WorldWideScience

Sample records for plant reproductive diversity

  1. Reproductive consequences of mate quantity versus mate diversity in a wind-pollinated plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandepitte, K.; Roldán-Ruiz, I.; Honnay, O.

    2009-07-01

    Since most pollen travels limited distances in wind-pollinated plants, both the local quantity and diversity of mates may limit female reproductive success. Yet little evidence exists on their relative contribution, despite the importance of viable seed production to population dynamics. To study how variation in female reproductive success is affected by the quantity versus the diversity of surrounding mates contributing pollen, we integrated pollination experiments, data on natural seed set and seed viability, and AFLP genetic marker data in the wind-pollinated dioecious clonal forest herb Mercurialis perennis. Pollination experiments indicated weak quantitative pollen limitation effects on seed set. Among-population crosses showed reduced seed viability, suggesting outbreeding depression due to genetic divergence. Pollination with pollen from a single source did not negatively affect reproductive success. These findings were consistent with results of the survey of natural female reproductive success. Seed set decreased with the distance to males in a female plants' local neighborhood, suggesting a shortage of pollen in isolated female plants, and increased with the degree of local genetic diversity. Spatial isolation to other populations and population size did not affect seed set. None of these variables were related to seed viability. We conclude that pollen movement in M. perennis is likely very limited. Both male proximity and the local degree of genetic diversity influenced female reproductive success.

  2. Teaching Plant Reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tolman, Marvin N., Ed.; Hardy, Garry R., Ed.

    2000-01-01

    Recommends using Amaryllis hippeastrum to teach young children about plant reproduction. Provides tips for growing these plants, discusses the fast growing rate of the plant, and explains the anatomy. (YDS)

  3. Long-term reproductive behaviour of woody plants across seven Bornean forest types in the Gunung Palung National Park (Indonesia): suprannual synchrony, temporal productivity and fruiting diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cannon, Charles H; Curran, Lisa M; Marshall, Andrew J; Leighton, Mark

    2007-10-01

    For 68 months, we observed the reproductive behaviour of 7288 woody plants (172 figs, 1457 climbers and 5659 trees) spanning major soil and elevational gradients. Two 2-3 month community-wide supra-annual fruiting events were synchronized across five forest types, coinciding with ENSO events. At least 27 genera in 24 families restricted their reproduction to these events, which involved a substantial proportion of tree diversity (> 80% of phylogenetic diversity). During these events, mean reproductive levels (8.5%) represented an almost four-fold increase compared with other months. These patterns indicate a strong behavioural advantage to this unusual reproductive behaviour. Montane forest experienced a single, separate fruiting peak while the peat swamp forest did not participate. Excluding these events, no temporal reproductive pattern was detectable, at either the landscape or forest type. These phenological patterns have major implications for the conservation of frugivore communities, with montane and swamp forests acting as 'keystone' forests.

  4. Reproduction Diversity of Enteromorpha prolifera

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Apeng Lin; Songdong Shen; Jianwei Wang; Binlun Yan

    2008-01-01

    Enteromorpha prolifera (Muell.) J. Agardh (Chlorophyta, Ulvophyceae), which is distributed widely in the Inter-tidal zone of the ocean, is one of the most common fouling green algae. However, the present understandings of the life history of E. prolifera have been insufficient to explain their seasonal abundances. Thus it is essential to investigate how many.reproductive strategies are likely to contribute to the successful colonization and flourishing of the green alga. In the present study the reproduction diversity of E. prolifera was observed and studied systematically by culturing chopped tissues. Our results showed that there are in total seven pathways of reproduction for E. prolifera including sexual, asexual and vegetative reproduction. It was Indicated that the variety of the reproductive ways and the large quantity of reproductive cells produced and released during the reproductive season are the two key factors that facilitate colonization of E. prolifera. The reproduction of the alga E. prolifera mainly depends on asexual methods. The results presented here contribute to increasing our understanding about how the opportunistic macroalgae successfully maintain colonization and excessive growth.

  5. Influences of clonality on plant sexual reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, Spencer C H

    2015-07-21

    Flowering plants possess an unrivaled diversity of mechanisms for achieving sexual and asexual reproduction, often simultaneously. The commonest type of asexual reproduction is clonal growth (vegetative propagation) in which parental genotypes (genets) produce vegetative modules (ramets) that are capable of independent growth, reproduction, and often dispersal. Clonal growth leads to an expansion in the size of genets and increased fitness because large floral displays increase fertility and opportunities for outcrossing. Moreover, the clonal dispersal of vegetative propagules can assist "mate finding," particularly in aquatic plants. However, there are ecological circumstances in which functional antagonism between sexual and asexual reproductive modes can negatively affect the fitness of clonal plants. Populations of heterostylous and dioecious species have a small number of mating groups (two or three), which should occur at equal frequency in equilibrium populations. Extensive clonal growth and vegetative dispersal can disrupt the functioning of these sexual polymorphisms, resulting in biased morph ratios and populations with a single mating group, with consequences for fertility and mating. In populations in which clonal propagation predominates, mutations reducing fertility may lead to sexual dysfunction and even the loss of sex. Recent evidence suggests that somatic mutations can play a significant role in influencing fitness in clonal plants and may also help explain the occurrence of genetic diversity in sterile clonal populations. Highly polymorphic genetic markers offer outstanding opportunities for gaining novel insights into functional interactions between sexual and clonal reproduction in flowering plants.

  6. Plant reproduction in spaceflight environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musgrave, M. E.; Kuang, A.; Porterfield, D. M.

    1997-01-01

    Because plant reproduction is a complex developmental process there are many possible sites of perturbation by the unusual environments of orbital spacecraft. Previous long-duration experiments on Soviet platforms shared features of slowed development through the vegetative stage of plant growth and aborted reproductive function. Our goal has been to understand how special features of the spaceflight environment impact physiological function and reproductive development. In a series of short-duration experiments in the Shuttle mid-deck we studied early reproductive development in Arabidopsis thaliana. Pollen and ovule development aborted at an early stage in the first experiment on STS-54 which utilized closed plant growth chambers. Post-flight analysis suggested that the plants may have been carbon dioxide limited. Subsequent experiments utilized carbon dioxide enrichment (on STS-51) and cabin air flow-through with an air exchange system (on STS-68). Both modifications allowed pollen and ovule development to occur normally on orbit, and full reproductive development up to the stage of an immature seed occurred on STS-68. However, analysis of plant roots from these experiments demonstrated a limitation in rootzone aeration in the spaceflight material that was not mitigated by these procedures. In the future, additional resources (crew time, upgraded flight hardware, and special platforms) will invite more elaborate, long-duration experimentation. On the ISS, a variable speed centrifuge and upgraded plant habitats will permit detailed experiments on the role of gravity in shaping the plant micro-environment, and what influence this plays during reproduction.

  7. Evolution & Diversity in Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearson, Lorentz C.

    1988-01-01

    Summarizes recent findings that help in understanding how evolution has brought about the diversity of plant life that presently exists. Discusses basic concepts of evolution, diversity and classification, the three-line hypothesis of plant evolution, the origin of fungi, and the geologic time table. Included are 31 references. (CW)

  8. Flower diversity and bee reproduction in an arid ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jimena Dorado

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: Diverse flower communities are more stable in floral resource production along the flowering season, but the question about how the diversity and stability of resources affect pollinator reproduction remains open. High plant diversity could favor short foraging trips, which in turn would enhance bee fitness. In addition to plant diversity, greater temporal stability of floral resources in diverse communities could favor pollinator fitness because such communities are likely to occupy the phenological space more broadly, increasing floral availability for pollinators throughout the season. In addition, this potential effect of flower diversity on bee reproduction could be stronger for generalist pollinators because they can use a broader floral spectrum. Based on above arguments we predicted that pollinator reproduction would be positively correlated to flower diversity, and to temporal stability in flower production, and that this relationship would be stronger for the most generalized pollinator species. Materials and Methods: Using structural equation models, we evaluated the effect of these variables and other ecological factors on three estimates of bee reproduction (average number of brood cells per nest per site, total number of brood cells per site, and total number of nests per site, and whether such effects were modulated by bee generalization on floral resources. Results: Contrary to our expectations, flower diversity had no effect on bee reproduction, stability in flower production had a weakly negative effect on one of the bee reproductive variables, and the strength of the fitness-diversity relationship was unrelated to bee generalization. In contrast, elevation had a negative effect on bee reproduction, despite the narrow elevation range encompassed by our sites. Discussion: Flower diversity did not affect the reproduction of the solitary bees studied here. This result could stem from the context dependence of the

  9. Asexual Plant Reproduction. Agricultural Lesson Plans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Southern Illinois Univ., Carbondale. Dept. of Agricultural Education and Mechanization.

    These lesson plans are intended for use in conducting classes on asexual plant reproduction. Presented first are an attention step/problem statement and a series of questions and answers designed to convey general information about asexual plant reproduction/propagation. The following topics are among those discussed: plant reproduction methods,…

  10. Sexual Plant Reproduction. Agricultural Lesson Plans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Southern Illinois Univ., Carbondale. Dept. of Agricultural Education and Mechanization.

    These lesson plans are intended for use in conducting classes on sexual plant reproduction. Presented first are an attention step/problem statement and a series of questions and answers designed to convey general information about sexual plant reproduction/propagation. The following topics are among those discussed: sexual and asexual plant…

  11. The drivers of plant diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Kristine Engemann

    In this thesis we use a “big data” approach to describe and explain large-scale patterns of plant diversity. The botanical data used for the six papers come from three different databases covering the New World, North America, and Europe respectively. The data on plant distributions were combined...... and beta diversity over time for woody forest communities in North America, using a 20 year forest plot dataset from the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Inventory and Analysis program. To assess functional diversity, we combined the plot data with data on four functional traits. Over time...... with environmental data on climate, soil, topography, and disturbance to identify the drivers of macroecological plant diversity patterns. Unless otherwise stated, the botanical data used in the papers come from the Botanical Information and Ecology Network. Paper I describes how we compiled a new plant growth form...

  12. Epigenetic reprogramming in plant sexual reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawashima, Tomokazu; Berger, Frédéric

    2014-09-01

    Epigenetic reprogramming consists of global changes in DNA methylation and histone modifications. In mammals, epigenetic reprogramming is primarily associated with sexual reproduction and occurs during both gametogenesis and early embryonic development. Such reprogramming is crucial not only to maintain genomic integrity through silencing transposable elements but also to reset the silenced status of imprinted genes. In plants, observations of stable transgenerational inheritance of epialleles have argued against reprogramming. However, emerging evidence supports that epigenetic reprogramming indeed occurs during sexual reproduction in plants and that it has a major role in maintaining genome integrity and a potential contribution to epiallelic variation.

  13. Plant reproduction and environmental noise: how do plants do it?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyles, Danielle; Rosenstock, Todd S; Hastings, Alan

    2015-04-21

    Plant populations exhibit a wide continuum of reproductive behavior, ranging from nearly constant reproductive output on one end to the extreme of masting (synchronized, highly variable reproduction) on the other. Here, we show that including variability (noise) in density-dependent pollen limitation in current models for pollen-limited plant reproduction may produce any behavior on this continuum. We previously showed that (large) variability in pollination efficiency (a related phenomenon) may induce masting in non-pollen-limited plant populations. Other modeling studies have shown that including variability in accumulated resources (and/or the threshold for reproduction) may induce masting, but do account for masting in non-pollen-limited plant populations. Thus, our results suggest that the range of plant reproductive behavior may be explained with the simple resource budget model combined with the biological realism of variability in density-dependent pollen limitation. This is a specific example of an important functional consequence of the interactions between stochasticity and nonlinearity, and highlights the importance of carefully considering both the biological basis and the mathematical effects of the noise term.

  14. Bottlenecks and Spatiotemporal variation in the sexual reproduction pathway of perennial meadow plants.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jongejans, E.; Soons, M.B.; Kroon, de H.

    2006-01-01

    Sexual reproduction is important for the growth of populations and the maintenance of genetic diversity. Several steps are involved in the sexual reproduction pathway of plants: the production of flowers, the production of seeds and the establishment of seedlings from seeds. In this paper we quantif

  15. Herbicide impact on non-target plant reproduction: what are the toxicological and ecological implications?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boutin, C; Strandberg, B; Carpenter, D; Mathiassen, S K; Thomas, P J

    2014-02-01

    Declining plant diversity and abundance have been widely reported in agro-ecosystems of North America and Europe. Intensive use of herbicides within cropfields and the associated drift in adjacent habitats are partly responsible for this change. The objectives of this work were to quantify the phenological stages of non-target plants in in-situ field situations during herbicide spray and to compare plant susceptibility at different phenological stages. Results demonstrated that a large number of non-target plants had reached reproductive stages during herbicide spray events in woodlots and hedgerows, both in Canada and Denmark where vegetation varies considerably. In addition, delays in flowering and reduced seed production occurred widely on plants sprayed at the seedling stage or at later reproductive periods, with plants sprayed at reproductive stages often exhibiting more sensitivity than those sprayed as seedlings. Ecological risk assessments need to include reproductive endpoints.

  16. Resource availability controls fungal diversity across a plant diversity gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waldrop, M.P.; Zak, D.R.; Blackwood, C.B.; Curtis, C.D.; Tilman, D.

    2006-01-01

    Despite decades of research, the ecological determinants of microbial diversity remain poorly understood. Here, we test two alternative hypotheses concerning the factors regulating fungal diversity in soil. The first states that higher levels of plant detritus production increase the supply of limiting resources (i.e. organic substrates) thereby increasing fungal diversity. Alternatively, greater plant diversity increases the range of organic substrates entering soil, thereby increasing the number of niches to be filled by a greater array of heterotrophic fungi. These two hypotheses were simultaneously examined in experimental plant communities consisting of one to 16 species that have been maintained for a decade. We used ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (RISA), in combination with cloning and sequencing, to quantify fungal community composition and diversity within the experimental plant communities. We used soil microbial biomass as a temporally integrated measure of resource supply. Plant diversity was unrelated to fungal diversity, but fungal diversity was a unimodal function of resource supply. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) indicated that plant diversity showed a relationship to fungal community composition, although the occurrence of RISA bands and operational taxonomic units (OTUs) did not differ among the treatments. The relationship between fungal diversity and resource availability parallels similar relationships reported for grasslands, tropical forests, coral reefs, and other biotic communities, strongly suggesting that the same underlying mechanisms determine the diversity of organisms at multiple scales. ?? 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  17. Reproductive strategy, clonal structure and genetic diversity in populations of the aquatic macrophyte Sparganium emersum in river systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pollux, B.J.A.; de Jong, M.D.E.; Steegh, A.; Verbruggen, E.; Van Groenendael, J.M.; Ouborg, N.J.

    2007-01-01

    Many aquatic and riparian plant species are characterized by the ability to reproduce both sexually and asexually. Yet, little is known about how spatial variation in sexual and asexual reproduction affects the genotypic diversity within populations of aquatic and riparian plants. We used six polymo

  18. Reproductive biology of the biofuel plant Jatropha curcas in its center of origin

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    In this work, we studied the main characteristics of flowering, reproductive system and diversity of pollinators for the biofuel plant Jatropha curcas (L.) in a site of tropical southeastern Mexico, within its center of origin. The plants were monoecious with inflorescences of unisexual flowers. The male flowers produced from 3062–5016 pollen grains (266–647 per anther). The plants produced fruits with both geitonogamy and xenogamy, although insect pollination significantly increased the numb...

  19. How does pedogenesis drive plant diversity?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Enhancement of reproductive heat tolerance in plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John J Burke

    Full Text Available Comparison of average crop yields with reported record yields has shown that major crops exhibit annual average yields three- to seven-fold lower than record yields because of unfavorable environments. The current study investigated the enhancement of pollen heat tolerance through expressing an Arabidopsis thaliana heat shock protein 101 (AtHSP101 that is not normally expressed in pollen but reported to play a crucial role in vegetative thermotolerance. The AtHSP101 construct under the control of the constitutive ocs/mas 'superpromoter' was transformed into cotton Coker 312 and tobacco SRI lines via Agrobacterium mediated transformation. Thermotolerance of pollen was evaluated by in vitro pollen germination studies. Comparing with those of wild type and transgenic null lines, pollen from AtHSP101 transgenic tobacco and cotton lines exhibited significantly higher germination rate and much greater pollen tube elongation under elevated temperatures or after a heat exposure. In addition, significant increases in boll set and seed numbers were also observed in transgenic cotton lines exposed to elevated day and night temperatures in both greenhouse and field studies. The results of this study suggest that enhancing heat tolerance of reproductive tissues in plant holds promise in the development of crops with improved yield production and yield sustainability in unfavorable environments.

  1. Asexual and sexual reproductive strategies in clonal plants

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Yufen; ZHANG Dayong

    2007-01-01

    Most plants can reproduce both sexually and asexually (or vegetatively),and the balance between the two reproductive modes may vary widely between and within species.Extensive clonal growth may affect the evolution of life history traits in many ways.First,in some clonal species,sexual reproduction and sex ratio vary largely among populations.Variation in sexual reproduction may strongly affect plant's adaptation to local environments and the evolution of the geographic range.Second,clonal growth can increase floral display,and thus pollinator attraction,while it may impose serious constraints and evolutionary challenges on plants through geitonogamy that may strongly influence pollen dispersal.Geitonogamous pollination can bring a cost to plant fitness through both female and male functions.Some co-evolutionary interactions,therefore,may exist between the spatial structure and the mating behavior of clonal plants.Finally,a trade-off may exist between sexual reproduction and clonal growth.Resource allocation to the two reproductive modes may depend on environmental conditions,competitive dominance,life span,and genetic factors.If different reproductive modes represent adaptive strategies for plants in different environments,we expect that most of the resources should be allocated to sexual reproduction in habitats with fluctuating environmental conditions and strong competition,while clonal growth should be dominant in stable habitats.Yet we know little about the consequence of natural selection on the two reproductive modes and factors which control the balance of the two reproductive modes.Future studies should investigate the reproductive strategies of clonal plants simultaneously from both sexual and asexual perspectives.

  2. TERRESTRIAL PLANT REPRODUCTIVE TESTING: SHOULD WILDLIFE TOXICOLOGISTS CARE?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Standard phytotoxicity testing using the seedling emergence and vegetative vigor tests have been shown to be inadequate for the protection of plant reproduction. Both experimental evidence and unintended field exposures have shown vegetation can be minimally or not significantly...

  3. Plant Reproduction. Plant Life in Action[TM]. Schlessinger Science Library. [Videotape].

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000

    Plants are vital to all other life on this planet - without them, there would be no food, shelter or oxygen. Luckily, over millions of years plants have developed many different features in order to survive and reproduce. In Plant Reproduction, students will discover that primitive mosses and algae are dependent upon water for their reproduction.…

  4. Pollinator diversity and reproductive success of Epipactis helleborine (L. Crantz (Orchidaceae in anthropogenic and natural habitats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnieszka Rewicz

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Background Epipactis helleborine is an Eurasian orchid species which prefers woodland environments but it may also spontaneously and successfully colonise human-made artificial and disturbed habitats such as roadsides, town parks and gardens. It is suggested that orchids colonising anthropogenic habitats are characterised by a specific set of features (e.g., large plant size, fast flower production. However, as it is not well known how pollinator diversity and reproductive success of E. helleborine differs in populations in anthropogenic habitats compared to populations from natural habitats, we wanted to compare pollinator diversity and reproductive success of this orchid species between natural and anthropogenic habitat types. Methods Pollination biology, reproductive success and autogamy in populations of E. helleborine from anthropogenic (roadside and natural (forest habitats were compared. Eight populations (four natural and four human-disturbed ones in two seasons were studied according to height of plants, length of inflorescences, as well as numbers of juvenile shoots, flowering shoots, flowers, and fruits. The number and diversity of insect pollinators were studied in one natural and two human-disturbed populations. Results Reproductive success (the ratio of the number of flowers to the number of fruits in the populations from anthropogenic habitats was significantly higher than in the natural habitats. Moreover, plants from anthropogenic habitats were larger than those from natural ones. In both types of populations, the main insect pollinators were Syrphidae, Culicidae, Vespidae, Apidae and Formicidae. With respect to the type of pollinators’ mouth-parts, chewing (39%, sponging (34% and chewing-sucking (20% pollinators prevailed in anthropogenic habitats. In natural habitats, pollinators with sponging (55% and chewing mouth-parts (32% dominated, while chewing-sucking and piercing-sucking insects accounted for 9% and 4% respectively

  5. Mycorrhizal fungal identity and diversity relaxes plant-plant competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagg, Cameron; Jansa, Jan; Stadler, Marina; Schmid, Bernhard; van der Heijden, Marcel G A

    2011-06-01

    There is a great interest in ecology in understanding the role of soil microbial diversity for plant productivity and coexistence. Recent research has shown increases in species richness of mutualistic soil fungi, the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), to be related to increases in aboveground productivity of plant communities. However, the impact of AMF richness on plant-plant interactions has not been determined. Moreover, it is unknown whether species-rich AMF communities can act as insurance to maintain productivity in a fluctuating environment (e.g., upon changing soil conditions). We tested the impact of four different AMF taxa and of AMF diversity (no AMF, single AMF taxa, and all four together) on competitive interactions between the legume Trifolium pratense and the grass Lolium multiflorum grown under two different soil conditions of low and high sand content. We hypothesized that more diverse mutualistic interactions (e.g., when four AMF taxa are present) can ease competitive effects between plants, increase plant growth, and maintain plant productivity across different soil environments. We used quantitative PCR to verify that AMF taxa inoculated at the beginning of the experiment were still present at the end. The presence of AMF reduced the competitive inequality between the two plant species by reducing the growth suppression of the legume by the grass. High AMF richness enhanced the combined biomass production of the two plant species and the yield of the legume, particularly in the more productive soil with low sand content. In the less productive (high sand content) soil, the single most effective AMF had an equally beneficial effect on plant productivity as the mixture of four AMF. Since contributions of single AMF to plant productivity varied between both soils, higher AMF richness would be required to maintain plant productivity in heterogeneous environments. Overall this work shows that AMF diversity promotes plant productivity and that AMF

  6. Reproductive biology in an invasive plant Solidago canadensis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HUANG Hua; GUO Shuiliang; CHEN Guoqi

    2007-01-01

    is 30% under suitable conditions.The results of seed germination under various environmental stresses and investigation of soil conditions indicate that well-aerated,slightly acidic soils with low salinity are suitable for the growth of S.canadensis.Additionally,S.canadensis has a high tolerance for contamination by heavy metal elements including Zn,Cu and Pb,but has low accumulation coefficients for these elements.3)S.canadensis reproduces asexually via underground rhizomes and nodes on the stem base to recruit new individuals,and in plants that experience mechanical damage,this reproductive strategy is used to produce clonal shoots.The capacity for asexual reproduction among different plant parts rank as follows:underground parts>stem-base (20 cm)>stem-base (30 cm)>stem-base (45 cm)>stem.Further,with increasing mechanical damage,the quantity of shoots produced by the plant decreases.4)The morphological parameters of the root system of S.canadensis including length,surface area,volume,and average diameter are greater than for composite exotic weeds.These parameters indicate that S.canadensis has the physiological potential to widely invade China.5)The aboveground growth rate and most of the underground morphological parameters vary remarkably among the seasons,with a peak normally occurring in September.In August,a fraction of the energy in leaves and stems is allocated underground to increase fine root growth and water uptake during hot weather.Additionally,the seasonal dynamics of the underground morphological parameters and the caloric values of different organs of S.canadensis enhance its reproductive ability.Based on the results above,we conclude that S.canadensis has great invasive potential in China.We suggest that urgent measures should be taken to control its further spread,and to minimize its impact on local plant diversity.

  7. From Flowers to Fruits: How Children's Books Represent Plant Reproduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schussler, Elisabeth E.

    2008-01-01

    Children's trade books about science may be playing an increasing role in science instruction; however, the potential effects on student learning are unknown. To investigate whether a subset of books would be appropriate for classroom instruction about a specific science topic (plant reproduction), a selection of children's books about plants was…

  8. Plant Sterols: Diversity, Biosynthesis, and Physiological Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valitova, J N; Sulkarnayeva, A G; Minibayeva, F V

    2016-08-01

    Sterols, which are isoprenoid derivatives, are structural components of biological membranes. Special attention is now being given not only to their structure and function, but also to their regulatory roles in plants. Plant sterols have diverse composition; they exist as free sterols, sterol esters with higher fatty acids, sterol glycosides, and acylsterol glycosides, which are absent in animal cells. This diversity of types of phytosterols determines a wide spectrum of functions they play in plant life. Sterols are precursors of a group of plant hormones, the brassinosteroids, which regulate plant growth and development. Furthermore, sterols participate in transmembrane signal transduction by forming lipid microdomains. The predominant sterols in plants are β-sitosterol, campesterol, and stigmasterol. These sterols differ in the presence of a methyl or an ethyl group in the side chain at the 24th carbon atom and are named methylsterols or ethylsterols, respectively. The balance between 24-methylsterols and 24-ethylsterols is specific for individual plant species. The present review focuses on the key stages of plant sterol biosynthesis that determine the ratios between the different types of sterols, and the crosstalk between the sterol and sphingolipid pathways. The main enzymes involved in plant sterol biosynthesis are 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase, C24-sterol methyltransferase, and C22-sterol desaturase. These enzymes are responsible for maintaining the optimal balance between sterols. Regulation of the ratios between the different types of sterols and sterols/sphingolipids can be of crucial importance in the responses of plants to stresses.

  9. Emerging Roles for Non-Coding RNAs in Male Reproductive Development in Flowering Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josefina Rodriguez-Enriquez

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Knowledge of sexual reproduction systems in flowering plants is essential to humankind, with crop fertility vitally important for food security. Here, we review rapidly emerging new evidence for the key importance of non-coding RNAs in male reproductive development in flowering plants. From the commitment of somatic cells to initiating reproductive development through to meiosis and the development of pollen—containing the male gametes (sperm cells—in the anther, there is now overwhelming data for a diversity of non-coding RNAs and emerging evidence for crucial roles for them in regulating cellular events at these developmental stages. A particularly exciting development has been the association of one example of cytoplasmic male sterility, which has become an unparalleled breeding tool for producing new crop hybrids, with a non-coding RNA locus.

  10. Low investment in sexual reproduction threatens plants adapted to phosphorus limitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujita, Yuki; Venterink, Harry Olde; van Bodegom, Peter M; Douma, Jacob C; Heil, Gerrit W; Hölzel, Norbert; Jabłońska, Ewa; Kotowski, Wiktor; Okruszko, Tomasz; Pawlikowski, Paweł; de Ruiter, Peter C; Wassen, Martin J

    2014-01-01

    Plant species diversity in Eurasian wetlands and grasslands depends not only on productivity but also on the relative availability of nutrients, particularly of nitrogen and phosphorus. Here we show that the impacts of nitrogen:phosphorus stoichiometry on plant species richness can be explained by selected plant life-history traits, notably by plant investments in growth versus reproduction. In 599 Eurasian sites with herbaceous vegetation we examined the relationship between the local nutrient conditions and community-mean life-history traits. We found that compared with plants in nitrogen-limited communities, plants in phosphorus-limited communities invest little in sexual reproduction (for example, less investment in seed, shorter flowering period, longer lifespan) and have conservative leaf economy traits (that is, a low specific leaf area and a high leaf dry-matter content). Endangered species were more frequent in phosphorus-limited ecosystems and they too invested little in sexual reproduction. The results provide new insight into how plant adaptations to nutrient conditions can drive the distribution of plant species in natural ecosystems and can account for the vulnerability of endangered species.

  11. The evolution of African plant diversity

    OpenAIRE

    Hans Peter Linder

    2014-01-01

    Sub-Saharan Africa includes some 45,000 plant species. The spatial patterns of this diversity have been well explored. We can group the species into a set of biogeographical regions (largely co-incident with regions defined for terrestrial vertebrate groups). Furthermore, we know that the diversity is unevenly distributed, with southern Africa (especially the south-western tip) disproportionally species rich, while the West African interior is disproportionally species poor. However, the ...

  12. Temperature stress and plant sexual reproduction: uncovering the weakest links.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zinn, Kelly E; Tunc-Ozdemir, Meral; Harper, Jeffrey F

    2010-04-01

    The reproductive (gametophytic) phase in flowering plants is often highly sensitive to hot or cold temperature stresses, with even a single hot day or cold night sometimes being fatal to reproductive success. This review describes studies of temperature stress on several crop plants, which suggest that pollen development and fertilization may often be the most sensitive reproductive stage. Transcriptome and proteomic studies on several plant species are beginning to identify stress response pathways that function during pollen development. An example is provided here of genotypic differences in the reproductive stress tolerance between two ecotypes of Arabidopsis thaliana Columbia (Col) and Hilversum (Hi-0), when reproducing under conditions of hot days and cold nights. Hi-0 exhibited a more severe reduction in seed set, correlated with a reduction in pollen tube growth potential and tropism defects. Hi-0 thus provides an Arabidopsis model to investigate strategies for improved stress tolerance in pollen. Understanding how different plants cope with stress during reproductive development offers the potential to identify genetic traits that could be manipulated to improve temperature tolerance in selected crop species being cultivated in marginal climates.

  13. Symbiotic regulation of plant growth, development and reproduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, R.J.; Freeman, D. Carl; McArthur, E.D.; Kim, Y.-O.; Redman, R.S.

    2009-01-01

    The growth and development of rice (Oryzae sativa) seedlings was shown to be regulated epigenetically by a fungal endophyte. In contrast to un-inoculated (nonsymbiotic) plants, endophyte colonized (symbiotic) plants preferentially allocated resources into root growth until root hairs were well established. During that time symbiotic roots expanded at five times the rate observed in nonsymbiotic plants. Endophytes also influenced sexual reproduction of mature big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) plants. Two spatially distinct big sagebrush subspecies and their hybrids were symbiotic with unique fungal endophytes, despite being separated by only 380 m distance and 60 m elevation. A double reciprocal transplant experiment of parental and hybrid plants, and soils across the hybrid zone showed that fungal endophytes interact with the soils and different plant genotypes to confer enhanced plant reproduction in soil native to the endophyte and reduced reproduction in soil alien to the endophyte. Moreover, the most prevalent endophyte of the hybrid zone reduced the fitness of both parental subspecies. Because these endophytes are passed to the next generation of plants on seed coats, this interaction provides a selective advantage, habitat specificity, and the means of restricting gene flow, thereby making the hybrid zone stable, narrow and potentially leading to speciation. ?? 2009 Landes Bioscience.

  14. Interactions with the environment during plant sexual reproduction and dispersal consequences for the concept of sexual reproduction and life

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Willemse, M.T.M.

    2005-01-01

    The interaction between seed plants and animals during pollination and fruit and seed dispersal is well known, and marks the sexual reproduction process. During the history of the plant kingdom, the development of sexual reproduction has been governed by changes in the environment of the plant, toge

  15. The Role of Gravity on the Reproduction of Arabidopsis Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoshizaki, T.

    1985-01-01

    The presence of gravity as a necessary environmental factor for higher plants to complete their life cycle was examined. Arabidopsis thalliana (L.) Heynh. Columbia strain plants were grown continuously for three generations in a simulated micro-g environment as induced by horizontal clinostats. Growth, development and reproduction were followed. The Arabidopsis plants were selected for three generations on clinostats because: (1) a short life cycle of around 35 days; (2) the cells of third generation plants would in theory be free of gravity imprint; and (3) a third generation plant would therefore more than likely grow and respond like a plant growing in a micro-g environment. It is found that gravity is not a required environmental factor for higher plants to complete their life cycle, at least as tested by a horizontal clinostat. Clinostatting does not prevent the completion of the plant life cycle. However, clinostatting does appear to slow down the reproductive process of Arabidopsis plants. Whether higher plants can continue to reproduce for many generations in a true micro-g environment of space can only be determined by long duration experiments in space.

  16. Quantifying and understanding reproductive allocation schedules in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wenk, Elizabeth Hedi; Falster, Daniel S

    2015-12-01

    A plant's reproductive allocation (RA) schedule describes the fraction of surplus energy allocated to reproduction as it increases in size. While theorists use RA schedules as the connection between life history and energy allocation, little is known about RA schedules in real vegetation. Here we review what is known about RA schedules for perennial plants using studies either directly quantifying RA or that collected data from which the shape of an RA schedule can be inferred. We also briefly review theoretical models describing factors by which variation in RA may arise. We identified 34 studies from which aspects of an RA schedule could be inferred. Within those, RA schedules varied considerably across species: some species abruptly shift all resources from growth to reproduction; most others gradually shift resources into reproduction, but under a variety of graded schedules. Available data indicate the maximum fraction of energy allocated to production ranges from 0.1 to 1 and that shorter lived species tend to have higher initial RA and increase their RA more quickly than do longer-lived species. Overall, our findings indicate, little data exist about RA schedules in perennial plants. Available data suggest a wide range of schedules across species. Collection of more data on RA schedules would enable a tighter integration between observation and a variety of models predicting optimal energy allocation, plant growth rates, and biogeochemical cycles.

  17. Reproduction on orbit by plants in the Brassicaceae family

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musgrave, Mary E.; Kuang, Anxiu; Xiao, Ying; Matthews, Sharon W.

    1999-01-01

    Previous studies on growth and development during spaceflight had indicated that the transition from vegetative to reproductive growth was particularly difficult for plants. Our objective has been to study how the spaceflight environment impacts the different steps in plant reproduction. This goal has been pursued in two general ways: by using plants that had been pre-grown to the flowering stage on earth, and by using plants that developed completely on orbit. Our objectives have been met by a combination of experiments that required essentially no crew time on orbit, and those that required an extensive commitment of crew time. The plants chosen for the studies were closely related members of the family Brassicaceae: Arabidopsis thaliana and Brassica rapa. In a series of short-duration experiments with Arabidopsis on the space shuttle we found that depletion of carbon dioxide in closed chambers resulted in aborted development of both the male and female reproductive apparatus in microgravity. Normal development was restored by addition of carbon dioxide or by providing air flow. A subsequent shuttle experiment with Brassica utilizing hardware that provides a vigorous air flow confirmed embryo development following pollination on orbit. Brassica plants grown from seed on the Mir space station produced seed that germinated and grew when replanted on orbit. Future experiments will determine effects of multiple generations in space.

  18. Diverse Roles of Strigolactones in Plant Development

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Philip B. Brewer; Hinanit Koltai; Christine A. Beveridge

    2013-01-01

    With the discovery of strigolactones as root exudate signals that trigger parasitic weed seed germination,and then as a branching inhibitor and plant hormone,the next phase of strigolactone research has quickly revealed this hormone class as a major player in optimizing plant growth and development.From the early stages of plant evolution,it seems that strigolactones were involved in enabling plants to modify growth in order to gain advantage in competition with neighboring organisms for limited resources.For example,a moss plant can alter its growth in response to strigolactones emanating from a neighbor.Within a higher plant,strigolactones appear to be involved in controlling the balance of resource distribution via strategic modification of growth and development.Most notably,higher plants that encounter phosphate deficiency increase strigolactone production,which changes root growth and promotes fungal symbiosis to enhance phosphate intake.The shoot also changes by channeling resources away from unessential leaves and branches and into the main stem and root system.This hormonal response is a key adaption that radically alters whole-plant architecture in order to optimize growth and development under diverse environmental conditions.

  19. Influence of Environmental Factors on Reproduction of Polar Vascular Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellmann-Sopyła, Wioleta; Pastorczyk, Marta; Giełwanowska, Irena

    2011-01-01

    In the last few decades, changes of reproductive pattern of polar vascular plants have been observed, for the benefit of generative propagation. The reasons for this phenomenon are attributed to intensively following climate change, whose effects may be various. Warming causes the production of the greater number of generative structures, with higher quality. Our macroscopic observations conducted on specimens of polar vascular plants, cultivated in University of Warmia and Mazury greenhouse, indicate that the effect of temperature increase on flower development and seed formation is inconsistent. On the other hand enhanced levels of UV-B radiation can negatively affect seedlings. The complexity of the climate change causes tremendous difficulties in defining a clear and unquestioned way of modifications during the reproductive phase of the described plants.

  20. The influence of habitat fragmentation on multiple plant-animal interactions and plant reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

    Despite broad recognition that habitat loss represents the greatest threat to the world's biodiyersity, a mechanistic understanding of how habitat loss and associated fragmentation affect ecological systems has proven remarkably challenging. The challenge stems from the multiple interdependent ways that landscapes change following fragmentation and the ensuing complex impacts on populations and communities of interacting species. We confronted these challenges by evaluating how fragmentation affects individual plants through interactions with animals, across five herbaceous species native to longleaf pine savannas. We created a replicated landscape experiment that provides controlled tests of three major fragmentation effects (patch isolation, patch shape [i.e., edge-to-area ratio], and distance to edge), established experimental founder populations of the five species to control for spatial distributions and densities of individual plants, and employed structural equation modeling to evaluate the effects of fragmentation on plant reproductive output and the degree to which these impacts are mediated through altered herbivory, pollination, or pre-dispersal seed predation. Across species, the most consistent response to fragmentation was a reduction in herbivory. Herbivory, however, had little impact.on plant reproductive output, and thus we found little evidence for any resulting benefit to plants in fragments. In contrast, fragmentation rarely impacted pollination or pre-dispersal seed predation, but both of these interactions had strong and consistent impacts on plant reproductive output. As a result, our models robustly predicted plant reproductive output (r2 = 0.52-0.70), yet due to the weak effects of fragmentation on pollination and pre-dispersal seed predation, coupled with the weak effect of herbivory on plant reproduction, the effects of fragmentation on reproductive output were generally small in magnitude and inconsistent. This work provides mechanistic

  1. Reproductive biology of the biofuel plant Jatropha curcas in its center of origin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rincón-Rabanales, Manuel; Vargas-López, Laura I; Adriano-Anaya, Lourdes; Vázquez-Ovando, Alfredo; Salvador-Figueroa, Miguel; Ovando-Medina, Isidro

    2016-01-01

    In this work, we studied the main characteristics of flowering, reproductive system and diversity of pollinators for the biofuel plant Jatropha curcas (L.) in a site of tropical southeastern Mexico, within its center of origin. The plants were monoecious with inflorescences of unisexual flowers. The male flowers produced from 3062-5016 pollen grains (266-647 per anther). The plants produced fruits with both geitonogamy and xenogamy, although insect pollination significantly increased the number and quality of fruits. A high diversity of flower visiting insects (36 species) was found, of which nine were classified as efficient pollinators. The native stingless bees Scaptotrigona mexicana (Guérin-Meneville) and Trigona (Tetragonisca) angustula (Latreille) were the most frequent visitors and their presence coincided with the hours when the stigma was receptive. It is noteworthy that the female flowers open before the male flowers, favoring xenogamy, which may explain the high genetic variability reported in J. curcas for this region of the world.

  2. Reproduction and genetic diversity of the swamp buffalo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yindee, M.

    2010-01-01

    The water buffalo is one of the most important domestic animals in Southeast Asia including Thailand. As the Thai swamp buffalo population declined during the last two decades, the swamp buffalo reproductive performance needs to be improved. Lack of knowledge on swamp buffalo reproduction, improper

  3. Dioecious plants are more precocious than cosexual plants: A comparative study of relative sizes at the onset of sexual reproduction in woody species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohya, Itsuki; Nanami, Satoshi; Itoh, Akira

    2017-08-01

    The reproductive capacities of dioecious plant species may be limited by severe pollen limitation and narrow seed shadows for the two reasons. First, they are unable to self-pollinate, and seed production occurs only with pollinator movement from males to females. Second, only 50% of the individuals in populations contribute to seed production. Despite these handicaps, dioecious plants maintain their populations in plant communities with cooccurring cosexual plants, and no substantial difference in population growth rates has been found between dioecious and cosexual plants. Hence, dioecious plants are thought to mitigate these disadvantages by adopting ecological traits, such as insect pollination, animal-dispersed fleshy fruits, and precocious flowering. We studied the relationship between flowering and plant size in 30 woody species with different sex expressions, leaf habits, fruit types, and maximum plant sizes. The study site was located in an evergreen broad-leaved forest on the island of Honshu, Japan. A phylogenetic linear regression model showed that dioecious species tended to mature at smaller sizes than did cosexual taxa. At the population level, given equal plant densities and reproductive efforts, the precocity of dioecious plants could serve as one of the factors that mitigate the limitations of pollen and seed-shadow handicaps by increasing the density of reproductive individuals in the population. At the individual level, smaller size of onset of flowering may play a role in enhancing reproductive success over a lifetime by increasing reproductive opportunities. We discussed the possible effect of the relationship between precocity and some ecological traits of dioecious plants, such as small flowers pollinated by unspecialized insects, fleshy fruit dispersed by animals, and their preferential occurrence in the tropics and in island habitats. The universality of precocity among dioecious plants should be investigated in diverse plant communities

  4. Plant reproduction in the Central Amazonian floodplains : challenges and adaptations

    OpenAIRE

    Ferreira, Cristiane da Silva; Fernandez Piedade, Maria Teresa; Wittmann, Astrid de Oliveira; Franco, Augusto César

    2010-01-01

    Background The Central Amazonian floodplain forests are subjected to extended periods of flooding and to flooding amplitudes of 10 m or more. The predictability, the length of the flood pulse, the abrupt transition in the environmental conditions along topographic gradients on the banks of major rivers in Central Amazonia, and the powerful water and sediment dynamics impose a strong selective pressure on plant reproduction systems. Scope In this review, we examine how the hydrological cycle i...

  5. Calcium signaling during reproduction and biotrophic fungal interactions in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Junyi; Gutjahr, Caroline; Bleckmann, Andrea; Dresselhaus, Thomas

    2015-04-01

    Many recent studies have indicated that cellular communications during plant reproduction, fungal invasion, and defense involve identical or similar molecular players and mechanisms. Indeed, pollen tube invasion and sperm release shares many common features with infection of plant tissue by fungi and oomycetes, as a tip-growing intruder needs to communicate with the receptive cells to gain access into a cell and tissue. Depending on the compatibility between cells, interactions may result in defense, invasion, growth support, or cell death. Plant cells stimulated by both pollen tubes and fungal hyphae secrete, for example, small cysteine-rich proteins and receptor-like kinases are activated leading to intracellular signaling events such as the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the generation of calcium (Ca(2+)) transients. The ubiquitous and versatile second messenger Ca(2+) thereafter plays a central and crucial role in modulating numerous downstream signaling processes. In stimulated cells, it elicits both fast and slow cellular responses depending on the shape, frequency, amplitude, and duration of the Ca(2+) transients. The various Ca(2+) signatures are transduced into cellular information via a battery of Ca(2+)-binding proteins. In this review, we focus on Ca(2+) signaling and discuss its occurrence during plant reproduction and interactions of plant cells with biotrophic filamentous microbes. The participation of Ca(2+) in ROS signaling pathways is also discussed.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shan-Shan Qi

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. The evolution of African plant diversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hans Peter Linder

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Sub-Saharan Africa includes some 45,000 plant species. The spatial patterns of this diversity have been well explored. We can group the species into a set of biogeographical regions (largely co-incident with regions defined for terrestrial vertebrate groups. Furthermore, we know that the diversity is unevenly distributed, with southern Africa (especially the south-western tip disproportionally species rich, while the West African interior is disproportionally species poor. However, the origins of this diversity have only been explored for two anomalous African Floras (the Tropic-alpine Flora and the Cape Flora, whereas the origins of the diversity of the other floras are still unknown. Here I argue that six floras, with distinct geographical centres, different extra-African affinities, ages of radiation and radiation rates, can be delimited: the Austro-temperate, Tropic-alpine, Lowland forest, Tropic-montane, Savanna and Arid Floras. The oldest flora may be the Lowland forest Flora, and the most recent is the Tropic-alpine, which probably evolved during the Plio-Pleistocene on the summits of the East Africa volcanoes. My results suggest that the most rapidly radiating flora is the Austro-temperate Flora, while the other floras are all diversifying at more or less the same rate, this is also consistent with the current massive species richness in this flora (about half of the African species richness. The Austro-temperate Flora appears to be related to the floras of the other southern continents, the Tropic-alpine Flora to that of the Northern Hemisphere, and the four tropical floras to the tropical regions of the other continents, consistent with the theory of phylogenetic niche conservatism. Current African diversity may be the result of the sequential adding of new floras to the continent. Possibly the species poverty especially of the Lowland forest Flora may be the result of the spread of C4 grasslands and associated regular fires.

  9. Old-growth Platycladus orientalis as a resource for reproductive capacity and genetic diversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Zhu

    Full Text Available AIMS: Platycladus orientalis (Cupressaceae is an old-growth tree species which distributed in the imperial parks and ancient temples in Beijing, China. We aim to (1 examine the genetic diversity and reproductive traits of old-growth and young populations of P. orientalis to ascertain whether the older populations contain a higher genetic diversity, more private alleles and a higher reproductive output compared with younger populations; (2 determine the relationships between the age of the population and the genetic diversity and reproductive traits; and (3 determine whether the imperial parks and ancient temples played an important role in maintaining the reproductive capacity and genetic diversity of Platycladus orientalis. METHODS: Samples from seven young (younger than 100 yrs. and nine old-growth (older than 300 yrs. artificial populations were collected. For comparison, three young and two old-growth natural populations were also sampled. Nine microsatellite loci were used to analyze genetic diversity parameters. These parameters were calculated using FSTAT version 2.9.3 and GenAlex v 6.41. IMPORTANT FINDINGS: The old-growth artificial populations of P. orientalis have significantly higher genetic diversity than younger artificial populations and similar levels to those in extant natural populations. The imperial parks and ancient temples, which have protected these old-growth trees for centuries, have played an important role in maintaining the genetic diversity and reproductive capacity of this tree species.

  10. NADPH Oxidase-Dependent Superoxide Production in Plant Reproductive Tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez-Quesada, María J; Traverso, José Á; Alché, Juan de Dios

    2016-01-01

    In the life cycle of a flowering plant, the male gametophyte (pollen grain) produced in the anther reaches the stigmatic surface and initiates the pollen-pistil interaction, an important step in plant reproduction, which ultimately leads to the delivery of two sperm cells to the female gametophyte (embryo sac) inside the ovule. The pollen tube undergoes a strictly apical expansion characterized by a high growth rate, whose targeting should be tightly regulated. A continuous exchange of signals therefore takes place between the haploid pollen and diploid tissue of the pistil until fertilization. In compatible interactions, theses processes result in double fertilization to form a zygote (2n) and the triploid endosperm. Among the large number of signaling mechanisms involved, the redox network appears to be particularly important. Respiratory burst oxidase homologs (Rbohs) are superoxide-producing enzymes involved in a broad range of processes in plant physiology. In this study, we review the latest findings on understanding Rboh activity in sexual plant reproduction, with a particular focus on the male gametophyte from the anther development stages to the crowning point of fertilization. Rboh isoforms have been identified in both the male and female gametophyte and have proven to be tightly regulated. Their role at crucial points such as proper growth of pollen tube, self-incompatibility response and eventual fertilization is discussed.

  11. Conservation of Genetic Diversity in Culture Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MAXIM A.

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available The most important international document relating to the conservation of biodiversity is one adopted by theUN in Rio de Janeiro (1992 that "Convention on Biodiversity". Based on this agreement, the EU has taken a series ofmeasures to reduce genetic erosion in agriculture, which grew with the expansion of industrialized agriculture.Throughout its existence, mankind has used some 10,000 growing plant species. According to FAO statistics, today,90% of food production is ensured by some 120 growing plant species. In addition to drastic reduction in specificdiversity, the advent of industrialized agriculture has generated a process of strong genetic erosion. Old varieties andlocal varieties of crops have mostly been affected, in favour of "modern" varieties. Landraces are characterized by highheterogenity. They have the advantage of being much better adapted to biotic and abiotic stress conditions (diseases,pests, drought, low in nutrients, etc. and have excellent taste qualities, which can justify a higher price recovery thancommercial varieties. Thanks to these features, these crops need small inputs, which correspond to the concept ofsustainable development. Landraces are an invaluable genetic potential for obtaining new varieties of plants and are bestsuited for crop cultivation in ecological systems, becoming more common. Also, for long term food security in thecontext of global warming, rich genetic diversity will be require. “In situ” and “ex situ” conservation are the two majorstrategies used in the conservation of plant genetic resources. There is a fundamental difference between these twostrategies: “ex situ” conservation involves sampling, transfer and storage of a particular species population away fromthe original location, while “in situ” conservation (in their natural habitat implies that the varieties of interest,management and monitoring their place of origin takes place in the community to which they belong. These

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  13. Diverse functions of uterine proteoglycans in human reproduction (review).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitaya, Kotaro; Tada, Yoshihiro; Hayashi, Terumi; Taguchi, Sagiri; Funabiki, Miyako; Nakamura, Yoshitaka; Yasuo, Tadahiro

    2012-06-01

    Proteoglycans (PGs) are a group of heavily glycosylated proteins that are present throughout the mammalian body and are involved in a wide variety of biological phenomena, including structural maintenance, tissue remodeling, molecular presentation, cell adhesion and signal transmission. Previous studies have revealed an increasing number of roles for PGs in human reproduction. Several PGs are currently utilized or regarded as biomarkers for the diagnosis of certain pathological uterine conditions associated with infertility and obstetrical complications. The aim of this review was to discuss the involvement of PGs in the human uterus in reproductive biology and pathophysiology.

  14. Cenozoic plant diversity of Yunnan: A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yongjiang Huang

    2016-12-01

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

  15. Plant Sterol Diversity in Pollen from Angiosperms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villette, Claire; Berna, Anne; Compagnon, Vincent; Schaller, Hubert

    2015-08-01

    Here we have examined the composition of free sterols and steryl esters of pollen from selected angiosperm species, as a first step towards a comprehensive analysis of sterol biogenesis in the male gametophyte. We detected four major sterol structural groups: cycloartenol derivatives bearing a 9β,19-cyclopropyl group, sterols with a double bond at C-7(8), sterols with a double bond at C-5(6), and stanols. All these groups were unequally distributed among species. However, the distribution of sterols as free sterols or as steryl esters in pollen grains indicated that free sterols were mostly Δ(5)-sterols and that steryl esters were predominantly 9β,19-cyclopropyl sterols. In order to link the sterol composition of a pollen grain at anthesis with the requirement for membrane lipid constituents of the pollen tube, we germinated pollen grains from Nicotiana tabacum, a model plant in reproductive biology. In the presence of radiolabelled mevalonic acid and in a time course series of measurements, we showed that cycloeucalenol was identified as the major neosynthesized sterol. Furthermore, the inhibition of cycloeucalenol neosynthesis by squalestatin was in full agreement with a de novo biogenesis and an apparent truncated pathway in the pollen tube.

  16. Strong spatial genetic structure reduces reproductive success in the critically endangered plant genus Pseudomisopates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amat, María E; Silvertown, Jonathan; Vargas, Pablo

    2013-01-01

    Clonal growth can be a double-edged sword for endangered species, because the short-term insurance against extinction may incur a longer-term hazard of creating small inbred populations with low fecundity. In the present study, we quantify the advantages and disadvantages of clonal growth regarding the fitness of the central Iberian monotypic endangered genus Pseudomisopates. Preliminary studies showed that the species is self-incompatible and exhibits extensive clonal growth with plants flowering profusely. However, seeds at many sites seemed to be unviable, and no seedlings have been observed in the field. A fully replicated nested sampling design (n = 100) was conducted to explore genetic (using seven SSR loci) and environmental factors potentially affecting seed viability, such as: 1) clonal and genetic diversity, 2) spatial genetic structure, and 3) environmental factors (shrub cover and grazing). Generalized Linear Mixed Models were fitted relating genetic and environmental variables to reproductive variables (seed viability and flower display). Our results indicate that the relatively low genotypic diversity of the population (PD = 0.23), as quantified by SSRs, and the strong spatial genetic structure observed are congruent with intense clonal growth. This clonal growth is enhanced by unfavorable environmental conditions, such as canopy closure and grazing. Under these circumstances, both flower display and mate availability decrease, thus hindering sexual reproduction. Indeed, a mixed reproductive system (clonal and sexual) to escape environmental stochasticity is crucial for the survival of Pseudomisopates, a species inhabiting a disturbance-prone ecosystem.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortega, Yvette K; Benson, Aubree; Greene, Erick

    2014-02-01

    Exotic plant invasions threaten ecosystems globally, but we still know little about the specific consequences for animals. Invasive plants can alter the quality of breeding habitat for songbirds, thereby impacting important demographic traits such as dispersal, philopatry, and age structure. These demographic effects may in turn alter song-learning conditions to affect song structure and diversity. We studied Chipping Sparrows (Spizella passerina) breeding in six savannas that were either dominated by native vegetation or invaded by spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe), an exotic forb known to diminish food resources and reproductive success. Here, we report that the prevalence of older birds was relatively low in knapweed-invaded habitat, where recruitment of yearlings compensated for diminished site fidelity to sustain territory abundance. In both habitat types, yearling males tended to adopt songs similar to their neighbors and match the songs of older birds rather than introducing new song types, a pattern seen in many songbird species. As a consequence, in invaded habitat where age structure was skewed away from older birds serving as potential song models, yearlings converged on fewer song types. Similarity of songs among individuals was significantly higher and the overall number of song types averaged nearly 20% lower in invaded relative to native habitat. Degradation of habitat quality generally impacts site fidelity and age ratios in migratory songbirds and hence may commonly alter song-learning conditions. Associated shifts in song attributes known to influence reproductive success could in turn enforce demographic declines driven by habitat degradation. Local song structure may serve as an important indicator of habitat quality and population status for songbirds.

  18. Effect of plant diversity on the diversity of soil organic compounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Moujahid, Lamiae; Michalet, Serge; Bellvert, Florian; Weigelt, Alexandra; Poly, Franck

    2017-01-01

    The effect of plant diversity on aboveground organisms and processes was largely studied but there is still a lack of knowledge regarding the link between plant diversity and soil characteristics. Here, we analyzed the effect of plant identity and diversity on the diversity of extractible soil organic compounds (ESOC) using 87 experimental grassland plots with different levels of plant diversity and based on a pool of over 50 plant species. Two pools of low molecular weight organic compounds, LMW1 and LMW2, were characterized by GC-MS and HPLC-DAD, respectively. These pools include specific organic acids, fatty acids and phenolics, with more organic acids in LMW1 and more phenolics in LMW2. Plant effect on the diversity of LMW1 and LMW2 compounds was strong and weak, respectively. LMW1 richness observed for bare soil was lower than that observed for all planted soils; and the richness of these soil compounds increased twofold when dominant plant species richness increased from 1 to 6. Comparing the richness of LMW1 compounds observed for a range of plant mixtures and for plant monocultures of species present in these mixtures, we showed that plant species richness increases the richness of these ESOC mainly through complementarity effects among plant species associated with contrasted spectra of soil compounds. This could explain previously reported effects of plant diversity on the diversity of soil heterotrophic microorganisms. PMID:28166250

  19. Effect of plant diversity on the diversity of soil organic compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Moujahid, Lamiae; Le Roux, Xavier; Michalet, Serge; Bellvert, Florian; Weigelt, Alexandra; Poly, Franck

    2017-01-01

    The effect of plant diversity on aboveground organisms and processes was largely studied but there is still a lack of knowledge regarding the link between plant diversity and soil characteristics. Here, we analyzed the effect of plant identity and diversity on the diversity of extractible soil organic compounds (ESOC) using 87 experimental grassland plots with different levels of plant diversity and based on a pool of over 50 plant species. Two pools of low molecular weight organic compounds, LMW1 and LMW2, were characterized by GC-MS and HPLC-DAD, respectively. These pools include specific organic acids, fatty acids and phenolics, with more organic acids in LMW1 and more phenolics in LMW2. Plant effect on the diversity of LMW1 and LMW2 compounds was strong and weak, respectively. LMW1 richness observed for bare soil was lower than that observed for all planted soils; and the richness of these soil compounds increased twofold when dominant plant species richness increased from 1 to 6. Comparing the richness of LMW1 compounds observed for a range of plant mixtures and for plant monocultures of species present in these mixtures, we showed that plant species richness increases the richness of these ESOC mainly through complementarity effects among plant species associated with contrasted spectra of soil compounds. This could explain previously reported effects of plant diversity on the diversity of soil heterotrophic microorganisms.

  20. The colour of plant reproduction: A macroecological perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin C. Burns

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Flowers and fruits are often vividly coloured. An obvious explanation for fruit and flower pigmentation is that it serves to attract animal mutualists. However, decades of research has produced surprising little support for this hypothesis. Exciting new research into geographic variation in flower colours suggests an alternative explanation - flower pigments protect gametes against the damaging effects of solar radiation. Here, I present several new analyses suggesting that a similar explanation might apply to Rubus spectabilis, a much studied but poorly understood bird-dispersed fruit species. These and other recent results provide a new perspective on the colour of plant reproduction. In addition to signalling to animals, fruit and flower colours might often play vital roles in protecting plants against the harmful effects of solar radiation.

  1. Plant species diversity in a changing agricultural landscape: the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Key words: Coffee plantation, plant species diversity, agroecosystem, vascular plants. Introduction. One of the ... Tbe livestock reared include cattle, goats, sheep, pigs and poultry. ... Assessment of trees, shrubs and grasses. Transects 500 m ...

  2. Effects of nectar-robbing on plant reproduction and evolution

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Yanwen; WANG Yong; GUO Youbao

    2007-01-01

    does not affect the fruit sets or seed sets of the hosting plant.Besides the direct impacts on plants,nectar robbers may also have an indirect effect on the behavior of the legitimate pollinators.Under some circumstances,the change in pollinator behavior could result in improved reproductive fitness of plants through increased pollen flow and out-crossing.

  3. 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.

  4. Analyses of Sexual Reproductive Success in Transgenic and/or Mutant Plants

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Cristiane P. G. Calixto; Gustavo H. Goldman; Maria Helena S. Goldman

    2009-01-01

    The pistil, the female reproductive organ of plants, is a key player in the success of sexual plant reproduction. Ultimately, the production of fruits and seeds depends on the proper pistil development and function. Therefore, the identification and characterization of pistil expressed genes is essential for a better understanding and manipulation of the plant reproduction process. For studying the function of pistil expressed genes, transgenic and/or mutant plants for the genes of interest are used. The present article provides a review of methods already exploited to analyze sexual reproductive success. We Intend to sup ply useful information and to guide future experiments in thestudy of genes affecting pistil development and function.

  5. [Research progress on plant diversity conservation in sand dune areas].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhi-min; Ma, Jun-ling

    2008-01-01

    The landscape in sand dune areas is characterized by the alternate distribution of sand dune and interdune lowland, and the unique floras in these areas are some endemic or rare plant species. In recent years, the decrease in plant species richness and the disappearance of some endemic or rare plant species in these areas have been received special attention, which were listed in the Program of International Biodiversity Conservation, and studied in many countries and districts. In this paper, the research progress in these fields was summarized from the aspects of significance of plant diversity conservation, formation mechanisms of plant diversity, ways of plant diversity conservation, roles of plant diversity research in the development of ecological theories, and important issues in operating plant diversity conservation project. To conserve plant diversity in sand dune areas, attentions should be paid to the differences in conservation goals (to maintain high species richness or to conserve endemic or rare species) among different regions, and the balances between the stabilization of active sand and the conservation of endemic or rare species, and the maintenance of high species richness and the conservation of endemic or rare species. It needed also to consider the sand dune and the interdune lowland as a unified landscape unit to explore the impacts of disturbances and habitat fragment on plant diversity.

  6. Diverse Functional Roles of Monosaccharide Transporters and their Homologs in Vascular Plants: A Physiological Perspective

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Thomas L. Slewinski

    2011-01-01

    Vascular plants contain two gene families that encode monosaccharide transporter proteins. The classical monosaccharide transporter(-like)gene superfamily is large and functionally diverse, while the recently identified SWEET transporter family is smaller and, thus far, only found to transport glucose. These transporters play essential roles at many levels, ranging from organelles to the whole plant. Many family members are essential for cellular homeostasis and re-productive success. Although most transporters do not directly participate in long-distance transport, their indirect roles greatly impact carbon allocation and transport flux to the heterotrophic tissues of the plant. Functional characterization of some members from both gene families has revealed their diverse roles in carbohydrate partitioning, phloem function,resource allocation, plant defense, and sugar signaling. This review highlights the broad impacts and implications of monosaccharide transport by describing some of the functional roles of the monosaccharide transporter(-like)superfamily and the SWEET transporter family.

  7. Effects of invasive plant species on pollinator service and reproduction in native plants at Acadia National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stubbs, C.J.; Drummond, F.; Ginsberg, H.

    2007-01-01

    Invasive plant species can have profound negative effects on natural communities by competively excluding native species. Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry), Frangula alnus (glossy or alder buckthorn) and Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) are invasive species known to reduce native plant diversity and are thus of great concern to Acadia National Park. Pollinators visit them for nectar and pollen. The effects of invasive plant species on pollinator behavior were investigated by comparing pollinator visitation to co-flowering native and invasive species with visitation to native species growing alone. The effect of invasives on pollination of native plants was studied by comparing fruit set in patches of the native species growing near invasives with patches far from invasive species in Acadia National Park. The coflowering pairs were as follows: in the spring native Vaccinium angustifolium (lowbush blueberry) was paired with B. thunbergii; in early summer native Viburnum nudum (wild raisin) was paired with F. alnus ; in late summer native Spiraea alba (meadowsweet) was paired with L. salicaria. We investigated whether these invasives competed with native plants for pollinators in Acadia and thus negatively affected native plant reproduction. Our objectives were to determine: 1) the influence, if any, of each invasive on pollinator visitation to a co-flowering native species, 2) factors that might affect visitation, 3) invasive pollen transfer to native plants, and 4) whether invasives influence native plant reproduction (fruit set). Our findings indicate that at times the number of flower visitors to natives was lower or the species composition of visitors different when invasives were present, that invasives sometimes attracted more pollinators, that generally the invasives were more rewarding as far as nectar and pollen availability for pollinators, and that generally native plant fruit set and seed set was not significantly lowered in the presence of

  8. Drivers of carabid functional diversity: abiotic environment, plant functional traits, or plant functional diversity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pakeman, Robin J; Stockan, Jenni A

    2014-05-01

    Understanding how community assembly is controlled by the balance of abiotic drivers (environment or management) and biotic drivers (community composition of other groups) is important in predicting the response of ecosystems to environmental change. If there are strong links between plant assemblage structure and carabid beetle functional traits and functional diversity, then it is possible to predict the impact of environmental change propagating through different functional and trophic groups. Vegetation and pitfall trap beetle surveys were carried out across twenty four sites contrasting in land use, and hence productivity and disturbance regime. Plant functional traits were very successful at explaining the distribution of carabid functional traits across the habitats studied. Key carabid response traits appeared to be body length and wing type. Carabid functional richness was significantly smaller than expected, indicating strong environmental filtering, modulated by management, soil characteristics, and by plant response traits. Carabid functional divergence was negatively related to plant functional evenness, while carabid functional evenness was positively correlated to plant functional evenness and richness. The study shows that there are clear trait linkages between the plant and the carabid assemblage that act not only through the mean traits displayed, but also via their distribution in trait space; powerful evidence that both the mean and variance of traits in one trophic group structure the assemblage of another.

  9. Understanding crop genetic diversity under modern plant breeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Yong-Bi

    2015-11-01

    Maximizing crop yield while at the same time minimizing crop failure for sustainable agriculture requires a better understanding of the impacts of plant breeding on crop genetic diversity. This review identifies knowledge gaps and shows the need for more research into genetic diversity changes under plant breeding. Modern plant breeding has made a profound impact on food production and will continue to play a vital role in world food security. For sustainable agriculture, a compromise should be sought between maximizing crop yield under changing climate and minimizing crop failure under unfavorable conditions. Such a compromise requires better understanding of the impacts of plant breeding on crop genetic diversity. Efforts have been made over the last three decades to assess crop genetic diversity using molecular marker technologies. However, these assessments have revealed some temporal diversity patterns that are largely inconsistent with our perception that modern plant breeding reduces crop genetic diversity. An attempt was made in this review to explain such discrepancies by examining empirical assessments of crop genetic diversity and theoretical investigations of genetic diversity changes over time under artificial selection. It was found that many crop genetic diversity assessments were not designed to assess diversity impacts from specific plant breeding programs, while others were experimentally inadequate and contained technical biases from the sampling of cultivars and genomes. Little attention has been paid to theoretical investigations on crop genetic diversity changes from plant breeding. A computer simulation of five simplified breeding schemes showed the substantial effects of plant breeding on the retention of heterozygosity over generations. It is clear that more efforts are needed to investigate crop genetic diversity in space and time under plant breeding to achieve sustainable crop production.

  10. Resilience of Amazon forests emerges from plant trait diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakschewski, Boris; von Bloh, Werner; Boit, Alice; Poorter, Lourens; Peña-Claros, Marielos; Heinke, Jens; Joshi, Jasmin; Thonicke, Kirsten

    2016-11-01

    Climate change threatens ecosystems worldwide, yet their potential future resilience remains largely unquantified. In recent years many studies have shown that biodiversity, and in particular functional diversity, can enhance ecosystem resilience by providing a higher response diversity. So far these insights have been mostly neglected in large-scale projections of ecosystem responses to climate change. Here we show that plant trait diversity, as a key component of functional diversity, can have a strikingly positive effect on the Amazon forests' biomass under future climate change. Using a terrestrial biogeochemical model that simulates diverse forest communities on the basis of individual tree growth, we show that plant trait diversity may enable the Amazon forests to adjust to new climate conditions via a process of ecological sorting, protecting the Amazon's carbon sink function. Therefore, plant trait diversity, and biodiversity in general, should be considered in large-scale ecosystem projections and be included as an integral part of climate change research and policy.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Kane R

    2014-12-01

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

  12. Diversity and distribution of higher plants in Yunnan, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Chen

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Yunnan Province is a biodiversity hotspot in China that has global significance. In order to further recognize and protect the biodiversity of Yunnan, we examined the basic distributional pattern of its plant diversity based on Flora Yunnanica. According to our analysis, Northwest Yunnan had the highest plant diversity, with Yulong County the most diverse, containing 4,358 species of higher plants, followed by Gongshan County and Xianggelila County, which had 3,981 and 3,874 higher plants respectively. The tropical edge region of southern Yunnan, represented by Xishuangbanna, had the second highest level of diversity, with Mengla County and Jinghong County containing more than 3,000 higher plant species. In contrast, the plant diversity of Eastern and Central Yunnan, comprising mainly the Yunnan Plateau, was deemed relatively poor, possibly reflecting lower attention and field surveys by botanists. Both the distribution patterns of endemic and narrow-ranging species were similar to that for all plants. Yunnan contains 4,008 endemic and 4,509 narrow-ranging species with Gongshan County being most diverse, having more than 500 narrow-ranging species. Most species (64.1% were distributed in less than five counties in Yunnan, and 46.0% could only be found in one. Our analysis reveals that previous field surveys of Yunnan’s plant diversity did not fully reflect the natural zonal regularity and consequently further investigation is warranted. Some narrow-ranging species will be endangered without protection.

  13. Cotton Flowers: Pollen and Petal Humidity Sensitivities Determine Reproductive Competitiveness in Diverse Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genetic diversity in reproductive abiotic stress tolerance has been reported for cotton [Gossypium hirsutum (L.)] based upon the percentage of anther dehiscence of mature pollen in adverse environments. This study investigated the abiotic stress tolerance of mature pollen and identified genetic vari...

  14. Plant Reproduction and the Pollen Tube Journey--How the Females Lure the Males

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorbiecke, Rene

    2012-01-01

    The growth of pollen tubes is one of the most characteristic events in angiosperm reproduction. This article describes an activity for visualizing the journey and guidance of pollen tubes in the reproductive structures of a flowering plant. The activity uses a semi-in vivo system with rapid-cycling "Brassica rapa," also known as Fast Plants.…

  15. Plant Reproduction and the Pollen Tube Journey--How the Females Lure the Males

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorbiecke, Rene

    2012-01-01

    The growth of pollen tubes is one of the most characteristic events in angiosperm reproduction. This article describes an activity for visualizing the journey and guidance of pollen tubes in the reproductive structures of a flowering plant. The activity uses a semi-in vivo system with rapid-cycling "Brassica rapa," also known as Fast Plants.…

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Reproductive biology of the biofuel plant Jatropha curcas in its center of origin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Rincón-Rabanales

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available In this work, we studied the main characteristics of flowering, reproductive system and diversity of pollinators for the biofuel plant Jatropha curcas (L. in a site of tropical southeastern Mexico, within its center of origin. The plants were monoecious with inflorescences of unisexual flowers. The male flowers produced from 3062–5016 pollen grains (266–647 per anther. The plants produced fruits with both geitonogamy and xenogamy, although insect pollination significantly increased the number and quality of fruits. A high diversity of flower visiting insects (36 species was found, of which nine were classified as efficient pollinators. The native stingless bees Scaptotrigona mexicana (Guérin-Meneville and Trigona (Tetragonisca angustula (Latreille were the most frequent visitors and their presence coincided with the hours when the stigma was receptive. It is noteworthy that the female flowers open before the male flowers, favoring xenogamy, which may explain the high genetic variability reported in J. curcas for this region of the world.

  18. Optimizing reproductive phenology in a two-resource world: a dynamic allocation model of plant growth predicts later reproduction in phosphorus-limited plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nord, Eric A.; Shea, Katriona; Lynch, Jonathan P.

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims Timing of reproduction is a key life-history trait that is regulated by resource availability. Delayed reproduction in soils with low phosphorus availability is common among annuals, in contrast to the accelerated reproduction typical of other low-nutrient environments. It is hypothesized that this anomalous response arises from the high marginal value of additional allocation to root growth caused by the low mobility of phosphorus in soils. Methods To better understand the benefits and costs of such delayed reproduction, a two-resource dynamic allocation model of plant growth and reproduction is presented. The model incorporates growth, respiration, and carbon and phosphorus acquisition of both root and shoot tissue, and considers the reallocation of resources from senescent leaves. The model is parameterized with data from Arabidopsis and the optimal reproductive phenology is explored in a range of environments. Key Results The model predicts delayed reproduction in low-phosphorus environments. Reproductive timing in low-phosphorus environments is quite sensitive to phosphorus mobility, but is less sensitive to the temporal distribution of mortality risks. In low-phosphorus environments, the relative metabolic cost of roots was greater, and reproductive allocation reduced, compared with high-phosphorus conditions. The model suggests that delayed reproduction in response to low phosphorus availability may be reduced in plants adapted to environments where phosphorus mobility is greater. Conclusions Delayed reproduction in low-phosphorus soils can be a beneficial response allowing for increased acquisition and utilization of phosphorus. This finding has implications both for efforts to breed crops for low-phosphorus soils, and for efforts to understand how climate change may impact plant growth and productivity in low-phosphorus environments. PMID:21712299

  19. Phylogenetic evidence for Miocene origin of Mediterranean lineages: species diversity, reproductive traits and geography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas, Pablo; Fernández-Mazuecos, Mario; Heleno, Ruben

    2017-09-11

    A review of 27 species-rich and species-poor plant clades (26 genera) of angiosperms of the Mediterranean floristic region was performed considering phylogenetic and biological data. The emergent pattern is that a majority of the Mediterranean plant clades split from their sister groups between the Miocene (23-5 Ma) and the Oligocene (40-23 Ma), far earlier than the historically proposed onset of the Mediterranean climate (c. 3.2 Ma). In addition, 12 clades of the species-poor group (14 clades) have stem ages inferred for each clade in the Miocene or older, and six clades within the species-rich group (13 clades) show divergence of each stem clade within the Oligocene and/or Miocene. High levels of species diversity may be related not only to an ancient (Paleocene-Miocene) origin but also to recent origin (Pliocene-Pleistocene) followed by active speciation and even explosive radiations - i.e. many species and lineages generated in a short period of time - in some Mediterranean clades (Aquilegia, Cistus, Dianthus, Linaria sect. Supinae, Reseda). In the species-rich group, reproductive key characters were found to be significantly more important for species recognition than vegetative key characters in eight clades, but no difference was found in four clades, and vegetative characters were predominant in one clade (Saxifraga). Geographical differentiation is proposed as predominant over divergence driven by pollination ecology.. We hypothesize an evolutionary process in which lineages adapted to pre-Mediterranean (pre-Pliocene) conditions in relatively small, xeric areas became strongly competitive and expanded when the Mediterranean climate became dominant (Pliocene-Quaternary) across the whole Mediterranean basin. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  20. Plant diversity effects on root decomposition in grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Hongmei; Mommer, Liesje; van Ruijven, Jasper; de Kroon, Hans; Gessler, Arthur; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Wirth, Christian; Weigelt, Alexandra

    2016-04-01

    Loss of plant diversity impairs ecosystem functioning. Compared to other well-studied processes, we know little about whether and how plant diversity affects root decomposition, which is limiting our knowledge on biodiversity-carbon cycling relationships in the soil. Plant diversity potentially affects root decomposition via two non-exclusive mechanisms: by providing roots of different substrate quality and/or by altering the soil decomposition environment. To disentangle these two mechanisms, three decomposition experiments using a litter-bag approach were conducted on experimental grassland plots differing in plant species richness, functional group richness and functional group composition (e.g. presence/absence of grasses, legumes, small herbs and tall herbs, the Jena Experiment). We studied: 1) root substrate quality effects by decomposing roots collected from the different experimental plant communities in one common plot; 2) soil decomposition environment effects by decomposing standard roots in all experimental plots; and 3) the overall plant diversity effects by decomposing community roots in their 'home' plots. Litter bags were installed in April 2014 and retrieved after 1, 2 and 4 months to determine the mass loss. We found that mass loss decreased with increasing plant species richness, but not with functional group richness in the three experiments. However, functional group presence significantly affected mass loss with primarily negative effects of the presence of grasses and positive effects of the presence of legumes and small herbs. Our results thus provide clear evidence that species richness has a strong negative effect on root decomposition via effects on both root substrate quality and soil decomposition environment. This negative plant diversity-root decomposition relationship may partly account for the positive effect of plant diversity on soil C stocks by reducing C loss in addition to increasing primary root productivity. However, to fully

  1. Positive interactions between herbivores and plant diversity shape forest regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook-Patton, Susan C; LaForgia, Marina; Parker, John D

    2014-05-22

    The effects of herbivores and diversity on plant communities have been studied separately but rarely in combination. We conducted two concurrent experiments over 3 years to examine how tree seedling diversity, density and herbivory affected forest regeneration. One experiment factorially manipulated plant diversity (one versus 15 species) and the presence/absence of deer (Odocoileus virginianus). We found that mixtures outperformed monocultures only in the presence of deer. Selective browsing on competitive dominants and associational protection from less palatable species appear responsible for this herbivore-driven diversity effect. The other experiment manipulated monospecific plant density and found little evidence for negative density dependence. Combined, these experiments suggest that the higher performance in mixture was owing to the acquisition of positive interspecific interactions rather than the loss of negative intraspecific interactions. Overall, we emphasize that realistic predictions about the consequences of changing biodiversity will require a deeper understanding of the interaction between plant diversity and higher trophic levels. If we had manipulated only plant diversity, we would have missed an important positive interaction across trophic levels: diverse seedling communities better resist herbivores, and herbivores help to maintain seedling diversity.

  2. The unmanaged reproductive ecology of domesticated plants in traditional agroecosystems: An example involving cassavaand a call for data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elias, Marianne; McKey, Doyle

    2000-05-01

    Although cassava is a strictly vegetatively propagated crop, in many traditional Amazonian agroecosystems, Amerindian farmers recognise volunteer seedlings of cassava and allow them to grow. If their properties are deemed desirable, plants originating from seedlings are included in the harvest of tuberous roots, and their stems are used to prepare cuttings for propagation. Incorporation of these products of spontaneous sexual reproduction appears to be important in origin and maintenance of genetic diversity in this clonally propagated plant. Our observations conducted in an Amerindian village in Guyana suggest that volunteer seedlings arise from a bank of viable seeds stored in soil, and that dispersal and burial of seeds by ants may be important in its constitution. Future investigations of the dynamics of genetic diversity in this crop in traditional agroecosystems must consider the role of the 'wild' sexual reproduction that occurs in parallel with vegetative propagation. We suggest that unmanaged processes of sexual reproduction play important but neglected roles in the evolutionary ecology of many domesticated plants in traditional agroecosystems.

  3. Distribution and diversity of climbing plants in temperate East Asia

    OpenAIRE

    Liang Hu

    2011-01-01

    The composition and geographic distribution of climbing plants are important aspects of ecological study, but research on temperate climbing plants is relatively limited. We compared the family and genera- level composition, floristic element type, growth forms, diversity and geographical distribution of climbing plants in nine districts of temperate East Asia, including Northeast China, Japan, Mongolia and the Korean Peninsula. A total of 304 climbing plant species were documented, belonging...

  4. Changes in tree reproductive traits reduce functional diversity in a fragmented Atlantic forest landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciana Coe Girão

    Full Text Available Functional diversity has been postulated to be critical for the maintenance of ecosystem functioning, but the way it can be disrupted by human-related disturbances remains poorly investigated. Here we test the hypothesis that habitat fragmentation changes the relative contribution of tree species within categories of reproductive traits (frequency of traits and reduces the functional diversity of tree assemblages. The study was carried out in an old and severely fragmented landscape of the Brazilian Atlantic forest. We used published information and field observations to obtain the frequency of tree species and individuals within 50 categories of reproductive traits (distributed in four major classes: pollination systems, floral biology, sexual systems, and reproductive systems in 10 fragments and 10 tracts of forest interior (control plots. As hypothesized, populations in fragments and control plots differed substantially in the representation of the four major classes of reproductive traits (more than 50% of the categories investigated. The most conspicuous differences were the lack of three pollination systems in fragments--pollination by birds, flies and non-flying mammals--and that fragments had a higher frequency of both species and individuals pollinated by generalist vectors. Hermaphroditic species predominate in both habitats, although their relative abundances were higher in fragments. On the contrary, self-incompatible species were underrepresented in fragments. Moreover, fragments showed lower functional diversity (H' scores for pollination systems (-30.3%, floral types (-23.6%, and floral sizes (-20.8% in comparison to control plots. In contrast to the overwhelming effect of fragmentation, patch and landscape metrics such as patch size and forest cover played a minor role on the frequency of traits. Our results suggest that habitat fragmentation promotes a marked shift in the relative abundance of tree reproductive traits and

  5. Probiotic Diversity Enhances Rhizosphere Microbiome Function and Plant Disease Suppression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie Hu

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial communities associated with plant roots play an important role in the suppression of soil-borne pathogens, and multispecies probiotic consortia may enhance disease suppression efficacy. Here we introduced defined Pseudomonas species consortia into naturally complex microbial communities and measured the importance of Pseudomonas community diversity for their survival and the suppression of the bacterial plant pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum in the tomato rhizosphere microbiome. The survival of introduced Pseudomonas consortia increased with increasing diversity. Further, high Pseudomonas diversity reduced pathogen density in the rhizosphere and decreased the disease incidence due to both intensified resource competition and interference with the pathogen. These results provide novel mechanistic insights into elevated pathogen suppression by diverse probiotic consortia in naturally diverse plant rhizospheres. Ecologically based community assembly rules could thus play a key role in engineering functionally reliable microbiome applications.

  6. Phenological change in a spring ephemeral: implications for pollination and plant reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gezon, Zachariah J; Inouye, David W; Irwin, Rebecca E

    2016-05-01

    Climate change has had numerous ecological effects, including species range shifts and altered phenology. Altering flowering phenology often affects plant reproduction, but the mechanisms behind these changes are not well-understood. To investigate why altering flowering phenology affects plant reproduction, we manipulated flowering phenology of the spring herb Claytonia lanceolata (Portulacaceae) using two methods: in 2011-2013 by altering snow pack (snow-removal vs. control treatments), and in 2013 by inducing flowering in a greenhouse before placing plants in experimental outdoor arrays (early, control, and late treatments). We measured flowering phenology, pollinator visitation, plant reproduction (fruit and seed set), and pollen limitation. Flowering occurred approx. 10 days earlier in snow-removal than control plots during all years of snow manipulation. Pollinator visitation patterns and strength of pollen limitation varied with snow treatments, and among years. Plants in the snow removal treatment were more likely to experience frost damage, and frost-damaged plants suffered low reproduction despite lack of pollen limitation. Plants in the snow removal treatment that escaped frost damage had higher pollinator visitation rates and reproduction than controls. The results of the array experiment supported the results of the snow manipulations. Plants in the early and late treatments suffered very low reproduction due either to severe frost damage (early treatment) or low pollinator visitation (late treatment) relative to control plants. Thus, plants face tradeoffs with advanced flowering time. While early-flowering plants can reap the benefits of enhanced pollination services, they do so at the cost of increased susceptibility to frost damage that can overwhelm any benefit of flowering early. In contrast, delayed flowering results in dramatic reductions in plant reproduction through reduced pollination. Our results suggest that climate change may constrain the

  7. Benefits of increasing plant diversity in sustainable agroecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recent studies have revealed many potential benefits of increasing plant diversity in agroecosystems and production forests, including enhancing yields of crops, forage, and wood; stabilizing yields across time and space; enhancing pollinators and pollination; suppressing weeds and other pests; and ...

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

    OpenAIRE

    SHIVANAND BHAT; M. JAYAKARA BHANDARY; L. Rajanna

    2014-01-01

    Bhat S, Bhandary MJ, Rajanna L. 2014. Plant diversity in the homegardens of Karwar, Karnataka, India. Biodiversitas 15: 229-235. A study was conducted in 50 selected home gardens of Karwar, Karnataka, India to document their floristic diversity and composition with regard to life forms and uses. As many as 210 species of flowering plants belonging to 69 families were recorded. Euphorbiaceae (13species), Apocynaceae (11spp.), Cucurbitaceae (10 spp.) and Fabaceae (10 spp.) are the predominant f...

  9. Coevolution can explain defensive secondary metabolite diversity in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speed, Michael P; Fenton, Andy; Jones, Meriel G; Ruxton, Graeme D; Brockhurst, Michael A

    2015-12-01

    Many plant species produce defensive compounds that are often highly diverse within and between populations. The genetic and cellular mechanisms by which metabolite diversity is produced are increasingly understood, but the evolutionary explanations for persistent diversification in plant secondary metabolites have received less attention. Here we consider the role of plant-herbivore coevolution in the maintenance and characteristics of diversity in plant secondary metabolites. We present a simple model in which plants can evolve to invest in a range of defensive toxins, and herbivores can evolve resistance to these toxins. We allow either single-species evolution or reciprocal coevolution. Our model shows that coevolution maintains toxin diversity within populations. Furthermore, there is a fundamental coevolutionary asymmetry between plants and their herbivores, because herbivores must resist all plant toxins, whereas plants need to challenge and nullify only one resistance trait. As a consequence, average plant fitness increases and insect fitness decreases as number of toxins increases. When costs apply, the model showed both arms race escalation and strong coevolutionary fluctuation in toxin concentrations across time. We discuss the results in the context of other evolutionary explanations for secondary metabolite diversification.

  10. Management intensity and topography determined plant diversity in vineyards.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juri Nascimbene

    Full Text Available Vineyards are amongst the most intensive forms of agriculture often resulting in simplified landscapes where semi-natural vegetation is restricted to small scattered patches. However, a tendency toward a more sustainable management is stimulating research on biodiversity in these poorly investigated agro-ecosystems. The main aim of this study was to test the effect on plant diversity of management intensity and topography in vineyards located in a homogenous intensive hilly landscape. Specifically, this study evaluated the role of slope, mowing and herbicide treatments frequency, and nitrogen supply in shaping plant diversity and composition of life-history traits. The study was carried out in 25 vineyards located in the area of the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene DOCG (Veneto, NE Italy. In each vineyard, 10 plots were placed and the abundance of all vascular plants was recorded in each plot. Linear multiple regression was used to test the effect of management and topography on plant diversity. Management intensity and topography were both relevant drivers of plant species diversity patterns in our vineyards. The two most important factors were slope and mowing frequency that respectively yielded positive and negative effects on plant diversity. A significant interaction between these two factors was also demonstrated, warning against the detrimental effects of increasing mowing intensity on steep slope where plant communities are more diverse. The response of plant communities to mowing frequency is mediated by a process of selection of resistant growth forms, such in the case of rosulate and reptant species. The other two management-related factors tested in this study, number of herbicide treatments and N fertilization, were less influential. In general, our study corroborates the idea that some simple changes in farming activities, which are compatible with grape production, should be encouraged for improving the natural and cultural value of the

  11. Management intensity and topography determined plant diversity in vineyards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nascimbene, Juri; Marini, Lorenzo; Ivan, Diego; Zottini, Michela

    2013-01-01

    Vineyards are amongst the most intensive forms of agriculture often resulting in simplified landscapes where semi-natural vegetation is restricted to small scattered patches. However, a tendency toward a more sustainable management is stimulating research on biodiversity in these poorly investigated agro-ecosystems. The main aim of this study was to test the effect on plant diversity of management intensity and topography in vineyards located in a homogenous intensive hilly landscape. Specifically, this study evaluated the role of slope, mowing and herbicide treatments frequency, and nitrogen supply in shaping plant diversity and composition of life-history traits. The study was carried out in 25 vineyards located in the area of the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene DOCG (Veneto, NE Italy). In each vineyard, 10 plots were placed and the abundance of all vascular plants was recorded in each plot. Linear multiple regression was used to test the effect of management and topography on plant diversity. Management intensity and topography were both relevant drivers of plant species diversity patterns in our vineyards. The two most important factors were slope and mowing frequency that respectively yielded positive and negative effects on plant diversity. A significant interaction between these two factors was also demonstrated, warning against the detrimental effects of increasing mowing intensity on steep slope where plant communities are more diverse. The response of plant communities to mowing frequency is mediated by a process of selection of resistant growth forms, such in the case of rosulate and reptant species. The other two management-related factors tested in this study, number of herbicide treatments and N fertilization, were less influential. In general, our study corroborates the idea that some simple changes in farming activities, which are compatible with grape production, should be encouraged for improving the natural and cultural value of the landscape by

  12. Diversity of reproduction rate supports cooperation in the prisoner's dilemma game on complex networks

    CERN Document Server

    Szolnoki, A; Szabó, G

    2008-01-01

    In human societies the probability of strategy adoption from a given person may be affected by the personal features. Now we investigate how an artificially imposed restricted ability to reproduce, overruling ones fitness, affects an evolutionary process. For this purpose we employ the evolutionary prisoner's dilemma game on different complex graphs. Reproduction restrictions can have a facilitative effect on the evolution of cooperation that sets in irrespective of particularities of the interaction network. Indeed, an appropriate fraction of less fertile individuals may lead to full supremacy of cooperators where otherwise defection would be widespread. By studying cooperation levels within the group of individuals having full reproduction capabilities, we reveal that the recent mechanism for the promotion of cooperation is conceptually similar to the one reported previously for scale-free networks. Our results suggest that the diversity in the reproduction capability, related to inherently different attitu...

  13. Diversity of reproduction rate supports cooperation in the prisoner's dilemma game on complex networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szolnoki, A.; Perc, M.; Szabó, G.

    2008-02-01

    In human societies the probability of strategy adoption from a given person may be affected by the personal features. Now we investigate how an artificially imposed restricted ability to reproduce, overruling ones fitness, affects an evolutionary process. For this purpose we employ the evolutionary prisoner's dilemma game on different complex graphs. Reproduction restrictions can have a facilitative effect on the evolution of cooperation that sets in irrespective of particularities of the interaction network. Indeed, an appropriate fraction of less fertile individuals may lead to full supremacy of cooperators where otherwise defection would be widespread. By studying cooperation levels within the group of individuals having full reproduction capabilities, we reveal that the recent mechanism for the promotion of cooperation is conceptually similar to the one reported previously for scale-free networks. Our results suggest that the diversity in the reproduction capability, related to inherently different attitudes of individuals, can enforce the emergence of cooperative behavior among selfish competitors.

  14. Relationship between Soil Properties and Plant Diversity in Semiarid Grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melda Dölarslan

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available In ecological studies, soil-plant interaction is an important environmental factor. Soil chemical and physical properties affect plant richness and diversity. This study was carried out to investigate the relationship between soil physical and chemical properties, and plant diversity indexes (Shannon-Weiner and Simpson in semiarid grassland. Plant diversity indexes and soil properties were determined using 34 quadrats (5x5m on different parent materials (chrome, marble, serpentine, red chalk and red chalk mostra in semiarid grasslands in the Central Anatolia Region in Turkey. Plant samples were collected and recorded periodically from April to September (the vegetation period in 2014 for each quadrat. In order to determine the plant richness and diversity indexes, 3 sub-quadrats (1x1m were randomly added into each of 34 (5x5 m quadrats. To evaluate the relationship between plant diversity indexes and soil properties, composite soil samples were collected from the four corners, and the center of each quadrat 0-30 cm in depth, and which was mixing of those subsamples. Soil sand-silt-clay contents, soil reaction (pH, bulk density (BD, electrical conductivity (EC, CaCO3 and soil organic matter (SOM contents were measured. Relationship between plant diversity indexes measured in different months during vegetation period and soil properties of different parent material was statistically analysed using correlation analysis in SPSS 20.0. Modest correlation coefficient was found between the Simpson diversity index and SOM content, sand-silt-clay content, pH and EC for different months in vegetation period.

  15. Genetic diversity and multiple introductions of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome viruses in Thailand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thanawonguwech Roongroje

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV is prevalent in Thailand, causing a huge impact on the country's swine industry. Yet the diversity and origin of these Thai PRRSVs remained vague. In this context, we collected all the Thai PRRSV sequences described earlier and incorporated them into the global diversity. The results indicated that PRRSVs in Thailand were originated from multiple introductions involving both Type 1 and Type 2 PRRSVs. Many of the introductions were followed by extensive geographic expansion, causing regional co-circulation of diverse PRRSV variants in three major pig-producing provinces. Based on these results, we suggest (1 to avoid blind vaccination and to apply vaccines tailor-made for target diversity, (2 to monitor pig importation and transportation, and (3 to implement a better biosecurity to reduce horizontal transmissions as three potentially effective strategies of controlling PRRS in Thailand.

  16. 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 le

  17. Evolution of plant reproduction: From fusion and dispersal to interaction and communication

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WILLEMSE Michiel T M

    2009-01-01

    Based on the existing data concerning the evolution of the sexual reproduction, it is argued that the processes of sex differentiation and interactions play a key role in evolution. From the beginning environment and organism are unified. In a changing dynamic environment life originates and the interaction between life and environment develops from simple to more complex organisms. Sexual reproduction is introduced after the origin of meiosis and is a key process in evolution. The asexual reproduction process prepares to dispersal. Sexual reproduction process adds the genome renewal and the gamete-gamete interaction. Reproduction and dispersal are connected and the process of reproduction has similarities between asexual and sexual reproduction. Unicellular algae develop the physiological and morphological sex differentiation. Sex differentiation is connected with the way of dispersal. The step to multicellular plants introduces cell isolation after meiosis and by the stay on the mother plant within a cell or organ, plant-cell apoplastic interaction originates and by prolonged stay the plant-plant interaction. This stay influences the type of dispersal. A life cycle with alternation of generations and two moments of dispersal permits plants to go on land. In ferns a shift in the moment of sex differentiation to meiospore happens and the stay of the macrospore leads to the seed plants. In water all types of sexual reproduction, interactions and the alternation of generations are prepared and these are used to conquest land. On land the biotic dispersal is realized. The phylogeny of sexual reproduction reveals that the sex differentiation and interaction are the main causes in the evolution of sexual reproduction. Sexual reproduction shows interactions during gamete fusion, between organism and environment and in multicellular plants between organisms. With respect to other types of interaction as in symbiosis or the nutrient chain, interaction is considered as an

  18. Diversity and bioprospecting of actinomycete endophytes from the medicinal plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nalini, M S; Prakash, H S

    2017-04-01

    The endophytic actinomycetes constitute one of the fascinating group of microorganisms associated with a wide range of plant species. The diversity of actinomycetes in plants and their tissue parts is a matter of debate as no consensus are derived between individual studies. Nevertheless, their diversity correlates with the occurrence in plant species harboured in unique regions of biologically diverse areas called "hot spots." Recent advances in the isolation techniques have facilitated the isolation of rare taxa from these environments. The biosynthetic ability of the endophytic actinomycetes has proven beyond doubt that these organisms have the potential to synthesize an array of compounds with novelty in structure and bioactivity and as a result are preferred in the natural product screening programs. In the years to come, the scientific world may await to discover many more novel actinomycete taxa with metabolic diversity and applications in therapeutics.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lekberg, Ylva; Gibbons, Sean; Rosendahl, Søren;

    2013-01-01

    Invasions by non-native plants can alter ecosystem functions and reduce native plant diversity, but relatively little is known about their effect on belowground microbial communities. We show that invasions by knapweed (Centaurea stoebe) and leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula, hereafter spurge)-but no...... plant provenance.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 14 March 2013; doi:10.1038/ismej.2013.41....

  20. Diversity and use of ethnomedicinal plants in coastal Karnataka, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. JAYAKARA BHANDARY

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Bhandary MJ, Chandrashekar KR. 2014. Diversity and use of ethnomedicinal plants in coastal Karnataka, India. Biodiversitas 15: 89-93. A study was undertaken in Coastal Karnataka, a culturally and floristically diverse region between the Western Ghats and the Arabian sea in India, to document the diversity and uses of ethnomedicinal plants of the area. This study resulted in the documentation of ethnomedicinal uses of 342 species of plants belonging to 34 families. The dominant families of ethnomedicinal plants were: Fabaceae (38 species, Euphorbiaceae (22 species, Rubiaceae (11 species, Acanthaceae, Asteraceae, Apocynaceae and Rutaceae (10 species each. Among the plants used, 30% are herbs, 27% trees, 25% climbers and 18% shrubs. Majority of the plants are used against several diseases, either alone or in combination with other plants. The most popular medicinal plants, in terms of the number of diseases against which they are used, are Cyclea peltata, Aristolochia indica, Cuminum cyminum, Curcuma longa, Tamarindus indica, Asparagus racemosus, Ficus racemosa, Hemidesmus indicus, Ficus religiosa, Calotropis gigantea, Vitex negundo, Aegle marmelos and Leucas aspera. A list of 50 important ethnomedicinal plants of the region which are used in the treatment of 5 or more disorders is provided.

  1. Accelerating global access to plant diversity information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lughadha, Eimear Nic; Miller, Chuck

    2009-11-01

    Botanic gardens play key roles in the development and dissemination of plant information resources. Drivers for change have included progress in information technology, growing public expectations of electronic access and international conservation policy. Great advances have been made in the quantity, quality and accessibility of plant information in digital form and the extent to which information from multiple providers can be accessed through a single portal. However, significant challenges remain to be addressed in making botanic gardens resources maximally accessible and impactful, not least the overwhelming volume of material which still awaits digitisation. The year 2010 represents an opportunity for botanic gardens to showcase their collaborative achievements in delivery of electronic plant information and reinforce their relevance to pressing environmental issues.

  2. Effect of exposure to wastewater treatment plant effluent on fathead minnow reproduction

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — Adult fathead minnows were exposed to dilutions of a historically estrogenic wastewater treatment plant effluent in a 21-d reproduction study. This dataset is...

  3. The importance of pollinator generalization and abundance for the reproductive success of a generalist plant.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Belén Maldonado

    Full Text Available Previous studies have examined separately how pollinator generalization and abundance influence plant reproductive success, but none so far has evaluated simultaneously the relative importance of these pollinator attributes. Here we evaluated the extent to which pollinator generalization and abundance influence plant reproductive success per visit and at the population level on a generalist plant, Opuntia sulphurea (Cactaceae. We used field experiments and path analysis to evaluate whether the per-visit effect is determined by the pollinator's degree of generalization, and whether the population level effect (pollinator impact is determined by the pollinator's degree of generalization and abundance. Based on the models we tested, we concluded that the per-visit effect of a pollinator on plant reproduction was not determined by the pollinators' degree of generalization, while the population-level impact of a pollinator on plant reproduction was mainly determined by the pollinators' degree of generalization. Thus, generalist pollinators have the greatest species impact on pollination and reproductive success of O. sulphurea. According to our analysis this greatest impact of generalist pollinators may be partly explained by pollinator abundance. However, as abundance does not suffice as an explanation of pollinator impact, we suggest that vagility, need for resource consumption, and energetic efficiency of generalist pollinators may also contribute to determine a pollinator's impact on plant reproduction.

  4. Scale-dependent feedbacks between patch size and plant reproduction in desert grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svejcar, Lauren N.; Bestelmeyer, Brandon T.; Duniway, Michael C.; James, Darren K.

    2015-01-01

    Theoretical models suggest that scale-dependent feedbacks between plant reproductive success and plant patch size govern transitions from highly to sparsely vegetated states in drylands, yet there is scant empirical evidence for these mechanisms. Scale-dependent feedback models suggest that an optimal patch size exists for growth and reproduction of plants and that a threshold patch organization exists below which positive feedbacks between vegetation and resources can break down, leading to critical transitions. We examined the relationship between patch size and plant reproduction using an experiment in a Chihuahuan Desert grassland. We tested the hypothesis that reproductive effort and success of a dominant grass (Bouteloua eriopoda) would vary predictably with patch size. We found that focal plants in medium-sized patches featured higher rates of grass reproductive success than when plants occupied either large patch interiors or small patches. These patterns support the existence of scale-dependent feedbacks in Chihuahuan Desert grasslands and indicate an optimal patch size for reproductive effort and success in B. eriopoda. We discuss the implications of these results for detecting ecological thresholds in desert grasslands.

  5. Universality and diversity in the signal transduction pathway that regulates seasonal reproduction in vertebrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yusuke eNakane

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Most vertebrates living outside the tropical zone show robust physiological responses in response to seasonal changes in photoperiod, such as seasonal reproduction, molt, and migration. The highly sophisticated photoperiodic mechanism in Japanese quail has been used to uncover the mechanism of seasonal reproduction. Molecular analysis of quail mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH revealed that local thyroid hormone activation within the MBH plays a critical role in the photoperiodic response of gonads. This activation is accomplished by two gene switches: thyroid hormone-activating (DIO2 and thyroid hormone-inactivating enzymes (DIO3. Functional genomics studies have shown that long-day induced thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH in the pars tuberalis (PT of the pituitary gland regulates DIO2/3 switching. In birds, light information received directly by deep brain photoreceptors regulates PT TSH. Recent studies demonstrated that Opsin 5-positive cerebrospinal fluid (CSF-contacting neurons are deep brain photoreceptors that regulate avian seasonal reproduction. Although the involvement of TSH and DIO2/3 in seasonal reproduction has been confirmed in various mammals, the light input pathway that regulates PT TSH in mammals differs from that of birds. In mammals, the eye is the only photoreceptor organ and light information received by the eye is transmitted to the pineal gland through the circadian pacemaker, the suprachiasmatic nucleus. Nocturnal melatonin secretion from the pineal gland indicates the length of night and regulates the PT TSH. In fish, the regulatory machinery for seasonal reproduction, from light input to neuroendocrine output, has been recently demonstrated in the coronet cells of the saccus vasculosus (SV. The SV is unique to fish and coronet cells are CSF-contacting neurons. Here, we discuss the universality and diversity of signal transduction pathways that regulate vertebrate seasonal reproduction.

  6. Universality and diversity in the signal transduction pathway that regulates seasonal reproduction in vertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakane, Yusuke; Yoshimura, Takashi

    2014-01-01

    Most vertebrates living outside the tropical zone show robust physiological responses in response to seasonal changes in photoperiod, such as seasonal reproduction, molt, and migration. The highly sophisticated photoperiodic mechanism in Japanese quail has been used to uncover the mechanism of seasonal reproduction. Molecular analysis of quail mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH) revealed that local thyroid hormone activation within the MBH plays a critical role in the photoperiodic response of gonads. This activation is accomplished by two gene switches: thyroid hormone-activating (DIO2) and thyroid hormone-inactivating enzymes (DIO3). Functional genomics studies have shown that long-day induced thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in the pars tuberalis (PT) of the pituitary gland regulates DIO2/3 switching. In birds, light information received directly by deep brain photoreceptors regulates PT TSH. Recent studies demonstrated that Opsin 5-positive cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)-contacting neurons are deep brain photoreceptors that regulate avian seasonal reproduction. Although the involvement of TSH and DIO2/3 in seasonal reproduction has been confirmed in various mammals, the light input pathway that regulates PT TSH in mammals differs from that of birds. In mammals, the eye is the only photoreceptor organ and light information received by the eye is transmitted to the pineal gland through the circadian pacemaker, the suprachiasmatic nucleus. Nocturnal melatonin secretion from the pineal gland indicates the length of night and regulates the PT TSH. In fish, the regulatory machinery for seasonal reproduction, from light input to neuroendocrine output, has been recently demonstrated in the coronet cells of the saccus vasculosus (SV). The SV is unique to fish and coronet cells are CSF-contacting neurons. Here, we discuss the universality and diversity of signal transduction pathways that regulate vertebrate seasonal reproduction.

  7. plant diversity, vegetation structure and relationship between plant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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    analyses of five Afromontane forests altogether revealed 118 families and 653 vascular plant species; ... structure in the moist evergreen Afromontane forest ..... gradient of complex environmental factors. The .... other tropical montane forests.

  8. Plant Diversity Surpasses Plant Functional Groups and Plant Productivity as Driver of Soil Biota in the Long Term

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenhauer, Nico; Milcu, Alexandru; Sabais, Alexander C. W.; Bessler, Holger; Brenner, Johanna; Engels, Christof; Klarner, Bernhard; Maraun, Mark; Partsch, Stephan; Roscher, Christiane; Schonert, Felix; Temperton, Vicky M.; Thomisch, Karolin; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W.; Scheu, Stefan

    2011-01-01

    Background One of the most significant consequences of contemporary global change is the rapid decline of biodiversity in many ecosystems. Knowledge of the consequences of biodiversity loss in terrestrial ecosystems is largely restricted to single ecosystem functions. Impacts of key plant functional groups on soil biota are considered to be more important than those of plant diversity; however, current knowledge mainly relies on short-term experiments. Methodology/Principal Findings We studied changes in the impacts of plant diversity and presence of key functional groups on soil biota by investigating the performance of soil microorganisms and soil fauna two, four and six years after the establishment of model grasslands. The results indicate that temporal changes of plant community effects depend on the trophic affiliation of soil animals: plant diversity effects on decomposers only occurred after six years, changed little in herbivores, but occurred in predators after two years. The results suggest that plant diversity, in terms of species and functional group richness, is the most important plant community property affecting soil biota, exceeding the relevance of plant above- and belowground productivity and the presence of key plant functional groups, i.e. grasses and legumes, with the relevance of the latter decreasing in time. Conclusions/Significance Plant diversity effects on biota are not only due to the presence of key plant functional groups or plant productivity highlighting the importance of diverse and high-quality plant derived resources, and supporting the validity of the singular hypothesis for soil biota. Our results demonstrate that in the long term plant diversity essentially drives the performance of soil biota questioning the paradigm that belowground communities are not affected by plant diversity and reinforcing the importance of biodiversity for ecosystem functioning. PMID:21249208

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nico Eisenhauer

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

  10. Plant reproductive susceptibility to habitat fragmentation: review and synthesis through a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar, Ramiro; Ashworth, Lorena; Galetto, Leonardo; Aizen, Marcelo Adrián

    2006-08-01

    The loss and fragmentation of natural habitats by human activities are pervasive phenomena in terrestrial ecosystems across the Earth and the main driving forces behind current biodiversity loss. Animal-mediated pollination is a key process for the sexual reproduction of most extant flowering plants, and the one most consistently studied in the context of habitat fragmentation. By means of a meta-analysis we quantitatively reviewed the results from independent fragmentation studies throughout the last two decades, with the aim of testing whether pollination and reproduction of plant species may be differentially susceptible to habitat fragmentation depending on certain reproductive traits that typify the relationship with and the degree of dependence on their pollinators. We found an overall large and negative effect of fragmentation on pollination and on plant reproduction. The compatibility system of plants, which reflects the degree of dependence on pollinator mutualism, was the only reproductive trait that explained the differences among the species' effect sizes. Furthermore, a highly significant correlation between the effect sizes of fragmentation on pollination and reproductive success suggests that the most proximate cause of reproductive impairment in fragmented habitats may be pollination limitation. We discuss the conservation implications of these findings and give some suggestions for future research into this area.

  11. Evolution and diversity of green plant cell walls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popper, Zoë A

    2008-06-01

    Plant cells are surrounded by a dynamic cell wall that performs many essential biological roles, including regulation of cell expansion, the control of tissue cohesion, ion-exchange and defence against microbes. Recent evidence shows that the suite of polysaccharides and wall proteins from which the plant cell wall is composed shows variation between monophyletic plant taxa. This is likely to have been generated during the evolution of plant groups in response to environmental stress. Understanding the natural variation and diversity that exists between cell walls from different taxa is key to facilitating their future exploitation and manipulation, for example by increasing lignocellulosic content or reducing its recalcitrance for use in biofuel generation.

  12. Diverse Roles of ERECTA Family Genes in Plant Development

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Elena D.Shpak

    2013-01-01

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

  13. [The diversity of ontogeny in animals with asexual reproduction and plasticity of early development].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isaeva, V V

    2010-01-01

    Diversity of blastogenesis and embryogenesis in animals with different reproductive strategy and different variants of the isolation of germ lineage cells, defined in the literature as preformation, epigenesis, and somatic embryogenesis, is discussed. In the course of somatic embryogenesis (or, more precisely, blastogenesis), the oozooid that has developed from the egg is naturally cloned and forms numerous genetically and morphologically identical clonal individuals or modular units of a colony. This cloning results in amplification of the parent genotype; the subsequent sexual reproduction provides for genetic recombination, and the emergence of a huge number of larvae with dispersal function provides for reproductive success. In invertebrates that reproduce asexually, no isolation of the germ cell lineage takes place; the population of stem cell capable of realizing the complete developmental program, which includes gametogenesis and blastogenesis, is represented by a diaspora of cells dispersed in the organism and possessing evolutionarily conservative features of morphofunctional organization typical to cells of the germ lineage. The plasticity of early animal embryogenesis is revealed in experiments with embryonic cells cultivated in vitro. Asexual reproduction emerged repeatedly in the course of metazoan evolution; blastogenesis in animals of different taxa is more variable and less conservative than embryogenesis, but the installation of blastogenesis into the process of early embryogenesis undermines the conservatism of embryonic development.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Oxidative Stress and Role of Natural Plant Derived Antioxidants in Animal Reproduction

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHONG Rong-zhen; ZHOU Dao-wei

    2013-01-01

    The experimental knowledge on the role of oxidative stress, and beneifcial and detrimental effects of plant derived antioxidants in male and female animal reproduction are reviewed in this article. Free radical-induced oxidative stress in animal reproduction causes great loss to livestock industry. Antioxidant therapy has been implicated to be effective in preventing diseases resulted from oxidative stress. Considering the advantages of lower side effects of natural antioxidants than those of synthetic antioxidants, plants or their extracts have been extensively utilized in animals. Although many advances have been gained on application of plant derived antioxidants in alleviating oxidative stress, debatable issues still exist. Because many opposite effects were observed even using plant extracts containing similar bioactive substances in the same animal species. Therefore, plant derived antioxidants, like free radicals, are“double-edged swords”in animal reproduction, representing that they may exhibit beneifcial or detrimental effects in animal reproduction, including spermatogenesis, semen functions, estrous cycles, ovulation, ovary functions, endometrium, embryo development, and pregnancy. Besides dose-dependent manner as an explanation of plant extracts’ dual function, future studies are needed to investigate the mechanism of double-edged actions of plant derived antioxidants in different animal reproduction systems.

  16. Modeling Forest Structure and Vascular Plant Diversity in Piedmont Forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hakkenberg, C.

    2014-12-01

    When the interacting stressors of climate change and land cover/land use change (LCLUC) overwhelm ecosystem resilience to environmental and climatic variability, forest ecosystems are at increased risk of regime shifts and hyperdynamism in process rates. To meet the growing range of novel biotic and environmental stressors on human-impacted ecosystems, the maintenance of taxonomic diversity and functional redundancy in metacommunities has been proposed as a risk spreading measure ensuring that species critical to landscape ecosystem functioning are available for recruitment as local systems respond to novel conditions. This research is the first in a multi-part study to establish a dynamic, predictive model of the spatio-temporal dynamics of vascular plant diversity in North Carolina Piedmont mixed forests using remotely sensed data inputs. While remote sensing technologies are optimally suited to monitor LCLUC over large areas, direct approaches to the remote measurement of plant diversity remain a challenge. This study tests the efficacy of predicting indices of vascular plant diversity using remotely derived measures of forest structural heterogeneity from aerial LiDAR and high spatial resolution broadband optical imagery in addition to derived topo-environmental variables. Diversity distribution modelling of this sort is predicated upon the idea that environmental filtering of dispersing species help define fine-scale (permeable) environmental envelopes within which biotic structural and compositional factors drive competitive interactions that, in addition to background stochasticity, determine fine-scale alpha diversity. Results reveal that over a range of Piedmont forest communities, increasing structural complexity is positively correlated with measures of plant diversity, though the nature of this relationship varies by environmental conditions and community type. The diversity distribution model is parameterized and cross-validated using three high

  17. Is sexual reproduction of high-mountain plants endangered by heat?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ladinig, Ursula; Pramsohler, Manuel; Bauer, Ines; Zimmermann, Sonja; Neuner, Gilbert; Wagner, Johanna

    2015-04-01

    Strong solar irradiation in combination with still air and dry soil can cause prostrate high-mountain plants to heat up considerably and ultimately suffer heat damage. Such heat damage has been repeatedly shown for vegetative structures, but not for reproductive structures, which we expected to be particularly vulnerable to heat. Heat effects on cold-adapted plants may increase with rising global temperatures and the predicted increase in heat waves. We have tested the heat tolerance of reproductive versus vegetative shoots at different reproductive stages, comparing ten common plant species from different elevation belts in the European Alps. Plant samples were exposed to temperatures in 2-K steps of 30 min each between 42 and 56 °C. Heat damage was assessed by visual rating and vital staining. Reproductive shoots were on average 2.5 K less heat tolerant (LT50, i.e. the mean temperature causing 50 % heat damage, 47.2 °C) than vegetative shoots (mean LT50 49.7 °C). Initial heat injuries (mean LT10) were observed at 43-45 °C in heat-susceptible species and at 45-47 °C in more heat-tolerant species, in at least one reproductive stage. Generally, heat tolerance was significantly higher during fruiting than during the bud stages and anthesis. Prostrate species with acaulescent buds and flowers tolerated heat better than those with caulescent buds and flowers. Petals were the most heat-susceptible plant structure and mature pollen the most heat tolerant. Based on these data, heat tolerance of reproductive structures appears to be adapted to the prevailing maximum temperatures which the plants experience during different reproductive stages in their environment. During hot spells, however, heat tolerance thresholds may be exceeded. More frequent heat waves would decrease the reproductive output and, consequently, the competitiveness of heat-susceptible species.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nylin Sören

    2006-01-01

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

  19. Vascular plant diversity of the Paracel Islands, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yi Tong

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands comprise a group of tropical islands that are located south of mainland China and have a particular natural flora. Based on a literature search and our own investigations, we present here a checklist of plants for 24 of the Paracel Islands. We also report an analysis of plant diversity, its distribution and relationship with that of neighboring regions. A total of 396 vascular plants were recorded which belonged to 262 genera and 85 families. Of these, 220 were wild species and 176 were cultivated. As a whole, the islands do not possess a rich flora; however, there are major differences in plant diversity among islands. The flora consists in large part of tropical elements, typical of tropical coral islands of China. The flora is most closely connected to that of Hainan Island, and closely related to those of Taiwan of China, Indochina, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

  20. Probiotic Diversity Enhances Rhizosphere Microbiome Function and Plant Disease Suppression

    OpenAIRE

    Hu, Jie; Wei, Zhong; Friman, Ville Petri; Gu, Shao-Hua; Wang, Xiao-Fang; Eisenhauer, Nico; Yang, Tian-jie; Ma, Jing; Shen, Qi-Rong; Xu, Yang-chun; Jousset, Alexandre

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial communities associated with plant roots play an important role in the suppression of soil-borne pathogens, and multispecies probiotic consortia may enhance disease suppression efficacy. Here we introduced defined Pseudomonas species consortia into naturally complex microbial communities and measured the importance of Pseudomonas community diversity for their survival and the suppression of the bacterial plant pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum in the tomato rhizosphere microbiome. The ...

  1. Advanced technologies for plant cell wall evolution and diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fangel, Jonatan Ulrik

    Plant cell walls consist of polysaccharides, glycoproteins and phenolic polymers interlinked together in a highly complex network. The detailed analysis of cell walls is challenging because of their inherent complexity and heterogeneity. Also, complex carbohydrates, unlike proteins and nucleotide...... angiosperms. This analysis has enabled cell wall diversity to be placed in a phylogenetic context, and, when integrated with transcriptomic and genomic analysis has contributed to our understanding of important aspects of plant evolution....

  2. Plant germline formation: common concepts and developmental flexibility in sexual and asexual reproduction

    OpenAIRE

    Schmidt, Anja; Schmid, Marc W.; Grossniklaus, Ueli

    2015-01-01

    The life cycle of flowering plants alternates between two heteromorphic generations: a diploid sporophytic generation and a haploid gametophytic generation. During the development of the plant reproductive lineages - the germlines - typically, single sporophytic (somatic) cells in the flower become committed to undergo meiosis. The resulting spores subsequently develop into highly polarized and differentiated haploid gametophytes that harbour the gametes. Recent studies have provided insights...

  3. 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

    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...

  4. Ozone affects gas exchange, growth and reproductive development in Brassica campestris (Wisconsin fast plants).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, V J; Stewart, C A; Roberts, J A; Black, C R

    2007-01-01

    Exposure to ozone (O(3)) may affect vegetative and reproductive development, although the consequences for yield depend on the effectiveness of the compensatory processes induced. This study examined the impact on reproductive development of exposing Brassica campestris (Wisconsin Fast Plants) to ozone during vegetative growth. Plants were exposed to 70 ppb ozone for 2 d during late vegetative growth or 10 d spanning most of the vegetative phase. Effects on gas exchange, vegetative growth, reproductive development and seed yield were determined. Impacts on gas exchange and foliar injury were related to pre-exposure stomatal conductance. Exposure for 2 d had no effect on growth or reproductive characteristics, whereas 10-d exposure reduced vegetative growth and reproductive site number on the terminal raceme. Mature seed number and weight per pod and per plant were unaffected because seed abortion was reduced. The observation that mature seed yield per plant was unaffected by exposure during the vegetative phase, despite adverse effects on physiological, vegetative and reproductive processes, shows that indeterminate species such as B. campestris possess sufficient compensatory flexibility to avoid reductions in seed production.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Administrator

    2008-07-22

    Jul 22, 2008 ... Key words: Conservation, diversity, habitats, human impacts, medicinal plants, vegetation. INTRODUCTION ... of which 279 were recorded in the Mediterranean coastal ... graphic location (latitude and longitude), and altitude were recorded ... were selected in inland district, the transition zone between the.

  6. Plant evolution: pulses of extinction and speciation in gymnosperm diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Charles C; Schaefer, Hanno

    2011-12-20

    Living gymnosperms represent the survivors of ancient seed plant lineages whose fossil record reaches back 270 million years. Two recent studies find that recent pulses of extinction and speciation have shaped today's gymnosperm diversity, contradicting the widespread assumption that gymnosperms have remained largely unchanged for tens of millions of years.

  7. Plant sexual reproduction: aspects of interaction, history and regulation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Willemse, M.T.M.

    2003-01-01

    Sexual reproduction in angiosperms is an interactive process involving the sporophyte, gametophytes, embryo and endosperm as well as the environment, aimed at achieving pollination, fertilization and dispersal. This interaction occurs via an interface with nutrients and signals outside the cell and

  8. 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

    2016-01-01

    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 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.

  9. Increased reproductive capacity and physical defense but decreased tannin content in an invasive plant

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wen-Feng Guo; Jun Zhang; Xiao-Qiong Li; Jian-Qing Ding

    2011-01-01

    Plant invasions create novel plant-insect interactions. The EICA (evolution of increased competitive ability) hypothesis proposes that invasive plants will reallocate resources from defense to growth and/or reproduction because they have escaped from their co-evolved insect natural enemies. Testing multiple herbivory by monophagous and oligophagous herbivores and simultaneous measurement of various plant traits will provide new insights into the evolutionary change of invasive plants. In this context, we conducted a common garden experiment to compare plant growth and reproduction, chemical and physical defense, and plant responses to herbivory by different types of herbivores between invasive North American populations and native East Asian populations of mile-a-minute weed, Persicariaperfoliata. We found that invasive mile-a-minute exhibited lower biomass,flowered earlier and had greater reproductive output than plants from the native range.Compared with native populations, plants from invasive populations had lower tannin content, but exhibited higher prickle density on nodes and leaves. Thus our results partially support the EICA hypothesis. When exposed to the monophagous insect, Rhinoncomimus latipes and the oligophagous insects, Gallerucida grisescens and Smaragdina nigrifrons,more damage by herbivory was found on invasive plants than on natives. R. latipes, G.grisescens and S. nigrifrons had strong, moderate and weak impacts on the growth and reproduction of mile-a-minute, respectively. The results indicate that mile-a-minute may have evolved a higher reproductive capacity in the introduced range, and this along with a lack of oligophagous and monophagous herbivores in the new range may have contributed to its invasiveness in North America.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  11. Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria Stimulate Vegetative Growth and Asexual Reproduction of Kalanchoe daigremontiana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong-Soon Park

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Certain bacterial species associate with plant roots in soil. The plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR stimulate plant growth and yield in greenhouse and field. Here, we examined whether application of known bacilli PGPR strains stimulated growth and asexual reproduction in the succulent plant Kalanchoe daigremontiana. Four PGPR strains B. amyloliquefaciens IN937a, B. cereus BS107, B. pumilus INR7, and B. subtilis GB03 were applied to young plantlets by soil-drenching, and plant growth and development was monitored for three months. Aerial growth was significantly stimulated in PGPR-inoculated plants, which was observed as increases in plant height, shoot weight, and stem width. The stimulated growth influenced plant development by increasing the total number of leaves per plant. Treatment with bacilli also increased the total root biomass compared with that of control plants, and led to a 2-fold increase in asexual reproduction and plantlet formation on the leaf. Collectively, our results firstly demonstrate that Bacillus spp. promote vegetative development of K. daigremontiana, and the enhanced growth stimulates asexual reproduction and plantlet formation.

  12. Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria Stimulate Vegetative Growth and Asexual Reproduction of Kalanchoe daigremontiana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Yong-Soon; Park, Kyungseok; Kloepper, Joseph W; Ryu, Choong-Min

    2015-09-01

    Certain bacterial species associate with plant roots in soil. The plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) stimulate plant growth and yield in greenhouse and field. Here, we examined whether application of known bacilli PGPR strains stimulated growth and asexual reproduction in the succulent plant Kalanchoe daigremontiana. Four PGPR strains B. amyloliquefaciens IN937a, B. cereus BS107, B. pumilus INR7, and B. subtilis GB03 were applied to young plantlets by soil-drenching, and plant growth and development was monitored for three months. Aerial growth was significantly stimulated in PGPR-inoculated plants, which was observed as increases in plant height, shoot weight, and stem width. The stimulated growth influenced plant development by increasing the total number of leaves per plant. Treatment with bacilli also increased the total root biomass compared with that of control plants, and led to a 2-fold increase in asexual reproduction and plantlet formation on the leaf. Collectively, our results firstly demonstrate that Bacillus spp. promote vegetative development of K. daigremontiana, and the enhanced growth stimulates asexual reproduction and plantlet formation.

  13. Reproductive biology in the medicinal plant, Plumbago zeylanica L.

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    STORAGESEVER

    2008-10-06

    Oct 6, 2008 ... Plumbago zeylanica L. is an important medicinal plant traditionally used for the treatment of various diseases. ... Key words: Growth regulators, medicinal plant, seasonal climate, plant size, growth environment. .... artificial observation. ..... and far-red light or indoleacetic acid in the flowering of pharbitis.

  14. reproduction

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    slow, yet no other field in medicine has integrated new knowledge ... Many countries have introduced tight ethical regulation ... and research, such as human reproductive cloning." Howover ... human pregnancy and birth after embryo donation.

  15. Plant germline formation: common concepts and developmental flexibility in sexual and asexual reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Anja; Schmid, Marc W; Grossniklaus, Ueli

    2015-01-15

    The life cycle of flowering plants alternates between two heteromorphic generations: a diploid sporophytic generation and a haploid gametophytic generation. During the development of the plant reproductive lineages - the germlines - typically, single sporophytic (somatic) cells in the flower become committed to undergo meiosis. The resulting spores subsequently develop into highly polarized and differentiated haploid gametophytes that harbour the gametes. Recent studies have provided insights into the genetic basis and regulatory programs underlying cell specification and the acquisition of reproductive fate during both sexual reproduction and asexual (apomictic) reproduction. As we review here, these recent advances emphasize the importance of transcriptional, translational and post-transcriptional regulation, and the role of epigenetic regulatory pathways and hormonal activity.

  16. Coupling of soil prokaryotic diversity and plant diversity across latitudinal forest ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jun-Tao; Zheng, Yuan-Ming; Hu, Hang-Wei; Li, Jing; Zhang, Li-Mei; Chen, Bao-Dong; Chen, Wei-Ping; He, Ji-Zheng

    2016-01-01

    The belowground soil prokaryotic community plays a cardinal role in sustaining the stability and functions of forest ecosystems. Yet, the nature of how soil prokaryotic diversity co-varies with aboveground plant diversity along a latitudinal gradient remains elusive. By establishing three hundred 400-m2 quadrats from tropical rainforest to boreal forest in a large-scale parallel study on both belowground soil prokaryote and aboveground tree and herb communities, we found that soil prokaryotic diversity couples with the diversity of herbs rather than trees. The diversity of prokaryotes and herbs responds similarly to environmental factors along the latitudinal gradient. These findings revealed that herbs provide a good predictor of belowground biodiversity in forest ecosystems, and provide new perspective on the aboveground and belowground interactions in forest ecosystems.

  17. NATURAL PLANT TOXICANT – CYANOGENIC GLYCOSIDE AMYGDALIN: CHARACTERISTIC, METABOLISM AND THE EFFECT ON ANIMAL REPRODUCTION

    OpenAIRE

    Eduard Kolesár; Marek Halenár; Adriana Kolesárová; Peter Massányi

    2015-01-01

    The amount of cyanogenic glycosides, as natural plant toxicants, in plants varies with plant species and environmental effects. Cyanogenic glycoside as an amygdalin was detected in apricot kernels, bitter almonds and peach, plum, pear and apple seeds. Amygdalin itself is non-toxic, but its HCN production decomposed by some enzymes is toxic substance. Target of this review was to describe the characteristic, metabolism and possible effects of amygdalin on reproductive processes. Previous studi...

  18. The importance of individuals: intraspecific diversity of mycorrhizal plants and fungi in ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, David; Martin, Francis; Cairney, John W G; Anderson, Ian C

    2012-05-01

    A key component of biodiversity is the number and abundance of individuals (i.e. genotypes), and yet such intraspecific diversity is rarely considered when investigating the effects of biodiversity of mycorrhizal plants and fungi on ecosystem processes. Within a species, individuals vary considerably in important reproductive and functional attributes, including carbon fixation, mycelial growth and nutrient utilization, but this is driven by both genetic and environmental (including climatic) factors. The interactions between individual plants and mycorrhizal fungi can have important consequences for the maintenance of biodiversity and regulation of resource transfers in ecosystems. There is also emerging evidence that assemblages of genotypes may affect ecosystem processes to a similar extent as assemblages of species. The application of whole-genome sequencing and population genomics to mycorrhizal plants and fungi will be crucial to determine the extent to which individual variation in key functional attributes is genetically based. We argue the need to unravel the importance of the diversity (especially assemblages of different evenness and richness) of individuals of both mycorrhizal plants and fungi, and the need to take a 'community genetics' approach to better understand the functional significance of the biodiversity of mycorrhizal symbioses. © 2012 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2012 New Phytologist Trust.

  19. The effect of Bt-transgene introgression on plant growth and reproduction in wild Brassica juncea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yong-Bo; Darmency, Henry; Stewart, C Neal; Wei, Wei; Tang, Zhi-Xi; Ma, Ke-Ping

    2015-06-01

    This study aims to investigate the relative plant growth and reproduction of insect-resistant and susceptible plants following the introgression of an insect-resistance Bt-transgene from Brassica napus, oilseed rape, to wild Brassica juncea. The second backcrossed generation (BC2) from a single backcross family was grown in pure and mixed stands of Bt-transgenic and non-transgenic siblings under two insect treatments. Various proportions of Bt-transgenic plants were employed in mixed stands to study the interaction between resistant and susceptible plants. In the pure stands, Bt-transgenic BC2 plants performed better than non-transgenic plants with or without insect treatments. In mixed stands, Bt-transgenic BC2 plants produced fewer seeds than their non-Bt counterparts at low proportions of Bt-transgenic BC2 plants in the absence of insects. Reproductive allocation of non-transgenic plants marginally increased with increasing proportions of Bt-transgenic plants under herbivore pressure, which resulted in increased total biomass and seed production per stand. The results showed that the growth of non-transgenic plants was protected by Bt-transgenic plants under herbivore pressure. The Bt-transgene might not be advantageous in mixed stands of backcrossed hybrids; thus transgene introgression would not be facilitated when herbivorous insects are not present. However, a relatively large initial population of Bt-transgenic plants might result in transgene persistence when target herbivores are present.

  20. Spatial niche facilitates clonal reproduction in seed plants under temporal disturbance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shin Fukui

    Full Text Available The evolutionary origins and advantages of clonal reproduction relative to sexual reproduction have been discussed for several taxonomic groups. In particular, organisms with a sessile lifestyle are often exposed to spatial and temporal environmental fluctuations. Thus, clonal propagation may be advantageous in such fluctuating environments, for sessile species that can reproduce both sexually and clonally. Here we introduce the concept of niche to a lattice space that changes spatially and temporally, by incorporating the compatibility between the characteristics of a sessile clonal plant with its habitat into a spatially explicit individual-based model. We evaluate the impact of spatially and temporally heterogeneous environments on the evolution of reproductive strategies: the optimal balance between seed and clonal reproduction of a clonal plant. The spatial niche case with local habitats led to avoidance of specialization in reproductive strategy, whereas stable environments or intensive environmental change tended to result in specialization in either clonal or seed reproduction under neutral conditions. Furthermore, an increase in spatial niches made clonal reproduction advantageous, as a consequence of competition among several genets under disturbed conditions, because a ramet reached a favorable habitat through a rare long-distance dispersal event via seed production. Thus, the existence of spatial niches could explain the advantages of clonal propagation.

  1. Spatial niche facilitates clonal reproduction in seed plants under temporal disturbance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukui, Shin; Araki, Kiwako S

    2014-01-01

    The evolutionary origins and advantages of clonal reproduction relative to sexual reproduction have been discussed for several taxonomic groups. In particular, organisms with a sessile lifestyle are often exposed to spatial and temporal environmental fluctuations. Thus, clonal propagation may be advantageous in such fluctuating environments, for sessile species that can reproduce both sexually and clonally. Here we introduce the concept of niche to a lattice space that changes spatially and temporally, by incorporating the compatibility between the characteristics of a sessile clonal plant with its habitat into a spatially explicit individual-based model. We evaluate the impact of spatially and temporally heterogeneous environments on the evolution of reproductive strategies: the optimal balance between seed and clonal reproduction of a clonal plant. The spatial niche case with local habitats led to avoidance of specialization in reproductive strategy, whereas stable environments or intensive environmental change tended to result in specialization in either clonal or seed reproduction under neutral conditions. Furthermore, an increase in spatial niches made clonal reproduction advantageous, as a consequence of competition among several genets under disturbed conditions, because a ramet reached a favorable habitat through a rare long-distance dispersal event via seed production. Thus, the existence of spatial niches could explain the advantages of clonal propagation.

  2. Evolution of quasispecies diversity for porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus under antibody selective pressure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Peng; Ma, ChengTai; Dong, Xuan; Cui, ZhiZhong

    2012-09-01

    To study the quasispecies diversity of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), open reading frame 5 (ORF5) of strain SD0612 was amplified and cloned. Sixty clones of ORF5 were sequenced and analyzed with DNAStar software. Nucleic acid sequence homology was 97.7%-100%, with 78 mutations observed. Among these 60 clones, the sequences of 17 clones were identical and recognized as the dominant quasispecies of strain SD0612. Evolution of SD0612 quasispecies diversity under antibody selective pressure was also studied. SD0612 was passed continuously in the Marc-145 cell line over 40 passages in 6 independent lineages. SD0612 antiserum was not added to lineage A, B, and C cultures; however, antiserum was added to culture medium for lineages D, E, and F. PRRSV ORF5 was then amplified, cloned, and sequenced from each of the 6 lineages, designated as A40-F40. F40 was further passed in Marc-145 cells using 6 independent lineages with or without F40 antiserum for another 40 passages. ORF5 from the 6 newly-derived virus lineages, which we designated as a40-f40, were amplified, cloned and sequenced. The proportion of dominant quasispecies increased with passage number in cell cultures supplemented with antibodies, but decreased when antibodies were lacking. Our work has demonstrated a diversity of quasispecies for ORF5 in PRRSV SD0612. Antibody selective pressure was able to significantly influence quasispecies diversity and promote a dominant quasispecies that was able to evade immune reactions.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SHIVANAND BHAT

    2014-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina eKöberl

    2013-12-01

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

  5. Interactions in the patterns of vegetative growth and reproduction in woody dioecious plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffmann, A J; Alliende, M C

    1984-01-01

    Interactions between vegetative growth and reproduction were evaluated in Peumus boldus, Lithraea caustica and Laretia acaulis, three woody dioecious species in central Chile. Phenological observations were made periodically on marked branches of male and female plants, and biomass allocation (dry weight) to vegetative and reproductive tissues was measured. The magnitude of flowering was evaluated in groups of plants in three successive seasons. The patterns of activities are species- and sex-dependent, and cycles of 2-4 years have been established. Branches that produce flowers either do not grow or grow less than branches without flowers, and males and females have differential resource allocation: male branches attain higher biomass values. Groups of plants show seasonal behavior that suggest synchrony in their reproductive activities.

  6. The MADS-box gene SlMBP11 regulates plant architecture and affects reproductive development in tomato plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Xuhu; Chen, Guoping; Naeem, Muhammad; Yu, Xiaohu; Tang, Boyan; Li, Anzhou; Hu, Zongli

    2017-05-01

    MADS-domain proteins are important transcription factors that are involved in many biological processes of plants. In the present study, SlMBP11, a member of the AGL15 subfamily, was cloned in tomato plants (Solanum lycopersicon M.). SlMBP11 is ubiquitously expressed in all of the tissues we examined, whereas the SlMBP11 transcription levels were significantly higher in reproductive tissues than in vegetative tissues. Plants exhibiting increased SlMBP11 levels displayed reduced plant height, leaf size, and internode length as well as a loss of dominance in young seedlings, highly branched growth from each leaf axil, and increased number of nodes and leaves. Moreover, overexpression lines also exhibited reproductive phenotypes, such as those having a shorter style and split ovary, leading to polycarpous fruits, while the wild type showed normal floral organization. In addition, delayed perianth senescence was observed in transgenic tomatoes. These phenotypes were further confirmed by analyzing the morphological, anatomical and molecular features of lines exhibiting overexpression. These results suggest that SlMBP11 plays an important role in regulating plant architecture and reproductive development in tomato plants. These findings add a new class of transcription factors to the group of genes controlling axillary bud growth and illuminate a previously uncharacterized function of MADS-box genes in tomato plants. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Thiol-based redox regulation in sexual plant reproduction: new insights and perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traverso, Jose A; Pulido, Amada; Rodríguez-García, María I; Alché, Juan D

    2013-01-01

    The success of sexual reproduction in plants involves (i) the proper formation of the plant gametophytes (pollen and embryo sac) containing the gametes, (ii) the accomplishment of specific interactions between pollen grains and the stigma, which subsequently lead to (iii) the fusion of the gametes and eventually to (iv) the seed setting. Owing to the lack of mobility, plants have developed specific regulatory mechanisms to control all developmental events underlying the sexual plant reproduction according to environmental challenges. Over the last decade, redox regulation and signaling have come into sight as crucial mechanisms able to manage critical stages during sexual plant reproduction. This regulation involves a complex redox network which includes reactive oxygen species (ROS), reactive nitrogen species (RNS), glutathione and other classic buffer molecules or antioxidant proteins, and some thiol/disulphide-containing proteins belonging to the thioredoxin superfamily, like glutaredoxins (GRXs) or thioredoxins (TRXs). These proteins participate as critical elements not only in the switch between the mitotic to the meiotic cycle but also at further developmental stages of microsporogenesis. They are also implicated in the regulation of pollen rejection as the result of self-incompatibility. In addition, they display precise space-temporal patterns of expression and are present in specific localizations like the stigmatic papillae or the mature pollen, although their functions and subcellular localizations are not clear yet. In this review we summarize insights and perspectives about the presence of thiol/disulphide-containing proteins in plant reproduction, taking into account the general context of the cell redox network.

  8. Sexual reproduction in seed plants, ferns and mosses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Willemse, M.T.M.; Went, van J.L.

    1985-01-01

    Behandeling van de biologie met betrekking tot de geslachtelijke voortplanting van deze plantesoort en onderzoek- en vermeerderingstechnieken op dit gebied. Aandacht voor de ontwikkeling van sporen en microsporen; mannelijke steriliteit; vorming van de stuifmeelbuis en invloeden op diverse ontwikkel

  9. Uncovering unseen fungal diversity from plant DNA banks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin M. Datlof

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Throughout the world DNA banks are used as storage repositories for genetic diversity of organisms ranging from plants to insects to mammals. Designed to preserve the genetic information for organisms of interest, these banks also indirectly preserve organisms’ associated microbiomes, including fungi associated with plant tissues. Studies of fungal biodiversity lag far behind those of macroorganisms, such as plants, and estimates of global fungal richness are still widely debated. Utilizing previously collected specimens to study patterns of fungal diversity could significantly increase our understanding of overall patterns of biodiversity from snapshots in time. Here, we investigated the fungi inhabiting the phylloplane among species of the endemic Hawaiian plant genus, Clermontia (Campanulaceae. Utilizing next generation DNA amplicon sequencing, we uncovered approximately 1,780 fungal operational taxonomic units from just 20 DNA bank samples collected throughout the main Hawaiian Islands. Using these historical samples, we tested the macroecological pattern of decreasing community similarity with decreasing geographic proximity. We found a significant distance decay pattern among Clermontia associated fungal communities. This study provides the first insights into elucidating patterns of microbial diversity through the use of DNA bank repository samples.

  10. Aerial reproductive structures of vascular plants as a microhabitat for myxomycetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilgore, Courtney M; Keller, Harold W; Ely, Joseph S

    2009-01-01

    This study explored the occurrence and distribution of myxomycete species on the aerial reproductive structures of vascular plants. Eight species of vascular plants representing five families were sampled. The doubled rope climbing method was used to collect bark and cones from the canopy of Pinus echinata. Bark and aerial seed pods were gathered from Cercis canadensis, follicles and stems from Asclepias syriaca, dried composite inflorescences and stems from Echinacea angustifolia, E. pallida, and E. paradoxa var. paradoxa, and capsules and stems from Yucca glauca and Y. smalliana. Reproductive structures and bark/stems for 202 host plants were separated and cultured in 541 moist chambers, resulting in 118 collections yielding 32 myxomycete species representing 11 genera, seven families and five orders. There was no significant difference in pH values of the reproductive structures and bark/stems of the host plants, however legume pods of C. canadensis (6.9 +/- 1.3) had higher pH than the bark (6.0 +/- 1.1) and had a different composition of myxomycete species. Myxomycete orders have optimal pH ranges. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling, multiresponse permutation procedure and indicator species analysis showed a significant difference in species richness of reproductive structures and bark/stems. The bark of trees had greater mean species richness of myxomycetes than the reproductive structures, but the reproductive structures of herbaceous plants had greater mean species richness of myxomycetes than the stems. A new term, herbicolous myxomycetes, is proposed for a group of myxomycetes frequently associated with herbaceous, perennial, grassland plants. An undescribed species of Arcyria occurred only on cones of P. echinata.

  11. Symbiotic regulation of plant growth, development and reproduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell J. Rodriguez; D. Carl Freeman; E. Durant McArthur; Yong Ok Kim; Regina S. Redman

    2009-01-01

    The growth and development of rice (Oryzae sativa) seedlings was shown to be regulated epigenetically by a fungal endophyte. In contrast to un-inoculated (nonsymbiotic) plants, endophyte colonized (symbiotic) plants preferentially allocated resources into root growth until root hairs were well established. During that time symbiotic roots expanded at...

  12. Plant diversity in different bioclimatic zones in Tunisia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hana You

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The Republic of Tunisia, located in northern Africa, faces various environmental challenges caused by anthropogenic practices such as overgrazing, deforestation, and desertification. The conversion of natural ecosystems is the major cause of plant biodiversity loss. Tunisia can be divided into three main climatic zones as follows: a northern Mediterranean climate zone, a central steppe climate zone, and a southern desert climate zone. Because of this great environmental diversity, there are distinctive vegetation and various genetic resources in Tunisia. This research was conducted to investigate plant biodiversity within the various bioclimatic zones and to characterize useful plant resources in Tunisia. We investigated native, medicinal and aromatic, desert, and soil erosion control plant species.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bustos-segura, Carlos; Poelman, Erik H.; Reichelt, Michael; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Gols, Rieta; Scherber, Christoph

    2017-01-01

    Intraspecific plant diversity can modify the properties of associated arthropod communities and plant fitness. However, it is not well understood which plant traits determine these ecological effects. We explored the effect of intraspecific chemical diversity among neighbouring plants on the associa

  14. Fungal diversity associated with Hawaiian Drosophila host plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian S Ort

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

  15. Plant functional diversity enhances associations of soil fungal diversity with vegetation and soil in the restoration of semiarid sandy grassland

    OpenAIRE

    Zuo, Xiaoan; Wang, Shaokun; Lv, Peng; Zhou, Xin; Zhao, Xueyong; Zhang, Tonghui; Zhang, Jing

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The trait‐based approach shows that plant functional diversity strongly affects ecosystem properties. However, few empirical studies show the relationship between soil fungal diversity and plant functional diversity in natural ecosystems. We investigated soil fungal diversity along a restoration gradient of sandy grassland (mobile dune, semifixed dune, fixed dune, and grassland) in Horqin Sand Land, northern China, using the denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of 18S rRNA and gen...

  16. Conserved Gene Expression Programs in Developing Roots from Diverse Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Ling; Schiefelbein, John

    2015-08-01

    The molecular basis for the origin and diversification of morphological adaptations is a central issue in evolutionary developmental biology. Here, we defined temporal transcript accumulation in developing roots from seven vascular plants, permitting a genome-wide comparative analysis of the molecular programs used by a single organ across diverse species. The resulting gene expression maps uncover significant similarity in the genes employed in roots and their developmental expression profiles. The detailed analysis of a subset of 133 genes known to be associated with root development in Arabidopsis thaliana indicates that most of these are used in all plant species. Strikingly, this was also true for root development in a lycophyte (Selaginella moellendorffii), which forms morphologically different roots and is thought to have evolved roots independently. Thus, despite vast differences in size and anatomy of roots from diverse plants, the basic molecular mechanisms employed during root formation appear to be conserved. This suggests that roots evolved in the two major vascular plant lineages either by parallel recruitment of largely the same developmental program or by elaboration of an existing root program in the common ancestor of vascular plants.

  17. Reproduction during spaceflight by plants in the family Brassicaceae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musgrave, M. E.; Kuang, A.

    2001-01-01

    Researchers report on studies of reproduction in Arabidopsis thaliana in space during during the Chromex-03 on STS-54, Chromex-04 on STS-51, and Chromex-05 on STS-68 missions. The obstacles to seed formation were related to carbon dioxide levels. Other experiments examined in flight pollination and seed production in Brassica rapa during parabolic flight, a 4-1/2 month stay on Mir, and on STS-87. During the Mir experiment, Brassica seeds were harvested from seeds sown in flight. The second generation seeds grew to produce new seeds that contained more starch and less protein and lipid when compared to ground control seeds.

  18. Acidification of sandy grasslands - consequences for plant diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

    Questions: (1) Does soil acidification in calcareous sandy grasslands lead to loss of plant diversity? (2) What is the relationship between the soil content of lime and the plant availability of mineral nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in sandy grasslands? Location: Sandy glaciofluvial deposits...... in south-eastern Sweden covered by xeric sand calcareous grasslands (EU habitat directive 6120). Methods: Soil and vegetation were investigated in most of the xeric sand calcareous grasslands in the Scania region (136 sample plots distributed over four or five major areas and about 25 different sites...

  19. Comparative studies on plant range size: Linking reproductive and regenerative traits in two Ipomoea species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Astegiano, Julia; Funes, Guillermo; Galetto, Leonardo

    2010-09-01

    Reproductive and regenerative traits associated with colonization and persistence ability may determine plant range size. However, few comparative studies on plant distribution have assessed these traits simultaneously. Pollinator richness and frequency of visits, autonomous self-pollination ability, reproductive output (i.e., reproductive traits), seed bank strategy and seedling density (i.e., regenerative traits) were compared between the narrowly distributed Ipomoea rubriflora O'Donnell (Convolvulaceae) and its widespread congener Ipomoea purpurea (L.) Roth. The narrowly distributed species showed higher ecological specialization to pollinators and lower autonomous self-pollination ability. Frequency of visits, natural seed/ovule ratio and fruit set, and total fruit production did not differ between species. However, the number of seeds produced per fruit was lower in the narrowly distributed species, translating into lower total seed production per plant. Indeed, I. rubriflora formed smaller transient and persistent seed banks and showed lower seedling density than the widespread I. purpurea. These reproductive and regenerative trait results suggest that the narrowly distributed species may have lower colonization and persistence ability than its widespread congener. They further suggest that the negative effects of lower fecundity in the narrowly distributed species might persist in time through the long-lasting effects of total seed production on seed bank size, reducing the species' ability to buffered environmental stochasticity. However, other regenerative traits, such as seed size, and processes such as pre- and post-dispersal seed predation, might modulate the effects of plant fecundity on plant colonization and persistence ability and thus range size.

  20. Review: Mycoendophytes in medicinal plants: Diversity and bioactivities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MUDASIR DAR

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Rai M, Gade A, Rathod D, Dar M, Varma A. 2012. Review: Mycoendophytes in medicinal plants: Diversity and bioactivities. Nusantara Bioscience 4: 86-96. Endophytes are microorganisms that reside in internal tissues of living plants without causing any negative effect. These offer tremendous potential for the exploitation of novel and eco-friendly secondary metabolites used in medicine, the pharmaceutical industry and agriculture. The present review is focused on diversity of endophytes, current national and international bioactive secondary metabolite scenario and future prospects. Endophytic fungi as novel source of potentially useful medicinal compounds are discussed along with the need to search for new and more effective agents from endophytes to combat disease problems.

  1. Evolutionary demography of iteroparous plants: incorporating non-lethal costs of reproduction into integral projection models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Tom E X; Williams, Jennifer L; Jongejans, Eelke; Brys, Rein; Jacquemyn, Hans

    2012-07-22

    Understanding the selective forces that shape reproductive strategies is a central goal of evolutionary ecology. Selection on the timing of reproduction is well studied in semelparous organisms because the cost of reproduction (death) can be easily incorporated into demographic models. Iteroparous organisms also exhibit delayed reproduction and experience reproductive costs, although these are not necessarily lethal. How non-lethal costs shape iteroparous life histories remains unresolved. We analysed long-term demographic data for the iteroparous orchid Orchis purpurea from two habitat types (light and shade). In both the habitats, flowering plants had lower growth rates and this cost was greater for smaller plants. We detected an additional growth cost of fruit production in the light habitat. We incorporated these non-lethal costs into integral projection models to identify the flowering size that maximizes fitness. In both habitats, observed flowering sizes were well predicted by the models. We also estimated optimal parameters for size-dependent flowering effort, but found a strong mismatch with the observed flower production. Our study highlights the role of context-dependent non-lethal reproductive costs as selective forces in the evolution of iteroparous life histories, and provides a novel and broadly applicable approach to studying the evolutionary demography of iteroparous organisms.

  2. Assessment of wastewater treatment plant effluent effects on fish reproduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents are known contributors of chemical mixtures into the environment. Of particular concern are endocrine-disrupting compounds that can affect hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis function in exposed organisms. The present study examined t...

  3. Diversity of maize shoot apical meristem architecture and its relationship to plant morphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Addie M; Yu, Jianming; Timmermans, Marja C P; Schnable, Patrick; Crants, James C; Scanlon, Michael J; Muehlbauer, Gary J

    2015-03-05

    The shoot apical meristem contains a pool of undifferentiated stem cells and controls initiation of all aerial plant organs. In maize (Zea mays), leaves are formed throughout vegetative development; on transition to floral development, the shoot meristem forms the tassel. Due to the regulated balance between stem cell maintenance and organogenesis, the structure and morphology of the shoot meristem are constrained during vegetative development. Previous work identified loci controlling meristem architecture in a recombinant inbred line population. The study presented here expanded on this by investigating shoot apical meristem morphology across a diverse set of maize inbred lines. Crosses of these lines to common parents showed varying phenotypic expression in the F1, with some form of heterosis occasionally observed. An investigation of meristematic growth throughout vegetative development in diverse lines linked the timing of reproductive transition to flowering time. Phenotypic correlations of meristem morphology with adult plant traits showed an association between the meristem and flowering time, leaf shape, and yield traits, revealing links between the control and architecture of undifferentiated and differentiated plant organs. Finally, quantitative trait loci mapping was utilized to map the genetic architecture of these meristem traits in two divergent populations. Control of meristem architecture was mainly population-specific, with 15 total unique loci mapped across the two populations with only one locus identified in both populations. Copyright © 2015 Thompson et al.

  4. Reproduction of the Medicinal Plant Pelargonium sidoides via Somatic Embryogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duchow, Stefanie; Blaschek, Wolfgang; Classen, Birgit

    2015-08-01

    The medicinal plant Pelargonium sidoides DC. (Geraniaceae) was traditionally used for the treatment of the common cold and cough in South Africa. Today an aequous-ethanolic root extract from this plant is approved for the treatment of acute bronchitis and is globally marketed also as an immunostimulant. The increasing demand of the plant material for the industrial production indicates the need of new effective methods for the propagation of P. sidoides. Here we report somatic embryogenesis and in vitro plantlet regeneration from somatic cells of inflorescence shoots and petioles of P. sidoides. A one-week cultivation of explants in media containing different concentrations of thidiazuron (1, 2.2, 3, and 4 mg/L) followed by a cultivation period without phytohormones resulted in the induction of somatic embryos within 2-4 weeks. After 2-4 months, the embryos generated roots and could be transferred into a greenhouse, where flower formation took place and the development of seeds occurred with high germination rates. The root umckalin concentration, determined by high-performance thin-layer chromatography, was comparable to that of seed-cultivated plants (100 ± 6 vs. 113 ± 10 µg umckalin/g dried roots). For the first time, direct somatic embryogenesis has been established as an appropriate cultivation method for P. sidoides plants used as raw material in the pharmaceutical industry. Moreover, genetically identical plants (chemical races) can be easily generated by this procedure.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Borer, Elizabeth T. [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of Minnesota; et al, et al

    2014-01-01

    Human alterations to nutrient cycles1,2 and herbivore communities3–7 are affecting global biodiversity dramatically2. Ecological theory predicts these changes should be strongly counteractive: nutrient addition drives plant species loss through intensified competition for light, whereas herbivores prevent competitive exclusion by increasing ground-level light, particularly in productive systems8,9. Here we use experimental data spanning a globally relevant range of conditions to test the hypothesis that herbaceous plant species losses caused by eutrophication may be offset by increased light availability due to herbivory. This experiment, replicated in 40 grasslands on 6 continents, demonstrates that nutrients and herbivores can serve as counteracting forces to control local plant diversity through light limitation, independent of site productivity, soil nitrogen, herbivore type and climate. Nutrient addition consistently reduced local diversity through light limitation, and herbivory rescued diversity at sites where it alleviated light limitation. Thus, species loss from anthropogenic eutrophication can be ameliorated in grasslands where herbivory increases ground-level light.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grettenberger, Ian M; Tooker, John F

    2016-09-01

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

  7. Cryptic diversity, high host specificity and reproductive synchronization in army ant-associated Vatesus beetles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Beeren, Christoph; Maruyama, Munetoshi; Kronauer, Daniel J C

    2016-02-01

    Army ants and their arthropod symbionts represent one of the most species-rich animal associations on Earth, and constitute a fascinating example of diverse host-symbiont interaction networks. However, despite decades of research, our knowledge of army ant symbionts remains fragmentary due to taxonomic ambiguity and the inability to study army ants in the laboratory. Here, we present an integrative approach that allows us to reliably determine species boundaries, assess biodiversity, match different developmental stages and sexes, and to study the life cycles of army ant symbionts. This approach is based on a combination of community sampling, DNA barcoding, morphology and physiology. As a test case, we applied this approach to the staphylinid beetle genus Vatesus and its different Eciton army ant host species at La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica. DNA barcoding led to the discovery of cryptic biodiversity and, in combination with extensive community sampling, revealed strict host partitioning with no overlap in host range. Using DNA barcoding, we were also able to match the larval stages of all focal Vatesus species. In combination with studies of female reproductive physiology, this allowed us to reconstruct almost the complete life cycles of the different beetle species. We show that Vatesus beetles are highly adapted to the symbiosis with army ants, in that their reproduction and larval development are synchronized with the stereotypical reproductive and behavioural cycles of their host colonies. Our approach can now be used to study army ant-symbiont communities more broadly, and to obtain novel insights into co-evolutionary and ecological dynamics in species-rich host-symbiont systems.

  8. Population Structure, Diversity and Reproductive Mode of the Grape Phylloxera (Daktulosphaira vitifoliae) across Its Native Range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, M. Andrew

    2017-01-01

    Grape Phylloxera, Daktulosphaira vitifoliae, is a gall-forming insect that feeds on the leaves and roots of many Vitis species. The roots of the cultivated V. vinifera cultivars and hybrids are highly susceptible to grape phylloxera feeding damage. The native range of this insect covers most of North America, and it is particularly abundant in the eastern and central United States. Phylloxera was introduced from North America to almost all grape-growing regions across five of the temperate zone continents. It devastated vineyards in each of these regions causing large-scale disruptions to grape growers, wine makers and national economies. In order to understand the population diversity of grape phylloxera in its native range, more than 500 samples from 19 States and 34 samples from the introduced range (northern California, Europe and South America) were genotyped with 32 simple sequence repeat markers. STRUCTURE, a model based clustering method identified five populations within these samples. The five populations were confirmed by a neighbor-joining tree and principal coordinate analysis (PCoA). These populations were distinguished by their Vitis species hosts and their geographic locations. Samples collected from California, Europe and South America traced back to phylloxera sampled in the northeastern United States on V. riparia, with some influence from phylloxera collected along the Atlantic Coast and Central Plains on V. vulpina. Reproductive statistics conclusively confirmed that sexual reproduction is common in the native range and is combined with cyclical parthenogenesis. Native grape phylloxera populations were identified to be under Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. The identification of admixed samples between many of these populations indicates that shared environments facilitate sexual reproduction between different host associated populations to create new genotypes of phylloxera. This study also found that assortative mating might occur across the

  9. The diversity of reproductive parasites among arthropods: Wolbachia do not walk alone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhou Liqin

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Inherited bacteria have come to be recognised as important components of arthropod biology. In addition to mutualistic symbioses, a range of other inherited bacteria are known to act either as reproductive parasites or as secondary symbionts. Whilst the incidence of the α-proteobacterium Wolbachia is relatively well established, the current knowledge of other inherited bacteria is much weaker. Here, we tested 136 arthropod species for a range of inherited bacteria known to demonstrate reproductive parasitism, sampling each species more intensively than in past surveys. Results The inclusion of inherited bacteria other than Wolbachia increased the number of infections recorded in our sample from 33 to 57, and the proportion of species infected from 22.8% to 32.4%. Thus, whilst Wolbachia remained the dominant inherited bacterium, it alone was responsible for around half of all inherited infections of the bacteria sampled, with members of the Cardinium, Arsenophonus and Spiroplasma ixodetis clades each occurring in 4% to 7% of all species. The observation that infection was sometimes rare within host populations, and that there was variation in presence of symbionts between populations indicates that our survey will itself underscore incidence. Conclusion This extensive survey demonstrates that at least a third of arthropod species are infected by a diverse assemblage of maternally inherited bacteria that are likely to strongly influence their hosts' biology, and indicates an urgent need to establish the nature of the interaction between non-Wolbachia bacteria and their hosts.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Fontaine

    2007-06-01

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

  11. Pattern matching and adaptive image segmentation applied to plant reproduction by tissue culture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vazquez Rueda, Martin G.; Hahn, Federico

    1999-03-01

    This paper shows the results obtained in a system vision applied to plant reproduction by tissue culture using adaptive image segmentation and pattern matching algorithms, this analysis improves the number of tissue obtained and minimize errors, the image features of tissue are considered join to statistical analysis to determine the best match and results. Tests make on potato plants are used to present comparative results with original images processed with adaptive segmentation algorithm and non adaptive algorithms and pattern matching.

  12. Plant reproductive allocation predicts herbivore dynamics across spatial and temporal scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Tom E X; Tyre, Andrew J; Louda, Svata M

    2006-11-01

    Life-history theory suggests that iteroparous plants should be flexible in their allocation of resources toward growth and reproduction. Such plasticity could have consequences for herbivores that prefer or specialize on vegetative versus reproductive structures. To test this prediction, we studied the response of the cactus bug (Narnia pallidicornis) to meristem allocation by tree cholla cactus (Opuntia imbricata). We evaluated the explanatory power of demographic models that incorporated variation in cactus relative reproductive effort (RRE; the proportion of meristems allocated toward reproduction). Field data provided strong support for a single model that defined herbivore fecundity as a time-varying, increasing function of host RRE. High-RRE plants were predicted to support larger insect populations, and this effect was strongest late in the season. Independent field data provided strong support for these qualitative predictions and suggested that plant allocation effects extend across temporal and spatial scales. Specifically, late-season insect abundance was positively associated with interannual changes in cactus RRE over 3 years. Spatial variation in insect abundance was correlated with variation in RRE among five cactus populations across New Mexico. We conclude that plant allocation can be a critical component of resource quality for insect herbivores and, thus, an important mechanism underlying variation in herbivore abundance across time and space.

  13. 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 v

  14. Plant diversity and root traits benefit physical properties key to soil function in grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gould, Iain J.; Quinton, John N.; Weigelt, Alexandra; Deyn, De Gerlinde B.; Bardgett, Richard D.; Seabloom, Eric

    2016-01-01

    Plant diversity loss impairs ecosystem functioning, including important effects on soil. Most studies that have explored plant diversity effects belowground, however, have largely focused on biological processes. As such, our understanding of how plant diversity impacts the soil physical

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eskelinen, Anu; Harrison, Susan; Tuomi, Maria

    2012-12-01

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

  16. Environmental correlates of plant diversity in Korean temperate forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Černý, Tomáš; Doležal, Jiří; Janeček, Štěpán; Šrůtek, Miroslav; Valachovič, Milan; Petřík, Petr; Altman, Jan; Bartoš, Michael; Song, Jong-Suk

    2013-02-01

    Mountainous areas of the Korean Peninsula are among the biodiversity hotspots of the world's temperate forests. Understanding patterns in spatial distribution of their species richness requires explicit consideration of different environmental drivers and their effects on functionally differing components. In this study, we assess the impact of both geographical and soil variables on the fine-scale (400 m2) pattern of plant diversity using field data from six national parks, spanning a 1300 m altitudinal gradient. Species richness and the slopes of species-area curves were calculated separately for the tree, shrub and herb layer and used as response variables in regression tree analyses. A cluster analysis distinguished three dominant forest communities with specific patterns in the diversity-environment relationship. The most widespread middle-altitude oak forests had the highest tree richness but the lowest richness of herbaceous plants due to a dense bamboo understory. Total richness was positively associated with soil reaction and negatively associated with soluble phosphorus and solar radiation (site dryness). Tree richness was associated mainly with soil factors, although trees are frequently assumed to be controlled mainly by factors with large-scale impact. A U-shaped relationship was found between herbaceous plant richness and altitude, caused by a distribution pattern of dwarf bamboo in understory. No correlation between the degree of canopy openness and herb layer richness was detected. Slopes of the species-area curves indicated the various origins of forest communities. Variable diversity-environment responses in different layers and communities reinforce the necessity of context-dependent differentiation for the assessment of impacts of climate and land-use changes in these diverse but intensively exploited regions.

  17. Genetic diversity and fitness in small populations of partially asexual, self-incompatible plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navascués, M; Stoeckel, S; Mariette, S

    2010-05-01

    How self-incompatibility systems are maintained in plant populations is still a debated issue. Theoretical models predict that self-incompatibility systems break down according to the intensity of inbreeding depression and number of S-alleles. Other studies have explored the function of asexual reproduction in the maintenance of self-incompatibility. However, the population genetics of partially asexual, self-incompatible populations are poorly understood and previous studies have failed to consider all possible effects of asexual reproduction or could only speculate on those effects. In this study, we investigated how partial asexuality may affect genetic diversity at the S-locus and fitness in small self-incompatible populations. A genetic model including an S-locus and a viability locus was developed to perform forward simulations of the evolution of populations of various sizes. Drift combined with partial asexuality produced a decrease in the number of alleles at the S-locus. In addition, an excess of heterozygotes was present in the population, causing an increase in mutation load. This heterozygote excess was enhanced by the self-incompatibility system in small populations. In addition, in highly asexual populations, individuals produced asexually had some fitness advantages over individuals produced sexually, because sexual reproduction produces homozygotes of the deleterious allele, contrary to asexual reproduction. Our results suggest that future research on the function of asexuality for the maintenance of self-incompatibility will need to (1) account for whole-genome fitness (mutation load generated by asexuality, self-incompatibility and drift) and (2) acknowledge that the maintenance of self-incompatibility may not be independent of the maintenance of sex itself.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherer, Laura; Curran, Michael; Alvarez, Miguel

    2017-04-01

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

  19. Relationships between Spatial Metrics and Plant Diversity in Constructed Freshwater Wetlands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erika C Brandt

    Full Text Available The diversity of plant species and their distribution in space are both thought to have important effects on the function of wetland ecosystems. However, knowledge of the relationships between plant species and spatial diversity remains incomplete. In this study, we investigated relationships between spatial pattern and plant species diversity over a five year period following the initial restoration of experimental wetland ecosystems. In 2003, six identical and hydrologically-isolated 0.18 ha wetland "cells" were constructed in former farmland in northeast Ohio. The systems were subjected to planting treatments that resulted in different levels of vascular plant species diversity among cells. Plant species diversity was assessed through annual inventories. Plant spatial pattern was assessed by digitizing low-altitude aerial photographs taken at the same time as the inventories. Diversity metrics derived from the inventories were significantly related to certain spatial metrics derived from the photographs, including cover type diversity and contagion. We found that wetlands with high cover type diversity harbor higher plant species diversity than wetlands with fewer types of patches. We also found significant relationships between plant species diversity and spatial patterning of patch types, but the direction of the effect differed depending on the diversity metric used. Links between diversity and spatial pattern observed in this study suggest that high-resolution aerial imagery may provide wetland scientists with a useful tool for assessing plant diversity.

  20. Relationships between Spatial Metrics and Plant Diversity in Constructed Freshwater Wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossman, Jake J.; Allen, George A.; Benzing, David H.

    2015-01-01

    The diversity of plant species and their distribution in space are both thought to have important effects on the function of wetland ecosystems. However, knowledge of the relationships between plant species and spatial diversity remains incomplete. In this study, we investigated relationships between spatial pattern and plant species diversity over a five year period following the initial restoration of experimental wetland ecosystems. In 2003, six identical and hydrologically-isolated 0.18 ha wetland “cells” were constructed in former farmland in northeast Ohio. The systems were subjected to planting treatments that resulted in different levels of vascular plant species diversity among cells. Plant species diversity was assessed through annual inventories. Plant spatial pattern was assessed by digitizing low-altitude aerial photographs taken at the same time as the inventories. Diversity metrics derived from the inventories were significantly related to certain spatial metrics derived from the photographs, including cover type diversity and contagion. We found that wetlands with high cover type diversity harbor higher plant species diversity than wetlands with fewer types of patches. We also found significant relationships between plant species diversity and spatial patterning of patch types, but the direction of the effect differed depending on the diversity metric used. Links between diversity and spatial pattern observed in this study suggest that high-resolution aerial imagery may provide wetland scientists with a useful tool for assessing plant diversity. PMID:26296205

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monnanda Somaiah Nalini

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Plant functional diversity enhances associations of soil fungal diversity with vegetation and soil in the restoration of semiarid sandy grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuo, Xiaoan; Wang, Shaokun; Lv, Peng; Zhou, Xin; Zhao, Xueyong; Zhang, Tonghui; Zhang, Jing

    2016-01-01

    The trait-based approach shows that plant functional diversity strongly affects ecosystem properties. However, few empirical studies show the relationship between soil fungal diversity and plant functional diversity in natural ecosystems. We investigated soil fungal diversity along a restoration gradient of sandy grassland (mobile dune, semifixed dune, fixed dune, and grassland) in Horqin Sand Land, northern China, using the denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of 18S rRNA and gene sequencing. We also examined associations of soil fungal diversity with plant functional diversity reflected by the dominant species' traits in community (community-weighted mean, CWM) and the dispersion of functional trait values (FD is). We further used the structure equation model (SEM) to evaluate how plant richness, biomass, functional diversity, and soil properties affect soil fungal diversity in sandy grassland restoration. Soil fungal richness in mobile dune and semifixed dune was markedly lower than those of fixed dune and grassland (P functional diversity explained nearly 70% variances of soil fungal richness. Strong association of soil fungal richness with the dominant species in the community supported the mass ratio hypothesis. Our results clearly highlight the role of plant functional diversity in enhancing associations of soil fungal diversity with community structure and soil properties in sandy grassland ecosystems.

  3. Species diversity of plant communities from territories with natural origin radionuclides contamination

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaneva, A.V.; Belykh, E.S.; Maystrenko, T.A.; Grusdev, B.I.; Zainullin, V.G.; Vakhrusheva, O.M. [Institute of Biology, Komi Scientific Center, Ural Division of RAS, Syktyvkar, 167982 (Russian Federation); Oughton, D. [Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Aas (Norway)

    2014-07-01

    of the index was 3.2±0.3, as compared to the reference site and former radium production plant areas, which had 3.9±0.4 and 4.0±0.4, respectively. The species diversity of the studied sites can be affected by both anthropogenic and natural factors. Natural factors impacting on ecotype diversity can include elevation, soil humus concentration nitrate nitrogen, phosphates and potassium and also oil products. Anthropogenic factors include the irradiation dose, soil concentration of heavy metals, several mineral salts used in radium production (calcium and barium chlorides and sulphates) and fluorides present in uranium wastes. There was evidence of a decrease in the diversity of vascular plants with weighted absorbed dose increase. However increased concentrations of Ba, F and heavy metals in the soils of sites having the highest dose for herbal species may confound results, or even enhance any radiation impact. Additional studies of seed germination suggest that decrease in herb species reproductive capacity could be the reason for their elimination from the communities. (authors)

  4. Unisexual and heterosexual meiotic reproduction generate aneuploidy and phenotypic diversity de novo in the yeast Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Min Ni

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Aneuploidy is known to be deleterious and underlies several common human diseases, including cancer and genetic disorders such as trisomy 21 in Down's syndrome. In contrast, aneuploidy can also be advantageous and in fungi confers antifungal drug resistance and enables rapid adaptive evolution. We report here that sexual reproduction generates phenotypic and genotypic diversity in the human pathogenic yeast Cryptococcus neoformans, which is globally distributed and commonly infects individuals with compromised immunity, such as HIV/AIDS patients, causing life-threatening meningoencephalitis. C. neoformans has a defined a-α opposite sexual cycle; however, >99% of isolates are of the α mating type. Interestingly, α cells can undergo α-α unisexual reproduction, even involving genotypically identical cells. A central question is: Why would cells mate with themselves given that sex is costly and typically serves to admix preexisting genetic diversity from genetically divergent parents? In this study, we demonstrate that α-α unisexual reproduction frequently generates phenotypic diversity, and the majority of these variant progeny are aneuploid. Aneuploidy is responsible for the observed phenotypic changes, as chromosome loss restoring euploidy results in a wild-type phenotype. Other genetic changes, including diploidization, chromosome length polymorphisms, SNPs, and indels, were also generated. Phenotypic/genotypic changes were not observed following asexual mitotic reproduction. Aneuploidy was also detected in progeny from a-α opposite-sex congenic mating; thus, both homothallic and heterothallic sexual reproduction can generate phenotypic diversity de novo. Our study suggests that the ability to undergo unisexual reproduction may be an evolutionary strategy for eukaryotic microbial pathogens, enabling de novo genotypic and phenotypic plasticity and facilitating rapid adaptation to novel environments.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Functional analysis of a reproductive organ predominant expressing promoter in cotton plants

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    REN Maozhi; CHEN Quanjia; LI Li; ZHANG Rui; GUO Sandui

    2005-01-01

    Transgenic Bt insect-resistant cotton plants have high insect resistance in the early stage of development, but relatively low resistance in the late stage. Substituting a reproductive organ-specific promoter for the CaMV35S promoter presently being used could be an ideal solution. For the first time, the promoter sequence of ADP-ribosylation factor 1 (arf1) gene was isolated from Gossypium hirsutumY18 by means of inverse PCR. The sequencing result discovered the unique structure of the arf1 promoter, including four promoter-specific elements, the initiator, TATA box, CAAT box and GC box, and also an intron in 5′-untranslation region. Four plant expression vectors were constructed for functional analysis of the promoter. Based on the pBI121 plant expression vector, four truncated arf1 promoters took the place of the CaMV35S promoter. These vectors were different only in their promoter regions. They were introduced into cotton plants via pollen tube pathway. Histochemical GUS staining and fluorescence quantitative analyses were performed to examine the expression patterns of the GUS gene driven by the 4 arf1 truncated promoters in transgenic cotton plants respectively. The results showed that the arf1 promoter was a typical reproductive organ-specific promoter. Hopefully, the arf1 promoter can be a regulatory element for designing cotton reproductive organs with desired characteristics.

  7. Functional analysis of a reproductive organ predominant expressing promoter in cotton plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Maozhi; Chen, Quanjia; Li, Li; Zhang, Rui; Guo, Sandui

    2005-10-01

    Transgenic Bt insect-resistant cotton plants have high insect resistance in the early stage of development, but relatively low resistance in the late stage. Substituting a reproductive organ-specific promoter for the CaMV35S promoter presently being used could be an ideal solution. For the first time, the promoter sequence of ADP-ribosylation factor 1 (arf1) gene was isolated from Gossypium hirsutumY18 by means of inverse PCR. The sequencing result discovered the unique structure of the arf1 promoter, including four promoter-specific elements, the initiator, TATA box, CAAT box and GC box, and also an intron in 5'-untranslation region. Four plant expression vectors were constructed for functional analysis of the promoter. Based on the pBl121 plant expression vector, four truncated arf1 promoters took the place of the CaMV35S promoter. These vectors were different only in their promoter regions. They were introduced into cotton plants via pollen tube pathway. Histochemical GUS staining and fluorescence quantitative analyses were performed to examine the expression patterns of the GUS gene driven by the 4 arf1 truncated promoters in transgenic cotton plants respectively. The results showed that the arf1 promoter was a typical reproductive organ-specific promoter. Hopefully, the arf1 promoter can be a regulatory element for designing cotton reproductive organs with desired characteristics.

  8. NATURAL PLANT TOXICANT – CYANOGENIC GLYCOSIDE AMYGDALIN: CHARACTERISTIC, METABOLISM AND THE EFFECT ON ANIMAL REPRODUCTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduard Kolesár

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The amount of cyanogenic glycosides, as natural plant toxicants, in plants varies with plant species and environmental effects. Cyanogenic glycoside as an amygdalin was detected in apricot kernels, bitter almonds and peach, plum, pear and apple seeds. Amygdalin itself is non-toxic, but its HCN production decomposed by some enzymes is toxic substance. Target of this review was to describe the characteristic, metabolism and possible effects of amygdalin on reproductive processes. Previous studies describe the effects of natural compound amygdalin on female and male reproductive systems focused on process of steroidogenesis, spermatozoa motility and morphological abnormalities of spermatozoa. In accordance to the previous studies on amygdalin its benefit is controversial.

  9. Achievement of genetics in plant reproduction research: the past decade for the coming decade.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suwabe, Keita; Suzuki, Go; Watanabe, Masao

    2010-01-01

    In the last decade, a variety of innovations of emerging technologies in science have been accomplished. Advanced research environment in plant science has made it possible to obtain whole genome sequence in plant species. But now we recognize this by itself is not sufficient to understand the overall biological significance. Since Gregor Mendel established a principle of genetics, known as Mendel's Laws of Inheritance, genetics plays a prominent role in life science, and this aspect is indispensable even in modern plant biology. In this review, we focus on achievements of genetics on plant sexual reproduction research in the last decade and discuss the role of genetics for the coming decade. It is our hope that this will shed light on the importance of genetics in plant biology and provide valuable information to plant biologists.

  10. Late snowmelt delays plant development and results in lower reproductive success in the High Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Elisabeth J; Dullinger, Stefan; Semenchuk, Philipp

    2011-01-01

    In tundra areas where the growing season is short, any delay in the start of summer may have a considerable effect on plant development, growth and reproductive success. Climate models suggest long-term changes in winter precipitation in the Arctic, which may lead to deeper snow cover and a resultant delay in date of snow melt. In this paper, we investigated the role of snow depth and melt out date on the phenological development and reproductive success of vascular plants in Adventdalen, Svalbard (78° 10'N, 16° 06'E). Effects of natural variations in snow accumulation were demonstrated using two vegetation types (snow depth: meadow 21 cm, heath 32 cm), and fences were used to experimentally increase snow depth by over 1m. Phenological delay was greatest directly after snowmelt in the earlier phenological phases, and had the largest effect on the early development of those species which normally green-up early (i.e. Dryas, Papaver, Salix, Saxifraga). Compressed growing seasons and length of the reproductive period led to a reduced reproductive success in some of the study species. There were fewer flowers, fewer plots with dispersing seeds, and lower germination rates. This can have consequences for plant establishment and community composition in the long-term.

  11. Plant invasion phenomenon enhances reproduction performance in an endangered spider.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pétillon, Julien; Puzin, Charlène; Acou, Anthony; Outreman, Yannick

    2009-10-01

    Current models in evolutionary ecology predict life history alterations in response to habitat suitability to optimize fitness. Only few empirical studies have demonstrated how life history traits that are expected to trade off against each other differ among environments. In Europe, many salt marshes have been recently invaded by the grass Elymus athericus. Previous studies however showed higher densities of the endangered spider Arctosa fulvolineata (Araneae: Lycosidae) in invaded salt marshes compared to natural habitats, which suggests a lower habitat suitability in the latter. The aim of this study was to determine if this emerging habitat (1) affects the amount of resource acquisition and (2) alters the balance between life history traits that are expected to trade off against each other in this stenotopic salt marsh species. As suggested by theoretical studies, an optimization of fitness by increasing egg size at the cost of decreasing fecundity in unsuitable (i.e., natural) habitats was expected. Females presenting cocoon were then collected in close invaded and natural salt marsh areas within the Mont Saint-Michel Bay (France). By considering female mass as covariate, cocoon mass, number of eggs, and egg volume were compared between both habitats. Clutch mass was strongly determined by female mass in both habitats. Clutch mass was however significantly smaller in the natural habitat compared to the invaded habitat, indicating a higher resource acquisition in the latter. When correcting for female size, fecundity was additionally increased in the invaded habitat through a significant decrease in egg size. This phenotypic response can be explained by differences in habitat structure between invaded and natural habitats: the former offers a more complex litter favoring nocturnal wanderers like A. fulvolineata. The existence of such an adaptive reproduction strategy depending on habitat suitability constitutes an original case of an invasion that favors an

  12. The Future of Vascular Plant Diversity Under Four Global Scenarios

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Detlef P. van Vuuren

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity is of crucial importance for ecosystem functioning and human well-being. Using quantitative projections of changes in land use and climate from the four Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA scenarios, we project that reduction of habitat by year 2050 will result in a loss of global vascular plant diversity ranging from 7-24% relative to 1995, after populations have reached equilibrium with the reduced habitat. This range includes both the impact of different scenarios and uncertainty in the SAR relationship. Biomes projected to lose the most species are warm mixed forest, savannahs, shrub, tropical forest, and tropical woodlands. In the 2000-2050 period, land-use change contributes more on a global scale to species diversity loss than does climate change, 7-13% vs. 2-4% loss at equilibrium for different scenarios, respectively. However, after 2050, climate change will become increasingly important.

  13. Thiol-based redox regulation in sexual plant reproduction: new insights and perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traverso, Jose A.; Pulido, Amada; Rodríguez-García, María I.; Alché, Juan D.

    2013-01-01

    The success of sexual reproduction in plants involves (i) the proper formation of the plant gametophytes (pollen and embryo sac) containing the gametes, (ii) the accomplishment of specific interactions between pollen grains and the stigma, which subsequently lead to (iii) the fusion of the gametes and eventually to (iv) the seed setting. Owing to the lack of mobility, plants have developed specific regulatory mechanisms to control all developmental events underlying the sexual plant reproduction according to environmental challenges. Over the last decade, redox regulation and signaling have come into sight as crucial mechanisms able to manage critical stages during sexual plant reproduction. This regulation involves a complex redox network which includes reactive oxygen species (ROS), reactive nitrogen species (RNS), glutathione and other classic buffer molecules or antioxidant proteins, and some thiol/disulphide-containing proteins belonging to the thioredoxin superfamily, like glutaredoxins (GRXs) or thioredoxins (TRXs). These proteins participate as critical elements not only in the switch between the mitotic to the meiotic cycle but also at further developmental stages of microsporogenesis. They are also implicated in the regulation of pollen rejection as the result of self-incompatibility. In addition, they display precise space-temporal patterns of expression and are present in specific localizations like the stigmatic papillae or the mature pollen, although their functions and subcellular localizations are not clear yet. In this review we summarize insights and perspectives about the presence of thiol/disulphide-containing proteins in plant reproduction, taking into account the general context of the cell redox network. PMID:24294217

  14. Low investment in sexual reproduction threatens plants adapted to phosphorus limitation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fujita, Y.; Olde Venterink, H.; Bodegom, van P.M.; Douma, J.C.; Heil, G.W.; Hölzel, N.; Jablonska, E.; Kotowski, W.; Okruszko, T.; Pawlikowski, P.; Ruiter, de P.C.; Wassen, M.J.

    2014-01-01

    Plant species diversity in Eurasian wetlands and grasslands depends not only on productivity but also on the relative availability of nutrients, particularly of nitrogen and phosphorus1–4. Here we show that the impacts of nitrogen:phosphorus stoichiometry on plant species richness can be explained b

  15. Root exudate cocktails: the link between plant diversity and soil microorganisms?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinauer, Katja; Chatzinotas, Antonis; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2016-10-01

    Higher plant diversity is often associated with higher soil microbial biomass and diversity, which is assumed to be partly due to elevated root exudate diversity. However, there is little experimental evidence that diversity of root exudates shapes soil microbial communities. We tested whether higher root exudate diversity enhances soil microbial biomass and diversity in a plant diversity gradient, thereby negating significant plant diversity effects on soil microbial properties. We set up plant monocultures and two- and three-species mixtures in microcosms using functionally dissimilar plants and soil of a grassland biodiversity experiment in Germany. Artificial exudate cocktails were added by combining the most common sugars, organic acids, and amino acids found in root exudates. We applied four different exudate cocktails: two exudate diversity levels (low- and high-diversity) and two nutrient-enriched levels (carbon- and nitrogen-enriched), and a control with water only. Soil microorganisms were more carbon- than nitrogen-limited. Cultivation-independent fingerprinting analysis revealed significantly different soil microbial communities among exudate diversity treatments. Most notably and according to our hypothesis, adding diverse exudate cocktails negated the significant plant diversity effect on soil microbial properties. Our findings provide the first experimental evidence that root exudate diversity is a crucial link between plant diversity and soil microorganisms.

  16. Plant reproduction systems in microgravity: experimental data and hypotheses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kordyum, E. L.

    Elucidation of the possibilities for higher plants to realize complete ontogenesis, from seed to seed, and to propagate by seeds in microgravity, is a fundamental task of space biology connected with the working of the CELSS program. At present, there are results of only 6 spaceflight experiments with Arabidopsis thaliana, an ephemeral plant which will flower and fruit in orbit. Morphogenesis of generative organs occurs normally in microgravity, but unlike the ground control, buds and flowers mainly contain sterile elements of the androecium and gynoecium which degenerate at different stages of development in microgravity. Cytological peculiarities of male and female sterility in microgravity are similar to those occurring naturally during sexual differentiation. Many of the seed formed in microgravity are: 1) nutritional deficiency, 2) insufficient light, 3) intensification of the influence of the above-mentioned factors by microgravity, 4) disturbances of a hormonal nature, and 5) the absence of pollination and fertilization. Possible ways for testing these hypotheses and obtaining viable seeds in microgravity are discussed.

  17. Advanced technologies for plant cell wall evolution and diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fangel, Jonatan Ulrik

    Plant cell walls consist of polysaccharides, glycoproteins and phenolic polymers interlinked together in a highly complex network. The detailed analysis of cell walls is challenging because of their inherent complexity and heterogeneity. Also, complex carbohydrates, unlike proteins and nucleotides...... probes (monoclonal antibodies mAbs and carbohydrate binding modules, CBMs) to rapidly profile polysaccharides across a sample set. During my PhD I have further developed the CoMPP technique and used it for cell wall analysis within the context of a variety of applied and fundamental projects. The data...... produced has provided new insight into cell wall evolution and biosynthesis and has contributed to the commercial development of cell wall materials. A major focus of the work has been the wide scale sampling of cell wall diversity across the plant kingdom, from unicellular algae to highly evolved...

  18. Plant diterpene synthases: exploring modularity and metabolic diversity for bioengineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zerbe, Philipp; Bohlmann, Jörg

    2015-07-01

    Plants produce thousands of diterpenoid natural products; some of which are of significant industrial value as biobased pharmaceuticals (taxol), fragrances (sclareol), food additives (steviosides), and commodity chemicals (diterpene resin acids). In nature, diterpene synthase (diTPS) enzymes are essential for generating diverse diterpene hydrocarbon scaffolds. While some diTPSs also form oxygenated compounds, more commonly, oxygenation is achieved by cytochrome P450-dependent mono-oxygenases. Recent genome-, transcriptome-, and metabolome-guided gene discovery and enzyme characterization identified novel diTPS functions that form the core of complex modular pathway systems. Insights into diterpene metabolism may translate into the development of new bioengineered microbial and plant-based production systems.

  19. Deforestation and plant diversity of Madagascar's littoral forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Consiglio, Trisha; Schatz, George E; McPherson, Gordon; Lowry, Porter P; Rabenantoandro, Johny; Rogers, Zachary S; Rabevohitra, Raymond; Rabehevitra, David

    2006-12-01

    Few studies have attempted to quantify the reduction or document the floristic composition of forests in Madagascar. Thus, we focused specifically on deforestation and plant diversity in Madagascar's eastern littoral community. We used a data set of approximately 13,500 specimen records compiled from both historical and contemporary collections resulting from recent intensive inventory efforts to enumerate total plant species richness and to analyze the degree of endemism within littoral forests. Change in littoral forest cover from original to current extent was estimated using geographical information systems tools, remote sensing data (satellite imagery and low-elevation digital photography), and environmental data layers. Of the original littoral forest only 10.3% remains in the form of small forest parcels, and only 1.5% of these remaining fragments are included within the existing protected-areas network. Additionally, approximately 13% of Madagascar's total native flora has been recorded from these forests that originally occupied land surface, and over 25% of the 1535 plant species known from littoral forests are endemic to this community. Given the ongoing pressure from human settlement along Madagascar's eastern coast, protection of the remaining forest fragments is critical for their survival. Fifteen of the largest intact littoral forest fragments we identified, collectively representing 41.5% of remaining littoral forest, are among priority sites recommended to the government of Madagascar for plant conservation and incorporation into the protected-areas network.

  20. Plant and algal cell walls: diversity and functionality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popper, Zoë A; Ralet, Marie-Christine; Domozych, David S

    2014-10-01

    Although plants and many algae (e.g. the Phaeophyceae, brown, and Rhodophyceae, red) are only very distantly related they are united in their possession of carbohydrate-rich cell walls, which are of integral importance being involved in many physiological processes. Furthermore,wall components have applications within food, fuel, pharmaceuticals, fibres (e.g. for textiles and paper) and building materials and have long been an active topic of research. As shown in the 27 papers in this Special Issue, as the major deposit of photosynthetically fixed carbon, and therefore energy investment, cell walls are of undisputed importance to the organisms that possess them, the photosynthetic eukaryotes ( plants and algae). The complexities of cell wall components along with their interactions with the biotic and abiotic environment are becoming increasingly revealed. The importance of plant and algal cell walls and their individual components to the function and survival of the organism, and for a number of industrial applications, are illustrated by the breadth of topics covered in this issue, which includes papers concentrating on various plants and algae, developmental stages, organs, cell wall components, and techniques. Although we acknowledge that there are many alternative ways in which the papers could be categorized (and many would fit within several topics), we have organized them as follows: (1) cell wall biosynthesis and remodelling, (2) cell wall diversity, and (3) application of new technologies to cell walls. Finally, we will consider future directions within plant cell wall research. Expansion of the industrial uses of cell walls and potentially novel uses of cell wall components are both avenues likely to direct future research activities. Fundamentally, it is the continued progression from characterization (structure, metabolism, properties and localization) of individual cell wall components through to defining their roles in almost every aspect of plant

  1. Overcompensation of herbivore reproduction through hyper-suppression of plant defenses in response to competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schimmel, Bernardus C J; Ataide, Livia M S; Chafi, Rachid; Villarroel, Carlos A; Alba, Juan M; Schuurink, Robert C; Kant, Merijn R

    2017-06-01

    Spider mites are destructive arthropod pests on many crops. The generalist herbivorous mite Tetranychus urticae induces defenses in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and this constrains its fitness. By contrast, the Solanaceae-specialist Tetranychus evansi maintains a high reproductive performance by suppressing tomato defenses. Tetranychus evansi outcompetes T. urticae when infesting the same plant, but it is unknown whether this is facilitated by the defenses of the plant. We assessed the extent to which a secondary infestation by a competitor affects local plant defense responses (phytohormones and defense genes), mite gene expression and mite performance. We observed that T. evansi switches to hyper-suppression of defenses after its tomato host is also invaded by its natural competitor T. urticae. Jasmonate (JA) and salicylate (SA) defenses were suppressed more strongly, albeit only locally at the feeding site of T. evansi, upon introduction of T. urticae to the infested leaflet. The hyper-suppression of defenses coincided with increased expression of T. evansi genes coding for salivary defense-suppressing effector proteins and was paralleled by an increased reproductive performance. Together, these observations suggest that T. evansi overcompensates its reproduction through hyper-suppression of plant defenses in response to nearby competitors. We hypothesize that the competitor-induced overcompensation promotes competitive population growth of T. evansi on tomato. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  2. Plant growth with new fluorescent lamps : II. Growth and reproduction of mature bean plants and dwarf marigold plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, A S; Dunn, S

    1966-06-01

    Bean and marigold plants were grown to maturity under several kinds of fluorescent lamps to evaluate the effects of spectral differences on development and reproduction. Six kinds of lamps were tested including five lamps that were used in closely related experiments on tomato seedling growth (THOMAS and DUNN, 1967). Evaluation was by fresh- and dry-weight yields of immature and mature pods, and of vegetative tops of plants for bean; and by flowering and fresh-and dry-weight yields for marigold.Bean plants grown under two experimental lamps, Com I and IR III produced significantly higher fresh- and dry-weight yields of both mature and total pods than under Warm-white lamps. This effect could be attributed largely to the considerable energy emitted by the experimental lamps in the red and far-red, as compared to a larger emission in the green and blue for the Warm-white lamps. The differences in the yields for immature pods and vegetative portions of the mature tops were not significant.In a comparison of the effects of three experimental lamps with those of three commercial lamps on growth response of bean plants, the yields were in general higher for the experimental lamps, except for immature pods. The yields of vegetative tops were significantly greater for the 78/22 lamp over the yields for all other lamps. The larger proportion of red and far-red light emitted by the experimental lamps is again the probable cause of the higher yields with these lamps.Two sets of experiments on growth and flowering of marigold under various experimental and commercial lamps were largely inconclusive although there was some indication of beneficial effects by the experimental lamps.In general, the results with bean agree with those for tomato (THOMAS and DUNN, 1967), in that best growth was obtained with a lamp high in red light emission, a moderate amount in the far-red, and very little in the blue part of the spectrum.

  3. Convergence beyond flower morphology? Reproductive biology of hummingbird-pollinated plants in the Brazilian Cerrado.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, C; Maruyama, P K; Oliveira, P E

    2016-03-01

    Convergent reproductive traits in non-related plants may be the result of similar environmental conditions and/or specialised interactions with pollinators. Here, we documented the pollination and reproductive biology of Bionia coriacea (Fabaceae), Esterhazya splendida (Orobanchaceae) and Ananas ananassoides (Bromeliaceae) as case studies in the context of hummingbird pollination in Cerrado, the Neotropical savanna of Central South America. We combined our results with a survey of hummingbird pollination studies in the region to investigate the recently suggested association of hummingbird pollination and self-compatibility. Plant species studied here differed in their specialisation for ornithophily, from more generalist A. ananassoides to somewhat specialist B. coriacea and E. splendida. This continuum of specialisation in floral traits also translated into floral visitor composition. Amazilia fimbriata was the most frequent pollinator for all species, and the differences in floral display and nectar energy availability among plant species affect hummingbirds' behaviour. Most of the hummingbird-pollinated Cerrado plants (60.0%, n = 20), including those studied here, were self-incompatible, in contrast to other biomes in the Neotropics. Association to more generalist, often territorial, hummingbirds, and resulting reduced pollen flow in open savanna areas may explain predominance of self-incompatibility. But it is possible that mating system is more associated with the predominance of woody hummingbird plants in the Cerrado plant assemblage than to the pollination system itself.

  4. Diversity and distribution of Listeria monocytogenes in meat processing plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín, Belén; Perich, Adriana; Gómez, Diego; Yangüela, Javier; Rodríguez, Alicia; Garriga, Margarita; Aymerich, Teresa

    2014-12-01

    Listeria monocytogenes is a major concern for the meat processing industry because many listeriosis outbreaks have been linked to meat product consumption. The aim of this study was to elucidate L. monocytogenes diversity and distribution across different Spanish meat processing plants. L. monocytogenes isolates (N = 106) collected from food contact surfaces of meat processing plants and meat products were serotyped and then characterised by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). The isolates were serotyped as 1/2a (36.8%), 1/2c (34%), 1/2b (17.9%) and 4b (11.3%). MLST identified ST9 as the most predominant allelic profile (33% of isolates) followed by ST121 (16%), both of which were detected from several processing plants and meat products sampled in different years, suggesting that those STs are highly adapted to the meat processing environment. Food contact surfaces during processing were established as an important source of L. monocytogenes in meat products because the same STs were obtained in isolates recovered from surfaces and products. L. monocytogenes was recovered after cleaning and disinfection procedures in two processing plants, highlighting the importance of thorough cleaning and disinfection procedures. Epidemic clone (EC) marker ECI was identified in 8.5%, ECIII was identified in 2.8%, and ECV was identified in 7.5% of the 106 isolates. Furthermore, a selection of presumably unrelated ST9 isolates was analysed by multi-virulence-locus sequence typing (MVLST). Most ST9 isolates had the same virulence type (VT11), confirming the clonal origin of ST9 isolates; however, one ST9 isolate was assigned to a new VT (VT95). Consequently, MLST is a reliable tool for identification of contamination routes and niches in processing plants, and MVLST clearly differentiates EC strains, which both contribute to the improvement of L. monocytogenes control programs in the meat industry. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Facultative asexual reproduction and genetic diversity of populations in the humivorous termite Cavitermes tuberosus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fournier, Denis; Hellemans, Simon; Hanus, Robert; Roisin, Yves

    2016-06-15

    Termite colonies are typically founded by a pair of sexually reproducing dispersers, which can sometimes be replaced by some of their offspring. Some Reticulitermes and Embiratermes species routinely practice asexual queen succession (AQS): the queen is replaced by neotenic daughters produced by parthenogenesis, which mate with the primary king. Here, to cast light on the evolution of AQS, we investigated another candidate species, Cavitermes tuberosus (Termitinae). Of 95 nests, 39 contained a primary queen and 28 contained neotenic females (2-667 individuals), usually with the primary king. Microsatellite analyses confirmed that colonies were initiated by single pairs after large dispersal flights. More than 80% of the neotenic females were of exclusively maternal origin and completely homozygous, suggesting automictic parthenogenesis with gamete duplication. Conversely, workers, soldiers, and most alates and primary reproductives were produced sexually. AQS often occurs late, after colonies have reached maturity, whereas early AQS in other species may boost the young colony's growth rate. We suggest additional benefits of AQS in C. tuberosus, related with a smaller size, lesser stability and higher mobility of colonies. Our data add to the phylogenetical dispersion and diversity of modalities of AQS in termites, supporting a multiple evolutionary origin of this process.

  6. Chromatin dynamics during cellular differentiation in the female reproductive lineage of flowering plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baroux, Célia; Autran, Daphné

    2015-07-01

    Sexual reproduction in flowering plants offers a number of remarkable aspects to developmental biologists. First, the spore mother cells - precursors of the plant reproductive lineage - are specified late in development, as opposed to precocious germline isolation during embryogenesis in most animals. Second, unlike in most animals where meiosis directly produces gametes, plant meiosis entails the differentiation of a multicellular, haploid gametophyte, within which gametic as well as non-gametic accessory cells are formed. These observations raise the question of the factors inducing and modus operandi of cell fate transitions that originate in floral tissues and gametophytes, respectively. Cell fate transitions in the reproductive lineage imply cellular reprogramming operating at the physiological, cytological and transcriptome level, but also at the chromatin level. A number of observations point to large-scale chromatin reorganization events associated with cellular differentiation of the female spore mother cells and of the female gametes. These include a reorganization of the heterochromatin compartment, the genome-wide alteration of the histone modification landscape, and the remodeling of nucleosome composition. The dynamic expression of DNA methyltransferases and actors of small RNA pathways also suggest additional, global epigenetic alterations that remain to be characterized. Are these events a cause or a consequence of cellular differentiation, and how do they contribute to cell fate transition? Does chromatin dynamics induce competence for immediate cellular functions (meiosis, fertilization), or does it also contribute long-term effects in cellular identity and developmental competence of the reproductive lineage? This review attempts to review these fascinating questions. © 2015 The Authors The Plant Journal published by Society for Experimental Biology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Ungulate Reproductive Parameters Track Satellite Observations of Plant Phenology across Latitude and Climatological Regimes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoner, David C; Sexton, Joseph O; Nagol, Jyoteshwar; Bernales, Heather H; Edwards, Thomas C

    2016-01-01

    The effect of climatically-driven plant phenology on mammalian reproduction is one key to predicting species-specific demographic responses to climate change. Large ungulates face their greatest energetic demands from the later stages of pregnancy through weaning, and so in seasonal environments parturition dates should match periods of high primary productivity. Interannual variation in weather influences the quality and timing of forage availability, which can influence neonatal survival. Here, we evaluated macro-scale patterns in reproductive performance of a widely distributed ungulate (mule deer, Odocoileus hemionus) across contrasting climatological regimes using satellite-derived indices of primary productivity and plant phenology over eight degrees of latitude (890 km) in the American Southwest. The dataset comprised > 180,000 animal observations taken from 54 populations over eight years (2004-2011). Regionally, both the start and peak of growing season ("Start" and "Peak", respectively) are negatively and significantly correlated with latitude, an unusual pattern stemming from a change in the dominance of spring snowmelt in the north to the influence of the North American Monsoon in the south. Corresponding to the timing and variation in both the Start and Peak, mule deer reproduction was latest, lowest, and most variable at lower latitudes where plant phenology is timed to the onset of monsoonal moisture. Parturition dates closely tracked the growing season across space, lagging behind the Start and preceding the Peak by 27 and 23 days, respectively. Mean juvenile production increased, and variation decreased, with increasing latitude. Temporally, juvenile production was best predicted by primary productivity during summer, which encompassed late pregnancy, parturition, and early lactation. Our findings offer a parsimonious explanation of two key reproductive parameters in ungulate demography, timing of parturition and mean annual production, across

  8. Plant-soil feedback and the maintenance of diversity in Mediterranean-climate shrublands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teste, François P; Kardol, Paul; Turner, Benjamin L; Wardle, David A; Zemunik, Graham; Renton, Michael; Laliberté, Etienne

    2017-01-13

    Soil biota influence plant performance through plant-soil feedback, but it is unclear whether the strength of such feedback depends on plant traits and whether plant-soil feedback drives local plant diversity. We grew 16 co-occurring plant species with contrasting nutrient-acquisition strategies from hyperdiverse Australian shrublands and exposed them to soil biota from under their own or other plant species. Plant responses to soil biota varied according to their nutrient-acquisition strategy, including positive feedback for ectomycorrhizal plants and negative feedback for nitrogen-fixing and nonmycorrhizal plants. Simulations revealed that such strategy-dependent feedback is sufficient to maintain the high taxonomic and functional diversity characterizing these Mediterranean-climate shrublands. Our study identifies nutrient-acquisition strategy as a key trait explaining how different plant responses to soil biota promote local plant diversity. Copyright © 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  9. Selection on plant male function genes identifies candidates for reproductive isolation of yellow monkeyflowers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan E Aagaard

    Full Text Available Understanding the genetic basis of reproductive isolation promises insight into speciation and the origins of biological diversity. While progress has been made in identifying genes underlying barriers to reproduction that function after fertilization (post-zygotic isolation, we know much less about earlier acting pre-zygotic barriers. Of particular interest are barriers involved in mating and fertilization that can evolve extremely rapidly under sexual selection, suggesting they may play a prominent role in the initial stages of reproductive isolation. A significant challenge to the field of speciation genetics is developing new approaches for identification of candidate genes underlying these barriers, particularly among non-traditional model systems. We employ powerful proteomic and genomic strategies to study the genetic basis of conspecific pollen precedence, an important component of pre-zygotic reproductive isolation among yellow monkeyflowers (Mimulus spp. resulting from male pollen competition. We use isotopic labeling in combination with shotgun proteomics to identify more than 2,000 male function (pollen tube proteins within maternal reproductive structures (styles of M. guttatus flowers where pollen competition occurs. We then sequence array-captured pollen tube exomes from a large outcrossing population of M. guttatus, and identify those genes with evidence of selective sweeps or balancing selection consistent with their role in pollen competition. We also test for evidence of positive selection on these genes more broadly across yellow monkeyflowers, because a signal of adaptive divergence is a common feature of genes causing reproductive isolation. Together the molecular evolution studies identify 159 pollen tube proteins that are candidate genes for conspecific pollen precedence. Our work demonstrates how powerful proteomic and genomic tools can be readily adapted to non-traditional model systems, allowing for genome-wide screens

  10. Shrines in Central Italy conserve plant diversity and large trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frascaroli, Fabrizio; Bhagwat, Shonil; Guarino, Riccardo; Chiarucci, Alessandro; Schmid, Bernhard

    2016-05-01

    Sacred natural sites (SNS) are instances of biocultural landscapes protected for spiritual motives. These sites frequently host important biological values in areas of Asia and Africa, where traditional resource management is still upheld by local communities. In contrast, the biodiversity value of SNS has hardly been quantitatively tested in Western contexts, where customs and traditions have relatively lost importance due to modernization and secularization. To assess whether SNS in Western contexts retain value for biodiversity, we studied plant species composition at 30 SNS in Central Italy and compared them with a paired set of similar but not sacred reference sites. We demonstrate that SNS are important for conserving stands of large trees and habitat heterogeneity across different land-cover types. Further, SNS harbor higher plant species richness and a more valuable plant species pool, and significantly contribute to diversity at the landscape scale. We suggest that these patterns are related not only to pre-existent features, but also to traditional management. Conservation of SNS should take into account these specificities, and their cultural as well as biological values, by supporting the continuation of traditional management practices.

  11. Depth Effects on Plant Residue Decay in Diverse Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregorich, Edward; Ellert, Benjamin; Janzen, Henry; Helgason, Bobbi; Beare, Michael; Curtin, Denis

    2017-04-01

    Decay of plant residues is tied to many ecosystem functions, affecting atmospheric CO2, plant-available nutrients, microbial diversity, soil organic matter quality, among others. The rate of decay, in turn, is governed by soil type and management, location in the soil profile, and environmental variables, some of which may be changing in coming decades. Our objective in this study was to elucidate the decomposition dynamics of plant-derived C and N at different soil depths. To describe mathematically the importance of these variables across a broad scale, we established a long-term study at two sites in Canada and one site in New Zealand. At each site, labelled barley straw (13C = 10.2 atom%, 15N = 8.3 atom %; C = 37.9%; N = 0.95%; C:N = 40) was installed at 3 depths (5-10, 20-25 and 40-45 cm). Soil temperature was logged at each depth. Samples were collected at different times over 5-6 year after application of the residues. Data on recovery and kinetics of residue C and N over the experimental period will be discussed as well as 13C- PLFA results.

  12. Medicinal plants used in British Columbia, Canada for reproductive health in pets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lans, Cheryl; Turner, Nancy; Brauer, Gerhard; Khan, Tonya

    2009-08-01

    In 2003, semi-structured interviews were conducted in British Columbia, Canada with participants obtained using a purposive sample on the ethnoveterinary remedies used for animals. Twenty-nine participants provided the information in this paper on the ethnoveterinary remedies used for reproductive health in dogs and cats. The plants used for pregnancy support and milk production in pets were raspberry-leaf (Rubus idaeus), motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca), flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum) and ginger (Zingiber officinale). Uterine infections were treated with black cohosh (Actaea racemosa) and goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis). Most of the studies conducted on these plants have not been conducted on companion animals.

  13. Mutualism as reciprocal exploitation: African plant-ants defend foliar but not reproductive structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, Todd M; Brody, Alison K

    2007-12-01

    The foundation of many plant-ant mutualisms is ant protection of plants from herbivores in exchange for food and/or shelter. While the role of symbiotic ants in protecting plants from stem- and leaf-feeding herbivores has been intensively studied, the relationship between ant defense and measures of plant fitness has seldom been quantified. We studied ant aggression, damage by herbivores and seed predators, and fruit production among Acacia drepanolobium trees occupied by four different acacia-ant species in an East African savanna. Levels of ant aggression in response to experimental disturbance differed strongly among the four species. All four ant species recruited more strongly to new leaf growth on host plants following disturbance, while recruitment to developing fruits was on average an order of magnitude lower. Host plants occupied by more aggressive ant species suffered significantly less vegetative damage from leaf-feeding insects, stem-boring beetles, and vertebrate browsers than host plants occupied by less aggressive ant species. However, there were no differences among fruiting host plants occupied by different ant species in levels of seed predation by bruchid seed predators. Fruit production on host trees was significantly correlated with tree stem diameter but not with the identity of resident ants. Our results demonstrate that defense of host plants may differ substantially among ant species and between vegetative and reproductive structures and that fruit production is not necessarily correlated with high levels of aggression by resident ants.

  14. Indirect drivers of plant diversity-productivity relationship in semiarid sandy grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    X. A. Zuo

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Although patterns between plant diversity and ecosystem productivity have been much studied, a consistent relationship has not yet emerged. Differing patterns between plant diversity and productivity have been observed in response to spatial variability of environmental factors and vegetation composition. In this study, we measured vegetation cover, plant diversity, productivity, soil properties and site characteristics along an environmental gradient (mobile dune, semi-fixed dune, fixed dune, dry meadow, wet meadow and flood plain grasslands of natural sandy grasslands in semiarid areas of northern China. We used multivariate analysis to examine the relationships between environmental factors, vegetation composition, plant diversity and productivity. We found a positive correlation between plant diversity and productivity. Vegetation composition aggregated by the ordination technique of non-metric multidimensional scaling had also a significantly positive correlation with plant diversity and productivity. Environmental gradients in relation to soil and topography affected the distribution patterns of vegetation composition, species diversity and productivity. However, environmental gradients were a better determinant of vegetation composition and productivity than of plant diversity. Structural equation modeling suggested that environmental factors determine vegetation composition, which in turn independently drives both plant diversity and productivity. Thus, the positive correlation between plant diversity and productivity is indirectly driven by vegetation composition, which is determined by environmental gradients in soil and topography.

  15. Plant and Animal Reproductive Strategies: Lessons from Offspring Size and Number Tradeoffs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. G. Srikanta Dani

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The tradeoff between offspring size and number is ubiquitous and manifestly similar in plants and animals despite fundamental differences between the evolutionary histories of these two major life forms. Fecundity (offspring number primarily affects parental fitness, while offspring size underpins the fitness of parents and offspring. We provide an overview of theoretical models dealing with offspring size and fitness relationships. We follow that with a detailed examination of life-history constraints and environmental effects on offspring size and number, separately in plants and animals. The emphasis is on seed plants, but we endeavor to also summarize information from distinct animal groups—insects, fishes, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Furthermore, we analyse genetic controls on offspring size and number in two model organisms—Arabidopsis and Drosophila. Despite the deep evolutionary divergence between plants and animals, we find four trends in reproductive strategy that are common to both lineages: (i offspring size is generally less variable than offspring number, (ii offspring size increases with increasing parent body size, (iii maternal genes restrict offspring size and increase offspring numbers, while zygotic genes act to increase offspring size; such parent-offspring conflicts are enhanced when there is sibling rivalry, and (iv variation in offspring size increases under sub-optimal (harsh environmental conditions. The most salient difference between plants and animals is that the latter tend to produce larger (fewer offspring under sub-optimal conditions while seed plants invest in smaller (many seeds, suggesting that maternal genetic control over offspring size increases in plants but decreases in animals with parental care. The time is ripe for greater experimental exploration of genetic controls on reproductive allocation and parent-offspring conflicts in plants and animals under sub-optimal (harsh environments.

  16. Density-dependent reproductive and vegetative allocation in the aquatic plant Pistia stratiotes (Araceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flávia Freitas Coelho

    2005-09-01

    Full Text Available Pistia stratiotes is an aquatic macrophyte that grows in temporary-ponds in the southern Pantanal, Brazil. It reproduces both sexually and asexually and is usually observed forming dense mats on the water surface, a condition favored by the plant’s vegetative reproduction coupled with an ability for rapid growth. In this study we examined the effect of densely crowded conditions on the production of reproductive and vegetative structures. In addition, we verified whether there is a trade-off between clonal growth and investment in sexual reproductive structures, and whether there is an allocation pattern with plant size. Individual plant biomass and the number of the rosettes producing sexual reproductive structures and vegetative growth structures both increased with density. Increase in plant size resulted in increased proportional allocation to sexual reproductive structures and vegetative growth structures. Allocation of biomass to reproduction did not occur at the expense of clonal growth. Thus, the density response appears as a increase of rosettes producing sexual reproductive structures and vegetative growth structures. Therefore, long leaves and stolons may be adaptive under densely crowded conditions where competition for light is intense. An important aspect in the study of trade-offs is the size-dependency of the allocation patterns .Usually, larger plants produce more biomass. Therefore, larger plants can allocate more biomass to both vegetative and sexual reproduction than smaller plants and thus show a positive correlation between both traits rather than the expected negative one. Rev. Biol. Trop. 53(3-4: 369-376. Epub 2005 Oct 3.Pistias strariotes es una macrófita acuática que crece en charcas estacionales en el Pantanal sureño de Brasil. Se reproduce tanto sexual como asexualmente y se obsrva generalmente que forma densas parches sobre la superficie del agua, una condicion que favorecida por la reproduccion vegetativa de la

  17. The dynamics of resource allocation and costs of reproduction in a sexually dimorphic, wind-pollinated dioecious plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teitel, Z; Pickup, M; Field, D L; Barrett, S C H

    2016-01-01

    Sexual dimorphism in resource allocation is expected to change during the life cycle of dioecious plants because of temporal differences between the sexes in reproductive investment. Given the potential for sex-specific differences in reproductive costs, resource availability may contribute to variation in reproductive allocation in females and males. Here, we used Rumex hastatulus, a dioecious, wind-pollinated annual plant, to investigate whether sexual dimorphism varies with life-history stage and nutrient availability, and determine whether allocation patterns differ depending on reproductive commitment. To examine if the costs of reproduction varied between the sexes, reproduction was either allowed or prevented through bud removal, and biomass allocation was measured at maturity. In a second experiment to assess variation in sexual dimorphism across the life cycle, and whether this varied with resource availability, plants were grown in high and low nutrients and allocation to roots, aboveground vegetative growth and reproduction were measured at three developmental stages. Males prevented from reproducing compensated with increased above- and belowground allocation to a much larger degree than females, suggesting that male reproductive costs reduce vegetative growth. The proportional allocation to roots, reproductive structures and aboveground vegetative growth varied between the sexes and among life-cycle stages, but not with nutrient treatment. Females allocated proportionally more resources to roots than males at peak flowering, but this pattern was reversed at reproductive maturity under low-nutrient conditions. Our study illustrates the importance of temporal dynamics in sex-specific resource allocation and provides support for high male reproductive costs in wind-pollinated plants.

  18. Parasitoid-plant mutualism : parasitoid attack of herbivore increases plant reproduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Loon, van J.J.A.; Boer, de J.G.; Dicke, M.

    2000-01-01

    We tested whether a plant's life time seed production is increased by parasitization of herbivores in a tritrophic system, Arabidopsis thaliana (Brassicaceae) plants, Pieris rapae (Lepidoptera: Pieridae) caterpillars and the solitary endoparasitoid Cotesia rubecula (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). We esta

  19. Plant diversity and root traits benefit physical properties key to soil function in grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gould, Iain J; Quinton, John N; Weigelt, Alexandra; De Deyn, Gerlinde B; Bardgett, Richard D

    2016-09-01

    Plant diversity loss impairs ecosystem functioning, including important effects on soil. Most studies that have explored plant diversity effects belowground, however, have largely focused on biological processes. As such, our understanding of how plant diversity impacts the soil physical environment remains limited, despite the fundamental role soil physical structure plays in ensuring soil function and ecosystem service provision. Here, in both a glasshouse and a long-term field study, we show that high plant diversity in grassland systems increases soil aggregate stability, a vital structural property of soil, and that root traits play a major role in determining diversity effects. We also reveal that the presence of particular plant species within mixed communities affects an even wider range of soil physical processes, including hydrology and soil strength regimes. Our results indicate that alongside well-documented effects on ecosystem functioning, plant diversity and root traits also benefit essential soil physical properties.

  20. Does plant diversity benefit agroecosystems? A synthetic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Letourneau, Deborah K; Armbrecht, Inge; Rivera, Beatriz Salguero; Lerma, James Montoya; Carmona, Elizabeth Jiménez; Daza, Martha Constanza; Escobar, Selene; Galindo, Victor; Gutiérrez, Catalina; López, Sebastián Duque; Mejía, Jessica López; Rangel, Aleyda Maritza Acosta; Rangel, Janine Herrera; Rivera, Leonardo; Saavedra, Carlos Arturo; Torres, Alba Marina; Trujillo, Aldemar Reyes

    2011-01-01

    Predictive theory on how plant diversity promotes herbivore suppression through movement patterns, host associations, and predation promises a potential alternative to pesticide-intensive monoculture crop production. We used meta-analysis on 552 experiments in 45 articles published over the last 10 years to test if plant diversification schemes reduce herbivores and/or increase the natural enemies of herbivores as predicted by associational resistance hypotheses, the enemies hypothesis, and attraction and repellency model applications in agriculture. We found extensive support for these models with intercropping schemes, inclusion of flowering plants, and use of plants that repel herbivores or attract them away from the crop. Overall, herbivore suppression, enemy enhancement, and crop damage suppression effects were significantly stronger on diversified crops than on crops with none or fewer associated plant species. However, a relatively small, but significantly negative, mean effect size for crop yield indicated that pest-suppressive diversification schemes interfered with production, in part because of reducing densities of the main crop by replacing it with intercrops or non-crop plants. This first use of meta-analysis to evaluate the effects of diversification schemes, a potentially more powerful tool than tallies of significant positive and negative outcomes (vote-counting), revealed stronger overall effects on all parameters measured compared to previous reviews. Our analysis of the same articles used in a recent review facilitates comparisons of vote-counting and meta-analysis, and shows that pronounced results of the meta-analysis are not well explained by a reduction in articles that met its stricter criteria. Rather, compared to outcome counts, effect sizes were rarely neutral (equal to zero), and a mean effect size value for mixed outcomes could be calculated. Problematic statistical properties of vote-counting were avoided with meta-analysis, thus

  1. Analyses between Reproductive Behaviour, Genetic Diversity and Pythium Responsiveness in Zingiber spp. reveal an adaptive significance for hemiclonality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geethu Elizabath Thomas

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available AbstractMode of reproduction is generally considered to have long-range evolutionary implications on population survival. Because sexual reproduction produces genetically diverse genotypes, this mode of reproduction is predicted to positively influence the success potential of offspring in evolutionary arms race with parasites (Red queen whereas, without segregation and recombination, the obligate asexual multiplication may push a species into extinction due to the steady accumulation of deleterious mutations (Muller’s ratchet. However, the extent of linearity between reproductive strategies, genetic diversity and population fitness, and the contributions of different breeding strategies to population fitness are yet to be understood clearly. Genus Zingiber belonging to the pan-tropic family Zingiberaceae represents a good system to study contributions of different breeding behaviour on genetic diversity and population fitness, as this genus comprises species with contrasting breeding systems. In this study, we analyzed breeding behaviour, amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP diversity and response to the soft-rot pathogen Pythium aphanidermatum in 18 natural populations of three wild Zingiber spp.: Z. neesanum, Z. nimmonii and Z. zerumbet, together with the obligately asexual cultivated congener, ginger (Z. officinale. Ginger showed an exceptionally narrow genetic base, and adding to this, all the tested cultivars were uniformly susceptible to soft-rot. Concordant with the postulates of Muller’s ratchet, the background selection may be continuously pushing ginger into the ancestral state, rendering it inefficient in host-pathogen coevolution. Z. neesanum and Z. nimmonii populations were sexual and genetically diverse; however, contrary to Red Queen expectations, the populations were highly susceptible to soft-rot. Z. zerumbet showed a hemiclonal breeding behaviour. The populations inhabiting forest understory were large and

  2. Bacterial Diversity of Active Sludge in Wastewater Treatment Plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Xin; Ma, Mingchao; Li, Jun; Lu, Anhuai; Zhong, Zuoshen

    A bacterial 16S rDNA gene clone library was constructed to analyze the bacterial diversity of active sludge in Gaobeidian Wastewater Treatment Plant, Beijing. The results indicated that the bacterial diversity of active sludge was very high, and the clones could be divided into 5 different groups. The dominant bacterial community was proteobacteria, which accounted for 76.7%. The dominant succession of bacterial community were as follows: the β-proteobacteria (39.8%), the uncultured bacteria (22.33%), the γ-proteobacteria (20.15%), the α-proteobacteria (6.79%), and the σ-proteobacteria (4.85%). Nitrosomonas-like and Nitrospira-like bacteria, such as Nitrosomonas sp. (1.94%) and uncultured Nitrospirae bacterium (11.65%) were also detected, which have played important roles in ammonia and nitrite oxidisers in the system. However, they were only a little amount because of their slow growth and less competitive advantage than heterotrophic bacteria. Denitrifying bacteria like Thauera sp. was at a high percentage, which implies a strong denitrification ability; Roseomonas sp. was also detected in the clone library, which could be related to the degradation of organophosphorus pesticide.

  3. Effects of Drought on Plant Species Diversity and Productivity in the Oak Forests of Western Iran

    OpenAIRE

    Hassan Pourbabaei; Verya Rahimi; Mohammad Naghi Adel

    2014-01-01

    A severe drought in 2008 extensively damaged a variety of economic, social, agricultural and natural resources in Iran. This study investigated the effects of the 2008 drought on plant species composition, diversity and productivity in Western Iran. To this end, plant species diversity in the drought year (2008) was compared to pre-drought (2007) and post-drought (2009) diversity. The Shannon-Wiener diversity index and Margalef richness index had significant differences between years, dec...

  4. The impact of environmental stress on male reproductive development in plants: biological processes and molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Storme, Nico; Geelen, Danny

    2014-01-01

    In plants, male reproductive development is extremely sensitive to adverse climatic environments and (a)biotic stress. Upon exposure to stress, male gametophytic organs often show morphological, structural and metabolic alterations that typically lead to meiotic defects or premature spore abortion and male reproductive sterility. Depending on the type of stress involved (e.g. heat, cold, drought) and the duration of stress exposure, the underlying cellular defect is highly variable and either involves cytoskeletal alterations, tapetal irregularities, altered sugar utilization, aberrations in auxin metabolism, accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS; oxidative stress) or the ectopic induction of programmed cell death (PCD). In this review, we present the critically stress-sensitive stages of male sporogenesis (meiosis) and male gametogenesis (microspore development), and discuss the corresponding biological processes involved and the resulting alterations in male reproduction. In addition, this review also provides insights into the molecular and/or hormonal regulation of the environmental stress sensitivity of male reproduction and outlines putative interaction(s) between the different processes involved.

  5. Organic farming and heterogeneous landscapes positively affect different measures of plant diversity

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Rader, Romina; Birkhofer, Klaus; Schmucki, Reto; Smith, Henrik G; Stjernman, Martin; Lindborg, Regina; McKenzie, Ailsa

    2014-01-01

    ...) and farm management intensity (organic vs. conventional farming). Plant species richness and functional diversity metrics all responded positively to landscape heterogeneity, with the strongest effect occurring on conventional...

  6. Plant diversity in hedgerows amidst Atlantic Forest fragments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina C. C. Oliveira

    2015-06-01

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

  7. Genetic causes of transitions from sexual reproduction to asexuality in plants and animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neiman, M; Sharbel, T F; Schwander, T

    2014-07-01

    The persistence of sexual reproduction in the face of competition from asexual invaders is more likely if asexual lineages are produced infrequently or have low fitness. The generation rate and success of new asexual lineages will be influenced by the proximate mechanisms underlying transitions to asexuality. As such, characterization of these mechanisms can help explain the distribution of reproductive modes among natural populations. Here, we synthesize the literature addressing proximate causes of transitions from sexual to asexual reproduction in plants and animals. In cyclical and facultatively asexual taxa, individual mutations can cause obligate asexuality. The evolution of asexuality in obligately sexual groups is more complex, requiring the simultaneous acquisition of two traits generally controlled by different genetic factors: unreduced gamete formation and spontaneous development of unfertilized gametes. At least three 'pre-adaptations' could favour transitions to obligate asexuality in obligate sexuals. First, linkage among loci affecting separate key components of asexuality facilitates its spread, with evidence for these linkage blocks in plants. Second, asexuality should evolve more readily in haplodiploids; support for this hypothesis comes from two examples where a single locus causes transitions to asexuality. Third, standing genetic variation for the production of unreduced gametes could facilitate transitions to asexuality, but whether the ability to produce unreduced gametes contributes to the evolution of obligate asexuality remains unclear. We close by reviewing the associations between asexuality, hybridization and polyploidy, and argue that current data suggest that hybridization is more likely to play a causal role in transitions to asexuality than polyploidy.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Markus Lange

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Sexual Reproduction in Higher Plants Ⅰ: Fertilization and the Initiation of Zygotic Program

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yong-Feng Fan; Li Jiang; Hua-Qin Gong; Chun-Ming Liu

    2008-01-01

    Sexual plant reproduction is a critical developmental step in the life cycle of higher plants, to allow maternal and paternal genes to be transmitted in a highly regulated manner to the next generation. During evolution, a whole set of signal transduction machinery is developed by plants to ensure an error-free recognition between male and female gametes and initiation of zygotic program. In the past few years, the molecular machineries underlying this biological process have been elucidated, particularly on the importance of synergid cells in pollen tube guidance, the Ca++ spike as the immediate response of fertilization and the epigenetic regulation of parental gene expressions in early zygotic embryogenesis. This review outlines the most recent development in this area.

  11. Altitudinal Pattern of Plant Species Diversity in Shennongjia Mountains, Central China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chang-Ming ZHAO; Wei-Lie CHEN; Zi-Qiang TIAN; Zong-Qiang XIE

    2005-01-01

    One hundred and sixty plots, approximately every 100 m above sea level (a.s.l.) along an altitudinal gradient from 470 to 3 080 m a.s.l, at the southern and northern watershed of Mt. Shennongjia,China, were examined to determine the altitudinal pattern of plant species diversity. Mt. Shennongjia was found to have high plant species diversity, with 3 479 higher plants recorded. Partial correlation analysis and detrended canonical correspondence analysis (DCCA) based on plant species diversity revealed that altitude was the main factor affecting the spatial pattern of plant species diversity on Mt. Shennongjia and that canopy coverage of the arbor layer also had a considerable effect on plant species diversity. The DCCA based on species data of importance value further revealed that altitude gradient was the primary factor shaping the spatial pattern of plant species. In addition, the rule of the "mid-altitude bulge" was supported on Mt. Shennongjia. Plant species diversity was closely related to vegetation type and the transition zone usually had a higher diversity. Higher plant species diversity appeared in the mixed evergreen and deciduous broadleaved forest zone (900-1 500 m a.s.l.) and its transition down to evergreen broadleaved forest zone or up to deciduous broadleaved forest zone. The largest plant species diversity in whole communities on Mt. Shennongjia lay at approximately 1 200 m a.s.l. Greatest tree diversity, shrub diversity, and grass diversity was found at approximately 1 500, 1 100, and 1 200 m a.s.l., respectively. The southern watershed showed higher plant species diversity than the northern watershed, with maximum plant species diversity at a higher altitude in the southern watershed than the northern watershed. These results indicate that Mt.Shennongjia shows characteristics of a transition region. The relationship between the altitudinal pattern of plant species diversity and the vegetation type in eastern China are also discussed and a

  12. Diverse modes of reproduction in the marine free-living ciliate Glauconema trihymene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zufall Rebecca A

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Most free-living ciliates reproduce by equal fission or budding during vegetative growth. In certain ciliates, reproduction occurs inside the cyst wall, viz. reproductive cysts, but more complex reproductive strategies have generally been thought to be confined to parasitic or symbiotic species, e.g. Radiophrya spp. Results In addition to equal fission, asymmetric binary division and reproductive cysts were discovered in the free-living bacterivorous scuticociliate Glauconema trihymene Thompson, 1966. Asymmetric division is an innate physiological state that can be induced by sufficient food, and the higher the food concentration, the longer the asymmetric division persists. During asymmetric division, nuclear and somatic structures divide with transiently arrested cytokinesis and variable positioning of macronuclei. Phylogenetic analysis, based on the small subunit of ribosomal DNA (SSU rDNA sequences, showed that the G. trihymene isolate studied here nests with typical scuticociliates and is paraphyletic to both the symbiotic apostome and astome ciliates, some of which also produce progeny by asymmetric division. Conclusions The asymmetric division in G. trihymene has no precedent among undisturbed free-living ciliates. The coexistence of multiple modes of reproduction may represent a previously undescribed reproductive strategy for ciliates living on food patches in coastal waters. This may also be indicative of similar reproductive strategies among other polyphenic ciliates, which have not been intensively studied. Asymmetric division provides a special opportunity for studying ciliates' phenotypic plasticity and may also illuminate the origins of multicellularity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-14

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

  14. Inhibitory effects of salicylic acid on Meloidogyne javanica reproduction in tomato plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moslemi, F.; Fatemy, S.; Bernard, F.

    2016-11-01

    Root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.), play a major role in loss of agricultural production. Natural substances, such as salicylic acid (SA) could possibly be involved in inducing host plant resistance against nematodes. The present study is concerned with exploring the effects of varying concentrations of SA as seed priming and soil drench on tomato growth parameters and the reproduction of the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne javanica. SA at 50 μM concentration caused only 2% of juvenile mortality under in vitro conditions. SA applied as 50 μM seed treatment caused 95% and, as a soil drench, 78% reduction in the number of egg masses that formed on tomato plants. The numbers of galls were reduced to a lesser extent. Final nematode density per gram of soil was reduced to less than 1 by the 50 μM SA seed treatment, and in other treatments decreased by between 70 and 88% compared with control plants. Our results indicate SA has potential to lower root knot nematode reproduction in tomato, and seed priming is a fairly easy method to work with. (Author)

  15. Shifting phenology and abundance under experimental warming alters trophic relationships and plant reproductive capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yinzhan; Reich, Peter B; Li, Guoyong; Sun, Shucun

    2011-06-01

    Phenological mismatches due to climate change may have important ecological consequences. In a three-year study, phenological shifts due to experimental warming markedly altered trophic relationships between plants and insect herbivores, causing a dramatic decline of reproductive capacity for one of the plant species. In a Tibetan meadow, the gentian (Gentiana formosa) typically flowers after the peak larva density of a noctuid moth (Melanchra pisi) that primarily feeds on a dominant forb (anemone, Anemone trullifolia var. linearis). However, artificial warming of approximately 1.5 degrees C advanced gentian flower phenology and anemone vegetative phenology by a week, but delayed moth larvae emergence by two weeks. The warming increased larval density 10-fold, but decreased anemone density by 30%. The phenological and density shifts under warmed conditions resulted in the insect larvae feeding substantially on the gentian flowers and ovules; there was approximately 100-fold more damage in warmed than in unwarmed chambers. This radically increased trophic connection reduced gentian plant reproduction and likely contributed to its reduced abundance in the warmed chambers.

  16. Conflict resolution in an ant-plant interaction: Acacia constricta traits reduce ant costs to reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicklen, E Fleur; Wagner, Diane

    2006-05-01

    Many plant species attract ants onto their foliage with food rewards or nesting space. However, ants can interfere with plant reproduction when they visit flowers. This study tests whether Acacia constricta separates visiting ant species temporally or spatially from newly opened inflorescences and pollinators. The diurnal activity patterns of ants and A. constricta pollinators peaked at different times of day, and the activity of pollinators followed the daily dehiscence of A. constricta inflorescences. In addition to being largely temporally separated, ants rarely visited open inflorescences. A floral ant repellent contributes to the spatial separation of ants and inflorescences. In a field experiment, ants of four species were given equal access to inflorescences in different developmental stages. On average, the frequency with which ants made initial, antennal contact with the floral stages did not differ, but ants significantly avoided secondary contact with newly opened inflorescences relative to buds and old inflorescences, and old inflorescences relative to buds. Ants also avoided contact with pollen alone, indicating that pollen is at least one source of the repellent. The results suggest A. constricta has effectively resolved the potential conflict between visiting ants and plant reproduction.

  17. Development and reproduction of Panonychus citri (Prostigmata: Tetranychidae) on different species and varieties of citrus plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanardi, Odimar Zanuzo; Bordini, Gabriela Pavan; Franco, Aline Aparecida; de Morais, Matheus Rovere; Yamamoto, Pedro Takao

    2015-12-01

    The species and varieties of citrus plants that are currently grown can favor the population growth of the citrus red mite Panonychus citri (McGregor) (Prostigmata: Tetranychidae) and alter the pest management programs in citrus groves. In this study we evaluated, in the laboratory, the development and reproduction of P. citri and estimated its life table parameters when reared on four varieties of Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck (Valencia, Pera, Natal, and Hamlin), one variety of Citrus reticulata Blanco (Ponkan) and one variety of Citrus limon (L.) Burm. (Sicilian). The incubation period and egg viability were not affected by the host plant. However, the development and survival of the immature stage were significantly lower on Hamlin orange than on Valencia, Pera and Natal oranges, Ponkan mandarin and Sicilian lemon. The fecundity and oviposition period of females were lower on Hamlin orange than on the other hosts. Mites reared on Valencia orange and Sicilian lemon had a higher net reproductive rate (R 0 ), intrinsic growth rate (r) and finite rate of increase (λ), and a shorter interval between generations (T) than on Pera, Natal and Hamlin oranges and Ponkan mandarin. On the other hand, mites reared on Hamlin orange had the lowest R 0 , r and λ and the highest T among the hosts. Based on the results obtained we recommend that for Valencia orange and Sicilian lemon, the mite monitoring programs should be more intense to detect the initial infestation of pest, avoiding the damage in plants and the increase in production costs.

  18. Inhibitory effects of salicylic acid on Meloidogyne javanica reproduction in tomato plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seddigheh Fatemy

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp., play a major role in loss of agricultural production. Natural substances, such as salicylic acid (SA could possibly be involved in inducing host plant resistance against nematodes. The present study is concerned with exploring the effects of varying concentrations of SA as seed priming and soil drench on tomato growth parameters and the reproduction of the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne javanica. SA at 50 μM concentration caused only 2% of juvenile mortality under in vitro conditions. SA applied as 50 μM seed treatment caused 95% and, as a soil drench, 78% reduction in the number of egg masses that formed on tomato plants. The numbers of galls were reduced to a lesser extent. Final nematode density per gram of soil was reduced to less than 1 by the 50 μM SA seed treatment, and in other treatments decreased by between 70 and 88% compared with control plants. Our results indicate SA has potential to lower root knot nematode reproduction in tomato, and seed priming is a fairly easy method to work with.

  19. Decreases in ammonia volatilization in response to greater plant diversity in microcosms of constructed wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Bin; Ge, Ying; Han, Wenjuan; Fan, Xing; Ren, Yuan; Du, Yuanyuan; Shi, Mengmeng; Chang, Jie

    2016-10-01

    Ammonia volatilization from wastewaters with a high concentration of ammonium is a serious environmental and health problem. Constructed wetlands (CWs) are widely used for treating wastewater, and plant diversity clearly improves some functions of ecosystem such as nitrogen removal. However, whether plant diversity can affect ammonia volatilization from wastewater is still unknown. In this study, we conducted a microcosm experiment with different plant diversity treatments using four plant species. Results showed that, (1) ammonia volatilization decreased with increasing plant species richness; (2) ammonia volatilization from systems containing Rumex japonicus was lower than other systems; and (3) ammonia volatilization was affected more by species composition than species richness. This paper is the first to report that ammonia volatilization is reduced by plant diversity, and that some plant species combinations are important to reduce ammonia volatilization from CWs when treating wastewater.

  20. Plant reproduction is altered by simulated herbicide drift toconstructed plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbicide drift may have unintended impacts on native vegetation, adversely affecting structure and function of plant communities. However, these potential effects have been rarely studied or quantified. To determine potential ecological effects of herbicide drift, we construct...

  1. Global assessment of nitrogen deposition effects on terrestrial plant diversity: a synthesis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bobbink, R.; Hicks, K.; Galloway, J.; Spranger, T.; Alkemade, R.; Ashmore, M.R.; Bustamante, M.; Cinderby, S.; Davidson, E.; Dentener, F.; Emmett, B.; Erisman, J.W.; Fenn, M.; Gilliam, F.; Nordin, A.; Pardo, L.; Vries, de W.

    2010-01-01

    Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition is a recognized threat to plant diversity in temperate and northern parts of Europe and North America. This paper assesses evidence from field experiments for N deposition effects and thresholds for terrestrial plant diversity protection across a latitudinal range

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  3. Plant-animal interactions in two forest herbs along a tree and herb diversity gradient

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vockenhuber, E.; Kabouw, P.; Tscharntke, T.; Scherber, C.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Plant diversity can influence numerous ecosystem processes, including plant–animal interactions, which, in turn, will affect plant growth and fitness. At present, little is known on how plant–animal interactions in forests respond to gradients in tree and herb-layer diversity. Aims: To q

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  5. Floral biology and reproductive mechanisms of Mussambê (Cleome spinosa Jacq aiming at the plant breeding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cláudio Lúcio Fernandes Amaral

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Some plants from Cleome genus in Capparaceae family are used as medicinal and ornamental plants. The aim of this work was to study the fl oral biology and the reproductive mechanisms of C. spinosa to the plant breeding. Anthesis occurred between 17:30 to 18:30. The anthesis process is intimately related to climatic conditions. The main flower visitors were bees (Apis, Bombus, butterflies and bats (Glossophaga. Cleome spinosa presents mating system with predominance of outcrossing over the self-crossing, what it can evidences the wide reproductive flexibility of this species and emphasize the genetic variability, which is essential for evolution.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Obratov-Petković Dragica

    2006-01-01

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

  7. Evolution of the Plant Reproduction Master Regulators LFY and the MADS Transcription Factors: The Role of Protein Structure in the Evolutionary Development of the Flower.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Catarina S; Puranik, Sriharsha; Round, Adam; Brennich, Martha; Jourdain, Agnès; Parcy, François; Hugouvieux, Veronique; Zubieta, Chloe

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the evolutionary leap from non-flowering (gymnosperms) to flowering (angiosperms) plants and the origin and vast diversification of the floral form has been one of the focuses of plant evolutionary developmental biology. The evolving diversity and increasing complexity of organisms is often due to relatively small changes in genes that direct development. These "developmental control genes" and the transcription factors (TFs) they encode, are at the origin of most morphological changes. TFs such as LEAFY (LFY) and the MADS-domain TFs act as central regulators in key developmental processes of plant reproduction including the floral transition in angiosperms and the specification of the male and female organs in both gymnosperms and angiosperms. In addition to advances in genome wide profiling and forward and reverse genetic screening, structural techniques are becoming important tools in unraveling TF function by providing atomic and molecular level information that was lacking in purely genetic approaches. Here, we summarize previous structural work and present additional biophysical and biochemical studies of the key master regulators of plant reproduction - LEAFY and the MADS-domain TFs SEPALLATA3 and AGAMOUS. We discuss the impact of structural biology on our understanding of the complex evolutionary process leading to the development of the bisexual flower.

  8. Reduced genetic diversity and increased reproductive isolation follow population-level loss of larval dispersal in a marine gastropod.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellingson, Ryan A; Krug, Patrick J

    2016-01-01

    Population-level consequences of dispersal ability remain poorly understood, especially for marine animals in which dispersal is typically considered a species-level trait governed by oceanographic transport of microscopic larvae. Transitions from dispersive (planktotrophic) to nondispersive, aplanktonic larvae are predicted to reduce connectivity, genetic diversity within populations, and the spatial scale at which reproductive isolation evolves. However, larval dimorphism within a species is rare, precluding population-level tests. We show the sea slug Costasiella ocellifera expresses both larval morphs in Florida and the Caribbean, regions with divergent mitochondrial lineages. Planktotrophy predominated at 11 sites, 10 of which formed a highly connected and genetically diverse Caribbean metapopulation. Four populations expressed mainly aplanktonic development and had markedly reduced connectivity, and lower genetic diversity at one mitochondrial and six nuclear loci. Aplanktonic dams showed partial postzygotic isolation in most interpopulation crosses, regardless of genetic or geographic distance to the sire's source, suggesting that outbreeding depression affects fragmented populations. Dams from genetically isolated and neighboring populations also exhibited premating isolation, consistent with reinforcement contingent on historical interaction. By increasing self-recruitment and genetic drift, the loss of dispersal may thus initiate a feedback loop resulting in the evolution of reproductive isolation over small spatial scales in the sea.

  9. A review of poisonous plants that cause reproductive failure and malformations in the ruminants of Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riet-Correa, Franklin; Medeiros, Rosane M T; Schild, Ana Lucia

    2012-04-01

    The objective of this review is to provide a report on toxic plants causing reproductive problems in ruminants in Brazil. Aspidosperma pyrifolium causes abortion or stillbirth in goats, as well as most likely in sheep and cattle, in the semiarid regions of Northeastern Brazil. Intoxications by Ateleia glazioveana, Tetrapterys acutifolia and T. multiglandulosa result in abortion and neonatal mortality in cattle and sheep, and the same signs have been experimentally observed in goats. These three plants can also cause cardiac fibrosis and a nervous disease with spongiosis of the central nervous system. Other plants known to cause abortion include Enterolobium contortisiliquum, E. gummiferum, Stryphnodendron coriaceum, S. obovatum and S. fissuratum. These plants can also cause digestive signs and photosensitization. Abortions have been reported in animals intoxicated by nitrates and nitrites as well. Infertility, abortions and the birth of weak offspring have been reported in animals intoxicated by plants containing swainsonine, including Ipomoea spp., Turbina cordata and Sida carpinifolia. Trifolium subterraneum causes estrogenism in cattle. Mimosa tenuiflora and, most likely, M. ophthalmocentra cause malformations and embryonic mortality in goats, sheep and cattle in the semiarid regions of Northeastern Brazil. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  10. Greater sexual reproduction contributes to differences in demography of invasive plants and their noninvasive relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, Jean H; Pardini, Eleanor A; Schutzenhofer, Michele R; Chung, Y Anny; Seidler, Katie J; Knight, Tiffany M

    2013-05-01

    An understanding of the demographic processes contributing to invasions would improve our mechanistic understanding of the invasion process and improve the efficiency of prevention and control efforts. However, field comparisons of the demography of invasive and noninvasive species have not previously been conducted. We compared the in situ demography of 17 introduced plant species in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, to contrast the demographic patterns of invasive species with their less invasive relatives across a broad sample of angiosperms. Using herbarium records to estimate spread rates, we found higher maximum spread rates in the landscape for species classified a priori as invasive than for noninvasive introduced species, suggesting that expert classifications are an accurate reflection of invasion rate. Across 17 species, projected population growth was not significantly greater in invasive than in noninvasive introduced species. Among five taxonomic pairs of close relatives, however, four of the invasive species had higher projected population growth rates compared with their noninvasive relative. A Life Table Response Experiment suggested that the greater projected population growth rate of some invasive species relative to their noninvasive relatives was primarily a result of sexual reproduction. The greater sexual reproduction of invasive species is consistent with invaders having a life history strategy more reliant on fecundity than survival and is consistent with a large role of propagule pressure in invasion. Sexual reproduction is a key demographic correlate of invasiveness, suggesting that local processes influencing sexual reproduction, such as enemy escape, might be of general importance. However, the weak correlation of projected population growth with spread rates in the landscape suggests that regional processes, such as dispersal, may be equally important in determining invasion rate.

  11. Relevance of reproductive correlates in response of diamondback moth (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae to plant quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Soufbaf

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available To study the relationships between leaf nitrogen and the reproductive potential of diamondback moth, all reproductive parameters of this pest raised on two canola cultivars were evaluated. A standardized regression coefficient (β was used as an index for nitrogen-reproduction relationship strength. The only difference between net fecundity rate and net fertility rate is hx’s effect, but the difference in their standardized regression coefficients was not significant [β=+0.934 (R2=0.87, F1,4=27.34, P=0.006 and β=+0.922 (R2=0.85, F1,4=22.825, P=0.009]. Accordingly, gross fecundity rate and gross fertility rate differ only in hx’s effect, but the difference in standardized regression coefficients again was not significant [β=0.895 (R2=0.8, F1,4=16.159, P=0.016-0.890 (R2=0.79, F1,4=15.266, P=0.017=0.005]. As gross fecundity rate differs from net fecundity rate only in midpoint survivorship (Lx’s effect, it is understood that survivorship could affect the plant nitrogen–fecundity relation considerably (standardized coefficients difference=0.044 and could be a critical parameter in insectplant interactions. But, the terms of reproductive parameters, i.e. Lx and hx, showed the same effect on the strength of nitrogen-fecundity regression statistically, even though Lx has been selected frequently by many researchers as an important fitness correlate. Measuring the hatch rate could be recommended in trophic interactions studies due to its being easier to apply, more robust, and quicker to accomplish than measurement of survivorship; however, it is important as an indicator in combination with brood size for determining the initial population size of an insect herbivore.

  12. The effect of host plant phenology on reproduction of the milkweed bug, Oncopeltus fasciatus, in tropical Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Elizabeth Ruth; Dingle, Hugh

    1982-01-01

    A field study of the relationship between host plant phenology and the reproductive pattern of the large milkweed bug, Oncopeltus fasciatus, was conducted in south Florida. Since O. fasciatus need seeds of either milkweed or Nerium oleander plants to reproduce, reproduction takes place on only those host plants that are producing seed pods.Two of four major host plants, Asclepias incarnata and Sarcostemma clausa fruit seasonally, producing pods in early autumn and early winter, respectively. The third milkweed host, Asclepias curassavica, produces almost no pods midsummer (although it flowers abundantly) and few pods midwinter. Nerium oleander (Apocynaceae) produces some pods all year but is only used by O. fasciatus in the summer when milkweeds are not producing pods. Correspondingly, reproduction of O. fasciatus has been observed year round, but relatively few females reproduce in midwinter, coinciding with decreased pod production and low temperatures. This pattern is consistent with the hypothesis that a photoperiodic cue of short day lengths under conditions of cool temperatures may cause adult females to enter diapause and delay reproduction in the field.A comparison of plant phenologies and rainfall between 1976, a very dry year, and 1978, a year with normal rainfall, showed that extreme dryness disrupted the seasonal fruiting of the milkweeds and consequently the reproduction of O. fasciatus.

  13. Plant functional traits mediate reproductive phenology and success in response to experimental warming and snow addition in Tibet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorji, Tsechoe; Totland, Orjan; Moe, Stein R; Hopping, Kelly A; Pan, Jianbin; Klein, Julia A

    2013-02-01

    Global climate change is predicted to have large impacts on the phenology and reproduction of alpine plants, which will have important implications for plant demography and community interactions, trophic dynamics, ecosystem energy balance, and human livelihoods. In this article we report results of a 3-year, fully factorial experimental study exploring how warming, snow addition, and their combination affect reproductive phenology, effort, and success of four alpine plant species belonging to three different life forms in a semiarid, alpine meadow ecosystem on the central Tibetan Plateau. Our results indicate that warming and snow addition change reproductive phenology and success, but responses are not uniform across species. Moreover, traits associated with resource acquisition, such as rooting depth and life history (early vs. late flowering), mediate plant phenology, and reproductive responses to changing climatic conditions. Specifically, we found that warming delayed the reproductive phenology and decreased number of inflorescences of Kobresia pygmaea C. B. Clarke, a shallow-rooted, early-flowering plant, which may be mainly constrained by upper-soil moisture availability. Because K. pygmaea is the dominant species in the alpine meadow ecosystem, these results may have important implications for ecosystem dynamics and for pastoralists and wildlife in the region.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Courtney L; Bowman, William D

    2008-12-16

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-02-01

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

  16. Apomixis in plant reproduction: a novel perspective on an old dilemma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barcaccia, Gianni; Albertini, Emidio

    2013-09-01

    Seed is one of the key factors of crop productivity. Therefore, a comprehension of the mechanisms underlying seed formation in cultivated plants is crucial for the quantitative and qualitative progress of agricultural production. In angiosperms, two pathways of reproduction through seed exist: sexual or amphimictic, and asexual or apomictic; the former is largely exploited by seed companies for breeding new varieties, whereas the latter is receiving continuously increasing attention from both scientific and industrial sectors in basic research projects. If apomixis is engineered into sexual crops in a controlled manner, its impact on agriculture will be broad and profound. In fact, apomixis will allow clonal seed production and thus enable efficient and consistent yields of high-quality seeds, fruits, and vegetables at lower costs. The development of apomixis technology is expected to have a revolutionary impact on agricultural and food production by reducing cost and breeding time, and avoiding the complications that are typical of sexual reproduction (e.g., incompatibility barriers) and vegetative propagation (e.g., viral transfer). However, the development of apomixis technology in agriculture requires a deeper knowledge of the mechanisms that regulate reproductive development in plants. This knowledge is a necessary prerequisite to understanding the genetic control of the apomictic process and its deviations from the sexual process. Our molecular understanding of apomixis will be greatly advanced when genes that are specifically or differentially expressed during embryo and embryo sac formation are discovered. In our review, we report the main findings on this subject by examining two approaches: i) analysis of the apomictic process in natural apomictic species to search for genes controlling apomixis and ii) analysis of gene mutations resembling apomixis or its components in species that normally reproduce sexually. In fact, our opinion is that a novel

  17. Influence of plant genetic diversity on interactions between higher trophic levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreira, Xoaquín; Mooney, Kailen A

    2013-06-23

    While the ecological consequences of plant diversity have received much attention, the mechanisms by which intraspecific diversity affects associated communities remains understudied. We report on a field experiment documenting the effects of patch diversity in the plant Baccharis salicifolia (genotypic monocultures versus polycultures of four genotypes), ants (presence versus absence) and their interaction on ant-tended aphids, ants and parasitic wasps, and the mechanistic pathways by which diversity influences their multi-trophic interactions. Five months after planting, polycultures (versus monocultures) had increased abundances of aphids (threefold), ants (3.2-fold) and parasitoids (1.7-fold) owing to non-additive effects of genetic diversity. The effect on aphids was direct, as plant genetic diversity did not mediate ant-aphid, parasitoid-aphid or ant-parasitoid interactions. This increase in aphid abundance occurred even though plant growth (and thus aphid resources) was not higher in polycultures. The increase in ants and parasitoids was an indirect effect, due entirely to higher aphid abundance. Ants reduced parasitoid abundance by 60 per cent, but did not affect aphid abundance or plant growth, and these top-down effects were equivalent between monocultures and polycultures. In summary, intraspecific plant diversity did not increase primary productivity, but nevertheless had strong effects across multiple trophic levels, and effects on both herbivore mutualists and enemies could be predicted entirely as an extension of plant-herbivore interactions.

  18. Bumble bee nest abundance, foraging distance, and host-plant reproduction: implications for management and conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geib, Jennifer C; Strange, James P; Galenj, Candace

    2015-04-01

    Recent reports of global declines in pollinator species imply an urgent need to assess the abundance of native pollinators and density-dependent benefits for linked plants. In this study, we investigated (1) pollinator nest distributions and estimated colony abundances, (2) the relationship between abundances of foraging workers and the number of nests they represent, (3) pollinator foraging ranges, and (4) the relationship between pollinator abundance and plant reproduction. We examined these questions in an alpine ecosystem in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, focusing on four alpine bumble bee species (Bombus balteatus, B. flavifrons, B. bifarius, and B. sylvicola), and two host plants that differ in their degrees of pollinator specialization (Trifolium dasyphyllum and T. parryi). Using microsatellites, we found that estimated colony abundances among Bombus species ranged from ~18 to 78 colonies/0.01 km2. The long-tongued species B. balteatus was most common, especially high above treeline, but the subalpine species B. bifarius was unexpectedly abundant for this elevation range. Nests detected among sampled foragers of each species were correlated with the number of foragers caught. Foraging ranges were smaller than expected for all Bombus species, ranging from 25 to 110 m. Fruit set for the specialized plant, Trifolium parryi, was positively related to the abundance of its Bombus pollinator. In contrast, fruit set for the generalized plant, T. dasyphyllum, was related to abundance of all Bombus species. Because forager abundance was related to nest abundance of each Bombus species and was an equally effective predictor of plant fecundity, forager inventories are probably suitable for assessing the health of outcrossing plant populations. However, nest abundance, rather than forager abundance, better reflects demographic and genetic health in populations of eusocial pollinators such as bumble bees. Development of models incorporating the parameters we have measured

  19. Plant species richness drives the density and diversity of Collembola in temperate grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabais, Alexander C. W.; Scheu, Stefan; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2011-05-01

    Declining biodiversity is one of the most important aspects of anthropogenic global change phenomena, but the implications of plant species loss for soil decomposers are little understood. We used the experimental grassland community of the Jena Experiment to assess the response of density and diversity of Collembola to varying plant species richness, plant functional group richness and plant functional group identity. We sampled the experimental plots in spring and autumn four years after establishment of the experimental plant communities. Collembola density and diversity significantly increased with plant species and plant functional group richness highlighting the importance of the singular hypothesis for soil invertebrates. Generally, grasses and legumes beneficially affected Collembola density and diversity, whereas effects of small herbs usually were detrimental. These impacts were largely consistent in spring and autumn. By contrast, in the presence of small herbs the density of hemiedaphic Collembola and the diversity of Isotomidae increased in spring whereas they decreased in autumn. Beneficial impacts of plant diversity as well as those of grasses and legumes were likely due to increased root and microbial biomass, and elevated quantity and quality of plant residues serving as food resources for Collembola. By contrast, beneficial impacts of small herbs in spring probably reflect differences in microclimatic conditions, and detrimental effects in autumn likely were due to low quantity and quality of resources. The results point to an intimate relationship between plants and the diversity of belowground biota, even at small spatial scales, contrasting the findings of previous studies. The pronounced response of soil animals in the present study was presumably due to the fact that plant communities had established over several years. As decomposer invertebrates significantly impact plant performance, changes in soil biota density and diversity are likely

  20. Induced plant-defenses suppress herbivore reproduction but also constrain predation of their offspring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ataide, Livia M S; Pappas, Maria L; Schimmel, Bernardus C J; Lopez-Orenes, Antonio; Alba, Juan M; Duarte, Marcus V A; Pallini, Angelo; Schuurink, Robert C; Kant, Merijn R

    2016-11-01

    Inducible anti-herbivore defenses in plants are predominantly regulated by jasmonic acid (JA). On tomato plants, most genotypes of the herbivorous generalist spider mite Tetranychus urticae induce JA defenses and perform poorly on it, whereas the Solanaceae specialist Tetranychus evansi, who suppresses JA defenses, performs well on it. We asked to which extent these spider mites and the predatory mite Phytoseiulus longipes preying on these spider mites eggs are affected by induced JA-defenses. By artificially inducing the JA-response of the tomato JA-biosynthesis mutant def-1 using exogenous JA and isoleucine (Ile), we first established the relationship between endogenous JA-Ile-levels and the reproductive performance of spider mites. For both mite species we observed that they produced more eggs when levels of JA-Ile were low. Subsequently, we allowed predatory mites to prey on spider mite-eggs derived from wild-type tomato plants, def-1 and JA-Ile-treated def-1 and observed that they preferred, and consumed more, eggs produced on tomato plants with weak JA defenses. However, predatory mite oviposition was similar across treatments. Our results show that induced JA-responses negatively affect spider mite performance, but positively affect the survival of their offspring by constraining egg-predation. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole Wäschke

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Hongwen

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariana E Sutton-Grier

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

  4. Genetic and clonal diversity of the endemic ant-plant Humboldtia brunonis (Fabaceae) in the Western Ghats of India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Suma A Dev; Megha Shenoy; Renee M Borges

    2010-06-01

    Humboldtia brunonis (Fabaceae, Caesalpinioideae) is a dominant self-incompatible ant-plant or myrmecophyte, growing as an understorey tree in high-density patches. It is endemic to the biodiversity hotspot of the southern Western Ghats of India and, besides ants, harbours many endemic invertebrate taxa, such as bees that pollinate it as well as arboreal earthworms, within swollen hollow stem internodes called domatia. Using inter simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers, three geographically separated populations were found to be multiclonal, characterized by high levels of clonal diversity. Values for the Simpson diversity index ranged between 0.764 and 0.964, and for Fager’s evenness index between 0.00 and 0.036 for neighbourhoods within populations. This myrmecophyte was found to combine sexual recruitment (66.7%) and clonal production (33.3%) as methods of reproduction. Moderate amounts of genetic diversity at the species level were observed, with 52.63% polymorphism, and moderate values of Shannon’s diversity index (0.1895) as well as of Nei’s gene diversity (0.1186). In each population, observed genotypic diversity was significantly lower than expected, indicating significant genetic structure. Neighbour-joining trees demonstrated that Agumbe, which is the most northern population examined and geographically twice as far away from the other two populations, grouped separately and with larger bootstrap support from a larger cluster consisting of the Sampaji and Solaikolli populations, which are closer to each other geographically. Some neighbourhoods within each population showed spatial genetic structure even at small spatial scales of < 5 m. A combination of clonality and short-distance pollen movement by small pollinating bees (Braunsapis puangensis) coupled with primary ballistic seed dispersal, and possible secondary seed dispersal by rodents, may contribute to spatial genetic structure at such small scales. The clonality of H. brunonis may be a factor

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  6. Host-Parasite Interactions from the Inside: Plant Reproductive Ontogeny Drives Specialization in Parasitic Insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boivin, Thomas; Gidoin, Cindy; von Aderkas, Patrick; Safrana, Jonathan; Candau, Jean-Noël; Chalon, Alain; Sondo, Marion; El Maâtaoui, Mohamed

    2015-01-01

    Host plant interactions are likely key drivers of evolutionary processes involved in the diversification of phytophagous insects. Granivory has received substantial attention for its crucial role in shaping the interaction between plants and their seed parasites, but fine-scale mechanisms explaining the role of host plant reproductive biology on specialization of seed parasites remain poorly described. In a comparative approach using plant histological techniques, we tested the hypotheses that different seed parasite species synchronize their life cycles to specific stages in seed development, and that the stage they target depends on major differences in seed development programs. In a pinaceous system, seed storage products are initiated before ovule fertilization and the wasps target the ovule's nucellus during megagametogenesis, a stage at which larvae may benefit from the by-products derived from both secreting cells and dying nucellar cells. In a cupressaceous system, oviposition activity peaks later, during embryogenesis, and the wasps target the ovule's megagametophyte where larvae may benefit from cell disintegration during embryogenesis. Our cytohistological approach shows for the first time how, despite divergent oviposition targets, different parasite species share a common strategy that consists of first competing for nutrients with developing plant structures, and then consuming these developed structures to complete their development. Our results support the prediction that seed developmental program is an axis for specialization in seed parasites, and that it could be an important parameter in models of their ecological and taxonomic divergence. This study provides the basis for further investigating the possibility of the link between plant ontogeny and pre-dispersal seed parasitism.

  7. Plant functional traits, functional diversity, and ecosystem functioning: current knowledge and perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lingjie Lei

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Increasing attention has recently been focused on the linkages between plant functional traits and ecosystem functioning. A comprehensive understanding of these linkages can facilitate to address the ecological consequences of plant species loss induced by human activities and climate change, and provide theoretical support for ecological restoration and ecosystem management. In recent twenty years, the evidence of strong correlations between plant functional traits and changes in ecosystem processes is growing. More importantly, ecosystem functioning can be predicted more precisely, using plant functional trait diversity (i.e., functional diversity than species diversity. In this paper, we first defined plant functional traits and their important roles in determining ecosystem processes. Then, we review recent advances in the relationships between ecosystem functions and plant functional traits and their diversity. Finally, we propose several important future research directions, including (1 exploration of the relationships between aboveground and belowground plant traits and their roles in determining ecosystem functioning, (2 incorporation of the impacts of consumer and global environmental change into the correlation between plant functional traits and ecosystem functioning, (3 effects of functional diversity on ecosystem multifunctionality, and (4 examination of the functional diversity-ecosystem functioning relationship at different temporal and spatial scales.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-02-01

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

  9. The evolution of Paleozoic vascular land plant diversity of South China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    Data of Paleozoic and some Early Triassic vascular land plant fossils from South China are synthetically analyzed,revealing evolutionary characteristics of Paleozoic vascular land plant diversity.Vascular land plant diversity keeps increasing in the Paleozoic as a whole.The Silurian witnessed the earliest evolution and initial diversification of land plants.From the Early Devonian to the Early Carboniferous(Mississippian),the great development,diversification,and differentiation really occurred in vascular land plants,with fluctuations of diversity,rapid replacement of the plant types,and an all-out takeover of terrestrial ecological niches.From the Early Permian,land plant diversity dramatically increased,and reached a climax in the Middle-Late Permian.Comparisons between late Paleozoic marine and terrestrial biodiversity reveal co-evolution of the late Paleozoic animals and plants as well as the individual evolutionary patterns of sea/land ecosystems.Vascular land plant diversity dramatically declined in the Frasnian as a result of the F/F event,and the end-Permian mass extinctions completely turned over the phytogroups.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Zhiheng; Fang, Jingyun; Tang, Zhiyao

    2012-01-01

    Beta diversity (i.e. species turnover rate across space) is fundamental for understanding mechanisms controlling large-scale species richness patterns. However, the influences on beta diversity are still a matter of debate. In particular, the relative role of environmental and spatial processes (...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eliana Martínez

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

  13. Positive effects of plant genotypic and species diversity on anti-herbivore defenses in a tropical tree species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xoaquín Moreira

    Full Text Available Despite increasing evidence that plant intra- and inter-specific diversity increases primary productivity, and that such effect may in turn cascade up to influence herbivores, there is little information about plant diversity effects on plant anti-herbivore defenses, the relative importance of different sources of plant diversity, and the mechanisms for such effects. For example, increased plant growth at high diversity may lead to reduced investment in defenses via growth-defense trade-offs. Alternatively, positive effects of plant diversity on plant growth may lead to increased herbivore abundance which in turn leads to a greater investment in plant defenses. The magnitude of trait variation underlying diversity effects is usually greater among species than among genotypes within a given species, so plant species diversity effects on resource use by producers as well as on higher trophic levels should be stronger than genotypic diversity effects. Here we compared the relative importance of plant genotypic and species diversity on anti-herbivore defenses and whether such effects are mediated indirectly via diversity effects on plant growth and/or herbivore damage. To this end, we performed a large-scale field experiment where we manipulated genotypic diversity of big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla and tree species diversity, and measured effects on mahogany growth, damage by the stem-boring specialist caterpillar Hypsipyla grandella, and defensive traits (polyphenolics and condensed tannins in stem and leaves. We found that both forms of plant diversity had positive effects on stem (but not leaf defenses. However, neither source of diversity influenced mahogany growth, and diversity effects on defenses were not mediated by either growth-defense trade-offs or changes in stem-borer damage. Although the mechanism(s of diversity effects on plant defenses are yet to be determined, our study is one of the few to test for and show producer

  14. Is plant temporal beta diversity of field margins related to changes in management practices?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alignier, Audrey; Baudry, Jacques

    2016-08-01

    Field margins have considerable ecological significance in agriculture-dominated landscapes by supporting biodiversity and associated services. However, agricultural changes during mid-20th century led to their drastic loss with a serious threat for biodiversity. Using time-series data, we aimed to get better insights into processes underlying plant patterns of field margins through time by i) quantifying plant temporal beta diversity components, ii) assessing whether the observed changes in plant communities can be related to changes in management practices applied to field margins. During the springs of 1994, 1998 and 2001, we surveyed plant communities and management practices of the same 116 field margins in three contrasted landscapes. We estimated temporal beta diversity in plant communities and partitioned it into its two dissimilarity resultant components, accounting for replacement of species (i.e. turnover) and for the nested gain or loss of species (i.e. nestedness). We then tested whether the observed changes in plant communities between 1994 and 1998 and, between 1998 and 2001 were related to changes in management practices using linear models. Plant communities of field margins exhibited strong temporal beta diversity dominated by turnover. Temporal turnover in plant communities was partly related to changes in management practices, i.e., a decrease of grazing concomitant to an increase of herbicide spraying. However, relationships were not consistent between all landscape contexts nor time period, suggesting that other unmeasured deterministic or stochastic processes could be driving the observed plant patterns. Taken together, our results suggest that maintaining a wide diversity of field margins with contrasted management contribute to maintaining plant diversity at a landscape scale. They underline the value of investigating plant temporal diversity patterns using time-series data and thus, the need to develop long-term studies making it possible

  15. Plants Species Diversity in Hyrcanian Hardwood Forests, Northern Iran (Case Study: Mazandaran Province

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kambiz Abrari Vajari

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available In order to better understand and manage forest ecosystems, it is important to study the relationship between environmental factors and plants in these ecosystems. We investigated plant species diversity of three hardwood forest stands in the Hyrcanian forests, Sari, northern Iran. Our aim was to determine the effect of forest stand type on the diversity of plant species. One plot 150 × 150 m established at the center of each forest stand and in each plot, nine subplots 50 × 50 m were selected. Diversity values (Richness, diversity and evenness indices were measured in five sample areas 0.01 ha per 50 × 50 m quadrates by estimating cover percentage of each species. The results showed that Geophytes (43.33% had the highest life form spectrum among species. JACCARD'S similarity index revealed that the highest values exist between Parrotia-Carpinus and Carpinus stands. All herb layer species diversity indices varied significantly among different forest stands. Cover percentage significantly positively correlated with diversity indices in Parrotia-Carpinus stand. Diversity and richness indices of herb-layers plants were significantly negatively correlated with cover percentage in Fagus stand. Correlation analysis between all diversity measures and cover percentage in Carpinus stand wasn't significant. The result of the present study revealed that species diversity in temperate broad-leaved deciduous forest was significantly influenced by forest stand type

  16. Reproduction of Meloidogyne javanica on Plant Roots Genetically Transformed by Agrobacterium rhizogenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verdejo, S; Jaffee, B A; Mankau, R

    1988-10-01

    Reproduction of Meloidogyne javanica was compared on several Agrobacterium rhizogenes-transformed root cultures under monoxenic conditions. M. javanica reproduced on all transformed roots tested; however, more females and eggs were obtained on potato and South Australian Early Dwarf Red tomato than on bindweed, Tropic tomato, lima bean, or carrot. Roots that grew at moderate rates into the agar and produced many secondary roots supported the highest reproduction. Numbers of females produced in cultures of transformed potato roots increased with increasing nematode inoculum levels, whether inoculum was dispersed eggs or juveniles. Females appeared smaller, produced fewer eggs, and were found in coalesced galls at the higher inoculum levels. The ratio between the final and initial population decreased sharply as the juvenile inoculum increased. The second-stage juvenile was preferred to dispersed eggs or egg masses for inoculation of tissue culture systems because quantity and viability of inoculum were easily assessed. Meloidogyne javanica reared on transformed root cultures were able to complete their life cycles on new transformed root cultures or greenhouse tomato plants.

  17. A new Late Cretaceous ginkgoalean reproductive structure Nehvizdyella gen. nov. from the Czech Republic and its whole-plant reconstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kvacek, Jirí; Falcon-Lang, Howard J; Dasková, Jirina

    2005-12-01

    During the Mesozoic Era, gingkoaleans comprised a diverse and widespread group. Here we describe ginkgoalean fossils in their facies context from the Late Cretaceous (Cenomanian) Peruc-Korycany Formation of the Czech Republic and present a reconstruction of tree architecture and ecology. Newly described in this study is the ovuliferous reproductive structure, Nehvizdyella bipartita gen. et sp. nov. (Ginkgoales). This ovuliferous organ consists of a bifurcating axis, terminated by large cupule-like structures, probably homologous to the collar of the recent Ginkgo. Each cupule encloses an orthotropous ovule. In specimens with the early developmental stages preserved, the entire ovule and young seed, with the exception of the micropylar area, is embedded in the cupule. Mature seeds consist of sclerotesta and sarcotesta. Monosulcate pollen grains of Cycadopites-type are found adhering to the seeds. Although similar to Ginkgo in terms of its large size and reduced number of seeds, N. bipartita differs from the extant genus in having ovules completely enclosed in a cupule-like structure. The co-occurrence of N. bipartita with ginkgoalean leaves of Eretmophyllum obtusum (Velenovský) Kvaček, J., ginkgoalean short shoots of Pecinovicladus kvacekii Falcon-Lang, and ginkgoalean trunk wood of Ginkgoxylon gruettii Pons and Vozenin-Serra in monodominant taphocoenoses at four geographically distant localities suggests that these remains all belong to one plant. This is supported by the close morphological and anatomical similarity between the different organs. Facies analysis of plant assemblages indicates that our Cretaceous tree occupied a water-stressed coastal salt marsh environment. It therefore represents the first unequivocal halophyte among the Ginkgoales.

  18. Global warming reduces plant reproductive output for temperate multi-inflorescence species on the Tibetan plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yinzhan; Mu, Junpeng; Niklas, Karl J; Li, Guoyong; Sun, Shucun

    2012-07-01

    • Temperature is projected to increase more during the winter than during the summer in cold regions. The effects of winter warming on reproductive effort have not been examined for temperate plant species. • Here, we report the results of experimentally induced seasonal winter warming (0.4 and 2.4°C increases in growing and nongrowing seasons, respectively, using warmed and ambient open-top chambers in a Tibetan Plateau alpine meadow) for nine indeterminate-growing species producing multiple (single-flowered or multi-flowered) inflorescences and three determinate-growing species producing single inflorescences after a 3-yr period of warming. • Warming reduced significantly flower number and seed production per plant for all nine multi-inflorescence species, but not for the three single-inflorescence species. Warming had an insignificant effect on the fruit to flower number ratio, seed size and seed number per fruit among species. The reduction in seed production was largely attributable to the decline in flower number per plant. The flowering onset time was unaffected for nine of the 12 species. Therefore, the decline in flower production and seed production in response to winter warming probably reflects a physiological response (e.g. metabolic changes associated with flower production). • Collectively, the data indicate that global warming may reduce flower and seed production for temperate herbaceous species and will probably have a differential effect on single- vs multi-inflorescence species. © 2012 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2012 New Phytologist Trust.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunzhao Li

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Plant diversity partitioning in Mediterranean croplands: effects of farming intensity, field edge, and landscape context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Concepción, Elena D; Fernández-González, Federico; Díaz, Mario

    2012-04-01

    Farmland biodiversity is affected by factors acting at various spatial scales. However, most studies to date have focused on the field or farm scales that only account for local (alpha) diversity, and these may underestimate the contribution of other diversity components (beta diversity) to total (gamma) farmland diversity. In this work, we aimed to identify the most suitable management options and the scale at which they should be implemented to maximize benefits for diversity. We used a multi-scale additive partitioning approach, with data on plant diversity from 640 plots in 32 cereal crop fields from three agricultural regions of central Spain that differed in landscape configuration. We analyzed the relative contribution to overall plant diversity of different diversity components at various spatial scales and how these diversity components responded to a set of local (application of agri-environment schemes [AES] and position within the field) and landscape (field size and landscape connectivity and composition) factors. Differences in species composition among regions and then among fields within regions contributed most to overall plant diversity. Positive edge effects were found on all diversity components at both the field- and regional scales, whereas application of AES benefited all diversity components only at the field scale. Landscape factors had strong influences on plant diversity, especially length of seminatural boundaries, which increased species richness at both the field and the regional scales. In addition, positive effects of percentage of nonproductive land-uses in the landscape were found on all diversity components at the regional scale. Results showed that components that contributed most to overall plant diversity were not benefited by current AES. We conclude that agri-environmental policies should incorporate and prioritize measures aimed at the maintenance of seminatural boundaries and patches of nonproductive habitats within

  1. Microbiome interplay: plants alter microbial abundance and diversity within the built environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahnert, Alexander; Moissl-Eichinger, Christine; Berg, Gabriele

    2015-01-01

    The built indoor microbiome has importance for human health. Residents leave their microbial fingerprint but nothing is known about the transfer from plants. Our hypothesis that indoor plants contribute substantially to the microbial abundance and diversity in the built environment was experimentally confirmed as proof of principle by analyzing the microbiome of the spider plant Chlorophytum comosum in relation to their surroundings. The abundance of Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukaryota (fungi) increased on surrounding floor and wall surfaces within 6 months of plant isolation in a cleaned indoor environment, whereas the microbial abundance on plant leaves and indoor air remained stable. We observed a microbiome shift: the bacterial diversity on surfaces increased significantly but fungal diversity decreased. The majority of cells were intact at the time of samplings and thus most probably alive including diverse Archaea as yet unknown phyllosphere inhabitants. LEfSe and network analysis showed that most microbes were dispersed from plant leaves to the surrounding surfaces. This led to an increase of specific taxa including spore-forming fungi with potential allergic potential but also beneficial plant-associated bacteria, e.g., Paenibacillus. This study demonstrates for the first time that plants can alter the microbiome of a built environment, which supports the significance of plants and provides insights into the complex interplay of plants, microbiomes and human beings.

  2. Microbiome interplay: plants alter microbial abundance and diversity within the built environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander eMahnert

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The built indoor microbiome has importance for human health. Residents leave their microbial fingerprint but nothing is known about the transfer from plants. Our hypothesis that indoor plants contribute substantially to the microbial abundance and diversity in the built environment was experimentally confirmed as proof of principle by analyzing the microbiome of the spider plant Chlorophytum comosum in relation to their surroundings. The abundance of Archaea, Bacteria and Eukaryota (fungi increased on surrounding floor and wall surfaces within six months of plant isolation in a cleaned indoor environment, whereas the microbial abundance on plant leaves and indoor air remained stable. We observed a microbiome shift: the bacterial diversity on surfaces increased significantly but fungal diversity decreased. The majority of cells were intact at the time of samplings and thus most probably alive including diverse Archaea as yet unknown phyllosphere inhabitants. LEfSe and network analysis showed that most microbes were dispersed from plant leaves to the surrounding surfaces. This led to an increase of specific taxa including spore-forming fungi with potential allergic potential but also beneficial plant-associated bacteria, e.g. Paenibacillus. This study demonstrates for the first time that plants can alter the microbiome of a built environment, which supports the significance of plants and provides insights into the complex interplay of plants, microbiomes and human beings.

  3. Diversity in the reproductive modes of European Daphnia pulicaria deviates from the geographical parthenogenesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    France Dufresne

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Multiple transitions to obligate parthenogenesis have occurred in the Daphnia pulex complex in North America. These newly formed asexual lineages are differentially distributed being found predominantly at high latitudes. This conforms to the rule of geographical parthenogenesis postulating prevalence of asexuals at high latitudes and altitudes. While the reproductive mode of high-latitude populations is relatively well studied, little is known about the reproduction mode in high altitudes. This study aimed to assess the reproductive mode of Daphnia pulicaria, a species of the D. pulex complex, from high altitude lakes in Europe. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Variation at eight microsatellite loci revealed that D. pulicaria from the High Tatra Mountains (HTM had low genotype richness and showed excess of heterozygotes and significant deviations from Hardy-Weinberg expectations, and was thus congruent with reproduction by obligate parthenogenesis. By contrast, populations from the Pyrenees (Pyr were generally in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and had higher genotypic richness, suggesting that they are cyclic parthenogens. Four lakes from lowland areas (LLaP had populations with an uncertain or mixed breeding mode. All D. pulicaria had mtDNA ND5 haplotypes of the European D. pulicaria lineage. Pyr were distinct from LLaP and HTM at the ND5 gene. By contrast, HTM shared two haplotypes with LLaP and one with Pyr. Principal Coordinate Analysis of the microsatellite data revealed clear genetic differentiation into three groups. HTM isolates were intermediate to Pyr and LLaP, congruent with a hybrid origin. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Inferred transitions to obligate parthenogenesis have occurred only in HTM, most likely as a result of hybridizations. In contrast to North American populations, these transitions do not appear to involve meiosis suppressor genes and have not been accompanied by polyploidy. The absence of obligate parthenogenesis

  4. Sexual reproduction in the Candida clade: cryptic cycles, diverse mechanisms, and alternative functions

    OpenAIRE

    Alby, Kevin; Bennett, Richard J.

    2010-01-01

    To have sex, or not to have sex, is a question posed by many microorganisms. In favor of a sexual lifestyle is the associated rearrangement of genetic material that confers potential fitness advantages, including resistance to antimicrobial agents. The asexual lifestyle also has benefits, as it preserves complex combinations of genes that may be optimal for pathogenesis. For this reason, it was thought that several pathogenic fungi favored strictly asexual modes of reproduction. Recent approa...

  5. Sexual and apomictic plant reproduction in the genomics era: exploring the mechanisms potentially useful in crop plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwivedi, Sangam L; Perotti, Enrico; Upadhyaya, Hari D; Ortiz, Rodomiro

    2010-12-01

    Arabidopsis, Mimulus and tomato have emerged as model plants in researching genetic and molecular basis of differences in mating systems. Variations in floral traits and loss of self-incompatibility have been associated with mating system differences in crops. Genomics research has advanced considerably, both in model and crop plants, which may provide opportunities to modify breeding systems as evidenced in Arabidopsis and tomato. Mating system, however, not recombination per se, has greater effect on the level of polymorphism. Generating targeted recombination remains one of the most important factors for crop genetic enhancement. Asexual reproduction through seeds or apomixis, by producing maternal clones, presents a tremendous potential for agriculture. Although believed to be under simple genetic control, recent research has revealed that apomixis results as a consequence of the deregulation of the timing of sexual events rather than being the product of specific apomixis genes. Further, forward genetic studies in Arabidopsis have permitted the isolation of novel genes reported to control meiosis I and II entry. Mutations in these genes trigger the production of unreduced or apomeiotic megagametes and are an important step toward understanding and engineering apomixis.

  6. Modeling terrestrial carbon and water dynamics across climatic gradients: does plant trait diversity matter?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pappas, Christoforos; Fatichi, Simone; Burlando, Paolo

    2016-01-01

    Plant trait diversity in many vegetation models is crudely represented using a discrete classification of a handful of 'plant types' (named plant functional types; PFTs). The parameterization of PFTs reflects mean properties of observed plant traits over broad categories ignoring most of the inter- and intraspecific plant trait variability. Taking advantage of a multivariate leaf-trait distribution (leaf economics spectrum), as well as documented plant drought strategies, we generate an ensemble of hypothetical species with coordinated attributes, rather than using few PFTs. The behavior of these proxy species is tested using a mechanistic ecohydrological model that translates plant traits into plant performance. Simulations are carried out for a range of climates representative of different elevations and wetness conditions in the European Alps. Using this framework we investigate the sensitivity of ecosystem response to plant trait diversity and compare it with the sensitivity to climate variability. Plant trait diversity leads to highly divergent vegetation carbon dynamics (fluxes and pools) and to a lesser extent water fluxes (transpiration). Abiotic variables, such as soil water content and evaporation, are only marginally affected. These results highlight the need for revising the representation of plant attributes in vegetation models. Probabilistic approaches, based on observed multivariate whole-plant trait distributions, provide a viable alternative.

  7. Impact of urbanization on plant diversity: A case study in built-up areas of Beijing

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIANG Yao-qin; LI Jing-wen; LI Jing; Sanna Katrina VALIMAKI

    2008-01-01

    Urbanization is developing rapidly in the world, which seriously changes the habitat of organisms and has clearly a negative effect on biodiversity. Preservation of biodlversity is crucial in urban planning and management, which is also an important symbol for the level of greening. Problems such as scarcity of urban green space and plant species have become obstacles to the establishment of ecological friendly cities. However, coexistence of nature and modernization, as well the coordination of economic development and biodiversity, are goals that people are seeking. We have taken the built-up areas of Beijing as a study case and discussed the impacts of urbanization on plant diversity, with the support of fieldwork and SPOT remote sensing data. The results are as follows: 1) in the process of urbanization, exotic plants have been widely introduced, which has affected species composition and the proportion of native plants; it is clear that artificial green spaces always will have a lower level of plant diversity than natural green spaces; 2) functional differences of green space types partially decide their species abundance, so that plant diversity in greenbelts and streets is generally lower than in parks; 3) the spatial variety of plant diversity contributes much to the imbalance of district development and the planning of different functional zones; this variation is embodied in different ring-belts and directions; 4) habitat fragmentation also affects plant diversity to a great extent; there is a significant positive correlation between high fragmentation and low plant diversity. According our results, some suggestions are proposed, which would be suitable for the preservation of plant diversity and ecological improvement during urbanization.

  8. Grain Diversity Effects on Banker Plant Growth and Parasitism by Aphidius colemani

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Travis McClure

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Green peach aphid (Myzus persicae Sulzer (Hemiptera: Aphididae is a serious greenhouse pest with a short generation time, parthenogenetic reproduction and a broad host range. Banker plant systems are becoming a more common form of biological control for this pest. This system consists of grain “banker plants” infested with R. padi, an alternative hosts for the parasitoid Aphidius colemani. Thus A. colemani can reproduce on the banker plant when M. persicae populations are low. This system can increase pest suppression; however, like other biological control tools, efficacy is inconsistent. One reason is because several different grain species have been used. Our studies determined if there were benefits to planting interspecific mixture banker plants, similar to when open agricultural systems use mixed cropping. Our study found that although banker plants grow larger when planted as mixtures this added plant growth does not increase in the number of aphids, or mummies an individual banker plant can sustain. Rye banker plants grew larger, and sustained more mummies than the other species we tested, but barley banker plants resulted in a similar number of aphids in a more condensed area. Ultimately, we did not see any differences in pest suppression between monoculture banker plants, mixture banker plants, or our augmentative release treatment. However, using banker plants resulted in more female parasitoids than the augmentative release, a benefit to using banker plant systems.

  9. Habitat fragmentation, tree diversity, and plant invasion interact to structure forest caterpillar communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stireman, John O; Devlin, Hilary; Doyle, Annie L

    2014-09-01

    Habitat fragmentation and invasive species are two of the most prominent threats to terrestrial ecosystems. Few studies have examined how these factors interact to influence the diversity of natural communities, particularly primary consumers. Here, we examined the effects of forest fragmentation and invasion of exotic honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii, Caprifoliaceae) on the abundance and diversity of the dominant forest herbivores: woody plant-feeding Lepidoptera. We systematically surveyed understory caterpillars along transects in 19 forest fragments over multiple years in southwestern Ohio and evaluated how fragment area, isolation, tree diversity, invasion by honeysuckle and interactions among these factors influence species richness, diversity and abundance. We found strong seasonal variation in caterpillar communities, which responded differently to fragmentation and invasion. Abundance and richness increased with fragment area, but these effects were mitigated by high levels of honeysuckle, tree diversity, landscape forest cover, and large recent changes in area. Honeysuckle infestation was generally associated with decreased caterpillar abundance and diversity, but these effects were strongly dependent on other fragment traits. Effects of honeysuckle on abundance were moderated when fragment area, landscape forest cover and tree diversity were high. In contrast, negative effects of honeysuckle invasion on caterpillar diversity were most pronounced in fragments with high tree diversity and large recent increases in area. Our results illustrate the complex interdependencies of habitat fragmentation, plant diversity and plant invasion in their effects on primary consumers and emphasize the need to consider these processes in concert to understand the consequences of anthropogenic habitat change for biodiversity.

  10. Influence of arbuscular mycorrhiza on growth and reproductive response of plants under water deficit: a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayne, Benjamin; Quigley, Martin

    2014-02-01

    Despite a large body of literature that describes the effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization on plant response to water deficit, reviews of these works have been mainly in narrative form, and it is therefore difficult to quantify the magnitude of the effect. We performed a meta-analysis to examine the effect of mycorrhizal colonization on growth and yield of plants exposed to water deficit stress. Data were compared in the context of annual vs. perennial plants, herbaceous vs. woody plants, field vs. greenhouse conditions, degree of stress, functional group, regions of plant growth, and mycorrhizal and host species. We found that, in terms of biomass measurements, mycorrhizal plants have better growth and reproductive response under water stress compared to non-mycorrhizal plants. When variables such as habit, life cycle, or water stress level are considered, differences in mycorrhizal effect on plant growth between variables are observed. While growth of both annual and perennial plants is improved by symbiosis, perennials respond more favorably to colonization than annuals. Overall, our meta-analysis reveals a quantifiable corroboration of the commonly held view that, under water-deficit conditions, plants colonized by mycorrhizal fungi have better growth and reproductive response than those that are not.

  11. PLANT DIVERSITY OF THE ZHELTOKAMENSKIY OPEN CAST MINES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yarova T.A.

    2012-11-01

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

  12. Forest species diversity reduces disease risk in a generalist plant pathogen invasion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, Sarah E.; Hooten, Mevin B.; Rizzo, David M.; Meentemeyer, Ross K.

    2011-01-01

    Empirical evidence suggests that biodiversity loss can increase disease transmission, yet our understanding of the 'diversity-disease hypothesis' for generalist pathogens in natural ecosystems is limited. We used a landscape epidemiological approach to examine two scenarios regarding diversity effects on the emerging plant pathogen Phytophthora ramorum across a broad, heterogeneous ecoregion: (1) an amplification effect exists where disease risk is greater in areas with higher plant diversity due to the pathogen's wide host range, or (2) a dilution effect where risk is reduced with increasing diversity due to lower competency of alternative hosts. We found evidence for pathogen dilution, whereby disease risk was lower in sites with higher species diversity, after accounting for potentially confounding effects of host density and landscape heterogeneity. Our results suggest that although nearly all plants in the ecosystem are hosts, alternative hosts may dilute disease transmission by competent hosts, thereby buffering forest health from infectious disease.

  13. Exploring Genetic Diversity in Plants Using High-Throughput Sequencing Techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onda, Yoshihiko; Mochida, Keiichi

    2016-08-01

    Food security has emerged as an urgent concern because of the rising world population. To meet the food demands of the near future, it is required to improve the productivity of various crops, not just of staple food crops. The genetic diversity among plant populations in a given species allows the plants to adapt to various environmental conditions. Such diversity could therefore yield valuable traits that could overcome the food-security challenges. To explore genetic diversity comprehensively and to rapidly identify useful genes and/or allele, advanced high-throughput sequencing techniques, also called next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies, have been developed. These provide practical solutions to the challenges in crop genomics. Here, we review various sources of genetic diversity in plants, newly developed genetic diversity-mining tools synergized with NGS techniques, and related genetic approaches such as quantitative trait locus analysis and genome-wide association study.

  14. Generalist birds promote tropical forest regeneration and increase plant diversity via rare-biased seed dispersal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlo, Tomás A; Morales, Juan M

    2016-07-01

    Regenerated forests now compose over half of the world's tropical forest cover and are increasingly important as providers of ecosystem services, freshwater, and biodiversity conservation. Much of the value and functionality of regenerating forests depends on the plant diversity they contain. Tropical forest diversity is strongly shaped by mutualistic interactions between plants and fruit-eating animals (frugivores) that disperse seeds. Here we show how seed dispersal by birds can influence the speed and diversity of early successional forests in Puerto Rico. For two years, we monitored the monthly fruit production of bird-dispersed plants on a fragmented landscape, and measured seed dispersal activity of birds and plant establishment in experimental plots located in deforested areas. Two predominantly omnivorous bird species, the Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) and the Gray Kingbird (Tyrannus dominicensis), proved critical for speeding up the establishment of woody plants and increasing the species richness and diversity of the seed rain in deforested areas. Seed dispersal by these generalists increased the odds for rare plant species to disperse and establish in experimental forest-regeneration plots. Results indicate that birds that mix fruit and insects in their diets and actively forage across open and forested habitats can play keystone roles in the regeneration of mutualistic plant-animal communities. Furthermore, our analyses reveal that rare-biased (antiapostatic) frugivory and seed dispersal is the mechanism responsible for increasing plant diversity in the early-regenerating community. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  15. Diversity of ABC transporter genes across the plant kingdom and their potential utility in biotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane, Thomas S; Rempe, Caroline S; Davitt, Jack; Staton, Margaret E; Peng, Yanhui; Soltis, Douglas Edward; Melkonian, Michael; Deyholos, Michael; Leebens-Mack, James H; Chase, Mark; Rothfels, Carl J; Stevenson, Dennis; Graham, Sean W; Yu, Jun; Liu, Tao; Pires, J Chris; Edger, Patrick P; Zhang, Yong; Xie, Yinlong; Zhu, Ying; Carpenter, Eric; Wong, Gane Ka-Shu; Stewart, C Neal

    2016-05-31

    The ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter gene superfamily is ubiquitous among extant organisms and prominently represented in plants. ABC transporters act to transport compounds across cellular membranes and are involved in a diverse range of biological processes. Thus, the applicability to biotechnology is vast, including cancer resistance in humans, drug resistance among vertebrates, and herbicide and other xenobiotic resistance in plants. In addition, plants appear to harbor the highest diversity of ABC transporter genes compared with any other group of organisms. This study applied transcriptome analysis to survey the kingdom-wide ABC transporter diversity in plants and suggest biotechnology applications of this diversity. We utilized sequence similarity-based informatics techniques to infer the identity of ABC transporter gene candidates from 1295 phylogenetically-diverse plant transcriptomes. A total of 97,149 putative (approximately 25 % were full-length) ABC transporter gene members were identified; each RNA-Seq library (plant sample) had 88 ± 30 gene members. As expected, simpler organisms, such as algae, had fewer unique members than vascular land plants. Differences were also noted in the richness of certain ABC transporter subfamilies. Land plants had more unique ABCB, ABCC, and ABCG transporter gene members on average (p plant groups (p plant groups. An increase in the number of gene family members present in the ABCB, ABCC, and ABCD transporter subfamilies may indicate an expansion of the ABC transporter superfamily among green land plants, which include all crop species. The striking difference between the number of ABCA subfamily transporter gene members between ferns and other plant taxa is surprising and merits further investigation. Discussed is the potential exploitation of ABC transporters in plant biotechnology, with an emphasis on crops.

  16. Soil microbes contribute to the classic plant diversity-productivity pattern

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schnitzer, S.A.; Klironomos, J.N.; HilleRisLambers, J.; Kinkel, L.L.; Reich, P.B.; Nes, van E.H.; Scheffer, M.

    2011-01-01

    Ecosystem productivity commonly increases asymptotically with plant species diversity, and determining the mechanisms responsible for this well-known pattern is essential to predict potential changes in ecosystem productivity with ongoing species loss. Previous studies attributed the asymptotic dive

  17. Above- and below-ground effects of plant diversity depend on species origin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kuebbing, Sara E.; Classen, Aimee Taylor; Sanders, Nate

    2015-01-01

    Although many plant communities are invaded by multiple nonnative species, we have limited information on how a species' origin affects ecosystem function. We tested how differences in species richness and origin affect productivity and seedling establishment. We created phylogenetically paired...... native and nonnative plant communities in a glasshouse experiment to test diversity-productivity relationships and responsible mechanisms (i.e. selection or complementarity effects). Additionally, we tested how productivity and associated mechanisms influenced seedling establishment. We used diversity...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-03-13

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-03-05

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

  20. Restoration and management for plant diversity enhances the rate of belowground ecosystem recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klopf, Ryan P; Baer, Sara G; Bach, Elizabeth M; Six, Johan

    2017-03-01

    The positive relationship between plant diversity and ecosystem functioning has been criticized for its applicability at large scales and in less controlled environments that are relevant to land management. To inform this gap between ecological theory and application, we compared recovery rates of belowground properties using two chronosequences consisting of continuously cultivated and independently restored fields with contrasting diversity management strategies: grasslands restored with high plant richness and managed for diversity with frequent burning (n = 20) and grasslands restored with fewer species that were infrequently burned (n = 15). Restoration and management for plant diversity resulted in 250% higher plant richness. Greater recovery of roots and more predictable recovery of the active microbial biomass across the high diversity management strategy chronosequence corresponded with faster recovery of soil structure. The high diversity grasslands also had greater nutrient conservation indicated by lower available inorganic nitrogen. Thus, mesic grasslands restored with more species and managed for high plant diversity with frequent burning enhances the rate of belowground ecosystem recovery from long-term disturbance at a scale relevant to conservation practices on the landscape.

  1. On the factors that promote the diversity of herbivorous insects and plants in tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becerra, Judith X

    2015-05-12

    Some of the most fascinating and challenging questions in ecology are why biodiversity is highest in tropical forests and whether the factors involved are unique to these habitats. I did a worldwide test of the hypotheses that plant community divergence in antiherbivore traits results in higher insect herbivore diversity, and that predominant attack by specialized herbivores promotes plant richness. I found strong correlative support for both ideas. Butterfly diversity was greatest in regions where the community average species-pairwise dissimilarity in antiherbivore traits among plant species was highest. There was also a strong positive relationship between specialized (insect) vs. generalized (mammal) herbivores and plant richness. Regions where herbivory impact by mammals was higher than that of insects tended to have lower plant diversities. In contrast, regions in which insects are the main consumers, particularly in the Central and South American tropics, had the highest plant richness. Latitude did not explain any residual variance in insect or plant richness. The strong connections found between insect specialization, plant defense divergence, and plant and insect diversities suggest that increasing our understanding of the ecology of biological communities can aid in considerations of how to preserve biodiversity in the future.

  2. Plant Species Diversity along an Altitudinal Gradient of Bhabha Valley in Western Himalaya

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Amit Chawla; S. Rajkumar; K.N. Singh; Brij Lal; R.D. Singh; A. K. Thukral

    2008-01-01

    The present study highlights the rich species diversity of higher plants in the Bhabha Valley of western Himalaya in India. The analysis of species diversity revealed that a total of 313 species of higher plants inhabit the valley with a charactersfic of moist alpine shrub vegetation. The herbaceous life forms dominate and increase with increasing altitude. The major representations are from the families Asteraceae, Rosaceae, Lamiaceae and Poaceae, suggesting thereby the alpine meadow nature of the study area. The effect of altitude on species diversity displays a hump-shaped curve which may be attributed to increase in habitat diversity at the median ranges and relatively less habitat diversity at higher altitudes. The anthropogenic pressure at lower altitudes results in low plant diversity towards the bottom of the valley with most of the species being exotic in nature. Though the plant diversity is less at higher altitudinal ranges, the uniqueness is relatively high with high species replacement rates. More than 90% of variability in the species diversity could be explained using appropriate quantitative and statistical analysis along the altitudinal gradient. The valley harbours 18 threatened and 41 endemic species, most of which occur at higher altitudinal gradients due to habitat specificity.

  3. Plant diversity and functional groups affect Si and Ca pools in aboveground biomass of grassland systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaller, Jörg; Roscher, Christiane; Hillebrand, Helmut; Weigelt, Alexandra; Oelmann, Yvonne; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Ebeling, Anne; Weisser, Wolfgang W

    2016-09-01

    Plant diversity is an important driver of nitrogen and phosphorus stocks in aboveground plant biomass of grassland ecosystems, but plant diversity effects on other elements also important for plant growth are less understood. We tested whether plant species richness, functional group richness or the presence/absence of particular plant functional groups influences the Si and Ca concentrations (mmol g(-1)) and stocks (mmol m(-2)) in aboveground plant biomass in a large grassland biodiversity experiment (Jena Experiment). In the experiment including 60 temperate grassland species, plant diversity was manipulated as sown species richness (1, 2, 4, 8, 16) and richness and identity of plant functional groups (1-4; grasses, small herbs, tall herbs, legumes). We found positive species richness effects on Si as well as Ca stocks that were attributable to increased biomass production. The presence of particular functional groups was the most important factor explaining variation in aboveground Si and Ca stocks (mmol m(-2)). Grass presence increased the Si stocks by 140 % and legume presence increased the Ca stock by 230 %. Both the presence of specific plant functional groups and species diversity altered Si and Ca stocks, whereas Si and Ca concentration were affected mostly by the presence of specific plant functional groups. However, we found a negative effect of species diversity on Si and Ca accumulation, by calculating the deviation between mixtures and mixture biomass proportions, but in monoculture concentrations. These changes may in turn affect ecosystem processes such as plant litter decomposition and nutrient cycling in grasslands.

  4. Molecular diversity at the plant-pathogen interface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDowell, John M; Simon, Stacey A

    2008-01-01

    Plants have evolved a robust innate immune system that exhibits striking similarities as well as significant differences with various metazoan innate immune systems. For example, plants are capable of perceiving pathogen-associated molecular patterns through pattern recognition receptors that bear structural similarities to animal Toll-like receptors. In addition, plants have evolved a second surveillance system based on cytoplasmic "NB-LRR" proteins (nucleotide-binding, leucine-rich repeat) that are structurally similar to animal nucleotide-binding and oligomerization domain (NOD)-like receptors. Plant NB-LRR proteins do not detect PAMPs; rather, they perceive effector proteins that pathogens secrete into plant cells to promote virulence. This review summarizes the current state of knowledge about the molecular functionality and evolution of these immune surveillance genes.

  5. Generic and functional diversity in endophytic actinomycetes from wild Compositae plant species at South Sinai - Egypt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Shatoury, Sahar A; El-Kraly, Omnia A; Trujillo, Martha E; El-Kazzaz, Waleed M; El-Din, El-Sayeda Gamal; Dewedar, Ahmed

    2013-09-01

    The diversity of culturable endophytic actinomycetes associated with wild Compositae plants is scantily explored. In this study, one hundred and thirty one endophytic actinobacteria were isolated from ten Compositae plant species collected from South Sinai in Egypt. Microscopic and chemotaxonomic investigation of the isolates indicated fourteen genera. Rare genera, such as Microtetraspora, and Intrasporangium, which have never been previously reported to be endophytic, were identified. Each plant species accommodated between three to eight genera of actinobacteria and unidentified strains were recovered from seven plant species. The generic diversity analysis of endophytic assemblages grouped the plant species into three main clusters, representing high, moderate and low endophytic diversity. The endophytes showed high functional diversity, based on forty four catabolic and plant growth promotion traits; providing some evidence that such traits could represent key criteria for successful residence of endophytes in the endosphere. Stress-tolerance traits were more predictive measure of functional diversity differences between the endophyte assemblages (Shannon's index, p = 0.01). The results indicate a potential prominent role of endophytes for their hosts and emphasize the potency of plant endosphere as a habitat for actinobacteria with promising future applications.

  6. Facilitation contributes to Mediterranean woody plant diversity but does not shape the diversity-productivity relationship along aridity gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rey, Pedro J; Alcántara, Julio M; Manzaneda, Antonio J; Sánchez-Lafuente, Alfonso M

    2016-07-01

    The diversity-productivity relationship (humped-back model (HBM)) and the stress-gradient (SGH) hypotheses may be connected when productivity is limited primarily by aridity. We analytically connect both hypotheses and assess the contribution of facilitation to woody plant richness along the aridity gradient of the Western Mediterranean floristic region. We monitored regeneration niches of woody plants, obtaining rarefied species richness and plant relative interaction indices in 54 forests and scrublands in a 1750-km geographical range across Spain, Morocco and the Canary Islands. We verified the monotonic increase in facilitation with aridity postulated by SGH and the humped-shape pattern of species richness expected from HBM, which became manifest after expanding the aridity gradient or crossing vegetation types. Along the gradient, interaction balance turned into facilitation earlier in forest than in scrublands. The effects of aridity and interaction balance on species diversity were additive rather than interdependent. Facilitation is an important driver of woody species richness at macroecological scales because it added up to diversity in most sites, with enhanced contribution with increased stress. The HBM was not shaped by species interactions. Results suggest that facilitation may act in Mediterranean vegetation buffering against critical transitions between states allowing woody plant communities to cope with the rise in aridity expected with global warming.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-19

    Eukaryotic protein kinases belong to a large superfamily with hundreds to thousands of copies and are components of essentially all cellular functions. The goals of this study are to classify protein kinases from 25 plant species and to assess their evolutionary history in conjunction with consideration of their molecular functions. The protein kinase superfamily has expanded in the flowering plant lineage, in part through recent duplications. As a result, the flowering plant protein kinase repertoire, or kinome, is in general significantly larger than other eukaryotes, ranging in size from 600 to 2500 members. This large variation in kinome size is mainly due to the expansion and contraction of a few families, particularly the receptor-like kinase/Pelle family. A number of protein kinases reside in highly conserved, low copy number families and often play broadly conserved regulatory roles in metabolism and cell division, although functions of plant homologues have often diverged from their metazoan counterparts. Members of expanded plant kinase families often have roles in plant-specific processes and some may have contributed to adaptive evolution. Nonetheless, non-adaptive explanations, such as kinase duplicate subfunctionalization and insufficient time for pseudogenization, may also contribute to the large number of seemingly functional protein kinases in plants.

  8. Photosynthetic diversity meets biodiversity: the C4 plant example.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sage, Rowan F; Stata, Matt

    2015-01-01

    Physiological diversification reflects adaptation for specific environmental challenges. As the major physiological process that provides plants with carbon and energy, photosynthesis is under strong evolutionary selection that gives rise to variability in nearly all parts of the photosynthetic apparatus. Here, we discuss how plants, notably those using C4 photosynthesis, diversified in response to environmental challenges imposed by declining atmospheric CO2 content in recent geological time. This reduction in atmospheric CO2 increases the rate of photorespiration and reduces photosynthetic efficiency. While plants have evolved numerous mechanisms to compensate for low CO2, the most effective are the carbon concentration mechanisms of C4, C2, and CAM photosynthesis; and the pumping of dissolved inorganic carbon, mainly by algae. C4 photosynthesis enables plants to dominate warm, dry and often salinized habitats, and to colonize areas that are too stressful for most plant groups. Because C4 lineages generally lack arborescence, they cannot form forests. Hence, where they predominate, C4 plants create a different landscape than would occur if C3 plants were to predominate. These landscapes (mostly grasslands and savannahs) present unique selection environments that promoted the diversification of animal guilds able to graze upon the C4 vegetation. Thus, the rise of C4 photosynthesis has made a significant contribution to the origin of numerous biomes in the modern biosphere.

  9. Reproduction, physiology and biochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    This chapter summarizes fundamental knowledge and recent discoveries about the reproduction, physiology and biochemistry of plant-parasitic nematodes. Various types of reproduction are reviewed, including sexual reproduction and mitotic and meiotic parthenogenesis. Although much is known about the p...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Omar López-Martínez

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Martínez, Jorge Omar; Sanaphre-Villanueva, Lucía; Dupuy, Juan Manuel; Hernández-Stefanoni, José Luis; Meave, Jorge Arturo; Gallardo-Cruz, José Alberto

    2013-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Zhiheng; Fang, Jingyun; Tang, Zhiyao

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. effect of bush burning on herbaceous plant diversity in lagos state ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    conducted to assess the effect of bush burning on plant species diversity. Three frequently ... Data obtained for plants were compared using % frequency, % stand and Simpson and ... species are destroyed by fire and can become locally extinct if fire is too ..... unplanned fire in a semi-arid rangeland of South Africa. Journal ...

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

    KAUST Repository

    Soussi, Asma

    2015-08-28

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

  17. Influence of plant species on population dynamics, genotypic diversity and antibiotic production by indigenous Pseudomonas spp

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bergsma-Vlami, M.; Prins, M.E.; Raaijmakers, J.M.

    2005-01-01

    The population dynamics, genotypic diversity and activity of naturally-occurring 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol (DAPG)-producing Pseudomonas spp. was investigated for four plant species (wheat, sugar beet, potato, lily) grown in two different soils. All four plant species tested, except lily and in some

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tack, Ayco J M; Roslin, Tomas

    2011-08-01

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

  19. Growing knowledge: an overview of Seed Plant diversity in Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Zappi, Daniela C.; Filardi,Fabiana L. Ranzato; Leitman,Paula; Souza, Vinícius C.; Bruno M. T. Walter; José R. Pirani; Morim,Marli P.; de Queiroz, Luciano P.; Cavalcanti,Taciana B.; Mansano, Vidal F.; Forzza,Rafaela C.; Abreu,Maria C.; Acevedo-Rodríguez, Pedro; Agra,Maria de F.; Almeida Jr.,Eduardo B.

    2016-01-01

    An updated inventory of Brazilian seed plants is presented and offers important insights into the country’s biodiversity. This work started in 2010, with the publication of the Plants and Fungi Catalogue, and has been updated since by more than 430 specialists working online. Brazil is home to 32,086 native Angiosperms and 23 native Gymnosperms, showing an increase of 3% in its species richness in relation to 2010. The Amazon Rainforest is the richest Brazilian biome for Gymnosperms, while th...

  20. Phyllosphere microbiology with special reference to diversity and plant genotype

    OpenAIRE

    Whipps, J. M.; Hand, Paul; Pink, David; Bending, G. D.

    2008-01-01

    The phyllosphere represents the habitat provided by the aboveground parts of plants, and on a global scale supports a large and complex microbial community. Microbial interactions in the phyllosphere can affect the fitness of plants in natural communities, the productivity of agricultural crops, and the safety of horticultural produce for human consumption. The structure of phyllosphere communities reflects immigration, survival and growth of microbial colonists, which is influenced by numero...

  1. Invasive stink bug favors naïve plants: Testing the role of plant geographic origin in diverse, managed environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinson, Holly M; Bergmann, Erik J; Venugopal, P Dilip; Riley, Christopher B; Shrewsbury, Paula M; Raupp, Michael J

    2016-01-01

    With the introduction and establishment of exotic species, most ecosystems now contain both native and exotic plants and herbivores. Recent research identifies several factors that govern how specialist herbivores switch host plants upon introduction. Predicting the feeding ecology and impacts of introduced generalist species, however, remains difficult. Here, we examine how plant geographic origin, an indicator of shared co-evolutionary history, influences patterns of host use by a generalist, invasive herbivore, while accounting for variation in plant availability. The brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys, is a highly polyphagous Asian herbivore and an economically important invasive pest in North America and Europe. In visual surveys of 220 plant taxa in commercial nurseries in Maryland, USA, H. halys was more abundant on non-Asian plants and selected these over Asian plants. The relationship between the relative use of plants and their availability was strongly positive but depended also on plant origin at two of our three sites, where the higher relative use of non-Asian plants was greatest for highly abundant taxa. These results highlight the importance of considering both plant origin and relative abundance in understanding the selection of host plants by invasive generalist herbivores in diverse, natural and urban forests.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  3. Plant Glutathione Biosynthesis: Diversity in Biochemical Regulation and Reaction Products

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashley eGalant

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available In plants, exposure to temperature extremes, heavy metal-contaminated soils, drought, air pollutants, and pathogens results in the generation of reactive oxygen species that alter the intracellular redox environment, which in turn influences signaling pathways and cell fate. As part of their response to these stresses, plants produce glutathione. Glutathione acts as an antioxidant by quenching reactive oxygen species, and is involved in the ascorbate-glutathione cycle that eliminates damaging peroxides. Plants also use glutathione for the detoxification of xenobiotics, herbicides, air pollutants (sulfur dioxide and ozone, and toxic heavy metals. Two enzymes catalyze glutathione synthesis: glutamate-cysteine ligase (GCL, and glutathione synthetase (GS. Glutathione is a ubiquitous protective compound in plants, but the structural and functional details of the proteins that synthesize it, as well as the potential biochemical mechanisms of their regulation, have only begun to be explored. As discussed here, the core reactions of glutathione synthesis are conserved across various organisms, but plants have diversified both the regulatory mechanisms that control its synthesis and the range of products derived from this pathway. Understanding the molecular basis of glutathione biosynthesis and its regulation will expand our knowledge of this component in the plant stress response network.

  4. Plant glutathione biosynthesis: diversity in biochemical regulation and reaction products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galant, Ashley; Preuss, Mary L; Cameron, Jeffrey C; Jez, Joseph M

    2011-01-01

    In plants, exposure to temperature extremes, heavy metal-contaminated soils, drought, air pollutants, and pathogens results in the generation of reactive oxygen species that alter the intracellular redox environment, which in turn influences signaling pathways and cell fate. As part of their response to these stresses, plants produce glutathione. Glutathione acts as an anti-oxidant by quenching reactive oxygen species, and is involved in the ascorbate-glutathione cycle that eliminates damaging peroxides. Plants also use glutathione for the detoxification of xenobiotics, herbicides, air pollutants (sulfur dioxide and ozone), and toxic heavy metals. Two enzymes catalyze glutathione synthesis: glutamate-cysteine ligase, and glutathione synthetase. Glutathione is a ubiquitous protective compound in plants, but the structural and functional details of the proteins that synthesize it, as well as the potential biochemical mechanisms of their regulation, have only begun to be explored. As discussed here, the core reactions of glutathione synthesis are conserved across various organisms, but plants have diversified both the regulatory mechanisms that control its synthesis and the range of products derived from this pathway. Understanding the molecular basis of glutathione biosynthesis and its regulation will expand our knowledge of this component in the plant stress response network.

  5. Cotton flowers: Pollen and petal humidity sensitivities determine reproductive competitiveness in diverse environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    This study investigated the abiotic stress tolerance of mature cotton [Gossypium hirsutum (L.)] pollen and identified genetic variability among the six cotton lines studied. Genetic diversity in pollen viability was observed following a 6.5 h exposure to 25% relative humidity (RH). NM67, DP565, and...

  6. Effect of plantations on plant species diversity in the Darabkola, Mazandaran Province, North of Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    HASSAN POURBABAEI

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Pourbabaei H, Asgari F, Reif A, Abedi R. 2012. Effect of plantations on plant species diversity in the Darabkola, Mazandaran Province, North of Iran. Biodiversitas 13: 72-78. In this study, the effect of plantations on plant species diversity was investigated in Darabkola, Mazandaran province, north of Iran. To conduct the study, a natural mixed forest, a broad–leaved plantation (Alnus subcordata-Acer velutinum and a coniferous plantation (Cupressus sempervirens var. horizontalis-Pinus brutia were selected. 35 sampling plots were taken in systematic random method in each area. Data analysis was carried out using Simpson, Hill's N2, Shannon-Wiener and Mc Arthur's N1 diversity indices, Smith and Wilson evenness index and species richness. Results revealed that there were 32 plant species in natural forest and 30 plant species were found in each plantation. Rosaceae and Lamiaceae were the main families in the studied areas. Diversity and evenness indices of all vegetation layers had the most values in the natural forest. Richness of woody plants had the highest value in the natural forest, while herbaceous richness was the highest in coniferous plantation. Mc Arthur's N1 had the highest value among diversity indices and followed by Hill's N2, Shannon-Wiener and Simpson indices, respectively. In addition, results showed that there were significant differences among diversity, evenness and richness indices in all vegetation layers in the three studied areas.

  7. Potential benefits of plant diversity on vegetated roofs: a literature review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook-Patton, Susan C; Bauerle, Taryn L

    2012-09-15

    Although vegetated green roofs can be difficult to establish and maintain, they are an increasingly popular method for mitigating the negative environmental impacts of urbanization. Most green roof development has focused on maximizing green roof performance by planting one or a few drought-tolerant species. We present an alternative approach, which recognizes green roofs as dynamic ecosystems and employs a diversity of species. We draw links between the ecological and green roof literature to generate testable predictions about how increasing plant diversity could improve short- and long-term green roof functioning. Although we found few papers that experimentally manipulated diversity on green roofs, those that did revealed ecological dynamics similar to those in more natural systems. However, there are many unresolved issues. To improve overall green roof performance, we should (1) elucidate the links among plant diversity, structural complexity, and green roof performance, (2) describe feedback mechanisms between plant and animal diversity on green roofs, (3) identify species with complementary traits, and (4) determine whether diverse green roof communities are more resilient to disturbance and environmental change than less diverse green roofs.

  8. Toxic plants: Effects on reproduction and fetal and embryonic development in livestock

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reproductive success is dependent on a large number of carefully orchestrated biological events that must occur in a specifically timed sequence. The interference with one of more of these sequences or events may result in total reproductive failure or a more subtle reduction in reproductive potent...

  9. Traffic monitors at the cell periphery: the role of cell walls during early female reproductive cell differentiation in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, Matthew R; Koltunow, Anna M G

    2014-02-01

    The formation of female gametes in plants occurs within the ovule, a floral organ that is also the precursor of the seed. Unlike animals, plants lack a typical germline separated from the soma early in development and rely on positional signals, including phytohormones, mobile mRNAs and sRNAs, to direct diploid somatic precursor cells onto a reproductive program. In addition, signals moving between plant cells must overcome the architectural limitations of a cell wall which surrounds the plasma membrane. Recent studies have addressed the molecular and histological signatures of young ovule cells and indicate that dynamic cell wall changes occur over a short developmental window. These changes in cell wall properties impact signal flow and ovule cell identity, thereby aiding the establishment of boundaries between reproductive and somatic ovule domains. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Evolutionary relationships and functional diversity of plant sulfate transporters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hideki eTakahashi

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Genetic diversity and antifungal activity of native Pseudomonas isolated from maize plants grown in a central region of Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordero, Paula; Cavigliasso, Andrea; Príncipe, Analía; Godino, Agustina; Jofré, Edgardo; Mori, Gladys; Fischer, Sonia

    2012-07-01

    Pseudomonas strains producing antimicrobial secondary metabolites play an important role in the biocontrol of phytopathogenic fungi. In this study, native Pseudomonas spp. isolates were obtained from the rhizosphere, endorhizosphere and bulk soil of maize fields in Córdoba (Argentina) during both the vegetative and reproductive stages of plant growth. However, the diversity based on repetitive-element PCR (rep-PCR) and amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis (ARDRA) fingerprinting was not associated with the stage of plant growth. Moreover, the antagonistic activity of the native isolates against phytopathogenic fungi was evaluated in vitro. Several strains inhibited members of the genera Fusarium, Sclerotinia or Sclerotium and this antagonism was related to their ability to produce secondary metabolites. A phylogenetic analysis based on rpoB or 16S rRNA gene sequences confirmed that the isolates DGR22, MGR4 and MGR39 with high biocontrol potential belonged to the genus Pseudomonas. Some native strains of Pseudomonas were also able to synthesise indole acetic acid and to solubilise phosphate, thus possessing potential plant growth-promoting (PGPR) traits, in addition to their antifungal activity. It was possible to establish a relationship between PGPR or biocontrol activity and the phylogeny of the strains. The study allowed the creation of a local collection of indigenous Pseudomonas which could be applied in agriculture to minimise the utilisation of chemical pesticides and fertilisers.

  12. Influence of growth on reproductive traits and its effect on fertility and gene diversity in a clonal seed orchard of scots pine, Pinus Sylvestris L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutkuner, I; Bilir, N; Ulusan, D

    2008-05-01

    This study was carried out in a clonal seed orchard of scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), to determine the difference and interaction for reproductive and growth characters among clones and its impact on fertility variation and gene diversity Numbers of female and male strobili, and height and diameter at breast height were studied on six grafts chosen randomly in each of the 27 clones for the purpose. One-way analysis of variance revealed large differences in both reproductive and growth characters among clones. The differences were higher in growth characters than in reproductive traits. There was significant phenotypic correlation among growth and reproductive characters. So, growth characters had a greater effect on male and female fertility Estimates of total fertility variation (Sibling coefficient = 1.012), status number (26.8) and relative gene diversity (0.981) were computed. Fertility variation among clones was low, which caused a high relative population size (99% of census number). The positive phenotypic correlation between growth and reproductive characters showed that enhanced growth rate could be effective in improving fertility and gene diversity of seed orchard crop. The results of the study have implications in breeding and selection of plus tree and populations, establishment and thinning of seed orchards of the species.

  13. Assessing the diversity of bacterial communities associated with plants

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  14. Soil fertility increases with plant species diversity in a long-term biodiversity experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dybzinski, Ray; Fargione, Joseph E; Zak, Donald R; Fornara, Dario; Tilman, David

    2008-11-01

    Most explanations for the positive effect of plant species diversity on productivity have focused on the efficiency of resource use, implicitly assuming that resource supply is constant. To test this assumption, we grew seedlings of Echinacea purpurea in soil collected beneath 10-year-old, experimental plant communities containing one, two, four, eight, or 16 native grassland species. The results of this greenhouse bioassay challenge the assumption of constant resource supply; we found that bioassay seedlings grown in soil collected from experimental communities containing 16 plant species produced 70% more biomass than seedlings grown in soil collected beneath monocultures. This increase was likely attributable to greater soil N availability, which had increased in higher diversity communities over the 10-year-duration of the experiment. In a distinction akin to the selection/complementarity partition commonly made in studies of diversity and productivity, we further determined whether the additive effects of functional groups or the interactive effects of functional groups explained the increase in fertility with diversity. The increase in bioassay seedling biomass with diversity was largely explained by a concomitant increase in N-fixer, C4 grass, forb, and C3 grass biomass with diversity, suggesting that the additive effects of these four functional groups at higher diversity contributed to enhance N availability and retention. Nevertheless, diversity still explained a significant amount of the residual variation in bioassay seedling biomass after functional group biomass was included in a multiple regression, suggesting that interactions also increased fertility in diverse communities. Our results suggest a mechanism, the fertility effect, by which increased plant species diversity may increase community productivity over time by increasing the supply of nutrients via both greater inputs and greater retention.

  15. Diversity of heterotrimeric G-protein γ subunits in plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trusov Yuri

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Heterotrimeric G-proteins, consisting of three subunits Gα, Gβ and Gγ are present in most eukaryotes and mediate signaling in numerous biological processes. In plants, Gγ subunits were shown to provide functional selectivity to G-proteins. Three unconventional Gγ subunits were recently reported in Arabidopsis, rice and soybean but no structural analysis has been reported so far. Their relationship with conventional Gγ subunits and taxonomical distribution has not been yet demonstrated. Results After an extensive similarity search through plant genomes, transcriptomes and proteomes we assembled over 200 non-redundant proteins related to the known Gγ subunits. Structural analysis of these sequences revealed that most of them lack the obligatory C-terminal prenylation motif (CaaX. According to their C-terminal structures we classified the plant Gγ subunits into three distinct types. Type A consists of Gγ subunits with a putative prenylation motif. Type B subunits lack a prenylation motif and do not have any cysteine residues in the C-terminal region, while type C subunits contain an extended C-terminal domain highly enriched with cysteines. Comparative analysis of C-terminal domains of the proteins, intron-exon arrangement of the corresponding genes and phylogenetic studies suggested a common origin of all plant Gγ subunits. Conclusion Phylogenetic analyses suggest that types C and B most probably originated independently from type A ancestors. We speculate on a potential mechanism used by those Gγ subunits lacking isoprenylation motifs to anchor the Gβγ dimer to the plasma membrane and propose a new flexible nomenclature for plant Gγ subunits. Finally, in the light of our new classification, we give a word of caution about the interpretation of Gγ research in Arabidopsis and its generalization to other plant species.

  16. Plant diversity effects on ecosystem evapotranspiration and carbon uptake: a controlled environment (Ecotron) and modeling approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milcu, Alexandru; Roy, Jacques

    2016-04-01

    Effects of species and functional diversity of plants on ecosystem evapotranspiration and carbon fluxes have been rarely assessed simultaneously. Here we present the results from an experiment that combined a lysimeter setup in a controlled environment facility (Ecotron) with large ecosystem samples/ monoliths originating from a long-term biodiversity experiment ("The Jena Experiment") and a modelling approach. We aimed at (1) quantifying the impact of plant species richness (4 vs. 16 species) on day- and night-time ecosystem water vapor fluxes and carbon uptake, (2) partitioning ecosystem evapotranspiration into evaporation and plant transpiration using the Shuttleworth and Wallace (SW) energy partitioning model, and (3) identifying the most parsimonious predictors of water vapor vapor and CO2 fluxes using plant functional trait-based metrics such as functional diversity and community weighted means. The SW model indicated that at low plant species richness, a higher proportion of the available energy was diverted to evaporation (a non-productive flux), while at higher species richness the proportion of ecosystem transpiration (a production-related water flux) increased. This led to an increased carbon gain per amount of water vapor loss (i.e. increased water use efficiency). While the LAI controlled the carbon and water fluxes, we also found that the diversity of plant functional traits, and in particular of leaf nitrogen concentration are potential important predictors of ecosystem transpiration and carbon uptake and consequently significantly contributed to increase in water use efficiency in communities with higher plant diversity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Cyclical parthenogenetic reproduction in the Russian wheat aphid (Hemiptera: Aphididae) in the United States: sexual reproduction and its outcome on biotypic diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puterka, G J; Hammon, R W; Burd, J D; Peairs, F B; Randolph, T L; Cooper, W R

    2012-06-01

    In 1986, the Russian wheat aphid, Diuraphis noxia (Kurdjumov) (Hemiptera: Aphididae), became an invasive species of United States. Nearly 20 yr later, new biotypes appeared that were capable of overcoming most sources of resistance and became a renewed threat to wheat, Triticum aestivum L., production. Cyclical (CP) and obligate (OP) parthenogenesis enables aphids to both adapt to changing environments and exploit host resources. We documented these forms of reproduction for Russian wheat aphid in wheat and wild grasses in the Central Great Plains and Rocky Mountain regions during falls 2004-2009. Colonies from sample sites also were held under unheated greenhouse conditions and observed for the presence of sexual morphs and eggs through the winter. Russian wheat aphid populations were mainly OP and attempted to overwinter as adults, regardless of region sampled. A few populations contained oviparae but no males (gynocyclic) and were not specific to any particular region. Observation of the Russian wheat aphid colonies under greenhouse conditions failed to produce males or eggs. In spring 2007, CP was confirmed in a small population of Russian wheat aphid that eclosed from eggs (fundatricies) on wild grasses and wheat near Dove Creek, CO, in the Colorado Plateau region where other aphid species undergo CP. Lineages from ninety-three fundatricies were screened against 16 resistant and susceptible cereal entries to determine their biotypic classification. A high degree of biotypic diversity (41.4%) was detected in this population. Although CP was a rare in Russian wheat aphid populations, genetic recombination during the sexual cycle creates new biotypes and can have significant effects on population genetics.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Effects of plant diversity on microbial nitrogen and phosphorus dynamics in soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prommer, Judith; Braun, Judith; Daly, Amanda; Gorka, Stefan; Hu, Yuntao; Kaiser, Christina; Martin, Victoria; Meyerhofer, Werner; Walker, Tom W. N.; Wanek, Wolfgang; Wasner, Daniel; Wiesenbauer, Julia; Zezula, David; Zheng, Qing; Richter, Andreas

    2017-04-01

    There is a general consensus that plant diversity affects many ecosystem functions. One example of such an effect is the enhanced aboveground and belowground plant biomass production with increasing species richness, with implications for carbon and nutrient distribution in soil. The Jena Experiment (http://www.the-jena-experiment.de/), a grassland biodiversity experiment established in 2002 in Germany, comprises different levels of plant species richness and different numbers of plant functional groups. It provides the opportunity to examine how changes in biodiversity impact on microbially-mediated nutrient cycling processes. We here report on plant diversity and plant functional composition effects on growth and nitrogen and phosphorus transformation rates, including nitrogen use efficiency, of microbial communities. Microbial growth rates and microbial biomass were positively affected by increasing plant species richness. Amino acid and ammonium concentrations in soil were also positively affected by plant species richness, while phosphate concentrations in contrast were negatively affected. The cycling of organic N in soils (estimated as gross protein depolymerization rates) increased about threefold with plant diversity, while gross N and P mineralization were not significantly affected by either species or functional richness. Microbial nitrogen use efficiency did not respond to different levels of plant diversity but was very high (0.96 and 0.98) across all levels of plant species richness, demonstrating a low N availability for microbes. Taken together this indicates that soil microbial communities were able to meet the well-documented increase in plant N content with species richness, and also the higher N demand of the microbial community by increasing the recycling of organic N such as proteins. In fact, the microbial community even overcompensated the increased plant and microbial N demand, as evidenced by increased levels of free amino acids and

  1. Evaluating the Interacting Influences of Pollination, Seed Predation, Invasive Species and Isolation on Reproductive Success in a Threatened Alpine Plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krushelnycky, Paul D.

    2014-01-01

    Reproduction in rare plants may be influenced and limited by a complex combination of factors. External threats such as invasive species and landscape characteristics such as isolation may impinge on both pollination and seed predation dynamics, which in turn can strongly affect reproduction. I assessed how patterns in floral visitation, seed predation, invasive ant presence, and plant isolation influenced one another and ultimately affected viable seed production in Haleakalā silverswords (Argyroxiphium sandwicense subsp. macrocephalum) of Hawai’i. Floral visitation was dominated by endemic Hylaeus bees, and patterns of visitation were influenced by floral display size and number of plants clustered together, but not by floral herbivory or nearest flowering neighbor distance. There was also some indication that Argentine ant presence impacted floral visitation, but contradictory evidence and limitations of the study design make this result uncertain. Degree of seed predation was associated only with plant isolation, with the two main herbivores partitioning resources such that one preferentially attacked isolated plants while the other attacked clumped plants; total seed predation was greater in more isolated plants. Net viable seed production was highly variable among individuals (0–55% seed set), and was affected mainly by nearest neighbor distance, apparently owing to low cross-pollination among plants separated by even short distances (>10–20 m). This isolation effect dominated net seed set, with no apparent influence from floral visitation rates, percent seed predation, or invasive ant presence. The measured steep decline in seed set with isolation distance may not be typical of the entire silversword range, and may indicate that pollinators in addition to Hylaeus bees could be important for greater gene flow. Management aimed at maintaining or maximizing silversword reproduction should focus on the spatial context of field populations and outplanting

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picard, Christine; Bosco, Marco

    2008-01-01

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

  3. Consistent role of Quaternary climate change in shaping current plant functional diversity patterns across European plant orders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ordonez, Alejandro; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2017-02-01

    Current and historical environmental conditions are known to determine jointly contemporary species distributions and richness patterns. However, whether historical dynamics in species distributions and richness translate to functional diversity patterns remains, for the most part, unknown. The geographic patterns of plant functional space size (richness) and packing (dispersion) for six widely distributed orders of European angiosperms were estimated using atlas distribution data and trait information. Then the relative importance of late-Quaternary glacial-interglacial climate change and contemporary environmental factors (climate, productivity, and topography) as determinants of functional diversity of evaluated orders was assesed. Functional diversity patterns of all evaluated orders exhibited prominent glacial-interglacial climate change imprints, complementing the influence of contemporary environmental conditions. The importance of Quaternary glacial-interglacial climate change factors was comparable to that of contemporary environmental factors across evaluated orders. Therefore, high long-term paleoclimate variability has imposed consistent supplementary constraints on functional diversity of multiple plant groups, a legacy that may permeate to ecosystem functioning and resilience. These findings suggest that strong near-future anthropogenic climate change may elicit long-term functional disequilibria in plant functional diversity.

  4. Consistent role of Quaternary climate change in shaping current plant functional diversity patterns across European plant orders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ordonez, Alejandro; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2017-02-23

    Current and historical environmental conditions are known to determine jointly contemporary species distributions and richness patterns. However, whether historical dynamics in species distributions and richness translate to functional diversity patterns remains, for the most part, unknown. The geographic patterns of plant functional space size (richness) and packing (dispersion) for six widely distributed orders of European angiosperms were estimated using atlas distribution data and trait information. Then the relative importance of late-Quaternary glacial-interglacial climate change and contemporary environmental factors (climate, productivity, and topography) as determinants of functional diversity of evaluated orders was assesed. Functional diversity patterns of all evaluated orders exhibited prominent glacial-interglacial climate change imprints, complementing the influence of contemporary environmental conditions. The importance of Quaternary glacial-interglacial climate change factors was comparable to that of contemporary environmental factors across evaluated orders. Therefore, high long-term paleoclimate variability has imposed consistent supplementary constraints on functional diversity of multiple plant groups, a legacy that may permeate to ecosystem functioning and resilience. These findings suggest that strong near-future anthropogenic climate change may elicit long-term functional disequilibria in plant functional diversity.

  5. Consistent role of Quaternary climate change in shaping current plant functional diversity patterns across European plant orders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ordonez, Alejandro; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2017-01-01

    Current and historical environmental conditions are known to determine jointly contemporary species distributions and richness patterns. However, whether historical dynamics in species distributions and richness translate to functional diversity patterns remains, for the most part, unknown. The geographic patterns of plant functional space size (richness) and packing (dispersion) for six widely distributed orders of European angiosperms were estimated using atlas distribution data and trait information. Then the relative importance of late-Quaternary glacial-interglacial climate change and contemporary environmental factors (climate, productivity, and topography) as determinants of functional diversity of evaluated orders was assesed. Functional diversity patterns of all evaluated orders exhibited prominent glacial-interglacial climate change imprints, complementing the influence of contemporary environmental conditions. The importance of Quaternary glacial-interglacial climate change factors was comparable to that of contemporary environmental factors across evaluated orders. Therefore, high long-term paleoclimate variability has imposed consistent supplementary constraints on functional diversity of multiple plant groups, a legacy that may permeate to ecosystem functioning and resilience. These findings suggest that strong near-future anthropogenic climate change may elicit long-term functional disequilibria in plant functional diversity. PMID:28230069

  6. Assessment of Genetic Diversity in Seed Plants Based on a Uniform π Criterion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bin Ai

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Despite substantial advances in genotyping techniques and massively accumulated data over the past half century, a uniform measurement of neutral genetic diversity derived by different molecular markers across a wide taxonomical range has not yet been formulated. We collected genetic diversity data on seed plants derived by AFLP, allozyme, ISSR, RAPD, SSR and nucleotide sequences, converted expected heterozygosity (He to nucleotide diversity (π, and reassessed the relationship between plant genetic diversity and life history traits or extinction risk. We successfully established a uniform π criterion and developed a comprehensive plant genetic diversity database. The mean population-level and species-level π values across seed plants were 0.00374 (966 taxa, 155 families, 47 orders and 0.00569 (728 taxa, 130 families, 46 orders, respectively. Significant differences were recovered for breeding system (p < 0.001 at the population level and geographic range (p = 0.023 at the species level. Selfing taxa had significantly lower π values than outcrossing and mixed-mating taxa, whereas narrowly distributed taxa had significantly lower π values than widely distributed taxa. Despite significant differences between the two extreme threat categories (critically endangered and least concern, the genetic diversity reduction on the way to extinction was difficult to detect in early stages.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van Mölken, Tamara; Stuefer, Josef F.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  9. Economic valuation of plant diversity storage service provided by Brazilian rupestrian grassland ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Resende, F M; Fernandes, G W; Coelho, M S

    2013-11-01

    The rupestrian grassland ecosystems provide various goods and services to society and support a significant amount of biological diversity. Notably the rich plant diversity has high levels of endemism and a variety of uses among the local communities and general society. Despite the socio-ecological importance of these ecosystems, they are subjected to significant anthropogenic pressures. The goal of this study is to perform economic valuation of the plant diversity storage service provided by rupestrian grassland ecosystems to provide grounds for the development of conservation policies and encourage sustainable practices in these ecosystems. Given the intense human disturbances and unique flora, the Serra do Cipó (southern portion of the Espinhaço Range in southeast Brazil) was selected for the study. We estimate the monetary value related to the plant diversity storage service provided by the study area using the maintenance costs of native plants in the living collections of the botanical garden managed by the Zoobotanical Foundation - Belo Horizonte (located 97 km from Serra do Cipó). The plant diversity storage value provided by Serra do Cipó ecosystems is significant, reaching US$25.26 million year-1. This study contributes to the development of perspectives related to the conservation of rupestrian grassland ecosystems as well as others threatened tropical ecosystems with high biodiversity.

  10. Nectar secretion dynamic links pollinator behavior to consequences for plant reproductive success in the ornithophilous mistletoe Psittacanthus robustus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerra, T J; Galetto, L; Silva, W R

    2014-09-01

    The mistletoe Psittacanthus robustus was studied as a model to link flower phenology and nectar secretion strategy to pollinator behaviour and the reproductive consequences for the plant. The bright-coloured flowers presented diurnal anthesis, opened asynchronously throughout the rainy season and produced copious dilute nectar as the main reward for pollinators. Most nectar was secreted just after flower opening, with little sugar replenishment after experimental removals. During the second day of anthesis in bagged flowers, the flowers quickly reabsorbed the offered nectar. Low values of nectar standing crop recorded in open flowers can be linked with high visitation rates by bird pollinators. Eight hummingbirds and two passerines were observed as potential pollinators. The most frequent flower visitors were the hummingbirds Eupetomena macroura and Colibri serrirostris, which actively defended flowering mistletoes. The spatial separation between anthers, stigma and nectar chamber promotes pollen deposition on flapping wings of hovering hummingbirds that usually probe many flowers per visit. Seed set did not differ between hand-, self- and cross-pollinated flowers, but these treatments set significantly more seeds than flowers naturally exposed to flower visitors. We suggest that the limitation observed in the reproductive success of this plant is not related to pollinator scarcity, but probably to the extreme frequency of visitation by territorial hummingbirds. We conclude that the costs and benefits of plant reproduction depend on the interaction strength between flowers and pollinators, and the assessment of nectar secretion dynamics, pollinator behaviour and plant breeding system allows clarification of the complexity of such associations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-30

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

  12. Plant microbial diversity is suggested as the key to future biocontrol and health trends.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berg, Gabriele; Köberl, Martina; Rybakova, Daria; Müller, Henry; Grosch, Rita; Smalla, Kornelia

    2017-05-01

    The microbiome of plants plays a crucial role in both plant and ecosystem health. Rapid advances in multi-omics tools are dramatically increasing access to the plant microbiome and consequently to the identification of its links with diseases and to the control of those diseases. Recent insights reveal a close, often symbiotic relationship between microorganisms and plants. Microorganisms can stimulate germination and plant growth, prevent diseases, and promote stress resistance and general fitness. Plants and their associated microorganisms form a holobiont and have to be considered as co-evolved species assemblages consisting of bacterial, archaeal and diverse eukaryotic species. The beneficial interplay of the host and its microbiome is responsible for maintaining the health of the holobiont, while diseases are often correlated with microbial dysbioses. Microbial diversity was identified as a key factor in preventing diseases and can be implemented as a biomarker in plant protection strategies. Targeted and predictive biocontrol approaches are possible by developing microbiome-based solutions. Moreover, combined breeding and biocontrol strategies maintaining diversity and ecosystem health are required. The analysis of plant microbiome data has brought about a paradigm shift in our understanding of its role in health and disease and has substantial consequences for biocontrol and health issues. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Biogeographical diversity of plant associated microbes in arcto-alpine plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kumar, Manoj Gopala Krishnan

    2016-01-01

    Terrestrial plants and microbes have co-evolved since the emergence of the former on Earth. Associations with microorganisms can be either beneficial or detrimental for plants. Microbes can be found in the soil surrounding the plant roots, but also in all plant tissues, including seeds. In arcto-alp

  14. Plant functional diversity increases grassland productivity-related water vapor fluxes: an Ecotron and modeling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milcu, Alexandru; Eugster, Werner; Bachmann, Dörte; Guderle, Marcus; Roscher, Christiane; Gockele, Annette; Landais, Damien; Ravel, Olivier; Gessler, Arthur; Lange, Markus; Ebeling, Anne; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Roy, Jacques; Hildebrandt, Anke; Buchmann, Nina

    2016-08-01

    The impact of species richness and functional diversity of plants on ecosystem water vapor fluxes has been little investigated. To address this knowledge gap, we combined a lysimeter setup in a controlled environment facility (Ecotron) with large ecosystem samples/monoliths originating from a long-term biodiversity experiment (The Jena Experiment) and a modeling approach. Our goals were (1) quantifying the impact of plant species richness (four vs. 16 species) on day- and nighttime ecosystem water vapor fluxes; (2) partitioning ecosystem evapotranspiration into evaporation and plant transpiration using the Shuttleworth and Wallace (SW) energy partitioning model; and (3) identifying the most parsimonious predictors of water vapor fluxes using plant functional-trait-based metrics such as functional diversity and community weighted means. Daytime measured and modeled evapotranspiration were significantly higher in the higher plant diversity treatment, suggesting increased water acquisition. The SW model suggests that, at low plant species richness, a higher proportion of the available energy was diverted to evaporation (a non-productive flux), while, at higher species richness, the proportion of ecosystem transpiration (a productivity-related water flux) increased. While it is well established that LAI controls ecosystem transpiration, here we also identified that the diversity of leaf nitrogen concentration among species in a community is a consistent predictor of ecosystem water vapor fluxes during daytime. The results provide evidence that, at the peak of the growing season, higher leaf area index (LAI) and lower percentage of bare ground at high plant diversity diverts more of the available water to transpiration, a flux closely coupled with photosynthesis and productivity. Higher rates of transpiration presumably contribute to the positive effect of diversity on productivity.

  15. Influence of Plant Diversity on the Numerical Response of Eriopis connexa (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae to Changes in Cereal Aphid Density in Wheat Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María C. Tulli

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Cereal aphids cause economic injury to wheat crops. In Argentina, Eriopis connexa is an indigenous ladybird. In the present study, the numerical response of E. connexa to changes in aphid density on wheat crops with high and low plant diversity was investigated. The study was carried out in Balcarce, Buenos Aires, Argentina, from September to December 2007 and 2008, on two wheat crops with either a higher plant diversity (HPD with refuge strips or a lower plant diversity (LPD without refuge strips. Crops were sampled every week and the abundance of aphids and E. connexa was recorded. The dominant aphid species were Schizaphis graminum, Metopolophium dirhodum, and Sitobion avenae. Eriopis connexa showed a linear increase in the numerical response to an increase in aphid density, which varied in space and time. The abundance of E. connexa increased in relation to the crop development and aphid population and was higher in the HPD than in the LPD system. This predator increased its reproductive numerical response only in 2008, with a significant liner response in the HPD system. This suggests that the potential of E. connexa as a predator of cereal aphids also increases directly in proportion to landscape vegetal diversity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dassou, Anicet Gbèblonoudo; Tixier, Philippe

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Geographic patterns of endemic seed plant genera diversity in China

    OpenAIRE

    Shengbin Chen; Zhiyun Ouyang; Yu Fang; Zhenji Li

    2011-01-01

    Endemism describes the phenomenon that the distribution of individual species/taxa is critically restricted to a specific region. Seed plant genera endemic to China (endemic genera) are those with their main geographic distribution range within the borders of China. The geographic patterns of endemic genera can not only guide conservation planning, but these organisms are also important biological resources. We gath-ered data of 173 localities on environmental and spatial factors, and regiona...

  19. Plants and People: Choices and Diversity Through Time

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    This first monograph in the EARTH series The dynamics of non-industrial agriculture: 8,000 years of resilience and innovation, approaches the great variety of agricultural practices in human terms. It focuses on the relationship between plants and people, the complexity of agricultural processes and their organisation within particular communities and societies. Collaborative European research among archaeologists, archaeobotanists, ethnographers, historians and agronomists using a broad anal...

  20. Plants and People: Choices and Diversity Through Time

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    This first monograph in the EARTH series The dynamics of non-industrial agriculture: 8,000 years of resilience and innovation, approaches the great variety of agricultural practices in human terms. It focuses on the relationship between plants and people, the complexity of agricultural processes and their organisation within particular communities and societies. Collaborative European research among archaeologists, archaeobotanists, ethnographers, historians and agronomists using a broad anal...

  1. Acacia sieberiana Effects on Soil Properties and Plant Diversity in Songa Pastures, Rwanda

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. P. Mugunga

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Effects of A. sieberiana trees on soil properties and plant diversity were investigated in Songa pastures, Rwanda. Tree characteristics and crown architecture of A. sieberiana were studied. Soil properties were assessed and plants were identified under and away from tree crowns. Counts of individual plants/species were done only under tree crowns. Nitrogen, P, and K were analysed in the soil, grass, and A. sieberiana leaves. Plant diversity was determined using Simpson's diversity index. Data were subjected to ANOVA. Soil organic carbon (SOC, cation exchange capacity (CEC, Ca2+, N and pH, and plant diversity were higher in soils under tree canopies than in open areas. Tree leaves were significantly richer in N and poorer in P and K as compared to grasses. Tree crowns grew wider and horizontal and developed intertwined secondary branching, reducing light intensity to as low as 38% under tree canopies compared to the open pasture. At 3 trees/ha stocking, A. sieberiana trees shaded 0.18 ha and herbaceous plants and grasses unpalatable to livestock dominated under tree canopies. A tradeoff of A. sieberiana tree value versus the loss of palatable grass due to tree presence needs to be assessed to decide whether the trees should be included in pastures and if yes, the apporpriate stocking identified.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Phytoestrogen Biological Actions on Mammalian Reproductive System and Cancer Growth

    OpenAIRE

    Zhao, E; Mu, Qing

    2010-01-01

    Phytoestrogens are a family of diverse polyphenolic compounds derived from nature plant that structurally or functionally mimic circulating estrogen in the mammalian reproductive system. They induce estrogenic and anti-estrogenic effects in the brain-pituitary-gonad axis (a principal endocrine system involving in reproductive regulation) and peripheral reproductive organs. The dichotomy of phytoestrogen-mediated actions elucidates that they play the biological activities via complex mechanism...

  4. Effects of Bamboo Fargesia murielae on Plant Diversity in Fir Forest on Mountain Shennongjia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Li Zhaohua; Manfred Denich; Thomas Borsch

    2004-01-01

    Simultaneous flowering caused a gregarious dieback of umbrella bamboo (Fargesia murielae) all over the world in 1993-2000. Mountain Shennongjia in Central China's Hubei Province is the only native home of umbrella bamboo, where it dominates the understorey of the farges fir (Abies fargesii) forest between 2 400 and 3 100 m, covering the ground for more than one century before a periodically flowering death. Data from 20 quadrats along a vegetation sequence revealed that the density, coverage, and height of umbrella bamboo negatively affected the species richness, diversity, and evenness of vascular plants in the forest. Local climax community of fir-bamboo was the poorest in species diversity, while the bamboo-free communities (i.e. shrubs and meadows) were bearing a higher species diversity. The simultaneous dieback of umbrella bamboo is an ecological release, which can periodically promote the plant diversity in the fir forest.

  5. Diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in grassland spontaneously developed on area polluted by a fertilizer plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Renker, C. [Institute of Ecology, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Jena, Dornburger Str. 159, D-07743 Jena (Germany)]. E-mail: crenker@uni-leipzig.de; Blanke, V. [Institute of Ecology, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Jena, Dornburger Str. 159, D-07743 Jena (Germany); Buscot, F. [Institute of Ecology, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Jena, Dornburger Str. 159, D-07743 Jena (Germany)

    2005-05-01

    Mycorrhizal colonization and diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) were analyzed in a calcareous grassland with residual phosphate contamination 10 years after the closure of a pollutant fertilizer plant in Thuringia (Germany). AMF were detected in 21 of 22 plant species analyzed. Mean mycorrhization levels reached up to 74.5% root length colonized. AMF diversity was analyzed based on 104 sequences of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) of the ribosomal DNA. Phylogenetic analyses revealed a total of 6 species all belonging to the genus Glomus. There was no overlap between species detected as active mycorrhizas on roots (2 taxa) or as spores (4 taxa). Compared to the regional context, the diversity of AMF at our field site was reduced, which may reflect a residual disturbance effect. However, none of the detected species was exclusive to the polluted site as they are commonly found in the region. - Almost all plant species were mycorrhizal.

  6. The diversity of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus Type 1 and 2 in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kvisgaard, Lise Kirstine; Hjulsager, Charlotte Kristiane; Kristensen, Charlotte Sonne

    Both Type 1 and Type 2 PRRS viruses are circulating among Danish pigs. The first appearance of Type 1 PRRSV in Denmark was in 1992 whereas the Type 2 PRRSV was introduced in 1996 after the use of a live attenuated vaccine that reverted to virulence. Since then, vaccination to control the disease...... strains were sequenced. Denmark exports more than 50.000 living pigs each month. A portion of these pigs inevitably harbor PRRSV. Thus, the diversity of PRRSV in Denmark is of interest to other countries besides Denmark. The main objective of the present study was to close the gap in knowledge...... of the results showed that the Type 1 strains all belonged to subtype 1. Based on the ORF5 sequences, the Danish Type 1 viruses clustered into two groups. These two groups shared 84 % to 92 % and 94 % to 99% nucleotide identity to the Lelystad virus, respectively. The sequenced Type 2 viruses showed...

  7. Long-term persistence of a positive plant diversity-productivity relationship in the absence of legumes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruijven, van J.; Berendse, F.

    2009-01-01

    Most studies investigating the relationship between plant diversity and ecosystem functioning lasted only a few years. These studies generally showed a positive relationship between diversity and productivity that strengthened with time. This pattern suggests the experimental communities have not ye

  8. Leaf and stem economics spectra drive diversity of functional plant traits in a dynamic global vegetation model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sakschewski, B.; Bloh, von W.; Boit, A.; Rammig, A.; Kattge, J.; Poorter, L.; Peñualeas, J.; Thonicke, K.

    2015-01-01

    Functional diversity is critical for ecosystem dynamics, stability and productivity. However, dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs) which are increasingly used to simulate ecosystem functions under global change, condense functional diversity to plant functional types (PFTs) with constant paramet

  9. Nuclear material safeguards for enrichments plants: Part 4, Gas Centrifuge Enrichment Plant: Diversion scenarios and IAEA safeguards activities: Safeguards training course

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1988-10-01

    This publication is Part 4 of a safeguards training course in Nuclear Material Safeguards for enrichment plants. This part of the course deals with diversion scenarios and safeguards activities at gas centrifuge enrichment plants.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Mraja

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wu Ning

    2004-04-01

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

  12. Diversity of Endophytic Fungi from Red Ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) Plant and Their Inhibitory Effect to Fusarium oxysporum Plant Pathogenic Fungi

    OpenAIRE

    SIHEGIKO KANAYA; LATIFAH KOSIM DARUSMAN; NAMPIAH SUKARNO; UTUT WIDYASTUTI; ROHANI CINTA BADIA GINTING

    2013-01-01

    Indonesia has been known as a country with high medicinal plant diversity. One of the most common medicinal plant from Indonesia is red ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.). Nevertheless, limited studies of endophytic fungi associated with these medicinal plants are hitherto available. The objectives of this research were to study the diversity of endophytic fungi on red ginger and to analyze their potential as a source of antifungal agent. All parts of plant organs such as leaf, rhizome, root,...

  13. Using dark diversity and plant characteristics to guide conservation and restoration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moeslund, Jesper Erenskjold; Brunbjerg, Ane Kirstine; Clausen, Kevin

    2017-01-01

    more often than others, although this is important knowledge for restoration and conservation actions. 2. We applied the concept to a massive national (Danish) plant diversity data base, containing 236 923 records from 15 160 surveys involving 564 species. This enabled the first geographically...... comprehensive (43 000 km2) assessment of dark diversity, at a spatial resolution relevant for conservation and restoration planning (78 m2) across multiple terrestrial habitats, thereby maximising the practical applications of this concept. The probability for a given plant species to belong to the dark...

  14. Disentangling facilitation along the life cycle: impacts of plant-plant interactions at vegetative and reproductive stages in a Mediterranean forb

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana I. García-Cervigón

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Facilitation enables plants to improve their fitness in stressful environments. The overall impact of plant-plant interactions on the population dynamics of protégées is the net result of both positive and negative effects that may act simultaneously along the plant life cycle, and depends on the environmental context. This study evaluates the impact of the nurse plant Juniperus sabina on different stages of the life cycle of the forb Helleborus foetidus. Growth, number of leaves, flowers, carpels and seeds per flower were compared for 240 individuals collected under nurse canopies and in open areas at two sites with contrasting stress levels. Spatial associations with nurse plants and age structures were also checked. A structural equation model was built to test the effect of facilitation on fecundity, accounting for sequential steps from flowering to seed production. The net impact of nurse plants depended on a combination of positive and negative effects on vegetative and reproductive variables. Although nurse plants caused a decrease in flower production at the low-stress site, their net impact there was neutral. In contrast, at the high-stress site the net outcome of plant-plant interactions was positive due to an increase in effective recruitment, plant density, number of viable carpels per flower and fruit set under nurse canopies. The naturally lower rates of secondary growth and flower production at the high-stress site were compensated by the net positive impact of nurse plants here. Our results emphasize the need to evaluate entire processes and not only final outcomes when studying plant-plant interactions.

  15. Disentangling Facilitation Along the Life Cycle: Impacts of Plant-Plant Interactions at Vegetative and Reproductive Stages in a Mediterranean Forb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Cervigón, Ana I; Iriondo, José M; Linares, Juan C; Olano, José M

    2016-01-01

    Facilitation enables plants to improve their fitness in stressful environments. The overall impact of plant-plant interactions on the population dynamics of protégées is the net result of both positive and negative effects that may act simultaneously along the plant life cycle, and depends on the environmental context. This study evaluates the impact of the nurse plant Juniperus sabina on different stages of the life cycle of the forb Helleborus foetidus. Growth, number of leaves, flowers, carpels, and seeds per flower were compared for 240 individuals collected under nurse canopies and in open areas at two sites with contrasting stress levels. Spatial associations with nurse plants and age structures were also checked. A structural equation model was built to test the effect of facilitation on fecundity, accounting for sequential steps from flowering to seed production. The net impact of nurse plants depended on a combination of positive and negative effects on vegetative and reproductive variables. Although nurse plants caused a decrease in flower production at the low-stress site, their net impact there was neutral. In contrast, at the high-stress site the net outcome of plant-plant interactions was positive due to an increase in effective recruitment, plant density, number of viable carpels per flower, and fruit set under nurse canopies. The naturally lower rates of secondary growth and flower production at the high-stress site were compensated by the net positive impact of nurse plants here. Our results emphasize the need to evaluate entire processes and not only final outcomes when studying plant-plant interactions.

  16. Using phylogenetic, functional and trait diversity to understand patterns of plant community productivity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc W Cadotte

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Two decades of research showing that increasing plant diversity results in greater community productivity has been predicated on greater functional diversity allowing access to more of the total available resources. Thus, understanding phenotypic attributes that allow species to partition resources is fundamentally important to explaining diversity-productivity relationships. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we use data from a long-term experiment (Cedar Creek, MN and compare the extent to which productivity is explained by seven types of community metrics of functional variation: 1 species richness, 2 variation in 10 individual traits, 3 functional group richness, 4 a distance-based measure of functional diversity, 5 a hierarchical multivariate clustering method, 6 a nonmetric multidimensional scaling approach, and 7 a phylogenetic diversity measure, summing phylogenetic branch lengths connecting community members together and may be a surrogate for ecological differences. Although most of these diversity measures provided significant explanations of variation in productivity, the presence of a nitrogen fixer and phylogenetic diversity were the two best explanatory variables. Further, a statistical model that included the presence of a nitrogen fixer, seed weight and phylogenetic diversity was a better explanation of community productivity than other models. CONCLUSIONS: Evolutionary relationships among species appear to explain patterns of grassland productivity. Further, these results reveal that functional differences among species involve a complex suite of traits and that perhaps phylogenetic relationships provide a better measure of the diversity among species that contributes to productivity than individual or small groups of traits.

  17. PFRU, a single dominant locus regulates the balance between sexual and asexual plant reproduction in cultivated strawberry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaston, Amèlia; Perrotte, Justine; Lerceteau-Köhler, Estelle; Rousseau-Gueutin, Mathieu; Petit, Aurélie; Hernould, Michel; Rothan, Christophe; Denoyes, Béatrice

    2013-04-01

    Strawberry (Fragaria sp.) stands as an interesting model for studying flowering behaviour and its relationship with asexual plant reproduction in polycarpic perennial plants. Strawberry produces both inflorescences and stolons (also called runners), which are lateral stems growing at the soil surface and producing new clone plants. In this study, the flowering and runnering behaviour of two cultivated octoploid strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch., 2n = 8× = 56) genotypes, a seasonal flowering genotype CF1116 and a perpetual flowering genotype Capitola, were studied along the growing season. The genetic bases of the perpetual flowering and runnering traits were investigated further using a pseudo full-sibling F1 population issued from a cross between these two genotypes. The results showed that a single major quantitative trait locus (QTL) named FaPFRU controlled both traits in the cultivated octoploid strawberry. This locus was not orthologous to the loci affecting perpetual flowering (SFL) and runnering (R) in Fragaria vesca, therefore suggesting different genetic control of perpetual flowering and runnering in the diploid and octoploid Fragaria spp. Furthermore, the FaPFRU QTL displayed opposite effects on flowering (positive effect) and on runnering (negative effect), indicating that both traits share common physiological control. These results suggest that this locus plays a major role in strawberry plant fitness by controlling the balance between sexual and asexual plant reproduction.

  18. Species Diversity in Northern California Salt Marshes: Functional Significance of Parasitic Plant Interactions

    OpenAIRE

    Grewell, Brenda J.

    2004-01-01

    I studied how parasitic plant interactions contribute to species coexistence in tidal wetlands of northern California. First, I address the effects of the native parasite Cuscuta salina on species interactions and plant community structure, showed that Cuscuta is restricted to nutrient poor areas with significant canopy gaps and high species diversity. I examined timing, level, and frequency of host infectivity and identified Plantago maritima as the primary host. I experimentally removed Cus...

  19. Species diversity of vascular plants in Si Phang-nga National Park, Phangnga Province

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leeratiwong, C.

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available A survey of the vascular plants in Si Phang-nga National Park, Phangnga Province, was conducted from September 2002 to August 2003. Five hundred and forty three species of 287 genera and 111 families were collected. The most diverse family was Rubiaceae, 53 species. Four species of these collected plants are endemic to Thailand, Argostemma lobulatum, Aristolochia helix, Crinum thaianum and Mallotus hymenophyllus and three species, Hedyotis hedyotidea, Lipocarpha microcephala and Pterolobium intergum are newly recorded for southern Thailand.

  20. Plants diversity and its potential in Buton Utara Game Reserve, South-East Sulawesi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    TAHAN UJI

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available Study on richness diversity and potential species of plant in two locations in the Buton Utara Game Reserve had been conducted. One hundred and seventy nine species of plant are collected from this area, and 137 species of them are reported as the potential of species. The largest group is timber (76 species and the other is medicinal plants (41 species. Other data can be gathered as follows 23 species of fruits, 22 species of ornamental plants, 12 species of vegetable, 7 species of fibre plants and 5 species of poisonous plants. The results of study indicated that biti/owala (Vitex coffasus, upi (Intsia palembanica, gufi (Intsia bijuga, nato (Palaquium bataanense, kuru (Elmerillia ovalis, keu uti (Drypetes sibuyanensis, rumbai (Pterospermum celebicum, kondongia (Cinnamomum parthenoxylon, and dongi (Dillenia serrata were very important as commercial timbers.

  1. Adaptive Potential for the Invasion of Novel Host Plants in the Bean Weevil: Patterns of the Reproductive Behavior in Populations That Used Different Host Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dragana Milanović

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available The goal of this work was to examine interpopulation patterns in the reproductive behavior of populations of bean weevil (Acanthoscelides obtectus Say; Coleoptera: Bruchidae that had different levels of specialization on their native host plant – the bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L., as well as on a novel host plant – the chickpea (Cicer arietinum Thorn. The obtained pattern of interpopulation mating behavior seemed exactly as if the males on chickpea had evolved a specific odor and/or a courtship ritual that females of populationson bean found repulsive. Unlike females, the males of bean populations seemed to be willing to mate with females from the population on chickpea equally as with their own females. Such an asymmetric pattern of reproductive isolation between populations ofa species has been often considered an initial phase of a process of speciation. Thus, our results could be a good starting point for further, thorough examination of both the role of the level of host specialization in females and the role of biochemical characteristics of male pheromone (and/or their cuticular hydrocarbones in the evolution of pre-reproductive isolation between insect populations.As the results of this study, together those of previous studies on A. obtectus, suggest great evolutionary potential for invasions of and fast specialization on novel host plants, they could provide valuable information for the development of long-term strategiesunder the programmes of Integrated Pest Management.

  2. Highly diverse endophytic and soil Fusarium oxysporum populations associated with field-grown tomato plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demers, Jill E; Gugino, Beth K; Jiménez-Gasco, María Del Mar

    2015-01-01

    The diversity and genetic differentiation of populations of Fusarium oxysporum associated with tomato fields, both endophytes obtained from tomato plants and isolates obtained from soil surrounding the sampled plants, were investigated. A total of 609 isolates of F. oxysporum were obtained, 295 isolates from a total of 32 asymptomatic tomato plants in two fields and 314 isolates from eight soil cores sampled from the area surrounding the plants. Included in this total were 112 isolates from the stems of all 32 plants, a niche that has not been previously included in F. oxysporum population genetics studies. Isolates were characterized using the DNA sequence of the translation elongation factor 1α gene. A diverse population of 26 sequence types was found, although two sequence types represented nearly two-thirds of the isolates studied. The sequence types were placed in different phylogenetic clades within F. oxysporum, and endophytic isolates were not monophyletic. Multiple sequence types were found in all plants, with an average of 4.2 per plant. The population compositions differed between the two fields but not between soil samples within each field. A certain degree of differentiation was observed between populations associated with different tomato cultivars, suggesting that the host genotype may affect the composition of plant-associated F. oxysporum populations. No clear patterns of genetic differentiation were observed between endophyte populations and soil populations, suggesting a lack of specialization of endophytic isolates. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Organic, integrated and conventional management in apple orchards: effect on plant species composition, richness and diversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zdeňka Lososová

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The study was conducted to assess the effect of conventional, integrated and organic management on differences in plant species composition, richness and diversity. The plants were studied in triads of orchards situated in three regions of the Czech Republic. Data about species occurrences were collected on 15 permanent plots in the tree rows and 15 plots between tree rows in each of the apple orchards during 2009. A total of 201 vascular plant species (127 native species, 65 archaeophytes, and 9 neophytes were found. Management type and also different regional conditions had a significant effect on plant species composition and on diversity parameters of orchard spontaneous vegetation. Species richness and species pool was significantly higher in the organic orchards than in the differently managed orchards. Management type had significant effect on proportions of archaeophytes, and also neophytes in apple orchards. The results showed that a change from conventional to integrated and organic management in apple orchards lead to higher plant species diversity and to changes in plant species composition.

  5. Analysis of genetic diversity of a native population of Myrcia lundiana Kiaersk. plants using ISSR markers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, M F; Nizio, D A C; Brito, F A; Sampaio, T S; Silva, A V C; Arrigoni-Blank, M F; Carvalho, S V A; Blank, A F

    2016-12-02

    Myrcia lundiana Kiaersk. is a tree of the family Myrtaceae found in tropical and subtropical areas of the southern hemisphere that produces essential oil. The aim of this study was to characterize the genetic diversity of M. lundiana plants from a native population of Parque Nacional de Itabaiana, using inter-simple sequence repeat molecular markers. Thirty-five primers were tested, 20 of which were polymorphic, resulting in 135 polymorphic and informative bands. Results of the cluster analysis, obtained using the unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean, grouped plants into three clusters: Cluster I - MLU001, MLU002, MLU003, MLU004, MLU005, MLU006, MLU018, MLU019, MLU020, MLU021, MLU022; MLU008, MLU011, MLU012, MLU014, MLU015, MLU017, MLU026, and MLU028; Cluster II - MLU007, MLU009, MLU010, MLU013, and MLU016; and Cluster III - MLU023, MLU024, MLU025, and MLU027. Jaccard similarity coefficients for pair-wise comparisons of plants ranged between 0.15 and 0.87. MLU014 and MLU015 presented low genetic diversity, with a similarity index of 0.87. Conversely, MLU007 and MLU019 presented high diversity, with a similarity index of 0.15. According to the structure analysis, three distinct clusters were formed. Genetic diversity of M. lundiana plants was intermediate, and expansion of its genetic diversity is necessary. MLU026 and MLU028 are the most suitable for selection in breeding programs, since they clearly represent all of the diversity present in these plants. Moreover, these results provide important information on the existing genetic variability, highlighting the importance of Parque Nacional de Itabaiana for the conservation of this species.

  6. Trade-offs between savanna woody plant diversity and carbon storage in the Brazilian Cerrado.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellegrini, Adam F A; Socolar, Jacob B; Elsen, Paul R; Giam, Xingli

    2016-10-01

    Incentivizing carbon storage can be a win-win pathway to conserving biodiversity and mitigating climate change. In savannas, however, the situation is more complex. Promoting carbon storage through woody encroachment may reduce plant diversity of savanna endemics, even as the diversity of encroaching forest species increases. This trade-off has important implications for the management of biodiversity and carbon in savanna habitats, but has rarely been evaluated empirically. We quantified the nature of carbon-diversity relationships in the Brazilian Cerrado by analyzing how woody plant species richness changed with carbon storage in 206 sites across the 2.2 million km(2) region at two spatial scales. We show that total woody plant species diversity increases with carbon storage, as expected, but that the richness of endemic savanna woody plant species declines with carbon storage both at the local scale, as woody biomass accumulates within plots, and at the landscape scale, as forest replaces savanna. The sharpest trade-offs between carbon storage and savanna diversity occurred at the early stages of carbon accumulation at the local scale but the final stages of forest encroachment at the landscape scale. Furthermore, the loss of savanna species quickens in the final stages of forest encroachment, and beyond a point, savanna species losses outpace forest species gains with increasing carbon accumulation. Our results suggest that although woody encroachment in savanna ecosystems may provide substantial carbon benefits, it comes at the rapidly accruing cost of woody plant species adapted to the open savanna environment. Moreover, the dependence of carbon-diversity trade-offs on the amount of savanna area remaining requires land managers to carefully consider local conditions. Widespread woody encroachment in both Australian and African savannas and grasslands may present similar threats to biodiversity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Transgenic tobacco revealing altered bacterial diversity in the rhizosphere during early plant development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andreote, Fernando D; Mendes, Rodrigo; Dini-Andreote, Francisco; Rossetto, Priscilla B; Labate, Carlos A; Pizzirani-Kleiner, Aline A; van Elsas, Jan Dirck; Azevedo, João L; Araújo, Welington L

    2008-05-01

    The rhizosphere constitutes a complex niche that may be exploited by a wide variety of bacteria. Bacterium-plant interactions in this niche can be influenced by factors such as the expression of heterologous genes in the plant. The objective of this work was to describe the bacterial communities associated with the rhizosphere and rhizoplane regions of tobacco plants, and to compare communities from transgenic tobacco lines (CAB1, CAB2 and TRP) with those found in wild-type (WT) plants. Samples were collected at two stages of plant development, the vegetative and flowering stages (1 and 3 months after germination). The diversity of the culturable microbial community was assessed by isolation and further characterization of isolates by amplified ribosomal RNA gene restriction analysis (ARDRA) and 16S rRNA sequencing. These analyses revealed the presence of fairly common rhizosphere organisms with the main groups Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Bacilli. Analysis of the total bacterial communities using PCR-DGGE (denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis) revealed that shifts in bacterial communities occurred during early plant development, but the reestablishment of original community structure was observed over time. The effects were smaller in rhizosphere than in rhizoplane samples, where selection of specific bacterial groups by the different plant lines was demonstrated. Clustering patterns and principal components analysis (PCA) were used to distinguish the plant lines according to the fingerprint of their associated bacterial communities. Bands differentially detected in plant lines were found to be affiliated with the genera Pantoea, Bacillus and Burkholderia in WT, CAB and TRP plants, respectively. The data revealed that, although rhizosphere/rhizoplane microbial communities can be affected by the cultivation of transgenic plants, soil resilience may be able to restore the original bacterial diversity after one cycle of plant

  9. Number of conspecifics and reproduction in the invasive plant Eschscholzia californica (Papaveraceae): is there a pollinator-mediated Allee effect?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anic, V; Henríquez, C A; Abades, S R; Bustamante, R O

    2015-05-01

    The component Allee effect has been defined as 'a positive relationship between any measure of individual fitness and the number or density of conspecifics'. Larger plant populations or large patches have shown a higher pollinator visitation rate, which may give rise to an Allee effect in reproduction of the plants. We experimentally tested the effect of number of conspecifics on reproduction and pollinator visitation in Eschscholzia californica Cham., an invasive plant in Chile. We then built patches with two, eight and 16 flowering individuals of E. californica (11 replicates per treatment) in an area characterised by dominance of the study species. We found that E. californica exhibits a component Allee effect, as the number of individuals of this species has a positive effect on individual seed set. However, individual fruit production was not affected by the number of plants examined. Pollinator visitation rate was also independent of the number of plants, so this factor would not explain the Allee effect. This rate was positively correlated with the total number of flowers in the patches. We also found that the number of plants did not affect the seed mass or proportion of germinated seeds in the patches. Higher pollen availability in patches with 16 plants and pollination by wind could explain the Allee effect. The component Allee effect identified could lead to a weak demographic Allee effect that might reduce the rate of spread of E. californica. Knowledge of this would be useful for management of this invasive plant in Chile. © 2014 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  10. Plant Diversity in Live Fences and Pastures, Two Examples from the Mexican Humid Tropics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Guerra, Betsabé; Rosas, Noé Velázquez; López-Acosta, Juan Carlos

    2014-09-01

    This study analyzes the potential uses of live fences and pastures as reservoirs of plant diversity for two regions with different management histories, Los Tuxtlas (LT) and Uxpanapa (UX), Veracruz, México. We studied two habitats, live fences and pastures, analyzed their species richness, diversity, structure and plant composition and classified species according to plant regeneration modes (light-demanding and shade tolerant), seed dispersal syndrome and their local uses. We recorded 62 species of trees at LT and 48 at UX. Live fences were more diverse than pastures in both regions. The LT site showed to analyze the relationship a higher diversity of plants in regeneration stages than the one at UX. However, UX had higher diversity of adult plants in the pastures than LT. Composition and structure of live fences were different between regions, as well as within live fences and pastures, 53 % of species were light-demanding and 40 % were shade tolerant; 70 % of the species were dispersed by birds. Differences between sites are associated with the modifications in live fences structure, which changed according to managerial practices and the use of local species; this may influence plant regeneration modes as well as the visits of avian dispersal agents. In LT, all species found in live fences were useful to humans, whereas in UX, less than half were used by the local population. Our results underline the importance of live fences and isolated trees in pasture habitats as potential sites to host native and useful species from tropical rain forests in livestock landscapes.

  11. Plant trait diversity buffers variability in denitrification potential over changes in season and soil conditions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bonnie M McGill

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Denitrification is an important ecosystem service that removes nitrogen (N from N-polluted watersheds, buffering soil, stream, and river water quality from excess N by returning N to the atmosphere before it reaches lakes or oceans and leads to eutrophication. The denitrification enzyme activity (DEA assay is widely used for measuring denitrification potential. Because DEA is a function of enzyme levels in soils, most ecologists studying denitrification have assumed that DEA is less sensitive to ambient levels of nitrate (NO(3(- and soil carbon and thus, less variable over time than field measurements. In addition, plant diversity has been shown to have strong effects on microbial communities and belowground processes and could potentially alter the functional capacity of denitrifiers. Here, we examined three questions: (1 Does DEA vary through the growing season? (2 If so, can we predict DEA variability with environmental variables? (3 Does plant functional diversity affect DEA variability? METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The study site is a restored wetland in North Carolina, US with native wetland herbs planted in monocultures or mixes of four or eight species. We found that denitrification potentials for soils collected in July 2006 were significantly greater than for soils collected in May and late August 2006 (p<0.0001. Similarly, microbial biomass standardized DEA rates were significantly greater in July than May and August (p<0.0001. Of the soil variables measured--soil moisture, organic matter, total inorganic nitrogen, and microbial biomass--none consistently explained the pattern observed in DEA through time. There was no significant relationship between DEA and plant species richness or functional diversity. However, the seasonal variance in microbial biomass standardized DEA rates was significantly inversely related to plant species functional diversity (p<0.01. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These findings suggest that

  12. Plant diversity in live fences and pastures, two examples from the Mexican humid tropics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Guerra, Betsabé; Rosas, Noé Velázquez; López-Acosta, Juan Carlos

    2014-09-01

    This study analyzes the potential uses of live fences and pastures as reservoirs of plant diversity for two regions with different management histories, Los Tuxtlas (LT) and Uxpanapa (UX), Veracruz, México. We studied two habitats, live fences and pastures, analyzed their species richness, diversity, structure and plant composition and classified species according to plant regeneration modes (light-demanding and shade tolerant), seed dispersal syndrome and their local uses. We recorded 62 species of trees at LT and 48 at UX. Live fences were more diverse than pastures in both regions. The LT site showed to analyze the relationship a higher diversity of plants in regeneration stages than the one at UX. However, UX had higher diversity of adult plants in the pastures than LT. Composition and structure of live fences were different between regions, as well as within live fences and pastures, 53 % of species were light-demanding and 40 % were shade tolerant; 70 % of the species were dispersed by birds. Differences between sites are associated with the modifications in live fences structure, which changed according to managerial practices and the use of local species; this may influence plant regeneration modes as well as the visits of avian dispersal agents. In LT, all species found in live fences were useful to humans, whereas in UX, less than half were used by the local population. Our results underline the importance of live fences and isolated trees in pasture habitats as potential sites to host native and useful species from tropical rain forests in livestock landscapes.

  13. Diversity and Plant Growth Promoting Capacity of Endophytic Fungi Associated with Halophytic Plants from the West Coast of Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalmuratova, Irina; Kim, Hyun; Nam, Yoon-Jong; Oh, Yoosun; Jeong, Min-Ji; Choi, Hye-Rim; You, Young-Hyun; Choo, Yeon-Sik; Lee, In-Jung; Shin, Jae-Ho; Yoon, Hyeokjun; Kim, Jong-Guk

    2015-12-01

    Five halophytic plant species, Suaeda maritima, Limonium tetragonum, Suaeda australis, Phragmites australis, and Suaeda glauca Bunge, which are native to the Muan salt marsh of South Korea, were examined for fungal endophytes by sequencing the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region containing ITS1, 5.8S rRNA, and ITS2. In total, 160 endophytic fungal strains were isolated and identified from the roots of the 5 plant species. Taxonomically, all 160 strains belonged to the phyla Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, and Zygomycota. The most dominant genus was Fusarium, followed by the genera Penicillium and Alternaria. Subsequently, using 5 statistical methods, the diversity indices of the endophytes were determined at genus level. Among these halophytic plants, P. australis was found to host the greatest diversity of endophytic fungi. Culture filtrates of endophytic fungi were treated to Waito-C rice seedlings for plant growth-promoting effects. The fungal strain Su-3-4-3 isolated from S. glauca Bunge provide the maximum plant length (20.1 cm) in comparison with wild-type Gibberella fujikuroi (19.6 cm). Consequently, chromatographic analysis of the culture filtrate of Su-3-4-3 showed the presence of physiologically active gibberellins, GA1 (0.465 ng/mL), GA3 (1.808 ng/mL) along with other physiologically inactive GA9 (0.054 ng/mL) and GA24 (0.044 ng/mL). The fungal isolate Su-3-4-3 was identified as Talaromyces pinophilus.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara L Jackrel

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tao Zhang

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

  16. Effects of plant diversity, functional group composition, and fertilization on soil microbial properties in experimental grassland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanja Strecker

    Full Text Available Loss of biodiversity and increased nutrient inputs are two of the most crucial anthropogenic factors driving ecosystem change. Although both received considerable attention in previous studies, information on their interactive effects on ecosystem functioning is scarce. In particular, little is known on how soil biota and their functions are affected by combined changes in plant diversity and fertilization.We investigated the effects of plant diversity, functional community composition, and fertilization on the biomass and respiration of soil microbial communities in a long-term biodiversity experiment in semi-natural grassland (Jena Experiment. Plant species richness enhanced microbial basal respiration and microbial biomass, but did not significantly affect microbial specific respiration. In contrast, the presence of legumes and fertilization significantly decreased microbial specific respiration, without altering microbial biomass. The effect of legumes was superimposed by fertilization as indicated by a significant interaction between the presence of legumes and fertilization. Further, changes in microbial stoichiometry (C-to-N ratio and specific respiration suggest the presence of legumes to reduce N limitation of soil microorganisms and to modify microbial C use efficiency.Our study highlights the role of plant species and functional group diversity as well as interactions between plant community composition and fertilizer application for soil microbial functions. Our results suggest soil microbial stoichiometry to be a powerful indicator of microbial functioning under N limited conditions. Although our results support the notion that plant diversity and fertilizer application independently affect microbial functioning, legume effects on microbial N limitation were superimposed by fertilization, indicating significant interactions between the functional composition of plant communities and nutrient inputs for soil processes.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  18. Pollinating flies (Diptera): A major contribution to plant diversity and agricultural production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diptera are one of the three largest and most diverse animal groups of the world. As an often neglected, but important group of pollinators, they play a significant role in agrobiodiversity and biodiversity of plants everywhere. Flies are present in almost all habitats and biomes and for many food p...

  19. Plant Species Diversity Mediates Ecosystem Stability of Natural Dune Grasslands in Response to Drought

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rooijen, van Nils M.; Keersmaecker, de Wanda; Ozinga, Wim A.; Coppin, Pol; Hennekens, Stephan M.; Schaminée, Joop H.J.; Somers, Ben; Honnay, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    How plant species diversity can mediate the temporal stability of ecosystem functioning during periods of environmental stress is still a pressing question in ecology, certainly in the context of predicted increasing frequencies and intensities of climate extremes, such as drought. The vast major

  20. Plant diversity increases with the strength of negative density dependence at the global scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph A. LaManna; Scott A. Mangan; Alfonso Alonso; Norman A. Bourg; Warren Y. Brockelman; Sarayudh Bunyavejchewin; Li-Wan Chang; Jyh-Min Chiang; George B. Chuyong; Keith Clay; Richard Condit; Susan Cordell; Stuart J. Davies; Tucker J. Furniss; Christian P. Giardina; I. A. U. Nimal Gunatilleke; C. V. Savitri Gunatilleke; Fangliang He; Robert W. Howe; Stephen P. Hubbell; Chang-Fu Hsieh; Faith M. Inman-Narahari; David Janík; Daniel J. Johnson; David Kenfack; Lisa Korte; Kamil Král; Andrew J. Larson; James A. Lutz; Sean M. McMahon; William J. McShea; Hervé R. Memiaghe; Anuttara Nathalang; Vojtech Novotny; Perry S. Ong; David A. Orwig; Rebecca Ostertag; Geoffrey G. Parker; Richard P. Phillips; Lawren Sack; I-Fang Sun; J. Sebastián Tello; Duncan W. Thomas; Benjamin L. Turner; Dilys M. Vela Díaz; Tomáš Vrška; George D. Weiblen; Amy Wolf; Sandra Yap; Jonathan A. Myers

    2017-01-01

    Theory predicts that higher biodiversity in the tropics is maintained by specialized interactions among plants and their natural enemies that result in conspecific negative density dependence (CNDD). By using more than 3000 species and nearly 2.4 million trees across 24 forest plots worldwide, we show that global patterns in tree species diversity reflect not only...

  1. Diverse functions of KNOX transcription factors in the diploid body plan of plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    KNOX genes were initially found as shoot meristem regulators in angiosperms. Recent studies in diverse plant lineages however, have revealed the divergence of KNOX gene function during the evolution of diploid body plans. Using genomic approaches, class I KNOX transcription factors have been shown t...

  2. Use of topographic variability for assessing plant diversity in agricultural landscapes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hofer, G.; Bunce, R.G.H.; Edwards, P.J.; Szerencsits, E.; Wagner, H.H.; Herzog, F.

    2011-01-01

    The relationship between plant diversity and topographic variability in agricultural landscapes was investigated, with the aim of determining whether sampling landscape units of 1 km(2) (LUs) across a gradient of topographic variability is more efficient than a random design for assessing the range

  3. Irrigation and Maize Cultivation Erode Plant Diversity Within Crops in Mediterranean Dry Cereal Agro-Ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagúndez, Jaime; Olea, Pedro P; Tejedo, Pablo; Mateo-Tomás, Patricia; Gómez, David

    2016-07-01

    The intensification of agriculture has increased production at the cost of environment and biodiversity worldwide. To increase crop yield in dry cereal systems, vast farmland areas of high conservation value are being converted into irrigation, especially in Mediterranean countries. We analyze the effect of irrigation-driven changes on the farm biota by comparing species diversity, community composition, and species traits of arable plants within crop fields from two contrasting farming systems (dry and irrigated) in Spain. We sampled plant species within 80 fields of dry wheat, irrigated wheat, and maize (only cultivated under irrigation). Wheat crops held higher landscape and per field species richness, and beta diversity than maize. Within the same type of crop, irrigated wheat hosted lower plant diversity than dry wheat at both field and landscape scales. Floristic composition differed between crop types, with higher frequencies of perennials, cosmopolitan, exotic, wind-pollinated and C4 species in maize. Our results suggest that irrigation projects, that transform large areas of dry cereal agro-ecosystems into irrigated crop systems dominated by maize, erode plant diversity. An adequate planning on the type and proportion of crops used in the irrigated agro-ecosystems is needed in order to balance agriculture production and biodiversity conservation.

  4. Biomass and diversity of dry alpine plant communities along altitudinal gradients in the Himalayas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Namgail, T.; Rawat, G.S.; Mishra, C.; Wieren, van S.E.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2012-01-01

    A non-linear relationship between phytodiversity and altitude has widely been reported, but the relationship between phytomass and altitude remains little understood.We examined the phytomass and diversity of vascular plants along altitudinal gradients on the dry alpine rangelands of Ladakh, western

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Comparison of plant diversity in protected and communal lands in the Bushbuckridge lowveld savanna, South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Shackleton, CM

    2000-07-01

    Full Text Available Patterns of higher plant species richness and beta diversity were assessed using standard Modified-Whittaker plots in relation to land use, slope position and mean annual rainfall across a rainfall gradient in the savanna areas of the Bushbuckridge...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ohm, R.A.; Feau, N.; Henrissat, B.; Schoch, C.L.; Horwitz, B.A.; Barry, K.W.; Condon, B.J.; Copeland, A.C.; Dhillon, B.; Glaser, F.; Hesse, C.N.; Kosti, I.; LaButti, K.; Lindquist, E.A.; Lucas, S.; Salamov, A.A.; Bradshaw, R.E.; Ciuffetti, L.; Hamelin, R.C.; Kema, G.H.J.; Lawrence, C.; Scott, J.A.; Spatafora, J.W.; Turgeon, B.G.; Wit, de P.J.G.M.; Zhong, S.; Goodwin, S.B.; Grigoriev, I.V.

    2012-01-01

    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

  8. Spatial and seasonal diversity of wild food plants in home gardens of Northeast Thailand

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cruz Garcia, G.S.; Struik, P.C.

    2015-01-01

    Wild food plants (WFPs) are major components of tropical home gardens, constituting an important resource for poor farmers. The spatial and seasonal diversity of WFPs was analyzed across multi-species spatial configurations occurring within home gardens in a rice farming village in northeast Thailan

  9. Diversity and biological activities of endophytic fungi associated with micropropagated medicinal plant Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench

    Science.gov (United States)

    Echinacea is one of the top ten selling medicinal herbs in Europe and United States. Commercially available formulations may contain different plant parts of three species (Echinacea purpurea, E. pallida, and E. angustifolia). Our study evaluates the diversity of microbial community associated with ...

  10. Exotic plant traits lead to functional diversity decline in novel ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Exotic species have become common and even dominant in some grasslands forming novel ecosystems because the species in them have no common evolutionary history. Recent work on these novel ecosystems suggest that exotic species contribute to diversity declines. In order to identify the plant traits...

  11. Plant and bird diversity in rubber agroforests in the lowlands of Sumatra, Indonesia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beukema, Hendrien; Danielsen, Finn; Vincent, Gregoire; Hardiwinoto, Suryo; van Andel, Jelte

    Plant and bird diversity in the Indonesian jungle rubber agroforestry system was compared to that in primary forest and rubber plantations by integrating new and existing data from a lowland rain forest area in Sumatra. Jungle rubber gardens are low-input rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) agroforests that

  12. Uses and conservation of plant diversity in Ben En National Park, Vietnam

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoang, Van Sam

    2009-01-01

    Ben En National Park is one of the 30 National Parks in Vietnam. In this study its botanical wealth has been comprehensively inventoried as well as the very important roles that plants play in the daily life and economy of the people inhabiting the Park. Floristic diversity - In our survey 1389 vasc

  13. Diversity of Marine Plants. Man and the Gulf of Mexico Series.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irby, Bobby N., Comp.; And Others

    "Man and the Gulf of Mexico" (MGM) is a marine science curriculum series developed to meet the needs of 10th through 12th grade students in Mississippi and Alabama schools. This MGM unit on the diversity of marine plants is divided into 12 sections. The first section introduces the unit by providing objectives and activities on why…

  14. Plant and bird diversity in rubber agroforests in the lowlands of Sumatra, Indonesia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beukema, Hendrien; Danielsen, Finn; Vincent, Gregoire; Hardiwinoto, Suryo; van Andel, Jelte

    2007-01-01

    Plant and bird diversity in the Indonesian jungle rubber agroforestry system was compared to that in primary forest and rubber plantations by integrating new and existing data from a lowland rain forest area in Sumatra. Jungle rubber gardens are low-input rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) agroforests that

  15. Irrigation and Maize Cultivation Erode Plant Diversity Within Crops in Mediterranean Dry Cereal Agro-Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagúndez, Jaime; Olea, Pedro P.; Tejedo, Pablo; Mateo-Tomás, Patricia; Gómez, David

    2016-07-01

    The intensification of agriculture has increased production at the cost of environment and biodiversity worldwide. To increase crop yield in dry cereal systems, vast farmland areas of high conservation value are being converted into irrigation, especially in Mediterranean countries. We analyze the effect of irrigation-driven changes on the farm biota by comparing species diversity, community composition, and species traits of arable plants within crop fields from two contrasting farming systems (dry and irrigated) in Spain. We sampled plant species within 80 fields of dry wheat, irrigated wheat, and maize (only cultivated under irrigation). Wheat crops held higher landscape and per field species richness, and beta diversity than maize. Within the same type of crop, irrigated wheat hosted lower plant diversity than dry wheat at both field and landscape scales. Floristic composition differed between crop types, with higher frequencies of perennials, cosmopolitan, exotic, wind-pollinated and C4 species in maize. Our results suggest that irrigation projects, that transform large areas of dry cereal agro-ecosystems into irrigated crop systems dominated by maize, erode plant diversity. An adequate planning on the type and proportion of crops used in the irrigated agro-ecosystems is needed in order to balance agriculture production and biodiversity conservation.

  16. Effects of plant species identity, diversity and soil fertility on biodegradation of phenanthrene in soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oyelami, A.O.; Okere, U.V.; Orwin, K.; Deyn, de G.B.; Jones, K.C.; Semple, K.T.

    2013-01-01

    The work presented in this paper investigated the effects of plant species composition, species diversity and soil fertility on biodegradation of 14C-phenanthrene in soil. The two soils used were of contrasting fertility, taken from long term unfertilised and fertilised grassland, showing

  17. Phytoestrogens and avian reproduction: Exploring the evolution and function of phytoestrogens and possible role of plant compounds in the breeding ecology of wild birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochester, Johanna R; Millam, James R

    2009-11-01

    Phytoestrogens are secondary plant compounds, which can act to mimic estrogen and cause the disruption of estrogenic responses in organisms. Although there is a substantial body of research studying phytoestrogens, including their mechanisms of estrogenic effects, evolution, and detection in biological systems, little is known about their ecological significance. There is evidence, however, that an ecological relationship involving phytoestrogens exists between plants and animals-plants may produce phytoestrogens to reduce fecundity of organisms that eat them. Birds and other vertebrates may also exploit phytoestrogens to regulate their own reproduction-there are well known examples of phytoestrogens inhibiting reproduction in higher vertebrates, including birds. Also, common plant stressors (e.g., high temperature) increase the production of secondary plant compounds, and, as evidence suggests, also induce phytoestrogen biosynthesis. These observations are consistent with the single study ever done on phytoestrogens and reproduction in wild birds [Leopold, A.S., Erwin, M., Oh, J., Browning, B., 1976. Phytoestrogens adverse effects on reproduction in California quail. Science 191, 98-100.], which found that drought stress correlated with increased levels of phytoestrogens in plants, and that increased phytoestrogen levels correlated with decreased young. This review discusses the hypothesis that plants may have an effect on the reproduction of avian species by producing phytoestrogens as a plant defense against herbivory, and that birds may "use" changing levels of phytoestrogens in the vegetation to ensure that food resources will support potential young produced. Evidence from our laboratory and others appear to support this hypothesis.

  18. Living in isolation - population structure, reproduction, and genetic variation of the endangered plant species Dianthus gratianopolitanus (Cheddar pink).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putz, Christina M; Schmid, Christoph; Reisch, Christoph

    2015-09-01

    The endangered plant species Dianthus gratianopolitanus exhibits a highly fragmented distribution range comprising many isolated populations. Based upon this pattern of distribution, we selected a study region in Switzerland with a lower magnitude of isolation (Swiss Jura) and another study region in Germany with a higher degree of isolation (Franconian Jura). In each region, we chose ten populations to analyze population structure, reproduction, and genetic variation in a comparative approach. Therefore, we determined population density, cushion size, and cushion density to analyze population structure, investigated reproductive traits, including number of flowers, capsules, and germination rate, and analyzed amplified fragment length polymorphisms to study genetic variation. Population and cushion density were credibly higher in German than in Swiss populations, whereas reproductive traits and genetic variation within populations were similar in both study regions. However, genetic variation among populations and isolation by distance were stronger in Germany than in Switzerland. Generally, cushion size and density as well as flower and capsule production increased with population size and density, whereas genetic variation decreased with population density. In contrast to our assumptions, we observed denser populations and cushions in the region with the higher magnitude of isolation, whereas reproductive traits and genetic variation within populations were comparable in both regions. This corroborates the assumption that stronger isolation must not necessarily result in the loss of fitness and genetic variation. Furthermore, it supports our conclusion that the protection of strongly isolated populations contributes essentially to the conservation of a species' full evolutionary potential.

  19. Evaluating Plant Species Diversity and Physiographical Factors in Natural Broad Leaf Forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seyed A. Hashemi

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Problem statement: Species diversity is one of the most important specifications of biological societies. Diversity of organisms, measurement of variety and examination of those hypotheses that are about reasons of diversity are such as affairs that have been desired by the ecologists for a long time. Approach: In this research, diversity of plant species in forest region, numbers of 60 sample plots in 256.00 m-2 had been considered in random-systematic inventory was considered. In each sample plot, four micro-plots in 2.25 m-2 in order to study on herbal cover, were executed that totally 240 micro-plots were considered. At each plot six diversity indices in relation to physiographic factors (slope, geographical aspect and altitude from the sea level were studied. Results: The results indicated that species diversity is more in the northern aspect and also species diversity in slops less than 30% has the most amounts. Factor of altitude from the sea level did not have meaningful relation with species diversity. Conclusion: Through study on correlation of the numbers of species in sample plots with indices and also process and role of indices in different processors of analysis, Simpson’s reciprocal index was suggested as suitable index in this type of studies.

  20. Forest structure and plant diversity in maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Ait.) stands in central Spain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Osorio, L. F.; Bravo, F.; Zaldivar, P.; Pando, V.

    2009-07-01

    The relationship between forest structure and plant diversity in Mediterranean Maritime pine stands (Pinus pinaster Ait.) in the Iberian Range (Spain) was studied. Forty eight stands were sampled. In each, a circular plot (15 m radius) and a transect (25*1 m{sup 2}) were established to estimate stand variables and record presence and abundance of vascular species respectively. Canonical correlation analysis (CCA), simple correlations and multiple stepwise linear regressions were used to explore the relationship between plant diversity and forest structure. Correlation between diversity measurements and stand variables is very weak, but significant correlations were found when evaluating each set of variables separately. Presence and cover of some species (for instance, Veronica arvensis L. or Micropyrum tenellum (L.) Link) is correlated with stand variables; however, determination coefficients found in step-by-step regression are not significant. (Author) 34 refs.

  1. Evolution of the selfing syndrome: Anther orientation and herkogamy together determine reproductive assurance in a self-compatible plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toräng, Per; Vikström, Linus; Wunder, Jörg; Wötzel, Stefan; Coupland, George; Ågren, Jon

    2017-07-19

    Capacity for autonomous self-fertilization provides reproductive assurance, has evolved repeatedly in the plant kingdom, and typically involves several changes in flower morphology and development (the selfing syndrome). Yet, the relative importance of different traits and trait combinations for efficient selfing and reproductive success in pollinator-poor environments is poorly known. In a series of experiments, we tested the importance of anther-stigma distance and the less studied trait anther orientation for efficiency of selfing in the perennial herb Arabis alpina. Variation in flower morphology among eight self-compatible European populations was correlated with efficiency of self-pollination and with pollen limitation in a common-garden experiment. To examine whether anther-stigma distance and anther orientation are subject to directional and/or correlational selection, and whether this is because these traits affect pollination success, we planted a segregating F2 population at two native field sites. Selection strongly favored a combination of introrse anthers and reduced anther-stigma distance at a site where pollinator activity was low, and supplemental hand-pollination demonstrated that this was largely because of their effect on securing self-pollination. The results suggest that concurrent shifts in more than one trait can be crucial for the evolution of efficient self-pollination and reproductive assurance in pollinator-poor habitats. © 2017 The Author(s). Evolution © 2017 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  2. Relationships between plant diversity and the abundance and α-diversity of predatory ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in a mature Asian temperate forest ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Yi; Sang, Weiguo; Bai, Fan; Axmacher, Jan Christoph

    2013-01-01

    A positive relationship between plant diversity and both abundance and diversity of predatory arthropods is postulated by the Enemies Hypothesis, a central ecological top-down control hypothesis. It has been supported by experimental studies and investigations of agricultural and grassland ecosystems, while evidence from more complex mature forest ecosystems is limited. Our study was conducted on Changbai Mountain in one of the last remaining large pristine temperate forest environments in China. We used predatory ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) as target taxon to establish the relationship between phytodiversity and their activity abundance and diversity. Results showed that elevation was the only variable included in both models predicting carabid activity abundance and α-diversity. Shrub diversity was negatively and herb diversity positively correlated with beetle abundance, while shrub diversity was positively correlated with beetle α-diversity. Within the different forest types, a negative relationship between plant diversity and carabid activity abundance was observed, which stands in direct contrast to the Enemies Hypothesis. Furthermore, plant species density did not predict carabid α-diversity. In addition, the density of herbs, which is commonly believed to influence carabid movement, had little impact on the beetle activity abundance recorded on Changbai Mountain. Our study indicates that in a relatively large and heterogeneous mature forest area, relationships between plant and carabid diversity are driven by variations in environmental factors linked with altitudinal change. In addition, traditional top-down control theories that are suitable in explaining diversity patterns in ecosystems of low diversity appear to play a much less pronounced role in highly complex forest ecosystems.

  3. Relationships between plant diversity and the abundance and α-diversity of predatory ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae in a mature Asian temperate forest ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yi Zou

    Full Text Available A positive relationship between plant diversity and both abundance and diversity of predatory arthropods is postulated by the Enemies Hypothesis, a central ecological top-down control hypothesis. It has been supported by experimental studies and investigations of agricultural and grassland ecosystems, while evidence from more complex mature forest ecosystems is limited. Our study was conducted on Changbai Mountain in one of the last remaining large pristine temperate forest environments in China. We used predatory ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae as target taxon to establish the relationship between phytodiversity and their activity abundance and diversity. Results showed that elevation was the only variable included in both models predicting carabid activity abundance and α-diversity. Shrub diversity was negatively and herb diversity positively correlated with beetle abundance, while shrub diversity was positively correlated with beetle α-diversity. Within the different forest types, a negative relationship between plant diversity and carabid activity abundance was observed, which stands in direct contrast to the Enemies Hypothesis. Furthermore, plant species density did not predict carabid α-diversity. In addition, the density of herbs, which is commonly believed to influence carabid movement, had little impact on the beetle activity abundance recorded on Changbai Mountain. Our study indicates that in a relatively large and heterogeneous mature forest area, relationships between plant and carabid diversity are driven by variations in environmental factors linked with altitudinal change. In addition, traditional top-down control theories that are suitable in explaining diversity patterns in ecosystems of low diversity appear to play a much less pronounced role in highly complex forest ecosystems.

  4. Historical agriculture alters the effects of fire on understory plant beta diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattingly, W Brett; Orrock, John L; Collins, Cathy D; Brudvig, Lars A; Damschen, Ellen I; Veldman, Joseph W; Walker, Joan L

    2015-02-01

    Land-use legacies are known to shape the diversity and distribution of plant communities, but we lack an understanding of whether historical land use influences community responses to contemporary disturbances. Because human-modified landscapes often bear a history of multiple land-use activities, this contingency can challenge our understanding of land-use impacts on plant diversity. We address this contingency by evaluating how beta diversity (the spatial variability of species composition), an important component of regional biodiversity, is shaped by interactions between historical agriculture and prescribed fire, two prominent disturbances that are often coincident in terrestrial ecosystems. At three study locations spanning 450 km in the southeastern United States, we surveyed longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities across 232 remnant and post-agricultural sites with differing prescribed fire regimes. Our results demonstrate that agricultural legacies are a strong predictor of beta diversity, but the direction of this land-use effect differed among the three study locations. Further, although beta diversity increased with prescribed fire frequency at each study location, this effect was influenced by agricultural land-use history, such that positive fire effects were only documented among sites that lacked a history of agriculture at two of our three study locations. Our study not only highlights the role of historical agriculture in shaping beta diversity in a fire-maintained ecosystem but also illustrates how this effect can be contingent upon fire regime and geographic location. We suggest that interactions among historical and contemporary land-use activities may help to explain dissimilarities in plant communities among sites in human-dominated landscapes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-05-01

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

  6. Paramagnetic Cellulose DNA Isolation Improves DNA Yield and Quality Among Diverse Plant Taxa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jackson R. Moeller

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Premise of the study: The chemical diversity of land plants ensures that no single DNA isolation method results in high yield and purity with little effort for all species. Here we evaluate a new technique originally developed for forensic science, based on MagnaCel paramagnetic cellulose particles (PMC, to determine its efficacy in extracting DNA from 25 plant species representing 21 families and 15 orders. Methods and Results: Yield and purity of DNA isolated by PMC, DNeasy Plant Mini Kit (silica column, and cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB methods were compared among four individuals for each of 25 plant species. PMC gave a two-fold advantage in average yield, and the relative advantage of the PMC method was greatest for samples with the lowest DNA yields. PMC also produced more consistent sample purity based on absorbance ratios at 260 : 280 and 260 : 230 nm. Conclusions: PMC technology is a promising alternative for plant DNA isolation.

  7. Plant diversity in a changing world: Status, trends, and conservation needs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard T. Corlett

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The conservation of plants has not generated the sense of urgency—or the funding—that drives the conservation of animals, although plants are far more important for us. There are an estimated 500,000 species of land plants (angiosperms, gymnosperms, ferns, lycophytes, and bryophytes, with diversity strongly concentrated in the humid tropics. Many species are still unknown to science. Perhaps a third of all land plants are at risk of extinction, including many that are undescribed, or are described but otherwise data deficient. There have been few known global extinctions so far, but many additional species have not been recorded recently and may be extinct. Although only a minority of plant species have a specific human use, many more play important roles in natural ecosystems and the services they provide, and rare species are more likely to have unusual traits that could be useful in the future. The major threats to plant diversity include habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation, overexploitation, invasive species, pollution, and anthropogenic climate change. Conservation of plant diversity is a massive task if viewed globally, but the combination of a well-designed and well-managed protected area system and ex situ gap-filling and back-up should work anywhere. The most urgent needs are for the completion of the global botanical inventory and an assessment of the conservation status of the 94% of plant species not yet evaluated, so that both in and ex situ conservation can be targeted efficiently. Globally, the biggest conservation gap is in the hyperdiverse lowland tropics and this is where attention needs to be focused.

  8. Fern Gametophytes in Culture--A Simple System for Studying Plant Development and Reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyer, A. F.

    1983-01-01

    Discusses fern life cycle and basic techniques for culturing fern gametophytes in the classroom. Also discusses investigations into the reproductive biology of ferns and into the early development of gametophytes. (JN)

  9. Can phylogeny predict chemical diversity and potential medicinal activity of plants? A case study of Amaryllidaceae

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rønsted, Nina; Symonds, Matthew RE; Birkholm, Trine;

    2012-01-01

    a predictive approach enabling more efficient selection of plants for the development of traditional medicine and lead discovery. However, this relationship has rarely been rigorously tested and the potential predictive power is consequently unknown. Results: We produced a phylogenetic hypothesis...... for the medicinally important plant subfamily Amaryllidoideae (Amaryllidaceae) based on parsimony and Bayesian analysis of nuclear, plastid, and mitochondrial DNA sequences of over 100 species. We tested if alkaloid diversity and activity in bioassays related to the central nervous system are significantly correlated......Background: During evolution, plants and other organisms have developed a diversity of chemical defences, leading to the evolution of various groups of specialized metabolites selected for their endogenous biological function. A correlation between phylogeny and biosynthetic pathways could offer...

  10. Reproduction of Meloidogyne javanica on Plant Roots Genetically Transformed by Agrobacterium rhizogenes

    OpenAIRE

    Verdejo, S.; Jaffee, B. A.; Mankau, R.

    1988-01-01

    Reproduction of Meloidogyne javanica was compared on several Agrobacterium rhizogenes-transformed root cultures under monoxenic conditions. M. javanica reproduced on all transformed roots tested; however, more females and eggs were obtained on potato and South Australian Early Dwarf Red tomato than on bindweed, Tropic tomato, lima bean, or carrot. Roots that grew at moderate rates into the agar and produced many secondary roots supported the highest reproduction. Numbers of females produced i...

  11. Loss of functional diversity and network modularity in introduced plant-fungal symbioses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickie, Ian A; Cooper, Jerry A; Bufford, Jennifer L; Hulme, Philip E; Bates, Scott T

    2016-12-30

    The introduction of alien plants into a new range can result in the loss of co-evolved symbiotic organisms, such as mycorrhizal fungi, that are essential for normal plant physiological functions. Prior studies of mycorrhizal associations in alien plants have tended to focus on individual plant species on a case-by-case basis. This approach limits broad scale understanding of functional shifts and changes in interaction network structure that may occur following introduction. Here we use two extensive datasets of plant-fungal interactions derived from fungal sporocarp observations and recorded plant hosts in two island archipelago nations: New Zealand (NZ) and the United Kingdom (UK). We found that the NZ dataset shows a lower functional diversity of fungal hyphal foraging strategies in mycorrhiza of alien as compared with native trees. Across species this resulted in fungal foraging strategies associated with alien trees being much more variable in functional composition compared with native trees, which had a strikingly similar functional composition. The UK data showed no functional difference in fungal associates of alien and native plant genera. Notwithstanding this, both the NZ and UK data showed a substantial difference in interaction network structure of alien trees compared with native trees. In both cases, fungal associates of native trees showed strong modularity, while fungal associates of alien trees generally integrated into a single large module. The results suggest a lower functional diversity (in one dataset) and a simplification of network structure (in both) as a result of introduction, potentially driven by either limited symbiont co-introductions or disruption of habitat as a driver of specificity due to nursery conditions, planting, or plant edaphic-niche expansion. Recognizing these shifts in function and network structure has important implications for plant invasions and facilitation of secondary invasions via shared mutualist populations.

  12. Bottom-up effects of host-plant species diversity and top-down effects of ants interactively increase plant performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreira, Xoaquín; Mooney, Kailen A; Zas, Rafael; Sampedro, Luis

    2012-11-07

    While plant diversity is well known to increase primary productivity, whether these bottom-up effects are enhanced by reciprocal top-down effects from the third trophic level is unknown. We studied whether pine tree species diversity, aphid-tending ants and their interaction determined plant performance and arthropod community structure. Plant diversity had a positive effect on aphids, but only in the presence of mutualistic ants, leading to a threefold greater number of both groups in the tri-specific cultures than in monocultures. Plant diversity increased ant abundance not only by increasing aphid number, but also by increasing ant recruitment per aphid. The positive effect of diversity on ants in turn cascaded down to increase plant performance; diversity increased plant growth (but not biomass), and this effect was stronger in the presence of ants. Consequently, bottom-up effects of diversity within the same genus and guild of plants, and top-down effects from the third trophic level (predatory ants), interactively increased plant performance.

  13. In silico identification of conserved microRNAs in large number of diverse plant species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jagadeeswaran Guru

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background MicroRNAs (miRNAs are recently discovered small non-coding RNAs that play pivotal roles in gene expression, specifically at the post-transcriptional level in plants and animals. Identification of miRNAs in large number of diverse plant species is important to understand the evolution of miRNAs and miRNA-targeted gene regulations. Now-a-days, publicly available databases play a central role in the in-silico biology. Because, at least ~21 miRNA families are conserved in higher plants, a homology based search using these databases can help identify orthologs or paralogs in plants. Results We searched all publicly available nucleotide databases of genome survey sequences (GSS, high-throughput genomics sequences (HTGS, expressed sequenced tags (ESTs and nonredundant (NR nucleotides and identified 682 miRNAs in 155 diverse plant species. We found more than 15 conserved miRNA families in 11 plant species, 10 to14 families in 10 plant species and 5 to 9 families in 29 plant species. Nineteen conserved miRNA families were identified in important model legumes such as Medicago, Lotus and soybean. Five miRNA families – miR319, miR156/157, miR169, miR165/166 and miR394 – were found in 51, 45, 41, 40 and 40 diverse plant species, respectively. miR403 homologs were found in 16 dicots, whereas miR437 and miR444 homologs, as well as the miR396d/e variant of the miR396 family, were found only in monocots, thus providing large-scale authenticity for the dicot- and monocot-specific miRNAs. Furthermore, we provide computational and/or experimental evidence for the conservation of 6 newly found Arabidopsis miRNA homologs (miR158, miR391, miR824, miR825, miR827 and miR840 and 2 small RNAs (small-85 and small-87 in Brassica spp. Conclusion Using all publicly available nucleotide databases, 682 miRNAs were identified in 155 diverse plant species. By combining the expression analysis with the computational approach, we found that 6 miRNAs and 2

  14. Dry coniferous forest restoration and understory plant diversity: The importance of community heterogeneity and the scale of observation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erich Kyle Dodson; David W. Peterson

    2010-01-01

    Maintaining understory plant species diversity is an important management goal as forest restoration and fuel reduction treatments are applied extensively to dry coniferous forests of western North America. However, understory diversity is a function of both local species richness (number of species in a sample unit) and community heterogeneity (beta diversity) at...

  15. The Genetic Diversity of Endophytic and Phyllosphere Bacteria from Several Indonesian Herbal Plants

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    Devi Rachelia

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Herbal plants have been believed by Indonesians to be an alternative medicine to treat illnesses. The bioactivecompounds in the plant can be derived from secondary metabolites or from endophytic and phyllosphere bacteria whichcoexist within medicinal plants. A total of 18 endophytic bacteria and 32 phyllosphere bacteria were isolated from theherbal plants of Citrus sp., Pluchea indica, Curcuma longa, Nothopanax scuttelarium, Piper crocatum, andAndrographis paniculata. About 72% of endophytic bacteria isolates have proteolytic activity and about 11% havelipolytic activity. On the other hand, about 59% of phyllosphere bacteria isolates have proteolytic activity and about19% have lipolytic activity. Phylogenetic diversity analysis was conducted by using the amplified ribosomal DNArestriction analysis (ARDRA method and the sequence of 16S rDNA was digested with endonuclease restrictionenzymes: MspI, RsaI, and Sau961. The diversity of endophytic and phyllosphere bacterium from the samples of herbalplants was high. Bacteria isolated from the same herbal plant does not always have a close genetic relationship exceptfor the bacteria isolated from the P. indica plant which showed a close genetic relationship with each other.

  16. Vascular plant diversity on the roof of the world: Spatial patterns and environmental determinants

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ling-Feng MAO; Sheng-Bin CHEN; Jin-Long ZHANG; Yan-Hui HOU; Guang-Sheng ZHOU; Xin-Shi ZHANG

    2013-01-01

    The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP),known as "the Roof of the World",is one of the most unique and vulnerable biodiversity regions on Earth.However,the spatial patterns and determinants of vascular plant diversity on the QTP are still poorly documented,despite a number of publications focusing on its flora.Using extensively compiled data gathered from local flora and specimen records,we evaluated the relative importance of water,energy,and habitat heterogeneity-related variables in shaping the distribution of vascular plant diversity (species,genus,family,herb,woody plants).We found that higher richness always occurred in the south and east of the QTP,especially along the Himalayas,and that habitat heterogeneity,water,and energy variables are important determinants of vascular plant richness patterns on the QTP.The explanatory power of most single predictors was obviously different across life forms,with woody plant richness generally more sensitive to most environmental factors than herb richness.In addition,the explanatory power of habitat heterogeneity models,combined water and energy models,and environmental models increased as the taxonomic level increased from species to family.The results highlight that correlations between plant richness and environmental variables vary with life form and taxonomic scale,and suggest that the explanatory power of variables will change in different spatial scales due to the proportion of life forms and the asymmetric effects of these drivers on life form richness.

  17. Functional Diversity of Boreal Bog Plant Species Decreases Seasonal Variation of Ecosystem Carbon Sink Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korrensalo, A.

    2015-12-01

    Species diversity has been found to decrease the temporal variance of productivity of a plant community, and diversity in species responses to environmental factors seems to make a plant community more stable in changing conditions. Boreal bogs are nutrient poor peatland ecosystems where the number of plant species is low but the species differ greatly in their growth form. In here we aim to assess the role of the variation in photosynthesis between species for the temporal variation in ecosystem carbon sink function. To quantify the photosynthetic properties and their seasonal variation for different bog plant species we measured photosynthetic parameters and stress-inducing chlorophyll fluorescence of vascular plant and Sphagnum moss species in a boreal bog over a growing season. We estimated monthly gross photosynthesis (PG) of the whole study site based on species level light response curves and leaf area development. The estimated PG was further compared with a gross primary production (GPP) estimate measured by eddy covariance (EC) technique. The sum of upscaled PG estimates agreed well with the GPP estimate measured by the EC technique. The contributions of the species and species groups to the ecosystem level PG changed over the growing season. The sharp mid-summer peak in sedge PG was balanced by more stable PG of evergreen shrubs and Sphagna. Species abundance rather than differences in photosynthetic properties between species and growth forms determined the most productive plants on the ecosystem scale. Sphagna had lower photosynthesis and clorophyll fluorescence than vascular plants but were more productive on the ecosystem scale throughout the growing season due to their high areal coverage. These results show that the diversity of growth forms stabilizes the seasonal variation of the ecosystem level PG in an ombrotrophic bog ecosystem. This may increase the resilience of the ecosystem to changing environmental conditions.

  18. Diversity of Medicinal Plants among Different Forest-use Types of the Pakistani Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adnan, Muhammad; Hölscher, Dirk

    2012-12-01

    Diversity of Medicinal Plants among Different Forest-use Types of the Pakistani Himalaya Medicinal plants collected in Himalayan forests play a vital role in the livelihoods of regional rural societies and are also increasingly recognized at the international level. However, these forests are being heavily transformed by logging. Here we ask how forest transformation influences the diversity and composition of medicinal plants in northwestern Pakistan, where we studied old-growth forests, forests degraded by logging, and regrowth forests. First, an approximate map indicating these forest types was established and then 15 study plots per forest type were randomly selected. We found a total of 59 medicinal plant species consisting of herbs and ferns, most of which occurred in the old-growth forest. Species number was lowest in forest degraded by logging and intermediate in regrowth forest. The most valuable economic species, including six Himalayan endemics, occurred almost exclusively in old-growth forest. Species composition and abundance of forest degraded by logging differed markedly from that of old-growth forest, while regrowth forest was more similar to old-growth forest. The density of medicinal plants positively correlated with tree canopy cover in old-growth forest and negatively in degraded forest, which indicates that species adapted to open conditions dominate in logged forest. Thus, old-growth forests are important as refuge for vulnerable endemics. Forest degraded by logging has the lowest diversity of relatively common medicinal plants. Forest regrowth may foster the reappearance of certain medicinal species valuable to local livelihoods and as such promote acceptance of forest expansion and medicinal plants conservation in the region. ELECTRONIC SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL: The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12231-012-9213-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

  19. Epigenetic Diversity of Clonal White Poplar (Populus alba L. Populations: Could Methylation Support the Success of Vegetative Reproduction Strategy?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Guarino

    Full Text Available The widespread poplar populations of Sardinia are vegetatively propagated and live in different natural environments forming large monoclonal stands. The main goals of the present study were: i to investigate/measure the epigenetic diversity of the poplar populations by determining their DNA methylation status; ii to assess if and how methylation status influences population clustering; iii to shed light on the changes that occur in the epigenome of ramets of the same poplar clone. To these purposes, 83 white poplar trees were sampled at different locations on the island of Sardinia. Methylation sensitive amplified polymorphism analysis was carried out on the genomic DNA extracted from leaves at the same juvenile stage. The study showed that the genetic biodiversity of poplars is quite limited but it is counterbalanced by epigenetic inter-population molecular variability. The comparison between MspI and HpaII DNA fragmentation profiles revealed that environmental conditions strongly influence hemi-methylation of the inner cytosine. The variable epigenetic status of Sardinian white poplars revealed a decreased number of population clusters. Landscape genetics analyses clearly demonstrated that ramets of the same clone were differentially methylated in relation to their geographic position. Therefore, our data support the notion that studies on plant biodiversity should no longer be restricted to genetic aspects, especially in the case of vegetatively propagated plant species.

  20. Effects of Drought on Plant Species Diversity and Productivity in the Oak Forests of Western Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hassan Pourbabaei

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available A severe drought in 2008 extensively damaged a variety of economic, social, agricultural and natural resources in Iran. This study investigated the effects of the 2008 drought on plant species composition, diversity and productivity in Western Iran. To this end, plant species diversity in the drought year (2008 was compared to pre-drought (2007 and post-drought (2009 diversity. The Shannon-Wiener diversity index and Margalef richness index had significant differences between years, decreasing significantly during drought and significantly increasing post-drought. In contrast, the Smith-Wilson evenness index did not significantly differ between years. Plant dry weight was significantly reduced by drought and increased significantly post-drought. The percent cover of sixteen species was significantly reduced in the drought year. Furthermore, nine species disappeared during drought, but reappeared after precipitation. The most sensitive species to drought were Psathyrostachys fragili, Carex sp., Falcaria falcarioide, Festuca ovina and Scariola orientalis. Five species (Cardaria draba, Echium amoenum, Polygonatum orientale, Medicago noeana and Cirsium vulgare not present before and during drought appeared the year after drought ended. Some of the effects of drought may be reduced by improved land management planning and water conservation to better provide for the water needs of Iran and other drought-prone countries.

  1. Shifting grassland plant community structure drives positive interactive effects of warming and diversity on aboveground net primary productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowles, Jane M; Wragg, Peter D; Wright, Alexandra J; Powers, Jennifer S; Tilman, David

    2016-02-01

    Ecosystems worldwide are increasingly impacted by multiple drivers of environmental change, including climate warming and loss of biodiversity. We show, using a long-term factorial experiment, that plant diversity loss alters the effects of warming on productivity. Aboveground primary productivity was increased by both high plant diversity and warming, and, in concert, warming (≈1.5 °C average above and belowground warming over the growing season) and diversity caused a greater than additive increase in aboveground productivity. The aboveground warming effects increased over time, particularly at higher levels of diversity, perhaps because of warming-induced increases in legume and C4 bunch grass abundances, and facilitative feedbacks of these species on productivity. Moreover, higher plant diversity was associated with the amelioration of warming-induced environmental conditions. This led to cooler temperatures, decreased vapor pressure deficit, and increased surface soil moisture in higher diversity communities. Root biomass (0-30 cm) was likewise consistently greater at higher plant diversity and was greater with warming in monocultures and at intermediate diversity, but at high diversity warming had no detectable effect. This may be because warming increased the abundance of legumes, which have lower root : shoot ratios than the other types of plants. In addition, legumes increase soil nitrogen (N) supply, which could make N less limiting to other species and potentially decrease their investment in roots. The negative warming × diversity interaction on root mass led to an overall negative interactive effect of these two global change factors on the sum of above and belowground biomass, and thus likely on total plant carbon stores. In total, plant diversity increased the effect of warming on aboveground net productivity and moderated the effect on root mass. These divergent effects suggest that warming and changes in plant diversity are likely to have both

  2. Tactics for male reproductive success in plants: contrasting insights of sex allocation theory and pollen presentation theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomson, James D

    2006-08-01

    The basic tenet of sex allocation theory is that an organism's reproductive success, through either male or female function, can be represented as a sex-specific, monotonic, increasing function of the organism's investment of resources in that function. The shapes of these curves determine what patterns of resource allocation can be evolutionarily stable. Although SA theory has stimulated creative thinking about plant sexual tactics, quantifying the shapes of male and female gain curves has proven so difficult that other approaches must be considered. I contrast sex allocation theory to a different, emerging viewpoint, pollen presentation theory (PPT), which attempts to address variation in reproductive success by measuring and modeling the quantitative fates of pollen grains. Models suggest that RS through male function depends heavily on the packaging and gradual dispensing of pollen to pollinators, even with the amount of investment held constant. Many plants do deploy pollen gradually, through morphological and "behavioral" mechanisms that range from obvious to subtle. They may thereby influence many aspects of the evolution of sexual modes in plants, including transitions between dioecy and cosexuality. After reviewing the main implications of the models, I discuss recent work aimed at testing some key assumptions and predictions by functional and comparative studies in the genus Penstemon. Species of Penstemon conform to PPT predictions that bee-adapted flowers will restrict per-visit pollen availability more than hummingbird-adapted flowers.

  3. Effects of indiscriminate foraging by tropical hummingbirds on pollination and plant reproductive success: experiments with two tropical treelets (Rubiaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feinsinger, Peter; Busby, William H; Tiebout, Hary M

    1988-08-01

    In cloud forest at Monteverde, Costa Rica, two common treelets (Palicourea lasiorrachis and Cephaelis elata, both Rubiaceae) depend simultaneously on one hummingbird population (Lampornis calolaema) for pollination. Both species are distylous and self-incompatible. In laboratory experiments, we examined possible effects of indiscriminate foraging by hummingbirds among flowers of both species, as observed in the field, on pollination of Palicourea. In each of 35 trials, captive L. calolaema probed 2 flowers from pin plants of Palicourea followed by 20 thrum flowers of the same species, with either 0, 2, or 10 Cephaelis flowers intervening. We assessed pollen transfer by staining and counting pin pollen tubes growing in thrum styles; counts of 0, 1, or ≥2 pollen tubes relate directly to seed output (0, 1, or 2 seeds per fruit, respectively). Intervening Cephaelis flowers sharply reduced pollen receipt by thrum flowers of Palicourea and reduced some aspects of pollen dispersal from pins as well, thereby curtailing maternal and paternal reproductive potential of Palicourea. Such effects of interspecific pollen loss on reproductive output may lead to strong competition among some, though not all, combinations of plant species pollinated by L. calolaema or of other plant combinations that share animal pollinators.

  4. Relative role of contemporary environment versus history in shaping diversity patterns of China's woody plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Zhiheng; Fang, Jingyun; Tang, Zhiyao

    2012-01-01

    What determines large-scale patterns of species diversity is a central and controversial topic in biogeography and ecology. In this study, we compared the effects of contemporary environment and historical contingencies on species richness patterns of woody plants in China, using fine-resolution ......-plant species richness across China, while historical contingencies generate regional deviations from this trend. Our findings imply that both species diversity and regional evolutionary and ecological histories should be taken into account for future nature conservation.......What determines large-scale patterns of species diversity is a central and controversial topic in biogeography and ecology. In this study, we compared the effects of contemporary environment and historical contingencies on species richness patterns of woody plants in China, using fine...... regions combined. This suggests different richness-environment relationships among regions. These results indicate important historical signals in the species richness patterns of woody plants across China. The signals are especially pronounced in the eastern Himalayas, the Mongolian Plateau...

  5. Comparative Analysis of Plant Diversity of Pinus tabulaeformis Forests in Ten Regions of Beijing Mountainous Areas

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Li Liping; Xing Shaohua; Zhao Bo; Wang Qingchun; Cui Guofa

    2006-01-01

    Based on investigations during 1998-2003,shrubs and herbs,as well as indicators of similarity and diversity in Pinus tabulaeformis forests of ten regions around Beijing were compared and analyzed,and protection measures were suggested.Generally,the shrubs and herbs in P.tabulaeformis forests of Shidu,Mutianyu,and Yunfengshan are rich in species diversity and have great similarities.The percentages of common species in each of these three paired regions are above 50%,while many peculiar plant species that could not be found in the other nine regions exist in Labagoumen.As for plant diversity indices,plants in the P.tabulaeformis forests of Baihuashan,Shidu,and Labagoumen occur more frequently than in other regions,while the number of plants in Tanjiesi and Miaofengshan are far less.Some endangered orchid species were found distributed in P.tabulaeformis forests with a clumped spatial pattern but rarely appeared in other forest types,indicating that P.tabulaeformis forests are ideal habitats for orchid species.

  6. Progress Towards an Interdisciplinary Science of Plant Phenology: Building Predictions Across Space, Time and Species Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolkovich, Elizabeth M.; Cook, Benjamin I.; Davies, T. Jonathan

    2013-01-01

    Climate change has brought renewed interest in the study of plant phenology - the timing of life history events. Data on shifting phenologies with warming have accumulated rapidly, yet research has been comparatively slow to explain the diversity of phenological responses observed across latitudes, growing seasons and species. Here, we outline recent efforts to synthesize perspectives on plant phenology across the fields of ecology, climate science and evolution. We highlight three major axes that vary among these disciplines: relative focus on abiotic versus biotic drivers of phenology, on plastic versus genetic drivers of intraspecific variation, and on cross-species versus autecological approaches. Recent interdisciplinary efforts, building on data covering diverse species and climate space, have found a greater role of temperature in controlling phenology at higher latitudes and for early-flowering species in temperate systems. These efforts have also made progress in understanding the tremendous diversity of responses across species by incorporating evolutionary relatedness, and linking phenological flexibility to invasions and plant performance. Future research with a focus on data collection in areas outside the temperate mid-latitudes and across species' ranges, alongside better integration of how risk and investment shape plant phenology, offers promise for further progress.

  7. Bryophyte diversity and evolution: windows into the early evolution of land plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, A Jonathan; Szövényi, Péter; Shaw, Blanka

    2011-03-01

    The "bryophytes" comprise three phyla of plants united by a similar haploid-dominant life cycle and unbranched sporophytes bearing one sporangium: the liverworts (Marchantiophyta), mosses (Bryophyta), and hornworts (Anthocerophyta). Combined, these groups include some 20000 species. As descendents of embryophytes that diverged before tracheophytes appeared, bryophytes offer unique windows into the early evolution of land plants. We review insights into the evolution of plant life cycles, in particular the elaboration of the sporophyte generation, the major lineages within bryophyte phyla, and reproductive processes that shape patterns of bryophyte evolution. Recent transcriptomic work suggests extensive overlap in gene expression in bryophyte sporophytes vs. gametophytes, but also novel patterns in the sporophyte, supporting Bower's antithetic hypothesis for origin of alternation of generations. Major lineages of liverworts, mosses, and hornworts have been resolved and general patterns of morphological evolution can now be inferred. The life cycles of bryophytes, arguably more similar to those of early embryophytes than are those in any other living plant group, provide unique insights into gametophyte mating patterns, sexual conflicts, and the efficacy and effects of spore dispersal during early land plant evolution.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Miao; Feng, Jianmeng

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Miao; Feng, Jianmeng

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Effects of plant species identity, diversity and soil fertility on biodegradation of phenanthrene in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oyelami, Ayodeji O; Okere, Uchechukwu V; Orwin, Kate H; De Deyn, Gerlinde B; Jones, Kevin C; Semple, Kirk T

    2013-02-01

    The work presented in this paper investigated the effects of plant species composition, species diversity and soil fertility on biodegradation of (14)C-phenanthrene in soil. The two soils used were of contrasting fertility, taken from long term unfertilised and fertilised grassland, showing differences in total nitrogen content (%N). Plant communities consisted of six different plant species: two grasses, two forbs, and two legume species, and ranged in species richness from 1 to 6. The degradation of (14)C-phenanthrene was evaluated by measuring indigenous catabolic activity following the addition of the contaminant to soil using respirometry. Soil fertility was a driving factor in all aspects of (14)C-phenanthrene degradation; lag phase, maximum rates and total extents of (14)C-phenanthrene mineralisation were higher in improved soils compared to unimproved soils. Plant identity had a significant effect on the lag phase and extents of mineralisation. Soil fertility was the major influence also on abundance of microbial communities.

  12. Mechanisms for increased soil C storage with increasing temporal and spatial plant diversity in Agroecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiemann, L. K.; Grandy, S.; Marin-Spiotta, E.; Atkinson, E. E.

    2012-12-01

    Generally, there are positive relationships between plant species diversity and net primary production and other key ecosystem functions. However, the effects of aboveground diversity on soil microbial communities and ecosystem processes they mediate, such as soil C sequestration, remain unclear. In this study, we used an 11-y cropping diversity study where increases in diversity have increased crop yields. At the experimental site, temporal diversity is altered using combinations of annual crop rotations, while spatial diversity is altered using cover crop species. We used five treatments ranging in diversity from one to five species consisting of continuous corn with no cover crop or one cover crop and corn-soy-wheat rotations with no cover, one cover or two cover crop species. We collected soils from four replicate plots of each treatment and measured the distribution of mega- (>2 mm), macro- (0.25-2 mm), and micro- (0.053-0.25 mm) aggregates. Within each aggregate size class, we also measured total soil C and N, permanganate oxidizable C (POXC), extracellular enzyme activities (EEA), and microbial community structure with phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis. We use these data to address the impacts of both rotational and cover crop diversity on soil physical structure, associated microbial community structure and activity and soil C storage. As spatial diversity increased, we found concurrent increases in mega-aggregate abundance as well as increasing soil C in the mega- and micro-aggregates but not macro-aggregates. The proportion of total soil C in each aggregate size class that is relatively labile (POXC) was highest in the micro-aggregates, as was enzyme activity associated with labile C acquisition across all levels of diversity. Enzyme activity associated with more recalcitrant forms of soil C was highest in the mega-aggregate class, also across all diversity levels; however, the ratio of labile to recalcitrant EEA increased with increasing diversity

  13. Soil fertility and plant diversity enhance microbial performance in metal-polluted soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefanowicz, Anna M; Kapusta, Paweł; Szarek-Łukaszewska, Grażyna; Grodzińska, Krystyna; Niklińska, Maria; Vogt, Rolf D

    2012-11-15

    This study examined the effects of soil physicochemical properties (including heavy metal pollution) and vegetation parameters on soil basal respiration, microbial biomass, and the activity and functional richness of culturable soil bacteria and fungi. In a zinc and lead mining area (S Poland), 49 sites were selected to represent all common plant communities and comprise the area's diverse soil types. Numerous variables describing habitat properties were reduced by PCA to 7 independent factors, mainly representing subsoil type (metal-rich mining waste vs. sand), soil fertility (exchangeable Ca, Mg and K, total C and N, organic C), plant species richness, phosphorus content, water-soluble heavy metals (Zn, Cd and Pb), clay content and plant functional diversity (based on graminoids, legumes and non-leguminous forbs). Multiple regression analysis including these factors explained much of the variation in most microbial parameters; in the case of microbial respiration and biomass, it was 86% and 71%, respectively. The activity of soil microbes was positively affected mainly by soil fertility and, apparently, by the presence of mining waste in the subsoil. The mining waste contained vast amounts of trace metals (total Zn, Cd and Pb), but it promoted microbial performance due to its inherently high content of macronutrients (total Ca, Mg, K and C). Plant species richness had a relatively strong positive effect on all microbial parameters, except for the fungal component. In contrast, plant functional diversity was practically negligible in its effect on microbes. Other explanatory variables had only a minor positive effect (clay content) or no significant influence (phosphorus content) on microbial communities. The main conclusion from this study is that high nutrient availability and plant species richness positively affected the soil microbes and that this apparently counteracted the toxic effects of metal contamination.

  14. The identity of belowground herbivores, not herbivore diversity, mediates impacts on plant productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milosavljević, Ivan; Esser, Aaron D.; Bosque-Pérez, Nilsa A.; Crowder, David W.

    2016-12-01

    Across many ecosystems, increases in species biodiversity generally results in greater resource acquisition by consumers. Few studies examining the impacts of consumer diversity on resource capture have focused on terrestrial herbivores, however, especially taxa that feed belowground. Here we conducted field mesocosm experiments to examine the effects of variation in species richness and composition within a community of wireworm herbivores on wheat plant productivity. Our experiments involved wireworm communities consisting of between one and three species, with all possible combinations of species represented. We found that the presence of wireworms reduced plant biomass and seed viability, but wireworm species richness did not impact these plant metrics. Species identity effects were strong, as two species, Limonius californicus and Selatosomus pruininus, had significantly stronger impacts on plants compared to L. infuscatus. Communities with either of the two most impactful species consistently had the greatest impact on wheat plants. The effects of wireworms were thus strongly dependent on the particular species present rather than the overall diversity of the wireworm community. More broadly, our study supports the general finding that the identity of particular consumer species within communities often has greater impacts on ecosystem functioning than species richness.

  15. Diverse Roles of Lysin-Motif (LysM Proteins in Mediating Plant-Microbe Interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinrong WAN

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Lysin-motif (LysM is a protein domain initially identified in a phage protein responsible for binding peptidoglycan, an important component of bacterial cell walls. LysM-containing proteins are distributed in diverse organisms, ranging from microbes to plants and animals (including human beings. Recent studies demonstrated that this group of proteins plays different roles in mediating plant-microbe interactions, leading to defense, symbiosis, or suppression of host defense. These roles are probably related to their potential ability to recognize and bind a specific signal molecule, such as chitooligosaccharides, peptidoglycan, nodulation factors (NFs, and mycorrhization factors (MFs.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    Naturally disturbed coastal dunes have become strongly reduced during the last century due to the cessation of grazing by domestic herbivores, dune stabilization initiatives, and increasing nitrogen deposition, all promoting encroachment by grasses, shrubs and woody plants. We assessed the effects......, trampled paths and their paired controls. We used Nonmetric Multidimensional Scaling (NMDS) ordination to assess differences in species composition of disturbed areas and controls. Ordination scores were used as response variables in Linear Mixed Effect (LME) models to test for the effects of disturbances...... responded differently to different disturbances. Arthropod communities were more diverse in disturbed plots and hosted species often found in early successional habitats of potential conservation value. Disturbance promoted β-diversity, but affected plants more than arthropods, likely because...

  17. The relationship between soil physical properties and alpine plant diversity on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Tang

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Through a large-scale research, we examined the heterogeneity of soil properties and plant diversity, as well as their relationships across alpine grassland types on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The soil pH and EC value increased with the constant deepening of the soil in all the three alpine grassland types which in order of absolute value in every soil layer were alpine desert steppe, alpine steppe and alpine meadow. Among the three grassland types, the alpine meadow possessed the highest SM but the lowest SBD. For plant diversity, alpine meadow was the highest, alpine desert steppe ranked the second and alpine steppe was the last. SM and SBD were the highest influential soil physical properties to species richness, but with opposite effects.

  18. Discharge capacity of sluiceway channel of water intake structure for diversion power plant in winter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N.P. Lavrov

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents results of research hydraulic processes at the intake structures of diversion power plants in winter. On the basis of the physical modeling results the flow characteristics of sluiceway channel of water intake on the river Issyk-Ata, Kyrgyzstan were determined. Statistical models of discharges of elements of sluiceway channel with their mutual influence were obtained, using the methods of experimental design and data analysis. The influence of the concentration of brash ice on the sluiceway channel and its elements is described. The comparison of experimental data with data obtained by other authors before is made by comparing flow coefficients. Recommendations for normal operation of ice pass at sluiceway track channel of water intake structure for diversion power plant are given.

  19. Is there a missing link? Effects of root herbivory on plant-pollinator interactions and reproductive output in a monocarpic species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghyselen, C; Bonte, D; Brys, R

    2016-01-01

    Herbivores can have a major influence on plant fitness. The direct impact of herbivory on plant reproductive output has long been studied, and recently also indirect effects of herbivory on plant traits and pollinator attraction have received increasing attention. However, the link between these direct and indirect effects has seldom been studied. In this study, we investigated effects of root herbivory on plant and floral traits, pollination success and reproductive outcome in the monocarpic perennial Cynoglossum officinale. We exposed 119 C. officinale plants to a range of root herbivore damage by its specialist herbivore Mogulones cruciger. We assessed the effect of herbivory on several plant traits, pollinator foraging behaviour and reproductive output, and to elucidate the link between these last two we also quantified pollen deposition and pollen tube growth and applied a pollination experiment to test whether seed set was pollen-limited. Larval root herbivory induced significant changes in plant traits and had a negative impact on pollinator visitation. Infested plants were reduced in size, had fewer flowers and received fewer pollinator visits at plant and flower level than non-infested plants. Also, seed set was negatively affected by root herbivory, but this could not be attributed to pollen limitation since neither stigmatic pollen loads and pollen tube growth nor the results of the hand-pollination experiment differed between infested and non-infested plants. Our observations demonstrate that although herbivory may induce significant changes in flowering behaviour and resulting plant-pollinator interactions, it does not necessarily translate into higher rates of pollen limitation. The observed reductions in reproductive output following infection can mainly be attributed to higher resource limitation compared to non-infested plants.

  20. Evolution of plant reproduction: from fusion and dispersal to interaction and communication

    NARCIS (Netherlands)</