WorldWideScience

Sample records for plant ecological strategies

  1. Plant Ecological Strategies Shift Across the Cretaceous–Paleogene Boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blonder, Benjamin; Royer, Dana L.; Johnson, Kirk R.; Miller, Ian; Enquist, Brian J.

    2014-01-01

    The Chicxulub bolide impact caused the end-Cretaceous mass extinction of plants, but the associated selectivity and ecological effects are poorly known. Using a unique set of North Dakota leaf fossil assemblages spanning 2.2 Myr across the event, we show among angiosperms a reduction of ecological strategies and selection for fast-growth strategies consistent with a hypothesized recovery from an impact winter. Leaf mass per area (carbon investment) decreased in both mean and variance, while vein density (carbon assimilation rate) increased in mean, consistent with a shift towards “fast” growth strategies. Plant extinction from the bolide impact resulted in a shift in functional trait space that likely had broad consequences for ecosystem functioning. PMID:25225914

  2. Do seedling functional groups reflect ecological strategies of woody plant species in Caatinga?

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    Tatiane Gomes Calaça Menezes

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT It is assumed that morphological traits of seedlings reflect different strategies in response to environmental conditions. The ecological significance of this has been widely documented in rainforests, where habitat structure and species interactions play an important role in community assembly. However, in seasonally dry ecosystems, where environmental filtering is expected to strongly influence community structure, this relationship is poorly understood. We investigated this relationship between functional groups of seedlings and life history traits and tested whether functional group predicts the ecological strategies employed by woody species to deal with the stressful conditions in seasonally dry ecosystems. Seedling functional groups, life history traits and traits that reflect ecological strategies for occupying seasonally dry environments were described for twenty-six plant species. Seedlings of species from the Caatinga vegetation exhibited a functional profile different from that observed in rainforests ecosystems. Phanerocotylar-epigeal seedlings were the most frequently observed groups, and had the largest range of ecological strategies related to dealing with seasonally dry environments, while phanerocotylar-hypogeal-reserve seedlings exhibited an increase in frequency with seasonality. We discuss these results in relation to those observed in other tropical forests and their ecological significance in seasonally dry environments.

  3. Principles for ecologically based invasive plant management

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    Jeremy J. James; Brenda S. Smith; Edward A. Vasquez; Roger L. Sheley

    2010-01-01

    Land managers have long identified a critical need for a practical and effective framework for designing restoration strategies, especially where invasive plants dominate. A holistic, ecologically based, invasive plant management (EBIPM) framework that integrates ecosystem health assessment, knowledge of ecological processes, and adaptive management into a successional...

  4. Game theory and plant ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNickle, Gordon G; Dybzinski, Ray

    2013-04-01

    The fixed and plastic traits possessed by a plant, which may be collectively thought of as its strategy, are commonly modelled as density-independent adaptations to its environment. However, plant strategies may also represent density- or frequency-dependent adaptations to the strategies used by neighbours. Game theory provides the tools to characterise such density- and frequency-dependent interactions. Here, we review the contributions of game theory to plant ecology. After briefly reviewing game theory from the perspective of plant ecology, we divide our review into three sections. First, game theoretical models of allocation to shoots and roots often predict investment in those organs beyond what would be optimal in the absence of competition. Second, game theoretical models of enemy defence suggest that an individual's investment in defence is not only a means of reducing its own tissue damage but also a means of deflecting enemies onto competitors. Finally, game theoretical models of trade with mutualistic partners suggest that the optimal trade may reflect competition for access to mutualistic partners among plants. In short, our review provides an accessible entrance to game theory that will help plant ecologists enrich their research with its worldview and existing predictions. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  5. Plant Insecticidal Toxins in Ecological Networks

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    Sébastien Ibanez

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Plant secondary metabolites play a key role in plant-insect interactions, whether constitutive or induced, C- or N-based. Anti-herbivore defences against insects can act as repellents, deterrents, growth inhibitors or cause direct mortality. In turn, insects have evolved a variety of strategies to act against plant toxins, e.g., avoidance, excretion, sequestration and degradation of the toxin, eventually leading to a co-evolutionary arms race between insects and plants and to co-diversification. Anti-herbivore defences also negatively impact mutualistic partners, possibly leading to an ecological cost of toxin production. However, in other cases toxins can also be used by plants involved in mutualistic interactions to exclude inadequate partners and to modify the cost/benefit ratio of mutualism to their advantage. When considering the whole community, toxins have an effect at many trophic levels. Aposematic insects sequester toxins to defend themselves against predators. Depending on the ecological context, toxins can either increase insects’ vulnerability to parasitoids and entomopathogens or protect them, eventually leading to self-medication. We conclude that studying the community-level impacts of plant toxins can provide new insights into the synthesis between community and evolutionary ecology.

  6. Plant insecticidal toxins in ecological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibanez, Sébastien; Gallet, Christiane; Després, Laurence

    2012-04-01

    Plant secondary metabolites play a key role in plant-insect interactions, whether constitutive or induced, C- or N-based. Anti-herbivore defences against insects can act as repellents, deterrents, growth inhibitors or cause direct mortality. In turn, insects have evolved a variety of strategies to act against plant toxins, e.g., avoidance, excretion, sequestration and degradation of the toxin, eventually leading to a co-evolutionary arms race between insects and plants and to co-diversification. Anti-herbivore defences also negatively impact mutualistic partners, possibly leading to an ecological cost of toxin production. However, in other cases toxins can also be used by plants involved in mutualistic interactions to exclude inadequate partners and to modify the cost/benefit ratio of mutualism to their advantage. When considering the whole community, toxins have an effect at many trophic levels. Aposematic insects sequester toxins to defend themselves against predators. Depending on the ecological context, toxins can either increase insects' vulnerability to parasitoids and entomopathogens or protect them, eventually leading to self-medication. We conclude that studying the community-level impacts of plant toxins can provide new insights into the synthesis between community and evolutionary ecology.

  7. Herbivore-mediated ecological costs of reproduction shape the life history of an iteroparous plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Tom E X; Tenhumberg, Brigitte; Louda, Svata M

    2008-02-01

    Plant reproduction yields immediate fitness benefits but can be costly in terms of survival, growth, and future fecundity. Life-history theory posits that reproductive strategies are shaped by trade-offs between current and future fitness that result from these direct costs of reproduction. Plant reproduction may also incur indirect ecological costs if it increases susceptibility to herbivores. Yet ecological costs of reproduction have received little empirical attention and remain poorly integrated into life-history theory. Here, we provide evidence for herbivore-mediated ecological costs of reproduction, and we develop theory to examine how these costs influence plant life-history strategies. Field experiments with an iteroparous cactus (Opuntia imbricata) indicated that greater reproductive effort (proportion of meristems allocated to reproduction) led to greater attack by a cactus-feeding insect (Narnia pallidicornis) and that damage by this herbivore reduced reproductive success. A dynamic programming model predicted strongly divergent optimal reproductive strategies when ecological costs were included, compared with when these costs were ignored. Meristem allocation by cacti in the field matched the optimal strategy expected under ecological costs of reproduction. The results indicate that plant reproductive allocation can strongly influence the intensity of interactions with herbivores and that associated ecological costs can play an important selective role in the evolution of plant life histories.

  8. Wetland management strategies lead to tradeoffs in ecological structure and function

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    Ariane L. Peralta

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic legacy effects often occur as a consequence of land use change or land management and can leave behind long-lasting changes to ecosystem structure and function. This legacy is described as a memory in the form of ecological structure or ecological interactions that remains at a location from a previous condition. We examined how forested floodplain restoration strategy, based on planting intensity, influenced wetland community structure and soil chemical and physical factors after 15 years. The site was divided into 15 strips, and strips were assigned to one of five restoration treatments: plantings of acorns, 2-year-old seedlings, 5-ft bareroot trees, balled and burlapped trees, and natural seed bank regeneration. Our community composition survey revealed that plots planted with bareroot or balled and burlapped trees developed closed tree canopies with little herbaceous understory, while acorn plantings and natural colonization plots developed into dense stands of the invasive species reed canary grass (RCG; 'Phalaris arundinacea'. Restoration strategy influenced bacterial community composition but to a lesser degree compared to the plant community response, and riverine hydrology and restoration strategy influenced wetland soil conditions. Soil ammonium concentrations and pH were similar across all wetland restoration treatments, while total organic carbon was highest in forest and RCG-dominated plots compared to mixed patches of trees and open areas. The differences in restoration strategy and associated economic investment resulted in ecological tradeoffs. The upfront investment in larger, more mature trees (i.e., bareroot, balled and burlapped led to floodplain forested communities, while cheaper, more passive planting strategies (i.e., seedlings, seedbank, or acorns resulted in dense stands of invasive RCG, despite the similar floodplain hydrology across all sites. Therefore, recovery of multiple ecosystem services that

  9. Quantitative plant ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Damgaard, Christian

    2014-01-01

    This e-book is written in the Wolfram' CDF format (download free CDF player from Wolfram.com) The objective of this e-book is to introduce the population ecological concepts for measuring and predicting the ecological success of plant species. This will be done by focusing on the measurement...... and statistical modelling of plant species abundance and the relevant ecological processes that control species abundance. The focus on statistical modelling and likelihood function based methods also means that more algorithm based methods, e.g. ordination techniques and boosted regression tress...

  10. Ecological turmoil in evolutionary dynamics of plant-insect interactions: defense to offence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Manasi; Lomate, Purushottam R; Joshi, Rakesh S; Punekar, Sachin A; Gupta, Vidya S; Giri, Ashok P

    2015-10-01

    Available history manifests contemporary diversity that exists in plant-insect interactions. A radical thinking is necessary for developing strategies that can co-opt natural insect-plant mutualism, ecology and environmental safety for crop protection since current agricultural practices can reduce species richness and evenness. The global environmental changes, such as increased temperature, CO₂ and ozone levels, biological invasions, land-use change and habitat fragmentation together play a significant role in re-shaping the plant-insect multi-trophic interactions. Diverse natural products need to be studied and explored for their biological functions as insect pest control agents. In order to assure the success of an integrated pest management strategy, human activities need to be harmonized to minimize the global climate changes. Plant-insect interaction is one of the most primitive and co-evolved associations, often influenced by surrounding changes. In this review, we account the persistence and evolution of plant-insect interactions, with particular focus on the effect of climate change and human interference on these interactions. Plants and insects have been maintaining their existence through a mutual service-resource relationship while defending themselves. We provide a comprehensive catalog of various defense strategies employed by the plants and/or insects. Furthermore, several important factors such as accelerated diversification, imbalance in the mutualism, and chemical arms race between plants and insects as indirect consequences of human practices are highlighted. Inappropriate implementation of several modern agricultural practices has resulted in (i) endangered mutualisms, (ii) pest status and resistance in insects and (iii) ecological instability. Moreover, altered environmental conditions eventually triggered the resetting of plant-insect interactions. Hence, multitrophic approaches that can harmonize human activities and minimize their

  11. The importance of ecological costs for the evolution of plant defense against herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Velzen, Ellen; Etienne, Rampal S

    2015-05-07

    Plant defense against herbivory comes at a cost, which can be either direct (reducing resources available for growth and reproduction) or indirect (through reducing ecological performance, for example intraspecific competitiveness). While direct costs have been well studied in theoretical models, ecological costs have received almost no attention. In this study we compare models with a direct trade-off (reduced growth rate) to models with an ecological trade-off (reduced competitive ability), using a combination of adaptive dynamics and simulations. In addition, we study the dependence of the level of defense that can evolve on the type of defense (directly by reducing consumption, or indirectly by inducing herbivore mortality (toxicity)), and on the type of herbivore against which the plant is defending itself (generalists or specialists). We find three major results: First, for both direct and ecological costs, defense only evolves if the benefit to the plant is direct (through reducing consumption). Second, the type of cost has a major effect on the evolutionary dynamics: direct costs always lead to a single optimal strategy against herbivores, but ecological costs can lead to branching and the coexistence of non-defending and defending plants; however, coexistence is only possible when defending against generalist herbivores. Finally, we find that fast-growing plants invest less than slow-growing plants when defending against generalist herbivores, as predicted by the Resource Availability Hypothesis, but invest more than slow-growing plants when defending against specialists. Our results clearly show that assumptions about ecological interactions are crucial for understanding the evolution of defense against herbivores. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Chemical ecology of insect-plant interactions: ecological significance of plant secondary metabolites.

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    Nishida, Ritsuo

    2014-01-01

    Plants produce a diverse array of secondary metabolites as chemical barriers against herbivores. Many phytophagous insects are highly adapted to these allelochemicals and use such unique substances as the specific host-finding cues, defensive substances of their own, and even as sex pheromones or their precursors by selectively sensing, incorporating, and/or processing these phytochemicals. Insects also serve as pollinators often effectively guided by specific floral fragrances. This review demonstrates the ecological significance of such plant secondary metabolites in the highly diverse interactions between insects and plants.

  13. Unique ecological impacts associated with offshore floating nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adams, S.M.; McLean, R.B.

    1979-01-01

    The ecological impacts that could occur as a result of site construction and operation of an offshore floating nuclear power plant are identified by comparing the principal ecological features associated with offshore siting with those associated with the siting of onshore estuarine plants. In general, the ecological impacts of offshore nuclear plants should be relatively smaller than those of estuarine plants. Possible factors that could increase the relative impacts of offshore plants are high frequency of contact with schools of fish, siting near inlets to estuaries or other ecologically important areas, and the persistence of halogen residuals. Identifying the potential ecological impacts associated with the siting of offshore plants permits the development of various monitoring programs and measures to minimize these impacts

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-06-12

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  16. Ecology and evolution of plant-pollinator interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Randall J; Irwin, Rebecca E; Flanagan, Rebecca J; Karron, Jeffrey D

    2009-06-01

    Some of the most exciting advances in pollination biology have resulted from interdisciplinary research combining ecological and evolutionary perspectives. For example, these two approaches have been essential for understanding the functional ecology of floral traits, the dynamics of pollen transport, competition for pollinator services, and patterns of specialization and generalization in plant-pollinator interactions. However, as research in these and other areas has progressed, many pollination biologists have become more specialized in their research interests, focusing their attention on either evolutionary or ecological questions. We believe that the continuing vigour of a synthetic and interdisciplinary field like pollination biology depends on renewed connections between ecological and evolutionary approaches. In this Viewpoint paper we highlight the application of ecological and evolutionary approaches to two themes in pollination biology: (1) links between pollinator behaviour and plant mating systems, and (2) generalization and specialization in pollination systems. We also describe how mathematical models and synthetic analyses have broadened our understanding of pollination biology, especially in human-modified landscapes. We conclude with several suggestions that we hope will stimulate future research. This Viewpoint also serves as the introduction to this Special Issue on the Ecology and Evolution of Plant-Pollinator Interactions. These papers provide inspiring examples of the synergy between evolutionary and ecological approaches, and offer glimpses of great accomplishments yet to come.

  17. [Ecological risk assessment of dam construction for terrestrial plant species in middle reach of Lancangjiang River, Southwest China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiao-Yan; Dong, Shi-Kui; Liu, Shi-Liang; Peng, Ming-Chun; Li, Jin-Peng; Zhao, Qing-He; Zhang, Zhao-Ling

    2012-08-01

    Taking the surrounding areas of Xiaowan Reservoir in the middle reach of Lancangjiang River as study area, and based on the vegetation investigation at three sites including electricity transmission area (site 1), electricity-transfer substation and roadsides to the substation (site 2), and emigration area (site 3) in 1997 (before dam construction), another investigation was conducted on the vegetation composition, plant coverage, and dominant species at the same sites in 2010 (after dam construction), aimed to evaluate the ecological risk of the dam construction for the terrestrial plant species in middle reach of Lancangjiang River. There was an obvious difference in the summed dominance ratio of dominant species at the three sites before and after the dam construction. According the types of species (dominant and non-dominant species) and the changes of plant dominance, the ecological risk (ER) for the plant species was categorized into 0 to IV, i.e., no or extremely low ecological risk (0), low ecological risk (I), medium ecological risk (II), high ecological risk (III), and extremely high ecological risk (IV). As affected by the dam construction, the majority of the species were at ER III, and a few species were at ER IV. The percentage of the plant species at ER III and ER IV at site 3 was higher than that at sites 1 and 2. The decrease or loss of native plants and the increase of alien or invasive plants were the major ecological risks caused by the dam construction. Effective protection strategies should be adopted to mitigate the ecological risk of the dam construction for the terrestrial plants at species level.

  18. DECISION STRATEGIES AND COGNITIVE ADAPTATIONS TO ECOLOGY

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    Poleszczuk Jan

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, I discuss the concept of adaptive rationality. I present a simple model of ecology and the set of decision rules. The basic structure of the process of cognitive adaptation to ecology is described as a structure comprising (1 perceptual space, (2 a function valuating perceived items, (3 a set of available decision rules and (4 the adaptation process - identification and selection of the best strategies in given ecological conditions. The presented model of ecosystem allows a conclusion that completely opposite strategies may be compatible with the assumption of adaptive rationality.

  19. Revisiting life strategy concepts in environmental microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Adrian; Di Lonardo, D Paolo; Bodelier, Paul L E

    2017-03-01

    Microorganisms are physiologically diverse, possessing disparate genomic features and mechanisms for adaptation (functional traits), which reflect on their associated life strategies and determine at least to some extent their prevalence and distribution in the environment. Unlike animals and plants, there is an unprecedented diversity and intractable metabolic versatility among bacteria, making classification or grouping these microorganisms based on their functional traits as has been done in animal and plant ecology challenging. Nevertheless, based on representative pure cultures, microbial traits distinguishing different life strategies had been proposed, and had been the focus of previous reviews. In the environment, however, the vast majority of naturally occurring microorganisms have yet to be isolated, restricting the association of life strategies to broad phylogenetic groups and/or physiological characteristics. Here, we reviewed the literature to determine how microbial life strategy concepts (i.e. copio- and oligotrophic strategists, and competitor-stress tolerator-ruderals framework) are applied in complex microbial communities. Because of the scarcity of direct empirical evidence elucidating the associated life strategies in complex communities, we rely heavily on observational studies determining the response of microorganisms to (a)biotic cues (e.g. resource availability) to infer microbial life strategies. Although our focus is on the life strategies of bacteria, parallels were drawn from the fungal community. Our literature search showed inconsistency in the community response of proposed copiotrophic- and oligotrophic-associated microorganisms (phyla level) to changing environmental conditions. This suggests that tracking microorganisms at finer phylogenetic and taxonomic resolution (e.g. family level or lower) may be more effective to capture changes in community response and/or that edaphic factors exert a stronger effect in community response

  20. Ecological niche of plant pathogens

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    Ecaterina Fodor

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Disease ecology is a new approach to the understanding of the spread and dynamics of pathogens in natural and man-made environments. Defining and describing the ecological niche of the pathogens is one of the major tasks for ecological theory, as well as for practitioners preoccupied with the control and forecasting of established and emerging diseases. Niche theory has been periodically revised, not including in an explicit way the pathogens. However, many progresses have been achieved in niche modeling of disease spread, but few attempts were made to construct a theoretical frame for the ecological niche of pathogens. The paper is a review of the knowledge accumulated during last decades in the niche theory of pathogens and proposes an ecological approach in research. It quest for new control methods in what concerns forest plant pathogens, with a special emphasis on fungi like organisms of the genus Phytophthora. Species of Phytophthora are the most successful plant pathogens of the moment, affecting forest and agricultural systems worldwide, many of them being invasive alien organisms in many ecosystems. The hyperspace of their ecological niche is defined by hosts, environment and human interference, as main axes. To select most important variables within the hyperspace, is important the understanding of the complex role of pathogens in the ecosystems as well as for control programs. Biotic relationships within ecosystem of host-pathogen couple are depicted by ecological network and specific metrics attached to this. The star shaped network is characterized by few high degree nodes, by short path lengths and relatively low connectivity, premises for a rapid disturbance spread. 

  1. Ecological niche of plant pathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ecaterina Fodor

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Disease ecology is a new approach to the understanding of the spread and dynamics of pathogens in natural and man-made environments. Defining and describing the ecological niche of the pathogens is one of the major tasks for ecological theory, as well as for practitioners preoccupied with the control and forecasting of established and emerging diseases. Niche theory has been periodically revised, not including in an explicit way the pathogens. However, many progresses have been achieved in niche modeling of disease spread, but few attempts were made to construct a theoretical frame for the ecological niche of pathogens. The paper is a review of the knowledge accumulated during last decades in the niche theory of pathogens and proposes an ecological approach in research. It quest for new control methods in what concerns forest plant pathogens, with a special emphasis on fungi like organisms of the genus Phytophthora. Species of Phytophthora are the most successful plant pathogens of the moment, affecting forest and agricultural systems worldwide, many of them being invasive alien organisms in many ecosystems. The hyperspace of their ecological niche is defined by hosts, environment and human interference, as main axes. To select most important variables within the hyperspace, is important for the understanding of the complex role of pathogens in the ecosystems as well as for control programs. Biotic relationships within ecosystem of host-pathogen couple are depicted by ecological network and specific metrics attached to this. The star shaped network is characterized by few high degree nodes, by short path lengths and relatively low connectivity, premises for a rapid disturbance spread.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheikh Mehraj A

    2011-10-01

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

  4. A multi-trait test of the leaf-height-seed plant strategy scheme with 133 species from a pine forest flora

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel C. Laughlin; Jessica J. Leppert; Margaret M. Moore; Carolyn Hull Sieg

    2010-01-01

    Plants are multifaceted organisms that have evolved ecological strategies for sustaining populations in resource-limited environments (Grime 1979; Craine 2009). Plant strategies can be quantified by measuring functional traits (Grime et al. 1997; Reich et al. 2003), which are the properties of plants that impact plant fitness (Violle et al. 2008) and ecosystem...

  5. Ecological Risk Assessment of Genetically Modified Higher Plants (GMHP)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjær, C.; Damgaard, C.; Kjellsson, G.

    Preface This publication is a first version of a manual identifying the data needs for ecological risk assessment of genetically modified higher plants (GMHP). It is the intention of the authors to stimulate further discussion of what data are needed in order to conduct a proper ecological risk...... of the project Biotechnology: elements in environmental risk assessment of genetically modified plants. December 1999 Christian Kjær Introduction In ecological risk assessment of transgenic plants, information on a wide range of subjects is needed for an effective and reliable assessment procedure...... in the amendment to the directive. This report suggests a structured way to identify the type of data needed to perform a sound ecological risk assessment for genetically modified higher plants (GMHP). The identified data types are intended to support the evaluation of the following risks: risk of invasion...

  6. A systematic review of the recent ecological literature on cushion plants: champions of plant facilitation

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    A. M. Reid

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Cushion-forming plant species are found in alpine and polar environments around the world. They modify the microclimate, thereby facilitating other plant species. Similar to the effectiveness of shrubs as a means to study facilitation in arid and semi-arid environments, we explore the potential for cushion plant species to expand the generality of research on this contemporary ecological interaction. A systematic review was conducted to determine the number of publications and citation frequency on relevant ecological topics whilst using shrub literature as a baseline to assess relative importance of cushions as a focal point for future ecological research. Although there are forty times more shrub articles, mean citations per paper is comparable between cushion and shrub literature. Furthermore, the scope of ecological research topics studied using cushions is broad including facilitation, competition, environmental gradients, life history, genetics, reproduction, community, ecosystem and evolution. The preliminary ecological evidence to date also strongly suggests that cushion plants can be keystone species in their ecosystems. Hence, ecological research on net interactions including facilitation and patterns of diversity can be successfully examined using cushion plants, and this is particularly timely given expectations associated with a changing climate in these regions.

  7. Water Saving Strategies & Ecological Modernisation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hoffmann, Birgitte; Jensen, Jesper Ole; Elle, Morten

    2005-01-01

    Drawing on case studies of water saving campaigns and new collaborations, the pa-per will serve, on the one hand, as an interpretation of the water saving strategy in Co-penhagen in the light of Ecological Modernisation, and on the other hand, as a critical discussion of Ecological Modernisation...... as a frame for understanding resource manage-ment. The water management in Copenhagen has in recent years undergone a rather radi-cal transition. Along with strong drivers for resource management in the region the mu-nicipal water supplier has tested and implemented a number of initiatives to promote sus...... to 125 l/capita/day in 2002. A series of different strategies, targets and tools have been implemented: Emphasizing demand side instead of supply side, using and communicating indicators, formulating goals for reducing water consumption and developing learning processes in water management. A main...

  8. Revisiting the Holy Grail: using plant functional traits to understand ecological processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funk, Jennifer L; Larson, Julie E; Ames, Gregory M; Butterfield, Bradley J; Cavender-Bares, Jeannine; Firn, Jennifer; Laughlin, Daniel C; Sutton-Grier, Ariana E; Williams, Laura; Wright, Justin

    2017-05-01

    One of ecology's grand challenges is developing general rules to explain and predict highly complex systems. Understanding and predicting ecological processes from species' traits has been considered a 'Holy Grail' in ecology. Plant functional traits are increasingly being used to develop mechanistic models that can predict how ecological communities will respond to abiotic and biotic perturbations and how species will affect ecosystem function and services in a rapidly changing world; however, significant challenges remain. In this review, we highlight recent work and outstanding questions in three areas: (i) selecting relevant traits; (ii) describing intraspecific trait variation and incorporating this variation into models; and (iii) scaling trait data to community- and ecosystem-level processes. Over the past decade, there have been significant advances in the characterization of plant strategies based on traits and trait relationships, and the integration of traits into multivariate indices and models of community and ecosystem function. However, the utility of trait-based approaches in ecology will benefit from efforts that demonstrate how these traits and indices influence organismal, community, and ecosystem processes across vegetation types, which may be achieved through meta-analysis and enhancement of trait databases. Additionally, intraspecific trait variation and species interactions need to be incorporated into predictive models using tools such as Bayesian hierarchical modelling. Finally, existing models linking traits to community and ecosystem processes need to be empirically tested for their applicability to be realized. © 2016 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  9. METHODOLOGICAL INSTRUMENTS FOR FORMING THE MARKETING STRATEGY OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION ECOLOGIZATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariya Bagorka

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of the article is the investigation of the nature, objectives, and strategic categories of ecologization marketing strategy, development of algorithm of this strategy and determination of environmental, economic, and ecological instruments of implementation of this strategy in the agricultural sector. Methodology. The basis of the formation of a marketing strategy for the ecologization of agrarian production is the systematic approach, which is based on the existence of implementation mechanisms that ensure system consistency, its purposefulness; interdependence; and complexity of its elements, which determines the integrity of the system; all tasks that execute individual elements of the system are interconnected; system elements and their associated actions have a certain subordination that builds a hierarchy; the system changes under the influence of specific factors, which determines its dynamism; the ability of the system to adapt to the variability of the external environment, while not losing its own individuality. Methods for strategic analysis of macro- and micro-environment factors were used to form the marketing strategy of ecologization. This process involves an analytical evaluation of the parameters of the external and internal environment with the help of general scientific and applied methods of strategic analysis. Results. The article explored the ecologization strategy, presented its objectives in the field of agriculture, the basic categories of strategic directions and implementation of ecologization marketing strategies. An algorithm of environmental marketing strategies in agricultural production is developed, environmental, economic and environmental and economic tools to implement them are determined. Practical implications. It is determined that marketing strategy of ecologization of agrarian production is a strategy of innovative development that can solve problems of economic growth, an increase of

  10. Ecological strategies shapes the insurance potential of biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel eMatias

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity is thought to provide insurance for ecosystem functioning under heterogeneous environments, however, such insurance potential is under serious threat following unprecedented loss of biodiversity. One of the key mechanism underlying ecological insurance is that niche differentiation allows asynchronous responses to fluctuating environments; although, the role of different ecological strategies (e.g. specialists vs generalists has yet to be formally evaluated. We combine here a simple model and experimental study to illustrate how different specialization-performance strategies shape the biodiversity-insurance relationship. We assembled microcosm of generalists and specialist bacteria over a gradient of salinity and found that, bacterial communities made up of generalists were more productive and more stable over time under environmental fluctuations. We argue that beyond species richness itself, it is essential to incorporate the distribution of ecological strategies across relevant environmental gradients as predictors of the insurance potential of biodiversity in natural ecosystems.

  11. Macrophytes: Ecology of aquatic plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bornette, G.; Puijalon, S.

    2009-01-01

    Aquatic plants contribute to maintaining key functions and related biodiversity in freshwater ecosystems, and to provide the needs of human societies. The way the ecological niches of macrophytes are determined by abiotic filters and biotic ones is considered. A simple, broadly applicable model of

  12. Less favourable climates constrain demographic strategies in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csergő, Anna M; Salguero-Gómez, Roberto; Broennimann, Olivier; Coutts, Shaun R; Guisan, Antoine; Angert, Amy L; Welk, Erik; Stott, Iain; Enquist, Brian J; McGill, Brian; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Violle, Cyrille; Buckley, Yvonne M

    2017-08-01

    Correlative species distribution models are based on the observed relationship between species' occurrence and macroclimate or other environmental variables. In climates predicted less favourable populations are expected to decline, and in favourable climates they are expected to persist. However, little comparative empirical support exists for a relationship between predicted climate suitability and population performance. We found that the performance of 93 populations of 34 plant species worldwide - as measured by in situ population growth rate, its temporal variation and extinction risk - was not correlated with climate suitability. However, correlations of demographic processes underpinning population performance with climate suitability indicated both resistance and vulnerability pathways of population responses to climate: in less suitable climates, plants experienced greater retrogression (resistance pathway) and greater variability in some demographic rates (vulnerability pathway). While a range of demographic strategies occur within species' climatic niches, demographic strategies are more constrained in climates predicted to be less suitable. © 2017 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. National strategy of ecological transition towards sustainable development 2015-2020

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2014-05-01

    In 2015, the energy transition law for green growth is creating a momentum which removes obstacles, boosts initiatives and enables everyone to act. All stakeholders, local authorities, NGO's, businesses and citizens are gradually building a new social model that combines economic, ecological and human progress. Building on that momentum, the national strategy of ecological transition towards sustainable development (SNTEDD) 2015-2020 replaces the national sustainable development strategy 2010-2013 by setting us on a new path to sustainable development. The national strategy of ecological transition towards sustainable development ensures the consistency of public policies and facilitates people's ownership

  14. A strategy for maximizing native plant material diversity for ecological restoration, germplasm conservation and genecology research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berta Youtie; Nancy Shaw; Matt Fisk; Scott Jensen

    2012-01-01

    One of the most important steps in planning a restoration project is careful selection of ecologically adapted native plant material. As species-specific seed zone maps are not available for most species in the Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis (Wyoming big sagebrush) ecoregion in the Great Basin, USA, we are employing a provisional seed zone map based on annual...

  15. Communicative interactions involving plants: information, evolution, and ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mescher, Mark C; Pearse, Ian S

    2016-08-01

    The role of information obtained via sensory cues and signals in mediating the interactions of organisms with their biotic and abiotic environments has been a major focus of work on sensory and behavioral ecology. Information-mediated interactions also have important implications for broader ecological patterns emerging at the community and ecosystem levels that are only now beginning to be explored. Given the extent to which plants dominate the sensory landscapes of terrestrial ecosystems, information-mediated interactions involving plants should be a major focus of efforts to elucidate these broader patterns. Here we explore how such efforts might be enhanced by a clear understanding of information itself-a central and potentially unifying concept in biology that has nevertheless been the subject of considerable confusion-and of its relationship to adaptive evolution and ecology. We suggest that information-mediated interactions should be a key focus of efforts to more fully integrate evolutionary biology and ecology. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Volatile Semiochemical Mediated Plant Defense in Cereals: A Novel Strategy for Crop Protection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanuel Tamiru

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Plants have evolved highly intriguing ways of defending themselves against insect attacks, including through emission of defense volatiles. These volatiles serve the plant’s defense by directly repelling phytophagous insects and/or indirectly through attracting natural enemies antagonistic to the herbivores. Several laboratory studies established the potential of improving plant resistance against insect attacks by manipulating the plant-derived volatile semiochemicals emissions. Yet, more efforts need to be conducted to translate the promising laboratory studies to fight economically-important crop pests under real field conditions. This is needed to address an increasing demand for alternative pest control options driven by ecological and environmental costs associated with the use of broad-spectrum insecticides. The practical examples discussed in this review paper demonstrate the real prospect of exploiting an inducible and constitutive plant volatile semiochemicals for developing novel and ecologically-sustainable pest management strategies to protect cereal crops from damaging insect pests.

  17. Chemicals on plant surfaces as a heretofore unrecognized, but ecologically informative, class for investigations into plant defence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LoPresti, Eric F

    2016-11-01

    Plants produce and utilize a great diversity of chemicals for a variety of physiological and ecological purposes. Many of these chemicals defend plants against herbivores, pathogens and competitors. The location of these chemicals varies within the plant, some are located entirely within plant tissues, others exist in the air- (or water-) space around plants, and still others are secreted onto plant surfaces as exudates. I argue herein that the location of a given defensive chemical has profound implications for its ecological function; specifically, I focus on the characteristics of chemical defences secreted onto plant surfaces. Drawing from a broad literature encompassing ecology, evolution, taxonomy and physiology, I found that these external chemical defences (ECDs) are common and widespread in plants and algae; hundreds of examples have been detailed, yet they are not delineated as a separate class from internal chemical defences (ICDs). I propose a novel typology for ECDs and, using existing literature, explore the ecological consequences of the hypothesized unique characteristics of ECDs. The axis of total or proportional investment in ECDs versus ICDs should be considered as one axis of investment by a plant, in the same way as quantitative versus qualitative chemical defences or induced versus constitutive defences is considered. The ease of manipulating ECDs in many plant systems presents a powerful tool to help test plant defence theory (e.g. optimal defence). The framework outlined here integrates various disciplines of botany and ecology and suggests a need for further examinations of exudates in a variety of contexts, as well as recognition of the effects of within-plant localization of defences. © 2015 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  18. A pharm-ecological perspective of terrestrial and aquatic plant-herbivore interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbey, Jennifer Sorensen; Dearing, M Denise; Gross, Elisabeth M; Orians, Colin M; Sotka, Erik E; Foley, William J

    2013-04-01

    We describe some recent themes in the nutritional and chemical ecology of herbivores and the importance of a broad pharmacological view of plant nutrients and chemical defenses that we integrate as "Pharm-ecology". The central role that dose, concentration, and response to plant components (nutrients and secondary metabolites) play in herbivore foraging behavior argues for broader application of approaches derived from pharmacology to both terrestrial and aquatic plant-herbivore systems. We describe how concepts of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics are used to better understand the foraging phenotype of herbivores relative to nutrient and secondary metabolites in food. Implementing these concepts into the field remains a challenge, but new modeling approaches that emphasize tradeoffs and the properties of individual animals show promise. Throughout, we highlight similarities and differences between the historic and future applications of pharm-ecological concepts in understanding the ecology and evolution of terrestrial and aquatic interactions between herbivores and plants. We offer several pharm-ecology related questions and hypotheses that could strengthen our understanding of the nutritional and chemical factors that modulate foraging behavior of herbivores across terrestrial and aquatic systems.

  19. Ecological impacts and damage - comparison of selected components for nuclear and conventional power plants (example of Mochovce nuclear power plant)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bucek, M.

    1984-01-01

    A comparison is given of ecological damage for the nuclear power plant in Mochovce and a conventional power plant with the same power. Ecological effects and damage are divided into three groups: comparable damage, ecological damage caused only by conventional power plants and ecological damage caused only by nuclear power plants. In the first group the factors compared are land requisition, consumption of utility water and air consumption. In the second group are enumerated losses of crops (cereals, sugar beet, potatoes, oleaginous plants) and losses caused by increased disease rate owing to polluted environment by conventional power plants. In the third group health hazards are assessed linked with ionizing radiation. Also considered are vent stack escapes. (E.S.)

  20. Ecological strategies of Al-accumulating and non-accumulating functional groups from the cerrado sensu stricto

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo C. de Souza

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The cerrado's flora comprises aluminum-(Al accumulating and non-accumulating plants, which coexist on acidic and Al-rich soils with low fertility. Despite their existence, the ecological importance or biological strategies of these functional groups have been little explored. We evaluated the leaf flushing patterns of both groups throughout a year; leaf concentrations of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S, Al, total flavonoids and polyphenols; as well as the specific leaf area (SLA on young and mature leaves within and between the groups. In Al-accumulating plants, leaf flushed throughout the year, mainly in May and September; for non-accumulating plants, leaf flushing peaked at the dry-wet seasons transition. However, these behaviors could not be associated with strategies for building up concentrations of defense compounds in leaves of any functional groups. Al-accumulating plants showed low leaf nutrient concentrations, while non-accumulating plants accumulated more macronutrients and produced leaves with high SLA since the juvenile leaf phase. This demonstrates that the increase in SLA is slower in Al-accumulating plants that are likely to achieve SLA values comparable to the rest of the plant community only in the wet season, when sunlight capture is important for the growth of new branches.

  1. Ecological strategies of Al-accumulating and non-accumulating functional groups from the cerrado sensu stricto.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Marcelo C de; Bueno, Paula C P; Morellato, Leonor P C; Habermann, Gustavo

    2015-01-01

    The cerrado's flora comprises aluminum-(Al) accumulating and non-accumulating plants, which coexist on acidic and Al-rich soils with low fertility. Despite their existence, the ecological importance or biological strategies of these functional groups have been little explored. We evaluated the leaf flushing patterns of both groups throughout a year; leaf concentrations of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S, Al, total flavonoids and polyphenols; as well as the specific leaf area (SLA) on young and mature leaves within and between the groups. In Al-accumulating plants, leaf flushed throughout the year, mainly in May and September; for non-accumulating plants, leaf flushing peaked at the dry-wet seasons transition. However, these behaviors could not be associated with strategies for building up concentrations of defense compounds in leaves of any functional groups. Al-accumulating plants showed low leaf nutrient concentrations, while non-accumulating plants accumulated more macronutrients and produced leaves with high SLA since the juvenile leaf phase. This demonstrates that the increase in SLA is slower in Al-accumulating plants that are likely to achieve SLA values comparable to the rest of the plant community only in the wet season, when sunlight capture is important for the growth of new branches.

  2. The direct and ecological costs of an ant-plant symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frederickson, Megan E; Ravenscraft, Alison; Miller, Gabriel A; Arcila Hernández, Lina M; Booth, Gregory; Pierce, Naomi E

    2012-06-01

    How strong is selection for cheating in mutualisms? The answer depends on the type and magnitude of the costs of the mutualism. Here we investigated the direct and ecological costs of plant defense by ants in the association between Cordia nodosa, a myrmecophytic plant, and Allomerus octoarticulatus, a phytoecious ant. Cordia nodosa trees produce food and housing to reward ants that protect them against herbivores. For nearly 1 year, we manipulated the presence of A. octoarticulatus ants and most insect herbivores on C. nodosa in a full-factorial experiment. Ants increased plant growth when herbivores were present but decreased plant growth when herbivores were absent, indicating that hosting ants can be costly to plants. However, we did not detect a cost to ant colonies of defending host plants against herbivores. Although this asymmetry in costs suggests that the plants may be under stronger selection than the ants to cheat by withholding investment in their partner, the costs to C. nodosa are probably at least partly ecological, arising because ants tend scale insects on their host plants. We argue that ecological costs should favor resistance or traits other than cheating and thus that neither partner may face much temptation to cheat.

  3. Introduction to the Special Issue: Beyond traits: integrating behaviour into plant ecology and biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cahill, James F

    2015-10-26

    The way that plants are conceptualized in the context of ecological understanding is changing. In one direction, a reductionist school is pulling plants apart into a list of measured 'traits', from which ecological function and outcomes of species interactions may be inferred. This special issue offers an alternative, and more holistic, view: that the ecological functions performed by a plant will be a consequence not only of their complement of traits but also of the ways in which their component parts are used in response to environmental and social conditions. This is the realm of behavioural ecology, a field that has greatly advanced our understanding of animal biology, ecology and evolution. Included in this special issue are 10 articles focussing not on the tried and true metaphor that plant growth is similar to animal movement, but instead on how application of principles from animal behaviour can improve our ability to understand plant biology and ecology. The goals are not to draw false parallels, nor to anthropomorphize plant biology, but instead to demonstrate how existing and robust theory based on fundamental principles can provide novel understanding for plants. Key to this approach is the recognition that behaviour and intelligence are not the same. Many organisms display complex behaviours despite a lack of cognition (as it is traditionally understood) or any hint of a nervous system. The applicability of behavioural concepts to plants is further enhanced with the realization that all organisms face the same harsh forces of natural selection in the context of finding resources, mates and coping with neighbours. As these ecological realities are often highly variable in space and time, it is not surprising that all organisms-even plants-exhibit complex behaviours to handle this variability. The articles included here address diverse topics in behavioural ecology, as applied to plants: general conceptual understanding, plant nutrient foraging, root

  4. Strategy for an assessment of cumulative ecological impacts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boucher, P.; Collins, J.; Nelsen, J.

    1995-01-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) has developed a strategy to conduct an assessment of the cumulative ecological impact of operations at the 300-square-mile Savannah River Site. This facility has over 400 identified waste units and contains several large watersheds. In addition to individual waste units, residual contamination must be evaluated in terms of its contribution to ecological risks at zonal and site-wide levels. DOE must be able to generate sufficient information to facilitate cleanup in the immediate future within the context of a site-wide ecological risk assessment that may not be completed for many years. The strategy superimposes a more global perspective on ecological assessments of individual waste units and provides strategic underpinnings for conducting individual screening-level and baseline risk assessments at the operable unit and zonal or watershed levels. It identifies ecological endpoints and risk assessment tools appropriate for each level of the risk assessment. In addition, it provides a clear mechanism for identifying clean sites through screening-level risk assessments and for elevating sites with residual contamination to the next level of assessment. Whereas screening-level and operable unit-level risk assessments relate directly to cleanup, zonal and site-wide assessments verity or confirm the overall effectiveness of remediation. The latter assessments must show, for example, whether multiple small areas with residual pesticide contamination that have minimal individual impact would pose a cumulative risk from bioaccumulation because they are within the habitat range of an ecological receptor

  5. Allocation, stress tolerance and carbon transport in plants: how does phloem physiology affect plant ecology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage, Jessica A; Clearwater, Michael J; Haines, Dustin F; Klein, Tamir; Mencuccini, Maurizio; Sevanto, Sanna; Turgeon, Robert; Zhang, Cankui

    2016-04-01

    Despite the crucial role of carbon transport in whole plant physiology and its impact on plant-environment interactions and ecosystem function, relatively little research has tried to examine how phloem physiology impacts plant ecology. In this review, we highlight several areas of active research where inquiry into phloem physiology has increased our understanding of whole plant function and ecological processes. We consider how xylem-phloem interactions impact plant drought tolerance and reproduction, how phloem transport influences carbon allocation in trees and carbon cycling in ecosystems and how phloem function mediates plant relations with insects, pests, microbes and symbiotes. We argue that in spite of challenges that exist in studying phloem physiology, it is critical that we consider the role of this dynamic vascular system when examining the relationship between plants and their biotic and abiotic environment. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. A global method for calculating plant CSR ecological strategies applied across biomes world-wide

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pierce, S.; Negreiros, D.; Cerabolini, B.E.L.; Kattge, J.; Díaz, S.; Kleyer, M.; Shipley, B.; Wright, S.J.; Soudzilovskaia, N.A.; Onipchenko, V.G.; van Bodegom, P.M.; Frenette-Dussault, C.; Weiher, E.; Pinho, B.X.; Cornelissen, J.H.C.; Grime, J.P.; Thompson, K.; Hunt, R.; Wilson, P.J.; Buffa, G.; Nyakunga, O.C.; Reich, P.B.; Caccianiga, M.; Mangili, F.; Ceriani, R.M.; Luzzaro, A.; Brusa, G.; Siefert, A.; Barbosa, N.P.U.; Chapin III, F.S.; Cornwell, W.K.; Fang, Jingyun; Wilson Fernandez, G.; Garnier, E.; Le Stradic, S.; Peñuelas, J.; Melo, F.P.L.; Slaviero, A.; Tabarrelli, M.; Tampucci, D.

    2017-01-01

    Competitor, stress-tolerator, ruderal (CSR) theory is a prominent plant functional strategy scheme previously applied to local floras. Globally, the wide geographic and phylogenetic coverage of available values of leaf area (LA), leaf dry matter content (LDMC) and specific leaf area (SLA)

  7. Selenium accumulation in plants--phytotechnological applications and ecological implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdez Barillas, José Rodolfo; Quinn, Colin F; Pilon-Smits, Elizabeth A H

    2011-01-01

    Selenium (Se) is an essential trace element for many organisms including humans, yet toxic at higher levels. Both Se deficiency and toxicity are problems worldwide. Since plants readily accumulate and volatilize Se, they may be used both as a source of dietary Se and for removing excess Se from the environment. Plant species differ in their capacity to metabolize and accumulate Se, from non-Se accumulators ( 1,000 mg Se/kg DW). Here we review plant mechanisms of Se metabolism in these various plant types. We also summarize results from genetic engineering that have led to enhanced plant Se accumulation, volatilization, and/or tolerance, including field studies. Before using Se-accumulating plants at a large scale we need to evaluate the ecological implications. Research so far indicates that plant Se accumulation significantly affects the plant's ecological interactions below and above ground. Selenium canprotect plants from fungal pathogens and from a variety of invertebrate and vertebrate herbivores, due to both deterrence and toxicity. However, specialist (Se-tolerant herbivores), detritivores and endophytes appear to utilize Se hyperaccumulator plants as a resource. These findings are relevant for managing phytoremediation of Se and similar elements.

  8. Ecological aspects of nuclear power plants in coastal environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lebreton, P.

    1976-01-01

    A review is presented about ecological effects of giant nuclear Power Plants (ca. 5,000 MWe) on coastal environment. From short to long time, the problems concern the following points of view: - physical: (sitology; necessity of ecological mapping); - mechanical: (the cooling systems. 'Courantology'. Disturbance of marine micro- and macro-organisms); - thermal: (the heated discharges; thermal pollution. Effects on dissolved chemicals and marine organisms. Acquaculture and its limits); - chemical and radiochemical: (synergistic pollutions. Chlorine vs. fouling. Acute or chronic radioactive effluents; concentration by food chains). The conclusions emphasize the necessity of 'pluridisciplinarity' and 'zero-point' definition. Three ecological categories can be distinguished on the basis of water physical turn-over; to this categories correspond various standards and recommandations for management of nuclear Power Plants in coastal zones [fr

  9. Plant-aphid interactions: molecular and ecological perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goggin, Fiona L

    2007-08-01

    Many aphids are major agricultural pests because of their unparalleled reproductive capacity and their ability to manipulate host plant physiology. Aphid population growth and its impact on plant fitness are strongly influenced by interactions with other organisms, including plant pathogens, endophytes, aphid endosymbionts, predators, parasitoids, ants, and other herbivores. Numerous molecular and genomic resources have recently been developed to identify sources of aphid resistance in plants, as well as potentially novel targets for control in aphids. Moreover, the same model systems that are used to explore direct molecular interactions between plants and aphids can be utilized to study the ecological context in which they occur.

  10. 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.

  11. Soil-covered strategy for ecological restoration alters the bacterial community structure and predictive energy metabolic functions in mine tailings profiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yang; Sun, Qingye; Zhan, Jing; Yang, Yang; Wang, Dan

    2017-03-01

    Native soil amendment has been widely used to stabilize mine tailings and speed up the development of soil biogeochemical functions before revegetation; however, it remains poorly understood about the response of microbial communities to ecological restoration of mine tailings with soil-covered strategy. In this study, microbial communities along a 60-cm profile were investigated in mine tailings during ecological restoration of two revegetation strategies (directly revegetation and native soil covered) with different plant species. The mine tailings were covered by native soils as thick as 40 cm for more than 10 years, and the total nitrogen, total organic carbon, water content, and heavy metal (Fe, Cu, and Zn) contents in the 0-40 cm intervals of profiles were changed. In addition, increased microbial diversity and changed microbial community structure were also found in the 10-40 cm intervals of profiles in soil-covered area. Soil-covered strategy rather than plant species and soil depth was the main factor influencing the bacterial community, which explained the largest portion (29.96%) of the observed variation. Compared directly to revegetation, soil-covered strategy exhibited the higher relative abundance of Acidobacteria and Deltaproteobacteria and the lower relative abundance of Bacteroidetes, Gemmatimonadetes, Betaproteobacteria, and Gammaproteobacteria. PICRUSt analysis further demonstrated that soil-covered caused energy metabolic functional changes in carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur metabolism. Given all these, the soil-covered strategy may be used to fast-track the establishment of native microbial communities and is conducive to the rehabilitation of biogeochemical processes for establishing native plant species.

  12. Introduction to special issue on the ecology of clonal plants

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gross, K. L.; Herben, T.; Klimešová, Jitka

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 52, 3-4 (2017), s. 265-267 ISSN 1211-9520 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : Introduction to special issue * clonal plants * clonal meeting Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 1.017, year: 2016

  13. State of the science and challenges of breeding landscape plants with ecological function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilde, H Dayton; Gandhi, Kamal J K; Colson, Gregory

    2015-01-01

    Exotic plants dominate esthetically-managed landscapes, which cover 30–40 million hectares in the United States alone. Recent ecological studies have found that landscaping with exotic plant species can reduce biodiversity on multiple trophic levels. To support biodiversity in urbanized areas, the increased use of native landscaping plants has been advocated by conservation groups and US federal and state agencies. A major challenge to scaling up the use of native species in landscaping is providing ornamental plants that are both ecologically functional and economically viable. Depending on ecological and economic constraints, accelerated breeding approaches could be applied to ornamental trait development in native plants. This review examines the impact of landscaping choices on biodiversity, the current status of breeding and selection of native ornamental plants, and the interdisciplinary research needed to scale up landscaping plants that can support native biodiversity. PMID:26504560

  14. Study on remote sensing method for drawing up and utilizing ecological and natural map II; concentrated on drawing up a plant ecological classification map

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jeon, Seong Woo; Chung, Hwui Chul [Korea Environment Institute, Seoul (Korea)

    1999-12-01

    Following with the flows of the environmental conservation, Korea has revised the law of natural environmental conservation. In this law, it has suggested to draw up an ecological nature figure for efficient preservation and utilization of a country. To draw up an ecological nature figure, it requires several evaluating factors. Among them, a plant ecological classification is a very important evaluating factor since it can evaluate a habitation area of natural organisms. This study investigated a drawing up method of plant ecological classification using satellite image data. However the limit of satellite image data and the quality of required plant ecological classification are not quite matched but if the satellite image data and the infrared color aerial photograph are mixed, it can be expected to have an excellent quality of plant ecological classification. 85 refs., 86 figs., 45 tabs.

  15. Identifying plant traits: a key aspect for suitable species selection in ecological restoration of semiarid slopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bochet, Esther; García-Fayos, Patricio

    2017-04-01

    In the context of ecological restoration, one of the greatest challenges for practitioners and scientists is to select suitable species for revegetation purposes. In semiarid environments where restoration projects often fail, little attention has been paid so far to the contribution of plant traits to species success. The objective of this study was to (1) identify plant traits associated with species success on four roadside situations along an erosion-productivity gradient, and (2) to provide an ecological framework for selecting suitable species on the basis of their morphological and functional traits, applied to semiarid environments. We analyzed the association of 10 different plant traits with species success of 296 species surveyed on the four roadside situations in a semiarid region (Valencia, Spain). Plant traits included general plant traits (longevity, woodiness) and more specific root-, seed- and leaf-related traits (root type, sprouting ability, seed mucilage, seed mass, seed susceptibility to removal, specific leaf area and leaf dry matter content). All of them were selected according to the prevailing limiting ecogeomorphological processes acting along the erosion-productivity gradient. We observed strong shifts along the erosion-productivity gradient in the traits associated to species success. At the harshest end of the gradient, the most intensely eroded and driest one, species success was mainly associated to seed resistance to removal by runoff and to resistance to drought. At the opposite end of the gradient, the most productive one, species success was associated to a competitive-ruderal plant strategy (herbaceous successful species with high specific leaf area and low leaf dry matter content). Our study provides an ecologically-based approach for selecting suitable native species on the basis or their morphological and functional traits and supports a differential trait-based selection of species as regards roadslope type and aspect. In

  16. Developing sporophytes transition from an inducible to a constitutive ecological strategy of desiccation tolerance in the moss Aloina ambigua: effects of desiccation on fitness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stark, Lloyd R; Brinda, John C

    2015-03-01

    Two ecological strategies of desiccation tolerance exist in plants, constitutive and inducible. Because of difficulties in culturing sporophytes, very little is known about desiccation tolerance in this generation and how desiccation affects sexual fitness. Cultured sporophytes and vegetative shoots from a single genotype of the moss Aloina ambigua raised in the laboratory were tested for their strategy of desiccation tolerance by desiccating the shoot-sporophyte complex and vegetative shoots at different intensities, and comparing outcomes with those of undried shoot-sporophyte complexes and vegetative shoots. By using a dehardened clonal line, the effects of field, age and genetic variance among plants were removed. The gametophyte and embryonic sporophyte were found to employ a predominantly inducible strategy of desiccation tolerance, while the post-embryonic sporophyte was found to employ a moderately constitutive strategy of desiccation tolerance. Further, desiccation reduced sporophyte fitness, as measured by sporophyte mass, seta length and capsule size. However, the effects of desiccation on sporophyte fitness were reduced if the stress occurred during embryonic development as opposed to postembryonic desiccation. The effects of desiccation on dehardened sporophytes of a bryophyte are shown for the first time. The transition from one desiccation tolerance strategy to the other in a single structure or generation is shown for only the second time in plants and for the first time in bryophytes. Finding degrees of inducible strategies of desiccation tolerance in different life phases prompts the formulation of a continuum hypothesis of ecological desiccation tolerance in mosses, where desiccation tolerance is not an either/or phenomenon, but varies in degree along a gradient of ecological inducibility. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email

  17. Distribution, Fraction, and Ecological Assessment of Heavy Metals in Sediment-Plant System in Mangrove Forest, South China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ruili; Chai, Minwei; Qiu, Guo Yu

    2016-01-01

    Overlying water, sediment, rhizosphere sediment and mangrove seedlings in the Futian mangrove forest were analyzed for heavy metals. The results showed that mangrove plant acidified sediment and increased organic matter contents. Except for chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni) and copper (Cu) in Aegiceras corniculatum sediment, heavy metals in all sediments were higher than in overlying water, rhizosphere sediment and mangrove root. Heavy metals in Avicennia marina sediments were higher than other sediments. The lower heavy metal biological concentration factors (BCFs) and translocation factors (TFs) indicated that mangrove plant adopted exclusion strategy. The geo-accumulation index, potential ecological risk index and risk assessment code (RAC) demonstrated that heavy metals have posed a considerable ecological risk, especially for cadmium (Cd). Heavy metals (Cr, Ni, Cu and Cd) mainly existed in the reducible fractions. These findings provide actual heavy metal accumulations in sediment-plant ecosystems in mangrove forest, being important in designing the long-term management and conservation policies for managers of mangrove forest. PMID:26800267

  18. The relative importance of rapid evolution for plant-microbe interactions depends on ecological context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terhorst, Casey P; Lennon, Jay T; Lau, Jennifer A

    2014-06-22

    Evolution can occur on ecological time-scales, affecting community and ecosystem processes. However, the importance of evolutionary change relative to ecological processes remains largely unknown. Here, we analyse data from a long-term experiment in which we allowed plant populations to evolve for three generations in dry or wet soils and used a reciprocal transplant to compare the ecological effect of drought and the effect of plant evolutionary responses to drought on soil microbial communities and nutrient availability. Plants that evolved under drought tended to support higher bacterial and fungal richness, and increased fungal : bacterial ratios in the soil. Overall, the magnitudes of ecological and evolutionary effects on microbial communities were similar; however, the strength and direction of these effects depended on the context in which they were measured. For example, plants that evolved in dry environments increased bacterial abundance in dry contemporary environments, but decreased bacterial abundance in wet contemporary environments. Our results suggest that interactions between recent evolutionary history and ecological context affect both the direction and magnitude of plant effects on soil microbes. Consequently, an eco-evolutionary perspective is required to fully understand plant-microbe interactions.

  19. Low-Level Waste Vitrification Plant Project contracting strategy decision analysis report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Felise, P.; Phillips, J.D.

    1994-01-01

    Ten basic contracting strategies were developed after a review of past strategies that had been used at the Hanford Site, other US Department of Energy (DOE) sites, other US government agencies, and in the private sector. As applicable to the Low-Level Waste Vitrification Plant (LLWVP) Project, each strategy was described and depicted in a schedule format to assess compatibility with the Hanford Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order, al so known as the Tri-Party Agreement (Ecology et al. 1994) milestones, key decision points, and other project requirements. The-pro and con aspects of each strategy also were tabulated. Using this information as a basis, the LLWVP Project team members, along with representatives of Tank Waste Remediation System (TWRS) Engineering, TWRS Programs, and Procurement Materials Management, formed a Westinghouse Hanford Company (WHC) evaluation team to select the best strategy. Kepner-Tregoe decision analysis techniques were used in facilitated meetings to arrive at the best balanced choice

  20. Low-Level Waste Vitrification Plant Project contracting strategy decision analysis report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Felise, P.; Phillips, J.D.

    1994-10-17

    Ten basic contracting strategies were developed after a review of past strategies that had been used at the Hanford Site, other US Department of Energy (DOE) sites, other US government agencies, and in the private sector. As applicable to the Low-Level Waste Vitrification Plant (LLWVP) Project, each strategy was described and depicted in a schedule format to assess compatibility with the Hanford Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order, al so known as the Tri-Party Agreement (Ecology et al. 1994) milestones, key decision points, and other project requirements. The-pro and con aspects of each strategy also were tabulated. Using this information as a basis, the LLWVP Project team members, along with representatives of Tank Waste Remediation System (TWRS) Engineering, TWRS Programs, and Procurement Materials Management, formed a Westinghouse Hanford Company (WHC) evaluation team to select the best strategy. Kepner-Tregoe decision analysis techniques were used in facilitated meetings to arrive at the best balanced choice.

  1. Ecological and genetic factors influencing the transition between host-use strategies in sympatric Heliconius butterflies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrill, R M; Naisbit, R E; Mallet, J; Jiggins, C D

    2013-09-01

    Shifts in host-plant use by phytophagous insects have played a central role in their diversification. Evolving host-use strategies will reflect a trade-off between selection pressures. The ecological niche of herbivorous insects is partitioned along several dimensions, and if populations remain in contact, recombination will break down associations between relevant loci. As such, genetic architecture can profoundly affect the coordinated divergence of traits and subsequently the ability to exploit novel habitats. The closely related species Heliconius cydno and H. melpomene differ in mimetic colour pattern, habitat and host-plant use. We investigate the selection pressures and genetic basis underlying host-use differences in these two species. Host-plant surveys reveal that H. melpomene specializes on a single species of Passiflora. This is also true for the majority of other Heliconius species in secondary growth forest at our study site, as expected under a model of interspecific competition. In contrast, H. cydno, which uses closed-forest habitats where both Heliconius and Passiflora are less common, appears not to be restricted by competition and uses a broad selection of the available Passiflora. However, other selection pressures are likely involved, and field experiments reveal that early larval survival of both butterfly species is highest on Passiflora menispermifolia, but most markedly so for H. melpomene, the specialist on that host. Finally, we demonstrate an association between host-plant acceptance and colour pattern amongst interspecific hybrids, suggesting that major loci underlying these important ecological traits are physically linked in the genome. Together, our results reveal ecological and genetic associations between shifts in habitat, host use and mimetic colour pattern that have likely facilitated both speciation and coexistence. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2013 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  2. Ecological and population genetics of locally rare plants: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon A. Lei

    2001-01-01

    Plant species with limited dispersal ability, narrow geographical and physiological tolerance ranges, as well as with specific habitat and ecological requirements are likely to be rare. Small and isolated populations and species contain low levels of within-population genetic variation in many plant species. The gene pool of plants is a product of phenotype-environment...

  3. Ecological plant epigenetics: Evidence from model and non-model species, and the way forward.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Christina L; Alonso, Conchita; Becker, Claude; Bossdorf, Oliver; Bucher, Etienne; Colomé-Tatché, Maria; Durka, Walter; Engelhardt, Jan; Gaspar, Bence; Gogol-Döring, Andreas; Grosse, Ivo; van Gurp, Thomas P; Heer, Katrin; Kronholm, Ilkka; Lampei, Christian; Latzel, Vít; Mirouze, Marie; Opgenoorth, Lars; Paun, Ovidiu; Prohaska, Sonja J; Rensing, Stefan A; Stadler, Peter F; Trucchi, Emiliano; Ullrich, Kristian; Verhoeven, Koen J F

    2017-12-01

    Growing evidence shows that epigenetic mechanisms contribute to complex traits, with implications across many fields of biology. In plant ecology, recent studies have attempted to merge ecological experiments with epigenetic analyses to elucidate the contribution of epigenetics to plant phenotypes, stress responses, adaptation to habitat, and range distributions. While there has been some progress in revealing the role of epigenetics in ecological processes, studies with non-model species have so far been limited to describing broad patterns based on anonymous markers of DNA methylation. In contrast, studies with model species have benefited from powerful genomic resources, which contribute to a more mechanistic understanding but have limited ecological realism. Understanding the significance of epigenetics for plant ecology requires increased transfer of knowledge and methods from model species research to genomes of evolutionarily divergent species, and examination of responses to complex natural environments at a more mechanistic level. This requires transforming genomics tools specifically for studying non-model species, which is challenging given the large and often polyploid genomes of plants. Collaboration among molecular geneticists, ecologists and bioinformaticians promises to enhance our understanding of the mutual links between genome function and ecological processes. © 2017 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Frontiers for research on the ecology of plant-pathogenic bacteria: fundamentals for sustainability: Challenges in Bacterial Molecular Plant Pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Cindy E; Barny, Marie-Anne; Berge, Odile; Kinkel, Linda L; Lacroix, Christelle

    2017-02-01

    Methods to ensure the health of crops owe their efficacy to the extent to which we understand the ecology and biology of environmental microorganisms and the conditions under which their interactions with plants lead to losses in crop quality or yield. However, in the pursuit of this knowledge, notions of the ecology of plant-pathogenic microorganisms have been reduced to a plant-centric and agro-centric focus. With increasing global change, i.e. changes that encompass not only climate, but also biodiversity, the geographical distribution of biomes, human demographic and socio-economic adaptations and land use, new plant health problems will emerge via a range of processes influenced by these changes. Hence, knowledge of the ecology of plant pathogens will play an increasingly important role in the anticipation and response to disease emergence. Here, we present our opinion on the major challenges facing the study of the ecology of plant-pathogenic bacteria. We argue that the discovery of markedly novel insights into the ecology of plant-pathogenic bacteria is most likely to happen within a framework of more extensive scales of space, time and biotic interactions than those that currently guide much of the research on these bacteria. This will set a context that is more propitious for the discovery of unsuspected drivers of the survival and diversification of plant-pathogenic bacteria and of the factors most critical for disease emergence, and will set the foundation for new approaches to the sustainable management of plant health. We describe the contextual background of, justification for and specific research questions with regard to the following challenges: Development of terminology to describe plant-bacterial relationships in terms of bacterial fitness. Definition of the full scope of the environments in which plant-pathogenic bacteria reside or survive. Delineation of pertinent phylogenetic contours of plant-pathogenic bacteria and naming of strains

  5. 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

  6. The Analysis of Sustainable Development Content in the Syllabus of Environmental Knowledge and Plants Ecology Lecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putra, A.; Rahmat, A.; Redjeki, S.

    2017-09-01

    This research aims to find out how much the content of sustainable development exist in the content of environmental knowledge and plant ecology courses. The focus indicators of sustainable development indicators is the environment. This research is a qualitative research type with qualitative descriptive approach. The analyzed variables are only 2 courses, which are environmental knowledge and plants ecology. The results showed that the syllabus contents analysis of environmental knowledge and plants ecology courses in private Lembaga Pendidikan Tenaga Kependidikan (LPTK) in the province of Nusa Tenggara Barat is already good enough and the sustainable development contents is very large, almost all syllabus contents has already prioritize the sustainable development load of both the subject of environmental knowledge and plants ecology, although there are still some syllabus contents that was not includes sustainable development load, but the percentage is quite small, especially in the course of Plant Ecology.

  7. The fascinating facets of plant selenium accumulation - biochemistry, physiology, evolution and ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiavon, Michela; Pilon-Smits, Elizabeth A H

    2017-03-01

    Contents 1582 I. 1582 II. 1583 III. 1588 IV. 1590 V. 1592 1592 References 1592 SUMMARY: The importance of selenium (Se) for medicine, industry and the environment is increasingly apparent. Se is essential for many species, including humans, but toxic at elevated concentrations. Plant Se accumulation and volatilization may be applied in crop biofortification and phytoremediation. Topics covered here include beneficial and toxic effects of Se on plants, mechanisms of Se accumulation and tolerance in plants and algae, Se hyperaccumulation, and ecological and evolutionary aspects of these processes. Plant species differ in the concentration and forms of Se accumulated, Se partitioning at the whole-plant and tissue levels, and the capacity to distinguish Se from sulfur. Mechanisms of Se hyperaccumulation and its adaptive significance appear to involve constitutive up-regulation of sulfate/selenate uptake and assimilation, associated with elevated concentrations of defense-related hormones. Hyperaccumulation has evolved independently in at least three plant families, probably as an elemental defense mechanism and perhaps mediating elemental allelopathy. Elevated plant Se protects plants from generalist herbivores and pathogens, but also gives rise to the evolution of Se-resistant specialists. Plant Se accumulation affects ecological interactions with herbivores, pollinators, neighboring plants, and microbes. Hyperaccumulation tends to negatively affect Se-sensitive ecological partners while facilitating Se-resistant partners, potentially affecting species composition and Se cycling in seleniferous ecosystems. © 2016 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.

  8. Ecological investigations at the Pantex Plant Site, 1992

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cushing, C.E.; Mazaika, R.R.; Phillips, R.C.

    1993-09-01

    In 1992, Pantex requested that Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) conduct a series of ecological surveys to provide baseline information for designing detailed ecological studies on the various ecosystems present at the Pantex plant site near Amarillo, Texas. To this end, PNL scientist and technicians visited the site at different times to conduct investigations and collect samples: July 6--13: birds, small mammals, general habitat assessment; August 10--14: wetland vegetation, birds, small mammals, Playa invertebrates; and September 7--11: birds, small mammals. This report presents the results of these three surveys

  9. Mirid (Hemiptera: Heteroptera) specialists of sticky plants: adaptations, interactions, and ecological implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheeler, Alfred G; Krimmel, Billy A

    2015-01-07

    Sticky plants-those having glandular trichomes (hairs) that produce adhesive, viscous exudates-can impede the movement of, and entrap, generalist insects. Disparate arthropod groups have adapted to these widespread and taxonomically diverse plants, yet their interactions with glandular hosts rarely are incorporated into broad ecological theory. Ecologists and entomologists might be unaware of even well-documented examples of insects that are sticky-plant specialists. The hemipteran family Miridae (more specifically, the omnivorous Dicyphini: Dicyphina) is the best-known group of arthropods that specializes on sticky plants. In the first synthesis of relationships with glandular plants for any insect family, we review mirid interactions with sticky hosts, including their adaptations (behavioral, morphological, and physiological) and mutualisms with carnivorous plants, and the ecological and agricultural implications of mirid-sticky plant systems. We propose that mirid research applies generally to tritrophic interactions on trichome-defended plants, enhances an understanding of insect-plant interactions, and provides information useful in managing crop pests.

  10. Economical and ecological comparison of granular activated carbon (GAC) adsorber refill strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayer, Peter; Heuer, Edda; Karl, Ute; Finkel, Michael

    2005-05-01

    Technical constraints can leave a considerable freedom in the design of a technology, production or service strategy. Choosing between economical or ecological decision criteria then characteristically leads to controversial solutions of ideal systems. For the adaptation of granular-activated carbon (GAC) fixed beds, various technical factors determine the adsorber volume required to achieve a desired service life. In considering carbon replacement and recycling, a variety of refill strategies are available that differ in terms of refill interval, respective adsorber volume, and time-dependent use of virgin, as well as recycled GAC. Focusing on the treatment of contaminant groundwater, we compare cost-optimal reactor configurations and refill strategies to the ecologically best alternatives. Costs and consumption of GAC are quantified within a technical-economical framework. The emissions from GAC production out of hard coal, transport and recycling are equally derived through a life cycle impact assessment. It is shown how high discount rates lead to a preference of small fixed-bed volumes, and accordingly, a high number of refills. For fixed discount rates, the investigation reveals that both the economical as well as ecological assessment of refill strategies are especially sensitive to the relative valuation of virgin and recycled GAC. Since recycling results in economic and ecological benefits, optimized systems thus may differ only slightly.

  11. Demography and ecology of nuclear power plant location

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stefanescu, P.; Ghitescu, P.

    1997-01-01

    To select and licence a NPP site, as well as, once built, to run it, both demography and ecology of the geographical zone are crucial factors to take into account. On the other side the location and running of a NPP is a major factor in the economic and social development of NPP site surroundings. Meanwhile the population distribution around the NPP site has a determining role on intervention and rehabilitation plans. Risk and danger studies should be done for initial situation as well as during NPP running. The character of radioactive risks and the importance of possible consequences of a hypothetical nuclear accident which could affect a big Nuclear Power Plant request a special attention to population distribution around the plant site and surroundings. Therefore safety studies to locate and licence a site should refer to demography and ecology. Available data examination will permit to locate NPP in less-populated and ecologically not-concerning zones. On-site investigation should identify the population groups to watch for in order to estimate the results of a normal evaluation. The inquires will give reference primary data before NPP construction starts. Also they evaluate the possibility of short term population retain on location in case of an accident. (authors)

  12. Ecological status of high altitude medicinal plants and their sustainability: Lingshi, Bhutan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lakey; Dorji, Kinley

    2016-10-11

    Human beings use plants for a multitude of purposes of which a prominent one across the globe is for their medicinal values. Medicinal plants serve as one of the major sources of income for high altitude inhabitants in the Himalaya, particularly in countries like Nepal, and Bhutan. People here harvest huge volumes of medicinal plants indiscriminately, risking their sustainability. This paper attempts to identify some of the priority medicinal plant species harvested in the wild and assess their ecological status for their judicious utilization, and to help provide policy guidance for possible domestication and support strategic conservation frameworks. Out of the 16 priority species identified by the expert group, collectors' perception on ecological status of the priority species differed from survey findings. Chrysosplenium nudicaule (clumps) ranked as most threatened species followed by Corydalis dubia, and Meconopsis simplicifolia. Onosma hookeri, Corydalis crispa and Delphinium glaciale were some of the species ranked as threatened species followed by Halenia elliptica (not in priority list). Percent relative abundance showed irregular pattern of species distribution. High species evenness was recorded among Nardostachys grandiflora, Chrysosplenium nudicaule, Saussurea gossypiphora and Aconitum orochryseum with average species density of 8 plant m -2 . Rhodiola crenulata, and Dactylorhiza hatagirea followed by Meconopsis horridula and Meconopsis simplicifolia were ranked as most threatened species with average species density of 0.4, 0.4, 5.6 and 6.0 plant m -2 , respectively. The most abundant (common) species was Onosma hookeri (plant m -2 ). Species composition and density also differed with vegetation, altitude, slope and its aspects. Priority species identified by expert group were found vulnerable and patchy in distribution. Survey results and collectors' perceptions tally to an extent. Some of the species (Dactylorhiza hatagirea, Rhodiola crenulata

  13. The National Strategy of Ecological Transition towards Sustainable Development - International comparisons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kleiber, Florence; Vey, Frederic; Moreau, Sylvain; Bottin, Anne; Baudu-Baret, Claude

    2017-05-01

    The National Strategy of Ecological Transition towards Sustainable Development (SNTEDD) 2015-2020 follows on from the 2010-2013 National Strategy for Sustainable Development. Adopted at the Council of Ministers meeting of 4 February 2015, the SNTEDD identifies four major ecological challenges and nine strategic areas of action. The SNTEDD is monitored by 72 indicators developed via a collaborative process of selection implemented by a special commission of the National Council for Ecological Transition (CNTE) responsible for the indicators. This 'indicators' commission has sought to obtain a perspective on outcomes by means of international comparisons. This study presents initial elements of an analysis of France's situation compared with that of other countries (mostly EU or OECD members) with regard to each of the challenges and areas of action identified in the SNTEDD

  14. Constraints imposed by pollinator behaviour on the ecology and evolution of plant mating systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devaux, C; Lepers, C; Porcher, E

    2014-07-01

    Most flowering plants rely on pollinators for their reproduction. Plant-pollinator interactions, although mutualistic, involve an inherent conflict of interest between both partners and may constrain plant mating systems at multiple levels: the immediate ecological plant selfing rates, their distribution in and contribution to pollination networks, and their evolution. Here, we review experimental evidence that pollinator behaviour influences plant selfing rates in pairs of interacting species, and that plants can modify pollinator behaviour through plastic and evolutionary changes in floral traits. We also examine how theoretical studies include pollinators, implicitly or explicitly, to investigate the role of their foraging behaviour in plant mating system evolution. In doing so, we call for more evolutionary models combining ecological and genetic factors, and additional experimental data, particularly to describe pollinator foraging behaviour. Finally, we show that recent developments in ecological network theory help clarify the impact of community-level interactions on plant selfing rates and their evolution and suggest new research avenues to expand the study of mating systems of animal-pollinated plant species to the level of the plant-pollinator networks. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  15. An ecological interface design for BWR nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Monta, K.; Itoh, J.

    1992-01-01

    An ecological interface design was applied to realize the support function for the operator's direct perception and analytical reasoning in the development of an intelligent man-machine system for BWR nuclear power plants. The abstraction-aggregation functional hierarchy representation of the work domain is a base of the ecological interface design. Another base is the concept of the level of cognitive control. The former was mapped into the interface to externalize the operator's normative mental model of the plants, which will reduce his/her cognitive work load and support knowledge-based problem solving. In addition, the same framework can be used for the analytical evaluation of man-machine interfaces. The information content and structure of a prototype interface were evaluated. This approach seems promising from these experiences. (author)

  16. A soil-specific agro-ecological strategy for sustainable production in Argentina farm fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamora, Martin; Barbera, Agustin; Castro-Franco, Mauricio; Hansson, Alejandro; Domenech, Marisa

    2017-04-01

    The continuous increment of frequencies and doses of pesticides, glyphosate and fertilizers, the deterioration of the structure, biotic balance and fertility of soils and the ground water pollution are characteristics of the current Argentinian agricultural model. In this context, agro-ecological innovations are needed to develop a real sustainable agriculture, enhancing the food supply. Precision agriculture technologies can strengthen the expansion of agro-ecological farming in experimental farm fields. The aim of this study was to propose a soil-specific agro-ecological strategy for sustainable production at field scale focused on the use of soil sensors and digital soil mapping techniques. This strategy has been developed in 15 hectares transition agro-ecological farm field, located at Barrow Experimental Station (Lat:-38.322844, Lon:-60.25572) Argentina. The strategy included five steps: (i) to measure apparent electrical conductivity (ECa) and elevation within agro-ecological farm field; (ii) to apply a clustering method using MULTISPATI-PCA algorithm to delimitate three soil-specific zones (Z1, Z2 and Z3); (iii) to determine three soil sampling points by zone, using conditioned Latin hypercube method, in addition to elevation and ECa as auxiliary information; (iv) to collect soil samples at 2-10 cm depth in each point and to determine in laboratory: total organic carbon content (TOC), cation-exchange capacity (CEC), pH and phosphorus availability (P-Bray). In addition, soil bulk density (SBD) was measured at 0-20 cm depth. Finally, (v) according to each soil-specific zone, a management strategy was recommended. Important differences in soil properties among zones could suggest that the strategy developed was able to apply an agro ecological soil-specific practice management. pH and P-Bray were significantly (pfertilizer and also rotating plots with high stocking rate. The aim is to increase soil organic matter content and CEC. Furthermore, P content will be

  17. Nurse plant theory and its application in ecological restoration in lower subtropics of China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hai Ren; Long Yang; Nan Liu

    2008-01-01

    Nurse plants are those that facilitate the growth and development of other plant species (target species) beneath their canopy because they offer benign microhabitats that are more favorable for seed germination and/or seedling recruitment than their surrounding envi-ronment. Nurse plants have been mainly used to restore vegetation in arid and sub-arid zones in recent years. Based on summarizing the definition of nurse plant and target plant, we review the nursing effect mechanisms, ecological factors that influence nursing effect, relationships between nurse plant and ecological restoration. This review also brings forward possible pairs of nurse and target species at lower subtropical areas. Furthermore, we provide the potential tendency in nurse plant research and application.

  18. Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, annual technical progress report of ecological research for the year ending June 30, 1998

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wein, G.; Rosier, B.

    1998-01-01

    This report provides an overview of the research programs and program components carried out by the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. Research focused on the following: advanced analytical and spectroscopic techniques for developing novel waste isolation and stabilization technologies as well as cost-effective remediation strategies; ecologically sound management of damaged and remediation of ecological systems; ecotoxicology, remediation, and risk assessment; radioecology, including dose assessments for plants and animals exposed to environmental radiation; and other research support programs

  19. Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, annual technical progress report of ecological research for the year ending June 30, 1998

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wein, G.; Rosier, B.

    1998-12-31

    This report provides an overview of the research programs and program components carried out by the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. Research focused on the following: advanced analytical and spectroscopic techniques for developing novel waste isolation and stabilization technologies as well as cost-effective remediation strategies; ecologically sound management of damaged and remediation of ecological systems; ecotoxicology, remediation, and risk assessment; radioecology, including dose assessments for plants and animals exposed to environmental radiation; and other research support programs.

  20. Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, annual technical progress report of ecological research for the year ending June 30, 1997

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wein, G.; Rosier, B.

    1997-01-01

    This report provides an overview of the research programs and program components carried out by the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. Research focused on the following: advanced analytical and spectroscopic techniques for developing novel waste isolation and stabilization technologies as well as cost-effective remediation strategies; ecologically sound management of damaged and remediation of ecological systems; ecotoxicology, remediation, and risk assessment; radioecology, including dose assessments for plants and animals exposed to environmental radiation; and other research support programs

  1. Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, annual technical progress report of ecological research for the year ending June 30, 1997

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wein, G.; Rosier, B.

    1997-12-31

    This report provides an overview of the research programs and program components carried out by the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. Research focused on the following: advanced analytical and spectroscopic techniques for developing novel waste isolation and stabilization technologies as well as cost-effective remediation strategies; ecologically sound management of damaged and remediation of ecological systems; ecotoxicology, remediation, and risk assessment; radioecology, including dose assessments for plants and animals exposed to environmental radiation; and other research support programs.

  2. Socio/economic/ecological impacts of nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Golden, J.; Watson, J.

    1975-01-01

    A nuclear facility has both radiological and non-radiological effects on the environment. To minimize radiological effects, limits are set on releases of radioactive materials that will cause either direct or indirect exposure (such as the food chain). Exposure pathways for man and other organisms are described with comparisons of typical calculated doses and design objective doses. Non-radiological impacts of nuclear plants are classified as ecological-physical and socio/economic considerations, which include eighteen areas affected during each phase of the nuclear facility cycle. The ecological-physical environment is impacted in the areas of hydrology, terrestrial and aquatic ecology, and air and water quality. The socio-economic environment is impacted in areas of land use, tax base, employment, economic stimulus, relocation, lifestyle, demand for service, aesthetics, and power needs. Case studies of large construction projects are described in the appendix

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saiz, Hugo; Alados, Concepción L.

    2014-08-01

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

  4. Plant selenium hyperaccumulation- Ecological effects and potential implications for selenium cycling and community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, R Jason B; Pilon-Smits, Elizabeth A H

    2018-04-25

    Selenium (Se) hyperaccumulation occurs in ~50 plant taxa native to seleniferous soils in Western USA. Hyperaccumulator tissue Se levels, 1000-15,000 mg/kg dry weight, are typically 100 times higher than surrounding vegetation. Relative to other species, hyperaccumulators also transform Se more into organic forms. We review abiotic and biotic factors influencing soil Se distribution and bioavailability, soil being the source of the Se in hyperaccumulators. Next, we summarize the fate of Se in plants, particularly hyperaccumulators. We then extensively review the impact of plant Se accumulation on ecological interactions. Finally, we discuss the potential impact of Se hyperaccumulators on local community composition and Se cycling. Selenium (hyper)accumulation offers ecological advantages: protection from herbivores and pathogens and competitive advantage over other plants. The extreme Se levels in and around hyperaccumulators create a toxic environment for Se-sensitive ecological partners, while offering a niche for Se-resistant partners. Through these dual effects, hyperaccumulators may influence species composition in their local environment, as well as Se cycling. The implied effects of Se hyperaccumulation on community assembly and local Se cycling warrant further investigations into the contribution of hyperaccumulators and general terrestrial vegetation to global Se cycling and may serve as a case study for how trace elements influence ecological processes. Furthermore, understanding ecological implications of plant Se accumulation are vital for safe implementation of biofortification and phytoremediation, technologies increasingly implemented to battle Se deficiency and toxicity. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  5. New handbook for standardised measurement of plant functional traits worldwide

    OpenAIRE

    Pérez-Harguindeguy N Díaz S Garnier E Lavorel S Poorter H Jaureguiberry P Bret-Harte MS Cor

    2013-01-01

    Plant functional traits are the features (morphological physiological phenological) that represent ecological strategies and determine how plants respond to environmental factors affect other trophic levels and influence ecosystem properties. Variation in plant functional traits and trait syndromes has proven useful for tackling many important ecological questions at a range of scales giving rise to a demand for standardised ways to measure ecologically meaningful plant traits. This line of r...

  6. Does investment in leaf defenses drive changes in leaf economic strategy? A focus on whole-plant ontogeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Chase M; Donovan, Lisa A

    2015-04-01

    Leaf defenses have long been studied in the context of plant growth rate, resource availability, and optimal investment theory. Likewise, one of the central modern paradigms of plant ecophysiology, the leaf economics spectrum (LES), has been extensively studied in the context of these factors across ecological scales ranging from global species data sets to temporal shifts within individuals. Despite strong physiological links between LES strategy and leaf defenses in structure, function, and resource investment, the relationship between these trait classes has not been well explored. This study investigates the relationship between leaf defenses and LES strategy across whole-plant ontogeny in three diverse Helianthus species known to exhibit dramatic ontogenetic shifts in LES strategy, focusing primarily on physical and quantitative chemical defenses. Plants were grown under controlled environmental conditions and sampled for LES and defense traits at four ontogenetic stages. Defenses were found to shift strongly with ontogeny, and to correlate strongly with LES strategy. More advanced ontogenetic stages with more conservative LES strategy leaves had higher tannin activity and toughness in all species, and higher leaf dry matter content in two of three species. Modeling results in two species support the conclusion that changes in defenses drive changes in LES strategy through ontogeny, and in one species that changes in defenses and LES strategy are likely independently driven by ontogeny. Results of this study support the hypothesis that leaf-level allocation to defenses might be an important determinant of leaf economic traits, where high investment in defenses drives a conservative LES strategy.

  7. Ecological status and traditional knowledge of medicinal plants in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary of Garhwal Himalaya, India

    OpenAIRE

    Bhat Jahangeer A; Kumar Munesh; Bussmann Rainer W

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Background Himalayan forests are the most important source of medicinal plants and with useful species for the local people. Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary (KWLS) is situated in the interior part of the Garhwal Himalayan region. The presented study was carried out in Madhmeshwar area of KWLS for the ecological status of medicinal plants and further focused on the ethnomedicinal uses of these plants in the study area. Methods Ecological information about ethnomedicinal plants were colle...

  8. A global Fine-Root Ecology Database to address below-ground challenges in plant ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iversen, Colleen M; McCormack, M Luke; Powell, A Shafer; Blackwood, Christopher B; Freschet, Grégoire T; Kattge, Jens; Roumet, Catherine; Stover, Daniel B; Soudzilovskaia, Nadejda A; Valverde-Barrantes, Oscar J; van Bodegom, Peter M; Violle, Cyrille

    2017-07-01

    Variation and tradeoffs within and among plant traits are increasingly being harnessed by empiricists and modelers to understand and predict ecosystem processes under changing environmental conditions. While fine roots play an important role in ecosystem functioning, fine-root traits are underrepresented in global trait databases. This has hindered efforts to analyze fine-root trait variation and link it with plant function and environmental conditions at a global scale. This Viewpoint addresses the need for a centralized fine-root trait database, and introduces the Fine-Root Ecology Database (FRED, http://roots.ornl.gov) which so far includes > 70 000 observations encompassing a broad range of root traits and also includes associated environmental data. FRED represents a critical step toward improving our understanding of below-ground plant ecology. For example, FRED facilitates the quantification of variation in fine-root traits across root orders, species, biomes, and environmental gradients while also providing a platform for assessments of covariation among root, leaf, and wood traits, the role of fine roots in ecosystem functioning, and the representation of fine roots in terrestrial biosphere models. Continued input of observations into FRED to fill gaps in trait coverage will improve our understanding of changes in fine-root traits across space and time. © 2017 UT-Battelle LLC. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  9. Reinforcing loose foundation stones in trait-based plant ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shipley, Bill; De Bello, Francesco; Cornelissen, J Hans C; Laliberté, Etienne; Laughlin, Daniel C; Reich, Peter B

    2016-04-01

    The promise of "trait-based" plant ecology is one of generalized prediction across organizational and spatial scales, independent of taxonomy. This promise is a major reason for the increased popularity of this approach. Here, we argue that some important foundational assumptions of trait-based ecology have not received sufficient empirical evaluation. We identify three such assumptions and, where possible, suggest methods of improvement: (i) traits are functional to the degree that they determine individual fitness, (ii) intraspecific variation in functional traits can be largely ignored, and (iii) functional traits show general predictive relationships to measurable environmental gradients.

  10. Integral Indicator of Ecological Footprint for Croatian Power Plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Strijov, V.; Granic, G.; Juric, Z.; Jelavic, B.; Antesevic Maricic, S.

    2009-01-01

    The main goal of this paper is to present the methodology of construction of the Integral Indicator for Croatian Thermal Power Plants and Combined Heat and Power Plants. The Integral Indicator is necessary to compare Power Plants selected according to a certain criterion. The criterion of the Ecological Footprint is chosen. The following features of the Power Plants are used: generated electricity and heat; consumed coal and liquid fuel; sulphur content in fuel; emitted CO 2 , SO 2 , NO x and particles. To construct the Integral Indicator the linear model is used. The model parameters are tuned by the Principal Component Analysis algorithm. The constructed Integral Indicator is compared with several others, such as Pareto-Optimal Slicing Indicator and Metric Indicator. The Integral Indicator keeps as much information about features of the Power Plants as possible; it is simple and robust.(author).

  11. The ecological risks of transgenic plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giovannetti, Manuela

    2003-01-01

    Biotechnologies have been utilized "ante litteram" for thousands of years to produce food and drink and genetic engineering techniques have been widely applied to produce many compounds for human use, from insulin to other medicines. The debate on genetically modified (GM) organisms broke out all over the world only when GM crops were released into the field. Plant ecologists, microbiologists and population geneticists carried out experiments aimed at evaluating the environmental impact of GM crops. The most significant findings concern: the spread of transgenes through GM pollen diffusion and its environmental impact after hybridisation with closely related wild species or subspecies; horizontal gene transfer from transgenic plants to soil microbes; the impact of insecticide proteins released into the soil by transformed plants on non-target microbial soil communities. Recent developments in genetic engineering produced a technology, dubbed "Terminator", which protects patented genes introduced in transgenic plants by killing the seeds in the second generation. This genetic construct, which interferes so heavily with fundamental life processes, is considered dangerous and should be ex-ante evaluated taking into account the data on "unexpected events", as here discussed, instead of relying on the "safe until proven otherwise" claim. Awareness that scientists, biotechnologists and genetic engineers cannot answer the fundamental question "how likely is that transgenes will be transferred from cultivated plants into the natural environment?" should foster long-term studies on the ecological risks and benefits of transgenic crops.

  12. How common is ecological speciation in plant-feeding insects? A 'Higher' Nematinae perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nyman Tommi

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ecological speciation is a process in which a transiently resource-polymorphic species divides into two specialized sister lineages as a result of divergent selection pressures caused by the use of multiple niches or environments. Ecology-based speciation has been studied intensively in plant-feeding insects, in which both sympatric and allopatric shifts onto novel host plants could speed up diversification. However, while numerous examples of species pairs likely to have originated by resource shifts have been found, the overall importance of ecological speciation in relation to other, non-ecological speciation modes remains unknown. Here, we apply phylogenetic information on sawflies belonging to the 'Higher' Nematinae (Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae to infer the frequency of niche shifts in relation to speciation events. Results Phylogenetic trees reconstructed on the basis of DNA sequence data show that the diversification of higher nematines has involved frequent shifts in larval feeding habits and in the use of plant taxa. However, the inferred number of resource shifts is considerably lower than the number of past speciation events, indicating that the majority of divergences have occurred by non-ecological allopatric speciation; based on a time-corrected analysis of sister species, we estimate that a maximum of c. 20% of lineage splits have been triggered by a change in resource use. In addition, we find that postspeciational changes in geographic distributions have led to broad sympatry in many species having identical host-plant ranges. Conclusion Our analysis indicates that the importance of niche shifts for the diversification of herbivorous insects is at present implicitly and explicitly overestimated. In the case of the Higher Nematinae, employing a time correction for sister-species comparisons lowered the proportion of apparent ecology-based speciation events from c. 50-60% to around 20%, but such corrections are

  13. Suppressive composts: microbial ecology links between abiotic environments and healthy plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadar, Yitzhak; Papadopoulou, Kalliope K

    2012-01-01

    Suppressive compost provides an environment in which plant disease development is reduced, even in the presence of a pathogen and a susceptible host. Despite the numerous positive reports, its practical application is still limited. The main reason for this is the lack of reliable prediction and quality control tools for evaluation of the level and specificity of the suppression effect. Plant disease suppression is the direct result of the activity of consortia of antagonistic microorganisms that naturally recolonize the compost during the cooling phase of the process. Thus, it is imperative to increase the level of understanding of compost microbial ecology and population dynamics. This may lead to the development of an ecological theory for complex ecosystems as well as favor the establishment of hypothesis-driven studies.

  14. Beyond the network of plants volatile organic compounds

    OpenAIRE

    Vivaldo, Gianna; Masi, Elisa; Taiti, Cosimo; Caldarelli, Guido; Mancuso, Stefano

    2017-01-01

    Plants emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is involved in a wide class of ecological functions, as VOCs play a crucial role in plants interactions with biotic and abiotic factors. Accordingly, they vary widely across species and underpin differences in ecological strategy. In this paper, VOCs spontaneously emitted by 109 plant species (belonging to 56 different families) have been qualitatively and quantitatively analysed in order to classify plants species. By using bipartite netwo...

  15. Plant-insect interactions under bacterial influence: ecological implications and underlying mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugio, Akiko; Dubreuil, Géraldine; Giron, David; Simon, Jean-Christophe

    2015-02-01

    Plants and insects have been co-existing for more than 400 million years, leading to intimate and complex relationships. Throughout their own evolutionary history, plants and insects have also established intricate and very diverse relationships with microbial associates. Studies in recent years have revealed plant- or insect-associated microbes to be instrumental in plant-insect interactions, with important implications for plant defences and plant utilization by insects. Microbial communities associated with plants are rich in diversity, and their structure greatly differs between below- and above-ground levels. Microbial communities associated with insect herbivores generally present a lower diversity and can reside in different body parts of their hosts including bacteriocytes, haemolymph, gut, and salivary glands. Acquisition of microbial communities by vertical or horizontal transmission and possible genetic exchanges through lateral transfer could strongly impact on the host insect or plant fitness by conferring adaptations to new habitats. Recent developments in sequencing technologies and molecular tools have dramatically enhanced opportunities to characterize the microbial diversity associated with plants and insects and have unveiled some of the mechanisms by which symbionts modulate plant-insect interactions. Here, we focus on the diversity and ecological consequences of bacterial communities associated with plants and herbivorous insects. We also highlight the known mechanisms by which these microbes interfere with plant-insect interactions. Revealing such mechanisms in model systems under controlled environments but also in more natural ecological settings will help us to understand the evolution of complex multitrophic interactions in which plants, herbivorous insects, and micro-organisms are inserted. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions

  16. The plant phenology monitoring design for the National Ecological Observatory Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elmendorf, Sarah C; Jones, Katherine D; Cook, Benjamin I.; Diez, Jeffrey M.; Enquist, Carolyn A.F.; Hufft, Rebecca A.; Jones, Matthew O.; Mazer, Susan J.; Miller-Rushing, Abraham J.; Moore, David J. P.; Schwartz, Mark D.; Weltzin, Jake F.

    2016-01-01

    Phenology is an integrative science that comprises the study of recurring biological activities or events. In an era of rapidly changing climate, the relationship between the timing of those events and environmental cues such as temperature, snowmelt, water availability or day length are of particular interest. This article provides an overview of the plant phenology sampling which will be conducted by the U.S. National Ecological Observatory Network NEON, the resulting data, and the rationale behind the design. Trained technicians will conduct regular in situ observations of plant phenology at all terrestrial NEON sites for the 30-year life of the observatory. Standardized and coordinated data across the network of sites can be used to quantify the direction and magnitude of the relationships between phenology and environmental forcings, as well as the degree to which these relationships vary among sites, among species, among phenophases, and through time. Vegetation at NEON sites will also be monitored with tower-based cameras, satellite remote sensing and annual high-resolution airborne remote sensing. Ground-based measurements can be used to calibrate and improve satellite-derived phenometrics. NEON’s phenology monitoring design is complementary to existing phenology research efforts and citizen science initiatives throughout the world and will produce interoperable data. By collocating plant phenology observations with a suite of additional meteorological, biophysical and ecological measurements (e.g., climate, carbon flux, plant productivity, population dynamics of consumers) at 47 terrestrial sites, the NEON design will enable continentalscale inference about the status, trends, causes and ecological consequences of phenological change.

  17. Sapfluxnet: a global database of sap flow measurements to unravel the ecological factors of transpiration regulation in woody plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poyatos, Rafael; Martínez-Vilalta, Jordi; Molowny-Horas, Roberto; Steppe, Kathy; Oren, Ram; Katul, Gabriel; Mahecha, Miguel

    2016-04-01

    Plant transpiration is one of the main components of the global water cycle, it controls land energy balance, determines catchment hydrological responses and exerts strong feedbacks on regional and global climate. At the same time, plant productivity, growth and survival are severely constrained by water availability, which is expected to decline in many areas of the world because of global-change driven increases in drought conditions. While global surveys of drought tolerance traits at the organ level are rapidly increasing our knowledge of the diversity in plant functional strategies to cope with drought stress, a whole-plant perspective of drought vulnerability is still lacking. Sap flow measurements using thermal methods have now been applied to measure seasonal patterns in water use and the response of transpiration to environmental drivers across hundreds of species of woody plants worldwide, covering a wide range of climates, soils and stand structural characteristics. Here, we present the first effort to build a global database of sub-daily, tree-level sap flow (SAPFLUXNET) that will be used to improve our understanding of physiological and structural determinants of plant transpiration and to further investigate the role of vegetation in controlling global water balance. We already have the expression of interest of data contributors representing >115 globally distributed sites, > 185 species and > 700 trees, measured over at least one growing season. However, the potential number of available sites and species is probably much higher given that > 2500 sap flow-related papers have been identified in a Scopus literature search conducted in November 2015. We will give an overview of how data collection, harmonisation and quality control procedures are implemented within the project. We will also discuss potential analytical strategies to synthesize hydroclimatic controls on sap flow into biologically meaningful traits related to whole-plant transpiration

  18. A modelling framework for improving plant establishment during ecological restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plants seeded during ecological restoration projects often perish en masse, and researchers are currently searching for traits promoting increased survival. In this study of a big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.) ecosystem, we found survivorship rankings of seeded grass species varied across 3...

  19. Baboquivari Mountain plants: Identification, ecology, and ethnobotany [Book Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosemary L. Pendleton

    2011-01-01

    The Sky Islands of southern Arizona and northwestern Mexico make up a region that is rich, both biologically and culturally. These isolated mountain ranges, separated by desert "seas," contain a unique and diverse flora and have long been home to indigenous peoples of the southwestern US. This book, Baboquivari Mountain Plants: Identification, Ecology, and...

  20. Ecological status and traditional knowledge of medicinal plants in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary of Garhwal Himalaya, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Himalayan forests are the most important source of medicinal plants and with useful species for the local people. Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary (KWLS) is situated in the interior part of the Garhwal Himalayan region. The presented study was carried out in Madhmeshwar area of KWLS for the ecological status of medicinal plants and further focused on the ethnomedicinal uses of these plants in the study area. Methods Ecological information about ethnomedicinal plants were collected using random quadrats in a random sampling technique along an altitudinal gradient in the KWLS. Information on medicinal properties of plants encountered in the present study was generated by questionnaire survey and was also compared with relevant literature. Results A total of 152 medicinally important plant species were reported, in which 103 were found herbs, 32 shrubs and 17 were tree species which represented 123 genera of 61 families. A total of 18 plant species fell into the rare, endangered (critically endangered) and vulnerable status categories. Conclusion The present study documented the traditional uses of medicinal plants, their ecological status and importance of these plants in the largest protected area of Garhwal Himalaya. This study can serve as baseline information on medicinal plants and could be helpful to further strengthen the conservation of this important resource. PMID:23281594

  1. Ecological status and traditional knowledge of medicinal plants in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary of Garhwal Himalaya, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhat, Jahangeer A; Kumar, Munesh; Bussmann, Rainer W

    2013-01-02

    Himalayan forests are the most important source of medicinal plants and with useful species for the local people. Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary (KWLS) is situated in the interior part of the Garhwal Himalayan region. The presented study was carried out in Madhmeshwar area of KWLS for the ecological status of medicinal plants and further focused on the ethnomedicinal uses of these plants in the study area. Ecological information about ethnomedicinal plants were collected using random quadrats in a random sampling technique along an altitudinal gradient in the KWLS. Information on medicinal properties of plants encountered in the present study was generated by questionnaire survey and was also compared with relevant literature. A total of 152 medicinally important plant species were reported, in which 103 were found herbs, 32 shrubs and 17 were tree species which represented 123 genera of 61 families. A total of 18 plant species fell into the rare, endangered (critically endangered) and vulnerable status categories. The present study documented the traditional uses of medicinal plants, their ecological status and importance of these plants in the largest protected area of Garhwal Himalaya. This study can serve as baseline information on medicinal plants and could be helpful to further strengthen the conservation of this important resource.

  2. Ecological status and traditional knowledge of medicinal plants in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary of Garhwal Himalaya, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bhat Jahangeer A

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Himalayan forests are the most important source of medicinal plants and with useful species for the local people. Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary (KWLS is situated in the interior part of the Garhwal Himalayan region. The presented study was carried out in Madhmeshwar area of KWLS for the ecological status of medicinal plants and further focused on the ethnomedicinal uses of these plants in the study area. Methods Ecological information about ethnomedicinal plants were collected using random quadrats in a random sampling technique along an altitudinal gradient in the KWLS. Information on medicinal properties of plants encountered in the present study was generated by questionnaire survey and was also compared with relevant literature. Results A total of 152 medicinally important plant species were reported, in which 103 were found herbs, 32 shrubs and 17 were tree species which represented 123 genera of 61 families. A total of 18 plant species fell into the rare, endangered (critically endangered and vulnerable status categories. Conclusion The present study documented the traditional uses of medicinal plants, their ecological status and importance of these plants in the largest protected area of Garhwal Himalaya. This study can serve as baseline information on medicinal plants and could be helpful to further strengthen the conservation of this important resource.

  3. The evolutionary ecology of clonally propagated domesticated plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKey, Doyle; Elias, Marianne; Pujol, Benoît; Duputié, Anne

    2010-04-01

    While seed-propagated crops have contributed many evolutionary insights, evolutionary biologists have often neglected clonally propagated crops. We argue that widespread notions about their evolution under domestication are oversimplified, and that they offer rich material for evolutionary studies. The diversity of their wild ancestors, the diverse ecologies of the crop populations themselves, and the intricate mix of selection pressures, acting not only on the parts harvested but also on the parts used by humans to make clonal propagules, result in complex and diverse evolutionary trajectories under domestication. We examine why farmers propagate some plants clonally, and discuss the evolutionary dynamics of sexual reproduction in clonal crops. We explore how their mixed clonal/sexual reproductive systems function, based on the sole example studied in detail, cassava (Manihot esculenta). Biotechnology is now expanding the number of clonal crops, continuing the 10 000-yr-old trend to increase crop yields by propagating elite genotypes. In an era of rapid global change, it is more important than ever to understand how the adaptive potential of clonal crops can be maintained. A key component of strategies for preserving this adaptive potential is the maintenance of mixed clonal/sexual systems, which can be achieved by encouraging and valuing farmer knowledge about the sexual reproductive biology of their clonal crops.

  4. Ecological models for regulatory risk assessments of pesticides: Developing a strategy for the future.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thorbek, P.; Forbes, V.; Heimbach, F.; Hommen, U.; Thulke, H.H.; Brink, van den P.J.

    2010-01-01

    Ecological Models for Regulatory Risk Assessments of Pesticides: Developing a Strategy for the Future provides a coherent, science-based view on ecological modeling for regulatory risk assessments. It discusses the benefits of modeling in the context of registrations, identifies the obstacles that

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalie eChristian

    2015-09-01

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

  7. A method for under-sampled ecological network data analysis: plant-pollination as case study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter B. Sorensen

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we develop a method, termed the Interaction Distribution (ID method, for analysis of quantitative ecological network data. In many cases, quantitative network data sets are under-sampled, i.e. many interactions are poorly sampled or remain unobserved. Hence, the output of statistical analyses may fail to differentiate between patterns that are statistical artefacts and those which are real characteristics of ecological networks. The ID method can support assessment and inference of under-sampled ecological network data. In the current paper, we illustrate and discuss the ID method based on the properties of plant-animal pollination data sets of flower visitation frequencies. However, the ID method may be applied to other types of ecological networks. The method can supplement existing network analyses based on two definitions of the underlying probabilities for each combination of pollinator and plant species: (1, pi,j: the probability for a visit made by the i’th pollinator species to take place on the j’th plant species; (2, qi,j: the probability for a visit received by the j’th plant species to be made by the i’th pollinator. The method applies the Dirichlet distribution to estimate these two probabilities, based on a given empirical data set. The estimated mean values for pi,j and qi,j reflect the relative differences between recorded numbers of visits for different pollinator and plant species, and the estimated uncertainty of pi,j and qi,j decreases with higher numbers of recorded visits.

  8. Ecological impacts of small hydropower in China: Insights from an emergy analysis of a case plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pang, Mingyue; Zhang, Lixiao; Ulgiati, Sergio; Wang, Changbo

    2015-01-01

    The belief that small hydropower (SHP) systems are sources of clean energy with few or no ecological problems has been driving the rapid expansion of SHP plants in China and elsewhere. This paper presents an evaluation of the ecological impacts of SHP based on an emergy analysis of a plant located in Guizhou Province in southwest China. The results suggest that periodic downstream drying-up of the river is the largest contributor to the induced ecological impacts in terms of emergy cost. In 2010, the ecosystem service losses caused by downstream ecosystem degradation totaled 2.35E+18 seJ, which accounts for 38% of the total emergy utilized in the annual operation of this plant. If such losses could be avoided, i.e., if the SHP operated as designed, SHP projects would produce relatively modest impacts on the environment. When the reaches downstream of the SHP plant are not affected, the environmental loading ratio (ELR) is 2.20 and the emergy sustainability index (ESI) is 0.93; however, the ELR increases to 3.82 and ESI decreases to 0.38 when river drying-up occurs. These results indicate that China should rigorously investigate potential ecological problems of SHP development and proceed with caution rather than readily believing unjustified assumptions. - Highlights: • Ecological impacts of a SHP plant in China are analyzed using emergy synthesis. • The ecosystem degradation due to periodic drying-up was the largest emergy cost. • The eco-friendliness of SHP is questionable when it is intensively developed. • China should proceed with caution regarding the potential ecological impact of SHP

  9. Mechanisms and ecological consequences of plant defence induction and suppression in herbivore communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kant, M. R.; Jonckheere, W.; Knegt, B.; Lemos, F.; Liu, J.; Schimmel, B. C. J.; Villarroel, C. A.; Ataide, L. M. S.; Dermauw, W.; Glas, J. J.; Egas, M.; Janssen, A.; Van Leeuwen, T.; Schuurink, R. C.; Sabelis, M. W.; Alba, J. M.

    2015-01-01

    give rise to exploitative competition and facilitation within ecological communities “inhabiting” a plant. Conclusions Herbivores have evolved diverse strategies, which are not mutually exclusive, to decrease the negative effects of plant defences in order to maximize the conversion of plant material into offspring. Numerous adaptations have been found in herbivores, enabling them to dismantle or bypass defensive barriers, to avoid tissues with relatively high levels of defensive chemicals or to metabolize these chemicals once ingested. In addition, some herbivores interfere with the onset or completion of induced plant defences, resulting in the plant’s resistance being partly or fully suppressed. The ability to suppress induced plant defences appears to occur across plant parasites from different kingdoms, including herbivorous arthropods, and there is remarkable diversity in suppression mechanisms. Suppression may strongly affect the structure of the food web, because the ability to suppress the activation of defences of a communal host may facilitate competitors, whereas the ability of a herbivore to cope with activated plant defences will not. Further characterization of the mechanisms and traits that give rise to suppression of plant defences will enable us to determine their role in shaping direct and indirect interactions in food webs and the extent to which these determine the coexistence and persistence of species. PMID:26019168

  10. Tritrophic Interactions Mediated by Herbivore-Induced Plant Volatiles: Mechanisms, Ecological Relevance, and Application Potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turlings, Ted C J; Erb, Matthias

    2018-01-07

    Tritrophic interactions between plants, herbivores, and their natural enemies are an integral part of all terrestrial ecosystems. Herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) play a key role in these interactions, as they can attract predators and parasitoids to herbivore-attacked plants. Thirty years after this discovery, the ecological importance of the phenomena is widely recognized. However, the primary function of HIPVs is still subject to much debate, as is the possibility of using these plant-produced cues in crop protection. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the role of HIPVs in tritrophic interactions from an ecological as well as a mechanistic perspective. This overview focuses on the main gaps in our knowledge of tritrophic interactions, and we argue that filling these gaps will greatly facilitate efforts to exploit HIPVs for pest control.

  11. Constraints imposed by pollinator behaviour on the ecology and evolution of plant mating systems

    OpenAIRE

    Devaux, Christian; Lepers, C.; Porcher, E.

    2014-01-01

    Most flowering plants rely on pollinators for their reproduction. Plant-pollinator interactions, although mutualistic, involve an inherent conflict of interest between both partners and may constrain plant mating systems at multiple levels: the immediate ecological plant selfing rates, their distribution in and contribution to pollination networks, and their evolution. Here, we review experimental evidence that pollinator behaviour influences plant selfing rates in pairs of interacting specie...

  12. Ecology and Genomic Insights into Plant-Pathogenic and Plant-Nonpathogenic Endophytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brader, Günter; Compant, Stéphane; Vescio, Kathryn; Mitter, Birgit; Trognitz, Friederike; Ma, Li-Jun; Sessitsch, Angela

    2017-08-04

    Plants are colonized on their surfaces and in the rhizosphere and phyllosphere by a multitude of different microorganisms and are inhabited internally by endophytes. Most endophytes act as commensals without any known effect on their plant host, but multiple bacteria and fungi establish a mutualistic relationship with plants, and some act as pathogens. The outcome of these plant-microbe interactions depends on biotic and abiotic environmental factors and on the genotype of the host and the interacting microorganism. In addition, endophytic microbiota and the manifold interactions between members, including pathogens, have a profound influence on the function of the system plant and the development of pathobiomes. In this review, we elaborate on the differences and similarities between nonpathogenic and pathogenic endophytes in terms of host plant response, colonization strategy, and genome content. We furthermore discuss environmental effects and biotic interactions within plant microbiota that influence pathogenesis and the pathobiome.

  13. On the Use of the Guild Concept in Plant Ecology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kroon, Hans de; Olff, Han

    1995-01-01

    The original defmition of the guild is reiterated and the concept discussed and placed in the context of related concepts such as resources and competition. From this conceptual framework the current use of guilds in studies of plant community ecology is evaluated. We discuss the criteria with which

  14. The movement ecology and dynamics of plant communities in fragmented landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damschen, Ellen I; Brudvig, Lars A; Haddad, Nick M; Levey, Douglas J; Orrock, John L; Tewksbury, Joshua J

    2008-12-09

    A conceptual model of movement ecology has recently been advanced to explain all movement by considering the interaction of four elements: internal state, motion capacity, navigation capacities, and external factors. We modified this framework to generate predictions for species richness dynamics of fragmented plant communities and tested them in experimental landscapes across a 7-year time series. We found that two external factors, dispersal vectors and habitat features, affected species colonization and recolonization in habitat fragments and their effects varied and depended on motion capacity. Bird-dispersed species richness showed connectivity effects that reached an asymptote over time, but no edge effects, whereas wind-dispersed species richness showed steadily accumulating edge and connectivity effects, with no indication of an asymptote. Unassisted species also showed increasing differences caused by connectivity over time, whereas edges had no effect. Our limited use of proxies for movement ecology (e.g., dispersal mode as a proxy for motion capacity) resulted in moderate predictive power for communities and, in some cases, highlighted the importance of a more complete understanding of movement ecology for predicting how landscape conservation actions affect plant community dynamics.

  15. [Relocation of Espeletia grandiflora (Asteraceae) plants as a strategy for enrichment of disturbed paramo areas (PNN Chingaza, Colombia)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rojas-Zamora, Oscar; Insuasty-Torres, Jennyfer; de Cardenas, Camilo los Angeles; Ríos, Orlando Vargas

    2013-03-01

    Ecological restoration of the Andean paramos faces several ecological barriers mainly at the phase of dispersal and establishment of native species. With the aim to contribute to the enrichment of degraded areas, different strategies have to be developed to overcome those barriers. In this work we studied the response of individuals of Espeletia grandiflora (Asteraceae) to the relocation as a strategy for ecological restoration programs. We also evaluated the effect of size of relocated individuals on their survival and development. The work was carried out in an experimental plot at 3 424m altitude in the sector "Lagunas de Siecha" of Chingaza National Park, Colombia. We relocated 200 plants that belonged to three different size classes: 5, 10 and 15cm of initial height. The following variables were registered: survival, plant height, number of living leaves and stem diameter of each individual. We also evaluated the differences between individuals in survival and development. In terms of survival the most efficient size classes corresponded to 15cm high; the survival was 85% after two years. The relative growth rates for height and stem diameter decreases with the increase in size, but the absolute increase in height did not show significant differences between the three sizes tested. Since the stem diameter was found the strongest survival predictor after two years of relocation activities, we suggest its use as a criterion for selection of relocation individuals. The relocation of individuals of E. grandiflora had a positive side effect, carrying other species that may contribute to the enrichment and restoration of degraded areas. Among these, we found species of the genus Hypericum, as well as Arcytophyllum nitidum and Calamagrostis effusa, which should be evaluated in terms of survival and development for the subsequent implementation of the relocation strategy. In this study we verified the successful relocation of individuals of E. grandiflora as a

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  17. Nuclear power plant outage optimisation strategy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2002-10-01

    Competitive environment for electricity generation has significant implications for nuclear power plant operations, including among others the need of efficient use of resources, effective management of plant activities such as on-line maintenance and outages. Nuclear power plant outage management is a key factor for good, safe and economic nuclear power plant performance which involves many aspects: plant policy, co-ordination of available resources, nuclear safety, regulatory and technical requirements and, all activities and work hazards, before and during the outage. This technical publication aims to communicate these practices in a way they can be used by operators and utilities in the Member States of the IAEA. It intends to give guidance to outage managers, operating staff and to the local industry on planning aspects, as well as examples and strategies experienced from current plants in operation on the optimization of outage period. This report discusses the plant outage strategy and how this strategy is actually implemented. The main areas identified as most important for outage optimization by the utilities and government organizations participating in this report are: organization and management; outage planning and preparation, outage execution, safety outage review, and counter measures to avoid extension of outages and to easier the work in forced outages. This report was based on discussions and findings by the authors of the annexes and the participants of an Advisory Group Meeting on Determinant Causes for Reducing Outage Duration held in June 1999 in Vienna. The report presents the consensus of these experts regarding best common or individual good practices that can be used at nuclear power plants with the aim to optimize

  18. Controlled ecological life support systems: Development of a plant growth module

    Science.gov (United States)

    Averner, Mel M.; Macelroy, Robert D.; Smernoff, David T.

    1987-01-01

    An effort was made to begin defining the scientific and technical requirements for the design and construction of a ground-based plant growth facility. In particular, science design criteria for the Plant Growth Module (PGM) of the Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) were determined in the following areas: (1) irradiation parameters and associated equipment affecting plant growth; (2) air flow; (3) planting, culture, and harvest techniques; (4) carbon dioxide; (5) temperature and relative humidity; (6) oxygen; (7) construction materials and access; (8) volatile compounds; (9) bacteria, sterilization, and filtration; (10) nutrient application systems; (11) nutrient monitoring; and (12) nutrient pH and conductivity.

  19. Mechanisms and ecological implications of plant-mediated interactions between belowground and aboveground insect herbivores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Papadopoulou, G.V.; Dam, N.M. van

    2017-01-01

    Plant-mediated interactions between belowground (BG) and aboveground (AG) herbivores have received increasing interest recently. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying ecological consequences of BG–AG interactions are not fully clear yet. Herbivore-induced plant defenses are complex and

  20. The evolution of ethylene signaling in plant chemical ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groen, Simon C; Whiteman, Noah K

    2014-07-01

    Ethylene is a key hormone in plant development, mediating plant responses to abiotic environmental stress, and interactions with attackers and mutualists. Here, we provide a synthesis of the role of ethylene in the context of plant ecology and evolution, and a prospectus for future research in this area. We focus on the regulatory function of ethylene in multi-organismal interactions. In general, plant interactions with different types of organisms lead to reduced or enhanced levels of ethylene. This in turn affects not only the plant's response to the interacting organism at hand, but also to other organisms in the community. These community-level effects become observable as enhanced or diminished relationships with future commensals, and systemic resistance or susceptibility to secondary attackers. Ongoing comparative genomic and phenotypic analyses continue to shed light on these interactions. These studies have revealed that plants and interacting organisms from separate kingdoms of life have independently evolved the ability to produce, perceive, and respond to ethylene. This signature of convergent evolution of ethylene signaling at the phenotypic level highlights the central role ethylene metabolism and signaling plays in plant interactions with microbes and animals.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Holmgren, M.; Gomez-Aparicio, L.; Quero, J.L.; Valladares, F.

    2012-01-01

    The combined effects of shade and drought on plant performance and the implications for species interactions are highly debated in plant ecology. Empirical evidence for positive and negative effects of shade on the performance of plants under dry conditions supports two contrasting theoretical

  2. Mechanisms and ecological consequences of plant defence induction and suppression in herbivore communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kant, M R; Jonckheere, W; Knegt, B; Lemos, F; Liu, J; Schimmel, B C J; Villarroel, C A; Ataide, L M S; Dermauw, W; Glas, J J; Egas, M; Janssen, A; Van Leeuwen, T; Schuurink, R C; Sabelis, M W; Alba, J M

    2015-06-01

    exploitative competition and facilitation within ecological communities "inhabiting" a plant. Herbivores have evolved diverse strategies, which are not mutually exclusive, to decrease the negative effects of plant defences in order to maximize the conversion of plant material into offspring. Numerous adaptations have been found in herbivores, enabling them to dismantle or bypass defensive barriers, to avoid tissues with relatively high levels of defensive chemicals or to metabolize these chemicals once ingested. In addition, some herbivores interfere with the onset or completion of induced plant defences, resulting in the plant's resistance being partly or fully suppressed. The ability to suppress induced plant defences appears to occur across plant parasites from different kingdoms, including herbivorous arthropods, and there is remarkable diversity in suppression mechanisms. Suppression may strongly affect the structure of the food web, because the ability to suppress the activation of defences of a communal host may facilitate competitors, whereas the ability of a herbivore to cope with activated plant defences will not. Further characterization of the mechanisms and traits that give rise to suppression of plant defences will enable us to determine their role in shaping direct and indirect interactions in food webs and the extent to which these determine the coexistence and persistence of species. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Pollinator-driven ecological speciation in plants: new evidence and future perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van der Niet, Timotheüs; Peakall, Rod; Johnson, Steven D

    2014-01-01

    The hypothesis that pollinators have been important drivers of angiosperm diversity dates back to Darwin, and remains an important research topic today. Mounting evidence indicates that pollinators have the potential to drive diversification at several different stages of the evolutionary process. Microevolutionary studies have provided evidence for pollinator-mediated floral adaptation, while macroevolutionary evidence supports a general pattern of pollinator-driven diversification of angiosperms. However, the overarching issue of whether, and how, shifts in pollination system drive plant speciation represents a critical gap in knowledge. Bridging this gap is crucial to fully understand whether pollinator-driven microevolution accounts for the observed macroevolutionary patterns. Testable predictions about pollinator-driven speciation can be derived from the theory of ecological speciation, according to which adaptation (microevolution) and speciation (macroevolution) are directly linked. This theory is a particularly suitable framework for evaluating evidence for the processes underlying shifts in pollination systems and their potential consequences for the evolution of reproductive isolation and speciation. This Viewpoint paper focuses on evidence for the four components of ecological speciation in the context of plant-pollinator interactions, namely (1) the role of pollinators as selective agents, (2) floral trait divergence, including the evolution of 'pollination ecotypes', (3) the geographical context of selection on floral traits, and (4) the role of pollinators in the evolution of reproductive isolation. This Viewpoint also serves as the introduction to a Special Issue on Pollinator-Driven Speciation in Plants. The 13 papers in this Special Issue range from microevolutionary studies of ecotypes to macroevolutionary studies of historical ecological shifts, and span a wide range of geographical areas and plant families. These studies further illustrate

  4. Pollinator-driven ecological speciation in plants: new evidence and future perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van der Niet, Timotheüs; Peakall, Rod; Johnson, Steven D.

    2014-01-01

    Background The hypothesis that pollinators have been important drivers of angiosperm diversity dates back to Darwin, and remains an important research topic today. Mounting evidence indicates that pollinators have the potential to drive diversification at several different stages of the evolutionary process. Microevolutionary studies have provided evidence for pollinator-mediated floral adaptation, while macroevolutionary evidence supports a general pattern of pollinator-driven diversification of angiosperms. However, the overarching issue of whether, and how, shifts in pollination system drive plant speciation represents a critical gap in knowledge. Bridging this gap is crucial to fully understand whether pollinator-driven microevolution accounts for the observed macroevolutionary patterns. Testable predictions about pollinator-driven speciation can be derived from the theory of ecological speciation, according to which adaptation (microevolution) and speciation (macroevolution) are directly linked. This theory is a particularly suitable framework for evaluating evidence for the processes underlying shifts in pollination systems and their potential consequences for the evolution of reproductive isolation and speciation. Scope This Viewpoint paper focuses on evidence for the four components of ecological speciation in the context of plant-pollinator interactions, namely (1) the role of pollinators as selective agents, (2) floral trait divergence, including the evolution of ‘pollination ecotypes‘, (3) the geographical context of selection on floral traits, and (4) the role of pollinators in the evolution of reproductive isolation. This Viewpoint also serves as the introduction to a Special Issue on Pollinator-Driven Speciation in Plants. The 13 papers in this Special Issue range from microevolutionary studies of ecotypes to macroevolutionary studies of historical ecological shifts, and span a wide range of geographical areas and plant families. These studies

  5. Integrating plant ecological responses to climate extremes from individual to ecosystem levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felton, Andrew J; Smith, Melinda D

    2017-06-19

    Climate extremes will elicit responses from the individual to the ecosystem level. However, only recently have ecologists begun to synthetically assess responses to climate extremes across multiple levels of ecological organization. We review the literature to examine how plant responses vary and interact across levels of organization, focusing on how individual, population and community responses may inform ecosystem-level responses in herbaceous and forest plant communities. We report a high degree of variability at the individual level, and a consequential inconsistency in the translation of individual or population responses to directional changes in community- or ecosystem-level processes. The scaling of individual or population responses to community or ecosystem responses is often predicated upon the functional identity of the species in the community, in particular, the dominant species. Furthermore, the reported stability in plant community composition and functioning with respect to extremes is often driven by processes that operate at the community level, such as species niche partitioning and compensatory responses during or after the event. Future research efforts would benefit from assessing ecological responses across multiple levels of organization, as this will provide both a holistic and mechanistic understanding of ecosystem responses to increasing climatic variability.This article is part of the themed issue 'Behavioural, ecological and evolutionary responses to extreme climatic events'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  6. The ecology of plant secondary metabolites : from genes to global processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Iason, G.R.; Dicke, M.; Hartley, S.E.

    2012-01-01

    Plant secondary metabolites (PSM) such as terpenes and phenolic compounds are known to have numerous ecological roles, notably in defence against herbivores, pathogens and abiotic stresses and in interactions with competitors and mutualists. This book reviews recent developments in the field to

  7. Comparing spatially explicit ecological and social values for natural areas to identify effective conservation strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryan, Brett Anthony; Raymond, Christopher Mark; Crossman, Neville David; King, Darran

    2011-02-01

    Consideration of the social values people assign to relatively undisturbed native ecosystems is critical for the success of science-based conservation plans. We used an interview process to identify and map social values assigned to 31 ecosystem services provided by natural areas in an agricultural landscape in southern Australia. We then modeled the spatial distribution of 12 components of ecological value commonly used in setting spatial conservation priorities. We used the analytical hierarchy process to weight these components and used multiattribute utility theory to combine them into a single spatial layer of ecological value. Social values assigned to natural areas were negatively correlated with ecological values overall, but were positively correlated with some components of ecological value. In terms of the spatial distribution of values, people valued protected areas, whereas those natural areas underrepresented in the reserve system were of higher ecological value. The habitats of threatened animal species were assigned both high ecological value and high social value. Only small areas were assigned both high ecological value and high social value in the study area, whereas large areas of high ecological value were of low social value, and vice versa. We used the assigned ecological and social values to identify different conservation strategies (e.g., information sharing, community engagement, incentive payments) that may be effective for specific areas. We suggest that consideration of both ecological and social values in selection of conservation strategies can enhance the success of science-based conservation planning. ©2010 Society for Conservation Biology.

  8. Ecological effects of aphid abundance, genotypic variation, and contemporary evolution on plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turley, Nash E; Johnson, Marc T J

    2015-07-01

    Genetic variation and contemporary evolution within populations can shape the strength and nature of species interactions, but the relative importance of these forces compared to other ecological factors is unclear. We conducted a field experiment testing the effects of genotypic variation, abundance, and presence/absence of green peach aphids (Myzus persicae) on the growth, leaf nitrogen, and carbon of two plant species (Brassica napus and Solanum nigrum). Aphid genotype affected B. napus but not S. nigrum biomass explaining 20 and 7% of the total variation, respectively. Averaging across both plant species, the presence/absence of aphids had a 1.6× larger effect size (Cohen's d) than aphid genotype, and aphid abundance had the strongest negative effects on plant biomass explaining 29% of the total variation. On B. napus, aphid genotypes had different effects on leaf nitrogen depending on their abundance. Aphids did not influence leaf nitrogen in S. nigrum nor leaf carbon in either species. We conducted a second experiment in the field to test whether contemporary evolution could affect plant performance. Aphid populations evolved in as little as five generations, but the rate and direction of this evolution did not consistently vary between plant species. On one host species (B. napus), faster evolving populations had greater negative effects on host plant biomass, with aphid evolutionary rate explaining 23% of the variation in host plant biomass. Together, these results show that genetic variation and evolution in an insect herbivore can play important roles in shaping host plant ecology.

  9. Nutritional and cultural aspects of plant species selection for a controlled ecological life support system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoff, J. E.; Howe, J. M.; Mitchell, C. A.

    1982-01-01

    The feasibility of using higher plants in a controlled ecological life support system is discussed. Aspects of this system considered important in the use of higher plants include: limited energy, space, and mass, and problems relating to cultivation and management of plants, food processing, the psychological impact of vegetarian diets, and plant propagation. A total of 115 higher plant species are compared based on 21 selection criteria.

  10. Mechanisms of selenium hyperaccumulation in plants: A survey of molecular, biochemical and ecological cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lima, Leonardo Warzea; Pilon-Smits, Elizabeth A H; Schiavon, Michela

    2018-04-04

    Selenium (Se) is a micronutrient required for many life forms, but toxic at higher concentration. Plants do not have a Se requirement, but can benefit from Se via enhanced antioxidant activity. Some plant species can accumulate Se to concentrations above 0.1% of dry weight and seem to possess mechanisms that distinguish Se from its analog sulfur (S). Research on these so-called Se hyperaccumulators aims to identify key genes for this remarkable trait and to understand ecological implications. This review gives a broad overview of the current knowledge about Se uptake and metabolism in plants, with a special emphasis on hypothesized mechanisms of Se hyperaccumulation. The role of Se in plant defense responses and the associated ecological implications are discussed. Hyperaccumulators have enhanced expression of S transport and assimilation genes, and may possess transporters with higher specificity for selenate over sulfate. Genes involved in antioxidant reactions and biotic stress resistance are also upregulated. Key regulators in these processes appear to be the growth regulators jasmonic acid, salicylic acid and ethylene. Hyperaccumulation may have evolved owing to associated ecological benefits, particularly protection against pathogens and herbivores, and as a form of elemental allelopathy. Understanding plant Se uptake and metabolism in hyperaccumulators has broad relevance for the environment, agriculture and human and animal nutrition and may help generate crops with selenate-specific uptake and high capacity to convert selenate to less toxic, anticarcinogenic, organic Se compounds. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Approach and strategy for performing ecological risk assessments for the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge Reservation: 1994 revision

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suter, G.W. II; Sample, B.E.; Jones, D.S.; Ashwood, T.L.

    1994-08-01

    This report provides guidance for planning and performing ecological risk assessments on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). The tiered approach to ecological risk assessment has been implemented, generic conceptual models have been developed, and a general approach for developing ecological assessment endpoints and measurement endpoints has been agreed upon. The document also includes changes in terminology to agree with the terminology in the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) framework for ecological risk assessment. Although ecological risks are equal in regulatory importance to human health risks, formal procedures for ecological risk assessment are poorly developed. This report will provide specific guidance and promote the use of consistent approaches for ecological risk assessments at individual sites on the ORR. The strategy discussed in this report is consistent with the overall strategy for site management and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) compliance and with relevant EPA guidance. The general approach and strategy presented herein was developed for the ORR, but it should be applicable to other complex CERCLA sites that possess significant ecological resources

  12. New handbook for standardised measurement of plant functional traits worldwide.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Perez-Harguindeguy, N.; Diaz, S.; Garnier, E.; Lavorel, S.; Poorter, H.; Jaureguiberry, P.; Bret-Harte, M.S.; Cornwell, W.K.; Craine, J.M.; Gurvich, D.E.; Urcelay, C.; Veneklaas, E.J.; Reich, P.B.; Poorter, L.; Wright, I.J.; Ray, P.; Enrico, L.; Pausas, J.G.; de Vos, A.C.; Buchmann, N.; Funes, G.; Quetier, F.; Hodgson, J.G.; Thompson, K.; Morgan, H.D.; ter Steege, H.; van der Heijden, M.G.A.; Sack, L.; Blonder, B.; Poschlod, P.; Vaieretti, M.V.; Conti, G.; Staver, A.C.; Aquino, S.; Cornelissen, J.H.C.

    2013-01-01

    Plant functional traits are the features (morphological, physiological, phenological) that represent ecological strategies and determine how plants respond to environmental factors, affect other trophic levels and influence ecosystem properties. Variation in plant functional traits, and trait

  13. Central receiver power plant: an environmental, ecological, and socioeconomic analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Davison, M.; Grether, D.

    1977-06-01

    The technical details of the central receiver design are reviewed. Socio-economic questions are considered including: market penetration, air industrial sector model, demands on industry, employment, effluents associated with manufacture of components, strains due to intensive construction, water requirements, and land requirements. The ecological effects in the vicinity of the central receiver plant site are dealt with, with emphasis on effects on land surface, mammals, and reptiles and amphibians. Climatological considerations are reviewed including: desert types, effects of surface albedo modification, effects of aerosols, effects on evaporation rates, the heliostat canopy, effects on turbulent transfer rates, effects on the wind profile, a model of convection about a central receiver plant, and a global scenario. Drawings of heliostat and plant design are included in appendices. (MHR)

  14. Insect herbivores drive real-time ecological and evolutionary change in plant populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agrawal, Anurag A; Hastings, Amy P; Johnson, Marc T J; Maron, John L; Salminen, Juha-Pekka

    2012-10-05

    Insect herbivores are hypothesized to be major factors affecting the ecology and evolution of plants. We tested this prediction by suppressing insects in replicated field populations of a native plant, Oenothera biennis, which reduced seed predation, altered interspecific competitive dynamics, and resulted in rapid evolutionary divergence. Comparative genotyping and phenotyping of nearly 12,000 O. biennis individuals revealed that in plots protected from insects, resistance to herbivores declined through time owing to changes in flowering time and lower defensive ellagitannins in fruits, whereas plant competitive ability increased. This independent real-time evolution of plant resistance and competitive ability in the field resulted from the relaxation of direct selective effects of insects on plant defense and through indirect effects due to reduced herbivory on plant competitors.

  15. Global Invader Impact Network (GIIN): toward standardized evaluation of the ecological impacts of invasive plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barney, Jacob N; Tekiela, Daniel R; Barrios-Garcia, Maria Noelia; Dimarco, Romina D; Hufbauer, Ruth A; Leipzig-Scott, Peter; Nuñez, Martin A; Pauchard, Aníbal; Pyšek, Petr; Vítková, Michaela; Maxwell, Bruce D

    2015-07-01

    Terrestrial invasive plants are a global problem and are becoming ubiquitous components of most ecosystems. They are implicated in altering disturbance regimes, reducing biodiversity, and changing ecosystem function, sometimes in profound and irreversible ways. However, the ecological impacts of most invasive plants have not been studied experimentally, and most research to date focuses on few types of impacts, which can vary greatly among studies. Thus, our knowledge of existing ecological impacts ascribed to invasive plants is surprisingly limited in both breadth and depth. Our aim was to propose a standard methodology for quantifying baseline ecological impact that, in theory, is scalable to any terrestrial plant invader (e.g., annual grasses to trees) and any invaded system (e.g., grassland to forest). The Global Invader Impact Network (GIIN) is a coordinated distributed experiment composed of an observational and manipulative methodology. The protocol consists of a series of plots located in (1) an invaded area; (2) an adjacent removal treatment within the invaded area; and (3) a spatially separate uninvaded area thought to be similar to pre-invasion conditions of the invaded area. A standardized and inexpensive suite of community, soil, and ecosystem metrics are collected allowing broad comparisons among measurements, populations, and species. The method allows for one-time comparisons and for long-term monitoring enabling one to derive information about change due to invasion over time. Invader removal plots will also allow for quantification of legacy effects and their return rates, which will be monitored for several years. GIIN uses a nested hierarchical scale approach encompassing multiple sites, regions, and continents. Currently, GIIN has network members in six countries, with new members encouraged. To date, study species include representatives of annual and perennial grasses; annual and perennial forbs; shrubs; and trees. The goal of the GIIN

  16. Current issues in the evolutionary ecology of ant-plant symbioses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Veronika E; Frederickson, Megan E; McKey, Doyle; Blatrix, Rumsaïs

    2014-05-01

    Ant-plant symbioses involve plants that provide hollow structures specialized for housing ants and often food to ants. In return, the inhabiting ants protect plants against herbivores and sometimes provide them with nutrients. Here, we review recent advances in ant-plant symbioses, focusing on three areas. First, the nutritional ecology of plant-ants, which is based not only on plant-derived food rewards, but also on inputs from other symbiotic partners, in particular fungi and possibly bacteria. Food and protection are the most important 'currencies' exchanged between partners and they drive the nature and evolution of the relationships. Secondly, studies of conflict and cooperation in ant-plant symbioses have contributed key insights into the evolution and maintenance of mutualism, particularly how partner-mediated feedbacks affect the specificity and stability of mutualisms. There is little evidence that mutualistic ants or plants are under selection to cheat, but the costs and benefits of ant-plant interactions do vary with environmental factors, making them vulnerable to natural or anthropogenic environmental change. Thus, thirdly, ant-plant symbioses should be considered good models for investigating the effects of global change on the outcome of mutualistic interactions. © 2014 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

  17. Small unmanned aerial vehicles (micro-UAVs, drones) in plant ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruzan, Mitchell B; Weinstein, Ben G; Grasty, Monica R; Kohrn, Brendan F; Hendrickson, Elizabeth C; Arredondo, Tina M; Thompson, Pamela G

    2016-09-01

    Low-elevation surveys with small aerial drones (micro-unmanned aerial vehicles [UAVs]) may be used for a wide variety of applications in plant ecology, including mapping vegetation over small- to medium-sized regions. We provide an overview of methods and procedures for conducting surveys and illustrate some of these applications. Aerial images were obtained by flying a small drone along transects over the area of interest. Images were used to create a composite image (orthomosaic) and a digital surface model (DSM). Vegetation classification was conducted manually and using an automated routine. Coverage of an individual species was estimated from aerial images. We created a vegetation map for the entire region from the orthomosaic and DSM, and mapped the density of one species. Comparison of our manual and automated habitat classification confirmed that our mapping methods were accurate. A species with high contrast to the background matrix allowed adequate estimate of its coverage. The example surveys demonstrate that small aerial drones are capable of gathering large amounts of information on the distribution of vegetation and individual species with minimal impact to sensitive habitats. Low-elevation aerial surveys have potential for a wide range of applications in plant ecology.

  18. Principles and methods of ecological information science in the solution of ecological problems of the nuclear power industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vorob'ev, E.I.; Kokoreva, L.V.; Reznichenko, V.Y.

    1989-01-01

    The accident at Chernobyl' Atomic Power Plant has drawn attention to the ecological aspects of the development of the nuclear power industry. It has become clear that the stage of discussions of the importance of ecological problems and of the advisability of studying them further has passed. We now face the stage of carrying out specific tasks: the creation of regional and global monitoring systems; the collection and analysis of data on the effect of nuclear power on nature and humans; modeling and optimization of the strategy for developing the power industry with consideration for ecological aspects; ecological factoring in scientific and technical decisions related to atomic power plant design and siting; and so forth. Three main areas of application of ecological information science can be identified in the nuclear power industry: the creation of global data banks on the safety and reliability of enterprises involved in the nuclear fuel cycle; the development of standard tools for processing and analysis of ecological data; and the creation of tools to support decisions in the field of ecology. The authors' experience in working with information systems and various groups of untrained users (biologists, medical workers, ecologists, etc.) makes possible the conclusion that the most important requirement is a convenient interface that does not require a great deal of effort to master. In the systems discussed here, the authors used structured query languages and menus

  19. Approach and strategy for performing ecological risk assessments for the U.S. Department of Energy`s Oak Ridge Reservation: 1994 revision

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Suter, G.W. II; Sample, B.E.; Jones, D.S.; Ashwood, T.L.

    1994-08-01

    This report provides guidance for planning and performing ecological risk assessments on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). The tiered approach to ecological risk assessment has been implemented, generic conceptual models have been developed, and a general approach for developing ecological assessment endpoints and measurement endpoints has been agreed upon. The document also includes changes in terminology to agree with the terminology in the US Environmental Protection Agency`s (EPA`s) framework for ecological risk assessment. Although ecological risks are equal in regulatory importance to human health risks, formal procedures for ecological risk assessment are poorly developed. This report will provide specific guidance and promote the use of consistent approaches for ecological risk assessments at individual sites on the ORR. The strategy discussed in this report is consistent with the overall strategy for site management and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) compliance and with relevant EPA guidance. The general approach and strategy presented herein was developed for the ORR, but it should be applicable to other complex CERCLA sites that possess significant ecological resources.

  20. Genome-Wide Association Studies In Plant Pathosystems: Toward an Ecological Genomics Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Bartoli

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The emergence and re-emergence of plant pathogenic microorganisms are processes that imply perturbations in both host and pathogen ecological niches. Global change is largely assumed to drive the emergence of new etiological agents by altering the equilibrium of the ecological habitats which in turn places hosts more in contact with pathogen reservoirs. In this context, the number of epidemics is expected to increase dramatically in the next coming decades both in wild and crop plants. Under these considerations, the identification of the genetic variants underlying natural variation of resistance is a pre-requisite to estimate the adaptive potential of wild plant populations and to develop new breeding resistant cultivars. On the other hand, the prediction of pathogen's genetic determinants underlying disease emergence can help to identify plant resistance alleles. In the genomic era, whole genome sequencing combined with the development of statistical methods led to the emergence of Genome Wide Association (GWA mapping, a powerful tool for detecting genomic regions associated with natural variation of disease resistance in both wild and cultivated plants. However, GWA mapping has been less employed for the detection of genetic variants associated with pathogenicity in microbes. Here, we reviewed GWA studies performed either in plants or in pathogenic microorganisms (bacteria, fungi and oomycetes. In addition, we highlighted the benefits and caveats of the emerging joint GWA mapping approach that allows for the simultaneous identification of genes interacting between genomes of both partners. Finally, based on co-evolutionary processes in wild populations, we highlighted a phenotyping-free joint GWA mapping approach as a promising tool for describing the molecular landscape underlying plant - microbe interactions.

  1. The genetics of indirect ecological effects - plant parasites and aphid herbivores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer K Rowntree

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available When parasitic plants and aphid herbivores share a host, both direct and indirect ecological effects (IEEs can influence evolutionary processes. We used a hemiparasitic plant (Rhinanthus minor, a grass host (Hordeum vulgare and a cereal aphid (Sitobion avenae to investigate the genetics of IEEs between the aphid and the parasitic plant, and looked to see how these might affect or be influenced by the genetic diversity of the host plants. Survival of R. minor depended on the parasite’s population of origin, the genotypes of the aphids sharing the host and the genetic diversity in the host plant community. Hence the indirect effects of the aphids on the parasitic plants depended on the genetic environment of the system. Here, we show that genetic variation can be important in determining the outcome of IEEs. Therefore, IEEs have the potential to influence evolutionary processes and the continuity of species interactions over time.

  2. Adaptations of a Yucatec Maya Multiple-Use Ecological Management Strategy to Ecotourism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo García-Frapolli

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Over the last 40 years, the Yucatan Peninsula has experienced the implementation and promotion of development programs that have economically and ecologically shaped this region of Mexico. Nowadays, tourist development has become the principal catalyst of social, economic, and ecological changes in the region. All these programs, which are based on a specialization rationale, have historically clashed with traditional Yucatec Maya management of natural resources. Using participant observation, informal and semi-structured interviews, and life-history interviews, we carried out an assessment of a Yucatec Maya natural resources management system implemented by three indigenous communities located within a natural protected area. The assessment, intended as an examination of the land-use practices and productive strategies currently implemented by households, was framed within an ecological-economic approach to ecosystems appropriation. To examine the influence of tourism on the multiple-use strategy, we contrasted productive activities among households engaged primarily in ecotourism with those more oriented toward traditional agriculture. Results show that households from these communities allocated an annual average of 586 work days to implement a total of 15 activities in five different land-use units, and that those figures vary significantly in accordance with households' productive strategy (agriculture oriented or service oriented. As the region is quickly becoming an important tourist destination and ecotourism is replacing many traditional activities, we discuss the need for a balance between traditional and alternative economic activities that will allow Yucatec Maya communities to diversify their economic options without compromising existing local management practices.

  3. Linking the benefits of ecosystem services to sustainable spatial planning of ecological conservation strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Lin; Cao, Wei; Xu, Xinliang; Fan, Jiangwen; Wang, Junbang

    2018-09-15

    The maintenance and improvement of ecosystem services on the Tibet Plateau are critical for national ecological security in China and are core objectives of ecological conservation in this region. In this paper, ecosystem service benefits of the Tibet Ecological Conservation Project were comprehensively assessed by estimating and mapping the spatiotemporal variation patterns of critical ecosystem services on the Tibet Plateau from 2000 to 2015. Furthermore, we linked the benefit assessment to the sustainable spatial planning of future ecological conservation strategies. Comparing the 8 years before and after the project, the water retention and carbon sink services of the forest, grassland and wetland ecosystems were slightly increased after the project, and the ecosystem sand fixation service has been steadily enhanced. The increasing forage supply service of grassland significantly reduced the grassland carrying pressure and eased the conflict between grassland and livestock. However, enhanced rainfall erosivity occurred due to increased rainfall, and root-layer soils could not recover in a short period of time, both factors have led to a decline in soil conservation service. The warm and humid climate is beneficial for the restoration of ecosystems on the Tibet Plateau, and the implementation of the Tibet Ecological Conservation Project has had a positive effect on the local improvement of ecosystem services. A new spatial planning strategy for ecological conservation was introduced and aims to establish a comprehensive, nationwide system to protect important natural ecosystems and wildlife, and to promote the sustainable use of natural resources. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Ecology of root colonizing Massilia (Oxalobacteraceae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maya Ofek

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Ecologically meaningful classification of bacterial populations is essential for understanding the structure and function of bacterial communities. As in soils, the ecological strategy of the majority of root-colonizing bacteria is mostly unknown. Among those are Massilia (Oxalobacteraceae, a major group of rhizosphere and root colonizing bacteria of many plant species. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The ecology of Massilia was explored in cucumber root and seed, and compared to that of Agrobacterium population, using culture-independent tools, including DNA-based pyrosequencing, fluorescence in situ hybridization and quantitative real-time PCR. Seed- and root-colonizing Massilia were primarily affiliated with other members of the genus described in soil and rhizosphere. Massilia colonized and proliferated on the seed coat, radicle, roots, and also on hyphae of phytopathogenic Pythium aphanidermatum infecting seeds. High variation in Massilia abundance was found in relation to plant developmental stage, along with sensitivity to plant growth medium modification (amendment with organic matter and potential competitors. Massilia absolute abundance and relative abundance (dominance were positively related, and peaked (up to 85% at early stages of succession of the root microbiome. In comparison, variation in abundance of Agrobacterium was moderate and their dominance increased at later stages of succession. CONCLUSIONS: In accordance with contemporary models for microbial ecology classification, copiotrophic and competition-sensitive root colonization by Massilia is suggested. These bacteria exploit, in a transient way, a window of opportunity within the succession of communities within this niche.

  5. Ecology of root colonizing Massilia (Oxalobacteraceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ofek, Maya; Hadar, Yitzhak; Minz, Dror

    2012-01-01

    Ecologically meaningful classification of bacterial populations is essential for understanding the structure and function of bacterial communities. As in soils, the ecological strategy of the majority of root-colonizing bacteria is mostly unknown. Among those are Massilia (Oxalobacteraceae), a major group of rhizosphere and root colonizing bacteria of many plant species. The ecology of Massilia was explored in cucumber root and seed, and compared to that of Agrobacterium population, using culture-independent tools, including DNA-based pyrosequencing, fluorescence in situ hybridization and quantitative real-time PCR. Seed- and root-colonizing Massilia were primarily affiliated with other members of the genus described in soil and rhizosphere. Massilia colonized and proliferated on the seed coat, radicle, roots, and also on hyphae of phytopathogenic Pythium aphanidermatum infecting seeds. High variation in Massilia abundance was found in relation to plant developmental stage, along with sensitivity to plant growth medium modification (amendment with organic matter) and potential competitors. Massilia absolute abundance and relative abundance (dominance) were positively related, and peaked (up to 85%) at early stages of succession of the root microbiome. In comparison, variation in abundance of Agrobacterium was moderate and their dominance increased at later stages of succession. In accordance with contemporary models for microbial ecology classification, copiotrophic and competition-sensitive root colonization by Massilia is suggested. These bacteria exploit, in a transient way, a window of opportunity within the succession of communities within this niche.

  6. Nuclear Power Plant Outage Optimization Strategy. 2016 Edition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2016-10-01

    This publication is an update of IAEA-TECDOC-1315, Nuclear Power Plant Outage Optimisation Strategy, which was published in 2002, and aims to communicate good outage management practices in a manner that can be used by operators and utilities in Member States. Nuclear power plant outage management is a key factor for safe and economic nuclear power plant performance. This publication discusses plant outage strategy and how this strategy is actually implemented. The main areas that are important for outage optimization that were identified by the utilities and government organizations participating in this report are: 1) organization and management; 2) outage planning and preparation; 3) outage execution; 4) safety outage review; and 5) counter measures to avoid the extension of outages and to facilitate the work in forced outages. Good outage management practices cover many different areas of work and this publication aims to communicate these good practices in a way that they can be used effectively by operators and utilities

  7. Requirements on future energy supply. Analysis on the demand of future power plant capacity and strategy for a sustainable power utilization in Germany

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2003-08-01

    This strategy paper was drawn up with a view to maximum ecological compatibility of pwer plant modernization and sustainable power generation and use. The first part of the paper analyzes the power plants to be decommissioned on a medium-term basis and - against the background of several different scenarios for future power demand - an estimate of power plant capacities required by 2020. The second part describes the goals and concrete requirements of sustainable energy use. In the final part, the available instruments are presented, and those instruments are recommended that will be best suited for making power demand and supply efficient, sustainable and environment-friend.y [de

  8. Caatinga Revisited: Ecology and Conservation of an Important Seasonal Dry Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino; de Lima Araújo, Elcida; El-Deir, Ana Carla Asfora; de Lima, André Luiz Alves; Souto, Antonio; Bezerra, Bruna Martins; Ferraz, Elba Maria Nogueira; Maria Xavier Freire, Eliza; Sampaio, Everardo Valadares de Sá Barreto; Las-Casas, Flor Maria Guedes; de Moura, Geraldo Jorge Barbosa; Pereira, Glauco Alves; de Melo, Joabe Gomes; Alves Ramos, Marcelo; Rodal, Maria Jesus Nogueira; Schiel, Nicola; de Lyra-Neves, Rachel Maria; Alves, Rômulo Romeu Nóbrega; de Azevedo-Júnior, Severino Mendes; Telino Júnior, Wallace Rodrigues; Severi, William

    2012-01-01

    Besides its extreme climate conditions, the Caatinga (a type of tropical seasonal forest) hosts an impressive faunal and floristic biodiversity. In the last 50 years there has been a considerable increase in the number of studies in the area. Here we aimed to present a review of these studies, focusing on four main fields: vertebrate ecology, plant ecology, human ecology, and ethnobiology. Furthermore, we identify directions for future research. We hope that the present paper will help defining actions and strategies for the conservation of the biological diversity of the Caatinga. PMID:22919296

  9. Caatinga Revisited: Ecology and Conservation of an Important Seasonal Dry Forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulysses Paulino de Albuquerque

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Besides its extreme climate conditions, the Caatinga (a type of tropical seasonal forest hosts an impressive faunal and floristic biodiversity. In the last 50 years there has been a considerable increase in the number of studies in the area. Here we aimed to present a review of these studies, focusing on four main fields: vertebrate ecology, plant ecology, human ecology, and ethnobiology. Furthermore, we identify directions for future research. We hope that the present paper will help defining actions and strategies for the conservation of the biological diversity of the Caatinga.

  10. Determinants of litter decomposition in a tropical forest: functional traits, phylogeny and ecological succession

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Szefer, Piotr; Carmona, C. S.; Chmel, Kryštof; Konečná, M.; Libra, Martin; Molem, K.; Novotný, Vojtěch; Segar, Simon Tristram; Švamberková, E.; Topliceanu, T.-S.; Lepš, Jan

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 126, č. 8 (2017), s. 1101-1111 ISSN 0030-1299 R&D Projects: GA ČR GB14-36098G Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : nitrogen content * successional status * plant resource-use strategy Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 4.030, year: 2016 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/oik.03670/full

  11. 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...

  12. Management, use and ecology of medicinal plants in the degraded dry lands of Tigray, Northern Ethiopia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hizikias, E.B.; Aynekulu, E.; Mekuria, W.; Endale, D.

    2011-01-01

    An ethnomedicinal study was conducted to document the indigenous medicinal plant knowledge on the management, use, and ecology of locally important medicinal plants in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia. Ethnobotanical data were collected from 250 people, using semi-structured questionnaires, field

  13. Transgenic Strategies for Enhancement of Nematode Resistance in Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad A. Ali

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Plant parasitic nematodes (PPNs are obligate biotrophic parasites causing serious damage and reduction in crop yields. Several economically important genera parasitize various crop plants. The root-knot, root lesion, and cyst nematodes are the three most economically damaging genera of PPNs on crops within the family Heteroderidae. It is very important to devise various management strategies against PPNs in economically important crop plants. Genetic engineering has proven a promising tool for the development of biotic and abiotic stress tolerance in crop plants. Additionally, the genetic engineering leading to transgenic plants harboring nematode resistance genes has demonstrated its significance in the field of plant nematology. Here, we have discussed the use of genetic engineering for the development of nematode resistance in plants. This review article also provides a detailed account of transgenic strategies for the resistance against PPNs. The strategies include natural resistance genes, cloning of proteinase inhibitor coding genes, anti-nematodal proteins and use of RNA interference to suppress nematode effectors. Furthermore, the manipulation of expression levels of genes induced and suppressed by nematodes has also been suggested as an innovative approach for inducing nematode resistance in plants. The information in this article will provide an array of possibilities to engineer resistance against PPNs in different crop plants.

  14. Fungal Biofilms: Targets for the Development of Novel Strategies in Plant Disease Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villa, Federica; Cappitelli, Francesca; Cortesi, Paolo; Kunova, Andrea

    2017-01-01

    The global food supply has been facing increasing challenges during the first decades of the 21 st century. Disease in plants is an important constraint to worldwide crop production, accounting for 20-40% of its annual harvest loss. Although the use of resistant varieties, good water management and agronomic practices are valid management tools in counteracting plant diseases, there are still many pathosystems where fungicides are widely used for disease management. However, restrictive regulations and increasing concern regarding the risk to human health and the environment, along with the incidence of fungicide resistance, have discouraged their use and have prompted for a search for new efficient, ecologically friendly and sustainable disease management strategies. The recent evidence of biofilm formation by fungal phytopathogens provides the scientific framework for designing and adapting methods and concepts developed by biofilm research that could be integrated in IPM practices. In this perspective paper, we provide evidence to support the view that the biofilm lifestyle plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of plant diseases. We describe the main factors limiting the durability of single-site fungicides, and we assemble the current knowledge on pesticide resistance in the specific context of the biofilm lifestyle. Finally, we illustrate the potential of antibiofilm compounds at sub-lethal concentrations for the development of an innovative, eco-sustainable strategy to counteract phytopathogenic fungi. Such fungicide-free solutions will be instrumental in reducing disease severity, and will permit more prudent use of fungicides decreasing thus the selection of resistant forms and safeguarding the environment.

  15. Ecological Insights into the Dynamics of Plant Biomass-Degrading Microbial Consortia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez, Diego Javier; Dini-Andreote, Francisco; DeAngelis, Kristen M; Singer, Steven W; Salles, Joana Falcão; van Elsas, Jan Dirk

    2017-10-01

    Plant biomass (PB) is an important resource for biofuel production. However, the frequent lack of efficiency of PB saccharification is still an industrial bottleneck. The use of enzyme cocktails produced from PB-degrading microbial consortia (PB-dmc) is a promising approach to optimize this process. Nevertheless, the proper use and manipulation of PB-dmc depends on a sound understanding of the ecological processes and mechanisms that exist in these communities. This Opinion article provides an overview of arguments as to how spatiotemporal nutritional fluxes influence the successional dynamics and ecological interactions (synergism versus competition) between populations in PB-dmc. The themes of niche occupancy, 'sugar cheaters', minimal effective consortium, and the Black Queen Hypothesis are raised as key subjects that foster our appraisal of such systems. Here we provide a conceptual framework that describes the critical topics underpinning the ecological basis of PB-dmc, giving a solid foundation upon which further prospective experimentation can be developed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Advanced ecological and economical power plant technology based on CFB combustion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Samant, G.; Hirschfelder, H.

    1993-01-01

    The scenario of the power plant industry is worldwide affected by one important issue, namely the stringent and steadily increasing environment regulations. Fluidized bed boilers, based on Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB) technology with in-situ emission control, and improved economics as well as with proven record of high efficiency and reliability meets the ecological, economical and technical requirements. It should be noted that in addition to their attractive performance, regarding efficiency and pollution control, coal fired CFB boilers have been successfully introduced not only in power plant industry, but also in other industrial units such as chemical plants, automobile industry, paper mills, cement, etc. The experience gained to date confirms the advantages and also the reliability of this technology. (author)

  17. Engineering stategies and implications of using higher plants for throttling gas and water exchange in a controlled ecological life support system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamberland, Dennis; Wheeler, Raymond M.; Corey, Kenneth A.

    1993-01-01

    Engineering stategies for advanced life support systems to be used on Lunar and Mars bases involve a wide spectrum of approaches. These range from purely physical-chemical life support strategies to purely biological approaches. Within the context of biological based systems, a bioengineered system can be devised that would utilize the metabolic mechanisms of plants to control the rates of CO2 uptake and O2 evolution (photosynthesis) and water production (transpiration). Such a mechanism of external engineering control has become known as throttling. Research conducted at the John F. Kennedy Space Center's Controlled Ecological Life Support System Breadboard Project has demonstrated the potential of throttling these fluxes by changing environmental parameters affecting the plant processes. Among the more effective environmental throttles are: light and CO2 concentration for controllingthe rate of photsynthesis and humidity and CO2 concentration for controlling transpiration. Such a bioengineered strategy implies control mechanisms that in the past have not been widely attributed to life support systems involving biological components and suggests a broad range of applications in advanced life support system design.

  18. Microbiome selection could spur next-generation plant breeding strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Murali Gopal

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Plants, though sessile, have developed a unique strategy to counter biotic and abiotic stresses by symbiotically co-evolving with microorganisms and tapping into their genome for this purpose. Soil is the bank of microbial diversity from which a plant selectively sources its microbiome to suit its needs. Besides soil, seeds, which carry the genetic blueprint of plants during trans-generational propagation, are home to diverse microbiota that acts as the principal source of microbial inoculum in crop cultivation. Overall, a plant is ensconced both on the outside and inside with a diverse assemblage of microbiota. Together, the plant genome and the genes of the microbiota that the plant harbours in different plant tissues i.e the ‘plant microbiome’, form the holobiome which is now considered as unit of selection: ‘the holobiont’. The ‘plant microbiome’ not only helps plants to remain fit but also offers critical genetic variability, hitherto, not employed in the breeding strategy by plant breeders, who traditionally have exploited the genetic variability of the host for developing high yielding or disease tolerant or drought resistant varieties. This fresh knowledge of the microbiome, particularly of the rhizosphere, offering genetic variability to plants, opens up new horizons for breeding that could usher in cultivation of next-generation crops depending less on inorganic inputs, resistant to insect pest and diseases and resilient to climatic perturbations. We surmise, from ever increasing evidences, that plants and their microbial symbionts need to be co-propagated as life-long partners in future strategies for plant breeding.

  19. Troublesome toxins: Time to re-think plant-herbivore interactions in vertebrate ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swihart, R.K.; DeAngelis, D.L.; Feng, Z.; Bryant, J.P.

    2009-01-01

    Earlier models of plant-herbivore interactions relied on forms of functional response that related rates of ingestion by herbivores to mechanical or physical attributes such as bite size and rate. These models fail to predict a growing number of findings that implicate chemical toxins as important determinants of plant-herbivore dynamics. Specifically, considerable evidence suggests that toxins set upper limits on food intake for many species of herbivorous vertebrates. Herbivores feeding on toxin-containing plants must avoid saturating their detoxification systems, which often occurs before ingestion rates are limited by mechanical handling of food items. In light of the importance of plant toxins, a new approach is needed to link herbivores to their food base. We discuss necessary features of such an approach, note recent advances in herbivore functional response models that incorporate effects of plant toxins, and mention predictions that are consistent with observations in natural systems. Future ecological studies will need to address explicitly the importance of plant toxins in shaping plant and herbivore communities.

  20. Heavy metal contamination and ecological risk of farmland soils adjoining steel plants in Tangshan, Hebei, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Liyun; Yang, Maomao; Wang, Liping; Peng, Fei; Li, Yuan; Bai, Hao

    2018-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the heavy metal concentrations and ecological risks to farmland soils caused by atmospheric deposition adjoining five industrial steel districts in Tangshan, Hebei, China. A total of 39 topsoil samples from adjoining these plants were collected and analyzed for Pb, Zn, Cu, Cr, and As. The geo-accumulation index (Igeo) and potential ecological risk index (PERI) were calculated to assess the heavy metal pollution level in soils. The results showed that the levels of Pb and As in farmland soils adjoining all steel plants were more than the background value, with the As content being excessively high. The Cr and Cu contents of some samples were over the background values, but the Zn content was not. In all the research areas, the largest Igeo value of the heavy metals was for As, followed by Pb, and the largest monomial PERI ([Formula: see text]) was As, which showed that the pollution of As in farmland soils was significant and had considerable ecological risk. Additionally, the heavy metal sequential extraction experiments showed that Pb and Cr, which exceeded the background value, were present in about 20% of the exchangeable and carbonate-bound fractions in the soils surrounding some steel plants. This would imply the risk of these heavy metals being absorbed and accumulated by the crops. Therefore, the local government needs to control the pollution of heavy metals in the farmland soils adjoining the steel plant as soon as possible, in order to avoid possible ecological and food safety risks.

  1. Ecological principles relevant to nuclear war

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hutchinson, T.C.; Cropper, W.P. Jr.; Grover, H.D.

    1985-01-01

    The ecological principles outlined are very basic ones; the authors anticipate a readership trained in a broad range of disciplines, including those unfamiliar with the academic discipline of ecology. The authors include substantial discussion on ecophysiology (i.e., the responses of organisms to their environment) because this is relevant to the new understanding of the potential climatic consequences of nuclear war. In particular, the physiological sensitivity of organisms to reduced levels of light and temperature are a key part of the analysis of the potential ecological effects and agricultural effects of nuclear war. Much of the ecological analysis has been organized around major biological units called biomes. The authors describe the biome concept and discuss some of the environmental-climatic factors that are believed to control biome distribution. Emphasis is given to plants because of their controlling influence on ecosystem functions through their role as primary producers. Future reports are needed to address more fully the potential effects on animals. Much more research needs to be done on both plant and animal responses to the types of perturbations possible for the aftermath of a nuclear war. Another important element for analysis of the potential ecological consequences of nuclear war concerns recovery processes. As the post-nuclear war environmental extremes ameliorate, ecological communities in devastated regions would begin to reorganize. It is not possible to predict the course of such a succession precisely, but some principles concerning post-perturbation replacement (such as seed banks and germination), relevant successional patterns, and organism strategies are discussed

  2. Ecological Fitness of Non-vector Planthopper Sogatella furcifera on Rice Plants Infected with Rice Black Streaked Dwarf Virus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao-chan HE

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available We evaluated the effects of rice black streak dwarf virus (RBSDV-infested rice plants on the ecological parameters and its relevant defensive and detoxification enzymes of white-backed planthopper (WBPH in laboratory for exploring the relationship between RBSDV and the non-vector planthopper. The results showed that nymph survival rate, female adult weight and fecundity, and egg hatchability of WBPH fed on RBSDV-infested rice plants did not markedly differ from those on healthy plants, whereas the female adult longevity and egg duration significantly shortened on diseased plants. Furthermore, significantly higher activities of defensive enzymes (dismutase, catalase and peroxidase and detoxification enzymes (acetylcholinesterase, carboxylesterase and glutathione S-transferase were found in WBPH adults fed on infected plants. Results implied that infestation by RBSDV increased the ecological fitness of non-vector planthopper population.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giorgio BUFFA

    2003-02-01

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

  4. Non-indigenous plant species and their ecological range in Central European pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forests

    OpenAIRE

    Zerbe , Stefan; Wirth , Petra

    2006-01-01

    International audience; In this study, forest ecosystems were analysed with regard to the occurrence and ecological range of non-indigenous plant species. Pine forests in the NE German lowland, which naturally and anthropogenically occur on a broad range of different sites, were taken as an example. The analysis is based on a data set of about 2 300 vegetation plots. The ecological range was assessed applying Ellenberg's ecological indicator values. Out of a total of 362 taxa recorded in the ...

  5. 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

  6. Globalization and sustainable development: a political ecology strategy to realize ecological justice

    OpenAIRE

    Byrne, John; Glover, Leigh; Alrøe, Hugo Fjelsted

    2006-01-01

    Organic agriculture is, like mainstream agriculture, faced with the challenges of globalization and sustainable development. Ecological justice, the fair distribution of livelihoods and environments, has emerged as a key concept in efforts, on the one hand, to resist negative consequences of globalization and ecological modernization and, on the other to propose new agenda and institutional arrangements. This chapter investigates the role that ecological justice as a political ecology strateg...

  7. Landscape ecological planning: Integrating land use and wildlife conservation for biomass crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schiller, A.

    1995-12-31

    What do a mussel shoat, a zoo, and a biomass plantation have in common? Each can benefit from ecology-based landscape planning. This paper provides examples of landscape ecological planning from some diverse projects the author has worked on, and discusses how processes employed and lessons learned from these projects are being used to help answer questions about the effects of biomass plantings (hardwood tree crops and native grasses) on wildlife habitat. Biomass environmental research is being designed to assess how plantings of different acreage, composition and landscape context affect wildlife habitat value, and is addressing the cumulative effect on wildlife habitat of establishing multiple biomass plantations across the landscape. Through landscape ecological planning, answers gleaned from research can also help guide biomass planting site selection and harvest strategies to improve habitat for native wildlife species within the context of economically viable plantation management - thereby integrating the needs of people with those of the environment.

  8. Ecological context of the evolution of self-pollination in Clarkia xantiana: population size, plant communities, and reproductive assurance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moeller, David A; Geber, Monica A

    2005-04-01

    The repeated evolutionary transition from outcrossing to self-pollination in flowering plants has been suggested to occur because selfing provides reproductive assurance. Reports from biogeographical and ecological surveys indicate that selfing taxa are often associated with stressful and ephemeral environments, situations in which plant abundance is low (e.g., Baker's law) and with novel plant communities, however experimental tests of ecological hypotheses are few. In this study, we examined the ecological context of selection on mating system traits (herkogamy and protandry) in a California annual, Clarkia xantiana, where natural selfing populations differ from outcrossing populations in that they are often of small size or low density and occur mainly outside the range of pollinator-sharing congeners. We constructed artificial populations of plants with broad genetic variation in floral traits and manipulated two ecological factors, plant population size, and the presence versus absence of pollinator-sharing congeners, in the center of the geographic range of outcrossing populations. We found evidence for context-dependent selection on herkogamy and protandry via female fitness in which reduced traits, which promote autonomous selfing, were favored in small populations isolated from congeners whereas selection was comparatively weak in large populations or when congeners were present. In small, isolated populations, the fertility of plants with low herkogamy or protandry was elevated by 66% and 58%, respectively, compared to those with high herkogamy or protandry. The presence of pollinator-sharing congeners augmented bee visitation rates to C. xantiana flowers by 47% for all bees and by 93% for pollen specialists. By facilitating pollinator visitation, congeners mitigated selection on mating system traits in small populations, where outcross mating success is often low (the Allee effect). We also found support for the hypothesis that pollinator availability

  9. On the Use of the Guild Concept in Plant Ecology

    OpenAIRE

    Kroon, Hans de; Olff, Han

    1995-01-01

    The original defmition of the guild is reiterated and the concept discussed and placed in the context of related concepts such as resources and competition. From this conceptual framework the current use of guilds in studies of plant community ecology is evaluated. We discuss the criteria with which species are assigned to guilds, the association of guilds with specific communities, the resource classes on which guilds are based, and the competitive relationships between species of a guild. W...

  10. Ecological and economic interests in design process of thermal power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sander, M.

    1996-01-01

    In design process of thermal power plant various ecological and economic contradictory interests are brought in focus. Requests on environmental protection written in laws, standards and international treaties are increasing investment costs and energy production costs. In a design phase there is a task to reconcile these contradictory requests. The paper presents relationship between technology and environmental protection with a focus on air pollution. Air pollution and human health is considered taking in account the role of design phase in thermal power plants project and human health problems. International laws and standards are presented with moral dilemmas concerning low investment costs and high environmental standards. (author)

  11. Ecological implications of plants ability to tell the time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Resco, Víctor; Hartwell, James; Hall, Anthony

    2009-06-01

    The circadian clock (the endogenous mechanism that anticipates diurnal cycles) acts as a central coordinator of plant activity. At the molecular and organism level, it regulates key traits for plant fitness, including seed germination, gas exchange, growth and flowering, among others. In this article, we explore current evidence on the effect of the clock for the scales of interest to ecologists. We begin by synthesizing available knowledge on the effect of the clock on biosphere-atmosphere interactions and observe that, at least in the systems where it has been tested, the clock regulates gas exchange from the leaf to the ecosystem level, and we discuss its implications for estimates of the carbon balance. Then, we analyse whether incorporating the action of the clock may help in elucidating the effects of climate change on plant distributions. Circadian rhythms are involved in regulating the range of temperatures a species can survive and affects plant interactions. Finally, we review the involvement of the clock in key phenological events, such as flowering time and seed germination. Because the clock may act as a common mechanism affecting many of the diverse branches of ecology, our ultimate goal is to stimulate further research into this pressing, yet unexplored, topic.

  12. Social and ecological factors in the formation of population health in surveillance zone of nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Prilipko, V.A.; Petrichenko, O.O.

    2014-01-01

    Most people of radiation-control area estimated ecological state as safe. Respondents pointed to such ecological factors as radionuclide pollutions, irresponsible ecological behavior of people, Rivne Nuclear Power Plant functioning consequences. The last one affects changes of water sanitation and ecological parameters.There is no significant difference between mental state of people of radiation-control area and control group of people by GHQ-28 indices, by somatization scale, anxiety, social disfunction and reactive anxiety. The living life peculiarities are grounded by double risk: life in conditions of radioactive polluted territory and life in radiation-control area. Authors defined the correlation between mental state and factors that characterize ecological living conditions

  13. Evolutionary Ecology of Multitrophic Interactions between Plants, Insect Herbivores and Entomopathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shikano, Ikkei

    2017-06-01

    Plants play an important role in the interactions between insect herbivores and their pathogens. Since the seminal review by Cory and Hoover (2006) on plant-mediated effects on insect-pathogen interactions, considerable progress has been made in understanding the complexity of these tritrophic interactions. Increasing interest in the areas of nutritional and ecological immunology over the last decade have revealed that plant primary and secondary metabolites can influence the outcomes of insect-pathogen interactions by altering insect immune functioning and physical barriers to pathogen entry. Some insects use plant secondary chemicals and nutrients to prevent infections (prophylactic medication) and medicate to limit the severity of infections (therapeutic medication). Recent findings suggest that there may be selectable plant traits that enhance entomopathogen efficacy, suggesting that entomopathogens could potentially impose selection pressure on plant traits that improve both pathogen and plant fitness. Moreover, plants in nature are inhabited by diverse communities of microbes, in addition to entomopathogens, some of which can trigger immune responses in insect herbivores. Plants are also shared by numerous other herbivorous arthropods with different modes of feeding that can trigger different defensive responses in plants. Some insect symbionts and gut microbes can degrade ingested defensive phytochemicals and be orally secreted onto wounded plant tissue during herbivory to alter plant defenses. Since non-entomopathogenic microbes and other arthropods are likely to influence the outcomes of plant-insect-entomopathogen interactions, I discuss a need to consider these multitrophic interactions within the greater web of species interactions.

  14. Do induced responses mediate the ecological interactions between the specialist herbivores and phytopathogens of an alpine plant?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Röder, Gregory; Rahier, Martine; Naisbit, Russell E

    2011-05-04

    Plants are not passive victims of the myriad attackers that rely on them for nutrition. They have a suite of physical and chemical defences, and are even able to take advantage of the enemies of their enemies. These strategies are often only deployed upon attack, so may lead to indirect interactions between herbivores and phytopathogens. In this study we test for induced responses in wild populations of an alpine plant (Adenostyles alliariae) that possesses constitutive chemical defence (pyrrolizidine alkaloids) and specialist natural enemies (two species of leaf beetle, Oreina elongata and Oreina cacaliae, and the phytopathogenic rust Uromyces cacaliae). Plants were induced in the field using chemical elicitors of the jasmonic acid (JA) and salicylic acid (SA) pathways and monitored for one month under natural conditions. There was evidence for induced resistance, with lower probability and later incidence of attack by beetles in JA-induced plants and of rust infection in SA-induced plants. We also demonstrate ecological cross-effects, with reduced fungal attack following JA-induction, and a cost of SA-induction arising from increased beetle attack. As a result, there is the potential for negative indirect effects of the beetles on the rust, while in the field the positive indirect effect of the rust on the beetles appears to be over-ridden by direct effects on plant nutritional quality. Such interactions resulting from induced susceptibility and resistance must be considered if we are to exploit plant defences for crop protection using hormone elicitors or constitutive expression. More generally, the fact that induced defences are even found in species that possess constitutively-expressed chemical defence suggests that they may be ubiquitous in higher plants.

  15. Do induced responses mediate the ecological interactions between the specialist herbivores and phytopathogens of an alpine plant?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory Röder

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Plants are not passive victims of the myriad attackers that rely on them for nutrition. They have a suite of physical and chemical defences, and are even able to take advantage of the enemies of their enemies. These strategies are often only deployed upon attack, so may lead to indirect interactions between herbivores and phytopathogens. In this study we test for induced responses in wild populations of an alpine plant (Adenostyles alliariae that possesses constitutive chemical defence (pyrrolizidine alkaloids and specialist natural enemies (two species of leaf beetle, Oreina elongata and Oreina cacaliae, and the phytopathogenic rust Uromyces cacaliae. Plants were induced in the field using chemical elicitors of the jasmonic acid (JA and salicylic acid (SA pathways and monitored for one month under natural conditions. There was evidence for induced resistance, with lower probability and later incidence of attack by beetles in JA-induced plants and of rust infection in SA-induced plants. We also demonstrate ecological cross-effects, with reduced fungal attack following JA-induction, and a cost of SA-induction arising from increased beetle attack. As a result, there is the potential for negative indirect effects of the beetles on the rust, while in the field the positive indirect effect of the rust on the beetles appears to be over-ridden by direct effects on plant nutritional quality. Such interactions resulting from induced susceptibility and resistance must be considered if we are to exploit plant defences for crop protection using hormone elicitors or constitutive expression. More generally, the fact that induced defences are even found in species that possess constitutively-expressed chemical defence suggests that they may be ubiquitous in higher plants.

  16. Getting the ecology into interactions between plants and the plant growth-promoting bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hol, W H Gera; Bezemer, T Martijn; Biere, Arjen

    2013-01-01

    Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are increasingly appreciated for their contributions to primary productivity through promotion of growth and triggering of induced systemic resistance in plants. Here we focus on the beneficial effects of one particular species of PGPR (Pseudomonas fluorescens) on plants through induced plant defense. This model organism has provided much understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms of PGPR-induced plant defense. However, this knowledge can only be appreciated at full value once we know to what extent these mechanisms also occur under more realistic, species-diverse conditions as are occurring in the plant rhizosphere. To provide the necessary ecological context, we review the literature to compare the effect of P. fluorescens on induced plant defense when it is present as a single species or in combination with other soil dwelling species. Specifically, we discuss combinations with other plant mutualists (bacterial or fungal), plant pathogens (bacterial or fungal), bacterivores (nematode or protozoa), and decomposers. Synergistic interactions between P. fluorescens and other plant mutualists are much more commonly reported than antagonistic interactions. Recent developments have enabled screenings of P. fluorescens genomes for defense traits and this could help with selection of strains with likely positive interactions on biocontrol. However, studies that examine the effects of multiple herbivores, pathogens, or herbivores and pathogens together on the effectiveness of PGPR to induce plant defenses are underrepresented and we are not aware of any study that has examined interactions between P. fluorescens and bacterivores or decomposers. As co-occurring soil organisms can enhance but also reduce the effectiveness of PGPR, a better understanding of the biotic factors modulating P. fluorescens-plant interactions will improve the effectiveness of introducing P. fluorescens to enhance plant production and defense.

  17. Troublesome toxins: time to re-think plant-herbivore interactions in vertebrate ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feng Zhilan

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Earlier models of plant-herbivore interactions relied on forms of functional response that related rates of ingestion by herbivores to mechanical or physical attributes such as bite size and rate. These models fail to predict a growing number of findings that implicate chemical toxins as important determinants of plant-herbivore dynamics. Specifically, considerable evidence suggests that toxins set upper limits on food intake for many species of herbivorous vertebrates. Herbivores feeding on toxin-containing plants must avoid saturating their detoxification systems, which often occurs before ingestion rates are limited by mechanical handling of food items. In light of the importance of plant toxins, a new approach is needed to link herbivores to their food base. We discuss necessary features of such an approach, note recent advances in herbivore functional response models that incorporate effects of plant toxins, and mention predictions that are consistent with observations in natural systems. Future ecological studies will need to address explicitly the importance of plant toxins in shaping plant and herbivore communities.

  18. HOW ECOLOGICAL ENGINEERING HELPED TO CONTINUE BUILDING AND UPGRADE OF THE OPOLE POWER PLANT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Siuta

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Principles of ecological engineering were applied for upgrading the Opole Power Plant under construction, complete with modern installation to protect the environment. The modernized project was a subject of „Integrated environmental impact assessment of the Opole Power Plant” developed by the Institute of Environmental Protection in 1981. The main issues covered by the impact assessment were presented and discussed at the national scientific conference attended, among others, by the representatives of local community from Opole. The conference was organized by the Polish Society of Ecological Engineering on June 5 and 6, 1992. The main aim of the conference was to identify and deliver as broad as possible analysis of environmental conditions for designing, building and operating coal fired power plants. A secondary goal, though of main concern for the Opole agglomeration, was to evaluate many-sided environmental risks resulting from the construction and operation of the Power Plant. The feasibility of continuing the construction of a power generating facility that meets the requirements of the 21st century was demonstrated by the fact that the Opole Power Plant S.A. was awarded the ISO 14001 - Environmental Management System certificate by the British Standards Institution. Advanced construction of the two consecutive blocks of a combined power of 1800 MW in the Opole Power Plant substantiates the validity and effectiveness of the conference organized in 1992.

  19. Economic and ecologic considerations for bidding procedures and contracting for bio-waste fermentation plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raussen, Thomas; Lootsma, Auke; Oldhafer, Nils

    2013-01-01

    The use of the energetic and mass potentials of biological wastes in an integrated fermentation and composting plant needs extensive conceptual and planning activities. The call for tenders for the construction of plants is an EU-wide open procedure. Public waste management organizations are interested to receive profitable solutions with reliable operation and minimized ecological impacts. The minimum requirements and technical aspects are defined by the public waste management organizations.

  20. Hydrogen Fuel as Ecological Contribution to Operation of the Existing Coal-Fired Thermal Power Plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cosic, D.

    2009-01-01

    The analysis is carried out of the application of a new hydrogen based alternative fuel as ecological contribution of the coal thermal power plants operation. Given the fact that coal thermal power plants are seen as the largest producers, not only of CO 2 , but of all others harmful gases, the idea is initiated to use the new alternative fuel as an additive to the coal which would result in much better performance of the coal power plants from an ecological point of view. It is possible to use such a fuel in relation of 10-30% of former coal use. The positive influence of such an application is much bigger than relative used quantity. This lecture has a goal to incite potential investors to create conditions for industrial testing of the new fuel. It will be very interesting to animate investors for large-scale production of the new fuel, too.(author).

  1. Ecological plant epigenetics: Evidence from model and non-model species, and the way forward

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Richards, C. L.; Alonso, C.; Becker, C.; Bossdorf, O.; Bucher, E.; Colomé-Tatché, M.; Durka, W.; Engelhardt, J.; Gaspar, B.; Gogol-Döring, A.; Grosse, I.; van Gurp, T. P.; Heer, K.; Kronholm, I.; Lampei, C.; Latzel, Vít; Mirouze, M.; Opgenoorth, L.; Paun, O.; Prohaska, S. A.; Rensing, S. A.; Stadler, P. f.; Trucchi, E.; Ullrich, K.; Verhoeven, K. J. F.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 20, č. 12 (2017), s. 1576-1590 ISSN 1461-023X Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : bioinformatics * ecological epigenetic s * genomics Subject RIV: EF - Botanics OBOR OECD: Plant sciences, botany Impact factor: 9.449, year: 2016

  2. Benchmarking of Control Strategies for Wastewater Treatment Plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wastewater treatment plants are large non-linear systems subject to large perturbations in wastewater flow rate, load and composition. Nevertheless these plants have to be operated continuously, meeting stricter and stricter regulations. Many control strategies have been proposed in the literature...

  3. Hydro-economic performances of streamflow withdrawal strategies: the case of small run-of-river power plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basso, Stefano; Lazzaro, Gianluca; Schirmer, Mario; Botter, Gianluca

    2014-05-01

    River flows withdrawals to supply small run-of-river hydropower plants have been increasing significantly in recent years - particularly in the Alpine area - as a consequence of public incentives aimed at enhancing energy production from renewable sources. This growth further raised the anthropic pressure in areas traditionally characterized by an intense exploitation of water resources, thereby triggering social conflicts among local communities, hydropower investors and public authorities. This brought to the attention of scientists and population the urgency for novel and quantitative tools for assessing the hydrologic impact of these type of plants, and trading between economic interests and ecologic concerns. In this contribution we propose an analytical framework that allows for the estimate of the streamflow availability for hydropower production and the selection of the run-of-river plant capacity, as well as the assessment of the related profitability and environmental impacts. The method highlights the key role of the streamflow variability in the design process, by showing the significance control of the coefficient of variation of daily flows on the duration of the optimal capacity of small run-of-river plants. Moreover, the analysis evidences a gap between energy and economic optimizations, which may result in the under-exploitation of the available hydropower potential at large scales. The disturbances to the natural flow regime produced between the intake and the outflow of run-of-river power plants are also estimated within the proposed framework. The altered hydrologic regime, described through the probability distribution and the correlation function of streamflows, is analytically expressed as a function of the natural regime for different management strategies. The deviations from pristine conditions of a set of hydrologic statistics are used, jointly with an economic index, to compare environmental and economic outcomes of alternative plant

  4. On Some New Indicators for the Energo-Ecological Assessment of Thermo-Power Plants Operation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cardu, M.; Sandu, D.; Negoitescu, A.S.

    2008-01-01

    The authors offer a critical analysis of pollution indicators currently applied for the ecological assessment of the thermo power plant's operation. They forward new energo-ecological indicators to highlight both the qualitative aspect of polluting emissions and their quantitative aspect, by relating their concentration in the flue gases purged into the atmosphere to the energy produced during the same interval. The application of these indicators contributes to the attenuation of the global warming phenomenon and to the protection of the world's resources of fossil fuels.

  5. 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.

  6. Methodologies for assessment of power plant ecological effects in the marine environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adams, S.M.

    1978-01-01

    Various types of models or methodologies relevant to the assessment of entrainment, thermal, and impingement impacts of power plant operation in the marine environment are presented. The majority of methodologies available for assessing power plant effects are focused at the organism or population level. The most widely applied approaches for estimating entrainment effects on fish populations are the equivalent adult and trophic-conversion methodologies. Current methods to predict the number of fish and distribution of species impinged consider physical factors of the environment but not the biological or behavorial characteristics of fish. With proper validation, ecosystem-level models that consider aggregate responses of biological components to stress may prove to be a viable approach for investigating power plant ecological effects

  7. The estimation ecological risk for ground ecosystems in case of nuclear power plant failures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kremlenkov, D.Yu.; Kremlenkov, M.Yu.

    2004-01-01

    The results of probabilistic estimation of the damage for forest and agricultural ecosystems connected with cesium-137 and strontium-90 release during hypothetical accidents at NPPs are analyzed. The concept of radioecological risk including application of the models for radioactivity transport in atmosphere and calculation of of absorbed doses in ecosystem critical groups is used for the analysis. It is proved that the probable ecological damage expressed in terms of ecosystem destruction area depends on the scale of accidental radioisotope releases, meteorological conditions and radiation resistance of critical groups in plant associations. The conclusion is made that ecological risks expressed in the form of probable area of ecosystem destruction in the zone where dose loads lay in the range from minimal ecologically significant limit up to ecologically significant limit amount to 4-9% for conifers contaminated with cesium-137 and to 2-4% for agricultural crops contaminated with strontium-90 [ru

  8. SOIL ECOLOGY AS KEY TO SUSTAINABLE CROP PRODUCTION.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Deyn, G B

    2015-01-01

    Sustainable production of food, feed and fiberwarrants sustainable soil management and crop protection. The tools available to achieve this are both in the realm of the plants and of the soil, with a key role for plant-soil interactions. At the plant level we have vast knowledge of variation within plant species with respect to pests and diseases, based on which we can breed for resistance. However, given that systems evolve this resistance is bound to be temporarily, hence also other strategies are needed. Here I plea for an integrative approach for sustainable production using ecological principles. Ecology, the study of how organisms interact with their environment, teaches us that diversity promotes productivity and yield stability. These effects are thought to be governed through resource use complementarity and reduced build-up of pests and diseases both above- and belowground. In recent years especially the role of soil biotic interactions has revealed new insights in how plant diversity and productivity are related to soil biodiversity and the functions soil biota govern. In our grassland biodiversity studies we found that root feeders can promote plant diversity and succession without reducing plant community productivity, this illustrates the role of diversity to maintain productivity. Also diversity within species offers scope for sustainable production, for example through awareness of differences between plant genotypes in chemical defense compounds that can attract natural enemies of pests aboveground- and belowground thereby providing plant protection. Plant breeding can also benefit from using complementarity between plant species in the selection for new varieties, as our work demonstrated that when growing in species mixtures plant species adapt to each other over time such that their resource acquisition traits become more complementing. Finally, in a recent meta-analysis we show that earthworms can stimulate crop yield with on average 25%, but

  9. Watermill and Small-Scale Hydroelectric Power Plant Landscapes Assessed According to Ecological Aspects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lilita Lazdāne

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Research of watermill and small-scale hydroelectric power plant (HPP landscapes in Latvia according to ecological aspects is a part of a more complex research. The aim of this research is to examine the existing situation of watermill and small-scale HPP landscapes in Latvia by applying the ecological assessment criteria, and then try to formulate a definition of common tendencies of the landscape character. This paper provides a landscape inventory matrix for research in the field stu­dies of landscape identification at the local planning level. The duration of the research was from 2010 to 2012. The research includes 42 territories starting with the three most densely developed areas in Latvia: in Latgale, Kurzeme and Vidzeme uplands distribution ranges. The research results reflect tendencies of the landscape features assessed according to the previously developed criteria of ecological aspects.

  10. Small unmanned aerial vehicles (micro-UAVs, drones) in plant ecology1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruzan, Mitchell B.; Weinstein, Ben G.; Grasty, Monica R.; Kohrn, Brendan F.; Hendrickson, Elizabeth C.; Arredondo, Tina M.; Thompson, Pamela G.

    2016-01-01

    Premise of the study: Low-elevation surveys with small aerial drones (micro–unmanned aerial vehicles [UAVs]) may be used for a wide variety of applications in plant ecology, including mapping vegetation over small- to medium-sized regions. We provide an overview of methods and procedures for conducting surveys and illustrate some of these applications. Methods: Aerial images were obtained by flying a small drone along transects over the area of interest. Images were used to create a composite image (orthomosaic) and a digital surface model (DSM). Vegetation classification was conducted manually and using an automated routine. Coverage of an individual species was estimated from aerial images. Results: We created a vegetation map for the entire region from the orthomosaic and DSM, and mapped the density of one species. Comparison of our manual and automated habitat classification confirmed that our mapping methods were accurate. A species with high contrast to the background matrix allowed adequate estimate of its coverage. Discussion: The example surveys demonstrate that small aerial drones are capable of gathering large amounts of information on the distribution of vegetation and individual species with minimal impact to sensitive habitats. Low-elevation aerial surveys have potential for a wide range of applications in plant ecology. PMID:27672518

  11. A model of plant strategies in fluvial hydrosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bornette, G.; Tabacchi, E.; Hupp, C.; Puijalon, S.; Rostan, J.C.

    2008-01-01

    1. We propose a model of plant strategies in temperate fluvial hydrosystems that considers the hydraulic and geomorphic features that control plant recruitment, establishment and growth in river floodplains. 2. The model describes first how the disturbance gradient and the grain-size of the river

  12. Environmental study of the Wairakei Power Plant. [Effects of hydroelectric power plant on ecology of Waikato River Basin, New Zealand

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Axtmann, R C

    1974-12-01

    Physical, chemical, biological, ecological, and aesthetic aspects of the Wairakei Power Plant are examined, in varying detail, but with primary emphasis on the chemical and thermal effluents. When flows are average or higher in the Waikato River, the Plant's environmental effects are not overly severe. However, operating requirements for the Waikato Hydro-electric System are such that the Plant sporadically produces wastes that may affect the human and natural environment adversely. These adverse effects are not presently too serious, but suggestions are made for improving the Plant's overall environmental performance. Although the point is not discussed in detail, it is clear from the results of the study that any additional thermal plants on the Waikato could strain the river's absorptive capacities severely, unless alternative disposal techniques are used for the various effluents.

  13. Impact of planting dates and insecticide strategies for managing crucifer flea beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in spring-planted canola.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knodel, Janet J; Olson, Denise L; Hanson, Bryan K; Henson, Robert A

    2008-06-01

    Integration of cultural practices, such as planting date with insecticide-based strategies, was investigated to determine best management strategy for flea beetles (Phyllotreta spp.) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in canola (Brassica napus L.). We studied the effect of two spring planting dates of B. napus and different insecticide-based management strategies on the feeding injury caused by fleabeetles in North Dakota during 2002-2003. Adult beetle peak emergence usually coincided with the emergence of the early planted canola, and this resulted in greater feeding injury in the early planted canola than later planted canola. Use of late-planted canola may have limited potential for cultural control of flea beetle, because late-planted canola is at risk for yield loss due to heat stress during flowering. Flea beetle injury ratings declined when 1) the high rate of insecticide seed treatment plus a foliar insecticide applied 21 d after planting was used, 2) the high rate of insecticide seed treatment only was used, or 3) two foliar insecticide sprays were applied. These insecticide strategies provided better protection than the low rates of insecticide seed treatments or a single foliar spray, especially in areas with moderate-to-high flea beetle populations. The foliar spray on top of the seed treatment controlled later-emerging flea beetles as the seed treatment residual was diminishing and the crop became vulnerable to feeding injury. The best insecticide strategy for management of flea beetle was the high rate of insecticide seed treatment plus a foliar insecticide applied at 21 d after planting, regardless of planting date.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-01

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

  15. Microbiome Selection Could Spur Next-Generation Plant Breeding Strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopal, Murali; Gupta, Alka

    2016-01-01

    " No plant is an island too …" Plants, though sessile, have developed a unique strategy to counter biotic and abiotic stresses by symbiotically co-evolving with microorganisms and tapping into their genome for this purpose. Soil is the bank of microbial diversity from which a plant selectively sources its microbiome to suit its needs. Besides soil, seeds, which carry the genetic blueprint of plants during trans-generational propagation, are home to diverse microbiota that acts as the principal source of microbial inoculum in crop cultivation. Overall, a plant is ensconced both on the outside and inside with a diverse assemblage of microbiota. Together, the plant genome and the genes of the microbiota that the plant harbors in different plant tissues, i.e., the 'plant microbiome,' form the holobiome which is now considered as unit of selection: 'the holobiont.' The 'plant microbiome' not only helps plants to remain fit but also offers critical genetic variability, hitherto, not employed in the breeding strategy by plant breeders, who traditionally have exploited the genetic variability of the host for developing high yielding or disease tolerant or drought resistant varieties. This fresh knowledge of the microbiome, particularly of the rhizosphere, offering genetic variability to plants, opens up new horizons for breeding that could usher in cultivation of next-generation crops depending less on inorganic inputs, resistant to insect pest and diseases and resilient to climatic perturbations. We surmise, from ever increasing evidences, that plants and their microbial symbionts need to be co-propagated as life-long partners in future strategies for plant breeding. In this perspective, we propose bottom-up approach to co-propagate the co-evolved, the plant along with the target microbiome, through - (i) reciprocal soil transplantation method, or (ii) artificial ecosystem selection method of synthetic microbiome inocula, or (iii) by exploration of microRNA transfer

  16. Plant Host Finding by Parasitic Plants: A New Perspective on Plant to Plant Communication

    OpenAIRE

    Mescher, Mark C; Runyon, Justin B; De Moraes, Consuelo M

    2006-01-01

    Plants release airborne chemicals that can convey ecologically relevant information to other organisms. These plant volatiles are known to mediate a large array of, often complex, interactions between plants and insects. It has been suggested that plant volatiles may have similar importance in mediating interactions among plant species, but there are few well-documented examples of plant-to-plant communication via volatiles, and the ecological significance of such interactions has been much d...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carlsen, T.M.

    1996-11-01

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

  18. The national strategy for an ecologic transition towards a sustainable development (SNTEDD) - Preliminary draft 2014-2020

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2014-01-01

    After having outlined that the ecologic transition is a requirement for economy and society, this document presents the nine main lines of the French national strategy for an ecologic transition towards a sustainable development. These main lines as well as the associated priorities (two to five priorities are associated with each main line) are discussed. Objectives and related public initiatives (plan, drafts, bill projects) are also mentioned. The nine main lines are: to develop sustainable and resilient territories, to commit to a circular and low-carbon economy, to prevent and to reduce environmental, social and land inequities, to invent new economic and financial models, to support the ecologic evolution of economic activities, to direct knowledge production, research and innovation towards ecologic transition, to teach, train and heighten awareness for ecologic transition, to mobilize actors at all levels, and to promote sustainable development at the European and world levels

  19. Vascular plants of the Nevada Test Site and Central-Southern Nevada: ecologic and geographic distributions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beatley, J.C.

    1976-01-01

    The physical environment of the Nevada Test Site and surrounding area is described with regard to physiography, geology, soils, and climate. A discussion of plant associations is given for the Mojave Desert, Transition Desert, and Great Basin Desert. The vegetation of disturbed sites is discussed with regard to introduced species as well as endangered and threatened species. Collections of vascular plants were made during 1959 to 1975. The plants, belonging to 1093 taxa and 98 families are listed together with information concerning ecologic and geographic distributions. Indexes to families, genera, and species are included. (HLW)

  20. Ecological mechanisms for the coevolution of mating systems and defence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Stuart A

    2015-02-01

    The diversity of flowering plants is evident in two seemingly unrelated aspects of life history: sexual reproduction, exemplified by the stunning variation in flower form and function, and defence, often in the form of an impressive arsenal of secondary chemistry. Researchers are beginning to appreciate that plant defence and reproduction do not evolve independently, but, instead, may have reciprocal and interactive (coevolutionary) effects on each other. Understanding the mechanisms for mating-defence interactions promises to broaden our understanding of how ecological processes can generate these two rich sources of angiosperm diversity. Here, I review current research on the role of herbivory as a driver of mating system evolution, and the role of mating systems in the evolution of defence strategies. I outline different ecological mechanisms and processes that could generate these coevolutionary patterns, and summarize theoretical and empirical support for each. I provide a conceptual framework for linking plant defence with mating system theory to better integrate these two research fields.

  1. Between Design and Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bjørn, Mona Chor

    such vegetation, based on concepts and theories in plant community ecology. If these communities are based on local forbs there is a continuum in anthropogenic intervention from designed and intensively maintained to semi-natural herbaceous vegetation. Results from a large field experiment show that, after three...... colonised by grasses and eventually woody species. This thesis adds useful basic knowledge in plant community ecology and species-specific growth, which are relevant to research and planning in landscape architecture and ecology....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Fast-slow continuum and reproductive strategies structure plant life-history variation worldwide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salguero-Gómez, Roberto; Jones, Owen R; Jongejans, Eelke; Blomberg, Simon P; Hodgson, David J; Mbeau-Ache, Cyril; Zuidema, Pieter A; de Kroon, Hans; Buckley, Yvonne M

    2016-01-05

    The identification of patterns in life-history strategies across the tree of life is essential to our prediction of population persistence, extinction, and diversification. Plants exhibit a wide range of patterns of longevity, growth, and reproduction, but the general determinants of this enormous variation in life history are poorly understood. We use demographic data from 418 plant species in the wild, from annual herbs to supercentennial trees, to examine how growth form, habitat, and phylogenetic relationships structure plant life histories and to develop a framework to predict population performance. We show that 55% of the variation in plant life-history strategies is adequately characterized using two independent axes: the fast-slow continuum, including fast-growing, short-lived plant species at one end and slow-growing, long-lived species at the other, and a reproductive strategy axis, with highly reproductive, iteroparous species at one extreme and poorly reproductive, semelparous plants with frequent shrinkage at the other. Our findings remain consistent across major habitats and are minimally affected by plant growth form and phylogenetic ancestry, suggesting that the relative independence of the fast-slow and reproduction strategy axes is general in the plant kingdom. Our findings have similarities with how life-history strategies are structured in mammals, birds, and reptiles. The position of plant species populations in the 2D space produced by both axes predicts their rate of recovery from disturbances and population growth rate. This life-history framework may complement trait-based frameworks on leaf and wood economics; together these frameworks may allow prediction of responses of plants to anthropogenic disturbances and changing environments.

  4. Environmental-friendly wool fabric finishing by some water plant extracts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Šmelcerović Miodrag

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available In this article, environmental-friendly finishing of wool fabric were processed with several water extract plants, such as hibiscus, St. John's wort, and marigold. The plant extracts have good basis in the commercial dyeing of wool, for garment and carpet industry. At the same time, the environmental-friendly finishing by water extracts plants shows very good fastness of the antimicrobial properties and coloration of wool fabric. From an ecological viewpoint, the substitution of chemical dyes with "natural products" may represent not only a strategy to reduce risk and pollutants but also an opportunity for new markets and new businesses, which can expend involving of ecology in trade policy.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin A. Mörsdorf

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Ecological Controls on Land-Atmosphere Exchange

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goulden, M. L.; Litvak, M. E.; Winston, G.; Miller, S. D.; Read, E.; Elliot, R.

    2002-12-01

    We have been using long-term eddy covariance to investigate the patterns of energy and CO2 exchange between the atmosphere and a freshwater marsh in California, and also between the atmosphere and a series of boreal forest stands in Manitoba, Canada. Most researchers believe that ecological phenomenon, such as plant herbivore interactions and interspecific differences in plant life-history strategy, are relatively unimportant in determining the interannual and landscape patterns of Land-Atmosphere exchange. However, we have found that interactions between plants and herbivores exert a large control on the interannual patterns of energy and CO2 exchange in the freshwater marsh, and that interspecific differences in plant strategy are critical for understanding the landscape scale patterns of energy and CO2 exchange in the boreal forest. Despite a relatively constant climate and flooding regime at the California marsh, annual Carbon balance varied by 6 tC ha-1 or more from year to year. These deviations were caused in part by variation in herbivory by rodents and insects. Likewise, peak CO2 uptake by boreal forest stands recovering from fire differed less than expected, with a 4-year-old stand assimilating CO2 at rates comparable to that by middle aged stands, and faster than that by old stands. These patterns reflect differences in the life history strategies of the dominant plants, with the youngest stands dominated by fast growing ruderals, the middle aged stands dominated by fast growing competitive species, and the old stands dominated by slow growing stress tolerant species.

  8. A regional strategy for ecological sustainability: A case study in Southwest China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xue; Liu, Shiliang; Cheng, Fangyan; Hou, Xiaoyun; Zhang, Yueqiu; Dong, Shikui; Liu, Guohua

    2018-03-01

    Partitioning, a method considering environmental protection and development potential, is an effective way to provide regional management strategies to maintain ecological sustainability. In this study, we provide a large-scale regional division approach and present a strategy for Southwest China, which also has extremely high development potential because of the "Western development" policy. Based on the superposition of 15 factors, including species diversity, pattern restriction, agricultural potential, accessibility, urbanization potential, and topographical limitations, the environmental value and development benefit in the region were quantified spatially by weighting the sum of indicators within environmental and development categories. By comparing the scores with their respective median values, the study area was divided into four different strategy zones: Conserve zones (34.94%), Construction zones (32.95%), Conflict zones (16.96%), and Low-tension zones (15.16%). The Conflict zones in which environmental value and development benefit were both higher than the respective medians were separated further into the following 5 levels: Extreme conflict (36.20%), Serious conflict (28.07%), Moderate conflict (12.28%), Minor conflict (6.55%), and Slight conflict (16.91%). We found that 9.04% of nature reserves were in Conflict zones, and thus should be given more attention. This study provides a simple and feasible method for regional partitioning, as well as comprehensive support that weighs both the environmental value and development benefit for China's current Ecological Red Line and space planning and for regional management in similar situations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Illustrations with Real Examples of Using Ecological Regulation Strategies Against Crop Pests in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Guo Yuyuan; Liang Gemei

    2006-01-01

    In this paper, a series of examples from China, including those using ecological regulation strategies successfully to keep crop pests under control and those making more damages of crop pests caused by wrong cropping systems, crop distributions or extensive cultivation, were given and analyzed. From these, two pieces of experience were enlightened as follows: the first, the reforms of cropping systems and crop distributions must be beneficial to pest control or at least not increase the damage of crop pests; the second, we should further clarify the relationship between population dynamics of pests and cropping system/crop distribution, the basis for correctly laying down the ecological regulation systems.

  10. Improving intercropping: a synthesis of research in agronomy, plant physiology and ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooker, Rob W; Bennett, Alison E; Cong, Wen-Feng; Daniell, Tim J; George, Timothy S; Hallett, Paul D; Hawes, Cathy; Iannetta, Pietro P M; Jones, Hamlyn G; Karley, Alison J; Li, Long; McKenzie, Blair M; Pakeman, Robin J; Paterson, Eric; Schöb, Christian; Shen, Jianbo; Squire, Geoff; Watson, Christine A; Zhang, Chaochun; Zhang, Fusuo; Zhang, Junling; White, Philip J

    2015-04-01

    Intercropping is a farming practice involving two or more crop species, or genotypes, growing together and coexisting for a time. On the fringes of modern intensive agriculture, intercropping is important in many subsistence or low-input/resource-limited agricultural systems. By allowing genuine yield gains without increased inputs, or greater stability of yield with decreased inputs, intercropping could be one route to delivering ‘sustainable intensification’. We discuss how recent knowledge from agronomy, plant physiology and ecology can be combined with the aim of improving intercropping systems. Recent advances in agronomy and plant physiology include better understanding of the mechanisms of interactions between crop genotypes and species – for example, enhanced resource availability through niche complementarity. Ecological advances include better understanding of the context-dependency of interactions, the mechanisms behind disease and pest avoidance, the links between above- and below-ground systems, and the role of microtopographic variation in coexistence. This improved understanding can guide approaches for improving intercropping systems, including breeding crops for intercropping. Although such advances can help to improve intercropping systems, we suggest that other topics also need addressing. These include better assessment of the wider benefits of intercropping in terms of multiple ecosystem services, collaboration with agricultural engineering, and more effective interdisciplinary research.

  11. Complex Outcomes from Insect and Weed Control with Transgenic Plants: Ecological Surprises?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Bøhn

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Agriculture is fundamental for human survival through food production and is performed in ecosystems that, while simplified, still operate along ecological principles and retain complexity. Agricultural plants are thus part of ecological systems, and interact in complex ways with the surrounding terrestrial, soil, and aquatic habitats. We discuss three case studies that demonstrate how agricultural solutions to pest and weed control, if they overlook important ecological and evolutionary factors, cause “surprises”: (i the fast emergence of resistance against the crop-inserted Bt-toxin in South Africa, (ii the ecological changes generated by Bt-cotton landscapes in China, and (iii the decline of the monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus, in North America. The recognition that we work with complex systems is in itself important, as it should limit the belief in reductionist solutions. Agricultural practices lacking eco-evolutionary understanding result in “surprises” like resistance evolution both in weeds and pest insects, risking the reappearance of the “pesticide treadmill”—with increased use of toxic pesticides as the follow-up. We recommend prioritization of research that counteracts the tendencies of reductionist approaches. These may be beneficial on a short term, but with trade-off costs on a medium- to long-term. Such costs include loss of biodiversity, ecosystem services, long-term soil productivity, pollution, and reduced food quality.

  12. Ecology, Epidemiology and Disease Management of Ralstonia syzygii in Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safni, Irda; Subandiyah, Siti; Fegan, Mark

    2018-01-01

    Ralstonia solanacearum species complex phylotype IV strains, which have been primarily isolated from Indonesia, Australia, Japan, Korea, and Malaysia, have undergone recent taxonomic and nomenclatural changes to be placed in the species Ralstonia syzygii . This species contains three subspecies; Ralstonia syzygii subsp. syzygii , a pathogen causing Sumatra disease of clove trees in Indonesia, Ralstonia syzygii subsp. indonesiensis , the causal pathogen of bacterial wilt disease on a wide range of host plants, and Ralstonia syzygii subsp. celebesensis , the causal pathogen of blood disease on Musa spp. In Indonesia, these three subspecies have devastated the cultivation of susceptible host plants which have high economic value. Limited knowledge on the ecology and epidemiology of the diseases has hindered the development of effective control strategies. In this review, we provide insights into the ecology, epidemiology and disease control of these three subspecies of Ralstonia syzygii .

  13. Ecological basis for the control of Gunnera tinctoria in São Miguel Island

    OpenAIRE

    Silva, Luís; Tavares, João; Pena, Armando

    1996-01-01

    Proceedings Second International Weed Control Congress Copenhagen, Denmark, 25-28 June 1996. Gunnera tinctoria, an herbaceous plant from South America, is naturalised in São Miguel island (Azores). In this research an ecologically based strategy for G. tinctoria control is suggested. Infestation structure, altitudinal range, associated plants, phenology and natural enemies were studied. G. tinctoria was found from 100 to 900 m of altitude, in plane or highly sloped terrain, on rich soil or...

  14. Importance of whole-plant biomass allocation and reproductive timing to habitat differentiation across the North American sunflowers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Chase M; Goolsby, Eric W; Davis, Kaleigh E; Bullock, Devon V; Donovan, Lisa A

    2017-05-01

    Trait-based plant ecology attempts to use small numbers of functional traits to predict plant ecological strategies. However, a major gap exists between our understanding of organ-level ecophysiological traits and our understanding of whole-plant fitness and environmental adaptation. In this gap lie whole-plant organizational traits, including those that describe how plant biomass is allocated among organs and the timing of plant reproduction. This study explores the role of whole-plant organizational traits in adaptation to diverse environments in the context of life history, growth form and leaf economic strategy in a well-studied herbaceous system. A phylogenetic comparative approach was used in conjunction with common garden phenotyping to assess the evolution of biomass allocation and reproductive timing across 83 populations of 27 species of the diverse genus Helianthus (the sunflowers). Broad diversity exists among species in both relative biomass allocation and reproductive timing. Early reproduction is strongly associated with resource-acquisitive leaf economic strategy, while biomass allocation is less integrated with either reproductive timing or leaf economics. Both biomass allocation and reproductive timing are strongly related to source site environmental characteristics, including length of the growing season, temperature, precipitation and soil fertility. Herbaceous taxa can adapt to diverse environments in many ways, including modulation of phenology, plant architecture and organ-level ecophysiology. Although leaf economic strategy captures one key aspect of plant physiology, on their own leaf traits are not particularly predictive of ecological strategies in Helianthus outside of the context of growth form, life history and whole-plant organization. These results highlight the importance of including data on whole-plant organization alongside organ-level ecophysiological traits when attempting to bridge the gap between functional traits and plant

  15. Climate change as an ecosystem architect: implications to rare plant ecology, conservation, and restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Constance I. Millar

    2003-01-01

    Recent advances in earth system sciences have revealed significant new information relevant to rare plant ecology and conservation. Analysis of climate change at high resolution with new and precise proxies of paleotemperatures reveals a picture over the past two million years of oscillatory climate change operating simultaneously at multiple timescales. Low-frequency...

  16. The Influence of Ecological and Conventional Plant Production Systems on Soil Microbial Quality under Hops (Humulus lupulus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oszust, Karolina; Frąc, Magdalena; Gryta, Agata; Bilińska, Nina

    2014-01-01

    The knowledge about microorganisms—activity and diversity under hop production is still limited. We assumed that, different systems of hop production (within the same soil and climatic conditions) significantly influence on the composition of soil microbial populations and its functional activity (metabolic potential). Therefore, we compared a set of soil microbial properties in the field experiment of two hop production systems (a) ecological based on the use of probiotic preparations and organic fertilization (b) conventional—with the use of chemical pesticides and mineral fertilizers. Soil analyses included following microbial properties: The total number microorganisms, a bunch of soil enzyme activities, the catabolic potential was also assessed following Biolog EcoPlates®. Moreover, the abundance of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) was characterized by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis (T-RFLP) of PCR ammonia monooxygenase α-subunit (amoA) gene products. Conventional and ecological systems of hop production were able to affect soil microbial state in different seasonal manner. Favorable effect on soil microbial activity met under ecological, was more probably due to livestock-based manure and fermented plant extracts application. No negative influence on conventional hopyard soil was revealed. Both type of production fulfilled fertilizing demands. Under ecological production it was due to livestock-based manure fertilizers and fermented plant extracts application. PMID:24897025

  17. The Influence of Ecological and Conventional Plant Production Systems on Soil Microbial Quality under Hops (Humulus lupulus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karolina Oszust

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The knowledge about microorganisms—activity and diversity under hop production is still limited. We assumed that, different systems of hop production (within the same soil and climatic conditions significantly influence on the composition of soil microbial populations and its functional activity (metabolic potential. Therefore, we compared a set of soil microbial properties in the field experiment of two hop production systems (a ecological based on the use of probiotic preparations and organic fertilization (b conventional—with the use of chemical pesticides and mineral fertilizers. Soil analyses included following microbial properties: The total number microorganisms, a bunch of soil enzyme activities, the catabolic potential was also assessed following Biolog EcoPlates®. Moreover, the abundance of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA was characterized by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis (T-RFLP of PCR ammonia monooxygenase α-subunit (amoA gene products. Conventional and ecological systems of hop production were able to affect soil microbial state in different seasonal manner. Favorable effect on soil microbial activity met under ecological, was more probably due to livestock-based manure and fermented plant extracts application. No negative influence on conventional hopyard soil was revealed. Both type of production fulfilled fertilizing demands. Under ecological production it was due to livestock-based manure fertilizers and fermented plant extracts application.

  18. The two strategies of plants to cope with chronic low dose irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grodzinsky, D.M.

    2005-01-01

    Full text: The adaptive responses of plants to an increase in radioactivity of environment were established in radiobiological researches carried out in the Zone of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station. It has been shown that there are two types of adaptive strategies to the environment contaminated with radionuclides, namely ontogenetic and phylogenetic strategies. The ontogenetic adaptive strategy is attained by induction of DNA reparation. Increasing of the genetic variability in irradiated population performs the phylogenetic adaptive strategy. The mechanism of this strategy is associated with induction of genetic instability. Rise in the frequency of genetic recombination as well as heterozygosity is at the time essential components of phylogenetic adaptation. Ontogenetic and phylogenetic adaptation strategies are an important feature in coping of plants to the elevated chronic irradiation. Most likely plant cells as a stress signal into adaptive responses perceive the low doses of irradiation. (author)

  19. Technical strategy map to employing nuclear power plant aging management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sekimura, Naoto; Kanno, Masanori

    2008-01-01

    Stated in this report are back ground of technical strategy map for nuclear power plant aging management, result of the first road map, significance of technical strategy map, introduction scenario, technology map, road map, upgrade in every year, three groups of academia, industry and government, plan of technical strategy map, upgrade system, comprehensive introduction scenario, measures of nuclear power plant aging management in Japan and the world, new inspection system, outline of 'technical strategy map 2008', preparation of technical information bases in industry, academia and government, collaboration of them, safety researches of neutron radiation damage, stress corrosion crack, fatigue, piping thinning, insulation degradation, concrete degradation, thermal aging, evaluation technologies of earthquake resistance, preparation of rules and standards, ideal maintenance, and training talent. (S.Y.)

  20. Knowledge preservation strategies for nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koruna, S.; Bachmann, H.

    2004-01-01

    The nuclear industry is currently facing several challenges. An internal threat to the safety and operations of nuclear power plants is the loss of those employees who hold knowledge that is either critical to operations or safety. This report discusses the possibilities to preserve knowledge in nuclear power plants. Dependent on the degree of tacitness two different knowledge preservation strategies can be discerned: personalization and codification. The knowledge preservation activities discussed are valued according to the criteria: cost, immediacy of availability and completeness

  1. Ecological significance and complexity of N-source preference in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Britto, Dev T; Kronzucker, Herbert J

    2013-10-01

    Plants can utilize two major forms of inorganic N: NO3(-) (nitrate) and NH4(+) (ammonium). In some cases, the preference of one form over another (denoted as β) can appear to be quite pronounced for a plant species, and can be an important determinant and predictor of its distribution and interactions with other species. In many other cases, however, assignment of preference is not so straightforward and must take into account a wide array of complex physiological and environmental features, which interact in ways that are still not well understood. This Viewpoint presents a discussion of the key, and often co-occurring, factors that join to produce the complex phenotypic composite referred to by the deceptively simple term 'N-source preference'. N-source preference is much more complex a biological phenomenon than is often assumed, and general models predicting how it will influence ecological processes will need to be much more sophisticated than those that have been so far developed.

  2. Ecological modules and roles of species in heathland plant-insect flower visitor networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dupont, Yoko; Olesen, Jens Mogens

    2009-01-01

    1.  Co-existing plants and flower-visiting animals often form complex interaction networks. A long-standing question in ecology and evolutionary biology is how to detect nonrandom subsets (compartments, blocks, modules) of strongly interacting species within such networks. Here we use a network...... analytical approach to (i) detect modularity in pollination networks, (ii) investigate species composition of modules, and (iii) assess the stability of modules across sites. 2.  Interactions between entomophilous plants and their flower-visitors were recorded throughout the flowering season at three...... heathland sites in Denmark, separated by ≥ 10 km. Among sites, plant communities were similar, but composition of flower-visiting insect faunas differed. Visitation frequencies of visitor species were recorded as a measure of insect abundance. 3.  Qualitative (presence-absence) interaction networks were...

  3. Plant species effects on soil nutrients and chemistry in arid ecological zones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Brittany G; Verburg, Paul S J; Arnone, John A

    2016-09-01

    The presence of vegetation strongly influences ecosystem function by controlling the distribution and transformation of nutrients across the landscape. The magnitude of vegetation effects on soil chemistry is largely dependent on the plant species and the background soil chemical properties of the site, but has not been well quantified along vegetation transects in the Great Basin. We studied the effects of plant canopy cover on soil chemistry within five different ecological zones, subalpine, montane, pinyon-juniper, sage/Mojave transition, and desert shrub, in the Great Basin of Nevada all with similar underlying geology. Although plant species differed in their effects on soil chemistry, the desert shrubs Sarcobatus vermiculatus, Atriplex spp., Coleogyne ramosissima, and Larrea tridentata typically exerted the most influence on soil chemistry, especially amounts of K(+) and total nitrogen, beneath their canopies. However, the extent to which vegetation affected soil nutrient status in any given location was not only highly dependent on the species present, and presumably the nutrient requirements and cycling patterns of the plant species, but also on the background soil characteristics (e.g., parent material, weathering rates, leaching) where plant species occurred. The results of this study indicate that the presence or absence of a plant species, especially desert shrubs, could significantly alter soil chemistry and subsequently ecosystem biogeochemistry and function.

  4. Plant-based anti-HIV-1 strategies: vaccine molecules and antiviral approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scotti, Nunzia; Buonaguro, Luigi; Tornesello, Maria Lina; Cardi, Teodoro; Buonaguro, Franco Maria

    2010-08-01

    The introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy has drastically changed HIV infection from an acute, very deadly, to a chronic, long-lasting, mild disease. However, this requires continuous care management, which is difficult to implement worldwide, especially in developing countries. Sky-rocketing costs of HIV-positive subjects and the limited success of preventive recommendations mean that a vaccine is urgently needed, which could be the only effective strategy for the real control of the AIDS pandemic. To be effective, vaccination will need to be accessible, affordable and directed against multiple antigens. Plant-based vaccines, which are easy to produce and administer, and require no cold chain for their heat stability are, in principle, suited to such a strategy. More recently, it has been shown that even highly immunogenic, enveloped plant-based vaccines can be produced at a competitive and more efficient rate than conventional strategies. The high variability of HIV epitopes and the need to stimulate both humoral neutralizing antibodies and cellular immunity suggest the importance of using the plant system: it offers a wide range of possible strategies, from single-epitope to multicomponent vaccines, modulators of the immune response (adjuvants) and preventive molecules (microbicides), either alone or in association with plant-derived monoclonal antibodies, besides the potential use of the latter as therapeutic agents. Furthermore, plant-based anti-HIV strategies can be administered not only parenterally but also by the more convenient and safer oral route, which is a more suitable approach for possible mass vaccination.

  5. ECOLOGICAL AND ECONOMIC DYNAMICS OF THE SHUNDE AGRICULTURAL SYSTEM UNDER CHINA'S SMALL CITY DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY

    Science.gov (United States)

    The development of small cities has been adopted as the main strategy to make full use of extra labor in the rural areas of China. The ecological and economic consequences of this development will affect over 100 million people and change the organization of agricultural systems ...

  6. Pharmacologically active plant metabolites as survival strategy products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Attardo, C; Sartori, F

    2003-01-01

    The fact that plant organisms produce chemical substances that are able to positively or negatively interfere with the processes which regulate human life has been common knowledge since ancient times. One of the numerous possible examples in the infusion of Conium maculatum, better known as Hemlock, a plant belonging to the family umbelliferae, used by the ancient Egyptians to cure skin diseases. The current official pharmacopoeia includes various chemical substances produced by secondary plant metabolisms. For example, the immunosuppressive drugs used to prevent organ transplant rejection and the majority of antibiotics are metabolites produced by fungal organisms, pilocarpin, digitalis, strophantus, salicylic acid and curare are examples of plant organism metabolites. For this reason, there has been an increase in research into plants, based on information on their medicinal use in the areas where they grow. The study of plants in relation to local culture and traditions is known as "ethnobotany". Careful study of the behaviour of sick animals has also led to the discovery of medicinal plants. The study of this subject is known as "zoopharmacognosy". The aim of this article is to discuss the fact that "ad hoc" production of such chemical substances, defined as "secondary metabolites", is one of the modes in which plant organisms respond to unfavourable environmental stimuli, such as an attack by predatory phytophagous animals or an excessive number of plant individuals, even of the same species, in a terrain. In the latter case, the plant organisms produce toxic substances, called "allelopathic" which limit the growth of other individuals. "Secondary metabolites" are produced by metabolic systems that are shunts of the primary systems which, when required, may be activated from the beginning, or increased to the detriment of others. The study of the manner in which such substances are produced is the subject of a new branch of learning called "ecological

  7. Ecological analyses and applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brocksen, R.W.

    1977-01-01

    Progress is reported on the following: analysis of ecological impacts of construction and operation of nuclear power plants; fossil energy environmental project; ecological analysis of geothermal energy development; HUD modular integrated utility systems; expansion of uranium enrichment facilities at Portsmouth; environmental standard review plans; environmental assessment of cooling reservoirs; and analysis of fish impingement at power plants in the southeastern United States

  8. Biological/ecological investigations parallel to wind power plant construction and operation. Final report. Biologisch-oekologische Begleituntersuchungen zum Bau und Betrieb von Windkraftanlagen. Endbericht

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boettger, M; Clemens, T; Grote, G; Hartmann, G; Hartwig, E; Lammen, C; Vauk-Hentzelt, E

    1990-01-01

    In view of the fact that there is no validated knowledge in Germany on the environmental effects of wind power plant construction and operation, the Norddeutsche Naturschutzakademie was asked by the BMFT to carry out a study in this field. The following problems were investigated: General ecological assessment and ornithological assessment of sites; investigations parallel to plant construction and operation, ecological effects; long-term effects; proposal of landscape conservation measures in regions with wind power plants. The report presents the results of the investigation. (BWI).

  9. Approach and Strategy for Performing Ecological Risk Assessments for the Department of Energy Oak Ridge Field Office Environmental Restoration Program

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Suter, G.W. II

    1992-01-01

    This technical memorandum provides guidance for planning and performing ecological risk assessments (ERAs) on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). This work was performed under Work Breakdown Structure 1.4.12.2.3.04.07.02 (Activity Data Sheet 8304) and meets an Environmental Restoration Program milestone for FY 95. The strategy discussed in this report is consistent with the overall strategy for site management and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) compliance developed for the ORR and relevant U.S. Environmental Protection Agency documents and guidance. The general approach and strategy presented herein was developed for the ORR, but it could be applicable to other complex CERCLA sites that possess significant ecological resources.

  10. Ecological advantages of partial migration as a conditional strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vélez-Espino, Luis A; McLaughlin, Robert L; Robillard, Melissa

    2013-05-01

    Partial migration is a widespread phenomenon characterized by migrant and resident forms from the same population. In phenotypically plastic taxa with indeterminate growth, resident and migrant ecophenotypes can differ in size and life history traits in ways expected to maximize fitness in the different habitats they exploit. Studies of partial migration in different taxa have advocated either density-dependence or environmental stochasticity as explanations for partial migration. We used a demographic approach for a virtual Brook Trout population to demonstrate the ecological consequences of partial migration under interacting density dependence and environmental stochasticity. The maintenance of partial migration as a conditional strategy in species/populations where resident and migrant forms exhibit life history asymmetries provides ecological advantages. We show that density-dependent migration is expected to increase population fitness under constant environmental conditions or low environmental variation, but decreases population fitness under high environmental variation. These conditions favor intermediate levels of migration as an advantageous tactic. However, there are threshold rates of return migration below which partial migration is no longer a viable tactic. Our modeling approach also allowed the exploration of the distribution of the population by life stage and habitat in response to the strength of density dependence, costs of migration, and return rates, and demonstrated the importance of the conservation of ecophenotypes in partially migratory populations. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Recent advances in primate nutritional ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righini, Nicoletta

    2017-04-01

    Nutritional ecology seeks to explain, in an ecological and evolutionary context, how individuals choose, acquire, and process food to satisfy their nutritional requirements. Historically, studies of primate feeding ecology have focused on characterizing diets in terms of the botanical composition of the plants consumed. Further, dietary studies have demonstrated how patch and food choice in relation to time spent foraging and feeding are influenced by the spatial and temporal distribution of resources and by social factors such as feeding competition, dominance, or partner preferences. From a nutritional perspective, several theories including energy and protein-to-fiber maximization, nutrient mixing, and toxin avoidance, have been proposed to explain the food choices of non-human primates. However, more recently, analytical frameworks such as nutritional geometry have been incorporated into primatology to explore, using a multivariate approach, the synergistic effects of multiple nutrients, secondary metabolites, and energy requirements on primate food choice. Dietary strategies associated with nutrient balancing highlight the tradeoffs that primates face in bypassing or selecting particular feeding sites and food items. In this Special Issue, the authors bring together a set of studies focusing on the nutritional ecology of a diverse set of primate taxa characterized by marked differences in dietary emphasis. The authors present, compare, and discuss the diversity of strategies used by primates in diet selection, and how species differences in ecology, physiology, anatomy, and phylogeny can affect patterns of nutrient choice and nutrient balancing. The use of a nutritionally explicit analytical framework is fundamental to identify the nutritional requirements of different individuals of a given species, and through its application, direct conservation efforts can be applied to regenerate and protect specific foods and food patches that offer the opportunity of a

  12. About possibility of creation of ecologically pure, safe nuclear power plants on the basis of high-effective resonant neutron interaction with splitting substances

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Irdyncheyev, L.A.; Malofeyev, A.M.; Frid, E.S.; Abramov, E.P.

    1993-01-01

    Currently the most important problem in nuclear engineering is creation of ecologically pure, safe nuclear power plants in the context of real danger of global ecological pollution of the environment with long-lived fission products and the resultant transuranium nuclides. The problem can be solved by creating nuclear power plants on the basis of high-effective resonant interaction (HERI). Such power plants would provide the total cycle, including nuclear fuel production (Plutonium-239 from Uranium-238), combustion and waste products salvaging by way of transformation of radioactive nuclides into stable isotopes

  13. Responsibility for the Ecological Crisis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Richard T.

    1970-01-01

    Critically analyzes the thesis of Christian responsibility for the ecological crisis and leads to its rejection. Present day environmental misuse results from greed, carelessness, and ignorance." Advocates ecological strategy of corrective action, with supplementary theological strategy" for church-influenced citizens. (AL)

  14. Study on the Operating Strategy of HVAC Systems for Nuclear Decommissioning Plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Sung-hwan; Han, Sung-heum; Lee, Jae-gon [KHNP CRI, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2016-10-15

    According as Kori nuclear power plant unit 1 was determined to be defueled in 2017, various studies on nuclear plant decommissioning have been performed. In nuclear decommissioning plant, HVAC systems with large fan and electric coil have to be operated for long periods of time to support various types of work from defueled phase to final dismantling phase. So, in view of safety and utility costs, their overall operating strategy need to be established prior to defueled phase. This study presents HVAC system operating strategy at each decommissioning phase, that is, defueled plant operating phase, SSCs(systems, structures, components) decontamination and dismantling phases. In defueled plant operating phase, all fuel assemblies in reactor vessel are transferred to spent fuel pool(SFP) permanently. In defueled plant operation phase, reduction of the operating system trains is more practicable than the introduction of new HVAC components with reduced capacity. And, based on the result of the accident analyses for this phase, HVAC design bases such as MCR habitability requirement can be mitigated. According to these results, associated SSCs also can be downgraded. In similar approach, at each phase of plant decommissioning, proper inside design conditions and operating strategies should be re-established.

  15. Ecological improvements to hydroelectric power plants under EEG. Guidance to environmental verifiers and water rights authorities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meyr, Christoph; Pfeifer, Hansjoerg; Schnell, Johannes; Hanfland, Sebastian

    2011-11-01

    The use of hydropower as a renewable form of energy is experiencing a renaissance due to the energy transition in Bavaria. The fishery evaluate not uncritically this development, because hydroelectric plants generally normally represent a considerable intervention in water and therefore in the habitat of the fish. In this case it should be noted that just often not even the minimum requirements of ecology are fulfilled at existing plants according to the Federal Water Act. [de

  16. Plant-ants use symbiotic fungi as a food source: new insight into the nutritional ecology of ant-plant interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blatrix, Rumsaïs; Djiéto-Lordon, Champlain; Mondolot, Laurence; La Fisca, Philippe; Voglmayr, Hermann; McKey, Doyle

    2012-10-07

    Usually studied as pairwise interactions, mutualisms often involve networks of interacting species. Numerous tropical arboreal ants are specialist inhabitants of myrmecophytes (plants bearing domatia, i.e. hollow structures specialized to host ants) and are thought to rely almost exclusively on resources derived from the host plant. Recent studies, following up on century-old reports, have shown that fungi of the ascomycete order Chaetothyriales live in symbiosis with plant-ants within domatia. We tested the hypothesis that ants use domatia-inhabiting fungi as food in three ant-plant symbioses: Petalomyrmex phylax/Leonardoxa africana, Tetraponera aethiops/Barteria fistulosa and Pseudomyrmex penetrator/Tachigali sp. Labelling domatia fungal patches in the field with either a fluorescent dye or (15)N showed that larvae ingested domatia fungi. Furthermore, when the natural fungal patch was replaced with a piece of a (15)N-labelled pure culture of either of two Chaetothyriales strains isolated from T. aethiops colonies, these fungi were also consumed. These two fungi often co-occur in the same ant colony. Interestingly, T. aethiops workers and larvae ingested preferentially one of the two strains. Our results add a new piece in the puzzle of the nutritional ecology of plant-ants.

  17. Plant-ants use symbiotic fungi as a food source: new insight into the nutritional ecology of ant–plant interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blatrix, Rumsaïs; Djiéto-Lordon, Champlain; Mondolot, Laurence; La Fisca, Philippe; Voglmayr, Hermann; McKey, Doyle

    2012-01-01

    Usually studied as pairwise interactions, mutualisms often involve networks of interacting species. Numerous tropical arboreal ants are specialist inhabitants of myrmecophytes (plants bearing domatia, i.e. hollow structures specialized to host ants) and are thought to rely almost exclusively on resources derived from the host plant. Recent studies, following up on century-old reports, have shown that fungi of the ascomycete order Chaetothyriales live in symbiosis with plant-ants within domatia. We tested the hypothesis that ants use domatia-inhabiting fungi as food in three ant–plant symbioses: Petalomyrmex phylax/Leonardoxa africana, Tetraponera aethiops/Barteria fistulosa and Pseudomyrmex penetrator/Tachigali sp. Labelling domatia fungal patches in the field with either a fluorescent dye or 15N showed that larvae ingested domatia fungi. Furthermore, when the natural fungal patch was replaced with a piece of a 15N-labelled pure culture of either of two Chaetothyriales strains isolated from T. aethiops colonies, these fungi were also consumed. These two fungi often co-occur in the same ant colony. Interestingly, T. aethiops workers and larvae ingested preferentially one of the two strains. Our results add a new piece in the puzzle of the nutritional ecology of plant-ants. PMID:22859596

  18. Ecology-driven stereotypes override race stereotypes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Keelah E. G.; Sng, Oliver; Neuberg, Steven L.

    2016-01-01

    Why do race stereotypes take the forms they do? Life history theory posits that features of the ecology shape individuals’ behavior. Harsh and unpredictable (“desperate”) ecologies induce fast strategy behaviors such as impulsivity, whereas resource-sufficient and predictable (“hopeful”) ecologies induce slow strategy behaviors such as future focus. We suggest that individuals possess a lay understanding of ecology’s influence on behavior, resulting in ecology-driven stereotypes. Importantly, because race is confounded with ecology in the United States, we propose that Americans’ stereotypes about racial groups actually reflect stereotypes about these groups’ presumed home ecologies. Study 1 demonstrates that individuals hold ecology stereotypes, stereotyping people from desperate ecologies as possessing faster life history strategies than people from hopeful ecologies. Studies 2–4 rule out alternative explanations for those findings. Study 5, which independently manipulates race and ecology information, demonstrates that when provided with information about a person’s race (but not ecology), individuals’ inferences about blacks track stereotypes of people from desperate ecologies, and individuals’ inferences about whites track stereotypes of people from hopeful ecologies. However, when provided with information about both the race and ecology of others, individuals’ inferences reflect the targets’ ecology rather than their race: black and white targets from desperate ecologies are stereotyped as equally fast life history strategists, whereas black and white targets from hopeful ecologies are stereotyped as equally slow life history strategists. These findings suggest that the content of several predominant race stereotypes may not reflect race, per se, but rather inferences about how one’s ecology influences behavior. PMID:26712013

  19. Less is more: strategies to remove marker genes from transgenic plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Selectable marker genes (SMGs) and selection agents are useful tools in the production of transgenic plants by selecting transformed cells from a matrix consisting of mostly untransformed cells. Most SMGs express protein products that confer antibiotic- or herbicide resistance traits, and typically reside in the end product of genetically-modified (GM) plants. The presence of these genes in GM plants, and subsequently in food, feed and the environment, are of concern and subject to special government regulation in many countries. The presence of SMGs in GM plants might also, in some cases, result in a metabolic burden for the host plants. Their use also prevents the re-use of the same SMG when a second transformation scheme is needed to be performed on the transgenic host. In recent years, several strategies have been developed to remove SMGs from GM products while retaining the transgenes of interest. This review describes the existing strategies for SMG removal, including the implementation of site specific recombination systems, TALENs and ZFNs. This review discusses the advantages and disadvantages of existing SMG-removal strategies and explores possible future research directions for SMG removal including emerging technologies for increased precision for genome modification. PMID:23617583

  20. Less is more: strategies to remove marker genes from transgenic plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yau, Yuan-Yeu; Stewart, C Neal

    2013-04-23

    Selectable marker genes (SMGs) and selection agents are useful tools in the production of transgenic plants by selecting transformed cells from a matrix consisting of mostly untransformed cells. Most SMGs express protein products that confer antibiotic- or herbicide resistance traits, and typically reside in the end product of genetically-modified (GM) plants. The presence of these genes in GM plants, and subsequently in food, feed and the environment, are of concern and subject to special government regulation in many countries. The presence of SMGs in GM plants might also, in some cases, result in a metabolic burden for the host plants. Their use also prevents the re-use of the same SMG when a second transformation scheme is needed to be performed on the transgenic host. In recent years, several strategies have been developed to remove SMGs from GM products while retaining the transgenes of interest. This review describes the existing strategies for SMG removal, including the implementation of site specific recombination systems, TALENs and ZFNs. This review discusses the advantages and disadvantages of existing SMG-removal strategies and explores possible future research directions for SMG removal including emerging technologies for increased precision for genome modification.

  1. Influence of ecological factors on the production of active substances in the anti-cancer plant Sinopodophyllum hexandrum (Royle) T.S. Ying.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Wei; Liu, Jianjun; Yin, Dongxue; Zhao, Xiaowen

    2015-01-01

    The quality of traditional Chinese herbal medicine, which plays a very important role in the health system of China, is determined by the active substances produced by the plants. The type, content, and proportion of these substances may vary depending on ecological factors in areas where the plants are grown. Sinopodophyllum hexandrum (Royle) T.S. Ying, an endangered plant species with great medical value, was investigated in eight production locations representative of its natural geographical distribution range in China. The correlation between the contents of the active ingredients extracted from the roots and rhizomes of S. hexandrum and the ecological factors were evaluated step-by-step using a series of computational biology methodologies. The results showed that ecological factors had significant effects on the contents but not on the types of the active ingredients in eight production locations. The primary ecological factors influencing the active substances included the annual average precipitation, July mean temperature, frost-free period, sunshine duration, soil pH, soil organic matter, and rapidly available potassium in the soil. The annual average precipitation was the most important determinant factor and was significantly and negatively correlated with the active ingredient contents (P Shangri-La, Yunnan Province, and Nyingchi, Tibet, conditions were favorable to the production of quercetin and kaempferol.

  2. Revisiting the evolution of ecological specialization, with emphasis on insect-plant interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forister, M L; Dyer, L A; Singer, M S; Stireman, J O; Lill, J T

    2012-05-01

    Ecological specialization is a fundamental and well-studied concept, yet its great reach and complexity limit current understanding in important ways. More than 20 years after the publication of D. J. Futuyma and G. Moreno's oft-cited, major review of the topic, we synthesize new developments in the evolution of ecological specialization. Using insect-plant interactions as a model, we focus on important developments in four critical areas: genetic architecture, behavior, interaction complexity, and macroevolution. We find that theory based on simple genetic trade-offs in host use is being replaced by more subtle and complex pictures of genetic architecture, and multitrophic interactions have risen as a necessary framework for understanding specialization. A wealth of phylogenetic data has made possible a more detailed consideration of the macroevolutionary dimension of specialization, revealing (among other things) bidirectionality in transitions between generalist and specialist lineages. Technological advances, including genomic sequencing and analytical techniques at the community level, raise the possibility that the next decade will see research on specialization spanning multiple levels of biological organization in non-model organisms, from genes to populations to networks of interactions in natural communities. Finally, we offer a set of research questions that we find to be particularly pressing and fruitful for future research on ecological specialization.

  3. CMEIAS bioimage informatics that define the landscape ecology of immature microbial biofilms developed on plant rhizoplane surfaces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank B Dazzo

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Colonization of the rhizoplane habitat is an important activity that enables certain microorganisms to promote plant growth. Here we describe various types of computer-assisted microscopy that reveal important ecological insights of early microbial colonization behavior within biofilms on plant root surfaces grown in soil. Examples of the primary data are obtained by analysis of processed images of rhizoplane biofilm landscapes analyzed at single-cell resolution using the emerging technology of CMEIAS bioimage informatics software. Included are various quantitative analyses of the in situ biofilm landscape ecology of microbes during their pioneer colonization of white clover roots, and of a rhizobial biofertilizer strain colonized on rice roots where it significantly enhances the productivity of this important crop plant. The results show that spatial patterns of immature biofilms developed on rhizoplanes that interface rhizosphere soil are highly structured (rather than distributed randomly when analyzed at the appropriate spatial scale, indicating that regionalized microbial cell-cell interactions and the local environment can significantly affect their cooperative and competitive colonization behaviors.

  4. Scaling laws and technology development strategies for biorefineries and bioenergy plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jack, Michael W

    2009-12-01

    The economies of scale of larger biorefineries or bioenergy plants compete with the diseconomies of scale of transporting geographically distributed biomass to a central location. This results in an optimum plant size that depends on the scaling parameters of the two contributions. This is a fundamental aspect of biorefineries and bioenergy plants and has important consequences for technology development as "bigger is better" is not necessarily true. In this paper we explore the consequences of these scaling effects via a simplified model of biomass transportation and plant costs. Analysis of this model suggests that there is a need for much more sophisticated technology development strategies to exploit the consequences of these scaling effects. We suggest three potential strategies in terms of the scaling parameters of the system.

  5. Formation of higher plant component microbial community in closed ecological system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tirranen, L. S.

    2001-07-01

    Closed ecological systems (CES) place at the disposal of a researcher unique possibilities to study the role of microbial communities in individual components and of the entire system. The microbial community of the higher plant component has been found to form depending on specific conditions of the closed ecosystem: length of time the solution is reused, introduction of intrasystem waste water into the nutrient medium, effect of other component of the system, and system closure in terms of gas exchange. The higher plant component formed its own microbial complex different from that formed prior to closure. The microbial complex of vegetable polyculture is more diverse and stable than the monoculture of wheat. The composition of the components' microflora changed, species diversity decreased, individual species of bacteria and fungi whose numbers were not so great before the closure prevailed. Special attention should be paid to phytopathogenic and conditionally pathogenic species of microorganisms potentially hazardous to man or plants and the least controlled in CES. This situation can endanger creation of CES and make conjectural existence of preplanned components, man, specifically, and consequently, of CES as it is.

  6. Transgenerational stress-adaption: an opportunity for ecological epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinhold, Arne

    2018-01-01

    In the recent years, there has been considerable interest to investigate the adaptive transgenerational plasticity of plants and how a "stress memory" can be transmitted to the following generation. Although, increasing evidence suggests that transgenerational adaptive responses have widespread ecological relevance, the underlying epigenetic processes have rarely been elucidated. On the other hand, model plant species have been deeply investigated in their genome-wide methylation landscape without connecting this to the ecological reality of the plant. What we need is the combination of an ecological understanding which plant species would benefit from transgenerational epigenetic stress-adaption in their natural habitat, combined with a deeper molecular analysis of non-model organisms. Only such interdisciplinary linkage in an ecological epigenetic study could unravel the full potential that epigenetics could play for the transgenerational stress-adaption of plants.

  7. Replication data for: Management, use and ecology of medicinal plants in the degraded dry lands of Tigray, Northern Ethiopia (version 4)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hizikias, Emiru-Birhane; Aynekulu, E.; Mekuria, W.; Endale, D.

    2011-01-01

    An ethnomedicinal study was conducted to document the indigenous medicinal plant knowledge on the management, use, and ecology of locally important medicinal plants in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia. Ethnobotanical data were collected from 250 people, using semi-structured questionnaires, field

  8. Emerging microbial biocontrol strategies for plant pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Syed Ab Rahman, Sharifah Farhana; Singh, Eugenie; Pieterse, Corné M J; Schenk, Peer M

    2018-02-01

    To address food security, agricultural yields must increase to match the growing human population in the near future. There is now a strong push to develop low-input and more sustainable agricultural practices that include alternatives to chemicals for controlling pests and diseases, a major factor of heavy losses in agricultural production. Based on the adverse effects of some chemicals on human health, the environment and living organisms, researchers are focusing on potential biological control microbes as viable alternatives for the management of pests and plant pathogens. There is a growing body of evidence that demonstrates the potential of leaf and root-associated microbiomes to increase plant efficiency and yield in cropping systems. It is important to understand the role of these microbes in promoting growth and controlling diseases, and their application as biofertilizers and biopesticides whose success in the field is still inconsistent. This review focusses on how biocontrol microbes modulate plant defense mechanisms, deploy biocontrol actions in plants and offer new strategies to control plant pathogens. Apart from simply applying individual biocontrol microbes, there are now efforts to improve, facilitate and maintain long-term plant colonization. In particular, great hopes are associated with the new approaches of using "plant-optimized microbiomes" (microbiome engineering) and establishing the genetic basis of beneficial plant-microbe interactions to enable breeding of "microbe-optimized crops". Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Distributed and dynamic modelling of hydrology, phosphorus and ecology in the Hampshire Avon and Blashford Lakes: evaluating alternative strategies to meet WFD standards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, P G; Jin, L; Crossman, J; Comber, S; Johnes, P J; Daldorph, P; Flynn, N; Collins, A L; Butterfield, D; Mistry, R; Bardon, R; Pope, L; Willows, R

    2014-05-15

    The issues of diffuse and point source phosphorus (P) pollution in the Hampshire Avon and Blashford Lakes are explored using a catchment model of the river system. A multibranch, process based, dynamic water quality model (INCA-P) has been applied to the whole river system to simulate water fluxes, total phosphorus (TP) and soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) concentrations and ecology. The model has been used to assess impacts of both agricultural runoff and point sources from waste water treatment plants (WWTPs) on water quality. The results show that agriculture contributes approximately 40% of the phosphorus load and point sources the other 60% of the load in this catchment. A set of scenarios have been investigated to assess the impacts of alternative phosphorus reduction strategies and it is shown that a combined strategy of agricultural phosphorus reduction through either fertiliser reductions or better phosphorus management together with improved treatment at WWTPs would reduce the SRP concentrations in the river to acceptable levels to meet the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) requirements. A seasonal strategy for WWTP phosphorus reductions would achieve significant benefits at reduced cost. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Economic and ecological optimal strategies of management of the system of regional solid waste disposal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samoylik Marina S.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The article develops an economic and ecological model of optimal management of the system of solid waste disposal at the regional level, identifies its target functions and forms optimisation scenarios of management of this sphere with theoretically optimal parameters’ values. Based on the model of management of the sphere of solid waste disposal the article forms an algorithm of identification of optimal managerial strategies and mechanisms of their realisation, which allows solution of the set tasks of optimisation of development of the sphere of solid waste disposal at a given set of values and parameters of the state of the system for a specific type of life cycle of solid waste and different subjects of this sphere. The developed model has a number of feasible solutions and, consequently, offers selection of the best of them with consideration of target functions. The article conducts a SWOT analysis of the current state of solid waste disposal in the Poltava region and identifies a necessity of development of a relevant strategy on the basis of the developed economic and ecological model with consideration of optimisation of mutually opposite criteria: ecological risk for the population from the sphere of solid waste disposal and total expenditures for this sphere functioning. The article conducts modelling of this situation by basic (current situation and alternative scenarios and finds out that, at this stage, it is most expedient to build in the region four sorting lines and five regional solid waste grounds, while expenditures on this sphere are UAH 62.0 million per year, income from secondary raw material sales – UAH 71.2 per year and reduction of the ecological risk – UAH 13 million per year.

  11. Estimating suitable environments for invasive plant species across large landscapes: A remote sensing strategy using Landsat 7 ETM+

    Science.gov (United States)

    The key to reducing ecological and economic damage caused by invasive plant species is to locate and eradicate new invasions before they threaten native biodiversity and ecological processes. We used Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus imagery to estimate suitable environments for four invasive pl...

  12. Value as a parameter to consider in operational strategies for CSP plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Meyer, Oelof; Dinter, Frank; Govender, Saneshan

    2017-06-01

    This paper introduced a value parameter to consider when analyzing operational strategies for CSP plants. The electric system in South Africa, used as case study, is severely constrained with an influx of renewables in the early phase of deployment. The energy demand curve for the system is analyzed showing the total wind and solar photovoltaic contributions for winter and summer. Due to the intermittent nature and meteorological operating conditions of wind and solar photovoltaic plants, the value of CSP plants within the electric system is introduced. Analyzing CSP plants based on the value parameter alone will remain only a philosophical view. Currently there is no quantifiable measure to translate the philosophical view or subjective value and it solely remains the position of the stakeholder. By introducing three other parameters, Cost, Plant and System to a holistic representation of the Operating Strategies of generation plants, the Value parameter can be translated into a quantifiable measure. Utilizing the country's current procurement program as case study, CSP operating under the various PPA within the Bid Windows are analyzed. The Value Cost Plant System diagram developed is used to quantify the value parameter. This paper concluded that no value is obtained from CSP plants operating under the Bid Window 1 & 2 Power Purchase Agreement. However, by recognizing the dispatchability potential of CSP plants in Bid Window 3 & 3.5, the value of CSP in the electric system can be quantified utilizing Value Added Relationship VCPS-diagram. Similarly ancillary services to the system were analyzed. One of the relationships that have not yet been explored within the industry is an interdependent relationship. It was emphasized that the cost and value structure is shared between the plant and system. Although this relationship is functional when the plant and system belongs to the same entity, additional value is achieved by marginalizing the cost structure. A

  13. Terrestrial Ecology Guide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, James W., Ed.; Hall, James A., Ed.

    This collection of study units focuses on the study of the ecology of land habitats. Considered are such topics as map reading, field techniques, forest ecosystem, birds, insects, small mammals, soils, plant ecology, preparation of terrariums, air pollution, photography, and essentials of an environmental studies program. Each unit contains…

  14. Effects of Introduced and Indigenous Viruses on Native Plants: Exploring Their Disease Causing Potential at the Agro-Ecological Interface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincent, Stuart J.; Coutts, Brenda A.; Jones, Roger A. C.

    2014-01-01

    The ever increasing movement of viruses around the world poses a major threat to plants growing in cultivated and natural ecosystems. Both generalist and specialist viruses move via trade in plants and plant products. Their potential to damage cultivated plants is well understood, but little attention has been given to the threat such viruses pose to plant biodiversity. To address this, we studied their impact, and that of indigenous viruses, on native plants from a global biodiversity hot spot in an isolated region where agriculture is very recent (plant species, we used introduced generalist and specialist viruses, and indigenous viruses, to inoculate plants of 15 native species belonging to eight families. We also measured resulting losses in biomass and reproductive ability for some host–virus combinations. In addition, we sampled native plants growing over a wide area to increase knowledge of natural infection with introduced viruses. The results suggest that generalist introduced viruses and indigenous viruses from other hosts pose a greater potential threat than introduced specialist viruses to populations of native plants encountered for the first time. Some introduced generalist viruses infected plants in more families than others and so pose a greater potential threat to biodiversity. The indigenous viruses tested were often surprisingly virulent when they infected native plant species they were not adapted to. These results are relevant to managing virus disease in new encounter scenarios at the agro-ecological interface between managed and natural vegetation, and within other disturbed natural vegetation situations. They are also relevant for establishing conservation policies for endangered plant species and avoiding spread of damaging viruses to undisturbed natural vegetation beyond the agro-ecological interface. PMID:24621926

  15. Work plan for the Oak Ridge Reservation ecological monitoring and assessment program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ashwood, T.L.; Sample, B.E.; Suter, G.W. II; Turner, M.G.; Loar, J.M.; Barnthouse, L.W.

    1994-08-01

    This plan describes an approach for developing an ecological monitoring and assessment program (EMAP) for the US Department of Energy's (DOE's) Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). Such a program is required to assess existing ecological risks, to predict changes in those ecological risks from proposed remedial actions, and to monitor the effectiveness of remedial actions in reducing ecological risks. Ecological risk assessments must be based on Reservation-level data for those widespread or wide-ranging plant and animal species that occupy the entire ORR. In recognition of this need, Region 4 of the US Environmental Protection Agency has specifically requested that DOE develop a Reservation-wide monitoring and assessment program. The current strategy distinguishes four types of potentially contaminated areas: (1) source operable units (OUs), which may contain waste disposal areas, (2) groundwater aquifers that are potentially contaminated by source OUs, (3) aquatic integrator OUs which are streams and associated floodplains that drain source OUs, and (4) the terrestrial integrator, which encompasses the Reservation. Source OUs may contain sources of contamination that potentially impact local plant and animal population and communities that are restricted to the areal extent of the OU. Such local impacts must be assessed for each OU. However, these source OUs also contribute to risks within the aquatic OUs and within the Reservation-wide terrestrial ecosystem. Therefore, remedial investigations at source OUs must provide data necessary to support ecological risk assessments at the larger scales

  16. Plant host finding by parasitic plants: a new perspective on plant to plant communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mescher, Mark C; Runyon, Justin B; De Moraes, Consuelo M

    2006-11-01

    Plants release airborne chemicals that can convey ecologically relevant information to other organisms. These plant volatiles are known to mediate a large array of, often complex, interactions between plants and insects. It has been suggested that plant volatiles may have similar importance in mediating interactions among plant species, but there are few well-documented examples of plant-to-plant communication via volatiles, and the ecological significance of such interactions has been much debated. To date, nearly all studies of volatile-mediated interactions among plant species have focused on the reception of herbivore-induced volatiles by neighboring plants. We recently documented volatile effects in another system, demonstrating that the parasitic plant Cuscuta pentagona uses volatile cues to locate its hosts. This finding may broaden the discussion regarding plant-to-plant communication, and suggests that new classes of volatile-meditated interactions among plant species await discovery.

  17. Woodfuel procurement strategies of district heating plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roos, A.; Bohlin, F.; Hektor, B.; Hillring, B.

    2003-01-01

    Woodfuel use in the Swedish district heating sector increased significantly from 1985 to 1999. This study analysed strategies and considerations concerning woodfuel procurement in district heating plants. Priorities and concerns in the industry involved an increased woodfuel share, ambitions to create an environmental image, cost minimisation, awareness about the role of energy policies for fuel choice, improvement of woodfuel quality and the ambition to maintain a competitive woodfuel market with several suppliers. Factor analysis yielded five dimensions in the woodfuel procurement strategies among the district heating companies: (1) increased woodfuel use; (2) import; (3) spot market woodfuel purchases; (4) focus on refined woodfuels; and (5) using price only when deciding whether to use woodfuels or other fuels. Five clusters were defined along the three strategy dimensions (1)-(3). The clusters differed concerning size, experiences from the introduction of woodfuels, perceptions about woodfuels and strategies employed to date. This paper describes different strategies that the district heating companies apply on the woodfuel market. The conclusion is that policies should consider this diversity in procurement strategies, mitigate their negative side-effects and assist to make them cost-effective. (author)

  18. Ecological risks of DOE's programmatic environmental restoration alternatives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-06-01

    This report assesses the ecological risks of the Department of Energy's (DOE) Environmental Restoration Program. The assessment is programmatic in that it is directed at evaluation of the broad programmatic alternatives outlined in the DOE Implementation Plan. It attempts to (1) characterize the ecological resources present on DOE facilities, (2) describe the occurrence and importance of ecologically significant contamination at major DOE facilities, (3) evaluate the adverse ecological impacts of habitat disturbance caused by remedial activities, and (4) determine whether one or another of the programmatic alternatives is clearly ecologically superior to the others. The assessment focuses on six representative facilities: the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL); the Fernald Environmental Management Project (FEMP); the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR), including the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Y-12 plant, and K-25 plant; the Rocky Flats Plant; the Hanford Reservation; and the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant

  19. Influence of ecological factors on the production of active substances in the anti-cancer plant Sinopodophyllum hexandrum (Royle T.S. Ying.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Liu

    Full Text Available The quality of traditional Chinese herbal medicine, which plays a very important role in the health system of China, is determined by the active substances produced by the plants. The type, content, and proportion of these substances may vary depending on ecological factors in areas where the plants are grown. Sinopodophyllum hexandrum (Royle T.S. Ying, an endangered plant species with great medical value, was investigated in eight production locations representative of its natural geographical distribution range in China. The correlation between the contents of the active ingredients extracted from the roots and rhizomes of S. hexandrum and the ecological factors were evaluated step-by-step using a series of computational biology methodologies. The results showed that ecological factors had significant effects on the contents but not on the types of the active ingredients in eight production locations. The primary ecological factors influencing the active substances included the annual average precipitation, July mean temperature, frost-free period, sunshine duration, soil pH, soil organic matter, and rapidly available potassium in the soil. The annual average precipitation was the most important determinant factor and was significantly and negatively correlated with the active ingredient contents (P < 0.001. In contrast, organic matter was the most important limiting factor and was significantly and positively correlated with the active substances. These ecological factors caused 98.13% of the total geographical variation of the active ingredient contents. The climate factors contributed more to the active ingredient contents than did the soil factors. It was concluded that from the view of the contents of the secondary metabolites and ecological factors of each growing location, in Jingyuan, Ningxia Province, and Yongdeng, Gansu Province, conditions were favorable to the production of podophyllotoxin and lignans, whereas in Shangri-La, Yunnan

  20. Methods of ecological capability evaluation of forest

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hosseini, M.; Makhdoum, M.F.; Akbarnia, M.; Saghebtalebi, Kh.

    2000-01-01

    In this research common methods of ecological capability evaluation of forests were reviewed and limitations for performance were analysed. Ecological capability of forests is an index that show site potential in several role of wood production, soil conservation, flood control, biodiversity, conservation and water supply. This index is related to ecological characteristics of land, such as soil, micro climate, elevation, slope and aspect that affect potential of sites. Suitable method of ecological capability evaluation must be chosen according to the objective of forestry. Common methods for ecological capability evaluation include plant and animal diversity, site index curve, soil and land form, inter branches, index plants, leave analyses, analyses regeneration and ecological mapping

  1. Cytogenetic effects of weak and combined actions in plants in connection with a problem of ecological rating

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Geras'kin, S.A.; Dikarev, V.G.; Udalova, A.A.; Dikareva, N.S.; Vasil'ev, D.V.; Evseeva, T.I.

    2002-01-01

    It is compared sanitary-hygienic and ecological approaches to rating of ionizing radiation action. The features of formation of cytogenetic effects in plants in conditions of separate and combined with factors of other nature action of ionizing radiation low doses are considered. (author)

  2. The maximization of the productivity of aquatic plants for use in controlled ecological life support systems (CELSS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, B. G.

    Lemna minor (common duckweed) and a Wolffia sp. were grown in submerged growth systems. Submerged growth increased the productivity/unit volume (P/UV) of the organisms and may allow these plants to be used in a controlled ecological life support system (CELSS).

  3. Annual report of ecological research at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1984-09-01

    This report summarizes research conducted at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) during the annual period ending August 1, 1984. SREL is a regional research facility at the Savannah River Plant operated by the University of Georgia through a contract with the Department of Energy. It is part of the University of Georgia's Institute of Ecology. The overall goal of the research is to develop an understanding of the impact of various energy technologies and management practices on the ecosystems of the southeastern United States. SREL research is conducted by interdisciplinary research teams organized under three major divisions: (1) Biogeochemical Ecology, (2) Wetlands Ecology, and (3) Stress and Wildlife Ecology

  4. Ecosystem-scale plant hydraulic strategies inferred from remotely-sensed soil moisture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bassiouni, M.; Good, S. P.; Higgins, C. W.

    2017-12-01

    Characterizing plant hydraulic strategies at the ecosystem scale is important to improve estimates of evapotranspiration and to understand ecosystem productivity and resilience. However, quantifying plant hydraulic traits beyond the species level is a challenge. The probability density function of soil moisture observations provides key information about the soil moisture states at which evapotranspiration is reduced by water stress. Here, an inverse Bayesian approach is applied to a standard bucket model of soil column hydrology forced with stochastic precipitation inputs. Through this approach, we are able to determine the soil moisture thresholds at which stomata are open or closed that are most consistent with observed soil moisture probability density functions. This research utilizes remotely-sensed soil moisture data to explore global patterns of ecosystem-scale plant hydraulic strategies. Results are complementary to literature values of measured hydraulic traits of various species in different climates and previous estimates of ecosystem-scale plant isohydricity. The presented approach provides a novel relation between plant physiological behavior and soil-water dynamics.

  5. Plant genetic variation mediates an indirect ecological effect between belowground earthworms and aboveground aphids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Akanksha; Braun, Julia; Decker, Emilia; Hans, Sarah; Wagner, Agnes; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Zytynska, Sharon E

    2014-10-21

    Interactions between aboveground and belowground terrestrial communities are often mediated by plants, with soil organisms interacting via the roots and aboveground organisms via the shoots and leaves. Many studies now show that plant genetics can drive changes in the structure of both above and belowground communities; however, the role of plant genetic variation in mediating aboveground-belowground interactions is still unclear. We used an earthworm-plant-aphid model system with two aphid species (Aphis fabae and Acyrthosiphon pisum) to test the effect of host-plant (Vicia faba) genetic variation on the indirect interaction between the belowground earthworms (Eisenia veneta) on the aboveground aphid populations. Our data shows that host-plant variety mediated an indirect ecological effect of earthworms on generalist black bean aphids (A. fabae), with earthworms increasing aphid growth rate in three plant varieties but decreasing it in another variety. We found no effect of earthworms on the second aphid species, the pea aphid (A. pisum), and no effect of competition between the aphid species. Plant biomass was increased when earthworms were present, and decreased when A. pisum was feeding on the plant (mediated by plant variety). Although A. fabae aphids were influenced by the plants and worms, they did not, in turn, alter plant biomass. Previous work has shown inconsistent effects of earthworms on aphids, but we suggest these differences could be explained by plant genetic variation and variation among aphid species. This study demonstrates that the outcome of belowground-aboveground interactions can be mediated by genetic variation in the host-plant, but depends on the identity of the species involved.

  6. Habitat Re-Creation (Ecological Restoration) as a Strategy for Conserving Insect Communities in Highly Fragmented Landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shuey, John A

    2013-12-05

    Because of their vast diversity, measured by both numbers of species as well as life history traits, insects defy comprehensive conservation planning. Thus, almost all insect conservation efforts target individual species. However, serious insect conservation requires goals that are set at the faunal level and conservation success requires strategies that conserve intact communities. This task is complicated in agricultural landscapes by high levels of habitat fragmentation and isolation. In many regions, once widespread insect communities are now functionally trapped on islands of ecosystem remnants and subject to a variety of stressors associated with isolation, small population sizes and artificial population fragmentation. In fragmented landscapes ecological restoration can be an effective strategy for reducing localized insect extinction rates, but insects are seldom included in restoration design criteria. It is possible to incorporate a few simple conservation criteria into restoration designs that enhance impacts to entire insect communities. Restoration can be used as a strategy to address fragmentation threats to isolated insect communities if insect communities are incorporated at the onset of restoration planning. Fully incorporating insect communities into restoration designs may increase the cost of restoration two- to three-fold, but the benefits to biodiversity conservation and the ecological services provided by intact insect communities justify the cost.

  7. Hydroelectric plants: economical and ecological consequences of equipment and exploitation variants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maire, P.; Bansard, J.F.; Do, T.

    1995-01-01

    The increasing number of renewal demands for hydroelectric plants authorizations has raised the question of the pertinency and efficiency of the equipments used. Choices are rarely clearly justified by the petitioners. After reminding the reasons and consequences of a given choice and equipment, the necessary steps of an authorization demand are illustrated by a concrete case. It shows that some equipment-management combinations can lead to a more satisfying economical and ecological balance-sheet than those generally proposed. The popularization of computer use allows the examining services to dispose of clear and pedagogical elements to select the regular choices. (J.S.). 10 refs., 11 figs., 2 tabs

  8. Seed dispersal and establishment of endangered plants on Oceanic Islands: the Janzen-Connell model, and the use of ecological analogues.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dennis M Hansen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The Janzen-Connell model states that plant-specific natural enemies may have a disproportionately large negative effect on progeny close to maternal trees. The majority of experimental and theoretical studies addressing the Janzen-Connell model have explored how it can explain existing patterns of species diversity in tropical mainland areas. Very few studies have investigated how the model's predictions apply to isolated oceanic islands, or to the conservation management of endangered plants. Here, we provide the first experimental investigation of the predictions of the Janzen-Connell model on an oceanic island, in a conservation context. In addition, we experimentally evaluate the use of ecological analogue animals to resurrect the functional component of extinct frugivores that could have dispersed seeds away from maternal trees. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In Mauritius, we investigated seed germination and seedling survival patterns of the critically endangered endemic plant Syzygium mamillatum (Myrtaceae in relation to proximity to maternal trees. We found strong negative effects of proximity to maternal trees on growth and survival of seedlings. We successfully used giant Aldabran tortoises as ecological analogues for extinct Mauritian frugivores. Effects of gut-passage were negative at the seed germination stage, but seedlings from gut-passed seeds grew taller, had more leaves, and suffered less damage from natural enemies than any of the other seedlings. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We provide the first experimental evidence of a distance-dependent Janzen-Connell effect on an oceanic island. Our results potentially have serious implications for the conservation management of rare plant species on oceanic islands, which harbour a disproportionately large fraction of the world's endemic and endangered plants. Furthermore, in contrast to recent controversy about the use of non-indigenous extant megafauna for re

  9. Potential Use of Native and Naturalized Insect Herbivores and Fungal Pathogens of Aquatic and Wetland Plants

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Freedman, Jan E; Grodowitz, Michael J; Swindle, Robin; Nachtrieb, Julie G

    2007-01-01

    ...) scientists to identify naturalized and/or native herbivores of aquatic plants in an effort to develop alternative management strategies through an understanding of the agents' biology and ecology...

  10. Application of Multivariable Statistical Techniques in Plant-wide WWTP Control Strategies Analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Flores Alsina, Xavier; Comas, J.; Rodríguez-Roda, I.

    2007-01-01

    The main objective of this paper is to present the application of selected multivariable statistical techniques in plant-wide wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) control strategies analysis. In this study, cluster analysis (CA), principal component analysis/factor analysis (PCA/FA) and discriminant...... analysis (DA) are applied to the evaluation matrix data set obtained by simulation of several control strategies applied to the plant-wide IWA Benchmark Simulation Model No 2 (BSM2). These techniques allow i) to determine natural groups or clusters of control strategies with a similar behaviour, ii......) to find and interpret hidden, complex and casual relation features in the data set and iii) to identify important discriminant variables within the groups found by the cluster analysis. This study illustrates the usefulness of multivariable statistical techniques for both analysis and interpretation...

  11. Stochastic analysis in production process and ecology under uncertainty

    CERN Document Server

    Bieda, Bogusław

    2014-01-01

    The monograph addresses a problem of stochastic analysis based on the uncertainty assessment by simulation and application of this method in ecology and steel industry under uncertainty. The first chapter defines the Monte Carlo (MC) method and random variables in stochastic models. Chapter two deals with the contamination transport in porous media. Stochastic approach for Municipal Solid Waste transit time contaminants modeling using MC simulation has been worked out. The third chapter describes the risk analysis of the waste to energy facility proposal for Konin city, including the financial aspects. Environmental impact assessment of the ArcelorMittal Steel Power Plant, in Kraków - in the chapter four - is given. Thus, four scenarios of the energy mix production processes were studied. Chapter five contains examples of using ecological Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) - a relatively new method of environmental impact assessment - which help in preparing pro-ecological strategy, and which can lead to reducing t...

  12. The genetic architecture of a complex ecological trait: host plant use in the specialist moth, HELIOTHIS SUBFLEXA

    Science.gov (United States)

    The study of the genetic basis of ecological adaptation remains in its infancy, and most studies have focused on phenotypically simple traits. Host plant use by herbivorous insects is phenotypically complex. While research has illuminated the evolutionary determinants of host use, knowledge of its...

  13. Global Invader Impact Network (GIIN): toward standardized evaluation of the ecological impacts of invasive plants

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Barney, J. N.; Tekiela, D. R.; Barrios-Garcia, M. N.; Dimarco, R. D.; Hufbauer, R. A.; Leipzig-Scott, P.; Nunez, M. A.; Pauchard, A.; Pyšek, Petr; Vítková, Michaela; Maxwell, B. D.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 5, č. 14 (2015), s. 2878-2889 ISSN 2045-7758 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP505/11/1112 Grant - others:AV ČR(CZ) AP1002 Program:Akademická prémie - Praemium Academiae Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : invasive plants * coordinated distributed experiment * impact assessment Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.537, year: 2015

  14. Effects of introduced and indigenous viruses on native plants: exploring their disease causing potential at the agro-ecological interface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincent, Stuart J; Coutts, Brenda A; Jones, Roger A C

    2014-01-01

    The ever increasing movement of viruses around the world poses a major threat to plants growing in cultivated and natural ecosystems. Both generalist and specialist viruses move via trade in plants and plant products. Their potential to damage cultivated plants is well understood, but little attention has been given to the threat such viruses pose to plant biodiversity. To address this, we studied their impact, and that of indigenous viruses, on native plants from a global biodiversity hot spot in an isolated region where agriculture is very recent (viruses readily. To establish their potential to cause severe or mild systemic symptoms in different native plant species, we used introduced generalist and specialist viruses, and indigenous viruses, to inoculate plants of 15 native species belonging to eight families. We also measured resulting losses in biomass and reproductive ability for some host-virus combinations. In addition, we sampled native plants growing over a wide area to increase knowledge of natural infection with introduced viruses. The results suggest that generalist introduced viruses and indigenous viruses from other hosts pose a greater potential threat than introduced specialist viruses to populations of native plants encountered for the first time. Some introduced generalist viruses infected plants in more families than others and so pose a greater potential threat to biodiversity. The indigenous viruses tested were often surprisingly virulent when they infected native plant species they were not adapted to. These results are relevant to managing virus disease in new encounter scenarios at the agro-ecological interface between managed and natural vegetation, and within other disturbed natural vegetation situations. They are also relevant for establishing conservation policies for endangered plant species and avoiding spread of damaging viruses to undisturbed natural vegetation beyond the agro-ecological interface.

  15. Synthetic strategies for plant signalling studies: molecular toolbox and orthogonal platforms

    KAUST Repository

    Braguy, Justine

    2016-05-26

    Plants deploy a wide array of signalling networks integrating environmental cues with growth, defence and developmental responses. The high level of complexity, redundancy and connection between several pathways hampers a comprehensive understanding of involved functional and regulatory mechanisms. The implementation of synthetic biology approaches is revolutionizing experimental biology in prokaryotes, yeasts and animal systems and can likewise contribute to a new era in plant biology. This review gives an overview on synthetic biology approaches for the development and implementation of synthetic molecular tools and techniques to interrogate, understand and control signalling events in plants, ranging from strategies for the targeted manipulation of plant genomes up to the spatiotemporally resolved control of gene expression using optogenetic approaches. We also describe strategies based on the partial reconstruction of signalling pathways in orthogonal platforms, like yeast, animal and in vitro systems. This allows a targeted analysis of individual signalling hubs devoid of inter-connectivity with endogenous interacting components. Implementation of the interdisciplinary synthetic biology tools and strategies is not exempt of challenges and hardships but simultaneously most rewarding in terms of the advances in basic and applied research. As witnessed in other areas, these original theoretical-experimental avenues will lead to a breakthrough in the ability to study and comprehend plant signalling networks. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  16. Antimicrobial discovery inspired by ecological interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molloy, Evelyn M; Hertweck, Christian

    2017-10-01

    Bacteria represent an unparalleled source of antibiotics used to treat infectious diseases. Yet, genome analyses have revealed that their full biosynthetic potential is much larger than expected. Valuable strategies to unearth hidden antibiotics are genome mining, pathway engineering and triggering, as well as co-cultivation approaches. Nevertheless, there is growing understanding that it is often essential to consider the ecological context and that there is a great potential for antimicrobial discovery from bacteria engaged in well-defined interactions with other organisms. Various ecological scenarios involving antimicrobial agents are outlined in this review: predator-prey and pathogenic interactions, the protection of insect assets such as offspring and cultivars, as well as host protection in symbiotic relationships with plants, invertebrates and animals/humans. The illustrative examples given reinforce the idea that examination of interactions between organisms can yield new antimicrobial compounds, and ultimately further our understanding of the function of these molecules in the environment. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  17. Marine Ecological Environment Management Based on Ecological Compensation Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qunzhen Qu

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The level of marine environmental management is a key factor in the successful implementation of marine power strategies. The improvement in management levels of marine environments requires innovation in marine management. In other words, the transformation of marine environmental management into marine ecological environment management must be done in order to achieve sustainable development of the marine economy. As an environmental economic policy that combines both administrative and market measures, ecological compensation mechanisms have significant advantages in marine ecological environment management. Based on the study of the current development of ecological compensation mechanisms in China, through the analysis of the connotation of marine ecological civilization, existing marine ecological protection practices and marine environmental management methods, this paper posits that the current marine ecological environment management in China should be established on the basis of ecological compensation mechanisms. At present, a lack of laws and regulations for overall marine ecological environment management is the key factor restricting the practice of marine ecological environment management. Therefore, it is necessary to explore the current path of marine ecological environment management in China from the perspective of the construction of legal system of ecological compensation law, the establishment of ecological compensation fees, ecological taxes and ecological compensation fund systems, and the clear status for a marine ecological management and supervision body.

  18. Strategies for fitting nonlinear ecological models in R, AD Model Builder, and BUGS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolker, Benjamin M.; Gardner, Beth; Maunder, Mark; Berg, Casper W.; Brooks, Mollie; Comita, Liza; Crone, Elizabeth; Cubaynes, Sarah; Davies, Trevor; de Valpine, Perry; Ford, Jessica; Gimenez, Olivier; Kéry, Marc; Kim, Eun Jung; Lennert-Cody, Cleridy; Magunsson, Arni; Martell, Steve; Nash, John; Nielson, Anders; Regentz, Jim; Skaug, Hans; Zipkin, Elise

    2013-01-01

    1. Ecologists often use nonlinear fitting techniques to estimate the parameters of complex ecological models, with attendant frustration. This paper compares three open-source model fitting tools and discusses general strategies for defining and fitting models. 2. R is convenient and (relatively) easy to learn, AD Model Builder is fast and robust but comes with a steep learning curve, while BUGS provides the greatest flexibility at the price of speed. 3. Our model-fitting suggestions range from general cultural advice (where possible, use the tools and models that are most common in your subfield) to specific suggestions about how to change the mathematical description of models to make them more amenable to parameter estimation. 4. A companion web site (https://groups.nceas.ucsb.edu/nonlinear-modeling/projects) presents detailed examples of application of the three tools to a variety of typical ecological estimation problems; each example links both to a detailed project report and to full source code and data.

  19. Reinforcing loose foundation stones in trait-based plant ecology

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Shipley, B.; de Bello, Francesco; Cornelissen, J.H.C.; Lariberté, E.; Laughlin, D. C.; Reich, P. B.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 180, č. 4 (2016), s. 923-931 ISSN 0029-8549 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : Comparative ecology * Functional ecology * Intraspecific variation Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.130, year: 2016

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    The field of microbiome research is arguably one of the fastest growing in biology. Bacteria feature prominently in studies on animal health, but fungi appear to be the more prominent functional symbionts for plants. Despite the similarities in the ecological organization and evolutionary importance of animal-bacterial and plant–fungal microbiomes, there is a general failure across disciplines to integrate the advances made in each system. Researchers studying bacterial symbionts in animals benefit from greater access to efficient sequencing pipelines and taxonomic reference databases, perhaps due to high medical and veterinary interest. However, researchers studying plant–fungal symbionts benefit from the relative tractability of fungi under laboratory conditions and ease of cultivation. Thus each system has strengths to offer, but both suffer from the lack of a common conceptual framework. We argue that community ecology best illuminates complex species interactions across space and time. In this synthesis we compare and contrast the animal-bacterial and plant–fungal microbiomes using six core theories in community ecology (i.e., succession, community assembly, metacommunities, multi-trophic interactions, disturbance, restoration). The examples and questions raised are meant to spark discussion amongst biologists and lead to the integration of these two systems, as well as more informative, manipulatory experiments on microbiomes research. PMID:26441846

  1. Ecology and Education in Landscape Architecture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Miller

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Landscape architects engage in a wide range of projects relating to environmental quality. Indeed, the goals of preserving biodiversity and maintaining the integrity of ecological function is implicit in the charters of several of the discipline's professional organisations. Nonetheless, there is widespread opinion that much of the potential of design to contribute to environmental solutions goes unrealised. There are numerous explanations that purport to account for this situation; in this paper, we focus on one, the assertion that degree programmes in landscape architecture generally do a poor job of preparing students for practice grounded in ecological awareness. We examined the validity of this assertion by quantifying the amount and form of ecology-based coursework required of landscape architecture students. We surveyed the curricula of all 63 accredited, first-professional degree programmes in North America (28 offering a BLA, 17 offering an MLA and 18 offering both. We focused on required courses that could be categorised as emphasising information-based ecology, ecology/design integration, or plant identification and ecology. We recorded the level (introductory or advanced and number of credit hours for each course, and the total number of credits required for graduation in each programme. Thirty-seven undergraduate programmes required an introductory information-based ecology course. Only 13 required an advanced class in ecology and, of these, only three required coursework in landscape ecology. All of the undergraduate programmes except one required a plant class. Ten of the graduate programmes required an information-based class, an advanced, except one. Six required a course in landscape ecology. Eight required at least one ecology-design integration course, yet had no requirements regarding information-based courses. Thirty graduate programmes required at least one plant course. We discuss the implications of these results and

  2. Unravelling the mechanisms for plant survival on gypsum soils: an analysis of the chemical composition of gypsum plants from Turkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolukbasi, A; Kurt, L; Palacio, S

    2016-03-01

    Depending on their specificity to gypsum, plants can be classified as gypsophiles (gypsum exclusive) and gypsovags (non-exclusive). The former may further be segregated into wide and narrow gypsophiles, depending on the breadth of their distribution area. Narrow gypsum endemics have a putative similar chemical composition to plants non-exclusive to gypsum (i.e. gypsovags), which may indicate their similar ecological strategy as stress-tolerant plant refugees on gypsum. However, this hypothesis awaits testing in different regions of the world. We compared the chemical composition of four narrow gypsum endemics, one widely distributed gypsophile and six gypsovags from Turkey. Further, we explored the plasticity in chemical composition of Turkish gypsovags growing on high- and low-gypsum content soils. Differences were explored with multivariate analyses (RDA) and mixed models (REML). Narrow gypsum endemics segregated from gypsovags in their chemical composition according to RDAs (mainly due to higher K and ash content in the former). Nevertheless, differences were small and disappeared when different nutrients were analysed individually. All the gypsovags studied accumulated more S and ash when growing on high-gypsum than on low-gypsum soils. Similar to narrow gypsum endemics from other regions of the world, most local gypsum endemics from Turkey show a similar chemical composition to gypsovags. This may indicate a shared ecological strategy as stress-tolerant plants not specifically adapted to gypsum. Nevertheless, the narrow gypsum endemic Gypsophila parva showed a chemical composition typical of gypsum specialists, indicating that various strategies are feasible within narrowly distributed gypsophiles. © 2015 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  3. ECOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION OF LAND AND ECOSYSTEM MAPPING. TOWARDS THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ACTION 5 OF THE EUROPEAN BIODIVERSITY STRATEGY TO 2020 IN ITALY.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Capotorti

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the present paper is to illustrate the basic data and the methodological approach proposed for the implementation of Action 5 of the European Biodiversity Strategy in Italy. In particular, it focuses on a model for ecosystem mapping and characterisation at the country level that has been built with the interdisciplinary involvement of geobotanists, functional ecologists, forest scientists and zoologists. The first operational steps of the model are based on the cartographic integration between potential natural vegetation, biogeographic regions, and land cover maps. The final step entails characterising the mapped ecosystems in terms of Habitats Directive, local occurrence of threatened plant species and faunal components. The model is going to be tested in Italy, but should also be applied elsewhere in Mediterranean Europe, especially in those countries that have a comparable ecological complexity.

  4. Management strategies for nuclear power plant outages

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2006-01-01

    More competitive energy markets have significant implications for nuclear power plant operations, including, among others, the need for more efficient use of resources and effective management of plant activities such as on-line maintenance and outages. Outage management is a key factor for safe, reliable and economic plant performance and involves many aspects: plant policy, coordination of available resources, nuclear safety, regulatory and technical requirements, and all activities and work hazards, before and during the outage. The IAEA has produced this report on nuclear power plant outage management strategies to provide both a summary and an update of a follow-up to a series of technical documents related to practices regarding outage management and cost effective maintenance. The aim of this publication is to identify good practices in outage management: outage planning and preparation, outage execution and post-outage review. As in in the related technical documents, this report aims to communicate these practices in such a way that they can be used by operating organizations and regulatory bodies in Member States. The report was prepared as part of an IAEA project on continuous process improvement. The objective of this project is to increase Member State capabilities in improving plant performance and competitiveness through the utilization of proven engineering and management practices developed and transferred by the IAEA

  5. Root Traits and Phenotyping Strategies for Plant Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paez-Garcia, Ana; Motes, Christy M; Scheible, Wolf-Rüdiger; Chen, Rujin; Blancaflor, Elison B; Monteros, Maria J

    2015-06-15

    Roots are crucial for nutrient and water acquisition and can be targeted to enhance plant productivity under a broad range of growing conditions. A current challenge for plant breeding is the limited ability to phenotype and select for desirable root characteristics due to their underground location. Plant breeding efforts aimed at modifying root traits can result in novel, more stress-tolerant crops and increased yield by enhancing the capacity of the plant for soil exploration and, thus, water and nutrient acquisition. Available approaches for root phenotyping in laboratory, greenhouse and field encompass simple agar plates to labor-intensive root digging (i.e., shovelomics) and soil boring methods, the construction of underground root observation stations and sophisticated computer-assisted root imaging. Here, we summarize root architectural traits relevant to crop productivity, survey root phenotyping strategies and describe their advantages, limitations and practical value for crop and forage breeding programs.

  6. Root Traits and Phenotyping Strategies for Plant Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Paez-Garcia

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Roots are crucial for nutrient and water acquisition and can be targeted to enhance plant productivity under a broad range of growing conditions. A current challenge for plant breeding is the limited ability to phenotype and select for desirable root characteristics due to their underground location. Plant breeding efforts aimed at modifying root traits can result in novel, more stress-tolerant crops and increased yield by enhancing the capacity of the plant for soil exploration and, thus, water and nutrient acquisition. Available approaches for root phenotyping in laboratory, greenhouse and field encompass simple agar plates to labor-intensive root digging (i.e., shovelomics and soil boring methods, the construction of underground root observation stations and sophisticated computer-assisted root imaging. Here, we summarize root architectural traits relevant to crop productivity, survey root phenotyping strategies and describe their advantages, limitations and practical value for crop and forage breeding programs.

  7. Classical Ecological Restoration and its Current Challenges: Assisted Migration as an Adaptation Strategy to Climate Change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pilar A. Gómez-Ruiz

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Ecological restoration is a very active area in ecology and of great importance for ecosystems management. Despite of being a relatively young discipline, the classical concepts of restoration seem, at present, impractical considering the great challenges generated by modification and destruction of ecosystems. This is due to anthropic activities (deforestation, change of land use, pollution and global climate change. In the classic definition of restoration, the objective is to recover the degraded ecosystem to the same conditions of a historical reference state. However, nowadays the ecosystems return to a state prior to the disturbances seems unviable, because the thresholds of resilience have already been overcome. Additionally, climate change is causing environmental changes at an unprecedented rate. For this reason, ecological restoration needs to unite efforts of diverse actors to recover ecosystems that can be sustainable and functional in the future, where the species could be able to tolerate the environmental conditions that will exist in the long term. Assisted migration has been proposed as a conservation strategy; it is defined as the translocation of species to new locations outside their known range of distribution. In the current context of loss of diversity and ecosystems, this strategy could be fundamental for the formation of new communities that can later become novel ecosystems where species that are fundamental to the dynamics of ecosystems can persist and, at the same time, recover function, structure and resilience.

  8. Ecological risks of DOE`s programmatic environmental restoration alternatives

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-06-01

    This report assesses the ecological risks of the Department of Energy`s (DOE) Environmental Restoration Program. The assessment is programmatic in that it is directed at evaluation of the broad programmatic alternatives outlined in the DOE Implementation Plan. It attempts to (1) characterize the ecological resources present on DOE facilities, (2) describe the occurrence and importance of ecologically significant contamination at major DOE facilities, (3) evaluate the adverse ecological impacts of habitat disturbance caused by remedial activities, and (4) determine whether one or another of the programmatic alternatives is clearly ecologically superior to the others. The assessment focuses on six representative facilities: the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL); the Fernald Environmental Management Project (FEMP); the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR), including the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Y-12 plant, and K-25 plant; the Rocky Flats Plant; the Hanford Reservation; and the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

  9. Two-way plant mediated interactions between root-associated microbes and insects: from ecology to mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nurmi ePangesti

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Plants are members of complex communities and function as a link between above- and below-ground organisms. Associations between plants and soil-borne microbes commonly occur and have often been found beneficial for plant fitness. Root-associated microbes may trigger physiological changes in the host plant that influence interactions between plants and aboveground insects at several trophic levels. Aboveground, plants are under continuous attack by insect herbivores and mount multiple responses that also have systemic effects on belowground microbes. Until recently, both ecological and mechanistic studies have mostly focused on exploring these below- and above-ground interactions using simplified systems involving both single microbe and herbivore species, which is far from the naturally occurring interactions. Increasing the complexity of the systems studied is required to increase our understanding of microbe - plant - insect interactions and to gain more benefit from the use of non-pathogenic microbes in agriculture. In this review, we explore how colonization by either single non-pathogenic microbe species or a community of such microbes belowground affects plant growth and defense and how this affects the interactions of plants with aboveground insects at different trophic levels. Moreover, we review how plant responses to foliar herbivory by insects belonging to different feeding guilds affect interactions of plants with non-pathogenic soil-borne microbes. The role of phytohormones in coordinating plant growth, plant defenses against foliar herbivores while simultaneously establishing associations with non-pathogenic soil microbes is discussed.

  10. Ecological Footprint in relation to Climate Change Strategy in Cities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belčáková, Ingrid; Diviaková, Andrea; Belaňová, Eliška

    2017-10-01

    Ecological footprint determines how much natural resources are consumed by an individual, city, region, state or all inhabitants of our planet in order to ensure their requirements and needs. It includes all activities, from food consumption, housing, transport to waste produced and allows us to compare particular activities and their impacts on the environment and natural resources. Ecological footprint is important issue for making sustainable development concept more popular using simplifications, which provide the public with basic information on situation on our planet. Today we know calculations of global (worldwide), national and local ecological footprints. During our research in cities, we were concentrated on calculation of city’s ecological footprint. The article tries to outline theoretical and assumptions and practical results of climate change consequences in cities of Bratislava and Nitra (Slovakia), to describe potential of mitigating adverse impacts of climate change and to provide information for general and professional public on theoretical assumptions in calculating ecological footprint. The intention is to present innovation of ecological footprint calculation, taking into consideration ecological stability of a city (with a specific focus on micro-climate functions of green areas). Present possibilities to reduce ecological footprint are presented.

  11. Can sacrificial feeding areas protect aquatic plants from herbivore grazing? Using behavioural ecology to inform wildlife management.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin A Wood

    Full Text Available Effective wildlife management is needed for conservation, economic and human well-being objectives. However, traditional population control methods are frequently ineffective, unpopular with stakeholders, may affect non-target species, and can be both expensive and impractical to implement. New methods which address these issues and offer effective wildlife management are required. We used an individual-based model to predict the efficacy of a sacrificial feeding area in preventing grazing damage by mute swans (Cygnus olor to adjacent river vegetation of high conservation and economic value. The accuracy of model predictions was assessed by a comparison with observed field data, whilst prediction robustness was evaluated using a sensitivity analysis. We used repeated simulations to evaluate how the efficacy of the sacrificial feeding area was regulated by (i food quantity, (ii food quality, and (iii the functional response of the forager. Our model gave accurate predictions of aquatic plant biomass, carrying capacity, swan mortality, swan foraging effort, and river use. Our model predicted that increased sacrificial feeding area food quantity and quality would prevent the depletion of aquatic plant biomass by swans. When the functional response for vegetation in the sacrificial feeding area was increased, the food quantity and quality in the sacrificial feeding area required to protect adjacent aquatic plants were reduced. Our study demonstrates how the insights of behavioural ecology can be used to inform wildlife management. The principles that underpin our model predictions are likely to be valid across a range of different resource-consumer interactions, emphasising the generality of our approach to the evaluation of strategies for resolving wildlife management problems.

  12. Strategies for fitting nonlinear ecological models in R, AD Model Builder, and BUGS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bolker, B.M.; Gardner, B.; Maunder, M.

    2013-01-01

    Ecologists often use nonlinear fitting techniques to estimate the parameters of complex ecological models, with attendant frustration. This paper compares three open-source model fitting tools and discusses general strategies for defining and fitting models. R is convenient and (relatively) easy...... to learn, AD Model Builder is fast and robust but comes with a steep learning curve, while BUGS provides the greatest flexibility at the price of speed. Our model-fitting suggestions range from general cultural advice (where possible, use the tools and models that are most common in your subfield...

  13. Ancient ecology of 15-million-year-old browsing mammals within C3 plant communities from Panama.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacFadden, Bruce J; Higgins, Pennilyn

    2004-06-01

    Middle Miocene mammals are known from approximately 15 million-year-old sediments exposed along the Panama Canal of Central America, a region that otherwise has an exceedingly poor terrestrial fossil record. These land mammals, which represent a part of the ancient terrestrial herbivore community, include an oreodont Merycochoerus matthewi, small camel-like protoceratid artiodactyl Paratoceras wardi, two horses Anchitherium clarencei and Archaeohippus sp., and two rhinos Menoceras barbouri and Floridaceras whitei. Bulk and serial carbon and oxygen isotope analyses of the tooth enamel carbonate allow reconstruction of the ancient climate and ecology of these fossil mammals. Ancient Panama had an equable climate with seasonal temperature and rainfall fluctuations less than those seen today. The middle Miocene terrestrial community consisted predominantly, or exclusively, of C3 plants, i.e., there is no evidence for C4 grasses. Statistically different mean carbon isotope values for the mammalian herbivores indicate niche partitioning of the C3 plant food resources. The range of individual carbon isotope analyses, i.e., delta13C from -15.9 to -10.1 per thousand, indicates herbivores feeding on diverse plants from different habitats with extrapolated delta13C values of -29.9 to -24.2 per thousand, possibly ranging from dense forest to more open country woodland. The ecological niches of individual mammalian herbivore species were differentiated either by diet or body size.

  14. Exergo-Ecological Assessment of Waste to Energy Plants Supported by Solar Energy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Mendecka

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Hybridization of Waste to Energy (WtE plants with solar facilities can take competing energy technologies and make them complementary. However, realizing the benefits of the solar integration requires careful consideration of its efficiency. To analyse such systems from the point of view of resource efficiency, the pure energy analysis is not sufficient since the quality of particular energy carriers is not evaluated. This work applies the exergo-ecological analysis using the concepts of thermoecological cost (TEC and exergy cost for the performance evaluation of an integrated Solar-Waste to Energy plant scheme, where solar energy is used for steam superheating. Different plant layouts, considering several design steam parameters as well as different solar system configurations, in terms of area of heliostats and size of the thermal storage tank, were studied. The results for the solar integrated plant scheme were compared with the scenarios where superheating is performed fully by a non-renewable energy source. The presented results of exergy cost analysis indicate that the most favorable system is the one supported by non-renewable energy. Such an analysis does not consider the advantage of the use of renewable energy sources. By extending the system boundary to the level of natural resource and applying the thermoecological cost analysis, an opposite result was obtained.

  15. Ecological and economic assessment and optimisation of measures for in-house recycling in hot galvanizing plants; Oekologische und oekonomische Beurteilung und Optimierung von Massnahmen zur innerbetrieblichen Stoffkreislaufschliessung beim Feuerverzinken von Stahl

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ackermann, R.; Fleischer, G. [TU Berlin, Inst. fuer Technischen Umweltschutz, Lehrstuhl Abfallvermeidung und Sekundaerrohstoffwirtschaft, Berlin (Germany)

    2003-07-01

    Exemplary strategies for materials use and recycling in a plant for hot galvanizing of steel are reviewed from an ecological and economic viewpoint and optimized. The changes resulting from the optimization measures are assessed in terms of cost and potential ecological effects. The results of this assessment, which is based on the methodology published in DIN EN ISO 14040 ff, illustrate the potential contained in the recycling option. (orig.) [German] Fuer das Feuerverzinken von Stahlbauteilen werden beispielhaft Strategien zur innerbetrieblichen Stoffkreislaufschliessung oekologisch und oekonomisch beurteilt und optimiert. Die sich hinsichtlich der betrieblichen Stoff- und Energiefluesse durch Optimierungsmassnahmen ergebenden Veraenderungen werden in Bezug auf die Kostensituation des Unternehmens und die oekologischen potentiellen Auswirkungen beurteilt. Die Ergebnisse der Oekologischen Betriebsoptimierung, die unter Nutzung methodischer Elemente der Oekobilanzierung (DIN EN ISO 14040 ff) erzielt werden, verdeutlichen, welche Potentiale in einer weitgehenden Schliessung des Stoffkreislaufs liegen. (orig.)

  16. Determinants of farmers' tree-planting investment decisions as a degraded landscape management strategy in the central highlands of Ethiopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gessesse, Berhan; Bewket, Woldeamlak; Bräuning, Achim

    2016-04-01

    Land degradation due to lack of sustainable land management practices is one of the critical challenges in many developing countries including Ethiopia. This study explored the major determinants of farm-level tree-planting decisions as a land management strategy in a typical farming and degraded landscape of the Modjo watershed, Ethiopia. The main data were generated from household surveys and analysed using descriptive statistics and a binary logistic regression model. The model significantly predicted farmers' tree-planting decisions (χ2 = 37.29, df = 15, P labour force availability, the disparity of schooling age, level of perception of the process of deforestation and the current land tenure system had a critical influence on tree-growing investment decisions in the study watershed. Eventually, the processes of land-use conversion and land degradation were serious, which in turn have had adverse effects on agricultural productivity, local food security and poverty trap nexus. Hence, the study recommended that devising and implementing sustainable land management policy options would enhance ecological restoration and livelihood sustainability in the study watershed.

  17. Determinants of farmers' tree planting investment decision as a degraded landscape management strategy in the central highlands of Ethiopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gessesse, B.; Bewket, W.; Bräuning, A.

    2015-11-01

    Land degradation due to lack of sustainable land management practices are one of the critical challenges in many developing countries including Ethiopia. This study explores the major determinants of farm level tree planting decision as a land management strategy in a typical framing and degraded landscape of the Modjo watershed, Ethiopia. The main data were generated from household surveys and analysed using descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression model. The model significantly predicted farmers' tree planting decision (Chi-square = 37.29, df = 15, Plabour force availability, the disparity of schooling age, level of perception of the process of deforestation and the current land tenure system have positively and significantly influence on tree growing investment decisions in the study watershed. Eventually, the processes of land use conversion and land degradation are serious which in turn have had adverse effects on agricultural productivity, local food security and poverty trap nexus. Hence, devising sustainable and integrated land management policy options and implementing them would enhance ecological restoration and livelihood sustainability in the study watershed.

  18. Strategy for improving instrumentation and control in operating nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abad Bassols, L.; Nino Perote, R.

    1996-01-01

    There are three basic reasons why nuclear power plants need to systematically upgrade their instrumentation and control equipment: Obsolete instrumentation and lack spares Little capacity of flexibility for extension Possibility of attaining better systems integration and improving systems-operations interface This article shows how to approach these issues using the following strategies: Use of distributed control systems and PLCs for control, signalling, command, communications, etc, in both nuclear and conventional applications Upgrading of process instrumentation equipment, sensors, transmitters, etc Upgrading of alarm-signalling systems In each group of equipment items consideration should be given to: Aspects regarding manufacturers-suppliers Effects on design, adaptation and documentation of operating plants Effects on the training and handling skills of operation and maintenance staff Strategy for incorporating the new system into the Plant with minimum impact on operation (Author)

  19. Resins characterization strategy at Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fenoy, A.; González, R.; Molleda, P.; Sánchez, L.; Herrera, J.

    2013-01-01

    The Consortium ENSA- Gas Natural Fenosa Engineering has a contract with Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) for the retrieval and conditioning of the resins. Before that, the project deals with resins characterization to verify the fulfillment the Bulgarian authorities’ requirements. The project includes all the resins generated during the operation of the BACKGROUND Resins characterization strategy at Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant units 1, 2, 3 and 4, which were stored into six big dimensions tanks: four low tanks and two intermediate tanks. They only have a manhole above for tanks access. The methodology and the progress of the work are presented

  20. Origins of altruism diversity I: The diverse ecological roles of altruistic strategies and their evolutionary responses to local competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Dyken, J David; Wade, Michael J

    2012-08-01

    Nature abounds with a rich variety of altruistic strategies, including public resource enhancement, resource provisioning, communal foraging, alarm calling, and nest defense. Yet, despite their vastly different ecological roles, current theory typically treats diverse altruistic traits as being favored under the same general conditions. Here, we introduce greater ecological realism into social evolution theory and find evidence of at least four distinct modes of altruism. Contrary to existing theory, we find that altruistic traits contributing to "resource-enhancement" (e.g., siderophore production, provisioning, agriculture) and "resource-efficiency" (e.g., pack hunting, communication) are most strongly favored when there is strong local competition. These resource-based modes of helping are "K-strategies" that increase a social group's growth yield, and should characterize species with scarce resources and/or high local crowding caused by low mortality, high fecundity, and/or mortality occurring late in the process of resource-acquisition. The opposite conditions, namely weak local competition (abundant resource, low crowding), favor survival (e.g., nest defense) and fecundity (e.g., nurse workers) altruism, which are "r-strategies" that increase a social group's growth rate. We find that survival altruism is uniquely favored by a novel evolutionary force that we call "sunk cost selection." Sunk cost selection favors helping that prevents resources from being wasted on individuals destined to die before reproduction. Our results contribute to explaining the observed natural diversity of altruistic strategies, reveal the necessary connection between the evolution and the ecology of sociality, and correct the widespread but inaccurate view that local competition uniformly impedes the evolution of altruism. © 2012 The Author(s). Evolution© 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  1. Invasive plant species in the West Indies: geographical, ecological, and floristic insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rojas-Sandoval, Julissa; Tremblay, Raymond L; Acevedo-Rodríguez, Pedro; Díaz-Soltero, Hilda

    2017-07-01

    The level of invasion (number or proportion of invasive species) in a given area depends on features of the invaded community, propagule pressure, and climate. In this study, we assess the invasive flora of nine islands in the West Indies to identify invasion patterns and evaluate whether invasive species diversity is related to geographical, ecological, and socioeconomic factors. We compiled a database of invasive plant species including information on their taxonomy, origin, pathways of introduction, habitats, and life history. This database was used to evaluate the similarity of invasive floras between islands and to identify invasion patterns at regional (West Indies) and local (island) scales. We found a total of 516 alien plant species that are invasive on at least one of the nine islands studied, with between 24 to 306 invasive species per island. The invasive flora on these islands includes a wide range of taxonomic groups, life forms, and habitats. We detected low similarity in invasive species diversity between islands, with most invasive species (>60%) occurring on a single island and 6% occurring on at least five islands. To assess the importance of different models in predicting patterns of invasive species diversity among islands, we used generalized linear models. Our analyses revealed that invasive species diversity was well predicted by a combination of island area and economic development (gross domestic product per capita and kilometers of paved roadways). Our results provide strong evidence for the roles of geographical, ecological, and socioeconomic factors in determining the distribution and spread of invasive species on these islands. Anthropogenic disturbance and economic development seem to be the major drivers facilitating the spread and predominance of invasive species over native species.

  2. Plant host finding by parasitic plants: A new perspective on plant to plant communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark C. Mescher; Justin B. Runyon; Consuelo M. De Moraes

    2006-01-01

    Plants release airborne chemicals that can convey ecologically relevant information to other organisms. These plant volatiles are known to mediate a large array of, often complex, interactions between plants and insects. It has been suggested that plant volatiles may have similar importance in mediating interactions among plant species, but there are few well-...

  3. Ecological restoration across the Mediterranean Basin as viewed by practitioners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunes, Alice; Oliveira, Graça; Mexia, Teresa; Valdecantos, Alejandro; Zucca, Claudio; Costantini, Edoardo A C; Abraham, Eleni M; Kyriazopoulos, Apostolos P; Salah, Ayman; Prasse, Ruediger; Correia, Otília; Milliken, Sarah; Kotzen, Benz; Branquinho, Cristina

    2016-10-01

    Restoration efforts in the Mediterranean Basin have been changing from a silvicultural to an ecological restoration approach. Yet, to what extent the projects are guided by ecological restoration principles remains largely unknown. To analyse this issue, we built an on-line survey addressed to restoration practitioners. We analysed 36 restoration projects, mostly from drylands (86%). The projects used mainly soil from local sources. The need to comply with legislation was more important as a restoration motive for European Union (EU) than for non-EU countries, while public opinion and health had a greater importance in the latter. Non-EU countries relied more on non-native plant species than EU countries, thus deviating from ecological restoration guidelines. Nursery-grown plants used were mostly of local or regional provenance, whilst seeds were mostly of national provenance. Unexpected restoration results (e.g. inadequate biodiversity) were reported for 50% of the projects and restoration success was never evaluated in 22%. Long term evaluation (>6years) was only performed in 31% of cases, and based primarily on plant diversity and cover. The use of non-native species and species of exogenous provenances may: i) entail the loss of local genetic and functional trait diversity, critical to cope with drought, particularly under the predicted climate change scenarios, and ii) lead to unexpected competition with native species and/or negatively impact local biotic interactions. Absent or inappropriate monitoring may prevent the understanding of restoration trajectories, precluding adaptive management strategies, often crucial to create functional ecosystems able to provide ecosystem services. The overview of ecological restoration projects in the Mediterranean Basin revealed high variability among practices and highlighted the need for improved scientific assistance and information exchange, greater use of native species of local provenance, and more long

  4. Simulation and experimental studies of operators' decision styles and crew composition while using an ecological and traditional user interface for the control room of a nuclear power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meshkati, N.; Buller, B.J.; Azadeh, M.A.

    1995-01-01

    The goal of this research is threefold: (1) use of the Skill-, Rule-, and Knowledge-based levels of cognitive control -- the SRK framework -- to develop an integrated information processing conceptual framework (for integration of workstation, job, and team design); (2) to evaluate the user interface component of this framework -- the Ecological display; and (3) to analyze the effect of operators' individual information processing behavior and decision styles on handling plant disturbances plus their performance on, and preference for, Traditional and Ecological user interfaces. A series of studies were conducted. In Part I, a computer simulation model and a mathematical model were developed. In Part II, an experiment was designed and conducted at the EBR-II plant of the Argonne National Laboratory-West in Idaho Falls, Idaho. It is concluded that: the integrated SRK-based information processing model for control room operations is superior to the conventional rule-based model; operators' individual decision styles and the combination of their styles play a significant role in effective handling of nuclear power plant disturbances; use of the Ecological interface results in significantly more accurate event diagnosis and recall of various plant parameters, faster response to plant transients, and higher ratings of subject preference; and operators' decision styles affect on both their performance and preference for the Ecological interface

  5. Simulation and experimental studies of operators` decision styles and crew composition while using an ecological and traditional user interface for the control room of a nuclear power plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meshkati, N.; Buller, B.J.; Azadeh, M.A. [Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)

    1995-04-01

    The goal of this research is threefold: (1) use of the Skill-, Rule-, and Knowledge-based levels of cognitive control -- the SRK framework -- to develop an integrated information processing conceptual framework (for integration of workstation, job, and team design); (2) to evaluate the user interface component of this framework -- the Ecological display; and (3) to analyze the effect of operators` individual information processing behavior and decision styles on handling plant disturbances plus their performance on, and preference for, Traditional and Ecological user interfaces. A series of studies were conducted. In Part I, a computer simulation model and a mathematical model were developed. In Part II, an experiment was designed and conducted at the EBR-II plant of the Argonne National Laboratory-West in Idaho Falls, Idaho. It is concluded that: the integrated SRK-based information processing model for control room operations is superior to the conventional rule-based model; operators` individual decision styles and the combination of their styles play a significant role in effective handling of nuclear power plant disturbances; use of the Ecological interface results in significantly more accurate event diagnosis and recall of various plant parameters, faster response to plant transients, and higher ratings of subject preference; and operators` decision styles affect on both their performance and preference for the Ecological interface.

  6. [Dynamic changes of ecological footprint and ecological capacity in Fujian Province].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weng, Boqi; Wang, Yixiang; Huang, Yibin; Ying, Zhaoyang; Huang, Qinlou

    2006-11-01

    The analysis on the dynamic changes of ecological footprint and ecological capacity in Fujian Province showed that in 1999-2003, the ecological footprint per capita in the Province increased from 1.428 hm2 to 1.658 hm2, while the ecological capacity per capita decreased from 0.683 hm2 to 0.607 hm2, with an increased ecological deficit year after year. The contradiction between the ecological footprint and ecological capacity pricked up gradually, and the ecological environment was at risk. There existed a severe imbalance in the supply and demand of ecological footprint per capita. The main body of the demands was grassland and fossil fuel, accouting for 55.74% - 63.43% of the total, while their supply only occupied 0.77% - 0.82% and next to nothing of the ecological capacity per capita, respectively. As a whole, the ecological footprint per ten thousand yuan GDP declined in the five years, indicating that the resources use efficiency in the Province was improved gradually. Based on the analysis of the present situation of the economic development and resources distribution in the Province, the strategies on reducing ecological deficit were put forward.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Research Progress on the use of Plant Allelopathy in Agriculture and the Physiological and Ecological Mechanisms of Allelopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Fang; Cheng, Zhihui

    2015-01-01

    Allelopathy is a common biological phenomenon by which one organism produces biochemicals that influence the growth, survival, development, and reproduction of other organisms. These biochemicals are known as allelochemicals and have beneficial or detrimental effects on target organisms. Plant allelopathy is one of the modes of interaction between receptor and donor plants and may exert either positive effects (e.g., for agricultural management, such as weed control, crop protection, or crop re-establishment) or negative effects (e.g., autotoxicity, soil sickness, or biological invasion). To ensure sustainable agricultural development, it is important to exploit cultivation systems that take advantage of the stimulatory/inhibitory influence of allelopathic plants to regulate plant growth and development and to avoid allelopathic autotoxicity. Allelochemicals can potentially be used as growth regulators, herbicides, insecticides, and antimicrobial crop protection products. Here, we reviewed the plant allelopathy management practices applied in agriculture and the underlying allelopathic mechanisms described in the literature. The major points addressed are as follows: (1) Description of management practices related to allelopathy and allelochemicals in agriculture. (2) Discussion of the progress regarding the mode of action of allelochemicals and the physiological mechanisms of allelopathy, consisting of the influence on cell micro- and ultra-structure, cell division and elongation, membrane permeability, oxidative and antioxidant systems, growth regulation systems, respiration, enzyme synthesis and metabolism, photosynthesis, mineral ion uptake, protein and nucleic acid synthesis. (3) Evaluation of the effect of ecological mechanisms exerted by allelopathy on microorganisms and the ecological environment. (4) Discussion of existing problems and proposal for future research directions in this field to provide a useful reference for future studies on plant

  9. Research progress on the use of plant allelopathy in agriculture and the physiological and ecological mechanisms of allelopathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fang eCheng

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Allelopathy is a common biological phenomenon by which one organism produces biochemicals that influence the growth, survival, development, and reproduction of other organisms. These biochemicals are known as allelochemicals and have beneficial or detrimental effects on target organisms. Plant allelopathy is one of the modes of interaction between receptor and donor plants and may exert either positive effects (e.g., for agricultural management, such as weed control, crop protection, or crop re-establishment or negative effects (e.g., autotoxicity, soil sickness, or biological invasion. To ensure sustainable agricultural development, it is important to exploit cultivation systems that take advantage of the stimulatory / inhibitory influence of allelopathic plants to regulate plant growth and development and to avoid allelopathic autotoxicity. Allelochemicals can potentially be used as growth regulators, herbicides, insecticides and antimicrobial crop protection products. Here, we reviewed the plant allelopathy management practices applied in agriculture and the underlying allelopathic mechanisms described in the literature. The major points addressed are as follows: (1 Description of management practices related to allelopathy and allelochemicals in agriculture. (2 Discussion of the progress regarding the mode of action of allelochemicals and the physiological mechanisms of allelopathy, consisting of the influence on cell micro- and ultra-structure, cell division and elongation, membrane permeability, oxidative and antioxidant systems, growth regulation systems, respiration, enzyme synthesis and metabolism, photosynthesis, mineral ion uptake, protein and nucleic acid synthesis. (3 Evaluation of the effect of ecological mechanisms exerted by allelopathy on microorganisms and the ecological environment. (4 Discussion of existing problems and proposal for future research directions in this field to provide a useful reference for future studies on

  10. Ecological trade-offs between jasmonic acid-dependent direct and indirect plant defences in tritrophic interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Jianing; Wang, Lizhong; Zhao, Jiuhai; Li, Chuanyou; Ge, Feng; Kang, Le

    2011-01-01

    Recent studies on plants genetically modified in jasmonic acid (JA) signalling support the hypothesis that the jasmonate family of oxylipins plays an important role in mediating direct and indirect plant defences. However, the interaction of two modes of defence in tritrophic systems is largely unknown. In this study, we examined the preference and performance of a herbivorous leafminer (Liriomyza huidobrensis) and its parasitic wasp (Opius dissitus) on three tomato genotypes: a wild-type (WT) plant, a JA biosynthesis (spr2) mutant, and a JA-overexpression 35S::prosys plant. Their proteinase inhibitor production and volatile emission were used as direct and indirect defence factors to evaluate the responses of leafminers and parasitoids. Here, we show that although spr2 mutant plants are compromised in direct defence against the larval leafminers and in attracting parasitoids, they are less attractive to adult flies compared with WT plants. Moreover, in comparison to other genotypes, the 35S::prosys plant displays greater direct and constitutive indirect defences, but reduced success of parasitism by parasitoids. Taken together, these results suggest that there are distinguished ecological trade-offs between JA-dependent direct and indirect defences in genetically modified plants whose fitness should be assessed in tritrophic systems and under natural conditions. © The Authors (2010). Journal compilation © New Phytologist Trust (2010).

  11. Chemical ecology of fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spiteller, Peter

    2015-07-01

    Fungi are widespread in nature and have conquered nearly every ecological niche. Fungi occur not only in terrestrial but also in freshwater and marine environments. Moreover, fungi are known as a rich source of secondary metabolites. Despite these facts, the ecological role of many of these metabolites is still unknown and the chemical ecology of fungi has not been investigated systematically so far. This review intends to present examples of the various chemical interactions of fungi with other fungi, plants, bacteria and animals and to give an overview of the current knowledge of fungal chemical ecology.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

  13. Review: Biotechnological strategies for conservation of rare and endangered medicinal plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MAHENDRA KUMAR RAI

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Rai MK (2010 Review: Biotechnological strategies for conservation of rare and endangered medicinal plants. Biodiversitas 11: 157-166. The use of medicinal plants is as old as human civilization. The biotechnological tools play a crucial role in conservation of rare and endangered medicinal plants. The rapid depletion of plant genetic diversity has made essential to develop new in situ and ex situ conservation methods. Advances in biotechnology offer new methods for conservation of rare and endangered medicinal plants. The present review is focused on biotechnological tools like in vitro culture, micropropagation, mycorrhization, genetic transformation and development of DNA banks. These are imperative and important alternatives for the conservation of rare and endangered medicinal plants.

  14. Human Pathogens on Plants: Designing a Multidisciplinary Strategy for Research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fletcher, Jacqueline; Leach, Jan E; Eversole, Kellye; Tauxe, Robert

    2014-10-15

    Recent efforts to address concerns about microbial contamination of food plants and resulting foodborne illness have prompted new collaboration and interactions between the scientific communities of plant pathology and food safety. This article provides perspectives from scientists of both disciplines and presents selected research results and concepts that highlight existing and possible future synergisms for audiences of both disciplines. Plant pathology is a complex discipline that encompasses studies of the dissemination, colonization, and infection of plants by microbes such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and oomycetes. Plant pathologists study plant diseases as well as host plant defense responses and disease management strategies with the goal of minimizing disease occurrences and impacts. Repeated outbreaks of human illness attributed to the contamination of fresh produce, nuts and seeds, and other plant-derived foods by human enteric pathogens such as Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp. have led some plant pathologists to broaden the application of their science in the past two decades, to address problems of human pathogens on plants (HPOPs). Food microbiology, which began with the study of microbes that spoil foods and those that are critical to produce food, now also focuses study on how foods become contaminated with pathogens and how this can be controlled or prevented. Thus, at the same time, public health researchers and food microbiologists have become more concerned about plant-microbe interactions before and after harvest. New collaborations are forming between members of the plant pathology and food safety communities, leading to enhanced research capacity and greater understanding of the issues for which research is needed. The two communities use somewhat different vocabularies and conceptual models. For example, traditional plant pathology concepts such as the disease triangle and the disease cycle can help to define

  15. Human pathogens on plants: designing a multidisciplinary strategy for research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fletcher, Jacqueline; Leach, Jan E; Eversole, Kellye; Tauxe, Robert

    2013-04-01

    Recent efforts to address concerns about microbial contamination of food plants and resulting foodborne illness have prompted new collaboration and interactions between the scientific communities of plant pathology and food safety. This article provides perspectives from scientists of both disciplines and presents selected research results and concepts that highlight existing and possible future synergisms for audiences of both disciplines. Plant pathology is a complex discipline that encompasses studies of the dissemination, colonization, and infection of plants by microbes such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and oomycetes. Plant pathologists study plant diseases as well as host plant defense responses and disease management strategies with the goal of minimizing disease occurrences and impacts. Repeated outbreaks of human illness attributed to the contamination of fresh produce, nuts and seeds, and other plant-derived foods by human enteric pathogens such as Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp. have led some plant pathologists to broaden the application of their science in the past two decades, to address problems of human pathogens on plants (HPOPs). Food microbiology, which began with the study of microbes that spoil foods and those that are critical to produce food, now also focuses study on how foods become contaminated with pathogens and how this can be controlled or prevented. Thus, at the same time, public health researchers and food microbiologists have become more concerned about plant-microbe interactions before and after harvest. New collaborations are forming between members of the plant pathology and food safety communities, leading to enhanced research capacity and greater understanding of the issues for which research is needed. The two communities use somewhat different vocabularies and conceptual models. For example, traditional plant pathology concepts such as the disease triangle and the disease cycle can help to define

  16. Ecology-driven stereotypes override race stereotypes

    OpenAIRE

    Williams, Keelah E. G.; Sng, Oliver; Neuberg, Steven L.

    2015-01-01

    Ecological features shape people’s goals, strategies, and behaviors. Our research suggests that social perceivers possess a lay understanding of ecology’s influence on behavior, resulting in ecology-driven stereotypes. Moreover, because race is confounded with ecology in the United States, Americans’ stereotypes about racial groups may actually reflect their stereotypes about these groups’ presumed home ecologies. In a series of studies, we demonstrate that (i) individuals possess ecology-dri...

  17. ECOLOGIC FEATURES OF WOOD ANATOMY OF Casearia sylvestris SW (SALICACEAE IN THREE BRAZILIAN ECOSYSTEMS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graciene da Silva Mota

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Casearia sylvestris SW (Salicaceae is a highly adaptive perennial species that is found throughout Latin America and widely spread in Brazil. This work analyzed the ecological features of wood anatomy of C. sylvestris occurring in three ecosystem types: Cerrado, Gallery Forest (Northern of Minas Gerais and Mata Atlântica (Southern of Minas Gerais. Qualitative features were similar among plants in the three ecosystems, differing only in the distribution of pith flecks and neighboring tyloses that were more frequent in Cerrado and Gallery Forest. The quantitative results showed significant differences for several parameters, as well as variation between individuals of vegetation types of Northern and Southern of Minas Gerais. The correlation matrix of variables including quantitative anatomical characteristics, soil characteristics, height and diameter of the plants showed that plants were grouped by ecosystem type. Casearia sylvestris might adopt different survival strategies regarding safety and efficiency of water transport by wood anatomy ecological adaptation. The adaptive anatomical features to drought were mostly an decrease of vessel frequency and an increase of ray width and frequency.

  18. Advancing population ecology with integral projection models: a practical guide

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Merow, Cory; Dahlgren, Johan; Metcall, C. Jessica E.

    2014-01-01

    (e.g., environment). By combining regressions of vital rates, an IPM provides mechanistic insight into emergent ecological patterns such as population dynamics, species geographic distributions, or life history strategies. Here, we review important resources for building IPMs and provide...... a comprehensive guide, with extensive R code, for their construction. IPMs can be applied to any stage-structured population; here we illustrate IPMs for a series of plant life histories of increasing complexity and biological realism, highlighting the utility of various regression methods for capturing...

  19. Plant-wide Control Strategy for Improving Produced Water Treatment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yang, Zhenyu; Pedersen, Simon; Løhndorf, Petar Durdevic

    2016-01-01

    This work focuses on investigation and development of an innovative Produced Water Treatment (PWT) technology for offshore oil & gas production by employing the model-based plant-wide control strategy. The key contributions lie in two folds: (i) the advanced anti-slug analysis and control...

  20. Lead tolerance in plants: strategies for phytoremediation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, D K; Huang, H G; Corpas, F J

    2013-04-01

    Lead (Pb) is naturally occurring element whose distribution in the environment occurs because of its extensive use in paints, petrol, explosives, sludge, and industrial wastes. In plants, Pb uptake and translocation occurs, causing toxic effects resulting in decrease of biomass production. Commonly plants may prevent the toxic effect of heavy metals by induction of various celular mechanisms such as adsorption to the cell wall, compartmentation in vacuoles, enhancement of the active efflux, or induction of higher levels of metal chelates like a protein complex (metallothioneins and phytochelatins), organic (citrates), and inorganic (sulphides) complexes. Phyotochelains (PC) are synthesized from glutathione (GSH) and such synthesis is due to transpeptidation of γ-glutamyl cysteinyl dipeptides from GSH by the action of a constitutively present enzyme, PC synthase. Phytochelatin binds to Pb ions leading to sequestration of Pb ions in plants and thus serves as an important component of the detoxification mechanism in plants. At cellular level, Pb induces accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), as a result of imbalanced ROS production and ROS scavenging processes by imposing oxidative stress. ROS include superoxide radical (O2(.-)), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and hydroxyl radical ((·)OH), which are necessary for the correct functioning of plants; however, in excess they caused damage to biomolecules, such as membrane lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids among others. To limit the detrimental impact of Pb, efficient strategies like phytoremediation are required. In this review, it will discuss recent advancement and potential application of plants for lead removal from the environment.

  1. Ecological functions of Trichoderma spp. and their secondary metabolites in the rhizosphere: interactions with plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Contreras-Cornejo, Hexon Angel; Macías-Rodríguez, Lourdes; del-Val, Ek; Larsen, John

    2016-04-01

    Trichodermaspp. are common soil and root inhabitants that have been widely studied due to their capacity to produce antibiotics, parasitize other fungi and compete with deleterious plant microorganisms. These fungi produce a number of secondary metabolites such as non-ribosomal peptides, terpenoids, pyrones and indolic-derived compounds. In the rhizosphere, the exchange and recognition of signaling molecules byTrichodermaand plants may alter physiological and biochemical aspects in both. For example, severalTrichodermastrains induce root branching and increase shoot biomass as a consequence of cell division, expansion and differentiation by the presence of fungal auxin-like compounds. Furthermore,Trichoderma, in association with plant roots, can trigger systemic resistance and improve plant nutrient uptake. The present review describes the most recent advances in understanding the ecological functions ofTrichodermaspp. in the rhizosphere at biochemical and molecular levels with special emphasis on their associations with plants. Finally, through a synthesis of the current body of work, we present potential future research directions on studies related toTrichodermaspp. and their secondary metabolites in agroecosystems. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. A systematic approach for watershed ecological restoration strategy making: An application in the Taizi River Basin in northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Mengdi; Fan, Juntao; Zhang, Yuan; Guo, Fen; Liu, Lusan; Xia, Rui; Xu, Zongxue; Wu, Fengchang

    2018-05-15

    Aiming to protect freshwater ecosystems, river ecological restoration has been brought into the research spotlight. However, it is challenging for decision makers to set appropriate objectives and select a combination of rehabilitation acts from numerous possible solutions to meet ecological, economic, and social demands. In this study, we developed a systematic approach to help make an optimal strategy for watershed restoration, which incorporated ecological security assessment and multi-objectives optimization (MOO) into the planning process to enhance restoration efficiency and effectiveness. The river ecological security status was evaluated by using a pressure-state-function-response (PSFR) assessment framework, and MOO was achieved by searching for the Pareto optimal solutions via Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm II (NSGA-II) to balance tradeoffs between different objectives. Further, we clustered the searched solutions into three types in terms of different optimized objective function values in order to provide insightful information for decision makers. The proposed method was applied in an example rehabilitation project in the Taizi River Basin in northern China. The MOO result in the Taizi River presented a set of Pareto optimal solutions that were classified into three types: I - high ecological improvement, high cost and high benefits solution; II - medial ecological improvement, medial cost and medial economic benefits solution; III - low ecological improvement, low cost and low economic benefits solution. The proposed systematic approach in our study can enhance the effectiveness of riverine ecological restoration project and could provide valuable reference for other ecological restoration planning. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Ecological analyses and applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kroodsma, R.L.; Craig, R.B.; Hildebrand, S.G.

    1978-01-01

    Progress is reported on the following: assessment of nuclear power plants; ecological analysis of uranium mining, milling, and fuel fabrication; environmental impact statements concerning uranium enrichment facilities; site evaluations for storage of radioactive wastes; ecological analysis of geothermal energy development; enhanced oil recovery; environmental monitoring plan for modular integrated utility systems; and fossil energy environmental project

  4. Interaction intimacy of pathogens and herbivores with their host plants influences the topological structure of ecological networks in different ways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benítez-Malvido, Julieta; Dáttilo, Wesley

    2015-04-01

    • Over the past two decades an interest in the role that plant-animal mutualistic networks play in the organization and dynamic of biodiversity has steadily risen. Despite the ecological, evolutionary, and economic importance of plant-herbivore and plant-pathogen antagonistic relationships, however, few studies have examined these interactions in an ecological network framework.• We describe for the first time the topological structure of multitrophic networks involving congeneric tropical plant species of the genus Heliconia (Heliconiaceae, Zingiberales) and their herbivores and pathogens in the state of Pernambuco, Brazil. We based our study on the available literature describing the organisms (e.g., insects, mites, fungi, and bacteria) that attack 24 different species, hybrids, and cultivated varieties of Heliconia.• In general, pathogen- and herbivore-Heliconia networks differed in their topological structure (more modular vs. more nested, respectively): pathogen-Heliconia networks were more specialized and compartmentalized than herbivore-Heliconia networks. High modularity was likely due to the high intimacy that pathogens have with their host plants as compared with the more generalized feeding modes and behavior of herbivores. Some clusters clearly reflected the clustering of closely related cultivated varieties of Heliconia sharing the same pathogens.• From a commercial standpoint, different varieties of the same Heliconia species may be more susceptible to being attacked by the same species of pathogens. In summary, our study highlights the importance of interaction intimacy in structuring trophic relationships between plants and pathogens in the tropics. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  5. Developing remediation criteria on the basis of health and ecological risks at a former sour gas plant site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, G. L.; Wilson, R. M.; Clyde, G. A.; Chollak, D. F.

    1997-01-01

    A human health and ecological risk assessment was completed for the Okotoks sour gas processing gas plant, based on the existing environmental sampling and toxicity testing that has been collected at the site since 1987. For the human health risk assessment, two potential scenarios were considered, including industrial use and parkland use. The ecological risk assessment involved synthesis of existing sampling and toxicity testing results as well as the assessment of potential risk to ecological receptors such as the meadow vole, red-tailed hawk and cattle. The assessment included chemical screening, receptor and exposure pathway selection, toxicity assessment of chemicals of concern, estimation of exposures, risk characterization and generation of soil and groundwater remediation criteria. Results of the assessments to date indicate that limited subsurface remediation is required for the protection of human health under industrial/parkland use. In contrast, ecological considerations will require remediation or reclamation of surface soil and the imposition of certain risk management controls, such as e. g. encumbrances on land title. 2 figs

  6. Ecological and evolutionary consequences of niche construction for its agent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kylafis, Grigoris; Loreau, Michel

    2008-10-01

    Niche construction can generate ecological and evolutionary feedbacks that have been underinvestigated so far. We present an eco-evolutionary model that incorporates the process of niche construction to reveal its effects on the ecology and evolution of the niche-constructing agent. We consider a simple plant-soil nutrient ecosystem in which plants have the ability to increase the input of inorganic nutrient as an example of positive niche construction. On an ecological time scale, the model shows that niche construction allows the persistence of plants under infertile soil conditions that would otherwise lead to their extinction. This expansion of plants' niche, however, requires a high enough rate of niche construction and a high enough initial plant biomass to fuel the positive ecological feedback between plants and their soil environment. On an evolutionary time scale, we consider that the rates of niche construction and nutrient uptake coevolve in plants while a trade-off constrains their values. Different evolutionary outcomes are possible depending on the shape of the trade-off. We show that niche construction results in an evolutionary feedback between plants and their soil environment such that plants partially regulate soil nutrient content. The direct benefit accruing to plants, however, plays a crucial role in the evolutionary advantage of niche construction.

  7. Estimating suitable environments for invasive plant species across large landscapes: a remote sensing strategy using Landsat 7 ETM+

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Kendal E.; Abbott, Laurie B.; Caldwell, Colleen A.; Schrader, T. Scott

    2013-01-01

    The key to reducing ecological and economic damage caused by invasive plant species is to locate and eradicate new invasions before they threaten native biodiversity and ecological processes. We used Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus imagery to estimate suitable environments for four invasive plants in Big Bend National Park, southwest Texas, using a presence-only modeling approach. Giant reed (Arundo donax), Lehmann lovegrass (Eragrostis lehmanniana), horehound (Marrubium vulgare) and buffelgrass (Pennisteum ciliare) were selected for remote sensing spatial analyses. Multiple dates/seasons of imagery were used to account for habitat conditions within the study area and to capture phenological differences among targeted species and the surrounding landscape. Individual species models had high (0.91 to 0.99) discriminative ability to differentiate invasive plant suitable environments from random background locations. Average test area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) ranged from 0.91 to 0.99, indicating that plant predictive models exhibited high discriminative ability to differentiate suitable environments for invasive plant species from random locations. Omission rates ranged from <1.0 to 18%. We demonstrated that useful models estimating suitable environments for invasive plants may be created with <50 occurrence locations and that reliable modeling using presence-only datasets can be powerful tools for land managers.

  8. Current scientific literature on tarnished plant bug, Lygus lineolaris (Palisot de Beauvois) ecology in Mississippi, and critical information needs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Understanding the basic ecological patterns of the tarnished plant bug, Lygus lineolaris (Palisot de Beauvois), is required for implementing a successful integrated pest management program. As the primary pest of cotton in Mississippi and across the mid-south, L. lineolaris is a highly polyphagous m...

  9. Ecologically Sound Procedural Generation of Natural Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benny Onrust

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Current techniques for the creation and exploration of virtual worlds are largely unable to generate sound natural environments from ecological data and to provide interactive web-based visualizations of such detailed environments. We tackle this challenge and propose a novel framework that (i explores the advantages of landscape maps and ecological statistical data, translating them to an ecologically sound plant distribution, and (ii creates a visually convincing 3D representation of the natural environment suitable for its interactive visualization over the web. Our vegetation model improves techniques from procedural ecosystem generation and neutral landscape modeling. It is able to generate diverse ecological sound plant distributions directly from landscape maps with statistical ecological data. Our visualization model integrates existing level of detail and illumination techniques to achieve interactive frame rates and improve realism. We validated with ecology experts the outcome of our framework using two case studies and concluded that it provides convincing interactive visualizations of large natural environments.

  10. Evaluation of different hedging strategies for commodity price risks of industrial cogeneration plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Palzer, Andreas; Westner, Günther; Madlener, Reinhard

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, we design and evaluate eight different strategies for hedging commodity price risks of industrial cogeneration plants. Price developments are parameterized based on EEX data from 2008 to 2011. The probability distributions derived are used to determine the value-at-risk (VaR) of the individual strategies, which are in a final step combined in a mean-variance portfolio analysis for determining the most efficient hedging strategy. We find that the strategy adopted can have a marked influence on the remaining price risk. Quarter futures are found to be particularly well suited for reducing market price risk. In contrast, spot trading of CO 2 certificates is found to be preferable compared to forward market trading. Finally, portfolio optimization shows that a mix of various hedging strategies can further improve the profitability of a heat-based cogeneration plant. - Highlights: • Evaluation of commodity price risk hedging strategies for industrial cogeneration. • Value-at-risk analysis of eight different hedging strategies. • Mean-variance portfolio analysis for determining the optimal hedging strategy mix. • A mix of hedging strategies further improves profitability of heat-based CHP

  11. Quantitative Resistance to Plant Pathogens in Pyramiding Strategies for Durable Crop Protection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie-Laure Pilet-Nayel

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Quantitative resistance has gained interest in plant breeding for pathogen control in low-input cropping systems. Although quantitative resistance frequently has only a partial effect and is difficult to select, it is considered more durable than major resistance (R genes. With the exponential development of molecular markers over the past 20 years, resistance QTL have been more accurately detected and better integrated into breeding strategies for resistant varieties with increased potential for durability. This review summarizes current knowledge on the genetic inheritance, molecular basis, and durability of quantitative resistance. Based on this knowledge, we discuss how strategies that combine major R genes and QTL in crops can maintain the effectiveness of plant resistance to pathogens. Combining resistance QTL with complementary modes of action appears to be an interesting strategy for breeding effective and potentially durable resistance. Combining quantitative resistance with major R genes has proven to be a valuable approach for extending the effectiveness of major genes. In the plant genomics era, improved tools and methods are becoming available to better integrate quantitative resistance into breeding strategies. Nevertheless, optimal combinations of resistance loci will still have to be identified to preserve resistance effectiveness over time for durable crop protection.

  12. Understanding and planning ecological restoration of plant-pollinator networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devoto, Mariano; Bailey, Sallie; Craze, Paul; Memmott, Jane

    2012-04-01

    Theory developed from studying changes in the structure and function of communities during natural or managed succession can guide the restoration of particular communities. We constructed 30 quantitative plant-flower visitor networks along a managed successional gradient to identify the main drivers of change in network structure. We then applied two alternative restoration strategies in silico (restoring for functional complementarity or redundancy) to data from our early successional plots to examine whether different strategies affected the restoration trajectories. Changes in network structure were explained by a combination of age, tree density and variation in tree diameter, even when variance explained by undergrowth structure was accounted for first. A combination of field data, a network approach and numerical simulations helped to identify which species should be given restoration priority in the context of different restoration targets. This combined approach provides a powerful tool for directing management decisions, particularly when management seeks to restore or conserve ecosystem function. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  13. Ecology of the Nevada Test Site. I. Geographic and ecologic distributions of the vascular flora (annotated checklist)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beatley, J C

    1965-04-01

    A checklist of vascular plants of the Nevada Test Site is presented for use in studies of plant ecology. Data on the occurrence and distribution of plant species are included. Collections were made from both undisturbed and disturbed sites.

  14. Decommissioning strategy and schedule for a multiple reactor nuclear power plant site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Monteiro, Deiglys Borges; Moreira, Joao M.L.; Maiorino, Jose Rubens, E-mail: deiglys.monteiro@ufabc.edu.br, E-mail: joao.moreira@ufabc.edu.br, E-mail: joserubens.maiorino@ufabc.edu.br [Universidade Federal do ABC (CECS/UFABC), Santo Andre, SP (Brazil). Centro de Engenharia, Modelagem e Ciencias Aplicadas

    2015-07-01

    The decommissioning is an important part of every Nuclear Power Plant life cycle gaining importance when there are more than one plant at the same site due to interactions that can arise from the operational ones and a decommissioning plant. In order to prevent undesirable problems, a suitable strategy and a very rigorous schedule should implemented and carried. In this way, decommissioning tasks such as fully decontamination and dismantling of activated and contaminated systems, rooms and structures could be delayed, posing as an interesting option to multiple reactor sites. The present work aims to purpose a strategy and a schedule for the decommissioning of a multiple reactor site highlighting the benefits of delay operational tasks and constructs some auxiliary services in the site during the stand by period of the shutdown plants. As a case study, will be presented a three-reactor site which the decommissioning process actually is in planning stage and that should start in the next decade. (author)

  15. Decommissioning strategy and schedule for a multiple reactor nuclear power plant site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Monteiro, Deiglys Borges; Moreira, Joao M.L.; Maiorino, Jose Rubens

    2015-01-01

    The decommissioning is an important part of every Nuclear Power Plant life cycle gaining importance when there are more than one plant at the same site due to interactions that can arise from the operational ones and a decommissioning plant. In order to prevent undesirable problems, a suitable strategy and a very rigorous schedule should implemented and carried. In this way, decommissioning tasks such as fully decontamination and dismantling of activated and contaminated systems, rooms and structures could be delayed, posing as an interesting option to multiple reactor sites. The present work aims to purpose a strategy and a schedule for the decommissioning of a multiple reactor site highlighting the benefits of delay operational tasks and constructs some auxiliary services in the site during the stand by period of the shutdown plants. As a case study, will be presented a three-reactor site which the decommissioning process actually is in planning stage and that should start in the next decade. (author)

  16. Plants in alpine environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Germino, Matthew J.

    2014-01-01

    Alpine and subalpine plant species are of special interest in ecology and ecophysiology because they represent life at the climate limit and changes in their relative abundances can be a bellwether for climate-change impacts. Perennial life forms dominate alpine plant communities, and their form and function reflect various avoidance, tolerance, or resistance strategies to interactions of cold temperature, radiation, wind, and desiccation stresses that prevail in the short growing seasons common (but not ubiquitous) in alpine areas. Plant microclimate is typically uncoupled from the harsh climate of the alpine, often leading to substantially warmer plant temperatures than air temperatures recorded by weather stations. Low atmospheric pressure is the most pervasive, fundamental, and unifying factor for alpine environments, but the resulting decrease in partial pressure of CO2 does not significantly limit carbon gain by alpine plants. Factors such as tree islands and topographic features create strong heterogeneous mosaics of microclimate and snow cover that are reflected in plant community composition. Factors affecting tree establishment and growth and formation of treeline are key to understanding alpine ecology. Carbohydrate and other carbon storage, rapid development in a short growing season, and physiological function at low temperature are prevailing attributes of alpine plants. A major contemporary research theme asks whether chilling at alpine-treeline affects the ability of trees to assimilate the growth resources and particularly carbon needed for growth or whether the growth itself is limited by the alpine environment. Alpine areas tend to be among the best conserved, globally, yet they are increasingly showing response to a range of anthropogenic impacts, such as atmospheric deposition.

  17. Lifetime design strategy for binary geothermal plants considering degradation of geothermal resource productivity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Budisulistyo, Denny; Wong, Choon Seng; Krumdieck, Susan

    2017-01-01

    Highlights: • A new lifetime strategy for binary plants considering thermal resource degradations. • The net present value and energy return on investment are selected as indicators. • The results indicate that the design based on point 2 has the best revenue. • Improving plant performance by parameters adjustments and adaptable designs. - Abstract: This work proposes a lifetime design strategy for binary geothermal plants which takes into account heat resource degradation. A model of the resource temperature and mass flow rate decline over a 30 year plant life is developed from a survey of data. The standard approach to optimise a basic subcritical cycle of n-pentane working fluid and select component sizes is used for the resource characteristics in years 1, 7, 15 and 30. The performances of the four plants designed for the different resource conditions are then simulated over the plant life to obtain the best lifetime design. The net present value and energy return on investment are selected as the measures of merit. The production history of a real geothermal well in the Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand, is used as a case study for the lifetime design strategy. The results indicate that the operational parameters (such as mass flow rate of n-pentane, inlet turbine pressure and air mass flow rate) and plant performance (net power output) decrease over the whole plant life. The best lifetime plant design was at year 7 with partly degraded conditions. This condition has the highest net present value at USD 6,894,615 and energy return on investment at 4.15. Detailed thermo-economic analysis was carried out with the aim of improving the plant performance to overcome the resource degradation in two ways: operational parameters adjustments and adaptable designs. The results shows that mass flow rates of n-pentane and air cooling should be adjusted to maintain the performance over the plant life. The plant design can also be adapted by installing a recuperator

  18. Ecological state of the Rance marine basin after 30 years of functioning of the tidal power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Retiere, Ch.; Desroy, N.; Bonnot-Courtois, C.; Le Mao, P.

    1997-01-01

    The Rance basin on the Brittany coast (France) is the unique site in the world where the long term ecological impacts of the functioning of a tidal power plant can be evaluated. Two aspects are distinguished: the consequences due to the building the plant and those due to the functioning of the plant. During the building of the barrage which lasted 3 years, the estuary was isolated from the sea and led to an increase of sedimentation and organic matter and to important variations of the water salinity. Thus the whole marine flora and fauna disappeared. Today, the operation of the plant has changed the rhythm and amplitude of the tide inside the basin. Ten to fifteen years were necessary for the marine fauna and flora to recover a new equilibrium inside the basin after the plant was built. The functioning of the new ecosystem is governed by the relationship between species independently of the initial perturbation and its equilibrium is based on the regular functioning of the plant. (J.S.)

  19. New Approaches to Ecologically Based, Designed Urban Plant Communities in Britain: Do These Have Any Relevance in the United States?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Hitchmough

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper discusses the reasoning behind the development of a new approach to designed urban planting with grasses, forbs and geophytes that has been undertaken at the University of Sheffield over the past 15 years. The resulting plant communities are the result of applying contemporary ecological science to planting design, to maximize their sustainability while at the same time meeting the aesthetic and functional needs of the users of urban public landscapes. The geographical origin of the plants used in these communities varies according to the physical, ecological, and cultural context in which they are to be used. In some cases species are entirely native, in others entirely non-native. In many cases, a mixture of both is used. In discussing the rationale for the development of this approach in the United Kingdom context, the paper raises important issues about increasing the capacity of urban landscapes to support a greater diversity of native animals and to engage ordinary citizens in these activities at a time of dramatic climatic and social change. The approach we outline addresses some of these issues in the United Kingdom context, but it is uncertain whether there is merit in these approaches in the context of American towns and cities.

  20. Climate change adaptation strategies for federal forests of the Pacific Northwest, USA: ecological, policy, and socio-economic perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas A. Spies; Thomas W. Giesen; Frederick J. Swanson; Jerry F. Franklin; Denise Lach; K. Norman. Johnson

    2010-01-01

    Conserving biological diversity in a changing climate poses major challenges for land managers and society. Effective adaptive strategies for dealing with climate change require a socioecological systems perspective. We highlight some of the projected ecological responses to climate change in the Pacific Northwest, U.S.A and identify possible adaptive actions that...

  1. Increased ecological risk due to the hyperaccumulation of As in Pteris cretica during the phytoremediation of an As-contaminated site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeong, Seulki; Moon, Hee Sun; Nam, Kyoungphile

    2015-03-01

    Ecological risk due to the hyperaccumulation of As in Pteris cretica during phytoremediation was evaluated at an abandoned As-contaminated site. Five receptor groups representing terrestrial invertebrates, avian insectivores, small mammals, herbivores, and omnivores were selected as potentially affected ecological receptors. Soil and food ingestion were considered as major exposure pathways. Phytoremediation was performed with P.cretica only and with both P.cretica and siderophores to enhance plant uptake of As. Ecological hazard index (EHI) values for the small mammal greatly exceeded 1.0 even after three weeks of growth regardless of siderophore application, probably due to its limited home range. For the mammalian herbivore, which mainly consumes plant foliage, the EHI values were greater than 5.73 after seven weeks without siderophore application, but the value increased sharply to 29.3 at seven weeks when siderophores were applied. This increased risk could be attributed to the facilitated translocation of As from roots to stems and leaves in P.cretica. Our results suggest that, when a phytoremediation strategy is considered for metals remediation, its ecological consequences should be taken into account to prevent the spread of hyperaccumulated heavy metals throughout the food chain of ecological receptors. Uncertainties involved in the ecological risk assessment process were also discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Microbiota of radish plants, cultivated in closed and open ecological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tirranen, L. S.

    It is common knowledge that microorganisms respond to environmental changes faster than other representatives of the living world. The major aim of this work was to examine and analyze the characteristics of the microbiota of radish culture, cultivated in the closed ecological system of human life-support Bios-3 and in an open system in different experiments. Microbial community of near-root, root zone and phyllosphere of radish were studied at the phases of seedlings, root formation, technical ripeness—by washing-off method—like microbiota of the substrate (expanded clay aggregate) and of the seeds of radish culture. Inoculation on appropriate media was made to count total quantity of anaerobic and aerobic bacteria, bacteria of coliform group, spore-forming, Proteus group, fluorescent, phytopathogenic bacteria, growing on Fermi medium, yeasts, microscopic fungi, Actinomyces. It was revealed that formation of the microbiota of radish plants depends on the age, plant cultivation technology and the specific conditions of the closed system. Composition of microbial conveyor-cultivated in phytotrons varied in quality and in quantity with plant growth phases—in the same manner as cultivation of even-aged soil and hydroponics monocultures which was determined by different qualitative and quantitative composition of root emissions in the course of plant vegetation. The higher plant component formed its own microbial complex different from that formed prior to closure. The microbial complex of vegetable polyculture is more diverse and stable than the monoculture of radish. We registered the changes in the species composition and microorganism quantity during plant cultivation in the closed system on a long-used solution. It was demonstrated that during the short-term (7 days) use of the nutrient solution in the experiments without system closing, the species composition of the microbiota of radish plants was more diverse in a multiple-aged vegetable polyculture (61

  3. Seed isotopic analysis as a tool to understand ecological processes influencing plant development and physiology: the case study of Quercus rotundifolia Lam. in a desertification gradient in Mediterranean areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Tatiana; Silva, Anabela; Rodrigues, Carla; Antunes Antunes, Cristina; Pinho, Pedro; Ramos, Alzira; João Pereira, Maria; Branquinho, Cristina; Máguas, Cristina

    2014-05-01

    Plant responses to climate change highly depend on the temporal variability in precipitation events and on plant specific strategies, such as drought tolerance and resilience. Within the different plant organs, seeds have become an important research tool in the past years to study plant development and nutrients allocation. Key features of seeds such as the tendency to accumulate and store nutrient compounds open many possibilities to explore isotope analysis (13C, 15N and 18O), with many outcomes in fields from ecology to food traceability. The application of light stable isotopes to plant materials have been used to study both physiological (i.e. photosynthesis and stomatal conductance), nutrients uptake and metabolism (origin of nitrogen and symbiotic associations) as well as many ecological processes, which will produce a distinctive isotope fingerprint on the plant tissues. Thus, the isotopic composition of certain bio and geo-elements of seeds, yielding relevant information on plant ecophysiology, are able to relate the plant functioning with local climatic conditions (e.g., temperature and precipitation). The application of isotope analysis in this way can be used as a proxy to understand complex environmental degradation processes such as land degradation in drylands resulting from various factors including climatic variations and human activities. In this study acorns of Quercus ilex plants were sampled during 2012-2013 in a region of southern Portugal, according to (i) soil land-use; (ii) aridity and desertification indexes. The approach developed combined plant seed analysis (seed morphology and compounds quantification) with isotope ratio mass spectrometry (δ13C, δ15N and δ18O) as a "tool" to study changes in plant ecophysiology over time and space. Seeds allow studies at specific temporal scale (development period) which varies according to its biology and depends on the climatic conditions where the plant is grown (i.e, seed's biomass integrate

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-02-01

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

  5. The multiple strategies of an insect herbivore to overcome plant cyanogenic glucoside defence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pentzold, Stefan; Zagrobelny, Mika; Roelsgaard, Pernille Sølvhøj

    2014-01-01

    Cyanogenic glucosides (CNglcs) are widespread plant defence compounds that release toxic hydrogen cyanide by plant bglucosidase activity after tissue damage. Specialised insect herbivores have evolved counter strategies and some sequester CNglcs, but the underlying mechanisms to keep CNglcs intact...... during feeding and digestion are unknown. We show that CNglc-sequestering Zygaena filipendulae larvae combine behavioural, morphological, physiological and biochemical strategies at different time points during feeding and digestion to avoid toxic hydrolysis of the CNglcs present in their Lotus food...

  6. Validation and implementation of model based control strategies at an industrial wastewater treatment plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demey, D; Vanderhaegen, B; Vanhooren, H; Liessens, J; Van Eyck, L; Hopkins, L; Vanrolleghem, P A

    2001-01-01

    In this paper, the practical implementation and validation of advanced control strategies, designed using model based techniques, at an industrial wastewater treatment plant is demonstrated. The plant under study is treating the wastewater of a large pharmaceutical production facility. The process characteristics of the wastewater treatment were quantified by means of tracer tests, intensive measurement campaigns and the use of on-line sensors. In parallel, a dynamical model of the complete wastewater plant was developed according to the specific kinetic characteristics of the sludge and the highly varying composition of the industrial wastewater. Based on real-time data and dynamic models, control strategies for the equalisation system, the polymer dosing and phosphorus addition were established. The control strategies are being integrated in the existing SCADA system combining traditional PLC technology with robust PC based control calculations. The use of intelligent control in wastewater treatment offers a wide spectrum of possibilities to upgrade existing plants, to increase the capacity of the plant and to eliminate peaks. This can result in a more stable and secure overall performance and, finally, in cost savings. The use of on-line sensors has a potential not only for monitoring concentrations, but also for manipulating flows and concentrations. This way the performance of the plant can be secured.

  7. European ecological networks and greenways

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristiansen, Ib; Jongman, Rob H.G.; Kulvik, Mart

    2004-01-01

    renewed. Within the framework of nature conservation, the notion of an ecological network has become increasingly important. Throughout Europe, regional and national approaches are in different phases of development, which are all based on recent landscape ecological principles. Ecological networks......In the context of European integration, networks are becoming increasingly important in both social and ecological sense. Since the beginning of the 1990s, societal and scientific exchanges are being restructured as the conceptual approaches towards new nature conservation strategies have been....... This complex interaction between cultural and natural features results in quite different ways for the elaboration of ecological networks and greenways....

  8. Antimicrobial Effect of 15 Medicinal Plant Species and their Dependency on Climatic Conditions of Growth in Different Geographical and Ecological Areas of Fars Province

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abbas Abdollahi

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Background: The effects of medicinal plants are variable in different conditions. Here, the antimicrobial effect of 15 medicinal plant species and their dependency on the climatic condition of growth in different geographical and ecological areas of Fars Province were studied. Materials and Methods: In This empirical study, the antimicrobial effect of hydro-alcoholic extract of 15 medicinal plant species was examined against standard bacterial strains comparing to conventional therapeutic antibiotics using disk diffusion assay and serial broth dilution. Results: All Extracts were effective against S.aureus ATCC 25923 growth; also Peganum harmala, Myrtus communis, Mentha pulegium, Mentha spp, and Zataria multiflora extracts were observed to have antimicrobial activity against E.coli ATCC 25922. This antimicrobial activity had partially similar results, comparing to conventional antibioticsConclusion: Medicinal plants produce various amounts of antimicrobial substances under the climatic and ecological conditions of each zone, which must be considered in manufacturing herbal medicines.

  9. Influence of cooling water discharges from Kaiga Nuclear Power Plant on aquatic ecology of the Kadra reservoir

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ghosh, T.K.; Zargar, S.; Kulkarni, A.V.

    2007-01-01

    The alterations induced in the ambient temperature can lead to wide manifestations in species distribution and community structure. In general, elevated water temperature causes changes in species composition, species dominance, standing crop and productivity of biota including phytoplankton communities in any aquatic ecosystem. Thus warm water discharges from power plants into the receiving water bodies may adversely affect aquatic ecology. In the absence of exhaustive data on the response of aquatic organisms and ecosystems in the tropics to elevated temperatures, the only option is to draw inferences, from the experiences in the subtropical and temperature areas. Since, sufficient data on similar line are not available in tropical environment, present paper delineates certain aspects of aquatic ecology of the Kadra reservoir where cooling water is discharged. The study suggests the heated effluents from Kaiga Nuclear Power plant caused changes in dissolved oxygen and pH of water, heterotrophic bacterial population, sediment biogeochemical cycles related biochemical processes, species composition, species dominance, standing crop and productivity of biota including phytoplankton communities within 500 m from End of Discharge Canal point of Kadra reservoir when two units are running in full capacity. (author)

  10. Delisting strategy for the Hanford Site 242-A Evaporator PUREX Plant Condensate Treatment Facility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-04-01

    This document describes the strategy that the US Department of Energy, Richland Field Office intends to use in preparing the delisting petition for the 242-A Evaporator/PUREX Plant Condensate Treatment Facility. Because the 242-A Evaporator/PUREX Plant Condensate Treatment Facility will not be operational until 1994, the delisting petition will be structured as an up-front petition based on the ''multiple waste treatment facility'' approach outline in the 1985 US Environmental Protection Agency's Petitions to Delist Hazardous Waste. The 242-A evaporator/PUREX Plant Condensate Treatment Facility effluent characterization data will not be available to support the delisting petition, because the delisting petition will be submitted to the US Environmental Protection Agency before start-up of the 242-A Evaporator/PUREX Plant Condensate Treatment Facility. Therefore, the delisting petition will be based on data collected during the pilot plant testing for the 242-A Evaporator/PUREX Plant Condensate Treatment Facility. This pilot plant testing will be conducted on synthetic waste. The composition of the synthetic waste will be based on: (1) constituents of regulatory concern, and (2) on process knowledge. The pilot plant testing will be performed to determine the removal efficiencies of the process equipment at concentrations greater than reasonably could be expected in the actual waste. This strategy document also describes the logic used to develop the synthetic waste, to develop the pilot plant testing program, and to prepare the delisting petition. This strategy document also described how full-scale operating data will be collected during initial operation of the 242-A Evaporator/PUREX Plant Condensate Treatment Facility to verify information presented in the delisting petition

  11. Combined cycle versus one thousand diesel power plants: pollutant emissions, ecological efficiency and economic analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Silveira, Jose Luz; de Carvalho, Joao Andrade; de Castro Villela, Iraides Aparecida

    2007-01-01

    The increase in the use of natural gas in Brazil has stimulated public and private sectors to analyse the possibility of using combined cycle systems for generation of electrical energy. Gas turbine combined cycle power plants are becoming increasingly common due to their high efficiency, short lead times, and ability to meet environmental standards. Power is produced in a generator linked directly to the gas turbine. The gas turbine exhaust gases are sent to a heat recovery steam generator to produce superheated steam that can be used in a steam turbine to produce additional power. In this paper a comparative study between a 1000 MW combined cycle power plant and 1000kW diesel power plant is presented. In first step, the energetic situation in Brazil, the needs of the electric sector modification and the needs of demand management and integrated means planning are clarified. In another step the characteristics of large and small thermoelectric power plants that use natural gas and diesel fuel, respectively, are presented. The ecological efficiency levels of each type of power plant is considered in the discussion, presenting the emissions of particulate material, sulphur dioxide (SO 2 ), carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) and nitrogen oxides (NO x ). (author)

  12. Ecological problems in the food industry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Božović Milan

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available In regard to the development of agricultural and food technologies Yugoslavia up till now has not had a developed strategy of "development of the environment" - an ecological strategy, nor has it in that respect had clearly defined political scientifically-based strategies. Current efforts to define developmental concepts are almost completely neglected, foremost in the "promotion of new ecologically justified technologies" and the formation of national programs of sustainable development. World trends in this area are already directed to the production and promotion of so-called "healthy food" which, designated in several ways, is becoming more and more present on the tables of developed countries. Yugoslavia, beside its current economic difficulties, has great potential and a elastic chance to follow world trends and completely satisfy the EU standards EVRO-EMA and world ecological standards ISO 14 000 by the quality implementation of well planned ecologically and economically rational programs. n order to undertake appropriate measures for "sustainable development", it s previously necessary to assess the problem and objectively establish the status.

  13. Assessment of traditional ecological knowledge and beliefs in the utilisation of important plant species: The case of Buhanga sacred forest, Rwanda

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Runyambo Irakiza

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Traditional ecological knowledge is an integrated part of the African people and indeed the Rwandese for cultural purpose. Buhanga sacred forest is a relict forest of tremendous ecological importance to Rwandan society located in Musanze District. The aim of this study was to assess the traditional ecological knowledge and belief in the utilisation of some important plant species for the conservation of Buhanga sacred forest. Ecological information about ethnomedicinal and traditional practices were collected following structured questionnaire through interview involving eight traditional healers and three focus group discussions. Data were collected from the natural habitats, home gardens, farmlands and roadsides of Buhanga sacred forest. A total of 45 botanical taxa belonging to 28 families were reported to be used by the local community. Species such as Brillantaisia cicatricosa and Senna septemtrionalis were the popular species cited by traditional healers to treat human and animal diseases and ailments, respectively. The results of the study indicated that because of the cultural norms and values associated with the sacred forest, this has led to non-exploitation. The study presents key sites and plant species in which their use and belief can lead to their conservation. However, not only is it imperative to conserve traditional local knowledge for biocultural conservation motives but there is also need to train traditional healers on how to domesticate indigenous species as conservation measure because some species have become susceptible to extinction. Conservation implications: Highlighting indigenous species investigated in this research will provide a powerful tool for ensuring biodiversity conservation through community participation in a country of high population density in Africa. Some plant species that provided satisfactory Local Health Traditions among communities surrounding Buhanga can contribute as good material for further

  14. Strategies for competitive nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1999-11-01

    This technical publication on competitive strategies for nuclear power plants (NPPs) is part of an ongoing project on management of NPP operations in a competitive environment. The overall objective of this project is to assist the management of operating organizations and NPPs in identifying and implementing appropriate measures to remain competitive in a rapidly changing business environment. Other documents that have been written on this topic have focused on how the environment in which NPPs operate is changing. This report instead focuses on strategies and techniques that operating organization and NPP managers can use to succeed in this environment. Of particular note is ongoing OECD/NEA work to describe the environment for nuclear power in competitive electricity markets. The main objective of the OECD/NEA study is to review the impacts of increasing market competition on the nuclear power sectors in OECD Member countries. The OECD/NEA study is identifying various nuclear aspects which have to be considered in relation to the regulatory reform of the electricity sector in OECD Member States. The OECD/NEA work was co-ordinated with the development of this IAEA report; staff members from the two organizations participated in the development and review of the associated documents. Thus, the strategies and techniques identified in this report are consistent with the impacts of increasing market competition identified in the OECD/NEA study

  15. Sequestration of plant secondary metabolites by insect herbivores: molecular mechanisms and ecological consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erb, Matthias; Robert, Christelle Am

    2016-04-01

    Numerous insect herbivores can take up and store plant toxins as self-defense against their own natural enemies. Plant toxin sequestration is tightly linked with tolerance strategies that keep the toxins functional. Specific transporters have been identified that likely allow the herbivore to control the spatiotemporal dynamics of toxin accumulation. Certain herbivores furthermore possess specific enzymes to boost the bioactivity of the sequestered toxins. Ecologists have studied plant toxin sequestration for decades. The recently uncovered molecular mechanisms in combination with transient, non-transgenic systems to manipulate insect gene expression will help to understand the importance of toxin sequestration for food-web dynamics in nature. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Phylogenetic escalation and decline of plant defense strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agrawal, Anurag A.; Fishbein, Mark

    2008-01-01

    As the basal resource in most food webs, plants have evolved myriad strategies to battle consumption by herbivores. Over the past 50 years, plant defense theories have been formulated to explain the remarkable variation in abundance, distribution, and diversity of secondary chemistry and other defensive traits. For example, classic theories of enemy-driven evolutionary dynamics have hypothesized that defensive traits escalate through the diversification process. Despite the fact that macroevolutionary patterns are an explicit part of defense theories, phylogenetic analyses have not been previously attempted to disentangle specific predictions concerning (i) investment in resistance traits, (ii) recovery after damage, and (iii) plant growth rate. We constructed a molecular phylogeny of 38 species of milkweed and tested four major predictions of defense theory using maximum-likelihood methods. We did not find support for the growth-rate hypothesis. Our key finding was a pattern of phyletic decline in the three most potent resistance traits (cardenolides, latex, and trichomes) and an escalation of regrowth ability. Our neontological approach complements more common paleontological approaches to discover directional trends in the evolution of life and points to the importance of natural enemies in the macroevolution of species. The finding of macroevolutionary escalating regowth ability and declining resistance provides a window into the ongoing coevolutionary dynamics between plants and herbivores and suggests a revision of classic plant defense theory. Where plants are primarily consumed by specialist herbivores, regrowth (or tolerance) may be favored over resistance traits during the diversification process. PMID:18645183

  17. Ecological aspects in civil engineering and physical planning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Engelhardt, W.

    1983-01-01

    This book presents an introduction to aspects of ecology and has been quite purposefully restricted to the aspects of interest in connection with civil engineering and physical planning. The various chapters deal with soil, water bodies, air, plants and plant communities, trees in towns, animal life, noise and health, as well as high-energy radiation and its impact on man and environment. The book is intended to make engineers and other interested readers working in the technical professions familiar with ecologic principles and ecologically minded thinking in order to pave the way for ecology-mindedness in civil engineering and physical planning, hopefully contributing to avoiding mistakes and their harmful consequences. (orig.) [de

  18. The Worldviews Network: Innovative Strategies for Increasing Climate and Ecological Literacy in Your Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connolly, R.; Yu, K.; McConville, D.; Sickler, J.; "Irving, Lindsay", L. S.; Gardiner, N.; Hamilton, H.

    2011-12-01

    Informal science Institutions (ISI) are in the unique position to convene and support community dialogues surrounding local ecological impacts of global change. The Worldviews Network-a collaboration between museums, scientists, and community-based organizations-is developing and testing innovative approaches for promoting and encouraging ecological literacy with the American public. In this session, we will share strategies for sparking and sustaining dialogue and action in local communities through high-impact visual presentations and real-world examples of successful projects that are increasing the healthy functioning of regional and global ecosystems. Educating the public about interconnected global change issues can be a daunting task. ISIs can help communities by facilitating dialogues about realistic and regionally relevant approaches for systemically addressing global challenges. Managing the complexity of these challenges requires going far beyond the standard prescriptions for behavior change; it requires inspiring participants with positive examples of system-wide solutions as well as actively involving the audience in scientifically informed design processes. This session will demonstrate how you can implement and sustain these community dialogues, using real-world examples from our partners' national events. We present visualization story templates and a model for facilitating dialogues that can be adapted at your institution. Based on video and written assessment feedback from visitors of our first Worldviews events, we will present initial evaluation findings about the impact that these strategies are having on our audiences and ISI partners. These findings show that engaging the public and NGO partners in sustainability and design dialogues is a powerful way to maintain the relevance of ISIs within their communities.

  19. Hierarchical traits distances explain grassland Fabaceae species' ecological niches distances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fort, Florian; Jouany, Claire; Cruz, Pablo

    2015-01-01

    Fabaceae species play a key role in ecosystem functioning through their capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen via their symbiosis with Rhizobium bacteria. To increase benefits of using Fabaceae in agricultural systems, it is necessary to find ways to evaluate species or genotypes having potential adaptations to sub-optimal growth conditions. We evaluated the relevance of phylogenetic distance, absolute trait distance and hierarchical trait distance for comparing the adaptation of 13 grassland Fabaceae species to different habitats, i.e., ecological niches. We measured a wide range of functional traits (root traits, leaf traits, and whole plant traits) in these species. Species phylogenetic and ecological distances were assessed from a species-level phylogenetic tree and species' ecological indicator values, respectively. We demonstrated that differences in ecological niches between grassland Fabaceae species were related more to their hierarchical trait distances than to their phylogenetic distances. We showed that grassland Fabaceae functional traits tend to converge among species with the same ecological requirements. Species with acquisitive root strategies (thin roots, shallow root systems) are competitive species adapted to non-stressful meadows, while conservative ones (coarse roots, deep root systems) are able to tolerate stressful continental climates. In contrast, acquisitive species appeared to be able to tolerate low soil-P availability, while conservative ones need high P availability. Finally we highlight that traits converge along the ecological gradient, providing the assumption that species with similar root-trait values are better able to coexist, regardless of their phylogenetic distance. PMID:25741353

  20. Hierarchical traits distances explain grassland Fabaceae species’ ecological niches distances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian eFort

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Fabaceae species play a key role in ecosystem functioning through their capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen via their symbiosis with Rhizobium bacteria. To increase benefits of using Fabaceae in agricultural systems, it is necessary to find ways to evaluate species or genotypes having potential adaptations to sub-optimal growth conditions. We evaluated the relevance of phylogenetic distance, absolute trait distance and hierarchical trait distance for comparing the adaptation of 13 grassland Fabaceae species to different habitats, i.e. ecological niches. We measured a wide range of functional traits (root traits, leaf traits and whole plant traits in these species. Species phylogenetic and ecological distances were assessed from a species-level phylogenetic tree and species’ ecological indicator values, respectively. We demonstrated that differences in ecological niches between grassland Fabaceae species were related more to their hierarchical trait distances than to their phylogenetic distances. We showed that grassland Fabaceae functional traits tend to converge among species with the same ecological requirements. Species with acquisitive root strategies (thin roots, shallow root systems are competitive species adapted to non-stressful meadows, while conservative ones (coarse roots, deep root systems are able to tolerate stressful continental climates. In contrast, acquisitive species appeared to be able to tolerate low soil-P availability, while conservative ones need high P availability. Finally we highlight that traits converge along the ecological gradient, providing the assumption that species with similar root-trait values are better able to coexist, regardless of their phylogenetic distance.

  1. Diverse Lifestyles and Strategies of Plant Pathogenesis Encoded in the Genomes of Eighteen Dothideomycetes 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, 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; Wit, Pierre J. G. M. de; Zhong, Shaobin; Goodwin, Stephen B.; Grigoriev, Igor V.

    2012-02-29

    The class Dothideomycetes is one of the largest groups of fungi with a high level of ecological diversity including many plant pathogens infecting a broad range of hosts. Here, we compare genome features of 18 members of this class, including 6 necrotrophs, 9 (hemi)biotrophs and 3 saprotrophs, to analyze genome structure, evolution, and the diverse strategies of pathogenesis. The Dothideomycetes most likely evolved from a common ancestor more than 280 million years ago. The 18 genome sequences differ dramatically in size due to variation in repetitive content, but show much less variation in number of (core) genes. Gene order appears to have been rearranged mostly within chromosomal boundaries by multiple inversions, in extant genomes frequently demarcated by adjacent simple repeats. Several Dothideomycetes contain one or more gene-poor, transposable element (TE)-rich putatively dispensable chromosomes of unknown function. The 18 Dothideomycetes offer an extensive catalogue of genes involved in cellulose degradation, proteolysis, secondary metabolism, and cysteine-rich small secreted proteins. Ancestors of the two major orders of plant pathogens in the Dothideomycetes, the Capnodiales and Pleosporales, may have had different modes of pathogenesis, with the former having fewer of these genes than the latter. Many of these genes are enriched in proximity to transposable elements, suggesting faster evolution because of the effects of repeat induced point (RIP) mutations. A syntenic block of genes, including oxidoreductases, is conserved in most Dothideomycetes and upregulated during infection in L. maculans, suggesting a possible function in response to oxidative stress.

  2. [Characteristics of soil phosphorous loss under different ecological planting patterns in hilly red soil regions of southern Hunan Province, China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Min; Wen, Shi-Lin; Xu, Ming-Gang; Dong, Chun-Hua; Qin, Lin; Zhang, Lu

    2013-11-01

    Taking a large standard runoff plot on a red soil slope in Qiyang County, southern Hunan Province as a case, this paper studied the surface soil phosphorus loss characteristics in the hilly red soil regions of southern Hunan under eight ecological planting patterns. The phosphorus loss from wasteland (T1) was most serious, followed by that from natural sloped cropping patterns (T2 and T3), while the phosphorus loss amount from terrace cropping patterns (T4-T8) was the least, only occupying 9.9%, 37%, 0.7%, 2.3%, and 1.9% of T1, respectively. The ecological planting patterns directly affected the forms of surface-lost soil phosphorus, with the particulate phosphorus (PP) as the main lost form. Under the condition of rainstorm (daily rainfall > 50 mm), rainfall had lesser effects on the phosphorus loss among different planting patterns. However, the phosphorus loss increased with increasing rain intensity. The surface soil phosphorus loss mainly occurred from June to September. Both the rainfall and the rain intensity were the factors directly affected the time distribution of surface soil phosphorus loss in hilly red soil regions of southern Hunan.

  3. Strategies to increase vitamin C in plants: from plant defense perspective to food biofortification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locato, Vittoria; Cimini, Sara; Gara, Laura De

    2013-01-01

    Vitamin C participates in several physiological processes, among others, immune stimulation, synthesis of collagen, hormones, neurotransmitters, and iron absorption. Severe deficiency leads to scurvy, whereas a limited vitamin C intake causes general symptoms, such as increased susceptibility to infections, fatigue, insomnia, and weight loss. Surprisingly vitamin C deficiencies are spread in both developing and developed countries, with the latter actually trying to overcome this lack through dietary supplements and food fortification. Therefore new strategies aimed to increase vitamin C in food plants would be of interest to improve human health. Interestingly, plants are not only living bioreactors for vitamin C production in optimal growing conditions, but also they can increase their vitamin C content as consequence of stress conditions. An overview of the different approaches aimed at increasing vitamin C level in plant food is given. They include genotype selection by "classical" breeding, bio-engineering and changes of the agronomic conditions, on the basis of the emerging concepts that plant can enhance vitamin C synthesis as part of defense responses.

  4. Strategies to increase Vitamin C in plants: from plant defence perspective to food biofortification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vittoria eLocato

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Vitamin C participates in several physiological processes, among others, immune stimulation, synthesis of collagen, hormones, neurotransmitters and iron absorption. Severe deficiency leads to scurvy, whereas a limited vitamin C intake causes general symptoms, such as increased susceptibility to infections, fatigue, insomnia and weight loss. Surprisingly vitamin C deficiencies are spread in both developing and developed countries, with the latter actually trying to overcome this lack through dietary supplements and food fortification. Therefore new strategies aimed to increase vitamin C in food plants would be of interest to improve human health. Interestingly, plants are not only living bioreactors for vitamin C production in optimal growing conditions, but also they can increase their vitamin C content as consequence of stress conditions. An overview of the different approaches aimed at increasing vitamin C level in plant food is given. They include genotype selection by classical breeding, bio-engineering and changes of the agronomic conditions, on the basis of the emerging concepts that plant can enhance vitamin C synthesis as part of defence responses.

  5. The construction strategy and measures for ecological analysis of China's ports

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lu; Zhao, Junjie; Shou, Youping; Wang, Ning; Qiao, Jianzhe; Tian, Mingjing

    2018-04-01

    The Port is an important transport hub, one of the important infrastructure of the national economy, the corresponding regional development has a great role in promoting.The construction of the port has been developed rapidly, but it has also brought about more serious environmental problems. Therefore, this paper discusses the nature of ecological ports, summarized the experience of ecological protection measures on the international advanced ports and port construction ecology. The central idea is to explore the construction of ecological port ideas and development countermeasures.

  6. Ecological aspects influencing the implementation of inclusive ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Keywords: Assessment and Support Strategy, barriers to learning, ecological model, identification, inclusive ..... impedes the management of these learners in the mainstream schools. ..... An ecological systems theory perspective on youth.

  7. An approach to the development of a national strategy for controlling invasive alien plant species: The case of Parthenium hysterophorus in South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colette Terblanche

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Invasive alien species require co-ordinated strategic management if negative impacts are to be effectively avoided. Here we describe a strategy for the management of Parthenium hysterophorus L. (Asteraceae in South Africa. P. hysterophorus is an annual herb native to tropical America, which has become invasive in over 30 countries. The strategy sets goals for (1 the prevention of spread to new areas; (2 local eradication of isolated populations; (3 containment in areas where eradication is not possible; and (4 actions to protect assets where containment is no longer an option. We developed both a national strategy to set policy and to monitor progress towards goals at a national level and an implementation plan to set goals and timeframes for their achievement at local levels. It is not clear, at this stage, whether or not the goals of the strategy are achievable because implementation will face many challenges arising from ecological features of the target plant, social and cultural practices that will influence management, inadequate levels of funding and multiple political considerations. Our strategy proposes regular assessment using high-level indicators, a practice that is widely recognised as essential but seldom implemented at a national scale. Because the outcomes are uncertain, it is vital that regular monitoring of outcomes should be instituted from the start, so that both appropriate adjustments can be made to the strategy and lessons for the implementation of similar strategies elsewhere can be derived.

  8. Precipitation alters interactions in a grassland ecological community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deguines, Nicolas; Brashares, Justin S; Prugh, Laura R

    2017-03-01

    Climate change is transforming precipitation regimes world-wide. Changes in precipitation regimes are known to have powerful effects on plant productivity, but the consequences of these shifts for the dynamics of ecological communities are poorly understood. This knowledge gap hinders our ability to anticipate and mitigate the impacts of climate change on biodiversity. Precipitation may affect fauna through direct effects on physiology, behaviour or demography, through plant-mediated indirect effects, or by modifying interactions among species. In this paper, we examined the response of a semi-arid ecological community to a fivefold change in precipitation over 7 years. We examined the effects of precipitation on the dynamics of a grassland ecosystem in central California from 2007 to 2013. We conducted vegetation surveys, pitfall trapping of invertebrates, visual surveys of lizards and capture-mark-recapture surveys of rodents on 30 plots each year. We used structural equation modelling to evaluate the direct, indirect and modifying effects of precipitation on plants, ants, beetles, orthopterans, kangaroo rats, ground squirrels and lizards. We found pervasive effects of precipitation on the ecological community. Although precipitation increased plant biomass, direct effects on fauna were often stronger than plant-mediated effects. In addition, precipitation altered the sign or strength of consumer-resource and facilitative interactions among the faunal community such that negative or neutral interactions became positive or vice versa with increasing precipitation. These findings indicate that precipitation influences ecological communities in multiple ways beyond its recognized effects on primary productivity. Stochastic variation in precipitation may weaken the average strength of biotic interactions over time, thereby increasing ecosystem stability and resilience to climate change. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2016 British Ecological

  9. Sustainability Assessment of Plant Protection Strategies in Swiss Winter Wheat and Potato Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrik Mouron

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Production of arable crops in Switzerland is subsidized for services performed within the Proof of Ecological Performance (PEP program, the crop protection part of which is based on IPM principles. Within PEP, chemical insect control must rely on those approved insecticides that are deemed harmless for beneficial arthropods. Approved insecticides potentially impacting beneficial arthropods may also be applied, but only if unavoidable and with an official permit. In order to assess the ecological and economic sustainability of this PEP program, a reference insecticide strategy illustrating the current PEP requirements was compared with other strategies. For this purpose, a sustainability assessment taking account of ecotoxicological risks and economic viability in addition to the preservation of beneficial arthropods was performed according to the SustainOS methodology. The results show that the one-off use of Audienz (spinosad to control cereal leaf beetle (Oulema melanopus—a key pest in winter wheat—would significantly improve sustainability vis-à-vis the reference (Nomolt (teflubenzuron plus Biscaya (thiacloprid. However, in the case of the Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata, in potato crops, where Audienz is considered the reference, no alternative would exhibit better sustainability. Moreover, the study shows that strategies using Novodor (Bacillus thuringiensis protect beneficial species well but have the drawbacks of increased yield risk and higher costs. The conclusions drawn from these analyses allow recommendations for modifications of the PEP requirements for these two pest insects. The SustainOS methodology, a multi-step process combining expert knowledge with quantitative assessments including a sensitivity analysis of key target parameters and a rule-based aggregation of assessment results, yielded valuable insights into the sustainability of different crop protection strategies.

  10. Transgenic strategies to confer resistance against viruses in rice plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takahide eSasaya

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Rice (Oryza sativa L. is cultivated in more than 100 countries and supports nearly half of the world’s population. Developing efficient methods to control rice viruses is thus an urgent necessity because viruses cause serious losses in rice yield. Most rice viruses are transmitted by insect vectors, notably planthoppers and leafhoppers. Viruliferous insect vectors can disperse their viruses over relatively long distances, and eradication of the viruses is very difficult once they become widespread. Exploitation of natural genetic sources of resistance is one of the most effective approaches to protect crops from virus infection; however, only a few naturally occurring rice genes confer resistance against rice viruses. In an effort to improve control, many investigators are using genetic engineering of rice plants as a potential strategy to control viral diseases. Using viral genes to confer pathogen-derived resistance against crops is a well-established procedure, and the expression of various viral gene products has proved to be effective in preventing or reducing infection by various plant viruses since the 1990s. RNA-interference (RNAi, also known as RNA silencing, is one of the most efficient methods to confer resistance against plant viruses on their respective crops. In this article, we review the recent progress, mainly conducted by our research group, in transgenic strategies to confer resistance against tenuiviruses and reoviruses in rice plants. Our findings also illustrate that not all RNAi constructs against viral RNAs are equally effective in preventing virus infection and that it is important to identify the viral Achilles’ heel gene to target for RNAi attack when engineering plants.

  11. From Civic Conservation to the Age of Ecology: The Rise and Synthesis of Ecological Ideas in the American High School Science Curriculum, 1900-1980

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laubach, Stephen A.

    2013-01-01

    Ecological ideas have been manifested in diverse ways in American high schools since the early twentieth century. Core scientific concepts in ecology--the study of the relationship between organisms and their environment--include adaptations, plant succession, ecosystem ecology, and population ecology. This dissertation argues, however, that there…

  12. Optimisation of Control Strategy at the Central Solar Heating Plant in Marstal, Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heller, Alfred

    1999-01-01

    The central solar heating plant at Marstal is monitored since 1996. The data is analysed with focus on the applied constrol strategy for the solar collector field. Variable flow is applied which is not the case at the other plants compared. The project analysed the performance, compared...

  13. Environmental certification for small hydropower plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Truffer, B.; Meier, W.; Vollenweider, S.; Seiler, B.; Dettli, R.

    2001-01-01

    This report for the Swiss Federal Institute for Environmental Science and Technology describes product-differentiation options for small hydropower plant in Switzerland and proposes a form of differentiation based on ecological characteristics as a promising market strategy. The labels created in various countries to assure customers of the environmental compatibility of 'green' power production are looked at. In particular, the implications for small hydropower plant associated with the Swiss green power labelling procedure introduced by the Association for the Promotion of Environmentally Sound Electricity (VUE) are discussed. The report proposes a simplified procedure for these small power stations and presents a sample calculation for the overall costs of certification. The report is rounded off with four detailed case studies in which the necessary upgrades to the plant and associated costs are discussed in detail

  14. Ecological investigations on plant associations in differently disturbed heavy-metal contaminated soils of Great Britain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ernst, W

    1968-01-01

    In different areas of Great Britain comparing ecological studies have been made on disturbed and undisturbed heavy metal contaminated soils. In Grizedale (Pennine), sampling of an undisturbed transect having high levels of major nutrients showed marked differentiation within a small area, only related to the plant available levels of zinc, copper, and lead. However, studies on disturbed heavy metal soils and spoil-heaps revealed a low water capacity and a low supply of major nutrients, particularly of N and P. These suggest that here both the enrichment of heavy metals and the considerable decrease of other nutrients are important in determining the heavy metal vegetation, and in maintaining it against other species. The quantity of zinc in plants is not related to the total or plant-available amount of zinc in soil, but confirmed physiological experiments on the influence of phosphorus and different zinc compounds (complexed or inorganic) on the uptake and distribution of zinc in Thlaspi alpestre and Minnartia rerum. Also an antagonism between lead and copper was revealed. 24 references.

  15. Evolutionary ecology of the interactions between aphids and their parasitoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Ralec, Anne; Anselme, Caroline; Outreman, Yannick; Poirié, Marylène; van Baaren, Joan; Le Lann, Cécile; van Alphen, Jacques J-M

    2010-01-01

    Many organisms, including entomopathogenous fungi, predators or parasites, use aphids as ressources. Parasites of aphids are mostly endoparasitoid insects, i.e. insects which lay eggs inside the body of an other insect which will die as a result of their development. In this article, we review the consequences of the numerous pecularities of aphid biology and ecology for their endoparasitoids, notably the Aphidiinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). We first examine the various mechanisms used by aphids for defence against these enemies. We then explore the strategies used by aphidiine parasitoids to exploit their aphid hosts. Finally, we consider the responses of both aphids and parasitoids to ecological constraints induced by seasonal cycles and to environmental variations linked to host plants and climate. The fundamental and applied interest of studying these organisms is discussed. Copyright 2010 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  16. Decommissioning nuclear power plants. Policies, strategies and costs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2003-01-01

    The decommissioning of nuclear power plants is a topic of increasing interest to governments and the industry as many nuclear units approach retirement. It is important in this context to assess decommissioning costs and to ensure that adequate funds are set aside to meet future financial liabilities arising after nuclear power plants are shut down. Furthermore, understanding how national policies and industrial strategies affect those costs is essential for ensuring the overall economic effectiveness of the nuclear energy sector. This report, based upon data provided by 26 countries and analysed by government and industry experts, covers a variety of reactor types and sizes. The findings on decommissioning cost elements and driving factors in their variance will be of interest to analysts and policy makers in the nuclear energy field. (author)

  17. Nutrition acquisition strategies during fungal infection of plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Divon, Hege H; Fluhr, Robert

    2007-01-01

    In host-pathogen interactions, efficient pathogen nutrition is a prerequisite for successful colonization and fungal fitness. Filamentous fungi have a remarkable capability to adapt and exploit the external nutrient environment. For phytopathogenic fungi, this asset has developed within the context of host physiology and metabolism. The understanding of nutrient acquisition and pathogen primary metabolism is of great importance in the development of novel disease control strategies. In this review, we discuss the current knowledge on how plant nutrient supplies are utilized by phytopathogenic fungi, and how these activities are controlled. The generation and use of auxotrophic mutants have been elemental to the determination of essential and nonessential nutrient compounds from the plant. Considerable evidence indicates that pathogen entrainment of host metabolism is a widespread phenomenon and can be accomplished by rerouting of the plant's responses. Crucial fungal signalling components for nutrient-sensing pathways as well as their developmental dependency have now been identified, and were shown to operate in a coordinate cross-talk fashion that ensures proper nutrition-related behaviour during the infection process.

  18. Building Theory at the Intersection of Ecological Sustainability and Strategic Management

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borland, Helen; Ambrosini, Véronique; Lindgreen, Adam

    2016-01-01

    This article builds theory at the intersection of ecological sustainability and strategic management literature—specifically, in relation to dynamic capabilities literature. By combining industrial organization economics–based, resource-based, and dynamic capability–based views, it is possible...... to develop a better understanding of the strategies that businesses may follow, depending on their managers’ assumptions about ecological sustainability. To develop innovative strategies for ecological sustainability, the dynamic capabilities framework needs to be extended. In particular, the sensing...... sustainability. Finally, this approach offers opportunities for managers and academics to identify, categorize, and exploit business strategies for ecological sustainability....

  19. Economic and ecological assessment of impact of construction and operation of nuclear power plant as large capital construction project with respect to control of national economy development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bucek, M.

    1984-01-01

    The evaluation of costs and environmental impacts of the construction and operation of nuclear power plants is concentrated into two problem areas: 1. the calculation of capital and operation costs for the prevention and minimization of envirommental damage and restoration of the environment, 2. the calculation of damage to the environment of nuclear power plant construction and operation. The ecological cost benefit of capital costs is assessed. In Czechoslovakia there does not exist any method for converting cost effectiveness of investments into environmental protection. This problem is incorporated in the general method of assessing capital cost benefit. The relations are given for total socio-economic capital cost benefit and cost benefit of investments into environmental protection. Ecological investment is not exempted from the investment fund and from the point of view of content may be devided into net and gross ecological investment and from the point of view of time into preventive and compensation ecological investment. In the USSR the method has beem developed of the ecological and economic evaluation of projects for the construction and reconstruction of production units which proceeds from the evaluation of the negative environmental impact of wastes. The basic relations are given of the benefit of ecological investments. (E.S.)

  20. A territorial classification for the ecological strategy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arias de Greiff, Jorge

    2002-01-01

    The author proposes a territorial classification including at the sun, the water, the atmosphere, the vegetable earth and the vegetation of green leaf, describes each one of the elements, he refers to the micro-climates and he gives a territorial organization for the ecological emergency

  1. Metabolic Engineering Strategies for the Optimization of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants : Expectations and Realities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kayser, O.; Baricevic, D; Novak, J; Pank, F

    2010-01-01

    In recent years classic genetic and molecular biology strategies (Bioballistics, Agrobacterium tumefaciens transformation, recombinant enzymes) for production of natural compounds or even breeding of medicinal and aromatic plants have expanded and improved productivity of plant-derived fine

  2. Plant physiological ecology and the global changes Ecofisiologia vegetal e as mudanças globais

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João Paulo Rodrigues Alves Delfino Barbosa

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The global changes are marked by alteration on the normal patterns of important biochemical and biophysical processes of the Earth. However, the real effects as well as the feedbacks of the global changes over vegetation are still unclear. Part of this uncertainty can be attributed to the inattention of stakeholders and scientists towards vegetation and its complex interrelations with the environment, which drive plant physiological processes in different space-time scales. Notwithstanding, some key subjects of the global changes could be better elucidated with a more plant physiological ecology approach. We discuss some issues related to this topic, going through some limitations of approaching vegetation as a static component of the biosphere as the other sub-systems of the Earth-system change. With this perspective, this review is an initial reflection towards the assessment of the role and place of vegetation structure and function in the global changes context. We reviewed the Earth-system and global changes terminology; attempted to illustrate key plant physiological ecology researches themes in the global changes context; consider approaching plants as complex systems in order to adequately quantify systems characteristics as sensibility, homeostasis, and vulnerability. Moreover, we propose insights that would allow vegetation studies and scaling procedures in the context of the Earth-system. We hope this review will assist researchers on their strategy to identify, understand and anticipate the potential effects of global changes over the most vulnerable vegetation processes from the leaf to the global levels.As mudanças globais englobam importantes alterações nos padrões normais de processos bioquímicos e biofísicos da Terra. Os reais efeitos e retroalimentações das mudanças globais sobre a vegetação ainda são incertos. Parte das incertezas pode ser atribuída à falta de atenção de cientistas e políticos para a vegeta

  3. Application of Chemical Genomics to Plant-Bacteria Communication: A High-Throughput System to Identify Novel Molecules Modulating the Induction of Bacterial Virulence Genes by Plant Signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandelle, Elodie; Puttilli, Maria Rita; Chini, Andrea; Devescovi, Giulia; Venturi, Vittorio; Polverari, Annalisa

    2017-01-01

    The life cycle of bacterial phytopathogens consists of a benign epiphytic phase, during which the bacteria grow in the soil or on the plant surface, and a virulent endophytic phase involving the penetration of host defenses and the colonization of plant tissues. Innovative strategies are urgently required to integrate copper treatments that control the epiphytic phase with complementary tools that control the virulent endophytic phase, thus reducing the quantity of chemicals applied to economically and ecologically acceptable levels. Such strategies include targeted treatments that weaken bacterial pathogens, particularly those inhibiting early infection steps rather than tackling established infections. This chapter describes a reporter gene-based chemical genomic high-throughput screen for the induction of bacterial virulence by plant molecules. Specifically, we describe a chemical genomic screening method to identify agonist and antagonist molecules for the induction of targeted bacterial virulence genes by plant extracts, focusing on the experimental controls required to avoid false positives and thus ensuring the results are reliable and reproducible.

  4. Functional genetics of intraspecific ecological interactions in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Jason B; Mutic, Joshua J; Kover, Paula X

    2011-05-12

    Studying the genetic basis of traits involved in ecological interactions is a fundamental part of elucidating the connections between evolutionary and ecological processes. Such knowledge allows one to link genetic models of trait evolution with ecological models describing interactions within and between species. Previous work has shown that connections between genetic and ecological processes in Arabidopsis thaliana may be mediated by the fact that quantitative trait loci (QTL) with 'direct' effects on traits of individuals also have pleiotropic 'indirect' effects on traits expressed in neighbouring plants. Here, we further explore these connections by examining functional relationships between traits affected directly and indirectly by the same QTL. We develop a novel approach using structural equation models (SEMs) to determine whether observed pleiotropic effects result from traits directly affected by the QTL in focal individuals causing the changes in the neighbours' phenotypes. This hypothesis was assessed using SEMs to test whether focal plant phenotypes appear to mediate the connection between the focal plants' genotypes and the phenotypes of their neighbours, or alternatively, whether the connection between the focal plants' genotypes and the neighbours' phenotypes is mediated by unmeasured traits. We implement this analysis using a QTL of major effect that maps to the well-characterized flowering locus, FRIGIDA. The SEMs support the hypothesis that the pleiotropic indirect effects of this locus arise from size and developmental timing-related traits in focal plants affecting the expression of developmental traits in their neighbours. Our findings provide empirical insights into the genetics and nature of intraspecific ecological interactions. Our technique holds promise in directing future work into the genetic basis and functional relationship of traits mediating and responding to ecological interactions.

  5. Bidding strategy for pumped-storage plant in pool-based electricity market

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kanakasabapathy, P.; Shanti Swarup, K.

    2010-01-01

    This paper develops optimal bidding strategies for a pumped-storage plant in a pool-based electricity market. In the competitive regime, when compared to simple hydroelectric generator, profit of the pumped-storage plant is maximized by operating it as a generator when market clearing price is high and as a pump when the price is low. Based on forecasted hourly market clearing price, a multistage looping algorithm to maximize the profit of a pumped-storage plant is developed, considering both the spinning and non-spinning reserve bids and meeting the technical operating constraints of the plant. The proposed model is adaptive for the nonlinear three-dimensional relationship between the power produced, the energy stored, and the head of the associated reservoir. Different operating cycles for a realistic pumped-storage plant are considered and simulation results are reported and compared. (author)

  6. Fe uptake from meso and D,L-racemic Fe(o,o-EDDHA) isomers by strategy I and II plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerdán, Mar; Alcañiz, Sara; Juárez, Margarita; Jordá, Juana D; Bermúdez, Dolores

    2006-02-22

    One of the most efficient fertilizers to correct Fe deficiency in calcareous soils and waters with high bicarbonate content is based on ferric ethylenediamine-N,N'-bis(o-hydroxyphenylacetic) acid [Fe(o,o-EDDHA)]. Fe(o,o-EDDHA) forms two groups of geometric isomers known as meso and D,L-racemic. To determine the Fe uptake from meso and D,L-racemic Fe(o,o-EDDHA), four iron-efficient plants, two plants representative of strategy I (tomato and pepper) and two plants representative of strategy II (wheat and oats), were grown in hydroponic culture. Results indicated that strategy II plants took up iron from both Fe(o,o-EDDHA) isomers equally. However, strategy I plants took mainly the iron associated with the meso form (the lowest stability isomer).

  7. Neighbour tolerance, not suppression, provides competitive advantage to non-native plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golivets, Marina; Wallin, Kimberly F

    2018-05-01

    High competitive ability has often been invoked as a key determinant of invasion success and ecological impacts of non-native plants. Yet our understanding of the strategies that non-natives use to gain competitive dominance remains limited. Particularly, it remains unknown whether the two non-mutually exclusive competitive strategies, neighbour suppression and neighbour tolerance, are equally important for the competitive advantage of non-native plants. Here, we analyse data from 192 peer-reviewed studies on pairwise plant competition within a Bayesian multilevel meta-analytic framework and show that non-native plants outperform their native counterparts due to high tolerance of competition, as opposed to strong suppressive ability. Competitive tolerance ability of non-native plants was driven by neighbour's origin and was expressed in response to a heterospecific native but not heterospecific non-native neighbour. In contrast to natives, non-native species were not more suppressed by hetero- vs. conspecific neighbours, which was partially due to higher intensity of intraspecific competition among non-natives. Heterogeneity in the data was primarily associated with methodological differences among studies and not with phylogenetic relatedness among species. Altogether, our synthesis demonstrates that non-native plants are competitively distinct from native plants and challenges the common notion that neighbour suppression is the primary strategy for plant invasion success. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  8. A structural equation model to integrate changes in functional strategies during old-field succession.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vile, Denis; Shipley, Bill; Garnier, Eric

    2006-02-01

    From a functional perspective, changes in abundance, and ultimately species replacement, during succession are a consequence of integrated suites of traits conferring different relative ecological advantages as the environment changes over time. Here we use structural equations to model the interspecific relationships between these integrated functional traits using 34 herbaceous species from a Mediterranean old-field succession and thus quantify the notion of a plant strategy. We measured plant traits related to plant vegetative and reproductive size, leaf functioning, reproductive phenology, seed mass, and production on 15 individuals per species monitored during one growing season. The resulting structural equation model successfully accounts for the pattern of trait covariation during the first 45 years post-abandonment using just two forcing variables: time since site abandonment and seed mass; no association between time since field abandonment and seed mass was observed over these herbaceous stages of secondary succession. All other predicted traits values are determined by these two variables and the cause-effect linkage between them. Adding pre-reproductive vegetative mass as a third forcing variable noticeably increased the predictive power of the model. Increasing the time after abandonment favors species with increasing life span and pre-reproductive biomass and decreasing specific leaf area. Allometric coefficients relating vegetative and reproductive components of plant size were in accordance with allometry theory. The model confirmed the trade-off between seed mass and seed number. Maximum plant height and seed mass were major determinants of reproductive phenology. Our results show that beyond verbal conceptualization, plant ecological strategies can be quantified and modeled.

  9. Culturally compelling strategies for behaviour change: a social ecology model and case study in malaria prevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panter-Brick, Catherine; Clarke, Sian E; Lomas, Heather; Pinder, Margaret; Lindsay, Steve W

    2006-06-01

    Behaviour change is notoriously difficult to initiate and sustain, and the reasons why efforts to promote healthy behaviours fail are coming under increasing scrutiny. To be successful, health interventions should build on existing practices, skills and priorities, recognise the constraints on human behaviour, and either feature community mobilisation or target those most receptive to change. Furthermore, interventions should strive to be culturally compelling, not merely culturally appropriate: they must engage local communities and nestle within social and ecological landscapes. In this paper, we propose a social ecology perspective to make explicit the links between intention to change, actual behaviour change, and subsequent health impact, as relating to both theory-based models and practical strategies for triggering behaviour change. A social ecology model focuses attention on the contexts of behaviour when designing, implementing or critically evaluating interventions. As a case study, we reflect on a community-directed intervention in rural Gambia designed to reduce malaria by promoting a relatively simple and low-cost behaviour: repairing holes in mosquito bednets. In phase 1, contextual information on bednet usage, transactions and repairs (the 'social lives' of nets) was documented. In phase 2 (intervention), songs were composed and posters displayed by community members to encourage repairs, creating a sense of ownership and a compelling medium for the transmission of health messages. In phase 3 (evaluation), qualitative and quantitative data showed that household responses were particularly rapid and extensive, with significant increase in bednet repairs (psocial ecology-of behaviour practices that are the bedrock of health interventions.

  10. The estimate of ecological risk for ground ecosystems in case of nuclear power plant failures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kremlenkov, D.Y.; Kremlenkov, M.Y.

    2003-01-01

    Full text: The stochastic nature of radiation damage generates a need of forecasting information about possible consequences for environment and people. In this article it is given the estimate of probable damage to forest-and agricultural ecosystems from radionuclide emergency pollution in case of nuclear plant failures (for early emergency period). This estimate is based on radio-ecological risk conception which provide with the application of radioactive substances distribution models in atmosphere, as were calculation of absorbent radiation dose in critical ecosystem groups-calculation of probable area of lost ecosystems has been done by using the program written in Pascal. The quantitative estimate of environmental loss has been conducted for diverse classes of atmospheric stability. The value of ecological dose range (ELD) to coniferous forest is 30 Gy, deciduous forest - 300 Gy, agricultural crop - 60 Gy. The value of minimum ecological dose range (MELD) for all ecosystems is 10 Gy. In dose spread from MELD to ELD the ecological damage is proportional to absorbed dose. The ecological damage to ground ecosystems caused by cesium-137 and strontium-90 emergency pollution is primarily depended on the scale of radionuclide emergency pollution as well as weather conditions and radio-stability of critical vegetal ecosystem groups. On the assumption of a dose spread from MELD to ELD, ecological risk defined in probable ecosystem's destruction area is estimated: for cesium-137 pollution about 2 % of coniferous forest and from 4 to 9 % of deciduous forest; for strontium-90 pollution from 2 to 4 % of agricultural crop. As the scale of cesium-137 emergency pollution rise from 10 4 to 10 5 Cu the probable damage determined in ecosystem's destruction area increase 12-19 times to coniferous forest ecosystem and 15-36 times to deciduous forest according to weather conditions. The probable damage to coniferous and deciduous forest rise 11-17 times in proportion as the scale

  11. Decommissioning of nuclear power plants: policies, strategies and costs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lund, I.

    2004-01-01

    As many nuclear power plants will reach the end of their lifetime during the next 20 years or so, decommissioning is an increasingly important topic for governments, regulators and industries. From a governmental viewpoint, particularly in a deregulated market, one essential aspect is to ensure that money for the decommissioning of nuclear installations will be available at the time it is needed, and that no 'stranded' liabilities will be left to be financed by the taxpayers rather than by the electricity consumers. For this reason, there is governmental interest in understanding decommissioning costs, and in periodically reviewing decommissioning cost estimates from nuclear installation owners. Robust cost estimates are key elements in designing and implementing a coherent and comprehensive national decommissioning policy including the legal and regulatory bases for the collection, saving and use of decommissioning funds. From the industry viewpoint, it is essential to assess and monitor decommissioning costs in order to develop a coherent decommissioning strategy that reflects national policy and assures worker and public safety, whilst also being cost effective. For these reasons, nuclear power plant owners are interested in understanding decommissioning costs as best as possible and in identifying major cost drivers, whether they be policy, strategy or 'physical' in nature. National policy considerations will guide the development of national regulations that are relevant for decommissioning activities. Following these policies and regulations, industrial managers responsible for decommissioning activities will develop strategies which best suit their needs, while appropriately meeting all government requirements. Decommissioning costs will be determined by technical and economic conditions, as well as by the strategy adopted. Against this backdrop, the study analyses the relationships among decommissioning policy as developed by governments, decommissioning

  12. The potential for host switching via ecological fitting in the emerald ash borer-host plant system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cipollini, Don; Peterson, Donnie L

    2018-02-27

    The traits used by phytophagous insects to find and utilize their ancestral hosts can lead to host range expansions, generally to closely related hosts that share visual and chemical features with ancestral hosts. Host range expansions often result from ecological fitting, which is the process whereby organisms colonize and persist in novel environments, use novel resources, or form novel associations with other species because of the suites of traits that they carry at the time they encounter the novel environment. Our objective in this review is to discuss the potential and constraints on host switching via ecological fitting in emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis, an ecologically and economically important invasive wood boring beetle. Once thought of as an ash (Fraxinus spp.) tree specialist, recent studies have revealed a broader potential host range than was expected for this insect. We discuss the demonstrated host-use capabilities of this beetle, as well as the potential for and barriers to the adoption of additional hosts by this beetle. We place our observations in the context of biochemical mechanisms that mediate the interaction of these beetles with their host plants and discuss whether evolutionary host shifts are a possible outcome of the interaction of this insect with novel hosts.

  13. Ecological and evolutionary dynamics of a model facultative pathogen: Agrobacterium and crown gall disease of plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barton, Ian S; Fuqua, Clay; Platt, Thomas G

    2018-01-01

    Many important pathogens maintain significant populations in highly disparate disease and non-disease environments. The consequences of this environmental heterogeneity in shaping the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of these facultative pathogens are incompletely understood. Agrobacterium tumefaciens, the causative agent for crown gall disease of plants has proven a productive model for many aspects of interactions between pathogens and their hosts and with other microbes. In this review, we highlight how this past work provides valuable context for the use of this system to examine how heterogeneity and transitions between disease and non-disease environments influence the ecology and evolution of facultative pathogens. We focus on several features common among facultative pathogens, such as the physiological remodelling required to colonize hosts from environmental reservoirs and the consequences of competition with host and non-host associated microbiota. In addition, we discuss how the life history of facultative pathogens likely often results in ecological tradeoffs associated with performance in disease and non-disease environments. These pathogens may therefore have different competitive dynamics in disease and non-disease environments and are subject to shifting selective pressures that can result in pathoadaptation or the within-host spread of avirulent phenotypes. © 2017 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Plant species and communities assessment in interaction with edaphic and topographic factors; an ecological study of the mount Eelum District Swat, Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Murad Khan

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The current analyses of vegetation were aimed to study the different effects of environmental variables and plant species and communities interaction to these variables, identified threats to local vegetation and suggestion for remedial measures in the Mount Eelum, Swat, Pakistan. For assessment of environmental variability quantitative ecological techniques were used through quadrats having sizes of 2 × 2, 5 × 5 and 10 × 10 m2 for herbs, shrubs and trees respectively. Result of the present study revealed 124 plant species in the study area. Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA was used to analyze the ecological gradient of vegetation. The environmental data and species abundance were used in CANOCO software version 4.5. The presence absence data of plant species were elaborated with Cluster and Two Way Cluster Analysis techniques using PC-ORD version 5 to show different species composition that resulted in five plant communities. Findings indicate that elevation, aspect and soil texture are the strongest variables that have significant effect on species composition and distribution of various communities shown with P value 0.0500. It is recommended to protect and use sensibly whole of the Flora normally and rare species particularly in the region.

  15. Regulatory oversight strategy for chemistry program at Canadian nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kameswaran; Ram

    2012-09-01

    Chemistry program is one of the essential programs for the safe operation of a nuclear power plant. It helps to ensure the necessary integrity, reliability and availability of plant structures, systems and components important to safety. Additionally, the program plays an important role in asset preservation, limiting radiation exposure and environmental protection. A good chemistry program will minimize corrosion of materials, reduce activation products, minimize of the buildup of radioactive material leading to occupational radiation exposure and it helps limit the release of chemicals and radioactive materials to the environment. The legal basis for the chemistry oversight at Canadian NPPs is established by the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and its associated regulations. It draws on the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission's regulatory framework and NPP operating license conditions that include applicable standards such as CAN/CSA N286-05 Management System Requirements for Nuclear Power Plants. This paper focuses on the regulatory oversight strategy used in Canada to assess the performance of chemistry program at the nuclear power plants (NPPs) licensed by CNSC. The strategy consists of a combination of inspection and performance monitoring activities. The activities are further supported from information gathered through staff inspections of cross-cutting areas such as maintenance, corrective-action follow-ups, event reviews and safety related performance indicators. (authors)

  16. Using Green Water Farm to Improve Ecological Restoration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuan-Hsiou Chang

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: Artificial Floating Islands (AFIs are human-made floating structures capable of supporting aquatic vegetation. Previous studies pointed out that most AFIs use aquatic plants to carry out improvement of water quality and ecological conservation. This study proposed a modified AFI system, named Green Water Farm (GWF, to increase the practical application value of traditional AFIs, and added a special design to create an environment that allows for terrestrial plants (including vegetables and flowers to grow and to carry out improvement of water quality and ecological conservation. The research site was located at the waterfront of Li-tze Lake in Pitou Township, Taiwan. A GWF was established to evaluate the improvement of water quality and ecological conservation. During one year, water quality and ecological conservation assessments were recorded to investigate the performance of GWF system. The research results showed that GWF could improve water quality and ecological conservation. In addition, the results of this study can provide useful information for more food sources for humans and animals, and increase biodiversity and ecological conservation.

  17. Natural vegetal regeneration as a basis for the development of strategies for ecological restoration in three Protected Biotopes in the Maya Biosphere Reserve, Guatemala

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manolo José García Vettorazzi

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The natural ecosystems of the Maya Biosphere Reserve contain high levels of biodiversity providing environmental goods and services to society, so their conservation is strategic for local and regional development. However, there is a increasing tendency to disturb these ecosystems as a result of human activities, so is necessary to develop strategies that minimize the negative impacts and allow the recovery of degraded natural ecosystems. Existing information on the functioning of essential ecological processes of local ecosystems is sparse and is scattered, limiting the development of strategies. It was proposed to study the dynamics of natural regeneration of vegetation as a basis for defining strategies of ecological restoration in three Protected Biotopes in Peten and adjacent areas, by characterizing the structure and composition of vegetation in six categories of natural regeneration and forest without recent disturbance. Two modified Whitaker 0.1 ha plots were plotted by category and seed bank samples were collected. With this information a conceptual framework of natural regeneration was developed for application in restoration strategies at local and landscape scales.

  18. REWRITING ECOLOGICAL SUCCESSION HISTORY: DID CARRION ECOLOGISTS GET THERE FIRST?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michaud, Jean-Philippe; Schoenly, Kenneth G; Moreau, Gaétan

    2015-03-01

    Ecological succession is arguably the most enduring contribution of plant ecologists and its origins have never been contested. However, we show that French entomologist Pierre Mégnin, while collaborating with medical examiners in the late 1800s, advanced the first formal definition and testable mechanism of ecological succession. This discovery gave birth to the twin disciplines of carrion ecology and forensic entomology. As a novel case of multiple independent discovery, we chronicle how the disciplines of plant and carrion ecology (including forensic entomology) accumulated strikingly similar parallel histories and contributions. In the 1900s, the two groups diverged in methodology and purpose, with carrion ecologists and forensic entomologists focusing mostly on case reports and observational studies instead of hypothesis testing. Momentum is currently growing, however, to develop the ecological framework of forensic entomology and advance carrion ecology theory. Researchers are recognizing the potential of carcasses as subjects for testing not only succession mechanisms (without assuming space-for-time substitution), but also aggregation and coexistence models, diversity-ecosystem function relationships, and the dynamics of pulsed resources. By comparing the contributions of plant and carrion ecologists, we hope to stimulate future crossover research that leads to a general theory of ecological succession.

  19. Fast-slow continuum and reproductive strategies structure plant life-history variation worldwide

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Salguero-Gómez, Roberto; Jones, Owen R; Jongejans, Eelke

    2016-01-01

    The identification of patterns in life-history strategies across the tree of life is essential to our prediction of population persistence, extinction, and diversification. Plants exhibit a wide range of patterns of longevity, growth, and reproduction, but the general determinants of this enormous...... variation in life history are poorly understood. We use demographic data from 418 plant species in the wild, from annual herbs to supercentennial trees, to examine how growth form, habitat, and phylogenetic relationships structure plant life histories and to develop a framework to predict population...

  20. Metabolic engineering strategies for the optimization of medicinal and aromatic plants : realities and expectations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hendrawati, O.; Woerdenbag, H. J.; Hille, J.; Kayser, O.

    In recent years, strategies and techniques for the production of natural compounds (plant derived fine chemicals) and/or the breeding of medicinal and aromatic plants has expanded. Efficient production of high value natural products with medicinal and cosmetic purpose (e.g. essential oils,

  1. Power plant technology 2014. Strategies, systems engineering and operation; Kraftwerkstechnik 2014. Strategien, Anlagentechnik und Betrieb

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beckmann, Michael; Hurtado, Antonio

    2014-07-01

    The book on power plant technology 2014 (strategies, systems engineering and operation) covers the following issues: Climate, politics and economy; wind power; fossil-fuel power plants, flexible power plants - plant operation, flexible power plants- materials, materials for energy technology, fuel feed and incineration, modeling of the water-vapor-circuit, corrosion, deposits and cleaning, vapor turbines, GUD power plants, fluidized bed combustion, energetic biomass use, combined heat and power generation and decentralized units, storage facilities, emissions - mitigation and measuring techniques.

  2. Phytoremediation potential and ecological and phenological changes of native pioneer plants from weathered oil spill-impacted sites at tropical wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palma-Cruz, Felipe de J; Pérez-Vargas, Josefina; Rivera Casado, Noemí Araceli; Gómez Guzmán, Octavio; Calva-Calva, Graciano

    2016-08-01

    Pioneer native plant species from weathered oil spill-affected sites were selected to study their potential for phytoremediation on the basis of their ecological and phenological changes during the phytoremediation process. Experiments were conducted in field and in greenhouse. In field, native plants from aged oil spill-impacted sites with up 400 g of weathered petroleum hydrocarbons per kilogram soil were selected. In the impacted sites, the principal dominant plant species with potential for hydrocarbons removal were Cyperus laxus, Cyperus esculentus, and Ludwigia peploides. In greenhouse, the phenology of the selected plant species was drastically affected by the hydrocarbons level above 325 g total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) per kilogram soil after 2 years of phytoremediation of soils from the aged oil spill-impacted sites. From the phytoremediation treatments, a mix-culture of C. laxus, C. esculentus, and L. peploides in soil containing 325 g TPH/kg soil, from which 20.3 % were polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and 34.2 % were asphaltenes (ASF), was able to remove up 93 % of the TPH, while in unvegetated soil the TPH removal was 12.6 %. Furthermore, evaluation of the biodiversity and life forms of plant species in the impacted sites showed that phytoremediation with C. esculentus, alone or in a mix-culture with C. laxus and L. peploides, reduces the TPH to such extent that the native plant community was progressively reestablished by replacing the cultivated species resulting in the ecological recovery of the affected soil. These results demonstrate that native Cyperus species from weathered oil spill-affected sites, specifically C. esculentus and C. laxus, alone or in a mix-culture, have particular potential for phytoremediation of soils from tropical wetlands contaminated with weathered oil hydrocarbons.

  3. Babaco (Vasconcellea heilbornii var. pentagona Badillo. Major plant pathogens and control strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angel Rolando Robles-Carrión

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available This work was carried out with the aim of documenting the importance of Babaco for the Andean region, its main plant pathogens, and possible control strategies and integrated management, emphasizing the MVB. Was performed a systematic review of scientific papers published in prestigious journals and thesis diplomas, masters and doctorates from various universities. As a criterion for inclusion-exclusion studies were taken into account in the genus Vasconcellea. Ecuador has 15 of the 21 described species, of which more than half are located in the province of Loja. Vascular Wilt Babaco (MVB is caused by a complex of Fusarium fungi that interact with the plant. There are no integrated management strategies for Vascular Wilt Babaco scientifically proven.

  4. Biotechnological Strategies to Improve Plant Biomass Quality for Bioethanol Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julián Mario Peña-Castro

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The transition from an economy dependent on nonrenewable energy sources to one with higher diversity of renewables will not be a simple process. It requires an important research effort to adapt to the dynamics of the changing energy market, sort costly processes, and avoid overlapping with social interest markets such as food and livestock production. In this review, we analyze the desirable traits of raw plant materials for the bioethanol industry and the molecular biotechnology strategies employed to improve them, in either plants already under use (as maize or proposed species (large grass families. The fundamentals of these applications can be found in the mechanisms by which plants have evolved different pathways to manage carbon resources for reproduction or survival in unexpected conditions. Here, we review the means by which this information can be used to manipulate these mechanisms for commercial uses, including saccharification improvement of starch and cellulose, decrease in cell wall recalcitrance through lignin modification, and increase in plant biomass.

  5. Biotechnological Strategies to Improve Plant Biomass Quality for Bioethanol Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    del Moral, Sandra; Núñez-López, Lizeth; Barrera-Figueroa, Blanca E.; Amaya-Delgado, Lorena

    2017-01-01

    The transition from an economy dependent on nonrenewable energy sources to one with higher diversity of renewables will not be a simple process. It requires an important research effort to adapt to the dynamics of the changing energy market, sort costly processes, and avoid overlapping with social interest markets such as food and livestock production. In this review, we analyze the desirable traits of raw plant materials for the bioethanol industry and the molecular biotechnology strategies employed to improve them, in either plants already under use (as maize) or proposed species (large grass families). The fundamentals of these applications can be found in the mechanisms by which plants have evolved different pathways to manage carbon resources for reproduction or survival in unexpected conditions. Here, we review the means by which this information can be used to manipulate these mechanisms for commercial uses, including saccharification improvement of starch and cellulose, decrease in cell wall recalcitrance through lignin modification, and increase in plant biomass. PMID:28951875

  6. Diverse lifestyles and strategies of plant pathogenesis encoded in the genomes of eighteen Dothideomycetes fungi.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robin A Ohm

    Full Text Available The class Dothideomycetes is one of the largest groups of fungi with a high level of ecological diversity including many plant pathogens infecting a broad range of hosts. Here, we compare genome features of 18 members of this class, including 6 necrotrophs, 9 (hemibiotrophs and 3 saprotrophs, to analyze genome structure, evolution, and the diverse strategies of pathogenesis. The Dothideomycetes most likely evolved from a common ancestor more than 280 million years ago. The 18 genome sequences differ dramatically in size due to variation in repetitive content, but show much less variation in number of (core genes. Gene order appears to have been rearranged mostly within chromosomal boundaries by multiple inversions, in extant genomes frequently demarcated by adjacent simple repeats. Several Dothideomycetes contain one or more gene-poor, transposable element (TE-rich putatively dispensable chromosomes of unknown function. The 18 Dothideomycetes offer an extensive catalogue of genes involved in cellulose degradation, proteolysis, secondary metabolism, and cysteine-rich small secreted proteins. Ancestors of the two major orders of plant pathogens in the Dothideomycetes, the Capnodiales and Pleosporales, may have had different modes of pathogenesis, with the former having fewer of these genes than the latter. Many of these genes are enriched in proximity to transposable elements, suggesting faster evolution because of the effects of repeat induced point (RIP mutations. A syntenic block of genes, including oxidoreductases, is conserved in most Dothideomycetes and upregulated during infection in L. maculans, suggesting a possible function in response to oxidative stress.

  7. Ecological analysis of plant cover of the permanent grassland ecosystem located in the vicinity of Novi Kneževac, Serbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Knežević Aleksa

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available A total of 205 taxa and stands of 12 plant communities were found to comprise the plant cover of the permanent grassland on the solonetz and solonchakic solonetz soils located in the vicinity of the town of Novi Kneževac (Vojvodina Province, Serbia. The registered taxa included 177 plant species, six subspecies, eight varieties, 13 forms and one lusus. The ecological analysis of the flora involved 191 taxa. That group consisted of 177 species, six subspecies, three varieties and five forms. The three varieties, Aster tripolium L. var. pannonicus ( Jacq. Beck, Chenopodium rubrum L. subsp. botryoides Sm. var. crassifolium (Hornem Kov. and Sonchus arvensis L. var. uliginosus (M.B. Grec. were used for analysis because their higher taxonomic categories were not recorded in the studied flora. The five forms, Aster sedifolius L. f. subsquamosus Soy, Bromus commutatus Schrad. f. violaceus Podp., Mentha aquatica L. f. erromera Top., Poa bulbosa L. f. vivipara Koel. and Scleranthus annus L. f. minimus Schur., were used for the same reason. The ecological analysis encompassed stands of all 12 recorded communities, i.e. ass. Scirpo-Phragmitetum W. Koch 1926, ass. Bolboschoenetum maritimi continentale Soy (1927 1957, ass. Acorelletum pannonici Soy (1939 1947, ass. Puccinelletum limosae (Rapcs. 1927 Soy 1930, ass. Pholiuro-Plantaginetum tenuiflorae (Rapcs. 1927 Wendel. 1943, ass. Hordeetum histricis (Soy 1933 Wendel. 1943, ass. Camphorosmetum annuae (Rapcs. 1916 Soy 1933 corr. Soy 1938, ass. Agrostio-Alopecuretum pratensis Soy (1933 1947, ass. Agrostio-Eleochariti-Alopecuretu geniculati (Magyar1928 Soy (1939 1947, ass. Artemisio-Festucetum pseudovinae (Magyar 1928 Soy 1945, ass. Achilleo-Festucetum pseudovinae (Magyar 1928 Soy 1945 and ass. Festuco-Andropogonetum ischaemi Vučk. 1985. The ecological analysis of the plant cover indicated that halophytes made 30.37% of the flora of the permanent grassland near the town of Novi Kneževac, and that the stands of

  8. Towards Integrating Political Ecology into Resilience-Based Management

    OpenAIRE

    Amy Quandt

    2016-01-01

    One of the biggest challenges faced today is how to sustainably manage social-ecological systems for both ecological conservation and human wellbeing. This paper explores two approaches to understanding such systems: resilience thinking and political ecology. Resilience thinking is a framework that emerged over the last 40 years as a management strategy for social-ecological systems, and a resilient social-ecological system is capable of absorbing disturbances and still retaining its basic fu...

  9. Performance of Generating Plant: Managing the Changes. Part 4: Markets and Risk Management Strategy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moss, Terry; Loedolff, Gerhard; Griffin, Rob; Kydd, Robert; Micali, Vince [Eskom (South Africa)

    2008-05-15

    The WEC Committee on the Performance of Generating Plant (PGP) has been collecting and analysing power plant performance statistics worldwide for more than 30 years and has produced regular reports, which include examples of advanced techniques and methods for improving power plant performance through benchmarking. A series of reports from the various working groups was issued in 2008. This reference presents the results of Working Group 4 (WG4). WG4 will monitor the development of power markets, in particular from the market risk management point of view, including operational risks. It will assess various risk management strategies used by market players around the world and develop recommendations for a wider deployment of successful strategies. The report covers the project approach and outcomes.

  10. Plant diversification promotes biocontrol services in peach orchards by shaping the ecological niches of insect herbivores and their natural enemies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wan, Nian Feng; Ji, Xiang Yun; Deng, Jian Yu

    2018-01-01

    Ecological niche indicators have been scarcely adopted to assess the biological control of insect herbivores by their natural enemies. We hypothesize that plant diversification promotes the biocontrol services by narrowing the niches of herbivores and broadening the niches of natural enemies....... Our study reveals that plant diversification promotes the biocontrol services by shaping the niche of herbivores and natural enemies, and provides a new assessment method to understand the biodiversity-niche-ecosystem management interactions........ In a large-scale experiment, we found that the abundance of natural enemies was increased by 38.1%, and the abundance of insect herbivores was decreased by 16.9% in peach orchards with plant diversification (treatment) compared to ones with monoculture (control). Stratified sampling indicated...

  11. Photosynthesis, environmental change, and plant adaptation: Research topics in plant molecular ecology. Summary report of a workshop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-07-01

    As we approach the 21st Century, it is becoming increasingly clear that human activities, primarily related to energy extraction and use, will lead to marked environmental changes at the local, regional, and global levels. The realized and the potential photosynthetic performance of plants is determined by a combination of intrinsic genetic information and extrinsic environmental factors, especially climate. It is essential that the effects of environmental changes on the photosynthetic competence of individual species, communities, and ecosystems be accurately assessed. From October 24 to 26, 1993, a group of scientists specializing in various aspects of plant science met to discuss how our predictive capabilities could be improved by developing a more rational, mechanistic approach to relating photosynthetic processes to environmental factors. A consensus emerged that achieving this goal requires multidisciplinary research efforts that combine tools and techniques of genetics, molecular biology, biophysics, biochemistry, and physiology to understand the principles, mechanisms, and limitations of evolutional adaptation and physiological acclimation of photosynthetic processes. Many of these basic tools and techniques, often developed in other fields of science, already are available but have not been applied in a coherent, coordinated fashion to ecological research. The efforts of this research program are related to the broader efforts to develop more realistic prognostic models to forecast climate change that include photosynthetic responses and feedbacks at the regional and ecosystem levels.

  12. Y-12 Plant waste minimization strategy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kane, M.A.

    1987-01-01

    The 1984 Amendments to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) mandate that waste minimization be a major element of hazardous waste management. In response to this mandate and the increasing costs for waste treatment, storage, and disposal, the Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant developed a waste minimization program to encompass all types of wastes. Thus, waste minimization has become an integral part of the overall waste management program. Unlike traditional approaches, waste minimization focuses on controlling waste at the beginning of production instead of the end. This approach includes: (1) substituting nonhazardous process materials for hazardous ones, (2) recycling or reusing waste effluents, (3) segregating nonhazardous waste from hazardous and radioactive waste, and (4) modifying processes to generate less waste or less toxic waste. An effective waste minimization program must provide the appropriate incentives for generators to reduce their waste and provide the necessary support mechanisms to identify opportunities for waste minimization. This presentation focuses on the Y-12 Plant's strategy to implement a comprehensive waste minimization program. This approach consists of four major program elements: (1) promotional campaign, (2) process evaluation for waste minimization opportunities, (3) waste generation tracking system, and (4) information exchange network. The presentation also examines some of the accomplishments of the program and issues which need to be resolved

  13. Meaningful traits for grouping plant species across arid ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bär Lamas, Marlene Ivonne; Carrera, A L; Bertiller, M B

    2016-05-01

    Grouping species may provide some degree of simplification to understand the ecological function of plants on key ecosystem processes. We asked whether groups of plant species based on morpho-chemical traits associated with plant persistence and stress/disturbance resistance reflect dominant plant growth forms in arid ecosystems. We selected twelve sites across an aridity gradient in northern Patagonia. At each site, we identified modal size plants of each dominant species and assessed specific leaf area (SLA), plant height, seed mass, N and soluble phenol concentration in green and senesced leaves at each plant. Plant species were grouped according with plant growth forms (perennial grasses, evergreen shrubs and deciduous shrubs) and plant morphological and/or chemical traits using cluster analysis. We calculated mean values of each plant trait for each species group and plant growth form. Plant growth forms significantly differed among them in most of the morpho-chemical traits. Evergreen shrubs were tall plants with the highest seed mass and soluble phenols in leaves, deciduous shrubs were also tall plants with high SLA and the highest N in leaves, and perennial grasses were short plants with high SLA and low concentration of N and soluble phenols in leaves. Grouping species by the combination of morpho-chemical traits yielded 4 groups in which species from one growth form prevailed. These species groups differed in soluble phenol concentration in senesced leaves and plant height. These traits were highly correlated. We concluded that (1) plant height is a relevant synthetic variable, (2) growth forms adequately summarize ecological strategies of species in arid ecosystems, and (3) the inclusion of plant morphological and chemical traits related to defenses against environmental stresses and herbivory enhanced the potential of species grouping, particularly within shrubby growth forms.

  14. Control and decision strategies in wastewater treatment plants for operation improvement

    CERN Document Server

    Santín, Ignacio; Vilanova, Ramón

    2017-01-01

    This book examines the operation of biological wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), with a focus on maintaining effluent water quality while keeping operational costs within constrained limits. It includes control operation and decision schemes and is based on the use of benchmarking scenarios that yield easily reproducible results that readers can implement for their own solutions. The final criterion is the effect of the applied control strategy on plant performance – specifically, improving effluent quality, reducing costs and avoiding violations of established effluent limits. The evaluation of the different control strategies is achieved with the help of two Benchmark Simulation Models (BSM1, BSM2). Given the complexity of the biological and biochemical processes involved and the major fluctuations in the influent flow rate, controlling WWTPs poses a serious challenge. Further, the importance of control goal formulation and control structure design in relation to WWTP process control is widely recogniz...

  15. Towards improving the ethics of ecological research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crozier, G K D; Schulte-Hostedde, Albrecht I

    2015-06-01

    We argue that the ecological research community should develop a plan for improving the ethical consistency and moral robustness of the field. We propose a particular ethics strategy--specifically, an ongoing process of collective ethical reflection that the community of ecological researchers, with the cooperation of applied ethicists and philosophers of biology, can use to address the needs we identify. We suggest a particular set of conceptual (in the form of six core values--freedom, fairness, well being, replacement, reduction, and refinement) and analytic (in the forms of decision theoretic software, 1000Minds) tools that, we argue, collectively have the resources to provide an empirically grounded and conceptually complete foundation for an ethics strategy for ecological research. We illustrate our argument with information gathered from a survey of ecologists conducted at the 2013 meeting of the Canadian Society of Ecology and Evolution.

  16. Identity Transformation During the Transition to Parenthood Among Same-Sex Couples: An Ecological, Stress-Strategy-Adaptation Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Hongjian; Mills-Koonce, W. Roger; Wood, Claire; Fine, Mark A.

    2016-01-01

    This article reviews the current research on the potential stressors associated with identity transformation experienced by same-sex couples during the transition to parenthood and the coping strategies they employ. By integrating disparate findings into an ecological, stress-strategy-adaptation framework, we demonstrate that the identity transformation experiences among same-sex couples during the transition to parenthood (a) involve various adaptive processes of navigating different stressors via their human agency within multiple nested contexts; (b) are products of the intersections of individual characteristics, relational dynamics, LGBT community culture, and heterosexual sociostructural norms; and (c) are complicated by social contextual factors such as social class, race/ethnicity, family structure, and the sociocultural environment associated with geographic location. Last, several avenues for future inquiry are suggested. PMID:27458482

  17. Identity Transformation During the Transition to Parenthood Among Same-Sex Couples: An Ecological, Stress-Strategy-Adaptation Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Hongjian; Mills-Koonce, W Roger; Wood, Claire; Fine, Mark A

    2016-03-01

    This article reviews the current research on the potential stressors associated with identity transformation experienced by same-sex couples during the transition to parenthood and the coping strategies they employ. By integrating disparate findings into an ecological, stress-strategy-adaptation framework, we demonstrate that the identity transformation experiences among same-sex couples during the transition to parenthood (a) involve various adaptive processes of navigating different stressors via their human agency within multiple nested contexts; (b) are products of the intersections of individual characteristics, relational dynamics, LGBT community culture, and heterosexual sociostructural norms; and (c) are complicated by social contextual factors such as social class, race/ethnicity, family structure, and the sociocultural environment associated with geographic location. Last, several avenues for future inquiry are suggested.

  18. Ecological investigations at power plant cooling lakes, reservoirs, and ponds: an annotated bibliography. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yost, F.E.; Talmage, S.S.

    1981-06-01

    Presented as an annotated bibliography are 541 references dealing with ecological investigations at power plants which use cooling lakes, ponds, or reservoirs. The references were obtained from open literature and from environmental reports and impact statements prepared for or by the electric utility industry. The literature covers the period 1950 through mid-1980. Topics covered include site-specific studies at facilities using cooling lakes, ponds, or reservoirs, as well as special studies, engineering studies, and general studies. References are arranged alphabetically by author and indexes are provided to personal and corporate authors, facility names, regions, and taxonomic names

  19. DEACTIVATION AND DECOMMISSIONING ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY FOR THE PLUTONIUM FINISHING PLANT COMPLEX, HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hopkins, A.M.; Heineman, R.; Norton, S.; Miller, M.; Oates, L.

    2003-01-01

    Maintaining compliance with environmental regulatory requirements is a significant priority in successful completion of the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) Nuclear Material Stabilization (NMS) Project. To ensure regulatory compliance throughout the deactivation and decommissioning of the PFP complex, an environmental regulatory strategy was developed. The overall goal of this strategy is to comply with all applicable environmental laws and regulations and/or compliance agreements during PFP stabilization, deactivation, and eventual dismantlement. Significant environmental drivers for the PFP Nuclear Material Stabilization Project include the Tri-Party Agreement; the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA); the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA); the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA); the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA); the Clean Air Act (CAA), and the Clean Water Act (CWA). Recent TPA negotiation s with Ecology and EPA have resulted in milestones that support the use of CERCLA as the primary statutory framework for decommissioning PFP. Milestones have been negotiated to support the preparation of Engineering Evaluations/Cost Analyses for decommissioning major PFP buildings. Specifically, CERCLA EE/CA(s) are anticipated for the following scopes of work: Settling Tank 241-Z-361, the 232-Z Incinerator, , the process facilities (eg, 234-5Z, 242, 236) and the process facility support buildings. These CERCLA EE/CA(s) are for the purpose of analyzing the appropriateness of the slab-on-grade endpoint Additionally, agreement was reached on performing an evaluation of actions necessary to address below-grade structures or other structures remaining after completion of the decommissioning of PFP. Remaining CERCLA actions will be integrated with other Central Plateau activities at the Hanford site

  20. Improving ecological risk assessment by including bioavailability into species sensitivity distributions: An example for plants exposed to nickel in soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Semenzin, Elena; Temminghoff, Erwin J.M.; Marcomini, Antonio

    2007-01-01

    The variability of species sensitivity distribution (SSD) due to contaminant bioavailability in soil was explored by using nickel as metal of concern. SSDs of toxicity test results of Avena sativa L. originating from different soils and expressed as total content and available (0.01 M CaCl 2 ) extractable concentration were compared to SSDs for terrestrial plants derived from literature toxicity data. Also the 'free' nickel (Ni 2+ ) concentration was calculated and compared. The results demonstrated that SSDs based on total nickel content highly depend on the experimental conditions set up for toxicity testing (i.e. selected soil and pH value) and thus on metal bioavailability in soil, resulting in an unacceptable uncertainty for ecological risk estimation. The use in SSDs of plant toxicity data expressed as 0.01 M CaCl 2 extractable metal strongly reduced the uncertainty in the SSD curve and thus can improve the ERA procedure remarkably by taking bioavailability into account. - The use of bioavailability toxicity data can improve species sensitivity distribution (SSD) curves and thus ecological risk assessment (ERA)

  1. The avoidance strategy of environmental constraints by an aquatic plant Potamogeton alpinus in running waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robionek, Alicja; Banaś, Krzysztof; Chmara, Rafał; Szmeja, Józef

    2015-08-01

    Aquatic plants anchored in streams are under pressure from various constraints linked to the water flow and display strategies to prevent their damage or destruction. We assume that the responses of aquatic plants to fast-water flow are a manifestation of a trade-off consisting in either maximizing the resistance to damage (tolerance strategy) in minimizing the hydrodynamic forces (avoidance strategy), or both. Our main hypothesis was that Potamogeton alpinus demonstrate the avoidance strategy. We analyzed architecture traits of the modules of this clonal plant from slow- and fast-flowing streams. In fast-flowing waters, the avoidance strategy of P. alpinus is reflected by the following: (1) the presence of floating leaves that stabilize the vertical position of the stem and protect the inflorescence against immersion; (2) elongation of submerged leaves (weakens the pressure of water); and (3) shoot diameter reduction and increase in shoot density (weakens the pressure of water, increases shoot elasticity), and by contrast in slow-water flow include the following: (4) the absence of floating leaves in high intensity of light (avoiding unnecessary outlays on a redundant organ); (5) the presence of floating leaves in low intensity of light (avoidance of stress caused by an insufficient assimilation area of submerged leaves).

  2. Evaluation of plant-wide WWTP control strategies including the effects of filamentous bulking sludge

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Flores Alsina, Xavier; Comas, J.S.; Rodríguez Roda, I.

    2009-01-01

    The main objective of this paper is to evaluate the effect of filamentous bulking sludge on the predicted performance of simulated plant-wide WWTP control strategies. First, as a reference case, several control strategies are implemented, simulated and evaluated using the IWA Benchmark Simulation...

  3. Multi-criteria evaluation of wastewater treatment plant control strategies under uncertainty

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Flores Alsina, Xavier; Rodriguez-Roda, Ignasi; Sin, Gürkan

    2008-01-01

    The evaluation of activated sludge control strategies in wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) via mathematical modelling is a complex activity because several objectives; e.g. economic, environmental, technical and legal; must be taken into account at the same time, i.e. the evaluation of the alter...

  4. A Phytoremediation Strategy for Arsenic

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meagher, Richard B.

    2005-06-01

    A Phytoremediation Strategy for Arsenic Progress Report May, 2005 Richard B. Meagher Principal Investigator Arsenic pollution affects the health of several hundred millions of people world wide, and an estimated 10 million Americans have unsafe levels of arsenic in their drinking water. However, few environmentally sound remedies for cleaning up arsenic contaminated soil and water have been proposed. Phytoremediation, the use of plants to extract and sequester environmental pollutants, is one new technology that offers an ecologically sound solution to a devastating problem. We propose that it is less disruptive to the environment to harvest and dispose of several thousand pounds per acre of contaminated aboveground plant material, than to excavate and dispose of 1 to 5 million pounds of contaminated soil per acre (assumes contamination runs 3 ft deep). Our objective is to develop a genetics-based phytoremediation strategy for arsenic removal that can be used in any plant species. This strategy requires the enhanced expression of several transgenes from diverse sources. Our working hypothesis is that organ-specific expression of several genes controlling the transport, electrochemical state, and binding of arsenic will result in the efficient extraction and hyperaccumulation of arsenic into aboveground plant tissues. This hypothesis is supported by theoretical arguments and strong preliminary data. We proposed six Specific Aims focused on testing and developing this arsenic phytoremediation strategy. During the first 18 months of the grant we made significant progress on five Specific Aims and began work on the sixth as summarized below. Specific Aim 1: Enhance plant arsenic resistance and greatly expand sinks for arsenite by expressing elevated levels of thiol-rich, arsenic-binding peptides. Hyperaccumulation of arsenic depends upon making plants that are both highly tolerant to arsenic and that have the capacity to store large amounts of arsenic aboveground

  5. Ecological half-life of 137Cs in plants associated with a contaminated stream

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peles, John D.; Smith, Michael H.; Lehr Brisbin, I.

    2002-01-01

    Ecological half-life (T e ) is a useful measure for studying the long-term decline of contaminants, such as radionuclides, in natural systems. The current investigation determined levels of radiocesium ( 137 Cs) in two aquatic (Polygonum punctatum, Sagittaria latifolia) and three terrestrial (Alnus serrulata, Myrica cerifera, Salix nigra) plant species from a contaminated stream and floodplain on the U.S. Department of Energy's Savannah River Site. Current 137 Cs levels in plants were used in conjunction with historical data to determine T e of 137 Cs in each species. Median concentrations of 137 Cs were highest in S. latifolia (0.84 Bq g -1 ) and lowest in M. cerifera (0.10 Bq g -1 ). T e 's ranged from 4.85 yr in M. cerifera to 8.35 yr in S. nigra, both terrestrial species. T e 's for all aquatic (6.30 yr) and all terrestrial (5.87) species combined were very similar. The T e 's of the two aquatic primary producers (P. punctatum and S. latifolia) in the Steel Creek ecosystem were somewhat longer than T e values previously reported for some consumers from this ecosystem

  6. Comparison of two voltage control strategies for a wind power plant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Martinez, Jorge; Kjær, Philip C.; Rodriguez, Pedro

    2011-01-01

    plants. This paper addresses the analysis of two different voltage control strategies for a wind power plant, i.e. decentralized and centralized voltage control schemes. The analysis has been performed using the equivalent and simplified transfer functions of the system. Using this representation......Larger percentages of wind power penetration translate to more demanding requirements from grid codes. Recently, voltage support at the point of connection has been introduced by several grid codes from around the world, thus, making it important to analyze this control when applied to wind power......, it is possible to investigate the influence of the plant control gain, short circuit ratio, and time delays on the system stability, as well as the fulfillment of the design requirements. The implemented plant voltage control is based on a slope voltage controller, which calculates the references to be sent...

  7. Introduction: Experimental Green Strategies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Peters, Terri

    2011-01-01

    Defining new ways in which archietcts are responding to the challenge of creating sustainable architecture , Experimental Green Strategies present a state of the art in applied ecological architectural research.......Defining new ways in which archietcts are responding to the challenge of creating sustainable architecture , Experimental Green Strategies present a state of the art in applied ecological architectural research....

  8. Molecular Tools for Exploring Polyploid Genomes in Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Domenico Carputo

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Polyploidy is a very common phenomenon in the plant kingdom, where even diploid species are often described as paleopolyploids. The polyploid condition may bring about several advantages compared to the diploid state. Polyploids often show phenotypes that are not present in their diploid progenitors or exceed the range of the contributing species. Some of these traits may play a role in heterosis or could favor adaptation to new ecological niches. Advances in genomics and sequencing technology may create unprecedented opportunities for discovering and monitoring the molecular effects of polyploidization. Through this review, we provide an overview of technologies and strategies that may allow an in-depth analysis of polyploid genomes. After introducing some basic aspects on the origin and genetics of polyploids, we highlight the main tools available for genome and gene expression analysis and summarize major findings. In the last part of this review, the implications of next generation sequencing are briefly discussed. The accumulation of knowledge on polyploid formation, maintenance, and divergence at whole-genome and subgenome levels will not only help plant biologists to understand how plants have evolved and diversified, but also assist plant breeders in designing new strategies for crop improvement.

  9. Strategies for engineering plant natural products: the iridoid-derived monoterpene indole alkaloids of Catharanthus roseus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connor, Sarah E

    2012-01-01

    The manipulation of pathways to make unnatural variants of natural compounds, a process often termed combinatorial biosynthesis, has been robustly successful in prokaryotic systems. The development of approaches to generate new-to-nature compounds from plant-based pathways is, in comparison, much less advanced. Success will depend on the specific chemistry of the pathway, as well as on the suitability of the plant system for transformation and genetic manipulation. As plant pathways are elucidated, and can be heterologously expressed in hosts that are more amenable to genetic manipulation, biosynthetic production of new-to-nature compounds from plant pathways will become more widespread. In this chapter, some of the key strategies that have been developed for metabolic engineering of plant pathways, namely directed biosynthesis, mutasynthesis, and pathway incorporation of engineered enzymes are highlighted. The iridoid-derived monoterpene indole alkaloids from C. roseus, which are the focus of this chapter, provide an excellent system for developing these strategies. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Balancing effluent quality, economic cost and greenhouse gas emissions during the evaluation of (plant-wide) control/operational strategies in WWTPs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Flores Alsina, Xavier; Arnell, Magnus; Amerlinck, Youri

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this paper was to show the potential additional insight that result from adding greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to plant performance evaluation criteria, such as effluent quality (EQI) and operational cost (OCI) indices, when evaluating (plant-wide) control/operational strategies ...... evaluation criteria to compare and evaluate (plant-wide) control strategies in a WWTP for more informed operational decision making. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.......The objective of this paper was to show the potential additional insight that result from adding greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to plant performance evaluation criteria, such as effluent quality (EQI) and operational cost (OCI) indices, when evaluating (plant-wide) control/operational strategies...

  11. Freshwater availability and coastal wetland foundation species: ecological transitions along a rainfall gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osland, Michael J.; Enwright, Nicholas M.; Stagg, Camille L.

    2014-01-01

    Climate gradient-focused ecological research can provide a foundation for better understanding critical ecological transition points and nonlinear climate-ecological relationships, which is information that can be used to better understand, predict, and manage ecological responses to climate change. In this study, we examined the influence of freshwater availability upon the coverage of foundation plant species in coastal wetlands along a northwestern Gulf of Mexico rainfall gradient. Our research addresses the following three questions: (1) what are the region-scale relationships between measures of freshwater availability (e.g., rainfall, aridity, freshwater inflow, salinity) and the relative abundance of foundation plant species in tidal wetlands; (2) How vulnerable are foundation plant species in tidal wetlands to future changes in freshwater availability; and (3) What is the potential future relative abundance of tidal wetland foundation plant species under alternative climate change scenarios? We developed simple freshwater availability-based models to predict the relative abundance (i.e., coverage) of tidal wetland foundation plant species using climate data (1970-2000), estuarine freshwater inflow-focused data, and coastal wetland habitat data. Our results identify regional ecological thresholds and nonlinear relationships between measures of freshwater availability and the relative abundance of foundation plant species in tidal wetlands. In drier coastal zones, relatively small changes in rainfall could produce comparatively large landscape-scale changes in foundation plant species abundance which would affect some ecosystem good and services. Whereas a drier future would result in a decrease in the coverage of foundation plant species, a wetter future would result in an increase in foundation plant species coverage. In many ways, the freshwater-dependent coastal wetland ecological transitions we observed are analogous to those present in dryland

  12. Ecological niche of Neanderthals from Spy Cave revealed by nitrogen isotopes of individual amino acids in collagen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naito, Yuichi I; Chikaraishi, Yoshito; Drucker, Dorothée G; Ohkouchi, Naohiko; Semal, Patrick; Wißing, Christoph; Bocherens, Hervé

    2016-04-01

    This study provides a refined view on the diet and ecological niche of Neanderthals. The traditional view is that Neanderthals obtained most of their dietary protein from terrestrial animals, especially from large herbivores that roamed the open landscapes. Evidence based on the conventional carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of bulk collagen has supported this view, although recent findings based on plant remains in the tooth calculus, microwear analyses, and small game and marine animal remains from archaeological sites have raised some questions regarding this assumption. However, the lack of a protein source other than meat in the Neanderthal diet may be due to methodological difficulties in defining the isotopic composition of plants. Based on the nitrogen isotopic composition of glutamic acid and phenylalanine in collagen for Neanderthals from Spy Cave (Belgium), we show that i) there was an inter-individual dietary heterogeneity even within one archaeological site that has not been evident in bulk collagen isotopic compositions, ii) they occupied an ecological niche different from those of hyenas, and iii) they could rely on plants for up to ∼20% of their protein source. These results are consistent with the evidence found of plant consumption by the Spy Neanderthals, suggesting a broader subsistence strategy than previously considered. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Use of decision trees for evaluating severe accident management strategies in nuclear power plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jae, Moosung [Hanyang Univ., Seoul (Korea, Republic of). Dept. of Nuclerar Engineering; Lee, Yongjin; Jerng, Dong Wook [Chung-Ang Univ., Seoul (Korea, Republic of). School of Energy Systems Engineering

    2016-07-15

    Accident management strategies are defined to innovative actions taken by plant operators to prevent core damage or to maintain the sound containment integrity. Such actions minimize the chance of offsite radioactive substance leaks that lead to and intensify core damage under power plant accident conditions. Accident management extends the concept of Defense in Depth against core meltdown accidents. In pressurized water reactors, emergency operating procedures are performed to extend the core cooling time. The effectiveness of Severe Accident Management Guidance (SAMG) became an important issue. Severe accident management strategies are evaluated with a methodology utilizing the decision tree technique.

  14. Preliminary Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Great Western Development Strategy: Safeguarding Ecological Security for a New Western China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wei; Liu, Yan-Ju; Yang, Zhifeng

    2012-02-01

    The Great Western Development Strategy (GWDS) is a long term national campaign aimed at boosting development of the western area of China and narrowing the economic gap between the western and the eastern parts of China. The Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) procedure was employed to assess the environmental challenges brought about by the western development plans. These plans include five key developmental domains (KDDs): water resource exploitation and use, land utilization, energy generation, tourism development, and ecological restoration and conservation. A combination of methods involving matrix assessment, incorporation of expert judgment and trend analysis was employed to analyze and predict the environmental impacts upon eight selected environmental indicators: water resource availability, soil erosion, soil salinization, forest destruction, land desertification, biological diversity, water quality and air quality. Based on the overall results of the assessment, countermeasures for environmental challenges that emerged were raised as key recommendations to ensure ecological security during the implementation of the GWDS. This paper is intended to introduce a consensus-based process for evaluating the complex, long term pressures on the ecological security of large areas, such as western China, that focuses on the use of combined methods applied at the strategic level.

  15. Biology, ecology and control of the Penthaleus species complex (Acari: Penthaleidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umina, Paul A; Hoffmann, Ary A; Weeks, Andrew R

    2004-01-01

    Blue oat mites, Penthaleus spp. (Acari: Penthaleidae), are major agricultural pests in southern Australia and other parts of the world, attacking various pasture, vegetable and crop plants. Management of these mites has been complicated by the recent discovery of three cryptic pest species of Penthaleus, whereas prior research had assumed a single species. The taxonomy, population genetics, ecology, biology and control of the Penthaleus spp. complex are reviewed. Adult Penthaleus have a dark blue-black body approximately 1 mm in length, and eight red-orange legs. Within Australia, they are winter pests completing two or three generations a season, depending on conditions. The summer is passed as diapausing eggs, when long-distance dispersal is thought to occur. The Penthaleus spp. reproduce by thelytokous parthenogenesis, with populations comprising clones that differ ecologically. The three pest Penthaleus spp. differ markedly in their distributions, plant hosts, timing of diapause egg production and response to pesticides, highlighting the need to develop control strategies that consider each species separately. Chemicals are the main weapons used in current control programs, however research continues into alternative more sustainable management options. Host plant resistance, crop rotations, conservation of natural enemies, and improved timing of pesticide application would improve the management of these pests. The most cost-effective and environmentally acceptable means of control will result from the integration of these practices combined with the development of a simple field-based kit to distinguish the different mite species.

  16. Ecological Researches in the Yagnob Valley

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Razykov, Z.A.; Yunusov, M.M.; Bezzubov, N.I.; Murtazaev, Kh.; Fajzullaev, B.G.

    2002-01-01

    The article dwells on the resents of the estimation of the ecology surroundings of the Yagnob Valley. The researches included appraisal of radiation background, determination of the amount of heavy and radioactive elements in soil, bottom sedimentations, ashes in plants, water in rivers and wells. Designing on the premise of the researches implemented the ecology surrounding are estimated as propitious man's habitation. (Authors)

  17. Ecological profiles of wetland plant species in the northern Apennines (N. Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcello TOMASELLI

    2003-02-01

    Full Text Available Eighteen selected species occurring in the wetlands of the northern Apennines were studied by the ecological profile method. By this method, it is possible to identify the ecological factors mostly influencing species distribution within a particular vegetation. Moreover, it is possible to evaluate both ecological amplitude and ecological preferences of species. Ecological profiles were built for three factors (altitude, pH and electrical conductivity from a data set of 265 phytosociological relevés, used for altitude, and from a set of 92 measures, carried out in selected sites, for idrochemical variables. By numerical classification, based on chord distance and minimum variance, the ecological species groups for each factor were individuated. Subsequently, they were ordered by correspondence analysis for detecting relationships between ecological groups and classes of factors. By applying a goodness-of-fit test to ecological profiles, the species significantly deviating from uniformity were detected. They can be regarded as indicators for the corresponding ecological factor. We found seven indicator species for altitude (Carex nigra, C. rostrata, Juncus filiformis, J. alpino-articulatus, Eriophorum latifolium, E. angustifolium and Warnstorfia exannulata, four indicator species for electrical conductivity (Campylium stellatum, Carex tumidicarpa, Eriophorum latifolium and Juncus alpino-articulatus and one indicator species for pH (Sphagnum capillifolium. The ecological profiles of the wetland species in the northern Apennines were compared with those reported in literature for the same species from the Alps (namely Dolomites. In this way, a certain degree of ecological shift in several wetland species of the northern Apennines was documented. For altitude, it is possible to explain the shift considering the reduced elevational amplitude of northern Apennine wetlands with respect to those of the Alps. For pH, Sphagnum capillifolium occurs in

  18. Selection of energy source and evolutionary stable strategies for power plants under financial intervention of government

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hafezalkotob, Ashkan; Mahmoudi, Reza

    2017-09-01

    Currently, many socially responsible governments adopt economic incentives and deterrents to manage environmental impacts of electricity suppliers. Considering the Stackelberg leadership of the government, the government's role in the competition of power plants in an electricity market is investigated. A one-population evolutionary game model of power plants is developed to study how their production strategy depends on tariffs levied by the government. We establish that a unique evolutionary stable strategy (ESS) for the population exists. Numerical examples demonstrate that revenue maximization and environment protection policies of the government significantly affect the production ESS of competitive power plants. The results reveal that the government can introduce a green energy source as an ESS of the competitive power plants by imposing appropriate tariffs.

  19. Approach and strategy for performing ecological risk assessments for the Department of Energy Oak Ridge Field Office Environmental Restoration Program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suter, G.W. II; Redfearn, A.; White, R.K.; Shaw, R.A.

    1992-07-01

    This document is intended to supplement exiting US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance for ecological risk assessment at hazardous waste sites by providing guidance that is more specific and more tailored to US Department of Energy sites than the guidance available from the EPA. However, it is a conceptual strategy document and does not include specific guidance on data, assumptions, and models. That detailed guidance is under development and will be presented in subsequent documents. Ecological risk assessments are equal to human health risk assessments in regulatory importance and can use many of the same data and some of the same estimation methods. However, they also have peculiar data needs and methods. Ecological risk assessments begin with an initial scoping phase, termed hazard definition, that characterizes the sources, the potentially environment, and the assessment endpoints. In the subsequent measurement and estimation phase, in which data are obtained concerning source of the endpoint biota to the contaminants and the effects of those exposures, and assumptions and models are used to relate the data to the desired exposure and effects parameters. Finally, in an integration phase, termed risk characterization, the various exposure and effects estimates are combined to infer the existence, cause, magnitude, and extent of effects of contaminants on the ecological endpoints. This phase is much more complicated for ecological risk assessments than for human health assessments because more types of data are available. Ecological risk assessments estimate effects using laboratory toxicity test results, like human health assessments, but also use results of ambient toxicity tests and biological surveys

  20. [Study on ecological suitability regionalization of Eucommia ulmoides in Guizhou].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Chuan-Zhi; Wang, Qing-Qing; Zhou, Tao; Jiang, Wei-Ke; Xiao, Cheng-Hong; Xie, Yu

    2014-05-01

    To study the ecological suitability regionalization of Eucommia ulmoides, for selecting artificial planting base and high-quality industrial raw material purchase area of the herb in Guizhou. Based on the investigation of 14 Eucommia ulmoides producing areas, pinoresinol diglucoside content and ecological factors were obtained. Using spatial analysis method to carry on ecological suitability regionalization. Meanwhile, combining pinoresinol diglucoside content, the correlation of major active components and environmental factors were analyzed by statistical analysis. The most suitability planting area of Eucommia ulmoides was the northwest of Guizhou. The distribution of Eucommia ulmoides was mainly affected by the type and pH value of soil, and monthly precipitation. The spatial structure of major active components in Eucommia ulmoides were randomly distributed in global space, but had only one aggregation point which had a high positive correlation in local space. The major active components of Eucommia ulmoides had no correlation with altitude, longitude or latitude. Using the spatial analysis method and statistical analysis method, based on environmental factor and pinoresinol diglucoside content, the ecological suitability regionalization of Eucommia ulmoides can provide reference for the selection of suitable planting area, artificial planting base and directing production layout.

  1. Patterns of plant speciation in the Cape floristic region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Niet, Timotheüs; Johnson, Steven D

    2009-04-01

    Plant species have accumulated in the Cape region of southern Africa to a much greater degree than in areas of equivalent size in the rest of the subcontinent. Although this could be a consequence simply of lower extinction rates in the Cape, most researchers have invoked high rates of ecological speciation, driven by unique aspects of the Cape environment, as the primary explanation for this richness. To assess these ideas, we analyzed the frequencies of ecological shifts among 188 sister species pairs obtained from molecular phylogenies of eight Cape clades. Ecological shifts were evident in 80% of sister species pairs, with general habitat, pollinator, and fire-survival strategy shifts being especially frequent. Contrary to an established idea that shifts in soil type are frequently associated with speciation of Cape taxa, these shifts were relatively rare, occurring in just 17% of species pairs. More cases of sister species divergence are accompanied solely by floral than by vegetative diversification, suggesting an important role for pollinator-driven speciation. In an analysis of two large orchid genera that have radiated in both the Cape and the rest of southern Africa, the frequency of ecological shifts (general habitat, soil type, altitude and flowering time), did not differ between sister species pairs in the Cape region and those outside it. Despite suggestions that Cape plants tend to have small range sizes and show fine-scale patterns of speciation, range size did not differ significantly between species in the Cape and those outside it. We conclude that ecological speciation is likely to have been important for radiation of the Cape flora, but there is no evidence as yet for special "Cape" patterns of ecological speciation.

  2. Integrating Studies on Plant-Pollinator and Plant-Herbivore Interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lucas-Barbosa, Dani

    2016-01-01

    Research on herbivore-induced plant defence and research on pollination ecology have had a long history of separation. Plant reproduction of most angiosperm species is mediated by pollinators, and the effects of herbivore-induced plant defences on pollinator behaviour have been largely neglected.

  3. PROBLEM OF ECOLOGICAL NETWORK DEVELOPMENT IN BIG CITIES, USING MOSCOW AS AN EXAMPLE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boyko Valeriya Mikhaylovna

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Creating stable system of protected areas in the city is practically impossible. The optimal way out of this situation is, to our mind, connected with such ecosystem management strategy that ensures spontaneous development of preserved natural ecosystems with simultaneous effective urban planting. It should be noted that the problems of the recreational ecosystem exploitation, despite many years of research, are not fully solved, and, considering recreation in urban protected areas, especially in the city, get a new trend. It seems reasonable nowadays to try to shuffle off the burden of active recreation from forest ecosystems on buffer zones. These zones should be specially created or restored because of carrying out projects on ecological rehabilitation, planted areas or natural planted areas. For the staff of the protected area system it creates additional opportunities for shifting of forces in the solution of other problems on maintaining and restoring biodiversity.

  4. Strategy of investment in electricity sources--Market value of a power plant and the electricity market

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartnik, R.; Hnydiuk-Stefan, A.; Buryn, Z.

    2017-11-01

    This paper reports the results of the investment strategy analysis in different electricity sources. New methodology and theory of calculating the market value of the power plant and value of the electricity market supplied by it are presented. The financial gain forms the most important criteria in the assessment of an investment by an investor. An investment strategy has to involve a careful analysis of each considered project in order that the right decision and selection will be made while various components of the projects will be considered. The latter primarily includes the aspects of risk and uncertainty. Profitability of an investment in the electricity sources (as well as others) is offered by the measures applicable for the assessment of the economic effectiveness of an investment based on calculations e.g. power plant market value and the value of the electricity that is supplied by a power plant. The values of such measures decide on an investment strategy in the energy sources. This paper contains analysis of exemplary calculations results of power plant market value and the electricity market value supplied by it.

  5. Long-term lunar stations: Some ecological considerations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maguire, Bassett, Jr.; Scott, Kelly W.

    1992-01-01

    A major factor for long-term success of a lunar station is the ability to keep an agroecosystem functioning at a desirable, stable steady-state with ecological stability and reliability. Design for a long-lived extraterrestrial manned station must take into account interactions among its subsystems to insure that overall functionality is enhanced (or at least not compromised). Physical isolation of feed production, human living areas, recycling, and other systems may be straightforward, however, microbiological isolation will be very difficult. While it is possible to eliminate plant-associated microbiological communities by growing the plants asepticallly, it is not practical to keep plants germ-free on a large scale if humans are working with them. Ecological theory strongly suggests that some kinds of communities or organisms effectively increase the stability of ecosystems and will protect the plants from potential pathogens. A carefully designed and maintained (lunar-derived) soil can provide a variety of habitats for effective microbial buffers while adding structure to the agroecosystem. A soil can also increase ecosystem reliability through buffering otherwise large element and compound fluctuations (of nutrients, wastes, etc.) as well as buffering temperature level and atmosphere composition. We are doing experiments in ecological dynamics and attempting to extend the relevant theories.

  6. Ecology of Fungus Gnats (Bradysia spp.) in Greenhouse Production Systems Associated with Disease-Interactions and Alternative Management Strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cloyd, Raymond A

    2015-04-09

    Fungus gnats (Bradysia spp.) are major insect pests of greenhouse-grown horticultural crops mainly due to the direct feeding damage caused by the larvae, and the ability of larvae to transmit certain soil-borne plant pathogens. Currently, insecticides and biological control agents are being used successively to deal with fungus gnat populations in greenhouse production systems. However, these strategies may only be effective as long as greenhouse producers also implement alternative management strategies such as cultural, physical, and sanitation. This includes elimination of algae, and plant and growing medium debris; placing physical barriers onto the growing medium surface; and using materials that repel fungus gnat adults. This article describes the disease-interactions associated with fungus gnats and foliar and soil-borne diseases, and the alternative management strategies that should be considered by greenhouse producers in order to alleviate problems with fungus gnats in greenhouse production systems.

  7. Ecology of Fungus Gnats (Bradysia spp. in Greenhouse Production Systems Associated with Disease-Interactions and Alternative Management Strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raymond A. Cloyd

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Fungus gnats (Bradysia spp. are major insect pests of greenhouse-grown horticultural crops mainly due to the direct feeding damage caused by the larvae, and the ability of larvae to transmit certain soil-borne plant pathogens. Currently, insecticides and biological control agents are being used successively to deal with fungus gnat populations in greenhouse production systems. However, these strategies may only be effective as long as greenhouse producers also implement alternative management strategies such as cultural, physical, and sanitation. This includes elimination of algae, and plant and growing medium debris; placing physical barriers onto the growing medium surface; and using materials that repel fungus gnat adults. This article describes the disease-interactions associated with fungus gnats and foliar and soil-borne diseases, and the alternative management strategies that should be considered by greenhouse producers in order to alleviate problems with fungus gnats in greenhouse production systems.

  8. Terpenoids in plant signaling, chemical ecology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kappers, I.F.; Dicke, M.; Bouwmeester, H.J.

    2008-01-01

    Terpenoids constitute the largest class of secondary metabolites in the plant kingdom. Because of their immense structural diversity and the resulting diversity in physiochemical properties, these molecules are particularly important for plant communication with other organisms. In this article, we

  9. Ecology of Meimuna mongolica (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) Nymphs: Instars, Morphological Variation, Vertical Distribution and Population Density, Host-Plant Selection, and Emergence Phenology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qinglong; Yang, Mingsheng; Liu, Yunxiang; Wei, Cong

    2015-01-01

    The cicada Meimuna mongolica (Distant) (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) is one of the most important pests of economic forest in Guanzhong Plain of Shaanxi Province, China. Information about ecological characteristics and some sustainable control measures of this species is urgently required for its control. In this study, nymphal instars, morphological variation, vertical distribution, and population density in soil, and emergence phenology of nymphs of M. mongolica on three main host plants (Pinus tabuliformis Carr., Populus tomentosa Carr., and Pyrus xerophila Yü) were studied, based on combined morphological and molecular identification, investigation of the first-instar nymphs hatched from eggs and others excavated from soil, and investigation of exuviae in the adult emergence period. Five nymphal instars of M. mongolica were redetermined according to the distribution plots of the head capsule widths of the nymphs. Nymphs of third and fourth instars showed morphological variation, which is closely related to host-plant association. The mean densities of nymphs in soil under the three host plants were significantly different, indicating a distinct host preference. The nymphs could extend their distribution from the 0–10 cm soil layer to the 51–60 cm soil layer underground but not beyond 60 cm soil layer under all the three host plants. The 21–30 cm soil layer under all the three host plants has the highest nymphal population density. The sex ratio of the entire population was nearly 50:50, but males dominated in the early half of the duration of the emergence. These ecological characteristics of M. mongolica could provide important information for sustainable control measures.

  10. Economic and ecologic considerations for bidding procedures and contracting for bio-waste fermentation plants; Oekonomische und oekologische Gesichtspunkte bei Ausschreibung und Vergabe von Bioabfallvergaerungsanlagen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Raussen, Thomas; Lootsma, Auke [Witzenhausen-Institut fuer Abfall, Umwelt und Energie GmbH, Witzenhausen (Germany); Oldhafer, Nils [umwelttechnik und ingenieure GmbH, Hannvoer (Germany)

    2013-07-01

    The use of the energetic and mass potentials of biological wastes in an integrated fermentation and composting plant needs extensive conceptual and planning activities. The call for tenders for the construction of plants is an EU-wide open procedure. Public waste management organizations are interested to receive profitable solutions with reliable operation and minimized ecological impacts. The minimum requirements and technical aspects are defined by the public waste management organizations.

  11. Plant for producing an oxygen-containing additive as an ecologically beneficial component for liquid motor fuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siryk, Yury Paul; Balytski, Ivan Peter; Korolyov, Volodymyr George; Klishyn, Olexiy Nick; Lnianiy, Vitaly Nick; Lyakh, Yury Alex; Rogulin, Victor Valery

    2013-04-30

    A plant for producing an oxygen-containing additive for liquid motor fuels comprises an anaerobic fermentation vessel, a gasholder, a system for removal of sulphuretted hydrogen, and a hotwell. The plant further comprises an aerobic fermentation vessel, a device for liquid substance pumping, a device for liquid aeration with an oxygen-containing gas, a removal system of solid mass residue after fermentation, a gas distribution device; a device for heavy gases utilization; a device for ammonia adsorption by water; a liquid-gas mixer; a cavity mixer, a system that serves superficial active and dispersant matters and a cooler; all of these being connected to each other by pipelines. The technical result being the implementation of a process for producing an oxygen containing additive, which after being added to liquid motor fuels, provides an ecologically beneficial component for motor fuels by ensuring the stability of composition fuel properties during long-term storage.

  12. Poverty alleviation strategies in eastern China lead to critical ecological dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Ke; Dearing, John A.; Dawson, Terence P.

    2015-01-01

    the likelihood of sustainable agriculture or ecological collapse.We show how the analyses of 55 time-series of social, economic and ecological conditions can provide an evolutionary perspective for the modern Lower Yangtze River Basin region since the 1950s with powerful insights about the sustainability...

  13. Chemical ecology of insect-plant interactions: ecological significance of plant secondary metabolites.

    OpenAIRE

    Nishida, Ritsuo

    2014-01-01

    Plants produce a diverse array of secondary metabolites as chemical barriers against herbivores. Many phytophagous insects are highly adapted to these allelochemicals and use such unique substances as the specific host-finding cues, defensive substances of their own, and even as sex pheromones or their precursors by selectively sensing, incorporating, and/or processing these phytochemicals. Insects also serve as pollinators often effectively guided by specific floral fragrances. This review d...

  14. ADDING ECOLOGICAL REALISM TO PLANT TESTING

    Science.gov (United States)

    Current test protocols for the protection of nontarget plants used when registering pesticides in the United States and many other countries depend on two tests using greenhouse grown, agricultural seedling plants. The seedling emergence and vegetative vigor tests are used to as...

  15. Drag forces of common plant species in temperate streams: consequences of morphology, velocity and biomass

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Kaj Sand

    2008-01-01

    Swift flow in streams may physically influence the morphology and distribution of plants. I quantified drag as a function of velocity, biomass and their interaction on the trailing canopy of seven European stream species in an experimental flume and evaluated its importance for species distributi...... than an uneven distribution with the same biomass confined to dense patches surrounded by open flow channels. Thus, management strategies to ensure a patchy plants distribution should be suitable for combining agricultural drainage and ecological stream quality....

  16. Olfactory cues from plants infected by powdery mildew guide foraging by a mycophagous ladybird beetle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabata, Jun; De Moraes, Consuelo M; Mescher, Mark C

    2011-01-01

    Powdery mildews (Erysiphales) are economically important plant pathogens that attack many agricultural crops. Conventional management strategies involving fungicide application face challenges, including the evolution of resistance and concerns over impacts on non-target organisms, that call for investigation of more sustainable alternatives. Mycophagous ladybird beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) feed on powdery mildew and have considerable potential as biological control agents; however, the foraging ecology and behavior of these beetles is not well understood. Here we document the olfactory cues presented by squash plants (Cucurbita moschata) infected by powdery mildew (Podosphaera sp.) and the behavioral responses of twenty-spotted ladybird beetles (Psyllobora vigintimaculata) to these cues. Volatile analyses through gas chromatography revealed a number of volatile compounds characteristic of infected plants, including 3-octanol and its analogues 1-octen-3-ol and 3-octanone. These compounds are typical "moldy" odorants previously reported in volatiles collected from other fungi. In addition, infected plants exhibited elevated emissions of several compounds also observed in collections from healthy leaves, including linalool and benzyl alcohol, which are reported to have anti-fungal properties. In Y-tube choice assays, P. vigintimaculata beetles displayed a significant preference for the odors of infected plants compared to those of healthy plants. Moreover, beetles exhibited strong attraction to one individual compound, 1-octen-3-ol, which was the most abundant of the characteristic fungal compounds identified. These results enhance our understanding of the olfactory cues that guide foraging by mycophagous insects and may facilitate the development of integrated disease-management strategies informed by an understanding of underlying ecological mechanisms.

  17. Olfactory cues from plants infected by powdery mildew guide foraging by a mycophagous ladybird beetle.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Tabata

    Full Text Available Powdery mildews (Erysiphales are economically important plant pathogens that attack many agricultural crops. Conventional management strategies involving fungicide application face challenges, including the evolution of resistance and concerns over impacts on non-target organisms, that call for investigation of more sustainable alternatives. Mycophagous ladybird beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae feed on powdery mildew and have considerable potential as biological control agents; however, the foraging ecology and behavior of these beetles is not well understood. Here we document the olfactory cues presented by squash plants (Cucurbita moschata infected by powdery mildew (Podosphaera sp. and the behavioral responses of twenty-spotted ladybird beetles (Psyllobora vigintimaculata to these cues. Volatile analyses through gas chromatography revealed a number of volatile compounds characteristic of infected plants, including 3-octanol and its analogues 1-octen-3-ol and 3-octanone. These compounds are typical "moldy" odorants previously reported in volatiles collected from other fungi. In addition, infected plants exhibited elevated emissions of several compounds also observed in collections from healthy leaves, including linalool and benzyl alcohol, which are reported to have anti-fungal properties. In Y-tube choice assays, P. vigintimaculata beetles displayed a significant preference for the odors of infected plants compared to those of healthy plants. Moreover, beetles exhibited strong attraction to one individual compound, 1-octen-3-ol, which was the most abundant of the characteristic fungal compounds identified. These results enhance our understanding of the olfactory cues that guide foraging by mycophagous insects and may facilitate the development of integrated disease-management strategies informed by an understanding of underlying ecological mechanisms.

  18. Plant biotechnology and implications for rapeseed agronomy: development of new methods of pest and disease control

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maas, C. [Hoechst Schering AgrEvo GmbH, Frankfurt am Main (Germany)

    1998-12-31

    The last years several strategies are becoming available for molecular breeding to improve resistance of transgenic plants against pests. Generally, transgenic plants expressing antifungal proteins (chitinase, glucanase and RIP) have been effectively protected against a variety of fungal diseases, whereas symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi remain unaffected. Other antifungal strategies, such as artificial localized cell death, do exist for pyramiding strategies against fungal diseases. Insect predation has been controlled by expression of insect specific proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringensis (B.t.-toxin). A combination with other genes coding for insecticidal proteins in a transgenic plant could further enhance protection of plants against insect pests. Control of viral diseases in transgenic plants was achieved by overexpression of coat- or movement protein from the virus itself, which limits replication and spread in the plants. Other viral genes, or subgenomic fragments, either in sense or antisense orientation effectively conferred resistance to viral diseases. Several strategies also become available to engineer resistance against bacterial diseases and nemathode attack. Expression of proteinase inhibitors, active against nematodes, or specific physiological manipulation which leads to the collapse of feeding cells of sedentary nematodes has been shown to control nematode pests. This demonstrates that a fair number of strategies already exists to control plant pests by molecular breeding. In several cases a combination of different resistance strategies in one and the same plant has been shown to exert synergistic protective effects. In future, this probably will reduce the emergence of resistance breaking strains leading to genetically engineered plants with improved and stable resistance characteristics. The use of genetic engineering in resistance breeding as part of integrated pest management clearly could lead to a more ecologically sustainable

  19. Application of containment and release management strategies to PWR dry-containment plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, J.W.; Lehner, J.R.

    1992-06-01

    This report identifies and evaluates accident management strategies that are potentially of value in maintaining containment integrity and controlling the release of radioactivity following a severe accident as a pressurized water reactor with large-dry containment. The strategies are identified using a logic tree structure leading from the safety objectives and safety functions, through the mechanisms that challenge these safety functions, to the strategies. The strategies are applied to severe accident sequences which have one or more of the following characteristics: significant probability of core damage, high consequences, give rise to a number of potential challenges, and include the failure of important safety systems. Zion and Surry are selected as the representative plants for the atmospheric and sub-atmospheric designs, respectively

  20. Poverty alleviation strategies in eastern China lead to critical ecological dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ke; Dearing, John A; Dawson, Terence P; Dong, Xuhui; Yang, Xiangdong; Zhang, Weiguo

    2015-02-15

    Poverty alleviation linked to agricultural intensification has been achieved in many regions but there is often only limited understanding of the impacts on ecological dynamics. A central need is to observe long term changes in regulating and supporting services as the basis for assessing the likelihood of sustainable agriculture or ecological collapse. We show how the analyses of 55 time-series of social, economic and ecological conditions can provide an evolutionary perspective for the modern Lower Yangtze River Basin region since the 1950s with powerful insights about the sustainability of modern ecosystem services. Increasing trends in provisioning ecosystem services within the region over the past 60 years reflect economic growth and successful poverty alleviation but are paralleled by steep losses in a range of regulating ecosystem services mainly since the 1980s. Increasing connectedness across the social and ecological domains after 1985 points to a greater uniformity in the drivers of the rural economy. Regime shifts and heightened levels of variability since the 1970s in local ecosystem services indicate progressive loss of resilience across the region. Of special concern are water quality services that have already passed critical transitions in several areas. Viewed collectively, our results suggest that the regional social-ecological system passed a tipping point in the late 1970s and is now in a transient phase heading towards a new steady state. However, the long-term relationship between economic growth and ecological degradation shows no sign of decoupling as demanded by the need to reverse an unsustainable trajectory. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Consumers' Attitudes towards Edible Wild Plants: A Case Study of Noto Peninsula, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bixia Chen

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This study explored the rural revitalizing strategy in FAO's Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS site in Noto Peninsula, Ishikawa Prefecture of Japan, using a case study of edible wild plants. This study assessed the current and possible future utilization of edible wild plants as one important NTFP by clarifying the attitudes of consumers and exploring the challenges of harvesting edible wild plants. Traditional ecological knowledge associated with edible wild plants and the related attitudes of consumers towards wild plants was documented. A questionnaire survey found that a majority of the respondents held positive attitude towards edible wild plants as being healthy, safe food, part of traditional dietary culture. Increasing demand of edible wild plants from urban residents aroused conflicts with local residents’ interest given that around 86% of the forested hills are private in Noto Region. Non timber forest products (NTFP extraction can be seen as a tool for creating socioeconomic relationships that are dependent on healthy, biodiverse ecosystems. It was suggested that Japanese Agricultural Cooperatives (JA and Forestry Cooperatives (FCA could be involved with GIAHS process. As important traditional dietary and ecological system, edible wild plants should be a part of GIAHS project for rural revitalization.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Damgaard, Christian

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Plant–insect interactions: the role of ecological stoichiometry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michał Filipiak

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The energy budget of organisms is a primary factor used to generate hypotheses in ecosystem ecology and evolutionary theory. Therefore, previous studies have focused on the energy costs and benefits of adaptations, the efficiency of energy acquisition and investment, and energy budget limitations. The maintenance of stoichiometric balance is equally important because inconsistency between the chemical composition of the consumer’s tissues and that of its food sources strongly affects the major life-history traits of the consumer and may influence the consumer’s fitness and shape plant–herbivore interactions. In this short review, the framework of ecological stoichiometry is introduced, focusing on plant–insect interactions in terrestrial ecosystems. The use of the trophic stoichiometric ratio (TSR index is presented as a useful tool for indicating the chemical elements that are scarce in food and have the potential to limit the growth and development of herbivores, thereby influencing plant – herbivorous insect interactions. As an example, the elemental composition and stoichiometry of a pollen consumer (mason bee Osmia bicornis and its preferred pollen are compared. The growth and development of O. bicornis may be colimited by the scarcity of K, Na, and N in pollen, whereas the development of the cocoon might be colimited by the scarcity of P, Mg, K, Na, Zn, Ca, and N. A literature review of the elemental composition of pollen shows high taxonomical variability in the concentrations of bee-limiting elements. The optimized collection of pollen species based on the elemental composition may represent a strategy used by bees to overcome stoichiometric mismatches, influencing their interactions with plants. It is concluded that the dependence of life-history traits on food stoichiometry should be considered when discussing life history evolution and plant–herbivore interactions. The TSR index may serve as a convenient and powerful tool

  4. Ecological and economic interests in design process of thermal power plant; Ekoloski i gospodarstveni izazovi pri projektiranju energetskih postrojenja

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sander, M [Elektroprojekt, Zagreb (Croatia)

    1997-12-31

    In design process of thermal power plant various ecological and economic contradictory interests are brought in focus. Requests on environmental protection written in laws, standards and international treaties are increasing investment costs and energy production costs. In a design phase there is a task to reconcile these contradictory requests. The paper presents relationship between technology and environmental protection with a focus on air pollution. Air pollution and human health is considered taking in account the role of design phase in thermal power plants project and human health problems. International laws and standards are presented with moral dilemmas concerning low investment costs and high environmental standards. (author). 6 tabs., 2 figs., 13 refs.

  5. Using life strategies to explore the vulnerability of ecosystem services to invasion by alien plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vicente, J.; Pinro, A.; Araujo, M.; Lomba, A.; Randin, C.; Guisan, A.; Honrado, J.; Verburg, P.H.

    2013-01-01

    Invasive plants can have different effects on ecosystem functioning and on the provision of ecosystem services, with the direction and magnitude of such effects depending on the service and ecosystem being considered, but also on the life strategies of the invaders. Strategies can influence

  6. Fast–slow continuum and reproductive strategies structure plant life-history variation worldwide

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Salguero-Gómez, Roberto; Jones, Owen R.; Jongejans, Eelke; Blomberg, Simon; Hodgson, D.; Zuidema, P.A.; Kroon, de Hans; Buckley, Yvonne M.

    2016-01-01

    The identification of patterns in life-history strategies across the tree of life is essential to our prediction of population persistence, extinction, and diversification. Plants exhibit a wide range of patterns of longevity, growth, and reproduction, but the general determinants of this enormous

  7. Agro-ecological potential of the cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum L.) from a biodiversity perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrader, Stefan; Schorpp, Quentin; Lena Müller, Anna; Dauber, Jens

    2017-04-01

    The cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum L.) is an alternative bioenergy crop that may contribute to a more environmentally friendly production of renewable resources. The potential benefits of the cup plant are the perennial cultivation without tillage and its flowering-characteristics. Hence it can be hypothesized that beneficial organisms are promoted which in turn improves the provision of ecosystem services like soil fertility and pollination. To date biomass production in Germany is based mainly on cropping systems like intensive maize cultivation that bear a risk for biodiversity and ecosystem services. The importance to counteract this development increases considering the large land requirements for significant generation of energy from biomass. To what extent cropping of the cup plant meets the expectations of a sustainable biomass production was investigated within a comprehensive assessment of soil fauna communities (earthworms, collembolans, nematodes) including their functional groups as well as pollinating insects (bees and hoverflies) including the quantification of pollen and nectar in cup-plant cultivation systems with a crop management close to agricultural practice. From the results it became obvious that the cup plant as a bioenergy crop has got the necessary potential to mitigate the negative development of biodiversity and ecosystem services, especially in regions with a large share of maize monocultures. This agro-ecological potential can only be reached if certain agronomic requirements are met, i.e. a late harvest and cultivation periods of at least five years. Under these conditions the landscape context has to be considered. Semi-natural habitats in the surrounding landscape are required for nesting and larval development of wild pollinator groups. The development of biological functions in soil is tied to the land use history i.e. previous land use: Positive developments are expected for conversion of intensively managed crop fields to the

  8. Are trade-offs among species' ecological interactions scale dependent? A test using pitcher-plant inquiline species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kneitel, Jamie M

    2012-01-01

    Trade-offs among species' ecological interactions is a pervasive explanation for species coexistence. The traits associated with trade-offs are typically measured to mechanistically explain species coexistence at a single spatial scale. However, species potentially interact at multiple scales and this may be reflected in the traits among coexisting species. I quantified species' ecological traits associated with the trade-offs expected at both local (competitive ability and predator tolerance) and regional (competitive ability and colonization rate) community scales. The most common species (four protozoa and a rotifer) from the middle trophic level of a pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea) inquiline community were used to link species traits to previously observed patterns of species diversity and abundance. Traits associated with trade-offs (competitive ability, predator tolerance, and colonization rate) and other ecological traits (size, growth rate, and carrying capacity) were measured for each of the focal species. Traits were correlated with one another with a negative relationship indicative of a trade-off. Protozoan and rotifer species exhibited a negative relationship between competitive ability and predator tolerance, indicative of coexistence at the local community scale. There was no relationship between competitive ability and colonization rate. Size, growth rate, and carrying capacity were correlated with each other and the trade-off traits: Size was related to both competitive ability and predator tolerance, but growth rate and carrying capacity were correlated with predator tolerance. When partial correlations were conducted controlling for size, growth rate and carrying capacity, the trade-offs largely disappeared. These results imply that body size is the trait that provides the basis for ecological interactions and trade-offs. Altogether, this study showed that the examination of species' traits in the context of coexistence at different scales

  9. Towards a benchmark simulation model for plant-wide control strategy performance evaluation of WWTPs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jeppsson, Ulf; Rosen, Christian; Alex, Jens

    2006-01-01

    The COST/IWA benchmark simulation model has been available for seven years. Its primary purpose has been to create a platform for control strategy benchmarking of activated sludge processes. The fact that the benchmark has resulted in more than 100 publications, not only in Europe but also...... worldwide, demonstrates the interest in such a tool within the research community In this paper, an extension of the benchmark simulation model no 1 (BSM1) is proposed. This extension aims at facilitating control strategy development and performance evaluation at a plant-wide level and, consequently...... the changes, the evaluation period has been extended to one year. A prolonged evaluation period allows for long-term control strategies to be assessed and enables the use of control handles that cannot be evaluated in a realistic fashion in the one-week BSM1 evaluation period. In the paper, the extended plant...

  10. A strategy for improving the profitability of utility power plants in a deregulated industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reinhart, E.R.

    1996-01-01

    When deregulation of the utility industry becomes a reality in the near future, power plant managers and engineers will face a completely changed business climate. Surviving in a competitive business world will require a dramatic alteration in the way most utility power plants are maintained and upgraded, and in their budget planning. Strategies will have to be developed and implemented that follow the guidelines of good business practices in competitive industries. Some utilities have already started to reduce overhead maintenance costs. Key aspects of their programs can serve as examples to other utilities who want to develop a strategy to improve their operating cost effectiveness. Cost-cutting measures have included development of procedures and data bases that allowed utilities to become independent of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) support and to keep their costs for maintenance, repairs, and replacement of power plant components to a minimum. Also, scheduled power plant outages based on the concepts of reliability-centered maintenance (Smith, 1993), remaining life assessment, and advanced integrity monitors instead of a fixed calendar (Swanekamp, 1996), have allowed utilities to extend the time between some outages by several years. These and other innovative approaches will become critical to power plants operating in the new, deregulated business climate. Examples of actual cost savings are presented here

  11. Strategy and system of fire protection at Guangdong Daya Bay Nuclear Power Plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhou Weihong

    1999-12-01

    The fire protection is an important safety issue of nuclear power utilities. The author depicts the strategy and management system of fire protection implemented successfully at Guangdong Daya Bay Nuclear Power Plant of China

  12. Microbial Interactions and the Ecology and Evolution of Hawaiian Drosophilidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy eO'Connor

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Adaptive radiations are characterized by an increased rate of speciation and expanded range of habitats and ecological niches exploited by those species. The Hawaiian Drosophilidae is a classic adaptive radiation; a single ancestral species colonized Hawaii approximately 25 million years ago and gave rise to two monophyletic lineages, the Hawaiian Drosophila and the genus Scaptomyza. The Hawaiian Drosophila are largely saprophagous and rely on approximately 40 endemic plant families and their associated microbes to complete development. Scaptomyza are even more diverse in host breadth. While many species of Scaptomyza utilize decomposing plant substrates, some species have evolved to become herbivores, parasites on spider egg masses, and exploit microbes on living plant tissue. Understanding the origin of the ecological diversity encompassed by these nearly 700 described species has been a challenge. The central role of microbes in drosophilid ecology suggests bacterial and fungal associates may have played a role in the diversification of the Hawaiian Drosophilidae. Here we synthesize recent ecological and microbial community data from the Hawaiian Drosophilidae to examine the forces that may have led to this adaptive radiation. We propose that the evolutionary success of the Hawaiian Drosophilidae is due to a combination of factors, including adaptation to novel ecological niches facilitated by microbes.

  13. Ecological alarm system for Itaipu

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Faehser, L.

    1984-05-01

    At Itaipu, on the Rio Parana, Brazil and Paraguay are constructing the world's largest hydro-electric power plant with a capacity seven times as high as that of Assuan. An information system is intended to give fair warning in case of threatening ecological conditions. The computer-supported alarm system had four objectives: 1. presentation of the present ecological situation; 2. evaluation of the ecological risks; 3. warning about ecological deficits; 4. suggestions for establishing ecological stability. In a first step the available inventory data concerning soil, topography, vegetation and water were evaluated by expert groups according to their risk grade (0-4) and ecological weight (1-10). The product of these evaluations indicates the ecological deficit (0-40). At a threshold value of 30, the information system automatically signals ecological alarm and locates the centre of danger via computer-plotted maps and tables. The necessary data are supplied periodically by selected measurement stations. Quantification of ecological facts enables the persons who are responsible for decisions at Itaipu to recognize, avoid, or diminish elements of danger even if they have little or no ecological knowledge. The file of data that has been compiled so far should be extended parallel with the development in the Itaipu area. With the help of factor analysis connections of cause and effect can be detected in this extremely complex reservoir system which has hardly been explored yet.

  14. Ecological anachronisms in the recruitment of temperate light-demanding tree species in wooded pastures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, ES; Olff, H; Vandenberghe, C; De Maeyer, K; Smit, R; Gleichman, JM; Vera, FWM

    1. Light-demanding trees and thorny shrubs in temperate plant communities may reflect adaptations to now-extinct large grazers, such as aurochs and tarpans, rendering these adaptations ecological anachronisms. 2. We explored the ecological functions of plant traits of Quercus robur and Prunus

  15. Ecological aspects of decommissioning of the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oskolkov, B.Ya.; Nosovskij, A.V.

    2001-01-01

    During the development of Design of ChNPP Decommissioning, it is necessary to consider all the real ecological conditions of its existence and, taking into account the economic potential, to define the achievable and expedient final result, i.e. the final ecological goal. The final goal of ChNPP decommissioning from the point of view of ecology is the termination of the unfavorable influence of the object on the ecosystem of the location area and renovation of the natural conditions of the environment up to the starting level, i.e. like it was prior to the NPP construction or to the level of accepted for the society at present considering the minimization of the problems for the future generations. For the Chornobyl NPP this result is practically unachievable

  16. Environmental certification for small hydropower plants; Umweltzertifizierung Kleinwasserkraftwerke

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Truffer, B.; Meier, W.; Vollenweider, S. [Eidgenoessische Anstalt fuer Wasserversorgung, Abwasserreinigung und Gewaesserschutz (EAWAG), Kastanienbaum (Switzerland); Seiler, B.; Dettli, R. [Econcept AG, Zuerich (Switzerland)

    2001-07-01

    This report for the Swiss Federal Institute for Environmental Science and Technology describes product-differentiation options for small hydropower plant in Switzerland and proposes a form of differentiation based on ecological characteristics as a promising market strategy. The labels created in various countries to assure customers of the environmental compatibility of 'green' power production are looked at. In particular, the implications for small hydropower plant associated with the Swiss green power labelling procedure introduced by the Association for the Promotion of Environmentally Sound Electricity (VUE) are discussed. The report proposes a simplified procedure for these small power stations and presents a sample calculation for the overall costs of certification. The report is rounded off with four detailed case studies in which the necess