; Roscher, C.; Eisenhauer, N.; Ravenek, J.; Gleixner, G.; Attinger, S.; Jensen, B.; Kroon, de H.; Mommer, L.; Scheu, S.; Hildebrandt, A.

    2015-01-01

    Background and aims Soil hydraulic properties drive water distribution and availability in soil. There exists limited knowledge of how plant species diversity might influence soil hydraulic properties. Methods We quantified the change in infiltration capacity affected by soil structural variables

  13. Cuticular waxes in alpine meadow plants: climate effect inferred from latitude gradient in Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Yanjun; Guo, Na; He, Yuji; Gao, Jianhua

    2015-09-01

    Alpine meadow ecosystems are susceptible to climate changes. Still, climate impact on cuticular wax in alpine meadow plants is poorly understood. Assessing the variations of cuticular wax in alpine meadow plants across different latitudes might be useful for predicting how they may respond to climate change. We studied nine alpine meadows in a climate gradient in the east side of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, with mean annual temperature ranging from -7.7 to 3.2°C. In total, 42 plant species were analyzed for cuticular wax, averaged 16 plant species in each meadow. Only four plant species could be observed in all sampling meadows, including Kobresia humilis,Potentilla nivea,Anaphalis lacteal, and Leontopodium nanum. The amounts of wax compositions and total cuticular wax in the four plant species varied among sampling meadows, but no significant correlation could be observed between them and temperature, precipitation, and aridity index based on plant species level. To analyze the variations of cuticular wax on community level, we averaged the amounts of n-alkanes, aliphatic acids, primary alcohols, and total cuticular wax across all investigated plant species in each sampling site. The mean annual temperature, mean temperature in July, and aridity index were significantly correlated with the averaged amounts of wax compositions and total cuticular wax. The average chain length of n-alkanes in both plant and soil linearly increased with increased temperature, whereas reduced with increased aridity index. No significant correlation could be observed between mean annual precipitation and mean precipitation from June to August and the cuticular wax amounts and average chain length. Our results suggest that the survival of some alpine plants in specific environments might be depended on their abilities in adjusting wax deposition on plant leaves, and the alpine meadow plants as a whole respond to climate change, benefiting the stability of alpine meadow ecosystem.

  14. Diverse Lifestyles and Strategies of Plant Pathogenesis Encoded in the Genomes of Eighteen Dothideomycetes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ohm, Robin A.; Feau, Nicolas; Henrissat, Bernard; Schoch, Conrad L.; Horwitz, Benjamin A.; Barry, Kerrie W.; Condon, Bradford J.; Copeland, Alex C.; Dhillon, Braham; Glaser, Fabian; Hesse, Cedar N.; Kosti, Idit; LaButti, Kurt; Lindquist, Erika A.; Lucas, Susan; Salamov, Asaf A.; Bradshaw, Rosie E.; Ciuffetti, Lynda; Hamelin, Richard C.; Kema, Gert H. J.; Lawrence, Christopher; Scott, James A.; Spatafora, Joseph W.; Turgeon, B. Gillian; de Wit, Pierre J. G. M.; Zhong, Shaobin; Goodwin, Stephen B.; Grigoriev, Igor V.

    2013-03-05

    The class of Dothideomycetes is one of the largest and most diverse groups of fungi. Many are plant pathogens and pose a serious threat to agricultural crops that are grown for biofuel, food or feed. Most Dothideomycetes have only a single host plant, and related species can have very diverse hosts. Eighteen genomes of Dothideomycetes have currently been sequenced by the Joint Genome Institute and other sequencing centers. Here we describe the results of comparative analyses of the fungi in this group.

  15. Diverse Lifestyles and Strategies of Plant Pathogenesis Encoded in the Genomes of Eighteen Doethideomycetes Fungi

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ohm, Robin A.; Feau, Nicolas; Henrissat, Bernard; Schoch, Conrad L.; Horwitz, Benjamin A.; Barry, Kerrie W.; Condon, Bradford J.; Copeland, Alex C.; Dhillon, Braham; Glaser, Fabien; Hesse, Cedar N.; Kosti, Idit; LaButti, Kurt; Lindquist, Erika A.; Lucas, Susan; Salamov, Asaf A.; Bradshaw, Rosie E.; Ciuffetti, Lynda; Hamelin, Richard C.; Kema, Gert H. J.; Lawrence, Christopher; Scott, James A.; Spatafora, Joseph W.; Turgeon, B. Gillian; de Wit, Pierre J. G. M.; Zhong, Shaobin; Goodwin, Stephen B.; Grigoriev, Igor V.

    2012-03-13

    The class of Dothideomycetes is one of the largest and most diverse groups of fungi. Many are plant pathogens and pose a serious threat to agricultural crops grown for biofuel, food or feed. Most Dothideomycetes have only a single host and related species can have very diverse host plants. Eighteen genomes of Dothideomycetes have currently been sequenced by the Joint Genome Institute and other sequencing centers. Here we describe the results of comparative analyses of the fungi in this group.

  16. Invasive plant erodes local song diversity in a migratory passerine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yvette K. Ortega; Aubree Benson; Erick Greene

    2014-01-01

    Exotic plant invasions threaten ecosystems globally, but we still know little about the specific consequences for animals. Invasive plants can alter the quality of breeding habitat for songbirds, thereby impacting important demographic traits such as dispersal, philopatry, and age structure. These demographic effects may in turn alter song-learning conditions to affect...

  17. Microbial plant litter decomposition in aquatic and terrestrial boreal systems along a natural fertility gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soares, A. Margarida P. M.; Kritzberg, Emma S.; Rousk, Johannes

    2017-04-01

    Plant litter decomposition is a global ecosystem process, with a crucial role in carbon and nutrient cycling. The majority of litter processing occurs in terrestrial systems, but an important fraction also takes place in inland waters. Among environmental factors, pH impacts the litter decomposition through its selective influence on microbial decomposers. Fungal communities are less affected by pH than bacteria, possibly owing to a wider pH tolerance by this group. On the other hand, bacterial pH optima are constrained to a narrower range of pH values. The microbial decomposition of litter is universally nutrient limited; but few comparisons exist between terrestrial and aquatic systems. We investigated the microbial colonisation and decomposition of plant litter along a fertility gradient, which varied in both pH and N availability in both soil and adjacent water. To do this we installed litterbags with birch (Betula pendula) in streams and corresponding soils in adjacent riparian areas in a boreal system, in Krycklan, Sweden. During the four months covering the ice-free growth season we monitored the successional dynamics of fungal (acetate incorporation into ergosterol) and bacterial growth (thymidine incorporation), microbial respiration in leaf litter, and quantitative and qualitative changes in litter over time. We observed that bacterial growth rates were initially higher in litter decomposing in streams than those in soils, but differences between terrestrial and aquatic bacterial production converged towards the end of the experiment. In litter bags installed in soils, bacterial growth was lower at sites with more acidic pH and lower N availability, while aquatic bacteria were relatively unaffected by the fertility level. Fungal growth rates were two-fold higher for litter decomposing in streams than in soils. In aquatic systems, fungal growth was initially lower in low fertility sites, but differences gradually disappeared over the time course. Fungal

  18. Woody plant encroachment effect on soil organic carbon dynamics: results from a latitudinal gradient in Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellis, Guido; Chiti, Tommaso; Moscatelli, Maria Cristina; Marinari, Sara; Papale, Dario

    2016-04-01

    Woody plant encroachment into pastures and grasslands represents a significant land cover change phenomenon, with a considerable impact on carbon dynamics at an ecosystem level. It was estimated that 7.64% of the Southern Europe land was subject to that process between 1950 to 2010. As a result of woody encroachment, changes in vegetation composition can produce substantial changes to the soil organic carbon (SOC) cycle. Despite the numerous papers published on land-use change, an evaluation of the IPCC terrestrial carbon pools changes occurring during woody encroachment on abandoned pastures and grasslands is still lacking, particularly for the Italian territory. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the role of woody encroachment on carbon sequestration over abandoned pastures and grasslands in Alpine and Apennine ecosystems, with a particular focus on the SOC. We applied a chronosequence approach to seven selected sites located along a latitudinal gradient in Italy. Each chronosequence consisted of a pasture currently managed, three sites abandoned at different times in the past and, finally, a mature forest stand representing the last phase of the succession. The European Commission sampling protocols to certify SOC changes was adopted to estimate the variations following woody encroachment. Soil samples were collected at different depths in the topsoil (0-30 cm) and subsoil (30-70 cm), despite the original protocol formulation being limited to the topsoil only. In addition, aboveground living biomass (AGB), dead wood and litter were also measured following international protocols. Considering all C pools together, woody plant encroachment leads to a progressive C stock accumulation in all the chronosequences. The total C stock of mature forest stands ranges from 1.78±0.11 times (Eastern Alps) to 2.48±0.31 times (central Apennine) the initial value on pastures. Unsurprisingly, the C stocks of AGB, dead wood and litter all increase during the

  19. Past climate-driven range shifts and population genetic diversity in arctic plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pellissier, Loïc; Eidesen, Pernille Bronken; Ehrich, Dorothee

    2016-01-01

    High intra-specific genetic diversity is necessary for species adaptation to novel environments under climate change, but species tracking suitable conditions are losing alleles through successive founder events during range shift. Here, we investigated the relationship between range shift since ...... the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and extant population genetic diversity across multiple plant species to understand variability in species responses...

  20. Non-Native Plant Invasion along Elevation and Canopy Closure Gradients in a Middle Rocky Mountain Ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua P Averett

    Full Text Available Mountain environments are currently among the ecosystems least invaded by non-native species; however, mountains are increasingly under threat of non-native plant invasion. The slow pace of exotic plant invasions in mountain ecosystems is likely due to a combination of low anthropogenic disturbances, low propagule supply, and extreme/steep environmental gradients. The importance of any one of these factors is debated and likely ecosystem dependent. We evaluated the importance of various correlates of plant invasions in the Wallowa Mountain Range of northeastern Oregon and explored whether non-native species distributions differed from native species along an elevation gradient. Vascular plant communities were sampled in summer 2012 along three mountain roads. Transects (n = 20 were evenly stratified by elevation (~70 m intervals along each road. Vascular plant species abundances and environmental parameters were measured. We used indicator species analysis to identify habitat affinities for non-native species. Plots were ordinated in species space, joint plots and non-parametric multiplicative regression were used to relate species and community variation to environmental variables. Non-native species richness decreased continuously with increasing elevation. In contrast, native species richness displayed a unimodal distribution with maximum richness occurring at mid-elevations. Species composition was strongly related to elevation and canopy openness. Overlays of trait and environmental factors onto non-metric multidimensional ordinations identified the montane-subalpine community transition and over-story canopy closure exceeding 60% as potential barriers to non-native species establishment. Unlike native species, non-native species showed little evidence for high-elevation or closed-canopy specialization. These data suggest that non-native plants currently found in the Wallowa Mountains are dependent on open canopies and disturbance for

  1. Non-Native Plant Invasion along Elevation and Canopy Closure Gradients in a Middle Rocky Mountain Ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Averett, Joshua P; McCune, Bruce; Parks, Catherine G; Naylor, Bridgett J; DelCurto, Tim; Mata-González, Ricardo

    2016-01-01

    Mountain environments are currently among the ecosystems least invaded by non-native species; however, mountains are increasingly under threat of non-native plant invasion. The slow pace of exotic plant invasions in mountain ecosystems is likely due to a combination of low anthropogenic disturbances, low propagule supply, and extreme/steep environmental gradients. The importance of any one of these factors is debated and likely ecosystem dependent. We evaluated the importance of various correlates of plant invasions in the Wallowa Mountain Range of northeastern Oregon and explored whether non-native species distributions differed from native species along an elevation gradient. Vascular plant communities were sampled in summer 2012 along three mountain roads. Transects (n = 20) were evenly stratified by elevation (~70 m intervals) along each road. Vascular plant species abundances and environmental parameters were measured. We used indicator species analysis to identify habitat affinities for non-native species. Plots were ordinated in species space, joint plots and non-parametric multiplicative regression were used to relate species and community variation to environmental variables. Non-native species richness decreased continuously with increasing elevation. In contrast, native species richness displayed a unimodal distribution with maximum richness occurring at mid-elevations. Species composition was strongly related to elevation and canopy openness. Overlays of trait and environmental factors onto non-metric multidimensional ordinations identified the montane-subalpine community transition and over-story canopy closure exceeding 60% as potential barriers to non-native species establishment. Unlike native species, non-native species showed little evidence for high-elevation or closed-canopy specialization. These data suggest that non-native plants currently found in the Wallowa Mountains are dependent on open canopies and disturbance for establishment in low

  2. Which plant traits respond to aridity? A critical step to assess functional diversity in Mediterranean drylands

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Nunes, A.; Köbel, M.; Pihno, P.; Matos, P.; de Bello, Francesco; Correia, O.; Branquinho, C.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 239, MAY 28 2017 (2017), s. 176-184 ISSN 0168-1923 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : Annual plants * Climatic gradient * Functional dispersion Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 3.887, year: 2016

  3. Geographical patterns in the beta diversity of China's woody plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Zhiheng; Fang, Jingyun; Tang, Zhiyao

    2012-01-01

    Beta diversity (i.e. species turnover rate across space) is fundamental for understanding mechanisms controlling large-scale species richness patterns. However, the influences on beta diversity are still a matter of debate. In particular, the relative role of environmental and spatial processes (e.......g. environmental niche versus dispersal limitation of species) remains elusive, and the influence of species range size has been poorly tested. Here, using distribution maps of 11 405 woody species in China (ca 9.6 ¿ 106 km2), we investigated 1) the geographical and directional patterns of beta diversity for all...... with their environmental niches due to dispersal limitation induced by China’s topography and/or their low dispersal ability. The projected rapid climatic changes will likely endanger such species. Species dispersal processes should be taken into account in future conservation strategies in China....

  4. Ex situ Conservation Effort through the Inventory of Plant Diversity in Mount Seblat, Bengkulu

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Imawan Wahyu Hidayat

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Mount Seblat, as part a of Kerinci Seblat National Park (KSNP, is a pristine and natural mountain, particularly from disturbances and destructions by human activities. Nevertheless, the richness of biological resources especially plant diversity.in this area has not been more explored. The purpose of this study was to conduct an inventory of plant diversity and to determine the plant species composition. The inventory activities were conducted by plants collection along the ascent route. The results were then be maintained through ex situ conservation method in Cibodas Botanical Garden (CBG. The study was conducted by exploratory method, from Seblat Ulu Village (641 m asl up to altitude of 1,037 m asl. There were 18 points of plant sample observation with an area of 5 x 5 square meters per point. Plant collection obtained 380 specimens. Five groups of most collected plants were Lauraceae (18 species, Rubiaceae (8 species, Anacardiaceae (6 species, Annonaceae (5 species, and Fagaceae (4 species. In order to enrich the plants collection as well as conduct the ex situ conservation effort, plants from Orchidaceae were also collected which resulted in 33 species. These results were an important initial inventory of plant diversity of Mount Seblat, considering that there was no record as well as very limited current information. When the environment disturbance tends to increase, this information may act as a reference and an initial database to develop plants conservation effort and strategy in the future.

  5. Fatty Acid Diversity is Not Associated with Neutral Genetic Diversity in Native Populations of the Biodiesel Plant Jatropha curcas L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Díaz, Yesenia; González-Rodríguez, Antonio; Rico-Ponce, Héctor Rómulo; Rocha-Ramírez, Víctor; Ovando-Medina, Isidro; Espinosa-García, Francisco J

    2017-01-01

    Jatropha curcas L. (Euphorbiaceae) is a shrub native to Mexico and Central America, which produces seeds with a high oil content that can be converted to biodiesel. The genetic diversity of this plant has been widely studied, but it is not known whether the diversity of the seed oil chemical composition correlates with neutral genetic diversity. The total seed oil content, the diversity of profiles of fatty acids and phorbol esters were quantified, also, the genetic diversity obtained from simple sequence repeats was analyzed in native populations of J. curcas in Mexico. Using the fatty acids profiles, a discriminant analysis recognized three groups of individuals according to geographical origin. Bayesian assignment analysis revealed two genetic groups, while the genetic structure of the populations could not be explained by isolation-by-distance. Genetic and fatty acid profile data were not correlated based on Mantel test. Also, phorbol ester content and genetic diversity were not associated. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that total oil content was associated with altitude and seasonality of temperature. The content of unsaturated fatty acids was associated with altitude. Therefore, the cultivation planning of J. curcas should take into account chemical variation related to environmental factors. © 2017 Wiley-VHCA AG, Zurich, Switzerland.

  6. β-Diversity of functional groups of woody plants in a tropical dry forest in Yucatan.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Omar López-Martínez

    Full Text Available Two main theories have attempted to explain variation in plant species composition (β-diversity. Niche theory proposes that most of the variation is related to environment (environmental filtering, whereas neutral theory posits that dispersal limitation is the main driver of β-diversity. In this study, we first explored how α- and β-diversity of plant functional groups defined by growth form (trees, shrubs and lianas, which represent different strategies of resource partitioning, and dispersal syndrome (autochory, anemochory and zoochory, which represent differences in dispersal limitation vary with successional age and topographic position in a tropical dry forest. Second, we examined the effects of environmental, spatial, and spatially-structured environmental factors on β-diversity of functional groups; we used the spatial structure of sampling sites as a proxy for dispersal limitation, and elevation, soil properties and forest stand age as indicators of environmental filtering. We recorded 200 species and 22,245 individuals in 276 plots; 120 species were trees, 41 shrubs and 39 lianas. We found that β-diversity was highest for shrubs, intermediate for lianas and lowest for trees, and was slightly higher for zoochorous than for autochorous and anemochorous species. All three dispersal syndromes, trees and shrubs varied in composition among vegetation classes (successional age and topographic position, whilst lianas did not. β-diversity was influenced mostly by proxies of environmental filtering, except for shrubs, for which the influence of dispersal limitation was more important. Stand age and topography significantly influenced α-diversity across functional groups, but showed a low influence on β-diversity -possibly due to the counterbalancing effect of resprouting on plant distribution and composition. Our results show that considering different plant functional groups reveals important differences in both α- and β-diversity

  7. Contrasting land uses in Mediterranean agro-silvo-pastoral systems generated patchy diversity patterns of vascular plants and below-ground microorganisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagella, Simonetta; Filigheddu, Rossella; Caria, Maria Carmela; Girlanda, Mariangela; Roggero, Pier Paolo

    2014-12-01

    The aims of this paper were (i) to define how contrasting land uses affected plant biodiversity in Mediterranean agro-silvo-pastoral-systems across a gradient of disturbance regimes: cork oak forests, secondary grasslands, hay crops, grass covered vineyards, tilled vineyards; (ii) to determine whether these patterns mirrored those of below-ground microorganisms and whether the components of γ-diversity followed a similar model. The disturbance regimes affected plant assemblage composition. Species richness decreased with increasing land use intensity, the Shannon index showed the highest values in grasslands and hay crops. Plant assemblage composition patterns mirrored those of Basidiomycota and Ascomycota. Richness in Basidiomycota, denitrifying bacteria and microbial biomass showed the same trend as that observed for vascular plant richness. The Shannon index pattern of below-ground microorganisms was different from that of plants. The plant γ-diversity component model weakly mirrored those of Ascomycota. Patchy diversity patterns suggest that the maintenance of contrasting land uses associated with different productions typical of agro-silvo-pastoral-systems can guarantee the conservation of biodiversity. Copyright © 2014 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  8. Simulated geographic variations of plant species richness, evenness and abundance using climatic constraints on plant functional diversity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kleidon, Axel; Pavlick, Ryan; Reu, Bjoern; Adams, Jonathan

    2009-01-01

    Among the most pronounced large-scale geographic patterns of plant biodiversity are the increase in plant species richness towards the tropics, a more even distribution of the relative abundances of plant species in the tropics, and a nearly log-normal relative abundance distribution. Here we use an individual-based plant diversity model that relates climatic constraints to feasible plant growth strategies to show that all three basic diversity patterns can be predicted merely from the climatic constraints acting upon plant ecophysiological trade-offs. Our model predicts that towards objectively 'harsher' environments, the range of feasible growth strategies resulting in reproductive plants is reduced, thus resulting in lower functional plant species richness. The reduction of evenness is attributed to a more rapid decline in productivity from the most productive to less productive plant growth strategies since the particular setup of the strategy becomes more important in maintaining high productivity in harsher environments. This approach is also able to reproduce the increase in the deviation from a log-normal distribution towards more evenly distributed communities of the tropics. Our results imply that these general biodiversity relationships can be understood primarily by considering the climatic constraints on plant ecophysiological trade-offs.

  9. Volume, value and floristic diversity of Gabon's medicinal plant markets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Towns, A.M.; Quiroz Villarreal, D.K.; Guinee, L.; Boer, H.; Andel, van T.

    2014-01-01

    Ethnopharmacological relevance - African medicinal plant markets offer insight into commercially important species, salient health concerns in the region, and possible conservation priorities. Still, little quantitative data is available on the trade in herbal medicine in Central Africa. The aim of

  10. Diversity and distribution of medicinal plants in North Sinai, Egypt

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Administrator

    2008-07-22

    Jul 22, 2008 ... cinal plants in Sinai have attracted the attention of many ecologists ...... species are divided among many genera as opposed to one in which most species .... topographic variations are the main driving factors controlling the ...

  11. Medicinal plant diversity of Sitamata wildlife sanctuary, Rajasthan, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, Anita; Katewa, S S; Galav, P K; Sharma, Pallavi

    2005-11-14

    The present study has been carried out in Sitamata wildlife sanctuary of Chittorgarh and Udaipur district located in south-west region of Rajasthan. A field survey of the study area was carried out during 2002-2004 to document the medicinal utility of herbs occurring in this area. Two hundred fourty-three genera belonging to 76 families have been reported which are used by the tribals of about 50 villages around the sanctuary as means of primary health care to cure various ailments. The study revealed the new ethnobotanical uses of 24 plant species belonging to 20 genera. A list of plant species along with their local name, plant part/s used and mode of administration for effective control in different ailments of ethnomedicinal plants are given.

  12. Relationship between plant diversity and spatial stability of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    hope&shola

    2010-10-04

    Oct 4, 2010 ... binary. (0) non legume; (1) legume. where S is the total number of species in the community, Pi, Pj are the relative abundances of the i th and j th species. dij shows the functional trait discrepancy between stochastic two species. Q expresses the sum of trait diversity dissimilarity for all the species in.

  13. Relationship between plant diversity and spatial stability of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Theory predicts that greater biodiversity is expected to enhance stability of ecosystem. In field experiment, we created some diversity-level assemblages by removing functional groups across two grassland ecosystems and evaluated the responses of spatial stability of aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) to varying ...

  14. PLANT DIVERSITY OF THE ZHELTOKAMENSKIY OPEN CAST MINES

    OpenAIRE

    Yarova T.A.; Yarovyi S. A.; Bren A.G.; Baraboha N. N.; Baraboha A. P.; Vovk O. A.

    2012-01-01

    Floristic structure data of soil algae, lichens, mosses, and vascular plants are given. Rare plant species which are protected at the Ukrainian, European, and International levels were revealed. The species list of trees and bushes was conducted. The soil analysis was carried out by such parameters: pH-value, the maintenance of hygroscopic water, the maintenance of mineral substances. Vegetation biomass on the open cast mines sample areas is defined. Ecological analysis of the biotopes of ...

  15. Root hydraulic vulnerability regulation of whole-plant conductance along hillslope gradients within subalpine and montane forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beverly, D.; Speckman, H. N.; Ewers, B. E.

    2017-12-01

    Ecosystem-scale models often rely on root vulnerability or whole-plant conductance for simulating seasonal evapotranspiration declines via constraints of water uptake and vegetation mortality. Further, many of these ecosystem models rely on single, unvarying, hydraulic parameter estimates for modeling large areas. Ring-porous species have shown seasonal variability in root vulnerability (percent loss of conductivity; PLC) and whole-plant conductance (Kw) but simulations of coniferous forest typically rely on point measurements. This assumption for coniferous forest is not likely true because of seasonal variability caused by phenology and environmental stresses and the potential for cavitation fatigue is not considered. Moreover, many of these dynamics have only been considered for stems even though roots are often the most vulnerable segments of the pathway for conifers. We hypothesized that seasonally dynamic whole-plant conductance along hillslope gradients in coniferous forests are regulated by cavitation fatigue within the roots resulting in seasonal increases in vulnerability. To test the hypothesis, a subalpine mixed forest (3000 m.a.s.l) and montane forest (2550 m.a.s.l.) were monitored between 2015-2017 to quantify PLC and Kw along the hillslope gradients of 300 m and 50 m, respectively. Forest plots were instrumented with 35 Granier-type sapflow sensors. Seasonal sampling campaigns occurred to quantify PLC through centrifuge techniques and Kw through Darcy's law approximations with pre-dawn and diurnal leaf water potentials. Downslope roots exhibit a 33% decrease in maximal conductivity corresponding to the approximately 50% decrease in whole-plant conductance suggesting seasonal soil dry-down limitations within the downslope stands. Upslope stands had no to little change in root vulnerability or decrease in whole-plant conductance as soil water limitations occur immediately following snowmelt, thus limiting hydraulic conductance throughout the growing

  16. Plant-associated microbiomes in arid lands: diversity, ecology and biotechnological potential

    KAUST Repository

    Soussi, Asma

    2015-08-28

    Background: Aridification is a worldwide serious threat directly affecting agriculture and crop production. In arid and desert areas, it has been found that microbial diversity is huge, built of microorganisms able to cope with the environmental harsh conditions by developing adaptation strategies. Plants growing in arid lands or regions facing prolonged abiotic stresses such as water limitation and salt accumulation have also developed specific physiological and molecular stress responses allowing them to thrive under normally unfavorable conditions. Scope: Under such extreme selection pressures, special root-associated bacterial assemblages, endowed with capabilities of plant growth promotion (PGP) and extremophile traits, are selected by the plants. In this review, we provide a general overview on the microbial diversity in arid lands and deserts versus specific microbial assemblages associated with plants. The ecological drivers that shape this diversity, how plant-associated microbiomes are selected, and their biotechnological potential are discussed. Conclusions: Selection and recruitment of the plant associated bacterial assemblages is mediated by the combination of the bio-pedo-agroclimatic conditions and the plant species or varieties. Diversity and functional redundancy of these associated PGPR makes them very active in supporting plant improvement, health and resistance to drought, salt and related stresses. Implementing proper biotechnological applications of the arid and desert-adapted PGPR constitute the challenge to be raised.

  17. Diversity of Paenibacillus polymyxa strains isolated from the rhizosphere of maize planted in Cerrado soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weid, von der I.; Paiva, E.; Nobrega, A.; Elsas, van J.D.; Seldin, L.

    2000-01-01

    Paenibacillus polymyxa populations present in the rhizosphere of maize (cultivar BR-201) planted in Cerrado soil were investigated in order to assess their diversity at four stages of plant growth. A total of 67 strains were isolated and all strains were identified as P. polymyxa by classical

  18. Out of the shadows : multiple nutrient limitations drive relationships among biomass, light and plant diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harpole, W. Stanley; Sullivan, Lauren L.; Lind, Eric M.; Firn, Jennifer; Adler, Peter B.; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Chase, Jonathan; Fay Jennifer Firn, Philip A.; Hautier, Yann; Hillebrand, Helmut; MacDougall, Andrew S.; Seabloom, Eric W.; Bakker, Jonathan D.; Cadotte, Marc W; Chaneton, Enrique J; Chu, Chengjin; Hagenah, Nicole; Kirkman, Kevin; La Pierre, Kimberly J.; Moore, Joslin L.; Morgan, John W.; Prober, Suzanne M.; Risch, Anita C.; Schuetz, Martin; Stevens, Carly J.

    2017-01-01

    The paradigmatic hypothesis for the effect of fertilisation on plant diversity represents a one-dimensional trade-off for plants competing for below-ground nutrients (generically) and above-ground light: fertilisation reduces competition for nutrients while increasing biomass and thereby shifts

  19. Genetic diversity and domestication origin of tea plant Camellia taliensis (Theaceae) as revealed by microsatellite markers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Dong-Wei; Yang, Jun-Bo; Yang, Shi-Xiong; Kato, Kenji; Luo, Jian-Ping

    2014-01-09

    Tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world. Many species in the Thea section of the Camellia genus can be processed for drinking and have been domesticated. However, few investigations have focused on the genetic consequence of domestication and geographic origin of landraces on tea plants using credible wild and planted populations of a single species. Here, C. taliensis provides us with a unique opportunity to explore these issues. Fourteen nuclear microsatellite loci were employed to determine the genetic diversity and domestication origin of C. taliensis, which were represented by 587 individuals from 25 wild, planted and recently domesticated populations. C. taliensis showed a moderate high level of overall genetic diversity. The greater reduction of genetic diversity and stronger genetic drift were detected in the wild group than in the recently domesticated group, indicating the loss of genetic diversity of wild populations due to overexploitation and habitat fragmentation. Instead of the endangered wild trees, recently domesticated individuals were used to compare with the planted trees for detecting the genetic consequence of domestication. A little and non-significant reduction in genetic diversity was found during domestication. The long life cycle, selection for leaf traits and gene flow between populations will delay the emergence of bottleneck in planted trees. Both phylogenetic and assignment analyses suggested that planted trees may have been domesticated from the adjacent central forest of western Yunnan and dispersed artificially to distant places. This study contributes to the knowledge about levels and distribution of genetic diversity of C. taliensis and provides new insights into genetic consequence of domestication and geographic origin of planted trees of this species. As an endemic tea source plant, wild, planted and recently domesticated C. taliensis trees should all be protected for their unique genetic characteristics, which

  20. Modelling the population dynamics of root hemiparasitic plants along a productivity gradient

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Fibich, P.; Lepš, J.; Berec, Luděk

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 45, č. 4 (2010), s. 425-442 ISSN 1211-9520 R&D Projects: GA ČR GD206/08/H044 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : hemiparasites * light competition * productivity gradient Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.229, year: 2010

  1. Evolutionary relationships and functional diversity of plant sulfate transporters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahashi, Hideki; Buchner, Peter; Yoshimoto, Naoko; Hawkesford, Malcolm J; Shiu, Shin-Han

    2011-01-01

    Sulfate is an essential nutrient cycled in nature. Ion transporters that specifically facilitate the transport of sulfate across the membranes are found ubiquitously in living organisms. The phylogenetic analysis of known sulfate transporters and their homologous proteins from eukaryotic organisms indicate two evolutionarily distinct groups of sulfate transport systems. One major group named Tribe 1 represents yeast and fungal SUL, plant SULTR, and animal SLC26 families. The evolutionary origin of SULTR family members in land plants and green algae is suggested to be common with yeast and fungal SUL and animal anion exchangers (SLC26). The lineage of plant SULTR family is expanded into four subfamilies (SULTR1-SULTR4) in land plant species. By contrast, the putative SULTR homologs from Chlorophyte green algae are in two separate lineages; one with the subfamily of plant tonoplast-localized sulfate transporters (SULTR4), and the other diverged before the appearance of lineages for SUL, SULTR, and SLC26. There also was a group of yet undefined members of putative sulfate transporters in yeast and fungi divergent from these major lineages in Tribe 1. The other distinct group is Tribe 2, primarily composed of animal sodium-dependent sulfate/carboxylate transporters (SLC13) and plant tonoplast-localized dicarboxylate transporters (TDT). The putative sulfur-sensing protein (SAC1) and SAC1-like transporters (SLT) of Chlorophyte green algae, bryophyte, and lycophyte show low degrees of sequence similarities with SLC13 and TDT. However, the phylogenetic relationship between SAC1/SLT and the other two families, SLC13 and TDT in Tribe 2, is not clearly supported. In addition, the SAC1/SLT family is absent in the angiosperm species analyzed. The present study suggests distinct evolutionary trajectories of sulfate transport systems for land plants and green algae.

  2. Evolutionary relationships and functional diversity of plant sulfate transporters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hideki eTakahashi

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Sulfate is an essential nutrient cycled in nature. Ion transporters that specifically facilitate the transport of sulfate across the membranes are found ubiquitously in living organisms. The phylogenetic analysis of known sulfate transporters and their homologous proteins from eukaryotic organisms indicate two evolutionarily distinct groups of sulfate transport systems. One major group named Tribe 1 represents yeast and fungal SUL, plant SULTR and animal SLC26 families. The evolutionary origin of SULTR family members in land plants and green algae is suggested to be common with yeast and fungal sulfate transporters (SUL and animal anion exchangers (SLC26. The lineage of plant SULTR family is expanded into four subfamilies (SULTR1 to SULTR4 in land plant species. By contrast, the putative SULTR homologues from Chlorophyte green algae are in two separate lineages; one with the subfamily of plant tonoplast-localized sulfate transporters (SULTR4, and the other diverged before the appearance of lineages for SUL, SULTR and SLC26. There also was a group of yet undefined members of putative sulfate transporters in yeast and fungi divergent from these major lineages in Tribe 1. The other distinct group is Tribe 2, primarily composed of animal sodium-dependent sulfate/carboxylate transporters (SLC13 and plant tonoplast-localized dicarboxylate transporters (TDT. The putative sulfur-sensing protein (SAC1 and SAC1-like transporters (SLT of Chlorophyte green algae, bryophyte and lycophyte show low degrees of sequence similarities with SLC13 and TDT. However, the phylogenetic relationship between SAC1/SLT and the other two families, SLC13 and TDT in Tribe 2, is not clearly supported. In addition, the SAC1/SLT family is completely absent in the angiosperm species analyzed. The present study suggests distinct evolutionary trajectories of sulfate transport systems for land plants and green algae.

  3. Spatiotemporal soil and saprolite moisture dynamics across a semi-arid woody plant gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woody plant cover has increased 10-fold over the last 140+ years in many parts of the semi-arid western USA. Woody plant cover can alter the timing and amount of plant available moisture in the soil and saprolite. To assess spatiotemporal subsurface moisture dynamics over two water years in a snow-d...

  4. Vascular plant species richness along environmental gradients in a cool temperate to sub-alpine mountainous zone in central Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsujino, Riyou; Yumoto, Takakazu

    2013-03-01

    In order to clarify how vegetation types change along the environmental gradients in a cool temperate to sub-alpine mountainous zone and the determinant factors that define plant species richness, we established 360 plots (each 4 × 10 m) within which the vegetation type, species richness, elevation, topographic position index (TPI), slope inclination, and ground light index (GLI) of the natural vegetation were surveyed. Mean elevation, TPI, slope inclination, and GLI differed across vegetation types. Tree species richness was negatively correlated with elevation, whereas fern and herb species richness were positively correlated. Tree species richness was greater in the upper slope area than the lower slope area, whereas fern and herb species richness were greater in the lower slope area. Ferns and trees species richness were smaller in the open canopy, whereas herb species richness was greater in the open canopy. Vegetation types were determined firstly by elevation and secondary by topographic configurations, such as topographic position, and slope inclination. Elevation and topography were the most important factors affecting plant richness, but the most influential variables differed among plant life-form groups. Moreover, the species richness responses to these environmental gradients greatly differed among ferns, herbs, and trees.

  5. Understory plant diversity in mixed and pure plantations of jatropha curcas vs. native vegetation in the lower-middle reaches of the lancang-meikong river watershed, china

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ou, G.L.; Ma, H.C.; Tang, J.R.

    2015-01-01

    22 plots at the Xiaoheijiang base, located in the lower-middle reaches of the Lancang-Meikong River in China, were investigated to analyze the understory biodiversity of Jatropha curcas plantations. Two kinds of mixed modes of J. curcas (mixed plantation with Macadamia integrifolia and mixed plantation with shrub species) and a pure plantation of J. curcas were planted, while the native vegetation served as a control. The plots were distributed along the gradients of forest management, succession and elevation by CCA analysis. Species richness was not significantly different for the different types of plantation, but the evenness of species could be affected, especially for the total community and the understory by planting J. curcas. The diversity and evenness indices of species were affected for the mixed plantation with different proportions of M. integrifolia, especially for the shrub layer, the Shannon diversity index and Pilou evenness index showed significant differences. And for the different mixed shrub species, only the Shannon diversity index and Pilou evenness index were significantly different. Finally, from the perspective of biological diversity, J.curcas plantation with shrub species would be a recommended planting model for ecological restoration in a dry-hot valley area, while J. curcas plantation with M. integrifolia would be an effective planting model to balance crop yield and food security. (author)

  6. [Agrobacterium rubi strains from blueberry plants are highly diverse].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrahamovich, Eliana; López, Ana C; Alippi, Adriana M

    2014-01-01

    The diversity of a collection of Agrobacterium rubi strains isolated from blueberries from different regions of Argentina was studied by conventional microbiological tests and molecular techniques. Results from biochemical and physiological reactions, as well as from rep-PCR and RFLP analysis of PCR-amplified 23S rDNA showed high phenotypic and genotypic intraspecific variation. Copyright © 2014 Asociación Argentina de Microbiología. Publicado por Elsevier España. All rights reserved.

  7. Plant-associated microbiomes in arid lands: diversity, ecology and biotechnological potential

    KAUST Repository

    Soussi, Asma; Ferjani, Raoudha; Marasco, Ramona; Guesmi, Amel; Cherif, Hanene; Rolli, Eleonora; Mapelli, Francesca; Ouzari, Hadda Imene; Daffonchio, Daniele; Cherif, Ameur

    2015-01-01

    Selection and recruitment of the plant associated bacterial assemblages is mediated by the combination of the bio-pedo-agroclimatic conditions and the plant species or varieties. Diversity and functional redundancy of these associated PGPR makes them very active in supporting plant improvement, health and resistance to drought, salt and related stresses. Implementing proper biotechnological applications of the arid and desert-adapted PGPR constitute the challenge to be raised.

  8. Diversity of plant defense elicitor peptides within the Rosaceae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz, Cristina; Nadal, Anna; Foix, Laura; Montesinos, Laura; Montesinos, Emilio; Pla, Maria

    2018-01-23

    Plant elicitor peptides (Peps) are endogenous molecules that induce and amplify the first line of inducible plant defense, known as pattern-triggered immunity, contributing to protect plants against attack by bacteria, fungi and herbivores. Pep topic application and transgenic expression have been found to enhance disease resistance in a small number of model plant-pathogen systems. The action of Peps relies on perception by specific receptors, so displaying a family-specific activity. Recently, the presence and activity of Peps within the Rosaceae has been demonstrated. Here we characterized the population of Pep sequences within the economically important plant family of Rosaceae, with special emphasis on the Amygdaleae and Pyreae tribes, which include the most relevant edible species such as apple, pear and peach, and numerous ornamental and wild species (e.g. photinia, firethorn and hawthorn). The systematic experimental search for Pep and the corresponding precursor PROPEP sequences within 36 Amygdaleae and Pyreae species, and 100 cultivars had a highly homogeneous pattern, with two tribe-specific Pep types per plant, i.e. Pep1 and Pep2 (Amygdaleae) or Pep3 and Pep4 (Pyreae). Pep2 and Pep3 are highly conserved, reaching identity percentages similar to those of genes used in plant phylogenetic analyses, while Pep1 and Pep4 are somewhat more variable, with similar values to the corresponding PROPEPs. In contrast to Pep3 and Pep4, Pep1 and Pep2 sequences of different species paralleled their phylogenetic relationships, and putative ancestor sequences were identified. The large amount of sequences allowed refining of a C-terminal consensus sequence that would support the protective activity of Pep1-4 in a Prunus spp. and Xanthomonas arboricola pv. pruni system. Moreover, tribe-specific consensus sequences were deduced at the center and C-terminal regions of Peps, which might explain the higher protection efficiencies described upon topic treatments with Peps from

  9. Comparative assessment of plant diversity and utilization patterns of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Home gardens are small land units or acreage of land for food production, usually within the homestead in traditional communities worldwide. These gardens are important component of subsistence living, sometimes a cash resource and repository sites for uncommon and common plant species of mixed life cycles.

  10. Diversity and Plant Growth Promoting Properties of Rhizobacteria ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    characteristics of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) and hence selected for further study. The sixty ... tolerance to a wide range of pH by most of the isolates. The 66 isolates ... chemicals and change in traditional cultivation practices ...

  11. Herbivory and eutrophication mediate grassland plant nutrient responses across a global climatic gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, T. Michael; Griffith, Daniel M.; Grace, James B.; Lind, Eric M.; Adler, Peter B.; Biederman, Lori A.; Blumenthal, Dana M.; Daleo, Pedro; Firn, Jennifer; Hagenah, Nicole; Harpole, W. Stanley; MacDougall, Andrew S.; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Prober, Suzanne M.; Risch, Anita C.; Sankaran, Mahesh; Schütz, Martin; Seabloom, Eric W.; Stevens, Carly J.; Sullivan, Lauren; Wragg, Peter; Borer, Elizabeth T.

    2018-01-01

    Plant stoichiometry, the relative concentration of elements, is a key regulator of ecosystem functioning and is also being altered by human activities. In this paper we sought to understand the global drivers of plant stoichiometry and compare the relative contribution of climatic vs. anthropogenic effects. We addressed this goal by measuring plant elemental (C, N, P and K) responses to eutrophication and vertebrate herbivore exclusion at eighteen sites on six continents. Across sites, climate and atmospheric N deposition emerged as strong predictors of plot‐level tissue nutrients, mediated by biomass and plant chemistry. Within sites, fertilization increased total plant nutrient pools, but results were contingent on soil fertility and the proportion of grass biomass relative to other functional types. Total plant nutrient pools diverged strongly in response to herbivore exclusion when fertilized; responses were largest in ungrazed plots at low rainfall, whereas herbivore grazing dampened the plant community nutrient responses to fertilization. Our study highlights (1) the importance of climate in determining plant nutrient concentrations mediated through effects on plant biomass, (2) that eutrophication affects grassland nutrient pools via both soil and atmospheric pathways and (3) that interactions among soils, herbivores and eutrophication drive plant nutrient responses at small scales, especially at water‐limited sites.

  12. Environmental and historical imprints on beta diversity: insights from variation in rates of species turnover along gradients

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fitzpatrick, Matthew C Fitzpatrick; Sanders, Nathan J.; Normand, Signe

    2013-01-01

    A common approach for analysing geographical variation in biodiversity involves using linear models to determine the rate at which species similarity declines with geographical or environmental distance and comparing this rate among regions, taxa or communities. Implicit in this approach are weakly...... justified assumptions that the rate of species turnover remains constant along gradients and that this rate can therefore serve as a means to compare ecological systems. We use generalized dissimilarity modelling, a novel method that accommodates variation in rates of species turnover along gradients...... in rates of species turnover is persistent across regions, taxa and different gradients. Such variation may represent an important but often overlooked component of biodiversity that complicates comparisons of distance–decay relationships and underscores the importance of using methods that accommodate...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  14. Genotypic and phenotypic diversity in populations of plant-probiotic Pseudomonas spp. colonizing roots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picard, Christine; Bosco, Marco

    2008-01-01

    Several soil microorganisms colonizing roots are known to naturally promote the health of plants by controlling a range of plant pathogens, including bacteria, fungi, and nematodes. The use of theses antagonistic microorganisms, recently named plant-probiotics, to control plant-pathogenic fungi is receiving increasing attention, as they may represent a sustainable alternative to chemical pesticides. Many years of research on plant-probiotic microorganisms (PPM) have indicated that fluorescent pseudomonads producing antimicrobial compounds are largely involved in the suppression of the most widespread soilborne pathogens. Phenotype and genotype analysis of plant-probiotic fluorescent pseudomonads (PFP) have shown considerable genetic variation among these types of strains. Such variability plays an important role in the rhizosphere competence and the biocontrol ability of PFP strains. Understanding the mechanisms by which genotypic and phenotypic diversity occurs in natural populations of PFP could be exploited to choose those agricultural practices which best exploit the indigenous PFP populations, or to isolate new plant-probiotic strains for using them as inoculants. A number of different methods have been used to study diversity within PFP populations. Because different resolutions of the existing microbial diversity can be revealed depending on the approach used, this review first describes the most important methods used for the assessment of fluorescent Pseudomonas diversity. Then, we focus on recent data relating how differences in genotypic and phenotypic diversity within PFP communities can be attributed to geographic location, climate, soil type, soil management regime, and interactions with other soil microorganisms and host plants. It becomes evident that plant-related parameters exert the strongest influence on the genotypic and phenotypic variations in PFP populations.

  15. The local knowledge of medicinal plants trader and diversity of medicinal plants in the Kabanjahe traditional market, North Sumatra, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silalahi, Marina; Nisyawati; Walujo, Eko Baroto; Supriatna, Jatna; Mangunwardoyo, Wibowo

    2015-12-04

    Market is the main place for transactions of medicinal plants and traditional ingredients by local community in the Karo regency, North Sumatra, Indonesia. This is the first study to document the local knowledge of traders on and the diversity of the medicinal plants. The investigation was carried out in the Kabanjahe traditional market, in the Karo regency. The research goal was to reveal the local knowledge, diversity and utilization of medicinal plants, which have been traded in the Kabanjahe traditional market, as a basis for conservation efforts. The study was conducted through ethnobotanical approach using market surveys. All traders of medicinal plants were surveyed applying in-depth interviews and participative observations. Data were analyzed qualitatively using descriptive statistics. The diversity of medicinal plants was expressed in term of the Shannon-Wiener diversity index (H'), whereas the similarity among traders was indicated by Jaccard index (Ji). Traders of medicinal plants stored the simplicia of medicinal plants in chest of drawers, plastic baskets, plastic bags, and in the air by suspending them from the the stall ceilings. We recorded 344 species, 217 genera and 90 families of medicinal plants. Those that were sold mostly belong to Zingeberaceae (20 species), Poaceae (19 species), and Asclepiadaceae (17 species), and the species received high consumers demand, mostly belong to Zingiberaceae, Rutaceae, and Asclepidiaceae. Asclepidiaceae was used to treat diseases like cancer and heart problems. The Shannon-Wiener diversity index of medicinal plants at the Kabanjahe traditional market was high (H'= 5.637). The high Jaccard similarity index (Ji>0.56) suggested that the traders were trading similar species of medicinal plants. Kabanjahe traditional market is the center for the sale of of medicinal plants as traditional ingredients. Several species are well known for their pharmacological properties but others, [such as: Dischidia imbricata (Blume

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Mitochondrial DNA markers reveal high genetic diversity but low genetic differentiation in the black fly Simulium tani Takaoka & Davies along an elevational gradient in Malaysia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Van Lun Low

    Full Text Available The population genetic structure of Simulium tani was inferred from mitochondria-encoded sequences of cytochrome c oxidase subunits I (COI and II (COII along an elevational gradient in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. A statistical parsimony network of 71 individuals revealed 71 haplotypes in the COI gene and 43 haplotypes in the COII gene; the concatenated sequences of the COI and COII genes revealed 71 haplotypes. High levels of genetic diversity but low levels of genetic differentiation were observed among populations of S. tani at five elevations. The degree of genetic diversity, however, was not in accordance with an altitudinal gradient, and a Mantel test indicated that elevation did not have a limiting effect on gene flow. No ancestral haplotype of S. tani was found among the populations. Pupae with unique structural characters at the highest elevation showed a tendency to form their own haplotype cluster, as revealed by the COII gene. Tajima's D, Fu's Fs, and mismatch distribution tests revealed population expansion of S. tani in Cameron Highlands. A strong correlation was found between nucleotide diversity and the levels of dissolved oxygen in the streams where S. tani was collected.

  18. The influence of canopy-layer composition on understory plant diversity in southern temperate forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciana Mestre

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Background Understory plants represents the largest component of biodiversity in most forest ecosystems and plays a key role in forest functioning. Despite their importance, the influence of overstory-layer composition on understory plant diversity is relatively poorly understood within deciduous-evergreen broadleaved mixed forests. The aim of this work was to evaluate how tree overstory-layer composition influences on understory-layer diversity in three forest types (monospecific deciduous Nothofagus pumilio (Np, monospecific evergreen Nothofagus betuloides (Nb, and mixed N. pumilio-N. betuloides (M forests, comparing also between two geographical locations (coast and mountain to estimate differences at landscape level. Results We recorded 46 plant species: 4 ferns, 12 monocots, and 30 dicots. Canopy-layer composition influences the herb-layer structure and diversity in two different ways: while mixed forests have greater similarity to evergreen forests in the understory structural features, deciduous and mixed were similar in terms of the specific composition of plant assemblage. Deciduous pure stands were the most diverse, meanwhile evergreen stands were least diverse. Lack of exclusive species of mixed forest could represent a transition where evergreen and deciduous communities meet and integrate. Moreover, landscape has a major influence on the structure, diversity and richness of understory vegetation of pure and mixed forests likely associated to the magnitude and frequency of natural disturbances, where mountain forest not only had highest herb-layer diversity but also more exclusive species. Conclusions Our study suggests that mixed Nothofagus forest supports coexistence of both pure deciduous and pure evergreen understory plant species and different assemblages in coastal and mountain sites. Maintaining the mixture of canopy patch types within mixed stands will be important for conserving the natural patterns of understory plant

  19. Variation in plant defenses of Didymopanax vinosum (Cham. & Schltdl. Seem. (Apiaceae across a vegetation gradient in a Brazilian cerrado

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pais Mara Patrícia

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Cerrado vegetation is composed of a mosaic of vegetation types, from campo sujo, dominated by herbs; campo cerrado and cerrado sensu stricto, with shrubby vegetation; to cerradão, with trees forming a denser forest. This physiognomic mosaic is related to differences in the water availability in the soil. Cerrado plants are considered physically and chemically well defended against herbivores, but there are no studies showing how plants allocate investment to various types of defensive mechanisms in different habitat physiognomies. The defensive mechanisms and the nutritional traits of a cerrado plant, Didymopanax vinosum (Cham. & Schltdl. Seem. (Apiaceae, were compared along a vegetation gradient. Toughness, as well as water, nitrogen, cellulose, lignin, and tannin contents were measured in young and mature leaves of D. vinosum collected in campo cerrado, cerrado sensu stricto (s.s. and cerradão. Plants from cerrado s.s. and cerradão were of better nutritional quality but also had higher tannin contents than campo cerrado plants. Some type of compensation mechanism could have been selected to provide an optimum investment in defense, according to limitations imposed by water deficits in the habitat.

  20. Assessment of plant species diversity based on hyperspectral indices at a fine scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Yu; Fan, Min; Song, Jingyi; Cui, Tiantian; Li, Rui

    2018-03-19

    Fast and nondestructive approaches of measuring plant species diversity have been a subject of excessive scientific curiosity and disquiet to environmentalists and field ecologists worldwide. In this study, we measured the hyperspectral reflectances and plant species diversity indices at a fine scale (0.8 meter) in central Hunshandak Sandland of Inner Mongolia, China. The first-order derivative value (FD) at each waveband and 37 hyperspectral indices were used to assess plant species diversity. Results demonstrated that the stepwise linear regression of FD can accurately estimate the Simpson (R 2  = 0.83), Pielou (R 2  = 0.87) and Shannon-Wiener index (R 2  = 0.88). Stepwise linear regression of FD (R 2  = 0.81, R 2  = 0.82) and spectral vegetation indices (R 2  = 0.51, R 2  = 0.58) significantly predicted the Margalef and Gleason index. It was proposed that the Simpson, Pielou and Shannon-Wiener indices, which are widely used as plant species diversity indicators, can be precisely estimated through hyperspectral indices at a fine scale. This research promotes the development of methods for assessment of plant diversity using hyperspectral data.

  1. Diverse roles of ERECTA family genes in plant development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shpak, Elena D

    2013-12-01

    Multiple receptor-like kinases (RLKs) enable intercellular communication that coordinates growth and development of plant tissues. ERECTA family receptors (ERfs) are an ancient family of leucine-rich repeat RLKs that in Arabidopsis consists of three genes: ERECTA, ERL1, and ERL2. ERfs sense secreted cysteine-rich peptides from the EPF/EPFL family and transmit the signal through a MAP kinase cascade. This review discusses the functions of ERfs in stomata development, in regulation of longitudinal growth of aboveground organs, during reproductive development, and in the shoot apical meristem. In addition the role of ERECTA in plant responses to biotic and abiotic factors is examined. Elena D. Shpak (Corresponding author). © 2013 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  2. The potential of plant viruses to promote genotypic diversity via genotype x environment interactions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van Mölken, Tamara; Stuefer, Josef F.

    2011-01-01

    † Background and Aims Genotype by environment (G × E) interactions are important for the long-term persistence of plant species in heterogeneous environments. It has often been suggested that disease is a key factor for the maintenance of genotypic diversity in plant populations. However, empirical...... and the G × E interactions were examined with respect to genotypespecific plant responses to WClMV infection. Thus, the environment is defined as the presence or absence of the virus. † Key Results WClMV had a negative effect on plant performance as shown by a decrease in biomass and number of ramets...... evidence for this contention is scarce. Here virus infection is proposed as a possible candidate for maintaining genotypic diversity in their host plants. † Methods The effects of White clover mosaic virus (WClMV) on the performance and development of different Trifolium repens genotypes were analysed...

  3. The effects of plant diversity on nitrous oxide emissions in hydroponic microcosms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Hongying; Zhang, Chongbang; Song, Changchun; Chang, Scott X.; Gu, Baojing; Chen, Zhengxin; Peng, Changhui; Chang, Jie; Ge, Ying

    2013-10-01

    Previous studies have shown that plant diversity can improve the wastewater purification efficiency of constructed wetlands (CWs), but its effect on the nitrous oxide (N2O) emission in CWs has been unknown. To investigate the effect of plant diversity on the N2O emission, we established four plant species richness levels (each level containing 1, 2, 3 and 4 species, respectively) by using 96 hydroponic microcosms. Results showed that plant species richness enhanced the N2O emission, ranging from 27.1 to 115.4 μg N2O m-2 d-1, and improved nitrate removal (P 0.05), but improved nitrogen removal (P < 0.001). Hence, our study highlights the importance of both plant species richness and species identity in mediating the N2O emission and nitrogen removal in CWs.

  4. Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portraits In Courage Vol. VIII Portraits In Courage Vol. IX Portraits In Courage Vol. X AF Sites Social -Wide Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce Executive Order 13548 : Virtual Diversity Conference Air Force Diversity & Inclusion Air Force Diversity Graphic There is no

  5. Decoupling factors affecting plant diversity and cover on extensive green roofs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacIvor, J Scott; Margolis, Liat; Puncher, Curtis L; Carver Matthews, Benjamin J

    2013-11-30

    Supplemental irrigation systems are often specified on green roofs to ensure plant cover and growth, both important components of green roof performance and aesthetics. Properties of the growing media environment too can alter the assemblage of plant species able to thrive. In this study we determine how plant cover, above ground biomass and species diversity are influenced by irrigation and growing media. Grass and forb vegetative cover and biomass were significantly greater in organic based growing media but there was no effect of supplemental irrigation, with two warm season grasses dominating in those treatments receiving no supplemental irrigation. On the other hand, plant diversity declined without irrigation in organic media, and having no irrigation in inorganic growing media resulted in almost a complete loss of cover. Sedum biomass was less in inorganic growing media treatments and species dominance shifted when growing media organic content increased. Our results demonstrate that supplemental irrigation is required to maintain plant diversity on an extensive green roof, but not necessarily plant cover or biomass. These results provide evidence that planting extensive green roofs with a mix of plant species can ensure the survival of some species; maintaining cover and biomass when supplemental irrigation is turned off to conserve water, or during extreme drought. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. [Diversity and distribution of the threatened medicinal vascular plants in Lancang].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chi, Xiu-Lian; Yuan, Yi-Kai; Fang, Bo; Zhang, Xiao-Bo; Yang, Han-Yu; Zhao, Zhi-Ping; Li, Guo; Fu, Kai-Cong; Guo, Lan-Ping; Huang, Lu-Qi

    2017-11-01

    The rich diversity in medicinal plants provides an important material basic for the development of Traditional Chinese medicine in China. It is important to explore the present situation of medicinal plants within special regions in order to provide scientific instructions for their sustainable protection and exploitation and utilization. In this study, we carried out the field survey according to the guideline of national survey of Chinese material medica resources and the guideline of plant species diversity survey and estimation at county level with the line transect method. With the field surveyed data, we explored the diversity and distribution of the threatened medicinal vascular plants in Lancang. We found that there were 33 species of the threatened medicinal vascular plants in this county. These species were from 23 genera and 17 families, and were composed of one critical endangered, 10 endangered and 22 vulnerable species. They were widely distributed across the whole county and were most concentrated in the town of Nuozhadu, Fazhanhe, Nuofu and Zhutang, which were located in the southeastern, southwestern and western of Lancang, respectively. We also found that the plant species richness followed a unimodal pattern along elevation. In addition, we found that the areas of Nuozhadu Nature Reserve in Lancang only covered six threatened medicinal vascular plants, while most of the regions with high species richness were not well protected. Therefore, we proposed to make more efforts to improve the protection measurements in order to better protect and utilize the medicinal plants in Lancang. Copyright© by the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association.

  7. Aquatic grazers reduce the establishment and growth of riparian plants along an environmental gradient

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veen, G.F.; Sarneel, J.M.; Ravensbergen, Lone; Huig, N.; van Paassen, José; Rip, W.; Bakker, E.S.

    2013-01-01

    Summary The establishment of riparian plants is determined by abiotic conditions and grazing, although it is usually presumed that the former are most important. We tested the impact of aquatic grazers on the survival and growth of establishing riparian plants and whether the impact of grazing

  8. Plant species invasions along the latitudinal gradient in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas J. Stohlgren; David Barnett; Curtis Flather; John Kartesz; Bruce Peterjohn

    2005-01-01

    It has been long established that the richness of vascular plant species and many animal taxa decreases with increasing latitude, a pattern that very generally follows declines in actual and potential evapotranspiration, solar radiation, temperature, and thus, total productivity. Using county-level data on vascular plants from the United States (3000 counties in the...

  9. Evolutionary history determines how plant productivity responds to phylogenetic diversity and species richness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark A. Genung

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function has received a great deal of attention in ecological research and recent results, from re-analyses, suggest that ecosystem function improves with increases in phylogenetic diversity. However, many of these results have been generalized across a range of different species and clades, and plants with different evolutionary histories could display different relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem function. To experimentally test this hypothesis, we manipulated species richness and phylogenetic diversity using 26 species from two subgenera of the genus Eucalyptus (subgenus Eucalyptus and subgenus Symphyomyrtus. We found that plant biomass (a measurement of ecosystem function sometimes, but not always, responded to increases in species richness and phylogenetic diversity. Specifically, Symphyomyrtus plants showed a positive response while no comparable effect was observed for Eucalyptus plants, showing that responses to biodiversity can vary across different phylogenetic groups. Our results show that the impacts of evolutionary history may complicate the relationship between the diversity of plant communities and plant biomass.

  10. Acacia sieberiana Effects on Soil Properties and Plant Diversity in Songa Pastures, Rwanda

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. P. Mugunga

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Effects of A. sieberiana trees on soil properties and plant diversity were investigated in Songa pastures, Rwanda. Tree characteristics and crown architecture of A. sieberiana were studied. Soil properties were assessed and plants were identified under and away from tree crowns. Counts of individual plants/species were done only under tree crowns. Nitrogen, P, and K were analysed in the soil, grass, and A. sieberiana leaves. Plant diversity was determined using Simpson's diversity index. Data were subjected to ANOVA. Soil organic carbon (SOC, cation exchange capacity (CEC, Ca2+, N and pH, and plant diversity were higher in soils under tree canopies than in open areas. Tree leaves were significantly richer in N and poorer in P and K as compared to grasses. Tree crowns grew wider and horizontal and developed intertwined secondary branching, reducing light intensity to as low as 38% under tree canopies compared to the open pasture. At 3 trees/ha stocking, A. sieberiana trees shaded 0.18 ha and herbaceous plants and grasses unpalatable to livestock dominated under tree canopies. A tradeoff of A. sieberiana tree value versus the loss of palatable grass due to tree presence needs to be assessed to decide whether the trees should be included in pastures and if yes, the apporpriate stocking identified.

  11. Stair-Step Pattern of Soil Bacterial Diversity Mainly Driven by pH and Vegetation Types Along the Elevational Gradients of Gongga Mountain, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jiabao; Shen, Zehao; Li, Chaonan; Kou, Yongping; Wang, Yansu; Tu, Bo; Zhang, Shiheng; Li, Xiangzhen

    2018-01-01

    Ecological understandings of soil bacterial community succession and assembly mechanism along elevational gradients in mountains remain not well understood. Here, by employing the high-throughput sequencing technique, we systematically examined soil bacterial diversity patterns, the driving factors, and community assembly mechanisms along the elevational gradients of 1800-4100 m on Gongga Mountain in China. Soil bacterial diversity showed an extraordinary stair-step pattern along the elevational gradients. There was an abrupt decrease of bacterial diversity between 2600 and 2800 m, while no significant change at either lower (1800-2600 m) or higher (2800-4100 m) elevations, which coincided with the variation in soil pH. In addition, the community structure differed significantly between the lower and higher elevations, which could be primarily attributed to shifts in soil pH and vegetation types. Although there was no direct effect of MAP and MAT on bacterial community structure, our partial least squares path modeling analysis indicated that bacterial communities were indirectly influenced by climate via the effect on vegetation and the derived effect on soil properties. As for bacterial community assembly mechanisms, the null model analysis suggested that environmental filtering played an overwhelming role in the assembly of bacterial communities in this region. In addition, variation partition analysis indicated that, at lower elevations, environmental attributes explained much larger fraction of the β-deviation than spatial attributes, while spatial attributes increased their contributions at higher elevations. Our results highlight the importance of environmental filtering, as well as elevation-related spatial attributes in structuring soil bacterial communities in mountain ecosystems.

  12. 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.

  13. Seasonal and spatial patterns of microbial diversity along a trophic gradient in the interconnected lakes of the Osterseen Lake District, Bavaria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwirglmaier, Katrin; Keiz, Katharina; Engel, Marion; Geist, Juergen; Raeder, Uta

    2015-01-01

    The Osterseen Lake District in Bavaria consists of 19 small interconnected lakes that exhibit a pronounced trophic gradient from eutrophic to oligotrophic. It therefore presents a unique model system to address ecological questions regarding niche adaptation and Baas Becking's long standing hypothesis of “everything is everywhere, but the environment selects.” Here, we present the first assessment of the microbial diversity in these lakes. We sampled the lakes in August and December and used 454 pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA amplicons to analyze the microbial diversity. The diversity patterns between lakes and seasons were compared and the bacterial community composition was correlated with key chemical and physical parameters. Distinct patterns of bacterial diversity only emerged at the level of individual OTUs (operational taxonomic units), but not at the level of the major bacterial phyla. This emphasizes the high functional and physiological diversity among bacterial species within a phylum and calls for analysis of biodiversity at the level of OTUs in order to understand fine-scale biogeography. We were able to identify a number of cosmopolitan OTUs as well as specialist OTUs that were restricted to certain lakes or seasons, suggesting adaptation to specific ecological niches. PMID:26579082

  14. Diversity, expansion, and evolutionary novelty of plant DNA-binding transcription factor families.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehti-Shiu, Melissa D; Panchy, Nicholas; Wang, Peipei; Uygun, Sahra; Shiu, Shin-Han

    2017-01-01

    Plant transcription factors (TFs) that interact with specific sequences via DNA-binding domains are crucial for regulating transcriptional initiation and are fundamental to plant development and environmental response. In addition, expansion of TF families has allowed functional divergence of duplicate copies, which has contributed to novel, and in some cases adaptive, traits in plants. Thus, TFs are central to the generation of the diverse plant species that we see today. Major plant agronomic traits, including those relevant to domestication, have also frequently arisen through changes in TF coding sequence or expression patterns. Here our goal is to provide an overview of plant TF evolution by first comparing the diversity of DNA-binding domains and the sizes of these domain families in plants and other eukaryotes. Because TFs are among the most highly expanded gene families in plants, the birth and death process of TFs as well as the mechanisms contributing to their retention are discussed. We also provide recent examples of how TFs have contributed to novel traits that are important in plant evolution and in agriculture.This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Plant Gene Regulatory Mechanisms and Networks, edited by Dr. Erich Grotewold and Dr. Nathan Springer. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Biogeographical diversity of plant associated microbes in arcto-alpine plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kumar, Manoj Gopala Krishnan

    2016-01-01

    Terrestrial plants and microbes have co-evolved since the emergence of the former on Earth. Associations with microorganisms can be either beneficial or detrimental for plants. Microbes can be found in the soil surrounding the plant roots, but also in all plant tissues, including seeds. In

  16. Diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in grassland spontaneously developed on area polluted by a fertilizer plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Renker, C.; Blanke, V.; Buscot, F.

    2005-01-01

    Mycorrhizal colonization and diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) were analyzed in a calcareous grassland with residual phosphate contamination 10 years after the closure of a pollutant fertilizer plant in Thuringia (Germany). AMF were detected in 21 of 22 plant species analyzed. Mean mycorrhization levels reached up to 74.5% root length colonized. AMF diversity was analyzed based on 104 sequences of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) of the ribosomal DNA. Phylogenetic analyses revealed a total of 6 species all belonging to the genus Glomus. There was no overlap between species detected as active mycorrhizas on roots (2 taxa) or as spores (4 taxa). Compared to the regional context, the diversity of AMF at our field site was reduced, which may reflect a residual disturbance effect. However, none of the detected species was exclusive to the polluted site as they are commonly found in the region. - Almost all plant species were mycorrhizal

  17. Ex situ conservation of plant diversity in the world's botanic gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mounce, Ross; Smith, Paul; Brockington, Samuel

    2017-10-01

    Botanic gardens conserve plant diversity ex situ and can prevent extinction through integrated conservation action. Here we quantify how that diversity is conserved in ex situ collections across the world's botanic gardens. We reveal that botanic gardens manage at least 105,634 species, equating to 30% of all plant species diversity, and conserve over 41% of known threatened species. However, we also reveal that botanic gardens are disproportionately temperate, with 93% of species held in the Northern Hemisphere. Consequently, an estimated 76% of species absent from living collections are tropical in origin. Furthermore, phylogenetic bias ensures that over 50% of vascular genera, but barely 5% of non-vascular genera, are conserved ex situ. While botanic gardens are discernibly responding to the threat of species extinction, just 10% of network capacity is devoted to threatened species. We conclude that botanic gardens play a fundamental role in plant conservation, but identify actions to enhance future conservation of biodiversity.

  18. Does the stress-gradient hypothesis hold water? Disentangling spatial and temporal variation in plant effects on soil moisture in dryland systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butterfield, Bradley J.; Bradford, John B.; Armas, Cristina; Prieto, Ivan; Pugnaire, Francisco I.

    2016-01-01

    The nature of the relationship between water limitation and facilitation has been one of the most contentious debates surrounding the stress-gradient hypothesis (SGH), which states that plant-plant interactions shift from competition to facilitation with increasing environmental stress.

  19. Melatonin in Plants - Diversity of Levels and Multiplicity of Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardeland, Rüdiger

    2016-01-01

    Melatonin has been detected in numerous plant species. A particularly surprising finding concerns the highly divergent levels of melatonin that vary between species, organs and environmental conditions, from a few pg/g to over 20 μg/g, reportedly up to 200 μg/g. Highest values have been determined in oily seeds and in plant organs exposed to high UV radiation. The divergency of melatonin concentrations is discussed under various functional aspects and focused on several open questions. This comprises differences in precursor availability, catabolism, the relative contribution of isoenzymes of the melatonin biosynthetic pathway, and differences in rate limitation by either serotonin N-acetyltransferase or N-acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase. Other differences are related to the remarkable pleiotropy of melatonin, which exhibits properties as a growth regulator and morphogenetic factor, actually debated in terms of auxin-like effects, and as a signaling molecule that modulates pathways of ethylene, abscisic, jasmonic and salicylic acids and is involved in stress tolerance, pathogen defense and delay of senescence. In the context of high light/UV intensities, elevated melatonin levels exceed those required for signaling via stress-related phytohormones and may comprise direct antioxidant and photoprotectant properties, perhaps with a contribution of its oxidatively formed metabolites, such as N (1)-acetyl-N (2)-formyl-5-methoxykynuramine and its secondary products. High melatonin levels in seeds may also serve antioxidative protection and have been shown to promote seed viability and germination capacity.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wu Ning

    2004-04-01

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

  1. Genotyping-By-Sequencing for Plant Genetic Diversity Analysis: A Lab Guide for SNP Genotyping

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory W. Peterson

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS has recently emerged as a promising genomic approach for exploring plant genetic diversity on a genome-wide scale. However, many uncertainties and challenges remain in the application of GBS, particularly in non-model species. Here, we present a GBS protocol we developed and use for plant genetic diversity analysis. It uses two restriction enzymes to reduce genome complexity, applies Illumina multiplexing indexes for barcoding and has a custom bioinformatics pipeline for genotyping. This genetic diversity-focused GBS (gd-GBS protocol can serve as an easy-to-follow lab guide to assist a researcher through every step of a GBS application with five main components: sample preparation, library assembly, sequencing, SNP calling and diversity analysis. Specifically, in this presentation, we provide a brief overview of the GBS approach, describe the gd-GBS procedures, illustrate it with an application to analyze genetic diversity in 20 flax (Linum usitatissimum L. accessions and discuss related issues in GBS application. Following these lab bench procedures and using the custom bioinformatics pipeline, one could generate genome-wide SNP genotype data for a conventional genetic diversity analysis of a non-model plant species.

  2. Patterns of microbial diversity along a salinity gradient in the Guerrero Negro solar saltern, Baja CA Sur, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesse G Dillon

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The goal of this study was to use environmental sequencing of 16S rRNA and bop genes to compare the diversity of planktonic bacteria and archaea across ponds with increasing salinity in the Exportadora de Sal (ESSA evaporative saltern in Guerrero Negro, Baja CA S., Mexico. We hypothesized that diverse communities of heterotrophic bacteria and archaea would be found in the ESSA ponds, but that bacterial diversity would decrease relative to archaea at the highest salinities. Archaeal 16S rRNA diversity was higher in Ponds 11 and 12 (370 & 380 g l-1 total salts respectively compared to Pond 9 (180 g l-1 total salts. Both Pond 11 and 12 communities had high representation (47 and 45% of clones respectively by Haloquadratum walsbyi-like (99% similarity lineages. The archaeal community in Pond 9 was dominated (79% by a single uncultured phylotype with 99% similarity to sequences recovered from the Sfax saltern in Tunisia. This pattern was mirrored in bop gene diversity with greater numbers of highly supported phylotypes including many Haloquadratum-like sequences from the two highest salinity ponds. In Pond 9, most bop sequences, were not closely related to sequences in databases. Bacterial 16S rRNA diversity was higher than archaeal in both Pond 9 and Pond 12 samples, but not Pond 11, where a non-Salinibacter lineage within the Bacteroidetes >98% similar to environmental clones recovered from Lake Tuz in Turkey and a saltern in Chula Vista, CA was most abundant (69% of community. This OTU was also the most abundant in Pond 12, but only represented 14% of clones in the more diverse pond. The most abundant OTU in Pond 9 (33% of community was 99% similar to an uncultured gammaproteobacterial clone from the Salton Sea. Results suggest that the communities of saltern bacteria and archaea vary even in ponds with similar salinity and further investigation into the ecology of diverse, uncultured halophile communities is warranted.

  3. Using dark diversity and plant characteristics to guide conservation and restoration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moeslund, Jesper Erenskjold; Brunbjerg, Ane Kirstine; Clausen, Kevin

    2017-01-01

    more often than others, although this is important knowledge for restoration and conservation actions. 2. We applied the concept to a massive national (Danish) plant diversity data base, containing 236 923 records from 15 160 surveys involving 564 species. This enabled the first geographically...... comprehensive (43 000 km2) assessment of dark diversity, at a spatial resolution relevant for conservation and restoration planning (78 m2) across multiple terrestrial habitats, thereby maximising the practical applications of this concept. The probability for a given plant species to belong to the dark...

  4. Insects on plants: Diversity of herbivore assemblages revisited

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lewinsohn, T. M.; Novotný, Vojtěch; Basset, Y.

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 36, - (2005), s. 597-620 ISSN 1543-592X R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA206/04/0725; GA ČR(CZ) GD206/03/H034; GA AV ČR(CZ) IAA6007106; GA MŠk(CZ) ME 646 Grant - others:Fundacao de Amaparo a Pesquisa do Estado de Sao Paulo(BR) Biota/Fapesp 98/05085-2; Conselho Nacional de Densenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologico-Brasil(BR) 306049/2004-0; U. S. National Science Foundation(US) DEB-02-11591; Darwin Initiative fior the Survival of Species(GB) 162/10/030 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z5007907 Keywords : herbivory * insect-plant interactions * tropical insects Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 10.104, year: 2005

  5. Advanced technologies for plant cell wall evolution and diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fangel, Jonatan Ulrik

    Plant cell walls consist of polysaccharides, glycoproteins and phenolic polymers interlinked together in a highly complex network. The detailed analysis of cell walls is challenging because of their inherent complexity and heterogeneity. Also, complex carbohydrates, unlike proteins and nucleotides...... cannot really be synthesised or sequenced. The work described in this thesis is focused to a large extent on the development of a microarray-based high-throughput method for cell wall analysis known as Comprehensive microarray polymer profiling or CoMPP. The procedure uses highly specific molecular...... probes (monoclonal antibodies mAbs and carbohydrate binding modules, CBMs) to rapidly profile polysaccharides across a sample set. During my PhD I have further developed the CoMPP technique and used it for cell wall analysis within the context of a variety of applied and fundamental projects. The data...

  6. IMPACT OF WOODY PLANTS SPECIES ON SOIL PHYSIO-CHEMICAL PROPERTIES ALONG GRAZING GRADIENTS IN RANGELANDS OF EASTERN ETHIOPIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Mussa Abdulahi

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available In the lowlands of arid and semiarid rangelands woody plants plays an important role in soil fertility maintenance, providing food, medicine, cosmetics, fodder, fuel wood and pesticides. A better understanding of the interaction of woody plants on their immediate environment is needed to guide optimum management of native vegetation in the production landscapes. However, the impact of woody plant species on soil properties remains poorly understood. This study evaluates the impact of two dominant woody plant species (A. senegal and B. aegyptica on soil physico-chemical properties along grazing gradients in rangelands of eastern Ethiopia. Six trees of each species were selected from light, moderate and heavy grazing sites.  Soil sample data at two depths (0-15 and 16-30 cm were collected from under and open areas of A. senegal and B. aegyptica from each grazing sites, and analysed for nutrient contents. The nutrient status of soil under both woody species was significantly higher especially with regard to soil organic matter (4.37%, total nitrogen (0.313%, and available phosphorus (11.62 than the open grassland with soil organic matter (3.82%, total nitrogen (0.246%, and available phosphorus (10.94 mg/Kg soil for A. Senegal. The soil organic matter (3.93%, total nitrogen (0.285%, available phosphorus (11.66 mg/Kg soil were significantly higher than open grassland with soil organic matter (3.52%, total nitrogen (0.218%, available phosphorus (10.73 mg/Kg soil for B. aegyptica. This was more pronounced in the top 15 cm of soil under A. senegal woody plant species and on the light and moderate grazing site. Therefore, this tree has a significant effect on soil fertility improvement in resource poor rangelands and as a result, it is important to retain scattered A. senegal and B. aegyptica plants in the lowlands of eastern Ethiopia.

  7. Soil stabilization linked to plant diversity and environmental context in coastal wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, Hilary; Garbutt, Angus; Ladd, Cai; Malarkey, Jonathan; Skov, Martin W

    2016-03-01

    Plants play a pivotal role in soil stabilization, with above-ground vegetation and roots combining to physically protect soil against erosion. It is possible that diverse plant communities boost root biomass, with knock-on positive effects for soil stability, but these relationships are yet to be disentangled. We hypothesize that soil erosion rates fall with increased plant species richness, and test explicitly how closely root biomass is associated with plant diversity. We tested this hypothesis in salt marsh grasslands, dynamic ecosystems with a key role in flood protection. Using step-wise regression, the influences of biotic (e.g. plant diversity) and abiotic variables on root biomass and soil stability were determined for salt marshes with two contrasting soil types: erosion-resistant clay (Essex, southeast UK) and erosion-prone sand (Morecambe Bay, northwest UK). A total of 132 (30-cm depth) cores of natural marsh were extracted and exposed to lateral erosion by water in a re-circulating flume. Soil erosion rates fell with increased plant species richness ( R 2  = 0.55), when richness was modelled as a single explanatory variable, but was more important in erosion-prone ( R 2  = 0.44) than erosion-resistant ( R 2  = 0.18) regions. As plant species richness increased from two to nine species·m -2 , the coefficient of variation in soil erosion rate decreased significantly ( R 2  = 0.92). Plant species richness was a significant predictor of root biomass ( R 2  = 0.22). Step-wise regression showed that five key variables accounted for 80% of variation in soil erosion rate across regions. Clay-silt fraction and soil carbon stock were linked to lower rates, contributing 24% and 31%, respectively, to variation in erosion rate. In regional analysis, abiotic factors declined in importance, with root biomass explaining 25% of variation. Plant diversity explained 12% of variation in the erosion-prone sandy region. Our study indicates that soil stabilization

  8. Diversity dynamics of silurian-early carboniferous land plants in South china.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Conghui Xiong

    Full Text Available New megafossil and microfossil data indicate four episodes in the diversification of Silurian-Early Carboniferous land plants of South China, a relatively continuous regional record. Plant diversity increased throughout, but the rising curve was punctuated by three major falls. There were peaks of origination in the Ludlow-Pragian, Givetian, late Famennian and Visean and peaks of extinction in the Pragian-Emsian, Givetian and early Tournaisian. Speciation and extinction rates were highest in the Lochkovian-Pragian and became progressively lower in subsequent stages. High correlation coefficients indicate that these events are associated with the availability of land habitat contingent on eustatic variations and increasing numbers of cosmopolitan genera. Meanwhile, proportions of endemic genera declined gradually. Due to less endemism and more migrations, both speciation and species extinction rates reduced. The changes of diversity and the timing of the three extinctions of land plants in South China are similar to those known already from Laurussia. However, the largest events in the Lochkovian-Pragian and subsequent smaller ones have not been seen in the global pattern of plant evolution. These land plant events do not correspond well temporally with those affecting land vertebrates or marine invertebrates. In South China, the diversity curve of land plants is generally opposite to that of marine faunas, showing a strong effect of eustatic variations. The increasing diversity of both land vertebrates and plants was punctuated above the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary, known as Romer's Gap, implying common underlying constraints on macroevolution of land animals and plants.

  9. Species diversity of vascular plants in Si Phang-nga National Park, Phangnga Province

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leeratiwong, C.

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available A survey of the vascular plants in Si Phang-nga National Park, Phangnga Province, was conducted from September 2002 to August 2003. Five hundred and forty three species of 287 genera and 111 families were collected. The most diverse family was Rubiaceae, 53 species. Four species of these collected plants are endemic to Thailand, Argostemma lobulatum, Aristolochia helix, Crinum thaianum and Mallotus hymenophyllus and three species, Hedyotis hedyotidea, Lipocarpha microcephala and Pterolobium intergum are newly recorded for southern Thailand.

  10. Diversity of alkane hydroxylase genes on the rhizoplane of grasses planted in petroleum-contaminated soils

    OpenAIRE

    Tsuboi, Shun; Yamamura, Shigeki; Nakajima-Kambe, Toshiaki; Iwasaki, Kazuhiro

    2015-01-01

    The study investigated the diversity and genotypic features of alkane hydroxylase genes on rhizoplanes of grasses planted in artificial petroleum-contaminated soils to acquire new insights into the bacterial communities responsible for petroleum degradation in phytoremediation. Four types of grass (Cynodon dactylon, two phenotypes of Zoysia japonica, and Z. matrella) were used. The concentrations of total petroleum hydrocarbon effectively decreased in the grass-planted systems compared with t...

  11. Patterns of plant species diversity during succession under different disturbance regimes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denslow, Julie Sloan

    1980-07-01

    I suggest that between-community variations in diversity patterns during succession in plant communities are due to the effects of selection on life history strategies under different disturbance regimes. Natural disturbances to plant communities are simultaneously a source of mortality for some individuals and a source of establishment sites for others. The plant community consists of a mosaic of disturbance patches (gaps) of different environmental conditions. The composition of the mosaic is described by the size-frequency distribution of the gaps and is dependent on the rates and scales of disturbance. The life-history strategies of plant species dependent on some form of disturbance for establishment of propagules should reflect this size-frequency distribution of disturbance patches. An extension of island biogeographic theory to encompass relative habitat area predicts that a community should be most rich in species adapted to growth and establishment in the spatially most common patch types. Changes in species diversity during succession following large scale disturbance reflect the prevalent life history patterns under historically common disturbance regimes. Communities in which the greatest patch area is in large-scale clearings (e.g. following fire) are most diverse in species establishing seedlings in xeric, high light conditions. Species diversity decreases during succession. Communities in which such large patches are rare are characterized by a large number of species that reach the canopy through small gaps and realtively few which regenerate in the large clearings. Diversity increases during succession following a large scale disturbance.Evidence from communities characterized by different disturbance regimes is summarized from the literature. This hypothesis provides an evolutionary mechanism with which to examine the changes in plant community structure during succession. Diversity peaks occurring at "intermediate levels" of disturbance as

  12. Plant diversity and conservation status of Himalayan Region Poonch Valley Azad Kashmir (Pakistan).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Muhammad Azam; Khan, Mir Ajab; Hussain, Mazhar; Mujtaba, Ghulam

    2014-09-01

    The plant diversity of Himalayan region has been reduced to greater extent due to environmental degradation and human exploitation. Anthropogenic disturbance was the major factor responsible for fragmentation of forest vegetation into small patches. Little research has been conducted in the Himalayan region of Poonch Valley of North eastern Pakistan with reference to plants biodiversity and its conservation. The present research was carried out to provide a checklist of vegetation for biodiversity conservation. A total of 430 vascular and 5 nonvascular plant species with 5 species of Bryophytes (5 families), 13 species of Pteridophytes (6 families), 4 species of Gymnosperms (1 family) and 413 species of angiosperms (95 families) were enumerated from the Poonch valley Azad Kashmir. The genera were classified into three categories according to the number of species. 25 plant communities with phytosociological parameters and diversity indices were reported. Present study revealed that there were 145 threatened, 30 endangered, 68 vulnerable and 47 rare species. It is recorded that extensive grazing, uprooting of plants and soil slope erosion intensify the environmental problems. Since there is maximum exploitation of vegetation, the valley showed a decline in plant diversity. The study was also indicated that the main threats to the biodiversity are expansion of settlement and army installations in the forest area of the valley. For sustainable use In-situ and Ex-situ conservation, controlled harvesting and afforestation may be the solution. Moreover, forest area should be declared prohibited for settlements and army installations.

  13. Organic, integrated and conventional management in apple orchards: effect on plant species composition, richness and diversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zdeňka Lososová

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The study was conducted to assess the effect of conventional, integrated and organic management on differences in plant species composition, richness and diversity. The plants were studied in triads of orchards situated in three regions of the Czech Republic. Data about species occurrences were collected on 15 permanent plots in the tree rows and 15 plots between tree rows in each of the apple orchards during 2009. A total of 201 vascular plant species (127 native species, 65 archaeophytes, and 9 neophytes were found. Management type and also different regional conditions had a significant effect on plant species composition and on diversity parameters of orchard spontaneous vegetation. Species richness and species pool was significantly higher in the organic orchards than in the differently managed orchards. Management type had significant effect on proportions of archaeophytes, and also neophytes in apple orchards. The results showed that a change from conventional to integrated and organic management in apple orchards lead to higher plant species diversity and to changes in plant species composition.

  14. Highly Diverse Endophytic and Soil Fusarium oxysporum Populations Associated with Field-Grown Tomato Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demers, Jill E.; Gugino, Beth K.

    2014-01-01

    The diversity and genetic differentiation of populations of Fusarium oxysporum associated with tomato fields, both endophytes obtained from tomato plants and isolates obtained from soil surrounding the sampled plants, were investigated. A total of 609 isolates of F. oxysporum were obtained, 295 isolates from a total of 32 asymptomatic tomato plants in two fields and 314 isolates from eight soil cores sampled from the area surrounding the plants. Included in this total were 112 isolates from the stems of all 32 plants, a niche that has not been previously included in F. oxysporum population genetics studies. Isolates were characterized using the DNA sequence of the translation elongation factor 1α gene. A diverse population of 26 sequence types was found, although two sequence types represented nearly two-thirds of the isolates studied. The sequence types were placed in different phylogenetic clades within F. oxysporum, and endophytic isolates were not monophyletic. Multiple sequence types were found in all plants, with an average of 4.2 per plant. The population compositions differed between the two fields but not between soil samples within each field. A certain degree of differentiation was observed between populations associated with different tomato cultivars, suggesting that the host genotype may affect the composition of plant-associated F. oxysporum populations. No clear patterns of genetic differentiation were observed between endophyte populations and soil populations, suggesting a lack of specialization of endophytic isolates. PMID:25304514

  15. Why we shouldn't underestimate the impact of plant functional diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groner, V.; Raddatz, T.; Reick, C. H.; Claussen, M.

    2017-12-01

    We present a series of coupled land-atmosphere simulations with different combinations of plant functional types (PFTs) from mid-Holocene to preindustrial to show how plant functional diversity affects simulated climate-vegetation interaction under changing environmental conditions in subtropical Africa. Scientists nowadays agree that the establishment of the ``green'' Sahara was triggered by external changes in the Earth's orbit and amplified by internal feedback mechanisms. The timing and abruptness of the transition to the ``desert'' state are in turn still under debate. While some previous studies indicated an abrupt collapse of vegetation implying a strong climate-vegetation feedback, others suggested a gradual vegetation decline thereby questioning the existence of a strong climate-vegetation feedback. However, none of these studies explicitly accounted for the role of plant diversity. We show that the introduction or removal of a single PFT can bring about significant impacts on the simulated climate-vegetation system response to changing orbital forcing. While simulations with the standard set of PFTs show a gradual decrease of precipitation and vegetation cover over time, the reduction of plant functional diversity can cause either an abrupt decline of both variables or an even slower response to the external forcing. PFT composition seems to be the decisive factor for the system response to external forcing, and an increase in plant functional diversity does not necessarily increase the stability of the climate-vegetation system. From this we conclude that accounting for plant functional diversity in future studies - not only on palaeo climates - could significantly improve the understanding of climate-vegetation interaction in semi-arid regions, the predictability of the vegetation response to changing climate, and respectively, of the resulting feedback on precipitation.

  16. Distribution of vascular plants and macroalgae along salinity and elevation gradients in Oregon tidal marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sea level rise due to global climate change may affect the spatial distribution of plants and macroalgae within tidal estuaries. We present preliminary results from on-going research in Oregon to determine how these potential abiotic drives correlate with the presence or absence...

  17. Effects of contrasting rooting distribution patterns on plant transpiration along a precipitation gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Understanding and predicting ecosystem functioning in water limited ecosystems requires a thorough assessment of the role plant root systems. Widespread ecological phenomena such as shrub encroachment may drastically change root distribution in the soil profile affecting the uptake of water and nutr...

  18. Effects of nutrients and fish on periphyton and plant biomass across a European latitudinal gradient

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bécares, E.; Gomá, J.; Fernández-Aláez, M.; Fernández-Aláez, C.; Romo, S.; Rosa Miracle, M.; Ståhl-Delbanco, A.; Hansson, L-A.; Gyllström, M.; van de Bund, W.; Van Donk, E.; Kairesalo, T.; Hietala, J.; Stephen, D.; Balayla, D.; Moss, B.

    2008-01-01

    Replicated, factorial mesocosm experiments were conducted across Europe to study the effects of nutrient enrichment and fish density on macrophytes and on periphyton chlorophyll a (chl-a) with regard to latitude. Periphyton chl-a densities and plant decline were significantly related to nutrient

  19. Highly consistent effects of plant litter identity and functional traits on decomposition across a latitudinal gradient

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Makkonen, M.; Berg, M.P.; Handa, I.T.; Hättenschwiler, S.; Ruijven, van J.; Bodegom, van P.M.; Aerts, M.A.P.A.

    2012-01-01

    Plant litter decomposition is a key process in terrestrial carbon cycling, yet the relative importance of various control factors remains ambiguous at a global scale. A full reciprocal litter transplant study with 16 litter species that varied widely in traits and originated from four forest sites

  20. Distribution patterns of medicinal plants along an elevational gradient in central Himalaya, Nepal

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Rokaya, Maan Bahadur; Münzbergová, Zuzana; Shrestha, M.R.; Timsina, B.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 9, č. 2 (2012), s. 201-213 ISSN 1672-6316 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA526/09/0549 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : distribution patterns * medicinal plants * unimodal relationships Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 0.664, year: 2012

  1. Host Plant Physiology and Mycorrhizal Functioning Shift across a Glacial through Future [CO2] Gradient1[OPEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullinix, George W.R.; Ward, Joy K.

    2016-01-01

    Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration ([CO2]) may modulate the functioning of mycorrhizal associations by altering the relative degree of nutrient and carbohydrate limitations in plants. To test this, we grew Taraxacum ceratophorum and Taraxacum officinale (native and exotic dandelions) with and without mycorrhizal fungi across a broad [CO2] gradient (180–1,000 µL L−1). Differential plant growth rates and vegetative plasticity were hypothesized to drive species-specific responses to [CO2] and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. To evaluate [CO2] effects on mycorrhizal functioning, we calculated response ratios based on the relative biomass of mycorrhizal (MBio) and nonmycorrhizal (NMBio) plants (RBio = [MBio − NMBio]/NMBio). We then assessed linkages between RBio and host physiology, fungal growth, and biomass allocation using structural equation modeling. For T. officinale, RBio increased with rising [CO2], shifting from negative to positive values at 700 µL L−1. [CO2] and mycorrhizal effects on photosynthesis and leaf growth rates drove shifts in RBio in this species. For T. ceratophorum, RBio increased from 180 to 390 µL L−1 and further increases in [CO2] caused RBio to shift from positive to negative values. [CO2] and fungal effects on plant growth and carbon sink strength were correlated with shifts in RBio in this species. Overall, we show that rising [CO2] significantly altered the functioning of mycorrhizal associations. These symbioses became more beneficial with rising [CO2], but nonlinear effects may limit plant responses to mycorrhizal fungi under future [CO2]. The magnitude and mechanisms driving mycorrhizal-CO2 responses reflected species-specific differences in growth rate and vegetative plasticity, indicating that these traits may provide a framework for predicting mycorrhizal responses to global change. PMID:27573369

  2. Relationships between Plant Diversity and the Abundance and α-Diversity of Predatory Ground Beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in a Mature Asian Temperate Forest Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Yi; Sang, Weiguo; Bai, Fan; Axmacher, Jan Christoph

    2013-01-01

    A positive relationship between plant diversity and both abundance and diversity of predatory arthropods is postulated by the Enemies Hypothesis, a central ecological top-down control hypothesis. It has been supported by experimental studies and investigations of agricultural and grassland ecosystems, while evidence from more complex mature forest ecosystems is limited. Our study was conducted on Changbai Mountain in one of the last remaining large pristine temperate forest environments in China. We used predatory ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) as target taxon to establish the relationship between phytodiversity and their activity abundance and diversity. Results showed that elevation was the only variable included in both models predicting carabid activity abundance and α-diversity. Shrub diversity was negatively and herb diversity positively correlated with beetle abundance, while shrub diversity was positively correlated with beetle α-diversity. Within the different forest types, a negative relationship between plant diversity and carabid activity abundance was observed, which stands in direct contrast to the Enemies Hypothesis. Furthermore, plant species density did not predict carabid α-diversity. In addition, the density of herbs, which is commonly believed to influence carabid movement, had little impact on the beetle activity abundance recorded on Changbai Mountain. Our study indicates that in a relatively large and heterogeneous mature forest area, relationships between plant and carabid diversity are driven by variations in environmental factors linked with altitudinal change. In addition, traditional top-down control theories that are suitable in explaining diversity patterns in ecosystems of low diversity appear to play a much less pronounced role in highly complex forest ecosystems. PMID:24376582

  3. Relationships between plant diversity and the abundance and α-diversity of predatory ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in a mature Asian temperate forest ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Yi; Sang, Weiguo; Bai, Fan; Axmacher, Jan Christoph

    2013-01-01

    A positive relationship between plant diversity and both abundance and diversity of predatory arthropods is postulated by the Enemies Hypothesis, a central ecological top-down control hypothesis. It has been supported by experimental studies and investigations of agricultural and grassland ecosystems, while evidence from more complex mature forest ecosystems is limited. Our study was conducted on Changbai Mountain in one of the last remaining large pristine temperate forest environments in China. We used predatory ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) as target taxon to establish the relationship between phytodiversity and their activity abundance and diversity. Results showed that elevation was the only variable included in both models predicting carabid activity abundance and α-diversity. Shrub diversity was negatively and herb diversity positively correlated with beetle abundance, while shrub diversity was positively correlated with beetle α-diversity. Within the different forest types, a negative relationship between plant diversity and carabid activity abundance was observed, which stands in direct contrast to the Enemies Hypothesis. Furthermore, plant species density did not predict carabid α-diversity. In addition, the density of herbs, which is commonly believed to influence carabid movement, had little impact on the beetle activity abundance recorded on Changbai Mountain. Our study indicates that in a relatively large and heterogeneous mature forest area, relationships between plant and carabid diversity are driven by variations in environmental factors linked with altitudinal change. In addition, traditional top-down control theories that are suitable in explaining diversity patterns in ecosystems of low diversity appear to play a much less pronounced role in highly complex forest ecosystems.

  4. Relationships between plant diversity and the abundance and α-diversity of predatory ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae in a mature Asian temperate forest ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yi Zou

    Full Text Available A positive relationship between plant diversity and both abundance and diversity of predatory arthropods is postulated by the Enemies Hypothesis, a central ecological top-down control hypothesis. It has been supported by experimental studies and investigations of agricultural and grassland ecosystems, while evidence from more complex mature forest ecosystems is limited. Our study was conducted on Changbai Mountain in one of the last remaining large pristine temperate forest environments in China. We used predatory ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae as target taxon to establish the relationship between phytodiversity and their activity abundance and diversity. Results showed that elevation was the only variable included in both models predicting carabid activity abundance and α-diversity. Shrub diversity was negatively and herb diversity positively correlated with beetle abundance, while shrub diversity was positively correlated with beetle α-diversity. Within the different forest types, a negative relationship between plant diversity and carabid activity abundance was observed, which stands in direct contrast to the Enemies Hypothesis. Furthermore, plant species density did not predict carabid α-diversity. In addition, the density of herbs, which is commonly believed to influence carabid movement, had little impact on the beetle activity abundance recorded on Changbai Mountain. Our study indicates that in a relatively large and heterogeneous mature forest area, relationships between plant and carabid diversity are driven by variations in environmental factors linked with altitudinal change. In addition, traditional top-down control theories that are suitable in explaining diversity patterns in ecosystems of low diversity appear to play a much less pronounced role in highly complex forest ecosystems.

  5. Spatial and seasonal diversity of wild food plants in home gardens of Northeast Thailand

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cruz Garcia, G.S.; Struik, P.C.

    2015-01-01

    Wild food plants (WFPs) are major components of tropical home gardens, constituting an important resource for poor farmers. The spatial and seasonal diversity of WFPs was analyzed across multi-species spatial configurations occurring within home gardens in a rice farming village in northeast

  6. Challenges in estimating past plant diversity from fossil pollen data: statistical assessment, problems, and possible solutions.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weng, C.; Hooghiemstra, H.; Duivenvoorden, J.F.

    2006-01-01

    Fossil pollen data from sediment cores may be used as a measure for past plant diversity. According to the theory of probability, palynological richness is positively related to the pollen count. In a low pollen count, only common taxa are detected, whereas rare taxa are only detected by chance. The

  7. Understory plant diversity in riparian alder-conifer stands after logging in southeast Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert L. Deal

    1997-01-01

    Stand structure, tree height growth, and understory plant diversity were assessed in five mixed alder-conifer stands after logging in southeast Alaska. Tree species composition ranged from 7- to 91-percent alder, and basal area ranged from 30 to 55 m2/ha. The alder exhibited rapid early height growth, but recent growth has slowed considerably. Some conifers have...

  8. effect of bush burning on herbaceous plant diversity in lagos state

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    conducted to assess the effect of bush burning on plant species diversity. Three frequently burnt ... also believed to rid the grassland of parasitic insects and to prevent the encroachment of ..... The effect of smoke inhalation on lung function and ...

  9. PATTERNS OF ALLOZYME DIVERSITY IN THE THREATENED PLANT ERIGERON PARISHII (ASTERACEAE). (R826102)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thirty-one occurrences of Erigeron parishii, a narrowly endemic plant threatened by mining, were sampled for allozyme diversity. This taxon held considerable genetic variation at the [4 allozyme loci surveyed. Species (e.g., alleles per locus [A] = 4.3 and proportion of polymorph...

  10. Diversity and incidence of plant-parasitic nematodes in Belgian turf grass

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vandenbossche, B.; Viaene, N.; Sutter, de N.; Maes, M.; Karssen, G.; Bert, W.

    2011-01-01

    Eleven golf courses and eight football pitches, located in Belgium, were surveyed for plant-parasitic nematodes. This revealed a remarkably high diversity: 52 different species/taxa were identified morphologically, belonging to 23 genera and nine families. Among the most prevalent nematodes on both

  11. Uses and conservation of plant diversity in Ben En National Park, Vietnam

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoang, Van Sam

    2009-01-01

    Ben En National Park is one of the 30 National Parks in Vietnam. In this study its botanical wealth has been comprehensively inventoried as well as the very important roles that plants play in the daily life and economy of the people inhabiting the Park. Floristic diversity - In our survey 1389

  12. Effects of plant species identity, diversity and soil fertility on biodegradation of phenanthrene in soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oyelami, A.O.; Okere, U.V.; Orwin, K.; Deyn, de G.B.; Jones, K.C.; Semple, K.T.

    2013-01-01

    The work presented in this paper investigated the effects of plant species composition, species diversity and soil fertility on biodegradation of 14C-phenanthrene in soil. The two soils used were of contrasting fertility, taken from long term unfertilised and fertilised grassland, showing

  13. Large-scale patterns of plant diversity and conservation priorities in South East Asia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Marsh, S.T.; Brummitt, N.A.; Kok, de R.P.J.; Utteridge, T.M.A.

    2009-01-01

    In the absence of a complete floristic inventory, conservation priorities within South East Asia must often be based on incomplete knowledge or a rough approximation of diversity such as habitat cover. To help overcome this, a database containing distribution data for all 3 523 known flowering plant

  14. Woody plant diversity in sacred forests and fallows in Chiang Mai, Thailand

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Junsongduang, A.; Balslev, Henrik; Jampeetong, Arunothai

    2014-01-01

    All woody plant and seedling diversity was compared in a Karen and a Lawa hill-tribe village in northern Thailand in four different habitats: sacred forests and fallow fields of three ages derived from rotational shifting cultivation (young fallows, 1–2 years old; medium-age fallow, 3-4 years old...

  15. Historical agriculture alters the effects of fire on understory plant beta diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    W. Brett Mattingly; John L. Orrock; Cathy D. Collins; Lars A. Brudvig; Ellen I. Damschen; Joseph W. Veldman; Joan L. Walker

    2015-01-01

    Land-use legacies are known to shape the diversity and distribution of plant communities, but we lack an understanding of whether historical land use influences community responses to contemporary disturbances. Because human-modified landscapes often bear a history of multiple land-use activities, this contingency can challenge our understanding of land-use impacts on...

  16. Longterm changes in plant diversity of grasslands under agricultural and conservation management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Snoo, de G.R.; Naus, N.; Verhulst, J.; Ruijven, van J.; Schaffers, A.P.

    2012-01-01

    Question In many industrialized countries biodiversity is declining. Although changes in species composition and species richness have been documented for many individual systems, little long-term research has been done on a regional scale. We compared the temporal patterns of plant diversity over

  17. Beta diversity of plant-insect food webs in tropical forests: a conceptual framework

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Novotný, Vojtěch

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 2, č. 1 (2009), s. 5-9 ISSN 1752-458X R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06073; GA MŠk ME 916; GA AV ČR IAA600960712 Grant - others:US National Science Foundation(US) DEB-0515678; UK Darwin Initiative for the Survival of Species(GB) 14/054 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : community similarity * diversity * environmental gradients Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.828, year: 2009

  18. Diversity, distribution pattern and seasonal variation in moth assemblages along altitudinal gradient in Gangotri landscape area, Western Himalaya, Uttarakhand, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.K. Sanyal

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Field survey was conducted at different altitudes and land-use areas in the two protected areas, viz., Gangotri National Park and Govind National Park of Uttarkashi District, Uttarakhand, India. A total of 475 specimens of moth representing 436 morphospecies were collected using light trap method during the survey conducted between September 2008-May 2010. Preliminary findings show a decreasing diversity with increasing altitude. Subalpine areas were least diverse and subtropical areas had the highest diversity of moths. The greatest number of specimens were collected during the summer and post-monsoon period. The lunar phase had a significant effect on catch success with new moon days resulting in the largest catches and full moon days resulting in the least number of species as well as individuals. Of the thirty two species mentioned in Appendix 1, nine species are first time record from the state Uttarakhand. Four species are new record from Western Himalaya within Indian Territory, and also first time recorded from entire Himalayan landscape. As there was no previous comprehensive study on the moth diversity of Gangotri landscape area, all the 32 species described could be regarded as new record from these two protected areas.

  19. Criteria of diversity evaluation for intelligent diagnosis of nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Washio, Takashi; Sakuma, Masatake; Furukawa, Hiroshi; Kitamura, Masaharu.

    1995-01-01

    One of important problems of a current operation support system for a nuclear power plant is that the credibility of its resultant suggestions is not always high sufficiently. The authors have proposed an efficient remedy called 'Diversity Criteria' for this issue in the previous works. It employs a variety of information resources and reasoning mechanisms for the system to enhance its entire credibility. Within this framework, a complementary combination of the resources and mechanisms is desired. The work presented here proposes systematic and quantitative measures determining the appropriate combinations. First, concrete and systematic guidelines are proposed for the detailed criteria of 'Information Diversity' and 'Methodology Diversity'. Next, two concepts of 'Orthogonality of Identified Result' and 'Orthogonality of Utilized Symptom' are presented together with their quantitative measures. These guidelines and measures have been applied to an example of failure diagnosis of a nuclear power plant, and their efficiency has been clearly confirmed. (author)

  20. Forest structure and plant diversity in maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Ait.) stands in central Spain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Osorio, L. F.; Bravo, F.; Zaldivar, P.; Pando, V.

    2009-07-01

    The relationship between forest structure and plant diversity in Mediterranean Maritime pine stands (Pinus pinaster Ait.) in the Iberian Range (Spain) was studied. Forty eight stands were sampled. In each, a circular plot (15 m radius) and a transect (25*1 m{sup 2}) were established to estimate stand variables and record presence and abundance of vascular species respectively. Canonical correlation analysis (CCA), simple correlations and multiple stepwise linear regressions were used to explore the relationship between plant diversity and forest structure. Correlation between diversity measurements and stand variables is very weak, but significant correlations were found when evaluating each set of variables separately. Presence and cover of some species (for instance, Veronica arvensis L. or Micropyrum tenellum (L.) Link) is correlated with stand variables; however, determination coefficients found in step-by-step regression are not significant. (Author) 34 refs.

  1. Above- and below-ground effects of plant diversity depend on species origin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kuebbing, Sara E.; Classen, Aimee Taylor; Sanders, Nate

    2015-01-01

    -interaction models to describe how species' interactions influenced diversity-productivity relationships. Communities with more species had higher total biomass than did monoculture communities, but native and nonnative communities diverged in root : shoot ratios and the mechanism responsible for increased......Although many plant communities are invaded by multiple nonnative species, we have limited information on how a species' origin affects ecosystem function. We tested how differences in species richness and origin affect productivity and seedling establishment. We created phylogenetically paired...... native and nonnative plant communities in a glasshouse experiment to test diversity-productivity relationships and responsible mechanisms (i.e. selection or complementarity effects). Additionally, we tested how productivity and associated mechanisms influenced seedling establishment. We used diversity...

  2. Size, age and composition: characteristics of plant taxa as diversity predictors of gall-midges (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walter S Araújo

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Many hypotheses have been proposed to explain the diversity of gall-midge insects (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae, some of them taking into account plant diversity. This study aims to test the importance of size, age and composition of host plant taxa in the diversity of Cecidomyiidae. For this we used inventories data on the diversity of galling and host plants in Brazil. We found that Asterales, Myrtales and Malpighiales, were the most important orders, with 34, 33 and 25, gall morphotypes, respectively. The most representative host families were Asteraceae (34 morphotypes, Myrtaceae (23 and Fabaceae (22. In general, the order size and the plant family were good predictors of the galling diversity, but not the taxon age. The most diverse host genera for gall-midges were Mikania, Eugenia and Styrax, with 15, 13 and nine galler species, respectively. The size of plant genera showed no significant relationship with the richness of Cecidomyiidae, contrary to the prediction of the plant taxon size hypothesis. The plant genera with the greatest diversity of galling insects are not necessarily those with the greatest number of species. These results indicate that some plant taxa have a high intrinsic richness of galling insects, suggesting that the plant species composition may be equally or more important for the diversity of gall-midges than the size or age of the host taxon. Rev. Biol. Trop. 59 (4: 1599- 1607. Epub 2011 December 01.

  3. A comparative study of AMF diversity in annual and perennial plant species from semiarid gypsum soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alguacil, M. M.; Torrecillas, E.; Roldán, A.; Díaz, G.; Torres, P.

    2012-04-01

    The arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) communities composition regulate plant interactions and determine the structure of plant communities. In this study we analysed the diversity of AMF in the roots of two perennial gypsophyte plant species, Herniaria fruticosa and Senecio auricula, and an annual herbaceous species, Bromus rubens, growing in a gypsum soil from a semiarid area. The objective was to determine whether perennial and annual host plants support different AMF communities in their roots and whether there are AMF species that might be indicators of specific functional plant roles in these ecosystems. The roots were analysed by nested PCR, cloning, sequencing of the ribosomal DNA small subunit region and phylogenetic analysis. Twenty AMF sequence types, belonging to the Glomus group A, Glomus group B, Diversisporaceae, Acaulosporaceae, Archaeosporaceae and Paraglomeraceae, were identified. Both gypsophyte perennial species had differing compositions of the AMF community and higher diversity when compared with the annual species, showing preferential selection by specific AMF sequences types. B. rubens did not show host specificity, sharing the full composition of its AMF community with both perennial plant species. Seasonal variations in the competitiveness of AM fungi could explain the observed differences in AMF community composition, but this is still a working hypothesis that requires the analysis of further data obtained from a higher number of both annual and perennial plant species in order to be fully tested.

  4. Diversity distribution patterns of Chinese endemic seed plant species and their implications for conservation planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jihong; Huang, Jianhua; Lu, Xinghui; Ma, Keping

    2016-01-01

    Endemism is an important concept in biogeography and biodiversity conservation. China is one of the richest countries in biodiversity, with very high levels of plant endemism. In this study, we analysed the distribution patterns of diversity, the degree of differentiation, and the endemicity of Chinese endemic seed plants using the floristic unit as a basic spatial analysis unit and 11 indices. The analysis was based on distribution data of 24,951 native seed plant species (excluding subspecies and varieties) and 12,980 Chinese endemic seed plant species, which were sourced from both specimen records and published references. The distribution patterns of Chinese endemic flora were generally consistent but disproportionate across China for diversity, degree of differentiation and endemicity. The South Hengduan Mountains Subregion had the highest values for all indices. At the regional level, both the Hengduan Mountains and the Central China regions were highest in diversity and degrees of differentiation. However, both the rate of local endemic to native species and the rate of local to Chinese endemic species were highest in the Taiwan Region and the South Taiwan Region. The Hengduan Mountains Region and the Central China Region are two key conservation priority areas for Chinese endemic seed plants. PMID:27658845

  5. Patterns of genetic diversity in three plant lineages endemic to the Cape Verde Islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romeiras, Maria M; Monteiro, Filipa; Duarte, M Cristina; Schaefer, Hanno; Carine, Mark

    2015-05-15

    Conservation of plant diversity on islands relies on a good knowledge of the taxonomy, distribution and genetic diversity of species. In recent decades, a combination of morphology- and DNA-based approaches has become the standard for investigating island plant lineages and this has led, in some cases, to the discovery of previously overlooked diversity, including 'cryptic species'. The flora of the Cape Verde archipelago in the North Atlantic is currently thought to comprise ∼740 vascular plant species, 92 of them endemics. Despite the fact that it is considered relatively well known, there has been a 12 % increase in the number of endemics in the last two decades. Relatively few of the Cape Verde plant lineages have been included in genetic studies so far and little is known about the patterns of diversification in the archipelago. Here we present an updated list for the endemic Cape Verde flora and analyse diversity patterns for three endemic plant lineages (Cynanchum, Globularia and Umbilicus) based on one nuclear (ITS) and four plastid DNA regions. In all three lineages, we find genetic variation. In Cynanchum, we find two distinct haplotypes with no clear geographical pattern, possibly reflecting different ploidy levels. In Globularia and Umbilicus, differentiation is evident between populations from northern and southern islands. Isolation and drift resulting from the small and fragmented distributions, coupled with the significant distances separating the northern and southern islands, could explain this pattern. Overall, our study suggests that the diversity in the endemic vascular flora of Cape Verde is higher than previously thought and further work is necessary to characterize the flora. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company.

  6. Consistent variability in beta-diversity patterns contrasts with changes in alpha-diversity along an onshore to offshore environmental gradient: the case of Red Sea soft-bottom macrobenthos

    KAUST Repository

    Alsaffar, Zahra Hassan Ali

    2017-09-30

    Patterns of variability in diversity (alpha and beta), abundance, and community structure of soft-bottom macrobenthic assemblages were investigated across an inshore/offshore environmental gradient in the central Red Sea. A total of three distinct soft-substrate biotopes were identified through multivariate techniques: seagrass meadows, nearshore, and offshore. While the seagrass biotope was associated with higher organic matter content, the two coastal biotopes presented higher redox potential in the sediments and dissolved oxygen in the water. Depth and medium sand increased toward the offshore, while the percentage of fine particles was a determinant of nearshore communities. Regardless of the prevailing environmental conditions, the three biotopes were characterized by high numbers of exclusive taxa, most of which were singletons. Changes in species richness were not related to depth or organic matter, peaking at intermediate depths (nearshore). However, the number of taxa increased exponentially with abundance. On the other hand, density decreased logarithmically with depth and organic matter in sediments, probably linked to a reduced availability of food. One of the most conspicuous features of the macrobenthic assemblages inhabiting soft substrates in the central oligotrophic Red Sea is the low level of dominance resulting from a high species richness: abundance ratio. Despite the differences observed for alpha-diversity across the three biotopes, beta-diversity patterns were rather consistent. These findings suggest that mechanisms driving biodiversity are similar across the depth gradient. The partitioning of beta-diversity also show that assemblages are mainly driven by the substitution of species (turnover or replacement), most likely as a result of environmental filtering. The heterogeneity of the seafloor in shallow waters of the Red Sea promoted by the co-existence of coral reefs inter-spaced by sedimentary habitats may increase the regional pool of

  7. Can phylogeny predict chemical diversity and potential medicinal activity of plants? A case study of Amaryllidaceae

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rønsted, Nina; Symonds, Matthew R. E.; Birkholm, Trine

    2012-01-01

    a predictive approach enabling more efficient selection of plants for the development of traditional medicine and lead discovery. However, this relationship has rarely been rigorously tested and the potential predictive power is consequently unknown. Results: We produced a phylogenetic hypothesis......Background: During evolution, plants and other organisms have developed a diversity of chemical defences, leading to the evolution of various groups of specialized metabolites selected for their endogenous biological function. A correlation between phylogeny and biosynthetic pathways could offer...... for the medicinally important plant subfamily Amaryllidoideae (Amaryllidaceae) based on parsimony and Bayesian analysis of nuclear, plastid, and mitochondrial DNA sequences of over 100 species. We tested if alkaloid diversity and activity in bioassays related to the central nervous system are significantly correlated...

  8. Plant diversity in a changing world: Status, trends, and conservation needs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard T. Corlett

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The conservation of plants has not generated the sense of urgency—or the funding—that drives the conservation of animals, although plants are far more important for us. There are an estimated 500,000 species of land plants (angiosperms, gymnosperms, ferns, lycophytes, and bryophytes, with diversity strongly concentrated in the humid tropics. Many species are still unknown to science. Perhaps a third of all land plants are at risk of extinction, including many that are undescribed, or are described but otherwise data deficient. There have been few known global extinctions so far, but many additional species have not been recorded recently and may be extinct. Although only a minority of plant species have a specific human use, many more play important roles in natural ecosystems and the services they provide, and rare species are more likely to have unusual traits that could be useful in the future. The major threats to plant diversity include habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation, overexploitation, invasive species, pollution, and anthropogenic climate change. Conservation of plant diversity is a massive task if viewed globally, but the combination of a well-designed and well-managed protected area system and ex situ gap-filling and back-up should work anywhere. The most urgent needs are for the completion of the global botanical inventory and an assessment of the conservation status of the 94% of plant species not yet evaluated, so that both in and ex situ conservation can be targeted efficiently. Globally, the biggest conservation gap is in the hyperdiverse lowland tropics and this is where attention needs to be focused.

  9. Soil fungal abundance and diversity: another victim of the invasive plant Centaurea maculosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broz, Amanda K; Manter, Daniel K; Vivanco, Jorge M

    2007-12-01

    Interactions between plants and soil microbes are important determinants of both above- and belowground community composition, and ultimately ecosystem function. As exotic plants continue to invade and modify native plant communities, there has been increasing interest in determining the influence of exotic invasives on native soil microbial communities. Here, using highly sensitive molecular techniques, we examine fungal abundance and diversity in the soil surrounding a particularly aggressive invasive plant species in North America, Centaurea maculosa Lam. In mixed stands, we show that this invasive weed can alter the native fungal community composition within its own rhizosphere and that of neighboring native plants. At higher densities, the effect of C. maculosa on native soil fungal communities was even greater. Our results demonstrate that this invasive weed can have significant effects not only on visible aboveground biodiversity but also on the native soil microbial community that extends beyond its rhizosphere.

  10. Elevational gradients in phylogenetic structure of ant communities reveal the interplay of biotic and abiotic constraints on diversity

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Machač, A.; Janda, Milan; Dunn, R. R.; Sanders, N. J.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 34, č. 3 (2011), s. 364-371 ISSN 0906-7590 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR KJB612230701; GA MŠk LC06073; GA ČR GD206/08/H044; GA ČR GA206/09/0115; GA ČR GAP505/10/0673 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : diversity Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 4.188, year: 2011

  11. The Dangers of Being a Small, Oligotrophic and Light Demanding Freshwater Plant across a Spatial and Historical Eutrophication Gradient in Southern Scandinavia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaj Sand-Jensen

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available European freshwater habitats have experienced a severe loss of plant diversity, regionally and locally, over the last century or more. One important and well-established driver of change is eutrophication, which has increased with rising population density and agricultural intensification. However, reduced disturbance of lake margins may have played an additional key role. The geographical variation in water chemistry, which has set the scene for – and interacted with – anthropogenic impact, is much less well understood. We took advantage of some recently completed regional plant distribution surveys, relying on hundreds of skilled citizen scientists, and analyzed the hydrophyte richness to environment relations in five contiguous South-Scandinavian regions. For three of the regions, we also assessed changes to the freshwater flora over the latest 50–80 years. We found a considerable variation in background total phosphorus concentrations and alkalinity, both within and between regions. The prevalence of functional groups differed between regions in accordance with the environmental conditions and the species’ tolerance to turbid waters. Similarly, the historical changes within regions followed the same trend in correspondence to the altered environmental conditions over time. Small submerged species decreased relative to tall submerged and floating-leaved species along the regional and historical eutrophication gradients. These changes were accompanied by systematically greater relative abundance of species of higher phosphorus prevalence. We conclude that species traits in close correspondence with anthropogenic impacts are the main determinants of local, regional and historical changes of species distribution and occupancy, while pure biogeography plays a minor role. Conservation measures, such as re-oligotrophication and re-established disturbance regimes through grazing and water level fluctuations, may help reduce the tall reed

  12. Nitrogen cycling in the soil-plant system along a precipitation gradient in the Kalahari sands

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Aranibar, JN

    2004-03-01

    Full Text Available ). This and the fact that the driest savannas of the Kalahari sands are dominated by Mimosoideae species lead us to hypothe- size that symbiotic N2 fixation is more prevalent in drier sites of the Kalahari transect. Cyanobacteria are also capable of fixing atmospheric... enrichment for soils and plants; lower soil organic C and N; increased symbiotic and non-symbiotic N2 fixation; and de- creased NO losses from the system. The processes and pools analyzed are compared with the isotopic signatures along the precipitation...

  13. Plant species identity and diversity effects on different trophic levels of nematodes in the soil food web

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Deyn, G.B.; Raaijmakers, C.E.; Van Ruijven, J.; Berendse, F.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2004-01-01

    Previous studies on biodiversity and soil food web composition have mentioned plant species identity, as well as plant species diversity as the main factors affecting the abundance and diversity of soil organisms. However, most studies have been carried out under limitations of time, space, or

  14. Dry coniferous forest restoration and understory plant diversity: The importance of community heterogeneity and the scale of observation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erich Kyle Dodson; David W. Peterson

    2010-01-01

    Maintaining understory plant species diversity is an important management goal as forest restoration and fuel reduction treatments are applied extensively to dry coniferous forests of western North America. However, understory diversity is a function of both local species richness (number of species in a sample unit) and community heterogeneity (beta diversity) at...

  15. Testing the Stress-Gradient Hypothesis at the Roof of the World: Effects of the Cushion Plant Thylacospermum caespitosum on Species Assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dvorský, Miroslav; Doležal, Jiří; Kopecký, Martin; Chlumská, Zuzana; Janatková, Kateřina; Altman, Jan; de Bello, Francesco; Řeháková, Klára

    2013-01-01

    Many cushion plants ameliorate the harsh environment they inhabit in alpine ecosystems and act as nurse plants, with significantly more species growing within their canopy than outside. These facilitative interactions seem to increase with the abiotic stress, thus supporting the stress-gradient hypothesis. We tested this prediction by exploring the association pattern of vascular plants with the dominant cushion plant Thylacospermum caespitosum (Caryophyllaceae) in the arid Trans-Himalaya, where vascular plants occur at one of the highest worldwide elevational limits. We compared plant composition between 1112 pair-plots placed both inside cushions and in surrounding open areas, in communities from cold steppes to subnival zones along two elevational gradients (East Karakoram: 4850–5250 m and Little Tibet: 5350–5850 m). We used PERMANOVA to assess differences in species composition, Friedman-based permutation tests to determine individual species habitat preferences, species-area curves to assess whether interactions are size-dependent and competitive intensity and importance indices to evaluate plant-plant interactions. No indications for net facilitation were found along the elevation gradients. The open areas were not only richer in species, but not a single species preferred to grow exclusively inside cushions, while 39–60% of 56 species detected had a significant preference for the habitat outside cushions. Across the entire elevation range of T. caespitosum, the number and abundance of species were greater outside cushions, suggesting that competitive rather than facilitative interactions prevail. This was supported by lower soil nutrient contents inside cushions, indicating a resource preemption, and little thermal amelioration at the extreme end of the elevational gradient. We attribute the negative associations to competition for limited resources, a strong environmental filter in arid high-mountain environment selecting the stress-tolerant species

  16. Testing the stress-gradient hypothesis at the roof of the world: effects of the cushion plant Thylacospermum caespitosum on species assemblages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miroslav Dvorský

    Full Text Available Many cushion plants ameliorate the harsh environment they inhabit in alpine ecosystems and act as nurse plants, with significantly more species growing within their canopy than outside. These facilitative interactions seem to increase with the abiotic stress, thus supporting the stress-gradient hypothesis. We tested this prediction by exploring the association pattern of vascular plants with the dominant cushion plant Thylacospermum caespitosum (Caryophyllaceae in the arid Trans-Himalaya, where vascular plants occur at one of the highest worldwide elevational limits. We compared plant composition between 1112 pair-plots placed both inside cushions and in surrounding open areas, in communities from cold steppes to subnival zones along two elevational gradients (East Karakoram: 4850-5250 m and Little Tibet: 5350-5850 m. We used PERMANOVA to assess differences in species composition, Friedman-based permutation tests to determine individual species habitat preferences, species-area curves to assess whether interactions are size-dependent and competitive intensity and importance indices to evaluate plant-plant interactions. No indications for net facilitation were found along the elevation gradients. The open areas were not only richer in species, but not a single species preferred to grow exclusively inside cushions, while 39-60% of 56 species detected had a significant preference for the habitat outside cushions. Across the entire elevation range of T. caespitosum, the number and abundance of species were greater outside cushions, suggesting that competitive rather than facilitative interactions prevail. This was supported by lower soil nutrient contents inside cushions, indicating a resource preemption, and little thermal amelioration at the extreme end of the elevational gradient. We attribute the negative associations to competition for limited resources, a strong environmental filter in arid high-mountain environment selecting the stress

  17. The Genetic Diversity of Endophytic and Phyllosphere Bacteria from Several Indonesian Herbal Plants

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    Devi Rachelia

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Herbal plants have been believed by Indonesians to be an alternative medicine to treat illnesses. The bioactivecompounds in the plant can be derived from secondary metabolites or from endophytic and phyllosphere bacteria whichcoexist within medicinal plants. A total of 18 endophytic bacteria and 32 phyllosphere bacteria were isolated from theherbal plants of Citrus sp., Pluchea indica, Curcuma longa, Nothopanax scuttelarium, Piper crocatum, andAndrographis paniculata. About 72% of endophytic bacteria isolates have proteolytic activity and about 11% havelipolytic activity. On the other hand, about 59% of phyllosphere bacteria isolates have proteolytic activity and about19% have lipolytic activity. Phylogenetic diversity analysis was conducted by using the amplified ribosomal DNArestriction analysis (ARDRA method and the sequence of 16S rDNA was digested with endonuclease restrictionenzymes: MspI, RsaI, and Sau961. The diversity of endophytic and phyllosphere bacterium from the samples of herbalplants was high. Bacteria isolated from the same herbal plant does not always have a close genetic relationship exceptfor the bacteria isolated from the P. indica plant which showed a close genetic relationship with each other.

  18. Diversity of Medicinal Plants among Different Forest-use Types of the Pakistani Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adnan, Muhammad; Hölscher, Dirk

    2012-12-01

    Diversity of Medicinal Plants among Different Forest-use Types of the Pakistani Himalaya Medicinal plants collected in Himalayan forests play a vital role in the livelihoods of regional rural societies and are also increasingly recognized at the international level. However, these forests are being heavily transformed by logging. Here we ask how forest transformation influences the diversity and composition of medicinal plants in northwestern Pakistan, where we studied old-growth forests, forests degraded by logging, and regrowth forests. First, an approximate map indicating these forest types was established and then 15 study plots per forest type were randomly selected. We found a total of 59 medicinal plant species consisting of herbs and ferns, most of which occurred in the old-growth forest. Species number was lowest in forest degraded by logging and intermediate in regrowth forest. The most valuable economic species, including six Himalayan endemics, occurred almost exclusively in old-growth forest. Species composition and abundance of forest degraded by logging differed markedly from that of old-growth forest, while regrowth forest was more similar to old-growth forest. The density of medicinal plants positively correlated with tree canopy cover in old-growth forest and negatively in degraded forest, which indicates that species adapted to open conditions dominate in logged forest. Thus, old-growth forests are important as refuge for vulnerable endemics. Forest degraded by logging has the lowest diversity of relatively common medicinal plants. Forest regrowth may foster the reappearance of certain medicinal species valuable to local livelihoods and as such promote acceptance of forest expansion and medicinal plants conservation in the region. ELECTRONIC SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL: The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12231-012-9213-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

  19. Predicting Vascular Plant Diversity in Anthropogenic Peatlands: Comparison of Modeling Methods with Free Satellite Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Castillo-Riffart

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Peatlands are ecosystems of great relevance, because they have an important number of ecological functions that provide many services to mankind. However, studies focusing on plant diversity, addressed from the remote sensing perspective, are still scarce in these environments. In the present study, predictions of vascular plant richness and diversity were performed in three anthropogenic peatlands on Chiloé Island, Chile, using free satellite data from the sensors OLI, ASTER, and MSI. Also, we compared the suitability of these sensors using two modeling methods: random forest (RF and the generalized linear model (GLM. As predictors for the empirical models, we used the spectral bands, vegetation indices and textural metrics. Variable importance was estimated using recursive feature elimination (RFE. Fourteen out of the 17 predictors chosen by RFE were textural metrics, demonstrating the importance of the spatial context to predict species richness and diversity. Non-significant differences were found between the algorithms; however, the GLM models often showed slightly better results than the RF. Predictions obtained by the different satellite sensors did not show significant differences; nevertheless, the best models were obtained with ASTER (richness: R2 = 0.62 and %RMSE = 17.2, diversity: R2 = 0.71 and %RMSE = 20.2, obtained with RF and GLM respectively, followed by OLI and MSI. Diversity obtained higher accuracies than richness; nonetheless, accurate predictions were achieved for both, demonstrating the potential of free satellite data for the prediction of relevant community characteristics in anthropogenic peatland ecosystems.

  20. Plant and bird diversity in natural forests and in native and exotic plantations in NW Portugal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proença, Vânia M.; Pereira, Henrique M.; Guilherme, João; Vicente, Luís

    2010-03-01

    Forest ecosystems have been subjected to continuous dynamics between deforestation and forestation. Assessing the effects of these processes on biodiversity could be essential for conservation planning. We analyzed patterns of species richness, diversity and evenness of plants and birds in patches of natural forest of Quercus spp. and in stands of native Pinus pinaster and exotic Eucalyptus globulus in NW Portugal. We analyzed data of forest and non-forest species separately, at the intra-patch, patch and inter-patch scales. Forest plant richness, diversity and evenness were higher in oak forest than in pine and eucalypt plantations. In total, 52 species of forest plants were observed in oak forest, 33 in pine plantation and 28 in eucalypt plantation. Some forest species, such as Euphorbia dulcis, Omphalodes nitida and Eryngium juresianum, were exclusively or mostly observed in oak forest. Forest bird richness and diversity were higher in both oak and pine forests than in eucalypt forest; evenness did not differ among forests. In total, 16 species of forest birds were observed in oak forest, 18 in pine forest and 11 in eucalypt forest. Species such as Certhia brachydactyla, Sitta europaea and Dendrocopos major were common in oak and/or pine patches but were absent from eucalypt stands. Species-area relationships of forest plants and forest birds in oak patches had consistently a higher slope, at both the intra and inter-patch scales, than species-area relationships of forest species in plantations and non-forest species in oak forest. These findings demonstrate the importance of oak forest for the conservation of forest species diversity, pointing the need to conserve large areas of oak forest due to the apparent vulnerability of forest species to area loss. Additionally, diversity patterns in pine forest were intermediate between oak forest and eucalypt forest, suggesting that forest species patterns may be affected by forest naturalness.

  1. Should Exotic Eucalyptus be Planted in Subtropical China: Insights from Understory Plant Diversity in Two Contrasting Eucalyptus Chronosequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jianping; Fan, Houbao; Liu, Wenfei; Huang, Guomin; Tang, Jianfu; Zeng, Ruijin; Huang, Jing; Liu, Zhanfeng

    2015-11-01

    Although Eucalyptus is widely planted in South China, whose effects on native biodiversity are unclear. The objective of this study was to quantify the richness and composition of understory plants in two contrasting Eucalyptus chronosequences in South China. One was in Zhangzhou City with plantation age of 2, 4, and 6 years after clear-cutting Chinese fir forests, while the other was in Heshan City with plantation age of 2, 3, and 24 years that reforested on barren lands. Results showed that the richness of understory plants and functional groups was not significantly altered in the Zhangzhou chronosequence, while increased in the 24-year-old plantations, with a significantly larger proportion of woody plants than the younger plantations for the Heshan chronosequence. Moreover, a higher richness of woody plants accompanied by a lower richness of herbaceous species was detected in the Zhangzhou chronosequence compared with the Heshan one. To balance the need for pulp production and plant diversity conservation, we suggest that intercropping approaches between exotic Eucalyptus plantations and native forests should be considered in the fast rotation Eucalyptus plantations. However, Eucalyptus plantations may be used as pioneer species to sustain ecosystem functioning for the degraded lands.

  2. Seed plant features, distribution patterns, diversity hotspots, and conservation gaps in Xinjiang, China

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    Jihong Huang

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available The flora in Xinjiang is unique. Decisions about biodiversity conservation and management based on seed plant diversity hotspots and conservation gaps in Xinjiang are essential to maintain this unique flora. Based on a species distribution dataset of seed plants, we measured seed plant diversity using species richness and phylogenetic diversity indices. Five percent of Xinjiang’s total land area with the highest biodiversity was used to identify hotspots for each index. In total, eight hotspots were identified. Most hotspots were located in mountainous areas, mainly in the Tianshan Mountains and Altai Mountains. Furthermore, we detected conservation gaps for Xinjiang’s seed flora hotspots by overlaying nature reserve maps on to maps of identified hotspots and we designated priority conservation gaps for hotspots by overlaying global biodiversity hotspot maps on to hotspot conservation gaps maps. Most of Xinjiang’s seed plant hotspots are poorly protected; only 10.45% of these hotspots were covered by nature reserves. We suggest that it is essential to promote network function of nature reserves within these hotspots in Xinjiang to conserve this unique flora.

  3. Effects of human proximity and nomadic grazing on the diversity of medicinal plants in temperate hindukush

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adnan, M.; Tariq, A.

    2015-01-01

    Over exploitation and overgrazing are considered major factors for decreasing plant species diversity. However, we do need some more exploration on the types of anthropogenic disturbances responsible for variation in species decline among different regions. Therefore, the current study was conducted in a temperate Hindukush region of Pakistan with the aim to assess human settlements pressure on the diversity of medicinal plants. Field data was collected from 15 plots, of which 5 plots each were randomly selected at three distant locations in derived woodland forest. Near to community plots were heavily disturbed due to natives proximity, 2 kilometer away plots from the native community were moderately disturbed, while 4 kilometer away plots were under the disturbance regime from temporary settlers (Nomads). We have found all 10 studied medicinal plant species at 2 Km distance followed by 8 species found at 4 km distance. Economically important species such as Bergenia ciliata, Paeonia emodi, Podophyllum emodi, Valeriana jatamansi and Viola canescens were completely absent near village. Similarly, density (8.72 n m-2) and species richness (8.2 n 40 m-2) were found significantly highest at 2 km distance than other locations. Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) showed that among forest stand structural variables, slope was the influencing variable related to the density of only Bergenia ciliata. In conclusions, moderate disturbance is associated to increase in the diversity of medicinal plants, while high anthropogenic pressures the otherwise. Hence, effective management strategies may be adopted to conserve such precious eroding flora. (author)

  4. Plant diversity and regeneration in a disturbed isolated dry Afromontane forest in northern Ethiopia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aynekulu, Ermias; Aerts, Raf; Denich, Manfred

    2016-01-01

    We studied the diversity, community composition and natural regeneration of woody species in an isolated but relatively large (> 1,000 ha) dry Afromontane forest in northern Ethiopia to assess its importance for regional forest biodiversity conservation. The principal human-induced disturbance...... in biodiversity through local extinction of indigenous tree species. Despite the problems associated with conserving plant species diversity in small and isolated populations, this relic forest is of particular importance for regional conservation of forest biodiversity, as species with high conservation value...

  5. Changes in grassland management and plant diversity in a marginal region of the Carpathian Mts. in 1999-2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halada, Ľuboš; David, Stanislav; Hreško, Juraj; Klimantová, Alexandra; Bača, Andrej; Rusňák, Tomáš; Buraľ, Miroslav; Vadel, Ľuboš

    2017-12-31

    The political change from socialism to democracy in countries of Central and Eastern Europe at the end of the 20th century induced broad changes in agriculture mostly due to land ownership changes and strong reduction of subsidies to agriculture. This resulted in agricultural decline, including grassland abandonment, which influenced grassland biodiversity and conservation. Between 1999 and 2015 we studied the grasslands in the area depopulated in the early 1980's in the Poloniny National Park (NE Slovakia, Carpathian Mts.). The aim of the study was to examine influence of environmental factors and grassland management driven by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to plant community structure and taxonomical diversity. We identified altitude and soil properties as the main environmental factors: altitude determines climate gradient and probably also management intensity gradient and soil properties express soil fertility via A-horizon depth. We identified remarkable increase of proportion of managed grasslands from only 8% in 1999 to 40% in 2012-2015; other 7% of sampled grasslands were recently restored and prepared for future management. The average species richness in grasslands managed in 2012-2015 increased from 47.5 species per record in 1999 to 54.2 species in 2012-2015, the increase was found statistically significant. In 2012-2015, we observed statistically significant difference in the average species richness between managed (54.2) and abandoned grasslands (46.3). The agricultural subsidies of the CAP drive the grassland management in the study area. Therefore, we conclude that CAP enabled grassland biodiversity maintenance in significant part of the Poloniny National Park following start of its application in 2004 and above provided figures can be considered as indicators of the CAP effectiveness in our study area. However, the conservation of mountain meadows remains a challenge because of their poor accessibility. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All

  6. Comparison of automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA) and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) techniques for analysing the influence of diet on ruminal bacterial diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saro, Cristina; Molina-Alcaide, Eduarda; Abecia, Leticia; Ranilla, María José; Carro, María Dolores

    2018-04-01

    The objective of this study was to compare the automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA) and the denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) techniques for analysing the effects of diet on diversity in bacterial pellets isolated from the liquid (liquid-associated bacteria (LAB)) and solid (solid-associated bacteria (SAB)) phase of the rumen. The four experimental diets contained forage to concentrate ratios of 70:30 or 30:70 and had either alfalfa hay or grass hay as forage. Four rumen-fistulated animals (two sheep and two goats) received the diets in a Latin square design. Bacterial pellets (LAB and SAB) were isolated at 2 h post-feeding for DNA extraction and analysed by ARISA and DGGE. The number of peaks in individual samples ranged from 48 to 99 for LAB and from 41 to 95 for SAB with ARISA, and values of DGGE-bands ranged from 27 to 50 for LAB and from 18 to 45 for SAB. The LAB samples from high concentrate-fed animals tended (p forage-fed animals with ARISA, but no differences were identified with DGGE. The SAB samples from high concentrate-fed animals had lower (p forage diets with ARISA, but only a trend was noticed for these parameters with DGGE (p forage type on LAB diversity was detected by any technique. In this study, ARISA detected some changes in ruminal bacterial communities that were not detected by DGGE, and therefore ARISA was considered more appropriate for assessing bacterial diversity of ruminal bacterial pellets. The results highlight the impact of the fingerprinting technique used to draw conclusions on dietary factors affecting bacterial diversity in ruminal bacterial pellets.

  7. [Species, functional, structural diversity of typical plant communities and their responses to environmental factors in Miao Archipelago, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Li Ting; Su, Tian; Liu, Xiang Yu; Yin, Fang; Guo, Chao; Tuo, Bin; Yan, En Rong

    2018-02-01

    Island vegetation plays an important role in biodiversity research across the world. The study of plant diversity in island is helpful for understanding the mechanism of plant diversity maintenance under land-sea interaction. Here, four typical plant communities (Quercus acutissima community, Robinia pseudoacacia community, Pinus thunbergii community and Vitex negundo community) in Miao Archipelago were selected to examine the species, functional and structural diversities and their responses to environmental factors at the community scale by using species diversity indices, functional diversity indices, as well as structural diversity indices. The results showed that the species richness and Rao index of P. thunbergii community was higher than that of Q. acutissima community and R. pseudoacacia community, but the structural diversity was lower. The species diversity and structural diversity of V. Negundo shrub were lower than that of forest community, but the functional diversity was higher than some forest communities. The relationship between the diversity of typical plant communities in island area illustrated a significant positive correlation between species richness with Rao index and tree height diversity, however the correlation with functional evenness was significantly negative. The structural diversity and functional evenness were determined by slope with negative and positive relationships, respectively. Functional heterogeneity, functional divergence and species diversity were affected largely by soil physical and chemical properties, displaying the positive relationship with soil bulk density and soil total carbon content, and a negative relationship with soil water content. In conclusion, diversity pattern of plant community in Miao Archipelago reflected not only the characteristics in mainland vegetation but also the special nature of the sea island.

  8. Ant Diversity and Distribution along Elevation Gradients in the Australian Wet Tropics: The Importance of Seasonal Moisture Stability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Somayeh Nowrouzi

    Full Text Available The threat of anthropogenic climate change has seen a renewed focus on understanding contemporary patterns of species distribution. This is especially the case for the biota of tropical mountains, because tropical species often have particularly narrow elevational ranges and there are high levels of short-range endemism. Here we describe geographic patterns of ant diversity and distribution in the World Heritage-listed rainforests of the Australian Wet Tropics (AWT, revealing seasonal moisture stability to be an important environmental correlate of elevational patterns of species composition. We sampled ants in leaf litter, on the litter surface and on tree trunks at 26 sites from six subregions spanning five degrees of latitude and elevation ranges from 100-1,300 m. A total of 296 species from 63 genera were recorded. Species richness showed a slight peak at mid elevations, and did not vary significantly with latitude. Species composition varied substantially between subregions, and many species have highly localised distributions. There was very marked species turnover with elevation, with a particularly striking compositional disjunction between 600 m and 800 m at each subregion. This disjunction coincides with a strong environmental threshold of seasonal stability in moisture associated with cloud 'stripping'. Our study therefore provides further support for climatic stability as a potential mechanism underlying patterns of diversity. The average height of orographic cloud layers is predicted to rise under global warming, and associated shifts in seasonal moisture stability may exacerbate biotic change caused by rising temperature alone.

  9. Studies on ethno medicinal plant diversity in an urban area – a case study

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    Sudipta Biswas

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The present study deals with the Ethno-medicinal plants used by the local communities in Santragachhi area, under Howrah Municipal Corporation, ward no. 38, District Howrah, West Bengal, India. An ethno medicinal survey was carried out the use of medicinal plants in Santragachi region. The information was gathered from the local community people using an integrated approach botanical collections, group discussion and interview with questionnaire during 2012-2013. Among 50 informants interviewed, 10 were tribal practitioners. A total of 53 genera and 33 families are documented. In most of case, fresh parts of the plants were used for the preparation of medicine. The results further revealed that the natives of this area are not very much practiced in using the medicinal plants in the treatment of human illness. The study area is delimited by number of wetlands and the people collect the aquatic plants by their habitual knowledge as food resources. But due to expansion of city area, road construction causes loss of plant diversity and random exploitation of natural resources many valuable medicinal plants are at the stage of extinction. The present study documented ethno medicinal plants were mostly used for treatment of various diseases.

  10. Soil fertility and plant diversity enhance microbial performance in metal-polluted soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefanowicz, Anna M; Kapusta, Paweł; Szarek-Łukaszewska, Grażyna; Grodzińska, Krystyna; Niklińska, Maria; Vogt, Rolf D

    2012-11-15

    This study examined the effects of soil physicochemical properties (including heavy metal pollution) and vegetation parameters on soil basal respiration, microbial biomass, and the activity and functional richness of culturable soil bacteria and fungi. In a zinc and lead mining area (S Poland), 49 sites were selected to represent all common plant communities and comprise the area's diverse soil types. Numerous variables describing habitat properties were reduced by PCA to 7 independent factors, mainly representing subsoil type (metal-rich mining waste vs. sand), soil fertility (exchangeable Ca, Mg and K, total C and N, organic C), plant species richness, phosphorus content, water-soluble heavy metals (Zn, Cd and Pb), clay content and plant functional diversity (based on graminoids, legumes and non-leguminous forbs). Multiple regression analysis including these factors explained much of the variation in most microbial parameters; in the case of microbial respiration and biomass, it was 86% and 71%, respectively. The activity of soil microbes was positively affected mainly by soil fertility and, apparently, by the presence of mining waste in the subsoil. The mining waste contained vast amounts of trace metals (total Zn, Cd and Pb), but it promoted microbial performance due to its inherently high content of macronutrients (total Ca, Mg, K and C). Plant species richness had a relatively strong positive effect on all microbial parameters, except for the fungal component. In contrast, plant functional diversity was practically negligible in its effect on microbes. Other explanatory variables had only a minor positive effect (clay content) or no significant influence (phosphorus content) on microbial communities. The main conclusion from this study is that high nutrient availability and plant species richness positively affected the soil microbes and that this apparently counteracted the toxic effects of metal contamination. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights

  11. Diverse plant and animal genetic records from Holocene and Pleistocene sediments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willerslev, E.; Hansen, Anders J.; Binladen, J.

    2003-01-01

    Genetic analyses of permafrost and temperate sediments reveal that plant and animal DNA may be preserved for long periods, even in the absence of obvious macrofossils. In Siberia, five permafrost cores ranging from 400,000 to 10,000 years old contained at least 19 different plant taxa, including...... the oldest authenticated ancient DNA sequences known, and megafaunal sequences including mammoth, bison, and horse. The genetic data record a number of dramatic changes in the taxonomic diversity and composition of Beringian vegetation and fauna. Temperate cave sediments in New Zealand also yielded DNA...

  12. Diverse influence of nanoparticles on plant growth with a particular emphasis on crop plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Milewska-Hendel

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The article describes the current knowledge about the impact of nanoparticles on plant development with a particular emphasis on crop plants. Nanotechnology is an intensively developing field of science. This is due to the enormous hopes that have been placed on the achievements of nanotechnology in various areas of life. Increasingly, it has been noted that apart from the future benefits of nanotechnology in our everyday life, nanoparticles (NPs may also have adverse effects that have not been sufficiently explored and understood. Most analyses to date have been focused on the influence of nanomaterials on the physiological processes primarily in animals, humans and bacteria. Although our knowledge about the influence of NPs on the development of plants is considerably smaller, the current views are presented below. Such knowledge is extremely important since NPs can enter the food chain, which may have an influence on human health.

  13. Relative role of contemporary environment versus history in shaping diversity patterns of China's woody plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Zhiheng; Fang, Jingyun; Tang, Zhiyao

    2012-01-01

    What determines large-scale patterns of species diversity is a central and controversial topic in biogeography and ecology. In this study, we compared the effects of contemporary environment and historical contingencies on species richness patterns of woody plants in China, using fine-resolution ......-plant species richness across China, while historical contingencies generate regional deviations from this trend. Our findings imply that both species diversity and regional evolutionary and ecological histories should be taken into account for future nature conservation......., and the Tibetan Plateau, perhaps reflecting their special geological features and history. Nevertheless, partial regression indicated that historical effects were less important relative to contemporary environment. In conclusion, contemporary environment (notably climate) determines the general trend in woody...

  14. The relationship between soil physical properties and alpine plant diversity on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

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    Lin Tang

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Through a large-scale research, we examined the heterogeneity of soil properties and plant diversity, as well as their relationships across alpine grassland types on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The soil pH and EC value increased with the constant deepening of the soil in all the three alpine grassland types which in order of absolute value in every soil layer were alpine desert steppe, alpine steppe and alpine meadow. Among the three grassland types, the alpine meadow possessed the highest SM but the lowest SBD. For plant diversity, alpine meadow was the highest, alpine desert steppe ranked the second and alpine steppe was the last. SM and SBD were the highest influential soil physical properties to species richness, but with opposite effects.

  15. Incorporating biodiversity into rangeland health: Plant species richness and diversity in great plains grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Symstad, Amy J.; Jonas, Jayne L.

    2011-01-01

    Indicators of rangeland health generally do not include a measure of biodiversity. Increasing attention to maintaining biodiversity in rangelands suggests that this omission should be reconsidered, and plant species richness and diversity are two metrics that may be useful and appropriate. Ideally, their response to a variety of anthropogenic and natural drivers in the ecosystem of interest would be clearly understood, thereby providing a means to diagnose the cause of decline in an ecosystem. Conceptual ecological models based on ecological principles and hypotheses provide a framework for this understanding, but these models must be supported by empirical evidence if they are to be used for decision making. To that end, we synthesize results from published studies regarding the responses of plant species richness and diversity to drivers that are of management concern in Great Plains grasslands, one of North America's most imperiled ecosystems. In the published literature, moderate grazing generally has a positive effect on these metrics in tallgrass prairie and a neutral to negative effect in shortgrass prairie. The largest published effects on richness and diversity were caused by moderate grazing in tallgrass prairies and nitrogen fertilization in shortgrass prairies. Although weather is often cited as the reason for considerable annual fluctuations in richness and diversity, little information about the responses of these metrics to weather is available. Responses of the two metrics often diverged, reflecting differences in their sensitivity to different types of changes in the plant community. Although sufficient information has not yet been published for these metrics to meet all the criteria of a good indicator in Great Plains Grasslands, augmenting current methods of evaluating rangeland health with a measure of plant species richness would reduce these shortcomings and provide information critical to managing for biodiversity.

  16. Genotypic and phenotypic diversity of Bacillus spp. isolated from steel plant waste

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    Chartone-Souza Edmar

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Molecular studies of Bacillus diversity in various environments have been reported. However, there have been few investigations concerning Bacillus in steel plant environments. In this study, genotypic and phenotypic diversity and phylogenetic relationships among 40 bacterial isolates recovered from steel plant waste were investigated using classical and molecular methods. Results 16S rDNA partial sequencing assigned all the isolates to the Bacillus genus, with close genetic relatedness to the Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus cereus groups, and to the species Bacillus sphaericus. tDNA-intergenic spacer length polymorphisms and the 16S–23S intergenic transcribed spacer region failed to identify the isolates at the species level. Genomic diversity was investigated by molecular typing with rep (repetitive sequence based PCR using the primer sets ERIC2 (enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus, (GTG5, and BOXAIR. Genotypic fingerprinting of the isolates reflected high intraspecies and interspecies diversity. Clustering of the isolates using ERIC-PCR fingerprinting was similar to that obtained from the 16S rRNA gene phylogenetic tree, indicating the potential of the former technique as a simple and useful tool for examining relationships among unknown Bacillus spp. Physiological, biochemical and heavy metal susceptibility profiles also indicated considerable phenotypic diversity. Among the heavy metal compounds tested Zn, Pb and Cu were least toxic to the bacterial isolates, whereas Ag inhibited all isolates at 0.001 mM. Conclusion Isolates with identical 16S rRNA gene sequences had different genomic fingerprints and differed considerably in their physiological capabilities, so the high levels of phenotypic diversity found in this study are likely to have ecological relevance.

  17. Species diversity of plant communities from territories with natural origin radionuclides contamination

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaneva, A.V.; Belykh, E.S.; Maystrenko, T.A.; Grusdev, B.I.; Zainullin, V.G.; Vakhrusheva, O.M. [Institute of Biology, Komi Scientific Center, Ural Division of RAS, Syktyvkar, 167982 (Russian Federation); Oughton, D. [Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Aas (Norway)

    2014-07-01

    Since plants dominate every landscape, the impact of any environmental stressor on plants can directly affect the structure and function of an ecosystem, resulting in decreased primary productivity and degradation of wildlife habitat. The investigation goal of the present research was to study how vascular plant species' composition at a former radium mining site could be related to i) soil contamination with heavy metals and uranium and thorium decay chain radionuclides and ii) soil agrochemical properties. Between the 1930's and 1950's, the commercial extraction of radium, storage of the uranium mill tailings and radium production wastes, together with deactivation of the site with a mixture of sand and gravel completely destroyed plant communities in the vicinity of Vodny settlement (Komi Republic, Russia). The plant cover recovery started more than 60 years ago, and resulted in overgrowing with common grassland plant species. Three meadow sites were investigated, one with low contamination (on the territory of former radium production plant), one with high contamination (waste storage cell) and a reference sites out of the radiochemical plant zone of influence, but with similar natural conditions. Geo-botanical descriptions revealed 134 vascular plant species from 34 families in the meadow communities studied. The greatest richness was seen for Poaceae, Asteraceae, Rosaceae and Fabaceae families; others had 1-5 species. The highest richness in diversity was seen at reference sites with 95 vascular plant species. 87 species were registered on low contaminated sites and 75 species on high contaminated. Perennial herbs were the dominant life form on all the studied meadow communities. Arboreal species expansion in vegetation was noted at both experimental and reference sites. Shannon index calculations indicated a significant (p<0.05) decrease in species diversity on sample areas of the highly contaminated radioactive waste storage cell. Mean values

  18. Evaluation of genetic diversity in wild populations of Peganum harmala L., a medicinal plant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ranya EL-Bakatoushi

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Peganum harmala L. is a perennial herbaceous plant and can be a future drug due to its wide medicinal purposes. Despite its economic importance, the molecular genetics of P. harmal have not yet been studied in detail. Genetic diversity of 12 P. harmala genotypes were investigated by using Inter-Simple Sequence Repeats (ISSR, PCR-RFLP of rDNA-ITS, PCR-SSCP of rDNA-ITS and Simple Sequence Repeat (SSR markers. The level of polymorphism revealed by ITS-SSCP is the lowest, followed by ITS-RFLP then ISSR and the highest polymorphism level was reported for SSR marker. The AMOVA analysis implied that most of the variation occurred within the Populations. A value of inbreeding coefficient Fis estimated by the three co-dominant markers was nearly equal and offer an indication of the partial out-crossing reproductive system of P. harmala. Principal Coordinate Analysis (PCOA plot revealed a clear pattern of clustering based on the locations of collected plants which coincide with the isolation by distance. The study revealed that ITS-SSCP and ISSR markers respectively were more informative than the other used markers in the assessment of genetic diversity of P. harmala. The results reflect the great diversity of P. harmala and data obtained from this study can be used for future collecting missions. Keywords: Peganum harmala, Genetic diversity, ISSR, rDNA-ITS, SSR

  19. Flooding greatly affects the diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi communities in the roots of wetland plants.

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    Yutao Wang

    Full Text Available The communities of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF colonizing the roots of three mangrove species were characterized along a tidal gradient in a mangrove swamp. A fragment, designated SSU-ITS-LSU, including part of the small subunit (SSU, the entire internal transcribed spacer (ITS and part of the large subunit (LSU of rDNA from samples of AMF-colonized roots was amplified, cloned and sequenced using AMF-specific primers. Similar levels of AMF diversity to those observed in terrestrial ecosystems were detected in the roots, indicating that the communities of AMF in wetland ecosystems are not necessarily low in diversity. In total, 761 Glomeromycota sequences were obtained, which grouped, according to phylogenetic analysis using the SSU-ITS-LSU fragment, into 23 phylotypes, 22 of which belonged to Glomeraceae and one to Acaulosporaceae. The results indicate that flooding plays an important role in AMF diversity, and its effects appear to depend on the degree (duration of flooding. Both host species and tide level affected community structure of AMF, indicating the presence of habitat and host species preferences.

  20. A new model of dynamic of plant biodiversity in changing farmlands ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    However, the relationship between plant diversity and disturbance gradient makes ... factors affecting herbs species diversity in the ecosystem to building a model. ... in conserving global biodiversity and maintaining global ecosystem function.

  1. Introducing close-range photogrammetry for characterizing forest understory plant diversity and surface fuel structure at fine scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benjamin C. Bright; E. Louise Loudermilk; Scott M. Pokswinski; Andrew T. Hudak; Joseph J. O' Brien

    2016-01-01

    Methods characterizing fine-scale fuels and plant diversity can advance understanding of plant-fire interactions across scales and help in efforts to monitor important ecosystems such as longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) forests of the southeastern United States. Here, we evaluate the utility of close-range photogrammetry for measuring fuels and plant...

  2. Can phylogeny predict chemical diversity and potential medicinal activity of plants? A case study of amaryllidaceae

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    Rønsted Nina

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background During evolution, plants and other organisms have developed a diversity of chemical defences, leading to the evolution of various groups of specialized metabolites selected for their endogenous biological function. A correlation between phylogeny and biosynthetic pathways could offer a predictive approach enabling more efficient selection of plants for the development of traditional medicine and lead discovery. However, this relationship has rarely been rigorously tested and the potential predictive power is consequently unknown. Results We produced a phylogenetic hypothesis for the medicinally important plant subfamily Amaryllidoideae (Amaryllidaceae based on parsimony and Bayesian analysis of nuclear, plastid, and mitochondrial DNA sequences of over 100 species. We tested if alkaloid diversity and activity in bioassays related to the central nervous system are significantly correlated with phylogeny and found evidence for a significant phylogenetic signal in these traits, although the effect is not strong. Conclusions Several genera are non-monophyletic emphasizing the importance of using phylogeny for interpretation of character distribution. Alkaloid diversity and in vitro inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE and binding to the serotonin reuptake transporter (SERT are significantly correlated with phylogeny. This has implications for the use of phylogenies to interpret chemical evolution and biosynthetic pathways, to select candidate taxa for lead discovery, and to make recommendations for policies regarding traditional use and conservation priorities.

  3. Effects of plant species identity, diversity and soil fertility on biodegradation of phenanthrene in soil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oyelami, Ayodeji O; Okere, Uchechukwu V; Orwin, Kate H; De Deyn, Gerlinde B; Jones, Kevin C [Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ (United Kingdom); Semple, Kirk T., E-mail: k.semple@lancaster.ac.uk [Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ (United Kingdom)

    2013-02-15

    The work presented in this paper investigated the effects of plant species composition, species diversity and soil fertility on biodegradation of {sup 14}C-phenanthrene in soil. The two soils used were of contrasting fertility, taken from long term unfertilised and fertilised grassland, showing differences in total nitrogen content (%N). Plant communities consisted of six different plant species: two grasses, two forbs, and two legume species, and ranged in species richness from 1 to 6. The degradation of {sup 14}C-phenanthrene was evaluated by measuring indigenous catabolic activity following the addition of the contaminant to soil using respirometry. Soil fertility was a driving factor in all aspects of {sup 14}C-phenanthrene degradation; lag phase, maximum rates and total extents of {sup 14}C-phenanthrene mineralisation were higher in improved soils compared to unimproved soils. Plant identity had a significant effect on the lag phase and extents of mineralisation. Soil fertility was the major influence also on abundance of microbial communities. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Two grassland soils of contrasting fertility showing differences in total nitrogen content (%N) were used in this study. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The effects of individual plant species and plant diversity on mineralisation of {sup 14}C-phenanthrene in soil were investigated. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Soil fertility was the major influence on mineralisation of {sup 14}C-phenanthrene, and abundance of microbial community. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The presence of a specific plant plays a role in the extent of mineralisation of phenanthrene in soil. - Soil management was the main driver for the mineralisation of {sup 14}C-phenanthrene in soil.

  4. Effects of plant species identity, diversity and soil fertility on biodegradation of phenanthrene in soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oyelami, Ayodeji O.; Okere, Uchechukwu V.; Orwin, Kate H.; De Deyn, Gerlinde B.; Jones, Kevin C.; Semple, Kirk T.

    2013-01-01

    The work presented in this paper investigated the effects of plant species composition, species diversity and soil fertility on biodegradation of 14 C-phenanthrene in soil. The two soils used were of contrasting fertility, taken from long term unfertilised and fertilised grassland, showing differences in total nitrogen content (%N). Plant communities consisted of six different plant species: two grasses, two forbs, and two legume species, and ranged in species richness from 1 to 6. The degradation of 14 C-phenanthrene was evaluated by measuring indigenous catabolic activity following the addition of the contaminant to soil using respirometry. Soil fertility was a driving factor in all aspects of 14 C-phenanthrene degradation; lag phase, maximum rates and total extents of 14 C-phenanthrene mineralisation were higher in improved soils compared to unimproved soils. Plant identity had a significant effect on the lag phase and extents of mineralisation. Soil fertility was the major influence also on abundance of microbial communities. - Highlights: ► Two grassland soils of contrasting fertility showing differences in total nitrogen content (%N) were used in this study. ► The effects of individual plant species and plant diversity on mineralisation of 14 C-phenanthrene in soil were investigated. ► Soil fertility was the major influence on mineralisation of 14 C-phenanthrene, and abundance of microbial community. ► The presence of a specific plant plays a role in the extent of mineralisation of phenanthrene in soil. - Soil management was the main driver for the mineralisation of 14 C-phenanthrene in soil.

  5. Diversity and ecological structure of vibrios in benthic and pelagic habitats along a latitudinal gradient in the Southwest Atlantic Ocean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciane A. Chimetto Tonon

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available We analyzed the diversity and population structure of the 775 Vibrio isolates from different locations of the southwestern Atlantic Ocean (SAO, including St. Peter and St. Paul Archipelago (SPSPA, Abrolhos Bank (AB and the St. Sebastian region (SS, between 2005 and 2010. In this study, 195 novel isolates, obtained from seawater and major benthic organisms (rhodoliths and corals, were compared with a collection of 580 isolates previously characterized (available at www.taxvibrio.lncc.br. The isolates were distributed in 8 major habitat spectra according to AdaptML analysis on the basis of pyrH phylogenetic reconstruction and ecological information, such as isolation source (i.e., corals: Madracis decactis, Mussismilia braziliensis, M. hispida, Phyllogorgia dilatata, Scolymia wellsi; zoanthids: Palythoa caribaeorum, P. variabilis and Zoanthus solanderi; fireworm: Hermodice carunculata; rhodolith; water and sediment and sampling site regions (SPSPA, AB and SS. Ecologically distinct groups were discerned through AdaptML, which finds phylogenetic groups that are significantly different in their spectra of habitat preferences. Some habitat spectra suggested ecological specialization, with habitat spectra 2, 3, and 4 corresponding to specialization on SPSPA, AB, and SS, respectively. This match between habitat and location may reflect a minor exchange of Vibrio populations between geographically isolated benthic systems. Moreover, we found several widespread Vibrio species predominantly from water column, and different populations of a single Vibrio species from H. carunculata in ecologically distinct groups (H-1 and H-8 respectively. On the other hand, AdaptML detected phylogenetic groups that are found in both the benthos and in open water. The ecological grouping observed suggests dispersal and connectivity between the benthic and pelagic systems in AB. This study is a first attempt to characterize the biogeographic distribution of vibrios in both

  6. Diversity and ecological structure of vibrios in benthic and pelagic habitats along a latitudinal gradient in the Southwest Atlantic Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chimetto Tonon, Luciane A; Silva, Bruno Sergio de O; Moreira, Ana Paula B; Valle, Cecilia; Alves, Nelson; Cavalcanti, Giselle; Garcia, Gizele; Lopes, Rubens M; Francini-Filho, Ronaldo B; de Moura, Rodrigo L; Thompson, Cristiane C; Thompson, Fabiano L

    2015-01-01

    We analyzed the diversity and population structure of the 775 Vibrio isolates from different locations of the southwestern Atlantic Ocean (SAO), including St. Peter and St. Paul Archipelago (SPSPA), Abrolhos Bank (AB) and the St. Sebastian region (SS), between 2005 and 2010. In this study, 195 novel isolates, obtained from seawater and major benthic organisms (rhodoliths and corals), were compared with a collection of 580 isolates previously characterized (available at www.taxvibrio.lncc.br). The isolates were distributed in 8 major habitat spectra according to AdaptML analysis on the basis of pyrH phylogenetic reconstruction and ecological information, such as isolation source (i.e., corals: Madracis decactis, Mussismilia braziliensis, M. hispida, Phyllogorgia dilatata, Scolymia wellsi; zoanthids: Palythoa caribaeorum, P. variabilis and Zoanthus solanderi; fireworm: Hermodice carunculata; rhodolith; water and sediment) and sampling site regions (SPSPA, AB and SS). Ecologically distinct groups were discerned through AdaptML, which finds phylogenetic groups that are significantly different in their spectra of habitat preferences. Some habitat spectra suggested ecological specialization, with habitat spectra 2, 3, and 4 corresponding to specialization on SPSPA, AB, and SS, respectively. This match between habitat and location may reflect a minor exchange of Vibrio populations between geographically isolated benthic systems. Moreover, we found several widespread Vibrio species predominantly from water column, and different populations of a single Vibrio species from H. carunculata in ecologically distinct groups (H-1 and H-8 respectively). On the other hand, AdaptML detected phylogenetic groups that are found in both the benthos and in open water. The ecological grouping observed suggests dispersal and connectivity between the benthic and pelagic systems in AB. This study is a first attempt to characterize the biogeographic distribution of vibrios in both seawater and

  7. Interactions between plants and primates shape community diversity in a rainforest in Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, James P

    2016-07-01

    Models of ecological community assembly predict how communities of interacting organisms may be shaped by abiotic and biotic factors. Competition and environmental filtering are the predominant factors hypothesized to explain community assembly. This study tested the effects of habitat, phylogenetic and phenotypic trait predictors on species co-occurrence patterns and abundances, with the endemic primates of Madagascar as an empirical system. The abundance of 11 primate species was estimated along gradients of elevation, food resource abundance and anthropogenic habitat disturbance at local scales in south-east Madagascar. Community composition was compared to null models to test for phylogenetic and functional structure, and the effects of phylogenetic relatedness of co-occurring species, their trait similarity and environmental variables on species' abundances were tested using mixed models and quantile regressions. Resource abundance was the strongest predictor of community structure. Where food tree abundance was high, closely related species with similar traits dominated communities. High-elevation communities with lower food tree abundance consisted of species that were distantly related and had divergent traits. Closely related species had dissimilar abundances where they co-occurred, partially driven by trait dissimilarity, indicating character displacement. By integrating local-scale variation in primate community composition, evolutionary relatedness and functional diversity, this study found strong evidence that community assembly in this system can be explained by competition and character displacement along ecological gradients. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2016 British Ecological Society.

  8. Soil, Vegetation, and Seed Bank of a Sonoran Desert Ecosystem Along an Exotic Plant ( Pennisetum ciliare) Treatment Gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abella, Scott R.; Chiquoine, Lindsay P.; Backer, Dana M.

    2013-10-01

    Ecological conditions following removal of exotic plants are a key part of comprehensive environmental management strategies to combat exotic plant invasions. We examined ecological conditions following removal of the management-priority buffelgrass ( Pennisetum ciliare) in Saguaro National Park of the North American Sonoran Desert. We assessed soil, vegetation, and soil seed banks on seven buffelgrass site types: five different frequencies of buffelgrass herbicide plus hand removal treatments (ranging from 5 years of annual treatment to a single year of treatment), untreated sites, and non-invaded sites, with three replicates for each of the seven site types. The 22 measured soil properties (e.g., pH) differed little among sites. Regarding vegetation, buffelgrass cover was low (≤1 % median cover), or absent, across all treated sites but was high (10-70 %) in untreated sites. Native vegetation cover, diversity, and composition were indistinguishable across site types. Species composition was dominated by native species (>93 % relative cover) across all sites except untreated buffelgrass sites. Most (38 species, 93 %) of the 41 species detected in soil seed banks were native, and native seed density did not differ significantly across sites. Results suggest that: (1) buffelgrass cover was minimal across treated sites; (2) aside from high buffelgrass cover in untreated sites, ecological conditions were largely indistinguishable across sites; (3) soil seed banks harbored ≥12 species that were frequent in the aboveground vegetation; and (4) native species dominated post-treatment vegetation composition, and removing buffelgrass did not result in replacement by other exotic species.

  9. Diversity of the Mountain Flora of Central Asia with Emphasis on Alkaloid-Producing Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karimjan Tayjanov

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The mountains of Central Asia with 70 large and small mountain ranges represent species-rich plant biodiversity hotspots. Major mountains include Saur, Tarbagatai, Dzungarian Alatau, Tien Shan, Pamir-Alai and Kopet Dag. Because a range of altitudinal belts exists, the region is characterized by high biological diversity at ecosystem, species and population levels. In addition, the contact between Asian and Mediterranean flora in Central Asia has created unique plant communities. More than 8100 plant species have been recorded for the territory of Central Asia; about 5000–6000 of them grow in the mountains. The aim of this review is to summarize all the available data from 1930 to date on alkaloid-containing plants of the Central Asian mountains. In Saur 301 of a total of 661 species, in Tarbagatai 487 out of 1195, in Dzungarian Alatau 699 out of 1080, in Tien Shan 1177 out of 3251, in Pamir-Alai 1165 out of 3422 and in Kopet Dag 438 out of 1942 species produce alkaloids. The review also tabulates the individual alkaloids which were detected in the plants from the Central Asian mountains. Quite a large number of the mountain plants produce neurotoxic and cytotoxic alkaloids, indicating that a strong chemical defense is needed under the adverse environmental conditions of these mountains with presumably high pressure from herbivores.

  10. High plant species diversity indirectly mitigates CO 2- and N-induced effects on grasshopper growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strengbom, Joachim; Reich, Peter B.; Ritchie, Mark E.

    2008-09-01

    We examined how elevated atmospheric [CO 2] and higher rate of nitrogen (N) input may influence grasshopper growth by changing food plant quality and how such effects may be modified by species diversity of the plant community. We reared grasshopper nymphs ( Melanoplus femurrubrum) on Poa pratensis from field-grown monocultures or polycultures (16 species) that were subjected to either ambient or elevated levels of CO 2 and N. Grasshopper growth rate was higher on P. pratensis leaves grown in monocultures than in polycultures, higher on P. pratensis grown under elevated than under ambient [CO 2], and higher on P. pratensis grown under elevated than under ambient [N]. The higher growth rate observed on P. pratensis exposed to elevated [CO 2] was, however, less pronounced for polyculture- than monoculture-grown P. pratensis. Growth rate of the grasshoppers was positively correlated with leaf [N], [C], and concentration of soluble carbohydrates + lipids. Concentration of non-structural carbohydrates + lipids was higher in leaves grown under elevated than under ambient [CO 2], and the difference between P. pratensis grown under ambient and elevated [CO 2] was greater for monoculture- than polyculture-grown P. pratensis. In addition, leaf N concentration was higher in P. pratensis grown in monocultures than in polycultures, suggesting that plant species richness, indirectly, may influence insect performance by changed nutritional value of the plants. Because we found interactive effects between all factors included ([CO 2], [N], and plant species diversity), our results suggest that these parameters may influence plant-insect interactions in a complex way that is not predictable from the sum of single factor manipulations.

  11. Congruence and diversity of butterfly-host plant associations at higher taxonomic levels.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José R Ferrer-Paris

    Full Text Available We aggregated data on butterfly-host plant associations from existing sources in order to address the following questions: (1 is there a general correlation between host diversity and butterfly species richness?, (2 has the evolution of host plant use followed consistent patterns across butterfly lineages?, (3 what is the common ancestral host plant for all butterfly lineages? The compilation included 44,148 records from 5,152 butterfly species (28.6% of worldwide species of Papilionoidea and 1,193 genera (66.3%. The overwhelming majority of butterflies use angiosperms as host plants. Fabales is used by most species (1,007 spp. from all seven butterfly families and most subfamilies, Poales is the second most frequently used order, but is mostly restricted to two species-rich subfamilies: Hesperiinae (56.5% of all Hesperiidae, and Satyrinae (42.6% of all Nymphalidae. We found a significant and strong correlation between host plant diversity and butterfly species richness. A global test for congruence (Parafit test was sensitive to uncertainty in the butterfly cladogram, and suggests a mixed system with congruent associations between Papilionidae and magnoliids, Hesperiidae and monocots, and the remaining subfamilies with the eudicots (fabids and malvids, but also numerous random associations. The congruent associations are also recovered as the most probable ancestral states in each node using maximum likelihood methods. The shift from basal groups to eudicots appears to be more likely than the other way around, with the only exception being a Satyrine-clade within the Nymphalidae that feed on monocots. Our analysis contributes to the visualization of the complex pattern of interactions at superfamily level and provides a context to discuss the timing of changes in host plant utilization that might have promoted diversification in some butterfly lineages.

  12. Congruence and diversity of butterfly-host plant associations at higher taxonomic levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrer-Paris, José R; Sánchez-Mercado, Ada; Viloria, Ángel L; Donaldson, John

    2013-01-01

    We aggregated data on butterfly-host plant associations from existing sources in order to address the following questions: (1) is there a general correlation between host diversity and butterfly species richness?, (2) has the evolution of host plant use followed consistent patterns across butterfly lineages?, (3) what is the common ancestral host plant for all butterfly lineages? The compilation included 44,148 records from 5,152 butterfly species (28.6% of worldwide species of Papilionoidea) and 1,193 genera (66.3%). The overwhelming majority of butterflies use angiosperms as host plants. Fabales is used by most species (1,007 spp.) from all seven butterfly families and most subfamilies, Poales is the second most frequently used order, but is mostly restricted to two species-rich subfamilies: Hesperiinae (56.5% of all Hesperiidae), and Satyrinae (42.6% of all Nymphalidae). We found a significant and strong correlation between host plant diversity and butterfly species richness. A global test for congruence (Parafit test) was sensitive to uncertainty in the butterfly cladogram, and suggests a mixed system with congruent associations between Papilionidae and magnoliids, Hesperiidae and monocots, and the remaining subfamilies with the eudicots (fabids and malvids), but also numerous random associations. The congruent associations are also recovered as the most probable ancestral states in each node using maximum likelihood methods. The shift from basal groups to eudicots appears to be more likely than the other way around, with the only exception being a Satyrine-clade within the Nymphalidae that feed on monocots. Our analysis contributes to the visualization of the complex pattern of interactions at superfamily level and provides a context to discuss the timing of changes in host plant utilization that might have promoted diversification in some butterfly lineages.

  13. The relative role of dispersal and local interactions for alpine plant community diversity under simulated climate warming

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Klanderud, K.; Totland, Oe. [Norwegian Univ. of Life Science, Dept. of Ecology and Natural Resource Management, Aas (Norway)

    2007-08-15

    Most studies on factors determining diversity are conducted in temperate or warm regions, whereas studies in climatically harsh and low productivity areas, such as alpine regions, are rare. We examined the relative roles of seed availability and different biotic and abiotic factors for the diversity of an alpine plant community in southern Norway. Furthermore, because climate warming is predicted to be an important driver of alpine species diversity, we assessed how the relative impacts of dispersal and local interactions on diversity might change under experimental warming (open top chambers, OTCs). Addition of seeds from 27 regional species increased community diversity. The establishment of the species was negatively related both to the diversity of the existing system and the cover of the abundant dwarf shrub Dryas octopetala. These results show that both species dispersal limitation and local biotic interactions are important factors for alpine plant community diversity. Despite relatively harsh environmental conditions and low productivity, competition from the resident vegetation appeared to have a greater role for species establishment and diversity than facilitation and experimental warming. Higher temperature appeared to increase the negative relationship between resident species diversity and species establishment. This may suggest that climate warming can increase the role of interspecific competition for alpine plant community structure, and thus alter the long-term effects of biotic interactions on diversity. (au)

  14. Climate-suitable planting as a strategy for maintaining forest productivity and functional diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duveneck, Matthew J; Scheller, Robert M

    2015-09-01

    Within the time frame of the longevity of tree species, climate change will change faster than the ability of natural tree migration. Migration lags may result in reduced productivity and reduced diversity in forests under current management and climate change. We evaluated the efficacy of planting climate-suitable tree species (CSP), those tree species with current or historic distributions immediately south of a focal landscape, to maintain or increase aboveground biomass productivity, and species and functional diversity. We modeled forest change with the LANDIS-II forest simulation model for 100 years (2000-2100) at a 2-ha cell resolution and five-year time steps within two landscapes in the Great Lakes region (northeastern Minnesota and northern lower Michigan, USA). We compared current climate to low- and high-emission futures. We simulated a low-emission climate future with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007 B1 emission scenario and the Parallel Climate Model Global Circulation Model (GCM). We simulated a high-emission climate future with the IPCC A1FI emission scenario and the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) GCM. We compared current forest management practices (business-as-usual) to CSP management. In the CSP scenario, we simulated a target planting of 5.28% and 4.97% of forested area per five-year time step in the Minnesota and Michigan landscapes, respectively. We found that simulated CSP species successfully established in both landscapes under all climate scenarios. The presence of CSP species generally increased simulated aboveground biomass. Species diversity increased due to CSP; however, the effect on functional diversity was variable. Because the planted species were functionally similar to many native species, CSP did not result in a consistent increase nor decrease in functional diversity. These results provide an assessment of the potential efficacy and limitations of CSP management. These results have

  15. Reduced representation approaches to interrogate genome diversity in large repetitive plant genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirsch, Cory D; Evans, Joseph; Buell, C Robin; Hirsch, Candice N

    2014-07-01

    Technology and software improvements in the last decade now provide methodologies to access the genome sequence of not only a single accession, but also multiple accessions of plant species. This provides a means to interrogate species diversity at the genome level. Ample diversity among accessions in a collection of species can be found, including single-nucleotide polymorphisms, insertions and deletions, copy number variation and presence/absence variation. For species with small, non-repetitive rich genomes, re-sequencing of query accessions is robust, highly informative, and economically feasible. However, for species with moderate to large sized repetitive-rich genomes, technical and economic barriers prevent en masse genome re-sequencing of accessions. Multiple approaches to access a focused subset of loci in species with larger genomes have been developed, including reduced representation sequencing, exome capture and transcriptome sequencing. Collectively, these approaches have enabled interrogation of diversity on a genome scale for large plant genomes, including crop species important to worldwide food security. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. Diversity of herbaceous plants and bacterial communities regulates soil resistome across forest biomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Hang-Wei; Wang, Jun-Tao; Singh, Brajesh K; Liu, Yu-Rong; Chen, Yong-Liang; Zhang, Yu-Jing; He, Ji-Zheng

    2018-04-24

    Antibiotic resistance is ancient and prevalent in natural ecosystems and evolved long before the utilization of synthetic antibiotics started, but factors influencing the large-scale distribution patterns of natural antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) remain largely unknown. Here, a large-scale investigation over 4000 km was performed to profile soil ARGs, plant communities and bacterial communities from 300 quadrats across five forest biomes with minimal human impact. We detected diverse and abundant ARGs in forests, including over 160 genes conferring resistance to eight major categories of antibiotics. The diversity of ARGs was strongly and positively correlated with the diversity of bacteria, herbaceous plants and mobile genetic elements (MGEs). The ARG composition was strongly correlated with the taxonomic structure of bacteria and herbs. Consistent with this strong correlation, structural equation modelling demonstrated that the positive effects of bacterial and herb communities on ARG patterns were maintained even when simultaneously accounting for multiple drivers (climate, spatial predictors and edaphic factors). These findings suggest a paradigm that the interactions between aboveground and belowground communities shape the large-scale distribution of soil resistomes, providing new knowledge for tackling the emerging environmental antibiotic resistance. © 2018 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. A comparative study on plant diversity in alder (Alnus subcordata stands of natural and plantation areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SEYED ALIAKBAR REZAEI TALESHI

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Rezaei-Taleshi SA. 2014. A comparative study on plant diversity in alder (Alnus subcordata stands of natural and plantation areas. Biodiversitas 15: 37-45. Diversity index is the useful criteria for evaluating sustainability of forest ecosystems. Current study carried out in Alder (Alnus subcordata C.A. Meyer stands that located in north forests of Iran. The aim of the study is express the plant diversity indices and positive role of the trees both natural and plantation forms. Data of Alder trees and associated species were recorded in sample plots which lay down in study area randomly. The abundance, density, percentage of frequency of each species was calculated by standard methods. The results of analysis revealed that, 47 species (21 trees and shrubs species and 26 herbaceous species were abundant in 80 sample plots both in natural and plantations Alder stands. Whilst the results showed that the number of species in natural area (44 species was more than plantation stands (37 species. Comparison of species distribution in different physiographical situation showed that some species such as Alnus subcordata, Parrotia persica, Rubus hyrcanus and Prunus sp. recorded in spread rang of physiographic variables as elevation, slopes and aspects. The biodiversity criteria as Shannon H’ and Simpsons D and 1/D indexes showed that they were more in natural stands than plantation areas.

  18. The Cladistic Basis for the Phylogenetic Diversity (PD Measure Links Evolutionary Features to Environmental Gradients and Supports Broad Applications of Microbial Ecology’s “Phylogenetic Beta Diversity” Framework

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rob Knight

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available The PD measure of phylogenetic diversity interprets branch lengths cladistically to make inferences about feature diversity. PD calculations extend conventional specieslevel ecological indices to the features level. The “phylogenetic beta diversity” framework developed by microbial ecologists calculates PD-dissimilarities between community localities. Interpretation of these PD-dissimilarities at the feature level explains the framework’s success in producing ordinations revealing environmental gradients. An example gradients space using PD-dissimilarities illustrates how evolutionary features form unimodal response patterns to gradients. This features model supports new application of existing species-level methods that are robust to unimodal responses, plus novel applications relating to climate change, commercial products discovery, and community assembly.

  19. Membrane Bioreactor-Based Wastewater Treatment Plant in Saudi Arabia: Reduction of Viral Diversity, Load, and Infectious Capacity

    KAUST Repository

    Jumat, Muhammad; Hasan, Nur; Subramanian, Poorani; Heberling, Colin; Colwell, Rita; Hong, Pei-Ying

    2017-01-01

    (AdV) and Enteroviruses (EV) were enumerated using digital polymerase chain reaction (dPCR) and assessed for infectivity using fluorescence-based infection assays. MBR treatment was successful in reducing viral diversity. Plant viruses remained

  20. Desert farming benefits from microbial potential in arid soils and promotes diversity and plant health.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Köberl

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: To convert deserts into arable, green landscapes is a global vision, and desert farming is a strong growing area of agriculture world-wide. However, its effect on diversity of soil microbial communities, which are responsible for important ecosystem services like plant health, is still not known. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We studied the impact of long-term agriculture on desert soil in one of the most prominent examples for organic desert farming in Sekem (Egypt. Using a polyphasic methodological approach to analyse microbial communities in soil as well as associated with cultivated plants, drastic effects caused by 30 years of agriculture were detected. Analysing bacterial fingerprints, we found statistically significant differences between agricultural and native desert soil of about 60%. A pyrosequencing-based analysis of the 16S rRNA gene regions showed higher diversity in agricultural than in desert soil (Shannon diversity indices: 11.21/7.90, and displayed structural differences. The proportion of Firmicutes in field soil was significantly higher (37% than in the desert (11%. Bacillus and Paenibacillus play the key role: they represented 96% of the antagonists towards phytopathogens, and identical 16S rRNA sequences in the amplicon library and for isolates were detected. The proportion of antagonistic strains was doubled in field in comparison to desert soil (21.6%/12.4%; disease-suppressive bacteria were especially enriched in plant roots. On the opposite, several extremophilic bacterial groups, e.g., Acidimicrobium, Rubellimicrobium and Deinococcus-Thermus, disappeared from soil after agricultural use. The N-fixing Herbaspirillum group only occurred in desert soil. Soil bacterial communities were strongly driven by the a-biotic factors water supply and pH. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: After long-term farming, a drastic shift in the bacterial communities in desert soil was observed. Bacterial communities in agricultural

  1. Plant Biodiversity in Urbanized Areas Plant Functional Traits in Space and Time, Plant Rarity and Phylogenetic Diversity

    CERN Document Server

    Knapp, Sonja

    2010-01-01

    Urbanization is one of the main drivers of global change. It often takes place in areas with high biodiversity, threatening species worldwide. To protect biodiversity not only outside but also right within urban areas, knowledge about the effects of urban land use on species assemblages is essential. Sonja Knapp compares several aspects of plant biodiversity between urban and rural areas in Germany. Using extensive databases and modern statistical methods, she goes beyond species richness: Urban areas are rich in species but plant species in urban areas are closer related to each other than plant species in rural areas, respectively. The urban environment, characterized by high temperatures and frequent disturbances, changes the functional composition of the flora. It promotes e.g. short-lived species with leaves adapted to drought but threatens insect-pollinated or wind-dispersed species. The author claims that the protection of biodiversity should not only focus on species richness but also on functional an...

  2. Endophytic fungi from medicinal plant Bauhinia forficata: Diversity and biotechnological potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bezerra, Jadson D P; Nascimento, Carlos C F; Barbosa, Renan do N; da Silva, Dianny C V; Svedese, Virgínia M; Silva-Nogueira, Eliane B; Gomes, Bruno S; Paiva, Laura M; Souza-Motta, Cristina M

    2015-03-01

    Bauhinia forficata is native to South America and used with relative success in the folk medicine in Brazil. The diversity, antibacterial activity, and extracellular hydrolytic enzymes of endophytic fungi associated with this plant were studied. Plant samples, which included leaves, sepals, stems, and seeds, were used. Ninety-five endophytic fungal were isolated (18 from leaves, 22 from sepals, 46 from stems, and nine from seeds), comprising 28 species. The most frequently isolated species were Acremonium curvulum (9.5%), Aspergillus ochraceus (7.37%), Gibberella fujikuroi (10.53%), Myrothecium verrucaria (10.53%) and Trichoderma piluliferum (7.37%). Diversity and species richness were higher in stem tissues, and Sorensen's index of similarity between the tissues was low. Eleven fungi showed antibacterial activity. Aspergillus ochraceus , Gibberella baccata , Penicillium commune , and P. glabrum were those with the greatest antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and/or Streptococcus pyogenes . Thirteen species showed proteolytic activity, particularly Phoma putaminum . Fourteen species were cellulase positive, particularly the Penicillium species and Myrmecridium schulzeri . All isolates tested were xylanase positive and 10 showed lipolytic activity, especially Penicillium glabrum . It is clear that the endophytic fungi from B. forficata have potential for the production of bioactive compounds and may be a source of new therapeutic agents for the effective treatment of diseases in humans, other animals, and plants. To our knowledge, this is the first study of endophytic fungi from different tissues of B. forficata and their biotechnological potential.

  3. Diversity and regulation of plant Ca2+ pumps: insights from expression in yeast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sze, H.; Liang, F.; Hwang, I.; Curran, A. C.; Harper, J. F.; Evans, M. L. (Principal Investigator)

    2000-01-01

    The spatial and temporal regulation of calcium concentration in plant cells depends on the coordinate activities of channels and active transporters located on different organelles and membranes. Several Ca2+ pumps have been identified and characterized by functional expression of plant genes in a yeast mutant (K616). This expression system has opened the way to a genetic and biochemical characterization of the regulatory and catalytic features of diverse Ca2+ pumps. Plant Ca(2+)-ATPases fall into two major types: AtECA1 represents one of four or more members of the type IIA (ER-type) Ca(2+)-ATPases in Arabidopsis, and AtACA2 is one of seven or more members of the type IIB (PM-type) Ca(2+)-ATPases that are regulated by a novel amino terminal domain. Type IIB pumps are widely distributed on membranes, including the PM (plasma membrane), vacuole, and ER (endoplasmic reticulum). The regulatory domain serves multiple functions, including autoinhibition, calmodulin binding, and sites for modification by phosphorylation. This domain, however, is considerably diverse among several type IIB ATPases, suggesting that the pumps are differentially regulated. Understanding of Ca2+ transporters at the molecular level is providing insights into their roles in signaling networks and in regulating fundamental processes of cell biology.

  4. WITHIN-POPULATION GENETIC DIVERSITY OF CLIMBING PLANTS AND TREES IN A TEMPERATE FOREST IN CENTRAL CHILE

    OpenAIRE

    Torres-Díaz, Cristian; Ruiz, Eduardo; Salgado-Luarte, Cristian; Molina-Montenegro, Marco A; Gianoli, Ernesto

    2013-01-01

    The climbing habit is a key innovation in angiosperm evolution: climbing plant taxa have greater species richness than their non-climbing sister groups. It is considered that highly diversified clades should show increased among-population genetic differentiation. Less clear is the expected pattern regarding within-population genetic diversity in speciose lineages. We tested the hypothesis of greater within-population genetic diversity in climbing plants compared to trees in a temperate fores...

  5. Genotypic diversity of an invasive plant species promotes litter decomposition and associated processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiao-Yan; Miao, Yuan; Yu, Shuo; Chen, Xiao-Yong; Schmid, Bernhard

    2014-03-01

    Following studies that showed negative effects of species loss on ecosystem functioning, newer studies have started to investigate if similar consequences could result from reductions of genetic diversity within species. We tested the influence of genotypic richness and dissimilarity (plots containing one, three, six or 12 genotypes) in stands of the invasive plant Solidago canadensis in China on the decomposition of its leaf litter and associated soil animals over five monthly time intervals. We found that the logarithm of genotypic richness was positively linearly related to mass loss of C, N and P from the litter and to richness and abundance of soil animals on the litter samples. The mixing proportion of litter from two sites, but not genotypic dissimilarity of mixtures, had additional effects on measured variables. The litter diversity effects on soil animals were particularly strong under the most stressful conditions of hot weather in July: at this time richness and abundance of soil animals were higher in 12-genotype litter mixtures than even in the highest corresponding one-genotype litter. The litter diversity effects on decomposition were in part mediated by soil animals: the abundance of Acarina, when used as covariate in the analysis, fully explained the litter diversity effects on mass loss of N and P. Overall, our study shows that high genotypic richness of S. canadensis leaf litter positively affects richness and abundance of soil animals, which in turn accelerate litter decomposition and P release from litter.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  7. Genetic roadmap of the Arctic: plant dispersal highways, traffic barriers and capitals of diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eidesen, Pernille Bronken; Ehrich, Dorothee; Bakkestuen, Vegar; Alsos, Inger Greve; Gilg, Oliver; Taberlet, Pierre; Brochmann, Christian

    2013-11-01

    We provide the first comparative multispecies analysis of spatial genetic structure and diversity in the circumpolar Arctic using a common strategy for sampling and genetic analyses. We aimed to identify and explain potential general patterns of genetic discontinuity/connectivity and diversity, and to compare our findings with previously published hypotheses. We collected and analyzed 7707 samples of 17 widespread arctic-alpine plant species for amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs). Genetic structure, diversity and distinctiveness were analyzed for each species, and extrapolated to cover the geographic range of each species. The resulting maps were overlaid to produce metamaps. The Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, the Greenlandic ice cap, the Urals, and lowland areas between southern mountain ranges and the Arctic were the strongest barriers against gene flow. Diversity was highest in Beringia and gradually decreased into formerly glaciated areas. The highest degrees of distinctiveness were observed in Siberia. We conclude that large-scale general patterns exist in the Arctic, shaped by the Pleistocene glaciations combined with long-standing physical barriers against gene flow. Beringia served as both refugium and source for interglacial (re)colonization, whereas areas further west in Siberia served as refugia, but less as sources for (re)colonization. © 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

  8. Importance of Mediator complex in the regulation and integration of diverse signaling pathways in plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Subhasis eSamanta

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Basic transcriptional machinery in eukaryotes is assisted by a number of cofactors, which either increase or decrease the rate of transcription. Mediator complex is one such cofactor, and recently has drawn a lot of interest because of its integrative power to converge different signaling pathways before channelling the transcription instructions to the RNA polymerase II machinery. Like yeast and metazoans, plants do possess the Mediator complex across the kingdom, and its isolation and subunit analyses have been reported from the model plant, Arabidopsis. Genetic and molecular analyses have unravelled important regulatory roles of Mediator subunits at every stage of plant life cycle starting from flowering to embryo and organ development, to even size determination. It also contributes immensely to the survival of plants against different environmental vagaries by the timely activation of its resistance mechanisms. Here, we have provided an overview of plant Mediator complex starting from its discovery to regulation of stoichiometry of its subunits. We have also reviewed involvement of different Mediator subunits in different processes and pathways including defense response pathways evoked by diverse biotic cues. Wherever possible, attempts have been made to provide mechanistic insight of Mediator’s involvement in these processes.

  9. Consequences of plant-chemical diversity for domestic goat food preference in Mediterranean forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baraza, Elena; Hódar, José A.; Zamora, Regino

    2009-01-01

    The domestic goat, a major herbivore in the Mediterranean basin, has demonstrated a strong ability to adapt its feeding behaviour to the chemical characteristics of food, selecting plants according to their nutritive quality. In this study, we determine some chemical characteristics related to plant nutritional quality and its variability among and within five tree species, these being the main components of the mountain forests of SE Spain, with the aim of determining their influence on food selection by this generalist herbivore. We analyse nitrogen, total phenols, condensed tannins and fibre concentration as an indicator of the nutritive value of the different trees. To determine the preference by the domestic goat, we performed two types of feeding-choice assays, where goats had to select between different species or between branches of the same species but from trees of different nutritional quality. The analysis of the plant nutritional quality showed significant differences in the chemical characteristics between species, and a high variability within species. However, when faced with different tree species, the domestic goat selected some of them but showed striking individual differences between goats. When selecting between trees of the same species, the goats showed no differential selection. This limited effect of chemical plant characteristics, together with the variability in foraging behaviour, resulted in a widespread consumption of diverse plant species, which can potentially modulate the effect of the goat on vegetation composition, and open the way for the conservation of traditional livestock grazing on natural protected areas.

  10. Importance of Mediator complex in the regulation and integration of diverse signaling pathways in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samanta, Subhasis; Thakur, Jitendra K

    2015-01-01

    Basic transcriptional machinery in eukaryotes is assisted by a number of cofactors, which either increase or decrease the rate of transcription. Mediator complex is one such cofactor, and recently has drawn a lot of interest because of its integrative power to converge different signaling pathways before channeling the transcription instructions to the RNA polymerase II machinery. Like yeast and metazoans, plants do possess the Mediator complex across the kingdom, and its isolation and subunit analyses have been reported from the model plant, Arabidopsis. Genetic, and molecular analyses have unraveled important regulatory roles of Mediator subunits at every stage of plant life cycle starting from flowering to embryo and organ development, to even size determination. It also contributes immensely to the survival of plants against different environmental vagaries by the timely activation of its resistance mechanisms. Here, we have provided an overview of plant Mediator complex starting from its discovery to regulation of stoichiometry of its subunits. We have also reviewed involvement of different Mediator subunits in different processes and pathways including defense response pathways evoked by diverse biotic cues. Wherever possible, attempts have been made to provide mechanistic insight of Mediator's involvement in these processes.

  11. Genetic diversity and symbiotic compatibility among rhizobial strains and Desmodium incanum and Lotus spp. plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camille E Granada

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available This work aimed to evaluate the symbiotic compatibility and nodulation efficiency of rhizobia isolated from Desmodium incanum, Lotus corniculatus, L. subbiflorus, L. uliginosus and L. glaber plants by cross-inoculation. Twelve reference strains and 21 native isolates of rhizobia were genetically analyzed by the BOX-PCR technique, which showed a high genetic diversity among the rhizobia studied. The isolates were also characterized based on their production of indolic compounds and siderophores, as well as on their tolerance to salinity. Fifteen of the 33 rhizobia analyzed were able to produce indolic compounds, whereas 13 produced siderophores. All the tested rhizobia were sensitive to high salinity, although some were able to grow in solutions of up to 2% NaCl. Most of the native rhizobia isolated from L. uliginosus were able to induce nodulation in all plant species studied. In a greenhouse experiment using both D. incanum and L. corniculatus plants, the rhizobia isolate UFRGS Lu2 promoted the greatest plant growth. The results demonstrate that there are native rhizobia in the soils of southern Brazil that have low host specificity and are able to induce nodulation and form active nodules in several plant species.

  12. Microbial community diversities and taxa abundances in soils along a seven-year gradient of potato monoculture using high throughput pyrosequencing approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xing Liu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Previous studies have focused on linking soil community structure, diversity, or specific taxa to disturbances. Relatively little attention has been directed to crop monoculture soils, particularly potato monoculture. Information about microbial community changes over time between monoculture and non-monoculture treatments is lacking. Furthermore, few studies have examined microbial communities in potato monoculture soils using a high throughput pyrosequencing approach. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Soils along a seven-year gradient of potato monoculture were collected and microbial communities were characterized using high throughput pyrosequencing approach. Principal findings are as follows. First, diversity (H(Shannon and richness (S(Chao1 indices of bacterial community, but not of fungal community, were linearly decreased over time and corresponded to a decline of soil sustainability represented by yield decline and disease incidence increase. Second, Fusarium, the only soilborne pathogen-associated fungal genus substantially detected, was linearly increased over time in abundance and was closely associated with yield decline. Third, Fusarium abundance was negatively correlated with soil organic matter (OM and total nitrogen (TN but positively with electrical conductivity (EC. Fourth, Fusarium was correlated in abundances with 6 bacterial taxa over time. CONCLUSIONS: Soil bacterial and fungal communities exhibited differential responses to the potato monoculture. The overall soil bacterial communities were shaped by potato monoculture. Fusarium was the only soilborne pathogen-associated genus associated with disease incidence increase and yield decline. The changes of soil OM, TN and EC were responsible for Fusarium enrichment, in addition to selections by the monoculture crop. Acidobacteria and Nitrospirae were linearly decreased over time in abundance, corresponding to the decrease of OM, suggesting their similar

  13. Earthworms counterbalance the negative effects of microorganisms on plant diversity and enhance the tolerance of grasses to nematodes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wurst, S.; Allema, B.; Duyts, H.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2008-01-01

    Plant community composition is affected by a wide array of soil organisms with diverse feeding modes and functions. Former studies dealt with the high diversity and complexity of soil communities by focusing on particular functional groups in isolation, by grouping soil organisms into body size

  14. Earthworms counterbalance the negative effect of microorganisms on plant diversity and enhance to tolerance of grasses to nematodes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wurst, S.; Allema, A.B.; Duyts, H.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2008-01-01

    Plant community composition is affected by a wide array of soil organisms with diverse feeding modes and functions. Former studies dealt with the high diversity and complexity of soil communities by focusing on particular functional groups in isolation, by grouping soil organisms into body size

  15. Plant diversity increases with the strength of negative density dependence at the global scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaManna, Joseph A.; Mangan, Scott A.; Alonso, Alfonso; Bourg, Norman; Brockelman, Warren Y.; Bunyavejchewin, Sarayudh; Chang, Li-Wan; Chiang, Jyh-Min; Chuyong, George B.; Clay, Keith; Condit, Richard; Cordell, Susan; Davies, Stuart J.; Furniss, Tucker J.; Giardina, Christian P.; Gunatilleke, I.A.U. Nimal; Gunatilleke, C.V. Savitri; He, Fangliang; Howe, Robert W.; Hubbell, Stephen P.; Hsieh, Chang-Fu; Inman-Narahari, Faith M.; Janik, David; Johnson, Daniel J.; Kenfack, David; Korte, Lisa; Kral, Kamil; Larson, Andrew J.; Lutz, James A.; McMahon, Sean M.; McShea, William J.; Memiaghe, Herve R.; Nathalang, Anuttara; Novotny, Vojtech; Ong, Perry S.; Orwig, David A.; Ostertag, Rebecca; Parker, Geoffrey G.; Phillips, Richard P.; Sack, Lawren; Sun, I-Fang; Tello, J. Sebastian; Thomas, Duncan W.; Turner, Benjamin L.; Vela Diaz, Dilys M.; Vrska, Tomas; Weiblen, George D.; Wolf, Amy; Yap, Sandra; Myers, Jonathan A.

    2017-01-01

    Theory predicts that higher biodiversity in the tropics is maintained by specialized interactions among plants and their natural enemies that result in conspecific negative density dependence (CNDD). By using more than 3000 species and nearly 2.4 million trees across 24 forest plots worldwide, we show that global patterns in tree species diversity reflect not only stronger CNDD at tropical versus temperate latitudes but also a latitudinal shift in the relationship between CNDD and species abundance. CNDD was stronger for rare species at tropical versus temperate latitudes, potentially causing the persistence of greater numbers of rare species in the tropics. Our study reveals fundamental differences in the nature of local-scale biotic interactions that contribute to the maintenance of species diversity across temperate and tropical communities.

  16. Plant diversity across five vegetation belts in the Pyrenees (Catalonia, Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ferré, A.

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we analyze the size and habitat partitioning of the vascular floras of five areas of the NE Iberian Peninsula, representing five distinct vegetation belts and three floristic regions: Mediterranean (basal belt, medio-European (submontane and montane belts and Boreo-Alpine (subalpine and alpine belts. Each area covered over 1000 ha, and was fairly uniform in terms of potential vegetation, bedrock and bioclimate. They excluded large villages and field areas, the landscape being mainly natural or moderately anthropized.
    The size of the local floras showed a unimodal function with respect to altitude, with the highest number of species (568 in the submontane belt. The decrease in species richness was moderate toward the neighbouring belts (basal and montane but more marked from the montane to the subalpine belt and then to the alpine belt (the poorest area, with 217 species. However, considering the size of the areas studied, the montane belt showed higher species richness than the submontane belt. The species impoverishment toward higher altitudes followed general tendencies found in other altitude and latitude gradients, and reflects the increasing environmental constraints and the decreasing habitat diversity of colder landscapes. On the contrary, the richer floras of the submontane and montane areas reflect less stressful general conditions, but also the occurrence within them of a number of taxa from the neighbouring regions (Mediterranean and Boreo-Alpine.
    The forest flora in the basal to subalpine landscapes accounted for a small percentage of the local floras (6.5-13.2%. Among the other species, roughly one half (42-46% made up diverse serial communities (forest clearings, scrubs, pastures while the other half (44-51% occurred in particular habitats (water sides, rocky areas or in anthropogenic habitats. In the alpine area almost half of the taxa were found in the pasture mosaic, and a similar amount thrived in rocky

  17. Species Diversity Distribution Patterns of Chinese Endemic Seed Plants Based on Geographical Regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jihong; Ma, Keping; Huang, Jianhua

    2017-01-01

    Based on a great number of literatures, we established the database about the Chinese endemic seed plants and analyzed the compositions, growth form, distribution and angiosperm original families of them within three big natural areas and seven natural regions. The results indicate that the above characters of Chinese endemic plants take on relative rule at the different geographical scales. Among the three big natural areas, Eastern Monsoon area has the highest endemic plants richness, whereas Northwest Dryness area is the lowest. For life forms, herbs dominate. In contrast, the proportion of herbs of Eastern Monsoon area is remarkable under other two areas. Correspondingly the proportions of trees and shrubs are substantially higher than other two. For angiosperm original families, the number is the highest in Eastern Monsoon area, and lowest in Northwest Dryness area. On the other hand, among the seven natural regions, the humid and subtropical zone in Central and Southern China has the highest endemic plants richness, whereas the humid, hemi-humid region and temperate zone in Northeast China has the lowest. For life forms, the proportion of herbs tends to decrease from humid, hemi-humid region and temperate zone in Northeast China to humid and tropical zone in Southern China. Comparably, trees, shrubs and vines or lianas increase with the same directions. This fully represents these characters of Chinese endemic plants vary with latitudinal gradients. Furthermore, as to the number of endemic plants belonging to angiosperm original families, the number is the most in humid and subtropical zone in Center and Southern China, and tropical zone in Southern China in the next place. In contrast, the endemic plant of these two regions relatively is richer than that of The Qinghai-Tibet alpine and cold region. All above results sufficiently reflect that the Chinese endemic plants mainly distribute in Eastern Monsoon area, especially humid and subtropical zone in Center

  18. Impacts of invasive plants on animal diversity in South Africa: A synthesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susana Clusella-Trullas

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: Increasing numbers of invasive alien plant (IAP species are establishing around the globe and can have negative effects on resident animal species function and diversity. These impacts depend on a variety of factors, including the extent of invasion, the region and the taxonomic group affected. These context dependencies make extrapolations of IAP impacts on resident biota from region to region a substantial challenge. Objectives: Here, we synthesised data from studies that have examined the effects of IAPs on animal diversity in South Africa. Our focus is on ectothermic organisms (reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. Method: We sourced relevant articles using keywords relating to (1 the effects of IAPs on species diversity (abundance, richness and composition, (2 the IAP and (3 the native ectotherm. We extracted the taxonomic and spatial coverage of IAPs and affected native species and assessed the extent of information given on potential mechanisms driving IAP impacts. Results: Across the 42 studies, IAPs had a decreasing or neutral effect on native animal abundance and richness and significantly changed species composition. This review highlighted the paucity of studies and the research deficits in taxonomic and geographic coverage and in the mechanisms underlying IAP impacts on ectotherms. Conclusion: By assessing the status of knowledge regarding the impacts of IAPs on resident animal species in South Africa, this study identifies information gaps and research priorities at the country level with a view to informing monitoring and conservation efforts, such as alien plant removal and control programmes, and ensuring that endemic terrestrial animal diversity is maintained.

  19. Reasons for an outstanding plant diversity in the tropical Andes of Southern Ecuador

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Richter

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Long-term field studies in the scope of a multidisciplinary project in southern Ecuador revealed extraordinary high species numbers of many organismic groups. This article discusses reasons for the outstanding vascular plant diversity using a hierarchical scale-oriented top-down approach (Grüninger 2005, from the global scale to the local microscale. The global scale explains general (paleo- ecological factors valid for most parts of the humid tropics, addressing various hypotheses and theories, such as the “greater effective evolutionary time”, constant input of “accidentals”, the “seasonal variability hypothesis”, the “intermediate disturbance hypothesis”, and the impact of soil fertility. The macroscale focuses on the Andes in northwestern South America. The tropical Andes are characterised by many taxa of restricted range which is particularly true for the Amotape-Huancabamba region, i.e. the so called Andean Depression, which is effective as discrete phytogeographic transition as well as barrier zone. Interdigitation of northern and southern flora elements, habitat fragmentation, geological and landscape history, and a high speciation rate due to rapid genetic radiation of some taxa contribute to a high degree of diversification. The mesoscale deals with the special environmental features of the eastern mountain range, the Cordillera Real and surrounding areas in southern Ecuador. Various climatic characteristics, the orographic heterogeneity, the geologic and edaphic conditions as well as human impact are the most prominent factors augmenting plant species diversity. On microscale, prevailing regimes of disturbance and environmental stresses, the orographic basement, as well as the general role on the various mountain chains are considered. Here, micro-habitats e.g. niches for epiphytes, effects of micro-relief patterns, and successions after small-sized disturbance events are screened. Direct effects of human impact are

  20. Diversity and community structure of dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae across a habitat disturbance gradient in Lore Lindu National Park, Central Sulawesi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SHAHABUDDIN

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Shahabuddin (2010 Diversity and community structure of dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae across habitat disturbance gradient in Lore Lindu National Park, Central Sulawesi. Biodiversitas 11: 29-33. Dung beetles are important component of most terrestrial ecosystems and used to assess the effects of habitat disturbance and deforestation. This study aimed at comparing dung beetle assemblages among several habitat types ranging from natural tropical forest and agroforestry systems to open cultivated areas at the margin of Lore Lindu National Park (LLNP, Central Sulawesi (one of Indonesia’s biodiversity hots