WorldWideScience

Sample records for plants ecosystem stability

  1. Noise-induced stability in dryland plant ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Odorico, Paolo; Laio, Francesco; Ridolfi, Luca

    2005-08-02

    Dryland plant ecosystems tend to exhibit bistable dynamics with two preferential configurations of bare and vegetated soils. Climate fluctuations are usually believed to act as a source of disturbance on these ecosystems and to reduce their stability and resilience. In contrast, this work shows that random interannual fluctuations of precipitation may lead to the emergence of an intermediate statistically stable condition between the two stable states of the deterministic dynamics of vegetation. As a result, there is an enhancement of ecosystem resilience and a decrease in the likelihood of catastrophic shifts to the desert state.

  2. Climate change drives a shift in peatland ecosystem plant community: implications for ecosystem function and stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dieleman, Catherine M; Branfireun, Brian A; McLaughlin, James W; Lindo, Zoë

    2015-01-01

    The composition of a peatland plant community has considerable effect on a range of ecosystem functions. Peatland plant community structure is predicted to change under future climate change, making the quantification of the direction and magnitude of this change a research priority. We subjected intact, replicated vegetated poor fen peat monoliths to elevated temperatures, increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 ), and two water table levels in a factorial design to determine the individual and synergistic effects of climate change factors on the poor fen plant community composition. We identify three indicators of a regime shift occurring in our experimental poor fen system under climate change: nonlinear decline of Sphagnum at temperatures 8 °C above ambient conditions, concomitant increases in Carex spp. at temperatures 4 °C above ambient conditions suggesting a weakening of Sphagnum feedbacks on peat accumulation, and increased variance of the plant community composition and pore water pH through time. A temperature increase of +4 °C appeared to be a threshold for increased vascular plant abundance; however the magnitude of change was species dependent. Elevated temperature combined with elevated CO2 had a synergistic effect on large graminoid species abundance, with a 15 times increase as compared to control conditions. Community analyses suggested that the balance between dominant plant species was tipped from Sphagnum to a graminoid-dominated system by the combination of climate change factors. Our findings indicate that changes in peatland plant community composition are likely under future climate change conditions, with a demonstrated shift toward a dominance of graminoid species in poor fens. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Vegetation component of geothermal EIS studies: Introduced plants, ecosystem stability, and geothermal development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-10-01

    This paper contributes new information about the impacts from introduced plant invasions on the native Hawaiian vegetation as consequences of land disturbance and geothermal development activities. In this regard, most geothermal development is expected to act as another recurring source of physical disturbance which favors the spread and maintenance of introduced organisms throughout the region. Where geothermal exploration and development activities extend beyond existing agricultural and residential development, they will become the initial or sole source of disturbance to the naturalized vegetation of the area. Kilauea has a unique ecosystem adapted to the dynamics of a volcanically active landscape. The characteristics of this ecosystem need to be realized in order to understand the major threats to the ecosystem and to evaluate the effects of and mitigation for geothermal development in Puna. The native Puna vegetation is well adapted to disturbances associated with volcanic eruption, but it is ill-adapted to compete with alien plant species in secondary disturbances produced by human activities. Introduced plant and animal species have become a major threat to the continued presence of the native biota in the Puna region of reference

  4. Vegetation component of geothermal EIS studies: Introduced plants, ecosystem stability, and geothermal development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1994-10-01

    This paper contributes new information about the impacts from introduced plant invasions on the native Hawaiian vegetation as consequences of land disturbance and geothermal development activities. In this regard, most geothermal development is expected to act as another recurring source of physical disturbance which favors the spread and maintenance of introduced organisms throughout the region. Where geothermal exploration and development activities extend beyond existing agricultural and residential development, they will become the initial or sole source of disturbance to the naturalized vegetation of the area. Kilauea has a unique ecosystem adapted to the dynamics of a volcanically active landscape. The characteristics of this ecosystem need to be realized in order to understand the major threats to the ecosystem and to evaluate the effects of and mitigation for geothermal development in Puna. The native Puna vegetation is well adapted to disturbances associated with volcanic eruption, but it is ill-adapted to compete with alien plant species in secondary disturbances produced by human activities. Introduced plant and animal species have become a major threat to the continued presence of the native biota in the Puna region of reference.

  5. Plant, microbial and ecosystem carbon use efficiencies interact to stabilize microbial growth as a fraction of gross primary production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinsabaugh, Robert L; Moorhead, Daryl L; Xu, Xiaofeng; Litvak, Marcy E

    2017-06-01

    The carbon use efficiency of plants (CUE a ) and microorganisms (CUE h ) determines rates of biomass turnover and soil carbon sequestration. We evaluated the hypothesis that CUE a and CUE h counterbalance at a large scale, stabilizing microbial growth (μ) as a fraction of gross primary production (GPP). Collating data from published studies, we correlated annual CUE a , estimated from satellite imagery, with locally determined soil CUE h for 100 globally distributed sites. Ecosystem CUE e , the ratio of net ecosystem production (NEP) to GPP, was estimated for each site using published models. At the ecosystem scale, CUE a and CUE h were inversely related. At the global scale, the apparent temperature sensitivity of CUE h with respect to mean annual temperature (MAT) was similar for organic and mineral soils (0.029°C -1 ). CUE a and CUE e were inversely related to MAT, with apparent sensitivities of -0.009 and -0.032°C -1 , respectively. These trends constrain the ratio μ : GPP (= (CUE a  × CUE h )/(1 - CUE e )) with respect to MAT by counterbalancing the apparent temperature sensitivities of the component processes. At the ecosystem scale, the counterbalance is effected by modulating soil organic matter stocks. The results suggest that a μ : GPP value of c. 0.13 is a homeostatic steady state for ecosystem carbon fluxes at a large scale. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  6. Stability measures in arid ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nosshi, M. I.; Brunsell, N. A.; Koerner, S.

    2015-12-01

    Stability, the capacity of ecosystems to persist in the face of change, has proven its relevance as a fundamental component of ecological theory. Here, we would like to explore meaningful and quantifiable metrics to define stability, with a focus on highly variable arid and semi-arid savanna ecosystems. Recognizing the importance of a characteristic timescale to any definition of stability, our metrics will be focused scales from annual to multi-annual, capturing different aspects of stability. Our three measures of stability, in increasing order of temporal scale, are: (1) Ecosystem resistance, quantified as the degree to which the system maintains its mean state in response to a perturbation (drought), based on inter-annual variability in Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). (2) An optimization approach, relevant to arid systems with pulse dynamics, that models vegetation structure and function based on a trade off between the ability to respond to resource availability and avoid stress. (3) Community resilience, measured as species turnover rate (β diversity). Understanding the nature of stability in structurally-diverse arid ecosystems, which are highly variable, yields theoretical insight which has practical implications.

  7. An Ecohydrological Approach to the Resiliency and Stability of Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peña Alzate, S.; Canon Barriga, J. E.

    2013-12-01

    We introduce a simplified ecohydrological model to quantitatively assess the resiliency and stability of ecosystems. The proposed model couples a hydrological soil moisture balance with a set of spatiotemporal dynamics of systems and agent-based algorithms to represent the interactions among several plant populations in a gridded area under different water, soil and temperature constraints. The model also allows disturbances, representing mostly the effects of deforestation practices. The simulated ecosystem, composed by a set of plant populations, includes allometric rules (i.e., power laws for generational and reproductive times, linear approximations for water and temperature gains, losses and optimal values and a set of intra and interspecific interaction rules based on high, optimal and low competition responses among the populations). Disturbances are determined by a clearance of populations in a defined area within the model's domain. The effects of climate variability can be also incorporated through precipitation and temperature time series that exhibit trends and heteroskedasticity. Resiliency and stability are calculated with modified indices that are used in hydrology, in this case to determine the ability of the ecosystem to recover from a disturbance. The model represents different types of plant phenotypes showing exponential growth in the first steps of the simulations. The indices, evaluated on each population and over the structure of the entire ecosystem, show how different populations respond differently to disturbances, following behaviors similar to those expected in nature, like high reproduction rates on gregarious plants with short generation times, and low densities in plants with high generations times. The selection of plant populations was mainly focused on the concept of biodiversity with emphasis on tropical regions. The model can represent the spatial and temporal succession of the ecosystem after being disturbed. The model also

  8. Forests planted for ecosystem restoration or conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Constance A. Harrington

    1999-01-01

    Although the phrase, "planting for ecosystem restoration," is of recent origin, many of the earliest large-scale tree plantings were made for what we now refer to as "'restoration" or "conservation" goals. Forest restoration activities may be needed when ecosystems are disturbed by either natural or anthropogenic forces. Disturbances...

  9. Plant community mediation of ecosystem responses to global change factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Churchill, A. C.

    2017-12-01

    Human alteration of the numerous environmental drivers affecting ecosystem processes is unprecedented in the last century, including changes in climate regimes and rapid increases in the availability of biologically active nitrogen (N). Plant communities may offer stabilizing or amplifying feedbacks mediating potential ecosystem responses to these alterations, and my research seeks to examine the conditions associated with when plant feedbacks are important for ecosystem change. My dissertation research focused on the unintended consequences of N deposition into natural landscapes, including alpine ecosystems which are particularly susceptible to adverse environmental impacts. In particular, I examined alpine plant and soil responses to N deposition 1) across multiple spatial scales throughout the Southern Rocky Mountains, 2) among diverse plant communities associated with unique environmental conditions common in the alpine of this region, and 3) among ecosystem pools of N contributing to stabilization of N inputs within those communities. I found that communities responded to inputs of N differently, often associated with traits of dominant plant species but these responses were intimately linked with the abiotic conditions of each independent community. Even so, statistical models predicting metrics of N processing in the alpine were improved by encompassing both abiotic and biotic components of the main community types.

  10. Resilience and stability of a pelagic marine ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lindegren, Martin; Checkley, David M.; Ohman, Mark D.

    2016-01-01

    The accelerating loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services worldwide has accentuated a long-standing debate on the role of diversity in stabilizing ecological communities and has given rise to a field of research on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF). Although broad consensus has been...

  11. Ecological behavior and effects of energy related pollutants. Progress report, June 1976--August 1977. [SO2 impact on survival and stability of plant species; fallout /sup 137/Cs transfer processes in Southeastern Coastal Plain ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Platt, R.B.; Ragsdale, H.L.; Murdy, W.H.; Shure, D.J.

    1977-10-25

    The impact of SO/sub 2/ on the survival and stability of plant populations and communities was studied. The results to date have an important bearing on the adequacy of current permissible ambient air levels for SO/sub 2/. Atmospheric SO/sub 2/ concentrations at near permissible levels had a significant adverse effect on sexual reproduction processes, which results in a reduced number of viable seeds, in all 8 populations tested. Implications for both natural and agricultural plant species and possible significant losses of fruit production are discussed. An ecological implication of the invisible effect of fruit and seed mortality is postulated since the life cycle of many insects and the trophic relations of numerous animals depend, at least in part, on fruit production by trees and shrubs. Hence, there is a potential for disruptive effects on ecosystem level processes. Results are also reported from four systems-oriented studies within the Lower Three Runs Creek Watershed, Savannah River Plant, to examine fallout /sup 137/Cs transfer processes in ecological systems characteristic of the Southeastern Coastal Plain. These studies were carried out within the stream and its floodplains, within floodplains along the stream gradient, in upland aquatic systems (Carolina Bays), and in the upland scrub-oak forest system. Results are discussed.

  12. Mowing exacerbates the loss of ecosystem stability under nitrogen enrichment in a temperate grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yunhai; Loreau, Michel; He, Nianpeng; Zhang, Guangming; Han, Xingguo

    2017-08-04

    1. Global reactive nitrogen (N) is projected to further increase in the coming years. Previous studies have demonstrated that N enrichment weakens the temporal stability of the ecosystem and the primary productivity through decreased biodiversity and species asynchrony. Mowing is a globally common practise in grasslands; and infrequent mowing can maintain or increase plant diversity under N enrichment conditions. However, it is unclear how infrequent mowing affects ecosystem stability in the face of N enrichment. 2. By independently manipulating the frequency (twice vs. monthly additions per year) and rate (i.e. 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 50 g N m -2 year -1 ) of NH 4 NO 3 inputs and mowing (unmown vs. mown) over 3 years (2011-2013) in a temperate grassland of northern China, we aimed to examine the interactive effects of N enrichment and mowing on ecosystem stability. 3. The results show that mowing maintained a positive relationship between species richness and ecosystem stability despite N addition, but that it exacerbated the negative effects of N addition on ecosystem stability. Mowing increased mean primary productivity and plant species richness, but it also increased the synchrony of population fluctuations and the variability of primary productivity under N enrichment, thereby contributing to a decline in the ecosystem stability. 4. Thus, our study reveals that infrequent mowing can buffer the negative effects of N enrichment on biodiversity to some extent and further increase the primary productivity, but it exacerbates the loss of ecosystem stability with N enrichment, thereby threatening local and/or semiarid regional food security.

  13. Ecosystem stability in space: α, β and γ variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shaopeng; Loreau, Michel

    2014-08-01

    The past two decades have seen great progress in understanding the mechanisms of ecosystem stability in local ecological systems. There is, however, an urgent need to extend existing knowledge to larger spatial scales to match the scale of management and conservation. Here, we develop a general theoretical framework to study the stability and variability of ecosystems at multiple scales. Analogously to the partitioning of biodiversity, we propose the concepts of alpha, beta and gamma variability. Gamma variability at regional (metacommunity) scale can be partitioned into local alpha variability and spatial beta variability, either multiplicatively or additively. On average, variability decreases from local to regional scales, which creates a negative variability-area relationship. Our partitioning framework suggests that mechanisms of regional ecosystem stability can be understood by investigating the influence of ecological factors on alpha and beta variability. Diversity can provide insurance effects at the various levels of variability, thus generating alpha, beta and gamma diversity-stability relationships. As a consequence, the loss of biodiversity and habitat impairs ecosystem stability at the regional scale. Overall, our framework enables a synthetic understanding of ecosystem stability at multiple scales and has practical implications for landscape management. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  14. Genetically modified soybean plants and their ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milošević Mirjana B.

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Transgenic plants are developed by introgressing new genes using methods of molecular genetics and genetic engineering. The presence of these genes in plant genome is identified on the basis of specific oligonucleotides primers, and the use of PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction and DNA fragments multiplication. Genetically modified plants such as soybean constitute a newly created bioenergetic potential whose gene expression can cause disturbance of the biological balance ecosystem, soil structure and soil microbiological activity. Genetically modified plants may acquire monogenic or polygenic traits causing genetic and physiological changes in these plants, which may elicit a certain reaction of the environment including changes of microbiological composition of soil rhizosphere. The aim of introgressing genes for certain traits into a cultivated plant is to enhance its yield and intensify food production. There are more and more genetically modified plant species such as soybean, corn, potato, rice and others and there is a pressure to use them as human food and animal feed. Genetically modified soybean plants with introgressed gene for resistance to total herbicides, such as Round-up, are more productive than non-modified herbicide-sensitive soybeans.

  15. Plant functional traits predict green roof ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundholm, Jeremy; Tran, Stephanie; Gebert, Luke

    2015-02-17

    Plants make important contributions to the services provided by engineered ecosystems such as green roofs. Ecologists use plant species traits as generic predictors of geographical distribution, interactions with other species, and ecosystem functioning, but this approach has been little used to optimize engineered ecosystems. Four plant species traits (height, individual leaf area, specific leaf area, and leaf dry matter content) were evaluated as predictors of ecosystem properties and services in a modular green roof system planted with 21 species. Six indicators of ecosystem services, incorporating thermal, hydrological, water quality, and carbon sequestration functions, were predicted by the four plant traits directly or indirectly via their effects on aggregate ecosystem properties, including canopy density and albedo. Species average height and specific leaf area were the most useful traits, predicting several services via effects on canopy density or growth rate. This study demonstrates that easily measured plant traits can be used to select species to optimize green roof performance across multiple key services.

  16. Health of plants, animals and ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marwitz, P.A.; Weers, A.W. van

    1988-12-01

    This report makes part of a series of eight reports which have been drawn up in behalf of the Dutch Policy Notition Radiation Standards (BNS). It presents the elaboration of subproject 2 'Health of plants, animals and ecosystems'. The study had been based upon the following questions: Does the application of the radiation-protection principes, intended to the protection of man, offer sufficient protection for populations of plants and animals?; If that sufficient protection does exsist, are there situations imagible which are exceptions therefore?; Which studies should be made if the forementioned questions cannot be answered sufficiently? The gravity of radiation effects turns out to depend on the radiation dose an on the part of the population which is exposed. On the base of literature it is concluded that effects upon aquatic and terristric populations are excluded below radiation levels of 1 mGy/day. From the application of the generic models it appears that the radiation burden of organisms will remain below 1 mGy/day. Since the radiation burden of man in actual practice will be nearly always lower certainly no effects upon plants, animals and ecosystems are to be expected. An exception is possible for situations in which the distribution does not take place in the living environment of man; in that case protection of man is no need for limiting the radiation levels. Such locations do not exsist in the Netherlands. For the Dutch situation, in view of the actual and expected radiation levels, the in the report derived upper limits for the radiation levels will certainly be reached. It is recommended to make for the Netherlands, starting from concrete source terms, estimations which are based upon concrete situations, with the help of the generic models. In view of the foregoing the necessity therefore is small. Next it is recommeded to keep following the international developments in this area. (H.W.). 60 refs.; 8 figs.; 3 tabs

  17. Functional complexity and ecosystem stability: an experimental approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Voris, P.; O' Neill, R.V.; Shugart, H.H.; Emanuel, W.R.

    1978-01-01

    The complexity-stability hypothesis was experimentally tested using intact terrestrial microcosms. Functional complexity was defined as the number and significance of component interactions (i.e., population interactions, physical-chemical reactions, biological turnover rates) influenced by nonlinearities, feedbacks, and time delays. It was postulated that functional complexity could be nondestructively measured through analysis of a signal generated from the system. Power spectral analysis of hourly CO/sub 2/ efflux, from eleven old-field microcosms, was analyzed for the number of low frequency peaks and used to rank the functional complexity of each system. Ranking of ecosystem stability was based on the capacity of the system to retain essential nutrients and was measured by net loss of Ca after the system was stressed. Rank correlation supported the hypothesis that increasing ecosystem functional complexity leads to increasing ecosystem stability. The results indicated that complex functional dynamics can serve to stabilize the system. The results also demonstrated that microcosms are useful tools for system-level investigations.

  18. Plants in aquatic ecosystems: current trends and future directions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    O’Hare, Matthew T.; Aguiar, Francisca C.; Asaeda, Takashi; Bakker, Elisabeth S.; Chambers, Patricia A.; Clayton, John S.; Elger, Arnaud; Ferreira, Teresa M.; Gross, Elisabeth M.; Gunn, Iain D.M.; Gurnell, Angela M.; Hellsten, Seppo; Hofstra, Deborah E.; Li, Wei; Mohr, Silvia; Puijalon, Sara; Szoszkiewicz, Krzysztof; Willby, Nigel J.; Wood, Kevin A.

    2018-01-01

    Aquatic plants fulfil a wide range of ecological roles, and make a substantial contribution to the structure, function and service provision of aquatic ecosystems. Given their well-documented importance in aquatic ecosystems, research into aquatic plants continues to blossom. The 14th International

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  20. Ecosystem development in roadside grasslands: Biotic control, plant-soil interactions, and dispersal limitations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Palacios, P.; Bowker, M.A.; Maestre, F.T.; Soliveres, S.; Valladares, F.; Papadopoulos, J.; Escudero, A.

    2011-01-01

    Roadside grasslands undergoing secondary succession are abundant, and represent ecologically meaningful examples of novel, human-created ecosystems. Interactions between plant and soil communities (hereafter plant-soil interactions) are of major importance in understanding the role of biotic control in ecosystem functioning, but little is known about these links in the context of ecosystem restoration and succession. The assessment of the key biotic communities and interactions driving ecosystem development will help practitioners to better allocate the limited resources devoted to roadside grassland restoration. We surveyed roadside grasslands from three successional stages (0-2, 7-9, and > 20 years) in two Mediterranean regions of Spain. Structural equation modeling was used to evaluate how interactions between plants, biological soil crusts (BSCs), and soil microbial functional diversity (soil microorganisms) affect indicators of ecosystem development and restoration: plant similarity to the reference ecosystem, erosion control, and soil C storage and N accumulation. Changes in plant community composition along the successional gradient exerted the strongest influence on these indicators. High BSC cover was associated with high soil stability, and high soil microbial functional diversity from late-successional stages was associated with high soil fertility. Contrary to our expectations, the indirect effects of plants, mediated by either BSCs or soil microorganisms, were very weak in both regions, suggesting a minor role for plant-soil interactions upon ecosystem development indicators over long periods. Our results suggest that natural vegetation dynamics effectively improved ecosystem development within a time frame of 20 years in the grasslands evaluated. They also indicate that this time could be shortened if management actions focus on: (1) maintaining wellconserved natural areas close to roadsides to enhance plant compositional changes towards late

  1. Ecosystem simplification, biodiversity loss and plant virus emergence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roossinck, Marilyn J; García-Arenal, Fernando

    2015-02-01

    Plant viruses can emerge into crops from wild plant hosts, or conversely from domestic (crop) plants into wild hosts. Changes in ecosystems, including loss of biodiversity and increases in managed croplands, can impact the emergence of plant virus disease. Although data are limited, in general the loss of biodiversity is thought to contribute to disease emergence. More in-depth studies have been done for human viruses, but studies with plant viruses suggest similar patterns, and indicate that simplification of ecosystems through increased human management may increase the emergence of viral diseases in crops. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Wetland plant influence on sediment ecosystem structure and trophic function

    OpenAIRE

    Whitcraft, Christine René

    2007-01-01

    Vascular plants structure wetland ecosystems. To examine mechanisms behind their influence, plants were studied under different scenarios of change: experimental manipulation of cover, invasion, and response to flushing regimes. I tested the hypothesis that wetland plants alter benthic communities through modification of abiotic factors, with cascading effects on microalgae and invertebrate communities. Major plant effects were observed in all systems studied, but the magnitude of, mechanisms...

  3. Meaningful traits for grouping plant species across arid ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bär Lamas, Marlene Ivonne; Carrera, A L; Bertiller, M B

    2016-05-01

    Grouping species may provide some degree of simplification to understand the ecological function of plants on key ecosystem processes. We asked whether groups of plant species based on morpho-chemical traits associated with plant persistence and stress/disturbance resistance reflect dominant plant growth forms in arid ecosystems. We selected twelve sites across an aridity gradient in northern Patagonia. At each site, we identified modal size plants of each dominant species and assessed specific leaf area (SLA), plant height, seed mass, N and soluble phenol concentration in green and senesced leaves at each plant. Plant species were grouped according with plant growth forms (perennial grasses, evergreen shrubs and deciduous shrubs) and plant morphological and/or chemical traits using cluster analysis. We calculated mean values of each plant trait for each species group and plant growth form. Plant growth forms significantly differed among them in most of the morpho-chemical traits. Evergreen shrubs were tall plants with the highest seed mass and soluble phenols in leaves, deciduous shrubs were also tall plants with high SLA and the highest N in leaves, and perennial grasses were short plants with high SLA and low concentration of N and soluble phenols in leaves. Grouping species by the combination of morpho-chemical traits yielded 4 groups in which species from one growth form prevailed. These species groups differed in soluble phenol concentration in senesced leaves and plant height. These traits were highly correlated. We concluded that (1) plant height is a relevant synthetic variable, (2) growth forms adequately summarize ecological strategies of species in arid ecosystems, and (3) the inclusion of plant morphological and chemical traits related to defenses against environmental stresses and herbivory enhanced the potential of species grouping, particularly within shrubby growth forms.

  4. Stability of Soil Organic Matter in Alpine Ecosystems: No Relationship with Vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matteodo, M.; Sebag, D.; Vittoz, P.; Verrecchia, E. P.

    2016-12-01

    There is an emerging understanding of mechanisms governing soil organic matter (SOM) stability, which is challenging the historical view of carbon persistence1. According to this alternative vision, SOM stability is not directly regulated by the molecular structure of plant inputs (i.e. the historical view), but the biotic and abiotic conditions of the surrounding environment which play a major role and mediate the influence of compound chemistry. The persistence of SOM is thus influenced by ecological conditions, controlling the access and activity of decomposers' enzymes and being ecosystem-dependent. In this study, we investigated differences of (1) carbon content, and (2) stability of organic matter in litter and organomineral layers from the most widespread plant communities at the subalpine-alpine level of the Swiss Alps. For this purpose, 230 samples from 47 soil profiles have been analysed across seven plant communities, along a subalpine-alpine elevation gradient. Both calcareous and siliceous grasslands were studied, as well as snowbed and ridge communities. Aboveground litter and A horizons were sampled and analysed using Rock-Eval Pyrolysis, a proxy-technique commonly used for the investigation of organic matter composition and stability2,3. Results show that the litter layers of the seven plant communities are significantly different in terms of total organic carbon (TOC) content, but slightly variable in terms of stability. The situation is radically different in the organomineral horizons where the amount of organic carbon is interestingly homogeneous, as well as the SOM stability. In mineral horizons, the amount and stability of SOM are mainly driven by the geological settings, and therefore vary in the different plant communities. These results show a clear disconnection between organic, organomineral, and mineral horizons in terms of factors governing soil organic matter stability. Consistent with the recent view of the carbon balance, plant input

  5. Plant functional traits and diversity in sand dune ecosystems across different biogeographic regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahdavi, P.; Bergmeier, E.

    2016-07-01

    Plant species of a functional group respond similarly to environmental pressures and may be expected to act similarly on ecosystem processes and habitat properties. However, feasibility and applicability of functional groups in ecosystems across very different climatic regions have not yet been studied. In our approach we specified the functional groups in sand dune ecosystems of the Mediterranean, Hyrcanian and Irano-Turanian phytogeographic regions. We examined whether functional groups are more influenced by region or rather by habitat characteristics, and identified trait syndromes associated with common habitat types in sand dunes (mobile dunes, stabilized dunes, salt marshes, semi-wet sands, disturbed habitats). A database of 14 traits, 309 species and 314 relevés was examined and trait-species, trait-plot and species-plot matrices were built. Cluster analysis revealed similar plant functional groups in sand dune ecosystems across regions of very different species composition and climate. Specifically, our study showed that plant traits in sand dune ecosystems are grouped reflecting habitat affiliation rather than region and species pool. Environmental factors and constraints such as sand mobility, soil salinity, water availability, nutrient status and disturbance are more important for the occurrence and distribution of plant functional groups than regional belonging. Each habitat is shown to be equipped with specific functional groups and can be described by specific sets of traits. In restoration ecology the completeness of functional groups and traits in a site may serve as a guideline for maintaining or restoring the habitat.

  6. Rehabilitation of saline ecosystems through cultivation of salt tolerant plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abdul, R.; Mahmood, K.

    2012-01-01

    In Pakistan, salt-affected regions have been drastically disturbed by unchecked activities of local populations. Removal of deep-rooted perennials and overgrazing destroy the native vegetation leading to rapid desertification. Shallow-rooted agricultural crops are grown on marginal soils on limited area that is not enough with respect to the spread of salinity problem. Sustainable restoration of these ecosystems requires a large scale integration of perennial plants (trees, shrubs and herbs) back in to farming systems. However, selenization processes continue because the available options for cultivation of perennial plants prove less profitable than agricultural crops. This study relates to resort the salt-affected lands for plant production and develop a technology for sustainable saline ecosystem. Plants, having salt tolerance potential, have been identified and introduced on salt-affected wastelands to develop a sustainable ecosystem with increased productivity. The biomass so produced can be used directly as forage, fuel, and even as food or feed. In addition, fish aquaculture, and some value-added products make this ecosystem more sustainable. This technology is practically demonstrated at Biosaline Research Station of Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology (NIAB), Pakka Anna, Faisalabad, Pakistan. The marginally saline soils and wastelands ameliorated as a result of growing salt tolerant perennials can also be used for growing salt tolerant cultivars of conventional crops like wheat, barley and mustard. So, through proper management the saline ecosystem can become economical and profitable. (author)

  7. A review of impacts by invasive exotic plants on forest ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kevin Devine; Songlin. Fei

    2011-01-01

    Many of our forest ecosystems are at risk due to the invasion of exotic invasive plant species. Invasive plant species pose numerous threats to ecosystems by decreasing biodiversity, deteriorating ecosystem processes, and degrading ecosystem services. Literature on Kentucky's most invasive exotic plant species was examined to understand their potential impacts on...

  8. The Green Roof Microbiome: Improving Plant Survival for Ecosystem Service Delivery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberta Fulthorpe

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Plants are key contributors to ecosystem services delivered by green roofs in cities including stormwater capture, temperature regulation, and wildlife habitat. As a result, current research has primarily focused on their growth in relationship to extensive green roof (e.g., substrates <15 cm depth ecosystem services. Green roofs are exposed to a variety of harsh abiotic factors such as intense solar radiation, wind, and isolation from ground-level habitats, making survival exceedingly difficult. Plants in natural habitats benefit from a variety of interactions with fungi and bacteria. These plant-microbial interactions improve mechanisms of survival and productivity; however, many green roof substrates are sterilized prior to installation and lack microbial communities with unstudied consequences for green roof plant health and subsequent survival and performance. In this paper, we present six hypotheses on the positive role of microbes in green roof applications. In natural and experimental systems, microbial interactions have been linked to plant (1 drought tolerance, (2 pathogen protection, (3 nutrient availability, (4 salt tolerance, (5 phytohormone production, and (6 substrate stabilization, all of which are desirable properties of green roof ecosystems. As few studies exist that directly examine these relationships on green roofs, we explore the existing ecological literature on these topics to unravel the mechanisms that could support more complex green roof ecosystem and lead to new insight into the design, performance, and broader applications in green infrastructure.

  9. B Plant cleanout and stabilization program update

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gehrke, J.W.

    1994-01-01

    The B Plant Cleanout and Stabilization Program Update FY1993 committed to an annual update document. The Cleanout and Stabilization Program (CSP) plan, Reference 1, remains as the best source of detailed discussion of CSP work and continues to be valid. The CSP presented a five year plan that left a number of plant systems operational to support WESF (Waste Encapsulation and Storage Facility) capsule storage. It is now apparent that the transition of B Plant to a long-term surveillance and maintenance mode (LTS and M) will be necessary to complete B Plant deactivation. To accomplish the LTS and M mode for B Plant, WESF will need to be physically isolated to allow stand alone operation for many years beyond the anticipated B Plant deactivation. B Plant has processed large quantities (> 100 megacuries) of cesium-137 and strontium-90. Residual radioactive contamination from this processing is in many forms and locations in B Plant. The plant design incorporates many features for radiological containment and confinement and systems to prevent the exposure of plant personnel and the public to excessive radiation. To minimize or reduce the radiological hazard wherever possible this program includes activities in four areas: Prevent Migration of Contamination; Stabilize Major Radioactive Source Terms; characterize Radioactive Source Terms; and Reduce Radiation Dose Rates. This document will describe work that is need to meet current goals and objectives and work that has changed, been completed, ore redirected. A systems engineering approach to defining this mission was initiated in FY1994 that will also be addressed in this document

  10. Plant hydraulic diversity buffers forest ecosystem responses to drought

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felton, Andrew J; Smith, Melinda D

    2017-06-19

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

  12. Chemical sensing of plant stress at the ecosystem scale

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Karl

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Significant ecosystem-scale emissions of methylsalicylate (MeSA, a semivolatile plant hormone thought to act as the mobile signal for systemic acquired resistance (SAR, were observed in an agroforest. Our measurements show that plant internal defence mechanisms can be activated in response to temperature stress and are modulated by water availability on large scales. Highest MeSA fluxes (up to 0.25 mg/m2/h were observed after plants experienced ambient night-time temperatures of ~7.5°C followed by a large daytime temperature increase (e.g. up to 22°C. Under these conditions estimated night-time leaf temperatures were as low as ~4.6°C, likely inducing a response to prevent chilling injury. Our observations imply that plant hormones can be a significant component of ecosystem scale volatile organic compound (VOC fluxes (e.g. as high as the total monoterpene (MT flux and therefore contribute to the missing VOC budget. If generalized to other ecosystems and different types of stresses these findings suggest that semivolatile plant hormones have been overlooked by investigations of the impact of biogenic VOCs on aerosol formation events in forested regions. Our observations show that the presence of MeSA in canopy air serves as an early chemical warning signal indicating ecosystem-scale stresses before visible damage becomes apparent. As a chemical metric, ecosystem emission measurements of MeSA in ambient air could therefore support field studies investigating factors that adversely affect plant growth.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  14. Soil-plant transfer factors in forest ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Strebl, F.; Gerzabek, M.H.

    1995-04-01

    Within scope of an extended study about 137 Cs behaviour in forest ecosystems several parameters were found to influence soil-plant transfer factors. TF-values of different plant species cover a range of two magnitudes. This is partly due to variations in rooting depth of plants and specific physiological adaptations of nutrient supply. Perrenial plants like trees (Picea abies) and dwarf shrubs (Vaccinium myrtillus) showed a distinct age - dependency of 137 Cs - transfer factors. In young plant parts caesium concentration is higher than in old, more signified twigs. A correlation analysis of physico-chemical soil parameters and TF-values to forest vegetation showed, that soil organic matter, especially the degree of humification and the ratio between extractable fulvic to humic acids are important influencing factors of 137 Cs transfer from forest soils to plants. (author)

  15. Marine ecosystem analysis for Kori nuclear power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, C.H.; Kim, Y.H.; Cho, T.S.

    1980-01-01

    The effect of both radioactive and thermal effluents discharged from the plant on aquatic ecosystem is one of the primary concerns in evaluating the environmental impact due to the operation of the nuclear power plant. Biological alteration of aquatic ecosystems may be resulted from radioactive effluents, thermal pollution and chemical releases. There is also another possible synergistic effect, that is, the combination of the above stresses, which may cause an impact severer than that of the sum of the individual impact. This report deals with species diversity and seasonal variations of those numbers of phytoplankton, marine algae and microorganisms, and distribution of radioactivity of marine organisms, as well as those data pertaining to sea water analysis. The present survey is designed to provide a partial baseline information for environmental impact assessment of Kori nuclear plant unit no. 1. (author)

  16. Marine-ecosystem analysis for the Kori nuclear power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, J.H.; Kim, Y.H.

    1979-01-01

    The effects of radioactive effluents and warm water discharged from the plant on aquatic ecosystem is one of the primary considerations in evaluating the impact due to the operation of the nuclear power plant. Biological alteration of aquatic ecosystems may be resulted from radioactive effluents, thermal pollution and chemical releases; there is also the possible synergistic effect, that is, the combination of the above stresses, which may cause an effect greater than that of the sum of the individual effects. This report deals with species diversity and seasonal vegetation of phytoplankton, marine algae and microorganisms, radioactive contamination of marine organisms, and lateral distribution of sea water temperature from discharge point. The present investigation is designed to provide a partial baseline information for environmental safety against Kori nuclear power plant. (author)

  17. Biochar and Ecosystem Restoration: Plant Ecophysiological Responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gale, N.; Halim, M. A.; Thomas, S. C.

    2017-12-01

    Charcoal is thought to facilitate rapid plant regeneration following fires by increasing the retention and availability of nutrients and water, increasing soil pH, and by sorbing toxic and inhibitory soil compounds - responses that have recently encouraged research on "biochar," or charcoal used as a soil amendment. Interest in biochar for use in the restoration of disturbed systems is growing; however, investigations of the effects of biochar on wild plants and trees are lacking. We present results from two experiments testing the influence of biochar on the growth and physiology of pioneers. In the first study, in a glasshouse, we examined the effects of maple biochar (10 and 20 t/ha) applied to a temperate managed forest soil on the ecophysiology of 13 herbaceous old-field species. In the second study, in field trials in Bangladesh (15 x 15 m plots), we examined the effects of acacia biochar (7.5 t/ha) on the growth of regenerating dipterocarp secondary forests. In both experiments, we measured changes in nutrient availability to help explain ecophysiological responses. Biochars enhanced the performance of early successional old-field pioneers: increasing aboveground biomass (37%), photosynthesis (17%), reproductive biomass (100%), and water use efficiency (44%), but with high species-specific variation that included negative responses. In tropical forests, biochars marginally improved the growth and recruitment of canopy dipterocarps and increased the photosynthetic performance and abundance of some, but not all, of the dominant understory species. In both experiments, growth enhancement was due to pulses of PO4-and K+ supplied by biochar in the short term; while null and negative responses were the result of nitrogen immobilization for species with high photosynthetic capacities. These results suggest that by providing a pulse of P and base cations, biochar can improve the restoration of disturbed landscapes by enhancing the physiological performance of

  18. Explaining plant-soil diversity in Alpine ecosystems: more than just time since ecosystem succession started

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane, Stuart; Baetz, Nico; Borgeaud, Laure; Verrecchia, Eric; Vittoz, Pascal

    2014-05-01

    Ecosystem succession in Alpine environments has been a focus of research for many decades. Following from the classic ideas of Jenny (1941, 1961), following perturbation, an ecosystem (flora, fauna and soil) should evolve as a function of time at a rate conditioned by external variables (relief, climate, geology). More recently, biogeomorphologists have focused upon the notion of co-evolution of geomorphic processes with ecosystems over very short through to very long (evolutionary) time-scales. Alpine environments have been a particular focus of models of co-evolution, as a means of understanding the rate of plant colonization of previously glaciated terrain. However, work in this field has tended to adopt an over simplified view of the relationship between perturbation and succession, including: how the landform and ecosystem itself conditions the impact of a perturbation to create a complex spatial impact; and how perturbations are not simply ecosystem destroyers but can be a significant source of ecosystem resources. What this means is that at the within landform scale, there may well be a complex and dynamic topographic and sedimentological template that co-evolves with the development of soil, flora and fauna. In this paper, we present and test conceptual models for such co-evolution for an Alpine alluvial fan and an Alpine piedmont braided river. We combine detailed floristic inventory with soil inventory, survey of edaphic variables above and below ground (e.g. vertical and lateral sedimentological structure, using electrical resistance tomography) and the analysis of historical aerial imagery. The floristic inventory shows the existence of a suite of distinct plant communities within each landform. Time since last perturbation is not a useful explanatory variable of the spatial distribution of these communities because: (1) perturbation impacts are spatially variable, as conditioned by the extent distribution of topographic, edaphic and ecological

  19. Calcium constrains plant control over forest ecosystem nitrogen cycling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groffman, Peter M; Fisk, Melany C

    2011-11-01

    Forest ecosystem nitrogen (N) cycling is a critical controller of the ability of forests to prevent the movement of reactive N to receiving waters and the atmosphere and to sequester elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). Here we show that calcium (Ca) constrains the ability of northern hardwood forest trees to control the availability and loss of nitrogen. We evaluated soil N-cycling response to Ca additions in the presence and absence of plants and observed that when plants were present, Ca additions "tightened" the ecosystem N cycle, with decreases in inorganic N levels, potential net N mineralization rates, microbial biomass N content, and denitrification potential. In the absence of plants, Ca additions induced marked increases in nitrification (the key process controlling ecosystem N losses) and inorganic N levels. The observed "tightening" of the N cycle when Ca was added in the presence of plants suggests that the capacity of forests to absorb elevated levels of atmospheric N and CO2 is fundamentally constrained by base cations, which have been depleted in many areas of the globe by acid rain and forest harvesting.

  20. 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.

  1. Litter drives ecosystem and plant community changes in cattail invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrer, Emily C; Goldberg, Deborah E

    2009-03-01

    Invaded systems are commonly associated with a change in ecosystem processes and a decline in native species diversity; however, many different causal pathways linking invasion, ecosystem change, and native species decline could produce this pattern. The initial driver of environmental change may be anthropogenic, or it may be the invader itself; and the mechanism behind native species decline may be the human-induced environmental change, competition from the invader, or invader-induced environmental change (non-trophic effects). We examined applicability of each of these alternate pathways in Great Lakes coastal marshes invaded by hybrid cattail (Typha x glauca). In a survey including transects in three marshes, we found that T. x glauca was associated with locally high soil nutrients, low light, and large amounts of litter, and that native diversity was highest in areas of shallow litter depth. We tested whether live T. x glauca plants or their litter induced changes in the environment and in diversity with a live plant and litter transplant experiment. After one year, Typha litter increased soil NH4+ and N mineralization twofold, lowered light levels, and decreased the abundance and diversity of native plants, while live Typha plants had no effect on the environment or on native plants. This suggests that T. x glauca, through its litter production, can cause the changes in ecosystem processes that we commonly attribute to anthropogenic nutrient loading and that T. x glauca does not displace native species through competition for resources, but rather affects them non-trophically through its litter. Moreover, because T. x glauca plants were taller when grown with their own litter, we suggest that this invader may produce positive feedbacks and change the environment in ways that benefit itself and may promote its own invasion.

  2. Engineering a plant community to deliver multiple ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storkey, Jonathan; Döring, Thomas; Baddeley, John; Collins, Rosemary; Roderick, Stephen; Jones, Hannah; Watson, Christine

    2015-06-01

    The sustainable delivery of multiple ecosystem services requires the management of functionally diverse biological communities. In an agricultural context, an emphasis on food production has often led to a loss of biodiversity to the detriment of other ecosystem services such as the maintenance of soil health and pest regulation. In scenarios where multiple species can be grown together, it may be possible to better balance environmental and agronomic services through the targeted selection of companion species. We used the case study of legume-based cover crops to engineer a plant community that delivered the optimal balance of six ecosystem services: early productivity, regrowth following mowing, weed suppression, support of invertebrates, soil fertility building (measured as yield of following crop), and conservation of nutrients in the soil. An experimental species pool of 12 cultivated legume species was screened for a range of functional traits and ecosystem services at five sites across a geographical gradient in the United Kingdom. All possible species combinations were then analyzed, using a process-based model of plant competition, to identify the community that delivered the best balance of services at each site. In our system, low to intermediate levels of species richness (one to four species) that exploited functional contrasts in growth habit and phenology were identified as being optimal. The optimal solution was determined largely by the number of species and functional diversity represented by the starting species pool, emphasizing the importance of the initial selection of species for the screening experiments. The approach of using relationships between functional traits and ecosystem services to design multifunctional biological communities has the potential to inform the design of agricultural systems that better balance agronomic and environmental services and meet the current objective of European agricultural policy to maintain viable food

  3. Wind Power Plant Voltage Stability Evaluation: Preprint

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Muljadi, E.; Zhang, Y. C.

    2014-09-01

    Voltage stability refers to the ability of a power system to maintain steady voltages at all buses in the system after being subjected to a disturbance from a given initial operating condition. Voltage stability depends on a power system's ability to maintain and/or restore equilibrium between load demand and supply. Instability that may result occurs in the form of a progressive fall or rise of voltages of some buses. Possible outcomes of voltage instability are the loss of load in an area or tripped transmission lines and other elements by their protective systems, which may lead to cascading outages. The loss of synchronism of some generators may result from these outages or from operating conditions that violate a synchronous generator's field current limit, or in the case of variable speed wind turbine generator, the current limits of power switches. This paper investigates the impact of wind power plants on power system voltage stability by using synchrophasor measurements.

  4. STABILITY OF ORGANIC MATER OF HAPLIC CHERNOZEM AND HAPLIC LUVISOL OF DIFFERENT ECOSYSTEMS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ERIKA TOBIAŠOVÁ

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available In this study, the changes in soil organic matter (SOM and the possibilities of their monitoring in a shorter period of time by means of carbon parameters were followed. The experiment includes four ecosystems (forest, meadow, urban, and agro-ecosystem on Haplic Chernozem (Močenok, Horná Kráľová, Trnava and Haplic Luvisol (Ludanice, Veľké Zálužie, Lovce of different localities. The objectives of this study were assessment of the differences in the stability of soil organic matter in different ecosystems and in soil types using labile forms of carbon and nitrogen, and also with dependence on particle size distribution. The highest contents of total organic carbon (TOC and labile carbon (CL were in a forest ecosystem, but in case of other ecosystems, the differences were determined only in the contents of CL. After forest ecosystem, the highest content of CL was in agro-ecosystem > meadow ecosystem > urban ecosystem. Based on parameter of lability of carbon (LC, the most labile carbon can be evaluated also in the forest ecosystem (0.209 > agro-ecosystem (0.178 > meadow ecosystem (0.119 and urban ecosystem (0.116. In the case of nitrogen, the differences were observed between the soils. Higher contents of NT and NL were recorded in Haplic Chernozen than in Haplic Luvisol. Contents of TOC (P < 0.05; r = -0.480, CNL (P < 0.05; r = -0.480, and NL (P < 0.01; r = -0.545 were in a negative correlation with the content of sand fraction. The values of studied parameters in meadow and urban ecosystems were relatively balanced, because in both cases, the vegetation cover were grass, pointing to a significant influence of vegetation on the parameters of SOM.

  5. Local loss and spatial homogenization of plant diversity reduce ecosystem multifunctionality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Experimental studies show that local plant species loss decreases ecosystem functioning and services, but it remains unclear how other changes in biodiversity, such as spatial homogenization, alter multiple processes (multifunctionality) in natural ecosystems. We present a global analysis of eight ...

  6. Bioecological principles of maintaining stability in mountain forest ecosystems of the Ukrainian Carpathians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. V. Parpan

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The forest cover of the Carpathians has been deeply transformed by productive activities over the past centuries. The forest cover, age and species structure of its ecosystems have been changed. Beech and fir forests were replaced by spruce monocultures. Consequently, nitrogen and mineral elements cycles changed, the genetic and population structures altered and the eco-stabilizing function of forests decreased. These negative trends make it desirable to process the bioecological principles of maintenance the stability of mountain forest ecosystems. The proposed bioecological principles of support and recovery of stability of forest ecosystems are part of the paradigm of mountain dendrology and silviculture. The strategy is based on maintaining bio-ecological and population-genetical features of the main forest forming species, evolutionary typological classification of the forests, landscape and environmental specifics of the mountain part of the Ukrainian Carpathians, features of virgin, old growth and anthropogenically disturbed forest structures, as well as performing the functional role of forest ecosystems. Support for landscape ecosystem stability involves the conservation, selective, health and gradual cutting, formation of forest stands which are close to natural conditions and focusing on natural regeneration (a basis for stable mountain forest ecosystems.

  7. Enhanced precipitation promotes decomposition and soil C stabilization in semiarid ecosystems, but seasonal timing of wetting matters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campos, Xochi; Germino, Matthew; de Graaff, Marie-Anne

    2017-01-01

    AimsChanging precipitation regimes in semiarid ecosystems will affect the balance of soil carbon (C) input and release, but the net effect on soil C storage is unclear. We asked how changes in the amount and timing of precipitation affect litter decomposition, and soil C stabilization in semiarid ecosystems.MethodsThe study took place at a long-term (18 years) ecohydrology experiment located in Idaho. Precipitation treatments consisted of a doubling of annual precipitation (+200 mm) added either in the cold-dormant season or in the growing season. Experimental plots were planted with big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), or with crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum). We quantified decomposition of sagebrush leaf litter, and we assessed organic soil C (SOC) in aggregates, and silt and clay fractions.ResultsWe found that: (1) increased precipitation applied in the growing season consistently enhanced decomposition rates relative to the ambient treatment, and (2) precipitation applied in the dormant season enhanced soil C stabilization.ConclusionsThese data indicate that prolonged increases in precipitation can promote soil C storage in semiarid ecosystems, but only if these increases happen at times of the year when conditions allow for precipitation to promote plant C inputs rates to soil.

  8. Ecosystem restoration: a systems approach to exotic plant control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karl D. Smith

    1998-01-01

    Ecosystem restoration is a systems approach because it relates to all of the thousands of interrelated and interacting systems within the ecosystem. Ecosystem restoration also changes your role in the forest from observer to participant. Some of the goals of ecosystem restoration are to improve the health, vigor, and diversity of the ecosystem--and these goals can and...

  9. Species dispersal rates alter diversity and ecosystem stability in pond metacommunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howeth, Jennifer G; Leibold, Mathew A

    2010-09-01

    Metacommunity theory suggests that relationships between diversity and ecosystem stability can be determined by the rate of species dispersal among local communities. The predicted relationships, however, may depend upon the relative strength of local environmental processes and disturbance. Here we evaluate the role of dispersal frequency and local predation perturbations in affecting patterns of diversity and stability in pond plankton metacommunities. Pond metacommunities were composed of three mesocosm communities: one of the three communities maintained constant "press" predation from a selective predator, bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus); the second community maintained "press" conditions without predation; and the third community experienced recurrent "pulsed" predation from bluegill sunfish. The triads of pond communities were connected at either no, low (0.7%/d), or high (20%/d) planktonic dispersal. Richness and composition of zooplankton and stability of plankton biomass and ecosystem productivity were measured at local and regional spatial scales. Dispersal significantly affected diversity such that local and regional biotas at the low dispersal rate maintained the greatest number of species. The unimodal local dispersal-diversity relationship was predator-dependent, however, as selective press predation excluded species regardless of dispersal. Further, there was no effect of dispersal on beta diversity because predation generated local conditions that selected for distinct community assemblages. Spatial and temporal ecosystem stability responded to dispersal frequency but not predation. Low dispersal destabilized the spatial stability of producer biomass but stabilized temporal ecosystem productivity. The results indicate that selective predation can prevent species augmentation from mass effects but has no apparent influence on stability. Dispersal rates, in contrast, can have significant effects on both species diversity and ecosystem

  10. Soil ecosystem functioning under climate change: plant species and community effects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kardol, Paul [ORNL; Cregger, Melissa [ORNL; Campany, Courtney E [ORNL; Classen, Aimee T [ORNL

    2010-01-01

    Feedbacks of terrestrial ecosystems to climate change depend on soil ecosystem dynamics. Soil ecosystems can directly and indirectly respond to climate change. For example, warming directly alters microbial communities by increasing their activity. Climate change may also alter plant community composition, thus indirectly altering the microbial communities that feed on their inputs. To better understand how climate change may directly and indirectly alter soil ecosystem functioning, we investigated old-field plant community and soil ecosystem responses to single and combined effects of elevated [CO2], warming, and water availability. Specifically, we collected soils at the plot level (plant community soils), and beneath dominant plant species (plant-specific soils). We used microbial enzyme activities and soil nematodes as indicators for soil ecosystem functioning. Our study resulted in two main findings: 1) Overall, while there were some interactions, water, relative to increases in [CO2] and warming, had the largest impact on plant community composition, soil enzyme activities, and soil nematodes. Multiple climate change factors can interact to shape ecosystems, but in this case, those interactions were largely driven by changes in water availability. 2) Indirect effects of climate change, via changes in plant communities, had a significant impact on soil ecosystem functioning and this impact was not obvious when looking at plant community soils. Climate change effects on enzyme activities and soil nematode abundance and community structure strongly differed between plant community soils and plant-specific soils, but also within plant-specific soils. In sum, these results indicate that accurate assessments of climate change impacts on soil ecosystem functioning require incorporating the concurrent changes in plant function and plant community composition. Climate change-induced shifts in plant community composition will likely modify or counteract the direct

  11. Are ecosystem services stabilized by differences among species? A test using crop pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winfree, Rachael; Kremen, Claire

    2009-01-22

    Biological diversity could enhance ecosystem service provision by increasing the mean level of services provided, and/or by providing more consistent (stable) services over space and time. Ecological theory predicts that when an ecosystem service is provided by many species, it will be stabilized against disturbance by a variety of 'stabilizing mechanisms.' However, few studies have investigated whether stabilizing mechanisms occur in real landscapes affected by human disturbance. We used two datasets on crop pollination by wild native bees to screen for and differentiate among three stabilizing mechanisms: density compensation (negative co-variance among species' abundances); response diversity (differential response to environmental variables among species); and cross-scale resilience (response to the same environmental variable at different scales by different species). In both datasets, we found response diversity and cross-scale resilience, but not density compensation. We conclude that stabilizing mechanisms may contribute to the stability of pollination services in our study areas, emphasizing the insurance value of seemingly 'redundant' species. Furthermore, the absence of density compensation that we found at the landscape scale contrasts with findings of previous small-scale experimental and modelling work, suggesting that we should not assume that density compensation will stabilize ecosystem services in real landscapes.

  12. Using life strategies to explore the vulnerability of ecosystem services to invasion by alien plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vicente, J.; Pinro, A.; Araujo, M.; Lomba, A.; Randin, C.; Guisan, A.; Honrado, J.; Verburg, P.H.

    2013-01-01

    Invasive plants can have different effects on ecosystem functioning and on the provision of ecosystem services, with the direction and magnitude of such effects depending on the service and ecosystem being considered, but also on the life strategies of the invaders. Strategies can influence

  13. The estimate of ecological risk for ground ecosystems in case of nuclear power plant failures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kremlenkov, D.Y.; Kremlenkov, M.Y.

    2003-01-01

    Full text: The stochastic nature of radiation damage generates a need of forecasting information about possible consequences for environment and people. In this article it is given the estimate of probable damage to forest-and agricultural ecosystems from radionuclide emergency pollution in case of nuclear plant failures (for early emergency period). This estimate is based on radio-ecological risk conception which provide with the application of radioactive substances distribution models in atmosphere, as were calculation of absorbent radiation dose in critical ecosystem groups-calculation of probable area of lost ecosystems has been done by using the program written in Pascal. The quantitative estimate of environmental loss has been conducted for diverse classes of atmospheric stability. The value of ecological dose range (ELD) to coniferous forest is 30 Gy, deciduous forest - 300 Gy, agricultural crop - 60 Gy. The value of minimum ecological dose range (MELD) for all ecosystems is 10 Gy. In dose spread from MELD to ELD the ecological damage is proportional to absorbed dose. The ecological damage to ground ecosystems caused by cesium-137 and strontium-90 emergency pollution is primarily depended on the scale of radionuclide emergency pollution as well as weather conditions and radio-stability of critical vegetal ecosystem groups. On the assumption of a dose spread from MELD to ELD, ecological risk defined in probable ecosystem's destruction area is estimated: for cesium-137 pollution about 2 % of coniferous forest and from 4 to 9 % of deciduous forest; for strontium-90 pollution from 2 to 4 % of agricultural crop. As the scale of cesium-137 emergency pollution rise from 10 4 to 10 5 Cu the probable damage determined in ecosystem's destruction area increase 12-19 times to coniferous forest ecosystem and 15-36 times to deciduous forest according to weather conditions. The probable damage to coniferous and deciduous forest rise 11-17 times in proportion as the scale

  14. Plutonium in a grassland ecosystem. [Rocky Flats Plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Little, C.A.

    1976-08-01

    A study was made of plutonium contamination of grassland at the Rocky Flats plant northwest of Denver, Colorado. Of interest were: the definition of major plutonium-containing ecosystem compartments; the relative amounts in those compartments; how those values related to studies done in other geographical areas; whether or not the predominant isotopes, /sup 238/Pu and /sup 239/Pu, behaved differently; and what mechanisms might have allowed for the observed patterns of contamination. Samples of soil, litter, vegetation, arthropods, and small mammals were collected for Pu analysis and mass determination from each of two macroplots. Small aliquots (5 g or less) were analyzed by a rapid liquid scintillation technique and by alpha spectrometry. Of the compartments sampled, greater than 99 percent of the total plutonium was contained in the soil and the concentrations were significantly inversely correlated with distance from the contamination source, depth of the sample, and particle size of the sieved soil samples. The soil data suggested that the distribution of contamination largely resulted from physical transport processes.

  15. The stability of ecosystems: A brief overview of the paradox of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    PRAKASH

    capacity; BioSystems doi: 10.1016/j.biosystems.2006.10.001. Roy S and Chattopadhyay J 2006b Enrichment and ecosystem stability: effect of toxic food; BioSystems, doi:10.1016/ j.biosystems.2006.07.009. Sterner R W and Elser J J 2002 Ecological stoichiometry: the biology of elements from molecules to the biosphere ...

  16. Do plant-based amendments improve soil physiochemical and microbiological properties and plant growth in dryland ecosystems?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kneller, Tayla; Harris, Richard; Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam

    2017-04-01

    Background Land intensive practices including mining have contributed to the degradation of landscapes globally. Current challenges in post-mine restoration revolve around the use of substrates poor in organic materials (e.g. overburden and waste rock) and lack of original topsoil which may result in poor seedling recruitment and in later stages in soil nutrient deficiency, metal toxicity, decreased microbial activity and high salinity (Bateman et al., 2016; Muñoz-Rojas et al., 2016). Despite continuous efforts and advances we have not proportionally advanced our capability to successfully restore these landscapes following mining. Recent attempts to improve plant establishment in arid zone restoration programs have included the application of plant based amendments to soil profiles. This approach usually aims to accelerate soil reconstruction via improvement of soil aggregate stability and increase of soil organic carbon, and water holding capacity. Whilst a significant amount of recent research has focused on the application of such amendments, studies on the potential application of plant based materials to recover soil functionality and re-establish plant communities in post-mined landscapes in arid regions are limited. Here we will discuss our work investigating the application of a plant based amendment on soil substrates commonly used in post mining restoration in the Pilbara region, Western Australia. Methodology The study was conducted in a glasshouse facility where environmental conditions were continuously monitored. Using two growth materials (topsoil and waste rock) and a plant based amendment (dry biomass of the most common grass in the Pilbara, Triodia wiseana) five different treatments were tested. Treatments consisted of control soil treatments (topsoil, waste and a mixture of the former soil types (mixture)) and two amended soil treatments (waste amended and mixture amended). Additionally, three different vegetation communities were studies

  17. Effects of snails, submerged plants and their coexistence on eutrophication in aquatic ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Mo Shuqing; Zhang Xiufeng; Tang Yali; Liu Zhengwen; Kettridge Nicholas

    2017-01-01

    Eutrophication resulting from nutrient loading to freshwater habitats is a severe problem, leading to degradation of ecosystems, including deterioration of water quality, water clarity and loss of biodiversity. Measures enacted to restore degraded freshwater ecosystems often involve the reintroduction of submerged plants and aquatic animals with beneficial ecological functions. In a mesocosm experiment, three treatments (planting with Vallisneria natans, introduction of the snail Bellamya aer...

  18. The Transfer and diffusion of Cesium 137 within forest ecosystem in Fukushima after the nuclear power plant accident

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Suzuki, Takahiro; Murakami, Masashi [Community Ecology Lab., Biology Course, Faculty of Science, Chiba University, Chiba, 263-8522 (Japan); Ishii, Nobuyoshi [National Institute of Radiological Sciences, Chiba, 263-8555 (Japan); Tanoi, Keitaro; Hirose, Atsushi; Ohte, Nobuhito [Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, 113-8657 (Japan)

    2014-07-01

    A large amount of radionuclides was released from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident after the disastrous earthquake and subsequent tsunami of March 2011. Among the variety of radionuclides released from FDNPP, cesium 137 ({sup 137}Cs) is the most worrying radionuclide in the environment, with a half-life of 30 years. Since most of the Japanese land area is covered by forest, the distribution and transportation of radioactive materials within forest ecosystems should be conscientiously monitored. In Europe, many studies reported that the {sup 137}Cs deposition caused by the Chernobyl accident has still been distributed in the litter and soil layers and has become a source for the soil-to-plant transfer. Most of these studies emphasize the 'stability' of {sup 137}Cs within forest ecosystems, because {sup 137}Cs are considered to be strongly and immediately fixed in clay minerals. Even though there are many studies of the soil-to-plant transfer of {sup 137}Cs in forest after several years of Chernobyl accident, very initial distribution and transfer of {sup 137}Cs in food web within one to two years after the deposition in forest ecosystems have never been examined. The evaluation of the initial dynamics of {sup 137}Cs in forest ecosystems should be quite important because of the increasing stability of {sup 137}Cs after the deposition. The accumulation and transfer of {sup 137}Cs through food web within forest ecosystems were examined by collecting various organisms at forests in Fukushima. The {sup 137}Cs concentrations, natural Cs and K concentrations, and delta {sup 15}N of the specimens were measured to evaluate the occurrence of bioaccumulation or bio-diffusion of {sup 137}Cs through tropic interaction within forest ecosystem. {sup 137}Cs was highly concentrated on leaf litters which had been deposited in autumn 2010, before the accident. This accumulated {sup 137}Cs had transferred to higher trophic organisms mainly through

  19. Soil stabilization linked to plant diversity and environmental context in coastal wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, Hilary; Garbutt, Angus; Ladd, Cai; Malarkey, Jonathan; Skov, Martin W

    2016-03-01

    Plants play a pivotal role in soil stabilization, with above-ground vegetation and roots combining to physically protect soil against erosion. It is possible that diverse plant communities boost root biomass, with knock-on positive effects for soil stability, but these relationships are yet to be disentangled. We hypothesize that soil erosion rates fall with increased plant species richness, and test explicitly how closely root biomass is associated with plant diversity. We tested this hypothesis in salt marsh grasslands, dynamic ecosystems with a key role in flood protection. Using step-wise regression, the influences of biotic (e.g. plant diversity) and abiotic variables on root biomass and soil stability were determined for salt marshes with two contrasting soil types: erosion-resistant clay (Essex, southeast UK) and erosion-prone sand (Morecambe Bay, northwest UK). A total of 132 (30-cm depth) cores of natural marsh were extracted and exposed to lateral erosion by water in a re-circulating flume. Soil erosion rates fell with increased plant species richness ( R 2  = 0.55), when richness was modelled as a single explanatory variable, but was more important in erosion-prone ( R 2  = 0.44) than erosion-resistant ( R 2  = 0.18) regions. As plant species richness increased from two to nine species·m -2 , the coefficient of variation in soil erosion rate decreased significantly ( R 2  = 0.92). Plant species richness was a significant predictor of root biomass ( R 2  = 0.22). Step-wise regression showed that five key variables accounted for 80% of variation in soil erosion rate across regions. Clay-silt fraction and soil carbon stock were linked to lower rates, contributing 24% and 31%, respectively, to variation in erosion rate. In regional analysis, abiotic factors declined in importance, with root biomass explaining 25% of variation. Plant diversity explained 12% of variation in the erosion-prone sandy region. Our study indicates that soil stabilization

  20. Modeling Hawaiian ecosystem degradation due to invasive plants under current and future climates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam E Vorsino

    Full Text Available Occupation of native ecosystems by invasive plant species alters their structure and/or function. In Hawaii, a subset of introduced plants is regarded as extremely harmful due to competitive ability, ecosystem modification, and biogeochemical habitat degradation. By controlling this subset of highly invasive ecosystem modifiers, conservation managers could significantly reduce native ecosystem degradation. To assess the invasibility of vulnerable native ecosystems, we selected a proxy subset of these invasive plants and developed robust ensemble species distribution models to define their respective potential distributions. The combinations of all species models using both binary and continuous habitat suitability projections resulted in estimates of species richness and diversity that were subsequently used to define an invasibility metric. The invasibility metric was defined from species distribution models with 0.8; True Skill Statistic >0.75 as evaluated per species. Invasibility was further projected onto a 2100 Hawaii regional climate change scenario to assess the change in potential habitat degradation. The distribution defined by the invasibility metric delineates areas of known and potential invasibility under current climate conditions and, when projected into the future, estimates potential reductions in native ecosystem extent due to climate-driven invasive incursion. We have provided the code used to develop these metrics to facilitate their wider use (Code S1. This work will help determine the vulnerability of native-dominated ecosystems to the combined threats of climate change and invasive species, and thus help prioritize ecosystem and species management actions.

  1. Modeling Hawaiian ecosystem degradation due to invasive plants under current and future climates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vorsino, Adam E.; Fortini, Lucas B.; Amidon, Fred A.; Miller, Stephen E.; Jacobi, James D.; Price, Jonathan P.; `Ohukani`ohi`a Gon, Sam; Koob, Gregory A.

    2014-01-01

    Occupation of native ecosystems by invasive plant species alters their structure and/or function. In Hawaii, a subset of introduced plants is regarded as extremely harmful due to competitive ability, ecosystem modification, and biogeochemical habitat degradation. By controlling this subset of highly invasive ecosystem modifiers, conservation managers could significantly reduce native ecosystem degradation. To assess the invasibility of vulnerable native ecosystems, we selected a proxy subset of these invasive plants and developed robust ensemble species distribution models to define their respective potential distributions. The combinations of all species models using both binary and continuous habitat suitability projections resulted in estimates of species richness and diversity that were subsequently used to define an invasibility metric. The invasibility metric was defined from species distribution models with 0.8; True Skill Statistic >0.75) as evaluated per species. Invasibility was further projected onto a 2100 Hawaii regional climate change scenario to assess the change in potential habitat degradation. The distribution defined by the invasibility metric delineates areas of known and potential invasibility under current climate conditions and, when projected into the future, estimates potential reductions in native ecosystem extent due to climate-driven invasive incursion. We have provided the code used to develop these metrics to facilitate their wider use (Code S1). This work will help determine the vulnerability of native-dominated ecosystems to the combined threats of climate change and invasive species, and thus help prioritize ecosystem and species management actions.

  2. Fractionation of Nitrogen Isotopes by Plants with Different Types of Mycorrhiza in Mountain Tundra Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buzin, Igor; Makarov, Mikhail; Maslov, Mikhail; Tiunov, Alexei

    2017-04-01

    We studied nitrogen concentration and nitrogen isotope composition in plants from four mountain tundra ecosystems in the Khibiny Mountains. The ecosystems consisted of a toposequence beginning with the shrub-lichen heath (SLH) on the ridge and upper slope, followed by the Betula nana dominated shrub heath (SH) on the middle slope, the cereal meadow (CM) on the lower slope and the sedge meadow (SM) at the bottom of the slope. The inorganic nitrogen concentration of the soils from the studied ecosystems were significantly different; the SLH soil was found to contain the minimum concentration of N-NH4+ and N-NO3- , while in the soils of the meadow ecosystems these concentrations were much higher. The concentration of nitrogen in leaves of the dominant plant species in all of the ecosystems is directly connected with the concentration of inorganic nitrogen in the soils, regardless of the plant's mycorrhizal symbiosis type. However, such a correlation is not apparent in the case of plant roots, especially for plant roots with ectomycorrhiza and ericoid mycorrhiza. The majority of plant species with these types of mycorrhiza in the SH and particularly in the CM were enriched in 15N in comparison with the SLH (such plants were not found within the SM). This could be due to several reasons: 1) the decreasing role of mycorrhiza in nitrogen consumption and therefore in the fractionation of isotopes in the relatively-N-enriched ecosystems; 2) the use of relatively-15N-enriched forms of nitrogen for plant nutrition in meadow ecosystems. This heavier nitrogen isotope composition in plant roots with ectomycorrhiza and ericoid mycorrhiza in ecosystems with available nitrogen enriched soils doesn't correspond to the classical idea of mycorrhiza decreasing participation in nitrogen plant nutrition. The analysis of the isotope composition of separate labile forms of nitrogen makes it possible to explain the phenomenon. Not all arbuscular mycorrhizal species within the sedge meadow

  3. Problem of a radiocapacity in a system soil-plant for bog ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kutlakhmedova-Vyshnyakova, V.

    1998-01-01

    The factors of the various components of a pasture bog ecosystem were evaluated on the example of the Volynsk area. Soil and water were found to contribute appreciably to the accumulation of radionuclides in plants in the bog ecosystem. Evaluation of the integral distribution of radionuclides ( 137 Cs) and the radiocapacity factors of the bog ecosystem components lead to F(soil) = 0.5, F(water) = 0.1, F(plants) = 0.25, and F(root) = 0.15. The radiocapacity factor determines the fraction of radionuclides from a general reserve concentrated in a particular component of the ecosystem. The higher values transfer factors of accumulation for plants in the bog ecosystem in comparison with terrestrial ecosystems (Tf 1.5-18) are noteworthy. Thus the contribution of soil to the formation Tf is from 60 % to 80 %, the remaining pathway in plants being from the water phase. This may be related with the high radiocapacity of soil in the bog ecosystem and (as a corollary) the rather small concentration of radionuclides in water in comparison with soil

  4. Allee effect: the story behind the stabilization or extinction of microbial ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goswami, Madhurankhi; Bhattacharyya, Purnita; Tribedi, Prosun

    2017-03-01

    A population exhibiting Allee effect shows a positive correlation between population fitness and population size or density. Allee effect decides the extinction or conservation of a microbial population and thus appears to be an important criterion in population ecology. The underlying factor of Allee effect that decides the stabilization and extinction of a particular population density is the threshold or the critical density of their abundance. According to Allee, microbial populations exhibit a definite, critical or threshold density, beyond which the population fitness of a particular population increases with the rise in population density and below it, the population fitness goes down with the decrease in population density. In particular, microbial population displays advantageous traits such as biofilm formation, expression of virulence genes, spore formation and many more only at a high population density. It has also been observed that microorganisms exhibiting a lower population density undergo complete extinction from the residual microbial ecosystem. In reference to Allee effect, decrease in population density or size introduces deleterious mutations among the population density through genetic drift. Mutations are carried forward to successive generations resulting in its accumulation among the population density thus reducing its microbial fitness and thereby increasing the risk of extinction of a particular microbial population. However, when the microbial load is high, the chance of genetic drift is less, and through the process of biofilm formation, the cooperation existing among the microbial population increases that increases the microbial fitness. Thus, the high microbial population through the formation of microbial biofilm stabilizes the ecosystem by increasing fitness. Taken together, microbial fitness shows positive correlation with the ecosystem conservation and negative correlation with ecosystem extinction.

  5. Beyond barriers: ecosystem functions of alien aquatic plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grutters, Bart M.C.

    2017-01-01

    Human impacts have become a dominant force in shaping Earth’s biosphere. One major consequence is the global reshuffling of species, both through intentional introductions, but also unintentional because human infrastructure benefits the movement of certain species. Consequently, ecosystems are

  6. Annual stability evaluation of Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-06-01

    A stability evaluation of the underground workings of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) was completed by the US Bureau of Mines' WIPP evaluation committee. This work included a critical evaluation of the processes employed at WIPP to ensure stability, an extensive review of available deformation measurements, a 3-day site visit, and interviews with the Department of Energy (DOE) and Westinghouse staff. General ground control processes are in place at WIPP to minimize the likelihood that major stability problems will go undetected. To increase confidence in both short- and long-term stability throughout the site (underground openings and shafts), ground stability monitoring systems, mine layout design, support systems and data analyses must be continuously improved. Such processes appear to be in place at WIPP and are discussed in this paper

  7. Simulation of the decomposition and nitrogen mineralization of aboveground plant material in two unfertilized grassland ecosystems.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bloemhof, H.S.; Berendse, F.

    1995-01-01

    A simple model of the decomposition and nitrogen mineralization of plant material from two unfertilized grassland ecosystems has been developed, with only the proportion of leaves and stems in the original material, the initial nitrogen contents of these plant parts and temperature as input data.

  8. CRITERIA OF THE ECOSYSTEM STABILITY IN THE NORTHERN REGION OF THE CASPIAN SEA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalia Mitina

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the work is to determine the criteria of the marine shallow-water ecosystem stability using the Northern region of the Caspian Sea as a case study. For each 260 reference points, we received data on 76 parameters, including physical-geographical, hydrochemical, and hydrobiological characteristics that have been analyzed by the method of principle components. The analyzes of these data allowed us to reveal and evaluate principal geoecological factors that influence the distribution of Acipenseridae in the Caspian Sea as a top level of the ecosystem’s trophic chain. The main geoecological factors and the factor of anthropogenic load of the Caspian Sea ecosystems’ stability have been determined.

  9. The potential of novel native plant materials for the restoration of novel ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T.A. Jones

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Extensive ecological change has been sustained by many dryland ecosystems throughout the world, resulting in conversion to so-called novel ecosystems. It is within such ecological contexts that native plant materials destined for ecological applications must be able to function. In the Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt. ssp. wyomingensis [Beetle & A.M. Young] S.L. Welsh ecosystems of the Intermountain West, for example, novel ecosystem structure and functioning are pervasive. Invasive species, particularly annual grasses, fuel repeated wildfires that drive previously stable ecosystem states across thresholds to less desirable states that are highly recalcitrant to restoration efforts. Structural changes include reductions of native flora, damage to biological soil crusts, and alterations to soil microbiota. Functional changes include altered hydrologic and nutrient cycling, leading to permanent losses of soil organic matter and nitrogen that favor the invaders. We argue that there is an important place in restoration for plant materials that are novel and/or non-local that have been developed to be more effective in the novel ecosystems for which they are intended, thus qualifying them as “ecologically appropriate.” Such plant materials may be considered as an alternative to natural/local “genetically appropriate” plant materials, which are sometimes deemed best adapted due to vetting by historical evolutionary processes.

  10. Ecosystem Fabrication (EcoFAB) Protocols for The Construction of Laboratory Ecosystems Designed to Study Plant-microbe Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Jian; Sasse, Joelle; Lewald, Kyle M; Zhalnina, Kateryna; Cornmesser, Lloyd T; Duncombe, Todd A; Yoshikuni, Yasuo; Vogel, John P; Firestone, Mary K; Northen, Trent R

    2018-04-10

    Beneficial plant-microbe interactions offer a sustainable biological solution with the potential to boost low-input food and bioenergy production. A better mechanistic understanding of these complex plant-microbe interactions will be crucial to improving plant production as well as performing basic ecological studies investigating plant-soil-microbe interactions. Here, a detailed description for ecosystem fabrication is presented, using widely available 3D printing technologies, to create controlled laboratory habitats (EcoFABs) for mechanistic studies of plant-microbe interactions within specific environmental conditions. Two sizes of EcoFABs are described that are suited for the investigation of microbial interactions with various plant species, including Arabidopsis thaliana, Brachypodium distachyon, and Panicum virgatum. These flow-through devices allow for controlled manipulation and sampling of root microbiomes, root chemistry as well as imaging of root morphology and microbial localization. This protocol includes the details for maintaining sterile conditions inside EcoFABs and mounting independent LED light systems onto EcoFABs. Detailed methods for addition of different forms of media, including soils, sand, and liquid growth media coupled to the characterization of these systems using imaging and metabolomics are described. Together, these systems enable dynamic and detailed investigation of plant and plant-microbial consortia including the manipulation of microbiome composition (including mutants), the monitoring of plant growth, root morphology, exudate composition, and microbial localization under controlled environmental conditions. We anticipate that these detailed protocols will serve as an important starting point for other researchers, ideally helping create standardized experimental systems for investigating plant-microbe interactions.

  11. Natural Ecosystem Surrounding a Conventional Banana Crop Improves Plant Health and Fruit Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florence P. Castelan

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Natural ecosystems near agricultural landscapes may provide rich environments for growing crops. However, the effect of a natural ecosystem on crop health and fruit quality is poorly understood. In the present study, it was investigated whether the presence of a natural ecosystem surrounding a crop area influences banana plant health and fruit postharvest behavior. Plants from two conventional banana crop areas with identical planting time and cultural practices were used; the only difference between banana crop areas is that one area was surrounded by a natural forest (Atlantic forest fragment (Near-NF, while the other area was inserted at the center of a conventional banana crop (Distant-NF. Results showed that bananas harvested from Near-NF showed higher greenlife and a more homogeneous profile during ripening compared to fruits harvested from Distant-NF. Differences in quality parameters including greenlife, carbohydrate profile, and pulp firmness between fruits harvested from Near-NF and Distant-NF are explained, at least partly, by differences in the balance of plant growth regulators (indole-3-acetic acid and abscisic acid in bananas during ripening. Furthermore, plants from Near-NF showed a lower severity index of black leaf streak disease (BLSD and higher levels of phenolic compounds in leaves compared to plants from Distant-NF. Together, the results provide additional evidence on how the maintenance of natural ecosystems near conventional crop areas could be a promising tool to improve plant health and fruit quality.

  12. Marine ecosystem analysis for wolsung nuclear power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, J.H.; Kim, Y.H.; Cho, T.J.

    1982-01-01

    Environmental surveys to provide base-line data for assessing the potential impact of the operation of Wolseong NPP on marine ecosystems were performed at 3-month intervals in 1981. Physico-chemical properties of seawater and gross beta activities in seawater and marine organisms were examined. The result shows that the ecosystems are non-polluted, typical of near-shore waters. The results of ecological surveys are summarized as follows: A total of 84 taxa of phytoplankton diatom were identified. Of the species, about 70 % are described as neritic species, and the major bloom occurred in September. The analysis of diversity indices shows that the community is very stable. The dominant species of zooplankton were protozoan Noctiluca scintillans and copepods. A total of 83 species of marine algae were identified. The algal community was more diverse in September-December than in March-July, and the dominant species were Chondria crassicaulis and Corallina pilulifera. Total algal production per unit area (0.25 m 2 ) was, on the average, 20 g-dry. The biomass of bacterial population was highest in December, and the result of multiple regression analysis indicates that the important environmental factors are nutrients, salinity and temperature. Primary productivities measured by Carbon-14 method were 1.11 mg C/m 3 /hr at 1 m depth, and 1.45 mg C/m 3 /hr at 6 m depth. As a whole the marine ecosystems adjacent Wolseong NPP site are thought to be stable. (author)

  13. Plant species and functional group combinations affect green roof ecosystem functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundholm, Jeremy; Macivor, J Scott; Macdougall, Zachary; Ranalli, Melissa

    2010-03-12

    Green roofs perform ecosystem services such as summer roof temperature reduction and stormwater capture that directly contribute to lower building energy use and potential economic savings. These services are in turn related to ecosystem functions performed by the vegetation layer such as radiation reflection and transpiration, but little work has examined the role of plant species composition and diversity in improving these functions. We used a replicated modular extensive (shallow growing- medium) green roof system planted with monocultures or mixtures containing one, three or five life-forms, to quantify two ecosystem services: summer roof cooling and water capture. We also measured the related ecosystem properties/processes of albedo, evapotranspiration, and the mean and temporal variability of aboveground biomass over four months. Mixtures containing three or five life-form groups, simultaneously optimized several green roof ecosystem functions, outperforming monocultures and single life-form groups, but there was much variation in performance depending on which life-forms were present in the three life-form mixtures. Some mixtures outperformed the best monocultures for water capture, evapotranspiration, and an index combining both water capture and temperature reductions. Combinations of tall forbs, grasses and succulents simultaneously optimized a range of ecosystem performance measures, thus the main benefit of including all three groups was not to maximize any single process but to perform a variety of functions well. Ecosystem services from green roofs can be improved by planting certain life-form groups in combination, directly contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. The strong performance by certain mixtures of life-forms, especially tall forbs, grasses and succulents, warrants further investigation into niche complementarity or facilitation as mechanisms governing biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships in green

  14. Radiocontamination patterns of vascular plants in a forest ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nimis, P.L.; Bolognini, G.; Giovani, C.

    1994-01-01

    This study is based on measurements of radiocesium and potassium-40 in leaves, stems and roots of 48 vascular plants in a natural beech forest in the Carnic Alps (NE Italy). The data have been submitted to numerical classification, and the main results are: (a) radiocontamination patterns and ecology of the species are well related, (b) three main groups of species with different radiocontamination can be distinguished: plants in clearings, forest plants rooting in the organic soil layer, forest plants rooting in the mineral layer; (c) radiocesium tends to be retained in the roots, especially in plants in the clearings; (d) Pteridophytes, contrary to all other plants, are able to discriminate between cesium and potassium at leaf level; (e) for all other species, cesium and potassium, once taken up by the plant, exhibit a similar behaviour; (f) total contamination by radiocesium is related to the depth of the root systems, and to the unequal distribution of radiocesium in the soil profile. Species-specific mechanisms of differential absorption are not evident in the investigated forest; the radiocontamination of plants can be easily explained in ecological terms. Radiocontamination on a water basis (Bq/l) is suggested as being much more appropriate for solving certain radioecological problems

  15. Wildland fire in ecosystems: fire and nonnative invasive plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristin Zouhar; Jane Kapler Smith; Steve Sutherland; Matthew L. Brooks

    2008-01-01

    This state-of-knowledge review of information on relationships between wildland fire and nonnative invasive plants can assist fire managers and other land managers concerned with prevention, detection, and eradication or control of nonnative invasive plants. The 16 chapters in this volume synthesize ecological and botanical principles regarding relationships between...

  16. Invasive exotic plant species in Sierra Nevada ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carla M. D' Antonio; Eric L. Berlow; Karen L. Haubensak

    2004-01-01

    The Sierra Nevada is a topographically and floristically diverse region of the western United States. While it comprises only a fifth of the total land area of California, half of the native plant species in the state occur within the range. In addition, more than 400 plant species are endemic to the Sierra Nevada and many of these are listed as threatened or have...

  17. Isolation and enzyme bioprospection of endophytic bacteria associated with plants of Brazilian mangrove ecosystem

    OpenAIRE

    Castro, Renata A; Quecine, Maria Carolina; Lacava, Paulo T; Batista, Bruna D; Luvizotto, Danice M; Marcon, Joelma; Ferreira, Anderson; Melo, Itamar S; Azevedo, João L

    2014-01-01

    The mangrove ecosystem is a coastal tropical biome located in the transition zone between land and sea that is characterized by periodic flooding, which confers unique and specific environmental conditions on this biome. In these ecosystems, the vegetation is dominated by a particular group of plant species that provide a unique environment harboring diverse groups of microorganisms, including the endophytic microorganisms that are the focus of this study. Because of their intimate associatio...

  18. Microbial Community Activity And Plant Biomass Are Insensitive To Passive Warming In A Semiarid Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinosa, N. J.; Fehmi, J. S.; Rasmussen, C.; Gallery, R. E.

    2017-12-01

    Soil microorganisms drive biogeochemical and nutrient cycling through the production of extracellular enzymes that facilitate organic matter decomposition and the flux of large amounts of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Although dryland ecosystems occupy over 40% of land cover and are projected to expand due to climate change, much of our current understanding of these processes comes from mesic temperate ecosystems. Understanding the responses of these globally predominant dryland ecosystems is therefore important yet complicated by co-occurring environmental changes. For example, the widespread and pervasive transition from grass to woody dominated landscapes is changing the hydrology, fire regimes, and carbon storage potential of semiarid ecosystems. In this study, we used a novel passive method of warming to conduct a warming experiment with added plant debris as either woodchip or biochar, to simulate different long-term carbon additions that accompany woody plant encroachment in semiarid ecosystems. The response of heterotrophic respiration, plant biomass, and microbial activity was monitored bi-annually. We hypothesized that the temperature manipulations would have direct and indirect effects on microbial activity. Warmer soils directly reduce the activity of soil extracellular enzymes through denaturation and dehydration of soil pores and indirectly through reducing microbe-available substrates and plant inputs. Overall, reduction in extracellular enzyme activity may reduce decomposition of coarse woody debris and potentially enhance soil carbon storage in semiarid ecosystems. For all seven hydrolytic enzymes examined as well as heterotrophic respiration, there was no consistent or significant response to experimental warming, regardless of seasonal climatic and soil moisture variation. The enzyme results observed here are consistent with the few other experimental results for warming in semiarid ecosystems and indicate that the controls over soil

  19. Stability of the slopes around nuclear power plants in earthquake

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ito, Hiroshi

    1983-01-01

    The evaluation of the stability of the slopes around the buildings of nuclear power plants is important especially with respect to earthquakes. In this connection, the behavior of a slope up to its destruction and the phenomena of the destruction have been examined in the case of an earthquake by both experiment and numerical analysis. The purpose is to obtain the data for the establishment of a method for evaluating the seismic stability of a slope and of the slope design standards. The following results are described: the behavior of a slope and its destruction characteristics in the slope destruction experiment simulating the seismic coefficient method; the vibration of a slope and its destruction characteristics in vibration destruction experiment; the validity of the method of numerical simulation analysis and of stability evaluation for the slope destruction and the vibration destruction experiments, and quantitative destruction mechanism; the comparison of the various stability evaluation methods and the evaluation of seismic forces. (Mori, K.)

  20. Redefining plant systems biology: from cell to ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keurentjes, J.J.B.; Angenent, G.C.; Dicke, M.; Martins Dos Santos, V.A.P.; Molenaar, J.; Van der Putten, W.H.; de Ruiter, P.C.; Struik, P.C.; Thomma, B.P.H.J.

    2011-01-01

    Molecular biologists typically restrict systems biology to cellular levels. By contrast, ecologists define biological systems as communities of interacting individuals at different trophic levels that process energy, nutrient and information flows. Modern plant breeding needs to increase

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

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

  2. Bioindicators of Plant and Animal Origin in an Ecosystem Evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Žák

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The study had a threefold scientific objective: to perform a botanical survey of the area under study, to identify all plant species grazed by the European hare (Lepus europaeus and to determine polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB presence in hares using the screening test. The study area is characterized by intensive agricultural operations around the town of Senice in the Olomouc region. During the botanical survey in the agrocoenosis in 2001 and 2002, the author identified 62 species of herbs and grasses and 8 woody species. Of that total, 19 herbal and grass species and 6 woody species were suitable for consumption by the European hare. To determine the PCB concentrations, samples of plants, and the liver and muscle tissue from the front and hind extremities of the European hare were collected. PCB concentrations ranged from 0.0004 to 0.0007 mg in plants and 0.0001 to 0.0005 mg in the liver and musculature of hares.

  3. Ecological Performances of Plant Species of Halophilous Hydromorphic Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Speranza

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Coastal wetlands are very special environments, characterized by soils permanently or seasonally saturated by salt or brackish water. They host microorganisms and plants able to adapt to anoxic conditions. This paper proposes a review of recent scientific papers dealing with the study of coastal wetlands from different points of view. Some studies examine the species composition and the pattern of the spatial distribution of plant communities, depending on the depth of the salt water table, as well as on other related factors. A significant number of studies analyse instead the coastal wetlands in their ability for the phytoremediation (phytostabilisation and/or phytoextraction and highlight the importance of interactions between the rhizosphere of the halophytes and the physical environment. Finally, more recent studies consider the plant species of the coastal wetlands as a source of useful products (food, feed, oils and expose the results of promising researches on their cultivation.

  4. Solar radiation uncorks the lignin bottleneck on plant litter decomposition in terrestrial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austin, A.; Ballare, C. L.; Méndez, M. S.

    2015-12-01

    Plant litter decomposition is an essential process in the first stages of carbon and nutrient turnover in terrestrial ecosystems, and together with soil microbial biomass, provide the principal inputs of carbon for the formation of soil organic matter. Photodegradation, the photochemical mineralization of organic matter, has been recently identified as a mechanism for previously unexplained high rates of litter mass loss in low rainfall ecosystems; however, the generality of this process as a control on carbon cycling in terrestrial ecosystems is not known, and the indirect effects of photodegradation on biotic stimulation of carbon turnover have been debated in recent studies. We demonstrate that in a wide range of plant species, previous exposure to solar radiation, and visible light in particular, enhanced subsequent biotic degradation of leaf litter. Moreover, we demonstrate that the mechanism for this enhancement involves increased accessibility for microbial enzymes to plant litter carbohydrates due to a reduction in lignin content. Photodegradation of plant litter reduces the structural and chemical bottleneck imposed by lignin in secondary cell walls. In litter from woody plant species, specific interactions with ultraviolet radiation obscured facilitative effects of solar radiation on biotic decomposition. The generalized positive effect of solar radiation exposure on subsequent microbial activity is mediated by increased accessibility to cell wall polysaccharides, which suggests that photodegradation is quantitatively important in determining rates of mass loss, nutrient release and the carbon balance in a broad range of terrestrial ecosystems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  6. Effects of snails, submerged plants and their coexistence on eutrophication in aquatic ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mo Shuqing

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Eutrophication resulting from nutrient loading to freshwater habitats is a severe problem, leading to degradation of ecosystems, including deterioration of water quality, water clarity and loss of biodiversity. Measures enacted to restore degraded freshwater ecosystems often involve the reintroduction of submerged plants and aquatic animals with beneficial ecological functions. In a mesocosm experiment, three treatments (planting with Vallisneria natans, introduction of the snail Bellamya aeruginosa and a combined treatment with both plants and snails were compared with controls to evaluate their effects on trophic state. The total nitrogen (TN, total phosphorus (TP and chlorophyll a (Chl a concentrations of planktonic and benthic algal samples were determined every two weeks, along with light intensity at the sediment surface. The plant-only treatment significantly reduced the TN levels and planktonic and benthic algal biomass and increased the light intensity at the sediment surface. The snail-only treatment reduced the concentrations of TN and reduced planktonic and benthic algal biomass. The combined treatment decreased the concentrations of TN and TP, reduced planktonic algal biomass and increased the light intensity on the sediment surface. The results indicate that while submerged plants and snails can both improve water quality, the most pronounced effect in aquatic ecosystems is achieved by their presence in combination. A combined reintroduction approach may provide enhanced benefits in restoring the eutrophic ecosystems, following the reduction of external nutrient loading.

  7. Rapid ecosystem shifts in peatlands: linking plant physiology and succession.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granath, Gustaf; Strengbom, Joachim; Rydin, Håkan

    2010-10-01

    Stratigraphic records from peatlands suggest that the shift from a rich fen (calcareous fen) to an ombrotrophic bog can occur rapidly. This shift constitutes a switch from a species-rich ecosystem to a species-poor one with greater carbon storage. In this process, the invasion and expansion of acidifying bog species of Sphagnum (peat mosses) play a key role. To test under what conditions an acidifying bog species could invade a rich fen, we conducted three experiments, contrasting the bog species S. fucsum with the rich-fen species S. warnstorfii and S. teres. We first tested the effect of calcareous water by growing the three species at different constant height above the water table (HWT; 2, 7, and 14 cm) in a rich-fen pool and measured maximum photosynthetic rate and production and difference in length growth as an indicator of competition. In none of the species was the photosynthetic capacity negatively affected when placed at low HWT, but S. fuscum was a weaker competitor at low HWT. In our second experiment we transplanted the three species into microhabitats with different and naturally varying HWT in a rich fen. Here, S. fuscum nearly ceased to photosynthesize when transplanted to low HWT (brown moss carpet), while it performed similarly to the two rich-fen species at the intermediate level (S. warnstorfii hummock level). In contrast to S. fuscum, the rich-fen sphagna performed equally well in both habitats. The brown moss carpet was seasonally flooded, and in our third experiment we found that S. fuscum, but not S. teres, was severely damaged when submerged in rich-fen water. Our results suggest two thresholds in HWT affecting the ecosystem switch: one level that reduces the risk of submergence and a higher one that makes bog sphagna competitive against the rich-fen species.

  8. A large-scale forest fragmentation experiment: the Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewers, Robert M.; Didham, Raphael K.; Fahrig, Lenore; Ferraz, Gonçalo; Hector, Andy; Holt, Robert D.; Kapos, Valerie; Reynolds, Glen; Sinun, Waidi; Snaddon, Jake L.; Turner, Edgar C.

    2011-01-01

    Opportunities to conduct large-scale field experiments are rare, but provide a unique opportunity to reveal the complex processes that operate within natural ecosystems. Here, we review the design of existing, large-scale forest fragmentation experiments. Based on this review, we develop a design for the Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems (SAFE) Project, a new forest fragmentation experiment to be located in the lowland tropical forests of Borneo (Sabah, Malaysia). The SAFE Project represents an advance on existing experiments in that it: (i) allows discrimination of the effects of landscape-level forest cover from patch-level processes; (ii) is designed to facilitate the unification of a wide range of data types on ecological patterns and processes that operate over a wide range of spatial scales; (iii) has greater replication than existing experiments; (iv) incorporates an experimental manipulation of riparian corridors; and (v) embeds the experimentally fragmented landscape within a wider gradient of land-use intensity than do existing projects. The SAFE Project represents an opportunity for ecologists across disciplines to participate in a large initiative designed to generate a broad understanding of the ecological impacts of tropical forest modification. PMID:22006969

  9. A large-scale forest fragmentation experiment: the Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewers, Robert M; Didham, Raphael K; Fahrig, Lenore; Ferraz, Gonçalo; Hector, Andy; Holt, Robert D; Kapos, Valerie; Reynolds, Glen; Sinun, Waidi; Snaddon, Jake L; Turner, Edgar C

    2011-11-27

    Opportunities to conduct large-scale field experiments are rare, but provide a unique opportunity to reveal the complex processes that operate within natural ecosystems. Here, we review the design of existing, large-scale forest fragmentation experiments. Based on this review, we develop a design for the Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems (SAFE) Project, a new forest fragmentation experiment to be located in the lowland tropical forests of Borneo (Sabah, Malaysia). The SAFE Project represents an advance on existing experiments in that it: (i) allows discrimination of the effects of landscape-level forest cover from patch-level processes; (ii) is designed to facilitate the unification of a wide range of data types on ecological patterns and processes that operate over a wide range of spatial scales; (iii) has greater replication than existing experiments; (iv) incorporates an experimental manipulation of riparian corridors; and (v) embeds the experimentally fragmented landscape within a wider gradient of land-use intensity than do existing projects. The SAFE Project represents an opportunity for ecologists across disciplines to participate in a large initiative designed to generate a broad understanding of the ecological impacts of tropical forest modification.

  10. Ecosystem Responses To Plant Phenology Across Scales And Trophic Levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoner, D.; Sexton, J. O.; Nagol, J. R.; Ironside, K.; Choate, D.; Longshore, K.; Edwards, T., Jr.

    2015-12-01

    Plant phenology in arid and semi-arid ecoregions is constrained by water availability and governs the life history characteristics of primary and secondary consumers. We related the behavior, demography, and distribution of mammalian herbivores and their principal predator to remotely sensed vegetation and climatological indices across the western United States for the period 2000-2014. Across scales, terrain and topographic position moderates the effects of climatological drought on primary productivity, resulting in differential susceptibility among plant functional types to water stress. At broad scales, herbivores tie parturition to moist sites during the period of maximum increase in local forage production. Consequently, juvenile mortality is highest in regions of extreme phenological variability. Although decoupled from primary production by one or more trophic levels, carnivore home range size and density is negatively correlated to plant productivity and growing season length. At the finest scales, predation influences the behavior of herbivore prey through compromised habitat selection, in which maternal females trade nutritional benefits of high plant biomass for reduced mortality risk associated with increased visibility. Climate projections for the western United States predict warming combined with shifts in the timing and form of precipitation. Our analyses suggest that these changes will propagate through trophic levels as increased phenological variability and shifts in plant distributions, larger consumer home ranges, altered migration behavior, and generally higher volatility in wildlife populations. Combined with expansion and intensification of human land use across the region, these changes will likely have economic implications stemming from increased human-wildlife conflict (e.g., crop damage, vehicle collisions) and changes in wildlife-related tourism.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  12. Defining groundwater-dependent ecosystems and assessing critical water needs for their foundational plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stella, J. C.

    2017-12-01

    In many water-limited regions, human water use in conjunction with increased climate variability threaten the sustainability of groundwater-dependent plant communities and the ecosystems that depend on them (GDEs). Identifying and delineating vulnerable GDEs and determining critical functional thresholds for their foundational species has proved challenging, but recent research across several disciplines shows great promise for reducing scientific uncertainty and increasing applicability to ecosystem and groundwater management. Combining interdisciplinary approaches provides insights into indicators that may serve as early indicators of ecosystem decline, or alternatively demonstrate lags in responses depending on scale or sensitivity, or that even may decouple over time (Fig. 1). At the plant scale, miniaturization of plant sap flow sensors and tensiometers allow for non-destructive, continual measurements of plant water status in response to environmental stressors. Novel applications of proven tree-ring and stable isotope methods provide multi-decadal chronologies of radial growth, physiological function (using d13C ratios) and source water use (using d18O ratios) in response to annual variation in climate and subsurface water availability to plant roots. At a landscape scale, integration of disparate geospatial data such as hyperspectral imagery and LiDAR, as well as novel spectral mixing analysis promote the development of novel water stress indices such as vegetation greenness and non-photosynthetic (i.e., dead) vegetation (Fig. 2), as well as change detection using time series (Fig. 3). Furthermore, increases in data resolution across numerous data types can increasingly differentiate individual plant species, including sensitive taxa that serve as early warning indicators of ecosystem impairment. Combining and cross-calibrating these approaches provide insight into the full range of GDE response to environmental change, including increased climate drought

  13. Analysis of the production stability of mixed grasslands. II. A mathematical framework for the quantification of production stability of grassland ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulte, R.P.O.

    2003-01-01

    The analysis of the intrinsic properties and processes of ecosystems, which regulate the production stability of mixed grasslands, has been complicated by the environmental noise caused by stochastic weather fluctuations. A mathematical framework is presented to deduct the actual, the extrinsic and

  14. Modeling the response of plants and ecosystems to elevated CO sub 2 and climate change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reynolds, J.F.; Hilbert, D.W.; Chen, Jia-lin; Harley, P.C.; Kemp, P.R.; Leadley, P.W.

    1992-03-01

    While the exact effects of elevated CO{sub 2} on global climate are unknown, there is a growing consensus among climate modelers that global temperature and precipitation will increase, but that these changes will be non-uniform over the Earth's surface. In addition to these potential climatic changes, CO{sub 2} also directly affects plants via photosynthesis, respiration, and stomatal closure. Global climate change, in concert with these direct effects of CO{sub 2} on plants, could have a significant impact on both natural and agricultural ecosystems. Society's ability to prepare for, and respond to, such changes depends largely on the ability of climate and ecosystem researchers to provide predictions of regional level ecosystem responses with sufficient confidence and adequate lead time.

  15. Modeling the response of plants and ecosystems to elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reynolds, J.F.; Hilbert, D.W.; Chen, Jia-lin; Harley, P.C.; Kemp, P.R.; Leadley, P.W.

    1992-03-01

    While the exact effects of elevated CO{sub 2} on global climate are unknown, there is a growing consensus among climate modelers that global temperature and precipitation will increase, but that these changes will be non-uniform over the Earth`s surface. In addition to these potential climatic changes, CO{sub 2} also directly affects plants via photosynthesis, respiration, and stomatal closure. Global climate change, in concert with these direct effects of CO{sub 2} on plants, could have a significant impact on both natural and agricultural ecosystems. Society`s ability to prepare for, and respond to, such changes depends largely on the ability of climate and ecosystem researchers to provide predictions of regional level ecosystem responses with sufficient confidence and adequate lead time.

  16. Trait- and density-mediated indirect interactions initiated by an exotic invasive plant autogenic ecosystem engineer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean E. Pearson

    2010-01-01

    Indirect interactions are important for structuring ecological systems. However, research on indirect effects has been heavily biased toward top-down trophic interactions, and less is known about other indirect-interaction pathways. As autogenic ecosystem engineers, plants can serve as initiators of nontrophic indirect interactions that, like top-down pathways, can...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bethany K. Schulz; Andrew N. Gray

    2013-01-01

    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...

  18. Exploring Third-Grade Student Model-Based Explanations about Plant Relationships within an Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zangori, Laura; Forbes, Cory T.

    2015-01-01

    Elementary students should have opportunities to develop scientific models to reason and build understanding about how and why plants depend on relationships within an ecosystem for growth and survival. However, scientific modeling practices are rarely included within elementary science learning environments and disciplinary content is often…

  19. NON-TARGET AND ECOSYSTEM IMPACTS FROM GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS CONTAINING PLANT INCORPORATED PROTECTANTS (PIPS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The risk of unintended and unexpected adverse impacts on non-target organisms and ecosystems is a key issue in environmental risk assessment of PIP crop plants. While there has been considerable examination of the effects of insect resistant crops on certain non-target organisms...

  20. The effect of atmospheric carbon dioxide elevation on plant growth in freshwater ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schippers, P.; Vermaat, J.; Klein, de J.J.M.; Mooij, W.M.

    2004-01-01

    The authors developed a dynamic model to investigate the effect of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) increase on plant growth in freshwater ecosystems. Steady-state simulations were performed to analyze the response of phytoplankton and submerged macrophytes to atmospheric CO2 elevation from 350 to

  1. The effect of atmospheric carbon dioxide elevation on plant growth in freshwater ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schippers, P.; Vermaat, J.E.; de Klein, J.; Mooij, W.M.

    2004-01-01

    We developed a dynamic model to investigate the effect of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) increase on plant growth in freshwater ecosystems. Steady-state simulations were performed to analyze the response of phytoplankton and submerged macrophytes to atmospheric CO2 elevation from 350 to 700 ppm.

  2. Predicting ecosystem functioning from plant traits: Results from a multi-scale ecophsiological modeling approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijk, van M.T.

    2007-01-01

    Ecosystem functioning is the result of processes working at a hierarchy of scales. The representation of these processes in a model that is mathematically tractable and ecologically meaningful is a big challenge. In this paper I describe an individual based model (PLACO¿PLAnt COmpetition) that

  3. Water and Nitrogen Limitations of Ecosystem Processes Across Three Dryland Plant Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beltz, C.; Lauenroth, W. K.; Burke, I. C.

    2017-12-01

    The availability of water and nitrogen (N) play a major role in controlling the distribution of ecosystem types and the rates of ecosystem processes across the globe. Both these resources are being altered by human activity. Anthropogenic fixation of N has increased inputs into the biosphere from 0.5 kg N ha-1 yr-1 to upwards of 10 kg N ha-1 yr-1, while the amount and seasonality of precipitation are expected to continue to change. Within dryland environments, the relationships between increasingly available N and ecosystem processes are especially complex due to dryland's characteristic strong limitation by low and highly variable precipitation. Other experiments have shown that this interplay between N and water can cause temporally complex co-limitation and spatially complex responses with variable effects on ecosystems, such as those to net primary productivity, soil respiration, and plant community composition. Research spanning multiple dryland plant communities is critical for generalizing findings to the 40% of the Earth's terrestrial surface covered in dryland ecosystems. Given IPCC projections in which both N availability and precipitation are altered, examining their interactive effect across multiple plant communities is critical to increasing our understanding of the limitations to ecosystem process in drylands. We are studying a gradient of three plant communities representing a C4 grassland (shortgrass steppe), a C3/C4 grassland (mixed grass prairie), and a shrub-dominated ecosystem with C3 and C4 grasses (sagebrush steppe). We added two levels of N (10 kg N ha-1 and 100 kg N ha-1) and increased summer monthly precipitation by 20%. Sites responded differently to treatments, with the scale of effect varying by treatment. The high-level nitrogen increased soil N availability and soil respiration, while decreasing soil carbon in the labile pool in the upper soil layers. These results will allow for better understanding of increased N in combination with

  4. Alien roadside species more easily invade alpine than lowland plant communities in a subarctic mountain ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonas J Lembrechts

    Full Text Available 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.

  5. 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.

  6. A global database of sap flow measurements (SAPFLUXNET) to link plant and ecosystem physiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poyatos, Rafael; Granda, Víctor; Flo, Víctor; Molowny-Horas, Roberto; Mencuccini, Maurizio; Oren, Ram; Katul, Gabriel; Mahecha, Miguel; Steppe, Kathy; Martínez-Vilalta, Jordi

    2017-04-01

    Regional and global networks of ecosystem CO2 and water flux monitoring have dramatically increased our understanding of ecosystem functioning in the last 20 years. More recently, analyses of ecosystem-level fluxes have successfully incorporated data streams at coarser (remote sensing) and finer (plant traits) organisational scales. However, there are few data sources that capture the diel to seasonal dynamics of whole-plant physiology and that can provide a link between organism- and ecosystem-level function. Sap flow measured in plant stems reveals the temporal patterns in plant water transport, as mediated by stomatal regulation and hydraulic architecture. The widespread use of thermometric methods of sap flow measurement since the 1990s has resulted in numerous data sets for hundreds of species and sites worldwide, but these data have remained fragmentary and generally unavailable for syntheses of regional to global scope. We are compiling the first global database of sub-daily sap flow measurements in individual plants (SAPFLUXNET), aimed at unravelling the environmental and biotic drivers of plant transpiration regulation globally. I will present the SAPFLUXNET data infrastructure and workflow, which is built upon flexible, open-source computing tools within the R environment (dedicated R packages and classes, interactive documents and apps with Rmarkdown and Shiny). Data collection started in mid-2016, we have already incorporated > 50 datasets representing > 40 species and > 350 individual plants, globally distributed, and the number of contributed data sets is increasing rapidly. I will provide a general overview of the distribution of available data sets according to climate, measurement method, species, functional groups and plant size attributes. In parallel to the sap flow data compilation, we have also collated published results from calibrations of sap flow methods, to provide a first quantification on the variability associated with different sap

  7. Soil stability and plant diversity in eco-engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  8. Can biomass responses to warming at plant to ecosystem levels be predicted by leaf-level responses?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, J.; Shao, J.; Zhou, X.; Yan, W.; Lu, M.

    2015-12-01

    Global warming has the profound impacts on terrestrial C processes from leaf to ecosystem scales, potentially feeding back to climate dynamics. Although numerous studies had investigated the effects of warming on C processes from leaf to plant and ecosystem levels, how leaf-level responses to warming scale up to biomass responses at plant, population, and community levels are largely unknown. In this study, we compiled a dataset from 468 papers at 300 experimental sites and synthesized the warming effects on leaf-level parameters, and plant, population and ecosystem biomass. Our results showed that responses of plant biomass to warming mainly resulted from the changed leaf area rather than the altered photosynthetic capacity. The response of ecosystem biomass to warming was weaker than those of leaf area and plant biomass. However, the scaling functions from responses of leaf area to plant biomass to warming were different in diverse forest types, but functions were similar in non-forested biomes. In addition, it is challenging to scale the biomass responses from plant up to ecosystem. These results indicated that leaf area might be the appropriate index for plant biomass response to warming, and the interspecific competition might hamper the scaling of the warming effects on plant and ecosystem levels, suggesting that the acclimation capacity of plant community should be incorporated into land surface models to improve the prediction of climate-C cycle feedback.

  9. Plant responses, climate pivot points, and trade-offs in water-limited ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munson, S. M.; Bunting, E.

    2017-12-01

    Ecosystem transitions and thresholds are conceptually well-defined and have become a framework to address vegetation response to climate change and land-use intensification, yet there are few approaches to define the environmental conditions which can lead to them. We demonstrate a novel climate pivot point approach using long-term monitoring data from a broad network of permanent plots, satellite imagery, and experimental treatments across the southwestern U.S. The climate pivot point identifies conditions that lead to decreased plant performance and serves as an early warning sign of increased vulnerability of crossing a threshold into an altered ecosystem state. Plant responses and climate pivot points aligned with the lifespan and structural characteristics of species, were modified by soil and landscape attributes of a site, and had non-linear dynamics in some cases. Species with strong increases in abundance when water was available were most susceptible to losses during water shortages, reinforcing plant energetic and physiological tradeoffs. Future research to uncover the heterogeneity of plant responses and climate pivot points at multiple scales can lead to greater understanding of shifts in ecosystem productivity and vulnerability to climate change.

  10. Invasion of a Legume Ecosystem Engineer in a Cold Biome Alters Plant Biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa M. S. Vetter

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Plant ecosystem engineers are widely used to combat land degradation. However, the ability of those plants to modulate limiting abiotic and biotic resources of other species can cause damage to ecosystems in which they become invasive. Here, we use Lupinus nootkatensis as example to estimate and project the hazardous potential of nitrogen fixing herbaceous plants in a sub-polar oceanic climate. L. nootkatensis was introduced to Iceland in the 1940s to address erosion problems and foster reforestation, but subsequently became a high-latitude invader. In a local field survey, we quantified the impact of L. nootkatensis invasion at three different cover levels (0, 10–50, and 51–100% upon native plant diversity, richness, and community composition of heath-, wood-, and grasslands using a pairwise comparison design and comparisons of means. Afterward, we scaled impacts up to the ecosystem and landscape level by relating occurrences of L. nootkatensis to environmental and human-mediated variables across Iceland using a species distribution model. Plant diversity was significantly deteriorated under high lupine cover levels of the heath- and woodland, but not in the grassland. Plant species richness of the most diverse habitat, the heathland, linearly decreased with lupine cover level. The abundance of small rosettes, cushion plants, orchids, and small woody long-lived plants of the heath declined with invader presence, while the abundance of late successional species and widespread nitrophilous ruderals in wood- and grasslands increased. Distribution modeling revealed 13.3% of Iceland’s land surface area to be suitable lupine habitat. Until 2061–2080, this area will more than double and expand significantly into the Central Highlands due to human mediation and increasingly favorable climatic conditions. Species-rich habitats showed a loss of plant species diversity and richness as well as a change in community composition even in low lupine

  11. Plant responses to precipitation in desert ecosystems: integrating functional types, pulses, thresholds, and delays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogle, Kiona; Reynolds, James F

    2004-10-01

    provide insight into how the timing, frequency, and magnitude of rainfall in deserts affect plants, plant communities, and ecosystems.

  12. Plant functional traits in relation to fire in crown-fire ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pausas, Juli G.; Bradstock, Ross A.; Keith, David A.; Keeley, Jon E.

    2004-01-01

    Disturbance is a dominant factor in many ecosystems, and the disturbance regime is likely to change over the next decades in response to land-use changes and global warming. We assume that predictions of vegetation dynamics can be made on the basis of a set of life-history traits that characterize the response of a species to disturbance. For crown-fire ecosystems, the main plant traits related to postfire persistence are the ability to resprout (persistence of individuals) and the ability to retain a persistent seed bank (persistence of populations). In this context, we asked (1) to what extent do different life-history traits co-occur with the ability to resprout and/or the ability to retain a persistent seed bank among differing ecosystems and (2) to what extent do combinations of fire-related traits (fire syndromes) change in a fire regime gradient? We explored these questions by reviewing the literature and analyzing databases compiled from different crown-fire ecosystems (mainly eastern Australia, California, and the Mediterranean basin). The review suggests that the pattern of correlation between the two basic postfire persistent traits and other plant traits varies between continents and ecosystems. From these results we predict, for instance, that not all resprouters respond in a similar way everywhere because the associated plant traits of resprouter species vary in different places. Thus, attempts to generalize predictions on the basis of the resprouting capacity may have limited power at a global scale. An example is presented for Australian heathlands. Considering the combination of persistence at individual (resprouting) and at population (seed bank) level, the predictive power at local scale was significantly increased.

  13. Predicting Plant-Accessible Water in the Critical Zone: Mountain Ecosystems in a Mediterranean Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klos, P. Z.; Goulden, M.; Riebe, C. S.; Tague, C.; O'Geen, A. T.; Flinchum, B. A.; Safeeq, M.; Conklin, M. H.; Hart, S. C.; Asefaw Berhe, A.; Hartsough, P. C.; Holbrook, S.; Bales, R. C.

    2017-12-01

    Enhanced understanding of subsurface water storage, and the below-ground architecture and processes that create it, will advance our ability to predict how the impacts of climate change - including drought, forest mortality, wildland fire, and strained water security - will take form in the decades to come. Previous research has examined the importance of plant-accessible water in soil, but in upland landscapes within Mediterranean climates the soil is often only the upper extent of subsurface water storage. We draw insights from both this previous research and a case study of the Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory to: define attributes of subsurface storage, review observed patterns in its distribution, highlight nested methods for its estimation across scales, and showcase the fundamental processes controlling its formation. We observe that forest ecosystems at our sites subsist on lasting plant-accessible stores of subsurface water during the summer dry period and during multi-year droughts. This indicates that trees in these forest ecosystems are rooted deeply in the weathered, highly porous saprolite, which reaches up to 10-20 m beneath the surface. This confirms the importance of large volumes of subsurface water in supporting ecosystem resistance to climate and landscape change across a range of spatiotemporal scales. This research enhances the ability to predict the extent of deep subsurface storage across landscapes; aiding in the advancement of both critical zone science and the management of natural resources emanating from similar mountain ecosystems worldwide.

  14. Potential ecosystem service delivery by endemic plants in New Zealand vineyards: successes and prospects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shields, Morgan W; Tompkins, Jean-Marie; Saville, David J; Meurk, Colin D; Wratten, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    Vineyards worldwide occupy over 7 million hectares and are typically virtual monocultures, with high and costly inputs of water and agro-chemicals. Understanding and enhancing ecosystem services can reduce inputs and their costs and help satisfy market demands for evidence of more sustainable practices. In this New Zealand work, low-growing, endemic plant species were evaluated for their potential benefits as Service Providing Units (SPUs) or Ecosystem Service Providers (ESPs). The services provided were weed suppression, conservation of beneficial invertebrates, soil moisture retention and microbial activity. The potential Ecosystem Dis-services (EDS) from the selected plant species by hosting the larvae of a key vine moth pest, the light-brown apple moth (Epiphyas postvittana), was also quantified. Questionnaires were used to evaluate winegrowers' perceptions of the value of and problems associated with such endemic plant species in their vineyards. Growth and survival rates of the 14 plant species, in eight families, were evaluated, with Leptinella dioica (Asteraceae) and Acaena inermis 'purpurea' (Rosaceae) having the highest growth rates in terms of area covered and the highest survival rate after 12 months. All 14 plant species suppressed weeds, with Leptinella squalida, Geranium sessiliforum (Geraniaceae), Hebe chathamica (Plantaginaceae), Scleranthus uniflorus (Caryophyllaceae) and L. dioica, each reducing weed cover by >95%. Plant species also differed in the diversity of arthropods that they supported, with the Shannon Wiener diversity index (H') for these taxa ranging from 0 to 1.3. G. sessiliforum and Muehlenbeckia axillaris (Polygonaceae) had the highest invertebrate diversity. Density of spiders was correlated with arthropod diversity and G. sessiliflorum and H. chathamica had the highest densities of these arthropods. Several plant species associated with higher soil moisture content than in control plots. The best performing species in this context

  15. Potential ecosystem service delivery by endemic plants in New Zealand vineyards: successes and prospects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morgan W. Shields

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Vineyards worldwide occupy over 7 million hectares and are typically virtual monocultures, with high and costly inputs of water and agro-chemicals. Understanding and enhancing ecosystem services can reduce inputs and their costs and help satisfy market demands for evidence of more sustainable practices. In this New Zealand work, low-growing, endemic plant species were evaluated for their potential benefits as Service Providing Units (SPUs or Ecosystem Service Providers (ESPs. The services provided were weed suppression, conservation of beneficial invertebrates, soil moisture retention and microbial activity. The potential Ecosystem Dis-services (EDS from the selected plant species by hosting the larvae of a key vine moth pest, the light-brown apple moth (Epiphyas postvittana, was also quantified. Questionnaires were used to evaluate winegrowers’ perceptions of the value of and problems associated with such endemic plant species in their vineyards. Growth and survival rates of the 14 plant species, in eight families, were evaluated, with Leptinella dioica (Asteraceae and Acaena inermis ‘purpurea’ (Rosaceae having the highest growth rates in terms of area covered and the highest survival rate after 12 months. All 14 plant species suppressed weeds, with Leptinella squalida, Geranium sessiliforum (Geraniaceae, Hebe chathamica (Plantaginaceae, Scleranthus uniflorus (Caryophyllaceae and L. dioica, each reducing weed cover by >95%. Plant species also differed in the diversity of arthropods that they supported, with the Shannon Wiener diversity index (H′ for these taxa ranging from 0 to 1.3. G. sessiliforum and Muehlenbeckia axillaris (Polygonaceae had the highest invertebrate diversity. Density of spiders was correlated with arthropod diversity and G. sessiliflorum and H. chathamica had the highest densities of these arthropods. Several plant species associated with higher soil moisture content than in control plots. The best performing species

  16. Radioecological monitoring of the Tom' river ecosystem within zone of nuclear fuel cycle plants influence

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leonova, G.A.; Bobrov, V.A.; Malikov, Yu.I.; Mel'gunov, M.S.; Makarova, I.V.; Toropov, A.V.

    2005-01-01

    According to the results of 2000-2002 expeditions the estimation of radioactive contamination scales in water ecosystems within zone of Siberian Chemical Industrial Complex (SCC) influence was performed. The accumulation levels of short-lived artificial radionuclides in biota components of SCC technological channel (Romashka river), and spatial radionuclide distribution in biota of ecosystem of the Tom' and Ob' rivers at different distances from the local source have been determined using biochemical indication method. The most frequently occurring species of plants, filamentous green algae and fish were selected as indicator bioobjects for the monitoring. In spectrum of radioisotopes revealed in water plants, fish and water of the Romashka river there were determined twelve short-living isotopes that denoted continuing river burial. (author)

  17. Leaf and life history traits predict plant growth in a green roof ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremy Lundholm

    Full Text Available Green roof ecosystems are constructed to provide services such as stormwater retention and urban temperature reductions. Green roofs with shallow growing media represent stressful conditions for plant survival, thus plants that survive and grow are important for maximizing economic and ecological benefits. While field trials are essential for selecting appropriate green roof plants, we wanted to determine whether plant leaf traits could predict changes in abundance (growth to provide a more general framework for plant selection. We quantified leaf traits and derived life-history traits (Grime's C-S-R strategies for 13 species used in a four-year green roof experiment involving five plant life forms. Changes in canopy density in monocultures and mixtures containing one to five life forms were determined and related to plant traits using multiple regression. We expected traits related to stress-tolerance would characterize the species that best grew in this relatively harsh setting. While all species survived to the end of the experiment, canopy species diversity in mixture treatments was usually much lower than originally planted. Most species grew slower in mixture compared to monoculture, suggesting that interspecific competition reduced canopy diversity. Species dominant in mixture treatments tended to be fast-growing ruderals and included both native and non-native species. Specific leaf area was a consistently strong predictor of final biomass and the change in abundance in both monoculture and mixture treatments. Some species in contrasting life-form groups showed compensatory dynamics, suggesting that life-form mixtures can maximize resilience of cover and biomass in the face of environmental fluctuations. This study confirms that plant traits can be used to predict growth performance in green roof ecosystems. While rapid canopy growth is desirable for green roofs, maintenance of species diversity may require engineering of conditions that

  18. Leaf and life history traits predict plant growth in a green roof ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundholm, Jeremy; Heim, Amy; Tran, Stephanie; Smith, Tyler

    2014-01-01

    Green roof ecosystems are constructed to provide services such as stormwater retention and urban temperature reductions. Green roofs with shallow growing media represent stressful conditions for plant survival, thus plants that survive and grow are important for maximizing economic and ecological benefits. While field trials are essential for selecting appropriate green roof plants, we wanted to determine whether plant leaf traits could predict changes in abundance (growth) to provide a more general framework for plant selection. We quantified leaf traits and derived life-history traits (Grime's C-S-R strategies) for 13 species used in a four-year green roof experiment involving five plant life forms. Changes in canopy density in monocultures and mixtures containing one to five life forms were determined and related to plant traits using multiple regression. We expected traits related to stress-tolerance would characterize the species that best grew in this relatively harsh setting. While all species survived to the end of the experiment, canopy species diversity in mixture treatments was usually much lower than originally planted. Most species grew slower in mixture compared to monoculture, suggesting that interspecific competition reduced canopy diversity. Species dominant in mixture treatments tended to be fast-growing ruderals and included both native and non-native species. Specific leaf area was a consistently strong predictor of final biomass and the change in abundance in both monoculture and mixture treatments. Some species in contrasting life-form groups showed compensatory dynamics, suggesting that life-form mixtures can maximize resilience of cover and biomass in the face of environmental fluctuations. This study confirms that plant traits can be used to predict growth performance in green roof ecosystems. While rapid canopy growth is desirable for green roofs, maintenance of species diversity may require engineering of conditions that favor less

  19. Forest and Chernobyl: forest ecosystems after the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident: 1986-1994

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ipatyev, V.; Bulavik, I.; Baginsky, V.; Goncharenko, G.; Dvornik, A.

    1999-01-01

    This paper reports basic features of radionuclide migration and the prediction of the radionuclide redistribution and accumulation by forest phytocoenoses after the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (CNPP) accident. The current ecological condition of forest ecosystems is evaluated and scientific aspects of forest management in the conditions of the large-scale radioactive contamination are discussed. (Copyright (c) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam. All rights reserved.)

  20. The arable plant ecosystem as battleground for emergence of human pathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leo eVan Overbeek

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Disease incidences related to Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica infections by consumption of (fresh vegetables, sprouts and occasionally fruits made clear that these pathogens are not only transmitted to humans via the ‘classical’ routes of meat, eggs and dairy products, but also can be transmitted to humans via plants or products derived from plants. Nowadays, it is of major concern that these human pathogens, especially the ones belonging to the taxonomical family of Enterobacteriaceae, become adapted to environmental habitats without losing their virulence to humans. Adaptation to the plant environment would lead to longer persistence in plants, increasing their chances on transmission to humans via consumption of plant-derived food. One of the mechanisms of adaptation to the plant environment in human pathogens, proposed in this paper, is horizontal transfer of genes from different microbial communities present in the arable ecosystem, like the ones originating from soil, animal digestive track systems (manure, water and plants themselves. Genes that would confer better adaptation to the phytosphere might be genes involved in plant colonization, stress resistance and nutrient acquisition and utilization. Because human pathogenic enterics often were prone to genetic exchanges via phages and conjugative plasmids, it was postulated that these genetic elements may be hold key responsible for horizontal gene transfers between human pathogens and indigenous microbes in agroproduction systems. In analogy to zoonosis, we coin the term phytonosis for a human pathogen that is transmitted via plants and not exclusively via animals.

  1. Declining plant nitrogen supply and carbon accumulation in ageing primary boreal forest ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Högberg, Mona N.; Yarwood, Stephanie A.; Trumbore, Susan; Högberg, Peter

    2016-04-01

    Boreal forest soils are commonly characterized by a low plant nitrogen (N) supply. A high tree below-ground allocation of carbon (C) to roots and soil microorganisms in response to the shortage of N may lead to high microbial immobilisation of N, thus aggravating the N limitation. We studied the N supply at a Swedish boreal forest ecosystem chronosequence created by new land rising out of the sea due to iso-static rebound. The youngest soils develop with meadows by the coast, followed by a zone of dinitrogen fixing alder trees, and primary boreal conifer forest on ground up to 560 years old. With increasing ecosystem age, the proportion of microbial C out of the total soil C pool from the youngest to the oldest coniferous ecosystem was constant (c. 1-1.5%), whereas immobilised N (microbial N out of total soil N) increased and approached the levels commonly observed in similar boreal coniferous forests (c. 6-7 %), whereas gross N mineralization declined. Simultaneously, plant foliar N % decreased and the natural abundance of N-15 in the soil increased. More specifically, the difference in N-15 between plant foliage and soil increased, which is related to greater retention of N-15 relative to N-14 by ectomycorrhizal fungi as N is taken up from the soil and some N is transferred to the plant host. In the conifer forest, where these changes were greatest, we found increased fungal biomass in the F- and H-horizons of the mor-layer, in which ectomycorrhizal fungi are known to dominate (the uppermost horizon with litter and moss is dominated by saprotrophic fungi). Hence, we propose that the decreasing N supply to the plants and the subsequent decline in plant production in ageing boreal forests is linked to high tree belowground C allocation to C limited ectomycorrhizal fungi (and other soil microorganisms), a strong sink for available soil N. Data on organic matter C-14 suggested that the largest input of recently fixed plant C occurred in the younger coniferous forest

  2. TRANSGENIC PLANTS: ENVIRONMENTAL PERSISTENCE AND EFFECTS ON SOIL AND PLANT ECOSYSTEMS

    Science.gov (United States)

    The genetic engineering of plants has facilitated the production of valuable agricultural and forestry crops. Transgenic plants have been created that have increased resistance to pests, herbicides, pathogens, and environmental stress, enhanced qualitative and quantitative trait...

  3. LAPUR5 BWR stability analysis in Kuosheng nuclear power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kunlung Wu; Chunkuan Shih; Wang, J.R.; Kao, L.S.

    2005-01-01

    characteristics. In this paper, related publications will be reviewed to enhance the understanding of parametric effects to the system stability. Subsequently, core stability analysis for the Kuosheng Nuclear Power Plant (BWR6) will be conducted, and then parallel verification against vendor's results will be performed also. We will summarize our efforts in using LAPUR5 methodologies for BWR6 core stability analysis and share our experiences among international communities. (authors)

  4. Modification of plant-induced responses by an insect ecosystem engineer influences the colonization behaviour of subsequent shelter-users

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Uesugi, Akane; Morrell, Kimberly; Poelman, Erik H.; Raaijmakers, Ciska E.; Kessler, André

    2016-01-01

    * Herbivores that modify plant morphology, such as gall-forming insects, can disproportionately impact arthropod community on their host plants by providing novel habitats and shelters from biotic and abiotic stresses. These ecosystem engineers could also modify plant chemical properties, but how

  5. Effect of sustainable land management practices on soil aggregation and stabilization of organic carbon in semiarid mediterranean ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Franco, Noelia; Albaladejo, Juan; Almagro, María; Wiesmeier, Martin; Martínez-Mena, María

    2016-04-01

    Arid and semiarid regions represent about 47% of the total land area of the world (UNEP, 1992). At present, there is a priority interest for carbon (C) sequestration in drylands. These areas are considered as very fragile ecosystems with low organic carbon (OC) saturation, and potentially, high capacity for soil OC sequestration. In addition, the restoration of these areas is one of the major challenges for scientists, who will be able to identify and recommended the best land uses and sustainable land management (SLM) practices for soil conservation and mitigation of climate change in these environments. In this regard, in semiarid Mediterranean ecosystems there is an urgent need for the implementation of SLM practices regardless of land-use type (forest, agricultural and shrubland) to maintain acceptable levels of soil organic matter (SOM) and the physico-chemical protection of the OC. Long- and short-term effects of SLM practices on soil aggregation and SOC stabilization were studied in two land uses. The long-term experiment was conducted in a reforestation area with Pinus halepensis Mill., where two afforestation techniques were implemented 20 years ago: a) mechanical terracing with a single application of organic waste of urban soil refuse, and b) mechanical terracing without organic amendment. An adjacent shrubland was considered as the reference plot. The short-term experiment was conducted in a rain-fed almond (Prunus dulcis Mill., var. Ferragnes) orchard where two SLM practices were introduced 4 years ago: a) reduced tillage plus green manure, and b) no tillage. Reduced tillage was considered as the reference plot given that it is the habitual management practice. Four aggregate size classes were differentiated by sieving (large and small macroaggregates, microaggregates, and the silt plus clay fraction), and the microaggregates occluded within small macroaggregates (SMm) were isolated. In addition, different organic C fractions corresponding with active

  6. Post-mortem ecosystem engineering by oysters creates habitat for a rare marsh plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Hongyu; Pennings, Steven C

    2012-11-01

    Oysters are ecosystem engineers in marine ecosystems, but the functions of oyster shell deposits in intertidal salt marshes are not well understood. The annual plant Suaeda linearis is associated with oyster shell deposits in Georgia salt marshes. We hypothesized that oyster shell deposits promoted the distribution of Suaeda linearis by engineering soil conditions unfavorable to dominant salt marsh plants of the region (the shrub Borrichia frutescens, the rush Juncus roemerianus, and the grass Spartina alterniflora). We tested this hypothesis using common garden pot experiments and field transplant experiments. Suaeda linearis thrived in Borrichia frutescens stands in the absence of neighbors, but was suppressed by Borrichia frutescens in the with-neighbor treatment, suggesting that Suaeda linearis was excluded from Borrichia frutescens stands by interspecific competition. Suaeda linearis plants all died in Juncus roemerianus and Spartina alterniflora stands, regardless of neighbor treatments, indicating that Suaeda linearis is excluded from these habitats by physical stress (likely water-logging). In contrast, Borrichia frutescens, Juncus roemerianus, and Spartina alterniflora all performed poorly in Suaeda linearis stands regardless of neighbor treatments, probably due to physical stresses such as low soil water content and low organic matter content. Thus, oyster shell deposits play an important ecosystem engineering role in influencing salt marsh plant communities by providing a unique niche for Suaeda linearis, which otherwise would be rare or absent in salt marshes in the southeastern US. Since the success of Suaeda linearis is linked to the success of oysters, efforts to protect and restore oyster reefs may also benefit salt marsh plant communities.

  7. The Limits of Acclimation of land plants in a Terrestrial Ecosystems Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kothavala, Zavareh

    2014-05-01

    In this study, we examine the role of the terrestrial carbon cycle and the ability of different plant types to acclimate to a changing climate at the centennial scale using a global ecosystems model with updated biogeochemical processes related to moisture, carbon, and nitrogen. Elevated level of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) increases CO2 fertilization, resulting in more CO2 uptake by vegetation, whereas the concomitant warming increases autotrophic and heterotrophic respiration, releasing CO2 to the atmosphere. Additionally, warming will enhance photosynthesis if current temperatures are below the optimal temperature for plant growth, while it will reduce photosynthesis if current temperatures are above the optimal temperature for plant growth. We present a series of ensemble simulations to evaluate the ability of plants to acclimate to changing conditions over the last century and how this affects the terrestrial carbon sink. A set of experiments related to (a) the varying relationship between CO2 fertilization and the half saturation constant, (b) the factors related to gross primary productivity and maintenance respiration, and (c) the variables related to heterotrophic respiration, were conducted with thirteen plant functional types. The experiments were performed using the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM) with a present-day vegetation distribution without the effects of natural or human disturbance, and a closed Nitrogen cycle, at a half-degree resolution over the globe. The experiment design consisted of eight scenarios that are consistent with past and future ecosystem conditions, presented in other scientific studies. The significance of model trends related to runoff, soil moisture, soil carbon, Net Primary Productivity (NPP), crop yield, and Net Ecosystem Productivity (NEP) for different seasons, as well as surface temperature, precipitation, vapor pressure, and photosynthetically active radiation are analyzed for various ecosystems at the global

  8. Woody-plant ecosystems under climate change and air pollution-response consistencies across zonobiomes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matyssek, R; Kozovits, A R; Wieser, G; King, J; Rennenberg, H

    2017-06-01

    Forests store the largest terrestrial pools of carbon (C), helping to stabilize the global climate system, yet are threatened by climate change (CC) and associated air pollution (AP, highlighting ozone (O3) and nitrogen oxides (NOx)). We adopt the perspective that CC-AP drivers and physiological impacts are universal, resulting in consistent stress responses of forest ecosystems across zonobiomes. Evidence supporting this viewpoint is presented from the literature on ecosystem gross/net primary productivity and water cycling. Responses to CC-AP are compared across evergreen/deciduous foliage types, discussing implications of nutrition and resource turnover at tree and ecosystem scales. The availability of data is extremely uneven across zonobiomes, yet unifying patterns of ecosystem response are discernable. Ecosystem warming results in trade-offs between respiration and biomass production, affecting high elevation forests more than in the lowland tropics and low-elevation temperate zone. Resilience to drought is modulated by tree size and species richness. Elevated O3 tends to counteract stimulation by elevated carbon dioxide (CO2). Biotic stress and genomic structure ultimately determine ecosystem responsiveness. Aggrading early- rather than mature late-successional communities respond to CO2 enhancement, whereas O3 affects North American and Eurasian tree species consistently under free-air fumigation. Insect herbivory is exacerbated by CC-AP in biome-specific ways. Rhizosphere responses reflect similar stand-level nutritional dynamics across zonobiomes, but are modulated by differences in tree-soil nutrient cycling between deciduous and evergreen systems, and natural versus anthropogenic nitrogen (N) oversupply. The hypothesis of consistency of forest responses to interacting CC-AP is supported by currently available data, establishing the precedent for a global network of long-term coordinated research sites across zonobiomes to simultaneously advance both

  9. Dual role of lignin in plant litter decomposition in terrestrial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austin, Amy T; Ballaré, Carlos L

    2010-03-09

    Plant litter decomposition is a critical step in the formation of soil organic matter, the mineralization of organic nutrients, and the carbon balance in terrestrial ecosystems. Biotic decomposition in mesic ecosystems is generally negatively correlated with the concentration of lignin, a group of complex aromatic polymers present in plant cell walls that is recalcitrant to enzymatic degradation and serves as a structural barrier impeding microbial access to labile carbon compounds. Although photochemical mineralization of carbon has recently been shown to be important in semiarid ecosystems, litter chemistry controls on photodegradative losses are not understood. We evaluated the importance of litter chemistry on photodegradation of grass litter and cellulose substrates with varying levels of lignin [cellulose-lignin (CL) substrates] under field conditions. Using wavelength-specific light attenuation filters, we found that light-driven mass loss was promoted by both UV and visible radiation. The spectral dependence of photodegradation correlated with the absorption spectrum of lignin but not of cellulose. Field incubations demonstrated that increasing lignin concentration reduced biotic decomposition, as expected, but linearly increased photodegradation. In addition, lignin content in CL substrates consistently decreased in photodegradative incubations. We conclude that lignin has a dual role affecting litter decomposition, depending on the dominant driver (biotic or abiotic) controlling carbon turnover. Under photodegradative conditions, lignin is preferentially degraded because it acts as an effective light-absorbing compound over a wide range of wavelengths. This mechanistic understanding of the role of lignin in plant litter decomposition will allow for more accurate predictions of carbon dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems.

  10. New challenges for the design of high value plant products: stabilization of anthocyanins in plant vacuoles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina ePasseri

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available In the last decade plant biotechnologists and breeders have made several attempt to improve the antioxidant content of plant-derived food. Most efforts concentrated on increasing the synthesis of antioxidants, in particular anthocyanins, by inducing the transcription of genes encoding the synthesizing enzymes. We present here an overview of economically interesting plant species, both food crops and ornamentals, in which anthocyanin content was improved by traditional breeding or transgenesis. Old genetic studies in petunia and more recent biochemical work in brunfelsia, have shown that after synthesis and compartmentalization in the vacuole, anthocyanins need to be stabilized to preserve the color of the plant tissue over time. The final yield of antioxidant molecules is the result of the balance between synthesis and degradation. Therefore the understanding of the mechanism that determine molecule stabilization in the vacuolar lumen is the next step that needs to be taken to further improve the anthocyanin content in food.In several species a phenomenon known as fading is responsible for the disappearance of pigmentation which in some case can be nearly complete. We discuss the present knowledge about the genetic and biochemical factors involved in pigment preservation/destabilization in plant cells.The improvement of our understanding of the fading process will supply new tools for both biotechnological approaches and marker-assisted breeding.

  11. Ecosystem engineers on plants: indirect facilitation of arthropod communities by leaf-rollers at different scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieira, Camila; Romero, Gustavo Q

    2013-07-01

    Ecosystem engineering is a process by which organisms change the distribution of resources and create new habitats for other species via non-trophic interactions. Leaf-rolling caterpillars can act as ecosystem engineers because they provide shelter to secondary users. In this study, we report the influence of leaf-rolling caterpillars on speciose tropical arthropod communities along both spatial scales (leaf-level and plant-level effects) and temporal scales (dry and rainy seasons). We predict that rolled leaves can amplify arthropod diversity at both the leaf and plant levels and that this effect is stronger in dry seasons, when arthropods are prone to desiccation. Our results show that the abundance, richness, and biomass of arthropods within several guilds increased up to 22-fold in naturally and artificially created leaf shelters relative to unaltered leaves. These effects were observed at similar magnitudes at both the leaf and plant scales. Variation in the shelter architecture (funnel, cylinders) did not influence arthropod parameters, as diversity, abundance, orbiomass, but rolled leaves had distinct species composition if compared with unaltered leaves. As expected, these arthropod parameters on the plants with rolled leaves were on average approximately twofold higher in the dry season. Empty leaf rolls and whole plants were rapidly recolonized by arthropods over time, implying a fast replacement of individuals; within 15-day intervals the rolls and plants reached a species saturation. This study is the first to examine the extended effects of engineering caterpillars as diversity amplifiers at different temporal and spatial scales. Because shelter-building caterpillars are ubiquitous organisms in tropical and temperate forests, they can be considered key structuring elements for arthropod communities on plants.

  12. Heavy metal pollution in aquatic ecosystems and its phytoremediation using wetland plants: An ecosustainable approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rai, P.K. [Mizoram Central University, Tanhril (India). School for Earth Science & Natural Resource Management

    2008-07-01

    This review addresses the global problem of heavy metal pollution originating from increased industrialization and urbanization and its amelioration by using wetland plants both in a microcosm as well as natural/field condition. This review mentions salient features of wetland ecosystems, their vegetation component, and the pros and cons involved in heavy metal removal. Wetland plants are preferred over other bio-agents due to their low cost, frequent abundance in aquatic ecosystems, and easy handling. Constructed wetlands proved to be effective for the abatement of heavy metal pollution from acid mine drainage; landfill leachate; thermal power; and municipal, agricultural, refinery, and chlor-alkali effluent. the physicochemical properties of wetlands provide many positive attributes for remediating heavy metals. Typha, Phragmites, Eichhornia, Azolla, Lemna, and other aquatic macrophytes are some of the potent wetland plants for heavy metal removal. Biomass disposal problem and seasonal growth of aquatic macrophytes are some limitations in the transfer of phytoremediation technology from the laboratory to the field. However, the disposed biomass of macrophytes may be used for various fruitful applications. An ecosustainable model has been developed through the author's various works, which may ameliorate some of the limitations. The creation of more areas for phytoremediation may also aid in wetlands conservation. Genetic engineering and biodiversity prospecting of endangered wetland plants are important future prospects in this regard.

  13. Environmental risk assessment for plant pests: a procedure to evaluate their impacts on ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilioli, G; Schrader, G; Baker, R H A; Ceglarska, E; Kertész, V K; Lövei, G; Navajas, M; Rossi, V; Tramontini, S; van Lenteren, J C

    2014-01-15

    The current methods to assess the environmental impacts of plant pests differ in their approaches and there is a lack of the standardized procedures necessary to provide accurate and consistent results, demonstrating the complexity of developing a commonly accepted scheme for this purpose. By including both the structural and functional components of the environment threatened by invasive alien species (IAS), in particular plant pests, we propose an environmental risk assessment scheme that addresses this complexity. Structural components are investigated by evaluating the impacts of the plant pest on genetic, species and landscape diversity. Functional components are evaluated by estimating how plant pests modify ecosystem services in order to determine the extent to which an IAS changes the functional traits that influence ecosystem services. A scenario study at a defined spatial and temporal resolution is then used to explore how an IAS, as an exogenous driving force, may trigger modifications in the target environment. The method presented here provides a standardized approach to generate comparable and reproducible results for environmental risk assessment as a component of Pest Risk Analysis. The method enables the assessment of overall environmental risk which integrates the impacts on different components of the environment and their probabilities of occurrence. The application of the proposed scheme is illustrated by evaluating the environmental impacts of the invasive citrus long-horn beetle, Anoplophora chinensis. © 2013.

  14. Plutonium Finishing Plant. Interim plutonium stabilization engineering study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sevigny, G.J.; Gallucci, R.H.; Garrett, S.M.K.; Geeting, J.G.H.; Goheen, R.S.; Molton, P.M.; Templeton, K.J.; Villegas, A.J. [Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (United States); Nass, R. [Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc. (United States)

    1995-08-01

    This report provides the results of an engineering study that evaluated the available technologies for stabilizing the plutonium stored at the Plutonium Finishing Plant located at the hanford Site in southeastern Washington. Further processing of the plutonium may be required to prepare the plutonium for interim (<50 years) storage. Specifically this document provides the current plutonium inventory and characterization, the initial screening process, and the process descriptions and flowsheets of the technologies that passed the initial screening. The conclusions and recommendations also are provided. The information contained in this report will be used to assist in the preparation of the environmental impact statement and to help decision makers determine which is the preferred technology to process the plutonium for interim storage.

  15. Plutonium Finishing Plant. Interim plutonium stabilization engineering study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sevigny, G.J.; Gallucci, R.H.; Garrett, S.M.K.; Geeting, J.G.H.; Goheen, R.S.; Molton, P.M.; Templeton, K.J.; Villegas, A.J.; Nass, R.

    1995-08-01

    This report provides the results of an engineering study that evaluated the available technologies for stabilizing the plutonium stored at the Plutonium Finishing Plant located at the hanford Site in southeastern Washington. Further processing of the plutonium may be required to prepare the plutonium for interim (<50 years) storage. Specifically this document provides the current plutonium inventory and characterization, the initial screening process, and the process descriptions and flowsheets of the technologies that passed the initial screening. The conclusions and recommendations also are provided. The information contained in this report will be used to assist in the preparation of the environmental impact statement and to help decision makers determine which is the preferred technology to process the plutonium for interim storage

  16. Isolation and enzyme bioprospection of endophytic bacteria associated with plants of Brazilian mangrove ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro, Renata A; Quecine, Maria Carolina; Lacava, Paulo T; Batista, Bruna D; Luvizotto, Danice M; Marcon, Joelma; Ferreira, Anderson; Melo, Itamar S; Azevedo, João L

    2014-01-01

    The mangrove ecosystem is a coastal tropical biome located in the transition zone between land and sea that is characterized by periodic flooding, which confers unique and specific environmental conditions on this biome. In these ecosystems, the vegetation is dominated by a particular group of plant species that provide a unique environment harboring diverse groups of microorganisms, including the endophytic microorganisms that are the focus of this study. Because of their intimate association with plants, endophytic microorganisms could be explored for biotechnologically significant products, such as enzymes, proteins, antibiotics and others. Here, we isolated endophytic microorganisms from two mangrove species, Rhizophora mangle and Avicennia nitida, that are found in streams in two mangrove systems in Bertioga and Cananéia, Brazil. Bacillus was the most frequently isolated genus, comprising 42% of the species isolated from Cananéia and 28% of the species from Bertioga. However, other common endophytic genera such as Pantoea, Curtobacterium and Enterobacter were also found. After identifying the isolates, the bacterial communities were evaluated for enzyme production. Protease activity was observed in 75% of the isolates, while endoglucanase activity occurred in 62% of the isolates. Bacillus showed the highest activity rates for amylase and esterase and endoglucanase. To our knowledge, this is the first reported diversity analysis performed on endophytic bacteria obtained from the branches of mangrove trees and the first overview of the specific enzymes produced by different bacterial genera. This work contributes to our knowledge of the microorganisms and enzymes present in mangrove ecosystems.

  17. 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.

  18. Stakeholder Perceptions of an Ecosystem Services Approach to Clearing Invasive Alien Plants on Private Land

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lauren S. Urgenson

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Incentivizing private landowners and other stakeholders is central to the effective conservation of ecosystem services in working landscapes. To better understand how to design effective incentives, the perceptions of landowners and other stakeholders are explored regarding a proposed approach to clearing invasive alien plants on private land in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. The public funded national program, Working for Water, conserves ecosystem services while employing and training people from marginalized sectors of society to clear these plants. Private landowner involvement is a key conservation challenge, because without adequate landowner involvement, invasive alien plants persist on the landscape and continuously reinvade cleared areas. We collected interview data from private landowners in three study sites, and web-survey data from conservation professionals and Working for Water managers, in order to compare stakeholder perceptions of (1 government and landowners' responsibilities for clearing invasive alien plants; (2 existing and proposed policy tools; and (3 the extent to which stakeholders consider the proposed financial incentive to be sufficient. There was significant consensus among stakeholders concerning their preference for shared landowner and government responsibility and for a policy mix that combines incentives with disincentives. Landowners from the three study sites differed in the level of responsibility they were willing to assume. Stakeholders also diverged in terms of their perceptions of the proposed financial incentives. Furthermore, the perspectives of landowners were strongly associated with ecological and social features of the landscapes in which they are located. Understanding stakeholders' points of view within their differing contexts is shown to be a valuable means of gaining insight into the opportunities and constraints that face ecosystem service conservation in working landscapes.

  19. Ecosystem-scale fluxes in seminatural Pyrenean grasslands: role of annual dynamics of plant functional types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altimir, Nuria; Ibañez, Mercedes; Elbers, Jan; Rota, Cristina; Arias, Claudia; Carrara, Arnaud; Nogues, Salvador; Sebastia, Maria-Teresa

    2013-04-01

    The net ecosystem exchange (NEE) and the annual C balance of a site are in general modulated by light, temperature and availability of water and other resources to the plants. In grasslands, NEE is expected to depend strongly on the vegetation with a relationship that can be summarized by the above-ground biomass, its amount and dynamics. Any factor controlling the amount of green biomass is expected to have a strong impact on the short-term NEE, such as amount of solar radiation, water availability and grazing pressure. These controls are modulated differently depending on the plant functional type enduring them. Furthermore, as different guilds follow different functional strategies for optimization of the resources, they also present different patterns of change in their capacities such as photosynthetic fixation, belowground C allocation, and C loss via respiration. We examined these relationships at several semi-natural pastures to determine how the seasonal distribution of plant functional types is detected in the short-term ecosystem exchange and what role it plays. We have looked into these patterns to determine the general variation of key processes and whether different temporal patterns arise between different guilds. The study sites are in the Pyrenees, on the mountain pastures of La Bertolina, Alinyà, and Castellar at 1300, 1700, 1900 m a.s.l. respectively. We performed ecosystem-scale flux measurements by means of micrometeorologial stations combined with a thorough description of the vegetation including below- and above-ground biomass and leaf area as well as monitoring of natural abundance of C isotopes, discriminated by plant functional types. We present here the results of the study.

  20. Development of concepts of plants activity, its ecological role and methods of its assessment in ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Savinov Alexander

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available When studying the species activity in the phytocoenoses, three methodological approaches are used: coenotipic, status and ergontic. The latter is proposed for the first time and based on the fact that the activity of plant organisms of a given species is considered as a set of interactions of these organisms with each other, with other organisms and abiotic components of ecosystems. This interaction essentially reflects the rate of accumulation and generation of substances, energy and information by plant organisms. To calculate the activity of the plant species in this aspect, the appropriate formulas were proposed. When comparing the coenotipic, status and ergontic approaches, it was stated that these approaches can complement each other.

  1. Externalities assessment of a coal power plant in the forest ecosystems in Valdecaballeros Area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laforga, P.; Planas, B.

    1995-01-01

    The book is divided in two parts. The first one analyzes the critical load and level concepts, and the methodological framework for Environmental Impact Statement (E.L.S.). In line with this, critical loads and levels represent the system vulnerability and excedances of critical values identify zones where impacts could occur. These are evaluated according to a set of criteria, talking into account present and future land use, their socio cultural interest, economic value of their natural resources and ecological quality of the whole system. In addition to Environment Impact Statement of air pollutants, the proposed formalism allows assessing the external cost of gaseous emission. The second part applies the developed ideas to a practical case: a hypothetical coal power plant on Valdecaballeros (Badajoz, Spain). Environmental impact on forestry ecosystems is studied on a 70 km radius area around the plant. The assessment of the external costs rely on yield losses associated with gaseous emission of the hypothetical plant. (Author) 100 refs

  2. Rapid top-down regulation of plant C:N:P stoichiometry by grasshoppers in an Inner Mongolia grassland ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Guangming; Han, Xingguo; Elser, James J

    2011-05-01

    Understanding how food web interactions alter the processing of limiting nutrient elements is an important goal of ecosystem ecology. An experiment manipulating densities of the grasshopper Oedaleus asiaticus was performed to assess top-down effects of grasshoppers on C:N:P stoichiometry of plants and soil in a grassland ecosystem in Inner Mongolia (China). With increased grasshopper feeding, plant biomass declined fourfold, litter abundance increased 30%, and the plant community became dominated by non-host plant taxa. Plant stoichiometric response depended on whether or not the plant was a grasshopper host food species: C:N and C:P ratios increased with increasing grasshopper density (GD) for host plants but decreased in non-host plants. These data suggest either a direct transfer of grasshopper-recycled nutrients from host to non-host plants or a release of non-host plants from nutrient competition with heavily grazed host plants. Litterfall C:N and C:P decreased across moderate levels of grasshopper density but no effects on C:N:P stoichiometry in the surface soil were observed, possibly due to the short experimental period. Our observations of divergent C:N:P stoichiometric response among plant species highlight the important role of grasshopper herbivory in regulating plant community structure and nutrient cycling in grassland ecosystems.

  3. Changes in ecosystem services associated with planting structures of cropland: A case study in Minle County in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yaqun; Song, Wei; Mu, Fengyun

    2017-12-01

    The cropland ecosystem provides essential direct and indirect products and services to mankind such as food, fiber, biodiversity and soil conservation. A change of crop planting structure can change the ecosystem services of cropland by affecting land use type. In recent years, under the influence of regional comparative advantage and consumer demand changes, the crop planting structure in China has changed rapidly. However, there is still a lack of deep understanding on the effect of such a change in planting structure on the ecosystem services of cropland. Therefore, this research selected Minle County in the Heihe River Basin, which has small scattered croplands and a complex planting structure, as a study area. Based on the key time phase and optimal threshold of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data of the Thematic Mapper and Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (TM/ETM+) images, this study used the decision tree algorithm to classify and extract the crop planting structure in Minle County in 2007 and 2012 and to analyze the changes in its temporal and spatial patterns. Then, the market value method was adopted to estimate the effect of the change in crop planting structure on the ecosystem services of the cropland. From 2007 to 2012, the planting area of corn and rapeseed in Minle County increased by 5.86 × 103 ha and 5.10 × 103 ha, respectively. Conversely, the planting area of wheat and barley was reduced by 3.26 × 103 ha and 6.34 × 103 ha, respectively. These changes directly caused the increase of the ecosystem services value of corn and rapeseed by 1062.82 × 104 USD and 842.54 × 104 USD, respectively. The resulting reduction in the ecosystem services value of wheat and barley was 488.24 × 104 USD and 828.29 × 104 USD, respectively. Besides, the total ecosystem services value of cropland increased by 1564.98 × 104 USD. Further analysis found that the change in the crop planting structure caused an increase in the ecosystem services

  4. Plant hydraulic controls over ecosystem responses to climate-enhanced disturbances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackay, D. S.; Ewers, B. E.; Reed, D. E.; Pendall, E.; McDowell, N. G.

    2012-12-01

    Climate-enhanced disturbances such as drought and insect infestation range in severity, contributing minor to severe stress to forests including forest mortality. While neither form of disturbance has been unambiguously implicated as a mechanism of mortality, both induce changes in water, carbon, and nutrient cycling that are key to understanding forest ecosystem response to, and recovery from, disturbance. Each disturbance type has different biophysical, ecohydrological, and biogeochemical signatures that potentially complicate interpretation and development of theory. Plant hydraulic function is arguably a unifying control over these responses to disturbance because it regulates stomatal conductance, leaf biochemistry, carbon (C) uptake and utilization, and nutrient cycling. We demonstrated this idea by focusing on water and C, including non-structural (NSC), resources, and nitrogen (N) uptake across a spectrum of forest ecosystems (e.g., northern temperate mixed forests, lodgepole pine forests in the Rocky Mountains, and pinon pine - juniper woodlands in New Mexico) using the Terrestrial Regional Ecosystem Exchange Simulator (TREES). TREES is grounded in the biophysics of water movement through soil and plants, respectively via hydraulic conductivity of the soil and cavitation of xylem. It combines this dynamic plant hydraulic conductance with canopy biochemical controls over photosynthesis, and the dynamics of structural and non-structural carbon through a carbon budget that responds to plant hydraulic status. As such, the model can be used to develop testable hypotheses on a multitude of disturbance and recovery responses including xylem dysfunction, stomatal and non-stomatal controls on photosynthesis and carbon allocation, respiration, and allocation to defense compounds. For each of the ecosystems we constrained and evaluated the model with allometry, sap flux and/or eddy covariance data, leaf gas exchange measurements, and vulnerability to cavitation data

  5. Heterogeneity of soil surface ammonium concentration and other characteristics, related to plant specific variability in a Mediterranean-type ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cruz, Cristina; Bio, Ana M.F.; Jullioti, Aldo; Tavares, Alice; Dias, Teresa; Martins-Loucao, Maria Amelia

    2008-01-01

    Heterogeneity and dynamics of eight soil surface characteristics essential for plants-ammonium and nitrate concentrations, water content, temperature, pH, organic matter, nitrification and ammonification rates-were studied in a Mediterranean-type ecosystem on four occasions over a year. Soil properties varied seasonally and were influenced by plant species. Nitrate and ammonium were present in the soil at similar concentrations throughout the year. The positive correlation between them at the time of greatest plant development indicates that ammonium is a readily available nitrogen source in Mediterranean-type ecosystems. The results presented here suggest that plant cover significantly affects soil surface characteristics. - In Mediterranean-type ecosystems ammonium is present in the soil throughout the year and its concentration is dependent on plant cover

  6. Net ecosystem production in a Little Ice Age moraine: the role of plant functional traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varolo, E.; Zanotelli, D.; Tagliavini, M.; Zerbe, S.; Montagnani, L.

    2015-07-01

    Current glacier retreat allows vast mountain ranges available for vegetation establishment and growth. Little is known about the effective carbon (C) budget of these new ecosystems and how the presence of different vegetation communities, characterized by their specific physiology and life forms influences C fluxes. In this study, using a comparative analysis of the C fluxes of two contrasting vegetation types, we intend to evaluate if the different physiologies of the main species have an effect on Ecosystem Respiration (Reco), Gross Primary Production (GPP), annual cumulated Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE), and long-term carbon accumulation in soil. The NEE of two plant communities present on a Little Ice Age moraine in the Matsch glacier forefield (Alps, Italy) was measured over two growing seasons. They are a typical C3 grassland, dominated by Festuca halleri All. and a community dominated by CAM rosettes Sempervivum montanum L. on rocky soils. Using transparent and opaque chambers, we extrapolated the ecophysiological responses to the main environmental drivers and performed the partition of NEE into Reco and GPP. Soil samples were collected from the same site to measure long-term C accumulation in the ecosystem. The two communities showed contrasting GPP but similar Reco patterns and as a result significantly different in NEE. The grassland acted mainly as a carbon sink with a total cumulated value of -46.4 ± 35.5 g C m-2 NEE while the plots dominated by the CAM rosettes acted as a source with 31.9 ± 22.4 g C m-2. In spite of the NEE being different in the two plant communities, soil analysis did not reveal significant differences in carbon accumulation. Grasslands showed 1.76 ± 0.12 kg C m-2, while CAM rosettes showed 2.06 ± 0.23 kg C m-2. This study demonstrates that carbon dynamics of two vegetation communities can be distinct even though the growing environment is similar. The physiological traits of the dominant species determine large differences in

  7. Environmental and community controls on plant canopy chemistry in a Mediterranean-type ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahlin, Kyla M; Asner, Gregory P; Field, Christopher B

    2013-04-23

    Understanding how and why plant communities vary across space has long been a goal of ecology, yet parsing the relative importance of different influences has remained a challenge. Species-specific models are not generalizable, whereas broad plant functional type models lack important detail. Here we consider plant trait patterns at the local scale and ask whether plant chemical traits are more closely linked to environmental gradients or to changes in species composition. We used the visible-to-shortwave infrared (VSWIR) spectrometer of the Carnegie Airborne Observatory to develop maps of four plant chemical traits--leaf nitrogen per mass, leaf carbon per mass, leaf water concentration, and canopy water content--across a diverse Mediterranean-type ecosystem (Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, CA). For all four traits, plant community alone was the strongest predictor of trait variation (explaining 46-61% of the heterogeneity), whereas environmental gradients accounted for just one fourth of the variation in the traits. This result emphasizes the critical role that species composition plays in mediating nutrient and carbon cycling within and among different communities. Environmental filtering and limits to similarity can act strongly, simultaneously, in a spatially heterogeneous environment, but the local-scale environmental gradients alone cannot account for the variation across this landscape.

  8. Linkages of plant stoichiometry to ecosystem production and carbon fluxes with increasing nitrogen inputs in an alpine steppe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Yunfeng; Li, Fei; Zhou, Guoying; Fang, Kai; Zhang, Dianye; Li, Changbin; Yang, Guibiao; Wang, Guanqin; Wang, Jun; Yang, Yuanhe

    2017-12-01

    Unprecedented levels of nitrogen (N) have entered terrestrial ecosystems over the past century, which substantially influences the carbon (C) exchange between the atmosphere and biosphere. Temperature and moisture are generally regarded as the major controllers over the N effects on ecosystem C uptake and release. N-phosphorous (P) stoichiometry regulates the growth and metabolisms of plants and soil organisms, thereby affecting many ecosystem C processes. However, it remains unclear how the N-induced shift in the plant N:P ratio affects ecosystem production and C fluxes and its relative importance. We conducted a field manipulative experiment with eight N addition levels in a Tibetan alpine steppe and assessed the influences of N on aboveground net primary production (ANPP), gross ecosystem productivity (GEP), ecosystem respiration (ER), and net ecosystem exchange (NEE); we used linear mixed-effects models to further determine the relative contributions of various factors to the N-induced changes in these parameters. Our results showed that the ANPP, GEP, ER, and NEE all exhibited nonlinear responses to increasing N additions. Further analysis demonstrated that the plant N:P ratio played a dominate role in shaping these C exchange processes. There was a positive relationship between the N-induced changes in ANPP (ΔANPP) and the plant N:P ratio (ΔN:P), whereas the ΔGEP, ΔER, and ΔNEE exhibited quadratic correlations with the ΔN:P. In contrast, soil temperature and moisture were only secondary predictors for the changes in ecosystem production and C fluxes along the N addition gradient. These findings highlight the importance of plant N:P ratio in regulating ecosystem C exchange, which is crucial for improving our understanding of C cycles under the scenarios of global N enrichment. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Analyses of plant biomarkers in modern ecosystems to improve vegetation reconstructions at hominid sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uno, K. T.; Boisserie, J. R.; Cerling, T. E.; Polissar, P. J.

    2017-12-01

    Reconstructing vegetation at hominid localities in eastern Africa remains a significant challenge for examining the role of climate and environment in human evolution. Plant wax biomarker approaches, particularly carbon isotopes of n-alkyl lipids, have been increasingly used to estimate the proportion of C3 and C4­ vegetation in past environments. Identifying new biomarkers indicative of vegetation type, specifically those that can be used to identify (C3) grasses prior to the late Miocene C4 expansion, will enable vegetation reconstructions during the first half of the Neogene, where much remains to be learned about hominid environments. Here, we begin to look beyond carbon isotopes from n-alkyl lipids by analyzing molecular distributions and screening for new plant biomarkers that can be used to identify plant functional types or possibly, more specific taxonomic information. We evaluate molecular distributions, carbon isotope ratios, and pentacyclic triterpenoid methyl esters (PTMEs) in modern soils from a wide range of ecosystems in Ethiopia and Kenya where vegetation types, fraction woody cover, and climatic conditions are known. Preliminary data suggest PTMEs are associated with grassy ecosystems but absent from forested ones. We also find that woody cover can be estimated using n-alkane molecular distributions. This non-isotopic approach to reconstructing woody cover opens the door to reconstructing Neogene vegetation provided the molecular distributions of C3 grasses in the past are similar to those of modern C4 grasses.

  10. Large scale afforestation projects mitigate degradation and increase the stability of the karst ecosystems in southwest China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yue, Y.; Tong, X.; Wang, K.; Fensholt, R.; Brandt, M.

    2017-12-01

    With the aim to combat desertification and improve the ecological environment, mega-engineering afforestation projects have been launched in the karst regions of southwest China around the turn of the new millennium. A positive impact of these projects on vegetation cover has been shown, however, it remains unclear if conservation efforts have been able to effectively restore ecosystem properties and reduce the sensitivity of the karst ecosystem to climate variations at large scales. Here we use passive microwave and optical satellite time series data combined with the ecosystem model LPJ-GUESS and show widespread increase in vegetation cover with a clear demarcation at the Chinese national border contrasting the conditions of neighboring countries. We apply a breakpoint detection to identify permanent changes in vegetation time series and assess the vegetation's sensitivity against climate before and after the breakpoints. A majority (74%) of the breakpoints were detected between 2001 and 2004 and are remarkably in line with the implementation and spatial extent of the Grain to Green project. We stratify the counties of the study area into four groups according to the extent of Grain to Green conservation areas and find distinct differences between the groups. Vegetation trends are similar prior to afforestation activities (1982-2000), but clearly diverge at a later stage, following the spatial extent of conservation areas. Moreover, vegetation cover dynamics were increasingly decoupled from climatic influence in areas of high conservation efforts. Whereas both vegetation resilience and resistance were considerably improved in areas with large conservation efforts thereby showing an increase in ecosystem stability, ongoing degradation and an amplified sensitivity to climate variability was found in areas with limited project implementation. Our study concludes that large scale conservation projects can regionally contribute to a greening Earth and are able to

  11. Regional signatures of plant response to drought and elevated temperature across a desert ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munson, Seth M.; Muldavin, Esteban H.; Belnap, Jayne; Peters, Debra P.C.; Anderson, John P.; Reiser, M. Hildegard; Gallo, Kirsten; Melgoza-Castillo, Alicia; Herrick, Jeffrey E.; Christiansen, Tim A.

    2013-01-01

    The performance of many desert plant species in North America may decline with the warmer and drier conditions predicted by climate change models, thereby accelerating land degradation and reducing ecosystem productivity. We paired repeat measurements of plant canopy cover with climate at multiple sites across the Chihuahuan Desert over the last century to determine which plant species and functional types may be the most sensitive to climate change. We found that the dominant perennial grass, Bouteloua eriopoda, and species richness had nonlinear responses to summer precipitation, decreasing more in dry summers than increasing with wet summers. Dominant shrub species responded differently to the seasonality of precipitation and drought, but winter precipitation best explained changes in the cover of woody vegetation in upland grasslands and may contribute to woody-plant encroachment that is widespread throughout the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Temperature explained additional variability of changes in cover of dominant and subdominant plant species. Using a novel empirically based approach we identified ‘‘climate pivot points’’ that were indicative of shifts from increasing to decreasing plant cover over a range of climatic conditions. Reductions in cover of annual and several perennial plant species, in addition to declines in species richness below the long-term summer precipitation mean across plant communities, indicate a decrease in the productivity for all but the most drought-tolerant perennial grasses and shrubs in the Chihuahuan Desert. Overall, our regional synthesis of long-term data provides a robust foundation for forecasting future shifts in the composition and structure of plant assemblages in the largest North American warm desert.

  12. Stochastic resonance and coherence resonance in groundwater-dependent plant ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borgogno, Fabio; D'Odorico, Paolo; Laio, Francesco; Ridolfi, Luca

    2012-01-21

    Several studies have shown that non-linear deterministic dynamical systems forced by external random components can give rise to unexpectedly regular temporal behaviors. Stochastic resonance and coherence resonance, the two best known processes of this type, have been studied in a number of physical and chemical systems. Here, we explore their possible occurrence in the dynamics of groundwater-dependent plant ecosystems. To this end, we develop two eco-hydrological models, which allow us to demonstrate that stochastic and coherence resonance may emerge in the dynamics of phreatophyte vegetation, depending on their deterministic properties and the intensity of external stochastic drivers. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Fate of 2,4-D Residues in Turkish Soil-Plant Ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Önal, Q.; Gözek, K.

    1981-01-01

    Full text: 2,4-D is the most frequently used herbicide in Turkish agriculture especially in Middle Anatolia. Studies on the behaviour of 2,4-D in the soil-plant ecosystem is being carried out under laboratory and field conditions. Some preliminary results are reported. After four weeks, recovery of radioactivity in carbon dioxide, aceton extract and bound residue was averaged for various soils: 20%, 15% and 48%, respectively. Barley, wheat and oat grown for four weeks on 2,4-D contaminated soil, contained from 0,6 up to 8% of the radioactivity applied. (author)

  14. Analysis of chemical factors affecting marine ecosystem around nuclear power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chun, Kwan Sik; Choi, Yoon Dong; Chun, Ki Jeong; Kim, Jin Kyu; Jung, Kyeong Chai; Lee, Yeong Keun; Park, Hyo Kook

    1994-06-01

    The ecological data of the coastal area of Youngkwang nuclear power plant from 1987 to 1993 were comprehensively analyzed, and various physical and chemical properties of sea water and sediments were measured. Major factors affecting phytoplankton standing crops were suspended substances, nitrate, and silicate. The contents of iron, chromium, copper, and sulfur in sediments sampled from the discharge channel were slightly higher than those in the other areas. In order to qantify the chemical impacts on marine ecosystem, it is desirable that a systematic survey be made through the whole year cycle to assure the consistency and confidence of the related data. (Author)

  15. Asynchrony among local communities stabilises ecosystem function of metacommunities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wilcox, Kevin R.; Tredennick, Andrew T.; Koerner, Sally E.

    2017-01-01

    Temporal stability of ecosystem functioning increases the predictability and reliability of ecosystem services, and understanding the drivers of stability across spatial scales is important for land management and policy decisions. We used species-level abundance data from 62 plant communities...

  16. Sustainable utilization and conservation of plant biodiversity in montane ecosystems: the western Himalayas as a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Shujaul Mulk; Page, Sue E; Ahmad, Habib; Harper, David M

    2013-08-01

    Conservation of the unique biodiversity of mountain ecosystems needs trans-disciplinary approaches to succeed in a crowded colloquial world. Geographers, conservationists, ecologists and social scientists have, in the past, had the same conservation goals but have tended to work independently. In this review, the need to integrate different conservation criteria and methodologies is discussed. New criteria are offered for prioritizing species and habitats for conservation in montane ecosystems that combine both ecological and social data. Ecological attributes of plant species, analysed through robust community statistical packages, provide unbiased classifications of species assemblages and environmental biodiversity gradients and yield importance value indices (IVIs). Surveys of local communities' utilization of the vegetation provides use values (UVs). This review suggests a new means of assessing anthropogenic pressure on plant biodiversity at both species and community levels by integrating IVI and UV data sets in a combined analysis. Mountain ecosystems are hot spots for plant conservation efforts because they hold a high overall plant diversity as communities replace each other along altitudinal and climatic gradients, including a high proportion of endemic species. This review contributes an enhanced understanding of (1) plant diversity in mountain ecosystems with special reference to the western Himalayas; (2) ethnobotanical and ecosystem service values of mountain vegetation within the context of anthropogenic impacts; and (3) local and regional plant conservation strategies and priorities.

  17. Microbial community dynamics and transformation of vascular plant detritus in two wetland ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moran, M.A.

    1987-01-01

    The microbial ecology of two wetland ecosystems in southeastern Georgia, USA, was studied with respect to microbial community dynamics and microbially-mediated transformations of vascular plant detritus. In the Okefenokee Swamp, biomass of microorganisms in the water column and sediments was generally lower in winter months and higher during spring and summer. Biomass and activity (measured as 14 C-lignocellulose mineralization) differed significantly among five habitats within the Okefenokee, and also among locations within each habitat. Significant heterogeneity in the structure of Okefenokee microbial communities was found at scales from 30 cm to 150 m. In field and laboratory studies of vascular plant decomposition in the Okefenokee and a salt marsh on Sapelo Island, the mathematical model which best describes decomposition kinetics is the decaying coefficient model

  18. Uncovering stability mechanisms in microbial ecosystems - combining microcosm experiments, computational modelling and ecological theory in a multidisciplinary approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worrich, Anja; König, Sara; Banitz, Thomas; Centler, Florian; Frank, Karin; Kästner, Matthias; Miltner, Anja; Thullner, Martin; Wick, Lukas

    2015-04-01

    Although bacterial degraders in soil are commonly exposed to fluctuating environmental conditions, the functional performance of the biodegradation processes can often be maintained by resistance and resilience mechanisms. However, there is still a gap in the mechanistic understanding of key factors contributing to the stability of such an ecosystem service. Therefore we developed an integrated approach combining microcosm experiments, simulation models and ecological theory to directly make use of the strengths of these disciplines. In a continuous interplay process, data, hypotheses, and central questions are exchanged between disciplines to initiate new experiments and models to ultimately identify buffer mechanisms and factors providing functional stability. We focus on drying and rewetting-cycles in soil ecosystems, which are a major abiotic driver for bacterial activity. Functional recovery of the system was found to depend on different spatial processes in the computational model. In particular, bacterial motility is a prerequisite for biodegradation if either bacteria or substrate are heterogeneously distributed. Hence, laboratory experiments focussing on bacterial dispersal processes were conducted and confirmed this finding also for functional resistance. Obtained results will be incorporated into the model in the next step. Overall, the combination of computational modelling and laboratory experiments identified spatial processes as the main driving force for functional stability in the considered system, and has proved a powerful methodological approach.

  19. Drivers of plant species composition in siliceous spring ecosystems: groundwater chemistry, catchment traits or spatial factors?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carl BEIERKUHNLEIN

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Spring water reflects the hydrochemistry of the aquifer in the associated catchments. On dense siliceous bedrock, the nearsurface groundwater flow is expected to be closely related to the biogeochemical processes of forest ecosystems, where the impact of land use is also low. We hypothesize that the plant species composition of springs mainly reflects hydrochemical conditions. Therefore, springs may serve as indicator systems for biogeochemical processes in complex forest ecosystems. To test this hypothesis, we investigate the influence of spring water chemical properties, catchment traits, and spatial position on plant species composition for 73 springs in forested catchments in central Germany, using non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS, Mantel tests, and path analyses. Partial Mantel tests and path analyses reveal that vegetation is more greatly influenced by spring water chemistry than by catchment traits. Consequently, the catchment's influence on vegetation is effective in an indirect way, via spring water. When considering spatial aspects (in particular altitude in addition, the explanatory power of catchment traits for spring water properties is reduced almost to zero. As vegetation shows the highest correlation with the acidity gradient, we assume that altitude acts as a sum parameter that incorporates various acidifying processes in the catchment. These processes are particularly related to altitude – through bedrock, climatic parameters and forest vegetation. The species composition of undisturbed springs is very sensitive in reflecting such conditions and may serve as an integrative tool for detecting complex ecological processes.

  20. Synergistic linkage between remote sensing and biophysical models for estimating plant ecophysiological and ecosystem processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Inoue, Y.; Olioso, A.

    2004-01-01

    Abstract Information on the ecological and physiological status of crops is essential for growth diagnostics and yield prediction. Within-field or between-field spatial information is required, especially with the recent trend toward precision agriculture, which seeks the efficient use of agrochemicals, water, and energy. The study of carbon and nitrogen cycles as well as environmental management on local and regional scales requires assessment of the spatial variability of biophysical and ecophysiological variables, scaling up of which is also needed for scientific and decision-making purposes. Remote sensing has great potential for these applications because it enables wide-area non-destructive, and real-time acquisition of information about ecophysiological conditions of vegetation. With recent advances in sensor technology, a variety of electromagnetic signatures, such as hyperspectral reflectance, thermal-infrared temperature, and microwave backscattering coefficients, can be acquired for both plants and ecosystems using ground-based, airborne, and satellite platforms. Their spatial and temporal resolutions have both recently been improved. This article reviews the state of the art in the remote sensing of plant ecophysiological data, with special emphasis on the synergy between remote sensing signatures and biophysical and ecophysiological process models. Several case studies for the optical, thermal, and microwave domains have demonstrated the potential of this synergistic linkage. Remote sensing and process modeling methods complement each other when combined synergistically. Further research on this approach is needed f or a wide range of ecophysiological and ecosystem studies, as well as for practical crop management

  1. Dynamics of microbial communities during decomposition of litter from pioneering plants in initial soil ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Esperschütz

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available In initial ecosystems, concentrations of all macro- and micronutrients can be considered as extremely low. Plant litter therefore strongly influences the development of a degrader's food web and is an important source for C and N input into soil in such ecosystems. In the present study, a 13C litter decomposition field experiment was performed for 30 weeks in initial soils from a post-mining area near the city of Cottbus (Germany. Two of this region's dominant but contrasting pioneering plant species (Lotus corniculatus L. and Calamagrostis epigejos L. were chosen to investigate the effects of litter quality on the litter decomposing microbial food web in initially nutrient-poor substrates. The results clearly indicate the importance of litter quality, as indicated by its N content, its bioavailability for the degradation process and the development of microbial communities in the detritusphere and soil. The degradation of the L. corniculatus litter, which had a low C / N ratio, was fast and showed pronounced changes in the microbial community structure 1–4 weeks after litter addition. The degradation of the C. epigejos litter material was slow and microbial community changes mainly occurred between 4 and 30 weeks after litter addition to the soil. However, for both litter materials a clear indication of the importance of fungi for the degradation process was observed both in terms of fungal abundance and activity (13C incorporation activity

  2. Ecosystem development after mangrove wetland creation: plant-soil change across a 20-year chronosequence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osland, Michael J.; Spivak, Amanda C.; Nestlerode, Janet A.; Lessmann, Jeannine M.; Almario, Alejandro E.; Heitmuller, Paul T.; Russell, Marc J.; Krauss, Ken W.; Alvarez, Federico; Dantin, Darrin D.; Harvey, James E.; From, Andrew S.; Cormier, Nicole; Stagg, Camille L.

    2012-01-01

    Mangrove wetland restoration and creation efforts are increasingly proposed as mechanisms to compensate for mangrove wetland losses. However, ecosystem development and functional equivalence in restored and created mangrove wetlands are poorly understood. We compared a 20-year chronosequence of created tidal wetland sites in Tampa Bay, Florida (USA) to natural reference mangrove wetlands. Across the chronosequence, our sites represent the succession from salt marsh to mangrove forest communities. Our results identify important soil and plant structural differences between the created and natural reference wetland sites; however, they also depict a positive developmental trajectory for the created wetland sites that reflects tightly coupled plant-soil development. Because upland soils and/or dredge spoils were used to create the new mangrove habitats, the soils at younger created sites and at lower depths (10-30 cm) had higher bulk densities, higher sand content, lower soil organic matter (SOM), lower total carbon (TC), and lower total nitrogen (TN) than did natural reference wetland soils. However, in the upper soil layer (0-10 cm), SOM, TC, and TN increased with created wetland site age simultaneously with mangrove forest growth. The rate of created wetland soil C accumulation was comparable to literature values for natural mangrove wetlands. Notably, the time to equivalence for the upper soil layer of created mangrove wetlands appears to be faster than for many other wetland ecosystem types. Collectively, our findings characterize the rate and trajectory of above- and below-ground changes associated with ecosystem development in created mangrove wetlands; this is valuable information for environmental managers planning to sustain existing mangrove wetlands or mitigate for mangrove wetland losses.

  3. Biological invasion by Myrica faya in Hawaii: Plant demography, nitrogen fixation, ecosystem effects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vitousek, P.M.; Walker, L.R.

    1989-01-01

    Myrica faya, an introduced actinorhizal nitrogen fixer, in invading young volcanic sites in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. We examined the population biology of the invader and ecosystem-level consequences of its invasion in open-canopied forests resulting from volcanic cinder-fall. Although Myrica faya is nominally dioecious, both males and females produce large amounts of fruit that are utilized by a number of exotic and native birds, particularly the exotic Zosterops japonica. In areas of active colonization, Myrica seed rain under perch trees of the dominant native Metrosideros polymorpha ranged from 6 to 60 seeds m -2 yr -1 ; no seeds were captured in the open. Planted seeds of Myrica also germinated an established better under isolated individuals of Metrosideros than in the open. Diameter growth of Myrica is > 15-fold greater than that of Metrosideros, and the Myrica population is increasing rapidly. Rates of nitrogen fixation were measured using the acetylene reduction assay calibrated with 15 N. Myrica nodules reduced acetylene at between 5 and 20 μmol g -1 h -1 , a rate that extrapolated to nitrogen fixation of 18 kg ha -1 in a densely colonized site. By comparison, all native sources of nitrogen fixation summed to 0.2 kg ha -1 yr -1 , and precipitation added -1 yr -1 . Measurements of litter decomposition and nitrogen release, soil nitrogen mineralization, and plant growth in bioassays all demonstrated that nitrogen fixed by Myrica becomes available to other organisms as well. We conclude that biological invasion by Myrica faya alters ecosystem-level properties in this young volcanic area; at least in this case, the demography and physiology of one species controls characteristics of a whole ecosystem

  4. Transient Social-Ecological Stability: the Effects of Invasive Species and Ecosystem Restoration on Nutrient Management Compromise in Lake Erie

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric D. Roy

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Together, lake ecosystems and local human activity form complex social-ecological systems (SESs characterized by feedback loops and discontinuous change. Researchers in diverse fields have suggested that complex systems do not have single stable equilibria in the long term because of inevitable perturbation. During this study, we sought to address the general question of whether or not stable social-ecological equilibria exist in highly stressed and managed lacustrine systems. Using an integrated human-biophysical model, we investigated the impacts of a species invasion and ecosystem restoration on SES equilibrium, defined here as a compromise in phosphorus management among opposing stakeholders, in western Lake Erie. Our integrated model is composed of a calibrated ecological submodel representing Sandusky Bay, and a phosphorus management submodel that reflects the societal benefits and costs of phosphorus regulation. These two submodels together form a dynamic feedback loop that includes freshwater ecology, ecosystem services, and phosphorus management. We found that the invasion of dreissenid mussels decreased ecosystem resistance to eutrophication, necessitating increased phosphorus management to preserve ecosystem services and thus creating the potential for a shift in social-ecological equilibrium. Additionally, our results suggest that net benefits in the region following the invasion of dreissenids may never again reach the pre-invasion level if on-site phosphorus control is the sole management lever. Further demonstrating transient system stability, large-scale wetland restoration shifted points of management compromise to states characterized by less on-site phosphorus management and higher environmental quality, resulting in a significant increase in net benefits in the region. We conclude that lacustrine SESs are open and dynamic, and we recommend that future models of these systems emphasize site-specific perturbation over

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Hyperspectral remote sensing application for monitoring and preservation of plant ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krezhova, Dora; Maneva, Svetla; Zdravev, Tomas; Petrov, Nikolay; Stoev, Antoniy

    Remote sensing technologies have advanced significantly at last decade and have improved the capability to gather information about Earth’s resources and environment. They have many applications in Earth observation, such as mapping and updating land-use and cover, weather forecasting, biodiversity determination, etc. Hyperspectral remote sensing offers unique opportunities in the environmental monitoring and sustainable use of natural resources. Remote sensing sensors on space-based platforms, aircrafts, or on ground, are capable of providing detailed spectral, spatial and temporal information on terrestrial ecosystems. Ground-based sensors are used to record detailed information about the land surface and to create a data base for better characterizing the objects which are being imaged by the other sensors. In this paper some applications of two hyperspectral remote sensing techniques, leaf reflectance and chlorophyll fluorescence, for monitoring and assessment of the effects of adverse environmental conditions on plant ecosystems are presented. The effect of stress factors such as enhanced UV-radiation, acid rain, salinity, viral infections applied to some young plants (potato, pea, tobacco) and trees (plums, apples, paulownia) as well as of some growth regulators were investigated. Hyperspectral reflectance and fluorescence data were collected by means of a portable fiber-optics spectrometer in the visible and near infrared spectral ranges (450-850 nm and 600-900 nm), respectively. The differences between the reflectance data of healthy (control) and injured (stressed) plants were assessed by means of statistical (Student’s t-criterion), first derivative, and cluster analysis and calculation of some vegetation indices in four most informative for the investigated species regions: green (520-580 nm), red (640-680 nm), red edge (690-720 nm) and near infrared (720-780 nm). Fluorescence spectra were analyzed at five characteristic wavelengths located at the

  7. RECIPROCAL RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN AGGREGATE STABILITY AND ORGANIC CARBON CHARACTERISTICS IN A FORESTED ECOSYSTEM OF NORTHERN NIGERIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Halima Mohammed Lawal

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Soil organic matter associated with different size aggregates differ in structure and function; therefore, play different roles in soil organic carbon (SOC turnover. This study assessed the relationship between aggregate stability and soil organic carbon fractions in a forested soil. Aggregate stability characterized by mean weight diameter (MWD was correlated with the various pools of SOC in a regression model. Mean weight diameter presented a 46% influence on total organic carbon (TOC while, TOC accounts for 21.8% 0f aggregate stability. The unprotected and physically protected soil organic carbon did not significantly dictate stability of these soils. However, chemically protected and biochemically protected SOC influenced significantly aggregate stability of these forested soils.

  8. Water content differences have stronger effects than plant functional groups on soil bacteria in a steppe ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ximei Zhang

    Full Text Available Many investigations across natural and artificial plant diversity gradients have reported that both soil physicochemical factors and plant community composition affect soil microbial communities. To test the effect of plant diversity loss on soil bacterial communities, we conducted a five-year plant functional group removal experiment in a steppe ecosystem in Inner Mongolia (China. We found that the number and composition type of plant functional groups had no effect on bacterial diversity and community composition, or on the relative abundance of major taxa. In contrast, bacterial community patterns were significantly structured by soil water content differences among plots. Our results support researches that suggest that water availability is the key factor structuring soil bacterial communities in this semi-arid ecosystem.

  9. Stability lies in flowers: Plant diversification mediating shifts in arthropod food webs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo Mendes Haro

    Full Text Available Arthropod community composition in agricultural landscapes is dependent on habitat characteristics, such as plant composition, landscape homogeneity and the presence of key resources, which are usually absent in monocultures. Manipulating agroecosystems through the insertion of in-field floral resources is a useful technique to reduce the deleterious effects of habitat simplification. Food web analysis can clarify how the community reacts to the presence of floral resources which favour ecosystem services such as biological control of pest species. Here, we reported quantitative and qualitative alterations in arthropod food web complexity due to the presence of floral resources from the Mexican marigold (Tagetes erecta L. in a field scale lettuce community network. The presence of marigold flowers in the field successfully increased richness, body size, and the numerical and biomass abundance of natural enemies in the lettuce arthropod community, which affected the number of links, vulnerability, generality, omnivory rate and food chain length in the community, which are key factors for the stability of relationships between species. Our results reinforce the notion that diversification through insertion of floral resources may assist in preventing pest outbreaks in agroecosystems. This community approach to arthropod interactions in agricultural landscapes can be used in the future to predict the effect of different management practices in the food web to contribute with a more sustainable management of arthropod pest species.

  10. Synergistic and antagonistic effects of plant and dairy protein blends on the physicochemical stability of lycopene-loaded emulsions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ho, Kacie K.H.Y.; Schroën, Karin; San Martín-González, M.F.; Berton-Carabin, Claire C.

    2018-01-01

    Whey-plant protein-based emulsions had high physicochemical stability. Whey and plant protein blend-based interfaces were viscoelastic while casein-based interfaces were relatively viscous. Whey-plant and plant-plant protein blends behaved synergistically leading to enhanced emulsion stability.

  11. Peak season plant activity shift towards spring is reflected by increasing carbon uptake by extratropical ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonsamo, Alemu; Chen, Jing M; Ooi, Ying W

    2018-05-01

    Climate change is lengthening the growing season of the Northern Hemisphere extratropical terrestrial ecosystems, but little is known regarding the timing and dynamics of the peak season of plant activity. Here, we use 34-year satellite normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) observations and atmospheric CO 2 concentration and δ 13 C isotope measurements at Point Barrow (Alaska, USA, 71°N) to study the dynamics of the peak of season (POS) of plant activity. Averaged across extratropical (>23°N) non-evergreen-dominated pixels, NDVI data show that the POS has advanced by 1.2 ± 0.6 days per decade in response to the spring-ward shifts of the start (1.0 ± 0.8 days per decade) and end (1.5 ± 1.0 days per decade) of peak activity, and the earlier onset of the start of growing season (1.4 ± 0.8 days per decade), while POS maximum NDVI value increased by 7.8 ± 1.8% for 1982-2015. Similarly, the peak day of carbon uptake, based on calculations from atmospheric CO 2 concentration and δ 13 C data, is advancing by 2.5 ± 2.6 and 4.3 ± 2.9 days per decade, respectively. POS maximum NDVI value shows strong negative relationships (p POS days. Given that the maximum solar irradiance and day length occur before the average POS day, the earlier occurrence of peak plant activity results in increased plant productivity. Both the advancing POS day and increasing POS vegetation greenness are consistent with the shifting peak productivity towards spring and the increasing annual maximum values of gross and net ecosystem productivity simulated by coupled Earth system models. Our results further indicate that the decline in autumn NDVI is contributing the most to the overall browning of the northern high latitudes (>50°N) since 2011. The spring-ward shift of peak season plant activity is expected to disrupt the synchrony of biotic interaction and exert strong biophysical feedbacks on climate by modifying the surface albedo and energy budget. © 2017

  12. Application of Bayesian Network modeling on the stability and toxicity of engineered nanomaterials in aquatic ecosystems

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Ondiaka, M

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The stability of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) in the aquatic systems influences their eventual interactions with aquatic biota – and subsequently the observed toxic effects. Increasing data suggests that physicochemical properties of ENMs...

  13. Accumulation of heavy metals in an ecosystem influenced by zinc-plant emissions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zuzanna Czuchajowska

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Accumulation of Pb, Zn, Cd, Mn, Fe and Mg reaching the selected ecosystem in the dust emitted by a zinc-mill, was estimated in the leaves of Pinus silvestris, Vaccinium myrtillus and Vaccinium vitis-idaea, the main plant components of the system, and in the five upper soil layers. The values of metal concentration were different for the three considered species and showed-for each of them - dependence on the pollution degree of the stand. This regularity concerned Pb, Zn, Cd and Mn but not Fe and Mg. A significant positive correlation exists between the content of Pb, Zn and Cd in the soil and their concentration in leaves, the correlation for Mil is significant but negative. Manganese in leaves proved to be an antagonist in respect to the other metals.

  14. Allometric convergence in savanna trees and implications for the use of plant scaling models in variable ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew T Tredennick

    Full Text Available Theoretical models of allometric scaling provide frameworks for understanding and predicting how and why the morphology and function of organisms vary with scale. It remains unclear, however, if the predictions of 'universal' scaling models for vascular plants hold across diverse species in variable environments. Phenomena such as competition and disturbance may drive allometric scaling relationships away from theoretical predictions based on an optimized tree. Here, we use a hierarchical Bayesian approach to calculate tree-specific, species-specific, and 'global' (i.e. interspecific scaling exponents for several allometric relationships using tree- and branch-level data harvested from three savanna sites across a rainfall gradient in Mali, West Africa. We use these exponents to provide a rigorous test of three plant scaling models (Metabolic Scaling Theory (MST, Geometric Similarity, and Stress Similarity in savanna systems. For the allometric relationships we evaluated (diameter vs. length, aboveground mass, stem mass, and leaf mass the empirically calculated exponents broadly overlapped among species from diverse environments, except for the scaling exponents for length, which increased with tree cover and density. When we compare empirical scaling exponents to the theoretical predictions from the three models we find MST predictions are most consistent with our observed allometries. In those situations where observations are inconsistent with MST we find that departure from theory corresponds with expected tradeoffs related to disturbance and competitive interactions. We hypothesize savanna trees have greater length-scaling exponents than predicted by MST due to an evolutionary tradeoff between fire escape and optimization of mechanical stability and internal resource transport. Future research on the drivers of systematic allometric variation could reconcile the differences between observed scaling relationships in variable ecosystems and

  15. Systematic analysis of stability patterns in plant primary metabolism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dorothee Girbig

    Full Text Available Metabolic networks are characterized by complex interactions and regulatory mechanisms between many individual components. These interactions determine whether a steady state is stable to perturbations. Structural kinetic modeling (SKM is a framework to analyze the stability of metabolic steady states that allows the study of the system Jacobian without requiring detailed knowledge about individual rate equations. Stability criteria can be derived by generating a large number of structural kinetic models (SK-models with randomly sampled parameter sets and evaluating the resulting Jacobian matrices. Until now, SKM experiments applied univariate tests to detect the network components with the largest influence on stability. In this work, we present an extended SKM approach relying on supervised machine learning to detect patterns of enzyme-metabolite interactions that act together in an orchestrated manner to ensure stability. We demonstrate its application on a detailed SK-model of the Calvin-Benson cycle and connected pathways. The identified stability patterns are highly complex reflecting that changes in dynamic properties depend on concerted interactions between several network components. In total, we find more patterns that reliably ensure stability than patterns ensuring instability. This shows that the design of this system is strongly targeted towards maintaining stability. We also investigate the effect of allosteric regulators revealing that the tendency to stability is significantly increased by including experimentally determined regulatory mechanisms that have not yet been integrated into existing kinetic models.

  16. Fine Scale ANUClimate Data for Ecosystem Modeling and Assessment of Plant Functional Types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchinson, M. F.; Kesteven, J. L.; Xu, T.; Evans, B. J.; Togashi, H. F.; Stein, J. L.

    2015-12-01

    High resolution spatially extended values of climate variables play a central role in the assessment of climate and projected future climate in ecosystem modeling. The ground based meteorological network remains a key resource for deriving these spatially extended climate variables. We report on the production, and applications, of new anomaly based fine scale spatial interpolations of key climate variables at daily and monthly time scale, across the Australian continent. The methods incorporate several innovations that have significantly improved spatial predictive accuracy, as well as providing a platform for the incorporation of additional remotely sensed data. The interpolated climate data are supporting many continent-wide ecosystem modeling applications and are playing a key role in testing optimality hypotheses associated with plant functional types (PFTs). The accuracy, and robustness to data error, of anomaly-based interpolation has been enhanced by incorporating physical process aspects of the different climate variables and employing robust statistical methods implemented in the ANUSPLIN package. New regression procedures have also been developed to estimate "background" monthly climate normals from all stations with minimal records to substantially increase the density of supporting spatial networks. Monthly mean temperature interpolation has been enhanced by incorporating process based coastal effects that have reduced predictive error by around 10%. Overall errors in interpolated monthly temperature fields are around 25% less than errors reported by an earlier study. For monthly and daily precipitation, a new anomaly structure has been devised to take account of the skewness in precipitation data and the large proportion of zero values that present significant challenges to standard interpolation methods. The many applications include continent-wide Gross Primary Production modeling and assessing constraints on light and water use efficiency derived

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Integrating plant-microbe interactions to understand soil C stabilization with the MIcrobial-MIneral Carbon Stabilization model (MIMICS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grandy, Stuart; Wieder, Will; Kallenbach, Cynthia; Tiemann, Lisa

    2014-05-01

    If soil organic matter is predominantly microbial biomass, plant inputs that build biomass should also increase SOM. This seems obvious, but the implications fundamentally change how we think about the relationships between plants, microbes and SOM. Plant residues that build microbial biomass are typically characterized by low C/N ratios and high lignin contents. However, plants with high lignin contents and high C/N ratios are believed to increase SOM, an entrenched idea that still strongly motivates agricultural soil management practices. Here we use a combination of meta-analysis with a new microbial-explicit soil biogeochemistry model to explore the relationships between plant litter chemistry, microbial communities, and SOM stabilization in different soil types. We use the MIcrobial-MIneral Carbon Stabilization (MIMICS) model, newly built upon the Community Land Model (CLM) platform, to enhance our understanding of biology in earth system processes. The turnover of litter and SOM in MIMICS are governed by the activity of r- and k-selected microbial groups and temperature sensitive Michaelis-Menten kinetics. Plant and microbial residues are stabilized short-term by chemical recalcitrance or long-term by physical protection. Fast-turnover litter inputs increase SOM by >10% depending on temperature in clay soils, and it's only in sandy soils devoid of physical protection mechanisms that recalcitrant inputs build SOM. These results challenge centuries of lay knowledge as well as conventional ideas of SOM formation, but are they realistic? To test this, we conducted a meta-analysis of the relationships between the chemistry of plant liter inputs and SOM concentrations. We find globally that the highest SOM concentrations are associated with plant inputs containing low C/N ratios. These results are confirmed by individual tracer studies pointing to greater stabilization of low C/N ratio inputs, particularly in clay soils. Our model and meta-analysis results suggest

  19. Functional traits drive plant community and ecosystem response to global change across arctic and alpine environments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chisholm, Chelsea Lee

    hierarchical Bayesian modelling. Here I found that competition is generally stronger in warmer climates, and that functional traits do not consistently predict growth across climate space. I also demonstrated that the inclusion of functional trait information as stabilizing niche differences in competition...... delayed in ice-rich areas. Finally, colleagues and I used an observational approach to assess changes in nutrient dynamics across replicated treeline transects in temperate regions around the globe, where we found consistent temperature-mediated changes in both ground-layer plant and soil nutrients across...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-10-01

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

  2. When the feasibility of an ecosystem is sufficient for global stability?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porati, A; Granero, M I

    2000-01-01

    We show via a Liapunov function that in every model ecosystem governed by generalized Lotka-Volterra equations, a feasible steady state is globally asymptotically stable if the number of interaction branches equals n-1, where n is the number of species. This means that the representative graph for which the theorem holds is a 'tree' and not only an alimentary chain. Our result is valid also in the case of non-homogeneous systems, which model situations in which input fluxes are present.

  3. Biodiversity and ecosystem processes: lessons from nature to improve management of planted forests for REDD-plus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ian D. Thompson; Kimiko Okabe; John A. Parrotta; David I. Forrester; Eckehard Brockerhoff; Hervé Jactel; Hisatomo Taki

    2014-01-01

    Planted forests are increasingly contributing wood products and other ecosystem services at a global scale. These forests will be even more important as carbon markets develop and REDD-plus forest programs (forests used specifically to reduce atmospheric emissions of CO2 through deforestation and forest degradation) become common. Restoring degraded and deforested...

  4. Radioactive characterization of the terrestrial ecosystem in the area of location of the Juragua Nuclear Power Plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sibello Hernandez, R.Y.; Alonso Hernandez, C.M.; Diaz Asencio, M.; Cartas Aguila, H. A.

    1999-01-01

    In this work the results are exposed obtained by the Laboratory of Environmental Surveillance in the radioactive characterization of the existent terrestrial ecosystem in the area of location of the Juragua Nuclear Power Plants in Cienfuegos, Cuba, starting from 1986 and up to 1993

  5. Gene expression profiling--Opening the black box of plant ecosystem responses to global change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leakey, A.D.B.; Ainsworth, E.A.; Bernard, S.M.; Markelz, R.J.C.; Ort, D.R.; Placella, S.A.P.; Rogers, A.; Smith, M.D.; Sudderth, E.A.; Weston, D.J.; Wullschleger, S.D.; Yuan, S.

    2009-11-01

    The use of genomic techniques to address ecological questions is emerging as the field of genomic ecology. Experimentation under environmentally realistic conditions to investigate the molecular response of plants to meaningful changes in growth conditions and ecological interactions is the defining feature of genomic ecology. Since the impact of global change factors on plant performance are mediated by direct effects at the molecular, biochemical and physiological scales, gene expression analysis promises important advances in understanding factors that have previously been consigned to the 'black box' of unknown mechanism. Various tools and approaches are available for assessing gene expression in model and non-model species as part of global change biology studies. Each approach has its own unique advantages and constraints. A first generation of genomic ecology studies in managed ecosystems and mesocosms have provided a testbed for the approach and have begun to reveal how the experimental design and data analysis of gene expression studies can be tailored for use in an ecological context.

  6. Plant colonization, succession and ecosystem development on Surtsey with reference to neighbouring islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magnússon, B.; Magnússon, S. H.; Ólafsson, E.; Sigurdsson, B. D.

    2014-10-01

    Plant colonization and succession on the volcanic island of Surtsey, formed in 1963, have been closely followed. In 2013, a total of 69 vascular plant species had been discovered on the island; of these, 59 were present and 39 had established viable populations. Surtsey had more than twice the species of any of the comparable neighbouring islands, and all of their common species had established on Surtsey. The first colonizers were dispersed by sea, but, after 1985, bird dispersal became the principal pathway with the formation of a seagull colony on the island and consequent site amelioration. This allowed wind-dispersed species to establish after 1990. Since 2007, there has been a net loss of species on the island. A study of plant succession, soil formation and invertebrate communities in permanent plots on Surtsey and on two older neighbouring islands (plants and soil) has revealed that seabirds, through their transfer of nutrients from sea to land, are major drivers of development of these ecosystems. In the area impacted by seagulls, dense grassland swards have developed and plant cover, species richness, diversity, plant biomass and soil carbon become significantly higher than in low-impact areas, which remained relatively barren. A similar difference was found for the invertebrate fauna. After 2000, the vegetation of the oldest part of the seagull colony became increasingly dominated by long-lived, rhizomatous grasses (Festuca, Poa, Leymus) with a decline in species richness and diversity. Old grasslands of the neighbouring islands Elliđaey (puffin colony, high nutrient input) and Heimaey (no seabirds, low nutrient input) contrasted sharply. The puffin grassland of Elliđaey was very dense and species-poor. It was dominated by Festuca and Poa, and very similar to the seagull grassland developing on Surtsey. The Heimaey grassland was significantly higher in species richness and diversity, and had a more even cover of dominants (Festuca

  7. Physicochemical stability of lycopene-loaded emulsions stabilized by plant or dairy proteins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ho, Kacie; Schroen, C.G.P.H.; San Martín-González, M.F.; Berton-Carabin, C.C.

    2017-01-01

    Lycopene is a lipophilic bioactive compound that can be challenging to deliver in vivo. To mediate this, delivery strategies, such as protein-stabilized oil-in-water (O/W) emulsions, have been suggested to improve the physicochemical stability and bioavailability of lycopene. In this research, the

  8. Threatened plant resources: distribution and ecosystem services in the world's high elevation park of the karakoram ranges

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shedayi, A.; Xu, M.; Hussain, F.; Sadia, S.; Bano, S.

    2016-01-01

    This study aims to investigate diversity, distribution, status, ecosystem services and threats to the plant resources in the study area based on field survey and ethno ecological knowledge for effective conservation and sustainable ecosystem services. The present study was conducted in the world's high elevation Khunjerab National Park (KNP) of the Karakoram ranges in Pakistan bordering China. Tremendous ecosystem services are obtained from the park and considered the most important habitat for many plant biodiversity and wildlife species. Field surveys were conducted to collect plants in transect along the road side of seven valleys ranging from 3160m to 4934m altitudinal variation. The names and traditional uses were recorded from the local people of the area by semi structured questionnaires and direct interviews. The data was analyzed by excel spreadsheets, direct matrix ranking, and pair comparison tests. Asteraceae was the dominant family with 15% species followed by Chenopodiaceae 10%, Poaceae 8%, Papilionaceae and Rocaceae 7% each, Brasicaceae 6%. Plant resources contribute direct and indirect ecosystem services such as food, medicine, fuel, timber, thatching, water purification, mineral and soil retention, and most importantly as sink of global carbon stock especially in the high altitude peatlands. Herbs were the dominant species in the area with 89%. Fodder is the most common usage for plants, followed by medicine. Plants with percentages 27% and 39% found to be highly palatable and palatable respectively. Competition for food between wildlife and livestock was high recorded for 60% plants. Plants used to cure various diseases including stomachache, asthma, cancer and tuberculosis etc. Plant resources in KNP are unique and vary with climate and altitude. This floral wealth is under tremendous threats of global climate change and anthropogenic activities like overgrazing, increasing population, and a rapidly declining traditional knowledge for

  9. Detailed Equivalent VSC-HVDC Modelling for Time Domain Harmonic Stability Studies in Wind Power Plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Glasdam, Jakob Bærholm; Bak, Claus Leth; Kocewiak, Lukasz Hubert

    2018-01-01

    system with 201 voltage levels, without loss of accuracy compared to conventional modelling of the converter. Harmonic stability is a core concern for both existing and future offshore wind power plants (OWPPs). A harmonic stability study will be undertaken with focus on the number of wind turbine...

  10. Performance of Power System Stabilizer (UNITROL D) in Benghazi North Power Plant

    OpenAIRE

    T. Hussein

    2011-01-01

    The use of power system stabilizers (PSSs) to damp power system swing mode of oscillations is practical important. Our purpose is to retune the power system stabilizer (PSS1A) parameters in Unitrol D produced by ABB– was installed in 1995in Benghazi North Power Plants (BNPPs) at General Electricity Company of Libya (GECOL). The optimal values of the power system stabilizer (PSS1A) parameters are determined off-line by a particle swarm optimization technique (PSO). The obj...

  11. Application of Plants as Bio-markers to Assess Wetland Ecosystem Health

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yankovich, T.L.; Kupferschmidt, D.A.; Sharp, K.J.; Benz, M.L.; Kim, S.B.; Shultz, C.; Audette-Stuart, M.; Carr, J.

    2008-01-01

    Exposure of non-human biota to radionuclides or other contaminants depends upon a number of factors, which relate to the distribution of a given contaminant in the environment relative to the utilization of the environment by resident biota. Potential effects to biota following contaminant exposure must then be assessed based on the development of defensible linkages between the probability of exposure and the probability of corresponding effects. In many cases, contaminants, such as radionuclides, can show highly localized distributions in natural systems, covering relatively small spatial extents. Despite this, however, in the case of sedentary organisms, such as plants, it is possible for individuals to live in areas with relatively high contaminant levels throughout their lives. Plants represent integral components of ecosystems due to their capacity to use solar energy to convert CO 2 into digestible organic molecules, due to their position at the base of terrestrial and aquatic food chains, and due to their importance as habitat and refuges for terrestrial and aquatic biota. As a result, the integrity of ecosystems is dependent upon plant health. The objective of this study was to determine whether significant changes in parameters reflecting plant photosynthetic capacity occurred with significant differences in 14 C exposure in a wetland ecosystem. The study was conducted in Duke Swamp, a wetland ecosystem that receives 14 C through groundwater influx. Sampling was conducted at 4 locations with varying 14 C concentrations. These locations were selected based on a detailed survey of the swamp that was conducted in 2001 to evaluate the spatial distribution of 14 C in surface vegetation, relative to concentrations reported in Sphagnum moss and soil in the swamp in the early 1990's. Locations were also selected to assess the impacts of both 14 C exposure and the degree of incident solar radiation on plant photosynthetic parameters. A screening analysis of

  12. Study of nuclear power plant stability. Trip criteria

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beato Castro, D.; Iturbe Uriarte, R.; Wilhelmi Ayza, J.R.

    1993-01-01

    The influence that nuclear power plants and high voltage power systems have on each other when confronted by disturbances in the offsite network may lead, due to dynamic effects, to plant trip. It is therefore necessary to study the disturbances in the network and the effects on plant equipment by means of dynamic simulations which evaluate the unit protection system and the auxiliary services so as to obtain maximum unit availability without jeopardizing its safety. These studies can be conducted since there are models and software tools capable of simulating dynamic behaviour of the electric system, including the excitation systems and specific speed governors obtainment of valid. (author)

  13. Studies on the distribution of 2,4 D herbicide in soil-plant ecosystem using isotope tracer techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Onal, G.

    1986-01-01

    In this study, distribution of 2,4 Diclorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4 D) herbicide in soil-plant ecosystems under greenhouse conditions were investigated by using isotope tracer techniques. For this purpose barley, wheat and oat plants were grown in two different kinds of soil taken from surrounding of Ankara and the distribution of the herbicide between soil and plants were investigated. In the research 14 C-2,40 D was used and the radioactivity was measured in a liquid scintillation counter. (author)

  14. Some considerations on the seismic stability of large slopes surrounding the nuclear power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ito, Hiroshi; Watanabe, Hiroyuki

    1982-01-01

    As a series of the research on the seismic stabilities of a large scale slope surrounding the Nuclear Power Plant, the numerical simulation and analytical stability calculation are conducted in order to clarify the applicability of static stability evaluation method (conventional circular arc slip method, static non-linear F.E. analysis) and dynamic one (2-dimensional dynamic F.E. analysis). The discussions on these slope stability methods are done and the followings are clarified, i) The results of numerical simulation by dynamic F.E. analysis concerning the response property and the failure mode are qualitatively corresponded with the behaviour of dynamic failure test. ii) From the results of static and dynamic stability analysis, it is concluded that the conventional circular arc slip method gives the severest evaluation for slope stability. iii) It is proposed that the seismic coefficient for static slope stability analysis should be used the value of the equivalent instant acceleration. (author)

  15. Effects of shading on photosynthesis, plant organic nitrogen uptake and root fungal colonization in a subarctic mire ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsrud, Hanna Maria Kerstin; Michelsen, Anders

    2009-01-01

    Arctic dwarf shrub ecosystems are predicted to be exposed to lower light intensity in a changing climate where mountain birch forests are expanding. We investigated how shading at 0%, 65%, and 97% affects photosynthesis, organic N uptake, C and N allocation patterns in plants, and root fungal...... ecosystems are capable of taking up organic N as intact glycine both under high irradiance levels and under shaded conditions when photosynthesis is strongly reduced. The allocation of 15N to green leaves of Rubus chamaemorus L. increased with shading, whereas the allocation of 13C to leaves of both...

  16. Comparison of remote sensing and plant trait-based modelling to predict ecosystem services in subalpine grasslands

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Homolová, Lucie; Schaepman, M. E.; Lamarque, L.; Clevers, J.G.P.W.; de Bello, Francesco; Thuiller, W.; Lavorel, S.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 5, č. 8 (2014), č. článku 100. ISSN 2150-8925 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 ; RVO:67985939 Keywords : land-use change * leaf chlorophyll content * imaging spectroscopy * water-content * aviris data * spectral reflectance * hyperspectral data * species richness * area index * vegetation * aisa * biomass * ecosystem properties * ecosystem services * linear regression * remote sensing * spatial heterogeneity * subalpine grasslands Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour; EF - Botanics (BU-J) OBOR OECD: Remote sensing; Plant sciences, botany (BU-J) Impact factor: 2.255, year: 2014

  17. Trait-based representation of hydrological functional properties of plants in weather and ecosystem models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashley M. Matheny

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Land surface models and dynamic global vegetation models typically represent vegetation through coarse plant functional type groupings based on leaf form, phenology, and bioclimatic limits. Although these groupings were both feasible and functional for early model generations, in light of the pace at which our knowledge of functional ecology, ecosystem demographics, and vegetation-climate feedbacks has advanced and the ever growing demand for enhanced model performance, these groupings have become antiquated and are identified as a key source of model uncertainty. The newest wave of model development is centered on shifting the vegetation paradigm away from plant functional types (PFTs and towards flexible trait-based representations. These models seek to improve errors in ecosystem fluxes that result from information loss due to over-aggregation of dissimilar species into the same functional class. We advocate the importance of the inclusion of plant hydraulic trait representation within the new paradigm through a framework of the whole-plant hydraulic strategy. Plant hydraulic strategy is known to play a critical role in the regulation of stomatal conductance and thus transpiration and latent heat flux. It is typical that coexisting plants employ opposing hydraulic strategies, and therefore have disparate patterns of water acquisition and use. Hydraulic traits are deterministic of drought resilience, response to disturbance, and other demographic processes. The addition of plant hydraulic properties in models may not only improve the simulation of carbon and water fluxes but also vegetation population distributions.

  18. Inferring differential evolutionary processes of plant persistence traits in Northern Hemisphere Mediterranean fire-prone ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pausas, J.G.; Keeley, J.E.; Verdu, M.

    2006-01-01

    1 Resprouting capacity (R) and propagule-persistence (P) are traits that are often considered to have evolved where there are predictable crown fires. Because several indicators suggest a stronger selective pressure for such traits in California than in the Mediterranean Basin, we hypothesize that plant species should have evolved to become R+ and P+ more frequently in California than in the Mediterranean Basin. 2 To test this hypothesis we studied the phylogenetic association between R and P states in both California and the Mediterranean Basin using published molecular phylogenies. 3 The results suggest that R and P evolved differently in the two regions. The occurrence of the states differs significantly between regions for trait P, but not for trait R. The different patterns (towards R+ and P+ in California and towards R+ and P- in the Mediterranean Basin) are reflected in the higher abundance and the wider taxonomic distribution of species with both persistence traits (R+P+ species) in California. 4 The differential acquisition of fire persistence mechanisms at the propagule level (P+) supports the idea that fire selective pressures has been higher in California than in the Mediterranean Basin. 5 Our comparative phylogenetic-informed analysis contributes to an understanding of the differential role of the Quaternary climate in determining fire persistence traits in different Mediterranean-type ecosystems and, thus, to the debate on the evolutionary convergence of traits. ?? 2006 British Ecological Society.

  19. Simulating the indirect effects of power plant entrainment losses on an estuarine ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Summers, J.K. (Versar, Inc., Columbia, MD (USA))

    1989-12-01

    Entrainment caused by the operation of the Chalk Point Steam Electric Station has been shown to be a major source of mortality to the early life stages of forage fish populations in the Patuxent River, MD, USA. While direct losses to these populations are important as a source of reduction for population abundance, these losses also represent decreases in estuarine forage supplies and potential reductions in the abundances of estuarine predators. A simple estuarine trophic dynamics model was constructed to determine the magnitude of the potential losses to major estuarine consumers in the Patuxent River ecosystem due to the power plant-related losses of forage fish. Simulations were completed using two sets of feeding assumptions: feeding proportional to forage abundance, and feeding based on dietary preferences. The model demonstrates that striped bass, bluefish, and weakfish could experience significant losses (> 25%) to overall population production levels if they prefer to prey upon bay anchovy and silversides and entrainment losses to these forage populations is {>=} 70% of juvenile recruitment. The model also shows that indirect predator losses would be expected to be low (> 5%) if the majority of their diets consisted of forage other than bay anchovy and silversides. 2 figs., 31 refs., 4 tabs.

  20. Plant-cover influence on the spatial distribution of radiocaesium deposits in forest ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guillitte, Olivier; Andolina, Jean; Koziol, Michel; Debauche, Antoine

    1990-01-01

    Since the Chernobyl nuclear accident, a major campaign of radioactive deposit measurements has been carried out on forest soils in Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg. Three types of forest ecosystems have systematically been taken into account in each region: coniferous forests (mainly spruce stands), deciduous forests (mainly beech stands) and in clearings. Sampling and field measurements have been carried out in different places with regard to the plant cover: near the trunks, under the foliage, in a small gap, on soil with or without herbaceous or moss stratum. The samples have been collected and measured according to the different recognizable soil layers in order to evaluate the vertical deposit distribution. From overall measurements, one may observe a high spatial soil deposit variation which is mainly explained by the nature, structure and age of the forest stands and by the thickness and the nature of holorganic horizons. A particular interest of this study is the identification of the influence of stem flow and impluvium on forest-cover gaps and edges. (author)

  1. Agricultural land-use change in a Mexican oligotrophic desert depletes ecosystem stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Becerra, Natali; Tapia-Torres, Yunuen; Beltrán-Paz, Ofelia; Blaz, Jazmín; Souza, Valeria; García-Oliva, Felipe

    2016-01-01

    Global demand for food has led to increased land-use change, particularly in dry land ecosystems, which has caused several environmental problems due to the soil degradation. In the Cuatro Cienegas Basin (CCB), alfalfa production irrigated by flooding impacts strongly on the soil. In order to analyze the effect of such agricultural land-use change on soil nutrient dynamics and soil bacterial community composition, this work examined an agricultural gradient within the CCB which was comprised of a native desert grassland, a plot currently cultivated with alfalfa and a former agricultural field that had been abandoned for over 30 years. For each site, we analyzed C, N and P dynamic fractions, the activity of the enzyme phosphatase and the bacterial composition obtained using 16S rRNA clone libraries. The results showed that the cultivated site presented a greater availability of water and dissolved organic carbon, these conditions promoted mineralization processes mediated by heterotrophic microorganisms, while the abandoned land was limited by water and dissolved organic nitrogen. The low amount of dissolved organic matter promoted nitrification, which is mediated by autotrophic microorganisms. The microbial N immobilization process and specific phosphatase activity were both favored in the native grassland. As expected, differences in bacterial taxonomical composition were observed among sites. The abandoned site exhibited similar compositions than native grassland, while the cultivated site differed. The results suggest that the transformation of native grassland into agricultural land induces drastic changes in soil nutrient dynamics as well as in the bacterial community. However, with the absence of agricultural practices, some of the soil characteristics analyzed slowly recovers their natural state.

  2. Agricultural land-use change in a Mexican oligotrophic desert depletes ecosystem stability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natali Hernández-Becerra

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Background Global demand for food has led to increased land-use change, particularly in dry land ecosystems, which has caused several environmental problems due to the soil degradation. In the Cuatro Cienegas Basin (CCB, alfalfa production irrigated by flooding impacts strongly on the soil. Methods In order to analyze the effect of such agricultural land-use change on soil nutrient dynamics and soil bacterial community composition, this work examined an agricultural gradient within the CCB which was comprised of a native desert grassland, a plot currently cultivated with alfalfa and a former agricultural field that had been abandoned for over 30 years. For each site, we analyzed C, N and P dynamic fractions, the activity of the enzyme phosphatase and the bacterial composition obtained using 16S rRNA clone libraries. Results The results showed that the cultivated site presented a greater availability of water and dissolved organic carbon, these conditions promoted mineralization processes mediated by heterotrophic microorganisms, while the abandoned land was limited by water and dissolved organic nitrogen. The low amount of dissolved organic matter promoted nitrification, which is mediated by autotrophic microorganisms. The microbial N immobilization process and specific phosphatase activity were both favored in the native grassland. As expected, differences in bacterial taxonomical composition were observed among sites. The abandoned site exhibited similar compositions than native grassland, while the cultivated site differed. Discussion The results suggest that the transformation of native grassland into agricultural land induces drastic changes in soil nutrient dynamics as well as in the bacterial community. However, with the absence of agricultural practices, some of the soil characteristics analyzed slowly recovers their natural state.

  3. Stabilization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad H. Al-Malack

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Fuel oil flyash (FFA produced in power and water desalination plants firing crude oils in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is being disposed in landfills, which increases the burden on the environment, therefore, FFA utilization must be encouraged. In the current research, the effect of adding FFA on the engineering properties of two indigenous soils, namely sand and marl, was investigated. FFA was added at concentrations of 5%, 10% and 15% to both soils with and without the addition of Portland cement. Mixtures of the stabilized soils were thoroughly evaluated using compaction, California Bearing Ratio (CBR, unconfined compressive strength (USC and durability tests. Results of these tests indicated that stabilized sand mixtures could not attain the ACI strength requirements. However, marl was found to satisfy the ACI strength requirement when only 5% of FFA was added together with 5% of cement. When the FFA was increased to 10% and 15%, the mixture’s strength was found to decrease to values below the ACI requirements. Results of the Toxicity Characteristics Leaching Procedure (TCLP, which was performed on samples that passed the ACI requirements, indicated that FFA must be cautiously used in soil stabilization.

  4. Plant flavonoids in cancer chemoprevention: role in genome stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, Vazhappilly Cijo; Dellaire, Graham; Rupasinghe, H P Vasantha

    2017-07-01

    Carcinogenesis is a multistage process that involves a series of events comprising of genetic and epigenetic changes leading to the initiation, promotion and progression of cancer. Chemoprevention is referred to as the use of nontoxic natural compounds, synthetic chemicals or their combinations to intervene in multistage carcinogenesis. Chemoprevention through diet modification, i.e., increased consumption of plant-based food, has emerged as a most promising and potentially cost-effective approach to reducing the risk of cancer. Flavonoids are naturally occurring polyphenols that are ubiquitous in plant-based food such as fruits, vegetables and teas as well as in most medicinal plants. Over 10,000 flavonoids have been characterized over the last few decades. Flavonoids comprise of several subclasses including flavonols, flavan-3-ols, anthocyanins, flavanones, flavones, isoflavones and proanthocyanidins. This review describes the most efficacious plant flavonoids, including luteolin, epigallocatechin gallate, quercetin, apigenin and chrysin; their hormetic effects; and the molecular basis of how these flavonoids contribute to the chemoprevention with a focus on protection against DNA damage caused by various carcinogenic factors. The present knowledge on the role of flavonoids in chemoprevention can be used in developing effective dietary strategies and natural health products targeted for cancer chemoprevention. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Plant functional traits as determinants of population stability

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Májeková, M.; de Bello, Francesco; Doležal, Jiří; Lepš, Jan

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 95, č. 9 (2014), s. 2369-2374 ISSN 0012-9658 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA13-17118S Institutional support: RVO:67985939 ; RVO:60077344 Keywords : biomass * fertilizaiton * plant functional traits Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 4.656, year: 2014

  6. Comparisons of diazotrophic communities in native and agricultural desert ecosystems reveal plants as important drivers in diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köberl, Martina; Erlacher, Armin; Ramadan, Elshahat M; El-Arabi, Tarek F; Müller, Henry; Bragina, Anastasia; Berg, Gabriele

    2016-02-01

    Diazotrophs provide the only biological source of fixed atmospheric nitrogen in the biosphere. Although they are the key player for plant-available nitrogen, less is known about their diversity and potential importance in arid ecosystems. We investigated the nitrogenase gene diversity in native and agricultural desert soil as well as within root-associated microbiota of medicinal plants grown in Egypt through the combination of nifH-specific qPCR, fingerprints, amplicon pyrosequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization-confocal laser scanning microscopy. Although the diazotrophic microbiota were characterized by generally high abundances and diversity, statistically significant differences were found between both soils, the different microhabitats, and between the investigated plants (Matricaria chamomilla L., Calendula officinalis L. and Solanum distichum Schumach. and Thonn.). We observed a considerable community shift from desert to agriculturally used soil that demonstrated a higher abundance and diversity in the agro-ecosystem. The endorhiza was characterized by lower abundances and only a subset of species when compared to the rhizosphere. While the microbiomes of the Asteraceae were similar and dominated by potential root-nodulating rhizobia acquired primarily from soil, the perennial S. distichum generally formed associations with free-living nitrogen fixers. These results underline the importance of diazotrophs in desert ecosystems and additionally identify plants as important drivers in functional gene pool diversity. © FEMS 2015.

  7. Stability in Ecosystem Functioning across a Climatic Threshold and Contrasting Forest Regimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Classical ecological theory predicts that changes in the availability of essential resources such as nitrogen should lead to changes in plant community composition due to differences in species-specific nutrient requirements. What remains unknown, however, is the extent to which climate change will alter the relationship between plant communities and the nitrogen cycle. During intervals of climate change, do changes in nitrogen cycling lead to vegetation change or do changes in community composition alter the nitrogen dynamics? We used long-term ecological data to determine the role of nitrogen availability in changes of forest species composition under a rapidly changing climate during the early Holocene (16k to 8k cal. yrs. BP). A statistical computational analysis of ecological data spanning 8,000 years showed that secondary succession from a coniferous to deciduous forest occurred independently of changes in the nitrogen cycle. As oak replaced pine under a warming climate, nitrogen cycling rates increased. Interestingly, the mechanism by which the species interacted with nitrogen remained stable across this threshold change in climate and in the dominant tree species. This suggests that changes in tree population density over successional time scales are not driven by nitrogen availability. Thus, current models of forest succession that incorporate the effects of available nitrogen may be over-estimating tree population responses to changes in this resource, which may result in biased predictions of future forest dynamics under climate warming. PMID:21267469

  8. Stability in ecosystem functioning across a climatic threshold and contrasting forest regimes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth S Jeffers

    Full Text Available Classical ecological theory predicts that changes in the availability of essential resources such as nitrogen should lead to changes in plant community composition due to differences in species-specific nutrient requirements. What remains unknown, however, is the extent to which climate change will alter the relationship between plant communities and the nitrogen cycle. During intervals of climate change, do changes in nitrogen cycling lead to vegetation change or do changes in community composition alter the nitrogen dynamics? We used long-term ecological data to determine the role of nitrogen availability in changes of forest species composition under a rapidly changing climate during the early Holocene (16k to 8k cal. yrs. BP. A statistical computational analysis of ecological data spanning 8,000 years showed that secondary succession from a coniferous to deciduous forest occurred independently of changes in the nitrogen cycle. As oak replaced pine under a warming climate, nitrogen cycling rates increased. Interestingly, the mechanism by which the species interacted with nitrogen remained stable across this threshold change in climate and in the dominant tree species. This suggests that changes in tree population density over successional time scales are not driven by nitrogen availability. Thus, current models of forest succession that incorporate the effects of available nitrogen may be over-estimating tree population responses to changes in this resource, which may result in biased predictions of future forest dynamics under climate warming.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua P Averett

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Peeking at ecosystem stability: making use of a natural disturbance experiment to analyze resistance and resilience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruelheide, Helge; Luginbühl, Ute

    2009-05-01

    To determine which factors contribute most to the stability of species composition in a beech forest after profound disturbance, we made use of a natural experiment caused by a severe windthrow that occurred at a permanent monitoring site in an old beech forest in Lower Saxony (Germany). The floristic composition was recorded for the succeeding five years after the disturbance and used to derive measures of resistance and resilience for plots as well as for individual species. Due to the existence of previously established randomly distributed permanent plots, we had precise information of the pre-disturbance state, including initial cover of the herb layer, species richness, and species composition. Variables describing the floristic change, resistance, and resilience were derived from correspondence analysis allowing for partitioning the effects of variation among plots from those of temporal change. We asked to which degree these variables could be predicted by pre-disturbance state and disturbance intensity. We found that both the pre-disturbance state and the disturbance intensity were good predictors for floristic change and resistance, while they failed to predict resilience. Among the descriptors of the pre-disturbance state the initial cover of the herb layer turned out to be a useful predictor, which is explained by a high vegetation cover buffering against losses and preventing establishment of newcomers. In contrast, species number neither showed a relationship to floristic change nor to resistance. Putative positive effects of species number on stability according to the insurance hypothesis might have been counterbalanced by a disruption of niche complementarity in species-rich communities. Among the descriptors of disturbance intensity, the loss in canopy cover and the change in photosynthetically active radiation after the storm were equally good predictors for the change in floristic composition and resistance. The analysis of the responses of

  12. Uptake of uranium by aquatic plants growing in fresh water ecosystem around uranium mill tailings pond at Jaduguda, India

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jha, V.N., E-mail: jhavn1971@gmail.com; Tripathi, R.M., E-mail: tripathirm@yahoo.com; Sethy, N.K., E-mail: sethybarc@rediffmail.com; Sahoo, S.K., E-mail: sksbarc@gmail.com

    2016-01-01

    Concentration of uranium was determined in aquatic plants and substrate (sediment or water) of fresh water ecosystem on and around uranium mill tailings pond at Jaduguda, India. Aquatic plant/substrate concentration ratios (CRs) of uranium were estimated for different sites on and around the uranium mill tailings disposal area. These sites include upstream and downstream side of surface water sources carrying the treated tailings effluent, a small pond inside tailings disposal area and residual water of this area. Three types of plant groups were investigated namely algae (filamentous and non-filamentous), other free floating & water submerged and sediment rooted plants. Wide variability in concentration ratio was observed for different groups of plants studied. The filamentous algae uranium concentration was significantly correlated with that of water (r = 0.86, p < 0.003). For sediment rooted plants significant correlation was found between uranium concentration in plant and the substrate (r = 0.88, p < 0.001). Both for other free floating species and sediment rooted plants, uranium concentration was significantly correlated with Mn, Fe, and Ni concentration of plants (p < 0.01). Filamentous algae, Jussiaea and Pistia owing to their high bioproductivity, biomass, uranium accumulation and concentration ratio can be useful for prospecting phytoremediation of stream carrying treated or untreated uranium mill tailings effluent. - Highlights: • Uranium mill tailings pond. • Jaduguda, India. • Fresh water plants. • Uranium uptake. • Relationship of uranium with stable elements.

  13. Contrasting water use pattern of introduced and native plants in an alpine desert ecosystem, Northeast Qinghai–Tibet Plateau, China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu, Huawu; Li, Xiao-Yan; Jiang, Zhiyun; Chen, Huiying; Zhang, Cicheng; Xiao, Xiong

    2016-01-01

    Plant water use patterns reflect the complex interactions between different functional types and environmental conditions in water-limited ecosystems. However, the mechanisms underlying the water use patterns of plants in the alpine desert of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau remain poorly understood. This study investigated seasonal variations in the water sources of herbs (Carex moorcroftii, Astragalus adsurgens) and shrubs (Artemisia oxycephala, Hippophae rhamnoides) using stable oxygen-18 isotope methods. The results indicated that the native herbs (C. moorcroftii, A. adsurgens) and one of the shrubs (A. oxycephala) mainly relied on water from the shallow layer (0–30 cm) throughout the growing season, while the introduced shrub (H. rhamnoides) showed plasticity in switching between water from shallow and deep soil layers depending on soil water availability. All studied plants primarily depended on water from shallow soil layers early in the season. The differences of water use patterns between the introduced and native plants are closely linked with the range of active root zones when competing for water. Our findings will facilitate the mechanistic understanding of plant–soil–water relations in alpine desert ecosystems and provide information for screening introduced species for sand fixation. - Highlights: • Stable oxygen-18 in soil water experienced great evaporation enrichment. • H. rhamnoides experiences a flexible plasticity to switch between shallow and deep soil water. • Native plants mostly relied on shallow and middle soil water. • Water-use patterns by introduced-native plants are controlled by root characteristics.

  14. A New Digital Imaging and Analysis System for Plant and Ecosystem Phenological Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez, G.; Ramirez, G. A.; Vargas, S. A., Jr.; Luna, N. R.; Tweedie, C. E.

    2015-12-01

    Over the past decade, environmental scientists have increasingly used low-cost sensors and custom software to gather and analyze environmental data. Included in this trend has been the use of imagery from field-mounted static digital cameras. Published literature has highlighted the challenge scientists have encountered with poor and problematic camera performance and power consumption, limited data download and wireless communication options, general ruggedness of off the shelf camera solutions, and time consuming and hard-to-reproduce digital image analysis options. Data loggers and sensors are typically limited to data storage in situ (requiring manual downloading) and/or expensive data streaming options. Here we highlight the features and functionality of a newly invented camera/data logger system and coupled image analysis software suited to plant and ecosystem phenological studies (patent pending). The camera has resulted from several years of development and prototype testing supported by several grants funded by the US NSF. These inventions have several unique features and functionality and have been field tested in desert, arctic, and tropical rainforest ecosystems. The system can be used to acquire imagery/data from static and mobile platforms. Data is collected, preprocessed, and streamed to the cloud without the need of an external computer and can run for extended time periods. The camera module is capable of acquiring RGB, IR, and thermal (LWIR) data and storing it in a variety of formats including RAW. The system is full customizable with a wide variety of passive and smart sensors. The camera can be triggered by state conditions detected by sensors and/or select time intervals. The device includes USB, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, serial, GSM, Ethernet, and Iridium connections and can be connected to commercial cloud servers such as Dropbox. The complementary image analysis software is compatible with all popular operating systems. Imagery can be viewed and

  15. Experimental results: Pilot plant calcine dissolution and liquid feed stability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Herbst, R.S.; Fryer, D.S.; Brewer, K.N.; Johnson, C.K.; Todd, T.A.

    1995-02-01

    The dissolution of simulated Idaho Chemical Processing Plant pilot plant calcines, containing none of the radioactive actinides, lanthanides or fission products, was examined to evaluate the solubility of calcine matrix materials in acidic media. This study was a necessary precursor to dissolution and optimization experiments with actual radionuclide-containing calcines. The importance of temperature, nitric acid concentration, ratio of acid volume to calcine mass, and time on the amount, as a weight percentage of calcine dissolved, was evaluated. These parameters were studied for several representative pilot plant calcine types: (1) Run No. 74 Zirconia calcine; (2) Run No. 17 Zirconia/Sodium calcine; (3) Run No. 64 Zirconia/Sodium calcine; (3) Run No. 1027 Alumina calcine; and (4) Run No. 20 Alumina/Zirconia/Sodium calcine. Statistically designed experiments with the different pilot plant calcines indicated the effect of the studied process variables on the amount of calcine dissolved decreases in the order: Acid/Calcine Ratio > Temperature > HNO 3 Concentration > Dissolution Time. The following conditions are suitable to achieve greater than 90 wt. % dissolution of most Zr, Al, or Na blend calcines: (1) Maximum nitric acid concentration of 5M; (2) Minimum acid/calcine ratio of 10 mL acid/1 gram calcine; (3) Minimum dissolution temperature of 90 degrees C; and (4) Minimum dissolution time of 30 minutes. The formation of calcium sulphate (CaSO 4 ) precipitates was observed in certain dissolved calcine solutions during the dissolution experiments. Consequently, a study was initiated to evaluate if and under what conditions the resulting dissolved calcine solutions would be unstable with regards to precipitate formation. The results indicate that precipitate formation in the calcine solutions prepared under the above proposed dissolution conditions are not anticipated

  16. Repression of fungal plant pathogens and fungal-related contaminants: Selected ecosystem services by soil fauna communities in agroecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer-Wolfarth, Friederike; Schrader, Stefan; Oldenburg, Elisabeth; Brunotte, Joachim; Weinert, Joachim

    2017-04-01

    In agroecosystems soil-borne fungal plant diseases are major yield-limiting factors which are difficult to control. Fungal plant pathogens, like Fusarium species, survive as a saprophyte in infected tissue like crop residues and endanger the health of the following crop by increasing the infection risk for specific plant diseases. In infected plant organs, these pathogens are able to produce mycotoxins. Mycotoxins like deoxynivalenol (DON) persist during storage, are heat resistant and of major concern for human and animal health after consumption of contaminated food and feed, respectively. Among fungivorous soil organisms, there are representatives of the soil fauna which are obviously antagonistic to a Fusarium infection and the contamination with mycotoxins. Specific members of the soil macro-, meso-, and microfauna provide a wide range of ecosystem services including the stimulation of decomposition processes which may result in the regulation of plant pathogens and the degradation of environmental contaminants. Investigations under laboratory conditions and in field were conducted to assess the functional linkage between soil faunal communities and plant pathogenic fungi (Fusarium culmorum). The aim was to examine if Fusarium biomass and the content of its mycotoxin DON decrease substantially in the presence of soil fauna (earthworms: Lumbricus terrestris, collembolans: Folsomia candida and nematodes: Aphelenchoides saprophilus) in a commercial cropping system managed with conservation tillage located in Northern Germany. The results of our investigations pointed out that the degradation performance of the introduced soil fauna must be considered as an important contribution to the biodegradation of fungal plant diseases and fungal-related contaminants. Different size classes within functional groups and the traits of keystone species appear to be significant for soil function and the provision of ecosystem services as in particular L. terrestris revealed to

  17. Can observed ecosystem responses to elevated CO2 and N fertilisation be explained by optimal plant C allocation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stocker, Benjamin; Prentice, I. Colin

    2016-04-01

    The degree to which nitrogen availability limits the terrestrial C sink under rising CO2 is a key uncertainty in carbon cycle and climate change projections. Results from ecosystem manipulation studies and meta-analyses suggest that plant C allocation to roots adjusts dynamically under varying degrees of nitrogen availability and other soil fertility parameters. In addition, the ratio of biomass production to GPP appears to decline under nutrient scarcity. This reflects increasing plant C export into the soil and to symbionts (Cex) with decreasing nutrient availability. Cex is consumed by an array of soil organisms and may imply an improvement of nutrient availability to the plant. These concepts are left unaccounted for in Earth system models. We present a model for the coupled cycles of C and N in grassland ecosystems to explore optimal plant C allocation under rising CO2 and its implications for the ecosystem C balance. The model follows a balanced growth approach, accounting for the trade-offs between leaf versus root growth and Cex in balancing C fixation and N uptake. We further model a plant-controlled rate of biological N fixation (BNF) by assuming that Cex is consumed by N2-fixing processes if the ratio of Nup:Cex falls below the inverse of the C cost of N2-fixation. The model is applied at two temperate grassland sites (SwissFACE and BioCON), subjected to factorial treatments of elevated CO2 (FACE) and N fertilization. Preliminary simulation results indicate initially increased N limitation, evident by increased relative allocation to roots and Cex. Depending on the initial state of N availability, this implies a varying degree of aboveground growth enhancement, generally consistent with observed responses. On a longer time scale, ecosystems are progressively released from N limitation due tighter N cycling. Allowing for plant-controlled BNF implies a quicker release from N limitation and an adjustment to more open N cycling. In both cases, optimal plant

  18. A conceptual framework for an ecosystem services-based assessment of the so-called "emergency stabilization" measures following wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valente, Sandra; Prats, Sergio; Ribeiro, Cristina; Verheijen, Frank; Fleskens, Luuk; Keizer, Jacob

    2015-04-01

    Wildfires have become a major environmental concern in many Southern European countries over the past few decades. This includes Portugal, where, on average, some 100 000 ha of rural lands are affected by wildfire every year. While policies, laws, plans and public expenditure in Portugal continue to be largely directed towards fire combat and, arguably, to a lesser extent fire prevention, there has only recently been increasing attention for post-fire land management. For example following frequent and several large wildfires during the summer of 2010, so-called emergency stabilization measures were implemented in 16 different burnt areas in northern and central Portugal, using funds of the EU Rural Development Plan in Portugal (PRODER). The measures that were implemented included mulching (i.e. application of a protective layer of organic material), seeding and the construction of log barriers. However, the effectiveness of the implemented measures has not been monitored or otherwise assessed in a systematic manner. In fact, until very recently none of the post-fire emergency stabilization measures contemplated under PRODER seem to have been studied in an exhaustive manner in Portugal, whether under laboratory or field conditions. Prats et al. (2012, 2013, 2014) tested two of these measures by field trials, i.e. hydro-mulching and forest residue mulching. The authors found both measures to be highly effective in terms of reducing overland flow and especially erosion. It remains a challenge, however, to assess the effectiveness of these and other measures in a broader context, not only beyond overland flow and sediment losses but also beyond the spatio-temporal scale that are typical for such field trials (plots and the first two years after fire). This challenge will be addressed in the Portuguese case study of the RECARE project. Nonetheless, the present study wants to be a first attempt at an ecosystem services-based assessment of mulching as a post

  19. Wind Turbine and Wind Power Plant Modelling Aspects for Power System Stability Studies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Altin, Müfit; Hansen, Anca Daniela; Göksu, Ömer

    2014-01-01

    Large amount of wind power installations introduce modeling challenges for power system operators at both the planning and operational stages of power systems. Depending on the scope of the study, the modeling details of the wind turbine or the wind power plant are required to be different. A wind...... turbine model which is developed for the short-term voltage stability studies can be inaccurate and sufficient for the frequency stability studies. Accordingly, a complete and detailed wind power plant model for every kind of study is not feasible in terms of the computational time and also...... and wind power plants are reviewed for power system stability studies. Important remarks of the models are presented by means of simulations to emphasize the impact of these modelling details on the power system....

  20. Antecedent Moisture and Biological Inertia as Predictors of Plant and Ecosystem Productivity in Arid and Semiarid Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogle, K.

    2011-12-01

    Many plant and ecosystem processes in arid and semiarid systems may be affected by antecedent environmental conditions (e.g., precipitation patterns, soil water availability, temperature) that integrate over past days, weeks, months, seasons, or years. However, the importance of such antecedent exogenous effects relative to conditions occurring at the time of the observed process is relatively unexplored. Even less is known about the potential importance of antecedent endogenous effects that describe the influence of past ecosystem states on the current ecosystem state; e.g., how is current ecosystem productivity related to past productivity patterns? We hypothesize that incorporation of antecedent exogenous and endogenous factors can improve our predictive understanding of many plant and ecosystem processes, especially in arid and semiarid ecosystems. Furthermore, the common approach to quantifying the effects of antecedent (exogenous) variables relies on arbitrary, deterministic definitions of antecedent variables that (1) may not accurately describe the role of antecedent conditions and (2) ignore uncertainty associated with applying deterministic definitions. In this study, we employ a stochastic framework for (1) computing the antecedent variables that estimates the relative importance of conditions experienced each time unit into the past, also providing insight into potential lag responses, and (2) estimating the effect of antecedent factors on the response variable of interest. We employ this approach to explore the potential roles of antecedent exogenous and endogenous influences in three settings that illustrate the: (1) importance of antecedent precipitation for net primary productivity in the shortgrass steppe in northern Colorado, (2) dependency of tree growth on antecedent precipitation and past growth states for pinyon growing in western Colorado, and (3) influence of antecedent soil water and prior root status on observed root growth in the Mojave

  1. Goods and services provided by native plants in desert ecosystems: Examples from the northwestern coastal desert of Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laila M. Bidak

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available About one third of the earth’s land surface is covered by deserts that have low and variable rainfall, nutrient-poor soils, and little vegetation cover. Here, we focus on the goods and services offered by desert ecosystems using the northwestern coastal desert of Egypt extending from Burg El-Arab to El-Salloum as an example. We conducted field surveys and collected other data to identify the goods services and provided by native plant species. A total of 322 native plant species were compiled. The direct services provided by these native plants included sources of food, medicine, and energy; indirect vegetation services included promotion of biodiversity, water storage, and soil fertility. The plant diversity in this ecosystem provided economic service benefits, such as sources of fodder, fuel-wood, and traditional medicinal plants. Changes in land use and recent ill-managed human activities may influence the availability of these services and strongly impact biodiversity and habitat availability. Although deserts are fragile and support low levels of productivity, they provide a variety of goods and services whose continuing availability is contingent upon the adoption of rational land management practices.

  2. Aromatic plants play an important role in promoting soil biological activity related to nitrogen cycling in an orchard ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xinxin; Song, Beizhou; Yao, Yuncong; Wu, Hongying; Hu, Jinghui; Zhao, Lingling

    2014-02-15

    Aromatic plants can substantially improve the diversity and structure of arthropod communities, as well as reduce the number of herbivore pests and regulate the abundance of predators and parasitoids. However, it is not clear whether aromatic plants are also effective in improving soil quality by enhancing nutrient cycling. Here, field experiments are described involving intercropping with aromatic plants to investigate their effect on soil nitrogen (N) cycling in an orchard ecosystem. The results indicate that the soil organic nitrogen and available nitrogen contents increased significantly in soils intercropped with aromatic plants. Similarly, the activities of soil protease and urease increased, together with total microbial biomass involved in N cycling, including nitrifying bacteria, denitrifying bacteria and azotobacters, as well as the total numbers of bacteria and fungi. This suggests that aromatic plants improve soil N cycling and nutrient levels by enriching the soil in organic matter through the regulation of both the abundance and community structure of microorganisms, together with associated soil enzyme activity, in orchard ecosystems. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Fluvial gravel stabilization by net-spinning Hydropsychid caddisflies: exploring the magnitude and geographic scope of ecosystem engineering effect and evaluating resistance to anthropogenic stresses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniels, M.; Albertson, L.; Sklar, L. S.; Tumolo, B.; Mclaughlin, M. K.

    2017-12-01

    Several studies have demonstrated the substantial effects that organisms can have on earth surface processes. Known as ecosystem engineers, in streams these organisms maintain, modify, or create physical habitat structure by influencing fluvial processes such as gravel movement, fine sediment deposition and bank erosion. However, the ecology of ecosystem engineers and the magnitude of ecosystem engineering effects in a world increasingly influence by anthropogenically-driven changes is not well understood. Here we present a synthesis of research findings on the potential gravel stabilization effects of Hydropsychid caddisflies, a globally distributed group of net-spinning insects that live in the benthic substrate of most freshwater streams. Hydropsychid caddisflies act as ecosystem engineers because these silk structures can fundamentally alter sediment transport conditions, including sediment stability and flow currents. The silk nets spun by these insects attach gravel grains to one another, increasing the shear stress required to initiate grain entrainment. In a series of independent laboratory experiments, we investigate the gravel size fractions most affected by these silk attachments. We also investigate the role of anthropogenic environmental stresses on ecosystem engineering potential by assessing the impact of two common stressors, high fine sediment loads and stream drying, on silk structures. Finally, an extensive field survey of grain size and Hydropsychid caddisfly population densities informs a watershed-scale network model of Hydropsychid caddisfly gravel stabilizing potential. Our findings provide some of the first evidence that caddisfly silk may be a biological structure that is resilient to various forms of human-mediated stress and that the effects of animal ecosystem engineers are underappreciated as an agent of resistance and recovery for aquatic communities experiencing changes in sediment loads and hydrologic regimes.

  4. Soil communities promote temporal stability and species asynchrony in experimental grassland communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pellkofer, Sarah; Van Der Heijden, Marcel G A; Schmid, Bernhard; Wagg, Cameron

    2016-01-01

    Background Over the past two decades many studies have demonstrated that plant species diversity promotes primary productivity and stability in grassland ecosystems. Additionally, soil community characteristics have also been shown to influence the productivity and composition of plant communities,

  5. Evaluation of seismic stability of nuclear power plants on weathered soft rocks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ogata, Nobuhide; Nishi, Koichi; Honsho, Shizumitsu

    1991-01-01

    Soft rocks such as weathered rocks or low cemented sedimentary rocks spread all over the country. If it is possible to construct nuclear power plants on such soft rocks, there will be more available sites for nuclear power plants. The investigation on the following research items was carried out. (1) Geological survey and the application of test methods on soft rocks. (2) Methods and application of laboratory and in-situ tests on soft rocks. (3) Response analysis of a reactor building and foundation ground during earthquake. (4) Stability analysis of soft rock ground as the foundation of a nuclear power plant regarding both earthquake and long-term settlement. From the results of the investigation, it became evident that the seismic stability of a nuclear power plant on weathered soft rocks can be assured enough. (author)

  6. Seed dispersal as an ecosystem service: frugivore loss leads to decline of a socially valued plant, Capsicum frutescens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egerer, Monika H; Fricke, Evan C; Rogers, Haldre S

    2018-04-01

    Species interactions, both mutualistic and antagonistic, are widely recognized as providing important ecosystem services. Fruit-eating animals influence plant recruitment by increasing germination during gut passage and moving seeds away from conspecifics. However, relative to studies focused on the importance of frugivores for plant population maintenance, few studies target frugivores as ecosystem service providers, and frugivores are underappreciated as ecosystem service providers relative to other mutualists such as pollinators. Here, we use an accidental experiment to elucidate the role of seed dispersal by frugivores for maintaining a culturally and economically important plant, the donne' sali chili (Capsicum frutescens) in the Mariana Islands. One of the islands (Guam) has lost nearly all of its native forest birds due to an invasive snake (Boiga irregularis), whereas nearby islands have relatively intact bird populations. We hypothesized that frugivore loss would influence chili recruitment and abundance, which could have economic and cultural impacts. By using video cameras, we confirmed that birds were the primary seed dispersers. We used captive bird feeding trials to obtain gut-passed seeds to use in a seedling emergence experiment. The experiment showed that gut-passed seeds emerged sooner and at a higher proportion than seeds from whole fruits. Consistent with our findings that birds benefit chilies, we observed lower chili abundance on Guam than on islands with birds. In a survey questionnaire of island residents, the majority of residents reported an association between the wild chili and local cultural values and traditions. In addition, we identified a thriving market for chili products, suggesting benefits of wild chilies to people in the Marianas both as consumers and producers. Our study therefore documents seed dispersal as both a cultural and a supporting ecosystem service. We provide a comprehensive case study on how seed-dispersed plants

  7. The invasive alien plants threatened the balance of ecosystem in conservative area in Ontoloe Island, Flores-Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antonius Mboka Segu Wake, Ignatius; Retnaningsih Soeprobowati, Tri; Jumari

    2018-05-01

    Invasive alien plants threaten to biodiversity, particularly in small island with high endemicity values such as Ontoloe Island, a tourist destination area of Riung Seventeen Island in Flores. The study aims to characterized the invasive plants have attacked the conservative area in Ontoloe Island. The method used by combining the line method and the plot method with three observation stations in utilization block and four observation station in protection block. Plot of 1mx1m was used for the observation of ground cover plants and seedling, 5mx5m for the observation in stake level, 10mx10m for the observation in pole level, 20mx20m for the observation in tree level. The data level of the plants obtained then analyzed with Important Value Index (IVI). Result showed that Lamtoro plants (Leuchaena leucocephala) is the invasive alien species which has the highest IVI in both of utilization block and protection block in each level of tree, stake, and pole. There are other invasive alien plants such as Tembeleken (Lantana camara) and Bidara (Zizipus mauritiana) dominated in stake level and Alang-alang (Imperata cylindrica) dominated in seedling level. All the native plants in Ontoloe Island will be threatened their existing because of the less control of invasive alien plants. Therefore, needs serious handling by the government in order to keep the balanced of the ecosystems in Ontoloe Island to be maintained especially to not deviated from management objectives area of Komodo Dragons conservation (Varanus komodoensis Ouwens, 1912).

  8. Antifoaming materials in G.S. (Girlder sulfide) heavy water plants. Thermical stability. Pt. 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Delfino, C.A.

    1986-01-01

    In Girlder sulfide (G.S.) heavy water plants hydrogen sulfide-water systems are inherentely foaming, so the adding of antifoaming materials is of great importance. These may be of high volatility, pyrolizable or chemically unstable in plant operation conditions (water and hydrogen sulfide at 2 MPa, up to 230 deg C). About twenty commercial surfactants were studied from the point of view of their thermical stability. (Author) [es

  9. Plants from Chernobyl zone could shed light on genome stability in radioactive environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shevchenko, Galina; Talalaiev, Oleksandr; Doonan, John

    2016-07-01

    For nearly 30 years, despite of chronic radiation, flora in Chernobyl zone continue to flourish, evidencing the adaptation of plants to such an environment. Keeping in mind interplanetary missions, this phenomenon is a challenge for plant space research since it highlights the possible mechanisms of genome protection and stabilization in harmful environment. Plants are sessile organisms and, contrary to animals, could not escape the external impact. Therefore, plants should evolve the robust system allowing DNA-protection against damage, which is of special interest. Our investigations show that Arabidopsis thaliana from Chernobyl zone tolerate radiomimetics and heavy metals better than control plants from non-polluted areas. Besides, its genome is less affected by such mutagens. qPCR investigations have revealed up-regulation of some genes involved in DNA damage response. In particular, expression of ATR is increased slightly and downstream expression of CycB1:1 gene is increased significantly after bleomycin treatment suggesting role of ATR-dependent pathway in genome stabilization. Several DNA repair pathways are known to exist in plants. We continue investigations on gene expression from different DNA repair pathways as well as cell cycle regulation and investigation of PCD hallmarks in order to reveal the mechanism of plant tolerance to radiation environment. Our investigations provide unique information for space researchers working on biotechnology of radiation tolerant plants.

  10. Validation of SIMULATE-3K for stability analysis of Laguna Verde nuclear plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Castillo, Rogelio, E-mail: rogelio.castillo@inin.gob.mx [Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Nucleares, Carretera México-Toluca s/n, La Marquesa, Ocoyoacac, Estado de México 52750 (Mexico); Alonso, Gustavo, E-mail: gustavo.alonso@inin.gob.mx [Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Nucleares, Carretera México-Toluca s/n, La Marquesa, Ocoyoacac, Estado de México 52750 (Mexico); Instituto Politecnico Nacional, Unidad Profesional Adolfo Lopez Mateos, Ed. 9, Lindavista, D.F. 07300 (Mexico); Ramírez, J. Ramón, E-mail: ramon.ramirez@inin.gob.mx [Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Nucleares, Carretera México-Toluca s/n, La Marquesa, Ocoyoacac, Estado de México 52750 (Mexico)

    2013-12-15

    Highlights: • Neutronic/thermal hydraulic event in Laguna Verde is modeled. • A good agreement is obtained between SIMULATE-3K results and data plant for frequency and DR. • Other noise analysis techniques are used for the same purpose with good agreement. • Validation of SIMULATE-3K for stability analysis of Laguna Verde is confirmed - Abstract: Boiling Water Reactors are two phase flow systems which are susceptible to different types of flow instabilities. Among these are the coupled neutronic/thermal-hydraulic instabilities, these may compromise established fuel safety limits. These instabilities are characterized by periodic core-power and hydraulic oscillations. SIMULATE-3K code has been tested for stability analysis for several benchmarks, however to qualify the SIMULATE-3K code for a particular power plant a specific reactor plant analysis must be done. In this paper, the plant model of Laguna Verde Nuclear Power Plant is built and SIMULATE-3K is tested against the 1995 coupled neutronic/thermal-hydraulic instability event of Laguna Verde. Results obtained show the adequacy of this code to specific Laguna Verde power plant stability analysis.

  11. How plants connect pollination and herbivory networks and their contribution to community stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauve, Alix M C; Thébault, Elisa; Pocock, Michael J O; Fontaine, Colin

    2016-04-01

    Pollination and herbivory networks have mainly been studied separately, highlighting their distinct structural characteristics and the related processes and dynamics. However, most plants interact with both pollinators and herbivores, and there is evidence that both types of interaction affect each other. Here we investigated the way plants connect these mutualistic and antagonistic networks together, and the consequences for community stability. Using an empirical data set, we show that the way plants connect pollination and herbivory networks is not random and promotes community stability. Analyses of the structure of binary and quantitative networks show different results: the plants' generalism with regard to pollinators is positively correlated to their generalism with regard to herbivores when considering binary interactions, but not when considering quantitative interactions. We also show that plants that share the same pollinators do not share the same herbivores. However, the way plants connect pollination and herbivory networks promotes stability for both binary and quantitative networks. Our results highlight the relevance of considering the diversity of interaction types in ecological communities, and stress the need to better quantify the costs and benefits of interactions, as well as to develop new metrics characterizing the way different interaction types are combined within ecological networks.

  12. Ecosystem Development after Mangrove Wetland Creation: Plant-Soil Change across a 20-year Chronosequence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangrove wetland restoration and creation efforts are increasingly proposed as mechanisms to compensate for mangrove wetland loss. However, ecosystem development and functional equivalence in restored and created mangrove wetlands is poorly understood. We compared a 20-yr chrono...

  13. Plant trait-based models identify direct and indirect effects of climate change on bundles of grassland ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamarque, Pénélope; Lavorel, Sandra; Mouchet, Maud; Quétier, Fabien

    2014-09-23

    Land use and climate change are primary causes of changes in the supply of ecosystem services (ESs). Although the consequences of climate change on ecosystem properties and associated services are well documented, the cascading impacts of climate change on ESs through changes in land use are largely overlooked. We present a trait-based framework based on an empirical model to elucidate how climate change affects tradeoffs among ESs. Using alternative scenarios for mountain grasslands, we predicted how direct effects of climate change on ecosystems and indirect effects through farmers' adaptations are likely to affect ES bundles through changes in plant functional properties. ES supply was overall more sensitive to climate than to induced management change, and ES bundles remained stable across scenarios. These responses largely reflected the restricted extent of management change in this constrained system, which was incorporated when scaling up plot level climate and management effects on ecosystem properties to the entire landscape. The trait-based approach revealed how the combination of common driving traits and common responses to changed fertility determined interactions and tradeoffs among ESs.

  14. Use of phytoproductivity data in the choice of native plant species to restore a degraded coal mining site amended with a stabilized industrial organic sludge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiochetta, Claudete G; Toumi, Hela; Böhm, Renata F S; Engel, Fernanda; Poyer-Radetski, Gabriel; Rörig, Leonardo R; Adani, Fabrizio; Radetski, Claudemir M

    2017-11-01

    Coal mining-related activities result in a degraded landscape and sites associated with large amounts of dumped waste material. The arid soil resulting from acid mine drainage affects terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and thus, site remediation programs must be implemented to mitigate this sequential deleterious processes. A low-cost alternative material to counterbalance the affected physico-chemical-microbiological aspects of the degraded soil is the amendment with low contaminated and stabilized industrial organic sludge. The content of nutrients P and N, together with stabilized organic matter, makes this material an excellent fertilizer and soil conditioner, fostering biota colonization and succession in the degraded site. However, choice of native plant species to restore a degraded site must be guided by some minimal criteria, such as plant survival/adaptation and plant biomass productivity. Thus, in this 3-month study under environmental conditions, phytoproductivity tests with five native plant species (Surinam cherry Eugenia uniflora L., C. myrianthum-Citharexylum myrianthum, Inga-Inga spp., Brazilian peppertree Schinus terebinthifolius, and Sour cherry Prunus cerasus) were performed to assess these criteria, and additional biochemical parameters were measured in plant tissues (i.e., protein content and peroxidase activity) exposed to different soil/sludge mixture proportions. The results show that three native plants were more adequate to restore vegetation on degraded sites: Surinam cherry, C. myrianthum, and Brazilian peppertree. Thus, this study demonstrates that phytoproductivity tests associated with biochemical endpoint measurements can help in the choice of native plant species, as well as aiding in the choice of the most appropriate soil/stabilized sludge proportion in order to optimize biomass production.

  15. Assessing and monitoring impacts of genetically modified plants on agro-ecosystems: the approach of AMIGA project

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Arpaia

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The environmental impacts of genetically modified crops is still a controversial issue in Europe. The overall risk assessment framework has recently been reinforced by the European Food Safety Authority(EFSA and its implementation requires harmonized and efficient methodologies. The EU-funded research project AMIGA − Assessing and monitoring Impacts of Genetically modified plants on Agro-ecosystems − aims to address this issue, by providing a framework that establishes protection goals and baselines for European agro-ecosystems, improves knowledge on the potential long term environmental effects of genetically modified (GM plants, tests the efficacy of the EFSA Guidance Document for the Environmental Risk Assessment, explores new strategies for post market monitoring, and provides a systematic analysis of economic aspects of Genetically Modified crops cultivation in the EU. Research focuses on ecological studies in different EU regions, the sustainability of GM crops is estimated by analysing the functional components of the agro-ecosystems and specific experimental protocols are being developed for this scope.

  16. Wastewater Sludge Stabilization Using Lime A Case Study of West Ahwaz Wastewater Treatment Plant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehdi Farzadkia

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Lime stabilization is a chemical method used for wastewater sludge stabilization. It is capable of decreasing large quantities of pathogens and of preventing microbial degradation of sludge organic materials. The main objective of the present experimental research was to investigate stabilization of the sludge from west Ahwaz wastewater treatment plant by lime addition and to control if the microbial quality of this sludge conforms to the USEPA standards for sludge reuse and safe disposal. The study was carried out on a pilot scale in 5 stages over a period of 12 months (July 2005 to June 2006 at west Ahwaz wastewater treatment plant laboratory using raw sludge. For the purposes of this study, a 30-liter reactor was commissioned and loaded with sludge and appropriate quantities of hydrated lime were added based on the solid waste percent. The parameters used to determine stabilization efficiency were pH, Total Coliform, Fecal Coliform, and parasite eggs. The results showed that lime addition at a ratio of 265g Ca(OH2/kg. ds was the optimum level for sludge stabilization in westAhwazwastewater treatment plant, which is acceptable from both economic and technical viewpoints. The method is capable of achieving class B but never satisfied class A of USEPA standards.

  17. Uptake of uranium by aquatic plants growing in fresh water ecosystem around uranium mill tailings pond at Jaduguda, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jha, V N; Tripathi, R M; Sethy, N K; Sahoo, S K

    2016-01-01

    Concentration of uranium was determined in aquatic plants and substrate (sediment or water) of fresh water ecosystem on and around uranium mill tailings pond at Jaduguda, India. Aquatic plant/substrate concentration ratios (CRs) of uranium were estimated for different sites on and around the uranium mill tailings disposal area. These sites include upstream and downstream side of surface water sources carrying the treated tailings effluent, a small pond inside tailings disposal area and residual water of this area. Three types of plant groups were investigated namely algae (filamentous and non-filamentous), other free floating & water submerged and sediment rooted plants. Wide variability in concentration ratio was observed for different groups of plants studied. The filamentous algae uranium concentration was significantly correlated with that of water (r=0.86, puranium concentration in plant and the substrate (r=0.88, puranium concentration was significantly correlated with Mn, Fe, and Ni concentration of plants (puranium accumulation and concentration ratio can be useful for prospecting phytoremediation of stream carrying treated or untreated uranium mill tailings effluent. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. The Microbial Efficiency-Matrix Stabilization (MEMS) framework integrates plant litter decomposition with soil organic matter stabilization: do labile plant inputs form stable soil organic matter?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotrufo, M Francesca; Wallenstein, Matthew D; Boot, Claudia M; Denef, Karolien; Paul, Eldor

    2013-04-01

    The decomposition and transformation of above- and below-ground plant detritus (litter) is the main process by which soil organic matter (SOM) is formed. Yet, research on litter decay and SOM formation has been largely uncoupled, failing to provide an effective nexus between these two fundamental processes for carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling and storage. We present the current understanding of the importance of microbial substrate use efficiency and C and N allocation in controlling the proportion of plant-derived C and N that is incorporated into SOM, and of soil matrix interactions in controlling SOM stabilization. We synthesize this understanding into the Microbial Efficiency-Matrix Stabilization (MEMS) framework. This framework leads to the hypothesis that labile plant constituents are the dominant source of microbial products, relative to input rates, because they are utilized more efficiently by microbes. These microbial products of decomposition would thus become the main precursors of stable SOM by promoting aggregation and through strong chemical bonding to the mineral soil matrix. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  19. The Influence of Plant Root Systems on Subsurface Flow: Implications for Slope Stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Although research has explained how plant roots mechanically stabilize soils, in this article we explore how root systems create networks of preferential flow and thus influence water pressures in soils to trigger landslides. Root systems may alter subsurface flow: Hydrological m...

  20. Nitrogen Uptake During Fall, Winter and Spring Differs Among Plant Functional Groups in a Subarctic Heath Ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Klaus Steenberg; Michelsen, Anders; Jonasson, Sven

    2012-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) is a critical resource for plant growth in tundra ecosystems, and species differences in the timing of N uptake may be an important feature regulating community composition and ecosystem productivity. We added 15N-labelled glycine to a subarctic heath tundra dominated by dwarf shrubs...... to 37 ± 7% by April indicating significant microbial N turnover prior to spring thaw. Only the evergreen dwarf shrubs showed active 15N acquisition before early May indicating that they had the highest potential of all functional groups for acquiring nutrients that became available in early spring....... The faster-growing deciduous shrubs did not resume 15N acquisition until after early May indicating that they relied more on nitrogen made available later during the spring/early summer. The graminoids and mosses had no significant increases in 15N tracer recovery or tissue 15N tracer concentrations after...

  1. Ant aggression and evolutionary stability in plant-ant and plant-pollinator mutualistic interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oña, L; Lachmann, M

    2011-03-01

    Mutualistic partners derive a benefit from their interaction, but this benefit can come at a cost. This is the case for plant-ant and plant-pollinator mutualistic associations. In exchange for protection from herbivores provided by the resident ants, plants supply various kinds of resources or nests to the ants. Most ant-myrmecophyte mutualisms are horizontally transmitted, and therefore, partners share an interest in growth but not in reproduction. This lack of alignment in fitness interests between plants and ants drives a conflict between them: ants can attack pollinators that cross-fertilize the host plants. Using a mathematical model, we define a threshold in ant aggressiveness determining pollinator survival or elimination on the host plant. In our model we observed that, all else being equal, facultative interactions result in pollinator extinction for lower levels of ant aggressiveness than obligatory interactions. We propose that the capacity to discriminate pollinators from herbivores should not often evolve in ants, and when it does it will be when the plants exhibit limited dispersal in an environment that is not seed saturated so that each seed produced can effectively generate a new offspring or if ants acquire an extra benefit from pollination (e.g. if ants eat fruit). We suggest specific mutualism examples where these hypotheses can be tested empirically. © 2010 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2010 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  2. Geometagenomics illuminates the impact of agriculture on the distribution and prevalence of plant viruses at the ecosystem scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernardo, Pauline; Charles-Dominique, Tristan; Barakat, Mohamed; Ortet, Philippe; Fernandez, Emmanuel; Filloux, Denis; Hartnady, Penelope; Rebelo, Tony A; Cousins, Stephen R; Mesleard, François; Cohez, Damien; Yavercovski, Nicole; Varsani, Arvind; Harkins, Gordon W; Peterschmitt, Michel; Malmstrom, Carolyn M; Martin, Darren P; Roumagnac, Philippe

    2018-01-01

    Disease emergence events regularly result from human activities such as agriculture, which frequently brings large populations of genetically uniform hosts into contact with potential pathogens. Although viruses cause nearly 50% of emerging plant diseases, there is little systematic information about virus distribution across agro-ecological interfaces and large gaps in understanding of virus diversity in nature. Here we applied a novel landscape-scale geometagenomics approach to examine relationships between agricultural land use and distributions of plant-associated viruses in two Mediterranean-climate biodiversity hotspots (Western Cape region of South Africa and Rhône river delta region of France). In total, we analysed 1725 geo-referenced plant samples collected over two years from 4.5 × 4.5 km 2 grids spanning farmlands and adjacent uncultivated vegetation. We found substantial virus prevalence (25.8-35.7%) in all ecosystems, but prevalence and identified family-level virus diversity were greatest in cultivated areas, with some virus families displaying strong agricultural associations. Our survey revealed 94 previously unknown virus species, primarily from uncultivated plants. This is the first effort to systematically evaluate plant-associated viromes across broad agro-ecological interfaces. Our findings indicate that agriculture substantially influences plant virus distributions and highlight the extent of current ignorance about the diversity and roles of viruses in nature.

  3. The Date Palm Tree Rhizosphere Is a Niche for Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria in the Oasis Ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raoudha Ferjani

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In arid ecosystems environmental factors such as geoclimatic conditions and agricultural practices are of major importance in shaping the diversity and functionality of plant-associated bacterial communities. Assessing the influence of such factors is a key to understand (i the driving forces determining the shape of root-associated bacterial communities and (ii the plant growth promoting (PGP services they provide. Desert oasis environment was chosen as model ecosystem where agriculture is possible by the microclimate determined by the date palm cultivation. The bacterial communities in the soil fractions associated with the root system of date palms cultivated in seven oases in Tunisia were assessed by culture-independent and dependent approaches. According to 16S rRNA gene PCR-DGGE fingerprinting, the shapes of the date palm rhizosphere bacterial communities correlate with geoclimatic features along a north-south aridity transect. Despite the fact that the date palm root bacterial community structure was strongly influenced by macroecological factors, the potential rhizosphere services reflected in the PGP traits of isolates screened in vitro were conserved among the different oases. Such services were exerted by the 83% of the screened isolates. The comparable numbers and types of PGP traits indicate their importance in maintaining the plant functional homeostasis despite the different environmental selection pressures.

  4. The Date Palm Tree Rhizosphere Is a Niche for Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria in the Oasis Ecosystem

    KAUST Repository

    Ferjani, Raoudha

    2015-04-01

    In arid ecosystems environmental factors such as geoclimatic conditions and agricultural practices are of major importance in shaping the diversity and functionality of plant-associated bacterial communities. Assessing the influence of such factors is a key to understand (i) the driving forces determining the shape of root-associated bacterial communities and (ii) the plant growth promoting (PGP) services they provide. Desert oasis environment was chosen as model ecosystem where agriculture is possible by the microclimate determined by the date palm cultivation. The bacterial communities in the soil fractions associated with the root system of date palms cultivated in seven oases in Tunisia were assessed by culture-independent and dependent approaches. According to 16S rRNA gene PCR-DGGE fingerprinting, the shapes of the date palm rhizosphere bacterial communities correlate with geoclimatic features along a north-south aridity transect. Despite the fact that the date palm root bacterial community structure was strongly influenced by macroecological factors, the potential rhizosphere services reflected in the PGP traits of isolates screened in vitro were conserved among the different oases. Such services were exerted by the 83% of the screened isolates. The comparable numbers and types of PGP traits indicate their importance in maintaining the plant functional homeostasis despite the different environmental selection pressures.

  5. The Date Palm Tree Rhizosphere Is a Niche for Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria in the Oasis Ecosystem

    KAUST Repository

    Ferjani, Raoudha; Marasco, Ramona; Rolli, Eleonora; Cherif, Hanene; Cherif, Ameur; Gtari, Maher; Boudabous, Abdellatif; Daffonchio, Daniele; Ouzari, Hadda-Imene

    2015-01-01

    In arid ecosystems environmental factors such as geoclimatic conditions and agricultural practices are of major importance in shaping the diversity and functionality of plant-associated bacterial communities. Assessing the influence of such factors is a key to understand (i) the driving forces determining the shape of root-associated bacterial communities and (ii) the plant growth promoting (PGP) services they provide. Desert oasis environment was chosen as model ecosystem where agriculture is possible by the microclimate determined by the date palm cultivation. The bacterial communities in the soil fractions associated with the root system of date palms cultivated in seven oases in Tunisia were assessed by culture-independent and dependent approaches. According to 16S rRNA gene PCR-DGGE fingerprinting, the shapes of the date palm rhizosphere bacterial communities correlate with geoclimatic features along a north-south aridity transect. Despite the fact that the date palm root bacterial community structure was strongly influenced by macroecological factors, the potential rhizosphere services reflected in the PGP traits of isolates screened in vitro were conserved among the different oases. Such services were exerted by the 83% of the screened isolates. The comparable numbers and types of PGP traits indicate their importance in maintaining the plant functional homeostasis despite the different environmental selection pressures.

  6. Trade-offs Between Electricity Production from Small Hydropower Plants and Ecosystem Services in Alpine River Basins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Philipp; Schwemmle, Robin; Viviroli, Daniel

    2015-04-01

    The need for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and the decision to phase out nuclear power plants in Switzerland and Germany increases pressure to develop the remaining hydropower potential in Alpine catchments. Since most of the potential for large reservoirs is already exploited, future development focusses on small run-of-the-river hydropower plants (SHP). Being considered a relatively environment-friendly electricity source, investment in SHP is promoted through subsidies. However, SHP can have a significant impact on riverine ecosystems, especially in the Alpine region where residual flow reaches tend to be long. An increase in hydropower exploitation will therefore increase pressure on ecosystems. While a number of studies assessed the potential for hydropower development in the Alps, two main factors were so far not assessed in detail: (i) ecological impacts within a whole river network, and (ii) economic conditions under which electricity is sold. We present a framework that establishes trade-offs between multiple objectives regarding environmental impacts, electricity production and economic evaluation. While it is inevitable that some ecosystems are compromised by hydropower plants, the context of these impacts within a river network should be considered when selecting suitable sites for SHP. From an ecological point of view, the diversity of habitats, and therefore the diversity of species, should be maintained within a river basin. This asks for objectives that go beyond lumped parameters of hydrological alteration, but also consider habitat diversity and the spatial configuration. Energy production in run-of-the-river power plants depends on available discharge, which can have large fluctuations. In a deregulated electricity market with strong price variations, an economic valuation should therefore be based on the expected market value of energy produced. Trade-off curves between different objectives can help decision makers to define policies

  7. Fluidic origami with embedded pressure dependent multi-stability: a plant inspired innovation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Suyi; Wang, K W

    2015-10-06

    Inspired by the impulsive movements in plants, this research investigates the physics of a novel fluidic origami concept for its pressure-dependent multi-stability. In this innovation, fluid-filled tubular cells are synthesized by integrating different Miura-Ori sheets into a three-dimensional topological system, where the internal pressures are strategically controlled similar to the motor cells in plants. Fluidic origami incorporates two crucial physiological features observed in nature: one is distributed, pressurized cellular organization, and the other is embedded multi-stability. For a single fluidic origami cell, two stable folding configurations can coexist due to the nonlinear relationships among folding, crease material deformation and internal volume change. When multiple origami cells are integrated, additional multi-stability characteristics could occur via the interactions between pressurized cells. Changes in the fluid pressure can tailor the existence and shapes of these stable folding configurations. As a result, fluidic origami can switch between being mono-stable, bistable and multi-stable with pressure control, and provide a rapid 'snap-through' type of shape change based on the similar principles as in plants. The outcomes of this research could lead to the development of new adaptive materials or structures, and provide insights for future plant physiology studies at the cellular level. © 2015 The Author(s).

  8. Interactions of two novel stabilizing amendments with sunflower plants grown in a contaminated soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michálková, Zuzana; Martínez-Fernández, Domingo; Komárek, Michael

    2017-11-01

    Several efficient stabilizing amendments have been recently proposed for the remediation of metal(loid)-contaminated soils. However, information on their interactions with plants, which is a crucial factor in soil environments, are still scarce. An amorphous manganese oxide (AMO) synthesized from organic compounds and nano zerovalent iron (nZVI) have been previously tested as promising stabilizing agents usable both for the stabilization of metals and As. Experiments with rhizoboxes were performed in order to evaluate their influence on the mobility of metal(loid)s in the bulk soil and rhizosphere of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) together with their impact on metal uptake and biomass yield. Generally, AMO proved more efficient than nZVI in all stages of experiment. Furthermore, the AMO effectively reduced water- and 0.01 M CaCl 2 -extractable fractions of Cd, Pb and Zn. The decreased bioavailability of contaminating metal(loid)s resulted in significant increase of microbial activity in AMO-amended soil. Together with metal(loid) extractability, the AMO was also able to significantly reduce the uptake of metals and ameliorate plant growth, especially in the case of Zn, since this metal was taken up in excessive amounts from the control soil causing strong phytotoxicity and even death of young seedlings. On the other hand, AMO application lead to significant release of Mn that was readily taken up by plants. Resulting Mn concentrations in biomass exceeded toxicity thresholds while plants were showing emergent Mn phytotoxicity symptoms. We highlight the need of such complex studies involving plants and soil biota when evaluating the efficiency of stabilizing amendments in contaminated soils. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning: Exploring Principles of Ecology with Agricultural Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruesink, Jennifer; O'Connor, Eileen; Sparks, Grace

    2006-01-01

    To date, little of the ecological research on biological diversity and ecosystem functioning has been carried out in agricultural systems, despite the fact that agriculture is a major contributor to loss of native habitats and species. However, agricultural research has demonstrated that polycultures of multiple crop species can have higher total…

  10. Tree harvest in an experimental sand ecosystem: plant effects on nutrient dynamics and solute generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    C. K. Keller; R. O' Brien; J. R. Havig; J. L. Smith; B. T. Bormann; D. Wang

    2006-01-01

    The hydrochemical signatures of forested ecosystems are known to be determined by a time-variant combination of physical-hydrologic, geochemical, and biologic processes. We studied subsurface potassium (K), calcium (Ca), and nitrate (NO3) in an experimental red-pine mesocosm to determine how trees affect the behavior of these nutrients in soil...

  11. Accounting for multiple stressors in regional stream ecosystem analysis: A demonstration with riparian invasive plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background/Questions/Methods: Large cross-sectional data sets allow testing of hypotheses about how one part of an ecosystem relates to other parts. Tests such as these are of interest for many reasons, one of which is to gain insight into the role of stressors, such as land co...

  12. Balance matters : N:P stoichiometry and plant diversity in grassland ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fujita, Y.

    2010-01-01

    Eutrophication of Nitrogen (N) and Phosphorus (P) is threatening the functioning and biodiversity of grassland ecosystems. A well known effect of eutrophication on grasslands is an increase of above-ground productivity, which intensifies light competition and allows only a few competitive species to

  13. Very high resolution time-lapse photography for plant and ecosystems research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Very high resolution gigapixel photography increasingly is being used to support a broad range of ecosystem and physical process research because it offers an inexpensive means of simultaneously collecting information at a range of spatial scales. Recently, methods have been developed to incorporate...

  14. Accumulation and environmental risk assessment of heavy metals in soil and plants of four different ecosystems in a former polymetallic ores mining and smelting area (Slovakia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demková, Lenka; Árvay, Július; Bobuľská, Lenka; Tomáš, Ján; Stanovič, Radovan; Lošák, Tomáš; Harangozo, Luboš; Vollmannová, Alena; Bystrická, Judita; Musilová, Janette; Jobbágy, Ján

    2017-04-16

    Heavy metals (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn) in soils and plants of four different ecosystems (forest, grassland, agro and urban ecosystem) at different distances from the source of the pollution were analyzed in order to assess and compare soil contamination in the various ecosystems and determine the potential accumulation of plants depending on the place they inhabit. Correlation relationships among heavy metals in soils differ depending on the ecosystem, and between soil and plant, the heavy metals showed significant correlation for Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn. Contamination factor (C f ), degree of contamination (C d ) and pollution load index (PLI) were used in order to determine the level of environmental contamination of the study area. All studied ecosystems were rated as moderately contaminated (except agroecosystem, which was found as low contamination ecosystem) according to C d and extremely polluted according to PLI. The highest pollution in both cases was found in urban ecosystem, and Cd, Cu and Fe were determined as the biggest pollutants.

  15. Ecosystem carbon stock influenced by plantation practice: implications for planting forests as a measure of climate change mitigation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chengzhang Liao

    Full Text Available Uncertainties remain in the potential of forest plantations to sequestrate carbon (C. We synthesized 86 experimental studies with paired-site design, using a meta-analysis approach, to quantify the differences in ecosystem C pools between plantations and their corresponding adjacent primary and secondary forests (natural forests. Totaled ecosystem C stock in plant and soil pools was 284 Mg C ha(-1 in natural forests and decreased by 28% in plantations. In comparison with natural forests, plantations decreased aboveground net primary production, litterfall, and rate of soil respiration by 11, 34, and 32%, respectively. Fine root biomass, soil C concentration, and soil microbial C concentration decreased respectively by 66, 32, and 29% in plantations relative to natural forests. Soil available N, P and K concentrations were lower by 22, 20 and 26%, respectively, in plantations than in natural forests. The general pattern of decreased ecosystem C pools did not change between two different groups in relation to various factors: stand age ( or = 25 years, stand types (broadleaved vs. coniferous and deciduous vs. evergreen, tree species origin (native vs. exotic of plantations, land-use history (afforestation vs. reforestation and site preparation for plantations (unburnt vs. burnt, and study regions (tropic vs. temperate. The pattern also held true across geographic regions. Our findings argued against the replacement of natural forests by the plantations as a measure of climate change mitigation.

  16. Methods to Improve Survival and Growth of Planted Alternative Species Seedlings in Black Ash Ecosystems Threatened by Emerald Ash Borer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas Bolton

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Emerald ash borer (EAB continues to spread across North America, infesting native ash trees and changing the forested landscape. Black ash wetland forests are severely affected by EAB. As black ash wetland forests provide integral ecosystem services, alternative approaches to maintain forest cover on the landscape are needed. We implemented simulated EAB infestations in depressional black ash wetlands in the Ottawa National Forest in Michigan to mimic the short-term and long-term effects of EAB. These wetlands were planted with 10 alternative tree species in 2013. Based on initial results in the Michigan sites, a riparian corridor in the Superior Municipal Forest in Wisconsin was planted with three alternative tree species in 2015. Results across both locations indicate that silver maple (Acer saccharinum L., red maple (Acer rubrum L., American elm (Ulmus americana L., and northern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis L. are viable alternative species to plant in black ash-dominated wetlands. Additionally, selectively planting on natural or created hummocks resulted in two times greater survival than in adjacent lowland sites, and this suggests that planting should be implemented with microsite selection or creation as a primary control. Regional landowners and forest managers can use these results to help mitigate the canopy and structure losses from EAB and maintain forest cover and hydrologic function in black ash-dominated wetlands after infestation.

  17. The Stability of Medicinal Plant microRNAs in the Herb Preparation Process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenyan Xie

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Herbal medicine is now globally accepted as a valid alternative system of pharmaceutical therapies. Various studies around the world have been initiated to develop scientific evidence-based herbal therapies. Recently, the therapeutic potential of medicinal plant derived miRNAs has attracted great attraction. MicroRNAs have been indicated as new bioactive ingredients in medicinal plants. However, the stability of miRNAs during the herbal preparation process and their bioavailability in humans remain unclear. Viscum album L. (European mistletoe has been widely used in folk medicine for the treatment of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Our previous study has indicated the therapeutic potential of mistletoe miRNAs by using bioinformatics tools. To evaluate the stability of these miRNAs, various mistletoe extracts that mimic the clinical medicinal use as well as traditional folk medicinal use were prepared. The mistletoe miRNAs including miR166a-3p, miR159a, miR831-5p, val-miR218 and val-miR11 were quantified by stem-loop qRT-PCR. As a result, miRNAs were detectable in the majority of the extracts, indicating that consumption of medicinal plant preparations might introduce miRNAs into mammals. The factors that might cause miRNA degradation include ultrasonic treatment, extreme heat, especially RNase treatment, while to be associated with plant molecules (e.g., proteins, exosomes might be an efficient way to protect miRNAs against degradation. Our study confirmed the stability of plant derived miRNAs during herb preparations, suggesting the possibility of functionally intact medicinal plant miRNAs in mammals.

  18. The Stability of Medicinal Plant microRNAs in the Herb Preparation Process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Wenyan; Melzig, Matthias F

    2018-04-16

    Herbal medicine is now globally accepted as a valid alternative system of pharmaceutical therapies. Various studies around the world have been initiated to develop scientific evidence-based herbal therapies. Recently, the therapeutic potential of medicinal plant derived miRNAs has attracted great attraction. MicroRNAs have been indicated as new bioactive ingredients in medicinal plants. However, the stability of miRNAs during the herbal preparation process and their bioavailability in humans remain unclear. Viscum album L. (European mistletoe) has been widely used in folk medicine for the treatment of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Our previous study has indicated the therapeutic potential of mistletoe miRNAs by using bioinformatics tools. To evaluate the stability of these miRNAs, various mistletoe extracts that mimic the clinical medicinal use as well as traditional folk medicinal use were prepared. The mistletoe miRNAs including miR166a-3p, miR159a, miR831-5p, val-miR218 and val-miR11 were quantified by stem-loop qRT-PCR. As a result, miRNAs were detectable in the majority of the extracts, indicating that consumption of medicinal plant preparations might introduce miRNAs into mammals. The factors that might cause miRNA degradation include ultrasonic treatment, extreme heat, especially RNase treatment, while to be associated with plant molecules (e.g., proteins, exosomes) might be an efficient way to protect miRNAs against degradation. Our study confirmed the stability of plant derived miRNAs during herb preparations, suggesting the possibility of functionally intact medicinal plant miRNAs in mammals.

  19. Integrating plant litter quality, soil organic matter stabilization, and the carbon saturation concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellano, Michael J; Mueller, Kevin E; Olk, Daniel C; Sawyer, John E; Six, Johan

    2015-09-01

    Labile, 'high-quality', plant litters are hypothesized to promote soil organic matter (SOM) stabilization in mineral soil fractions that are physicochemically protected from rapid mineralization. However, the effect of litter quality on SOM stabilization is inconsistent. High-quality litters, characterized by high N concentrations, low C/N ratios, and low phenol/lignin concentrations, are not consistently stabilized in SOM with greater efficiency than 'low-quality' litters characterized by low N concentrations, high C/N ratios, and high phenol/lignin concentrations. Here, we attempt to resolve these inconsistent results by developing a new conceptual model that links litter quality to the soil C saturation concept. Our model builds on the Microbial Efficiency-Matrix Stabilization framework (Cotrufo et al., 2013) by suggesting the effect of litter quality on SOM stabilization is modulated by the extent of soil C saturation such that high-quality litters are not always stabilized in SOM with greater efficiency than low-quality litters. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Biological effects of carbon nanotubes generated in forest wildfire ecosystems rich in resinous trees on native plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Lara-Romero

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Carbon nanotubes (CNTs have a broad range of applications and are generally considered human-engineered nanomaterials. However, carbon nanostructures have been found in ice cores and oil wells, suggesting that nature may provide appropriate conditions for CNT synthesis. During forest wildfires, materials such as turpentine and conifer tissues containing iron under high temperatures may create chemical conditions favorable for CNT generation, similar to those in synthetic methods. Here, we show evidence of naturally occurring multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs produced from Pinus oocarpa and Pinus pseudostrobus, following a forest wildfire. The MWCNTs showed an average of 10 walls, with internal diameters of ∼2.5 nm and outer diameters of ∼14.5 nm. To verify whether MWCNT generation during forest wildfires has a biological effect on some characteristic plant species of these ecosystems, germination and development of seedlings were conducted. Results show that the utilization of comparable synthetic MWCNTs increased seed germination rates and the development of Lupinus elegans and Eysenhardtia polystachya, two plants species found in the burned forest ecosystem. The finding provides evidence that supports the generation and possible ecological functions of MWCNTs in nature.

  1. Prosopis laevigata and Mimosa biuncifera (Leguminosae, jointly influence plant diversity and soil fertility of a Mexican semiarid ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosalva García-Sánchez

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Prosopis laevigata and Mimosa biuncifera are frequently found in arid and semiarid shrublands, but scarce information is available about their influence on plant community structure and soil fertility. We compared plant community structure, diversity and soil nutrients of three semiarid shrubland sites located in Mezquital Valley, Mexico. These sites differ in their dominant species: Site 1 (Bingu P. laevigata, Site 2 (González M. biuncifera, and Site 3 (Rincón with the presence of both legumes. The results showed that the plant community with P. laevigata and M. biuncifera (Site 3 had more cover, taller plants and higher plant diversity than sites with only one legume (Site 1 and Site 2. Soil organic matter (SOM, soil organic carbon (SOC, total nitrogen (TN, phosphorus-Olsen (P and C mineralization were higher in the soil under the canopy of both legumes than in bare soil. In contrast, soil cation concentrations were lower under the canopy of P. laevigata, but not for M. biuncifera. In addition, the density of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi spores was higher within the soil under the canopy of M. biuncifera than in the soil under the canopy of P. laevigata. Thus, resource islands (RI created by P. laevigata increased the amounts of SOC, TN and P when compared with the RI of M. biuncifera. This study provided evidences about the importance of species identity in order to expand the niche availability for the establishment of other plants, and highlights that P. laevigata and M. biuncifera jointly influencing plant colonization within semiarid ecosystems

  2. Experimental effects of herbivore density on above-ground plant biomass in an alpine grassland ecosystem

    OpenAIRE

    Austrheim, Gunnar; Speed, James David Mervyn; Martinsen, Vegard; Mulder, Jan; Mysterud, Atle

    2014-01-01

    Herbivores may increase or decrease aboveground plant productivity depending on factors such as herbivore density and habitat productivity. The grazing optimization hypothesis predicts a peak in plant production at intermediate herbivore densities, but has rarely been tested experimentally in an alpine field setting. In an experimental design with three densities of sheep (high, low, and no sheep), we harvested aboveground plant biomass in alpine grasslands prior to treatment and after five y...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Meier, Courtney L.; Bowman, William D.

    2008-01-01

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

  4. The biotest basin of the Forsmark nuclear power plant, Sweden. An experiment on the ecosystem level

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grimaas, U.

    1979-01-01

    Biotope models of various sizes and enclosed waters in connection with radionuclide release constitute important tools for radioecological experiments, representing an intermediate step between field and laboratory conditions. The biotest basin at Forsmark is especially constructed for investigations on the effects of radioactivity and heat on a brackish water ecosystem. The basin encloses a water area of 1km 2 in the outer archipelago of the region and is fed with cooling water and released radionuclides by a discharge tunnel. The quantities of the discharges into the basin are adjustable. The biotest experiment permits a quantification of the retention and transport of radionuclides at the various trophic levels. Of special value is the possibility to work with known populations of fish. The approach has the advantage of experimental ecology - the control of important parameters - under the impact of all environmental factors in a complete ecosystem. (author)

  5. Understanding the value of plant diversity for ecosystem functioning through niche theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Purves, Drew W.; Loreau, Michel

    2016-01-01

    Biodiversity experiments have generated robust empirical results supporting the hypothesis that ecosystems function better when they contain more species. Given that ecosystems provide services that are valued by humans, this inevitably suggests that the loss of species from natural ecosystems could diminish their value. This raises two important questions. First, will experimental results translate into the real world, where species are being lost at an alarming rate? And second, what are the benefits and pitfalls of such valuation exercises? We argue that the empirical results obtained in experiments are entirely consistent with well-established theories of species coexistence. We then examine the current body of work through the lens of niche theory and highlight where closer links with theory could open up opportunities for future research. We argue that niche theory predicts that diversity–functioning relationships are likely to be stronger (and require more species) in the field than in simplified experimental settings. However, we caution that while many of the biological processes that promote coexistence can also generate diversity–function relationships, there is no simple mapping between the two. This implies that valuation exercises need to proceed with care. PMID:27928043

  6. Sludge stabilization at the Plutonium Finishing Plant, Hanford Site, Richland, Washington

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-10-01

    This Environmental Assessment evaluates the proposed action to operate two laboratory-size muffle furnaces in glovebox HC-21C, located in the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP), Hanford Site, Richland, Washington. The muffle furnaces would be used to stabilize chemically reactive sludges that contain approximately 25 kilograms (55 pounds) of plutonium by heating to approximately 500 to 1000 degrees C (900 to 1800 degrees F). The resulting stable powder, mostly plutonium oxide with impurities, would be stored in the PFP vaults. The presence of chemically reactive plutonium-bearing sludges in the process gloveboxes poses a risk to workers from radiation exposure and limits the availability of storage space for future plant cleanup. Therefore, there is a need to stabilize the material into a form suitable for long-term storage. This proposed action would be an interim action, which would take place prior to completion of an Environmental Impact Statement for the PFP which would evaluate stabilization of all plutonium-bearing materials and cleanout of the facility. However, only 10 percent of the total quantity of plutonium in reactive materials is in the sludges, so this action will not limit the choice of reasonable alternatives or prejudice the Record of Decision of the Plutonium Finishing Plant Environmental Impact Statement

  7. Accumulation and transfer of 137Cs and 90Sr in the plants of the forest ecosystem near the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lukšienė, B.; Marčiulionienė, D.; Gudelienė, I.; Schönhofer, F.

    2013-01-01

    The radioecological state of the forest ecosystem in the vicinity of the Ignalina Power Plant prior to decommissioning was analysed with specific emphasis on 137 Cs and 90 Sr activity concentrations in plant species growing in two reference sampling sites (Tilze and Grikiniskes). In the period of 1996–2008 the mean contamination of plants with 137 Cs was from 45 to 119 Bq/kg and with 90 Sr – from 3 to 42 Bq/kg. Measured 137 Cs TF values for soil-root transfer mainly ranged between 1.0–1.4, except for Calamagrostis arundinacea which had a TF value of 0.1. On average, the 137 Cs TF value from root to shoot was 1.7 fold higher than for soil to root transfer. 90 Sr TF values (soil-root) were in the range of 1.2–1.8 but for Calluna vulgaris it was 0.2. The mean root to shoot TF value for 90 Sr was 7.7 fold higher. These results indicate the higher 90 Sr bioavailability than that of 137 Cs in the forested area. The Grikiniskes reference site is located nearby the Ignalina NPP, specifically the heated water outlet channel, which results in altered microclimatic conditions. These specific microclimatic conditions result in relationships between 137 Cs TF (soil-root) values and pH, moisture and organic matter content in the soil at Grikiniskes which appear to be different to those at the Tilze reference sampling site. - Highlights: ► The state of the forest ecosystem prior to decommissioning of the NPP was analysed. ► Results indicate the higher 90 Sr bioavailability than that of 137 Cs. ► Contribution of 137 Cs of different origin in plants was calculated.

  8. The effect of mercury deposition to ecosystem around coal-power plants in Tan-An peninsular, S. Korea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Y.; Lee, J.; Song, K.; Shin, S.; Han, J.; Hong, E.; Jung, G.

    2009-12-01

    According to UNEP’s Report in 2008, Korea is one of the largest mercury emitting country with emission amount of 32 tones and the contribution of stationary coal combustion is estimated around 59%, as one of major mercury emission sources. There are growing needs of ecosystem mercury monitoring to evaluate the effectiveness on mercury emission controls by regulations. Thus, the aim of this study was to identify the useful monitoring indicators by comparing mercury levels of various environmental matrices in different ecosystems. Tae-an coal power plant, located on the west coastal of Korea is selected for study sites since it is one of the largest coal power plant in Korea with 4000 MW capacities. We chose 2 reservoirs near to Tae-an coal power plant and 2 others in An-myeon and Baeg-ryeong island for control study. Total gaseous mercury of ambient air was 3.6, 4.5 and 1.2 ng/m3 for Tae-an, An-myeon and Baeg-ryeong sites, respectively. From these results, we investigated and compared total mercury and methylmercury concentrations in surface water, soil, sediment, leaves and freshwater fish between reservoirs, which were known for the indicators of mercury atmospheric deposition. Estimates for the potential rates of methylation and activities of sulfur reducing bacteria were also made by injection radioactive isotopes of 203Hg and 35S. Potential methylation rate and acid volatile sulfide formation potential were dramatically changed by depth and maximum values were found in the top sediment section.

  9. Voltage stability issues in a distribution grid with large scale PV plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perez, Alvaro Ruiz; Marinopoulos, Antonios; Reza, Muhamad; Srivastava, Kailash [ABB AB, Vaesteraas (Sweden). Corporate Research Center; Hertem, Dirk van [Katholieke Univ. Leuven, Heverlee (Belgium). ESAT-ELECTA

    2011-07-01

    Solar photovoltaics (PV) has become a competitive renewable energy source. The production of solar PV cells and panels has increased significantly, while the cost is reduced due to economics of scale and technological achievements in the field. At the same time, the increase in efficiency of PV power systems and high energy prices are expected to lead PV systems to grid parity in the coming decade. This is expected to boost even more the large scale implementation of PV power plants (utility scale PV) and therefore the impact of such large scale PV plants to power system needs to be studies. This paper investigates the voltage stability issues arising from the connection of a large PV power plant to the power grid. For this purpose, a 15 MW PV power plant was implemented into a distribution grid, modeled and simulated using DIgSILENT Power Factory. Two scenarios were developed: in the first scenario, active power injected into the grid by the PV power plants was varied and the resulted U-Q curve was analyzed. In the second scenario, the impact of connecting PV power plants to different points in the grid - resulting in different strength of the connection - was investigated. (orig.)

  10. Fate of 2,4-D herbicide in soil-plant ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Onal, G.

    1983-01-01

    Herbicide was applied to wheat, barley and oat plants grown under laboratory, greenhouse and field conditions and the fate of the herbicide was investigated using carbon 14 radioisotope. Results of the investigation indicate that (1) under laboratory condition degradation of the herbicide was faster in the soil, rich in organic matter and was not influenced by humidity; (2) the absorption of the herbicide by the plants was low under greenhouse conditions and (3) the uptake of the chemical by the plants grown in the field was higher in the presence of fertilizer (diammonium phosphate)

  11. Land degradation and halophytic plant diversity of milleyha wetland ecosystem (samandag-hatay), Turkey

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Altay, V.

    2012-01-01

    Investigations were undertaken during 2010-2011 to study effect of human induced land degradation on structure of some halophytic plant communities. Over all 183 taxa of vascular plant were recorded. Out of these 76 were of typical halophytes. The dominant plant taxa were; Phragmites australis, Halimione portulacoides and Bolboschoenus maritimus. The threatened categories of these taxa were identified from the Red Data Book of Turkey together with their distribution. The impact of degradation on the habitats due to land use for agriculture, organic and inorganic waste disposal and housing for tourisitc purposes were identified and conservation measures were outlined in this study. (author)

  12. Disruption of the terrestrial plant ecosystem at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, western interior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschudy, R.H.; Pillmore, C.L.; Orth, C.J.; Gilmore, J.S.; Knight, J.D.

    1984-01-01

    The palynologically defined Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary in the western interior of North America occurs at the top of an iridium-rich clay layer. The boundary is characterized by the abrupt disappearance of certain pollen species, immediately followed by a pronounced, geologically brief change in the ratio of fern spores to angiosperm pollen. The occurrence of these changes at two widely separated sites implies continentwide disruption of the terrestrial ecosystem, probably caused by a major catastrophic event at the end of the period.

  13. Annual monitoring reveals rapid upward movement of exotic plants in a montane ecosystem

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kalwij, Jesse; Robertson, M. P.; van Rensburg, B. J.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 17, č. 12 (2015), s. 3517-3529 ISSN 1387-3547 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : alpine alien plants * established range * Sani Pass Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.855, year: 2015

  14. Alien plants as mediators of ecosystem services and disservices in urban systems: a global review

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Potgieter, LJ

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available by human activities and their floras comprise a high proportion of alien plant species, many of which were intentionally introduced to provide, augment or restore ES. Urban environments also have novel disturbance regimes and provide colonization sites...

  15. Propagation and Establishment of Native Plants for Vegetative Restoration of Aquatic Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-01

    ERDC/EL TR-13-9 ii Abstract Aquatic plants are a vital, but often missing, component of shallow, freshwater systems. Manmade systems, such as... water quality problems; development of noxious algal blooms; and, often, susceptibility to invasion by harmful, non-native, aquatic weeds. If...emergent aquatic plants that we have successfully used in founder colony establishment in US water bodies. ............................................. 7

  16. Acceleration of exotic plant invasion in a forested ecosystem by a generalist herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eschtruth, Anne K; Battles, John J

    2009-04-01

    The successful invasion of exotic plants is often attributed to the absence of coevolved enemies in the introduced range (i.e., the enemy release hypothesis). Nevertheless, several components of this hypothesis, including the role of generalist herbivores, remain relatively unexplored. We used repeated censuses of exclosures and paired controls to investigate the role of a generalist herbivore, white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), in the invasion of 3 exotic plant species (Microstegium vimineum, Alliaria petiolata, and Berberis thunbergii) in eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) forests in New Jersey and Pennsylvania (U.S.A.). This work was conducted in 10 eastern hemlock (T. canadensis) forests that spanned gradients in deer density and in the severity of canopy disturbance caused by an introduced insect pest, the hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae). We used maximum likelihood estimation and information theoretics to quantify the strength of evidence for alternative models of the influence of deer density and its interaction with the severity of canopy disturbance on exotic plant abundance. Our results were consistent with the enemy release hypothesis in that exotic plants gained a competitive advantage in the presence of generalist herbivores in the introduced range. The abundance of all 3 exotic plants increased significantly more in the control plots than in the paired exclosures. For all species, the inclusion of canopy disturbance parameters resulted in models with substantially greater support than the deer density only models. Our results suggest that white-tailed deer herbivory can accelerate the invasion of exotic plants and that canopy disturbance can interact with herbivory to magnify the impact. In addition, our results provide compelling evidence of nonlinear relationships between deer density and the impact of herbivory on exotic species abundance. These findings highlight the important role of herbivore density in determining impacts on

  17. A coupled carbon and plant hydraulic model to predict ecosystem carbon and water flux responses to disturbance and environmental change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackay, D. S.; Ewers, B. E.; Roberts, D. E.; McDowell, N. G.; Pendall, E.; Frank, J. M.; Reed, D. E.; Massman, W. J.; Mitra, B.

    2011-12-01

    Changing climate drivers including temperature, humidity, precipitation, and carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations directly control land surface exchanges of CO2 and water. In a profound way these responses are modulated by disturbances that are driven by or exacerbated by climate change. Predicting these changes is challenging given that the feedbacks between environmental controls, disturbances, and fluxes are complex. Flux data in areas of bark beetle outbreaks in the western U.S.A. show differential declines in carbon and water flux in response to the occlusion of xylem by associated fungi. For example, bark beetle infestation at the GLEES AmeriFlux site manifested in a decline in summer water use efficiency to 60% in the year after peak infestation compared to previous years, and no recovery of carbon uptake following a period of high vapor pressure deficit. This points to complex feedbacks between disturbance and differential ecosystem reaction and relaxation responses. Theory based on plant hydraulics and extending to include links to carbon storage and exhaustion has potential for explaining these dynamics with simple, yet rigorous models. In this spirit we developed a coupled model that combines an existing model of canopy water and carbon flow, TREES [e.g., Loranty et al., 2010], with the Sperry et al., [1998] plant hydraulic model. The new model simultaneously solves carbon uptake and losses along with plant hydraulics, and allows for testing specific hypotheses on feedbacks between xylem dysfunction, stomatal and non-stomatal controls on photosynthesis and carbon allocation, and autotrophic and heterotrophic respiration. These are constrained through gas exchange, root vulnerability to cavitation, sap flux, and eddy covariance data in a novel model complexity-testing framework. Our analysis focuses on an ecosystem gradient spanning sagebrush to subalpine forests. Our modeling results support hypotheses on feedbacks between hydraulic dysfunction and 1) non

  18. Consistency of plant-specific n-alkane patterns in plaggen ecosystems: a review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kirkels, F.M.S.A.; Jansen, B.; Kalbitz, K.

    2013-01-01

    Plaggen soils, formed by various vegetational inputs during century-long plaggen (i.e. sod) application, comprise remarkably stable organic matter. Source identification could contribute to a better understanding of carbon stabilization mechanisms in soils and reconstruction of Holocene vegetation

  19. Complex effects of ecosystem engineer loss on benthic ecosystem response to detrital macroalgae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rossi, F.; Gribsholt, B.; Gazeau, F.; Di Santo, V.; Middelburg, J.J.

    2013-01-01

    Ecosystem engineers change abiotic conditions, community assembly and ecosystem functioning. Consequently, their loss may modify thresholds of ecosystem response to disturbance and undermine ecosystem stability. This study investigates how loss of the bioturbating lugworm Arenicola marina modifies

  20. Complex Effects of Ecosystem Engineer Loss on Benthic Ecosystem Response to Detrital Macroalgae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rossi, F.; Gribsholt, B.; Gazeau, F.; Di Santo, V.; Middelburg, J.J.

    2013-01-01

    Ecosystem engineers change abiotic conditions, community assembly and ecosystem functioning. Consequently, their loss may modify thresholds of ecosystem response to disturbance and undermine ecosystem stability. This study investigates how loss of the bioturbating lugworm Arenicola marina modifies

  1. Both temperature fluctuations and East Asian monsoons have driven plant diversification in the karst ecosystems from southern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Hanghui; Condamine, Fabien L; Harris, A J; Chen, Junlin; Pan, Bo; Möller, Michael; Hoang, Van Sam; Kang, Ming

    2017-11-01

    Karst ecosystems in southern China are species-rich and have high levels of endemism, yet little is known regarding the evolutionary processes responsible for the origin and diversification of karst biodiversity. The genus Primulina (Gesneriaceae) comprises ca. 170 species endemic to southern China with high levels of ecological (edaphic) specialization, providing an exceptional model to study the plant diversification in karsts. We used molecular data from nine chloroplast and 11 nuclear regions and macroevolutionary analyses to assess the origin and cause of species diversification due to palaeoenvironmental changes and edaphic specialization in Primulina. We found that speciation was positively associated with changes in past temperatures and East Asian monsoons through the evolutionary history of Primulina. Climatic change around the mid-Miocene triggered an early burst followed by a slowdown of diversification rate towards the present with the climate cooling. We detected different speciation rates among edaphic types, and transitions among soil types were infrequently and did not impact the overall speciation rate. Our findings suggest that both global temperature changes and East Asian monsoons have played crucial roles in floristic diversification within the karst ecosystems in southern China, such that speciation was higher when climate was warmer and wetter. This is the first study to directly demonstrate that past monsoon activity is positively correlated with speciation rate in East Asia. This case study could motivate further investigations to assess the impacts of past environmental changes on the origin and diversification of biodiversity in global karst ecosystems, most of which are under threat. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Photochemically induced carbon dioxide production as a mechanism for carbon loss from plant litter in arid ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandt, L. A.; Bohnet, C.; King, J. Y.

    2009-06-01

    We investigated the potential for abiotic mineralization to carbon dioxide (CO2) via photodegradation to account for carbon (C) loss from plant litter under conditions typical of arid ecosystems. We exposed five species of grass and oak litter collected from arid and mesic sites to a factorial design of ultraviolet (UV) radiation (UV pass, UV block), and sterilization under dry conditions in the laboratory. UV pass treatments produced 10 times the amount of CO2 produced in UV block treatments. CO2 production rates were unaffected by litter chemistry or sterilization. We also exposed litter to natural solar radiation outdoors on clear, sunny days close to the summer solstice at midlatitudes and found that UV radiation (280-400 nm) accounted for 55% of photochemically induced CO2 production, while shortwave visible radiation (400-500 nm) accounted for 45% of CO2 production. Rates of photochemically induced CO2 production on a per-unit-mass basis decreased with litter density, indicating that rates depend on litter surface area. We found no evidence for leaching, methane production, or facilitation of microbial decomposition as alternative mechanisms for significant photochemically induced C loss from litter. We conclude that abiotic mineralization to CO2 is the primary mechanism by which C is lost from litter during photodegradation. We estimate that CO2 production via photodegradation could be between 1 and 4 g C m-2 a-1 in arid ecosystems in the southwestern United States. Taken together with low levels of litter production in arid systems, photochemical mineralization to CO2 could account for a significant proportion of annual carbon loss from litter in arid ecosystems.

  3. Response of photosynthetic carbon gain to ecosystem retrogression of vascular plants and mosses in the boreal forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bansal, Sheel; Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte; Wardle, David A

    2012-07-01

    In the long-term absence of rejuvenating disturbances, forest succession frequently proceeds from a maximal biomass phase to a retrogressive phase characterized by reduced nutrient availability [notably nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P)] and net primary productivity. Few studies have considered how retrogression induces changes in ecophysiological responses associated with photosynthetic carbon (C) gain, and only for trees. We tested the hypothesis that retrogression would negatively impact photosynthetic C gain of four contrasting species, and that this impact would be greater for vascular plants (i.e., trees and shrubs) than for non-vascular plants (i.e., mosses). We used a 5,000-year-old chronosequence of forested islands in Sweden, where retrogression occurs in the long-term absence of lightning-ignited wildfires. Despite fundamental differences in plant form and ecological niche among species, vascular plants and mosses showed similar ecophysiological responses to retrogression. The most common effects of retrogression were reductions in photosynthesis and respiration per unit foliar N, increases in foliar N, δ(13)C and δ(15)N, and decreases in specific leaf areas. In contrast, photosynthesis per unit mass or area generally did not change along the chronosequence, but did vary many-fold between vascular plants and mosses. The consistent increases in foliar N without corresponding increases in mass- or area-based photosynthesis suggest that other factor(s), such as P co-limitation, light conditions or water availability, may co-regulate C gain in retrogressive boreal forests. Against our predictions, traits of mosses associated with C and N were generally highly responsive to retrogression, which has implications for how mosses influence ecosystem processes in boreal forests.

  4. Elevated CO2 and water addition enhance nitrogen turnover in grassland plants with implications for temporal stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dijkstra, Feike A; Carrillo, Yolima; Blumenthal, Dana M; Mueller, Kevin E; LeCain, Dan R; Morgan, Jack A; Zelikova, Tamara J; Williams, David G; Follett, Ronald F; Pendall, Elise

    2018-05-01

    Temporal variation in soil nitrogen (N) availability affects growth of grassland communities that differ in their use and reuse of N. In a 7-year-long climate change experiment in a semi-arid grassland, the temporal stability of plant biomass production varied with plant N turnover (reliance on externally acquired N relative to internally recycled N). Species with high N turnover were less stable in time compared to species with low N turnover. In contrast, N turnover at the community level was positively associated with asynchrony in biomass production, which in turn increased community temporal stability. Elevated CO 2 and summer irrigation, but not warming, enhanced community N turnover and stability, possibly because treatments promoted greater abundance of species with high N turnover. Our study highlights the importance of plant N turnover for determining the temporal stability of individual species and plant communities affected by climate change. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  5. Plant plasma membrane aquaporins in natural vesicles as potential stabilizers and carriers of glucosinolates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Ballesta, Maria Del Carmen; Pérez-Sánchez, Horacio; Moreno, Diego A; Carvajal, Micaela

    2016-07-01

    Their biodegradable nature and ability to target cells make biological vesicles potential nanocarriers for bioactives delivery. In this work, the interaction between proteoliposomes enriched in aquaporins derived from broccoli plants and the glucosinolates was evaluated. The vesicles were stored at different temperatures and their integrity was studied. Determination of glucosinolates, showed that indolic glucosinolates were more sensitive to degradation in aqueous solution than aliphatic glucosinolates. Glucoraphanin was stabilized by leaf and root proteoliposomes at 25°C through their interaction with aquaporins. An extensive hydrogen bond network, including different aquaporin residues, and hydrophobic interactions, as a consequence of the interaction between the linear alkane chain of glucoraphanin and Glu31 and Leu34 protein residues, were established as the main stabilizing elements. Combined our results showed that plasma membrane vesicles from leaf and root tissues of broccoli plants may be considered as suitable carriers for glucosinolate which stabilization can be potentially attributed to aquaporins. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. The Compatibility of Geothermal Power Plants with Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems: The Case of the Cesine Wetland (Southern Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giorgio De Giorgio

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The Cesine Wetland, located along the Adriatic coast, was recognized as a Wetland of International Interest and a National Natural Park. Managed by the “World Wide Fund for nature” (WWF, it is considered a groundwater dependent ecosystem which is affected by seawater intrusion. The site was selected to test the environmental compatibility of a low-enthalpy geothermal power plant (closed loop operating in the aquifer saturated portion with purpose to improving the visitor centre. For this purpose, the long-lasting thermal impact on groundwater was assessed using a multi-methodological approach. The complex aquifer system was carefully studied with geological, hydrogeological and geochemical surveys, including chemical and isotopic laboratory analyses of surface water, groundwater and seawater. The isotopes δ18O, δD, δ11B, and 3H were useful to clarify the recharge contribution, the water mixing and the water age. All information was used to improve the conceptualization of the water system, including aquifers and the boundary conditions for a density driven numerical groundwater model. The purpose was to forecast anthropogenic thermal groundwater variations up to 10 years of plant working before the plant realization and to validate the solution after some working years. All results show the environmental compatibility notwithstanding the peculiar ecological environment.

  7. Impact of global climate change on ecosystem-level interactions among sympatric plants from all three photosynthetic pathways. Terminal report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nobel, P.S.

    1997-12-17

    The proposed research will determine biochemical and physiological responses to variations in environmental factors for plants of all three photosynthetic pathways under competitive situations in the field. These responses will be used to predict the effects of global climatic change on an ecosystem in the northwestern Sonoran Desert where the C{sub 3} subshrub Encelia farinosa, the C{sub 4} bunchgrass Hilaria rigida, and the CAM succulent Agave deserti are co-dominants. These perennials are relatively short with overlapping shallow roots facilitating the experimental measurements as well as leading to competition for soil water. Net CO{sub 2} uptake over 24-h periods measured in the laboratory will be analyzed using an environmental productivity index (EPI) that can incorporate simultaneous effects of soil water, air temperature, and light. Based on EPI, net CO{sub 2} uptake and hence plant productivity will be predicted for the three species in the field under various treatments. Activity of the two CO{sub 2} fixation enzymes, Rubisco and PEPCase, will be determined for these various environmental conditions; also, partitioning of carbon to various organs will be measured based on {sup 14}CO{sub 2} labeling and dry weight analysis. Thus, enzymatic and partitioning controls on competition among sympatric model plants representing all three photosynthetic pathways will be investigated.

  8. Impacts of fire, fire-fighting chemicals and post-fire stabilization techniques on the soil-plant system

    OpenAIRE

    Fernández Fernández, María

    2017-01-01

    Forest fires, as well as fire-fighting chemicals, greatly affect the soil-plant system causing vegetation loss, alterations of soil properties and nutrient losses through volatilization, leaching and erosion. Soil recovery after fires depends on the regeneration of the vegetation cover, which protects the soil and prevents erosion. Fire-fighting chemicals contain compounds potentially toxic for plants and soil organisms, and thus their use might hamper the regeneration of burnt ecosystems. In...

  9. Governor stability simulations of Svartisen power plant verified by the installed monitoring system on site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nielsen, T K; Kjeldsen, M

    2010-01-01

    Many Norwegian hydro power plants have complex lay-out with several reservoirs, broke intakes, surge shafts and even air cushion chambers. There are kilometers of excavated tunnels as well as long tail water systems. The stations are often equipped by multiple of turbines, both in series and parallel. A number of operation modes are therefore possible. Doing transient simulations and simulations of governor stability in the design phase, the problem is to find the worst case scenario regarding these operating modes. Svartisen power plant has been of particular interest these days. The power plant is originally designed for two 350 MW Francis turbines, however, only one turbine was installed. When designed, governor stability was regarded as problematic due to the long penstock. A long penstock will give a too high time constant for the hydraulic inertia. The main problem here is, however, the water hammer frequency that interferes with the governor performance. The frequency is in the same range as the cross frequency. Therefore the governor will react on these water hammer waves, which in its nature is notoriously unstable. The common solution is to build an air cushion and thereby increase the water hammer frequency above the cross frequency. The expenses were, however, deemed too high, and it was necessary to seek for other solutions. A pressure feedback on the governor was introduced in order to have stable operation at least for two turbines. With only one turbine installed, the pressure feedback has not been activated because, based on the simulations, it was regarded unnecessary. Even if the original simulations shows good stability margins when only one turbine is running, there has been some indications that the aggregate has suffered from instability. In 2004 Svartisen Power Plant was equipped with a comprehensive monitoring system. Both the turbine and the generator performance have been observed. This gives valuable information on how the hydropower

  10. Governor stability simulations of Svartisen power plant verified by the installed monitoring system on site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, T. K.; Kjeldsen, M.

    2010-08-01

    Many Norwegian hydro power plants have complex lay-out with several reservoirs, broke intakes, surge shafts and even air cushion chambers. There are kilometers of excavated tunnels as well as long tail water systems. The stations are often equipped by multiple of turbines, both in series and parallel. A number of operation modes are therefore possible. Doing transient simulations and simulations of governor stability in the design phase, the problem is to find the worst case scenario regarding these operating modes. Svartisen power plant has been of particular interest these days. The power plant is originally designed for two 350 MW Francis turbines, however, only one turbine was installed. When designed, governor stability was regarded as problematic due to the long penstock. A long penstock will give a too high time constant for the hydraulic inertia. The main problem here is, however, the water hammer frequency that interferes with the governor performance. The frequency is in the same range as the cross frequency. Therefore the governor will react on these water hammer waves, which in its nature is notoriously unstable. The common solution is to build an air cushion and thereby increase the water hammer frequency above the cross frequency. The expenses were, however, deemed too high, and it was necessary to seek for other solutions. A pressure feedback on the governor was introduced in order to have stable operation at least for two turbines. With only one turbine installed, the pressure feedback has not been activated because, based on the simulations, it was regarded unnecessary. Even if the original simulations shows good stability margins when only one turbine is running, there has been some indications that the aggregate has suffered from instability. In 2004 Svartisen Power Plant was equipped with a comprehensive monitoring system. Both the turbine and the generator performance have been observed. This gives valuable information on how the hydropower

  11. Migration of 90Sr in the cooling basin of the Ignalina atomic power plant and the Baltic sea ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dushauskiene-Duzh, R.

    1992-01-01

    On the basis of a long-time radiation monitoring of the Ignalina APP and the Baltic sea ecosystems determined regularities of the 90 Sr distribution in the main components of the ecosystems (water, bottom sediments, biota). It was established that 90 Sr accumulation coefficient in the aquatic plants of the warmed up water zone of the Ignalina APP is 2.6 lower than that of the stable water suction zone. The accumulation of 90 Sr in molluscs is higher in the warmed up water zone than in the stable water zone. It was determined that the mean concentration of 90 Sr in surface water of near-shore areas of the Baltic sea are higher than that in the open Baltic. Concentration of the 90 Sr in the biota in the Baltic sea is about 300-500 times higher than in the water. The accumulation level of 90 Sr in zoobenthos varies in different species being in organs and tissues of fishes consuming actively calcium for building up their skeletons. 90 Sr levels in bottom sediments of bays are higher than those in sediments of the open sea. Accumulation of 90 Sr in muds is about 11 times higher than in sands. (author). 5 figs., 3 refs

  12. Ecosystem-Based Incorporation of Nectar-Producing Plants for Stink Bug Parasitoids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Glynn Tillman

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Adult parasitoids of pest insects rely on floral resources for survival and reproduction, but can be food-deprived in intensively managed agricultural systems lacking these resources. Stink bugs are serious pests for crops in southwest Georgia. Provisioning nectar-producing plants for parasitoids of stink bugs potentially can enhance biocontrol of these pests. Knowledge of spatial and temporal availability and distribution of stink bugs in host plants is necessary for appropriate timing and placement of flowering plants in agroecosystems. Stink bugs move between closely associated host plants throughout the growing season in response to deteriorating suitability of their host plants. In peanut-cotton farmscapes, stink bugs develop in peanut, and subsequently the adults disperse into adjacent cotton. Parasitism of Nezara viridula (L. adults by Trichopoda pennipes (F. at the peanut-cotton interface was significantly higher in cotton with a strip of milkweed or buckwheat between the two crops than in cotton alone. Milkweed and buckwheat also provided nectar to a wide range of insect pollinators. Monarch butterflies fed on milkweed. When placed between peanut and cotton, a strip of soybean was an effective trap crop for cotton, reducing economic damage. Incorporation of buckwheat near soybean enhanced parasitism of Euschistus servus (Say eggs by Telenomus podisi Ashmead in cotton. In conclusion, nectar provision enhances biocontrol of stink bugs, acts together with other management tactics for stink bug control, and aids in conservation of natural enemies, insect pollinators, and the monarch butterfly.

  13. Positive plant diversity-soil stability relationships are mediated through roots in the Songnen Grassland: Chronosequence evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang-Jun Hu; Ping Li; Qinfeng Guo

    2013-01-01

    Living plant diversity (excluding the litter issue) may affect below-ground properties and processes, which is critical to obtaining an integrated biodiversity-ecosystem functioning theory. However, related patterns and underlying mechanisms have rarely been examined, especially lacking long-term evidence. We conducted a factorial crossed sample survey to examine the...

  14. Biodiversity increases the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate extremes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Craven, Dylan; Connolly, John; Loreau, Michel; Schmid, Bernhard; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; Bezemer, T Martijn; Bonin, Catherine; Bruelheide, Helge; de Luca, Enrica; Ebeling, Anne; Griffin, John N; Guo, Qinfeng; Hautier, Yann; Hector, Andy; Jentsch, Anke; Kreyling, Jürgen; Lanta, Vojtěch; Manning, Pete; Meyer, Sebastian T; Mori, Akira S; Naeem, Shahid; Niklaus, Pascal A; Polley, H Wayne; Reich, Peter B; Roscher, Christiane; Seabloom, Eric W; Smith, Melinda D; Thakur, Madhav P; Tilman, David; Tracy, Benjamin F; van der Putten, Wim H; van Ruijven, Jasper; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Wilsey, Brian; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2015-10-22

    It remains unclear whether biodiversity buffers ecosystems against climate extremes, which are becoming increasingly frequent worldwide. Early results suggested that the ecosystem productivity of diverse grassland plant communities was more resistant, changing less during drought, and more resilient, recovering more quickly after drought, than that of depauperate communities. However, subsequent experimental tests produced mixed results. Here we use data from 46 experiments that manipulated grassland plant diversity to test whether biodiversity provides resistance during and resilience after climate events. We show that biodiversity increased ecosystem resistance for a broad range of climate events, including wet or dry, moderate or extreme, and brief or prolonged events. Across all studies and climate events, the productivity of low-diversity communities with one or two species changed by approximately 50% during climate events, whereas that of high-diversity communities with 16-32 species was more resistant, changing by only approximately 25%. By a year after each climate event, ecosystem productivity had often fully recovered, or overshot, normal levels of productivity in both high- and low-diversity communities, leading to no detectable dependence of ecosystem resilience on biodiversity. Our results suggest that biodiversity mainly stabilizes ecosystem productivity, and productivity-dependent ecosystem services, by increasing resistance to climate events. Anthropogenic environmental changes that drive biodiversity loss thus seem likely to decrease ecosystem stability, and restoration of biodiversity to increase it, mainly by changing the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate events.

  15. Interpreting Carbon Fluxes from a Spatially Heterogeneous Peatland with Thawing Permafrost: Scaling from Plant Community Scale to Ecosystem Scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harder, S. R.; Roulet, N. T.; Strachan, I. B.; Crill, P. M.; Persson, A.; Pelletier, L.; Watt, C.

    2014-12-01

    Various microforms, created by spatial differential thawing of permafrost, make up the subarctic heterogeneous Stordalen peatland complex (68°22'N, 19°03'E), near Abisko, Sweden. This results in significantly different peatland vegetation communities across short distances, as well as differences in wetness, temperature and peat substrates. We have been measuring the spatially integrated CO2, heat and water vapour fluxes from this peatland complex using eddy covariance and the CO2 exchange from specific plant communities within the EC tower footprint since spring 2008. With this data we are examining if it is possible to derive the spatially integrated ecosystem-wide fluxes from community-level simple light use efficiency (LUE) and ecosystem respiration (ER) models. These models have been developed using several years of continuous autochamber flux measurements for the three major plant functional types (PFTs) as well as knowledge of the spatial variability of the vegetation, water table and active layer depths. LIDAR was used to produce a 1 m resolution digital evaluation model of the complex and the spatial distribution of PFTs was obtained from concurrent high-resolution digital colour air photography trained from vegetation surveys. Continuous water table depths have been measured for four years at over 40 locations in the complex, and peat temperatures and active layer depths are surveyed every 10 days at more than 100 locations. The EC footprint is calculated for every half-hour and the PFT based models are run with the corresponding environmental variables weighted for the PFTs within the EC footprint. Our results show that the Sphagnum, palsa, and sedge PFTs have distinctly different LUE models, and that the tower fluxes are dominated by a blend of the Sphagnum and palsa PFTs. We also see a distinctly different energy partitioning between the fetches containing intact palsa and those with thawed palsa: the evaporative efficiency is higher and the Bowen

  16. Limited gene dispersal and spatial genetic structure as stabilizing factors in an ant-plant mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malé, P-J G; Leroy, C; Humblot, P; Dejean, A; Quilichini, A; Orivel, J

    2016-12-01

    Comparative studies of the population genetics of closely associated species are necessary to properly understand the evolution of these relationships because gene flow between populations affects the partners' evolutionary potential at the local scale. As a consequence (at least for antagonistic interactions), asymmetries in the strength of the genetic structures of the partner populations can result in one partner having a co-evolutionary advantage. Here, we assess the population genetic structure of partners engaged in a species-specific and obligatory mutualism: the Neotropical ant-plant, Hirtella physophora, and its ant associate, Allomerus decemarticulatus. Although the ant cannot complete its life cycle elsewhere than on H. physophora and the plant cannot live for long without the protection provided by A. decemarticulatus, these species also have antagonistic interactions: the ants have been shown to benefit from castrating their host plant and the plant is able to retaliate against too virulent ant colonies. We found similar short dispersal distances for both partners, resulting in the local transmission of the association and, thus, inbred populations in which too virulent castrating ants face the risk of local extinction due to the absence of H. physophora offspring. On the other hand, we show that the plant populations probably experienced greater gene flow than did the ant populations, thus enhancing the evolutionary potential of the plants. We conclude that such levels of spatial structure in the partners' populations can increase the stability of the mutualistic relationship. Indeed, the local transmission of the association enables partial alignments of the partners' interests, and population connectivity allows the plant retaliation mechanisms to be locally adapted to the castration behaviour of their symbionts. © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  17. Climate Change Effects to Plant Ecosystems - Genetic Resources for Future Barley Breeding

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ingvordsen, Cathrine Heinz

    were identified for possible use in breeding of climate resilient cultivars and SNP-markers that link to traits favourable in changed environments. Basic knowledge of plant response to multifactor climate treatments has been added as well as data on numerous genotypes modeling the impact of climate...

  18. Woody plants in agro-ecosystems of semi-arid regions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Breman, H.; Kessler, J.J.

    1995-01-01

    A quantitative analysis of the role of woody plants in semi-arid regions, focusing on the Sahel and Sudan zones in West-Africa, is given for the assessment of their benefits in agro-sylvopastoral land-use systems with productive and sustainability objectives.

  19. Changes in the Pincate Reserve ecosystems: Invasion of non-native plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denise Z. Avila-Jimenez

    2005-01-01

    Over the years, humans have modified the Sonoran Desert by introducing invasive plants that prosper in disturbed and non-disturbed habitats. These invaders modify the dynamics and structure of populations and the composition of communities, which in turn can result in radical changes in wildlife habitat. The natural landscape of the Sonoran Desert is characterized by...

  20. Ecosystem-based incorporation of nectar-producing plants for stink bug parasitoids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adult parasitoids of pest insects rely on floral resources for survival and reproduction but can be food-deprived in intensively managed agricultural systems lacking these resources. Stink bugs are serious pests of crops in southwest Georgia. Provisioning nectar-producing plants for parasitoids of s...

  1. Invasive alien plants in the terrestrial ecosystems of Natal, South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Macdonald, IAW

    1985-01-01

    Full Text Available This report consists of two types of chapters. Most of the chapters are short syntheses of particular aspects of the alien plant problem in Natal, written by groups of participants during the workshop meeting. They are brief accounts of the state...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Constance I. Millar

    2003-01-01

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

  3. Preliminary assessment of the impacts of invasive alien plants on ecosystem services in South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Van Wilgen, BW

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available and invasive alien plant infestations, and to use the two to estimate impacts on each of the services. In this paper our focus is on water resources only. We describe our approach for selecting species and areas in order to estimate current and future potential...

  4. Potential for biotic resistance from herbivores to tropical and subtropical plant invasions in aquatic ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Petruzella, A.; Grutters, B.M.C.; Thomaz, S.M.; Bakker, E.S.

    2017-01-01

    Invasions of tropical and subtropical aquatic plants threaten biodiversity and cause ecological and economic impacts worldwide. An urgent question is whether native herbivores are able to inhibit the spread of these alien species thus providing biotic resistance. The potential for biotic resistance

  5. Plant and animal species composition and heavy metal content in fly ash ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brieger, G.; Wells, J.R.; Hunter, R.D.

    1992-01-01

    Plant and animal species present on a coal fly ash slurry pond site and a dry deposit site were surveyed and sampled during a two-day period in October. Elemental analyses were determined for most of the species encountered. A total of 48 plant species were observed on the two sites, with 35 species on the wet site, and 20 on the dry site. Eighteen terrestrial and 7 aquatic animal species were found on the wet site, exclusive of vertebrates which were not studied with the exception of a carp (Cyprinus carpio). Eleven terrestrial invertebrate and one aquatic species were observed on the dry site. Neutron activation analysis was carried out for: Se, Hg, Cr, Ni, Zn, Co, Sb, Cd, and As. Using literature values for phytotoxicity, it is concluded that, in general, plants did not accumulate toxic levels of metals. Only one plant (Impatiens biflora Willd.) showed a significant level of Cd. Of 20 plants analyzed on the wet site, 10 had excessive Se concentrations (>5 ppm); on the dry site 6 out of 18 had high Se values. In animals (Gryllus sp.; Melanoplus sp.; Trachelipus sp; Lumbricus terrestris; Physa integra; Cyprinus carpio) the trace metal concentration was generally in between that of control animals and that of the fly ash itself. One exception included Zn, which, although the most variable element examined, was concentrated in all the terrestrial animals to levels higher than in fly ash. Crickets are the most consistent bioconcentrators with Cr, Se, and Zn at higher levels than for control animals. All animals species studied accumulated Se compared to controls. 48 refs., 6 tabs

  6. Nutrient dynamics and plant assemblages of Macrotermes falciger mounds in a savanna ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muvengwi, Justice; Ndagurwa, Hilton G. T.; Nyenda, Tatenda; Mbiba, Monicah

    2016-10-01

    Termites through mound construction and foraging activities contribute significantly to carbon and nutrient fluxes in nutrient-poor savannas. Despite this recognition, studies on the influence of termite mounds on carbon and nitrogen dynamics in sub-tropical savannas are limited. In this regard, we examined soil nutrient concentrations, organic carbon and nitrogen mineralization in incubation experiments in mounds of Macrotermes falciger and surrounding soils of sub-tropical savanna, northeast Zimbabwe. We also addressed whether termite mounds altered the plant community and if effects were similar across functional groups i.e. grasses, forbs or woody plants. Mound soils had significantly higher silt and clay content, pH and concentrations of calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), potassium (K), organic carbon (C), ammonium (NH4+) and nitrate (NO3-) than surrounding soils, with marginal differences in phosphorus (P) and sodium (Na) between mounds and matrix soils. Nutrient enrichment increased by a factor ranging from 1.5 for C, 4.9 for Mg up to 10.3 for Ca. Although C mineralization, nitrification and nitrification fraction were similar between mounds and matrix soils, nitrogen mineralization was elevated on mounds relative to surrounding matrix soils. As a result, termite mounds supported unique plant communities rich and abundant in woody species but less diverse in grasses and forbs than the surrounding savanna matrix in response to mound-induced shifts in soil parameters specifically increased clay content, drainage and water availability, nutrient status and base cation (mainly Ca, Mg and Na) concentration. In conclusion, by altering soil properties such as texture, moisture content and nutrient status, termite mounds can alter the structure and composition of sub-tropical savanna plant communities, and these results are consistent with findings in other savanna systems suggesting that increase in soil clay content, nutrient status and associated changes in the plant

  7. A biome-scale assessment of the impact of invasive alien plants on ecosystem services in South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Wilgen, B W; Reyers, B; Le Maitre, D C; Richardson, D M; Schonegevel, L

    2008-12-01

    This paper reports an assessment of the current and potential impacts of invasive alien plants on selected ecosystem services in South Africa. We used data on the current and potential future distribution of 56 invasive alien plant species to estimate their impact on four services (surface water runoff, groundwater recharge, livestock production and biodiversity) in five terrestrial biomes. The estimated reductions in surface water runoff as a result of current invasions were >3000 million m(3) (about 7% of the national total), most of which is from the fynbos (shrubland) and grassland biomes; the potential reductions would be more than eight times greater if invasive alien plants were to occupy the full extent of their potential range. Impacts on groundwater recharge would be less severe, potentially amounting to approximately 1.5% of the estimated maximum reductions in surface water runoff. Reductions in grazing capacity as a result of current levels of invasion amounted to just over 1% of the potential number of livestock that could be supported. However, future impacts could increase to 71%. A 'biodiversity intactness index' (the remaining proportion of pre-modern populations) ranged from 89% to 71% for the five biomes. With the exception of the fynbos biome, current invasions have almost no impact on biodiversity intactness. Under future levels of invasion, however, these intactness values decrease to around 30% for the savanna, fynbos and grassland biomes, but to even lower values (13% and 4%) for the two karoo biomes. Thus, while the current impacts of invasive alien plants are relatively low (with the exception of those on surface water runoff), the future impacts could be very high. While the errors in these estimates are likely to be substantial, the predicted impacts are sufficiently large to suggest that there is serious cause for concern.

  8. Harmonic Active Filtering and Impedance-based Stability Analysis in Offshore Wind Power Plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dhua, Debasish; Yang, Guangya; Zhang, Zhe

    2017-01-01

    installation and provides effectively similar functionality as passive filters. This work is focused on harmonic propagation studies in wind power plants, power quality evaluation at the point of connection and harmonic mitigation by active filtering. Finally, an impedance-based stability analysis......Nowadays, to eliminate harmonics injected by the wind turbines in offshore wind power plants there is a need to install passive filters. Moreover, the passive filters are not adaptive to harmonic profile changes due to topology changes, grid loading etc. Therefore, active filters in wind turbines...... are proposed as a flexible harmonic mitigation measure. The motivation of this study is to explore the possibility of embedding active filtering in wind turbine grid-side converters without having to change the system electrical infrastructure. The active filtering method can prevent additional equipment...

  9. Organic plant ingredients in the diet of Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss): Impact on fish muscle composition and oxidative stability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baron, Caroline P.; Svendsen, Gry Hougaard; Lund, Ivar

    2013-01-01

    of the following organic plant oils; rapeseed (RO), linseed/flaxseed (LO), grape seed (GO), or sunflower (SO). The impact of these substitutionswas investigated by measuring fish muscle fatty acid profile as well as oxidative andcolor stability of the fillet during 14 days ice storage. The inclusion of plant...

  10. Using three-dimensional plant root architecture in models of shallow-slope stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danjon, Frédéric; Barker, David H; Drexhage, Michael; Stokes, Alexia

    2008-05-01

    The contribution of vegetation to shallow-slope stability is of major importance in landslide-prone regions. However, existing slope stability models use only limited plant root architectural parameters. This study aims to provide a chain of tools useful for determining the contribution of tree roots to soil reinforcement. Three-dimensional digitizing in situ was used to obtain accurate root system architecture data for mature Quercus alba in two forest stands. These data were used as input to tools developed, which analyse the spatial position of roots, topology and geometry. The contribution of roots to soil reinforcement was determined by calculating additional soil cohesion using the limit equilibrium model, and the factor of safety (FOS) using an existing slope stability model, Slip4Ex. Existing models may incorrectly estimate the additional soil cohesion provided by roots, as the spatial position of roots crossing the potential slip surface is usually not taken into account. However, most soil reinforcement by roots occurs close to the tree stem and is negligible at a distance >1.0 m from the tree, and therefore global values of FOS for a slope do not take into account local slippage along the slope. Within a forest stand on a landslide-prone slope, soil fixation by roots can be minimal between uniform rows of trees, leading to local soil slippage. Therefore, staggered rows of trees would improve overall slope stability, as trees would arrest the downward movement of soil. The chain of tools consisting of both software (free for non-commercial use) and functions available from the first author will enable a more accurate description and use of root architectural parameters in standard slope stability analyses.

  11. Analytical one-dimensional frequency response and stability model for PWR nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoeld, A.

    1975-01-01

    A dynamic model for PWR nuclear power plants is presented. The plant is assumed to consist of one-dimensional single-channel core, a counterflow once-through steam generator (represented by two nodes according to the nonboiling and boiling region) and the necessary connection coolant lines. The model describes analytically the frequency response behaviour of important parameters of such a plant with respect to perturbations in reactivity, subcooling or mass flow (both at the entrances to the reactor core and/or the secondary steam generator side), the perturbations in steam load or system pressure (on the secondary side of the steam generator). From corresponding 'open' loop considerations it can then be concluded - by applying the Nyquist criterion - upon the degree of the stability behaviour of the underlying system. Based on this theoretical model, a computer code named ADYPMO has been established. From the knowledge of the frequency response behaviour of such a system, the corresponding transient behaviour with respect to a stepwise or any other perturbation signal can also be calculated by applying an appropriate retransformation method, e.g. by using digital code FRETI. To demonstrate this procedure, a transient experimental curve measured during the pre-operational test period at the PWR nuclear power plant KKS Stade was recalculated using the combination ADYPMO-FRETI. Good agreement between theoretical calculations and experimental results give an insight into the validity and efficiency of the underlying theoretical model and the applied retransformation method. (Auth.)

  12. ANALYSIS OF STABILITY OF TRINUCLEOTIDE TTC MOTIFS IN COMMON FLAX PLANTED IN THE CHERNOBYL AREA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veronika Lancíková

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Flax (Linum usitatissimum L. is one of the oldest domesticated plants — it was cultivated as early as in ancient Egypt and Samaria 10,000 years ago to serve as a source of fiber and oil, whence it later spread around the world. Compared with other plants, the flax genome consists of a high number of repetitive sequences, middle repetitive sequences and small repetitive sequences of nucleotides. The aim of the study was to analyze the stability of the existing trinucleotides motifs of microsatellite DNA of the flax genome (genotype Kyivskyi, growing in the Chernobyl conditions. The Chernobyl area is the most extensive “natural” laboratory suitable for the study of radiation effects. Over the last 20 years, the researches collected important knowledge about the effects of low and high radiation doses on the DNA isolated from the plant material growing on the remediated fields near Chernobyl and the plant material from fields contaminated by radioactive cesium 137Cs and strontium 90Sr. Using eight pairs of microsatellite primers, we successfully amplified the samples from the remediated fields. For each primer in the control samples and remediated samples, we detected 1 to 3 fragments per locus, each in size up to 120 to 250 base pairs. The applied microsatellite primers confirmed the monomorphic condition of microsatellite loci.

  13. Nitrogen cycling in a flooded-soil ecosystem planted to rice (Oryza sativa L.)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reddy, K.R.

    1982-01-01

    15 N studies of various aspects of the nitrogen cycle in a flooded rice ecosystem on Crowley silt loam soil in Louisiana were reviewed to construct a mass balance model of the nitrogen cycle for this system. Nitrogen transformations modeled included 1) net ammonification (0.22 mg NH 4+ -N kg dry soil - 1 day - 1 ). 2) net nitrification (207 mg NO 3- -N kg dry soil - 1 day - 1 ). 3) denitrification (0.37 mg N kg dry soil - 1 day - 1 ), and 4) biological N 2 fixation (0.16 mg N kg dry soil - 1 day - 1 ). Nitrogen inputs included 1) application of fertilizers, 2) incorporation of crop residues, 3) biological N 2 fixation, and 4) deposition. Nitrogen outputs included 1) crop removal, 2) gaseous losses from NH 3 volatilization and simultaneous occurrence of nitrification-denitrification, and 3) leaching and runoff. Mass balance calculations indicated that 33% of the available inorganic nitrogen was recovered by rice, and the remaining nitrogen was lost from the system. Losses of N due to ammonia volatilization were minimal because fertilizer-N was incorporated into the soil. A significant portion of inorganic-N was lost by ammonium diffusion from the anaerobic layer to the aerobic layer in response to a concentration gradient and subsequent nitrification in the aerobic layer followed by nitrate diffusion into the anaerobic layer and denitrification into gaseous end products. Leaching and surface runoff losses were minimal. (orig.)

  14. Economic assessment of the contribution of biological control to the management of invasive alien plants and to the protection of ecosystem services in South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    De Lange, Willem J

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available This study is a first attempt at a holistic economic evaluation of South African endeavours to manage invasive alien plants using biological control. The author’s focus was on the delivery of ecosystem services from habitats that are invaded...

  15. Assessing health in agriculture--towards a common research framework for soils, plants, animals, humans and ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieweger, Anja; Döring, Thomas F

    2015-02-01

    In agriculture and food systems, health-related research includes a vast diversity of topics. Nutritional, toxicological, pharmacological, epidemiological, behavioural, sociological, economic and political methods are used to study health in the five domains of soils, plants, livestock, humans and ecosystems. An idea developed in the early founding days of organic agriculture stated that the health of all domains is one and indivisible. Here we show that recent research reveals the existence and complex nature of such health links among domains. However, studies of health aspects in agriculture are often separated by disciplinary boundaries. This restrains the understanding of health in agricultural systems. Therefore we explore the opportunities and limitations of bringing perspectives together from the different domains. We review current approaches to define and assess health in agricultural contexts, comparing the state of the art of commonly used approaches and bringing together the presently disconnected debates in soil science, plant science, veterinary science and human medicine. Based on a qualitative literature analysis, we suggest that many health criteria fall into two paradigms: (1) the Growth Paradigm, where terms are primarily oriented towards continued growth; (2) the Boundary Paradigm, where terms focus on maintaining or coming back to a status quo, recognising system boundaries. Scientific health assessments in agricultural and food systems need to be explicit in terms of their position on the continuum between Growth Paradigm and Boundary Paradigm. Finally, we identify areas and concepts for a future direction of health assessment and research in agricultural and food systems. © 2014 Society of Chemical Industry.

  16. Soil-to-plant transfer of 137Cs and 40K in an Atlantic blanket bog ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moran-Hunter, C.; O'Dea, J.

    2008-01-01

    The transfer of 137 Cs and 40 K from soil to vegetation was studied in an Atlantic blanket bog ecosystem along the Atlantic coast of Ireland where the dominant vegetation is a mixture of Calluna vulgaris, Eriophorum vaginatum and Sphagnum mosses. The impact of soil chemistry and nutritional status of vegetation on the uptake of both radionuclides was also examined. Cesium-137 transfer factors values ranged from 1.9 to 9.6 and accumulation of 137 Cs was higher in the leaves of C. vulgaris than in the stems. Transfer factors values for 137 Cs in both C. vulgaris and E. vaginatum were similar indicating that for the vegetation studied, uptake is not dependent on plant species. The uptake of 137 Cs in bog vegetation was found to be positively correlated with the nutrient status of vegetation, in particular the secondary nutrients, calcium and magnesium. Potassium-40 transfer factors ranged from 0.9 to 13.8 and uptake was higher in E. vaginatum than in C. vulgaris, however, unlike 137 Cs, the concentrations of 40 K within the leaves and stems of C. vulgaris were similar. The concentration of both 137 Cs and 40 K found in moss samples were in general lower than those found in vascular plants. (author)

  17. Utilization of power plant bottom-ash particles as stabilizer in aluminum foams

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Asavavisithchai, Seksak; Prapajaraswong, Attanadol [Chulalongkorn Univ., Bangkok (Thailand). Dept. of Metallurgical Engineering

    2013-07-01

    Aluminum foams, produced via powder metallurgical (PM) process, normally require the addition of ceramic particles in compaction stage, in order to increase both foamability of precursors and mechanical properties of the final foam products. Bottom ash particles are a by-product waste obtained from thermoelectric power plants which are commonly found to be used in landfill facilities. The major chemical constituent, approximately between 30 wt.-% and 60 wt.-%, of bottom ash particles is SiO{sub 2}, depending on chemical composition in coal, sintering condition and environment, and other process parameters. In this study, we explore the feasibility of utilizing bottom ash particles of thermoelectric power plant wastes as stabilizer in aluminum foams. A small amount of two-size bottom ash particles (mean size of 78 {mu}m and 186 {mu}m), between 1 wt.-% and 5 wt.-%, have been added to aluminum foams. Foam expansion, macro- and microstructures as well as mechanical properties, such as compressive strength and microhardness, were investigated. The results from the present study suggest that bottom ash particles can be used as a stabilizing material which can improve both cellular structure and mechanical properties of aluminum foams. (orig.)

  18. Increased transpiration and plant water stress in a black spruce bog exposed to whole ecosystem warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, J.; Ward, E. J.; Wullschleger, S. D.; Hanson, P. J.

    2017-12-01

    The Spruce and Peatland Responses under Changing Environments (SPRUCE) experiment (http://mnspruce.ornl.gov/) in Northern Minnesota, USA, has exposed 12.8 m diameter plots of an ombrotrophic Picea mariana-Ericaceous shrub bog to whole ecosystem warming (0, +2.25, +4.5, +6.75, +9 °C) since August 2015, and elevated CO2 treatments (ambient or +500 ppm) since June 2016. The mixed-age stand has trees up to 40 year old, and a 5-8 m tall canopy. Thermal dissipation sap flow probes were installed into dominant Picea mariana and Larix laricina trees in each of the 10 open-top chambers in fall 2015. This talk will focus on the first two years of sap flux data from the 10 treatment plots and the relationships with seasonal growth and prevailing environmental conditions. Sap flow was scaled to whole tree and plot level transpiration based on prior in situ calibrations using cut trees, establishment of a sapwood depth: tree diameter relationship, and the tree size distribution within each plot. We also assessed water potential in the trees and two dominant shrubs at the site: Rhododendron groenlandicum and Chamaedaphne calyculata. The warming treatments increased the growing season by up to 6 weeks, with sapflow beginning earlier in spring and lasting later into the fall. The deciduous Larix was the only species exhibiting substantial predawn water stress under the treatments, where water potentials reached -2.5 MPa for the warmest plots. The elevated CO2 reduced midday water stress in the Rhododendron, but not the Chamaedaphne, which could lead to shifts in shrub species composition.

  19. Stabilization/solidification of battery debris ampersand lead impacted material at Schuylkill Metals, Plant City, Florida

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anguiano, T.; Floyd, D.

    1997-01-01

    The Schuylkill Metals facility in Plant City Florida (SMPCI) operated as a battery recycling facility for approximately 13 years. During its operation, the facility disposed of battery components in surrounding wetland areas. In March of 1991 the U.S. EPA and SMPCI entered into a Consent Decree for the remediation of the SMPCI site using stabilization/solidification and on-site disposal. In November of 1994, ENTACT began remediation at the facility and to date has successfully stabilized/solidified over 228,000 tons of lead impacted battery components and lead impacted material. The ENTACT process reduces the size of the material to be treated to ensure that complete mixing of the phosphate/cement additive is achieved thereby promoting the chemical reactions of stabilization and solidification. ENTACT has met the following performance criteria for treated material at the SMPCI site: (1) Hydraulic Conductivity less than 1x10 -6 cm/s, (2) Unconfined Compressive Strength greater than 50 psi, (3) Lead, Cadmium, Arsenic, Chromium TCLP Leachability below hazardous levels

  20. Organic tritium in freshwater ecosystems: long-term trends in the environment of French nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gontier, G.; Siclet, F.

    2011-01-01

    From 1977 to 2009, more than 600 measurements of organic tritium were performed on fish, aquatic plants and sediments upstream and downstream of the 15 French NPP located along rivers. Examination of the results shows that organic tritium activities have exponentially decreased over the last thirty years, in all components of aquatic ecosystems. Upstream of all NPP, OBT levels in sediments are higher than in plants and fish, themselves larger than HTO in surface water. The magnitude of these differences and the long-term trends depend on the river basin and can be explained by the varying nature of tritium sources. In river catchment, where atmospheric test fallout is the main source of tritium, the observed levels result from the exposure of aquatic organisms to two distinct tritium pools of different ages: atmospheric tritiated water (representing present fallout), and organic tritium from soils (formed over several decades) which supplies particulate matter to surface waters. In the Rhone and Rhine river basins, an additional source of organic tritium of very low bio-availability, probably originating from the luminescent paint industry, is responsible for the spiking of sediment organic matter up to 100 to 100 000 Bq.L -1 combustion water. The comparison of upstream and downstream NPP tritium levels shows that the influence of tritium discharges is detectable only in rivers, with low background OBT activities, i.e in basins other than the Rhone and Rhine. The observed increase in plant and fish OBT is lower than the added HTO activity in water due to discharge, which supports the absence of bioaccumulation for tritium originating from HTO and the absence of highly bio-available tritiated organic molecules in NPP discharges. (authors)

  1. Differential response of carbon fluxes to climate in three peatland ecosystems that vary in the presence and stability of permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Euskirchen, Eugenie S; Edgar, C.W.; Turetsky, M.R.; Waldrop, Mark P.; Harden, Jennifer W.

    2016-01-01

    Changes in vegetation and soil properties following permafrost degradation and thermokarst development in peatlands may cause changes in net carbon storage. To better understand these dynamics, we established three sites in Alaska that vary in permafrost regime, including a black spruce peat plateau forest with stable permafrost, an internal collapse scar bog formed as a result of thermokarst, and a rich fen without permafrost. Measurements include year-round eddy covariance estimates of carbon dioxide (CO2), water, and energy fluxes, associated environmental variables, and methane (CH4) fluxes at the collapse scar bog. The ecosystems all acted as net sinks of CO2 in 2011 and 2012, when air temperature and precipitation remained near long-term means. In 2013, under a late snowmelt and late leaf out followed by a hot, dry summer, the permafrost forest and collapse scar bog were sources of CO2. In this same year, CO2 uptake in the fen increased, largely because summer inundation from groundwater inputs suppressed ecosystem respiration. CO2 exchange in the permafrost forest and collapse scar bog was sensitive to warm air temperatures, with 0.5 g C m−2 lost each day when maximum air temperature was very warm (≥29°C). The bog lost 4981 ± 300 mg CH4 m−2 between April and September 2013, indicating that this ecosystem acted as a significant source of both CO2 and CH4 to the atmosphere in 2013. These results suggest that boreal peatland responses to warming and drying, both of which are expected to occur in a changing climate, will depend on permafrost regime.

  2. Enhancing legume ecosystem services through an understanding of plant-pollinator interplay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Jose eSuso

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Legumes are bee-pollinated, but to a different extent. The importance of the plant-pollinator interplay (PPI, in flowering crops such as legumes lies in a combination of the importance of pollination for the production service and breeding strategies, plus the increasing urgency in mitigating the decline of pollinators through the development and implementation of conservation measures. To realize the full potential of the PPI, a multidisciplinary approach is required. This article assembles an international team of genebank managers, geneticists, plant breeders, experts on environmental governance and agro-ecology, and comprises several sections. The contributions in these sections outline both the state of the art of knowledge in the field and the novel aspects under development, and encompass a range of reviews, opinions and perspectives. The first three sections explore the role of PPI in legume breeding strategies. PPI based approaches to crop improvement can make it possible to adapt and re-design breeding strategies to meet both goals of: 1 optimal productivity, based on an efficient use of pollinators, and 2 biodiversity conservation. The next section deals with entomological aspects and focuses on the protection of the pest control service and pollinators in legume crops. The final section addresses general approaches to encourage the synergy between food production and pollination services at farmer field level. Two basic approaches are proposed: a Farming with Alternative Pollinators (FAP and b Crop Design System (CDS.

  3. Plant functional traits of dominant native and invasive species in mediterranean-climate ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funk, Jennifer L; Standish, Rachel J; Stock, William D; Valladares, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    The idea that dominant invasive plant species outperform neighboring native species through higher rates of carbon assimilation and growth is supported by several analyses of global data sets. However, theory suggests that native and invasive species occurring in low-resource environments will be functionally similar, as environmental factors restrict the range of observed physiological and morphological trait values. We measured resource-use traits in native and invasive plant species across eight diverse vegetation communities distributed throughout the five mediterranean-climate regions, which are drought prone and increasingly threatened by human activities, including the introduction of exotic species. Traits differed strongly across the five regions. In regions with functional differences between native and invasive species groups, invasive species displayed traits consistent with high resource acquisition; however, these patterns were largely attributable to differences in life form. We found that species invading mediterranean-climate regions were more likely to be annual than perennial: three of the five regions were dominated by native woody species and invasive annuals. These results suggest that trait differences between native and invasive species are context dependent and will vary across vegetation communities. Native and invasive species within annual and perennial groups had similar patterns of carbon assimilation and resource use, which contradicts the widespread idea that invasive species optimize resource acquisition rather than resource conservation. .

  4. A whole plant approach to evaluate the water use of mediterranean maquis species in a coastal dune ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mereu, S.; Salvatori, E.; Fusaro, L.; Gerosa, G.; Muys, B.; Manes, F.

    2009-02-01

    An integrated approach has been used to analyse the water relations of three Mediterranean species, A. unedo L., Q. ilex L. and P. latifolia L. co-occurring in a coastal dune ecosystem. The approach considered leaf level gas exchange, sap flow measurements and structural adaptations between 15 May and 31 July 2007, and was necessary to capture the different response of the three species to the same environment. The complexity of the response was proportional to the complexity of the system, characterized by a sandy soil with a low water retention capacity and the presence of a water table. The latter did not completely prevent the development of a drought response, and species differences in this responses have been partially attributed to a different root distribution. Sap flow of A. unedo decreased rapidly in response to the decline of Soil Water Content, while that of Q. ilex decreased only moderately. Midday leaf water potential of P. latifolia and A. unedo was between 2.2 and 2.7 MPa through the measuring period, while in Q. ilex it reached a value of 3.4 MPa at the end of the season. A. unedo was the only species to decrease the leaf area to sapwood area ratio from 23.9±1.2 (May) to 15.2±1.5 (July), as a response to drought. A. unedo also underwent an almost stepwise loss on hydraulic conductivity, such a loss didn't occur for Q. ilex, while P. latifolia was able to slightly increase hydraulic conductivity, showing how different plant compartments coordinate differently between species as a response to drought. Such different coordination affects the gas exchange between vegetation and the atmosphere, and has implications for the response of the Mediterranean coastal dune ecosystems to climate change.

  5. A preliminary assessment of the extent and potential impacts of alien plant invasions in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem, East Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arne B.R. Witt

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available This article provides a preliminary list of alien plant species in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem in East Africa. The list is based on broad-scale roadside surveys in the area and is supplemented by more detailed surveys of tourist facilities in the Masai-Mara National Reserve and adjoining conservancies. We encountered 245 alien plant species; significantly more than previous studies, of which 62 (25% were considered to have established self-perpetuating populations in areas away from human habitation. These included species which had either been intentionally or accidentally introduced. Of the 245 alien plants, 212 (including four species considered to be native to the region were intentionally introduced into gardens in the National Reserve and 51 (24% had established naturalised populations within the boundaries of these tourism facilities. Of the 51 naturalised species, 23 (11% of the 212 alien species were recorded as being invasive within the ecosystem, outside of lodges and away from other human habitation. Currently, the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem is relatively free of widespread and abundant invasive alien plants, with a few exceptions, but there are extensive populations outside of the ecosystem, particularly to the west, from where they could spread. We address the potential impacts of six species that we consider to pose the highest risks (Parthenium hysterophorus, Opuntia stricta, Tithonia diversifolia, Lantana camara, Chromolaena odorata and Prosopis juliflora. Although invasive alien plants pose substantial threats to the integrity of the ecosystem, this has not yet been widely recognised. We predict that in the absence of efforts to contain, or reverse the spread of invasive alien plants, the condition of rangelands will deteriorate, with severe negative impacts on migrating large mammals, especially wildebeest, zebra and gazelles. This will, in turn, have a substantial negative impact on tourism, which is a major economic activity

  6. Consequences of cool-season drought induced plant mortality to Chihuahuan Desert grassland ecosystem and soil respiration dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Global climate change is predicted to increase the severity and frequency of cool-season drought across the arid Southwest US. We quantified net ecosystem carbon dioxide exchange (NEE), ecosystem respiration (Reco), and gross ecosystem photosynthesis (GEP) in response to interannual seasonal precip...

  7. Potential effects of desalinated water quality on the operation stability of wastewater treatment plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lew, Beni; Cochva, Malka; Lahav, Ori

    2009-03-15

    Desalinated water is expected to become the major source of drinking water in many places in the near future, and thus the major source of wastewater to arrive at wastewater treatment plants. The paper examines the effect of the alkalinity value with which the water is released from the desalination plant on the alkalinity value that would develop within the wastewater treatment process under various nitrification-denitrification operational scenarios. The main hypothesis was that the difference in the alkalinity value between tap water and domestic wastewater is almost exclusively a result of the hydrolysis of urea (NH(2)CONH(2), excreted in the human urine) to ammonia (NH(3)), regardless of the question what fraction of NH(3(aq)) is transformed to NH(4)(+). Results from a field study show that the ratio between the alkalinity added to tap water when raw wastewater is formed (in meq/l units) and the TAN (total ammonia nitrogen, mole/l) concentration in the raw wastewater is almost 1:1 in purely domestic sewage and close to 1:1 in domestic wastewater streams mixed with light industry wastewaters. Having established the relationship between TAN and total alkalinity in raw wastewater the paper examines three theoretical nitrification-denitrification treatment scenarios in the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). The conclusion is that if low-alkalinity desalinated water constitutes the major water source arriving at the WWTP, external alkalinity will have to be added in order to avoid pH drop and maintain process stability. The results lead to the conclusion that supplying desalinated water with a high alkalinity value (e.g. > or =100 mg/l as CaCO(3)) would likely prevent the need to add costly basic chemicals in the WWTP, while, in addition, it would improve the chemical and biological stability of the drinking water in the distribution system.

  8. Idaho Chemical Processing Plant low-level waste grout stabilization development program FY-96 status report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Herbst, A.K.

    1996-09-01

    The general purpose of the Grout Stabilization Development Program is to solidify and stabilize the liquid low-level wastes (LLW) generated at the Idaho Chemical Processing Plant (ICPP). It is anticipated that LLW will be produced from the following: (1) chemical separation of the tank farm high-activity sodium-bearing waste; (2) retrieval, dissolution, and chemical separation of the aluminum, zirconium, and sodium calcines; (3) facility decontamination processes; and (4) process equipment waste. The main tasks completed this fiscal year as part of the program were chromium stabilization study for sodium-bearing waste and stabilization and solidification of LLW from aluminum and zirconium calcines. The projected LLW will be highly acidic and contain high amounts of nitrates. Both of these are detrimental to Portland cement chemistry; thus, methods to precondition the LLW and to cure the grout were explored. A thermal calcination process, called denitration, was developed to solidify the waste and destroy the nitrates. A three-way blend of Portland cement, blast furnace slag, and fly ash was successfully tested. Grout cubes were prepared at various waste loadings to maximize loading while meeting compressive strength and leach resistance requirements. For the sodium LLW, a 25% waste loading achieves a volume reduction of 3.5 and a compressive strength of 2,500 pounds per square inch while meeting leach, mix, and flow requirements. It was found that the sulfur in the slag reduces the chromium leach rate below regulatory limits. For the aluminum LLW, a 15% waste loading achieves a volume reduction of 8.5 and a compressive strength of 4,350 pounds per square inch while meeting leach requirements. Likewise for zirconium LLW, a 30% waste loading achieves a volume reduction of 8.3 and a compressive strength of 3,570 pounds per square inch

  9. Environmental risk assessment for plant pests: a procedure to evaluate their impacts on ecosystem services

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gilioli, G.; Schrader, G.; Baker, R.H.A.

    2014-01-01

    and temporal resolution is then used to explore how an IAS, as an exogenous driving force, may trigger modifications in the target environment. The method presented here provides a standardized approach to generate comparable and reproducible results for environmental risk assessment as a component of Pest...... Risk Analysis. The method enables the assessment of overall environmental risk which integrates the impacts on different components of the environment and their probabilities of occurrence. The application of the proposed scheme is illustrated by evaluating the environmental impacts of the invasive......The current methods to assess the environmental impacts of plant pests differ in their approaches and there is a lack of the standardized procedures necessary to provide accurate and consistent results, demonstrating the complexity of developing a commonly accepted scheme for this purpose...

  10. Transfer of radionuclides to plants of natural ecosystems at the Semipalatinsk Test Site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larionova, N V; Lukashenko, S N; Kabdyrakova, A M; Kunduzbayeva, A Ye; Panitskiy, A V; Ivanova, A R

    2018-06-01

    A systematic study devoted to 137 Cs, 90 Sr, 241 Am, 239+240 Pu radionuclides in vegetation cover from several spots of the Semipalatinsk test site (STS) is summarised in this paper, highlighting the main findings obtained. The analysed spots are characterized by various types of radioactive contamination. Transfer factors (Tf) required for the quantitative description of the radionuclides transition from the soil to aboveground plant parts were determined, being found that, on average, the minimum Tf for all the radionuclides concerned were determined on the "Experimental Field" ground, followed by the determined ones in the "plumes" of radioactive fallout and in the conditionally "background" territories analysed. The highest transfer factors were characteristic of zones of radioactive streamflows and places of warfare radioactive agent (WRA) tests. On the other hand, ordering the radionuclide transferring factors in descending order, the following sequence was obtained: 90 Sr Tf > Cs Tf >  239+240 Pu Tf >  241 Am Tf, with the 90 Sr Tf, on the average, exceeding the 137 Cs Tf by 8 times and exceeding the 239+240 Pu Tf by up 16 times. 239+240 Pu Tf values were up to 3 times higher than the 241 Am Tf. The exception to the indicated radionuclide Tf descending order corresponded to places of WRA tests where Tf of radionuclides of interest by plants follows the sequence 90 Sr >  239+240 Pu >  137 Cs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Soil-plant transfer of radiocaesium in slightly contaminated forest ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lamarque, S.; Lucot, E.; Badot, P.M.

    2004-01-01

    During Chernobyl's accident, large areas of Western European countries, particularly forests, were contaminated with radiocaesium fallouts. Soil-plant transfer is often the first step by which 137 Cs enters the food chains and flows through the biogeochemical cycle. The present work is devoted to document the soil-plant transfer of radiocaesium in slightly contaminated forest areas. Twelve sites, representative of the various functional features and great diversity of ecological contexts of Franche-Comte region (France), were selected to sample soils and forest trees: three species (Picea abies, Fagus sylvatica, Corylus avellana) and two organs (leaves or needles and young branches) were measured. Radiocaesium activities in soils have been observed to vary in range of 61 to 280 Bq.kg -1 DW at 0-5 cm depth (8500 to 14280 Bq.m -2 ). A great correlation exists between organic carbon content and soil total radiocaesium concentration (r 2 = 0,60). The studied soils have large organic carbon contents (2,7 to 28%) and large water pH values (3,1 to 6,1). Radiocaesium activities in leaves, needles and branches varied in range of 0 to 128 Bq.kg -1 DW, 0 to 163 Bq.kg -1 DW and 0 to 180 Bq.kg -1 DW respectively. We reported a large variability of Transfer Factors, TFs (0.02 to 0.58) with respect to vegetation type, organ type and soil features. The activity concentration in the leaves and needles were generally found to be greater than those measured in the branches. No correlation was found between soil radiocaesium activity and vegetation radiocaesium activity. TFs values could be related to variations in the radiocaesium bioavailability function of the soil features. (author)

  12. Towards understanding of carbon stocks and stabilization in volcanic ash soils in natural Andean ecosystems of northern Ecuador

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tonneijck, F.H.; Jansen, B.; Nierop, K.G.J.; Verstraten, J.M.; Sevink, J.; de Lange, L.

    2010-01-01

    Volcanic ash soils contain very large stocks of soil organic matter (SOM) per unit area. Consequently, they constitute potential sources or sinks for the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. Whether soils become a net carbon source or sink with climate and/or land-use change depends on the stability of

  13. Accumulation and transfer of 137Cs and 90Sr in the plants of the forest ecosystem near the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukšienė, B; Marčiulionienė, D; Gudelienė, I; Schönhofer, F

    2013-02-01

    The radioecological state of the forest ecosystem in the vicinity of the Ignalina Power Plant prior to decommissioning was analysed with specific emphasis on (137)Cs and (90)Sr activity concentrations in plant species growing in two reference sampling sites (Tilze and Grikiniskes). In the period of 1996-2008 the mean contamination of plants with (137)Cs was from 45 to 119 Bq/kg and with (90)Sr - from 3 to 42 Bq/kg. Measured (137)Cs TF values for soil-root transfer mainly ranged between 1.0-1.4, except for Calamagrostis arundinacea which had a TF value of 0.1. On average, the (137)Cs TF value from root to shoot was 1.7 fold higher than for soil to root transfer. (90)Sr TF values (soil-root) were in the range of 1.2-1.8 but for Calluna vulgaris it was 0.2. The mean root to shoot TF value for (90)Sr was 7.7 fold higher. These results indicate the higher (90)Sr bioavailability than that of (137)Cs in the forested area. The Grikiniskes reference site is located nearby the Ignalina NPP, specifically the heated water outlet channel, which results in altered microclimatic conditions. These specific microclimatic conditions result in relationships between (137)Cs TF (soil-root) values and pH, moisture and organic matter content in the soil at Grikiniskes which appear to be different to those at the Tilze reference sampling site. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. The variable effects of soil nitrogen availability and insect herbivory on aboveground and belowground plant biomass in an old-field ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blue, Jarrod D.; Souza, Lara; Classen, Aimée T.

    2011-01-01

    in an old-field ecosystem. In 2004, we established 36 experimental plots in which we manipulated soil nitrogen (N) availability and insect abundance in a completely randomized plot design. In 2009, after 6 years of treatments, we measured aboveground biomass and assessed root production at peak growth...... not be limiting primary production in this ecosystem. Insects reduced the aboveground biomass of subdominant plant species and decreased coarse root production. We found no statistical interactions between N availability and insect herbivory for any response variable. Overall, the results of 6 years of nutrient...

  15. Science and Measurement Requirements for a Plant Physiology and Functional Types Mission: Measuring the Composition, Function and Health of Global Land and Coastal Ocean Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Robert O.; Rogez, Francois; Green, Rob; Ungar, Steve; Knox, Robert; Asner, Greg; Muller-Karger, Frank; Bissett, Paul; Chekalyuk, Alex; Dierssen, Heidi; hide

    2007-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the proposed Plant Physiology and Functional Types (PPFT) Mission. The National Academy of Sciences Decadal Survey, placed a critical priority on a Mission to observe distribution and changes in ecosystem functions. The PPFT satellite mission provides the essential measurements needed to assess drivers of change in biodiversity and ecosystem services that affect human welfare. The presentation reviews the science questions that the mission will be designed to answer, the science rationale, the science measurements, the mission concept, the planned instrumentation, the calibration method, and key signal to noise ratios and uniformity requirements.

  16. Is an ecosystem services-based approach developed for setting specific protection goals for plant protection products applicable to other chemicals?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maltby, Lorraine; Jackson, Mathew; Whale, Graham; Brown, A Ross; Hamer, Mick; Solga, Andreas; Kabouw, Patrick; Woods, Richard; Marshall, Stuart

    2017-02-15

    Clearly defined protection goals specifying what to protect, where and when, are required for designing scientifically sound risk assessments and effective risk management of chemicals. Environmental protection goals specified in EU legislation are defined in general terms, resulting in uncertainty in how to achieve them. In 2010, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published a framework to identify more specific protection goals based on ecosystem services potentially affected by plant protection products. But how applicable is this framework to chemicals with different emission scenarios and receptor ecosystems? Four case studies used to address this question were: (i) oil refinery waste water exposure in estuarine environments; (ii) oil dispersant exposure in aquatic environments; (iii) down the drain chemicals exposure in a wide range of ecosystems (terrestrial and aquatic); (iv) persistent organic pollutant exposure in remote (pristine) Arctic environments. A four-step process was followed to identify ecosystems and services potentially impacted by chemical emissions and to define specific protection goals. Case studies demonstrated that, in principle, the ecosystem services concept and the EFSA framework can be applied to derive specific protection goals for a broad range of chemical exposure scenarios. By identifying key habitats and ecosystem services of concern, the approach offers the potential for greater spatial and temporal resolution, together with increased environmental relevance, in chemical risk assessments. With modifications including improved clarity on terminology/definitions and further development/refinement of the key concepts, we believe the principles of the EFSA framework could provide a methodical approach to the identification and prioritization of ecosystems, ecosystem services and the service providing units that are most at risk from chemical exposure. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights

  17. Interactions Between Wind Erosion, Vegetation Structure, and Soil Stability in Groundwater Dependent Plant Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vest, K. R.; Elmore, A. J.; Okin, G. S.

    2009-12-01

    Desertification is a human induced global phenomenon causing a loss of biodiversity and ecosystem productivity. Semi-arid grasslands are vulnerable to anthropogenic impacts (i.e., groundwater pumping and surface water diversion) that decrease vegetation cover and increase bare soil area leading to a greater probability of soil erosion, potentially enhancing feedback processes associated with desertification. To enhance our understanding of interactions between anthropogenic, physical, and biological factors causing desertification, this study used a combination of modeling and field observations to examine the relationship between chronic groundwater pumping and vegetation cover change and its effects on soil erosion and stability. The work was conducted in Owens Valley California, where a long history of groundwater pumping and surface water diversion has lead to documented vegetation changes. The work examined hydrological, ecological and biogeochemical factors across thirteen sites in Owens Valley. We analyzed soil stability, vegetation and gap size, soil organic carbon, and we also installed Big Spring Number Eight (BSNE) catchers to calculate mass transport of aeolian sediment across sites. Mass transport calculations were used to validate a new wind erosion model that represents the effect of porous vegetation on surface windshear velocity. Results across two field seasons show that the model can be used to predict mass transport, and areas with increased groundwater pumping show a greater susceptibility to erosion. Sediment collected in BSNE catchers was positively correlated with site gap size. Additionally, areas with larger gap sizes have a greater threshold shear velocity and soil stability, yet mass transport was greater at these sites than at sites with smaller gap sizes. Although modeling is complicated by spatial variation in multiple model parameters (e.g., gap size, threshold shear velocity in gaps), our results support the hypothesis that soils

  18. Trait space of rare plants in a fire-dependent ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ames, Gregory M; Wall, Wade A; Hohmann, Matthew G; Wright, Justin P

    2017-08-01

    The causes of species rarity are of critical concern because of the high extinction risk associated with rarity. Studies examining individual rare species have limited generality, whereas trait-based approaches offer a means to identify functional causes of rarity that can be applied to communities with disparate species pools. Differences in functional traits between rare and common species may be indicative of the functional causes of species rarity and may therefore be useful in crafting species conservation strategies. However, there is a conspicuous lack of studies comparing the functional traits of rare species and co-occurring common species. We measured 18 important functional traits for 19 rare and 134 common understory plant species from North Carolina's Sandhills region and compared their trait distributions to determine whether there are significant functional differences that may explain species rarity. Flowering, fire, and tissue-chemistry traits differed significantly between rare and common, co-occurring species. Differences in specific traits suggest that fire suppression has driven rarity in this system and that changes to the timing and severity of prescribed fire may improve conservation success. Our method provides a useful tool to prioritize conservation efforts in other systems based on the likelihood that rare species are functionally capable of persisting. © 2016 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology.

  19. Taxonomic Structure and Stability of the Bacterial Community in Belgian Sourdough Ecosystems as Assessed by Culture and Population Fingerprinting▿ †

    OpenAIRE

    Scheirlinck, Ilse; Van der Meulen, Roel; Van Schoor, Ann; Vancanneyt, Marc; De Vuyst, Luc; Vandamme, Peter; Huys, Geert

    2008-01-01

    A total of 39 traditional sourdoughs were sampled at 11 bakeries located throughout Belgium which were visited twice with a 1-year interval. The taxonomic structure and stability of the bacterial communities occurring in these traditional sourdoughs were assessed using both culture-dependent and culture-independent methods. A total of 1,194 potential lactic acid bacterium (LAB) isolates were tentatively grouped and identified by repetitive element sequence-based PCR, followed by sequence-base...

  20. Cooling tower drift studies at the Paducah, Kentucky Gaseous Diffusion Plant. [Transport of drift-derived chromium in terrestrial ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Taylor, F.G.; Hanna, S.R.; Parr, P.D.

    1979-01-01

    The transfer and fate of chromium from cooling tower drift to terrestrial ecosystems were quantified at the Department of Energy's uranium enrichment facility at Paducah, Kentucky. Chromium concentrations in plant materials (fescue grass) decreased with increasing distance from the cooing tower, ranging from 251 +- 19 ppM at 15 meters to 0.52 +- 0.07 ppM at 1500 meters. The site of drift contamination, size characteristics, and elemental content of drift particles were determined using a scanning electron microscope with energy dispersive x-ray analysis capabilities. Results indicate that elemental content in drift water (mineral residue) may not be equivalent to the content in the recirculating cooling water of the tower. This hypothesis is contrary to basic assumptions in calculating drift emissions. A laboratory study simulating throughfall from 1 to 6 inches of rain suggested that there are more exchange sites associated with litter than live foliage. Leachate from each one inch throughfall simulant removed 3% of the drift mass from litter compared to 7 to 9% from live foliage. Results suggest that differences in retention are related to chemical properties of the drift rather than physical lodging of the particle residue. To determine the potential for movement of drift-derived chromium to surface streams, soil--water samplers (wells) were placed along a distance gradient to Little Bayou Creek. Samples from two depths following rainstorms revealed the absence of vertical or horizontal movement with maximum concentrations of 0.13 ppb at 50 meters from the tower. Preliminary model estimates of drift deposition are compared to depositionmeasurements. Isopleths of the predicted deposition are useful to identify areas of maximum drift transport in the environs of the gaseous diffusion plant.

  1. Carbon nanomaterials alter plant physiology and soil bacterial community composition in a rice-soil-bacterial ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hao, Yi; Ma, Chuanxin; Zhang, Zetian; Song, Youhong; Cao, Weidong; Guo, Jing; Zhou, Guopeng; Rui, Yukui; Liu, Liming; Xing, Baoshan

    2018-01-01

    The aim of this study was to compare the toxicity effects of carbon nanomaterials (CNMs), namely fullerene (C 60 ), reduced graphene oxide (rGO) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), on a mini-ecosystem of rice grown in a loamy potted soil. We measured plant physiological and biochemical parameters and examined bacterial community composition in the CNMs-treated plant-soil system. After 30 days of exposure, all the three CNMs negatively affected the shoot height and root length of rice, significantly decreased root cortical cells diameter and resulted in shrinkage and deformation of cells, regardless of exposure doses (50 or 500 mg/kg). Additionally, at the high exposure dose of CNM, the concentrations of four phytohormones, including auxin, indoleacetic acid, brassinosteroid and gibberellin acid 4 in rice roots significantly increased as compared to the control. At the high exposure dose of MWCNTs and C 60 , activities of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (POD) in roots increased significantly. High-throughput sequencing showed that three typical CNMs had little effect on shifting the predominant soil bacterial species, but the presence of CNMs significantly altered the composition of the bacterial community. Our results indicate that different CNMs indeed resulted in environmental toxicity to rice and soil bacterial community in the rhizosphere and suggest that CNMs themselves and their incorporated products should be reasonably used to control their release/discharge into the environment to prevent their toxic effects on living organisms and the potential risks to food safety. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Tritium behaviour in aquatic plants and animals in a freshwater marsh ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adams, L.W.; Peterle, T.J.; White, G.C.

    1979-01-01

    Ten curies of tritium as tritiated water (HTO) were experimentally added to an enclosed 2-ha Lake Erie marsh on 20 October 1973. Tritium kinetics in selected plants and animals were determined over a one-year period. Tritium levels in the marsh bottom sediment averaged 1.8 times the marsh water levels, with little evidence of tritium concentration above the marsh water tritium levels in the flora and fauna. The unbound tritium: marsh water tritium ratios in smartweed (Polygonum lapathifolium) and pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata) (both emergents) were lower than the same ratio for pondweed (Potamogeton crispus) (a submergent). There was some evidence of bound tritium buildup in midsummer, particularly in the pondweed. Tritium uptake into the unbound compartments of crayfish (Procambarus blandingi), carp (Cyprinus carpio) and bluegills (Lepomis macrochirus) was rapid. For crayfish, maximum HTO levels were observed on days 2 and 3 following treatment for muscle and viscera respectively. Unbound HTO in carp muscle peaked in 4 hours and the level in carp viscera reached a maximum in 2 days, in bluegill muscle and viscera on day 1. Unbound HTO in all species decreased following peak levels, paralleling marsh water HTO activity. Tritium uptake into the bound compartments was not as rapid nor were the levels as high as for unbound HTO in the fauna. The peak bound level in crayfish muscle was observed on day 10 (bound : unbound ratio of 0.34) and the maximum level in viscera was noted on day 20 (bound : unbound ratio of 0.23). Bound tritium in carp muscle and viscera reached maximum levels on day 20 (bound : unbound ratios of 0.25 and 0.39 respectively). In bluegills, peaks were reached on days 5 and 7 (bound : unbound ratios of 0.35 and 0.38 for muscle and viscera respectively). Bound tritium in all species decreased following maximum levels

  3. Prosopis laevigata and Mimosa biuncifera (Leguminosae, jointly influence plant diversity and soil fertility of a Mexican semiarid ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosalva García-Sánchez

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Prosopis laevigata and Mimosa biuncifera are frequently found in arid and semiarid shrublands, but scarce information is available about their influence on plant community structure and soil fertility. We compared plant community structure, diversity and soil nutrients of three semiarid shrubland sites located in Mezquital Valley, Mexico. These sites differ in their dominant species: Site 1 (Bingu P. laevigata, Site 2 (González M. biuncifera, and Site 3 (Rincón with the presence of both legumes. The results showed that the plant community with P. laevigata and M. biuncifera (Site 3 had more cover, taller plants and higher plant diversity than sites with only one legume (Site 1 and Site 2. Soil organic matter (SOM, soil organic carbon (SOC, total nitrogen (TN, phosphorus-Olsen (P and C mineralization were higher in the soil under the canopy of both legumes than in bare soil. In contrast, soil cation concentrations were lower under the canopy of P. laevigata, but not for M. biuncifera. In addition, the density of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi spores was higher within the soil under the canopy of M. biuncifera than in the soil under the canopy of P. laevigata. Thus, resource islands (RI created by P. laevigata increased the amounts of SOC, TN and P when compared with the RI of M. biuncifera. This study provided evidences about the importance of species identity in order to expand the niche availability for the establishment of other plants, and highlights that P. laevigata and M. biuncifera jointly influencing plant colonization within semiarid ecosystemsProsopis laevigata y Mimosa biuncifera coexisten en los matorrales semiáridos; sin embargo, se desconoce su influencia sobre la diversidad de la comunidad vegetal y el suelo. Este estudio evaluó el efecto de P. laevigata y M. biuncifera sobre la estructura, diversidad vegetal y nutrimentos del suelo, en tres matorrales del Valle del Mezquital, México. Los sitios difieren en la especie dominante

  4. The problem of ensuring the seismic stability of atomic electric power plant equipment and ways of solving it

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaznovskii; Filippov, G.A.

    1983-01-01

    By seismic stability the authors mean the ability of the equipment and buildings to retain certain properties when subjected to seismic loads: leakproofness, strength, the absence of any residual changes of shape, which interfere with normal operation, ability to be repaired, nuclear and radiation safety. The latter requirement is the main thing which differentiates atomic electric power plants from other constructions, including other power-generation plants. Whereas, for example, an accident in the event of an earthquake in a thermal electric power plant can be regarded as a local accident, and the measures to ensure seismic stability are determined by economic factors and safety requirements for the operating staff, to ensure the seismic stability of an AES it is essential to take account in the first instance of the possibility of dangerous radiation effects both in the AES and in the vast area around it

  5. Absorption, distribution, dynamics of 14C-chlorpyrifos in several kinds of animals and plants in fresh water ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen Shunhua; Zhong Chuangguang; Zhao Xiaokui

    1998-01-01

    The absorption, distribution, dynamics of chlorpyrifos in five fresh water organisms were studied. The results showed that all organisms tested absorbed 14 C-chlorpyrifos rapidly in simulation ecosystem for 4 h of exposure. The concentration factors (CF) of 14 C-chlorpyrifos in the organisms were in order of Gambusia affinis>Bellarnya purificata>Planorbis sp.>Lenna polyrrhiza>Naslurtium officincles on the 2nd day of the experiment. The absorption of 14 C-chlorpyrifos by three kinds of animals showed that the 14 C-radioactivity reached peaks after 24 h or 48 h of exposure to the pesticide. the concentration factors of Gambusia affinis (48 h), Bellarnya purificata (48 h) and Planorbis sp. (24 h) were 375, 249.69 and 30 respectively. The absorption peaks expressed in concentration factors in Lenna polyrrhiza and Naslurtium officincles, were 28.54 and 7.78 at 4 and 24 h respectively. After the absorption peaks, the radioactivity in all experimental animals and plants decreased with increase of time. After 4 h, the radioactivity in water rapidly decreased to 67% of the original and it decreased to about one half of the original after 24 h. Then the radioactivity of 14 C in water slightly increased due to the excreta of the organisms

  6. Structure of forest ecosystems and leaf area index of wood plants -results of monitoring over the years 1991-1994

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oszlanyi, J.

    1995-01-01

    Monitored characteristics and their dynamics over the last four vegetation seasons reveal the following conclusions: 1) Changes of monitored parameters (e.g. the structure of tree and shrub layer, the leaf area index) are slow, drab and insignificant at the permanent monitoring representing a major part of forest ecosystems of the area affected by the Hydroelectric power structures Gabcikovo. Despite the absence of floods, the ground water level is at a sufficient height to contact rhisosphere of wood plants and the recorded changes are in accord with growth regularities. 2) An increase of the ground water level in the upper part of the monitored territory and a partial renaturation of hydropedological conditions led to an improvement of production-ecological parameters of the area. Changes of its structure are of positive tendency, the leaf area index is stabilised at high values and somewhere even increased (in 1994 being by 70-80% higher than in 1991). 3) Localities with a permanent decrease of the ground water level (band along the old river-bed of the Danube, a dry triangle among the old river-bed of the Danube, the inlet canal and the river arm supplied by the intake structure at Dobrohost and other places) were afflicted by negative changes, locally indicating destruction of tree and shrub layers, with the leaf area index significantly reduced by 20-30%. (author). 1 tab., 5 refs [sk

  7. Radiocesium accumulation in the anuran frog, Rana tagoi tagoi, in forest ecosystems after the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Takahara, Teruhiko; Endo, Satoru; Takada, Momo; Oba, Yurika; Nursal, Wim Ikbal; Igawa, Takeshi; Doi, Hideyuki; Yamada, Toshihiro; Okuda, Toshinori

    2015-01-01

    Amphibians are key components in forest food webs. When examining radioactive contamination in anurans, it is important to understand how radiocesium transfer occurs from lower to higher trophic levels in forest ecosystems. We investigated the activity concentration of radiocesium ( 134 Cs and 137 Cs) in Tago's brown frog (Rana tagoi tagoi) captured on the forest floor approximately 2.5 years after the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP) accident. We collected 66 R. tagoi tagoi at different distances from the FNPP. Radiocesium accumulation showed positive correlations with the air radiation dose rate and litter contamination but not with distance from the FNPP. Whole-body radioactivity showed no correlation with body mass or length. Our results suggest that differences in the available food items result in large variability in individual contamination. Contamination level monitoring in terrestrial and aquatic amphibian is necessary for clarifying the processes and mechanisms of radiocesium transfer through forest food webs. - Highlights: • Radiocesium level in Rana tagoi tagoi from forests near Fukushima was assessed. • Radiocesium accumulation was related to air dose rate and litter contamination. • Differences in dietary intake might lead to variability in individual contamination. • Transfer of radiocesium among trophic levels can occur via anurans. - Rana tagoi tagoi accumulates radiocesium in forest floor habitats near Fukushima

  8. Thermal stability of chloroform in the steam condensate cycle of CANDU-PHW nuclear power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lepine, Louis; Gilbert, Roland; Ouellet, Lorenzo

    1992-01-01

    Analysis of samples taken at the Gentilly 2 (Quebec) CANDU-PHW (CANadian Deuterium Uranium - Pressurized Heavy Water) plant after chlorination and demineralization revealed the presence of all four trihalomethanes (THMs) (CHCl 3 , CHBrCl 2 , CHBr 2 Cl and CHBr 3 ) and other unidentified halogenated volatile compounds. Among the THMs, chloroform was the major contaminant. A study of its thermal stability in water at different temperatures confirmed the degradation of the CHCl 3 molecule according to the equation CHCl 3 + H2O → CO + 3 HCl. The reaction follows first order kinetics and has an activation energy of 100 kJ/mol. The estimated half-life is six seconds at 260 deg C, the maximum temperature of the steam condensate cycle

  9. Pollutant deposition in forest ecosystems and characteristics of chemical properties of soils in the environs of the Temelin nuclear power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lochman, V.; Bucek, J.; Biba, M.

    1994-01-01

    The paper describes the results of investigations of the chemistry of precipitation water and soil water in 1991-1992 on research plots in the nearer and farther environs of the building site of the Temelin nuclear power plant (about 25 km north of Ceske Budejovice). Research plots lie in spruce and beech stands. When the installations on research plots were built (1990 and 1991), soil samples were taken to determine the supply of biogenic elements in humus and soil. The objective of the program was to determine the current level of element deposition in forest ecosystems, dynamics of soil elements and chemistry; the program is a part of more extensive research into forest environment and stand condition. The research of investigation provide data for a forecast of the effect of the projected operation of the nuclear power plant on forest environment, basic factor of growth and stabilization and for fulfilment of their functions. They can be a basis for evaluation of the rate of changes in forest ecosystems after the nuclear power plant has been launched into operation. The results of research are currently applied to supply data to the network of plots with monitoring of pollutant loads in the forest ecosystem in Southern Bohemia. Two research plots in spruce stand (Hnevkovice and Strouha) and a plot in beech stand (Vsetec) were laid out at a distance of several kilometers from the built-up premises of the Temelin nuclear power plant. The soils on these plots are medium deep brown forest soils (Cambisol) with a large amount of mother rock skeleton (biotitic paragneiss). Moder is a soil humus form in the spruce and beech stands. To monitor pollutant deposition in the forest ecosystems and their effect of the soil properties Vojirov plots were laid out which lie in spruce stand and in a mixed stand of beech and spruce in the Jindrichuv Hradec forest district, near the frontier with Austria. Humus podzols with moder and mor forms were developed on eolian sand between

  10. Soil-Plant Metal Relations in Panax notoginseng: An Ecosystem Health Risk Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ou, Xiaohong; Wang, Li; Guo, Lanping; Cui, Xiuming; Liu, Dahui; Yang, Ye

    2016-01-01

    This study features a survey of the content of heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Cr, As, Hg and Cu) in root and cultivation soils of Panax notoginseng (P. notoginseng), carried out in China’s Yunnan Province. The average contents of Pb, Cd, Cr, As, Hg, and Cu in the soil were 61.6, 0.4, 102.4, 57.1, 0.3, and 35.1 mg·kg−1, respectively. The heavy metals’ pollution indexes can be ranked as follows: As > Cd > Hg > Cu > Cr > Pb. The proportion of soil samples at slight, middle, strong, very strong, and extremely strong levels of potential environmental risk had values of 5.41%, 21.62%, 35.14%, 10.81%, and 27.03%, respectively. The potential environment risk index (RI) showed that 29.73% out of the total sample sites were above the level of strong and extremely strong. The ranges of Pb, Cd, Cr, As, Hg, and Cu content in tuber were 0.04–3.26, 0.04–0.33, 0.22–5.4, 0.10–1.8, 0.00–0.02, and 5.0–20.9 mg·kg−1, respectively. In combination with P. notoginseng consumption data, the estimated heavy metal daily intakes (EDIs) were 0.08–0.23, 0.006–0.019, 0.17–0.52, 0.04–0.12, 0.001–0.002, and 0.59–1.77 μg·kg−1·bw/day. All target hazard quotients (THQs) of individual elements and hazard indexes (HI) were less than one. The present study indicates that most of the P. notoginseng cultivation soil in the province of Yunnan presented slight and moderate ecological risk. Thus, more attention should be given to the heavy metals As, Cd, and Hg when selecting planting areas for the cultivation of P. notoginseng. Health risks associated with the intake of a single element or consumption of the combined metals through P. notoginseng are absent. PMID:27827951

  11. How ecosystems change following invasion by Robinia pseudoacacia: Insights from soil chemical properties and soil microbial, nematode, microarthropod and plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazzaro, Lorenzo; Mazza, Giuseppe; d'Errico, Giada; Fabiani, Arturo; Giuliani, Claudia; Inghilesi, Alberto F; Lagomarsino, Alessandra; Landi, Silvia; Lastrucci, Lorenzo; Pastorelli, Roberta; Roversi, Pio Federico; Torrini, Giulia; Tricarico, Elena; Foggi, Bruno

    2018-05-01

    Biological invasions are a global threat to biodiversity. Since the spread of invasive alien plants may have many impacts, an integrated approach, assessing effects across various ecosystem components, is needed for a correct understanding of the invasion process and its consequences. The nitrogen-fixing tree Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust) is a major invasive species worldwide and is used in forestry production. While its effects on plant communities and soils are well known, there have been few studies on soil fauna and microbes. We investigated the impacts of the tree on several ecosystem components, using a multi-trophic approach to combine evidence of soil chemical properties and soil microbial, nematode, microarthropod and plant communities. We sampled soil and vegetation in managed forests, comparing those dominated by black locust with native deciduous oak stands. We found qualitative and quantitative changes in all components analysed, such as the well-known soil nitrification and acidification in stands invaded by black locust. Bacterial richness was the only component favoured by the invasion. On the contrary, abundance and richness of microarthropods, richness of nematodes, and richness and diversity of plant communities decreased significantly in invaded stands. The invasion process caused a compositional shift in all studied biotic communities and in relationships between the different ecosystem components. We obtained clear insights into the effects of invasion of managed native forests by black locust. Our data confirms that the alien species transforms several ecosystem components, modifying the plant-soil community and affecting biodiversity at different levels. Correct management of this aggressive invader in temperate forests is urgently required. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Reclamation after oil and gas development does not speed up succession or plant community recovery in big sagebrush ecosystems in Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rottler, Caitlin M.; Burke, Ingrid C.; Palmquist, Kyle A.; Bradford, John B.; Lauenroth, William K.

    2018-01-01

    Article for intended outlet: Restoration Ecology. Abstract: Reclamation is an application of treatment(s) following a disturbance to promote succession and accelerate the return of target conditions. Previous studies have framed reclamation in the context of succession by studying its effectiveness in re-establishing late-successional plant communities. Re-establishment of these plant communities is especially important and potentially challenging in regions such as drylands and shrub steppe ecosystems where succession proceeds slowly. Dryland shrub steppe ecosystems are frequently associated with areas rich in fossil-fuel energy sources, and as such the need for effective reclamation after disturbance from fossil-fuel-related energy development is great. Past research in this field has focused primarily on coal mines; few researchers have studied reclamation after oil and gas development. To address this research gap and to better understand the effect of reclamation on rates of succession in dryland shrub steppe ecosystems, we sampled oil and gas wellpads and adjacent undisturbed big sagebrush plant communities in Wyoming, USA and quantified the extent of recovery for major functional groups on reclaimed and unreclaimed (recovered via natural succession) wellpads relative to the undisturbed plant community. Reclamation increased the rate of recovery for all forb and grass species as a group and for perennial grasses, but did not affect other functional groups. Rather, analyses comparing recovery to environmental variables and time since wellpad abandonment showed that recovery of other groups were affected primarily by soil texture and time since wellpad abandonment. This is consistent with studies in other ecosystems where reclamation has been implemented, suggesting that reclamation may not help re-establish late-successional plant communities more quickly than they would re-establish naturally.

  13. Plant stimulation of soil microbial community succession: how sequential expression mediates soil carbon stabilization and turnover

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Firestone, Mary [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)

    2015-03-31

    It is now understood that most plant C is utilized or transformed by soil microorganisms en route to stabilization. Hence the composition of microbial communities that mediate decomposition and transformation of root C is critical, as are the metabolic capabilities of these communities. The change in composition and function of the C-transforming microbial communities over time in effect defines the biological component of soil C stabilization. Our research was designed to test 2 general hypotheses; the first two hypotheses are discussed first; H1: Root-exudate interactions with soil microbial populations results in the expression of enzymatic capacities for macromolecular, complex carbon decomposition; and H2: Microbial communities surrounding roots undergo taxonomic succession linked to functional gene activities as roots grow, mature, and decompose in soil. Over the term of the project we made significant progress in 1) quantifying the temporal pattern of root interactions with the soil decomposing community and 2) characterizing the role of root exudates in mediating these interactions.

  14. Strategic plant choices can alleviate climate change impacts: A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espeland, Erin K; Kettenring, Karin M

    2018-06-01

    Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) uses biodiversity and ecosystem services to reduce climate change impacts to local communities. Because plants can alleviate the abiotic and biotic stresses of climate change, purposeful plant choices could improve adaptation. However, there has been no systematic review of how plants can be applied to alleviate effects of climate change. Here we describe how plants can modify climate change effects by altering biological and physical processes. Plant effects range from increasing soil stabilization to reducing the impact of flooding and storm surges. Given the global scale of plant-related activities such as farming, landscaping, forestry, conservation, and restoration, plants can be selected strategically-i.e., planting and maintaining particular species with desired impacts-to simultaneously restore degraded ecosystems, conserve ecosystem function, and help alleviate effects of climate change. Plants are a tool for EbA that should be more broadly and strategically utilized. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  15. OXIDATIVE STABILITY OF CHILLED CHICKEN MEAT AFTER FEEDING OF SELECTED PLANTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mária Martonová

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available  The effect of feeding of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis, L and combination of yarrow (Achillea millefolium L and hawthorn (Crataegus oxyacantha L on oxidative stability and sensory properties of produced poultry meat was investigated. Sixty one-day-old commercial broiler chicks (ROSS 308 were used in our experiment, divided into 3 groups, and fed 41 days, as follows: control (K was fed with standard diet without supplementation of plants; second group (M was fed with standard diet supplemented with grounded lemon balm in concentration 2 % per 1 kg; and third group was fed with standard diet supplemented with grounded yarrow (2 % and hawthorn (1 %. Results showed that supplementation with lemon balm, and mainly combination of yarrow and hawthorn in the diet significantly caused reduction of lipid oxidation processes in thigh meat during chilling storage of samples. In addition, supplementation of plants in the diet had positive effect on sensory quality of meat of broiler chickens.    doi:10.5219/38 

  16. Stabilization of heavy metals in fired clay brick incorporated with wastewater treatment plant sludge: Leaching analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kadir, A. A.; Hassan, M. I. H.; Salim, N. S. A.; Sarani, N. A.; Ahmad, S.; Rahmat, N. A. I.

    2018-04-01

    Wastewater treatment sludge or known as sewage sludge is regarded as the residue and produced by the sedimentation of the suspended solid during treatment at the wastewater treatment plant. As such, this sludge was gained from the separation process of the liquids and solids. This sludge wastes has becomes national issues in recent years due to the increasing amount caused by population and industrialization growth in Malaysia. This research was conducted to fully utilize the sludge that rich in dangerous heavy metals and at the same time act as low cost alternative materials in brick manufacturing. The investigation includes determination of heavy metal concentration and chemical composition of the sludge, physical and mechanical properties. Wastewater treatment sludge samples were collected from wastewater treatment plant located in Johor, Malaysia. X-Ray Fluorescence was conducted to determine the heavy metals concentration of wastewater treatment sludge. Different percentage of sludges which are 0%, 1%, 5%, 10%, and 20%, has been incorporated into fired clay brick. The leachability of heavy metals in fired clay brick that incorporated with sludge were determined by using Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) and Synthetic Precipitation Leachability Procedure (SPLP) that has been analyzed by using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS). The results show a possibility to stabilize the heavy metals in fired clay brick incorporated with wastewater treatment sludge. 20% of the sludge incorporated into the brick is the most suitable for building materials as it leached less heavy metals concentration and complying with USEPA standard.

  17. Modelling the diurnal and seasonal dynamics of soil CO2 exchange in a semiarid ecosystem with high plant-interspace heterogeneity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Jinnan; Wang, Ben; Jia, Xin; Feng, Wei; Zha, Tianshan; Kellomäki, Seppo; Peltola, Heli

    2018-01-01

    We used process-based modelling to investigate the roles of carbon-flux (C-flux) components and plant-interspace heterogeneities in regulating soil CO2 exchanges (FS) in a dryland ecosystem with sparse vegetation. To simulate the diurnal and seasonal dynamics of FS, the modelling considered simultaneously the CO2 production, transport and surface exchanges (e.g. biocrust photosynthesis, respiration and photodegradation). The model was parameterized and validated with multivariate data measured during the years 2013-2014 in a semiarid shrubland ecosystem in Yanchi, northwestern China. The model simulation showed that soil rewetting could enhance CO2 dissolution and delay the emission of CO2 produced from rooting zone. In addition, an ineligible fraction of respired CO2 might be removed from soil volumes under respiration chambers by lateral water flows and root uptakes. During rewetting, the lichen-crusted soil could shift temporally from net CO2 source to sink due to the activated photosynthesis of biocrust but the restricted CO2 emissions from subsoil. The presence of plant cover could decrease the root-zone CO2 production and biocrust C sequestration but increase the temperature sensitivities of these fluxes. On the other hand, the sensitivities of root-zone emissions to water content were lower under canopy, which may be due to the advection of water flows from the interspace to canopy. To conclude, the complexity and plant-interspace heterogeneities of soil C processes should be carefully considered to extrapolate findings from chamber to ecosystem scales and to predict the ecosystem responses to climate change and extreme climatic events. Our model can serve as a useful tool to simulate the soil CO2 efflux dynamics in dryland ecosystems.

  18. The Distribution of Microalgae in a Stabilization Pond System of a Domestic Wastewater Treatment Plant in a Tropical Environment (Case Study: Bojongsoang Wastewater Treatment Plant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Herto Dwi Ariesyady

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The Bojongsoang Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP serves to treat domestic wastewater originating from Bandung City, West Java, Indonesia. An abundant amount of nutrients as a result of waste decomposition increases the number of microalgae populations present in the pond of the wastewater treatment plant, thereby causing a population explosion of microalgae, also called algal blooming. In a stabilization pond system, the presence of algal blooming is not desirable because it can decrease wastewater treatment performance. More knowledge about the relationship between the nutrients concentration and algae blooming conditions, such as microalgae diversity, is needed to control and maintain the performance of the wastewater treatment plant. Therefore this study was conducted, in order to reveal the diversity of microalgae in the stabilization pond system and its relationship with the water characteristics of the comprising ponds. The results showed that the water quality in the stabilization pond system of Bojongsoang WWTP supported rapid growth of microalgae, where most rapid microbial growth occurred in the anaerobic pond. The microalgae diversity in the stabilization ponds was very high, with various morphologies, probably affiliated with blue-green algae, green algae, cryptophytes, dinoflagellates and diatoms. This study has successfully produced information on microalgae diversity and abundance profiles in a stabilization pond system.

  19. Antifoaming materials studies in G.S. (Girlder sulfide) heavy water plants. Chemical and thermical stability. Pt. 3

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Delfino, C.A.; Rojo, E.A.

    1988-01-01

    In Girlder sulfide (G.S.) heavy water plants hydrogen sulfide-water systems are inherentely foaming, so the adding of antifoaming materials is of great importance. These may be of high volatility, pyrolizable or chemically unstable in plant operation conditions (water and hydrogen sulfide at 2 MPa, up to 230 deg C). Five commercial surfactants were studied from the point of view of their chemical and thermical stability in order to select the most suitable. (Author) [es

  20. Plant litter chemistry alters the content and composition of organic carbon associated with soil mineral and aggregate fractions in invaded ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamura, Mioko; Suseela, Vidya; Simpson, Myrna; Powell, Brian; Tharayil, Nishanth

    2017-10-01

    Through the input of disproportionate quantities of chemically distinct litter, invasive plants may potentially influence the fate of organic matter associated with soil mineral and aggregate fractions in some of the ecosystems they invade. Although context dependent, these native ecosystems subjected to prolonged invasion by exotic plants may be instrumental in distinguishing the role of plant-microbe-mineral interactions from the broader edaphic and climatic influences on the formation of soil organic matter (SOM). We hypothesized that the soils subjected to prolonged invasion by an exotic plant that input recalcitrant litter (Japanese knotweed, Polygonum cuspidatum) would have a greater proportion of plant-derived carbon (C) in the aggregate fractions, as compared with that in adjacent soil inhabited by native vegetation that input labile litter, whereas the soils under an invader that input labile litter (kudzu, Pueraria lobata) would have a greater proportion of microbial-derived C in the silt-clay fraction, as compared with that in adjacent soils that receive recalcitrant litter. At the knotweed site, the higher C content in soils under P. cuspidatum, compared with noninvaded soils inhabited by grasses and forbs, was limited to the macroaggregate fraction, which was abundant in plant biomarkers. The noninvaded soils at this site had a higher abundance of lignins in mineral and microaggregate fractions and suberin in the macroaggregate fraction, partly because of the greater root density of the native species, which might have had an overriding influence on the chemistry of the above-ground litter input. At the kudzu site, soils under P. lobata had lower C content across all size fractions at a 0-5 cm soil depth despite receiving similar amounts of Pinus litter. Contrary to our prediction, the noninvaded soils receiving recalcitrant Pinus litter had a similar abundance of plant biomarkers across both mineral and aggregate fractions, potentially because of

  1. Relationships between Plant Diversity and the Abundance and α-Diversity of Predatory Ground Beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in a Mature Asian Temperate Forest Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Yi; Sang, Weiguo; Bai, Fan; Axmacher, Jan Christoph

    2013-01-01

    A positive relationship between plant diversity and both abundance and diversity of predatory arthropods is postulated by the Enemies Hypothesis, a central ecological top-down control hypothesis. It has been supported by experimental studies and investigations of agricultural and grassland ecosystems, while evidence from more complex mature forest ecosystems is limited. Our study was conducted on Changbai Mountain in one of the last remaining large pristine temperate forest environments in China. We used predatory ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) as target taxon to establish the relationship between phytodiversity and their activity abundance and diversity. Results showed that elevation was the only variable included in both models predicting carabid activity abundance and α-diversity. Shrub diversity was negatively and herb diversity positively correlated with beetle abundance, while shrub diversity was positively correlated with beetle α-diversity. Within the different forest types, a negative relationship between plant diversity and carabid activity abundance was observed, which stands in direct contrast to the Enemies Hypothesis. Furthermore, plant species density did not predict carabid α-diversity. In addition, the density of herbs, which is commonly believed to influence carabid movement, had little impact on the beetle activity abundance recorded on Changbai Mountain. Our study indicates that in a relatively large and heterogeneous mature forest area, relationships between plant and carabid diversity are driven by variations in environmental factors linked with altitudinal change. In addition, traditional top-down control theories that are suitable in explaining diversity patterns in ecosystems of low diversity appear to play a much less pronounced role in highly complex forest ecosystems. PMID:24376582

  2. Relationships between plant diversity and the abundance and α-diversity of predatory ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in a mature Asian temperate forest ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Yi; Sang, Weiguo; Bai, Fan; Axmacher, Jan Christoph

    2013-01-01

    A positive relationship between plant diversity and both abundance and diversity of predatory arthropods is postulated by the Enemies Hypothesis, a central ecological top-down control hypothesis. It has been supported by experimental studies and investigations of agricultural and grassland ecosystems, while evidence from more complex mature forest ecosystems is limited. Our study was conducted on Changbai Mountain in one of the last remaining large pristine temperate forest environments in China. We used predatory ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) as target taxon to establish the relationship between phytodiversity and their activity abundance and diversity. Results showed that elevation was the only variable included in both models predicting carabid activity abundance and α-diversity. Shrub diversity was negatively and herb diversity positively correlated with beetle abundance, while shrub diversity was positively correlated with beetle α-diversity. Within the different forest types, a negative relationship between plant diversity and carabid activity abundance was observed, which stands in direct contrast to the Enemies Hypothesis. Furthermore, plant species density did not predict carabid α-diversity. In addition, the density of herbs, which is commonly believed to influence carabid movement, had little impact on the beetle activity abundance recorded on Changbai Mountain. Our study indicates that in a relatively large and heterogeneous mature forest area, relationships between plant and carabid diversity are driven by variations in environmental factors linked with altitudinal change. In addition, traditional top-down control theories that are suitable in explaining diversity patterns in ecosystems of low diversity appear to play a much less pronounced role in highly complex forest ecosystems.

  3. Relationships between plant diversity and the abundance and α-diversity of predatory ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae in a mature Asian temperate forest ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yi Zou

    Full Text Available A positive relationship between plant diversity and both abundance and diversity of predatory arthropods is postulated by the Enemies Hypothesis, a central ecological top-down control hypothesis. It has been supported by experimental studies and investigations of agricultural and grassland ecosystems, while evidence from more complex mature forest ecosystems is limited. Our study was conducted on Changbai Mountain in one of the last remaining large pristine temperate forest environments in China. We used predatory ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae as target taxon to establish the relationship between phytodiversity and their activity abundance and diversity. Results showed that elevation was the only variable included in both models predicting carabid activity abundance and α-diversity. Shrub diversity was negatively and herb diversity positively correlated with beetle abundance, while shrub diversity was positively correlated with beetle α-diversity. Within the different forest types, a negative relationship between plant diversity and carabid activity abundance was observed, which stands in direct contrast to the Enemies Hypothesis. Furthermore, plant species density did not predict carabid α-diversity. In addition, the density of herbs, which is commonly believed to influence carabid movement, had little impact on the beetle activity abundance recorded on Changbai Mountain. Our study indicates that in a relatively large and heterogeneous mature forest area, relationships between plant and carabid diversity are driven by variations in environmental factors linked with altitudinal change. In addition, traditional top-down control theories that are suitable in explaining diversity patterns in ecosystems of low diversity appear to play a much less pronounced role in highly complex forest ecosystems.

  4. Effect of repeated burning on plant and soil carbon and nitrogen in cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) dominated ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rachel Jones; Jeanne C. Chambers; Dale W. Johnson; Robert R. Blank; David I. Board

    2015-01-01

    Fire has profound effects on ecosystem properties, but few studies have addressed the effect of repeated burns on soil nutrients, and none have been conducted in cold desert ecosystems where invasion by exotic annual grasses is resulting in greater fire frequency. In a 5 year study, we examined effects of repeated burning, litter removal, and post-fire seeding on...

  5. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Ecosystems

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Ecosystems provides data and information on the extent and classification of ecosystems circa 2000, including coastal,...

  6. High specificity but contrasting biodiversity of Sphagnum-associated bacterial and plant communities in bog ecosystems independent of the geographical region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Opelt, Katja; Berg, Christian; Schönmann, Susan; Eberl, Leo; Berg, Gabriele

    2007-10-01

    Mosses represent ecological niches that harbor a hitherto largely uncharacterized microbial diversity. To investigate which factors affect the biodiversity of bryophyte-associated bacteria, we analyzed the bacterial communities associated with two moss species, which exhibit different ecological behaviors and importance in bog ecosystems, Sphagnum magellanicum and Sphagnum fallax, from six temperate and boreal bogs in Germany and Norway. Furthermore, their surrounding plant communities were studied. Molecular analysis of bacterial communities was determined by single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis using eubacterial and genus-specific primers for the dominant genera Burkholderia and Serratia as well as by sequence analysis of a Burkholderia 16S rRNA gene clone library. Plant communities were analyzed by monitoring the abundance and composition of bryophyte and vascular plant species, and by determining ecological indicator values. Interestingly, we found a high degree of host specificity for associated bacterial and plant communities of both Sphagnum species independent of the geographical region. Calculation of diversity indices on the basis of SSCP gels showed that the S. fallax-associated communities displayed a statistically significant higher degree of diversity than those associated with S. magellanicum. In contrast, analyses of plant communities of Sphagnum-specific habitats resulted in a higher diversity of S. magellanicum-specific habitats for all six sites. The higher content of nutrients in the S. fallax-associated ecosystems can explain higher diversity of microorganisms.

  7. Mechanistic insights on the responses of plant and ecosystem gas exchange to global environmental change: lessons from Biosphere 2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Meler, Miquel A; Rucks, Jessica S; Aubanell, Gerard

    2014-09-01

    Scaling up leaf processes to canopy/ecosystem level fluxes is critical for examining feedbacks between vegetation and climate. Collectively, studies from Biosphere 2 Laboratory have provided important insight of leaf-to-ecosystem investigations of multiple environmental parameters that were not before possible in enclosed or field studies. B2L has been a testing lab for the applicability of new technologies such as spectral approaches to detect spatial and temporal changes in photosynthesis within canopies, or for the development of cavity ring-down isotope applications for ecosystem evapotranspiration. Short and long term changes in atmospheric CO2, drought or temperature allowed for intensive investigation of the interactions between photosynthesis and leaf, soil and ecosystem respiration. Experiments conducted in the rainforest biome have provided some of the most comprehensive dataset to date on the effects of climate change variables on tropical ecosystems. Results from these studies have been later corroborated in natural rainforest ecosystems and have improved the predictive capabilities of models that now show increased resilience of tropics to climate change. Studies of temperature and CO2 effects on ecosystem respiration and its leaf and soil components have helped reconsider the use of simple first-order kinetics for characterizing respiration in models. The B2L also provided opportunities to quantify the rhizosphere priming effect, or establish the relationships between net primary productivity, atmospheric CO2 and isoprene emissions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Taxonomic structure and stability of the bacterial community in belgian sourdough ecosystems as assessed by culture and population fingerprinting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheirlinck, Ilse; Van der Meulen, Roel; Van Schoor, Ann; Vancanneyt, Marc; De Vuyst, Luc; Vandamme, Peter; Huys, Geert

    2008-04-01

    A total of 39 traditional sourdoughs were sampled at 11 bakeries located throughout Belgium which were visited twice with a 1-year interval. The taxonomic structure and stability of the bacterial communities occurring in these traditional sourdoughs were assessed using both culture-dependent and culture-independent methods. A total of 1,194 potential lactic acid bacterium (LAB) isolates were tentatively grouped and identified by repetitive element sequence-based PCR, followed by sequence-based identification using 16S rRNA and pheS genes from a selection of genotypically unique LAB isolates. In parallel, all samples were analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of V3-16S rRNA gene amplicons. In addition, extensive metabolite target analysis of more than 100 different compounds was performed. Both culturing and DGGE analysis showed that the species Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis, Lactobacillus paralimentarius, Lactobacillus plantarum, and Lactobacillus pontis dominated the LAB population of Belgian type I sourdoughs. In addition, DGGE band sequence analysis demonstrated the presence of Acetobacter sp. and a member of the Erwinia/Enterobacter/Pantoea group in some samples. Overall, the culture-dependent and culture-independent approaches each exhibited intrinsic limitations in assessing bacterial LAB diversity in Belgian sourdoughs. Irrespective of the LAB biodiversity, a large majority of the sugar and amino acid metabolites were detected in all sourdough samples. Principal component-based analysis of biodiversity and metabolic data revealed only little variation among the two samples of the sourdoughs produced at the same bakery. The rare cases of instability observed could generally be linked with variations in technological parameters or differences in detection capacity between culture-dependent and culture-independent approaches. Within a sampling interval of 1 year, this study reinforces previous observations that the bakery environment

  9. Taxonomic Structure and Stability of the Bacterial Community in Belgian Sourdough Ecosystems as Assessed by Culture and Population Fingerprinting▿ †

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheirlinck, Ilse; Van der Meulen, Roel; Van Schoor, Ann; Vancanneyt, Marc; De Vuyst, Luc; Vandamme, Peter; Huys, Geert

    2008-01-01

    A total of 39 traditional sourdoughs were sampled at 11 bakeries located throughout Belgium which were visited twice with a 1-year interval. The taxonomic structure and stability of the bacterial communities occurring in these traditional sourdoughs were assessed using both culture-dependent and culture-independent methods. A total of 1,194 potential lactic acid bacterium (LAB) isolates were tentatively grouped and identified by repetitive element sequence-based PCR, followed by sequence-based identification using 16S rRNA and pheS genes from a selection of genotypically unique LAB isolates. In parallel, all samples were analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of V3-16S rRNA gene amplicons. In addition, extensive metabolite target analysis of more than 100 different compounds was performed. Both culturing and DGGE analysis showed that the species Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis, Lactobacillus paralimentarius, Lactobacillus plantarum, and Lactobacillus pontis dominated the LAB population of Belgian type I sourdoughs. In addition, DGGE band sequence analysis demonstrated the presence of Acetobacter sp. and a member of the Erwinia/Enterobacter/Pantoea group in some samples. Overall, the culture-dependent and culture-independent approaches each exhibited intrinsic limitations in assessing bacterial LAB diversity in Belgian sourdoughs. Irrespective of the LAB biodiversity, a large majority of the sugar and amino acid metabolites were detected in all sourdough samples. Principal component-based analysis of biodiversity and metabolic data revealed only little variation among the two samples of the sourdoughs produced at the same bakery. The rare cases of instability observed could generally be linked with variations in technological parameters or differences in detection capacity between culture-dependent and culture-independent approaches. Within a sampling interval of 1 year, this study reinforces previous observations that the bakery environment

  10. The effects of insect biological control on a Tamarix invaded ecosystem: ecosystem water and carbon fluxes and plant-level responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background / Questions / Methods: Tamarix spp. (saltcedar) has invaded many river systems in the western United States with detrimental impacts to flora and fauna. Traditional methods of invasive plant control have been ineffective or costly. Therefore, insect biological control of Tamarix with Di...

  11. Increases in plasma plant sterols stabilize within four weeks of plant sterol intake and are independent of cholesterol metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ras, R T; Koppenol, W P; Garczarek, U; Otten-Hofman, A; Fuchs, D; Wagner, F; Trautwein, E A

    2016-04-01

    Plant sterols (PS) lower plasma LDL-cholesterol through partial inhibition of intestinal cholesterol absorption. Although PS themselves are poorly absorbed, increased intakes of PS result in elevated plasma concentrations. In this paper, we report time curves of changes in plasma PS during 12 weeks of PS intake. Furthermore, the impact of cholesterol synthesis and absorption on changes in plasma PS is explored. The study was a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study with the main aim to investigate the effects of PS on vascular function (clinicaltrials.gov: NCT01803178). Hypercholesterolemic but otherwise healthy men and women (n = 240) consumed low-fat spreads without or with added PS (3 g/d) for 12 weeks after a 4-week run-in period. Blood sampling was performed at week 0, 4, 8 and 12. Basal cholesterol-standardized concentrations of lathosterol and sitosterol + campesterol were used as markers of cholesterol synthesis and absorption, respectively. In the PS group, plasma sitosterol and campesterol concentrations increased within the first 4 weeks of intervention by 69% (95%CI: 58; 82) starting at 7.2 μmol/L and by 28% (95%CI: 19; 39) starting at 11.4 μmol/L, respectively, and remained stable during the following 8 weeks. Placebo-corrected increases in plasma PS were not significantly different between high and low cholesterol synthesizers (P-values >0.05). Between high and low cholesterol absorbers, no significant differences were observed, except for the cholesterol-standardized sum of four major plasma PS (sitosterol, campesterol, brassicasterol and stigmasterol) showing larger increases in low absorbers (78.3% (95%CI: 51.7; 109.5)) compared to high absorbers (40.8% (95%CI: 19.9; 65.5)). Increases in plasma PS stabilize within 4 weeks of PS intake and do not seem impacted by basal cholesterol synthesis or absorption efficiency. This study was registered at clinicaltrials.gov (NCT01803178). Copyright © 2015 The Italian Society of

  12. Experience with Stabilization of SGHWR Sludge in a Commercial Plant in the United Kingdom

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hagan, M.; Cornell, R.M.; Riley, B.; Ware, B.

    2009-01-01

    In July 2000, following a competitive tender, Nuvia Limited was contracted to design, build and commission a waste treatment plant to stabilise the active sludge stored in the External Active Sludge Tanks (EAST) at Winfrith, UK. The sludge was generated during the operational lifetime of the Steam Generating Heavy Water Reactor (SGHWR), which was in the early stages of decommissioning. This was in support of UKAEA's mission, which is to carry out environmental restoration of its nuclear sites and to put them to alternative uses wherever possible. Latterly, a new body, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), has become responsible for managing the UK decommissioning legacy and since 2004 UKAEA has been contracted to the NDA to deliver decommissioning work at Winfrith and other UK sites. The purpose of this commercial plant is to stabilise the radioactive sludge by encapsulation into a cement matrix within a purpose-designed 500 litre steel drum. The drum design incorporates a lost paddle mixer used to maintain homogeneity of the sludge as well as mixing it with the stabilising powders. The sludge in the EAST tanks is prepared for recovery by a process of homogenisation using in-tank stirrers. The means of reaching a narrow ratio of suspended solids within an aqueous medium will be described together with some of the problems encountered and the practical solutions devised. The material is transferred to the purpose-built Winfrith EAST Treatment Plant (WETP), where it is held in stainless steel tanks in a process area prior to being metered into a 500 litre stainless steel drum in the cell line for stabilization with powders. The cell line consists of five cells separated by shield doors designed to maintain strict contamination control. The line has a wet cell where the drums are filled with the sludge and powder, a cell with stations for curing and grouting the drums, a cell for lidding, bolting and QA inspection, a maintenance and gamma monitoring cell and a

  13. Radionuclides in terrestrial ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bocock, K.L.

    1981-01-01

    This report summarizes information on the distribution and movement of radionuclides in semi-natural terrestrial ecosystems in north-west England with particular emphasis on inputs to, and outputs from ecosystems; on plant and soil aspects; and on radionuclides in fallout and in discharges by the nuclear industry. (author)

  14. Evaluation of physical stability and leachability of Portland Pozzolona Cement (PPC) solidified chemical sludge generated from textile wastewater treatment plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Patel, Hema; Pandey, Suneel

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► Stabilization/solidification of chemical sludge from textile wastewater treatment plants using Portland Pozzolona Cement (PPC) containing fly ash. ► Physical engineering (compressive strength and block density) indicates that sludge has potential to be reused for construction purpose after stabilization/solidification. ► Leaching of heavy metals from stabilized/solidified materials were within stipulated limits. ► There is a modification of microstructural properties of PPC with sludge addition as indicated by XRD and SEM patterns. - Abstract: The chemical sludge generated from the treatment of textile dyeing wastewater is a hazardous waste as per Indian Hazardous Waste Management rules. In this paper, stabilization/solidification of chemical sludge was carried out to explore its reuse potential in the construction materials. Portland Pozzolona Cement (PPC) was selected as the binder system which is commercially available cement with 10–25% fly ash interground in it. The stabilized/solidified blocks were evaluated in terms of unconfined compressive strength, block density and leaching of heavy metals. The compressive strength (3.62–33.62 MPa) and block density (1222.17–1688.72 kg/m 3 ) values as well as the negligible leaching of heavy metals from the stabilized/solidified blocks indicate that there is a potential of its use for structural and non-structural applications.

  15. Plants in water-controlled ecosystems: active role in hydrologic processes and response to water stress. I. Scope and general outline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Iturbe, I.; Porporato, A.; Laio, F.; Ridolfi, L.

    This series of four papers studies the complex dynamics of water-controlled ecosystems from the hydro-ecological point of view [e.g., I. Rodriguez-Iturbe, Water Resour. Res. 36 (1) (2000) 3-9]. After this general outline, the role of climate, soil, and vegetation is modeled in Part II [F. Laio, A. Porporato, L. Ridolfi, I. Rodriguez-Iturbe, Adv. Water Res. 24 (7) (2001) 707-723] to investigate the probabilistic structure of soil moisture dynamics and the water balance. Particular attention is given to the impact of timing and amount of rainfall, plant physiology, and soil properties. From the statistical characterization of the crossing properties of arbitrary levels of soil moisture, Part III develops an expression for vegetation water stress [A. Porporato, F. Laio, L. Ridolfi, I. Rodriguez-Iturbe, Adv. Water Res. 24 (7) (2001) 725-744]. This measure of stress is then employed to quantify the response of plants to soil moisture deficit as well as to infer plant suitability to given environmental conditions and understand some of the reasons for possible coexistence of different species. Detailed applications of these concepts are developed in Part IV [F. Laio, A. Porporato, C.P. Fernandez-Illescas, I. Rodriguez-Iturbe, Adv. Water Res. 24 (7) (2001) 745-762], where we investigate the dynamics of three different water-controlled ecosystems.

  16. Morphogenetic and chemical stability of long-term maintained Agrobacterium-mediated transgenic Catharanthus roseus plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verma, Priyanka; Sharma, Abhishek; Khan, Shamshad Ahmad; Mathur, Ajay Kumar; Shanker, Karuna

    2015-01-01

    Transgenic Catharanthus roseus plants (transgenic Dhawal [DT] and transgenic Nirmal [NT]) obtained from the Agrobacterium tumefaciens and Agrobacterium rhizognenes-mediated transformations, respectively, have been maintained in vitro for 5 years. Plants were studied at regular intervals for various parameters such as plant height, leaf size, multiplication rate, alkaloid profile and presence of marker genes. DT plant gradually lost the GUS gene expression and it was not detected in the fifth year while NT plant demonstrated the presence of genes rolA, rolB and rolC even in the fifth year, indicating the more stable nature of Ri transgene. Vindoline content in the DT was two times more than in non-transformed control plants. Alkaloid and tryptophan profiles were almost constant during the 5 years. The cluster analysis revealed that the DT plant is more close to the control Nirmal plant followed by NT plant.

  17. Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecosystem goods and services are the many life-sustaining benefits we receive from nature and contribute to environmental and human health and well-being. Ecosystem-focused research will develop methods to measure ecosystem goods and services.

  18. Modeling invasive alien plant species in river systems : Interaction with native ecosystem engineers and effects on hydro-morphodynamic processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Oorschot, M.; Kleinhans, M. G.; Geerling, G.W.; Egger, G.; Leuven, R.S.E.W.; Middelkoop, H.

    2017-01-01

    Invasive alien plant species negatively impact native plant communities by out-competing species or changing abiotic and biotic conditions in their introduced range. River systems are especially vulnerable to biological invasions, because waterways can function as invasion corridors. Understanding

  19. Ecosystem development after mangrove creation: plant-soil change across a twenty-year chronosequence in Tampa Bay, FL

    Science.gov (United States)

    On a global scale, the loss of mangroves has been high (~1-2% loss per year in recent decades). Recognizing the important ecosystem services supported by mangroves, restoration and creation efforts are increasingly proposed as mechanisms to replace those services lost after mangr...

  20. Methods to Improve Survival and Growth of Planted Alternative Species Seedlings in Black Ash Ecosystems Threatened by Emerald Ash Borer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholas Bolton; Joseph Shannon; Joshua Davis; Matthew Grinsven; Nam Noh; Shon Schooler; Randall Kolka; Thomas Pypker; Joseph Wagenbrenner

    2018-01-01

    Emerald ash borer (EAB) continues to spread across North America, infesting native ash trees and changing the forested landscape. Black ash wetland forests are severely affected by EAB. As black ash wetland forests provide integral ecosystem services, alternative approaches to maintain forest cover on the landscape are needed. We implemented simulated EAB infestations...

  1. A novel framework for linking functional diversity of plants with other trophic levels for the quantification of ecosystem services.

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lavorel, S.; Storkey, J.; Bardgett, R.D.; de Bello, Francesco; Berg, M. P.; Le Roux, X.; Moretti, M.; Mulder, Ch.; Pakeman, R. J.; Diaz, S.; Harrington, R.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 24, č. 5 (2013), 942-948 ISSN 1100-9233 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP505/12/1296 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : Functional trait * Ecosystem functioning * Biotic interactions Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 3.372, year: 2013

  2. Depletion of stratospheric ozone over the Antarctic and Arctic: Responses of plants of polar terrestrial ecosystems to enhanced UV-B, an overview

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rozema, Jelte; Boelen, Peter; Blokker, Peter

    2005-01-01

    Depletion of stratospheric ozone over the Antarctic has been re-occurring yearly since 1974, leading to enhanced UV-B radiation. Arctic ozone depletion has been observed since 1990. Ozone recovery has been predicted by 2050, but no signs of recovery occur. Here we review responses of polar plants to experimentally varied UV-B through supplementation or exclusion. In supplementation studies comparing ambient and above ambient UV-B, no effect on growth occurred. UV-B-induced DNA damage, as measured in polar bryophytes, is repaired overnight by photoreactivation. With UV exclusion, growth at near ambient may be less than at below ambient UV-B levels, which relates to the UV response curve of polar plants. UV-B screening foils also alter PAR, humidity, and temperature and interactions of UV with environmental factors may occur. Plant phenolics induced by solar UV-B, as in pollen, spores and lignin, may serve as a climate proxy for past UV. Since the Antarctic and Arctic terrestrial ecosystems differ essentially (e.g. higher species diversity and more trophic interactions in the Arctic), generalization of polar plant responses to UV-B needs caution. - Polar plant responses to UV-B may be different in the Arctic than Antarctic regions

  3. Stability Analysis of a Run-of-River Diversion Hydropower Plant with Surge Tank and Spillway in the Head Pond

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Ignacio Sarasúa

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Run-of-river hydropower plants usually lack significant storage capacity; therefore, the more adequate control strategy would consist of keeping a constant water level at the intake pond in order to harness the maximum amount of energy from the river flow or to reduce the surface flooded in the head pond. In this paper, a standard PI control system of a run-of-river diversion hydropower plant with surge tank and a spillway in the head pond that evacuates part of the river flow plant is studied. A stability analysis based on the Routh-Hurwitz criterion is carried out and a practical criterion for tuning the gains of the PI controller is proposed. Conclusions about the head pond and surge tank areas are drawn from the stability analysis. Finally, this criterion is applied to a real hydropower plant in design state; the importance of considering the spillway dimensions and turbine characteristic curves for adequate tuning of the controller gains is highlighted.

  4. Photosynthesis and carbon isotope discrimination in boreal forest ecosystems: A comparison of functional characteristics in plants from three mature forest types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flanagan, Lawrence B.; Brooks, J. Renee; Ehleringer, James R.

    1997-12-01

    In this paper we compare measurements of photosynthesis and carbon isotope discrimination characteristics among plants from three mature boreal forest types (Black spruce, Jack pine, and aspen) in order to help explain variation in ecosystem-level gas exchange processes. Measurements were made at the southern study area (SSA) and northern study area (NSA) of the boreal forest in central Canada as part of the Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study (BOREAS). In both the NSA and the SSA there were significant differences in photosynthesis among the major tree species, with aspen having the highest CO2 assimilation rates and spruce the lowest. Within a species, photosynthetic rates in the SSA were approximately twice those measured in the NSA, and this was correlated with similar variations in stomatal conductance. Calculations of the ratio of leaf intercellular to ambient CO2 concentration (ci/ca) from leaf carbon isotope discrimination (Δ) values indicated a relatively low degree of stomatal limitation of photosynthesis, despite the low absolute values of stomatal conductance in these boreal tree species. Within each ecosystem, leaf Δ values were strongly correlated with life-form groups (trees, shrubs, forbs, and mosses), and these differences are maintained between years. Although we observed significant variation in the 13C content of tree rings at the old Jack pine site in the NSA during the past decade (indicating interannual variation in the degree of stomatal limitation), changes in summer precipitation and temperature accounted for only 44% of the isotopic variance. We scaled leaf-level processes to the ecosystem level through analyses of well-mixed canopy air. On average, all three forest types had similar ecosystem-level Δ values (average value ± standard deviation, 19.1‰±0.5‰), calculated from measurements of change in the concentration and carbon isotope ratio of atmospheric CO2 during a diurnal cycle within a forest canopy. However, there were

  5. Salt marsh-mangrove ecotones: using structural gradients to investigate the effects of woody plant encroachment on plant-soil interactions and ecosystem carbon pools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yando, Erik S.; Osland, Michael J.; Willis, Jonathan M; Day, Richard H.; Krauss, Ken W.; Hester, Mark W.

    2016-01-01

    Changing winter climate extremes are expected to result in the poleward migration of mangrove forests at the expense of salt marshes. Although mangroves and marshes are both highly valued ecosystems, the ecological implications of mangrove expansion have not been fully investigated.

  6. Long-term effects of single potassium fertilization on 137Cs levels in plants and fungi in a boreal forest ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosen, K.; Vinichuk, M.; Nikolova, I.; Johanson, K.

    2011-01-01

    We examined the long-term effects of a single application of potassium (K) fertilizer (100 kg K ha -1 ) in 1992 on 137 Cs uptake in a forest ecosystem in central Sweden. 137 Cs activity concentrations were determined in three low-growing perennial shrubs, heather (Calluna vulgaris), lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) and bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), and in four wild fungal species (Cortinarius semisanguineus, Lactarius rufus, Rozites caperata and Suillus variegatus). Uptake of 137 Cs by plants and fungi growing on K-fertilized plots 17 years after application of the K fertilizer was significantly lower than in corresponding species growing in a non-fertilized control area. The 137 Cs activity concentration was 21-58% lower in fungal sporocarps and 40-61% lower in plants in the K-fertilized area compared with the control. Over the study period, this decrease in 137 Cs activity concentration was more consistent in plants than in fungi, although the effect was statistically significant and strongly pronounced in all species. The effect of K fertilization in reducing 137 Cs activity concentration in fungi and plants decreased over time but was still significant in 2009, 17 years after fertilization. This suggests that application of K fertilizer to forests is an appropriate and effective long-term measure to decrease radiocaesium accumulation in plants and fungi. - Research highlights: → Effects of potassium fertilizer on 137 Cs uptake by plants and fungi are investigated. → 137 Cs activity concentrations in forest plants decreased even within the first year. → The most significant reduction occurred over the first 7-8 years. → The reduction in fungi was less pronounced, but still statistically significant.

  7. On Aggregation Requirements for Harmonic Stability Analysis in Wind Power Plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dowlatabadi, Mohammadkazem Bakhshizadeh; Hjerrild, Jesper; Kocewiak, Łukasz

    2017-01-01

    In harmonic stability studies, stable operation of a power system must be ensured at any possible configuration. This leads to a large number of cases due to the high number of components in a power system. An aggregated model can be used to lower the complexity and to reduce the number...... of different cases. In other words, several similar converters (e.g. Wind Turbine Generators) can be replaced by a converter with larger ratings. In most cases, aggregated models work well for stability studies, however, in some cases the aggregation might result in a wrong evaluation of stability...

  8. Utilization of plants for stabilization and cleaning up of metal contaminated soil and water

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miroslav Štofko

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Phytoremediation has been defined as the use of green plants and their associated rhizospheric microorganisms to remove, degrade, or contain contaminants located in soisl, sediments, groundwater, surface water, and even the atmosphere. Categories of phytoremediation include - phytoextraction or phytoaccumulation, phytotransformation, phytostimulation or plant-assisted bioremediation, phytovolatilization, rhizofiltration, pump and tree, phytostabilization, and hydraulic control. Phytoremediation of heavy metal contaminated soils basically includes phytostabilization, phytoextraction, rhizofiltration and phytovolatilization. Selection of plants for phytoremediation of metals depends on a particular application.

  9. Determining Optimal Degree of Soil Compaction for Balancing Mechanical Stability and Plant Growth Capacity

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Goldsmith, Wendi

    2001-01-01

    .... Agronomists, on the other hand, recommend minimal soil compaction because compacted soils are widely understood to impede the growth and development of crops, forests, and native plant communities...

  10. Pyrolysis and reutilization of plant residues after phytoremediation of heavy metals contaminated sediments: For heavy metals stabilization and dye adsorption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Xiaomin; Huang, Danlian; Liu, Yunguo; Zeng, Guangming; Wang, Rongzhong; Wei, Jingjing; Huang, Chao; Xu, Piao; Wan, Jia; Zhang, Chen

    2018-04-01

    This study aimed to investigate the effect of pyrolysis on the stabilization of heavy metals in plant residues obtained after phytoremediation. Ramie residues, being collected after phytoremediation of metal contaminated sediments, were pyrolyzed at different temperatures (300-700 °C). Results indicated that pyrolysis was effective in the stabilization of Cd, Cr, Zn, Cu, and Pb in ramie residues by converting the acid-soluble fraction of metals into residual form and decreasing the TCLP-leachable metal contents. Meanwhile, the reutilization potential of using the pyrolysis products generated from ramie residues obtained after phytoremediation as sorbents was investigated. Adsorption experiments results revealed that the pyrolysis products presented excellent ability to adsorb methylene blue (MB) with a maximum adsorption capacity of 259.27 mg/g. This study demonstrated that pyrolysis could be used as an efficient alternative method for stabilizing heavy metals in plant residues obtained after phytoremediation, and their pyrolysis products could be reutilized for dye adsorption. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Integrated project management plan for the Plutonium Finishing Plant stabilization and deactivation project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    SINCLAIR, J.C.

    1999-01-01

    This document sets forth the plans, organization, and control systems for managing the PFP Stabilization and Deactivation Project, and includes the top level cost and schedule baselines. The project includes the stabilization of Pu-bearing materials, storage, packaging, and transport of these and other nuclear materials, surveillance and maintenance of facilities and systems relied upon for storage of the materials, and transition of the facilities in the PFP Complex

  12. A field guide to valuable underwater aquatic plants of the Great Lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schloesser, Donald W.

    1986-01-01

    Underwater plants are a valuable part of the Great Lakes ecosystem, providing food and shelter for aquatic animals. Aquatic plants also help stabilize sediments, thereby reducing shoreline erosion. Annual fall die-offs of underwater plants provide food and shelter for overwintering small aquatic animals such as insects, snails, and freshwater shrimp.

  13. Thermal and stability considerations for a supercritical water-cooled fast reactor during power-raising phase of plant startup

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cai, Jiejin; Ishiwatari, Yuki; Oka, Yoshiaki; Ikejiri, Satoshi

    2009-01-01

    This paper describes thermal analyses and linear stability analyses of the Supercritical Water-cooled Fast Reactor with 'two-path' flow scheme during the power-raising phase of plant startup. For thermal consideration, the same criterion of the maximum cladding surface temperature (MCST) as applied to the normal operating condition is used. For thermal-hydraulic stability consideration, the decay ratio of 0.5 is applied, which is taken from BWRs. Firstly, we calculated the flow rate distribution among the parallel flow paths from the reactor vessel inlet nozzles to the mixing plenum below the core using a system analysis code. The parallel flow paths consist of the seed fuel assemblies cooled by downward flow, the blanket fuel assemblies cooled by downward flow and the downcomer. Then, the MCSTs are estimated for various reactor powers and feedwater flow rates with system analyses. The decay ratios are estimated with linear stability analyses. The available range of the reactor power and feedwater flow rate to satisfy the thermal and stability criteria is obtained. (author)

  14. Adaptive Management Using Remote Sensing and Ecosystem Modeling in Response to Climate Variability and Invasive Aquatic Plants for the California Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Water Resource

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bubenheim, David; Potter, Christopher; Zhang, Minghua; Madsen, John

    2017-01-01

    The California Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is the hub for California's water supply and supports important ecosystem services, agriculture, and communities in Northern to Southern California. Expansion of invasive aquatic plants in the Delta coupled with impacts of changing climate and long-term drought is detrimental to the San Francisco Bay/California Delta complex. NASA Ames Research Center and the USDA-ARS partnered with the State of California to develop science-based, adaptive-management strategies for invasive aquatic plant in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Specific mapping tools developed utilizing satellite and airborne platforms provide regular assessments of population dynamics on a landscape scale and support both strategic planning and operational decision making for resource managers. San Joaquin and Sacramento River watersheds water quality input to the Delta is modeled using the Soil-Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and a modified SWAT tool has been customized to account for unique landscape and management of agricultural water supply and drainage within the Delta. Environmental response models for growth of invasive aquatic weeds are being parameterized and coupled with spatial distribution/biomass density mapping and water quality to study ecosystem response to climate and aquatic plant management practices. On the water validation and operational utilization of these tools by management agencies and how they are improving decision making, management effectiveness and efficiency will be discussed. The project combines science, operations, and economics related to integrated management scenarios for aquatic weeds to help land and water resource managers make science-informed decisions regarding management and outcomes.

  15. Adaptive Management Using Remote Sensing and Ecosystem Modeling in Response to Climate Variability and Invasive Aquatic Plants for the California Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Water Resource

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bubenheim, D.; Potter, C. S.; Zhang, M.; Madsen, J.

    2017-12-01

    The California Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is the hub for California's water supply and supports important ecosystem services, agriculture, and communities in Northern and Southern California. Expansion of invasive aquatic plants in the Delta coupled with impacts of changing climate and long-term drought is detrimental to the San Francisco Bay/California Delta complex. NASA Ames Research Center and the USDA-ARS partnered with the State of California to develop science-based, adaptive-management strategies for invasive aquatic plant management in the California Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Specific mapping tools developed utilizing satellite and airborne platforms provide regular assessments of population dynamics on a landscape scale and support both strategic planning and operational decision making for resource managers. San Joaquin and Sacramento River watersheds water quality input to the Delta is modeled using the Soil-Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and a modified SWAT tool has been customized to account for unique landscape and management of agricultural water supply and drainage within the Delta. Environmental response models for growth of invasive aquatic weeds are being parameterized and coupled with spatial distribution/biomass density mapping and water quality to study ecosystem response to climate and aquatic plant management practices. On the water validation and operational utilization of these tools by management agencies and how they improve decision making, management effectiveness and efficiency will be discussed. The project combines science, operations, and economics related to integrated management scenarios for aquatic weeds to help land and water resource managers make science-informed decisions regarding management and outcomes.

  16. Impact of Wind Power Plants with Full Converter Wind Turbines on Power System Small-Signal Stability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knüppel, Thyge; Nygaard Nielsen, Jørgen; Dixon, Andrew

    Wind power is being developed in power systems all around the world, and already today wind power covers more than 20 % of the electricity consumption in some countries. As the size of each wind power plant (WPP) increases and as the levels of penetration reaches certain magnitudes, the inclusion...... of the dynamic properties of the WPPs in the power system stability studies become important. The work presented in this report deal with the impact of WPPs based on full converter wind turbines (WTs) on the power system small-signal rotor angle stability. During small disturbances in the power system, the rotor...... speed of the synchronous machines will eventually return to its steady state if the power system is small-signal stable. The dynamic properties of a WPP are fundamentally dierent from those of a synchronous machine, and the interaction of WPPs with the synchronous machines in power system oscillations...

  17. Animal ecosystem engineers modulate the diversity-invasibility relationship.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nico Eisenhauer

    Full Text Available Invasions of natural communities by non-indigenous species are currently rated as one of the most important global-scale threats to biodiversity. Biodiversity itself is known to reduce invasions and increase stability. Disturbances by ecosystem engineers affect the distribution, establishment, and abundance of species but this has been ignored in studies on diversity-invasibility relationships.We determined natural plant invasion into 46 plots varying in the number of plant species (1, 4, and 16 and plant functional groups (1, 2, 3, and 4 for three years beginning two years after the establishment of the Jena Experiment. We sampled subplots where earthworms were artificially added and others where earthworm abundance was reduced. We also performed a seed-dummy experiment to investigate the role of earthworms as secondary seed dispersers along a plant diversity gradient. Horizontal dispersal and burial of seed dummies were significantly reduced in subplots where earthworms were reduced in abundance. Seed dispersal by earthworms decreased with increasing plant species richness and presence of grasses but increased in presence of small herbs. These results suggest that dense vegetation inhibits the surface activity of earthworms. Further, there was a positive relationship between the number of earthworms and the number and diversity of invasive plants. Hence, earthworms decreased the stability of grassland communities against plant invasion.Invasibility decreased and stability increased with increasing plant diversity and, most remarkably, earthworms modulated the diversity-invasibility relationship. While the impacts of earthworms were unimportant in low diverse (low earthworm densities and high diverse (high floral structural complexity plant communities, earthworms decreased the stability of intermediate diverse plant communities against plant invasion. Overall, the results document that fundamental processes in plant communities like plant seed

  18. Terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Davis-Reddy, Claire

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Ecoregions Terrestrial Biomes Protected Areas Climate Risk and Vulnerability: A Handbook for Southern Africa | 75 7.2. Non-climatic drivers of ecosystem change 7.2.1. Land-use change, habitat loss and fragmentation Land-use change and landscape... concentrations of endemic plant and animal species, but these mainly occur in areas that are most threatened by human activity. Diverse terrestrial ecosystems in the region include tropical and sub-tropical forests, deserts, savannas, grasslands, mangroves...

  19. Plant functional types in Earth system models: past experiences and future directions for application of dynamic vegetation models in high-latitude ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wullschleger, Stan D; Epstein, Howard E; Box, Elgene O; Euskirchen, Eugénie S; Goswami, Santonu; Iversen, Colleen M; Kattge, Jens; Norby, Richard J; van Bodegom, Peter M; Xu, Xiaofeng

    2014-07-01

    Earth system models describe the physical, chemical and biological processes that govern our global climate. While it is difficult to single out one component as being more important than another in these sophisticated models, terrestrial vegetation is a critical player in the biogeochemical and biophysical dynamics of the Earth system. There is much debate, however, as to how plant diversity and function should be represented in these models. Plant functional types (PFTs) have been adopted by modellers to represent broad groupings of plant species that share similar characteristics (e.g. growth form) and roles (e.g. photosynthetic pathway) in ecosystem function. In this review, the PFT concept is traced from its origin in the early 1800s to its current use in regional and global dynamic vegetation models (DVMs). Special attention is given to the representation and parameterization of PFTs and to validation and benchmarking of predicted patterns of vegetation distribution in high-latitude ecosystems. These ecosystems are sensitive to changing climate and thus provide a useful test case for model-based simulations of past, current and future distribution of vegetation. Models that incorporate the PFT concept predict many of the emerging patterns of vegetation change in tundra and boreal forests, given known processes of tree mortality, treeline migration and shrub expansion. However, representation of above- and especially below-ground traits for specific PFTs continues to be problematic. Potential solutions include developing trait databases and replacing fixed parameters for PFTs with formulations based on trait co-variance and empirical trait-environment relationships. Surprisingly, despite being important to land-atmosphere interactions of carbon, water and energy, PFTs such as moss and lichen are largely absent from DVMs. Close collaboration among those involved in modelling with the disciplines of taxonomy, biogeography, ecology and remote sensing will be

  20. Structure of soybean seed coat peroxidase: a plant peroxidase with unusual stability and haem-apoprotein interactions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henriksen, A; Mirza, O; Indiani, C

    2001-01-01

    Soybean seed coat peroxidase (SBP) is a peroxidase with extraordinary stability and catalytic properties. It belongs to the family of class III plant peroxidases that can oxidize a wide variety of organic and inorganic substrates using hydrogen peroxide. Because the plant enzyme is a heterogeneous...... glycoprotein, SBP was produced recombinant in Escherichia coli for the present crystallographic study. The three-dimensional structure of SBP shows a bound tris(hydroxymethyl)aminomethane molecule (TRIS). This TRIS molecule has hydrogen bonds to active site residues corresponding to the residues that interact...... with the small phenolic substrate ferulic acid in the horseradish peroxidase C (HRPC):ferulic acid complex. TRIS is positioned in what has been described as a secondary substrate-binding site in HRPC, and the structure of the SBP:TRIS complex indicates that this secondary substrate-binding site could...

  1. Wastewater management in Khartoum Region Soba wastewater treatment plant (stabilization ponds)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maki, A. M. E.

    2010-03-01

    Soba wastewater treatment plant will be replaced shortly by new plant based on activate sludge. This study was carried in order to evaluate: the design, physical, chemical and biological characteristics and the capacity of the plant. Outlet Effluents quality was compared with Sudan wastewater treatment standards. Samples analyses were carried by UNESCO CHAIR 2006 (Khartoum State). It was found that the result is not as: The designed and standard level especially for BOD, COD, TBC and TC. It was also found that BOD and COD of the effluents were not complying with adopted standards for treated wastewater to be discharged to the environment. The study reached the conclusions that plant is overloaded and the characteristics of the wastewater received is not as the design which affects the efficiency of the treatment process. (Author)

  2. Stability of modularity and structural keystone species in temporal cumulative plant- flower-visitor networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dupont, Yoko; Olesen, Jens Mogens

    2012-01-01

    Modularity is a structural property of ecological networks, which has received much interest, but has been poorly explored. Modules are distinct subsets of species interacting strongly with each other, but sparsely with species outside the subset. Using a series of temporal cumulative networks, we...... all flowering plants and flower-visiting insect species throughout the flowering season at three dry heathland sites in Denmark. For each site, we constructed cumulative networks every 0.5 months, resulting in series of 10–12 networks per site. Numbers of interactions, and plant and insect species...... around one or two hubs. These hub species encompassed a small number of plant species, many of which acted as hubs at several study sites and throughout most of their flowering season. Thus, these plants become of key importance in maintaining the structure of their pollination network. We conclude...

  3. Manganese Loading and Photosystem II Stability are Key Components of Manganese Efficiency in Plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Sidsel Birkelund

    Manganese (Mn) deficiency constitutes a major plant nutritional problem in commercial crop production of winter cereals. In plants, Mn has an indispensable role in the oxygen evolving complex (OEC) of photosystem II (PSII). Hence, the consequences of Mn deficiency are reduced plant growth......, and eventually substantial yield losses. It is well known, that genotypes within plant species differ considerably in tolerance to growth under Mn limiting conditions, a phenomenon designated as Mn efficiency. However, the physiological responses reflecting the underlying mechanisms of Mn efficiency are still...... not fully understood. In this PhD study, a new method for determination and characterization of metal binding in size-fractionated photosynthetic protein complexes from barley thylakoids was established. The applicability of the method was shown by quantification of Mn binding in PSII from thylakoids of two...

  4. Ecosystem approach in education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nabiullin, Iskander

    2017-04-01

    Environmental education is a base for sustainable development. Therefore, in our school we pay great attention to environmental education. Environmental education in our school is based on ecosystem approach. What is an ecosystem approach? Ecosystem is a fundamental concept of ecology. Living organisms and their non-living environments interact with each other as a system, and the biosphere planet functions as a global ecosystem. Therefore, it is necessary for children to understand relationships in ecosystems, and we have to develop systems thinking in our students. Ecosystem approach and systems thinking should help us to solve global environmental problems. How do we implement the ecosystem approach? Students must understand that our biosphere functions as a single ecosystem and even small changes can lead to environmental disasters. Even the disappearance of one plant or animal species can lead to irreversible consequences. So in the classroom we learn the importance of each living organism for the nature. We pay special attention to endangered species, which are listed in the Red Data List. Kids are doing projects about these organisms, make videos, print brochures and newspapers. Fieldwork also plays an important role for ecosystem approach. Every summer, we go out for expeditions to study species of plants and animals listed in the Red Data List of Tatarstan. In class, students often write essays on behalf of any endangered species of plants or animals, this also helps them to understand the importance of each living organism in nature. Each spring we organise a festival of environmental projects among students. Groups of 4-5 students work on a solution of environmental problems, such as water, air or soil pollution, waste recycling, the loss of biodiversity, etc. Participants shoot a clip about their project, print brochures. Furthermore, some of the students participate in national and international scientific Olympiads with their projects. In addition to

  5. Stability of the stimulatory effect of preirradiation of agricultural plant seeds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seregina, M.T.; Orlov, V.V.; Batygin, N.F.

    1982-01-01

    Three interrelated and interdependent factors are responsible for stability of the results obtained with preirradiation of seeds, they are: quality of seeds to be sowed, irradiation schedule and postirradiation conditions. Should these factors be taken into account one can obtain a stable stimulatory effect. The harvest increments make 10-30% after preirradiation of air-dry seeds

  6. Proportional derivative based stabilizing control of paralleled grid converters with cables in renewable power plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Xiongfei; Blaabjerg, Frede; Loh, Poh Chiang

    2014-01-01

    consisting in LCL filters and cables. Both grid and converter current controls are analyzed. The frequency region, within which the system may be destabilized, is identified by means of the impedance-based stability analysis and frequency-domain passivity theory. A proportional derivative control strategy...

  7. Genetic stability and phytochemical analysis of the in vitro regenerated plants of Dendrobium nobile Lindl., an endangered medicinal orchid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharyya, Paromik; Kumaria, Suman; Diengdoh, Reemavareen; Tandon, Pramod

    2014-01-01

    An efficient genetically stable regeneration protocol with increased phytochemical production has been established for Dendrobium nobile, a highly prized orchid for its economic and medicinal importance. Protocorm like bodies (PLBs) were induced from the pseudostem segments using thidiazuron (TDZ; 1.5 mg/l), by-passing the conventional auxin–cytokinin complement approach for plant regeneration. Although, PLB induction was observed at higher concentrations of TDZ, plantlet regeneration from those PLBs was affected adversely. The best rooting (5.41 roots/shoot) was achieved in MS medium with 1.5 mg/l TDZ and 0.25% activated charcoal. Plantlets were successfully transferred to a greenhouse with a survival rate of 84.3%, exhibiting normal development. Genetic stability of the regenerated plants was investigated using randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and start codon targeted (SCoT) polymorphism markers which detected 97% of genetic fidelity among the regenerants. The PIC values of RAPD and SCoT primers were recorded to be 0.92 and 0.76 and their Rp values ranged between 3.66 and 10, and 4 and 12 respectively. The amplification products of the regenerated plants showed similar banding patterns to that of the mother plant thus demonstrating the homogeneity of the micropropagated plants. A comparative phytochemical analysis among the mother and the micropropagated plants showed a higher yield of secondary metabolites. The regeneration protocol developed in this study provides a basis for ex-situ germplasm conservation and also harnesses the various secondary metabolite compounds of medicinal importance present in D. nobile. PMID:25606433

  8. Revegetation in abandoned quarries with landfill stabilized waste and gravels: water dynamics and plant growth – a case study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C.-L. Zhang

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Large amounts of quarry wastes are produced during quarrying. Though quarry wastes are commonly used in pavement construction and concrete production, in situ utilization during ecological restoration of abandoned quarries has the advantage of simplicity. In this paper, rock fragments 2–3 cm in size were mixed with landfill stabilized waste (LSW in different proportions (LSW : gravel, RL, which was called LGM. The water content, runoff and plant growth under natural precipitation were monitored for 2 years using a runoff plot experiment. LGM with a low fraction of LSW was compacted to different degrees to achieve an appropriate porosity; water dynamics and plant growth of compacted LGM were studied in a field experiment. The results showed the following: (1 LGM can be used during restoration in abandoned quarries as growing material for plants. (2 RL had a significant effect on the infiltration and water-holding capacity of LGM and thus influenced the retention of precipitation, water condition and plant growth. LGM with RL ranging from 8:1 to 3:7 was suitable for plant growth, and the target species grew best when RL was 5:5. (3 Compaction significantly enhanced water content of LGM with a low RL of 2:8, but leaf water content of plants was lower or unchanged in the more compacted plots. Moderate compaction was beneficial to the survival and growth of Robinia pseudoacacia L. Platycladus orientalis (L. Franco and Medicago sativa L. were not significantly affected by compaction, and they grew better under a high degree of compaction, which was disadvantageous for the uppermost layer of vegetation.

  9. Revegetation in abandoned quarries with landfill stabilized waste and gravels: water dynamics and plant growth - a case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Cheng-liang; Feng, Jing-jing; Rong, Li-ming; Zhao, Ting-ning

    2017-11-01

    Large amounts of quarry wastes are produced during quarrying. Though quarry wastes are commonly used in pavement construction and concrete production, in situ utilization during ecological restoration of abandoned quarries has the advantage of simplicity. In this paper, rock fragments 2-3 cm in size were mixed with landfill stabilized waste (LSW) in different proportions (LSW : gravel, RL), which was called LGM. The water content, runoff and plant growth under natural precipitation were monitored for 2 years using a runoff plot experiment. LGM with a low fraction of LSW was compacted to different degrees to achieve an appropriate porosity; water dynamics and plant growth of compacted LGM were studied in a field experiment. The results showed the following: (1) LGM can be used during restoration in abandoned quarries as growing material for plants. (2) RL had a significant effect on the infiltration and water-holding capacity of LGM and thus influenced the retention of precipitation, water condition and plant growth. LGM with RL ranging from 8:1 to 3:7 was suitable for plant growth, and the target species grew best when RL was 5:5. (3) Compaction significantly enhanced water content of LGM with a low RL of 2:8, but leaf water content of plants was lower or unchanged in the more compacted plots. Moderate compaction was beneficial to the survival and growth of Robinia pseudoacacia L. Platycladus orientalis (L.) Franco and Medicago sativa L. were not significantly affected by compaction, and they grew better under a high degree of compaction, which was disadvantageous for the uppermost layer of vegetation.

  10. Nutrients, Toxins, and Water in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems Treated with Sewage Plant Effluents. Final Report of the Upland Recharge Program

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Woodwell, G. M.; Ballard, J. T.; Clinton, J.; Pecan, E. V.

    1976-01-01

    The objective of this work was to appraise the capacity of terrestrial and aquatic plant communities for absorbing and retaining nutrients and organic matter in sewage and for releasing ''clean'' water. Experimental systems included a sere representative of the Eastern Deciduous Forest, a timothy field, two Phalaris arundinacea meadows, a freshwater marsh, a pond, and a marsh-pond complex. Sewage of two qualities was applied at the rate of 5 cm per week; one treatment was equivalent to the release from a primary treatment sewage plant, the second to that from a secondary treatment plant. Under normal circumstances, without the addition of water or nutrients in sewage, the flux of nutrients into the groundwater was greatest under the agricultural communities and least under the late successional forest communities. All the terrestrial communities were net sources of most elements. Because the agricultural communities were fertilized and a substantial fraction of the fertilizer applied remained after the first year, the agricultural communities appeared to be net sinks during the first year of the experiment. The highest concentrations of nutrients in the percolate of the untreated communities commonly occurred in the earliest stages of succession. This relationship was especially conspicuous for nitrogen. Phosphorus and iron appeared to be held tightly within most ecosystems.

  11. Bee community as a source of energy in the production of food, honey-plants in the ecosystem of Croatian Forests' hunting grounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucak, Zvonimir; Beuk, Darko; Jumić, Vlado; Tusek, Tatjana; Vladimir-Knezević, Sanda; Tolusić, Zdravko; Skrivanko, Mario; Konjarović, Anastazija; Aladić, Krunoslav; Cupurdija, Edita

    2009-12-01

    In addition to the process of photosynthesis, the bee community is the main source of energy in food production, honey-plants used by game and people in the hunting grounds ecosystem. It is a well-known fact that thousands of plant species depend on the presence of bee communities (pollination, fertilization). In this paper we studied the presence of the bee community in the hunting grounds of Croatian Forests, and their influence on the number of game (wild pigs), as well as the quality of honey, honey plants in the hunting grounds used by people and game. We established the total number of game (wild boars). The honey quality parameters were determined using the Harmonised methods of the European Honey (Bogdanov et al., 1997) and the pollen analysis by were conducted according to Harmonised methods of melissopalynology (Von der Ohe et al., 2004). Research results indicate that the presence of the bee community influences the number of wild boars from 3-18%, and the quality of honey is in line with the European and world standards. The SAS/STAT package was used for the statistical analysis (SAS Institute Inc., 2000). The significance of the differences among the groups was determined by Duncan test.

  12. Impact of rice-straw biochars amended soil on the biological Si cycle in soil-plant ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zimin; Delvaux, Bruno; Struyf, Eric; Unzué-Belmonte, Dácil; Ronsse, Frederik; Cornelis, Jean-Thomas

    2017-04-01

    Biochar used as soil amendment can enhance soil fertility and plant growth. It may also contribute to increase the plant mineralomass of silicon (Si). However, very little studies have focused on the plant Si cycling in biochar amended soils. Here, we study the impact of two contrasting biochars derived from rice straws on soil Si availability and plant Si uptake. Rice plants were grown in a hydroponic device using Yoshida nutrient solution, respectively devoid of H4SiO4 (0 ppm Si: Si-) and enriched with it (40 ppm Si: Si+). After 12 weeks, the plants were harvested for further pyrolysis, conducted with holding time of 1h at 500˚ C. The respective rice-biochars are Si-/biochar and Si+/biochar. They exhibit contrasting phytolith contents (0.3 g Si kg-1 vs. 51.3 g Si kg-1), but identical physico-chemical properties. They were applied in two soils differing in weathering stage: a weathered Cambisol (CA) and a highly weathered Nitisol (NI). We then studied the effects of the amended biochar on CaCl2 extractable Si using a 64-days kinetic approach, on the content of soil biogenic Si, and on the uptake of Si by wheat plants grown for 5 weeks. We also quantified Si mineralomass in plants. We compared the effects of biochars to that of wollastonite (Wo)-(CaSiO3), a common Si-fertilizer. Our results show that Si+/biochar significantly increase the content of BSi in both soils. In CA, the cumulative content of CaCl2 extractable Si amounts to 85 mg kg-1 after Si+/biochar amendment, which is below the amount extracted after Wo application (100 mg kg-1). In contrast, in NI, the cumulative content of CaCl2 extractable Si is 198 mg kg-1 in the Si+/biochar amended treatment, which is far above the one measured after Wo application (93 mg kg-1). The Si-/biochar has no effect on the cumulative content of CaCl2 extractable Si in either soil type. Biochars and wollastonite increase the biomass of wheat on both soils. The increase is, however, larger in NI than in CA. In terms of Si

  13. Plants in water-controlled ecosystems: active role in hydrologic processes and response to water stress. IV. Discussion of real cases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laio, F.; Porporato, A.; Fernandez-Illescas, C. P.; Rodriguez-Iturbe, I.

    Three water-controlled ecosystems are studied here using the stochastic description of soil moisture dynamics and vegetation water stress proposed in Part II (F. Laio, A. Porporato, L. Ridolfi, I. Rodriguez-Iturbe, Adv. Water Res. 24 (7) (2001) 707-723) and Part III (A. Porporato, F. Laio, L. Ridolfi, I. Rodriguez-Iturbe, Adv. Water Res. 24 (7) (2001) 725-744) of this series of papers. In the savanna of Nylsvley (South Africa) the very diverse physiological characteristics of the existing plants give rise to different strategies of soil moisture exploitation. Notwithstanding these differences, the vegetation water stress for all the species turns out to be very similar, suggesting that coexistence might be attained also through differentiation of water use. The case of the savanna of Southern Texas points out how rooting depth and interannual rainfall variability can impact soil moisture dynamics and vegetation water stress. Because of the different responses to water stress of trees and grasses, external climatic forcing could be at the origin of the dynamic equilibrium allowing coexistence in this ecosystem. Finally, the analysis of a short grass steppe in Colorado provides an interesting example of the so-called inverse texture effect, whereby preferential conditions for vegetation are dependent on soil texture and rainfall. Sites which are more favorable during wet conditions may become less suitable to the same vegetation type during drier years. Such an effect is important to explain the predominance of existing species, as well as to investigate their reproductive strategies.

  14. The transfer of 137Cs through the soil-plant-sheep food chain in different pasture ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arja Paasikallio

    1996-12-01

    Full Text Available A grazing experiment with sheep was carried out in 1990-1993 on natural, semi-natural and cultivated pasture on clay soil. The pastures were located in Southern Finland and were moderately contaminated with 137 Cs by Chernobyl fallout. Natural pasture refers to forest pasture and serai-natural pasture to set-aside field pasture, the latter having been under cultivation about 15 years ago. The transfer of 137Cs to sheep was clearly higher from forest pasture than from the other two pastures and it was lowest from cultivated pasture. The transfer was higher to muscle and kidney than to liver and heart. The transfer of 137Cs to plants and to meat varied with years. Seasonal variation in the plant 137 Cs was followed-up on forest and set-aside field pasture; the activity concentration of plants reached a maximum in June, a lesser increase occurred later in the autumn. In 1993, which was considered an average year with respect to 137Cs transfer to plants, the mean soil-plant transfer factors of 137Cs for forest, set-aside field and cultivated pastures were 1.78, 0.36 and 0.09, and soil-meat aggregated transfer factors 11.0, 0.28 and 0.03, respectively.

  15. Effects of elevated CO2, warming and drought episodes on plant carbon uptake in a temperate heath ecosystem are controlled by soil water status

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Albert, Kristian Rost; Ro-Poulsen, H.; Mikkelsen, Teis Nørgaard

    2011-01-01

    The impact of elevated CO2, periodic drought and warming on photosynthesis and leaf characteristics of the evergreen dwarf shrub Calluna vulgaris in a temperate heath ecosystem was investigated. Photosynthesis was reduced by drought in midsummer and increased by elevated CO2 throughout the growing...... season, whereas warming only stimulated photosynthesis early in the year. At the beginning and end of the growing season, a T × CO2 interaction synergistically stimulated plant carbon uptake in the combination of warming and elevated CO2. At peak drought, the D × CO2 interaction antagonistically down......-regulated photosynthesis, suggesting a limited ability of elevated CO2 to counteract the negative effect of drought. The response of photosynthesis in the full factorial combination (TDCO2) could be explained by the main effect of experimental treatments (T, D, CO2) and the two-factor interactions (D × CO2, T × CO2...

  16. The RTR complex as caretaker of genome stability and its unique meiotic function in plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander eKnoll

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The RTR complex consisting of a RecQ helicase, a type IA topoisomerase and the structural protein RMI1 is involved in the processing of DNA recombination intermediates in all eukaryotes. In Arabidopsis thaliana the complex partners RECQ4A, topoisomerase 3α and RMI1 have been shown to be involved in DNA repair and in the suppression of homologous recombination (HR in somatic cells. Interestingly, mutants of AtTOP3A and AtRMI1 are also sterile due to extensive chromosome breakage in meiosis I, a phenotype that seems to be specific for plants. Although both proteins are essential for meiotic recombination it is still elusive on what kind of intermediates they are acting on. Recent data indicate that the pattern of non-crossover (NCO-associated meiotic gene conversion (GC differs between plants and other eukaryotes, as less NCOs in comparison to crossovers (CO could be detected in Arabidopsis. This indicates that NCOs happen either more rarely in plants or that the conversion tract length is significantly shorter than in other organisms. As the TOP3α/RMI1-mediated dissolution of recombination intermediates results exclusively in NCOs, we suggest that the peculiar GC pattern found in plants is connected to the unique role, members of the RTR complex play in plant meiosis.

  17. Stability of Tl(III) in the context of speciation analysis of thallium in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadowska, Monika; Biaduń, Ewa; Krasnodębska-Ostręga, Beata

    2016-02-01

    The paper presents both "good" and "bad" results obtained during speciation analysis of thallium in plant tissues of a hyperaccumulator of this metal. The object was white mustard - Sinapis alba L. In this plant there were found traces of trivalent thallium. The crucial point of this study (especially in the case of so unstable thallium form as Tl(III)) was to prove that the presence of Tl(III) was not caused by the procedure of sample preparation itself, and that the whole analytical method provides reliable results. Choice of the method for conservation of the initial speciation, extraction with the highest efficiency and proving the correctness of the obtained data were the most difficult parts of the presented study. It was found that: both freezing and drying cause significant changes in the speciation of thallium; quantitative analysis could be performed only with fresh tissues of mustard plants; only short-term storage of an extract from fresh plant tissues is possible; the methodology is not the source of thallium (III); only the presence of DTPA can greatly limit the reduction of TI(III) to TI(I) (up to 1-3%); the UV irradiation results in disintegration of TI(III)DTPA in the presence of plant matrix (reduction up to 90%). Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Fallout of cesium-137 on a forest ecosystem in the vicinity of a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adriano, D.C.; Hoyt, G.D.; Pinder, J.E. III

    1981-01-01

    Forest canopies intercepted airborne radionuclide-bearing particles released by a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant at the Savannah River Plant producing higher concentrations and accumulations of 137 Cs, 238 Pu and sup(239,240)Pu in the forest litter and mineral soil. This impact resulted in 137 Cs contents usually more than double that for the control samples not influenced by the plant release. The variations in accumulation and distribution patterns of 137 Cs, 238 Pu and sup(239,240)Pu were caused by the apparent greater mobility of 137 Cs in the soil profile and the time of deposition of the Pu isotopes. The use of 137 Cs as an environmental analog for Pu appears questionable as indicated by inconsistent relationships in samples between 137 Cs and 238 Pu or 137 Cs and sup(239,240)Pu. However, its use looks promising in situations elsewhere where erosional transport mechanism determines the mobility of these radionuclides. (author)

  19. How cushion communities are maintained in alpine ecosystems: A review and case study on alpine cushion plant reproduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianguo Chen

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Cushion species occur in nearly all alpine environments worldwide. In past decades, the adaptive and ecosystem-engineering roles of such highly specialized life forms have been well studied. However, the adaptive strategies responsible for cushion species reproductive success and maintenance in severe alpine habitats remain largely unclear. In this study, we reviewed the current understanding of reproductive strategies and population persistence in alpine cushion species. We then present a preliminary case study on the sexual reproduction of Arenaria polytrichoides (Caryophyllaceae, a typical cushion species inhabiting high elevations of the Himalaya Hengduan Mountains, which is a hotspot for diversification of cushion species. Finally, we highlight the limitations of our current understanding of alpine cushion species reproduction and propose future directions for study.

  20. Modulating secretory pathway pH by proton channel co-expression can increase recombinant protein stability in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jutras, Philippe V; D'Aoust, Marc-André; Couture, Manon M-J; Vézina, Louis-Philippe; Goulet, Marie-Claire; Michaud, Dominique; Sainsbury, Frank

    2015-09-01

    Eukaryotic expression systems are used for the production of complex secreted proteins. However, recombinant proteins face considerable biochemical challenges along the secretory pathway, including proteolysis and pH variation between organelles. As the use of synthetic biology matures into solutions for protein production, various host-cell engineering approaches are being developed to ameliorate host-cell factors that can limit recombinant protein quality and yield. We report the potential of the influenza M2 ion channel as a novel tool to neutralize the pH in acidic subcellular compartments. Using transient expression in the plant host, Nicotiana benthamiana, we show that ion channel expression can significantly raise pH in the Golgi apparatus and that this can have a strong stabilizing effect on a fusion protein separated by an acid-susceptible linker peptide. We exemplify the utility of this effect in recombinant protein production using influenza hemagglutinin subtypes differentially stable at low pH; the expression of hemagglutinins prone to conformational change in mildly acidic conditions is considerably enhanced by M2 co-expression. The co-expression of a heterologous ion channel to stabilize acid-labile proteins and peptides represents a novel approach to increasing the yield and quality of secreted recombinant proteins in plants and, possibly, in other eukaryotic expression hosts. Copyright © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  1. Alpine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    P.W. Rundel; C.I. Millar

    2016-01-01

    Alpine ecosystems are typically defined as those areas occurring above treeline, while recognizing that alpine ecosystems at a local scale may be found below this boundary for reasons including geology, geomorphology, and microclimate. The lower limit of the alpine ecosystems, the climatic treeline, varies with latitude across California, ranging from about 3500 m in...

  2. Ecosystem Jenga!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umphlett, Natalie; Brosius, Tierney; Laungani, Ramesh; Rousseau, Joe; Leslie-Pelecky, Diandra L.

    2009-01-01

    To give students a tangible model of an ecosystem and have them experience what could happen if a component of that ecosystem were removed; the authors developed a hands-on, inquiry-based activity that visually demonstrates the concept of a delicately balanced ecosystem through a modification of the popular game Jenga. This activity can be…

  3. Validation of the Engineering Plant Analyzer methodology with Peach Bottom 2 stability tests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rohatgi, U.S.; Mallen, A.N.; Cheng, H.S.; Wulff, W.

    1994-01-01

    The Engineering Plant Analyzer (EPA) had been developed in 1984 at Brookhaven National Laboratory to simulate plant transients in boiling water reactors (BWR). Recently, the EPA with its High-Speed Interactive Plant Analyzer code for BWRs ( ppercase HIPA-BWR ) simulated for the first time oscillatory transients with large, non-linear power and flow amplitudes; transients which are centered around the March 9, 1988 instability at the LaSalle-2 BWR power plant.The EPA's capability to simulate oscillatory transients has been demonstrated first by comparing simulation results with LaSalle-2 plant data (Wulff et al., NUREG/CR-5816, BNL-NUREG-52312, Brookhaven National Laboratory, 1992). This paper presents an EPA assessment on the basis of the Peach Bottom 2 instability tests (Carmichael and Niemi, EPRI NP-564, Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA, 1978). This assessment of the EPA appears to constitute the first validation of a time-domain reactor systems code on the basis of frequency-domain criteria, namely power spectral density, gain and phase shift of the pressure-to-power transfer function.The reactor system pressure was disturbed in the Peach Bottom 2 power plant tests, and in their EPA simulation, by a pseudo-random, binary sequence signal. The data comparison revealed that the EPA predicted for Peach Bottom tests PT1, PT2, and PT4 the gain of the power-to-pressure transfer function with the biases and standard deviations of (-10±28)%, (-1±40)% and (+28±52)%, respectively. The respective frequencies at the peak gains were predicted with the errors of +6%, +3%, and -28%. The differences between the predicted and the measured phase shift increased with increasing frequency, but stayed within the margin of experimental uncertainty. ((orig.))

  4. Assessment of engineering plant analyzer with Peach Bottom 2 stability tests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rohatgi, U.S.; Mallen, A.N.; Cheng, H.S.; Wulff, W.

    1992-01-01

    Engineering Plant Analyzer (EPA) has been developed to simulate plant transients for Boiling Water Reactor (BWR). Recently, this code has been used to simulate LaSalle-2 instability event which was initiated by a failure in the feed water heater. The simulation was performed for the scram conditions and for the postulated failure in the scram. In order to assess the capability of the EPA to simulate oscillatory flows as observed in the LaSalle event, EPA has been benchmarked with the available data from the Peach Bottom 2 (PB2) Instability tests PT1, PT2, and PT4. This document provides a description of these tests

  5. Radiation stability of some sealing materials used in nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lukac, P.; Foeldesova, M.; Dillinger, P.

    1987-01-01

    The radiation stability was investigated of sealing strips by Wonisch, Silhoffer and Dehtochema. Samples of the strips were irradiated with various single doses at a dose rate 5.27 kGy.h -1 . Changes in mechanical properties were studied by measuring tensile strength, ductility, compressibility and resistance against aqueous decontamination solutions. The results of the measurement were compared with values for non-irradiated materials and were expressed in percentage. The experiments showed that the materials were stable within the given region of absorbed radiation doses. The highest stability for a dose of 0.25 MGy was shown by the sealing strip Asfaretan by Dehtochema which in many properties compares well with foreign-made materials and in some respects is even better. Its compressibility is, however, worse. The experimental results have shown that polymerization processes (cross-linking) prevail at doses of up to 0.33 MGy and that material degradation prevails above this level. (author)

  6. Characterization of Oxidative Stability of Fish Oil- and Plant Oil-Enriched Skimmed Milk

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Saga, Linda C.; Kristinova, Vera; Kirkhus, Bente

    2013-01-01

    oat oil and camelina oil to protect fish oil in bulk and as fish oil-enriched skimmed milk emulsions was evaluated. Results of oxidative stability of bulk oils and blends assessed by the Schaal oven weight gain test and by the rancimat method showed significant increase in oxidative stability when oat...... oil was added to fish oil in only 5 and 10 %, whereas no protective effect of camelina oil was observed when evaluated by these methods. Moreover, fish oil blended with oat oil conferred the lowest PV and lower amounts of volatile compounds during the storage period of 14 days at 4 °C. Surprisingly......, skimmed milk supplemented with fish-oat oil blend gave the highest scores for off-flavors in the sensory evaluation, demonstrating that several methods, including sensory analysis, should be combined to illustrate the complete picture of lipid oxidation in emulsions....

  7. Evaluation of ecosystem simulation models as tools for assessment of power plant impacts on fish populations. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Swartzman, G.L.

    1984-07-01

    This report summarizes work on evaluating the usefulness of models in assessing power plant impacts. Models were found to be most useful in suggesting frequency and replication for monitoring programs. Models also were useful in indicating where further data are needed. The modeling work on Lake Ontario and Lake Keowee indicated difficulties in using monitoring data for model construction and validation

  8. The transfer of 137Cs through the soil-plant-sheep food chain in different pasture ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. PAASIKALLIO

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available A grazing experiment with sheep was carried out in 1990-1993 on natural, semi-natural and cultivated pasture on clay soil. The pastures were located in Southern Finland and were moderately contaminated with 137 Cs by Chernobyl fallout. Natural pasture refers to forest pasture and semi-natural pasture to set-aside field pasture, the latter having been under cultivation about 15 years ago. The transfer of 137 Cs to sheep was clearly higher from forest pasture than from the other two pastures and it was lowest from cultivated pasture. The transfer was higher to muscle and kidney than to liver and heart. The transfer of 137 Cs to plants and to meat varied with years. Seasonal variation in the plant 137 Cs was followed-up on forest and set-aside field pasturerespect to 137 Cs transfer to plants, the mean soil-plant transfer factors of 137 Cs for forest, set-aside field and cultivated pastures were 1.78, 0.36 and 0.09, and soil-meat aggregated transfer factors 11.0, 0.28 and 0.03, respectively.;

  9. Gathering in the city: an annotated bibliography and review of the literature about human-plant interactions in urban ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    R.J. McLain; K. MacFarland; L. Brody; J. Hebert; P. Hurley; M. Poe; L.P. Buttolph; N. Gabriel; M. Dzuna; M.R. Emery; S. Charnley

    2012-01-01

    The past decade has seen resurgence in interest in gathering wild plants and fungi in cities. In addition to gathering by individuals, dozens of groups have emerged in U.S., Canadian, and European cities to facilitate access to nontimber forest products (NTFPs), particularly fruits and nuts, in public and private spaces. Recent efforts within cities to encourage public...

  10. The transfer of 137Cs through the soil-plant-sheep food chain in different pasture ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paasikallio, Arja; Sormunen-Cristian, Riitta

    1996-01-01

    A grazing experiment with sheep was carried out in 1990-1993 on natural, semi-natural and cultivated pasture on clay soil. The pastures were located in Southern Finland and were moderately contaminated with 137 Cs by Chernobyl fallout. Natural pasture refers to forest pasture and semi-natural pasture to set-aside field pasture, the latter having been under cultivation about 15 years ago. The transfer of 137 Cs to sheep was clearly higher from forest pasture than from the other two pastures and it was lowest from cultivated pasture. The transfer was higher to muscle and kidney than to liver and heart. The transfer of 137 Cs to plants and to meat varied with years. Seasonal variation in the plant 137 Cs was followed-up on forest and set-aside field pasturerespect to 137 Cs transfer to plants, the mean soil-plant transfer factors of 137 Cs for forest, set-aside field and cultivated pastures were 1.78, 0.36 and 0.09, and soil-meat aggregated transfer factors 11.0, 0.28 and 0.03, respectively

  11. Astronomical Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuenschwander, D. E.; Finkenbinder, L. R.

    2004-05-01

    Just as quetzals and jaguars require specific ecological habitats to survive, so too must planets occupy a tightly constrained astronomical habitat to support life as we know it. With this theme in mind we relate the transferable features of our elementary astronomy course, "The Astronomical Basis of Life on Earth." Over the last five years, in a team-taught course that features a spring break field trip to Costa Rica, we have introduced astronomy through "astronomical ecosystems," emphasizing astronomical constraints on the prospects for life on Earth. Life requires energy, chemical elements, and long timescales, and we emphasize how cosmological, astrophysical, and geological realities, through stabilities and catastrophes, create and eliminate niches for biological life. The linkage between astronomy and biology gets immediate and personal: for example, studies in solar energy production are followed by hikes in the forest to examine the light-gathering strategies of photosynthetic organisms; a lesson on tides is conducted while standing up to our necks in one on a Pacific beach. Further linkages between astronomy and the human timescale concerns of biological diversity, cultural diversity, and environmental sustainability are natural and direct. Our experience of teaching "astronomy as habitat" strongly influences our "Astronomy 101" course in Oklahoma as well. This "inverted astrobiology" seems to transform our student's outlook, from the universe being something "out there" into something "we're in!" We thank the SNU Science Alumni support group "The Catalysts," and the SNU Quetzal Education and Research Center, San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica, for their support.

  12. Real-time stability monitoring method for boiling water reactor nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fukunishi, K.; Suzuki, S.

    1987-01-01

    A method for real-time stability monitoring is developed for supervising the steady-state operation of a boiling water reactor core. The decay ratio of the reactor power fluctuation is determined by measuring only the output neutron noise. The concept of an inverse system is introduced to identify the dynamic characteristics of the reactor core. The adoption of an adaptive digital filter is useful in real-time identification. A feasibility test that used measured output noise as an indication of reactor power suggests that this method is useful in a real-time stability monitoring system. Using this method, the tedious and difficult work for modeling reactor core dynamics can be reduced. The method employs a simple algorithm that eliminates the need for stochastic computation, thus making the method suitable for real-time computation with a simple microprocessor. In addition, there is no need to disturb the reactor core during operation. Real-time stability monitoring using the proposed algorithm may allow operation under less stable margins

  13. Baselines to detect population stability of the threatened alpine plant Packera franciscana (Asteraceae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    James F. Fowler; Carolyn Hull Sieg; Shaula Hedwall

    2015-01-01

    Population size and density estimates have traditionally been acceptable ways to track species’ response to changing environments; however, species' population centroid elevation has recently been an equally important metric. Packera franciscana (Greene) W.A. Weber and A. Love (Asteraceae; San Francisco Peaks ragwort) is a single mountain endemic plant found only...

  14. Habitat area and climate stability determine geographical variation in plant species range sizes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Morueta-Holme, Naia; Enquist, Brian J.; McGill, Brian J.

    2013-01-01

    Despite being a fundamental aspect of biodiversity, little is known about what controls species range sizes. This is especially the case for hyperdiverse organisms such as plants. We use the largest botanical data set assembled to date to quantify geographical variation in range size for ~85,000 ...

  15. Floating plant dominance as a stable state

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Scheffer, M.; Szabo, S.; Gragnani, A.; Nes, van E.H.; Rinaldi, S.; Kautsky, N.; Norberg, J.; Roijackers, R.M.M.; Franken, R.J.M.

    2003-01-01

    The authors demonstrate that floating-plant dominance can be a self-stabilizing ecosystem state, which may explain its notorious persistence in many situations. Their results, based on experiments, field data, and models (in Dutch ditches and Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe), represent evidence for

  16. Nitrogen fixation, denitrification, and ecosystem nitrogen pools in relation to vegetation development in the Subarctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Pernille Lærkedal; Jonasson, Sven Evert; Michelsen, Anders

    2006-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) fixation, denitrification, and ecosystem pools of nitrogen were measured in three subarctic ecosystem types differing in soil frost-heaving activity and vegetation cover. N2-fixation was measured by the acetylene reduction assay and converted to absolute N ecosystem input by estimates...... of conversion factors between acetylene reduction and 15N incorporation. One aim was to relate nitrogen fluxes and nitrogen pools to the mosaic of ecosystem types of different stability common in areas of soil frost movements. A second aim was to identify abiotic controls on N2-fixation by simultaneous...... measurements of temperature, light, and soil moisture. Nitrogen fixation rate was high with seasonal input estimated at 1.1 g N m2 on frostheaved sorted circles, which was higher than the total plant N content and exceeded estimated annual plant N uptake several-fold but was lower than the microbial N content...

  17. Effects of domestic wastewater treated by anaerobic stabilization on soil pollution, plant nutrition, and cotton crop yield.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uzen, Nese; Cetin, Oner; Unlu, Mustafa

    2016-12-01

    This study has aimed to determine the effects of treated wastewater on cotton yield and soil pollution in Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey during 2011 and 2012. The treated wastewater was provided from the reservoir operated as anaerobic stabilization. After treatment, suspended solids (28-60 mg/l), biological oxygen demand (29-30 mg/l), and chemical oxygen demand (71-112 mg/l) decreased significantly compared to those in the wastewater. There was no heavy metal pollution in the water used. There were no significant amounts of coliform bacteria, fecal coliform, and Escherichia coli compared to untreated wastewater. The cottonseed yield (31.8 g/plant) in the tanks where no commercial fertilizers were applied was considerably higher compared to the yield (17.2 g/plant) in the fertilized tanks where a common nitrogenous fertilizer was utilized. There were no significant differences between the values of soil pH. Soil electrical conductivity (EC) after the experiment increased from 0.8-1.0 to 0.9-1.8 dS/m. Heavy metal pollution did not occur in the soil and plants, because there were no heavy metals in the treated wastewater. It can be concluded that treated domestic wastewater could be used to grow in a controlled manner crops, such as cotton, that would not be used directly as human nutrients.

  18. Geometagenomics illuminates the impact of agriculture on the distribution and prevalence of plant viruses at the ecosystem scale

    OpenAIRE

    Bernardo, Pauline; Charles-Dominique, Tristan; Barakat, Mohamed; Ortet, Philippe; Fernandez, Emmanuel; Filloux, Denis; Hartnady, Penelope; Rebelo, Tony A; Cousins, Stephen R; Mesleard, François; Cohez, Damien; Yavercovski, Nicole; Varsani, Arvind; Harkins, Gordon W; Peterschmitt, Michel

    2017-01-01

    Disease emergence events regularly result from human activities such as agriculture, which frequently brings large populations of genetically uniform hosts into contact with potential pathogens. Although viruses cause nearly 50% of emerging plant diseases, there is little systematic information about virus distribution across agro-ecological interfaces and large gaps in understanding of virus diversity in nature. Here we applied a novel landscape-scale geometagenomics approach to examine rela...

  19. Geometagenomics illuminates the impact of agriculture on the distribution and prevalence of plant viruses at the ecosystem scale

    OpenAIRE

    Bernardo, Pauline; Charles-Dominique, Tristan; Barakat, Mohamed; Ortet, Philippe; Fernandez, Emmanuel; Filloux, Denis; Hartnady, Penelope; Rebelo, Tony A.; Cousins, Stephen; Mesleard, François; Cohez, Damien; Yaverkovski, Nicole; Varsani, Arvind; Harkins, Gordon William; Peterschmitt, Michel

    2018-01-01

    Disease emergence events regularly result from human activities such as agriculture, which frequently brings large populations of genetically uniform hosts into contact with potential pathogens. Although viruses cause nearly 50% of emerging plant diseases, there is little systematic information about virus distribution across agro-ecological interfaces and large gaps in understanding of virus diversity in nature. Here we applied a novel landscape-scale geometagenomics approach to examine rela...

  20. Research results on productivity stabilization by ultrasonic camera (plant with membrane ceramic elements during vine processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. T. Antufyev

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The article describes solutions to the problems of declining productivity of ceramic membrane elements for wine processing on the final manufacturing phase. A relative stabilization of filtration velocity, venting efficiency and wine lightening were experimentally confirmed during contacts with oscillation waves of ultrasonic transmitter on the ceramic filter. Which significantly reduced the cost of various preservatives to increase periods storage. To study the processes of wine processing by the proposed method it was made an experimental installation on the basis of pilot machine MRp-1/2 for bottling of quiet liquids and an ultrasonic device "Volna– M" UZTA-1/22-OM with a firmly, waveguide which transmits sound, fixed filter frame on the ultrasound emitter. To stabilize the performance of ultrasonic units with ceramic membrane elements without quality deterioration of wines it was empirically determined rational parameters of power of ultrasound input and pressure in the system. The given derived dependencies and graphs allow to define the time of relatively stable operating filter regime. It was revealed a significant cost reduction on filtration, as it allows escape from the contamination of the product by various preservatives, and increasing of storage duration in a sealed container during aseptic filling without a thermal sterilization. Ultrasonic emitter contact by superposition wave vibrations on the ceramic filter increases not only the efficiency of gas removal, but also improves the organoleptic characteristics, stabilizes the filters, improves their productivity. Gas removal creates unfavorable conditions for development of the yeast, which in turn increases the shelf life of semisweet wine.

  1. Plants in water-controlled ecosystems: active role in hydrologic processes and response to water stress. III. Vegetation water stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porporato, A.; Laio, F.; Ridolfi, L.; Rodriguez-Iturbe, I.

    The reduction of soil moisture content during droughts lowers the plant water potential and decreases transpiration; this in turn causes a reduction of cell turgor and relative water content which brings about a sequence of damages of increasing seriousness. A review of the literature on plant physiology and water stress shows that vegetation water stress can be assumed to start at the soil moisture level corresponding to incipient stomatal closure and reach a maximum intensity at the wilting point. The mean crossing properties of these soil moisture levels crucial for water stress are derived analytically for the stochastic model of soil moisture dynamics described in Part II (F. Laio, A. Porporato, L. Ridolfi, I. Rodriguez-Iturbe. Adv. Water Res. 24 (7) (2001) 707-723). These properties are then used to propose a measure of vegetation water stress which combines the mean intensity, duration, and frequency of periods of soil water deficit. The characteristics of vegetation water stress are then studied under different climatic conditions, showing how the interplay between plant, soil, and environment can lead to optimal conditions for vegetation.

  2. Plant Mounds as Concentration and Stabilization Agents for Actinide Soil Contaminants in Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D.S. Shafer; J. Gommes

    2009-02-03

    Plant mounds or blow-sand mounds are accumulations of soil particles and plant debris around the base of shrubs and are common features in deserts in the southwestern United States. An important factor in their formation is that shrubs create surface roughness that causes wind-suspended particles to be deposited and resist further suspension. Shrub mounds occur in some plant communities on the Nevada Test Site, the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR), and Tonopah Test Range (TTR), including areas of surface soil contamination from past nuclear testing. In the 1970s as part of early studies to understand properties of actinides in the environment, the Nevada Applied Ecology Group (NAEG) examined the accumulation of isotopes of Pu, 241Am, and U in plant mounds at safety experiment and storage-transportation test sites of nuclear devices. Although aerial concentrations of these contaminants were highest in the intershrub or desert pavement areas, the concentration in mounds were higher than in equal volumes of intershrub or desert pavement soil. The NAEG studies found the ratio of contaminant concentration of actinides in soil to be greater (1.6 to 2.0) in shrub mounds than in the surrounding areas of desert pavement. At Project 57 on the NTTR, 17 percent of the area was covered in mounds while at Clean Slate III on the TTR, 32 percent of the area was covered in mounds. If equivalent volumes of contaminated soil were compared between mounds and desert pavement areas at these sites, then the former might contain as much as 34 and 62 percent of the contaminant inventory, respectively. Not accounting for radionuclides associated with shrub mounds would cause the inventory of contaminants and potential exposure to be underestimated. In addition, preservation of shrub mounds could be important part of long-term stewardship if these sites are closed by fencing and posting with administrative controls.

  3. THE CHOICE OF THE GENERATOR AND ELECTRICITY STABILIZATION FOR SMALL HYDROPOWER PLANTS

    OpenAIRE

    Kvitko A. V.; Daybova L. A.; Kondratenko Y. E.

    2015-01-01

    The article analyzes the main characteristics of the electricity generators to use them as a part of small hydroelectric power plants. It is shown, that contactless asynchronous generators in comparison with synchronous generators and DC generators have improved their operational and technical characteristics, and above all, their reliability and performance efficiency. We have shown graphic dependences of the cost and the weight of power generators. It is proposed using direct frequency conv...

  4. History and stabilization of the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) complex, Hanford Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gerber, M.S., Fluor Daniel Hanford

    1997-02-18

    The 231-Z Isolation Building or Plutonium Metallurgy Building is located in the Hanford Site`s 200 West Area, approximately 300 yards north of the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) (234-5 Building). When the Hanford Engineer Works (HEW) built it in 1944 to contain the final step for processing plutonium, it was called the Isolation Building. At that time, HEW used a bismuth phosphate radiochemical separations process to make `AT solution,` which was then dried and shipped to Los Alamos, New Mexico. (AT solution is a code name used during World War II for the final HEW product.) The process was carried out first in T Plant and the 224-T Bulk Reduction Building and B Plant and the 224-B Bulk Reduction Building. The 224-T and -B processes produced a concentrated plutonium nitrate stream, which then was sent in 8-gallon batches to the 231-Z Building for final purification. In the 231-Z Building, the plutonium nitrate solution underwent peroxide `strikes` (additions of hydrogen peroxide to further separate the plutonium from its carrier solutions), to form the AT solution. The AT solution was dried and shipped to the Los Alamos Site, where it was made into metallic plutonium and then into weapons hemispheres.` The 231-Z Building began `hot` operations (operations using radioactive materials) with regular runs of plutonium nitrate on January 16, 1945.

  5. Modeling invasive alien plant species in river systems: Interaction with native ecosystem engineers and effects on hydro-morphodynamic processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Oorschot, M.; Kleinhans, M. G.; Geerling, G. W.; Egger, G.; Leuven, R. S. E. W.; Middelkoop, H.

    2017-08-01

    Invasive alien plant species negatively impact native plant communities by out-competing species or changing abiotic and biotic conditions in their introduced range. River systems are especially vulnerable to biological invasions, because waterways can function as invasion corridors. Understanding interactions of invasive and native species and their combined effects on river dynamics is essential for developing cost-effective management strategies. However, numerical models for simulating long-term effects of these processes are lacking. This paper investigates how an invasive alien plant species affects native riparian vegetation and hydro-morphodynamics. A morphodynamic model has been coupled to a dynamic vegetation model that predicts establishment, growth and mortality of riparian trees. We introduced an invasive alien species with life-history traits based on Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica), and investigated effects of low- and high propagule pressure on invasion speed, native vegetation and hydro-morphodynamic processes. Results show that high propagule pressure leads to a decline in native species cover due to competition and the creation of unfavorable native colonization sites. With low propagule pressure the invader facilitates native seedling survival by creating favorable hydro-morphodynamic conditions at colonization sites. With high invader abundance, water levels are raised and sediment transport is reduced during the growing season. In winter, when the above-ground invader biomass is gone, results are reversed and the floodplain is more prone to erosion. Invasion effects thus depend on seasonal above- and below ground dynamic vegetation properties and persistence of the invader, on the characteristics of native species it replaces, and the combined interactions with hydro-morphodynamics.

  6. A literature study of the behaviour of cesium, strontium and plutonium in the soil-plant ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nielsen, B.; Strandberg, M.

    1988-07-01

    Literature on the occurrence of radiocesium (primarily 137CS) in the soil-plant system with emphasis on the influence of treatment on its root uptake, was reviewed. The aim was to study root uptake of radiocesium in order to estimate the applicability of suitable counter measures in cases of contamination of arable land with plutonium, radiostrontium and, in particular, radiocesium. To what extent 136CS is available to, and absorbed by, the plant and how it is distributed and absorbed in the soil is described. The physiological uptake of plutonium from soil through roots to plant parts lying above ground constitutes minor health hazards to population from the ingestion of vegetables. Extensive use of root fruits, might indicate that there is a risk present in areas of high plutonium soil concentration, because plutonium is adsorbed to root molecules, especially if soil and peel are not discarded. Another risk lies in the resuspension of plutonium deposited on the soil surface. As mentioned above, the impact of the leakage of plutonium from the Chernobyl accident was negligible in distant areas. The effects in the vicinity of the reactor, might have been important. In small areas with high levels of plutonium contamination removal of the top soil layer will be effective. Because of the high toxity and long half-life of plutonium, the risk involved merely in isolating such an area will be to high, because the plutonium may be further dispersed. In larger areas, deep ploughing to a depth of 30-40 cm or more, if feasible, is a possibility. Local factors have to be considered, e.g. position of bedrock, groundwater, soil parameters etc. Deep ploughing combined with previous dispersion of clay minerals, lime or humus or a combination, might be a solution, and should be followed by limiting crops to those with roots concentrated in the surface layer and with smallest attainable concentration ratios for plutonium. Cereals might fill this demand. 188 refs. (AB)

  7. Ecosystem development in roadside grasslands: biotic control, plant–soil interactions and dispersal limitations

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Palacios, Pablo; Bowker, Matthew A.; Maestre, Fernando T.; Soliveres, Santiago; Valladares, Fernando; Papadopoulos, Jorge; Escudero, Adrián

    2015-01-01

    Roadside grasslands undergoing secondary succession are abundant, and represent ecologically meaningful examples of novel, human-created ecosystems. Interactions between plant and soil communities (hereafter plant–soil interactions) are of major importance in understanding the role of biotic control in ecosystem functioning, but little is known about these links in the context of ecosystem restoration and succession. The assessment of the key biotic communities and interactions driving ecosystem development will help practitioners to better allocate the limited resources devoted to roadside grassland restoration. We surveyed roadside grasslands from three successional stages (0–2, 7–9 and > 20 years) in two Mediterranean regions of Spain. Structural equation modeling was used to evaluate how interactions between plants, biological soil crusts [BSCs], and soil microbial functional diversity [soil microorganisms] affect indicators of ecosystem development and restoration: plant similarity to the reference ecosystem, erosion control and soil C storage and N accumulation. Changes in plant community composition along the successional gradient exerted the strongest influence on these indicators. High BSC cover was associated with high soil stability, and high soil microbial functional diversity from late-successional stages was associated with high soil fertility. Contrary to our expectations, the indirect effects of plants, mediated by either BSCs or soil microorganisms, were very weak in both regions, suggesting a minor role for plant–soil interactions upon ecosystem development indicators over long periods. Our results suggest that natural vegetation dynamics effectively improved ecosystem development within a time frame of 20 years in the grasslands evaluated. They also indicate that this time could be shortened if management actions focus on: 1) maintain well-conserved natural areas close to roadsides to enhance plant compositional changes towards late

  8. Harmonic Stability and Resonance Analysis in Large PMSG-Based Wind Power Plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ebrahimzadeh, Esmaeil; Blaabjerg, Frede; Wang, Xiongfei

    2018-01-01

    Compared to the conventional power systems, large Wind Power Plants (WPPs) present a more challenging system where the interactions between the passive elements and the wideband control systems of power converters may result in harmonic instability and new resonance frequencies. Most of researches...... system and the resonance frequencies are identified based on the element amplitudes of the MIMO matrix. An active damping controller is used to set the poles of the WPP in a desired location in order to mitigate the harmonic instability problems. Multiple case studies are provided to depict that Wind...

  9. Jobs for partners - significant stabilization factor for personnel of East Slovakia nuclear power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Uvirova, E.

    1987-01-01

    The problem is discussed of employment of the wives of operating personnel of the nuclear power plant to be built in East Slovakia. It is expected that almost a half of the number of the wives have completed secondary education with final examination. A list is presented of openings best suitable for women. It is estimated that jobs for 1,580 women will have to be provided of which number 253 will be specialized jobs in health care and education. An increased number of vacancies are expected to be available, especially in the Kosice and Presov towns. (J.B.). 4 tabs., 4 refs

  10. Some considerations on the seismic stability of large slopes surrounding the nuclear power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ito, Hiroshi; Watanabe, Hiroyuki; Imaide, Hiroshi

    1982-01-01

    As a part of the researches with regard to the seismic stability of large scale slope, the authors have carried out the model test, in which the static failure has been generated by inclining the slope model. In this report, the results of static inclination tests of slope model are described and discussions are done from viewpoints of, 1. the mechanical behaviours and failure state of slope during the inclination test, 2. comparison between the results obtained by the static failure test (that is, inclination test) and those of another report with regard to the dynamic failure test which had been performed using the shaking table, and the relationship between an equivalent seismic coefficient obtained by static failure test and acceleration by dynamic failure test, 3. relationship between the failure state of inclination test and the factor of convensional circular arc slip method. (author)

  11. Influence of Wind Plant Ancillary Voltage Control on System Small Signal Stability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Su, Chi; Chen, Zhe

    2012-01-01

    As a common tendency, large-scale wind farms are increasingly connected to the transmission system of modern power grids. This introduces some new challenges to the connected power systems, and the transmission system operators (TSOs) have to put some new requirements as part of the grid codes...... on the integration of wind farms. One common requirement to wind farms is the function of system voltage control which can be implemented in the grid-side convertor controller of a variable speed wind turbine. This ancillary voltage control provided by wind farms could have some influence on the system small signal...... stability. This paper implements an ancillary voltage control strategy on a direct-drive-full-convertor-based wind farm and studies its influence on the damping ratio values of the dominant oscillation mode within the connected power system. All the calculations and simulations are conducted in DIg...

  12. Investigate the plant biomass response to climate warming in permafrost ecosystem using matrix-based data assimilation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, X.; Du, Z.; Schuur, E.; Luo, Y.

    2017-12-01

    Permafrost is one of the most vulnerable regions on the earth with over 40% world soil C represented in this region. Future climate warming potentially has a great impact on this region. On one hand, rising temperature accelerates permafrost soil thaw and release more C from land. On the other hand, warming may also increase the plant growing season length and therefore negatively feedback to climate change by increasing annual land C uptake. However, whether permafrost vegetation biomass change in response to warming can sequester more C has not been well understood. Manipulated air warming experiments reported that air warming has very limited impacts on grass land productivity and biomass growth in permafrost region [Mauritz et al., 2017]. It is hard to reveal the mechanisms behind the limited air warming response directly from experiment data. We employ a vegetation C cycle matrix model based on Community land model 4.5 (CLM4.5) and data assimilation technique to investigate how much do phenology and physiology processes contribute to the response respectively. Our results indicate phenology contributes the most in response to warming. The shift of vegetation parameter distributions after 2012 indicate vegetation acclimation may explain the modest response in plant biomass to air warming. The results suggest future model development need to take vegetation acclimation more seriously. The novel matrix-based model allows data assimilation to be conducted more efficiently. It provides more functional understanding of the models as well as the mechanism behind experiment data.

  13. Soil, Vegetation, and Seed Bank of a Sonoran Desert Ecosystem Along an Exotic Plant ( Pennisetum ciliare) Treatment Gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abella, Scott R.; Chiquoine, Lindsay P.; Backer, Dana M.

    2013-10-01

    Ecological conditions following removal of exotic plants are a key part of comprehensive environmental management strategies to combat exotic plant invasions. We examined ecological conditions following removal of the management-priority buffelgrass ( Pennisetum ciliare) in Saguaro National Park of the North American Sonoran Desert. We assessed soil, vegetation, and soil seed banks on seven buffelgrass site types: five different frequencies of buffelgrass herbicide plus hand removal treatments (ranging from 5 years of annual treatment to a single year of treatment), untreated sites, and non-invaded sites, with three replicates for each of the seven site types. The 22 measured soil properties (e.g., pH) differed little among sites. Regarding vegetation, buffelgrass cover was low (≤1 % median cover), or absent, across all treated sites but was high (10-70 %) in untreated sites. Native vegetation cover, diversity, and composition were indistinguishable across site types. Species composition was dominated by native species (>93 % relative cover) across all sites except untreated buffelgrass sites. Most (38 species, 93 %) of the 41 species detected in soil seed banks were native, and native seed density did not differ significantly across sites. Results suggest that: (1) buffelgrass cover was minimal across treated sites; (2) aside from high buffelgrass cover in untreated sites, ecological conditions were largely indistinguishable across sites; (3) soil seed banks harbored ≥12 species that were frequent in the aboveground vegetation; and (4) native species dominated post-treatment vegetation composition, and removing buffelgrass did not result in replacement by other exotic species.

  14. Stabilization and incorporation into biomass of specific plant carbons during biodegradation in soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stott, D.E.; Kassim, G.; Jarrell, W.M.; Martin, J.P.; Haider, K.; Bundesforschungsanstalt fuer Landwirtschaft, Braunschweig

    1983-01-01

    The effect of soil type and incubation period on the biodegradation, incorporation into biomass, and stabilization in humus of 14 C-labeled cornstalk and/or wheat straw lignin, polysaccharide, and protein fractions were followed for one year. After 6 months, 56-68%, 6-21%, 71-81%, 63-75%, and 56-68% from wheat straw and from the lignin, polysaccharide, and protein fraction of wheat straw had been lost as CO 2 , respectively. Loss of CO 2 increased only slightly with further incubation. Greater amounts of CO 2 , especially during the early incubation stages, were evolved from neutral and alkaline soils (pH 7.0, 7.4, 7.8) than from acid soils (pH 5.0, 5.5). After one year, a major portion of the residual C from lignin was recovered in the humic acid fraction, relatively small amounts, 5 to 17% were lost upon acid hydrolysis, and generally <1% was found present in the biomass. Lesser amounts of the polysaccharide and protein carbons were incorporated into the humic acid, 17-20% and 16-27% respectively. Relatively greater amounts of the residual carbons of the polysaccharide and protein were incorporated into the biomass, 4.9-7.8% and 4.6-13.4%, respectively and higher percentages were lost upon acid hydrolysis, 56 to 81%. The results for the whole wheat straw were very similar to those of the protein fraction. Overall, more residual C was stabilized into humic acid in the acid soils than in the neutral soils. (orig.)

  15. Impact of effluents from Tihange nuclear plant on the Meuse ecosystem: a five year in situ study and experimental approach 1976 -1980

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clercq-Versele, H. de; Kirchmann, R.

    1982-07-01

    The aim of present multidisciplinary study, started in 1975, was to evaluate the influence of liquid effluent releases from a PWR-type nuclear reactor on the ecosystem of running water. The Tihange-1 nuclear power plant, along the Meuse river near Liege, has been selected as site for this study, which situates in the general context of the industrial and urban pollution of this region. The in situ biological research dealt with phytoplankton, microphytobenthos and bryophytic populations on the one hand, and with zooplankton, macroinvertebrates and fish on the other hand. The impact of the releases on certain aquatic organisms has been studied with the help of experimental devices (pools and rafts). Laboratory research has been carried out on an alga type representative of Meuse phytoplankton. It could be concluded that a temperature increase of the Meuse water (generally 2 to 3 0 C), although it has no detectable qualitative influence on the various links of the Meuse ecosystem, seems to promote the development of more temperature-tolerant species and to influence biological parameters such as growth and reproduction of aquatic animals. Although the legal limit (namely 0.3 mg/l in the water downstream the releases) is always respected, chlorination of the Meuse water gives rise to a decrease of the photosynthetic activity in aquatic mosses and creates asphyxiation phenomena in fish and crayfish. The utility of certain animal organisms of the Meuse biocenose as bio-indicators of the radionuclides present in the releases, has been confirmed. The alga cultures are also very adequate for the evaluation of the biological availability of some radioisotopes such as tritium. (author)

  16. Chlorophyll fluorescence is a rigorous, high throughput tool to analyze the impacts of genotype, species, and stress on plant and ecosystem productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewers, B. E.; Pleban, J. R.; Aston, T.; Beverly, D.; Speckman, H. N.; Hosseini, A.; Bretfeld, M.; Edwards, C.; Yarkhunova, Y.; Weinig, C.; Mackay, D. S.

    2017-12-01

    . High throughput handheld or drone-based measurements of chlorophyll fluorescence provide high quality, quantitative data that can be used to not only connect genotype to phenotype but also quantify how vastly different plant species and genotypes respond to stress and change ecosystem productivity.

  17. Probabilistic considerations on the effects of random soil properties on the stability of ground structures of nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ootori, Yasuki; Ishikawa, Hiroyuki; Takeda, Tomoyoshi

    2004-01-01

    In the JEAG4601-1987 (Japan Electric Association Guide for earthquake resistance design), either the conventional deterministic method or probabilistic method is used for evaluating the stability of ground foundations and surrounding slopes in nuclear power plants. The deterministic method, in which the soil properties of 'mean ± coefficient x standard deviation' is adopted for the calculations, is generally used in the design stage to data. On the other hand, the probabilistic method, in which the soil properties assume to have probabilistic distributions, is stated as a future method. The deterministic method facilitates the evaluation, however, it is necessary to clarify the relationship between the deterministic and probabilistic methods. In order to investigate the relationship, a simple model that can take into account the dynamic effect of structures, and a simplified method for taking the spatial randomness into account are proposed in this study. As a result, it is found that the shear strength of soil is the most important factor for the stability of grounds and slopes, and the probability below the safety factor evaluated with the soil properties of mean - 1.0 x standard deviation' by the deterministic methods of much lower. (author)

  18. Development of the Technologies for Stabilization Treatment of the Water of the Recycling Cooling Systems at Thermal Power Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vlasov, S. M.; Chichirova, N. D.; Chichirov, A. A.; Vlasova, A. Yu.; Filimonova, A. A.; Prosvirnina, D. V.

    2018-02-01

    A turbine-condensate cooling system is one of the less stable and most hard-to-control systems of maintaining optimal water chemistry. A laboratory recycling cooling water test facility, UVO-0.3, was developed for physical simulation of innovative zero-discharge water chemistry conditions and improvement of technological flowcharts of stabilization treatment of the initial and circulating water of the recycling cooling systems at thermal power plants. Experiments were conducted in the UVO-0.3 facility to investigate the processes that occur in the recycling water supply system and master new technologies of stabilization of the initial and circulating water. It is shown that, when using untreated initial water, scaling cannot be prevented even under low concentration levels. The main reason for the activation of scale depositing is the desorption of carbon dioxide that results in alkalization of the circulating water and, as a consequence, a displacement of the chemical reaction equilibrium towards the formation of slightly soluble hardness ions. Some techniques, viz., liming and alkalization of the initial water and the by-pass treatment of the circulating water, are considered. New engineering solutions have been developed for reducing the amount of scale-forming substances in the initial and circulating water. The best results were obtained by pretreating the initial water with alkalizing agents and simultaneously bypassing and treating part of the circulating water. The obtained experimental data underlie the process flowcharts of stabilization treatment of the initial and circulating TPP water that ensure scale-free and noncorrosive operation and meet the corresponding environmental requirements. Under the bypassing, the specific rates of the agents and the residual hardness are reduced compared with the conventional pretreatment.

  19. Mineral nutrients in mediterranean ecosystems

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Day, JA

    1983-06-01

    Full Text Available The notion of ecological convergence has influenced taxonomists and biogeographers since the development of ecology in the mid-nineteenth century. Our initial understanding of the ecosystems of the world resulted from plant geographers...

  20. Study of the radioactivity of forest ecosystems in some places of southern Bohemia following the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Konecny, J.; Vlcek, A.; Landa, M.; Obdrzalek, M.; Hofmannova, V.

    1989-01-01

    Following passage of the radioactive cloud, samples of forest ecocystems were analyzed and the data obtained were used in assessing the effect of radionuclides on the systems. Branches, bark, needles, leaves, mushrooms and soil were sampled. Dried and ground samples were measured using a scintillation detector linked to a gamma spectrometry system. The activities were assessed of 134 Cs, 137 Cs and also, informatively, of 40 K. High cesium concentrations were found in samples from 1987 when part of cesium was transformed into a soluble form and became thus accessible to plants. Pine needles were found to be most sensitive to concentration changes. The highest activities were observed in spruce needles, whereas birch showed very low cesium activites. High variations with the species and altitude above sea level were observed in mushrooms. (M.D.). 2 tabs., 10 refs

  1. Investigations of slope stability, Savannah River Plant, Aiken, South Carolina. Draft report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1985-01-01

    Our analysis of slope stability indicates acceptable factors of safety for trenches excavated at a slope inclination of one (horizontal) to one (vertical). Further, without the addition of externally applied loads, such as construction trafficking and the gantry crane, a slope inclination of 0.75 horizontal to 1.0 vertical was found to have an acceptable factor of safety of 1.5. Setback distances were calculated for a slope inclination of one to one, and it was found that the gantry crane loading could safely be applied at a setback distance of approximately 7.5 feet while maintaining a factor of safety of approximately 1.2. Similarly, setback distances required for dump trucks and scrapers would be expected to be approximately 6 feet and 10 feet, respectively, to maintain a factor of safety of 1.2. In order to allow flexibility with construction loadings, parametric studies were utilized for construction trafficking to enable setback distances to be selected consistent with actual equipment to be utilized during construction. The effect of removal of surficial soils was investigated, and it is concluded that a minimum of 4-1/2 feet should be removed from all areas prior to the excavation of slopes

  2. Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, F.C.; Spigel, Ben

    2016-01-01

    This paper reviews and discusses the emergent entrepreneurial ecosystem approach. Entrepreneurial ecosystems are defined as a set of interdependent actors and factors coordinated in such a way that they enable productive entrepreneurship within a particular territory. The purpose of this paper is to

  3. Assessment of Plant Functional Types in Tropical Arid and Semi-Arid Ecosystems of India Using Remote Sensing Data and GIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sudhakar Reddy, C.; Krishna, P. Hari; Murthy, M. S. R.

    2011-09-01

    Tropical ecosystems undergo changes caused by season, climate or multiple anthropogenic impacts. Such changes may cause gradual or rapid shifts from one state to another. There has been a focus on functional classifications of plants to find tools for monitoring and assessing species status in changing environments. It has been recognised that plant biological characteristics can be related to their response to predominant environmental factors and interactions between other organisms. These findings have resulted in a search for plant functional types (PFTs) that are user-defined groups of species with similar response to environmental resources and disturbance associated to common biological traits. Now, identification of plant functional types is priority area in the climate change research. Satellite Earth observation data is an important tool in providing considerable information on extracting PFT information at global and regional levels. From the modelling perspective, some of the current needs are the refinement of processes that govern community assembly, such as natural and anthropogenic disturbances. PFTs used in large-scale models are insufficient to represent the diversity of responses in natural plant communities. The currently available MODIS PFT map was generated by re-labeling the IGBP land cover type classes. However, the error magnitudes of the MODIS PFT product and their spatial and temporal distributions have not been fully characterized. Remotely sensed derived information of the phenology, community composition and vegetation structure are the key inputs to integrate with the variability in precipitation and temperature to map the spatial distribution of Plant functional types. PFTs allows accurate representation of the land surface by separately specifying the composition and structure of PFTs within a grid cell. Very little research efforts are discernible in India that explicitly address the PFTs. In the present study five natural

  4. Increasing plant use of organic nitrogen with elevation is reflected in nitrogen uptake rates and ecosystem delta15N.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Averill, Colin; Finzi, Adrien

    2011-04-01

    It is hypothesized that decreasing mean annual temperature and rates of nitrogen (N) cycling causes plants to switch from inorganic to organic forms of N as the primary mode of N nutrition. To test this hypothesis, we conducted field experiments and collected natural-abundance delta15N signatures of foliage, soils, and ectomycorrhizal sporocarps along a steep elevation-climate gradient in the White Mountains, New Hampshire, USA. Here we show that with increasing elevation organic forms of N became the dominant source of N taken up by hardwood and coniferous tree species based on dual-labeled glycine uptake analysis, an important confirmation of an emerging theory for the biogeochemistry of the N cycle. Variation in natural abundance foliar delta15N with elevation was also consistent with increasing organic N uptake, though a simple, mass balance model demonstrated that the uptake of delta15N depleted inorganic N, rather than fractionation upon transfer of N from mycorrhizal fungi, best explains variations in foliar delta15N with elevation.

  5. Background and anthropogenic radionuclide derived dose rates to freshwater ecosystem - Nuclear power plant cooling pond - Reference organisms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nedveckaite, T.; Filistovic, V.; Marciulioniene, D.; Prokoptchuk, N.; Plukiene, R.; Gudelis, A.; Remeikis, V.; Yankovich, T.; Beresford, N.-A.

    2011-01-01

    The radiological assessment of non-human biota to demonstrate protection is now accepted by a number of international and national bodies. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a scientific basis to assess and evaluate exposure of biota to ionizing radiation. Radionuclides from the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (Lithuania) were discharged into Lake Druksiai cooling pond. Additional radionuclide migration and recharge to this lake from a hypothetical near-surface, low-level radioactive waste disposal, to be situated 1.5 km from the lake, had been simulated using RESRAD-OFFSITE code. This paper uses ERICA Integrated Approach with associated tools and databases to compare the radiological dose to freshwater reference organisms. Based on these data, it can be concluded that background dose rates to non-human biota in Lake Druksiai far exceed those attributable to anthropogenic radionuclides. With respect the fishery and corresponding annual committed effective human dose as a result of this fish consumption Lake Druksiai continues to be a high-productivity water body with intensive angling and possible commercial fishing. - Highlights: → Dose rates to the reference organisms are lower than expected from the background radioactivity. → Pelagic fish part of adult human annual committed effective dose would be as small as a few μSv y -1 . → With respect the fishery Lake Druksiai continues to be a high-productivity water body.

  6. The biogenic volatile organic compounds emission inventory in France: application to plant ecosystems in the Berre-Marseilles area (France).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Valérie; Dumergues, Laurent; Ponche, Jean-Luc; Torres, Liberto

    2006-12-15

    An inventory describing the fluxes of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), isoprene and monoterpenes, and other VOCs (OVOCs) from the biosphere to the atmosphere, has been constructed within the framework of the ESCOMPTE project (fiEld experimentS to COnstrain Models of atmospheric Pollution and Transport of Emissions). The area concerned, located around Berre-Marseilles, is a Mediterranean region frequently subject to high ozone concentrations. The inventory has been developed using a fine scale land use database for the year 1999, forest composition statistics, emission potentials from individual plant species, biomass distribution, temperature and light intensity. The seasonal variations in emission potentials and biomass were also taken into account. Hourly meteorological data for 1999 were calculated from ALADIN data and these were used to predict the hourly isoprene, monoterpene and OVOC fluxes for the area on a 1 kmx1 km spatial grid. Estimates of annual biogenic isoprene, monoterpene and OVOC fluxes for the reference year 1999 were 20.6, 38.9 and 13.3 kt, respectively, Quercus pubescens, Quercus ilex, Pinus halepensis and garrigue vegetation are the dominant emitting species of the area. VOC emissions from vegetation in this region contribute approximately 94% to the NMVOC (non-methane volatile organic compounds) of natural origin and are of the same order of magnitude as NMVOC emissions from anthropogenic sources. These results complete the global ESCOMPTE database needed to make an efficient strategy for tropospheric ozone reduction policy.

  7. Peatland Woody Plant Growth Responses to Warming and Elevated CO2 in a Southern-boreal Raised Bog Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, J. R.; Hanson, P. J.; Warren, J.; Ward, E. J.; Brice, D. J.; Graham, J.

    2017-12-01

    Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Changing Environments (SPRUCE) is an in situ warming by elevated CO2 manipulation located in a high-carbon, spruce peatland in northern Minnesota. Warming treatments combined a 12-m diameter open topped chamber with internally recirculating warm air and soil deep heating to simulate a broad range of future warming treatments. Deep below ground soil warming rates are 0, +2.25, +4.5, +6.75, and +9 °C. Deep belowground warming was initiated in June 2014 followed by air warming in August 2015. In June 2016, elevated CO2 atmospheres (eCO2 at + 500 ppm) were added to half of the warming treatments in a regression design. Our objective was to track long-term vegetation responses to warming and eCO2. Annual tree growth is based on winter measurement of circumference of all Picea mariana and Larix laricina trees within each 113 m2 plot, automated dendrometers, terrestrial LIDAR scanning of tree heights and canopy volumes, and destructive allometry. Annual shrub growth is measured in late summer by destructive clipping in two 0.25 m2 sub-plots and separation of the current year tissues. During the first year of warming, tree basal area growth was reduced for Picea, but not Larix trees. Growth responses for the woody shrub vegetation remains highly variable with a trend towards increasing growth with warming. Elevated CO2 enhancements of growth are not yet evident in the data. Second-year results will also be reported. Long-term hypotheses for increased woody plant growth under warming include potential enhancements driven by increased nutrient availability from warming induced decomposition of surface peats.

  8. The use of indigenous plant species and calcium phosphate for the stabilization of highly metal-polluted sites in southern Poland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kucharski, R.; Sas-Nowosielska, A.; Malkowski, E.; Japenga, J.; Kuperberg, J.M.; Pogrzeba, M.; Krzyzak, J.

    2005-01-01

    Highly metal-polluted (Pb, Cd, Zn) soil from a non-ferrous mine and smelter site in southern Poland, further referred to as Waryski soil, was used to test indigenous plant species for stabilization effectiveness of heavy metals in soils. Results of pilot investigations with commercially available

  9. Forest restoration, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Globally, forests cover nearly one third of the land area and they contain over 80% of terrestrial biodiversity. Both the extent and quality of forest habitat continue to decrease and the associated loss of biodiversity jeopardizes forest ecosystem functioning and the ability of forests to provide ecosystem services. In the light of the increasing population pressure, it is of major importance not only to conserve, but also to restore forest ecosystems. Ecological restoration has recently started to adopt insights from the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) perspective. Central is the focus on restoring the relation between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Here we provide an overview of important considerations related to forest restoration that can be inferred from this BEF-perspective. Restoring multiple forest functions requires multiple species. It is highly unlikely that species-poor plantations, which may be optimal for above-ground biomass production, will outperform species diverse assemblages for a combination of functions, including overall carbon storage and control over water and nutrient flows. Restoring stable forest functions also requires multiple species. In particular in the light of global climatic change scenarios, which predict more frequent extreme disturbances and climatic events, it is important to incorporate insights from the relation between biodiversity and stability of ecosystem functioning into forest restoration projects. Rather than focussing on species per se, focussing on functional diversity of tree species assemblages seems appropriate when selecting tree species for restoration. Finally, also plant genetic diversity and above - below-ground linkages should be considered during the restoration process, as these likely have prominent but until now poorly understood effects at the level of the ecosystem. The BEF-approach provides a useful framework to evaluate forest restoration in an ecosystem functioning context, but

  10. Transcript Lifetime Is Balanced between Stabilizing Stem-Loop Structures and Degradation-Promoting Polyadenylation in Plant Mitochondria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhn, Josef; Tengler, Ulrike; Binder, Stefan

    2001-01-01

    To determine the influence of posttranscriptional modifications on 3′ end processing and RNA stability in plant mitochondria, pea atp9 and Oenothera atp1 transcripts were investigated for the presence and function of 3′ nonencoded nucleotides. A 3′ rapid amplification of cDNA ends approach initiated at oligo(dT)-adapter primers finds the expected poly(A) tails predominantly attached within the second stem or downstream of the double stem-loop structures at sites of previously mapped 3′ ends. Functional studies in a pea mitochondrial in vitro processing system reveal a rapid removal of the poly(A) tails up to termini at the stem-loop structure but little if any influence on further degradation of the RNA. In contrast 3′ poly(A) tracts at RNAs without such stem-loop structures significantly promote total degradation in vitro. To determine the in vivo identity of 3′ nonencoded nucleotides more accurately, pea atp9 transcripts were analyzed by a direct anchor primer ligation-reverse transcriptase PCR approach. This analysis identified maximally 3-nucleotide-long nonencoded extensions most frequently of adenosines combined with cytidines. Processing assays with substrates containing homopolymer stretches of different lengths showed that 10 or more adenosines accelerate RNA processivity, while 3 adenosines have no impact on RNA life span. Thus polyadenylation can generally stimulate the decay of RNAs, but processivity of degradation is almost annihilated by the stabilizing effect of the stem-loop structures. These antagonistic actions thus result in the efficient formation of 3′ processed and stable transcripts. PMID:11154261

  11. Ecosystem thermodynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gomez Palacio, German Rau

    1998-01-01

    Ecology is no more a descriptive and self-sufficient science. Many viewpoints are needed simultaneously to give a full coverage of such complex systems: ecosystems. These viewpoints come from physics, chemistry, and nuclear physics, without a new far from equilibrium thermodynamics and without new mathematical tools such as catastrophe theory, fractal theory, cybernetics and network theory, the development of ecosystem science would never have reached the point of today. Some ideas are presented about the importance that concept such as energy, entropy, exergy information and none equilibrium have in the analysis of processes taking place in ecosystems

  12. Ecological stability and biodiversity of disturbed land

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tewary, B.K.; Singh, R.S.; Dhar, B.B.

    1996-01-01

    Ecosystems destruction by mining is an inevitable part of industrialisation. Disposal of debris and low grade ore and minerals reduces the vegetation cover and population of wild animals. Further it causes an unprecedented increase in the rate of accumulation of waste dumps, depleted topsoil, increase in sedimentation load and ultimately prevention of natural succession of native vegetation of the area. Revegetation of overburden dumps through systematic means increase slope stability, enhances the infiltration rate of rain water, increase in soil fertility and natural succession of the native plant species which maintain the long term stability of the ecosystems. Rapid growing population followed with extensive land clearing by the mineral and other industries have caused rapid increase in the extinction of biological diversity. In this paper an attempt is made to portray the natural succession process to preserve the biodiversity of the area. A case study for a coal mining area in India is given. 9 refs., 4 tabs

  13. Disturbance dynamics and ecosystem-based forest management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalev Jogiste; W. Keith Moser; Malle. Mandre

    2005-01-01

    Ecosystem-based management is intended to balance ecological, social and economic values of sustainable resource management. The desired future state of forest ecosystem is usually defined through productivity, biodiversity, stability or other terms. However, ecosystem-based management may produce an unbalanced emphasis on different components. Although ecosystem-based...

  14. Urban ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Duvigneaud, P

    1974-01-01

    The author considers the town as an ecosystem. He examines its various subdivisions (climate, soil, structure, human and non-human communities, etc.) for which he chooses examples with particular reference to the city of Brussels.

  15. Working group 7: Ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Verheyen, R.

    1976-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to evaluate the environmental impact of nuclear power plants. The effects of ionizing radiations, of the thermal and chemical pollution on aquatic ecosystems as well as on terrestrial ecosystems have been estimated. After a general survey of such effects and their interaction, practical conclusions in regard to determined areas such as Meuse-Escaut marine and the coast have been drawn. The contamination effects of food chains have been evaluted under deliberately pessimistic conditions with regard to the choice of the radionuclide as well as of concentration factors. Following the biodegradation conditions of the surface waters, criteria for the quality of the aquatic ecosystems have been established. Finally, attention has been paid on certain factors affecting the site selection especially within the frame of the nature conservation. The effects of cooling towers have been also considered. (G.C.)

  16. Different types of interactions of links in artificial and natural ecosystems under anthropogenic pressure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somova, Lydia; Pisman, Tamara; Mikheeva, Galina; Pechurkin, Nickolay

    The life of organisms in an