WorldWideScience

Sample records for plant species richness

  1. Species richness of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi: associations with grassland plant richness and biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiiesalu, Inga; Pärtel, Meelis; Davison, John; Gerhold, Pille; Metsis, Madis; Moora, Mari; Öpik, Maarja; Vasar, Martti; Zobel, Martin; Wilson, Scott D

    2014-07-01

    Although experiments show a positive association between vascular plant and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) species richness, evidence from natural ecosystems is scarce. Furthermore, there is little knowledge about how AMF richness varies with belowground plant richness and biomass. We examined relationships among AMF richness, above- and belowground plant richness, and plant root and shoot biomass in a native North American grassland. Root-colonizing AMF richness and belowground plant richness were detected from the same bulk root samples by 454-sequencing of the AMF SSU rRNA and plant trnL genes. In total we detected 63 AMF taxa. Plant richness was 1.5 times greater belowground than aboveground. AMF richness was significantly positively correlated with plant species richness, and more strongly with below- than aboveground plant richness. Belowground plant richness was positively correlated with belowground plant biomass and total plant biomass, whereas aboveground plant richness was positively correlated only with belowground plant biomass. By contrast, AMF richness was negatively correlated with belowground and total plant biomass. Our results indicate that AMF richness and plant belowground richness are more strongly related with each other and with plant community biomass than with the plant aboveground richness measures that have been almost exclusively considered to date.

  2. Human population, grasshopper and plant species richness in European countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steck, Claude E.; Pautasso, Marco

    2008-11-01

    Surprisingly, several studies over large scales have reported a positive spatial correlation of people and biodiversity. This pattern has important implications for conservation and has been documented for well studied taxa such as plants, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. However, it is unknown whether the pattern applies also to invertebrates other than butterflies and more work is needed to establish whether the species-people relationship is explained by both variables correlating with other environmental factors. We studied whether grasshopper species richness (Orthoptera, suborder Caelifera) is related to human population size in European countries. As expected, the number of Caelifera species increases significantly with increasing human population size. But this is not the case when controlling for country area, latitude and number of plant species. Variations in Caelifera species richness are primarily associated with variations in plant species richness. Caelifera species richness also increases with decreasing mean annual precipitation, Gross Domestic Product per capita (used as an indicator for economic development) and net fertility rate of the human population. Our analysis confirms the hypothesis that the broad-scale human population-biodiversity correlations can be explained by concurrent variations in factors other than human population size such as plant species richness, environmental productivity, or habitat heterogeneity. Nonetheless, more populated countries in Europe still have more Caelifera species than less populated countries and this poses a particular challenge for conservation.

  3. Plant species richness enhances nitrogen retention in green roof plots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Catherine; Schweinhart, Shelbye; Buffam, Ishi

    2016-10-01

    Vegetated (green) roofs have become common in many cities and are projected to continue to increase in coverage, but little is known about the ecological properties of these engineered ecosystems. In this study, we tested the biodiversity-ecosystem function hypothesis using commercially available green roof trays as replicated plots with varying levels of plant species richness (0, 1, 3, or 6 common green roof species per plot, using plants with different functional characteristics). We estimated accumulated plant biomass near the peak of the first full growing season (July 2013) and measured runoff volume after nearly every rain event from September 2012 to September 2013 (33 events) and runoff fluxes of inorganic nutrients ammonium, nitrate, and phosphate from a subset of 10 events. We found that (1) total plant biomass increased with increasing species richness, (2) green roof plots were effective at reducing storm runoff, with vegetation increasing water retention more than soil-like substrate alone, but there was no significant effect of plant species identity or richness on runoff volume, (3) green roof substrate was a significant source of phosphate, regardless of presence/absence of plants, and (4) dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN = nitrate + ammonium) runoff fluxes were different among plant species and decreased significantly with increasing plant species richness. The variation in N retention was positively related to variation in plant biomass. Notably, the increased biomass and N retention with species richness in this engineered ecosystem are similar to patterns observed in published studies from grasslands and other well-studied ecosystems. We suggest that more diverse plantings on vegetated roofs may enhance the retention capacity for reactive nitrogen. This is of importance for the sustained health of vegetated roof ecosystems, which over time often experience nitrogen limitation, and is also relevant for water quality in receiving waters

  4. Plant species richness regulates soil respiration through changes in productivity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dias, A.A.; Ruijven, van J.; Berendse, F.

    2010-01-01

    Soil respiration is an important pathway of the C cycle. However, it is still poorly understood how changes in plant community diversity can affect this ecosystem process. Here we used a long-term experiment consisting of a gradient of grassland plant species richness to test for effects of

  5. Plant species richness and ecosystem multifunctionality in global drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maestre, Fernando T.; Quero, Jose L.; Gotelli, Nicholas J.; Escudero, Adrian; Ochoa, Victoria; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Garcia-Gomez, Miguel; Bowker, Matthew A.; Soliveres, Santiago; Escolar, Cristina; Garcia-Palacios, Pablo; Berdugo, Miguel; Valencia, Enrique; Gozalo, Beatriz; Gallardo, Antonio; Aguilera, Lorgio; Arredondo, Tulio; Blones, Julio; Boeken, Bertrand; Bran, Donaldo; Conceicao, Abel A.; Cabrera, Omar; Chaieb, Mohamed; Derak, Mchich; Eldridge, David J.; Espinosa, Carlos I.; Florentino, Adriana; Gaitan, Juan; Gatica, M. Gabriel; Ghiloufi, Wahida; Gomez-Gonzalez, Susana; Gutie, Julio R.; Hernandez, Rosa M.; Huang, Xuewen; Huber-Sannwald, Elisabeth; Jankju, Mohammad; Miriti, Maria; Monerris, Jorge; Mau, Rebecca L.; Morici, Ernesto; Naseri, Kamal; Ospina, Abelardo; Polo, Vicente; Prina, Anibal; Pucheta, Eduardo; Ramirez-Collantes, David A.; Romao, Roberto; Tighe, Matthew; Torres-Diaz, Cristian; Val, James; Veiga, Jose P.; Wang, Deli; Zaady, Eli

    2012-01-01

    Experiments suggest that biodiversity enhances the ability of ecosystems to maintain multiple functions, such as carbon storage, productivity, and the buildup of nutrient pools (multifunctionality). However, the relationship between biodiversity and multifunctionality has never been assessed globally in natural ecosystems. We report here on a global empirical study relating plant species richness and abiotic factors to multifunctionality in drylands, which collectively cover 41% of Earth's land surface and support over 38% of the human population. Multifunctionality was positively and significantly related to species richness. The best-fitting models accounted for over 55% of the variation in multifunctionality and always included species richness as a predictor variable. Our results suggest that the preservation of plant biodiversity is crucial to buffer negative effects of climate change and desertification in drylands.

  6. Productivity is a poor predictor of plant species richness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adler, Peter B.; Seabloom, Eric W.; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Hillebrand, Helmut; Hautier, Yann; Hector, Andy; Harpole, W. Stanley; O'Halloran, Lydia R.; Grace, James B.; Anderson, T. Michael; Bakker, Jonathan D.; Biederman, Lori A.; Brown, Cynthia S.; Buckley, Yvonne M.; Calabrese, Laura B.; Chu, Cheng-Jin; Cleland, Elsa E.; Collins, Scott L.; Cottingham, Kathryn L.; Crawley, Michael J.; Damschen, Ellen Ingman; Davies, Kendi F.; DeCrappeo, Nicole M.; Fay, Philip A.; Firn, Jennifer; Frater, Paul; Gasarch, Eve I.; Gruner, Daneil S.; Hagenah, Nicole; Lambers, Janneke Hille Ris; Humphries, Hope; Jin, Virginia L.; Kay, Adam D.; Kirkman, Kevin P.; Klein, Julia A.; Knops, Johannes M.H.; La Pierre, Kimberly J.; Lambrinos, John G.; Li, Wei; MacDougall, Andrew S.; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Melbourne, Brett A.; Mitchell, Charles E.; Moore, Joslin L.; Morgan, John W.; Mortensen, Brent; Orrock, John L.; Prober, Suzanne M.; Pyke, David A.; Risch, Anita C.; Schuetz, Martin; Smith, Melinda D.; Stevens, Carly J.; Sullivan, Lauren L.; Wang, Gang; Wragg, Peter D.; Wright, Justin P.; Yang, Louie H.

    2011-01-01

    For more than 30 years, the relationship between net primary productivity and species richness has generated intense debate in ecology about the processes regulating local diversity. The original view, which is still widely accepted, holds that the relationship is hump-shaped, with richness first rising and then declining with increasing productivity. Although recent meta-analyses questioned the generality of hump-shaped patterns, these syntheses have been criticized for failing to account for methodological differences among studies. We addressed such concerns by conducting standardized sampling in 48 herbaceous-dominated plant communities on five continents. We found no clear relationship between productivity and fine-scale (meters-2) richness within sites, within regions, or across the globe. Ecologists should focus on fresh, mechanistic approaches to understanding the multivariate links between productivity an

  7. Vascular plant and vertebrate species richness in national parks of the eastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatfield, Jeffrey S.; Myrick, Kaci E.; Huston, Michael A.; Weckerly, Floyd W.; Green, M. Clay

    2013-01-01

    Given the estimates that species diversity is diminishing at 50-100 times the normal rate, it is critical that we be able to evaluate changes in species richness in order to make informed decisions for conserving species diversity. In this study, we examined the potential of vascular plant species richness to be used as a surrogate for vertebrate species richness in the classes of amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Vascular plants, as primary producers, represent the biotic starting point for ecological community structure and are the logical place to start for understanding vertebrate species associations. We used data collected by the United States (US) National Park Service (NPS) on species presence within parks in the eastern US to estimate simple linear regressions between plant species richness and vertebrate richness. Because environmental factors may also influence species diversity, we performed simple linear regressions of species richness versus natural logarithm of park area, park latitude, mean annual precipitation, mean annual temperature, and human population density surrounding the parks. We then combined plant species richness and environmental variables in multiple regressions to determine the variables that remained as significant predictors of vertebrate species richness. As expected, we detected significant relationships between plant species richness and amphibian, bird, and mammal species richness. In some cases, plant species richness was predicted by park area alone. Species richness of mammals was only related to plant species richness. Reptile species richness, on the other hand, was related to plant species richness, park latitude and annual precipitation, while amphibian species richness was related to park latitude, park area, and plant species richness. Thus, plant species richness predicted species richness of different vertebrate groups to varying degrees and should not be used exclusively as a surrogate for vertebrate

  8. Species Richness in Relation to the Presence of Crop Plants in Families of Higher Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karl Hammer

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Crop species richness and percentages of cultivated plants in 75 families comprisingmore than 220000 species were analyzed. Three major groups have been made. The first group is including the “big five” families with 10000 and more species in each. The second group comprises 50 families with more than thousand and up to 10000 species and finally the third group contains families with relatively high numbers of crop species. The percentage of cultivated species is various, from 0.16 to 7.25 in group 1, 0 to 7.24 in group 2 and 2.30 to 32.5 in group 3. The results show that there is a positive correlation (r = + 0.56 between number of crop plants and species diversity of the families.

  9. Deconstructing responses of dragonfly species richness to area, nutrients, water plant diversity and forestry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honkanen, Merja; Sorjanen, Aili-Maria; Mönkkönen, Mikko

    2011-06-01

    Understanding large-scale variation in species richness in relation to area, energy, habitat heterogeneity and anthropogenic disturbance has been a major task in ecology. Ultimately, variation in species richness results from variation in individual species occupancies. We studied whether the individual species occupancy patterns are determined by the same candidate factors as total species richness. We sampled 26 boreal forest ponds for dragonflies (Odonata) and studied the effects of shoreline length, water vascular plant species density (WVPSD), availability of nutrients, intensity of forestry, amount of Sphagnum peat cover and pH on dragonfly species richness and individual dragonfly species. WVPSD and pH had a strong positive effect on species richness. Removal of six dragonfly species experiencing strongest responses to WVPSD cancelled the relationship between species richness and WVPSD. By contrast, removal of nine least observed species did not affect the relationship between WVPSD and species richness. Thus, our results showed that relatively common species responding strongly to WVPSD shaped the observed species richness pattern whereas the effect of least observed, often rare, species was negligible. Also, our results support the view that, despite of the great impact of energy on species richness at large spatial scales, habitat heterogeneity can still have an effect on species richness in smaller scales, even overriding the effects of area.

  10. Integrative modelling reveals mechanisms linking productivity and plant species richness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grace, James B; Anderson, T Michael; Seabloom, Eric W; Borer, Elizabeth T; Adler, Peter B; Harpole, W Stanley; Hautier, Yann; Hillebrand, Helmut; Lind, Eric M; Pärtel, Meelis; Bakker, Jonathan D; Buckley, Yvonne M; Crawley, Michael J; Damschen, Ellen I; Davies, Kendi F; Fay, Philip A; Firn, Jennifer; Gruner, Daniel S; Hector, Andy; Knops, Johannes M H; MacDougall, Andrew S; Melbourne, Brett A; Morgan, John W; Orrock, John L; Prober, Suzanne M; Smith, Melinda D

    2016-01-21

    How ecosystem productivity and species richness are interrelated is one of the most debated subjects in the history of ecology. Decades of intensive study have yet to discern the actual mechanisms behind observed global patterns. Here, by integrating the predictions from multiple theories into a single model and using data from 1,126 grassland plots spanning five continents, we detect the clear signals of numerous underlying mechanisms linking productivity and richness. We find that an integrative model has substantially higher explanatory power than traditional bivariate analyses. In addition, the specific results unveil several surprising findings that conflict with classical models. These include the isolation of a strong and consistent enhancement of productivity by richness, an effect in striking contrast with superficial data patterns. Also revealed is a consistent importance of competition across the full range of productivity values, in direct conflict with some (but not all) proposed models. The promotion of local richness by macroecological gradients in climatic favourability, generally seen as a competing hypothesis, is also found to be important in our analysis. The results demonstrate that an integrative modelling approach leads to a major advance in our ability to discern the underlying processes operating in ecological systems.

  11. Does resource availability, resource heterogeneity or species turnover mediate changes in plant species richness in grazed grasslands?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, C; Blair, JM; Knapp, AK

    2003-01-01

    Grazing by large ungulates often increases plant species richness in grasslands of moderate to high productivity. In a mesic North American grassland with and without the presence of bison (Bos bison), a native ungulate grazer, three non-exclusive hypotheses for increased plant species richness in

  12. Plant Species Richness and Nitrogen Deposition can Alter Microbial Assimilation of New Photosynthate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, H.; Zak, D.; Reich, P.

    2009-12-01

    Microbial assimilation of recent photosynthate was analyzed in a 6-year-long field experiment to determine how plant species richness impacts microbial metabolism of new photosynthate, and how this may be modified by atmospheric N deposition. Our study was conducted at the BioCON (Biodiversity, CO2, and Nitrogen) FACE (Free-Air Carbon dioxide Enrichment) experiment located at the Cedar Creek Natural History area in Minnesota, USA. In this experiment, plant species richness, atmospheric N deposition, and atmospheric CO2 concentration were manipulated in concert. The depleted δ13C of fumigation CO2 enabled us to investigate the effect of plant species richness and atmospheric N deposition on the metabolism of soil microbial communities in the elevated CO2 treatment. We determined the δ13C of bacterial, actinobacterial, and fungal phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA). In the elevated CO2 conditions of this study, the δ13C of bacterial PLFAs (i15:0, i16:0, 16:1ω7c, 16:1ω9c, 10Me16:0, and 10Me18:0) and the fungal PLFA 18:1ω9c was significantly lower in species-rich plant communities than in species-poor plant communities, indicating that microbial incorporation of new C increased with plant species richness. Despite an increase in plant production, total PLFA decreased under N deposition by 27%. Moreover, N deposition also decreased fungal relative abundance in species-rich plant communities. In our study, plant species richness directly increased microbial incorporation of new photosynthate, providing a mechanistic link between greater plant detritus production in species-rich plant communities and larger and more active soil microbial community.

  13. Distribution of Vascular Plant Species Richness Along an Elevational Gradient in the Dongling Mountains, Beijing, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2006-01-01

    Quantifying spatial patterns of species richness and determining the processes that give rise to these patterns are core problems In blodlveralty theory. The aim of the present paper was to more accurately detect patterns of vascular species richness at different scales along altitudinal gradients in order to further our understanding of biodlverslty patterns and to facilitate studies on relationships between biodiversity and environmental factors. Species richness patterns of total vascular plants species, including trees, shrubs, and herbs, were measured along an altitudinal gradient on one transect on a shady slope in the Dongling Mountains, near Beijing,China. Direct gradient analysis, regression analysis, and geostatistics were applied to describe the spatial patterns of species richness. We found that total vascular species richness did not exhibit a linear pattern of change with altitude, although species groups with different ecological features showed strong elevational patterns different from total species richness. In addition to total vascular plants, analysis of trees, shrubs, and herbs demonstrated remarkable hierarchical structures of species richness with altitude (i.e. patchy structures at small scales and gradients at large scales). Species richness for trees and shrubs had similar spatial characteristics at different scales, but differed from herbs. These results indicated that species groups with similar ecological features exhibit similar biodlveraity patterns with altitude, and studies of biodiversity based on species groups with similar ecological properties or life forms would advance our understanding of variations in species diversity. Furthermore, the gradients or trends appeared to be due mainly to local variations in species richness means with altitude. We also found that the range of spatial scale dependencies of species richness for total vascular plants, trees, shrubs, and herbs was relatively large. Thus, to detect the

  14. Plant species richness leaves a legacy of enhanced root litter-induced decomposition in soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cong, Wen-Feng; van Ruijven, Jasper; van der Werf, Wopke; De Deyn, Gerlinde B.; Mommer, Liesje; Berendse, Frank; Hoffland, Ellis

    2015-01-01

    Increasing plant species richness generally enhances plant biomass production, which may enhance accumulation of carbon (C) in soil. However, the net change in soil C also depends on the effect of plant diversity on C loss through decomposition of organic matter. Plant diversity can affect organic m

  15. Plant Size as Determinant of Species Richness of Herbivores, Natural Enemies and Pollinators across 21 Brassicaceae Species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hella Schlinkert

    Full Text Available Large plants are often more conspicuous and more attractive for associated animals than small plants, e.g. due to their wider range of resources. Therefore, plant size can positively affect species richness of associated animals, as shown for single groups of herbivores, but studies usually consider intraspecific size differences of plants in unstandardised environments. As comprehensive tests of interspecific plant size differences under standardised conditions are missing so far, we investigated effects of plant size on species richness of all associated arthropods using a common garden experiment with 21 Brassicaceae species covering a broad interspecific plant size gradient from 10 to 130 cm height. We recorded plant associated ecto- and endophagous herbivores, their natural enemies and pollinators on and in each aboveground plant organ, i.e. flowers, fruits, leaves and stems. Plant size (measured as height from the ground, the number of different plant organ entities and their biomass were assessed. Increasing plant size led to increased species richness of associated herbivores, natural enemies and pollinating insects. This pattern was found for ectophagous and endophagous herbivores, their natural enemies, as well as for herbivores associated with leaves and fruits and their natural enemies, independently of the additional positive effects of resource availability (i.e. organ biomass or number of entities and, regarding natural enemies, herbivore species richness. We found a lower R2 for pollinators compared to herbivores and natural enemies, probably caused by the high importance of flower characteristics for pollinator species richness besides plant size. Overall, the increase in plant height from 10 to 130 cm led to a 2.7-fold increase in predicted total arthropod species richness. In conclusion, plant size is a comprehensive driver of species richness of the plant associated arthropods, including pollinators, herbivores and their

  16. Plant Size as Determinant of Species Richness of Herbivores, Natural Enemies and Pollinators across 21 Brassicaceae Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlinkert, Hella; Westphal, Catrin; Clough, Yann; László, Zoltán; Ludwig, Martin; Tscharntke, Teja

    2015-01-01

    Large plants are often more conspicuous and more attractive for associated animals than small plants, e.g. due to their wider range of resources. Therefore, plant size can positively affect species richness of associated animals, as shown for single groups of herbivores, but studies usually consider intraspecific size differences of plants in unstandardised environments. As comprehensive tests of interspecific plant size differences under standardised conditions are missing so far, we investigated effects of plant size on species richness of all associated arthropods using a common garden experiment with 21 Brassicaceae species covering a broad interspecific plant size gradient from 10 to 130 cm height. We recorded plant associated ecto- and endophagous herbivores, their natural enemies and pollinators on and in each aboveground plant organ, i.e. flowers, fruits, leaves and stems. Plant size (measured as height from the ground), the number of different plant organ entities and their biomass were assessed. Increasing plant size led to increased species richness of associated herbivores, natural enemies and pollinating insects. This pattern was found for ectophagous and endophagous herbivores, their natural enemies, as well as for herbivores associated with leaves and fruits and their natural enemies, independently of the additional positive effects of resource availability (i.e. organ biomass or number of entities and, regarding natural enemies, herbivore species richness). We found a lower R2 for pollinators compared to herbivores and natural enemies, probably caused by the high importance of flower characteristics for pollinator species richness besides plant size. Overall, the increase in plant height from 10 to 130 cm led to a 2.7-fold increase in predicted total arthropod species richness. In conclusion, plant size is a comprehensive driver of species richness of the plant associated arthropods, including pollinators, herbivores and their natural enemies

  17. Social organization influences the exchange and species richness of medicinal plants in Amazonian homegardens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabel Díaz-Reviriego

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Medicinal plants provide indigenous and peasant communities worldwide with means to meet their healthcare needs. Homegardens often act as medicine cabinets, providing easily accessible medicinal plants for household needs. Social structure and social exchanges have been proposed as factors influencing the species diversity that people maintain in their homegardens. Here, we assess the association between the exchange of medicinal knowledge and plant material and medicinal plant richness in homegardens. Using Tsimane' Amazonian homegardens as a case study, we explore whether social organization shapes exchanges of medicinal plant knowledge and medicinal plant material. We also use network centrality measures to evaluate people's location and performance in medicinal plant knowledge and plant material exchange networks. Our results suggest that social organization, specifically kinship and gender relations, influences medicinal plant exchange patterns significantly. Homegardens total and medicinal plant species richness are related to gardeners' centrality in the networks, whereby people with greater centrality maintain greater plant richness. Thus, together with agroecological conditions, social relations among gardeners and the culturally specific social structure seem to be important determinants of plant richness in homegardens. Understanding which factors pattern general species diversity in tropical homegardens, and medicinal plant diversity in particular, can help policy makers, health providers, and local communities to understand better how to promote and preserve medicinal plants in situ. Biocultural approaches that are also gender sensitive offer a culturally appropriate means to reduce the global and local loss of both biological and cultural diversity.

  18. Social organization influences the exchange and species richness of medicinal plants in Amazonian homegardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-03-01

    Medicinal plants provide indigenous and peasant communities worldwide with means to meet their healthcare needs. Homegardens often act as medicine cabinets, providing easily accessible medicinal plants for household needs. Social structure and social exchanges have been proposed as factors influencing the species diversity that people maintain in their homegardens. Here, we assess the association between the exchange of medicinal knowledge and plant material and medicinal plant richness in homegardens. Using Tsimane' Amazonian homegardens as a case study, we explore whether social organization shapes exchanges of medicinal plant knowledge and medicinal plant material. We also use network centrality measures to evaluate people's location and performance in medicinal plant knowledge and plant material exchange networks. Our results suggest that social organization, specifically kinship and gender relations, influences medicinal plant exchange patterns significantly. Homegardens total and medicinal plant species richness are related to gardeners' centrality in the networks, whereby people with greater centrality maintain greater plant richness. Thus, together with agroecological conditions, social relations among gardeners and the culturally specific social structure seem to be important determinants of plant richness in homegardens. Understanding which factors pattern general species diversity in tropical homegardens, and medicinal plant diversity in particular, can help policy makers, health providers, and local communities to understand better how to promote and preserve medicinal plants in situ. Biocultural approaches that are also gender sensitive offer a culturally appropriate means to reduce the global and local loss of both biological and cultural diversity.

  19. Species richness and patterns of invasion in plants, birds, and fishes in the United States

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    Stohlgren, Thomas J.; Barnett, David; Flather, Curtis; Fuller, Pamela L.; Peterjohn, Bruce G.; Kartesz, John; Master, Lawrence L.

    2006-01-01

    We quantified broad-scale patterns of species richness and species density (mean # species/km2) for native and non-indigenous plants, birds, and fishes in the continental USA and Hawaii. We hypothesized that the species density of native and non-indigenous taxa would generally decrease in northern latitudes and higher elevations following declines in potential evapotranspiration, mean temperature, and precipitation. County data on plants (n = 3004 counties) and birds (n=3074 counties), and drainage (6 HUC) data on fishes (n = 328 drainages) showed that the densities of native and non-indigenous species were strongly positively correlated for plant species (r = 0.86, P coast with high precipitation and productivity (vegetation carbon). We show that (1) native species richness can be moderately well predicted with abiotic factors; (2) human populations have tended to settle in areas rich in native species; and (3) the richness and density of non-indigenous plant, bird, and fish species can be accurately predicted from biotic and abiotic factors largely because they are positively correlated to native species densities. We conclude that while humans facilitate the initial establishment, invasions of non-indigenous species, the spread and subsequent distributions of non-indigenous species may be controlled largely by environmental factors.

  20. Responses of predatory invertebrates to seeding density and plant species richness in experimental tallgrass prairie restorations

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    Nemec, Kristine T.; Allen, Craig R.; Danielson, Stephen D.; Helzer, Christopher J.

    2014-01-01

    In recent decades, agricultural producers and non-governmental organizations have restored thousands of hectares of former cropland in the central United States with native grasses and forbs. However, the ability of these grassland restorations to attract predatory invertebrates has not been well documented, even though predators provide an important ecosystem service to agricultural producers by naturally regulating herbivores. This study assessed the effects of plant richness and seeding density on the richness and abundance of surface-dwelling (ants, ground beetles, and spiders) and aboveground (ladybird beetles) predatory invertebrates. In the spring of 2006, twenty-four 55 m × 55 m-plots were planted to six replicates in each of four treatments: high richness (97 species typically planted by The Nature Conservancy), at low and high seeding densities, and low richness (15 species representing a typical Natural Resources Conservation Service Conservation Reserve Program mix, CP25), at low and high seeding densities. Ants, ground beetles, and spiders were sampled using pitfall traps and ladybird beetles were sampled using sweep netting in 2007–2009. The abundance of ants, ground beetles, and spiders showed no response to seed mix richness or seeding density but there was a significant positive effect of richness on ladybird beetle abundance. Seeding density had a significant positive effect on ground beetle and spider species richness and Shannon–Weaver diversity. These results may be related to differences in the plant species composition and relative amount of grass basal cover among the treatments rather than richness.

  1. Plant biodiversity effects in reducing fluvial erosion are limited to low species richness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Daniel C; Cardinale, Bradley J; Wynn-Thompson, Theresa

    2016-01-01

    It has been proposed that plant biodiversity may increase the erosion resistance of soils, yet direct evidence for any such relationship is lacking. We conducted a mesocosm experiment with eight species of riparian herbaceous plants, and found evidence that plant biodiversity significantly reduced fluvial erosion rates, with the eight-species polyculture decreasing erosion by 23% relative to monocultures. Species richness effects were largest at low levels of species richness, with little increase between four and eight species. Our results suggest that plant biodiversity reduced erosion rates indirectly through positive effects on root length and number of root tips, and that interactions between legumes and non-legumes were particularly important in producing biodiversity effects. Presumably, legumes increased root production of non-legumes by increasing soil nitrogen availability due to their ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen. Our data suggest that a restoration project using species from different functional groups might provide the best insurance to maintain long-term erosion resistance.

  2. How do Plant Morphological Characteristics, Species Composition and Richness Regulate Eco-hydrological Function?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhen-Hong Wang; Chang-Qun Duan

    2010-01-01

    Although considerable research has focused on the relationship between ecosystem structure and function, interactions of plant morphological characteristics, species composition and richness with eco-hydrological functions remain unclear. We measured water adherence (i.e. the capacity of a plant species to retain water), documented plant surface morphology and observed surface runoff at three sites in China. The adhering water ratios for each plant species differed, ranging from 17.1% to 151.5% in leaves, and from 14.4% to 41.1% in branches. Small, light-weight, soft, non-cuticularized leaves that were densely situated on small branches showed good water adherence. The next best adherence was found by branches with intermediately coarse surfaces. The plant species with high standing biomass also showed good water adherence, and the contribution of a species to total adherence was dependent upon its aboveground standing biomass. Vegetation parameters strongly affected water adherence,whereas the effect of species richness was not significant. Conversely, species richness showed a significant influence on surface runoff. The effect of plant morphological characteristics and composition constitutes a basic process in the regulation of eco-hydrological function, and vegetation parameters play somewhat different roles in that regulation. The key roles must therefore be considered from a management perspective.

  3. 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.

  4. The relation between unpalatable species, nutrients and plant species richness in Swiss montane pastures.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kleijn, D.; Muller-Scharer, H.

    2006-01-01

    In agriculturally marginal areas, the control of unpalatable weeds on species rich pastures may become problematic due to agricultural and socio-economic developments. It is unclear how increased dominance of unpalatable species would affect the botanical diversity of these grasslands. We investigat

  5. Plant species richness, identity and productivity differentially influence key groups of microbes in grassland soils of contrasting fertility

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Deyn, G.B.; Quirk, H.; Bardgett, R.D.

    2011-01-01

    The abundance of microbes in soil is thought to be strongly influenced by plant productivity rather than by plant species richness per se. However, whether this holds true for different microbial groups and under different soil conditions is unresolved. We tested how plant species richness, identity

  6. Plant species richness, identity and productivity differentially influence key groups of microbes in grassland soils of contrasting fertility.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Deyn, de G.B.; Quirk, H.; Bardgett, R.D.

    2011-01-01

    The abundance of microbes in soil is thought to be strongly influenced by plant productivity rather than by plant species richness per se. However, whether this holds true for different microbial groups and under different soil conditions is unresolved. We tested how plant species richness, identity

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Species richness and phylogenetic structure in plant communities: 20 years of succession

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    J. Stadler

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Secondary succession on arable fields is a popular system for studying processes influencing community assembly of plants. During early succession, the arrival and establishment of those propagules that can pass the environmental filters operating at a given site should be among the dominant processes leading to an initial increase in species richness. With ongoing succession, environmental filtering should decrease in relative importance compared to competitive interactions, which then should decrease species richness. Thereby, the phylogenetic structure of communities should change from random or clustered patterns during early succession to overdispersion. Disturbance is supposed to act as an additional filter, causing communities to be phylogenetically clustered. By analysing the species richness and phylogenetic structure of secondary succession in two different regions in Germany with three different disturbance levels each, we tested this general model. Although in one of the regions (Gimritz we found the expected trajectory of species richness, phylogenetic structure did not follow the expected trend from random or clustered towards overdispersed communities. In the other region (Bayreuth, species richness did not follow the expected trajectory and phylogenetic structure remained clustered over the course of succession. A preliminary analysis of autecological characteristics of the species involved (Ellenberg indicator values nevertheless showed clear contrasting trends. The idiosyncrasies of successional trajectories across sites might be due to the environmental context, the regional species pool as well as the legacy of former land use reflected in the seed bank.

  10. Temporal-spatial dynamics in orthoptera in relation to nutrient availability and plant species richness.

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    Rob J J Hendriks

    Full Text Available Nutrient availability in ecosystems has increased dramatically over the last century. Excess reactive nitrogen deposition is known to negatively impact plant communities, e.g. by changing species composition, biomass and vegetation structure. In contrast, little is known on how such impacts propagate to higher trophic levels. To evaluate how nitrogen deposition affects plants and herbivore communities through time, we used extensive databases of spatially explicit historical records of Dutch plant species and Orthoptera (grasshoppers and crickets, a group of animals that are particularly susceptible to changes in the C:N ratio of their resources. We use robust methods that deal with the unstandardized nature of historical databases to test whether nitrogen deposition levels and plant richness changes influence the patterns of richness change of Orthoptera, taking into account Orthoptera species functional traits. Our findings show that effects indeed also propagate to higher trophic levels. Differences in functional traits affected the temporal-spatial dynamics of assemblages of Orthoptera. While nitrogen deposition affected plant diversity, contrary to our expectations, we could not find a strong significant effect of food related traits. However we found that species with low habitat specificity, limited dispersal capacity and egg deposition in the soil were more negativly affected by nitrogen deposition levels. Despite the lack of significant effect of plant richness or food related traits on Orthoptera, the negative effects of nitrogen detected within certain trait groups (e.g. groups with limited disperse ability could be related to subtle changes in plant abundance and plant quality. Our results, however, suggest that the changes in soil conditions (where many Orthoptera species lay their eggs or other habitat changes driven by nitrogen have a stronger influence than food related traits. To fully evaluate the negative effects of nitrogen

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

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    Gentry Alwyn H.

    1986-12-01

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

  12. Effects of 'target' plant species body size on neighbourhood species richness and composition in old-field vegetation.

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    Brandon S Schamp

    Full Text Available Competition is generally regarded as an important force in organizing the structure of vegetation, and evidence from several experimental studies of species mixtures suggests that larger mature plant size elicits a competitive advantage. However, these findings are at odds with the fact that large and small plant species generally coexist, and relatively smaller species are more common in virtually all plant communities. Here, we use replicates of ten relatively large old-field plant species to explore the competitive impact of target individual size on their surrounding neighbourhoods compared to nearby neighbourhoods of the same size that are not centred by a large target individual. While target individuals of the largest of our test species, Centaurea jacea L., had a strong impact on neighbouring species, in general, target species size was a weak predictor of the number of other resident species growing within its immediate neighbourhood, as well as the number of resident species that were reproductive. Thus, the presence of a large competitor did not restrict the ability of neighbouring species to reproduce. Lastly, target species size did not have any impact on the species size structure of neighbouring species; i.e. they did not restrict smaller, supposedly poorer competitors, from growing and reproducing close by. Taken together, these results provide no support for a size-advantage in competition restricting local species richness or the ability of small species to coexist and successfully reproduce in the immediate neighbourhood of a large species.

  13. Plant DNA barcodes can accurately estimate species richness in poorly known floras.

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    Craig Costion

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Widespread uptake of DNA barcoding technology for vascular plants has been slow due to the relatively poor resolution of species discrimination (∼70% and low sequencing and amplification success of one of the two official barcoding loci, matK. Studies to date have mostly focused on finding a solution to these intrinsic limitations of the markers, rather than posing questions that can maximize the utility of DNA barcodes for plants with the current technology. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we test the ability of plant DNA barcodes using the two official barcoding loci, rbcLa and matK, plus an alternative barcoding locus, trnH-psbA, to estimate the species diversity of trees in a tropical rainforest plot. Species discrimination accuracy was similar to findings from previous studies but species richness estimation accuracy proved higher, up to 89%. All combinations which included the trnH-psbA locus performed better at both species discrimination and richness estimation than matK, which showed little enhanced species discriminatory power when concatenated with rbcLa. The utility of the trnH-psbA locus is limited however, by the occurrence of intraspecific variation observed in some angiosperm families to occur as an inversion that obscures the monophyly of species. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We demonstrate for the first time, using a case study, the potential of plant DNA barcodes for the rapid estimation of species richness in taxonomically poorly known areas or cryptic populations revealing a powerful new tool for rapid biodiversity assessment. The combination of the rbcLa and trnH-psbA loci performed better for this purpose than any two-locus combination that included matK. We show that although DNA barcodes fail to discriminate all species of plants, new perspectives and methods on biodiversity value and quantification may overshadow some of these shortcomings by applying barcode data in new ways.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  15. Plant species richness and composition in the arable land of Kosovo

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    A. Mehmeti

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates today’s plant species richness and composition in cultivated and recently abandoned arable land of Kosovo. Relationships between these aspects of vegetation and both environmental features and agricultural management measures are studied at the regional and plot scale. In 2006, 432 vegetation relevés with a standard plot size of 25 m² were recorded in cultivated fields. In 2007, data collection focussed on 41 plots in arable fields that had been abandoned the year before. With respect to the environment, data analysis accounts for topography, soil base-richness and moisture, and geographic location. As to the management, crops and weed control are considered. A total number of 235 species was documented. In comparison to literature dating back to about 1980, the regional weed flora considerably changed. At the plot scale, today’s weed flora of Kosovo is fairly species-poor and species composition is rather uniform between plots. According to General Regression Model analyses, Indicator Species Analyses and Detrended Correspondence Analyses, species richness and composition mainly differ between crops and weed management, with highest mean species richness in recently abandoned and lowest in herbicide-treated maize fields.

  16. Housing is positively associated with invasive exotic plant species richness in New England, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavier-Pizarro, Gregorio I; Radeloff, Volker C; Stewart, Susan I; Huebner, Cynthia D; Keuler, Nicholas S

    2010-10-01

    Understanding the factors related to invasive exotic species distributions at broad spatial scales has important theoretical and management implications, because biological invasions are detrimental to many ecosystem functions and processes. Housing development facilitates invasions by disturbing land cover, introducing nonnative landscaping plants, and facilitating dispersal of propagules along roads. To evaluate relationships between housing and the distribution of invasive exotic plants, we asked (1) how strongly is housing associated with the spatial distribution of invasive exotic plants compared to other anthropogenic and environmental factors; (2) what type of housing pattern is related to the richness of invasive exotic plants; and (3) do invasive plants represent ecological traits associated with specific housing patterns? Using two types of regression analysis (best subset analysis and hierarchical partitioning analysis), we found that invasive exotic plant richness was equally or more strongly related to housing variables than to other human (e.g., mean income and roads) and environmental (e.g., topography and forest cover) variables at the county level across New England. Richness of invasive exotic plants was positively related to area of wildland-urban interface (WUI), low-density residential areas, change in number of housing units between 1940 and 2000, mean income, plant productivity (NDVI), and altitudinal range and rainfall; it was negatively related to forest area and connectivity. Plant life history traits were not strongly related to housing patterns. We expect the number of invasive exotic plants to increase as a result of future housing growth and suggest that housing development be considered a primary factor in plans to manage and monitor invasive exotic plant species.

  17. Beneath the veil: Plant growth form influences the strength of species richness-productivity relationships in forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberle, B.; Grace, J.B.; Chase, J.M.

    2009-01-01

    Aim: Species richness has been observed to increase with productivity at large spatial scales, though the strength of this relationship varies among functional groups. In forests, canopy trees shade understorey plants, and for this reason we hypothesize that species richness of canopy trees will depend on macroclimate, while species richness of shorter growth forms will additionally be affected by shading from the canopy. In this study we test for differences in species richness-productivity relationships (SRPRs) among growth forms (canopy trees, shrubs, herbaceous species) in small forest plots. Location: We analysed 231 plots ranging from 34.0?? to 48.3?? N latitude and from 75.0?? to 124.2?? W longitude in the United States. Methods: We analysed data collected by the USDA Forest Inventory and Analysis program for plant species richness partitioned into different growth forms, in small plots. We used actual evapotranspiration as a macroclimatic estimate of regional productivity and calculated the area of light-blocking tissue in the immediate area surrounding plots for an estimate of the intensity of local shading. We estimated and compared SRPRs for different partitions of the species richness dataset using generalized linear models and we incorporated the possible indirect effects of shading using a structural equation model. Results: Canopy tree species richness increased strongly with regional productivity, while local shading primarily explained the variation in herbaceous plant richness. Shrub species richness was related to both regional productivity and local shading. Main conclusions: The relationship between total forest plant species richness and productivity at large scales belies strong effects of local interactions. Counter to the pattern for overall richness, we found that understorey herbaceous plant species richness does not respond to regional productivity gradients, and instead is strongly influenced by canopy density, while shrub species

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-19

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

  19. Rarity, species richness, and the threat of extinction--are plants the same as animals?

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    Sandra Knapp

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Assessment of conservation status is done both for areas or habitats and for species (or taxa. IUCN Red List categories have been the principal method of categorising species in terms of extinction risk, and have been shown to be robust and helpful in the groups for which they have been developed. A recent study highlights properties associated with extinction risk in flowering plants, focusing on the species-rich hot spot of the Cape region of South Africa, and concludes that merely following methods derived from studies of vertebrates may not provide the best estimates of extinction risk for plants. Biology, geography, and history all are important factors in risk, and the study poses many questions about how we categorise and assess species for conservation priorities.

  20. Soil warming increases plant species richness but decreases germination from the alpine soil seed bank.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoyle, Gemma L; Venn, Susanna E; Steadman, Kathryn J; Good, Roger B; McAuliffe, Edward J; Williams, Emlyn R; Nicotra, Adrienne B

    2013-05-01

    Global warming is occurring more rapidly above the treeline than at lower elevations and alpine areas are predicted to experience above average warming in the future. Temperature is a primary factor in stimulating seed germination and regulating changes in seed dormancy status. Thus, plant regeneration from seed will be crucial to the persistence, migration and post disturbance recruitment of alpine plants in future climates. Here, we present the first assessment of the impact of soil warming on germination from the persistent alpine soil seed bank. Contrary to expectations, soil warming lead to reduced overall germination from the soil seed bank. However, germination response to soil temperature was species specific such that total species richness actually increased by nine with soil warming. We further explored the system by assessing the prevalence of seed dormancy and germination response to soil disturbance, the frequency of which is predicted to increase under climate change. Seeds of a significant proportion of species demonstrated physiological dormancy mechanisms and germination of several species appeared to be intrinsically linked to soil disturbance. In addition, we found no evidence of subalpine species and little evidence of exotic weed species in the soil, suggesting that the soil seed bank will not facilitate their invasion of the alpine zone. In conclusion, changes in recruitment via the alpine soil seed bank can be expected under climate change, as a result of altered dormancy alleviation and germination cues. Furthermore, the alpine soil seed bank, and the species richness therein, has the potential to help maintain local species diversity, support species range shift and moderate species dominance. Implications for alpine management and areas for further study are also discussed.

  1. Native and Alien Plant Species Richness Response to Soil Nitrogen and Phosphorus in Temperate Floodplain and Swamp Forests

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    Richard Hrivnák

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Soil nitrogen and phosphorus are commonly limiting elements affecting plant species richness in temperate zones. Our species richness-ecological study was performed in alder-dominated forests representing temperate floodplains (streamside alder forests of Alnion incanae alliance and swamp forests (alder carrs of Alnion glutinosae alliance in the Western Carpathians. Species richness (i.e., the number of vascular plants in a vegetation plot was analyzed separately for native and alien vascular plants in 240 vegetation plots across the study area covering Slovakia, northern Hungary and southern Poland. The relationship between the species richness of each plant group and total soil nitrogen content, plant-available phosphorus and carbon to nitrogen (C/N ratio was analyzed by generalized linear mixed models (GLMM with Poisson error distribution and log-link function. The number of recorded native and alien species was 17–84 (average 45.4 and 0–9 (average 1.5 species per plot, respectively. The GLMMs were statistically significant (p ˂ 0.001 for both plant groups, but the total explained variation was higher for native (14% than alien plants (9%. The richness of native species was negatively affected by the total soil nitrogen content and plant-available phosphorus, whereas the C/N ratio showed a positive impact. The alien richness was predicted only by the total soil nitrogen content showing a negative effect.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-02-01

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

  3. Does plant species richness guarantee the resilience of local medical systems? A perspective from utilitarian redundancy.

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    Flávia Rosa Santoro

    Full Text Available Resilience is related to the ability of a system to adjust to disturbances. The Utilitarian Redundancy Model has emerged as a tool for investigating the resilience of local medical systems. The model determines the use of species richness for the same therapeutic function as a facilitator of the maintenance of these systems. However, predictions generated from this model have not yet been tested, and a lack of variables exists for deeper analyses of resilience. This study aims to address gaps in the Utilitarian Redundancy Model and to investigate the resilience of two medical systems in the Brazilian semi-arid zone. As a local illness is not always perceived in the same way that biomedicine recognizes, the term "therapeutic targets" is used for perceived illnesses. Semi-structured interviews with local experts were conducted using the free-listing technique to collect data on known medicinal plants, usage preferences, use of redundant species, characteristics of therapeutic targets, and the perceived severity for each target. Additionally, participatory workshops were conducted to determine the frequency of targets. The medical systems showed high species richness but low levels of species redundancy. However, if redundancy was present, it was the primary factor responsible for the maintenance of system functions. Species richness was positively associated with therapeutic target frequencies and negatively related to target severity. Moreover, information about redundant species seems to be largely idiosyncratic; this finding raises questions about the importance of redundancy for resilience. We stress the Utilitarian Redundancy Model as an interesting tool to be used in studies of resilience, but we emphasize that it must consider the distribution of redundancy in terms of the treatment of important illnesses and the sharing of information. This study has identified aspects of the higher and lower vulnerabilities of medical systems, adding

  4. Duck productivity in restored species-rich native and species-poor non-native plantings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haffele, Ryan D; Eichholz, Michael W; Dixon, Cami S

    2013-01-01

    Conservation efforts to increase duck production have led the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to restore grasslands with multi-species (3-5) mixtures of introduced cool season vegetation often termed dense nesting cover (DNC). The effectiveness of DNC to increase duck production has been variable, and maintenance of the cover type is expensive. In an effort to decrease the financial and ecological costs (increased carbon emissions from plowing and reseeding) of maintaining DNC and provide a long-term, resilient cover that will support a diversity of grassland fauna, restoration of multi-species (16-32) plantings of native plants has been explored. We investigated the vegetation characteristics, nesting density and nest survival between the 2 aforementioned cover types in the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota, USA from 2010-2011 to see if restored-native plantings provide similar benefits to nesting hens as DNC. We searched 14 fields (7 DNC, 271 ha; and 7 restored native, 230 ha) locating 3384 nests (1215 in restored-native vegetation and 2169 in DNC) in 2010-2011. Nest survival was similar between cover types in 2010, while DNC had greater survival than native plantings in 2011. Densities of nests adjusted for detection probability were not different between cover types in either year. We found no structural difference in vegetation between cover types in 2010; however, a difference was detected during the late sampling period in 2011 with DNC having deeper litter and taller vegetation. Our results indicate restored-native plantings are able to support similar nesting density as DNC; however, nest survival is more stable between years in DNC. It appears the annual variation in security between cover types goes undetected by hens as hens selected cover types at similar levels both years.

  5. Duck Productivity in Restored Species-Rich Native and Species-Poor Non-Native Plantings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haffele, Ryan D.; Eichholz, Michael W.; Dixon, Cami S.

    2013-01-01

    Conservation efforts to increase duck production have led the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to restore grasslands with multi-species (3-5) mixtures of introduced cool season vegetation often termed dense nesting cover (DNC). The effectiveness of DNC to increase duck production has been variable, and maintenance of the cover type is expensive. In an effort to decrease the financial and ecological costs (increased carbon emissions from plowing and reseeding) of maintaining DNC and provide a long-term, resilient cover that will support a diversity of grassland fauna, restoration of multi-species (16-32) plantings of native plants has been explored. We investigated the vegetation characteristics, nesting density and nest survival between the 2 aforementioned cover types in the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota, USA from 2010–2011 to see if restored-native plantings provide similar benefits to nesting hens as DNC. We searched 14 fields (7 DNC, 271 ha; and 7 restored native, 230 ha) locating 3384 nests (1215 in restored-native vegetation and 2169 in DNC) in 2010-2011. Nest survival was similar between cover types in 2010, while DNC had greater survival than native plantings in 2011. Densities of nests adjusted for detection probability were not different between cover types in either year. We found no structural difference in vegetation between cover types in 2010; however, a difference was detected during the late sampling period in 2011 with DNC having deeper litter and taller vegetation. Our results indicate restored-native plantings are able to support similar nesting density as DNC; however, nest survival is more stable between years in DNC. It appears the annual variation in security between cover types goes undetected by hens as hens selected cover types at similar levels both years. PMID:23840898

  6. Duck productivity in restored species-rich native and species-poor non-native plantings.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan D Haffele

    Full Text Available Conservation efforts to increase duck production have led the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to restore grasslands with multi-species (3-5 mixtures of introduced cool season vegetation often termed dense nesting cover (DNC. The effectiveness of DNC to increase duck production has been variable, and maintenance of the cover type is expensive. In an effort to decrease the financial and ecological costs (increased carbon emissions from plowing and reseeding of maintaining DNC and provide a long-term, resilient cover that will support a diversity of grassland fauna, restoration of multi-species (16-32 plantings of native plants has been explored. We investigated the vegetation characteristics, nesting density and nest survival between the 2 aforementioned cover types in the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota, USA from 2010-2011 to see if restored-native plantings provide similar benefits to nesting hens as DNC. We searched 14 fields (7 DNC, 271 ha; and 7 restored native, 230 ha locating 3384 nests (1215 in restored-native vegetation and 2169 in DNC in 2010-2011. Nest survival was similar between cover types in 2010, while DNC had greater survival than native plantings in 2011. Densities of nests adjusted for detection probability were not different between cover types in either year. We found no structural difference in vegetation between cover types in 2010; however, a difference was detected during the late sampling period in 2011 with DNC having deeper litter and taller vegetation. Our results indicate restored-native plantings are able to support similar nesting density as DNC; however, nest survival is more stable between years in DNC. It appears the annual variation in security between cover types goes undetected by hens as hens selected cover types at similar levels both years.

  7. Plant ecology. Worldwide evidence of a unimodal relationship between productivity and plant species richness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraser, Lauchlan H; Pither, Jason; Jentsch, Anke; Sternberg, Marcelo; Zobel, Martin; Askarizadeh, Diana; Bartha, Sandor; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; Bennett, Jonathan A; Bittel, Alex; Boldgiv, Bazartseren; Boldrini, Ilsi I; Bork, Edward; Brown, Leslie; Cabido, Marcelo; Cahill, James; Carlyle, Cameron N; Campetella, Giandiego; Chelli, Stefano; Cohen, Ofer; Csergo, Anna-Maria; Díaz, Sandra; Enrico, Lucas; Ensing, David; Fidelis, Alessandra; Fridley, Jason D; Foster, Bryan; Garris, Heath; Goheen, Jacob R; Henry, Hugh A L; Hohn, Maria; Jouri, Mohammad Hassan; Klironomos, John; Koorem, Kadri; Lawrence-Lodge, Rachael; Long, Ruijun; Manning, Pete; Mitchell, Randall; Moora, Mari; Müller, Sandra C; Nabinger, Carlos; Naseri, Kamal; Overbeck, Gerhard E; Palmer, Todd M; Parsons, Sheena; Pesek, Mari; Pillar, Valério D; Pringle, Robert M; Roccaforte, Kathy; Schmidt, Amanda; Shang, Zhanhuan; Stahlmann, Reinhold; Stotz, Gisela C; Sugiyama, Shu-ichi; Szentes, Szilárd; Thompson, Don; Tungalag, Radnaakhand; Undrakhbold, Sainbileg; van Rooyen, Margaretha; Wellstein, Camilla; Wilson, J Bastow; Zupo, Talita

    2015-07-17

    The search for predictions of species diversity across environmental gradients has challenged ecologists for decades. The humped-back model (HBM) suggests that plant diversity peaks at intermediate productivity; at low productivity few species can tolerate the environmental stresses, and at high productivity a few highly competitive species dominate. Over time the HBM has become increasingly controversial, and recent studies claim to have refuted it. Here, by using data from coordinated surveys conducted throughout grasslands worldwide and comprising a wide range of site productivities, we provide evidence in support of the HBM pattern at both global and regional extents. The relationships described here provide a foundation for further research into the local, landscape, and historical factors that maintain biodiversity.

  8. Rock climbing alters plant species composition, cover, and richness in Mediterranean limestone cliffs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorite, Juan; Serrano, Fabio; Lorenzo, Adrián; Cañadas, Eva M; Ballesteros, Miguel; Peñas, Julio

    2017-01-01

    Rock climbing is among the outdoor activities that have undergone the highest growth since the second half of the 20th century. As a result, cliff habitats, historically one of the least disturbed by human colonization worldwide, are facing more intense human pressure than ever before. However, there is little data on the impact of this activity in plant-communities, and such information is indispensable for adequate manager decision-making. The goal of this study was to determine the impact of rock climbing on plant communities in terms of cover, richness, and composition in relation to climbing intensity on typical Mediterranean limestone cliffs. Three rock-climbing sites were selected in the Baetic range (SE Spain), corresponding to qualitative categories of climbing frequentation: i)"low" (low frequentation with intermittent climbing), ii)"medium" (high frequentation without overcrowding), and iii) "high" (high frequentation with overcrowding). Within each site, we selected climbing routes and adjacent areas free of climbing, then we carried out a photoplot-based sampling by rappelling. We analysed the images to calculate: richness, species cover, and total cover. This study shows that rock climbing negatively affected the cliff plant community at all three study sites. A significant decrease in plant cover, species richness and a shift in the community composition were recorded for climbed areas, the cover being the variable most sensitive to rock climbing. Impact observed proved to be related to the frequentation level. Low-frequentation sites, with usually more specialized climbers, underwent relatively mild damages, whereas at high frequentation sites the impact was severe and the conservation of the species, especially rare ones, became jeopardized. Our study is the first one available to investigate climbing impact on plant communities in Mediterranean areas, but more research on the impact of rock climbing is needed to assess the regulation of this

  9. Species richness of vascular plants along the climatic range of the Spanish dehesas at two spatial scales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose M. Garcia del Barrio

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Aims of study: The goals of this paper are to summarize and to compare plant species richness and floristic similarity at two spatial scales; mesohabitat (normal, eutrophic, and oligotrophic dehesas and dehesa habitat; and to establish guidelines for conserving species diversity in dehesas.Area of study: We considered four dehesa sites in the western Peninsular Spain, located along a climatic and biogeographic gradient from north to south. Main results: Average alpha richness for mesohabitats was 75.6 species, and average alpha richness for dehesa sites was 146.3. Gamma richness assessed for the overall dehesa habitat was 340.0 species. The species richness figures of normal dehesa mesohabitat were significantly lesser than of the eutrophic mesohabitat and lesser than the oligotrophic mesohabitat too. No significant differences were found for species richness among dehesa sites. We have found more dissimilarity at local scale (mesohabitat than at regional scale (habitat. Finally, the results of the similarity assessment between dehesa sites reflected both climatic and biogeographic gradients.Research highlights: An effective conservation of dehesas must take into account local and regional conditions all along their distribution range for ensuring the conservation of the main vascular plant species assemblages as well as the associated fauna.Keywords: Agroforestry systems; mesohabitat; non-parametric estimators; alpha richness; gamma richness; floristic similarity; climatic and biogeographic range.

  10. Plant Species Richness After Revegetation on The Reclaimed Coal Mine Land of PT Adaro Indonesia, South Kalimantan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mochamad Arief Soendjoto

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The focus of monitoring was the plant purposely cultivated because after re-vegetation, there were a very few of other plants growing naturally on reclimed coal mining area which were recorded, whereas these plants had important values. The research aimed to record all plants and to identify predominant plants over the reclaimed land of PT Adaro Indonesia. There were four sampling locations with 13 squares of 50 × 20 m2 on each location established and on each square there were 5 plots of 2 × 2 m2 plotse made. Both plant species and its individual number of woodyplantsaplings were recorded on each square, so in each plot, there were small species and its individual number of either woody-plant seedlings or non-woody plants (herbs/shrubs, grasses, ferns. The relative density and the relative frequency of woody or non-woody plants were summed to obtain the important value index (IVI of each successional stage. There were 107 plant species consisting of 32, 43, 27, and 5 species of saplings,seedlings/herbs/shrubs, grasses, and ferns respectively. From those species, 16 species of woody plants and 2 species of herbs were planted purposely,other species grew naturally and even some of them were dominants. Either the number of plants or the dominating plant is varied according to the sampling location and the growing stage.Keywords: plant, revegetation, richness, sapling, seedling

  11. Comment on "Worldwide evidence of a unimodal relationship between productivity and plant species richness"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tredennick, Andrew T; Adler, Peter B.; Grace, James B.; Harpole, W Stanley; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Seabloom, Eric W.; Anderson, T. Michael; Bakker, Jonathan D.; Biederman, Lori A.; Brown, Cynthia S.; Buckley, Yvonne M.; Chu, Cheng-Jin; Collins, Scott L.; Crawley, Michael J.; Fay, Philip A.; Firn, Jennifer; Gruner, Daniel S.; Hagenah, Nicole; Hautier, Yann; Hector, Andy; Hillebrand, Helmut; Kirkman, Kevin P.; Knops, Johannes M. H.; Laungani, Ramesh; Lind, Eric M.; MacDougall, Andrew S.; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Mitchell, Charles E.; Moore, Joslin L.; Morgan, John W.; Orrock, John L.; Peri, Pablo L.; Prober, Suzanne M.; Risch, Anita C.; Schuetz, Martin; Speziale, Karina L.; Standish, Rachel J.; Sullivan, Lauren L.; Wardle, Glenda M.; Williams, Ryan J.; Yang, Louie H.

    2016-01-01

    Fraser et al. (Reports, 17 July 2015, p. 302) report a unimodal relationship between productivity and species richness at regional and global scales, which they contrast with the results of Adler et al. (Reports, 23 September 2011, p. 1750). However, both data sets, when analyzed correctly, show clearly and consistently that productivity is a poor predictor of local species richness.

  12. Projected impacts of climate change on regional capacities for global plant species richness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sommer, Jan Henning; Kreft, Holger; Kier, Gerold; Jetz, Walter; Mutke, Jens; Barthlott, Wilhelm

    2010-08-07

    Climate change represents a major challenge to the maintenance of global biodiversity. To date, the direction and magnitude of net changes in the global distribution of plant diversity remain elusive. We use the empirical multi-variate relationships between contemporary water-energy dynamics and other non-climatic predictor variables to model the regional capacity for plant species richness (CSR) and its projected future changes. We find that across all analysed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change emission scenarios, relative changes in CSR increase with increased projected temperature rise. Between now and 2100, global average CSR is projected to remain similar to today (+0.3%) under the optimistic B1/+1.8 degrees C scenario, but to decrease significantly (-9.4%) under the 'business as usual' A1FI/+4.0 degrees C scenario. Across all modelled scenarios, the magnitude and direction of CSR change are geographically highly non-uniform. While in most temperate and arctic regions, a CSR increase is expected, the projections indicate a strong decline in most tropical and subtropical regions. Countries least responsible for past and present greenhouse gas emissions are likely to incur disproportionately large future losses in CSR, whereas industrialized countries have projected moderate increases. Independent of direction, we infer that all changes in regional CSR will probably induce on-site species turnover and thereby be a threat to native floras.

  13. Fine-scale spatial variation in plant species richness and its relationship to environmental conditions in coastal marshlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancera, J.E.; Meche, G.C.; Cardona-Olarte, P.P.; Castaneda-Moya, E.; Chiasson, R.L.; Geddes, N.A.; Schile, L.M.; Wang, H.G.; Guntenspergen, G.R.; Grace, J.B.

    2005-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that variations in environmental conditions play a major role in explaining variations in plant species richness at community and landscape scales. In this study, we considered the degree to which fine-scale spatial variations in richness could be related to fine-scale variations in abiotic and biotic factors. To examine spatial variation in richness, grids of 1 m(2) plots were laid out at five sites within a coastal riverine wetland landscape. At each site, a 5 x 7 array of plots was established adjacent to the river's edge with plots one meter apart. In addition to the estimation of species richness, environmental measurements included sediment salinity, plot microelevation, percent of plot recently disturbed, and estimated community biomass. Our analysis strategy was to combine the use of structural equation modeling (path modeling) with an assessment of spatial association. Mantel's tests revealed significant spatial autocorrelation in species richness at four of the five sites sampled, indicating that richness in a plot correlated with the richness of nearby plots. We subsequently considered the degree to which spatial autocorrelations in richness could be explained by spatial autocorrelations in environmental conditions. Once data were corrected for environmental correlations, spatial autocorrelation in residual species richness could not be detected at any site. Based on these results, we conclude that in this coastal wetland, there appears to be a fine-scale mapping of diversity to microgradients in environmental conditions.

  14. Comparison of fractal characteristics of species richness patterns among different plant taxonomic groups along an altitudinal gradient

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    REN Haibao; ZHANG Linyan; MA Keping

    2007-01-01

    This study was done using the non brown fractal model to quantify and compare the variations in the species richness of trees,shrubs,herbs and all plants along an altitudinal gradient and to characterize the dominating ecological processes that determine the variations.Two transects were sampled far away from any anthropogenic disturbances along the shady slopes of the Dongling mountains in Beijing,China.Both transects were continuous and 2 m wide,and every individual tree and shrub was recorded in each of them.Discrete quadrats of 1m × 1m were located along the transects A and B for estimation of the herb species richness along the altitudinal gradients.The level interval between the quadrats was 10m and 25m respectively.In this study,transects A and B were combined into one transect AB,and 40 m was selected as the optimal quadrat length along the altitudinal gradients for measuring the plant species richness patterns.Species richness in each quadrat was calculated using a program written in Matlab 6.0.Direct gradient analysis was used to describe the overall trends in the species richness of trees,shrubs,herbs and other plants with change in altitude,while the non-brown ffactal model was used to detect more accurately their variations at various scales along the gradient.The model assumed that each class of ecological processes affecting the distribution of a variable could be represented by an independent spatial random function.Generally,ecological phenomena are determined not by a single ecological process but by multiple ones.These processes act on ecological patterns within their own spatial scales.In the non-brown fractal model,the spatial random functions are nested within a larger range of spatial scales.The relative contribution of the spatial random functions to the spatial variation of a variable is indicated by a weighting parameter that has to be greater than or equal to zero.In this paper,we reached the following results and conclusions

  15. Regional and local species richness in an insular environment: Serpentine plants in California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, S.; Safford, H.D.; Grace, J.B.; Viers, J.H.; Davies, K.F.

    2006-01-01

    We asked how the richness of the specialized (endemic) flora of serpentine rock outcrops in California varies at both the regional and local scales. Our study had two goals: first, to test whether endemic richness is affected by spatial habitat structure (e.g., regional serpentine area, local serpentine outcrop area, regional and local measures of outcrop isolation), and second, to conduct this test in the context of a broader assessment of environmental influences (e.g., climate, soils, vegetation, disturbance) and historical influences (e.g., geologic age, geographic province) on local and regional species richness. We measured endemic and total richness and environmental variables in 109 serpentine sites (1000-m2 paired plots) in 78 serpentine-containing regions of the state. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) to simultaneously relate regional richness to regionalscale predictors, and local richness to both local-scale and regional-scale predictors. Our model for serpentine endemics explained 66% of the variation in local endemic richness based on local environment (vegetation, soils, rock cover) and on regional endemic richness. It explained 73% of the variation in regional endemic richness based on regional environment (climate and productivity), historical factors (geologic age and geographic province), and spatial structure (regional total area of serpentine, the only significant spatial variable in our analysis). We did not find a strong influence of spatial structure on species richness. However, we were able to distinguish local vs. regional influences on species richness to a novel extent, despite the existence of correlations between local and regional conditions. ?? 2006 by the Ecological Society of America.

  16. Plant species richness and abundance in residential yards across a tropical watershed: implications for urban sustainability

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    Cristina P. Vila-Ruiz

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Green spaces within residential areas provide important contributions to the sustainability of urban systems. Therefore, studying the characteristics of these areas has become a research priority in cities worldwide. This project evaluated various aspects of the plant biodiversity of residential yards (i.e., front yards and back yards within the Río Piedras watershed in the San Juan metropolitan area of Puerto Rico. Our work included gathering information on vegetation composition and abundance of woody species (i.e., trees, shrubs, palms, ferns and large herbs (>2 m height, species origin (native vs. introduced, and species uses (ornamental, food, and medicinal plants. A total of 424 yards were surveyed within an area of 187,191 m². We found 383 woody species, with shrubs being the most abundant plant habitat. As expected, residential yards hosted a disproportionate amount of introduced species (69.5%. The most common shrub species were all non-native ornamentals, whereas the most common tree species included food trees as well as ornamental plants and two native species. Front yards hosted more ornamental species per unit area than backyards, while the latter had more food plants. The high amount of introduced species may present a challenge in terms of implementation of plant conservation initiatives if there is no clear definition of urban conservation goals. On the other hand, the high frequency of yards containing food plants may facilitate the development of residential initiatives that could provide future adaptive capacity to food shortages.

  17. Influence of fire history and soil properties on plant species richness and functional diversity in a neotropical savanna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danilo Muniz Silva

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Differences in plant species richness and composition are associated with soil properties and disturbances such as fire, which can therefore be key determinants of species occurrence in savanna plant communities. We measured species richness, using nine plant functional traits and abundance to calculate three functional diversity indices. We then used model selection analyses to select the best model for predicting functional diversity and richness based on soil variables at sites with three different fire frequencies. We also calculated the community-weighted mean of each trait and used ordination to examine how traits changed across fire frequencies. We found higher species richness and functional dispersion at sites that were more fertile and where fire was frequent, and the opposite at such sites where fire was infrequent. However, soil properties influenced functional evenness and divergence only where fire was infrequent, with higher values where soils were poorer. Fire can change functional traits directly by hindering development of plants and indirectly by altering competition. Different fire frequencies lead to different plant-soil relationships, which can affect the functioning of tropical savanna communities. Functional diversity components and functional identity of the communities are both affected by fire frequency and soil conditions.

  18. Effects of Different Grazing Management Methods on Plant Species Diversity and Richness in the Steppe Rangeland of Saveh, Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Zarekia

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Livestock grazing is a common human-induced activity with direct and indirect effects even on the ecosystems of protected areas. The present study analyzed the effects of different grazing management methods on species diversity and richness in the steppe rangelands of Saveh, Iran. Data were collected from sixty 2×2 m plots within the areas of three, four-years protected range management projects. Margalef’s and Menhinick's indices, Simpson and Shannon-Weiner indices, and Pielou's index were used to evaluate plant species richness, diversity, and evenness, respectively. All data analyses were performed in PAST and SPSS. According to the mean values obtained for Shannon-Weiner index, Nemati rangeland (with rest-rotation grazing system and moderate grazing intensity and Shirali Baglou rangeland (with continuous grazing throughout the year and high grazing intensity had high species diversity with no significant differences among them. However, Chagneh rangeland (with continuous grazing for six months and fairly high grazing intensity had the lowest diversity. Low values of diversity indices indicated low species diversity in steppe rangelands. Moreover, Shirali Baglou rangeland had the highest species richness compared to the other sites. In the other three rangelands, both species richness and diversity decreased with increasing the grazing intensity. Despite poor range conditions in Shirali Baglou rangeland, intensive livestock grazing and the consequent rise in invasive species increased species abundance and hence, resulting in species richness and diversity in the area. Although over-grazing throughout the year can promote plant species richness through increasing annual species, consequent soil degradation and instability of rangeland ecosystem can be expected.

  19. Effects of plant species richness on 13C assimilate partitioning in artificial grasslands of different established ages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Longhua; Yao, Buqing; Wang, Wenying; Wang, Fangping; Zhou, Huakun; Shi, Jianjun; Zhao, Xinquan

    2017-01-01

    Artificial grasslands play a role in carbon storage on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. The artificial grasslands exhibit decreased proportions of graminate and increased species richness with age. However, the effect of the graminate proportions and species richness on ecosystem C stocks in artificial grasslands have not been elucidated. We conducted an in situ13C pulse-labeling experiment in August 2012 using artificial grasslands that had been established for two years (2Y), five years (5Y), and twelve years (12Y). Each region was plowed fallow from severely degraded alpine meadow in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. The 12Y grassland had moderate proportions of graminate and the highest species richness. This region showed more recovered 13C in soil and a longer mean residence time, which suggests species richness controls the ecosystem C stock. The loss rate of leaf-assimilated C of the graminate-dominant plant species Elymus nutans in artificial grasslands of different ages was lowest in the 12Y grassland, which also had the highest species richness. Thus the lower loss rate of leaf-assimilated C can be partially responsible for the larger ecosystem carbon stocks in the 12Y grassland. This finding is a novel mechanism for the effects of species richness on the increase in ecosystem functioning.

  20. Elevational plant species richness patterns and their drivers across non-endemics, endemics and growth forms in the Eastern Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manish, Kumar; Pandit, Maharaj K; Telwala, Yasmeen; Nautiyal, Dinesh C; Koh, Lian Pin; Tiwari, Sudha

    2017-09-01

    Despite decades of research, ecologists continue to debate how spatial patterns of species richness arise across elevational gradients on the Earth. The equivocal results of these studies could emanate from variations in study design, sampling effort and data analysis. In this study, we demonstrate that the richness patterns of 2,781 (2,197 non-endemic and 584 endemic) angiosperm species along an elevational gradient of 300-5,300 m in the Eastern Himalaya are hump-shaped, spatial scale of extent (the proportion of elevational gradient studied) dependent and growth form specific. Endemics peaked at higher elevations than non-endemics across all growth forms (trees, shrubs, climbers, and herbs). Richness patterns were influenced by the proportional representation of the largest physiognomic group (herbs). We show that with increasing spatial scale of extent, the richness patterns change from a monotonic to a hump-shaped pattern and richness maxima shift toward higher elevations across all growth forms. Our investigations revealed that the combination of ambient energy (air temperature, solar radiation, and potential evapo-transpiration) and water availability (soil water content and precipitation) were the main drivers of elevational plant species richness patterns in the Himalaya. This study highlights the importance of factoring in endemism, growth forms, and spatial scale when investigating elevational gradients of plant species distributions and advances our understanding of how macroecological patterns arise.

  1. Intransitive competition is widespread in plant communities and maintains their species richness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soliveres, Santiago; Maestre, Fernando T.; Ulrich, Werner; Manning, Peter; Boch, Steffen; Bowker, Matthew A.; Prati, Daniel; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Quero, José L.; Schöning, Ingo; Gallardo, Antonio; Weisser, Wolfgang; Müller, Jörg; Socher, Stephanie A.; García-Gómez, Miguel; Ochoa, Victoria; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef; Fischer, Markus; Allan, Eric

    2017-01-01

    Intransitive competition networks, those in which there is no single best competitor, may ensure species coexistence. However, their frequency and importance in maintaining diversity in real-world ecosystems remains unclear. We used two large datasets from drylands and agricultural grasslands to assess: 1) the generality of intransitive competition, 2) intransitivity-richness relationships, and 3) effects of two major drivers of biodiversity loss (aridity and land-use intensification) on intransitivity and species richness. Intransitive competition occurred in >65% of sites and was associated with higher species richness. Intransitivity increased with aridity, partly buffering its negative effects on diversity, but was decreased by intensive land use, enhancing its negative effects on diversity. These contrasting responses likely arise because intransitivity is promoted by temporal heterogeneity, which is enhanced by aridity but may decline with land-use intensity. We show that intransitivity is widespread in nature and increases diversity, but it can be lost with environmental homogenization. PMID:26032242

  2. Using Google Earth Surface Metrics to Predict Plant Species Richness in a Complex Landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastián Block

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Google Earth provides a freely available, global mosaic of high-resolution imagery from different sensors that has become popular in environmental and ecological studies. However, such imagery lacks the near-infrared band often used in studying vegetation, thus its potential for estimating vegetation properties remains unclear. In this study, we assess the potential of Google Earth imagery to describe and predict vegetation attributes. Further, we compare it to the potential of SPOT imagery, which has additional spectral information. We measured basal area, vegetation height, crown cover, density of individuals, and species richness in 60 plots in the oak forests of a complex volcanic landscape in central Mexico. We modelled each vegetation attribute as a function of surface metrics derived from Google Earth and SPOT images, and selected the best-supported linear models from each source. Total species richness was the best-described and predicted variable: the best Google Earth-based model explained nearly as much variation in species richness as its SPOT counterpart (R2 = 0.44 and 0.51, respectively. However, Google Earth metrics emerged as poor predictors of all remaining vegetation attributes, whilst SPOT metrics showed potential for predicting vegetation height. We conclude that Google Earth imagery can be used to estimate species richness in complex landscapes. As it is freely available, Google Earth can broaden the use of remote sensing by researchers and managers in low-income tropical countries where most biodiversity hotspots are found.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  4. Specialization in Plant-Hummingbird Networks Is Associated with Species Richness, Contemporary Precipitation and Quaternary Climate-Change Velocity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dalsgaard, Bo; Magård, Else; Fjeldså, Jon

    2011-01-01

    hypothesis is that contemporary biotic specialization is determined by the degree of past climatic instability, primarily Quaternary climate-change velocity. Other prominent hypotheses predict that either contemporary climate or species richness affect biotic specialization. To gain insight into geographical...... latitudes, with latitude explaining 20-22% of the spatial variation in plant-hummingbird specialization. Potential drivers of specialization--contemporary climate, Quaternary climate-change velocity, and species richness--had superior explanatory power, together explaining 53-64% of the variation...... in specialization. Notably, our data provides empirical evidence for the hypothesized roles of species richness, contemporary precipitation and Quaternary climate-change velocity as key predictors of biotic specialization, whereas contemporary temperature and seasonality seem unimportant in determining...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Post-fire salvage logging alters species composition and reduces cover, richness, and diversity in Mediterranean plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leverkus, Alexandro B; Lorite, Juan; Navarro, Francisco B; Sánchez-Cañete, Enrique P; Castro, Jorge

    2014-01-15

    An intense debate exists on the effects of post-fire salvage logging on plant community regeneration, but scant data are available derived from experimental studies. We analyzed the effects of salvage logging on plant community regeneration in terms of species richness, diversity, cover, and composition by experimentally managing a burnt forest on a Mediterranean mountain (Sierra Nevada, S Spain). In each of three plots located at different elevations, three replicates of three treatments were implemented seven months after the fire, differing in the degree of intervention: "Non-Intervention" (all trees left standing), "Partial Cut plus Lopping" (felling 90% of the trees, cutting the main branches, and leaving all the biomass in situ), and "Salvage Logging" (felling and piling the logs, and masticating the woody debris). Plant composition in each treatment was monitored two years after the fire in linear point transects. Post-fire salvage logging was associated with reduced species richness, Shannon diversity, and total plant cover. Moreover, salvaged sites hosted different species assemblages and 25% lower cover of seeder species (but equal cover of resprouters) compared to the other treatments. Cover of trees and shrubs was also lowest in Salvage Logging, which could suggest a potential slow-down of forest regeneration. Most of these results were consistent among the three plots despite plots hosting different plant communities. Concluding, our study suggests that salvage logging may reduce species richness and diversity, as well as the recruitment of woody species, which could delay the natural regeneration of the ecosystem. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. What determines species richness of parasitic organisms? A meta-analysis across animal, plant and fungal hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamiya, Tsukushi; O'Dwyer, Katie; Nakagawa, Shinichi; Poulin, Robert

    2014-02-01

    Although a small set of external factors account for much of the spatial variation in plant and animal diversity, the search continues for general drivers of variation in parasite species richness among host species. Qualitative reviews of existing evidence suggest idiosyncrasies and inconsistent predictive power for all proposed determinants of parasite richness. Here, we provide the first quantitative synthesis of the evidence using a meta-analysis of 62 original studies testing the relationship between parasite richness across animal, plant and fungal hosts, and each of its four most widely used presumed predictors: host body size, host geographical range size, host population density, and latitude. We uncover three universal predictors of parasite richness across host species, namely host body size, geographical range size and population density, applicable regardless of the taxa considered and independently of most aspects of study design. A proper match in the primary studies between the focal predictor and both the spatial scale of study and the level at which parasite species richness was quantified (i.e. within host populations or tallied across a host species' entire range) also affected the magnitude of effect sizes. By contrast, except for a couple of indicative trends in subsets of the full dataset, there was no strong evidence for an effect of latitude on parasite species richness; where found, this effect ran counter to the general latitude gradient in diversity, with parasite species richness tending to be higher further from the equator. Finally, the meta-analysis also revealed a negative relationship between the magnitude of effect sizes and the year of publication of original studies (i.e. a time-lag bias). This temporal bias may be due to the increasing use of phylogenetic correction in comparative analyses of parasite richness over time, as this correction yields more conservative effect sizes. Overall, these findings point to common underlying

  8. Specialization in plant-hummingbird networks is associated with species richness, contemporary precipitation and quaternary climate-change velocity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bo Dalsgaard

    Full Text Available Large-scale geographical patterns of biotic specialization and the underlying drivers are poorly understood, but it is widely believed that climate plays an important role in determining specialization. As climate-driven range dynamics should diminish local adaptations and favor generalization, one hypothesis is that contemporary biotic specialization is determined by the degree of past climatic instability, primarily Quaternary climate-change velocity. Other prominent hypotheses predict that either contemporary climate or species richness affect biotic specialization. To gain insight into geographical patterns of contemporary biotic specialization and its drivers, we use network analysis to determine the degree of specialization in plant-hummingbird mutualistic networks sampled at 31 localities, spanning a wide range of climate regimes across the Americas. We found greater biotic specialization at lower latitudes, with latitude explaining 20-22% of the spatial variation in plant-hummingbird specialization. Potential drivers of specialization--contemporary climate, Quaternary climate-change velocity, and species richness--had superior explanatory power, together explaining 53-64% of the variation in specialization. Notably, our data provides empirical evidence for the hypothesized roles of species richness, contemporary precipitation and Quaternary climate-change velocity as key predictors of biotic specialization, whereas contemporary temperature and seasonality seem unimportant in determining specialization. These results suggest that both ecological and evolutionary processes at Quaternary time scales can be important in driving large-scale geographical patterns of contemporary biotic specialization, at least for co-evolved systems such as plant-hummingbird networks.

  9. Specialization in Plant-Hummingbird Networks Is Associated with Species Richness, Contemporary Precipitation and Quaternary Climate-Change Velocity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalsgaard, Bo; Magård, Else; Fjeldså, Jon; Martín González, Ana M.; Rahbek, Carsten; Olesen, Jens M.; Ollerton, Jeff; Alarcón, Ruben; Cardoso Araujo, Andrea; Cotton, Peter A.; Lara, Carlos; Machado, Caio Graco; Sazima, Ivan; Sazima, Marlies; Timmermann, Allan; Watts, Stella; Sandel, Brody; Sutherland, William J.; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2011-01-01

    Large-scale geographical patterns of biotic specialization and the underlying drivers are poorly understood, but it is widely believed that climate plays an important role in determining specialization. As climate-driven range dynamics should diminish local adaptations and favor generalization, one hypothesis is that contemporary biotic specialization is determined by the degree of past climatic instability, primarily Quaternary climate-change velocity. Other prominent hypotheses predict that either contemporary climate or species richness affect biotic specialization. To gain insight into geographical patterns of contemporary biotic specialization and its drivers, we use network analysis to determine the degree of specialization in plant-hummingbird mutualistic networks sampled at 31 localities, spanning a wide range of climate regimes across the Americas. We found greater biotic specialization at lower latitudes, with latitude explaining 20–22% of the spatial variation in plant-hummingbird specialization. Potential drivers of specialization - contemporary climate, Quaternary climate-change velocity, and species richness - had superior explanatory power, together explaining 53–64% of the variation in specialization. Notably, our data provides empirical evidence for the hypothesized roles of species richness, contemporary precipitation and Quaternary climate-change velocity as key predictors of biotic specialization, whereas contemporary temperature and seasonality seem unimportant in determining specialization. These results suggest that both ecological and evolutionary processes at Quaternary time scales can be important in driving large-scale geographical patterns of contemporary biotic specialization, at least for co-evolved systems such as plant-hummingbird networks. PMID:21998716

  10. Specialization in plant-hummingbird networks is associated with species richness, contemporary precipitation and quaternary climate-change velocity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalsgaard, Bo; Magård, Else; Fjeldså, Jon; Martín González, Ana M; Rahbek, Carsten; Olesen, Jens M; Ollerton, Jeff; Alarcón, Ruben; Cardoso Araujo, Andrea; Cotton, Peter A; Lara, Carlos; Machado, Caio Graco; Sazima, Ivan; Sazima, Marlies; Timmermann, Allan; Watts, Stella; Sandel, Brody; Sutherland, William J; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2011-01-01

    Large-scale geographical patterns of biotic specialization and the underlying drivers are poorly understood, but it is widely believed that climate plays an important role in determining specialization. As climate-driven range dynamics should diminish local adaptations and favor generalization, one hypothesis is that contemporary biotic specialization is determined by the degree of past climatic instability, primarily Quaternary climate-change velocity. Other prominent hypotheses predict that either contemporary climate or species richness affect biotic specialization. To gain insight into geographical patterns of contemporary biotic specialization and its drivers, we use network analysis to determine the degree of specialization in plant-hummingbird mutualistic networks sampled at 31 localities, spanning a wide range of climate regimes across the Americas. We found greater biotic specialization at lower latitudes, with latitude explaining 20-22% of the spatial variation in plant-hummingbird specialization. Potential drivers of specialization--contemporary climate, Quaternary climate-change velocity, and species richness--had superior explanatory power, together explaining 53-64% of the variation in specialization. Notably, our data provides empirical evidence for the hypothesized roles of species richness, contemporary precipitation and Quaternary climate-change velocity as key predictors of biotic specialization, whereas contemporary temperature and seasonality seem unimportant in determining specialization. These results suggest that both ecological and evolutionary processes at Quaternary time scales can be important in driving large-scale geographical patterns of contemporary biotic specialization, at least for co-evolved systems such as plant-hummingbird networks.

  11. The Species Richness of Vascular Plants and Amphibia in Major Plant Communities in Temperate to Tropical Australia: Relationship with Annual Biomass Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. L. Specht

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Aerodynamic fluxes (frictional, thermal, evaporative in the atmosphere as it flows over and through a plant community determine the Foliage Projective Covers and eco-morphological attributes of new leaves developed annually in overstorey and understorey strata. The number of leaves produced on vertical foliage shoots depends on available soil water and nutrients, also ambient temperature, during this short growth season. Stem density (number of stems per hectare and species richness (number of species per hectare in the overstorey of major Floristic Groups are correlated with annual shoot growth (ASG, t ha−1 in that stratum. Species richness in the overstorey increases in the climatic gradient from the arid to the humid zone as well as with increasing air temperatures (about 10oC from temperate to tropical Australia. Species richness in the understorey is highest in plant communities in temperate Australia, decreasing in the temperature gradient towards the tropics. As with other major plant and animal groups within an ecosystem, the species richness of Amphibia is correlated with the amount of solar energy fixed (per annum by the major plant formation in the region—a photosynthetic potential determined by the foliage shoots (ASG, t ha−1 produced annually in the overstorey.

  12. Covariation in plant functional traits and soil fertility within two species-rich forests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaojuan Liu

    Full Text Available The distribution of plant species along environmental gradients is expected to be predictable based on organismal function. Plant functional trait research has shown that trait values generally vary predictably along broad-scale climatic and soil gradients. This work has also demonstrated that at any one point along these gradients there is a large amount of interspecific trait variation. The present research proposes that this variation may be explained by the local-scale sorting of traits along soil fertility and acidity axes. Specifically, we predicted that trait values associated with high resource acquisition and growth rates would be found on soils that are more fertile and less acidic. We tested the expected relationships at the species-level and quadrat-level (20 × 20 m using two large forest plots in Panama and China that contain over 450 species combined. Predicted relationships between leaf area and wood density and soil fertility were supported in some instances, but the majority of the predicted relationships were rejected. Alternative resource axes, such as light gradients, therefore likely play a larger role in determining the interspecific variability in plant functional traits in the two forests studied.

  13. Covariation in plant functional traits and soil fertility within two species-rich forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiaojuan; Swenson, Nathan G; Wright, S Joseph; Zhang, Liwen; Song, Kai; Du, Yanjun; Zhang, Jinlong; Mi, Xiangcheng; Ren, Haibao; Ma, Keping

    2012-01-01

    The distribution of plant species along environmental gradients is expected to be predictable based on organismal function. Plant functional trait research has shown that trait values generally vary predictably along broad-scale climatic and soil gradients. This work has also demonstrated that at any one point along these gradients there is a large amount of interspecific trait variation. The present research proposes that this variation may be explained by the local-scale sorting of traits along soil fertility and acidity axes. Specifically, we predicted that trait values associated with high resource acquisition and growth rates would be found on soils that are more fertile and less acidic. We tested the expected relationships at the species-level and quadrat-level (20 × 20 m) using two large forest plots in Panama and China that contain over 450 species combined. Predicted relationships between leaf area and wood density and soil fertility were supported in some instances, but the majority of the predicted relationships were rejected. Alternative resource axes, such as light gradients, therefore likely play a larger role in determining the interspecific variability in plant functional traits in the two forests studied.

  14. Implementing groundwater extraction in life cycle impact assessment: characterization factors based on plant species richness for The Netherlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Zelm, Rosalie; Schipper, Aafke M; Rombouts, Michiel; Snepvangers, Judith; Huijbregts, Mark A J

    2011-01-15

    An operational method to evaluate the environmental impacts associated with groundwater use is currently lacking in life cycle assessment (LCA). This paper outlines a method to calculate characterization factors that address the effects of groundwater extraction on the species richness of terrestrial vegetation. Characterization factors (CF) were derived for The Netherlands and consist of a fate and an effect part. The fate factor equals the change in drawdown due to a change in groundwater extraction and expresses the amount of time required for groundwater replenishment. It was obtained with a grid-specific steady-state groundwater flow model. Effect factors were obtained from groundwater level response curves of potential plant species richness, which was constructed based on the soil moisture requirements of 625 plant species. Depending on the initial groundwater level, effect factors range up to 9.2% loss of species per 10 cm of groundwater level decrease. The total Dutch CF for groundwater extraction depended on the value choices taken and ranged from 0.09 to 0.61 m(2)·yr/m(3). For tap water production, we showed that groundwater extraction can be responsible for up to 32% of the total terrestrial ecosystem damage. With the proposed approach, effects of groundwater extraction on terrestrial ecosystems can be systematically included in LCA.

  15. Tree Species Richness and Stand Productivity in Low-Density Cluster Plantings with Oaks (Quercus robur L. and Q. petraea (Mattuschka Liebl.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Kuehne

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Low density plantings complemented by natural regeneration is an increasingly common reforestation technique to ensure growth of a sufficient number of trees from desired species while maintaining natural processes such as succession. One such form of low density planting that aims at lowering establishment costs—oak clusters—has been developed as an alternative to row planting since the 1980s in central Europe. However, whether cluster planting provides higher species richness and productivity than high density row planting has not previously been analyzed. Here, we compare tree species richness and productivity (measured as stand basal area between oak cluster plantings and conventional row planting in young (10–26 years old forest stands at seven study sites in Germany. Tree species richness was significantly higher in cluster plantings than in row plantings, whereas total basal areas were comparable. Naturally regenerated trees contributed on average to 43% of total stand basal area in cluster plantings, which was significantly higher than in row plantings. Total stand basal area in cluster planting was significantly related to the density of naturally regenerated trees. In turn, tree species diversity, density and basal area of naturally regenerated trees were increased with the size of unplanted area between clusters. Our results demonstrate that the admixture of naturally regenerated, early and mid-successional tree species compensates for a possible loss in productivity from planting fewer oaks. Low density cluster plantings can offer significant environmental benefits, at least for the first few decades of stand development, without compromising productivity.

  16. Rapid and efficient isolation of high-quality small RNAs from recalcitrant plant species rich in polyphenols and polysaccharides.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Peng

    Full Text Available Small RNAs, including microRNAs (miRNAs and small interfering RNAs (siRNAs, are important regulators of plant development and gene expression. The acquisition of high-quality small RNAs is the first step in the study of its expression and function analysis, yet the extraction method of small RNAs in recalcitrant plant tissues with various secondary metabolites is not well established, especially for tropical and subtropical plant species rich in polysaccharides and polyphenols. Here, we developed a simple and efficient method for high quality small RNAs extraction from recalcitrant plant species. Prior to RNA isolation, a precursory step with a CTAB-PVPP buffer system could efficiently remove compounds and secondary metabolites interfering with RNAs from homogenized lysates. Then, total RNAs were extracted by Trizol reagents followed by a differential precipitation of high-molecular-weight (HMW RNAs using polyethylene glycol (PEG 8000. Finally, small RNAs could be easily recovered from supernatant by ethanol precipitation without extra elimination steps. The isolated small RNAs from papaya showed high quality through a clear background on gel and a distinct northern blotting signal with miR159a probe, compared with other published protocols. Additionally, the small RNAs extracted from papaya were successfully used for validation of both predicted miRNAs and the putative conserved tasiARFs. Furthermore, the extraction method described here was also tested with several other subtropical and tropical plant tissues. The purity of the isolated small RNAs was sufficient for such applications as end-point stem-loop RT-PCR and northern blotting analysis, respectively. The simple and feasible extraction method reported here is expected to have excellent potential for isolation of small RNAs from recalcitrant plant tissues rich in polyphenols and polysaccharides.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  18. The Effect of Host-Plant Phylogenetic Isolation on Species Richness, Composition and Specialization of Insect Herbivores: A Comparison between Native and Exotic Hosts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julio Miguel Grandez-Rios

    Full Text Available Understanding the drivers of plant-insect interactions is still a key issue in terrestrial ecology. Here, we used 30 well-defined plant-herbivore assemblages to assess the effects of host plant phylogenetic isolation and origin (native vs. exotic on the species richness, composition and specialization of the insect herbivore fauna on co-occurring plant species. We also tested for differences in such effects between assemblages composed exclusively of exophagous and endophagous herbivores. We found a consistent negative effect of the phylogenetic isolation of host plants on the richness, similarity and specialization of their insect herbivore faunas. Notably, except for Jaccard dissimilarity, the effect of phylogenetic isolation on the insect herbivore faunas did not vary between native and exotic plants. Our findings show that the phylogenetic isolation of host plants is a key factor that influences the richness, composition and specialization of their local herbivore faunas, regardless of the host plant origin.

  19. Climate and soil texture influence patterns of forb species richness and composition in big sagebrush plant communities across their spatial extent in the western US

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pennington, Victoria E.; Palmquist, Kyle A.; Bradford, John B.; Lauenroth, William K.

    2017-01-01

    Article for outlet: Plant Ecology. Abstract: Big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.) plant communities are widespread non-forested drylands in western North American and similar to all shrub steppe ecosystems world-wide are composed of a shrub overstory layer and a forb and graminoid understory layer. Forbs account for the majority of plant species diversity in big sagebrush plant communities and are important for ecosystem function. Few studies have explored the geographic patterns of forb species richness and composition and their relationships with environmental variables in these communities. Our objectives were to examine the small and large-scale spatial patterns in forb species richness and composition and the influence of environmental variables. We sampled forb species richness and composition along transects at 15 field sites in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming, built species-area relationships to quantify differences in forb species richness at sites, and used Principal Components Analysis and nonmetric multidimensional scaling to identify relationships among environmental variables and forb species richness and composition. We found that species richness was most strongly correlated with soil texture, while species composition was most related to climate. The combination of climate and soil texture influences water availability, with important consequences for forb species richness and composition, which suggests climate-change induced modification of soil water availability may have important implications for plant species diversity in the future. Our paper is the first to our knowledge to examine forb biodiversity patterns in big sagebrush ecosystems in relation to environmental factors across the big sagebrush region.

  20. Plant functional group composition and large-scale species richness in European agricultural landscapes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liira, J.; Schmidt, T.; Aavik, T.; Arens, P.F.P.; Augenstein, I.; Bailey, D.; Billeter, R.; Bukacek, R.; Burel, F.; Blust, de G.; Cock, de R.; Dirksen, J.; Edwards, P.J.; Hamersky, R.; Herzog, F.; Klotz, S.; Kuhn, I.; Coeur, Le D.; Miklova, P.; Roubalova, M.; Schweiger, O.; Smulders, M.J.M.; Wingerden, van W.K.R.E.; Bugter, R.J.F.; Zobel, M.

    2008-01-01

    Question: Which are the plant functional groups responding most clearly to agricultural disturbances? Which are the relative roles of habitat availability, landscape configuration and agricultural land use intensity in affecting the functional composition and diversity of vascular plants in agricult

  1. Significant Local-Scale Plant-Insect Species Richness Relationship Independent of Abiotic Effects in the Temperate Cape Floristic Region Biodiversity Hotspot

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemp, Jurene E.; Ellis, Allan G.

    2017-01-01

    Globally plant species richness is a significant predictor of insect richness. Whether this is the result of insect diversity responding directly to plant diversity, or both groups responding in similar ways to extrinsic factors, has been much debated. Here we assess this relationship in the Cape Floristic Region (CFR), a biodiversity hotspot. The CFR has higher plant diversity than expected from latitude (i.e., abiotic conditions), but very little is known about the diversity of insects residing in this region. We first quantify diversity relationships at multiple spatial scales for one of the dominant plant families in the CFR, the Restionaceae, and its associated insect herbivore community. Plant and insect diversity are significantly positively correlated at the local scales (10–50 m; 0.1–3 km), but not at the regional scales (15–20 km; 50–70 km). The local scale relationship remains significantly positively correlated even when accounting for the influence of extrinsic variables and other vegetation attributes. This suggests that the diversity of local insect assemblages may be more strongly influenced by plant species richness than by abiotic variables. Further, vegetation age and plant structural complexity also influenced insect richness. The ratio of insect species per plant species in the CFR is comparable to other temperate regions around the world, suggesting that the insect diversity of the CFR is high relative to other areas of the globe with similar abiotic conditions, primarily as a result of the unusually high plant diversity in the region. PMID:28076412

  2. Response to comments on "Productivity is a poor predictor of plant species richness"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grace, James B.; Adler, Peter B.; Seabloom, Eric W.; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Hillebrand, Helmut; Hautier, Yann; Hector, Andy; Harpole, W. Stanley; O'Halloran, Lydia R.; Anderson, T. Michael; Bakker, Jonathan D.; Brown, Cynthia S.; Buckley, Yvonne M.; Collins, Scott L.; Cottingham, Kathryn L.; Crawley, Michael J.; Damschen, Ellen Ingman; Davies, Kendi F.; DeCrappeo, Nicole M.; Fay, Philip A.; Firn, Jennifer; Gruner, Daniel S.; Hagenah, Nicole; Jin, Virginia L.; Kirkman, Kevin P.; Knops, Johannes M.H.; La Pierre, Kimberly J.; Lambrinos, John G.; Melbourne, Brett A.; Mitchell, Charles E.; Moore, Joslin L.; Morgan, John W.; Orrock, John L.; Prover, Suzanne M.; Stevens, Carly J.; Wragg, Peter D.; Yang, Louie H.

    2012-01-01

    Pan et al. claim that our results actually support a strong linear positive relationship between productivity and richness, whereas Fridley et al. contend that the data support a strong humped relationship. These responses illustrate how preoccupation with bivariate patterns distracts from a deeper understanding of the multivariate mechanisms that control these important ecosystem properties.

  3. Social organization influences the exchange and species richness of medicinal plants in amazonian homegardens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Díaz-Reviriego, Isabel; González-Segura, Lara; Fernández-Llamazares, Álvaro; Howard, Patricia L.; Molina, José Luis; Reyes-García, Victoria

    2016-01-01

    Medicinal plants provide indigenous and peasant communities worldwide with means to meet their healthcare needs. Homegardens often act as medicine cabinets, providing easily accessible medicinal plants for household needs. Social structure and social exchanges have been proposed as factors influe

  4. Vegetation Cover and Habitat Heterogeneity derived from QuickBird data as proxies of Local Plant Species Richness in recently burned areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viedma, Olga; Torres, Ivan; Moreno, Jose Manuel

    2010-05-01

    In fire-prone ecosystems, it is very common that, following fire, plant species richness increases very markedly, mainly due to an explosion of annuals, following a rapid change during the first few years after the blaze. Herbs play a major role in the system, among other, by fixing nutrients that might be lost, or by changing competitive interactions with shrubs or tree seedlings. But assessing species richness, particularly, herbaceous one, in space and at large scale is very costly. Furthermore, the scale of measurement is also important. In this work we attempted to asses plant species richness during the first year after fire in an abandoned dehesa (open parkland) at three scales (1 m2, 25 m2 and 100 m2) using QuickBird images. The study area was located in Central Spain (Anchuras, Ciudad Real), and was affected by a large summer fire (ca. 2000 ha). Before the fire the system was composed of a shrubland intermixed with trees and open spaces. Two 90x180 m plots were selected and field species richness measures were made at the three scales, using a nested design. Field-based data were related to remotely sensed data using Regression Trees (RT) and Boosted Regression Trees (BRT) modelling. Explanatory spectral and textural remotely sensed data were ecologically interpreted based on vegetation cover ground-based data. We found that areas with low spectral contrast and high reflectivity were dominated by herbaceous species, and had greater species richness than those characterized by low contrast and medium-low reflectivity, which were dominated by shrubs and trees. The highest species richness was found in the areas characterized by high contrast and medium-high reflectivity, which had a mix of herbs and woody layers. Variance explained varied depending on the modelling approach and the scale, from 21% and 50% for 1 m2 using RT and BRT, respectively; to 65% and 79% for 100 m2. The contribution of different life forms in model fitting was scale-dependent. At

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  6. Shrub removal in reforested post-fire areas increases native plant species richness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabrielle N. Bohlman; Malcolm North; Hugh D. Safford

    2016-01-01

    Large, high severity fires are becoming more prevalent in Sierra Nevada mixed-conifer forests, largely due to heavy fuel loading and forest densification caused by past and current management practices. In post-fire areas distant from seed trees, conifers are often planted to re-establish a forest and to prevent a potential type-conversion to shrub fields. Typical...

  7. Relative importance of current and past landscape structure and local habitat conditions for plant species richness in dry grassland-like forest openings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husáková, Iveta; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2014-01-01

    In fragmented landscapes, plant species richness may depend not only on local habitat conditions but also on landscape structure. In addition, both present and past landscape structure may be important for species richness. There are, however, only a few studies that have investigated the relative importance of all of these factors. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of current and past landscape structures and habitat conditions on species richness at dry grassland-like forest openings in a forested landscape and to assess their relative importance for species richness. We analyzed information on past and present landscape structures using aerial photographs from 1938, 1973, 1988, 2000 and 2007. We calculated the area of each locality and its isolation in the present and in the past and the continuity of localities in GIS. At each locality, we recorded all vascular plant species (296 species in 110 forest openings) and information on abiotic conditions of the localities. We found that the current species richness of the forest openings was significantly determined by local habitat conditions as well as by landscape structure in the present and in the past. The highest species richness was observed on larger and more heterogeneous localities with rocks and shallow soils, which were already large and well connected to other localities in 1938. The changes in the landscape structure in the past can thus have strong effects on current species richness. Future studies attempting to understand determinants of species diversity in fragmented landscapes should also include data on past landscape structure, as it may in fact be more important than the present structure.

  8. Introduced Terrestrial Species Richness

    Science.gov (United States)

    These data represent predicted current distributions of all introduced mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and butterflies in the Middle-Atlantic region. These data are available for both 8-digit HUCs and EMAP hexagons. The data are species counts for each spatial unit. More information about these resources, including the variables used in this study, may be found here: https://edg.epa.gov/data/Public/ORD/NERL/ReVA/ReVA_Data.zip.

  9. Plant species richness and productivity determine the diversity of soil fungal guilds in temperate coniferous forest and bog habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiiesalu, Indrek; Bahram, Mohammad; Tedersoo, Leho

    2017-09-01

    Fungi have important roles as decomposers, mycorrhizal root symbionts and pathogens in forest ecosystems, but there is limited information about their diversity and composition at the landscape scale. This work aimed to disentangle the factors underlying fungal richness and composition along the landscape-scale moisture, organic matter and productivity gradients. Using high-throughput sequencing, we identified soil fungi from 54 low-productivity Pinus sylvestris-dominated plots across three study areas in Estonia and determined the main predictors of fungal richness based on edaphic, floristic and spatial variables. Fungal richness displayed unimodal relationship with organic matter and deduced soil moisture. Plant richness and productivity constituted the key predictors for taxonomic richness of functional guilds. Composition of fungi and the main ectomycorrhizal fungal lineages and hyphal exploration types was segregated by moisture availability and soil nitrogen. We conclude that plant productivity and diversity determine the richness and proportion of most functional groups of soil fungi in low-productive pine forests on a landscape scale. Adjacent stands of pine forest may differ greatly in the dominance of functional guilds that have marked effects on soil carbon and nitrogen cycling in these forest ecosystems. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Spatiotemporal Patterns and Dynamics of Species Richness and Abundance of Woody Plant Functional Groups in a Tropical Forest Landscape of Hainan Island,South China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhi-Dong Zhang; Run-Guo Zang; Yao-Dong Qi

    2008-01-01

    Tropical forests are among the most species-diverse ecosystems on Earth. Their structures and ecological functions are complex to understand. Functional group is defined as a group of species that play similar roles in an ecosystem. The functional group approach has been regarded as an effective way of linking the compositions of complex ecosystems with their ecological functions. To understand the variation of functional groups in species-rich ecosystems after disturbance, the present study investigated the spatial pattern and temporal dynamics of woody plants in a typically fragmented natural forest landscape of Hainan Island in South China. The study area was classified into eight landscape types based on vegetation type, disturbance manner and the time of recovery. The woody plant species were aggregated into seven functional groups based on the growth form, successional status and plant size. The results gained from the present study showed that all functional groups, except for the emergent and canopy tree species, were present in all eight landscape types. Each landscape type had different numbers of dominant functional groups. There are similar species richness and stem abundance structure among functional groups between mid-successional clear cut lowland rainforest and old growth tropical coniferous forest. This similarity exists in selective logged lowland rainforest and old-growth lowland rainforest, as well as among landscape types of montane rainforest. The functional groups with the same successional status had similar patterns of species richness and stem abundance ratios among different landscape types. The variation patterns of functional groups along the successional stages in terms of species richness and stem abundance among the tropical lowland rainforest landscape types were more similar to each other than those in the tropical montane reinforest landscape types. This study provides further support for the competition-colonization tradeoff and

  11. Rapid transfer of photosynthetic carbon through the plant-soil system in differently managed species-rich grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. B. De Deyn

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Plant-soil interactions are central to short-term carbon (C cycling through the rapid transfer of recently assimilated C from plant roots to soil biota. In grassland ecosystems, changes in C cycling are likely to be influenced by land use and management that changes vegetation and the associated soil microbial communities. Here we tested whether changes in grassland vegetation composition resulting from management for plant diversity influences short-term rates of C assimilation and transfer from plants to soil microbes. To do this, we used an in situ 13C-CO2 pulse-labelling approach to measure differential C uptake among different plant species and the transfer of the plant-derived 13C to key groups of soil microbiota across selected treatments of a long-term plant diversity grassland restoration experiment. Results showed that plant taxa differed markedly in the rate of 13C assimilation and concentration: uptake was greatest and 13C concentration declined fastest in Ranunculus repens, and assimilation was least and 13C signature remained longest in mosses. Incorporation of recent plant-derived 13C was maximal in all microbial phosopholipid fatty acid (PLFA markers at 24 h after labelling. The greatest incorporation of 13C was in the PLFA 16:1ω5, a marker for arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF, while after 1 week most 13C was retained in the PLFA18:2ω6,9 which is indicative of assimilation of plant-derived 13C by saprophytic fungi. Our results of 13C assimilation and transfer within plant species and soil microbes were consistent across management treatments. Overall, our findings suggest that plant diversity restoration management may not directly affect the C assimilation or retention of C by individual plant taxa or groups of soil microbes, it can impact on the fate of recent C by changing their relative abundances

  12. Species richness, area and climate correlates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nogues, David Bravo; Bastos Araujo, Miguel

    2006-01-01

    affects: (1) the selection of climate variables entering a species richness model; and (2) the accuracy of models in predicting species richness in unsampled grid cells. Location Western Europe. Methods Models are developed for European plant, breeding bird, mammal and herptile species richness using...... seven climate variables. Generalized additive models are used to relate species richness, climate and area. Results We found that variation in the grid cell area was large (50 × 50 km: 8-3311 km2; 220 × 220: 193-55,100 km2), but this did not affect the selection of variables in the models. Similarly...... support the assumption that variation in near-equal area cells may be of second-order importance for models explaining or predicting species richness in relation to climate, although there is a possibility that drops in accuracy might increase with grid cell size. The results are, however, contingent...

  13. Plant community composition and species richness in the High Arctic tundra: from the present to the future

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nabe-Nielsen, Jacob; Normand, Signe; Hui, Francis K.C.

    2017-01-01

    1. Arctic plant communities are altered by climate changes. The magnitude of these alterations depends on whether species distributions are determined by macroclimatic conditions, by factors related to local topography, or by biotic interactions. Our current understanding of the relative importan...

  14. Cross-scale modelling of alien and native vascular plant species richness in Great Britain: where is geodiversity information most relevant?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Joseph; Field, Richard; Boyd, Doreen

    2016-04-01

    We assess the scale-dependency of the relationship between biodiversity and novel geodiversity information by studying spatial patterns of native and alien (archaeophytes and neophytes) vascular plant species richness at varying spatial scales across Great Britain. Instead of using a compound geodiversity metric, we study individual geodiversity components (GDCs) to advance our understanding of which aspects of 'geodiversity' are most important and at what scale. Terrestrial native (n = 1,490) and alien (n = 1,331) vascular plant species richness was modelled across the island of Great Britain at two grain sizes and several extent radii. Various GDCs (landforms, hydrology, geology) were compiled from existing national datasets and automatically extracted landform coverage information (e.g. hollows, valleys, peaks), the latter using a digital elevation model (DEM) and geomorphometric techniques. More traditional predictors of species richness (climate, widely-used topography metrics, land cover diversity, and human population) were also incorporated. Boosted Regression Tree (BRT) models were produced at all grain sizes and extents for each species group and the dominant predictors were assessed. Models with and without geodiversity data were compared. Overarching patterns indicated a clear dominance of geodiversity information at the smallest study extent (12.5km radius) and finest grain size (1x1km), which substantially decreased for each increase in extent as the contribution of climatic variables increased. The contribution of GDCs to biodiversity models was chiefly driven by landform information from geomorphometry, but hydrology (rivers and lakes), and to a lesser extent materials (soil, superficial deposits, and geology), were important, also. GDCs added significantly to vascular plant biodiversity models in Great Britain, independently of widely-used topographic metrics, particularly for native species. The wider consideration of geodiversity alongside

  15. Anaho Island: Mammalian species richness report

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This study assessed the mammalian species richness on Anaho Island using live trapping between July 18th and July 23rd 2005. The last mammalian species richness...

  16. Diversity of Gall-Inducing Insects in a Mexican Tropical Dry Forest: The Importance of Plant Species Richness, Life-Forms, Host Plant Age and Plant Density

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Pablo Cuevas-Reyes; Mauricio Quesada; Paul Hanson; Rodolfo Dirzo; Ken Oyama

    2004-01-01

    ...) in plant communities. We sampled deciduous and riparian habitats in a tropical dry forest at Chamela-Cuixmala Biosphere Reserve in western Mexico, that differ in phenology and moisture availability...

  17. Nitrogen deposition threatens species richness of grasslands across Europe

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stevens, C.J. [Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ (United Kingdom); Gowing, D.J.G. [Department of Life Sciences, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom); Dupre, C.; Diekmann, M. [Institute of Ecology, FB 2, University of Bremen, Leobener Str., DE-28359 Bremen (Germany); Dorland, E. [Section of Landscape Ecology, Department of Geobiology, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80084, 3508 TB Utrecht (Netherlands); Gaudnik, C.; Alard, D.; Corcket, E. [University of Bordeaux 1. UMR INRA 1202 Biodiversity, Genes and Communities, Equipe Ecologie des Communautes, Batiment B8 - Avenue des Facultes, F-33405 Talence (France); Bleeker, A. [Department of Air Quality and Climate Change, Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands, P.O. Box 1, 1755 ZG Petten (Netherlands); Bobbink, R. [B-WARE Research Centre, Radboud University, P.O. Box 9010, 6525 ED Nijmegen (Netherlands); Fowler, D. [NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Bush Estate, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 0QB (United Kingdom); Mountford, J.O. [NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, MacLean Building, Benson Lane, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxfordshire OX10 8BB (United Kingdom); Vandvik, V. [Department of Biology, University of Bergen, Box 7800, N-5020 Bergen (Norway); Aarrestad, P.A. [Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, NO-7485 Trondheim (Norway); Muller, S. [Laboratoire des Interactions Ecotoxicologie, Biodiversite et Ecosystemes LIEBE, UMR CNRS 7146, U.F.R. Sci. F.A., Campus Bridoux, Universite Paul Verlaine, Avenue du General Delestraint, F-57070 Metz (France); Dise, N.B. [Department of Environmental and Geographical Science, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester M1 5GD (United Kingdom)

    2010-09-15

    Evidence from an international survey in the Atlantic biogeographic region of Europe indicates that chronic nitrogen deposition is reducing plant species richness in acid grasslands. Across the deposition gradient in this region (2-44 kg N ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1}) species richness showed a curvilinear response, with greatest reductions in species richness when deposition increased from low levels. This has important implications for conservation policies, suggesting that to protect the most sensitive grasslands resources should be focussed where deposition is currently low. Soil pH is also an important driver of species richness indicating that the acidifying effect of nitrogen deposition may be contributing to species richness reductions. The results of this survey suggest that the impacts of nitrogen deposition can be observed over a large geographical range. Atmospheric nitrogen deposition is reducing biodiversity in grasslands across Europe.

  18. Nitrogen deposition threatens species richness of grasslands across Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Carly J; Duprè, Cecilia; Dorland, Edu; Gaudnik, Cassandre; Gowing, David J G; Bleeker, Albert; Diekmann, Martin; Alard, Didier; Bobbink, Roland; Fowler, David; Corcket, Emmanuel; Mountford, J Owen; Vandvik, Vigdis; Aarrestad, Per Arild; Muller, Serge; Dise, Nancy B

    2010-09-01

    Evidence from an international survey in the Atlantic biogeographic region of Europe indicates that chronic nitrogen deposition is reducing plant species richness in acid grasslands. Across the deposition gradient in this region (2-44 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1)) species richness showed a curvilinear response, with greatest reductions in species richness when deposition increased from low levels. This has important implications for conservation policies, suggesting that to protect the most sensitive grasslands resources should be focussed where deposition is currently low. Soil pH is also an important driver of species richness indicating that the acidifying effect of nitrogen deposition may be contributing to species richness reductions. The results of this survey suggest that the impacts of nitrogen deposition can be observed over a large geographical range.

  19. Insights into the historical construction of species-rich biomes from dated plant phylogenies, neutral ecological theory and phylogenetic community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pennington, R Toby; Richardson, James E; Lavin, Matt

    2006-01-01

    Analytical methods are now available that can date all nodes in a molecular phylogenetic tree with one calibration, and which correct for variable rates of DNA substitution in different lineages. Although these techniques are approximate, they offer a new tool to investigate the historical construction of species-rich biomes. Dated phylogenies of globally distributed plant families often indicate that dispersal, even across oceans, rather than plate tectonics, has generated their wide distributions. By contrast, there are indications that animal lineages have undergone less long distance dispersal. Dating the origin of biome-specific plant groups offers a means of estimating the age of the biomes they characterize. However, rather than a simple emphasis on biome age, we stress the importance of studies that seek to unravel the processes that have led to the accumulation of large numbers of species in some biomes. The synthesis of biological inventory, systematics and evolutionary biology offered by the frameworks of neutral ecological theory and phylogenetic community structure offers a promising route for future work.

  20. No consistent effect of plant species richness on resistance to simulated climate change for above- or below-ground processes in managed grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dormann, Carsten F; von Riedmatten, Lars; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael

    2017-06-17

    Species richness affects processes and functions in many ecosystems. Since management of temperate grasslands is directly affecting species composition and richness, it can indirectly govern how systems respond to fluctuations in environmental conditions. Our aim in this study was to investigate whether species richness in managed grasslands can buffer the effects of drought and warming manipulations and hence increase the resistance to climate change. We established 45 plots in three regions across Germany, each with three different management regimes (pasture, meadow and mown pasture). We manipulated spring warming using open-top chambers and summer drought using rain-out shelters for 4 weeks. Measurements of species richness, above- and below-ground biomass and soil carbon and nitrogen concentrations showed significant but inconsistent differences among regions, managements and manipulations. We detected a three-way interaction between species richness, management and region, indicating that our study design was sensitive enough to detect even intricate effects. We could not detect a pervasive effect of species richness on biomass differences between treatments and controls, indicating that a combination of spring warming and summer drought effects on grassland systems are not consistently moderated by species richness. We attribute this to the relatively high number of species even at low richness levels, which already provides the complementarity required for positive biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships. A review of the literature also indicates that climate manipulations largely fail to show richness-buffering, while natural experiments do, suggesting that such manipulations are milder than reality or incur treatment artefacts.

  1. Tree diversity promotes functional dissimilarity and maintains functional richness despite species loss in predator assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuldt, Andreas; Bruelheide, Helge; Durka, Walter; Michalski, Stefan G; Purschke, Oliver; Assmann, Thorsten

    2014-02-01

    The effects of species loss on ecosystems depend on the community's functional diversity (FD). However, how FD responds to environmental changes is poorly understood. This applies particularly to higher trophic levels, which regulate many ecosystem processes and are strongly affected by human-induced environmental changes. We analyzed how functional richness (FRic), evenness (FEve), and divergence (FDiv) of important generalist predators-epigeic spiders-are affected by changes in woody plant species richness, plant phylogenetic diversity, and stand age in highly diverse subtropical forests in China. FEve and FDiv of spiders increased with plant richness and stand age. FRic remained on a constant level despite decreasing spider species richness with increasing plant species richness. Plant phylogenetic diversity had no consistent effect on spider FD. The results contrast with the negative effect of diversity on spider species richness and suggest that functional redundancy among spiders decreased with increasing plant richness through non-random species loss. Moreover, increasing functional dissimilarity within spider assemblages with increasing plant richness indicates that the abundance distribution of predators in functional trait space affects ecological functions independent of predator species richness or the available trait space. While plant diversity is generally hypothesized to positively affect predators, our results only support this hypothesis for FD-and here particularly for trait distributions within the overall functional trait space-and not for patterns in species richness. Understanding the way predator assemblages affect ecosystem functions in such highly diverse, natural ecosystems thus requires explicit consideration of FD and its relationship with species richness.

  2. Native Terrestrial Animal Species Richness

    Science.gov (United States)

    These data represent predicted current distributions of all native mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and butterflies in the Middle-Atlantic region. The data are available for both 8-digit HUCs and EMAP hexagons and represent total species counts for each spatial unit. More information about these resources, including the variables used in this study, may be found here: https://edg.epa.gov/data/Public/ORD/NERL/ReVA/ReVA_Data.zip.

  3. Response of plant species richness and primary productivity in shrublands along a north-south gradient in Europe to seven years of experimental warming and drought: reductions in primary productivity in the heat and drought year of 2003

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Penuelas, J.; Prieto, P.; Beier, C.; Cesaraccio, C.; Angelis, de P.; Dato, de G.; Emmett, B.A.; Estiarte, M.; Garadnai, J.; Gorissen, A.; Lang, E.K.; Kroel-Dulay, G.; Llorens, L.; Pellizzaro, G.; Riis-Nielsen, T.; Schmidt, I.K.; Sirca, C.; Sowerby, A.; Spano, D.; Tietema, A.

    2007-01-01

    We used a nonintrusive field experiment carried out at six sites - Wales (UK), Denmark (DK), the Netherlands (NL), Hungary (HU), Sardinia (Italy - IT), and Catalonia (Spain - SP) - along a climatic and latitudinal gradient to examine the response of plant species richness and primary productivity to

  4. The effect of supplementing leaves of four tannin-rich plant species with polyethylene glycol on digestibility and zootechnical performance of zebu bulls (Bos indicus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yisehak, K; De Boever, J L; Janssens, G P J

    2014-06-01

    The effect of supplementing leaves of four tannin-rich plant species with polyethylene glycol 6000 (PEG) on nutrient intake and digestibility as well as on weight gain, feed conversion ratio (FCR) and N retention of zebu bulls (Bos indicus) was studied. Leaves of Albizia gummifera, Grewia ferruginea, Prunus africana and Syzygium guineense, containing, respectively, 85, 55, 76 and 172 g condensed tannins (CT) per kg dry matter (DM), were combined with natural pasture hay in a ratio of 40:60 on DM basis. The four diets were fed both without and with addition of PEG, at a dose of 40 g per kg DM, to eight zebu bulls during trials of 25 days in an 8 × 8 randomized crossover design. Supplementation with PEG increased nutrient intake, digestibility, FCR, N retention and average daily gain (p < 0.01). A diet × PEG interaction was observed for nutrient intake as well as for crude protein, neutral detergent fibre and acid detergent fibre digestibility (p < 0.05), but the effect size of PEG addition could not be attributed to the CT content as such, and also digestibility without PEG was not related to CT content of the diets. The reason why the efficacy of PEG addition did not relate to the CT content pointed the need to evaluate other factors that can help to predict the efficacy of PEG, for example, tannin type or interaction with other nutrients.

  5. Diversification rates and species richness across the Tree of Life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scholl, Joshua P; Wiens, John J

    2016-09-14

    Species richness varies dramatically among clades across the Tree of Life, by over a million-fold in some cases (e.g. placozoans versus arthropods). Two major explanations for differences in richness among clades are the clade-age hypothesis (i.e. species-rich clades are older) and the diversification-rate hypothesis (i.e. species-rich clades diversify more rapidly, where diversification rate is the net balance of speciation and extinction over time). Here, we examine patterns of variation in diversification rates across the Tree of Life. We address how rates vary across higher taxa, whether rates within higher taxa are related to the subclades within them, and how diversification rates of clades are related to their species richness. We find substantial variation in diversification rates, with rates in plants nearly twice as high as in animals, and rates in some eukaryotes approximately 10-fold faster than prokaryotes. Rates for each kingdom-level clade are then significantly related to the subclades within them. Although caution is needed when interpreting relationships between diversification rates and richness, a positive relationship between the two is not inevitable. We find that variation in diversification rates seems to explain most variation in richness among clades across the Tree of Life, in contrast to the conclusions of previous studies. © 2016 The Author(s).

  6. Environmental heterogeneity–species richness relationships from a global perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anke Stein

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Spatial environmental heterogeneity (EH is considered one of the most important factors promoting species richness, but no general consent about the EH–richness relationship exists so far. This is because research methods and study settings vary widely, and because non-significant and negative associations have also been reported. My thesis provides a comprehensive review of the different measurements and terminologies of EH used in the literature, and presents strong quantitative evidence of a generally positive relationship between biotic and abiotic EH and species richness of terrestrial plants and animals from landscape to global extents. In a meta-analysis and a subsequent case study comparing multiple EH measures and their association with mammal species richness worldwide, I furthermore reveal that the outcome of EH–richness studies depends strongly on study design, including both the EH measure chosen and spatial scale. My research contributes to a better understanding of the EH–richness relationship, while identifying future research needs.

  7. Estimating the spatial and temporal distribution of species richness within Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steve Wathen

    Full Text Available Evidence for significant losses of species richness or biodiversity, even within protected natural areas, is mounting. Managers are increasingly being asked to monitor biodiversity, yet estimating biodiversity is often prohibitively expensive. As a cost-effective option, we estimated the spatial and temporal distribution of species richness for four taxonomic groups (birds, mammals, herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians, and plants within Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks using only existing biological studies undertaken within the Parks and the Parks' long-term wildlife observation database. We used a rarefaction approach to model species richness for the four taxonomic groups and analyzed those groups by habitat type, elevation zone, and time period. We then mapped the spatial distributions of species richness values for the four taxonomic groups, as well as total species richness, for the Parks. We also estimated changes in species richness for birds, mammals, and herpetofauna since 1980. The modeled patterns of species richness either peaked at mid elevations (mammals, plants, and total species richness or declined consistently with increasing elevation (herpetofauna and birds. Plants reached maximum species richness values at much higher elevations than did vertebrate taxa, and non-flying mammals reached maximum species richness values at higher elevations than did birds. Alpine plant communities, including sagebrush, had higher species richness values than did subalpine plant communities located below them in elevation. These results are supported by other papers published in the scientific literature. Perhaps reflecting climate change: birds and herpetofauna displayed declines in species richness since 1980 at low and middle elevations and mammals displayed declines in species richness since 1980 at all elevations.

  8. Estimating the spatial and temporal distribution of species richness within Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wathen, Steve; Thorne, James H; Holguin, Andrew; Schwartz, Mark W

    2014-01-01

    Evidence for significant losses of species richness or biodiversity, even within protected natural areas, is mounting. Managers are increasingly being asked to monitor biodiversity, yet estimating biodiversity is often prohibitively expensive. As a cost-effective option, we estimated the spatial and temporal distribution of species richness for four taxonomic groups (birds, mammals, herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians), and plants) within Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks using only existing biological studies undertaken within the Parks and the Parks' long-term wildlife observation database. We used a rarefaction approach to model species richness for the four taxonomic groups and analyzed those groups by habitat type, elevation zone, and time period. We then mapped the spatial distributions of species richness values for the four taxonomic groups, as well as total species richness, for the Parks. We also estimated changes in species richness for birds, mammals, and herpetofauna since 1980. The modeled patterns of species richness either peaked at mid elevations (mammals, plants, and total species richness) or declined consistently with increasing elevation (herpetofauna and birds). Plants reached maximum species richness values at much higher elevations than did vertebrate taxa, and non-flying mammals reached maximum species richness values at higher elevations than did birds. Alpine plant communities, including sagebrush, had higher species richness values than did subalpine plant communities located below them in elevation. These results are supported by other papers published in the scientific literature. Perhaps reflecting climate change: birds and herpetofauna displayed declines in species richness since 1980 at low and middle elevations and mammals displayed declines in species richness since 1980 at all elevations.

  9. Cascade effects of crop species richness on the diversity of pest insects and their natural enemies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, PeiJian; Hui, Cang; Men, XingYuan; Zhao, ZiHua; Ouyang, Fang; Ge, Feng; Jin, XianShi; Cao, HaiFeng; Li, B Larry

    2014-07-01

    Understanding how plant species richness influences the diversity of herbivorous and predatory/parasitic arthropods is central to community ecology. We explore the effects of crop species richness on the diversity of pest insects and their natural enemies. Using data from a four-year experiment with five levels of crop species richness, we found that crop species richness significantly affected the pest species richness, but there were no significant effects on richness of the pests' natural enemies. In contrast, the species richness of pest insects significantly affected their natural enemies. These findings suggest a cascade effect where trophic interactions are strong between adjacent trophic levels, while the interactions between connected but nonadjacent trophic levels are weakened by the intermediate trophic level. High crop species richness resulted in a more stable arthropod community compared with communities in monoculture crops. Our results highlight the complicated cross-trophic interactions and the crucial role of crop diversity in the food webs of agro-ecosystems.

  10. Who is who in the understory: the contribution of resident and transitory groups of species to plant richness in forest assemblages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JulianaSilva Gomes-Westphalen

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The forest understory is made up of resident and transitory species and can be much richer than the canopy. With the purpose to describe the contribution of these groups to the woody understory, five Atlantic Forest fragments were selected and studied in Northeastern Brazil. In order to analyze the understory’s structure, the sample included woody individuals with circumference at breast height (CBH smaller than 15cm and circumference at ground level (CGL greater than 3cm, regardless of height. The recorded species were quantified and classified into functional stratification categories (resident and transitory, and the floristic similarity between the understory and the tree stratum was calculated. Species’ importance in the understory was analyzed by height and total natural regeneration classes based on a regeneration index. The understory was richer in species (median=63.8, SD=21.72, n=5 fragments than the tree stratum (43.8, 18.14, 5, and the similarity between these components was relatively high (median=0.54, SD=0.09. The results also showed that the studied understory in the forest fragments was mainly composed by transitory species (median=67.01%, SD=3.76, that were well distributed among height classes and had the highest densities, which may favor their future presence in the canopy’s structure and composition. The typical understory species were grouped into two strata: the lower understory, made up of species that generally do not reach more than 4m in height (mostly species from families Piperaceae, Rubiaceae and Melastomataceae; and the upper understory, with intermediate heights between the lower understory and the canopy, but with average heights that were not higher than 10m (mainly of species from families Anonnaceae, Clusiaceae and Myrtaceae. These families’ richness was commonly used as an indicator of the vegetation’s successional stage; however, such results must be seen with caution as they show that these

  11. TaqMan real-time PCR assays to assess arbuscular mycorrhizal responses to field manipulation of grassland biodiversity: effects of soil characteristics, plant species richness, and functional traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    König, Stephan; Wubet, Tesfaye; Dormann, Carsten F; Hempel, Stefan; Renker, Carsten; Buscot, François

    2010-06-01

    Large-scale (temporal and/or spatial) molecular investigations of the diversity and distribution of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) require considerable sampling efforts and high-throughput analysis. To facilitate such efforts, we have developed a TaqMan real-time PCR assay to detect and identify AMF in environmental samples. First, we screened the diversity in clone libraries, generated by nested PCR, of the nuclear ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) of AMF in environmental samples. We then generated probes and forward primers based on the detected sequences, enabling AMF sequence type-specific detection in TaqMan multiplex real-time PCR assays. In comparisons to conventional clone library screening and Sanger sequencing, the TaqMan assay approach provided similar accuracy but higher sensitivity with cost and time savings. The TaqMan assays were applied to analyze the AMF community composition within plots of a large-scale plant biodiversity manipulation experiment, the Jena Experiment, primarily designed to investigate the interactive effects of plant biodiversity on element cycling and trophic interactions. The results show that environmental variables hierarchically shape AMF communities and that the sequence type spectrum is strongly affected by previous land use and disturbance, which appears to favor disturbance-tolerant members of the genus Glomus. The AMF species richness of disturbance-associated communities can be largely explained by richness of plant species and plant functional groups, while plant productivity and soil parameters appear to have only weak effects on the AMF community.

  12. Patterns of Freshwater Species Richness, Endemism, and Vulnerability in California.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeanette K Howard

    Full Text Available The ranges and abundances of species that depend on freshwater habitats are declining worldwide. Efforts to counteract those trends are often hampered by a lack of information about species distribution and conservation status and are often strongly biased toward a few well-studied groups. We identified the 3,906 vascular plants, macroinvertebrates, and vertebrates native to California, USA, that depend on fresh water for at least one stage of their life history. We evaluated the conservation status for these taxa using existing government and non-governmental organization assessments (e.g., endangered species act, NatureServe, created a spatial database of locality observations or distribution information from ~400 data sources, and mapped patterns of richness, endemism, and vulnerability. Although nearly half of all taxa with conservation status (n = 1,939 are vulnerable to extinction, only 114 (6% of those vulnerable taxa have a legal mandate for protection in the form of formal inclusion on a state or federal endangered species list. Endemic taxa are at greater risk than non-endemics, with 90% of the 927 endemic taxa vulnerable to extinction. Records with spatial data were available for a total of 2,276 species (61%. The patterns of species richness differ depending on the taxonomic group analyzed, but are similar across taxonomic level. No particular taxonomic group represents an umbrella for all species, but hotspots of high richness for listed species cover 40% of the hotspots for all other species and 58% of the hotspots for vulnerable freshwater species. By mapping freshwater species hotspots we show locations that represent the top priority for conservation action in the state. This study identifies opportunities to fill gaps in the evaluation of conservation status for freshwater taxa in California, to address the lack of occurrence information for nearly 40% of freshwater taxa and nearly 40% of watersheds in the state, and to

  13. Who is who in the understory: the contribution of resident and transitory groups of species to plant richness in forest assemblages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JulianaSilva Gomes-Westphalen

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The forest understory is made up of resident and transitory species and can be much richer than the canopy. With the purpose to describe the contribution of these groups to the woody understory, five Atlantic Forest fragments were selected and studied in Northeastern Brazil. In order to analyze the understory’s structure, the sample included woody individuals with circumference at breast height (CBH smaller than 15cm and circumference at ground level (CGL greater than 3cm, regardless of height. The recorded species were quantified and classified into functional stratification categories (resident and transitory, and the floristic similarity between the understory and the tree stratum was calculated. Species’ importance in the understory was analyzed by height and total natural regeneration classes based on a regeneration index. The understory was richer in species (median=63.8, SD=21.72, n=5 fragments than the tree stratum (43.8, 18.14, 5, and the similarity between these components was relatively high (median=0.54, SD=0.09. The results also showed that the studied understory in the forest fragments was mainly composed by transitory species (median=67.01%, SD=3.76, that were well distributed among height classes and had the highest densities, which may favor their future presence in the canopy’s structure and composition. The typical understory species were grouped into two strata: the lower understory, made up of species that generally do not reach more than 4m in height (mostly species from families Piperaceae, Rubiaceae and Melastomataceae; and the upper understory, with intermediate heights between the lower understory and the canopy, but with average heights that were not higher than 10m (mainly of species from families Anonnaceae, Clusiaceae and Myrtaceae. These families’ richness was commonly used as an indicator of the vegetation’s successional stage; however, such results must be seen with caution as they show that these

  14. Community composition and species richness of parasitoids infesting Yponomeuta species in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cleary, Daniel F.R.

    2004-01-01

    Parasitoid assemblages infesting Yponomeuta species in the Netherlands were investigated. Parasitoid species richness and community composition were related to host species, habitat, temporal and spatial variation. Both community structure and species richness did not differ among habitats. There

  15. The decoupling of abundance and species richness in lizard communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nimmo, Dale G; James, Simon G; Kelly, Luke T; Watson, Simon J; Bennett, Andrew F

    2011-05-01

    1. Patterns of species richness often correlate strongly with measures of energy. The more individuals hypothesis (MIH) proposes that this relationship is facilitated by greater resources supporting larger populations, which are less likely to become extinct. Hence, the MIH predicts that community abundance and species richness will be positively related. 2. Recently, Buckley & Jetz (2010, Journal of Animal Ecology, 79, 358-365) documented a decoupling of community abundance and species richness in lizard communities in south-west United States, such that richer communities did not contain more individuals. They predicted, as a consequence of the mechanisms driving the decoupling, a more even distribution of species abundances in species-rich communities, evidenced by a positive relationship between species evenness and species richness. 3. We found a similar decoupling of the relationship between abundance and species richness for lizard communities in semi-arid south-eastern Australia. However, we note that a positive relationship between evenness and richness is expected because of the nature of the indices used. We illustrate this mathematically and empirically using data from both sets of lizard communities. When we used a measure of evenness, which is robust to species richness, there was no relationship between evenness and richness in either data set. 4. For lizard communities in both Australia and the United States, species dominance decreased as species richness increased. Further, with the iterative removal of the first, second and third most dominant species from each community, the relationship between abundance and species richness became increasingly more positive. 5. Our data support the contention that species richness in lizard communities is not directly related to the number of individuals an environment can support. We propose an alternative hypothesis regarding how the decoupling of abundance and richness is accommodated; namely, an inverse

  16. Riparian vegetation species richness in the Elwha River estuary, Washington, in 2007 and 2014

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This portion of the data release presents riparian plant species richness (number of unique taxa) data from plots sampled in the Elwha River estuary, Washington, in...

  17. Geographic range size and determinants of avian species richness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jetz, Walter; Rahbek, Carsten

    2002-01-01

    Geographic patterns in species richness are mainly based on wide-ranging species because their larger number of distribution records has a disproportionate contribution to the species richness counts. Here we demonstrate how this effect strongly influences our understanding of what determines...... species richness. Using both conventional and spatial regression models, we show that for sub-Saharan African birds, the apparent role of productivity diminishes with decreasing range size, whereas the significance of topographic heterogeneity increases. The relative importance of geometric constraints...... from the continental edge is moderate. Our findings highlight the failure of traditional species richness models to account for narrow-ranging species that frequently are also threatened....

  18. Ectomycorrhizal fungal richness declines towards the host species' range edge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lankau, Richard A; Keymer, Daniel P

    2016-07-01

    Plant range boundaries are generally considered to reflect abiotic conditions; however, a rise in negative or decline in positive species interactions at range margins may contribute to these stable boundaries. While evidence suggests that pollinator mutualisms may decline near range boundaries, little is known about other important plant mutualisms, including microbial root symbionts. Here, we used molecular methods to characterize root-associated fungal communities in populations of two related temperate tree species from across the species' range in the eastern United States. We found that ectomycorrhizal fungal richness on plant roots declined with distance from the centre of the host species range. These patterns were not evident in nonmycorrhizal fungal communities on roots nor in fungal communities in bulk soil. Climatic and soil chemical variables could not explain these biogeographic patterns, although these abiotic gradients affected other components of the bulk soil and rhizosphere fungal community. Depauperate ectomycorrhizal fungal communities may represent an underappreciated challenge to marginal tree populations, especially as rapid climate change pushes these populations outside their current climate niche.

  19. Species richness and soil properties in Pinus ponderosa forests: A structural equation modeling analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laughlin, D.C.; Abella, S.R.; Covington, W.W.; Grace, J.B.

    2007-01-01

    Question: How are the effects of mineral soil properties on understory plant species richness propagated through a network of processes involving the forest overstory, soil organic matter, soil nitrogen, and understory plant abundance? Location: North-central Arizona, USA. Methods: We sampled 75 0.05-ha plots across a broad soil gradient in a Pinus ponderosa (ponderosa pine) forest ecosystem. We evaluated multivariate models of plant species richness using structural equation modeling. Results: Richness was highest at intermediate levels of understory plant cover, suggesting that both colonization success and competitive exclusion can limit richness in this system. We did not detect a reciprocal positive effect of richness on plant cover. Richness was strongly related to soil nitrogen in the model, with evidence for both a direct negative effect and an indirect non-linear relationship mediated through understory plant cover. Soil organic matter appeared to have a positive influence on understory richness that was independent of soil nitrogen. Richness was lowest where the forest overstory was densest, which can be explained through indirect effects on soil organic matter, soil nitrogen and understory cover. Finally, model results suggest a variety of direct and indirect processes whereby mineral soil properties can influence richness. Conclusions: Understory plant species richness and plant cover in P. ponderosa forests appear to be significantly influenced by soil organic matter and nitrogen, which are, in turn, related to overstory density and composition and mineral soil properties. Thus, soil properties can impose direct and indirect constraints on local species diversity in ponderosa pine forests. ?? IAVS; Opulus Press.

  20. Climate induced increases in species richness of marine fishes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hiddink, J.G.; Hofstede, ter R.

    2008-01-01

    Climate change has been predicted to lead to changes in local and regional species richness through species extinctions and latitudinal ranges shifts. Here, we show that species richness of fish in the North Sea, a group of ecological and socio-economical importance, has increased over a 22-year per

  1. The Global Distribution and Drivers of Alien Bird Species Richness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyer, Ellie E.; Cassey, Phillip; Redding, David W.; Collen, Ben; Franks, Victoria; Gaston, Kevin J.; Jones, Kate E.; Kark, Salit; Orme, C. David L.; Blackburn, Tim M.

    2017-01-01

    Alien species are a major component of human-induced environmental change. Variation in the numbers of alien species found in different areas is likely to depend on a combination of anthropogenic and environmental factors, with anthropogenic factors affecting the number of species introduced to new locations, and when, and environmental factors influencing how many species are able to persist there. However, global spatial and temporal variation in the drivers of alien introduction and species richness remain poorly understood. Here, we analyse an extensive new database of alien birds to explore what determines the global distribution of alien species richness for an entire taxonomic class. We demonstrate that the locations of origin and introduction of alien birds, and their identities, were initially driven largely by European (mainly British) colonialism. However, recent introductions are a wider phenomenon, involving more species and countries, and driven in part by increasing economic activity. We find that, globally, alien bird species richness is currently highest at midlatitudes and is strongly determined by anthropogenic effects, most notably the number of species introduced (i.e., “colonisation pressure”). Nevertheless, environmental drivers are also important, with native and alien species richness being strongly and consistently positively associated. Our results demonstrate that colonisation pressure is key to understanding alien species richness, show that areas of high native species richness are not resistant to colonisation by alien species at the global scale, and emphasise the likely ongoing threats to global environments from introductions of species. PMID:28081142

  2. The Global Distribution and Drivers of Alien Bird Species Richness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyer, Ellie E; Cassey, Phillip; Redding, David W; Collen, Ben; Franks, Victoria; Gaston, Kevin J; Jones, Kate E; Kark, Salit; Orme, C David L; Blackburn, Tim M

    2017-01-01

    Alien species are a major component of human-induced environmental change. Variation in the numbers of alien species found in different areas is likely to depend on a combination of anthropogenic and environmental factors, with anthropogenic factors affecting the number of species introduced to new locations, and when, and environmental factors influencing how many species are able to persist there. However, global spatial and temporal variation in the drivers of alien introduction and species richness remain poorly understood. Here, we analyse an extensive new database of alien birds to explore what determines the global distribution of alien species richness for an entire taxonomic class. We demonstrate that the locations of origin and introduction of alien birds, and their identities, were initially driven largely by European (mainly British) colonialism. However, recent introductions are a wider phenomenon, involving more species and countries, and driven in part by increasing economic activity. We find that, globally, alien bird species richness is currently highest at midlatitudes and is strongly determined by anthropogenic effects, most notably the number of species introduced (i.e., "colonisation pressure"). Nevertheless, environmental drivers are also important, with native and alien species richness being strongly and consistently positively associated. Our results demonstrate that colonisation pressure is key to understanding alien species richness, show that areas of high native species richness are not resistant to colonisation by alien species at the global scale, and emphasise the likely ongoing threats to global environments from introductions of species.

  3. Effects of spatial heterogeneity on butterfly species richness in Rocky Mountain National Park, CO, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, S.; Simonson, S.E.; Stohlgren, T.J.

    2009-01-01

    We investigated butterfly responses to plot-level characteristics (plant species richness, vegetation height, and range in NDVI [normalized difference vegetation index]) and spatial heterogeneity in topography and landscape patterns (composition and configuration) at multiple spatial scales. Stratified random sampling was used to collect data on butterfly species richness from seventy-six 20 ?? 50 m plots. The plant species richness and average vegetation height data were collected from 76 modified-Whittaker plots overlaid on 76 butterfly plots. Spatial heterogeneity around sample plots was quantified by measuring topographic variables and landscape metrics at eight spatial extents (radii of 300, 600 to 2,400 m). The number of butterfly species recorded was strongly positively correlated with plant species richness, proportion of shrubland and mean patch size of shrubland. Patterns in butterfly species richness were negatively correlated with other variables including mean patch size, average vegetation height, elevation, and range in NDVI. The best predictive model selected using Akaike's Information Criterion corrected for small sample size (AICc), explained 62% of the variation in butterfly species richness at the 2,100 m spatial extent. Average vegetation height and mean patch size were among the best predictors of butterfly species richness. The models that included plot-level information and topographic variables explained relatively less variation in butterfly species richness, and were improved significantly after including landscape metrics. Our results suggest that spatial heterogeneity greatly influences patterns in butterfly species richness, and that it should be explicitly considered in conservation and management actions. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  4. Canopy cover negatively affects arboreal ant species richness in a tropical open habitat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. C. M. Queiroz

    Full Text Available Abstract We tested the hypothesis of a negative relationship between vegetation characteristics and ant species richness in a Brazilian open vegetation habitat, called candeial. We set up arboreal pitfalls to sample arboreal ants and measured the following environmental variables, which were used as surrogate of environmental heterogeneity: tree richness, tree density, tree height, circumference at the base of the plants, and canopy cover. Only canopy cover had a negative effect on the arboreal ant species richness. Vegetation characteristics and plant species composition are probably homogeneous in candeial, which explains the lack of relationship between other environmental variables and ant richness. Open vegetation habitats harbor a large number of opportunistic and generalist species, besides specialist ants from habitats with high temperatures. An increase in canopy cover decreases sunlight incidence and may cause local microclimatic differences, which negatively affect the species richness of specialist ants from open areas. Canopy cover regulates the richness of arboreal ants in open areas, since only few ant species are able to colonize sites with dense vegetation; most species are present in sites with high temperature and luminosity. Within open vegetation habitats the relationship between vegetation characteristics and species richness seems to be the opposite from closed vegetation areas, like forests.

  5. The effects of forest destruction on the abundance, species richness ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SARAH

    2013-04-25

    Apr 25, 2013 ... species richness and diversity of butterflies in the. Bosomkese Forest Reserve ... reducing global warming (Myers, et al., 2000). According to Swanes et al. ..... negatively affected the butterfly species. Five butterfly families ...

  6. Orchid Species Richness along Elevational and Environmental Gradients in Yunnan, China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shi-Bao Zhang

    Full Text Available The family Orchidaceae is not only one of the most diverse families of flowering plants, but also one of the most endangered plant taxa. Therefore, understanding how its species richness varies along geographical and environmental gradients is essential for conservation efforts. However, such knowledge is rarely available, especially on a large scale. We used a database extracted from herbarium records to investigate the relationships between orchid species richness and elevation, and to examine how elevational diversity in Yunnan Province, China, might be explained by mid-domain effect (MDE, species-area relationship (SAR, water-energy dynamics (WED, Rapoport's Rule, and climatic variables. This particular location was selected because it is one of the primary centers of distribution for orchids. We recorded 691 species that span 127 genera and account for 88.59% of all confirmed orchid species in Yunnan. Species richness, estimated at 200-m intervals along a slope, was closely correlated with elevation, peaking at 1395 to 1723 m. The elevational pattern of orchid richness was considerably shaped by MDE, SAR, WED, and climate. Among those four predictors, climate was the strongest while MDE was the weakest for predicting the elevational pattern of orchid richness. Species richness showed parabolic responses to mean annual temperature (MAT and mean annual precipitation (MAP, with maximum richness values recorded at 13.7 to 17.7°C for MAT and 1237 to 1414 mm for MAP. Rapoport's Rule also helped to explain the elevational pattern of species richness in Yunnan, but those influences were not entirely uniform across all methods. These results suggested that the elevational pattern of orchid species richness in Yunnan is collectively shaped by several mechanisms related to geometric constraints, size of the land area, and environments. Because of the dominant role of climate in determining orchid richness, our findings may contribute to a better

  7. Moisture and nutrients determine the distribution and richness of India's large herbivore species assemblage

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ahrestani, F.S.; Heitkonig, I.M.A.; Langevelde, van F.; Vaidyanathan, S.; Madhusudan, M.D.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2011-01-01

    The goal of this study was to test whether body-mass based foraging principles, guided by plant available moisture (PAM) and plant available nutrients (PAN), could explain large mammalian herbivore species distribution and richness in India. We tested (1) whether the occurrence of larger-bodied

  8. The age of island-like habitats impacts habitat specialist species richness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horsák, Michal; Hájek, Michal; Spitale, Daniel; Hájková, Petra; Díte, Daniel; Nekola, Jeffrey C

    2012-05-01

    While the effects of contemporaneous local environment on species richness have been repeatedly documented, much less is known about historical effects, especially over large temporal scales. Using fen sites in the Western Carpathian Mountains with known radiocarbon-dated ages spanning Late Glacial to modern times (16 975-270 cal years before 2008), we have compiled richness data from the same plots for three groups of taxa with contrasting dispersal modes: (1) vascular plants, which have macroscopic propagules possessing variable, but rather low, dispersal abilities; (2) bryophytes, which have microscopic propagules that are readily transported long distances by air; and (3) terrestrial and freshwater mollusks, which have macroscopic individuals with slow active migration rates, but which also often possess high passive dispersal abilities. Using path analysis we tested the relationships between species richness and habitat age, area, isolation, and altitude for these groups. When only matrix-derived taxa were considered, no significant positive relation was noted between species richness and habitat size or age. When only calcareous-fen specialists were considered, however, habitat age was found to significantly affect vascular plant richness and, marginally, also bryophyte richness, whereas mollusk richness was significantly affected by habitat area. These results suggest that in inland insular systems only habitat specialist (i.e., interpatch disperser and/or relict species) richness is influenced by habitat age and/or area, with habitat age becoming more important as species dispersal ability decreases.

  9. Species richness, equitability, and abundance of ants in disturbed landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, J.H.; Krzysik, A.J.; Kovacic, D.A.; Duda, J.J.; Freeman, D.C.; Emlen, J.M.; Zak, J.C.; Long, W.R.; Wallace, M.P.; Chamberlin-Graham, C.; Nutter, J.P.; Balbach, H.E.

    2009-01-01

    Ants are used as indicators of environmental change in disturbed landscapes, often without adequate understanding of their response to disturbance. Ant communities in the southeastern United States displayed a hump-backed species richness curve against an index of landscape disturbance. Forty sites at Fort Benning, in west-central Georgia, covered a spectrum of habitat disturbance (military training and fire) in upland forest. Sites disturbed by military training had fewer trees, less canopy cover, more bare ground, and warmer, more compact soils with shallower A-horizons. We sampled ground-dwelling ants with pitfall traps, and measured 15 habitat variables related to vegetation and soil. Ant species richness was greatest with a relative disturbance of 43%, but equitability was greatest with no disturbance. Ant abundance was greatest with a relative disturbance of 85%. High species richness at intermediate disturbance was associated with greater within-site spatial heterogeneity. Species richness was also associated with intermediate values of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), a correlate of net primary productivity (NPP). Available NPP (the product of NDVI and the fraction of days that soil temperature exceeded 25 ??C), however, was positively correlated with species richness, though not with ant abundance. Species richness was unrelated to soil texture, total ground cover, and fire frequency. Ant species richness and equitability are potential state indicators of the soil arthropod community. Moreover, equitability can be used to monitor ecosystem change. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd.

  10. Dominance hierarchies, diversity and species richness of vascular plants in an alpine meadow: contrasting short and medium term responses to simulated global change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juha M. Alatalo

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available We studied the impact of simulated global change on a high alpine meadow plant community. Specifically, we examined whether short-term (5 years responses are good predictors for medium-term (7 years changes in the system by applying a factorial warming and nutrient manipulation to 20 plots in Latnjajaure, subarctic Sweden. Seven years of experimental warming and nutrient enhancement caused dramatic shifts in dominance hierarchies in response to the nutrient and the combined warming and nutrient enhancement treatments. Dominance hierarchies in the meadow moved from a community being dominated by cushion plants, deciduous, and evergreen shrubs to a community being dominated by grasses, sedges, and forbs. Short-term responses were shown to be inconsistent in their ability to predict medium-term responses for most functional groups, however, grasses showed a consistent and very substantial increase in response to nutrient addition over the seven years. The non-linear responses over time point out the importance of longer-term studies with repeated measurements to be able to better predict future changes. Forecasted changes to temperature and nutrient availability have implications for trophic interactions, and may ultimately influence the access to and palatability of the forage for grazers. Depending on what anthropogenic change will be most pronounced in the future (increase in nutrient deposits, warming, or a combination of them both, different shifts in community dominance hierarchies may occur. Generally, this study supports the productivity–diversity relationship found across arctic habitats, with community diversity peaking in mid-productivity systems and degrading as nutrient availability increases further. This is likely due the increasing competition in plant–plant interactions and the shifting dominance structure with grasses taking over the experimental plots, suggesting that global change could have high costs to biodiversity in the

  11. Alhagi: a plant genus rich in bioactives for pharmaceuticals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muhammad, Gulzar; Hussain, Muhammad Ajaz; Anwar, Farooq; Ashraf, Muhammad; Gilani, Anwarul-Hassan

    2015-01-01

    Alhagi, a plant genus from family Fabaceae, is widely distributed in many countries of Asia, Australia and Europe. Commonly known as camel thorn, Alhagi has many species famous for feed and folk medicinal uses. Different species of Alhagi such as Alhagi pseudalhagi, A. graecorum, A. sparsifolia, A. kirgisorum, A. maurorum, A. camelorum and A. persarum have been explored for their antioxidant potential and nutritive value along with various medicinal properties. A wide array of pharmacologically active secondary metabolites such as flavonoids, alkaloids (alhacidin and alhacin), steroids, pseudalhagin A, phospholipids and polysaccharides have been reported from different parts of Alhagi species. A broad range of biological activities such as antioxidant, cardiovascular, anti-ulcer, hepatoprotective, antispasmodic, antidiarrheal, antinociceptive, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, antibacterial and antifungal have been ascribed to different parts of Alhagi. In addition, Alhagi plants are also valued as a rich source of digestible protein and important minerals. This review focuses on the medicinal applications and detailed profile of high-value bioactive phytochemicals along with pharmacological attributes and therapeutic potential of these multi-purpose plants.

  12. Combining geodiversity with climate and topography to account for threatened species richness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tukiainen, Helena; Bailey, Joseph J; Field, Richard; Kangas, Katja; Hjort, Jan

    2017-04-01

    Understanding threatened species diversity is important for long-term conservation planning. Geodiversity-the diversity of Earth surface materials, forms, and processes-may be a useful biodiversity surrogate for conservation and have conservation value itself. Geodiversity and species richness relationships have been demonstrated; establishing whether geodiversity relates to threatened species' diversity and distribution pattern is a logical next step for conservation. We used 4 geodiversity variables (rock-type and soil-type richness, geomorphological diversity, and hydrological feature diversity) and 4 climatic and topographic variables to model threatened species diversity across 31 of Finland's national parks. We also analyzed rarity-weighted richness (a measure of site complementarity) of threatened vascular plants, fungi, bryophytes, and all species combined. Our 1-km(2) resolution data set included 271 threatened species from 16 major taxa. We modeled threatened species richness (raw and rarity weighted) with boosted regression trees. Climatic variables, especially the annual temperature sum above 5 °C, dominated our models, which is consistent with the critical role of temperature in this boreal environment. Geodiversity added significant explanatory power. High geodiversity values were consistently associated with high threatened species richness across taxa. The combined effect of geodiversity variables was even more pronounced in the rarity-weighted richness analyses (except for fungi) than in those for species richness. Geodiversity measures correlated most strongly with species richness (raw and rarity weighted) of threatened vascular plants and bryophytes and were weakest for molluscs, lichens, and mammals. Although simple measures of topography improve biodiversity modeling, our results suggest that geodiversity data relating to geology, landforms, and hydrology are also worth including. This reinforces recent arguments that conserving nature

  13. Program SimAssem: software for simulating species assemblages and estimating species richness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon C. Reese; Kenneth R. Wilson; Curtis H. Flather

    2013-01-01

    1. Species richness, the number of species in a defined area, is the most frequently used biodiversity measure. Despite its intuitive appeal and conceptual simplicity, species richness is often difficult to quantify, even in well surveyed areas, because of sampling limitations such as survey effort and species detection probability....

  14. Features and distribution patterns of Chinese endemic seed plant species

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ji-Hong HUANG; Jian-Hua CHEN; Jun-Sheng YING; Ke-Ping MA

    2011-01-01

    We compiled and identified a list of Chinese. endemic seed plant species based on a large number of published References and expert reviews. The characters of these seed plant species and their distribution patterns were described at length. China is rich in endemic seed plants, with a total of 14 939 species (accounting for 52.1%of its total seed plant species) belonging to 1584 genera and 191 families. Temperate families and genera have a significantly higher proportion of endemism than cosmopolitan and tropical ones. The most primitive and derived groups have significantly higher endemism than the other groups. The endemism of tree, shrub, and liana or vine is higher than that of total species; in contrast, the endemism of herb is lower than that of total species. Geographically,these Chinese endemic plants are mainly distributed in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, southwest China. Species richness and proportion of these endemic plants decrease with increased latitude and have a unimodal response to altitude. The peak value of proportion of endemism is at higher altitudes than that of total species and endemic species richness. The proportions of endemic shrub, liana or vine, and herb increase with altitude and have a clear unimodal curve. In contrast, the proportion of tree increases with altitude, with a sudden increase at~4000 m and has a completely different model. To date, our study provides the most comprehensive list of Chinese endemic seed plant species and their basic composition and distribution features.

  15. Resource stoichiometry and availability modulate species richness and biomass of tropical litter macro-invertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jochum, Malte; Barnes, Andrew D; Weigelt, Patrick; Ott, David; Rembold, Katja; Farajallah, Achmad; Brose, Ulrich

    2017-09-01

    High biodiversity and biomass of soil communities are crucial for litter decomposition in terrestrial ecosystems such as tropical forests. However, the leaf litter that these communities consume is of particularly poor quality as indicated by elemental stoichiometry. The impact of resource quantity, quality and other habitat parameters on species richness and biomass of consumer communities is often studied in isolation, although much can be learned from simultaneously studying both community characteristics. Using a dataset of 780 macro-invertebrate consumer species across 32 sites in tropical lowland rain forest and agricultural systems on Sumatra, Indonesia, we investigated the effects of basal resource stoichiometry (C:X ratios of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Na, S in local leaf litter), litter mass (basal resource quantity and habitat space), plant species richness (surrogate for litter habitat heterogeneity), and soil pH (acidity) on consumer species richness and biomass across different consumer groups (i.e. 3 feeding guilds and 10 selected taxonomic groups). In order to distinguish the most important predictors of consumer species richness and biomass, we applied a standardised model averaging approach investigating the effects of basal resource stoichiometry, litter mass, plant species richness and soil pH on both consumer community characteristics. This standardised approach enabled us to identify differences and similarities in the magnitude and importance of such effects on consumer species richness and biomass. Across consumer groups, we found litter mass to be the most important predictor of both species richness and biomass. Resource stoichiometry had a more pronounced impact on consumer species richness than on their biomass. As expected, taxonomic groups differed in which resource and habitat parameters (basal resource stoichiometry, litter mass, plant species richness and pH) were most important for modulating their community characteristics. The importance

  16. The regional species richness and genetic diversity of Arctic vegetation reflect both past glaciations and current climate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stewart, L.; Alsos, Inger G.; Bay, Christian

    2016-01-01

    species richness of the vascular plant flora of 21 floristic provinces and examined local species richness in 6215 vegetation plots distributed across the Arctic. We assessed levels of genetic diversity inferred from amplified fragment length polymorphism variation across populations of 23 common Arctic......, it will most probably also exhibit lags in response to current and future climate change. Our results also suggest that local species richness at the plot scale is more determined by local habitat factors...

  17. Butterfly Species Richness in Selected West Albertine Rift Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrice Kasangaki

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The butterfly species richness of 17 forests located in the western arm of the Albertine Rift in Uganda was compared using cluster analysis and principal components analysis (PCA to assess similarities among the forests. The objective was to compare the butterfly species richness of the forests. A total of 630 butterfly species were collected in 5 main families. The different species fell into 7 ecological groupings with the closed forest group having the most species and the swamp/wetland group with the fewest number of species. Three clusters were obtained. The first cluster had forests characterized by relatively high altitude and low species richness despite the big area in the case of Rwenzori and being close to the supposed Pleistocene refugium. The second cluster had forests far away from the supposed refugium except Kisangi and moderate species richness with small areas, whereas the third cluster had those forests that were more disturbed, high species richness, and low altitudinal levels with big areas.

  18. impact of physicochemical factors on zooplankton species richness ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    DR. AMINU

    A study on the impact of physicochemical factors on zooplankton species richness and abundance was carried out .... into the water until the screen showed a fixed reading as described .... Transparency enables the sun rays to penetrate to a.

  19. Effects of urbanization on carnivore species distribution and richness

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Miguel A. Ordeñana; Kevin R. Crooks; Erin E. Boydston; Robert N. Fisher; Lisa M. Lyren; Shalene Siudyla; Christopher D. Haas; Sierra Harris; Stacie A. Hathaway; Greta M. Turschak; A. Keith Miles; Dirk H. Van Vuren

    2010-01-01

    ... (distance to urban edge) and intensity (percentage of area urbanized) on carnivore occurrence and species richness in natural habitats close to the urban boundary. Coyotes (Canis latrans) and bobcats (Lynx rufus...

  20. The humpbacked species richness-curve: A contingent rule for community ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, John H.; Duda, Jeffrey J.

    2011-01-01

    Functional relationships involving species richness may be unimodal, monotonically increasing, monotonically decreasing, bimodal, multimodal, U-shaped, or with no discernable pattern. The unimodal relationships are the most interesting because they suggest dynamic, nonequilibrium community processes. For that reason, they are also contentious. In this paper, we provide a wide-ranging review of the literature on unimodal (humpbacked) species richness-relationships. Though not as widespread as previously thought, unimodal patterns of species richness are often associated with disturbance, predation and herbivory, productivity, spatial heterogeneity, environmental gradients, time, and latitude. These unimodal patterns are contingent on organism and environment; we examine unimodal species richness-curves involving plants, invertebrates, vertebrates, plankton, and microbes in marine, lacustrine, and terrestrial habitats. A goal of future research is to understand the contingent patterns and the complex, interacting processes that generate them.

  1. Butterfly species richness and diversity in the Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary in South Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majumder, Joydeb; Lodh, Rahul; Agarwala, B K

    2013-01-01

    Several wildlife sanctuaries in the world are home to the surviving populations of many endemic species. Trishna wildlife sanctuary in northeast India is protected by law, and is home to the last surviving populations of Asian bison (Bos gorus Smith), spectacle monkey (Trachypithecus phayrie Blyth), capped langur (Trachypithecus pileatus Blyth), slow loris (Nycticebus coucang Boddaert), wild cat (Felis chaus Schreber), and wild boars (Sus scrofa L.), among many other animals and plants. The sanctuary was explored for species richness and diversity of butterflies. A six-month-long study revealed the occurrence of 59 butterfly species that included 21 unique species and 9 species listed in the threatened category. The mixed moist deciduous mature forest of the sanctuary harbored greater species richness and species diversity (39 species under 31 genera) than other parts of the sanctuary, which is comprised of regenerated secondary mixed deciduous forest (37 species under 32 genera), degraded forests (32 species under 28 genera), and open grassland with patches of plantations and artificial lakes (24 species under 17 genera). The majority of these species showed a distribution range throughout the Indo-Malayan region and Australasia tropics, and eight species were distributed in the eastern parts of South Asia, including one species, Labadea martha (F.), which is distributed in the eastern Himalayas alone. Estimator Chao 2 provided the best-predicted value of species richness. The steep slope of the species accumulation curve suggested the occurrence of a large number of rare species, and a prolonged gentle slope suggested a higher species richness at a higher sample abundance. The species composition of vegetation-rich habitats showed high similarity in comparison to vegetation-poor habitats.

  2. Butterfly Species Richness and Diversity in the Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary in South Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majumder, Joydeb; Lodh, Rahul; Agarwala, B. K.

    2013-01-01

    Several wildlife sanctuaries in the world are home to the surviving populations of many endemic species. Trishna wildlife sanctuary in northeast India is protected by law, and is home to the last surviving populations of Asian bison (Bos gorus Smith), spectacle monkey (Trachypithecus phayrie Blyth), capped langur (Trachypithecus pileatus Blyth), slow loris (Nycticebus coucang Boddaert), wild cat (Felis chaus Schreber), and wild boars (Sus scrofa L.), among many other animals and plants. The sanctuary was explored for species richness and diversity of butterflies. A six-month-long study revealed the occurrence of 59 butterfly species that included 21 unique species and 9 species listed in the threatened category. The mixed moist deciduous mature forest of the sanctuary harbored greater species richness and species diversity (39 species under 31 genera) than other parts of the sanctuary, which is comprised of regenerated secondary mixed deciduous forest (37 species under 32 genera), degraded forests (32 species under 28 genera), and open grassland with patches of plantations and artificial lakes (24 species under 17 genera). The majority of these species showed a distribution range throughout the Indo-Malayan region and Australasia tropics, and eight species were distributed in the eastern parts of South Asia, including one species, Labadea martha (F.), which is distributed in the eastern Himalayas alone. Estimator Chao 2 provided the best-predicted value of species richness. The steep slope of the species accumulation curve suggested the occurrence of a large number of rare species, and a prolonged gentle slope suggested a higher species richness at a higher sample abundance. The species composition of vegetation-rich habitats showed high similarity in comparison to vegetation-poor habitats. PMID:24219624

  3. Food plant diversity as broad-Scale Determinant of Avian Frugivore Richness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kissling, W. Daniel; Rahbek, Carsten; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin

    2007-01-01

    The causes of variation in animal species richness at large spatial scales are intensively debated. Here, we examine whether the diversity of food plants, contemporary climate and energy, or habitat heterogeneity determine species richness patterns of avian frugivores across sub-Saharan Africa...... from niche assembly mechanisms (e.g. coevolutionary adaptations to fruit size, fruit colour or vertical stratification of fruit presentation) or, alternatively, from stochastic speciation-extinction processes. In any case, the close relationship between species richness of Ficus and avian frugivores...... suggests that figs are keystone resources for animal consumers, even at continental scales....

  4. Global hotspots and correlates of alien species richness across taxonomic groups

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, Wayne; Moser, Dietmar; van Kleunen, Mark; Kreft, Holger; Pergl, Jan; Pysek, Petr; Weigelt, Patrick; Winter, Marten; Lenzner, Bernd; Blackburn, Tim M.; Dyer, Ellie; Cassey, Phillip; Scrivens, Sally-Louise; Economo, Evan P.; Guenard, Benoit; Capinha, Cesar; Seebens, Hanno; Garcia-Diaz, Pablo; Nentwig, Wolfgang; Garcia-Berthou, Emili; Casal, Christine; Mandrak, Nicholas E.; Fuller, Pam; Meyer, Carsten; Essl, Franz

    2017-01-01

    Human-mediated transport beyond biogeographic barriers has led to the introduction and establishment of alien species in new regions worldwide. However, we lack a global picture of established alien species richness for multiple taxonomic groups. Here, we assess global patterns and potential drivers of established alien species richness across eight taxonomic groups (amphibians, ants, birds, freshwater fishes, mammals, vascular plants, reptiles and spiders) for 186 islands and 423 mainland regions. Hotspots of established alien species richness are predominantly island and coastal mainland regions. Regions with greater gross domestic product per capita, human population density, and area have higher established alien richness, with strongest effects emerging for islands. Ants and reptiles, birds and mammals, and vascular plants and spiders form pairs of taxonomic groups with the highest spatial congruence in established alien richness, but drivers explaining richness differ between the taxa in each pair. Across all taxonomic groups, our results highlight the need to prioritize prevention of further alien species introductions to island and coastal mainland regions globally.

  5. Species richness and morphological diversity of passerine birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricklefs, Robert E

    2012-09-01

    The relationship between species richness and the occupation of niche space can provide insight into the processes that shape patterns of biodiversity. For example, if species interactions constrained coexistence, one might expect tendencies toward even spacing within niche space and positive relationships between diversity and total niche volume. I use morphological diversity of passerine birds as a proxy for diet, foraging maneuvers, and foraging substrates and examine the morphological space occupied by regional and local passerine avifaunas. Although independently diversified regional faunas exhibit convergent morphology, species are clustered rather than evenly distributed, the volume of the morphological space is weakly related to number of species per taxonomic family, and morphological volume is unrelated to number of species within both regional avifaunas and local assemblages. These results seemingly contradict patterns expected when species interactions constrain regional or local diversity, and they suggest a larger role for diversification, extinction, and dispersal limitation in shaping species richness.

  6. Predicting spatial variations of tree species richness in tropical forests from high-resolution remote sensing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fricker, Geoffrey A; Wolf, Jeffrey A; Saatchi, Sassan S; Gillespie, Thomas W

    2015-10-01

    There is an increasing interest in identifying theories, empirical data sets, and remote-sensing metrics that can quantify tropical forest alpha diversity at a landscape scale. Quantifying patterns of tree species richness in the field is time consuming, especially in regions with over 100 tree species/ha. We examine species richness in a 50-ha plot in Barro Colorado Island in Panama and test if biophysical measurements of canopy reflectance from high-resolution satellite imagery and detailed vertical forest structure and topography from light detection and ranging (lidar) are associated with species richness across four tree size classes (>1, 1-10, >10, and >20 cm dbh) and three spatial scales (1, 0.25, and 0.04 ha). We use the 2010 tree inventory, including 204,757 individuals belonging to 301 species of freestanding woody plants or 166 ± 1.5 species/ha (mean ± SE), to compare with remote-sensing data. All remote-sensing metrics became less correlated with species richness as spatial resolution decreased from 1.0 ha to 0.04 ha and tree size increased from 1 cm to 20 cm dbh. When all stems with dbh > 1 cm in 1-ha plots were compared to remote-sensing metrics, standard deviation in canopy reflectance explained 13% of the variance in species richness. The standard deviations of canopy height and the topographic wetness index (TWI) derived from lidar were the best metrics to explain the spatial variance in species richness (15% and 24%, respectively). Using multiple regression models, we made predictions of species richness across Barro Colorado Island (BCI) at the 1-ha spatial scale for different tree size classes. We predicted variation in tree species richness among all plants (adjusted r² = 0.35) and trees with dbh > 10 cm (adjusted r² = 0.25). However, the best model results were for understory trees and shrubs (dbh 1-10 cm) (adjusted r² = 0.52) that comprise the majority of species richness in tropical forests. Our results indicate that high

  7. Planting richness affects the recovery of vegetation and soil processes in constructed wetlands following disturbance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Means, Mary M.; Ahn, Changwoo; Noe, Gregory

    2017-01-01

    The resilience of constructed wetland ecosystems to severe disturbance, such as a mass herbivory eat-out or soil disturbance, remains poorly understood. In this study, we use a controlled mesocosm experiment to examine how original planting diversity affects the ability of constructed freshwater wetlands to recover structurally and functionally after a disturbance (i.e., aboveground harvesting and soil coring). We assessed if the planting richness of macrophyte species influences recovery of constructed wetlands one year after a disturbance. Mesocosms were planted in richness groups with various combinations of either 1, 2, 3, or 4 species (RG 1–4) to create a gradient of richness. Structural wetland traits measured include morphological regrowth of macrophytes, soil bulk density, soil moisture, soil %C, and soil %N. Functional wetland traits measured include above ground biomass production, soil potential denitrification, and soil potential microbial respiration. Total mesocosm cover increased along the gradient of plant richness (43.5% in RG 1 to 84.5% in RG 4) in the growing season after the disturbance, although not all planted individuals recovered. This was largely attributed to the dominance of the obligate annual species. The morphology of each species was affected negatively by the disturbance, producing shorter, and fewer stems than in the years prior to the disturbance, suggesting that the communities had not fully recovered one year after the disturbance. Soil characteristics were almost uniform across the planting richness gradient, but for a few exceptions (%C, C:N, and non-growing season soil moisture were higher slightly in RG 2). Denitrification potential (DEA) increased with increasing planting richness and was influenced by the abundance and quality of soil C. Increased open space in unplanted mesocosms and mesocosms with lower species richness increased labile C, leading to higher C mineralization rates.

  8. Environmental heterogeneity as a universal driver of species richness across taxa, biomes and spatial scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Anke; Gerstner, Katharina; Kreft, Holger

    2014-07-01

    Environmental heterogeneity is regarded as one of the most important factors governing species richness gradients. An increase in available niche space, provision of refuges and opportunities for isolation and divergent adaptation are thought to enhance species coexistence, persistence and diversification. However, the extent and generality of positive heterogeneity-richness relationships are still debated. Apart from widespread evidence supporting positive relationships, negative and hump-shaped relationships have also been reported. In a meta-analysis of 1148 data points from 192 studies worldwide, we examine the strength and direction of the relationship between spatial environmental heterogeneity and species richness of terrestrial plants and animals. We find that separate effects of heterogeneity in land cover, vegetation, climate, soil and topography are significantly positive, with vegetation and topographic heterogeneity showing particularly strong associations with species richness. The use of equal-area study units, spatial grain and spatial extent emerge as key factors influencing the strength of heterogeneity-richness relationships, highlighting the pervasive influence of spatial scale in heterogeneity-richness studies. We provide the first quantitative support for the generality of positive heterogeneity-richness relationships across heterogeneity components, habitat types, taxa and spatial scales from landscape to global extents, and identify specific needs for future comparative heterogeneity-richness research. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  9. Testing the Relationships between Diversification, Species Richness, and Trait Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozak, Kenneth H; Wiens, John J

    2016-11-01

    Understanding which traits drive species diversification is essential for macroevolutionary studies and to understand patterns of species richness among clades. An important tool for testing if traits influence diversification is to estimate rates of net diversification for each clade, and then test for a relationship between traits and diversification rates among clades. However, this general approach has become very controversial. Numerous papers have now stated that it is inappropriate to analyze net diversification rates in groups in which clade richness is not positively correlated with clade age. Similarly, some have stated that variation in net diversification rates does not explain variation in species richness patterns among clades across the Tree of Life. Some authors have also suggested that strong correlations between richness and diversification rates are a statistical artifact and effectively inevitable. If this latter point is true, then correlations between richness and diversification rates would be uninformative (or even misleading) for identifying how much variation in species richness among clades is explained by variation in net diversification rates. Here, we use simulations (based on empirical data for plethodontid salamanders) to address three main questions. First, how is variation in net diversification rates among clades related to the relationship between clade age and species richness? Second, how accurate are these net diversification rate estimators, and does the age-richness relationship have any relevance to their accuracy? Third, is a relationship between species richness and diversification rates an inevitable, statistical artifact? Our simulations show that strong, positive age-richness relationships arise when diversification rates are invariant among clades, whereas realistic variation in diversification rates among clades frequently disrupts this relationship. Thus, a significant age-richness relationship should not be a

  10. Multiscale perspectives of species richness in East Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Said, M.

    2003-01-01

    This dissertation describes and analyses animal species richness in East Africa from a multi-scale perspective. We studied diversity patterns at sub-continental, national and sub-national level. The study demonstrated that species diversity patterns were scale-dependent. Diversity patterns varied wi

  11. Patterns of species richness in sandy beaches of South America

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Species richness of the intertidal macroinfauna of exposed sandy beaches around South America is reviewed in relation ... The middle shore is primspecies composition with lati-.

  12. Drivers of species richness in European Tenebrionidae (Coleoptera)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fattorini, Simone; Ulrich, Werner

    2012-08-01

    The species-area relationship (SAR) and the latitudinal gradient in species richness are the most widespread and best-documented patterns in ecology, yet few studies have explored how the two patterns are interrelated. We used tenebrionid beetles as a species rich invertebrate group to investigate how area, habitat heterogeneity, climate, and ecological history act together in shaping species richness across Europe. We tested the effects of various climatic gradients on tenebrionid richness, with separate analyses for endemics and non-endemics. To take into account differences in area size among geographical units, we included species-area relationships using simultaneous autoregressive models. Although area had a significant effect on richness, the signal associated with temperature is so strong that it is still evident as a major driver. Also, the effect of area was only apparent when the effect of spatial coordinates had been accounted for, which has important implications for the use of SARs to locate diversity hotspots. The influence of latitude was mainly explained by a temperature gradient. Our findings support a postglacial European colonisation mainly from glacial southern refuges. Large Mediterranean islands were also important refugial areas.

  13. Tardigrades of Alaska: distribution patterns, diversity and species richness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carl Johansson

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available During the summer of 2010, a biotic survey of tardigrades was conducted along a latitudinal transect in central Alaska from the Kenai Peninsula, via Fairbanks and the Arctic Circle to the coastal plain. Work was centred at the Toolik and Bonanza Creek Long Term Ecological Research Network sites and supplemented by opportunistic collections from the Kenai Peninsula and Anchorage areas. The 235 samples collected at 20 sites over 10 degrees of latitude yielded 1463 tardigrades representing two classes, three orders, 10 families, 23 genera and 73 species from 142 positive samples. A total of 50 species are new to Alaska, increasing the state's known species richness to 84. Several environmental metrics, such as pH, substrate, elevation, location and habitat were measured, recorded and analysed along the latitudinal gradient. Contrary to expectations, pH did not appear to be a predictor of tardigrade abundance or distribution. Density and species richness were relatively consistent across sites. However, the assemblages were highly variable within and between sites at only 14–20% similarity. We detected no correlation between species diversity and latitudinal or environmental gradients, though this may be affected by a high (59.9% occurrence of single-species samples (containing individuals of only one species. Estimates of species richness were calculated for Alaska (118 and the Arctic (172. Our efforts increased the number of known species in Alaska to 84, and those results led us to question the validity of the estimate numbers.

  14. Tree species richness affecting fine root biomass in European forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finér, Leena; Domisch, Timo; Vesterdal, Lars; Dawud, Seid M.; Raulund-Rasmussen, Karsten

    2016-04-01

    Fine roots are an important factor in the forest carbon cycle, contributing significantly to below-ground biomass and soil carbon storage. Therefore it is essential to understand the role of the forest structure, indicated by tree species diversity in controlling below-ground biomass and managing the carbon pools of forest soils. We studied how tree species richness would affect fine root biomass and its distribution in the soil profile and biomass above- and below-ground allocation patterns of different tree species. Our main hypothesis was that increasing tree species richness would lead to below-ground niche differentiation and more efficient soil exploitation by the roots, resulting in a higher fine root biomass in the soil. We sampled fine roots of trees and understorey vegetation in six European forest types in Finland, Poland, Germany, Romania, Italy and Spain, representing boreal, temperate and Mediterranean forests, established within the FunDivEUROPE project for studying the effects of tree species diversity on forest functioning. After determining fine root biomasses, we identified the percentages of different tree species in the fine root samples using the near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) method. Opposite to our hypothesis we did not find any general positive relationship between tree species richness and fine root biomass. A weak positive response found in Italy and Spain seemed to be related to dry environmental conditions during Mediterranean summers. At the Polish site where we could sample deeper soil layers (down to 40 cm), we found more tree fine roots in the deeper layers under species-rich forests, as compared to the monocultures, indicating the ability of trees to explore more resources and to increase soil carbon stocks. Tree species richness did not affect biomass allocation patterns between above- and below-ground parts of the trees.

  15. A global evaluation of metabolic theory as an explanation for terrestrial species richness gradients

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hawkins, Bradford A.; Albuquerque, Fabio S.; Araújo, Miguel B.

    2007-01-01

    We compiled 46 broadscale data sets of species richness for a wide range of terrestrial plant, invertebrate, and ectothermic vertebrate groups in all parts of the world to test the ability of metabolic theory to account for observed diversity gradients. The theory makes two related predictions: (...

  16. The relationship between species richness and productivity in four typical grasslands of northern China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    MA Wenhong

    2007-01-01

    The relationship between plant species richness and primary productivity has long been acentral topic in biodiversity research.In this paper,we examine the relationship between species richness and productivity in four typical grasslands of Northern China at different spatial scales.At the community scale,a positive correlation was found for six of seven communities.A unimodal pattern was found only for one community (Stipa glareosa community),while at a large scale (vegetation type or landscape/region),the relationship was also found significantly positive.Species richness ranged from 4 to 35 species,and community aboveground productiand aboveground productivity were found in alpine meadow,followed by meadow steppe,typical steppe and desert steppe.

  17. [Relationships between Kobresia's species richness and climatic factors in China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jian-Guo; Zhou, Qiao-Fu

    2012-04-01

    Based on the information from collected literatures, this paper defined the geographical distribution of Kobresia in China, and analyzed the relationships between the Kobresia's species richness and climatic factors. The Kobresia in China had higher species richness on the borders of Yunnan Province, Sichuan Province, and Tibet Autonomous Region and in the southeast Qinghai Province and Himalayas, with a denser and wider distribution in the areas of altitude 2500 m, or the areas of lower or medium thermal factors, medium precipitation, medium aridity and humidity, or medium sunshine duration. The species richness was significantly negatively correlated with the mean, maximum, and minimum air temperature in July and the mean air temperature in summer (P index, annual biotemperature, extreme maximum air temperature, air temperature in summer, and mean, maximum, and minimum air temperature in July. Multiple linear regression analysis indicated that the maximum air temperature in July and the precipitation in spring had significant effects on the species richness (Pindex, sunshine hours in April-October, precipitation in summer and autumn, and annual precipitation had greater effects on the richness. The air temperature, precipitation, and sunshine hours in growth season as well as the extreme maximum air temperature, annual precipitation, and soil moisture content were the main factors affecting the geographical distribution of Kobresia in China.

  18. Predictability of Stemflow in a Species-Rich Tropical Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmermann, A.; Zimmermann, B.

    2014-12-01

    Numerous studies investigated the influence of abiotic (meteorological conditions) and biotic factors (tree characteristics) on stemflow generation. Though these studies identified the variables that influence stemflow volumes in simply structured forests, the combination of tree characteristics that allows a robust prediction of stemflow volumes in species-rich forests is not well known. For many hydrological investigations, it would be useful if at least a rough estimate of stemflow volumes can be obtained based on tree characteristics. The need for robust predictions of stemflow motivated us to investigate the relations between tree characteristics and stemflow volumes in a species-rich tropical forest located in central Panama. With a sampling setup consisting of 10 rainfall collectors, 300 throughfall samplers, and 60 stemflow collectors and cumulated data comprising 26 rain events, we derive three main findings. First, stemflow represents a minor hydrological component in the studied 1 ha forest patch (0.98 % of cumulated rainfall). Second, in the studied species-rich forest, single tree characteristics are only weakly related to stemflow volumes. The influence of multiple tree parameters (e.g. crown diameter, presence of large epiphytes, and inclination of branches) and the dependencies among these parameters require a multivariate approach to understand the generation of stemflow. Third, predicting stemflow in species-rich forests based on tree parameters is a difficult task. Although the best model can capture the variation in stemflow to some degree, a critical validation reveals that the model cannot provide robust predictions of stemflow. A reanalysis of data from previous studies in species-rich forests corroborates this finding. Based on these results we discuss several options for quantifying stemflow volumes in species-rich forests.

  19. Productivity and species richness in longleaf pine woodlands: resource-disturbance influences across an edaphic gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirkman, L K; Giencke, L M; Taylor, R S; Boring, L R; Staudhammer, C L; Mitchell, R J

    2016-09-01

    This study examines the complex feedback mechanisms that regulate a positive relationship between species richness and productivity in a longleaf pine-wiregrass woodland. Across a natural soil moisture gradient spanning wet-mesic to xeric conditions, two large scale manipulations over a 10-yr period were used to determine how limiting resources and fire regulate plant species diversity and productivity at multiple scales. A fully factorial experiment was used to examine productivity and species richness responses to N and water additions. A separate experiment examined standing crop and richness responses to N addition in the presence and absence of fire. Specifically, these manipulations addressed the following questions: (1) How do N and water addition influence annual aboveground net primary productivity of the midstory/overstory and ground cover? (2) How do species richness responses to resource manipulations vary with scale and among functional groups of ground cover species? (3) How does standing crop (including overstory, understory/midstory, and ground cover components) differ between frequently burned and fire excluded plots after a decade without fire? (4) What is the role of fire in regulating species richness responses to N addition? This long-term study across a soil moisture gradient provides empirical evidence that species richness and productivity in longleaf pine woodlands are strongly regulated by soil moisture. After a decade of treatment, there was an overall species richness decline with N addition, an increase in richness of some functional groups with irrigation, and a substantial decline in species richness with fire exclusion. Changes in species richness in response to treatments were scale-dependent, occurring primarily at small scales (≤10 m(2) ). Further, with fire exclusion, standing crop of ground cover decreased with N addition and non-pine understory/midstory increased in wet-mesic sites. Non-pine understory/midstory standing crop

  20. Multiscale assessment of patterns of avian species richness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rahbek, C; Graves, G R

    2001-01-01

    The search for a common cause of species richness gradients has spawned more than 100 explanatory hypotheses in just the past two decades. Despite recent conceptual advances, further refinement of the most plausible models has been stifled by the difficulty of compiling high-resolution databases...... (quadrat area, approximately 12,300 to approximately 1,225,000 km(2)). Topography, precipitation, topography x latitude, ecosystem diversity, and cloud cover emerged as the most important predictors of regional variability of species richness in regression models incorporating 16 independent variables...

  1. Consequences of buffelgrass pasture development for primary productivity, perennial plant richness, and vegetation structure in the drylands of Sonora, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Kimberly; Molina-Freaner, Francisco

    2010-12-01

    In large parts of northern Mexico native plant communities are being converted to non-native buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare) pastures, and this conversion could fundamentally alter primary productivity and species richness. In Sonora, Mexico land conversion is occurring at a regional scale along a rainfall-driven gradient of primary productivity, across which native plant communities transition from desert scrub to thorn scrub. We used a paired sampling design to compare a satellite-derived index of primary productivity, richness of perennial plant species, and canopy-height profiles of native plant communities with buffelgrass pastures. We sampled species richness across a gradient of primary productivity in desert scrub and thorn scrub vegetation to examine the influence of site productivity on the outcomes of land conversion. We also examined the influence of pasture age on species richness of perennial plants. Index values of primary productivity were lower in buffelgrass pastures than in native vegetation, which suggests a reduction in primary productivity. Land conversion reduced species richness by approximately 50% at local and regional scales, reduced tree and shrub cover by 78%, and reduced canopy height. Land conversion disproportionately reduced shrub species richness, which reflects the common practice among Sonoran ranchers of conserving certain tree and cactus species. Site productivity did not affect the outcomes of land conversion. The age of a buffelgrass pasture was unrelated to species richness within the pasture, which suggests that passive recovery of species richness to preconversion levels is unlikely. Our findings demonstrate that land conversion can result in large losses of plant species richness at local and regional scales and in substantial changes to primary productivity and vegetation structure, which casts doubt on the feasibility of restoring native plant communities without active intervention on the part of land managers.

  2. Global variation in woodpecker species richness shaped by tree availability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ilsoe, Sigrid Kistrup; Kissling, W. Daniel; Fjeldsa, Jon

    2017-01-01

    a negative indirect effect on woodpecker species richness. Main conclusions: Global species richness of woodpeckers is primarily shaped by current tree cover and precipitation, reflecting a strong biotic association between woodpeckers and trees. Human influence can have a negative effect on woodpecker...... also showed a strong indirect effect on woodpecker richness via the effects on tree availability. Deep-time tree availability, Quaternary climate change, human influence and other abiotic factors showed weaker direct effects. Human influence had a negative effect on tree availability, and hence....... As an example, woodpeckers (Picidae) are closely associated with trees and woody habitats because of multiple morphological and ecological specializations. In this study, we test whether this strong biotic association causes woodpecker diversity to be closely linked to tree availability at a global scale...

  3. Disentangling species and functional group richness effects on soil N cycling in a grassland ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Xiaorong; Reich, Peter B; Hobbie, Sarah E; Kazanski, Clare E

    2017-11-01

    Species richness (SR) and functional group richness (FGR) are often confounded in both observational and experimental field studies of biodiversity and ecosystem function. This precludes discernment of their separate influences on ecosystem processes, including nitrogen (N) cycling, and how those influences might be moderated by global change factors. In a 17-year field study of grassland species, we used two full factorial experiments to independently vary SR (one or four species, with FGR = 1) and FGR (1-4 groups, with SR = 4) to assess SR and FGR effects on ecosystem N cycling and its response to elevated carbon dioxide (CO2 ) and N addition. We hypothesized that increased plant diversity (either SR or FGR) and elevated CO2 would enhance plant N pools because of greater plant N uptake, but decrease soil N cycling rates because of greater soil carbon inputs and microbial N immobilization. In partial support of these hypotheses, increasing SR or FGR (holding the other constant) enhanced total plant N pools and decreased soil nitrate pools, largely through higher root biomass, and increasing FGR strongly reduced mineralization rates, because of lower root N concentrations. In contrast, increasing SR (holding FGR constant and despite increasing total plant C and N pools) did not alter root N concentrations or net N mineralization rates. Elevated CO2 had minimal effects on plant and soil N metrics and their responses to plant diversity, whereas enriched N increased plant and soil N pools, but not soil N fluxes. These results show that functional diversity had additional effects on both plant N pools and rates of soil N cycling that were independent of those of species richness. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Anthropogenic halo disturbances alter landscape and plant richness: a ripple effect.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bingliang Liu

    Full Text Available Although anthropogenic landscape fragmentation is often considered as the primary threat to biodiversity, other factors such as immediate human disturbances may also simultaneously threaten species persistence in various ways. In this paper, we introduce a conceptual framework applied to recreation landscapes (RLs, with an aim to provide insight into the composite influences of landscape alteration accompanying immediate human disturbances on plant richness dynamics. These impacts largely occur at patch-edges. They can not only alter patch-edge structure and environment, but also permeate into surrounding natural matrices/patches affecting species persistence-here we term these "Halo disturbance effects" (HDEs. We categorized species into groups based on seed or pollen dispersal mode (animal- vs. wind-dispersed as they can be associated with species richness dynamics. We evaluated the richness of the two groups and total species in our experimental landscapes by considering the distance from patch-edge, the size of RLs and the intensity of human use over a six-year period. Our results show that animal-dispersed species decreased considerably, whereas wind-dispersed species increased while their richness presented diverse dynamics at different distances from patch-edges. Our findings clearly demonstrate that anthropogenic HDEs produce ripple effects on plant, providing an experimental interpretation for the diverse responses of species to anthropogenic disturbances. This study highlights the importance of incorporating these composite threats into conservation and management strategies.

  5. Anthropogenic halo disturbances alter landscape and plant richness: a ripple effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Bingliang; Su, Jinbao; Chen, Jianwei; Cui, Guofa; Ma, Jianzhang

    2013-01-01

    Although anthropogenic landscape fragmentation is often considered as the primary threat to biodiversity, other factors such as immediate human disturbances may also simultaneously threaten species persistence in various ways. In this paper, we introduce a conceptual framework applied to recreation landscapes (RLs), with an aim to provide insight into the composite influences of landscape alteration accompanying immediate human disturbances on plant richness dynamics. These impacts largely occur at patch-edges. They can not only alter patch-edge structure and environment, but also permeate into surrounding natural matrices/patches affecting species persistence-here we term these "Halo disturbance effects" (HDEs). We categorized species into groups based on seed or pollen dispersal mode (animal- vs. wind-dispersed) as they can be associated with species richness dynamics. We evaluated the richness of the two groups and total species in our experimental landscapes by considering the distance from patch-edge, the size of RLs and the intensity of human use over a six-year period. Our results show that animal-dispersed species decreased considerably, whereas wind-dispersed species increased while their richness presented diverse dynamics at different distances from patch-edges. Our findings clearly demonstrate that anthropogenic HDEs produce ripple effects on plant, providing an experimental interpretation for the diverse responses of species to anthropogenic disturbances. This study highlights the importance of incorporating these composite threats into conservation and management strategies.

  6. Analysis of the parasitic copepod species richness among Mediterranean fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raibaut, André; Combes, Claude; Benoit, Françoise

    1998-06-01

    The Mediterranean ichthyofauna is composed of 652 species belonging to 405 genera and 117 families. Among these, 182 were studied for their parasitic copepods. The analysis of all the works conducted on these crustacea yielded 226 species distributed in 88 genera and 20 families. For each fish species we have established a file providing the species name of the fish, its family, its geographical distribution within the Mediterranean and some of its bio-ecological characteristics. Within each file, all the parasitic copepod species reported on each host species were listed. This allowed to know the species richness (SR) of these hosts. We thus produced 182 files within which 226 copepod species are distributed. A program was created under the Hypercard software, in order to analyse our data. Two parameters were studied. The first one is the mean species richness (MSR), which corresponds to the mean of the different SR found on the different host species. The second is the parasite-host ratio (P/H), which is the ratio of the number of copepod species by the number of host species. These parameters are calculated by our program for all the 182 species of Mediterranean fishes retained in our investigation, on the first hand, and, on the second hand, for one particular group of fish species. We used the following variables to investigate their correlations with copepod species richness: taxonomy—fish families, genera and species; biometry—maximal size of the adult fish; eco-ethology—mode of life (benthic, pelagic or nectonic), displacements (sedentary, migratory with environmental change, or migratory without environmental change), behaviour (solitary or gregarious). Other variables (colour, food, reproduction, abundance, distribution area) were also analysed but did not reveal any clear correlation. Providing that our study does not rely on quantitative (prevalence, intensity) but qualitative basis our aim was only to reveal some tendencies. These tendencies are

  7. Patterns of species richness in relation to temperature, taxonomy and spatial scale in eastern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qiang; Wang, Zhiqiang; Ji, Mingfei; Fan, Zhexuan; Deng, Jianming

    2011-07-01

    The species richness increases with area is well known in ecology. However, the Metabolic Theory of Biodiversity (MTB) is used to predict diversity patterns without taking account of the area covered by the community addressed. In this study, we developed a new model to integrate the temperature and community area based on the MTB. We collected plant species distribution information from 270 natural reserves and 11 floristic regions in eastern China, including that of three main plant divisions: pteridophytes, gymnosperms and angiosperms, and five broadly distributed angiosperm families, to explore the patterns of species richness in relation to temperature and community area size at two spatial scales (floristic region and nature reserve). Our results show that at the floristic region scale, the species richness is independent of the area size of the community and the regression slopes of the natural logarithm of richness vs. the inverse transformed temperature are close to the theoretical value of -0.65 for the three main plant divisions as well as the five angiosperm families. However, at the nature reserve scale, the number of species depends significantly upon the area size of nature reserves, and the regression slopes deviate strongly from the expected slope for all the taxonomic groups, except the pteridophyte division. Therefore, the MTB would be fairly robust only under a presumption that the area size of the community addressed has no significant effect on species richness (e.g. at the floristic region scale). Otherwise, the predictions of diversity patterns by MTB tend to be inaccurate (e.g. at the nature reserve scale).

  8. The impact of land abandonment on species richness and abundance in the Mediterranean Basin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plieninger, Tobias; Hui, Cang; Gaertner, Mirijam

    2014-01-01

    Land abandonment is common in the Mediterranean Basin, a global biodiversity hotspot, but little is known about its impacts on biodiversity. To upscale existing case-study insights to the Pan-Mediterranean level, we conducted a metaanalysis of the effects of land abandonment on plant and animal...... species richness and abundance in agroforestry, arable land, pastures, and permanent crops of the Mediterranean Basin. In particular, we investigated (1) which taxonomic groups (arthropods, birds, lichen, vascular plants) are more affected by land abandonment; (2) at which spatial and temporal scales...... the effect of land abandonment on species richness and abundance is pronounced; (3) whether previous land use and current protected area status affect the magnitude of changes in the number and abundance of species; and (4) how prevailing landforms and climate modify the impacts of land abandonment. After...

  9. Effects of climate warming and declining species richness in grassland model ecosystems: acclimation of CO2 fluxes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. S. Kowalski

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available To study the effects of warming and declining species richness on the carbon balance of grassland communities, model ecosystems containing one, three or nine species were exposed to ambient and elevated (ambient +3°C air temperature. In this paper, we analyze measured ecosystem CO2 fluxes to test whether ecosystem photosynthesis and respiration had acclimated to warming after 28 months of continuous heating, and whether the degree of acclimation depended on species richness. At first sight, we found no signs of acclimation in photosynthesis or respiration. However, because plant cover was significantly higher in the heated treatment, normalization for plant cover revealed down-regulation of both photosynthesis and respiration. Although CO2 fluxes were larger in communities with higher species richness, species richness did not affect the degree of acclimation to warming. These results imply that models need to take into account thermal acclimation to simulate photosynthesis and respiration in a warmer world.

  10. Increased plant carbon translocation linked to overyielding in grassland species mixtures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Deyn, de G.B.; Quirk, H.; Oakley, S.; Ostle, N.J.; Bardgett, R.D.

    2012-01-01

    Plant species richness and productivity often show a positive relationship, but the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood, especially at the plant species level. We examined how growing plants in species mixture influences intraspecific rates of short-term carbon (C-) translocation, and det

  11. Relative importance of water, energy, and heterogeneity in determining regional pteridophyte and seed plant richness in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Sheng-Bin CHEN; Gao-Ming JIANG; Zhi-Yun OUYANG; Wei-Hua XU; Yi XIAO

    2011-01-01

    Environmental variables, such as ambient energy, water availability, and environmental heterogeneity have been frequently proposed to account for species diversity gradients. How taxon-specific functional traits define large-scale richness gradients is a fundamental issue in understanding spatial patterns of species diversity, but has not been well documented. Using a large dataset on the regional flora from China, we examine the contrast spatial patterns and environmental determinants between pteridophytes and seed plants which differ in dispersal capacity and environmental requirements. Pteridophyte richness shows more pronounced spatial variation and stronger environmental associations than seed plant richness. Water availability generally accounts for more spatial variance in species richness of pteridophytes and seed plants than energy and heterogeneity do, especially for pteridophytes which have high dependence on moist and shady environments. Thus, pteridophyte richness is disproportionally affected by water-related variables; this in turn results in a higher proportion of pteridophytes in regional vascular plant floras (pteridophyte proportion) in wet regions. Most of the variance in seed plant richness, pteridophyte richness, and pteridophyte proportion explained by energy is included in variation that water and heterogeneity account for, indicating the redundancy of energy in the study extent. However, heterogeneity is more important for determining seed plant distributions. Pteridophyte and seed plant richness is strongly correlated, even after the environmental effects have been removed, implying functional linkages between them. Our study highlights the importance of incorporating biological traits of different taxonomic groups into the studies of macroecology and global change biology.

  12. Species richness and occupancy estimation in communities subject to temporary emigration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kery, M.; Royle, J. Andrew; Plattner, M.; Dorazio, R.M.

    2009-01-01

    Species richness is the most common biodiversity metric, although typically some species remain unobserved. Therefore, estimates of species richness and related quantities should account for imperfect detectability. Community dynamics can often be represented as superposition of species-specific phenologies (e. g., in taxa with well-defined flight [insects], activity [rodents], or vegetation periods [plants]). We develop a model for such predictably open communities wherein species richness is expressed as the sum over observed and unobserved species of estimated species-specific and site-specific occurrence indicators and where seasonal occurrence is modeled as a species-specific function of time. Our model is a multispecies extension of a multistate model with one unobservable state and represents a parsimonious way of dealing with a widespread form of 'temporary emigration.'' For illustration we use Swiss butterfly monitoring data collected under a robust design (RD); species were recorded on 13 transects during two secondary periods within emigration where rigorous estimation of community metrics has proved challenging so far.

  13. Random processes and geographic species richness patterns : why so few species in the north?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bokma, F; Bokma, J; Monkkonen, M

    In response to the suggestion that the latitudinal gradient in species richness is the result of stochastic processes of species distributions, we created a computer simulation program that enabled us to study random species distributions over irregularly shaped areas. Our model could not explain

  14. Random processes and geographic species richness patterns : why so few species in the north?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bokma, F; Bokma, J; Monkkonen, M

    2001-01-01

    In response to the suggestion that the latitudinal gradient in species richness is the result of stochastic processes of species distributions, we created a computer simulation program that enabled us to study random species distributions over irregularly shaped areas. Our model could not explain la

  15. 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.

  16. Landscape connectivity strengthens local-regional richness relationships in successional plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damschen, Ellen I; Brudvig, Lars A

    2012-04-01

    Local species diversity is maintained over ecological time by a balance between dispersal and species interactions. Local-regional species richness relationships are often used to investigate the relative importance of these two processes and the scales at which they operate. For communities undergoing succession, theory predicts a temporal progression in local-regional species richness relationships: from no relationship to positive linear to saturating. However, observational tests have been mixed, and experiments have been rare. Using a replicated large-scale experiment, we evaluate the impact of two dispersal-governing processes at the regional scale, connectivity and shape of the region (i.e., patches), on the progression of local-regional species richness relationships for plant communities undergoing succession. Regional connectivity accelerates the transition from no relationship to a positive linear relationship, while the shape of the region has no consistent effect nine years post-disturbance. Our results experimentally demonstrate the importance of dispersal in structuring local-regional species richness relationships over time and suggest that conservation corridors among regions can increase local diversity through regional enrichment of plant communities undergoing reassembly.

  17. Warming climate may negatively affect native forest understory plant richness and composition by increasing invasions of non-native plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dovciak, M.; Wason, J. W., III; Frair, J.; Lesser, M.; Hurst, J.

    2016-12-01

    Warming climate is often expected to cause poleward and upslope migrations of native plant species and facilitate the spread of non-native plants, and thus affect the composition and diversity of forest understory plant communities. However, changing climate can often interact with other components of global environmental change, and especially so with land use, which often varies along extant climatic gradients making it more difficult to predict species and biodiversity responses to changing climate. We used large national databases (USDA FIA, NLCD, and PRISM) within GLM and NMDS analytical frameworks to study the effects of climate (temperature and precipitation), and land management (type, fragmentation, time since disturbance) on the diversity and composition of native and non-native plant species in forest understories across large geographical (environmental) gradients of the northeastern United States. We tested how non-native and native species diversity and composition responded to existing climate gradients and land-use drivers, and we approximated how changing climate may affect both native and non-native species composition and richness under different climate change scenarios (+1.5, 2, and 4.8 degrees C). Many understory forest plant communities already contain large proportions of non-native plants, particularly so in relatively warmer and drier areas, at lower elevations, and in areas with more substantial land-use histories. On the other hand, cooler and moister areas, higher elevations, and areas used predominantly for forestry or nature conservation (i.e., large contiguous forest cover) were characterized by a low proportion of non-native plant species in terms of both species cover and richness. In contrast to native plants, non-native plant richness was related positively to mean annual temperature and negatively to precipitation. Mountain areas appeared to serve as refugia for native forest understory species under the current climate, but

  18. Biomass production in experimental grasslands of different species richness during three years of climate warming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. J. De Boeck

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Here we report on the single and combined impacts of climate warming and species richness on the biomass production in experimental grassland communities. Projections of a future warmer climate have stimulated studies on the response of terrestrial ecosystems to this global change. Experiments have likewise addressed the importance of species numbers for ecosystem functioning. There is, however, little knowledge on the interplay between warming and species richness. During three years, we grew experimental plant communities containing one, three or nine grassland species in 12 sunlit, climate-controlled chambers in Wilrijk, Belgium. Half of these chambers were exposed to ambient air temperatures (unheated, while the other half were warmed by 3°C (heated. Equal amounts of water were added to heated and unheated communities, so that warming would imply drier soils if evapotranspiration was higher. Biomass production was decreased due to warming, both aboveground (−29% and belowground (−25%, as negative impacts of increased heat and drought stress in summer prevailed. Increased resource partitioning, likely mostly through spatial complementarity, led to higher shoot and root biomass in multi-species communities, regardless of the induced warming. Surprisingly, warming suppressed productivity the most in 9-species communities, which may be attributed to negative impacts of intense interspecific competition for resources under conditions of high abiotic stress. Our results suggest that warming and the associated soil drying could reduce primary production in many temperate grasslands, and that this will not necessarily be mitigated by efforts to maintain or increase species richness.

  19. Colchicum autumnale - Control strategies and their impact on vegetation composition of species-rich grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seither, Melanie

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The meadow saffron Colchicum autumnale occurs on agricultural land predominantly in extensively managed grassland, often underlying nature preservation regulations. Due to its high toxicity if fresh or conserved (hay and silage, there is a need of control measures to ensure the future management and sward utilization of sites with occurrence of C. autumnale. Until now it is unclear, to what extent common management recommendations affect the vegetation composition of species-rich grassland. In this study, the effect of different management measures (late hay cut with or without rolling, early hay cut, late mulching in May, early mulching in April, herbicide application with or without reseeding on the number of C. autumnale and the vegetation composition of a moderately species-rich Dauco-Arrhenatheretum elatioris (31 ± 4 species per m², mean ± standard deviation was examined since 2006. The number of C. autumnale was first significantly reduced three years after the start of the experiment in the early and late mulching treatments; in the next three experimental years treatment differences in C. autumnale reduction did not increase significantly. With respect to vegetation composition, herbicide application had the overriding effect, as it decreased the plant species number and proportions of forbs significantly. The late hay cut preserved the original plant diversity, no negative effect of rolling or the early hay cut was observed. Early mulching resulted in an increase in Dactylis glomerata and Trisetum flavescens and in the decrease of Crepis biennis, Vicia sepium, Tragopogon pratense and Trifolium pratense; it had no negative effect on the total proportion of high nature value (HNV species. Late mulching resulted in a significantly lower yield proportion of high nature value species in 2012 and less similar in vegetation composition compared to the late hay cut treatment than early mulching; therefore it seems not to be a suitable

  20. Seed Bank Contribution to Vascular Plant Richness on Temporary Floating Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cherry, J. A.

    2005-05-01

    Fluctuating water levels create opportunities for recruitment of new individuals from wetland seed banks. In this study, floating island formation functioned similarly to drawdowns in water level by creating patches of sediment that were less inundated than the surrounding, undisturbed deep-water marsh. To examine if and how seed banks contributed to temporary formation of distinct plant assemblages on these islands, field surveys of plant percent cover on and off of islands were conducted over two years, along with a controlled greenhouse experiment in which inundation was manipulated. Plant assemblages differed significantly on and off of floating islands. Floating-leaved perennials dominated undisturbed deep-water marsh, while emergent species dominated floating islands. Moreover, species richness was greater on islands than in the undisturbed deep-water marsh. Plant assemblages in the greenhouse experiment also differed among inundation treatments in a manner consistent with differences observed in field surveys. These results demonstrate that floating island formation temporarily altered levels of inundation favoring the germination of a more species-rich, emergent plant assemblage. Because these islands persisted long enough for several species to set seed, their formation may contribute to the maintenance of the seed bank and help maintain populations of otherwise rare species within the deep-water marsh.

  1. Metazoan parasite species richness in Neotropical fishes: hotspots and the geography of biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luque, J L; Poulin, R

    2007-06-01

    Although research on parasite biodiversity has intensified recently, there are signs that parasites remain an underestimated component of total biodiversity in many regions of the planet. To identify geographical hotspots of parasite diversity, we performed qualitative and quantitative analyses of the parasite-host associations in fishes from Latin America and the Caribbean, a region that includes known hotspots of plant and animal biodiversity. The database included 10,904 metazoan parasite-host associations involving 1660 fish species. The number of host species with at least 1 parasite record was less than 10% of the total known fish species in the majority of countries. Associations involving adult endoparasites in actinopterygian fish hosts dominated the database. Across the whole region, no significant difference in parasite species richness was detected between marine and freshwater fishes. As a rule, host body size and study effort (number of studies per fish species) were good predictors of parasite species richness. Some interesting patterns emerged when we included only the regions with highest fish species biodiversity and study effort (Brazil, Mexico and the Caribbean Islands). Independently of differences in study effort or host body sizes, Mexico stands out as a hotspot of parasite diversity for freshwater fishes, as does Brasil for marine fishes. However, among 57 marine fish species common to all 3 regions, populations from the Caribbean consistently harboured more parasite species. These differences may reflect true biological patterns, or regional discrepancies in study effort and local priorities for fish parasitology research.

  2. Impact of precipitation patterns on biomass and species richness of annuals in a dry steppe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Hong; Liang, Cunzhu; Li, Zhiyong; Liu, Zhongling; Miao, Bailing; He, Chunguang; Sheng, Lianxi

    2015-01-01

    Annuals are an important component part of plant communities in arid and semiarid grassland ecosystems. Although it is well known that precipitation has a significant impact on productivity and species richness of community or perennials, nevertheless, due to lack of measurements, especially long-term experiment data, there is little information on how quantity and patterns of precipitation affect similar attributes of annuals. This study addresses this knowledge gap by analyzing how quantity and temporal patterns of precipitation affect aboveground biomass, interannual variation aboveground biomass, relative aboveground biomass, and species richness of annuals using a 29-year dataset from a dry steppe site at the Inner Mongolia Grassland Ecosystem Research Station. Results showed that aboveground biomass and relative aboveground biomass of annuals increased with increasing precipitation. The coefficient of variation in aboveground biomass of annuals decreased significantly with increasing annual and growing-season precipitation. Species richness of annuals increased significantly with increasing annual precipitation and growing-season precipitation. Overall, this study highlights the importance of precipitation for aboveground biomass and species richness of annuals.

  3. Evaluating Hypotheses of Plant Species Invasions on Mediterranean Islands: Inverse Patterns between Alien and Endemic Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Bjarnason

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Invasive alien species cause major changes to ecosystem functioning and patterns of biodiversity, and the main factors involved in invasion success remain contested. Using the Mediterranean island of Crete, Greece as a case study, we suggest a framework for analyzing spatial data of alien species distributions, based on environmental predictors, aiming to gain an understanding of their spatial patterns and spread. Mediterranean islands are under strong ecological pressure from invading species due to their restricted size and increased human impact. Four hypotheses of invasibility, the “propagule pressure hypothesis” (H1, “biotic resistance hypothesis vs. acceptance hypothesis” (H2, “disturbance-mediated hypothesis” (H3, and “environmental heterogeneity hypothesis” (H4 were tested. Using data from alien, native, and endemic vascular plant species, the propagule pressure, biotic resistance vs. acceptance, disturbance-mediated, and environmental heterogeneity hypotheses were tested with Generalized Additive Modeling (GAM of 39 models. Based on model selection, the optimal model includes the positive covariates of native species richness, the negative covariates of endemic species richness, and land area. Variance partitioning between the four hypotheses indicated that the biotic resistance vs. acceptance hypothesis explained the vast majority of the total variance. These results show that areas of high species richness have greater invasibility and support the acceptance hypothesis and “rich-get-richer” distribution of alien species. The negative correlation between alien and endemic species appears to be predominantly driven by altitude, with fewer alien and more endemic species at greater altitudes, and habitat richness. The negative relationship between alien and endemic species richness provides potential for understanding patterns of endemic and alien species on islands, contributing to more effective conservation

  4. Plant species coexistence at local scale in temperate swamp forest: test of habitat heterogeneity hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douda, Jan; Doudová-Kochánková, Jana; Boublík, Karel; Drašnarová, Alena

    2012-06-01

    It has been suggested that a heterogeneous environment enhances species richness and allows for the coexistence of species. However, there is increasing evidence that environmental heterogeneity can have no effect or even a negative effect on plant species richness and plant coexistence at a local scale. We examined whether plant species richness increases with local heterogeneity in the water table depth, microtopography, pH and light availability in a swamp forest community at three local spatial scales (grain: 0.6, 1.2 and 11.4 m). We also used the variance partitioning approach to assess the relative contributions of niche-based and other spatial processes to species occurrence. We found that heterogeneity in microtopography and light availability positively correlated with species richness, in accordance with the habitat heterogeneity hypothesis. However, we recorded different heterogeneity-diversity relationships for particular functional species groups. An increase in the richness of bryophytes and woody plant species was generally related to habitat heterogeneity at all measured spatial scales, whereas a low impact on herbaceous species richness was recorded only at the 11.4 m scale. The distribution of herbaceous plants was primarily explained by other spatial processes, such as dispersal, in contrast to the occurrence of bryophytes, which was better explained by environmental factors. Our results suggest that both niche-based and other spatial processes are important determinants of the plant composition and species turnover at local spatial scales in swamp forests.

  5. Does residence time affect responses of alien species richness to environmental and spatial processes?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matteo Dainese

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available One of the most robust emerging generalisations in invasion biology is that the probability of invasion increases with the time since introduction (residence time. We analysed the spatial distribution of alien vascular plant species in a region of north-eastern Italy to understand the influence of residence time on patterns of alien species richness. Neophytes were grouped according to three periods of arrival in the study region (1500–1800, 1800–1900, and > 1900. We applied multiple regression (spatial and non-spatial with hierarchical partitioning to determine the influence of climate and human pressure on species richness within the groups. We also applied variation partitioning to evaluate the relative importance of environmental and spatial processes. Temperature mainly influenced groups with speciesa longer residence time, while human pressure influenced the more recently introduced species, although its influence remained significant in all groups. Partial regression analyses showed that most of the variation explained by the models is attributable to spatially structured environmental variation, while environment and space had small independent effects. However, effects independent of environment decreased, and spatially independent effects increased, from older to the more recent neophytes. Our data illustrate that the distribution of alien species richness for species that arrived recently is related to propagule pressure, availability of novel niches created by human activity, and neutral-based (dispersal limitation processes, while climate filtering plays a key role in the distribution of species that arrived earlier. This study highlights the importance of residence time, spatial structure, and environmental conditions in the patterns of alien species richness and for a better understanding of its geographical variation.

  6. Plant species persistence and turnover on small Bahamian islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, Lloyd W

    2003-06-01

    I conducted surveys of the plant species occupying 136 small islands in the Exuma Cays and 58 small islands near Andros, Bahamas. Most species occurred on relatively few islands, and most islands contained relatively few species. Identities of the most common species differed between the two archipelagos. Comparisons with earlier surveys revealed species extinctions and immigrations. Turnover was relatively low on both a per island and a per species basis on both archipelagos, although significant spatial variation in turnover rates between archipelagos was found. Most islands experienced no turnover; islands on which turnover did occur were larger and had higher species richness. Likewise, most species did not turnover, although much variation existed in turnover rates among those that did. Experimental introductions of two species to very small islands naturally devoid of vegetation revealed that these islands could support plant life. One species survived on eight of ten islands for >9 years, including the effects of a moderate (class 2) hurricane. This hurricane caused substantial damage and loss of plant biomass, but resulted in no species extinctions on 30 small islands. Data for the small islands in this region, now spanning almost a decade, reveal that most populations are persistent over periods of years to decades, rarely going extinct or immigrating. Even moderate hurricanes seem to have little impact on species compositions.

  7. The myth of plant species saturation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas J. Stohlgren; David T. Barnett; Catherine S. Jarnevich; Curtis Flather; John Kartesz

    2008-01-01

    Plant species assemblages, communities or regional floras might be termed saturated when additional immigrant species are unsuccessful at establishing due to competitive exclusion or other inter-specific interactions, or when the immigration of species is off-set by extirpation of species. This is clearly not the case for state, regional or national floras in the USA...

  8. Plant species in the kilimanjaro agroforestry system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    O' kting' ati, A.; Maghembe, J.A.; Fernandes, E.C.M.; Weaver, G.H.

    1984-01-01

    An inventory of plant species was conducted on 30 farms, farm boundaries and homesteads in 6 villages in Hai District on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Of 111 plant species identified, 53 were tree species, 29 food crop species, 21 non-woody plants of economic value and 8 weed species. Information on uses was obtained through interviews with farmers. Useful plants (most with 2 or more uses) were carefully chosen and closely intercropped on the same unit of land. Of the tree species, 90% were used for fuelwood, 30% for medicines, 25% for poles, 24% for shade, 23% for timber and 10% for fodder. These, and food, were the most important plant uses.

  9. Arabinose-rich polymers as an evolutionary strategy to plasticize resurrection plant cell walls against desiccation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moore, John P.; Nguema-Ona, Eric E.; Vicré-Gibouin, Mäite

    2013-01-01

    A variety of Southern African resurrection plants were surveyed using high-throughput cell wall profiling tools. Species evaluated were the dicotyledons, Myrothamnus flabellifolia and Craterostigma plantagineum; the monocotyledons, Xerophyta viscosa, Xerophyta schlecterii, Xerophyta humilis...... and comprehensive microarray polymer profiling in combination with multivariate data analysis. The data obtained suggest that three main functional strategies appear to have evolved to prepare plant cell walls for desiccation. Arabinan-rich pectin and arabinogalactan proteins are found in the resurrection fern M......-like Xerophyta spp. and the resurrection grass E. nindensis were found to contain highly arabinosylated xylans and arabinogalactan proteins. These data support a general mechanism of ‘plasticising’ the cell walls of resurrection plants to desiccation and implicate arabinose-rich polymers (pectin...

  10. Enhancement of local species richness in tundra by seed dispersal through guts of muskox and barnacle goose

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bruun, Hans Henrik; Lundgren, Rebekka; Philipp, Marianne

    2008-01-01

    The potential contribution of vertebrate-mediated seed rain to the maintenance of plant community richness in a High Arctic ecosystem was investigated. We analyzed viable seed content in dung of the four numerically most important terrestrial vertebrates in Northeast Greenland - muskox (Ovibos...... moschatus), barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis), Arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) and Arctic hare (Lepus arcticus). High numbers of plant propagules were found in the dung of muskox and barnacle goose. Seeds of many plant species were found in the faeces of one vertebrate species only. Propagule composition...... indices), and dung deposition, especially by muskox, often brought new species to the receiving community. The results suggest that endozoochorous propagule dispersal in the Arctic has a great potential in the generation and maintenance of local species richness, albeit being little specialized...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Arabinose-rich polymers as an evolutionary strategy to plasticize resurrection plant cell walls against desiccation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, John P; Nguema-Ona, Eric E; Vicré-Gibouin, Mäite; Sørensen, Iben; Willats, William G T; Driouich, Azeddine; Farrant, Jill M

    2013-03-01

    A variety of Southern African resurrection plants were surveyed using high-throughput cell wall profiling tools. Species evaluated were the dicotyledons, Myrothamnus flabellifolia and Craterostigma plantagineum; the monocotyledons, Xerophyta viscosa, Xerophyta schlecterii, Xerophyta humilis and the resurrection grass Eragrostis nindensis, as well as a pteridophyte, the resurrection fern, Mohria caffrorum. Comparisons were made between hydrated and desiccated leaf and frond material, with respect to cell wall composition and polymer abundance, using monosaccharide composition analysis, FT-IR spectroscopy and comprehensive microarray polymer profiling in combination with multivariate data analysis. The data obtained suggest that three main functional strategies appear to have evolved to prepare plant cell walls for desiccation. Arabinan-rich pectin and arabinogalactan proteins are found in the resurrection fern M. caffrorum and the basal angiosperm M. flabellifolia where they appear to act as 'pectic plasticizers'. Dicotyledons with pectin-rich walls, such as C. plantagineum, seem to use inducible mechanisms which consist of up-regulating wall proteins and osmoprotectants. The hemicellulose-rich walls of the grass-like Xerophyta spp. and the resurrection grass E. nindensis were found to contain highly arabinosylated xylans and arabinogalactan proteins. These data support a general mechanism of 'plasticising' the cell walls of resurrection plants to desiccation and implicate arabinose-rich polymers (pectin-arabinans, arabinogalactan proteins and arabinoxylans) as the major contributors in ensuring flexibility is maintained and rehydration is facilitated in these plants.

  13. The Invasive Plant Species Education Guide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Kevin; James, Krista; Carlson, Kitrina; D'Angelo, Jean

    2010-01-01

    To help high school students gain a solid understanding of invasive plant species, university faculty and students from the University of Wisconsin-Stout (UW-Stout) and a local high school teacher worked together to develop the Invasive Plant Species (IPS) Education Guide. The IPS Education Guide includes nine lessons that give students an…

  14. Endangered Species (Plants). LC Science Tracer Bullet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niskern, Diana, Comp.

    This guide is intended for those who wish to study the literature dealing with various aspects of endangered plant species. This document includes the following sections, some of which are bibliographies: (1) "Introductions to the Topic"; (2) "Subject Headings" (for endangered species of plants used by the Library of Congress); (3) "General…

  15. The Invasive Plant Species Education Guide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Kevin; James, Krista; Carlson, Kitrina; D'Angelo, Jean

    2010-01-01

    To help high school students gain a solid understanding of invasive plant species, university faculty and students from the University of Wisconsin-Stout (UW-Stout) and a local high school teacher worked together to develop the Invasive Plant Species (IPS) Education Guide. The IPS Education Guide includes nine lessons that give students an…

  16. Species Composition, Richness and Aboveground Biomass of Natural Grassland in Hilly-Gully Regions of the Loess Plateau, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    DENG Lei; SHANGGUAN; Zhou-ping

    2014-01-01

    In order to study the characteristics of species composition, richness and aboveground biomass of natural grasslands, and then ifnd out the relations between species richness and aboveground productivity of the communities and possible mechanisms to form the relations, four typical grassland communities (Artemisia capillaries (AC), Thymus quinquecostatus (TQ), Stipa bungeana (SB) and Stipa grandis (SG)) along with a succession sequence in hilly-gully regions of the Loess Plateau, China, were investigated by ifeld survey and laboratory analysis. The results were summarized as follows:Different succession stages had different species compositions as well as different proportions of plant life forms and photosynthetic types, and Asteraceae, Poaceae and Leguminosae were their dominant species as well as their dominant perennial herb species;and different succession stages had signiifcantly different species richness and aboveground biomasses. There were many relation patterns (linear positive correlation, unrelated relations and unimodal relations) between the species richness and aboveground biomass in different succession stages and a signiifcant unimodal relation between the species richness and aboveground biomass in all the grassland communities and the highest species diversity appeared at a moderate level of productivity. The results suggest the unimodal relations in all the grassland communities are accumulative results of the relations in each succession stage.

  17. The local species richness of Dragonflies in mountain waterbodies: an indicator of climate warming?

    OpenAIRE

    Beat Oertli

    2010-01-01

    With climate warming, many Odonata species are extending their geographical area. In Switzerland, as in many parts of the world, this phenomenon may lead to a regional increase in species richness. The local richness (the richness of individual waterbodies) is also expected to increase, particularly in the alpine or subalpine areas where the waterbodies are particularly species–poor. Based on the species richness recorded in 109 waterbodies scattered all across Switzerland, a model is p...

  18. The definition of species richness used by species sensitivity distributions approximates observed effects of salinity on stream macroinvertebrates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kefford, Ben J., E-mail: ben.kefford@uts.edu.a [School of Applied Sciences, RMIT University, Victoria (Australia); Centre for Environmental Sustainability, Department of Environmental Science, University of Technology Sydney, New South Wales (Australia); Marchant, Richard [Department of Entomology, Museum of Victoria, Victoria (Australia); Schaefer, Ralf B. [School of Applied Sciences, RMIT University, Victoria (Australia); Metzeling, Leon [EPA Victoria, Macleod, Victoria (Australia); Dunlop, Jason E. [Department of Environment and Resource Management, Indooroopilly, Queensland (Australia); National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology, University of Queensland, Coopers Plains, Queensland (Australia); Choy, Satish C. [Department of Environment and Resource Management, Indooroopilly, Queensland (Australia); Goonan, Peter [South Australia Environment Protection Authority, Adelaide, South Australia (Australia)

    2011-01-15

    The risk of chemicals for ecological communities is often forecast with species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) which are used to predict the concentration which will protect p% of species (PC{sub p} value). However, at the PC{sub p} value, species richness in nature would not necessary be p% less than at uncontaminated sites. The definition of species richness inherent to SSDs (contaminant category richness) contrasts with species richness typically measured in most field studies (point richness). We determine, for salinity in eastern Australia, whether these definitions of stream macroinvertebrate species richness are commensurable. There were strong relationships (r{sup 2} {>=} 0.87) between mean point species, family and Ephemeroptera, Trichoptera and Plecoptera species richness and their respective contamination category richness. Despite differences in the definition of richness used by SSDs and field biomonitoring, their results in terms of relative species loss from salinity in south-east Australia are similar. We conclude that in our system both definitions are commensurable. - Definitions of species richness inherit in SSDs and biomonitoring are for salinity in south-east Australia commensurable.

  19. Biomass production in experimental grasslands of different species richness during three years of climate warming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. J. De Boeck

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Here we report on the single and combined impacts of climate warming and species richness on the biomass production in experimental grassland communities. Projections of a future warmer climate have stimulated studies on the response of terrestrial ecosystems to this global change. Experiments have likewise addressed the importance of species numbers for ecosystem functioning. There is, however, little knowledge on the interplay between warming and species richness. During three years, we grew experimental plant communities containing one, three or nine grassland species in 12 sunlit, climate-controlled chambers in Wilrijk, Belgium. Half of these chambers were exposed to ambient air temperatures (unheated, while the other half were warmed by 3°C (heated. Equal amounts of water were added to heated and unheated communities, so that warming would imply drier soils if evapotranspiration was higher. Biomass production was decreased due to warming, both aboveground (–29% and belowground (–25%, as negative impacts of increased heat and drought stress in summer prevailed. Complementarity effects, likely mostly through both increased aboveground spatial complementarity and facilitative effects of legumes, led to higher shoot and root biomass in multi-species communities, regardless of the induced warming. Surprisingly, warming suppressed productivity the most in 9-species communities, which may be attributed to negative impacts of intense interspecific competition for resources under conditions of high abiotic stress. Our results suggest that warming and the associated soil drying could reduce primary production in many temperate grasslands, and that this will not necessarily be mitigated by efforts to maintain or increase species richness.

  20. Understory species richness in an urban forest fragment, Pernambuco, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Cristina Ramos de Souza

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available This study characterizes the floristic composition of the understory of Parque Estadual de Dois Irmãos, (08°01’15.1”S and 34°56’3.2”W, an area of about 370ha characterized as a lowland ombrophilous dense forest. The study included individuals with heights of up to 4.0m, such as treelets, shrubs, sub-bushes and terricolous herb plants, in fertile conditions. The collections were made every two weeks along a period of 24 months. A total of 108 species, belonging to 86 genera and 49 families, were recorded. The families with the highest number of species were Rubiaceae (14, Fabaceae (9 Melastomataceae (8, Asteraceae (8, Myrtaceae (6, and Poaceae (4. The Fabaceae, Melastomataceae, Myrtaceae and Rubiaceae presented the highest number of understory species in this fragment. Generally, among the studies made in the Atlantic forest areas in Pernambuco, the presence of a set of tree species common to these forests is evidenced.

  1. Rare and Endangered Geophyte Plant Species in Serpentine of Kosovo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naim Berisha

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Our study documents information on rarity, geographical distribution, taxonomy and conservation status of 11 geophyte species in serpentine soils of Kosovo, already included in the Red Book of Vascular Flora of Kosovo. Kosovo’s serpentine vegetation represents a diversity that yet has not been sufficiently explored. Large serpentine complexes are found in the northern Kosovo but also southern part of the country is rich in serpentines, therefore in endemics. Serpentine rocks and soils are characterized by low level of principal plant nutrients (N, P, K, Ca and exceptionally high levels of Mg and Fe. Serpentines play particular importance for flora of the country due to their richness in endemic plant species. The following 11 plant species have been studied: Aristolochia merxmuelleri, Colchicum hungaricum, Crocus flavus, Crocus kosaninii, Epimedium alpinum, Gentiana punctata, Gladiolus illyricus, Lilium albanicum, Paeonia peregrina, Tulipa gesneriana and Tulipa kosovarica. Five out of eleven studied geophytes fall within Critically Endangered IUCN based threat category and five out of eleven are local endemics. Aristolochia merxmuelleri and Tulipa kosovarica are steno-endemic plant species that are found exclusively in serpentine soils. Information in our database should prove to be valuable to efforts in ecology, floristics, biosystematics, conservation and land management.

  2. Explaining the species richness of birds along a subtropical elevational gradient in the Hengduan Mountains

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wu, Yongjie; Colwell, Robert K.; Rahbek, Carsten

    2013-01-01

    AimTo document the species richness pattern of birds in the Hengduan Mountains and to understand its causes. LocationHengduan Mountains, China. MethodsSpecies richness of 738 breeding bird species was calculated for each 100-m elevational band along a gradient from 100 to 6000m a.s.l. Climate data......) in each elevational band. Simple and multiple regression models were used to test the explanatory power of variables associated with different factors proposed to account for elevational species richness gradients. ResultsThe elevational pattern in species richness, for all breeding birds, was hump......-shaped, with the peak occurring at 800-1800m elevation. Endemic and non-endemic species, as well as four elevational range size categories of birds, also showed the general hump-shaped patterns of species richness, but with peaks at different elevations. In most data sets, species richness correlated well with climatic...

  3. Positive selection in the leucine-rich repeat domain of Gro1 genes in Solanum species

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Valentino Ruggieri; Angelina Nunziata; Amalia Barone

    2014-12-01

    In pathogen resistant plants, solvent-exposed residues in the leucine-rich repeat (LRR) proteins are thought to mediate resistance by recognizing plant pathogen elicitors. In potato, the gene Gro1-4 confers resistance to Globodera rostochiensis. The investigation of variablity in different copies of this gene represents a good model for the verification of positive selection mechanisms. Two datasets of Gro1 LRR sequences were constructed, one derived from the Gro1-4 gene, belonging to different cultivated and wild Solanum species, and the other belonging to paralogues of a resistant genotype. Analysis of non-synonymous to synonymous substitution rates $(K_{a}/K_{s})$ highlighted 14 and six amino acids with $K_{a}/K_{s} \\gt 1$ in orthologue and paralogue datasets, respectively. Selection analysis revealed that the leucine-rich regions accumulate variability in a very specific way, and we found that some combinations of amino acids in these sites might be involved in pathogen recognition. The results confirm previous studies on positive selection in the LRR domain of R protein in Arabidopsis and other model plants and extend these to wild Solanum species. Moreover, positively selected sites in the Gro1 LRR domain show that coevolution mainly occurred in two regions on the internal surface of the three-dimensional horseshoe structure of the domain, albeit with different evolutionary forces between paralogues and orthologues.

  4. Why some plant species are rare.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wieger Wamelink, G W; Wamelink, G W Weiger; Goedhart, Paul W; Frissel, Joep; Frissel, Josep Y

    2014-01-01

    Biodiversity, including plant species diversity, is threatened worldwide as a result of anthropogenic pressures such as an increase of pollutants and climate change. Rare species in particular are on the verge of becoming extinct. It is still unclear as to why some plant species are rare and others are not. Are they rare due to: intrinsic reasons, dispersal capacity, the effects of management or abiotic circumstances? Habitat preference of rare plant species may play an important role in determining why some species are rare. Based on an extensive data set of soil parameters we investigated if rarity is due to a narrow habitat preference for abiotic soil parameters. For 23 different abiotic soil parameters, of which the most influential were groundwater-table, soil-pH and nutrient-contents, we estimated species responses for common and rare species. Based on the responses per species we calculated the range of occurrence, the range between the 5 and 95 percentile of the response curve giving the habitat preference. Subsequently, we calculated the average response range for common and rare species. In addition, we designed a new graphic in order to provide a better means for presentation of the results. The habitat preferences of rare species for abiotic soil conditions are significantly narrower than for common species. Twenty of the twenty-three abiotic parameters showed on average significantly narrower habitat preferences for rare species than for common species; none of the abiotic parameters showed on average a narrower habitat preference for common species. The results have major implications for the conservation of rare plant species; accordingly management and nature development should be focussed on the maintenance and creation of a broad range of environmental conditions, so that the requirements of rare species are met. The conservation of (abiotic) gradients within ecosystems is particularly important for preserving rare species.

  5. Geography, topography, and history affect realized-to-potential tree species richness patterns in Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Svenning, J.-C.; Fitzpatrick, Matthew C.; Normand, Signe

    2010-01-01

    Environmental conditions and biotic interactions are generally thought to influence local species richness. However, immigration and the evolutionary and historical factors that shape regional species pools should also contribute to determining local species richness because local communities arise...... a large proportion of the potential richness held in the regional species pool, partially reflecting their geographical, historical, and environmental circumstances. The dispersal-related effects of geographic fragmentation and accessibility exemplify regional controls that combine with local ecological...

  6. Novel application of species richness estimators to predict the host range of parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, David M; Milner, Kirsty V; Leigh, Andrea

    2017-01-01

    Host range is a critical life history trait of parasites, influencing prevalence, virulence and ultimately determining their distributional extent. Current approaches to measure host range are sensitive to sampling effort, the number of known hosts increasing with more records. Here, we develop a novel application of results-based stopping rules to determine how many hosts should be sampled to yield stable estimates of the number of primary hosts within regions, then use species richness estimation to predict host ranges of parasites across their distributional ranges. We selected three mistletoe species (hemiparasitic plants in the Loranthaceae) to evaluate our approach: a strict host specialist (Amyema lucasii, dependent on a single host species), an intermediate species (Amyema quandang, dependent on hosts in one genus) and a generalist (Lysiana exocarpi, dependent on many genera across multiple families), comparing results from geographically-stratified surveys against known host lists derived from herbarium specimens. The results-based stopping rule (stop sampling bioregion once observed host richness exceeds 80% of the host richness predicted using the Abundance-based Coverage Estimator) worked well for most bioregions studied, being satisfied after three to six sampling plots (each representing 25 host trees) but was unreliable in those bioregions with high host richness or high proportions of rare hosts. Although generating stable predictions of host range with minimal variation among six estimators trialled, distribution-wide estimates fell well short of the number of hosts known from herbarium records. This mismatch, coupled with the discovery of nine previously unrecorded mistletoe-host combinations, further demonstrates the limited ecological relevance of simple host-parasite lists. By collecting estimates of host range of constrained completeness, our approach maximises sampling efficiency while generating comparable estimates of the number of primary

  7. Species richness, habitable volume, and species densities in freshwater, the sea, and on land

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael N Dawson

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Approximately 0.5–2.0 million eukaryotic species inhabit the seas, whereas 2.0–10.0 million inhabit freshwater or the land. Much has been made of this several-fold difference in species richness but there is little consensus about the causes. Here, I ask a related question: what is the relative density of species in marine and non-marine realms? I use recent estimates of global eukaryotic species richness and published estimates of the areal coverage and depth of habitat for freshwater, marine, and terrestrial biomes. I find that the marine realm harbors ~99.83% of the habitable volume on this planet. Eukaryotic species density of the marine realm is ~3600-fold (i.e., 3-4 orders of magnitude less than that of non-marine environments. Species–volume relationships (SVRs help reconcile actinopterygian fish diversity with global primary productivity and emphasize the interacting roles of abiotic and biotic complexity in shaping patterns of biodiversity in freshwater, the sea, and on land. Comparing SVRs of habitats within and across realms may help resolve the factors and interactions that influence species density.

  8. Eco-evolutionary Model of Rapid Phenotypic Diversification in Species-Rich Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villa Martín, Paula; Rubio de Casas, Rafael; Muñoz, Miguel A.

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionary and ecosystem dynamics are often treated as different processes –operating at separate timescales– even if evidence reveals that rapid evolutionary changes can feed back into ecological interactions. A recent long-term field experiment has explicitly shown that communities of competing plant species can experience very fast phenotypic diversification, and that this gives rise to enhanced complementarity in resource exploitation and to enlarged ecosystem-level productivity. Here, we build on progress made in recent years in the integration of eco-evolutionary dynamics, and present a computational approach aimed at describing these empirical findings in detail. In particular we model a community of organisms of different but similar species evolving in time through mechanisms of birth, competition, sexual reproduction, descent with modification, and death. Based on simple rules, this model provides a rationalization for the emergence of rapid phenotypic diversification in species-rich communities. Furthermore, it also leads to non-trivial predictions about long-term phenotypic change and ecological interactions. Our results illustrate that the presence of highly specialized, non-competing species leads to very stable communities and reveals that phenotypically equivalent species occupying the same niche may emerge and coexist for very long times. Thus, the framework presented here provides a simple approach –complementing existing theories, but specifically devised to account for the specificities of the recent empirical findings for plant communities– to explain the collective emergence of diversification at a community level, and paves the way to further scrutinize the intimate entanglement of ecological and evolutionary processes, especially in species-rich communities. PMID:27736874

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-12-01

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

  10. Predicting trends of invasive plants richness using local socio-economic data: An application in North Portugal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Santos, Mario, E-mail: mgsantoss@gmail.com [Laboratory of Applied Ecology, CITAB-Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environment and Biological Sciences, University of Tras-os-Montes e Alto Douro, 5000-911 Vila Real (Portugal); Freitas, Raul, E-mail: raulfreitas@portugalmail.com [Herbarium, UTAD Botanical Garden, CITAB-Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environment and Biological Sciences, University of Tras-os-Montes e Alto Douro, 5000-911 Vila Real (Portugal); Crespi, Antonio L., E-mail: aluis.crespi@gmail.com [Herbarium, UTAD Botanical Garden, CITAB-Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environment and Biological Sciences, University of Tras-os-Montes e Alto Douro, 5000-911 Vila Real (Portugal); Hughes, Samantha Jane, E-mail: shughes@utad.pt [Department of Forest and Landscape, CITAB-Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environment and Biological Sciences, University of Tras-os-Montes e Alto Douro, 5000-911 Vila Real (Portugal); Cabral, Joao Alexandre, E-mail: jcabral@utad.pt [Laboratory of Applied Ecology, CITAB-Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environment and Biological Sciences, University of Tras-os-Montes e Alto Douro, 5000-911 Vila Real (Portugal)

    2011-10-15

    This study assesses the potential of an integrated methodology for predicting local trends in invasive exotic plant species (invasive richness) using indirect, regional information on human disturbance. The distribution of invasive plants was assessed in North Portugal using herbarium collections and local environmental, geophysical and socio-economic characteristics. Invasive richness response to anthropogenic disturbance was predicted using a dynamic model based on a sequential modeling process (stochastic dynamic methodology-StDM). Derived scenarios showed that invasive richness trends were clearly associated with ongoing socio-economic change. Simulations including scenarios of growing urbanization showed an increase in invasive richness while simulations in municipalities with decreasing populations showed stable or decreasing levels of invasive richness. The model simulations demonstrate the interest and feasibility of using this methodology in disturbance ecology. - Highlights: {yields} Socio-economic data indicate human induced disturbances. {yields} Socio-economic development increase disturbance in ecosystems. {yields} Disturbance promotes opportunities for invasive plants.{yields} Increased opportunities promote richness of invasive plants.{yields} Increase in richness of invasive plants change natural ecosystems.

  11. Predicting coral species richness: the effect of input variables, diversity and scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Zoe T; Hobbs, Jean-Paul A

    2014-01-01

    Coral reefs are facing a biodiversity crisis due to increasing human impacts, consequently, one third of reef-building corals have an elevated risk of extinction. Logistic challenges prevent broad-scale species-level monitoring of hard corals; hence it has become critical that effective proxy indicators of species richness are established. This study tests how accurately three potential proxy indicators (generic richness on belt transects, generic richness on point-intercept transects and percent live hard coral cover on point-intercept transects) predict coral species richness at three different locations and two analytical scales. Generic richness (measured on a belt transect) was found to be the most effective predictor variable, with significant positive linear relationships across locations and scales. Percent live hard coral cover consistently performed poorly as an indicator of coral species richness. This study advances the practical framework for optimizing coral reef monitoring programs and empirically demonstrates that generic richness offers an effective way to predict coral species richness with a moderate level of precision. While the accuracy of species richness estimates will decrease in communities dominated by species-rich genera (e.g. Acropora), generic richness provides a useful measure of phylogenetic diversity and incorporating this metric into monitoring programs will increase the likelihood that changes in coral species diversity can be detected.

  12. Predicting coral species richness: the effect of input variables, diversity and scale.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoe T Richards

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are facing a biodiversity crisis due to increasing human impacts, consequently, one third of reef-building corals have an elevated risk of extinction. Logistic challenges prevent broad-scale species-level monitoring of hard corals; hence it has become critical that effective proxy indicators of species richness are established. This study tests how accurately three potential proxy indicators (generic richness on belt transects, generic richness on point-intercept transects and percent live hard coral cover on point-intercept transects predict coral species richness at three different locations and two analytical scales. Generic richness (measured on a belt transect was found to be the most effective predictor variable, with significant positive linear relationships across locations and scales. Percent live hard coral cover consistently performed poorly as an indicator of coral species richness. This study advances the practical framework for optimizing coral reef monitoring programs and empirically demonstrates that generic richness offers an effective way to predict coral species richness with a moderate level of precision. While the accuracy of species richness estimates will decrease in communities dominated by species-rich genera (e.g. Acropora, generic richness provides a useful measure of phylogenetic diversity and incorporating this metric into monitoring programs will increase the likelihood that changes in coral species diversity can be detected.

  13. Predicting trends of invasive plants richness using local socio-economic data: an application in North Portugal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Mário; Freitas, Raul; Crespí, António L; Hughes, Samantha Jane; Cabral, João Alexandre

    2011-10-01

    This study assesses the potential of an integrated methodology for predicting local trends in invasive exotic plant species (invasive richness) using indirect, regional information on human disturbance. The distribution of invasive plants was assessed in North Portugal using herbarium collections and local environmental, geophysical and socio-economic characteristics. Invasive richness response to anthropogenic disturbance was predicted using a dynamic model based on a sequential modeling process (stochastic dynamic methodology-StDM). Derived scenarios showed that invasive richness trends were clearly associated with ongoing socio-economic change. Simulations including scenarios of growing urbanization showed an increase in invasive richness while simulations in municipalities with decreasing populations showed stable or decreasing levels of invasive richness. The model simulations demonstrate the interest and feasibility of using this methodology in disturbance ecology. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Apparent competition and native consumers exacerbate the strong competitive effect of an exotic plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orrock, John L; Dutra, Humberto P; Marquis, Robert J; Barber, Nicholas

    2015-04-01

    Direct and indirect effects can play a key role in invasions, but experiments evaluating both are rare. We examined the roles of direct competition and apparent competition by exotic Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) by manipulating (1) L. maackii vegetation, (2) presence of L. maackii fruits, and (3) access to plants by small mammals and deer. Direct competition with L. maackii reduced the abundance and richness of native and exotic species, and native consumers significantly reduced the abundance and richness of native species. Although effects of direct competition and consumption were more pervasive, richness of native plants was also reduced through apparent competition, as small-mammal consumers reduced richness only when L. maackii fruits were present. Our experiment reveals the multiple, interactive pathways that affect the success and impact of an invasive exotic plant: exotic plants may directly benefit from reduced attack by native consumers, may directly exert strong competitive effects on native plants, and may also benefit from apparent competition.

  15. Determinants of species richness patterns in the Netherlands across multiple taxonomic groups

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schouten, M.A.; Verweij, P.A.; Barendrecht, A.; Kleukers, R.

    2009-01-01

    We examined the species richness patterns of five different species groups (mosses, reptiles and amphibians, grasshoppers and crickets, dragonflies, and hoverflies) in the Netherlands (41,500 km2) using sampling units of 5 × 5 km. We compared the spatial patterns of species richness of the five grou

  16. The role of cattle in maintaining plant species diversity in wet dune valleys

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aptroot, A.; van Dobben, H. F.; Slim, P. A.; Olff, H.

    2007-01-01

    The succession of species-rich wetland vegetation in dune valleys into species-poor dwarf shrub vegetation was followed by means of permanent vegetation plots, in which the cover of vascular plant, moss and lichen species were recorded over a period of up to 33 years. Low density cattle grazing is a

  17. Effects of climate warming and species richness on photochemistry of grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gielen, Birgit; Naudts, Kim; D'Haese, David; Lemmens, Catherine M H M; De Boeck, Hans J; Biebaut, Eddy; Serneels, Roger; Valcke, Roland; Nijs, Ivan; Ceulemans, Reinhart

    2007-10-01

    In view of the projected climatic changes and the global decrease in plant species diversity, it is critical to understand the effects of elevated air temperature (T(air)) and species richness (S) on physiological processes in plant communities. Therefore, an experiment of artificially assembled grassland ecosystems, with different S (one, three or nine species), growing in sunlit climate-controlled chambers at ambient T(air) and ambient T(air) + 3 degrees C was established. We investigated whether grassland species would be more affected by midday high-temperature stress during summer in a warmer climate scenario. The effect of elevated T(air) was expected to differ with S. This was tested in the second and third experimental years by means of chlorophyll a fluorescence. Because acclimation to elevated T(air) would affect the plant's stress response, the hypothesis of photosynthetic acclimation to elevated T(air) was tested in the third year by gas exchange measurements in the monocultures. Plants in the elevated T(air) chambers suffered more from midday stress on warm summer days than those in ambient chambers. In absence of severe drought, the quantum yield of PSII was not affected by elevated T(air). Our results further indicate that species had not photosynthetically acclimated to a temperature increase of 3 degrees C after 3 years exposure to a warmer climate. Although effects of S and T(air) x S interactions were mostly not significant in our study, we expect that combined effects of T(air) and S would be important in conditions of severe drought events.

  18. Effects of tree species richness and composition on moose winter browsing damage and foraging selectivity: an experimental study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milligan, Harriet T; Koricheva, Julia

    2013-07-01

    The optimal foraging theory, the nutrient balance hypothesis, and the plant association theories predict that foraging decisions and resulting tree damage by large mammalian browsers may be influenced by the species richness and species composition of forest stands. This may lead to either associational susceptibility (increased damage on a focal plant in a mixed stand) or associational resistance (reduced damage in a mixed stand). Better understanding of the mechanisms and the relative importance of tree species richness and composition effects on foraging by mammalian browsers is needed to support sustainable management of forests and mammal populations. However, existing knowledge of forest diversity effects on foraging by large mammalian browsers comes largely from observational studies while experimental evidence is limited. We analysed winter browsing by moose (Alces alces L.) in a long-term, large-scale experiment in Finland, which represents a tree species richness gradient from monocultures to 2-, 3- and 5-species mixtures composed of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), Norway spruce (Picea abies L.), Siberian larch (Larix sibirica Ledeb.), silver birch (Betula pendula Roth.) and black alder (Alnus glutinosa L.). The intensity of browsing per plot increased with tree species richness while browsing selectivity decreased with tree species being targeted more equally in species-rich mixtures. Tree species composition of a plot was also an important determinant of intensity of browsing. The greatest browsing occurred in plots containing preferred species (pine and birch) while intermediate preference species (larch and alder) experienced associational susceptibility when growing with pine and birch compared with their monocultures or mixtures without pine and birch. In contrast, we found no evidence of associational resistance; the presence of a least preferred species (spruce) in a mixture had no significant effect on moose browsing on other tree species. We

  19. Constructing wetlands: measuring and modeling feedbacks of oxidation processes between plants and clay-rich material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saaltink, Rémon; Dekker, Stefan C.; Griffioen, Jasper; Wassen, Martin J.

    2016-04-01

    Interest is growing in using soft sediment as a building material in eco-engineering projects. Wetland construction in the Dutch lake Markermeer is an example: here the option of dredging some of the clay-rich lake-bed sediment and using it to construct 10.000 ha of wetland will soon go under construction. Natural processes will be utilized during and after construction to accelerate ecosystem development. Knowing that plants can eco-engineer their environment via positive or negative biogeochemical plant-soil feedbacks, we conducted a six-month greenhouse experiment to identify the key biogeochemical processes in the mud when Phragmites australis is used as an eco-engineering species. We applied inverse biogeochemical modeling to link observed changes in pore water composition to biogeochemical processes. Two months after transplantation we observed reduced plant growth and shriveling as well as yellowing of foliage. The N:P ratios of plant tissue were low and were affected not by hampered uptake of N but by enhanced uptake of P. Plant analyses revealed high Fe concentrations in the leaves and roots. Sulfate concentrations rose drastically in our experiment due to pyrite oxidation; as reduction of sulfate will decouple Fe-P in reducing conditions, we argue that plant-induced iron toxicity hampered plant growth, forming a negative feedback loop, while simultaneously there was a positive feedback loop, as iron toxicity promotes P mobilization as a result of reduced conditions through root death, thereby stimulating plant growth and regeneration. Given these two feedback mechanisms, we propose that when building wetlands from these mud deposits Fe-tolerant species are used rather than species that thrive in N-limited conditions. The results presented in this study demonstrate the importance of studying the biogeochemical properties of the building material and the feedback mechanisms between plant and soil prior to finalizing the design of the eco-engineering project.

  20. New mite species associated with certain plant species from Guam

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gadi V.P. Reddy

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Several new mite species have been reported from certain plants from Guam. Most remarkably, the spider mite, Tetranychus marianae (Prostigmata: Tetranychidae and the predatory mite Phytoseius horridus (Mesostigmata: Phytoseiidae (Solanum melongena have been found on eggplant. The noneconomically important species of Brevipalpus californicus(Banks Prostigmata: Tenuipalpidae,Eupodes sp. (Acarina: Eupodidae and predator Cunaxa sp. (Prostigmata: Cunaxidae have been reported on guava (Psidium guajava L.. Also, the non-economically important species Brevipalpus californicus Prostigmata: Tenuipalpidae, Lepidoglyphus destructor (Astigmata: Glycyphagidae and a predator Amblyseius obtusus, species group Amblyseius near lentiginosus (Mesostigmata: Phytoseiidae, have been recorded on cycad (Cycas micronesica.

  1. Effects of climate warming and declining species richness in grassland model ecosystems: acclimation of CO2 fluxes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Vicca

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available To study the effects of warming and declining species richness on the carbon balance of grassland communities, model ecosystems containing one, three or nine species were exposed to ambient and elevated (ambient +3°C air temperature. In this paper, we analyze measured ecosystem CO2 fluxes to test whether ecosystem photosynthesis and respiration had acclimated to warming after 28 months of continuous heating, and whether the degree of acclimation depended on species richness. In order to test whether acclimation occurred, short term temperature response curves were established for all communities in both treatments. At similar temperatures, lower flux rates in the heated communities as compared to the unheated communities would indicate thermal acclimation. Because plant cover was significantly higher in the heated treatment, we normalized the data for plant cover. Subsequently, down-regulation of both photosynthesis and respiration was observed. Although CO2 fluxes were larger in communities with higher species richness, species richness did not affect the degree of acclimation to warming. These results imply that models need to take thermal acclimation into account to simulate photosynthesis and respiration in a warmer world.

  2. First record of bat-pollination in the species-rich genus Tillandsia (Bromeliaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar-Rodríguez, Pedro Adrián; MacSwiney G, M Cristina; Krömer, Thorsten; García-Franco, José G; Knauer, Anina; Kessler, Michael

    2014-05-01

    Bromeliaceae is a species-rich neotropical plant family that uses a variety of pollinators, principally vertebrates. Tillandsia is the most diverse genus, and includes more than one-third of all bromeliad species. Within this genus, the majority of species rely on diurnal pollination by hummingbirds; however, the flowers of some Tillandsia species show some characteristics typical for pollination by nocturnal animals, particularly bats and moths. In this study an examination is made of the floral and reproductive biology of the epiphytic bromeliad Tillandsia macropetala in a fragment of humid montane forest in central Veracruz, Mexico. The reproductive system of the species, duration of anthesis, production of nectar and floral scent, as well as diurnal and nocturnal floral visitors and their effectiveness in pollination were determined. Tillandsia macropetala is a self-compatible species that achieves a higher fruit production through outcrossing. Nectar production is restricted to the night, and only nocturnal visits result in the development of fruits. The most frequent visitor (75 % of visits) and the only pollinator of this bromeliad (in 96 % of visits) was the nectarivorous bat Anoura geoffroyi (Phyllostomidae: Glossophaginae). This is the first report of chiropterophily within the genus Tillandsia. The results on the pollination biology of this bromeliad suggest an ongoing evolutionary switch from pollination by birds or moths to bats.

  3. Landscape variation in tree species richness in northern Iran forests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles P-A Bourque

    Full Text Available Mapping landscape variation in tree species richness (SR is essential to the long term management and conservation of forest ecosystems. The current study examines the prospect of mapping field assessments of SR in a high-elevation, deciduous forest in northern Iran as a function of 16 biophysical variables representative of the area's unique physiography, including topography and coastal placement, biophysical environment, and forests. Basic to this study is the development of moderate-resolution biophysical surfaces and associated plot-estimates for 202 permanent sampling plots. The biophysical variables include: (i three topographic variables generated directly from the area's digital terrain model; (ii four ecophysiologically-relevant variables derived from process models or from first principles; and (iii seven variables of Landsat-8-acquired surface reflectance and two, of surface radiance. With symbolic regression, it was shown that only four of the 16 variables were needed to explain 85% of observed plot-level variation in SR (i.e., wind velocity, surface reflectance of blue light, and topographic wetness indices representative of soil water content, yielding mean-absolute and root-mean-squared error of 0.50 and 0.78, respectively. Overall, localised calculations of wind velocity and surface reflectance of blue light explained about 63% of observed variation in SR, with wind velocity accounting for 51% of that variation. The remaining 22% was explained by linear combinations of soil-water-related topographic indices and associated thresholds. In general, SR and diversity tended to be greatest for plots dominated by Carpinus betulus (involving ≥ 33% of all trees in a plot, than by Fagus orientalis (median difference of one species. This study provides a significant step towards describing landscape variation in SR as a function of modelled and satellite-based information and symbolic regression. Methods in this study are sufficiently

  4. Population dynamics of species-rich ecosystems: the mixture of matrix population models approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mortier, Frédéric; Rossi, Vivien; Guillot, Gilles;

    2013-01-01

    Matrix population models are widely used to predict population dynamics, but when applied to species-rich ecosystems with many rare species, the small population sample sizes hinder a good fit of species-specific models. This issue can be overcome by assigning species to groups to increase the size...... species with similar population dynamics....

  5. The role of time and species identities in spatial patterns of species richness and conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewitt, Judi E; Thrush, Simon F; Ellingsen, Kari E

    2016-10-01

    Many conservation actions are justified on the basis of managing biodiversity. Biodiversity, in terms of species richness, is largely the product of rare species. This is problematic because the intensity of sampling needed to characterize communities and patterns of rarity or to justify the use of surrogates has biased sampling in favor of space over time. However, environmental fluctuations interacting with community dynamics lead to temporal variations in where and when species occur, potentially affecting conservation planning by generating uncertainty about results of species distribution modeling (including range determinations), selection of surrogates for biodiversity, and the proportion of biodiversity composed of rare species. To have confidence in the evidence base for conservation actions, one must consider whether temporal replication is necessary to produce broad inferences. Using approximately 20 years of macrofaunal data from tidal flats in 2 harbors, we explored variation in the identity of rare, common, restricted range, and widespread species over time and space. Over time, rare taxa were more likely to increase in abundance or occurrence than to remain rare or disappear and to exhibit temporal patterns in their occurrence. Space-time congruency in ranges (i.e., spatially widespread taxa were also temporally widespread) was observed only where samples were collected across an environmental gradient. Fifteen percent of the taxa in both harbors changed over time from having spatially restricted ranges to having widespread ranges. Our findings suggest that rare species can provide stability against environmental change, because the majority of species were not random transients, but that selection of biodiversity surrogates requires temporal validation. Rarity needs to be considered both spatially and temporally, as species that occur randomly over time are likely to play a different role in ecosystem functioning than those exhibiting temporal

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. Effects of mowing date on the opportunities of seed dispersal of ditch bank plant species under different management regimes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leng, X.; Musters, C.J.M.; Snoo, de G.R.

    2011-01-01

    Mowing and plant removal is a traditional practice in low-intensity farming and likely to lead to high plant species richness. Even today, scientific knowledge on the impact of mowing on seed availability is still very limited. We studied whether the seed availability of ditch bank plant species was

  9. Using species distribution modeling to delineate the botanical richness patterns and phytogeographical regions of China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ming-Gang; Slik, J. W. Ferry; Ma, Ke-Ping

    2016-03-01

    The millions of plant specimens that have been collected and stored in Chinese herbaria over the past ~110 years have recently been digitized and geo-referenced. Here we use this unique collection data set for species distribution modeling exercise aiming at mapping & explaining the botanical richness; delineating China’s phytogeographical regions and investigating the environmental drivers of the dissimilarity patterns. We modeled distributions of 6,828 woody plants using MaxEnt and remove the collection bias using null model. The continental China was divided into different phytogeographical regions based on the dissimilarity patterns. An ordination and Getis-Ord Gi* hotspot spatial statistics were used to analysis the environmental drivers of the dissimilarity patterns. We found that the annual precipitation and temperature stability were responsible for observed species diversity. The mechanisms causing dissimilarity pattern seems differ among biogeographical regions. The identified environmental drivers of the dissimilarity patterns for southeast, southwest, northwest and northeast are annual precipitation, topographic & temperature stability, water deficit and temperature instability, respectively. For effective conservation of China’s plant diversity, identifying the historical refuge and protection of high diversity areas in each of the identified floristic regions and their subdivisions will be essential.

  10. Individual species-area relationship of woody plant communities in a heterogeneous subtropical monsoon rainforest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheng-Han Tsai

    Full Text Available The spatial structure of species richness is often characterized by the species-area relationship (SAR. However, the SAR approach rarely considers the spatial variability of individual plants that arises from species interactions and species' habitat associations. Here, we explored how the interactions of individual plants of target species influence SAR patterns at a range of neighborhood distances. We analyzed the data of 113,988 woody plants of 110 species from the Fushan Forest Dynamics Plot (25 ha, northern Taiwan, which is a subtropical rainforest heavily influenced by typhoons. We classified 34 dominant species into 3 species types (i.e., accumulator, repeller, or no effect by testing how the individual species-area relationship (i.e., statistics describing how neighborhood species richness changes around individuals of target species departs (i.e., positively, negatively, or with no obvious trend from a null model that accounts for habitat association. Deviation from the null model suggests that the net effect of species' interactions increases (accumulate or decreases (repel neighborhood species richness. We found that (i accumulators were dominant at small interaction distances (30 m; (iii repellers were rarely detected; and (iv large-sized and abundant species tended to be accumulators. The findings suggest that positive species interactions have the potential to accumulate neighborhood species richness, particularly through size- and density-dependent mechanisms. We hypothesized that the frequently disturbed environment of this subtropical rainforest (e.g., typhoon-driven natural disturbances such as landslides, soil erosion, flooding, and windthrow might create the spatial heterogeneity of species richness and promote positive species interactions.

  11. Evidence for electrotropism in some plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorgolewski, S; Rozej, B

    2001-01-01

    The ever-present global Atmospheric Electrical Field (AEF) is used by many plant species. There are many natural habitats with electrotropic plants and habitats with no AEF. The plants growing there are not electrotropic, like the plants growing under the canopies of the trees or the Arecibo radio telescope. Examples are given of different plants which belong to one or the other class, and the criteria how to distinguish them. In addition to natural habitat observations, laboratory experiments were run in search of the sensitivity of electrotropic effect to different electric field intensities. During a few years, it was established that in very strong fields (of the order of 1 MV/m) all plants respond immediately to the field. This type of reaction is due to the Coulomb forces, but electrotropism depends on electric field interaction with ions. The "reference field" (130 V/m) was always used with stronger fields in the several kV/m range which enhance plant growth rate and size similar to plant growth hormones. Surprising effects were also observed with reversed and horizontal field polarity. In conclusion electrotropic plants deprived of the electrical field do not develop as expected, as can be seen in Biosphere 2. This is an instructive example of what happens when we forget to provide the plants with this vital natural environmental factor. Electrical fields of different intensity, directions and configurations are cheap and easy to generate. c2001 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Coleoptera in the Altai Mountains (Mongolia: species richness and community patterns along an ecological gradient

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oyundelger Khurelpurev

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The Altai Mountains located in western Mongolia comprise diverse habitats including forest, mountain steppe, dry steppe, semidesert, and desert. This study used advanced statistics to examine how diversity and species composition of beetle communities depend on vegetation pattern and environmental factors along an ecological gradient from steppe to desert. Our study included the beetle families Tenebrionidae, Carabidae, Curculionidae, and Coccinellidae, which account for the majority of the known beetle fauna in the area. The most abundant Coleoptera in all plots were Harpalus limbaris, Corsyra fusula, and Anatolica cellicola; otherwise, we caught a large number of rare species. The beta diversity of communities was correlated with distance between plots. Species richness of beetles was positively impacted by plant cover and correlated negatively with rising temperatures, whereas Shannon diversity of beetle communities was significantly higher in areas with higher precipitation. Distribution and community composition of Coleopterans were governed by environmental factors, especially plant diversity, mean annual temperature, and summer precipitation, as revealed by redundancy analysis.

  13. Spatial and environmental correlates of species richness and turnover patterns in European cryptocephaline and chrysomeline beetles

    OpenAIRE

    Freijeiro,Andrea; Baselga, Andrés

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Despite some general concordant patterns (i.e. the latitudinal richness gradient), species richness and composition of different European beetle taxa varies in different ways according to their dispersal and ecological traits. Here, the patterns of variation in species richness, composition and spatial turnover are analysed in European cryptocephaline and chrysomeline leaf beetles, assessing their environmental and spatial correlates. The underlying rationale to use environmental and...

  14. Plant Community Richness Mediates Inhibitory Interactions and Resource Competition between Streptomyces and Fusarium Populations in the Rhizosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Essarioui, Adil; LeBlanc, Nicholas; Kistler, Harold C; Kinkel, Linda L

    2017-07-01

    Plant community characteristics impact rhizosphere Streptomyces nutrient competition and antagonistic capacities. However, the effects of Streptomyces on, and their responses to, coexisting microorganisms as a function of plant host or plant species richness have received little attention. In this work, we characterized antagonistic activities and nutrient use among Streptomyces and Fusarium from the rhizosphere of Andropogon gerardii (Ag) and Lespedeza capitata (Lc) plants growing in communities of 1 (monoculture) or 16 (polyculture) plant species. Streptomyces from monoculture were more antagonistic against Fusarium than those from polyculture. In contrast, Fusarium isolates from polyculture had greater inhibitory capacities against Streptomyces than isolates from monoculture. Although Fusarium isolates had on average greater niche widths, the collection of Streptomyces isolates in total used a greater diversity of nutrients for growth. Plant richness, but not plant host, influenced the potential for resource competition between the two taxa. Fusarium isolates had greater niche overlap with Streptomyces in monoculture than polyculture, suggesting greater potential for Fusarium to competitively challenge Streptomyces in monoculture plant communities. In contrast, Streptomyces had greater niche overlap with Fusarium in polyculture than monoculture, suggesting that Fusarium experiences greater resource competition with Streptomyces in polyculture than monoculture. These patterns of competitive and inhibitory phenotypes among Streptomyces and Fusarium populations are consistent with selection for Fusarium-antagonistic Streptomyces populations in the presence of strong Fusarium resource competition in plant monocultures. Similarly, these results suggest selection for Streptomyces-inhibitory Fusarium populations in the presence of strong Streptomyces resource competition in more diverse plant communities. Thus, landscape-scale variation in plant species richness may be

  15. The role of spatial scale and the perception of large-scale species-richness patterns

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rahbek, Carsten

    2005-01-01

    -richness patterns. Until recently, most studies of large-scale species-richness patterns assumed implicitly that patterns and mechanisms were scale invariant. Illustrated with examples and a quantitative analysis of published data on altitudinal gradients of species richness (n = 204), this review discusses how......Despite two centuries of exploration, our understanding of factors determining the distribution of life on Earth is in many ways still in its infancy. Much of the disagreement about governing processes of variation in species richness may be the result of differences in our perception of species...... scale effects (extent and grain size) can influence our perception of patterns and processes. For example, a hump-shaped altitudinal species-richness pattern is the most typical (c. 50%), with a monotonic decreasing pattern (c. 25%) also frequently reported, but the relative distribution of patterns...

  16. Is There a Relationship between Fish Cannibalism and Latitude or Species Richness?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Larissa Strictar; Keppeler, Friedrich Wolfgang; Agostinho, Angelo Antonio; Winemiller, Kirk O

    2017-01-01

    Cannibalism has been commonly observed in fish from northern and alpine regions and less frequently reported for subtropical and tropical fish in more diverse communities. Assuming all else being equal, cannibalism should be more common in communities with lower species richness because the probability of encountering conspecific versus heterospecific prey would be higher. A global dataset was compiled to determine if cannibalism occurrence is associated with species richness and latitude. Cannibalism occurrence, local species richness and latitude were recorded for 4,100 populations of 2,314 teleost fish species. Relationships between cannibalism, species richness and latitude were evaluated using generalized linear mixed models. Species richness was an important predictor of cannibalism, with occurrences more frequently reported for assemblages containing fewer species. Cannibalism was positively related with latitude for both marine and freshwater ecosystems in the Northern Hemisphere, but not in the Southern Hemisphere. The regression slope for the relationship was steeper for freshwater than marine fishes. In general, cannibalism is more frequent in communities with lower species richness, and the relationship between cannibalism and latitude is stronger in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, weaker latitudinal gradients of fish species richness may account for the weak relationship between cannibalism and latitude. Cannibalism may be more common in freshwater than marine systems because freshwater habitats tend to be smaller and more closed to dispersal. Cannibalism should have greatest potential to influence fish population dynamics in freshwater systems at high northern latitudes.

  17. Determinants of Mammal and Bird Species Richness in China Based on Habitat Groups.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haigen Xu

    Full Text Available Understanding the spatial patterns in species richness is a central issue in macroecology and biogeography. Analyses that have traditionally focused on overall species richness limit the generality and depth of inference. Spatial patterns of species richness and the mechanisms that underpin them in China remain poorly documented. We created a database of the distribution of 580 mammal species and 849 resident bird species from 2376 counties in China and established spatial linear models to identify the determinants of species richness and test the roles of five hypotheses for overall mammals and resident birds and the 11 habitat groups among the two taxa. Our result showed that elevation variability was the most important determinant of species richness of overall mammal and bird species. It is indicated that the most prominent predictors of species richness varied among different habitat groups: elevation variability for forest and shrub mammals and birds, temperature annual range for grassland and desert mammals and wetland birds, net primary productivity for farmland mammals, maximum temperature of the warmest month for cave mammals, and precipitation of the driest quarter for grassland and desert birds. Noteworthily, main land cover type was also found to obviously influence mammal and bird species richness in forests, shrubs and wetlands under the disturbance of intensified human activities. Our findings revealed a substantial divergence in the species richness patterns among different habitat groups and highlighted the group-specific and disparate environmental associations that underpin them. As we demonstrate, a focus on overall species richness alone might lead to incomplete or misguided understanding of spatial patterns. Conservation priorities that consider a broad spectrum of habitat groups will be more successful in safeguarding the multiple services of biodiversity.

  18. Determinants of Mammal and Bird Species Richness in China Based on Habitat Groups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Haigen; Cao, Mingchang; Wu, Jun; Cai, Lei; Ding, Hui; Lei, Juncheng; Wu, Yi; Cui, Peng; Chen, Lian; Le, Zhifang; Cao, Yun

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the spatial patterns in species richness is a central issue in macroecology and biogeography. Analyses that have traditionally focused on overall species richness limit the generality and depth of inference. Spatial patterns of species richness and the mechanisms that underpin them in China remain poorly documented. We created a database of the distribution of 580 mammal species and 849 resident bird species from 2376 counties in China and established spatial linear models to identify the determinants of species richness and test the roles of five hypotheses for overall mammals and resident birds and the 11 habitat groups among the two taxa. Our result showed that elevation variability was the most important determinant of species richness of overall mammal and bird species. It is indicated that the most prominent predictors of species richness varied among different habitat groups: elevation variability for forest and shrub mammals and birds, temperature annual range for grassland and desert mammals and wetland birds, net primary productivity for farmland mammals, maximum temperature of the warmest month for cave mammals, and precipitation of the driest quarter for grassland and desert birds. Noteworthily, main land cover type was also found to obviously influence mammal and bird species richness in forests, shrubs and wetlands under the disturbance of intensified human activities. Our findings revealed a substantial divergence in the species richness patterns among different habitat groups and highlighted the group-specific and disparate environmental associations that underpin them. As we demonstrate, a focus on overall species richness alone might lead to incomplete or misguided understanding of spatial patterns. Conservation priorities that consider a broad spectrum of habitat groups will be more successful in safeguarding the multiple services of biodiversity.

  19. The Distribution and Abundance of Bird Species: Towards a Satellite, Data Driven Avian Energetics and Species Richness Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, James A.

    2003-01-01

    This paper addresses the fundamental question of why birds occur where and when they do, i.e., what are the causative factors that determine the spatio-temporal distributions, abundance, or richness of bird species? In this paper we outline the first steps toward building a satellite, data-driven model of avian energetics and species richness based on individual bird physiology, morphology, and interaction with the spatio-temporal habitat. To evaluate our model, we will use the North American Breeding Bird Survey and Christmas Bird Count data for species richness, wintering and breeding range. Long term and current satellite data series include AVHRR, Landsat, and MODIS.

  20. The detection of thermophilous forest hotspots in Poland using geostatistical interpolation of plant richness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcin Kiedrzyński

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Attempts to study biodiversity hotspots on a regional scale should combine compositional and functionalist criteria. The detection of hotspots in this study uses one ecologically similar group of high conservation value species as hotspot indicators, as well as focal habitat indicators, to detect the distribution of suitable environmental conditions. The method is assessed with reference to thermophilous forests in Poland – key habitats for many rare and relict species. Twenty-six high conservation priority species were used as hotspot indicators, and ten plant taxa characteristic of the Quercetalia pubescenti-petraeae phytosociological order were used as focal habitat indicators. Species distribution data was based on a 10 × 10 km grid. The number of species per grid square was interpolated by the ordinary kriging geostatistical method. Our analysis largely determined the distribution of areas with concentration of thermophilous forest flora, but also regional disjunctions and geographical barriers. Indicator species richness can be interpreted as a reflection of the actual state of habitat conditions. It can also be used to determine the location of potential species refugia and possible past and future migration routes.

  1. Habitat availability does not explain the species richness patterns of European lentic and lotic freshwater animals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dehling, D.M.; Hof, C.; Brandle, M.;

    2010-01-01

    Aim In Europe, the relationships between species richness and latitude differ for lentic (standing water) and lotic (running water) species. Freshwater animals are highly dependent on suitable habitat, and thus the distribution of available habitat should strongly influence large-scale patterns...... of species richness. We tested whether habitat availability can account for the differences in species richness patterns between European lentic and lotic freshwater animals. Location Europe. Methods We compiled occurrence data of 1959 lentic and 2445 lotic species as well as data on the amount of lentic...... and lotic habitats across 25 pre-defined biogeographical regions of European freshwaters. We used the range of elevation of each region as a proxy for habitat diversity. We investigated the relationships between species richness, habitat availability and habitat diversity with univariate and multiple...

  2. Richness and cover of nontimber economic plants along altitude in temperate Himalayan forest-use types.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tariq, Akash; Adnan, Muhammad; AbdElsalam, Naser M; Fouad, Hassan; Hussain, Kamran; Ullah, Riaz; Ullah, Ahsan

    2014-01-01

    Pakistani Himalaya stretches over a wide range of altitudinal gradients and supports high diversity of medicinal plants that are an important source for rural livelihood. Altitudinal effects on ground vegetation have already been indicated but ground vegetation is also under severe threat of grazing and over collection. The present study investigated the effect of altitude on medicinal plants abundance in both old-growth and derived woodland forests. Each of the five line transects was selected in old-growth and derived woodland forests. Each line transect consisted of four plots distributed at four altitudinal levels (2200, 2300, 2400, and 2500 m asl). Species richness under derived woodland had shown strong negative correlation (r = -0.95) with altitude while it was found to be nonsignificant under old-growth. Cover of most of the species such as Veronica laxa (r = -0.95, P ≤ 0.05) had shown significant negative correlation with altitude under derived woodland. Cover abundance of some species like Valeriana jatamansi and Viola canescens has also shown significant negative correlation under old-growth forest. Derived woodland can decrease the cover abundance of valuable medicinal plants towards extension at higher altitudes. Thus, protection of the derived woodland could serve as a tool for the improvement of rural livelihood and ecological restoration.

  3. Egyptian plant species as new ozone indicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madkour, Samia A; Laurence, J A

    2002-01-01

    The aim of this study was to test and select one or more highly sensitive, specific and environmentally successful Egyptian bioindicator plants for ozone (O3). For that purpose more than 30 Egyptian species and cultivars were subjected to extensive screening studies under controlled environmental and pollutant exposure conditions to mimic the Egyptian environmental conditions and O3 levels in urban and rural sites. Four plant species were found to be more sensitive to O3 than the universally used O3-bioindicator, tobacco Bel W3, under the Egyptian environmental conditions used. These plant species, jute (Corchorus olitorius c.v. local), clover (Trifolium alexandrinum L. c.v. Masry), garden rocket (Eruca sativa c.v. local) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa L. c.v. local), ranked in order of decreasing sensitivity, exhibited typical O3 injury symptoms faster and at lower 03 concentrations than Bel W3. Three variables were tested in search of a reliable tool for the diagnosis and prediction of O3 response prior to the appearance of visible foliar symptoms: pigment degradation, stomatal conductance (g(s)) and net photosynthetic CO2 assimilation (Pnet). Pigment degradation was found to be unreliable in predicting species sensitivity to O3. Evidence supporting stomatal conductance involvement in 03 tolerance was found only in tolerant species. A good correlation was found between g(s), restriction of O3 and CO2 influx into the mesophyll tissues, and Pnet. Changes in Pnet seemed to depend largely on fluctuations in g(s).

  4. Patterns and correlates of plant diversity differ between common and rare species in a neotropical dry forest

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tetetla-Rangel, Erika; Dupuy, Juan Manuel; Hernández-Stefanoni, José Luis; Hoekstra, Paul H.

    2017-01-01

    Determining which factors affect species richness is important for conservation theory and practice. However, richness of common and rare species may be affected by different factors. We use an extensive inventory of woody plants from a tropical dry forest landscape in Yucatan, Mexico to assess the

  5. Species-Specific Effects of Woody Litter on Seedling Emergence and Growth of Herbaceous Plants

    OpenAIRE

    Kadri Koorem; Price, Jodi N; Mari Moora

    2011-01-01

    The effect of litter on seedling establishment can influence species richness in plant communities. The effect of litter depends on amount, and also on litter type, but relatively little is known about the species-specific effects of litter. We conducted a factorial greenhouse experiment to examine the effect of litter type, using two woody species that commonly co-occur in boreonemoral forest--evergreen spruce (Picea abies), deciduous hazel (Corylus avellana), and a mixture of the two specie...

  6. Environmental correlates of species and genetic richness in lungless salamanders (family plethodontidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Jeremy L.; Camp, Carlos D.

    2006-01-01

    Biological diversity is distributed across the planet in non-random, organised ways. At the species level, numerous environmental variables have been proposed to explain this non-random distribution with available energy and habitat heterogeneity receiving the most empirical support. With regard to genetic organisation, environmental stress and habitat heterogeneity have been widely supported. However, few studies have addressed if these two scales of biological organisation are structured via similar processes. Here, we tested whether or not the distributional organisation of genetic and species richness were driven by similar environmental variables for salamanders of the family Plethodontidae across North America. In general, we found that those environmental variables related to energy, particularly energy made accessible to salamanders via the actions of available moisture, were the primary determinants of both genetic and species richness. This finding is consistent with both the "more individuals hypothesis" of species richness and neutral-theory expectations for genetic richness. Additionally, greater habitat heterogeneity, as measured by increased topographic variance, was of secondary importance in positively influencing species richness, although its effects on genetic richness were far more variable. In total, our results suggest that both of these scales of biological organisation are influenced by similar environmental variables, even though increased genetic richness at the population-level does not always translate into greater species richness.

  7. Tree species richness decreases while species evenness increases with disturbance frequency in a natural boreal forest landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeboah, Daniel; Chen, Han Y H; Kingston, Steve

    2016-02-01

    Understanding species diversity and disturbance relationships is important for biodiversity conservation in disturbance-driven boreal forests. Species richness and evenness may respond differently with stand development following fire. Furthermore, few studies have simultaneously accounted for the influences of climate and local site conditions on species diversity. Using forest inventory data, we examined the relationships between species richness, Shannon's index, evenness, and time since last stand-replacing fire (TSF) in a large landscape of disturbance-driven boreal forest. TSF has negative effect on species richness and Shannon's index, and a positive effect on species evenness. Path analysis revealed that the environmental variables affect richness and Shannon's index only through their effects on TSF while affecting evenness directly as well as through their effects on TSF. Synthesis and applications. Our results demonstrate that species richness and Shannon's index decrease while species evenness increases with TSF in a boreal forest landscape. Furthermore, we show that disturbance frequency, local site conditions, and climate simultaneously influence tree species diversity through complex direct and indirect effects in the studied boreal forest.

  8. Spatial association between malaria vector species richness and malaria in Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuller, Douglas O; Alimi, Temitope; Herrera, Socrates; Beier, John C; Quiñones, Martha L

    2016-06-01

    Malaria transmission in Colombia is highly variable in space and time. Using a species distribution model, we mapped potential distribution of five vector species including Anopheles albimanus, Anopheles calderoni, Anopheles darlingi, Anopheles neivai, and Anopheles nuneztovari in five Departments of Colombia where malaria transmission remains problematic. We overlaid the range maps of the five species to reveal areas of sympatry and related per-pixel species richness to mean annual parasite index (API) for 2011-2014 mapped by municipality (n = 287). The relationship between mean number of vector species per municipality and API was evaluated using a Poisson regression, which revealed a highly significant relationship between species richness and API (p = 0 for Wald Chi-Square statistic). The results suggest that areas of relatively high transmission in Colombia typically contain higher number of vector species than areas with unstable transmission and that future elimination strategies should account for vector species richness.

  9. The richness of plants in Art Nouveau gardens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krystyna Pudelska

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The turn of the 19th and the 20th centuries signified the appearance of a new trend in art called Art Nouveau in England, Stile floreale in Italy, and in Poland – secesja. It was an attempt to escape from the style that copied historical forms and set a new direction of development. The main inspiration for the creators of this period became nature, its asymmetry, variety of textures, subtle colors or smooth, and wavy lines. Artistic motifs were drawn from the richness of native flora and fauna. Flowering shrubs, perennials and creepers were especially inseparable decorative and compositional elements of a garden.  Secession had a significant impact on painting, sculpture, architecture, and garden design. The space surrounding people was treated comprehensively by blurring the boundaries between different arts. A multitude of shrubs – especially roses and lots of perennials such as Lilium, Iris, and Phlox, gave the impression of architecture immersing in the surrounding garden. The aim of the paper was to briefly analyze the Art Nouveau style and present the diversity of species used in the gardens of that period.

  10. The impact of land abandonment on species richness and abundance in the Mediterranean Basin: a meta-analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias Plieninger

    Full Text Available Land abandonment is common in the Mediterranean Basin, a global biodiversity hotspot, but little is known about its impacts on biodiversity. To upscale existing case-study insights to the Pan-Mediterranean level, we conducted a meta-analysis of the effects of land abandonment on plant and animal species richness and abundance in agroforestry, arable land, pastures, and permanent crops of the Mediterranean Basin. In particular, we investigated (1 which taxonomic groups (arthropods, birds, lichen, vascular plants are more affected by land abandonment; (2 at which spatial and temporal scales the effect of land abandonment on species richness and abundance is pronounced; (3 whether previous land use and current protected area status affect the magnitude of changes in the number and abundance of species; and (4 how prevailing landforms and climate modify the impacts of land abandonment. After identifying 1240 potential studies, 154 cases from 51 studies that offered comparisons of species richness and abundance and had results relevant to our four areas of investigation were selected for meta-analysis. Results are that land abandonment showed slightly increased (effect size  = 0.2109, P<0.0001 plant and animal species richness and abundance overall, though results were heterogeneous, with differences in effect size between taxa, spatial-temporal scales, land uses, landforms, and climate. In conclusion, there is no "one-size-fits-all" conservation approach that applies to the diverse contexts of land abandonment in the Mediterranean Basin. Instead, conservation policies should strive to increase awareness of this heterogeneity and the potential trade-offs after abandonment. The strong role of factors at the farm and landscape scales that was revealed by the analysis indicates that purposeful management at these scales can have a powerful impact on biodiversity.

  11. The effect of AMF suppression on plant species composition in a nutrient-poor dry grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dostálek, Tomáš; Pánková, Hana; Münzbergová, Zuzana; Rydlová, Jana

    2013-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are expected to be one of the key drivers determining the diversity of natural plant communities, especially in nutrient-poor and dry habitats. Several previous studies have explored the importance of AMF for the composition of plant communities in various types of habitats. Surprisingly, studies of the role of AMF in nutrient-poor dry grassland communities dominated by less mycotrophic plant species are still relatively rare. We present the results of a 3-year study in which a plant community in a species-rich dry grassland was subjected to the fungicide carbendazim to suppress AMF colonization. We tested the effect of the fungicide on the following parameters: the plant species composition; the number of plant species; the cover of the rare, highly mycorrhiza-dependent species Aster amellus; the cover of the dominant, less mycorrhiza-dependent species Brachypodium pinnatum; and the cover of graminoids and perennial forbs. In addition, we examined the mycorrhizal inoculation potential of the soil. We found that the suppression of AMF with fungicide resulted in substantial changes in plant species composition and significant decrease in species richness, the cover of A. amellus and the cover of perennial forbs. In contrast the species increasing their cover after fungicide application were graminoids--the C3 grasses B. pinnatum and Bromus erectus and the sedge Carex flacca. These species appear to be less mycorrhiza dependent. Moreover, due to their clonal growth and efficient nutrient usage, they are, most likely, better competitors than perennial forbs under fungicide application. Our results thus suggest that AMF are an essential part of the soil communities supporting a high diversity of plant species in species-rich dry grasslands in nutrient-poor habitats. The AMF are especially important for the maintenance of the populations of perennial forbs, many of which are rare and endangered in the area.

  12. Egyptian plant species as new ozone indicators

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Madkour, S.A.; Laurence, J.A

    2002-12-01

    Of more than 30 species of plants from Egypt screened for sensitivity to ozone, four were found to be suitable for use as bioindicators. - The aim of this study was to test and select one or more highly sensitive, specific and environmentally successful Egyptian bioindicator plants for ozone (O{sub 3}). For that purpose more than 30 Egyptian species and cultivars were subjected to extensive screening studies under controlled environmental and pollutant exposure conditions to mimic the Egyptian environmental conditions and O{sub 3} levels in urban and rural sites. Four plant species were found to be more sensitive to O{sub 3} than the universally used O{sub 3}-bioindicator, tobacco Bel W3, under the Egyptian environmental conditions used. These plant species, jute (Corchorus olitorius c.v. local), clover (Trifolium alexandrinum L. c.v. Masry), garden rocket (Eruca sativa c.v. local) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa L. c.v. local), ranked in order of decreasing sensitivity, exhibited typical O{sub 3} injury symptoms faster and at lower O{sub 3} concentrations than Bel W3. Three variables were tested in search of a reliable tool for the diagnosis and prediction of O{sub 3} response prior to the appearance of visible foliar symptoms: pigment degradation, stomatal conductance (g{sub s}) and net photosynthetic CO{sub 2} assimilation (P{sub net}). Pigment degradation was found to be unreliable in predicting species sensitivity to O{sub 3}. Evidence supporting stomatal conductance involvement in O{sub 3} tolerance was found only in tolerant species. A good correlation was found between g{sub s}, restriction of O{sub 3} and CO{sub 2} influx into the mesophyll tissues, and P{sub net}. Changes in P{sub net} seemed to depend largely on fluctuations in g{sub s}.

  13. Species associations in a species-rich subtropical forest were not well-explained by stochastic geometry of biodiversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qinggang Wang

    Full Text Available The stochastic dilution hypothesis has been proposed to explain species coexistence in species-rich communities. The relative importance of the stochastic dilution effects with respect to other effects such as competition and habitat filtering required to be tested. In this study, using data from a 25-ha species-rich subtropical forest plot with a strong topographic structure at Badagongshan in central China, we analyzed overall species associations and fine-scale species interactions between 2,550 species pairs. The result showed that: (1 the proportion of segregation in overall species association analysis at 2 m neighborhood in this plot followed the prediction of the stochastic dilution hypothesis that segregations should decrease with species richness but that at 10 m neighborhood was higher than the prediction. (2 The proportion of no association type was lower than the expectation of stochastic dilution hypothesis. (3 Fine-scale species interaction analyses using Heterogeneous Poisson processes as null models revealed a high proportion (47% of significant species effects. However, the assumption of separation of scale of this method was not fully met in this plot with a strong fine-scale topographic structure. We also found that for species within the same families, fine-scale positive species interactions occurred more frequently and negative ones occurred less frequently than expected by chance. These results suggested effects of environmental filtering other than species interaction in this forest. (4 We also found that arbor species showed a much higher proportion of significant fine-scale species interactions (66% than shrub species (18%. We concluded that the stochastic dilution hypothesis only be partly supported and environmental filtering left discernible spatial signals in the spatial associations between species in this species-rich subtropical forest with a strong topographic structure.

  14. Species associations in a species-rich subtropical forest were not well-explained by stochastic geometry of biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qinggang; Bao, Dachuan; Guo, Yili; Lu, Junmeng; Lu, Zhijun; Xu, Yaozhan; Zhang, Kuihan; Liu, Haibo; Meng, Hongjie; Jiang, Mingxi; Qiao, Xiujuan; Huang, Handong

    2014-01-01

    The stochastic dilution hypothesis has been proposed to explain species coexistence in species-rich communities. The relative importance of the stochastic dilution effects with respect to other effects such as competition and habitat filtering required to be tested. In this study, using data from a 25-ha species-rich subtropical forest plot with a strong topographic structure at Badagongshan in central China, we analyzed overall species associations and fine-scale species interactions between 2,550 species pairs. The result showed that: (1) the proportion of segregation in overall species association analysis at 2 m neighborhood in this plot followed the prediction of the stochastic dilution hypothesis that segregations should decrease with species richness but that at 10 m neighborhood was higher than the prediction. (2) The proportion of no association type was lower than the expectation of stochastic dilution hypothesis. (3) Fine-scale species interaction analyses using Heterogeneous Poisson processes as null models revealed a high proportion (47%) of significant species effects. However, the assumption of separation of scale of this method was not fully met in this plot with a strong fine-scale topographic structure. We also found that for species within the same families, fine-scale positive species interactions occurred more frequently and negative ones occurred less frequently than expected by chance. These results suggested effects of environmental filtering other than species interaction in this forest. (4) We also found that arbor species showed a much higher proportion of significant fine-scale species interactions (66%) than shrub species (18%). We concluded that the stochastic dilution hypothesis only be partly supported and environmental filtering left discernible spatial signals in the spatial associations between species in this species-rich subtropical forest with a strong topographic structure.

  15. Species Richness, Community Organization, and Spatiotemporal Distribution of Earthworms in the Pineapple Agroecosystems of Tripura, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Animesh Dey

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The impact that plant communities may have on underground faunal diversity is unclear. Therefore, understanding the links between plants and organisms is of major interest. Earthworm population dynamics were studied in the pineapple agroecosystems of Tripura to evaluate the impact of monoculture plantation on earthworm communities. A total of thirteen earthworm species belonging to four families and five genera were collected from different sampling sites. Application of sample-based rarefaction curve and nonparametric richness estimators reveal 90–95% completeness of sampling. Earthworm community of pineapple agroecosystems was dominated by endogeic earthworms and Drawida assamensis was the dominant species with respect to its density, biomass, and relative abundance. Vertical distribution of earthworms was greatly influenced by seasonal variations. Population density and biomass of earthworms peaked during monsoon and postmonsoon period, respectively. Overall density and biomass of earthworms were in increasing trend with an increase in plantation age and were highest in the 30–35-year-old plantation. Significant decrease in the Shannon diversity and evenness index and increase in Simpson’s dominance and spatial aggregation index with an increase in the age of pineapple plantation were recorded. Soil temperature and soil moisture were identified as the most potent regulators of earthworm distribution in the pineapple plantation.

  16. Fruit Plants Species along Corridor in Kopendukuh Village as a Resource for Rural Tourism Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Widya Kristiyanti Putri

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available This research aims to identify fruit plants species which is potential for tourism attraction, spatially describes fruit plants distribution and identify local people’s response for fruit plants as tourims attraction in Kopendukuh village, Banyuwangi. Survey was done along the villages corridors. The fruit plant species along corridors was identified and mapped using GPS. Furthermore, semi-structural interview was used to gain informations of local people response about fruit plants as tourism attraction. There were about 18 species and 162 individuals were found along corridor of Kopendukuh village. Fruit plants always found in local home gardens along rural corridor. Local peoples argue that fruit planst s important for numerous purposes. Local people support tourism development in rural area which based on the fruit plants richness (i.e. agrotourism. Keywords: fruit plants, mapping, corridor, rural tourism.

  17. Estimation of the species richness of fish parasite fauna: an ecological approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ieshko Evgeny Pavlovich

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available We studied the biological diversity of the parasite fauna in pike from four habitats found in northern lakes of Karelia. The curves of the expected species richness versus sampling effort (the number of examined specimens dependency were plotted. A universal approach to the description of the new species replenishment dynamics is proposed – including finding (through combinatorial analysis the median value between the fastest and the slowest paths of the species richness growth followed by approximation using logistic function . Our analysis showed that the leading ecological factors controlling the formation of the parasite species richness in a specific waterbody are the richness of infracommunities and the age composition of the host sample. The sample of 15 host specimens contains at least 80% of all species in the parasite community.

  18. Restoration of a Rich Fen by Top Soil Removal : Temporal and Spatial Responses among Vascular Plants, Bryophytes and Land Snails during 15 years

    OpenAIRE

    Evasdotter, Liselott

    2011-01-01

    Rich fens are calcareous and nutrient poor wetlands with a rich flora of orchids, sedges and mosses. As many as one hundred plant species are rich fen specialists. Many wetlands have been drained historically, and transformed to agricultural land or production forests. Today rich fens cover only 2-3% of the total mire area in Sweden. Rich fen is a rare and valuable habitat also from a European perspective and is protected in the Natura 2000-network. To increase and maintain the biodiversity a...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Loïc ePellissier

    2013-12-01

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

  20. Dynamics of host plant use and species diversity in Polygonia butterflies (Nymphalidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weingartner, E; Wahlberg, N; Nylin, S

    2006-03-01

    The ability of insects to utilize different host plants has been suggested to be a dynamic and transient phase. During or after this phase, species can shift to novel host plants or respecialize on ancestral ones. Expanding the range of host plants might also be a factor leading to higher levels of net speciation rates. In this paper, we have studied the possible importance of host plant range for diversification in the genus Polygonia (Nymphalidae, Nymphalini). We have compared species richness between sistergroups in order to find out if there are any differences in number of species between clades including species that utilize only the ancestral host plants ('urticalean rosids') and their sisterclades with a broader (or in some cases potentially broader) host plant repertoire. Four comparisons could be made, and although these are not all phylogenetically or statistically independent, all showed clades including butterfly species using other or additional host plants than the urticalean rosids to be more species-rich than their sisterclade restricted to the ancestral host plants. These results are consistent with the theory that expansions in host plant range are involved in the process of diversification in butterflies and other phytophagous insects, in line with the general theory that plasticity may drive speciation.

  1. Compound leaf development in model plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bar, Maya; Ori, Naomi

    2015-02-01

    Plant leaves develop in accordance with a common basic program, which is flexibly adjusted to the species, developmental stage and environment. Two key stages of leaf development are morphogenesis and differentiation. In the case of compound leaves, the morphogenesis stage is prolonged as compared to simple leaves, allowing for the initiation of leaflets. Here, we review recent advances in the understanding of how plant hormones and transcriptional regulators modulate compound leaf development, yielding a substantial diversity of leaf forms, focusing on four model compound leaf organisms: cardamine (Cardamine hirsuta), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), medicago (Medicago truncatula) and pea (Pisum sativum).

  2. 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...

  3. Increasing diversity in the species-rich genus Guatteria (Annonaceae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Erkens, R.H.J.; Westra, L.Y.Th.; Maas, P.J.M.

    2008-01-01

    During a taxonomic treatment of Annonaceae for the Flora of the Guianas project, an unusual new species of Guatteria Ruiz & Pav., G. anteridifera from French Guiana and Amapá in Brazil (Northern South America) was found and described herein.

  4. Aligning conservation goals: are patterns of species richness and endemism concordant at regional scales?

    OpenAIRE

    Ricketts, T. H.

    2001-01-01

    Biodiversity conservation strategies commonly target areas of high species richness and/or high endemism. However, the correlation between richness and endemism at scales relevant to conservation is unclear; these two common goals of conservation plans may therefore be in conflict. Here the spatial concordance between richness and endemism is tested using five taxa in North America: butterflies, birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles. This concordance is also tested using overall indices of...

  5. Species richness effects on ecosystem multifunctionality depend on evenness, composition and spatial pattern

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maestre, F.T.; Castillo-Monroy, A. P.; Bowker, M.A.; Ochoa-Hueso, R.

    2012-01-01

    1. Recent studies have suggested that the simultaneous maintenance of multiple ecosystem functions (multifunctionality) is positively supported by species richness. However, little is known regarding the relative importance of other community attributes (e.g. spatial pattern, species evenness) as drivers of multifunctionality. 2. We conducted two microcosm experiments using model biological soil crust communities dominated by lichens to: (i) evaluate the joint effects and relative importance of changes in species composition, spatial pattern (clumped and random distribution of lichens), evenness (maximal and low evenness) and richness (from two to eight species) on soil functions related to nutrient cycling (β-glucosidase, urease and acid phosphatase enzymes, in situ N availability, total N, organic C, and N fixation), and (ii) assess how these community attributes affect multifunctionality. 3. Species richness, composition and spatial pattern affected multiple ecosystem functions (e.g. organic C, total N, N availability, β-glucosidase activity), albeit the magnitude and direction of their effects varied with the particular function, experiment and soil depth considered. Changes in species composition had effects on organic C, total N and the activity of β-glucosidase. Significant species richness × evenness and spatial pattern × evenness interactions were found when analysing functions such as organic C, total N and the activity of phosphatase. 4. The probability of sustaining multiple ecosystem functions increased with species richness, but this effect was largely modulated by attributes such as species evenness, composition and spatial pattern. Overall, we found that model communities with high species richness, random spatial pattern and low evenness increased multifunctionality. 5. Synthesis. Our results illustrate how different community attributes have a diverse impact on ecosystem functions related to nutrient cycling, and provide new

  6. Food Plants of 19 butterflies species (Lepidoptera from Loreto, Peru

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joel Vásquez Bardales

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available This work reports the food plants utilized by 19 species of butterflies from Allpahuayo-Mishana Research Center and the Community of San Rafael, Loreto, Peru. We report 23 plant species and one hybrid of angiosperms used by the butterflies. Larval host plants were 21 species and five were adult nectar sources. Two species were both host plant and nectar source: Passiflora coccinea Aubl. and Passiflora edulis Sims. The most frequently used plant families were Solanaceae, Passifloraceae, Fabaceae and Aristolochiaceae.

  7. Variation in species richness among the offshore islands of the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ones has long been known. In the last 20 years ... equivalent areas of the mainland or why there is a rise in diversity with ... level in view of the problems of plants and animals suc- cessfully ... 1) was joined to the mainland by the Lamberts Bay concrete harbour wall. ..... Diversity in tropical rain forests and coral reefs. Science ...

  8. 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.

  9. Determinants of bird species richness, endemism, and island network roles in Wallacea and the West Indies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dalsgaard, Bo; Carstensen, Daniel Wisbech; Fjeldså, Jon

    2014-01-01

    , current and historical climate, and bird richness/endemism. We found that island geography, especially island area but also isolation and elevation, largely explained the variation in island species richness and endemism. Current and historical climate only added marginally to our understanding...

  10. The new flora of northeastern USA: quantifying introduced plant species occupancy in forest ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulz, Bethany K; Gray, Andrew N

    2013-05-01

    Introduced plant species have significant negative impacts in many ecosystems and are found in many forests around the world. Some factors linked to the distribution of introduced species include fragmentation and disturbance, native species richness, and climatic and physical conditions of the landscape. However, there are few data sources that enable the assessment of introduced species occupancy in native plant communities over broad regions. Vegetation data from 1,302 forest inventory plots across 24 states in northeastern and mid-western USA were used to examine and compare the distribution of introduced species in relation to forest fragmentation across ecological provinces and forest types, and to examine correlations between native and introduced species richness. There were 305 introduced species recorded, and 66 % of all forested plots had at least one introduced species. Forest edge plots had higher constancy and occupancy of introduced species than intact forest plots, but the differences varied significantly among ecological provinces and, to a lesser degree, forest types. Weak but significant positive correlations between native and introduced species richness were observed most often in intact forests. Rosa multiflora was the most common introduced species recorded across the region, but Hieracium aurantiacum and Epipactus helleborine were dominant in some ecological provinces. Identifying regions and forest types with high and low constancies and occupation by introduced species can help target forest stands where management actions will be the most effective. Identifying seemingly benign introduced species that are more prevalent than realized will help focus attention on newly emerging invasives.

  11. INVENTORY OF THE INVASIVE ALIE N PLANT SPECIES IN INDONESIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SRI S UDARMIYATI T JITROSOEDIRDJO

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available An inventory of the alien plant species in Indone sia based on the existing references and herbarium specimens concluded that 1936 alien plant species ar e found in Indonesia which belong to 187 families. Field studies should be done to get the complete figur es of alien plant species in Indonesia. Based on the existing figures of the plant species, the invasive alien plant species can be iden tified, followed by studies on the assessment of losses, biology, management and their possible utilizations. Alien plant species are imported to Indonesia for cultivation, collection of the botanical garden, as experimental plants or other curiosities. Aside from plants purposely imported, there are also introduced plant propagules conta-minating imported agricultural products. These alien plant species can be beneficial or have a potential of being invasive. The alien cultivated species consisted of 67% of the total number. More than half of the cultivated plants are ornamental plants. Some of th e species are naturalized or escaped from cultivation and become wild and invasive. Some other natura lized species, adapted well without any problems of invasion. There are 339 species or 17% of the species r ecorded as weeds. The highest record of weeds is found in the family of Poaceae (57 species, follo wed by Asteraceae (53 species and Cyperaceae (35 species. There are 6 families having more than 10 species of weeds: Amaranthaceae, Asteraceae, Cyperaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Poaceae, and Rubiaceae. Three families have more than 100 species: Asteraceae 162 species, Poaceae 120 species, and Papillionaceae 103 species. Five species of aquatic and 20 species of terrestrial plants considered as important alien plant species in Indonesia were identified and some of their distributions noted

  12. Climate and landscape explain richness patterns depending on the type of species' distribution data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsianou, Mariana A.; Koutsias, Nikolaos; Mazaris, Antonios D.; Kallimanis, Athanasios S.

    2016-07-01

    Understanding the patterns of species richness and their environmental drivers, remains a central theme in ecological research and especially in the continental scales where many conservation decisions are made. Here, we analyzed the patterns of species richness from amphibians, reptiles and mammals at the EU level. We used two different data sources for each taxon: expert-drawn species range maps, and presence/absence atlases. As environmental drivers, we considered climate and land cover. Land cover is increasingly the focus of research, but there still is no consensus on how to classify land cover to distinct habitat classes, so we analyzed the CORINE land cover data with three different levels of thematic resolution (resolution of classification scheme ˗ less to more detailed). We found that the two types of species richness data explored in this study yielded different richness maps. Although, we expected expert-drawn range based estimates of species richness to exceed those from atlas data (due to the assumption that species are present in all locations throughout their region), we found that in many cases the opposite is true (the extreme case is the reptiles where more than half of the atlas based estimates were greater than the expert-drawn range based estimates). Also, we detected contrasting information on the richness drivers of biodiversity patterns depending on the dataset used. For atlas based richness estimates, landscape attributes played more important role than climate while for expert-drawn range based richness estimates climatic variables were more important (for the ectothermic amphibians and reptiles). Finally we found that the thematic resolution of the land cover classification scheme, also played a role in quantifying the effect of land cover diversity, with more detailed thematic resolution increasing the relative contribution of landscape attributes in predicting species richness.

  13. Predicting continental-scale patterns of bird species richness with spatially explicit models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rahbek, Carsten; Gotelli, Nicholas J; Colwell, Robert K

    2007-01-01

    The causes of global variation in species richness have been debated for nearly two centuries with no clear resolution in sight. Competing hypotheses have typically been evaluated with correlative models that do not explicitly incorporate the mechanisms responsible for biotic diversity gradients....... Here, we employ a fundamentally different approach that uses spatially explicit Monte Carlo models of the placement of cohesive geographical ranges in an environmentally heterogeneous landscape. These models predict species richness of endemic South American birds (2248 species) measured...... the extraordinary diversity of avian species in the montane tropics, the most species-rich region on Earth. Our findings imply that correlative climatic models substantially underestimate the importance of historical factors and small-scale niche-driven assembly processes in shaping contemporary species...

  14. Simkin et al. 2016 PNAS data on herbaceous species richness and associated plot and covariate information

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — This dataset includes the geographic location (lat/lon) for 15,136 plots, as well as the herbaceous species richness, climate, soil pH, and other variables related...

  15. Mapping National Plant Biodiversity Patterns in South Korea with the MARS Species Distribution Model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyeyeong Choe

    Full Text Available Accurate information on the distribution of existing species is crucial to assess regional biodiversity. However, data inventories are insufficient in many areas. We examine the ability of Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines (MARS multi-response species distribution model to overcome species' data limitations and portray plant species distribution patterns for 199 South Korean plant species. The study models species with two or more observations, examines their contribution to national patterns of species richness, provides a sensitivity analysis of different range threshold cutoff approaches for modeling species' ranges, and presents considerations for species modeling at fine spatial resolution. We ran MARS models for each species and tested four threshold methods to transform occurrence probabilities into presence or absence range maps. Modeled occurrence probabilities were extracted at each species' presence points, and the mean, median, and one standard deviation (SD calculated to define data-driven thresholds. A maximum sum of sensitivity and specificity threshold was also calculated, and the range maps from the four cutoffs were tested using independent plant survey data. The single SD values were the best threshold tested for minimizing omission errors and limiting species ranges to areas where the associated occurrence data were correctly classed. Eight individual species range maps for rare plant species were identified that are potentially affected by resampling predictor variables to fine spatial scales. We portray spatial patterns of high species richness by assessing the combined range maps from three classes of species: all species, endangered and endemic species, and range-size rarity of all species, which could be used in conservation planning for South Korea. The MARS model is promising for addressing the common problem of few species occurrence records. However, projected species ranges are highly dependent on the

  16. Mapping National Plant Biodiversity Patterns in South Korea with the MARS Species Distribution Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choe, Hyeyeong; Thorne, James H; Seo, Changwan

    2016-01-01

    Accurate information on the distribution of existing species is crucial to assess regional biodiversity. However, data inventories are insufficient in many areas. We examine the ability of Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines (MARS) multi-response species distribution model to overcome species' data limitations and portray plant species distribution patterns for 199 South Korean plant species. The study models species with two or more observations, examines their contribution to national patterns of species richness, provides a sensitivity analysis of different range threshold cutoff approaches for modeling species' ranges, and presents considerations for species modeling at fine spatial resolution. We ran MARS models for each species and tested four threshold methods to transform occurrence probabilities into presence or absence range maps. Modeled occurrence probabilities were extracted at each species' presence points, and the mean, median, and one standard deviation (SD) calculated to define data-driven thresholds. A maximum sum of sensitivity and specificity threshold was also calculated, and the range maps from the four cutoffs were tested using independent plant survey data. The single SD values were the best threshold tested for minimizing omission errors and limiting species ranges to areas where the associated occurrence data were correctly classed. Eight individual species range maps for rare plant species were identified that are potentially affected by resampling predictor variables to fine spatial scales. We portray spatial patterns of high species richness by assessing the combined range maps from three classes of species: all species, endangered and endemic species, and range-size rarity of all species, which could be used in conservation planning for South Korea. The MARS model is promising for addressing the common problem of few species occurrence records. However, projected species ranges are highly dependent on the threshold and scale

  17. Impacts of forest fragmentation on species richness: a hierarchical approach to community modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zipkin, Elise F.; DeWan, Amielle; Royle, J. Andrew

    2009-01-01

    1. Species richness is often used as a tool for prioritizing conservation action. One method for predicting richness and other summaries of community structure is to develop species-specific models of occurrence probability based on habitat or landscape characteristics. However, this approach can be challenging for rare or elusive species for which survey data are often sparse. 2. Recent developments have allowed for improved inference about community structure based on species-specific models of occurrence probability, integrated within a hierarchical modelling framework. This framework offers advantages to inference about species richness over typical approaches by accounting for both species-level effects and the aggregated effects of landscape composition on a community as a whole, thus leading to increased precision in estimates of species richness by improving occupancy estimates for all species, including those that were observed infrequently. 3. We developed a hierarchical model to assess the community response of breeding birds in the Hudson River Valley, New York, to habitat fragmentation and analysed the model using a Bayesian approach. 4. The model was designed to estimate species-specific occurrence and the effects of fragment area and edge (as measured through the perimeter and the perimeter/area ratio, P/A), while accounting for imperfect detection of species. 5. We used the fitted model to make predictions of species richness within forest fragments of variable morphology. The model revealed that species richness of the observed bird community was maximized in small forest fragments with a high P/A. However, the number of forest interior species, a subset of the community with high conservation value, was maximized in large fragments with low P/A. 6. Synthesis and applications. Our results demonstrate the importance of understanding the responses of both individual, and groups of species, to environmental heterogeneity while illustrating the utility

  18. The challenge of accurately documenting bee species richness in agroecosystems: bee diversity in eastern apple orchards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russo, Laura; Park, Mia; Gibbs, Jason; Danforth, Bryan

    2015-09-01

    Bees are important pollinators of agricultural crops, and bee diversity has been shown to be closely associated with pollination, a valuable ecosystem service. Higher functional diversity and species richness of bees have been shown to lead to higher crop yield. Bees simultaneously represent a mega-diverse taxon that is extremely challenging to sample thoroughly and an important group to understand because of pollination services. We sampled bees visiting apple blossoms in 28 orchards over 6 years. We used species rarefaction analyses to test for the completeness of sampling and the relationship between species richness and sampling effort, orchard size, and percent agriculture in the surrounding landscape. We performed more than 190 h of sampling, collecting 11,219 specimens representing 104 species. Despite the sampling intensity, we captured <75% of expected species richness at more than half of the sites. For most of these, the variation in bee community composition between years was greater than among sites. Species richness was influenced by percent agriculture, orchard size, and sampling effort, but we found no factors explaining the difference between observed and expected species richness. Competition between honeybees and wild bees did not appear to be a factor, as we found no correlation between honeybee and wild bee abundance. Our study shows that the pollinator fauna of agroecosystems can be diverse and challenging to thoroughly sample. We demonstrate that there is high temporal variation in community composition and that sites vary widely in the sampling effort required to fully describe their diversity. In order to maximize pollination services provided by wild bee species, we must first accurately estimate species richness. For researchers interested in providing this estimate, we recommend multiyear studies and rarefaction analyses to quantify the gap between observed and expected species richness.

  19. Beyond Arabidopsis: the circadian clock in non-model plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClung, C Robertson

    2013-05-01

    Circadian clocks allow plants to temporally coordinate many aspects of their biology with the diurnal cycle derived from the rotation of Earth on its axis. Although there is a rich history of the study of clocks in many plant species, in recent years much progress in elucidating the architecture and function of the plant clock has emerged from studies of the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. There is considerable interest in extending this knowledge of the circadian clock into diverse plant species in order to address its role in topics as varied as agricultural productivity and the responses of individual species and plant communities to global climate change and environmental degradation. The analysis of circadian clocks in the green lineage provides insight into evolutionary processes in plants and throughout the eukaryotes. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Can temporal and spatial NDVI predict regional bird-species richness?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastián Nieto

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the distribution of the species and its controls over biogeographic scales is still a major challenge in ecology. National Park Networks provide an opportunity to assess the relationship between ecosystem functioning and biodiversity in areas with low human impacts. We tested the productivity–biodiversity hypothesis which states that the number of species increases with the available energy, and the ​variability–biodiversity hypothesis which states that the number of species increases with the diversity of habitats. The available energy and habitat heterogeneity estimated by the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI was shown as a good predictor of bird-species richness for a diverse set of biomes in previously published studies. However, there is not a universal relationship between NDVI and bird-species richness. Here we tested if the NDVI can predict bird species richness in areas with low human impact in Argentina. Using a dataset from the National Park Network of Argentina we found that the best predictor of bird species richness was the minimum value of NDVI per year which explained 75% of total variability. The inclusion of the spatial heterogeneity of NDVI improved the explanation power to 80%. Minimum NDVI was highly correlated with precipitation and winter temperature. Our analysis provides a tool for assessing bird-species richness at scales on which land-use planning practitioners make their decisions for Southern South America.

  1. Effects of climate-induced increases in summer drought on riparian plant species : a meta-analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Garssen, Annemarie G.; Verhoeven, Jos T. A.; Soons, Merel B.

    2014-01-01

    Frequency and duration of summer droughts are predicted to increase in the near future in many parts of the world, with considerable anticipated effects on riparian plant community composition and species richness. Riparian plant communities along lowland streams are characterised by high species ri

  2. Revisiting spatial scale in the productivity-species richness relationship: fundamental issues and global change implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McBride, Paul D; Cusens, Jarrod; Gillman, Len N

    2014-09-23

    The relationship between net primary productivity (NPP) and species richness has been the subject of long-running debate. A changing climate gives added impetus to resolving this debate, as it becomes increasingly necessary to predict biodiversity responses that might arise from shifts in productivity or its climatic correlates. It has become increasingly clear that at small scales productivity-species richness relationships (PSRs) are variable, while at macro scales relationships are typically positive. We demonstrate the importance of explicitly considering scale in discussions on PSRs even at large scales by showing that distinct patterns emerge in a global dataset of terrestrial ecoregions when ecoregions are binned into size classes. At all sizes, PSRs in ecoregions are positive, but the strength of the PSR scales positively with ecoregion size. In small ecoregions (10(3)-10(4) km(2)), factors correlating with productivity play only a minor role in species richness patterns, while in large ecoregions (>10(5) km(2)), NPP modelled from remotely sensed data is able to explain most of the variation in species richness. Better understanding the effects of scale on PSRs contributes to the debate on the relationship between species richness and productivity, which in turn allows us to better predict how both long- and short-term biodiversity patterns and ecosystem functioning might be altered under global change scenarios. This gives focus on future research to clarify causal pathways between species richness and productivity with appropriate attention to scale as an important focusing element.

  3. Urbanization level and woodland size are major drivers of woodpecker species richness and abundance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lukasz Myczko

    Full Text Available Urbanization is a process globally responsible for loss of biodiversity and for biological homogenization. Urbanization may have a direct negative impact on species behaviour and indirect effects on species populations through alterations of their habitats, for example patch size and habitat quality. Woodpeckers are species potentially susceptible to urbanization. These birds are mostly forest specialists and the development of urban areas in former forests may be an important factor influencing their richness and abundance, but documented examples are rare. In this study we investigated how woodpeckers responded to changes in forest habitats as a consequence of urbanization, namely size and isolation of habitat patches, and other within-patch characteristics. We selected 42 woodland patches in a gradient from a semi-natural rural landscape to the city centre of Poznań (Western Poland in spring 2010. Both species richness and abundance of woodpeckers correlated positively to woodland patch area and negatively to increasing urbanization. Abundance of woodpeckers was also positively correlated with shrub cover and percentage of deciduous tree species. Furthermore, species richness and abundance of woodpeckers were highest at moderate values of canopy openness. Ordination analyses confirmed that urbanization level and woodland patch area were variables contributing most to species abundance in the woodpecker community. Similar results were obtained in presence-absence models for particular species. Thus, to sustain woodpecker species within cities it is important to keep woodland patches large, multi-layered and rich in deciduous tree species.

  4. Richness of lichen species, especially of threatened ones, is promoted by management methods furthering stand continuity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boch, Steffen; Prati, Daniel; Hessenmöller, Dominik; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef; Fischer, Markus

    2013-01-01

    Lichens are a key component of forest biodiversity. However, a comprehensive study analyzing lichen species richness in relation to several management types, extending over different regions and forest stages and including information on site conditions is missing for temperate European forests. In three German regions (Schwäbische Alb, Hainich-Dün, Schorfheide-Chorin), the so-called Biodiversity Exploratories, we studied lichen species richness in 631 forest plots of 400 m(2) comprising different management types (unmanaged, selection cutting, deciduous and coniferous age-class forests resulting from clear cutting or shelterwood logging), various stand ages, and site conditions, typical for large parts of temperate Europe. We analyzed how lichen species richness responds to management and habitat variables (standing biomass, cover of deadwood, cover of rocks). We found strong regional differences with highest lichen species richness in the Schwäbische Alb, probably driven by regional differences in former air pollution, and in precipitation and habitat variables. Overall, unmanaged forests harbored 22% more threatened lichen species than managed age-class forests. In general, total, corticolous, and threatened lichen species richness did not differ among management types of deciduous forests. However, in the Schwäbische-Alb region, deciduous forests had 61% more lichen species than coniferous forests and they had 279% more threatened and 76% more corticolous lichen species. Old deciduous age classes were richer in corticolous lichen species than young ones, while old coniferous age-classes were poorer than young ones. Overall, our findings highlight the importance of stand continuity for conservation. To increase total and threatened lichen species richness we suggest (1) conserving unmanaged forests, (2) promoting silvicultural methods assuring stand continuity, (3) conserving old trees in managed forests, (4) promoting stands of native deciduous tree species

  5. Richness of lichen species, especially of threatened ones, is promoted by management methods furthering stand continuity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steffen Boch

    Full Text Available Lichens are a key component of forest biodiversity. However, a comprehensive study analyzing lichen species richness in relation to several management types, extending over different regions and forest stages and including information on site conditions is missing for temperate European forests. In three German regions (Schwäbische Alb, Hainich-Dün, Schorfheide-Chorin, the so-called Biodiversity Exploratories, we studied lichen species richness in 631 forest plots of 400 m(2 comprising different management types (unmanaged, selection cutting, deciduous and coniferous age-class forests resulting from clear cutting or shelterwood logging, various stand ages, and site conditions, typical for large parts of temperate Europe. We analyzed how lichen species richness responds to management and habitat variables (standing biomass, cover of deadwood, cover of rocks. We found strong regional differences with highest lichen species richness in the Schwäbische Alb, probably driven by regional differences in former air pollution, and in precipitation and habitat variables. Overall, unmanaged forests harbored 22% more threatened lichen species than managed age-class forests. In general, total, corticolous, and threatened lichen species richness did not differ among management types of deciduous forests. However, in the Schwäbische-Alb region, deciduous forests had 61% more lichen species than coniferous forests and they had 279% more threatened and 76% more corticolous lichen species. Old deciduous age classes were richer in corticolous lichen species than young ones, while old coniferous age-classes were poorer than young ones. Overall, our findings highlight the importance of stand continuity for conservation. To increase total and threatened lichen species richness we suggest (1 conserving unmanaged forests, (2 promoting silvicultural methods assuring stand continuity, (3 conserving old trees in managed forests, (4 promoting stands of native deciduous

  6. Increased plant carbon translocation linked to overyielding in grassland species mixtures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerlinde B De Deyn

    Full Text Available Plant species richness and productivity often show a positive relationship, but the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood, especially at the plant species level. We examined how growing plants in species mixture influences intraspecific rates of short-term carbon (C- translocation, and determined whether such short-term responses are reflected in biomass yields. We grew monocultures and mixtures of six common C3 grassland plant species in outdoor mesocosms, applied a (13C-CO(2 pulse in situ to trace assimilated C through plants, into the soil, and back to the atmosphere, and quantified species-specific biomass. Pulse derived (13C enrichment was highest in the legumes Lotus corniculatus and Trifolium repens, and relocation (i.e. transport from the leaves to other plant parts of the recently assimilated (13C was most rapid in T. repens grown in 6-species mixtures. The grass Anthoxanthum odoratum also showed high levels of (13C enrichment in 6-species mixtures, while (13C enrichment was low in Lolium perenne, Plantago lanceolata and Achillea millefolium. Rates of C loss through respiration were highest in monocultures of T. repens and relatively low in species mixtures, while the proportion of (13C in the respired CO(2 was similar in monocultures and mixtures. The grass A. odoratum and legume T. repens were most promoted in 6-species mixtures, and together with L. corniculatus, caused the net biomass increase in 6-species mixtures. These plant species also had highest rates of (13C-label translocation, and for A. odoratum and T. repens this effect was greatest in plant individuals grown in species mixtures. Our study reveals that short-term plant C translocation can be accelerated in plant individuals of legume and C3 grass species when grown in mixtures, and that this is strongly positively related to overyielding. These results demonstrate a mechanistic coupling between changes in intraspecific plant carbon physiology and increased

  7. Paradise lost: alien plant invaders compromising productive, rich state forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nancy J. Loewenstein; James H. Miller; Erwin Chamblis

    2008-01-01

    Kudzu and Chinese privet along Alabama roadways are a familiar sight and Japanese honeysuckle is so commonplace it has practically become a part of Southern culture. But are these and other invasive plants really having a negative impact on forests? Just how bad is the invasive plant problem? What are the most effective ways to combat invasive plants?

  8. Soil disturbance as a grassland restoration measure-effects on plant species composition and plant functional traits.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim Schnoor

    Full Text Available Soil disturbance is recognized as an important driver of biodiversity in dry grasslands, and can therefore be implemented as a restoration measure. However, because community re-assembly following disturbance includes stochastic processes, a focus only on species richness or establishment success of particular species will not inform on how plant communities respond ecologically to disturbance. We therefore evaluated vegetation development following disturbance by quantifying species richness, species composition and functional trait composition. Degraded calcareous sandy grassland was subjected to experimental disturbance treatments (ploughing or rotavation, and the vegetation was surveyed during four subsequent years of succession. Treated plots were compared with control plots representing untreated grassland, as well as nearby plots characterized by plant communities representing the restoration target. Species richness and functional diversity both increased in response to soil disturbance, and rotavation, but not ploughing, had a persistent positive effect on the occurrence of specialist species of calcareous sandy grassland. However, no type of soil disturbance caused the plant species composition to develop towards the target vegetation. The disturbance had an immediate and large impact on the vegetation, but the vegetation developed rapidly back towards the control sites. Plant functional composition analysis indicated that the treatments created habitats different both from control sites and target sites. Community-weighted mean Ellenberg indicator values suggested that the observed plant community response was at least partially due to an increase in nitrogen and water availability following disturbance. This study shows that a mild type of disturbance, such as rotavation, may be most successful in promoting specialist species in calcareous sandy grassland, but that further treatments are needed to reduce nutrient availability. We

  9. Soil disturbance as a grassland restoration measure-effects on plant species composition and plant functional traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnoor, Tim; Bruun, Hans Henrik; Olsson, Pål Axel

    2015-01-01

    Soil disturbance is recognized as an important driver of biodiversity in dry grasslands, and can therefore be implemented as a restoration measure. However, because community re-assembly following disturbance includes stochastic processes, a focus only on species richness or establishment success of particular species will not inform on how plant communities respond ecologically to disturbance. We therefore evaluated vegetation development following disturbance by quantifying species richness, species composition and functional trait composition. Degraded calcareous sandy grassland was subjected to experimental disturbance treatments (ploughing or rotavation), and the vegetation was surveyed during four subsequent years of succession. Treated plots were compared with control plots representing untreated grassland, as well as nearby plots characterized by plant communities representing the restoration target. Species richness and functional diversity both increased in response to soil disturbance, and rotavation, but not ploughing, had a persistent positive effect on the occurrence of specialist species of calcareous sandy grassland. However, no type of soil disturbance caused the plant species composition to develop towards the target vegetation. The disturbance had an immediate and large impact on the vegetation, but the vegetation developed rapidly back towards the control sites. Plant functional composition analysis indicated that the treatments created habitats different both from control sites and target sites. Community-weighted mean Ellenberg indicator values suggested that the observed plant community response was at least partially due to an increase in nitrogen and water availability following disturbance. This study shows that a mild type of disturbance, such as rotavation, may be most successful in promoting specialist species in calcareous sandy grassland, but that further treatments are needed to reduce nutrient availability. We conclude that a

  10. The Relative Importance of Three Specific Climatic Factors on North American Breeding Bird Species Richness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, M.; Lin, Y.

    2017-09-01

    Understanding of the relationships between bird species and environment facilitates protecting avian biodiversity and maintaining nature sustaining. However, the effects of many climatic factors on bird richness have not been fully grasped. To fill this gap, this study investigated the relationships between the richness of three typical North American breeding bird species and three climatic factors at the monthly scale. Based on the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data during 1967-2014, the relationships between the numbers of Carolina wren, Cerulean warbler, and Red-bellied woodpecker and the three climatic factors of precipitation, vapor pressure, and potential evapotranspiration were examined using the method of Pearson linear regression analysis. The results indicated that the three climatic factors have correlations with the richness of the breeding bird species but in different modes, e.g., strong correlations for the non-migratory species but weak correlations for the migratory species.

  11. [Geographic patterns and ecological factors correlates of snake species richness in China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Bo; Huang, Yong; Chen, Yue-Ying; Hu, Jun-Hua; Guo, Xian-Guang; Wang, Yue-Zhao

    2012-08-01

    Understanding large-scale geographic patterns of species richness as well its underlying mechanisms are among the most significant objectives of macroecology and biogeography. The ecological hypothesis is one of the most accepted explanations of this mechanism. Here, we studied the geographic patterns of snakes and investigated the relationships between species richness and ecological factors in China at a spatial resolution of 100 km×100 km. We obtained the eigenvector-based spatial filters by Principal Coordinates Neighbor Matrices, and then analyzed ecological factors by multiple regression analysis. The results indicated several things: (1) species richness of snakes showed multi-peak patterns along both the latitudinal and longitudinal gradient. The areas of highest richness of snake are tropics and subtropical areas of Oriental realm in China while the areas of lowest richness are Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the grasslands and deserts in northern China, Yangtze-Huai Plain, Two-lake Plain, and the Poyang-lake Plain; (2) results of multiple regression analysis explained a total of 56.5% variance in snake richness. Among ecological factors used to explore the species richness patterns, we found the best factors were the normalized difference vegetation index, precipitation in the coldest quarter and temperature annual range ; (3) our results indicated that the model based on the significant variables that (Phuman activities.

  12. Reversal in the relationship between species richness and turnover in a phytoplankton community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Blake; Pomati, Francesco

    2012-11-01

    Negative relationships between species richness and the rate of compositional turnover are common, suggesting that diverse communities have greater stability than depauperate ones; however, the mechanistic basis for this pattern is still widely debated. Species richness and turnover can covary either because they are mechanistically linked or because they share common environmental drivers. Few empirical studies have combined long-term changes in community composition with multiple drivers of environmental change, and so little is known about how the underlying mechanisms of species coexistence interact with changes in the mean and variability of environmental conditions. Here, we use a 33 year long time series (1976-2008) of phytoplankton community composition from Lake Zurich, to examine how environmental variation influences the relationship between richness and annual turnover. We find that the relationship between richness and annual turnover reverses midway through the time series (1992-1993), leading to a hump-shaped relationship between species richness and annual turnover. Using structural equation modeling we show that annual turnover and diversity are independently associated with different drivers of environmental change. Furthermore, we find that the observed annual sequences of community assembly give rise to rates of species accumulation that are more heterogeneous through time than expected by chance, likely owing to a high proportion of species showing significant autocorrelation and to strong positive covariation in the occurrences of species.

  13. Initial Survey Instructions for Invasive Plant Species Mapping and Monitoring

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Initial survey instructions for Invasive Plant Species Mapping, 1.01a, and Invasive Plant Species Monitoring, 1.01b, at Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge. These...

  14. Native macrophyte density and richness affect the invasiveness of a tropical poaceae species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thaisa S Michelan

    Full Text Available The role of the native species richness and density in ecosystem invasibility is a matter of concern for both ecologists and managers. We tested the hypothesis that the invasiveness of Urochloa arrecta (non-native in the Neotropics is negatively affected by the species richness and abundance of native aquatic macrophytes in freshwater ecosystems. We first created four levels of macrophyte richness in a greenhouse (richness experiment, and we then manipulated the densities of the same native species in a second experiment (density experiment. When the native macrophytes were adults, fragments of U. arrecta were added, and their growth was assessed. Our results from the richness experiment corroborated the hypothesis of a negative relationship between the native species richness and the growth of U. arrecta, as measured by sprout length and root biomass. However, the resistance to invasion was not attributed to the presence of a particular native species with a greater competitive ability. In the density experiment, U. arrecta growth decreased significantly with an increased density of all five of the native species. Density strongly affected the performance of the Poaceae in a negative manner, suggesting that patches that are densely colonized by native macrophytes and less subject to disturbances will be more resistant to invasion than those that are poorly colonized and more commonly subjected to disturbances. Our density experiment also showed that some species exhibit a higher competitive ability than others (sampling effect. Although native richness and abundance clearly limit the colonization and establishment of U. arrecta, these factors cannot completely prevent the invasion of aquatic ecosystems by this Poaceae species.

  15. Native macrophyte density and richness affect the invasiveness of a tropical poaceae species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michelan, Thaisa S; Thomaz, Sidinei M; Bini, Luis M

    2013-01-01

    The role of the native species richness and density in ecosystem invasibility is a matter of concern for both ecologists and managers. We tested the hypothesis that the invasiveness of Urochloa arrecta (non-native in the Neotropics) is negatively affected by the species richness and abundance of native aquatic macrophytes in freshwater ecosystems. We first created four levels of macrophyte richness in a greenhouse (richness experiment), and we then manipulated the densities of the same native species in a second experiment (density experiment). When the native macrophytes were adults, fragments of U. arrecta were added, and their growth was assessed. Our results from the richness experiment corroborated the hypothesis of a negative relationship between the native species richness and the growth of U. arrecta, as measured by sprout length and root biomass. However, the resistance to invasion was not attributed to the presence of a particular native species with a greater competitive ability. In the density experiment, U. arrecta growth decreased significantly with an increased density of all five of the native species. Density strongly affected the performance of the Poaceae in a negative manner, suggesting that patches that are densely colonized by native macrophytes and less subject to disturbances will be more resistant to invasion than those that are poorly colonized and more commonly subjected to disturbances. Our density experiment also showed that some species exhibit a higher competitive ability than others (sampling effect). Although native richness and abundance clearly limit the colonization and establishment of U. arrecta, these factors cannot completely prevent the invasion of aquatic ecosystems by this Poaceae species.

  16. High tropical net diversification drives the New World latitudinal gradient in palm (Arecaceae) species richness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Svenning, J.-C.; Borchsenius, Finn; Bjorholm, Stine Wendelboe

    2008-01-01

    Aim Species richness exhibits striking geographical variation, but the processes that drive this variation are unresolved. We investigated the relative importance of two hypothesized evolutionary causes for the variation in palm species richness across the New World: time for diversification...... and evolutionary (net diversification) rate. Palms have a long history in the region, with the major clades diversifying during the Tertiary (65-2 Ma). Location Tropical and subtropical America (34° N-34° S; 33-120° W). Methods Using range maps, palm species richness was estimated in a 1° × 1° grid. Mean lineage...... net diversification was estimated by the mean phylogenetic root distance (MRD), the average number of nodes separating a species from the base of the palm phylogeny for the species in each grid cell. If evolutionary rate limits richness, then richness should increase with MRD. If time limits richness...

  17. Changes in Species Richness and Composition of Tiger Moths (Lepidoptera: Erebidae: Arctiinae) among Three Neotropical Ecoregions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beccacece, Hernán Mario; Zeballos, Sebastián Rodolfo; Zapata, Adriana Inés

    2016-01-01

    Paraná, Yungas and Chaco Serrano ecoregions are among the most species-rich terrestrial habitats at higher latitude. However, the information for tiger moths, one of the most speciose groups of moths, is unknown in these ecoregions. In this study, we assess their species richness and composition in all three of these ecoregions. Also we investigated whether the species composition of tiger moths is influenced by climatic factors and altitude. Tiger moth species were obtained with samples from 71 sites using standardized protocols (21 sites were in Yungas, 19 in Paraná and 31 in Chaco Serrano). Rarefaction-extrapolation curves, non-parametric estimators for incidence and sample coverage indices were performed to assess species richness in the ecoregions studied. Non metric multidimensional scaling and adonis tests were performed to compare the species composition of tiger moths among ecoregions. Permutest analysis and Pearson correlation were used to evaluate the relationship among species composition and annual mean temperature, annual temperature range, annual precipitation, precipitation seasonality and altitude. Among ecoregions Paraná was the richest with 125 species, followed by Yungas with 63 species and Chaco Serrano with 24 species. Species composition differed among these ecoregions, although Yungas and Chaco Serrano were more similar than Paraná. Species composition was significantly influenced by climatic factors and altitude. This study showed that species richness and species composition of tiger moths differed among the three ecoregions assessed. Furthermore, not only climatic factors and altitude influence the species composition of tiger moths among ecoregions, but also climatic seasonality at higher latitude in Neotropical South America becomes an important factor. PMID:27681478

  18. Climate change may threaten habitat suitability of threatened plant species within Chinese nature reserves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chunjing; Liu, Chengzhu; Wan, Jizhong; Zhang, Zhixiang

    2016-01-01

    Climate change has the potential to alter the distributions of threatened plant species, and may therefore diminish the capacity of nature reserves to protect threatened plant species. Chinese nature reserves contain a rich diversity of plant species that are at risk of becoming more threatened by climate change. Hence, it is urgent to identify the extent to which future climate change may compromise the suitability of threatened plant species habitats within Chinese nature reserves. Here, we modelled the climate suitability of 82 threatened plant species within 168 nature reserves across climate change scenarios. We used Maxent modelling based on species occurrence localities and evaluated climate change impacts using the magnitude of change in climate suitability and the degree of overlap between current and future climatically suitable habitats. There was a significant relationship between overlap with current and future climate suitability of all threatened plant species habitats and the magnitude of changes in climate suitability. Our projections estimate that the climate suitability of more than 60 threatened plant species will decrease and that climate change threatens the habitat suitability of plant species in more than 130 nature reserves under the low, medium, and high greenhouse gas concentration scenarios by both 2050s and 2080s. Furthermore, future climate change may substantially threaten tree plant species through changes in annual mean temperature. These results indicate that climate change may threaten plant species that occur within Chinese nature reserves. Therefore, we suggest that climate change projections should be integrated into the conservation and management of threatened plant species within nature reserves.

  19. Environmental heterogeneity predicts species richness of freshwater mollusks in sub-Saharan Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauffe, T.; Schultheiß, R.; Van Bocxlaer, B.; Prömmel, K.; Albrecht, C.

    2016-09-01

    Species diversity and how it is structured on a continental scale is influenced by stochastic, ecological, and evolutionary driving forces, but hypotheses on determining factors have been mainly examined for terrestrial and marine organisms. The extant diversity of African freshwater mollusks is in general well assessed to facilitate conservation strategies and because of the medical importance of several taxa as intermediate hosts for tropical parasites. This historical accumulation of knowledge has, however, not resulted in substantial macroecological studies on the spatial distribution of freshwater mollusks. Here, we use continental distribution data and a recently developed method of random and cohesive allocation of species distribution ranges to test the relative importance of various factors in shaping species richness of Bivalvia and Gastropoda. We show that the mid-domain effect, that is, a hump-shaped richness gradient in a geographically bounded system despite the absence of environmental gradients, plays a minor role in determining species richness of freshwater mollusks in sub-Saharan Africa. The western branch of the East African Rift System was included as dispersal barrier in richness models, but these simulation results did not fit observed diversity patterns significantly better than models where this effect was not included, which suggests that the rift has played a more complex role in generating diversity patterns. Present-day precipitation and temperature explain richness patterns better than Eemian climatic condition. Therefore, the availability of water and energy for primary productivity during the past does not influence current species richness patterns much, and observed diversity patterns appear to be in equilibrium with contemporary climate. The availability of surface waters was the best predictor of bivalve and gastropod richness. Our data indicate that habitat diversity causes the observed species-area relationship, and hence, that

  20. Disentangling the Role of Climate, Topography and Vegetation in Species Richness Gradients.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario R Moura

    Full Text Available Environmental gradients (EG related to climate, topography and vegetation are among the most important drivers of broad scale patterns of species richness. However, these different EG do not necessarily drive species richness in similar ways, potentially presenting synergistic associations when driving species richness. Understanding the synergism among EG allows us to address key questions arising from the effects of global climate and land use changes on biodiversity. Herein, we use variation partitioning (also know as commonality analysis to disentangle unique and shared contributions of different EG in explaining species richness of Neotropical vertebrates. We use three broad sets of predictors to represent the environmental variability in (i climate (annual mean temperature, temperature annual range, annual precipitation and precipitation range, (ii topography (mean elevation, range and coefficient of variation of elevation, and (iii vegetation (land cover diversity, standard deviation and range of forest canopy height. The shared contribution between two types of EG is used to quantify synergistic processes operating among EG, offering new perspectives on the causal relationships driving species richness. To account for spatially structured processes, we use Spatial EigenVector Mapping models. We perform analyses across groups with distinct dispersal abilities (amphibians, non-volant mammals, bats and birds and discuss the influence of vagility on the partitioning results. Our findings indicate that broad scale patterns of vertebrate richness are mainly affected by the synergism between climate and vegetation, followed by the unique contribution of climate. Climatic factors were relatively more important in explaining species richness of good dispersers. Most of the variation in vegetation that explains vertebrate richness is climatically structured, supporting the productivity hypothesis. Further, the weak synergism between topography and

  1. Disentangling the Role of Climate, Topography and Vegetation in Species Richness Gradients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moura, Mario R.; Villalobos, Fabricio; Costa, Gabriel C.; Garcia, Paulo C. A.

    2016-01-01

    Environmental gradients (EG) related to climate, topography and vegetation are among the most important drivers of broad scale patterns of species richness. However, these different EG do not necessarily drive species richness in similar ways, potentially presenting synergistic associations when driving species richness. Understanding the synergism among EG allows us to address key questions arising from the effects of global climate and land use changes on biodiversity. Herein, we use variation partitioning (also know as commonality analysis) to disentangle unique and shared contributions of different EG in explaining species richness of Neotropical vertebrates. We use three broad sets of predictors to represent the environmental variability in (i) climate (annual mean temperature, temperature annual range, annual precipitation and precipitation range), (ii) topography (mean elevation, range and coefficient of variation of elevation), and (iii) vegetation (land cover diversity, standard deviation and range of forest canopy height). The shared contribution between two types of EG is used to quantify synergistic processes operating among EG, offering new perspectives on the causal relationships driving species richness. To account for spatially structured processes, we use Spatial EigenVector Mapping models. We perform analyses across groups with distinct dispersal abilities (amphibians, non-volant mammals, bats and birds) and discuss the influence of vagility on the partitioning results. Our findings indicate that broad scale patterns of vertebrate richness are mainly affected by the synergism between climate and vegetation, followed by the unique contribution of climate. Climatic factors were relatively more important in explaining species richness of good dispersers. Most of the variation in vegetation that explains vertebrate richness is climatically structured, supporting the productivity hypothesis. Further, the weak synergism between topography and vegetation

  2. Sampling plant diversity and rarity at landscape scales: importance of sampling time in species detectability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian Zhang

    Full Text Available Documenting and estimating species richness at regional or landscape scales has been a major emphasis for conservation efforts, as well as for the development and testing of evolutionary and ecological theory. Rarely, however, are sampling efforts assessed on how they affect detection and estimates of species richness and rarity. In this study, vascular plant richness was sampled in 356 quarter hectare time-unlimited survey plots in the boreal region of northeast Alberta. These surveys consisted of 15,856 observations of 499 vascular plant species (97 considered to be regionally rare collected by 12 observers over a 2 year period. Average survey time for each quarter-hectare plot was 82 minutes, ranging from 20 to 194 minutes, with a positive relationship between total survey time and total plant richness. When survey time was limited to a 20-minute search, as in other Alberta biodiversity methods, 61 species were missed. Extending the survey time to 60 minutes, reduced the number of missed species to 20, while a 90-minute cut-off time resulted in the loss of 8 species. When surveys were separated by habitat type, 60 minutes of search effort sampled nearly 90% of total observed richness for all habitats. Relative to rare species, time-unlimited surveys had ∼ 65% higher rare plant detections post-20 minutes than during the first 20 minutes of the survey. Although exhaustive sampling was attempted, observer bias was noted among observers when a subsample of plots was re-surveyed by different observers. Our findings suggest that sampling time, combined with sample size and observer effects, should be considered in landscape-scale plant biodiversity surveys.

  3. Pentacyclic Triterpene Distribution in Various PlantsRich Sources for a New Group of Multi-Potent Plant Extracts

    OpenAIRE

    Armin Scheffler; Laszczyk, Melanie N.; Holger Trojan; Thomas Kopp; Sebastian Jäger

    2009-01-01

    Pentacyclic triterpenes are secondary plant metabolites widespread in fruit peel, leaves and stem bark. In particular the lupane-, oleanane-, and ursane triterpenes display various pharmacological effects while being devoid of prominent toxicity. Therefore, these triterpenes are promising leading compounds for the development of new multi-targeting bioactive agents. Screening of 39 plant materials identified triterpene rich (> 0.1% dry matter) plant parts. Plant materials with high triterp...

  4. Effects of crop species richness on pest-natural enemy systems based on an experimental model system using a microlandscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, ZiHua; Shi, PeiJian; Men, XingYuan; Ouyang, Fang; Ge, Feng

    2013-08-01

    The relationship between crop richness and predator-prey interactions as they relate to pest-natural enemy systems is a very important topic in ecology and greatly affects biological control services. The effects of crop arrangement on predator-prey interactions have received much attention as the basis for pest population management. To explore the internal mechanisms and factors driving the relationship between crop richness and pest population management, we designed an experimental model system of a microlandscape that included 50 plots and five treatments. Each treatment had 10 repetitions in each year from 2007 to 2010. The results showed that the biomass of pests and their natural enemies increased with increasing crop biomass and decreased with decreasing crop biomass; however, the effects of plant biomass on the pest and natural enemy biomass were not significant. The relationship between adjacent trophic levels was significant (such as pests and their natural enemies or crops and pests), whereas non-adjacent trophic levels (crops and natural enemies) did not significantly interact with each other. The ratio of natural enemy/pest biomass was the highest in the areas of four crop species that had the best biological control service. Having either low or high crop species richness did not enhance the pest population management service and lead to loss of biological control. Although the resource concentration hypothesis was not well supported by our results, high crop species richness could suppress the pest population, indicating that crop species richness could enhance biological control services. These results could be applied in habitat management aimed at biological control, provide the theoretical basis for agricultural landscape design, and also suggest new methods for integrated pest management.

  5. Patterns and multi-scale drivers of phytoplankton species richness in temperate peri-urban lakes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Catherine, Arnaud, E-mail: arnocat@mnhn.fr [UMR7245 MCAM MNHN-CNRS, Muséum National d' Histoire Naturelle, CC 39, 12 rue Buffon, F-75231 Paris, Cedex 05 (France); Selma, Maloufi, E-mail: maloufi@mnhn.fr [UMR7245 MCAM MNHN-CNRS, Muséum National d' Histoire Naturelle, CC 39, 12 rue Buffon, F-75231 Paris, Cedex 05 (France); Mouillot, David, E-mail: david.mouillot@univ-montp2.fr [UMR 9190 MARBEC UM2-CNRS-IRD-UM1-IFREMER, CC 93, Place Eugène Bataillon, Université de Montpellier 2, F-34095 Montpellier (France); Troussellier, Marc, E-mail: troussel@univ-montp2.fr [UMR 9190 MARBEC UM2-CNRS-IRD-UM1-IFREMER, CC 93, Place Eugène Bataillon, Université de Montpellier 2, F-34095 Montpellier (France); Bernard, Cécile, E-mail: cbernard@mnhn.fr [UMR7245 MCAM MNHN-CNRS, Muséum National d' Histoire Naturelle, CC 39, 12 rue Buffon, F-75231 Paris, Cedex 05 (France)

    2016-07-15

    Local species richness (SR) is a key characteristic affecting ecosystem functioning. Yet, the mechanisms regulating phytoplankton diversity in freshwater ecosystems are not fully understood, especially in peri-urban environments where anthropogenic pressures strongly impact the quality of aquatic ecosystems. To address this issue, we sampled the phytoplankton communities of 50 lakes in the Paris area (France) characterized by a large gradient of physico-chemical and catchment-scale characteristics. We used large phytoplankton datasets to describe phytoplankton diversity patterns and applied a machine-learning algorithm to test the degree to which species richness patterns are potentially controlled by environmental factors. Selected environmental factors were studied at two scales: the lake-scale (e.g. nutrients concentrations, water temperature, lake depth) and the catchment-scale (e.g. catchment, landscape and climate variables). Then, we used a variance partitioning approach to evaluate the interaction between lake-scale and catchment-scale variables in explaining local species richness. Finally, we analysed the residuals of predictive models to identify potential vectors of improvement of phytoplankton species richness predictive models. Lake-scale and catchment-scale drivers provided similar predictive accuracy of local species richness (R{sup 2} = 0.458 and 0.424, respectively). Both models suggested that seasonal temperature variations and nutrient supply strongly modulate local species richness. Integrating lake- and catchment-scale predictors in a single predictive model did not provide increased predictive accuracy; therefore suggesting that the catchment-scale model probably explains observed species richness variations through the impact of catchment-scale variables on in-lake water quality characteristics. Models based on catchment characteristics, which include simple and easy to obtain variables, provide a meaningful way of predicting phytoplankton

  6. Spatial and environmental correlates of species richness and turnover patterns in European cryptocephaline and chrysomeline beetles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freijeiro, Andrea; Baselga, Andrés

    2016-01-01

    Despite some general concordant patterns (i.e. the latitudinal richness gradient), species richness and composition of different European beetle taxa varies in different ways according to their dispersal and ecological traits. Here, the patterns of variation in species richness, composition and spatial turnover are analysed in European cryptocephaline and chrysomeline leaf beetles, assessing their environmental and spatial correlates. The underlying rationale to use environmental and spatial variables of diversity patterns is to assess the relative support for niche- and dispersal-driven hypotheses. Our results show that despite a broad congruence in the factors correlated with cryptocephaline and chrysomeline richness, environmental variables (particularly temperature) were more relevant in cryptocephalines, whereas spatial variables were more relevant in chrysomelines (that showed a significant longitudinal gradient besides the latitudinal one), in line with the higher proportion of flightless species within chrysomelines. The variation in species composition was also related to environmental and spatial factors, but this pattern was better predicted by spatial variables in both groups, suggesting that species composition is more linked to dispersal and historical contingencies than species richness, which would be more controlled by environmental limitations. Among historical factors, Pleistocene glaciations appear as the most plausible explanation for the steeper decay in assemblage similarity with spatial distance, both in cryptocephalines and chrysomelines.

  7. Temporal comparison and predictors of fish species abundance and richness on undisturbed coral reef patches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Elena L E S; Roche, Dominique G; Binning, Sandra A; Wismer, Sharon; Bshary, Redouan

    2015-01-01

    Large disturbances can cause rapid degradation of coral reef communities, but what baseline changes in species assemblages occur on undisturbed reefs through time? We surveyed live coral cover, reef fish abundance and fish species richness in 1997 and again in 2007 on 47 fringing patch reefs of varying size and depth at Mersa Bareika, Ras Mohammed National Park, Egypt. No major human or natural disturbance event occurred between these two survey periods in this remote protected area. In the absence of large disturbances, we found that live coral cover, reef fish abundance and fish species richness did not differ in 1997 compared to 2007. Fish abundance and species richness on patches was largely related to the presence of shelters (caves and/or holes), live coral cover and patch size (volume). The presence of the ectoparasite-eating cleaner wrasse, Labroides dimidiatus, was also positively related to fish species richness. Our results underscore the importance of physical reef characteristics, such as patch size and shelter availability, in addition to biotic characteristics, such as live coral cover and cleaner wrasse abundance, in supporting reef fish species richness and abundance through time in a relatively undisturbed and understudied region.

  8. Temporal comparison and predictors of fish species abundance and richness on undisturbed coral reef patches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena L.E.S. Wagner

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Large disturbances can cause rapid degradation of coral reef communities, but what baseline changes in species assemblages occur on undisturbed reefs through time? We surveyed live coral cover, reef fish abundance and fish species richness in 1997 and again in 2007 on 47 fringing patch reefs of varying size and depth at Mersa Bareika, Ras Mohammed National Park, Egypt. No major human or natural disturbance event occurred between these two survey periods in this remote protected area. In the absence of large disturbances, we found that live coral cover, reef fish abundance and fish species richness did not differ in 1997 compared to 2007. Fish abundance and species richness on patches was largely related to the presence of shelters (caves and/or holes, live coral cover and patch size (volume. The presence of the ectoparasite-eating cleaner wrasse, Labroides dimidiatus, was also positively related to fish species richness. Our results underscore the importance of physical reef characteristics, such as patch size and shelter availability, in addition to biotic characteristics, such as live coral cover and cleaner wrasse abundance, in supporting reef fish species richness and abundance through time in a relatively undisturbed and understudied region.

  9. Regional warming chnages fish species richness in the eastern North Atlantic Ocean

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hofstede, ter R.; Hiddink, J.G.; Rijnsdorp, A.D.

    2010-01-01

    Regional warming causes changes in local communities due to species extinctions and latitudinal range shifts. We show that the species richness of fish in 3 regional seas in the eastern North Atlantic Ocean has changed over time (1997 to 2008), and we relate this to higher water temperatures and the

  10. Effect of species richness on disease risk: dilution effect and underlying mechanisms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huang, Z.

    2014-01-01

    Summary any pathogens infect multiple host species which can differ in their reservoir competence. Consequently the species richness and composition of the host community can considerably influence the dynamics of disease transmission. Recently, an increasing number of studies reported the existence

  11. Determinants of bird species richness, endemism, and island network roles in Wallacea and the West Indies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dalsgaard, Bo; Carstensen, Daniel Wisbech; Fjeldså, Jon;

    2014-01-01

    Island biogeography has greatly contributed to our understanding of the processes determining species' distributions. Previous research has focused on the effects of island geography (i.e., island area, elevation, and isolation) and current climate as drivers of island species richness and endemi...

  12. Reef flattening effects on total richness and species responses in the Caribbean

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Newman, Steven P.; Meesters, E.H.; Dryden, Charlie S.; Williams, Stacey M.; Sanchez, Cristina; Mumby, Peter J.; Polunin, Nicholas V.C.

    2015-01-01

    There has been ongoing flattening of Caribbean coral reefs with the loss of habitat having severe implications for these systems. Complexity and its structural components are important to fish species richness and community composition, but little is known about its role for other taxa or species

  13. Global species richness patterns and their drivers among the order Anseriformes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dalby, Lars; McGill, Brian J.; Fox, Anthony David;

    2012-01-01

    Birds (class Aves) follow the latitudinal gradient in species richness (more species are found closer to the tropics). However lowering the taxonomic scale to orders other patterns can emerge which can be instructive about mechanism. For example, in the order Anseriformes the pattern is reversed ......, especially on a global scale where the strength of the predictors are likely change....

  14. Experiments on the restoration of species-rich meadows in The Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berendse, F.; Oomes, M.J.M.; Altena, H.J.; Elberse, W.Th.

    1992-01-01

    Three long-term experiments were carried out in meadows that were mown twice a year on three different soils: heavy clay, sand and clay-on-peat. The experiment on heavy clay studied the effect of an increase in nutrient supply on dry matter production and species diversity in a species-rich meadow.

  15. Effect of species richness on disease risk: dilution effect and underlying mechanisms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huang, Z.

    2014-01-01

    Summary any pathogens infect multiple host species which can differ in their reservoir competence. Consequently the species richness and composition of the host community can considerably influence the dynamics of disease transmission. Recently, an increasing number of studies reported the existence

  16. 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.

  17. The impact of land abandonment on species richness and abundance in the Mediterranean Basin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plieninger, Tobias; Hui, Cang; Gaertner, Mirijam;

    2014-01-01

    the effect of land abandonment on species richness and abundance is pronounced; (3) whether previous land use and current protected area status affect the magnitude of changes in the number and abundance of species; and (4) how prevailing landforms and climate modify the impacts of land abandonment. After...... identifying 1240 potential studies, 154 cases from 51 studies that offered comparisons of species richness and abundance and had results relevant to our four areas of investigation were selected for meta-analysis. Results are that land abandonment showed slightly increased (effect size = 0.2109, P,0...... management at these scales can have a powerful impact on biodiversity. ...

  18. Global and Regional Patterns in Riverine Fish Species Richness: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thierry Oberdorff

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available We integrate the respective role of global and regional factors driving riverine fish species richness patterns, to develop a synthetic model of potential mechanisms and processes generating these patterns. This framework allows species richness to be broken down into different components specific to each spatial extent and to establish links between these components and the processes involved. This framework should help to answer the questions that are currently being asked by society, including the effects of species invasions, habitat loss, or fragmentation and climate change on freshwater biodiversity.

  19. Environmental changes define ecological limits to species richness and reveal the mode of macroevolutionary competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ezard, Thomas H G; Purvis, Andy

    2016-08-01

    Co-dependent geological and climatic changes obscure how species interact in deep time. The interplay between these environmental factors makes it hard to discern whether ecological competition exerts an upper limit on species richness. Here, using the exceptional fossil record of Cenozoic Era macroperforate planktonic foraminifera, we assess the evidence for alternative modes of macroevolutionary competition. Our models support an environmentally dependent macroevolutionary form of contest competition that yields finite upper bounds on species richness. Models of biotic competition assuming unchanging environmental conditions were overwhelmingly rejected. In the best-supported model, temperature affects the per-lineage diversification rate, while both temperature and an environmental driver of sediment accumulation defines the upper limit. The support for contest competition implies that incumbency constrains species richness by restricting niche availability, and that the number of macroevolutionary niches varies as a function of environmental changes.

  20. Scale effects and human impact on the elevational species richness gradients

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nogues, David Bravo; Araújo, M B; Romdal, T;

    2008-01-01

    Despite two centuries of effort in characterizing environmental gradients of species richness in search of universal patterns, surprisingly few of these patterns have been widely acknowledged. Species richness along altitudinal gradients was previously assumed to increase universally from cool...... highlands to warm lowlands, mirroring the latitudinal increase in species richness from cool to warm latitudes. However, since the more recent general acceptance of altitudinal gradients as model templates for testing hypotheses behind large-scale patterns of diversity, these gradients have been used...... in support of all the main diversity hypotheses, although little consensus has been achieved. Here we show that when resampling a data set comprising 400,000 records for 3,046 Pyrenean floristic species at different scales of analysis (achieved by varying grain size and the extent of the gradients sampled...

  1. Spatial congruence in language and species richness but not threat in the world's top linguistic hotspot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turvey, Samuel T; Pettorelli, Nathalie

    2014-12-01

    Languages share key evolutionary properties with biological species, and global-level spatial congruence in richness and threat is documented between languages and several taxonomic groups. However, there is little understanding of the functional connection between diversification or extinction in languages and species, or the relationship between linguistic and species richness across different spatial scales. New Guinea is the world's most linguistically rich region and contains extremely high biological diversity. We demonstrate significant positive relationships between language and mammal richness in New Guinea across multiple spatial scales, revealing a likely functional relationship over scales at which infra-island diversification may occur. However, correlations are driven by spatial congruence between low levels of language and species richness. Regional biocultural richness may have showed closer congruence before New Guinea's linguistic landscape was altered by Holocene demographic events. In contrast to global studies, we demonstrate a significant negative correlation across New Guinea between areas with high levels of threatened languages and threatened mammals, indicating that landscape-scale threats differ between these groups. Spatial resource prioritization to conserve biodiversity may not benefit threatened languages, and conservation policy must adopt a multi-faceted approach to protect biocultural diversity as a whole.

  2. Does species richness affect fine root biomass and production in young forest plantations?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domisch, Timo; Finér, Leena; Dawud, Seid Muhie; Vesterdal, Lars; Raulund-Rasmussen, Karsten

    2015-02-01

    Tree species diversity has been reported to increase forest ecosystem above-ground biomass and productivity, but little is known about below-ground biomass and production in diverse mixed forests compared to single-species forests. For testing whether species richness increases below-ground biomass and production and thus complementarity between forest tree species in young stands, we determined fine root biomass and production of trees and ground vegetation in two experimental plantations representing gradients in tree species richness. Additionally, we measured tree fine root length and determined species composition from fine root biomass samples with the near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy method. We did not observe higher biomass or production in mixed stands compared to monocultures. Neither did we observe any differences in tree root length or fine root turnover. One reason for this could be that these stands were still young, and canopy closure had not always taken place, i.e. a situation where above- or below-ground competition did not yet exist. Another reason could be that the rooting traits of the tree species did not differ sufficiently to support niche differentiation. Our results suggested that functional group identity (i.e. conifers vs. broadleaved species) can be more important for below-ground biomass and production than the species richness itself, as conifers seemed to be more competitive in colonising the soil volume, compared to broadleaved species.

  3. Estimating species richness and status of solitary bees and bumblebees in agricultural semi-natural habitats

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Calabuig, Isabel

    2000-01-01

    75 years, and nothing is known about which species are potentially vulnerable or endangered. A rough estimate of solitary bees and bumblebees includes approximately 238 species (26 genera) and 29 species respectively. In a pan-trap survey of six kilometres of semi-natural habitats in a Danish...... agricultural landscape, 72 solitary bee species and 19 species of bumblebees were recorded, several of which are considered vulnerable or endangered in neighbouring countries. Nesting conditions for rare cavity-nesting species and the possible role of the semi-natural habitats as corridors for species......Estimation of Western Europe number of bee species varies between 2000 and 4500 (Williams 1995) but there are substantial indications of a decline in bee species in Europe and other regions. In Denmark, wild bee species richness, distribution, and abundance have not been studied in detail for about...

  4. Patterns of reptile and amphibian species richness along elevational gradients in Mt. Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malonza, Patrick Kinyatta

    2015-11-18

    Faunal species richness is traditionally assumed to decrease with increasing elevation and decreasing primary productivity. Species richness is reported to peak at mid-elevation. This survey examines the herpetofaunal diversity and distribution in Mt. Kenya (central Kenya) by testing the hypothesis that changes in species richness with elevation relate to elevation-dependent changes in climate. Sampling along transects from an elevation of approximately 1 700 m in Chogoria forest block (wind-ward side) and approximately 2 600 m in Sirimon block (rain shadow zone) upwards in March 2009. This starts from the forest to montane alpine zones. Sampling of reptiles and amphibians uses pitfall traps associated with drift fences, time-limited searches and visual encounter surveys. The results show that herpetofaunal richness differs among three vegetation zones along the elevation gradient. Chogoria has higher biodiversity than Sirimon. More species occur at low and middle elevations and few exist at high elevations. The trends are consistent with expected optimum water and energy variables. The lower alpine montane zone has high species richness but low diversity due to dominance of some high elevations species. Unambiguous data do not support a mid-domain effect (mid-elevation peak) because the observed trend better fits a model in which climatic variables (rainfall and temperature) control species richness, which indirectly measures productivity. It is important to continue protection of all indigenous forests, especially at low to mid elevations. These areas are vulnerable to human destruction yet are home to some endemic species. Firebreaks can limit the spread of the perennial wildfires, especially on the moorlands.

  5. Does species richness affect fine root biomass and production in young forest plantations?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Domisch, Timo; Finér, Leena; Dawud, Seid Muhie;

    2015-01-01

    species composition from fine root biomass samples with the near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy method. We did not observe higher biomass or production in mixed stands compared to monocultures. Neither did we observe any differences in tree root length or fine root turnover. One reason for this could......Tree species diversity has been reported to increase forest ecosystem above-ground biomass and productivity, but little is known about below-ground biomass and production in diverse mixed forests compared to single-species forests. For testing whether species richness increases below-ground biomass...... and production and thus complementarity between forest tree species in young stands, we determined fine root biomass and production of trees and ground vegetation in two experimental plantations representing gradients in tree species richness. Additionally, we measured tree fine root length and determined...

  6. The effects of drainage on groundwater quality and plant species distribution in stream valley meadows

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grootjans, A.P.; Diggelen, R. van; Wassen, M.J.; Wiersinga, W.A.

    1988-01-01

    Conditions in fen meadows in Dutch stream valleys are influenced by both deep (Ca2+-rich) and shallow (Ca2+-poor) groundwater flows. The distribution patterns of phreatophytic (groundwater-influenced) plant species showed distinct relationships with the distribution of different groundwater types.

  7. Estimating landscape-scale species richness: reconciling frequency- and turnover-based approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jobe, R Todd

    2008-01-01

    One hypothesis for why estimators of species richness tend to underestimate total richness is that they do not explicitly account for increases in species richness due to spatial or environmental turnover in species composition (beta diversity). I analyze the similarity of a data set of native trees in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, USA, and assess the robustness of these estimators against recently developed ones that incorporate turnover explicitly: the total species accumulation method (T-S) and a method based on the distance decay of similarity. I show that the T-S estimator can give reliable estimates of species richness, given an appropriate grouping of sites. The estimator based on distance decay of similarity performed poorly. There are two main reasons for this: sample size effects and the assumption that distance decay of similarity exhibits a power law relationship. I show that estimators based on distance-decay relationships exhibit systematically lower rates of distance decay for samples with few individuals per site independent of environmental variation. Second, the data presented here and many other survey data sets exhibit exponential rather than power law distance-decay relationships. Richness estimators that explicitly incorporate beta diversity can be improved by beginning from an exponential distance-decay relationship and adjusting for the systematic errors introduced by small sample sizes.

  8. Chemical Composition and Seasonality of Aromatic Mediterranean Plant Species by NMR-Based Metabolomics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monica Scognamiglio

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available An NMR-based metabolomic approach has been applied to analyse seven aromatic Mediterranean plant species used in traditional cuisine. Based on the ethnobotanical use of these plants, the approach has been employed in order to study the metabolic changes during different seasons. Primary and secondary metabolites have been detected and quantified. Flavonoids (apigenin, quercetin, and kaempferol derivatives and phenylpropanoid derivatives (e.g., chlorogenic and rosmarinic acid are the main identified polyphenols. The richness in these metabolites could explain the biological properties ascribed to these plant species.

  9. Alien Roadside Species More Easily Invade Alpine than Lowland Plant Communities in a Subarctic Mountain Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lembrechts, Jonas J.; Milbau, Ann; Nijs, Ivan

    2014-01-01

    Effects of roads on plant communities are not well known in cold-climate mountain ecosystems, where road building and development are expected to increase in future decades. Knowledge of the sensitivity of mountain plant communities to disturbance by roads is however important for future conservation purposes. We investigate the effects of roads on species richness and composition, including the plant strategies that are most affected, along three elevational gradients in a subarctic mountain ecosystem. We also examine whether mountain roads promote the introduction and invasion of alien plant species from the lowlands to the alpine zone. Observations of plant community composition were made together with abiotic, biotic and anthropogenic factors in 60 T-shaped transects. Alpine plant communities reacted differently to road disturbances than their lowland counterparts. On high elevations, the roadside species composition was more similar to that of the local natural communities. Less competitive and ruderal species were present at high compared with lower elevation roadsides. While the effects of roads thus seem to be mitigated in the alpine environment for plant species in general, mountain plant communities are more invasible than lowland communities. More precisely, relatively more alien species present in the roadside were found to invade into the surrounding natural community at high compared to low elevations. We conclude that effects of roads and introduction of alien species in lowlands cannot simply be extrapolated to the alpine and subarctic environment. PMID:24586947

  10. Insights into the historical construction of species-rich Mesoamerican seasonally dry tropical forests: the diversification of Bursera (Burseraceae, Sapindales).

    Science.gov (United States)

    De-Nova, J Arturo; Medina, Rosalinda; Montero, Juan Carlos; Weeks, Andrea; Rosell, Julieta A; Olson, Mark E; Eguiarte, Luis E; Magallón, Susana

    2012-01-01

    • Mesoamerican arid biomes epitomize neotropical rich and complex biodiversity. To document some of the macroevolutionary processes underlying the vast species richness of Mesoamerican seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTFs), and to evaluate specific predictions about the age, geographical structure and niche conservatism of SDTF-centered woody plant lineages, the diversification of Bursera is reconstructed. • Using a nearly complete Bursera species-level phylogeny from nuclear and plastid genomic markers, we estimate divergence times, test for phylogenetic and temporal diversification heterogeneity, test for geographical structure, and reconstruct habitat shifts. • Bursera became differentiated in the earliest Eocene, but diversified during independent early Miocene consecutive radiations that took place in SDTFs. The late Miocene average age of Bursera species, the presence of phylogenetic geographical structure, and its strong conservatism to SDTFs conform to expectations derived from South American SDTF-centered lineages. • The diversification of Bursera suggests that Mesoamerican SDTF richness derives from high speciation from the Miocene onwards uncoupled from habitat shifts, during a period of enhanced aridity resulting mainly from global cooling and regional rain shadows.

  11. New pasture plants intensify invasive species risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Driscoll, Don A; Catford, Jane A; Barney, Jacob N; Hulme, Philip E; Inderjit; Martin, Tara G; Pauchard, Aníbal; Pyšek, Petr; Richardson, David M; Riley, Sophie; Visser, Vernon

    2014-11-18

    Agricultural intensification is critical to meet global food demand, but intensification threatens native species and degrades ecosystems. Sustainable intensification (SI) is heralded as a new approach for enabling growth in agriculture while minimizing environmental impacts. However, the SI literature has overlooked a major environmental risk. Using data from eight countries on six continents, we show that few governments regulate conventionally bred pasture taxa to limit threats to natural areas, even though most agribusinesses promote taxa with substantial weed risk. New pasture taxa (including species, subspecies, varieties, cultivars, and plant-endophyte combinations) are bred with characteristics typical of invasive species and environmental weeds. By introducing novel genetic and endophyte variation, pasture taxa are imbued with additional capacity for invasion and environmental impact. New strategies to prevent future problems are urgently needed. We highlight opportunities for researchers, agribusiness, and consumers to reduce environmental risks associated with new pasture taxa. We also emphasize four main approaches that governments could consider as they build new policies to limit weed risks, including (i) national lists of taxa that are prohibited based on environmental risk; (ii) a weed risk assessment for all new taxa; (iii) a program to rapidly detect and control new taxa that invade natural areas; and (iv) the polluter-pays principle, so that if a taxon becomes an environmental weed, industry pays for its management. There is mounting pressure to increase livestock production. With foresight and planning, growth in agriculture can be achieved sustainably provided that the scope of SI expands to encompass environmental weed risks.

  12. The Language of Reactive Oxygen Species Signaling in Plants

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are astonishingly versatile molecular species and radicals that are poised at the core of a sophisticated network of signaling pathways of plants and act as core regulator of cell physiology and cellular responses to environment. ROS are continuously generated in plants as an inevitable consequence of redox cascades of aerobic metabolism. In one hand, plants are surfeited with the mechanism to combat reactive oxygen species, in other circumstances, plants appear ...

  13. Helminth species richness of introduced and native grey mullets (Teleostei: Mugilidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarabeev, Volodimir

    2015-08-01

    Quantitative complex analyses of parasite communities of invaders across different native and introduced populations are largely lacking. The present study provides a comparative analysis of species richness of helminth parasites in native and invasive populations of grey mullets. The local species richness differed between regions and host species, but did not differ when compared with invasive and native hosts. The size of parasite assemblages of endohelminths was higher in the Mediterranean and Azov-Black Seas, while monogeneans were the most diverse in the Sea of Japan. The helminth diversity was apparently higher in the introduced population of Liza haematocheilus than that in their native habitat, but this trend could not be confirmed when the size of geographic range and sampling efforts were controlled for. The parasite species richness at the infracommunity level of the invasive host population is significantly lower compared with that of the native host populations that lends support to the enemy release hypothesis. A distribution pattern of the infracommunity richness of acquired parasites by the invasive host can be characterized as aggregated and it is random in native host populations. Heterogeneity in the host susceptibility and vulnerability to acquired helminth species was assumed to be a reason of the aggregation of species numbers in the population of the invasive host.

  14. Cenozoic macroevolution in the deep-sea microfossil record: can we let go of species richness?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannisdal, Bjarte; Liow, Lee Hsiang

    2014-05-01

    The deep-sea microfossil record is an outstanding resource for the study of macroevolutionary changes in planktonic groups. Studies of plankton evolution and its possible link to climate changes over the Cenozoic have typically targeted apparent trends in species richness. However, most species are rare, and fossil richness is particularly vulnerable to the imperfections (incompleteness, reworking, age and taxonomic errors) of existing microfossil occurrence databases. Here we use an alternative macroevolutionary quantity: Summed Common Species Occurrence Rate (SCOR). By focusing on the most commonly occurring species, SCOR is decoupled from species richness, robust to preservation/sampling variability, yet sensitive to relative changes in the overall abundance of a group. Numerical experiments are used to illustrate the sampling behavior of SCOR and its relationship to (sampling-standardized) species richness. We further show how SCOR estimated from the NEPTUNE database (ODP/DSDP) can provide a new perspective on long-term evolutionary and ecological changes in major planktonic groups (e.g. coccolithophores and forams). Finally, we test possible linkages between planktonic SCOR records and proxy reconstructions of climate changes over the Cenozoic.

  15. Evolution of Epiphytism and Fruit Traits Act Unevenly on the Diversification of the Species-Rich Genus Peperomia (Piperaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lena Frenze

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The species-rich genus Peperomia (Black Pepper relatives is the only genus among early diverging angiosperms where epiphytism evolved. The majority of fruits of Peperomia release sticky secretions or exhibit hook-shaped appendages indicative of epizoochorous dispersal, which is in contrast to other flowering plants, where epiphytes are generally characterized by fruit morphological adaptations for anemochory or endozoochory. We investigate fruit characters using Cryo-SEM. Comparative phylogenetic analyses are applied for the first time to include life form and fruit character information to study diversification in Peperomia. Likelihood ratio tests uncover correlated character evolution. We demonstrate that diversification within Peperomia is not homogenous across its phylogeny, and that net diversification rates increase by twofold within the most species-rich subgenus. In contrast to former land plant studies that provide general evidence for increased diversification in epiphytic lineages, we demonstrate that the evolution of epiphytism within Peperomia predates the diversification shift. An epiphytic-dependent diversification is only observed for the background phylogeny. An elevated frequency of life form transitions between epiphytes and terrestrials and thus evolutionary flexibility of life forms is uncovered to coincide with the diversification shift. The evolution of fruits showing dispersal related structures is key to diversification in the foreground region of the phylogeny and postdates the evolution of epiphytism. We conclude that the success of Peperomia, measured in species numbers, is likely the result of enhanced vertical and horizontal dispersal ability and life form flexibility but not the evolution of epiphytism itself.

  16. Evolution of Epiphytism and Fruit Traits Act Unevenly on the Diversification of the Species-Rich Genus Peperomia (Piperaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frenzke, Lena; Goetghebeur, Paul; Neinhuis, Christoph; Samain, Marie-Stéphanie; Wanke, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    The species-rich genus Peperomia (Black Pepper relatives) is the only genus among early diverging angiosperms where epiphytism evolved. The majority of fruits of Peperomia release sticky secretions or exhibit hook-shaped appendages indicative of epizoochorous dispersal, which is in contrast to other flowering plants, where epiphytes are generally characterized by fruit morphological adaptations for anemochory or endozoochory. We investigate fruit characters using Cryo-SEM. Comparative phylogenetic analyses are applied for the first time to include life form and fruit character information to study diversification in Peperomia. Likelihood ratio tests uncover correlated character evolution. We demonstrate that diversification within Peperomia is not homogenous across its phylogeny, and that net diversification rates increase by twofold within the most species-rich subgenus. In contrast to former land plant studies that provide general evidence for increased diversification in epiphytic lineages, we demonstrate that the evolution of epiphytism within Peperomia predates the diversification shift. An epiphytic-dependent diversification is only observed for the background phylogeny. An elevated frequency of life form transitions between epiphytes and terrestrials and thus evolutionary flexibility of life forms is uncovered to coincide with the diversification shift. The evolution of fruits showing dispersal related structures is key to diversification in the foreground region of the phylogeny and postdates the evolution of epiphytism. We conclude that the success of Peperomia, measured in species numbers, is likely the result of enhanced vertical and horizontal dispersal ability and life form flexibility but not the evolution of epiphytism itself.

  17. Diversity patterns in Iberian Calathus (Coleoptera, Carabidae: Harpalinae): species turnover shows a story overlooked by species richness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gañán, Israel; Baselga, Andrés; Novoa, Francisco

    2008-12-01

    We assessed the relationships between diversity patterns of Iberian Calathus and current environmental gradients or broad-scale spatial constraints, using 50-km grid cells as sampling units. We assessed the completeness of the inventories using nonparametric estimators to avoid spurious results based on sampling biases. We modeled species richness and beta diversity, using spatial position, and 23 topographical, climatic, and geological variables as predictors in regression and constrained analysis of principal coordinates modeling. Geographical situation does not seem to affect Calathus species richness, because no spatial pattern was detected. The environmental variables only explained 23% of the variation in richness. Spatial and environmental predictors explained a large part of the variation in species composition (58%). The fraction shared by both groups of variables was relatively large, but the pure effect of each model was still important. Our results show that it is necessary to assess the completeness of inventories to avoid drawing false conclusions. Also, Iberian Calathus represent a clear example of the need for combined analyses of species richness and beta diversity patterns, because the lack of patterns in the former does not imply the invariance of biotic communities.

  18. The impact of land abandonment on species richness and abundance in the Mediterranean Basin: a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plieninger, Tobias; Hui, Cang; Gaertner, Mirijam; Huntsinger, Lynn

    2014-01-01

    Land abandonment is common in the Mediterranean Basin, a global biodiversity hotspot, but little is known about its impacts on biodiversity. To upscale existing case-study insights to the Pan-Mediterranean level, we conducted a meta-analysis of the effects of land abandonment on plant and animal species richness and abundance in agroforestry, arable land, pastures, and permanent crops of the Mediterranean Basin. In particular, we investigated (1) which taxonomic groups (arthropods, birds, lichen, vascular plants) are more affected by land abandonment; (2) at which spatial and temporal scales the effect of land abandonment on species richness and abundance is pronounced; (3) whether previous land use and current protected area status affect the magnitude of changes in the number and abundance of species; and (4) how prevailing landforms and climate modify the impacts of land abandonment. After identifying 1240 potential studies, 154 cases from 51 studies that offered comparisons of species richness and abundance and had results relevant to our four areas of investigation were selected for meta-analysis. Results are that land abandonment showed slightly increased (effect size  = 0.2109, Plandforms, and climate. In conclusion, there is no "one-size-fits-all" conservation approach that applies to the diverse contexts of land abandonment in the Mediterranean Basin. Instead, conservation policies should strive to increase awareness of this heterogeneity and the potential trade-offs after abandonment. The strong role of factors at the farm and landscape scales that was revealed by the analysis indicates that purposeful management at these scales can have a powerful impact on biodiversity.

  19. Diversification of tanagers, a species rich bird group, from lowlands to montane regions of South America

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fjeldså, Jon; Rahbek, Carsten

    2006-01-01

    The process of diversification since the late Tertiary was studied by linking together well-resolved phylogenies and species distributions for tanagers (Aves, Thraupini). Species richness patterns reveal very high densities of range-restricted species in the Andes, and to a lesser extent in the A......The process of diversification since the late Tertiary was studied by linking together well-resolved phylogenies and species distributions for tanagers (Aves, Thraupini). Species richness patterns reveal very high densities of range-restricted species in the Andes, and to a lesser extent...... be explained well from topography and landscape complexity. Phylogenetically old species are mainly found along the Andes and along the Rio coast of Brazil. Most other areas outside the Andes probably had very moderate rates of later diversification. In contrast, the humid tropical Andes region was a centre...... of intensive speciation throughout the evolutionary history of the group, and species richness patterns here seem largely to be driven by the rate of speciation, with further diversification from the highlands into adjacent lowlands. The diversification process in montane areas may be related to high...

  20. Tree-Dwelling Ants: Contrasting Two Brazilian Cerrado Plant Species without Extrafloral Nectaries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonas Maravalhas

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Ants dominate vegetation stratum, exploiting resources like extrafloral nectaries (EFNs and insect honeydew. These interactions are frequent in Brazilian cerrado and are well known, but few studies compare ant fauna and explored resources between plant species. We surveyed two cerrado plants without EFNs, Roupala montana (found on preserved environments of our study area and Solanum lycocarpum (disturbed ones. Ants were collected and identified, and resources on each plant noted. Ant frequency and richness were higher on R. montana (67%; 35 spp than S. lycocarpum (52%; 26, the occurrence of the common ant species varied between them, and similarity was low. Resources were explored mainly by Camponotus crassus and consisted of scale insects, aphids, and floral nectaries on R. montana and two treehopper species on S. lycocarpum. Ants have a high diversity on cerrado plants, exploring liquid and prey-based resources that vary in time and space and affect their presence on plants.

  1. Functional trade-offs increase species diversity in experimental plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-Hur, Eyal; Fragman-Sapir, Ori; Hadas, Rivka; Singer, Alon; Kadmon, Ronen

    2012-11-01

    Functional trade-offs have long been recognised as important mechanisms of species coexistence, but direct experimental evidence for such mechanisms is extremely rare. Here, we test the effect of one classical trade-off - a negative correlation between seed size and seed number - by establishing microcosm plant communities with positive, negative and no correlation between seed size and seed number and analysing the effect of the seed size/number correlation on species richness. Consistent with theory, a negative correlation between seed size and seed number led to a higher number of species in the communities and a corresponding wider range of seed size (a measure of functional richness) by promoting coexistence of large- and small-seeded species. Our study provides the first direct evidence that a seed size/number trade-off may contribute to species coexistence, and at a wider context, demonstrates the potential role of functional trade-offs in maintaining species diversity.

  2. [The role of historical processes in determining tree species richness in the forests of Western Caucasus].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akatov, V V; Chefranov, S G; Akatova, T V

    2005-01-01

    To estimate the role of history in variation of tree species richness in the forests of the Western Caucasus we analyzed correlation between their local richness (S--the mean number of species per 300 m2) and size of actual species pool (N--the number of species per 1 ha). If compared communities are differently distant from the point of evolutionary equilibrium one should expect a significant variation in correlation between S and N (determined with the greater sensitivity of N than S in respect of historical factors). The lower value of N/S corresponds to less saturated level of historically determined species richness. A mean N/S ratio in Japana temperate broadleaved forests (Masaki et al., 1999) provided the basis for analysis. The present tree species richness of the forest communities in the 1 ha plots seem essentially determined by the historical processes. The mountain forest communities of Western Caucasus are characterized on the average with lower saturation level of the actual tree species pool in comparison with the Japan temperate broad-leaved forest communities. On the Western Caucasus the middle mountain beech and coniferous-broadleaved communities (400-1600 m a.s.l.) are characterized with the higher saturation level of the actual species pool in comparison with communities located lower and higher. These results confirm published historical reconstructions, according to which the middle mountain forest communities in the Western Caucasus are older than forests located higher or lower. Present low mountain forests of the southern (to Black Sea) and the northern macroslopes of the Western Caucasus are characterized with similar saturation level of the actual species pool. These data agree with the assumption of Dolukhanov (1980) that low mountain zone of the southern macroslope was not a refuge for tree species in Pleistocene.

  3. Environmental and spatial controls of palm (Arecaceae) species richness across the Americas

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bjorholm, Stine; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Skov, Flemming

    2005-01-01

    Our analysis suggests that in the Americas, palm species richness at spatial scales from 1° to 10° is most strongly controlled by water availability, although unknown broad-scale factors, perhaps soil, historical processes or geometric constraints, are also important.......Our analysis suggests that in the Americas, palm species richness at spatial scales from 1° to 10° is most strongly controlled by water availability, although unknown broad-scale factors, perhaps soil, historical processes or geometric constraints, are also important....

  4. Root growth and plant biomass in Lolium perenne exploring a nutrient-rich patch in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Ryoji; Kachi, Naoki; Suzuki, Jun-Ichirou

    2008-11-01

    We investigated soil exploration by roots and plant growth in a heterogeneous environment to determine whether roots can selectively explore a nutrient-rich patch, and how nutrient heterogeneity affects biomass allocation and total biomass before a patch is reached. Lolium perenne L. plants were grown in a factorial experiment with combinations of fertilization (heterogeneous and homogeneous) and day of harvest (14, 28, 42, or 56 days after transplanting). The plant in the heterogeneous treatment was smaller in its mean total biomass, and allocated more biomass to roots. The distributions of root length and root biomass in the heterogeneous treatment did not favor the nutrient-rich patch, and did not correspond to the patchy distribution of inorganic nitrogen. Specific root length (length/biomass) was higher and root elongation was more extensive both laterally and vertically in the heterogeneous treatment. These characteristics may enable plants to acquire nutrients efficiently and increase the probability of encountering nutrient-rich patches in a heterogeneous soil. However, heterogeneity of soil nutrients would hold back plant growth before a patch was reached. Therefore, although no significant selective root placement in the nutrient-rich patch was observed, plant growth before reaching nutrient-rich patches differed between heterogeneous and homogeneous environments.

  5. Energy-rich Plant Research in China: Overview and Prospect

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WU Guojiang; LIU Jie; LOU Zhiping; KANG Le

    2006-01-01

    @@ The energy crisis is an enormous challenge to the human race.Consequently, the technology development and utilization of biomass energy have become a new "hot spot"in the international arena.This article gives an overview on the current status of the research on energy plants and puts forward several suggestions on how to reasonably develop them in China.

  6. PLANT SPECIES, USING AGAINST VIROUS INFECTIONS OF MAN AND ANIMALS: REGULARITIES OF THE DISTRIBUTION IN THE PHYLOGENETIC CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM

    OpenAIRE

    Popov P.L.

    2008-01-01

    The list of 674 species of flowering plants, using against 21 virous infections of man and animals is presented. Systematic units of high levels (classes, subclasses) are defined by frequency of such species. Frequency (distinction of percentage parts of species with certain use between the systematic unit and the rest of flora of flowering plants) was estimated by Fisher's statistical criterion. Subclasses Lamiidae and Asteridae, latter in the evolution range, are most rich by uses against v...

  7. The Importance of Landscape Elements for Bat Activity and Species Richness in Agricultural Areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heim, Olga; Treitler, Julia T; Tschapka, Marco; Knörnschild, Mirjam; Jung, Kirsten

    2015-01-01

    Landscape heterogeneity is regarded as a key factor for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function in production landscapes. We investigated whether grassland sites at close vicinity to forested areas are more frequently used by bats. Considering that bats are important consumers of herbivorous insects, including agricultural pest, this is important for sustainable land management. Bat activity and species richness were assessed using repeated monitoring from May to September in 2010 with acoustic monitoring surveys on 50 grassland sites in the Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide-Chorin (North-East Germany). Using spatial analysis (GIS), we measured the closest distance of each grassland site to potentially connecting landscape elements (e.g., trees, linear vegetation, groves, running and standing water). In addition, we assessed the distance to and the percent land cover of forest remnants and urban areas in a 200 m buffer around the recording sites to address differences in the local landscape setting. Species richness and bat activity increased significantly with higher forest land cover in the 200 m buffer and at smaller distance to forested areas. Moreover, species richness increased in proximity to tree groves. Larger amount of forest land cover and smaller distance to forest also resulted in a higher activity of bats on grassland sites in the beginning of the year during May, June and July. Landscape elements near grassland sites also influenced species composition of bats and species richness of functional groups (open, edge and narrow space foragers). Our results highlight the importance of forested areas, and suggest that agricultural grasslands that are closer to forest remnants might be better buffered against outbreaks of agricultural pest insects due to higher species richness and higher bat activity. Furthermore, our data reveals that even for highly mobile species such as bats, a very dense network of connecting elements within the landscape is

  8. Testing the influence of environmental heterogeneity on fish species richness in two biogeographic provinces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Massicotte

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Environmental homogenization in coastal ecosystems impacted by human activities may be an important factor explaining the observed decline in fish species richness. We used fish community data (>200 species from extensive surveys conducted in two biogeographic provinces (extent >1,000 km in North America to quantify the relationship between fish species richness and local (grain <10 km2 environmental heterogeneity. Our analyses are based on samples collected at nearly 800 stations over a period of five years. We demonstrate that fish species richness in coastal ecosystems is associated locally with the spatial heterogeneity of environmental variables but not with their magnitude. The observed effect of heterogeneity on species richness was substantially greater than that generated by simulations from a random placement model of community assembly, indicating that the observed relationship is unlikely to arise from veil or sampling effects. Our results suggest that restoring or actively protecting areas of high habitat heterogeneity may be of great importance for slowing current trends of decreasing biodiversity in coastal ecosystems.

  9. Likeability of Garden Birds: Importance of Species Knowledge & Richness in Connecting People to Nature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, Daniel T C; Gaston, Kevin J

    2015-01-01

    Interacting with nature is widely recognised as providing many health and well-being benefits. As people live increasingly urbanised lifestyles, the provision of food for garden birds may create a vital link for connecting people to nature and enabling them to access these benefits. However, it is not clear which factors determine the pleasure that people receive from watching birds at their feeders. These may be dependent on the species that are present, the abundance of individuals and the species richness of birds around the feeders. We quantitatively surveyed urban households from towns in southern England to determine the factors that influence the likeability of 14 common garden bird species, and to assess whether people prefer to see a greater abundance of individuals or increased species richness at their feeders. There was substantial variation in likeability across species, with songbirds being preferred over non-songbirds. Species likeability increased for people who fed birds regularly and who could name the species. We found a strong correlation between the number of species that a person could correctly identify and how connected to nature they felt when they watched garden birds. Species richness was preferred over a greater number of individuals of the same species. Although we do not show causation this study suggests that it is possible to increase the well-being benefits that people gain from watching birds at their feeders. This could be done first through a human to bird approach by encouraging regular interactions between people and their garden birds, such as through learning the species names and providing food. Second, it could be achieved through a bird to human approach by increasing garden songbird diversity because the pleasure that a person receives from watching an individual bird at a feeder is dependent not only on its species but also on the diversity of birds at the feeder.

  10. Matgrass sward plant species benefit from soil organisms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brinkman, E.P.; Raaijmakers, C.E.; Bakx-Schotman, J.M.T.; Hannula, S.E.; Kemmers, R.H.; Boer, de W.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2012-01-01

    Soil organisms are important in the structuring of plant communities. However, little is known about how to apply this knowledge to vegetation management. Here, we examined if soil organisms may promote plant species of characteristic habitats, and suppress plant species of disturbed habitats. We cl

  11. Richness and species composition of ants in the recovery process of a gully erosion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel Biagiotti

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to determine how the richness and composition of ant species behaves with changes in the recovery process of a gully erosion. The study area has 0.9 hectares subdivided into three sections called sector: "A", "B" and "C". For the definition of the sectors, erosive and natural restoring were taken as the base level of activity. Four transects were laid systematically throughout the area and surrounding compound with forest and grassland. Each transect had three "pitfall trap" ten meters apart from each other, with catches of ants were held in rainy and dry seasons. Analysis of variance was applied to compare the number of ant species per plot captured and Scott-Knott test 5% for comparison of means. To verify the similarity of species between environments it was performed an analysis of similarity (ANOSIM and ordering of environments a "Nonmetric Multidimensional Scaling" (NMDS. We captured 74 species of ants inside and around the gully erosion. The more degraded environment and initial stage of regeneration, showed greater richness of ant species. The composition of ant species was different between the recovery environments and around. The parameters of ant communities analyzed, richness and composition species were influenced by the regeneration of the area, indicating that ants can be used as bioindicators of gullies recovery.

  12. Latitudinal gradients of species richness in the deep-sea benthos of the North Atlantic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rex, M A; Stuart, C T; Coyne, G

    2000-04-11

    Latitudinal species diversity gradients (LSDGs) in the Northern Hemisphere are the most well established biogeographic patterns on Earth. Despite long-standing interest in LSDGs as a central problem in ecology, their explanation remains uncertain. In terrestrial as well as coastal and pelagic marine ecosystems, these poleward declines in diversity typically have been represented and interpreted in terms of species richness, the number of coexisting species. Newly discovered LSDGs in the bathyal (500-4,000 m) benthos of the North Atlantic may help to resolve the underlying causes of these large-scale trends because the deep sea is such a physically distinct environment. However, a major problem in comparing surface and deep-sea LSDGs is that the latter have been measured differently, by using species diversity indices that are affected by both species richness and the evenness of relative abundance. Here, we demonstrate that deep-sea isopods, gastropods, and bivalves in the North Atlantic do exhibit poleward decreases in species richness, just as those found in other environments. A comprehensive systematic revision of the largest deep-sea gastropod family (Turridae) has provided a unique database on geographic distributions that is directly comparable to those used to document LSDGs in surface biotas. This taxon also shows a poleward decline in the number of species. Seasonal organic enrichment from sinking phytodetritus is the most plausible ecological explanation for deep-sea LSDGs and is the environmental factor most consistently associated with depressed diversity in a variety of bathyal habitats.

  13. Shifts in Plant Assemblages Reduce the Richness of Galling Insects Across Edge-Affected Habitats in the Atlantic Forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Danielle G; Santos, Jean C; Oliveira, Marcondes A; Tabarelli, Marcelo

    2016-10-01

    Impacts of habitat loss and fragmentation on specialist herbivores have been rarely addressed. Here we examine the structure of plant and galling insect assemblages in a fragmented landscape of the Atlantic forest to verify a potential impoverishment of these assemblages mediated by edge effects. Saplings and galling insects were recorded once within a 0.1-ha area at habitat level, covering forest interior stands, forest edges, and small fragments. A total of 1,769 saplings from 219 tree species were recorded across all three habitats, with differences in terms of sapling abundance and species richness. Additionally, edge-affected habitats exhibited reduced richness of both host-plant and galling insects at plot and habitat spatial scale. Attack levels also differed among forest types at habitat spatial scale (21.1% of attacked stems in forest interior, 12.4% in small fragments but only 8.5% in forest edges). Plot ordination resulted in three clearly segregated clusters: one formed by forest interior, one by small fragments, and another formed by edge plots. Finally, the indicator species analysis identified seven and one indicator plant species in forest interior and edge-affected habitats, respectively. Consequently, edge effects lead to formation of distinct taxonomic groups and also an impoverished assemblage of plants and galling insects at multiple spatial scales. The results of the present study indicate that fragmentation-related changes in plant assemblages can have a cascade effects on specialist herbivores. Accordingly, hyperfragmented landscapes may not be able to retain an expressive portion of tropical biodiversity. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. [Hydroxyproline: Rich glycoproteins of the plant and cell wall

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Varner, J.E.

    1993-01-01

    Since xylem tissue includes the main cell types which are lignified, we are interested in gene expression of glycine-rich proteins and proline-rich proteins, and other proteins which are involved in secondary cell wall thickening during xylogenesis. Since the main feature of xylogenesis is the deposition of additional wall components, study of the mechanism of xylogenesis will greatly advance our knowledge of the synthesis and assembly of wall macromolecules. We are using the in vitro xylogenesis system from isolated Zinnia mesophyll cells to isolate genes which are specifically expressed during xylogenesis. We have used subtractive hybridization methods to isolate a number of cDNA clones for differentially regulated genes from the cells after hormonal induction. So far, we have partially characterized 18 different cDNA clones from 239 positive clones. These differentially regulated genes can be divided into three sets according to the characteristics of gene expression in the induction medium and the control medium. The first set is induced in both the induction medium and the control medium without hormones. The second set is induced mainly in the induction medium and in the control medium with the addition of NAA alone. Two of thesegenes are exclusively induced by auxin. The third set of genes is induced mainly in the induction medium. Since these genes are not induced by either auxin or cytokinin alone, they may be directly involved in the process of xylogenesis. Our experiments on the localization of H[sub 2]O[sub 2] production reinforce the earlier ideas of others that H[sub 2]O[sub 2] is involved in normal lignification.

  15. New pasture plants intensify invasive species risk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Driscoll, Don A.; Catford, Jane A.; Barney, Jacob N.; Hulme, Philip E.; Inderjit; Martin, Tara G.; Pauchard, Aníbal; Pyšek, Petr; Richardson, David M.; Riley, Sophie; Visser, Vernon

    2014-01-01

    Agricultural intensification is critical to meet global food demand, but intensification threatens native species and degrades ecosystems. Sustainable intensification (SI) is heralded as a new approach for enabling growth in agriculture while minimizing environmental impacts. However, the SI literature has overlooked a major environmental risk. Using data from eight countries on six continents, we show that few governments regulate conventionally bred pasture taxa to limit threats to natural areas, even though most agribusinesses promote taxa with substantial weed risk. New pasture taxa (including species, subspecies, varieties, cultivars, and plant-endophyte combinations) are bred with characteristics typical of invasive species and environmental weeds. By introducing novel genetic and endophyte variation, pasture taxa are imbued with additional capacity for invasion and environmental impact. New strategies to prevent future problems are urgently needed. We highlight opportunities for researchers, agribusiness, and consumers to reduce environmental risks associated with new pasture taxa. We also emphasize four main approaches that governments could consider as they build new policies to limit weed risks, including (i) national lists of taxa that are prohibited based on environmental risk; (ii) a weed risk assessment for all new taxa; (iii) a program to rapidly detect and control new taxa that invade natural areas; and (iv) the polluter-pays principle, so that if a taxon becomes an environmental weed, industry pays for its management. There is mounting pressure to increase livestock production. With foresight and planning, growth in agriculture can be achieved sustainably provided that the scope of SI expands to encompass environmental weed risks. PMID:25368175

  16. Assessing the hydrological suitability of floodplains for species-rich meadow restoration: a case study of the Thames floodplain, UK

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available The physical and chemical environment of a floodplain needs to be assessed to define conservation targets for restoring it to species-rich meadows from agricultural land. A straightforward technique, widely applicable by site managers for assessing the suitability of the hydrological and hydro-chemical regime of a floodplain for wet grassland restoration, has been tested by examining the feasibility of restoring plants characteristic of NVC MG4 and MG8 communities to the Castle Meadows, Wallingford (Oxfordshire, UK. Hydro-chemical suitability has been assessed by comparing phosphorus concentrations with species-rich meadows nearby. The flooding regime was estimated based on a rating curve and a digital elevation model and groundwater levels were measured monthly in dipwells and piezometers. The hydrological regime was then compared with published reference guidelines for communities of conservation interest. For the Castle Meadows, the maximum duration of flood events in autumn and winter exceeded MG4 and MG8 species requirements across half of the site, while the depth of the groundwater table in summer exceeded species requirements in the other half. It was shown that, depending on topography, MG5 or MG13 may be more realistic vegetation targets.

  17. When should species richness be energy-limited, and how would we know?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hurlbert, Allen H.; Stegen, James C.

    2014-04-01

    Energetic constraints are fundamental to ecology and evolution, and empirical relationships between species richness and estimates of available energy have led some to suggest that richness is energetically constrained. However, the mechanism linking energy with richness is rarely specified and predictions of secondary patterns consistent with energy-constrained richness are lacking. Here we lay out the necessary and sufficient assumptions of a causal relationship linking energy gradients to richness gradients. We then describe an eco-evolutionary simulation model that combines spatially-explicit diversification with trait evolution, resource availability, and assemblage-level carrying capacities. Our model identified patterns in richness and phylogenetic structure expected when a spatial gradient in energy availability determines the number of individuals supported in a given area. A comparison to patterns under alternative scenarios, in which fundamental assumptions behind energetic explanations were violated, revealed patterns that are useful for evaluating the importance of energetic constraints in empirical systems. We find that clades arising at the low-energy end of a gradient provide the most powerful inferences regarding whether assumptions are met, and use rockfish (Sebastes) from the northeastern Pacific to show how empirical data can be coupled with model predictions to evaluate the role of energetic constraints in generating observed richness gradients.

  18. Aligning conservation goals: are patterns of species richness and endemism concordant at regional scales?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricketts, T. H.

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity conservation strategies commonly target areas of high species richness and/or high endemism. However, the correlation between richness and endemism at scales relevant to conservation is unclear; these two common goals of conservation plans may therefore be in conflict. Here the spatial concordance between richness and endemism is tested using five taxa in North America: butterflies, birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles. This concordance is also tested using overall indices of richness and endemism (incorporating all five taxa. For all taxa except birds, richness and endemism were significantly correlated, with amphibians, reptiles, and the overall indices showing the highest correlations (rs = 0.527-0.676. However, 'priority sets' of ecoregions (i.e., the top 10% of ecoregions based on richness generally overlapped poorly with those based on endemism (< 50% overlap for all but reptiles. These results offer only limited support for the idea that richness and endemism are correlated at broad scales and indicate that land managers will need to balance these dual, and often conflicting, goals of biodiversity conservation.

  19. A phenomenological spatial model for macro-ecological patterns in species-rich ecosystems

    CERN Document Server

    Peruzzo, Fabio

    2016-01-01

    Over the last few decades, ecologists have come to appreciate that key ecological patterns, which describe ecological communities at relatively large spatial scales, are not only scale dependent, but also intimately intertwined. The relative abundance of species, which informs us about the commonness and rarity of species, changes its shape from small to large spatial scales. The average number of species as a function of area has a steep initial increase, followed by decreasing slopes at large scales. Finally, if we find a species in a given location, it is more likely we find an individual of the same species close-by, rather than farther apart. Such spatial turnover depends on the geographical distribution of species, which often are spatially aggregated. This reverberates on the abundances as well as the richness of species within a region, but so far it has been difficult to quantify such relationships. Within a neutral framework, which considers all individuals competitively equivalent, we introduce a s...

  20. Evolutionary patterns of range size, abundance and species richness in Amazonian angiosperm trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chave, Jérôme

    2016-01-01

    Amazonian tree species vary enormously in their total abundance and range size, while Amazonian tree genera vary greatly in species richness. The drivers of this variation are not well understood. Here, we construct a phylogenetic hypothesis that represents half of Amazonian tree genera in order to contribute to explaining the variation. We find several clear, broad-scale patterns. Firstly, there is significant phylogenetic signal for all three characteristics; closely related genera tend to have similar numbers of species and similar mean range size and abundance. Additionally, the species richness of genera shows a significant, negative relationship with the mean range size and abundance of their constituent species. Our results suggest that phylogenetically correlated intrinsic factors, namely traits of the genera themselves, shape among lineage variation in range size, abundance and species richness. We postulate that tree stature may be one particularly relevant trait. However, other traits may also be relevant, and our study reinforces the need for ambitious compilations of trait data for Amazonian trees. In the meantime, our study shows how large-scale phylogenies can help to elucidate, and contribute to explaining, macroecological and macroevolutionary patterns in hyperdiverse, yet poorly understood regions like the Amazon Basin. PMID:27651991

  1. Negative density dependence is stronger in resource-rich environments and diversifies communities when stronger for common but not rare species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaManna, Joseph A; Walton, Maranda L; Turner, Benjamin L; Myers, Jonathan A

    2016-06-01

    Conspecific negative density dependence is thought to maintain diversity by limiting abundances of common species. Yet the extent to which this mechanism can explain patterns of species diversity across environmental gradients is largely unknown. We examined density-dependent recruitment of seedlings and saplings and changes in local species diversity across a soil-resource gradient for 38 woody-plant species in a temperate forest. At both life stages, the strength of negative density dependence increased with resource availability, becoming relatively stronger for rare species during seedling recruitment, but stronger for common species during sapling recruitment. Moreover, negative density dependence appeared to reduce diversity when stronger for rare than common species, but increase diversity when stronger for common species. Our results suggest that negative density dependence is stronger in resource-rich environments and can either decrease or maintain diversity depending on its relative strength among common and rare species.

  2. Limited sampling hampers “big data” estimation of species richness in a tropical biodiversity hotspot

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Engemann, Kristine; Enquist, Brian J.; Sandel, Brody Steven

    2015-01-01

    Macro-scale species richness studies often use museum specimens as their main source of information. However, such datasets are often strongly biased due to variation in sampling effort in space and time. These biases may strongly affect diversity estimates and may, thereby, obstruct solid infere...

  3. Patterns in species richness and distribution of vascular epiphytes in Chiapas, Mexico

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wolf, J.H.D.; Flamenco-S., A.

    2003-01-01

    Aim We aim to assess regional patterns in the distribution and species richness of vascular epiphytes with an emphasis on forests that differ in altitude and the amount of rainfall. Location Tropical America, in particularly the 75000 km2 large state of Chiapas in southern Mexico at 14.5-18.0º N.

  4. Species richness and origin of the bryophyte flora of the Colombian Andes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gradstein, S.R.; Reenen, van G.B.A.; Griffin, D.

    1988-01-01

    Based on data from the ECOANDES project, a phytogeographical analysis has been made of the bryophyte flora along the wet, foggy western slope (1000-4500 m) and the drier eastern slope (500-4500 m) of the Colombian Central Cordillera at the ‘Parque de los Nevados’. Species richness increases with alt

  5. Migration and parasitism: habitat use, not migration distance, influences helminth species richness in Charadriiform birds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gutiérrez, J.S.; Rakhimberdiev, E.; Piersma, T.; Thieltges, D.W.

    2017-01-01

    Aim Habitat use and migration strategies of animals are often associated withspatial variation in parasite pressure, but how they relate to one another is notwell understood. Here, we use a large dataset on helminth species richness ofCharadriiform birds to test whether higher habitat diversity and

  6. Migration and parasitism : Habitat use, not migration distance, influences helminth species richness in Charadriiform birds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gutiérrez, Jorge S.; Rakhimberdiev, Eldar; Piersma, Theunis; Thieltges, David W.

    2017-01-01

    Aim: Habitat use and migration strategies of animals are often associated with spatial variation in parasite pressure, but how they relate to one another is not well understood. Here, we use a large dataset on helminth species richness of Charadriiform birds to test whether higher habitat diversity

  7. Seed dispersal in agricultural habitats and the restoration of species-rich meadows.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dorp, van D.

    1996-01-01

    The restoration of species-rich meadows on former agricultural land in the Netherlands has a high priority, because these ecosystems have been disappearing rapidly due to eutrophication and acidification and falling water tables. In order to be able to restore such ecosystems on wet nutrient-poor so

  8. Species richness and composition assessment of spiders in a Mediterranean scrubland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bondoso Cardoso, Pedro Miguel; Henriques, Sérgio S.; Gaspar, Clara

    2009-01-01

    Intensive fieldwork has been undertaken in Portugal in order to develop a standardized and optimized sampling protocol for Mediterranean spiders. The present study had the objectives of testing the use of semi-quantitative sampling for obtaining an exhaustive species richness assessment of spiders...

  9. Climate and species richness predict the phylogenetic structure of African mammal communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamilar, Jason M; Beaudrot, Lydia; Reed, Kaye E

    2015-01-01

    We have little knowledge of how climatic variation (and by proxy, habitat variation) influences the phylogenetic structure of tropical communities. Here, we quantified the phylogenetic structure of mammal communities in Africa to investigate how community structure varies with respect to climate and species richness variation across the continent. In addition, we investigated how phylogenetic patterns vary across carnivores, primates, and ungulates. We predicted that climate would differentially affect the structure of communities from different clades due to between-clade biological variation. We examined 203 communities using two metrics, the net relatedness (NRI) and nearest taxon (NTI) indices. We used simultaneous autoregressive models to predict community phylogenetic structure from climate variables and species richness. We found that most individual communities exhibited a phylogenetic structure consistent with a null model, but both climate and species richness significantly predicted variation in community phylogenetic metrics. Using NTI, species rich communities were composed of more distantly related taxa for all mammal communities, as well as for communities of carnivorans or ungulates. Temperature seasonality predicted the phylogenetic structure of mammal, carnivoran, and ungulate communities, and annual rainfall predicted primate community structure. Additional climate variables related to temperature and rainfall also predicted the phylogenetic structure of ungulate communities. We suggest that both past interspecific competition and habitat filtering have shaped variation in tropical mammal communities. The significant effect of climatic factors on community structure has important implications for the diversity of mammal communities given current models of future climate change.

  10. Climate and Species Richness Predict the Phylogenetic Structure of African Mammal Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamilar, Jason M.; Beaudrot, Lydia; Reed, Kaye E.

    2015-01-01

    We have little knowledge of how climatic variation (and by proxy, habitat variation) influences the phylogenetic structure of tropical communities. Here, we quantified the phylogenetic structure of mammal communities in Africa to investigate how community structure varies with respect to climate and species richness variation across the continent. In addition, we investigated how phylogenetic patterns vary across carnivores, primates, and ungulates. We predicted that climate would differentially affect the structure of communities from different clades due to between-clade biological variation. We examined 203 communities using two metrics, the net relatedness (NRI) and nearest taxon (NTI) indices. We used simultaneous autoregressive models to predict community phylogenetic structure from climate variables and species richness. We found that most individual communities exhibited a phylogenetic structure consistent with a null model, but both climate and species richness significantly predicted variation in community phylogenetic metrics. Using NTI, species rich communities were composed of more distantly related taxa for all mammal communities, as well as for communities of carnivorans or ungulates. Temperature seasonality predicted the phylogenetic structure of mammal, carnivoran, and ungulate communities, and annual rainfall predicted primate community structure. Additional climate variables related to temperature and rainfall also predicted the phylogenetic structure of ungulate communities. We suggest that both past interspecific competition and habitat filtering have shaped variation in tropical mammal communities. The significant effect of climatic factors on community structure has important implications for the diversity of mammal communities given current models of future climate change. PMID:25875361

  11. VT Biodiversity Project - Plant and Animal Species Atlas

    Data.gov (United States)

    Vermont Center for Geographic Information — (Link to Metadata) This database contains town-level totals of documented species records for several plant and animal taxa including vascular plants, trees,...

  12. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oduor, Ayub M O

    2013-12-01

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

  14. How a river course influences the species richness and ecological requirements on two opposite riverbanks in a forest area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bożenna Czarnecka

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The goal of the present research was to find correlations between the topographic attributes of a river valley and local ground-floor vegetation and its habitat requirements expressed by ecological indicator values (EIV, using the geographical information systems (GIS, digital elevation model (DEM, and multivariate statistical analysis. We paid special attention to the river course, which determines the differentiation in slope aspects and the amount of solar radiation reaching the ground surface. The model object was an almost latitudinal, ca. 4-km-long break section of the Sopot river, crossing the escarpment zone of the Central Roztocze Highlands, southeastern Poland. The main material comprised species lists (with estimated abundance for each ca. 200-m-long section, according to the river valley course, separately for the left and right riverbanks, 40 sections altogether, ca. 15 000 vegetation records, and physical and chemical soil measurements. A 3-meter resolution DEM was derived from a 1:10 000 topographic map. We calculated the correlations between the topographic attributes of the valley, species richness, and the EIVs for all the species recognized in each section of the valley. We found 241 herb plant species in the ground-floor vegetation of the study area. We did not find significant differences between the two riversides (61 ±13 species per one section for the left and 63 ±17 for the right side. Thus, the parallel course of the river valley does not change the species richness on a more “sunny” and more “shiny” riverbank. However, this factor “cooperating” with other topographic attributes of the valley significantly differentiates the shape of species showing various requirements for basic habitat resources: light, moisture, soil trophy, reaction, dispersion, and organic-matter content.

  15. Species area relationships in mediterranean-climate plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  16. Abundance and species richness of Coreoidea (Hemiptera: Heteroptera) from Parque Estadual do Turvo, Southern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barcellos, Aline; Schmidt, Letícia S; Brailovsky, Harry

    2008-01-01

    The coreoid fauna from Neotropics is poorly known, especially in terms of community studies. Aiming at contributing to this knowledge, a two-year study was carried out at Parque Estadual do Turvo, Municipality of Derrubadas, state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, to evaluate the composition, abundance and species richness of Coreoidea. Samplings were conducted in the springs of 2003 and 2004 (October), and autumns of 2004 and 2005 (May), using beating tray method, along two trails of the park. Sampling effort (hours X collectors) totaled 153h. A total of 282 individuals of Coreoidea were collected, distributed in 28 species of Alydidae, Coreidae and Rhopalidae. The most abundant species was the coreid Cebrenis supina Brailovsky, representing 16% of the collected individuals, followed by the rhopalids Jadera aeola (Dallas), and Harmostes sp., with 12.1% and 11.7%, respectively. The estimated richnesses by Chao 1, Chao 2, Jackknife 1 and Jackknife 2 indicated that the observed richness corresponds to 70% to 80% of the expected for the area. The estimated richness through rarefaction was significantly higher in spring 2003 and autumn 2004 than in the other periods. There was no significant difference, however, between spring of 2003 and autumn of 2004, and between spring of 2004 and autumn of 2005, for the same parameter. Yucumã and Garcia trails did not differ significantly for the estimated richness. Singletons and doubletons represented 32.1% of the recorded species. Additionally, eight other species were obtained qualitatively by using, besides beating tray without protocol, manual collection.

  17. Diversification of the plant-specific hybrid glycine-rich protein (HyGRP genes in cereals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenji eFujino

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Plant-specific hybrid proline- or glycine-rich proteins (HyP/GRPs are involved in diverse gene functions including plant development and responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. The quantitative trait locus, qLTG3-1, enhances seed germination in rice under low-temperature conditions and encodes a member with a glycine-rich motif of the HyP/GRP family. The function of this gene may be related to the weakening of tissue covering the embryo during seed germination. In the present study, the diversification of the HyP/GRP gene family was elucidated in rice based on phylogenetic relationships and gene expression levels. At least 21 members of the HyP/GRP family have been identified in the rice genome and clustered in five regions on four chromosomes by tandem and chromosomal duplications. Of these, OsHyPRP05 (qLTG3-1 and its paralogous gene, OsHyPRP21, had a glycine-rich motif. Furthermore, orthologous genes with a glycine-rich motif and the HyP/GRP gene family were detected in four genome-sequenced monocots: 12 in barley, 10 in Brachypodium, 20 in maize, and 28 in sorghum, using a BLAST search of qLTG3-1 as the query. All members of the HyP/GRP family in these five species were classified into seven main groups, which were clustered together in these species. These results suggested that the HyP/GRP gene family was formed in the ancestral genome before the divergence of these species. The collinearity of chromosomal regions around qLTG3-1 and its orthologous genes were conserved among rice, Brachypodium, sorghum, and maize, indicating that qLTG3-1 and orthologous genes conserve gene function during seed germination.

  18. Phytophthora species, new threats to the plant health in Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyun, Ik-Hwa; Choi, Woobong

    2014-12-01

    Given the lack of a resistant genetic pool in host plants, the introduction of exotic invasive pathogens can result in epidemics that affect a specific ecosystem and economy. Plant quarantine, which is designed to protect endemic plant resources, is a highly invaluable safeguard that should keep biosecurity with increasing international trade and global transportation. A total of 34 species of plant pathogens including Phytophthora infestans were documented as introduced from other countries into Korea from 1900 to 2010. The genus Phytophthora, classified in oomycetes, includes more than 120 species that are mostly recognized worldwide as highly invasive plant pathogens. After 2000, over 50 new species of Phytophthora were identified internationally as plant pathogens occurring in crops and forest trees. In Korea, Phytophthora is also one of the most serious plant pathogens. To date, 22 species (about one-fifth of known species) of the genus have been identified and reported as plant pathogens in the country. The likelihood of new exotic Phytophthora species being introduced into Korea continues to increase, thus necessitating intensive plant quarantine inspections. As new potential threats to plant health in Korea, six Phytophthora species, namely, P. alni, P. inundata, P. kernoviae, P. pinifolia, P. quercina, and P. ramorum, are discussed in this review with focus on history, disease, biology, management, and plant quarantine issues.

  19. Individual-based ant-plant networks: diurnal-nocturnal structure and species-area relationship.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wesley Dáttilo

    Full Text Available Despite the importance and increasing knowledge of ecological networks, sampling effort and intrapopulation variation has been widely overlooked. Using continuous daily sampling of ants visiting three plant species in the Brazilian Neotropical savanna, we evaluated for the first time the topological structure over 24 h and species-area relationships (based on the number of extrafloral nectaries available in individual-based ant-plant networks. We observed that diurnal and nocturnal ant-plant networks exhibited the same pattern of interactions: a nested and non-modular pattern and an average level of network specialization. Despite the high similarity in the ants' composition between the two collection periods, ant species found in the central core of highly interacting species totally changed between diurnal and nocturnal sampling for all plant species. In other words, this "night-turnover" suggests that the ecological dynamics of these ant-plant interactions can be temporally partitioned (day and night at a small spatial scale. Thus, it is possible that in some cases processes shaping mutualistic networks formed by protective ants and plants may be underestimated by diurnal sampling alone. Moreover, we did not observe any effect of the number of extrafloral nectaries on ant richness and their foraging on such plants in any of the studied ant-plant networks. We hypothesize that competitively superior ants could monopolize individual plants and allow the coexistence of only a few other ant species, however, other alternative hypotheses are also discussed. Thus, sampling period and species-area relationship produces basic information that increases our confidence in how individual-based ant-plant networks are structured, and the need to consider nocturnal records in ant-plant network sampling design so as to decrease inappropriate inferences.

  20. Individual-Based Ant-Plant Networks: Diurnal-Nocturnal Structure and Species-Area Relationship

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dáttilo, Wesley; Fagundes, Roberth; Gurka, Carlos A. Q.; Silva, Mara S. A.; Vieira, Marisa C. L.; Izzo, Thiago J.; Díaz-Castelazo, Cecília; Del-Claro, Kleber; Rico-Gray, Victor

    2014-01-01

    Despite the importance and increasing knowledge of ecological networks, sampling effort and intrapopulation variation has been widely overlooked. Using continuous daily sampling of ants visiting three plant species in the Brazilian Neotropical savanna, we evaluated for the first time the topological structure over 24 h and species-area relationships (based on the number of extrafloral nectaries available) in individual-based ant-plant networks. We observed that diurnal and nocturnal ant-plant networks exhibited the same pattern of interactions: a nested and non-modular pattern and an average level of network specialization. Despite the high similarity in the ants’ composition between the two collection periods, ant species found in the central core of highly interacting species totally changed between diurnal and nocturnal sampling for all plant species. In other words, this “night-turnover” suggests that the ecological dynamics of these ant-plant interactions can be temporally partitioned (day and night) at a small spatial scale. Thus, it is possible that in some cases processes shaping mutualistic networks formed by protective ants and plants may be underestimated by diurnal sampling alone. Moreover, we did not observe any effect of the number of extrafloral nectaries on ant richness and their foraging on such plants in any of the studied ant-plant networks. We hypothesize that competitively superior ants could monopolize individual plants and allow the coexistence of only a few other ant species, however, other alternative hypotheses are also discussed. Thus, sampling period and species-area relationship produces basic information that increases our confidence in how individual-based ant-plant networks are structured, and the need to consider nocturnal records in ant-plant network sampling design so as to decrease inappropriate inferences. PMID:24918750

  1. Individual-based ant-plant networks: diurnal-nocturnal structure and species-area relationship.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dáttilo, Wesley; Fagundes, Roberth; Gurka, Carlos A Q; Silva, Mara S A; Vieira, Marisa C L; Izzo, Thiago J; Díaz-Castelazo, Cecília; Del-Claro, Kleber; Rico-Gray, Victor

    2014-01-01

    Despite the importance and increasing knowledge of ecological networks, sampling effort and intrapopulation variation has been widely overlooked. Using continuous daily sampling of ants visiting three plant species in the Brazilian Neotropical savanna, we evaluated for the first time the topological structure over 24 h and species-area relationships (based on the number of extrafloral nectaries available) in individual-based ant-plant networks. We observed that diurnal and nocturnal ant-plant networks exhibited the same pattern of interactions: a nested and non-modular pattern and an average level of network specialization. Despite the high similarity in the ants' composition between the two collection periods, ant species found in the central core of highly interacting species totally changed between diurnal and nocturnal sampling for all plant species. In other words, this "night-turnover" suggests that the ecological dynamics of these ant-plant interactions can be temporally partitioned (day and night) at a small spatial scale. Thus, it is possible that in some cases processes shaping mutualistic networks formed by protective ants and plants may be underestimated by diurnal sampling alone. Moreover, we did not observe any effect of the number of extrafloral nectaries on ant richness and their foraging on such plants in any of the studied ant-plant networks. We hypothesize that competitively superior ants could monopolize individual plants and allow the coexistence of only a few other ant species, however, other alternative hypotheses are also discussed. Thus, sampling period and species-area relationship produces basic information that increases our confidence in how individual-based ant-plant networks are structured, and the need to consider nocturnal records in ant-plant network sampling design so as to decrease inappropriate inferences.

  2. The relative importance of vertical soil nutrient heterogeneity, and mean and depth-specific soil nutrient availabilities for tree species richness in tropical forests and woodlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shirima, Deo D; Totland, Ørjan; Moe, Stein R

    2016-11-01

    The relative importance of resource heterogeneity and quantity on plant diversity is an ongoing debate among ecologists, but we have limited knowledge on relationships between tree diversity and heterogeneity in soil nutrient availability in tropical forests. We expected tree species richness to be: (1) positively related to vertical soil nutrient heterogeneity; (2) negatively related to mean soil nutrient availability; and (3) more influenced by nutrient availability in the upper than lower soil horizons. Using a data set from 60, 20 × 40-m plots in a moist forest, and 126 plots in miombo woodlands in Tanzania, we regressed tree species richness against vertical soil nutrient heterogeneity, both depth-specific (0-15, 15-30, and 30-60 cm) and mean soil nutrient availability, and soil physical properties, with elevation and measures of anthropogenic disturbance as co-variables. Overall, vertical soil nutrient heterogeneity was the best predictor of tree species richness in miombo but, contrary to our prediction, the relationships between tree species richness and soil nutrient heterogeneity were negative. In the moist forest, mean soil nutrient availability explained considerable variations in tree species richness, and in line with our expectations, these relationships were mainly negative. Soil nutrient availability in the top soil layer explained more of the variation in tree species richness than that in the middle and lower layers in both vegetation types. Our study shows that vertical soil nutrient heterogeneity and mean availability can influence tree species richness at different magnitudes in intensively utilized tropical vegetation types.

  3. 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

  4. Wetland eco-engineering: measuring and modeling feedbacks of oxidation processes between plants and clay-rich material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saaltink, Rémon; Dekker, Stefan C.; Griffioen, Jasper; Wassen, Martin J.

    2016-09-01

    Interest is growing in using soft sediment as a foundation in eco-engineering projects. Wetland construction in the Dutch lake Markermeer is an example: here, dredging some of the clay-rich lake-bed sediment and using it to construct wetland will soon begin. Natural processes will be utilized during and after construction to accelerate ecosystem development. Knowing that plants can eco-engineer their environment via positive or negative biogeochemical plant-soil feedbacks, we conducted a 6-month greenhouse experiment to identify the key biogeochemical processes in the mud when Phragmites australis is used as an eco-engineering species. We applied inverse biogeochemical modeling to link observed changes in pore water composition to biogeochemical processes. Two months after transplantation we observed reduced plant growth and shriveling and yellowing of foliage. The N : P ratios of the plant tissue were low, and these were affected not by hampered uptake of N but by enhanced uptake of P. Subsequent analyses revealed high Fe concentrations in the leaves and roots. Sulfate concentrations rose drastically in our experiment due to pyrite oxidation; as reduction of sulfate will decouple Fe-P in reducing conditions, we argue that plant-induced iron toxicity hampered plant growth, forming a negative feedback loop, while simultaneously there was a positive feedback loop, as iron toxicity promotes P mobilization as a result of reduced conditions through root death, thereby stimulating plant growth and regeneration. Given these two feedback mechanisms, we propose the use of Fe-tolerant species rather than species that thrive in N-limited conditions. The results presented in this study demonstrate the importance of studying the biogeochemical properties of the situated sediment and the feedback mechanisms between plant and soil prior to finalizing the design of the eco-engineering project.

  5. The effects of planting media and leaf fertilizers on the growth of jamrud orchid (Dendrobium macrophyllum A. Rich.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I GEDE TIRTA

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Jamrud orchid (Dendrobium macrophyllum A. Rich. have attractive flowers which make the orchid become one of high economic ornamental plants. The orchid is one of endangered species. Its growth is slow, however appropriate planting media and leaf fertilizers can improve the growth of the orchid. The experiment was conducted from February to June 2003, at “Eka Karya” Bali Botanic Garden. The design used in the experiment was completely randomized block with two treatments and four replicates. The first factor were six kinds of planting medias (roots of C. contaminans, roots of Asplenium nidus, charcoal, roots of C. contaminans+roots of A. nidus, roots of C. contaminans+charcoal and roots of A. nidus+charcoal. The second factor were four kinds of fertilizers (plant catalyst, super bionik, inabio and subur inti persada and one treatment without fertilizer. The results of experiment showed that the interaction between planting medias and leaf fertilizers significantly affected increment of plant height at 12, 14, 16 and 18 weeks after planting, of leaf number at 14, 16 and 18 weeks after planting, of root length, of plant fresh weight and oven dry weight. Treatment of C. contaminans roots and of A. nidus roots combined with inabio fertilizer produced the highest vegetative growth. This treatment increased the total oven dry weight of plant (54.81%, increased the weight of plant (67.48%, of root length (41.63%, of total leaf number (70.73%, of plant height (59.01% and bud number (72.22% compared with treatment without fertilizer in the same media.

  6. Moss cushions facilitate water and nutrient supply for plant species on bare limestone pavements

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Kaj Sand; Hammer, Kathrine

    2012-01-01

    Dense moss cushions of different size are distributed across the bare limestone pavements on Øland, SE Sweden. Increasing cushion size is predicted to physically protect and improve performance and colonization by vascular plants. Therefore, we tested water balance, phosphorus supply, and species...... richness, and evaluated duration of plant activity during desiccation as a function of ground area, for a large collection of moss cushions. We found that lower evaporation and higher water storage contributed equally to extending the desiccation period with increasing cushion size. Evaporation rates...... under stagnant conditions. One moss species was added to the species pool for every nine-fold increase in cushion area. Vascular plants were absent from the smallest cushions, whereas one or two species, on average, appeared in 375- and 8,500-cm(2) cushions with water available for 6 and 10 days during...

  7. Impact of Forest Management on Species Richness: Global Meta-Analysis and Economic Trade-Offs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaudhary, Abhishek; Burivalova, Zuzana; Koh, Lian Pin; Hellweg, Stefanie

    2016-04-01

    Forests managed for timber have an important role to play in conserving global biodiversity. We evaluated the most common timber production systems worldwide in terms of their impact on local species richness by conducting a categorical meta-analysis. We reviewed 287 published studies containing 1008 comparisons of species richness in managed and unmanaged forests and derived management, taxon, and continent specific effect sizes. We show that in terms of local species richness loss, forest management types can be ranked, from best to worse, as follows: selection and retention systems, reduced impact logging, conventional selective logging, clear-cutting, agroforestry, timber plantations, fuelwood plantations. Next, we calculated the economic profitability in terms of the net present value of timber harvesting from 10 hypothetical wood-producing Forest Management Units (FMU) from around the globe. The ranking of management types is altered when the species loss per unit profit generated from the FMU is considered. This is due to differences in yield, timber species prices, rotation cycle length and production costs. We thus conclude that it would be erroneous to dismiss or prioritize timber production regimes, based solely on their ranking of alpha diversity impacts.

  8. Species richness and biomass explain spatial turnover in ecosystem functioning across tropical and temperate ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Andrew D; Weigelt, Patrick; Jochum, Malte; Ott, David; Hodapp, Dorothee; Haneda, Noor Farikhah; Brose, Ulrich

    2016-05-19

    Predicting ecosystem functioning at large spatial scales rests on our ability to scale up from local plots to landscapes, but this is highly contingent on our understanding of how functioning varies through space. Such an understanding has been hampered by a strong experimental focus of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research restricted to small spatial scales. To address this limitation, we investigate the drivers of spatial variation in multitrophic energy flux-a measure of ecosystem functioning in complex communities-at the landscape scale. We use a structural equation modelling framework based on distance matrices to test how spatial and environmental distances drive variation in community energy flux via four mechanisms: species composition, species richness, niche complementarity and biomass. We found that in both a tropical and a temperate study region, geographical and environmental distance indirectly influence species richness and biomass, with clear evidence that these are the dominant mechanisms explaining variability in community energy flux over spatial and environmental gradients. Our results reveal that species composition and trait variability may become redundant in predicting ecosystem functioning at the landscape scale. Instead, we demonstrate that species richness and total biomass may best predict rates of ecosystem functioning at larger spatial scales.

  9. [Fish species richness evaluation in Mexican coastal lagoons: a case study in the Gulf of Mexico].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Hernández, M A; Torres-Orozco, R E

    2000-01-01

    We analyze the origin of knowledge about fish species richness in the Tuxpan-Tampamachoco estuarine system, in Veracuz, México. A complete inventory of the fish species known to date for this system (N = 179) was elaborated from published lists and from sampling seagrass meadows of Tampamachoco Lagoon, which yielded 14 previously unknown species. When compared, the different lists showed a low similarity that may reflect differences in sampling methods and collecting strategies. Current data suggest that fish species richness in Mexican coastal lagoons (Gulf of Mexico) is not related with lagoon surface area, as has been suggested, but with the number of inventories available for each lagoon, being these a reflection of the sampling effort. A sampling design for the assessment of fish species richness in estuarine systems should consider: a) using the highest possible variety of sampling fishing gears, b) collecting in all microhabitat types and c) the preference of bimonthly or quarterly samplings for two or more years over monthly samplings in a single year.

  10. Assessing spider species richness and composition in Mediterranean cork oak forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, Pedro; Gaspar, Clara; Pereira, Luis C.; Silva, Israel; Henriques, Sérgio S.; da Silva, Ricardo R.; Sousa, Pedro

    2008-01-01

    Semi-quantitative sampling protocols have been proposed as the most cost-effective and comprehensive way of sampling spiders in many regions of the world. In the present study, a balanced sampling design with the same number of samples per day, time of day, collector and method, was used to assess the species richness and composition of a Quercus suber woodland in Central Portugal. A total of 475 samples, each corresponding to one hour of effective fieldwork, were taken. One hundred sixty eight species were captured, of which 150 were recorded inside a delimited one-hectare plot; this number corresponds to around 90% of the estimated species richness. We tested the effect of applying different sampling approaches (sampling day, time of day, collector experience and method) on species richness, abundance, and composition. Most sampling approaches were found to influence the species measures, of which method, time of day and the respective interaction had the strongest influence. The data indicated that fauna depletion of the sampled area possibly occurred and that the inventory was reaching a plateau by the end of the sampling process. We advocate the use of the Chao estimators as best for intensive protocols limited in space and time and the use of the asymptotic properties of the Michaelis-Menten curve as a stopping or reliability rule, as it allows the investigator to know when a close-to-complete inventory has been obtained and when reliable non-parametric estimators have been achieved.

  11. Species composition and richness of amphibians in logged forests at Hulu Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izam, Nur Amalina Mohd; Ahmad, Amirrudin; Grismer, L. Lee; Saidin, Ahmad Nazri; Nor, Shukor Md.; Ahmad, Norhayati

    2016-11-01

    A study was done to compare amphibian species composition and richness between a disturbed forest due to logging/dam construction and a 30-year old logged forest at Hulu Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia. This study was conducted from August to October 2014, using drift fenced-pitfall traps. The upstream (UP) and downstream riverine area (DP) of a dam called Puah Dam (PD) represented the disturbed forest habitat, while Sg. Deka Wildlife Reserve (SDWR) represented a 30-year old regenerating logged forest. There were six amphibian species found at SDWR, while four species were recorded at UP and DP.

  12. Polynesian ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) species richness and distribution: a regional survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, Lloyd W.

    1997-11-01

    Thirteen Polynesian islands, including five true atolls, an uplifted atoll, and seven high volcanic islands of varying ages, were surveyed for ants by hand collecting techniques. Ten of the thirteen islands had been surveyed previously, and more and species were found in the present survey than were known from all earlier surveys combined, with two exception (Ducie Atoll and Easter Island). This represents the first report of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile Mayr, from Easter Island. L. humile is a very successful pest species which has only recently invaded Easter Island, and is now very abundant and widespread, occurring at 16 of the 17 sample sites scattered across the island. The introduction of this species is almost certainly responsible for the apparent decline in species richness on Easter Island. In general, more species were present on high islands than atolls of a similar size, and elevation was significant while log (area) and latitude were not in a multiple linear regression with ant species number as the dependent variable. Not enough time was spent on the islands to survey their ant faunas completely, and extrapolations from species effort curves and jackknife estimators of earlier, thorough surverys for ants in the society Islands suggest that only about 50% of the total species were collected in the present survey, at least on the high islands. My collections were probably more complete on the atolls. The increase in species numbers from the present survey relative to known species richnesses (particularly when a large fraction of the species actually present were probably not included in the present survey) supports the hypothesis that remote Polynesian islands are not as depauperate in terms of ant species numbers as previously thought.

  13. Geographical, temporal and environmental determinants of bryophyte species richness in the Macaronesian islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aranda, Silvia C; Gabriel, Rosalina; Borges, Paulo A V; Santos, Ana M C; de Azevedo, Eduardo Brito; Patiño, Jairo; Hortal, Joaquín; Lobo, Jorge M

    2014-01-01

    Species richness on oceanic islands has been related to a series of ecological factors including island size and isolation (i.e. the Equilibrium Model of Island Biogeography, EMIB), habitat diversity, climate (i.e., temperature and precipitation) and more recently island ontogeny (i.e. the General Dynamic Model of oceanic island biogeography, GDM). Here we evaluate the relationship of these factors with the diversity of bryophytes in the Macaronesian region (Azores, Madeira, Canary Islands and Cape Verde). The predictive power of EMIB, habitat diversity, climate and the GDM on total bryophyte richness, as well as moss and liverwort richness (the two dominant bryophyte groups), was evaluated through ordinary least squares regressions. After choosing the best subset of variables using inference statistics, we used partial regression analyses to identify the independent and shared effects of each model. The variables included within each model were similar for mosses and liverworts, with orographic mist layer being one of the most important predictors of richness. Models combining climate with either the GDM or habitat diversity explained most of richness variation (up to 91%). There was a high portion of shared variance between all pairwise combinations of factors in mosses, while in liverworts around half of the variability in species richness was accounted for exclusively by climate. Our results suggest that the effects of climate and habitat are strong and prevalent in this region, while geographical factors have limited influence on Macaronesian bryophyte diversity. Although climate is of great importance for liverwort richness, in mosses its effect is similar to or, at least, indiscernible from the effect of habitat diversity and, strikingly, the effect of island ontogeny. These results indicate that for highly vagile taxa on oceanic islands, the dispersal process may be less important for successful colonization than the availability of suitable ecological

  14. Geographical, temporal and environmental determinants of bryophyte species richness in the Macaronesian islands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia C Aranda

    Full Text Available Species richness on oceanic islands has been related to a series of ecological factors including island size and isolation (i.e. the Equilibrium Model of Island Biogeography, EMIB, habitat diversity, climate (i.e., temperature and precipitation and more recently island ontogeny (i.e. the General Dynamic Model of oceanic island biogeography, GDM. Here we evaluate the relationship of these factors with the diversity of bryophytes in the Macaronesian region (Azores, Madeira, Canary Islands and Cape Verde. The predictive power of EMIB, habitat diversity, climate and the GDM on total bryophyte richness, as well as moss and liverwort richness (the two dominant bryophyte groups, was evaluated through ordinary least squares regressions. After choosing the best subset of variables using inference statistics, we used partial regression analyses to identify the independent and shared effects of each model. The variables included within each model were similar for mosses and liverworts, with orographic mist layer being one of the most important predictors of richness. Models combining climate with either the GDM or habitat diversity explained most of richness variation (up to 91%. There was a high portion of shared variance between all pairwise combinations of factors in mosses, while in liverworts around half of the variability in species richness was accounted for exclusively by climate. Our results suggest that the effects of climate and habitat are strong and prevalent in this region, while geographical factors have limited influence on Macaronesian bryophyte diversity. Although climate is of great importance for liverwort richness, in mosses its effect is similar to or, at least, indiscernible from the effect of habitat diversity and, strikingly, the effect of island ontogeny. These results indicate that for highly vagile taxa on oceanic islands, the dispersal process may be less important for successful colonization than the availability of suitable

  15. Reservoirs of richness: least disturbed tropical forests are centres of undescribed species diversity

    OpenAIRE

    Giam, Xingli; Brett R Scheffers; Sodhi, Navjot S.; Wilcove, David S.; Ceballos, Gerardo; Paul R Ehrlich

    2013-01-01

    In the last few decades, there has been a remarkable discovery of new species of plants, invertebrates and vertebrates, in what have been called the new age of discovery. However, owing to anthropogenic impacts such as habitat conversion, many of the still unknown species may go extinct before being scientifically documented (i.e. ‘crypto-extinctions’). Here, by applying a mathematical model of species descriptions which accounts for taxonomic effort, we show that even after 250 years of taxo...

  16. Mammal predator and prey species richness are strongly linked at macroscales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandom, Christopher James; Dalby, Lars; Fløjgaard, Camilla

    2013-01-01

    databases of dietary preferences and body masses of all terrestrial, non-volant mammals worldwide, to test whether (1) prey-bottom-up or predator- top-down relationships are important drivers of broad-scale species richness gradients once the environment and human influence has been accounted for, (2...... between them (e.g., large prey to small predators), suggesting that mass-related energetic and physiological constraints influence broad-scale richness links, especially for large-bodied mammals. Overall, our results support the idea that trophic interactions can be important drivers of large...

  17. Associations between patterns of human intestinal schistosomiasis and snail and mammal species richness in Uganda

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stensgaard, Anna-Sofie; Kristensen, Thomas K.; Jørgensen, Aslak

    2016-01-01

    the distribution of human schistosomiasis and biogeographical patterns of freshwater snail and mammal species richness in Uganda. We found that the association between estimated snail richness and human infection was best described by a negative correlation in non-spatial bi- and multivariate logistic mixed effect...... models. However, this association lost significance after the inclusion of a spatial component in a full geostatistical model, highlighting the importance of accounting for spatial correlation to obtain more precise parameter estimates. Furthermore, we found no significant relationships between mammal...

  18. Higher subsoil carbon storage in species-rich than species-poor temperate forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schleuß, Per-Marten; Heitkamp, Felix; Leuschner, Christoph; Fender, Ann-Catrin; Jungkunst, Hermann F.

    2014-01-01

    Forest soils contribute ca. 70% to the global soil organic carbon (SOC) pool and thus are an important element of the global carbon cycle. Forests also harbour a large part of the global terrestrial biodiversity. It is not clear, however, whether tree species diversity affects SOC. By measuring the carbon concentration of different soil particle size fractions separately, we were able to distinguish between effects of fine particle content and tree species composition on the SOC pool in old-growth broad-leaved forest plots along a tree diversity gradient (1-, 3- and 5-species). Variation in clay content explained part of the observed SOC increase from monospecific to mixed forests, but we show that the carbon concentration per unit clay or fine silt in the subsoil was by 30-35% higher in mixed than monospecific stands indicating a significant species identity or species diversity effect on C stabilization. Underlying causes may be differences in fine root biomass and turnover, in leaf litter decomposition rate among the tree species, and/or species-specific rhizosphere effects on soil. Our findings may have important implications for forestry offering management options through preference of mixed stands that could increase forest SOC pools and mitigate climate warming.

  19. Binucleation to breed new plant species adaptable to their environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moustafa, Khaled

    2015-01-01

    Classical plant breeding approaches may fall short to breed new plant species of high environmental and ecological interests. Biotechnological and genetic manipulations, on the other hand, may hold more effective capabilities to circumvent the limitations of sexual incompatibility and conventional breeding programs. Given that plant cells encompass multiple copies of organellar genomes (mitochondrial and plastidial genomes), an important question could be raised about whether an artificial attempt to duplicate the nuclear genome might also be conceivable through a binucleation approach (generating plant cells with 2 nuclei from 2 different plant species) for potential production of new polyploidies that would characterize new plant species. Since the complexities of plant genomes are the result of multiple genome duplications, an artificial binucleation approach would thus be of some interest to eventually varying plant genomes and producing new polyploidy from related or distal plant species. Here, I discuss the potentiality of such an approach to engineer binucleated plant cells as a germ of new plant species to fulfill some environmental applications such as increasing the biodiversity and breeding new species adaptable to harsh environmental stresses and increasing green surfaces to reduce atmospheric pollutions in arid lands with poor vegetation.

  20. Functional redundancy patterns reveal non-random assembly rules in a species-rich marine assemblage.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas Guillemot

    Full Text Available The relationship between species and the functional diversity of assemblages is fundamental in ecology because it contains key information on functional redundancy, and functionally redundant ecosystems are thought to be more resilient, resistant and stable. However, this relationship is poorly understood and undocumented for species-rich coastal marine ecosystems. Here, we used underwater visual censuses to examine the patterns of functional redundancy for one of the most diverse vertebrate assemblages, the coral reef fishes of New Caledonia, South Pacific. First, we found that the relationship between functional and species diversity displayed a non-asymptotic power-shaped curve, implying that rare functions and species mainly occur in highly diverse assemblages. Second, we showed that the distribution of species amongst possible functions was significantly different from a random distribution up to a threshold of ∼90 species/transect. Redundancy patterns for each function further revealed that some functions displayed fast rates of increase in redundancy at low species diversity, whereas others were only becoming redundant past a certain threshold. This suggested non-random assembly rules and the existence of some primordial functions that would need to be fulfilled in priority so that coral reef fish assemblages can gain a basic ecological structure. Last, we found little effect of habitat on the shape of the functional-species diversity relationship and on the redundancy of functions, although habitat is known to largely determine assemblage characteristics such as species composition, biomass, and abundance. Our study shows that low functional redundancy is characteristic of this highly diverse fish assemblage, and, therefore, that even species-rich ecosystems such as coral reefs may be vulnerable to the removal of a few keystone species.

  1. Plant species dominance shifts across erosion edge-meadow transects in the Swiss Alps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huck, Corinne; Körner, Christian; Hiltbrunner, Erika

    2013-03-01

    While exerting no obvious function under "average" environmental conditions, the presence of certain plant specialists becomes crucial in the event of a complete failure of a community due to severe disturbance such as landslides. Plants capable of growing at erosion edges may act as potential edge-engineers by coping with unstable ground and stabilizing the soil with their roots. We hypothesized that life conditions at erosion edges select for a particular set of specialists or species with specific traits, the identification of which was the aim of the study. Across 17 small-scale transects (0.40 × 1.60 m) from intact meadows to landslide edges (Ursern Valley, Swiss Alps, c. 1,600 m a.s.l.), we quantified plant species abundance by the point intercept method and characterized growth conditions based on Landolt's indicator values, leaf δ(13)C, and volumetric soil moisture in the uppermost soil layers. We observed a clear change of plant species composition and relative abundance from the meadow to the edge, presumably induced by the 25 % lower soil moisture and microclimatic exposure. Species richness at the edge was two-thirds of that in the meadow, but was positively correlated with species richness of the adjacent meadow. Species with "edge-preference" had either (1) rolled or festucoid leaves like Festuca spp., Avenella flexuosa and Nardus stricta, or (2) small, scleromorphic leaves like Vaccinium vitis-idaea, Calluna vulgaris and Thymus ssp. Graminoids with rolled/festucoid leaves were found to be the most dominant edge-specialists. The grass Festuca valesiaca s.l. emerged as the most dominant plant species at the edge, having an 11-times higher cover at the edge than in the meadow. In this montane grassland, a single species contributes to the stabilization of erosion edges and may be regarded as a potential keystone species for slope stability and regeneration after landslides even its role has not so far been established.

  2. Roles of Spatial Scale and Rarity on the Relationship between Butterfly Species Richness and Human Density in South Africa

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Mecenero, Silvia; Altwegg, Res; Colville, Jonathan F; Beale, Colin M

    2015-01-01

    .... Species richness is often positively correlated with human population density at broad scales, but this correlation could also be caused by unequal sampling effort leading to higher species tallies...

  3. Pentacyclic triterpene distribution in various plants - rich sources for a new group of multi-potent plant extracts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jäger, Sebastian; Trojan, Holger; Kopp, Thomas; Laszczyk, Melanie N; Scheffler, Armin

    2009-06-04

    Pentacyclic triterpenes are secondary plant metabolites widespread in fruit peel, leaves and stem bark. In particular the lupane-, oleanane-, and ursane triterpenes display various pharmacological effects while being devoid of prominent toxicity. Therefore, these triterpenes are promising leading compounds for the development of new multi-targeting bioactive agents. Screening of 39 plant materials identified triterpene rich (> 0.1% dry matter) plant parts. Plant materials with high triterpene concentrations were then used to obtain dry extracts by accelerated solvent extraction resulting in a triterpene content of 50 - 90%. Depending on the plant material, betulin (birch bark), betulinic acid (plane bark), oleanolic acid (olive leaves, olive pomace, mistletoe sprouts, clove flowers), ursolic acid (apple pomace) or an equal mixture of the three triterpene acids (rosemary leaves) are the main components of these dry extracts. They are quantitatively characterised plant extracts supplying a high concentration of actives and therefore can be used for development of phytopharmaceutical formulations.

  4. Pentacyclic Triterpene Distribution in Various PlantsRich Sources for a New Group of Multi-Potent Plant Extracts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armin Scheffler

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Pentacyclic triterpenes are secondary plant metabolites widespread in fruit peel, leaves and stem bark. In particular the lupane-, oleanane-, and ursane triterpenes display various pharmacological effects while being devoid of prominent toxicity. Therefore, these triterpenes are promising leading compounds for the development of new multi-targeting bioactive agents. Screening of 39 plant materials identified triterpene rich (> 0.1% dry matter plant parts. Plant materials with high triterpene concentrations were then used to obtain dry extracts by accelerated solvent extraction resulting in a triterpene content of 50 - 90%. Depending on the plant material, betulin (birch bark, betulinic acid (plane bark, oleanolic acid (olive leaves, olive pomace, mistletoe sprouts, clove flowers, ursolic acid (apple pomace or an equal mixture of the three triterpene acids (rosemary leaves are the main components of these dry extracts. They are quantitatively characterised plant extracts supplying a high concentration of actives and therefore can be used for development of phytopharmaceutical formulations.

  5. Rich and rare—First insights into species diversity and abundance of Antarctic abyssal Gastropoda (Mollusca)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwabe, Enrico; Michael Bohn, Jens; Engl, Winfried; Linse, Katrin; Schrödl, Michael

    2007-08-01

    The abyssal depths of the polar oceans are thought to be low in diversity compared with the shallower polar shelves and temperate and tropical deep-sea basins. Our recent study on the gastropod fauna of the deep Southern Ocean gives evidence of the existence of a rich gastropod assemblage at abyssal depths. During the ANDEEP I and II expeditions to the southern Drake Passage, Northwestern Weddell Sea, and South Sandwich Trench, gastropods were collected by bottom and Agassiz trawls, epibenthic sledge, and multicorer, at 40 stations in depths between 127 and 5194 m. On the whole, 473 specimens, corresponding to 93 species of 36 families, were obtained. Of those, 414 specimens were caught below 750 m depth and refer to 84 (90%) benthic species of 32 (89%) families. Most families were represented by a single species only. The numerically dominant families were Skeneidae and Buccinidae (with 10 and 11 species, respectively), Eulimidae and Trochidae (with 9 species each), and Turridae (6 species). Thirty-Seven benthic deep-sea species (44%) were represented by a single specimen, and another 20 species (24%) were found at a single station, suggesting that more than two thirds of Antarctic deep-sea gastropod species are very rare or have a very scattered distribution. Of the 27 species occurring at two or more deep-sea stations, 14 were collected with different gear. Approximately half of the deep-water species are new to science or have been recently described. The present investigation increases the total number of recorded benthic Antarctic deep-sea gastropods (below 750 m) from 115 to 177. The previously known depth ranges have been extended, often considerably, for 31 species. The collected deep-sea gastropods comprise both eurybathic shelf species (29%) and apparently true deep-sea species (58%); some of the latter may belong to a so far unknown Antarctic abyssal fauna. Geographical ranges of the collected Antarctic benthic deep-sea gastropod species appear limited

  6. The importance of groundwater discharge for plant species number in riparian zones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansson, Roland; Laudon, Hjalmar; Johansson, Eva; Augspurger, Clemens

    2007-01-01

    Riparian zones are hotspots of plant species richness in temperate and boreal biomes. The phenomenon is believed to be caused primarily by river-related processes, and upland influences on riparian zones have received relatively little attention. We investigated the importance of discharge of groundwater derived from uplands on riparian patterns in vascular plant species composition. We found that groundwater discharge areas in riparian zones were 36-209% more species rich than non-discharge areas, depending on spatial scale (1-50 m wide transects from annual high-water levels to summer low-water levels) and river (one free-flowing and one regulated). Higher nitrogen availability and less drought stress during low river stages are suggested as the major causes for the higher species diversity in discharge areas. Riparian zones lacking groundwater discharge lost more species following water-level regulation than did discharge areas. This indicates that groundwater discharge areas are more resistant to regulation because both individual plants and plant populations may grow larger in discharge areas. These results demonstrate that riparian zones are controlled by water and nutrient input from upland parts of catchments in ways that have been overlooked despite more than three decades of research into linkages between stream ecosystems and their valleys.

  7. Early positive effects of tree species richness on herbivory in a large-scale forest biodiversity experiment influence tree growth

    OpenAIRE

    Schuldt, Andreas; Bruelheide, Helge; Härdtle, Werner; Assmann, Thorsten; Li, Ying; Ma, Keping; von Oheimb, Goddert; Zhang, Jiayong

    2015-01-01

    Despite the importance of herbivory for the structure and functioning of species-rich forests, little is known about how herbivory is affected by tree species richness, and more specifically by random vs. non-random species loss. We assessed herbivore damage and its effects on tree growth in the early stage of a large-scale forest biodiversity experiment in subtropical China that features random and non-random extinction scenarios of tree mixtures numbering between one and 24 species. In cont...

  8. Testing Dragonflies as Species Richness Indicators in a Fragmented Subtropical Atlantic Forest Environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renner, S; Sahlén, G; Périco, E

    2016-06-01

    We surveyed 15 bodies of water among remnants of the Atlantic Forest biome in southern Brazil for adult dragonflies and damselflies to test whether an empirical selection method for diversity indicators could be applied in a subtropical ecosystem, where limited ecological knowledge on species level is available. We found a regional species pool of 34 species distributed in a nested subset pattern with a mean of 11.2 species per locality. There was a pronounced difference in species composition between spring, summer, and autumn, but no differences in species numbers between seasons. Two species, Homeoura chelifera (Selys) and Ischnura capreolus (Hagen), were the strongest candidates for regional diversity indicators, being found only at species-rich localities in our surveyed area and likewise in an undisturbed national forest reserve, serving as a reference site for the Atlantic Forest. Using our selection method, we found it possible to obtain a tentative list of diversity indicators without having detailed ecological information of each species, providing a reference site is available for comparison. The method thus allows for indicator species to be selected in blanco from taxonomic groups that are little known. We hence argue that Odonata can already be incorporated in ongoing assessment programs in the Neotropics, which would also increase the ecological knowledge of the group and allow extrapolation to other taxa.

  9. Phytochemical Constituents of Some Medicinal Plant Species Used in Recipe During ‘Bohag Bihu’ in Assam

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barnali Gogoi

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available An ethno botanical study has been carried out to focus on medicinal utility of 101 plant species eaten during Bohag Bihu in Assamese society. Amongst 101 species, 25 species are found to have effect on gastrointestinal problem, 18 species effect on skin diseases, 16 species effect on respiratory ailments, 14 species effect as anti diabetic, 7 species effect on gynaecological problems, 6 species effect as blood purifier, 4 species effect on rheumatism, 3 species effect on eye-sight improvement and 2 species effect on jaundice. These plants contain various phytochemicals likesaponins, alkaloids, sterols, flavanoids, glycosides, terpenoids which have certain medicinal values. The paper reflects the rich ethno medicinal value of the herbs along with their phytochemical constituents The further scrutiny and evaluation of the safety parameters of each component of the herb used in the recipe may be investigate to develop a pharmacologically potent lead molecule.

  10. Lower richness of small wild mammal species and chagas disease risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xavier, Samanta Cristina das Chagas; Roque, André Luiz Rodrigues; Lima, Valdirene dos Santos; Monteiro, Kerla Joeline Lima; Otaviano, Joel Carlos Rodrigues; Ferreira da Silva, Luiz Felipe Coutinho; Jansen, Ana Maria

    2012-01-01

    A new epidemiological scenario involving the oral transmission of Chagas disease, mainly in the Amazon basin, requires innovative control measures. Geospatial analyses of the Trypanosoma cruzi transmission cycle in the wild mammals have been scarce. We applied interpolation and map algebra methods to evaluate mammalian fauna variables related to small wild mammals and the T. cruzi infection pattern in dogs to identify hotspot areas of transmission. We also evaluated the use of dogs as sentinels of epidemiological risk of Chagas disease. Dogs (n = 649) were examined by two parasitological and three distinct serological assays. kDNA amplification was performed in patent infections, although the infection was mainly sub-patent in dogs. The distribution of T. cruzi infection in dogs was not homogeneous, ranging from 11-89% in different localities. The interpolation method and map algebra were employed to test the associations between the lower richness in mammal species and the risk of exposure of dogs to T. cruzi infection. Geospatial analysis indicated that the reduction of the mammal fauna (richness and abundance) was associated with higher parasitemia in small wild mammals and higher exposure of dogs to infection. A Generalized Linear Model (GLM) demonstrated that species richness and positive hemocultures in wild mammals were associated with T. cruzi infection in dogs. Domestic canine infection rates differed significantly between areas with and without Chagas disease outbreaks (Chi-squared test). Geospatial analysis by interpolation and map algebra methods proved to be a powerful tool in the evaluation of areas of T. cruzi transmission. Dog infection was shown to not only be an efficient indicator of reduction of wild mammalian fauna richness but to also act as a signal for the presence of small wild mammals with high parasitemia. The lower richness of small mammal species is discussed as a risk factor for the re-emergence of Chagas disease.

  11. Lower richness of small wild mammal species and chagas disease risk.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samanta Cristina das Chagas Xavier

    Full Text Available A new epidemiological scenario involving the oral transmission of Chagas disease, mainly in the Amazon basin, requires innovative control measures. Geospatial analyses of the Trypanosoma cruzi transmission cycle in the wild mammals have been scarce. We applied interpolation and map algebra methods to evaluate mammalian fauna variables related to small wild mammals and the T. cruzi infection pattern in dogs to identify hotspot areas of transmission. We also evaluated the use of dogs as sentinels of epidemiological risk of Chagas disease. Dogs (n = 649 were examined by two parasitological and three distinct serological assays. kDNA amplification was performed in patent infections, although the infection was mainly sub-patent in dogs. The distribution of T. cruzi infection in dogs was not homogeneous, ranging from 11-89% in different localities. The interpolation method and map algebra were employed to test the associations between the lower richness in mammal species and the risk of exposure of dogs to T. cruzi infection. Geospatial analysis indicated that the reduction of the mammal fauna (richness and abundance was associated with higher parasitemia in small wild mammals and higher exposure of dogs to infection. A Generalized Linear Model (GLM demonstrated that species richness and positive hemocultures in wild mammals were associated with T. cruzi infection in dogs. Domestic canine infection rates differed significantly between areas with and without Chagas disease outbreaks (Chi-squared test. Geospatial analysis by interpolation and map algebra methods proved to be a powerful tool in the evaluation of areas of T. cruzi transmission. Dog infection was shown to not only be an efficient indicator of reduction of wild mammalian fauna richness but to also act as a signal for the presence of small wild mammals with high parasitemia. The lower richness of small mammal species is discussed as a risk factor for the re-emergence of Chagas disease.

  12. Biohydrogenation of Fatty Acids Is Dependent on Plant Species and Feeding Regimen of Dairy Cows

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Majbritt Bonefeld; Jensen, Søren Krogh

    2014-01-01

    and LA between single plant species and feeding regimens. Rumen fluid was collected from cows fed either total mixed ration (TMR), species-rich silage (HERB), or grass silage (GRASS). Five single species (alfalfa, birdsfoot trefoil, chicory, English plantain, and salad burnet) and a grass–clover mixture...... (white clover and ryegrass) were incubated in three replicas up to 30 h and subsequently analyzed for fatty acid content. Michaelis–Menten kinetics was applied for quantifying the BH rate. BH proceeded at the lowest rate in alfalfa and salad burnet (P

  13. Scale-dependence of the correlation between human population and the species richness of stream macro-invertebrates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pecher, C.; Fritz, Susanne; Marini, L.

    2010-01-01

    . This is surprising as EPT are bio-indicators of stream pollution and most local studies report higher species richness of these macro-invertebrates where human influences on water quality are lower. Using a newly collated taxonomic dataset, we studied whether the species richness of EPT is related to human...

  14. High-throughput biodiversity analysis: Rapid assessment of species richness and ecological interactions of Chrysomelidae (Coleoptera) in the tropics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Zurita, Jesús; Cardoso, Anabela; Coronado, Indiana; De la Cadena, Gissela; Jurado-Rivera, José A; Maes, Jean-Michel; Montelongo, Tinguaro; Nguyen, Dinh Thi; Papadopoulou, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Biodiversity assessment has been the focus of intense debate and conceptual and methodological advances in recent years. The cultural, academic and aesthetic impulses to recognise and catalogue the diversity in our surroundings, in this case of living objects, is furthermore propelled by the urgency of understanding that we may be responsible for a dramatic reduction of biodiversity, comparable in magnitude to geological mass extinctions. One of the most important advances in this attempt to characterise biodiversity has been incorporating DNA-based characters and molecular taxonomy tools to achieve faster and more efficient species delimitation and identification, even in hyperdiverse tropical biomes. In this assay we advocate for a broad understanding of Biodiversity as the inventory of species in a given environment, but also the diversity of their interactions, with both aspects being attainable using molecular markers and phylogenetic approaches. We exemplify the suitability and utility of this framework for large-scale biodiversity assessment with the results of our ongoing projects trying to characterise the communities of leaf beetles and their host plants in several tropical setups. Moreover, we propose that approaches similar to ours, establishing the inventories of two ecologically inter-related and species-rich groups of organisms, such as insect herbivores and their angiosperm host-plants, can serve as the foundational stone to anchor a comprehensive assessment of diversity, also in tropical environments, by subsequent addition of trophic levels.

  15. Species richness and distributions of boreal waterbirds in relation to nesting and brood-rearing habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Tyler L.; Lindberg, Mark S.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Bertram, Mark R.; Dubour, Adam J.

    2015-01-01

    Identification of ecological factors that drive animal distributions allows us to understand why distributions vary temporally and spatially, and to develop models to predict future changes to populations–vital tools for effective wildlife management and conservation. For waterbird broods in the boreal forest, distributions are likely driven by factors affecting quality of nesting and brood-rearing habitats, and the influence of these factors may extend beyond singles species, affecting the entire waterbird community. We used occupancy models to assess factors influencing species richness of waterbird broods on 72 boreal lakes, along with brood distributions of 3 species of conservation concern: lesser scaup (Aythya affinis), white-winged scoters (Melanitta fusca), and horned grebe (Podiceps auritus). Factors examined included abundance of invertebrate foods (Amphipoda, Diptera, Gastropoda, Hemiptera, Odonata), physical lake attributes (lake area, emergent vegetation), water chemistry (nitrogen, phosphorus, chlorophyll a concentrations), and nesting habitats (water edge, non-forest cover). Of the 5 invertebrates, only amphipod density was related to richness and occupancy, consistently having a large and positive relationship. Despite this importance to waterbirds, amphipods were the most patchily distributed invertebrate, with 17% of the study lakes containing 70% of collected amphipods. Lake area was the only other covariate that strongly and positively influenced species richness and occupancy of scaup, scoters, and grebes. All 3 water chemistry covariates, which provided alternative measures of lake productivity, were positively related to species richness but had little effect on scaup, scoter, and grebe occupancy. Conversely, emergent vegetation was negatively related to richness, reflecting avoidance of overgrown lakes by broods. Finally, nesting habitats had no influence on richness and occupancy, indicating that, at a broad spatial scale, brood

  16. Can anthropogenic variables be used as threat proxies for South African plant richness?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Keith

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Human demographic and socio-economic measures (anthropogenic variables reflect the detrimental impact of humans on plant diversity globally. The Pretoria (PRE Computerised Information System (PRECIS of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI, provided three sets of South Afncan plant richness data, overall (OPR, endemic (EPR, and threatened (TPR, to investigate the relationships between richness and six anthropogenic variables. Spearman’s Rank order correlations, Kruskal Wallis Analysis of Variance (ANOVA and Generalized Linear Models (GLZ were used. Although all three plant richness measures were correlated with anthropogenic variables, individual anthropogenic variables contributed a small fraction to the explained variation in richness. Differences in spatial and temporal scaling of the datasets, or the response to another causal mechanism, may have contributed to this low explained variation. Because more variation was accounted for in OPR than EPR or TPR, OPR is a more suitable surrogate measure of plant biodiversity when investigating the anthropogenic variables used here. Average human density (HD, infrastructure (degree of urbanization and road cover (LRU and percentage land area transformed and degraded (LTD were identified as useful surrogates of human impacts on OPR. LTD may be a more inclusive human impact measure when conducting analyses of human impacts using OPR. LTD includes the effects of urban expansion, road networks and other land transformation impacts, such as agriculture.

  17. 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.

  18. Plant growth regulation of Bt-cotton through Bacillus species

    OpenAIRE

    Pindi, Pavan Kumar; Sultana, Tasleem; Vootla, Praveen Kumar

    2013-01-01

    Deccan plateau in India periodically experiences droughts due to irregular rain fall and the soil in many parts of the region is considered to be poor for farming. Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria are originally defined as root-colonizing bacteria, i.e., Bacillus that cause either plant growth promotion or biological control of plant diseases. The study aims at the isolation of novel Bacillus species and to assess the biotechnological potential of the novel species as a biofertilizer, wit...

  19. Herbivory and dominance shifts among exotic and congeneric native plant species during plant community establishment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Engelkes, Tim; Meisner, Annelein; Morriën, Elly

    2016-01-01

    Invasive exotic plant species often have fewer natural enemies and suffer less damage from herbivores in their new range than genetically or functionally related species that are native to that area. Although we might expect that having fewer enemies would promote the invasiveness of the introduced...... exotic plant species due to reduced enemy exposure, few studies have actually analyzed the ecological consequences of this situation in the field. Here, we examined how exposure to aboveground herbivores influences shifts in dominance among exotic and phylogenetically related native plant species...... in a riparian ecosystem during early establishment of invaded communities. We planted ten plant communities each consisting of three individuals of each of six exotic plant species as well as six phylogenetically related natives. Exotic plant species were selected based on a rapid recent increase in regional...

  20. Species richness, distribution and genetic diversity of Caenorhabditis nematodes in a remote tropical rainforest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Félix Marie-Anne

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In stark contrast to the wealth of detail about C. elegans developmental biology and molecular genetics, biologists lack basic data for understanding the abundance and distribution of Caenorhabditis species in natural areas that are unperturbed by human influence. Methods Here we report the analysis of dense sampling from a small, remote site in the Amazonian rain forest of the Nouragues Natural Reserve in French Guiana. Results Sampling of rotting fruits and flowers revealed proliferating populations of Caenorhabditis, with up to three different species co-occurring within a single substrate sample, indicating remarkable overlap of local microhabitats. We isolated six species, representing the highest local species richness for Caenorhabditis encountered to date, including both tropically cosmopolitan and geographically restricted species not previously isolated elsewhere. We also documented the structure of within-species molecular diversity at multiple spatial scales, focusing on 57 C. briggsae isolates from French Guiana. Two distinct genetic subgroups co-occur even within a single fruit. However, the structure of C. briggsae population genetic diversity in French Guiana does not result from strong local patterning but instead presents a microcosm of global patterns of differentiation. We further integrate our observations with new data from nearly 50 additional recently collected C. briggsae isolates from both tropical and temperate regions of the world to re-evaluate local and global patterns of intraspecific diversity, providing the most comprehensive analysis to date for C. briggsae population structure across multiple spatial scales. Conclusions The abundance and species richness of Caenorhabditis nematodes is high in a Neotropical rainforest habitat that is subject to minimal human interference. Microhabitat preferences overlap for different local species, although global distributions include both cosmopolitan and

  1. Relations of Environmental Factors with Mussel-Species Richness in the Neversink River, New York

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldigo, Barry P.; Ernst, Anne G.; Schuler, George E.; Apse, Colin D.

    2007-01-01

    the Neversink Reservoir that mimic the river?s original flow patterns have recently been proposed by TNC and could benefit the established mussel populations and aquatic communities. The ability to protect mussel populations and the potential to increase mussel richness in the Neversink River is unknown, however, because the environmental factors that affect the seven mussel species are poorly defined, and the distribution of mussel beds is patchy and thus difficult to quantify. In 1997, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with TNC, began a 6-year study along the Neversink River and its tributaries to (1) document the current distribution of each mussel species, (2) assess environmental factors in relation to mussel-species richness and distribution, and (3) identify the factors that most strongly affect mussel populations and develop an equation that relates environmental factors to mussel-species richness. This report (a) summarizes the methods used to quantify or qualify environmental factors and mussel-species distribution and abundance, (b) presents a list of environmental factors that were correlated with mussel-species richness, and (c) offers an empirical model to predict richness of mussel species in benthic communities throughout the basin.

  2. Above ground biomass and tree species richness estimation with airborne lidar in tropical Ghana forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaglio Laurin, Gaia; Puletti, Nicola; Chen, Qi; Corona, Piermaria; Papale, Dario; Valentini, Riccardo

    2016-10-01

    Estimates of forest aboveground biomass are fundamental for carbon monitoring and accounting; delivering information at very high spatial resolution is especially valuable for local management, conservation and selective logging purposes. In tropical areas, hosting large biomass and biodiversity resources which are often threatened by unsustainable anthropogenic pressures, frequent forest resources monitoring is needed. Lidar is a powerful tool to estimate aboveground biomass at fine resolution; however its application in tropical forests has been limited, with high variability in the accuracy of results. Lidar pulses scan the forest vertical profile, and can provide structure information which is also linked to biodiversity. In the last decade the remote sensing of biodiversity has received great attention, but few studies focused on the use of lidar for assessing tree species richness in tropical forests. This research aims at estimating aboveground biomass and tree species richness using discrete return airborne lidar in Ghana forests. We tested an advanced statistical technique, Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines (MARS), which does not require assumptions on data distribution or on the relationships between variables, being suitable for studying ecological variables. We compared the MARS regression results with those obtained by multilinear regression and found that both algorithms were effective, but MARS provided higher accuracy either for biomass (R2 = 0.72) and species richness (R2 = 0.64). We also noted strong correlation between biodiversity and biomass field values. Even if the forest areas under analysis are limited in extent and represent peculiar ecosystems, the preliminary indications produced by our study suggest that instrument such as lidar, specifically useful for pinpointing forest structure, can also be exploited as a support for tree species richness assessment.

  3. Species richness and distribution of chondrichthyan fishes in the Arctic Ocean and adjacent seas

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lynghammar, A.; Christiansen, J. S.; Mecklenburg, C. W.

    2013-01-01

    The sea ice cover decreases and human activity increases in Arctic waters. Fisheries and bycatch issues, shipping and petroleum exploitation (pollution issues) make it imperative to establish biological baselines for the marine fishes inhabiting the Arctic Ocean and adjacent seas (AOAS). Species...... richness, zoogeographic affiliations and Red List statuses among chondrichthyan fishes (Chondrichthyes) were examined across 16 AOAS regions as a first step towards credible conservation actions. Published literature and museum vouchers were consulted for presence/absence data. Although many regions...

  4. Consequences of organic farming and landscape heterogeneity for species richness and abundance of farmland birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Henrik G; Dänhardt, Juliana; Lindström, Ake; Rundlöf, Maj

    2010-04-01

    It has been suggested that organic farming may benefit farmland biodiversity more in landscapes that have lost a significant part of its former landscape heterogeneity. We tested this hypothesis by comparing bird species richness and abundance during the breeding season in organic and conventional farms, matched to eliminate all differences not directly linked to the farming practice, situated in either homogeneous plains with only a little semi-natural habitat or in heterogeneous farmland landscapes with abundant field borders and semi-natural grasslands. The effect of farm management on species richness interacted with landscape structure, such that there was a positive relationship between organic farming and diversity only in homogeneous landscapes. This pattern was mainly dependent on the species richness of passerine birds, in particular those that were invertebrate feeders. Species richness of non-passerines was positively related to organic farming independent of the landscape context. Bird abundance was positively related to landscape heterogeneity but not to farm management. This was mainly because the abundance of passerines, particularly invertebrate feeders, was positively related to landscape heterogeneity. We suggest that invertebrate feeders particularly benefit from organic farming because of improved foraging conditions through increased invertebrate abundances in otherwise depauperate homogeneous landscapes. Although many seed-eaters also benefit from increased insect abundance, they may also utilize crop seed resources in homogeneous landscapes and conventional farms. The occurrence of an interactive effect of organic farming and landscape heterogeneity on bird diversity will have consequences for the optimal allocation of resources to restore the diversity of farmland birds.

  5. Inferring Species Richness and Turnover by Statistical Multiresolution Texture Analysis of Satellite Imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-24

    Florida. 2. Adler PB, Levine JM (2007) Contrasting relationships between precipitation and species richness in space and time. Oikos 116: 221–232. 3. Todd...properties of a vegetation index ( ndvi ) in amazonia. Remote Sensing of Environment 93: 391–401. 25. Saatchi S, Buermann W, ter Steege H, Mori S, Smith T (2008...Relating precipitation and water management to nutrient concentrations in the oligotrophic ‘‘upside-down’’ estuaries of the orida everglades. Limnol

  6. Low species richness of non-biting midges (Diptera: Chironomidae) in Neotropical artificial urban water bodies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hamerlik, Ladislav; Jacobsen, Dean; Brodersen, Klaus Peter

    2011-01-01

    Chironomid assemblages of 22 artificial water bodies, mainly fountains, in two South American cities were surveyed. We found surprisingly low diversities, with a total of 11 taxa, averaging two taxa per site. The typical fountain assemblages mainly consisted of common species that have a wide...... distribution pattern and are tolerant to organic pollution. Also taxa independent of the natural aquatic sources, such as tap-water and semi-terrestrial species were represented. There was no significant difference between the taxa richness of the two S. American regions, however, the assemblage structures...

  7. Solution of the spatial neutral model yields new bounds on the Amazonian species richness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shem-Tov, Yahav; Danino, Matan; Shnerb, Nadav M.

    2017-02-01

    Neutral models, in which individual agents with equal fitness undergo a birth-death-mutation process, are very popular in population genetics and community ecology. Usually these models are applied to populations and communities with spatial structure, but the analytic results presented so far are limited to well-mixed or mainland-island scenarios. Here we combine analytic results and numerics to obtain an approximate solution for the species abundance distribution and the species richness for the neutral model on continuous landscape. We show how the regional diversity increases when the recruitment length decreases and the spatial segregation of species grows. Our results are supported by extensive numerical simulations and allow one to probe the numerically inaccessible regime of large-scale systems with extremely small mutation/speciation rates. Model predictions are compared with the findings of recent large-scale surveys of tropical trees across the Amazon basin, yielding new bounds for the species richness (between 13100 and 15000) and the number of singleton species (between 455 and 690).

  8. The mid-domain effect and species richness patterns:what have we learned so far?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Colwell, Robert K; Rahbek, Carsten; Gotelli, Nicholas J

    2004-01-01

    If species' ranges are randomly shuffled within a bounded geographical domain free of environmental gradients, ranges overlap increasingly toward the center of the domain, creating a "mid-domain" peak of species richness. This "mid-domain effect" (MDE) has been controversial both in concept...... and in application. Empirical studies assess the degree to which the evolutionary, ecological, and historical processes that undeniably act on individual species and clades produce geographical patterns that resemble those produced by MDE models. MDE models that resample empirical range size frequency distributions...... (RSFDs) balance the risk of underestimating and overestimating the role of MDE, whereas theoretical RSFDs are generally biased toward underestimating MDE. We discuss the inclusion of nonendemic species in MDE models, rationales for setting domain limits, and the validity of one- and two-dimensional MDE...

  9. Wild felid species richness affected by a corridor in the Lacandona forest, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gil–Fernández, M.

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Wild felids are one of the most vulnerable species due to habitat loss caused by fragmentation of ecosystems. We analyzed the effect of a structural corridor, defined as a strip of vegetation connecting two habitat patches, on the richness and habitat occupancy of felids on three sites in Marqués de Comillas, Chiapas, one with two isolated forest patches, the second with a structural corridor, and the third inside the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve. We found only two species (L. pardalis and H. yagouaroundi in the isolated forest patches, five species in the structural corridor, and four species inside the Reserve. The corridor did not significantly affect occupancy, but due to the low detection rates, further investigation is needed to rule out differences. Our results highlight the need to manage habitat connectivity in the remaining forests in order to preserve the felid community of Marqués de Comillas, Chiapas, México.

  10. Native Plant Species Suitable for Ecological Restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-10

    Center The Dalles Research Facility Dallesport, WA Eau Galle Laboratory Spring Valley, WI Lewisville Aquatic Ecosystems Research Facility Lew isville, TX...of Agriculture . PLANTS data base. http://plants.usda.gov/  U.S. Department of Agriculture , Forest Service. Fire Effects Information System. http

  11. 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.

  12. Plant serine/arginine-rich proteins: roles in precursor messenger RNA splicing, plant development, and stress responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, Anireddy S N; Shad Ali, Gul

    2011-01-01

    Global analyses of splicing of precursor messenger RNAs (pre-mRNAs) have revealed that alternative splicing (AS) is highly pervasive in plants. Despite the widespread occurrence of AS in plants, the mechanisms that control splicing and the roles of splice variants generated from a gene are poorly understood. Studies on plant serine/arginine-rich (SR) proteins, a family of highly conserved proteins, suggest their role in both constitutive splicing and AS of pre-mRNAs. SR proteins have a characteristic domain structure consisting of one or two RNA recognition motifs at the N-terminus and a C-terminal RS domain rich in arginine/serine dipeptides. Plants have many more SR proteins compared to animals including several plant-specific subfamilies. Pre-mRNAs of plant SR proteins are extensively alternatively spliced to increase the transcript complexity by about six-fold. Some of this AS is controlled in a tissue- and development-specific manner. Furthermore, AS of SR pre-mRNAs is altered by various stresses, raising the possibility of rapid reprogrammin